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Notes on The Memoirs of Cordell Hull
by William P. Meyers

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Page 7
After Getting Franklin D. Roosevelt Elected, Cordell Hull Appointed Secretary of State

Following the defeat of Democratic candidate Al Smith in 1928, and with the Depression pointing to a Republican defeat in 1932, Cordell Hull began promoting Franklin D. Roosevelt as the next Democratic Party candidate for President of the United States of America. [p. 140-154]

The national Democratic Party in 1931 was controlled by Al Smith and John J. Raskob, who were isolationists on foreign policy, anti-Prohibition, and favored high tariffs. Hull favored an active (militaristic) foreign policy, Prohibition on a state-by-state basis, and low tariffs. His Senate allies within the party were headed by Harry Byrd of Virginia [WPM: actually former governor of Virginia at this time, elected Senator in 1932] and Cohen of George. Roosevelt, then Governor of New York State, sided with Hull in a fight to control the party. [141-143] [WPM: this support could be, aside from FDR's own racism, why FDR was not an activist President for African-American civil rights]

Those Democrats opposed to Al Smith began to rally around Franklin Roosevelt. Hull claims he coined the phrase "the forgotten man" later used so effectively by Roosevelt. [147] Despite being disappointed by a Roosevelt speech on February 2, 1932 in which he came out against the U.S. joining the League of Nations [150], Hull personally assured Roosevelt's nomination at the Democratic Party convention by convincing Sam Rayburn and the Texas delegation to change their votes in favor of FDR. [154]

In January 1933 Roosevelt asked Cordell Hull to become Secretary of State. Senator Hull did not accept the position until February, after being assured that he would be effectively in charge of U.S. foreign policy, not just someone "carrying on of correspondence with foreign governments." [156-158] On February 24 he made a speech calling for international cooperation and the "normal restoration of national economic relationships and in world commercial rehabilitation." [159]

During the transition period he had extensive talks with the outgoing Secretary, Henry L. Stimson. "Stimson laid before me an invitation from the League of Nations to our Government to associate itself with the League in its condemnation of Japan's invasion of Manchuria, and also his reply accepting in principle the League's findings." To which Hull assented. [160]

Roosevelt and Hull agreed on William Phillips for Under Secretary of State [160]. Hull was not happy, however, with FDR's selection of Raymond Moley as an Assistant Secretary of State. He also agreed to Wilbur J. Carr as Assistant Secretary [161].

Cordell Hull was sworn in as Secretary of State after Franklin D. Roosevelt's inauguration on March 4, 1933, with the oath administered by Associate Justice Benjamin Cardozo. [167]

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