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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 mistaké 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 à 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 å 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 deems 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 incomplete 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
maintenance of the minimum labor standards prescribed by Congress. I therefore strongly recommend the insertion in section 3 (a) (1) of a proviso which would fully spell out the desire on the part of Congress to maintain labor standards and labor's rights unimpaired in the operation of the lend-lease program.
Third, report to Congress: In the development of so far-reaching a program, it is imperative that the people of the United States be fully informed of progress of every phase in its administration. To accomplish this I believe it would be desirable to embody a specific provision in the bill requiring all agencies of the Government utilized by the President in the administration of the law to report to Congress in detail on the manner in which the tasks assigned to such agencies are being carried out and to require the President to report to Congress on the progress of the entire program as well as its effects upon the employment, wage, and price trends.
Fourth, reciprocity for aid: The object of the lend-lease bill is to make the United States “the arsenal for the democracies" and to carry out President Roosevelt's pledge to send to the democratic nations, “in ever-increasing numbers ships, planes, tanks, guns." In promulgating this bill Congress cannot lose sight of the crucial problem we shall be facing possibly in a short time when our Nation stands face to face with the task of returning to normal life and of dismantling the great arsenal we shall have built up. It is only fair to our own people and equitable to all peoples concerned that, in return for effective aid we furnish to other nations, these nations through a solemn covenant would pledge themselves to a cooperative arrangement which would assure an outlet for American goods in a peacetime world market and thus provide a basis for full employment to our workers when peace comes.
The aftermath of the present struggle will be a crucial test of our economic system and even of our institutions themselves. I cannot think of a fairer and yet more imperative safeguard against utter chaos and collapse at the end of this war that is now raging throughout the world than a clear-cut formula of full economic participation by the United States in the period of post-war reconstruction.
Now, members of the committee, may I quote just briefly from a report made by the executive council of the American Federation of Labor to the Sixtieth Annual Convention of the American Federation of Labor?
The CHAIRMAN. The committee will be very glad to have it. Proceed.
Mr. GREEN. And a resolution adopted by the convention. All of that will make clear the position of the American Federation of Labor.
The CHAIRMAN. The committee is very anxious to have it.
Mr. GREEN. This is a quotation from the report of the executive council, November 18, 1940.
With the successive attacks on Denmark, Luxemburg, Norway, and Holland, the overpowering of Belgium and France, there was no mistaking the fact that revolution stalked in Europe and threatened the whole world. When Italy formally entered the war against England and France the Rome-Berlin Axis broadened its cooperation from a political to a military alliance. Japanese aggression threatens colonial possessions in the Orient of countries at war, and Japan has reorganized its state and society on a totalitarian basis. Russia while not actually on a war basis stands ready to spring its half-civilized millions into the balances. The full force of the revolution of destruction has been turned against Great Britain in the Battle of Britain. The fate of this last democratic nation of
Europe is of importance to every other democratic country throughout the world. If Great Britain wins the Battle of Britain, democracy wins. If Great Britain is defeated, then America and democracy are increasingly menaced and our peaceful pursuit of life is seriously threatened. The threat of war will be brought nearer to our homeland as well as to our homes.
So long as Great Britain successfully resists the attack being made upon her, as she is now doing, we in America can feel reasonably safe. The Atlantic Ocean and Great Britain stand as a barrier of protection to America.
It is quite logical and sound, therefore, that we in America would manifest a deep interest in the Battle of Britain. She stands as the last outpost in the Old World in defense of democracy and the democratic form of government. Figuratively speaking, she stands as the first line of defense against totalitarian aggression in the Western Hemisphere. We hope and pray Great Britain will win. Our sympathies go out to her people, the men and women who make up the British Trade Union Congress, and to all who are fighting a heroic battle against tremendous odds. We favor the extension of all help and assistance possible to Great Britain, in her hour of need, on the part of our Government, short of war itself.
While we cannot settle the problems of Europe or guarantee any settlement that may be made, we cannot escape the consequences of what is happening in Europe or repercussions upon our political and economic institutions and habits. Nor can we put up barriers to keep out the propaganda and fifth line activity of the revolutionary machines of Germany and Russia, or the revolutionary forces accompanying commercial relations. No pledge, agreement, or treaty has binding power greater than the convenience of a dictatorship or a value more important than totalitarian opportunity. There is no basis for relationships based on mutual confidence and trust. Since there is no possibility of mutually advantageous relations between democratic nations and the totalitarian nations, we have no choice but to prepare to defend our ideals and our principles.
Whichever way the Battle of Britain may be decided, the democratic countries of the New World must be prepared to defend the New World against invasion and conquest. The United States has a responsibility in this crisis not only for defense but for leading in the development of machinery for international cooperation and the marketing of agricultural and industrial output in support of democratic ideals.
Now, the committee to which this section of the executive council's report was submitted, considered it carefully, and reported to the convention. I will now read the report of the committee upon this section of the executive council, and the action of the convention:
WAR IN EUROPE
(Executive Council's Report, p. 201) In this portion of the executive council's report there is contained an elaborate review of the war situation in Europe, and the conditions leading up to it.
Reference is then made to the effects of the war upon the trade-union movement of Europe, and the destruction of that movement in all countries where the Axis Powers have secured control.
The report indicates that whichever way the Battle of Britain may be decided will depend the rebirth or the death of trade-unionism in the Old World.
The executive council indicates that the Western Hemisphere, with its existing trade-union movement, cannot escape from the results of the savage, brutal, unjustified warfare now desolating Europe.
The report further makes it manifest that our trade-union movement cannot escape from the consequences, and that it is essential that we should give every possible activity to the defense of our borders, including the Western Hemisphere, so that a free trade-union movement may continue to function within our hemisphere and serve as an energizing power to assist in reorganizing the trade-union movement after the present war is terminated.
In addition your committee calls attention to the fact that as we meet in convention in New Orleans, hundreds of thousands of trade unionists in Europe who, but a few months ago, depended for their protection upon their trade-unions, are now prisoners of war, compelled to work as such under the brutal administration of the Axis Powers.
In connection with this portion of the executive council's report, special consideration is given to the subject of defense.