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Reel Number: 221678-02
Color: Black and White
Year / Date: 1941
TC Begins: 14:04:54
TC Ends: 14:10:33
Ambassador Kennedy, Joseph - Statement About Hearings, 1941 MCU of Joseph Kennedy. Statement: “The habit of smearing an opponent because you disagree w/ what he stands for is a distinct menace to our free institutions; how can we maintain national unity when the morals of patriotic men are indiscriminately assailed. Intolerance breeds intolerance. No matter who wins this war, America faces most critical times. If at this early date intolerance of contrary opinion flourishes our future is dark indeed.” 14:05:39 ”Favorite device of an aggressive minority is to call any American, questioning the likelihood of a British victory, an “apostle of gloom - a defeatist.” I always believed that when the American people sent an Ambassador to a foreign country they expected him to report the facts as he saw them, the bright side & the dark side, the good things & the weaknesses. I never thought it was my function to report pleasant stories that were not true. 14:06:19 “The morale of the British nation defies description. It is as fine a display of human courage as ever has been witnessed. But what do we know about the morale of the German army, or of the German people?Have they this quality of toughness? Or are they brittle after 8 years of tyranny? These are but a few of the unknown elements which may well determine the final outcome. Thus a prediction now of England’s defeat would be senseless. One can recognize the enormous difficulties facing Britain without forseeing its defeat.” 14:07:12 ECU “If I am called an appeaser, because I oppose the entrance of this country into the present war, I cheerfully plead guilty. And so must everyone of you who want to keep America out of this war.” 14:07:30 “Unless we are attacked the American people do not have to go to war... 14:07:40 “Unless we are attacked the American people do not have to go to war. 14:07:55 “Unless we are attacked the American people do not have to go to war. They will not go to war if they will to stay out of war. There will be no American intervention while there continues to be free & open discussion while the people know all the facts & while our system of popular government functions.” 14:08:22 “I believe that after the hearings have been completed, there will be revealed less drastic ways of meeting the problem of adequate authority for the President. Fortunately out of the hearings the American people will learn what are the factors which it is claimed make the bill necessary. What is the meaning of its proposals in detail; and what powers are to be exercised.l” 14:08:53 “Personally I am a great believer in centralized responsibility & therefor believe in conferring all powers necessary to carry out that responsibility. Moreover I appreciate full-well that time is of the essence. 14:09:13 “The American people want to avoid war. If the leaders keep constantly before them what war means in terms of human tragedy; if congress is ever alert to the dangers of involvement, the national determination will be translated into effective action. And this country will not go to war. 14:09:42 “Eventually we may have to fight to defend our civilization. The future in that respect is unknown & unknowable. Let us all appreciate here & now that come what may in the fortunes of war, our easy life of yesterday is at an end. Our lot in the future will be a difficult one: win, lose or draw.” 14:10:19 “America has had enough of words. Our friends across the water want more than phrases, words will not give them armaments.” Abrupt end. Pre-WWII; Isolationism; Neutrality; 1941;
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