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Mrs. HARRIMAN. Norway was flooded last year with German businessmen, supposedly businessmen, who established themselves in the hotels, and used to take the young girls out dancing in the evenings, and become very friendly with everybody, and Norway was very pleased with the idea that they were building their trade and accelerating their trade with Germany; and on the morning of the invasion, all of these men came out of their hotel rooms in either the uniform of the Army, or of the Gestapo.
Mr. JOHNSON. That is all.
Mr. EATON. I have just one question, Mrs. Harriman. How do you account for this extraordinary spectacle? The Norwegian race 900 years ago came across the Atlantic Ocean in little canoes and conquered half of Europe and settled Normandy, out of which came the conquest of England.
How do you account for the fact that with that historic background they were taken like sheep in 1 day?
Mrs. HARRIMAN. Because they were the most peace-loving people in the world, and they thought that they lived at peace with the other nations, and the Germans were continually telling them that they were their best friends, and that they had nothing to fear from them. And they are the most honest, upright people that I have ever met, as a whole, and they believed what they were told, because they always tell the truth themselves.
Mr. EATON. What has been the effect of their disillusionment? Are they getting warlike again?
Mrs. HARRIMAN. I think that they regret very much that they took the League of Nations at its face value and they trusted in the integrity of the great nations who promised to defend them. I think that they are very unhappy over that.
Mr. RICHARDS. Mrs. Harriman, we have heard about your splendid conduct over there and we want to congratulate you. You say that you are almost a pacifist?
Mrs. HARRIMAN. You asked me, am I?
Mrs. HARRIMAN. No; I could not say today that I was. I think with a Hit'er loose in the world, that we have to change our tactics.
Mr. RICHARDS. Most of the people of Norway were quite pacifistic, were they not?
Mrs. HARRIMAN. Yes; the labor government, anyhow, and most of them.
Mr. RICHARDS. They did not want to fight anybody, did they?
Mrs. HARRIMAN. Not wanting to fight did not do them any good; no, but may I, Mr. Chairman, make a statement here, in connection with that?
The CHAIRMAN. Yes.
Mrs. HARRIMAN. In connection with not doing any good, it has been the general impression here that Norway did not stand up to the Germans. I think that that was a complete misapprehension. The Germans came in so suddenly that I was one of the first who knew about it because the British Minister called me up and asked me to take over his Legation at 3 o'clock in the morning. Once the Germans took over, and the “fifth columnists" did, no one was able to get word out of Norway about the invasion. People stood out in the streets looking up and I sent my chauffeur to some of them and said it was not safe, you must get inside, because the shrapnel is dropping, and they said they thought it was maneuvers.
That was 6 or 7 o'clock in the morning, but the very minute that they did appreciate it, they could not have been more patriotic and they put up à splendid fight considering that they bad very little with which to defend themselves, and of course the Fort Oscarburg in the Oslo Fjord sank the Butkey, which was the largest ship in the German Navy, and Dinisinu, that morning, as they were trying to invade the town, and they would then have invaded Norway from the sea, but they lost about 20,000 Germans by drowning that day, and only one fort fell without resistance, on the whole coast of Norway.
Mr. RICHARDS. When I say it did not do them any good, I meant that Hitler did not take into consideration at all the peaceful nature of those people, or the limited preparedness that they had?
Mrs. HARRIMAN. Only to this extent, that German prisoners and German dead had in their pockets orders, once they had taken the place, to treat the people very gently, because you cannot drive a Norwegian, you can only lead them. They had those orders from the Germans, but I don't know, perhaps I did not answer you properly.
Mr. RICHARDS. Mrs. Harriman, are you in favor of aid to Britain?
Mr. SHANLEY. Mrs. Harriman, you agree that everything that Miss Thompson said about a revolutionary economic penetration is the plan of Mr. Hitler and his totalitarian forces, and that was proven by the events in Norway?
Mrs. HARRIMAN. Yes; I think judging by the events in Norway that that is what would follow.
Mr. SAANLEY. Thank you.
Mrs. ROGERS. Are you still in the employ of the United States Government?
Mrs. HARRIMAN. I sent in my resignation some 6 weeks ago. As yet I have had no acceptance of it, but I know it was accepted on the 21st. I have not had it in written form.
Mrs. ROGERS. You are not talking as Minister to Norway?
Mrs. Rogers. I want to thank you for your extreme help to Captain Gainard and the crew of the U. S. S. Flint.
He is my constituent and he told me of your great assistance in helping with his escape with his ship.
Mrs. HARRIMAN. That is very interesting.
Mrs. Rogers. Now, Madam Minister, did it not prove that Great Britain first violated 'the neutrality of Norway, in the prison ship incident, when it was running inside its coastal waters?
Mrs. HARRIMAN. Well, when the invasion came, they were still fighting over who had violated the neutrality of Norway, the British believed that the Norwegians knew that those prisoners were on board the German ship, and the Norwegians said that they did not know, but the thing was not settled at all.
Mrs. ROGERS. In your opinion was it not a violation?
Mrs. HARRIMAN. Yes; it was, but I think it was perfectly justifiable considering that they knew that they were there and that they had been for months, almost, prisoners.
I said I supposed it was justifiable. I could not help but admire the courage of Mr. Churchill in ordering them to take those prisoners off, but I don't think it was according to the Hague Convention. I am quite sure it was not.
Mrs. Rogers. You feel in view of this, that it would be all right for us to violate neutrality, if we have any such thing left?
The CHAIRMAN. I do not think that that is a proper question, whether she thinks it would be right for us to violate the neutrality. I do not think that that is a proper question.
Mrs. Rogers. Thank you very much.
Mr. ARNOLD. Mrs. Harriman, you say the Norwegians did not know these were agents of propaganda. Could you in your capacity as Minister discern that their propaganda was being carried on in Norway?
Mrs. HARRIMAN. I cannot say that I did know it, no. I do not think anyone did. We were very blind as I look back at it now, and very unsuspecting of everything, the British as well as ourselves.
Mr. ARNOLD. But now you know of many things?
Mr. ARNOLD. You can see that it was going on, and if the same thing were to happen over again, you could detect it?
Mrs. HARRIMAN. No; I do not think that I could. I do not think that I could detect it, no.
Mr. ARNOLD. Do you see any evidences since returning to this country of any propaganda?
Mrs. HARRIMAN. Yes, I see evidence of people saying a great many things that I do not think they know what they mean.
Mr. ARNOLD. And you feel sure that this would increase if Britain would fall and would be the means of Germany carrying on her conquest in this country?
Mrs. HARRIMAN. I think it is increasing all the time now.
Mr. CHIPERFIELD. Mrs. Harriman, I have no questions, but I do want to state that we are all very proud of your actions in Norway, and I want you to know that we all want to congratulate you on your work there.
Mr. BURGIN. I have no questions.
Mr. EBERHARTER. Mrs. Harriman, you would not say that it would be a proper policy on the part of the United States to adopt an isolationist program?
Mrs. HARRIMAN. To follow an isolationist program?
Mrs. HARRIMAN. I say that I am an anti-isolationist, and I always have been.
Mr. EBERHARTER. Thank you; that is all.
Mr. MUNDT. Mrs. Harriman, you believe that the best interests of the United States, for us to extend our aid short of war to England and her associates at this time?
Mrs. HARRIMAN. Yes; I certainly do.
Mr. MUNDT. Do you believe it is to the best interests of the United States to keep out of the war, insofar as becoming a belligerent is concerned?
Mrs. HARRIMAN. I did not get that last, I am so sorry.
Mr. Mundt. Do you believe it is to the best interest of the United States to keep out of the actual war itself?
Mrs. HARRIMAN. If possible, I certainly do.
Mr. Mundt. And you are perfectly willing to leave it to Congress to work out a program which will best implement those two objectives?
Mrs. HARRIMAN. If they do not take too long.
The CHAIRMAN. Mrs. Harriman, it is a great pleasure to have you here, and we enjoyed your testimony. Thank you very much.
STATEMENT OF WILLIAM GREEN, PRESIDENT OF THE AMERICAN
FEDERATION OF LABOR
The CHAIRMAN. Do you have a prepared statement?
The CHAIRMAN. You may be seated or stand, just whatever is most convenient to you.
Mr. GREEN. Mr. Chairman, and members of the committee, first of all I want to make it clear that the American Federation of Labor is in favor of the enactment of H. R. 1776 into law at the earliest possible moment.
Now, that is pretty plain, and positive, so that there will be no mistake about that, but I have, however, one or two minor amendments that I wish to submit for your consideration.
It is the considered judgment of the American Federation of Labor and of the vast majority of the wage earners of America that the basic provisions of H. R. 1776 constitute a necessary and indispensable instrumentality of the national defense of the United States. While labor believes that this bill should be perfected through amendments in several details, it fully approves the principles of this measure and urgently pleads for its prompt enactment.
Aid to Britain and to all democratic nations now pitted in battle to stem the onslaught of aggression against self-government of free peoples must be placed upon a firm foundation of a specific grant of statutory authority accorded to the executive branch of our Government by Congress.
This bill must serve not only as a grant of authority for the execution of a program spelled out by Congress but also as a basic instrument of the national policy of the people of the United States.
In order to clarify and perfect the proposed measure, the American Federation of Labor recommends the following substantive modifications of this bill:
First, the time limit upon the grant of extraordinary powers:
Article 1, section 8, clause 12 of the Constitution of the United States vests in the Congress the power to raise and support armies but provides that "no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than 2 years.
The extraordinary powers for which Congress must grant specific authority should be defined in terms of the real needs which arise out of a practical situation. The constitutional provisions to which I have just referred reflects a profound conviction on the part of the authors of the Constitution that a democracy should not surrender for an indefinite period of time its basic processes and procedures; that extraordinary powers of military authorities should not stand in perpetuity and in time become a substitute for civilian powers which provide the necessary and proper channels for the self-government of a democratic people; and that a government by consent can only remain a democratic government so long as the popular consent to grants of power is conditioned on resubmission of such grants to the people and their duly elected representatives within reasonable time.
The emergency conditions we are facing are changing rapidly. There is little doubt that we shall soon be faced with new and now unforeseeable problems arising out of new situations. I believe, it is necessary, therefore, to place a reasonable limit upon the grant of extraordinary powers provided in the bill, and I believe that a 2-year limit to such powers is not only a reasonable one under the present conditions but also accords with the intent and spirit of those who have so wisely framed our Constitution.
Second, the grant of power to commandeer production should be circumscribed. Section 3 (a) (1) of the proposed bill states that:
Notwithstanding the provisions of any other law, the President may, from time to time, when he deems it in the interest of national defense, authorize the Secretary of War, the Secretary of the Navy, or the head of any other department or agency of the Government
(1) To manufacture in arsenals, factories, and shipyards under their jurisdiction, or otherwise procure, any defense article for the government of any country whose defense the President decms vital to the defense of the United States.
In a statement made on January 10 to the House and the Senate, respectively, the Majority Leaders McCormack and Barkley attempted to interpret the meaning of this and other provisions of the bill. In this statement it was pointed out thatthe power to manufacture under this provision does not carry with it a waiver of the Eight-Hour Act, the Walsh-Healey Act, and similar domestic legislation.
Labor believes that the implications of such a provision and its possible consequences to our entire national economy are so vast that more than an incompleto clarifying statement is needed to indicate the clear intent of Congress in this basic question of policy. I, therefore, recommend a specific inclusion into this section of a proviso which would clearly set forth the full and unimpaired applicability of the Eight-Hour Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Walsh-Healey Act, the Bacon-Davis Act, the National Labor Relations Act, and of other laws guaranteeing to workers free exercise of their rights to self-organization and collective bargaining and full