« PreviousContinue »
Mr. JOHNSON. Do you think it is necessary for our own safety that we give all aid to England promptly?
General O'Ryan. I think it is conceivable that they could get along without us, because miracles sometimes happen. But, as I said in outlining these military principles, why take the chance? We need not send any troops over there.
Mr. JOHNSON. Your judgment is that it would be wise for us to be prepared to go to war at once, as I understand it. Is that right?
General O'Ryan. Oh, yes.
General O'Ryan. I would say that the principle underlying this dissertation, is the importance of morale. What I suggested that we do would, I believe, have the effects that I indicated, on the morale of the contending forces.
The CHAIRMAN. Dr. Eaton?
Mr. RICHARDS. In view of the lateness of the hour, Mr. Chairman, I have no questions.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Tinkham? Mr. TINKHAM. No questions. The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Shanley? Mr. SHANLEY. General, would you be able to enlighten us on just what chances there are of a crew of suicide bombers coming over from Africa and destroying the Panama Canal?
General O'Ryan. I think it is a waste of your time, frankly, for me to attempt to answer such questions.
Mr. SHANLEY. I hate to disagree with you, but I do.
General O'Ryan. It is speculation. I have had very little experience with that except flying around in aircraft of various kinds here and in Europe. I have never made a study of that. I will leave that to the air force people.
Mr. SHANLEY. I assumed that you were a military expert.
General O’RYAN. "Expert” might mean anything. I prefer not to venture opinions on that. I think you would get sound answers from the officers at the head of the Air Corps.
Mr. SHANLEY. I asked that because I consider the Panama Canal the Achilles heel of our naval supremacy. If we cannot preserve and protect that, we are not going to have the freedom of the seas and we are not going to have naval supremacy.
General O'Ryan. I agree with you about that.
Mr. SHANLEY. That is why I asked that question. In the back of my mind is the feeling that it can be done. General O’RYAN. I would say that most anything can be done in
What can be done by soldiers who have determination and who are seasoned is almost unbelievable.
Mr. SHANLEY. I assumed that in your studies and your talks with military experts, because you are a high ranking National Guard officer, somebody might have given you enlightenment on that question. But I see that, like General Johnson, you feel that these things are too hypothetical.
The CHAIRMAN. Mrs. Rogers?
Mrs. ROGERS. No questions.
Mr. VORys. General, you are against gangsters. Japan is a gangster in her treatment of China, in their wholesale murder, rape, and pillage. Isn't that true?
General O'RYAN. I think that is the view.
Mr. Vorys. Do you think that we have a police duty to stamp out that gangster?
General O'Ryan. No. I do not believe that Japan has any capacity to control the seas, as far as I can see, and certainly no intention or capacity to invade the United States.
Mr. Vores. I thought you said that we had a moral duty to wipe out gangsters.
General O'Ryan. No. I didn't mention the moral duty except incidentally in regard to what I believed to be our own interests in going to the aid of Britain. I see a wide difference between the two situations.
Mr. VORYS. That is all.
Mr. MUNDT. General, did I understand you to say that you think that England will surrender her fleet to the totalitarian powers?
General O'Ryan. I believe that if Britain is vanquished, it is likely that Hitler will secure the British Grand Fleet. Yes. That is my personal opinion.
Mr. MUNDT. In that event the 50 destroyers that we gave to Great Britain will be used against us?
General O'RYAN. I don't know what will become of them.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much, General. We appreciate your being here.
STATEMENT OF MISS DOROTHY THOMPSON Miss THOMPSON. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, I wish to say by way of beginning that my only qualification to testify is that for 7 years I have more than most laymen in this country studied with excruciating care the political, revolutionary, and military tactics of the German Nazi Government; and the only reason why you should hear me perhaps is because I have on numerous occasions predicted exactly what they are going to do, on the basis of information from German sources.
So I should like to tell you that the Germans intend to encircle this country and drive it to a purely defensive position and eliminate it as a world power to be reckoned with. They intend to do this with economic and military and revolutionary means. Those revolutionary means include the fomenting of civil war in the United States, once this country is really isolated, is the last democracy in the world, and can have pressure of a political, economic, and military kind brought against it. That is their program; and if there were time, I could bring a great deal of evidence from German sources to prove that that is their program.
Now, they count on keeping us for that purpose divided from Great Britain.
I would like to say that no feature of Europe's collapse is more common or more striking than the time lag between what the situation really called for at a given movement and what the public and Parliament were ready to sanction.
A relatively good policy may fail if it is applied half-heartedly. The success of a country's foreign policy may depend less on its intrinsic merits than upon the degree of popular support that it can win, so that the government applying the policy can do so with speed, decision, and persistence.
I am for our present policy, because I believe it is the only possible policy in view of the plans that are against us; and therefore I am for this bill.
When the charge is made that Britain wants to get us into the war, it is well to remember that there is one simple act of Britain that will almost certainly get this country into war, or into a catastrophic defeat without war, and that is to surrender to Germany, thus bringing about the establishment of a pro-Nazi government in England, the final surrender of General Weigand and the French Fleet, and the fleets of the Netherlands, of Norway, and the handing over of the British Fleet and Britain's factory and war resources to the Germans.
If we let Britain down, and a pro-Nazi government succeeds Churchill in London, we shall be more unpopular than Germany in England; and no promises made about the fleet will necessarily have validity, because it will not be a Churchill government that will dispose of the fleet.
We have been advised by various people that we try for a negotiated peace now. The two things are not compatible. If we do not greatly increase aid to Britain, there will be a dictated peace wholly on German terms. If we do greatly increase aid to Britain, so that it becomes doubtful whether Germany can win the war, even if it is also doubtful whether England can win it, then you have got a situation as between relative equals; and under those conditions a negotiated peace might be possible.
The most astonishing thing about these hearings is the completely new interpretations that emerge of America's role in the world and what it is that America is prepared to defend. We are the greatest Nation of western civilization up to now, the most powerful single nation; but we have already relinquished rights which we have maintained throughout our entire history.
For instance, by withdrawing our ships from belligerent zones under the terms of the Neutrality Act, we surrendered a position which we have maintained throughout our history and for which we have actually fought 3 wars—the right to freedom of the seas in peace as in war. Throughout our history, from the time we were 13 struggling colonies, we have interpreted our rights to include the defense of our commercial interests overseas, the right of our citizens to travel wherever they chose on this earth, and equality of competition in world markets.
We have never considered the defense of the actual territory of the United States, and part of the Western Hemisphere, as an adequate defense program since the days of George Washington. I see no reason except defeatism for suggesting that we now turn the oceans into moats instead of highways, which they have always been, and voluntarily retire as a first-class power, and voluntarily put ourselves in a position where we can only take a defensive.
If Great Britain falls, we will be encircled in two oceans. We will be subject to blackmail upon our institutions.
We know exactly what the Nazi method is. The Nazis have not invaded Switzerland, but they are continually attempting to control the Swiss press under threat. The same is true of Sweden. Already people in these countries are afraid to speak their minds. The technique of the Nazis is to use a superior military and economic position for purposes of political pressure.
We sell cotton, wheat, oil, tobacco-commodities on which some sections of our country depend for their lives—to countries that if the Nazis win the war will all be Nazi and controlled from Berlin. I am making you a prophecy that I am sure will come true. Germandominated Eurasia will offer to buy our cotton, wheat, oil, and so forth, provided-provided we have a President in the White House who suits them.
If that seems to be exaggerated, let me remind you that the Nazis threatened war on Great Britain months before the war began, if Mr. Churchill became Prime Minister. And very great interests in this country, who advertise in the press, will bring their own pressure on the press to comply with Nazi demands, in order that they may be able to sell their goods. Under cover of this sort of thing the Nazis will penetrate this country quite peaceably. And don't forget, it won't be only the German Nazis; we shall have French Nazis and Irish Nazis, and, above all and most importantly, English Nazis, bringing pressure on us. Every racial group in this country which remembers its origin will be propagandized to stand with the new order in Germany, England, Ireland, France, Italy, and everywhere else.
Gentlemen, we go on talking about whether a unified command is really necessary, whether energetic action is really necessary, whether we are really threatened. Everything that you gentlemen have done indicates that we are terribly threatened. For the first time in our history we are establishing a huge standing army. We are planning
for a two-ocean navy. We have appropriated an amount for defense equal to about a seventh of the national income. None of the isolationists are calling this hysteria. They insist that a two-ocean navy, for instauce, is based upon our most vital needs.
Those who insist that the British Navy does not offer any defense to this country had better explain why we must build a two-ocean navy if the British are defeated. For the life of me I can't see why America is taking greater risks in helping the British Navy to continue to exist than she will if we let it be sunk or captured. The actual truth is that resistance to the menace of European combinations through common action of the British and American Fleets has been a feature of American policy for more than a hundred years. James Madison, when he was President of the United States, said:
With the British power and Navy combined with our own, we have nothing to fear from the rest of the world.
In 1823 a victorious holy alliance threatened to conquer the Spanish colonies of this hemisphere which had recently proclaimed their independence. Simultaneously Russia was threatening to extend its power from Alaska down the Pacific coast. Then, as now, this hemisphere was threatened on both sides by a coalition of victorious imperialist states; and it was under those conditions that President Monroe, through the British Minister in London, entered into negotiations with Canning, the British Foreign Secretary, the result of which was the Monroe Doctrine.
Those negotiations were submitted to Jefferson, and Jefferson made this statement:
While America, North and South, have a set of interests distinct from those of Europe, there is one nation which could disturb us in this purpose. She now offers to lead, aid, and accompany us in it. By acceding to her propositions we bring her mighty weight of free government on our side and emancipate a continent at one stroke.
Now, the Monroe Doctrine is turned around, and we by the same coalition of government activities as we have used for the last hundred years, have an opportunity again to emancipate a continent at one stroke, or in a few strokes, namely, the Continent of Europe, in which case we will then have a situation in which we can create a peace.
I would like to say this: Nazi Germany has no intention of supporting the Monroe Doctrine. Yet we have again proclaimed that an attack on one of the American States is an attack on all, that if you touch one American republic you touch us. So that even the most extreme of our isolationists is prepared to have American boys die on foreign soil if Patagonia is attacked by an overseas power.
If you can tell me on what grounds of strategy or sense we should be prepared to have American boys die in Patagonia, or in the jungles of Brazil, or even in Venezuela, but would not move to prevent a German occupation of Ireland, I should like to hear them. Certainly I have never found a naval man who thinks that this makes sense.
I cannot see that the preservation of the independence of Latin America is more vital to us than the preservation of the freedom and independence of the British Commonwealth. In fact, I think the former depends on the latter.
If you want to put it on cold, materialistic grounds, in the year 1938, 76.7 percent of our total exports were to the British Isles and to the British Empire, and 79.5 percent of our total imports were from the