Page images
PDF
EPUB

Mr. STEARNS. Did the British Parliament function during the years 1914 to 1918?

Mr. CASTLE. Yes.
Mr. STEARNS. As it is now?
Mr. CASTLE. Yes.

Mr. STEARNS. When this country went to war in 1917, Congress granted certain special powers to the President, did it not?

Mr. CASTLE. Certainly, and that always must be done in time of war, naturally.

Mr. STEARNS. Congress can continue to function to some degree? Mr. CASTLE. Yes.

Mr. STEARNS. You are aware, of course, that there are certain differences between the Constitution of the United Kingdom and the Constitution of this country?

Mr. CASTLE. Yes.

Mr. STEARNS. In Great Britain the members of the Cabinet are members of Parliament also, are they not?

Mr. Castle. Yes; they are.

Mr. STEARNS. There is no such division over there between the legislative and the executive as exists in this country? Mr. CASTLE. No, sir.

Mr. STEARNS. In case the Prime Minister felt the need of some emergency power, how long do you think it would take him to get it from the British Parliament, Mr. Castle?

Mr. CASTLE. I do not think it would take him long, and I do not think it would take very long to get an emergency power right here, if it were not a power which we felt to the real disadvantage of the country, and I think Britain looks at it that way.

Mr. STEARNS. You do not think if this bill fails to pass and the President asked for some specific power; you do not think there would be as extended and as long discussion in both Houses of Congress as in the present case?

Mr. CASTLE. I cannot believe there would be if we were at war. I think the knowledge of the need of the quick action would make Congress move quickly.

Mr. STEARNS. Granting that our separation of powers is a better system when time is not in question, do you not think that it is because of a certain difference in our constitutional set-up that it becomes necessary in times of emergency to grant the President certain special powers?

Mr. CASTLE. Certain special and specific powers.
Mr. STEARNS. But there is where the Constitutions differ.

In the granting of power to the President, that is something that really becomes necessary because of the difference between our Constitution and the British Constitution; that is true, is it not?

Mr. CASTLE. That is true.

Mr. STEARNS. So that the essential difference between persons like you and the proponents of the bill is not so much a question of the violation of constitutional rights, but as to the gravity of the present emergency?

Mr. CASTLE. No; I do not think that that is true at all. I think we disagree as to the gravity of the present emergency, and I certainly, as an individual American citizen, should not have any objection to the granting of specific powers to the President which I believed would

be to the advantage of the country, but I should have very grave objections to the granting of these broad blanket powers which he could use to do almost anything.

Mr. STEARNs. You would object to this bill, even if we were at war? Mr. CASTLE. I should; yes.

Mr. STEARNS. There is one other thing I might have missed that you answered, as it is not always easy to hear what is going on at that end of the bench. I understood you to say to Mr. Kee that this bill

the power to Mr. CASTLE. I think I said that to Mr. Kee, but I felt that it did not. I do not think it specifically grants him that power, but I think he probably would feel that he could use it if he wanted to and needed it, because you remember he said at his press conference the other day that he thought he had the power anyway.

Mr. STEARNS. Well, that may be, but I wish you would show us anything in this bill which in any specific way grants the President that power. Would you mind showing that to us if he has that power? I would not support a bill to take it away from him, but in this bill is there anything which specifically grants that power to him?

Mr. CASTLE. I do not think there is anything specifically that gives him that power; no.

Mr. STEARNS. This bill deals entirely with the transfer of defense articles, their transfer in a legal sense rather than in a physical sense?

Mr. CASTLE. And a great many specific powers, such as the repair of warships in our ports, and it seems to me it would give him the right to take ships which have sought refuge in our ports and turn them over to Britain.

Mr. STEARNS. This bill refers to defense articles.
Mr. CASTLE. Yes.

Mr. STEARNS. It does not refer to the personnel of the United States Navy, and gives him no additional power in that respect which he does not now possess. Therefore, there is no power here that would make it possible to use our ships for convoys.

Mr. Castle. There is no specific power in the bill, so far as I know.

Mr. STEARNS. In other words, you do not see any amendment that would get that out of this bill, it is not ther

Mr. Castle. I think the powers are so very broad and general that he could do almost anything.

Mr. STEARNS. It seems to me the power granted in this bill is very specifically and definitely confined to defense articles.

Mr. CASTLE. And he claims to have power over the personnel.

Mr. STEARNS. You are talking about what the President might do. I am talking about what is in the bill. I want to help in any amendments that may be brought out. If that is not in the bill we do not have to worry about taking it out of the bill. That is all, Mr. Chairman,

The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Courtney.
Mr. COURTNEY. I have no questions, Mr. Chairman,
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Mundt.

Mr. MUNDT. Mr. Castle, following up the inquiry and the colloquy you had with Mr. Stearns, you did not want to go on record, did you, as stating that you felt there was no amendment which could be written, which would preclude the possibility of convoys, being written into the interpretation of this bill?

Mr. CASTLE. No; on the contrary. If this bill is to pass, I would like to see such an amendment in it.

Mr. MUNDT. You feel that there is sufficient doubt that to safeguard the interests of this Republic it should certainly be precluded from the bill by amendment?

Mr. CASTLE. Yes.

Mr. MUNDT. We are told by many of the proponents of the bill that the reason we need it is because of the fact that there is rapidly vanishing purchasing power on the part of Great Britain, not as serious now as when Mr. Morganthau first appeared before the committee, because a supplementary report has come out, and if they continue to come out it may be less serious. I wonder if you have any opinion concerning the potential purchasing power in this country in terms of dollar exchange of the Netherlands?

Mr. CASTLE. Of what?
Mr. MUNDT. The Netherlands.
Mr. CASTLE. It is very large.
Mr. MUNDT. It is very large?

Mr. Castle. Yes, very large. It has been a great many hundreds of millions of dollars, I am sure of that.

Mr. MUNDT. It might conceivably be as much or more than that report indicated England had?

Mr. CASTLE. Yes.

Mr. Mundt. Which, if added to the British purchasing power, might give them another year's ability to buy?

Mr. CASTLE. Yes.

Mr. Mundt. There are two ways in which authorization bills pass Congress. Mr. Johnson gave you a very clear interpretation of one way, and he said, of course, there is authorized to be appropriated funds.

Mr. CASTLE. Yes.

Mr. Mundt. The general practice, Mr. Castle, and the practice usually followed is to put in a stipulation which says not beyond a certain sum, a maximum limitation or a ceiling.

Mr. CASTLE. That is what I supposed.

Mr. Mundt. You do not see anything about this bill which would lead you to feel that that general policy should not be followed in this case?

Mr. CASTLE. I should think it certainly should be in this case as much as in any other.

Mr. Mundt. In this case probably as much as any other?

Mr. Castle. More than many others, because the sky is the limit to what might be spent under this bill.

Mr. Mundt. You said to Mr. Vorys that you cannot repeal bankruptcy.

Mr. CASTLE. Yes.

Mr. MUNDT. There was another matter that Mr. Stearns referred to. He said that due to the difference between the constitutional systems in England and here it might be easier to confer power on the executive under the English system than under our system. Is there not a corollary to that; is it not easier under the English system to withdraw the power which has been extended to the executive than under this system, for the Prime Minister bas no definite term of office?

Mr. Castle. Yes; because you can throw the Prime Minister out at any moment.

Mr. Mundt. You can do it any day in the week?
Mr. CASTLE. Yes, sir.
Mr. MUNDT. Any day they can change when the people decide on it?

Mr. Castle. Then, there is one other thing: Of course, in England, inasmuch as the Cabinet appears in Congress, as a part of Congress, it is always much more closely in line with the thought of Congress.

Mr. Mundt. Might it not, therefore, be more dangerous in this country to confer great powers upon the Executive than it is in England?

Mr. CASTLE. That is exactly what I wanted to explain.

Mr. MUNDT. And in England today they still have not given their Executive as much power as is contemplated in this bill?

Mr. CASTLE. Oh, nothing like it.
Mr. MUNDT. Nothing like it?
Mr. CASTLE. No.

Mr. MUNDT. I am a little bit surprised, if I understood you correctly, at the confidence that you seem to have in a possible time limit in this bill.

Mr. Castle, I wonder if a bill such as this, which enables the President to take unrestrained action, with the specific provision that he shall not be bound by any other provision of any other law, whether a time limit in a case like that is not a meaningless limitation.

Mr. CASTLE. I did not mean to say, Mr. Mundt, that I think a time limit would make the bill a good bill. I merely meant to imply that in a bill which I consider thoroughly bad, not to have had any time limit makes it a national disaster.

Mr. MUNDT. I see. I want to clear that up. You would not feel that this bill would be in any way acceptable if it were simply passed as it is with a time limit, let us say, of 12 months?

Mr. CASTLE. No-you mean without any other amendments?
Mr. MUNDT. Without any amentments.
Mr. CASTLE. No.

Mr. MUNDT. Following the Pact of Paris, or the Briand-Kellogg Peace Pact, there was a meeting in Budapest to sort of set up some interpretative articles. I would like to read a short statement into the record to see whether you agree with what was said at that meeting by Mr. Fred Aldrich, a judge of Detroit, Mich., who represented the United States at the meeting. I am quoting from the International Law Association Thirty-eighth Conference Report, published in 1934:

Mr. Fred H. Aldrich thought that the conference was not competent to decide questions of law by way of resolution, and said:

I do not agree with all the things in the report of the committee, but we come here to express opinions freely, and I hope you will bear with me.

In the first place, I doubt the propriety of calling for a majority vote of our members upon a controverted legal question. This is not a judicial body capable of rendering decisions by way of construing doubtful terms of treaties. It is not a legislative body competent to add to or subtract from the written words of the treaty. This particular pact is the expression of the will of about half a billion people through their legal officers. It did not become effective until it was formally ratified.

Action by resolution involves very delicate considerations. If this association is to preserve the prestige it has acquired by 60 years of conservative action, it should exercise whatever power it has to declare what is the law by resolution very cautiously. It must be remembered that no nation is represented here by accredited delegates.

288128-41-34

You agree with that?
Mr. CASTLE. Fully.

Mr. MUNDT. So that these articles of interpretation in no wise change the intent of the compact?

Mr. CASTLE. Not in any way. It was no more important than a resolution passed in the American Association of International Law, which was perfectly unofficial.

Mr. Mundt. The compact, therefore, had to stand on its own feet? Mr. CASTLE. Yes.

Mr. Mundt. Mr. Chairman, at this point, I would like to ask the unanimous consent of the committee to insert this Compact of Paris in the record. It just takes about one page. We are going to discuss it pro and con, and I think it would be illuminating to have it in the record.

The CHAIRMAN. Without objection, it is so ordered.
That is, the entire compact, Mr. Mundt?
Mr. MUNDT. Yes; the entire compact.
The CHAIRMAN. Without objection, it is so ordered.
(The compact referred to is as follows:)

BRIAND-KELLOGG PACT OF PARIS

TEXT OF THE PACT (B)

Signed August 27, 1928 The President of the United States of America, the President of the French Republic, His Majesty the King of the Belgians, the President of the CzechoSlovak Republic, His Majesty the King of Great Britain, Ireland, and the British dominions beyond the seas, Emporor of India, the President of the German Reich, His Majesty the King of Italy, His Majesty the Emporor of Japan, and the President of the Republic of Poland;

Deeply sensible of their solemn duty to promote the welfare of mankind; persuaded that the time has come when a frank renunciation of war as an instrument of national policy should be made, to the end that the peaceful and friendly relations now existing between their peoples may be perpetuated;

Convinced that all changes in their relations with one another should be sought only by pacific means and be the result of a peaceful and orderly process, and that any signatory power which shall hereafter seek to promote its national interests by resort to war should be denied the benefits furnished by this treaty;

Hopeful that, encouraged by their example, all the other nations of the world will join in this humane endeavor and, by adhering to the present treaty as soon as it comes into force, bring their peoples within the scope of its beneficent provisions, thus uniting the civilized nations of the world in a common renunciation of war as an instrument of their national policy;

Have decided to conclude a treaty, and for that purpose have appointed as their respective plenipotentiaries: * * Who, having communicated to one another their full powers, found in good and due form, have agreed upon the following articles:

ARTICLE 1 The high contracting parties solemnly declare, in the names of their respective people, that they condemn recourse to war for the solution of international controversies and renounce it as an instrument of national policy in their relations with one another.

ARTICLE 2 The high contracting parties agree that the settlement or solution of all disputes or conflicts, of whatever nature or of whatever origin they may be, which may arise among them, shall never be sought except by pacific means.

« PreviousContinue »