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in the interest of reasonable concern for our national defense to maintain, and to make expenditures for defense, such as would not be necessary were Germany not successful?
Secretary STIMSON. If I understand your question, I think certainly that is so.
Mr. STEARNS In other words, it is not purely a question of what you happen today, or what the committee happens today, to think as to the probable success of any such attack. Secretary STIMSON. That is true. Mr. STEARNS. One other question. There has been some difficulty raised with regard to the phrase at the bottom of page 2 of the act, beginning on page 3, to exchange, lease, lend or otherwise dispose of, the contention being that “otherwise dispose of” means that we were to give
Ås I understand it, it is your belief that subsection (b) calling for terms and conditions, implies that some quid pro quo will always be called for, Secretary STIMSON. Yes; that is my opinion. Mr. STEARNS. You would have no objection, then, to some amendment of that phrase, "otherwise disposed of," which would make that perfectly clear?
Secretary STIMSON. I think it is clear now, sir. But I do not mean to be dogmatic. That is for the committee to say. I think it is perfectly clear; clause (b) modifies clause 2 up above.
Mr. STEARNS. Such an amendment, in your opinion, would be merely a clarifying amendment.
Secretary STIMSON. I would interpret it the way I indicated. I think I heard no suggestion that anybody else would take any other view.
Mr. STEARNS. Mr. Secretary, I know it is getting late, and this may be too large a question, but I should be very interested to know about the functions of the production and procluction management under the bill in their relation to your Department. Secretary Stimson. Is there anything in the bill about it? Mr. STEARNS. No; but there is a questionSecretary STIMSON. I thought you were referring to something I had forgotten. I did not remember that it was referred to in this bill. The CHAIRMAN. Do you wish to answer that question? Secretary SIMSON. Have you finished the question on that? Mr. STEARNS. I should like to have your description of the functions.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Stearns, as long as there is nothing in the bill which refers to that particularly, I do not see the good of going
Secretary STIMson. It is a pretty big question, Mr. Stearns.
The CHAIRMAN. How many questions, Mr. Mundt!
into that now.
The CHAIRMAN. Ten or twelve questions?
Secretary STIMSON. I should like to get back to my desk
The CHAIRMAX. Please be as brief as you can. As Dr. Eaton suggests, be as merciful as you can.
Mr. MuNDT. Mr. Secretary, at the bottom of page 3—and I am quoting the statement you made in the last paragraph
Secretary Stimson. You are referring to my statement.
Those who are interested primarily in the defense of this country and this hemisphere will be the ones who will make the plans for distribution-namely, members of the American Government.
Secretary STINSON. Yes.
Mr. Mundr. Now, in the interpretation of that question how many, if any of the elected officials, elected members of the American Government, will help make those decisions?
Secretary STIMSON. I was referring to the President, with his constitutional advisers.
Mr. Muxor. In other words, just the President is the only elected official.
Secretary Stimson. The bill refers to the Serritary of War and the Secretary of the Navy.
Mr. MUNDT. Of the elected officials, the President is the only one. The reason I asked that question is because it is the background for my other questions, since it seems to me that under the obligation we assume as Congressmen we must attempt to understand as clearly as we can the ramifications of this bill; and here is a limitation, that once we pass this bill we relinquish the future control; is that not right?
Secretary STIMSON. You have not relinquished control over it. And you have still the job of making the appropriation for carrying it out; and you also can repeal it.
Mr. Munir. That is very true, with respect to the appropriation; but of course should this committee and the Congress adopt this as a policy of the Government, with no maximum limitation as to appropriation it could then be pretty well determined as a permanent policy that we should continue, with no further control of it. We cannot expect the Appropriation Committee to circumvent acts of Congress.
Was Russia a signatory to the Paris Pact?
Mr. Mundt. I think so. I was trying to confirm my opinion. And consequently—as a matter of fact the invasion of Finland by Russia was a violation of that pact ?
Secretary STIMSON. If you interpret it that way I will not make any dissent.
Mr. Mundr. Thank you. The point I am making is that in this matter of international law, if we follow the conclusion expressed by Secretary Hull and by you, that where one nation has violated one of the provisions of international law-and there is a possibility that the provisions of the Paris Pact were international law-it permits all other nations to violate all international law, do not we as a peaceful republic run the hazard of selecting as between a group of aggressors and saying to them: "We are going to help to the fullest extent of our ability the power of resistance of the one against whom vou have committed the act of aggression," and take no such action between another set of victims and aggressors; and then are we not in accordance with law and common sense violating our position of neutrality?
Secretary Stimson. You are not violating your position of neuirality. You are electing as to what kind of national defense you may want and electing to act when needful to your defense.
Mr. MUNDT. But it seems to me that we, being in the family of nations, from the standpoint of maintaining peaceful relationship among them, ought not to say that under one set of circumstances we are going to become a participant to the extent of providing arms, munitions, and materials, because we feel that we can do that even though we have violated international law; and in another set of rircumstances, that are identical and similar insofar as poor little Finland is concerned being a victim of aggression, we are going to say, “do not believe, that under international law, we can participate."
Secretary Stimson. That is a very, very questionable statement of the situation. We were trying once to organize a rule of law in this great world of ours. The Kellogg Pact was one of the steps taken by the nations, and that Kellogg Pact, if taken fully, had very far reaching consequences. Now there has come a time when the whole situation has changed, as Mr. Hull has described to you gentlemen. A group of outlaw nations has upset the entire organization of the world down to its very bottom, the very foundation upon which we tried to build the pillar of law we were interested in before. What are we faced with? We are faced with, first of all, what Mr. Hull told you, the defense of this country. So you will agree with me our first duty is there.
Mr. MUNDT. Correct.
Secretary STIMSON. And we are going to guide our course by that. We are not going to take on every ruffian that may be left in the backwoods, but we are taking on the gangsters that are threatening our home; and we are confining ourselves to thint.
What I said to you yesterday was that as against the gangsters that are threatening us, they had waived the old rules of international lair when they violated the Kellogg Pact, and they cannot, and we cannot have thrown against us the artificial defense that in defending ourselves against them, or in helping somebody else defend us against them, we are violating these old rules of international law. But what happened in some other part of the world where there was no danger of attack being made on us has no bearing on the question that I discussed yesterday.
Mr. MUNDT. I am not contending, Mr. Secretary, that we should hare offered the type of aid the bill provides to Finland. I was rather raising the point that if in the future should there be an aggression, perhaps by Russia, or a state or country against another country, this bill under the interpretation of those administering it, can transfer weapons of defense to protect anybody against those who are fighting them.
Secretary STIMSON. No. You do not read the bill. Only when it would be for the benefit of our defense; and I have said that 50 times during the last 2 days You are leaving that out altogether When it is effected for our defense and not otherwise.
Mr. MUNDT. Now in your opening statement, the fourth paragraph, Mr. Secretary, I want to raise the point that while I agree, that there is considerable merit in the position that our comparable situations from the standpoint of armament as contrasted with 1917 is not favorable, I do believe that the United States is entitled to a little more credit for the part it played in providing munitions in 1917 than a reading of the fourth paragraph of your statement would indicate, because prior to our entrance into the war we had provided to our future Allies considerable assistance, although not perhaps in certain types of munitions and planes, but in other aspects, that we had extended them very considerable financial assistance
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Mundt the question-
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Mundt, the Chair rules that question entirely out of order. Any other questions?
Mr. MUNDT. You have stated several times today and yesterday that under the provisions of this bill the United States would keep title to all these implements and materials of war until the last possible moment, and then decide in the interest of national defense to whom they could best be transferred, in the interest of national defense.
Secretary STIMSON. I said something more or less to that effect. I do not mean to admit that you have entirely quoted me correctly. But I do not want to get into a discussion of that; assume that for your question.
Mr. MUNDr. Would we not run into a definite economic problem, if we start in as the manufacturer of implements for all the countries to whom we might give aid in the interest of national defense, in retaining title to all of this material? Would it not inevitably follow that when peace comes the United States would be the holder, would have in all of its plants all of these orders, all these undelivered stocks, with title to them, and as a result would be left with all this vast armament, while the rest of the world to whom they might be transferred would not have such an economic handicap in its industrial system?
Secretary STIMSON. Yes; that is the situation which any nation that is making an adequate attempt for its own defense is likely to be left in by an unexpected turn of a war.
Mr. Mundt. It is unavoidable, you think?
Secretary STIMson. Yes; but it is modified by this: That we have control of the orders and are, as I have said before, many times, under no obligation to go ahead with orders we do not think will contribute to our defense against reasonably imminent danger.
Mr. MUNDr. I might state that this bill would definitely accentuate the problem, when and if we should become the manufacturer or arsenal for the world, retaining the title in our own name, is it not true that these orders are being filled now, or a great many of these orders, under the present arrangement?
Secretary STIMSON. When you speak or even when the President spoke of the arsenal of the democracies, he was speaking in terms of figurative language, rather than in exact business procedure. The bill shows so, and I think my statement yesterday shows what was to be done under that bill; and I do not think it is necessary for me to answer some deduction you might make from a figure of speech the President used in that talk.
Mr. MUNDT. My deduction comes rather from the business practice that if we retain the title to the Government of these materials, they are going to belong to us; the contract of manufacture and the fulfillment will then become our own obligation.
Secretary STIMSON. Yes. Mr. MUNDT. You did not indicate, Mr. Secretary—and I do not blame you for not being able to provide definite figures now—when interrogated either by Mr. Vorys or one other member of the committee, as to what appropriation might be required for this purpose. Could you indicate whether at sometime, perhaps in the coming week, you could give to the committee at least some general idea of what amount of money will be needed ?
The CHAIRMAN. That has been answered several times. The Secretary has stated that if you would go to his office he would be glad to give you any information he has; and that he would be glad to come up to the committee and give us the information in executive session.
Mr. MUNDT. The Secretary did not say to come to his office for this specific information.
The CHAIRMAN. The Secretary says that his office is open, and when he gets the figures he will be glad to give them to you.
Mr. MUNDT. The Secretary said he could not give us the information now, and I am asking whether next week he might do that. He said they would appear before the Appropriations Committee and they will be given there, and we certainly have some interest as to what might be expended.
Secretary STIMSON. Yes. They will have to be general figures; I doubt if I could give you anything next week other than very general figures.
Mr. MUNDT. Well, even general figures would be very helpful; the maximum figures, at least.
Under the provisions of this bill, as you interpret it, Mr. Secretary, the President, with the advice of his constitutional advisers, would be able to transfer, would he not, let us say, to England one of our aircraft carriers ? Secretary STIMSON. I think it is conceivably possible.
Mr. Mundt. Is it not specifically possible under the terms of the act?
Secretary STIMSON. I think you could conceive of that.
Mr. MUNDT. And if he could transfer one, he could transfer two or any multiple thereof. That is the thought.
Secretary STIMSON. Yes. Mr. MUNDT. I am interested in this financial aspect, Mr. Secretary. You assumed—I do not know that you assumed, but you said off