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And I am sure that these can be easily agreed to because of the fact that, in this extreme emergency we must not be handicapped in carrying out this plan to aid England in the speediest way.
Now it is easy to see, if every person has his own way, that the whole thing would be over before anything would be done. It is a matter of speed and speed and more speed in the most practical possible way.
I believe that I have stated and felt as deeply about the respective functions of the Government as almost any person, and I feel that way very profoundly. I would not myself knowingly become a party to any act or acts that would be destructive of our system of government.
So, it is a question of dealing with a most grave and extremely urgent emergency problem, and the spirit in which it is dealt with could conceivably determine the course of the fight around the British Isles.
That is the problem we have, and I hope that everyone may, in the spirit of this situation, see his way clear to sitting down with each other and, keeping in mind that problem, make sure that the Nation adopts a course of action that will do what this measure proposes to do.
That is the principle. The reason I do not go into details now is that I have agreed with the Secretary of the Treasury that he would discuss the detailed provisions of the bill.
Mr. Eaton. Of course, we all understand that in the very complexity of this difficult and uncertain world situation, nothing but infinite wisdom could find the correct answer to most of the problems involved. But you think that we can accomplish the purposes of this bill without violating the fundamental concepts of the Constitution?
Secretary Hull. When I used to be a Member of Congress every person was a very profound constitutional lawyer. I do not know whether they all still are or not, but if each one is, of course, the war would be over before they could agree. Do not misunderstand me for a moment about the extreme importance of not pushing this measure through without such consideration, such full and careful consideration as you should give to it, and I am sure will give to it. But I think that you will have to have the principle of the measure and enough of its provisions to prevent the handicapping of this undertaking
Mr. EATON. Thank you.
Mr. Tinkham. Mr. Secretary, I want to read an article to you and ask you to comment on it.
This is a bill for the destruction of the American Republics. It is a bill for an unlimited dictatorship with power of the possessor and leave of the American people. With power to make war and allies for war. With this power Mr. Roosevelt could do almost anything, notwithstanding, as is provided: "The provision of any other law.”
Mr. Roosevelt's power to do anything that he pleases with the person and property of an American citizen, to aid any governments he pleases, to aid in any conflict which he chooses to make his own, would be unlimited.
Under this bill, Mr. Roosevelt might from time to time promulgate such rules and regulations as may be necessary and proper to carry out any of the provisions of this act, and he may exercise any power or authority conferred upon him by this act through such departments, agencies, or offices as he shall direct. From that American dictatorship will arise. Congress is asked to abdicate. All other laws are to be suspended. “Mr. Roosevelt decides, and his decision is final.
I ask your comment on that statement.
Secretary Hull. I imagine the author of that statement will be reading it when England is conquered and South America is conquered, if such should unfortunately happen, without the thought of any particular method of dealing with the situation.
Mr. TINKHAM. In other words, you evade answering directly and categorically that statement?
Secretary Hull. Except to say that according to my best information there were numerous people in Holland and Belgium and Poland reading just such statements to their Parliaments that are now under the domination of Germany.
Mr. TINKHAM. Is the Secretary so unfamiliar with the geography of Europe as to reason that the United States, and the great southern people, who on the one side are protected by 3,000 miles of ocean, and on the other side by 6,000 miles, are in the same position as some country with a short sea route from the centers of Europe?
Secretary Hull. Well I would rather leave that question to the military experts.
Mr. TINKHAM. In other words you evade that question? Secretary HULL. Well, I would rather leave that to the experts.
The CHAIRMAN. I would suggest that the member be a little more considerate in his interrogation of the witness.
Mr. TIN KHAM. But he does not answer.
MR. TINKHAM. I have read this statement and he does not answer, does not wish to comment on it.
The CHAIRMAN. That is all right.
Secretary Hull. The Congressman understands my system and I understand his system, I think, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. TINKHAM. May I ask you, Mr. Secretary, whether you or your office drew this bill?
Secretary Hull. I have stated three times here that the Treasury Department drew up this bill. And that is why, when I noticed that you have not observed the statements I have already made, I am not more careful about answering you now.
Mr. TINKHAM. In other words, you did not draw the bill in your own Department?
Secretary HULL. That is what I have said several times.
Mr. TINKHAM. Now, of course, you are premier, as it were, of the Cabinet, and do you mean to say or imply that you were not consulted before the bill was drawn?
Secretary HULL. Oh, I have been consulted in connection with most of these matters that pertain to foreign affairs. This was primarily a matter that relates to the speeding up of production and the development of maximum amounts, primarily for disposal for all possible assistance to Britain, and naturally the Treasury, the Army, and the Navy are here to give you full information on that phase of it.
Mr. TINKHAM. In other words, although the bill covers our foreign relations, making commitments of immense importance on our foreign affairs, you say it constitutes a fiscal bill rather than a foreign policy bill.
Secretary Hull. It is a fiscal bill, in its provisions, except the situation I dealt with in my statement, and I frankly dealt with all provisions relating to the law, and I also sought to discuss before the committee here all of the developments of the past 8 years leading up to the question of danger. That is my primary function.
I would be glad to come back here and go over the items in detail if the situation would be helped by a discussion of the financial and other phases.
Mr. TINKHAM. I might say that as a member of the committee I am interested very little in the financial side, but I am very importantly interested in the comments relating to international policy which are more devastating
Secretary Hull. As I say, the Treasury is here to talk over the finances.
Mr. TINKHAM. But I want to talk to you.
Secretary Hull. I do not know but what I have spoken over my time already.
Mr. TINKHAM. I hope you will give plenty of time to answering the questions I desire to propound to you.
You have continuously talked about the support for law and morality. May I ask you how it is possible for you to talk of law and morality and I am certainly for those principles-when you have proposed before this Committee that in effect all international law be done away with, because in a fight there are breaches of it, but no hostile act against us which involves the principles of international law?
I think I am correct in what you stated, that we have not had a cause for war as yet, and we are not in the situation we were in during the World War, when we had a different status and under international law, to sail the seas. How can you propose and how can you support this as a principle of law and morality and then say that our international law is abolished, so far as the United States is concerned?
Secretary HULL. No; that is just what I have not said.
Mr. Johnson. Mr. Chairman, I make the point of order that the gentleman should ask specific questions relating to the matter before
Mr. TINKHAM. I have asked a question and he said he had not made the statement.
Mr. JOHNSON. Well, let the record speak for itself, as he said.
Secretary Hull. It is entirely agreeable to me for him to proceed in his own way.
Mr. Tinkham. You have said it is the policy of the United States to defend any country that is attacked by the present governments that are now belligerents, and I asked you whether or not I am to understand that means in defense of what would be other democracies, or whether that is to be limited to so-called democracies, or is to extend to any other country that is attacked?
Secretary Hull. I have tried to make myself clear to the committee that certain nations, repudiating all laws, all standards of conduct
that ordinarily prevail, have entered on a world movement of conquest by force with a view of subjugating people wherever they can get to them, and imposing on them à tyrranical system of treatment and of government. It is in that connection that violent attack has been made on the British Isles by these forces of world conquest; and that we should, before the movement gets into our midst, begin to resist, by aiding to every practical extent these peaceful nations that have been attacked and are resisting as fully as possible. I think that is a question that the Congress wants to consider.
Mr. TINKHAM. In other words, we have been extending our help to democracies, to any country, to any people that are attacked; am I correct?
Secretary Hull. I have just stated the case.
Secretary Hull. I am talking about the movement of the three nations, parties to the Tri-Partite Pact.
Mr. TINKHAM. Do I understand that if Russia is attacked the United States will extend the same help that it will to England?
Secretary HULL. That is so theoretical I think it would not help to discuss it.
Mr. TINKHAM. I do not think it is theoretical at all.
The CHAIRMAN. Well the Secretary says it is. That is your answer, Mr. Tinkham.
Secretary Hull. The first question would come up whether a country needed help or would accept help.
The CHAIRMAN. Proceed, Mr. Tinkham.
I desire to ask you this question, whether or not you personally and as Secretary of State are in favor of American ships running or aiding in breaking the blockade either of Germany or of England?
Mr. Johnson. I object. That has no relation to the bill.
Mr. TINKHAM. Is it not an important matter to discuss, Mr. Secretary?
Secretary Hull. Well, my statement here would get to a foreign capital in about 50 minutes; that is what it would mean if I discussed it with you here. You are not concerned about that phase of it. I am, and I cannot help it.
Mr. TINKHAM. But it is not a question of the attitude of a foreign capital, it is a question of our relationship to all Americans who want to know what policies are being made or adopted under this bill.
Secretary Hull. I have given a definite statement here of the scope and nature and extent of the present policy relating to the situation of danger.
Mr. TINKHAM. Is it your same answer to the next question, namely; our convoying American ships with our Navy?
Secretary HULL. I discuss these questions all the time. I discuss any question with anybody who comes around and desires to discuss them. Upon some
Mr. TINKHAM (interposing). But you would
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Tinkham, the Secretary should be permitted to answer the question.
Mr. TINKHAM. I think he should. I agree with you. I thought he had finished.
Secretary Hull. Mr. Chairman, I would just like to make it clear again that I think virtually every member of the committee recognizes what I think of the proprieties in the discussion of foreign policy. We have here representatives of newspapers from every part of the world. It is their duty to report everything as they interpret it, not perhaps as I interpret it. I am obligated to the Government, if my colleague there is or is not, to be a little bit circumspect in discussing all details of just any question that some interrogator might bring up.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Secretary, the Chair will state this: If any question is asked by any of the members of the committee which the Secretary does not feel he should answer during an open session, the committee will immediately go into executive session so that the Secretary can feel sure that he will be protected in that way. Mr. Tinkham, the Chair hopes that you will confine yourself to the bill and to the subject matter of the bill.
Mr. TINKHAM. I am certainly confining myself to the bill which I believe involves these very things.
The CHAIRMAN. That is very well. Please proceed.
Mr. TINKHAM. I want to ask the Secretary, if the fact that the President since the presidential campaign, has never mentioned the phrase "short of war," has any significance?
Secretary Hull. I think you had better ask the question about that of him. He has a sort of way of taking care of himself when you ask questions.
The CHAIRMAN. The chairman feels that is not confining yourself to the bill.
Mr. TINKHAM. Let me ask this question: Does the Secretary think we will give all the financial aid without recompense, because in the bill it allows the President, as I remember it, in effect, not to demand any payment for what is done. I can read the text of the bill if the Secretary wants me to-having done all of those things, does the Secretary think that if those who are being helped are still wavering or retreating does it not mean of necessity and is it not implicit in that policy of help, finally to furnish manpower?
Secretary Hull. I have not heard that discussed by anybody.
Mr. TINKHAM. I gave him an opportunity of answering in any other way that he wants to.
The CHAIRMAN. I know, but the Secretary has answered that question, Mr. Tinkham, and that is his answer.
Secretary Hull. I have not discussed it nor thought of it. Mr. TINKHAM. Do you not think, Mr. Secretary, you should think of the implication of the policy of this bill in its final analysis and its final effect?
Secretary HULL. Well, if you want to confine it just to the bill instead of dragging in all these other things, the bill definitely pre