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Senator CHANDLER. Yes, sir.
Senator BRIDGES. Now, I have been very interested in the legislation that has gone through this committee and, without exception, on all national-defense measures or matters of policy in supporting the progress of this war, I have supported them without any exception, regardless, and laid aside politics, and I intend to continue to do that, and I want to see that the Government has the power to do what the stated objectives are, and I think that your amendment in some ways is better than the previous one as to limitations, but I do believe that the general statement of property here is too wide and it is just as wide as the original bill, and I think that apparently, the War Department, through Judge Patterson, in the second substitute they have proposed, agreed to a limitation, or proposed a limitation, where it was more definitely stated the type of property that could be taken, and we could change that.
That is the nub of this thing.
Judge PATTERSON. When I submitted the l'evised draft, gentlemen, I was told that there was a fear around that newspapers might be taken, or radio stations.
I think I pointed out to someone that it is already in the law that radio stations could be taken. That was passed in 1935. But, say newspapers. So we have devised an expression, munitions or supplies and so forth, which no one could possibly conceive would include a newspaper.
They said, “Property useful for national defense,” that some fellow might try to stretch that and say that a newspaper that was criticizing the War Department, they might-I don't know how he could do it, but some fellow might say it is useful for national defense to suppress that. So the revised form was drafted to keep that out.
I don't think any fellow could be so far-fetched as to say that munitions or supplies could include the plants of a newspaper.
Senator CHANDLER. I hope you won't insist on any limitation that will fix it so you can't accomplish the results of the bill?
Senator BRIDGES. I think, Senator Chandler, that on page 4 of this bill—let me read it:
That, during any period of war or national emergency proclaimed by the President, the President is authorized, when he deems it essential to promote the national defense and to overcome shortages, (a) to requisition and take over for the use of the United States or in its interest any military or naval equipment or munitions or component parts thereof, or machinery, tools, or materials necessary for manufacture of such equipment or munitions, or any inventions, whether patented or unpatented, processes, plans, designs, or rights controlling the production of such materials or supplies and (b) to use on such terms as he shall deem satisfactory, or to sell or otherwise dispose of any property so requisitioned or taken over, or any right or interest therein, pursuant to the provisions of this act.
That is a definite limitation but it accomplishes all you want, doesn't it?
Senator LEE. Would that include food?
Senator CHANDLER. Let me give you this. You haven't got a definite limitation in there that we have here.
During the present national emergency—and we contend all the time that we ought to have some definite deadline on it—that the use
of any property—you have got to determine first if the use of any property is required for the defense of the United States. I don't want to defend
Senator BRIDGES (interposing). Under that you might take a man's cow?
Senator CHANDLER. If it is necessary for the defense of the United States I want him to take it.
Senator BRIDGES. No; you don't want him to take a fellow's cow.
Senator CHANDLER. If it is in defense of the United States I want him to take it. In Chicago somebody should have taken that cow before it kicked the lantern over.
All over means of obtaining the use of such property for the defense of the United States upon fair and reasonable terms have been exhausted.
I think that means, and we intend it to mean, that he is prostrated in the efforts to obtain that property at a fair and reasonable value, that he just can't do it, and that he just can't find a property or utility that will take its place, and then, if he can't obtain it upon fair and reasonable terms, he can take it, and then he has got to give it back, and he has got to give a reasonable price for it.
I wouldn't limit him. You don't want to do that. You gave me a big example of a cow. A cow kicked a lantern over and burned Chicago. They ought to have taken that cow. Everything that is necessary for the United States ought to be taken.
Senator DowNEY. May I ask Senator Chandler a question?
Senator DOWNEY. As I recall, and I may be mistaken, but one of the Senators present here on the floor of the Senate very eloquently and very earnestly urged that the United States Government should have the power to take over newspapers and radios in this emergency, and his contention was that from a standpoint of national defense it was most important that our Government have the power to mold and control public opinion.
Senaor LEE. You have misquoted a little bit.
Senator CHANDLER. "Propagandize the people of the United States.”
Senator DOWNEY. What I am asking you, is it your opinion under the national-defense law, that if the Government thought it should have the right to mold public opinion, that it should have the right to seize any newspapers and radio? I can't agree with that.
Senator LEE. I want to correct the inference which the Senator from California threw at me.
In the first place, I have done this about three times on the record. Twice on the floor of the Senate. A rereading of my statement will show that I said, "It might be necessary to take a radio or a newspaper," as the Senator from California has just said, not all the radios, as he has said, and furthermore that a rereading of the record will show I did not say "in order to propagandize the people,” but I did say, "in order to answer the propaganda of other nations or as a counterpropaganda it might be necessary for the Government, in case we were in war, to take a radio or a newspaper in order to offset that propaganda."
Those are the words from the Congressional Record, and I stand by my guns.
Senator DOWNEY. Mr. Chairman, I have no desire to misquote any Senator and that is really not important in any event. What is important: That this particular bill would give the Government of the United States in any emergency or in any war, the power to seize summarily all or any part of our newspapers, magazines, and radios, if, in the opinion of our Chief Executive, he thought that was in the interests of national defense.
Now, regardless of whether any Senator here would or would nou believe that that might or might not be advisable, at least that power is very clearly in this bill.
Senator LODGE. Mr. Chairman. a.
Senator LODGE. May I make an inquiry? I want to say, in the first place, that I think Mr. Patterson has shown a very fair and almost a model attitude in connection with this committee on this bill, because he tried to meet the objections that have been raised, and make new drafts, and come back to meet objections, and I certainly appreciate it a lot.
I have never seen any member of the executive branch who sought to cooperate as well as he has. · I would like to find out I don't know whether Judge Patterson is the one to answer me or whether Mr. Coy is, and I haven't been able to get an answer to it yet, why the definition of "property” was narrowed in the second draft and is now expanded in the third draft.
Has anything happened to account for that change?
Mr. Coy. Senator Lodge, I was just speaking to Senator Bridges about that very thing. The difficulty, in being specific about the items that you may want to requisition, is your lack of vision about what may be the needs, or where the shortages may be, and in the last war you had 17 or 18 different statutes, each attempting to be specific about what it was you wanted at the particular time you passed the statute.
Even those statutes, all 17 of them, didn't cover all the things that were needed, and as the Secretary indicated, they had to take stuff that wasn't covered by statute and did take stuff that wasn't covered by statute. That is the reason for the general language relating to the needs of defense.
I think it might be possible to further limit it to meet Senator Downey's objection here, if it were deemed pertinent to do so, by relating the needs of defense to the production of the equipment for the services.
Senator LODGE. I can see why you want to have it general, but here in the second draft we had a fairly concrete definition of it and why the change, that is what I want to know.
Mr. Coy. I think the change is related to the fact that those limitations there might be so limiting as to not permit you to requisition materials you might need. I can't give you instances where shortages will occur in a year from now, for example.
Senator LODGE. And you wouldn't want to be willing to get legislation at that time?
Mr. Coy. I think, if there might be a reason for doing it, that is the way they did it in the last war. But you would be faced with the problem of amending the law each time you wanted it, or had to have it, on the basis of the situation then existing.
One of the difficulties, Senator, in this defense program, it seems to me, has been one of not being able to foresee the shortages that were occurring, ahead of time.
Senator LODGE. Now, in the second draft we used the language, "for the purpose of equipping the armed forces of the United States." Now we use the phrase, “For the defense of the United States." What is the matter with using the language "for the purpose of equipping the armed forces of the United States”? Mr. Coy. I don't think there is any.
Senator HILL. The only reason I could think of, why you might not want to use that language, would you expect, in any way to invoke the powers under this bill, in connection with your 11 weeks' program.
That is part of our policy declared by Congress, written into law. It is as much a part of our defense, in many ways, in the minds of at least some of us, as the equipment and preparation of our own Army and our own Navy.
Mr. Coy. I think Senator Lodge will agree with that. He is thinking in terms of production and equipment needed by the Army.
Senator HILL. If you use the words, the armed forces of the United States," then you could not invoke the powers under this bill, if this bill became law, anyway, so far as your lend-lease program is concerned.
Senator CHANDLER. I am not going to agree to that limitation in my own amendment.
Senator Hill. Somebody is going to raise that question, because I can foresee that.
As I visualize our defense, we have taken two definite steps, one to build up and strengthen and fortify our war arm forces and the other to help Britain with her armed forces.
If you put that limiting language in there, then you could not devote the powers under this bill so far as you are helping Britain. I am just thinking out loud.
Senator LODGE. May I ask a question there?
Does the Senator want to favor having the property requisitioned for the disposal of a foreign government ?
Senator HILL. Yes; I know of no reason why we shouldn't in this particular case. I think it is as important for the armed forces of Britain to have the best possible equipment and to be in the best possible state of preparation as it is for our forces.
They are the first line against this Hitler scourge. There is no question about that. They are the first line against the Hitler scourge. So long as that first line against the Hitler scourge holds, they can't get to the second line, which is you and me and the rest of us, so I want that first line to hold, and therefore I am willing to invoke any power necessary, certainly so far as property is concerned, to hold that first line, and I think that was the thought in the passage of the lendlease bill.
We didn't want to go into war. We didn't want to use manpower. the lives and blood of our sons, but so far as property is concerned, we are willing to go to the limit to hold that first line.
Senator BRIDGES. Aren't you willing to limit it more like the second bill here?
Senator Hill. Well, of course, what we are talking about now is not so much this second bill, in that it specifies what property we have in mind. We are thinking now on the question raised by Senator Lodge about limiting it to only that property that would be used by our own armed forces, and I wouldn't want to put that limitation.
I want to use it for the armed—I would want to use this power, if need be, not only for our own armed forces, but to hold that first line.
Senator SCHWARTZ. There is nothing to prevent us from sending some of our own material to Britain or lending or leasing it, and that, in turn, would produce the shortage that would warrant us in going ahead under this bill.
Senator DOWNEY. I think what Senator Schwartz says is undoubtedly true. While I theoretically agree with Senator Hill on this, I can't see the basis for his concern. The United States Government has the power to seize anything, under this bill, it wants for its armed forces. It can then manufacture it for itself, or it then has the power to turn over that aluminum or quicksilver or nitrate or quinine, or whatever it might be.
Senator HILL. I projected that thought, not so much to answer the question, but that Mr. Coy, who has a very great responsibility, as I understand it, in the administration of the Lend Lease Act, might give us his judgment.
He has an insight into the operation of this Lend Lease Act that I do not have. I want to be sure. What do you think is proper?
Mr. Coy. I would agree with you. I have, perhaps, misinterpreted Senator Lodge's statement, because I have been thinking in terms of possible limitations to the production of goods, in answer to the question Senator Downey had raised, that he thought we might go beyond that and take newspapers and money and other things. I certainly think that it should be applicable to the Lend Lease Act.
Senator LODGE. Well, I am not a lawyer and I just know what has been testified to on page 32 of the hearings. I will read this: This is myself speaking to Judge Patterson:
You uttered a good phrase, Mr. Secretary, when you said you intended to use these powers to equip the armed forces. Would you have any objection to adding to that: "The powers enumerated in that act," and I am not giving anything verbatim, but roughly, "the powers enumerated in this act shall be used solely for the purpose of equipping the armed forces of the United States”?
Mr. PATTERSON. The direct answer is "No." Of course I wouldn't have any objection to that. I think that could be included in the very first paragraph.
Senator HILL. I think that is what you had in mind when you used the words "national defense.”
Senator LODGE. The words “national defense" are used to cover a great many things that no human being ever thought was national defense before. When you say "equipping the armed forces” it is much more definite. Mr. PATTERSON. That is all right with me.
Judge PATTERSON. I may say that the lend lease proposition had not occurred to me when I said that. I can just develop this thing very briefly the way it lay in my mind.
The bill was conceived of originally as purely a military measurea measure designed to expedite the equipment of our troops in the field, to promote it and to facilitate it.