Page images

Mr. TINKHAM. They have been accepted by the Government?

Secretary STIMSON. That is far different. The Government may have thought it wise to lean over in the direction of conciliatoriness, and yet you think that the Government is going to be truculent.

Mr. TINKHAM. May I ask you this question, and if you do not want to answer, you are absolutely under no compulsion to answer it: Do you think we should have declared war when the Panay was sunk? Mr. JOHNSON. I object, Mr. Chairman.

The CHAIRMAN. The Chair hopes the member will confine himself to the bill. That is not relevant to the bill. The Chair will allow the member all the time necessary, but he must insist that the member confine his questions to the bill under consideration.

Mr. TINKHAM. Let me say to the chairman that this bill is an allinclusive bill.

The CHAIRMAN. It is; but the question

Mr. TINKHAM. And we are talking about incidents that have occurred, as well as those that may occur, under this bill, that may involve us in war. It seems to me it is a very pertinent inquiry.

The CHAIRMAN. The Chair has no desire to prevent the member from asking as many questions as he would like, and for as long as he would like,

but he must insist that the questions be confined to the bill under consideration.

Mr. TINKHAM. I think that comes under the terms of this bill, but if the chairman thinks not, I will not proceed.

The CHAIRMAN. The Chair has ruled.

Mr. TINKHAM. I do not say that I will always be in agreement with the chairman on anything that he may rule.

Now, I think we are faced with this situation, and I would like to ask this question: There is in military history such a thing as a preventive war. Do you believe in the philosophy or the principle of a preventive war at any time!

Secretary STIMSON. I really do not know what you mean by a preventive war. It is not a phrase I have been accustomed to use.

Mr. TINKHAM. I hesitate to put it in this form, but if I have got to instruct the Secretary of War as to what a preventive war is, I will do so. A preventive war is one that comes about where a country, although not attacked, fears that it is going to be attacked at some time, and believing it is in a better position to make war at the particular moment, before a cause of war has arisen, finds a cause of war and makes the attack on the country that it thinks in the future is going to be its enemy. Throughout history there have been numerous instances of that character, and they have been known as preventive wars and so designated by the writers on the history

Secretary STIMSON. Thank you very much, Mr. Tinkham. Now I understand what you mean. And in the light of your explanation, I should say that Ì have not heard any suggestion of making any attack on the part of this country upon any belligerent for the purpose of preventing war.

Mr. TINKHAM. Mr. Secretary, I do not want to draw the line too thin, but when you declined yesterday to have a clause put in this bill that would prevent our warships going to England, implicit

of war.

in that was the occurrence of war under the present circumstances. May I ask you if that is your fixed opinion, that there should not be put into this bill a clause which would forbid our warships going into belligerent waters?

Secretary STIMSON. Yes; that is my opinion, most certainly. No one can foresee what situations might arise that will make it most essential, in the light of our defense—not offense—for our country to send its warships into what you call belligerent waters.

Mr. TINKHAM. May I ask you under what conditions, as you conceive them, we should send warships into belligerent waters without that being an offensive action?

Secretary STIMSON. Well, I do not think I care to indulge in speculation. That is too broad a field. But I say the thing might happen. I do not believe that this country should in any circumstances tie its hands behind its back.

Mr. TINKHAM. Even to keep out of war?

Secretary STIMSON. I think it would be perhaps one of the surest ways of getting into war or, at any rate, of getting into a position where we could

be safely attacked, and attacked under disadvantages. Mr. TINKHAM. May I say, Mr. Secretary, that I can conceive of nothing that could get us into war more quickly and more surely than sending our warships into belligerent waters.

Secretary STIMSON. Why, Mr. Tinkham, you have not stated any of the circumstances that might have arisen beforehand; any of the attacks that might have been made upon us beforehand; any of the events which might have arisen to show that we were on the point of being attacked, in other ways. There are countless circumstances, and I do not care to speculate on them.

Mr. TINKHAM. You are in favor of the United States remaining at peace, if possible, are you not?

Secretary Stimson. I am, certainly. But I am in favor also of its remaining in a state of complete readiness in case, contrary to its desire, it should be forced to defend itself by military action.

Mr. TINKHAM. Of course, you know I am not a pacifist at all, but, on the other hand, I think you know that we ought to avoid any involvement in this war, either in Asia or in Europe.

Now, still in relation to warships, do you think that our warships should convoy American ships to England ?

Secretary ŠTIMSON. Let me say first that nothing in this bill touches upon that question at all, and I would like to ask whether the chairman wishes to have that discussed in the light of his previous ruling.

Mr. JOHNSON. Mr. Chairman, I object to the gentleman going into things that are not covered by the bill, because it would lead us far afield.

The CHAIRMAN. The objection is sustained.

Mr. Fish. Wait a moment, Mr. Chairman; when the Chair says the objection is sustained

The CHAIRMAN. The Chair has ruled that the objection is sustained.

Mr. FISH. The objection to what? The CHAIRMAN. That the question is out of order. And if you wish to appeal from the decision of the Chair, you may do so. The Chair has ruled that the question is entirely out of order.

Mr. Fish. That there is no reference to convoys in the bill?
The CHAIRMAN. Where is it?

Mr. FISH. The President has the power under the bill. That is what I would like to argue.

The CHAIRMAN. The Chair has ruled, and if you wish to appeal from the decision of the Chair, you may do so.

Mr. Fish. Do you mean to say we are to be prevented from mentioning the question of convoys in the committee, in the discussion of this bill?

Mr. JOHNSON. Mr. Chairman, Mr. Tinkham asked the witness whether or not he was in favor of convoying American ships to England, and the witness replied that the bill contained no such authority. Mr. Tinkham proceeded to ask him what his opinion was, and I think that is getting too far afield, covering a matter that is not, as the witness says, involved in the bill.

Mr. TINKHAM. In other words, Mr. Secretary, I am to understand that you do not want to make any further statement on that point ?

Secretary STIMSON. Not here today.

Mr. TIN KHAM. Not here today. Now, have you thought through to the end, and a logical end, what will occur if this legislation as it is now before us is passed and the President is given the authority that he asks, and war occurs—have you thought through to the fact that if the nations we are to assist under the terms of this bill and under his discretion as contained in the bill, are being defeated, or have wavered, it means that our manpower must go to Asia and to Europe under those conditions ?

Secretary STIMSON. Mr. Tinkham, I have thought through this bill so far as I could with my limited mental powers, but I have not seen any of the other elements that you put into your question. Yesterday I tried to state in my opening statement what this bill meant, what the powers were that were intended and what they would make possible, and the benefits to our own preparation as well as to our own defense which would follow from it. That is as far as I have considered this bill.

Mr. TINKHAM. May I say, Mr. Secretary, that I have had experience in public office in the two last great wars. I am referring to the Spanish-American War and

Mr. JOHNSON. Mr. Chairman, again, I would like to remind my colleague that he is going into the field of his own opinion and his own experience, and that leads us into an interminable discussion. The gentleman has already consumed about 40 minutes.

Mr. TINKHAM. Whenever the management of this committee has suggested that I was improperly proceeding, I have been willing to

Mr. Johnson. Mr. Chairman, the gentleman is going into his own views and his own experience.

The CHAIRMAN. The Chair will state, Mr. Tinkham, that you have occupied the witness for nearly 30 minutes. The Chair is very willing to allow you to proceed to ask pertinent questions pertaining to the bill. Your experience in many wars will take up quite a time, and if you are going into that realm, we will have to rule that out of order. Please proceed in order.


Mr. TINKHAM. Let me say, Mr. Chairman, that I do not want to review my war experiences, and I do not intend to. But I was laying some ground for the competency of my question. But I will eliminate it.

May I put the question in this way, Mr. Secretary: If, under this bill, our resources are put behind England and behind China, which means in Europe and in Asia, and they are not sufficient, and China seems to be falling and England seems to be falling, is it not inherent, once having committed ourselves with all our resources, to send our manpower in order to maintain our dignity and our position.

Secretary STIMSON. I do not see that it would be from anything now before me at all a consequence that would necessarily follow from that. I think, on the contrary, it is the best bet we can make to save us from sending our manpower. That is my view. I may be mistaken. But I am very strongly and clearly of that view.

Mr. TINKHAM. I take exactly the opposite position, Mr. Secretary.

Now, if there is nothing in the bill to prohibit cargo convoys, would you object to having an amendment in the bill which forba de convoys by the American Navy to Great Britain, or to other countries?

Secretary STIMSON. I think the bill should stand as it does.
Mr. TINKHAM. In other words, you object to any such limitation ?

Secretary STIMson. I prefer the bill as it is, on the same principle that I said before. I think this Government of ours, the United States, should not tie its hands, or even its finger, in the face of the emergency that exists now; and all of these little things are in the nature of shackles which you would have put upon this Nation in a great emergency. No one can foresee whether or not that might not be very dangerous to it in an unforeseen emergency.

Mr. TINKHAM. In other words, anything looking toward peace, toward the possibility of our noninvolvement in the war, you do not want in the bill.

Secretary STIMSON. I submit that that is a very grossly unfair perversion of my statement.

Mr. TINKHAM. Let me read a statement that you made 2 days before you were nominated for Secretary of Wår. You made a radio address, and this was published in the Wall Street Journal of June 21:

To put the matter concretely, my recommendation would be that the following steps should immediately be taken:

First, we should repeal the provisions of our ill-starred so-called neutrality venture which have acted as a shackle to our true interests for over 5 years.

Second, we should throw open all of our ports to the British and French naval and merchant marine for all repairs and refueling and other naval services.

Third, we should accelerate by every means in our power the sending of planes and other munitions to Britain and France on a scale which would be effective, sending them if necessary in our own ships and under convoy.

Fourth, we should refrain from being fooled by the evident bluff of Hitler's so-called "fifth column" movements in South America. On the face of them, they are attempts to frighten us from sending help where it will be most effective.

Fifth, in order to assist the home front of Britain's defense we should open our lands as a refuge for the children and old people of Britain whose liability to suffering from air raids in Great Britain is a constant inducement to surrender to terms which she would otherwise resist.

Sixth, we should, every one of us, combat the defeatist arguments which are being made in this country as to the unconquerable power of Germany. I believe that if we use our brains and curb our prejudices we can, by keeping command of the sea, beat her again as we did in 1918.

The comment of the Wall Street Journal-
Mr. JOHNSON. Mr. Chairman, I object to the comment.

Mr. TINKHAM. Let me tell you this: that I am not going to be interfered with any longer. I am a member of this committee. If I want to read an article pertinent to this bill, I am going to do it and that is all there is to it.

Mr. JOHNSON. I make the point of order that the gentleman should not read the comment of the Wall Street Journal.

The CHAIRMAN. Members will kindly take their seats.

Mr. JOHNSON. The gentleman from Massachusetts asked the Secretary of War if he made a certain statement, and without giving the witness a chance to reply, he has undertaken to read a comment from the Wall Street Journal, to which I object.

The CHAIRMAN. The Chair is ready to rule. The objection is sustained. The Secretary, if he wishes, will answer the question, but outside comments are barred.

Mr. TINKHAM. As a member of this committee, I will read comments if I want to.

The CHAIRMAN. You may make comments, and there is no objection to your making comments, Mr. Tinkham. Please remember that you have occupied the floor now for about 40 minutes. The Chair has not objected to any pertinent questions, relevant to the bill. We are trying to finish and we hope you will ask the witness questions that the Secretary can answer. But we are not here to read comments from newspapers.

Mr. Secretary

Secretary STIMSON. Do I understand the question to be whether I made such a speech at that time!

Mr. TINKHAM. Did you make that statement ?

Secretary Stimson. I did. And I am sorry to say that my judg. ment then as to what might come in the character of perils to this country with the advance of time seems to have been fairly accurate.

The CHAIRMAN. May I ask, Mr. Tinkham, how much longer you wish to proceed?

Mr. TINKHAM. I want to proceed as long as it is necessary, Mr. Chairman. I want to say in relation to that, that if I am to be hampered in my questions apparently there is a desire on the part of this committee that I do not proceed further, then I will stop here and now.

The CHAIRMAN. I do not want that statement to remain in the record without an answer. The Chair has not in any way interfered with the gentleman from Massachusetts when he proceeded in order. There has been objection made to certain parts of questions on which the Chair has ruled. But if the gentleman does not wish any further time, I will recognize the lady from Massachusetts, Mrs. Rogers.

Mr. TINKHAM. I am through.
The CHAIRMAN. Mrs. Rogers.

Mrs. ROGERS. Mr. Secretary, I am extremely glad that you are appearing before us today.

Secretary Stimson. Thank you.

« PreviousContinue »