The Secretary of State to the Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (McReynolds), House of Representatives

APRIL 5, 1933.


I have given careful consideration to H.J. Res. 93 [12] and I am strongly of the opinion that this legislation should be enacted. I should greatly appreciate it, therefore, if you could find-it possible to urge favorable action on this resolution. I hope that you will be able to succeed in having it passed in the form in which it was reported outof the Committee on Foreign Affairs and without the amendment which was introduced in the House when this legislation was being considered on the recommendation of the last administration-an amendment which would weaken its force and narrow its applicability.

The authority, which the passage of this resolution would confer upon the Executive, would be exercised by any Chief Magistrate of the United States to the sole end of maintaining the peace of the world and with a due and prudent regard for our national policies and national interests. The special circumstances of each particular case which may arise would dictate what action, if any, would be taken in that case, but the authority to act on terms of equality in cooperation with other governments when the occasion arises, should be left to the discretion of the Executive Branch of the Government which is charged, under the Constitution, with the conduct of our foreign relations. In justice to the firm convictions of the American people and to its own dignity, this Government should no longer be left in the position of being unable to join the other governments of the world in preventing the supply of arms and munitions for use in an international conflict when it is exercising its diplomacy and the whole weight of our national influence and prestige to prevent or put an end to that conflict. The enactment of this legislation would strengthen the position of this Government in its international relations and would enable us to cooperate more efficiently in efforts to maintain the peace of the world.

I am writing to Senator Pittman asking him to support this legislation in the Senate.

Sincerely yours,

[12] Joint Resolution To prohibit the exportation of arms or munitions of war from the United States under certain conditions:
''Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United Statesof America in Congress assembled, That whenever the President finds that in any part of the world conditions exist such that the shipment of arms or munitions of war from countries which produce these commodities may promote or encourage the employment of force in the course of a dispute or conflict between nations, and, after securing the cooperation of such governments as the President deems necessary, he makes proclamation thereof, it shall be unlawful to export, or sell for export, except under such limitations and exceptions as the President prescribes, any arms or munitions of war from any place in the United States to such country or countries as he may designate, until otherwise ordered by the President or by Congress.
"SEC. 2. Whoever exports any arms or munitions of war in violation of section 1 shall, on conviction, be punished by a fine not exceeding $10,000 or by imprisonment not exceeding two years, or both."

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. 176-177.

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