The Decline Of The American Republic
in Somewhere South of Suez
By Douglas Reed (1950)
in Somewhere South of Suez
By Douglas Reed (1950)
A former American Ambassador in London, Mr. Joseph P. Kennedy (who in 1940 thought Britain was beaten), in 1946 wrote:
‘The British Empire has progressively declined since the turn of the century — a process substantially accelerated by the events of the last ten years … The British Empire is now the third and last of the really great powers and is clearly in a category below the United States and Russia.’
Such opinions are often heard in America and may reflect surface appearances rather than deep realities, or derive in truth more from things heard in early class-rooms and playgrounds than from living events. About that time I was beginning to be puzzled by the note of dejection and alarm I found in letters from American friends ‘who seemed to feel that much was wrong in the American Republic. To me it looked, from afar, invulnerably powerful and inexhaustibly rich; secluded between two wide oceans its national safety and domestic prosperity seemed impenetrably secure; but they did not feel confident or even safe. When I had enforced leisure, on a balcony over Durban, to study a mass of literature on the subject, I began to find the reasons for their anxiety (and later saw these more plainly in America itself). The outward strength and security of the Republic were plain, but it had been much reduced from within through the two wars. It could tranquilly face the four corners of the world in arms, but might not be safe from strangers in its midst; against these the straight boulevards of Washington, planned by a French military engineer to give long field of fire against rioters or invaders, would not avail, for they did not come with arms, or openly. The Republic was going through a process of undermining from within similar to that which began in England in 1917, and this was far advanced. It was 173 years old and, by all the signs, its great strength was being subtly diverted to serve the ends of external, alien causes in distant parts of the world.
These causes, as everywhere, were the twins Soviet Communism and Political Zionism, which found ways to enter the Republic, to penetrate to high places or plant pliant men in them, and to dictate or divert major undertakings of American policy to their ends. The hidden mechanism revealed itself in the deviations of this policy during the second act. It was more dangerous in the American Republic than anywhere else, because of the strength and wealth of the country, and, I think may fairly be added, because of its inexperience in handling explosive world affairs. The prudent drafters of the American Constitution did not provide checks, if any are feasible, against such manipulation of the Republic’s power and of a presidential and parliamentary system. They did not foresee invasions by mass-immigration, or the use of votes so gained to ‘deliver an election’, or the loosing of presidents in wartime to pursue any aims without public control, or the consequence of these things: the irremovable or semi-permanent president.
Thus the American letters I received were in the disconsolate tone of Cassius:
Ye gods, it doth amaze me,
A man of such a feeble temper should
So get the start of the majestic world,
And bear the palm alone …
Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow world
Like a Colossus; and we petty men
Walk under his huge legs, and peep about
To find ourselves dishonourable graves.
The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
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But in ourselves, that we are underlings …
Age, thou art sham’d!
Rome, thou hast lost the breed of noble bloods!
The authors felt themselves underlings, lamented the feeble temper of their presidents in this time, and saw the shadow of Communism and Political Zionism rising over them like a two-headed Colossus. They could not see how to escape the thrall and cried that Washington’s Capitol had lost the breed of noble bloods. Outward power and glory might be theirs, they said, but no longer their own Republic.
This development of the American Republic, they thought, was in the line of the Communist Revolution, the Balfour Declaration, the expansion of the Soviet Empire and the erection of the Zionist State. They read it to mean that, while the Republic is predominantly European in population and tradition, much power there has passed into Asiatic or Eurasian hands. The energies of the Republic, in these years, have visibly been diverted to the furtherance of ulterior causes. The comedy, they said, continued with the rhythmic inevitability of Greek tragedy, in which the gods are masters of the plot, that men cannot avert or alter.
The process first became apparent, like all else, in the first war, when an American President received that large empowerment which is more dangerous than any Absolute Weapon; indeed, my belief is that atom bombs and poison gas are only brandished before the public eye in order to distract it from this much more lethal peril. President Wilson, before election, said:
‘We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated governments in the civilized world — no longer a government by conviction and the free vote of the majority, but a government by the opinion and the duress of small groups of dominant men.’
Through him and his successors, many Americans told me, the words gained more truth than they then contained, for in his Presidency appeared the beginnings of new groups of dominant men whose dominance has hardly been interrupted since.
The first, and still the greatest, of the Advisers was a Mr. Bernard Baruch. He accompanied President Wilson to the Peace Conference of 1919 and then remained counsellor to five later presidents, Messrs. Harding, Coolidge, Hoover, Roosevelt and Truman. This is a phenomenon of the twentieth century, and I offer it for study as such. The results of his advisership cannot be adjudged because overt acts of policy were always those of the President or Government. Non-accountability is inherent in the institution; the responsible figure passes in time, and the non-responsible, but possibly more powerful ones, go on. In this case the lifework of a man who once described himself as the most powerful in the world, over a considerable period, and who continues to wield very great power, cannot be audited at all from public results. Surmise alone is possible, and a general inference from the development of the American Republic during his time. The innovation, in a rare case, might be good, but as an established source of power tends of itself, like that of kings, presidents and wartime prime ministers, to grow dangerous to the community, if immune from parliamentary and popular supervision. The Americans I met thought so; they did not so much fear the consequences of Mr. Baruch’s own advisorships as the great expansion of the system of semi-secret advisorships which sprang up, once the seed was sown. This they held wholly wrong and perilous.
Mr. Baruch in the first war represented this new, and previously unimaginable, prodigy in affairs of State: the non-elected, non-accountable, non-supervisable potentate in a parliamentary land. He is not solely important, only generically so as the archetype. Beginning in a small way, the advisory system has in these thirty years spread outward and downward through every department of American life, so that today even American generals in the American zone of Germany, for
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instance, have Zionist advisers beside them, to whom, apparently, they must defer. The masses of the Republic are almost oblivious of this mechanism of remote control and of its workings.
During the first war Mr. Baruch was chairman of a War Industries Board. Its powers reached beyond anything previously imagined possible and substantial public uneasiness arose concerning them; the public mind was much more sensitive then than in the second war. An American Parliamentary Committee was set up after the war’s end to inquire into the extent and use of its despotic authority. This inquiry, though it led to no future restraints, remains for the future historian one of the most revealing documents of the century. Mr. Baruch was asked: ‘You determined what anybody could have?’ and answered: ‘Exactly; there is no question about that. I assumed that responsibility, sir, and the final determination rested with me … That final determination, as the President said, rested with me; the determination of whether the Army or Navy would have it rested with me; the determination of whether the railroad administration could have it, or the Allies, or whether General Allenby should have locomotives, or whether they should be used in Russia or used in France.’
‘And all those different lines’ (he was asked) ‘really, ultimately, centred in you, so far as power was concerned?’ He answered:
‘Yes, sir, it did. I probably had more power than perhaps any other man did in the war; doubtless that is true.’
Clearly the nature of the power thus wielded far transcends that of the persons, political or military, outwardly responsible for the conduct of a war. It was not merely that of expediting the output and delivery of the stuff of war, but of deciding who should have it and in what theatre of war. That is power on the supreme political and military level; in a world conflict it is world power. By the second war this startling innovation was become recognized wartime usage.
Mr. Baruch, and others of the growing community of advisers, retained great influence throughout the peace, especially under the long presidency of Mr. Roosevelt. Just before the second war began Mr. Baruch was told by Mr. Winston Churchill (according to Mr. Robert E. Sherwood’s Roosevelt and Hopkins): ‘War is coming very soon. We will be in it and you’ (the American Republic) ‘will be in it. You’ (Mr. Baruch) ‘will be running the show over there but I will be on the sidelines over here.’ Mr. Churchill did not remain on the sidelines long. Mr. Baruch has not publicly stated if, or how far, he ran the show during the second war, when President Roosevelt was publicly thought to be all-powerful, but his influence remained large and perennial.
After the second war, in any case, he bade fair to become the most powerful man in the world again, if he had not remained so, for he was appointed head of what, in his own conception of it, was to be the most potent body of all, the Atomic Development Authority, or Ada. This was to take over matters atomic, in which British research led the world until Mr. Churchill transferred the British discoveries to exclusive American use under his empowerment of the second war. In 1946 (according to the Yorkshire Post) Mr. Churchill said there was no man in whose hands he would rather see ‘this awful problem placed’ than Mr. Baruch’s. Mr. Baruch’s plan (see From Smoke to Smother, pp. 126-7) was that Ada (a committee of a few men) should have a world monopoly of atom bombs, worldwide powers of inspection to prevent their manufacture by others, and sovereign powers to drop them on any ‘who violate the agreements that are reached by nations’. One example of an ‘agreement reached by nations’ was the agreement to partition Palestine. Had Ada then been in existence, it would presumably have been empowered to drive the Arabs from their Palestine; were it in existence now, and ‘the nations’ agreed that the Zionist State needed more territory, it would presumably move to enforce such agreement. The implications of this seem boundless and exempt none, anywhere, either in America or outside it.
This Plan, however, has as yet been delayed in fulfilment, though President Truman in October 1949 reaffirmed that he would continue ‘to back the Baruch Plan to the hilt’. It seemed from such incidents that the American Republic’s major actions of State policy by this time were no longer
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fashioned between government and parliament but took shape in the Plans of advisers, adopted by presidents. Two of many instances indicate this. The atom bomb, and atomic bombing, were to be entrusted to a committee under such a Plan. The punishment of Germany was laid down in a ‘Morgenthau Plan’ signed by President Roosevelt at the urgency of ‘an old and loyal friend’! Mr. Roosevelt later said he ‘had no idea how he could have initialled it’ and Mr. Churchill still later said, ‘I did not agree with it and I am sorry I put my initials to it’. This Plan was supposed subsequently to have been dropped, but in fact the bisection of Europe on the Berlin line, which in my judgment makes a third war as inevitable as any human act could make it, was the fulfilment of its very spirit.
The identity of the ‘old and loyal friend’ remains unknown, as the initialling of the Plan for Germany itself remained unknown to President Roosevelt’s own competent Ministers until after their President initialled it. By that time the disease of power appeared to be rife in a whole line of counsellors who were publicly unknown. The long exercise of power exercised in such a manner may of necessity have an insidious effect on men who wield it. The Plan for Germany, when it ultimately became public, had horrified all responsible men who saw it, particularly the Ministers who, in a parliamentary republic, would expect to be consulted in such paramount affairs; they thought it satanic.
But the damage was done and remains to be mended, if that is possible, and that is the point which worries Americans today. By the mid-century they felt that the system of advisers, non-accountable to parliament, and of plans, born in anonymity and fathered on presidents, had so entwined itself about the machinery of government in the American Republic, at all levels, that its public representatives were coming to seem shadow-shapes, while its actions could no longer be forecast by standards of merely American interests. These conditions also, they felt, were ideal for the working of forces which pursued aims outside America through the American Republic. Such statements as those, quoted above, by President Roosevelt and Mr. Churchill, increased their alarm.
They could not see the shape or course of the future if the foremost political leaders remained oblivious to the true meaning and consequence of such grave measures, put before them.
Mr. Roosevelt, particularly, surrounded himself with mysterious, non-accountable colleagues, and the books of disclosure suggest that this was the source of his most fateful actions, particularly those decisive ones, when his appearance ‘frightened’ those about him and he contrived the capitulation of Yalta, which set the scenes for the third act. The most remarkable was Mr. Harry Hopkins. From a friendly portrait in Roosevelt and Hopkins and a critical one in Mr. John T. Flynn’s The Roosevelt Myth (an essential source-book for the period) he seems to have been a runabout between the President and superior advisers, less in the public eye. Mr. Hopkins lived in the White House. At first he was concerned mainly with quickening war-production. Later he toyed with cosmic matters, rather like Hitler with the globe in Chaplin’s ‘The Dictator’.
In the earlier capacity he was clearly useful, having long experience as a charity-appeal organizer (American friends say he was of the type known as ‘little brothers of the rich’) and a natural bent for accelerating the work of others and cutting through dead wood. In the later one, he might leave the later historian prostrate with tears or laughter, assuming that the transactions into which he rushed leave any later historians. His private papers, as presented by Mr. Sherwood, show a trio of ghost-writers (Mr. Hopkins, Mr. Sherwood and a Mr. Sam Rosenman) preparing President Roosevelt’s speeches for him in permanent session at the White House. Mr. Hopkins instructed the other two to insert in one speech (without the President’s knowledge and before the Republic entered the war) a Proclamation of Unlimited National Emergency. Mr. Roosevelt retained it in his speech. Later Mr. Hopkins advised the President not to meet Mr. Churchill ‘without Uncle Joe’.
When he learned that Mr. Churchill was to meet Uncle Joe and that Mr. Roosevelt ‘was dispatching a cable to Churchill … with the implication that he was content to let Churchill speak for the United
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States as well as Great Britain’, he gave orders that the transmission of the President’s confirmatory message to Stalin be stopped’. The sober-minded might shudder to see world affairs thus handled.
Mr. Sherwood describes the exploit as ‘one of the quick and arbitrary actions, far beyond the scope of his own authority, which had gained for him the affection and admiration of Roosevelt ever since the beginnings of the New Deal’. (Another telegram, implicitly warning Stalin not to conclude any arrangements with Mr. Churchill, was then sent by the chastened President.)
Mr. Hopkins is portrayed (in his own documents) making stern interventions, by means of cable direct to Mr. Churchill and the like, in matters of monarchy in Italy or Greece, two countries unknown to him, and generally handling the affairs of millions like dimes. At the final, fatal meeting at Yalta he told the President what to do through notes passed to him. ‘The Russians have given in so much at this conference that I don’t think we should let them down. Let the British disagree if they want to.’ Sometimes the wording and writing of these notes, and Mr. Roosevelt’s scribbled comments seems to show two men hardly master of their powers: ‘All of the below refers to Churchill’s opposition to early calling of conference of United Nations. There is something behind this talk that we do not know of its basis. Perhaps we better wait until later tonight what is on his mind.’
At the end of that astonishing fiasco the mood of President Roosevelt and Mr. Hopkins was one of ‘supreme exultation’ (writes Mr. Sherwood). From Mr. Lloyd George, Lord Balfour and President Wilson, through Mr. Chamberlain and Sir Horace Wilson, to President Roosevelt and Mr. Hopkins: the Yalta Conference was the continuance of a course and a curse. When I studied the story of
Yalta, in the self-revelations of its participants, my mind’s eye went back to Budapest in September 1938. There I followed the story of Munich, through radio items heard by chance at the British Legation or in my own flat with the lights of Buda spread below me, or read on sunny café terraces in the columns of the Pester Lloyd. I felt again the shame I then felt, as a man and an Englishman, at the spectacle of men who frivolously handled affairs far outside their ken, and the sensation of inevitable tragedy which finally filled me from that moment. After that, all hope of averting the second war was gone. Yet the meeting of Munich, the part played in it by the unqualified Sir Horace Wilson and the joy of Mr. Chamberlain, all shrink into pallid triviality compared with the meeting at Yalta, the part played by the unqualified Mr. Hopkins (soon to receive a Doctorate of Oxford!) and the exultation of Mr. Roosevelt. All hope of averting the third act went then, in my judgment. The only difference was in my own playgoer’s feelings; I was come to think the thing a comedy, after all.
Nevertheless, the world might pay pilgrimage today to the tombs of the professional diplomats and ambassadors of old, who knew the stuff they handled and were Christian patriots. If there are clubs in any life beyond this one, I like to imagine the sardonic amusement with which Wolsey and Richelieu, Metternich and Talleyrand, Pitt and Palmerston will receive the men of the Balfour Declaration, of Munich and of Yalta.
When Mr. Hopkins died, a little after President Roosevelt, and both soon after Yalta, an American newspaper wrote: ‘Americans need not concern themselves now whether Harry Hopkins was great or little or good or bad; their care should be that the phenomenon of a Harry Hopkins in the White House does not recur.’ That meant also that the phenomenon of a President irremovable save by death should not recur, and that of the whole system of non-accountable advisers. It was, too, a world problem, and not simply an American one; in many leading countries power over parliaments and parties was by this time wielded by ‘small groups of dominant men’, whose motives and actions could not be publicly scrutinized or audited. In the American Republic the phenomenon continued after President Roosevelt’s death; the machinery for pursuing other than American interests through American power remained intact. An earlier President Roosevelt, Theodore, was asked at the century’s turn ‘how long he gave our government to live’, and
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answered, ‘About fifty years’. The question and answer presumably meant, the constitutional American Republic, and the time is about up.
Throughout his presidency Mr. Franklyn Delano Roosevelt pursued the policy of opening the doors of the American Republic to new men who pursued one or other of the two new ambitions of the twentieth century, Soviet Communism and Political Zionism. Whether their hearts beat for the American Republic first and foremost was something only they could know, but their support of either or both of these causes was a likelihood in the first case and something often avowed in the second. Both were distinct from the native interests of the American Republic, so that time alone could show if their espousal by American Presidents was to its good. As far as I know President Roosevelt did not publicly declare, like Mr. Hofmeyr in South Africa, that Zionism alone could save the world, but his actions led towards the establishment of Political Zionism in a place of power from which it could dictate the world’s salvation or ruination. He placed avowed Political Zionists in posts of visible power. Simultaneously, at lower levels, he opened the gates to Communist infiltration and penetration of the whole edifice of power in the Republic. The process was one of the surrender of power from above, and corruption from below.
In 1932 a Jewish writer, Mr. Walter Lippman, wrote: ‘It is evident that Mr. Roosevelt is not the leader of the forces behind him’ (in his first presidential campaign). ‘He is being used by them.
They count heavily on controlling him because they look upon him as pliant.’ (This pliancy, proved in the next thirteen years, may count as President Roosevelt’s most marked characteristic.) In 1936 a rabbi, Mr. Louis Gross, wrote: ‘The Roosevelt Administration has selected more Jews to fill influential positions than any previous Administration in American history.’ (A similar development, the Jewish Chronicle once stated, occurred in Russia after the Communist revolution there.) In 1938 the New York Times wrote, ‘after an interview with Mr. Roosevelt, Senator Wagner said the President is prepared to take a “more than formal action” to safeguard the Jewish National Home in Palestine and to prevent any restriction of Jewish immigration. “I believe”, added the Senator, “that we are so situated that we can make our protests to the British Government effective.”
These quotations, and many others which I have, give glimpses of the ‘phenomenon’ of this century in action: of power being wielded through an elected president to achieve aims far outside his country’s bounds or interests. For a great country to become bellicose and expansionist in its own behalf is a familiar and recurring thing in history; for it to show these traits, in lands half across the earth, on behalf of a third party is unique, as far as I know. The only comparable affair is that of Pontius Pilate, which, however, did not entail territorial conquest. The process begun with Lord Balfour, Mr. Loyd George and President Wilson, was continued through President Roosevelt and his successor to its logical finish. Towards the war’s end a prominent Zionist sympathizer in America, a Mr. La Guardia, was appointed head of the body called UNRRA, the funds of which were in the event largely used, in Europe, to promote the ‘second Exodus’ which made the war in Palestine. General Morgan’s attempt to expose the thing before the clock struck too late was punished as quickly as if he were an American. Mr. Truman’s proudest moment was the next stage.
His precipitate recognition of the new Zionist State may be regarded as the beginning of the third act. In the American Republic political leaders outwardly responsible and elected representatives were swept aside. General Marshall’s protest, as Foreign Secretary, was as unavailing as that of Mr. James Forrestal, Secretary for Defence.
One Congressman, Mr. Lawrence H. Smith, said that the partition of Palestine would lead to ‘a war of annihilation’, and another, Mr. E. Gossett, that the American Republic ‘had perhaps planted the seeds of World War III’. Many Jews spoke in similar terms of warning; all alike were derided or ignored.
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The Political Zionists had their way and the results may be appraised in due time. The American Republic took over from Britain, now alarmed, the leading part in promoting the rise of Zion, and, I fancy, in promoting its own decline, for countries are no longer free which allow themselves to be used for exterior designs. Mr. James Truslow Adams, in his Epic of America, wrote:
‘As we compare America in 1931 with the America of 1912 it seems as though we had slipped a long way backwards.’
Were a comparison drawn between the America of 1950 and that of 1931, I think the result would show a much greater slipping-backwards, despite material wealth. The same deterioration, in greater or lesser measure, shows in all countries which have accepted the paramountcy of Zion at a high level and allowed the permeation of Soviet Communism at lower ones.
In the American Republic the rise of Soviet Communism went side by side with the rise of Zion.
The Political Zionists worked from above: that is, from the seats of the mighty and from the control of key-states in the Republic’s electoral system. The Soviet Communists permeated from below, corrupting parties from within and seeping into government departments. The ‘hatred of Americans for Communism’, in which the mass-newspaper reader of all countries believes today, is an illusion. That is to say, it may be a native, inherent trait of the mass of Americans, but it does not find expression in the major acts of the Republic’s State policy; these have in their effects often promoted the spread of the Communist State in the last eight years. The rise of Soviet Communism in the American Republic is not an increase of numbers or votes, any more than it was in the Eastern European countries or China, now enslaved by foreign-supplied arms. It is the rise of influence through penetration, permeation and infiltration. It is the old stratagem of the Trojan Horse in a new form. The invaders, however, come or derive from the same place as the Political Zionists: Russia or Russian-occupied Europe. They are in the majority Khazars.
Under President Roosevelt many measures were taken to disguise the numbers, nature and political allegiance or motives of people entering the Republic. To inquire into such matters began to be presented as ‘discrimination of race, colour or creed’. After 1941 the practice of keeping records of Jewish immigration from Eastern Europe was abandoned. A policy was adopted which Mr. Hilaire Belloc once described thus:
‘A deliberate policy … not only to use ridicule against anti-semitism but to label as anti-semitism any discussion of the Jewish problem at all, or for that matter any information even on the Jewish problem. It was used to prevent, through ridicule, any statement of any fact with regard to the Jewish race save a few conventional compliments and harmless jests … If a man did no more than call a Jew, a Jew, he was an anti-semite.’
Any Jew who opposed Political Zionism was equally attacked. In these years the truth of G.K. Chesterton’s dictum was shown:
‘Journalism is a false picture of the world thrown upon a lighted screen in a darkened room so that the real world is not seen.’
Under cover of this deterrent to public comprehension, two important results were achieved. The administrations of President Roosevelt were ‘permeated at almost all levels with Jewish appointees, many of them Communistic’, according to the Economic Council Letter of December 15th, 1947; and masses of newcomers were brought into the Republic without the customary checks. Thus the present Jewish population of the Republic can only be estimated. At the last ‘religious’ census in 1936 it was about 5 millions and fair conjecture puts it at between 6 and 8 millions today, mainly concentrated in the seven ‘key-States’ of the electoral map. The bulk of the increase came from the Eastern European area which produced both Political Zionism and Soviet Communism.
A new mass of persons of loyalty and origins not clearly discoverable, therefore, entered the Republic during President Roosevelt’s period. After his death a powerful campaign was waged to ensure the continuance of the process, in favour of ‘displaced persons’ from Europe.
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Under the hypnotic spell of wartime propaganda, the public expression of doubts about Communism in high places, or even about Communism itself, was akin to treason. Young men who sniffed the wind rose in their careers in the American Foreign Service and other departments and prudent seniors were relegated. Arrangements were made for someone called ‘Tito’ to have Yugoslavia, for the Soviet State to spread westward to Berlin and even (after the war) eastward across China. Watching the lighted screen in the darkened room, the masses did not demur. When the war ended, however, and for the purposes of the third act the new legend, ‘Don’t trust Stalin’, was flashed on the screen, public anxiety in the Republic revived. If Communism had been wrongly trusted in Europe, why was Communism still powerful enough in the Republic to surrender China to the Soviet Empire? Ah, to start ‘a witch hunt’ would be anti-semitism, came the answer. One eye of the Trojan horse blazed in virtuous affront; the other winked.
Nevertheless, the business of fooling all the people all the time is a hard one, and the task of preventing discovery difficult. If political leaders are sincere, this shows itself when they find that the suspicions of others were right and their own confidingness was wrong. Next door to the American Republic lurid disclosures were made. The Canadian Prime Minister, Mr. Mackenzie King at that time, was incredulous when he learned from Igor Gouzenko, the fugitive from the Soviet Embassy in Ottawa, that treasonable aliens had permeated Canadian services and departments and had succeeded in suborning native Canadians and Englishmen. Once convinced, however, he knew his duty. He set judges to work, unearthed and published the full truth, had the culprits tried and sentenced. Also, he secretly flew to President Truman and Mr. Attlee and informed them that ‘the situation is as serious as ever existed in Canada at any time’. Further he told them that it was only part of even graver situations in their own, more powerful countries.
From that moment further concealment was inexplicable, yet no governmental action or announcement followed, in either country, to match the Canadian one. If the ‘situation was as serious as ever existed in the American Republic and England (and I think it is), it continued to be concealed, even when the tone of public references to Communism in Europe switched to one of alarm, reproof and talk of war.
In all countries, unless they have a government as dutiful as Mr. Mackenzie King’s, the only hope of public enlightenment lies in the efforts of persevering individuals, who persist in trying to expose what they see as a national danger. By doing so they court quick retaliation from the powerful and organized forces, which forbid opposition to Soviet Communism and Political Zionism alike. Mr. James Forrestal’s resignation and the smear-campaign which drove him to suicide are the counterparts, in the American Republic, of the attacks which led to General Morgan’s retirement. Parties which claim to uphold the patriotic cause, like the Conservative Party in England and the Republican one in the American Republic, seem just as hostile to them, and thus show that they too accept that secret dominance. The reluctance of the Conservative Party to accept Captain Roy Farran as a candidate, and its manager’s marked aversion against Mr. Andrew Fountaine are in the same long line.
In the American Republic the spearhead of this individual effort to expose the undermining of elected government by alien and treasonable infiltration has been a parliamentary committee, The House of Representatives Committee on Un-American Activities, which for years has dug among the evidence. The hidden strength of Communism throughout the world is shown by the derision which is poured on this body by newspapers in many countries (including Conservative ones in England), and by the sustained ‘smearing’ of its leaders and members. Its best known chief, Mr. Martin Dies, was ‘smeared’ into oblivion. When the Democratic Party is in power, as it has been for a generation save for two years between 1946 and 1948, the majority of the committee appears to be automatically used to frustrate its work. Nevertheless a minority of its members persist and in
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those two years they accumulated material which a generation ago would have been enough to send any government crashing in ruins.
The committee, between 1946 and 1948, sought to bring about a public investigation comparable with that of the Canadian Report. Just before President Truman’s re-election in November 1948 it published a Report (September 27th, 1948). This referred to the Canadian Report, saying the American people were deeply shocked by its disclosures and also ‘by the disloyal operations of some of Canada’s prominent citizens who were working in collusion with Soviet agents’. Without specifically mentioning Mr. Mackenzie King’s intimation that matters were even graver in the American Republic, it said,
‘the American people applaud the vigorous manner in which the persons involved were brought to trial and, in view of the fact that the major effort of developing the atom bomb was being carried on in the United States, presumed that similar prosecutions would follow there’. These never came and ‘the Committee has been endeavouring to find out why’.
The reason was bluntly stated: Presidential opposition. The Report says an American General testified on oath that he was prohibited by ‘a Presidential directive of August 5th, 1948’ from
‘discussing with you or your committee any information relating to the loyalty or integrity of any government employee or former government employee’.
He added, ‘as a general opinion’ in the matter, that ‘there was continued and persistent and well-organized espionage against the United States and particularly against the atom bomb project, by a foreign power with which we were not at war and its misguided and traitorous domestic sympathizers’. The General said he had informed President Roosevelt of this in a report which the President read in his presence ‘just before he left for Yalta’, and that the same report was put before Mr. Truman by him immediately the new president took office. The Un-American Committee’s report adds that it covers only one small, local field of its investigations, and in this found
‘three separate acts of treachery by scientists … which required immediate prosecution to the full extent of the law’.
It mentioned by name several persons of Eastern European birth or secondary origin and concluded that the full story of the conspiracy could not be told
‘because the Presidential veto denies Congress access to the evidence in the files of the Executive branch of the Government … The iron curtain imposed by Presidential directive must be forthwith lifted’.
That appeared to raise a clear and major issue between Parliament and President, even more clearly stated in Senator Homer Ferguson’s words:
‘Congress is rapidly being pushed into the intolerable position of having either to legislate through a blind spot or compel the President to answer for his conduct in an impeachment proceeding … Congress is charged with the responsibility of protecting the security of our people through legislation. But if, when it tries to do so, the President can deny to Congress the information it needs to legislate intelligently, then the President has gone beyond the prerogatives of his office and threatens the very foundations of representative government.’
The issue between Congress and President was obscured by one of those timely interventions which are so distinct a feature of this century’s deterioration; at moments when the rot seems about to be stayed, something happens to ensure continuance. Five weeks after the issue of the Committee’s Report Congressional elections restored to the Democrats their majority in the House of Representatives. At once the political writers foretold that the Un-American Activities Committee would not be allowed to make much more trouble. Since then its minority members have been consistently baulked in their efforts and constantly ‘smeared’. All this, moreover, was in the period when the menace of Communism was supposed to have been recognized and the chief aim of the American Republic’s policy was presented as the stopping of its spread.
Thereon the Committee, suspecting that its further inquiries might be impeded, published the material already accumulated. This seemed, in perusal, even more startling than the Canadian Report, and if its statements were true they appeared to bear out Mr. Mackenzie King’s belief that
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‘the situation’ in the American Republic was even graver than the Canadian one. The witnesses heard by it included a Mr. Whittaker Chambers, until then a senior editor of the mass-circulation journal Time, who from remorse confessed to have been earlier a Soviet secret agent and courier.
He said he had obtained, and forwarded to Moscow, secret papers of the highest importance to the American and other Allied Governments. He accused a high State Department (Foreign Office) official of Mr. Roosevelt’s Administration (who was a member of that President’s staff at the fateful Yalta meeting) of making these documents available to him. The official brought a libel action.
At this stage President Truman called the affair ‘a red herring’ and during other, later inquiries and disclosures frequently and irritably used the same tone. In some instances, as judicial and other investigations were under way, these comments might have been held to amount to contempt of court in any other man. The President several times placed himself in this way between demands for investigation and the matters at issue.
Accused of libel, Mr. Chambers led detectives of a Grand Jury, which seemed to be slowly coming into the affair, and of the Un-American Committee to his farm in Maryland and to his pumpkin plot, where he pointed to one, the top of which had been sliced off and put back. Inside were found masses of microfilm photographs of secret documents about American and British tanks, aircraft and war vessels, and diplomatic reports covering many parts of the world. This proved that Mr. Chambers, as the investigating Committee of the House of Representatives stated, had in fact procured documents of the highest secrecy, from whatever source. As to that, the appeal of the official concerned, from a conviction in the first instance, pends as I write.
Five days later a Mr. Laurence Duggan, also a State Department official during President Roosevelt’s time, fell to his death from the sixteenth storey of an office building in New York. The Un-American Committee forthwith released material showing that he had also been accused of complicity in these matters. The acting chairman of the Un-American Committee suspected murder, and so did an eminent colleague of President Roosevelt, Mr. Sumner Welles, who said: ‘I find it impossible to believe that his death was self-inflicted.’ I know of no inquiry arising from these suspicions that Mr. Duggan was murdered. The matter seems to have been passed over.
Within a few months a Minister for Defence, barely resigned, and two officials of the American Foreign Service (the second was Press Attaché at Santiago, in Chile, and his death may or may not have been connected with these matters) died through failing from high windows, while three other high officials or former officials, of various Departments, justly or unjustly accused in this or similar affairs, died suddenly; one was found in the river with his throat cut and another committed suicide in the Justice Building. During this period many other disclosures or charges were made, relating to espionage in government departments or to conditions in the atomic research plants. If these reached juries, the verdicts were usually of guilty; if congressional committees examined them they were generally pronounced empty. A broad picture emerged of secret and subversive influences working through the organizations of the American Republic. A persistent effort to conceal this was equally visible.
The various incidents I have enumerated formed a series of disclosures which, at any former time in almost any country would presumably have led to an irresistible public demand for complete investigation, exposure and the determination of responsibility and the punishment of any found culpable. In the condition into which public debate had fallen in the American Republic in the years
following the Roosevelt era it appeared possible, at any rate for a long period, to confuse the issues in the public mind by the intensive ‘smearing’, through the press and radio, of any who pressed for full inquiry and exposure. Nevertheless there was always someone who would not be deterred, and this led, at the end of 1949, to the most remarkable disclosure of all.
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A former American Air Force officer, a Mr. George Racey Jordan, who during the war was Lend-Lease Inspector at Great Falls, Montana, whence Lend-Lease aircraft were flown to Moscow, stated publicly in a radio interview that in 1943 and 1944 substantial quantities of atom-bomb compounds and uranium were sent to the Soviet Communist Government. He further averred that, becoming suspicious of the large amount of baggage which Soviet officers were carrying in these aeroplanes, he had a search made and discovered a large quantity of highly secret American State Department documents, in carbon-copy or photostat facsimile, from each of which the stamp ‘secret, confidential or restricted’ had been cut away. In one suitcase, he alleged, was a letter on White House notepaper with the name of Mr. Harry Hopkins (who lived at the White House) printed on it.
This letter, he stated, contained the words, I had a hell of a time getting these away from Groves’. (‘These’ referred to the secret documents; General Groves, who at that time was in charge of atom-bomb research, was the officer who told the Un-American Activities Committee after the war that he was debarred by Presidential veto from testifying before it about espionage.)
Mr. Jordan further stated, in this broadcast statement, that Mr. Harry Hopkins instructed him to expedite certain freight shipments to Soviet Russia, to say nothing about them, even to his superior officer, and to keep no record of them. He said:
‘Mr. Hopkins was the button the Russians touched every time they needed emergency help.’
Mr. Jordan’s statements did not receive the full and public investigation which their gravity seemed to demand; they were scouted and he was ‘smeared’. They lead to two fascinating fields of thought ….
The first is this: at the time the atom-bomb compounds, uranium and information were being sent to Soviet Russia, at Mr. Harry Hopkins’s prompting (if Mr. Jordan’s statements are correct) the public at large had not even heard of atom bombs. The thing happened in 1943 and 1944, if it happened. The public first learned of the atom bomb when it was dropped in September 1945. The initial research work was done by British scientists and the results of this were transferred to the American Republic by Mr. Churchill under his sovereign empowerment of the war. Presumably he thought that his own country would benefit by the American development of atomic research, and apparently he was wrong, because in 1949 (when I was in the United States) the British
Government requested access to information and experiments and seems to have been denied this; at any rate, those American columnists who had been clamouring for the Soviet Government to be given all atomic information at once joined in the chorus that ‘the atomic secrets must be nailed down’. Presumably, also, Mr. Churchill thought that the further development of those atomic mysteries which he entrusted to America would remain secret from the Soviet Government and for that matter from all other countries, for some time after the war’s end he declared that exclusive American possession of the atom bomb was the one solid guarantee of continuing peace. He seems again to have been wrong, for the secret originally yielded up by Britain to America, was by then no longer in exclusive American possession.
That appears to be a fact, irrespective of the accuracy or inaccuracy of Mr. Jordan’s statements, for no sooner were they made than the American State Department (apparently prompted by them to these charges) announced that in 1943 (two years before the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima) four export licences were granted for shipping uranium compounds to the Soviet Government. That was in 1943. From the first public appearance of the atom bomb in 1945 until 1949 leading politicians in America and other countries were telling their peoples that peace was only safe while the atom bomb remained a secret in American keeping, and would become insecure when the Soviet, despite this secrecy, of its own ingenuity solved atomic mysteries. Late in 1949 President Truman suddenly announced that the Soviet ‘has the atom bomb’. If readers of From Smoke to Smother were puzzled by a somewhat ironical, or even flippant note in my references to contemporary debate about The Absolute Weapon, they may now see the reason. All students of the Roosevelt era shrewdly suspected these things, which are now coming to light piece by piece.
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Seldom in the course of human events have the realities been so different from the appearances, or the facts of what was going on from the official statements.
The second field of reflection now opened to public survey by Mr. Jordan’s statements is larger still and even more interesting. Mr. Harry Hopkins was President Roosevelt’s chief counsellor at the Yalta Conference. The nature of the advice he gave is available for all to read, in his own handwriting or in his own notes. The Yalta Conference was the fourth decisive event of this century. The first two were the establishment of the Communist State and the Balfour Declaration; the Reichstag Fire and the Yalta Conference cleared the way for the expansion of the Communist State and the erection of the Zionist State. At Yalta the scenes were set for the third act of the melodrama, for the second half of the century, for the continued pursuit of these two ambitions, in peace and war, to the point where they meet in the servile World State. President Roosevelt was so close to death that he may not have understood all that was done at Yalta; by his own words, he did not understand the Plan for Germany when he initialled it. Thus the personality of his chief adviser there, who was also so near to death, becomes of great interest to the future historian, and if Mr. Jordan’s statements should not be publicly disproved a wide area of surmise is left open.
These were the things, I found in course of study, that caused my American friends to fear that, despite its outward power and wealth, the American Republic was in decline, its energies were being used to further exterior causes, and the patriots were not strong enough to stop this.
The young republic seems to be caught, like other countries, between the pincers of Soviet Communism and Political Zionism, of the revolutionary power and the money power, of advisers in high places and infiltrators at lower levels. The method was implicit in Theodor Herzl’s words:
‘When we sink we become a revolutionary proletariat; when we rise there rises also our terrible power of the purse’ (A Jewish State).
It is dangerous for the American Republic, and dangerous for the world, because in the third act the world will not be able to judge for what real aims the power of the Republic is being used.
Early in 1949 Mr. Truman’s first full four-year term as President was officially inaugurated on the steps of the Capitol in Washington. ‘Capitol’ might be a name of ill-omen; the first Capitol was the Roman Temple of Jupiter, king of the pagan gods, and Rome ‘lost the breed of noble bloods’. Amid cheers the President, who was wont to rebuke investigators into the Communist infiltration of the Republic, announced a policy aimed at ‘conquering Communism without war’. In the twentieth century the mass often looks like Bottom the Weaver and wears the ass’s head as it is led towards the dark abyss. This particular throng needed only to look over its shoulder to see that Communism was conquering China through war, against adversaries denied arms by the American Republic.
Before 1949 ended the Communist grasp on China, achieved in this way, would be nearly complete and the familiar process of disowning the allied government and recognizing the Communist one, was beginning all over again. When 1950 began the likelihood was growing daily plainer that the process would continue to be extended. As in China, American support in many forms began to be given, at President Truman’s prompting, to Yugoslavia, the enemy of Greece, under the pretext used in China: that Yugoslav Communism was of a different kind. British troops were being withdrawn from Greece, and unless that brave little land unaccountably escapes once more from the toils, I fancy that before very long the question of abandoning its legal government and recognizing a Communist one imported from outside its frontiers will once more arise. At that point, the last wartime ally east of the iron curtain would have been betrayed, many years after the war’s end. Behind the smoke screen, ‘Down with Communism’, the reality of the design would become too plain to be ignored by any who wished to see it.
On the steps of the Capitol in Washington, however, the crowd cheered ‘the new policy’ of ‘conquering Communism without war’. Simultaneously the policy of promoting Political Zionism
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was pursued, ever more openly now and without any sleight-of-hand. With the deliberate symbolism which is so striking a feature of the process, President Truman in 1949 chose the Day of the Dead, November 11th, to speak to a gathering of ‘The National Conference of Christians and Jews’ (a body regarded by experienced American observers as a ‘Zionist-front-organization’) in Washington. He announced that he was preparing new laws ‘against bias’, and held up the Declaration of Human Rights and the Genocide Convention as two achievements, of the American Republic and the United Nations, particularly worthy of celebration on the day when the millions of dead fighting-men and civilians of the two wars are commemorated. Those two documents, in fact, appear to be clearly the denial of all those dead ones may have thought they died for; they declared aggression a human right and resistance to it genocide, and that was proved by the affair which was in perpetration in Palestine when they were drafted and proclaimed.
The shape of the third act seems to loom up fairly clearly behind all these things. In the Nineteen-Forties and up to the mid-century the American Republic went marching on, but not towards the goal of its native interests. Its strength had been used, and seemed likely to be further used, for alien causes, and this was the secret of the inner process of decline which alarmed its most enlightened men. Clearly, that course would not change, at the best and earliest, until a new generation of politicians had grown up and supplanted those of the mid-century.
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