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

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Page 8
Hitler, Japan, Haiti confront new Secretary of State

As newly appointed Secretary of State, Cordell Hull confronted a variety of global problems. He notes that on the day he began, March 4, 1933, the Nazi Party (German National Socialist Party), led by Adolph Hitler, working with the Nationalist Party, won an election and so gained a majority in the German parliament (Reichstag). The same day the Japanese followed up on their occupation of Manchuria by occupying Jehol City in China proper. [WPM: U.S. troops & gunboats were already in place in multiple locations in China at that date.] Three weeks later Japan withdrew from the League of Nations. [WPM: the League had always had a racist, pro-European bias, which had irritated Japan since its founding. Hull does not mention being bothered by the already-existing European occupations in Asia, or by the U.S. occupation of the Philippines.] Two wars were occupying South America. Mexico was protesting FDR's appointment of Josephus Daniels as U.S. ambassador because of his past war crime, the occupation of Veracruz in 1913 [actually 1914] when Daniels was Secretary of the Navy under Woodrow Wilson. [p. 170]

Haiti was near rebellion against a U.S. occupation that had lasted 20 years. [170]

The Geneva Disarmament conference was grinding on. European nations were unable to pay their war debts from World War I to the United States because of the Depression. President Hoover had committed the U.S. to participate in an international Economic Conference in London with the League of Nations. [172]

The U.S.S.R., which had not had relationships with the U.S.A. for 16 years, asked for recognition. [172]

"Whichever way one's eyes turned, obstacles and dangers were in evidence. With their threats of early chaos, political, economic, and social, they presented the government with tasks and responsibilities scarcely equaled in the past history of the nation." [172]

Secretary Hull states that he was generally not consulted by President Roosevelt on domestic issues. [198-199] He recounts in broad terms and anecdotes his working relationship with the President on foreign affairs, and his opinion of other high-level administration members. [200-210]

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