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It was a treaty to renounce war as a means of settling difficulties which arise internationally; and my object in introducing this legislation is to bring together the signatories of these treaty powers here in Washington, and it was intended, or directed, rather, to this year 1939, to let these nations again pledge themselves to create world public opinion against war as a means of sentiment.
Now, we know, and everybody knows, it seems to me, that if we get into a world war, civilization, as we all know it, will be no more for a long time; we will have another "dark ages" following it. The world just cannot stand a general world war again and have left matters as they are, or anything like what they are today.
The idea is to create world public opinion against war as a means of settlement of international difficulties. We know these difficulties can be settled by negotiation, as sensible people do settle them. They are not always settled that way, but they could and should be. Public opinion is the strongest human agency there is, stronger than your Constitution, stronger than your Army and your Navy. If you get public opinion strong enough, and it seems like, with the whole world in a mood for peace, it would make a general war next to impossible. I believe that the people of Germany and the people of Italy are just as adverse to war as we are. I believe the public opinion of those countries, although it cannot be vocal, is opposed to war; and in other countries that are not directly under these totalitarian or dictatorship set-ups, it is even stronger against war.
Now, when we got into the last war, do you know what it cost us! When the last widow gets her last check of the last veteran of this last World War, it is going to cost the United States $100,000,000,000, and that is just about what all of the property in the world was estimated to be worth at the time of the signing of the Constitution of the United States. It is estimated that another war will cost three times what that last war did, and you know what the last war cost the world; something like $350,000,000,000. Mr. Bloom. Would you mind being interrupted as you go along?
Mr. GUYER. Yes; go ahead. Any question that you ask, I will answer, if I can.
Mr. BLOOM. I will read to you article I and article II of the Briand Pact. I believe it is in the third article that you would refer to. Article I reads:
The high contracting parties solemnly declare, in the names of their respective peoples, that they condemn recourses to war for the solution of international controversies and renounce it as an instrument of national policy in their relations one with another.
Article II: The high contracting parties agree that the settlement or solution of all disputes or conflicts of whatever nature, or of whatever origin they may be, which may arise among them, shall never be sought, except by peaceful means.
Mr. GUYER. Those are only two articles.
Mr. BLOOM. How are you going to accomplish anything, if you do enforce this—or if you cannot enforce this? I mean there is no way of enforcing it, is there!
Mr. GUYER. No; there is no penalty or sanction.
Mr. Bloom. You want to have them promise it again?
Mr. GUYER. Yes; some of them violated it, of course. In this conference, they could consider all of these matters.
Mr. Bloom. But there are many other things in the KelloggBriand Pact.
Mr. GUYER. Yes; that arose out of the violation or supposed violation of this treaty. For instance, if we generally supposed that Italy and Japan have violated the treaty. Of course, there is one exception to this, that a nation may fight in self defense, they claim they are fighting in self defense.
Mr. Bloom. With reference to the prevention of war, they merely promise not to go to war?
Mr. GUYER. Yes; that they will settle their difficulties by diplomatic peaceful means.
Mr. BLOOM. Now, that is another promise, is it not? Mr. GUYER. Yes. Mr. Bloom. I just wanted to get the idea of article I and article II of the Kellogg-Briand Pact in the record.
Mr. GUYER. In the resolution, there are some other things that should be considered, such as enacting a code of international laws, which shall recognize the sovereignty of each nation, with the exception only that it has renounced war and promised to settle all international disputes by peaceful means, and shall recognize the right of every nation to be protected by international law from interference with its own affairs; and, second, to provide for uniform standards of values and cooperative measures for the maintenance of reasonably stable exchange rates.
Of course, these are just suggestions for the agenda. Any questions?
Mr. KEE. In the event you secure this conference will you eliminate from the new pact that you propose the provision in the original pact that the renunciation of war would not deprive nations of their legitimate right of self-defense?
Mr. GUYER. No; I would not think of eliminating that.
Mr. KEE. You recommend in your preamble to the resolution here, that it be condemned. In the Briand-Kellogg Pact that has been considered to be a reservation?
Mr. GUYER. Yes, sir. Mr. KEE. And you indicate that you would want to modify that? Mr. GUYER. That might be modified; yes. Mr. KEE. But not eliminated ? Mr. GUYER. That would be up to the conference. Mr. JOHNSON of Texas. I notice in this last portion of the bill, in which you suggest the conference to consider certain things, and, among them, the enaction of a code of international laws. What provision do you have in mind with reference to enforcing abiding by the laws, which the parties agree to do? Have you any thought or suggestion on that phase of it?
Mr. GUYER. Well, in an agreement of this kind, in which peaceful means are to be employed only, of course, there could be no military penalty.
Mr. JOHNSON of Texas. Is that not our chief trouble now, Mr. Guyer, that the countries are willing to take the pledge and they will promise you that they will always abide by them, but the difficulty is in making them carry out their agreements. If we could have the solution to the problem of making the countries live up to their agreements, would not the problem of peace be settled! Is that not the fundamental trouble we are dealing with?
Mr. GUYER. Well, of course, that would probably lead to war, itself.
Mr. JOHNSON of Texas. I was just wondering if you had thought of any panacea for that problem.
Mr. GUYER. You would have to depend on the public sentiment of the world to enforce it.
Mr. Bloom. Mr. Guyer, a thought just came to me. A promise is one thing, but let us take the situation of Italy and Albania. Italy was the protector, or supposed to be the guardian angel of Albania; is that right?
Mr. GUYER. Yes; that is true.
Mr. Bloom. There cannot, to my mind, be anything stronger than that.
Mr. Eaton. Their guardian angel, did you say?
Mr. BLOOM. I will explain to the gentleman from New Jersey what I mean by that afterward. How would you make effective these promises. How would you bring about results in a case of that kind?
Mr. GUYER. There is the suggestion here that there be some kind of arbitration board organized to settle these matters; and, of course, if all of the nations would agree to abide by their settlement by decree of that board, that would settle it.
Mr. BLOOM. Any other questions, gentlemen ?
Mr. ALLEN. How can you avoid or relieve public sentiment, when so many of the people of the world are influenced by subsidized press?
Mr. GUYER. That is one of the great difficulties, the matter of getting hold of public opinion. Of course, if you were in Italy and Germany, where there is no liberty of press, no free speech, you could not have any effect upon the public opinion in those countries, or in Russia. But you have a great meeting here in Washington, with representatives of all of the signatories of these powers, you cannot keep it from sifting over into Germany and Italy, that there is a great effort being made here to avoid wars.
Mr. JOHNSON of Texas. Will not that sifting prove to be effective? Mr. GUYER. I do not know.
Mr. Bloom. Do you remember, Mr. Guyer, what Will Rogers said about this country?
Mr. GUYER. I do not know, but I presume it was very good. I do not remember it. What did he say?
Mr. BLOOM. I will tell you later.
Mr. RICHARDS. Mr. Guyer, assuming that this resolution is passed and we invite these people over here, do you have any confidence that, if they set up a committee or court, as you suggest, would you have any confidence that any number of those nations would have any intention of carrying out the purposes of the conference to start with?
Mr. GUYER. I think a great majority of the nations would.
Mr. RICHARDS. If a part of the contracting parties had no intention to carry it out, what is the use of sitting down with them?
Mr. GUYER. Well, the idea would be to talk these things over in conference, and create public opinion. Now, in the present stress and tension, they never can settle these things, outside of war.
Mr. Johnson of Texas. Our opinion is already crystalized for peace in America. Let the other countries get some peaceful sentiments.
Mr. GUYER. I tell you, Mr. Johnson, you get the war spirit stirred up—and if you do not think there is any war spirit in this country, you will recall that, on the 6th of this month, there were 100,000 people who stood down there in the rain to see the Army Day parade.
Mr. Johnson of Texas. The American people love parades, but they do not love wars.
Mr. Guyer. Let some demagogue start talking about democracy, and saving democracy, and a big surge of patriotism will sweep the country, then the country will be ready to let loose the "dogs of war."
Mr. Eaton. I do not think you need worry about the United States. Even with that purpose in mind, how will you get that great big crowd of people here?
Mr. GUYER. They will have representatives here, of course.
Mr. Eaton. Will they not be people that you cannot believe a word they say? I cannot have any great respect for their word.
Mr. SHANLEY. Mr. Chairman, may I say, for your information, that it will implement the Versailles Treaty, and it has been said that the League of Nations had been responsible for the ills of the world. I notice you hope to check this unilateral agreement and continue the burden, as well as crystallize the effort that has been made in the past?
Mr. GUYER. Certainly.
Mr. SHANLEY. In other words, we are going to have another conference as we did in Versailles, and in addition to that, you are going to implement the Kellogg-Briand Pact?
Mr. GUYER. That was the latest conference at Versailles. It is much like the rearmament conference we had here in Washington, and I forget when it was.
Mr. SHANLEY. 1922. Of course, and now, your sentiments are expressed in a noble cause. One nation promises everything and then with the depression and rise of dictators, they just throw that everything aside. Now, of course, you say it will crystallize public opinion, but here we also see that you wish to depart from our historical policy, giving up the freedom of the seas and joining in a world group, because I think most scholars admit that the KelloggBriand Pact was an indirect way of carrying out the League of Nations, and I take it that your resolution has the same thought in mind ?
Mr. GUYER. Well, something of the kind. Think what we may, whether we are opposed to or for the League of Nations, if something of that kind is not formulated, we are going to have our civilization wiped out.
Mr. SHANLEY. You think our present Neutrality Act has been ineffective?
Mr. GUYER. Yes.
Mrs. ROGERS. Mr. Chairman, do you not feel it is unfortunate to have a law on our statutes and not enforce it?
Mr. GUYER. What is that?
Mrs. ROGERS. Do you not think it is unfortunate to have a bill on our statute books and not enforce it, such as our so-called Neutrality Act?
Mr. GUYER. Yes; I should think so.
Mr. Bloom. Mr. Guyer has requested to be permitted to leave, because he has a very important meeting to attend.
Mr. GUYER. I would ask this, Mr. Chairman: I have consulted Canon Chase a great deal in this matter, and when you get through with the Congressmen sometime in the hearing, I would like for you to hear Canon Chase. Mr. BLOOM. Yes; as soon as we can arrange
further program. We thank you very much, Mr. Guyer.
Now, members of the committee, I would like to announce now that, in reply to an invitation sent to Col. Charles A. Lindbergh the other day to appear before this committee, the chairman has received a radiogram from Colonel Lindbergh, from the S. S. Aquitania, stating that he will communicate directly upon his arrival. So I guess we can expect to have the honor of having Colonel Lindbergh appear before the committee, and arrangements will be made accordingly when the time has arrived.
(Thereupon the committee proceeded to the consideration of H. J. Res. 44; see p. 621.)
STATEMENT OF HON. CHARLES I. FADDIS, REPRESENTATIVE IN
CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF PENNSYLVANIA
Mr. Bloom. Mr. Faddis, do you wish to make a statement first on the bill and then answer questions?
Mr. Faddis. Yes; Mr. Chairman, I appreciate the courtesy of being allowed to appear before this committee. This resolution that I have introduced, as anyone can see, provides for the outright repeal of the neutrality act.
Mr. Chairman, I am not one of those who believe we can put human nature in a strait jacket. When we have tried to regulate human nature in this fashion by putting it in a strait jacket, it has proven to be a very disastrous failure and a very costly, if noble, experiment. I do not believe you can put human nature throughout the world in a strait jacket, any more than you can within a nation. Mr. Chairman, since self-preservation is the first law of nature, the security of this Nation is the highest duty of Congress, because unless the Nation is secure, nothing else that we can do will matter.
I am introducing this resolution, providing for the repeal of the Neutrality Act, because I believe that we can in that way best provide for the security of this Nation and remain at peace with the rest of the world.
Mr. Bloom. In what way, Mr. Faddis?
Mr. Faddis. The totalitarian nations of the world, which are promoting schools of political and economic thought antagonistic to ours, are building up empires designed to prevent us from trading with the rest of the world and to prevent the rest of the world from trading with us.
Mr. VoRys. It is not assisting the Japanese very much, is it? It has never been wrong over there, has it?