Yesterday and To-day in America
Publication
The Empire Club of Canada Addresses (Toronto, Canada), 19 Oct 1940, p. 129-147
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Speaker
Goggin, Victor, Speaker
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Text
Item Type
Speeches
Description
The speaker addresses us as a resident of the United States, voicing what he believes to be a cross-section of the opinion of the man on the street. Some recent history from the last quarter of a century, from 1914. Looking at the composition of the population of the United States. Influences of minority groups. The situation in 1938 in the U.S. The White War. The war of nerves. Doing all those things necessary to keep the United States from aiding its former Allies. Propaganda groups. A look at each of the propaganda groups: the Totalitarian Nations; the Democracies; the special interest groups, such as the Irish, the Jews, the Pacifists; the Non-Interventionists. The fifth columnists. The Frei Verein fur das Deutschthum, the German organization that looks after the organization of Germans abroad. How public opinion is swayed. How different things are when compared with the last World War. What censorship meant then, and now. The role of the tabloid newspaper, and radio. An illustration of how the propaganda worked. The example of the British War Debts. The lack of knowledge by the general public as to the true state of affairs in 1938-39. A review of the events of 1939, and the part propaganda and ignorance played. Now making ready to defend America. Measuring the task and seeing the time-lag that dilatory tactics had forced on us. Realizing that the British were fighting our enemy. Changing viewpoints. Britain furnishing us (the Americans) with Atlantic bases. Sending the destroyers. A change in propaganda, in volume and in purpose. Knowing what faces us if Britain falls. Knowing now that Britain is not going to fall. Maintaining and intensifying efforts to aid Britain. Some concluding words to show the feeling of the man on the street in the United States.
Date of Original
19 Oct 1940
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English
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The speeches are free of charge but please note that the Empire Club of Canada retains copyright. Neither the speeches themselves nor any part of their content may be used for any purpose other than personal interest or research without the explicit permission of the Empire Club of Canada.
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100 Front Street West, Floor H

Toronto, ON, M5J 1E3

Full Text
YESTERDAY AND TODAY IN AMERICA
AN ADDRESS BY VICTOR GOGGIN.
Chairman: The President, The Honourable G. Howard Ferguson.
Thursday, October 29, 1940

THE HONOURABLE G. HOWARD FERGUSON: Gentlemen: I have the very unique pleasure of presenting to you today Mr. Victor Goggin. Perhaps the fact that he has been residing for a great number of years in New York has given us all the impression he is an American citizen. You may have observed that we did not drink the health of the President. The reason is that Mr. Goggin has never given up his Canadian citizenship, and I think he is, and I know we are all, very proud of that fact. As a matter of fact, I don't know how he very well could, because I remember his father very well, who was a great Canadian and a British patriot. Many of you in this room will remember Dr. P. J. Goggin who was one of the early Presidents of this Club. He served it a number of years very actively and did a great deal to promote the very spirit we are trying to revive at the present time across Canada. I had the great privilege of knowing Dr. Gogginof knowing him very well personally-because he became the Editor of our text-books and when I was Minister of Education I was perhaps more pleased to take suggestions and directions from him than from most of the officials around the Department, because he had a delightfully persuasive, pleasant, earnest way of doing things and one always felt sure his motives were sincere and public spirited.

Today we have his distinguished son with us. I thought it would be a very nice thing if we had some Canadian who lives away from home in the atmosphere of our American neighbours, to come here and tell us exactly what the situation is down there, why it has been so, and what it is to-clay. It would be of very great interest and should clarify the views of a great many people in this country toward their neighbours.

I have the greatest pleasure in the world in presenting to you my good friend, Mr. Victor Goggin. (Applause.)

Mr. VICTOR GOGGIN: Mr. President and Gentlemen I thank you, Sir, for your kindly remarks, and you, gentlemen, for this most generous reception.

I take your applause as a tribute to the name I bear. I take it is a tribute to my father, rather than a recognition on your part of anything that I may have done.

The Empire Club was part of home to my father. His many friends in the Empire Club were part of the best in life to him. The accomplishments of the Empire Club were his pride and served as part recompense for a long life devoted almost entirely to public service.

I consider it a privilege to be here today to speak to you because it gives me an opportunity to do what my father would like to have done but, by reason of his nature, could never have done. That is to express publicly his thankfulness for your friendship and his appreciation and admiration of you all.

When your worthy President, in that artful way of his, asked me to come and address you today, I was at a loss for a subject. I knew that the Empire Club had heard a multitude of fine speakers on a multitude of subjects and there couldn't be much that was new or worth while left for you to hear. While I was mulling the matter over, it seemed to me that perhaps it would be fitting if I attempted to answer some of the questions about United States public affairs that Canadians ask me when they come to New York. While thinking of this, I happened to have a session with a group of our workers at The Maple Leaf Fund, and there I had to answer a host of questions as to why certain Canadians has said this and that about certain things American.

When thinking this over, it came to me that if today I could trace for you certain happenings and show their influence on public opinion in the United States, I would possibly furnish you with an understanding of the reasons for certain phases of American public opinion that seem unnatural to Canadians. All I propose to do is to tell you today a little of 'what will later be written in the history books about yesterday, in the hope that the recital may bring you the answers to many of the things that have seemed difficult to understand.

What I say is for myself alone, and when I use the term, "we", I speak as a resident of the United States, voicing what I believe to be a cross-section of the opinion of the man on the street.

There must be a beginning, so let us go back about a quarter of a century and follow history awhile. In 1914, with you of the Empire, we saw the lights go out over Europe. We were present and one with you, when they were relit on Armistice Day. Like you, we then hoped for Peace. We looked forward to the high promise of the new day, to the end of insecurity, insincerity, want and those things that make for war. The same as you, we did not take the warnings plain there for everyone to see. With you, we let Might take place of Right. With you, we let lies, deceit, insincerity become more commonplace than Truth. And like you, we did not say a word.

Equally with you, however, we shared a basic insecurity consequent upon all these things. Whether we spoke of it or not, we were haunted by a fear of im permanence in all our relations. We wanted a country, a home, something real, secure, dependable, in a slippery, shadowy and nervous world.

We watched and followed the Empire after the War. How we admired it as we saw it lift itself out of the mire by its own shoe strings. We have compared it with ourselves, and particularly since 1929, the way the Empire took hold and carried on, has made us proud we have a common tongue.

And that is the way we felt, and the way we felt about the Empire, as we in the United States came to 1938, the start of the White War-the war of nerves.

To understand and follow the course of any events involving human factors, we must have a knowledge of the capacity and interrelation of those factors. So let us start by looking at the composition of the population of the United States.

The United States is a country of large minorities, despite the fact that its language, literature and institutions stem from Britain. Out of a population of some one hundred and thirty-one millions, over one-third of the total population is foreign born, or the children of foreign or mixed parentage. The largest minorities in the country are from the Totalitarian countries.

Let us run down the list: Of Germans, there are six million eight hundred thousand; Italians, four million five hundred thousand; British, four million three hundred thousand; Irish, three million, one hundred thousand; of seventy-nine other nations, there are seventeen million eighty thousand; and of Negroes, twelve million.

There are more than half as many Germans in the United States as there are people in Canada. There are more than a third as many Italians as there are people in Canada. The total Germans and Italians in the United States approximates the total population of Canada.

Now, it is a known fact in any country that a well-organized and vocal minority pulls a great many times its own weight in affairs of public moment, and that minorities oftentimes consolidate and by furnishing a balance of power, make governments representative of blocs, not majorities. Such governments are not free governments.

And in election years, minority group influence increases. Have you any doubt in this election year in the United States, an election year that comes in a world crisis, an election year that finds the motherlands of the three largest groups in this country locked in a life-and-death struggle, an election year that finds the two largest groups in the country the representatives of the two greatest propaganda forces in the world, that these Nationals are not making their influence felt both in public and legislative matters? Are approximately eleven million people, well organized and apparently well supplied with money, passing up the chance to further a cause they are ordered to espouse?

You can have no doubt in your minds but that these minorities, knowing an election was due in 1940, knowing in 1938 that a World War was inevitable, placed their house in order to win for themselves such positions as would enable them to best serve their own interest and the interest of those whom they served.

So we're now in the United States early in the Spring of 1938, in a restless country, a country of many and large minorities, a country with more than ordinary undercurrents and cross purposes among its people.

The start of the White War was hardly noticed by the man on the street. But a pattern even then was there to be seen, a pattern that now has become clearly visible, a pattern designed to do all those things necessary to keep the United States from aiding its former Allies in any shape, manner or form, a pattern designed to prevent aid, whether it be in the form of men, money or material--Army, Navy or Air Force-a pattern designed to be worked out by propaganda.

At the start of the White War, the propaganda groups in the United States were many and had varied forms, and not all of them were bad. Who can quarrel with patriotic groups who believe their country to be the finest on earth and honestly think America can lick the world? I can't. All that is wrong with them is that they just don't know geography and physics, and I'm not going to attempt to educate them because they are much happier the way they are.

But I do quarrel with the propaganda groups in the United States who designed the pattern and are now working it out. Let us see who they are.

The first group comprises the Totalitarian Nationals, the Germans and the Italians and their friends. We may not like what they do and how they do it, but in a neutral country, they are entitled to do their work within that country's laws, and if they do not, we have the right to point out their defections to the proper authorities.

The next group are the Democracies. I only mention them lest you note the omission and wonder at the reason. As far as any regulated propaganda effort is concerned, it has been prohibited, and we friends of the Empire in the United States moan and growl when we think of the missed opportunities. I myself spent much time and much effort trying to get the "powers that be" in England to let us in America tell the truth about England. But it was to no avail. I was told that the truth always does come out in the end and that there was no need to hurry it. Luckily, circumstances over which these gentlemen had no control have advanced the situation immeasurably. I suppose I shall live to hear them say they foresaw these circumstances. If I do, I shall ask them why they didn't warn Mr. Churchill before Dunkerque.

And then we come to the special-interest groups, and they are the ones that have caused most of the vacillating thought in the United States.

Take the Irish for example. The bulk of them are from Southern Ireland, and they are for nothing much of any consequence, except their Church. But how they are against England! They don't know why, and it's no use arguing with them, but in the hands of skillful organizers with money, they are a power.

Take the Jews for another case. Of all the people on earth who should be solidly pro-English, they are the ones. But here is something of what happened. You will recall the Palestine difficulties of a few years ago. Well, that has been capitalized to produce thinking like this: "Sure Hitler is everything you say. He has been worse than brutal to us. But look at England. She let Hitler do all these things to us. Look how she has treated us in Palestine. She is against us just the same as Hitler." Clever organization and money can lead to thinking as absurd as this.

Take the Pacifists. They mean well but they wouldn't get far without organization and money. So, it is supplied, and opposition to furnishing aid to Britain takes on a new alias, "Pacifism."

Then we have the Non-Interventionists, and the Isolationists-those who believe in national bachelorhood for the United States. A few of them probably mean well, but their place in the sun could be identified by the banner, "No aid to Britain."

I could go on discussing the disguises of special groups indefinitely. I could discuss the subversive groups, such as the Communists, and describe how they are used to muddy the waters-an interesting subject in itself.

There were other agencies helping to disturb us. On every side there were and are books and pamphlets sold or given away under innocuous titles, but poison, pure poison, inside. And many of them have famous names for authors, but they weren't written under the urge for self-expression. They were produced by subsidy for a purpose, and the purpose in its ultimate end was "No aid to Britain."

And then we had those that today we would call the fifth columnists. The German Bund, I suppose, is a typical example. Under the guise of Americanism, they promoted the interest of their German masters. And how well schooled they were in the dissemination of subversive propaganda by word of mouth in the lower social strata.

Then there was the Frei Verein fur das Deutschthum in Ausland, the German organization that looks after the organization of Germans abroad. Do you know that every year for seven years some thirty thousand young GermanAmericans and Americans, certainly not all of German stock, were sent abroad under total or partial subsidy to see Germany? That they were well educated to do fifth column and propaganda work in this country is well known. Do you know that all these young people, who saw friends or relatives in 'Germany, are today in America almost as much in the Hitler Army as if they wore the swastika? Let one of them refuse the bidding of a Consul, and a letter or cable comes from Germany announcing a friend or relative in a concentration camp. The Nazis were smart enough to list these people and now they use them to force their will upon these young people. And that will now directs them in propaganda and espionage, and probably will soon direct them in sabotage They are a force to be reckoned with.

Have I made my point clear? The pattern of the propaganda calls for the support of a purpose which tends to delay and prevent, or does prevent, aid to Britain. Honest purpose is thus prostituted. Delays are set up. Public opinion is divided. Unrest becomes bewilderment. All this because those against Britain are skilled in organization and have money.

How can these things come about? How can public opinion be thus swayed? The answer is simple--men and money and the tools that are available for use.

The tabloid newspaper and picture section of some other papers have increased the general reading of the masses, and their head-line style and use of pictures permits the telling of a story, the building and supporting of an untruth, in a way that cannot be approached in ordinary journalism.

And there is the radio-the propagandists' pal.

How different things are when compared with the last World War. Then censorship really meant control. We had a chance to remain neutral, in thought at least, if we wanted to. How different today. We in the United States can no longer isolate ourselves from either news or propaganda. We are exposed to an avalanche of words against our wills and regardless of our capacity to absorb or discriminate.

It would be bad enough if we only heard the news reported by standard news agencies. But we are forced to listen to this news through the voices of commentators who sometimes reflect the size of their pay check or the views of their sponsors in biased sensationalism or subsidized inference. Our passions are aroused not only by facts, but by distortions of facts.

Every day, and every hour of the day, in some guise or other, we listen to doctrines that have destroyed liberty in a large part of the world. A check-up on who pays for this produces interesting findings.

It would be bad enough if we had available to our people only the facts and distortion of facts that emanate from our own sources, but radio passes freely over boundaries. Thus, we have boring in on us from abroad and disturbing our national consciousness, the propaganda of those who would set our minds to a task of their own choosing. And how skilfully it all is done. How well do they play their hand. How well they know that it is a rare mind that can truly evaluate a statement made in the tempo of radio. How well they know that the average radio listener is less critical, less intelligent and less educated than the average of those who are exposed to the printed word. How well they know how to use this unseen force to exploit us.

We're now at midsummer, 1938, still unrest, still undercurrents, still cross purposes, more politics than heretofore and increasing propaganda. We hear it constantly on every side as each innocent organization beseeches high heaven to behold how it grinds its axe to the everlasting glory of America.

This of which I speak, gentlemen, is not hindsight. I saw this pattern of which I speak; I saw it working out. It's there for everyone to see.

Can you blame the man on the street in the United States if he is a bit bewildered and if he does not seem sufficiently pro-British to suit some of you? Remember, he is an American first. That's where his home is.

Perhaps I had better give you a sample of how the propaganda worked. A good example, I believe, would be the British War Debts. To discuss these, we have to go back to 1922. At that time, Great Britain owed the United States $4,080,000,000. This was about a quarter of what was owed to Britain by her Allies and Germany. Britain then negotiated a settlement of her debt and started payments under this settlement in December 1923. Every year thereafter, until December 1930, every payment of interest and principal was met. Britain made total payments to the United States of $2,025,000,000. You will recall the financial debacle of the early 1930's. You will realize the absolute impossibility of Great Britain then making payments to the United States because payments of this nature can only be paid in goods and services or in gold. Payment could not be made in goods and services because in 1930 the United States erected the Smoot-Hawley Tariff against imported goods. Britain could not part with her gold or her capital assets abroad and retain her economic position, hold her budget in balance and keep her currency and finances on a sound basis. The United States could not have its cake and eat it too. If the door were closed against Britain's goods, the same closed door kept out Britain's gold.

These are facts. Let us be thankful they were as they were. Had Britain kept on forcing herself to make payments in opposition to sound economics, think how badly off she, and the United States, would be today.

But in 1932, the anti-British propagandists seized on Britain's so-called default, and by 1934 they had done their work, or at least the first part of it. The Johnson Act was passed, decreeing that no foreign debtor could obtain credits from America unless it had paid its debts in full. Check the date, 1934, in the Hitler history book, and you may sense the relationship between cause and effect.

But this wasn't enough. Skilled propagandists constantly gibed at what they called the dishonourable default of an honourable debt. They made no allowance for conditions though everyone in every country in the world was either forgiving debts or being forgiven. They seized upon years when Britain showed a budget surplus to point out Britain's defections from honourable practice, and this they kept up day after day. They demanded that Britain cease her preparedness programme and use the money to pay her debts instead. How glad the American people are today that Britain did not succumb to this pressure.

But how few people in the United States knew these facts. I firmly believe that until recently, and because of propaganda, at least 90 per cent of the people in the United States believed that Britain had made a complete default on her debts.

No longer do we hear that Great Britain will fight to the last American dollar. Great Britain's contribution in the last war, during the time when the United States was getting ready, is now being recognized. Britain's contribution in blood is at last recognized as far surpassing our dollars.

We are now at the end of September 1938. Munich is over, and we don't like it. What had the Czechs clone to deserve this? What was wrong with the Democracies? Could not Hitler be stopped? And this fellow, Chamberlain, with his umbrella, what about him? Was he an old woman, or what?

How little we knew of the facts. No one told us that as early as March, Mr. Chamberlain in an effort to help the Czechs had announced that in the event of unprovoked aggression against Czechoslovakia, British neutrality could not be counted on, and that in August, Sir John Simon had said the same thing. And this in spite of no agreement of any kind re assistance to Czechoslovakia. No one told us that in the early weeks of September, Mr. Chamberlain had suddenly come to a realization of how ill-prepared Britain was to enforce her demands. And we did not know how strong Hitler really was. We did not realize that conditions were as they were.

How few of us in America knew Mr. Chamberlain at the time. True, he was Prime Minister and must be a man of parts, but we did not in any degree consider him as really measuring up to his high post. You see we had not been told enough about him. We knew he was a business man, but that did not help. Our experience with business men in high places was not too encouraging. We did not know, or had forgotten, his work at the Treasury where as Chancellor, by sound methods he had put British finances into sound condition. We did not know that he was the housekeeper in Mr. Baldwin's household. We did not know that his great ambition was to put across a great programme of social reform. We will never know how much it hurt to give up his plans for the betterment of the people and accept plans for armament instead. We did not recognize him in his true light. We did not know the background of appeasement.

We did not understand. We took propaganda for truth, and Britain lost caste with us.

Let us pass Munich, and pass over time until March 1939. It is nine months since we reviewed the American situation. We find it much the same as before only "more so". But the "more so" particularly applies to our opinion of Britain because we have found out how ill-prepared she really is, and it disturbs us. We believe Hitler means war. and with England ill-prepared, well, it looks bad all around, and not too good for us.

And then Hitler marches into Bohemia and Moravia and nothing happens. What's wrong, we ask? Isn't Eng land ever going to stop this? None of us ever asks ourselves why we always expect England to do the work, especially when there are other people more vitally concerned.

Then comes the Polish Corridor episode. "That's fine," we say when Chamberlain says that German use of force in Danzig means war. John Bull is waking up. He is about ready to go.

We hear of the negotiations with Russia. That sounds like the John Bull of old-always the diplomat. Semper paratus, not a bad phrase that. Then a stunning blow--the Hitler-Stalin Alliance. Our old friend has fallen off the pedestal again.

Germany then moves in on Poland. Britain declares war. We are proud of her, but disturbed. We did not know that all France and Britain could possibly do was lend Poland moral support. When Russia came in and Poland was ravaged and cut apart without an apparent move on the part of France and Britain, we could not understand it. No one explained to us that there was nothing that could be done, but plenty of propaganda was supplied to show us how France and Britain, who were able to help if they would, had selfishly let Poland down.

Then the Russians went into Finland, a country for whom we have a very high regard. And we were almost as mad at the British for what they didn't do, as we were at the Russians for what they did. We never stopped to find out if Britain had a reason for intervention or to appraise her ability to help in a practical way, nor did we stop to figure the consequences of war on divided fronts. Nobody told us of these things, but we were told plenty about England's faults of omission and commission. When little Finland went down, we wrongfully lost a lot of faith in Britain, and through no fault of Britain at all. We did not know and we did not think.

As Finland surrenders, by reason of all the things of which I have spoken, is it any wonder that our man on the street is in a mental condition that gives his views a strange complexion to Canadians who have not been under the pressure of propaganda and have had the single incentive of war to guide their thoughts and direct their actions?

We are now in the middle of March, this year, and we are not at all happy. Between the war, the third-term issue, and our doubts we don't know where to turn. We are starting to think a bit about the future. What if Hitler isn't stopped? What does this activity in the Far East mean? Too bad we haven't a two-ocean Navy.

And all the time, the propaganda is in our ears or before our eyes.

The Daladier Government falls. We see Chamberlain constantly on the defensive. "Why can't those people get together?" we ask. "You can't win a war this way." At this moment, the propagandist whispers in our ear, "They're falling apart. Watch Hitler now."

As we watched England take a beating in Norway, saw Hitler invade the Low Countries and force their capitulation, and saw Belgium surrender, we were shocked and angered, and we looked to our weapons. At that moment, something akin to panic struck us. We found that if the Germans should suddenly win, capture the British and French Navies, and turn their war machine on us, we had no adequate defence. We were like the England we had deprecated a short while before.

But just then Churchill came in, and his ringing words gave us heart. We saw what happened at Dunkerque. The glory in that debacle thrilled us to the core. History was repeating itself. As at Crecy, Waterloo, Cape Trafalgar, Ypres, when the chips are down and the smoke gets thick something happens to the blood of British men of action, and they prove again that it is spirit, not equipment, that wins battles for those of our heritage.

That epic of history gave us heart. Too bad this had to happen, but it proved there is nothing really wrong with England. Give her time, and she will muddle through again. We must help her a bit, but we must look to our own knitting as well.

Then Italy came in, and France went out. England was left alone.

As she faced her enemy, and as we faced tomorrow, we asked ourselves the same question, "Can we defend ourselves?" Our answer was, "In time". But Britain's answer was in action. With what she had, she went "all out", and as she did, how she won us to her! In no country in the world does sheer guts get the acclaim it does with us. And England has been showing us sheer guts every hour, every day, ever since she took the task on alone.

As we took stock of ourselves, we watched Britain take hold of herself. We saw her make the sacrifices she should have made earlier. We saw her accept responsibilities she formerly had evaded. We admiringly saw come back into being the Britain of history.

As we watched and worked and thought, we listened to propaganda. But no longer did its varied plea divert us as it had. We now had a purpose, a resolve. We must make ready to defend America.

As we measured the task and saw the time-lag that dilatory tactics had forced on us, we suddenly came to a realization that the British were fighting our enemy. They were holding him back and weakening his force. They were giving us time to prepare. They prevented the French Fleet from possibly being used against us. They were protecting our Atlantic front while our Navy was in the Pacific. They were giving us the chance to defend ourselves at a distance while war was kept out of America.

With this realization, our viewpoint changed. No longer did we search for an excuse for not helping; we accepted almost any excuse that would help us to give aid. It might almost be said that the British forces came to be recognized as our first line of defence and that our primary duty become one of keeping them in supply. As we plunged into the task of developing our own armaments, in building a two-ocean Navy, and assembling and training an Army, we turned to every side to ask "What have we here we can send now?"

Britain's furnishing us with Atlantic bases was genuinely appreciated, and though the propagandists tried to build up a different story, the bases were accepted by us more as the friendly evidence of a new partnership than anything else.

We were glad to send the destroyers, everything else to the contrary. More will be sent if they can be spared. Don't pay any attention when you hear discussion pro and con regards this. Just remember this is an election year, and let it go at that.

By now the propaganda has changed, not only in volume, but in purpose as well. We hear new slogans on every side--"Defend America," "Aid Britain," "Defend America by Helping the Allies." "Even the old slogan, "Make the World Safe for Democracy," is polished up and trotted out again. This propaganda has all-American sources. Mercy ships are proposed to bring English kiddies to us. The Neutrality Act is changed. Open forums are held to discuss the rescinding of the Johnson Act. Daily you hear folks say that our "Cash and Carry" policy must go overboard.

As bombs fall over Britain, for the first time we soberly contemplate whether, or when, we should enter the war. Figures tell part of the story. If polls can cross-section public opinion, then the Gallup Poll reflects our thinking. Last May, when our people were asked whether it was more important for the United States to try to keep out of the war ourselves or to help England win, even at the risk of getting into the war, only 36 per cent said "Help England." But in September, 52 percent were aligned with Britain.

These figures do not mean that we desire to go to war. Nothing could be further from the truth. For us to make war, we must first have a cause or an incident. We have neither up to now. Even a sudden untoward incident, might not make us cast the die. For a great nation, such as we are, to go to war, the aggregate angers of a hundred million people must be loosened and merged into a rushing tidal wave of public opinion. No such condition exists today. As a nation we may have ceased being neutral, if ever we were. We may have become anti-Nazi, or proBritish, but we are definitely not now for war.

We have now moved with history up to a few weeks ago, up to that day when Germany, Italy and Japan announced their understandings. These did not, as intended, create fear within us. We were not prepared to accept a warning that we should stay out of the war and not continue to aid Britain, lest we find ourselves in war both in Europe and Asia. We declined to supinely accept other nations' dictates that from now on control of Europe is in the hands of Italy and Germany and control of Asia in the hands of Japan. We opposed the thesis that if we did not accept the foregoing, Europe and Asia would soon be found against us in South America.

Why was our back now so stiff? Did we not know what Hitler might do if he won in the near future?

Yes, we know what faces us if Britain falls. Hitler, with the greatest armada in world history, will probably come over and collect tribute from us. We will pay or see our seaboard cities laid waste. That does not concern us, because for Hitler to win, Britain must fall, and we now all know that Britain is not going to fall. Long before that happens, and better prepared than now, we will be found at Britain's side to ensure her victory.

From this day on, common sense, self-interest and humanity's cause require that we maintain and intensify our efforts to aid Britain. We shall not fail. Under safe skies, spurred on by the spirit and faith shown us by Britain, we will meet Britain's every need, and maybe yet, be one with her.

How easy it would be for me, as I close, to use a favoured artifice and win your approbation by indulging in prophecy prompted by some wishful thinking. I could look forward to the clay when side by side, with flags entwined, in democracy's cause, we marched forward to a united victory. Such a prophecy is built to order for a speechmaker in search of a finale.

There is insufficient basis at present for even the suggestion of such a thing. We are with you, but we cannot see that far ahead as yet. We must move step by step and prepare as we go.

I would like to leave you with the feeling of the man on the street in the United States, and I think I can do it best in these words

"This is my song,
Oh God of all the nations,
A song of Peace, of lands afar in mind.
This is my home, the country where my heart is, This is my hope, my dreams, my shrine.
But other hearts in other lands
Still beat with hopes and dreams the same as mine. My country's skies are bluer than the ocean
The sunlight beams on clover leaf and pine,
But other lands have clover leaf, too, and sunshine, And skies are often blue as mine.
Hear my song, thou God of all the nations, A song of Peace, for other lands and mine."

THE HONOURABLE G. HOWARD FERGUSON: Gentlemen, I am going to ask a very old friend of Dr. Goggin's, our guest's father, to say a word of appreciation.

DR. H. J. CODY: Mr. President, may I in your name express to Mr. Victor Goggin our profound gratitude for this splendid speech. It has been a masterly analysis of the conditions in the United States. It has made us realize the difficulty of the problem of uniting the United States behind one definite policy. It has been a splendid and accurate statement of the development, from point to point, of American public opinion, until, as he has said today, there is the desire on the part of the majority of the people in the United States to do all they can, short of going actually into the war, to give material aid and moral support to Great Britain.

I have been tremendously impressed by this address. I know you all have been and would wish to thank Mr. Goggin.

May I add something, just a sentence, that he couldn't say and wouldn't say. He is the head, as you know, of the Maple Leaf Fund, organized in the United States to secure financial support for various phases of Canadian war activity on the home front and overseas. Among other things, not long ago, through his kind offices, we at the University of Toronto were presented with a generous check to enable up to help pay for the expense involved in settling some British mothers and British children, wives of professors and sons and daughters of teachers in British Universities, and thanks to the timely aid, we were able to place safely twenty-two mothers and one hundred and forty-seven children. (Applause.) In your presence I would like to thank him for all he has done.

May I once more then, in your name, present to him our heartfelt thanks. We, in the old homeland, always rejoice when a son goes abroad and does well for himself and well for the country and well for the great cause of human freedom and justice and mercy under whose banner we all wish to think, work and pray, and give and fight. (Applause.)

THE HONOURABLE G. HOWARD FERGUSON: It always happens, when I ask Dr. Cody to do anything, he steals my thunder. However, the Doctor has done it exceedingly well and much better than I could.

On the suggestion of the President, the Honourable G. Howard Ferguson, P.C., it was agreed that the Empire Club of Canada should send a message of greetings and good wishes to the British Empire Club of Providence, Rhode Island, on the occasion of the celebration of its twenty-fifth anniversary.

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Yesterday and To-day in America


The speaker addresses us as a resident of the United States, voicing what he believes to be a cross-section of the opinion of the man on the street. Some recent history from the last quarter of a century, from 1914. Looking at the composition of the population of the United States. Influences of minority groups. The situation in 1938 in the U.S. The White War. The war of nerves. Doing all those things necessary to keep the United States from aiding its former Allies. Propaganda groups. A look at each of the propaganda groups: the Totalitarian Nations; the Democracies; the special interest groups, such as the Irish, the Jews, the Pacifists; the Non-Interventionists. The fifth columnists. The Frei Verein fur das Deutschthum, the German organization that looks after the organization of Germans abroad. How public opinion is swayed. How different things are when compared with the last World War. What censorship meant then, and now. The role of the tabloid newspaper, and radio. An illustration of how the propaganda worked. The example of the British War Debts. The lack of knowledge by the general public as to the true state of affairs in 1938-39. A review of the events of 1939, and the part propaganda and ignorance played. Now making ready to defend America. Measuring the task and seeing the time-lag that dilatory tactics had forced on us. Realizing that the British were fighting our enemy. Changing viewpoints. Britain furnishing us (the Americans) with Atlantic bases. Sending the destroyers. A change in propaganda, in volume and in purpose. Knowing what faces us if Britain falls. Knowing now that Britain is not going to fall. Maintaining and intensifying efforts to aid Britain. Some concluding words to show the feeling of the man on the street in the United States.