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ditions. A similar proposal had been strongly urged upon Congress early in 1933 by President Hoover and Secretary of State Stimson.
The terms of the legislation advocated by Secretary Hull were that whenever the President found that the shipment of arms or munitions of war might promote or encourage the employment of force in a dispute or conflict between nations and, after securing the cooperation of such governments as the President deemed necessary and after making proclamation thereof, it should be unlawful to export any arms or munitions of war from the United States to any country designated by the President. This proposal would have authorized cooperation by the United States in an arms embargo against an aggressor nation.
In supporting the proposed legislation Secretary Hull said that it would be exercised by any President "to the sole end of maintaining the peace of the world and with a due and prudent regard for our national policies and national interests". He said that the special circumstances of each particular case which might arise would dictate what action, if any, would be taken, but the authority to act on terms of equality with other governments should be left to the discretion of the Executive. The Secretary said further that this Government should no longer be left in the position of being unable to join with other governments in preventing the supply of arms for use in an international conflict when it was exercising its diplomacy and the whole weight of our national influence and prestige to prevent or put an end to that conflict. Finally, he said that the enactment of the proposed legislation "would strengthen the position of this Government in its international relations and would enable us to cooperate more efficiently in efforts to maintain the peace of the world".
In a statement made on behalf of Secretary Hull to the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, May 17, 1933, it was declared that in certain cases this Government might concur in the opinion of the rest of the world in fixing the responsibility for a conflict upon an aggressor nation; that in such cases an international embargo on the shipment of arms to one party to the conflict might be deemed an equitable and effective method of restoring peace; that this method, nevertheless, "would certainly not be adopted by this Government without such effective guarantees of international cooperation as would safeguard us against the danger of this country's being involved in the conflict as a result of such action".
Late in May the arms-embargo resolution, which had already been passed by the House of Representatives, was reported by the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations to the Senate with an amendment that any embargo established under it be applied impartially to all belligerents. Secretary Hull stated on May 29 that such an amend
ment was not in accord with the views of the President and of himself. The amended resolution was subsequently passed by the Senate but was not enacted.
In 1935 there developed considerable public support in the United States for an embargo on the export of arms to belligerents as a means of keeping the United States out of war. This support was based on the fallacious concept that the entrance of the United States into the World War in 1917 had been brought about by the sale of arms to belligerents. Under the influence of this concept and with the shadow of a new European war on the horizon the Congress passed a joint resolution in August 1935 providing that upon the outbreak or during the progress of war between or among two or more foreign states "the President shall proclaim such fact, and it shall thereafter be unlawful to export arms, ammunition, or implements of war" from the United States to any belligerent country. This legislation also contained provisions for the licensing of arms exports, the prohibition of the carriage by United States vessels of arms to belligerent states, and the restriction of travel by United States citizens on vessels of belligerent states. This joint resolution, known as the Neutrality Act, was signed by President Roosevelt on August 31, 1935. In signing it the President said he had done so "because it was intended as an expression of the fixed desire of the Government and the people of the United States to avoid any action which might involve us in war". However, he said that the "inflexible" arms-embargo provisions "might drag us into war instead of keeping us out"; that no Congress and no Executive could foresee all possible future situations.
A few months later Secretary Hull, in referring to the Neutrality Act, warned that to assume that by placing an embargo on arms we were making ourselves secure from dangers of conflict with belligcrent countries was "to close our eyes to manifold dangers in other directions". He said further that every war presented different circumstances and conditions which might have to be dealt with differently; that, therefore, there were apparent difficulties inherent in any effort to lay down by legislative enactment "inelastic rules or regulations to be applied to every situation that may arise"; that the Executive should not be unduly or unreasonably handicapped; that discretion could wisely be given the President. (
The Seventh International Conference of American States assembled in December 1933 at Montevideo, Uruguay. There the Good
Neighbor Policy set forth by President Roosevelt on March 4, 1933 was given concrete expression. In an address before the Conference on December 15, 1933 Secretary Hull expressed confidence that each of the American nations wholeheartedly supported the Good Neighbor Policy-that each earnestly favored "the absolute independence, the unimpaired sovereignty, the perfect equality, and the political integrity of each nation, large or small, as they similarly oppose aggression in every sense of the word".
The Secretary stated that peace and economic rehabilitation must be "our objective" and avoidance of war "our supreme purpose"; that he believed profoundly that the American nations during the coming years would "write a chapter of achievement in the advancement of peace that will stand out in world history". He said that "while older nations totter under the burden of outworn ideas, cling to the decayed and cruel institution of war, and use precious resources to feed cannon rather than hungry mouths, we stand ready to carry on in the spirit of that application of the Golden Rule by which we mean the true good-will of the true good neighbor".
The Secretary asked that this be made the beginning of a new era, "a great renaissance in American cooperative effort to promote our entire material, moral, and spiritual affairs and to erect an edifice of peace that will forever endure"; that suspicion, misunderstanding, and prejudice be banished from every mind and genuine friendship for and trust in each other be substituted; that actions rather than mere words be the acid test of the conduct and motives of each nation; and that each country demonstrate by its every act and practice the sincerity of its purpose and the unselfishness of its relationship as a neighbor.
Finally, the Secretary said it was in this spirit that the Government and people of the United States expressed their "recognition of the common interests and common aspirations of the American nations" and joined with them "in a renewed spirit of broad cooperation for the promotion of liberty under law, of peace, of justice, and of righteousness". ( )
At Montevideo the 21 American republics agreed upon principles for peaceful international relations, in a convention on the rights and duties of states. This convention, of December 26, 1933, contained provisions that: No state has the right to intervene in the internal or external affairs of another; the primary interest of states is the conservation of peace; differences of any nature which arise. between states should be settled by recognized pacific methods; and territorial acquisitions or special advantages obtained by force or other measures of coercion should not be recognized. Ratification of this convention was approved by the United States Senate on
June 15, 1934; the convention was proclaimed by the President on January 18, 1935.
Acting in the spirit and on the basis of the principles of the Good Neighbor Policy, the Montevideo Conference attempted to bring to an end the conflict between Bolivia and Paraguay which had broken out in 1932 as a result of a long-standing boundary dispute. Through the efforts of the Conference and a League of Nations commission a temporary armistice was brought about in December 1933. However, hostilities were soon resumed. The American nations continued persistent efforts to end the war, and in June 1935 Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Peru, Uruguay, and the United States succeeded in bringing about a termination of hostilities. As a result of an arbitral award delivered by representatives of these six countries, final settlement of the dispute was reached in 1938.
In 1933 the enlisted strength of the United States Army was 115,000 men. As a result of reductions in governmental expenditures the War Department appropriation act of March 4, 1933 provided only $270,000,000 for the military activities of the Army-a sharp reduction from the amount made available for similar purposes during the previous year. General Douglas MacArthur, Chief of Staff, stated in his annual report of 1933 that successive reductions in appropriations had seriously injured the equipment and training of the Army. He said that the strength of the Army in personnel and equipment and its readiness for employment were "below the danger line".
In 1934 General MacArthur recommended a program of expansion for the Army; the accomplishment of this program, he said, would still leave us far behind all other major powers but would at least offer the United States "a justified assurance in freedom from attack or, at the worst, from extreme consequences in the event of attack".
The War Department appropriation act of April 1935 authorized an increase of the Army to 165,000 enlisted men. In his report of 1935 General MacArthur said that measures had been undertaken to procure additional airplanes, motorized vehicles, tanks, and artillery, in most of which the Army's supplies had become obsolete or inadequate.
By 1933 the United States Navy, in up-to-date ships, had fallen far below the tonnage allowed by treaty. In that year President Roosevelt allocated funds from the National Industrial Recovery Act for the purpose of constructing and equipping 32 naval vessels. The
Secretary of the Navy reported in 1933 that no such building program had been undertaken by this country since 1916; that of the signatories to the naval treaties we alone had not undertaken an orderly building program designed to bring the Navy up to treaty strength. He recommended an orderly annual naval building and replacement program which would "shortly give this country a treaty navy". He stated that the United States continued to strive for a reduction of armament by agreement but that the time had come when we could no longer afford to lead in disarmament by example. Other powers had not followed such a policy, he said, with the result that the United States found its relative naval strength seriously impaired. He said that our weakened position jeopardized the cause of peace, "because balanced armament fortifies diplomacy and is an important element in preserving peace and justice, whereas undue weakness invites aggressive, war-breeding violation of one's rights".
During 1934 the Vinson Naval Bill was enacted, authorizing the construction of ships up to the limits of the Washington and London Naval Treaties.