As staunch as his six-foot, two hundred pound frame are the isolationist convictions of Representative Ham Fish, who stated in an exclusive interview in Washington last Thursday that he would not be trailing behind in the fight for peace despite the drift of public opinion against him and the bush-bush policy of the Eastern press.
Standing as solid as Gibraltar on the floor of his office a block from the Capital building, the former Harvard football captain began an uninterrupted discourse with a blast at interventionists who failed to sign up in the last war.
"It seems strange that President Charles Seymonr of Yale University should be urging our participation in the war when Yale undergraduates will be called upon to do the fighting, whereas Mr. Seymour, who was only 32 when we entered the World War did not, as far as the records disclose, serve in our armed forces," Ham Fish pointed out.
"Neither did the President of Princeton University, Mr. Harold Willis Dodds, who was under 30 in 1917 and who is now likewise one of the most active interventionists."
Representative Fish was with the Yanks in 1917 and received the Croix de Guerre and the Silver Star Citation for Gallantry in Action. As a reserve he was training with the army during the maneuvers at Plattaburg last summer.
"As a liberal who believes in the fullest freedom of speech, Ham Fish was loath to criticize President Conant for his Interventionist arguments. "I am in accord with his views on measures short of war in aid to Great Britain," he stated, "but am not for any shortcuts to war such as sending our ships into the war zones or conveying British merchant ships.
"If the Neutrality Act is amended or repealed to permit our ships to go into the war zones, they will be torpedoed and we will be in the war within a few months."
Convinced that the "Eastern interventionist press, a number of college presidents, and powerful interests" are railroading the nation toward war, Representative Fish urged that the American people, ninety per cent of whom he believes against intervention, be given a hearing.
"If we are involved in war it may be that children yet unborn will be fighting on foreign battlefields, and that millions of American youth will pay the supreme sacrifice in China, Africa, and Europe. There is no such thing as a half-way war. Once war has been declared it will be total war, and a total war will mean dictatorship, bankruptcy, and the blackout of all American liberties and of our free institutions, and the advent of Fascism or national Socialism in America."