American White Paper

ByJoseph Alsop and Robert Kintner
Two of America’s best reporters and an enterprising publisher produce an unofficial chronicle of Mr. Roosevelt’s pre-war diplomacy, as accurate, one would imagine, as any compilation bearing the Government’s own imprint. For the authors quote from a policy-maker’s diary and write as if they had access to the correspondence and personal memory of other policy-makers, even up to the Chief Executive himself. Two main conclusions will be arrived at by the careful reader: one, that no other foreign policy can be so informally conceived or executed as American foreign policy; secondly, that that policy is — or, rather, was — based upon lending the democracies every assistance, ‘short of war.’ The incidents attendant upon the policy-making provide entertaining reading and answer a few of the detailed questions which till now had never been answered. For instance, we see the 300-mile neutrality belt directly attributed to the President, in one of his grander improvisations. But the authors provoke as well as gratify. One would like to know, to take one incident, something more of the kind of eirenicon which the President thought his missioner to Europe, Sumner Welles, might launch.