Frightened because he believes “that the American people are about to commit suicide,” President Hutchins last night pled with the nation to keep out of war for the sake of “suffering humanity.” His appeal was broadcast over the Red Network of the NBC at 9:30 p.m.
“Our policy should be peace,” he insisted. “Aid to Britain, China, and Greece should be extended on the basis most likely to keep us at peace, and least likely to involve us in war.”
He expressed apprehension at the tone of Roosevelt’s recent speeches. “The conclusion is inescapable that the President is reconciled to active military intervention if such intervention is needed to defeat the Axis in this war,” he stated.
President Hutchins then contended that we were not prepared, either physically or morally, to enter the war at this time, and that the only adequate way in which we could help humanity was to build up in America a true knowledge of the principles of democracy, while at the same time extending military preparation for any possible conflict.
All the pleads for aid to the Allies regardless of the dangers of a war he felt were based on untenable assumptions. What would happen if the United States did enter the war was a certainty. “Education will cease,” he said. “Its place will be taken by vocational and military training. The effort to establish a democratic community will stop. We shall think no more of justice, the moral order, and the supremacy of human rights. We shall have hope no longer.”
Pointing out that he had supported Roosevelt since he first entered the White House, and had never questioned his integrity or his good will, he said that nevertheless, the President was committing the United States to obligations abroad which “we cannot perform. The effort to perform them,” he fears, “will prevent the achievement of the aims for which the President stands at home.”
The end which he desires to attain by maintaining peace is to “build a new moral order for America.” Through this means, and this means alone, can America help “suffering humanity, and succeed in its crusade against the suppression of the four freedoms: free speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear.”