"Twenty-four years ago a major war broke out in Europe. At its start the American people expected to remain neutral. At its close they found themselves completely involved, with 300,000 killed and wounded, a staggering national debt, an enormous pension burden in prospect, and a peace which gave the lie to all the exalted purposes for which they had been told they were fighting. In the light of that experience an overwhelming majority of the common people registered in their hearts one simple vow: Never Again!
"The neutrality law is the legislation by which Congress tried to safeguard this purpose not to be drawn into another European war. It was written after the Senate had conducted a long and detailed examination into the course by which we had been drawn into the war only twenty-two years ago. It consists of seven main regulations or prohibitions. Here they are:
1. The export of arms, ammunition, and implements of war to any belligerent is prohibited as soon as the President has declared a state of war to exist.
2. American vessels are forbidden to carry such prohibited exports.
3. All manufacturers, exporters and importers of arms must register with the government and obtain licenses from the state department for all shipments of munitions.
4. All loans and credits to belligerents are prohibited.
5. The President is given power to put goods other than primary munitions on a special list, which cannot then be exported by Americans but which belligerents may purchase for cash in the United States and take away in their own vessels. This is the 'cash and carry' provision. It expires, May 1.
6. American citizens are prohibited from travelling on belligerent ships. (Remember the Lusitania!)
7. The provisions of the law are extended to apply to civil wars." This provision has failed to accomplish the results expected; i.e. in the Spanish conflict arms have reached France by way of Germany and Italy, while supplies to the Spanish government have been cut off. Many believe that this provision should be repealed.
"Study the provisions of the neutrality law as here outlined and it will be seen that behind every one lies this simple purpose -- to keep individual American citizens or corporations from engaging in activities which might involve the entire country in war.....
"It should be recognized that the substitution of an inclusive 'cash and carry' law for the present statute would undermine the whole purpose of the act about as effectively as outright repeal or the Thomas proposal. For such a 'cash and carry' law, applying to arms as well as goods, would be equivalent to placing American resources at the disposal under all circumstances of Great Britain and her allies, since the sale of the three billion dollars' worth of American securities held by Great Britain would provide her with ample 'cash' to start a war boom here and she alone would have sufficient command of the seas to count on being able to 'carry'."
This lengthy resume is given to help you make up your mind as to the course our government should follow. From now on you can expect some warm debate in Congress over this question. It has already come up once or twice. Senator Capper expressed the opinion of a large body of Americans when he said "Let us insist on strict neutrality. Let us strengthen the Neutrality Act, not weaken it. I say that we have no business trying to settle boundary disputes among England, France, Italy, Germany, Russia and a score of lesser European nations. It is just out of our sphere, no matter who may think we have a rendezvous with destiny somewhere in France."
DEFEAT FOR SPAIN As this is written a copy of New York Times lies on my desk. Its leading heading reads: MADRID YIELDS, ENDING WAR; VICTORS ENTER UNRESISTED; REPUBLICAN LEADERS FLEE.
For days we have all known it was coming. A week ago Spanish Republican leaders had fled to Burgos to negotiate a peace. Nothing else could be done. Republican Spain was in utter ruin -- no food for the hungry -- no gas for the cars -- no coal for trains -- no munitions for the guns. Seven million people huddles together in a narrow wedge of country running from Madrid to the sea. Of these seven million, a goodly number are communists jailed by their Republican allies -- five hundred in Valencia, it is said as many in Alicante, and thousands in Madrid. It doesn't take much imagination to foretell their fate.
Thus ends another war -- a war which has been incredibly cruel and wasteful. The cost in lives of thirty-two months of civil war in Spain has stamped out more than one million, nearly five per cent of the population. Complete casualty lists are not available, but military observors estimate more than 700,000 killed in battle, 30,000 assassinated or executed, 15,000 civilian killed in air raids, and between 40,000 and 50,000 have died of disease or malnutrition directly attributed to the war. No figures are available on the number of wounded. This loss of lives is only a percentage of the total cost of this struggle, which has not only failed to make any gains for democracy, but has set democracy back several generations.
A great deal will now be written about what might have been. The United States and other democracies might have been more helpful to Loyalist Spain. Munitions might have been withheld from Italy and Germany. Sanctions might have been involved. A world war might have resulted from the Spanish conflict. We realize there is reasonable ground for a good deal of difference of opinion as to what might have been. Our "might" is projected along a different line. The Republicans in Spain might have refused to resort to arms, might have allowed an unjust election in 1936 to run its illogical course, might have lived on for a few years under conditions which were not ideal, and in the end might have won their liberal struggle through non-violent means.
As it is the Republican cause is lost. Spain is laid waste, at least one generation of liberals is dead, and most of the liberalism has been drained off into the soil of Spain as the blood of heroes has been shed. Truly, "those who take the sword must perish by the sword."
To us there is only one bright spot in this whole dismal picture -- that spot finds its focus in simple homely feeding kitchens which dot the shell-scarred cities of Spain. Clustered about these feeding stations are hundreds of thousands of children, women, and men whose lives have been spared through humanitarian work carried on by Quakers and their allies. At the moment we are feeding half a million people a day. This requires 3,000 tons of wheat a month which gives 24,000,000 rations of bread.
Perhaps the most important aspect of the work is about to begin. As fighting ceases, the Spanish people must once more learn to live with one another. Because the American Friends Service Committee has carried on work on both sides of the line during the struggle, we now hope for opportunity to help heal the scars of hatred which disfigure Spain. Even if we should not be allowed to stay in Spain longer than the summer, we will at least "have given a cup of cold water in His name."
EDUCATORS AND STUDENT AIR TRAINING We have heard a good deal lately about President Roosevelt's plans to train aviators in a wholesale manner in schools and colleges across the country. Personally, we like the idea of "young America in the air." We don't like the idea of tying this up with the military. There are other questionable features. In a recent letter sent to Congressmen, President Wilkins of Oberlin College says: "I should like to register first of all as strong a protest as I can against the procedure which led to the making of an announcement as to what 'several hundred educational institutions' are to do without previously consulting those institutions. This seems to me to have shown a serious disregard for the simplest principle of cooperation and to assume, on the part of the government, a degree of control over the private educational institutions of the country which the government does not possess, and which, if it existed, would be repugnant to the nature of democracy."
STUDENT STRIKE AGAINST WAR This year as never before it is important that the student strike against war be in every respect what its name signifies. With so much division of opinion and with so much confused thinking, it is important that we adhere rigidly to a positive peace program and refuse to compromise on the question of violence as an attempted means of achieving ends. We trust that you as a peace worker on your campus are laying adequate plans for the strike on April 20. Last month we sent you a call put out by a number of student peace organizations. You can point your strike through the suggestions made there or you may find helpful the specific action program of Student Peace Service listed below. (Taken from SPS Handbook)
1. INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION - Every opportunity should be taken to maintain channels of confidence and goodwill across national boundaries through both governmental and non-governmental agencies and to search out opportunities for friendly service and conciliation.
2. ADEQUATE PEACE MACHINERY - A truly representative League of Nations should be built on the basis of progressive ideals in the interests of all peoples. The United States should become more active in the International Labor Office.
3. BETTER LATIN-AMERICAN RELATIONS - The United States should renounce what still remains of its imperialism in Latin America, and aid in building Pan-American peace machinery on a democratic basis.
4. WORLD ECONOMIC CONFERENCE - The United States should call a world conference to face realistically the needs of the nations with regard to raw materials, markets and currencies, population pressure, standards of living, prestige, and permanent security. Adjustments should be made in terms of the needs of all peoples rather than the selfish interests of the favored few. The Van Zeeland report offers a definite plan.
5. STRENGTHENING OF DEMOCRACY - The United States should make intensive efforts through education and practical action to overcome the failure of our own democracy as a means of meeting the threat of fascism. We should continue active resistance to the armament program, to industrial mobilization, and to militarism in our schools, colleges, and the C.C.C. Attention should be given to social legislation, to the defense of civil liberties, to the extension of the cooperative movement and to the protection of rights of labor.
6. Sane Policies in War Areas - Our armed forces should be withdrawn from war areas and our nationals encouraged to leave when hostilities break out or stay at their own risk. At the same time private agencies should offer help in the form of food and shelter to the non-combatants of both sides.
7. WAR REFERENDUM - People of the United States should be given the opportunity to vote before war can be waged abroad or troops sent to foreign soil.
8. FREEING OF COLONIES AND POSSESSIONS - Immediate steps should be taken to free colonies, or where this is not immediately possible, arrangements should be made for an international mandate system. The United States should give up her extra-territorial rights in China and other countries and grant full freedom to the Philippines.
9. NEUTRALITY LEGISLATION - Our present neutrality laws, although far from perfect, should be invoked at once and maintained until present wars end. No efforts should be spared to strengthen the present law when the opportunity offers.
These nine points or any three or four of them may help to guide you in your positive action.
FROM A FIELD SEC'Y'S NOTEBOOK Dan Wilson's report of last week will picture for you what these "itinerant peace peddlars" do from week to week:
625 miles travel
6 college campuses visited:
Omaha University Hastings College
Midland College York College
Nebraska Central Wayne State Teachers
2 student conferences attended:
Miss. Valley I.R.C. conference,
Neb. State S.C.M. conference,
4 talks given:
"Volunteering for Peace" "Friends
of the World" "Personal Attitudes
toward Conflict" "Volunteers"
18 letters written
8 addresses heard:
Kirby Page five times
J. Donald Kingsley, Antioch
College on "Status of England
as a World Power"
Amy Hemingway Jones, Carnegie
F.F. Figgures, overseas Secretary
British League of Nations Union
25 students interviewed about
Volunteer peace work
20 and more students interviewed
about campus peace program and
5 students interviewed about work
1 college president interviewed
2 college deans interviewed
4 faculty persons interviewed
2 ministers interviewed
1 session with Leon Thomson, state
executive peace sec'y
1 planning committee session for
setting up peace emphasis at
summer S.C.M. conference
1 evening roller skating
1 tired field secretary
MASS MEETING On April 6, the Keep America Out of War Committee and the Youth Committee Against War are holding a great mass meeting at Manhattan Center, New York City, in honor of those who voted against our entrance into the World War. Jeannette Rankin and Harold Knutson will be among the speakers. Both of them belong on the honor roll for having resisted the war makers in 1917.
Among the many people who deserve special mention for helping to make these conference successful are Marjorie Littell of Cornell College. James Claypool and Eugene Nelson of Augustana Seminary, and Bob Burgess, Midwestern field secretary for Student Peace Service. Both of these conferences have their roots in permanent state-wide organizations which carry on work throughout year. Plans are already laid for the conference gatherings in 1940.
REFUGEE SERVICE American colleges have responded whole-heartedly to the needs of refugee students in Europe. Barnard raised $1293 for scholarships; Antioch has raised $750; University of California at Berkeley raised $2770 in cash and over $600 in room and board or work scholarships. The Intercollegiate Committee to Aid Student Refugees, 100 East 42nd St., New York City, advises the local committees. International Student Service, 8 West 40th St., New York City, has placed 80 refugees.
In order to obtain a student visa the student must satisfy the United States' Consul that he has a domicile to which he can return or a visa to another country to which he will emigrate after completing his studies. Under these circumstances students from Germany (including Austria and the Czech territory) and Italy have virtually little chance of obtaining student visas at the present time. It may be that consular policy will loosen up a bit; in fact, an effort is being made to influence the State Department in that direction. However, for the time being it is more practical to secure scholarships for students already in the United States.
In the past month the Refugee Service of the American Friends Service Committee has placed six German scholars in academic positions: as special students, "interne teachers," visiting professors or full-time professors. The following paragraphs describe two of the refugees who are trying to get a foothold in America:
In his 33 years of life, Dr. B.---E.--- has accumulated a variety of training and experience. He was born in Berlin; studied in Heidelberg, Paris, Prague; taught in Florence, Italy, and in France; travelled extensively throughout Europe and the British Isles. He is prepared to teach History of Art -- his special field in which he holds a doctor's degree -- French, German, Italian, Latin and Greek. He is also an experienced orchestra and chorus director. Dr. E. --- is now in this country on a visitor's visa.
Thomas Doppner wants to be an engineer. He is especially interested in electrical engineering and hopes to specialize in the theory of high frequency currents. He is prepared to pay part of his living expenses here and to earn the rest if given an opportunity. He knows shorthand and typing. He is now 19 and has found temporary refuge in Holland, but must leave there as soon as possible. His father was manager of the United Press Associations for Holland and Belgium; his mother was a teacher. He has been an enthusiastic Boy Scout and a member of the Quaker Youth group. He likes all kinds of sports, especially water sports.
If you have openings in your school for either one of these men, write to Charlotte Salmon, 20 South 12th St., Philadelphia.
"El PORTAL" Adolph Hiter's recent seizure of lands in central Europe is nothing less than wanton lawlessness -- so lawless that it reminds us of the days when England and France were over-running Africa or of the days when the thirteen Colonies were pushing their territorial acquisitions westward across America. Aggression now, as ever, is an ugly word, and although in some instances excuses for it may be made, we do not believe it can be justified.
Hitler has undoubtedly become one of the enemies of a peaceable world order. Therefore, we instinctively raise the question as to what we should do. In answer, we find there are two ways of dealing with enemies. One way is illustrated by our recent action in raising duties 25% on all German exports to the United States. This naturally came as a stunning blow to the German people. The new duty, for all practical purposes, shuts Germany out of her potentially biggest overseas market. Of course, there are others who must suffer, too. Germany will likely retaliate. In this the United States has far more to lose than Germany, because last year American exports to the old Reich territory alone amounted to 404,600,000 marks. This is much more than Germany shipped us. True, we are better able to stand a shrinkage in trade than Germany, but even America has her problems. There are many discouraged farmers here and over 10,000,000 unemployed.
We turn now to the second way of dealing with enemies. What did Jesus have to say on this subject? He said, "If thine enemy hunger, feed him." The fact that we would consider any other course indicates how far "Christian" America has drifted from the Christian teaching. Sometimes we excuse ourselves on the basis that things are different today. They are, and yet they are not. When Jesus spoke of feeding enemies, he knew what enemies were. A conquering power had laid a heavy hand on his home land. Palestine was a seething mass of hatred. At one time during Jesus' life close to 2,000 Jews had been crucified. Yes, Jesus had hammered out his philosophy of life on a white hot situation. Still he insisted that the only way of overcoming evil was with good. "If thine enemy hunger, feed him."
Insert: "They say to me: If we refuse to fight, we'll all go to hell together. I say to them: If we agree to fight, we'll all go to hell together. We've tried fighting. Are you satisfied with what fighting has done? Let's try not fighting. Let's see what that will do." -- Horace Traubel
Clarence Pickett has recently pointed out that there are three things we ordinarily do to enemies: First, we shout at them; second we starve them; third, we shoot at them. For many months we have been shouting at our enemy Hitler. Now we are entering upon the second stage, that of starving our enemy. This is the implication behind our 25% increase in countervaling duties. Personally, we can think of no more effective method of driving Germany faster and farther to the East. This may eventually lead to a general war. Thus we will have reached the third stage.
We believe that Jesus' way is fundamentally right. No other method will achieve permanent results. No other method will work in the long run. As followers of Jesus, our course is relatively clear-cut. We would not starve Germany; we would feed her. We would not raise duties against German trade; we would lower them. And in the end we would see the bright dawn of a new day in international life, just as surely as Easter dawn followed the darkness of the crucifixion.
Harold Chance, Director
STUDENT PEACE SERVICE