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can live in freedom. I know of no other nation of the world where it has had a chance, save in America, and here it has produced a degree of well-being which has been equaled nowhere in the world. It has many faults and it has many defects; it has many defects which have been introduced into it by its own capitalist friends, and they must be eradicated if it is to be made to work.
But you have got to make it work, or it will go. It is on its way now, under planned economy. That is nothing in the world but communism. If that comes, it is only an interlude between the fall of free capitalism and the arrival of communism.
So, if you are interested in building this system, you owe it to yourselves to use all the energies you have, to make all the sacrifices you have to make, because you have a competitor on the other side of the ocean that is engaged in an experiment which will destroy your country and its economic system and its representative government if that experiment succeeds.
I do not propose to lend my voice to the paying out of billions of dollars, first, to enable that economic system to succeed, and, secondly, to go into an organization which will enable her to rivet her hold upon two-thirds of Europe. She will do it, because, after all, gentlemen, you have not lost, I hope, your sense of regret, to-put it mildly, that those little countries on the Baltic, Christian countries such as Lithuania, with 80 percent of her people Catholics—are now incorporated in the body of the Soviet Union. You have not lost your sympathy, I hope, for little Finland, or for the people of Poland.
But there is nothing you can do about it; it is too late to do anything about it. Certainly you have not lost the hope that those nations may one day regain their freedom; but they will never regain it until the Russian Empire breaks up. And as part of this whole scheme of power which is being fabricated here, the San Francisco Charter, the Bretton Woods agreement, the postwar lend-lease credit arrangements, the Export-Import Bank, and all sorts of arrangements, plus loans from this country to foreign governments, countless billions of our dollars go to Russia and to Russia's satellites to make that system work in competition with your own.
I am against that. I am perfectly willing to go into an arrangement with Russia for peace. But this is not the whole story that we see in this Charter. It is only one facet of a foreign policy which ignores this past experience.
There is one other aspect to this. I frankly confess that I find myself simply bewildered and appalled at the gay insouciance which I find here in Washington, even among businessmen, talking about handing around billions of dollars, not only in America, but to the world.
I recall, and so do you gentlemen, not so very many years ago, about 7 or 8 years ago, when we had a soldiers' bonus bill which involved a billion and a half dollars. I think I could go back and dig up some of the speeches that were made here about how this billion and a half dollars was going to bankrupt America; and the President of the United States said so in a message to the Congress.
Men were talking about that billion and a half, which was nothing more or less than redeeming an outstanding obligation, and how it would bankrupt us and cause inflation. Men who were opposing that thing then are now talking about 25 billion, 50 billion, 100 billion, 200 billion, 250 billion, and saying it is nothing. They are talking about these vast sums without batting an eye.
I do not know what this war has cost to date, but on July 2 the sum amounted to $259,000,000,000. We will have a debt of $300,000,000,000 before we are through, or $350,000,000,000. We have got plans in this country for vast outlays to the veterans, which you will have to meet, and about which men talk with apparent equanimity. We are talking about sending thirty or forty billion dollars' worth of goods abroad, apparently for the purpose of making their systems work and partly for the purpose of providing work here. Where is the money coming from? It has got to be borrowed. You cannot get it from taxation. From whom are you going to borrow it?
While you are busy remaking the world, in the coming year this Nation faces, without raising a single dollar of new money, meeting maturing obligations or possible maturing obligations of $85,000,000000. You have got $45,000,000,000 in these lettered saving bonds, payable on demand, or 60 days after demand; a few of them 6 months after demand. The Government, in its great generosity, has said that all you have to do is to go to the bank window and ask for the money and you will get it.
No other government, as far as I know, in the history of this world has ever issued a demand bond of this kind. The people have been told that it would be a nest egg when the war was over. The bonds are in the hands of working men and women, and they will be out of jobs. They are in the hands of little businessmen, men of little means, millions of whom will be without income. They will be presenting those bonds to the Treasury for redemption the moment the war is over. They are beginning already.
In addition to that, you have got $40,000,000,000 of short-term Treasury obligations outstanding. You have got more than that. I speak of $40,000,000,000 due in the next 12 months. It must be funded in some way.
In addition to that, you have got hundreds and hundreds of millions and probably billions of dollars in the hands of people who have bought bonds to support this war; corporations, some of them. They have $200,000,000 in bonds. Corporations do not want them. They are buying them wholly to support the war, because after the war is over they have a more dynamic use to make of their money. They will want this money, and the only way to get it is to sell these bonds on the open market, so that in the next year a hundred billion dollars in bonds will be looking for buyers or redeemers.
I would like to ask you where you are going to get all this additional money, when all the people have been buying bonds and are trying to cash the ones they have got. You face a fiscal crisis in this country, and a fiscal crisis so great that you cannot afford to go into a group of commitments like this, which is full of meaningless platitudes about peace and preventing war, which forms a nice facade for Bretton Woods and the other agreements through-by which we are going to pass out all these billions to Europe.
Is anybody thinking about the United States? Is anybody thinking about our economic system and our representative form of government? Is anybody thinking about what is ahead?
I hear a lot of people talking about the great purchasing power there will be because of savings. What savings? More than 80 percent
are locked up in bonds, and the only way is to convert 'them into cash and any time you do that it will wreck the credit of the American Government. You gentlemen face this appalling and staggering future. God help the poor former Congressman who has just become Secretary of the Treasury!
We sit around talking about giving billions to Russia to make her system work, and billions to Fascist countries in Europe to make their systems work. I say we had better call a halt. I am for international cooperation. I would be for a world order for peace--a real one.
If, when the American Nation was organized, there had been a Big Four-New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Virginia—with permanent Members of the Senate while the others rotated membership, and they were allowed to pass on all the questions of war, with a Congress that was only a debating society, do you think the American Union would ever have been ratified by the States? Do you think it would have lasted? It would not have been a real union. It would not have been a real effort at peace on this continent.
This is what you have done. You have brought into existence a military alliance between four great powers, three of them great aggressors, and around that central core of the military alliance you have placed a halo of small nations without any power to do anything, selling it to the world as a great organization for peace.
I believe the American people have been sold this plan, Senator. It has been a grand job. As one who has been watching propaganda for a great many years, I take off my hat. You cannot turn on the radio at any hour of the day-morning, noon or night-whether you listen to the Metropolitan Opera or to a horse opera, a hill-billy band, a commentator or a newscaster, that you do not hear a plug for this great instrument for peace.
Nobody knows what it is all about. Nobody has read it. Nobody knows what is in it. It is the kind of propaganda that Hitler taught the world so effectively-"Don't argue with the people. Just put your idea in a slogan or a phrase and repeat it a dozen times a day until they all take it for granted.”
That process has been used with extraordinary success and sold to the American people. But the American people will find out about it, and they are going to be a little bit surprised when they find out that they are underwriting, amongst other things, the success of the Soviet experiment in Europe, and that they have become also the underwriters of the Soviet domination of the people which Russia has recently taken under her wing.
It seems to me that this thing might have been discussed a little bit longer, like we discussed the Court plan, Senator-you remember that, You and I were on the same side, then, Senator. That was all greased to go through the Senate like lightning. But we had some Senators who believed in our system of government, and who said, "No; we will keep discussing this until the people of the United States know something about it.” Yes; Senator George, Senator Connally, Senator Wheeler, Senator Johnson, Senator La Follette, and a lot of other Senators. They kept on discussing it until the people suddenly discovered that there was something worse than a Court of "nine old men.”
After that discussion the thing never even got reported out of the committee to the House.
I believe that if this document were to be discussed as that was, it would be gotten before the American people and the people would have had a chance to mull it over and hear the other side of the story, on the radio and in the press and in the movies, and they might begin to have a different attitude on this matter.
I contend that it is a dagerous thing to take the people into this thing unless they are really for it as it is, not as it is presented to them, for the reason that it seems to me that the discussion of this thing ought to be carried on long enough here and in the Senate until the people of the United States can know what it is about and hear the other side of the story.
I do not know how you can present it. You cannot get it on the radio.
Anyhow, it is a grand job, and I congratulate whoever did it.
Now, gentlemen, one more thought, and I am through. I have not gone into the structural defects of this Charter. I have extensive memoranda on that. I think there are many things in this Charter that ought to be changed. I call your attention to one which comes to my mind now. I can think of others.
The Social and Economic Council is to have 18 members elected by the Assembly; but there is nothing in that that assures that America shall have any representative on that. I assume we will. We are a great power, too. It is conceivable that the Social and Economic Council, which will be making social and economic studies and recommendations, will be made up of a large majority of Fascists and Communist states which will be providing statistical information and exploiting the philosophy which is to guide this Charter. But I have not gone into the structural defects of it. I have merely been interested in details. I am primarily inspired by my apprehensions of the future of this country because of the economic jam into which we have gotten ourselves. We will need all our resources, all our power, all our sacrifice to pull outselves out of this frightful hole. We will have no means of carrying out the commitments which we are about to make in connection with this Charter, and we put ourselves in the position perhaps of being one of the first of the members to “welsh” on the whole thing—which we cannot afford to do.
I do not mean that we should not take measures to protect ourselves against another war. I think Europe is headed for wars, ideological wars and wars of liberation; and the same thing is true of Asia. We are heading for our share without any more power to do anything about it than we have to do anything about the real issues involved in this one.
I think, therefore, that we should make up our minds to make a start in the direction of a federation of some kind that will work. No federation to preserve the peace will work unless every member renounces its authority and right to rule and control the lives of other people. I know of no other nation that can answer that description except here in this Western Hemisphere. There are some 22 nations which, whatever their faults in government, are at least not open to the criticism of being engaged in imperialistic ambitions f any kind. Of course, there have been a few boundary disputes in the past, but that is all.
It is possible to create in this hemisphere a great regional union to guarantee the peace and defense of this hemisphere. Europe can do the same thing if she has a mind to. If she has not a mind to do that, she certainly will be only a disturbing element in any world federation you have. After all, it is from Europe and your partners in this great design that all wars come.
If Europe wants peace in Europe, she can have it as we can have peace here. If she does not want peace in Europe, there is nothing that we can do to force her to have peace; and we ought not to be involved, by any treaty, in these disturbances.
I am for helping her in every possible way. I am for refusing money help to any of the Communist nations of Europe or the world. I am for cooperating with every nation in the interest of peace. I will go as far as they will go in any kind of a movement for peace. This is not a movement for peace. This is a movement to guarantee the present positions of aggression in the remaining aggressors. Beyond that I would not go.
I know there is no hope of bringing that view to the American people. because this thing has gone through too fast; and there is no way that I know of to change the minds of the Senators who have committed themselves to this. But I wanted at least to come here and sound this warning as to the future and as to the dark, dangerous waters into which we are sailing, and I want to raise my voice in protest against using any of the economic strength and any of the moral prestige of America to underwrite and guarantee the latest and most ruthless aggression that the world has known, which is now taking place in Europe, which is being carried on by one of the nations which has stepped in to rule over the world.
I thank you.
The CHAIRMAN. Have you any matter that you want to put into the record?
Mr. FLYNN. Yes, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. We will be glad to have any material that you would like to insert.
Are there any questions by Senators?
Senator TUNNELL. I did not quite understand the application. You spoke of the maturing obligations of the United States in the next year. They will mature just the same, whether we go into this organization or not, will they not?
Mr. FLYNN. That is correct, Senator.
Senator TUNNELL. Then it has no particular application to the ratification of this Charter.
Mr. FLYNN. Oh, I think it has.
Mr. Flynn. My point is that this Charter is only part of the foreign policy of the Government at the present time, and the other parts involve the assumption of still vaster obligations in order to help out. I am not objecting to feeding them and doing everything we can to mitigate the destruction resulting from the war. But there is no way in which we can carry out the Bretton Woods commitment of additional billions for the Export-Import Bank or lend-lease commitments except by borrowing more money from the people of the United States.
Senator TUNNELL. Are they not separate questions?