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are keenly anxious for our sympathetic cooperation, at least in the matter of supplies, in the struggle which impends. No time could be more propitious for the initiation of negotiations looking to the ceding to the United States, by Britain and France, of their West Indian islands. This would be an easy way to end the dispute over unpaid debts and provide an escape for these two countries from the penalties of the Johnson Act.
Now, Mr. Secretary, when I read the article I was in full agreement as to its soundness historically and in actuality. And I am today. I am asking you why you have repudiated those statements under the present circumstances.
Mr. Kxox. I am very glad to answer, Mr. Congressman.
Mr. Knox. I suppose that everyone in this room within the sound of my voice has radically changed a good many of his views in the last year and a half, especially the views on the subject which this article discusses.
And now, with respect to the character of the peace in force after the last war, I reiterate everything I said in that article.
With respect to Great Britain and France paying off their debts to us by ceding to us the West Indian islands, I think that still would be a good thing. I have forgotten what the other things were, but my alibi for the change which I now represent and which in my judgment is a sufficient alibi, would be what has transpired since the middle of 1939 when the article was published.
Mr. TINKHAM. That has not changed the geography of the Western World?
Mr. Kyox. The whole situation with reference to the world relationship has been changed since then.
Mr. TINKHAM. But it has not changed the geography or the principles ?
Mr. Knox. Yes; it has. It has changed principles very definitely.
Mr. TINKHAM. Will you point out how it has changed principles against the excellent statement you have made in that article, in principle?
Mr. Knox. Very well, I shall be glad to do so. At the time that article was written war had not even begun and we had not even the shadow of an idea of the type of war it would be. We had no real grasp then of the proportions of Hitler's ambitions and what he seeks to do. France was still a free land and had what was supposed to be the best army in the world. Belgium and Holland were still free. Norway had not been invaded and Denmark was still her own. All of those things have brought about a change in thinking, even in your mind, Mr. Congressman.
Mr. TINKHAM. Mr. Secretary, may I say this, that I have been here for 52 years and there is not a thing that has happened, I do not mean in detail, but I mean in principle, that I have not envisioned
Mr. Knox. I wish I had the time to listen to you.
Mr. TINKHAM. But I do not want to appear prophetic. There is not a thing that I did not envision as a result of the bill before us if it is ever passed. Namely, our manpower, if our material is not sufficient in support of England and of China, will be involved to numbers so much beyond the World War that there will be no comparison and the losses will be beyond the World War, to which also there will be no compari
son. And I am glad to state that publicly. That is why I am opposed to this bill, because our manpower must, as an inevitable consequence of our intervening in the way that it is proposed, go to Asia and go to Europe and go to Africa against the overwhelming sentiment and opposition of the American people.
The CHAIRMAN. Mrs. Rogers?
Mr. Secretary, Mr. Stimson admitted that he made a broadcast in which he said:
We should accelerate by every means in our power to send planes and other munitions to Great Britain and France on a scale which would be effective, sending them, if necessary, in our own ships and under convoys.
Are you in favor of that assertion?
Mrs. Rogers. Mr. Šecretary, I know you will believe we are just as much interested in our national defense as you are.
Mr. Knox. Of course. Mrs. ROGERS. And I think you will agree, Mr. Secretary, that Members of Congress must be worthy of their hire. There was an old saying that a man must be worthy of his hire. It seems to me if Members of Congress do not inform themselves completely before they act upon this far-reaching bill, that they will not be worthy of their hire. Do you not agree with me, Mr. Secretary! Mr. Knox. I quite agree. Mrs. ROGERS. Thank you.
Mr. Secretary, if this bill were passed and all the provisions of it carried out, plus the objectives which the President stated he wished to have carried out in his message to the Congress on January 6, do you not believe this country following all those provisions and suggestions in his message would be embarking upon a policy of policing the world?
Mr. Knox. No. I do not believe that.
Mrs. ROGERS. Will the gentleman state why he does not believe that?
Mr. Knox. I believe that this bill provides, and I believe the President intended in his message to the Congress to say we should help those nations where that assistance to those nations helped to defend the United States.
Mrs. ROGERS. I think in speaking of his objectives he spoke-I do not have it right before me to quote it accurately--but I think he said in substance that we must defend the democracies everywhere in the world and I think that constitutes policing the world; does it not?
Mr. Knox. That is not the purpose of this bill, Mrs. Rogers.
Mrs. ROGERS. Mr. Secretary, how does this bill help the United States to protect the British Navy? What provisions in the bill relate to the strengthening of the British Navy in your opinion?
Mr. Knox. Oh, there are a score of ways. They are buying over here equipment for their fleet. They are buying torpedoes. They are buying their planes for their carriers. They are buying ammunition for their guns, and in scores of ways.
Mrs. ROGERS. Do you consider a battleship or a destroyer of the Navy or any other naval vessel a boat?
Mr. KNOX. A sailor would not call it a boat.
Mrs. ROGERS. Mr. Secretary, we are seeking out the truth. I have read in newspapers and I have been also informed that some members of our Navy personnel crossed on the destroyers that were purchased by Great Britain. I assume the title passed to Great Britain before they left the shores of this country?
Mr. Knox. That is not true. They were taken over by the British completely in command, and with their own enlisted men.
Mrs. ROGERS. If they had been manned by some of the personnel of our Navy, that would be positively a clear violation of international law ?
Mr. Knox. I think some American newspaper men went over. Some reporters went over as the guests of the British.
Mrs. ROGERS. No sailors and none of the Navy personnel
Mrs. ROGERS. If they had been on those ships it would have been a clear violation of section 5.
According to section 2 of the proposed act, the term "defense article" is defined to include a "boat."
Now, under section 3, subsection 2, of the proposed act, the President is given the authority to sell, transfer, exchange, lease, lend, or otherwise dispose of to any such government any defense article. Under this provision do you believe that the President has the power to transfer the Navy or any part of it to any government?
Mr. Knox. I am not enough of a lawyer to determine whether that language would include a warship or not. But I know there is no possible chance of our Navy being transferred to any government.
Mrs. ROGERS. Well, the gentleman has great faith in human nature. I know that the gentleman has changed his mind in the past year and a half. He has just admitted it.
Mr. Knox. You will have to be satisfied with my answer. I do not think there is the remotest chance.
Mrs. ROGERS. That is what I wanted, Mr. Secretary; I wanted to know your opinion.
Mr. Secretary, doesn't it seem to you that perhaps you and a good many others who were in the very highest positions during the past years did not realize the great potentialities the German Government possessed for overriding and taking over other countries?
Mr. Knox. I think you are quite right. None of us did realize that.
The CHAIRMAN. Will you kindly speak a little louder?
Mrs. ROGERS. Many of us did not have that confidence. A number of us believed several years ago that the United States should strengthen our Army, build a two-ocean fleet, and construct and develop a powerful Air Corps.
Mr. Knox. I do not suppose there was any development that ever shocked military people all over the world more than the collapse of the French Army which was almost universally regarded as a fine Army with a wonderful staff-one of the best, if not the best in the world. Its complete collapse frightfully shocked the military people of the world.
Mrs. ROGERS. Why did it collapse?
Mr. Knox. I think it was more likely due to a lack of morale, and division at home.
Mrs. ROGERS. Was it not also due largely to the fact that they did not have the motorized equipment and the heavy tanks and the heavy machines of war?
The CHAIRMAN. Mrs. Rogers, the Chair believes that that has nothing to do with this bill. The Chair is perfectly willing that you take all your time, but please confine yourself to the questions involved in the bill.
Mrs. ROGERS. Will the Secretary state the exact power and the condition of the French Navy today as to their available ships? Is that secret?
Mr. Knox. No; I have not the data here. I can give it to you, or rather I can get it for you, Mrs. Rogers. We have it in the Department.
Mrs. ROGERS. I ask unanimous consent, Mr. Chairman, that that information be inserted in the record at this point.
The CHAIRMAN. I beg your pardon?
Mrs. ROGERS. I ask unanimous consent that the information that the Secretary of the Navy is willing to give us regarding the exact strength and power of the French Navy and the number of ships, and so on
Mr. Knox. In the French Navy, that is. Mrs. Rogers. In the French Navy, should be inserted in the record. The CHAIRMAN. Do you have any objection to that? Mr. Knox. I have no objection. NOTE.-France has as immediately effective units: 1 battleship, 1 aircraft carrier, 14 cruisers, 52 destroyers, 60 submarines. It is now reported that no new construction is contemplated.
Mrs. ROGERS. Mr. Secretary, in view of the fact that you have stated that France was weak in part because she did not have the motorized equipment, the tanks and so forth, do you not feel that we should write into this bill some provision that would protect this country from sending too many of her ships and our motorized equipment abroad?
Mr. Knox. Do you really want a frank answer to what is implied in your question ?
Mrs. ROGERS. Of course, Mr. Secretary.
Mr. Knox. I think France's defeat, if it can be attributed to one thing more than anything other than morale, was its disposition to build for a defensive war, or rather, plan a defensive war. Always, when your defenses fail and you have not planned for an offense to
relieve the defense, defeat is utter and complete. That is what happened in France.
Mrs. ROGERS. That is because of a lack of offensive tanks?
Mrs. ROGERS. So would you have any objection, Mr. Secretary, if we wrote a provision in the bill which would protect the defense materials, the tanks, ships, ammunition of the United States so we could have it for our home defense?
Mr. Knox. I would object to it because I do not want to get into too great detail in the specifications of the bill. There must be a wide opportunity for the exercise of judgment in the matter. Mrs. ROGERS. We might, however, work out something on that basis?
Mr. Knox. I like the bill as it stands. I would not amend it at all if I had my say,
Mrs. ROGERS. I should like very much to have a provision in the bill if the Secretary would have no objection.
Mr. Knox. I do object.
Mr. Knox. Yes. I think the bill was very carefully drafted to do the thing we want to do effectively. And that is to help Great Britain.
Mrs. ROGERS. But the Secretary stated that he had no objection to a time limit in the bill, say for 2 years or 1 year.
Mr. Knox. If it were left to me, I would not even put that in. But I have no objection to it.
Mrs. ROGERS. The Congress could be in continuous session and could act in 2 days or the next day if the emergency arose.
Mr. Knox. You do not properly appraise the conversational abilities of the Senate.
Mrs. ROGERS. I am very sure, Mr. Secretary, for I have great faith in their patriotism that if any immediate emergency arose they would act immediately and forget their partisanship.
Mr. Knox. I do not want to be understood as impugning the patriotism of the Senate. I have great respect for their ability for longwinded debate.
Mrs. ROGERS. Do you not believe that the bill should be amended so as to make sure our Navy will continue to remain under the American flag and supervision ?
Mr. Knox. I think no amendment for that purpose is necessary.
Mrs. ROGERS. Well, again, allowing for the human equation, does the Secretary strenuously object to having that provision in the bill!
Mr. Knox. Yes; I do not want any provision in the bill that will hamper or hinder our meeting of a crisis when it arises. I have not the slightest idea that the Navy or any part of the Navy will be transferred.
Mrs. Rogers. We are considering this bill, of course, which is supposed to be a bill for the national defense ?
Mr. Knox. I beg your pardon?
Mr. Knox. Yes.