With the people so strong for peace no elected official dared advocate war (cf p 487). Even as late as March, 1941, a Gallup poll showed 83% opposed to foreign war. Before election all rearmament was for defense and all measures proposed were to be 'short of war' (cf p 509).
The winter of "hibernating" war, as the English termed it, which to the Americans had seemed "phoney", proved to be for the Germans a period of intensive preparation. The spring of 1940 brought the British fleet into the neutral waters of Norway. Then followed the rapid German thrusts north and west.
Meantime, in this country, the agents and friends of Britain were planning behind the scenes for war. Mr. Lamont's group, which had met without publicity late in April (cf pp 352, 357, 368, 379), were men of like mind who represented British and French interests. They were public spirited men who, while working for their own interests, sought to preserve what seemed to them essential to our 'way of life'. Some had played an active part in promoting 'the war to save democracy'.
Had this meeting not been held, Willkie might still have raised the millions to run for president, Harvard alumni might have successfully promoted conscription, and White might have acted as front for the "Committee" that brought us along toward war. But without the alliance between our federal Administration and the once hated 'economic royalists', the British Empire might have gone down.
"The hatred of Roosevelt which had burned for years in the hearts of big business men was already dying. . . . Some of the once--indignant . . . were even beginning to like Roosevelt now--for his foreign policy." The "long quarrel between the TVA and Commonwealth & Southern" had been settled for a price the taxpayer was to pay as a result of the strenuous work of its Morgan appointed president ( Allen, "Since Yesterday").
The Associated Harvard Clubs' annual meeting in May, 1940, in New York City turned out to be of political and historical importance. Thomas Lamont, most influential of Harvard alumni, always plays an important part.(1) Grenville Clark (cf pp 359, 363, 397, 425), most