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Mr. JARMAN. In other words, you feel the passage of the bill changes that? You just said that Congress would not declare war if the people were not ready for it. Do you think the passage of the bill would change that?
Mr. MacNIDER. I think it takes away the initiative from the Congress. It would be a fait accompli.
Mr. JARMAN. I believe that you said you did not believe in the danger of Germany invading and conquering the United States. I believe that is the way the question was?
Mr. MacNIDER. Yes.
Mr. JARMAN. Do you think if Germany should at any time in the future decide to attempt to invade the United States they would start out across those 3,000 miles of expanse of ocean or start out through South America or Mexico or somewhere else, and get in that way?
Mr. MacNIDER. They are farther away in South America than they are where they are now.
Mr. JARMAN. They are farther away at the moment; yes. But I am sure you agree it might be easier for Germany to conquer a little South American country than to conquer the United States.
Mr. MacNider. Yes; but they are just as far away when they do get there.
Mr. JARMAN. But there are a lot of South American countries?
Mr. MacNIDER. There is not any very good country between the Equator and the Isthmus.
Mr. JARMAN. That is a point I am making.
Mr. MacNIDER. What I mean is that there is no place for them to use as a base of operations.
Mr. JARMAN. A while ago somebody asked the question about whether you would compare the conquest of Norway, and of Belgium, with the conquest of the United States. I have forgotten exactly how that question was put just a few moments ago. Somebody quoted some other witness as saying they did made that comparison. You do not agree on that?
Mr. MacNIDER. That is right. That would be like taking Baltimore and the difference between crossing 3,000 miles of ocean.
Mr. JARMAN. But would it not be easier for them by infiltration, we might say, in a few of those countries down there, than coming across 3,000 miles of ocean?
Mr. MacNIDER. A very eminent admiral said the other day that we have the largest and strongest Navy in the world. I think I would be willing to put my faith in that Navy and that they would never get to America.
Mr. JARMAN. In view of that faith, do you think-we just passed a billion dollar bill just a few moments ago to increase that Navywould you stop increasing that Navy if you think it is adequate?
Mr. MacNIDER. I am no naval authority, but I would not be for stopping it any.
Mr. JARMAN. Neither am I.
Mr. JARMAN. I think it is correct. We do have the largest and best Navy that we have ever had and the best in the world. But
we have two oceans, and I am not willing to stop building up the Navy. In other words, I am not thoroughly satisfied. I want to keep on building it. And I think you do, too, sir.
That is all, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Mundt. Do you agree with the opinions and statements expressed by some newspaper columnists and radio commentators and college professors that unless England decisively wins the war America is finished ?
Mr. MacNIDER. I do not.
Mr. Mundt. In your opinion, then, are not such statements as these which are carelessly passed out by these journalistic generals and academic admirals and campus captains somewhat tending to destroy and disturb the morale of this country, thereby doing a disservice to the national defense of our country rather than help
Mr. MacNIDER. Yes, sir.
Mr. Mundt. Do you feel that it is particularly necessary to provide a fitting background for national-defense legislation to repeatedly tell the world that if England should fall America would be easy prey for the first dictator that looked our way?
Mr. MacNIDER. I certainly do not.
Mr. Mundt. I want to commend you on your support of the strength and stamina of America. I think, and I believe that you will agree, that it would be wiser public policy to quit trying to sell America short and thus weaken our defense establishment here, but to protect our peace by making us impregnable.
Mr. MACNIDER. I do.
Mr. MUNDT. Is it a sound defense policy which rests upon the assumption that it relies upon some other nation no matter how friendly? And if so, is that not fundamentally fallacious and should we not have a defense establishment of our own?
Mr. MacNIDER. It is not only fallacious, but very wrong:
Mr. Munpr. Colonel MacNider, many parts of the British Empire today are not yet in the war; that is, Egypt, India, and the Irish Free State, I believe, are not in the war. Would it not seem a rather unique situation, therefore, for this country to go into war to save the British Empire when the family of the commonwealth of nations of the British Empire are not involved?
Mr. MacNIDER. Of course, the British commonwealth of nations has no governmental ties among the various parts of it except that they have the same king. They have no other governmental relationships.
Mr. MIUNDT. But if there is a danger of world conquest they should be in a more imminent danger certainly than the United States?
Mr. MacNIDER. It would seem so to me.
Mr. Mundt. To build these impregnable defenses, as you and I agree, and I believe most Americans agree, we must insist must we not, that America keep out of this war and to continue to strengthen its defenses rather than dissipate them in wars overseas?
Mr. MacNIDER. That is my belief.
Mr. Mundr. In writing legislation to help England, therefore, and the predominant opinion in the country seems to wish to help England, which you would like to do (and I have said that I would like to do), in writing such legislation our first consideration should always be maintaining our own national defense and keeping out of war; is that not right?
Mr. MACNIDER. That is my belief, sir.
Mr. MUNDT. After we have definitely safeguarded those objectives we can write into the bill all reasonable help to England which can be provided which will not run contrary to those objectives!
Nr. MacNIDER. If in the judgment of Congress it thinks it is correct.
Mr. MUNDT. I would like to elicit your opinion, Colonel MacNider, as I did that of the gentleman who testified this morning on the proposed amendment which I expect to offer to this bill and which I hope will do that thing which America most desires, namely, to keep us out of the war, which is consideration No. 1, and giving effective aid to England, which is consideration No. 2, both working towards the improvement and maintenance of our own national defense. I would like to know, if you care to express your opinion, as to whether you feel this approach which I am going to suggest is preferential to the approach written into House bill 1776, as is, recognizing, as we both must, that will then just be two approaches, and it is quite conceivable that a third and a fourth and a fifth approach might develop from these public hearings which would be better than anyone of them. My proposal, Colonel, is to strike out section 3 of the bill in its entirety. I think you have the bill there?
Mr. MacNIDER. Yes.
Mr. MUNDT. My proposal is to strike out section 3, which begins on the second page with the language “Notwithstanding the provisions of any other law.” In other words, that is the paragraph of abdication whereby Congress abandons its constitutional responsibility. I would strike out that entire section over to and including line 18 on page 3 and rewrite the section containing substantially this language, or this proposition: “That Congress would appropriate the sum of not exceeding” (and I do not want to put in the amount at this time because we are hoping to secure and we have had assurances of the Cabinet members that they will suggest what the maximum amount might be which is needed, although so far no one has testified as to that amount, but they have indicated that some time this week they could at least give us a maximum figure), let us assume one, two, or three billion dollars, and therefore my proposed amendment would read as follows in this substantial language in setting forth this proposition: “That Congress would appropriate the sum of not exceeding say $2,000,000,000 to be turned over to the President, who at his discretion could lend or exchange for equal value in terms of raw materials or in terms of island possessions and bases and so forth, or if he deemed it in the best interests of our national defense to give to such countries as he deems it essential in the interests of the national defense that money to supplement their purchasing power." which seems to be the crux of the situation whereby Congress would simply be supplementing the British purchasing power by gifts or loans or exchange tokens. Then there would be this further stipula
tion: “That money is to be expended in the United States and should be channeled through the office of production management to have that efficiency and coordination of procurement which Mr. Knudsen said was so important and which he gave as practically his sole reason for his support of this legislation. Do you not feel that type of approach would be a sounder one than the one indicated in H. R. 1776?
Mr. MacNIDER. I do, Mr. Mundt, but the only amendment that I can really be in favor of is that on the first line I believe it should read, "Be it not enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives.”
Mr. Mundt. I think that I appreciate the gentleman's reason for making that statement. You and I know that under the legislative practices in a democracy it is a matter of give and take, and we have to sometimes accept more than we would like to accept and relinquish more than we otherwise would like to relinquish. We are looking for some optimum method whereby Congress can, retaining its constitutional powers, implement our aid to England and still not go one step further toward war or toward reposing powers in the hands of one individual, which might lead us into conflict.
Mr. MacNIDER. I appreciate that.
Mr. Mundt. I think that is all, Mr. Chairman. Thank you very much.
Mr. MacNIDER. Thank you.
Mr. JONKMAN. Colonel MacNider, the people who are for this bill speak about an impending crisis in the next 60 or 90 days. Do you know of any such impending crisis?
Mr. MACNIDER. No, sir.
Mr. JONKMAN. If there is such an impending crisis, do you know any reason why it should not be frankly disclosed to the American people?
Mr. MacNIDER. No, sir; because whoever is going to bring it must know it now.
Mr. JONKMAN. Would you say, and I do not know whether you are acquainted with weather conditions in Europe, but would you say that the frequency of storms on the English Channel would be tremendous in 60 or 90 days?
Mr. MACNIDER. I have no idea, sir.
Mr. JONKMAN. Do you believe that a successful victorious military invasion of the British Isles can be made by Germany in the next 60 or 90 days?
Mr. MacNIDER. I do not know that, either, sir. But I certainly would not want to be trying it.
Mr. JONKMAN. You say that as a military supposition it is improbable?
Mr. MacNIDER. Well, I did not say it is improbable. I do not know whether it is impossible. But I mean they are a pretty tough folk to try and invade.
Mr. JONKMAN. In other words, last fall it was frequently said that if Hitler did not try to invade England before the winter storms set in he would never be able to make it. Do you remember that? Mr. MACNIDER. Yes.
Mr. JONKMAN. Because in the meantime England and the channel coast would have become an armed camp and they would be ready to repel an invading force, which situation did not exist last fall?
Mr. MacNIDER. Yes, sir.
Mr. JONKMAN. Secretary Knox testified the other day that according to him convoys or the providing of convoys would be an act of war. He also testified that he would object to a restriction in this bill against the granting of convoys because it would tie the President's hands. If Congress was to pass the bill under those conditions, would it not impliedly be transferring the war-making powers from the Congress of the United States to the President?
Mr. MacNIDER. That is the way it sounds to me, sir.
Mr. JONKMAN. I would like to read you a statement from John Bassett Moore, the great international law authority, and authority on constitutional law, and I want to see if you agree with him. He says:
There can be no doubt that under the guise of certain phraseology the pending bill assumes to transfer the war-making power from the Congress in its constitutional capacity to the Executive. This is evident upon its face.
Would you agree with that proposition ?
I have consistently opposed this tendency during the past 8 years, but my voice has not always been heeded even by those who wish to maintain our neutrality. It is evident that the tide of totalitarianism in government which has swept over many other lands has not only reached our shores, but has gone far to destroy constitutional barriers which, once broken down, are not likely to be restored.
Do you agree with that?
Mrs. BOLTON. A few minutes ago you gave us a little word that you felt the people that you know back home were against this bill.
Mr. MACÑIDER. Yes.
Mrs. BOLTON. I want particularly to thank you for that word, because we are the representatives of the people, and we feel that every bit of information that has to do with real, thoughtful consideration of these matters should be in our hands, and I want to thank you especially for expressing yourself. I think that we who live east of the Hudson are very much in need of having the ideas of the Midwest and the far West brought to the Congress.
Mr. MacNIDER. I cannot speak for all the Middle West. I can simply speak for my own community, Mrs. Bolton.
Mrs. Bolton. That is a rather large community ?
We were told that the bill was brought to us in Congress because of the very acute need of England. There has been a great deal of discussion of the lack of defense for America. There has been a good deal of discussion about how much of those guns and various matériel