The Pittsburgh Press (October 26, 1941)
No appeasement –
Nazis blasted by Roosevelt
U.S. foreign policy also stiffened in Pacific
Washington, Oct. 25 (UP) –
The United States sent two blunt notices to the world today that appeasement had disappeared from American foreign policy.
To the troubled Orient went one of the messages. The United States Army dispatched a top-flight flying officer to take over the bomber command in the Philippines.
The other went to Europe. President Roosevelt, in a strongly-worded formal statement, declared that “those who would ‘collaborate’ with Hitler or try to appease him cannot ignore this ghastly warning” of Germany’s execution of “innocent hostages” in France.
En route to Manila
The sending of Maj. Gen. Lewis H. Brereton to Manila – he is already en route by Clipper – was regarded as evidence that the United States is preparing for any eventualities in the Far East. It was also taken as a refutation of reports, in connection with the rerouting of war supplies to Russia, that the United States was softening its attitude toward Japan.
General Brereton, at 51, one of the youngest American major generals, is regarded in Army circles as an outstanding expert on the command and use of the new long-range four-engined bombers.
His appointment recalled recent discussions to the effect that in case of war with Japan the American Air Force mission in the Philippines would be used to cut and harry Japanese supply routes to the continent through the China Seas.
Navy free for action
Such tactics would leave the Navy free for deep-water action. There has also been speculation concerning the use of heavy bombers from Manila, in the event of Far Eastern hostilities, against Japan’s communication systems and munitions centers.
General Brereton was in command of the light bombardment wing at Savannah, Ga., and his new post will be the command of air forces under Lt. Gen. Douglas MacArthur, commander of American Army forces in the Far East.
His appointment came after it was revealed that the Army Chief of staff, General George C. Marshall, had informed a Congressional committee that war materials was being given priority in shipments to the Philippines. The number of Flying Fortresses and other heavy bombers in the Philippines is unknown but several consignments have been sent in recent months.
President Roosevelt condemned the execution of hostages in Europe as an attempt to break the spirit of people in occupied sections by terrorism. It was expected that the statement would be shortwaved into France in keeping with the program for keeping the people of Europe informed of developments which would be kept from them by local censorship.
The President said:
The practice of executing scores of innocent hostages in reprisal for isolated attacks on Germans in countries temporarily under the Nazi heel revolts a world already inured to suffering and brutality. Civilized peoples long ago adopted the basic principle that no man should be punished for the deed of another. Unable to apprehend the persons involved in these attacks the Nazis characteristically slaughter fifty or a hundred innocent persons. Those who would “collaborate” with Hitler or try to appease him cannot ignore this ghastly warning.
The Nazis might have learned from the last war the impossibility of breaking men’s spirit by terrorism. Instead they attempt to develop their “lebensraum” and “new order” by depths of frightfulness which even they have never approached before. These are the acts of desperate men who know in their hearts that they cannot win. Frightfulness can never bring peace to Europe. It only sows the seeds of hatred which will one day bring fearful retribution.
Assistant Secretary of State Dean Acheson said in a New York speech that “the immediate foreign policy of the United States is to meet and defeat the supreme challenge” of Nazism.
Mr. Acheson, speaking before the Foreign Policy Association, said that if Nazism should win, no free peoples could survive.
The American policy, he said, is:
…a recognition that the hope for decency and freedom and security in the hearts of men and women everywhere depends for its fulfillment upon the defeat of Nazism.