U.S. will win war and peace, President says, at the same time warning that both coasts are in immediate danger of raids
By Lyle C. Wilson, United Press staff writer
President Roosevelt’s analysis of the pattern of world conflict placed the United States today in a state of informal war with Germany and Italy.
Although formally engaged in war against only Japan, the President promised to fight the Axis “with everything we’ve got.”
Foreign dispatches hinted that a German declaration of war against the United States was forthcoming. Mr. Roosevelt warned of the real and immediate danger of a sneak punch – like that which rocked Pearl Harbor – on both our coasts, Atlantic or Pacific.
Other advices here suggested that Adolf Hitler might prefer for the time being to avoid actual war with the United States.
But in a war report to the nation that made previous fireside chats seem of small consequence in comparison, Mr. Roosevelt last night blunted no words in saying that we are in a fight for our collective lives – and that we will win the war, and the peace to follow.
The President’s warning that “Germany and Italy… consider themselves at war with the United States at this moment” brought from Congressmen the comment that it was a “realistic recognition” of facts.
Speaker Sam Rayburn sounded the tenor of general Congressional comment with:
Of course, we all think that Germany and Italy are going to follow the Japanese as brothers in this Axis agreement.
Mr. Rayburn has said that Congress would declare war on Germany and Italy as quickly as it did against Japan if those two countries decided to attack the United States.
Of what has happened in the Pacific, Mr. Roosevelt said:
So far, the news is all bad. Casualty lists will be large.
Acknowledging a “serious setback in Hawaii” and that the country must be prepared to hear that Midway, Wake and Guam Islands have been captured, he declared there was no impregnable defense against blows without warning and urged the public, the press and the radio to wait for the facts.
The President continued:
Most earnestly, I urge my fellow countrymen to reject all rumors. These ugly little hints of complete disaster fly thick and fast in wartime.
Aimed at spreading fear
He said the enemy spread many a rumor to create fear and confusion among the public and to goad the government to denials and admissions of information eagerly sought in Axis capitals.
Mr. Roosevelt said he did not yet know the “exact damage” at Pearl Harbor but that:
Admittedly, the damage is serious.
He dismissed as “fantastic” claims that Japan had gained naval control of the Pacific.
Mr. Roosevelt denounced Hitler, Mussolini and the Japanese warlords. He left no doubt that the war – the all-out, total world war – is on, with Great Britain and her Dominions, the Soviet Union, the United States and associated powers on one side, and the Axis on the other – all of the Axis.
Mr. Roosevelt said:
Remember always that Germany and Italy, regardless of any formal declaration of war, consider themselves at war with the United States at this moment just as much as they consider themselves at war with Britain and Russia. And Germany puts all the other republics of the Americas into the category of enemies.
Powerful and resourceful gangsters have banded together to make war upon the whole human race. Their challenge has now been flung at the United States.
We must be set to face a long war. The attack on Pearl Harbor can be repeated at any one of many points in both oceans and along both our coastlines against all the rest of the hemisphere.
‘Not immune from attack’
…our ocean-girt hemisphere is not immune from severe attack…
Your government knows that for weeks Germany has been telling Japan that if Japan did not attack the United States, Japan would not share in dividing the spoils with Germany when peace came. She was promised by Germany that if she came in, she would receive the complete and perpetual control of the whole of the Pacific area – and that means not only the Far East, not only all of the islands in the Pacific, but also a stranglehold on the west coast of North, Central, and South America.
We also know that Germany and Japan are conducting their military and naval operations in accordance with a joint plan. That plan considers all peoples and nations which are not helping the Axis powers as common enemies of each and every one of the Axis powers.
‘Final and complete victory’
That is their simple and obvious grand strategy.
So, Mr. Roosevelt said he had accepted the challenge and that we would accept no result except victory, final and complete. We are in the war, he explained, not for conquest or for vengeance, but for a world in which our children will be safe. He said we expected to eliminate the danger from Japan but that Hitler and Mussolini must go too.
He compared the actions of Japan in Asia and of Hitler and Mussolini in Europe and Africa for 10 years past and said:
It is all of one pattern.
Without warning – without warning – without warning.
10-year history cited
Again, and again, Mr. Roosevelt repeated that phrase as he cited surprise attacks by the Axis powers on peaceful nations – Manchukuo, Ethiopia, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Greece, Yugoslavia, the Soviet Union and finally, last weekend, Malaya, Thailand and the United States. His quick recapitulation covered 10 explosive years, 1931-41.
Mr. Roosevelt said of the Japanese attack in the Pacific:
We may acknowledge that our enemies have performed a brilliant feat of deception, perfectly timed and executed with great skill. It was a thoroughly dishonorable deed, but we must face the fact that modern warfare as conducted in the Nazi manner is a dirty business. We don’t like it – we didn’t want to get in it – but we are in it, and we’re going to fight it with everything we’ve got.
‘We’re in it all the way’
We are now in this war. We are all in it – all the way. Every single man, woman, and child is a partner in the most tremendous undertaking of our American history. We must share together the bad news and the good news, the defeats and the victories – the changing fortunes of war.
He promised to give the facts to the public as fast as they became available, provided first that a complete check be made on their accuracy and, second, that release of the information would not prove valuable to the enemy.
‘A trick of propaganda’
Many rumors and reports which we now hear originate with enemy sources. For instance, today the Japanese are claiming that as a result of their one action against Hawaii, they have gained naval supremacy in the Pacific. This is an old trick of propaganda which has been used innumerable times by the Nazis. The purposes of such fantastic claims are, of course, to spread fear and confusion among us, and to goad us into revealing military information which our enemies are desperately anxious to obtain.
Explaining that we will continue to supply other armies, navies and air forces fighting the Axis, Mr. Roosevelt said he had adopted two broad production principles:
A seven-day work week in war industry and in the production of essential raw materials.
Expansion of production capacity by building new plants, expanding old plants and using many small plants.
Enough food ‘at present’
He promised that the road to victory in the war and the peace to follow was one of hard, grueling, day and night work. But he found comfort in confidence that the nation was united at last, that the:
…obstacles and difficulties, divisions and disputes, indifference and callousness are now all past – and, I am sure, forgotten.
There is enough food “at present,” he assured the nation, to provide amply here and to leave much left over for export to less-favored partners in the anti-Axis drive.
No sacrifice would be felt or resented, Mr. Roosevelt was sure, by men privileged to serve in the Army, by citizens burdened with mounting taxes, or by those who must forego extra profits or curtail their manner of living. But he warned that there was a bitter shortage of metal and that half of the vital metals used for civilian consumption this year would have to be diverted to the war effort from now on.
Terrible lesson learned
But it was guns-and-butter for us in contrast to the guns-before-butter that Nazi Germany, fascist Italy and militaristic Japan have had to endure.
In 10 years of observing and patiently and peacefully opposing aggression, Mr. Roosevelt said he had learned a terrible lesson, the worst part of it, perhaps, in the past three days since war flamed in the Pacific. He promised that we shall not forget that there can be no security in a gangster-ruled word, that there is no impregnable defense against blows without warning, that our own hemisphere, our own coastal cities and towns are now in jeopardy and, finally:
…that modern warfare as conducted in the Nazi manner is a dirty business.
Washington (UP) –
Speaker Sam Rayburn (D-TX) said today that President Roosevelt’s statement last night that Germany and Italy consider themselves at war with the United States was “a very frank, lucid statement.”
Mr. Rayburn said:
Of course, we all think that Germany and Italy are going to follow the Japanese as brothers in this Axis agreement. The President in his address took the American people into his confidence and let them know that we have a big and hard job before us.
Senator Styles Bridges (R-NH) said the speech was a “clear analysis” of the situation, carrying a warning that the nation “must be prepared for any emergency in the Atlantic.” Mr. Bridges said he would not be surprised by a German declaration of war against the United States.
Senate Democratic Leader Alben W. Barkley of Kentucky said the speech was “a very frank and able presentation.” Chairman Tom Connally (D-TX) of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee called the address:
…brave and vigorous, voicing the determination of the nation and all our people to prosecute the war with every ounce of our strength.
Senator Claude Pepper (D-FL):
The President assured the country that we are going to not only win the war, but the peace.
Senator Walter F. George (D-GA):
The President has spoken for the country. He must have had strong reasons for all of the statements he made.
Senator Lister Hill (D-AL):
Mr. Roosevelt gave the nation every bit of information he would have been entitled to give.
House Republican Leader Joseph W. Martin of Massachusetts:
The President’s call for all-out effort for complete production from the vast American production machine is particularly deserving of a cordial, cooperative response.
Rep. Hamilton Fish (R-NY), agreeing that Germany and Italy consider themselves at war with the United States, said:
What I am interested in is whether we’re going to have a war resolution against them.
Chairman Sol Bloom (D-NY) of the House Foreign Relations Committee:
There can be no shadow of a doubt as to what the nation’s response will be to the speech.
By Paul Ghali
Vichy, France –
President Roosevelt’s broadcast to the American people Tuesday night was only heard here at 5 a.m. today, which means that few reactions are as yet available in Vichy. The full text of his speech is known only to a few officials whose lips are diplomatically sealed.
The President has, however, impressed his few French listeners with the fact that the war against the Axis is an “American national war” and that he had complete national unity behind him.
Vichy circles have undoubtedly been struck by the Japanese successes in the first few days of the war which give definite proof that the attacks were well-prepared. This feeling was emphasized by the reports that the British battleships Prince of Wales and Repulse had been sunk.
President Roosevelt’s decision to round up German and Italian nationals in the United States will, it is believed here, have quick repercussions among the Americans still in occupied France. According to a U.S. Embassy source, these Americans number approximately 700. Whether the Germans will apply an eye-for-an-eye policy, or whether only the most prominent Americans will be interned remains to be seen.
What will happen when Germany sides with Japan is in the laps of the gods. Japanese correspondents in Vichy are insistent that this eventuality may crop up in the next 24 hours and that a common German-Italian declaration is in the air, although nobody knows whether it will be a formal declaration of war or only declarations of sympathy for Japan.
New York (UP) –
The Rome radio, commenting on President Roosevelt’s speech last night, said today that it was “of such a manner that the functioning of the Three-Power Pact may be expected,” according to NBC’s listening post.
The Three-Power Pact is the Berlin-Rome military alliance under which Germany and Italy are pledged to go to the aid of Japan in the event she was “attacked” in the Pacific. The Rome broadcast was a further forecast of German and Italian declarations of war against the United States.
Majority to be placed in concentration camps supervised by Army, Attorney General says
Washington (UP) –
Attorney General Francis Biddle announced today that 2,303 Axis nationals have been taken into custody by the federal government. He said the majority would soon be placed in concentration camps supervised by the Army.
At the same time, Mr. Biddle disclosed that naturalization applications of German and Italian immigrants filed during the past two years would be held up for the duration of the war.
He told a press conference that the Axis nationals seized had been rounded up during a three-hour period in the Hawaiian Islands by military intelligence agents, and within two hours in continental United States by the FBI.
Mr. Biddle said those in custody included 1,291 Japanese, 865 Germans and 146 Italians.
Only a fraction
The aliens seized represent only a small fraction of the 1,100,000 Axis nationals living in United States territory.
Mr. Biddle said hearings would be held on the cases of some aliens whose seizures as “dangerous” persons may be reconsidered. The hearings will be conducted informally by a board of review similar to those set up to hear the cases of conscientious objectors under the Selective Service Act.
The hearings, he said, will start shortly and the Justice Department hopes to be able to use, in many instances, the personnel of various conscientious objectors’ review boards.
The boards, according to Mr. Biddle, will report their findings to him, and the final decisions as to the disposition of the cases will be left to him. He described as “very grave” the responsibility falling upon all concerned in those cases.
Mr. Biddle reiterated that all Japanese, Italian and German aliens not now in custody would be regarded as “peaceful and law-abiding” so long as they obeyed the regulations promulgated under a presidential proclamation issued yesterday.
Mr. Biddle said that several of the aliens now in federal custody undoubtedly would be granted their freedom, while others would be given:
…permanent paroles as a study of the English system showed this to be the best manner of handling them.
The parolees will be under the jurisdiction of the Justice Department’s Immigration and Naturalization Service.
The review boards, he said, will be organized locally and will consist:
…of eminent citizens not in the government.
The Attorney General said that the concentration camps so far planned are located at the forts in Montana, North Dakota and New Mexico, where Axis seamen had previously been sent. He said that everything possible:
…would be done to treat those seized fairly, as we have many of our own citizens in their countries.
He also announced the selection of Leo T. Crowley, chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., as head of a new division of the Justice Department which will deal with patents and other property of Axis nationals. He said this division would have functions comparable to the alien property custodian during World War I.
Mr. Crowley, whose appointment was approved by President Roosevelt, will also serve as Mr. Biddle’s alternate on the Economic Defense Board.
Hits ‘rough handling’
Mr. Biddle repeated that apprehension and detention of Axis nationals was a “job to be handled by the FBI alone” and he criticized the “rough handling of Japanese” reported in Seattle. He added:
They were very foolish to do it.
He said there was:
…absolutely no evidence of fifth column activity or sabotage, but we have already posted extra guards in all vital plants. We are taking no chances.
According to regulations promulgated under the President’s proclamations, “enemy aliens” – Japanese, Italians and Germans – are forbidden from affiliating with any organization, group or assembly designated by Mr. Biddle.
Their travel is restricted, and they are subject to seizure if they are found in areas designated as forbidden zones by the Justice or War Departments.
Mr. Biddle asked state and local authorities to prevent molestation or persecution of Japanese, German and Italian nationals. Special steps may be taken to protect the thousands of German Jewish refugees.
It was expected that an early step in enforcement of the regulations would be the purging of foreign-dominated organizations, such as the German-American Bund, of their alien membership.
No “enemy” alien can possess firearms or other material of war, shortwave receivers and transmitters and other signal devices, cameras, codes and ciphers, papers, documents, books, photographs, sketches or maps of military and naval establishments.
Airplane flights by Japanese, German and Italian nationals are prohibited, except where authority is given by the Attorney General or War Department. They are barred from highways, waterways, railways, subways, public utility plants, buildings and other places not generally accessible or used by the general public.
Berlin, Germany (UP) –
American correspondents on Berlin were barred from the official press conference today and were instructed to proceed to their homes.
The “request” was made by Minister Paul Schmidt of the Foreign Office Press Department:
…in view of the fact that, contrary to all international law, German press correspondents in the United States have been arrested.
New York (UP) –
Junius S. Morgan, recently called up for active duty as a lieutenant-commander in the U.S. Naval Reserve, has resigned as a director of U.S. Steel Corp., and as an alternative member of its finance committee, it was announced today.
Mr. Morgan had previously been granted an indefinite leave of absence from his executive post with the investment banking firm of Morgan, Stanley & Co., Inc.
Extension of trust periods on Indian lands expiring during calendar year 1942
By virtue of and pursuant to the authority vested in me by Section 5 of the act of February 8, 1887 (24 Stat. 388, 389), by the act of June 21, 1906 (34 Stat. 325, 326), and by the act of March 2, 1917 (39 Stat. 969, 976), it is ordered that the periods of trust applying to Indian lands, whether of a tribal or individual status, which, unless extended, will expire during the calendar year 1942, be, and they are hereby, extended for a further period of twenty-five years from the date on which any such trust would otherwise expire.
This order is not intended to apply to any case in which the Congress has specifically reserved to itself authority to extend the period of trust on tribal or individual Indian lands.
FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT
The White House
December 10, 1941
U.S. State Department (December 10, 1941)
740.0011 P. W./900: Telegram
London, December 10, 1941 — 1 p.m. [Received December 10 — 12:11 p.m.] 5974.
Personal for the Secretary and the President.
The Prime Minister, as you will have seen in the press, announced to the Parliament at 11 o’clock this morning the loss of the Prince of Wales and the Repulse. I was with him last night and saw him immediately following the announcement and have been constantly with him over the last few days. It seemed best to me that certain information should go from him direct to you rather than through the Embassy. I hope you and the Secretary approve. He feels that information from the Pacific calls for reconsideration of planning as you already know. Discouragements seem only to give him new courage and add to his determination.
Your speech to the Congress was carried on the BBC. It gave people great confidence here. I listened to your talk to the Nation last night. There was serious interference but it was repeated this morning, again at noon on the NBC. People here assume that we are in the total war together. News from the Middle East and Russia is good.
Washington, December 10, 1941 — 4 p.m. 908.
The Naval Observer in Martinique reported yesterday that Admiral Robert had informed him that the airplane carrier Béarn would leave today, December 10, on a 10 days’ cruise “for recreation for the crew.” At the same time the Navy received word that the French forces in Martinique were replacing the propellers on the grounded planes. A preliminary message was sent to Admiral Robert through the American Consul stating that this Government requested that the ships should not leave Fort-de-France since under present conditions the departure of the vessel will undoubtedly be subject to misinterpretation. The State Department has now received word that the departure of the Béarn has been cancelled by Admiral Robert.
In your interview with Marshal Pétain, please inform him of these circumstances and state that this Government appreciates the action taken by Admiral Robert in response to our request. Please request officially of the Marshal, however, as by the personal instruction of the President, that Marshal Pétain have addressed to Admiral Robert immediate orders not to permit the departure of any of the naval vessels now in Martinique or in the other French colonies in the Western Hemisphere from the ports where they may now be stationed. You may state that in view of the fact that the United States is now at war with Japan in the Pacific, and in view of the increasingly serious and critical situation in the Atlantic, the departure of the French vessels would give rise to grave concern on the part of the United States, and that, furthermore, should the vessels leave notwithstanding this request, steps would have to be taken by the United States as a measure of self-defense to prevent the departure of these vessels. As the Marshal well knows, and as the President has repeatedly made clear, it is the President’s hope that all misunderstandings and difficulties between France and the United States can be avoided, and it is because of his earnest hope in that regard that the President has requested you to deliver this message to Marshal Petain.
Please state in conclusion to the Marshal that the President would appreciate it if you could be furnished by the Marshal with a copy of the orders in the sense suggested which Marshal Pétain may cause to be addressed to Admiral Robert.
Vichy, December 10, 1941 — noon. [Received 4:47 p.m.] 1517.
Department’s 850, November 17.
Following is summary of Foreign Office note of December 9:
- If German Armistice Commission consents, France disposed authorize sale of Normandie reserving the right to repurchase under following conditions:
a. France will purchase in the United States petroleum products, foodstuffs and cotton goods with sale proceeds not exceeding one-third for each category. Purchases will be shipped to French North and West Africa upon resumption of economic plan.
- [b.] If France unable obtain German consent, departure three freighters from Mediterranean as stipulated paragraph 1 of proposals made November 19 by Maritime Commission to Henry-Haye, United States would:
Either renounce this stipulation while maintaining the other proposals of the Maritime Commission November 1;
Or permit chartering three freighters from Mediterranean to Spain for Spanish-American runs which Germans might accept more readily.
c. If France able obtain German consent departure three freighters from Mediterranean for United States-North Africa line, number French freighters in United States to be released and assigned this line to be four instead of three, French freighters chartered by Maritime Commission being reduced to four plus Normandie, tankers from Martinique to be chartered remaining three.
- Foreign Office will inform Embassy as soon as possible of definitive German position concerning departure three freighters from Mediterranean for North Africa-United States run.
Copy and translation of this note being forwarded airmail.
Repeated by airmail to Algiers and Casablanca.