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The Alan Gregg Papers

Letter from C. Phillip Miller to Alan Gregg pdf (184,833 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Letter from C. Phillip Miller to Alan Gregg
Miller writes this letter regarding the formation of the Emergency Committee to Defend America First, and asks Gregg for suggestions of prominent men to sponsor it.
Number of Image Pages:
4 (184,833 Bytes)
1940-08-07 (August 7, 1940)
Miller, C. Phillip
University of Chicago. Department of Medicine
Gregg, Alan
Reproduced with permission of the University of Chicago.
Medical Subject Headings (MeSH):
World War II
Exhibit Category:
Director of Medical Sciences, 1930-1945
Box Number: 17
Folder Number: 10
Unique Identifier:
Document Type:
Letters (correspondence)
Physical Condition:
August 7, 1940
Dear Alan:
Mr. Lowden's secretary has arrived and I am imposing on her good nature to write you about a matter which I would have brought up if we had gone to New York this week.
Can you suggest the names of any prominent men who might be willing to sponsor an organization being formed in Chicago to try to keep us out of this war? It is being organized by a young law student at Yale named R. Douglas Stuart Jr. (son of one of the Quaker Oats Stuarts), a fine young fellow, enthusiastically in earnest. He has got General Wood (Chairman of the Board of Sears, Roebuck and Co.) to head his comittee with a good number of big shots as members, including:
General Charles G. Dawes,
Hanford MacNider,
Eddie Rickenbacker,
Louis J. Taber (head of the Grange),
Merle Thorpe (U. S. Chamber of Commerce)
James D. Mooney (General Motors),
Edwrd L. Ryerson Jr.) of Chicago
Sterling Morton
Phil LaFollette
He is trying to avoid pacifists. I am enclosing a statement of his principles.
What I am wondering is whether either of the Fosdicks might be worth asking. You would know in general how they feel about non-intervention.
Can you suggest anyone else who might profitably be approached?
Florence's father endorses the principles wholeheartedly but he is terribly reluctant to lend his name to any "movement" with political implications in an election year. Florence and I are still working on him, however.
I, personally, feel that the danger of our entrance into the war transcends all other issues at the present time, but most of the people I know disagree with me.
I should like to see some important representatives of American medicine and of "the higher learning in America" on that list. Stuart thinks he is going to get Dykstra (President of Wisconsin) and Charles Beard (the historian). You are more likely than anyone else I know to be aware of the convictions on this matter of the sort of men I have in mind. If any likely names occur to you, would you be good enough to let me have them? I shall assume that you do not wish to be quoted as suggesting a name unless you give me special permission to do so.
With best wishes from us both,
Very sincerely yours,
C. Phillip Miller
Emergency Committee To Defend America First
1. The United States must now concentrate all its energies on building an impregnable American defense.
2. American democracy must be preserved by keeping out of the European War.
3. Further extension of "aid to the Allies" beyond the limitations of cash and carry weakens our own defensive strength and threatens to involve America in war abroad.
To express and promote opinion favorable to the above principles.
To counteract the forces leading this country toward war.
To give sane national leadership to the desire of the majority of the American people to keep out of the European War.
To register this opinion with Congress.
To bring together all American people who see eye to eye on these principles regardless of differences on other matters. (This does not include Fascist, Communist, or pacifist persons.)
1. National Committee of prominent representatives of all points of view and occupations. Ultimately this Committee shall consist of two persons from each state. It shall be non-partisan.
2. Executive Committee of fifteen members of National Committee to formulate policy and to supervise the execution thereof by the Director. (General Wood, the Chairman, will pick the executive committee from those members of the National Committee.)
3. Director to run the National Headquarters and carry out the detail work. This office will handle publicity and radio work. All work must be approved by the Chairman.
4. Local Committee of locally prominent citizens who will supervise activities of local director.
5. Local Director to run the local office. In most cases this individual is already contacted. He will be responsible to Local Committee.
6. National Treasurer. This individual, whom the Chairman shall select, will be responsible directly to the Executive Committee.
Initial Program
1. National Advertising
(a) A national campaign announcing the Committee's existence as a rallying point for public opinion (to be run immediately on completion of the committee).
(b) A series of national advertisements timed to counteract rising hysteria urging Americans to keep their heads.
2. Letter Campaign
A simple statement of our objectives will be mailed to all persons on the large mailing lists of Senators Taft and Wheeler. (Senator Wheeler's list is approximately 15,000.) They will be urged to write the President and their Congressmen.
3. Local Campaign
Local directors throughout the country will be selected from those who have volunteered their services. These men will direct a local campaign consisting of local publicity, circulation of petitions, holding of meetings, etc.
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