• U.S.

FOREIGN RELATIONS: Butler’s Millions

1 minute read
TIME

Nebraska’s plodding Republican Senator Hugh Butler traveled 20.000 miles through Latin America on his own purse last summer, getting madder at the New Deal’s Good Neighborliness at every mile. Last week he made two reports to the U.S., one in Reader’s Digest (“Our Deep Dark Secrets in Latin America”), the other, a 176-page message to the Senate.

In a farrago of wild charges, ill-tempered shots at Latin American governments as well as his own, and oldtime partisan oratory, snowy-haired Hugh Butler charged that over three years the U.S. was spending $6 billion to win friends south of the border. (In an appendix, his figures grew to $8 billion.) Into the cost of Good Neighborism, Butler had even put the $75 million cost of operating the Panama Canal. He had charged to Latin American good will the $292 million the Navy spent on Caribbean and Canal defenses.

Hugh Butler’s mathematics got quick corrections. Tennessee’s bulb-nosed Kenneth McKellar interrupted Butler’s oratory to set the cost of Good Neighborliness at $2,207 million. Few hours later, Interamerican Coordinator Nelson Rockefeller totted it up, got less than $600 million. Henry Wallace summed up: “fantastic figures … a shocking slur.”

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