PEARL HARBOR: Tempting Target

Down South there was Winston Churchill,burrowing his toes in Florida’s sand. In Washington there was the PearlHarbor Investigating Committee, its Republican members eager to burrowinto what pledges, if any, Franklin Roosevelt and Churchill hadexchanged before Dec. 7, 1941. The temptation was too strong forMichigan’s Senator Homer Ferguson to resist. Hopefully he moved, “inutter seriousness,” that the committee ask the former Prime Minister tobe a witness.

The Democratic explosion was awesome. Up jumped Pennsylvania’sCongressman John W. Murphy, shouting: “It would ill behoove thiscommittee. … It would not be showing much courtesy.” Illinois’Senator Scott W. Lucas cried: “Fishing expedition . . . ridiculous!”

Next day, when temptation and tempers had cooled, the motion was put tovote. Only one Republican—California’s Congressman Bertrand W.Gearhart—joined Senator Ferguson. By a vote of 6-to-2, the committeelet Winston Churchill relax.

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