[Editor’s note: The following passages come from the final, climactic pages of the last chapter (89) of the 1953 version of Hoover’s Magnum Opus. These pages were probably written very early in 1953, not long after the presidential election of 1952. In this chapter, Hoover summed up, with remarkable candor and intensity, his revisionist indictment of the Roosevelt-Truman foreign-policy record.]
Chapter 89: A Review of Lost Statesmanship — 19 Times in Seven Years
There are those who still defend Roosevelt and Truman by blaming Hitler and Stalin for all the calamities which have come upon the world. That they were malignant and malign figures in human history needs no demonstration.
Any review of American and British lost statesmanship in dealing with them, however, has no excuse in history. Without these gigantic errors these calamities could not have come to the Western world.
I shall list those major occasions here lest the reader, in this maze of actions, has forgotten who was responsible for what and when. I refer the reader to those chapters in this memoir where the facts and reasons for their conviction are given.The World Economic Conference of 1933
The first time (of importance) that Roosevelt became lost in international statesmanship was his destruction of the 1933 World Economic Conference. This Conference was arranged by British Prime Minister [Ramsay] MacDonald and myself to take place in January 1933. Owing to the election of Mr. Roosevelt it was postponed until June. At that time the world was just beginning to recover from the world-wide depression but was engaged in bitter currency wars and multiplying trade barriers. The preliminary work had been done by experts. Roosevelt called ten prime ministers to Washington with whom he agreed to restore the gold standard in international transactions. Suddenly during the Conference he repudiated (“the bombshell”) these undertakings and the Conference cracked and died without accomplishment. His own Secretary of State Hull explicitly denounced this action as the roots of World War II.
The Recognition of Communist Russia in 1933
Roosevelt’s second lost statesmanship was in recognition of Communist Russia in November 1933. Four presidents and five secretaries of state — Democrats as well as Republicans — had (with knowledge of the whole purpose and methods of international Communism) refused such action. They knew and said the Communists would be able to penetrate the United States, carrying their germs of destruction of religious faith, freedom of men, and independence of nations. They considered our recognition of Soviet Russia would give it prestige and force among other nations. All of Roosevelt’s puerile agreements with them that they would not deal in their wickedness within our borders were on the record repudiated in less than 48 hours. A long train of Communists and fellow travelers were taken into the highest levels of administration, fifth-column action spread over the country, with a long series of traitorous acts during his remaining 12 years in the presidency.
I am not disposed to condemn the agreement at Munich in September 1938 for transfer of Sudeten Germans to the Reich because it was a hideous heritage from Versailles which made such action inevitable. However, by Munich Hitler opened the gates for consummation of his repeated determinations to invade Russia. Having gone that far in providing for the inevitable war between the dictators, the lost statesmanship was then trying to stop these monsters from mutual destruction.