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Only this morning you read in your New York Times:
However, it was.maintained that the sensational building records were made by a few shipyards while others lagged badly.
Admiral Land, in his testimony before your committee, pointed out that from 650,000 to 700,000 more workers would be needed in the calendar year to carry out the cargo-carrying ship production of 18.000,000 tons. He informed you that we need the enactment of a national war service act to give 'assurance that these ships, ships that in truth carry all the hopes of all of our future years, will be constructed.
This is a marvelous age of industrial achievement, but we have not yet reached the point where we can carry men and supplies in ships that we have not yet built.
You noticed in the papers of yesterday, I think, or in your paper this morning, this statement from the Truman report:
It is no military secret that we do not now have enough shipping to supply our Allies with the weapons and food which they require, and to transport and maintain overseas as many soldiers as we can train, or as much material as we can produce.
I think it is no military secret that we are fumbling our manpower program, lagging far behind our Allies in realism.
Admiral Land, I understand from his testimony which I read with considerable interest and care, pointed out that our allies asked for three times as much as we delivered, and that they might have asked three times as much as they did ask if they had not realized that we were not yet geared to do this job. The plain truth, plain enough to the fathers and mothers with whom I have talked in the past 9 months, plain enough to them, and plain enough to our allies who asked for help, help that comes so slowly, help that often just did not come at all, the plain truth is that with all our potential productive capacity, and all our undoubted genius in technology, our management technique, our assembly skill, we still employ halfway measures instead of bold, vigorous mobilization to become a real arsenal of democracy.
I think that Admiral Land, of the Maritime Commission, deserved more than our praise. They deserve a chance, a chance for which Admiral Land asked, a chance to do the job, a chance which could be given by the enactment of this bill.
How long will this war last? I believe in a large measure we hold the answer to that question. Without real mobilization of manpower, it could drag on for years until this wealthiest nation in all the world would be exhausted materially, and what is more important, spiritually. But with a speedy enactment of this forthright and fundamental national war service bill, it might be ended sooner than our realistic experts now think possible. I just say this, that so far as the millions of parents in this country are concerned, it will not be ended too soon, no matter how short we can make it.
I would like to point out, if I may, that our military needs and our commitments to our allies apparently indicate that we require something like 11,000,000 men in the armed forces. All of this presents a tremendous problem. It is very easy to see what this means in terms of manpower. It means that military necessity, if we are to fulfill commitments, and to do the job already decided upon, compels us to drain our depleted reservoir and available
workers at the very time that more materials and more workers are being demanded for the fighting forces to aid our allies. I think the paradox would be inescapable, and Calvary in 1943 would be beyond endurance were it not for a fact, the fact that there are millions of persons with aptitudes and skills who are not now engaged in any direct way in the war effort.
Necessary and needed workers under the national service bill would be tested, trained, mobilized for service, or would be substituted for haphazard, willy-nilly unmobilized chaos. I am sure that I need not elaborate upon this point of the necessity of a retraining program. Your committee has already heard the testimony of one of the greatest authorities on this retraining question, Mr. Arthur L. Williston, a distinguished layman in my own parish in Boston. Performance, I believe, could replace exhortation. War instead of possible threat or coercion would be the method. Mobilization for thorough and speedy victory is, in my judgment, so imperative that it deserves the effectiveness of a law, a law freely enacted by the freely elected representatives of a free people who will agree in advance to forego temporary inconvenience for lasting freedom.
Now, the Boston Herald in an editorial of February 9, on the National War Service Act, expressed a feeling that I find to be widespread:
So far as manpower and womanpower on the home fronts are concerned
Referring to industry and agriculturewe have been providing with a "will-you-won't you program" of dubious validity and questionable efficiency. The system is breaking down. It is causing distress and hot resentment. We cannot provide enough industrial materials and food and we cannot avoid confusion and popular bitterness unless we immediately mobilize our men and women far more efficiently than at present. This bill
Referring to the National War Service Actprovides at least a solid foundation to build on.
The editorial concludes, and it is a typical editorial:
We cannot in decency to the millions of men whom we have taken from shops and offices, farms, and classrooms, and are paying low wages, refuse to do our level best while we are safe behind the lines thousands of miles from the shooting.
I assure you that this is a very typical reaction which I have observed in speaking to the tens of thousands of people across this country. Invariably this other question will come up in the forum period: Why in heaven's name don't we get going? I tell you there is a feeling of frustration that could be stopped by the enactment of this democratic and just bill.
I have no doubt that this bill, just like the Selective Service Act of 1940, will be linked with insidious labels. It is a convenient device. Nevertheless, it is my conviction it is essentially democratic, and thoroughly just. It is democratic because its basic principle is the clear recognition, and I quote from the second paragraph of section 1— that an obligation rests upon every person, subject to necessary and appropriate exceptions, as herein defined and authorized, to render such personal service in aid of the war effort as he or she may be deemed best fitted to perform.
This, in my judgment, is democratic. The recognition and the assumption of an obligation for every person, that is what it is.
Now, as I might hear, and, more important, listen to thousands upon thousands of people in the course of a year, I hear them as they talk out loud. Most of them are pretty humble people. They say some things that I think lead me to discover a great fact; they see the difference, though they may not express it in $4 words, but they see the difference between—and sometimes I suspect demagogs do not see the difference-between totalitarian compulsion and freely enacted law, a fundamental difference between totalitarian compulsion and freely enacted laws which, to be sure, limit comfort and even liberty. The people know that this is a total war and they are willing to go on with the job. I firmly believe that many of our leaders would be surprised to learn how enthusiastic would be the support for this fact-facing, realistic national war service bill when it is enacted. When you talk with fathers and mothers, as I have in recent months, you conclude they are waiting for the kind of decisive action this bill would provide.
It is a democratic bill because of the facts which I have cited. My report to you in brief is this: So far as the opinion of the people by and large, not only the public-opinion polls but from my own rather extensive observation, by and large the people of this country are willing to assume such obligations. As a free people, they are willing to unite in mobilizing our toal resources as we have not mobilized yet, so that we can achieve a decisive military victory before we are so physically and spiritually exhausted that we shall be unable to win the peace which follows.
Obviously, as a parishioner, I am interested primarily in just that, a victory which brings real peace.
You will remember that when Mr. Wendell Willkie returned from a 31,000-mile trip covering 49 days, in which he visited most of the battle fronts of the world and talked to most of the leaders, he reported, and you find the record of the report in his One World. He reported this:
I found a reservoir of goodwill, a great reservoir, for which we can be very grateful. Goodwill has been stored up for us as in a bank account by those Americans that pioneered in the opening of new roads, new shipping lines, and because of them the peoples of the world think of us as a people who move gods and ideas and move them fast.
Mr. Willkie warned us that we have punched holes in the reservoir of goodwill by our failure to furnish an adequate supply of tools of victory. For instance, I quote from page 59 of his volume One World:
I was shocked at only one thing I saw in China; the scarcity of material that they had to work with. Speaking of General Chennault, what he asks for is amazingly little, and what we have sent him falls far short of even that little.
Now, Mr. Willkie declared we were mobilized to the extent of 40 percent. There are experts who have investigated, as you very well know, the whole manpower shortage, and they feel that Mr. Willkie's figure was, I think, if anything generous. But let the figure be what it may be. Suppose that it is 42 percent; suppose that we are 48 percent mobilized. I tell you that the people I know are not satisfied. You just ask the parents of boys who are serving in any one of these battle fronts whether they think our soldiers and sailors and marines are entitled to 52 percent support, or complete support, the support which this bill would make possible.
I repeat, the problem is not one of motive, it is one of method.
Representative Wadsworth pointed out, as I read his testimony, that Great Britain, with a similar manpower law in effect, is producing more of its food supplies in the midst of war than it did in peacetime. Of course, you know of the experience of Great Britain with the mobilization of manpower. It has worked but with little necessity for vigorous enforcement.
Our people will assume responsibility but they do ask that it be defined, that it be clear, legal, and definite. They do not want coercion, but they will abide by properly enacted law. The civilian selective war service bill appeals to me because it is the fair way to get on with our job, and because of certain other provisions. It provides specifically that local draft boards made up of public-spirited volunteers shall be utilized as the agencies to register and classify persons. The bill recognizes the importance of aptitude tests so that special skills and talents can be utilized properly. And it providesand I think this is very important—for intensive training of skills, perfecting skills, or setting them up. It gives a person an opportunity to do the job for which he is best fitted. And the specific provisions of the bill are fair and are caleulated to initiate so vital a change with a minimum of hardship.
I am a progressive, but I am gratified that the social and economic gains of labor can be conserved with this bill. The more that one studies it, the more one looks at the whole facts, beyond the critical manpower situation, the more one becomes convinced that the bill is realistic, democratic, and practical in approaching the No. 1 problem of the agenda of democracy.
Let me conclude. I would like to conclude by pointing out that our responsibility to our fighting forces and to our allies is tremendous, and we have not yet met that responsibility. We, if we were mobilized as well as Great Britain, would have 60,000,000 in our production, or fighting forces, and Hanford Griffiths points out in that study which you no doubt have read of the manpower situation, published in Public Affairs pamphlet, Where Can We Get War Workers?, that according to the standards set up by Britain, a nation with its manpower really mobilized, we were less than one-third mobilized a year after Pearl Harbor.
A few weeks ago I spoke on the Church of the Air broadcast program, and in the course of this network address I quoted a letter from a former parishioner, a young man who was then in the Solomons, and he wrote me:
Occasionally some members of our service get decorated for some brilliant action they happened to lead, but they are not the only heroes out here. There are thousands and thousands of soldiers, sailors, and marines who are heroes every day. There is no grumbling or kicking when they get a couple of hours of sleep in 48 or 68 of real work. They can miss meals, sweat their heads off in the tropical heat, be drenched to the skin in tropical rains, and yet, when it is all over, they can be heard humming old American songs and langhing about things which seemed funny to them during the operation. No one is going to lick us out here.
I think in all fairness we must add a proviso to that boy's letter. No one is going to liek us out here provided that we back up that courage with resolute determination to have concerted action on the production front, for this war has taught nation after nation a pretty
bitter lesson. We have learned ours in part. Courage is not enough. I know that boy. I know that he heard this radio broadcast by chance on his way back from the Solomons. I know his courage. That courage was not enough at Corregidor, it was not enough at Japan, it is not enough in total war anywhere in the world, but I submit to you that courage, plus effective mobilization of all resources, including productive methods and manpower, courage plus mobilization, will bring total victory, will bring it without the needless wastage of human life, physical resources, spiritual energies.
I know that the mobilization of manpower is a new procedure in America, and so is the Selective Service Act in peacetime. But this is a new kind of war. The first total war in human history, and I have one interest primarily in my lifetime, to see that if we can possibly mobilize our imagination and our energies and our determination to make it the last total war.
One thinks of that moment in the last war when Winston Churchill was criticized by a superior officer for being too exposed. The place was too dangerous. Winston Churchill replied, "But, sir, this is a very dangerous war."
There are those who would say that this mobilization of manpower is a serious and far-reaching program, to which I would reply, “This is a very serious and very far-reaching war.” I believe that new occasions still teach new duties. Nearly a century and a half ago one of my predecessors, John Lathrop, the pastor of the Old North Church in the Revolutionary War period, said this:
That man cannot have the soul of a free man, he cannot deserve a portion in the land that the Lord our God has given us, who withholds his aid in time of danger, when by unanimity and spirit we might defeat the enemy.
I think that is the basic principle that I find in the National War Service Act of 1913—practical responsibility for freedom.
Mr. Chairman and members of this committee, I believe that the American people have a right to prove their willingness to accept their just and specific responsibilities for wartime service as set forth in this proposed implementing of the will of a free and determined nation.
The CHAIRMAN. Reverend Cole, I want to ask you just one question. As I understand the Wadsworth-Austin bill, it approaches the problem of manpower mobilization, first, on a voluntary basis, and if that does not work, then, of course, under compulsion.
Would you go far enough, if you were writing the legislation, to provide that women, in particular, should be mobilized and under compulsion?
Dr. COLE. I will answer that very specifically. I think the women have a right to be treated with the same definiteness, with the same concreteness, that men would be treated. I have talked to a great many women about this very matter. They are willing to assume responsibility. They would like to have it defined. They would like to have it made clear. You can talk to mothers of boys in the service who would like to have the youngster get back from north Africa, or from the Solomons, and I have talked to them. I think the question is in part answered in that fashion.
Mr. THOMAS. You made reference to the selective service law, which I actively and heartily supported, but it seems to me it should not be forgotten that was strictly for necessary military duty. Do you not