Excerpts on the subject of the United States taking possession of the Galápagos Islands, other islands on both sides of the Panama Canal, and other foreign-held lands. Page numbers in the Record as indicated.—JW.
p. 6931 (August 15, 1944)
Mr. McKELLAR. Mr. President, I submit a resolution and ask that it be read at the desk. It is short.
The VICE PRESIDENT. The resolution will be read.
The Chief Clerk read the resolution (S. Res. 320), as follows:
Resolved, That, in order to promote and protect the peace and security of the United States, it is the sense of the Senate—
(1) That any treaty or agreement terminating the present war against Japan, or settling the questions arising out of such war, should provide that the United States shall have and retain as its permanent possessions all islands which on December 5, 1941, were in the possession of or mandated to Japan and which lie between the Equator and the thirtieth parallel of latitude north, including Formosa and the Ryukyo Islands.
(2) That, in settling the questions arising out of the present war and in making provisions for the maintenance of peace, the United States should acquire as its permanent possessions Bermuda Island and all islands in the West Indies which are now the possessions of European nations.
Resolved further, that the President be, and he is hereby, requested to enter into negotiations with the Republic of Ecuador with a view to obtaining the Galapagos Islands as permanent possessions of the United States.
Mr. HILL. Does not the Senator desire the resolution to be referred to a committee?
Mr. WHITE. Mr. President, the Senator is not asking for immediate consideration of the resolution, as I understand it.
Mr. McKELLAR. Oh, no. I am merely submitting it and I ask that it be appropriately referred.
The VICE PRESIDENT. The resolution will be referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations.
Mr. REYNOLDS. … I am interested in the resolution submitted by the distinguished Senator from Tennessee, which has been referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations, so ably presided over by the distinguished Senator from Texas [Mr. Connally], a great American who is loved and respected by all of us.
The resolution submitted today by the Senator from Tennessee reads as follow: [The above Resolution is repeated here.—JW].
I believe that the resolution embodies an excellent idea. I shall be more than happy to discuss with my colleagues who are also members of the Committee on Foreign Relations the proposals contained in the resolution, because they are in the interest of the national defense of the United States.
Mr. McKELLAR. … So far as the islands near the Panama Canal, both in the Atlantic and the Pacific, are concerned, by reason of our experience with the islands in the Pacific, we should know that it will be absolutely necessary in the future, for the protection of the Panama Canal, which we own and which we built, for us to have those islands. We must have those islands, both those in the Atlantic and those in the Pacific.
There may be other islands, in addition to those I have named in the Pacific, which we should have. It may be that we should have some of the islands farther north. But if so, the resolution can easily be amended so as to make provision for that.
Mr. REYNOLDS. Certainly.
Mr. President, I was particularly interested in what the Senator had to say in his resolution in regard to the Galápagos Islands, which are off the coast of Ecuador. They are very important to our defense, both in the South Pacific, and the middle Pacific, and the Pacific. It is well that the Senator named those islands. They are of such physical structure that they could most advantageously be used. I think that suggestion on the part of the Senator was a very fine one.
I rather imagine that the Senator, in considering the protection of the Panama Canal, possibly had in mind the acquisition of Cocos Island, which is off the coast of Costa Rica, and is owned by Costa Rica.
Mr. McKELLAR. All the islands in the Atlantic and the Pacific, near the Panama Canal, are included.
Mr. REYNOLDS. I think that is excellent.
Mr. CHANDLER. … We must have direct owndership of all islands which, if in the hands of a weak friend, could not be protected by that friend when the show-down comes.
I assure the Senator from Tennessee and the Senator from North Carolina, the chairman of the Committee on Military Affairs, that I will be with them when
the showdown comes, and will be one of the supporters of the policy by which we will say to the nations interested, “We want you to give consideration at this time to giving us an opportunity to protect the people of the United States in the future.”
I thank the Senator very much.
Mr. REYNOLDS. Mr. President, the Senator's statement has certainly been a fine one. I know the Senator from Tennessee is greatly encouraged by it.
Mr. McKELLAR. Indeed, I am.
… I now proceed to the subject of the Pacific Ocean. The acquisition of the Galápagos Islands, off the coast of Ecuador, is necessary to the best interests of this country. The Ecuadorians are very fine people. I have found those in charge of their Government at Quito, their capital, to be very friendly persons who really appreciate our friendship. I believe they could be shown that it would be to their advantage for us to be the possessors of the Galápagos Islands, not only so that we could look after our own interests in the southern Pacific and in the middle Pacific but their interests in the Pacific as well.
p. 7074 (August 18, 1944)
Mr. McKELLAR. Mr. President, on Tuesday last, August 15, I submitted a resolution which I need not read but which I ask unanimous consent to have printed at this point in the Record. It is a resolution concerning islands in the Pacific and the Atlantic Oceans near our shores.
The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Without objection, the resolution will be printed in the Record.
The resolution (S. Res. 320) is as follows: [The above Resolution is again repeated here.—JW].
Mr. McKELLAR. Mr. President, this resolution has given rise to considerable discussion on the part of both invididuals and newspapers. I do not know that is is necessary for me to say why I offered it, but perhaps it would be better that I do so in view of some of the newspaper criticisms. [There follows a justifaction for retaining possession of various Pacific islands, including Formosa.—JW.]
The Galápagos Islands belong to Ecuador. I believe we have some air bases there, but we ought to own these islands by all means.
Ecuador owns the islands and I have no doubt we can make a peaceful arrangement with her by which we can acquire them. We have Ecuador's interest in mind. The Monroe Doctrine is still in force. We have duties under it.
Furthermore the Panama Canal which we constructed so many years ago is one of the most valuable canals in the world. It is tremendously valuable in peace and tremendously more valuable in war. We must preserve it at all hazards. The only way it can be certainly preserved from attack from the west is by owning those islands and it would seem that fair-minded people anywhere in the world would understand this.
[There follows a justifaction for taking possession of various British and French-owned islands on the Atlantic side of the Canal.—JW.]
These are the reasons why I submitted the resolution. Nor, have I ever talked to President Roosevelt about the matter in my life. He did not have the slightest knowledge of my purpose to offer the resolution. … He is not responsible in the slightest degree for it. I never talked to the Presient or Secretary Hull about it.
Mr. REYNOLDS. Mr. President, when I came from the Committee on Military Affairs this morning there was speaking on the floor of this body one of our most distinguished and most beloved Members, the distinguished Senator from Tennessee [Mr. McKELLAR]. I was greatly inspired by what he had to say in regard to our acquiring outposts for our national defense. [There follows additional justification for seeking possession of Russian-held Wrangel Island and for establishing military bases in Siberia.—JW.]
Mr. Wiley. [Senator Wiley asks Senator Reynolds to yield the floor, and then launches into a lengthy monologue on the state of the Wisconsin cheese industry, after which Senator Reynolds resumes his own speech.—JW.]
Mr. REYNOLDS. … I wish to finish these few brief remarks which pertain to the remarks of the Senator from Tennessee [Mr. McKELLAR] earlier in the day.
I am delighted and inspired by my distinguished friend, the Senator from Tennessee, being in favor of taking all the islands in the Pacific and in the Atlantic which we need to construct a band of steel around continental United States for the protection of our country. I want the Members of this body, and other readers of the Congressional Record, to know that I suggested such a course more than 4 years ago. In March of 1940 I introduced a joint resolution for the acquisition of British islands in the Caribbean and British Honduras. I ask unanimous consent that that joint resolution be printed in the Record at this point as a part of my remarks.
There being no objection, the joint resolution was ordered to be printed in the Record, as follows:
Resolved, etc., That the President is hereby requested to enter into negotiations in such manner as he may deem appropriate, with the Government of Great Britain for the acquisition by the United States of the islands of the Bermudas; the Bahamas—Jamaica with the Turks, Caicos, and Cayman Islands; Trinidad and Tobago; Barbados; the Leeward Islands—Antigua, St. Kitts, Nevis, Dominica, Montserrat, and Virgin Islands; the Windward Islands—Grenada, The Grenadines, St. Lucia, St. Vincent; together with British Honduras, in part payment for the indebtedness of such Government to the United States.
Mr. REYNOLDS. In April 1940 I introduced a joint resolution for the acquisition of French islands in the Caribbean and the North Atlantic Ocean. I ask unanimous consent that that joint resolution be printed in the Record at this point as a part of my remarks.
The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mrs. CARAWAY in the chair). Is there objection to the request of the Senator from North Carolina?
There being no objection, the joint resolution was ordered to be printed in the Record, as follows:
Resolved, etc., That the President is hereby required [sic, requested?] to enter into negotiations in such manner as he may deem appropriate, with the Republic of France for the acquisition by the United States of the islands of Martinique, Guadeloupe, St. Pierre, and Miquelon, in part payment for the indebtedness of such Government to the United States.
Mr. REYNOLDS. Madam President, I go further than does the Senator from Tennessee. I not only want to take St. Pierre and Miquelon, off the coast of Newfoundland, but I also want France to give us Martinique and Guadeloupe, which we find in the chain of islands leading from the Virgin Islands down to the coast of Venezuela.
Briefly in conclusion, I am today insisting, as I have been insisting for the past 5 years, that we build a band of steel around continental United States, so that we can protect our coastal area, so that we can protect our country, and so that we may never again be called upon to send a son or daughter of an American mother or father to any foreign land to fight in any war, regardless of what war it is.
Note: Under a “Brotherly Greed” heading, the August 28th 1944 issue of Time Magazine described the above proceedings as the antics of “Three Southern Senators not noted for their broad view of the world.” As for McKeller's designs on Galápagos, Time added a footnote:
Promptly, the anguished Ecuadorian Congress set swiftly about amending its Constitution to forbid the sale or transfer of any of its territory.
They needn't have bothered. Although both governments had been dancing around the subject for years before McKellar, and both would come back to it one more time in the future, the publicity surrounding the “Brotherly Greed” affair was enough to kill off any immediate prospects of a deal.—JW.