Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

I read a very informative and very able article on the ancient road systems in Latin America built by the Aztecs. I learned that Dr. Todt, the man who built the German autostrassen, the new road systems that have been so effective an aid to Hitler's war plans, has had a commission in South America studying the problem of building a really integrated road system there. This in the middle of the conquest of Europe.

Germany has Spain in a stranglehold by the process of what she quaintly called "nonintervention, supporting one Spanish government at the cost of another, and, incidentally, supporting both sides in the Spanish war. And that is what she will do in South America, taking as payment the right to control pivotal commercial airlines, ports, and airdromes. Why not? With all of South America's European outlets for goods in her hands, she will be able to do pretty much as she pleases.

I may say, gentlemen, I am also for a peace offensive. I think that we show singularly little political imagination in letting Hitler capture the peace offensive. I think we ought to come out for a federation of European states and an interlocking federation with a federated English-speaking world. That would mean peace between all the parts of western civilization, it would satisfy any normal German demand, and it would mean world peace for centuries. You will never be able to reestablish the status quo ante of 1939; and if that status quo had been all right, this war would never have occurred.

Furthermore, great and constructive thinking along these lines, very precise thinking, is going on in all the European countries, even the subjected ones, and in Britain. But you can't get that peace, or anything like it, or any peace at all-you will get nothing but chaos, break-down, conquest, and war-until the forces are strong enough so that Hitler can be intimidated, instead of his doing all the intimidating. And that is not a matter of years; it's a matter of months.

Furthermore, you must not think that there are no forces in Germany itself that are greatly worried about the outcome of things. I would give a good deal for a frank conversation with several men in high places in Germany. There are great political factors on the side of a just peace, providing, and only providing, that the distribution of power can be shifted. Don't forget that there is immense passive resistance in every single conquered European country, which is being held upright now wholly by the American attitude. Every strengthening here strengthens them, and every weakening weakens them. The political and revolutionary factors are so great in this war that they must be kept sight of every minute.

I should like to say finally that one of the greatest things in the American Constitution is the power that it gives the President in an emergency vis-a-vis other nations. These powers were given him after long discussion and the most earnest consideration, and are one of the reasons that this country has survived for 150 years without radical reconstruction, unlike any other republic. We are the only republic in which the elected head of the state is Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy, and at the same time fulfills the functions of a prime minister. The founding fathers designed it so because they foresaw the intense necessity of unity of command in case of foreign threats.

I read three articles in the Federalist papers which deal with that at length and very convincingly. As I see it, in this bill the President is asking for additional powers to back him up in his constitutional position; not additional powers so much as a definition of how he wishes to use the powers that he has as Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy.

There are times when unified authority and command are absolutely essential to swiftness and efficiency of political and military action. Something that is effective tomorrow may not be at all effective next week. And there never was a moment in our history more acute than this one. If Britain falls, this amount of centralized authority will not do for the situation we shall have on our hands in this country. We shall then be right up against the life or death of the American Republic, in my opinion. That is all I have

to say. The CHAIRMAN. The Chair wishes to say that it is against the rules of the committee to show any demonstration or approval on one side or the other. Of course I know it is very nice. I have felt like applauding myself.

Mr. Fish. Miss Thompson, I listened with much interest to your very able statement. I would like to know if you are in favor of our participation in the war?

Miss THOMPSON. Mr. Fish, I am in favor of preserving the freedom and independence of the United States of America, without war if possible, with war if necessary.

May I answer a question that you asked the gentleman, which he did not answer?

Mr. Fish. I would rather have you answer my questions.
The CHAIRMAN. You may do that.

Miss THOMPSON. If you wish me to go into it further I think we still have a chance of winning this war without fighting with actual belligerence in Europe, and I am counting on that chance, but not 100 percent; that is personal opinion. It is not the opinion of others.

Mr. Fish. Would you be in favor of our going to war to prevent the invasion of Ireland?

Miss THOMPSON. Mr. Fish, you ask rhetorical questions which are difficult to answer. I would be in favor of our going to war under certain circumstances. I am not in favor of our going to war tomorrow morning. I think that if we mobilized our industrial, economic, and political resources, that we can win this war without going to war, I think we have gone to war, in one sense of the word, already. I don't think that we are neutral, if you call that going to war. This is a very weird world. There is not any war in China, you know, as far as that is concerned. I would like to answer the question that you asked of the gentleman, because I think it is

Mr. Fish. I am perfectly willing if the committee is.

The CHAIRMAN. Without objection, Miss Thompson will be permitted to answer the question.

Miss THOMPSON. The question that Mr. Fish asked was whether any act of agression has been committed against this country by Germany. I think it is a very interesting question. I answer the question.

If you think in terms of the modern revolutionary tactics of warfare; yes, sir. The Germans have organized in this country uniformed military groups for the purpose of changing the Government of the United States. I call that an act of aggression.

We haven't got anything in our law against it
Mr. Fish. You favor going to war, then?

Miss THOMPSON. No; I am not in favor of going to war, Mr. Fish, if we can save our freedom and independence by not going to war.

Mr. Fish. Do you make any difference between acts of aggression between Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany?

Miss THOMPSON. I am not afraid of Soviet Russia and I am of Nazi Germany, that is the difference.

Mr. Fish. The reason I asked you, Miss Thompson, the question about Ireland, was because you referred to Ireland.

Miss THOMPSON. I think the occupation, the German occupation, and the use of the British Fleet from the west coast of Ireland would be very serious for us, that is why I referred to it. They will bottle up the Channel ports, and they will occupy the west coast of Ireland and take bases there. That happens to be the nearest place facing us. That is why I think it is important, not because I have any particular love or hate toward the Irish.

Mr. Fish. My question was, therefore, if they did this thing, which you referred to, would you be in favor of going to war?

Miss THOMPSON. That would depend upon the political--you cannot answer a question like that. It would depend upon--no, Mr. Fish, you can let me give you an illustration. I sat in the office of the Prime Minister of Hungary, 6 months ago, and I said, “What are you going to do, Mr. Teleki, if the Germans send you an ultimatum tomorrow morning?" And he said, “I will answer you honestly. I do not know. It will depend upon the exact military and strategical and political position of the moment."

Now, that is the only way one can answer that question.

Mr. Fish. Do you believe in underwriting the war policy of Great Britain without knowing what it is?

Miss THOMPSON. I don't believe in underwriting anybody's policy. I believe in our making a policy of our own, which Great Britain, I am quite sure, will be willing to underwrite, since she is just as dependent on us as we are upon her.

Mr. Fish. Just one more question, Miss Thompson. You were quoted in the Washington Post, of the 20th of last month, as saying this:

I would not lift a finger to save the British Empire as presently constituted, nor restore a Balkanized Europe in order to destroy Germany.

Miss THOMPSON. Correct. I do not believe the British Empire as at present constituted can survive the next 20 years. I don't believe that that Balkanized Europe ever was desirable, although we helped to make it.

What was the other thing that I said?

I think we have got to make a new order in this world, and I do not want to see Germany divided and destroyed.

Mr. Johnson. Are you in favor of this bill?
Miss THOMPSON. Yes.

Mr. Johnson. You think it is necessary that it should be passed speedily?

Miss THOMPSON. Very.

Mr. Johnson. You tħink that aid to England is necessary for our own self-defense?

Miss THOMPSON. Absolutely.

Mr. JOHNSON. That is all.

Mr. Eaton. I have no questions. I will allow Mr. Tinkham to conduct the examination. He understands the situation better than I do.

The CHAIRMAN. You are very modest, Mr. Richards.
Mr. RICHARDS. I have no questions.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Tinkham.
Mr. TINKHAM. I have no questions.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Shanley?

Mr. SHANLEY. I am very much interested in your idea of a Balkanized Europe because from what I gather, you think the economic logic of Europe is free trade from the Baltic to the Black Sea through the Danube, and you are against anything that has been done under the Versailles Treaty, but how much can we allow those things to interfere with our prompt, speedy, and effective aid to England?

Miss THOMPSON. Well, gentlemen, I only think that if this country would get clear in its mind a policy for Èurope, that that would in itself be an immensely effective instrument. I don't blame the British for not publishing peace terms. They are fighting absolutely for their lives, and they don't know what they are going to have, but I believe that some concept of what might emerge in Europe and in North America would be an enormous political instrument in helping to win this war, because we have hundreds of millions of allies with us in Europe itself. They are looking to us.

Mr. SHANLEY. Are we, however-and it would please me if you would sit down, because you are going to force me to stand too, and I do not want to stand-are we delaying in any way our aid to Britain by attempting to discuss these things?

Now, you know that when Mr. Balfour came over in 1917 it was suggested that he discuss with Mr. Wilson, and he was promptly brushed aside, how much are we interfering with that?

Miss THOMPSON. I do not think that we should delay our aid at all. because if Britain falls then there is no good in even talking about peace. It will be dictated to us as well as to everybody else.

Mr. SHANLEY. Thank you.

Miss THOMPSON. By that I mean our economic life will be dictated to us insofar as it is not entirely self-sufficient.

The CHAIRMAN. Mrs. Rogers.

Mrs. Rogers. Miss Thompson, I agree with you that it is the overwhelming sentiment of the country to aid Great Britain. I think that you can see our position in wanting to get the facts and not the theories as to what should be done and why we should do these things. I wonder if you could give us some of the names of some of the authorities of which you spoke, who have given you information from foreign countries?

Miss THOMPSON. Mrs. Rogers

Mrs. Rogers. Or send it to us for our private consumption, if you do not want to give them publicly?

Miss THOMPSON. If you will read the works of Mr. Rosenberg, or Mr. Goebbels, or Mr. Darre, if you will read the military and economie journals of Germany, you will see what sort of notions and plans exist.

That I could send you—I could send you enormous excerpts from German writings, to prove my point, and it would take me some days to get them together, in form. I have also personal information which I cannot very well divulge.

Mrs. ROGERS. That is the information that I hoped perhaps you could give us. I have read your writings, Miss Thompson, of course, as do a number of people. I have enjoyed your very brilliant writing, and I have enjoyed your statement today, and in that statement you said that, I think, you could not prophesy, did you not say?

Miss ThomPSON. I did prophesy.

Mrs. Rogers. In your book, I Saw Hitler, published in 1932, you write of having seen Hitler in 1931.

Miss THOMPSON. I know, Mrs. Rogers, and you are going to say I said Hitler would not come to power in Germany. I did, and I made a colossal error, very largely because people just like you told me it was impossible. All of the best authorities said so. It is a long time ago, Mrs. Rogers. I have not made any serious mistakes about Hitler since then.

Mrs. Rogers. And you said when you saw this man, Hitler, as an equal, between Hindenburg and Bruening, involuntarily you smiled and said, "Adolf, Adolf, you will be out of luck."

Miss THOMPSON. Nobody has ever read that whole article. Hand it to me and I will read you the end of it. It is really not apropos, but in that article I was describing my own reaction. I certainly

I thought Mr. Hitler was one of the most unprepossessing little men that I had ever seen, and I ended it, I said

The CHAIRMAN. We want to be fair to the witness. We can give the book to the witness, where the witness has been asked a part of the question, and Miss Thompson, especially, she should have the book.

Miss THOMPSON. Mrs. Rogers is casting doubts upon my reliability as a witness, and this little book which was an article republished is really a description of my personal reactions to Mr. Adolph Hitler, which are not historically of any particular importance, but in it I said what passed through my mind. I said, when I went into the room, I was sure he was going to be dictator of Germany, and when I looked at him 50 seconds later I changed my mind. It was my mistake, a great mistake, but this book ends by saying, by summing it up, it has a lot of pictures which interfere with the text:

Once in power, will he risk another French invasion? What will become of his promises to a revolutionary working class-. and then it goes on, so forth, and so forth; and then I have said:

Perhaps the drummer boy has set loose forces stronger than he knows. If so, what will come after it?

The CHAIRMAN. Do you wish to comment on that?

Miss Thompson. I only wish to say that I was very wrong in this article in 1931.

Mrs. Rogers. We all want to seek the light.
Miss THOMPSON. But not quite as wrong as I am quoted as being.

Mr. ARNOLD. Miss Thompson, you said that France was ineffective because she could not make up her mind whether to make a deal with Hitler or not. Well, she finally made a deal with Hitler, did she not?

Miss THOMPSON. She was defeated and accepted an armisticethat's one sort of deal.

Mr. ARNOLD. And your concern is that this country should not have to make a deal under like circumstances, I assume?

[ocr errors]

2881284-41-12

« PreviousContinue »