The experience of the past
two years has proven beyond doubt that no nation can appease the Nazis. No man can tame a
tiger into a kitten by stroking it. There can be no appeasement with ruthlessness. There
can be no reasoning with an incendiary bomb. We know now that a nation can have peace with
the Nazis only at the price of total surrender...
The people of Europe who are defending themselves do not ask us to do
their fighting. They ask us for the implements of war, the planes, the tanks, the guns,
the freighters which will enable them to fight for their liberty and for our security.
Emphatically we must get these weapons to them in sufficient volume and quickly enough, so
that we and our children will be saved the agony and suffering of war which others have
had to endure.
Let not the defeatists tell us that it is too late. It will never be
earlier. Tomorrow will be later than today.
Certain facts are self-evident.
In a military sense Great Britain and the British Empire are today the
spearhead of resistance to world conquest. They are putting up a fight which will live
forever in the story of human gallantry.
There is no demand for sending and American Expeditionary Force outside of
our own borders. There is no intention by any member of your Government to send such a
force. You can, therefore, nail any talk about sending annies to Europe as deliberate
Our national policy is not directed toward war. Its sole purpose is to
keep war away from our country and our people...
Democracy's fight against world conquest is being greatly aided, and must
be more greatly aided, by the rearinament of the United States and by sending every ounce
and every ton of munitions and supplies that we can possibly spare to help the defenders
who are in the front lines. It is no more unneutral for us to do that than
it is for Sweden, Russia and other nations near Germany, to send steel and
ore and oil and other war materials into Germany every day of the week.
We are planning our own defence with the utmost urgency; and in its vast
scale we must integrate the war need of Britain and the other free nations which are
No pessimistic policy about the future of America shall delay the
immediate expansion of those industries essential to defence. We need them. It is the
purpose of the nation to build now with all possible speed every machine, every arsenal,
every factory that we need to manufacture our defence material. We have the menthe skill
-the wealth and above all, the will.
I am confident that if and when production of consumer or luxury goods in
certain industries requires the use of machines and raw materials that are essential for
defence purposes, then such production must yield, and will gladly yield, to our primary
and compelling purpose.
I appeal to the owners of plants-to the managersto the workers-to our own
Government employees-to put every ounce of effort into producing these munitions swiftly
and without stint. With this appeal I give you the pledge that all of us who are officers
of your Government will devote ourselves to the same whole-hearted extent to the great
task that lies ahead.
As planes and ships and guns and shells are produced, your Government,
with its defence experts, can then determine how best to use them to defend this
hemisphere. The decision as to how much shall be sent abroad and how much shall remain at
home must be made on the basis of our over-all military necessities.
We must be the great arsenal of Democracy. For us this is an emergency as
serious as war itself. We must apply ourselves to our task with the same resolution, the
same sense of urgency, the same spirit of patriotism and sacrifice as we would show were
we at war.