The House Committee on Foreign Affairs

The House Committee on Foreign Affairs

The House Committee on Foreign Affairs

The House Committee on Foreign Affairs

Excerpt

On December 7, 1941, while Japanese bombers were attacking American territory, I was preparing the preface to this monograph which I had revised and completed some seven weeks previous. In the face of this aggression there resulted a characteristic unity of purpose between the executive and legislative branches of our government in order to prosecute the war to a successful conclusion. Until such success has been achieved any discussion of congressional efforts to shape and determine American foreign policy must necessarily be academic. Because I believe that a return to a period of peace will revive the contest between the President and Congress on matters of foreign policy, I have not been dissuaded from setting forth my findings on one fragment of this large subject. This monograph, originally intended to be a full length study of the role of the House of Representatives in foreign policy, has been whittled down to an analysis of the Committee on Foreign Affairs. As a pre- doctoral fellow of the Social Science Research Council, I was able to spend a year in Washington, studying the issues at first hand. For this privilege and encouragement I record my indebtedness to the Council.

Much of my labor in Washington would have been futile had it not been for the kindness and generosity of the late Sam D. McReynolds, chairman of the Committee, who placed at my disposal the extant records of that Committee. I drew exhaustively from them as well as from the wide personal knowledge of Mr. McReynolds who often was able to supplement the Committee's records by reference to his personal correspondence and his own recollection of events as he saw them in his sixteen years on the Committee. His secretaries, Mr. P. Lincoln White and Mrs. Lucille Schilling, cooperated with me to make my research easier. The former clerk of the Committee, Mr. I. R. Barnes, was more than generous with his time. Only his intimate acquaintance with Committee procedure and details could . . .

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