811.113 Senate Investigation/243

Memorandum by Mr. Joseph G. Green of the Division of Western European Affairs

In compliance with the Secretary’s instructions, I went to the Capitol today and discussed at some length with Senator Nye and Mr. Raushenbush the program of the Nye Committee in respect to legislation relating to the neutrality policy of the United States.

They told me that the Committee intended to present a preliminary report to the Senate on April 1st.15 They told me further that this report would contain a general statement to the effect that the Committee, having studied the question of neutrality at the request of the President, was approaching agreement upon legislation to withdraw the protection of the American Government from American ships and American citizens entering a war zone or visiting belligerent countries. They said that no specific legislation to this end would be proposed in this preliminary report. They confirmed my understanding that the [Page 324] President had requested that no legislation of this nature be introduced until he had had an opportunity to discuss the matter further with the Committee. They expressed the hope that the President would confer with the Committee again immediately after his return, in order that legislation may be prepared for presentation during the present session of Congress.

Senator Nye handed me the attached press release17 in regard to a speech which he is to deliver in Lexington, Kentucky, on March 30. I take it that this press release foreshadows the neutrality policy which will be outlined in the Committee’s report.

I told Senator Nye and Mr. Raushenbush that the Department, at the request of the President, had been studying this matter of our neutrality policy for some time; that it was found to be a question of extreme intricacy; that no definite program of legislation had as yet been agreed upon, and that no report had as yet been made to the President. I said that when a report was made, it would, of course, be a question entirely within the discretion of the President what use he might see fit to make of that report. They said that the report might be extremely useful to the Committee in connection with its studies on this subject.

Mr. Raushenbush informed me further that the preliminary report which the Committee would make on April 1st would contain some general statements of conclusions in regard to methods of taking profits out of war. Mr. Raushenbush said further that the report would not touch upon the question of the control of the arms traffic, except in a brief passage which would express approval of the action of the Department in pressing for an international convention along the lines of the Draft Articles for the Regulation and Control of the Manufacture of and Trade in Arms and the Establishment of a Permanent Disarmament Commission, which were presented by the American Delegation to the Bureau of the General Disarmament Conference on November 20, 1934.

Joseph C. Green
  1. Ibid., vol. 79, pt. 5, p. 4726.
  2. Not printed.