Excerpt from Munitions Industry, Naval Shipbuilding, Vol. 8: Preliminary Report of the Special Committee on Investigation of the Munitions Industry Pursuant to S. Res. 206 (73d Congress) A Resolution to Make Certain Investigations Concerning the Manufacture and Sale of Arms and Other War Munitions
The second of these is that the national necessity for a purely de fensive Navy shall not be confused with the private necessity Of the shipbuilders for continuing profits as a consequence Of the present close interdependence of the Navy Department and these private Ship builders.
The Navy is an instrument of national policy. Its growth and activities are watched abroad and take part in changing the foreign policy of other nations. Such changes work back to reshape our own national policy. The growth of a Navy contains within it the Seeds of armament races and wars as well as the legitimate seeds of a purely defensive national life insurance.
Because of this fact the naval shipbuilders are in a different position from road or building contractors who may move in on a Government, hungry for plunder, as one shipbuilder's lobbyist described a naval appropriation. These private shipbuilders are part Of the private system Of national defense which has grown up. Their activities ultimately have a bearing on our foreign policy.
Whenever the Navy becomes closely tied up to private shipbuild ing interests and asks for and is dependent on their support either in the securing Of appropriations or in the construction or designing of necessary ships or in the crippling Of our foreign policy, a dangerous and delicate situation has been created, and one which the country should go to full lengths to avoid and stop.
The technical developments of the present years are rapidly mak ing the armaments Of this Nation, particularly in regard to naval vessels and naval aircraft, approach those Of European countries in their effects. In Europe almost every major defensive weapon can be used offensively, and is regarded by other European nations as a distinctly Offensive weapon. With recent developments we are rapidly approaching that situation ourselves.
This is an additional reason for providing for a cessation of any dependence by the Navy on those who may be primarily interested in their own profits and who may be unscrupulously glad to be in a position where they can wrap the ﬂag around those private interests.
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