January 13, 2011

Some people really thought we shouldn't have a problem with them.

Dipping into some distant history today. Our Foreign Policy as viewed in January of 1941, in the midst of heated debate over FDR's Lend-Lease Bill before Congress. As part of it's ongoing radio series, The American Foreign Policy Association hosted a talk by member James Frederick Green over what the Bill implied and what was at stake, and of course the flap in Congress (at least from the GOP side) that not enough consulting had gone on before the Bill was introduced.

James Frederick Green: “Many Congressmen who endorse the President’s aims hesitate to give so much power to any one man. They regret that the President did not consult the Republican leaders of Congress before introducing the bill and that he made the measure so wide in scope and so drastic in tone. Many Washington correspondents say that the Administration deliberately asked for more than it expected to get, a customary procedure in such negotiations. It’s generally believed that the bill will be passed, but with a number of amendments and compromises. Congress as a whole recognizes the need for decisive action in an emergency. But it is not yet prepared to surrender all of their authority without any time limitations and without periodic accounting.”

The Bill would pass in March, but the political battle would continue all the way up until December 8th when war was declared.

And that's what they were doing seventy years ago this week.

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