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

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Page 19
Neutrality Maneuvers, War in Europe, Decrying Bombing Civilians

President Roosevelt, Secretary of State Cordell Hull, and their allies in Congress continued to work to amend the Neutrality Act so that they would have the flexibility to embargo whichever countries they liked.

The Pitman bill, introduced in March 1939, had a "cash and carry" provision. Roosevelt replied to the Chinese that cash and carry "works all right in the Atlantic, it works all wrong in the Pacific." [WPM: because the Britain had cash to buy supplies, while Germany did not, and Japan had cash, while China did not.] Roosevelt and Hull wanted to repeal the Neutrality Act without any substitute. [641]

An April, 1939 Gallup Poll indicated the American citizens were turning from isolationism to a position of allowing sales of munitions to Britain and France. [643]

Hull was also concerned that "a complete embargo upon all exports would obviously be ruinous to our economic life." [644]

Hull also feared a full embargo, preventing the U.S. from supplying France and Britain, would encourage Hitler to go to war. In the end Congress could not agree on a new law in 1939.

On May 31, 1939 Polish Ambassador Count Potocki told Hull that Poland was preparing to fight Germany, if attacked. [652] The British were trying to make a deal with the Soviet Union, but the Germans were maneuvering to prevent it.

The United States States Department prepared for war. But on August 1st Hull started a three week vacation.

On August 21, 1939, the treaty between Germany and the U.S.S.R. was announced, agreeing to ten years of non-aggression. [p. 655. WPM: Americans always berate Stalin for this neutrality deal, even though the U.S. maintained neutrality longer than the Soviet Union] The U.S. had commercial treaties with the Soviet Union and a growing trade there, and had renewed the trade treaty on August 4, 1939. [660] Hull and President Roosevelt maintained communications with Polish President Moscicki during this period. [663-664][WPM: the history as told in the U.S. usually leaves out the fact that Moscicki was a puppet of the fascist-style dictator of Poland, Edward Rydz-Śmigły.]

Both the British Empire and the French Empire went on war footing before the actual invasion of Poland. [665]

On September 1, 1939, German troops invaded Poland. [665]

The Good Neighbor Policy towards Latin America had largely been conducted to make sure those nations would side with the U.S., French, and British Empires in the case of war. [666]

Later on September 1st the President issued a previously-prepared statement asking combatants "to refrain from bombing civilian populations." [672. WPM: FDR should have sent that message to himself, given his okaying massive bombings of Japanese and German cities, and ultimately the vaporization of the civilians of Hiroshima and Nagasaki] In response to Roosevelt's message, Britain, France, Poland and Germany replied that they would not target aerial bombs at civilians. [674]

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