Page images

Mr. Fish. Mr. Castle, if these questions have been asked, I do not expect to have you take up the time of the committee by answering them. Do you know whether Canada and Australia are being paid in gold for the English purchases at the present time?

Mr. CASTLE. No, I am sorry; I have no idea. Mr. FISH. Therefore, you probably would not know whether Canada, Australia, and South Africa are lending any money to England at the present time?

Mr. CASTLE. I do not know it; I have heard it as pretty authoritatively said that they were. That is all I know.

Mr. Fish. But they are not actually loaning as we propose to do in this bill; you do not know, as a matter of fact, any of those countries or Dominions are lending any money to England?

Mr. CASTLE. I do not.

Mr. FISH. Thank you very much, Mr. Castle. I recognize that you are a great man, but

you are a great witness also. CHAIRMAN. The Chair wishes to make a statement at this time of the list of witnesses who will be here tomorrow. The witnesses for the majority members of the committee will be the Honorable William C. Bullitt; Mrs. J. Borden Harriman; Gen. John F. O'Ryan, Hon. William Green, president, American Federation of Labor; Miss Dorothy Thompson; and Mr. William L. Shirer.

The Chair also wishes to state at this time that an executive session is set for Monday morning, and that we will call General Marshall, Chief of Staff, Admiral Stark, Chief of Naval Operations, and General Brett, Assistant Chief of the Air Corps.

Mr. Eaton. May I ask, Mr. Chairman, if they are the gentlemen who were supposed to testify this morning here?

The CHAIRMAN. You might ask Mr. Fish that question. Mr. Eaton. I thought the chairman was in possession of most all wisdom.

The CHAIRMAN. I do not think you want to go into that. STATEMENT OF GERALD L. K. SMITH, NATIONAL CHAIRMAN,

COMMITTEE OF ONE MILLION, DETROIT, MICH. The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Gerald L. K. Smith. Is Mr. Gerald L. K. Smith in the room?

Mr. SMITH. Yes.

The CHAIRMAN. You are National Chairman of the Committee of One Million, from Detroit. You do not mean a committee of 1,000,000 from Detroit?

Mr. SMITH. No.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Smith, have you a prepared statement?
Mr. Smith. Yes, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you have copies for the press?
Mr. SMITH. Yes.

The CHAIRMAN. May I ask of you, Mr. Smith, how long it will take to read your statement and how long you expect to take?

Mr. SMITH. It will take me about 4 minutes to read the statement. The CHAIRMAN. Be seated, or stand, as you wish, Mr. Smith.

Mr. SMITH. I will stand to read the statement, and I will be seated to answer the questions.



We, of the Committee of One Million, present to this committee 2,000,000 names of American citizens signed to a petition supporting a national defense second to none and opposing American intervention in foreign wars.

This statement has been authorized by 1,021 leaders from 38 States and represents a careful analysis of approximately 100,000 personal letters written to our committee.

We oppose the passage of H. R. 1776 for five major reasons:

1. This bill, if passed, will grant to the President powers which thus far have been granted only to the dictators of the world among whom are Stalin, Hitler, and Mussolini. Discretionary powers given the President under this bill would authorize him to loan or lease natural and manufactured resources to any nation on earth not even excluding Russia. The President's passion for power as demonstrated at other times during his administration emphasizes the double importance of not weakening the authority of the legislative branch of our Government as this bill certainly would do if passed.

2. This bill repeals and abandons the Monroe Doctrine by receiving Britain as a partner in Western Hemisphere politics and by the United States in turn joining with Britain in the prosecution of Europe's wars. The Monroe Doctrine, concerning this subject, reads in part as follows: Our policy in regard to Europe

is not to interfere in the internal concerns of any of its powers.

In the wars of European powers in matters relating to themselves we have never taken any part, nor does it comport with our policy to do so.

3. This bill, if passed, will imperil our much-needed and sorely neglected national-defense program. Assuming that the worst thing that could happen in Europe would be Hitler's victory, the best thing that could happen in America would be for us to become so thoroughly prepared in national defense that we would be safe regardless of the outcome of the European and Asiatic wars. Two elements of national defense are (a) materials and manpower, (b) complete national unity. This bill would, if passed, dissipate our supply of materials and divide our Nation on foreign policy. America cannot unit on European defense but we can unite on American defense.

May I remind the committee that I am now interpreting our findings in the reading of approximately 100,000 personal letters involving this issue of intervention.

4. We do not trust English politicians. In fact, we do not trust (and I believe that our 2,000,000 constituents typify the American attitude) any foreign politicians. England's behavior after the last war is remembered by our people and resented. A statement made by the Honorable Winston Churchill in 1936 is typical of a British attitude which our people have not forgotten. Churchill said in part:

Legally we owe this debt to the United States, but logically we don't, and this is because America should have minded her own business and stayed out of the World War. If she had done so, the Allies would have made peace with Germany in the spring of 1917, thus saving over a million British, French, American, and other lives and preventing the subsequent rise of Fascism and Nazism. *

We, of the Committee of One Million, are alarmed over the fact that those who are the most aggressive in supporting this bill are individuals who are known to be favorable to our full participation in this war.

5. This bill, if passed, will be the first step in sending from one to five million American boys across oceans to die on the battlefields of five continents. Its passage means sending material first and committing us to a British victory. Every military expert concedes that a British victory cannot be won without American troops. The reaction among our people against the possibility of such an event is tremendous.

Statements from groups such as ours are important not because we pose as being students of international affairs but because we symbolize and crystallize rising and recurring tides of public sentiment and reaction to governmental policy. It must be understood that there is no arrogance or egotism in this statement. We grant and admit our limitations, but we are Americans and there are millions of us.

Now, to justify the appearance of the spokesmen of our committee before this Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Congress, I direct this statement to the majority members of this committee:

A national crisis can never be solved by a majority of its citizens. A majority is sufficient to name public officials and to function in peacetime and under normal conditions. But when a nation is dealing with war problems and the threat of war, or a national crisis, its governmental leadership must demonstrate the capacity to inspire, challenge, and convince the minorities; otherwise any policy they undertake is likely to fail.

Minorities are frequently more intense in their opinions and more courageous because they must continue to express these opinions in the face of governmental opposition and without the encouragement of governmental patronage and the flattery of those in high office. If the President, or the Congress, overlooks or fails to take seriously the judgment of these intense minorities, symbolized by our committee, any foreign policy they approve is likely to be seriously handicapped not because the minority is less patriotic than the majority but because no instrument is furnished with which to develop their cooperation.

Therefore, we speak not as career diplomats, or students of the science of international politics—we speak as the voice of a great section of our population. If we are wrong, then our Government has failed to enlighten us properly. If we are right, then what we say should be respected.

I am prepared, Mr. Chairman, to present the necessary notarized affidavits establishing the fact that we have 2,000,000, or thereabouts, names signed to our petition against intervention in war. We filed and certified the first million in July through the instrumentality of Senator Vandenberg of Michigan.

The CHAIRMAN. I think, Mr. Smith, there would be no objection to your statement, but your statement, I suppose, is sufficient.

Mr. Smith. I have the affidavit, and I would like to present it to the committee, if you will receive it.

The CHAIRMAN. It would not be necessary to have the affidavit put in there. If you want to put it in, leave it with the committee, and we will decide whether we want it in there afterward in executive session. Have you finished, Mr. Smith?

Mr. SMITH. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Fish.

Mr. Fish. Mr. Smith, do you think that the greatest issue before the American public today is to keep us out of war?

Mr. Smith. Yes; and I think that was demonstrated in the recent campaign. When Mr. Willkie came west he was rather cool on the subject of intervention, but after he had visited with the western politicians and had toured the West he came back with a major emphasis on peace, and his emphasis was so effective that I think it was instrumental in changing the original plans of the President, and the President came out then in the campaign, and it is our contention that the reason the President was reelected was because he promised peace more convincingly than Mr. Willkie.

Mr. Fish. What percentage of the American people do you believe want to keep out of foreign wars?

Mr. Smith. I would not answer as an authority on the subject, Mr. Fish, but I will express my personal opinion.

Mr. Fish. Well, you get around a great deal among people, do you not?

Mr. SMITH. Yes. I speak each week to a population area of, approximately, 25,000,000 Americans. The most popular things that can be said at any time over this series of stations are suggestions having to do with steps necessary to keep us out of this war.

Immediately upon the introduction of this bill I alluded to this bill and analyzed it as I have today, and my mail immediately broke all records. We had been using 20 girls to open our letters, and immediately we had to take on 20 more with night shifts to handle the mail of people who demonstrated a desire to cooperate in the defeat of this bill.

Mr. Fish. Do you believe that a very large percentage of the American people want to defeat this bill as it is written?

Mr. Smith. No; because they do not know what it is all about. I believe that if these hearings can be prolonged deliberately and spokesmen for the opposition can be given ample opportunity with the use of the radio and the press to define this bill to the people that the resentment against it will surpass the court bill, the Executive reorganization bill, and the embargo bill in arousing public resentment.

Mr. Fish. But is not this bill far more dangerous to our form of government than the court-packing bill and all the other bills combined that you mentioned?

Mr. Smith. In the first place, Mr. Fish, before answering that question, I want to always make it known that I am not posing as an authority on anything, except one thing, the interpretation of how my people feel. With that understanding, I answer your question this way: It is dangerous for two reasons-first, because of the nature of the bill; and, second, because of the nature of the President.

Mr. FISH. Breaking that down, do you not believe that this bill is dangerous and that it practically destroys free government in America?

Mr. Smith. If we have received the wrong impression, it is because of our limited understanding of government. Our impression is that it is virtually the same as the legislation that was approved by the Reichstag that led to the government now in Germany, and Hitler became supreme dictator of Germany.

Mr. Fish. Do you not agree that when the Congress surrenders its two great constitutional powers, control of the purse and the sword to any one man, that we are setting up a totalitarian form of government and surrendering our free government?

Mr. JOHNSON. Would the gentleman yield?
Mr. FISH. Yes.
Mr. JOHNSON. You are giving your interpretation-

Mr. Fish. I just want to say to the witness that my interpretation of this clause is, and I have been here as long as, if not longer than, the gentleman, that this gives the President unlimited scope to spend money, and then there will be a moral obligation upon the Congress to appropriate any sum of money that the President spends.

Mr. JOHNSON. Why did not the section say there is hereby appropriated instead of an authorization?

Mr. Fish. Because we are not an appropriating committee. That is an authorization to the President to spend $20,000,000,000 or $40,000,000,000, and we have a moral responsibility to get the money.

Mr. Smith. It is our contention, Mr. Fish, that if this bill passes, as it has been written, it will make Mr. Roosevelt a dictator absolutely. Now, if that is wrong, I think it would be wise for the administration to change that impression rapidly, if they desire to promote unity among the people.

Mr. Fish. I think that Congress will have something to say about it. Mr. SMITH. I assume Congress is included in the administration.

Mr. Fish. I have always assumed that Congress did the legislating; that that was an important function of the Congress, not the President.

Mr. SMITH. I assume the administration is a combination of the executive, judicial, and legislative branches of government.

Mr. Fish. Do you not think, Mr. Smith, if this bill passes unamended, in its present form, giving this vast power to one man that it will cause bitterness and disunity throughout the land?

Mr. Smith. Unless a program of public education is conducted, which is now not evident

The CHAIRMAN (interposing). Mr. Smith, will you permit an interruption? In answering the questions please answer them briefly, if you can, as we would like to get along. If you can, answer the question without making a little speech. That is very interesting, and we would like to hear you, but just answer the question.

Mr. Smith. You understand that we private citizens are limited somewhat, and we do not get the opportunities that you Congressmen have.

The CHAIRMAN. Proceed.
Mr. Smith. If Mr. Fish will state the question again.
The CHAIRMAN. No; the stenographer will read the question.

(The question was thereupon repeated by the reporter, as above recorded.)

Mr. Smith. My mail, in the last 10 days, has contained more bitterness, by at least three times, than it contained at any time previously, not excluding the Presidential campaign. The CHAIRMAN. What you want to say is "Yes"'; is that right? Mr. Smith. No; I said what I wanted to say. Mr. Fish. No; I think that is a fair answer. Mr. SMITH. Yes. Mr. FISH. That is all. The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Johnson, have you any questions? Mr. Johnson. No, Mr. Chairman; I have no questions. The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Eaton?



« PreviousContinue »