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We believe no more in Bonaparte's fighting for the liberty of the seas than in reat Britain's fighting for the liberties of mankind. Richard Peters, writing to Timothy Pickering in 1807, said: I think myself sometimes in a hospital of lunatics when I hear some of our oliticians eulogizing Bonaparte because he humbles the English; and others rorshipping the latter, under an idea that they will shelter us, and take us under he shadow of their wings. They would join, rather, to deal us away like cattle. John Adams, in 1808, wrote: Our gazettes and pamphlets tell us that Bonaparte
* * * will conquer England, and command all the British Navy, and send I know not how many rundred thousand soldiers here and conquer from New Orleans to Passamajuoddy. Though everyone of these bugbears is a phantom, yet the people seem o believe every article of this bombastical creed and tremble and shudder in onsequence. Who shall touch these blind eyes?
Today we are sailing the same stormy seas and dangerous waters through which our ship of state sailed in its youthful days. If we follow the chart that was used in those days, we shall outsail the storm and dodge the reefs and shoals; but if we throw that chart away and adopt this new chart, the bill under consideration, our ship of state is surely doomed to disaster.
The terms of this bill put the United States right into the middle of the diplomacy game of European power politics. It will make the United States more than ever before--and that's a lot—the object of European propaganda and visiting, begging diplomats, to tell us the great things we can do in solving Europe's problems. Regarding the solving of Europe's problems, Hillaire Belloc said: We of Europe shall solve our own problems
it is our own affair; we alone understand it. And let me add this: Every public man from Europe, especially every professional politician, who approaches the people of the United States, begging them to interfere in our affairs, is a liar, and knows that he is a liar
the inducements offered, the flattering phrases chosen, are lies. When the power of the United States is thus involved, it is invoked in order to help one competing European unit against another
and the fine phrases about peace and justice and humanity and civilization and the rest of it, are hypocrisy and a poison.
This bill would practically make the people of this country a Crown colony of the British Empire. It erases American history and puts us back before the year 1775. In fighting this bill now we are making the same fight for freedom as the colonists made in 1775 and 1776. Then the cry was “No taxation without representation.” The colonists complained because they had no voice in Britain's war making or peace making; and that regardless of the outcome of wars they had to pay for them in blood and taxes. They fought their war of the Revolution to establish their own self-respect and freedom and to establish an international respect for their independence and their new governmental philosophy.
Today the people of the United States have no voice—so far as they know-in the decisions on Britain's war making; but when things become critical, Brittania crooks her finger, John Bull pushes a button, and all the batter-conscious marionettes dance and sing and weep and pray for us to come and fight the war and pay for it. It is time to serve notice of the liveness of the Declaration of Independence and there is no better way than to defeat this abdication bill decisively,
They talk about aid to Britain "short of war.” Gentlemen and ladies—there is no jumping half way down Niagara Falls. At least that is my belief. I never tried it. If some 'short of war" enthusiast
wants to prove that I am wrong,
may try. I am satisfied from our petition work that the people not only do not want to get into war but that also they do not want our country used as a laboratory guinea pig in an experiment to see how far we can go to aid Britain and still stay out of war. If the experiment proves that we cannot stay out, , it will be a costly one-involving the loss of treasure, blood, honor, spirituality, and freedom.
If there is cause for war tell the people the facts and follow the Constitution; let Congress decide on whether to declare war.
The spirit and the ambition of this bill is the spirit and the ambition of the League of Nations Covenant-to get away from the Washington tradition on entangling alliances and to get into the power politics of Europe, which means war—a renunciation of the American philosophy of government and an adoption of the European philosophy of government. The League of Nations Covenant was considered for what it was-a treaty; and the President attempted to secure its approval by the Senate, under the Constitution. It was defeated. In the case of this bill the Constitution is ignored entirely, as far as the treaty-making section is concerned, and the bill attempts to give the President and and his secretaries, in sections 3, 4, and 7, unlimited power to make any deals, agreements, and understandings they see fit with any nation. And this applies regardless of whether there are conditions of war or peace. Under this bill the President can go into any nation in the world, in peace or wartime, and say that their defense is vital to our defense and lease, loan, or give them all the materials they may need to start an utterly useless war or to carry on a war that their means would not justify.
The sponsors of the bill know that they cannot get the Senate to approve a treaty; so this is a bill to circumvent the Constitution.
I would like to call your attention to the purpose of the bill as stated in its title: "To promote” the defense of the United States. Nowhere in the Constitution do I find any power given by the people to Congress to "promote" defense. Power, however, is given to "provide” for defense. There is a vast difference between providing and promoting
To provide for the common defense meant and means raising armies, building and equipping fleets, prescribing rules for the government of both; directing their operations and providing for their support, according to Hamilton in the Federalist, and by the specific terms of the Constitution itself. We got along very well and in comparative peace during our national life providing for our defenses while Europe was fighting a hundred or more wars as a result of the promotion of defense through balance of power diplomacy. This bill fits into the European scheme for peace-which means war. It is not the Amer
The people gave the Congress the power to declare war. have given to no one in our Government the right or the power to initiate or to involve us in an undeclared war. It gave control of the Treasury to Congress and not to the Executive. This was a further limitation on any war-breeding proclivities that any President might have. But this bill flies in the face of the constitutional idea and throws open the vaults of the Treasury to the President and gives him a free hand with all our money. The bill practically abdicates the power of Congress over taxation and war.
The laboring man should be interested in what the bill can do to m. It permits the President to set aside all the advances that labor s made over a period of years and to whip working men and women to laboring unlimited hours at unlimited wages and to prohibit rikes and otherwise interfere with bargaining "notwithstanding the ovisions of any other law.' The bill attempts to make larceny an act of patriotism. As a fense act it authorizes the President to take property belonging to y foreign government and hand it over to another government. itside the degradation and immorality of the provision, it surely akes it easy for the President to do something with German ships or e ships of any other nations in our harbors that would put us in the osition of carrying on a dishonorable undeclared war and justify a -claration of war against us. This regardless of the overwhelming etermination on the part of the people against getting into war.
The bill is a war bill. It permits the use of our harbors for the pair and outfitting of ships of war of a belligerent; and it permits ve use of our harbors as escape grounds for ships of war running away om battle disabled or otherwise. It practically permits our country
be used as a base of operations by a warring country. This is no esture of peace. This is invitation to war.
People are against this bill because of the dynamite it containsecause of the poison they will swallow in accepting it. Its hypocrisy 3 stultifying. It is not a defense bill--a bill for self-preservation. t is a bill for other purposes, as its title says. It is a bill for selfestruction, for national suicide, and for the murder of thousands of Imerican boys, should it ever become law.
We are told by our pastors and spiritual leaders to pray for peace. Who can go into church today, especially anyone who has been ouched by the last war, to pray to Almighty God for peace, who can ook upon the form of the crucified Son of God, who came down upon his earth to bring us peace, without seeing in his mind's eye beyond hat crucifix thousands upon thousands of small white crosses as they stand in overseas cemeteries. And on every one of these crosses is the form of a crucified American soldier boy, crucified by the Government he thought he was saying.
Each soldier's broken and wounded body was laid on that cross, and the warmongers took one of his bruised and crushed hands, and picked out a cold, black, cruel nail which they called "a war to end all wars” and they hammered it, hammered it, hammered it into that hand. And then they took another cold, black, cruel, dirty nail, which they called "a war to make the world safe for democracy," and they hammered it, hammered it, hammered it into the other outstretched hand, as it seemed to plead for help. And they stretched out his feet and picked out another sharp, long, cruel, dirty nail, which was labeled “a war for the freedom of small nations and for open covenants openly arrived at” and they hammered it, hammered it, hammered it into his lifeless, unprotesting feet. And today one cannot read this bill without seeing, feeling, and hearing the warmongers and the warmakers sardonically at work-sawing up the small pieces of wood and mixing the white paint that will be used for the small white crosses, cutting up the lumber to be used for hammer handles, forging the metal to be used for nails, and looking around for some of the nails that were not used up 23 years ago, and generally
preparing for the repetition of the crucifixion of this generation o American soldier boys.
Stop this crucifixion of our American boys again by defeating thi bill for the suicide of American freedom. In the name of God, stoj this crucifixion of our American boys again by defeating this bill fol the suicide of American freedom.
Last Memorial Day there appeared in "In the Wake of the News column of the Chicago Tribune a poem that was written by a lady whose name is Hilda Butler Fries. I read it that day in memoria services over the graves of three of our soldiers, and I have read it before every group of American men and women that I have appeared before. I am going to close with your permission reading it here. It is entitled "Prayer for Peace.” This is the poem:
Dear God, because I am the mother of a son,
Today in memory of those who died in war I humbly ask of you to give us peace,
And silence once again the cannon's roar. Because I am the mother of a son,
Who now is reaching up to man's estate,
And taste the bitterness of blood and hate.
To satisfy a man's desire for greed
Ob God, with Thee I plead,
But for every son and every mother in our land.
The blackenedness and all the pain they stand,
Regardless of a battle lost or won.
Because I am the mother of a son. Gentlemen, defeating this bill will be helping God answer the prayer of this and thousands of other mothe
The CHAIRMAN. Are there any questions
Mr. GRACE. Yes, sir; I served overseas with the Thirty-third Division, of the Illinois National Guard Division.
Mr. Fish. And you were past commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the State of Illinois, were you not?
Mr. GRACE. I am.
Mr. Fish. And you have been speaking around at your own expense for the past year or more trying to keep this country out of war?
Mr. GRACE. Since before the sinking of the Panay, I realized what was developing, and I have devoted all of my time to speaking before every kind of a group in the State of Illinois, from the southernmost part of it to the northernmost, and from the Mississippi to the eastern boundary, and sometimes outside.
Mr. Fish. And particularly among the veterans?
Mr. Grace. Yes; probably more among the veterans than anyone else.
Mr. Fish. And you think that the veterans of Illinois are opposed, strongly opposed to being involved in the war, do you not?
Mr. GRACE. I do.
Mr. Fish. And you think the veterans are largely opposed to legislation of this character?
Mr. GRACE. I couldn't offer an opinion. I say I couldn't answer hat question, but I believe that they are. Mr. Fish. But you say that you believe that this is a war bill? Mr. GRACE. I do. Mr. Fish. And that you believe that it would be a disaster and alamity to pass a bill, such a bill, unamended?
Mr. GRACE. I am against it any way, and I believe most people ho realize what is involved, the dictatorship principle that is inolved, would be against it.
Mr. Fish. Would I embarrass you by this question? Just say so nd you won't have to answer it at all
. Just for on my own part, lo you know whether the hierarchy of the Catholic Church have taken ny stand about keeping out of war?
Mr. GRACE. I don't know of any stand that they have taken, but : do know of distinguished
Mr. GREGORY. I am reserving the right to object.
Mr. GREGORY. I don't think the witness is qualified in the first place to answer as to any stand taken by any religious group, or by the Catholic Church.
Mr. Fish. I will qualify it, then, and say, Do you know whether Cardinal O'Connell has taken a definite stand against going into war? Mr. GRACE. A real American stand; uncompromisingly against it. Mr. Fish. Against going to war. Mr. GRACE. Yes. Mr. FISH. That is all. The CHAIRMAN. Any questions on this side?
Mr. Fish. Just a minute. The witness is a personal friend of mine, and I want to thank him for coming all the way from Chicago, and Í presume at his own expense, and I hope that he will continue his fight to keep this country out of war.
The CHAIRMAN. And the Chair wishes to state that we are very much interested in your reading of that poem, and I know that anyone listening to you read that beautiful poem knows that you read it from your heart, and I thank you very, very much.
Mr. GRACE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. STATEMENT OF GEORGE H. CLESS, JR., OF GLENS FALLS, N. Y.
The CHAIRMAN. Our next witness is Mr. George H. Cless, Jr. Have you a prepared statement?
Mr. Cless. Yes, sir; I have.
The CHAIRMAN. You may either stand or be seated as you wish, Mr. Cless. Do you wish to identify yourself?
Mr. Class. Gentlemen, Mrs. Rogers and gentlemen of the committee, my name is George H. Cless, Jr., of Glens Falls, N. Y.
Mr. FISH. May I interrupt just a minute? We had intended, as you probably know, to put you on the stand at a night session, where we had expected a rather large gathering, a large number of the press, but due to certain circumstances beyond our control, we had to proceed, and I want to tender my apologies for the smaller attendance than would have been here later on.