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Mr. Fish. Would you rather finish now?
The CHAIRMAN. Whether he would rather finish or not it is a question that it is past the lunch hour. The Secretary has been on the witness stand nearly 3 hours.
Secretary Hull. Whatever suits the convenience of the committee will suit me.
Mr. VORYS. Mr. Chairman, I had a number of questions which seemed to me to be of help possibly to the committee and which I wanted to ask the Secretary, since he is our first witness, and the answers to those questions would clear up in my mind things that might be of benefit to the committee to know. I wonder if I cannot continue.
Mr. Fish. Mr. Chairman, this is probably the most important bill that has ever been presented to the Congress. I think every member of the committee wants a full and free discussion. I think every member of the committee is entitled to ask questions of the Secretary of State. And if the Secretary of State cannot come back after lunch then I hope we can have some arrangements made so that the gentleman can continue and finish with his presentation.
Secretary HULL. I will be glad to cancel my other arrangements long enough to come back here, if that is desirable, after lunch.
Mr. RICHARDS. Mr. Chairman, it is obvious we cannot finish this at the present time, and I move that we recess until 2:30.
Mr. JOHNSON. I will second the motion.
The CHAIRMAN. It is moved and seconded that the committee recess until 2:30.
(Whereupon, at 1:05 p. m., the committee recessed until 2:30 p. m.)
The recess having expired, the committee reconvened at 2:30 o'clock p. m., Hon. Sol Bloom (chairman) presiding.
The CHAIRMAN. The committee will be in order. We will resume with the Secretary of State.
STATEMENT OF HON. CORDELL HULL-Resumed
Mr. Vorys. Mr. Secretary, you said in your statement before us this morning:
The present bill sets up machinery which will enable us to make the most effective use of our resources for our own needs and then in answer to a question you said this was primarily a matter of speeding up production for ourselves. Will you point out any way in which this bill provides for speeding up production for ourselves, for our own needs?
Secretary Hull. This is the butt of the entire movement of speeding up now and during recent weeks. It unifies the whole system of production by avoiding conflicting situations with regard to British orders and British deliveries, and unifies the matter in many ways so as to make it possible to facilitate the furnishing of military supplies both to our own defense forces and to the British forces.
Mr. Vorys. Where in this bill is there any provision that affects our own production at all?
Secretary Hull. I was telling you the situation as a whole. It is in relation to the simplification and unification of the productive agencies
as they would undertake to supply both this country primarily, and the British with whatever excess might be possible.
Mr. Vorys. But, is there any provision in the bill that affects our own production at all?
Secretary Hull. I am trying to get over to you the idea that steps are being taken during this period in many ways—this is one of themto simplify and speed up by unifying, by avoiding duplication and conflicting efforts.
Mr. Vores. So that this bill has to do primarily with production for Britain; is not that correct?
Secretary Hull. The major purpose is to facilitate, as the bill says, aid to Great Britain as a part of our defense.
Mr. Vorys. Then it was not primarily a matter of speeding production for ourselves?
Secretary HULL. It is for the purpose of speeding production all along the line, as a matter of fact, but primarily for ourselves; in other words, our whole foreign policy in relation to the national defense is based on our safety and security, primarily,
Mr. Vores. In your statement you drew a distinction between our needs and the needs of those whom, in our own self-defense, we are determined to aid. And this morning you said this was primarily a matter of speeding up production for ourselves. Now, do you wish to correct that?
Secretary Hull. No; I do not wish to correct it. I just wish you could get on a little broader line, if you would allow me to suggest it.
Mr. Vorys. I am merely asking you to point out where in this legislation there is anything that has to do with our own production.
Secretary Hull. I do not care to repeat what I have said on that subject, that this is a part of many efforts that are being made now to consolidate and unify and speed up the whole production and distribution situation. It would primarily relate to our needs and, in the same connection, the British needs. To be frank, I do not see the occasion for any attempted distinction there.
Mr. Vores. You made the distinction yourself; that is why I am asking the question.
Secretary HULL. I think the world is moving faster, too fast for us to stop and try to reconcile purely minor verbiage that is not material in any general sense.
Mr. Vorys. What is the meaning of the word “defense" as used throughout this bill? That is, has it any technical meaning or special meaning, according to its diplomatic or technical usage?
Secretary Hull. I had not heard that suggested before.
Mr. Vores. Of course, this is entitled, "Further to promote the defense,” and so forth. Then in the definitions the words "defense article" are used. That is defined as being an article for defense, and the President is given the discretion that he is given in the interest of national defense. The word is used many times but, of course, is not defined in this bill. Is there any definition of "defense" that we could refer to to find out how broad or how narrow the meaning is in this instance?
Secretary Hull. I do not know of anything more than what you are familiar with. The matter we have been discussing all day here is a matter of promoting our defense, frankly by furnishing military
supplies to a country that is resisting the same attack that is moving our way, or at least that is creating imminent danger to this hemisphere and hence to us.
Mr. Vores. There is no special or technical meaning, then, or limited meaning in the use of defense" in this bill?
Secretary Hull. I have said to you exactly what I consider the scope and nature of the proposal.
Ńr. Vores. The word "defense" involves all of the explanation you have given us today; is not that true? Whenever you have used that term, you have used it in the sense that it is being referred to in this bill; is not that true?
Secretary Hull. I have used it in the sense of our efforts to promote defense. I think you will recall that I undertook to set forth all of the important phases of our international relations leading up to what many of us consider a state of imminent danger to this hemisphere.
I thought I would find more interest, frankly, in that, than I have in some other phases. But that is what I have been undertaking to do and that includes the whole field of our national defense, whether we exert it individually or more or less in cooperation with countries in South and Central America, or in the way of lending certain military supplies to a number of countries, such as Great Britain, who are engaged in resistance.
Mr. VORYS. To come back to the meaning of defense, there is hardly any commodity or article that you can imagine that might not under certain circumstances be a commodity or article for defense; is that not true?
Secretary Hull. Of course, we can speculate here for several days on the whole category of commodities, and then we can argue for 12 months on which ones are capable of being used for national defense, and which ones might possibly be used, and which would not be. As to which category you would rather take up first, I leave that to you.
Mr. Vores. I know that this bill has been drafted so as to leave those categories very broad.
Secretary Hull. Naturally, the bill speaks for itself on that point.
Mr. VORYS. It does not speak for itself, because it uses a word that is not defined, and I am trying to find out whether there is any special definition or whether that is to be left in the discretion of our officials.
Secretary Hull. The bill, as you say, is broad enough to relate to many commodities. Of course, you get down after all to the question whether you are going to pursue a policy of aiding Britain or whether you are going to bury the whole matter in technical discussions.
Mr. VORYS. Are there any precedents for this bill in our history?
Secretary HULL. There are many precedents where nations have been attacked by invading countries that have fought for their lives jointly and severally. There have been occasions, as you know, where law-abiding nations have been attacked, and some have fought and some have trusted to the magnanimity of the invader and have been swallowed up without fighting.
Mr. Vorys. I meant, in our whole history, in our legislative history, whether in your research, it had been shown that there was any similar legislation to that proposed here.
Secretary Hull. I doubt if there has ever been, but I think you will agree that there has not been any similar danger confronting us to that which is now confronting us.
Mr. Vores. I certainly do. This is an unprecedented situation.
Secretary Hull. Then why should we not dwell on the danger a little instead of some altogether minor phase?
Mr. Vorys. I agree with you that this is an unprecedented situation.
Secretary Hull. You will pardon me for bringing that to your attention, because I do not want it to be forgotten in this discussion.
Mr. Vorys. I am aware of that, but I wondered whether we were proceeding to meet this danger in a way or along a pattern that had ever been used before or not.
Secretary Hull. In a case of unprecedented danger, everybody may not find precedents, because there would not naturally be precedents where there had not been a similar state of danger.
Mr. VORYS. Then so far as you know, there is no precedent for this legislation.
Secretary Hull. I am not undertaking to go into the technical side. I just know we have unprecedented danger, and I want to plead with you and your colleagues to recognize that, and not be too technical, if I may ask that, about the necessary methods of treating that danger.
Mr. Vorys. When I first asked you about precedents, you spoke about what nations do in self-defense. Is not the constitutional power which would warrant this legislation our war-making power?
Secretary Hull. I remember when they attacked President Lincoln, just as you are attacking this, they made charges against his motives and against the nature of his proposal, and against its unconstitutionality. That is a field that we could spend weeks and weeks in discussing.
Mr. Vorys. Mr. Secretary, I am not attacking this. I am not attacking its constitutionality. I am asking you, sir, for your explanation of its constitutionality, and of those
words, and that
an attack. It is an attempt to understand this measure.
Secretary Hull. Well, I am glad that you are interested in that broader phase of it. I do not think I can put the matter any more simply than I have. This is the best draft that the members of the executive department have prepared to meet a very definite state of danger. It is based on an extreme emergency situation, a situation of unprecedented danger.
Now, as to a substitute method that would serve efficiently in every way the purpose of this measure, I have not seen any such substitute introduced by anyone.
Mr. Vorys. Mr. Secretary, what is the proper phrase for us to use to express our relations with Britain if, as, and when this legislation is adopted, and we proceed with the policy you have outlined? I want to know what is the protocol? Would you say “allies," "partners”? Do we use the phrase that Mr. Shanley did? What is the proper way to refer to that relationship?
Secretary HULL. Frankly, I have not got beyond the problem of rendering all material aid possible to Great Britain short of military activities. That is all I have heard the matter called. I suppose that critics will find different names.
Mr. Vores. Then you have no particular phrase to suggest that we might use to shorten it up rather than to use the longer phrase?
Secretary Hull. No; frankly, I have been preoccupied with the real work of trying to aid and get aid to Great Britain.
Mr. Vores. Is there any document, any correspondence, between our country and Great Britain, or series of documents, or papers, that would state just what this status is?
Secretary Hull. None to my knowledge.
Mr. Vorys. Thank you very much. That finishes my examination, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Stearns. Mr. STEARNS. Mr. Secretary, I had intended to raise the question of precedent and while I might have put the question in a little different way than Mr. Vorys has done, I think perhaps the colloquy that passed between you on that has covered the question.
The remaining question I should like to ask is this. You said this morning it seemed to you that it would be possible for the Congress to work out a reasonable solution of any possible constitutional difficulty. Would the placing of a definite time limit on the powers granted to the President seem to you such a reasonable solution?
Secretary Hull. I have not heard of anyone offering any particular objection to that suggestion.
Mr. STEARNS. That is all.
Mr. Mundt. In your prepared statement this morning, Mr. Secretary, you painted a very illuminating backdrop before which this whole discussion can take place, when you gave us a calendar of events showing where nations of Europe and Asia had become aggressors and had victimized smaller countries lying close to them.
Unless I did not hear you—and I will admit I was laboring under somewhat of a handicap because over on this side we sit in the studio section of the roundtable, and it is difficult to hear-but unless I did not hear you, you neglected to include in that chronology of agression the state of Russia. I wonder if I did not hear you clearly.
Secretary Hull. Yes. I left out numbers of important events in the world situation for the reason that I was seeking to go back and build up all of the relevant facts which point to the present danger from the three nations that have been avowedly engaged in a movement of world conquest by force.
Mr. MUNDT. Now I would like to inquire a little bit as to whether or not you feel that there is a somewhat analagous danger from Russia, especially inasmuch as you stressed, and I think rightfully so, the fact that subversive groups operating within peaceful countries undermine our defense very frequently-and according to the findings of the Dies committee, Russia has been longer and more actively engaged in these subversive activities in America than any other country- I wonder if Russia should not be brought into the picture, too, so that we can have a complete understanding of the whole situation.
Secretary Hull. In the first place, if you have not been around South America lately, it would be worth while to make that trip. You will see the nature of the chief subversive activities that have been and are being carried on.
I shall be only too glad to take up with you and your associates here on the committee all the other phases of international affairs when