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whom, if not against a rampant Nazi Germany? Would they advocate an expansion of aerial defense and the acquisition of bases if England were not now fighting for her very life with the result in the balance?
Some people have said that the United States is safe from invasion by Nazi Germany. I am not a military expert. On military questions I am ready to accept the judgment of the Secretaries of War and the Navy and their technical advisers. An examination of totalitarian technique and philospohy discloses that whether a country is in danger from nazi-ism is only partly a military question.
For a long time now I have observed and studied the technique employed by totalitarians to achieve their ends. The Nazi menace to the United States is real and immediate.
The pattern of totalitarian conquest is clear to the students and observers of totalitarianism. Military invasion is the last and not the first step in that pattern. In line with their technique the Nazis have already invaded the United States and other countries of this hemisphere by setting up networks of Nazi and pro-Nazi bodies to act as the shock troops of the attack on our institutions and our interests in this hemisphere. You need only consult the evidence already adduced by the Committee of the House on Un-American Activities, headed by Congressman Martin Dies, by other Government agencies, and by various voluntary bodies. What is known is necessarily only a part of what actually exists.
The Nazi masters have used this technique successfully to conquer and dominate the German people. They used it successfully to conquer and dominate Austria. They used it to conquer the democracies on the Continent such as Belgium, Norway, France, and Holland.
It is part of their technique to lull their marked victims into a sense of false security while they undermine their strength from within and prepare for the final act of destruction from without.
What we are confronted with today is not a war between nations in the general sense. It is really a civil war waged by the totalitarian partners and their tools within each democratic country to destroy the democratic way of life. In this civil war they recognize no neutrality, no pledges, no frontiers, no barriers.
The Nazi masters understand only one thing--power. And only by superior power can their aggression be checked, their designs destroyed, and their menace avoided. It is only by supplying necessary arms to Great Britain, now making a gallant fight, not only for herself but for free men everywhere, that our safety and security can be assured.
The CHAIRMAN. We thank you for coming here, and we hope you will bear with us. We tried to give everybody a fair opportunity to be heard, but unfortunately, the hearings have dragged on longer than we expected them to, and we must adjourn in time to attend this very important meeting.
Mr. WALDMAN. We hope that you will report the bill favorably and expeditiously.
The CHAIRMAN. Well, that does not require any cross examination.
STATEMENT OF EX-SENATOR ERNEST W. GIBSON, JR., CHAIRMAN
OF THE COMMITTEE TO DEFEND AMERICA BY AIDING THE ALLIES
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Gibson, you may present your statement, and give your name and address, and whom you represent, so that your petition or statement may be in the record. Unfortunately, time will not permit us to stay longer.
Mr. Gibson. My name is Ernest W. Gibson, Jr. I am the national chairman of the Committee to Defend America by Aiding the Allies.
(The statement submitted by Mr. Gibson is as follows:) I am here representing the Committee to Defend America by Aiding the Allies, and am here to speak in support of this pending bill, which I call the "Stop Hitler Bill," and which I believe is so regarded by the vast majority of the American people.
The Committee to Defend America by Aiding the Allies is exactly wbat its name implies. It believes that the best defense America has is in all out material aid to the Allies. We feel that the only chance for peace that this country has is to provide sufficient material aid to Britian and her Allies, that the British Isles be not conquered. I cannot stress that point too strongly. This committee's sole fundamental belief is that security and peace for us here in the United States depends upon a British victory. We consider ourselves the true peace committee of this country.
We believe that if Britain should fall we would then be the subject of an attack both by force and economic pressure. This attack might come and probably would come first through South America. We believe Hitler meant what he said when he said he was going to conquer this world and use labor for his gold. We know that he has reduced to slavery the workman of the conquered countries, and we are not surprised that labor in this country is for this pending legislation, because if Britain falls the labor of this country will have to compete with the slave labor of practically 80 percent of the world.
German leaders have said that they would make the United States subservient to their wishes through economic pressure. The German Minister of Agriculture recently said that Germany would establish literally a system of slavery in Europe-a system which, with characteristic German thoroughness, has already been worked out. One has only to see the latest March of Time picture to see slave labor in operation. The German Minister of Agriculture has said that against this slave labor the United States, with its high standards of living, would be unable to compete, and that after Germany had caused an unemployment problem, not of seven million but of thirty to forty million, President Roosevelt would have to beg Hitler for terms.
If Great Britain should fall, we believe it will be imperative for this country to prevent any European dictatorship from securing bases in the Western Hemisphere. To prevent that, this country immediately upon Britain's collapse would have to take urgent steps to defend against seizure all possible bases in the Western Hemisphere. Right here I might point out that previous witnesses who disagree with our belief that a British victory is indispensable to the peace of our country concede that no dictator should be allowed to secure bases in the Western Hemisphere. What a distorted sense of values they have.
Compare these with the fantastic military budgets over a very long future and probably millions of lives which would be the cost of allowing Britain to fall. The last is the prospect if the isolationists have their way.
If Great Britain should fall it will probably not be when Mr. Churchill is Prime Minister but under some leader who would be subservient to the conqueror. In that event our relations with Canada would take on a wholly different aspect. In that event it would be doubtful if the British Navy would be available to us. Right here let me point out that if England falls, leaving the British Navy entirely out of the count, the Axis Powers plus Japan have 20 battleships to our 15. Some of the Italian battleships may have been seriously damaged and two of the units included in the 21 are German pocket battleships. On the other hand the 2 new Italian ships and at least 1 new German ship are much faster and more powerful even than any of ours yet in commission. In addition there are several powerful French units remaining under the French control which undoubtedly would become available to Germany then. I am no naval tactician, but I don't like this prospect.
Though this country is now proceeding with its two-ocean Navy, the only ships that will be completed in the next 2 years are those which were laid down before this program was initiated. According to the testimony of the Secretary of the Navy, the new battleships scheduled to be completed by the end of 1942 are: Axis Powers, plus Japan, 8; the United States, 3, making a total strength for them at that time of 28 as against our 18.
Our two-ocean navy bill not to be completed until 1946–47, when we would have 32 battleships, and this would be but slightly superior in numbers and composition to the Axis Powers' fleets plus Japan, of 1942. We cannot expect that they would not do anything while we were building. Japan has already indicated it means to try to keep step with our new program. If Germany defeats Britain she would inherit Britain's position as a paramount world sea-power and may be expected to make the most of it. A German-controlled Europe and Japan would have at least five times our capacity to build warships. With this, the greater resources and manpower and slave labor they would control, they would have a good prospect of beating us in a final race. If we add to this picture the possibility of the British Fleet going in with the Axis Powers, you can see why the American people have cause to wonder what is going to happen if Britain falls.
There are many who scoff at the possibility of Hitler invading this hemisphere. I believe he could and would. But it would not be necessary for Hitler to send ships, guns, and airplanes for such an invasion. Other countries fell to Hitler because of the fifth columns he had planted within their territory. Consider Hitler's penetration of South America. Well-qualified observers have expressed the views that if the United States were so foolish as to let the British fleet be destroyed, Hitler could take Brazil by telephone.
We must not forget that Hitler said he intends to dominate the world. We believe it. I do not believe that Secretary of State Hull, Secretary of War Stimson, and Secretary of the Navy Knox would have said they feared a possible invasion if they did not honestly believe such was the fact and, moreover we will well be content to rest on their judgment as being the best-informed judgment in this country. However, I would like to ask, if Hitler has no designs on the Western Hemisphere, why does he maintain disciplined organization of hundreds of thousands of Germans in Southern Brazil, particularly in the States of Rio Grande do Sul, and Santa Caterina, in the State of Missiones in Argentina and in the State of Valdivia in Chile? These Germans are members of the Nazi Party, they all contribute regularly to the party, they are subject to military discipline, and caches of arms are often discovered.
In Brazil alone there are now 900,000 Germans, in Argentina approximately 250,000, and in Chile over 200,000.' Overnight these organized Nazis can be converted into a military force. We must remember that under German law no German loses his citizenship when he becomes a naturalized citizen of another country. Why do we find Germans holding key positions in business organizations? Many of these businesses in South America are being subsidized by the German Government. We find the Germans owning and controlling the air lines serving Brazil, Ecuador, Bolivia, and Peru. Many of these lines are serving places where the lines cannot be justified as a business proposition. Why right now are these German air lines building brand-new bases in the center of Brazil where there is no trade that requires them?
Why has Hitler taken the pains during the years since he came into power to send Nazi agents in large numbers into our country? Why is there being constructed, largely by slave labor, a tremendous airport on the island of Tenerife? And why are the Germans in control of the large airport in Dakar, West Africa? Is it for trade purposes? To me it can only be because Hitler does intend to attempt to conquer this Western Hemisphere. Certainly if Britain falls, we in the United States are going to have our hands full helping protect South America, and we ourselves are going to have to maintain a large army and a large navy and a large air force for many, many years. And this is ruinous to any national economy. In addition to that, we will be practically alone against the rest of the world in trying to maintain the freedom of man. For these reasons our committee has concluded that American has to defend itself and its best defense is by all-out material aid to the allies.
Having adopted a policy of aid to Britain we must give it our full and complete support. Hitler will hate us just as much for half-hearted aid to England as for full aid to England. And half-hearted aid to England may result in England's downfall. This_bill, this "stop Hitler" bill, is the means of carrying out full material aid to Britain and her Allies. This bill assures the British now
that they can get war materials from us when their dollars run out. It provides for repayment in kind or property and we have learned from experience that vast international payments cannot be made in dollars. It gives the United States more effective control over all deliveries of war materials manufactured here. It permits far greater standardization of all war materials produced here. It provides the President with authority to regulate exports of war materials without the delays required by special legislation. It permits repair to British warships in our ports.
I want to comment on some things this "stop Hitler" bill does not authorize the President to do.
This bill does not give the President authority to send American ships into the war zone nor to convoy shipping with American warships. It does not give him authority to declare war or to send American troops to Europe. It does not give the President power to seize foreign ships in our ports, and it does not write a check for anything he wants to spend. And to those who claim
this "stop Hitler" bill sets up a dictatorship in America I want to suggest this bill does not impose a censorship. It does not restrict freedom of speech. It does not restrict freedom of assembly. It does not suspend the right of habeas corpus. It does not give him the right to seize property. It does not give him the right to conscript labor.
The question confronting us is not, Shall we enter the European war now?-but shall we give adequate material to those who are holding back the flood of aggression so that we will not have to enter an American war to hold back a world of totalitarianism aggressors from the beaches of Canada, the West Indies, South America, or Alaska and from the air above Boston, New York, and Pittsburgh.
I am shocked to find that there are Americans who believe that it would make little difference which side won the European war. This world cannot live fourfifths slave and one-fifth free. A world in which the United States can live in security and peace requires the victory of Britain and her Allies.
Mr. Gibson. I have submitted the statement which I drew up yesterday. I have furnished sufficient copies for the committee and released it to the press.
The CHAIRMAN. You are former United States Senator from Vermont?
Mr. GIBSON. I was for a short time; yes, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. Is there any other person present representing any other delegation or society who would like to submit a petition or statement? If not, the Chair would like to state at this time that we want to thank all of those who have cooperated with the committee, and I know that I speak for my colleagues representing the minority of the committee. Especially do we wish to thank the members of the press, who have been very courteous to all of us. I know that we have no complaint to make of the way you have reported these hearings. We want to thank the photographers and the movie people and the commentators. You have been very thoughtful and helpful, and we also, as Mr. Fish has just reminded me, want to thank the guests for cooperating so kindly in giving us order, and all the attaches and door attendants and everyone, especially the gentleman who has furnished us with the water. We want to thank you all. I do not know whether Mr. Fish wants to add anything to what I have just said.
Mr. Fish. Nothing at all, Mr. Chairman, except to thank you and the whole committee on behalf of the minority for your cooperation.
The CHAIRMAN. The committee stands adjourned.
The Chair wishes to remind the members of the meeting Monday in executive session.
(Thereupon, at 5:45 p. m., the committee adjourned.)
THE LEND-LEASE BILL
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 29, 1941
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, D.C. The committee met at 10 a. m., at the call of the chairman, Hon. Sol Bloom (chairman) presiding.
The CHAIRMAN. The committee will come to order.
We have with us this morning Members of the House, who would like to appear and testify, and I wish to make the statement that I would like to keep the testimony of our colleagues to as short a time as possible. We were talking here abut giving 5 minutes each, and the suggestion came up today to give them 10 minutes.
I would like to know what the pleasure of the committee would be with reference to that.
Mr. JOHNSON. Mr. Chairman, I think that the members who appear of course occupy a little different position than witnesses who have heretofore appeared, because the witnesses who have heretofore appeared have no further opportunity to present their views, whereas the members have and will have the right, of course, when the bill is presented to the House to speak under the general debate rule or under the 5-minute rule, so for that reason I think there should be a time limit, and I believe in order to expedite the bill we should not go into cross-examination of these members, as we have done on other witnesses, which consumes more time than the statement of the witness himself.
Mr. CHIPERFIELD. Mr. Chairman, how many members have indicated their willingness and their desire to come here and testify?
The CHAIRMAN. We have four this morning, and the number might become more, in which case we will hear them.
Mr. JOHNSON. I suggest 10 minutes unless by unanimous consent we decide to extend it where something should arise that might indicate that we should not refrain from questioning witnesses.
Mr. Davis. I think 10 minutes is plenty of time in which to get their views. The CHAIRMAN. Without objection it is so ordered.
Mr. Smith of Ohio, I understood you were to be the first witness, but will be unduly delayed, and therefore we will hear Mr. Barry, of New York.