Statement by the Secretary of State on the Six-Point Peace and Neutrality Proposal, July 1, 1939


I am still thoroughly convinced that the six-point peace and neutrality program set forth in my letters to Senator Pittman and Representative Bloom on May 27, 1939, would be far more effective in the interests of peace and in keeping the country out of war than the present embargo law or any equivalent.
This legislative proposal was submitted to the appropriate committees of the two Houses of Congress after lengthy conferences with members of these committees and with other leading Members of Congress of all political persuasions. It was my hope and belief that, while this proposal might not contain all that every individual Member of Congress or every official of the executive branch of the Government wished, it would in the present international exigencies be regarded as desirable by a majority of Congress. Its failure to pass the House by a narrow margin is a matter of regret and disappointment from the standpoint of peace and the best interests of this country in its international relations.

This six-point peace and neutrality proposal is not only best calculated to keep this Nation out of war in the event war comes, but also, what is all-important, at this time, best calculated to make a far greater contribution than could the present law or its equivalent toward the discouragement of the outbreak of war.

At the same time, while doing this, it would likewise keep this Government and Nation 100 percent within the limits of universally recognized international law.

In these circumstances, I must continue to urge the adoption of this proposal.


Source: U.S., Department of State, Publication 1983, Peace and War: United States Foreign Policy, 1931-1941 (Washington, D.C.: U.S., Government Printing Office, 1943, pp. 464


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