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which they wish to be affiliated, or establishment of conditions which justify equal status with other limited sovereignty nations.
4. Creation of an association or commonwealth of states, the collective authority of which must transcend, in the economic sphere, the rights of separate nations. This authority must be vested with such power as is necessary to enable it to achieve the essential international controls.
To maintain peace, national and hemispheric sovereignty must be subordinated to world institutions and obligations.
We believe that all nations, whatever the outcome of the present conflict, should participate in the peace conference to work out the ending of the major economic causes of war, through a large degree of international organization.
We hope the knowledge that America will approve only such a post-war organization will have a greater influence in securing an early ending of hostilities than any military aid we could send.
Mr. Marsh. Now, I would like to suggest to the committee that we already have the draft; the young men have been drafted. We have not dared to tax the wealth of America yet as we did in the World War, but we have gotten the young men, including my son, in the draft. I would like to have the members of the committee directly address a communication to the British Government or request the President of the United States to ask Mr. Churchill and the British Government why that government does not dare to state whether it stands for the international organization which the Labor Party demands. Why is their government and why is our Government afraid to suggest the objectives of this war in terms of a new organization?
If this committee will do that, if this Congress will do that--and I believe it would on the recommendation of these two committeesthen I think that there would not be very much chance for Hitler to continue his appeal to his people. I hope I am not wrong. be in error in assuming that the members of this committee would like to prevent all the bloodshed they can; and although we have several million extra people in America, we do not want to get rid of them in that way. I suggest that it is time now for a little intelligent discussion throughout the world of what this war is about, what sort of an organization we propose to have after this war. It will not make profits for Americans to end the war today. I admit that that does not worry me, and I am sure that it does not this committee, but I respectfully submit to this committee that we have a chance to do something now much more important than the appropriating of $17,000,000,000 if we find out what we hope to accomplish by the expenditure of those billions, and it is only a starter, and accomplish by an appeal over Hitler's head, and over Mussolini's head, to the workers of Germany and Italy. That is not as dramatic as having airplanes in the demonstration in our coronation services in the National Capital, but it is a step in which I know the people of this world are interested. I am as gray-haired, but not quite as bald, as some of the members of this committee, but I venture to suggest that the young people of today will not likely feel kindly toward an economic system nor toward the governments which cannot find a substitute for plunging nations into war. Our governments are defunct, and our economic systems are defunct, and before we start down this road to dictatorship in America I appeal to this committee to make an appeal to find out what this war is about. I think you should accept these very practical nonpolitical suggestions.
The ChairMAN. Thank you very much. The committee will take
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Burke will read the statement which was to be read by Mr. Amos Pinchot for the record.
Mr. BURKE. Yes, sir.
STATEMENT OF AMOS PINCHOT REPRESENTING THE AMERICAN
DEFENSE SOCIETY, NEW YORK CITY
The CHAIRMAN. Proceed, Mr. Burke.
Mr. BURKE. Mr. Pinchot came here to appear before you gentlemen of the committee. He left a sickbed to do so, and was taken with a chill. He has been most unwell for some time.
The CHAIRMAN. The committee so understands.
Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, may I preface my statement, which will be brief, by saying, as other witnesses before your committee have said, that the situation that confronts the country is too serious to admit of any partisanship. And I would like to add that it is also so serious that no witness before this committee, or American citizen speaking his mind anywhere, should refrain from expressing what he believes to be the truth, because of any fear or apprehension that he will be charged with partisanship. After all, on whichever side a man stands in this controversy, aroused by the bill you are considering, the best and most we can expect from him is that he shall say, without reservation, what he believes to be for the best good of the country.
Like a vast majority of Americans, I am deeply moved by the struggle the English people are waging against Adolf Hitler. And I want to see all possible aid, consistent with maintaining peace and our own defense, given to Britain-and given fast.
My fundamental objection to this bill, and it would be the same whether it had been drawn at the instigation of Mr. Willkie instead of President Roosevelt, is that it is a measure to promote not so much all-out help to Britain, as all-out help to flip the American Republic, overnight, into war and dictatorship.
No one who has studied this bill, and heard the arguments up to date on both sides, should kid himself into the belief that Mr. Roosevelt, an overtaxed unpredictable man with an itch for power, or anyone else, for that matter, should be clothed with complete discretionary power to liquidate, give away, or permanently scatter to the ends of the earth America's defenses, to the last ship, gun, or plane, plus every resource needful in war. I cannot see how anyone can entertain such an idea unless he honestly believes that the President is literally an omniscient superman-a chief executive in whom are summed up and concentrated all the qualities and abilities, moral, mental, and physical, that made Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and General Grant or General Lee great in their own lines.
That any of you gentlemen in this committee, or in Congress, should entertain such a thought seems proof of how far American common sense and self-confidence can drift in a time of fear and hysteria, produced, and I think induced, during the last few months—but mainly since election day.
The President reassuringly says he would sooner stand on his head in public that use some of the more arbitrary of these powers. However, my observation of Mr. Roosevelt's inclinations since 1936 leads me to suspect that he would rather stand on his head than not use them.
Mr. Chairman, what do you think would happen to Churchill, even now, with England so hard-pressed and battered night and day from Hitler's airports 20 miles distant were he to go before parliament and say: “Mr. Speaker, in view of the present emergency, which I can testify is on hand rather than on order, I'd like to have you give me power to present Britain's submarines to Stalin, her cruisers to Franco, her air fleets to Chiang Kai-shek, and her battleships, the pride of the British Navy, to President Franklin D. Roosevelt."
And Mr. Churchill might continue: "of course, Mr. Speaker, you understand that, when you give me these powers, which I must have at once, I am not going to use them. Indeed, I would rather walk through Dowing Street on my hands than employ any of them. But I want and ought to have them, if for no other reason, because leaders all over the world are making collections of powers. And, when the war is over, I shall put mine in a little museum I'm going to build on my country estate, just like President Roosevelt's documentary museum on the Hudson."
Just how long do you think Mr. Churchill would be Prime Minister of England, after he had made such a proposition to the democratic, liberty-loving people of that nation?
You may say that Winston Churchill is entrusted with great powers and has used them with discretion and effect. And I will agree. But, in the first place, his powers are as a whisper in a cyclone compared to what bill 1776 provides for the President. And Mr. Churchill cannot stay in power a moment longer than the English people want him. For remember the moment his policies become unacceptable, or his ability fails to meet the test of the hour, he can be removed by a plurality of a single vote in the House of Commons, and his whole administration goes out with him.
Since Franklin D. Roosevelt came into the Presidency, England has had 4 different Prime Ministers, Ramsay MacDonald, Standley Baldwin, Neville Chamberlain, and finally Mr. Churchill, the latter installed after the war began. And France, incidentally, has had 12. Also, the British system provides another protection for democracy and against dictatorship, in that the Prime Minister may at all times be hailed to the floor of Parliament, where he must submit to full interrogation, both as to his past acts and intentions for the future.
Here in the United States, on the other hand, the President is a sacred, untouchable personage, a sort of gilded demigod set high up on a pedestal, whom neither the people nor Congress can hold responsible for mistakes, incompetence, bad judgment, or abuse of power, except at the end of 4 years. The only remedy is impeachment. And impeachment, never attempted except in the case of President Johnson in 1868, is more than evei a dead letter. Because, with the enormous growth in his job and money patronage, a President's influence over Congress is terrific.
President Roosevelt promised solemnly and often during his campaign to keep this Nation out of war. This bill authorizes him to commit acts which would almost inevitably throw us into war. There is no question about that, acts violating the letter and spirit of international law and treaties.
Said President Roosevelt at Convention Hall in Philadelphia on October 23: "It is for peace I have labored. It is for peace that I shall labor all the days of
Said President Roosevelt at Hartford, Conn., on October 30: "For 75 years, nearly 8, the United States not only has remained at peace, not only has kept free from any entanglement, but the United States today is at peace and is going to remain at peace.” Said the President at the great Madison Square Garden meeting 7 days before the election: “We shall continue to go forward in firm faith. We shall continue to go forward in peace.'
And yet, although the President and the Cabinet refuse to disclose, but occasionally hint at, some unknown new danger to us, or to England, the situation abroad appears to be less rather than more critical than when the ballots were counted.
And, though on January 10, a Gallup Poll was published in Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox's Chicago paper, showing that throughout the United States only 12 percent of the population approves entry into the war, and 88 percent are firmly against it, the Government seems to be eager, yes, strangely eager, to slide this country into hostilities--without letting Congress have a chance to make the decision pro or con. Otherwise this bill never would have been drawn.
I think this is a terrible and tragic thing. It is wrong, if anything is wrong. It is a thing against which patriotic Americans should express full, firm, and allout opposition. Some of the supporters of this bill, and especially of sections 1 to 3, have speciously argued that a dictatorial form of government, amounting to an abdication by Congress, is required in time of war. Let me say right here that the magnificent record of Great Britain in this war rudely shatters that idea. For there is no dictatorship in a country where Parliament can depose the Prime Minister and fire the Cabinet, no matter how absolute may be the powers that were given to the executive branch.
Let me say also that, though dictatorship may be a good instrument for war in a country like Germany, where the people have had little freedom, and where both people and industry are used to regimentation and submission, dictatorship in this country, where cooperation and private initiative has been the rule, would stall and confuse our defense program as well as shrink aid for England. It would be a major disaster.
The fact is that every country must work, in war as in peace, in accordance with its own genius and history. To try to graft onto this nation, at this time, a Prussian organization of society such as this bill, deceptively spoken of as a
defense bill, and inappropriately labeled 1776, would set up, would be defeating the purposes and betraying the soul of America.
Mr. Chairman, this bill, if passed, would, I believe, launch this country, which we all love, whatever our differences of opinion on other matters may be, onto a dark and tragic stream. As to bill 1776, in its present form or any form resembling it, the motto of the American people should definitely read: “It shall not pass."
The CHAIRMAN. Capt. William J. Grace, representing the Citizens Keep America Out of War Committee, Chicago, Ill.
Mr. GRACE. Yes, sir.
STATEMENT OF WILLIAM J. GRACE, CHAIRMAN, THE CITIZENS
KEEP AMERICA OUT OF WAR COMMITTEE, CHICAGO, ILL.
I am chairman of the Citizens Keep America Out of War Committee, which is a group of citizens called together as a result of a council of the Cook County Council of Veterans of Foreign Wars last June, who held a patriotic “keep America out of war" demonstration, in order to give evidence of the fact that their sentiment was more in favor of keeping out of war instead of getting into war, as the demonstration Senator Pepper had attempted to indicate at that time.
Following that first meeting of the committee we held a demonstration in Soldiers Field in Chicago, which was addressed by Colonel Lindbergh and others, and attended by some 40,000 people. After that meeting we determined to make our organization permanent and go on with our work. Today we are circulating a petition throughout the country, and the provisions of this petition are as follows: To the President and to the Congress of the United States of America:
The undersigned citizens of the United States of America petition you tom (1) Keep America, the United States of America, out of war.
(2) Use our resources of men, materials, and machines in building our own defenses so as to be able to meet the threat of any foreign invasion regardless of the victor overseas.
(3) Maintain the Neutrality Act and the Johnson Act unmodified.
(4) Keep free from taking sides and inviting war through encouraging the continuance of fighting or through inflammatory denunciations of belligerents.
(5) Maintain the honor of our country and the integrity of the pledged word of our Nation in dealing with neutrals and belligerents, by adherence to our treaty obligations and to our laws and to international law. We cannot successfully denounce any nation as an outlaw unless we ourselves respect the law in substance as well as in form.
(6) Plan and build against the insane delusion of war prosperity, to maintain which we will be dragged into war (as in 1917), and later suffer the ruin and starvation of depression, when peace finally comes.
(7) Under all circumstances keep the door open for all possible discussions of peace. .
As chairman of the Citizens Keep America Out of War Committee, I have been asked to come here to explain what the people who are signing our petition to Congress and to the President by the thousands want regarding war threats and why they want it. The people of the United States were not given an opportunity to vote against war in the election last November. Both candidates declared they would not take the United States into a foreign war. But now we are on the road to war.
The lend-lease bill has activated our petition movement almost to fever heat. The people feel that they are being deceived—that this bill will make it possible for the President alone to force them into political, economic, and military ambush.
According to the belief of 95 percent of those whom we interview, this bill does set the decrees of the President above all the rights of the people, if in his mind alone these rights must be sacrificed to his ideas of defense—no matter what these ideas may be.
It may be necessary to have one man to give the orders when we are in war. But does this signify that our American Nation must have one man to do its thinking for it when we are at peace? Are we so puny and brainless and unpatriotic that our destiny is tied up in the brain of a fallible individual? People believe that this bill gives “Yes” as the answer.
There will be terrific resentment on the part of our citizenry if this bill is not killed. Passing it will not make for help in getting this country ready for war. It will not help in getting this country ready to defend itself against a foreign invader. People fear the loss of their civil rights. They fear these rights will be taken away from them under this bill. They fear they are being swindled out of these rights. They will be resentful against Congress for giving up their rights. But they will be most resentful against the author of this bill, under whom, if we get into a war, they will have to fight, as their Commander in Chief.
Resentment against the Commander in Chief on the part of a great majority of the people will not aid defense. The people of this country will be more resentful than any people in the world have been able to be. They have not been trained to regard their public officials as masters. Mr. Wilson had the people behind him almost as a unit. But he did not ask them for such powers as are conferred upon the President by this bill.
If the President wants unanimity of public opinion behind him in his defense measures, he must not have this bill. The public will be resentful toward those Congressmen who vote for it. The portion of the public who can do most toward furthering defense measures will not work with a will. They will be so surly for being dragooned and shanghaied that the work must suffer. The minds of people will be more on the loss of their rights at home than on any possible foreign danger.
The greatest danger faced by the nation is not now from abroad. It is here at home. This country is in more danger internally as regards the future than it was in 1861 when Lincoln took office. "The dangerous question, gentlemen, is whether the people will supinely allow a legal dictatorship-let alone obey it.
This bill has provoked many question. Here are some that people are asking:
Would this measure give the President the right to disregard any law in the land that would in his opinion interfere with what he alone may decide to be necessary for the defense of the United States?
Would this bill deprive Congress of the power to impeach the President?
Would not this bill make the President accountable to himself alone?
Would it not deprive Congress of the right to protest against any acts of the President?