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The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Arnold.
Mr. ARNOLD. Did I understand you to say that all of the American Federation of Labor was willing to forego the right to strike, and to negotiate, especially those engaged in defense industries?
Mr. GREEN. Well, I explained, Mr. Congressman, that the two great departments of the American Federation of Labor, whose members are employed in the execution of our national-defense programs, had formally taken action as I explained, against strikes, and to avoid strikes and to refrain from engaging in strikes.
Now, the miscellaneous workers employed in miscellaneous trades, of course, are not organized into these departments, but I know that the action taken by the metal trades department and the buildingtrades department reflects the attitude and the judgment and the opinion of the other workers affiliated with the American Federation of Labor.
Mr. ARNOLD. Well, I am glad to hear you say that, because I am sympathetic to the objectives of labor, and your desire to retain the gains you have made, but I represent a district that is not very much unionized, and I want to say that my constituents would not stand for many more strikes before demanding that I vote for a bill to outlaw strikes.
Mr. GREEN. I am happy to say that the members of these departments to which I have referred have quite generally and in a most creditable way carried out the declaration. I have watched that carefully, and I am trying to keep the record, and I know that I can say that at this time.
Mr. ARNOLD. I congratulate your organization upon assuming that attitude.
Mr. CHIPERFIELD. Mr. Green, you stated that one of the reasons you wanted the rights of labor protected was that it was easier to vote away those rights than to get them back. That is rightly so. Now, does not the same reasoning apply that Congress should be very careful and make a close examination of the vast powers that we are going to give to one man, just as it is easier to vote away our rights than it is to get them back?
Mr. GREEN. Well, in an emergency, however--we have found out in emergencies during all of the years of our national life, that power must be given in some way in order to deal with the emergency effectively; that after all we in a democracy rely on Congress to guard and protect the rights of the individual, and we do not want the constitutional power vested in Congress taken away from them.
Mr. CHIPERFIELD. Do you feel that this bill speeds up production?
Mr. GREEN. No; I do not understand that there is anything in it that provides for that.
Mr. CHIPERFIELD. Thank you very much, Mr. Green. I appreciate the suggestions that you have made very much.
Mr. Vorys. The resolutions that you read us were of course enacted by your convention long before anybody knew about any H. R. 1776, isn't that true, so that those resolutions are not anything directed to you with reference to any legislation which has since been drafted?
Mr. GREEN. We anticipated this development and, of course, these reasonable men after the convention conferred upon their officers power and authority to carry out the spirit and purpose of their declaration.
Mr. VORYS. As I followed the resolution, they had to do with England, but had nothing to do with the type of legislation or other steps which should be taken in that regard.
Mr. GREEN. We interpret this bill as an instrumentality through which aid may be extended to England promptly.
Mr. VORYS. To the extent that this bill carries out your resolutions, it is in line with them, and that is a matter that you have decided for yourself, isn't it?
Mr. ĠREEN. And an examination of the bill by myself and my colleagues forces us to the conclusion that it will serve as the instrumentality through which moral and material aid may be effectively given to Great Britain, and we regard the situation as serious, that an emergency is here, and you see, Congressman, our free trade-unions are all wiped out in totalitarian countries, and the first democratic institution to be wiped out under a totalitarian form of government is the trade-union, and we know that if Hitler wins in Great Britain, the trade-unions go first and then we know if he comes to America, our trade-unions go and the individual becomes subject to the state. We see this in the very life of our democratic movement.
Mr. Vorys. Between conventions, what is there, a council, or executive committee?
Mr. GREEN. Executive council like a board of directors of a corporation, and power to interpret actions of conventions, and administer the affairs of the organization, the power to do that is vested in the executive committee.
Mr. VORYS. And has the executive council passed upon H. R. 1776? Mr. GREEN. No; not all members of the council, but the executive officers of the federation have.
Mr. Vorys. How many of them are there?
Mr. GREEN. And the council, when it meets, the whole matter is then submitted to them, but the council delegates to the executive officers the power to act for it during interims between meetings.
Mr. Vorys. And how many executive officers are there?
Mr. EBERHARTER. Mr. Green, what can you tell us about the cooperation of the trade unions in England with the Government insofar as production is concerned? Is there full cooperation, or is there some disaffection?
Mr. GREEN. The facts are that the trade unions in Great Britain, all of them, are cooperating fully with the Government in the execution of its defense policies and, as evidence of that fact, the Government have brought outstanding labor representatives into the Cabinet, and these outstanding labor representatives occupy key positions in the policy-forming agencies of the British Government. Now, let me just refer to one great sacrifice these workers are making. The British Government called upon the trade unions in Great Britain to supply them with their funds. Immediately they responded, and the treasuries of these trade unions in Great Britain were all turned over to the Government. One item in the schedules shows that one trade union in Great Britain that had £350,000 in its treasury turned every dollar over to the Government without a single cent of interest.
The total amount turned over by the trade unions, their funds, the funds in their treasuries, totaled millions of dollars.
Now, in addition to that, as the emergency has become greater, the workers have made sacrifices, just like the workers in any country will make when the emergency requires.
Mr. EBERHARTER. Then, as I take it, while labor, trade-unions, and organizations which you say are willing to make sacrifices when necessary, they don't want some few employers to take advantage of this emergency in order to break down the labor gains that have been made recently.
Mr. GREEN. That is what we are trying to jealously guard against is to protect and preserve the gains we have made and then we wish that the interests of the employers shall be equally protected, and then, standing together, let us all give the best we have, and can give, in defense of our country.
Mr. EBERHARTER. That only occurred to me, Mr. Green, that if the amendments you suggest are adopted, that it makes it impossible to waive the provisions, say, of the Walsh-Healey Act, and National Labor Relations Act, or any of those other labor gains; it makes it impossible to waive those, and how would the labor unions do in case of a serious emergency?
Mr. GREEN. There doesn't seem to be any reason, Congressman, why they should be waived now; we are not at war.
Mr. EBERHARTER. I appreciate that. I agree with you wholeheartedly, but there certainly is no necessity of waiving any of those labor gains now, but if we put it into this act, and the emergency does become more serious, what should be done then?
Mr. GREEN. If war occurs, if we become involved in war and I hope we won't, then the Congress will be still functioning, and the Congress will take such action as the emergency may require.
Mr. EBERHARTER. Thank you, Mr. Green.
Mr. MUNDT. Mr. Green, there was considerable confusion when you started your testimony. I thought that I heard you say something in answer to the question of Mr. Vorys--did you say that the membership of the A. F. of L. had been polled on 1776 as it is, or that the executive board
Mr. GREEN. I wouldn't want to leave any wrong impression, Congressman. I said that of course H. R. 1776 was drafted following the adjournment of the convention. The convention expressed itself upon the general principle of extending all moral and material aid possible to Great Britain, and they did that by unanimous vote. The power to carry out the instructions of the convention is placed upon the executive officers and the executive council. The executive council interprets the H. R. 1776 as an instrumentality through which the expressed wish of the convention may be carried out.
Mr. Mundt. Then you repose in Congress and in the President the obligation to see to it that that modification "all means short of war" is kept clear in this legislation, don't you?
Mr. GREEN. Oh, yes; we think that there is no necessity for you to become involved in the war.
Mr. MUNDT. You do not want to take any unnecessary chances of getting into the war?
Mr. GREEN. That is right.
Mr. Mundt. One other question. Is your support, President Green, predicated on the adoption of the amendments to be suggested, or, if no amendments are made, does the A. F. of L. favor the bill as it is?
Mr. GREEN. We have made these recommendations and we hope Congress will accept them, but if Congress would refuse to accept them, like the average good American citizen, we will go along with the law, but we hope that you will accept them.
Mr. Mundt. That is all.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Green, the committee thanks you very, very much. You have been very patient, and you were supposed to be on at 3 o'clock, but you realized the situation, and I thank you very,
Mr. GREEN. Thank you for the opportunity of coming.
Mr. Fish. On behalf of the minority, I want to thank you for the testimony and to assure you that the utmost consideration will be given by all of the members to what you propose today.
The CHAIRMAN. There are certain people in the hall that have petitions the committee would like to receive, but unfortunately there is a very important meeting that is going to take place in a very few moments, and the committee will have to adjourn as soon as the petitions are presented. There will be no questions asked, and no one will be permitted to ask any at this time, because we have run over our time.
I want to read a telegram first that I have here from Mr. William L. Shirer:
Mr. Shirer deeply regrets illness, fu, prevents appearance before the Foreign
Now, we also have Mr. Louis Waldman.
The CHAIRMAN, Mr. Waldman, the only thing the committee can do at this time is to receive your petition. Of course, if you have a statement to make the committee will have to examine you, and that will take beyond the time we have. I am awfully sorry, the committee regrets it very much, but there is an important meeting that we must attend.
Mr. WALDMAN. I have a statement, Mr. Chairman,
STATEMENT OF LOUIS WALDMAN, LABOR ATTORNEY AND
NATIONAL CHAIRMAN OF THE COUNCIL OF SOCIAL DEMOC. RACY, NEW YORK
The CHAIRMAN. Give your name and address to the reporter.
Mr. WALDMAN. My name is Louis Waldman, 302 Broadway, New York City. I am national chairman of the Council for Social Democracy, and I have submitted my statement, as the chairman describes it, to the Chair for the use of the committee. If the committee has about 2 minutes, I should like to make a statement.
The CHAIRMAN. If you do that, we shall have to cross-examine you.
Mr. WALDMAN. Yes; I have given my statement to the committee, and by virtue of that fact I have submitted it to the press. The statement is part of the record.
The CHAIRMAN. The reason I want your name and address is so that the press can receive it as a petition or statement received by the committee.
(The statement submitted by Mr. Waldman is as follows:)
I support the lease-lend bill because I am convinced that its passage is necessary for our national defense.
The purpose of the bill, to extend immediate and more effective aid to Great Britain, is sound. The method provided, that of giving the President the power to extend the necessary aid, is within the best American tradition. This bill does not entail, as some critics contend, the abdication of the legislature, the establishment of a dictatorship by the President, and the destruction of democracy.
On the contrary, since the discretion delegated to the President in the bill is for the dealing with foreign affairs and for the promotion of national defense, the President is the sole and proper constitutional authority to exercise that discretion.
Foreign affairs are the special province of the President. It has been so from the time our Nation was founded. Those who see in this bill a peril to our democratic institutions because of the supposed delegation of power are confusing domestic and foreign affairs.
The United States Supreme Court has frequently stated that "congressional legislation * * within the international field must often accord to the President a degree of discretion and freedom from statutory restriction
which would not be admissible were domestic affairs alone involved.” (U. S. v. Curtiss-Wright Export Corp., 299 U. S. 304.)
Transactions with foreign nations require caution and unity of design and their success almost always depends on secrecy and dispatch. The President, through his diplomatic representatives, has the better opportunity of knowing conditions which prevail in foreign countries. Especially is this true in time of war.
The provisions of the lend-lease bill which grant discretion to the President find overwhelming support in our legislative history from the inception of the National Government to the present day. In 1796, "Congress gave the President authority to permit the exportation of arms, cannon, and military stores, the only prescribed guide for his action being that such exports should be in "cases connected with the security of the commercial interest of the United States * * *." How familiar is the echo of history!
Practically every volume of the United States Statutes contains legislation which leaves the exercise of power in foreign affairs to the President's unrestricted judgment. The United States Supreme Court had many an occasion to review these acts and fully sustained the constitutionality of granting discretionary power to the President in foreign affairs. Thus, the purpose and method of the lend-lease bill are sanctioned by a course of similar legislation for over a century and a half.
The issue really is whether we have faith in the capacity and leadership of President Roosevelt to defend the United States by mere effective aid to Britain. On that the American people have already spoken.
It is of the utmost importance that this bill pass without delay. Our people are not and cannot be indifferent as to whether the Nazis or Great Britain wins the war. Why did we take the unprecedented step of adopting peacetime conscription? Why did we, almost unanimously, adopt a defense program involving some $20,000,000,000? Why have we set up a National Defense Commission? Why are we mobilizing and organizing our human and industrial power? The answer is that we care and care most deeply who wins this war. We did not embark on this vast preparedness for national defense as long as Great Britain's power stood unimpaired. It is only because the people of the United States are overwhelmingly convinced that our security would be immediately jeopardized by a Nazi victory that we are engaged in our present urgent efforts for national defense.
The critics of the bill, therefore, who say that we can trust Churchill no more than Hitler, or who assume a lofty air of impartiality toward the outcome of the war as between Great Britain and Nazi Germany, are not addressing themselves so much to the bill as they are arguing against the advisabilty of our policy of national defense. And yet some of the opponents of the bill strangely enough urge the acquisition of still more air bases abroad. For what purpose and against