Mr. CAPPER. Mr. President, I received yesterday and in this morning's mail nearly 1,000 petitions, some of them signed by hundreds of persons, urging that the Congress keep the United States from becoming involved in the European war that they believe is impending. In the past few weeks I have received thousands of such petitions, and also thousands of letters and some telegrams of similar nature.
These petitions voice the sentiment of the vast majority of the people of the United States. They want to keep out of war. They want the United States government to refrain from those steps which may lead toward our participation in Old World disputes.
Also, Mr. President, our people more and more are looking to Congress to take proper measures to keep us from becoming involved. Most of our people are coming to the realization that any attempt to recognize and determine aggressor nations in any foreign conflict amounts to our taking sides in such conflict, and that such a step ultimately means our participation in it. More and more of our people also have come to realize that so-called "measures short of war" by which we would extend aid to a nation or group of nations, ultimately would lead to our active participation, with both money and men, in a conflict in which those nations were engaged.
Mr. President, the threatened war in Europe is not a conflict between ideologies. The line-up is not between democracies and dictatorships, although every effort is being made to sell the idea to the people of the Untied States that it is a conflict between democracies and dictatorships.
We cannot escape the deadly parallel with the months preceding our entry into the World War in 1917, when we were told, and were led to believe, that we would go to war to make the world safe for democracy. We no more accomplish that purpose than we participated in a war to end war.
The result of that war to end wars was almost to end democratic government in the Old World; also the aftermath of the World War was the breeding of new and perhaps even greater wars.
We in the United States, and particularly we in Congress, should beware of the propaganda with which we are being blooded day by day.
We should beware of the suggestions being artfully planted before the eyes of our leadership, that the United States assume world leadership, heading some 31 nations, in a combination against the dictatorships to defeat aggressor nations.
It is the plain duty of Congress, as I see it, to do everything in its power to prevent the Government of the Untied States from embarking on any such perilous course. That course leads to war, not toward peace, in my judgment.
Mr. President, I ask in all reason, how can the United States preach the Monroe Doctrine and at the same time practice intervention in Europe? I say that is an untenable position for us to take, and I say this in spite of the fact that recently the United States was placed in that position through a speech directed toward South America and a message directed to the heads of two European governments.
We hold firmly to the doctrine that European nations have no business interfering in affairs of the American continent.
I say it is just as plainly not our business to interfere in the affairs of the Old World, unless it is known beyond all peradventure of doubt that our own national interests are imperiled.
Uncle Sam should keep out of Europe's disputes and I firmly believe it is the duty of this Congress to use all the powers it has to keep us out of Europe's disputes.
The responsibility for determining our foreign policies rest not alone upon the President and the Department of State. This responsibility is shared by the Senate of the United States.
The first thing that should be recognized by those responsible for determining our foreign policy–not a British foreign policy nor a French foreign policy nor a German or Italian nor Russian foreign policy. Let us never depart from this basic principle.
Mr. President, I honestly believe that the United States can remain at peace if its people and its leadership desire to remain at peace–and will pay the price of peace.
One price of peace that leadership must pay is to give up the urge to play a leading role in power politics of the Old World.
The people of the United States will have to restrain their own urge to rush in and protect some foreign nation from what we regard as an unjustifiable attack by some other nation.
Another price of peace is the strength of mind and character to refuse to be bamboozled by foreign propaganda.
Still another price to resist the temptation to make profits–from other peoples' wars. The World War made 23,000 millionaires in the United States–but those 23,000 millionaire war babies were an expensive luxury, and finally a dead loss, to the United States as a whole.
We must provide an adequate navy, a strong air force–for defense of the Western Hemisphere; not for the defense of Guam in the Orient or the River Rhine in Europe.
We should keep our dollars at home, keep our soldiers at home, and I am inclined to wish we could keep some of the language of overzealous statesmen at home, but I suppose that is impossible.
The Congress should strengthen, not weaken, the Neutrality Act.
I think the Congress should pass the bill introduced by some 50 Senators, to take profits out of war.
The Congress should submit to the people the war referendum amendment. Those who have to fight the wars, and pay for the wars, should have some say whether the United States goes into wars overseas to save or protect foreign nations' boundaries; to play power politics for foreign nations.
No one seems to want war but a few of the big fellows. We do not need to fight another war for the international bankers. It is not the job of the United States to police the world. Why try to butt in elsewhere? Why let the war lords of Europe drag us into another war as they would like to do?
The best policy America can pursue is to say as little as possible and to act as impartially as possible. The Neutrality Act as we have had it the past 2 years has kept us out of war. Why abandon it? After all, we have our hands full here at home just minding our own business.
Mr. President, this is a good time for us not to go abroad looking for trouble. There is too much trouble in Europe to be had for the looking.
Anyway, we have troubles enough at home to keep us busy.
Helping the farmer save his farm; helping the unemployed get jobs; helping business to get back on its feet; starting to balance the Federal Budget; working out a more equitable and better balanced tax system; in other words, setting our own house in order is a big enough job to keep us busy for some time to come without taking on a foreign war.