"Problems connected with the War Department occupied Mr. Roosevelt until the moment his special train left Washington. Louis Johnson, Assistant Secretary of War, conferred with the President aboard his private car, and did not leave the train until it was pulling out."
Arrived at Warm Springs, Mr. Roosevelt referred jocularly to his spring farewell, "I'll be back in the fall if we don't have a war". He had heard from Kennedy Great Britain would be ready for war in September. Hitler was expected to bomb London. That would bring us in.
"We have had war", said Roosevelt to the children, and he went on, --"I believe in war",--against paralysis. This may have seemed a bit light-hearted from one who holds the power of life and death over millions of "sons of American mothers", whom defensively he says he does not "intend to send overseas". A month before, denouncing the anti-war "breast beaters" and "dishonest fakers", he had assured us "The U.S. is neutral and does not intend to get involved in war".
But there are those who feel that we are not neutral and already at war. Rep. Vorys has been unkind enough to remind the President that he did not intend to run up the debt to more than 40 billions.
When Senator Walsh attempted to introduce into the preamble of the new "neutrality" act that the U. S. "desires to serve notice to the world that it intends to keep out of participation in the war", Senator Connally, acting for the administration, angrily shouted that they didn't "Want to tell the world what we are going to do".
Only "unendurable violence", the headlines announced, can force America into war. Assistant Secretary of State Messersmith, Roosevelt spokesman, addressing the Boston Chamber of Commerce thus assured us late in November, of our 'neutrality'. (But who is to determine what is "unendurable"?)
Of Messersmith, December Fortune tells us "Washington wags have dubbed him the Dorothy Thompson of the State Department".(2) He "yields to no man in his hatred" of Hitler. "In 1935 he predicted that Hitler would be overthrown within a year. . . . His views that we must fight Germany . . . undoubtedly carry weight in Administration circles."