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Mr. TINKHAM. May I ask you, with your knowledge of the laws, whether it does not devolve upon the President more and greater powers than have ever been devolved upon a President except in the World War and possibly in excess of those powers granted in the World War?
Secretary HULL. Oh, when you go back even to the Civil War you will find there were some people talking just as you are now.
Mr. TINKHAM. Well, perhaps they were right.
Mr. TINKHAM. Events can only determine that fact, as you well know.
May I ask you if this bill does not give the President full powers: and authority back of those powers to act in relation to fixing the foreign policy of the United States in any part of the world?
Secretary HULL. The President under the Constitution is entrusted with the responsibility of conducting our foreign relations with other countries.
Mr. TINKHAM. Yes; but this legislation attempts to avoid the necessity of having the President come to the Congress and receive the required approval of the representatives of the people in many instances. I know the President has the right to make what commitments he can up to what he may wish regarding a treaty, and then he must submit it to the Senate and the representatives of the people to act. And here do you not think that he is given the right to enter what amounts to military alliances without any Senate action? And he is also given here the power to implement, which is more important still, those policies which otherwise he would not have without the legislation?
Secretary HULL. I think I have often said to many persons that the Government is not a party to any secret treaty or understanding or alliance of any kind. This is and has been its fixed policy known to every person who cares to know. And I have little doubt that this will continue to be its policy.
Mr. TINKHAM. Have you ever had drawn to your attention, speaking of that, the statement of Winston Churchill on March 8, 1938, in which he made a statement that the British Navy, with an understanding with the United States if war should come, would be greater and stronger than it was in 1914?
Mr. JOHNSON. Mr. Chairman
Secretary Hull (interposing). Oh, that is merely a general expression. It does not purport to contain any understanding or any agreement of any kind.
Mr. TINKHAM. You do not think he was justified in making that statement?
Secretary HULL. Why, of course, he was not, if it implied any kind of agreement.
Mr. Tinkham. Well, his language certainly did. It was explicit.
Secretary Hull. Any time those things get to bothering you, if you will just drop in my office I could give you relief very soon.
Mr. Tinkham. I thank you for your invitation, but I should think I was coming, if I accepted, into a hostile office.
Secretary Hull. I would feel that I was welcoming a long-lost and erring friend.
Mr. TINKHAM. To speak on the personal side; certainly not on the international policy side.
Now, I want to know, Mr. Secretary, whether under the terms of this bill, and you have read it, of course, the President can give away any part of the United States Navy?
Secretary Hull. Oh, that is such a violent assumption I am surprised that even you would want to take up time to discuss it.
Mr. TINKHAM. It seems to me it is implicit. I do not want to read the bill, but it seems to me it is quite implicit in the language as drawn. I could read the bill. Is the bill here?
Secretary Hull. I say, it is such a violent assumption that anybody would try to give away a dreadnought.
Mr. TINKHAM. Mr. Secretary, we are in days when the most violent assumptions are liable to be the correct assumptions.
Let me draw your attention to section 3 of part 2 of the bill, which gives the President the right to sell, transfer, exchange, lease, rent, or otherwise dispose to any such government any defense article. Does not that give him the right, so far as the language is concerned, to transfer naval vessels?
Secretary Hull. I did not take issue about that phase. I said that was so violent an assumption. It is out of reason to imagine any President officially or individually would think of giving away a dreadnought. I would like to say that this is a simple, frank formula for giving the maximum amount of aid, military aid, to Britain in the way of supplies.
Mr. TINKHAM. Oh, but it is in the language of the bill.
Secretary Hull. I have not heard the critics offer any definite substitute plan. Now, as to amendments, naturally amendments are always offered and discussed, but I have not heard any such proposal offered by the critics who have your shade of opinion on this general subject of foreign relations.
Mr. TINKHAM. Do I understand that the Secretary has no objection as long as the point has been raised to putting in a clause which forbids the transfer of naval vessels?
Secretary Hull. I am going to leave that to the Army and Navy and the collaboration of those who will be in charge of this bill and who are desirous of securing legislation for this purpose. I am sure they will develop the matter in a manner satisfactory to themselves if they do not to others.
Mr. TINKHAM. May I say that a transfer of naval vessels would be of such international import and policy import that you should certainly have an opinion on it?
Secretary HULL. Well, if you take the naval vessels, you would include a little vessel worth probably $500. It would include a large list of mosquito type of naval craft. And you are asking me to generalize from a dreadnought, for example, to every kind and type of naval craft no matter how minor and how insignificant. Of course, I am going to leave that matter to the practical judgment of those who are here in both Houses of Congress and in the War and Navy Departments and in the White House who are desirous, seriously desirous, of working out a practical answer to those questions.
Mr. TINKHAM. Well, it seems to me that you as the chief
Mr. JOHNSON. Mr. Chairman, I object to the gentleman from Massachusetts referring to that. The Secretary has answered the question.
Mr. TINKHAM. He has not answered.
Mr. Johnson. Not satisfactorily possibly to the gentleman, but he has answered it.
The CHAIRMAN. The Chair sustains the point of order, Mr. Tinkham, and you will kindly proceed in order. I may say for the benefit of the committee, it is getting rather late and the Secretary has been on the witness stand for a long time, and we are going to adjourn in a few minutes.
Mr. TINKHAM. If the Secretary will come back I have a number of questions I want to ask him which I think I am entitled to ask him.
The CHAIRMAN. You certainly are entitled to ask questions, Mr. Tinkham. We do not want to foreclose you of your right to ask questions,
Mr. TINKHAM. No; but have the Secretary come back.
Mr. TINKHAM. If he will come back some time, I do not care when, as long as I am given the right to ask questions and have them answered or denied.
The CHAIRMAN. Please go ahead and ask them and we will see if we cannot get through this morning, but do not repeat the same question so often.
Mr. TINKHAM. Mr. Secretary, the President and you have taken numerous actions, certainly not in conformity with the principles of neutrality. Does not this bill, if it is passed, practically, and to all intents and purposes, approve of those acts and allow them and further acts within the four corners of the bill to be perpetrated?
Mr. Johnson. Mr. Chairman, I object. The gentleman has already answered the question what effect this bill would have on neutrality and this is simply a repetition and another form of the same question.
Mr. TINKHAM. I am sorry that my mind does not run exactly in the groove of the honorable representative from Texas. But it seems there are various phases of this very important and delicate question that can be put in different language. And I want to use that language.
Mr. Johnson. The point I am making is that the gentleman asked the question a moment ago and he is simply asking it in another form. Does not that sustain the supposition that he has been asking and that the question has been answered? The gentleman has certainly had very full opportunity.
Mr. TINKHAM. Will you state if you are familiar with the Alabama International Decisions?
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Tinkham, what has that got to do with the bill under consideration?
Mr. JOHNSON. It is immaterial.
Mr. Fish. I think that is one of the most important questions to be asked. Mr. Tinkham has not finished his question. Let him finish and then the Secretary can answer.
The CHAIRMAN. Let's have him finish the question then and see if the Secretary wants to answer it.
Mr. TINKHAM. You are familiar with the Alabama International Adjudications?
Secretary HULL. I beg your pardon?
Mr. TINKHAM. Are you familiar with the Alabama International Adjudications?
Secretary HULL. Suppose you refresh my mind by stating what they are.
Mr. TINKHAM. Well, the Alabama Adjudications were that any boat outfitted in a neutral country or country that said it was neutral or asserted its neutrality, if finally sent to sea after notification that it was a belligerent boat and outfitted at sea and then preyed upon the commerce of another country, that damages should be given to the country upon whose commerce it preyed. It is a very wellknown international case.
Assuming that this is the case, as I have stated it, very roughly, to be sure, does not this legislation entirely abrogate the principles of law that must have been involved in the Alabama case?
Secretary Hull. There is not much for me to say further on this question of neutrality. I have said we have been fighting for neutrality during these past years and urging each country now playing a lawless role to observe it. They have departed entirely from it. We are still clinging to the form and shadows of neutrality, but we are not going to allow that consideration to chloroform us into a policy of inactivity in the way of preparing our national defense.
Mr. TINKHAM. But you propose in this bill, if I understand it, to allow not only the outfitting but the repairs of vessels contrary to international law and contrary to the precedent of the Alabama claims and the Alabama International case. And it seems to me that we abrogate the principles of the Alabama case if we do that. My question to you was whether you thought we did or not.
Secretary HULL. If the belligerent governments ignore all neutrality laws and the law on which the Alabama case rested, then we will undertake to respond to the law of self-preservation when that is more immediate and calling for affirmative action.
Mr. TINKHAM. In other words, international law is no longer to apply to our policy and our actions although we have not been attacked and no hostile act has been committed against us? Am I correct?
Secretary Hull. There is no occasion, there are no facts on which to apply neutrality
when the law of self-defense comes ahead. Mr. TINKHAM. We have not been attacked, Mr. Secretary, have we? Secretary Hull. That is what they said in Holland and Poland. Mr. TINKHAM. Well, as I mentioned, they were little countries. They were across an imaginary boundary line and we have 3,000 miles of ocean between us. We have a splendid Navy. We have a growing air force, and what applied to Holland and Belgium and Denmark and Norway in the essence of things cannot be, in my opinion, applied to the United States in any way.
Secretary Hull. I must protest against the complacency that you manifest.
Mr. TINKHAM. There is no complacency, I assure you. There is quite the reverse of complacency. I am intensively and actively opposing what I believe is a movement toward war by this legislation.
Secretary HULL. It is the best possible assurance in the state of danger confronting us from different angles against being drawn into war.
Mr. TINKHAM. You and I, of course, differ there profoundly. I am for neutrality and you are for intervention. Not only intervention
The CHAIRMAN. No, no, no; Mr. Tinkham.
Mr. TINKHAM. Perhaps that is going too far. It is all right. I do not care. It will not make any difference to me.
The CHAIRMAN. I know, but I think the Secretary has been very considerate in answering any question. Please do not put words in his mouth.
Mr. TINKHAM. I think he has answered very few of them.
Mr. ARNOLD. I was very considerate in not taking too much time. I thought everyone on the committee would be given an opportunity to question the Secretary. I wonder if the distinguished gentleman from Massachusetts would not reserve some of his questions for future witnesses.
Mr. TINKHAM. I feel that he is the principal witness because he fixes and represents the foreign policy of the United States and he is now before us. If he is willing to come again, of course, I will postpone my questions to any date or any time convenient to him. But I do think that as a member of this committee I should ask every question I think is pertinent in relation to war or peace in the United States.
The CHAIRMAN. That is very true but please do not continue asking the same questions over and over again when the Secretary has already answered them.
Secretary HULL. Mr. Chairman, may I make a statement?
Secretary Hull. In view of the value of time to all of us, would it be pertinent to inquire whether instead of keeping all the committee here the gentleman from Massachusetts might suspend in order to allow other members to ask any questions they have and then, at some time convenient to you and to myself and to any others who may desire to attend, we can go further?
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, Mr. Secretary, that will be perfectly satisfactory.
Mr. TINKHAM. That will be perfectly satisfactory to me if the Secretary will return here to the public hearing.
The CHAIRMAN. The Secretary has made that statement.
Mr. TINKHAM. And I can ask him those questions. That will be perfectly satisfactory.
The CHAIRMAN. Mrs. Rogers.
Mrs. Rogers. Mr. Secretary, I think you know how extremely glad I am that you are here.
Secretary Hull. Thank you.
Mrs. ROGERS. I have been with this committee in the past, as you know, and I endeavor to be kept fully informed as to our international affairs. I have asked repeatedly before that you, the Secretary of State, and others appear before the committee.
Secretary Hull. I am so glad that you do me the honor to come to my office frequently to discuss foreign affairs.
Mrs. ROGERS. I have come to your office and I have enjoyed those conversations very much.
I feel the entire committee should be given the valuable information you have at your command.
Secretary Hull. I think you know that it is not possible for me to give a blueprint ahead in times like these. But I can, in a much more quiet way than before everybody, say things that I could not otherwise say.