House Resolution N




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1941
January 4. French Indochina was granted dominion status. (By decree. Times, Jan. 4. 1941, p. 2.)
January 6. President Roosevelt recommended to Congress lend lease for the Allies and enunciated the "Four Freedoms." ("I also ask this Congress for authority and for funds sufficient to manufacture additional munitions and war supplies of many kinds, to be turned over to those nations which are now in actual war with aggressor nations.

"Our most useful and immediate role is to act as an arsenal for them as well as for ourselves. They do not need manpower, but they do need billions of dollars worth of the weapons of defense.

"The time is near when they will not be able to pay for them all in ready cash. We cannot, and we will not, tell them that they must surrender, merely because of present inability to pay for the weapons which we know they must have.

"I do not recommend that we make them a loan of dollars with which to pay for these weapons–a loan to be repaid in dollars.

"I recommend that we make it possible for those nations to continue to obtain war materials in the United States, fitting their orders into our own program. Nearly all their materiel would, if the time ever came, be useful for our own defense.

"Taking counsel of expert military and naval authorities, considering what is best for our own security, we are free to decide how much should be kept here and how much should be sent abroad to our friends who by their determined and heroic resistance are giving us time in which to make ready our own defense.

"For what we send abroad, we shall be repaid within a reasonable time following the close of hostilities, in similar materials, or, at our option, in other goods of many kinds, which they can produce and which we need." (Congressional Record [Bound], Vol. 87, Pt. 1, pp. 44 47.)

The British Minister Without Portfolio, Arthur Greenwood, was assigned the task of study of reconstruction and war problems. ("The object will be to find practical solutions for the immediate problem of a transition from w to peace and also to outline and presently to amplify a policy for the years immediately following the war which will command the support of the nation as a whole and enable unit action to proceed in peace as in war." Times, Jan. 7, 1941, p. 15.)


January 10. German Russian agreements on barter and border matters signed at Moscow. ("The agreement regulates the trade turnover between the U. S. S. R. and Germany until Aug. 1,
267

268 EVENTS LEADING UP TO WORLD WAR II


1942. It provides for an amount of mutual deliveries considerably exceeding the level of the first year of operation of the agreement. . . . settling all problems connected with migration. . . . on the State frontier of the U. S. S. R. and Germany in the sector from the River Igorka to the Baltic Sea in connection with the admission of the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic into the Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics, which took place Aug. 3, 1940." Ibid., Jan. 11, 1941, p. 8. Cf. Aug. 19, Sept. 28, 1939, Feb. 12, June 16, July 21, Aug. 25, 1940, Supra.)
January 15. Secretary of State Hull advocated H. R. 1776 (lend­-lease bill) before House Committee on Foreign Affairs. ("The present bill sets up machinery which will enable us to make the most effective use of our resources for our own needs and for the needs of those whom, in our own self defense, we are determined thus to aid. The great problem of democracy is to organize and to use its strength with sufficient speed and completeness. The proposed legislation is an essential measure for that purpose. This bill will make it possible for us to allocate our resources in ways best calculated to provide for the security of this nation and of this continent in the complex and many sided conditions of danger with which we are, and are likely to be, confronted. Above all, it will enable us to do all these things in the speediest possible manner. And, overwhelmingly, speed is our greatest need today." Bulletin, Vol. V, No., 82, p. 89. Cf. Peace, p. 618.)
January 16. Secretary of War Stimson testified for the lend lease bill. ("Instead of being able leisurely to pick and choose and deliberately to arm ourselves, relying upon the then existing stability on the other side of the Atlantic, we are not only compelled to arm ourselves entirely by our own efforts but to do so at the very time when it is imperative that our American industry and plants should be working at top speed to furnish vital weapons of defense to Great Britain in order that she may meet the crisis which is confronting her this spring and summer, and thus preserve her fleet as a bulwark in the Atlantic Ocean." Times, Jan., 17, 1941, p. 7.)
January 17. Secretary of the Navy Knox testified for the lend lease bill. ("The struggle now going on is, fundamentally, an attempt by Germany to seize control of the sea from Great Britain. That is the reason why, from a military viewpoint, the war has so vital an interest to the United States. . . . If Germany becomes free to move across the ocean for the conquest of new territories, she most probably will move first into South America, to get hold of that great storehouse of national wealth. If the United States does not wish to face the consequences of the establishment in South America of aggressive military power, we should now prevent Germany from overturning the British sea power which holds the Nazis in Europe. . . . We need time to build ships and to train their crews. We need time to build up our outlying bases so that we can operate our fleets as a screen for our continent. . . . We need time to train our armies, to accumulate war stores, to gear our industry for defense. Only Great Britain
EVENTS LEADING UP TO WORLD WAR II 269
and its fleet can give us that time. And they. need our help to survive.

"If we fully organize the mental and material resources of the American people, we can give Britain that help and simultaneously can build a strong military defense for ourselves. The cost to us in money, effort, and sacrifice will be great but that cost will be far greater even in the immediate future should we now stand aside and let Britain fall." Ibid., Jan. 18, 1941, p. 4.)


January 19. Chancellor Hitler and Premier Mussolini conferred. (". . . comprehensive exchange of views relative to the situation . . . resulted in complete agreement of mutual opinions on all questions." Ibid., Jan. 21, 1941, p. 1.)
January 21. The United States lifted the "moral embargo" on exports to Russia. ("All of the articles and materials covered by what has generally been referred to as the `moral embargo' are included in the list of articles and materials now subject to the export license system." Bulletin, Vol. IV, No. 83, p: 107. Cf. Feb. 19, 1940, supra.)
January 24. Marshal Pétain designated a National Council of 188. (To advise the Chief of State privately on specific matters. Times, Jan. 25, 1941, p. 6.)
January 27. Marshal Pétain decreed all high officials should be personally responsible to the Chief of State. ("Responsibility is made effective by engaging the man who accepts it to the extent of his liberty, his property, and his life." Ibid., Jan. 28, 1941, p. 10.)

Ambassador Grew telegraphed from Tokyo: (paraphrase) "A member of the Embassy was told by my . . . colleague that from many quarters, including a Japanese one, he had heard a surprise mass attack on Pearl Harbor was planned by the Japanese military forces, in case of `trouble' between Japan and the United States; that the attack would involve the use of all the Japanese military facilities. My colleague said that he was prompted to pass this on because it had come to him from many, sources, although the plan seemed fantastic." Japan, Vol. II, p. 133.


January 30. Chancellor Hitler promised a historic year for the new European order. ("On land the number of our divisions has been mightily increased and their pay increased. War experiences have been evaluated by men and officers. Work has been done and work continues unceasingly. Equipment has been improved and our enemies shall see how it was improved.

"On the seas the U boat war will begin in the spring, and they will see that there, too, we have not slept. And the Air Force will also put in an appearance, and all the armed forces together will force a decision one way or another. Our production in all fields has been greatly increased. What others plan is reality to us. The German people stands behind its leaders, believing in their armed forces and ready to endure what destiny demands of it." Times, Jan. 31, 1941, p. 2.)

270 EVENTS LEADING UP TO WORLD WAR II
January 31. French Indochinese Thai armistice signed at Saigon. (Japanese mediation. Ibid., Jan. 31, 1941, p. 8.)

Under Secretary Summer Welles recommended lend lease. (". . . in my judgment, the course which is least fraught with danger, and which is most likely to make it possible for the American people to stay out of war, is for this country to increase its production of armaments to such an extent as to make it possible for us to make available to Great Britain on an ever increasing scale the armaments which she requires in order successfully to continue her war of self defense." Bulletin, Vol. IV, No. 84, p. 127.)

The Regional Conference of the River Plate approved a draft convention suspending most favored nation treatment for products among Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay (". . . conceding preferential treatment to the products of Bolivia and Paraguay, providing at the same time that special concessions granted for Bolivian and Paraguayan products shall not be extended to the signatory countries or to third parties . . ." Times, Feb. 1, 1941; . p. 18) and a resolution recommending study of a customs union. ("'Whereas, The interests of the countries participating in the Regional Conference of the River Plate can be conciliated in a manner that will benefit them all within an economic and commercial organization; and

"Whereas, It is indispensable to have access to permanent, markets of great consuming, capacity in order that the development of agrarian and manufacturing industries may rest on stable bases that permit production on a large scale under favorable economic conditions; and

"Whereas a permanent market of great consuming capacity can be easily achieved by combining the markets of countries participating in this conference, . . ." Ibid., p. 18.)
February 6. The Conference of the River Plate set up permanent regional headquarters in Buenos Aires. (To direct regional economic relations. Ibid., Feb. 7, 1941, p. 4.)
February 10. Britain severed diplomatic relations with Rumania. (". . . the essential development is that the German High Com­mand is building up in Rumania all the elements of an expedi­tionary force and has concentrated at various points large, supplies of munitions and oil fuel.

"Rumanian territory is thus being used by Germany as a military base in furtherance of her plans for prosecuting the war. These measures are being taken without a word of dissent from the Rumanian Government." Ibid., Feb. 11, 1941, p. 4. Cf. Oct. 8, Nov. 23, 1940, supra.)


February 12. Italy asked that United States consulates at Palermo and Naples be moved to Rome. (To a place not on sea coast. Bulletin, Vol. IV, No. 89, p. 249. Cf. Jan. 19. supra.)

General Franco and Premier Mussolini conferred. (". . . on all problems interesting the two governments at the present historic moment." Times, Feb. 13, 1941, p. 1.)


EVENTS LEADING UP TO WORLD WAR II 271
February 13. King Alfonso XIII of Spain renounced his throne in favor of his son Juan. (". . . it would be to deny reality if I did not take into account the fact that Spanish opinion–that of those who have struggled and who have triumphed–is anxious for the constitution of a new Spain which is tied closely and fecundly with the spirit of the glorious past and with the eager­ness to endow our people with the necessary capacity to realize their transcending mission in the future. . . .

"Not by my will, but due to the inexorable law of circumstances, perhaps my person would be an obstacle among those with whom I have lived and who followed, surely and with good faith, a different road.

"To some I would appear as a return to a policy that did not know how to avert, or could not avert, our tragedy and the causes which provoked it.

"For others I would be a motive of remorse and embarrass­ment.

"My duty is to remove these possible obstacles. . . ." Ibid., Feb. 14, 1941, p. 6.)

General Franco met Marshal Pétain. (To discuss matters re­lating to the prosecution of the war. Ibid., p. 1.)


February 14. Chancellor Hitler conferred with Yugoslavs. (Demanded they adhere to Axis pact, permit transit of troops and munitions, grant economic cooperation and passivity to German occupa­tion of Bulgaria. Ibid., Feb. 15, 1941, p. 2. ". . . concern­ing questions of mutual interest . . ." Ibid., p. 1.)
February 16. Britain mined Singapore waters. (To strengthen de­fenses there because of concern over Far Eastern situation. Ibid., Feb. 17, 1941, p. 1.)
February 17. Turkish Bulgarian nonaggression pact signed. (". . . having reached happy results after exchanges of views several times in the past, herewith determine the meaning of their re­spective foreign policies affecting their mutual interests and aims and thus safeguard the unspoiled confidence and friendship exist­ing between the two neighboring countries;

"To give proof of their pact of friendship which provides that there shall be inviolate peace and sincere and eternal friendship between the Turkish Republic and the Kingdom of Bulgaria;

"Desiring to continue their policy of confidence toward each other, which policy assures the security of peace and quiet in the Balkans in a most difficult moment through mutual consideration for their security; . . ." Ibid., Feb. 18, 1941, p. 4.)
February 25. Foreign Minister Matsuoka said the white race must cede Oceania to the Asiatics. ("This region has sufficient natural resources to support from 600,000,000 to 800,000,000 people. I believe we have a natural right to migrate there." Ibid., p. 1.)
March 1. Bulgaria adhered to Axis pact. ("Upon invitation of the German government." . . . Ibid., Mar. 2, 1941, p. 38. Cf. Feb. 14, supra.)

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March 4. The United States froze Bulgarian assets. (Cf. Mar. 1,. supra. Bulletin, Vol. IV, No. 89, p. 251.)
March 6. Britain severed diplomatic relations with Bulgaria. ("From, the nature of the German military movements in Bulgaria it is ­clear that the German aim is to menace and, if necessary, attack Great Britain's ally, Greece.

"By their agreement with the German Government the Bul­garian Government have facilitated the realization of this German aim and, apart from other measures which they have taken, they have gone so far as to proceed in connection with it to a large­ measure of mobilization. His Majesty's Government can only conclude from this that the Bulgarian Government, so far from only desiring to maintain neutrality in the present conflict, are ­now prepared actively to collaborate with Germany." Times,, Mar. 6, 1941, p. 2.)

The United States asked closing of Italian consulates at Newark, N. J., and Detroit, Mich., and information as to move­ments of military, and naval personnel. (Cf. Feb. 12, supra. Bulletin, Vol. IV, No. 89, p. 249.)
March 8. Japanese Ambassador, Admiral Kichisaburo Nomura dis­paraged the view that Japan was intent on military conquest unless compelled by the policy of increasing embargoes of the United States.

("The Ambassador sought to play down the view that such military conquest was really in the mind of his Government and he then said that embargoes by this country were of increasing concern, and that he did not believe there would be any further military movements unless the policy of increasing embargoes by this country should force his Government, in the minds of those in control, to take further military action. To this I replied that. this is a matter entirely in the hands of his Government for the reason that his Government took the initiative in military expan­sion and seizures of territory of other countries, and thereby creating an increasingly deep concern on the part of my own and other countries as to the full extent of Japanese conquest by force­ which was contemplated; that any country, has not been at fault and none of the nations engaged in conquest have, pretended seri­ously to charge it with any action of omission or commission in relation to the present movement of world conquest by force on the part of some three nations, including Japan . . . I proceeded to comment on Japan's line of activities and utterances by saying ­that his country and most other countries only proclaim and practice policies of peaceful international relationships, political, economic, social, and cultural." Peace, pp. 623, 626.)


March 9. Britain rejected plan to feed the small democracies. ("Noth­ing has since occurred to alter the view of His Majesty's Govern­ment that it is the responsibility of the German Government to see to the material welfare of the countries they have overrun, nor to weaken their conviction that no form of relief can be devised which would not directly or indirectly assist the enemy's war effort." Times, Mar. 10, 1941, p. 6.)

EVENTS LEADING UP TO WORLD WAR II 273


March 11. Lend Lease Act approved by President Roosevelt to extend lend lease aid to countries whose defense is vital to that of the United States. (55 Stat., Pt. I, p. 31.)

Thailand and Indochina signed peace treaty. (Because of Japanese mediation. Times, Mar. 12, 1941, p. 10.)


March, 12. Thailand and Russia exchanged notes establishing diplo­matic relations. (Forerunner to commercial relations. Ibid., Mar. 13, 1941, p. 6.)
March 13. The United States froze Hungarian assets. (Ibid., Mar. 14, 1941, p. 6.)

Germany, demanded Yugoslavia join the Axis. (Wanted access to Greece. Ibid., p. 1. Cf. Feb. 14, supra.)


March 15. President Roosevelt promised increasing aid to Allies for a total victory. ("The light of democracy must be kept burn­ing. To the perpetuation of this light, each must do his own share. The single effort of one individual may seem very small. But there are 130 million individuals over here. There are many more millions in Britain and elsewhere bravely shielding the great flame of democracy from the black out of barbarism. It is not enough for us merely to trim the wick or polish the glass. The time has come when we must provide the fuel in ever ­increasing amounts to keep the flame alight." Bulletin, Vol. IV, No. 90, p. 279. Cf. Peace, pp. 634 f. Cf. Jan. 6, 15, 16, 17, 25, 31, supra.)
March 16. Chancellor Hitler again predicted British defeat. ("The world is not here for a few people, and an order based eternally on the distinction between the haves and the have nots does not exist any more because the have nots have determined to lay claims to their portion of God's earth." Times, Mar. 17, 1941, p. 4.)
March 19. Great Lakes St. Lawrence agreement signed. (". . . for the cooperative development and utilization of the water in the Great Lakes St. Lawrence River Basin for navigation and power. . . . the construction of this project is regarded as directly associated with both the power supply and ship building phases of our national defense program, including the plan for defense of the Western Hemisphere and the determination to supply all possible aid to Great Britain, the members of the British Commonwealth, and their allies." Bulletin, Vol. IV, No. 91, p. 304. Cf. Aug. 18, 1940, supra.)
March 20. Under Secretary Welles confirmed report of impending German attack on Russia to the Soviet Ambassador, Constantine A. Oumansky. (He "had additional information." Peace, p. 638.)
March 21. Three Yugoslav Cabinet officials resigned. (Because of German demands. Times, Mar. 22, 1941, p. 1. Cf. Mar. 13, supra.)

274 EVENTS LEADING UP TO WORLD WAR II


March 24. Turkey and Russia issued communiqué promising each other to be neutral if either should be attacked by a third party. (". . . because statements have been published in parts of the foreign press to the effect that Russia might take advantage of difficulties in which Turkey might find herself in case of her being obliged to enter the war, and might attack Turkey." Times, Mar. 25, 1941, p, 5.)
March 25. Yugoslavia adhered to Axis pact. (". . . in the agreement between the Axis powers and the Royal Yugoslav Government the Axis power governments during this war will not direct a demand to Yugoslavia to permit the march or transportation of troops through the Yugoslav State or territory." Ibid., Mar. 26, 1941, p. 3.

"On this day on which Yugoslavia joins the tripartite pact she is doing so with the intention of assuring her peaceful future in cooperation with Germany, Italy, and Japan. Insofar as she is contributing her part to the organization of the new Europe, she is fulfilling the highest duty as much to herself as to the European community." Ibid., p. 1. Cf. Mar. 13, supra.).


March 27. British American naval air base agreement signed. ("Whereas the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, in consultation with the Govern­ment of Newfoundland, are desirous at this time of further effectuating the declarations made on their behalf by His Excellency the Most Honourable the Marquess of Lothian, C. H., His Majesty's Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, in his communication of the 2d September 1940, to the Secretary of State of the United States of America, a copy of which is set out in Annex I hereto and made a part hereof;

"And whereas it is agreed that leases in respect of the naval and air bases to be leased to the United States of America in Newfoundland, Bermuda, Jamaica, St. Lucia, Antigua, Trinidad, and British Guiana, respectively; shall forthwith be executed substantially in the forms of the leases set out in Annex ,II hereto, which are hereby approved, and that a similar lease in respect of a base in the Bahamas shall be executed as soon as possible;

"And whereas it is desired to determine by common agreement certain matters relating to the lease of the said bases as provided in the communication of the 2d September 1940, and the reply thereto of the same date from the Honourable Cordell Hull, Secretary of State of the United States, set out in Annex I and made a part hereof;

"And whereas it is desired that this agreement shall be fulfilled in a spirit of good neighbourliness between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the United Kingdom, and that details of its practical application shall be arranged by friendly cooperation; . . ." Cf. Aug. 20, Sept. 2, 1940, supra. (65 Stat., Pt. 2, p. 1560.)

Anti-Nazi coup d'état in Yugoslavia, (King Peter II assumed power with aid of General Dusan Simovitch. "In these serious days the people of Yugoslavia felt concern at the manner in which public affairs were being handled. This lack of confidence in the state of affairs created during the last few days was manifested

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