« PreviousContinue »
The vicious circle goes on and on-until what happens? Gentlemen, we are headed for chaos in this country-and in the not far distant future. That is what our so-called defense program is doing to us now.
And all this economic tragedy for no other reason than that a small minority have doped and drugged us with a lot of abstract ideological palaver about a foreign way of life on foreign continents.
Can't we realize that there is a way of life here which includes food, shelter, clothing and those other goods which add to the comfort, enjoyment, and material well-being of the families here in the United States?
In talking of this bill now before this committee, it is as foolish to discuss it apart from the program of which it is a part as it would be to discuss a chapter in a book apart from the whole theme that runs through the entire book.
A chapter in a book may alone seem wholly innocuous, but take on an entirely different aspect when related to the whole substance of the book. A bill, per se, may superficially appear to be only an easy step toward a noble end, but again take on a very different aspect when related to the whole program of which it is an integral part.
If I were going to set up a communistic totalitarian distatorship in this country, I wouldn't announce from the house tops that such was my plan. The American people wouldn't stand for it; they would rise in a revolt that would shake the whole Western Hemisphere.
I, too, would do it by easy steps under the impact of emergency hysteria and in the holy name of national defense. A war—a real or imagined threat of war—or an emergency of some kind is essential to the successful establishment of a dictatorship.
In 1933 when Hitler had the Reichstag enact his dictator law, it was done under the condition of an emergency and in the name of national defense. In the spring of 1939 when the French Parliament enacted the dictator law of Daladier, it was done under the condition of an emergency and in the name of national defense.
Ever since March of 1933 we have been living in a state of some kind of emergency under which the Congress has been most liberal in complying with the requests for more and more legislation putting more and more and more power in the hands of one man.
Then in the fall of 1939 war broke out in Europe. In the spring of 1940 that war spread in area and intensity; and that situation then presented the opportunity of stressing the threat of war to us here at home.
In other words, to a continuing emergency was then added the threat of war, resulting in unprecedented peacetime legislation in the name of national defense.
I don't for one moment minimize the seriousness of the wars and revolutions now ranging in Europe, Africa, and Asia; but the charge of many of our elder statesmen and intellectuals that it is our war is false and unwarranted; and their policy is based on the assumption that in the name of national defense we must defend those who claim to be defending us—but can't defend themselves-can be rated as nothing more than fantastic nonsense.
Under the hysteria of an emergency and in the holy name of national defense, the youth of America have been subjected to military conscription; and a sizable hunk of our Navy was given away without the knowledge, consent, or approval of the Congress or the people.
Constantly terrified by belligerent speeches—not hostile incidentswe have been carried along step by step under constantly increasing Presidential powers toward active participation in a foreign war that is not ours, and toward a dictatorial control of the Nation, that we do not want or need.
Then came the lend-lease national bankrupting act of 1941 and its initial $7,000,000,000 appropriation.
Do you realize what $7,000,000,000, plus the fact that we are giving it away to other nations, means? It means that we are giving away the equivalent of the total combined value of all the land, buildings, and equipment of all the churches and all the universities in the whole United States.
No other nation on the face of the earth would even consider for one moment or for any purpose such a monumental piece of stupendous stupidity under which they would strip themselves of all national-defense equipment-on hand and on order—as has been done by this country under the unprecedented powers given to one man by the enactment of that law.
It is simply appalling to see how the design of one-man control in this country has been developing, and to recognize the demoralizing realities and implications in the program as it unfolds before our eyes.
Instead of promoting the free and ever-increasing production of more and better goods for the use, comfort, and physical well-being of our own people, our political leadership adopted the debilitating and devitalizing program of relief.
Individuals and families have been put on relief.
Now—all of American industry is being put on relief. The word now used is defense—but it is the same old idea of relief magnified a billionfold. American industry, now on relief, has thus been maneuvered into a position so vulnerable that the complete and final take-over will be a simple matter under this bill, S. 1579.
But that is not the end of our relief program.
The British Empire has been put on our relief roll; and all the world has been told that any and all nations which will get into this fight on the side of Britain will participate in the benefits to be given to all those on our internaional relief roll.
This policy has taken us along strange and weird trails. It has shown us things more grotesque than anything little Alice ever saw in Wonderland.
Don't you remember the passing of the hat and the knitting of sweaters in a great emotional upsurge in behalf of Finland in her brave fight against the brutal, ruthless tyranny and aggression of bloody Joe Stalin? You probably recall those exact words and terms.
Without doubt you remember the bill passed by Congress authorizthe Export-Import Bank to pass $20,000,000 over to Finland in addition to the $10,000,000 credited her in the preceding December of 1939 to encourage her in her fight against the terrors of communistic Russia.
Now what has happened! Finland has joined up with Germany in their war on Russia. Risto Ryti, president of the late-beloved Republic of Finland, has bestowed upon Marshal Goering, of Germany, Finland's highest decoration—the Grand Cross of the Finnish White Rose with chain.
And Churchill, doing the most spectacular overnight somersault in the whole world history of international diplomatic circuses, turns his back on his democratic ally, Finland, and extends his hand of friendship to dictator Joe Stalin.
To cap this incongruous climax, all we need to do now is to be honest and write a new definition of democracy in these words: Any nation, regardless of its form of government, that aids Great Britain in protecting and extending her world empire.
Churchill suggests that it would be nice for us to take on Joe. So just about a week or so after Congress passed the bill authorizing the postponement of payment of amounts payable to the United States by the Republic of Finland, it is officially announced that Joe Stalin has been put on our international relief roll, and has become the ally of Britain and the United States in their crusade to enthrone Christian freedom everywhere.
Can it be that the United States has been committed to underwrite the survival of the anti-Christ-communism?
If that is what we are out to do, then I believe that it would be wholly fitting for the Congress to pass this bill which, putting, as it does, the operation of our whole national productive plant in the hands of one man, will probably be the cornerstone in the vast foundation, already laid, of a totalitarian communistic nation.
But I also believe something else. If there is any one single cause to account for the material progress of the human race, it will be found in science and invention.
Science and invention have given us more and better tools of production. The country's total physical assets used as tools of production amount in value to approximately $188,000,000,000 of which $80,000,000,000 represents the value of those accumulated physical assets in the form of industrial and commercial property used as tools of production.
These tools of production have enabled us to better utilize our national resources with a resultant increase in the quantity, quality, and variety of food, clothing, shelter, and all other comfort goods. Our total national physical assets today used for comfort amount in value to approximately $222,000,000,000.
We have accomplished this much. This result of the operation of our national economy over the years is something not to be sneezed at.
Are we going to destroy it all—are we going to sacrifice it all on the altar of international political humbuggery!
All the political power that can be created and concentrated in one man cannot drive the material well-being of our people to a level low enough to make possible the production of enough war materials to shoot freedom into all the world.
However bad much of the world may be, American planes, ships, guns, and even an expeditionary force won't make it good again. It can't be done, no matter how many of us may have to die in the attempt, how little we may have to eat, how few comfort goods
we may be able to enjoy, or how many sacrifices we may be forced to make. Not even if we adopt the 10-cent-per-day diet, worked out at the University of Texas, where educated minds ought to be thinking of something other than how little we can live on.
On the other hand, let us turn away from this disastrous crusade under the banner of emotional but meaningless words, and give our attention to a realistic appraisal and the free operation of our own national economy-a factual determination of our physical assetsand a free utilization of those physical assets in an ever-increasing production of those things which will contribute to the happiness and comfort of mankind.
Only, that program holds out any promise for man's material well-being, or even for his continued existence. As a first step toward putting this program into effect, I urge you gentlemen of this committee to reject this un-American, unnecessary piece of legislation in its entirety.
The CHAIRMAN. Is Mr. Shakespeare here!
Mr. More. I was asked to say on behalf of Mrs. Curtis that she would like to be heard before the committee. And Mr. Shakespeare is on his way here to testify.
STATEMENT OF BENJAMIN C. MARSH, EXECUTIVE SECRETARY,
PEOPLES LOBBY, WASHINGTON, D. C. Mr. MARSH. My name is Benjamin C. Marsh. I am the executive secretary of the Peoples Lobby, of which Bishop Francis J. McConnell of the Methodist Church is the president. Our offices are here in Washington.
I have been here for 23 years watching the progress toward national disintegration under the system of private enterprise, to which Mr. Haake asked you to continue allegiance.
America's defense and armaments program is suffering from sleeping sickness due to the dictatorship of private ownership and control of natural resources and basic industries.
This dictatorship produced 106 flaming coffins in the way of airplanes, at a huge cost, in the last war.
We seem to be largely in the "on order” and in disorder stage of armaments now, 12 months after the floodgates of the Treasury were opened to defend America.
Mr. Reynolds' bill, S. 1579, should be amended to make it mandatory upon the President to take over every industry directly concerned in defense, and put such industries in charge of technicians and production engineers—who will often be the present managers, but will never be banker parasites who can't achieve either efficiency or patriotism.
Diplomacy will play a big part in ending the present war, and the early provision of ships, warships, planes, bombers, tanks, antiaircraft equipment, and so forth, will facilitate the use of diplomacy, if we have the sense to use it.
The more defense America has, the fewer defenders in uniform will we need.
Conscription of men, without conscription of industries, transportation, natural resources, banking and credit, and of wealth, belies all claims to supermobility in our participation in the war.
Congress can provide for parity of people, and of property in the requisition of industry, by stipulating that owners of industries requisitioned should not be remunerated for valuations due to profiteering, monopoly of natural resources, patents, tariffs, control of credit, or other antisocial privileges acquired by unwise or bribed legislation.
Since post-war conditions will be even more serious than present conditions, title to requisitioned industries should be permanently vested in the Federal Government.
To protect members of Congress and administrators from suspicion that personal considerations may affect their vote on such measures, the bill should provide for a public record of stocks and bonds owned by Federal employees getting $3,000 a year and over, and by their families, and of land owned except what they occupy—and of corporations with which they have been connected.
This should be required also, of all dollar-a-year people, since patriotism should strive for the goal of Caesar's wife to be abovesuspicion.
Mr. Chairman, I should like to read a few excerpts from last week's issue of United States News, which is a very conservative publication, showing the break-down in national defense in every field under private enterprise.
The CHAIRMAN. Very well.
Mr. MARSH. This was in an article in the United States News on June 27, 1941 :
Available is $45,000,000,000 to spend on arms for this country and on aid to Britain. This is an impressive total of dollars, even though less than half of Hitler's actual outlays on an equivalent basis. It includes a two-ocean Navy, equipment for an Army of 1,400,000 men, and funds being spent here by the British.
The Army and Navy and British buyers, in 1 year of effort, succeeded. in placing contracts for $18,000,000,000 of this total. American industry, during that same year, succeeded in turning $7,000,000,000 of this total into actual production.
But : Of this $7,000,000,000, which represents British as well as American. spending in this country, less than $3,000,000,000 went into guns and aircraft and ammunition and ships and the other things that represent the shooting instruments of war. The remainder of the $7,000,000,000 went into cantonments and clothing and nonmilitary construction and the many other activities that go along with war preparation in its starting phases.
The United States turned out arms and ships at an average rate of $250,000,000 a month during the past year and today is turning out arms at a rate of approximately $500,000,000 a month, or $6,000,000,000 a year.
Starting from near to scratch 1 year ago, this industry ended May with a record of nearly 10,500 military type planes produced, approximately onehalf trainers and one-half fighting craft.
The aircraft and aircraft engine factories used up $1,300,000,000 out of the total of $3,000,000,000 spent during the year on all types of weapons.
The Navy with its own building facilities and the Martime Commission and the private shipbuilding industry, all combined, managed to turn only $850,000,000 into ships of all kinds during the last year.
The United States has laid down a merchant shipbuilding program that calls for 705 ships of 5,500,000 tons to be built at a cost of $1,500,000,000. This is in addition to the two-ocean Navy program. Included in it is an emergency program calling for quick construction of 442 ships.