« PreviousContinue »
Mrs. ROGERS. Will you state again—I think you did not answer this exact question: Do you believe that the United States is in danger of an immediate attack?
Mr. Knox. You mean an attack within the continental limits of the United States ?
Mrs. ROGERS. Yes.
Mr. Knox. No; that is speculative. I do not know. The only thing I am sure of is that if England is defeated and destroyed, we will be attacked.
Mrs. ROGERS. Will the gentleman say where and how he thinks that attack is likely to come!
Mr. Knox. No; that would be pure speculation.
Mrs. ROGERS. The gentleman thinks our own Navy is not strong enough to protect us although it is the greatest Navy in the world!
Mr. Knox. To fight a war on two oceans? No; not in its present strength.
Mrs. ROGERS. The Secretary will agree that the Congress is extremely alert, I will not say generous, because it is not generous to spend money for our
own defense, in appropriating for the Navy? Mr. Knox. I am very happy to agree. I think it is more than generous. In fact, my problem most of the time has been not how to get money, but how to spend it wisely and safely, and get the result desired.
Mrs. ROGERS. But the naval program has been under way only a short time?
Mr. Knox. Yes; but not so many years ago as I wish it were. We started pretty tardily.
Mrs. ROGERS. Does the gentleman not feel it would be in the interests of the national defense to immediately use idle factories and idle men instead of taking the time to build factories all over the United States!
Mr. Knox. If you choose to have me digress, I will be glad to tell you what has been done in that respect. It was done at least 2 months ago. We went to the larger people in the various industrial regions in the United States where they had sufficient floor space in their factories to become the assembling plant of a given article, induced them to take a contract for the manufacture of that article, although they did not have the equipment to make it completely. We then went out into the territory in which they were located—this is being done all throughout the United States, and it is being done more and more every day—and we found smaller manufacturers who could make those parts and undertake a subcontractor's work. In that waywhich is a rather slow process as it has to be because of the negotiations necessary-gradually all of those smaller plants, with every sort and type of machinery and with the type of skilled employees required, are now being employed.
Mrs. ROGERS. Will the Secretary agree with me that this is of the essence and that it has not been done?
Mr. Knox. What is that?
Mrs. ROGERS. Will the Secretary agree with me that is of the essence?
Mr. Knox. Oh, absolutely. In your territory, for instance, we are naking use of machine shops and the textile mills. Mrs. ROGERS. And in many instances that has not been done, and could prove it. Mr. KNOX. It takes time to do it all. Mrs. ROGERS. The Secretary has spoken of the infiltration from forign countries, the political infiltration in the United States. The CHAIRMAN. Mrs. Rogers, I do not think that has any reference the bill. Mrs. ROGERS. I think it does to the extent of our national preparedThe CHAIRMAN. If you wish to proceed in that order, it is all right, ut we would like to get through with the Secretary, as he wants to nish this afternoon. Mr. Knox. I think the question had better be propounded to the tate Department rather than to the Department of the Navy. The CHAIRMAN. I will state to the gentlewoman from Massachuatts that the Secretary has an engagement. He must go to New Cork tomorrow, and we are trying to finish this afternoon, so I will sk the gentlewoman kindly to confine herself to the issues of the bill. fyou wish to continue that way, you may, Mrs. ROGERS. Mr. Chairman, I think the Secretary has been very nxious to answer all questions and answer them completely. And, gain, Mr. Chairman, I must remind you that we must be worthy of ur hire.
Will the Secretary answer this question? What countries or counry do you think would attack us? Mr. Knox. What? Mrs. ROGERS. What country or countries do you think would attack s? Mr. Knox. I do not ever think about it. I know we have been told a very plain language. Mrs. ROGERS. Do you feel like telling us? Mr. Knox. Certainly. Have you ever heard of the Tripartite Pact, nd what it was designed for, as interpreted by the Japanese member fit in language anyone could understand?
Mrs. ROGERS. Are there any other countries that we are in danger rom? Are there any other countries? That does not completely inswer my question.
Mr. Knox. Other than Japan do you mean? Germany and Italy, of ourse, the other members of the Axis Powers. Mrs. ROGERS. Are there any other countries besides those three? Mr. Knox. That would be indulging in speculation. I do not know. Mrs. ROGERS. I would like to ask you, Mr. Secretary, what you think his bill would cost?
Mr. Knox. That I will have to take time for. There are certain proportions of the needs of the British which fall within the purview of the War Department, and some which fall within the cognizance of the Navy Department. In order to answer that question in anything like approximate correctness, we shall have to analyze things, divide between the two Departments, and have each Department make an estimate. If you want an estimate, I shall be very glad to give you one.
Mrs. ROGERS. Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous consent that the estimate be given to us, as this is extremely valuable to us in passing this legislation. The CHAIRMAN. If the Secretary has no objection. Mr. Knox. I have none.
Mrs. ROGERS. Do you believe the United States should receive a quid pro quo from the British for help which must otherwise be paid for by the American taxpayer? I think the Secretary already stated, if I understood him correctly, that he wished the West Indian islands could have been given to us in part payment of the British debt.
Mr. Knox. Well, the language of this bill, if I understand it, provides that the President is to exercise judgment as to the quid pro quo, and I am content to leave it that way.
Mrs. ROGERS. I suppose no amount of questioning would change the Secretary's opinion on that.
Mr. Secretary, I should like to ask this question: I suppose you would make the same answer on those supplies of tin, aluminum, antimony, and rubber possessed by England?
Mr. Knox. I should guess, I should hope so, that they would be included in the quid pro quo.
Mrs. ROGERS. Would the Secretary send a letter to the committee saying that he hoped they would be considered as a quid pro quo? Mr. Knox. That would be getting a little out of my province.
Mrs. ROGERS. Does not the Secretary feel that the British might transfer title of stocks to the United States, that is stocks in railways, for example, in other American republics?
Mr. Knox. I suppose you ought to go to the Treasury for the answer to that. I happen to have traveled fairly recently in Argentina where they have the railroad. I would hate to assume the responsibility for its management. It involves an annual deficit. It is practically falling apart as it is. I do not think there is a very great value there. And you must not forget this: Great Britain is under the necessity for exchange in Argentina as well as in the United States, because she is buying beef and wheat down there and she has to have pesos as well as dollars. I presume, I do not know, but I assume she is using her resources down there to the limit as she is using her resources here.
Mrs. ROGERS. Of course, if by chance Great Britain should be de feated surely she would much rather we had title to those railways, and it would be much to her advantage for us to have title rather than Germany.
Mr. Knox. I raise a question as to whether it is an advantage to have title to that particular railroad.
Mrs. ROGERS. England has other possessions which she could exchange as collateral.
That is all, Mr. Chairman. Thank you, very much, Mr. Secretary. The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Chiperfield?
Mr. CHIPERFIELD. Mr. Secretary, due to the lateness of the hour, I am only going to ask one or two questions. I do want to say this: I am delighted you are going to furnish our committee with an estimate of the expenses which may be involved in this bill. I know of the difficulty of that. But I would like to know this: Would that cover only the expenses involved in your Department or would it cover the whole defense program?
Mr. Knox. It would cover only those items which I am supposed to y, as Secretary of the Navy, for the British. Mr. CHIPERFIELD. I do not know whether this is a proper question or t. I know you will tell me if it is or not. But if you care to comment this, I would like to know whether you favor the extension of the onroe Doctrine beyond the limits of the Western Hemisphere. have in mind is extending it to the Dutch East Indies, China, and on. Do you think that is a policy we should follow ? Mr. Knox. I do not think it could properly be called the Monroe octrine if you extended it beyond the limits of South America. Mr. CHIPERFIELD. Thank you very much. Mr. Knox. Thank you. The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Vorys? Mr. VorY8. Mr. Secretary, you mentioned in the very enlightening atement that you made at the outset that the World War gave Japan ir chance for expansion throughout the islands of the Pacific. Now, at was approved by secret agreement with Great Britain at the time lat we entered the war. Mr. Knox. Unhappily, no. It was achieved after the war by the snited States withdrawing its objection to Japan taking the mandate f the Caroline and Marshall Islands. Ever since that mandate was ranted Japan has treated them as if they were her private property nd has proceeded to fortify them. It was a very unfortunate thing hat we did not insist that those islands come to us. They lie between lawaii and the Philippines.
Mr. VoRys. As I understand it, the acquisition of those islands by lapan was agreed to by Great Britain before we entered the war. ind that is well indicated.
Mr. Knox. I have no knowledge of that, Congressman. That may e so. I know the Japanese were given the mandate after the Treaty f Paris.
Mr. VORYS. Since in your view our purpose is to aid the British and he British Fleet, do you not think we should have a definite and ormal and final arrangement as to the British Fleet before we enter his new phase of aid to Great Britain?
Mr. Knox. My understanding is that assurances have already been riven on that subject when the Navy exchanged the destroyers.
The CHAIRMAN. Will you kindly speak up? The gentlemen on this ide of the committee would also like to hear you.
Mr. Knox. I am sorry. You must remember that if there comes a ollapse of British resistance, it is very likely to be accompanied by a harp change in political alinement. That happened in France. While he present Government in Great Britain might have every disposiion to carry out willingly the agreement they made with us, it might De outside its power. That has to be kept in mind.
Mr. Vorys. I appreciate that, but if we had a treaty, it would be at east legally binding on something besides the present Government, the present Cabinet in England; is that not true?
Mr. Knox. If you want to advocate a treaty, I have no objection, but I think you would be dealing with a problem that would almost be entirely controlled by the actual conditions at the close of the war. For instance, I rather suspect that M. Laval fell out of the confidence of the present French Government when it was discovered that he wanted to deliver the French Fleet to Germany. I think tha is one of the things that contributed to his downfall.
Mr. VORYS. You stated that if Great Britain falls, the fleet als falls, or that there is a great possibility of it.
Mr. Knox. My judgment is that the British will fight to the last I think I should be if I were a Briton. I would a darn sight rather b killed fighting Hitler than live under him.
Mr. VoRys. I have read in the papers that there was some under standing that the British would withdraw their fleet to the Dominion Now, ought not we to have some sort of very explicit and clear cut arrangement about this fleet and about their not sacrificing th last ship in some struggle before we enter on a possible weakening path in our own immediate defense ?
Mr. Knox. We do not propose to weaken our own defense. I thinl the question propounded to me should be directed to the British. It i not for us to say. I do not think any British Government would last 2 hours if it agreed now to save its fleet at the finish and to deliver it të us rather than to fight to the end. I think it is an impossible condition to ask.
Mr. Vorys. Maybe I am misinformed as to the proposition that the British have said, or that Churchill has said, “We will with draw to the Dominion, to the new world and continue to fight, il we lose here."
Mr. Knox. If it is possible. But I know something of Winston Churchill. I cannot imagine any officer in the admiralty fleet run, ning away while it is possible still to fight. It won't be done; 1 promise you that. Mr. VÖRYS. Of course,
agree with that. Now, how will the provisions of this bill affect the Navy? Da you intend to turn over to Great Britain certain ships or other equip ment that is now appropriated for?
Mr. Knox. None whatever.
Mr. Vorys. Mr. Stimson stated today that there would be nothing built, as he understood this bill, except in the quantity and type suitable for our own armed forces. Do you agree in that particular interpretation?
Mr. Knox. I do. That relates not to ships, though. It relates to munitions, guns, and caliber. For instance, their most useful rifle is the 30.3. Ours is a .30. We are not going to sell them any 30.3 rifles under this bill. We are going to sell them Springfield rifles of 30 caliber so that our supply of ammunition will fit that weapon.
Mr. Vores. Would that be true, for instance, with torpedoes, which I think you mentioned !
Mr. K'Nox. No. It is not so nearly true. They have their whole equipment. It would not be true of torpedoes.
Mr. Vores. Now, Mr. Morgenthau said under this bill, that is under this law if it became an act, Great Britain could still go into the open market, but would be forced to buy for cash in that this bill would not in terms repeal the Johnson Act nor the Neutrality Act, but would simply make any transactions under this bill not subject to those acts. Would that not still make a possibility of competition?