Page images
PDF
EPUB

Now let me read you a story from the New York Journal American dated June 28, 1941:

Photographic and written evidence that the Government is needlessly taking over the best planes in our domestic air line service for British use today is in the hands of officials of the Air Transport Association of America.

Already, it is charged, the Government has compelled the lines to surrender 115 ships, or 32 percent of all available equipment.

Yet, in puzzling contrast to these demands for ships, is the evidence gathered by Col. Edgar S. Gorrell, president of the association, and several leaders of the air lines.

This evidence, as revealed to the New York Journal-American, shows:

1. About 200 Hudson bombers, made by Lockheed, are lying idle on airfields and even in vacant lots in New York, Miami, New Orleans, and Burbank, Calif.

2. These ships were made for British bombing use but have not been moved for 6 weeks and more.

3. In a letter written by executives of Lockheed to officials of 0. P. M., it was stated that these bombers could be converted within 5 days, into troop transports by installing "jump seats.”

4. Photographs have been taken of these idle bombers and also of surrendered air line planes which were claimed by the Government 6 weeks ago and have not been used since.

5. Although American air-line groups, in surrendering their best planes, have been forced to discontinue many regular flights and have admitted the passengers “margin of safety” may be decreased, Canadian air lines have expended and a completely new outfit, Trans-Canada has come into being.

“It seems peculiar," one air line official stated, “that we are called upon to cut deeply into our passenger service when England is managing to keep so many of its commercial lines open.

"Recently, although several American companies were trying to obtain an 0. K. on this route, Trans-Canada, a Canadian air-line firm, received ships and permission for the run from Toronto to New York. They now have increased to three round trips daily. They, at least, have the ships to do it."

Think of it. Our commercial air lines forced to reduce service to their clients, while a Canadian line, flying between New York and Toronto, increases its daily round trips. I suppose if this property seizure bill (S. 1579), becomes law, there will soon be an air line between Vladivostok, Russia, and Nome, Alaska, operating with plenty of ships, while our commercial air lines further reduce their service and margin of safety for our people in order to give troopcarriers to the Soviet.

I wonder how many of you have read the recent report of the House Military Affairs Committee on its investigation into the national-defense and lend-lease programs. There are many things of great importance in that report, but there is one particular thing I would like to mention. That is the committee's report relative to the aluminum shortage.

According to the newspaper story on this report that appeared in the New York Sunday American of June 28, the committee said:

The situation in regard to aluminum is more critical still. The aluminum industry relies on power, electric power. The unwillingness of some Government officials to provide hydroelectric energy from Government dams in such an emergency as exists today is at least short-sighted.

The committee then placed the blame for such refusal squarely upon the shoulders of Secretary of the Interior Ickes, and said:

Whatever may be the merits of any controversy between these so-called monopolies and the administration, it is the sense of this committee that a squabble at this time on the subject of monopoly is a tragic and sorry spectacle indeed.

Why did Mr. Ickes refuse to grant power rights to the aluminumproducing industry? Was he advised by Mr. Jones, of the O. P. M. ? Not Jesse Jones, Secretary of Commerce, but John C. Jones, in charge of aluminum and similar production for the Office of Production Management. Will we soon learn that the reputed aluminum shortage in this country is the result of action similar to that described on the House floor on June 19 of this year by Congressman Martin L. Sweeney, Ohio Democrat, when he said:

Mr. Speaker, a group of businessmen in my district, willing to put up capital to help our national defense, came to Washington to secure priority on steel and power from the Boulder Dam. They were to engage in the business of extracting magnesium from certain deposits in Nevada. They asked for no money from the Government. They were finally turned over to John C. Jones, an Englishman, not a citizen of the United States, employed in the 0. P. M. He told these men they could not secure the power or the priority. How do you like that,an alien telling our citizens what they can or cannot do.

Now, this Englishman, Jones, is not a citizen of the United States; therefore he cannot take an oath of office. He is getting his per diem from the United States Government. In due time, Mr. Speaker, I shall demand a thorough investigation. It looks to me as if the British have taken over the United States without firing a shot.

Mr. Speaker, these reputable Cleveland businessmen, to whom I refer have a process to extract magnesium, a metal that is rare and vitally necessary to national defense. My information is that because they refused to disclose this formula to the English technnical adviser, Mr. Jones, who is employed in the aluminum section of the 0. P. M., they were refused a certificate of convenience and necessity to secure power from Boulder Dam to go into production.

Boulder Dam is a project built by the taxpayers of America, and I vigorously object to any alien, no matter who he is, making final decisions on the question of the power that we taxpayers of America helped to create. The suspicion is prevalent among many Members of Congress that British capital and in many cases money furnished by the United States Government to British capital seeks to control the production of aluminum and magnesium in this country.

To me it seems to be dangerous, to say the least, for the Government to permit employment of aliens who, however, sincere they may be, would be inclined to discriminate in favor of their own nationals against citizens of this country.

The information furnished me on this British subject, Mr. Jones, is that he was employed as a metallurgist in the British Aluminum Co., Ltd., Warrington, England, and also consulting metallurgist, Arthur Seligman & Co., Ltd., New York City.

I make no complaint about the British Purchasing Commission, who are employing hundreds of their nationals here in Washington, so long as they are paid by the British Government, but I strenuously object to any agency of our Government delegating final authority to an alien to dictate to American businessmen. Just as the precious metal of magnesium shines, equally does this disclosure, in my opinion, stink.

It sounds unbelievable, doesn't it, that a British citizen, an executive of British Aluminum Co., Ltd., paid by our taxpayers' money, is in such a position, and being paid by our taxpayers' money. The same edition of the New York Sunday American, June 28, informs us in an Associated Press story from Washington that the Government now is going to erect several aluminum-producing plants to eliminate this alleged shortage. The story informs us that the plants will be built and owned by the Government, but operated by private firms under lease. Who will elect those private firms! Mr. John C. Jones, of Warrington, England? Is this what we may expect under this property seizure bill, S. 1579 ?

*

*

What is really taking place under this so-called lend-lease program which the Congress_legalized against the will of a large majority of our people! It would appear that it is bringing to rapid consummation the dreams of Cecil Rhodes and Andrew Carnegie. Remember, Cecil Rhodes left his huge estate for the sole purpose, according to his will, of founding: a secret society in order

to have the whole continent of Africa settled by Britons and also the whole continent of South America. the Holy Land, the Valley of the Euphrates, the islands of Cyprus and Candia. the islands in the Pacific not heretofore possessed by Great Britain, the Malay Archipelago, the seaboard of China and Japan, and, finally, the United States. In the end Great Britain is to establish a power so overwhelming that wars must cease and the millenium be realized.

If any of you think that Rhodes was just a British dreamer, consult a world map printed prior to the start of the present European war and you will change your ideas. About the only portion of that dream then not completed was conquering the seacoast of Japan, and finally the United States.

But Andrew Carnegie was even more explicit in the British dream of world empire. In his book Triumphant Democracy, privately published in Edinburgh in 1893, he too spoke of the return of the giant child to Britain and wrote:

The only course for Britain seems to be reunion with the giant child or sure decline to

a secondary place and then to comparative insignificance

reunion, and Britain takes a new lease on prosperity, decline is arrested and increase begins. · I doubt if even Carnegie dreamed of such a thing as lend-lease, let alone what is proposed in this property seizure bill.

“The richest market in the world is open to Britain free of all duty at the stroke of a pen,” he wrote. “It would mean prosperity for every industry in the United Kingdom.” Apparently that stroke of the pen was the one that signed the lend-lease bill. If not, will it be the one that signs this property-seizure bill, S. 1579 ?

In testifying against the so-called lend-lease bill, we called the attention of the Congress to the similarity of dictatorial powers granted under that bill and those given Hitler under his dictatorcreating bill of March 23, 1933. We now wish to call your attention to the similiarity of what is proposed under this bill and apparently comparable action taken by Hitler starting in 1934.

About that time Hitler began placing selected technical experts of the Nazi Party in key positions in the major industries in Germany. They remained in those positions for 4 years, closely studying the actions of company executives. At the end of 4 years, these Nazi Party experts had acquired sufficient knowledge of the operation of those companies to permit Hitler removing all of the company executives, taking over the industries and all without any interruption in the flow of production.

With this Hitler action and the Rhodes-Carnegie plan in mind, we ask you to consider what is going on here. Hundreds of so-called technical experts are arriving regularly from England. For what? We are reliably informed that the British Embassy is leasing accommodations for them on a 5-year basis. Why? Will refusal to permit these English technicians to assume key positions in our major industries be classed as noncompliance with the national-defense pro

gram and cause for property seizure if this bill, S. 1579, becomes law?

Let me quote you what Congressman Eugene E. Cox, of Georgia, said of this bill on the House floor last June 4:

Mr. Speaker, I would like to say to my colleagues if they have not read the property-seizure bill introduced in the Senate on Monday last, they should do so immediately and weep over what is proposed should be done to their country. It presupposes that the people not only do not have the capacity, but the right, to rule themselves. It is the most astounding bid for dictatorial powers that has arisen since the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Pass this bill and you give the final kiss of death to free government in America.

Gentlemen, the women of this country refuse to accept that kiss of death. If you do not kill this bill, you sound the death knell of our Republic.

Therefore, we ask, not only that you reject this socialistic bill, but as a real national-defense effort we urge that you join with those in both Houses who are considering repeal of the lend-lease bill before it completely returns us under guise of union now or world democracy to colonial status in the British Empire.

The CHAIRMAN. We thank you very much, Mrs. Curtis, for cooperating with us and for your statement.

Mrs. Curtis. Thank you very much, Senator Reynolds.

The CHAIRMAN. This will conclude the hearings. We have been engaged on these hearings for possibly 2 weeks. We have endeavored to provide everybody with an opportunity, who wanted to, to be heard. We have heard many witnesses during the course of those 2 weeks.

This will close the hearings, after which the testimony will be printed, and a copy will be provided to each member of the Committee on Military Affairs. Then during the latter portion of next week I shall call a meeting of the full committee for the purpose of considering in executive session the subject before us. That will have provided time for all the members to have read completely the hearings.

(Whereupon, at 11:30 a. m., the hearing was concluded.)

APPENDIX

PITTSBURGH, PA., June 18, 1941. The CHAIRMAN, COMMITTEE ON MILITARY AFFAIRS,

United States Senate, Washington, D. C. SIR: The Patent Law Association of Pittsburgh is unable to be represented, by reason of short notice, at the hearings on S. 1579. It takes this medium, therefore, of respectfully submitting its views thereon to your committee.

We wish to make it clear that this association would do nothing to hamper the national-defense program, and it recognizes that under existing world conditions many private interests must be sacrificed if our present Government is to be assured of continuance, and further that to the same end unusual powers must be conferred upon the President. This association therefore has in mind the best interests of national defense, and neither it as a body nor its individual members would foster any use of patents detrimental to the defense program. However, it is the considered opinion of this association that there is no need for a law such as S. 1579 represents, that enacting the bill into law would do more to weaken than to advance national defense, and that everything necessary to avoid interference with the defense program by patents is available under an existing act, or could be accomplished by extremely simple amendment of that act.

Under this bill the President, or his authorized representative, could seize and dispose of patents. There is no present need for such seizure, or condemnation, of patents because the Government has at present the right to make use of any patent. That is, the act of 1910, as amended (35 U. S. C. A. 68) authorizes the Government and its contractors to use patents, and no condemnation or seizure is necessary for that purpose. So there is no necessity for this bill because any need of the defense program, or any other governmental need, can be supplied through use of any patent under that act.

There should be borne in mind in connection with any proposal for condemning patents the peculiar property rights that a patent represents. It is unlike real and tangible properties because it is a mere right of exclusion. If the patent be condemned, every right is gone, while if the Government simply exercises its rights to use any patent, the owner's rights are unimpaired except as against the contractor who uses for the Government.

Leaving aside the question of adequate compensation for such seizure as provided for in the bill, and difficulties and delays encountered in suits against the United States for such compensation, as reflected by cases in the Court of Claims growing out of the last war, the provisions of this bill are far broader than can conceivably be necessary in the interest of national defense: in fact, they are so broad as actually to wholly undermine our patent system—a system which is responsible for much that is vital to national defense and which can by its strength or weakness be responsible in future for success or failure in maintaining the existence of our country.

Nothing in section 1 of the bill restricts it to the seizure of patents used by their owners to prevent attainment of the national-defense program. Nothing restricts the seizure of patents under the bill to the continuance of the national emergency, it being possible to seize patents permanently. Nothing restricts the seizure to particularly designated patents for under the bill it would be possible to seize all patents in any given industry or all patents owned by any given party. Nothing restricts the seizure of those patents necessary to national defense. To the contrary, the right to seize applies where the President "deems” the seizure in the interest of national defense, and such mere opinion is not subject to review.

Patents may be seized and sold, presumably to private interests having no relation to the original owner, which is indeed strange when the purported object

« PreviousContinue »