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redouble, their efforts to maintain these principles of order under law, resting on a sound economic foundation." ()
A month after the Munich crisis, which had brought Europe closer to a general war than it had been since the guns were stilled in November 1918, Secretary of State Hull made another urgent appeal for a return to the ways of peace. In an address on November 1, 1938 the Secretary warned that the world was at a crossroads but that its power of choice was not lost. One of the roads ahead, he said, was that of increased reliance on armed force as an instrument of national policy, which meant the sacrifice of individual well-being, a regimentation of national life, and a lowering of material, cultural, and spiritual standards. If the nations continued along this road, he declared, they would be marching toward the final catastrophe of a new world war, "the horror and destructiveness of which pass human imagination". The other road, he said, was that of reliance on peaceful processes and the rule of law and order in personal and international relations, with the result that vast productive forces would be released for the advancement of mankind and the human mind enabled to turn once more to the arts of peace.
In this address Secretary Hull expressed his conviction that without economic security and well-being there could be no social or political stability in national life, and that without economic, social, and political stability within nations there could be no peaceful and orderly relations among nations. He declared that the withdrawal by a nation from orderly trade relations with the rest of the world inevitably leads to regimentation of all phases of national life, to the suppression of human rights, and frequently to preparation for war and a provocative attitude toward other nations. ( )
Return of United States Ambassador From Germany
During the autumn of 1938 German persecution of the Jews, which had been severe for some time, became increasingly violent and profoundly shocked the people of the United States. On November 15 President Roosevelt stated that he could "scarcely believe that such things could occur in a twentieth-century civilization". As an expression of the condemnation by the people and Government of the United States, the President ordered Ambassador Hugh Wilson to return from Germany at once. ()
With wars and rumors of wars in Europe and Asia, the American republics, at peace with the world, continued their efforts to advance the principles of international law and order and to protect themselves from dangers outside the Western Hemisphere. They had
taken definite steps in this direction at Montevideo in 1933 and at Buenos Aires in 1936. They assembled again in December 1938 at Lima.
At the Lima conference the 21 American republics agreed upon a "Declaration of the Solidarity of America", which stated in effect: They reaffirmed their continental solidarity and their purpose to collaborate in the maintenance of its underlying principles; faithful to these principles and to their absolute sovereignty, they reaffirmed their decision to maintain and defend them against all foreign intervention or activity that might threaten; they proclaimed their common concern and their determination to make effective their solidarity in case the peace, security, or territorial integrity of any American republic should be threatened; and in order to facilitate consultation, the Foreign Ministers of the American republics agreed to meet whenever it was deemed desirable. ( )
The 21 republics also issued a "Declaration of American Principles" calling for pacific settlement of international differences, proscription of force as an instrument of national or international policy, proscription of intervention; respect for treaties and international law, peaceful collaboration and intellectual interchange among nations, economic reconstruction, and international cooperation. ( )
IX EUROPEAN WAR 1939
United States Rearmament
In his annual message to Congress on January 4, 1939, President Roosevelt declared that while a threatened war had been averted, it had become increasingly clear that peace was not assured; that throughout the world there were undeclared wars, military and economic, and threats of new aggression, military and economic. The President said that storms from abroad directly challenged three institutions indispensable to Americans: religion, democracy, and international good faith. He warned of what might happen to the United States if new philosophies of force were to encompass the other continents and invade our own; and that we could not afford "to be surrounded by the enemies of our faith and our humanity".
The President declared that the world had grown so small and weapons of attack so swift that no nation could be safe so long as any single powerful nation refused to settle its grievances at the council table. He said that acts of aggression must not be allowed to pass without effective protest; that there were "many methods short of war, but stronger and more effective than mere words" of bringing home to aggressor governments the sentiments of our people. He spoke critically of neutrality legislation that might actually give aid to the aggressor and deny it to the victim. ( ) Eight days later the President, in a special message to Congress, called for immediate steps to strengthen the defense of the United States. He asked Congress to appropriate, "with as great speed as possible", more than half a billion dollars for Army and Navy equipment, particularly for military and naval aircraft. These planes, he said, would considerably strengthen the air defense of continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the Canal Zone. The President likewise recommended the training of additional air pilots and urged that steps be taken to prepare industry for quantity production of war materials. These recommendations, which the President characterized as "a minimum program for the necessities of defense", were substantially enacted into law. ( )
For several years agencies of this Government had been studying the problem of the acquisition of stock-piles of strategic and critical
materials not produced in the United States or produced here in quantities below national requirements. These stock-piles were to be for use in case of national emergency.
Secretary of State Hull discussed the problem in a letter of October 21, 1938 to the President. He said that events of the past few weeks had shown clearly the wisdom of adequate handling of the problem of strategic raw materials "with all possible despatch"; that these events indicated how disturbed sources of supply would be in any general war; and that there were insufficient supplies in the United States of a number of raw materials which would be of great strategic importance in the event of a general war, whether or not the United States were involved. The Secretary said further that the Department of State concurred in the view of the War and Navy Departments that it was "highly desirable to adopt a national policy with respect to this problem and to secure early and effective action by Congress"; that it was felt that there should be no further delay in initiating steps which would make available adequate supplies of the materials which were of the most critical importance. The President approved the recommendation, and there was later enacted, on June 7, 1939, legislation stating that it was the policy of Congress to provide for the acquisition of stocks of "certain strategic and critical materials being deficient or insufficiently developed to supply the industrial, military, and naval needs of the country for common defense . . . in times of national emergency". This legislation authorized the appropriation of $100,000,000, which was gradually appropriated for the purpose.
One hundred thousand tons of rubber were brought into this country as a result of an agreement between the United States and Great Britain, dated June 23, 1939, providing for the delivery by the United States of cotton in return for rubber. ( )
Invasion of Czechoslovakia and Albania
In Europe the uneasy calm that had followed the Munich settlement was soon to be broken. A few days before the signing of the Munich Pact Hitler had promised that once the Sudetenland problem was solved Germany had no more territorial claims in Europe; at the time of the Munich settlement he had said that he was ready to guarantee the new frontiers of Czechoslovakia.
In flagrant disregard of these pledges, German troops invaded and occupied Czechoslovakia on March 14, 1939, thus completing the absorption of that country. Acting Secretary of State Welles, on March 17, condemned this "temporary extinguishment of the liberties of a free and independent people” and declared that world peace and
the very structure of modern civilization were being threatened by acts of "wanton lawlessness and of arbitrary force". ( )
Within a month after Hitler's invasion of Czechoslovakia the forces of aggression struck again. In emulation of the ruthless tactics of his German partner, Mussolini, on Good Friday, April 7, 1939, sent his Fascist legions into Albania and after a few days of military and political maneuvering established Italian control over that country. This "forcible and violent invasion" was condemned by Secretary Hull as a threat to world peace. ()
These two blows at the world peace structure awoke Europe to a full sense of the danger which threatened it. They were followed by feverish diplomatic and military activity. Great Britain and France pledged assistance to Poland, Greece, and Rumania in the event that the independence of those nations should be threatened by aggression. Diplomatic interchanges began among Great Britain, France, and Russia, with a view to establishing a common front against further aggression.
President Roosevelt's Appeal to Hitler and Mussolini
At this point President Roosevelt addressed personal messages to Hitler and Mussolini in an appeal for the maintenance of peace. The President reminded the European dictators, in messages of April 14, 1939, that hundreds of millions of people throughout the world were living in constant fear of a new war or series of wars; that in such an event all the world-victors, vanquished, and neutrals—would suffer. He said that he could not believe that the world was, of necessity, such a "prisoner of destiny"; he believed, on the contrary, that the leaders themselves had the power to liberate their peoples from the impending disaster.
Accordingly the President asked the dictators if they were willing to give assurances that their armed forces would not attack or invade any of the independent nations of Europe and the Near East. If such assurances were forthcoming, the President said, two important problems would promptly be discussed in peaceful surroundings, and in the discussions the United States would take part. These problems were relief from the crushing burden of armaments and the opening up of international trade on terms of equality for all nations.
The President said that "heads of great governments in this hour are literally responsible for the fate of humanity in the coming years"; that "history will hold them accountable for the lives and the happiness of all". ( )
Neither Hitler nor Mussolini replied directly to President Roosevelt. However, in an address, Hitler said that Germany's neighbors