To the Editor of the Crimson:
In the present controversy about the extent of aid to Britain, the enclosed appraisal of America's duties by so distinguished a liberal as Dr. Charles A. Beard should be of great interest. This statement was given to the Harvard Committee against Military Intervention, and expresses that committee's views on a pro-American policy.
The problem before us, as I am given to see things, involves more than 'aid to Britain' or even war in support of British policy in Europe. It is, at bottom, whether we are to build and defend a civilization on our continental domain or are to resume, in effect our former status as a dominion in the British Empire and rely upon British policy and arms for our very existence. In any case, the future will be difficult for us, as, indeed, the past has been, but trying to police the world would certainly be more perplexing and dangerous than operations based on our continental domain.
It appears to be axiomatic that the United States cannot dominate Britain, the British Empire, Europe, and Asia--cannot control their destinies, their forms of government, their political philosophies. On the other hand, for the task of carrying forward the work of developing our American heritage and defending it, we have the resources, the skills, the loyalties, the technology, and a favorable strategic position.
Pursuit of this American policy, I am convinced would be the only true fulfillment of the responsibilities clearly indicated by our history. It is worthy of our ancestors who founded this Republic. It is an American policy that will surely command the undivided loyalty of our youth. It is a creative policy, to which the United States will have to return some day.
Propagandists and politicians may possibly carry us into this war and into the ten succeeding wars in Europe. But at length Americans will have to come home and dedicate themselves to their creative obligations. So it would seem the better part of wisdom for us to assume our obvious task now than to come to it later, sickened, disillusioned, and bankrupted by another war 'for democracy,' 'for free enterprise,' or for any other slogan that may be invented for us by the war makers. Let us stand fast, therefore, by our American heritage, equip ourselves by hard work to improve upon it, and prepare ourselves by discipline and sacrifice to defend it to the last ditch right here in our own waters and on our own ground. Without questioning the sincerity or good intentions of our opponents, we may respectfully suggest to them that they may, today or tomorrow, leave their soft places of propaganda, go over the border into Canada, and offer their bodies and their treasures to their chosen cause. Charles A. Beard.
We believe that this policy of a humanitarian and common sense Americanism is the will of the vast majority, and we urge all who are opposed to military intervention in Europe to make their expression of this determination as vigorous as possible. Tutor Gardiner 1L, Seth Crocker 4c, Harvard Committee against Military Intervention.