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Mr. Castle. Not everything. I certainly would never make it & full dictatorship.
Mr. RICHARDS. Well, we had far more than this in the last war.
Mr. Castle. The British Parliament has given one right after another to the Prime Minister. But the British Parliament has not resigned its authority at all.
Mr. RICHARDS. Has not the British Parliament taken one right after another-one peacetime right after another-from the British people as a national-defense measure? Mr. CASTLE. From the British people; yes. Mr. RICHARDS. Yes.
Mr. CASTLE. The British Parliament just now, for example, will probably ratify what the Prime Minister has done with regard to labor.
Mr. RICHARDS. The British Parliament itself has taken this right from the people; has it not?
Mr. CASTLE. It has taken its right from the people, but the British Parliament is responsible to the people and the British Parliament has never turned over its right to anybody.
Mr. RICHARDS. That is right. But, as a matter of fact, the people in a democarcy are the government; is that not right?
Mr. CASTLE. Yes.
Mrs. ROGERS. Mr. Secretary, do you not feel that the people of America are overwhelmingly in favor of the United States sending all aid to Great Britain that can be sent without weakening our own national defense?
Mr. CASTLE. I think, without weakening our own national defense and without getting ourselves into war.
Mrs. ROGERS. And, Mr. Secretary, you favored the principle of the reciprocal trade agreements which were agreed to during this administration so that proved that your position is not a partisan one. You decide a measure upon its merits?
Mr. CASTLE. I certainly try to, Mrs. Rogers. I do agree in principle with the trade agreement, and I do not think—that is, I think it is terrible that anybody takes this as a political measure.
Mrs. ROGERS. I agree with you thoroughly, and I am glad to know you feel that way about it.
Mr. Secretary, when you were the Under Secretary of State you acted as Secretary of State during some of that period, did you not?
Mr. CASTLE. Yes.
Mrs. ROGERS. At that time you were frank about the information you gave. You gave quite complete information to the press and to the public so far as you could as to what was going on internationally. You felt that the people were entitled to know something about our international relations.
Mr. CASTLE. I certainly tried to, because I felt then as I feel now that the more the people know the people are going to support the Government. Mrs. Rogers. With knowledge and understanding? Mr. CASTLE. With knowledge and understanding.
Mrs. ROGERS. To act intelligently for their own protection and he protection of the United States? Mr. CASTLE. Yes. Mrs. ROGERS. Is it not customary, and you have had a great deal to o in your official capacity at various times, watching administrative nd legislative procedure, for a Secretary of State, for instance, or a ecretary of War, or a Secretary of the Navy, to resign if that adminisrative official is not in favor of the policy of the President? Mr. CASTLE. The President is charged with the conduct of foreign ffairs and certainly if his Secretary of State disagrees with him, it is p to the Secretary of State to resign. Mrs. ROGERS. It would mean that he either would follow the 'resident on many questions or resign?
Mr. CASTLE. I think he has the right to argue and to argue for his wn point of view. If he is overruled, then
If he is overruled, then if he has got a good onscience in him he will resign.
Mrs. ROGERS. So the policy is the policy of the President rather han the views of the Secretary of State? Mr. CASTLE. Of the President. Mrs. ROGERS. During that administration? Mr. CASTLE. Always. Mrs. ROGERS. Do you believe, Mr. Secretary, that the people of he United States understand all of the implications and conditions nvolved in this bill?
Mr. CASTLE. I certainly do not. I think the people of the United tates look on this purely as an aid-to-England bill.
Mrs. Rogers. Do you feel that the people of the country want to id Great Britain, but not to the extent of or in such a way or method s to involve the country in war?
Mr. CASTLE. I do not think we want to pass a bill which really, in ny opinion, does one thing when it ostensibly is for the purpose of loing another thing.
Mrs. ROGERS. Do you feel if our ships are sent to Great Britain, for xample, and money is spent and great quantities of ammunition of var are sent, that then our men are likely to follow?
Mr. CASTLE. I think if we go into the war we go into the war to vin the war and that means men just as much as it means munitions.
Mrs. ROGERS. If we should go into the war, do you think it would be possible to defeat Germany?
Mr. Castle. It would be a very long, hard pull, and I cannot see it the moment how without some internal collapse in Germany hat we would have a possibility of winning the war for many, many ong years to come.
Mrs. ROGERS. And then do you believe, Mr. Secretary, that the 30-called Allies, including the United States, going into the war, would be so weakened that it would place Russia in a very strong position, and then she might then dominate the world with communism?
Mr. CASTLE. I think Russia is the only nation that stands to gain by a prolonged war; undoubtedly.
Mrs. ROGERS. You feel that the people of the country, if they knew of the implications and conditions of this bill, would be against it?
Mr. CASTLE. Yes; I would.
Mrs. Rogers. Do you believe this bill is within the Constitution from the broad construction point of view?
Mr. CASTLE. I was talking here this morning with someone about that, and I said that I really would not be willing to answer that question from the technical point of view. I do not feel that I know enough to answer. I do feel it is contrary to the spirit of the Constitution.
Mrs. ROGERS. Does not this bill violate, then, the principles o government under our Constitution and the principles of the re publican system?
Mr. CASTLE. I think it does, because it makes a dictator withou any limit of time.
Mrs. Rogers. If this bill is passed, in what position would it plac the President of the United States insofar as world affairs are con cerned?
Mr. Castle. Well, of course, if it passes as it stands I think i would put him in a very, very difficult position, because as it stand Great Britain, for example, would not come over here and buy am munition. It would theoretically be bought by the President an turned over to Great Britain as he saw fit.
Mrs. Rogers. Which would make him a commercial agent, woul it not?
Mr. CASTLE. Yes; if you want to put it that way. But he woul be hardly commercial agent, because he would have the right himsel to say what they must have.
Mrs. ROGERS. Well, he would be the owner then, so to speak would he not, of all the commodities?
Mr. CASTLE. Which they might or might not want.
Mrs. Rogers. If this bill passes, would it result beneficially or ac as a detriment to the United States insofar as any extended aid ti England is concerned?
Mr. CASTLE. I cannot see that it would affect that one way or tht other
Mrs. ROGERS. Well, if we should weaken ourselves very much would not that later on be a detriment to our assisting England?
Mr. CASTLE. Surely.
Mrs. ROGERS. Must we not remain strong ourselves to helį England?
Mr. CASTLE. We must remain strong ourselves to help England There is no doubt of that.
Mrs. ROGERS. If this bill passes, would not it cause the United State to follow a policy which would permit Hitler at any time he chooses tú declare a state of war exists with the United States? In other words do you believe this bill is a long step toward involving the United States in this horrible war?
Mr. CASTLE. I do think it is. I think Hitler would consider it just one more reason why he could, if he so wished to, declare that a state of war exists.
Mrs. ROGERS. And you do feel that?
Mr. CASTLE. I have no fear myself that we will declare war for a very, very long time to come, if ever. But I think the time may come when Hitler will say, due to this, that, and the other thing which has been done, a state of war exists.
Mrs. Rogers. Do you believe that if the provisions of this bill are carried out, vesting control in the President, it would go far toward giving the authorities to send ships and munitions of war
hich might get the United States in actual fighting? Do you not lieve the cost of it all might bankrupt this Government? Mr. CASTLE. Very easily. But when you say “carrying out the ovisions of the bill,” I find it a little hard to follow, because I do not ink the bill orders any special thing to be done. It simply gives the esident the power to do anything. Mrs. ROGERS. It gives him a blank check, in other words? Mr. CASTLE. Yes. Mrs. ROGERS. And also at a later date could not and would not many collect damages against the United States for the ships and initions of war, and so forth, that we gave, loaned or leased to 'eat Britain? You remember after the Civil War, England collected ge damages-or rahter, we collected large damages against England cause the British Navy did not observe strict neutrality in regard to e rights of the United States. Mr. CASTLE. Yes. I think if Germany wins the war, Germany ll undoubtedly try to collect damages from us. Mrs. Rogers. And they will be very large damages? Mr. CASTLE. They are likely to be. Mrs. ROGERS. So that would add greatly to the expenses of this 1? Mr. CASTLE. Yes. Mrs. ROGERS. Would not this bill tie our destinies with those tropean war leaders whose actions we are not able to control for a ry, very long period of time? Mr. CASTLE. Well, of course, I am afraid it would, becausepecially if the President gets into it as deeply as the bill would put minto it—if we once get into European affairs it is going to be very ficult to get out again. Mrs. ROGERS. I understand you favor a quid pro quo. Am I rrect in that? Mr. CASTLE. In what? Mrs. ROGERS. Well, for instance, do you not feel if we give England pplies that England should give us back something in return, such possessions or tin, if we need it, or rubber? Mr. Castle. I think so far as possible; yes; without any doubt. it I must say that after the last war I hesitate to urge loans, because makes such bad feeling afterward. Mrs. ROGERS. Do you feel that since there is no provision in the bill at it would be wise to provide in the bill that some officer, şay the ymptroller General, have charge or be charged with the duty of eping an official record of all defense articles? There is a provision it, but it does not state in that provision what officer will have arge of it. Do you feel that the duty-let us call him the Compoller General, should be charged with the duty of keeping an official cord of all those defense articles? Mr. Castle. I think someone certainly should. Mrs. Rogers. That is, to keep an official record of all those defense ticles which would be transferred by the United States to any govnment, together with any payment of any kind received by the nited States from any government for such property? Mr. CASTLE. Yes; but I should not feel myself capable of saying ho ought to do it.' I think someone should.
Mrs. ROGERS. The Comptroller General is supposed to guar very carefully the financial assets of the Government. I suggeste that he should be that officer.
I ask unanimous consent, Mr. Chairman, at this point that th amendment suggested by Congressman Dewey be placed in the recori
The CHAIRMAN. Without objection, so ordered. (The statement referred to follows:)
STATEMENT OF HON. CHARLES S. DEWEY, MEMBER OF CONGRES
NINTH DISTRICT, ILLINOIS, ON H. R. 1776 Ladies and gentlemen of the Committee on Foreign Affairs: I appreciate th opportunity to present for the record this brief statement on H. R. 1776. Yo committee has had before it many distinguished people qualified to speak on ti various questions of foreign policy, defense policy and economic policy involve in this proposed legislation. They have doubtless made it clear that the bill, it now stands, is defective in a number of respects. I shall, however, confine th statement solely to two defects in the bill which are immediately apparent an concerning which I wrote your distinguished chairman under date of January 1
I would be pleased if your committee would permit me to insert this letter the end of this statement. It embodies two specific amendments I respectful suggest to your committee. In making this statement I merely seek to emphasi what I have already said in my letter of the 13th.
In the first place, the bill makes no provision for an accountability to th Congress of the transfers or sales made under the powers delegated. In the secos place, it makes no provision against the possibility that important British asse in this hemisphere may pass into the hands of unfriendly foreign powers in event of the defeat of Great Britain by the Axis Powers.
The first amendment I have suggested is purely a technical one, suggestit that the Comptroller General of the United States look after the accountabili of the material transferred to Great Britain or other countries as permitted the proposed legislation. It may be that your committee can devise a bett means for insuring an accountability, but some effective means there must be After all, this is a representative government, a republic in form, and a democrae in spirit.
When we, as representatives of the people, are called upon to vest discretionar powers in the Executive, at the very least we should establish some way by whid the Congress may know how the delegated powers are exercised. There must b some accounting of what is sold, exchanged, loaned, leased, transferred, or give away. The money and material belong to the people. We are responsible fd it, and it behooves us to assume that responsibility.
I respectfully submit that the bill should be amended so that there be som accounting, so that the Congress may at any time learn through a single agency responsible to the Congress, what is sold, what is exchanged, what is loaned a leased, and what is actually given away as an outright gift.
The second amendment suggested in my letter to the chairman is one of broade importance. It is to this amendment that I am anxious to direct your specis attention. It relates to international finance or, more specifically, to Britis assets in this hemisphere. Having served as Assistant Secretary of Treasur and as financial adviser to the Polish Government, I am perhaps better qualified to address myself to this phase of the proposed legislation than any other.
There has been a great deal of talk about the possibility of the British flee falling into the hands of the Axis Powers should any disaster overtake the British Empire. The Secretary of Navy discussed this possibility in his testimony before your committee, at which time I understand he presented figures on the combined naval strength of the Axis Powers and that of the United States. All of u recognize this danger to our security. We are preparing to meet it by building up the greatest and strongest fleet this country has ever had.
But, as important as this question of the possible transfer of the British Fleet to the Axis Powers in the event of Britain's defeat is to our security, I think we are overlooking a more practical danger. We are overlooking the fact that Great Britain has extensive holdings in this hemisphere, which, in the event of the defeat of Great Britain, will undoubtedly pass into the hands of the Axis Powers. The Axis Powers would have thus obtained the strong foothold in this hemisphere so long sought.