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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.
Your committee joins with the executive council in expressing the fervent hope and prayer that Great Britain will win, recognizing with the council that she stands as the last outpost in the Old World in the defense of democracy and the democratic form of government. 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 join in the recommendation of the executive council in favoring 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. We concur with this portion of the executive council's report.
After considerable discussion on the part of the hundreds of delegates in attendance at the convention, that report which I have just read, was adopted by a unanimous vote; not one dissenting vote.
The CHAIRMAN. Would you give the date of that convention?
Mr. GREEN. It was held at New Orleans, La., beginning November 18, and lasted for a period of 2 weeks.
The CHAIRMAN. Last year?
Whereas the totalitarian nations are everywhere imposing their rule of violence and terror; and
Whereas the successes of the totalitarian nations have everywhere been followed by the destruction of democracy and the free trade-union movement, and of all the moral, ethical, and religious values upon which our civilization rests; and
Whereas the outcome of the war now being fought by the totalitarian powers against the democracies will affect the lives of members of free trade-unions and the generations to succeed us, we believe that, to protect our security and our way of life, Great Britain and her allies must win and democracy survive: Therefore be it
Resolved, That this convention calls upon the President and Congress to take steps to provide all possible moral and material aid to Great Britain and her allies.
The report of the committee which recommended the adoption of the resolution was unanimously adopted.
There is the basis for my presentation of the statement just made a few moments ago. The great Congress of Labor, the highest authority within the American Federation of Labor, representing over 5,000,000 working men and women, expressed itself unanimously in support of the extension of all moral and material support possible on the part of our country to Great Britian and her allies.
We look upon it as a defense measure, and we believe that the extension of aid to Great Britian and her allies, in that we are merely carrying out our own defense program, because our defense program extends that far, and it is a matter of protection here.
That is all; thank you.
Mr. Fish. Mr. Green, I agree practically with everything that you said here this afternoon. You represent, Mr. Green, a great labor organization, and as I understand what you say, is it not that your organization is in favor of doing everything possible to help Great Britian short of war?
Mr. GREEN. That is right.
Mr. Fish. What is the attitude of your organization on going into war?
Mr. GREEN. The American Federation of Labor does not believe that America will become involved in the war. We would not look with favor upon America being involved in the European conflict. We do not think that there is any need for that at the present time, but we do believe that America, our country, should extend to Great Britain and her allies all of the moral and material support that lies within our power. We believe that that can be done through the adoption of this measure that this committee is now considering.
Mr. Fish. Mr. Green, I agree with you that that can be done, with certain amendments. You have suggested some very fine amendments, and of course other Members of Congress will also suggest some amendments to try to bring this within the provisions of the law, of the Constitution, and our democratic system, to do the very thing that you want done.
You would have no objection to that, would you?
Mr. GREEN. No; I would be very glad if that is accomplished. so far as extending aid and support to Great Britain is concerned. We would not want any amendments included in the measure that would hamper or hinder the President and his associates in the extension of aid and support to Great Britain.
Mr. Fish. I know of no amendments that have been suggested yet that are designed to hamper sending all material that is designed to Great Britain; I know of no such amendment. The amendments, Mr. Green, that have been discussed are all questions of retaining the constitutional powers of the Congress, I am sure, knowing your views, you have no objection to the Congress retaining its own constitutional powers.
Mr. GREEN. I have tried to make that clear in the suggestions that I have made; I hope that they will be helpful.
Mr. Fish. Mr. Green, just discussing briefly one part of the bill, that part which gives to the President the power to give away any part of our Navy. Would you object to a reasonable limitation on that power?
Mr. GREEN. I favor the extension of broad powers to the President. I am of the opinion that if such power as you have just described is conferred upon the President, that he will not abuse it.
Mr. Fish. Mr. Green, that has been said before by many witnesses, by Mr. Bullitt a few minutes ago, who knows the President very well; he assured us, Mr. Green, that the President would not use this power to give away any part of the Navy.
May I recall to your mind the fact that only a short time ago, comparatively, 6 months ago, the President tried to give away our new mosquito fleet, and the members of Congress stopped it by digging up a law, and the Attorney General ruled that the President had no such power.
Mr. GREEN. I am not so familiar with that, but we did favor the President giving Great Britain 50 destroyers; we were for that.
Mr. Fish. That was in exchange for certain bases that we needed. So I bring that out, Mr. Green, because I know, and I know your mind, that you want this bill to be written within the confines of the Constitution of the United States, to give all possible aid, and such a bill can be written, Mr. Green, to give them all of the ships and planes and munitions, just as many as is contained in this bill, and you would have no objection if such a bill were written, would you?
Mr. GREEN. I certainly would favor the enactment of a law that would confer upon the President the broad powers that are included in this bill, but I cannot conceive of anyone favoring any violation of the Constitution.
Mr. Fish. Do you have any objection, Mr. Green, to having a provision in this bill to prohibit the President from convoying any of our ships?
Mr. JOHNSON. I believe that I will object to that. The bill has nothing in it about convoys.
Mr. Fish. The press have carried statements that some spokesman for the White House has no objection to such provisions.
The CHAIRMAN. There is nothing in the bill, Mr. Fish, with reference to convoys.
Mr. Fish. I would say to the chairman, so that we can discuss that a little further, that convoys are not named, but the bill is so sweeping in its delegation of power that if this bill passed unamended it is my opinion, at least-it may be contrary to yours—that he can do that and a great many more dangerous things.
Mr. GREEN. I do not believe the President of the United States will ever assign our ships to convoy any vessels.
Mr. Fish. The President has so stated.
Mr. GREEN. I have faith in him; I believe he will exercise good judgment and keep us out of war, because he said he would.
Mr. Fish. He certainly did, and so did Mr. Wilson.
Mr. GREEN. If the Lusitania had not sunk, we probably would not have been in tbe World War, but if they do that again we will be in.
Mr. Fish. And therefore I take it that you are opposed to the convoying of our ships into the war zone?
Mr. GREEN. I just said a moment ago that I had such faith in the President that I know he is not going to run any risk of that kind, that would involve us in a European conflict.
Mr. Fish. The Secretary of the Navy said that that would be an act of war.
Mr. GREEN. I think the Neutrality Act prohibits the sailing of our vessels in war zones, does it not?
The CHAIRMAN. The Chair will have to rule that any further question of convoying of ships is outside the bill. You will have to confine yourself to the bill.
Mr. FISH. I am finished.
Mr. JOHNSON. Mr. Green, you believe, and the organization of which you are the head, the American Federation of Labor, believe that it is the duty of Congress to enact this legislation for our own necessary self-defense, at this time, as I understand from your statement?
Mr. GREEN. That is just it; that is right.
Mr. Johnson. You believe that it should be enacted speedily, Mr. Green?
Mr. GREEN. Promptly.
Mr. Johnson. Mr. Fish asked you with reference to certain amendments that
you favored; I assume that you would not want to commit yourself in favor of any amendments until you saw the language in which the amendment was couched, and also the effect that it might have upon the purposes of the bill?
Mr. GREEN. Well, the amendments that we favor are the ones that I recommended.