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the Bureau of Mines, Professor Huff-he said, "He may do that a thousand times, but sometime he is going to get blown up." I asked Professor Huff, “Did you ever hear
of an accidental explosion with TNT or dynamite? Did you ever hear of an airplane wreck or automobile wreck? Why not do away with everything that we might have an unexpected explosion on?"
Now, gentlemen, I have shown you of this committee that glmite is, according to your own Government Bureau, the Bureau of Standards, 33 percent more powerful than TNT. It is only one-half as expensive as 11-cent dynamite. You are now paying several dollars a pound for TNT, and you can't get it in volume required.
Right here we could break the bottleneck on high-explosive production in America today, because there is no limit to the amount of the glmite type of explosives available. Every sawmill, every
. sawdust pile, every paper mill in America, every furniture factory, is making the ingredients for it.
But I can do nothing to develop the glmite production now, Sen tors. I cannot move on it for the simple reason that this kind of bill ties me up; and I ask you gentlemen in all seriousness to consider taking out this patent phase of this bill. You already have laws which will permit you to use any invention for the benefit of the Government.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much.
STATEMENT OF CARL H. MOTE, PRESIDENT, NORTHERN INDIANA TELEPHONE CO.; PRESIDENT, COMMONWEALTH TELEPHONE CORPORATION
The CHAIRMAN. I believe, Mr. Mote, that you are the president of the Northern Indiana Telephone Co. What is your residence ?
Mr. MOTE. 5685 Central Avenue, Indianapolis.
After coming to Washington, I have been able over the week end to read a bit of the testimony that was given here. I read the examination of Judge Patterson.
I may say that I was struck in reading his testimony by the emphasis that was placed upon the details, with which, of course, this committee is concerned—the details of this bill, of this bill or a similar measure, if enacted and recommended for passage, such as machine tools in southern California, in which Senator Downey was deeply interested, and rightly interested. I have read a bit of the evidence and have heard the last two witnesses on the subject of patents.
It has seemed to me that there is involved in this proposed legislation issues that far transcend the matters which the committee has considered heretofore.
As a citizen, as a taxpayer, as a corporation executive and manager, I ask, What were the reasons for urging Congress to enact S. 1579
Such a measure has never been necessary in the history of this country during any war it has ever fought. In our last war “to make the world safe for democracy” and “to end all wars," the President was empowered during the war to operate certain privately
owned property, especially transportation and communication; but that, I believe, is as far as his power went. He did take over the railroads and communication facilities; and it was years after the war before these properties recovered from the disasters inflicted upon them during the period of Government management. Moreover, in 1941 we are not yet in war.
What, I ask, are the special circumstances or conditions today which make such a measure as S. 1579 necessary?
I understand the original bill was introduced June 2 at the instance of the War Department with the approval of the Navy Department, the Office of Production Management, and the President. I understand a substitute bill has come from the War Department since these hearings began.
Just why is it believed in 1941 by anybody in America that the confiscation of privately owned property is necessary or proper? Is it because the ruling oligarchy wants to engage in a foreign war that is known to be unpopular and that this ruling oligarchy believes it, necessary first to strip our citizens of all their property in order to crush their resistance and eliminate their opposition? Or, is it because the prospect of a foreign war offers the ruling oligarchy a mask behind which this oligarchy can accomplish the collectivization of all privately owned property and introduce America to the Marxian state?
I suspect both these reasons are motivating our bureaucrats in Washington. I have been told that bureaucrats already have told your committee that this measure is necessary for defense and necessary to obtain the proper response from labor. These are reasons stated in such general terms that they are difficult to analyze or answer, and it ought to be obvious that they are quite insincere and hypocritical, else there would be more particularity, more revealing facts given to the members of this committee.
I don't believe the confiscation of any privately owned property is necessary for the defense of the country, and I do not believe labor demands any such un-American measure. I don't believe labor is wholly without knowledge of what happens finally to labor when the state undertakes to stamp out the rights of private property. At the beginning of the French Revolution there were new dealers who wanted to confiscate all privately owned property and change everything, including human nature. The French trade-unionists who cheered such proposals lived to see their unions dissolved, after which they were compelled to walk the streets without work and in deep despair.
Certainly, the Government has the right to use all our property in times of common peril but there are methods by which the use of such property can be acquired without giving the President any more arbitrary power over the lives of our citizens.
I have long been amazed at the lack of courage exhibited in America by its foremost business executives and managers to resist the aggressions of political bureaucrats and revolutionists in Washington. I think the foremost business executives and managers of America have betrayed their stockholders, their bondholders, and their employees and that individually and collectively they ought to be discharged for their indifference. I say this partially because of the allegation which I understand has been made to this com
mittee that the President already has the power which this bill in its original form undertook to give him. I say it also because such a measure as this ought to have brought every business executive in America to Washington with monkey wrenches and lead pipe, and it would if they were worth their pay as trustees for their stockholders, their bondholders, and their employees.
The only "defeatism” in America which I consider important is the defeatism of the American businessman who has seemed to be resigned to the oblivion which has been prepared for us if we engage in a shooting foreign war and if we do not soon begin to wrest the political controls from Washington bureaucrats.
This measure, or any measure now a law, if applied and administered by the President, marks the end of the world so far as I am concerned and, I believe, so far as the members this committee are concerned. None of us will live to see a return of the America we have so deeply loved.
A week ago I spent 2 hours in New York City with the president of the National Industrial Conference Board, Dr. Virgil Jordan. I consider him not only the foremost American economist but, above all, a citizen of great patriotism and courage. I had talked with him a little more than a year ago. A speech which he made at Philadelphia on February 24, 1940, had given me goose pimples when I read it. On September 1, 1940, Dr. Jordan wrote a foreword to the Twenty-fourth Annual Report of the National Industrial Conference Board. I never heard it referred to in the Presidential campaign when we had the candidates of the two major political parties running in tandem. But this is what Dr. Jordan wrote on September 1, 1940:
To many men of insight and integrity in the American community it seems that after 7 years of persistent dissipation and demoralization of its resources by a subtle, comprehensive, and carefully planned political conspiracy, the American Republic, like the French, has been destroyed and replaced by military dictatorship, and after little more than five generations the great American experiment in free, creative community life has been ended for an indefinite period,
To many such men, however, hopeful that they may prove mistaken, the application of “emergency” legislation of conscription and confiscation of the community resources by the State immediately preceding a national election sounds ominously like the death rattle of the American Republic. They must see in it the symptoms of advanced political degeneration and social disintegration, signifying the collapse of personnal independence, self-discipline, and capacity for voluntary cooperation in the American community.
Dr. Jordan used a label. He labeled the Government in Washington, D. C., as a "comprehensive and carefully planned political conspiracy.”
With the candidates of the two major political parties in America running in tandem, in 1940, it is apparent now why the Republican National Committee did not use Dr. Jordan's penetrating language as a deciding weapon against the New Deal. With a thousand-ton tank available for a blitzkreig on the New Deal, the Republican National Committee used popguns instead, and these popguns annoyed Mr. Willkie more than Mr. Roosevelt because Mr. Willkie was right behind Mr. Roosevelt and on the same bicycle.
I cannot improve upon the language Dr. Jordan has used, "comprehensive and carefully planned political conspiracy." This language explains what I think and explains why I am opposed to such
legislation as S. 1579, both the original bill and the substitute. What I ask, has become of security? What has become of the “due process of law" in America?
As long ago as September 1, 1940, "many men of insight and integrity,” according to Dr. Jordan, believed the American Republic had been destroyed and replaced by “military dictatorship."
I respect and honor the soldiers, sailors, and air force of America but I object to a “military dictatorship" as much as I object to any cther, if we are to be robbed of our property and shorn of our liberty. There is not now, and there never has been, any necessity in America to compel our citizens to defend themselves. What we are threatened with, however, is force, that seeks to compel our citizens to engage in the wars of other countries. In such wars force would not be necessary, if this country were united on the wisdom of such a course. But the facts are that a large majority of our citizens are being driven by a small but persistent and powerful minority of our citizens into war. That is why S. 1579 was sent to Congress for enactment. That is why more money and more power is being continually demanded. Shades of “democracy”! I should think the word would choke the Pharisees who misuse it.
Their pretense that these foreign wars are our wars is equally insolent.
Of course, it is not really important whether we become an impoverished people and a collectivist state by the process of outright confiscation, which is quick and certain, or through the process of extortionate taxation. By the latter process we will shortly reach the point where privately owned property is unable to bear the increasing burden of a public debt that is approaching the magnitude of our total national wealth.
Early in 1941, Dr. Harold G. Moulton, president of the Brookings Institution, in a pamphlet which he wrote, said the country would be able to carry the public debt and escape inflation if defense appropriations for the period of 1941-43 were limited to $20,000,000,000, which he believed would be the maximum. I am advised that Congress already has appropriated $42,000,000,000.
I am against a foreign war, of course, but I am in favor of reasonable appropriations for defense. I am opposed to any hoax inflicted on a long-suffering people in the name of and behind the cruel mask of "defense." As an American, I renounce any share in the "comprehensive and carefully planned political conspiracy” which is preparing America for a bloody revolution. As an American, I denounce the conspirators—all of them and wherever they arein the White House, in the Congress of the United States or in any of the departments and bureaus of the Federal Government.
In the New York Times Magazine of Sunday, June 22, Mr. Morgenthau who was called “Treasurer to the democracies” was quoted regarding American objectives in the immediate future.
“There is just one job that faces the world today. That job is to lick Hitler," he said. To this I say, as a realist, if Hitler smashes Stalin and his cutthroats of Red Russia, the job of licking Hitler is going to be rather difficult.
After Hitler is licked, according to Mr. Morgenthau, we are going to have complete disarmament,” an“ international police force” and "redistribute our gold
to help rebuild the world."
If these are our peacetime objectives, after we have licked Hitler, then I say candidly, I am without enthusiasm for licking Hitler. I did not like the treaty Hitler made with Stalin, just before Hitler invaded Poland, though I was realist enough to recognize the military purpose of the treaty from Hitler's standpoint. I am glad that treaty has been scrapped and I hope Germany will be able to destroy the last vestige of Communism in Europe. I have always mistrusted the coddling of Communists and communism here in America and I still do.
I don't believe in disarmament, because disarmament always necessitates and leads to rearmament on an increasing and ever vaster scale. I don't believe in an international police force" because that would result inevitably in more wars rather than fewer wars. I am opposed to “Union now” with Britain, or with the bloody Stalin, or with Nazi Germany, or with anybody else.
To redistribute the gold we own, as Mr. Morgenthau advocates, means that we would return to gold as a national and international monetry standard and to that I am bitterly opposed. It is to the manipulation of money, and I include bank-deposit money, and especially gold, that this country is indebted, in the main, for every industrial depression in our history from 1837 to this moment. Naturally, I am opposed to the gold standard because I am opposed to every racket which enables a few to prey on the many. No one who is without an understanding of money and banking can have the slightest knowledge of what this European war is about, and why this administration is itching, or was itching, to get into it.
In a preface to the second edition of The Servile State, written in 1913, Hilaire Bellor defined Socialism as "vesting in trust with politicians what is now private property.” This, he said, could be accomplished only by "confiscation." It makes no difference whether it is the lust for power or the pretense of promoting “defense," or the two combined, that motivate the bureaucrats who ask you to enact this legislation. The result is socialism.
It is beside the point to argue that the power to confiscate private property will not be used, or that it will be used sparingly. The history of this administration for 9 long years is a history of continuous pressure on Congress for greater executive power. This is always true when a nation is being catapulted into Caesarism. Most of the power surrendered to the executive department by Congress in the last 9 years has been used and there is no reason to believe any of it will be unused, in due course.
If the patriotism of the country is questionable, if the voluntary behavior of American citizens is doubtful, Congress had better inquire into this state of affairs.
Of course this bill is not lacking in timeliness. In the past 2 years, the administration in Washington has made this country the virtual ally of England which has lately committed itself, and so has Mr. Roosevelt, to aid Red Russia. It is certainly significant that Congress is asked to provide for the confiscation of private property in America at a time when the President is promising to aid Stalinism in Russia.
Such an alliance is in complete harmony with everything charged against this administration as early as 1934 by the late Dr. William A. Wirt, of Gary, Ind., namely: The socialization of all privately