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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 in- . tegrity,” 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 other, 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 are in 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
owned property. Finally, we have from the administration itself a measure which undertakes to accomplish what Dr. Wirt said was its objective 7 years ago.
If we are permitted to hold an election next year, it is my opinion a Congress will be chosen that will undertake to recover some of the power heretofore abjectly surrendered. I don't believe Mr. Willkie and his secret sponsors can prevent it. I am sure this is true of Indiana.
The CHAIRMAN. Senator Gurney, have you any questions?
STATEMENT OF COL. JOHN THOMAS TAYLOR, DIRECTOR OF THE NATIONAL LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE OF THE AMERICAN LEGION
Colonel TAYLOR. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, we are unqualifiedly for this bill. We have been for it for the last
The American Legion has ever since its organization been for what we call universal service, and that is proper service of not only the manpower of the country but the industry and the wealth and the material of the country.
We had some several years ago before the Congress what is known as the Sheppard-Hill bill. I just want to read one section of that bill: that in the event of war or of a national emergency declared by Congress to exist which in the judgment of the President demands an immediate increase of the Military Establishment, the President be and he is hereby, authorized to draft into the military service of the United States such members of the unorganized militia between the ages of 20 and 31 as he may deem necessary subject to such conditions, exemptions, rules, and regulations as the President may prescribe and publicly proclaim.
That has been done by the Congress. It should have been done long ago.
Likewise during such time of war or national emergency declared by Congress the President shall have the power to determine and publicly proclaim from time to time the material resources, industrial organizations, and public services over which Government control, including the acquisition of materials for use or resale by the Government, shall then be necessary, and such control shall be exercised by him through agencies then existing or which he may then create for such purposes.
That last paragraph that I read to you is the bill which is now before this committee for your consideration.
In listening to the witnesses, I question whether they understand that there is a real war going on. Out of the experience that the veterans of the last war had we came back fully determined that the same situation should not develop again as developed prior to the last war, that is, that not only should men be drafted, not only should men be offered for sacrifice in the war, but that all of the resources and all of the property of the country should contribute their full share.
Now is the time to do that.
Again it is true that under the National Defense Act of 1920 there is a provision for the President to take over property under
the rights of eminent domain. But that does not cover this situation so far as rights to materials are concerned.
This is necessary. This is something that the Legion itself and the War Department has given years of study to. You had a committee composed of five members of the Senate, five of the House, and five Cabinet members; and they came out after they studied this very situation for more than 2 years and recommended this type of legislation some 4 or 5 years ago to the Congress.
The only thing that is worrying me is whether it is too late. It should have been done long ago. Not having been done long ago, it should be done now.
No greater benefit, no greater privilege, should be given to property or property rights—I don't care whether they are patents or what they are, telephone companies or anything else—no greater privilege should be extended to them than to the men who actually go out and do the fighting.
This is necessary. The War Department, out of its experience and its study, has come to the Congress and said, “Now is the time that we need it." And I dare say that the witnesses from the War Department have pointed out to you the reasons why it is needed now.
I just want you to know that so far as the veterans of the last war are concerned—and there are 1,100,000 of them in the American Legion—we ask you to put this legislation through now.
That is all I have to say.
STATEMENT OF DR. A. P. HAAKE, MANAGING DIRECTOR, NATIONAL
ASSOCIATION OF FURNITURE MANUFACTURERS, CHICAGO, ILL. The CHAIRMAN. Will you give the reporter your name and address?
Dr. HAAKE. My name is Dr. A. P. Haake. I am managing director of the National Association of Furniture Manufacturers, Chicago. Their office is in Chicago. I live at 214 Berry Parkway, Park Ridge, Ill., one of the Chicago suburbs.
I am speaking in behalf of a large group of furniture manufacturers. I might add also that I have been active for some years in an organization of small businessmen.
I am professionally an economist, having formerly been connected with several universities. My connection with the furniture manufacturing association is that of an economist rather than that of a conventional secretary. In other words, my point of view is that a person who is neither management nor labor, but one who stands far enough away from the trees to see the forest. And I think—at least, I like to believe—that I have kept myself in as unbiased a position as it is possible for a human being with emotions to do.
I am frankly opposed to this bill, and I know that the people for whom I am appearing are unanimously opposed to the bill. I have not heard any exception to that position.
At the outset let me say in explaining our position that they are not opposed to national defense. They are very ardently in favor of doing whatever is necessary to defend our country and to keep it alive.
The question, therefore, is not whether or not we are willing to go along with the Government and all other groups of citizens in defending our country. We raise the question as to whether or not this type of legislation is necessary to do so.
It seems to us that it carries with it implications which are far more far reaching and far more serious than their immediate effect might be one way or another.
I have read carefully the original bill and, frankly, no less carefully the substitute bill; and in all candor I find no difference between the two in their effect.
The substitute bill has rather expertly avoided the implications of the first bill to the casual reader. But I think anyone who reads carefully will discover that in the substitute bill there is no change in the powers or the implications of those powers as given to the President.
He is still permitted to acquire practically any property. Apparently he is not, because the bill points directỉy to whatever is necessary for national defense, and points to tools and machinery and military or naval equipment or munitions.
But there are those apparently innocent words there "or component parts thereof." And, while I am not a lawyer, just plain English tells me that "component parts thereof” will cover almost anything that is produced in these United States.
It would cover wood screws, for example. It would cover the wood itself. It already should cover aluminum. I see nothing that would not be covered by “component parts thereof."
And then the bill goes still further and applies not only to the actual materials and the properties, but also to any right or interest therein.
There at once become involved all stocks and bonds, any notes that may have been taken by banks against that property; and if there were anything lacking in the first coverage, it seems to me that this second phrase completes it.
Then the President is given the power to take that over and dispose of it as he sees fit. That seems to be an essential power, and one could offer some justification for that power. But there are no limitations that are sufficient to safeguard this American system of ours, if you please, free enterprise.
While this may sound ridiculous, stranger things have happened. A lease for a property might be taken over and under the guise of defense turned over to a foreign interest. small business concern may be turned over to a large business concern. It might be possible, for example, in a furniture plant to take over not the entire plant, but a strategic portion of it, such as the cutting-off division, and thereby make the entire operation impossible. In short, small business is placed possibly at the mercy of large business which sees fit to cooperate in its own interest.
And while I know that businessmen and labor men and ordinary citizens are loyal to their country, it remains true that the average