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which shows that there was a decided decline in exports and imports beginning around 1929, a year and a half before the Hawley-Smoot bill became effective. Of course, I am not telling you anything that you do not already know. Would you care to see this graph and comment on it (handing]?
Mr. CROWTHER. I think that I am familiar with that. I think that you can trace that. It is very hard to get the cause and effect. In all of these things you never know which is the dog and which is the tail, but I would say that considering the character of a good portion of that trade that that is traceable to a drop in our foreign loans. They started to drop in 1928.
Mr. KNUTSON. The ideal period to the New Dealers goes to around 1926. That is the yardstick that they would like to use. We had a tariff act at that time called the Fordney-McCumber bill. In their zeal to attain prosperity in all the good things that accompanied that act, as personified in the year 1931, they spent millions and millions of dollars, and it took the war to put the unemployed people to work. That is true. I think there is no doubt about that.
Do you know of any rates that Congress has passed upon since 1934 · when the first reciprocal trade law was passed ?
Mr. CROWTHER. I cannot say that there are any, but I do not know, and I do not know where it had the opportunity.
Mr. KNUTSON. Neither does anyone else. It has all been done in star chamber, behind locked doors.
The other day I asked Dr. Sayre, when he was before us, to name five or more members on these hopeless commissions down there that are snarling up our economy, to name five or more practical businessmen who had successfully met pay rolls for any length of time, and he said that he did not think that was germane, but he promised to do so. I have his testimony here. I find that he has not done so, and I assume it is because he cannot. Of course, he gets all kinds of college professors to sit in. We have heard the gentleman from Virginia accuse those of us who believe that we should produce what we can at home and what we cannot produce we must import. He referred to us as isolationists. You heard him use that term, did
Mr. CROWTHER. Yes, I heard him.
Mr. KNUTSON. Would you call a member of this committee an isolationist who protested proposed reductions of rates on turkeys from 10 cents to 6 cents a pound when the imports were only onefive hundredth of 1 percent as compared with domestic production?
Now, just how would you characterize him-an extreme protectionist, or an isolationist, or what? We will say that you are on the outside looking in. I cannot determine.
Mr. ROBERTSON. Do you not think that your case is getting a little weak? Why resort to personalities?
Mr. KNUTSON. No, no, we are going to keep on referring to this.
Mr. ROBERTSON. There are 130,000,000 people that are going to vote on this, and most of them have never heard of me.
Mr. KNUTSON. Mr. Chairman, I would like to ask to be protected.
Mr. CROWTHER. Yes. The way I feel about isolationism, I don't know what it means. If it means what the Vice President and some others say about it—whatever it is that he is against, I want to be that.
Mr. KNUTSON. You are on safe ground there, brother.
Mr. CROWTHER. But my friend from Virginia, I would not want to apply an epithet to him. I would say that he fundamentally disagrees with the policy he is advocating.
Mr. KNUTSON. I think that is all. That is a very satisfactory answer.
Mr. DINGELL. Any further questions?
Mr. WOODRUFF. Mr. Crowther, I was very much interested in your prepared statement. You gave me information which came to me as a shock, as a matter of fact, and I refer to that part of the statement in which you quote from the third meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the American Republics. I can get this more quickly from your statement. It is on page 8. It is where you state:
Take another case. In the final act of the third meetings of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the American Republics, which convened at Rio de Janeiro from January 15 to 28, 1942, one finds these recommendations and resolutions:
"That, insofar as possible, the increase of production be assured by bilateral or multilateral agreements or contracts which provide for purchases during long periods at prices which are equitable for the consumer, remunerative to the producer, and which provide a fair standard of wages for the workers of the Americas, in which producers are protected against competition from products originating in areas wherein real wages are unduly low; and which make provision for the period of transition after the war and the readjustments which will follow in a manner guaranteeing the continuance of adequate production and permitting the existence of trade under conditions equitable to producers.
“That the Nations of the Americas stimulate the basic production of each of them, avoid insofar as possible the establishment or expansion of production of substitute or synthetic commodities, which is economically artificial and might displace the production of natural products available in other American nations, there being excepted only those industries which are indispensable for national defense, provided that such defense needs cannot be effectively met with natural products."
Now, the one thing that the Secretary of State and his spokesmen who have appeared here from time to time have impressed upon the minds of the members of this committee is that they have been undertaking, since the inception of this legislation, to induce other nations to abandon bilateral or multilateral treaties. Now, they say that is the one great objective of this whole program; that it is the one thing which will contribute more to bringing about amity and closer cooperation and trade relations between nations than any other one thing, and yet we find in your statement, and confirmed in this document from the State Department, which I hold in my hand, the fact that while with their right hand they are trying to get away from bilateral and multilateral treaties, between the nations of Europe and Asia, with their left hand they are doing in the Western Hemisphere exactly what they are trying to get away from in other sections of the world. The question which naturally arises is: Does the Administration have one policy for one section of the world and another exactly opposite for other sections, or has it abandoned its former policy and is now advocating the one which it previously argued was the one which threatened the whole program with disaster and was bound to bring chaos in international trade? I am sorry that I did not have the information when Secretary Hull or Dr. Sayre appeared before this committee. I would have liked to interrogate them on this question.
I think this is typical of many activities of this administration. We find so often that they profess to believe, or propose to do, certain things, and later find they are believing and doing exactly the opposite.
This is not much different than it has been in other matters, and I do not know why I should have been so shocked, unless it was the fact that I have an inherent respect for Secretary Hull.
Now, we all know that if bilateral treaties and multilateral agreements are good for the Western Hemisphere, I cannot for the life of me see why they are not just as good for the balance of the world. If they are good in one place, why are we trying to get away from them in another? Why do we give a dose of a certain medicine to a patient afflicted with a certain disease in one instance, and administer something entirely different for the same disease in another case ?
Mr. CROWTHER. I cannot answer your question, but the whole program in Latin America is so fantastic that it requires a fantastic document, and I think, whatever you may call it, the things adopted at Rio are probably the most fantastic things ever written by the hand of man. I do not know what they mean.
Mr. WOODRUFF. I agree with you entirely, and I did not expect that you would be able to answer the question when I asked it of you, because I doubt very much indeed whether there is anybody in the State Department or the Government of the United States that can submit a satisfactory answer.
Mr. CROWTHER. I may say without violating any confidence that a friend of mine-I will not mention his name—included that in a speech out in the Midwest and he was asked by certain officers in the State Department to come down and talk with them. They said that the clauses did not mean what they said. He asked, “What do they mean?” They could not tell him.
Mr. WOODRUFF. I think at this point we should put in the names of the nations represented at that conference, and I shall read them for that purpose.
Mr. KNUTSON. All but Argentina and Chile.
Mr. WOODRUFF. It says the governments of the American republics. They were all represented.
Mr. CROWTHER. I think they were there but they did not sign these things.
Mr. WOODRUFF. I am now reading from the bulletin of the Department of State on page 117:
The governments of the American republics, desirous that their ministers of foreign affairs or their respective representatives meet for purposes of consultation, in accordance with agreements adopted at previous inter-American conferences, designated for this purpose the representatives listed below in the order determined by lot, who met in the city of Rio de Janeiro from January 15 to January 28, 1942:
Costa Rica : His Excellency Alberto Echandi, Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Colombia : His Excellency Gabriel Turbay, representative of the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Cuba : His Excellency Aurelio Fernandez Concheso, representative of the Minister of State.
Dominican Republic: His Excellency Arturo Despradel, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.
Honduras: His Excellency Julian R. Caceres, representative of the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
El Salvador: His Excellency Hector David Castro, representative of the
Paraguay: His Excellency Luis A. Argana, Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Argentina: His Excellency Enrique Ruiz-Guinazu, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship.
Chile: His Excellency Juan Bautista Rossetti, Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Bolivia : His Excellency Eduardo Anza Matienzo, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship.
Panama : His Excellency Octavio Fabrega, Minister of Foreign Affairs. Venezuela : His Excellency Caracciolo Parra Perez, Minister of Foreign Affairs. Ecuador: His Excellency Julio Tobar Donoso, Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Guatemala : His Excellency Manuel Arroyo, representative of the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Mexico: His Excellency Ezequiel Padilla, Secretary of Foreign Affairs.
United States of America: The Honorable Sumner Welles, representative of the Secretary of State.
Peru: His Excellency Alfredo Solf y Muro, Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Nicaragua : His Excellency Mariano Arguello Vargas, Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Brazil: His Excellency Oswaldo Aranha, Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Now, those were the names represented at that conference, and our Assistant Secretary, Mr. Sumner Welles, was there, and signed on the dotted line for the United States of America.
Now, I would like to refer especially to the second thing I quoted from the document from the State Department:
That the nations of the Americas stimulate the development of the basic production of each of them, avoiding insofar as possible the establishment or expansion of production of substitute or synthetic commodities which is economically artificial and might displace the consumption of natural products available in other American nations.
It seems to me the phraseology referred to confirms what we have heard relative to statements heretofore made by Vice President Wallace; he let it be known that after the war no synthetic-rubber manufacturing plants would be permitted to operate, because the intention was, of course, to resort to the purchase of natural rubber products regardless.
We also know that it has been proposed by the report of the Board of Economic Warfare that the Government, after this war, will go into partnership with American industry. Now, if such a thing as that takes place, evidently under the program as it appears to be, our synthetic rubber plants will not be permitted to operate after the war, and the Vice President, in making those assertions, voiced the sentiments and intentions of the present administration.
Mr. Crowther, I assume that you are up to the minute on chemical progress in this country.
Mr. CROWTHER. Not to the minute.
Mr. WOODRUFF. Well, I would not think you were more than 2 or 3 minutes behind, but I think you are sufficiently acquainted with chemical progress during the last few years to realize that we are now entering what will eventually be known as the chemical age.
Mr. CROWTHER. Yes.
Mr. WOODRUFF. We are finding every day that we can produce things that we never hoped to produce before, thereby bringing to our people ever-increasing comforts and necessities of life, and it seems to me that anyone who would do anything whatsoever to halt chemical progress in this country would be blind, indeed; especially when we have information as to what the chemists in other nations have been doing and are now doing to make themselves as nearly self-sufficient as possible. What an asinine, idiotic policy we embark upon when we do exactly the opposite.
Mr. CROWTHER. That is a declaration that I agree with you absolutely on. That clause in the Rio agreement is essentially a declaration of intention on the part of the United States, and those countries, to block science and block the progress of the common man while pretending to do something else. It not only declares that this Nation shall forever be dependent on other nations for its essential supplies, but it says that it will do its best to keep down the standards of wages in those countries, and it is doing that as a good neighbor. It is a declaration of a return to a Victorian era, and it seeks to shut out the possibility of any progress-chemical, mechanical, or otherwise. That is, as I said before, one of the most extraordinary declarations ever made.
Mr. WOODRUFF. Your statement to the effect that it will result in keeping down the wages of our neighbors to the south seems to be confirmed by the fact that Mr. Wallace appeared very much alarmed for fear if we develop a synthetic rubber industry in this country and permit its activity after the war is over, there would be an industry built up in this country that would "be hounding Congress" for tariff protection. I think they base their opinion upon the fact that so long as they can purchase anything we may need outside of the United States at a cost less than we have to pay in order to produce that product here, we should do so.
Mr. Reed just reminded me that the Government has already invested $650,000,000 in the synthetic rubber program. Well, if you are familiar with what has been done in this country regarding developments along synthetic rubber lines, you will realize that we are now down to a point in the cost of synthetic rubber where we can almost meet that competition from other countries. It naturally follows that if the people to the south of us are going to be able to sell rubber to us at a cost less than we can produce it here, they must necessarily, in order to produce the natural rubber in those states, keep their wages exactly what they are today, or even reduce them, and that is not contributing to the good-neighbor policy in the sense that most people understand it.
Mr. CROWTHER. I think that Mr. Wallace is trying to protect the people from the economic ignorance of Congress. He defines "ignorance” himself.
Mr. ROBERTSON. Mr. Chairman, with respect to Mr. Crowther's soft impeachmentMr. CROWTHER. How soft?