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Mrs. ROGERS. You have had a very vast experience in international affairs as Secretary of War, then as Secretary of State before this, and now again as Secretary of War. Certainly, your views should be given great consideration, and I earnestly plead with the chairman and the committee that I may be allowed to complete my questions to you, and that the gag rule be not applied.
The CHAIRMAN. The Chair objects to that.
The CHAIRMAN. The Chair wishes to state that he has not interfered in the matter of time allowed members for asking questions. The Chair further wishes to state that there has been nothing done by the Chair to show that there is any disposition to have a gag rule. If the members will proceed in order and ask questions pertaining to the bill, the Chair will allow as much time as he possibly can. There are 22 members yet to ask questions of the Secretary. Mr. Tinkham has occupied approximately 50 minutes. If that is an application of a gag rule, then the Chair does not understand what a gag rule is. Mrs. Rogers, kindly proceed in order.
Mrs. ROGERS. A parliamentary inquiry.
Mrs. ROGERS. Does it not seem fair to give every one of the 22 members plenty of time for asking questions? The Chairman has stated
The CHAIRMAN. That is not a parliamentary inquiry. The Chairman has already stated many times that he is going to give all the time necessary if you will only speak about the bill and ask questions on the bill. If statements are going to be read that have been published in newspapers, and if an objection is made to that the Chair will sustain the objection.
Mrs. ROGERS. I would like to state that I did not ask to read any statements.
The CHAIRMAN. The lady referred to the Chair's decision as being a "gag rule" and the Chair objected to that. There is no desire on the
part of the Chair or the committee to have a gag rule and the Chair objected to the statement. The lady will proceed in order.
Mrs. ROGERS. Mr. Secretary, of course you realize just as I do that in questioning you we may take up 50 minutes or even a longer time. But you realize, Mr. Secretary, that if we get into the war more completely than we are in today, we may occupy the floor of battle for 20 to 30 years.
Secretary STIMSON. Mrs. Rogers, may I say in my own defense that I have not objected to the time that has been taken.
Mrs. ROGERS. I know that, Mr. Secretary.
Secretary Stimson. I have tried to be patient, and I think I have succeeded.
Mrs. ROGERS. I know you wish to answer every question, and that you want us to have most complete and full information.
Mr. Eaton. Mr. Chairman, may I register an objection at this point ?
The CHAIRMAN. If the lady will yield.
Mr. Eaton. I want to protest against this intercommittee warfare being substituted for a discussion of the greatest crisis that has ever
confronted the world. I would like to see this warfare within the committee itself reduced to a minus term.
The CHAIRMAN. The Chair objects to the term “warfare.” The Chair has been very fair, and we will proceed in the same way. But the Chair must insist, in the protection of the witness as well as in the conservation of time, that members proceed in order and ask questions that pertain to the bill.
Mrs. Rogers. Mr. Secretary, do you not feel that the President's message to the Congress, plus the provisions of this bill, if carried out as the bill is written, and assuming the President's recommendations are carried out-do you not feel that we would be embarking on a program of policing the world in defense of the so-called democracies?
Secretary STIMSON. Why, Mrs. Rogers, quite to the contrary, I think it would have just the opposite tendency. I think it would tend, so far as it has any influence, to keeping the control of what we did, as I tried to explain yesterday, down to the single question of our own national defense. I am speaking with all seriousness, because I have no more desire to have this country get into war than you have. I think that it would tend in the direction of the greatest safety of this country, and a greater prevention of the danger of war. I think that is all I need to say.
Mrs. ROGERS. Did not the gentleman in reading the opinion of certain international experts yesterday before the committee prove that he felt that we were justified in entering the war?
It was very difficult to hear everything yesterday, Mr. Secretary, and to grasp the full intent of your remarks.
Secretary STIMson. Certainly nothing that I read could, I believe, be so construed. What I read was the interpretation of the KelloggBriand Pact by a body of eminent lawyers whose efforts have been in the support of international law and took that direction in the direction of peace.
I read it because so many people have been saying rather loosely that whatever might be done by a group of nations who have disregarded international law and recently have disregarded this great treaty, the Kellogg-Briand Pact still leaves them surrounded and protected by international law. Now these lawyers in Budapest had just the opposite opinion, and I wanted to show it to you.
Mrs. ROGERS. They have the opinion that the Kellogg-Briand Peace Pact is in harmony with aiding Britain?
Secretary Stimson. I did not get the question.
Secretary STIMSON. That is the matter of such aid was not an infringement of international law; that is right.
Mrs. ROGERS. And in this case, so far as a declaration of war was concerned, England and France declared war, did they not?
Secretary STIMSON. Yes; but they declared war for the particular reason of the aggression against Poland, and the action taken by the British was thus in accordance with the law.
Mrs. ROGERS. Is it not true, Mr. Secretary, that since the Kellog Pact, the so-called Kellog-Briand Peace Pact, or the Pact of Paris, that wars are not declared any more; few wars have been declared since that time; nations just fight without a declaration.
Secretary STIMSON. I think that is true. That is why, I think, Mrs. Rogers, a great deal of this discussion of rules, the old rules of international law, has rather lost its savor. As Mr. Hull said the other day, recent events have made paramount the laws of self-defense, and I said, as you probably remember, that I fully agreed with what Mr. Hull said in that respect. But I said that even if international law had not been thus subordinated, violator nations had no right under the Kellog-Briand Pact to wrap themselves in its tatters for protection and to claim that other nations were fettered by it.
Mrs. RoGERS. Mr. Secretary, do you not feel that Hitler's action in transferring Germans from the territory of Alsace and Posen proves that he knows that he cannot assimilate other people, and surely not Americans?
Secretary STIMSON. Mrs. Rogers, I do not know, and I do not see that it has anything to do with the bill. Mrs. ROGERS. I think it has to do with our national defense and
hat may happen to us later, Mr. Secretary. You have stated that you thought that Germany could invade this country.
Secretary STIMSON. I am sorry, Mrs. Rogers. Perhaps, I did not catch your question.
Mrs. ROGERS. May I read my questions again?
Mrs. ROGERS. Do you not feel that Hitler's action relative to transfer of Germans from Alsace and Posen proves to you that he knows he cannot assimilate other people, and surely not Americans? Therefore he would never try to assimilate us and would not go very far invading this country or attempting to do so.
Secretary STIMSON. What have I said, Mrs. Rogers, to deserve bringing on myself that accusation ?
Mrs. ROGERS. It was not intended as an accusation.
I never intended to say yesterday that I thought that Hitler was going to try to assimilate us.
Mrs. ROGERS. But you did say he was going to-
Mrs. ROGERS. Would you be willing to state again why you thought he would attack us, or could attack us! I understood you to say that it was possible that you would be willing to tell the committee why you thought it was possible.
Mr. Johnson, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. JOHNSON. I think the witness went into that very carefully, and on the ground of repetition I further object.
The CHAIRMAN. The objection is sustained. Mrs. ROGERS. Mr. Secretary, are you satisfied with the progress of the defense program?
Secretary STIMSON. Do you mean the program or its fulfillment? Mrs. ROGERS. The progress of it. Secretary STIMSON. The progress of the program? Mrs. ROGERS. Yes. Secretary STIMSON. No; I am not satisfied at all. I wish we were all through now and ready, but we cannot be.
Mrs. ROGERS. Do you feel that as much has been done under the circumstances as could be?
Secretary STIMSON. Well, I know that all around me everybody has been doing as much as can be done, and I would rather not throw any bricks in any region which I do not know about.
Mrs. ROGERS. It seems to me, Mr. Secretary, there was a lack of coordination sometimes. And may I say here that I have found your officers, the men in the War Department, extremely courteous and extremely helpful whenever I have had occasion to go down there on questions of national defense.
Secretary STIMSON. I am very glad to hear that.
Mr. Secretary, you have stated that in 1917 France and England were the arsenals for the American Expeditionary Army. What about the weapons, such as rifles, pistols, machine guns, and material that we supplied our Army at that time?
Secretary STIMSON. We did not.
Mrs. ROGERS. And we also supplied a great many materials to France and Britain prior to our entry into the World War, did we not?
Secretary Stimson. The equipment you referred to is of two types, and your question pertains to when we went into the war and prior thereto.
Great Britain came over here and France came over here and did buy a number of munitions; I do not know what types.
But I do know very well that when we went into the war, in spite of our efforts to make machine guns and to make rifles and to make artillery and to make airplanes that our Army-and I can speak for my regiment—was almost wholly supplied with weapons that came, in our case, from France. Ours was an artillery regiment, and we used French soixante-quinze’s and used French ammunition; and that was used in every regiment, practically. That was true in practically every artillery regiment of the American Expeditionary Force.
With regard to rifles, we did not use a great many. We had some Springfields, but in addition to that, we were obliged to get from Great Britain some of the Enfields and use those and their ammunition.
And so far as airplanes were concerned, we were tremendously unprepared at the beginning. We made great appropriations at the very beginning of our entry into the war;
we were going to build Liberty engines and airplanes enough to darken the sky.
I know that all the planes that protected me when I was at the battle front were either British or French. And I am told—this is only hearsay on my part-I am told none of our planes got into action.
But, prior to our entry, we were acting somewhat as an arsenal for Great Britain and France, to the extent that they bought from some of our private manufacturers, not from the Government.
Mrs. ROGERS. But they used our supplies.
The CHAIRMAN. The chairman would like to state to the gentlewoman from Massachusetts that I do not want to have it appear that I am trying to prevent her from asking any questions or the Secretary from answering, but I do think that these questions, this line of questioning, is taking a great deal of time. If you want to pursue that course, let the lady go ahead and do it, but I do suggest that the lady confine herself particularly to the bill.
Mrs. ROGERS. Mr. Chairman, that is what I am trying to do.
The CHAIRMAN. I am not objecting; you go right ahead and I am willing to sit here as long as anyone else, but it is going to take a great deal of time and get no information of value to the
committee or anyone else. But if the gentlewoman from Massachusetts insists upon asking that line of questions I shall not say anything further unless objection is made.
Secretary STIMSON. Mr. Chairman, in line with what Mrs. Rogers said about the delay in our present efforts at preparedness, the longer I stay here on this matter the greater the danger there is of further delay.
The CHAIRMAN. I was about to say the same thing. Secretary STIMSON. Because I am very busy at this time. The CHAIRMAN. The Secretary of the Navy was to have been the witness this morning and has been awaiting the call of the committee, and he is being delayed and delayed and cannot make any appointments. If, however, the gentlewoman from Massachusetts wants to proceed that way I do not want to interrupt unless objection is made. If objection is made the chairman will have to sustain the objection.
Proceed, Mrs. Rogers.
Mrs. ROGERS. Mr. Chairman, Mr. Secretary, I should like to say in that connection that these questions are very vital, and I am asking these questions because I feel that had we been given enough information in the past as to the lack of preparedness we could have been thoroughly prepared. I have voted, for one, for every defense measure that has come up
The CHAIRMAN. The Chair will insist now on the regular order. Please kindly proceed, Mrs. Rogers.
Mrs. ROGERS. I do not want to keep the Secretary here any longer than necessary. One of the complaints is that our defense is weak, and I think we should know something about that, and I think this is the place to be asking the questions before we get into war.
The CHAIRMAN. The Chair is going to ask for unanimous consent of the committee that he be permitted to state what happened in executive session yesterday of the Foreign Affairs Committee with reference to the asking of questions, and the time of the members in asking questions. If there is no objection from any member the Chair would like to so state.
Mrs. ROGERS. Mr. Chairman.
Mrs. ROGERS. I shall object unless the Chair will permit me tu make a statement
The CHAIRMAN. Is there objection?
The CHAIRMAN. Well, the Chair will have to let the objection stand. He has been accused of making a ruling when there is a positive agreement made by all members, and objection is made to my giving a statement of what happened in executive session.
Mrs. ROGERS. I am perfectly willing to have you state what happened if you will give me permission to say what I said when we made the agreement.
The CHAIRMAN. Will you proceed in regular order?
Mrs. ROGERS. Do you think, Mr. Secretary, that if the bill is passed by the Congress it will eventually lead our country into this war?