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Mr. CASTLE. No; that would not be good international law.
Mr. SHANLEY. In other words, whenever the Government interjects itself as a government per se then you have all the violations of international law?
Mr. CASTLE. Well, I do not like it.
Mr. SHANLEY. Then it is almost impossible to do anything in aid for England that does not involve the interjection of the Government per se.
Mr. CASTLE. No; I do not think it is.
Mr. SHANLEY. Can you give us any suggestion other than the one you did about the blanket millions of dollars or blanket loan or some amount of money? What other methods could be used to aid England?
Mr. CASTLE. I think the only thing we could do to aid England is to get materials to England as fast as possible. And if the Government wishes to allow the manufacturers in this country to sell materials to England which we do not need for our own defense that is the best help we can give to England. Furthermore, we would help England by building up our means of production and by increasing our capacity. That is the best help we can give to England.
Mr. SHANLEY. The answer to that is that the highest fiscal authorities tell us there is not enough foreign exchange in this country for England to pay for any more than she has ordered, especially for 1941. And the only way we can get that, the only way the problem can be solved, is for the Government to step in there itself. We just cannot get that. As a matter of fact, even if we appropriate money we are doing it as a governmental agency per se, are we not?
Mr. CASTLE. You are.
Mr. SHANLEY. And then we are interjecting ourselves into a situation with reference to neutrality?
Mr. CASTLE. Yes.
Mr. SHANLEY. And that, of course, is, is it not, a technical violation and certainly violates the spirit of international law?
Mr. Castle. It does.
Mr. CHIPERFIELD. Mr. Castle, I enjoyed your statement very much. Mr. Richards and Mr. Shanley asked you something about the Kellogg Pact. Does the mere signing of a pact by delegates bind a country or does it require ratification of the country concerned?
Mr. CASTLE. It requires ratification in most cases. In certain countries and certain dictatorships, for example, it would not require ratification.
Mr. CHIPERFIELD. Does this bill violate the Hague Convention? I have reference to Convention No. 13 which, among other things, section 6 provides with reference to the sending of munitions and warships to belligerents and so forth?
Mr. CASTLE. I think it is. The claim has been made, of course, that the Hague Convention is not in effect.
Mr. CHIPERFIELD. Mr. Hull the other day stated that section 28 which provides that the convention only applies when all of the parties have ratified the convention, and he stated that Great Britain and Italy were not parties to this convention. I looked it up. I found they signed it. Then I am told they did not ratify it. Would you still feel that the Hague Convention is in force?
Mr. Castle. I have always supposed it was in force until I read Mr. Hull's testimony. And then I questioned it. It has always been observed. There is no doubt of that.
Mr. CHIPERFIELD. Is it not declaratory of international law?
Mr. CHIPERFIELD. Have Germany and Italy violated our neu trality in any way that you know of?
Mr. CASTLE. Not so far as I know. I think they have been extraordinarily careful about that.
Mr. CHIPERFIELD. Do you feel this bill steps up production in any way?
Mr. CASTLE. I do not.
Mr. CHIPERFIELD. Do you favor placing a limitation of some kind on the authorization?
Mr. CASTLE. Yes.
Mr. CHIPERFIELD. I think, if I understood you correctly, you favor a time limit on this bill?
Mr. CASTLE. Most emphatically.
Mr. CHIPERFIELD. Mr. Eaton referred to the lack of dollar exchange on the part of England, and asked you for some suggestions on how this could be remedied. Could not this be done? Could not we repeal section 7 of the Neutrality Act that would allow persons to extend loans and credits to belligerents? What do you think about that?
Mr. CASTLE. Of course, we could. There is no question of that.
Mr. CHIPERFIELD. I realize you do not favor such a practice, but that would give further dollar exchange, would it not?
Mr. CASTLE. Absolutely.
Mr. CHIPERFIELD. Could we not do this? Could we not by a simple act authorize and appropriate a certain sum as a loan to England without giving any vast powers to anyone?
Mr. CASTLE. Will you repeat that?
Mr. CHIPERFIELD. Could not the Congress authorize and appropriate a certain sum of money as a loan for England without involving vast powers in one man but just simply an enabling act to do it?
Mr. CASTLE. It seems to me that is the only way to do it.
If I understood you, you favor aid to Great Britain, but only such aid that would not involve us in war and would not impair our national defense?
Mr. CASTLE. Yes.
Mr. CHIPERFIELD. Did you say that you wanted purchases of war material in the hands of the British and not in the hands of the Chief Executive?
Mr. CASTLE. I stated if war materials were to be bought in this country they should be bought by the British and not by the President of the United States and turned over to the British.
Mr. CHIPERFIELD. Is there a distinction between purchases made through and by commercial concerns and purchases made by the Government per se?
Mr. CASTLE. Surely.
Mr. CHIPERFIELD. Does that have any distinction so far as international law is concerned?
Mr. Castle. Yes. International law does not permit during the course of a war for a government to make sales to belligerents. Unlimited private sales are permissible.
Mr. CHIPERFIELD. We have been told while this bill gives the President vast powers to transfer our entire Navy to England, yet it would be ridiculous and preposterous to think he would do so. I believe you said in your statement that the President referred to the giving away of our Navy as "cow-jumping-over-the-moon stuff"?
Mr. CASTLE. I was quoting his words, of course.
Mr. CHIPERFIELD. Yes. Would it not be just as ridiculous and preposterous for us to vote vast powers for any one man if those powers permit him to act in a ridiculous and preposterous manner?
Mr. CASTLE. I suppose it would.
Mr. CHIPERFIELD. Why should not the power we put into this bill be confined to those powers that are expected and intended to be used?
Mr. Castle. I think they should be clearly so defined. I think they should not be beyond the powers normally held by the President, with the exception of the fact that under certain emergencies you have to give specific powers.
Mr. CHIPERFIELD. In other words, we should include powers intended to be used and give only such powers as a reasonable and prudent person would desire?
Mr. CASTLE. Yes.
Mr. ARNOLD. Mr. Castle, I have one short question: I wonder if you would care to say for how long a period of time you would be willing to grant this power under this bill. You said for å short period.
Mr. CASTLE. I do not think that powers of this sort, of course, really should be granted at all unless they are more clearly specified, but I certainly do not think that powers of this kind if they are granted should be for one minute over a period of a year, and I think always it should be clearly stated that in case the war ended the powers ended with the war.
Mr. ARNOLD. That is all, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Vorys. Mr. Castle, a statement of yours was quoted on the Neutrality Act of 1939. Is there not a great distinction between neutrality legislation which can only limit the acts of American citizens and this sort of war legislation which enlarges the powers of the President?
Mr. CASTLE. Well, of course, to me there is an enormous difference, and in this case enlarging the powers of the President, to make him, through his control of British purchases, almost the arbitrator of the fate of Britain, considering that, it seems to me the difference is incalculable.
Mr. VoRys. In any neutrality, or so-called neutrality, act, all we can do is do things which somewhat further limit the freedom of action of our own people?
Mr. CASTLE. Of our own people.
Mr. VORYS. Whereas, here we are taking away freedom of action of our own people.
Mr. CASTLE. That is true.
Mr. VORYS. Now, could we not authorize private loans to Britain as a modification of the Johnson and the Neutrality Acts and then let these private interests seek out their own security or collateral for such loans?
Mr. CASTLE. That is perfectly possible, and, of course, entirely in accord with international law.
Mr. VoRys. That would be entirely in accord with international law?
Mr. CASTLE. Yes.
Mr. VoRys. What is your opinion, however, as to whether it would be of practical aid at this time, or do you have an opinion on that?
Mr. CASTLE. I have no opinion; no, sir; because I have not talked with any of the financial people on the subject.
Mr. VORYS. Well, a lot would depend upon the amount of dollars involved, would it not?
Mr. CASTLE. Yes.
Mr. VORYS. That is, if Britain ran out of money at some time during 1942, or if Britain ran out during the course of this year, as far as placing additional orders is concerned, if it were a few million dollars worth that was needed that could be financed privately; is not that true?
Mr. Castle. Very easily. Of course, the amount of private financing that would be done would depend almost entirely on the chances of Britain winning the war. Private financiers are necessarily selfish. They have got to be.
Mr. VORYS. Well, now, some question was asked you about our securing collateral, and the testimony of the various Cabinet officials was that it was intended to secure some sort of quid pro quo and we should let the President make the best bargain he could. Well, do you see any objection, if we are to embark upon a policy of underwriting the war, to taking over everything, let us say, that Britain has in the Western Hemisphere in advance as collateral, so that the accounts can be balanced up somewhat, and we, of course, would be fair, and they should no doubt be willing to trust us.
Mr. Castle. If they would be willing to trust us, certainly that is the best way to do it. On the other hand, we cannot go down to South America and seize British holdings.
Mr. VORYS. Well, if the title has been turned over to us?
Mr. VORYS. And the only objection to such a proposal, or to such a plan, that everything be turned over to us—that would be that Britian would be unwilling to trust us, is that not true?
Mr. CASTLE. I had never thought of that you mean Britian would be unwilling to trust us in what way?
Mr. VORYS. Well, they might be afraid that we would ask too much for a battleship or a fleet or airplanes, or they might be afraid that we would not be fair in the balancing of accounts, is not that it?
Mr. CASTLE. That is presumable, yes; but I do not think they would be. I think they would probably if they felt that was the only way they could get what they wanted, that they would agree to it without any thought of our fairness. I think probably many of them always hope that they are going to get it some other way.
Mr. Vorys. For instance, we have heard some rather convincing suggestions that the British offered us the bases without any strings tied to them, or destroyers or anything else. Have you ever received such information?
Mr. CASTLE. Well, I would not say "information.” I have heard it said from many different sources, and it sounds to me perfectly reasonable, because our having those bases is the very best insurance that the British could have for their colonies. It was all to their good to do it.
Mr. Vores. The approved deal which they insisted upon, and which was carried out, was that we get some of the most vital bases for nothing, is not that true?
Mr. CASTLE. So I have heard.
Mr. Vores. It is in the correspondence that Newfoundland and Bermuda have no quid pro quo at all.
Mr. CASTLE. No; because it is going to cost us numerous millions of dollars to put them in shape.
Mr. Vorys. Yes; we get some liabilities, and they got some liabilities by taking over the old ships; that is true, is it not?
Mr. CASTLE. Certainly.
Mr. VORYS. But if we just had everything then there could be no question, if the fortunes of war did not turn out as many of us hope, about what would happen to the British possessions, is that not true?
Mr. CASTLE. Yes. Mr. Vorys. So that we would have not only financial security, but diplomatic security? Mr. Castle. Correct.
Mr. Vorys. Now, we heard in our President's message about the democracies that we were to aid. Is the Government of Greece at the present time a democracy?
Mr. Castle. No; not particularly. "Democracy” is a very difficult term to define. The Government of Greece is not totalitatian at the moment, but it certainly would not be called a democracy from the western point of view. Any nation, as I see it, which happens to be in conflict with Germany and Italy is called a democracy.
Mr. VORYS. Now, you have had vast experience in the Orient, Mr. Castle. In your opinion, are we in any danger of war with Japan?
Mr. Castle. That is a very difficult question, Mr. Vorys. I do not think that Japan wants to fight us at all. I think Japan knows that its prosperity very largely depends on its good relations with this country. On the other hand, we have done a tremendous number of things to Japan which have made the feeling against this country very strong, and they have signed that miserable pact with Germany and Italy, and it is perfectly conceivable, as I see it, that if we should get into war with Germany, Japan would attack us. Of course, there, too, by Germany; but insofar as wanting to get into war with the United States, I am perfectly certain that Japan does not.
Mr. VORYS. Now, you spoke of Japan attacking us. Japan might attack us in the Orient?
Mr. CASTLE. That is all. They could not attack anywhere else.