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Harry Elmer Barnes
Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace
A Critical Examination of the Foreign Policy of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Its Aftermath
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Quotation • 100 Words

America goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own. She will recommend the general cause by the countenance of her voice, and the benignant sympathy of her example. She well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself beyond the power of extrication in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standards of freedom. The fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to force.

John Quincy Adams

Dedication • 100 Words

DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OF CHARLES AUSTIN BEARD

Tribute to CHARLES AUSTIN BEARD

Great eagle, knower of the skies,
Of windy portents, eclipses and the dust-blown mantracks
Crossing and recrossing in quicksands and stone.
Under his scrutiny the revealed bones
And girth of the past; the string-led figures; the gods in the machine.
The great spirit flies, sifting the air, translating earth shapes against the moving screen.
Tame pronouncers, parrots, gulls and shamans utter cries,
Communicate their shrill distress; declare him less than the familiar apes.
But the shadow oi the spirit enfolds them all,
And here and there with shielded eyes
People have seen the steady wings and far light striking them,
And here and there recall how long ago the Ere was brought,
The vultures and the rock, and will remember him.

Eugene Davidson

Preface by Harry Elmer Barnes • 1,500 Words
ORDER IT NOW

This book is a critical survey and appraisal of the development of American foreign policy during the Presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt and of its results, as they have affected the course of world history, the national interest of the United States, and the welfare of its citizens.

It was originally conceived by the editor as an answer to Basil Rauch’s Roosevelt from Munich to Pearl Harbor, the first full-sized effort to whitewash the interventionist foreign policy of President Roosevelt. When the prospective contributors were approached, they, without exception, questioned the logic and wisdom of directing the fire of a piece of heavy artillery against a mouse, however sleek and pretentious. They suggested, instead, a comprehensive review of the interventionist foreign policy since 1937 which would constitute an effective and enduring answer to the whitewashing and blackout contingents as a group, present and future. The editor has deferred to their superior judgment. Professor Rauch’s contentions, however, receive adequate attention, not only incidentally throughout the volume but directly in the chapter by Professor Lundberg.

The book here presented is not only an account of the actual course and aftermath of Roosevelt diplomacy, such as has already been factually and courageously set forth by George Morgenstern, Charles Austin Beard, Frederic R. Sanborn, William Henry Chamberlin, and Charles Callan Tansill, but it is also a consideration of the background and results of this diplomacy, and of the great difficulties met today by historians, social scientists, and publicists who honestly seek to discover and publish the facts relative to the foreign policies of Presidents Roosevelt and Truman. But the book is not a partisan polemic. The editor and the contributors fully recognize that more can be said in defense of the foreign policy of Messrs. Roosevelt and Truman than in behalf of the fantastic policy of their bipartisan Republican supporters, who cannot even invoke realistic political expediency in support of their attitude and conduct. Even much of the Republican criticism of the Roosevelt-Truman foreign policy boils down to little more than the allegation that it has not been sufficiently aggressive, ruthless, and global.

The title of this book was suggested to the editor by the late Charles Austin Beard in our last conversation. With characteristic cogency and incisiveness. Beard held that the foreign policy of Presidents Roosevelt and Truman, and of their ideological supporters, whether Democrats, Republicans, Socialists, or Communists, could most accurately and preciselv be described by the phrase “perpetual war for perpetual peace.” Events since

that time (June, 1947) have further reinforced Beard’s sagacity and insight in this respect. George Orwell’s brilliant and profoundly prophetic novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, has since shown how a new political order throughout the world may be erected on the premises and implications of this goal of perpetual war, presented in the guise of a global struggle of free peoples for perpetual peace.

There is already alarming evidence that this is just the type of regime into which the world is now moving, consciously or unconsciously, as a result of the foreign policy forged by Roosevelt, Truman, Churchill, and Stalin. The main practical purpose of this volume is to acquaint the American public with this fact before we reach the “point of no return” and it is too late to revise our course and resume a sane foreign policy, based on continentalism, national interest, ideological coexistence, international urbanity, and rational co-operation in world affairs. If trends continue as they have during the last fifteen years we shall soon reach this point of no return, and can only anticipate interminable wars, disguised as noble gestures for peace. Such an era could only culminate in a third world war which might well, as Arnold J. Toynbee has suggested, leave only the pygmies in remote jungles, or even the apes and ants, to carry on “the cultural traditions” of mankind.

The contributors to this volume represent the outstanding living revisionist historians, social scientists, and publicists who have thus far contributed actively to the furtherance of revisionist studies relative to the second World War. Each is a specialist in the field which he treats in his chapter. An effort has been made to cover adequately all the main aspects of the recent foreign policy of the United States.

The editor deals with the blackout of material concerning the revisionist position relative to responsibility for the second World War and the cold war. Professor Tansill covers the European background of the origins of the second World War and the development of Japanese-American relations to the eve of Pearl Harbor. Dr. Sanborn describes the origins of the interventionist foreign policy of President Roosevelt, his words and actions bearing on European diplomacy prior to the outbreak of the second World War, the flagrant and ever-increasing violations of neutrality by the Roosevelt administration, and the fruitless efforts of Mr. Roosevelt to induce Germany and Italy to react to this policy by making a declaration of war on the United States. Professor Neumann treats the broader background of the American attitude of studied hostility toward Japan, as exemplified in the diplomacy of Secretaries Stimson and Hull and of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, including also the menacing naval policy of the latter. Mr. Morgenstern provides us with a succinct survey of the diplomacy and events that led into and through Pearl Harbor. Mr. Greaves relates the scandalous story of fakery and evasion involved in most of the investigations of responsibility for Pearl Harbor and the attempts to discredit such of the investigations as did honestly seek to ascertain the truth. Mr. Chamberlin handles crisply the evidence relating to the complete bankruptcy of the Roosevelt-HuU-Stimson-Morgenthau foreign policy and the incredible and enduring calamities it has imposed on the world of today. Professor Lundberg subjects to sociological analysis the contesting trends in American foreign policy: the continentalism and neutralitv which gave us security, prosperity, and peace, and the global meddling which has reduced our liberties, faced us with national fiscal bankruptcy, plunged us into two world wars and headed us ominously toward a third, destroyed our security, and undermined public morale and official integrity.

Those readers who are stimulated to pursue further the subjects touched upon in any or all of these chapters will find ample guidance to more detailed literature in the footnotes or bibliographies of these chapters. There is no probability that later evidence will require any moderation of the indictment of our foreign policy since 1914, and, especially, since 1933. If there were any still secret material which would brighten the record of the Roosevelt and Truman foreign policies, we may rest assured that their court historians and publicity agents would have revealed it to the public long ere this.

There is no doubt that the opponents of truth and realism relative to recent world history and to American foreign policy will seek to smear this book as an example of, and appeal to, isolationism. Such criticism is as silly as it is inevitable today. The authors are all widely traveled men. They are all students of world affairs and of those changes in world conditions which have brought the peoples of the world into closer relationships, at least so far as the agencies of communication and transportation and their cultural impact are concerned. They know that the world has changed since the days of Abraham Lincoln. They favor the utmost possible development in the way of international contacts, relationships, and understanding, and amicable co-operation between the United States and other countries of the world.

The only “isolationism” they embrace is isolation from global meddling and from interference in foreign quarrels which do not vitally concern the interests or security of the United States. They wish isolation from a foreign policy which has brought increasing misery, chaos, and decimation to the world since April, 1917, without any notable improvement in world conditions or in the safety and prosperity of our own country. They favor the abandonment of a policy which has increased the number and strength of our foreign enemies, reduced the number and paralyzed the power of our potential friends abroad, and undermined the economic security and political integrity of our nation. They see no reason to doubt that our traditional foreign policy of neutrality, continentalism, and friendly collaboration is more likely to contribute to domestic felicity and military security than global meddling and interventionism, the net result of which has been brilliantly summarized by Mr. Chamberlin as “intellectual, moral, political, and economic bankruptcy, complete and irretrievable.” Over against this we have the record of our traditional neutrality, which kept the United States free from any major foreign war for a century and both permitted and encouraged civil liberty, economic expansion, financial solvency, national prosperity, and governmental economy.

The editor is deeply indebted to Mr. Eugene F. Hoy, of The Caxton Printers, Ltd., for faithful, efficient, and extensive assistance in preparing the manuscript for the printer. The Index was compiled by Mr. Charles N. Lurie, of New York City.

Harry Elmer Barnes

Cooperstown, New York

Chapter 1 • Revisionism and the Historical Blackout by Harry Elmer Barnes • 27,700 Words

The revisionist search for truth relative to the causes of the second World War is “serious, unfortunate, deplorable.”

Samuel Flagg Bemis, Journal of Modern History, March, 1947

One thing ought to be evident to all of us: by our victory over Germany and Japan, no matter what our folly in losing the peace, we have at least survived to confront the second even greater menace of another totalitarian power.

Samuel Flagg Bemis, New York Times, October 15, 1950-

The folklore of war, of course, begins long before the fighting is done; and, by the time the last smoke has drifted away, this folklore has congealed into a “truth” of a neolithic hardness.

Stewart H. Holbrook, Los Men of American History, p. 42.

Harry Elmer Barnes was born near Auburn, New York, on June 15, 1889. He attended Port Byron High School and Syracuse University, receiving his A.B. degree from the latter institution summa cum laude in 1913- lie received his Ph.D. degree from Columbia University in 1918. While at Columbia he was University Fellow in Historical Sociology and Cutting Traveling Fellow in History. He has taught history and historical sociology at Syracuse University, Barnard College, Columbia University, Clark University, Smith College, Amherst College, Temple University, the University of Colorado, the University of Indiana, and in many university summer schools throughout the country. His most important historical writings are The History of Western Civilization (2 vols., 1935); and An Intellectual and Cultural History of the Western World[1937]. Preserved Smith declared that the former is “incontestably the masterpiece of the New History.”

Dr. Barnes’s chief works in the field of diplomatic history and international relations are The Genesis of the World War[1926]; In Quest of Truth and Justice[1928]; and World Politics in Modern Civilization[1930]. He also edited the important series of six volumes on American Investments Abroad: Studies in American Imperialism (1928-35), sponsored by the American Fund for Public Service.

Of the Genesis, Carl Becker wrote that it was “a marvelously straight, swift, cogent presentation of facts and conclusions,” and William L. Langer declared that the facts about the responsibilitv for the first World War “could not be more successfuUv

presented at the present stage of our historical knowledge.” He took the lead, with the above-mentioned three books and earlier reviews and articles, in arousing popular interest in the causes of the first World War, with the result that the chief authority on the literature of this subject. Dr. George Peabody Gooch, asserted that “No other American scholar has done so much to familiarize his countrymen with the new evidence, and to compel them to revise their wartime judgments in the light of this new material.” In his substantial brochure, The Struggle Against the Historical Blackout, he has once more become the pioneer in directing public attention to the subject of Revisionism, as bearing on the causes of the second World War, and to the great obstacles to the discovery and publication of truth in this field.

[NOTE. — The biographical material preceding the individual chapters has been written by the editor. Any superlatives or other praise accorded the contributors represent his wishes, judgment, and responsibility exclusively, except in the case of himself, where he has cited the opinions of others.]

I. How War Has Transformed the American Dream into a Nightmare • 1,700 Words

The first World War and American intervention therein marked an ominous turning point in the history of the United States and of the world. Those who can remember “the good old days” before 1914 inevitably look back to those times with a very definite and justifiable feeling of nostalgia. There was no income tax before 1913, and that levied in the early days after the amendment was adopted was little more than nominal. All kinds of taxes were relatively low. We had only a token national debt of around a billion dollars, which could have been paid off in a year without causing even a ripple in national finance. The total Federal budget in 1913 was $724,512,000, just about one per cent of the present astronomical budget.

Ours was a libertarian country in which there was little or no witch-hunting and few of the symptoms and operations of the police state which have been developing here so drastically during the last decade. Not until our intervention in the first World War had there been sufficient invasions of individual liberties to call forth the formation of special groups and organizations to protect our civil rights. The Supreme Court could still be relied on to uphold the Constitution and safeguard the civil liberties of individual citizens.

Libertarianism was also dominant in Western Europe. The Liberal Party governed England from 1905 to 1914. France had risen above the reactionary coup of the Dreyfus affair, had separated Church and State, and had seemingly established the Third Republic with reasonable permanence on a democratic and liberal basis. Even HohenzoUern Germany enjoyed the usual civil liberties, had strong constitutional restraints on executive tyranny, and had established a workable system of parliamentary government. Experts on the history of Austria-Hungary have recently been proclaiming that life in the Dual Monarchy after the turn of the century marked the happiest period in the experience of the peoples encompassed therein. Constitutional government, democracy, and civil

liberties prevailed in Italy. Despite the suppression of the Liberal Revolution of 1905, liberal sentiment was making headway in Tsarist Russia and there was decent prospect that a constitutional monarchy might be established. Civilized states expressed abhorrence of dictatorial and brutal policies. Edward VII of England blacklisted Serbia after the court murders of 1903.

Enlightened citizens of the Western world were then filled with buoyant hope for a bright future for humanity. It was believed that the theory of progress had been thoroughly vindicated by historical events. Edward Bellamy’s Looking Backward, published in 1888, was the prophetic bible of that era.[1]New edition, Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1941. People were confident that the amazing developments in technology would soon produce abundance, security, and leisure for the multitude.

In this optimism in regard to the future no item was more evident and potent than the assumption that war was an outmoded nightmare. Not only did idealism and humanity repudiate war but Norman Angell and others were assuring us that war could not be justified, even on the basis of the most sordid material interest. Those who adopted a robust international outlook were devoted friends of peace, and virtually all international movements had as their sole aim the devising and implementing of ways and means to assure permanent peace. Friends of peace were nowhere isolationist, in any literal sense, but they did stoutly uphold the principle of neutrality and sharply criticized provocative meddling in every political dogfight in the most remote reaches of the planet.

In our own country, the traditional American foreign ‘policy of benign neutrality, and the wise exhortations of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Quincy Adams and Henry Clay to avoid entangling alliances and to shun foreign quarrels were still accorded respect in the highest councils of state.

Unfortunately, there are relatively few persons today who can recall those happy times. In his devastatingly prophetic book. Nineteen Eighty-Four,[2]New York: Harcourt, Brace & Company, 1949. See especially pp. 86-93. George Orwell points out that one reason why it is possible for those in authority to maintain the barbarities of the police state is that nobody is able to recall the many blessings of the period which preceded that type of society. In a general way this is also true of the peoples of the Western world today. The great majority of them have known only a world ravaged by war, depressions, international intrigues and meddling, vast debts and crushing taxation, the encroachments of the police state, and the control of public opinion and government by ruthless and irresponsible propaganda. A major reason why there is no revolt against such a state of society as that in which we are living today is that many have come to accept it as a normal matter of course, having known nothing else during their lifetimes.

A significant and illuminating report on this situation came to me recently in a letter from one of the most distinguished social scientists in the country and a resolute revisionist. He wrote: “I am devoting my seminar this quarter to the subject of American foreign policy since 1933- The effect upon a Roosevelt-bred generation is startling, indeed. Even able and mature students react to the elementarv facts like children who

have just been told that there is (or was) no Santa Claus.” This is also an interesting reflection on the teaching of history today. The members of the seminar were graduate students, nearly all of whom had taken courses in recent American and European history which covered in some detail the diplomacy of Europe and the United States during the last twenty years.

A friend who read the preceding material suggested that laboring men would be likely to give me a “horselaugh.” That some would is no doubt true, but the essential issue would be the validity of the grounds for so doing. Being a student of the history of labor problems, I am aware of many gains for labor since 1914. 1 can well remember when the working day was ten hours long and the pay was $1.50. But I can also remember when good steak cost fifteen cents a pound and the best whisky eighty-five cents a quart. Moreover, the father, even if he earned only $1.50 a day, had every assurance that he could raise his family with his sons free from the shadow of the draft and butchery in behalf of politicians. The threat of war did not hang over him. There are some forms of tyranny worse than that of an arbitrary boss in a nonunion shop. Finally, when one considers the increased cost of living and the burden of taxation, it is doubtful if a man who earns $8.00 a day now is any better off materially than his father or grandfather who earned $1.50 in 1900.

For the sad state of the world today, the entry of the United States into two world wars has played a larger role than any other single factor. Some might attribute the admittedly unhappy conditions of our time to other items and influences than world wars and our intervention in them. No such explanation can be sustained. Indeed, but for our entry into the two world wars, we should be living in a far better manner than we did before 1914. The advances in technology since that time have brought the automobile into universal use, have given us good roads, and have produced the airplane, radio, moving pictures, television, electric lighting and refrigeration, and numerous other revolutionary contributions to human service, happiness, and comforts. If all this had been combined with the freedom, absence of high taxation, minimum indebtedness, low armament expenditures, and pacific outlook of pre-1914 times, the people of the United States might, right now, be living in Utopian security and abundance.

A radio commentator recently pointed out that one great advantage we have today over 1900 is that death from disease has been reduced and life expectancy considerably, increased. But this suggests the query as to whether this is any real gain, in the light of present world conditions: Is it an advantage to live longer in a world of “thoughtpolicing,” economic austerity, crushing taxation, inflation, and perpetual warmongering and wars?

The rise and influence of Communism, military state capitalism, the police state, and the impending doom of civilization, have been the penalty exacted for our meddling abroad in situations which did not materially affect either our security or our prestige. Our national security was not even remotely threatened in the case of either World War. There was no clear moral issue impelling us to intervene in either world conflict. The level of civilization was lowered rather than elevated by our intervention.

While the first World War headed the United States and the world toward international disaster, the second World War was an even more calamitous turning point in the history of mankind. It may, indeed, have brought us — and the whole world — into the terminal episode of human experience. It certainly marked the transition from social optimism and technological rationalism into the “Nineteen Eighty-Four” pattern of life, in which aggressive international policies and war scares have become the guiding factor, not only in world affairs but also in the domestic, political, and economic strategy of every leading country of the world. The police state has emerged as the dominant political pattern of our times, and military state capitalism is engulfing both democracy and liberty in countries which have not succumbed to Communism.

The manner and extent to which American culture has been impaired and our wellbeing undermined by our entry into two world wars has been brilliantly and succinctly stated by Professor Mario A. Pei, of Columbia University, in an article on “The America We Lost” in the Saturday Evening Post, May 3, 1952, and has been developed more at length by Garet Garrett in his trenchant book, The People’s Pottage.

Perhaps, by the mid-century, all this is now water under the bridge and little can be done about it. But we can surely learn how we got into this unhappy condition of life and society — at least until the police-state system continues its current rapid development sufficiently to obliterate all that remains of integrity and accuracy in historical writing and political reporting.

II. Revisionism After Two World Wars • 2,800 Words

The readjustment of historical writing to historical facts relative to the background and causes of the first World War — what is popularly known in the historical craft as “Revisionism” — was the most important development in historiography during the decade of the 1920′s. While those historians at all receptive to the facts admitted that Revisionism readily won out in the conflict with the previously accepted wartime lore, many of the traditionalists in the profession remained true to the mythology of the war decade. Not so long ago one of the most eminent and revered of our professional historians, and a man who took a leading part in historical propaganda during the first World War, wrote that American historians had no reason to feel ashamed of their writings and operations in that period. That they had plenty to be ashamed of was revealed by C. Hartley Grattan in his article on “The Historians Cut Loose,” in the American Mercury,[3]August, 1927 reprinted in the form originally submitted to Mr. Mencken in my In Quest of Truth and Justice,[4]Chicago: National Historical Society, 1928, pp. 142 ff. and by Chapter XI of my History of Historical Writing.[5]Norman, Okla.: University of Oklahoma Press, 1937 In any event, the revisionist controversy was the outstanding intellectual adventure in the historical field in the twentieth century down to Pearl Harbor.

Revisionism, when applied to the first World War, showed that the actual causes and merits of that conflict were very close to the reverse of the picture presented in the political propaganda and historical writings of the war decade. Revisionism would also produce similar results with respect to the second World War if it were allowed to develop unimpeded. But a determined effort is being made to stifle or silence revelations which would establish the truth with regard to the causes and issues of the late world conflict.

While the wartime mythology endured for years after 1918, nevertheless leading editors and publishers soon began to crave contributions which set forth the facts with respect to the responsibility for the outbreak of war in 1914, our entry into the war, and the basic issues involved in this great conflict. Sidney B. Fay began to publish his revolutionary articles on the background of the first World War in the American Historical Review in July, 1920. My own efforts along the same line began in the New Republic, the Nation, the New York Times Current History Magazine, and the Christian Century in 1924 and 1925. Without exception, the requests for my contributions came from the editors of these periodicals, and these requests were ardent and urgent. I had no difficulty whatever in securing the publication of my Genesis of the World War in 1926, and the publisher thereof subsequently brought forth a veritable library of illuminating revisionist literature. By 1928, when Fay’s Origins of the World War[6]New York: The Macmillan Company, 1928. was published, almost everyone except the die-hards and bitter-enders in the historical profession had come to accept Revisionism, and even the general public had begun to think straight in the premises.

Quite a different situation faces the rise of any substantial Revisionism after the second World War. The question of war responsibility in relation to 1939 and 1941 is taken for granted as completely and forever settled. It is widely held that there can be no controversy this time. Since it is admitted by all reasonable persons that Hitler was a dangerous neurotic, who, with supreme folly, launched a war when he had everything to gain by peace, it is assumed that this takes care of the European aspects of the war-guilt controversy. With respect to the Far East, this is supposed to be settled with equal finality by asking the question: “Japan attacked us, didn’t she?”

About as frequent as either of these ways of settling war responsibility for 1939 or 1941 is the vague but highly dogmatic statement that “we had to fight.” This judgment is usually rendered as a sort of ineffable categorical imperative which requires no further explanation. But some who are pressed for an explanation will allege that we had to fight to save the world from domination by Hitler, forgetting General George C. Marshall’s report that Hitler, far from having any plan for world domination, did not even have any well worked-out plan for collaborating with his Axis allies in limited wars, to say nothing of the gigantic task of conquering Russia. Surely, after June aa, 1941, nearly six months before Pearl Harbor, there was no further need to fear any world conquest by Hitler.

Actually, if historians have any professional self-respect and feel impelled to take cognizance of facts, there is far greater need for a robust and aggressive campaign of Revisionism after the second World War than there was in the years following 1918. The current semantic folklore about the responsibility for the second World War which is accepted, not only by the public but also by most historians, is far wider of the truth than even the most fantastic historical mvthologv which was produced after 1914. And, the practical need for Revisionism is even greater now than it was in the decade of the 19ao’s.

The mythology which followed the outbreak of war in 1914 helped to produce the Treaty of Versailles and the second World War. If world policy today cannot be divorced from the mythology of the 1940′s, a third world war is inevitable, and its impact will be many times more horrible and devastating than that of the , second. The lessons learned from the Nuremberg and Tokyo trials have made it certain that the third world war will be waged with unprecedented savagery.

Vigorous as was the resistance of many, including powerful vested historical interests, to the Revisionism of the 1920′s, it was as nothing compared to that which has been organized to frustrate and smother the truth relative to the second World War. Revisionists in the 19ao’s only risked a brisk controversy; those of today place in jeopardy both their professional reputation and their very livelihood at the hands of the “Smearbund.” History has been the chief intellectual casualty of the second World War and the cold war which followed.

In many essential features, the United States has moved along into the “Nineteen Eighty-Four” pattern of intellectual life.[7]See below, pp. 54 ff. But there is one important and depressing difference. In Nineteen Eighty-Four Mr. Orwell shows that historians in that regime have to be hired by the government and forced to falsify facts. In this country today, and it is also true of most other nations, many professional historians gladly falsify history quite voluntarily, and with no direct cost to the government. The ultimate and indirect cost may, of course, be a potent contribution to incalculable calamity.

It may be said, with great restraint, that, never since the Middle Ages, have there been so many powerful forces organized and alerted against the assertion and acceptance of historical truth as are active today to prevent the facts about the responsibility for the second World War and its results from being made generally accessible to the American public. Even the great Rockefeller Foundation frankly admits[8]Annual Report, 1946, pp. 188-89. the subsidizing of historians to anticipate and frustrate the development of any neo-Revisionism in our time. And the only difference between this foundation and several others is that it has been more candid and forthright about its policies. The Sloan Foundation later supplemented this Rockefeller grant. Charles Austin Beard summarized the implications of such efforts with characteristic vigor:

“The Rockefeller Foundation and the Council on Foreign Relations . . . intend to prevent, if they can, a repetition of what they call in the vernacular “the debunking journalistic campaign following World War I.” Translated into precise English, this means that the Foundation and the Council do not want journalists or any other persons to examine too closely and criticize too freely the official propaganda and official statements relative to “our basic aims and activities” during World War II. In short, they hope that, among other things, the policies and measures of Franklin D. Roosevelt will escape in the coming years the critical analysis, evaluation and exposition that befell the policies and measures of Woodrow Wilson and the Entente Allies after World War I.”[9]Saturday Evening Post, October 4, 1947, p. 172.

As is the case with nearly all book publishers and periodicals, the resources of the great majority of the foundations are available only to scholars and writers who seek to perpetuate wartime legends and oppose Revisionism. A good illustration is afforded by my experience with the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation which helped to subsidize the book by Professors Langer and Gleason. I mentioned this fact in the first edition of my brochure on The Court Historians versus Revisionism. Thereupon I received a courteous letter from Mr. Alfred J. Zurcher, director of the Sloan Foundation, assuring me that the Sloan Foundation wished to be absolutely impartial and to support historical scholarship on both sides of the issue. He wrote in part: “About the last thing we wish to do is to check and frustrate any sort of historical scholarship since we believe that the more points of view brought to bear by disciplined scholars upon the war or any other historical event is in the public interest and should be encouraged.”

In the light of this statement, I decided to take Mr. Zurcher at his word. I had projected and encouraged a study of the foreign policy of President Hoover, which appeared to me a very important and much needed enterprise, since it was during his administration that our foreign policy had last been conducted in behalf of peace and in the true public interest of the United States rather than in behalf of some political party, foreign government, or dubious ideology. One of the most competent of American specialists in diplomatic history had consented to undertake the project, and he was a man not previously identified in any way with revisionist writing. My request was for exactly one thirtieth of the grant allotted for the Langer-Gleason book. The application was turned down by Mr. Zurcher with the summary statement: “I regret that we are unable to supply the funds which you requested for Professor’s study.” He even discouraged my
suggestion that he discuss the idea in a brief conference with the professor in question.

A state of abject terror and intimidation exists among the majority of professional American historians whose views accord with the facts on the question of responsibiUty for the second World War. Several leading historians and publicists who have read my brochure on The Struggle Against the Historical Blackout have written me stating that, on the basis of their own personal experience, it is an understatement of the facts. Yet the majority of those historians to whom it has been sent privately have feared even to acknowledge that they have received it or possess it. Only a handful have dared to express approval and encouragement. It is no exaggeration to say that the American Smearbund, operating through newspaper editors and columnists, “hatchet-men” book reviewers, radio commentators, pressure-group intrigue and espionage, and academic pressures and fears, has accomplished about as much in the way of intimidating honest intellectuals in this country as Hitler, Goebbels, Himmler, the Gestapo, and concentration camps were able to do in Nazi Germany.[10]The best account of the American Smearbund and its activities is contained in John T. Flynn’s brochure, The Smear Terror, privately printed, New York, 1948.

The mental stalemate produced by this state of mind is well illustrated in the review by Professor Fred Harvey Harrington of Professor Charles C. Tansill’s Back Door to War in the Political Science Quarterly, December, 1952. Harrington, in private a moderate revisionist, goes so far as to state that there is “no documentation” for Professor Tansill’s statement that the “main objective in American foreign policy since 19oo has been the preservation of the British Empire.” This mav be compared with the appraisal of the book by a resolute and unafraid revisionist, the eminent scholar, Professor George A. Lundberg, who, in a review in Social Forces, April, 1953, said with regard to the above contention by Tansill: “This thesis is documented to the hilt in almost 700 large pages.”

Moreover, the gullibility of many “educated” Americans has been as notable as the mendacity of the “educators.” In Communist Russia and Nazi Germany, as well as in Fascist Italy, and in China, the tyrannical rulers found it necessary to suppress all opposition thought in order to induce the majority of the people to accept the material fed them by official propaganda. But, in the United States, with almost complete freedom of the press, speech, and information down to the end of 1941, great numbers of Americans followed the official propaganda line with no compulsion whatever. This is a remarkable and ominous contrast, especially significant because it has been the “educated” element which has been most gullible in accepting official mythology, taking the population as a whole. And this situation has continued since 1945, though of course the public has been less able to get the truth from the avenues of information since V-J Day than it was before Pearl Harbor.

The opposition to Revisionism — that is, to truth in the premises — stems in part from emotional fixation on the mythology built up after 1937 and in part from personal loyalty to President Roosevelt and the naturally resulting desire to preserve the impeccability of the Roosevelt legend. In regard to the latter, the Roosevelt adulators are much more solicitous about defending their late chiefs foreign policy than they are in upholding the infallibility of his much more creditable domestic program. There is, of course, a powerful vested political interest in perpetuating the accepted mythology about the causes, issues, and results of the second World War, for much of the public policy of the victorious United Nations since 1945 can only make sense and be justified on the basis of this mythology.

In the United States it was made the ideological basis of the political strategy of the Democratic party and the main political instrument by which it maintained itself in power until 1953 It has also been accepted by many outstanding leaders of the opposition party. It has been indispensable in arousing support for the economic policies which have been used to ward off d depression, with its probably disastrous political reverberations. The eminent railroad executive and astute commentator on world affairs, Robert R. Young, has stated the facts here with realistic clarity in the Commercial and Financial Chronicle.

“The clash between a foreign policy which makes sense to Americans and a foreign policy which makes sense to those who seek to perpetuate political office (patronage or prominence) is one which will only be resolved by prohibiting reelection. We are very naive when we describe American foreign policy of recent years as stupid. Indeed, that foreign policy has accomplished its object for it has kept in power (patronage and prominence), election after election, those who conceived and facilitated it.”

Powerful pressure groups have also found the mythology helpful in diverting attention from their own role in national and world calamity.

In addition to the opposition of public groups to the truth about responsibility for the second World War, many historians and other social scientists have a strong professional and personal interest in perpetuating the prewar and wartime mythology. One reason why numerous historians opposed the truth relative to responsibility for the first World War and the main issues therein was that so many of them had taken an active part in spreading the wartime propaganda and had also worked for Colonel House’s committee in preparing material for the peacemaking. A considerable number of them went to Paris with President Wilson on his ill-fated adventure. Naturally they were loath to admit that the enterprise in which they had played so prominent a part had proved to be both a fraud and a failure.

Today, this situation has been multiplied many fold. Historians and other social scientists veritably swarmed into the various wartime agencies after 1941, especially the Office of War Information and the Office of Strategic Services. They were intimately associated with the war effort and with the shaping of public opinion to conform to the thesis of the pure and limpid idealism and ethereal innocence of the United States and our exclusive devotion to self-defense and world betterment through the sword. Hence, the opposition of historians and social scientists to truth about the responsibility for the second World War and its obvious results is many times greater than it was in the years following the close of the first World War. Since the war several corps of court historians have volunteered to work to continue the elaboration of official mythology. In addition, the State Department and the Army and Navy have a great swarm of historians dedicated to presenting history as their employers wish it to be written, and at the present time there is a new influx of American historians and social scientists into our “Ministry of Truth.”[11]See below, pp. 62 ff. One of the most conspicuous examples of the entry of historians and other social scientists into the “Ministry of Truth” is afforded by the program and work of the Rand Corporation. See Fortune, March, 1951, pp. 99-102, 144. See also, American Historical Review, April, 1953, pp. 761-62.

III. How the Historical Blackout Operates • 13,900 Words

The methods followed by the various groups interested in blacking out the truth about world affairs since 1932 are numerous and ingenious, but, aside from subterranean persecution of individuals, they fall mainly into the following patterns or categories:(1) excluding scholars suspected of revisionist views from access to public documents which are freely opened to “court historians” and other apologists for the foreign policy of President Roosevelt;(2) intimidating publishers of books and periodicals, so that even those who might wish to publish books and articles setting forth the revisionist point of view do not dare to do so;(3) ignoring or obscuring published material which embodies revisionist facts and arguments; and (4) smearing revisionist authors and their books.

1. Denying Access to Public Documents

There is a determined effort to block those suspected of seeking the truth from having access to official documents, other than those which have become public property. The outstanding official and court historians, such as Samuel Eliot Morison, William L. Langer, Herbert Feis, and the like, are given free access to the official archives. Only such things as the most extreme top secrets, like the so-called Kent Documents and President Roosevelt’s communications with King George VI, carefuUv guarded at Hyde Park, are denied to them. Otherwise, they have freedom of access to official documents and the important private diaries of leading public officials.

Many of these important sources are, however, completely sealed off from any historian who is suspected of desiring to ascertain -the full and unbiased truth with respect to American foreign policy since 1933. The man who is probably the outstanding scholarly authority on American diplomatic history found himself barred from many of the more important documents. Moreover, many of the notes which he had taken down from those documents he had been permitted to examine were later confiscated by State Department officials.

If the complete official documents would support the generally accepted views with respect to the causes and issues of the war, there would seem to be no reasonable objection to allowing any reputable historian to have free and unimpeded access to such materials. As Charles Austin Beard concisely stated the matter, “Official archives must be open to all citizens on equal terms, with special privileges for none;, inquiries must be wide and deep as well as uncensored; and the competition of ideas in the forum of public opinion must be free from political interests or restraints.”[12]Saturday Evening Post, loc. cit.

The importance of freedom of the archives to writers of sound historical material has also been commented upon by the editor of the London Times Literary Supplement of April 18, 1952, in relation to the appearance of Professors William L. Langer and S. E. Gleason’s The Struggle Against Isolation, 1937-1940, which was produced by the Rockefeller Foundation subsidy mentioned above:

“Once the principle is accepted that governments grant access to their archives to certain chosen historians and refuse it to others, it would be unrealistic to ignore the temptation that may arise in the future to let the choice fall on historians who are most likely to share the official view of the moment and to yield readily to discreet official promptings as to what is suitable, and what is unsuitable, for publication. When this happens, the last barrier on the road to “official history” will have fallen.”

2. Difficulties in Publishing Revisionist Materials

Some might sense that there is a seeming inconsistency between the statement that there has been an attempt to black out Revisionism after the second World War and the undoubted fact that important revisionist books have appeared sooner and in greater number since the second World War than they did after 1918. This gratifying situation in no way contradicts what has been said above relative to the far more vigorous opposition to Revisionism since 1945. Nearly all publishers were happy to publish revisionist volumes after 1918, or at least after 1923. But not a single major publisher has issued a revisionist book since 1945; neither is there any evidence that one will do so for years to come. Had not Charles Austin Beard possessed a devoted friend in Eugene Davidson of the Yale University Press, and had not the firms of Henry Regnery and Devin-Adair been in existence, it is very likely that not one revisionist book would have come from the press following V-J Dav. For not onlv are historians who seek to establish the truth prevented from getting much of the material which they need, they also find it very difficult to secure the publication of books embodying such of the truth as they have been able to assemble from the accessible documents.

It would, naturally, be assumed that the first book to give the full inside information on the attack at Pearl Harbor would have been an exciting publishing adventure and that the manuscript would have been eagerly sought after by any and all book-publishing firms. Such, however, was far from the facts. After canvassing the publishing opportunities, George Morgenstern found that the Devin Adair Company was the only one which had the courage to bring out his brilliant book. Pearl Harbor: the Story of the Secret War, in 1947.[13]New York: Devin-Adair Company, 1947

Charles Austin Beard informed me. that he was so convinced that none of his former commercial publishers would print his critical account of the Roosevelt foreign policy[14]C. A. Beard, American Foreign Policy in the Making, 1932-1940 (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1946); President Roosevelt and the Coming of the War, 1941 (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1948) . that he did not regard it as even worth while to inquire. He was fortunate enough to have a courageous friend who was head of one of the most important university presses in the country.

The fourth important revisionist book to push its way through the blackout ramparts was William Henry Chamberlin’s America’s Second Crusade. (^5) The history of the publication difficulties in connection with the book showed that, in the publishing world, there was no more inclination in 1950 than there had been previously to welcome the truth with respect to President Roosevelt’s foreign policy and the second World War.

Chamberlin is a distinguished author. He has written many important books and they have been published by leading publishing houses. But none of his former commercial publishers was interested in the manuscript, though it is probably the most timely and important work Chamberlin has written. The head of one large publishing house, himself a noted publicist, declared his deep personal interest in the book but stated that he did not feel it ethical to jeopardize the financial interests of his company through risking retaliation from the blackout contingent. Two university presses turned down the manuscript, though in each case the director attested to the great merit of the book. That it was finally brought out was due to the courage and public spirit of Henry Regnery, who has published more realistic books relative to the second World War than all other American publishers combined. Yet Chamberlin’s work is neither sensational nor extreme. It is no more than an honest and actually restrained statement of the facts that every American citizen needs to have at hand if we are to avoid involvement in a devastating, fatal “third crusade.”

A fifth revisionist book. Design for War, by an eminent New York attorney and expert on international law, Frederic R. Sanborn, appeared early in 1951. It was published by the Devin-Adair Company which brought out Mr. Morgenstern’s volume.

The sixth and definitive revisionist volume. Professor Charles Callan Tansill’s Back Door to War: The Roosevelt Foreign Policy, 1933-1941 was published by Regnery.

Professor Tansill’s previous publishers were not interested in the book.

In a trenchant article on “A Case History in Book Publishing,” in the American Quarterly, Winter, 1949, the distinguished university press editor, W. T. Couch, tells of the difficulties met with in inducing commercial publishers to print revisionist books, and he goes into detail about the problems encountered in securing a publisher for A. Frank Reel’s courageous book. The Case of General Yamashita.

As a matter of fact, only two small publishing houses in the United States — the Henry Regnery Company and the Devin-Adair Company-have shown any consistent willingness to publish books which frankly aim to tell the truth with respect to the causes and issues of the second World War. Leading members of two of the largest publishing houses in the country have told me that, whatever their personal wishes in the circumstances, they would not feel it ethical to endanger their business and the property rights of their stockholders by publishing critical books relative to American foreign policy since 1933. And there is good reason for this hesitancy. The book clubs and the main sales outlets for books are controlled by powerful pressure groups which are opposed to truth on such matters. These outlets not only refuse to market critical books in this field but also threaten to boycott other books by those publishers who defy their blackout ultimatum.

When such critical books do get into the bookstores, the sales department frequently refuses to display or promote them. It required the personal intervention of the head of America’s largest retail store to insure that one of the leading critical volumes was displayed upon the counter of the book department of the store. In the American Legion Monthly, February, 1951, Irene Kuhn revealed the efforts of many bookstores to discourage the buying of books critical of administration foreign policy. A striking example of how blackout pressures are able to discourage the sale of revisionist books is the experience at Macy’s, in New York City, with the Chamberlin book. Macy’s ordered fifty copies and returned forty as unsold. If the book could have been distributed on its merits, Macy’s would certainly have sold several thousand copies.

Not only are private sales discouraged, but equally so are sales to libraries. Mr. Regnery discovered that, six months after its publication, there was not one copy of the Chamberlin book in any of the forty-five branches of the New York City Public Library. Another sampling study of the situation in libraries throughout the country showed that the same situation prevailed in most of the nation’s libraries, not only in respect to the Chamberlin book, but also in the case of other revisionist volumes like John T. Flynn’s The Roosevelt Myth.[16]New York: Devin-Adair Company, 1 48 Some of the reasons for this are explained by Oliver Carlson in an article on “Slanted Guide to Library Selections” in The Freeman, January 14, 1952. As an example, the most influential librarian in the United States has described George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four as “paranoia in literature.”

The attempt to suppress or exclude revisionist materials from publication extends beyond the book-publishing trade. Whereas, in the late 1920′s and early 1930′s, all of the more important periodicals were eager to publish competent revisionist articles by reputable scholars, no leading American magazine will todav bring out a frank revisionist article, no matter what the professional distinction of the author. Most of them, indeed, even refuse to review revisionist books. The Progressive has been the only American periodical which has, with fair consistency, kept its columns open to such material, and its circulation is very limited.

While the periodicals are closed to neo-revisionist materials, they are, of course, wide open and eager for anything which continues the wartime mythology. If the authors of such mythology did not feel reasonably assured that answers to their articles could not be published, it is unlikely that they would risk printing such amazing whitewash as that by General Sherman Miles on “Pearl Harbor in Retrospect,” in the Atlantic Monthly, July, 1948, and Admiral Samuel Eliot Morison’s vehement attack on Charles Austin Beard in the August, 1948, issue of the same magazine.

Now, Admiral Morison is an able historian of nautical matters and a charming man personally. But his pretensions to anything like objectivity in weighing responsibility for the second World War can hardly be sustained. In his Foreword to Morison’s Battle of the Atlantic, the late James Forrestal let the cat out of the bag. He revealed that, as early as 1942, Morison had suggested to President Roosevelt that the right kind of history of naval operations during the war should be written, and modestly offered his “services” to do the job so as to reflect proper credit upon the administration. Roosevelt and Secretary Knox heartily agreed to this proposition and Morison was given a commission as captain in the Naval Reserve to write the official history of naval operations in the second World War.

If Roosevelt and Knox were alive today, they would have no reason to regret their choice of an historian. But, as a “court historian” and “hired man,” however able, of Roosevelt and Knox, Admiral Morison’s qualifications to take a bow to von Ranke and pass stern judgment on the work of Beard, whom no administration or party was ever able to buy, are not convincing. President Truman’s announcement in the newspapers on January 14, 1951, indicated that Morison’s services have been recognized and that he is apparently to be court-historian-in-chief during the opening phases of our official entry into the “Nineteen Eighty-Four” system.[17]Morison has recently been promote to the rank of admiral, thus arriving at the official stature of the famous Alfred T. Mahan. But Morison’s various attacks on Beard were handled with appropriate severity by Professor Howard K. Beale in his address before the American Historical Association on December 28, 1952, published in the August, 1953, issue of the Pacific Historical Review.

Another example of the accessibility of our leading periodicals to anti-revisionist materials was the publication of many articles smearing the reputation of Beard at the time of his death, some of the most bitter articles appearing in journals that had earlier regarded Beard as one of their most distinguished and highly welcome contributors.

Equally illustrative of the tendency to welcome any defense of the traditional mythology and exclude contrary opinions was the publication of the somewhat irresponsible article by Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., on “Roosevelt and His Detractors” in the June, 1950, issue of Harper’s Magazine. It was, obviously, proper for the editor to publish this article, but not equally defensible was his inabilitv to “find space” for the publication of an answer, even by one of the outstanding contributors to Harper’s.

Most of the professional historical magazines are as completely closed to the truth concerning the responsibility for and merits of the second World War, as are the popular periodicals. Likewise, the great majority of our newspapers are highly hostile to material questioning the traditional mythology about the causes and results of this war. The aversion of the New York Times to the truth about Pearl Harbor ten years later is dealt with below.[18]See below, pp. 387 ff. and pp. 475 ff.

3. Ignoring or Obscuring Revisionist Books

In case a revisionist book squeezes through the publishing blackout, almost invariably as a result of the courage of the two small publishing companies mentioned above, the blackout strategists are well prepared to circumvent the possibility of its gaining any wide circulation or popular acceptance.; The most common procedure is to accord such books the silent treatment, namely, to refuse to review them at all. As one powerful pressure group has pointed out, this is the most effective way of nullifying the potential influence of any book. Even highly hostile and critical reviews attract attention to a book and may arouse controversy which will further publicize it. The silent treatment assures a stillbirth to virtually any volume. The late Oswald Garrison Villard recounts his own personal experience with the silent-treatment strategy of editors today:

“I myself rang up a magazine which some months previously had asked me to review a book for them and asked if they would accept another review from me. The answer was ‘Yes, of course. What book had you in mind?’ I replied, ‘Morgenstern’s Pearl Harbor.

‘”Oh, that’s that new book attacking F.D.R. and the war, isn’t it?

“‘Yes.’

“‘Well, how do you stand on it?’

“‘I believe, since his book is based on the records of the Pearl Harbor inquiry, he is right:

“‘Oh, we don’t handle books of that type. It is against our policy to do so.’”

The Henry Regnery Company of Chicago has been more courageous and prolific in the publication of substantial revisionist books than any other concern here or abroad.[19]For Mr. Regnery’s account of the reception and treatment of these books, see his “A Letter to the Editor of the Publishers’ Weekly,” February 19, 1951. It has brought out such important books as Leonard von Muralt’s From Versailles to Potsdam; Hans Rothfels’ The German Opposition to Hitler; Victor GoUancz’s In Darkest Germany; Freda Utley’s The High Cost of Vengeance; Montgomery Belgion’s Victor’s Justice; Lord Hankey’s Politics: Trials and Errors; William Henry Chamberlin’s America’s Second Crusade; and Charles Callan Tansill’s Back Door to War. Mr. Regnery has shown me a careful survey of the treatment accorded these books by our leading newspapers and periodicals. Some have not been reviewed at all; most of them were reviewed sparingly. Almost invariably, when they have been noticed, they have been attacked with great ferocity and uniform unfairness.

The obscuring of the neo-revisionist material may further be illustrated by the space and position assigned to the reviews of Beard’s American Foreign Policy in the Making, 1932-1940, and Morgenstern’s Pearl Harbor in the American Historical Review and in other leading newspapers and periodicals.

Despite the revolutionary nature and vast importance of the Beard book, it was given only a page in the American Historical Review, but, amusingly enough, the reviewer used the brief space at his disposal to praise the book. This was not allowed to happen again. Though Morgenstern’s book was perhaps the most important single volume published in the field of American history in the year 1947, it was relegated to a book note in the American Historical Review and was roundly smeared.

Of all the book-reviewing columnists in New York City papers, only one reviewed Morgenstern’s book and he smeared it. The Saturday Review of Literature ignored it completely and so did most of the other leading periodicals. Though many infinitely less important books, from the standpoint of timeliness and intrinsic merit of content, received front-page positions therein, neither the Morgenstern book nor the Beard volume was given this place in the Sunday book-review sections of the New York Times or Herald Tribune. Had these books ardently defended the Roosevelt legend, they would assuredly have been assigned front-page positions. As Oswald Villard remarked of the Beard volume: “Had it been a warm approval of F.D.R. and his war methods, I will wager whatever press standing I have that it would have been featured on the first pages of the Herald Tribune “Books’ and the Times literary section and received unbounded praise from Walter Millis, Allan Nevins, and other similar axemen.”

Mr. Villard’s prophecy was vindicated after his death. When the supreme effort to salvage the reputation of Roosevelt and his foreign policy appeared in W. L. Langer and S. E. Gleason’s Challenge to Isolation, 1937-1940, it was promptly placed on the front page of the Herald Tribune Book Review of January 20, 1952, and praised in lavish fashion.

Beard’s book on President Roosevelt and the Coming of the War, 1941, was so challenging that it could not be ignored. But it did not gain front-page position in either the New York Times or the Herald Tribune. Though reviewed in a number of newspapers and periodicals, the majority of the reviewers sought to discredit the book rather than to examine its facts and arguments in a spirit of fairness and integrity.

Chamberlin’s America ‘s Second Crusade was nowhere near as widely reviewed as the significance of the content of the book merited, irrespective of whether or not one agreed with all of the author’s conclusions. It was the first comprehensive and critical appraisal of the nature and results of the most momentous project in which the United States was ever involved, politically, economically, or militarily. Hence, it merited careful and extended examination by everv newspaper and periodical in the land. But it was reviewed in only a fraction of the leading newspapers, while most of the important periodicals, including the American Historical Review, ignored it entirely. In the 1920′s periodicals like the New Republic and the Nation would have reviewed a book of this type lyrically and at great length, and, in all probability, have published special articles and editorials praising it warmly. Most reviews which the Chamberlin book received were of the smearing variety. The New York Times and Herald Tribune both reviewed the book in hostile fashion, gave it very brief reviews, and placed these in an obscure position.

Frederic R. Sanborn’s able and devastating Design for War received about the same treatment as the Chamberlin volume. It was ignored by the great majority of the newspapers and by virtually all the important periodicals. The New York Times reviewed the book rather promptly, if not conspicuously, but handed it over to their leading academic hatchet man, Samuel Flagg Bemis. Though prodded by Sanborn, the Herald Tribune delayed the review from March to August and then assigned it to Gordon A. Craig, a leading anti-revisionist among the historians frequently employed by the Times and Herald Tribune in attacking books critical of Roosevelt foreign policy. Sanborn’s book was not reviewed at all by Time, Newsweek, the New Yorker, the Nation, the New Republic, Harper’s, the Atlantic Monthly, or the Saturday Review of Literature, though Sanborn wrote letters of inquiry to all of them. Correspondence with the Saturday Review of Literature from April to the end of September failed to produce a review. If a comparable book had appeared at any time between 1923 and 1935, there is every reason to believe that the Nation and New Republic, for example, would have hailed it with nearhysterical joy and given excessive space to praising and promoting it. The American Historical Review did not review or even notice the Sanborn volume.

So far as can be ascertained at the time these lines are revised [December, 1952], Charles Callan Tansill’s Back Door to War was treated by the press in essentially the same manner as it had handled the Chamberlin and Sanborn volumes, although it is the definitive revisionist contribution and deserves as much consideration as Sidney B. Fay’s Origins of the World War received in 1928.

It received slightly more attention than did Chamberlin and Sanborn in the newspapers, perhaps because a determined effort was made to get the book in the hands of the editor of every important newspaper in the country. The majority of the newspaper reviews were of a smearing nature. As one example of such a review by an interventionist newspaper we may cite the following from the San Francisco Chronicle of July 27, 1952: “To bring forth a very small mouse. Professor Tansill has labored mountainously to assemble this helter-skelter collection of facts, documents and hearsay about America’s prewar foreign policy. . . . This book is not history. It is awkward special pleading.” The author of the review hid behind the initials “M. S.”

The book failed to make the front page of either the New York Times Book Review or of the New York Herald Tribune Book Review. It was reviewed on page 3 of the former (May 11, 1952) and on page lo of the latter (June 1, 1952), rather briefly in both cases. Even so. Dexter Perkins, who reviewed the book for the Times, had to request twice the space originallv assigned. Among the important periodicals onlv the Freeman, the

Saturday Review of Literature, and the Nation reviewed the book, the latter two rather belatedly. Time, Newsweek, the Atlantic, and Harper’s gave the volume the “silent treatment,” ignoring it entirely. The editor of the New Republic treated the book to an almost obscene smear. In the 1920′s all of these periodicals (which were then in existence) would have reviewed the book promptly and at length, and it would have evoked almost frenzied ecstasy on the part of the Nation and New Republic.

The jaundiced and biased attitude of periodicals in reviewing or ignoring such books as these was well revealed at the time of the appearance of the ardently pro-Roosevelt masterpiece by W. L. Langer and S. E. Gleason, Challenge to Isolation, 1937-1940. In this instance virtually all of the magazines which had ignored the books by Morgenstern, Chamberlin, Sanborn, and Tansill immediately rushed into print with prominent and lyrical reviews of the Langer-Gleason volume. Among all the editors of professional journals in the historical and social science field, only Professor Howard W. Odum, editor of Social Forces, has been willing to open his publication to full and fair reviewing of revisionist volumes.

One of the most impressive examples of the ignoring and obscuring of the writings of men critical of our foreign policy since 1937 is presented by the case of Francis Neilson. Mr. Neilson is a distinguished publicist and he served as a member of Parliament before he came to the United States. He was the principal “angel” of the original Freeman and, like John T. Flynn, was once a darling of American liberals who were, in those days, revisionists and anti-interventionists. Mr. Neilson’s How Diplomats Make War[1915] was the first revisionist volume to be published on the first World War, and it is still read with respect.

When Mr. Neilson opposed our interventionism after 1937, his erstwhile liberal friends fell away from him. Being a man of means, he was able to publish his gigantic five-volume work. The Tragedy of Europe, privately. It was scarcely noticed in any review, though it was praised by no less a personage than President Robert Maynard Hutchins of the University of Chicago. In 1950 Mr. Neilson published, again privately, a condensation of the more vital portions of his larger work, entitling it The Makers of War. The book contains a great amount of valuable revisionist material not embodied in any other revisionist volume on the second World War. But, Mr. Neilson assured me personally, it has never been reviewed at all.

4. Smearing Revisionist Books

When, rather rarely and for one reason or another, a newspaper or a periodical decides actually to review a revisionist book rather than to accord it the silent treatment, it has available a large supply of hatchet men who can be relied upon to attack and smear revisionist volumes and to eulogize the work of court historians and others who seek to perpetuate the traditional mythology.[20]See the brochure by Dr. John H. Sachs, Hatchet Men (New Oxford, Pa., privately printed, 1947); and Oswald Garrison Villard, “Book-Burning— U.S. Style.” The Progressive, April 28, 1947. For example, the New York Times has its own staff of such hatchet men, among them Otto D. Tolischus, Charles Poore, Orville Prescott, Karl Schriftgiesser, Drew Middleton, and others. When these do not suffice, it can call upon academicians of similar inclination, such as Arthur M.

Schlesinger, Jr., Allan Nevins, Henry Steele Commager, Gordon A. Craig, Samuel Flagg Bemis, Dexter Perkins, and others. The Herald Tribune has Walter Millis, August Heckscher, and their associates on its staff, and also turns to such academicians as those mentioned above, whose gifts and talents are not limited to the Times.

The smearing device used almost universally in discrediting neo-revisionist books is a carry-over of the propaganda strategy perfected by Charles Michelson in political technique, and extended by Joseph Goebbels, John Roy Carlson, and others, namely, seeking to destroy the reputation of an opponent by associating him, however unfairly, with some odious quality, attitude, policy, or personality, even though this may have nothing to do with the vital facts in the situation. It is only a complex and skillful application of the old adage about “giving a dog a bad name.” This is an easy and facile procedure, for it all too often effectively disposes of an opponent without involving the onerous responsibility of facing the facts.[21]See Towner Phelan, “Modern School for Scandal,” The Freeman, September 24, 1951, pp. 813-17. The “blackout boys” have even implied that the effort to tell the truth about responsibility for the second World War is downright wicked. Samuel Flagg Bemis declares that such an excursion into intellectual integrity is “serious, unfortunate, deplorable.”[22]Journal of Modern History, XIX (March, 1947), 55-59.

Inasmuch as the Morgenstern book was the first to shake the foundations of the interventionist wartime propaganda and because Morgenstern is not a professional historian of longtime standing, his work was greeted with an avalanche of smears. Virtually the only fair reviews of the Morgenstern volume were those by Edwin M. Borchard, George A. Lundberg, Harry Paxton Howard, and Admiral H. E. Yarnell. There was rarely any effort whatever to wrestle with the vast array of facts and documentary evidence which, both Beard and Admiral Yarnell maintained, bore out all of Morgenstern’s essential statements and conclusions. Rather, he was greeted with an almost unrelieved volley of smears.

Some reviewers rested content with pointing out that Morgenstern is a young man and, hence, cannot be supposed to know much, even though the New York Times handed over to Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., a younger man, the responsibility for reviewing Beard’s great book on President Roosevelt and the Coming of the War, 1941. Another reviewer asserted that all that needed to be said to refute and silence the book was to point out that Morgenstern is employed by the Chicago Tribune. Others stressed the fact that he is only an amateur, dabbling with documents, without the training afforded by the graduate historical seminar, though Morgenstern was an honor student of history at the University of Chicago. It was apparent to unbiased readers that most of the professors who reviewed his book departed entirely from any seminar canons of research and criticism which they may have earlier mastered. Morgenstern surely worked and wrote in closer conformity to von Ranke’s exhortations than his professorial reviewers.

Other reviewers sought to dispose of the Morgenstern book by stating that it was “bitterly partisan,” was composed in a state of “blind anger,” or written with “unusual asperitv,” though it is actuallv the fact that Morgenstern is far less bitter, angrv, or blind than his reviewers. Indeed, the tone of his book is more one of urbane satire than of indignation. Few books of this type have been freer of any taint of wrath and fury. The attitude of such reviewers is a good example of what the psychologists call the mechanism of “projection.” The reviewers attributed to Morgenstern the “blind anger” that they themselves felt when compelled to face the truth.

In reviewing the book for the Infantry Journal, May, 1947, Harvey A. DeWeerd declared that it was “the most flagrant example of slanted history” that had come to his attention “in recent years,” but he failed to make it clear that the uniqueness in the slanting of Morgenstern’s book was that it was “slanted” toward the truth, something which was, and still is, quite unusual in historical writing on this theme. Probably the most complete smearing of the Morgenstern book was performed by Walter Millis in the Herald Tribune Book Review (February 9, 1947), though, with all the extensive space at his disposal, he made no serious effort to come to grips with the facts in the situation. He merely elaborated the smear in the caption: “Twisting the Pearl Harbor Story: A Documented Brief for a Highly Biased, Bitter, Cynical View.” Gordon A. Craig, of Princeton, reviewing the book in the New York Times, February 9, 1947, rested content with stating that the book was no more than anti-Roosevelt “mythology” and completely “unbelievable,” though he adduced no relevant evidence in support of these assertions.

One of the most remarkable attacks on the book was made by a onetime ardent revisionist historian, Oron J. Hale, in i\iQ Annals of the American Academy, July, 1947. After first assailing the book with the charge of bitter partisanship and asserting that the author made only a fake “parade” of the “externals of scholarship,” Hale sought manfully but futilely to find serious errors in Morgenstern’s materials. He then concluded that all or most of the statements in the book were true but that the book as a whole was a, “great untruth.” This reverses the usual line of the current apologists for the Roosevelt foreign policy, like Thomas A. Bailey and Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., who now agree that most of Roosevelt’s public statements thereupon were untrue but that his program as a whole was a great truth which exemplified the desirable procedure of the “good officer” — the conscientious public servant.

The fact that Morgenstern is an editorial writer for the Chicago Tribune and that the Tribune has opened its columns to revisionist writings has encouraged the Smearbund to seek to identify Revisionism and all revisionist writers with the Tribune. Even Beard’s books were charged with being dominated by the Tribune policy. Only recently a reviewer in the New Yorker linked Beard and the Tribune and referred to the “Charles Austin Beard — Chicago Tribune” view of war origins. Max Lerner wrote that “the man who once mercilessly flayed Hearst became the darling of McCormick.”

No phase of the smear campaign could well be more preposterous. Aside from being willing to accept the truth relative to Roosevelt foreign policy. Beard and the Tribune had little in common. The American Civil Liberties Union once warmly praised Colonel McCormick for his valiant battle against the Minnesota press gag law. There was no attempt, then, to link the Civil Liberties Union with the total editorial policy of the Tribune. Roger Baldwin was not portraved as a tool of Colonel McCormick, nor was there any hint of a Civil Liberties Union — McCormick axis. Those who write in behalf of freedom of the press can always gain access to the columns of the Chicago Tribune, but there is no thought in such cases of linking them with the total editorial policy of the Tribune.

Due to the fact that Beard was a trained and venerable scholar and, hence, obviously not a juvenile amateur in using historical documents, that he had a world-wide reputation as one of the most eminent and productive historians and political scientists the United States has ever produced, that he had served as president of the American Political Science Association and of the American Historical Association, and that he was awarded, in 1948, the Gold Medal of the National Institute of Arts and Letters for the best historical work of the preceding decade, it required more than usual gall and trepidation to apply the smear technique to Beard and his two splendid books on American foreign policy.

Yet Beard did not escape unscathed, though his facts and objectivity cannot be validly challenged. As Louis Martin Sears pointed out in the American Historical Review: “The volume under review is said to give annoyance to the followers of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. If that be true, their faith is scarcely founded upon a rock, for no more objective treatment could readily be conceived. The author nowhere injects a personal opinion. “[23]April, 1947, op. 532. Any testimonials as to Beard’s historical prowess are, invariably, a red flag to the Smearbund bull. Only this consideration makes such things as Lewis Mumford’s resignation from the National Institute of Arts and Letters, because of the award of the above-mentioned medal to Beard, or Harry D. Gideonse’s explosion in the New Leader,[24]June 12, 1948. at all explicable.

The difficulty of attacking Beard relative to his status as an historian diverted most of the smearing of him into the allegation that his work is invalidated and unreliable because he was an “isolationist.” The absurdity of this charge is obvious. Beard did, from 1937 onward, courageously and sanely warn against the manner in which the Roosevelt policies were deliberately leading us into a foreign war against the will of the overwhelming mass of the American, people in what was supposed to be a democratic system of government. Beard’s stand may not have been wise, though the facts today overwhelmingly prove its soundness, but such an attitude has nothing whatever to do with any literal isolationism unless one defines internationalism as chronic meddling abroad and unwavering support of our entry into any extant foreign war.

Any attempt to brand Beard as a literal isolationist is, of course, completely preposterous. Few men have had a wider international perspective or experience. In his early academic days he helped to found Ruskin College, Oxford. He had traveled, advised, and been held in high esteem from Tokyo to Belgrade.

The irresponsibility of this form of smearing Beard is well illustrated by the innuendo of Samuel Eliot Morison and Perry Miller that Beard was an ignorant isolationist with an archaic and naive view of world affairs because he was deaf and lived on a farm with his cows, thus implying that he had shut himself off from the world and human associations and did not know what was going on about him. That such charges were utterly without foundation is well known to anybody with any knowledge whatever of Beard and his mode of life and must have been known to be untrue by Admiral Morison and Professor Miller, themselves.

Beard provided himself with a most efficient hearing instrument which enabled him to carry on personal conversations with the . utmost facility. He probably enjoyed wider personal contact with scholars and publicists than any other American historian down to the day of his death. He was visited at his suburban home constantly by a stream of prominent academic and scholarly admirers. He traveled widely and spent his winters in North Carolina. His deafness did not affect his personal relations or scholarly interests and activities in the slightest. His mode of life, at the most, only gave him the occasional quiet and detachment needed to digest and interpret the mass of information which came to him as a result of his wide reading and his extensive personal contacts with American and foreign scholars, both young and old. His dairy farm was located some twenty miles from his home.

I was present a few years ago at a conference on foreign affairs attended by about forty leading savants. Most of them wrung their hands about the sorry state of the world today, but only two or three were frank and candid enough to discern and admit that the majority of the conditions which they were so dolorously deploring stemmed directly from the foreign policies of Franklin D. Roosevelt, from his Chicago Bridge speech of October, 1937, to the Yalta Conference of early 1945. Beard was assailed for his “isolationism” and “cultural lag” by both the chairman and the chief participant for no earthly reason save that he opposed the policies which had led to the chaos over which the conference was holding the coroner’s inquest-but with no intention of declaring it a homicide or seeking the culprit. They vented their spleen on a man who had advised against risking the ambuscade which led to the murder.

It is both vicious and silly to brand a person an “isolationist” merely because he opposed our entry into the second World War. Personally, I opposed our entry with all the energy and power at my command — ^just as vigorously as did Beard. But it also happens that I wrote one of the longest chapters in the first important book ever published in behalf of the League of Nations and that I have ever since supported any move or policy which seemed to me likely to promote international good will and world peace. Sane internationalism is one thing; it is something quite different to support our entry into a war likely to ruin civilization mainly to promote the political prospects of a domestic leader, however colorful and popular, to satisfy the neurotic compulsions of special interests and pressure groups, and to pull the chestnuts of foreign nations out of the fire.

The whole issue of “isolationism” and the epithet “isolationist” has been a very effective phase of the smearing technique invented and applied by interventionists between 1937 and Pearl Harbor, and so naively exposed and betrayed by Walter Johnson in his book. The Battle Against Isolation. {25) The absurd character of the whole process of smearing by the method of alleging “isolationism” has been devastatingly revealed by George A. Lundberg in his article on “Semantics in International Relations” in the American Perspective. (2(>) Senator Taft put the matter in a nutshell when he asserted that to call any responsible person an isolationist today is nothing less than idiocy — one might add, malicious idiocy.

The only man of any intellectual importance who ever believed in isolationism was a German economist, Johann Heinrich von Thlinen (1783-1850), author of The Isolated State[1826], and he espoused the idea only to provide the basis for formulating economic abstractions. In short, isolationism is no more than a semantic smear fiction invented by globaloney addicts.

Governor Adlai E. Stevenson, of Illinois, is reported to have said in a commencement address in June, 1952, that “Isolationism has not lost all of its emotional appeal, but it has lost its intellectual respectability.” Unless one is willing to lapse completely into “Nineteen Eighty-Four” doublethink, it would seem that exactly the opposite is the truth. From Woodrow Wilson’s war address on April 6, 1917, to President Truman’s denunciation of cuts in the 1952 European aid allotment, interventionism has rested entirely on propaganda and emotional appeals. It has never been able to stand for a moment on the ground of empiricism, logic, and fact. If results are any test of the validity of a position, no program in human history has had less confirmation and vindication than has the intervention of the United States in foreign quarrels. On the other hand, isolationism, which means no more than international sanity and the avoidance of national suicide, has never been able to appeal to war excitement, the propaganda of fear, and other emotional fictions. It has always been compelled to rely upon reason and sanity. It may be that emotionalism is a better guide for public policy than rationality, but to claim that interventionism and globaloney can claim priority in respect to rationality is palpably preposterous.

The internationalists of the earlier era, for whom I wrote and lectured from coast to coast for twenty years after 1918, were true believers in internationalism, good will, and peace, and worked to secure these objectives. The globaloney and interventionist crowd, while prating about internationalism and peace, have done more than anybody else, except the totalitarian dictators, to promote nationalism and to revive and direct the war spirit. They have created an unprecedented spirit of interventionism, militarism, and intolerance in the United States and have helped to provoke a similar development in Soviet Russia. While blatant nationalism was checked temporarily in Germany and Italy, it has been stimulated elsewhere, from England to Indochina, eastern Asia, and ,. South Africa. The United Nations have steadily become more nationalistic and less united, and the world trembles and shivers on the brink of the third world war before the peace treaties have all been negotiated to conclude the second. There is all too much truth in the statement of an eminent publicist that Alger Hiss’s long-continued activities as an aggressive internationalist of the recent vintage did far more harm to the United States than handing over any number of secret State Department documents which he could have transcribed and transmitted to the Russians. The columnist. Jay Franklin, has given us a good summary picture of the fruits of interventionism by contrasting the twentieth-centurv American casualtv record under five “isolationist” Republican presidents and under three interventionist Democratic presidents:

Republican Presidents Casualties

Theodore Roosevelt (1901-9)

William H.Taft (1909-13) Warren G. Harding (1921-23) Calvin Coolidge (1923-29) Herbert hoover (1929-33)

Total for 24 Rep. years

Democratic Presidents Casualties

Woodrow Wilson (1913-21) 364,800

Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933-45) 1,134,527

Harry Truman (1945-53) 129,153

Total for 28 Dem. yrs. 1,628,480

Average U. S. war casualties per Republican year, 0.

Average U. S. war casualties per Democratic year, 58,160.

Though Catholic circles have been unusually fair in tolerating the truth about the causes of the second World War, the pressure on the editors was so great that even the enlightened Commonweal permitted Mason Wade to attack Beard in its columns. But the most irresponsible attempt to attack Beard as an “isolationist” came with almost uniquely bad taste from the pen of Harry D. Gideonse, who reviewed Beard’s President Roosevelt and the Coming of the War, 1941, in the New Leader.

Beard was a native-born American who labored mightily for over fifty years to improve many phases of American intellectual and public life. No American historian, past or present, had a more honorable record as an active and effective intellectual patriot. He had never written a word which placed the interests of other nations above those of our country. Gideonse, on the other hand, is Dutch-born, surely an honorable paternity. But there is little evidence that he has ever become completely immersed in Americanism or has taken on a thoroughlv American point of view. In his public statements over many years he has always given evidence of a robust internationalism which has little primary regard for American institutions or traditions. His internationalism appears to have a twofold basis: a hangover of the Dutch imperialism of the Dutch East India Company tycoons of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries,[28]On this point, see his letter in the New York Times, January 10, 1949. and the virus of current American globaloney. Anyhow, it has paid off remarkably well, for Gideonse was summoned from Chicago to Columbia University and then, to the amazement even of his friends, suddenly catapulted into the presidency of Brooklyn College in 1939

While Gideonse finds other nonfactual grounds for assaulting Beard, he holds that Beard’s alleged isolationism is all that is needed to brush the book aside. Indeed, all that is required for that is the fact, as Gideonse tells us twice in the course of his review, that it has been praised as a very great book by the “isolationist” Chicago Tribune. It might be cogently observed that the Tribune has also praised the Bible, Shakespeare’s works, and Einstein’s writings on relativity. But Gideonse has not laughed this off yet. If praise by the Chicago Tribune were not enough to destroy the validity of Beard’s book, then, in Gideonse’s view, it would be amply disposed of by the fact that he quotes, even sparingly, statements by eminent “isolationists” like Senators Burton K. Wheeler and Gerald P. Nye. Not even the fact, which Gideonse concedes, that he also cites Eleanor Roosevelt frequently and with respect, could redeem Beard after he had revealed his acquaintance with the statements of allegedly nefarious “isolationist” personalities.

Though, as we have made clear, reviewers have, naturally, been a trifle hesitant in daring to minimize Beard’s status as an historian, Walter Millis and Gideonse have not been dismayed or sidetracked even here. In his review of Beard’s President Roosevelt and the Coming of the War, 1941, in the Herald Tribune Book Review ,[29]April 11, 1948. Millis contended that Beard is not entitled to rank as an objective historian according to formal academic fictions, but really belongs back with TertuUian, Orosius, Gregory of Tours, and other “Dark Age” exemplars of the “Devil theory of history.”

But it remained for Gideonse to sail in and seek to divest Beard of all claims to any standing as an historical scholar. Just why Gideonse should presume to pass on questions of historiography and to grade historians is not quite evident, though he has been doing so for some years. Professionally, though admittedly a very talented classroom orator and an effective “rabble-rouser” of the student body, he was only a somewhat obscure economist when he strode into Flatbush with his mace. But Gideonse did not hesitate to administer a sharp slap to the members of the American Historical Association, who elected Beard to their presidency in 1933, by pooh-poohing the general scholarly opinion that Beard was the “dean of living American historians.” This notion and pretension, says Gideonse, is purely “fictitious.” Actually, according to Gideonse, Beard has only been a lifelong pamphleteer, and his books on Roosevelt’s foreign policy are cheap journalism.

In the light of all this, one could read with considerable amusement and sardonic humor an announcement in the New York Times of September 8, 1948, that Gideonse opened the college year at Flatbush with an address to entering Freshmen in which he gravelv and sternlv asserted that “truthfulness” is a main and indispensable qualitv of a college teacher; one which does not, perhaps, extend to college presidents.

There were many other attacks on Beard’s last two great books. They usually took one of two forms. First, there were efforts to dispose of them by brief, casual Jovian or flippant smears, without giving any attention whatever to the facts or meeting the arguments of the books. Such was Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.’s smear in the Partisan Review,[30]October, 1949. implying that Beard sought to justify collaboration with the Nazis; Max Lerner’s slur to the effect that they were “two rather weird affairs”; Perry Miller’s description of them as “two frenetic indictments of Franklin Roosevelt” (implying, if Miller knew the meaning of the words he was using, that Beard must have been insane); and Quincy Wright’s even briefer disposition of them as “a strange argument” (strange, presumably, to Wright in that the argument was based on facts).

The other type of approach has been to smother the book under a vast welter of side issues, non sequiturs, and irrelevant scoldings. This was well illustrated by the procedure of Charles C. Griffin, an expert on Latin American history, who was selected to review Beard’s last book for the American Historical Review.[31]January, 1949, pp. 382-86. He buried the book under four and a half pages of impenetrable, irrelevant, and disapproving fog, rarely coming to grips with the essential facts and arguments. About the only fair and scholarly review that the book received was by the chief authority in the field, Charles C. Tansill, in the Mississippi Valley Historical Review.[32]December, 1948, pp. 532-34.

On the occasion of Beard’s death one might have supposed that the opportunity would have been taken to pay a tribute to his great= ness as a teacher, historian, political scientist, and liberal, at least in those journals to which Beard had been for years one of the most honored contributors, and that there would have been articles by writers who had long been admirers of Beard, until he began to examine Roosevelt’s foreign policy. Instead of this we were treated to an obscene performance which reminded fair observers of jackals and hyenas howling about the body of a dead lion. Especially in point were the articles by Max Lerner in the New Republic, October 25 and November 1, 1948; by Perry Miller in the Nation, September 25, 1948; and by Peter Levin in Tomorrow, March, 1949

In these articles most of the smears which had been irresponsibly thrown at Beard during the previous several years were amalgamated and” he was portrayed as a senile, embittered, and confused “isolationist” and a traitor to the liberal cause. There was even an effort to undermine confidence in Beard’s monumental books which had preceded his volumes on the foreign policy of President Roosevelt. Lerner held up to ridicule Beard’s social and civic ideal: “A continental economy, spaciously conceived, controlled in a common-sense way, yielding a gracious life without all the horrors of foreign entanglements.” As Of 1953, such an ideal might well evoke the heartiest enthusiasm on the part of any thoughtful American. Lerner characterized Roosevelt’s foreign policy as a consistent attempt to promote “the collective democratic will reluctantly having to shape a world in which it could survive.” How well it succeeded in achieving this result will be apparent from an examination of Chamberlin’s America’s Second Crusade, and Chapter 8 of this volume.

The campaign of vilification and distortion against Beard has continued long after his death. One of the most absurd attacks appeared in 1952 in a book by John B. Harrison, a teacher of history at Michigan State College, entitled This Age of Global Strife. Harrison writes :

“This prominent historian undertook in the last days of his eccentric old age to prove by ponderous documentation that President Roosevelt set out from the beginning of the war in Europe to stealthily and deceitfully maneuver the United States into a war whose outcome was of no real concern to the American people. It is a deplorable collection of half-truths and distortions. Anyone who reads it should read also Samuel E. Morison’s brilliant analysis of it in the Atlantic Monthly, August, 1948.”

A book containing material of this sort could be published by the old and reputable firm of Lippincott seven years after V-J Day. The reception accorded Chamberlin’s America’s Second Crusade was in keeping with the blackout procedure and in line with that given to the Morgenstern and Beard volumes. Chamberlin was a too-important and well-known author to be given the silent treatment by all newspapers and periodicals, though the leading liberal periodicals tended to ignore his book. It was, naturally, glowingly praised in the Chicago Tribune, and equally lavishly smeared by the New York Post.

The New York Times treated the book about as badly as feasible under the circumstances.” While it placed a long review of a slight book by the elder Schlesinger on page 3 of the Sunday Book Review, it relegated Chamberlin’s striking volume to page 34 It chose as the reviewer of the book Samuel Flagg Bemis, well known as perhaps the bitterest critic of revisionist writing among the historians.

But even Bemis was unable to make much headway against Chamberlin’ facts and logic. He frankly admitted that he would not “argue the case with Mr. Chamberlin. ” In reviewing the Morgenstern book, Bemis had written that the American situation in late 1941 constituted “the most awful danger that ever confronted our nation.” He still stuck to this thesis, despite his admission that there is no factual basis for it: “That captured Nazi archives do not reveal any actual plans to attack the New World, as Mr. Chamberlin repeatedly stresses, does not make any difference. The intention was there.” Bemis pictured Germany and Japan as “the two colossi whose power in victory would have closed on our freedom with the inexorable jaws of a global vise.” Therefore, our second crusade was a success and a necessity, even though Bemis admits that Russia is now more powerful than Japan and Germany combined could ever have become, and its power is concentrated in one nation rather than being divided among two, who might often have clashed: “Stalin has stepped into everything that Hitler and Japan first started out to get, and more. Soviet Russia has rolled up an agglomeration of power greater than ever menaced the United States, even in 1941:”

Bemis concluded his review with what is possibly the most incredible example of “foot-swallowing” in the whole history of book reviewing:

“One thing ought to be evident to all of us: by our victory over Germany and Japan, no matter what our folly in losing the peace, we have at least survived to confront the second even greater menace of another totalitarian power. . . . We might not stand vis- vis with the Soviets today if President Roosevelt had not entertained a conviction that action against the Axis was necessary.”

In other words, all the physical, financial, and moral losses of the United States in the second World War were justified and well expended in order that we might face another world war against a far stronger enemy. With these comments we may well leave Bemis to the logicians.

The New York Herald Tribune Book Review handled the Chamberlin book much as did the Times.[34]October 15, 1950, p. 12. It placed the review on the twelfth page, following reviews of many relatively trivial volumes. It did not seek out a professorial critic, but assigned one of its own “hatchet men,” August Heckscher, to write the review. While the book was smeared as a revival of “pre-war isolationism,” Heckscher was not able to succeed any better than Bemis in disposing of Chamberlin’s material and arguments. He had to rest satisfied with espousing the “perpetual-war-for-perpetual-peace” program of our current internationalists. If the first and second crusades have failed to provide peace, security, and prosperity, we can “keep on trying.” Other and more bloody crusades may turn the trick, though even Arnold J. Toynbee has admitted that any further crusades may leave only the pygmies — or, perhaps, only the apes or ants — to wrestle with the aftermath.

Perhaps the most remarkable example of smearing the Chamberlin book was the review which was published in the New Leader,[35]November 27, 1950. written by our old friend, Harry D. Gideonse.

The New Leader is a sprightly journal controlled mainly by Socialists and exSocialists who deserted Norman Thomas in his brave stand against our entry into the second World War, and by totalitarian liberals. Both groups were fanatically in favor of our intervention in the second World War and are now in the vanguard of those who wish us to enter a third crusade in the interest of perpetual war for perpetual peace and the suppression of Red sin throughout the world. Chamberlin writes for this periodical, though his presence seems somewhat incongruous in such an editorial group.

But the fact that Chamberlin is a regular contributor to the New Leader weighed less heavily with the editor than his offense in debunking our first and second crusades and his warning against our entering a third. Therefore it was decided that Chamberlin’s book must be smeared, and a man was chosen to do it who could be relied upon. There was no doubt about Gideonse’s dependability for the task, both from his well-known general attitude toward interventionism and from his earlier elaborate smearing of . Beard in the New Leader.

Gideonse did not let the editor down, except that he was only, able to bring to bear against Chamberlin the same threadbare smears that he had used against Beard. He led off with a blanket condemnation: “This is a bitter and unconvincing book.” The worthlessness of much of Chamberlin’s book, according to Gideonse, required nothing more in the way of proof than to show, that he agreed with Colonel McCormick and the Chicago Tribune: “At least half of the contents of Mr. Chamberlin’s book is another rehash of the Chicago Tribune history of World War II.” Gideonse repeated the old alarmist dud to the effect that, if we had not gone to war against Hitler, he would have made a vassal of Stalin and Soviet Russia and would have controlled the Old World “from the English Channel to Vladivostok.” In the December 18, 1950, issue of the New Leader, Chamberlin submitted a crushing answer to Gideonse and other smearing reviewers.

The New York Post called Chamberlin a “totalitarian conservative” and painted him as a special favorite of the McCormick-Patterson axis. The overwhelming majority of the reviews of the book did not rise above the level of smearing, the lowest point of which was reached in the review by James M. Minifie in the Saturday Review of Literature. (^6)

That the progress of disillusionment with respect to the results of the second crusade and the shock of the Korean war may have made a few editors a trifle more tolerant of reality in world affairs was, possibly, demonstrated by the fact that Chamberlin’s book was warmly praised in the review in the Wall Street Journal and was accorded fair treatment in the interventionist Chicago Daily News.

Frederic R. Sanborn’s concise, elaborately documented, and closely reasoned volume. Design for War, devoted chiefly to an account of President Roosevelt’s secret war program after 1937, was treated much like the Morgenstern and Chamberlin books, though it was more extensively ignored in the press. When not ignored, it was smeared in most of the reviews. The New York Times thought that it had taken care of the matter by handing the book over to Samuel Flagg Bemis for reviewing. By this time, how, ever, Bemis had read the latest edition of my Struggle Against the Historical Blackout, with its account of his foot-swallowing feat in his Times review of the Chamberlin volume. So Bemis, while rejecting Sanborn’s version of American diplomacy from 1937 to Pearl Harbor, was relatively cautious and respectful.

Months after the book appeared, the Herald Tribune finally and reluctantly reviewed it, after much prodding by Sanborn. It handed it over to another warhorse among the hatchet men, Gordon A. Craig, of Princeton. He indulged mainly in the shadowboxing for which Walter Millis had shown such talent. The review, while of the smearing variety, was evasive, as had been Craig’s review of Morgenstern’s book in the Times years before. He refused to confront the facts and even went so far in historical humor as to accept Cordell Hull’s statements at their face value.

The Sanborn book was smeared in most of the Scripps-Howard papers that reviewed it at all (vide the Rocky Mountain News, February 18, 1951), though this chain had been in the vanguard of prewar “isolationism.” A characteristic newspaper slur was that of the Chattanooga Times, which proclaimed that the Sanborn book was “as impartial as the Chicago Tribune or Westbrook Pegler. ”

Felix Wittmer reviewed the book in the New Leader (March 26, 1951). The editors had, apparently, become bored themselves with the monotonous uniformity of the unvaried dead cats thrown at revisionist books by Harry Gideonse. The Wittmer review was a masterpiece of “doublethink.” He smeared the book as “a sad spectacle,” and “a biased and myopic account of diplomacy in the guise of objectivity.” He accused Sanborn of “amazing ignorance of modern Japanese policies.” Yet, a little later on, he expressed himself as in almost complete agreement with Sanborn’s account of the crucial JapaneseAmerican negotiations in 1941: “It is perfectly true — as Dr. Sanborn proves — that in 1941 the Japanese seriously wanted peace and that Roosevelt and Hull used every possible device to forestall it, and to provoke an open attack by Japan.” He even admits that Roosevelt and Hull anticipated this attack. He excuses all this on the ground that our entry into the war was obligatory for American security from Nazi invasion and for the salvation of humanity, and that the provocation of the Japanese was only “penetrating foresight,” because Hitler and Mussolini were just moan enough not to rise to Roosevelt’s war bait in the Atlantic. Hence, we had to incite Japan to attack us in order to get into the war through the Pacific back door. Even the New Leader felt impelled to publish a rejoinder by Sanborn.

We have already pointed out that virtually all the important periodicals — Time, Newsweek, the New Yorker, the Saturday Review of Literature, the Nation, the New Republic, Harper’s, and the Atlantic Monthly — had wisely decided that they could protect the Roosevelt and interventionist legend better by ignoring the book entirely than by smearing it in reviews. The American Historical Review did not even mention the volume in a book note.

The reviewing of the book by Charles Callan Tansill, Back Door to War, ran true to the form established with reference to revisionist volumes. The Tansill tome is more outspoken and more heavily documented than any other revisionist treatise. So, while it more violently enraged interventionist reviewers, it intimidated and restrained them in some cases. At least they were more restrained than they would have been if the book were not so formidable an exhibit of arduous and exhaustive scholarship.

Dexter Perkins reviewed the book about as gingerly and cautiously in the New York Times Book Review. (May ii, 1952) as, earlier, Bemis had handled the Sanborn volume. He was, apparently, also somewhat concerned about a possible comment on his review in future editions of my Historical Blackout. Aside from reiterating his well-known theme, to the effect that President Roosevelt was reluctantly pushed into war by the force of an ardent and alarmed public opinion, Perkins mainly contented himself with berating the “animus” and “bitterness” shown by Mr. Tansill. This bitterness appeared to consist, actually, in producing documentary proof that the Roosevelt-Hull diplomacy constituted one of the major public crimes of human history.

The review by Basil Rauch in the Herald Tribune Book Review (June 1, 1952) was as brash and reckless as was Rauch’s own book, Roosevelt from Munich to Pearl Harbor. It was not unfairly referred to by one reader as “a masterpiece of misrepresentation.” As the Bvzantine emperor, Basil II, earned the title of “Basil the Bulgar-Slaver,” so Rauch can surely be awarded the title of “Basil the Creator.” As I have shown in my brochure, Rauch on Roosevelt, Professor Rauch, in his book, created for Mr. Roosevelt a foreign policy which bore very slight resemblance to the one which the President actually followed. So, in his review of the Tansill volume, he created a book which had little relationship to the one he was supposed to be reviewing. The book and the review must both be read to allow one to become fully aware of the extent to which this is true. Rauch accused Tansill of making statements and drawing conclusions which had no documentary support whatever, though in the book itself hundreds of footnotes and references to acres of documents were presented to buttress Tansill’s statements.

Back Door to War was tardily and loftily smeared in the Saturday Review of Literature of August 2, 1952, by Professor Lindsay Rogers of Columbia University. Professor Rogers is not a “court historian,” but he was the leading court political scientist and court jester in the original New Deal “brain trust.” He pays tribute to “the enormous industry of five years which this ponderous tome required.” But he tells the reader that it has been “largely wasted” because Professor Tansill has outdone the late Dr. Beard in espousing the “devil theory of history” and has interlarded his book with distressing diatribes.

The devil theory of history appears to reside in the fact that Professor Tansill adopts a critical attitude toward the Roosevelt foreign policy and that he assigns considerable personal responsibility to President Roosevelt for the course of our foreign affairs after [1933] The “diatribes” are occasional penetrating comments on Roosevelt and his foreign policy which, had they been directed against the critics of Mr. Roosevelt, would have been praised by Professor Rogers as distilled wisdom and brilliant bons mots.

The Tansill book was belatedly reviewed at length in the Nation (October 4, 1952) by Professor Charles C. Griffin, who had reviewed the Beard volume in the American Historical Review. It is evident from the opening sentences of the review that Professor Griffin regards any comprehensive marshaling of the facts relative to Roosevelt foreign policy as a “violent attack” upon them. The gist of the review was much the same as that by Professor Rogers in the Saturday Review of Literature. Both reviewers are compelled to recognize the vast amount of research which went into the preparation of the Tansill book, but Professor Griffin, like Professor Rogers, holds that all this is vitiated by Professor Tansill’s cogent and penetrating characterizations, which are variously described as “opprobrious and objectionable terminology,” “invective,” “innuendo,” “insinuation,” and the like. Doubtless Professor Griffin, like Professor Rogers, would have regarded this material as brilliant and praiseworthy verbiage if it had been written in praise of the Roosevelt policy. But, at least. Professor Griffin’s presentation of his views on the Tansill volume constitutes a formal and ostensible review, not a brief and casual smear, and he does concede at the end of his review that the Tansill volume has value in that it corrects the fantastic mythology which prevailed during the second World War.

The review by Arthur Kemp in the Freeman, May 19, 1952, was friendly and commendatory.

Professor Tansill’s book was harshly reviewed in the American Historical Review, October, 1952, by Dean Julius W. Pratt. That the latter had lined up with our “Ministry of Truth” could have been ascertained in advance of the review by comparing his early, trenchant, anti-imperialist writings, in his books and in his articles in the American Mercury, with his recent America’s Colonial Experiment. The flavor of his review could readily be anticipated. However, Dean Pratt did concede that the book was the most “weightily documented” of the revisionist works on the second World War and that “Professor Tansill has produced a book of great learning.”

One statement in the review calls for corrective comment: “The fact that a scholar with Professor Tansill’s well-known views on American foreign policy was allowed the free run of confidential State Department files should lay at rest the theory that there exists a favored group of “court historians’ who speak only kind words of Rooseveltian diplomacy.” While Professor Tansill did examine more documents than any other revisionist historian, he had nothing like the free access to archives and diaries which was accorded to men like Professors I-anger and Gleason and Dr. Herbert Feis. Dr. Beard’s attacks on the State Department favoritism eased his entry, and some of his former graduate students were in charge of important sections of the documents. Even so, he was barred from many, his notes subjected to scrutiny, and some of them confiscated.

One of the most extreme smears of the book was written by a professional historian. Professor Richard W. Van Alstyne of the University of Southern California, and published in the Pacific Historical Review, November, 1952- Van Alstyne concluded that Back Door to War is “a striking monument to pedantic scholarship, but it is built on a tiny mound of historical understanding.” He did, however, make one sound point: that the book has a misleading title, in that it is more a study of the origins of the second World War than specifically of Roosevelt foreign policy.

The New Republic did not review the book, but the editor, Michael Straight, subjected it to the lowest and most amazing smear that any revisionist book has yet received. In the issue of June 16, 1952, Straight delivered himself of the following material, suitable for presentation by the late Mr. Ripley:

“This book is part of the devious attack on American diplomacy directed by Dr. Edmund Walsh, S.J., from Georgetown University. Tansill argues that the U.S., not Germany or Japan, was the aggressor in the Second World War. . . .

“These are the superstitions that occupied Beard in his senility and focused John T. Flynn’s mania for hatred. It would be easily dismissed, were it not such useful material for demagogues in the 1952 campaign.”

Nothing better illustrates the shift in attitude on the part of the New Republic since the 1920′s, when it took the lead in promoting Revisionism under Herbert Croly and Robert Littell, even though Mr. Straight’s mother was also financing the journal at the time.

Very interesting and relevant, as bearing on Mr. Straight’s charge that Professor

Tansill’s book was the product of a Catholic plot to smear Rooseveltian foreign policy, is the fact that the Catholic periodical, America, reflecting the interventionist wing of American Catholic opinion, published a rather bitter attack by Father William A. Lucey upon the Tansill volume in its issue of June 14, 1952.

A very amusing and instructive example of the length to which interventionists will go in quest of smears of revisionist books is provided in the case of the Christian Register. This periodical is edited by Melvin Arnold, a liberal Unitarian and the head of the Beacon Press which has published the books by Paul Blanchard that have so vigorously attacked Catholic political power. Yet, being an ardent interventionist and adulator of Roosevelt foreign policy, Mr. Arnold reached out eagerly for this hostile review of the Tansill book by Father Lucey in one of the leading political organs of Jesuit Catholic journalism and reprinted it in the December, 1952, issue of his own magazine.

Professor Tansill’s book was reviewed in the Mississippi Valley Historical Review, December, 1952, by Professor Ruhl Bartlett. Professor Bartlett had been put on the program of the American Historical Association at Chicago in December, 1950, to criticize the paper presented at that time by Professor Tansill on the background of the American entry into the second World War. He was somewhat roughly handled by Professor Tansill in the discussion that followed. All this was well known to the editor of the Mississippi Valley Historical Review. Nevertheless, he chose Professor Bartlett to review Professor Tansill’s book, and the result was just what could have been expected. The flavor of the review is shown by the closing lines: “The book is unredeemed by humor, art or insight. To read it and to write about it are unrewarding tasks.”

Thus far, the Journal of Modern History has not reviewed the book.

In the criticisms of the Tansill volume by such professional historians as Professors Harrington, Pratt, and Van Alstyne, there is one slightly humorous item, namely, the charge that Tansill does not support all of his contentions by citations from confidential archival material. As a matter of fact, the only honest and fair criticism of Tansill’s procedure is that, like so many professional diplomatic historians, he relies too much on archival and allied materials when other sources of information are often far more illuminating and reliable. Nevertheless, his professorial critics contend that he never proves an assertion unless he brings archival material to his support, even though he may cite scores of more important types and sources of evidence. One might be led to suppose that Tansill could not prove the guilt of President Roosevelt relative to Pearl Harbor unless he could produce from the archives a confession signed in the handwriting of the late President.

From what has been set forth above, it is evident that not one professional historical journal has provided readers with a fair and objective appraisal of Professor Tansill’s monumental volume, Back Door to War.

The majority of the newspaper reviews smeared the book, though it was warmly praised not onlv by the Chicago Tribune but by some other papers like the Indianapolis

Star. In the newspaper reviews the dominant note was Tansill’s alleged bias and bitterness — in other words, his devotion to candor and integrity. Interestingly enough, the editor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer was apparently so displeased by the ‘unfair reviews that he wrote an editorial (June 8, 1952) praising the Tansill volume and commending Revisionism in general.

Probably the most extreme job of smearing ever turned in on a liberal who attacked the foreign policy of Roosevelt was done on John T. Flynn, whose revisionist writings were limited to two brochures on Pearl Harbor and to a few passages in his book. The Roosevelt Myth. Flynn had long been a special favorite of the liberal journals. He was probably the leading specialist for the New Republic in exposing the evils of finance capitalism. His Security Speculation was a masterpiece in this field. His Graft in Business was, perhaps, the ablest indictment of the business ideals and methods of the HardingCoolidge era. He was one of the staff who aided Pecora in his investigation of the sins of Wall Street. He was also an assistant to Senator Gerald P. Nye in the famous munitions and armament investigation. He was at one time a member of the Board of Higher Education in New York City and a lecturer at the New School for Social Research. Few men rated higher in the esteem of eastern Liberals.

But when Flynn became a leading member of the America First movement and began to oppose President Roosevelt’s war policy, his erstwhile liberal admirers, who had taken to warmongering, turned on him savagely. Their animus increased when Flynn revealed the fascist trends in our war policy in his book. As We Go Marching, and when he told the truth about Pearl Harbor in two trenchant brochures. Since that time he has been the victim of incessant smearing by the totalitarian liberals and the interventionist crowd. They have done their best to drive him into penury and obscurity. Only his fighting Irish spirit has enabled him to survive. Even the Progressive, despite its antiwar policy, joined in the smearing.

A good sample of the irresponsibility in smearing Flynn is the statement of Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., in the New York Post, to the effect that-the Yalta Conference will redound to the honor of Franklin D. Roosevelt “unless a Fascist revolution installs William Henry Chamberlin and John T. Flynn as official national historians.” It so happens that Flynn has, for more than a decade now, been recognized as one of our most stalwart libertarians and individualists, and has even been smeared for being such by persons in Schlesinger’s intellectual circle. One of the reasons for their frenzied hatred of him is his revelation of fascist trends in Roosevelt foreign policy and its political results. Chamberlin is also conspicuous for his libertarian trends and his protests against military state capitalism.

The blackout contingent was even more successful in their at= tacks on Upton Close. As a result of his candid radio broadcasts on our foreign policy he was driven off the air, from the lecture platform, and out of the press, and his books on the Far East were virtually barred from circulation.

Though I have personallv written nothing on Revisionism relative to the second World War beyond several brief brochures seeking to expose some of the more characteristic methods of the blackout contingent, the Smearbund has gone to work on me far more vigorously than was the case following all my revisionist articles and books combined after the first World War. The silent treatment has been comprehensively applied to anything I have published recently, in whatever field. When my History of Western Civilization appeared, in 1935, it was very glowingly reviewed on the front page of the New York Times Book Review, of the Herald Tribune Books, and of the Saturday Review of Literature . The American Historical Review gave it a long and favorable review by the foremost American authority in the field. When my Society in Transition was published, in 1939, the Times accorded it the unique honor of reviewing a college textbook on the first page of its Book Review. But when my Survey of Western Civilization and Introduction to the History of Sociology were published in 1947, and my Historical Sociology in 1948, none of the abovementioned publications, so far as could be discovered, gave any of them so much as a book note. Apparently the movement has gone so far that authors are being suppressed or given the silent treatment for fear that they might, later on, publish some little truth on world affairs. The author of this chapter was, naturally, suspect because of his writings on the first World War.

The sub rosa activities of the blackout Smearbund have gone much further. I have been smeared as both an extreme radical and an extreme reactionary and as everything undesirable between these two extremes. One historian smeared me as a “naive isolationist,” though, in actuality, I was working for sane internationalism at the time of his birth. The Smearbund has not only condemned my books to the silent treatment, barred me from all leading periodicals, and sought to dissuade publishers from accepting my books on any subject, but its members have also carried on extensive subterranean intrigue seeking to discourage the use of my textbooks in the fields of the history of civilization and sociology, where the content of my tomes does not touch even remotely on the issues of Revisionism. Going beyond my writings, the blackout “Gestapo” forced the most powerful lecture manager in the United States to drop me from his list of lecturers.

The blackout boys have not rested content with smearing those who have sought to tell the truth about the causes of the second World War. They have now advanced to the point where they are seeking to smear those who told the truth about the causes of the first World War. At the meeting of the American Historical Association in Boston in December, 1949, two papers were read by Richard W. Leopold and Selig Adler that endeavored to undermine the established revisionist writings regarding the prelude to that conflicts.[37]Professor Leopold’s paper on “the Problem of American Intervention, 1917: An Historical Retrospect,” was published in World Politics, April, 1950, pp. 405-25. Professor Adler’s paper on “The War Guilt Question and American Disillusionment, 1918-1928, was published in the Journal of Modern History, March, 1951, pp. 1-28. For my reply to “Adler, see the Journal of Modern History, September, 1951. Adler implied that Revisionism, after 1918, was, in its origins, a sort of Bolshevik plot, and that revisionist writers were, consciously or unconsciously, dupes of the Bolsheviks and unrepentant Germans. Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., in an article in the Partisan Review,[38]October, 1949. has even gone so far as to attack those who have written in a revisionist tone on the causes of the Civil War. The next step will be to attack the revision of historical opinion relative to the causes of the American Revolution and to find that, after all, “Big Bill” Thompson was right in his views of that conflict and in his threat to throw George V into the Chicago Ship Canal. In other words. Revisionism, which only means bringing historv into accord with facts now seems to be rejected by the blackout boys as a mortal sin against Clio, the Muse of their subject. This attack on Revisionism, even with respect to the first World War, is now creeping into the routine college textbooks. It provides the leitmotiv of Harrison’s above-mentioned book. This Age of Global Strife.

Not only are books concerned primarily with an honest account of the diplomacy connected with the coming of the second World War ignored and smeared, but similar treatment is accorded to books which even indirectly reflect on the official mythology in this area. For example, A. Frank Reel’s splendid and courageous book on. The Case of General Yamashita was rather generally attacked, and outrageously so by John H. L. Fried in the Political Science Quarterly, September, 1950. W. T. Couch, who had done splendid work as head of the University of Chicago Press, was relieved of his post in part because of criticism of his publication of this book. The best book on Japan which has been published since Pearl Harbor, Mirror for Americans: Japan, by Helen Mears, was allowed to die quietly by its publishers after the blackout contingent began to exert pressure against it.

While the Smearbund has usually rested content with an effort to defame and impoverish those of whom it disapproves, it went even further in the case of Lawrence Dennis and sought to jail him on the charge of “sedition.” Dennis, a brilliant Harvard graduate, had served in important posts in the American diplomatic service for eight years. He had been one of the first to enlist in the Plattsburg training experiment before the first World War[1915] and had served with distinction as an officer in the war. After retiring from the diplomatic service, he was employed by leading banking and brokerage firms as an expert on foreign bonds. Like John T. Flynn, he was then a favorite of leftwing American liberals and had exposed the foreign bond frauds in the New Republic at about the same time that Flynn was doing a comparable piece of work on the investment trusts. He incurred the wrath of the liberals by bringing out a book in 1936 entitled The Coming American Fascism. Here he predicted that the New Deal would wind up in a system of Fascism, whatever the name given to it, and described what the system would probably be like. The interventionists were enraged by his Weekly Foreign Letter, which opposed our entry into the second World War, and by his The Dynamics of War and Revolution, the best book written in the United States on the institutional forces pushing us into war and on the probable results of such a war. The pro-war forces induced Harper & Brothers to withdraw the book almost immediately after publication.

Though Dennis is, actually, an aggressive individualist, he was accused of being an ardent fascist and was railroaded into the mass sedition trial in Washington in 1944. That the trial ended in a farce was due mainly to the fact that Dennis personally outlined and conducted the defense. But, though surely one of the most talented writers and lecturers in the United States today, he has been driven into complete obscurity; not even Regnery or Devin-Adair dares to bring out a book under his name.

The revisionist position bearing on the second World War is more firmly established factually, even on the basis of the materials which revisionist scholars are permitted to examine, than the Revisionism of the 1920′s was by the revelations produced after 1918. But the effective presentation of revisionist contentions is frustrated, so far as any substantial influence is concerned, over any predictable future.

Certain revisionist scholars, led by the late Charles Austin Beard, have justly protested the fact that they are not permitted anything like the same access to the relevant documents as is the case with the so-called “court historians.”

This is true and deplorable, but it is not a consideration of major importance with respect to Revisionism today. Revisionists already have plenty of facts. It may be safely assumed that any further revelations will only more firmly establish the revisionist position. Otherwise, all the archives and other still-secret materials would, long since, have been made available to reputable scholars, so that President Roosevelt and his administration might be cleared of unfair and inaccurate charges, founded upon limited and unreliable information. If there were nothing to hide, then, there would, obviously, be no reason for denying access to the documents. In short, the revisionist position is not likely to be shattered by any future documentary revelations. There is every prospect that it will be notably strengthened, thereby, and this assumption is confirmed by some recently edited documents on the Far Eastern situation in 1937. These show that China and Japan were growing tired of friction and conflict and were about to agree that they should get together and oppose the Communists as the chief common enemy. But the American authorities looked askance at this. Instead, they encouraged and made possible the resumption of war between China and Japan.

The development of Revisionism in connection with the second World War is placed in jeopardy mainly by the hostile attitude which exists on the part of both the general public and the historical profession toward accepting the facts and their implications with respect to world events and American policies during the last fifteen years.

The attitude and emotions of the public during wartime have been maintained without notable change by means of persistent propaganda. There has been no such disillusionment and reversal of attitude since 1945 as took place rather rapidly after 1918. The United States seems all too likely to undertake a third bloody crusade before it is fully aware of the real causes and disastrous results of the second.

The factual justification for a reversal of public attitudes and emotions is far more extensive and impressive than was the case following the first World War. But the party which was in power during the war continued to hold office until 1953, and the potency and scope of propaganda have so increased that the emotions and convictions of wartime have been perpetuated for more than a decade after Pearl Harbor. Incidentally, this is ominous evidence of our susceptibilitv to propaganda as we approach the “Nineteen Eighty-Four” way of life.

The historical profession is, perhaps, even less tolerant of Revisionism than is the general public. Most of those who had been leading revisionists during the 1920′s espoused our second crusade, even before it exploded into war at the time of Pearl Harbor: Great numbers of historians entered into war propaganda work of one kind or another after Pearl Harbor and thus have a vested interest in perpetuating the myth of the nobility of the cause which enlisted their services. Therefore, the historical profession is oriented and powerfully fortified against any acceptance of revisionist scholarship. A number of the leading revisionists of the 1920′s have now become court historians, and most of the other erstwhile revisionists refuse to admit that we were as thoroughly misled by the second crusade as by the first.

As a result of all this and numerous other factors and forces hostile to Revisionism, the situation is not encouraging to any historians who might otherwise be inclined to undertake honest research in the field. To do so would mean departmental antagonism, loss of promotion, and possibly discharge from their posts. Those not dissuaded by such considerations have to face irresponsible smearing. The very idea or concept of Revisionism is now anathema and is actually under fire at the hands of a number of prominent historians.

In case a few historians are not discouraged or intimidated by professional hostility or the prospect of irresponsible smearing, and remain determined to do substantial work on the actual causes and merits of the second World War, there is every likelihood that their efforts will prove futile so far as publication is concerned. Forthright revisionist material, however scholarly, is, for all practical purposes, excluded from publication in the great majority of our newspapers and periodicals. Only two small publishing houses in the United States have been willing to publish books embodying revisionist facts and conclusions, and they often require subsidies beyond the resources of the average private scholar. Few historians are going to be lured by the prospect of devoting years of research to a project and then be compelled to store away their completed manuscripts in a filing cabinet. They are more likely to be “practical” and fall in line with the court historians, which is the path to professional prestige and prosperity today.

When any scholar defies professional hostility and successfully gambles upon the slight prospect of publication for the results of his labors, there is little likelihood that his book will have anything like the same influence on the modification of public opinion as did the outstanding revisionist volumes of the 1920′s and early 1930′s. The probability is that any substantial and meritorious revisionist volume will be given the silent treatmentthat is, it will not be reviewed at all in the majority of newspapers and periodicals.

When a newspaper or a periodical decides actually to review a revisionist book, it has available, as we have noted, a large corps of hatchet men, both on its own staff and drawn from eager academicians, who can be relied upon to attack and smear revisionist volumes and to eulogize the works of court historians who seek to perpetuate the traditional mythology.

There is, thus, very little probability that even the most substantial and voluminous revisionist writing on the second World War can have any decisive impact upon public opinion for years to come. One only needs to contrast the enthusiastic reception accorded to Walter Millis’s The Road to War in 1935 with the general ignoring or smearing of the much more substantial and meritorious volume by William Henry Chamberlin, America’s Second Crusade, in 1950.

The probability is that Revisionism, in relation to the second World War, will never be widely accepted directly on the basis of its factual merit. It will only become palatable, if ever, after we have suffered some devastating economic or political disaster which causes the American public to reverse its attitudes and policies on world affairs and to seek an ideological justification through espousing revisionist contentions. But it is obvious that it will probably require a tremendous shock — a veritable military and political catastrophe — to bring about the degree of disillusionment and realism required to produce any such result.

There is infinitely greater cause for a reversal of public attitudes today than there was in 1923, when Woodrow Wilson remarked to James Kerney: “I should like to see Germany clean up France, and I should like to see Jusserand [the French ambassador] and tell him so to his face. “[40]James Kerney, The Political Education ofWoodrow Wilson (New York: The Century Company, 1926), p. 476. But, as indicated above, this ample factual basis for a comparable revision of public opinion has produced no substantial public or historical disillusionment with respect to our second crusade. Disillusionment has not even gone far enough to produce tolerance toward those who seek to explain realistically the historical basis of the transformation of Stalin from the “noble ally” of a decade ago into the current incarnation of Satan himself.

As is implied above, even though the tenets of Revisionism, with respect to the second World War, may at some distant time achieve popular acceptance in the wake of overwhelming national disaster, this will not necessarily mean any reinstatement of objective historical scholarship. The probability is that any such future period may also be one in which we will have completed the transition into “Nineteen Eighty-Four” society, which will crush out all semblance of historical freedom and objectivity. As we shall point out in a moment, ominous trends in this direction have already set in.

What we may conclude from all this is that both the public and the historians seem quite likely to be effectively protected against any immediate ravages at the hands of Revisionism. But what they will pay for this “protection” may be the greatest disaster which historical science has ever encountered since the era of the cave paintings of the Stone Age.

However much we may recoil from the prospect, there seems a strong probability that we are now entering the twilight of historical science. This is the penalty which has been exacted, so far as history and historians are concerned, for ballyhooing and defending crusades rather than seeking the truth. Historv has been an intellectual casualty in both

World Wars, and there is much doubt that it can be rehabilitated during the second half of the century. Indeed, there is every prospect that it will become more and more an instrument and adjunct of official propaganda — a supine instrument of our “Ministry of Truth.”

Many will counter these assertions by contending that the elaborate development of the methodology of historical research and exposition in our day is an adequate safeguard against the eclipse of historical integrity, prestige, and independence. But technical methodology is of little significance if those who utilize it are dominated by intense emotions or personal ambition rather than by a desire to ascertain the facts. Ample footnotes are no guarantee of accuracy or objectivity. They may only document falsehood. Formal compliance with technical methodology may only enable an historian to distort or falsify material in more complicated and ostensibly impressive fashion. If one does not wish to ascertain or state the facts, then the most effective methods of locating, classifying, and expounding the facts are nullified and of no avail.[41]See my extended discussion. The Court Historians versus Revisionism, privately printed, 1952

Only a generation or so ago it was believed by most thoughtful historians that nationalism and militarism were the chief obstacle and menace to historical objectivity. It was assumed that an inter national outlook would make for truth and tolerance. It was held that, if we understood the extensive and complicated international contributions to all national cultures, most forms of hatred and bias would disappear. Internationalists then stressed the blessings of peace. The great majority of them were pacifists, admired peace, meant peace when they said peace, and repudiated all thought of military crusades for peace.

Had internationalism retained the same traits that it possessed even as late at the mid1930′s, these assumptions as to the beneficent impact of internationalism upon historical writing might have been borne out in fact. But, during the years since 1937, the older pacific internationalism has been virtually extinguished, and internationalism has itself been conquered by militarism and aggressive globaloney.

Militarism was, formerly, closely linked to national arrogance. Today, it stalks behind the semantic disguise of internationalism, which has become a cloak for national aggrandizement and imperialism. Programs of world domination by great powers that would have left Napoleon, or even Hitler, aghast are now presented with a straight face as international crusades for freedom, peace, sweetness and light. Peace is to be promoted and ultimately realized through bigger and more frequent wars. The obvious slogan of the internationalists of our day, who dominate the historical profession as well as the political scene, is “perpetual war for perpetual peace.” This, it may be noted, is also the ideological core of “Nineteen Eighty-Four” society.

Borne along by an irresistible tide of crusading fervor for over a decade and a half, most historians have fallen in line with this ominous revolution in the nature, influence, and goals of internationalism. Among well-known historians, this transition is probably most perfectly exemplified by the ideological shift in the thinking and writings of Carlton J. H. Haves, once an able and eloquent critic of militarism, imperialism, and international meddling. The majority of our historians now support international crusades — the “saviour with the sword” complex-with far more vehemence, obsession, and intolerance than were exhibited by the most ardent nationalistic historians of the past. In my opinion, Droysen, Treitschke, Lamartine, Michelet, Macaulay, and Bancroft were calm scholars and pacific publicists compared to our present-day historical incitors to global crusades such as James Thomson Shotwell, Edward Mead Earle, Thomas A. Bailey, Samuel Flagg Bemis, Henry Steele Commager, Allan Nevins, Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., and the like. To resist the “saviour-with-the-sword” program today is akin to treason, politically, and professionally suicidal for any historian. He is immediately smeared as an “isolationist,” which is today a far worse crime before the bar of historical judgment than overt forgery of documents.

Some historians admit that this crusading by the nationalistic and militaristic wolf in the sheep’s clothing of internationalism and its global wars for peace may eliminate objectivity from the history of recent events. But they contend that historical serenity may, nevertheless, survive when treating more remote eras and personalities. This is unlikely, because the emotions that have nullified historical objectivity in dealing with the history of the last twenty years are projected back into our portrayal and interpretations of the more distant past.

Germans from Arminius onward are now interesting chiefly as precursors of Hitler in one way or another. Since Hitler was a neurotic, and perhaps a paranoid, all German history is portrayed as a product of paranoia, and the only real solution is the elimination of all Germans.[42]See Richard Brickner, Is Germany Incurable! (Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott Company, 1943). Paul Winkler has written about a “thousand-year conspiracy” of the Germans to incite wars against civilization.[43]The Thousand-Year Conspiracy; Secret Germany Behind the Mask (New York:

Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1943).
and Lord Robert Vansittart would, according to his Lessons of My Life,[44]New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1943. See my review of Vansittart in The Progressive, September 17, 1945. extend the period of plotting to nearly two thousand years. William M. McGovern, in his book From Luther to Hitler,[45]Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1941. has already implied that everything in German history since Luther is mainly significant as preparing the way for Hitler. Bishop Bossuet, actually the great ideological apologist for paternalistic absolutism, becomes the first French fascist because his doctrines were the chief political inspiration of Marshal Petain. Proudhon, about whom historians long wrangled as to whether he is to be most accurately classified as an anarchist or as a socialist, is now revealed by J. Salwyn Schapiro to be a father of French Fascism. At present it seems impossible to write a biography of Ivan the Terrible without indicating the deep similarity between Ivan and Stalin, and devoting as much attention to the latter as to the former. The menace of Genghis Khan and Tamerlane has become historically important mainly as a warning against the current challenge of the Kremlin. Serious scholars have even sought to interpret Socrates, long supposed to have been the first martyr to the freedom of thought and expression, as the father of Fascism .[46]A. D. Winspear and Tom Silverberg, Who Was Socrates! (New York: Cordon Company, Inc., 1939) . Plato, of late, has frequently been described as the outstanding Greek fascist. Even the great warriors of mid-Eastern antiquity are portrayed as prototypes of Hitler and Stalin. The conquering heroes of the Sung, Tang, Ming, and Manchu dynasties of China only prepared the way for Mao Tsetung. Indeed, Richard Match, in the New York Times, December 30, 1951, suggested that the vicissitudes of jade Star, the favorite concubine of Kublai Khan, hold many lessons “for troubled China today.”

Some concede the current dangers to historical science which lie in the factors briefly described above. But they gain solace and reassurance from the assumption that the strong emotions which have gripped historical science for several decades will soon subside and that the objectivity and tolerance that preceded the first World War will ultimately reassert themselves.

Unfortunately, all the main political, social, and cultural trends of our time point ominously in the opposite direction. The discovery of politicians that the “giddy-mindsand-foreign-quarrels ” strategy is the most certain key to political success and extended tenure of office is rapidly forcing the world into the pattern of “Nineteen Eighty-Four” society, if, indeed, this has not already been achieved. Historical writing and interpretation are rapidly being brought into line with the needs and mental attitudes of such a political regime.

The rhetorical basis of the global crusades of our day — “perpetual war for perpetual peace” — is the most gigantic and ominous example in all history of the “Newspeak” and “doublethink” of “Nineteen Eighty-Four” semantics. We have already pointed out that it is also the cornerstone of “Nineteen Eighty-Four” ideology. The security measures alleged to be necessary to promote and execute global crusades are rapidly bringing about the police state in hitherto free nations, including our own. Any amount of arbitrary control over political and economic life, the most extensive invasions of civil liberties, the most extreme witch-hunting, and the most lavish expenditures, can all be demanded and justified on the basis of alleged “defense” requirements, without even examining the validity of the need for such defensive measures. This is precisely the psychological attitude and procedural policy which dominates “Nineteen Eighty-Four” society.

The emotional tensions essential to the support of perpetual global crusading have facilitated the dominion of propaganda over almost every phase of intellectual and public life. The books by James Burnham, The Managerial Revolution, The Machiavellians, The Struggle for the World, The Coming Defeat of Communism, and Containment or Liberation! have helped to prepare us ideologically for the reception of “Nineteen Eighty-Four” institutions, political techniques, and mental attitudes. They “soften us up” for the more willing reception of a system of military managerialism.

The hysterical reaction following Orson Welles’ bogus radio broadcast on October 30, 1938, depicting an invasion from Mars, emphasizes the American capacity for credulity and shows how wartime propaganda in the next war, whether cold, hot, or phony, can readily duplicate anything of the kind portrayed in Nineteen Eighty-Four. Those who are skeptical on this point will do well to read Hadley Cantril’s book. The Invasion from Mars.[47]Hadley Cantril, Hazel Gaudet, and Herta Hertzog, The Invasion from Mars; a Study in the Psychology of Panic; with the Complete Script of the Orson Welles Broadcast (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1940).

The fact that our propaganda agencies have been able to hold public opinion fairly well within the confines of the illusions of wartime for over eight years is sufficient evidence that our propaganda machinery is equal to all the emergencies and responsibilities likely to be imposed upon it by “Nineteen Eighty-Four” conditions. From five to seven vears is as long as Oceania can maintain fever hatred of either Eurasia or Eastasia in Nineteen Eighty-Four.

We have already richly developed the “Newspeak” and the “doublethink” semantics of Nineteen Eighty-Four where the War Department is known as the “Ministry of Peace,” the propaganda and public lying are conducted by the “Ministry of Truth,” the espionage system and torture chambers are administered by the “Ministry of Love,” and the department which is entrusted with the problem of keeping the masses subdued by attributing their drab life and grinding poverty to the need for defense is known as the “Ministry of Plenty. “[48]See Orwell, op. cit., passim.

Thomas A. Bailey approvingly warns us that, unless we wish to have greater deception of the public by the executive department of the Federal government, we must free the Executive of hampering congressional control in foreign affairs: “Deception of the people may, in fact, become increasingly necessary, unless we are, willing to give our leaders in Washington a freer hand.”q9 We appear likely to get both greater deception and more executive irresponsibility.

These ominous trends have their clear implications for the future of historical science. In Nineteen Eighty-Four, Orwell portrays it as necessary to intimidate and hire servile bureaucrats to falsify current history. This may not be necessary for a time, as we ourselves enter the “Nineteen Eighty-Four” way of life. Indeed, the writings and intrigues of our interventionist and war-minded historians have been a powerful force propelling us in this direction. In the opinion of the writer, James Thomson Shotwell, who has been the most influential of our interventionist historians for more than a third of a century, has done more than any other American intellectual figure to speed us on our way into the “Nineteen Eighty-Four” pattern of public life. Edward Mead Earle, Henry Steele Commager, Allan Nevins, Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., and a host of younger men are now following enthusiastically in his footsteps.

Among other things, Shotwell was one of the chief inventors of the myth and fantasy of an “aggressive nation” and “aggressive war,” which have become a basic semantic fiction and instrument of “Nineteen Eighty-Four” international jargon, policy, and procedure. It has been adopted enthusiastically by Oceania, Eurasia, and Eastasia. This phraseology has now lost all semblance of ethics, realism, logic, and consistency, however effective it may be in international propaganda. Indeed, as Henry W. Lawrence pointed out nearly twenty years ago, the concept of “aggressive war” never possessed any historical realism:

“The harmonizing of national policies must deal with fundamentals; with the things that commonly have caused wars. The moral right to keep on possessing the best regions of the earth is directly balanced by the right to fight and capture them. It is amazing that so few people will admit this axiom of international morality. Popular opinion is widely befogged in the more comfortable countries by the childish notion that an aggressive war is wicked but a defensive war is righteous. They are, of course, precisely equal in moral quality, so long as war is the only adequate instrument by which vested wrongs can be righted and national needs supplied. The next rational step toward a tolerable world peace would be the broadcasting of this truth throughout Great Britain, France, and the United States. It is already familiar to the peoples of Germany, Italy, and Japan”[50]“Peace Costs Too Much,” Christian Century, October 10, 1934, p. 1279.

Since 1929, and especially since 1937, the “aggressor myth” has been made the basis of the unrealistic and hypocritical international ethics and jurisprudence associated invariably with “Nineteen Eighty-Four” semantics and propaganda in which the enemy is always an aggressor and wars are fought to stop aggression. Since the second World War the “aggressor” has become the nation or coalition that is defeated in war, whatever the responsibility for starting hostilities. Being defeated, it must be punished and its leaders exterminated. Driven home by the Nuremberg and Tokyo trials, this subterfuge has given advance notice to leaders in any future wars that they must not take the risk of being defeated, no matter what horrors they have to unleash to assure victory. In this . way the internationalists who falsely pose as protagonists of peace have not only produced a condition of more or less permanent war but have also made it certain that future wars will become ever more savage and devastating. No possible means of destruction can be spared to assure victory.[51]F. J. P. Veale, Advance to Barbarism (Appleton, Wis.: C. C. Nelson Publishing Company, 1953).

The majority of the writings of our historians on recent world history during the last decade and a half could be warmly accepted by an American “Ministry of Truth.” The presidential address of Admiral Samuel Eliot Morison, given before the American Historical Association at Chicago on December 29, 1950, with its eulogy of war and the myth-mongers, could easily have been an official assignment executed for such a Ministry. He even preferred to provide a picture of himself in a naval uniform to be used for the program rather than to have himself portrayed in the lowly and pacific garb of a scholar. One of the most eminent of our diplomatic historians has actually proclaimed that the most commendable result of the second World War was that it provided us with a new and stronger opponent after Hitler had been overthrown. Even our court historians work without compulsion. Few historians have been critical of the trend toward the “Nineteen Eighty-Four” patterns, and probably many of them, suffering from autointoxication with globaloney, have not even recognized the trend. Some who do recognize it are so obsessed that they eulogize it. Such is the case with Henry Steele Commager in his article, “The Lessons of April 6, 1917,” appearing in the New York Times Magazine of April 6, 1952; and with Waldo G. Leland, who proudly details the services of American historians in our “Ministry of Truth” from the first World War to the present time in an article on “The Historians and the Public in the United States” in the Revista de Historia de America, June, 1952. Those who have sought to spread the alarm have been slapped down and smeared.

The impact of “Nineteen Eighty-Four” pressures on our historical writing now appears to have become more rapid and impressive than was apparent in the years immediately following the war. The newspapers on January 14, 1951, announced that President Truman was establishing a corps of court historians to prepare an acceptable official history of world events and American policy.[52]This action was forecast in a letter from President Truman to Admiral Morison on December 27, 1950, read by the Admiral before he delivered his presidential address before the American Historical Association in Chicago on December 29. See American Historical Review , April, 1951, PP. 711-17.. For a summary of the work of American historians under the aegis of our “Ministry of Truth,” see W. G. Leland, “The Historians and the Public in the United States,” in Revista de Historia de America, June, 1952, pp. 64 ff. The avowed purpose was to protect American citizens from the lies to be found in historical works written by “Communist imperialist historians.” It was implied that Admiral Morison would have general direction of the group. Thev would operate in conjunction with the official historians alreadv at work within the Armed Services and the State Department. It may fairly be assumed that any historians who differ with the official texts and interpretations will be regarded as agents of “Communist imperialism,” whatever their prior record of hostility to the communist way of life. It is only a step from this to the rewriting of the newspapers, which was the task of Winston Smith, the central figure in Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty Four.[53]In Time, March 26, 1951, p. 19, it is pointed out that President Truman is very sensitive about his future “niche in history.” If he is able to appoint the historians who will write the official history of his times and smear those who seek to tell the truth, he should fare very well. Indeed, Mr. Truman may not need paid official historians to prepare his apotheosis. Henry Steele Commager has already rushed to his aid in this respect and has predicted that history will vindicate the soundness of Mr. Truman’s major policies, especially those connected with globaloney, the cold war, and our preparation for a “Nineteen Eighty-Four” social order. Even this, however, has not satisfied Mr. Truman’s urge for the affectionate caresses of Clio. He “jumped the gun” in the spring of [1957] by coauthoring his own history of himself and his public deeds, Mr. President (New York: Farrar, Straus and Young).

There is, of course, an element of sardonic humor in all this. Actually, the “Communist imperialist historians” of Soviet Russia are almost fanatical partisans of the Roosevelt foreign policy which brought us into the second World War to aid Russia. Hence, if any American historians might be suspected of “Communist imperialist” attitudes and tendencies, it is the interventionist group who operate the blackout and oppose Revisionism.

Though this program and trend constitute probably the greatest threat to freedom and objectivity in historical writing in modern times, there has been no evidence of any alarm or protest on the part of the leading American historians. Indeed, on January 29, 1951, the New York Herald Tribune announced that some 875 historians and other social scientists had joined in a public statement warmly endorsing the cold war and Secretary Acheson’s policy: “We support the present policy and insist that it be continued and developed without flinching. Actually, it is neither more nor less than the world-wide application of the principles of the Declaration of Independence, the Gettysburg Address, and the other basic policy declarations.” This statement not only points up the apathy of historians to the threat to their professional independence but also emphasizes their levity in regard to historical accuracy. The authors of the Declaration of Independence and of the Gettysburg Address were both inveterate opponents of our being involved in “foreign entanglements.”

The statement also serves potently to illustrate the transformation of the mental attitude of the members of the American Historical Association who listened with respect and warn approval, in 1916, to the noble address of its president, George Lincoln Burr, on “The Freedom of History.” Indeed, there is a well-founded rumor that the idea of creating an official corps of court historians did not originate with President Truman but was passed on to him by influential anti-revisionist historians who envisaged the program as an effective way to check and intimidate revisionist scholars. That some English historians are aware of the danger is evident from the recent book of Herbert Butterfield, History and Human Relations, in which he criticizes the “independent” historians who are hired by the Foreign Office and other governmental departments but claim to set forth the record with complete detachment.

It is quite apparent that what our officialdom fears are not the lies of “Communist imperialist historians,” which could scarcely reach, much less influence, the mass of American citizens, but the truth that might be told by native American historians of long lineage, the highest patriotic motives, and complete loyalty to the American way of life as it existed before 1937- Incidentally, this trend also means that, whereas Revisionism after the second World War is difficult and frustrated, it mav he nonexistent and outlawed after the third world war.

That the new policy started bearing fruit immediately was amply demonstrated at the meeting of the American Historical Association in New York City in December, 1951. The official historians were present in large numbers and some fourteen of them were on the program. The Army historians were the most conspicuous, with eleven men on the program as compared with two for the State Department and one for the Navy. This was in addition to the quasi-official court historians, and the blackout contingent among the civilian historians, who dominated most of the programs devoted to diplomatic history.

Not only is there to be an official history of the United States and its foreign policy, conceived in terns of the wisdom and necessity of current “Nineteen Eighty-Four” trends, but there is also planned a history of all mankind along similar lines for “Oceania” (the United States, the Atlantic Pact Nations, and Latin America). The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has recently announced the plan to prepare a six-volume history of mankind at a cost Of $400,000, to be directed by Julian Huxley and edited by Ralph E. Turner. There can be no doubt from the prospectus that the gigantic work will have an international slant. Such an historical treatise might well be a great contribution to human knowledge and international understanding. But the auspices and sources of support will create great difficulties for Huxley, Turner, and their associates in preventing the book from falling into a frame of reference designed to show that mankind has been moving ahead from the days of Pithecanthropus erectus in order to evolve the form of the world policy which is hastening us into the “Nineteen Eighty-Four” system of life.

Occasionally, if very rarely, the ghost of Charles Austin Beard comes forth to stalk through the historical council chambers and to rebuke historians for their voluntary servitude in the “Ministry of Truth.” A notable example was the paper read by Professor Howard K. Beale before the American Historical Association in Washington on December 28, 1952, on “The Professional Historian: His Theory and His Practice.”

It is obvious that our historians, even those today most congenial to the global crusading which is leading us into the “Nineteen Eighty-Four” setup, may well take warning. If the transition is followed by severe disillusionment and a reversal of existing public attitudes, the now popular trends in historical writing may be sharply curtailed or even become the vestibule to torture chambers.

Even though current trends in our world policy continue during the early stages of our entry into the “Nineteen Eighty-Four” regime, our historians who now warmly embrace militarism, the crusading spirit, and war hysteria, may be overconfident. In a harsh, totalitarian society, even slight ideological deviations become heresies punishable by liquidation. General sympathy with the system does not assure safety. One has only to recall Hitler’s purge of June and July, 1934, and Stalin’s purges of Trotskyites and his later purges even of Stalinites who did not become sufficiently aware in time of the latest interpretations of Soviet philosophy and strategy.

Henry Steele Commager, one of our most ardent interventionist historians, and, hence, one of the profession most responsible for the current intellectual atmosphere of this country, has recently protested against the growing intellectual intolerance and witchhunting, especially in the field of education. Commager may well be reminded that such a protest may furnish the basis for his liquidation. In a totalitarian society one cannot pick and choose which elements of totalitarianism he will accept and which he will reject. All phases must be accepted with enthusiasm and without protest.[54]Interestingly enough, Commager is a renegade revisionist. One should consult his veritable “rave” review of Charles C. Tansill’s America Goes to War in the Yale Review, June, 1938, pp. 855-57.

Another important fact to remember is that the mature “Nineteen Eighty-Four” society is highly hostile to the very conception of history. The public must be cut off from the past so that there will be no feeling of nostalgia for the happier times of previous eras. Our first stage of “Nineteen Eighty-Four” experience may only extinguish honest historical writing, but the fully developed “Nineteen Eighty-Four” regime will obliterate history entirely.

Many will doubtless regard the prediction of any imminence of our entry into “Nineteen Eighty-Four” patterns as completely fantastic, somewhat akin to astrological forecasts. The fact is, however, that, in many basic essentials, we have already arrived. With a third world war we shall be there completely and inescapably. Even the fear of a third world war may suffice. As Lewis Mumford well warned us in Air Affairs, March, 1947, the fear of atomic warfare may suffice to impose on us a military regime more obstructive to freedom of thought and action than either World War was able to create. By 1953 we seemed to have arrived, earlier than anticipated by most, at the precise condition that Mumford predicted. The only way of averting such a calamity both to all human decencies and to the very existence of historical science, is to reveal the facts before the chains are fastened on us and the lock is closed.

This is only another way of stating that a robust Revisionism is our only hope of deliverance, if there be one, at this late date. For this reason one may safely maintain that Revisionism is not only the major issue in the field of historical writing today but also the supreme moral and intellectual concern of our era. Those who oppose it, whether historians or others, are only hastening and assuring their own destruction.

But I believe that few revisionists could be so devoid of decent sentiments that they would welcome vindication at the hands of the ruthless bureaucrats of a “Nineteen Eighty-Four” regime. Most of them would prefer timely repentance on the part of the blackout boys and the global crusaders rather than a form of vindication which would seal their own doom as well as that of their current opponents.

V. Note on “Nineteen Eighty-Four” Conceptions of History • 2,200 Words

In that portion of his book. Nineteen Eighty-Four, dealing with the ideology of the totalitarian system into which the world is now slipping, Orwell describes the conceptions of history and the attitude toward the past which dominate that regime. It is obvious that these require the complete obliteration of accurate historical writing — the elimination of the verv conception of anv truthful historv. To adopt even an historical attitude or perspective is seditious and not to be tolerated. This is the social system and intellectual pattern toward which our interventionist and global-crusading historians are rapidly, heedlessly, and recklessly driving us. Orwell thus sets forth the ideas that dominate the attitude toward history in “Nineteen Eighty-Four” society:

“. . . orthodoxy in the full sense demands a control over one’s own mental processes as complete as that of a contortionist over his body. . . . Applied to a Party member, it means a loyal willingness to say that black is white when Party discipline demands this. But it means also the ability to believe that black is white, and more, to know that black is white, and to forget that one has ever believed the contrary. This demands a continuous alteration of the past, made possible by the system of thought which really embraces all the rest, and which is known in Newspeak as doublethink.

“The alteration of the past is necessary for two reasons, one of which is subsidiary and, so to speak, precautionary. The subsidiary reason is that the Party member, like the proletarian, tolerates present-day conditions partly because he has no standards of comparison. He must be cut off from the past, just as he must be cut off from foreign countries, because it is necessary for him to believe that he is better off than his ancestors and that the average level of material comfort is constantly rising. But by far the more important reason for the readjustment of the past is the need to safeguard the infallibility of the Party. It is not merely that speeches, statistics, and records of every kind must be constantly brought up to date in order to show that the predictions of the Party were in all cases right. It is also that no change in doctrine or in political alignment can ever be admitted. For to change one’s mind, or even one’s policy, is a confession of weakness.. If, for example, Eurasia or Eastasia (whichever it may be) is the enemy today, then that country must always have been the enemy. And if the facts say otherwise, then the facts must be altered. Thus history is continuously rewritten. This day-to-day falsification of the past, carried out by the Ministry of Truth, is as necessary to the stability of the regime as the work of repression and espionage carried out by the Ministry of Love.

“The mutability of the past is the central tenet of Ingsoc [English Socialism, as fully developed in the "Nineteen Eighty-Four" regime]. Past events, it is argued, have no objective existence, but survive only in written records and in human memories. The past is whatever the records and the memories agree upon. And since the Party is in full control of all records, and in equally full control of the minds of its members, it follows that the past is whatever the Party chooses to make it. It also follows that though the past is alterable, it never has been altered in any specific instance. For when it has been recreated in whatever shape is needed at the moment, then this new version is the past, and no different past can ever have existed. This holds good even when, as often happens, the same event has to be altered out of recognition several times in the course of a year. At all times the Party is in possession of absolute truth, and clearly the absolute can never have been different from what it is now. It will be seen that the control of the past depends above all on the training of memory. To make sure that all records agree with the orthodoxy of the moment is merely a mechanical act. But it is also necessary to remember that events happened in the desired manner. And if it is necessary to rearrange one’s memories or to tamper with written records, then it is necessarv to forget that one has done so. . . .”[55]George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four (New York: Harcourt, Brace & Company, 1949), pp. 7.13-15. Quoted by courteous consent of Brandt & Brandt, New York City, trustees for the estate of George Orwell in the United States.

How these ideals and principles in dealing with the past were applied in the actual practices of the Ministry of Truth in Nineteen Eighty-Four is thus portrayed by Orwell:

“. . . This process of continuous alteration was applied not only to newspapers, but to books, periodicals, pamphlets, , posters, leaflets, films, sound tracks, cartoons, photographs — to every kind of literature or documentation which might conceivably hold any political or ideological significance: Day by day and almost minute by minute the past was brought up to date. In this way every prediction made by the Party could be shown by documentary evidence to have been correct; nor was any item of news, or any expression of opinion, which conflicted with the needs of the moment, ever allowed to remain on record. All history was palimpsest, scraped clean and re-inscribed exactly as often as was necessary. In no case would it have been possible, once the deed was done, to prove that any falsification had taken place. The largest section of the Records Department, far larger than the one in which Winston worked, consisted simply of persons whose duty it was to track down and collect all copies of books, newspapers, and other documents which had been superseded and were due for destruction. A number of the Times which might, because of changes in political alignment, or mistaken prophecies uttered by Big Brother, have been rewritten a dozen times still stood on the files bearing the original date, and no other copy existed to contradict it. Books, also, were recalled and rewritten again and again, and were invariably reissued without any admission that any alteration had been made. . . .”[56]Ibid., pp. 40-41.
(George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four (New York: Harcourt, Brace & Company, 1949), pp. 7.13-15. Quoted by courteous consent of Brandt & Brandt, New York City, trustees for the estate of George Orwell in the United States.)

Such are the “historical” ideals and practices of the “Nineteen Eighty-Four” regime for which our court historians are preparing us. In another portion of his book Orwell shows how well they worked out in obliterating all memory of the past. At the risk of his life, Winston Smith, the central character in the book, decided to interview an aged man in the effort to find out what the actual conditions of life had been before the “Revolution” which instituted the “Nineteen Eighty-Four” era. After prolonged questioning of the old gentleman it became apparent to Winston that this was futile. Years of subjection to totalitarian propaganda, regimentation, and thought control had obliterated all capacity to remember the general patterns of life in the earlier and happier days. All that could be recalled were trivial snatches of petty personal experiences. The past, as a social and cultural reality had disappeared forever:

“Winston sat back against the window sill. It was no use going on. . . . Within twenty years at the most, he reflected, the huge and simple question, “Was life better before the Revolution than it is now?” would have ceased once and for all to be answerable. But in effect it was unanswerable even now, since the few scattered survivors from the ancient world were incapable of comparing one age with another. They remembered a million useless things, a quarrel with a workmate, a hunt for a lost bicycle pump, the expression on a long-dead sister’s face, the swirls of dust on a windy morning seventy years ago; but all the relevant facts were outside the range of their vision. They were like the ant, which can see small objects but not large ones. And when memory failed and written records were falsified-when that happened, the claim of the Partv to have improved the conditions of human life had got to be accepted, because there did not exist, and never again could exist, any standard against which it could be tested.”[57]Ibid., pp. 92-93.
(George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four (New York: Harcourt, Brace & Company, 1949), pp. 7.13-15. Quoted by courteous consent of Brandt & Brandt, New York City, trustees for the estate of George Orwell in the United States.)

Many will contend that nothing like this could happen in the United States, but the fact is that the process is well under way. Much of the material in the preceding pages of this chapter shows how it is being promoted. We have noted that there is already a veritable army of paid official historians assigned to write current history as the administration wishes it to be written, to say nothing of the many historians who voluntarily falsify the historical record, especially that of the last quarter of a century. The destruction and hiding of vital documents has already begun.[58]See below. Chap. 1 , passim. The Army and Navy put great pressure upon witnesses to have them change their former testimony when appearing before the congressional committee investigating Pearl Harbor. Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson sent Colonel Henry C. Clausen on a 55,000-mile junket to induce officers to distort or recant the evidence they had given previously on the Pearl Harbor tragedy. The vital “East Wind, Rain” message and other incriminating documents were removed from official files and presumably destroyed. The secret and all-important Roosevelt-Churchill exchanges, transcribed by Tyler Kent, have been hidden away and possibly destroyed. Legislation has been passed which would make it illegal to divulge their contents, even if the full record could be found. Once basic integrity is abandoned, there are no lengths to which falsification cannot easily and quickly proceed as the occasion and political expediency may demand. There is already a marked trend toward the rewriting of textbooks in the field of history, particularly with respect to the alteration of their treatment of the causes of the first World War and the entrance of the United States therein. Since few of the textbooks have told the truth about the events leading to the second World War and Pearl Harbor, there has been no need to alter this material.

Note: an English View of the Historical Blackout

The editor sent copies of his brochures on The Struggle Against the Historical Blackout, The Court Historians versus Revisionism, and Rauch on Roosevelt to one of the most distinguished of English publicists, authors, and military historians, who wrote me the following letter relative to the historical blackout in general and in England in particular. Being aware of the retaliation which might be meted out to him in the American scholarly and book world, I am withholding his name, but it is one that is internationally known and respected:

“Thank you for your very kind letter and the pamphlets, which I have read with enthusiastic interest. I love your phrases: “The Court Historians” and “the Blackout Boys.” How delightfully descriptive! But what a revelation these last seven years have been of the strength and power of both these classes of people and their myriad supporters in the Press and among the people.

“To you and me, who lived in the mentally-free world of pre- 19 14, the determined rush of the historical Gadarenes into the sea of falsehood and distortion has been an astounding phenomenon. Which of us would have believed, in that first decade of the centurv, that the values which then seemed so firmlv established in the historical profession could disappear so easily and rapidly, leaving only a tiny company of unheeded and derided protestors to lament their loss? And I must admit that the protestors in the U.S.A. are more numerous and courageous than they are in this blessed land of freedom which used to make such a fuss about its Magna Carta, the execution of Charles I, and other so-called landmarks in dealing with tyranny.

“Here we are, a nation of 50,000,000. Our official historian has just published his first book on the Norwegian campaign which shows, with official authority, that we were planning exactly the same aggression against Norway as the Germans, for which later the wretched Admiral Raeder was given a life sentence. But not one voice has been raised in England to say that, now that it is known that we were just as bad as he was, he might be let out. And I know that, if I wrote to the Times, it would not go in. I will not deny that there are a few Beards, Chamberlins, Tansills and Barnes’ over here. But they do not find publishers here as they do with you, for which I give yours full marks. In this blessed skeptical isle and ancient land of the free, Revisionism is gagged. You must keep yours going at all costs or the darkness descends.”

My correspondent’s impressions need correction in one respect: apparently he imagines that American publishers are more hospitable toward revisionist books than the English. He does not realize that, aside from Dr. Beard’s books, all the revisionist volumes thus far published in the United States have been brought out by two small publishers. No large commercial publisher has brought out a revisionist volume since Pearl Harbor.

Footnotes • 900 Words

[1] New edition, Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1941.

[2] New York: Harcourt, Brace & Company, 1949. See especially pp. 86-93.

[3] August, 1927

[4] Chicago: National Historical Society, 1928, pp. 142 ff.

[5] Norman, Okla.: University of Oklahoma Press, 1937

[6] New York: The Macmillan Company, 1928.

[7] See below, pp. 54 ff.

[8] Annual Report, 1946, pp. 188-89.

[9] Saturday Evening Post, October 4, 1947, p. 172.

[10] The best account of the American Smearbund and its activities is contained in John T. Flynn’s brochure, The Smear Terror, privately printed, New York, 1948.

[11] See below, pp. 62 ff. One of the most conspicuous examples of the entry of historians and other social scientists into the “Ministry of Truth” is afforded by the program and work of the Rand Corporation. See Fortune, March, 1951, pp. 99-102, 144. See also, American Historical Review, April, 1953, pp. 761-62.

[12] Saturday Evening Post, loc. cit.

[13] New York: Devin-Adair Company, 1947

[14] C. A. Beard, American Foreign Policy in the Making, 1932-1940 (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1946); President Roosevelt and the Coming of the War, 1941 (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1948) .

[15] Chicago: Henry Regnery Company, 1950.

[16] New York: Devin-Adair Company, 1 48

[17] Morison has recently been promote to the rank of admiral, thus arriving at the official stature of the famous Alfred T. Mahan.

[18] See below, pp. 387 ff. and pp. 475 ff.

[19] For Mr. Regnery’s account of the reception and treatment of these books, see his “A Letter to the Editor of the Publishers’ Weekly,” February 19, 1951.

[20] See the brochure by Dr. John H. Sachs, Hatchet Men (New Oxford, Pa., privately printed, 1947); and Oswald Garrison Villard, “Book-Burning— U.S. Style.” The Progressive, April 28, 1947.

[21] See Towner Phelan, “Modern School for Scandal,” The Freeman, September 24, 1951, pp. 813-17.

[22] Journal of Modern History, XIX (March, 1947), 55-59.

[23] April, 1947, op. 532.

[24] June 12, 1948.

[25] Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1944. For a corrective, see Wayne S. cole, America First: the Battle Against Intervention, 1940-1941 (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1953).

[26] June, 1948, pp. 127-32.

[27] June 12, 1948.

[28] On this point, see his letter in the New York Times, January 10, 1949.

[29] April 11, 1948.

[30] October, 1949.

[31] January, 1949, pp. 382-86.

[32] December, 1948, pp. 532-34.

[33] New York Times Book Review, October 15, 1950, p. 34.

[34] October 15, 1950, p. 12.

[35] November 27, 1950.

[36] November 18, 1950.

[37] Professor Leopold’s paper on “the Problem of American Intervention, 1917: An Historical Retrospect,” was published in World Politics, April, 1950, pp. 405-25. Professor Adler’s paper on “The War Guilt Question and American Disillusionment, 1918-1928, was published in the Journal of Modern History, March, 1951, pp. 1-28. For my reply to “Adler, see the Journal of Modern History, September, 1951.

[38] October, 1949.

[39] The following material is essentially that prepared for delivery before the American Historical Association in Chicago on December 29, 1950. Between the invitation to prepare the paper and the printing of the program, the writer was switched, without his knowledge, to the role of discussing papers read by others. Hence, the original address could not be given. Certain minor changes have been made better to adapt the material for inclusion in this book.

[40] James Kerney, The Political Education ofWoodrow Wilson (New York: The Century Company, 1926), p. 476.

[41] See my extended discussion. The Court Historians versus Revisionism, privately printed, 1952

[42] See Richard Brickner, Is Germany Incurable! (Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott Company, 1943).

[43] The Thousand-Year Conspiracy; Secret Germany Behind the Mask (New York:

Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1943).

[44] New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1943. See my review of Vansittart in The Progressive, September 17, 1945.

[45] Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1941.

[46] A. D. Winspear and Tom Silverberg, Who Was Socrates! (New York: Cordon Company, Inc., 1939) .

[47] Hadley Cantril, Hazel Gaudet, and Herta Hertzog, The Invasion from Mars; a Study in the Psychology of Panic; with the Complete Script of the Orson Welles Broadcast (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1940).

[48] See Orwell, op. cit., passim.

[49] The Man in the Street: The Impact of American Public Opinion on Foreign Policy (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1948), p. 13.

[50] “Peace Costs Too Much,” Christian Century, October 10, 1934, p. 1279.

[51] F. J. P. Veale, Advance to Barbarism (Appleton, Wis.: C. C. Nelson Publishing Company, 1953).

[52] This action was forecast in a letter from President Truman to Admiral Morison on December 27, 1950, read by the Admiral before he delivered his presidential address before the American Historical Association in Chicago on December 29. See American Historical Review , April, 1951, PP. 711-17.. For a summary of the work of American historians under the aegis of our “Ministry of Truth,” see W. G. Leland, “The Historians and the Public in the United States,” in Revista de Historia de America, June, 1952, pp. 64 ff.

[53] In Time, March 26, 1951, p. 19, it is pointed out that President Truman is very sensitive about his future “niche in history.” If he is able to appoint the historians who will write the official history of his times and smear those who seek to tell the truth, he should fare very well. Indeed, Mr. Truman may not need paid official historians to prepare his apotheosis. Henry Steele Commager has already rushed to his aid in this respect and has predicted that history will vindicate the soundness of Mr. Truman’s major policies, especially those connected with globaloney, the cold war, and our preparation for a “Nineteen Eighty-Four” social order. Even this, however, has not satisfied Mr. Truman’s urge for the affectionate caresses of Clio. He “jumped the gun” in the spring of [1957] by coauthoring his own history of himself and his public deeds, Mr. President (New York: Farrar, Straus and Young).

[54] Interestingly enough, Commager is a renegade revisionist. One should consult his veritable “rave” review of Charles C. Tansill’s America Goes to War in the Yale Review, June, 1938, pp. 855-57.

[55] George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four (New York: Harcourt, Brace & Company, 1949), pp. 7.13-15. Quoted by courteous consent of Brandt & Brandt, New York City, trustees for the estate of George Orwell in the United States.

[56] Ibid., pp. 40-41.

[57] Ibid., pp. 92-93.

[58] See below. Chap. 1 , passim.

Chapter 2 • The United States and the Road to War in Europe by Charles Callan Tansill • 35,700 Words

We shun political commitments which might entangle us in foreign wars; we avoid connection with the political activities of the League of Nations; . . .

We are not isolationists except in so far as we seek to isolate ourselves completely from war….

I have seen war. … I hate war.

I have passed unnumbered hours, I shall pass unnumbered hours, thinking and planning how war can be kept from this nation. . . .

I wish I could keep war from all nations, but that is beyond my power. I can at least make certain that no act of the United States helps to produce or promote war.

— Franklin Delano Roosevelt, speech at

Chautauqua, New York, August 14, 1936.

Charles Callan Tansill was born in Fredericksburg, Texas, on December 9, 1890. He received his A.B. degree from the Catholic University of America in 1912 and his Ph.D. degree at Johns Hopkins University in 1918. Here he specialized in American diplomatic history under the direction of Professor John H. Latan6. This has been his main field of interest, study, teaching, and writing throughout his academic life.

He has taught American history and American diplomatic relations at the Catholic University of America, American University, Johns Hopkins University, Fordham University, and Georgetown University, where he now holds the chair of professor of American diplomatic historv. He was for a time dean of the Graduate School of American University.

Professor Tansill has given special attention to the causes of both World Wars. For ten years he was technical adviser on diplomatic history to the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. For them he prepared a monumental work on the causes of the first World War, which was never published. Had it been, it would have ranked with the masterly book of Sidney B. Fay, The Origins of the World War. His most important books on diplomatic history, have been America Goes to War[1938]; The United States and Santo Domingo, 1798-1873[1938]; The Foreign Policy of Thomas F. Bayard, 1885-1897 [1940] ; and Main Issues in Canadian-American Relations[1944].

Far and away the most impressive of these is America Goes to War, probably the most exhaustive and substantial single volume contributed by any revisionist on the responsibility for the first World War. The eminent Columbia University historian, Henry Steele Commager, wrote of this book in the Yale Review, June, 1938 (pp. 855-57); “It is critical, searching and judicious … a style that is always vigorous and sometimes brilliant. It is the most valuable contribution to the history of the prewar years in our literature and one of the notable achievements of historical scholarship of this generation.”

Professor Tansill has recently completed an equally definitive book on our entry into the second World War, Back Door to War; The Roosevelt Foreign Policy, 1933-1941, published early in 1952 by the Henry Regnery Company.

I. The Peace Treaties of 1919 Insure the Outbreak of Another World War • 5,400 Words
1. The Allies Build the Treaty of Versailles upon the Shifting Sands of Betrayal — The Violation of the Pre-Armistice Contract

It was easy for President Roosevelt and Secretary Hull to talk glibly of the sanctity of treaties and contracts. It was an essential part of the international ritual that became quite popular after 1919. But, in Germany, numerous persons could not forget the fact that the Treaty of Versailles was the cornerstone of a structure that had been built upon the dubious sands of betrayal. Lloyd George and Clemenceau had reluctantly agreed to a preArmistice contract that bound them to fashion the treaty of peace along the lines of the Fourteen Points. The Treaty of Versailles was a deliberate violation of this contract. In the dark soil of this breach of promise, the seeds of another world war were deeply sown.

It should be kept in mind that Woodrow Wilson acquiesced in this violation of contract. His ardent admirers have contended that he was tricked into the unsavory bargain by astute European statesmen who were masters of the craft sinister. Ben Hecht, in his Erik Dorn, appears to accept this viewpoint and refers to Wilson at Versailles as a “long face virgin trapped in a bawdv house and calling in valiant tones for a glass of lemonade.”[1]Oscar Cargill, Intellectual America: Ideas on the March (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1941), p. 504 In truth, Wilson had ordered his glass of lemonade heavily spiked with the hard liquor of deceit, and the whole world has paid for the extended binge of a so-called statesman who promised peace while weaving a web of war.

The story of this betrayal began on October 5, 1918, when Prince Max of Baden addressed a note to President Wilson requesting him to negotiate a peace on the basis of the Fourteen Points. Three days later the President inquired if the German government accepted these points as the basis for a treaty. On October 12, Prince Max gave an assurance that his object “in entering into discussions would be only to agree upon practical details of the application” of the Fourteen Points to the terms of the treaty of peace. Two days later President Wilson added other conditions. No armistice would be signed which did not insure “absolutely satisfactory safeguards for the maintenance of the present military supremacy” of the Allied and Associated armies. Also, a democratic and representative government should be established in Berlin. When the German government accepted these conditions, the President informed Prince Max (October 23) that he was now prepared to discuss with the Associated governments the terms of the proposed armistice. This discussion ended in an agreement on their part to accept the Fourteen Points with two exceptions. With reference to the “freedom of the seas” they reserved to themselves “complete freedom” when they entered the Peace Conference. In connection with the matter of reparations, they understood that compensation would be made “by Germany for all damage done to the civilian population of the Allies, and their property, by the aggression of Germany by land, by sea, and from the air.” These terms were conveyed to the German government on November 5 and were promptly accepted by it. On November 1 1 an armistice placing Germany at the mercy of the Allied Powers was signed in the Forest of Compi6gne. With the cessation of hostilities the question of a treaty of peace came to the front.[2]The correspondence dealing with the pre- Armistice agreement is printed in full in Foreign Relations, 1918, Supplement I, The World War, I (Washington, 1933), 337-38 343, 357-58 379-81, 382-83, 425, 468-69.

The good faith of the Allied governments to make this treaty in conformity with the Fourteen Points had been formally pledged. But hardly was the ink dry on the Armistice terms when Lloyd George openly, conspired to make the pre-Armistice agreement a mere scrap of paper. During the London Conference. (December 1-3) the wily Welshman helped to push through a resolution which recommended an Inter- Allied Commission to “examine and report on amount enemy countries are able to pay for reparation and ‘indemnity.”‘ The word “indemnity” could easily be stretched to cover the “costs of the War.” Although such a move was “clearly precluded by the very intent of the PreArmistice Agreement,” Lloyd George showed an “apparent nonchalance about principle and contract” and started on a slippery path that “led rapidly downhill into the morasses of the December elections.”[3]Paul Birdsall, Versailles Twenty Years After (New York: Reynal & Hitchcock, Inc., 1941), pp. 35-36.

2. Reparations and Rascality

In his pre-election promises Lloyd George revealed a complete disregard of the preArmistice contract. His assurances -to the British electorate were in direct contradiction to his pledge to be guided by the Fourteen Points. At Bristol, on December II, 1918, he informed his eager audience that “we propose to demand the whole cost of the war [from Germanvll."[4]David Llovd George, Memoirs of the Peace Conference (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1939), 1, 306-9. The spirit that animated the election was stridently expressed by Eric

Geddes in a speech in the Cambridge Guildhall: “We shall squeeze the orange until the pips squeak. “[5]Harold Nicolson, Peacemaking, 1919 (New York: Harcourt, Brace & Company, Inc., 1939), p. 18.

At the Paris Peace Conference Lloyd George (January 22, 1919) suggested the appointment of a commission to study “reparation and indemnity.” President Wilson succeeded in having the word “indemnity” deleted but it was merely a temporary semantic victory. The French gave ardent support to the position of Lloyd George. Their schemes for the dismemberment of Germany would be promoted by a collapse ’caused by exorbitant financial claims. This concerted action against the pre-Armistice agreement was strongly contested by John Foster Dulles, the legal adviser of the American members on the Reparation Commission. He insisted upon a strict adherence to the pre-Armistice promises and was supported by President Wilson, who unequivocally stated that America was “bound in honor to decline to agree to the inclusion of war costs in the reparation demanded…. It is clearly inconsistent with what we deliberately led the enemy to expect. “[6]Charles Seymour (ed.). The Intimate Papers of Colonel House (New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1928), IV, 343

But Lloyd George and Clemenceau quietly ‘outflanked the American position by the simple device of expanding the categories of civilian damage so that they could include huge sums that properly belonged in the categories of “war costs.” Lloyd George insisted that pensions and separation allowances should be included in the schedule of reparations, and Clemenceau hastened to his support. It was evident to both of them that these items were excluded by the express terms of the pre-Armistice agreement. If President Wilson had adhered to the assurances he had given his financial experts he would immediately have rejected this transparent scheme to violate the pledges of the Allied Powers. But when these same experts indicated the evident implications of the Lloyd George proposals and stated that they were ruled out by logic, Wilson profoundly surprised them by bursting out in petulant tones: “Logic! Logic! I don’t give a damn for logic. I am going to include pensions. “[7]Philip M. Burnett, Reparation at the Paris Peace Conference (New York: Columbia University Press, 1940), I, 63-64; Colonel E. Al. House and Charles Seymour (eds.). What Really Happened at Paris (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1921), pp. 271-72

Not content with adding an undeserved burden that helped to break German financial backs, Wilson followed the lead of Lloyd George along other roads of supreme folly. At the meeting of the Council of Four (April 5), the British Prime Minister suggested that in the treaty of peace the Allies should “assert their claim” and that Germany should recognize “her obligation for all the cost of the war.” When Colonel House remarked that such an assertion would be contrary to the pre-Armistice agreement, Clemenceau reassuringly murmured that it was largely “a question of drafting.”[8]Burnett, op. cit., p. 69.

This experiment in drafting turned out to be the bitterly disputed Article 23 1 which placed upon Germany the responsibility “for causing all the loss and damage to which the Allied and Associated Governments and their nationals have been subjected as a consequence of the war imposed upon them by the aggression of Germany.” This socalled “war guilt clause” aroused a deep and widespread hatred in all classes in Germany against a decision that was regarded as fundamentally unfair. And then, to add insult to injury. Article 232 repeated the language of the pre-Armistice agreement with its fake formula which limited reparations to civilian damages. The ease with which this language had been twisted to Allied benefit had clearly indicated that it would be no protection to Germany.

These two American surrenders were followed by a third which meant a complete abandonment of the position that no “punitive treaty” should be imposed upon Germany. The American experts had placed much reliance upon the creation of a reparation commission which would have far-reaching powers to estimate what Germany could afford to pay on Allied claims and to modify the manner and date of these payments. But Clemenceau wanted this commission to be nothing more than a glorified adding machine designed merely to register the sums that Germany should pay. It was to have no. right to make independent judgments. The American contention that the payment of reparations should not extend more than thirty-five years was vetoed by the French who thought that fifty years might be required.[9]Ibid., pp. 832-33
(Burnett, op. cit., p. 69.)

During the heated discussions in the Council of Four (April 5, 1919), Colonel House was so obtuse that he did not realize the French were storming the American position until one of the French experts informed him of that fact. Norman Davis shouted to him that the French banners bore the legend, “Allied claims and not German capacity to pay should be the basis for reparations.” Although this declaration was in direct violation of the principles which the American experts had been fighting for during three long months, the confused Colonel tore down the American flag and hoisted the dubious French tricolor. By this action he flouted “both the letter and the spirit of the PreArmistice Agreement. “[10]Birdsall, op cit., p. 258. When President Wilson confirmed this surrender that had been executed by Colonel House, he indirectly extended a much-needed helping hand to Adolf Hitler who warmly welcomed impressive illustrations of Allied perfidy as one of the best means to promote the Nazi movement.

The financial experts at Versailles failed to fix any particular sum – as the measure of German liability for having caused the World War. In 1921 the Reparation Commission remedied this omission by computing the amount to be approximately $33,000,000,000. One third of this sum represented damages to Allied property, “and one half to two thirds, pensions and similar allowances. In short, Wilson’s decision doubled and perhaps tripled the bill.”[11]Thomas A. Bailey, Woodrow Wilson and the Lost Peace (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1944), P« 240 Germany might have been able to pay a bill of not more than ten billion dollars, but when Wilson consented to play the part of Shylock and helped to perfect a plan that would exact a pound of flesh from the emaciated frame of a war-wasted nation, he pointed the way to financial chaos that inevitably overwhelmed Germany and Europe. He also helped, indirectly, to write several chapters in Mein Kampf.

3. The Colonial Question

The colonial question was dealt with in the fifth of the Fourteen Points. It provided for a “free, open-minded and absolutely impartial adjustment of all colonial claims.” At the Paris Peace Conference there was no attempt to arrive at this “absolutely impartial adjustment.” Long before the conference convened there had developed in the minds of prominent publicists in Britain, France, and the United States the opinion that Germany had forfeited all rights to her colonial dominion that had been conquered by Allied forces during the war. The usual argument in favor of this forfeiture was that German colonial administrators had cruelly mistreated the natives. Professor Thorstein Veblen wrote on this topic with his accustomed pontifical certitude: “In the Imperial colonial policy colonies are conceived to stand to their Imperial guardian or master in a relation between that of stepchild and that of an indentured servant; to be dealt with summarily and at discretion and to be made use of without scruple.”[12]Thorstein Veblen, An Inquiry Into the Nature of Peace (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1917), p. 261. In Britain, Edwyn Bevan argued that the return of her colonies would not “be to content Germany but to keep up her appetite for colonial expansion; it would be to restore a condition of things essentially unstable:”[13]Edwyn Bevan, The Method in the Madness (London: Longmans, Green & Company, 1917), pp. 305-6.

In 1917 the American Commission of Inquiry, under the direction of Dr. Sidney E. Mezes, asked Dr. George L. Beer to prepare a series of studies on the colonial question with special reference to German colonial policy. Beer had long been regarded as an outstanding expert on the commercial policy of England during the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries. In an imposing series of volumes he had “presented the ‘English point of view”‘, with regard to colonial administration.[14]Arthur P. Scott, “George Louis Beer” in the Marcus W. Jernegan Essays in American Historiography; edited by W. T. Hutchinson (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1937), P- 315 After the outbreak of the first World War, his sympathies were very decidedly with the Allies, and particularly with the British Empire.[15]Ibid., p. 319
(Arthur P. Scott, “George Louis Beer” in the Marcus W. Jernegan Essays in American Historiography; edited by W. T. Hutchinson (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1937), P- 315)

It was only natural that Dr. Beer, despite his alleged historical objectivity, would strongly condemn German colonial policy. In February, 1918, he turned over to Dr. Mezes his manuscript on the German colonies in Africa. After weighing a considerable amount of data he came to the conclusion that Germany had totally failed to “appreciate the duties of colonial trusteeship. “[16]George L. Beer, African Questions at the Paris Peace Conference; edited by Louis H. Gray (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1923), pp. 58-60. Therefore, she should lose her colonial dominions.

Dr. Beer accompanied the American delegation to the Paris Peace Conference as a colonial expert and it is evident that he influenced the opinions of President Wilson, who stated on July 10, 1919, that the German colonies had not “been governed; they had been exploited merely, without thought of the interest or even the ordinary human rights of their inhabitants. “[17]Bailey, op. cit., p. 163.

This accusation of the President was quite groundless. A careful American scholar who made a trip to the Cameroons in order to get an accurate picture of the prewar situation summarizes his viewpoint as follows:

“. . . My own conclusion is that Germany’s colonial accomplishments in thirty short years constitute a record of unusual achievement and entitle her to a very high rank as a successful colonial power, a view quite different from that reached in 1919. … I feel that if Germany had been allowed to continue as a colonial power after the war, her civil rule would have compared favorably with the very best that the world knows today.”[18]Harry R. Rudin, Germany in the Cameroons, 1884-1914; a Case Study in Modern Imperialism (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1938), pp. 11, 414, 419.

The Germans were deeply incensed because the Allied governments refused to count the colonies as an important credit item in the reparation account. Some Germans had estimated the value of the colonies at nine billion dollars. If this estimate had been cut in half, there would still have been a large sum that could have been used to reduce the tremendous financial burden imposed upon weary German backs. Such action would have “spared Germany the additional humiliation of losing all her overseas possessions

under the hypocritical guise of humanitarian motives.”[19]Bailey, op. cit., p. 167 These needless humiliations prepared the way for the tragedy of 1939. It is evident that the revelations in the Nuremberg documents concerning Hitler’s plans for expansion are merely the last chapter in a long and depressing book that began at Versailles.

4. The Problem of Poland

In the discussion of questions relating to Poland, President Wilson had the advice of Professor Robert H. Lord, whose monograph on the Second Partition of Poland was supposed to, make him an authority on the problems of 1919. His lack of objectivity was as striking as that of Professor Beer. It was largely a case of hysterical rather than historical scholarship.[20]It is significant that most of Professor Lord’s colleagues on the Inquiry thought that his zeal for Poland was “excessive.” Birdsall, op. cit., p. 178. See also David Hunter Miller, My Diary at the Conference of Paris (21 vols.; privatelv printed by the Appeal

Publishing Company, 1924-1928), 1, 289.

While the President was formulating his Fourteen Points, some of the experts on the American Commission of Inquiry suggested that an independent Polish state be erected with boundaries based “on a fair balance of national and economic considerations, giving due weight to the necessity for adequate access to the sea .”[21]Ray S. Baker, Woodrow Wilson and World Settlement (New York: Doubleday, Doran & Company, 1922), III, 37-38. In the thirteenth of the Fourteen Points President Wilson changed the phraseology of this suggestion so that more stress would be laid upon ethnographic factors: “An independent Polish State should be erected which should include the territories inhabited by indisputably Polish populations, which should be assured a free and secure access to the sea. …”

5. Danzig

If Poland were to be given access to the Baltic Sea, the port of Danzig would be of fundamental importance. In order to guide the President in this difficult matter of Polish boundaries, the American experts prepared two reports (January, February, 1919).[22]Miller, op. cit., IV, 224-26. In dealing with Danzig, they granted it to Poland because of economic considerations. They conveniently overlooked the fact that, from the viewpoint of population, Danzig was 97 per cent German. On February 23, 1919, while Wilson was in the United States, Colonel House cabled to him concerning the disposition of Danzig: “Our experts also believe this [the cession of Danzig to Poland] to be the best solution.”[23]Seymour (ed.), op. cit., IV, 334-35 But the President was unwilling to confirm this suggestion, so the question of Danzig was postponed until March 17, when Lloyd George carried on a brisk exchange of opinions with Colonel House and Clemenceau. Two days later the British Prime Minister flatly refused to accept the proposal to cede both Danzig and the German Kreis of Marienwerder to Poland. He was not greatly impressed with the fact that the members of the Polish Commission and a large array of experts were in favor of this decision.[24]Lloyd George, op. cit., II, 637-42

Despite pressure from Colonel House and Dr. Mezes. (brother-in-law of Colonel House), President Wilson (March 28) rushed to the support of Lloyd George. On April 5, he and Lloyd George reached an understanding that the city and area of Danzig should become a free city with local autonomy under a commissioner of the League of Nations but connected with Poland by a customs union and port facilities. The foreign relations of the free city were to be under Polish control.[25]Rene M artel. The Eastern Frontiers of Germany (London: Williams & Norgate, Ltd., 1930), pp. 49-50

To the Germans this large measure of Polish control over the city of Danzig was profoundly irritating, and at times the actions of the Polish authorities in connection with foreign relations and the establishment of export duties seemed unnecessarily provocative. From the viewpoint of economics, Polish control over Danzig had the most serious implications. By altering the customs tariff Poland could seriously affect the trade of the port, and, through control of the railroads of the free city, the Polish government could extend important favors to the competing port of Gdingen.[26]William H. Dawson, Germany Under the Treaty (London: Longmans, Green & Company, 1930), pp. 149-52.

This situation led Gustav Stresemann, one of the most moderate of German statesmen, to remark in September, 1925, that the “third great task of Germany is the . . . recovery of Danzig. “[27]Gustav Stresemann: His Diaries, Letters and Papers; edited and translated by Eric Sutton (London: Macmillan & Co., Ltd., 1935-37) II, 503. In 1931 the quiet, unaggressive Centrist leader, Heinrich Bruening, sounded out certain European governments in order to ascertain whether they would favor territorial revision at the expense of Poland.[28]Casimir Smogerzewski, “Poland: Free, Peaceful, Strong,” Foreign Affairs, July, [1935] At this time Bruening was holding the office of Chancellor. But this pressure to recover lost territory suddenly ended in Germany on January 26, 1934, when Marshal Pilsudski concluded with Hitler the well-known nonaggression treaty.[29]Documents on International Affairs, 1934; edited by John W. Wheeler-Bennett (New York: Oxford University Press, 1935), p. 424 The price Poland paid for this agreement was an immediate acquiescence in a German program aimed at the Nazification of Danzig.[30]M. S. Wertheimer, “The Nazification of Danzig,” Foreign Policy Reports, June 1, [1936] When Polish statesmen, after Pilsudski’s death, tried to reverse this movement by courting British and French favor, they opened the floodgates that permitted the Nazi-Soviet tide quickly to inundate all of Poland.

6. The Polish Corridor

A Polish Corridor through German territory, to the Baltic Sea was distinctly forecast in the thirteenth point of the Wilson program which expressly declared that Poland should be granted “free and secure access to the sea.” This wide “right of way” was to go through territory inhabited by “indisputably Polish populations.” The American experts in their reports of January-February, 1919, outlined, however, a broad Polish path to the sea through the German provinces of Posen and West Prussia. They admitted the hardships this action would entail upon some 1,600,000 Germans in East Prussia, but they regarded the benefits conferred upon many millions of Poles as of more significance.[31]Miller, op. cit., IV, 224-28; VI, 49-52.

When the reports of these experts were accepted by the Polish Commission and were written into the text of the Treaty of Versailles, it meant that the valley of the Vistula had been placed under Polish control. In order to shut the Germans of East Prussia away from any contact with the Vistula, “a zone fifty yards in width along the east bank was given to Poland, so that along their ancient waterway the East Prussians have no riparian rights. Though the river flows within a stone’s throw of their doors, they may not use it.”[32]E. Alexander Powell, Thunder Over Europe (New York: Ives. Washburn, Inc., 1931), p. 62.

The Corridor itself was a wedge of territory which ran inland from the Baltic Sea for 45 miles, with a width of 20 miles at the coast, 60 miles in the center, and i4o miles in the south. Transportation across it was made difficult by Polish authorities who “instead of maintaining and developing the existing excellent system of communications by rail and road, river and canal, … at once scrapped a large part of it in the determination to divert the natural and historical direction of traffic.” With reference to conditions in the Corridor in 1933, Professor Dawson wrote as follows: “It is true that a few transit trains cross the Corridor dailv, but as thev mav neither put down nor pick up traffic on the wav.

this piece of now Polish territory, so far as provision for communication and transport goes, might be unpopulated. “[33]Dawson, op. cit., pp. 102-9. See also I. F. D. Morrow and L. 111. Sieveking, The Peace Settlement and the German Polish Borderlands (London: Oxford University Press, 1936). Traffic along the highways crossing the Corridor was also very unsatisfactory. In Colonel Powell discovered that only the main east-and-west highways were open for vehicular traffic and this was “hampered by every device that the ingenuity of the Poles can suggest. Here I speak from personal experience, for I have driven my car across the Corridor four times.”[34]Powell, op. cit., p. 66.

In 1938 and 1939 Hitler tried in vain to secure from the Polish government the right to construct a railroad and motor road across the Corridor. Relying upon British support, the Polish Foreign Office, in the spring of 1939, rejected any thought of granting these concessions. This action so deeply angered Hitler that he began to sound out the Soviet government with reference to a treaty that would mean the fourth partition of Poland. Polish diplomats had not learned the simple lesson that concessions may prevent a catastrophe.

7. Upper Silesia

During the sessions of the Paris Peace Conference the decision with reference to Upper Silesia was one of the clearest indications that hysteria and not objective history guided the conclusions of some of the American experts. This was particularly the case with regard to Professor Robert H. Lord. He was strongly of the opinion that Upper Silesia should go to Poland without a plebiscite being held to ascertain the desires of the inhabitants. When the treaty was turned over to the German delegation the Upper Silesian article was subjected to a great deal of cogent criticism. Lloyd George was convinced by the German arguments but President Wilson still gave some heed to Professor Lord, who complained that Germany had been sovereign over Upper Silesia for only two centuries. Even though Mr. Lamont countered with the remark that this territory had not “belonged to Poland for 400 years,” the President retained a lingering faith in the vehement protestations of Professor Lord. But this faith received a further shock when the learned professor opposed the holding of a plebiscite in Upper Silesia. Lloyd George then pertinently inquired why plebiscites’ were to be held “in AUenstein, Schleswig, Klagenfurt but not in Silesia.”[35]Baker, op. cit.. Ill, 482-84. Apparently Henry White did much to give President Wilson the correct view of the situation in Upper Silesia. See Allan Nevins, Henry White: Thirty Years of American Diplomacy (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1930), p. 423. There was no real answer Professor Lord could give to sustain his position so a provision was inserted in the treaty with reference to a plebiscite in Upper Silesia.

But this plebiscite was held in an atmosphere of terrorism. The International Commission that took over the administration of the voting area consisted of three members: General Le Rond (France), Colonel Sir Harold Percival (Britain), and General De Marinis (Italy). France immediately sent 8,000 troops to dominate Upper Silesia and then procured the appointment of General Le Rond as the head of the civil administration. Although the Allied governments had assured the German delegation at Paris (June 16, 1919) that the International Commission would insist upon the “full impartiality of the vote,” they broke faith in this regard as well as in others. Every possible concession was given to’ the Poles in the plebiscite area but when the vote was taken on March 20, 1921, the results were a great shock to the French and Poles: 707,554, or 59.6 per cent, voted to remain under German control, while 478,802, or 40.4 per cent elected to be placed under Polish administration.”

When one considers the indefensible tactics of the French before the plebiscite was held it is surprising that the vote was so pro-German. One of the best accounts of the situation- in Upper Silesia in 1919-20 is given in the monograph by Professor Rene Martel, The Eastern Frontiers of Germany:

“. . . On April 4, 1919, the Polish Supreme National Council of Upper Silesia got into touch with Korfanty. Adalbert Korfanty, a former journalist and a popular leader, was the -man of action for whom Dmowski was looking to prepare and organize the rising. . . . On May 1, 1919, the Polish secret societies . . . demonstrated their patriotic sentiments by pursuing the Germans. The Terror had begun. . . . The secret organization which he [Korfanty] had built up . . . continued to exist until the plebiscite. . . . The Germans were tortured, mutilated, put to death and the corpses defiled; villages and chateaux were pillaged, burnt or blown up. The German Government has published on the subject a series of White Papers, illustrated by photographs. . . . The scenes which have thus been perpetuated pictorially surpass in horror the worst imaginable atrocities.”[37]Martel, op. cit., pp. 79-88.

When these bloody Polish outbreaks were finally suppressed, the League of Nations entrusted the task of partitioning Upper Silesia to a commission composed of representatives of Belgium, Brazil, China, Japan, and Spain. The un-neutral composition of this commission is worth noting and their decision reflected their prejudices. Under its terms Poland received nearly five-sixths of the industrial area in dispute. She also was granted “80 per cent of the coal-bearing area . . . besides all the iron ore mines; nearly all the zinc and lead ore mines and a large majority of the works dependent on the primary industries.”[38]Dawson, op. cit., pp. 206-9.

In commenting upon the farce of this plebiscite. Sir Robert Donald remarks:

“. . . Harder to bear than the material loss were the exasperating and cruel moral wrongs and injustices inflicted upon the German community. It is possible that had the Allies transferred Upper Silesia to Poland, basing their action upon no other law than brute force, Germany would have resigned herself to the inevitable. . . . But to inflict upon her the tragic farce of the plebiscite, with all its accompaniments of deceit, broken pledges, massacres, cruel outrages, carried out in an atmosphere of political putrescence, was to add insult to injury, moral torture to robbery under arms.”[39]Sir Robert Donald, The Polish Corridor and the Consequences (London: Thornton Butterworth, Ltd., 1929), pp. 197-98. See also Sarah Wambaugh, Plebiscites Since the World War (Washington, D. C: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1933); W. J. Rose, The Drama of Upper Silesia (Battleboro, Vt.: Stephen Daye Press, 1936); Colonel Graham S. Hutchinson, Silesia Revisited, 1929 (London: Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent & Co., Ltd., 1930).

Despite Wilson’s reassuring -words about a peace that should not be punitive, Germany had been stripped and severely whipped. After these impressive examples of Allied ill-faith it was not difficult for Nazi statesmen to plan for expansion without much thought about the usual principles of international law. Law is based upon logic and at Versailles Woodrow Wilson had frankly condemned the science of right reasoning: “Logic! Logic! I don’t give a damn for logic.” Hitler could not have made a more damning pronouncement.

8. Occupation of the Rhineland

President Wilson was not always on the wrong side of the diplomatic fence at Paris. In the matter of the Rhineland occupation he adopted a vigorous role which completely blocked the execution of an ambitious French program. One of the main French objectives in 1919 was the separation of the entire left bank of the Rhine from Germany and the establishment of autonomous republics friendly to France. Wilson refused to accept this program even though it was ardently advocated by Colonel House .[40]Seymour (ed.), op. cit., IV, 347, 349, 383 With the support of Lloyd George he was able to write into the Treaty of Versailles a moderate provision: “German territory situated to the west of the Rhine, together with the bridgeheads, will be occupied by Allied and Associated troops for a period of fifteen years from the coming into force of the present treaty.”[41]Articles 428-432 of the Treaty of Versailles, The Treaties of Peace, 1919-1923 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1924), L 754-55.

The last contingent of the American Army of Occupation left the Rhineland in February, 1973; some of the Allied troops remained until 1930. The mere fact that German soil was occupied for a decade aroused resentment in most German minds. This resentment was turned into a feeling of outrage when France quartered a considerable number of her Negro colonial troops in private residences in parts of the Rhine territory. Their insulting and at times brutal conduct toward the German women was regarded as an indication that France would go to extreme lengths to humiliate Germany. In December, 1971, General Henry T. Allen sent to Secretary Hughes a complaint that had been filed with the High Commission by a delegation of German workingmen: “We fear to leave our homes and go to work leaving our wives and daughters in our houses with these men. This question troubles us more than houses and more food .”[42]General Henry T. Allen to Secretary Hughes, December 22, 1921. 862T.0I/346, MS, National Archives. Felix Morley, during a vacation in France in 1970, was sharply critical of French behavior: “If England and America would leave France to herself, there wouldn’t be a Frenchman on German soil after a week.”[43]Ambassador Wallace to Secretary Hughes, Paris, April 27, 1920862.00/921, MS, National Archives. Three years later, the American consul at Cologne wrote to Secretary Hughes a sharp indictment of French practices in the Rhineland. He reported that once in a while German officials were handcuffed and the German police “beaten and kicked.” At Aachen civilians and officials were “horsewhipped. “[44]Emil Sauer to Secretary Hughes, Cologne, February 16, 1923. 862.00/1215, MS, National Archives. Memories of these insults lingered in German minds and helped to produce a climate of opinion that seemingly justified many of the items in Hitler’s program of expansion and revenge.

9. The Starvation Blockade

The Armistice of November 11, 1918, did not put an end to the Allied blockade of Germany. For many months after the war was over the Allied governments did not permit food shipments to the millions of hungry persons in Germany. This callous attitude on the part of the Allied delegations in Paris shocked the Labor party in England which sponsored the humane “save the children” movement. Funds were raised to buy food “when owing to the blockade, starvation stalked gaunt and livid through the streets of thousands of German towns.”[45]Dawson, op. cit., p. 84.

In Paris, President Wilson appealed “again and again for a free exportation of foodstuffs to the half-starving populations of Central Europe, but always the French Government thwarted him. This French policy filled [Henrvl White, who had small

grandchildren in Germany and heard much from his daughter of the desperate plight of the people, with futile indignation."[46]Nevins, op. cit., p. 372. See also Herbert Hoover, “The Economic Administration During the Armistice,” in What Really Happened at Paris, pp. 348-69.

The impact of the blockade upon the German people was described by George E. R. Gedye, who was sent in February, 1919, upon an inspection tour of Germany:

“. . . Hospital conditions were appalling. A steady average of 10 per cent of the patients had died during the war years from lack of fats, milk and good flour. Camphor, glycerine and cod-liver oil were unprocurable. This resulted in high infant mortality. . . . We saw some terrible sights in the children’s hospital, such as the “starvation babies” with ugly, swollen heads. . . . Such were the conditions in Unoccupied Territory. Our report naturally urged the immediate opening of the frontiers for fats, milk and flour . . . but the terrible blockade was maintained as a result of French insistence . . . until the Treaty of Versailles was signed in June, 1919. . . . No severity of punishment could restrain the Anglo-American divisions on the Rhine from sharing their rations with their starving German fellow-creatures.”[47]George E. R. Gedye, The Revolver Republic; France’s Bid for the Rhine (London: J. W. Arrowsmith, Ltd., 1930), pp. 29-31.

Finally, under the terms of the Brussels Agreement (March 14, 1919), provision was made for the shipment of food to Germany, but before these supplies were made available tens of thousands of Germans had gone through the tortures of slow starvation.’ It is estimated that about 800,000 perished as a result of the blockade. At Versailles the beads in a long rosary of hatred and despair had been forged for the Germans by the Big Four. After 1919 they were counted over numberless times by large groups of unfortunate persons whose health had been wrecked by malnutrition. They neither forgot nor forgave.

10. German Reaction to the Treaty of Versailles

On May 7, 1919, the German delegation in Paris was formally presented with the terms of the Treaty of Versailles. When Johann Giesberts read through the long bill of indictment he burst out with vehemence:’ “This shameful treaty has broken me, for I believed in Wilson until today. I believed him to be an honest man, and now that scoundrel sends us such a treaty. “[48]Alma Luckau, The German Delegation at the Paris Peace Conference (New York: Columbia University Press, I94I), p. 124 On May 12, at a great mass meeting in Berlin, Konstantin Fehrenbach, one of the leaders of the Centrist party, alluded to the attitude that future generations in Germany would adopt relative to the treaty and ended his speech with words of warning that later were implemented by Hitler: “The will to break the chains of slavery will be implanted from childhood on .”[49]Ibid., pp. 98-100.
(Alma Luckau, The German Delegation at the Paris Peace Conference (New York: Columbia University Press, I94I), p. 124)

These chains were confirmed by the Kellogg-Briand Peace Pact which bestowed a formal blessing upon the injustices of Versailles. They could be broken only by force. When Hitler began to snap them, one by one, the noise was heard around the world and the American public was solemnly informed by Secretaries Stimson and Hull that a wild German bull was breaking the choicest dishes in the china shop of world peace. At Nuremberg men were hanged because they had planned to break these vessels filled with national hatreds. Nothing was said of the pseudo statesmen who prepared at Paris the witches’ brew that poisoned German minds.

The Nazi movement had its roots deep in the fertile soil of Versailles, and its rank growth was watered by the tears of millions of disillusioned Germans.

II. American Relations with Germany, 1919-1936 • 8,000 Words
1. The Aftermath of the World War

The American attitude toward the Weimar Republic in the years immediately after the war was one of watchful waiting. In the Department of State there was a definite fear that sparks of Bolshevism from Russia might find an easy lodgment in the broken structure of Germany and thus start a fire that would bum away all the landmarks of the old German way of life. This fear was increased by the remarks of certain Germans who had held important diplomatic posts under the Kaiser. In October, 1919, Count von Bernstorff stressed the importance of establishing close connections between Germany and Russia: “Russia is the country which we can most conveniently exploit. Russia needs capital and intelligence which our industry can provide. Above all, now that Bolshevism is beginning in Germany, we are becoming ‘cousin-germains’ of the Russians. We must come to terms with the Bolsheviks. “[50]American Embassy (Paris) to the Secretary of State, October 24, 1919.[862]00/754, MS, National Archives.

The mounting unrest in Germany had many unpleasant expressions. In November, 1919, there was a large demonstration in Heidelberg in which anti-Semitism and a spirit of excessive nationalism were clearly in evidence.[51]Dyar to the Secretary of State, Berlin, December 31, 1919. 862.00/776, MS. National Archives. By April, 1971, anti-Semitism reached a peak in certain German cities although it was strongly opposed by Catholic prelates like the Cardinal of Munich.[52]R. D. Murphy to the Secretary of State, January 5, 1924. 862.4016/12, MS, National Archives. After 1933, Hitler merely played upon prejudices that had long existed in Germany.

Fervid expressions of nationalism were in part caused by the loud talk of certain Allied statesmen with reference to holding trials for many prominent German leaders as war criminals. This talk led the ex-Kaiser, Wilhelm II, to write to President Wilson and offer to serve as a victim in place of other Germans: “If the Allied and Associated Governments want a victim let them take me instead of the nine hundred Germans who have committed no offence other than that of serving their country in the war.”[53]Ex-Kaiser Wilhelm II to President Wilson, February 9, 1920. 763.7219/9116, MS, National Archives. There was no real need for the ex Kaiser to make this offer. The American government was strongly opposed to any war-criminal trials. On February 6, 1920, Secretary Lansing sent a significant instruction to the American Embassy in Paris: “This Government has not yet ratified the Treaty; it is not joining in the demand of the Allies, and it is in no way backing the insistence of the Allies in the immediate carrying out of the demand [for the delivery of German war criminals].”[54]Secretary Lansing to the American Embassy in Paris, February 6, 1920.[763]7219/8941aa, MS, National Archives.

The Allies soon abandoned the project of trying Germans as war criminals. Apparently, however, they strongly resented the attitude of Secretary Lansing in this matter because they soon showed a non-co-operative spirit with regard to the payment of the costs of the American Army of Occupation. The Wilson administration had expected the payments to be made promptly out of German reparations, but this action was blocked for several years. In 1923 the British representative on the Reparation Commission expressed a doubt whether the United States, having rejected the Treatv of

Versailles, could assert any just claim to be paid for the Rhineland occupation.[55]Mr. Wadsworth to Secretary Hughes, Paris, May 16, 1923- 462.00R294/210, MS, National Archives. Similar statements deeply angered George B. Lockwood, secretary of the Republican National Committee, who wrote to Secretary Hughes to express his indignation at the situation. He was sure that the “haggling and pettifogging, duplicity and downright dishonesty that has characterized the attitude of Great Britain and the other Allied Powers in their treatment of America’s claims” indicated a strong desire to “bilk” the United States out of any payments for occupation costs.[56]George B. Lockwood to Secretary Hughes, Paris, May 24, 1923- 462. 00R293/232, MS, National Archives.

On May 75, 1973, the governments of Belgium, Britain, France, and Italy signed an agreement with the United States providing for the reimbursement of these payments (out of German reparations) over a period of twelve years[57]Foreign Relations, 1923, 11, 180 Although the Allies had finally consented to this reimbursement according to a long-range plan. Secretary Hughes noted that in their own case they had insisted that the payments for occupation be “met in full as they fell due.” It seemed to him that “they should have distributed the money received for these arms costs equitably; instead, they kept these moneys and left us out.”[58]Secretary Hughes to Ambassador Herrick, February 23, March 15, 1924. 462.00R296/176, 212, MS, National Archives.

In the matter of reparations there was further friction. Under the terms of the Treaty of Versailles provision was made for the appointment of a Reparation Commission which would determine the amount owed by Germany and prepare a schedule for “discharging the entire obligation within a period of thirty years from May 1, 1921.” Up to that date the German government was to pay the equivalent of five billion dollars. Early in 1921 Germany claimed that she had completed this payment in the form of gold, securities, coal, and other commodities, but the Reparation Commission declared that less than half of the required sum had really been paid. The German government then appealed to the United States to “mediate the reparations question and to fix the sum to be paid … to the Allied Powers.”[59]Commissioner Dresel to Secretary Hughes, Berlin, April 20, 1921. 460.00R29/649, MS, National Archives. On the general subject of reparations see Carl Bergmann, The History of Reparations (London: Ernest Bernn, 1927). Secretary Hughes refused to be drawn into this dispute, but he did admonish the Weimar Republic to make “directly to the Allied Governments clear, definite, and adequate proposals which would in all respects meet its just obligations. “[60]Secretary Hughes to the American Mission in Berlin, April 22, 1921. 460.00R29/684, MS, National Archives.

On April 28, 1921, the Reparation Commission announced that the total German indemnity had been fixed at 132,000,000,000 gold marks or approximately $33,000,000,0000. The schedule of payments was forwarded to Germany on May 5 and was promptly accepted.[61]Foreign Relations, The Paris Peace Conference, 1919, XIII, 862-67. Although the first installment of $750,000,000 was paid on August 3 1 , the decline in the value of the mark indicated fundamental financial difficulties in Germany. During 1922 the German government asked for a moratorium extending two and one-half years. Britain was inclined to favor this request; France was bitterly opposed to it. Under French pressure the Reparation Commission finally declared that Germany was in default and Poincare insisted upon reprisals.

The American government was deeply interested in this German problem. Peace between Germany and the United States had been effected under the terms of a joint resolution signed by President Harding on July 2, 1921.[62]Ibid.,pp. 18-19.
(Foreign Relations, The Paris Peace Conference, 1919, XIII, 862-67.)
This action had been followed by a treaty (August 25, 1921) which went into effect on November 11 of that year.[63]Ibid., pp. 2.2-25
(Foreign Relations, The Paris Peace Conference, 1919, XIII, 862-67.)
Under the terms of these instruments all the rights, privileges, indemnities, and reparations to which the United States was entitled under the Armistice and the Treatv of Versailles were “expressly reserved.” Separate peace with Germany would not mean the loss of any of America’s hard-won rights.

These rights would have no value in a Germany whose economic structure was destroyed. Therefore American representatives abroad looked with strong disapproval upon Poincare’s determination to press for prompt payment of impossible reparations. In Rome Ambassador Child talked the situation over with Barthou, the mouthpiece of Poincare. He reported to Secretary Hughes that this conversation revealed that Barthou had “an anti-German prejudice so strong as to vitiate sound judgment.” He thought it might be necessary for the “world to weigh the necessity of acting independently, of the French Government in joint appeals to public opinion.”[64]Ambassador Child to Secretary Hughes, Rome, October 24, 1922. 46000R296/5, MS, National Archives.

In the following month Ambassador Herrick, who was usually quite Francophile, wrote to Secretary Hughes and deprecated the attitude of Poincare with reference to pressure upon Germany: “There is now definitely no hope of making any impression on Poincare personally. He has learned nothing and forgotten nothing, not from lack of intelligence but rather from definite purpose…. He has staked his political life and reputation on his aggressive policy. If you want to do anything effective to stop this, you must in my judgment make some public utterance with the idea of helping reasonable French opinion. “[65]Ambassador Herrick to Secretary Hughes, Paris, November 22, 1922. 462.00R29/2184, MS, National Archives. But Hughes replied that an appeal to the French people over the head of their government was a dangerous proceeding: “Previous efforts of this sort have caused more trouble than they cured.”[66]Secretary Hughes to Mr. Boyden, November 24, 1922. 462.00R29/2187, MS, National Archives.

In January, 1923, French troops moved into the Ruhr as far east as Dortmund. The British government regarded this action as illegal and refused to support it. Occupation of the Ruhr would paralyze German industry and seriously affect reparations and British trade with Germany. In order to counter this French policy of pressure, German workers in the Ruhr laid down their tools. Mines and factories shut down and telephone, telegraph, and railway services were discontinued. All reparation payments to Allied governments ceased.

The American commercial attache in Berlin looked at this French invasion of the Ruhr as an attempt permanently to “emasculate Germany as a Great Power. “[67]C. E. Herring to Secretary Hughes, Berlin, September 10, 1923. 462.00R29/3333, MS, National Archives. The American ambassador reported in a similar vein: “The people have been treated as a subject and alien race; their trade has been harassed and largely destroyed; ineffectual troops have been quartered here and there in their villages. Apparently everything that would arouse hostility, and nothing that would conciliate, has been done. As a result, the Rhineland population today is savagely anti-French. “[68]Ambassador Houghton to Secretary Hughes, Berlin, July 27, 1923. To Herbert Hoover the repressive policy of the French ‘had a world impact. French interference with the coal trade of the Ruhr would upset “the entire coal market of the world and would make life more difficult everywhere. “[69]Interview between W. R. Castle and Herbert Hoover, March 7, 1923. 862T.01/687, MS, National Archives. The most graphic description of French terrorism in the Ruhr is given in George E. R. Gedye’s The Revolver Republic:

“In Essen I saw a boy, one morning, sobbing bitterly after being thrashed by a French officer for failing to yield the pavement to him, and in Recklinghausen the French pursued with their riding-whips into the theatre some men who had taken refuge there, stopped the performance of “King Lear,” and drove out the whole audience. … On the night of 1 1th March the bodies of a French chasseur subaltern land a Regie station master were found near Buer. . . . The next morning a seven o’clock curfew was proclaimed in Buer. . . . The order to be indoors by seven had been issued on a Sunday after many people had gone off on excursions for the day. On their return, all-unwitting, they were beaten with riding-whips, struck with rifle butts, chased through the streets by French soldiers, and shoat at. A workman named Fabeck was shot dead as he stood with his young wife waiting for a tram.”[70]Gedye, op. cit., pp. 102, 119-21. These repressive tactics of France finally bore fruit in the agreement of September 26, 1923, when Germany promised to abandon the policy of passive resistance. But the price of victory had been very high. The British government had not looked with favor upon the occupation of the Ruhr with the consequent collapse of Germany’s economic structure, and opinion in neutral countries was sharply critical. In France the fall in the value of, the franc caused milder counsels to prevail. The way was thus prepared for discussions which led to the adoption of the Dawes Plan. The Inter-Allied Agreement providing for this plan was signed in London on August 30, 1924, and the evacuation of French troops from the Ruhr began immediately.[71]Foreign Relations, The Paris Peace Conference, 1919, XIII, 899-902. See also Charles G. Dawes, A Journal of Reparations (London: Macmillan & Co., Ltd., 1939)

But the Dawes Plan had some evident flaws. It was silent with reference to the total reparations bill. Therefore, in a technical sense, the old total bill of $33,000,000,000, fixed by the Reparation Commission, was still in force. It should have been apparent to the so-called financial experts that Germany could not continue making huge annual reparations payments for an indefinite period. They should also have realized that no Great Power would be content to remain in the financial and political chains that were riveted upon Germany under the terms of the plan. In this regard the Commercial and Financial Chronicle made some highly pertinent remarks:

“Nothing like the proposed procedure is to be found in history. Germany is to be taken over and administered in the same way as a corporation no longer able to meet its obligations is taken over by the law and transferred to the hands of the bankruptcy commissioners. … In reality a foreign control of internal affairs has been imposed such as never before existed either in our times or in the past. . . . Never before has it been proposed to take such complete possession of the wealth of a nation.”[72]Quoted in Max Sering, Germany Under the Dawes Plan (London: P. S. King & Son, Ltd., 1929), pp. 64-65.

Payments under the Dawes Plan increased each year until they reached (in the fifth year) 2,500,000,000 marks. The German government was able to make them only because of the large volume of foreign loans. But it should have been obvious that such a system could not continue. When this fact became evident in 1929, a new group of financial experts met in Paris with Owen D. Young as chairman. On June 7, 1929, this committee handed to the Reparation Commission, and to the governments concerned, a financial agreement that was conveniently called the Young Plan. Under its terms the total indemnity bill was reduced to $8,032,500,000 and was capitalized at 5 Vi per cent. The period for its payments was limited to fifty-eight and one half years. The Reparation Commission was abolished in favor of a Bank for International Settlements which would eniov broad powers. As a concession to Germanv, the extensive financial and political controls outlined under the Dawes Plan were abandoned.[73]John W. Wheeler-Bennett and H. Latimer, Information on the Reparation Settlement (London: George Allen & Unwin, Ltd., 1930).

The Young Plan went into effect in 1930 but it was a panacea that failed to cure the ills of a world that was on the brink of a breakdown. Some ascribed this desperate situation to an inadequate gold supply; others thought in terms of a surplus of silver. Technology was blamed because it had enabled man to multiply the output of industrial and agricultural products to the point where the world market was flooded with cheap commodities. Aristide Briand pointed to an economic federation of Europe as the best means of surmounting the difficulties that threatened to engulf the Continent, but the Austrian Foreign Minister, Dr. Johann Schober, expressed the opinion that it would be expedient not to push things too fast. Perhaps the best step along the road to eventual European federation would be an Austro-German customs union! In March, 1931, this proposed union was formally announced by the governments of Austria and Germany with a cogent explanation of its objectives. Although Britain was favorable to this arrangement, France affected to see political motives back of this union and strongly opposed it Her refusal to grant a much-needed loan to the principal bank in Austria (the Kredit Anstalt) helped to undermine confidence in the stability of that institution. This, in turn, had its effect upon the German economic structure that was already tottering under the weight of a large unfavorable trade balance.[74]P. Einzig, The World Economic Crisis, 1929-1931 (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1932); F. W. Lawrence, This Gold Crisis (London: Victor GoUancz, Ltd., 1931); League of Nations, World Production and Prices, 1925-1933 (Geneva: The Author, 1934)

Realizing that Austria and Germany were going through a period of frenzied finance. President Hoover (June io) proposed a one-year world moratorium, from July 1, with reference to “all payments on inter-governmental debts, reparations and relief debts, both principal and interest… not including obligations of governments held by private parties.” He made it clear, however, that this action would not mean “the cancellation of the debts” due to the United States.[75]New York Times, June 21, 1931.

When France delayed acceptance of this proposal the situation in Europe grew rapidly worse. During the seventeen days “that France held up the Hoover Plan, a run on the German banks and the calling in of short-term credits drained the country of some $300,000,000. All banks in Germany for a time were closed. The Hoover Plan would have saved Germany $406,000,000 this year. “[76]Sherwood Eddy to Secretary Stimson, Berlin, September 1, 1931. GK 862.00/2616, MS, Department of State.

With Germany in financial chaos. Secretary Stimson decided to pay a visit to Berlin in order to get a close-up of the situation. The German press, “without a single discordant note,” gave him a “hearty welcome and the occasion was seized to express in front-page editorials the gratitude felt for America’s . . . friendliness towards Germany. “[77]Frederick M. Sackett to Secretary Stimson, Berlin, July 30, 1931.033.1140 Stimson, Henry L./144, MS, Department of State.

Stimson had a long conversation with Dr. Bruening, the German Chancellor. It was not long before they discovered that they had fought along the Western Front in opposing forces that had repeatedly clashed. The warrior tie at once drew them close together and with President Hindenburg it was the same thing. To Stimson, the president of the Weimar Republic appeared as an “impressive, fine old man.”[78]Memorandum of a conversation between Secretary Stimson and President von Hindenburg, Berlin, July 27, 1931, 033.1140 Stimson, Henry L./UlVi , MS, Department of State.

But it required more than Stimson’s good will to save the Weimar Republic. The failure of the Allies to carrv out the disarmament pledges of the Treatv of Versailles; the heavy burden of the Young Plan with its consequent crushing taxation, and the difficulties in securing a market for manufactured goods, made the situation in Germany seem almost hopeless. In the spring of 1932 Bruening realized that generous concessions on the part of the Allies were badly needed in order to check the tide of National Socialism that was beginning to rise in a menacing manner.

In America there was little appreciation of the growing power of Hitler. The Omaha World-Herald scorned him as an “insignificant little man”;[79]March 13, 1932. the Boston Evening Transcript denounced him as the “incarnation of mischief,”[80]February 16, 1932. but few Americans realized that he was an alarming challenge to Bruening. Their eyes were partly opened on March 13 when Hitler polled some eleven million votes. It was now apparent to the Cleveland Plain Dealer that “much as one may desire to believe that Hitlerism has received its death blow, the figures warrant no such assumption. “[81]April 12, 1932.

The only way to banish the shadow of Hitlerism was to strengthen the supports of the Bruening government. But France refused to see this plain fact. Indeed, there is evidence to indicate that certain French statesmen conspired to destroy the Bruening government. According to Bruening himself,

“. . . one major factor in Hitler’s rise . . . was the fact that he received large sums of money from foreign countries in 1923 and later [France, Poland, and Czechoslovakia], and was well paid for sabotaging the passive resistance in the Ruhr district. … In later years he [Hitler] was paid to excite unrest and encourage revolution in Germany by people who imagined that this might weaken Germany permanently and make the survival of any constitutional, central government impossible.”[82]Dr. Heinrich Bruening to Rev. Edward J. Dunne, S.J., cited in E. J. Dunne, “The German Center Party in the Empire and the Republic,” MS, dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, Georgetown University Library.

In partial support of this statement by Dr. Bruening there is the following paragraph from Louis P. Lochner’s intriguing book. What About Germany:

“If there was one foreign statesman who thoroughly misjudged Hitler and his movement, it was Andre Frangois-Poncet, the French Ambassador to Berlin. From what I know of behind-the-scenes activities towards the end of the Bruening era in 1932, 1 am forced to conclude that no other diplomat is more directly responsible for the elevation to power of Adolph Hitler than this brilliant, forever-wisecracking French politician. According to Fran^ois-Poncet, the incorruptible Chancellor, Heinrich Bruening, was too brainy and experienced in the wily game of international politics. Hitler, on the other hand, was a fool and a political dilettante. . . . With the Nazi leader in power, he thought it would be much easier to effect deals which would be favorable to France.”[83]Louis P. Lochner, What About Germany! (New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, Inc., 1942), pp. 42-43.

At any rate, the French government, in the spring of 1932, greatly helped to bring about Bruening’s fall. When the Disarmament Conference met in Geneva in February, 1932, Bruening presented a program that he thought would find favor in Germany. Ramsay MacDonald and Secretary Stimson expressed their approval of the Bruening proposal, but Tardieu, of France, resorted to the usual French tactics of delay. When Bruening returned to Berlin with empty hands, Hindenburg summoned him to the President’s office and criticized him so sharplv that resignation was the onlv course left open to him.[84]John W. Wheeler-Bennett, Hindenburg: Wooden Titan (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1936), pp. 368-85

When Bruening fell, the fate of the Weimar Republic was sealed. And the fault did not lie solely upon the shoulders of France. Walter Lippmann summarized the situation in a lucid commentary:

“Now that he [Bruening] has fallen, tributes will be paid … all over the world, and everywhere there will be great regret that so experienced and upright a statesman is no longer the German spokesman. He is the best liked and most trusted man in Europe. . . . He has lacked only men of equal stature in other countries with whom he could work. . . . Though it appears that he has fallen because of intrigues by the Nationalists [in Germany], what undermined him and made the intrigues possible was the failure of France, Great Britain and the United States to take a single constructive step toward the restoration of international confidence and of the trade and credit which would depend upon it.”[85]New York Herald Tribune, June 1, 1932.

The weak governments of von Papen and Schleicher were merely brief preludes to the government of Adolph Hitler which began in January, 1933, when President Hindenburg asked him to assume ‘the office of Chancellor.

2. Disarmament Remains a Constant Factor in the Uneasy Equation of European Peace

The fall of the Bruening government emphasized the difficulties surrounding the problem of disarmament. It was the same old story of broken pledges by the Allied Powers. They had the plausible excuse that the phraseology of Article VIII of the Covenant of the League of Nations was ambiguous: “The Members of the League recognize that the maintenance of peace requires the reduction of national armaments to the lowest point consistent with national safety and the enforcement by common action of international obligations.” In discussing this phraseology. Lord Davies makes the following pertinent comment: “Here is an attempt to compromise, to square the circle, to combine as a basis for reduction two incompatible principles, namely the old doctrine of absolute self-defence . . . and the alternative idea of a police function.”[86]Lord Davies, The Problem of the Twentieth Century: A Study in International Relationships (London: Ernest Berm, Ltd., 1934), p. 227.

It was inevitable that statesmen would differ with reference to the interpretation of this article. Andre Tardieu asserted that its language did not bind France to any plan for disarmament. Although there was a “legal obligation” to which Germany had subscribed, there was nothing to which France was bound except a “desire” to reduce her armaments.[87]Leon Blum, Peace and Disarmament (London: Jonathan Cape, Ltd., 1932) , pp. 88-89. Aristide Briand did not agree with Tardieu in this matter. He argued that France was bound by Article VIII to agree to some plan for disarmament. She had partly carried out this pledge by making substantial reductions in her armaments, but was unable to go any further unless other nations took adequate steps to insure French security.[88]Ibid., pp. 90-91.
(Leon Blum, Peace and Disarmament (London: Jonathan Cape, Ltd., 1932) , pp. 88-89.)

The American view relative to disarmament was clearly stated by Professor James T. Shotwell: “Germanv had been disarmed with the understanding . . . that the other signatories would also voluntarily limit their armaments with due regard to what Germany was forced to do.”[89]James T. Shotwell, On the Rim of the Abyss (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1936), p. 269. In 1933 the American position was given cogent expression-by Norman H. Davis, who told the Conference for the Reduction and Limitation of Armaments that “it would neither have been just nor wise, nor was it intended, that the Central Powers should be subject for all times to a special treatment in armaments. There is and has been a corresponding duty on the part of the other Powers, parties to the peace treaties, that by successive stages they too would bring their armaments down to a level strictly determined by the needs of self-defence.”[90]John W. Wheeler-Bennett, Documents on International Affairs, 1933 (London: Oxford University Press, 1934), P. 209.

It was to this conference that Prime Minister MacDonald presented (March, 1933) his plan for disarmament. The proposed size of European armies was bound to arouse resentment in Germany: Czechoslovakia, 100,000; France, 200,000 for home country and 200,000 for overseas; Germany, 200,000; Italy, 200,000, and 50,000 for overseas; Poland, 200,000; Russia, 500,000.[91]Foreign Relations, 1933, 1, 45

In order to ascertain with precision the viewpoint of Chancellor Hitler, President Roosevelt decided to send Norman H. Davis to Berlin for a conversation relative to disarmament. On the afternoon of April 8, 1933, Davis had a long conference with Hitler, who immediately referred to the provisions of the Treaty of Versailles which he regarded as “designed to keep Germany forever in a state of inferiority and to discredit them in the eyes of the world.” He thought it was ridiculous for France to have any fear of Germany. France was the most heavily armed nation in the world; Germany had the pitifully small force allowed her under the terms of Versailles. The only reason why “France could have any apprehension of Germany was because she knew she was doing an unjust thing in trying to force Germany forever to live under treaty conditions which no self-respecting nation could tolerate.” In conclusion. Hitler remarked that while he did not want “war, the Germans could not forever live under the terms of a Treaty [Versailles] which was iniquitous and based entirely upon false premises as to Germany’s war guilt. “[92]Memorandum of a conversation between Norman 11. Davis and Chancellor Hitler, Berlin, April 8, 1933, ibid., pp. 85-89.
(Foreign Relations, 1933, 1, 45)

With these ominous words ringing in his ears, Davis hurried to the Disarmament Conference at Geneva to discuss the MacDonald Plan with its proposed army limitations that Germany would never accept. On April 25 he received definite instructions from Secretary Hull:

“Please be guided by the broad policy of United States in consistently pressing for immediate and practical actual disarmament. Our ultimate goal is twofold: First, reduction of present annual costs of armament maintenance in all national budgets and. Second, arrival at a goal of domestic policing armaments in as few years as possible. . . . We regard the MacDonald Plan as a definite and excellent step towards the, ultimate objective, but that is a step only and must be followed by succeeding steps.”[93]Secretary Hull to Norman H. Davis, April 25, 1933, ibid., p. 107
(Foreign Relations, 1933, 1, 45)

In hurried attempts to expedite a solution of the disarmament problem. Prime Ministers MacDonald and Herriot paid visits to Washington, but they accomplished little. On April 26 President Roosevelt had an extended conference with Herriot during which many important topics were discussed. Herriot expressed the opinion that the most “dangerous spot in Europe” was the Polish Corridor. The President immediately observed that he could “not understand why some mechanical arrangement could not be made by which Germany and East Prussia could not be more closely united either by air communication, by elevated train service or, if necessary, by underground tunnels.” But Herriot immediately responded with warm praise of the existing train and highway service between the two frontiers. He then, unwittingly, put his finger upon the real difficulty in arriving at any understanding between Germany and Poland by describing “the artistic qualities of the Poles; how difficult they were to negotiate with and how even the French . . . found them exceedingly difficult to restrain and quiet them whenever they became excited.” At the end of the conference, Herriot “did not offer any suggestion for overcoming the Polish Corridor danger spot nor did he seem to feel that there was any solution to the problem.”[94]Memorandum of a conversation between President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Herriot, April 26, 1933, ibid., pp. 109-11.
(Foreign Relations, 1933, 1, 45)

It was this “danger spot” that, in 1939, was one of the prime causes of the outbreak of hostilities. Herriot realized that the “artistic qualities” of the Poles made it impossible to suggest to them a real solution of the Corridor question. These same qualities were even more in evidence in the summer of 1939 when the Polish ambassador in Paris was not on speaking terms with either Bonnet or Daladier. Whom the gods wish to destroy, they first make mad!

Even with regard to disarmament the Poles were a little “mad” and their demands for an army equivalent to that of Germany caused serious uneasiness in Hitler’s mind. He remembered only too well the bloody forays of Korfanty’s irregulars before and after the plebiscite in Upper Silesia. A Polish army of 200,000, together with a Russian army of 500,000, constituted a most dangerous threat to Germany’s Eastern Front. The MacDonald Plan was not welcomed in Berlin.

But any arguments for an increase in Germany’s military forces met with instant opposition in Washington. On May 6 Dr. Schacht had a conference with President Roosevelt, who quickly informed him that “the United States will insist that Germany remain in statu quo in armament.” At the same time he was informed that the American government would “support every possible effort to have the offensive armament of every other nation brought down to the German level.” At the conclusion of the conference, the President intimated “as strongly as possible” that he regarded “Germany as the only possible obstacle to a Disarmament Treaty and that he hoped Dr. Schacht would give this point of view to Hitler as quickly as possible. “[95]Secretary Hull to the Ambassador in Great Britain (Bingham), May 8, 1933, ibid., pp.130-31.
(Foreign Relations, 1933, 1, 45)

Hitler responded by calling a meeting of the Reichstag, on May 17, to hear his address on the question of disarmament. In order to influence the remarks of the German Chancellor upon that occasion. President Roosevelt hurriedly issued (May 16) a statement to the “Chiefs of State of all countries participating in the General Disarmament or International Monetary and Economic Conferences.” He stressed the hope that peace might be assured “through practical measures of disarmament and that all of us may carry to victory our common struggle against economic chaos.” These practical measures include the “complete elimination of all offensive weapons.” In addition to this momentous step all nations “should enter into a solemn and definite pact of nonaggression.”[96]President Roosevelt to various chiefs of state. May 16, 1933, ibid., pp. 143-45.
(Foreign Relations, 1933, 1, 45)

On May 17 Hitler answered the Roosevelt proposals in a very general manner. He professed to find in the suggestions of the President some items he could support as a means of overcoming “the international crisis.” Although Germany would still insist upon “actual equality of rights as regards disarmament,” she would not resort to force in order to achieve her objectives.[97]New York Times, May 18, 1933.

These conciliatory remarks of Hitler brought instant relief to many Americans. The Cincinnati Enquirer thought that Hitler had thrown upon other shoulders the responsibility for real disarmament,[98]May 18, 1933. while the Christian Science Monitor expressed the belief that the movement for world peace had been greatly strengthened. “[99]May 18, 1933.

Encouraged by these signs of agreement, Norman Davis announced, on May 22, that the American government was ready to consult with other nations in the event of a threat to world peace and would take no action to hinder the efforts of other nations to restrain the activities of aggressor nations.[100]Department of State, Press Releases, May 22, 1933. America was moving down the road to collective security.

3. President Roosevelt Sends William E. Dodd to Germany As a Gesture of Good Will

During the first six months of his tenure as Chancellor, Hitler made many moves in the direction of a strong government. One of the most significant moves that attracted attention in America was the suppression of all political parties other than that of National Socialism. To Mr. Messersmith, U.S. Consul-General in Berlin, this dissolution “of the many parties which had brought about Parliamentary chaos and the breakdown of Parliamentary government was a helpful step toward the return of effective Parliamentary government eventually.” The outlook in Germany was “decidedly more optimistic” than it had been “at any time since March 5:”[101]George S. Messersmith to Secretary Hull, Berlin, July 20, 1933. 862.00/3033, MS, Department of State.

After reading some of these rose-colored dispatches from Berlin, President Roosevelt decided to send Professor William E. Dodd, a well-known historian, to Berlin as the American ambassador. It was an appointment suggested by Daniel C. Roper and Colonel House and it was not a happy one. Dodd knew little about the problems of American foreign policy and less about the practice of diplomacy. He had no sympathy with the Nazi regime and found far more to criticize than to praise. There were many points of friction between Germany and the United States and one of the first that demanded prompt settlement was the matter of German defaults on American private loans.

4. Financial Friction Between Germany and the United States

These loans poured into Germany after the Dawes Plan went into operation in 1924. Without them the German government could never have paid Allied exactions. But the world business depression which began in 1929 reached a low point two vears later.

Reference has already been made to French delay in accepting the Hoover Plan, with consequent economic paralysis in Germany. In January, 1932, Chancellor Bruening declared that the German government had advanced to France some 19,000,000,000 reichsmarks, while the total expenditures in France for reconstruction had amounted to only 14,000,000,0000 reichsmarks. Further payments in accordance with this scale meant economic disaster for Germany and for the world.[102]New York Times, January 10, 1932. The Lausanne Conference (June 16-July 8, 1932) put an end to German economic thralldom.[103]Final Act of the Lausanne Conference, Lausanne, July 9, 1932 (London: H.M. Stationery Office, 1932), Cmd. 4126; C. R. S. Harris, Germany’s Foreign Indebtedness (London: Oxford University Press, 1935).

But the situation in Germany under Hitler became so serious that, on July 9, 1933, Dr. Schacht, president of the Reichsbank, issued a regulation which decreed a transfer moratorium on the interest and sinking fund payments on foreign debts, estimated at approximately 17,000,00000,000 reichsmarks.[104]New York Times, June 10, 1933. Private banking interests in the United States were deeply concerned over this action because about 4o per cent of the German external debt ($1,800,000,000,) was owed to American creditors. John Foster Dulles, as the representative of American bankers, sent a sharp protest to Schacht with reference to his transfer moratorium,[105]/WJ., June 21, 1933. but the president of the Reichsbank was evidently awaiting the outcome of the World Economic Conference before making a reply. The success of this conference depended upon a mild declaration of financial policy by President Roosevelt. When he refused to take this step he “torpedoed” the conference and all Europe “exploded with resentment. “[106]Raymond Moley, After Seven Years (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1939), pp. 757-62. He had pushed the Humpty Dumpty of world finance from the wall of expectancy and then he chided Europe because the pieces flew so far and wide.

When Dr. Schacht continued his policy of suspension of the payments due American bankers. President Roosevelt, though the fault lay on his own shoulders, was sharply critical of the president of the Reichsbank and of Germany generally. The Dodd mission to Germany had a most unfortunate background.

5. The Nazi Government Shows its DisUke of Dodd By Mistreating American Citizens

Ambassador Dodd was not long in Berlin before he angered the Nazi government by refusing to attend the party celebration at Nuremberg. His excuse was too transparent to be diplomatic: “I cannot absent myself from Berlin long enough to have the pleasure of accepting.”[107]Ambassador Dodd to the Acting Secretary of State, Berlin, August 23,1933. 862.00/3061, MS, Department of State. The Nazis repaid this hostility by treating certain Americans with studied incivility. On September 9, a son of H. V. Kaltenborn, noted radio commentator, was assaulted because he did not give the Nazi salute while watching a parade of storm troopers.[108]Department of State, Press Releases, September 9, 1933 When Dodd complained to von Neurath about this unfortunate incident, the Foreign Minister merely murmured: “The S.A. men are so uncontrollable that I am afraid we cannot stop them. “[109]William E. Dodd, Diary, 1933-1938 edited by William E. Dodd, Jr., and Martha Dodd (New York: Harcourt, Brace & Company, Inc., 1941), pp. 44-47

6. Germany Moves out of the League of Nations

This rising spirit of nationalism was given further expression in 1933 by Hitler himself. The disarmament question provided the occasion for a dramatic manifestation of it. During the summer of 1933, Norman H. Davis, the American representative at Geneva, held many conversations with British and French delegates to the Disarmament Conference in an effort to find some formula that would solve the disarmament problem. Finally, on October 14, Sir John Simon presented a plan which aimed at achieving “equality of status” in eight years. 1 lo To Hitler this long postponement of any real settlement of the disarmament question was an indication that the Allied governments had no real intention to disarm. They had made a mockery of Article VIII of the Covenant of the League of Nations with its implied promise of general disarmament and he believed the Simon plan was another exercise in deceit. In the face of many years of broken pledges on the part of League members, there was now nothing left to do but withdraw from the League. He gave assurances that this action had no aggressive implications.[111]Survey of International Affairs, 1933; edited by Arnold J. Toynbee and B. M. Boulter (New York: Oxford University Press, 1934), pp. 301-8.

When Ambassador Dodd discussed with Hitler this matter of the withdrawal from the League of Nations, the Fuehrer became “clearly excited” and launched into a lengthy criticism of the injustices of the Treaty of Versailles. When Dodd made the soothing remark that there was “evident injustice in the French attitude,” the Fuehrer immediately subsided into a mood of sweet reasonableness and the interview ended on a friendly note.[112]Dodd, op. cit., pp. 49-50

Hitler could afford to be reasonable because he was fast moulding the German mind along the lines he desired. On November 12 there was a national election in the Reich on the matter of Germany’s withdrawal from the League. The result was an overwhelming confirmation of the Fuehrer’s policy. The Nazi candidates for office received some 39,500,000 votes out of a total of 43,000,000. Nazism was moving from one victory to another.[113]Ambassador Dodd to Secretary Hull, Berlin, November 13, 1933. 862.00/3127, MS, Department of State.

7. Flies in the Ointment of Diplomacy

The victorious march of Nazism in Germany disturbed many Americans who believed that its implications pointed to eventual war on the Continent. The propaganda of Dr. Goebbels failed to explain in a satisfactory manner some actions of the Nazi government. The Reichsbank continued its policy of discriminating against American holders of German bonds and the Foreign Minister explained to Ambassador Dodd that it was a mere matter of international exchange. If America increased her purchase of German goods the situation could be rapidly remedied .[114]New York Times, January 25, 1934; Survey of International Affairs, 1933, pp. 93[98] There was a partial American boycott of German manufactures and this had resulted in an unfavorable balance of trade as far as the Reich was concerned. In Europe, Germany enjoyed a highly favorable balance of trade with Britain, France, and the Netherlands and therefore was inclined to treat them with more consideration.[115]Department of State, Press Releases, December 1, 1934. This American boycott against German manufactures was launched by Samuel Untermyer in New York City, August 6, 1933, when he called for an “economic boycott against all German goods, shipping, and services.” In October, 1933, the American Federation of Labor supported the idea of a boycott and the movement was definitely pushed. See Francis Neilson, The Makers of War (Appleton, Wis.: C. C. Nelson Publishing Company, 1950), pp. 94-97.

Secretary Hull did not relish this lesson in economics, so he kept pressing the German government for a change in policy. On June 16 he instructed Ambassador Dodd to express the “strongest regret” that the Reichsbank was still discriminating against American creditors,[116]Department of State, Press Releases, June 23, 1934. and eleven days later he filed a long protest against Nazi fiscal policy.[117]/&iJ.,June30, 1934 He was determined to make full use of the nuisance value of this debt difficulty. Dodd was distinctly embarrassed by this continual pressure from the State Department and at times recorded his feelings in his Diary: “What more can I say than I have said a score of times? Germany is in a terrible plight. “[118]Dodd, o/;d?.,pp. 111-12. In America this fact was recognized by many newspapers. The Seattle Times[119]June 16, 1934. and the Atlanta Constitution[120]June 16, 1934. were frank in their opinion that the Nazi government had done nothing more than take a page out of the financial books of European nations that had defaulted on large loans from the American government during the World War.

But this American sympathy for hard-pressed Germany did not soften American criticism of the anti-Semitic policy of the Nazi government. Harsh decrees against the Jews evoked widespread objection throughout the United States and led to an increasingly unfavorable climate of opinion. This fact was given clear illustration when advertisements appeared in certain New York newspapers calling attention to a mock trial of Chancellor Hitler, to be staged in Madison Square Garden on March 7, 1934 When Ambassador Luther rushed to the Department of State to register a protest against this insult to the Fuehrer, he was given a cold brush-off by Secretary Hull.[121]Memorandum of a conversation between Secretary Hull and the German ambassador, Hans Luther, February 19, 1934. 862.00 Hitler, Adolf/11, MS, Department of State. In Berlin Ambassador Dodd had a long conversation with Hitler, who was “unusually cordial.” When Dodd referred to the Jewish problem in different countries the Fuehrer interrupted his discourse several times with sharp comments upon the “damned Jews.” He finally informed Dodd that if the Jews continued their “activity” in Germany, “we shall make a complete end of them. “[122]Memorandum of a conversation between Ambassador Dodd and Chancellor Hitler, March 7, 1934. 711.62/90, MS, Department of State.

At this time Hitler’s bark was far worse than his bite and he soon decided that it was good policy to conciliate the United States by adopting a more humane policy toward the Jews. He wanted no more mock trials in New York. On March 12 he directed that Columbia House, where many Jews had been mistreated, should be closed, and he insisted that “warrants must be proved before anyone could be detained for more than twenty-four hours on any charge. “[123]Dodd, o/;. cU., p. 100. Anti-Semitism was conveniently shelved for the time being.

8. Hitler Purges the Nazi Party and Shocks American Sensibilities

In the early months of 1934 there was manifest in certain circles in Germany a rising criticism of the policy of Chancellor Hitler. Some Nazi leaders had not approved the Fuehrer’s softer policy toward the Jews. Others were worried over the “financial and economic situation” in the Reich,[124]Mr. Messersmith to Secretary Hull, Berlin, June 14, 1934- 862.00/3306, MS, Department of State. and Kurt Schmitt, the Minister of Economics, complained to Ambassador Dodd that the repressive measures instituted against the Jews, Protestants, and Catholics had stirred up such “intense hostility” in America and England that the economic outlook grew bleaker each day.[125]Dodd, op. cit., pp. 103-4. It was widely known that Roehm was bitterly opposed to any reduction in the number of the storm troopers and some believed that he was plotting with General von Schleicher for a major change in the organization of the Nazi party. A feeling of revolution was in the air.

On June 17, at the University of Marburg, Franz von Papen made a speech that one could best understand by reading between the lines. In one significant sentence he gave a cue to Hitler’s next move. After referring to the failure of the “official organs of public opinion” to throw sufficient light to dispel the mysterious darkness that hid the spirit of the German people, von Papen then remarked that it was probably necessary for a statesman to appear who would “call a spade a spade.”[126]Wheeler-Bennett, Wooden Titan, pp. 454-59.

The Springfield Republican made the canny surmise that von Papen’s speech was “the signal for some important development in the internal affairs of Germany. “[127]June 19, 1934. 128. Des Moines Register, July 10, 1934. This development was not long in coming. On June 30 Hitler inaugurated a bloody purge which took the lives of many important Nazis who were no longer useful to the party. In the United States there was a great deal of speculation about the implications of this purge. Drew Pearson and Robert Allen predicted a dark future for Hitler,[128] the Buffalo News thought that the Fuehrer might be “sitting on a powder keg,”[129]June 2, 1934. and Oswald G. Villard expressed the opinion that the purge marked “the beginning of the end of Hitler.”[130]The Nation, August 1, 1934 Ul.New York Times, July 13, 1934 Other commentators were equally hopeful that the “Nazi nightmare” would soon end. Opinion here was so unfriendly to the Fuehrer that it was evident that the purge marked a definite point in American regard for Nazi Germany. Spokesmen for oppressed minorities in the Reich would find a credulous audience for any stories told of unbounded brutality.

9. General Hugh S. Johnson Expresses His Indignation at the Bloody Party Purge

When the news of Hitler’s party purge came to General Hugh S. Johnson, he announced that such brutalities made him “physically and very actively sick. “[131] This acidulous criticism of Nazi political practices evoked an immediate protest from the German charge d’affaires in Washington. Secretary Hull assured him that General Johnson was speaking “as an individual and not for the Department of State or for the Administration, “[132]Secretary Hull to Ambassador Dodd, July 13, 1934. 862.00/3307A, MS, Department of State. but the German press was not satisfied with this explanation and numberless attacks were made upon the General and upon freedom of speech in the United States. It was pointed out that Johnson was “the head of the NIRA” and therefore an important representative of the Roosevelt administration. His remarks, therefore, had an official color that could not be changed by glib official explanation.[133]Deutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, July 15, 1934

10. The Death of President Hindenburg Is Regarded with Open Dismay Throughout America

These frequent clashes between America and Nazi Germany gave deep concern to a large group of Americans who feared that eventual conflict might be caused by these serious disagreements. Hitler was becoming increasingly unpopular in the United States, and his administration seemed a challenge to the peace of Europe. It had long been felt that President Hindenburg was an effective check upon the Fuehrer’s radical tendencies, and the news of Hindenburg’s death (August 1) had an ominous tinge.

Hitler made an effort to quiet these apprehensions by delivering two orations that were carefully phrased and discreetly toned down to such an extent that no challenge was discernible in either of them. His eyes were on the approaching Saar plebiscite. It would be expedient to conciliate public opinion in Europe and America. When the plebiscite was held on January 13, 1935, the vote was 477,1 19 in favor of union with the Reich and only 46,613 in favor of continuance of the existing regime.[134]Sarah Wambaugh, The Saar Plebiscite, with a Collection of Ojficial Documents (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1940); Documents on International Affairs, 1935, pp. 50-98. Hitler had won another victory.

11. The Anglo-french Declaration of February 3, 1935

This rapidly rising spirit of nationalism under Hitler pushed France into immediate action. In January, 1935, Laval paid a hurried visit to Rome, where he concluded with Mussolini a consultative agreement with reference to Austria. The next step in the direction of preserving the peace of Europe was the Anglo-French Declaration of February 3. This was to form the basis for a “general settlement freely negotiated among other Powers, including Germany.” The more important items would be a plan for disarmament, an Eastern pact of mutual assistance, a Central European pact for maintaining the independence of Austria, and an air convention that would provide assistance to any of the signatory Powers that suffered from unprovoked aggression.[135]Documents on International Affairs, 1935, pp. 119-27.

On February 14 Hitler gave a conciliatory answer to the British and French ambassadors in Berlin and approved in principle the terms of an air pact for the protection of the signatory Powers. But he thought that the proposed Eastern and Central European pacts should receive further discussion and elaboration. This attitude of delay was disturbing to the New York Times which plaintively remarked: “The Third Reich now looks forward to a long period of negotiation. For her every delay is a gain.”[136]February 17, 1935.

12. Fear of Hitler Pushes Europe into Another Treaty Providing for Collective Security — The Stresa Front

Hitler did not delay long in exciting the fear of Europe. On March 16 he denounced the arms provisions in the Treaty of Versailles. France had recently raised the term of service in her armies and Germany regarded the army of the Soviet Union (960,000) as excessively large. Because of this Franco-Russian threat he thought it necessary to increase German military strength to 550,000 troops.[137]Documents on International Ajf airs, 1935, pp. 141-43.

To William Allen White this action by Hitler was “another milestone on the road to ruin which Europe has been traveling for several years. In less than a year Germany will announce that she is fortifying the left bank of the Rhine. “[138]Emporia Gazette, March 21, 1935

In order to prevent such a contingency, Mussolini invited representatives of Britain and France to a conference at Stresa. After a brief period of discussion the three Powers issued, on April 14, a communique to the effect that a common front had been erected against the German movement for rearmament.[139]Documents on International Affairs, 1935, pp. 156-61. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette took this Stresa Declaration seriouslv and expressed the opinion that it represented the “best

hope of peace,”[140]April 15, 1935 but the New Orleans Times-Picayune believed that the conference had left “in the air most of the questions that were considered. “[141]April 16,1935

13. The Franco-Russian Pact of May 2, 1935 Is Balanced by the Anglo-German Naval Agreement of June 18

It was soon evident that France did not place much reliance upon the Stresa Front. On May 2, 1935, the Laval government signed an important mutual assistance pact with Soviet Russia.[142]Documents on International Affairs, 1935, pp. 116-19; Max Beloff, The Foreign Policy of Soviet Russia, 1929-1941 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1947), 1, 289 This provoked Hitler (May 21) to criticize French action as a threat to capitalism throughout Europe. Capitalism and communism had no real common ground on which their representatives could meet with safety. He then indicated his willingness to become a party to treaties aimed at localizing conflicts and isolating aggressor nations.[143]Documents on International Affairs, 1935, pp. 159-75.

This was welcome news to British statesmen who initiated negotiations that led to the Anglo-German Naval Agreement of June 18. In accordance with its terms the strength of the German fleet was fixed at 35 per cent of the total tonnage of the British Commonwealth of Nations. This pact aroused sharp resentment in France and Italy, where Britain was denounced for “conniving with the Reich” in a breach of the Treaty of Vers allies.[144]Andre Geraud (“Pertinax”), “France and the Anglo-German Naval Treaty,” Foreign Affairs, XIV (October, 1935), 51-61. In Germany the treaty was most welcome because it permitted the Reich to have a navy not only three times as large as the naval armament allowed in the peace settlement of 1919 but it also granted eventual parity with Britain in submarines.[145]Documents on International Affairs, 1935, pp. 141-52.

In the United States the New York Times chided Britain for “allowing itself to do what in another it condemns as a breach of international law,”[146]June 20, 1935 while the Chicago Daily News regarded the agreement as a great triumph of German diplomacy.[147]June 19, 1935. The Stresa Front had been broken by Britain.

14. The “Bremen” Incident Causes New Tension in German-American Relations

While British statesmen were breaking the Stresa Front, Communist agents in the United States were promoting further friction in German- American relations. On July 25, 1935, the Third Division of the Police Department of New York City received a copy of a circular issued by the Communist party which called for a “demonstration” on Pier 86 at midnight on July 26 “on the occasion of the sailing of the S.S. Bremen.” All Catholics, Jews, and anti-Fascists were urged to “flood the pier with anti-fascist workers. “[148]Department of State, Press Releases, August 3, 1935.

On the evening of July 26 some Communist agitators were able to sneak on board the Bremen and at 1 1:45 they began to assault the German sailors. When the New York police rushed to Pier 86 to stop this rioting they were attacked and firearms were freely used. During this commotion some Communists were able to reach the flagstaff of the Bremen and hurl the German Swastika pennon into the Hudson River.

In response to a German protest against the implications of this incident, the Department of State expressed regret that “the German national emblem should not have received that respect to which it is entitled. “[149]Ibid.
(Department of State, Press Releases, August 3, 1935.)
There was no assurance that Communists in New York City would not be able to repeat the insult of July 26. The Secretary of State regarded the incident as closed, but the German Foreign Office was displeased with this cool settlement of the affair and it remained an important item in unfinished business.

III. An Italian Interlude: The Italo-Ethiopian War • 4,100 Words
1. Italy Plays the Game of “Realpolitik” to Good Advantage

Italian colonial expansion in Africa began in July, 1882, when the Italian government acquired some territory on the Bay of Assab. Using this concession as a wedge for further penetration, the Italian sphere of influence grew rapidly until in May, 1889, a nominal protectorate over Abyssinia was established.[150]William L. Langer, The Diplomacy of Imperialism (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1935), I, 109, 272; Elizabeth P. McCallum, “Rivalries in Ethiopia,” World Affairs Pamphlets, No. 12 (Boston: World Peace Foundation, 1935), p. 28; Rouard de Card, L’Ethiopia an Point de Vue du Droit International (Paris: A. Redone, 1928), pp. 26ff. On March 24 and April 15, 1891, an Anglo-Italian agreement was concluded which recognized Italian control over a large portion of northeast Africa.[151]Augustus B. Wylde, Modern Abyssinia (London: Methuen and Company, 1901), Chap. IX.

This Italian expansion was not favorably regarded by France. Munitions of war were sent to Ethiopia and the Emperor Menelik was encouraged to denounce the Treaty of Ucciali with its concessions to Italy. On March 1, 1896, he decisively defeated the Italian army at Adowa and the independence of Ethiopia was formally recognized. But the fate of Ethiopia would be decided in Europe. Political necessities required that France adopt a conciliatory policy toward Italy after the turn of the twentieth century. In December, 1900, the French Foreign Office negotiated a secret accord with Italy that earmarked Tripoli as a future Italian colony.[152]A. F. Pribram, The Secret Treaties of Austria-Hungary (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1920), II, 227, 240-45 Six years later, a tripartite arrangement was concluded which expressed British and French acquiescence in eventual Italian control over Ethiopia. When Russia then agreed to the Racconigi bargain of October, 1909, the road to Tripoli was open. Emboldened by this series of diplomatic deals, Italy provoked war with Turkey in 1911 and secured the cession of Libya.[153]Maxwell H. H. Macartney and Paul Cremona, Italy’s Foreign and Colonial Policy, 1914-1937 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1938), p. 279.

By astute diplomacy Italy had been steadily increasing her colonial empire in Africa, and, when she broke away from the Triple Alliance in 1915 and entered the World War on the side of the Allies, she seemed on the road to further concessions. But her quarrel with Allied statesmen at Versailles was most injudicious, and when she temporarily left the Peace Conference a decision was made to leave her “completely out in the cold.” She later received promises of “compensations elsewhere, but they were never satisfactorily forthcoming.” The Allied failure to carry out these promises caused enduring bitterness in Italy “and led not only to the rape of Ethiopia in 1935 but to Mussolini’s ‘stab in the back’ of 1940.”[154]Bailey, op. cit., p. 266. Luigi Villari, in his Expansion of Italy (London: Faber & Faber, Ltd., 1930), p. 41, discusses the Allied division of the spoils of war and points out that Britain received some 989,000 square miles of territory; France about 253,000 square miles, while Italy was awarded a small tract of 23,737 square miles.

2. Britain Gives a Friendly Nod to Italian Aspirations in Africa

In 1975 the British government gave a belated nod to Italian aspirations in northeast Africa by exchanging some important notes with the Italian government. This new accord meant that Britain would support the construction of an Italian railway from Eritrea across Ethiopia to Somaliland and would recognize Italy’s exclusive right to exploit the resources of western Ethiopia.[155]Robert G. Woolbert, “Italv in Abvssinia,” Foreign Affairs, XIII (October, 1935) 449-508. Encouraged by this British support, Mussolini went ahead and concluded with Ethiopia a pact of friendship (August 2, 1978) and an additional convention which provided for the construction of a motor road from the port of Assab to Dessie. But the government of Ethiopia soon found excuses that prevented the execution of these agreements, and this ill-faith was “one of the strongest grievances of the Italian Government against Abyssinia.”[156]Macartney and Cremona, op. cit., pp. 294-95.

3. The Walwal Incident Points Toward Eventual War

The list of Italian grievances against Ethiopia received many additions from the lawless way wild tribesmen would ravage the frontiers of Eritrea and Somaliland. The Walwal incident resulted from one of these raids. For several years Italians had been in possession of Walwal without any protest from Ethiopia. In December, 1934, hostilities broke out at this spot between Ethiopian and Italian armed forces but actual warfare did not ensue because of the obligations assumed by Italy under the terms of the Covenant of the League of Nations and the Pact of Paris. Consideration also had to be given to the procedures outlined in the Italy-Ethiopian Arbitration Treaty of 1928.

On January 3, 1935, Ethiopia made a formal appeal to the League of Nations and invoked the application of Article XI of the Covenant.[157]According to Article XI any war or threat of war was a “matter of concern to the whole League, and the League shall take any action that may be deemed wise and effectual to safeguard the peace of nations.” When the Council of the League met, on January 11, some action would have to be taken. In order to anticipate this action, Laval paid a visit to Rome and made a treaty with Mussolini (January 7, 1935) which gave Italy a block of shares in the Jibuti railroad; a considerable strip of territory to be added to Italian Libya, and a similar strip to be joined to Eritrea. For these concessions Mussolini agreed to consult with France in the event of any threat to the status quo in Europe.

These published terms of the agreement told only half the story. There is little doubt that Laval secretly granted other concessions to Mussolini. In return for Italian cooperation in Europe, he was “willing to sacrifice anything, even the League of Nations itself, as events proved.”[158]C. Grove Haines and Ross S. Hoffman, The Origins and Background of the Second World War (New York: Oxford University Press, 1943), pp. 378-79.

With French support of Italian objectives in Ethiopia, Mussolini adopted tactics of delay which finally caused the Council of the League to adopt a resolution (May 25) requesting the Italian and Ethiopian governments to arrive at some settlement of their dispute by August 25.[159]Survey of International Affairs, 1935, pp. 143-65.

4. American Reaction to the Italo-Ethiopian Dispute

The attitude of the Department of State, at the beginning of the Italy-Ethiopian dispute, was colored by a background of friendly relations with Italy. In July, 1931, Secretary Stimson had, paid a visit to Rome where he had friendlv conversations with

Mussolini and Dino Grandi, the Italian Minister for Foreign Affairs. The Duce responded to Stimson’s pleas for disarmament by an emphatic statement that Italy stood for both “disarmament and peace. “[160]Memorandum of a conversation between Signor Benito Mussolini and Secretary Stimson, Rome, July 9, 1931. 033.1140 Stimson, Henry L./141, MS, Department of State. When Stimson left Rome he issued a press statement that stressed the “essential sympathy which exists between the people of Italy and America.”[161]John W. Garrett to the Secretary of State, Rome, July 16, 1931. 033.1140 Stimson, Henry L./137, MS, Department of State. In November, 1931, Dino Grandi made a trip to the United States to confirm these friendly relations.

But this amicable accord soon disappeared during the early years of the Roosevelt administration when Italy unveiled her desire to expand in Africa. After 1933 the Department of State began to look at Europe through English eyes, and Anthony Eden controlled most of that vision. In 1935 he had some significant conversations with Hugh Wilson, the American ambassador at Geneva. Eden constantly talked in high-level terms and stressed his attachment to lofty ideals. It was embarrassing for him to have to deal with such a “shifty soul” as Pierre Laval, who was willing to give Italy “a free hand” in Abyssinia in return for support against Germany. Wilson himself had conceived a certain esteem for Laval who was “developing into the type of Foreign Minister that Briand was.”[162]Ambassador Hugh Wilson to Secretary Hull, Geneva, May 29, 1935.[862]20/1058, MS, Department of State.

Eden had his troubles not only with Laval but also with Mussolini. The Duce’s appetite for colonial dominion was deeply disturbing to the British Foreign Secretary. He tried to curb it with a modest offer of Ethiopian territory. He thought that Haile Selassie would be willing to cede to Italy a portion of the Ogaden and would also be ready to grant certain economic concessions that might help to bolster Italy’s hard-pressed economy. But the Duce rejected these very limited proposals. He flatly stated that he wished to “control Abyssinia.”[163]Macartney and Cremona, op. cit., p. 303.

Such a frank avowal of lust for land was a shock to the sensitive ears of Eden, who began to harbor an intense dislike for the Duce. After he left Rome, Virginio Gayda remarked in the Italian press that Eden’s proposals had not satisfied “Italy’s requirements for security and economic expansion.” Chambrun, the French ambassador in Rome, was not in accord with the Eden viewpoint. He believed that some “gesture was essential to vindicate the honor and prestige of Italy. This could be effected by the cession of Adowa.”[164]Alexander Kirk to Secretary Hull, Rome, July 2, 1935. 765.84/427-29, MS, Department of State.

But Emperor Haile Selassie was not ready for concessions to Italy. It would be better to appeal to the American government to invoke the Pact of Paris as a means of checking any Italian advance into Ethiopia. Secretary Hull made a cautious reply to this appeal: he was loath to believe that Italy would resort “to other than pacific means as a method of dealing with this controversy. “[165]Secretary Hull to the American charge d’affaires at Addis Ababa, July 5, 1935.[765]84/432, MS, Department of State.

To many Americans of a one-world persuasion this reply by Secretary Hull was most disheartening. Professor Quincy Wright hurriedly informed Bull that a failure “on our part to do anything” in this crisis would be a severe “blow to the cause of peace. “[166]Quincy Wright to Secretary Hull, July 8, 1935. 765.84/469, MS, Department of State. Under the impact of this professional protest, Hull summoned the Italian ambassador to the Department of State and endeavored to impress upon him America’s “increasing concern” over the Italv-Ethiopian dispute.[167]Statement of Secretary Hull to the Italian Ambassador, July 10, 1935. 76584/479 A, MS, Department of State. On Julv 12 Hull took the further step of issuing a statement that reminded the signatories of the Pact of Paris that the provisions of that treaty were still “binding. “[168]Department of State, Press Releases, July 13, 1935, pp. 53-54.

When Secretary Hull’s elaboration of the obvious was completely understood by backward European diplomats, President Roosevelt moved into the picture on August 1 by voicing the hope that “an amicable solution” would be found for the Italy-Ethiopian dispute.[169]Ibid., August 10, 1935, p. 119.
(Department of State, Press Releases, July 13, 1935, pp. 53-54.)
Some weeks later he sent a message directly to Mussolini (August 18) in which he once more expressed the hope that the “controversy between Italy and Ethiopia will be resolved without resort to armed conflict. “[170]Secretary Hull to Alexander Kirk, August 18, 1935; Peace and War: United States Foreign Policy, I93I-1941, Department of State, Publication 1983 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1943) , p. 266. The Duce at once replied that he appreciated the “character of the message and its expression of friendliness,” but war with Ethiopia was inevitable.[171]Cordell Hull, Memoirs (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1948), I, 422. President Roosevelt was determined to have the last word on this matter of approaching conflict. On September 4 a statement was issued at the White House to the effect that “dollar diplomacy” was no “longer recognized by the American Government.”[172]New York Times, September 5,1935. Italy should pursue high ideas rather than material wealth!

5. Pierre Laval Believes That Mussolini Should Have a Chance to Save Face

Pierre Laval believed that the key to Mussolini’s co-operation with France was material wealth rather than any joint pursuit of high ideals. He thought it was essential that the Duce be permitted to gain at least one important victory in Ethiopia before pressure was exerted upon him in favor of peace. Anthony Eden was not so realistic. In Britain the peace societies, the Church, and influential members of the Labor party were calling for some effective action that would compel Italy to adopt a pacific policy. Such action might take the form of far-reaching sanctions, and these might mean war. Britain was ready to assume this risk and “do its part” if hostilities took place. There was really no need for France to ask for “specific assurances” in this regard. Britain would do her duty.[173]Theodore Marriner to Secretary Hull, Paris, September 3, 1935- 765.84/ 1013, MS, Department of State.

While Laval was pondering this indirect assurance of British support in the event of war between France and Italy, the arbitral commission that had been dealing with the Walwal incident rendered a decision that neither Ethiopia nor Italy was responsible for the brief outbreak of hostilities.[174]Pitman B. Potter, The Wal Wal Arbitration (New York: Columbia University Press, 1938). Encouraged by this dubious decision. Baron Aloisi presented to the League of Nations the case of Italy. It was a sharp indictment of the Ethiopian design for living with its dark threads of slavery and cannibalism. The League answered this indictment by appointing a committee of five to look into the ItaloEthiopian dispute with a view of suggesting a peaceful solution.[175]Breckenridge Long to Secretary Hull, Rome, September 4, 1935 765.84/1026, MS, Department of State.

While the committee was making its study of this dispute, Eden and Laval resumed their conversation as to the best policy to pursue. Eden was skeptical of the high-level talk of Ciano, who was insisting that Italy had a mission to benefit the whole world by unlocking the door to the vast resources of Ethiopia. Effective sanctions would probably make Ciano talk sense. But Laval was fearful that war would follow such action and he could see no reason why the peace of Europe should be broken because of a Quixotic desire on the part of Britain to protect backward Ethiopia from a civilizing Italian conquest.

To make matters worse, Laval soon discovered that he had on his hands not only Eden but Sir Samuel Hoare also. On September 1 1 the British Foreign Secretary addressed the Assembly of the League of Nations and made it painfully clear that Britain would support League action against aggressors with “unwavering fidelity. “[176]Address of Sir Samuel Hoare to the League of Nations Assembly, September 11, 1935; International Conciliation, November, 1935, PP509-18 These we’re bold words with frightening overtones for Laval. When he pushed Hoare for some “formal commitments in Europe” with reference to a possible outbreak of hostilities over the application of sanctions against Italy, the Foreign Secretary lapsed into vague generalities that looked like counterfeit currency in the exacting market of world politics.[177]Prentiss Gilbert to Secretary Hull, Geneva, September 12, 1935. 765.84/1133, MS, Department of State.

While Laval was pursuing the elusive Samuel Hoare, the Emperor Haile Selassie asked the American minister at Addis Ababa if the American government would serve as a mediator in the Italo-Ethiopian dispute.[178]Cornelius Engert to Secretary Hull, Addis Ababa, September 10, 1935. 765.84/1094, MS, Department of State. Hull immediately rejected this appeal because mediation was “not practicable” during a period when the League of Nations was handling this matter.[179]Secretary Hull to Engert, September 12, 1935. 765.84/1094, MS, Department of State. Laval and Eden would have to continue their battle of wits.

6. France Finds it Difficult to Balance Britain Against Italy

Laval finally thought he might catch the wary Britons with the bait of acquiescence in their apparent desire for sanctions. On September 13, with his tongue pressed hard against his cheek, he informed the Assembly of the League that France would be “faithful to the League Covenant:’ She would not “fail in her obligations. “[180]Premier Laval’s address before the Assembly of the League of Nations, September 13, 1935; International Conciliation, November, 1935, pp. 521-23.

Anthony Eden was delighted with these pledges from Laval, and in France the press expressed the view that he had “turned a difficult corner, advanced the cause of peace and increased France’s prestige.”[181]Marriner to Secretary Hull, Paris, September 14, 1935- 765.84/1153, MS, Department of State. At Geneva, however, there was increasing apprehension over the possibility of war. Massigli, the French representative at Geneva, expressed to Hugh Wilson the fear that Mussolini was a “mad man”: no argument and no threat had any effect upon him.[182]Memorandum of conversations between Hugh Wilson and M. Massigli, September 12, and Anthony Eden, September 13, 1935, Geneva, 765.84/1429. Strictly Confidential, MS, Department of State. Eden himself suddenly began to fear that it was “too late to stop hostilities.” Where they would lead no one could tell.

7. Italy Rejects the Suggestion of the Committee of Five

In order to prevent the outbreak of these long-feared hostilities the League Committee of Five suggested the establishment of a League protectorate over Ethiopia. There would, of course, be some recognition of Italy’s special interest in the economic development of Ethiopia.[183]Memorandum of a conversation between Mr. Phillips and Signor Rosso, the Italian ambassador, September 20, 1935. 765.84/1410, MS, Department of State. Mussolini promptly rejected this suggestion of the Committee of Five in a note which British representatives at Geneva termed “extremely brusque.”[184]Prentiss Gilbert to Secretary Hull, Geneva, September 23, 1935. 765.84/1335, MS, Department of State. The Duce then submitted a proposal for the settlement of the Italy-Ethiopian dispute. It would undoubtedly be effective because it contemplated Italian acquisition of a large part of the Emperor Haile Selassie’s dominion.[185]Ambassador Wilson to Secretary Hull, Geneva, September 25, 1935. 765.84/1380, MS, Department of State.

Sir Samuel Hoare felt a little outraged at this unabashed Italian bid for a large slice of Ethiopia. It was clearly necessary for the United States to assist in a concerted effort to stop Mussolini. Ambassador Bingham referred this matter to Secretary, Hull, who assured Hoare that the American government would “not decline an invitation to consult through diplomatic channels with a view to the invocation of the Pact of Paris.” But he thought that such consultation might appear to “encroach upon the explicit functions of the Covenant of the League” and therefore would be undesirable. In the event of hostilities between Italy and Ethiopia, Britain could count upon an embargo upon arms, munitions, and implements of war from the United States to the belligerents.[186]Secretary Hull to Ambassador Bingham, September 27, 1935. 765.84/1381, MS, Department of State.

To the Emperor Haile Selassie the Department of State made a promise of “moral support. “[187]Secretary Hull to Cornelius Engert, October 1, 1935. 765.84/1460, MS, Department of State. This high-sounding verbiage awakened an echo in London. In response to a French inquiry as to what Britain would do in the event of a “violation of the Covenant of the League of Nations and a resort to force by some European State,” Hoare replied in double talk that was far from reassuring to France.[188]London Times, September 3o, 1935 It was apparent that there would be no real concert of Powers to resist any Italian advance into Ethiopia. When this fact was clear to Mussolini on October 2, he issued orders for his legions to cross the frontiers of the weakly defended empire of Haile Selassie. On the following day, Italian troops began a long march which many British newspapers prophesied would end in disaster. The disaster was reserved for Haile Selassie and not for Mussolini.

8. American Reaction to the Italo-Ethiopian War

Although Mussolini did not issue a declaration of war when his troops marched into Ethiopia, President Roosevelt thought that the American government should immediately recognize that an actual state of war existed. On October 5, a proclamation was issued which placed an embargo upon the shipment of arms and munitions of war to belligerent nations.[189]Department of State, Press Releases, Octobers, 1935, pp. 251-55.

After carrying out the terms of the Neutrality Act by this embargo. Secretary Hull then inquired about the course the British government might take in this emergency. He learned that the Foreign Office was of the opinion that eventually “there would be sanctions” invoked against Italy.[190]Memorandum by James C. Dunn, October 5, 1935- 765.84/15831/2, MS, Department of State.

While the Department of State was considering the situation arising out of the ItalyEthiopian conflict, the Council of the League of Nations appointed a Committee of Six to report upon the course the League should pursue. On October 7 this Committee named Italy as an “aggressor,” and the Council confirmed this decision.[191]League of Nations, Official Journal, November, 1935, p. 1223 On October 11 the Assembly of the League took similar action and appointed a Co-ordination Committee to consider the matter of sanctions against Italy.

At this point Secretary Hull assured the League that the Department of State was deeply interested in the steps that had been taken by League authorities and would not “overlook any measures that we may be able to take consistent with our policy.” It should be clearly understood, however, that the United States would act “independently in the light of circumstances as they develop. “[192]Secretary Hull to Ambassador Wilson, October 9, 1935. 76584/1686, MS, Department of State. Anthony Eden was deeply disappointed in the attitude assumed by Secretary Hull, and he strongly urged that France and the United States take the initiative in invoking the Kellogg-Briand Peace Pact.[193]Ambassador Wilson to Secretary Hull, Geneva, October 17, 1935. 765.84/1916, MS, Department of State. But Secretary Hull adhered to his position and once more emphaticallv stated that the American government would continue to act upon its own initiative and would proceed “separately and independently of all other Governments.”[194]Secretary Hull to Prentiss Gilbert, October 17, 1935- 765.84/1847, MS, Department of State. But in order to show his good will toward the League Hull issued, on November 15, a statement that was really a declaration of economic warfare against Italy:

“The American people are entitled to know that there are certain commodities such as oil, copper, trucks, tractors, scrap iron and scrap steel which are essential war materials. . . . According to recent Government trade reports a considerably increased amount of these is being exported for war purposes. This class of trade is directly contrary to the policy of this Government…. “[195]Department of State, Press Releases, November 16, 1935, p. 382.

This statement was made public just three days before the League sanctions against Italy went into effect (November 18). The list of commodities referred to by Secretary Hull as “essential war materials” was more extensive than the one issued by the League and it contained the important item of petroleum. Indirectly, the Department of State was endeavoring to restrict American exports to Italy of materials that could be used for warlike purposes. It was an independent policy but its main objective was to support the League in its attempt to prevent aggression. It was also an indirect step down the road to war.

9. The Hoare-Laval Agreement, December 8, 1935

Sanctions against Italy took the form of an embargo upon munitions and implements of war, another embargo against Italian exports, a ban upon exports to Italy, and a financial boycott. It was significant that coal, oil, and copper were not included in the list of exports that were forbidden shipment to Italy. There was a lot of loose talk about stopping all shipments of oil to the land of the Duce but nothing effective was accomplished. It was soon evident that sanctions would not be successful.

Despite this ineffective functioning of sanctions against Italy, the Duce felt a rapidly increasing hostility toward both Britain and France, and Premier Laval renewed his old objections to this dubious experiment. Sir Samuel Hoare believed there was a substantial basis for this Laval viewpoint so he paid an important visit to Paris and soon gave his blessing to an arrangement known as the Hoare-Laval Agreement (December 8, 1935) . In accordance with its terms, Italy would be placed in a dominant position in Ethiopia.[196]The Manchester Guardian, December 12, 1935, in its editorial entitled “The Peace Proposals,” showed that under the terms of the Hoare-Laval Agreement Italy would receive 150,000 out of Ethiopia’s total of 350,000 square miles.

In Britain the news of the Hoare-Laval Agreement aroused widespread criticism. The London Star called the agreement a travesty which was .”horrifying men with a sense of justice,”[197]Quoted in the London Times, December 12, 1935 and multitudes of shocked Britons were of the same opinion. Prime Minister Baldwin thought it was expedient for Hoare to leave the cabinet at once, and Anthony Eden was pushed into his place. Sartor Resartus was no longer read in England and few seemed to suspect that a mere tailor’s model had moved into the Foreign Office.

Eden had no realization of the fact that the Hoare-Laval Agreement might save the Stresa Front and thus keep intact the bulwark against German aggression. He was insistent that no major concessions be granted to the Duce and thus he helped to speed the establishment of the Rome-Berlin Axis. By acting as a champion for Haile Selassie he really bore a spear for Adolf Hitler.

10. Adolf Hitler Celebrates the Collapse of the Stresa Front by Moving into the Rhineland

The Stresa Front did not crumble at once after the League began its application of sanctions against Italy. It was a gradual disintegration and the old structure could have been saved by the cement of concessions to Italy. On March 7 Hitler announced to the world that he had liquidated the Locarno Pact and was about to occupy the Rhineland. On the day following this momentous announcement, Mussolini informed the Committee of Thirteen (of the League) that he accepted in principle their plea for a restoration of peace. It should be clear, however, that the “military situation” must be the basis for negotiations.[198]Secretary Hull to Engert, March 9, 1936. 765.84/3889, MS, Department of State.

The American minister in Addis Ababa ridiculed these terms and strongly denied that Italy had won decisive military successes. Ethiopia was still determined to “eject the invader from her territory. “[199]Engert to Secretary Hull, Addis Ababa, March 17, 1936. 765.84/3935, MS, Department of State. Zoo. This determination existed only in the mind of the American minister. Italian armies were rapidly closing in upon Addis Ababa, and on May z the Emperor and family hurriedly fled from their endangered capital. Three days later, Italian troops entered the city and Mussolini issued a proclamation that the war was over.[200]New York Times, May 6, 1936. The Duce had conquered Ethiopia despite the sanctions of the League of Nations and he was now ready to cast a friendly eye in the direction of another dictator who had successfully defied the League. Anthony Eden and Franklin D. Roosevelt had accomplished wonders in breaking down the barriers that had separated Mussolini and Hitler. Roosevelt and Secretary Hull would continue their labors as saboteurs of any diplomatic fences that might keep Mussolini in the safe camp of the Democracies, and their theme song as they blew off self-esteem was a variation of the non-recognition melody introduced in 1931 by Secretary Stimson in his hymn of hate against the Japanese.

11. Prime Minister Chamberlain Tries in Vain to Catch Some Big Italian FUes with the Honey of Diplomacy

After the Italian conquest of Ethiopia in May, 1936, Chamberlain clearly realized that British opposition to the Duce’s plans for expansion in Africa had helped to accelerate a rapprochement between Italy and Germany. In order to halt this trend, the British government adopted a new policy of conciliation. In response to increasing pressure, the League Assembly (July 4) voted to end sanctions against Italy. After this action many members of the League forgot their former opposition to de jure recognition of the Italian empire in Africa and issued letters of credence accrediting their envoys to “His Majesty the King of Italy, Emperor of Ethiopia.” On January 5, 1938, the Italian government published a statement which indicated that seventeen States, most of them members of the League, had granted de jure recognition, and eleven States, including Britain and France, had extended de facto recognition to the Italian absorption of Ethiopia.

On January 14, 1938, Lord Halifax frankly disclosed to President Roosevelt the intention of the British government to abandon the non-recognition policy so dear to the heart of Secretary Hull. Three days later (January 17), the President sent a personal letter to Prime Minister Chamberlain protesting against this proposed British action. Chamberlain, believing that a policy of appeasement was vitally necessary as far as Italy was concerned, gave little heed to the President’s plea and, on April 16, 1938, concluded an Anglo-Italian Agreement which completely recognized Italian sovereignty over Ethiopia .[201]Documents on International Affairs, 1938, 1, 141. Britain could no longer afford the luxury of a parallel policy with the United States.

President Roosevelt was not favorably impressed with Chamberlain’s realistic policy and he refused to follow his example with reference to any recognition of the Italian conquest of Ethiopia. When Mussolini sent Signor Fulvio Suvich as the new ambassador to the United States (October, 1936), the President was careful to receive him only as the envoy from the “King of Italy. “[202]Hull, o/j.d?.,L 470-71. Two years later (November 11, 1938), when a birthday telegram of congratulation was sent to Victor Emmanuel HI, it was addressed merely to the “King of Italy.”[203]Department of State, Press Releases, November 11, 1938.

The Roosevelt administration clung tenaciously to a formula of non-recognition that could serve no useful purpose. As a distinguished authority in the field of international law cogently remarked: “Conceived of as a solution of the centuries-old problem of the cause and cure of war, it appears somewhat fatuous.”[204]Herbert Briggs, “Non-Recognition of Title by Conquest,” Proceedings of the American Society of International Law, May 13-15, 1940, P81. Fatuity in the conduct of American foreign relations made millions of Americans later on pay a staggering price in blood, sweat, and tears.

IV. The Eve of Conflict • 13,000 Words
1. The Aftermath of Locarno

The Italian conquest of Ethiopia and Hitler’s liquidation of the Locarno Treaty gave Europe a bad case of the jitters. On February 12, 1936, Anthony Eden had informed the House of Commons that the British government would “faithfully fulfill” all the obligations of Locarno.[205]Survey of International Affairs, 1936, p. 255 When Hitler boldly sent his troops into the Rhineland on March 7, many statesmen wondered what steps Britain would take to implement Eden’s recent declaration. Eden himself-advised against any “hasty action,” and the British press supported this viewpoint. The Observer counseled the British public to keep “cool heads and just hearts,” while the Sunday Dispatch remarked that the Locarno Treaty was a commitment to which the people of Britain had never given “their sanction.”[206]Charge Atherton to Secretary Hull, London, March 8, 1936. 740.0011, Locarno Mutual Guarantee/370, MS, Department of State.

The French press was bitter over the British disinclination to take the German occupation of the Rhineland seriously. Tabouis, in L’CEuvre, claimed that a “strict liaison had been established between London and Berlin” and baldly stated that, during Lord Londonderry’s visit to Berlin, after King George’s funeral. Hitler “made known to him that the military occupation of the demilitarized zone would be accomplished early in March.” Ambassador Straus then added this item to his dispatch to Secretary Hull: “The Embassy has reason to believe that Madame Tabouis’ information is in the main correct. “[207]Ambassador Straus to Secretary Hull, Paris, March 11, 1936. 740.0011, Locarno Mutual Guarantee/4 12, MS, Department of State. 208.

When the Rhineland matter was transferred to the League of Nations the Council adopted a resolution declaring Germany guilty of a violation of both the Versailles and Locarno treaties and the British representative voted in favor of this resolution. But French public opinion regarded the “tentative London accords” as quite “fragile,”[208]Ambassador Straus to Secretary Hull, Paris, March 20, 1936. 740.0011, Locarno Mutual Guarantee/489, MS, Department of State. and Eden’s assurances, in his speech of March 26, did not dissipate their fears of a British sellout to Germany.

Hitler’s far-reaching peace plan of March 31 was also looked upon by France with deep suspicion.[209]In his proposed peace plan Hitler had advocated 1. a four-month standstill period during which Belgium, France, and Germany would not augment their armed forces in the Rhineland; 2. a twenty-five year nonaggression pact between these same powers; 3. bilateral nonaggression pacts between Germany and her neighbors on the east. At Geneva, the French representative expressed the opinion that all efforts to conciliate Germany should cease, but Eden insisted that the British government should take time to explore the possibilities suggested by the recent Hitler peace proposals.[210]Survey of International Affairs, 1936, p. 334 This exploration soon proved futile. Germany would not agree to suggestions that she consent to a nonaggression pact with Soviet Russia and she would not give a pledge to respect the remaining operative clauses of the Treaty of Versailles. This non-co-operative attitude on the part of the Nazi government made Europe fear that a second World War would not be long delayed, and Prime Minister Van Zeeland, of Belgium, confided to Ambassador Bullitt that he regarded the future “most pessimistically. “[211]Ambassador Bullitt to Secretary Hull, Brussels, May 20, 1936. 740.00/47, Confidential file, MS, Department of State.

Worst of all, the shadow of bolshevism now began to creep slowly over Europe. To Ambassador Dodd, in Berlin, French lack ,of farsighted leadership had largely been responsible for this dangerous situation:

“Under French leadership the League itself became partisan and only emphasized the duration of the dictated peace of Versailles and divided Europe into opposed camps. Germany’s refusal in March, 1935, longer to endure this situation shattered the delicately poised artificiality and. ..all of Europe was thrown into a ferment and a scramble for adjustment.

“Heretofore the Bolshevik menace in Europe has been typified by the subterranean activities of the Third International. . . . Latterly, however, . . . there seems to have been a significant and aggressive change in Russian sponsorship of World Revolution…. Through the Franco-Soviet alliance, through the apprehensions felt in many quarters in Europe over Germany’s renaissance, and through Russia’s adroit diplomatic maneuvers, the Soviets have been able to pose as the saviour to those States in Europe most fearful of the rebirth of a powerful Germany.”[212]Ambassador Dodd to Secretary Hull, Berlin, September 3, 1936. 740.00/59, Confidential file, MS, Department of State.

2. Hitler and Mussolini Reach an Important Accord October 25, 1936

In the face of the growing Communist menace and because Franco-British pressure upon Mussolini had shattered the Stresa Front, it was inevitable that the Fuehrer and the Duce should reach some political accord. The visit of Lloyd George to Berchtesgaden in the summer of 1936 delayed for a short time the German drift toward Italy,[213]De Witt C. Poole, “Light on Nazi Foreign Policy,” Foreign Affairs, XXV (October, 1946), 146. but Eden never seemed to be sure of his political inclinations and could not be counted upon as a constant factor in the equation of European politics. While Eden was hesitant about making advances toward Germany, Ciano hurried to Berlin and showed Hitler a telegram from Sir Eric Phipps to the British Foreign Office in which the German government was stigmatized as a group of “dangerous adventurers.” Hitler flew into the expected rage and the agreement of October 25, 1936, was the result of this stratagem. (2 14)

When this was followed by the German-Japanese Anti-Comintern Pact of November 26, European diplomats began to fear the establishment of a strong Rome-Berlin-Tokyo Axis. In the United States the Baltimore Sun expressed the fear that “most of the world Powers are rushing pell-mell towards war,”[215]November 19, 1936. while the Cleveland Plain Dealer was apprehensive that the pact might become “the opening wedge of the next war.”[216]November z3, 1936. . To the Des Moines Register it seemed evident that the United States might have to abandon its historic policy in the Far East or become involved in war.[217]November z7, 1936.

3. European Statesmen Grope Aimlessly in the Direction of a New Locarno

There was a possibility that this drift toward war might be checked by a comprehensive rapprochement between France and Germany. Dr. Schacht, in Berlin, began to work feverishly in favor of some arrangement with France, and the German Foreign Minister had some “amicable conversations” with the French ambassador. When Premier Blum seemed inclined to take these peace feelers seriously, Anthony Eden paid a hurried visit to Paris and abruptly stopped this budding peace movement.[218]Ambassador Wilson to Secretary Hull, Geneva, January 25, 1937. 740-00/104, Confidential file, MS, Department of State. On January 19 Eden made a speech in the House of Commons in which he developed the thesis that peace in Europe was indivisible. It could not be preserved by a series of bilateral agreements. He referred to Germany as a nation that had “exalted race and nationalism into a creed which is practiced with the same fervour as it is preached. “(2 19) On January 24 Premier Blum, in a speech at Lyon, repeated many of the arguments used by Eden. He was certain that “no engagements limited to France would guarantee the security of France. “[220]Ibid., p. 31
(Survey of International Ajf airs, 1937, p. 307.)

But, despite this speech of Blum, the French Foreign Office did not put a great deal of trust in the British government. Delbos, the Foreign Minister, was leaning toward a closer accord between France and Germany and he did not like the way Britain always checked such rapprochement. He expressed to Bullitt his dislike of British policy which aimed at “keeping France and Germany hostile to each other though not at war. “[221]Ambassador Bullitt to Secretary Hull, Paris, February 20, 1937. 740.00/1 17, Confidential file, MS, Department of State.

This French suspicion of British policy made it easier for Hitler to take a more commanding tone in his relations with European Powers, and this fact made Belgium place a low estimate upon the military potential of Britain and France. In April, 1937, the Belgian ambassadors in London and Paris made it very clear that their government would not permit “the foot of a German, British or French soldier to be placed on her soil.”

Belgium was strongly opposed to any British or French plans that would make her soil “the battleground of the next war.”[222]Ambassador Bullitt to Secretarv Hull, Paris, April 22, 1937. 740.00/149, Confidential file, MS, Department of State.

The announcement of the Belgian government that it would follow a policy of neutrality in the event of a new European war was a shock to many European Foreign Offices. Czechoslovakia, France, and Poland immediately began to resurvey the situation. But they soon discovered they could elicit from Britain no definite promises of support in the event of an outbreak of a war in Europe caused by German aggression. The search for a new Locarno had proved fruitless.

4. Mayor LaGuardia Does His Best to Embitter German- American Relations

While European statesmen were fumbling for some formula that would guarantee the peace of Europe, Mayor LaGuardia was doing his best to embitter German American relations. On March 3, 1937, in an address before the women’s division of the American Jewish Congress, he proposed that the 1939 World’s Fair in New York City should have a temple dedicated to religious freedom: “Within that temple I’d have a Chamber of Horrors and as a climax I’d have a figure in it of that brown-shirted fanatic who is now menacing the peace of the world.”[223]New York Times, March 4, 1937.

When the counselor of the German Embassy presented to the Department of State a protest against this verbal assault of Mayor LaGuardia upon Hitler, he was assured by Mr. Dunn, chief of the Division of Western European Affairs, that Secretary Hull “considered it most unfortunate that a city official should express himself in terms which might cause offence to a foreign government. “[224]Memorandum of a conversation between Mr. James C. Dunn, chief of the Division of Western European Affairs, and Mr. Thomsen, counselor of the German Embassy, March 4, 1937. 862.002 Hitler/107, MS, Department of State. On March 5, Secretary Hull himself issued a statement to the effect that he very earnestly deprecated the utterances which had “given offence to the German Government.”[225]Statement of Secretary Hull, March 5, 1937. 862.002 Hitler/101, MS, Department of State.

When the ebullient mayor repeated his critical remarks of Hitler, the German press responded with such scurrility that Secretary Hull instructed Ambassador Dodd to make a formal protest against the “coarse and wholly indecent character” of these press attacks.[226]Secretary Hull to Ambassador Dodd, March 10, 1937. 862.002 Hitler/102, MS, Department of State. American relations with Germany developed a new tension.

5. President Roosevelt Proposes an International Quarantine Against Aggressor Nations

This tension between Germany and the United States was increased when the President decided to denounce aggressor nations. In July, 1937, war broke out in the Far East after a clash between Chinese and Japanese troops. This conflict was really precipitated by Chinese Nationalist forces after they had come to an understanding with Russia. Stalin was delighted that the troops of Chiang Kai-shek and the Chinese Communists could launch a common offensive against the Japanese who were trying to establish defensive positions that would hold back the Red tide.

Although Ambassador Grew in Tokvo urgently requested the President to take a neutral stand in the undeclared war in the Far East, there were certain economic and political factors that propelled Mr. Roosevelt into action. The appointment of Hugo Black to the Supreme Court took on dangerous political overtones when it was learned that at one time he had worn the robes of a Klansman. Public attention must be diverted from this dangerous fact and from any real understanding of the economic crisis that was shaking the whole New Deal structure. The American gaze should be shifted from unsavory domestic scenes to distant lands where .wicked dictators were threatening the foundations of the social order.

Although a considerable portion of the American press supported a Presidential proposal to quarantine aggressor nations,[227]New York Times, October 6, 1937. In this quarantine speech of October 5, 1937, the President had directed the major part of his broadside against Japan but many shots were also fired in the direction of the Third Reich. an even larger portion voiced a protest against such action because of the evident danger of American involvement in a second World War. The New York Herald Tribune feared that the President’s “restless and adventurous nature” might be leading the United States into a very difficult situation.[228]October 8, 1937. The New York Sun criticized the “hectoring and supercilious” tone of the President’s address;[229]October 6, 1937 the Boston Herald insisted that America should not “embark on another costly attempt to reform the world”;[230]October 8, 1937 the Detroit Free Press was certain that the President’s word would “accomplish nothing good”;[231]October 7, 1937. while America, the leading Catholic periodical, expressed the opinion that “the people of the United States positively are opposed to foreign imbroglios. “[232]October 16, 1937

6. Hitler Makes a Friendly Gesture Toward The United States

After the German ambassador in Washington assured his Foreign Office the President’s address was “mainly, if not exclusively, directed against Japan, “[233]Ambassador Dieckhoff to the German Foreign Ministry, Washington, October 9, 1937, Documents on German Foreign Policy, 1918-1945, Series D (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1949), I, 634 Hitler decided to make a friendly gesture toward the United States. He had been considering for some time whether the activities of the German-American Bund in the United States were a help or a hindrance to his policies. Finally, he decided to withdraw all official recognition from the Bund. On February lo, 1938, the Foreign Office instructed Ambassador Dieckhoff to inform Reich-Germans that they could no longer be members of the German-American Bund or of any substitute organizations.[234]German Foreign Ministry to Ambassador Dieckhoff, Berlin, February 10, 1938, ibid., p. 691.
(Ambassador Dieckhoff to the German Foreign Ministry, Washington, October 9, 1937, Documents on German Foreign Policy, 1918-1945, Series D (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1949), I, 634)

Some weeks after Germany had made this friendly gesture. Foreign Minister Ribbentrop had a conversation with Ambassador Wilson. When Ribbentrop complained of the continued hostility of the American press, Wilson assured him that this animosity was largely confined to the press on “the East coast which was dependent on banks and trusts.” In the hearts of the American people as a whole there was still “much sympathy forGermany.”[235]Memorandum by Foreign Minister Ribbentrop, April 29, 1938, ibid., pp. 704-5.
(Ambassador Dieckhoff to the German Foreign Ministry, Washington, October 9, 1937, Documents on German Foreign Policy, 1918-1945, Series D (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1949), I, 634)

7. Hitler Plays Host to Lord Halifax at Berchtesgaden

While Hitler was making friendly gestures toward the United States he was planning a very different policy toward Austria. On November 5, 1937, he had an important conference with a group of trusted counselors in the Reich Chancellerv — Field Marshal von Blomberg, Colonel General Baron von Fritsch, Admiral Raeder, Colonel General Goering, Baron von Neurath, and Colonel Hossbach. During the discussion at this conference Hitler insisted that the prime need for Germany was Lebensraum. This could be solved “only by way of force.” Germany’s first aim should be to “conquer Czechoslovakia and Austria simultaneously.” The date which appeared to him “as a possibility was the summer of 1938.”[236]Minutes of the conference in the Reich Chancellery, Berlin, November 5,193, ibid., pp. 29-39
(Ambassador Dieckhoff to the German Foreign Ministry, Washington, October 9, 1937, Documents on German Foreign Policy, 1918-1945, Series D (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1949), I, 634)

In order to carry out these campaigns successfully it was advisable to keep on friendly relations with Great Britain. In the autumn of 1937 General Goering, as game warden of the Reich, extended a cordial invitation to Lord Halifax to visit Berlin in order to attend the International Exhibition of Hunting: As a well-known master of foxhounds, Halifax should greatly enjoy this exhibition.

Before leaving for Berlin, Halifax had a long talk with Ambassador Ribbentrop. It was obvious that this visit to Germany would not be confined to hunting exhibitions. He was scheduled to have some important conversations with Hitler at Berchtesgaden, and they would deal mainly with the “Austrian and Czech questions. “[237]Ambassador Ribbentrop to the German Foreign Ministry, London, November 15, 1937, ibid., pp. 46-47.
(Ambassador Dieckhoff to the German Foreign Ministry, Washington, October 9, 1937, Documents on German Foreign Policy, 1918-1945, Series D (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1949), I, 634)

Halifax arrived in Berlin on November lo and soon had a talk with General Goering, who frankly confided to him that Germany’s immediate objective was the incorporation of Austria and the Sudetenland into the Reich. After being briefed by Goering with reference to the probable contents of his approaching conversations with Hitler, Halifax left for Berchtesgaden. On November 19, he had his momentous meeting with the Fuehrer.

Hitler prefaced his remarks to Halifax with an attack upon the “French democracy” which was very difficult to deal with in a satisfactory manner. He was of the opinion, however, that it would be possible to make some arrangement between Britain, France, Germany, and Italy that might preserve the peace of Europe. But, first of all, Germany should be treated as a nation that “no longer bore the moral or material stigma of the Treaty of Versailles.” He then adverted to the question of the return of German colonies and remarked that it would be difficult to arrive at a just solution of this problem because the British Conservatives would oppose important concessions. Lord Halifax at once challenged this assertion and stoutly maintained that in Britain the government was not the “slave” of politicians with demagogic views.

In answer to a question from Lord Halifax, Hitler stated that he did not know if Germany would ever be interested in a re-entry into the League of Nations. As far as Austria was concerned, he professed to believe that the Austro-German Agreement of July 11, 1936, might “lead to the removal of all difficulties.” With reference to Czechoslovakia, the Czechs themselves were in a position “to clear away existing difficulties. “[238]Conversation between Lord Halifax and Chancellor Hitler, November 19, 1937,,, ibid., pp. 55-56.
(Ambassador Dieckhoff to the German Foreign Ministry, Washington, October 9, 1937, Documents on German Foreign Policy, 1918-1945, Series D (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1949), I, 634)
It is apparent that Hitler, after carefully planning the absorption of Austria and Czechoslovakia, was endeavoring to lull any suspicions that might arise in the mind of Halifax. In this he was highly successful because Halifax assured Prime Minister Chamberlain that Hitler was anxious to achieve his aims in an orderly fashion.

8. Chancellor Schuschnigg Gets a Taste of Berchtesgaden Hospitality

After having given assurances to Lord Halifax with reference to the objectives of German policy, Hitler next sent an invitation to Chancellor Schuschnigg, of Austria, to visit Berchtesgaden. From the moment of his arrival, on November 17, he was subjected to a long list of indignities. After eleven hours of unceasing pressure he finally broke down and signed an agreement that marked the beginning of the end of Austrian independence.[239]Protocols of the conference of February 12, 1938, at Berchtesgaden between Chancellor Hitler and Federal Chancellor Kurt von Schuschnigg, ibid., pp. 513-17. See also Kurt von Schuschnigg, Requiem in Rot-Weiss-Rot (Zurich: Amstutz, Herdeg & Company, 1946); Guido Zernatto, Die Wahrheit ueber Oesterreich (London, 1938).
(Ambassador Dieckhoff to the German Foreign Ministry, Washington, October 9, 1937, Documents on German Foreign Policy, 1918-1945, Series D (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1949), I, 634)
Dr. Artur Seyss-Inquart was taken into the Austrian cabinet as Minister of the Interior and Public Security. With such an indefatigable Nazi in an important position it would not be long before Austria would be ready for German absorption.[240]M. W. Fodor, “Finis Austriae,” Foreign Affairs, XVI (July, 1938), 587-600.

Schuschnigg himself accelerated this Nazi objective by suddenly announcing, on March 9, that he would soon (March 13) hold a plebiscite on the question of Austrian independence. Lord Halifax defended this announcement in a spirited conversation with Ribbentrop. When the German Foreign Minister attacked this action of Schuschnigg, Halifax remarked that it seemed astonishing to him “to assert that the head of a State should not have a plebiscite if he wanted one.” Henderson, in Berlin, agreed with Halifax that German methods were “indefensible,” but he thought that Schuschnigg’s sudden determination to call for a plebiscite was “precipitous and unwise.”[241]Sir Nevile Henderson to Viscount Halifax, March 11, 1938, Documents on British Foreign Policy, 1919-1939, Third Series, I (London: British Foreign Office, 1949), 4-6.

Chamberlain agreed with this Henderson judgment and stressed more than ever the importance of a policy of appeasement. During a luncheon with Ribbentrop he assured the German Foreign Minister that he desired Hitler to know of Britain’s “most sincere desire for an understanding with Germany. Halifax interjected himself into this luncheon and excitedly remarked that Nazi threats of force in Austria constituted an “intolerable method” of exerting pressure upon Schuschnigg. He then inquired whether a plebiscite on the “pattern of the Saar” vote could be held on a later date. Chamberlain at once cut him off with the remark that this procedure did not “seem required by the situation.” This rebuff sobered Halifax, who mildly declared that he would not insist upon the matter of a plebiscite.[242]Memorandum by the German Foreign Minister, London, March 11, 1938, Documents on German Foreign Policy, 1918-1945, Series D, I, 273-75. He had recently assumed the duties of Foreign Secretary after Eden’s resignation (February 20), and he was not in any position to hold out against the Prime Minister.

9. The Nazi Legions March into Vienna Without Meeting the Opposing Forces of a Single European State

This anger on the part of Lord Halifax concerning Hitler’s pressure upon Austria was apparently short-lived. In the spring of 1938 Chamberlain was ardently pursuing a policy of appeasement and Halifax knew this fact before he entered the cabinet. In a note to Dino Grandi, the Italian ambassador in London, Chamberlain emphasized his desire to work along with the Rome-Berlin Axis which he considered a “most valuable pillar of European peace.” This conviction, he was “happv to confirm,” was shared by his friend “Lord Halifax.” He wished the Duce to know that he wished not only to conclude a “strong and permanent treaty” with “Fascist Italy” but also with “National Socialist Germany. “[243]Prime Minister Chamberlain to Ambassador Dino Grandi, undated, ibid., p. 238.
(Memorandum by the German Foreign Minister, London, March 11, 1938, Documents on German Foreign Policy, 1918-1945, Series D, I, 273-75.)

Hitler, however, had no time to negotiate this “strong and permanent treaty” with Britain. He had his eyes upon Austria and had to make an immediate deal with Mussolini. On March 1 1 he sent Prince Philip of Hesse to Rome with a letter to the Duce alleging that Austria was rapidly cementing close ties with Czechoslovakia and that the resulting menace to German security made Austrian absorption necessary.[244]The Fuehrer and Chancellor to Benito Mussolini, March 11, 1938, ibid., pp. 573-76.
(Memorandum by the German Foreign Minister, London, March 11, 1938, Documents on German Foreign Policy, 1918-1945, Series D, I, 273-75.)

This specious letter was accepted by Mussolini at face value and Hesse telephoned to the Fuehrer that the Duce had remarked that the fate of Austria was “immaterial to him.” The impact of these reassuring words upon Hitler was so great that he became hysterical with gratitude. He requested Hesse to inform Mussolini that he would never forget this acquiescence in Nazi plans: “If he should ever need help or be in any danger, … I shall stick to him . . . even if the whole world were against him. “[245]Telephone conversation between Chancellor Hitler and Prince Philip of Hesse, March 11, 1938, Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1946), V, 641-42.

The final step was to insist that President Miklas appoint Seyss-Inquart as Chancellor. When this was done, German troops crossed the Austrian frontier (March 12), and on March 14 Hitler entered Vienna in triumph. The Nazi program was being carried out, item by item.

10. American Reaction to the Nazi Absorption of Austria

According to the dispatches of Ambassador Dieckhoff, Secretary Hull, on March 12, did not seem to be unduly disturbed by the news from Vienna and did not utter a single word of disapproval during a conversation with the German ambassador. Two days later Secretary Hull was still courteous, but Sumner Welles gave “expression to a sort of malevolent bitterness. “[246]Ambassador Dieckhoff to the German Foreign Ministry, Washington, March 15, 1938, Documents on German Foreign Policy, 1918-1945, Series D, 1, 604-5

In Berlin Dr. Goebbels, during a conversation with Ambassador Wilson, deprecated the hostile tone of the American press but thought that German- American relations could be definitely improved. Wilson then remarked that in former years American affection for Germany had been unusually strong. This affection had been seriously weakened by recent friction with the Reich: “The bonds between the two lands went so deep that we could not regard what happened in Germany with indifference.” The situation resolved itself into an ambivalent love-hate complex. Goebbels was impressed with this “new and interesting point of view” presented by the American ambassador and asked him to make frequent visits so they could discuss matters of common interest.[247]Memorandum of a conversation between Ambassador Wilson and Dr. Goebbels, March 22, 1938 711.62/145, MS, Department of State.

It was evident to Ambassador Wilson that the German government was anxious to remain on friendly terms with, the Department of State. He was entirely willing to return some of the friendly gestures that were being made in his direction, so he decided to accept the invitation that had been extended to him to attend the Nazi party celebration in September at Nuremberg. As soon as the B’nai Israel Centre of Brooklyn, New York, heard of this decision, a strong protest was made to the Department of State. Attendance at Nuremberg would be a “tacit condonance of the Nazi program of racial and minority persecution. “[248]David Surowitz to Secretary Hull, New York, August 25, 1938. 862.00/3783, MS, Department of State. Secretary Hull refused to accept this viewpoint, so Ambassador Wilson went to Nuremberg with his British and French colleagues.

It was the last Nuremberg celebration that any American ambassador would attend. In the United States the press continued its unceasing attack upon the Nazi way of life and at times there were, in many parts of the country, strong evidences of contempt that were not overlooked by German officials. At certain amusement parks caricatures of Hitler were used at archery stands and in certain cities the Fuehrer was depicted on toilet paper and on other articles of toilet use. These vulgarities indicated a hostile climate of opinion that would ultimately end in the devastating storm of war. This storm would not be long delayed.

11. German Pressure upon Czechoslovakia Produces the May Crisis

German absorption .of Austria was merely the first item in the German program of expansion. The second item was the Sudeten question in Czechoslovakia. In this regard it must be conceded that Benes had pursued a policy toward the large German minority in the Sudetenland that had aroused deep resentment and thus prepared the way for the Nazi program. Much of Henlein’s “misery propaganda” was based on fact. There is far more unemployment in the German districts than in the Czech, and the Germans are inadequately represented in official posts. . . . The Czechs foolishly adopted a policy of unification instead of a loose federalism. By the Minority Treaties and by the Czech constitution, the Germans were promised equality of rights. They took this to mean equality in a triune state of Czechs, Slovaks, and Germans; whereas Masaryk formed a “National State of the Czechs and the Slovaks,” with the Germans . . . possessing only the rights of a minority. In no sense partners, the Germans felt themselves tricked from the beginning. In their resentment they lodged nineteen petitions before the League of Nations in six years, but without much result…. From the autumn of 1933 onwards, Konrad Henlein rallied them in the S.D.P. [Sudeten Deutsche Partei].[249]Stephen H. Roberts, The House That Hitler Built (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1938), pp. 324-25

In 1938 Hitler decided to use this Sudeten Deutsche Partei for his own purposes. In his conversation with Konrad Henlein and Karl H. Frank, he informed them that he “intended to settle the Sudeten German problem in the not-too-distant future.” In the meantime Henlein was to make demands upon the Czech government that could never be satisfied.[250]Memorandum of a conversation between Hitler, Konrad Henlein, and Karl Hermann Frank, Berlin, March 28, 1938, Documents on German Foreign Policy, 19181945, Series D, 11, 197-98. The Karlsbad Programme, issued by Henlein on April 24, was prepared in accordance with the Fuehrer’s instructions and was far-reaching in its implications. A few days before this program had been published. Hitler had an important conference with General Keitel in which a plan of operations against Czechoslovakia was discussed at length.[251]Memorandum on “Operation Green”: Summary of the Fuehrer- General Keitel conversation, April 21, 1938, ibid., pp. 239-40
(Memorandum of a conversation between Hitler, Konrad Henlein, and Karl Hermann Frank, Berlin, March 28, 1938, Documents on German Foreign Policy, 19181945, Series D, 11, 197-98.)
Sudeten discontent and German preparations for war would proceed hand in hand.

While Hitler was preparing for action against Czechoslovakia, Prime Minister Chamberlain was still clinging to his policy of appeasement. On March 22 Lord Halifax informed Sir Eric Phipps, in Paris, that the French government should clearly understand that a German attack upon Czechoslovakia would not automatically bring a British army into the field to defend the Czech frontiers.[252]Viscount Halifax to Sir Eric Phipps, Foreign Office, March 22, 1938, Documents on British Foreign Policy, 1919-1939, Third Series, I, 82-86 Two days later Chamberlain confirmed Halifax’s statement, and then at an informal luncheon party given by Lady Astor to American and Canadian correspondents, he frankly confessed that Britain would not fight for “Czechoslovakia in the event of German aggression, and that the Czechoslovak State could not continue to exist in its present form. “[253]John W. Wheeler-Bennett, Munich: Prologue to Tragedy (New York: Duell,

Sloan and Pearce, 2948), p. 52; see also “Augur,” New York Times, May 14, 2948.

The Czech government did not seem greatly concerned about the reluctance of Britain to assume any responsibility for checking German aggression. If pushed too far by Germany, it had decided to fight and, in order to indicate its intention in this regard, a partial mobilization was ordered on May 20. The crisis deepened when a Czech policeman fired upon and killed two German motorcyclists who did not answer his challenge. News of this incident infuriated Foreign Minister Ribbentrop who warned Nevile Henderson that Germany would not wait “much longer and if provocation continued her 75 millions would act as one man. “[254]Sir Nevile Henderson to Viscount Halifax, Berlin, May 21, 1938, Documents on British Foreign Policy, 1919-1939, Third Series, I, 320-30

Britain now tried to restrain Germany by indirect threats. During a conversation with the German ambassador in London, Halifax stated that if German troops crossed the Czech border, France would hasten to the aid of Czechoslovakia. In the “event of a European conflict it was impossible to foresee whether Britain would not be drawn into it.”[255]The German Ambassador in Great Britain (Dirksen) to the German Foreign Ministry, London, May 22, 1938, Documents on German Foreign Policy, 1918-1945, II, 322-23

This British warning had a definite effect upon Hitler’s plans. He lost no time in giving assurances to the Czech ambassador in Berlin with reference to Germany’s intentions. Czechoslovakia had won a diplomatic victory, but it was not long-lasting. On May 30 Hitler issued a directive for “Operation Green.” This was to be carved out by October 1, 1938, at the latest.” Munich was in the making.

12. Lord Runciman Decides That Czechoslovakia Is an “Accursed Land”

It was obvious to the British government that the May Crisis in Czechoslovakia had not ended upon a note of confidence for the future. The friction between the Czechs and the Sudeten Germans was increasing each day and it needed only a small incident to produce war. Perhaps a special mission by some distinguished Britisher might accomplish some good! With this idea in mind. Chamberlain decided to send Lord Runciman to Prague to study the situation. In order to satisfy Czech sensibilities he was to serve merely as a “mediator and adviser.”

After talking the situation over with President Benes, he had several conversations with Sudeten German leaders and took careful note of their arguments. He discovered that the National Minorities Statute, passed by the Czech Parliament, did not meet the demands of Hitler, and the so-called Czech “Plan No. 2″ was unacceptable to the Sudetens. Sir Nevile Henderson, in Berlin, thought that the onlv wav to break this deadlock was for the Czech government to offer concessions that were so reasonable that Hitler could not reject them. This plan of appeasement would have to be formulated at once by Czech leaders because German patience was wearing very thin. Benes, it should be remembered, was a “small man” whose position in his own country was fast growing “quite untenable. “[256]Sir Nevile Henderson to Viscount Halifax, Berlin, August 22, 1938. Documents on British Foreign Policy, 1919-1939, II, 131-34

Under British pressure, Benes produced his “Plan No. 3.” The British Minister at Prague was “very much disappointed” at its contents,[257]Mr. Newton to Viscount Halifax, Prague, August 30, 1938, ibid., II, 188-89.
(Sir Nevile Henderson to Viscount Halifax, Berlin, August 22, 1938. Documents on British Foreign Policy, 1919-1939, II, 131-34)
and Lord Runciman was so disturbed by the course of events that he confessed to Lord Halifax that Czechoslovakia was an “accursed land” in which there were many signs of “bad government. “(25 8) He found Konrad Henlein, the Sudeten leader, a “courteous, friendly and honest man. It might be expedient for Britain to support the eight points of the Karlsbad Programme.”[259]Mr. Newton to Viscount Halifax, Prague, September 1, 19’38, ibid., II, 199.
(Sir Nevile Henderson to Viscount Halifax, Berlin, August 22, 1938. Documents on British Foreign Policy, 1919-1939, II, 131-34)

Newton, the British minister in Prague, supported the Runciman viewpoint. He strongly advised President Benes to go to “the limit of concession” and this limit “ought not to stop short of the eight Karlsbad points if a settlement could not be obtained otherwise.” In his dispatch to Lord Halifax, Newton had some sharp words to say about Czech insincerity with reference to former promises that had not been fulfilled. The failure of President Benes to live up to these promises to the Sudeten Germans had made a “very bad impression.[260]Mr. Newton to Viscount Halifax, Prague, September 4, 1938, ibid., II, 226-29.
(Sir Nevile Henderson to Viscount Halifax, Berlin, August 22, 1938. Documents on British Foreign Policy, 1919-1939, II, 131-34)

13. President Benes Pursues a Policy of Delay

Even under British pressure Benes moved very slowly along the road to concessions to the Sudeten Germans. On September 4 Mr. Newton talked to him “pretty plainly” about his “delays” in presenting terms to Henlein. Lord Runciman complained to Lord Halifax about Benes: “Nothing can excuse his [Benes] slow movements and dilatory negotiations of the past five months. “[261]Viscount Runciman to Viscount Halifax, Prague, September 5, 1938, ibid., II, 248-49.
(Sir Nevile Henderson to Viscount Halifax, Berlin, August 22, 1938. Documents on British Foreign Policy, 1919-1939, II, 131-34)

Prime Minister Hodza became so concerned about the actions of Benes that he removed from his hands (September 6) the control of the negotiations with the Sudeten leaders. But it was too late. The Sudeten German delegation was impressed with the sincerity of Hodza, but because of certain incidents that had just occurred at MaehrischOstrau all negotiations would have to be broken off until that matter was “cleared up. “[262]The German charge d’affaires in Czechoslovakia (Hencke) to the German Foreign Ministry, Prague, September 7, 1938, Documents on German Foreign Policy, 1918-1945,11,711-12 They were never resumed.

On September 13, after outbreaks in the Sudetenland, the Czech government declared martial law in that area. Nevile Henderson was now certain that war was just around the comer unless something substantial was done for the Sudeten Germans.[263]Sir Nevile Henderson to Viscount Halifax, Berlin, September 13, 1938, Documents on British Foreign Policy, 1919-1939, II, 306-7. After Prime Minister Chamberlain read these telegrams from Berlin and Prague he felt he must make an immediate move in the direction of appeasement. He sent a message to Hitler suggesting a conference at which the problems clamoring for settlement could be discussed. The Fuehrer replied that he was “absolutely at the disposal” of the Prime Minister[264]Viscount Halifax to Sir Eric Phipps, September 24, . 1938, ibid., II, 325.
(Sir Nevile Henderson to Viscount Halifax, Berlin, September 13, 1938, Documents on British Foreign Policy, 1919-1939, II, 306-7.)
Berchtesgaden would soon have another distinguished visitor.

14. Prime Minister Chamberlain Prepares the Way For Capitulation at Munich

Chamberlain’s decision to go to Berchtesgaden nipped in the bud a plot to push aside Hitler and prevent the outbreak of a second World War. Appeasement at Munich made Hitler’s policy seem so successful that it was impossible at that time to stage a Putsch against him. If Chamberlain had acted “tough” and rejected all thought of further concessions, the plot, involving many of the most important officers in the German Army, might have succeeded. His generous attitude made war inevitable on Hitler’s terms.[265]Allen W. Dulles, Germany’s Underground (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1947), pp. 35-44; Hans B. Gisevius, Bis zum bitteren Ende (Zurich: Fretz and Wasmuth Verlag, 1946). See also the testimony of General Haider during the Nuremberg trials, Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, Supplement B, pp. 1547-7 ; Hans Rothfels, The German Opposition to Hitler; An Appraisal (Hinsdale, 111.: Henry Regnery Company, 1948).

It is apparent that he was inclined to give the Fuehrer the benefit of every doubt and, as Keith Felling points out, he probably carried with him to Berchtesgaden a none-toofavorable view of the conditions of affairs in Czechoslovakia under the administration of Benes.[266]Keith Felling, Life of Neville Chamberlain (London: Macmillan & Co., Ltd., 1946), pp. 344-45. It was time for a change.

In his conversations at Berchtesgaden with Hitler it was made plain to him that the Sudetenland would have to be ceded to the Reich or there would be war. The Fuehrer was clear on the point that he “did not want a lot of Czechs, all he wanted was Sudeten Germans.[267]Conversation between Prime Minister Chamberlain and the Fuehrer at Berchtesgaden, September 15, 1938, Documents on British Foreign Policy, 1919-1939, 11,338-41.

Chamberlain felt he could not make any decision on the Sudetenland problem until he had discussed the matter with his cabinet. This conversation on September 15 had been like a diplomatic skirmish. He now knew what Hitler apparently wanted and he would place the terms before his cabinet colleagues.

After discussing with Prime Minister Daladier and Foreign Minister Bonnet all the angles of the diplomatic situation, he was ready for further conversations with Hitler. Britain and France were now agreed that the Sudetenland districts “mainly inhabited by Sudeten-Deutsch” should be transferred to the Reich. The details covering these transfers could be settled by some “international body including a Czech representative.[268]Record of Anglo-French conversations held at No. 10 Downing Street, September 18, 1938, ibid., II, 373-99
(Conversation between Prime Minister Chamberlain and the Fuehrer at Berchtesgaden, September 15, 1938, Documents on British Foreign Policy, 1919-1939, 11,338-41.)

When these terms were sent to Prague, on September 19, the Czech government replied the next day in a note that requested Britain and France to reconsider the situation.[269]Documents on International Ajf airs, 1938, edited by Monica Curtis (New York: Oxford University Press, 1943), II, 214-16. On September 21 the Czechs were bluntly told to accept the terms outlined in the Franco-British note or else not to count upon any assistance ‘ from those nations. This was an ultimatum that the Czech cabinet P had to accept, even though it was an invitation to disaster.

The way was now open for Chamberlain’s second conversation with Hitler. This took place at Godesberg-on-the-Rhine because of its convenient location. The date was September 22, a time of year when the weather along the Rhine could prove Mark Twain’s assertion that summer in Germany “is the perfection of the beautiful.” But Chamberlain soon discovered that Hitler was not primarily interested in esthetic considerations. He was in a more exacting mood than he had been at Berchtesgaden. He was now insistent that a frontier line be drawn “at once” indicating the areas that should be ceded to Germany. The Czechs should withdraw immediately from these districts which should be occupied by German troops.

On the morning of September 23 Chamberlain sent a note to the Fuehrer expressing a fear that if German troops “in the immediate future” should occupy any Sudeten areas there would be a clash with Czech troops and war might ensue.[270]British Delegation (at Godesberg) to Viscount Halifax, September 23, 1938, Documents on British Foreign Policy, 1919-1939, II, 482-83. Hitler’s answer contained such a small compromise that Chamberlain, on the evening of September 2324 had his second conversation with the Fuehrer. It was largely fruitless. Hitler did, however, make one small concession: he promised to postpone the date of the entry of German troops into the Sudetenland until October 1. He also gave an assurance that the annexation of this portion of Czechoslovakia would satisfy his territorial ambitions in Europe.[271]Notes of a conversation between the Prime Minister and Herr Hitler at Godesberg, September 23-24, 1938, ibid., 11, 499-508
(British Delegation (at Godesberg) to Viscount Halifax, September 23, 1938, Documents on British Foreign Policy, 1919-1939, II, 482-83.)

15. Chamberlain Makes a Plea for Peace

When Chamberlain returned to London after this unsatisfactory meeting at Godesberg, he had important conversations with Premier Daladier and General Gamelin, the French Chief of Staff. After extending to them a pledge that the British government would not “see France overrun or defeated by Germany,” he wrote a letter to Hitler (September 26) requesting him to arrange for a meeting between representatives of Germany and Czechoslovakia for the purpose of settling by agreement “the way in which the territory [Sudetenland] is to be handed over. “[272]Letter from Prime Minister Chamberlain to Herr Hitler, September 26, 1938, ibid., II, 541-42.
(British Delegation (at Godesberg) to Viscount Halifax, September 23, 1938, Documents on British Foreign Policy, 1919-1939, II, 482-83.)
On this same day, after receiving an urgent dispatch from Ambassador Kennedy indicating the importance of some American action. President Roosevelt sent a personal message to Benes and to Hitler.

Roosevelt pointed out the terrible destruction that a second World War would entail upon Europe and referred to the fact that even distant America could not escape some “measure of the consequences of such a world catastrophe.” He then called attention to the obligations of the Kellogg-Briand Pact and appealed to both Hitler and Benes to continue negotiations looking to a “peaceful, fair and constructive settlement of the questions at issue.”[273]President Roosevelt to President Benes and to Chancellor Hitler, September 26, 1938, Peace and War: United States Foreign Policy, 1931-1941, pp. 425-26.

President Benes sent a prompt and favorable reply. Hitler was busily engaged upon the task of putting the finishing touches upon a speech he was to make at the Sportspalast in Berlin on the evening of September z6. He had no time for an early reply to the President’s plea.

Chamberlain did not place too much reliance upon the favorable effect of President Roosevelt’s plea to Hitler. In a further effort to preserve peace, he sent Sir Horace Wilson to Berlin to have a final audience with the Fuehrer. He was armed with an instruction that definitely indicated that Britain would follow France in giving assistance to Czechoslovakia if she were attacked by Germany. Owing to Hitler’s excitable mood it was thought best not to confront him with this British ultimatum. During the conversation which both Sir Horace Wilson and Nevile Henderson had with the Fuehrer there were many explosions of anger from Hitler. Finallv he shouted that the Sudetenland must be “free on 1st October,” and he must have an affirmative reply to this demand “within two days. “[274]Notes on a conversation between Sir Horace Wilson and Herr Hitler at Berlin, September 26, 1938, Documents on British Foreign Policy, 1919-1939, II, 554-57 Sir Nevile Henderson to Viscount Halifax, Berlin, September 26, 1938, ibid., II, 552-53
(President Roosevelt to President Benes and to Chancellor Hitler, September 26, 1938, Peace and War: United States Foreign Policy, 1931-1941, pp. 425-26.)

On the following day (September 27) Hitler had a second conversation with Sir Horace Wilson, who now communicated to him the British ultimatum. The Fuehrer promptly went into one of his characteristic rages and shouted: “If France and England strike, let them do so. “[275]Sir Nevile Henderson, Failure of a Mission, Berlin, 1937-1939 (New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1940), pp. 164-65.

But despite these bold words. Hitler began to have some misgivings about the effect of British intervention in a European war arising out of German aggression upon Czechoslovakia. Perhaps ‘a few honeyed words would weaken Chamberlain’s resolute stand! ‘On September 27 he sent a letter to the Prime Minister in which he stated that if he gained his objective with reference to the Sudetenland he was ready to give a “formal guarantee for the remainder of Czechoslovakia.”[276]Chancellor Hitler to Prime Minister Chamberlain, September 27, 1938, Documents on British Foreign Policy, 1919-1939, II, 576-78.

He also decided that it was time to send a formal answer to President Roosevelt’s appeal for peace. In this communication he stressed his adherence to the principle of selfdetermination and sharply criticized President Wilson’s betrayal of it during the sessions of the Paris Peace Conference. When officials in Washington had gained a better understanding of the problem of the Sudetenland they would adopt a different attitude.[277]Telegram from Chancellor Hitler to President Roosevelt, September 27, 1938, Department of State, Press Releases, October 1, 1938, XIX, 221-23.

Hitler’s telegram evoked a second plea from the President in favor of world peace. He tried to convince the Fuehrer that it was a waste of time to look back upon alleged mistakes committed at Versailles. The fate “of the world today and tomorrow” was the question that demanded an immediate answer. A second World War was as “unnecessary as it was unjustifiable.” If the Fuehrer followed a path to a peaceful settlement of the Sudetenland difficulty he would gain the gratitude of “hundreds of millions throughout theworld.”[278]President Roosevelt to Chancellor Hitler, September 27, 1938, Peace and War, pp. 428-29.

The President also directed an appeal to Mussolini to lend his assistance in this search for a formula of peace.[279]President Roosevelt to the American Ambassador in Italy (Phillips), September 27, 1938, ibid., p. 427.
(President Roosevelt to Chancellor Hitler, September 27, 1938, Peace and War, pp. 428-29.)
A second World War would mean the useless “destruction of millions of men, women and children in Europe.”

16. Appeasement at Munich

On September 28 Prime Minister Chamberlain made his appeal to Mussolini to support British efforts for peace.[280]Viscount Halifax to Earl of Perth (Rome), September 28, 1938, Documents on British Foreign Policy, 1919-1939, II, 587-88. The Duce responded by sending a message to Hitler asking him to postpone action “for at least 24 hours” so that the search for peace could be continued.[281]The Earl of Perth to Viscount Halifax, Rome, September 28, 1938, ibid., II, 588-89.
(Viscount Halifax to Earl of Perth (Rome), September 28, 1938, Documents on British Foreign Policy, 1919-1939, II, 587-88.)

In Berlin, Hitler had received another letter from Prime Minister Chamberlain. He now suggested the calling of a conference between the representatives of Britain, Czechoslovakia, France, Germany, and Italy for the purpose of discussing the Sudeten problem.[282]Viscount Halifax to Sir Nevile Henderson, September 28, 1938, ibid., II, 587.
(Viscount Halifax to Earl of Perth (Rome), September 28, 1938, Documents on British Foreign Policy, 1919-1939, II, 587-88.)
From France came a note even more conciliatory than the one from Chamberlain. Under the pressure of these appeals. Hitler felt constrained to invite Mussolini, Prime Minister Chamberlain, and the French Premier (Daladier) to Munich for a conference on the following day (September 29) .

This conference did little more than underwrite the program of appeasement already agreed upon by Britain and France. On the morning of September 30 the articles of agreement were formally signed after a preliminary debate in which Daladier, apparently to impress posterity, showed a combative spirit which was soon tamed by General Goering. The Sudetenland was ceded to Germany. It was divided into four zones whose occupation by German troops would commence on October 1 and continue until October[7]Philip M. Burnett, Reparation at the Paris Peace Conference (New York: Columbia University Press, 1940), I, 63-64; Colonel E. Al. House and Charles Seymour (eds.). What Really Happened at Paris (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1921), pp. 271-72 The details of the settlement were entrusted to an international commission whose members would include representatives of Britain, Czechoslovakia, France, Germany, and Italy.[283]Henderson, op. cit., pp. 169-73

In America, Secretary Hull was cautious about evaluating the outcome at Munich. On September 3o he issued the following noncommittal statement: “As to immediate peace results, it is unnecessary to say that they afford a universal sense of relief. I am not undertaking to pass upon the merits of the differences to which the Four-Power Pact signed at Munich on yesterday related. “[284]Peace and War, p. 430. It is interesting to note that on September 28 Roosevelt sent to Kennedy the following salutation to be conveyed to Chamberlain: “Good man.” See WiUiam L. Langer and S. Everett Gleason, The Challenge of Isolation, 1937-1940 (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1952), P. 34. The implications of this salutation are not entirely clear.

Sumner Wells was not so cautious. In a radio address, on October 3, he described the steps taken by President Roosevelt just prior to the conference and then remarked that “today, perhaps more than at any time during the past two decades, there was presented the opportunity for the establishment by the nations of the world of a new world order based on justice and law. “[285]New York Times, October 4, 1938.

The role of Roosevelt in this Munich settlement is difficult to establish. His appeals to Hitler and Mussolini made little impression upon these dictators. Chamberlain and Daladier were undoubtedly affected by his pleas for peace and were anxious to find some formula that would prevent the outbreak of war. But, in the event of war. Chamberlain thought that he would have the support of President Roosevelt. On August 3o he had a conference with Ambassador Kennedy relative to the crisis in Europe. Kennedy made the comment that “if Hitler seized Czechoslovakia ‘it will be Hell!”‘ He then assured Chamberlain that if France went to the aid’of the Czechs and if Britain had to “go in too, the United States would follow before long.” As the conversation proceeded, he made a final important observation: “He was convinced that President Roosevelt had decided to ‘go in with Chamberlain; whatever course Chamberlain desires to adopt he would think right.’”[286]Viscount Halifax to Sir Ronald Lindsay (in Washington), September 2, 1938, Documents on British Foreign Policy, 1919-1939, II, 212-13.

This assurance was certainly a blank check given to the British Prime Minister at a critical moment before his capitulation at Munich. It is possible that it confirmed his obvious tendency toward appeasement and thus played into the hands of Hitler. It gave him confidence that, if war developed later, he could count on American aid. Some writers regard Roosevelt’s messages as the most powerful factor inducing Chamberlain to refrain from resisting Hitler by force at this time.

In Washington, Roosevelt made no rash promises. On September 15 he sent a personal letter to Ambassador Phillips in Rome. In the event of war, he believed that the American people would be go per cent “anti-German and anti-Italian.” He would not encourage “them to be neutral in thought” but instead would strongly stimulate “their natural sympathy while at the same time avoiding any thought of sending troops to Europe.”[287]President Roosevelt to Ambassador Phillips, September 15, 1938, F. D. R.: His Personal Letters, 1928-1945; edited by Elliott Roosevelt (New York: Duell, Sloan and Peace, 1950), II, 810-11.

The Polish government took advantage of German pressure upon Czechoslovakia by making a demand for the cession of the area around Teschen. This action disturbed President Roosevelt, who sent a memorandum to Secretary Hull with the request that the following thought be conveyed unofficially to Foreign Minister Beck of Poland: “The President feels that he can, as an old friend, suggest his disappointment at the Polish record of the past week. … He did not like what came very close to being a threatening attitude.”[288]President Roosevelt to Secretary Hull, September 29, 1938, ibid., II, 812-13.
(President Roosevelt to Ambassador Phillips, September 15, 1938, F. D. R.: His Personal Letters, 1928-1945; edited by Elliott Roosevelt (New York: Duell, Sloan and Peace, 1950), II, 810-11.)

The Polish government continued its threatening attitude and on October a secured the cession of the Teschen district. There was no further presidential admonition to Foreign Minister Beck. The settlement at Munich had averted a definite threat of war and the Chief Executive luxuriated in that fact. In a letter to Prime Minister Mackenzie King, of Canada, he gave voice to this feeling of relief: “I can assure you that we in the United States rejoice with you, and the world at large, that the outbreak of war was averted. “[289]President Roosevelt to Mackenzie King, October 11, 1938, ibid., II, 816-17.
(President Roosevelt to Ambassador Phillips, September 15, 1938, F. D. R.: His Personal Letters, 1928-1945; edited by Elliott Roosevelt (New York: Duell, Sloan and Peace, 1950), II, 810-11.)
A week later he confided to Ambassador Phillips, in Rome, that he was “not a bit upset over the final result. “[290]President Roosevelt to Ambassador Phillips, October 17, 1938, ibid., II, 818.
(President Roosevelt to Ambassador Phillips, September 15, 1938, F. D. R.: His Personal Letters, 1928-1945; edited by Elliott Roosevelt (New York: Duell, Sloan and Peace, 1950), II, 810-11.)

It is usually agreed that Munich was a significant victory for Hitler. For this reason it is a little disturbing to read this Roosevelt comment upon the results of Munich. To the Polish Ambassador in Washington, Jerzy Potocki, this comment had a perfectly clear meaning:

“I can only say that President Roosevelt, as a clever player of politics and a connoisseur of American mentality, speedily steered public attention away from the domestic situation in order to fasten it on foreign policy. The way to achieve this was simple. One needed, on the one hand, to enhance the war menace overhanging the world on account of Chancellor Hitler, and, on the other hand, to create a specter by talking about the attack of the totalitarian states on the United States. The Munich pact came to President Roosevelt as a Godsend. He described it as the capitulation of France and England to bellicose German militarism. As was said here [Washington] : Hitler compelled Chamberlain at pistol-point. Hence, France and England had no choice and had to conclude a shameful peace. The prevalent hatred against everything which is in any way connected with German National Socialism is further kindled by the brutal attitude against the Jews in Germany and by the emigre problem. In this action the Jewish intellectuals participated. . . . They want the President to become the champion of human rights, . . . and the man who in the future will punish trouble-mongers. These groups, people who want to pose as representatives of “Americanism” and “defenders of democracy” in the last analysis, are connected by unbreakable ties with international Jewry. For this Jewish international, … to put the President of the United States at this “ideal” post of champion of human rights, was a clever move. … It is extremelv convenient to divert public attention from anti-Semitism which is ever growing in the United States. “[291]Count Jerzy Potocki to Polish Foreign Minister, Washington, January 12, 1939, The German White Paper: Full Text of the Polish Documents Issued by the Berlin Foreign Office; with a foreword by C. Hartley Grattan (New York: Howell, Soskin & Co., Inc., 1940), PP 29-31.

During a conversation with Ambassador Bullitt, on a brief leave of absence from Paris, Potocki got a glimpse of the main objectives of the Roosevelt administration: “[1]Oscar Cargill, Intellectual America: Ideas on the March (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1941), p. 504 The vitalizing foreign policy, under the leadership of President Roosevelt, severely and unambiguously condemns totalitarian countries;[2]The correspondence dealing with the pre- Armistice agreement is printed in full in Foreign Relations, 1918, Supplement I, The World War, I (Washington, 1933), 337-38 343, 357-58 379-81, 382-83, 425, 468-69. the United States preparation for war on sea, land, and air which will be carried out at an accelerated speed . . . will consume the colossal sum of 1,250 million dollars;[3]Paul Birdsall, Versailles Twenty Years After (New York: Reynal & Hitchcock, Inc., 1941), pp. 35-36. it is the decided opinion of the President that France and Britain must put an end to any sort of compromise with the totalitarian countries. They must not let themselves in for any discussions aiming at any kind of territorial changes;[4]David Llovd George, Memoirs of the Peace Conference (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1939), 1, 306-9. they have the moral assurance that the United States will leave the policy of isolation and be prepared to intervene actively on the side of Britain and France in case of war. “[292]Count Jerzy Potocki to the Polish Foreign Minister, Washington, January 16, 1939, ibid., pp. 32-34. The documents contained in the German White Paper were a small part of the data secured by the Germans when they captured Warsaw. Secretary Hull and Ambassador Potocki declared that these documents were mere forgeries and many American scholars accepted these denunciations at their face value. In a recent study entitled Germany and American Neutrality, 1939-1941 (New York: Bookman Associates, 1951), pp. 49-50, Dr. H. L. Trefousse devotes several pages to this German White Paper and leaves the impression that it was a mere exercise in German propaganda. Some months ago I had a long conversation with M. Lipsky, the Polish ambassador in Berlin in the prewar years, and he assured me that the documents in the German White Paper are authentic. Dr. Jan Karsky, one of my colleagues at Georgetown University, can verify my assertion.
(Count Jerzy Potocki to Polish Foreign Minister, Washington, January 12, 1939, The German White Paper: Full Text of the Polish Documents Issued by the Berlin Foreign Office; with a foreword by C. Hartley Grattan (New York: Howell, Soskin & Co., Inc., 1940), PP 29-31.)

17. German-American Relations Take a Definite Turn for the Worse

While the world was speculating upon the results of the’ Munich surrender, certain events happened that made German-American relations take a turn for the worse. On November 7 a Jewish refugee from Poland (Herschel Grynszpan) paid a visit to the German Embassy in Paris and shot Ernst vom Rath, the third secretary, who died three days later. This assassination touched off a new series of anti-Semitic laws in Germany with a consequent impact upon the United States. At a press conference. President Roosevelt vehemently denounced the Nazi government for their harsh measures against the Jews and immediately recalled Ambassador Wilson from Berlin in order to get a “first-hand picture” of the situation.[293]Peace and War, p. 439. The German government responded by recalling Ambassador Dieckhoff from Washington, and thus relations between the two countries were seriously strained.

But the Nazi leaders had no wish for war with the United States. Goering invited Mr. Gilbert, the American charge d’affaires, to his private residence for a friendly conversation. According to Gilbert, the “most cordial and friendly” atmosphere prevailed, and Goering stressed repeatedly that he was anxious to find a solution of “the Jewish problem.” Outside of that difficulty he saw “no concrete problems which should trouble relations between the two countries. “[294]Prentiss Gilbert to Secretarv Hull, Berlin, Januarv 21, 1939. 840.48 Refugees/1328, MS, Department of State. Goebbels and Schacht made similar gestures of friendship and it was obvious that they hoped to conciliate American opinion.

18. Hitler Places Czechoslovakia under Protective Custody

These friendly German gestures were set at naught by the basic Nazi objectives in Europe. Hitler was laying plans for the absorption of Czechoslovakia, although he knew that such action would arouse deep resentment in the United States. On January 21, he had an important conference with M. Chvalkovsky, the Czech Foreign Minister, and abruptly informed him that he would have to pursue a policy parallel to that followed by Germany. Moreover, the Czech Army would have to be radically reduced.[295]Notes on the discussion between Foreign Minister Ribbentrop and the Czech Foreign Minister, Chvalkovsky, in Berlin, January 21, 1939, Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, V, P-S 2795, 2796, 2906, pp. 430, 571.

On March 13 the Slovak premier, Monsignor Tiso, had a long conversation with Hitler and hurried home to Bratislava where he issued a proclamation of Slovak independence. President Hacha, of Czechoslovakia, received the next grim invitation to Berlin. When he arrived in the German capital, on the evening of March 14, he was rushed to the Chancellery to face Hitler. The alternatives were placed before him frankly: the Czechs could resist and suffer dreadful punishment or they could gracefully submit and be given some measure of autonomy. After some hours of resistance, Hacha finally agreed to Hitler’s demands. Two days later Hitler entered Prague in triumph.[296]Conferences between the Fuehrer and President Hacha, Berlin, March 15, 1939, ibid., V, P-S 2798, pp. 433-40297. London Times, March 18,1939.
(Notes on the discussion between Foreign Minister Ribbentrop and the Czech Foreign Minister, Chvalkovsky, in Berlin, January 21, 1939, Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, V, P-S 2795, 2796, 2906, pp. 430, 571.)
The Nazi timetable was working to perfection.

In Britain, Chamberlain at first seemed to acquiesce in the Nazi coup but on March 17, at Birmingham, he sounded a note of sharp criticism. Whether this change of front was in response to American pressure can only be surmised. At any rate, he stated that if British security were imperilled the nation would not hesitate to go to war.[297]

19. The Preliminaries of the Second World War

In this new and exalted mood Chamberlain moved rapidly in the direction of a momentous pledge to Poland. In March, 1939, Hitler was exerting strong pressure upon Poland in favor of concessions which seemed quite reasonable. He wished to incorporate Danzig within the Reich (after confirming Polish economic privileges in the city) and desired permission to construct an extra-territorial motor road across the Corridor. In 1933 President Roosevelt had spoken of the possibility of a German elevated railway across the Corridor. But, in 1939, the Polish Foreign Minister refused to grant these concessions, and war clouds gathered along the Polish horizon.[298]Ambassador Lipski to the Polish Foreign Office, Berlin, March 21, 1939, Polish White Book: Ojficial Documents Concerning Polish-German and Polish-Soviet Relations, 1933-1939 (London: Hutchinson & Co., Ltd., 1940), pp. 61-64 .

In this case it would have been wise for Chamberlain to advise the Polish Foreign Office to make some show of conciliation toward Germany. Instead, he announced in the House of Commons (March 31) that if Germany attacked Poland, Britain would support the Poles with all her power. On April 6 he concluded an Anglo-Polish defensive agreement which made this British pledge more specific.[299]British Blue Book: Documents Concerning German-Polish Relations and the Outbreak of Hostilities Between Great Britain and Germany on September 3, 1939 Presented by the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs to Parliament by Command of His Majesty. Cmd. 6106. Miscellaneous No. 9 (London: Oxford University Press, 1939), pp. 36-37. There was strong Polish suspicion that Britain might not honor her promises. On March 29, 1939, Jules Lukasiewicz, Polish ambassador in Paris, wrote to the Polish Foreign Office as follows: “In view of the experience of the past twenty years, during which England and France not only never fulfilled any of their international obligations. . . it is impossible to believe that any state of Central or Eastern Europe . . . can seriously consider the English proposals.” German White Paper, p. 52.

Chamberlain then tried to drive a wedge between Hitler and Mussolini by making new concessions to Italy. The Duce took advantage of this attitude of weakness by seizing control of Albania (April 7) . In the United States, Secretary Hull denounced the ,, Italian invasion of Albania as an “additional threat to the peace of the world.”[300]Peace and War, p. 455. The next day (Easter Sunday, April 9), as President Roosevelt was leaving Warm Springs, Georgia, for Washington,’ he made a significant remark to some friends who followed him to the railway station: “I’ll be back in the fall if we don’t have a war.”[301]A^ew York Times, April 10, 1939.

This blunt announcement appeared to infuse new courage into Chamberlain, who announced in the House of Commons (April 13) that Britain had decided to include Greece and Rumania in her pledge of assistance against Nazi aggression.[302]House of Commons, Parliamentary Debates, April 13, 1939, CCCXLVI, 13. When it is remembered that up to this time Britain had not even made provision for conscription for the purpose of augmenting her pitifully small army, it is obvious that Chamberlain was either criminally deluding the small nations of Europe with promises of aid that could not be effective, or he was definitely counting upon American intervention in a second World War.

This hope of American intervention was given additional strength on April 14 when President Roosevelt, apparently working for a “good record,” in case the United States entered a second World War, made an address in which he trenchantly criticized the Fascist and Nazi methods of expansion: “Do we really have to assume that nations can find no better methods of realizing their destinies than those which were used by the Huns and Vandals 1500 years ago?”[303]Department of State, Press Releases, April 15, 1939, XX, 294-96.

While he was making this address he was also sending by cable an appeal to Hitler and Mussolini against any further aggressive moves that might lead to war. He asked them to give assurance that their armed forces would “not attack or invade,” for a period of en years at least, the territories or possessions of a long list of nations.[304]Peace and War, pp. 455-58 Mussolini made no direct answer to this appeal, but, on April 20, in addressing a meeting of influential Fascists in Rome, he stated that Italy was not impressed “by Messiah-like” messages.[305]New York Times, April 21, 1939 Hitler’s reply was given in an address to the Reichstag on April 28. He rejected completely the President’s proposals.

Hitler apparently delayed his address until he could present statements by a number of the countries listed by President Roosevelt that they did not fear any attack by Germany. He stressed the betrayal of Germany by Wilson after the Armistice and he directed attention to subject peoples ruled by the so-called “democratic states.” In his concluding passage. Hitler stated that: “I cannot feel myself responsible for the fate of the world, because this world had taken no interest in the pitiful state of my own people.” Hitler’s satirical handling of the Roosevelt proposals is authentically reported to have made the President extremely angry.

20. Russia Makes a Second World War Possible by Entering into a Treaty with Hitler

As Chamberlain began to realize more clearly that neither Hitler nor Mussolini was interested in a program of peace, he slowly turned in the direction of another dictator — Josef Stalin. But Soviet Russia was a very dubious partner for a democracy. On April 1 1 Lord Halifax had a conference with Maisky, the Russian ambassador in London, and found him quite “cynical about the whole situation.” But the Foreign Office was determined to go ahead, despite its suspicions of Soviet good faith. On April 15, Sir William Seeds, the British ambassador in Moscow, presented to Litvinov a suggestion that the Soviet government, following British and French action, should make upon its own initiative a public declaration that “in the event of any act of aggression against any neighboring State to the Soviet Union which that State were to resist, the assistance of the Soviet Government would be given if the desire for it were expressed. “[306]G. Gafencu, Derniers Jours de 1 ‘Europe (Paris: L.U.F., 1946), p. 140.

The Soviet government replied with a counterproposal that Great Britain, the Soviet Union, and France conclude an accord for immediate military support in case of aggression similar to pact recently concluded between Great Britain and Poland. According to Polish authorities, the terms of the Russian proposals also included permission for Soviet troops to enter Poland by northern and southern routes, and a declaration by Britain that her guarantee of Poland applied only to her western frontier. Finally, it was said that Russia demanded a “free hand in the Baltic States” and a PolishRussian treaty of far-reaching implications.[307]Beloff, op. cit., II, 224-76; R. Umiastowski, Russia and the Polish Republic, 1918-1941 (London: Simpkin Marshall Ltd., 1945), P. 130.

In the meantime discussions were being carried on in Berlin and Moscow with reference to a treaty that would settle all questions at issue between Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia. On July 6 Soviet-German talks made a real advance when Dr. Karl Schnurre, head of the Eastern European Division of the German Foreign Office, outlined to the members of a Soviet economic mission to Berlin a scheme for a gradual rapprochement between Germany and Russia. By August 4 Molotov became definitely interested in this new political alignment and six days later Astakhov, head of the Soviet economic mission, told Dr. Schnurre that he had received from Moscow instructions stressing the desire of the Soviet government for better relations with Germany. When the British and French military missions reached Moscow on August 11, they soon found it impossible to satisfy Soviet demands which included permission for Russian troops to pass through Poland. On August 19 a Soviet-German commercial agreement was signed in Berlin and on the twenty-third a nonaggression and consultative pact was signed in Moscow. Hitler was now ready for war with Poland and was assured of Russian cooperation.[308]For the story of the negotiations between Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia leading up to the pact of August 23, 19 39, see the documents in Nazi-Soviet Relations, 1939-1941 (New York: Didier Publications, 1948), with special reference to pages 1, 1112, 15, 37, 44, 48. 52, 58, 61, 64-78.

To meet this rapid thrust of strong, well-trained, and well-armed German forces, Poland had only her own weak army. Chamberlain, despite his brave words, could not send a single soldier to Poland to stem this German tide. Moreover, it was not until April 26 that Chamberlain announced a plan for military conscription. Although the House of Commons approved a bill for conscription on April 27, this measure merely added some two hundred thousand troops to the British Army, and it was not until July that the first contingent of British recruits was called to the colors. The French Army was tragically weak, so far as an air force was concerned, and it should have been apparent that none of the loud boasts of General Gamelin could be effectively implemented. Poland was betrayed by both Britain and France and her own statesmen were too stupid to understand the simplest lessons in Realpolitik.

21. Britain Blocks an Opportunity to Secure a Moratorium on War

While the British were delaying the important matter of implementing conscription they were also showing a hostility toward, the idea of a moratorium on war. This situation is clearly shown in their attitude with reference to the efforts of Hamilton Fish to postpone any thought of war until the Interparliamentary Union could search for a formula of peace.

In the summer of 1939 Representative Fish led a large delegation of Americans to the meeting of the Interparliamentary Union at Oslo. The sessions of the Union were to begin on August 15. In order to secure a close-up of the situation in Germany, Mr. Fish stopped off at Salzburg on August 14 for a talk with the German Foreign Minister. He found Ribbentrop “gracious and charming” and blessed with an unusual command of English. After a detailed review of the Danzig question, the Foreign Minister frankly informed him that “unless Danzig was restored and German minority rights guaranteed war would break out in ten days.” He ignored Mr. Fish’s arguments for “a peaceful settlement of the Polish dispute and would offer no suggestions as to the preservation of peace through any action that might be initiated at the Interparliamentary Union conference.” After a brief resume of Hitler’s attempts to arrive at an understanding with Britain, he remarked that, as a result of repeated British rebuffs, “Hitler would stop at nothing to destroy the British Empire, even to the last German soldier. “[309]Hamilton Fish MS.

Hitler may have made such a statement about the British in a moment of hysterical anger, but it surely did not represent his real attitude toward the British Empire, which he held in highest esteem. His real attitude toward the destruction of the British Empire, when the destruction would have been an easy matter for Hitler, is best expressed in his conversation with German General Blumentritt, immediately after Dunkirk:

“He [Hitler] then astonished us by speaking with admiration of the British Empire, of the necessity for its existence, and of the civilization that Britain had brought into the world. He remarked, with a shrug of the shoulders, that the creation of the Empire had been achieved by means that were often harsh, but ‘where there is planing there are shavings flying.’ He compared the British Empire with the Catholic Church-saying they were both essential elements of stability in the world. He said that all he wanted from Britain was that she should acknowledge Germany’s position on the Continent. The return of Germany’s lost colonies would be desirable but not essential, and he would even offer to support Britain with troops if she should be involved in any difficulties anywhere. “[310]B. H. Liddell Hart, The German Generals Talk (New York: William Morrow & Co., Inc., 1949), p. 135

Since this statement agrees with Hitler’s measured statements elsewhere and with his diplomatic and military actions, it may be accepted as sincere. It disposes for all time of the repeated assertions of Churchill and others that Britain had to fight against Hitler for sheer self-preservation. A competent publicist has graphically r but accurately contrasted the attitudes of Hitler and Stalin toward Britain: “Hitler merely wanted to ‘crash’ the Carleton Club [the select club of British officials and aristocrats]; Stalin wanted to smash it.”

To return to Mr. Fish, when he arrived at Oslo on the morning of August 15, he found the British just as stubborn as the Germans with regard to any concerted efforts to preserve peace. On August 17 he addressed the Interparliamentary Union on the subject of “the peaceful settlement of international disputes.” At the conclusion of this address he introduced a resolution calling for “a moratorium on war for thirty days or more with a view to the settlement of international disputes by arbitration, mediation, and peaceful methods. “[311]35th Conference of the Interparliamentary Union, Oslo, August 15-10-1939. (Geneva: Bureau Interparliamentaire, 1939), p. 460.

The leader of the British delegation at Oslo, Colonel Arthur Evans, showed prompt opposition to the resolution introduced by Mr. Fish and proposed an amendment to it.[312]Ibid., p. 462.
(35th Conference of the Interparliamentary Union, Oslo, August 15-10-1939. (Geneva: Bureau Interparliamentaire, 1939), p. 460.)
The objections of Colonel Evans found a convenient mouthpiece in Mr. C. J. Hambro, of Norway, who was both fluent and insulting. In the face of a long record of generous contributions to pressing problems of relief in Europe, Mr. Hambro accused the United States of being very niggardly in the matter of contributions for the help of refugees. After this sneering and unjustified attack, Hambro then turned to the resolution offered by Hamilton Fish:

“I admire his [Mr. Fish's] optimism. . . . Can we facilitate the task of responsible statesmen by adopting any such resolution? Can we make the atmosphere clearer, … or shall we make it more nebulous . . . and provoke new propaganda against an international body for adopting resolutions felt by some states to be outside the sphere of its competence? . . . There is one thing especially that to my mind makes it absolutely impossible for any delegate from a small state to 17 vote for any such resolution. We protest altogether against the very idea that four great Powers may be called upon to settle any conflict which touches our vital interests. “[313]Ibid., pp. 463-68.
(35th Conference of the Interparliamentary Union, Oslo, August 15-10-1939. (Geneva: Bureau Interparliamentaire, 1939), p. 460.)

In the face of this Anglo-Norwegian opposition to his resolution, Mr. Fish immediately withdrew it from consideration and thus perished another attempt to halt the tides of war. They were rising high on the continent of Europe and strong barriers would have to be erected at once if their destructive course were to be checked. They could not be erected by untimely sneers at the United States.

22. Another World War Engulfs Europe

As the last week in August approached it was evident to most European diplomats that the existing crisis was fast moving toward war. The news of the nonaggression pact between Germany and Soviet Russia was a clear indication that Britain and France would have to withdraw their pledges to Poland or prepare for conflict. But Chamberlain had no intention of withdrawing his pledge and he sent Nevile Henderson to Berchtesgaden on August 23 to tell Hitler that Britain was determined to fulfill all her obligations to the Polish State.[314]Henderson, op. cit., pp. 269-70. Two days later he entered into a new treaty with Poland that had farreaching implications. Should “one of the Contracting Parties become engaged in hostilities with a European Power in consequence of aggression by the latter against the Contracting Party, the other Contracting Party will at once give the Contracting Party engaged in hostilities all the support and assistance in its power.” The treaty also obligated Britain and Poland to maintain the status quo in vast areas of Europe.[315]The text of the treaty is contained in Ignacy Matuszewski, Great Britain’s Obligations Towards Poland and Some Facts About the Curzon Line (New York: National Committee of Americans of Polish Descent, 1945) pp. 83-85 With the wretchedly weak British Army then in existence this obligation could not possibly be implemented and the treaty was merely a tragic farce.

On the very day this treaty was signed. Hitler sent for Nevile Henderson to discuss the grave situation that was moving toward war. After stressing the “immediate necessity” of a settlement of the dispute between Germany and Poland, he adverted to the possibility of an Anglo-German alliance. He spoke “with calm and apparent sincerity” and described his proposals as a “last effort, for conscience’ sake, to secure good relations with Great

Britain.” After Henderson reminded Hitler that Britain could not “possibly go back on its word to Poland,” the Fuehrer put a plane at the British ambassador’s disposal for a flight back to London for a conference with Chamberlain.[316]Henderson, op. cit., pp. 2,72-73. On August 28 he returned with the message that His Majesty’s Government could not, “for any advantage offered to Great Britain, acquiesce in a settlement which put in jeopardy the independence of a State to whom they have given their guarantee.” Direct negotiations between Germany and Poland were then suggested, and the opinion was voiced that a “reasonable solution of the differences between Germany and Poland could and should be effected between the two countries. “[317]Memorandum from the British Government, handed to the Fuehrer by the British ambassador, August 28, 1939, Documents on the Events Preceding the Outbreak of the War. German White Book (New York: Howell, Soskin & Co., Ltd., 1940), pp. 477-79.

On August 29 Hitler had another conference with Henderson and handed him a note which indicated an acceptance of direct negotiations with Poland. But the German government now insisted upon “the return of Danzig and the Polish Corridor to Germany.” Moreover, a representative of the Polish government was expected on the following day to discuss these terms.[318]Ibid., pp. 480-82. For a scholarly interpretation of the August crisis which makes use of most of the pertinent documents see L. B. Namier, Diplomatic Prelude, 1938-1939 (London: Macmillan & Co., Ltd., 1948), pp. 248-381.
(Memorandum from the British Government, handed to the Fuehrer by the British ambassador, August 28, 1939, Documents on the Events Preceding the Outbreak of the War. German White Book (New York: Howell, Soskin & Co., Ltd., 1940), pp. 477-79.)

While this crisis was developing, the smaller European Powers tried desperately to find some formula for peace. In a last-minute attempt to bring hope to millions of terrorstricken people on the Continent, King Leopold, of Belgium, speaking for the so-called “Oslo Powers” (Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden), broadcast an appeal “to those in whose hands rests the fate of the world” to avoid “the catastrophe which threatens humanity. “[319]Peace appeal by King Leopold of Belgium, August 23, 1939, British Blue Book, Cmd. 61o6, pp. 185-86. On the following day (August 24), Pope Pius XII issued a fervent plea for peace.[320]Peace appeal by Pope Pius XH, August 24, 1939, ibid., pp. 191-92.
(Peace appeal by King Leopold of Belgium, August 23, 1939, British Blue Book, Cmd. 61o6, pp. 185-86.)
From Washington, President Roosevelt sent several vain appeals for a pacific solution of existing difficulties. On August 23 he addressed King Victor Emmanuel, of Italy, in “behalf of the maintenance of world peace.” The unheard voices of “countless millions of human beings ask that they shall not be vainly sacrificed again. “[321]President Roosevelt to King Victor Emmanuel of Italy, August 23, 1939, Peace and War, pp. 475-76. To Hitler he sent a similar message, and on the same day dispatched an appeal to President Moscicki, of Poland.[322]President Roosevelt to Chancellor Hitler, August 24, 1939; President Roosevelt to President Moscicki, of Poland, August 24, 1939, ibid., pp. All -19.
(President Roosevelt to King Victor Emmanuel of Italy, August 23, 1939, Peace and War, pp. 475-76.)
Moscicki replied that he would be glad to accept President Roosevelt as a mediator in the German-Polish dispute, and this led the President to send a second appeal to Hitler.[323]President Roosevelt to Chancellor Hitler, August 25, 1939, ibid., pp. 479-80.
(President Roosevelt to King Victor Emmanuel of Italy, August 23, 1939, Peace and War, pp. 475-76.)
The Fuehrer replied that he had “left nothing untried for the purpose of settling the dispute between Germany and Poland in a friendly manner. Even at the last hour he accepted an offer from the Government of Great Britain to mediate in this dispute. Owing to the attitude of the Polish Government, however, all these endeavors have remained without result. “[324]The German charge d’affaires (Thomsen) to the Secretary of State, August 31, 1939, j&/J.,p. 483

In the light of the fact that President Roosevelt had encouraged Britain, France, and Poland to take a stand relative to Germany that was likely, if not sure, to bring war, it is probable that his peace pleas in 1939 were made “for the record,” in a manner comparable to his plea for peace to the Japanese Emperor, dispatched on the morning of December?, 1941.

According to Hitler’s note of August aq, which he handed to Sir Nevile Henderson, the Polish government was to send an emissary to Berlin within twenty-four hours. In the meantime the-German government would draft proposals “acceptable to them, and, if possible, will make such proposals available for the British government also before the Polish negotiator arrives.” Throughout August 30 the British ambassador waited for these

proposals. He knew that Poland would not send an emissary to Berlin where he would face a decidedly hostile atmosphere. In this regard both Poland and Britain made a serious blunder. It should have been obvious to them that the August crisis was no time for heroics. Neither Brit-, ain nor France could place a single soldier in Poland. Germany could crush the Polish Army in a matter of weeks, and with Russian assistance Poland would be completely defeated and partitioned. Danzig and the Polish Corridor were questions that had stared German statesmen in the face ever since 1919 and their solution in favor of Germany was inevitable. For Chamberlain and Halifax to bolster Poland’s courage in this matter of defiance to two Great Powers that were poised to strike, was criminal folly.

At midnight on August 30 Sir Nevile Henderson called upon the German Foreign Minister who refused to invite the Polish ambassador to see him. Ribbentrop then picked up the German proposals for a negotiated settlement with Poland and read them rapidly to Henderson:

“. . . When he had finished, I accordingly asked him to let me see it [the text of proposals]. Herr von Ribbentrop refused categorically, threw the document with a contemptuous gesture on the table and said that it was now out of date since no Polish Emissary had arrived in Berlin by midnight. I observed that in that case the sentence in the German note of the 29th. August to which I had drawn his and the Fuehrer’s attention on the preceding evening had, in fact, constituted an ultimatum in spite of their categorical denials. Herr von Ribbentrop’s answer to that was that the idea of an ultimatum was a figment of my own imagination and creation.”[325]British White Paper, Cmd. 6115, p. 17.

On August 31 Mussolini proposed the calling of a five-power conference “with the object of reviewing clauses of the Treaty of Versailles which are the cause of the disturbance in the life of Europe.” This peaceful gesture gave pause to Hitler’s plans to invade Poland, but on the early morning of September 1, after news of some “frontier incidents,” he ordered his troops to cross the Polish border. At ten-thirty that morning he also informed the Reichstag that he had been compelled to repel “Poland’s attack” upon Germany. On the afternoon of September 2, Sir Nevile Henderson left at the Foreign Office a copy of Chamberlain’s speech which laid down certain conditions of peace. On the following morning at nine o’clock he called at the Foreign Office and delivered an ultimatum which announced that unless assurances were given before eleven o’clock of the suspension of hostilities and the withdrawal of troops from Poland, Great Britain would be at war with the Third Reich from that hour.[326]Henderson, op. cit., pp. 298-300; German White Book, p. 508 At twelve o’clock the French ambassador presented an ultimatum with a time limit fixed at five o’clock. When that hour arrived, Germany was formally at war with both Britain and France.[327]Note delivered to the German Foreign Minister by the French Ambassador, September 3, 1939, at 12:20 P.M., German White Book, p. 512 World War II was ready to engulf all Europe and usher in the eventual triumph of Red Russia.

In the early days of the conflict, the reports from British Military Intelligence were rosy and General Ironside was inclined to be optimistic concerning the campaign in Poland. German strategy had been based upon the expectation of a quick victory. But some of the terrain leading into Poland was quite rugged, and if the Poles made it “tough” for the invading Germans “so that it required a couple of months to make anv headway,” Hitler’s “hordes would have great difficulty in retreating or advancing.”[328]Ambassador Kennedy to Secretary Hull, London, September 4, 1939. 740-001 1 EW, 1939/63, Confidential file, MS, Department of State.

The American military attache in Berlin was equally optimistic with regard to checking the progress of the German military machine. The Poles were following a preconceived plan that envisaged “delaying the German advance with covering forces and stubbornly holding fortified areas They are making the Germans pay dearly for every kilometer gained and are exhausting the best German divisions.” The Polish defense was “being carried out as planned by the Poles and the French and British missions, and appears to be succeeding. “[329]Charge dAffaires Kirk to Secretary Hull, Berlin, September 5, 1939. 740-0011 EW, 1939/150, Confidential file, MS, Department of State.

These dispatches from Berlin read like chapters from Alice in Wonderland, and in 1939 it appeared as though Neville Chamberlain was assuming the role of the Mad Hatter when he could not send even token assistance to the hard-pressed Poles. But nowadays it seems evident that the real Mad Hatter was Franklin D. Roosevelt, who pressed Chamberlain to give promises to the Poles when there was no possibility of fulfilling them. According to some reports, it was William C. Bullitt who cast Roosevelt in this grotesque role.

I recently received from Mr. Verne Marshall, former editor of the Cedar Rapids Gazette, a letter in which he made the following statements:

“President Roosevelt wrote a note to William Bullitt [in the summer of 1939], then Ambassador to France, directing him to advise the French Government that if, in the event of a Nazi attack upon Poland, France and England did not go to Poland’s aid, those countries could expect no help from America if a general war developed. On the other hand, if France and England immediately declared war on Germany [in the event of a Nazi attack upon Poland], they could expect “all aid” from the United States.

“F.D.R.’s instructions to Bullitt were to send this word along to “Joe” and “Tony,” meaning Ambassadors Kennedy, in London, and Biddle, in Warsaw, respectively. F. D. R. wanted Daladier, Chamberlain and Josef Beck to know of these instructions to Bullitt. Bullitt merely sent his note from F.D.R. to Kennedy in the diplomatic pouch from Paris. Kennedy followed Bullitt’s idea and forwarded it to Biddle. When the Nazis grabbed Warsaw and Beck disappeared, they must have come into possession of the F. D. R. note. The man who wrote the report I sent you saw it in Berlin in October, 1939.[330]Mr. Verne Marshall to the author, September 75, 1952- See also the special article in the Washington Times-Herald, November 12, 1942, by Arthur Sears Henning.

After receiving this letter from Verne Marshall I wrote at once to Mr. Bullitt and inquired about this instruction from the President. He replied as follows: “I have no memory of any instruction from President Roosevelt of the nature quoted in your letter to me and feel quite certain that no such instruction was ever sent to me by the President.”[331]William C. Bullitt to the author, November 10, 1951.

Mr. Joseph Kennedy sent to me a similar negative answer with reference to this alleged instruction from the President, but the Forrestal Diaries would indicate the probability that Bullitt did strongly urge President Roosevelt to exert pressure upon Prime Minister Chamberlain and that this request evoked a favorable response from the White House. The following excerpt has far-reaching implications:

27 December 1945

Played golf today with Joe Kennedy [Joseph P. Kennedy, who was Roosevelt's Ambassador to Great Britain in the years immediately before the war]. I asked him about his conversations with Roosevelt and Neville Chamberlain from 1938 on. He said Chamberlain’s position in 1938 was that England had nothing with which to fight and that she could not risk going to war with Hitler. Kennedy’s view: That Hitler would have fought Russia without any later conflict with England if it had not been for Bullitt’s [William C. Bullitt, then Ambassador to France] urging on Roosevelt in the summer of 1939 that the Germans must be faced down about Poland; neither the French nor the British would have made Poland a cause of war if it had not been for the constant needling from Washington. Bullitt, he said, kept telling Roosevelt that the Germans wouldn’t fight; Kennedy that they would, and that they would overrun Europe. Chamberlain, he says, stated that America and the world Jews had forced England into the war. In his telephone conversations with Roosevelt in the summer of 1939 the President kept telling him to put some iron up Chamberlain’s backside. Kennedy’s response always was that putting iron up his backside did no good unless the British had some iron with which to fight, and they did not. . . .

What Kennedy told me in this conversation jibes substantially with the remarks Clarence Dillon had made to me already, to the general effect that Roosevelt had asked him in some manner to communicate privately with the British to the end that Chamberlain should have greater firmness in his dealings with Germany. Dillon told me that at Roosevelt’s request he had talked with Lord Lothian in the same general sense as Kennedy reported Roosevelt having urged him to do with Chamberlain. Lothian presumably was to communicate to Chamberlain the gist of his conversation with Dillon.

Looking backward there is undoubtedly foundation for Kennedy’s belief that Hitler’s attack could have been deflected to Russia. . . .”[332]The Forrestal Diaries, edited by Walter Millis and E. S. Duffield (New York: Vanguard Press, 1951), pp. 121-22.

Mr. Kennedy is known to have a good memory and it is highly improbable that his statements to Secretary Forrestal were entirely untrustworthy. Ambassador Bullitt was doing a lot of talking in 1939. In January, 1939, he had a long conversation with Count Jerzy Potocki, the Polish ambassador in Washington, and confided to him that the new foreign policy of the President “severely and unambiguously condemns totalitarian countries.’.” The President had . also decided that Britain and France must put an end to “any sort of compromise with the totalitarian countries. “[333]Count Jerzy Potocki to the Polish Foreign Office, Washington, January 16, 1939, German White Paper, pp. 32-14 In February, 1939, Bullitt talked with Jules Lukasiewicz, the Polish ambassador in Paris, and assured him that, in the event of another world war, the United States would soon intervene “on the side of France and Britain. “[334]Ambassador Jules Lukasiewicz to the Polish Foreign Minister, Paris, February, 2939, /&/J., pp. 43-45.

President Eduard Benes reveals in his memoirs that he and President Roosevelt discussed the prospect of a European war when he, Benes, visited Hyde Park on May 29, 1939 Benes earnestly insisted that the United States would have to enter such a war if Hitler were to be defeated.

These excerpts from the Forrestal Diaries, and from the dispatches of the Polish ambassadors in Washington and in Paris, afford a clear indication of the fact that President Roosevelt, through Bullitt, was exerting steady pressure upon Britain and France to stand up boldly to Nazi Germany. When this policy led to a war in which Nazi armed forces easily crushed French resistance, it is easy now to understand the poignancy of Premier Reynaud’s pleas in 1940 to Roosevelt for prompt assistance. He and Daladier had taken the assurance of Bullitt seriously and the hysterical tone of Reynaud’s repeated wires to the White Horse indicates a feeling of betrayal. From the battered walls of Warsaw there were loud murmurs about broken British promises. When their muted echoes reached London, Neville Chamberlain must have remembered the “constant needling from Washington” in favor of a more resolute stand against Hitler, and Joseph Kennedy must have had reluctant recollections of the many occasions when the President “kept telling him to put some iron up Chamberlain’s backside.” Germany had been baited into a war with Britain and France when she would have preferred a conflict with Russia over the Ukraine. Chamberlain got plenty of iron up his backside, but it was Nazi hot metal that seared him and all Britain and helped to break into bits a proud empire that all the King’s horses and all the King’s men can never put together again.

There would seem to be only one logical explanation for Roosevelt’s insistence on peace at the time of Munich and his pressure for an Anglo-French-Polish stand which he knew meant war in 1939, namely, that he did not want any war ‘to start in Europe which might terminate so rapidly that the United States could not enter it. In September, 1938, the French, British, Russian, and Czech armies could have faced Hitler and might have defeated him rather rapidly. By summer, 1939, the situation had drastically changed. Russia became aligned with Germany and the Czech Army had been immobilized. War, in 1939, might stretch on indefinitely and afford Roosevelt ample time to involve the United States. No one at the time expected Hitler to crush France and England as quickly and easily as he did. Indeed, but for Hitler’s stupidity in playing soft with Britain in 1940, the war would probably have ended so rapidly in German victory that Mr. Roosevelt could not have found his way into the conflict.

Footnotes • 4,600 Words

[1] Oscar Cargill, Intellectual America: Ideas on the March (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1941), p. 504

[2] The correspondence dealing with the pre- Armistice agreement is printed in full in Foreign Relations, 1918, Supplement I, The World War, I (Washington, 1933), 337-38 343, 357-58 379-81, 382-83, 425, 468-69.

[3] Paul Birdsall, Versailles Twenty Years After (New York: Reynal & Hitchcock, Inc., 1941), pp. 35-36.

[4] David Llovd George, Memoirs of the Peace Conference (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1939), 1, 306-9.

[5] Harold Nicolson, Peacemaking, 1919 (New York: Harcourt, Brace & Company, Inc., 1939), p. 18.

[6] Charles Seymour (ed.). The Intimate Papers of Colonel House (New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1928), IV, 343

[7] Philip M. Burnett, Reparation at the Paris Peace Conference (New York: Columbia University Press, 1940), I, 63-64; Colonel E. Al. House and Charles Seymour (eds.). What Really Happened at Paris (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1921), pp. 271-72

[8] Burnett, op. cit., p. 69.

[9] Ibid., pp. 832-33

[10] Birdsall, op cit., p. 258.

[11] Thomas A. Bailey, Woodrow Wilson and the Lost Peace (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1944), P« 240

[12] Thorstein Veblen, An Inquiry Into the Nature of Peace (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1917), p. 261.

[13] Edwyn Bevan, The Method in the Madness (London: Longmans, Green & Company, 1917), pp. 305-6.

[14] Arthur P. Scott, “George Louis Beer” in the Marcus W. Jernegan Essays in American Historiography; edited by W. T. Hutchinson (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1937), P- 315

[15] Ibid., p. 319

[16] George L. Beer, African Questions at the Paris Peace Conference; edited by Louis H. Gray (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1923), pp. 58-60.

[17] Bailey, op. cit., p. 163.

[18] Harry R. Rudin, Germany in the Cameroons, 1884-1914; a Case Study in Modern Imperialism (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1938), pp. 11, 414, 419.

[19] Bailey, op. cit., p. 167

[20] It is significant that most of Professor Lord’s colleagues on the Inquiry thought that his zeal for Poland was “excessive.” Birdsall, op. cit., p. 178. See also David Hunter Miller, My Diary at the Conference of Paris (21 vols.; privatelv printed by the Appeal

Publishing Company, 1924-1928), 1, 289.

[21] Ray S. Baker, Woodrow Wilson and World Settlement (New York: Doubleday, Doran & Company, 1922), III, 37-38.

[22] Miller, op. cit., IV, 224-26.

[23] Seymour (ed.), op. cit., IV, 334-35

[24] Lloyd George, op. cit., II, 637-42

[25] Rene M artel. The Eastern Frontiers of Germany (London: Williams & Norgate, Ltd., 1930), pp. 49-50

[26] William H. Dawson, Germany Under the Treaty (London: Longmans, Green & Company, 1930), pp. 149-52.

[27] Gustav Stresemann: His Diaries, Letters and Papers; edited and translated by Eric Sutton (London: Macmillan & Co., Ltd., 1935-37) II, 503.

[28] Casimir Smogerzewski, “Poland: Free, Peaceful, Strong,” Foreign Affairs, July, [1935] At this time Bruening was holding the office of Chancellor.

[29] Documents on International Affairs, 1934; edited by John W. Wheeler-Bennett (New York: Oxford University Press, 1935), p. 424

[30] M. S. Wertheimer, “The Nazification of Danzig,” Foreign Policy Reports, June 1, [1936]

[31] Miller, op. cit., IV, 224-28; VI, 49-52.

[32] E. Alexander Powell, Thunder Over Europe (New York: Ives. Washburn, Inc., 1931), p. 62.

[33] Dawson, op. cit., pp. 102-9. See also I. F. D. Morrow and L. 111. Sieveking, The Peace Settlement and the German Polish Borderlands (London: Oxford University Press, 1936).

[34] Powell, op. cit., p. 66.

[35] Baker, op. cit.. Ill, 482-84. Apparently Henry White did much to give President Wilson the correct view of the situation in Upper Silesia. See Allan Nevins, Henry White: Thirty Years of American Diplomacy (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1930), p. 423.

[36] In the learned account written by Georges Kaeckenbeeck, The International Experiment of Upper Silesia (London: Roval Institute of International Affairs, 1942), p. 6, the vote is given as 707,605 for Germany, 479,359 for Poland.

[37] Martel, op. cit., pp. 79-88.

[38] Dawson, op. cit., pp. 206-9.

[39] Sir Robert Donald, The Polish Corridor and the Consequences (London: Thornton Butterworth, Ltd., 1929), pp. 197-98. See also Sarah Wambaugh, Plebiscites Since the World War (Washington, D. C: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1933); W. J. Rose, The Drama of Upper Silesia (Battleboro, Vt.: Stephen Daye Press, 1936); Colonel Graham S. Hutchinson, Silesia Revisited, 1929 (London: Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent & Co., Ltd., 1930).

[40] Seymour (ed.), op. cit., IV, 347, 349, 383

[41] Articles 428-432 of the Treaty of Versailles, The Treaties of Peace, 1919-1923 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1924), L 754-55.

[42] General Henry T. Allen to Secretary Hughes, December 22, 1921. 862T.0I/346, MS, National Archives.

[43] Ambassador Wallace to Secretary Hughes, Paris, April 27, 1920862.00/921, MS, National Archives.

[44] Emil Sauer to Secretary Hughes, Cologne, February 16, 1923. 862.00/1215, MS, National Archives.

[45] Dawson, op. cit., p. 84.

[46] Nevins, op. cit., p. 372. See also Herbert Hoover, “The Economic Administration During the Armistice,” in What Really Happened at Paris, pp. 348-69.

[47] George E. R. Gedye, The Revolver Republic; France’s Bid for the Rhine (London: J. W. Arrowsmith, Ltd., 1930), pp. 29-31.

[48] Alma Luckau, The German Delegation at the Paris Peace Conference (New York: Columbia University Press, I94I), p. 124

[49] Ibid., pp. 98-100.

[50] American Embassy (Paris) to the Secretary of State, October 24, 1919.[862]00/754, MS, National Archives.

[51] Dyar to the Secretary of State, Berlin, December 31, 1919. 862.00/776, MS. National Archives.

[52] R. D. Murphy to the Secretary of State, January 5, 1924. 862.4016/12, MS, National Archives.

[53] Ex-Kaiser Wilhelm II to President Wilson, February 9, 1920. 763.7219/9116, MS, National Archives.

[54] Secretary Lansing to the American Embassy in Paris, February 6, 1920.[763]7219/8941aa, MS, National Archives.

[55] Mr. Wadsworth to Secretary Hughes, Paris, May 16, 1923- 462.00R294/210, MS, National Archives.

[56] George B. Lockwood to Secretary Hughes, Paris, May 24, 1923- 462. 00R293/232, MS, National Archives.

[57] Foreign Relations, 1923, 11, 180

[58] Secretary Hughes to Ambassador Herrick, February 23, March 15, 1924. 462.00R296/176, 212, MS, National Archives.

[59] Commissioner Dresel to Secretary Hughes, Berlin, April 20, 1921. 460.00R29/649, MS, National Archives. On the general subject of reparations see Carl Bergmann, The History of Reparations (London: Ernest Bernn, 1927).

[60] Secretary Hughes to the American Mission in Berlin, April 22, 1921. 460.00R29/684, MS, National Archives.

[61] Foreign Relations, The Paris Peace Conference, 1919, XIII, 862-67.

[62] Ibid.,pp. 18-19.

[63] Ibid., pp. 2.2-25

[64] Ambassador Child to Secretary Hughes, Rome, October 24, 1922. 46000R296/5, MS, National Archives.

[65] Ambassador Herrick to Secretary Hughes, Paris, November 22, 1922. 462.00R29/2184, MS, National Archives.

[66] Secretary Hughes to Mr. Boyden, November 24, 1922. 462.00R29/2187, MS, National Archives.

[67] C. E. Herring to Secretary Hughes, Berlin, September 10, 1923. 462.00R29/3333, MS, National Archives.

[68] Ambassador Houghton to Secretary Hughes, Berlin, July 27, 1923.

[462] 00R29/2923, MS, National Archives.

[69] Interview between W. R. Castle and Herbert Hoover, March 7, 1923. 862T.01/687, MS, National Archives.

[70] Gedye, op. cit., pp. 102, 119-21.

[71] Foreign Relations, The Paris Peace Conference, 1919, XIII, 899-902. See also Charles G. Dawes, A Journal of Reparations (London: Macmillan & Co., Ltd., 1939)

[72] Quoted in Max Sering, Germany Under the Dawes Plan (London: P. S. King & Son, Ltd., 1929), pp. 64-65.

[73] John W. Wheeler-Bennett and H. Latimer, Information on the Reparation Settlement (London: George Allen & Unwin, Ltd., 1930).

[74] P. Einzig, The World Economic Crisis, 1929-1931 (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1932); F. W. Lawrence, This Gold Crisis (London: Victor GoUancz, Ltd., 1931); League of Nations, World Production and Prices, 1925-1933 (Geneva: The Author, 1934)

[75] New York Times, June 21, 1931.

[76] Sherwood Eddy to Secretary Stimson, Berlin, September 1, 1931. GK 862.00/2616, MS, Department of State.

[77] Frederick M. Sackett to Secretary Stimson, Berlin, July 30, 1931.033.1140 Stimson, Henry L./144, MS, Department of State.

[78] Memorandum of a conversation between Secretary Stimson and President von Hindenburg, Berlin, July 27, 1931, 033.1140 Stimson, Henry L./UlVi , MS, Department of State.

[79] March 13, 1932.

[80] February 16, 1932.

[81] April 12, 1932.

[82] Dr. Heinrich Bruening to Rev. Edward J. Dunne, S.J., cited in E. J. Dunne, “The German Center Party in the Empire and the Republic,” MS, dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, Georgetown University Library.

[83] Louis P. Lochner, What About Germany! (New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, Inc., 1942), pp. 42-43.

[84] John W. Wheeler-Bennett, Hindenburg: Wooden Titan (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1936), pp. 368-85

[85] New York Herald Tribune, June 1, 1932.

[86] Lord Davies, The Problem of the Twentieth Century: A Study in International Relationships (London: Ernest Berm, Ltd., 1934), p. 227.

[87] Leon Blum, Peace and Disarmament (London: Jonathan Cape, Ltd., 1932) , pp. 88-89.

[88] Ibid., pp. 90-91.

[89] James T. Shotwell, On the Rim of the Abyss (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1936), p. 269.

[90] John W. Wheeler-Bennett, Documents on International Affairs, 1933 (London: Oxford University Press, 1934), P. 209.

[91] Foreign Relations, 1933, 1, 45

[92] Memorandum of a conversation between Norman 11. Davis and Chancellor Hitler, Berlin, April 8, 1933, ibid., pp. 85-89.

[93] Secretary Hull to Norman H. Davis, April 25, 1933, ibid., p. 107

[94] Memorandum of a conversation between President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Herriot, April 26, 1933, ibid., pp. 109-11.

[95] Secretary Hull to the Ambassador in Great Britain (Bingham), May 8, 1933, ibid., pp.130-31.

[96] President Roosevelt to various chiefs of state. May 16, 1933, ibid., pp. 143-45.

[97] New York Times, May 18, 1933.

[98] May 18, 1933.

[99] May 18, 1933.

[100] Department of State, Press Releases, May 22, 1933.

[101] George S. Messersmith to Secretary Hull, Berlin, July 20, 1933. 862.00/3033, MS, Department of State.

[102] New York Times, January 10, 1932.

[103] Final Act of the Lausanne Conference, Lausanne, July 9, 1932 (London: H.M. Stationery Office, 1932), Cmd. 4126; C. R. S. Harris, Germany’s Foreign Indebtedness (London: Oxford University Press, 1935).

[104] New York Times, June 10, 1933.

[105] /WJ., June 21, 1933.

[106] Raymond Moley, After Seven Years (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1939), pp. 757-62.

[107] Ambassador Dodd to the Acting Secretary of State, Berlin, August 23,1933. 862.00/3061, MS, Department of State.

[108] Department of State, Press Releases, September 9, 1933

[109] William E. Dodd, Diary, 1933-1938 edited by William E. Dodd, Jr., and Martha Dodd (New York: Harcourt, Brace & Company, Inc., 1941), pp. 44-47

[110] Department of State, Press Releases, October 14, 1933.

[111] Survey of International Affairs, 1933; edited by Arnold J. Toynbee and B. M. Boulter (New York: Oxford University Press, 1934), pp. 301-8.

[112] Dodd, op. cit., pp. 49-50

[113] Ambassador Dodd to Secretary Hull, Berlin, November 13, 1933. 862.00/3127, MS, Department of State.

[114] New York Times, January 25, 1934; Survey of International Affairs, 1933, pp. 93[98]

[115] Department of State, Press Releases, December 1, 1934. This American boycott against German manufactures was launched by Samuel Untermyer in New York City, August 6, 1933, when he called for an “economic boycott against all German goods, shipping, and services.” In October, 1933, the American Federation of Labor supported the idea of a boycott and the movement was definitely pushed. See Francis Neilson, The Makers of War (Appleton, Wis.: C. C. Nelson Publishing Company, 1950), pp. 94-97.

[116] Department of State, Press Releases, June 23, 1934.

[117] /&iJ.,June30, 1934

[118] Dodd, o/;d?.,pp. 111-12.

[119] June 16, 1934.

[120] June 16, 1934.

[121] Memorandum of a conversation between Secretary Hull and the German ambassador, Hans Luther, February 19, 1934. 862.00 Hitler, Adolf/11, MS, Department of State.

[122] Memorandum of a conversation between Ambassador Dodd and Chancellor Hitler, March 7, 1934. 711.62/90, MS, Department of State.

[123] Dodd, o/;. cU., p. 100.

[124] Mr. Messersmith to Secretary Hull, Berlin, June 14, 1934- 862.00/3306, MS, Department of State.

[125] Dodd, op. cit., pp. 103-4.

[126] Wheeler-Bennett, Wooden Titan, pp. 454-59.

[127] June 19, 1934. 128. Des Moines Register, July 10, 1934.

[129] June 2, 1934.

[130] The Nation, August 1, 1934 Ul.New York Times, July 13, 1934

[132] Secretary Hull to Ambassador Dodd, July 13, 1934. 862.00/3307A, MS, Department of State.

[133] Deutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, July 15, 1934

[134] Sarah Wambaugh, The Saar Plebiscite, with a Collection of Ojficial Documents (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1940); Documents on International Affairs, 1935, pp. 50-98.

[135] Documents on International Affairs, 1935, pp. 119-27.

[136] February 17, 1935.

[137] Documents on International Ajf airs, 1935, pp. 141-43.

[138] Emporia Gazette, March 21, 1935

[139] Documents on International Affairs, 1935, pp. 156-61.

[140] April 15, 1935

[141] April 16,1935

[142] Documents on International Affairs, 1935, pp. 116-19; Max Beloff, The Foreign Policy of Soviet Russia, 1929-1941 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1947), 1, 289

[143] Documents on International Affairs, 1935, pp. 159-75.

[144] Andre Geraud (“Pertinax”), “France and the Anglo-German Naval Treaty,” Foreign Affairs, XIV (October, 1935), 51-61.

[145] Documents on International Affairs, 1935, pp. 141-52.

[146] June 20, 1935

[147] June 19, 1935.

[148] Department of State, Press Releases, August 3, 1935.

[149] Ibid.

[150] William L. Langer, The Diplomacy of Imperialism (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1935), I, 109, 272; Elizabeth P. McCallum, “Rivalries in Ethiopia,” World Affairs Pamphlets, No. 12 (Boston: World Peace Foundation, 1935), p. 28; Rouard de Card, L’Ethiopia an Point de Vue du Droit International (Paris: A. Redone, 1928), pp. 26ff.

[151] Augustus B. Wylde, Modern Abyssinia (London: Methuen and Company, 1901), Chap. IX.

[152] A. F. Pribram, The Secret Treaties of Austria-Hungary (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1920), II, 227, 240-45

[153] Maxwell H. H. Macartney and Paul Cremona, Italy’s Foreign and Colonial Policy, 1914-1937 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1938), p. 279.

[154] Bailey, op. cit., p. 266. Luigi Villari, in his Expansion of Italy (London: Faber & Faber, Ltd., 1930), p. 41, discusses the Allied division of the spoils of war and points out that Britain received some 989,000 square miles of territory; France about 253,000 square miles, while Italy was awarded a small tract of 23,737 square miles.

[155] Robert G. Woolbert, “Italv in Abvssinia,” Foreign Affairs, XIII (October, 1935) 449-508.

[156] Macartney and Cremona, op. cit., pp. 294-95.

[157] According to Article XI any war or threat of war was a “matter of concern to the whole League, and the League shall take any action that may be deemed wise and effectual to safeguard the peace of nations.”

[158] C. Grove Haines and Ross S. Hoffman, The Origins and Background of the Second World War (New York: Oxford University Press, 1943), pp. 378-79.

[159] Survey of International Affairs, 1935, pp. 143-65.

[160] Memorandum of a conversation between Signor Benito Mussolini and Secretary Stimson, Rome, July 9, 1931. 033.1140 Stimson, Henry L./141, MS, Department of State.

[161] John W. Garrett to the Secretary of State, Rome, July 16, 1931. 033.1140 Stimson, Henry L./137, MS, Department of State.

[162] Ambassador Hugh Wilson to Secretary Hull, Geneva, May 29, 1935.[862]20/1058, MS, Department of State.

[163] Macartney and Cremona, op. cit., p. 303.

[164] Alexander Kirk to Secretary Hull, Rome, July 2, 1935. 765.84/427-29, MS, Department of State.

[165] Secretary Hull to the American charge d’affaires at Addis Ababa, July 5, 1935.[765]84/432, MS, Department of State.

[166] Quincy Wright to Secretary Hull, July 8, 1935. 765.84/469, MS, Department of State.

[167] Statement of Secretary Hull to the Italian Ambassador, July 10, 1935. 76584/479 A, MS, Department of State.

[168] Department of State, Press Releases, July 13, 1935, pp. 53-54.

[169] Ibid., August 10, 1935, p. 119.

[170] Secretary Hull to Alexander Kirk, August 18, 1935; Peace and War: United States Foreign Policy, I93I-1941, Department of State, Publication 1983 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1943) , p. 266.

[171] Cordell Hull, Memoirs (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1948), I, 422.

[172] New York Times, September 5,1935.

[173] Theodore Marriner to Secretary Hull, Paris, September 3, 1935- 765.84/ 1013, MS, Department of State.

[174] Pitman B. Potter, The Wal Wal Arbitration (New York: Columbia University Press, 1938).

[175] Breckenridge Long to Secretary Hull, Rome, September 4, 1935 765.84/1026, MS, Department of State.

[176] Address of Sir Samuel Hoare to the League of Nations Assembly, September 11, 1935; International Conciliation, November, 1935, PP509-18

[177] Prentiss Gilbert to Secretary Hull, Geneva, September 12, 1935. 765.84/1133, MS, Department of State.

[178] Cornelius Engert to Secretary Hull, Addis Ababa, September 10, 1935. 765.84/1094, MS, Department of State.

[179] Secretary Hull to Engert, September 12, 1935. 765.84/1094, MS, Department of State.

[180] Premier Laval’s address before the Assembly of the League of Nations, September 13, 1935; International Conciliation, November, 1935, pp. 521-23.

[181] Marriner to Secretary Hull, Paris, September 14, 1935- 765.84/1153, MS, Department of State.

[182] Memorandum of conversations between Hugh Wilson and M. Massigli, September 12, and Anthony Eden, September 13, 1935, Geneva, 765.84/1429. Strictly Confidential, MS, Department of State.

[183] Memorandum of a conversation between Mr. Phillips and Signor Rosso, the Italian ambassador, September 20, 1935. 765.84/1410, MS, Department of State.

[184] Prentiss Gilbert to Secretary Hull, Geneva, September 23, 1935. 765.84/1335, MS, Department of State.

[185] Ambassador Wilson to Secretary Hull, Geneva, September 25, 1935. 765.84/1380, MS, Department of State.

[186] Secretary Hull to Ambassador Bingham, September 27, 1935. 765.84/1381, MS, Department of State.

[187] Secretary Hull to Cornelius Engert, October 1, 1935. 765.84/1460, MS, Department of State.

[188] London Times, September 3o, 1935

[189] Department of State, Press Releases, Octobers, 1935, pp. 251-55.

[190] Memorandum by James C. Dunn, October 5, 1935- 765.84/15831/2, MS, Department of State.

[191] League of Nations, Official Journal, November, 1935, p. 1223

[192] Secretary Hull to Ambassador Wilson, October 9, 1935. 76584/1686, MS, Department of State.

[193] Ambassador Wilson to Secretary Hull, Geneva, October 17, 1935. 765.84/1916, MS, Department of State.

[194] Secretary Hull to Prentiss Gilbert, October 17, 1935- 765.84/1847, MS, Department of State.

[195] Department of State, Press Releases, November 16, 1935, p. 382.

[196] The Manchester Guardian, December 12, 1935, in its editorial entitled “The Peace Proposals,” showed that under the terms of the Hoare-Laval Agreement Italy would receive 150,000 out of Ethiopia’s total of 350,000 square miles.

[197] Quoted in the London Times, December 12, 1935

[198] Secretary Hull to Engert, March 9, 1936. 765.84/3889, MS, Department of State.

[199] Engert to Secretary Hull, Addis Ababa, March 17, 1936. 765.84/3935, MS, Department of State. Zoo.

[200] New York Times, May 6, 1936.

[201] Documents on International Affairs, 1938, 1, 141.

[202] Hull, o/j.d?.,L 470-71.

[203] Department of State, Press Releases, November 11, 1938.

[204] Herbert Briggs, “Non-Recognition of Title by Conquest,” Proceedings of the American Society of International Law, May 13-15, 1940, P81.

[205] Survey of International Affairs, 1936, p. 255

[206] Charge Atherton to Secretary Hull, London, March 8, 1936. 740.0011, Locarno Mutual Guarantee/370, MS, Department of State.

[207] Ambassador Straus to Secretary Hull, Paris, March 11, 1936. 740.0011, Locarno Mutual Guarantee/4 12, MS, Department of State. 208.

[208] Ambassador Straus to Secretary Hull, Paris, March 20, 1936. 740.0011, Locarno Mutual Guarantee/489, MS, Department of State.

[209] In his proposed peace plan Hitler had advocated 1. a four-month standstill period during which Belgium, France, and Germany would not augment their armed forces in the Rhineland; 2. a twenty-five year nonaggression pact between these same powers; 3. bilateral nonaggression pacts between Germany and her neighbors on the east.

[210] Survey of International Affairs, 1936, p. 334

[211] Ambassador Bullitt to Secretary Hull, Brussels, May 20, 1936. 740.00/47, Confidential file, MS, Department of State.

[212] Ambassador Dodd to Secretary Hull, Berlin, September 3, 1936. 740.00/59, Confidential file, MS, Department of State.

[213] De Witt C. Poole, “Light on Nazi Foreign Policy,” Foreign Affairs, XXV (October, 1946), 146.

[214] Elizabeth Wiskemann, The Rome-Berlin Axis (New York: Oxford University Press, 1949), pp. 66-67

[215] November 19, 1936.

[216] November z3, 1936. .

[217] November z7, 1936.

[218] Ambassador Wilson to Secretary Hull, Geneva, January 25, 1937. 740-00/104, Confidential file, MS, Department of State.

[219] Survey of International Ajf airs, 1937, p. 307.

[220] Ibid., p. 31

[221] Ambassador Bullitt to Secretary Hull, Paris, February 20, 1937. 740.00/1 17, Confidential file, MS, Department of State.

[222] Ambassador Bullitt to Secretarv Hull, Paris, April 22, 1937. 740.00/149, Confidential file, MS, Department of State.

[223] New York Times, March 4, 1937.

[224] Memorandum of a conversation between Mr. James C. Dunn, chief of the Division of Western European Affairs, and Mr. Thomsen, counselor of the German Embassy, March 4, 1937. 862.002 Hitler/107, MS, Department of State.

[225] Statement of Secretary Hull, March 5, 1937. 862.002 Hitler/101, MS, Department of State.

[226] Secretary Hull to Ambassador Dodd, March 10, 1937. 862.002 Hitler/102, MS, Department of State.

[227] New York Times, October 6, 1937. In this quarantine speech of October 5, 1937, the President had directed the major part of his broadside against Japan but many shots were also fired in the direction of the Third Reich.

[228] October 8, 1937.

[229] October 6, 1937

[230] October 8, 1937

[231] October 7, 1937.

[232] October 16, 1937

[233] Ambassador Dieckhoff to the German Foreign Ministry, Washington, October 9, 1937, Documents on German Foreign Policy, 1918-1945, Series D (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1949), I, 634

[234] German Foreign Ministry to Ambassador Dieckhoff, Berlin, February 10, 1938, ibid., p. 691.

[235] Memorandum by Foreign Minister Ribbentrop, April 29, 1938, ibid., pp. 704-5.

[236] Minutes of the conference in the Reich Chancellery, Berlin, November 5,193, ibid., pp. 29-39

[237] Ambassador Ribbentrop to the German Foreign Ministry, London, November 15, 1937, ibid., pp. 46-47.

[238] Conversation between Lord Halifax and Chancellor Hitler, November 19, 1937,,, ibid., pp. 55-56.

[239] Protocols of the conference of February 12, 1938, at Berchtesgaden between Chancellor Hitler and Federal Chancellor Kurt von Schuschnigg, ibid., pp. 513-17. See also Kurt von Schuschnigg, Requiem in Rot-Weiss-Rot (Zurich: Amstutz, Herdeg & Company, 1946); Guido Zernatto, Die Wahrheit ueber Oesterreich (London, 1938).

[240] M. W. Fodor, “Finis Austriae,” Foreign Affairs, XVI (July, 1938), 587-600.

[241] Sir Nevile Henderson to Viscount Halifax, March 11, 1938, Documents on British Foreign Policy, 1919-1939, Third Series, I (London: British Foreign Office, 1949), 4-6.

[242] Memorandum by the German Foreign Minister, London, March 11, 1938, Documents on German Foreign Policy, 1918-1945, Series D, I, 273-75.

[243] Prime Minister Chamberlain to Ambassador Dino Grandi, undated, ibid., p. 238.

[244] The Fuehrer and Chancellor to Benito Mussolini, March 11, 1938, ibid., pp. 573-76.

[245] Telephone conversation between Chancellor Hitler and Prince Philip of Hesse, March 11, 1938, Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1946), V, 641-42.

[246] Ambassador Dieckhoff to the German Foreign Ministry, Washington, March 15, 1938, Documents on German Foreign Policy, 1918-1945, Series D, 1, 604-5

[247] Memorandum of a conversation between Ambassador Wilson and Dr. Goebbels, March 22, 1938 711.62/145, MS, Department of State.

[248] David Surowitz to Secretary Hull, New York, August 25, 1938. 862.00/3783, MS, Department of State.

[249] Stephen H. Roberts, The House That Hitler Built (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1938), pp. 324-25

[250] Memorandum of a conversation between Hitler, Konrad Henlein, and Karl Hermann Frank, Berlin, March 28, 1938, Documents on German Foreign Policy, 19181945, Series D, 11, 197-98.

[251] Memorandum on “Operation Green”: Summary of the Fuehrer- General Keitel conversation, April 21, 1938, ibid., pp. 239-40

[252] Viscount Halifax to Sir Eric Phipps, Foreign Office, March 22, 1938, Documents on British Foreign Policy, 1919-1939, Third Series, I, 82-86

[253] John W. Wheeler-Bennett, Munich: Prologue to Tragedy (New York: Duell,

Sloan and Pearce, 2948), p. 52; see also “Augur,” New York Times, May 14, 2948.

[254] Sir Nevile Henderson to Viscount Halifax, Berlin, May 21, 1938, Documents on British Foreign Policy, 1919-1939, Third Series, I, 320-30

[255] The German Ambassador in Great Britain (Dirksen) to the German Foreign Ministry, London, May 22, 1938, Documents on German Foreign Policy, 1918-1945, II, 322-23

[256] Sir Nevile Henderson to Viscount Halifax, Berlin, August 22, 1938. Documents on British Foreign Policy, 1919-1939, II, 131-34

[257] Mr. Newton to Viscount Halifax, Prague, August 30, 1938, ibid., II, 188-89.

[258] Lord Runciman to Viscount Halifax, Prague, August 30, 1938, ibid., II, 192.

[259] Mr. Newton to Viscount Halifax, Prague, September 1, 19’38, ibid., II, 199.

[260] Mr. Newton to Viscount Halifax, Prague, September 4, 1938, ibid., II, 226-29.

[261] Viscount Runciman to Viscount Halifax, Prague, September 5, 1938, ibid., II, 248-49.

[262] The German charge d’affaires in Czechoslovakia (Hencke) to the German Foreign Ministry, Prague, September 7, 1938, Documents on German Foreign Policy, 1918-1945,11,711-12

[263] Sir Nevile Henderson to Viscount Halifax, Berlin, September 13, 1938, Documents on British Foreign Policy, 1919-1939, II, 306-7.

[264] Viscount Halifax to Sir Eric Phipps, September 24, . 1938, ibid., II, 325.

[265] Allen W. Dulles, Germany’s Underground (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1947), pp. 35-44; Hans B. Gisevius, Bis zum bitteren Ende (Zurich: Fretz and Wasmuth Verlag, 1946). See also the testimony of General Haider during the Nuremberg trials, Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, Supplement B, pp. 1547-7 ; Hans Rothfels, The German Opposition to Hitler; An Appraisal (Hinsdale, 111.: Henry Regnery Company, 1948).

[266] Keith Felling, Life of Neville Chamberlain (London: Macmillan & Co., Ltd., 1946), pp. 344-45.

[267] Conversation between Prime Minister Chamberlain and the Fuehrer at Berchtesgaden, September 15, 1938, Documents on British Foreign Policy, 1919-1939, 11,338-41.

[268] Record of Anglo-French conversations held at No. 10 Downing Street, September 18, 1938, ibid., II, 373-99

[269] Documents on International Ajf airs, 1938, edited by Monica Curtis (New York: Oxford University Press, 1943), II, 214-16.

[270] British Delegation (at Godesberg) to Viscount Halifax, September 23, 1938, Documents on British Foreign Policy, 1919-1939, II, 482-83.

[271] Notes of a conversation between the Prime Minister and Herr Hitler at Godesberg, September 23-24, 1938, ibid., 11, 499-508

[272] Letter from Prime Minister Chamberlain to Herr Hitler, September 26, 1938, ibid., II, 541-42.

[273] President Roosevelt to President Benes and to Chancellor Hitler, September 26, 1938, Peace and War: United States Foreign Policy, 1931-1941, pp. 425-26.

[274] Notes on a conversation between Sir Horace Wilson and Herr Hitler at Berlin, September 26, 1938, Documents on British Foreign Policy, 1919-1939, II, 554-57 Sir Nevile Henderson to Viscount Halifax, Berlin, September 26, 1938, ibid., II, 552-53

[275] Sir Nevile Henderson, Failure of a Mission, Berlin, 1937-1939 (New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1940), pp. 164-65.

[276] Chancellor Hitler to Prime Minister Chamberlain, September 27, 1938, Documents on British Foreign Policy, 1919-1939, II, 576-78.

[277] Telegram from Chancellor Hitler to President Roosevelt, September 27, 1938, Department of State, Press Releases, October 1, 1938, XIX, 221-23.

[278] President Roosevelt to Chancellor Hitler, September 27, 1938, Peace and War, pp. 428-29.

[279] President Roosevelt to the American Ambassador in Italy (Phillips), September 27, 1938, ibid., p. 427.

[280] Viscount Halifax to Earl of Perth (Rome), September 28, 1938, Documents on British Foreign Policy, 1919-1939, II, 587-88.

[281] The Earl of Perth to Viscount Halifax, Rome, September 28, 1938, ibid., II, 588-89.

[282] Viscount Halifax to Sir Nevile Henderson, September 28, 1938, ibid., II, 587.

[283] Henderson, op. cit., pp. 169-73

[284] Peace and War, p. 430. It is interesting to note that on September 28 Roosevelt sent to Kennedy the following salutation to be conveyed to Chamberlain: “Good man.” See WiUiam L. Langer and S. Everett Gleason, The Challenge of Isolation, 1937-1940 (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1952), P. 34. The implications of this salutation are not entirely clear.

[285] New York Times, October 4, 1938.

[286] Viscount Halifax to Sir Ronald Lindsay (in Washington), September 2, 1938, Documents on British Foreign Policy, 1919-1939, II, 212-13.

[287] President Roosevelt to Ambassador Phillips, September 15, 1938, F. D. R.: His Personal Letters, 1928-1945; edited by Elliott Roosevelt (New York: Duell, Sloan and Peace, 1950), II, 810-11.

[288] President Roosevelt to Secretary Hull, September 29, 1938, ibid., II, 812-13.

[289] President Roosevelt to Mackenzie King, October 11, 1938, ibid., II, 816-17.

[290] President Roosevelt to Ambassador Phillips, October 17, 1938, ibid., II, 818.

[291] Count Jerzy Potocki to Polish Foreign Minister, Washington, January 12, 1939, The German White Paper: Full Text of the Polish Documents Issued by the Berlin Foreign Office; with a foreword by C. Hartley Grattan (New York: Howell, Soskin & Co., Inc., 1940), PP 29-31.

[292] Count Jerzy Potocki to the Polish Foreign Minister, Washington, January 16, 1939, ibid., pp. 32-34. The documents contained in the German White Paper were a small part of the data secured by the Germans when they captured Warsaw. Secretary Hull and Ambassador Potocki declared that these documents were mere forgeries and many American scholars accepted these denunciations at their face value. In a recent study entitled Germany and American Neutrality, 1939-1941 (New York: Bookman Associates, 1951), pp. 49-50, Dr. H. L. Trefousse devotes several pages to this German White Paper and leaves the impression that it was a mere exercise in German propaganda. Some months ago I had a long conversation with M. Lipsky, the Polish ambassador in Berlin in the prewar years, and he assured me that the documents in the German White Paper are authentic. Dr. Jan Karsky, one of my colleagues at Georgetown University, can verify my assertion.

[293] Peace and War, p. 439.

[294] Prentiss Gilbert to Secretarv Hull, Berlin, Januarv 21, 1939. 840.48 Refugees/1328, MS, Department of State.

[295] Notes on the discussion between Foreign Minister Ribbentrop and the Czech Foreign Minister, Chvalkovsky, in Berlin, January 21, 1939, Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, V, P-S 2795, 2796, 2906, pp. 430, 571.

[296] Conferences between the Fuehrer and President Hacha, Berlin, March 15, 1939, ibid., V, P-S 2798, pp. 433-40297. London Times, March 18,1939.

[298] Ambassador Lipski to the Polish Foreign Office, Berlin, March 21, 1939, Polish White Book: Ojficial Documents Concerning Polish-German and Polish-Soviet Relations, 1933-1939 (London: Hutchinson & Co., Ltd., 1940), pp. 61-64 .

[299] British Blue Book: Documents Concerning German-Polish Relations and the Outbreak of Hostilities Between Great Britain and Germany on September 3, 1939 Presented by the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs to Parliament by Command of His Majesty. Cmd. 6106. Miscellaneous No. 9 (London: Oxford University Press, 1939), pp. 36-37. There was strong Polish suspicion that Britain might not honor her promises. On March 29, 1939, Jules Lukasiewicz, Polish ambassador in Paris, wrote to the Polish Foreign Office as follows: “In view of the experience of the past twenty years, during which England and France not only never fulfilled any of their international obligations. . . it is impossible to believe that any state of Central or Eastern Europe . . . can seriously consider the English proposals.” German White Paper, p. 52.

[300] Peace and War, p. 455.

[301] A^ew York Times, April 10, 1939.

[302] House of Commons, Parliamentary Debates, April 13, 1939, CCCXLVI, 13.

[303] Department of State, Press Releases, April 15, 1939, XX, 294-96.

[304] Peace and War, pp. 455-58

[305] New York Times, April 21, 1939

[306] G. Gafencu, Derniers Jours de 1 ‘Europe (Paris: L.U.F., 1946), p. 140.

[307] Beloff, op. cit., II, 224-76; R. Umiastowski, Russia and the Polish Republic, 1918-1941 (London: Simpkin Marshall Ltd., 1945), P. 130.

[308] For the story of the negotiations between Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia leading up to the pact of August 23, 19 39, see the documents in Nazi-Soviet Relations, 1939-1941 (New York: Didier Publications, 1948), with special reference to pages 1, 1112, 15, 37, 44, 48. 52, 58, 61, 64-78.

[309] Hamilton Fish MS.

[310] B. H. Liddell Hart, The German Generals Talk (New York: William Morrow & Co., Inc., 1949), p. 135

[311] 35th Conference of the Interparliamentary Union, Oslo, August 15-10-1939. (Geneva: Bureau Interparliamentaire, 1939), p. 460.

[312] Ibid., p. 462.

[313] Ibid., pp. 463-68.

[314] Henderson, op. cit., pp. 269-70.

[315] The text of the treaty is contained in Ignacy Matuszewski, Great Britain’s Obligations Towards Poland and Some Facts About the Curzon Line (New York: National Committee of Americans of Polish Descent, 1945) pp. 83-85

[316] Henderson, op. cit., pp. 2,72-73.

[317] Memorandum from the British Government, handed to the Fuehrer by the British ambassador, August 28, 1939, Documents on the Events Preceding the Outbreak of the War. German White Book (New York: Howell, Soskin & Co., Ltd., 1940), pp. 477-79.

[318] Ibid., pp. 480-82. For a scholarly interpretation of the August crisis which makes use of most of the pertinent documents see L. B. Namier, Diplomatic Prelude, 1938-1939 (London: Macmillan & Co., Ltd., 1948), pp. 248-381.

[319] Peace appeal by King Leopold of Belgium, August 23, 1939, British Blue Book, Cmd. 61o6, pp. 185-86.

[320] Peace appeal by Pope Pius XH, August 24, 1939, ibid., pp. 191-92.

[321] President Roosevelt to King Victor Emmanuel of Italy, August 23, 1939, Peace and War, pp. 475-76.

[322] President Roosevelt to Chancellor Hitler, August 24, 1939; President Roosevelt to President Moscicki, of Poland, August 24, 1939, ibid., pp. All -19.

[323] President Roosevelt to Chancellor Hitler, August 25, 1939, ibid., pp. 479-80.

[324] The German charge d’affaires (Thomsen) to the Secretary of State, August 31, 1939, j&/J.,p. 483

[325] British White Paper, Cmd. 6115, p. 17.

[326] Henderson, op. cit., pp. 298-300; German White Book, p. 508

[327] Note delivered to the German Foreign Minister by the French Ambassador, September 3, 1939, at 12:20 P.M., German White Book, p. 512

[328] Ambassador Kennedy to Secretary Hull, London, September 4, 1939. 740-001 1 EW, 1939/63, Confidential file, MS, Department of State.

[329] Charge dAffaires Kirk to Secretary Hull, Berlin, September 5, 1939. 740-0011 EW, 1939/150, Confidential file, MS, Department of State.

[330] Mr. Verne Marshall to the author, September 75, 1952- See also the special article in the Washington Times-Herald, November 12, 1942, by Arthur Sears Henning.

[331] William C. Bullitt to the author, November 10, 1951.

[332] The Forrestal Diaries, edited by Walter Millis and E. S. Duffield (New York: Vanguard Press, 1951), pp. 121-22.

[333] Count Jerzy Potocki to the Polish Foreign Office, Washington, January 16, 1939, German White Paper, pp. 32-14

[334] Ambassador Jules Lukasiewicz to the Polish Foreign Minister, Paris, February, 2939, /&/J., pp. 43-45.

Chapter 3 • Roosevelt is Frustrated in Europe by Frederic R. Sanborn • 14,500 Words

“No matter how well we are supported by neutrality legislation, we must remember that no laws can be provided to cover every contingency, for it is impossible to imagine how every future event may shape itself. In spite of every possible forethought, international relations involve of necessity a vast uncharted area. In that area safe sailing will depend on the knowledge and the experience and the wisdom of those who direct our foreign policy. Peace will depend on their day-today decisions.

“At this late date, with the wisdom which is so easy after the event and so difficult before the event, we find it possible to trace the tragic series of small decisions which led Europe into the Great War in 1914 and eventually engulfed us and many other nations.

“We can keep out of war if those who watch and decide have a sufficiently detailed understanding of international affairs to make certain that the small decisions of each day do not lead toward war, and if, at the same time, thev possess the courage to sav ‘No’ to those who selfishly or unwisely would let us go to war.”

— Franklin Delano Roosevelt, speech at Chautauqua, New York, August 14, 1936.

“Governments … do not always take rational decisions. Sometimes they take mad decisions, or one set of people get control who compel all others to obey and aid them in folly.”

— Winston S. Churchill, The Grand Alliance, p. 603.

Frederic R. Sanborn was born on February 14, 1899. He received the A.B. degree with high honors from Columbia University in 1919. Two years later he was awarded the degree of A.M., with a major in international law and diplomacy, by Columbia University, and the degree of LL.B. by the Columbia University Law School in the same year. While at Columbia, he studied international law and diplomacy under the leading American authority in the field, John Bassett Moore. He then went to England for further study at Oxford University, where he specialized in legal history and international law under the guidance of the eminent legal historian. Sir William Holdsworth. He received his Ph.D. degree in law from Oxford in 1924. Even before he finished his legal studies at Oxford he was awarded a Carnegie Fellowship in International Law in 1923 for further study and research at the Sorbonne. But he declined this grant in order to return to New York and establish his law practice. He is now a member of Putney, Twombly, Hall & Skidmore, one of the oldest law firms in New York City.

In addition to his increasingly important law practice. Dr. Sanborn taught law in the postgraduate department of the Brooklyn Law School of St. Lawrence University from 1927 to 1938, and international law in the postgraduate department of St. John’s University School of Law from 1928 to 1930.

Dr. Sanborn’s interest in international law and diplomacy led him to prepare his book on the Origins of the Early English Maritime and Commercial Law, sponsored by the American Historical Association and published by The Century Company in 193o, and his important analytical volume. Design for War; A Study of Secret Power Politics, 1937-1941, published by the Devin-Adair Company in 1951. The latter is one of the most important books yet to appear on the diplomacy which led the United States into war in December, 1941. It is characterized by both careful scholarship and commendable restraint in statements and generalizations. It will remain one of the impressive monuments of American historiography following the second World War.

I. Introductory Considerations and Hypotheses: The Abandonment of American Neutrality • 2,700 Words

It is difficult to rise from a contemplative studv of the historv of American power politics during the last fifteen years without experiencing a profound feeling of melancholy. When one has meditated upon the myriads of deaths, the human suffering, the destruction, the waste-human, economic, and of opportunity which have ensued from the decisions erroneously made by those who were in power during those tragic years, and when one contemplates the bleak vistas which now lie before all of us as the remorseless consequence of those erroneous decisions, one is tempted to echo the epitome of the Roman emperors — nihil non commiserunt stupri, saevitiae, impietatis.

Mr. Roosevelt’s share in making those decisions was considerable, and, so far as the people of the United States were concerned, it was preponderant. Many of Mr. Roosevelt’s acts and negotiations were secret, sometimes so secret that even the Secretary of State was not informed about them,[1]Cordell Hull, Memoirs, (2 vols.; New York: The Macmillan Company, 1948), I,[790] It was later believed that Mr. Roosevelt’s telephone calls, at least to Ambassador Bullitt, were intercepted by the Germans. See Hearings Before the Joint Committee on the Investigation of the Pearl Harbor Attack, 79 Cong., 2 sess. (39 parts; Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1946) Part III, p. 1213. (The Hearings will hereinafter be designated Pearl Harbor Attack.) and in consequence Mr. Roosevelt acted for the most part without consultation or counseling from others. His policies were therefore very largely personal, and his adulators were at least true in their aim when they praised him for the authorship of the policies which were nominally called American.

And so, similarly, now that the time has come to take an audit of the great balance sheet of history, the debits must stand largely against the same man to whom the credits were once awarded.

Largely, but not entirely, for a reason which requires some brief elaboration. Like almost every one else, Mr. Roosevelt was the child of his own times, and of the Zeitgeist. In consequence of this we must refer to certain misdirected developments in the sphere of international law in the late twenties and in the thirties. A natural revulsion against war had followed the first World War,, and this feeling was partly expressed in the KelloggBriand Treaty of Paris by which war was renounced by many nations as an instrument of national policy. The collateral concept of collective security found sincere advocates, and there developed along with it the concept of an aggressor nation. In this discussion space does not permit the elaborating upon or the criticizing of these concepts, but one must add that as their natural consequence it was urged by a considerable number of domestic writers and teachers that the traditional cornerstone of American foreign policy, the doctrine of neutrality, had now become obsolete; it was ignoble and should be abandoned in favor of collective warfare against an aggressor. Such views did not lack able criticism, but, notwithstanding, they prevailed in quantity, if not in quality, in certain academic and other spheres. They were the academic ancestors of what later was called interventionism, and it seems not unlikely that they contributed to weakening Mr. Roosevelt’s waning belief in neutrality.

Notwithstanding these palliatory observations it still remains true that the credit or the blame for American power politics must remain largely with Mr. Roosevelt. As the years have passed by, and as the unfortunate results of his policies have become too visibly apparent either to be denied or concealed, the defenders of the wisdom of his policies have been compelled to shift over from unqualified praise to mildly critical apology. And in going over to the defensive, there has been an interesting shift in the position of their battle lines.

Their first line of defense has always rested and still rests upon a foundation blended of faith, emotion, and hypothesis.

The justification of Mr. Roosevelt’s admittedly unneutral policy toward Germany which was originally offered for public consumption was to claim the necessity of selfdefense against an almost immediately anticipated attack. But when the immediately anticipated attack did not eventuate, a more satisfactory and more indefinite hypothesis became requisite. Some sincere but uninformed people have faith in the revised justification to this very day.

The revised hypothesis was amplified into a claim of the necessity of an anticipatory self-defense, and it had variant versions as ‘propounded at different times. In one form the story ran that Hitlerite Germany was planning to attack the United States in a military way at some unspecified future date. In another variant the military, attack was to be made by a conspiratorial combination of Fascist nations[2]For a condensed resume of facts proving the absence of any planned conspiracy, see Frederic R. Sanborn, Design For War (New York: Devin-Adair Company, 1951), p. 58, 60, 173, 268. Cf. H. L. Trefousse, Germany and American Neutrality (New York: Bookman Associates, 1951), p. 150. Even the judgment at the Nuremberg trials admits that no “single conspiracy” could be proven: 6 Federal Rules Decisions, pp. 111-12. See also The United States at War (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1946 ), pp. 507-8. after they had first conquered the rest of the world. In yet another variant the attack was not to be military at all, but rather a kind of economic strangulation of America by embargo or boycott.

The variants of this second justification were more useful, propaganda-wise, than was the first hypothesis. The new hypotheses were more indefinite; they ranged more widely in futurity, and they aroused more emotional response in those who believed in them on faith.

Looking as they did to a far more distant future these revised hypotheses were quite incapable of contemporaneous disproof. Consequently it was impossible for skeptics to contest them at the time of utterance, and therefore Mr. Roosevelt’s intended course of action could not be prevented or hindered by any rational argument based upon known facts. Moreover there was always the happy chance, from Mr. Roosevelt’s point of view, that even though such hypothetical justifications were not true when made, they might come true at some later date in consequence of his repeated unneutral and hostile activities.

With the passage of the years the texture of these widely propagandized fears is seen to be a shabby fustian. Tons and tons — quite literally — of the German archives, and of their top-secret plans, memoranda, and correspondence fell into the hands of the victors at the end of the war. These documents were winnowed and studied with care for months and months by dozens of investigators in a meticulous search for every shred of evidence which could be presented at the Nuremberg trials. After a lengthy and minute ransacking it transpired that nowhere in these papers was there to be found any evidence of any German plans to attack the United States. Quite to the contrary, the embarrassing fact developed from the secret papers that for many months prior to Pearl Harbor Chancellor Hitler was doing all that he could to avoid conflict with the United States.

This incontrovertible fact has shaken the faith of some, although not all, of the true believers. The more rational amongst those whose faith in the old hypotheses has diminished have now evolved a new hypothesis, that America could not have stood by as a passive neutral, and let Britain, France, and much of Western Europe fall into the power of Nazi tyrants. This new hypothesis is emotionally seductive, like the abandoned hypotheses, and from the viewpoint of its propounders it has the merit of excessive oversimplification.

Merely in order to list a few of these oversimplifications, one might ask

1. To what extent did Mr. Roosevelt over-urge Britain or France to adopt various courses of conduct which would tend to war?

2. To what extent did Mr. Roosevelt’s own maladroit diplomacy contribute to avoidable participation in the war by certain countries?

3. Did Mr. Roosevelt have in mind only limited political objectives, which could have been more swiftly attained, such as the downfall of the Nazi government, or vaster objectives requiring a prolonged war, such as the total destruction of Germany?

4. Did not Mr. Roosevelt overestimate the danger to Western Europe to be anticipated from Fascist tyranny, while underestimating the potential menace of Communist tyranny?

5. In this connection, how accurate — or inaccurate — was Mr. Roosevelt’s estimate of the probability of a conflict in the near future between tyrant and tyrant. Hitler versus Stalin, in which the evil power of both might have been sapped?

Many similar questions will occur to the informed reader as he considers the shortcomings of the last hypothesis. But perhaps the most potent objection to this hypothesis is one which could be validly posed to the conduct of much of our power politics of recent years: Mr. Roosevelt’s policy was based upon a supposed friendship, and not upon the national interest of America. In power politics there are no friendships; there are only interests. Much American disillusionment has arisen and will continue to arise from ignorance or disregard of such an elementary principle. George Washington said, in his Farewell Address to the people of the United States:

“Observe good faith and justice towards all Nations; Cultivate peace and harmony with all….

“In the execution of such a plan, nothing is more essential than that permanent, inveterate antipathies against particular nations, and passionate attachments for others, should be excluded; and that, in place of them, just and amicable feelings towards all should be cultivated. The Nation which indulges towards another an habitual hatred or an habitual fondness is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest. . . . The peace often . . . of Nations has been the victim.

“. . . Sympathy for the favorite Nations, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists, and infusing into one the enmities of the other, betrays the former into a participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter, without adequate inducement or justification. . . .”

But Mr. Roosevelt, and also Mr. Hull,[3]Peace and War: United States foreign Policy, 1931-1941, Department of State, Publication 1853 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1942), p. 47. consistently violated these true and simple precepts which had been expressed for many decades in the traditional American policy of neutrality. Instead, Mr. Roosevelt elected to play the game of secret politics in our foreign affairs. “The wisdom of any foreign policy can generally be determined only by its results.”[4]Sumner Welles, The Time for Decision (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1944). p.[288] Judged by this canon Mr. Roosevelt’s foreign policy was not successful, and if this much is acknowledged then even the latest apology of his defenders fails.

Indeed, one is tempted to ask, how could the traditional American policy of neutrality have produced results which could have been any worse?

In 1914 Mr. Wilson had appealed to all Americans for neutrality even in their personal thoughts, uttering “… a solemn word of warning . . . against that deepest, most subtle, most essential breach of neutrality which might spring out of partisanship, out of passionately taking sides. “[5]Charles Cheney Hyde, International Law Chiefly as Interpreted and Applied by the United States (Boston: Little, Brown & Company, 1922), II, 765. Whatever Mr. Wilson did later, his appeal was in the highest tradition of George Washington and of the established pattern of American diplomacy. Mr. Roosevelt knew what neutrality was, “in the highest sense-not to help one fellow more than the other.”[6]The Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt; edited by Samuel I. Rosenman (13 vols.; New York: The Macmillan Company, 1941), VII, 249-58: interview of April 20, 1938. But Mr. Roosevelt issued no Wilsonian appeal to the American people, perhaps because he felt that it was unnecessary. Many months later he acknowledged this fact: “There can be no question that the people of the United States in 1939 were determined to remain neutral in fact and in deed “[7]Ibid., Vin, xxxviii-xxxix.
(The Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt; edited by Samuel I. Rosenman (13 vols.; New York: The Macmillan Company, 1941), VII, 249-58: interview of April 20, 1938.)
Right up to Pearl Harbor this sentiment of the American people themselves did not change, as one of Mr. Roosevelt’s recent apologists has acknowledged: “… It was the first war in American history in which the general disillusionment preceded the firing of the first shot. It has been called, from the American point of view, ‘the most unpopular war in history.’ . . .”[8]Robert E. Sherwood, Roosevelt and Hopkins, An Intimate History (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1948), p. 438. And the apologist then offers his own brief theory as to why this feeling existed. It would seem more probable that the “general disillusionment” of which he speaks was due to quite different causes.

As a whole, the American people had never accepted the new scholastic theory of more or less “collective” warfare against an alleged aggressor. Perhaps the people’s intuitive common sense had already suggested to them that in any future “collective” action the other nations would expect America to assume almost the entire burden involved. Perhaps they esteemed the wise advice of George Washington more highly than the new theory. But apart from such conjectures it is clear that they believed in our established policy of neutrality. Semantic propagandists have tried to belittle that doctrine by calling it what they hoped would be a smearing name — “isolationism.” Name calling is not intelligent or rational and this device of propaganda did not deceive the majority of the American people who continued to be “isolationist” in their desire to remain neutral and to live in peace, as every poll of public opinion conclusively showed. Their “general disillusionment” was, in fact, due to their ultimate realization that Mr. Roosevelt in some unperceived way, and at some unknown time, had abandoned his professed policies of neutrality and peace and had secretly adopted a design for war.

The turning point is probably to be found in the “quarantine the aggressors” speech which Mr. Roosevelt delivered at Chicago on October 5,1937.[9]The Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt, VI, 406-11. Prior to that time Mr. Roosevelt’s public declarations had been very clearly isolationist. “[10]For a resume, see Sanborn, op. cit., pp. 7-19 After that time a change becomes apparent. But at the outset Mr. Roosevelt apparently contemplated only action which would have aided China against Japan,[11]John T. Flynn, Country Squire in the White House (New York: Doubleday, Doran & Company, Inc., 1940), p. 103; cf. William D. Leahy, / Was There (New York: Whittlesey House, 1950), p. 64. rather than any intervention in Europe. Yet the one ultimately led to the other. In the aftermath of the Chicago speech Mr. Roosevelt found himself in closer touch with high British personalities,[12]Winston S. Churchill, The Gathering Storm, (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1948), p. 247; Hull, op. cit., I, 549, 573 and these relationships continued to develop rather quickly, with the British naturally being more interested in the affairs of Europe, into a policy of active although unacknowledged co-operation with Britain which was in effect before January, [1938][13]Raymond Moley, After Seven Years (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1939) p. 379. See Hull, op. cit., I, 684, which acknowledges the existence of this point of view. It was in December, 1937, that Admiral Royal E. IngersoU, then director of the Navy’s War Plans Division, was sent to Britain by Mr. Roosevelt to discuss possible Anglo-American cooperation in case of war.[14]Pearl Harbor Attack, Part IX, pp. 4272-76. Out of these meetings some kind of an understanding or agreement developed. It was also in 1937 that the studies were commenced for the highly secret Industrial Mobilization Plan,[15]New York Times, October 24, 1947, p. 1, cols. 2-3. which contemplated that no less than twenty thousand factories should be earmarked for the production of war materials. Space hardly permits a detailed narration of the further steps which commenced in 1938 and looked toward the preparation in quantities of the necessary war materials. Likewise, only brief mention can be made of Mr. Roosevelt’s political maneuvers, ultimately successful, but only by a narrow margin,[16]Hull, op. cit., I, 563-64 to oppose Congressman Louis Ludlow’s proposal that there should be a national referendum vote as a prerequisite to a declaration of war.

Immediately after the German annexation of Austria, Mr. Hull[17]Ibid., 1, 576-77; Peace and War, pp. 54-55.
(Hull, op. cit., I, 563-64)
made a speech on March 17, 1938, in which he advocated “collaboration” along “parallel lines” in order to prevent the spread of the “contagious scourge of treaty breaking and armed violence.” These propaganda efforts were continued during the spring and summer by Mr. Roosevelt and by others. By April, 1938, Mr. Emil Ludwig, whose biography of Mr. Roosevelt was almost official, knew enough about his plans to be able to state that, if there was a war in Europe, America “would probably supply the European democracies with everything except troops. “[18]Emil Ludwig, Roosevelt (New York: The Viking Press, 1938), p. 272.

In late June, 1938, Mr. Roosevelt publicly announced” that the Navy, long concentrated in the Pacific, would in due course be concentrated in the Atlantic. In August secret negotiations, which have never been sufficiently investigated, were commenced with British representatives. For public consumption it was stated on November 17, 1938, that only trade agreements were being signed, but there were many hints cast out of underlying and unrevealed political commitments.[20]New York Times, November 18, 1938, pp. 1, 12,13 It seems certain that by that time Mr. Roosevelt and his associates were already secretly deep in the power politics of Europe, and a showdown had come earlier than they had anticipated, because of the events which culminated at Munich on September 30, 1938.

In early August even minor British officials knew that “at present Great Britain can count on close co-operation with [the] United States. “[21]The German White Paper; full text of the Polish documents issued by the Berlin Foreign Office; with a foreword by C. Hartley Grattan (New York: Howell, Soskin & Co., 1940), p. 15. This condition was .equally well known to the Germans at that time; see Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1946), III, 281. The American naval attach6 at Lisbon, said to be a personal friend of Mr. Roosevelt, stated at that time that the possibilities for speedy aid to Great Britain and France were being studied in America, and that this aid would include many airplanes.[22]German White Paper, p. 16. Evidently there had been some diplomatic leakage as to this information, because on September 9, 1938, Mr. Roosevelt found it necessary to deny that the United States was allied with European powers in a, stop-Hitler movement.[23]Adolf Hitler, My New Order; edited with commentary by Raoul de Roussy de Sales (New York: Reynal & Hitchcock, 1941), p. 504. It is interesting to speculate upon his reasons for omitting his denial from his published papers at a later date.

II. Roosevelt and Munich • 2,200 Words

And now it becomes necessary to narrate the melancholy story of Munich. Even among historians it does not seem to be generally known that Mr. Roosevelt must bear a portion of the responsibility which has been attributed entirely but erroneously to Mr. Chamberlain. When the summer of 1938 began, Chancellor Hitler was preparing to press new demands upon Czechoslovakia, but he was careful to note that he intended to avoid war: “However, I will decide to take action against Czechoslovakia only if I am firmly convinced as in the case of the occupation of the demilitarized zone and the entry into Austria that France will not march and therefore England will not intervene.”[24]Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, I, 525 As the situation became intensified in late August, Mr. Churchill, although not in office, wrote to Lord Halifax[25]Churchill, The Gathering Storm, p. 293. and suggested that Britain, France, and Russia should address a joint note to Germany intimating that an invasion of Czechoslovakia “would raise capital issues for all three powers.” And Mr. Churchill also advised that Mr. Roosevelt should be induced “to do his utmost” in approaching Chancellor Hitler only, and in urging upon him a friendly settlement. In the outcome, the only deviation from Mr. Churchill’s plan was in its last item.

As September lengthened the situation became more acute, but on the whole the tendency was for Britain, France, and Russia to stand more firmly together. On September 12, 1938, Foreign Minister Bonnet repeated the latter part of Mr. Churchill’s suggestions, and urged that Ambassador Wilson at Berlin be instructed to make representations to Germany only.[26]n\x\\, op.cit., 1,589. Mr. Chamberlain had gone to see the German Chancellor on September 15 at Berchtesgaden and again on September 22 at Godesberg, but his tendency, and that of the British cabinet, toward appeasement after the first interview was checked by the more exorbitant demands made at the second meeting.

On the night of September 23, 1938, general mobilization was ordered in Czechoslovakia, and the next day Prague informed London that the German demands were absolutely and unconditionally unacceptable. On September 24 Ambassador Kennedy telephoned from London to Mr. Hull. He reported that while the British cabinet was split, some of its members were of the opinion that Britain would have to fight.[27]Ibid., 1,590
(n\x\\, op.cit., 1,589.)
On September 25 the American Minister to Prague telegraphed Mr. Hull a request from President Benes to Mr. Roosevelt that he should urge Britain and France not to desert Czechoslovakia.[28]Ibid., 1,590-91
(n\x\\, op.cit., 1,589.)
Meanwhile France was at last preparing to perform its treaty obligations to Czechoslovakia, and partial mobilization was ordered.[29]Churchill, The Gathering Storm, p. 310 Similarly Britain, on September 26, had announced its decision to assist France if France would stand by Czechoslovakia, and the mobilization of the British fleet was ordered on September 27 for the following day. Russia notified Prague[30]Waverly Root, The Secret History of the War (2 vols.; New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1945), 1, 6, 10. Exactly this hostile combination had been foreseen by the Germans about a month previously; see also Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, III,[280] that she would honor the obligations of the 1935 treaty, and arranged with Rumania (which, with Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia, formed the Little Entente) for the passage of her troops. Russia had already delivered three hundred war planes to Czechoslovakia,[31]Louis Fischer, Men and Politics, An Autobiography (New York: Duell, Sloan & Pearce, 1941), p. 556. and in addition several squadrons of Soviet planes were on the Czechoslovak airfields.[32]/&jJ.,p. 570 In consequence Lord Halifax, still on September 26, 1938, issued this statement: “If, in spite of the efforts made by the British Prime Minister, a German attack is made upon Czechoslovakia, the immediate result must be that France will be bound to come to her assistance, and Great Britain and Russia will certainly stand by France. “[33]Ibid., p. 570; see also Churchill, The Gathering Storm, p. 309
(/&jJ.,p. 570)

Here was a momentary, climax of power. It was a turning point of history, for there was bitter controversy in the opposite camp. The German people were at this moment, September 27, 1938, devoid of enthusiasm either for Chancellor Hitler or for the prospective conflict.[34]William L. Shirer, Berlin Diary (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1941), pp. 142-43 see also Hans Bernd Gisevius, To the Bitter End (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1947), p. 324. The German generals were convinced that Germany would be defeated and were preparing a Putsch[35]Gisevius, op. cit., pp. 319-26; see also Churchill, The Gathering Storm, pp. 311-14. to depose Chancellor Hitler. The Chancellor wavered and, on the night of the twenty-seventh/twenty-eighth, the German radio broadcast an official denial that Germany intended to mobilize. Later, on the morning of the twenty-eighth, a similar statement was issued by the official German news agency.[36]Churchill, The Gathering Storm, p. 314. The era of appeasement had apparently ended, and it seemed as if Great Britain, France, Czechoslovakia, and Russia had called Chancellor Hitler’s bluff just in the nick of time.

At this critical moment Mr. Roosevelt intervened and wrecked the entire situation. For some time he had been eager “to make personal appeals to the heads of the European Governments concerned.” There had been a conflict in the State Department: “Welles kept pushing the President on, while I [Mr. Hull] kept advising him to go slow.”[37]Hull, o/;. a7., I, 591. Mr. Roosevelt decided to go ahead, and on September 26, 1938, he sent identical messages not only to Chancellor Hitler, but also to the President of Czechoslovakia, the Prime Minister of Great Britain, and to the Premier of France, asking that the negotiations might continue to settle the questions at issue, and that war might be avoided. The inner meaning of Mr. Roosevelt’s intervention could not have been misunderstood by any informed person. Mr. Roosevelt had earlier been requested to apply his pressure only against Germany, but now he was applying it against Germany’s opponents too. It was thus clear that Mr. Roosevelt was not only opposing their military preparations to go to war against Germany: he was also lending the support of his influence to those who, in the divided counsels of the British and French governments, were opposed to war — to those who have since been called the appeasers.

After all, there was nothing to negotiate except Chancellor Hitler’s demand for Czechoslovakian territory, for no country was then demanding any territory from Germany. The military preparations of Czechoslovakia, which Mr. Roosevelt’s message equated with those of Germany, were purely defensive, so that this was hardly quarantining the aggressor.

Mr. Roosevelt possessed the power as President to declare American neutrality, and by embargoing the shipment of munitions of war to both belligerents to deny them the aid of America’s vast productive and financial power. Even if Britain and France had not been divided in their counsels they would hardly have dared to antagonize Mr. Roosevelt under such critical circumstances. Quite unexpectedly the appeasers found themselves in the drivers’ seat, and Chancellor Hitler’s bluff gained an unanticipated supporter. Messrs. Chamberlain, Daladier, and Benes cabled back “their complete accord with the President’s views and their willingness to negotiate for peace” on September 26, 1938.[38]Ibid., I, 592
(Hull, o/;. a7., I, 591.)
Mr. Chamberlain’s request to broadcast a message — no doubt of explanation — to the American people on the following night, September 27, 1938 was denied by Mr. Roosevelt.[39]Ibid., \, 593.
(Hull, o/;. a7., I, 591.)

Nor was this all. Chancellor Hitler’s reply, which was received in America on the night of September 26, was inconclusive. Consequently, Mr. Roosevelt thought it expedient to find additional support for his proposal. Circular instructions were therefore sent on September 77 to American diplomats in other countries, requesting them to ask the governments to which they were accredited “to send comparable appeals to Germany and Czechoslovakia”[9940] (emphasis supplied); nineteen other governments (seventeen being in Latin America) obliged. Also on September 27 Mr. Roosevelt besought Premier Mussolini to urge the use of negotiations,, and to Chancellor Hitler Mr. Roosevelt sent a further message urging that a conference be called. So the stage was inescapably set for Munich by Mr. Roosevelt’s personal actions and maneuvers, and Mr. Chamberlain received a full award of general opprobrium in which, if justified, Mr. Roosevelt deserved a considerable share.

Mr. Roosevelt’s reasons for this grievous blunder must remain conjectural until all of the secret diplomatic discussions and approaches are revealed. Meanwhile we have some clues, all of which point in the same direction, namely, that Mr. Roosevelt did not regard Munich as any final settlement with Hitler but believed that it might lead to war at no distant period. Hence, he continued his plans for a vast armament program, with emphasis on airplanes, which would help to provide Britain and France with the sinews of war and make the United States ready for possible involvement in the impending struggle.

Colonel Charles Lindbergh had reported before September 24, 1938, both to our State Department and to the British, that Germany was easily capable of combating the combined air force of all other European countries.[41]Ibid., 1,590.
(Hull, o/;. a7., I, 591.)
Ambassador Kennedy had not been too confident as to whether the French and the British were in good shape to fight.[42]Ibid., 1,592-93.
(Hull, o/;. a7., I, 591.)
Most revealing is the account given by General Arnold.[43]H. H. Arnold, Global Mission (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1949), pp. 177-79. On September 28, 1938, Mr. Roosevelt called a meeting, which “was plainly a bolt from the blue,” to discuss aircraft production and air power in general. Mr. Roosevelt

“came straight out for air power. Airplanes — now — and lots of them! … A new regiment of field artillery … he said sharply, would not scare Hitler one blankety-b lankblank bit! What he wanted was airplanes! Airplanes were the war implements that would have an influence on Hitler’s activities!”

The total air power of Britain, France, Germany, and Italy was estimated, and Mr. Roosevelt said that he wanted to create the capacity to manufacture 20,000 military planes a year, with the actual production of 10,000 planes (the approximate estimated combined total strength of Germany and Italy) a year as the immediate goal. The tremendous expansion of the Air Corps made General Arnold feel that it had “achieved its Magna Carta.” It was not wholly unexpected to him; about a fortnight earlier Mr. Roosevelt had sent Mr. Hopkins to make a secret survey of our capacity to build military aircraft because Mr. Roosevelt “was sure then that we were going to get into war and he believed that air power would win it.[44]Sherwood, op. cit., p. 100. As something of a bv-product of this activitv General Marshall was secretly supplied with diverted relief funds in order to procure machinery to manufacture ammunition.[45]Ibid., p. 101.
(Sherwood, op. cit., p. 100.)

Another important clue is that in 1940 Mr. Kennedy delivered a speech in which he stated that “if Mr. Chamberlain had had five thousand first-line planes at home when he conferred at Munich we would have truly seen ‘peace in our time.’”[46]Fischer, op. cit., p. 564.

All of,this procedure makes it evident that Mr. Roosevelt did not believe that the Munich settlement meant permanent peace or even “peace in our time,” but apparently was convinced that it would lead to war in the not distant future.

All of these clues lead in the same direction, and unless and until they are superseded by better evidence their implication would seem clear. Mr. Roosevelt apparently believed, in the autumn of 1938, that the air power of Britain and France was dangerously insufficient, and that those nations ought not to assume the risks of war with Germany at that time. In consequence he intervened at a critical moment in a delicate and almost balanced situation. The result of his intervention was tantamount to compelling the Allies to agree to grant Chancellor Hitler’s demands, instead of resisting them by war.

Mr. Roosevelt’s intervention was therefore equivalent in its result to appeasement, so that, in the phraseology current in those times, Mr. Roosevelt was, in effect, the most decisive appeaser.*

[*Editor's Note. — As is evident from the closing paragraphs of Professor Tansill's preceding chapter. Dr. Sanborn's interpretation of President Roosevelt's motives for appeasement in the Munich crisis is open to serious challenge. To imply that Mr. Roosevelt could have believed that France and Britain were in better condition to battle against Hitler in August, 1939, than in September, 1938, is veritably to charge him with incredible ignorance, if not sheer mental defect. With the Russian and Czech armies ready to aid France and Britain in September, 1938, it is unthinkable that an attack by these four powers on Germany in the fall of .1938 would not have resulted in a quick and crushing defeat of Germany. As Langer and Gleason point out, as late as September, 1939, Hitler had available for the attack on Poland only three partly mechanized divisions and not one fully motorized division. One liberal journalist, much in personal favor with Mr. Roosevelt in 1938, even ventured the opinion at the time of Munich that the Czech army alone could defeat Hitler. Now we know that France and Britain, combined, had more tanks and war planes than Hitler possessed in September, 1938. Mr. Roosevelt must have known this at the time unless guilty of near-criminal neglect and incompetence.

[The only explanation for Mr. Roosevelt's intervention in the Munich episode which would seem to accord with facts, logic, and reason is that he felt that a military attack on Hitler in September, 1938, would lead to so rapid a termination of the war (in the defeat of Germany) that he would not have time to involve this country in the great conflict. By the end of August, 1939, with the Czech army immobilized and Russia aligned with Germany, it looked like a long war, well suited to Mr. Roosevelt's interventionist program. We now know that the powerful German generals opposed to Hitler had given top-level British statesmen and diplomats definite and reliable information before the Munich crisis that an army revolt would take place in Germany against Hitler if he risked war in the autumn of 1938.

[Having submitted this rejoinder, the editor re-emphasizes his respect for Dr. Sanborn as a conscientious and learned scholar. His views should be stated without restraint and are entitled to respect. In any event, Dr. Sanborn, Professor Tansill, and, the editor are in full agreement upon the main point, namely, that President Roosevelt exercised a decisive influence in leading Britain and France to appease rather than forcibly to resist Hitler at the time of the Munich crisis.]

III. The Aftermath of Munich • 1,700 Words

This intervention was, of course, not neutrality. It was also a resounding defeat in the sphere of power politics, and Mr. Roosevelt was never a man to forgive or forget such a defeat. It was not long before he began to attempt to move forward once more against Chancellor Hitler.

By mid-November, 1938, both the American ambassador to Germany and the German ambassador to the United States had been recalled. The feelings of officials in Washington were rising portentously high against Germany: it was like 1916-17.[47]German White Paper, pp. 19-21. Ambassadors Bullitt, Kennedy, and Phillips were also brought back from their posts for post-mortem conferences, and it was secretly agreed that the, time had come to stop Germany and to assist Britain and France.[48]Moley, o/?. d?., pp. 379.-80. Mr. Morgenthau now managed to intrude himself into the military aircraft production program and commenced making the arrangements to give away our newest aircraft to foreign countries. Early in December, 1938, a French mission came secretly to the United States in order to inspect our newest attack bomber, and Mr. Morgenthau arranged for the necessary clearances.[49]Arnold, op. cit., p. 185.

The secrets of power politics are rarely hidden for long from the insiders. It is only the people themselves who are not permitted to know what is being secretly planned and what is secretly done. Word of the American plans no doubt percolated through to Premier Mussolini in due course, and at the commencement of 1939 his thinking changed; he then considered that a clash with the Western democracies was inevitable, and he decided to try to transform the Anti-Comintern agreement into an alliance.[50]The Ciano Diaries, 1939-1943; [his] complete unabridged diaries; edited by Hugh Gibson; introduction by Sumner Welles (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1946), p. 3. The “American lack of political sense”[51]Ibid., p. 5.
(The Ciano Diaries, 1939-1943; [his] complete unabridged diaries; edited by Hugh Gibson; introduction by Sumner Welles (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1946), p. 3.)
in international affairs may well have affected that fateful decision.

In a chapter limited by space we cannot pause to trace the development of Mr. Roosevelt’s propaganda in his “methods short of war” annual message to the Congress on January 4, 1939, or in his special message on defense in early January, 1939. But the trend of his thinking at this time is clear. On January 23, 1939, a bomber crashed and an injured member of the French mission was pulled from the flaming wreck.[52]Arnold, op. cit., 185. This suddenly revealed to the American public the presence of secret military missions. In the ensuing furore Mr. Roosevelt called the Senate Military Affairs Committee to the White House, swore them to secrecv, and said that our frontier in the battle of the democracies against Fascism was on the Rhine,[53]Sanborn, op. cit., p. 55. or (according to another version) in France.[54]German White Paper, p. 44. This, too, leaked, and the furore became greater.

The percipient reader will have noted already that while Mr. Roosevelt referred to Fascism he made no mention of the peril of Communism. That obvious omission was contemporaneously noted by the Polish ambassador to the United States in a dispatch which showed brilliant insight upon that particular topic. On January 16, 1939, the Polish ambassador reported to Warsaw that he had had a long talk with Ambassador Bullitt, who was about to return to his post in Paris. Mr. Bullitt stated that Mr. Roosevelt’s policies included rearmament “at an accelerated speed”; “that France and Britain must put [an] end to any sort of compromise with the totalitarian countries,” and that “They have the moral assurance that the United States will leave the policy of isolation and be prepared to intervene actively on the side of Britain and France in case of war. America is ready to place its whole wealth of money and raw materials at their disposal. “[55]Ibid., pp. 32-33.
(German White Paper, p. 44.)

Several weeks later the Polish ambassador to France reported as to another conversation with Mr. Bullitt, from which he concluded “. . . that the policy of President Roosevelt will henceforth take the course of supporting France’s resistance, to check German-Italian pressure, and to weaken British compromise tendencies. “[56]Ibid., ^. 45.
(German White Paper, p. 44.)

On March 14, 1939, Chancellor Hitler had called in the Czechoslovak President and Foreign Minister and had forced them to agree to a German protectorate and to occupation by German troops. This came as a great surprise: even Mussolini did not know it had been planned. It left him feeling flat-footed and ridiculous,[57]The Ciano Diaries, pp. 42-44. and in consequence he determined to seize Albania. Apparently American diplomats were unaware of this strained relationship between Hitler and Mussolini, and instead of capitalizing upon such divergences they maladroitly brought the parties together by scolding messages[58]Sanborn, op. cit., pp. 58-60. and by attempts to constitute a “democratic bloc. “[59]The Ciano Diaries, p. 49.

From Paris Mr. Bullitt wrote to Mr. Roosevelt on March 23, 1939,[60]Trefousse, op. cit., p. 20. urging that “some nation in Europe” should stand up to Germany “quickly,” and the next day he had a conversation with the Polish ambassador. The Pole expressed the opinion, among others, that British foreign policy was “. . . not only concerned with the defense of these states which find themselves menaced by the new methods of German policy, but also with an ideological conflict with Hitlerism, and that the ultimate aim in the pursuit of its actions is not peace but to bring about the downfall of Germany.”[61]German White Paper, pp. 51-54. The Pole also objected that neither Britain nor France were taking sufficiently firm military measures at that time, and that in consequence their proposals to Poland were highly dangerous to that country. Mr. Bullitt then inquired whether Poland “would accept a common alliance in the event that France and England proposed it.” The Polish ambassador replied guardedly and in substance that it would depend upon how much power Britain was prepared to use to back up the guarantee.

Mr. Bullitt then telephoned Mr. Kennedy at London on March 25, 1939,[62]Ibid.
(German White Paper, pp. 51-54.)
and instructed him to call on Mr. Chamberlain and repeat the conversation. Ambassador Kennedv did so on March 26, 1939,[63]Ibid.
(German White Paper, pp. 51-54.)
and telephoned his report to Mr. Bullitt at Paris.

The Polish ambassador at Paris expressed doubt as to how far Britain would go and expressed to Mr. Bullitt the “… hope that the United States possesses means by which it can exercise efficacious pressure on England, fee added that he would seriously consider assembling these means.” Someone — we may assume that it was Mr. Bullitt — was telephoning to Mr. Roosevelt at this time,[64]The Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt, VIII, 185-86. and the upshot of all this maneuvering was that, on March 31, 1939, Mr. Chamberlain stated to the House of Commons that Great Britain and France would fight if Germany invaded Poland. Some light is cast upon this decision by the contemporary report of the Polish ambassador in London as to Mr. Kennedy’s conversation with Mr. Chamberlain. Mr. Kennedy, it was said, “… emphasized that America’s sympathies for England in case of a conflict would depend to a great extent upon the determination with which England would take care of European states threatened by Germany.”[65]German White Paper, p. 59.

Meanwhile, in late March, Lord Halifax had approached Mr. Kennedy, saying that the British commitments in Europe were so substantial that a previous promise made to Australia to send a fleet to Singapore could not be kept;[66]Hull, op. cit., I, 630. would America oblige? Ambassador Bullitt supported this request from France on April 11, 1939, stating that France would refuse to join Britain in king action to resist Germany if the British Mediterranean Fleet was sent to Singapore.[67]Ibid.
(Hull, op. cit., I, 630.)
Mr. Roosevelt took the requested prompt action; on April 15, 1939, the American fleet was ordered into the Pacific.[68]Ibid.
(Hull, op. cit., I, 630.)
On May 17, 1939, Ambassador Phillips delivered a warning to Count Ciano, stressing one point, “… that the American people . . . intend unanimously to concern themselves in European affairs, and it would be folly to think that they would remain aloof in the event of a conflict.”[69]The Ciano Diaries, p. 83 Ambassador Davies is supposed to have made a somewhat comparable assertion to Stalin,[70]Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, VI, 890. but the limited scope of this chapter forbids any attempt to trace the involved paths of the tortuous negotiations conducted almost simultaneously by Soviet Russia with both Britain and Germany, which eventuated in the public and secret treaties of August 23, 1939, between Germany and Russia, and which were the immediate prelude to the outbreak of the second World War.

Meanwhile, in the United States, Mr. Roosevelt was unsuccessfully attempting to abolish the restraints which the Neutrality Act laid on him. King George VI and Queen Elizabeth had visited him in early June, 1939, but the nature of the conversations which were held at that time are still secret. That Mr. Roosevelt’s purposes had not changed is shown by the despairing and prophetic summary which Professor Raymond Moley wrote during the summer of 1939, in the course of which he observed that the administration was “up to its neck in the game of power politics,” and he also stated that “the evidence has all pointed to our active and tireless participation in the game . . .”[71]Motley, op. cit., p. 382.

At a much later date it was revealed that during the summer of 1939 Mr. Bullitt was frequently urging upon Mr. Roosevelt the opinion that the Germans would not fight about Poland if they were faced down.[72]Walter Millis (ed.), The Forrestal Diaries (New York: The Viking Press, 1951), pp. 121-22. . Roosevelt asked Mr. Clarence Dillon to get in secret touch with the British, to urge that Mr. Chamberlain should have greater firmness in dealing with Germany, and Mr. Dillon spoke to this effect to Lord Lothian. Mr. Roosevelt also delivered similar messages to Mr. Kennedy over the transatlantic telephone during the summer of 1939- Mr. Kennedy’s view was that the British did not have enough to fight with, and that any conflict between Germany and Britain was superfluous because Germany would later attack Soviet Russia. And Mr. Kennedy later reported that Mr. Chamberlain had said that America and the world Jews had forced Britain into the war.

Indeed, as it has a bearing upon Mr. Roosevelt’s aggressive purposes, it should be noted that at a secret conference at Tokyo on May 23, 1939, between Baron Hiranuma and Mr. Eugene H. Dooman, the counselor of the American Embassy, the Japanese Prime Minister suggested that he might sound out Germany and Italy, if Mr. Roosevelt was prepared to approach Britain and France, in order to hold a conference to try to solve the troubles of Europe.[73]Pearl Harbor Attack, Part XX, p. 4139 Hull viewed this approach as “amazing,” and brought it to Mr. Roosevelt’s personal attention.[74]Ibid., Part XX, p. 4168. Nine years later Mr. Hull claimed that he was “more than skeptical” of this proposal; see The Memoirs of Cordell Hull, I, 631. But no suggestion of skepticism appears in his 1939 memorandum to Mr. Roosevelt.
(Pearl Harbor Attack, Part XX, p. 4139)
But a reply was delayed for the better part of three months, by which time circumstances had changed, and a great “opportunity which had been neglected was wasted — or evaded.

American preparations for war were proceeding silently and secretly. On June 23, 1939, a secret barter agreement was made with Britain;[75]Peace and War, p. 61; International Transactions of the U.S., etc., p. 27; Hull, op. cit., I, 625. “a good deal of money” was spent to buy various war materials;[76]The Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt, VIII, 568. nineteen new merchant ships were launched by August 9; contracts were about to be let for one hundred more;[77]Ibid., VIII, 438.
(The Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt, VIII, 568.)
‘ and on August 10 War Resources Board was created.[78]The United States at War (Washington, D.C., 1946), p. 16.

IV. American Policy and the Outbreak of the Second World War • 1,500 Words

The diplomatic confusion and maneuverings which preceded the outbreak of the second World War can only be touched upon briefly here. But this much should be pointed out. The Russo-German treaties of August 23, 1939, were not only unpopular in Europe; they met with a hostile Japanese response, and Italy at the last moment refused to fight,[79]Sanborn, op. cit., p. 85 so that on August 25 Chancellor Hitler cancelled the mobilization orders.[80]Ulrich von Hassell, The Von Hassell Diaries, 1938-1944 (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1947), p. 63. It therefore seems to be a legitimate hypothesis to suppose that if American diplomacy had previously been more friendly and affirmative toward Japan and toward Italy, and if the German generals and others who were so earnestly opposed to the Chancellor had been encouraged and supported, the focusing of all this combined strength and opposition might then have led to his immediate downfall. Instead, as we all know, the final result of this political confusion and diplomatic ineptitude was war, after the failure of sincere lastminute Italian efforts to reach a peaceful settlement.[81]The Ciano Diaries, pp. 129-30, 132, 134, 136; The Von Hassell Diaries, p. 73. Two days after the invasion of Poland, Britain declared war on Germany, and France reluctantly followed the British lead a few hours later.

Very shortly thereafter Mr. Roosevelt decided to ignore the regular procedure of transmitting diplomatic communications through ambassadors and Secretaries of State. Mr. Churchill has stated that on September 11, 1939, Mr. Roosevelt had requested him to send him personal sealed communications through the diplomatic pouches,[82]Churchill, The Gathering Storm, p. 440. and that there were about two thousand,[83]Ibid., p. 441.
(Churchill, The Gathering Storm, p. 440.)
or seventeen hundred,[84]Churchill, Their Finest Hour, p. 23 of these exchanges. The most important business between Britain and America was ultimately transacted through this personal and secret correspondence, and almost all of it has been kept secret to this day.

Meanwhile Mr. Roosevelt held press conferences, made a fireside chat to the nation, and issued various proclamations, including a neutrality proclamation. At all times his protestations of a desire to keep America at peace were strong and profuse. This was the appearance; the reality was otherwise.

A deceitfully named “neutrality patrol” of American waters was initiated by or before September 22, 1939,[85]The Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt, VIII, 525-527. but it was not long before American naval vessels were unneutrally directing and escorting British warships to capture German prizes.[86]Fuehrer Conferences on Matters Dealing with the German Navy (Washington, D.C.: Navy Department, Office of Naval Intelligence, 1947), II, 48; Trefousse, op. cit., p. 42. Wholly contrary to the established rules of international law a so-called neutral zone was extended anywhere from three hundred to one thousand miles out to sea[87]Hull, o/?.a7., I, 689-91. in order to benefit Britain against Germany. Later, on October 18, 1939, the submarines of all the belligerents, except Russia, were forbidden to enter American ports, except in case of force majeure.”[88]The Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt, VIII, 552-54.

Secret preparations were made for American entry into the war.”[89]The United States at War, pp. 21-22. By necessary implication Mr. Roosevelt had lost some of his earlier faith in the overwhelming effect of air power, because plans for the draft were being worked on in September, and by early October they were essentially in the form in which they were enacted about a year later[90]Sanborn, op. cit., p. 92.. Wartime taxation was being studied, as was some form of war risk insurance.

Meanwhile Soviet Russia joined in the attack on Poland, and Polish resistance collapsed. Foreign diplomats thought that peace was quite possible, but Mr. Roosevelt was strongly opposed to a negotiated peace.[91]Sherwood, op. cit., p. 126. The German attempt to make peace failed, and the period of the “phony” war began.

Mr. Roosevelt had called a special session of Congress for September 21, 1939, in order to amend the Neutrality Act,[92]The Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt, VIII, 51222. and, after assuring the country that it was “a shameless and dishonest fake” to assert that any “person in any responsible place … in Washington . . . has ever suggested in any shape, manner or form the remotest possibility of sending the boys of American mothers to fight on the battlefields of Europe,” and that the United States “is neutral and does not intend to get involved in war,”[93]Ibid., VIII, 554-57
(The Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt, VIII, 51222.)
he managed to get the cash-and-carry amendments through on November 3, 1939.[94]Ibid., VIII, 524
(The Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt, VIII, 51222.)
British and French purchasing commissions were already here, awaiting the passage of the amendments in order to open up. In Mr. Morgenthau’s opinion[95]“The Morgenthau Diaries,” Collier’s, CXX (October 18, 1947), 72. they did not arm speedily enough, but in about a year it transpired that they had ordered arms far in excess of their capacity to pay for them.

We must hasten over the German surrender of the three little Baltic states to Russia at the end of September, 1939, and the invasion of Finland on November 29, 1939. Likewise space limitations forbid more than a passing reference to Mr. Myron C. Taylor’s mission to the Vatican in February, 194o, and Mr. Sumner Welles’s trip to Italy, France, Germany, and Great Britain in February and March, 1940- Peace negotiations were in the air, but Mr. Roosevelt, still opposing a negotiated peace, refused to let Mr. Welles participate in them.[96]The Ciano Diaries, p. 222; cf. Welles, op. cit., pp. 135, 139. Bv March 19, 1940, Mr. Roosevelt was allowing our advanced types of aircraft to be sold to Britain and to France,[97]The Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt, IX, pp. 104-8. while starving the American Army and Navy of them for many months to come. General Arnold often refers[98]Arnold, op. cit., pp. 190, 193, 196-98 203, 215, 241, 245, 251, 256, 258, 264-67. plaintively but timidly to this problem, which was finally so acute that Secretary Knox wrote in his secret report to Mr. Roosevelt, soon after the Pearl Harbor disaster: “Of course, the best means of defense against air attack consists of fighter planes. Lack of an adequate number of this type of aircraft available to the Army for the defense of the Island is due to the diversion of this type before the outbreak of the war to the British, the Chinese, the Dutch and the Russians. “[99]Pearl Harbor Attack, Part XXIV, p. 1753. This report is not dated, but from other evidence it would seem that it should be dated about December 15, 1941.

Prior to the attack on Denmark and Norway Mr. Roosevelt had arranged for loans to those countries.[100]The Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt, IX, 51. During May, 1940, along with Mr. Churchill and M. Reynaud, he tried often but secretly[101]Sanborn, op. cit., pp. 108.10. to keep Italy from entering the war, at first by covert threats, which made Mussolini feel compelled to act quickly, and later by promises of territorial accessions in the Mediterranean area which Mr. Roosevelt offered personally to guarantee. When these secret promises failed, Mr. Roosevelt returned to his original policy of threats, which became much more specific and included a thinly veiled statement of American military intervention.

On May 10, 1940, Germany had opened her attack upon the Low Countries and France, and Mr. Churchill had become Prime Minister. On May 15, 1940, Mr. Churchill cabled Mr. Roosevelt[102]Churchill, Their Finest Hour, pp. 24-25., a long list of requests for tangible aerial, naval, material, and diplomatic help, asking for almost everything except an expeditionary force, and including the abandonment of American neutrality. None of these requests was explicitly refused, by Mr. Roosevelt, although he temporized as to granting several of them. The very next day. May 16, Mr. Roosevelt asked the Congress for additional appropriations, “for National Defense,”[103]The Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt, IX, 198-205. the first in a 1940 series. And on May 17, 1940 Mr. Roosevelt ordered the remaining older destroyers to be recommissioned.[104]Ibid.,IX, 213.
(The Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt, IX, 198-205.)
It was his first step toward the destroyer deal, but it was not svdift enough to please Mr. Churchill, whose demands soon became importunate and were coupled with intimations that under some circumstances the British Fleet might be surrendered to Germany. One cannot give even a resume of the correspondence and subsequent negotiations here;[105]See Sanborn, op. cit., pp. 117, 129, 135, 140-42, 170-71, 179-84; Arnold, op. cit., pp. 230, 232. it ultimately resulted in the destroyer-bases deal of September 3, 1940.

On May 28, 1940, King Leopold III surrendered the Belgian armies, and next day the evacuation through Dunkirk began. On June 1, Mr. Roosevelt ordered the Army and the Navy to investigate the quantity of arms which could be transferred to Britain, and on June 3 General Marshall authorized sending to Britain half a million rifles, 80,000 machine guns, 900 field guns, and much in the way of other munitions.[106]Edward R. Stettinius, Jr., Lend-Lease, Weapon for Victory (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1944), pp. 24-25. “The subterfuge was obvious …” wrote Mr. Stimson. See Henrv L. Stimson and McGeorge Bundv, On Active Service in Peace and War (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1948), p. 356. See also Hull, op. cit., I, 775. On June 5, 1940, the Attorney General rendered an opinion that 600,000 rifles and 2,500 field guns, with ammunition, might be sold to Britain as “surplus.” From time to time thereafter more and more weapons were sent, so much more that in early 1941 Mr. Churchill gaily cabled brief thanks to Mr. Hopkins for a “packet” containing a mere quarter of a million rifles and half a billion rounds of ammunition.[107]Churchill, The Grand Alliance (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1950), p. 127;Cf. 732, 741.

On June 10, 1940, Italy declared war against France, and on the same day Mr. Roosevelt delivered the speech at the commencement of the Universitv of Virginia in which he said, “the hand that held the dagger has struck it into the back of its neighbor.”[108]The Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt, IX, 259-64. France resisted Italy with far more ease than Germany, and M. Reynaud was now asking Mr. Roosevelt urgently for help.[109]Hull, op. cit., I, 767-75. So was Mr. Churchill, who also asked Mr. Roosevelt that hope be held out to France. In France, as resistance began to fail, Mr. Churchill held out the possibility even of an American declaration of war.[110]Churchill, Their Finest Hour, pp. 179-81. Mr. Roosevelt, on June 13, 1940, cabled M. Reynaud, promising much more material aid and urging that French resistance should continue,[111]Peace and War, pp. 74-75; Churchill, Their Finest Hour, pp. 183-84; Sherwood, Roosevelt and Hopkins, p. 145. Mr. Sherwood’s version differs from Mr. Churchill’s; which one is not paraphrased? but he refused to permit his cable to be made public.[112]Churchill, Their Finest Hour, p. 187.

So France sought an armistice, and almost immediately Mr. Roosevelt began to threaten the French in various ways in order to force them to get their navy out of the way of the Germans before signing an armistice.[113]Peace and War, p. 76. For many months thereafter these threats were renewed from time to time.[114]Leahy, op. cit., p. 9.

V. American Aid to Britain “Short of War” • 2,200 Words

On June 20, 1940, Mr. Woodring was ousted as Secretary of War because he had refused to strip the nation of its defenses in order to aid the Allies; he was replaced by Mr. Stimson, a confirmed interventionist and an advocate of peacetime conscription. On that same day the draft act was introduced in the Senate, because, if enlistments in the Army are any criterion of public opinion, the country was still overwhelmingly opposed to Mr. Roosevelt’s policies. The Army’s recruiting was a failure;”[115]Life, IX, No. 1 (July 1, 1940), 7 only nine thousand men had enlisted after a six weeks’ drive.

On July 2, 1940, Mr. Roosevelt by proclamation prohibited the export of munitions of war and many other goods, except under license. This measure, he later expressly acknowledged,[116]The Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt, IX, 281. was to promote “the policy of helping Great Britain”; by necessary implication it was intended to prevent any exports to Germany and to Italy. It was about at this time that a naval and military mission was sent to Britain. Nominally it was an exploratory mission,[117]Churchill, The Grand Alliance, p. 137 but out of it the secret joint Anglo-American staff plans of January, 1941, ensued.

On July 19, 1940, Chancellor Hitler appealed to Great Britain to make peace. “[118]Adolf Hitler, My New Order, pp. 809-38; especially pp. 836-38. His offer was serious, and competent observers believed that Britain would have been tempted to accept it, had it not been for Mr. Roosevelt’s opposition 119 Russo-German relations were already deteriorating, and German plans to attack Russia were in the earliest stage of their formation.[120]Shirer, op. cit., pp. 450, 550; Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, V, 741. Chancellor Hitler wanted, and expected to obtain, peace with Britain. When peace was rejected hasty plans to attack Britain were initiated in July,[121]Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, III, 399-400. disputed between the German navy and the German army in August, and abandoned in September[122]The Ciano Diaries, p. 296. in order to concentrate upon the Russian adventure.[123]Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, III, 406-7; see also the Fuehrer Conferences, 11, 22-23.

In the United States Mr. Roosevelt was busily occupied in finding a way to circumvent the Congress[124]Sherwood, op. cit., p. 175 and consummate the destroyer deal, in undertaking the defense of Canada, in helping Mr. Churchill with a variety of relatively minor diplomatic intrigues, and, most particularly, in winning the third-term election by giving more profuse and more sweeping promises “again and again and again” to maintain “peace during the next four years”[125]The Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt, IX, 541-431. and “to keep our people out of foreign wars. “[126]Ibid., IX, 530-39. m. Ibid., \X, 3 13 -U.
(The Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt, IX, 541-431.)
Along with these activities Mr. Roosevelt deceived the Congress into authorizing, in late August, that the National Guard be ordered into active service for “training efficiency. “[127] He also managed to secure the passage of the first peacetime conscription act by September 16, 1940,[128]Ibid.,IX, p. 428.
(The Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt, IX, 541-431.)
but it was limited to twelve months of “training” and the draftees could not be sent outside of the Western Hemisphere.

Once the election was won “on which our fate . . . depended, “[129]Churchill, Their Finest Hour, p. 187. Mr. Churchill had further demands to make. It took him over three weeks to compose a letter, almost ten pages long when printed,[130]Ibid., pp. 558-67.
(Churchill, Their Finest Hour, p. 187.)
which was delivered to Mr. Roosevelt on December 9, 1940 The requests were more formidable and contemplated the continuance of the war for at least two more years; this was the genesis of lend-lease.

By December 12, 1940,[131]Pearl Harbor Attack, Part XIV, p. 984; Part XX, pp. 4075-76: Sherwood, op. cit., pp. 271-73. 132. Pearl Harbor Attack, Part V, p. 2391; Part III, pp. 994-97. joint staff conversations with the British had been secretly commenced in London, Manila, and Washington. They continued through the early part of 1941, and out of them the American-British-Dutch war plans were developed. The first war plan was against Germany; the second war plan was against Japan, and Mr. Roosevelt approved both of these plans “except officially,”[132] as Admiral Stark put it. Continued secrecy still prevents a positive statement as to the constitution of a formal alliance at this time, but the distinction between a formal alliance and a gentleman’s agreement which had been established and approved, “except officially,” seems trifling.[133]Compare Mr. Sherwood’s simile of a common-law marriage, Roosevelt and Hopkins, p. 270. Note General Arnold’s observation. Global Mission, p. 244 — “we were forming a very close alliance with the British.” What is of vastly greater concern is that neither the American people nor the Congress were allowed to know the truth. The vital implications of these joint staff conferences in regard to the involvement of the United States in the war were fully sensed by Admiral Stark. At the close of the conferences he wrote to his fleet commanders that “The question as to our entry into the war now seems to be when, and not whether. “(133a)

In early January, 1941, Mr. Hopkins had flown to London to confer with Mr. Churchill. Mr. Hopkins’ laconic report, “I told of my mission,”[134]Sherwood, op. cit., p. 238. is expanded in Mr. Churchill’s version of it to a more sweeping undertaking:

“The President is determined that we shall win the war together. Make no mistake about it.

“He has sent me here to tell you that at all costs and by all means he will carry you through, no matter what happens to him-there is nothing that he will not do so far as he has human power.”[135]Churchill, The Grand Alliance, p. 23

Meanwhile Mr. Roosevelt had asked the Congress for lend-lease, and on January 10, 1941, the bill, drafted in the offices of Mr. Stimson and of Mr. Morgenthau,[136]“The Morgenthau Diaries,” Collier’s, CXX (October 18, 1947), 74; Hull, op. cit., I, 873; Sherwood, op. cit., p. 228. was introduced. Space forbids an extended account of all the political maneuvering which accomplished it.lar One can only state three matters in a summary way: first, that vague terror stories about an invasion crisis facing Britain -in the event, a quite false and synthetic crisis-were employed as one of the propaganda devices to secure its enactment; second, that in consequence of its passage on March 9, 1941, the Congress surrendered the war-making power to Mr. Roosevelt, and enabled him to make war, declared or undeclared, anywhere in the world; and third, that lend-lease, like most of Mr. Roosevelt’s other measures, was wholly unneutral and contrary to the elementary rules of international law.

In mid-January, 1941, another and more fateful thread was woven into the pattern. The American State Department, at Mr. Roosevelt’s specific instruction, warned[138]Franklin D. Roosevelt and Pius XII, Wartime Correspondence; with an introduction and explanatory notes by Myron C. Taylor (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1947) p. 49; Victor Kravchenko, / Chose Freedom; the Personal and Political Life of a Soviet Official (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1946), pp. 352, 363; Hull, op. cit., II, 967-68. the Russian ambassador, Mr. Constantine Oumansky,[139]For Mr. Oumansky’s background, see W. G. Krivitsky, In Stalin’s Secret Service (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1939), pp. 37-38. Mr. Hull (Memoirs, I, 743, 807, 809; n, 971) dryly appraised the Russian ambassador as “a walking insult when at his worst” — “sarcasm poured from the Ambassador like wheat from a thresher” — he “thought that firmness meant rudeness.” of the contemplated German attack, and these warnings were later repeated.[140]Hull, op. cit., n, 968, 973; Churchill, The Grand Alliance, p. 367. Mr. Root’s account of the Russian preparations. The Secret History of the War, I, 499-519, seems to be predicated upon General Stalin’s intention of attacking Germany at a slightly later date, op. cit., p. 510. By early February, 1941, the eastern movement of the German troops was well known.[141]Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, V, 740; Churchill, The Grand Alliance, p. 26. Everything pointed toward an extension of the war by a German attack on Russia, but Anglo-American power politics succeeded in delaying it for five weeks.[142]Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, V, 740; Churchill, The Grand Alliance, p. 192. The great cost of the sacrifice, made in order to obtain this small delay for Soviet Russia’s benefit, was the loss of Yugoslavia, Greece, and Crete, the crippling of the British Mediterranean Fleet,[143]Pearl Harbor Attack, Part IX, pp. 4299-300 and the British defeat in Libya.[144]Cf. Churchill, The Grand Alliance, pp. 104, 110, 205. In the diplomatic intrigues in Greece and in Yugoslavia Americans[145]Sanborn, op. cit., pp. 253-55 played a substantial and quite successful part in opposing Germany. Later, as the time approached for the commencement of the attack on Russia, Mr. Churchill meditated upon what his policy should be and concluded that he should “give all encouragement and any help we can spare.” He cabled this to Mr. Roosevelt,[146]Churchill, The Grand Alliance, p. 369. who replied in the sense of carte blanche-he would publicly endorse “any announcement that the Prime Minister might make welcoming Russia as an ally.”

In the autumn of 1938 the French military experts had expressed[147]German White Paper, p. 20. to Mr. Bullitt the view that “… the war would last at least six years and would . . . end in the complete destruction of, Europe, and with communism reigning in all States. Undoubtedly, at the conclusion, the benefits would be taken by Russia.” So far as can be ascertained neither Mr. Roosevelt nor Mr. Churchill had such prudent misgivings in June, 1941. Or, if they did, their strong antipathy toward Germany prevented them from acting with the cold and detached realism which is so necessary in the successful practice of power politics.

After the passage of the Lend-Lease Act Mr. Roosevelt seemed to view the United States as being in the European war “except officially.”[148]See the views of Admiral Stark, Pearl Harbor Attack, Part XVII, pp. 2462-63; and of General Arnold, Global Mission, p. 259. But in the light of the many campaign promises which he had made, and also of the explicit pledge contained in the Democratic party’s platform, he felt that he could not enter the war officially unless and until he could persuade the nation that, there had been an “attack” by Germany. Until that time came he would engage in a secret and undeclared war,[149]New York Times, May 17, 1941, p. 1, Col. 8, continued on p. 4, Col. 2; Blair BoUes, Foreign Policy Reports, August 1, 1945, p. 145. hoping to drive the Germans into shooting first.[150]Sanborn, op. cit., p. 265.

It was on March 6, 1941, that Mr. Roosevelt expressed a portion of his purposes to the Polish ambassador, saying, “. . . we Ameri,cans will have to buy this war as such. Let us hope at the price of Lend-Lease only. But who can say what price we may ultimately havetopay?”[151]Jan Ciechanowski, Defeat in Victory (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1947), pp. 1, 5-6. One is tempted to recall Mr. 11. L. Mencken’s hard saying {Life, XXI, No. 6 [August 5, 1946], 46) about Mr. Roosevelt’s error in “pulling ashore the corpse of the British Empire.”

In March, 1941, American officers went to Britain to select naval bases for use in convoying,[152]Trefousse, op. cit., p. 88; Churchill, The Grand Alliance, p. 138. and air fields, and as soon as they had been selected the construction work began. Damaged British warships were to be repaired in American navv vards. In April two million tons of shipping were obtained and sent through the Red Sea in order to aid the British campaigns in the Mediterranean area, and a large supply base was secretly set up at Basra .[153]Churchill, ibid., pp. 254, 754. 154. Ibid., p. 144.
(Trefousse, op. cit., p. 88; Churchill, The Grand Alliance, p. 138.)
Also in that month the movements of American war vessels were coordinated with those of the British and arrangements were made for secret intercommunication.[154] And finally it was on April 18, 1941, that Mr. Roosevelt extended out to 26 West — over two thousand miles from New York — the claimed boundary of the Western Hemisphere,[155]Sherwood, op. cit., pp, 291-92, 310; Churchill, The Grand Alliance, pp. 140-145. — wherein American warships would aid the British. The order providing for this action was issued on April 24, 1941.[156]Pearl Harbor Attack, Part V, p. 2293; Churchill, The Grand Alliance, pp. 144-45, 244. In March, 1941, American army planes began patrolling the North Atlantic, out of Newfoundland,[157]Elliott Roosevelt, As He Saw It (New York: Duell, Sloan & Pearce, 1946), pp.. 14-15. against German submarines; in April, 1941, Greenland was occupied;[158]Ernest J. King, Our Navy at War, p. 6; cf. Peace and War, pp. 99-100; Hull, op. df.,II, 935-39; note I, 754-58. in May, 1941, plans were made,[159]Pearl Harbor Attack, Part V, p. 2113; Part XVI, pp. 2168-70; Part III, PP- 1077, 1436-37; Part XV, p. 1631. and later abandoned, to seize the Azores and Martinique. Meanwhile Mr. Roosevelt debated whether to order American submarines to attack and sink the German battleship Bismarck.[160]Sherwood, op. cit., p. 295. In June Mr. Roosevelt agreed with Mr. Churchill to relieve the British troops in Iceland,[161]Churchill, The Grand Alliance, pp. 149-50; Hull, op. cit., II, 947; cf. Sanborn, op. cit., pp. 309-12. and this was done on July 7, 1941. It was also in June, 1941, that Mr. Roosevelt ordered the closing of all the German and Italian consulates in the United States.

In the middle of May Mr. Roosevelt had announced publicly that twenty-four cargo ships were about to depart for the Red Sea in spite of the German proclamation of a war zone in that area.[162]New York Times, May 17, 1941, p. 1, col. 8; Churchill, The Grand Alliance, pp. 282-83. These vessels had to sail between Africa and South America, and in that general area the Robin Moor was sunk a few days later. Mr. Roosevelt had successfully provoked an incident, and in a message to the Congress he called it an “act of piracy,” and “the act of an international outlaw, “[163]New York Times, June 6, 1941, p. 1, col. 8; text on p. 6, cols. 4-6. but the American public declined to be aroused.

Meanwhile the German Fuehrer was taking no chances over the creation of any incident. He had long since prohibited unrestricted submarine warfare and the sinking of passenger ships;[164]Trefousse, op. cit., pp. 35-37. he had also strictly forbidden any injury to friendly nations’ vessels or to those of the United States, outside of the war zone closely adjacent to the British Isle .[165]Ibid., p. 39.
(Trefousse, op. cit., pp. 35-37.)
When the so-called neutrality patrol in the “neutrality zone” was established. Chancellor Hitler secretly ordered all German warships to avoid any incidents in it[166]Ibid., pp. 40-41, 61, 85-87
(Trefousse, op. cit., pp. 35-37.)
When Mr. Roosevelt extended the boundaries of the Western Hemisphere much further to the east, the Fuehrer still continued to prohibit the creation of any incidents.[167]Ibid., pp. 88-89.
(Trefousse, op. cit., pp. 35-37.)
Nevertheless Mr. Roosevelt was still hoping, in early June that he could “drive the Germans into, shooting first. “[168]Sanborn, op. cit., p. 265.

Late June and July, 1941, were largely concerned with the aftermath of the German attack on Russia. Mr. Roosevelt, Mr. Hopkins, and others rushed in to swamp Russia with offers of American aid. Theirs seems to have been the extremely simple policy of giving unlimited and unconditional aid not only to the true enemies of Germany but also to that nation’s former accomplices.[169]New York Times, May 28, 1941, p. 2, cols. 2-8; Sherwood, op. cit., p. 298. Mr. Churchill could at least speak tartly[170]Churchill, The Grand Alliance, p. 388. of the Communists’ view “that they were conferring a great favour on us by fighting in their own country for their own lives,” but when Mr. Hopkins went to Russia “in return for the offer of such aid he asked nothing. “[171]William C. Bullitt, The Great Globe Itself (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1946), p. 11. Fulfillment of the Russian demands was given a first priority by Mr. Roosevelt over everything else,[172]Stettinius, op. cit., p. 123. and materials and equipment were diverted to Russia in late 1941 over the opposition and in spite of strong protests from the Armed Forces.[173]The United States at War, p. 82.

The diminution of American supplies to Britain in consequence of this prospective diversion was only one of the reasons which led Mr. Churchill to seek the Atlantic Conference meeting which was held about mid-August, 1941.[174]Elliott Roosevelt, op. cit., pp. 22, 33 Mr. Churchill had frequently attempted to bring the United States into the war as a belligerent. The British had hoped for this in June, 1940; they had expected it a few days after the third-term election was won;[175]Pearl Harbor Attack, Part XIV, p, 977; Part XVI, pp. 2448-50. they had looked for it again about the first of May,[176]Sherwood, op. cit., p. 263. and Mr. Churchill sought to obtain it at the conference.[177]Churchill, The Grand Alliance, p. 593; Elliott Roosevelt, op. cit., pp. 27-30, 41. There is some reason to believe that the American Chiefs of Staff felt that their forces were not as yet ready for war and that they dissuaded Mr. Roosevelt from taking drastic action immediately.[178]Pearl Harbor Attack, Part XVI, pp. 2182-83.

However, the Atlantic Charter, in providing for Anglo-American co-operation in “the policing of the world” during a transitional period following the close of the second World War, assumed by a tacit but inescapable implication that the United States would presently become involved in the war. This implication is fortified by the preponderance of the top military and naval staff personnel who were present. What was, on their agenda has never been fully disclosed, but it included war plans generally[179]Arnold, op. cit., pp. 249, 255. and specific discussions about expeditions to seize the Azores, the Canaries, and the Cape Verde Islands.[180]Pearl Harbor Attack, Part XIV, pp. 1275-1278; Churchill, The Grand Alliance, pp. 437-38. The activities of the American navy were to be extended in the North Atlantic,[181]Churchill, ibid., pp. 441, 517.
(Pearl Harbor Attack, Part XIV, pp. 1275-1278; Churchill, The Grand Alliance, pp. 437-38.)
and Mr. Roosevelt repeated to Mr. Churchill his predilection for an undeclared war, saying, “I may never declare war; I may make war. If 1 were to ask Congress to declare war, they might argue about it for three months. “[182]Ibid.,p. 593
(Pearl Harbor Attack, Part XIV, pp. 1275-1278; Churchill, The Grand Alliance, pp. 437-38.)
There was also a long discussion of Far Eastern affairs, which falls outside the scope of this chapter.

VI. The “Shooting War” Begins • 1,500 Words

Within a fortnight after the termination of the Atlantic Conference — on August 25, 1941 — Mr. Roosevelt gave secret orders to the Atlantic Fleet to attack and destroy German and Italian “hostile forces”; this was the putting into effect of War Plan 51.[183]Pearl Harbor Attack, Part XIV, pp. 1400-1401; Part V, pp. 2294-96. Ten days later, on September 4, 1941, there was an incident between an American destroyer, the;-Greer, and a German submarine.’ If the Greer obeyed her secret orders she necessarily attacked the submarine, but it was stated for public consumption that she was attacked. This was doubted at the time. The Navy Department, it should be noted, refused to furnish the log of the Greer to the Senate,[184]Ibid., Part XVI, p. 2210.
(Pearl Harbor Attack, Part XIV, pp. 1400-1401; Part V, pp. 2294-96.)
and thus establish whether the official claim was the truth.

Mr. Roosevelt capitalized on this incident in a fireside chat delivered on September 11, 1941.186 He claimed it was an attack, “piracy legally and morally,” and that the Nazis were “international outlaws.” And he said,

“. . . When you see a rattlesnake poised to strike, you do not wait until he has struck before you crush him.

“These Nazi submarines and raiders are the rattlesnakes of the Atlantic. . . .

“. . . From now on, if German or Italian vessels of war enter the waters the protection of which is necessary for Americankdefense, they will do so at their own peril.”

This was the shoot-on-sight speech, and it publicly announced a small portion of the substance of War Plan 51, which was already secretly in effect. Mr. Churchill mentioned in a “most secret” letter to General Smuts[186]Churchill, The Grand Alliance, p. 517. that the American people had been kept quite ignorant of “the vast area to which it is to be applied.” Here, indeed, was undeclared war. On September 13 Mr. Roosevelt ordered the Atlantic Fleet to escort convoys in which there were no American vessels.[187]Pearl Harbor Attack, Part V, p. 2295. It was also at about this time that Mr. Roosevelt agreed to furnish Mr. Churchill with “our best transport ships” — twelve liners and twenty cargo vessels, manned by American crews — to transport two British divisions to the Middle East.[188]Churchill, The Grand Alliance, pp. 492-93. Note Admiral Stark’s regrets. Pearl Harbor Attack, Part XVI, p. 2221. At an earlier date fifty American tankers[189]Newsweek, August 18, 1941, p. 14. 190. Trefousse, op. cit., p. 121. had been transferred to Britain, and four to Russia, which led to a gasoline shortage and a curfew in the eastern United States.

Another incident occurred on October 17, 1941, when an American destroyer, the Kearny, dropped depth charges on a German submarine,[190] which replied to the attack by torpedoing the Kearny. Ten days later Mr. Roosevelt, who again claimed that this was an unprovoked German attack, delivered a “scare-mongering election-eve”[191]Mr. Lindley’s characterization mNewsweek, November 10, 1941, p. 21. type of speech in which he claimed that “…the shooting has started, and history has recorded who fired the first shot. “[192]New York Times, October 28, 1941, p. 1, Col. 1; text on p. 4, cols. 2-6. Then, in a passage the importance of which seems to have been overlooked at that time, he guardedly hinted that the Republic was bound by his secret commitments, saying significantly, “Very simply and very bluntly — we are pledged to pull our own oar in the destruction of Hitlerism.” (Emphasis supplied.) Mr. Roosevelt claimed to have news of a German plan to abolish all religions in Germany, and throughout the world — “if Hitler wins.” Also he claimed to have a map proving the German intention to conquer Latin America and redistrict it into five vassal states-but at his next press conference[193]Ibid., October 29, 1941, p. 1, cols. 2-3.
(New York Times, October 28, 1941, p. 1, Col. 1; text on p. 4, cols. 2-6.)
he made excuses and refused to reveal it.

On October 31, 1941, an older destroyer, the Reuben James, was torpedoed about seven hundred miles eastward of Newfoundland,[194]Admiral King, op. cit., p. 6. and more lives were lost. The American public’s reaction to it was expressed by Admiral Stark in a confidential letter to Admiral Kimmel at Pearl Harbor: “Believe it or not, the Reuben James set recruiting back about 15%.”[195]Pearl Harbor Attack, Part XVI, p. 2224. This illustrates the continuance of public opposition to involvement in the war. In midAugust the length of service required under the draft act had been . extended, in violation of the obligations of good faith toward the draftees. The administration had had to use all of its political and patronage powers to force this extension, and, even so, the vote in the House was 203 to 202.[196]The United States at War, p. 72. From New England, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, across the Midwest and out to the Northwest, every single state (except Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Montana, which split fifty-fifty) voted two to one, or by larger majorities, against the extension of the draft act.[197]Newsweek, August 25, 1941, pp. 16-17. Public opinion was, of course, far more preponderantly against involvement in the war than this vote showed.

By the time that October, 1941, had ended, Mr. Roosevelt’s undeclared war in the Atlantic had become a realitv and was in full swing. But this was not enough. The war powers could not be exercised under our Constitution until there was a formal and declared war, and of that there was no immediate prospect. As Count Ciano had noted, when at the German General Headquarters, “… The Germans have firmly decided to do nothing which will accelerate or cause America’s entry into the war. . . .”[198]The Ciano Diaries, p. 398 Because of this German attitude Mr. Roosevelt, as of the end of October, 1941, had no further ideas how to get into a formal and declared war”. . . He had said everything ‘short of war’ that could be said. He had no more tricks left. The hat from which he had pulled so many rabbits was empty. . . .”[199]Sherwood, op. cit., p. 383; cf. Churchill, The Grand Alliance, p. 539. The only thing that he could think of to do was to continue to stall,[200]Sherwood, op. cit., p. 420. for the front door to war in Europe appeared to be firmly barred. Germany and Italy seemed resolved to decline the progressively increasing challenges of Mr. Roosevelt’s unneutral actions and policies.

But there were back doors as well as front doors. There was always the uneasy State of affairs in the Far East. On the one hand a peaceful solution of the Japanese problem would have released much American power for use in Europe. Moreover, it seemed incredible — at least to Mr. Churchill[201]Churchill, The Grand Alliance, p. 603 — that Japan would commit political suicide by going to war with the United States and Britain. On the other hand, if this view was correct and if certain American diplomatic officials were not mistaken in believing that Japan could be quickly defeated, perhaps a Japanese war would solve Mr. Roosevelt’s problems without involving too much delay in his purpose to conquer Germany. Maybe the longest way round was the shortest way home.

It was complicated. Either way there were pros and cons. But Mr. Roosevelt was a complicated man, too, not a simple one. His intentions were complex and his “plans were never thoroughly thought out. “[202]Frances Perkins, The Roosevelt I Knew (New York: The Viking Press, Inc., 1946), p. 163 Therefore it may be true that there was a complex ambivalence, not thoroughly thought out, in Mr. Roosevelt’s attitude toward the expedience of peace or war with Japan. It is quite possible that he did not fully commit himself to the latter choice until late in November, 1941. By his own express declarations we know that he deliberately temporized. Temporizing is sometimes mergly a way to postpone making a decision, but it may also be a method of awaiting a favorable opportunity to put into effect a decision already made.

By November 25, 1941, Mr. Roosevelt and his cabinet[203]Pearl Harbor Attack, Part XI, p. 5433 Part XX, pp. 4213-14. were debating how to “maneuver [the Japanese] into the position of firing the first shot without allowing too much danger to ourselves.” On December 1, 1941, Mr. Roosevelt very secretly issued the needless order to send the Cockleshell Warships[204]Sanborn, op. cit., pp. 515-18. to their appointed positions for destruction. But other and mightier events were in motion: before an entire week had passed Mr. Churchill[205]Churchill, The Gland Alliance, pp. 606-8. could go to bed and sleep “the sleep of the saved and thankful. … So we had won after all! . . . Britain would live . . . and the Empire would live. . . . United we could subdue everybody else in the world. . . . We might not even have to die as individuals.”

So may it be! But designs, least of all designs for war, do not always eventuate as their planners intend. The design for the war which began at Pearl Harbor was a zigzag growth rooted in secrecv, unneutralitv, misrepresentation, and deceit. Morallv speaking, such a tree could not have been expected to bear good fruit, and it did not.

As it eventuated, Japan was not an easy conquest; she was the last enemy to surrender to us. And always a malign miasma seemed to haunt that air. It was against Japan that we dropped the atom bombs and thus revealed their existence to the world — needlessly, as it transpired. And needlessly, as it also transpired, the secret deals and agreements were made with Russia at Yalta. Thus Russia came into Manchuria, China, and North Korea. The end of that story is a tale yet to be told. Perhaps future historians will some day trace there the origins of the third world war, but if they do so, they will not be entirely correct. The roots run more deeply than that. They run back to Mr. Roosevelt’s abandonment of neutrality; they involve his diplomatic maladroitness, and they involve his lack of ability to think out his plans thoroughly. Not least, there remains Mr. Roosevelt’s penchant for secrecy and for the deceit of his own people as well as of others. Perhaps it may be true — perhaps it may yet be generally agreed — that even in the conduct of foreign affairs honesty is the best policy.

Footnotes • 2,100 Words

[1] Cordell Hull, Memoirs, (2 vols.; New York: The Macmillan Company, 1948), I,[790] It was later believed that Mr. Roosevelt’s telephone calls, at least to Ambassador Bullitt, were intercepted by the Germans. See Hearings Before the Joint Committee on the Investigation of the Pearl Harbor Attack, 79 Cong., 2 sess. (39 parts; Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1946) Part III, p. 1213. (The Hearings will hereinafter be designated Pearl Harbor Attack.)

[2] For a condensed resume of facts proving the absence of any planned conspiracy, see Frederic R. Sanborn, Design For War (New York: Devin-Adair Company, 1951), p. 58, 60, 173, 268. Cf. H. L. Trefousse, Germany and American Neutrality (New York: Bookman Associates, 1951), p. 150. Even the judgment at the Nuremberg trials admits that no “single conspiracy” could be proven: 6 Federal Rules Decisions, pp. 111-12. See also The United States at War (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1946 ), pp. 507-8.

[3] Peace and War: United States foreign Policy, 1931-1941, Department of State, Publication 1853 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1942), p. 47.

[4] Sumner Welles, The Time for Decision (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1944). p.[288]

[5] Charles Cheney Hyde, International Law Chiefly as Interpreted and Applied by the United States (Boston: Little, Brown & Company, 1922), II, 765.

[6] The Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt; edited by Samuel I. Rosenman (13 vols.; New York: The Macmillan Company, 1941), VII, 249-58: interview of April 20, 1938.

[7] Ibid., Vin, xxxviii-xxxix.

[8] Robert E. Sherwood, Roosevelt and Hopkins, An Intimate History (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1948), p. 438.

[9] The Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt, VI, 406-11.

[10] For a resume, see Sanborn, op. cit., pp. 7-19

[11] John T. Flynn, Country Squire in the White House (New York: Doubleday, Doran & Company, Inc., 1940), p. 103; cf. William D. Leahy, / Was There (New York: Whittlesey House, 1950), p. 64.

[12] Winston S. Churchill, The Gathering Storm, (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1948), p. 247; Hull, op. cit., I, 549, 573

[13] Raymond Moley, After Seven Years (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1939) p. 379. See Hull, op. cit., I, 684, which acknowledges the existence of this point of view.

[14] Pearl Harbor Attack, Part IX, pp. 4272-76.

[15] New York Times, October 24, 1947, p. 1, cols. 2-3.

[16] Hull, op. cit., I, 563-64

[17] Ibid., 1, 576-77; Peace and War, pp. 54-55.

[18] Emil Ludwig, Roosevelt (New York: The Viking Press, 1938), p. 272.

[19] The Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt, VII, 413

[20] New York Times, November 18, 1938, pp. 1, 12,13

[21] The German White Paper; full text of the Polish documents issued by the Berlin Foreign Office; with a foreword by C. Hartley Grattan (New York: Howell, Soskin & Co., 1940), p. 15. This condition was .equally well known to the Germans at that time; see Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1946), III, 281.

[22] German White Paper, p. 16.

[23] Adolf Hitler, My New Order; edited with commentary by Raoul de Roussy de Sales (New York: Reynal & Hitchcock, 1941), p. 504.

[24] Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, I, 525

[25] Churchill, The Gathering Storm, p. 293.

[26] n\x\\, op.cit., 1,589.

[27] Ibid., 1,590

[28] Ibid., 1,590-91

[29] Churchill, The Gathering Storm, p. 310

[30] Waverly Root, The Secret History of the War (2 vols.; New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1945), 1, 6, 10. Exactly this hostile combination had been foreseen by the Germans about a month previously; see also Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, III,[280]

[31] Louis Fischer, Men and Politics, An Autobiography (New York: Duell, Sloan & Pearce, 1941), p. 556.

[32] /&jJ.,p. 570

[33] Ibid., p. 570; see also Churchill, The Gathering Storm, p. 309

[34] William L. Shirer, Berlin Diary (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1941), pp. 142-43 see also Hans Bernd Gisevius, To the Bitter End (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1947), p. 324.

[35] Gisevius, op. cit., pp. 319-26; see also Churchill, The Gathering Storm, pp. 311-14.

[36] Churchill, The Gathering Storm, p. 314.

[37] Hull, o/;. a7., I, 591.

[38] Ibid., I, 592

[39] Ibid., \, 593.

[40] Ibid.

[41] Ibid., 1,590.

[42] Ibid., 1,592-93.

[43] H. H. Arnold, Global Mission (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1949), pp. 177-79.

[44] Sherwood, op. cit., p. 100.

[45] Ibid., p. 101.

[46] Fischer, op. cit., p. 564.

[47] German White Paper, pp. 19-21.

[48] Moley, o/?. d?., pp. 379.-80.

[49] Arnold, op. cit., p. 185.

[50] The Ciano Diaries, 1939-1943; [his] complete unabridged diaries; edited by Hugh Gibson; introduction by Sumner Welles (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1946), p. 3.

[51] Ibid., p. 5.

[52] Arnold, op. cit., 185.

[53] Sanborn, op. cit., p. 55.

[54] German White Paper, p. 44.

[55] Ibid., pp. 32-33.

[56] Ibid., ^. 45.

[57] The Ciano Diaries, pp. 42-44.

[58] Sanborn, op. cit., pp. 58-60.

[59] The Ciano Diaries, p. 49.

[60] Trefousse, op. cit., p. 20.

[61] German White Paper, pp. 51-54.

[62] Ibid.

[63] Ibid.

[64] The Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt, VIII, 185-86.

[65] German White Paper, p. 59.

[66] Hull, op. cit., I, 630.

[67] Ibid.

[68] Ibid.

[69] The Ciano Diaries, p. 83

[70] Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, VI, 890.

[71] Motley, op. cit., p. 382.

[72] Walter Millis (ed.), The Forrestal Diaries (New York: The Viking Press, 1951), pp. 121-22.

[73] Pearl Harbor Attack, Part XX, p. 4139

[74] Ibid., Part XX, p. 4168. Nine years later Mr. Hull claimed that he was “more than skeptical” of this proposal; see The Memoirs of Cordell Hull, I, 631. But no suggestion of skepticism appears in his 1939 memorandum to Mr. Roosevelt.

[75] Peace and War, p. 61; International Transactions of the U.S., etc., p. 27; Hull, op. cit., I, 625.

[76] The Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt, VIII, 568.

[77] Ibid., VIII, 438.

[78] The United States at War (Washington, D.C., 1946), p. 16.

[79] Sanborn, op. cit., p. 85

[80] Ulrich von Hassell, The Von Hassell Diaries, 1938-1944 (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1947), p. 63.

[81] The Ciano Diaries, pp. 129-30, 132, 134, 136; The Von Hassell Diaries, p. 73.

[82] Churchill, The Gathering Storm, p. 440.

[83] Ibid., p. 441.

[84] Churchill, Their Finest Hour, p. 23

[85] The Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt, VIII, 525-527.

[86] Fuehrer Conferences on Matters Dealing with the German Navy (Washington, D.C.: Navy Department, Office of Naval Intelligence, 1947), II, 48; Trefousse, op. cit., p. 42.

[87] Hull, o/?.a7., I, 689-91.

[88] The Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt, VIII, 552-54.

[89] The United States at War, pp. 21-22.

[90] Sanborn, op. cit., p. 92.

[91] Sherwood, op. cit., p. 126.

[92] The Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt, VIII, 51222.

[93] Ibid., VIII, 554-57

[94] Ibid., VIII, 524

[95] “The Morgenthau Diaries,” Collier’s, CXX (October 18, 1947), 72.

[96] The Ciano Diaries, p. 222; cf. Welles, op. cit., pp. 135, 139.

[97] The Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt, IX, pp. 104-8.

[98] Arnold, op. cit., pp. 190, 193, 196-98 203, 215, 241, 245, 251, 256, 258, 264-67.

[99] Pearl Harbor Attack, Part XXIV, p. 1753. This report is not dated, but from other evidence it would seem that it should be dated about December 15, 1941.

[100] The Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt, IX, 51.

[101] Sanborn, op. cit., pp. 108.10.

[102] Churchill, Their Finest Hour, pp. 24-25.

[103] The Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt, IX, 198-205.

[104] Ibid.,IX, 213.

[105] See Sanborn, op. cit., pp. 117, 129, 135, 140-42, 170-71, 179-84; Arnold, op. cit., pp. 230, 232.

[106] Edward R. Stettinius, Jr., Lend-Lease, Weapon for Victory (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1944), pp. 24-25. “The subterfuge was obvious …” wrote Mr. Stimson. See Henrv L. Stimson and McGeorge Bundv, On Active Service in Peace and War (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1948), p. 356. See also Hull, op. cit., I, 775.

[107] Churchill, The Grand Alliance (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1950), p. 127;Cf. 732, 741.

[108] The Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt, IX, 259-64.

[109] Hull, op. cit., I, 767-75.

[110] Churchill, Their Finest Hour, pp. 179-81.

[111] Peace and War, pp. 74-75; Churchill, Their Finest Hour, pp. 183-84; Sherwood, Roosevelt and Hopkins, p. 145. Mr. Sherwood’s version differs from Mr. Churchill’s; which one is not paraphrased?

[112] Churchill, Their Finest Hour, p. 187.

[113] Peace and War, p. 76.

[114] Leahy, op. cit., p. 9.

[115] Life, IX, No. 1 (July 1, 1940), 7

[116] The Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt, IX, 281.

[117] Churchill, The Grand Alliance, p. 137

[118] Adolf Hitler, My New Order, pp. 809-38; especially pp. 836-38.

[119] Shirer, op. cit., pp. 453, 457-59, 550-52, 561; The Ciano Diaries, p. 227; Cf. Hull, op. cit., I, 844-45

[120] Shirer, op. cit., pp. 450, 550; Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, V, 741.

[121] Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, III, 399-400.

[122] The Ciano Diaries, p. 296.

[123] Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, III, 406-7; see also the Fuehrer Conferences, 11, 22-23.

[124] Sherwood, op. cit., p. 175

[125] The Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt, IX, 541-431.

[126] Ibid., IX, 530-39. m. Ibid., \X, 3 13 -U.

[128] Ibid.,IX, p. 428.

[129] Churchill, Their Finest Hour, p. 187.

[130] Ibid., pp. 558-67.

[131] Pearl Harbor Attack, Part XIV, p. 984; Part XX, pp. 4075-76: Sherwood, op. cit., pp. 271-73. 132. Pearl Harbor Attack, Part V, p. 2391; Part III, pp. 994-97.

[133] Compare Mr. Sherwood’s simile of a common-law marriage, Roosevelt and Hopkins, p. 270. Note General Arnold’s observation. Global Mission, p. 244 — “we were forming a very close alliance with the British.”

[133a] On April 3, 1941; Pearl Harbor Attack, Part XVE, p. 2463.

[134] Sherwood, op. cit., p. 238.

[135] Churchill, The Grand Alliance, p. 23

[136] “The Morgenthau Diaries,” Collier’s, CXX (October 18, 1947), 74; Hull, op. cit., I, 873; Sherwood, op. cit., p. 228.

[137] For a fuller account, see Sanborn, op. cit., pp. 201-33.

[138] Franklin D. Roosevelt and Pius XII, Wartime Correspondence; with an introduction and explanatory notes by Myron C. Taylor (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1947) p. 49; Victor Kravchenko, / Chose Freedom; the Personal and Political Life of a Soviet Official (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1946), pp. 352, 363; Hull, op. cit., II, 967-68.

[139] For Mr. Oumansky’s background, see W. G. Krivitsky, In Stalin’s Secret Service (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1939), pp. 37-38. Mr. Hull (Memoirs, I, 743, 807, 809; n, 971) dryly appraised the Russian ambassador as “a walking insult when at his worst” — “sarcasm poured from the Ambassador like wheat from a thresher” — he “thought that firmness meant rudeness.”

[140] Hull, op. cit., n, 968, 973; Churchill, The Grand Alliance, p. 367. Mr. Root’s account of the Russian preparations. The Secret History of the War, I, 499-519, seems to be predicated upon General Stalin’s intention of attacking Germany at a slightly later date, op. cit., p. 510.

[141] Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, V, 740; Churchill, The Grand Alliance, p. 26.

[142] Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, V, 740; Churchill, The Grand Alliance, p. 192.

[143] Pearl Harbor Attack, Part IX, pp. 4299-300

[144] Cf. Churchill, The Grand Alliance, pp. 104, 110, 205.

[145] Sanborn, op. cit., pp. 253-55

[146] Churchill, The Grand Alliance, p. 369.

[147] German White Paper, p. 20.

[148] See the views of Admiral Stark, Pearl Harbor Attack, Part XVII, pp. 2462-63; and of General Arnold, Global Mission, p. 259.

[149] New York Times, May 17, 1941, p. 1, Col. 8, continued on p. 4, Col. 2; Blair BoUes, Foreign Policy Reports, August 1, 1945, p. 145.

[150] Sanborn, op. cit., p. 265.

[151] Jan Ciechanowski, Defeat in Victory (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1947), pp. 1, 5-6. One is tempted to recall Mr. 11. L. Mencken’s hard saying {Life, XXI, No. 6 [August 5, 1946], 46) about Mr. Roosevelt’s error in “pulling ashore the corpse of the British Empire.”

[152] Trefousse, op. cit., p. 88; Churchill, The Grand Alliance, p. 138.

[153] Churchill, ibid., pp. 254, 754. 154. Ibid., p. 144.

[155] Sherwood, op. cit., pp, 291-92, 310; Churchill, The Grand Alliance, pp. 140-145.

[156] Pearl Harbor Attack, Part V, p. 2293; Churchill, The Grand Alliance, pp. 144-45, 244.

[157] Elliott Roosevelt, As He Saw It (New York: Duell, Sloan & Pearce, 1946), pp.. 14-15.

[158] Ernest J. King, Our Navy at War, p. 6; cf. Peace and War, pp. 99-100; Hull, op. df.,II, 935-39; note I, 754-58.

[159] Pearl Harbor Attack, Part V, p. 2113; Part XVI, pp. 2168-70; Part III, PP- 1077, 1436-37; Part XV, p. 1631.

[160] Sherwood, op. cit., p. 295.

[161] Churchill, The Grand Alliance, pp. 149-50; Hull, op. cit., II, 947; cf. Sanborn, op. cit., pp. 309-12.

[162] New York Times, May 17, 1941, p. 1, col. 8; Churchill, The Grand Alliance, pp. 282-83.

[163] New York Times, June 6, 1941, p. 1, col. 8; text on p. 6, cols. 4-6.

[164] Trefousse, op. cit., pp. 35-37.

[165] Ibid., p. 39.

[166] Ibid., pp. 40-41, 61, 85-87

[167] Ibid., pp. 88-89.

[168] Sanborn, op. cit., p. 265.

[169] New York Times, May 28, 1941, p. 2, cols. 2-8; Sherwood, op. cit., p. 298.

[170] Churchill, The Grand Alliance, p. 388.

[171] William C. Bullitt, The Great Globe Itself (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1946), p. 11.

[172] Stettinius, op. cit., p. 123.

[173] The United States at War, p. 82.

[174] Elliott Roosevelt, op. cit., pp. 22, 33

[175] Pearl Harbor Attack, Part XIV, p, 977; Part XVI, pp. 2448-50.

[176] Sherwood, op. cit., p. 263.

[177] Churchill, The Grand Alliance, p. 593; Elliott Roosevelt, op. cit., pp. 27-30, 41.

[178] Pearl Harbor Attack, Part XVI, pp. 2182-83.

[179] Arnold, op. cit., pp. 249, 255.

[180] Pearl Harbor Attack, Part XIV, pp. 1275-1278; Churchill, The Grand Alliance, pp. 437-38.

[181] Churchill, ibid., pp. 441, 517.

[182] Ibid.,p. 593

[183] Pearl Harbor Attack, Part XIV, pp. 1400-1401; Part V, pp. 2294-96.

[184] Ibid., Part XVI, p. 2210.

[185] New York .Times, September 17, 1941, p. r, cols. 6-7; text on p. 4, cols. 2-5.

[186] Churchill, The Grand Alliance, p. 517.

[187] Pearl Harbor Attack, Part V, p. 2295.

[188] Churchill, The Grand Alliance, pp. 492-93. Note Admiral Stark’s regrets. Pearl Harbor Attack, Part XVI, p. 2221.

[189] Newsweek, August 18, 1941, p. 14. 190. Trefousse, op. cit., p. 121.

[191] Mr. Lindley’s characterization mNewsweek, November 10, 1941, p. 21.

[192] New York Times, October 28, 1941, p. 1, Col. 1; text on p. 4, cols. 2-6.

[193] Ibid., October 29, 1941, p. 1, cols. 2-3.

[194] Admiral King, op. cit., p. 6.

[195] Pearl Harbor Attack, Part XVI, p. 2224.

[196] The United States at War, p. 72.

[197] Newsweek, August 25, 1941, pp. 16-17.

[198] The Ciano Diaries, p. 398

[199] Sherwood, op. cit., p. 383; cf. Churchill, The Grand Alliance, p. 539.

[200] Sherwood, op. cit., p. 420.

[201] Churchill, The Grand Alliance, p. 603

[202] Frances Perkins, The Roosevelt I Knew (New York: The Viking Press, Inc., 1946), p. 163

[203] Pearl Harbor Attack, Part XI, p. 5433 Part XX, pp. 4213-14.

[204] Sanborn, op. cit., pp. 515-18.

[205] Churchill, The Gland Alliance, pp. 606-8.

Chapter 4 • How American Policy Toward Japan Contributed to War in the Pacific by William L. Neumann • 13,400 Words

“Japan has never harmed us. Japan is not threatening us. Japan has treated us better than any other world power in the matter of paying debts, courtesy to our visitors and residents, and never attempting to meddle in our affairs. Japan is the only world power that has paid back all sums borrowed without delay or default on a single penny. If we are going to answer this fair treatment of us by enmity, no incentive is left for any country to treat us well in the future.”

— California Committee on Pacific Friendship, November, 1937

“Today we have fallen heir to the problems and responsibilities the Japanese had faced and borne in the Korean-Manchurian area for nearly half a century, and there is a certain perverse justice in the pain we are suffering from a burden which, when it was borne by others, we held in such low esteem. What is saddest of all is that the relationship between past and present seems to be visible to so few people. For if we are not to learn from our own mistakes, where shall we learn at all.”

— George F. Kennan, American Diplomacy, 1900-1950

William L. Neumann was born in Buffalo, N.Y., on March 4, 1915. He received the degree of B.S. from the New York State Teachers College in Buffalo in 2938. He carried on graduate work in history at the University of Michigan, from which institution he received his Ph.D. degree in 1947.

Dr. Neumann has taught history at the University of Michigan, Howard University, the University of Hawaii, and the University of Maryland. He acted as executive secretary of the Foundation for Foreign Affairs and was editor of American Perspective until it ceased publication in the autumn of 1950.

The main interest of Dr. Neumann in history has been in the field of international relations and diplomatic history. He wrote a brochure on The Genesis of Pearl Harbor in 2945 which was one of the very first examples of revisionist historical writing as applied to the second World War. He is also the author of Recognition of Governments in the

Americas[1947] and Making the Peace, 1942-1945[1950]. The latter is the best account we have to date of the wartime conferences which saw the loss of the peace for the United States and its Allies. Dr. Neumann is about to publish a comprehensive study of the relations of the United States with Japan from Commodore Perry to the present time.

I. Basic Assumptions in the Japanese Policy of the United States • 3,100 Words

The war between the United States and Japan was neither, as official and semiofficial histories paint it, a struggle between good and evil nor a contest between a peace-loving nation and an arrogant proponent of aggression and chaos. These are the conventional labels used by nations to describe their enemies. Every victorious power attempts to certify similar interpretations of recent wars as eternal truths. While such moralistic simplifications have their value as nationalist propaganda, they have no place in an honest attempt at an unbiased study of international issues. Righteousness has never been the exclusive preserve of any one nation, nor has virtue been completely wanting among even the most chauvinistic peoples. If the Pacific conflict is to be the subject of moralizing, it might better be described as a tragedy of errors and as the unwanted offspring of false assumptions and follies on both sides of the Pacific.

The errors and fallacies of Japanese policy have often been set forth for Americans with a rich collection of assorted invectives. Stripped of all gratuitous adjectives and adverbs, Japan’s course is clear and the errors of Japanese assumptions then become patent. An island nation with a growing population, stimulated by Western penetration, found its resources inadequate to achieve its aspirations for a higher standard of living. Following the Western pattern, Japan looked abroad for land, markets, and raw materials. Japan also developed aspirations for the status of a major power, again stimulated by Western influences, particularly by the humiliating experiences of the early post-Perry decades. It was in these formative years that Japan learned how helpless a small rower could be in the face of energetic Western imperialism, backed by hostile naval squadrons. These two aspirations combined to create an expansionist movement in Japan which looked primarily to Asia for its fulfillment. When economic penetration of Asia was checked by political obstacles in the form of intransigent Chinese war lords, Japan turned to the ultimate weapon of imperialism, military force.

Japanese expansionism also brought to the fore a chauvinistic group, of military leaders who developed a racialist concept of Japan’s manifest destiny. They believed that Asia was at last to find peace and economic progress under Japanese leadership in the form of the Greater East Asia Co-prosperity sphere. No alien nation, neither Russia nor the United States, was to be permitted to stand in the way of this goal. To this end Japan fought a-border war in Manchuria against the Soviet Union from 1937 to 1939. When the United States, from 1931 onward, stood firmly behind the Chinese Nationalist government, Japan’s best customer became Japan’s enemy. When other methods seemed unavailing, Japan prepared for a trans-Pacific war to remove the American barrier to an area which Japan believed was vital for national security and prosperity. But the willingness of the people of the United States, once attacked, to fight a long and costly war over a cause remote from their shores was not foreseen by Japan’s leaders. This was the fatal error of Japanese policy. This was the false assumption which was to bring that nation to defeat and to destroy the accomplishments of two generations of vigorous diplomacy.

Americans have given little attention to the errors of their own Far Eastern policies. Self-examination is not a characteristic of the victor, even when the fruits of victory prove bitter. Most studies of the coming of the Pacific war by Americans still accept the official assumptions as valid.(l) The United States is seen as a force exerted in behalf of peace and stability in Asia. American attempts to maintain the status quo and uphold the integrity of China are judged wise even though they failed. More important, the basic premise of American policy from 1931 onward — that the United States had a vital national interest in blocking the expansion of Japan in Asia — is seldom questioned. Yet on this premise any justification of the diplomacy of Secretary of State Henry Stimson or of the foreign policy of the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration must make its case.

With the passage of time the propaganda of the war years will fade and a more objective appraisal of the issues will be possible. International antagonisms and friendships directly influence the writing of national histories. The shifting of these international alignments requires a rewriting of the past to keep pace with the orientations of the present. New enemies are treated no more objectively than the old, but former enemies then have the opportunity to receive less biased treatment. In due course these influences will lead to a reinterpretation of Japanese-American relations even in the officially sponsored histories. The shifts in international alignments are already in process. China and the Soviet Union are rapidly replacing Japan as the foci of American antagonism in Asia. Japan, by contrast, is almost attaining the status of an ally by the leasing of territory for American air and ground bases. Although the reorientation of the historiography of Japanese-American relations may lag behind these events, the influences of the new alignments cannot be long escaped. The historian may soon be in a position to view the course of American relations with Japan free from nationalistic preconceptions.[2]An example of progress in this direction is furnished by George F. Kennan’s American Diplomacy, 1900-1950 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1951), in which a major State Department policy maker deals very critically with the “legalistic approach” of American diplomacy to Far Eastern problems.

Already it is possible to outline the misconceptions of American policy makers and to see in what respects they were blinded to basic facts and key relationships in Far Eastern international policies. No consideration was given to the historic ambitions of Russia in Asia nor to the expansionist element in Stalinist Communism. As a result there was a complete disregard for the role which a strong Japan played in the Far Eastern balance of power. Gross errors were also made in calculating that Japan could be coerced by economic pressure and naval force to follow American bidding in its relations with China. The political and economic importance of China for Japan was not grasped, despite the fact that Japanese leaders spoke of it as a national interest to be defended regardless of costs. This blindness to the importance of China for Japan contrasts with the gross overrating of the importance of a Japan-free China for the United States. It was assumed by some key figures in the Roosevelt administration that this objective was worth the blood and toil which a costly trans-Pacific conflict would entail. Behind this premise was another, equally invalid. This was the assumption that the power relationships of Asia of the 1920′s could be maintained — or, after 1931, restored — despite the rising power of Japan and the Soviet Union and the internal political disintegration of the Chinese Nationalist government. The instrument of maintenance or restoration was not to be forces within Asia itself but the pronouncements and threats of American power with its center thousands of miles from Asia’s shores. Faith in the growth of American naval power under the Roosevelt administration disregarded the strength by which the Japanese navy sought to counter American building.

The history of American policy in the Far East from 1931 onward is largely a story of these blunders and fallacies in the interpretation and implementation of American interests. It was Henry L. Stimson, twice Secretary of War, who, as President Hoover’s Secretary of State, first set the course of American opposition to Japanese expansion. When Japan established in Manchuria a puppet government to protect its economic interests in, that area, Stimson announced to the world that the United States would not accept the legality of the new government established by force. Japan was charged with a violation of the Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928 as a result of its undeclared war with China. In taking this step Stimson set the direction of American diplomacy for the next decade. The influence and, finally, the force of the United States was to be employed in the hopeless task of maintaining the disintegrating status quo of Asia.

Stimson recalls informing the Hoover cabinet in 1931 that the Western-made treaties no more fitted the situation in the Orient than “a stovepipe hat would fit an African savage. “[3]Henry L. Stimson and McGeorge Bundy, On Active Service in Peace and War (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1948), p. 233. The Kellogg-Briand Pact had already been violated by the Soviet Union in 1929 when an undeclared war had been launched against China along the ManchurianSiberian border. The clash demonstrated that the pact was in Asia “essentially as meaningless as an agreement not to raise umbrellas except in rainy weather. “[4]A. Whitney Griswold, The Far Eastern Policy of the United States (New York: Harcourt, Brace & Company, Inc., 1938), p. 393. Not only in Asia but in Europe as well the powers which signed the antiwar pact made enough reservations to indicate that they accepted the pact as a statement of principle rather than a commitment to action. Stimson’s nonrecognition doctrine differed little from the earlier effortof the Woodrow Wilson administration to enforce stability and to preserve the status quo in Latin America by refusing to recognize governments established by force. That effort had been a painful failure and Stimson himself criticized what he called the “misplaced morality of Woodrow Wilson” and Wilson’s efforts to reform the world according to his own views.[5]Stimson and Bundy, op. cit., pp. 177-79 According to Stimson the true line of American recognition policy was that enunciated by Thomas Jefferson who, in 1792, had warned against any effort to differentiate between de facto governments on grounds of illegality. Yet the de facto government established by Japan in Manchuria was to go unrecognized because of its illicit origins.

Although Stimson’s nonrecognition doctrine is thus attacked by his own statements, Hoover’s Secretary of State was able to overlook the inconsistency of his position in an effort to play Marquis of Queensberry to the warring nations of Asia. In justifying his policy Stimson agreed that if the Sino-Japanese conflict had occurred two generations earlier it would have had little meaning for the United States. But in 1931, he said, American economic and political interests in the Far East were “considerable.” The United States did have, in 1931, an important and profitable trade with Asia. The chief source of that profit was not China, however, but Japan, where large quantities of

American cotton were purchased and paid for by Japanese silk exports to the United States. The total value of American exports and imports to and from Japan in the 1930′s was three to four times the value of exports and imports from China. In the peak years, 1927-30, American exports to China never exceeded 4 per cent of the total American exports while imports from China were less than 5 per cent of the total. Even as late as 1938 American sales to Japan reached over $230,000,000 while China, in the same year, purchased only some $56,000,000 worth of American goods.

American investments in China itself were also relatively small and never reached 2 per cent of the total American foreign investment. In 1935 the value of Chinese private securities held by Americans reached only $16,700,000 while Americans held over $323,000,000 worth of Japanese private securities. Of $2,600,000,000 in foreign investments in China, Japan claimed the larger amount, while most of the remainder was held by Great Britain. As late as 1943 a census of American-owned assets in China totaled only $122,000,000. It was for this small economic stake in China that the profitable trade relationship with Japan was to be endangered and finally destroyed by the Stimson and Roosevelt policies.

American interests in China were often discussed in future terms rather than in present realities. To some extent this dream was a projection of the past, of the early New England trade with Canton and of the great fortunes made by a few score families from the trade in teas and silks. Roosevelt himself showed signs of this type of thinking. After Stimson, in January, 1933, had won ‘the President-elect’s support for his nonrecognition policy, two of Roosevelt’s advisers, Raymond Moley and Rexford Tugwell, tried to dissuade him from committing his administration to a policy they considered futile and dangerous. To their plea Roosevelt answered with the remark that his ancestors had traded with China and for this reason he had the deepest sympathy for the Chinese.[6]Raymond Moley, After Seven Years (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1939), p. 95. The President’s mother had lived in China as a small girl and the President repeatedly told the story of the business dealings of his family in the China trade of the early nineteenth century.[7]Sumner Welles, Seven Decisions That Shaped History (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1951), p. 68.

A less romantic argument for the future economic importance of China and for American prosperity was developed in Marxian terms. Expressed most forcefully by Nathaniel Peffer’s Must We Fight in Asia!, this line of argument stressed the inevitable collapse of American capitalism if it failed to capture new markets. China with its more than four hundred million potential customers was thus essential to the continuation of the American economic system. War with Japan over China was necessary to preserve a, capitalism which could no longer live on its domestic markets. Short of turning the United States into a socialist state and sharing the surplus with the American worker, a war of imperialist powers for China was said to be inevitable — so the argument ran.[8]The Peffer book was published in 1935 and a refutation of its arguments, made by Paul T. Homan, “Must It Be War With Japan?” appeared in the Political Science Quarterly, LIII (June, 1938), pp. 173-85. Peffer himself later argued against and, finally, for war with Japan on other grounds.

Whether the argument was made in present or future terms, phrased in romantic aspirations or Marxian dialectic, the assumption was made by the makers of American policy that this country’s economic stake in China, along with the political stake, constituted a vital national interest. Yet six years after the end of the war against Japan, American trade with China had practically disappeared and American investments in

China were largely liquidated. Similarly, American political influence within China itself had reached a twentieth-century low. No noticeable damage had been done to the American economy and few would argue that a war to replace the Communist rulers of China by a pro-American regime was essential to American security. Historical developments have thus illustrated the falsity of the Stimson-Roosevelt assumptions.

Arguments were also presented in behalf of American intervention in the SinoJapanese conflict which went beyond the traditional political and economic concepts of national interest. World peace, in which the United States was said to have a vital stake, was also to be preserved by the Stimson-Roosevelt Far Eastern policy, according to its supporters. Stimson believed that American sponsorship of the Kellogg-Briand antiwar pact called for active steps to maintain peace by opposing Japanese expansionism. Secretary Hull thought along similar lines. In January, 1938, the Secretary was asked for statistics by the Senate on American economic interests in China. The Secretary replied that there was in China “a broader and much more fundamental interest — which is that orderly processes in international relationships must be maintained.” Spokesmen for the Roosevelt administration frequently made similar claims for their policy’s peacespreading characteristics.

Two assumptions were made in these arguments. The first was that peace between two Asiatic powers was a matter of direct concern for the United States and an important enough national interest to justify the risk of spreading the war. The second assumption was again the optimistic one that a third power, far from the seat of conflict, could adjust the differences of the warring powers by supporting the weaker against the stronger. For over a century the American policy of neutrality had been based on the assumption that peace was divisible and that it was to the interest of this country to avoid wars in which national security and national prosperity were not endangered. That policy, dating back to the precepts of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, was now discarded on the assumption that neutrality was no longer a workable policy and that the use of American political, economic, and military strength could effectively check wars on other continents by exerting pressure on one of the contestants. The validity of these assumptions can most objectively be tested by their results.

Initially Stimson thought of this program-refusing to recognize Japanese success in Manchuria — as a moral weapon. It was originally aimed, he said, more at assuring China of American sympathy than at bringing Japan into line and restoring the pre- 1931 status quo. But when Japan consolidated its conquest of Manchuria, Stimson decided that the United States should go a step farther and impose economic sanctions on Japan. President Hoover, however, realized that to place an embargo on supplies to one fighting nation while sending aid to the other was a dangerous breach of neutrality. It implied, if it did not explicitly suggest, that the United States was willing to move farther and, if necessary, go to war with Japan. Hoover saw this — as did Stimson — and with the support of other members of his cabinet he adhered to what Stimson called “the tradition of American foreign policy” which had always insisted that American interests in the Orient were not worth a war.[9]Stimson, op. cit., p. 244. Stimson savs that he could not denv “that anvthing more than verbal action to check Japanese aggression might well lead to war.” Ibid., p. 233.
(The Peffer book was published in 1935 and a refutation of its arguments, made by Paul T. Homan, “Must It Be War With Japan?” appeared in the Political Science Quarterly, LIII (June, 1938), pp. 173-85. Peffer himself later argued against and, finally, for war with Japan on other grounds.)
On this ground Hoover refused Stimson’s repeated pleas for sanctions and an embargo.

When Stimson found himself unable to win the support of the President to the use of American economic power against Japan, he turned to what he called “a bluff of force.” Here Stimson was turning to an American tradition which dated back as far as Commodore Perry in 1853. In writing his instructions for that famous naval expedition which opened up the ports of Japan to the Western world, Perry said: “It is manifest, from past experience, that arguments or persuasion addressed to this people, unless they are seconded by some imposing manifestation of power, will be utterly unavailing.”

This concept of naval diplomacy was frequently applied to Japan by the United States and by European powers in the nineteenth century. Even in the twentieth century naval diplomacy had been given a vigorous trial by Theodore Roosevelt who, in 1908, sent the United States fleet to the shores of Japan itself. Stimson revived a tradition which was to see its fullest application under the Franklin Roosevelt administration.

Stimson’s use of the navy was limited to his last year as Secretary of State. He suggested and carried out an arrangement with the British Foreign Office whereby the ships of the United States Asiatic Fleet, usually based at Manila, were concentrated with British vessels at Shanghai when hostilities broke out at that city between the Japanese and Chinese forces. More significant was his success in convincing the Secretary of the Navy that the main body of the Pacific Fleet should remain at its Hawaiian base some weeks after it had completed its annual maneuvers. Stimson later suggested that this had a deterrent effect on Japan. More competent evaluations, taking into consideration the state of the fleet and its limited range of operation west of Hawaii, conclude that Stimson’s view of his naval diplomacy was naive.[10]Nicholas J. Spykman, America’s Strategy in World Politics (New York: Harcourt, Brace & Company, Inc., 1942), p. 157. In Japan, however, the chauvinistic press seized upon the American naval operation as proof that the United States was preparing for a trans-Pacific war.

II. The American Naval Threat to Japan • 4,600 Words

When the Hoover administration was replaced in March, 1933, the direction which Stimson had tried to give to American policy in the Far East was at last accepted and greatly expanded. Not only was there to be political and economic pressure on Japan but the United States Navy was to be greatly increased in strength and the building program pointed directly at Japan.

The position taken by the Roosevelt administration in its relations with Japan was in large part determined by the President himself. The naval program in particular was his personal interest. It was the product of the President’s previous convictions about Japan and his strong admiration for the ideas of that great exponent of naval imperialism. Admiral Alfred T. Mahan. From Mahan, Roosevelt not only received guidance in the use of the navy as an instrument of diplomacy but also confirmation of his belief that Japan was one of America’s major enemies.

When Franklin Roosevelt was appointed Assistant Secretarv of the Navv by Woodrow Wilson in 1913, he came to Washington at a time of public tension between Japan and the United States. Although Theodore Roosevelt had seemingly quieted the anti- Japanese agitation of the Pacific Coast States by his “gentleman’s agreement” in 1907, severely restricting Japanese immigration, new difficulties developed in 1913. The state of California, under the pressure of powerful interest groups, passed legislation forbidding the sale or long-term lease of land to Japanese residents. The Japanese government protested this legislation to Washington and the irresponsible press magnified this protest into a threat of war. Although Secretary of State Bryan remained calm, an attempt was made by the joint Army-Navy Board to force a mobilization of American forces in the Pacific. President Wilson forbade such a step and rebuked the joint Board for its swordrattling by forbidding it to meet again without his permission.(l 1)

A group of naval officers, led by Rear Admiral Bradley Fiske, took the lead in the anti-Japanese agitation. Although Secretary of the Navy Daniels refused to give his support to the plans of this clique, they fopnd a more sympathetic ear in the person of Assistant Secretary Roosevelt. With a background of sentimental attachments to China, young Roosevelt was more prone to be drawn into an anti-Japanese position. For Roosevelt and Daniels, Fiske pre-’ pared a memorandum in May, 1913, giving a number of reasons why Japan would be likely to go to war with the United States to secure the Philippines and the Hawaiian Islands. Roosevelt also secured naval intelligence reports for 1911 and 1912 giving accounts of alleged Japanese activity in Mexico in preparation for war with the United States. So moved was he by this agitation that be personally sketched some rough plans for naval operations against the Japanese forces.[12]This plan as well as other evidences of Roosevelt’s concern with Japan are presented in detail by Frank Freidel, Franklin D. Roosevelt: The Apprenticeship (Boston: Little, Brown & Company, 1952), pp. 222-27.

Roosevelt later wrote to Mahan that during the war scare he had also tried to get the American warships in the Far East concentrated at their base in the Philippines.[13]This and the successive letters quoted are to be found among the unpublished materials in the Franklin D. Roosevelt library. Wilson and Bryan, however, felt that any move of the American naval forces might add to the tension of the situation and orders were sent out to the Far Eastern commander to that effect, over the Assistant Secretary’s protest. In his correspondence with Mahan, Roosevelt found additional support for his. feeling about the imminence of war with Japan. In June, 1914, Mahan wrote the Assistant Secretary that he felt that “our danger in the Pacific much exceeds that in the Atlantic.” Roosevelt wrote in reply: “I wish it were possible to speak quite frankly and in public, about the excess of our danger in the Pacific over that in the Atlantic. I agree with you most heartily that the European powers are not disposed to interfere with us. . . .” Even after the outbreak of war in Europe in August, 1914, Mahan continued to warn Roosevelt about the dangers of war with Japan. Although the Navy Department soon found its attention drawn to the Atlantic and to the problems of submarine warfare, the end of the war in 1918 was once more followed by JapaneseAmerican tension. And again the Assistant Secretary was supplied with lengthy intelligence reports showing the dangers of sudden attack by Japan.

In the 1920′s Mr. Roosevelt modified and revised some of his views on Japan. By 1923 he could write a letter to the Baltimore Sun in which he said: “Japan and the United States have not a single valid reason, and won’t have as far as we can look ahead, for fighting each other.” That same year he even rejected some of the tenets of Mahanism and in a private letter he said in regard to Japan: “To enter into a new competition by the building of new fortifications and new navies will be a step backward which will do harm not only to the governments immediately concerned, but to the general future peace of the world.” As late as 1928 Mr. Roosevelt complained about the extravagant naval building plans of the Coolidge administration, but this was at least in part a political criticism which may have lacked conviction.[14]Franklin D. Roosevelt, “Our Foreign Policy, A Democratic View,” Foreign Ajf airs (July, 1928), pp. 573-86.

The man who took office in 1933, from all indications, was a reversion to the Roosevelt of the Assistant Secretary of the Navy days in his attitude toward Japan and naval power. Within a year in office the President was to launch the largest naval building program in the history of the United States. Two months before he took office the President-elect announced that he would give his support to the Stimson doctrine of nonrecognition of the Japanese puppet state of Manchukuo. When this announcement was made the New York Daily News editorialized: “. . . he had better begin building up the Navy the moment he becomes President. You cannot make a war-provoking policy stick unless you have warlike weapons and plenty of them. . . .” The logic of the editorial writer’s assumption seems to have been fully accepted by Roosevelt in his first years in office.

As his Secretary of the Navy Roosevelt selected Claude A. Swanson, who was known in Congress for his faithful support of increased naval appropriations.[15]Swanson was also chosen in order to open a Senate seat for a rising Virginia politician, Harry Byrd, who was later to become a bitter foe of the New Deal domestic program. There were two requirements, according to Raymond Moley, for Roosevelt’s Secretary of the Navy: one was an interest in a big navy and the other was a high degree of susceptibility to Roosevelt’s suggestions. Swanson seemed to combine both and, as delegate to the Geneva Disarmament Conference in 1932, he had spoken in behalf of an American navy second to none.

In his first press conference on “March 7, 1933, the new Secretary of the Navy stated that his building policy was to expand the fleet “as quickly as possible” to the London Treaty limits. During the historic first “Hundred Days” of the New Deal the President was too busy with more pressing economic matters to back up his Secretary’s plan. But on June 16 Roosevelt issued an executive order allotting $238,000,000 of the National Recovery Administration’s funds to increasing the size of the Navy. The President’s critics were quick to question the value of spending these funds in shipyards when there were areas of more pressing needs. But such complaints from the supporters of the President’s economic program went unanswered. Before the first year of his administration was over, liberal critics were suggesting that the New Deal was “Drifting into Militarism.”[16]This was the title of an article by Mauritz Hallgren in The Nation, October 4, 1933, pp. 373-75.

Although the new ships to be built with N.R.A. funds would not bring American strength beyond the 1930 treaty limits, Tokyo and many European capitals viewed the American program as again starting the world on a naval race. Naval building had been declining in all countries as national budgets were cut under the stress of the world depression. Japanese appropriations for new naval construction declined from $40,900,000 in 1930-31 to $33,500,000 in 1931-32, and were further cut to $26,900,000 in 1932-33.[17]U.S, Naval Intelligence figures, cited in the Congressional Record, May 20, 1933, 73 Cong., 1 sess., p. 3826. The Roosevelt administration, by beginning the largest single program of naval construction undertaken by any nation since the end of World War I, was taking the initiative in reversing the trend.

In January, 1934, the Roosevelt administration presented new evidence that assumptions about the use of naval power in dealing with Japan played an important part in its thinking. Congressman Vinson at that time introduced a bill authorizing a building program over the next five years to bring the navy up to the maximum tonnage permitted by the Washington and London treaties in all categories. As finally passed, the VinsonTrammell Act authorized, the construction of over a hundred new vessels at an estimated annual cost of $76,000,000. No battleships were contemplated; the 1935 program began with an aircraft carrier, two light cruisers, fourteen destroyers, and six submarines.

When he signed this bill, Roosevelt assured Americans that it was not a law “for the construction of a single additional United States warship.” Its purpose, he said, was only to give general congressional approval to a future program. His administration still favored the limitation of naval armaments, Roosevelt argued, despite appearances to the contrary.

As seen from Japan, the American building program of 1933-34 had radically different implications than those offered by its sponsors. Admiral Osumi, Minister of the Navy, declared that the American program left Japan no alternative but to build more ships if national security was to be maintained. The new American ships thus provided the basis for a campaign by the naval expansionists of Japan. Despite pressure for cuts in the national budget, the Japanese naval estimates were the only ones to survive the Diet’s economy, slashes virtually intact. Some Japanese also assumed that the American effort at naval intimidation meant eventual war. Admiral Suetsugo, Commander-in-Chief of the Combined Fleet, told Japanese reporters early in 1934 that his country must now be ready fo an attack from a large air force carried across the Pacific by the American fleet.[18]Japan Advertiser, January 18, 1934.

In October, 1934, preliminary conversations opened between the United States and Japan with regard to the 1935 naval conference. For weeks the exchange of views continued without progress in reaching any agreement. Japan was unwilling to accept a continuation of the 5-5-3 ratio system laid down in 1922, which set its capital-ship strength at 60 per cent of that of the United States and Britain. The increase in the cruising range of battleships as well as the great advances in naval aviation so favored the attacking fleet that the Japanese felt that their forces had to be more nearly equal to those of their potential enemies. As an alternative to increasing naval strength, Japan called for the abandonment of “offensive” naval strength and the establishment of top tonnage limits for “defensive” fleets. Aircraft carriers, battleships, and cruisers with eightinch guns were all listed as “offensive” vessels while submarines and destroyers were considered to be defensive. Japan aimed at the maintenance of clear defensive advantage in the western Pacific while leaving the United States unchallenged supremacy within the American defensive triangle in the eastern Pacific.

Although this arrangement would have provided security for both nations, it would have nullified the power of the American fleet as an instrument of diplomacy in Japanese-American relations. The Perrv-Stimson-Roosevelt assumption about the achievement of American objectives in Asia by threats of force would have had to be discarded. Since it would have no longer have been possible for the United States to intervene in behalf of China, the assumption in regard to vital American economic and political interests in the Sino-Japanese dispute would also have had to be pushed aside.

The American refusal to alter substantially the 5-5-3 ratio had implications for the future of the Philippines as well. With a Japanese navy that was not considerably weaker than the American fleet, defense of these islands would have been obviously impossible. Many American strategists, official and unofficial, had already written off the Philippines as indefensible.[19]Theodore Roosevelt reached this conclusion as early as 1907 when he called the Philippines America’s “heel of Achilles.” Henry F. Pringle, Theodore Roosevelt (New York: Harcourt, Brace & Company, Inc., 1931), P. 408. The same conclusion was reached by Admiral Fiske in drafting war plans against Japan in 1913- See Bradley Fiske, From Midshipman to Rear Admiral (New York: The Century Company, 1919), pp. 528-29. The long and vulnerable supply lines and the lack of good natural bases in the islands had forced that decision on American war planners.

Without rejecting these assumptions, the United States could not change its position on maintaining a strong offensive naval superiority to Japan. The Japanese, seeing no hope of securing their ends by conference, announced late in 1934 that their country would no longer be bound by the Washington agreements after the two years’ warning stipulated by the treaty. Shortly after the Japanese announcements, the Secretary of the Navy stated that American naval maneuvers for 1935 would be conducted in Far Eastern waters.

The timing of the American announcement suggested a new attempt at intimidation although the relationship of the two events was denied by official American spokesmen.[20]Admiral Morison considers the issuance of the American announcement to have been “purely by chance” in following closely on the Japanese step. What resulted he calls a “curious tension.” Samuel E. Morison, The Rising Sun in the Pacific (Boston: Little, Brown & Company, 1948), p. 12. For the Japanese reactions, see J. K. Kasai, The United States and Japan in the Pacific (Tokyo: Kokusai Press, 1935), passim. In Japan, however, the American action contributed to the rising chauvinistic spirit. Many American organizations protested the location of the war gannes as an uncalled-for provocation, but appeals to President Roosevelt to halt the maneuvers were without avail.

In his annual message to Congress in January, 1935, the President was optimistic. He said that:

“There is no ground for apprehension that our relations with any nation will be otherwise than peaceful. Nor is there ground for doubt that the people of most nations seek relief from the threat and burden attaching to the false theory that extravagant armament cannot be reduced and limited by international accord.”

But immediately after this statement Roosevelt sent to Congress a budget message calling for the largest military appropriations in the pea etime history of the United States— $485,000,000 for the Navy alone— a rise of $180,000,000 over the previous year. Counting the sums spent by P.W.A. on shipbuilding in 1934, this was an increase of almost 40 per cent for the fiscal year of 1936 over that of 1934. Such expenditures, liberal critics pointed out, could only be aimed at Japan and would stir the people of that nation to arm with corresponding speed.[21]“Our Navy. Madness,” The Nation, January 23, 1935 “We Must Not Arm Against Japan,” ibid., March 13, 1935. These criticisms should be contrasted with the later evaluations of a large-navy proponent like Commodore Dudley W. Knox who could say that Japan’s actions “did comparatively little to stir us into active naval building.” See S. E. Morison, History of United States Naval Operations in World War II: The Battle of the Atlantic, September, 1939-May, 1943 (Boston: Little, Brown & Company, 1947), I, xxxviii.
(Admiral Morison considers the issuance of the American announcement to have been “purely by chance” in following closely on the Japanese step. What resulted he calls a “curious tension.” Samuel E. Morison, The Rising Sun in the Pacific (Boston: Little, Brown & Company, 1948), p. 12. For the Japanese reactions, see J. K. Kasai, The United States and Japan in the Pacific (Tokyo: Kokusai Press, 1935), passim.)

In view of the background of events and the uncompromising positions taken by the Japanese and American governments prior to the opening of the London Naval Conference in December, 1935 there was small possibilitv on reaching a new limitation agreement. Two months earlier, Secretary Hull told the Japanese ambassador that the United States had not changed its attitude since the 1934 conversations and did not recognize any significant developments since that date .[22]Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States, Japan: 1931-I94I, Department of State Publication 2016 (2 vols.; Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1943), 1,277-78. It would be, said Hull, “very difficult if not impossible” to reach a comprehensive naval treaty. The only hope expressed by the Secretary of State was for a limited agreement to tide over the situation until circumstances were more favorable.

In Japan there were some marked differences between the Navy Ministry and the Foreign Office. The latter was less adamant on the achievement of parity. Both ministries, however, insisted on the abolition of the ratio system. As Ambassador Saito said earlier, 5-5-3 sounded to Japanese ears like “Rolls Royce-RoUs RoyceFord.” There were indications, however, that, with the ratio system abolished, the Japanese Diet would be unwilling to foot the bill for a “Rolls Royce” navy.

While the American delegation was en route to London, Secretary,Swanson released his annual report, strongly recommending continued building up to the 1930 treaty limits. But in his opening speech in London, Norman H. Davis, chief of the American delegation, said that the American building program was “essentially one of replacement” and, therefore, consistent with a desire for naval reduction.

The Japanese proposal was the first item of the agenda, but it met with strong opposition from Britain and the United States: The British charged that setting a common upper limit would lead to an increase in the size of the major fleets even though the Japanese were willing to set this limit low enough to require substantial cuts in their own navy. Such a reduction would have made it extremely difficult, if not impossible, for the Japanese as well as the British and Americans to operate offensively outside their home waters. Consequently, the British stated bluntly that they would have to stand for a high upper limit for the defense of their empire. Both the British and Americans argued against the Japanese plan, contending that their strategic needs were far greater than those of Japan and that their navies would consequently have to be much larger. This concept of naval needs did not move the Japanese, who considered only the problem of defending themselves against a larger attacking force.

The chief alternative proposal was made by the British. Each nation was to declare the minimum tonnage it needed for security and also the upper limit beyond which it would not build. In effect, this meant the restoration of naval competition and offered no satisfaction for Japan. After the tenth session of the conference, with their proposal rejected, the Japanese delegates withdrew, leaving only an observer.

In the United States Japan was given the blame for the breakup of naval limitation agreements. But the fact cannot be overlooked that Japan’offered to cut tonnages to a point where naval war between the three biggest powers would have been impossible. This, however, was not a major consideration for the British and American delegations.

With the closing of the London Conference, the Roosevelt administration continued its drive for a greatlv enlarged navv. In the spring of 1936 Congress was asked to give the Navy Department $530,000,000 for the next fiscal year. Although this figure was cut a few millions in committee, the final bill still set a new high for peacetime naval spending. The Naval Appropriation Act provided for the construction of twelve destroyers, six submarines and some three hundred naval planes. Two battleships were also authorized, if either Britain or Japan began the construction of capital ships.

If, at any point in history, the die is finally cast after years of preparatiop, that point had been reached in Japanese-American relations in the years 1936 and 1937. In Japan the political and economic developments assured a continuation of the policy of expansion. In the United States the Roosevelt administration commifted itself to programs which meant eventually going to war to stop Japanese expansion. It was, thereafter, only a question of time until the two policies converged and exploded into war.

The continuation of the external political and economic pressures upon Japan during the first half of the 1930′s, coupled with the world-wide increase of militarism, gave more strength to the Japanese army’s hold on the government. In February, 1936, a coup was attempted by military extremists. Important government buildings were seized and held for several days before the revolting troops and their leaders surrendered at the command of the Emperor. As a result, one extremist group in the army, the Kodoha, was eliminated. But this left in power the Control Faction, a rival group which was also chauvinistic but avoided extra-legal means in its striving for power.

Military domination of the government was now almost complete. In May, 1936, an imperial ordinance required that all officers filling either the Ministry of War or Navy be on active status. The army and navy could thus make or break cabinets as they pleased, and the political parties were helpless in attempting to form a cabinet which did not have military approval. When rilembers of the Seiyuki party early in 1937, attacked the dictatorial program of the army and the signing of the German-Japanese Anti-Comintern Pact, the army forced the resignation of the War Minister and the collapse of the Hirota cabinet. Even though the electorate, in May, 1937, repudiated the next cabinet headed by General Hayashi, there was little hope for effective action by the status quo forces which favored rapprochement with Britain and the United States.

It was on the basis of these facts that a review of American policy toward Japan was called for in 1936-37. The issue of peace or war for the American people now hung on the question of whether or not it was of vital national interest that future Japanese expansion in Asia be blocked. It was clear, even that early, that there was only the remotest of possibilities that this expansion could be checked by methods short of war. The dreams and proposals of amateur strategists for forcing Japan to her knees by economic means merited little consideration by serious students of Japanese character and foreign policy.

In naval as well as in diplomatic policy, two courses were open to the United States. One was the continuation of the American building program on the Roosevelt-approved Mahan hvpothesis that the cure for the curse of navalism would be found in more navalism. Accepting this assumption, to win victory at a minimum cost, the United States had to build a tremendous offensive navy, one which could carry the conflict across the Pacific, cutting off Japan’s trade routes and threatening the home islands. As Charles Beard phrased it, the navy had to be either for “defense or portent.” If the latter, the Pacific Fleet had to be strong enough to sweep the Pacific if Japan reacted to a threat of force as proud nations hitherto responded to this type of diplomacy.

The other course promised peace in the Pacific but peace for a price. It involved recognition of the fact that Japan was in at least portions of China to stay for the forseeable future. It involved acceptance of the word “parity” in naval relations, but with the knowledge that this did not of necessity mean a change in the actual power relationship. On these terms, friendship with Japan was assured, the security of the Philippines was unlikely to be questioned, and America’s profitable economic relations with Japan could continue undisturbed.

Congress, as well as the American people as a whole in 1936-37, assumed that American interests in China were far too small to justify war or even a risk of war with Japan. The apathy and lack of warlike spirit in response to the sinking of the U.S. gunboat Panay by Japanese planes in December, 1937, testified to the disinterest in Asia. If the issues of war or peace had been stated clearly, the overwhelming popular as well as congressional vote would have favored nonintervention in Asia.

It was different, however, when it came to appropriating funds for a navy which might eventually fight an unwanted war. At this level Congress and the voter only briefly and infrequently glimpsed the relationship between naval expansion and the administration’s diplomatic aspirations in the Far East. As a result the Mahanist hypothesis was accepted without serious challenge and continued large-scale naval building met with little resistance.

In January, 1937, the President announced that he had approved the construction of two new battleships, an answer to British construction and the first American capital ships to be built since the Washington Conference. Here and there an influential voice questioned the concept of “defensive purposes” advanced by the ‘President. The New York Herald Tribune could see no necessity for these “spectacular increases in our naval burden,” and even the New York Times admitted its inability to see the justification for the Roosevelt action. Congress, however, was again generous in meeting the Navy Department’s requests for funds in 1937- Occasionally a question was asked on the floor of Congress about the purpose of the naval increases but the usual arguments about national defenses were given in reply. Navy spending for the fiscal year 1938 continued to set new highs, falling just short of six hundred million dollars.

In the next Congress the President was even more successful in stepping up the pace of his program. At Roosevelt’s request, a second Vinson bill was passed, raising the total authorized tonnage 20 per cent above the 1934 goals and giving the President authority to replace all vessels designated as overage. The President had initiated his new armament campaign in his annual message to Congress earlv in Januarv, 1938, when he stressed the need of keeping “adequately strong in self-defense.” A week after the House voted $547,000,000 for the Navy, the President sent another message to Congress, calling on it to meet the arms increases in other parts of the world with even larger appropriations and by immediately increasing the authorized size of the Navy.

No nation was named by the President, but there were numerous indications that the building program was aimed in part at Japan. In the first place the President’s message came a month after the sinking of the Panay, when diplomatic negotiations were still in process for the indemnification of that loss. On the day of the President’s arms message, the State Department released an elevenday-old note to the Japanese Foreign Office, sharply protesting the disregard shown for American rights in China by the Japanese forces. And at the same time the Department gave the press news of the slapping of an American diplomat in Nanking by a Japanese soldier.

These three events, coupled with the arms message, clearly suggested a relationship between rearmament and Japanese expansion in the mind of the administration despite the continued protestations that arms were for defense only and not for overseas intervention. An influential minority in Congress, at times verging on a majority, began to ask whether there was any inconsistency between the congressional position of handsoff in Asia and naval expansion. When hearings were held on the naval increases early in 1938, a number of distinguished citizens appeared to inquire into the purpose of the bill. Admiral Leahy, chief spokesman for the Navy, parried all questions about the relationship of the building program to foreign policy. The Admiral insisted that the Navy was for defense only and that there was no intention of using it to police the world. As for taking action against Japan, Leahy said that it would require “at least three times the proposed increase” to make that possible.

On the floor of the Senate, Hiram Johnson of California, no lover of Japan, also asked questions about the meaning of the building increases and whether they were intended for overseas operations. Senator Pittman, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a Roosevelt spokesman, gave strong assurances that the President’s policy was still that which he enunciated in 1933, “noninterference and nonintervention in the affairs of other governments.” The Senator went so far as to repudiate the President’s “quarantine speech” of October, 1937, and to insist that foreign policy could not be judged by the use of that suggestive word. By quarantine, he said, the President meant to ostracize the outlaw nations rather than to place an embargo on them.

In the House, four members of the Naval Affairs Committee submitted a minority report attacking the proposed naval increases, but the committee majority gave it full support. The bill passed the House over one hundred dissenting votes and went through the Senate by a vote of fifty-six to twenty-eight. Big Navy interests succeeded in surpassing even the President’s request by making three thousand naval planes the minimum rather than the maximum to be built and by adding a new dirigible to the naval air force at the cost of three million dollars.

The Japanese press, while remaining silent on Japan’s own building plans, devoted much space to the American debate over the 20 per cent increase in the building program. Japanese newspapers argued that the American move was a direct threat to Japan. Navy ‘Minister Yonai assured the Japanese people that their navy was keeping pace with the Americans in building.

In February, 1938, Japan was given a hint that in a future war there would be joint British-American naval operations conducted in the western Pacific. The new British naval base at Singapore was dedicated that month with only three foreign vessels on hand; all three were ships from the United States Navy. News also leaked out on the floor of Congress about a secret mission to -London in January, 1938, by Captain IngersoU, chief of the Navy War Plans division. Although the details of the IngersoU conversations were then unknown, correct surmises were made in Congress that the purpose of the visit was the planning of joint operations against Japan.[23]Hearings Before the Joint Committee on the Investigation of the Pearl Harbor Attack, 79 Cong., 2 sess. (39 parts; Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1946), Part DC, pp. 4274-77. (The Hearings will hereinafter be designated Pearl Harbor Attack.) In Japan these surmises strengthened suspicions that the Japanese navy must be strong enough to resist an AngloAmerican blockade which would cut off Japanese trade with Europe and southeast Asia.

III. Use of the U. S. Navy in Far Eastern Policy • 2,200 Words

After 1938 the increase of Hitler’s power in Europe and the fall of Austria and Czechoslovakia made it easier to overcome congressional opposition to naval building and to administration pleas for a two-ocean navy. For the fiscal year of 1939, total arms expenditures mounted to more than twice those of 1935. The Navy also drew on the Treasury for over $670,000,000 in 1939, almost $9oo,0oo,0oo in 1940, and for over $2,000,000,000 in the fiscal year ending in June, 1941. Authorizations later that year, moved by the fall of France, almost doubled the Navy’s building goals.

As the Navy grew larger, there was increasing confidence that American naval power could easily threaten Japan into submission or, if necessary, crush the Japanese forces with a minimum of losses for the United States. There was no expectation that the war would be a long one or a hard one. The American racialist stereotype of the Oriental, assuming basic inferiority on the part of the yellow races, did not permit any consideration of the possibility that the Japanese might be a formidable opponent. The surprise victory of the Japanese over the Russians in 1904-5 was forgotten, even though it had once raised the stature of Japan in American eyes.

In July, 1937, shortly after Japan renewed its warfare against China, President Roosevelt began work on a plan to force the Japanese into submission by a joint BritishAmerican naval blockade to cut off Japanese trade.[24]Welles, op. cit., pp. 71, 76. The opposition of many of the leading admirals to such a bold plan, which they believed meant war, as well as the adverse public reactions to the famous “quarantine speech” in October, 1937, led the President to put his plan aside.

In 1938 a new joint Army-Navy Plan was drafted for use against Japan. It assumed that Japan might begin hostilities against the United States after a period of strained relations and without a formal declaration of war.[25]This was known as Orange[1938] and is printed in part in Pearl Harbor Attack, Part XV, pp. 1423-25. Among the American fleet’s tasks was a westward movement from Pearl Harbor to capture and establish control over the Caroline and Marshall Islands. The IngersoU conversations in London had already explored the possible use of the new British naval base at Singapore for operations against Japan.

In mid-April, 1939, the United States fleet, which had been moved to the Atlantic three months earlier, was suddenly ordered by the President to return to the Pacific. The Atlantic transfer had been considered as only a temporary one but the fleet was to have remained longer and to have been part of the New York World’s Fair. In the fall of 1939, despite the outbreak of war in Europe, reinforcements were also sent to Admiral Hart, commander of the Asiatic Squadron, consisting of a half dozen new submarines and a squadron of planes. Hart had asked for a heavy cruiser squadron because of the increased dangers of operation in the western Pacific, but this much strength could not be spared for the Pacific Fleet.

While in the Pacific, the fleet was based on the California coast. But in October, 1939, a substantial number of ships — eight heavy cruisers, one aircraft carrier, and eighteen destroyers — were detached from the West Coast and stationed at Pearl Harbor. In April, 1940, the fleet was moved in its entirety to Hawaii for the conduct of the annual maneuvers. Although the fleet’s plans called for a return to the West Coast in early May, orders were given to postpone the return for two weeks. Before that period expired, the fleet was assigned to Pearl Harbor for an indefinite period. For two decades, since its assignment to the Pacific in 1970, the fleet had been based on the West Coast. This move, shifting the center of American naval power some 7,500 miles closer to Japan, was a highly significant event in the history of the power relations of the two countries.

In October, 1940, the commander in chief of the fleet outlined a new war plan which aimed at intercepting trade between Japan and the Americas.[26]Pearl Harbor Attack, Part XIV, pp. 1006-12. To achieve this extensive operation, major re. inforcements were to be sent to the Asiatic Squadron which would retire to the East Indies area where it would operate in conjunction with British and Dutch naval forces. Another American detachment was to patrol the North Pacific from Hawaii to the Aleutians, sweeping the sea for Japanese commerce and raiders. The remaining forces would reconnoiter the Caroline and Marshall Islands preliminary to offensive operations against these Japanese outposts.

The naval movements could be interpreted only as efforts to coerce Japan or as preparations for actual hostilities. For the most part the initiative for these movements did not originate in the Navy Department but with the President and the State Department. In the case of the shifting of the fleet base to Pearl Harbor, both the Commander in Chief of the fleet. Admiral Richardson, and Admiral Stark, Chief of Naval Operations, were in opposition. Richardson was also critical of any stick-waving at Japan which might end in hostilities. He argued that Pearl Harbor was not adequately equipped and that the Japanese knew that the American forces were not sufficiently supported with auxilliary ships to conduct offensive operations. Another factor, generally overlooked, was that, in the 1938 fleet maneuvers, the aircraft carrier Saratoga had launched a successful surprise attack on Pearl Harbor from a position only a hundred miles away.

Roosevelt’s decision to use the naval power of the United States in an effort to squeeze concessions from Japan, or to engage in war, if necessary, came not only from his own assumptions about American interest and American superiority, but also at the urging of the British government. As early as March, 1939, Lord Halifax, British Foreign Secretary, was urging that the American fleet be returned to the Pacific and that this step be so timed as to have maximum psychological effect on Japan.[27]Cordell Hull, Memoirs (2 vols.; The Macmillan Company, 1948), I, 630. The British also assumed that war was likely with the Japanese, but at the same time they were eager to keep most of the strength of the Royal Navy in European waters.

One British objective was to strengthen Singapore with detachments of the American navy. Five days after he became prime minister on May 10, 1940, Churchill sent a personal message to Roosevelt” asking for American ships to be dispatched to Singapore.[28]Feis, op. cit., p. 57. In early October of the same year, after the fall of France had drawn most of Britain’s Far Eastern ships to the Mediterranean, Churchill again urged that American power be shifted to the western Pacific. He suggested the reinforcement of the Asiatic Squadron with battleships and once more offered Singapore as a base. In late November, 1940, another request came from London for the divisipn of America’s Pacific forces and a greater extension of power west of Hawaii. If war came as a result, Britain’s First Sea Lot, Sir Dudley Pound, argued that the Japanese navy could be stopped corth of the Dutch East Indies. The British ambassador to Washington told Hull that British naval experts had also figured out that the American fleet, if based at Singapore, could, on the opening of war, reach Japan before the Japanese navy attacked in the South Pacific.[29]n\x\\,op.cit.,\,9U. This optimism about the ability of the American fleet to move boldly into Japan’s home waters was, fortunately, not shared by top American naval commanders. Admiral Leahy, formerly Chief of Naval Operations, told the President in October, 1940, that any reinforcements sent to the Asiatic Squadron would be lost in the event of war.[30]Pearl Harbor Attack, Part I, p. 265. Later it was revealed that the Singapore base lacked the equipment to effect major repairs on capital ships and would have been inadequate as a center of American operations in Far Eastern waters. The November, 1940, request was not filled, but before the year closed some further reinforcements were ordered to Admiral Hart’s Far Eastern Squadron.

In Washington the amateur naval strategists not only included President Roosevelt but also Secretary Hull and one of his aides, Stanley Hornbeck, State Department adviser on Far Eastern affairs. Hornbeck, according to Admiral Richardson, was exercising more influence over the disposition of the United States fleet in 1940 than was its commander in chief.[31]Ibid.,PartI, p. 297.
(Pearl Harbor Attack, Part I, p. 265.)
When part of the fleet was moved west, to be based in Hawaii in October, 1939, this order was sent with the strong approval of the State Department.

The major decision, the retention of the entire fleet at Pearl Harbor, was apparently made by the President himself. When the fleet commander asked the meaning of this move, he was told by the Chief of Naval Operations that it was to have a “deterrent effect” on Japanese moves into the East Indies. Admiral Richardson doubted, however, whether the intended effect could be obtained. Japanese espionage in Hawaii, he was certain, was effective enough to inform Tokyo that the American fleet had assembled with only an 85 per cent complement and without the train of auxiliary ships needed for offensive action west of Hawaii.[32]Ibid., Part I, pp. 265-66, 298-300.
(Pearl Harbor Attack, Part I, p. 265.)
When the admiral presented this argument to the

President in person, he found that Roosevelt was certain that the contrary was true and was determined not to permit a withdrawal to the West Coast bases. Admiral Stark agreed with Richardson on the inadvisability of keeping the fleet at Pearl Harbor.

Several Japanese newspapers pointed out that the decision to move the fleet base was an effort to stop rumored Japanese moves toward the Dutch East Indies. But they also suggested that it would be difficult for the fleet to remain at Pearl Harbor because of limited facilities. The information now available on the formulation of Japanese foreign policy, in 1940, gives no support for the President’s belief in the effects of his strategy.[33]The most thorough study of Japanese foreign policy in 1940 as yet available, that of Herbert Feis, op. cit., makes no mention of the fleet movement as a consideration by the makers of Japanese policy. Roosevelt admitted some uncertainty about his policy, but held out against the opinion of his two top naval commanders and told Stark that he would “sit tight” on his decision.

As an amateur naval strategist, Roosevelt had other ideas about employing the Navy against Japan. For the most part he vastly underrated the ability and strength of the Japanese navy and expressed overly-optimistic views about the capabilities of the American fleet. In October, 1939, discussing the possibility of Japan’s moving into the Dutch East Indies, he said that “we could easily intercept her fleet”-an operation which American forces would have had to conduct some five thousand miles from their nearest major base.[34]Feis, op. cit., p. 41. A year later, in October, 1940, the President’s optimism went so far as to touch on the realm of fantasy. At that time he told the Secretary of the Navy that he was considering shutting off all trade between Japan and the Western Hemisphere if Japan took action against British possessions as a result of the opening of the Burma Road. This blockade could be achieved, thought the President, by a patrol of light ships stretching across the Pacific vastness in two lines. One would run from Hawaii to the Philippines and the other from Samoa to Singapore. Admiral Richardson, when the Secretary of the Navy told him of the President’s plans, said that war would surely result, that the fleet was in no condition to carry out such an operation, and that to attempt it would expose many ships to certain destruction. Richardson’s objections “hurt the President’s feelings,” according to Secretary Knox, and Richardson was shortly after relieved of his post.[35]Pearl Harbor Attack, Part I, pp. 323-24.

Before being relieved of his command. Admiral Richardson drafted a tentative plan for carrying out a limited blockade, based on a more realistic measure of the fleet’s limitations. His plan, however, called for the shifting of some ships from the Atlantic to facilitate operations and it never received the President’s approval. Richardson was himself doubtful whether any offensive operations could be successfully conducted in Japanese waters without major increases in American strength.

Despite Richardson’s doubts, the American public received assurances from many quarters that the Japanese navy was not to be feared. A study of naval power in the Pacific by an American officer, published in May, 1941, stated that a surprise attack on the Pacific Fleet had already been averted[36]Commander William D. Puleston, U.S.N., The Armed Forces of the Pacific (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1941), pp. 116-17. Pearl Harbor was already on a war footing, this authority believed, and, referring to Japan’s successful surprise attack on the Russian navy in 1904, he said that there would be “no American Port Arthur.” Only a few weeks before December 7, a popular writer on military affairs told a national radio audience that Japan was in no position to fight the United States. The Japanese navv was said to be hopelessly handicapped by lack of air support and Japanese air power was termed “almost nonexistent.” Six months earlier, Admiral Turner, director of the War Plans Division, told a British-American staff conference that the American navy could keep Japanese strength at home merely by cruising in mid-Pacific waters.[37]Major General Sherman Miles, “Pearl Harbor in Retrospect,” Atlantic Monthly, July, 1948, p. 65.

This myth of overwhelming fighting superiority lulled many Americans into the passive acceptance of the coming conflict. Although it was obvious to many that the Roosevelt administration was taking a position which would force a military showdown, opposition voices were softened or stilled by a belief in a quick and inexpensive victory. The traditional assumptions of white or AngloSaxon superiority made it easy for the public as well as for government leaders to believe that an Oriental nation could not equal or outdo the West in adapting itself to the techniques and machines of modern warfare. It was this belief that also contributed to the unpreparedness of Hawaii and the Philippines.

IV. Economic Pressure on Japan • 1,300 Words

The underrating of Japanese strength and morale also dominated the last phase of American peacetime relations with Japan. Like the naval program, the Roosevelt administration’s economic program was based on the assumption that threat and pressure would achieve American ends in dealing with Japan.

The first call for the use of economic pressure against Japan followed the issuance of the Stimson doctrine in 1932. Proponents of sanctions advocated striking two blows at the Japanese, one by an embargo on arms and munitions and the other by a boycott on Japanese goods sold in the United States. The latter appealed particularly to the American manufacturing groups who were facing the competition of inexpensive Japanese merchandise which, in the depression years, seemed to be selling widely on the American market. Neither program was successful, however, because of the unwillingness of Congress and of the public to interfere in the Asiatic conflict in the early 1930′s.

When Japan struck at China again in 1937, the movement for economic measures was revived with great strength. Former Secretary of State Henry Stimson, now a private citizen, took the lead with a letter to the New York Times in October, 1937. Stimson called upon the United States to end the sale of arms to Japan and claimed that in this manner the conflict could be brought to a halt. In contrast to the views later expressed in his memoirs, he argued that aid could be given to China “without serious danger to us.” There was no thought of sending troops to participate in the SinoJapanese conflict, Stimson said. With a rare bit of foresight he wrote that to attempt to send American troops “would do much more harm than good.” After repeating the various assumptions about American interests in China (these were also the Roosevelt administration assumptions), Stimson closed by expressing the hope that the President’s “quarantine speech” at Chicago meant that America would carry through with its “responsibilities” in the Far Eastern crisis.

Stimson’s call for action found enthusiastic support from various groups. Self-interest combined in some instances with a desire to aid China. Labor, for example, was glad to campaign against cheap foreign manufactures which undersold American products. Both the C.I.O. and the A.F. of L., in their 1937 conventions, passed resolutions favoring a boycott of Japanese-made goods. Business interests in competition with Japan also gave some support to Stimson’s call for action. But when The Nation promoted a consumer’s boycott on all purchases of silk stockings, American hosiery manufacturers who depended on Japanese silk imports denounced the boycott as a blow to American industry.

Arguments in behalf of an arms embargo and a consumers’ boycott were also furnished by books like Japan’s Feet of Clay.[38]The author was an English publicist, Freda Utley, whose book was issued in the United States in 1937. The author of this volume pleaded for the United States and Britain to call Japan’s bluff and to cut off all trade with this imperialist nation. Japan was to collapse within a few weeks, her feet of clay crumbling under the strain of economic hardship, thus bringing the war in China to an end. Like other pleas for economic sanctions, this book claimed that such action would lead to peace. Any possibility of a conflict was denied, for the author believed that the Japanese were really mediocre fighting men whose characters were unfit for the strains of modern war.

These, specious pleas were used by administration spokesmen in Congress’in behalf of legislation which would give the President the power to curtail or suspend American economic relations with Japan. But Congressmen were hesitant to act, reflecting on the uncertainty of public opinion. Despite the preference of the majority of Americans for a Chinese victory, a public-opinion poll in October, 1937, found that fewer than 40 per cent of those questioned, felt strongly enough about the Asiatic conflict to stop their purchases of Japanese goods.

The application of the so-called “moral embargo” by the Department of State in 1938 was the first official achievement of the supporters of economic sanctions. The decision, in 1939, to terminate the 191 1 commercial treaty with Japan was an even greater victory. Within the Roosevelt cabinet the movement for embargoes grew in strength. Secretary Morgenthau was the strongest advocate of ending American trade with Japan, and he gained a strong supporter in Henry Stimson when the latter entered the cabinet in the summer of 1940. Six months earlier, Stimson had written another letter to the New York Times, again appealing for an end to the sale of war materials as the first step to a firmer policy. He assured his fellow Americans that Japan did not want war with the United States and that an embargo was the road to peace.

This simple program for winning a bloodless victory over Japan, with its “having one’s cake and eating it” solution, began to win wider public support. Public-opinion polls were able to produce larger and larger percentages in favor of embargoes on trade with Japan. The administration kept pace with this movement of opinion and, by its licensing program, made successive inroads on the sale of strategic materials to Japan. By the end of 1940 the only item vital to Japan’s effort being shipped by the United States was oil. The sanctionist groups therefore concentrated their efforts in 1941 on ending the trade in oil and in nonessential commodities. In mid-June of 1941 oil supplies grew so short on the east coast of the United States that all shipments from eastcoast ports were prohibited. Although the reason for this action was a genuine domestic problem, restricting purchases to West Coast ports produced a major cut in Japan’s oil shipments.

The Navy, and Admiral Stark in particular, argued strongly against cutting off Japanese oil purchases. Little hope was placed by the navy in this method of forcing a reversal in Japanese policy. The shortage of domestic oil supplies was expected to force Japan into war for the Dutch East Indies oil and into war with the United States as well. The Navy, heavily burdened by its operations in the Atlantic in the convoying of arms to Britain, did not consider itself ready for war in the Pacific. Secretary Hull was also for months reluctant to give the approval of the State Department to this drastic move.

Secretary Morgenthau, warmly supported by Stimson, continued his fight against the moderates in the Roosevelt cabinet and called for the ending of Japanese trade by the freezing of Japanese assets. Outside the government he found many strong supporters. “Squeeze Japan Now!” was the title of one typical exhortation by a Far Eastern specialist.[39]Nathaniel Peffer in The Nation, August 2, 1941. This publication carried many similar article and editorials throughout 1941. Cf. “Call Japan’s Bluff,” August 9, 1941. In a masterful oversimplification this writer promised that “terrorization of Japan by levying of penalties in advance as a token of what may come” was the only way to keep the European war from spreading to Asia.

President Roosevelt was finally moved to carry out the Morgenthau-Stimson program. On July 26, 1941, following the movement of Japanese troops into Indochina, he issued an order fLeezing Japanese assets and cutting off all Japanese trade. Britain and the Netherlands followed suit. Pressing the point home, American oil was then sent to the Soviet Union via Vladivostok by American tankers which passed not far from the shores of oil-hungry Japan.

Japan now had no alternative but to bow to American demands or fight for the resources by which her economic and military strength was to be maintained. Short of a miraculous revolution, overthrowing army leadership, no change of course could be expected from the Japanese government. The war with Japan, which Admiral IngersoU said the navy had confidently expected for the last twenty years, was now at hand. The only question which remained to be answered was where and at what hour the attack would come. Pearl Harbor, the Philippines, and Guam were obvious Japanese objectives. But the vigor which had been applied to pressuring Japan in the previous months was not now applied in , preparing to meet the results of that policy.

V. America’s False and Costly Assumptions • 900 Words

The Far Eastern policy of the Roosevelt administration was born of an exaggerated conception of American political and economic interests in China. It was based on dream stuff rather than on the facts of Far Eastern history and statistics of American trade. It was based on the oft-disproved assumption that one major power can intimidate another by rapidly increasing its striking power without an arms race as the chief result. Yet this was the assumption stated most bluntlv by Norman H. Davis, perennial American delegate to the naval disarmament conferences and one of Franklin Roosevelt’s closest advisers in the realm of foreign affairs. In a memorandum which he prepared for the President in July, 1937, after the outbreak of war in China, Davis advocated the construction of two or three additional battleships “for the sake of peace and ultimate disarmament. I do not hold to the theory that the best way to preserve peace is to prepare for war, but I am convinced that the bigger our navy is the more influence we could bring to bear for disarmament. “[40]This memorandum, initialed “N. H. D.,” is dated July 30, 1937, and is included among the President’s papers in the Hyde Park library. By these means American intervention in the SinoJapanese conflict was to restore the pre-1937 or even the pre-1931 status quo of the Far East. When war appeared finally as an almost inescapable certainty, there was still faith in the validity of American policy,since out of war were to come order and progress for China and more abundant economic opportunities for the United States.

These assumptions dominated the thinking of President Roosevelt and key figures in his cabinet. When challenged by political opponents and others who were concerned with the maintenance of peace in the Pacific, the assumptions were dogmatically reaffirmed. On the basis of materials now available, there is no evidence that these assumptions were seriously re-examined at any time from 1933 down to Pearl Harbor. The warnings of Ambassador Grew and other students of the Far East, who managed to free themselves from the official frame of reference and the prevalent stereotypes, went unheeded. In 1935, for example, a former chief of the State Department’s Division of Far Eastern Affairs warned his superiors that the defeat of Japan “… would merely create a new set of stresses, and substitute for Japan the U.S.S.R. — as the successor of Imperial Russia — as a contestant (and at least an equally unscrupulous and dangerous one) for the mastery of the East. Nobody except perhaps Russia would gain from our victory in such a war. . . .”[41]Quoted in Kennan, op. cit., pp. 51-52.

This profound prophecy was ignored. The President and his policy makers went ahead with a program of resistance to Japan which was logical and consistent, if their assumptions were accepted, but could only end in war.

Any study of the wisdom of American Far Eastern policy must note the unpleasant facts of its results. The end of all foreign policies is the protection and advancement of national interests. If American policy was sound, the results should testify to that soundness. But its results have only been negative. Into the vacuum created by the destruction of Japanese power moved the power of the Soviet”Union. In place of Japan, the Soviet Union became the dominant force in the Far East and a China under Soviet influence has yielded far less for American interests than did China under Japan. A war with the “Open Door” as one of its objectives ended with the door closed more tightly than ever. Not only were American interests in China destroyed but in the war the more valuable trade witlWapan was eliminated and Japan turned into a subject nation,, dependent far into the foreseeable future on an American subsidy for its economic existence. Lastly, instead of bringing peace and order to Asia, World War II let loose in that vast area — as World War I did in Europe — all the passions of long-suppressed nationalism to create tumult and strife for decades to come.

“Wars begin in the minds of men,” the framers of the UNESCO constitution concluded. So America’s war with Japan began as much in the minds of Stimson, Roosevelt, and other architects of American policy, in the decade before Pearl Harbor, as in the minds of the leaders of Japan. It is unfair to ask that American leaders be endowed with superhuman powers of prediction and the ability to foresee all the results of their acts. But it is the responsibility of statesmen and diplomats to avoid war and warmaking policies unless there is a high degree of probability that unquestionably vital national interests can only be protected by war. A war policy must then be justified by the sanest of estimates of the outcome, evaluating the experience of the past and weighing the costs in blood and sweat against the benefits to present and future generations. By the standards of results — mankind’s score sheet — the policies of Roosevelt and Stimson failed in their estimates of national interest and of the methods of achieving that interest. Their policy, paid for in American lives and resources, netted nought but ruin for Japan and assisted in the birth of an Asia more determined than ever to eject the Western interloper.

Footnotes • 900 Words

[1] Cf. Walter Millis, This Is Pearl! The United States and Japan (New York: William Morrow & Company, Inc., 1947) and Herbert Feis, The Road to Pearl Harbor (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1950).

[2] An example of progress in this direction is furnished by George F. Kennan’s American Diplomacy, 1900-1950 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1951), in which a major State Department policy maker deals very critically with the “legalistic approach” of American diplomacy to Far Eastern problems.

[3] Henry L. Stimson and McGeorge Bundy, On Active Service in Peace and War (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1948), p. 233.

[4] A. Whitney Griswold, The Far Eastern Policy of the United States (New York: Harcourt, Brace & Company, Inc., 1938), p. 393.

[5] Stimson and Bundy, op. cit., pp. 177-79

[6] Raymond Moley, After Seven Years (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1939), p. 95.

[7] Sumner Welles, Seven Decisions That Shaped History (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1951), p. 68.

[8] The Peffer book was published in 1935 and a refutation of its arguments, made by Paul T. Homan, “Must It Be War With Japan?” appeared in the Political Science Quarterly, LIII (June, 1938), pp. 173-85. Peffer himself later argued against and, finally, for war with Japan on other grounds.

[9] Stimson, op. cit., p. 244. Stimson savs that he could not denv “that anvthing more than verbal action to check Japanese aggression might well lead to war.” Ibid., p. 233.

[10] Nicholas J. Spykman, America’s Strategy in World Politics (New York: Harcourt, Brace & Company, Inc., 1942), p. 157.

[11] An account of this war scare and its background is to be found in Josephus Daniels, The Wilson Era: Years of Peace, 1910-1917 (Chapel Hill, N.C.: University of North Carolina Press, 1944), Pp. 167-68.

[12] This plan as well as other evidences of Roosevelt’s concern with Japan are presented in detail by Frank Freidel, Franklin D. Roosevelt: The Apprenticeship (Boston: Little, Brown & Company, 1952), pp. 222-27.

[13] This and the successive letters quoted are to be found among the unpublished materials in the Franklin D. Roosevelt library.

[14] Franklin D. Roosevelt, “Our Foreign Policy, A Democratic View,” Foreign Ajf airs (July, 1928), pp. 573-86.

[15] Swanson was also chosen in order to open a Senate seat for a rising Virginia politician, Harry Byrd, who was later to become a bitter foe of the New Deal domestic program.

[16] This was the title of an article by Mauritz Hallgren in The Nation, October 4, 1933, pp. 373-75.

[17] U.S, Naval Intelligence figures, cited in the Congressional Record, May 20, 1933, 73 Cong., 1 sess., p. 3826.

[18] Japan Advertiser, January 18, 1934.

[19] Theodore Roosevelt reached this conclusion as early as 1907 when he called the Philippines America’s “heel of Achilles.” Henry F. Pringle, Theodore Roosevelt (New York: Harcourt, Brace & Company, Inc., 1931), P. 408. The same conclusion was reached by Admiral Fiske in drafting war plans against Japan in 1913- See Bradley Fiske, From Midshipman to Rear Admiral (New York: The Century Company, 1919), pp. 528-29.

[20] Admiral Morison considers the issuance of the American announcement to have been “purely by chance” in following closely on the Japanese step. What resulted he calls a “curious tension.” Samuel E. Morison, The Rising Sun in the Pacific (Boston: Little, Brown & Company, 1948), p. 12. For the Japanese reactions, see J. K. Kasai, The United States and Japan in the Pacific (Tokyo: Kokusai Press, 1935), passim.

[21] “Our Navy. Madness,” The Nation, January 23, 1935 “We Must Not Arm Against Japan,” ibid., March 13, 1935. These criticisms should be contrasted with the later evaluations of a large-navy proponent like Commodore Dudley W. Knox who could say that Japan’s actions “did comparatively little to stir us into active naval building.” See S. E. Morison, History of United States Naval Operations in World War II: The Battle of the Atlantic, September, 1939-May, 1943 (Boston: Little, Brown & Company, 1947), I, xxxviii.

[22] Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States, Japan: 1931-I94I, Department of State Publication 2016 (2 vols.; Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1943), 1,277-78.

[23] Hearings Before the Joint Committee on the Investigation of the Pearl Harbor Attack, 79 Cong., 2 sess. (39 parts; Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1946), Part DC, pp. 4274-77. (The Hearings will hereinafter be designated Pearl Harbor Attack.)

[24] Welles, op. cit., pp. 71, 76.

[25] This was known as Orange[1938] and is printed in part in Pearl Harbor Attack, Part XV, pp. 1423-25.

[26] Pearl Harbor Attack, Part XIV, pp. 1006-12.

[27] Cordell Hull, Memoirs (2 vols.; The Macmillan Company, 1948), I, 630.

[28] Feis, op. cit., p. 57.

[29] n\x\\,op.cit.,\,9U.

[30] Pearl Harbor Attack, Part I, p. 265.

[31] Ibid.,PartI, p. 297.

[32] Ibid., Part I, pp. 265-66, 298-300.

[33] The most thorough study of Japanese foreign policy in 1940 as yet available, that of Herbert Feis, op. cit., makes no mention of the fleet movement as a consideration by the makers of Japanese policy.

[34] Feis, op. cit., p. 41.

[35] Pearl Harbor Attack, Part I, pp. 323-24.

[36] Commander William D. Puleston, U.S.N., The Armed Forces of the Pacific (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1941), pp. 116-17.

[37] Major General Sherman Miles, “Pearl Harbor in Retrospect,” Atlantic Monthly, July, 1948, p. 65.

[38] The author was an English publicist, Freda Utley, whose book was issued in the United States in 1937.

[39] Nathaniel Peffer in The Nation, August 2, 1941. This publication carried many similar article and editorials throughout 1941. Cf. “Call Japan’s Bluff,” August 9, 1941.

[40] This memorandum, initialed “N. H. D.,” is dated July 30, 1937, and is included among the President’s papers in the Hyde Park library.

[41] Quoted in Kennan, op. cit., pp. 51-52.

Chapter 5 • Japanese-American Relations, 1921-1941: The Pacific Road to War by Charles Callan Tansill • 14,300 Words

“It is . . . peculiarly to our interest not to take any steps as regards Manchuria which will give the Japanese cause to feel, with or without reason, that we are hostile to them, or a menace — in however slight a degree — to their interests. Alliance with China, in view of China’s absolute military helplessness, means, of course, not an additional strength to us, but an additional obligation which we assume.”

— Theodore Roosevelt, to President William Howard Taft, December 22, 1910.

“America provoked Japan to such an extent that the Japanese were forced to attack Pearl Harbor. It is a travesty on history to say that America-was forced into war.”

— Captain Oliver Lyttelton, British Minister of Supplies, June 20, 1944.

” . . It is beyond doubt that President Roosevelt wanted to get his country into the war, but for political reasons was most anxious to insure that the first act of hostility came from the other side; for which reason he caused increasing pressure to be put on the Japanese, to a point that no self-respecting nation could endure without resort to arms.”

— Captain Russell Grenfell, Main Fleet to Singapore, 1952

I. President Wilson Carries on a Policy of Pressure upon Japan • 900 Words

The path to Pearl Harbor was a long and much-travelled one. President Theodore Roosevelt put Japanese feet upon that path in September, 1905, under the terms of the Treaty of Portsmouth. Control of the South Manchuria Railway meant control of the economic life of Manchuria. Then, in order to check Japanese immigration to the Pacific Coast and to keep Japan from casting acquisitive eyes in the direction of the Philippines, Roosevelt, in the Root-Takahira Agreement (November 30, 1908), gave her a “free hand in Manchuria.”[1]A. W. Griswold, The Far Eastern Policy of the United States (New York: Harcourt, Brace & Company, Inc., Iq38), p. 129. The advantages accruing to Japan from her special position in North China were clearly recognized by the American ambassador in Tokyo in 1910:

“The war with Russia left in the hands of Japan as the chief fruits of her success substantial rights in the Chinese provinces o£ Manchuria. . . . None of the Powers stood in the way of her peace treaty and all understood that to enjoy the benefits of her acquisition a certain superiority over other nations must be conceded.”[2]Ambassador O’Brien to Secretary Knox, Tokyo, February 5, 1910. 711.94/1138, MS, National Archives.

Theodore Roosevelt had been willing to make this concession, but President Taft rejected all thoughts of “appeasement” and trio to preserve the territorial integrity of China by endeavoring to place a strong financial flooring under the province of Manchuria.[3]Theodore Roosevelt to President Taft, December 22, 1910, Philander C. Knox Papers, Library of Congress. He succeeded merely in destroying the structure of “balanced antagonisms” erected by Roosevelt and abruptly pushed suspicious Japan into the reluctant arms of Russia.[4]E. H. Zabriskie, American-Russian Rivalry in the Far East (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1946), pp. IOI-60.

President Wilson carried on this policy of pressure upon Japan. His Minister to China, Paul Reinsch, sent to the Department of State a series of dispatches so critical of the Japanese Twenty-One Demands that they helped to create in the American mind a fixation of Japanese wickedness and thus broadened the path to Pearl Harbor. Under Wilson, a Secretary of State whose fame as a pacifist encircled the globe, sent to Japan (May 11, 1915)a note with a delayed fuse of nonrecognition that exploded into war some twenty-six years later. Then, in order to make Japanese hostility a constant factor in the uneasy Far Eastern equation, Wilson sent General William S. Graves with a small army to Siberia to check expansion in that quarter.[5]Pauline Tompkins, American-Russian Relations in the Far East (New York- The Macmillan Company, 1949), p. 141 Thanks to this American intervention, the maritime provinces of Siberia were saved for the avaricious regime of Red Russia.

Finally, during the sessions of the Paris Peace Conference, President Wilson led a determined assault upon the Japanese position in Shantung in the face of his acquiescence in the secret treaty that bound Britain to support the Japanese claims to economic domination of that province. The Lansing-Ishii Agreement (November 2, 1917) recorded this acquiescence, and Wilson’s later actions at Paris and his subsequent denial of any knowledge of any secret treaties must have convinced Japanese statesmen that he was implementing the maxims of Machiavelli.[6]Griswold, op. cit., pp. 218-20.

Secretary Lansing had a much clearer view of the realities in Far Eastern politics than did President Wilson. To him there was a definite basis for the Japanese fear of the spread of bolshevism in the Far East and he understood their desire to control the maritime provinces of Siberia as a bastion of defense against the tide of communism:

“My belief is that they [the Japanese] will send reinforcements to Siberia and attempt to strengthen Seminoffs force [of White Russians]. I cannot see how the Japanese Government can adopt any other policy in view of the very real peril to Japan if the Bolsheviks should gain a foothold in Manchuria and co-operate with the Korean revolutionists. Certainly in the circumstances we ought not to raise any objection to Japan sending a sufficient force to check the Bolshevik advance, for the spread of Bolshevism in the Far East would be a dreadful menace to civilization.[7]Lansing, Diary, November 30, 1918, Lansing Papers, Library of Congress.

In the following year, when the anti-Japanese sentiment in the United States reached high tide, Lansing shrewdly remarked:

“I have little patience with these people who are forever on the verge of hysterics about the deep and wicked schemes of Japan. They imagine some of the most preposterous things and report them as facts. I would be inclined to think that some of these enemies of Japan were mentally unbalanced but for their sanity on all other subjects. Unfortunately, they are listened to by many Americans whose reason ought to warn them against believing such tales without better evidence. “[8]Ibid.,July31, 1919.
(Lansing, Diary, November 30, 1918, Lansing Papers, Library of Congress.)

This hostile sentiment in the United States toward Japan gave great satisfaction to Lenin, who hoped for eventual war between these enemies of bolshevism. Perhaps the bait of economic concessions in Siberia might serve a useful purpose in this regardl In November, lgzo,’the New York Times printed a news item to the effect that W. B. Vanderlip had been granted the exclusive use of a large area in Siberia for mining purposes.[9]New York Times, November 21, 30, 1920. 10. David J. Dallin, The Rise of Russia in Asia (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2949), p. 165 The reason for this concession was explained by Lenin to his intimate associates: “We shall give America a territory for economic use, in a region where we have no naval or military forces. In this way we incite American imperialism against the Japanese bourgeoisie.”[10]

Few Americans had the slightest conception of the devious schemes of Lenin to sow seeds of suspicion between Japan and the United States. Secretary Lansing was well acquainted with the menace of bolshevism in the Far East but was compelled to leave the Wilson cabinet in February, 1920, and his successor did not enjoy a similar knowledge of all the implications of Soviet policy

II. Relations with Japan under the Republican Administrations of Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover • 2,500 Words

Secretary Hughes maintained the tradition of the Wilson administration. In the field of foreign relations the “normalcy” so dear to the heart of President Harding meant hostility toward Japan. The Washington Conference of 1921-22 was primarily called as a means of checking Japanese expansion in China and the Japanese delegation must have winced under the verbal lashing of Secretary Hughes as he read his long recital of Japanese misdeeds. But even Hughes realized that there were limits to this policy of pinpricks and pressure. In 1924, when Congress passed an exclusion law against the immigration of Japanese laborers into the United States, he wrote a letter of protest to Senator Lodge who had been a strong supporter of this legislation. To Hughes it seemed obvious that it was unwise to arouse in the minds of large numbers of Japanese a feeling of bitter resentment against the United States: “I dislike to think what the reaping will be after the sowing of this seed.”[11]Secretary Hughes to Senator Lodge, April 17, 2924, Calvin Coolidge Papers, Library of Congress.

Further seeds of resentment were sown in the fields of finance. In October, 1927, the South Manchuria Railway Company applied to Morgan and Company for a loan of $40,000,000 to be used for the development of transportation facilities in Manchuria. Inasmuch as this railway was largely controlled by the Japanese government, the loan assumed a political character. Before the application for this loan had been filed, Thomas W. Lamont, of Morgan and Company, made a trip to Manchuria to look into the situation. He found the province was the “only stable region in all China.” The Japanese were developing “Manchuria not chiefly in the military sense but in an economic way.” Development was working out “in the interest of the Chinese” who were pouring into Manchuria to “escape the banditry, looting and despoiling to which they are subjected elsewhere. “[12]T. W. Lamont to R. E. Olds, Under Secretary of State, New York, November 11, 1927 894.51 So 8/48, MS, Department of State.

When the government of Chiang Kai-shek entered a vigorous protest against this proposed loan, Ferdinand L. Mayer, the-American charge d’affaires in Peking, wrote to Secretary Kellogg some words of sage advice: “From a purely humanitarian viewpoint it would be advantageous for China to have America participate indirectly in Japanese development of Manchuria.” Then with his eyes on ‘the Russian advance he continued: “The Powers cannot … let China drift on in her present anarchy indefinitely … if the Russian influence is not curbed. “[13]Ferdinand L. Mayer to Secretary Kellogg, Peking, November 22, 1927894-51 So 8/4, MS, Department of State. A few days later Mayer made the following significant remark: “… after all what has the so-called especially friendly attitude of the Chinese ever meant to us? It has not furthered our commercial interests . . . nor has it saved us from the horrors and insults of Nanking. “[14]Ferdinand L. Mayer to Secretary Kellogg, Peking, November 25, 1927894-51 So 8/8, MS, Department of State.

Although Ambassador MacVeagh, at Tokyo, expressed the opinion that the Department of State should “use the first opportunity to convince the Japanese of our honest desire to help them when we can legitimately do so, “[15]Ambassador MacVeagh to Secretary Kellogg, Tokyo, November 22, 1927. 894.51 So 8/2, MS, Department of State. the opposition from China was so strong that Morgan and Company lost all interest in the loan. This action caused some of the seeds of distrust sown by American officials to sprout into small plants of active dislike. It was Henry L. Stimson who fertilized these seedlings into luxuriant growth.

The opportunity for Secretary Stimson to bedevil the situation in the Far East came with the outbreak of hostilities between China and Japan on September 18, 1931. This was not a plain case of Japanese aggression. Ever since 1915, successive Chinese governments had strongly contended that the treaties growing out of the Twenty-One Demands were invalid because thev had been signed under duress. The Japanese responded by pointing to Versailles. The war lord of Manchuria, Chang Hsueh-liang, was deeply in debt to Japanese bankers and, instead of showing some appreciation for financial favors, he courted Chiang Kai-shek. Japan could not afford to have Nationalist armies move across Manchuria and leave a trail of destruction like the one that marked their entry into Tsinan and Nanking. But the most important factor that propelled Japan into action in 1931 was the fear that Russia was threatening the Japanese life line in Manchuria. Chinese raids in 1929 upon the Russian consulate in Harbin had disclosed vast quantities of propaganda designed to win the populace over to Communism. In the undeclared war of 1929 Communist armed forces, had quickly crushed the weak resistance of the Chinese war lord and compelled him to sue for peace. These Communist thrusts could be repelled in the future only by Japanese military strength based upon more strategic frontiers in Manchuria.[16]Max Beloff, The Foreign Policy of Soviet Russia, 1921-1942 (New York: Oxford University Press, 2947), I, 71; K. K. Kawakami, “Manchurian Background,” Pacific Affairs, V (February, 1932), 121-30; Edith E. Ware, Business and Politics in the Far East (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1932), p. 213

To Japan it appeared that Manchuria was essential to her as a defensive position and as the keystone of her economic structure. Her statesmen hoped that the Department of State would recognize that North China was just as important to Japan as the Caribbean area was to the United States. The American government had sent military forces to Haiti and the Dominican Republic for the purpose of establishing administrations that would be responsive to American desires. This armed intervention had been so recent and so effective that it led the American charg6 d’affaires in Peking to close a dispatch to Secretary Kellogg with a vey suggestive comment: “We cannot oppose Japanese plans in Manchuria ethically in view of measures we have taken in our correspondingly vital zone — the Caribbean. “[17]Ferdinand L. Mayer to Secretary Kellogg, Peking, November 22, 1927. 894.51 So 8/4, MS, Department of State.

Admiral Toyoda, of Japan, and the American charge d’affaires at Peking had much the same viewpoint. There was a definite identity of interest between Americans and Japanese with reference to checking the expansion of Communism in the Far East. In a letter to Ambassador Forbes, Admiral Toyoda stressed this common interest and then remarked that the Pacific area would eventually witness some of the important clashes between capitalism and Communism. The nature of this future conflict would exclude any idea of compromise:

“We, or our near posterity, will have to decide between Sino-Russian Communism or the Anglo-Saxon capitalism. If China should fall under the rule of Communism, and if Japan keep up her present policy, which she certainly will, the chance is she will be forced to play the role of Iki and Tsushima as the advance posts of the Anglo-Saxon capitalism.”[18]Admiral Tejiro Toyoda to Ambassador Cameron Forbes, Tokyo, March 3, 1932.[793]94/4877, Confidential file, MS, Department of State.

Secretary Stimson lacked the clear vision of Admiral Toyoda. He read the situation in the Far East with his prejudices rather than with his eyes. The fact that, in 1932, Russia had already consolidated her control over Outer Mongolia and was fast infiltrating the province of Sinkiang appeared of little consequence to him. The rapid rush of the Red tide over vast stretches of North China left him serene, but he moved to instant action when the Brown tide of Japan rolled forward in Manchuria.

The storv of the Stimson challenge to Japan is too familiar to be repeated here. It should be clearly understood, however, that the Japanese government had not desired a conflict with China in 1931. China had a large chip on her shoulder and, when it suddenly became dislodged, she loudly accused Japan of aggressive measures. George Sokolsky, who was on the scene in 1931, remarks as follows concerning the outbreak of hostilities:

“It needs to be recalled here that in 1931 the last efforts were made to reconcile these countries [China and Japan]. Actually, I was an instrument in that attempted reconciliation, going to Japan from China to hold meetings with Baron Shidehara, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and others. I can say that the Japanese attitude was conciliatory; the Chinese, on the whole, antagonistic. . . . Two forces were at work to keep China and Japan quarreling: Soviet Russia and the League of Nations. Soviet Russia had been engaged since 1924 in an active program of stirring hate among the Chinese people against all foreigners except the Russians, but particularly against the British and the Japanese. The League of Nations secretariat was developing in China a field of widespread activity through its agent. Dr. Ludwic Rajchmann, who was spending most of his time in China. Rajchmann was violently anti-Japanese, although Japan was a member of the League of Nations and Rajchmann an employee. Rajchmann is a Pole and is now associated with the United Nations.[19]George Sokolsky, “These Days,” Washington Times-Herald, March 14, 1951.

Japan’s conciliatory attitude was lost upon Secretary Stimson, who became obsessed with the idea that the Japanese government had become aggressive under the pressure of a military clique in Tokyo. Aggression should be denounced and punished and, in looking around for a convenient club to castigate Japan, he came across the KelloggBriand Peace Pact. It took his fertile brain to find a martial meaning in the pacific phrases of that pact and it was not long before he succeeded in transforming that formula of peace into a clarion call to arms. In the Far East the Japanese government paid little attention to the stop signal flashed by Stimson. Their Manchurian war machine had gained too much momentum to be halted by an American traffic cop who blew a tin whistle of nonrecognition.

A distinguished professor of international law has condemned the Stimson formula as “fatuous,”[20]Herbert Briggs, “Non-Recognition of Title by Conquest,” Proceedings of the American Society of International Law (May 13-15, 1940), p. 82. and a famous American diplomat who watched at Geneva while its application drove Japan out of the League of Nations, filed a sharp indictment against it: “For the first time … I began to question the non-recognition policy. More and more as I thought it over I became conscious that we had entered a dead-end street. “[21]Hugh Wilson, Diplomat Between Wars (New York: Longmans, Green & Company, 1941), pp. 279-81. But, on January 9, 1933, Franklin D. Roosevelt, the President-elect, entered that dead-end street by accepting the Stimson formula over the spirited protests of two of his closest advisers, Rexford G. Tugwell[22]The Stricken Land; the Story of Puerto Rico (New York: Doubledav & Companv, Inc., 1947), p. 177 and Raymond Moley.[23]After Seven Years (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1939), pp. 94-95. It was not long before that dead-end street became a road to war.

In distant Tokyo, Ambassador Grew saw definite shadows across the path of Japanese-American relations. To him they seemed to be cast by Japanese statesmen who had no real understanding of moral obligations. He believed that this “callous disregard of the pledged word” could be traced to the fact that in Japanese jurisprudence there was “nothing to correspond to the rules of abstract justice contained in the old Roman law.” This critical viewpoint was immediatelv challenged by Mr. Grew’s own Counselor of Embassy, Edwin Neville. To him it was apparent that Japanese policy was the resultant of certain forces in the Far East. One of the most important of these was Chinese disregard of their treaty obligations. To the Japanese Foreign Office the situation in 1931 “appeared worse than ever as the Chinese had, used borrowed money to operate railways to the detriment of the Japanese line; their various agreements with the Chinese remained unimplemented…. The Chinese are in no position to bring up any of the Washington settlements. They have defaulted on their obligations thereunder and do not come into court with clean hands. “[24]Ambassador Grew to Secretary Stimson, Tokyo, February 24, 1933, with an enclosure to Mr. Neville. 793.94/6031, MS, Department of State.

But Secretary Stimson never worried about dirt on Chinese hands. He felt outraged, however, when he discovered some Manchurian mud under the fingernails of Japanese statesmen. When Matsuoka, the head of the Japanese delegation at Geneva, whispered to Hugh Wilson that impatience with American policy was reaching a breaking point in Tokyo, Stimson regarded this warning as an idle threat. Japan might choke on the formula of nonrecognition but it would be a paroxysm that would lead to peace rather than to war .[25]Secretary Stimson to Ambassador Grew, November 21, 1932, Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States: Japan, 1931-1941, Department of State Publication 2016 (2 vols; Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1943), I, 104-5 (Hereinafter referred to as Foreign Relations, Japan: 1931-1941, 1 or II.) His supreme confidence that he could handle Japan in his own way led him to look coldly upon a Japanese suggestion that a meeting be arranged “at some point between the continental United States and Japan, such as Honolulu, between some prominent American statesman and a prominent Japanese” for the purpose of seeking some basis for an understanding. Mr. Hornbeck, of the Division of Far Eastern Affairs, thought such a meeting might do more harm than good, and Stimson finally agreed with this viewpoint.[26]Endorsement of Secretary Stimson upon the Hornbeck memorandum, January 28, 1933 793.94/6063, Confidential file, MS, Department of State. History would repeat itself with tragic consequences in 1939 and 1941.

Although Stimson’s bedevilment of the Far Eastern situation finally came to an inglorious close in March, 1933, his influence upon Japanese-American relations went so deep and spread so far that, soon after he assumed office. President Roosevelt began to talk of the possibility of conflict with Japan: On March 7, during a cabinet meeting. Postmaster General Farley noted in his diary that the “President discussed possible plans of action in the event of war” with Japan.[27]James A. Farley, Jim Farley’s Story: The Roosevelt Years (New York: Whittlesey House, 1948), p. 39. He was already picking out the first notes in a marche militaire.

It is significant to note that the Stimson-Roosevelt policy of pressure upon Japan had the support of the German government even after Hitler became chancellor.[28]Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States, 1933, The Far East, III, 162-63,201. The support of the Italian government was equally significant, especially with reference to the question of placing an embargo upon the export of munitions of war to Japan. On January 10, 1933, President Hoover sent a message to Congress[29]Congressional Record, LXXVI, Part 11, 1448. recommending that legislation be passed empowering the Executive at his discretion, after consultation with such other nations as he might deem necessary, to impose an embargo on the export of arms and munitions of war to any nation or nations which he might designate. A resolution embodying the President’s suggestion was unanimously passed by the Senate, but in the House of Representatives no action was taken on a similar resolution.

The dangers in this policy of pressure were indicated by Ambassador Grew in a warning telegram to Secretary Stimson. Japan believed that Manchuria was the “life line” of her empire and she was determined to support the new state of Manchukuo at all costs.

Her “long strained exasperation with the former chaotic conditions in Manchuria and the failure of the Chinese to fulfill their treaty obligations” had convinced most Japanese statesmen that a policy of conciliation was futile. There was “no bluff in the firm attitude of the Japanese government. The decision had been made to “fight rather than to surrender to moral or other pressure from the West. “[30]Ambassador Grew to Secretary Stimson, Tokyo, February 23, 1933, Foreign Relations, 1933, The Far East, III, 295-96.

This warning dispatch from Grew gave President Hoover serious concern. He immediately lost all interest in an economic embargo upon Japan. In a letter to Secretary Stimson he remarked that he was “inflexibly opposed to the imposition of any kind of sanctions except purely public opinion. The imposition of any kind of sanction, military or economic, would in the present state of mind of the Japanese people, provoke the spread of the conflagration already in progress and might even involve the United States.”[31]President Hoover to Secretary Stimson, February 74, 1933, ibid.. Ill, 709-10.
(Ambassador Grew to Secretary Stimson, Tokyo, February 23, 1933, Foreign Relations, 1933, The Far East, III, 295-96.)

This firm statement imposed a definite check upon the plans of the belligerent Secretary of State. When the British ambassador inquired on February 24 if the United States would follow a parallel policy with Britain in the Far East with special reference to the imposition of an embargo upon the shipment of munitions of war to Japan, Stimson cautiously replied that Congress had failed to pass legislation to empower such action. Stimson was able, however, to persuade the President to refrain from the publication of any statement that would make clear to the world the fact that the American government had no intention to “ever engage in sanctions other than that of public opinion.” The President had been hopeful that such a declaration would relax the tension “to some extent.” But Stimson had no desire for this tension to relax. Japan would have to bend or break and he regarded with satisfaction the action of the League in chiding Japan in such caustic terms that Matsuoka marched out of the meeting of the Assembly.[32]Memorandum by the Secretary of State, February 74, 1933, ibid., Ill, 204-5.
(Ambassador Grew to Secretary Stimson, Tokyo, February 23, 1933, Foreign Relations, 1933, The Far East, III, 295-96.)

III. Roosevelt and Hull Adopt the Anti-Japanese Policy of Stimson • 1,200 Words

President Roosevelt and Secretary Hull shared the Stimson rather than the Hoover viewpoint with regard to embargoes upon the shipment of munitions of war to belligerent countries. On March 11, 1933, Secretary Hull informed the British ambassador that the Roosevelt administration was ready to “press for the passage” of legislation that would prohibit the export of munitions of war from the United States to “such country or countries as he [the President] may designate!”[33]The Department of State to the British Embassy, March 11, 1933, ibid., 111, 731-32.
(Ambassador Grew to Secretary Stimson, Tokyo, February 23, 1933, Foreign Relations, 1933, The Far East, III, 295-96.)
In the meantime Signor Ruspoli, of the Italian delegation at Geneva, in a conversation with Hugh Wilson, indicated his strong support of the American viewpoint that an embargo “on two parties to the dispute is almost certain to hurt the innocent party more than the guilty one since the aggressor will have taken the precaution to store up stocks of war materials. “[34]Hugh Wilson to Secretary Hull, Geneva, March 9, 1933, ibid., I, 363-64.
(Ambassador Grew to Secretary Stimson, Tokyo, February 23, 1933, Foreign Relations, 1933, The Far East, III, 295-96.)
On March 1 1 Secretary Hull indicated to Wilson that he should convey to Ruspoli the fact that the Department of.State “concurred in the view of his Government. “[35]Secretary Hull to Hugh Wilson, March 11, 1933, ibid.. Ill, 233
(Ambassador Grew to Secretary Stimson, Tokyo, February 23, 1933, Foreign Relations, 1933, The Far East, III, 295-96.)
Apparently there was a spirit of sweet accord between the United States and dictator nations like Germany and Italy.

This same spirit was sadly lacking in the relations between the President and Congress. In accordance with the desires of the Chief Executive, legislation was introduced into Congress giving the President the power to forbid the shipment of munitions of war to “such country or countries as he may designate.” On April 17 this proposed legislation passed the House of Representatives, but in the Senate there was strong opposition to giving such large discretionary powers to. the President. Senator Key Pittman, chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations, informed Secretary Hull that members of his committee were fearful that the imposition by the President of an embargo upon munitions of war to a belligerent country might have “a strong tendency to involve the United States to such an extent that a condition of war might arise. “[36]Senator Key Pittman to Secretary Hull, May 10, 1933, ibid., 1, 365-66.
(Ambassador Grew to Secretary Stimson, Tokyo, February 23, 1933, Foreign Relations, 1933, The Far East, III, 295-96.)
These fears led the committee to report (May 30) an amendment that all em-, bargoes upon the shipments of war materials should “apply impartially to all the parties in the dispute. “[37]Acting Secretary of State Phillips to Hugh Wilson, June 1, 1933, ibid., I, 378.
(Ambassador Grew to Secretary Stimson, Tokyo, February 23, 1933, Foreign Relations, 1933, The Far East, III, 295-96.)
This action was displeasing to the President, who had no interest in legislation that did -not give him wide discretionary powers. The drive against Japan had temporarily stalled, but he hoped it would gain new momentum in the next Congress.

Action against Japan, however, would now have to wait upon the next session of Congress. One very effective way to challenge Japan was through the exercise of the recognition power. Since 1917 the Department of State had refused to extend recognition to the Soviet government. Japan was particularly fearful of the Red menace in the Far East. American recognition of the Red regime would seriously embarrass Japan and make her fearful of her position in North China. It would make her increasingly anxious to conciliate America.

The first step in this new drive against Japan was the refusal to accept a good-will mission from the Japanese government (October, 1933).[38]Secretary Hull to Ambassador Grew, October 6, 1933, Foreign Relations, Japan: 1931-1941,1, 125. Secretary Hull next closed his ears to timely warnings from Mr. Neville, in Tokyo, concerning Russian designs in Outer Mongolia.[39]Memorandum by E. L. Neville, Tokvo, October 6, 1933- 793.94/6495, MS, Department of State. Russia was to be courted, not criticized. Ambassador Grew had written in detail about the friction between Japan and Russia concerning Communism: “Japan considers herself as the bulwark against the spread of communism southward and eastward. Given sufficient provocation, the Japanese could readily be aroused to enter Siberia with the intention of completely destroying a regime which it fears and detests. “[40]Ambassador Grew to Under Secretary Phillips, Tokyo, October 6, 1933, Foreign Relations, 1933, 111,471-24 The Roosevelt administration did not share this detestation of communism. Indeed, it was ready to recognize the government of Stalin that had recently shocked the world by the mass murder of millions of Kulaks, or well-to-do peasants in Russia. On November 16, 1933, recognition was formally extended to Soviet Russia with all its wide implications of a joint policy against Japan. In Tokyo, Edwin Neville saw the dangers of a Russian victory in the Far East: “In the light of Russian activities in Outer Mongolia and the behavior of Soviet agents in intramural China, it is open to question whether a Russian military victory . . . would be of any value in preserving or restoring the political and administrative integrity of China .”[41]Memorandum by E. L. Neville, Tokyo, October 6, 1933- 793-94/6495, MS, Department of State. Ambassador Grew, without the clear vision of Neville, looked at the situation in the Far East more through administration eyes. He thought the recognition of Russia had been an astute political move. As a result the President had gained an “entirely new and more friendly orientation of Japanese policy toward the United States. “[42]Diary of Ambassador Grew, November 30, 1933; Joseph C. Grew, Ten Years in Japan; a Contemporary Record Drawn from [his] Diaries and Private and Official Papers, 1937-1947 (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1944), p. 108. Mr. Grew refrained from adding any comment to the effect that recognition of the Soviet regime would prove an asset to China. At times his silences were more significant than his words.

In Japan the action of the Roosevelt administration indicated the necessity of adopting a bold, independent policy in the Far East. On April 17, 1934, the Japanese Foreign Office proclaimed a Monroe Doctrine for Eastern.Asia. Japanese statesmen were fully acquainted with the far-reaching implications of the Olney corollary of the Monroe Doctrine, and they realized that American acquisition of the Panama Canal zone in 1903 had often been justified on the basis of the doctrine. The message of 1873 had been implemented by repeated American interventions in Latin American states and the right to do so was not abandoned until 1936. In 1934 the Japanese government merely extracted an important page from the American book of diplomatic practice and underscored the paragraph that asserted hemispheric supremacy. Stanley K. Hornbeck, chief of the Division of Far Eastern Affairs, hurriedly prepared a memorandum of guidance for Secretary Hull. He advised against sending a strong protest to Japan with reference to the recent proclamation of a Monroe Doctrine for the Far East:

“”I do not think that the United States should ‘stick out its neck’ and become the spearhead in opposition to Japan. “[43]Memorandum by Stanley K. Hornbeck, April 75, 1934- 793.94/6700, Confidential file, MS, Department of State.

Secretary Hull rejected this cautious advice. On April 78 he sent to Ambassador Grew an aide-m6moire which bluntly challenged the new position taken by the Japanese Foreign Office.[44]Secretary Hull to Ambassador Grew, April 78, 1934, Foreign Relations, Japan: 1931-1941,231-32. It reached Tokyo on the following day. Although it was Sunday and the Emperor’s birthday. Grew thought the urgent note sounded by the aide-memoire was so significant that he requested the Foreign Miry’ ister to grant him an interview. Hirota graciously acceded to this request and, after reading the verbal broadside of Secretary Hull, he quietly remarked that in the United States there was aAreat misunderstanding” of Japanese policy.[45]Grew, Ten Years in Japan, pp. 133-34.

The British government was ready to take Japanese promises and explanations at face value and it stressed the viewpoint that it was untimely to invoke an Anglo-American parallel policy to meet the situation. The British ambassador informed the Department of State that the Foreign Office “believed that each power should state its own views. “[46]Memorandum of Under Secretary of State William Phillips, April 26, 1934, Foreign Relations, 1934, The Far East, III, 142-43. This desire of the British government to follow an independent policy in the Far East was fully appreciated by Mr. Hornbeck who summarized the position of the Foreign Office in a long memorandum: “It is of advantage to us to know . . . that Great Britain cannot be counted on to make with us a united front of opposition to Japan and may on the contrary be expected to endeavor to make compromises with Japan both in reference to China and in reference to naval matters. … In a sense the British may be regarded as being in the act of ‘letting us down.”‘[47]Memorandum of Stanley K. Hornbeck, ibid., pp. 290-93.
(Memorandum of Under Secretary of State William Phillips, April 26, 1934, Foreign Relations, 1934, The Far East, III, 142-43.)

IV. International Aspects of Japanese-American Relations • 1,600 Words

This British refusal to take concerted action with the United States in formulating a policy to fit the Far Eastern situation did not deter Secretary Hull from firing repeated blasts at the Japanese position in Manchukuo. He was particularly disturbed by the thought that the Japanese government was slowlv closing the Open Door ii) that region.

It was true that monopoly rights had been granted to certain Japanese corporations with referenc