"The Zones of Safety"


By CLARENCE BUDINGTON KELLAND, Republican National Committeeman for Arizona

Delivered before the National Republican Club, New York City, August 25, 1943

Vital Speeches of the Day, Vol. IX, pp. 761-765.

THE questions that confront us today, demanding answers, are so grave that no man should take upon himself the responsibility of speaking his opinion until it has become solid, definite and specific. He must not venture to address his fellow citizens until he has argued withhimself, until he has examined every aspect of the problems with open, unbiased mind, and has convinced himself beyond all doubt that the course he advises has been chosen honestly and wisely. He must have searched his soul. He must have cleansed his heart of prejudice. His mind must have

had such a house-cleaning that it shall be rid of past errors, of conclusions not reached by thought but by hatred, of the rubbish of inherited ideas and of partisan ambitions. He must have studied the mistakes and successes of the past in order that he may see how they have brought about the calamity of the present. He must have searched history and the conduct of the leaders of men and the tides that have swept nations to their destinies. This he must do to select from the turmoil of the ages those few sure sign-posts which mark progress toward that future which is our ideal; that happy state of mankind toward which we peer with hopeful eyes, toward which we grope with hands unskilled and fumbling.

Above all, a man who dares to speak, must have assured himself that the motive which moves him to let his voice be heard has in it no taint of bitter partisanship, no taint of ambition, no taint of malice toward any man or group of men but is only an honorable hope to contribute to the high end that all men, whatever be their race, whatever be their color, whatever be their wealth or poverty, wherever they reside upon the face of the earth, shall prosper, shall enjoy the life that God has given them in peace and in security. That their stomachs and the stomachs of their children shall be full, their homes shall be abodes of contentment and serenity, and their cries of want, of terror or of agony shall forever be supplanted by songs arising to their lips—such songs as men can only sing when they know that God is in his heaven and all's well with the world.

What shall we do, then, when our enemies have surrendered unconditionally and there is no might remaining in the world save the might of the victorious United Nations? With what materials, with what specifications, with what architecture shall we move upon the ruins of the old world and rebuild it so that it shall be stately, beautiful, a vast edifice under whose dome shall be peace, and plenty and freedom for all mankind?

Such a structure will crumble if it be built of tinsel. Its foundations must be the granite of reality; its girders must be of the steel of fact; it must not be roofed with the cobwebs of mawkish, impractical, imponderable idealism, but by a flawless copper sheathing of the practical, the possible and the workable.

When victory shall change her helmet for a crown of peace she will look down upon a world overcrowded with grim facts, with definite conditions that exist and which must be met and mastered. The first of these facts is three vast and populous nations will be prostrate, exhausted, powerless. Germany, Italy, Japan will have paid for their savage breach of the world's peace with the bitter coin of total disaster. Dozens of small nations will have been dragged down with them in a welter of ruin, starvation, pestilence, misery. All the force, all the integrity, all the power, all the wealth of the world will be in the hands or the control of three other powers, the United States, Great Britain, Russia. I do not mention wise and gallant China, because that nation is yet only a tremendous future possibility which must be bolstered and fostered until it can stand upon its own feet. Because China is not a producer of the engines of war nor of the machines of peace. Only those nations can win in war or enforce peace who are able to produce for themselves the planes, the ships, the guns, the munitions necessary to offense or defense. If you cannot produce you cannot enjoy independence save through the help of others. Nevertheless, ancient, wise China must be a full partner in all that we attempt.

America, Britain, Russia will be the great victorious producing nations, as Germany, Italy, Japan were the great defeated producing nations. The factories of our enemieswill be silent, and with their silence comes impotence. Therefore, all dynamic power in the world will be in the hinds of the United Nations. The rest of the peoples of the earth will be helpless before their combined might.

This is the first fact we shall encounter—half a planet helpless before the other half of the world armed and arrived. This is a tremendous fact from which all thinking aid planning must begin—that in three nations will reside for a period of years all power to do, to accomplish, and, perhaps most important, to compel.

I Many ardent and vocal idealists are directing their arguments and planning exclusively to the creation of a world in which there can be no war. To me it seems that war is but one of the more malignant evils which threaten the peace of future generations. War is a symptom, as the postules of smallpox are a symptom. Neither war nor postules are the disease itself. They are only the disease manifesting itself before our eyes. If we are to prevent future wars we dust find and eradicate the causes that will foment future wars. It must be no homeopathic dosage aimed at abating the symptom of war, it must be strong, bitter medicine prescribed only after scientific diagnosis to destroy the causes of war.

To one who views the world as an actual globe of material earth, populated by real, living human beings of flesh and blood, moved by the necessity to eat and to feed their families I do not believe it is possible to abolish war from the world. All wars arise in the hungry bellies of human beings and their object is to take land or gain access to land which will give them wherewith to satisfy their hunger. Until you eliminate hunger you cannot abolish war. This is a practical matter. You cannot fill an empty stomach with a rosy dream; you cannot eliminate famine with an international almshouse; you cannot put food in an empty larder by creating the beneficent fiction of a super-state nor by tossing the sovereignty of a dozen states into a common jackpot as a mawkish gesture of good will to man.

Our task today then, is not to fritter away our efforts In a vain attempt to make material a beautiful but impractical dream. Our task is to accomplish a definite thing; to take specific and definite steps; to get our feet out of the clouds and set them on solid rock. Our task is not to try for the unattainable, but to accomplish what can actually be done. Not in a single, spectacular bound, but laborious step by laborious step. Each step to be tested and proven before the foot is set down. This world is populated by men, not by gods, so let us not ruin all by trying to work miracles, but rather let us conduct ourselves as practical men, determined to bring about such good as is possible to earnest, diligent men who realize their limitations and know they are not endowed with magic powers. You cannot remake the world with incantations, conjuring charms or the mumbo jumbo of such voodoo priests as the gentleman who would cure all earthly ills with the fairy's gift of a quart a milk a day.

Men here and men there, men within our Republican Party and men out of our Republican Party are seeking to derive political advantage from an international chaos that should be far removed from partisan politics. They bellow accusations; they coo softly about their high and beautiful plans to remake the world; they claim to have found the universal panacea. They launch curses against any who venture to disagree with them. Under the specious guise of a fake humanitarianism they stir up discord and strife and a witch's brew of confused animosities.

But I say to you that it is impossible for a logical man to agree or to disagree with one of these individuals because not one of them has stated a proposition with which asensible man may agree or disagree. They offer no plan in specific terms. They supply no blue print. When it comes to being definite they are as evasive as a balmy summer breeze—and as imponderable. You cannot agree or disagree with a soap-bubble; all you can do is watch it wish amusement until it comes into contact with something real and solid and bursts. And then you know it was only an iridescent film surrounding nothing.

The time has come to present a considered plan, definite in its steps and specific in its details. The time has come to present to the American, people a blueprint of foreign policy made up of possibilities and realities. In order that the American people may have something specific to consider and study over, something they may understand, and understanding it, accept or reject.

Therefore, I offer you now a foreign policy, a postwar foreign policy, whose suggested details and whose general objectives any citizen may understand at a reading. It does not consist of generalities. It consists of actual things to do; of actual things which it is possible to do. I have called this blueprint of postwar foreign policy—The Zones of Safety Plan.

The First Zone of Safety:

The First Zone of Safety shall be to set up a trusteeship when this war shall have been prosecuted to the day of unconditional surrender. I propose that the trustees shall be Russia, Great Britain, the United States, the producing and effective nations, with China a full and equal member The assets which these trustees shall administer shall be the territories and people and economy of our enemies, the bankrupt nations of the earth, and of other nations who shaft find themselves in similar plight by reason of this war.

This trusteeship shall be indefinite in point of time. Its duties shall be to administer the assets of its wards during the period when anarchy, chaos, revolution may result from the collapse of governments. It will set up throughout the territories so held local governmental machinery responsible to the trustees. It will police the territories to prevent violence and riot. It will restore order and aid in the rehabilitation of the peoples of these nations by sustaining and making potent local governmental machinery. It will protect private property and the safety and civil rights of the populations. It will not hinder but will assist the several nations in the establishment of such kind of government as each shall select. It will conserve the assets of each nation in order that, at the proper hour, the nations, one by one, shall be released from the trusteeship as going concerns.

It will, as one of its first objectives, exert itself to restore France to its rightful place as a First Class Power, and as soon as France shall have recovered from her tragedy and be able to function as one of the great nations of the world, admit her as a full member of the trusteeship.

The trusteeship shall not attempt forthwith to make any redistribution of territories of populations, nor shall it conduct itself as possessing the right of conquest.

It shall assume its duties of Receivership immediately upon the collapse of our enemies, but shall settle by negotiation only the immediate terms upon which hostilities shall cease.

It shall establish an International Commission whose duty it shall be to study the structure of Europe and of the world. This Commission shall not be a Peace Table empowered to settle the terms of final agreement between the warring nations, but shall be a fact finding body whose labor it shall be to present to the trustees a concrete plan for the elimination of causes of war. That this shall be no hurried process but shall proceed with efficiency, moderation, wisdom and titanic labor to discover and to suggest how territories nay be redistributed, access to raw materials essential tolife and prosperity be assured, national venom be abated, problems of language and race be solved to the end that every nation, large or small shall be assured of safety from jealous neighbors and be guaranteed economic security.

Neither the trustees nor the Commission shall coerce any of, the nations under their control in the matter of their choice of governmental structure, but shall encourage each nation to establish such a form of government as is best suited to its people and its condition.

The trusteeship shall continue until either the Commission shall have evolved a just set of specifications for Peace and tranquillity and security, or until by the march of events and the passage of reasonable time these questions shall have solved themselves. Then and only then shall binding and final treaties be entered into, the Commission discharged, and the trusteeship terminated.

The Second Zone of Safety:

The Second Zone of Safety shall be erected as a deterrent against the emergence of any predatory nation or combination of nations among our late enemies. It shall be a concord among the victor nations, Great Britain, China, Russia, the United States of America for offensive or defensive joint action directed against any nation threatening to breach the peace. Such a combination would be so imposing, so powerful that no nation would dare to challenge its just and jointly stated will.

The Third Zone of Safety:

In the event that the First Zone of Safety shall fail to insure peace, and that it is impossible to establish a permanent concord among the victor nations, a Third Zone of Safety is proposed. In the event that the first or second shall fail or in event that dissension shall arise among the victor nations which cannot be composed, then the Third Zone of Safety shall be a permanent Defensive Alliance between the United States of America and Great Britain. This alliance shall provide that the two great democracies, the two great English-speaking nations, shall act as one in case of attack upon either by any nation or combination of nations. This alliance should not be ephemeral but should be permanent and openly declared to the world.

That the security and prosperity of Great Britain and the United States are so intertwined as to necessitate an open affirmation to the world of their indivisibility is proven by the facts of history. The fact that panic gripped this land at the very thought that the British Grand Fleet might fall into the hands of Germany is a visible demonstration of this truth. The fact that the United States was compelled to intervene in the First World War is a visible demonstration of this truth. The fact that, before Pearl Harbor, this nation was compelled to be a de facto ally of Great Britain, supplying her with munitions of war and food and moral support, is a demonstration of this truth. The prospect of the disappearance of the British Grand Fleet as a bulwark interposed between Europe and America brought temporary realization of this truth to our people. For nearly a century there has been a necessary but unstated and intangible relation between Great Britain and the United States which [has amounted to alliance.

Had there been no doubt in the mind of Nazi Germany; had they not hoped the United States would and could be prevented from entering this war on the side of the United Nations, it is doubtful if Hitler would have dared embark upon his career of conquest. If now, as a Third Zone of Safety this permanent alliance be brought into actual and legal being, then any nation with predatory intentions will be compelled to face it as a fact, will be given notice thathe must be prepared to dare the combined might of the two great democracies fighting as one with all their resources of wealth, manpower and productivity, then that marauder will think twice before he acts.

The last definite vestige of a Foreign Policy which this nation has exhibited was the enunciation of the Monroe Doctrine. Since then, to the day of Pearl Harbor our Foreign Policy has been makeshift, hit or miss, day to day and opportunist. It has been hoping for the best while taking no measures to prepare for the worst. From the presidency of Mr. Monroe until this day the Monroe Doctrine has been accepted by Great Britain. It could not have been maintained without the cooperation of Great Britain during the greater part of a century. Great Britain was our unacknowledged ally in the preservation of the two Americas from foreign aggression.

In fact, if not by signatures signed to treaties, the two nations have been companions in arms, companions in aims, essential to each other. For generations this was true to the Eastward, upon the Atlantic Ocean. The moment we entered Pacific waters with the annexation of the Sandwich Islands, and of smaller islands of the South Seas this interdependence extended to the Pacific Ocean, and when we took upon ourselves the burden of the Philippine Islands it further extended itself to remote Asiatic waters. It is not pleasing to our pride, but just as Great Britain has relied upon our sometimes reluctant cooperation and friendship, so have we relied for our safety upon the British Fleet. Because we know that our interests were in the main the interests of Great Britain, and that, in time of need, her Fleet would be interposed between us and European or Asiatic Enemy.

Therefore, it is only honest and realistic that we should jointly acknowledge and avow this alliance, make it permanent, definite as to terms and patent to the world.

It is a policy of insurance for both nations. We should take out that policy, pay our premiums, and notify the world that we have done so. It will be the most tremendous step toward permanent peace in the world that the mind of man can conceive.

The Fourth Zone of Safety:

The Fourth Zone of Safety looks specifically to the Western Hemisphere. It should be a concord, an entente among the nations of North America and the nations of South America—between Canada, the United States and Mexico on the north, and our sister republics of the southern continent. It should be a concord both military and economic. But its first and chief article must be that every nation from Terra del Fuego to the northernmost reaches of Canada will stand as one, contributing every resource against any invasion, against any attempt to make conquest of American soil. This is not a mere Good Neighbor Policy. It is a policy of American Solidarity against any non-American nation threatening the territorial integrity of any American nation, large or small.

The Fifth Zone of Safety:

The first four Zones of Safety have been based upon international collaboration, if possible between all nations, if not possible between groups of nations acting for the common good. I come now to the Fifth Zone of Safety. Even the most rabid global thinker can not charge isolationism or improper nationalism if at last, in fifth place, I bring up the safety and security of our own country. Our safety and security individually. If, finally I desire as a citizen of the United States to take some selfish thought as to ourown people, our own broad lands and lakes and rivers and mountains. If I suggest a Fifth Zone of Safety as insurance of our own house against fire.

I hope it is not possible, but it may be possible that the four preceding Zones of Safety will not work. It is thinkable that all of them might fail and that the United States would be left alone to face a hostile world. I believe that I hive arrived at a point in the argument where I dare to think of that, to speak of that, and to make the suggestion that, come war or peace, upheaval or revolution, come whirlwind or convulsion, come hell or high water, the United States of America must and shall be made impregnable.

Our nation must build, and maintain, a fleet the most powerful in the world. Not a two-ocean navy but a five-ocean navy. It must provide itself with an air force so numerous and efficient as to stand alone. It must continue a standing army of sufficient size and training. From this day forth our country must not merely be able to prepare for war, it must stand panoplied, equipped to the last button, and ready for war.

I But that is not enough. We must so ring our land with defenses that no nation, no coalition of nations, shall be able to penetrate our fortification to reach our shores. We do not want, we do not need, territorial aggrandizement. We are reluctant to extend our borders, but at last we must face realities, respond to no wave of mawkish sentimentality, no silly surge or renunciation or unselfishness. We must at last be selfish, with the future, the impregnability of our country clearly in mind. We must take what we must have. And we must have such spots on the surface of the earth as will ring this land with a mighty circle of Gibraltars through whose cordon no enemy can ever penetrate with invading army or fleet to reach our shores. As our Fifth and Final Zone of Safety we must possess, by friendly negotiation if we may, by occupation if we must, those points, those islands, those bases which will perfect the fortification of the United States. The islands of the Pacific in what number and in what location are essential to us, must become ours to have and to hold. The Pacific Ocean must become an American Lake, not to hold in selfish exclusiveness. Not to impair the freedom of its waters to the commerce of the world. Not to seize commercial advantage, but to guarantee that there never can be another Pearl Harbor. To see to it that no foe can have a jumping off point for treacherous attack. What we acquire we must fortify. We must create naval bases, flying fields, fortresses imposing in strength. Not to be held as threats against the peace of any nation, but as guarantees of the peace of our own nation.

We must not content ourselves with fortifying the Pacific. We must turn to the Atlantic, and there again, we must acquire by treaty or by occupation such islands, such territories as we deem necessary to our safety.

First, we must go far afield, Dakar and Casablanca on the bulge of Africa, are spearheads for the invasion of the Americas. They must be ours in permanence, ours to fortify and make strong. Because possession of them will frustrate plans of aggression by sea or by air.

We must have for our own, permanent naval and air bases upon the island of Iceland, and upon the mainland of Greenland.

We must maintain and continue and perfect and enlarge our base upon the Island of Bermuda. We must move nearer to our shores and consider the defense of our southern shores and of the Panama Canal. We must make equitable arrangement if we can for the possession of the islands of the Caribbean Sea. These islands are now the possessions of our friends and our allies, but we must labor in friendship andwith high reason to work out a plan, involving proper payment in kind or in cash, whereby title may pass to us.

We must extend the Monroe Doctrine in that negotiation. It now proclaims that no nation across the seas may acquire another foot of American soil. Let us in friendship and with generosity and equity of consideration endeavor to procure a cession of other territories to ourselves, or to our South American neighbors, or to the inhabitants of the territories as independent states, every foot of American soil now flying the flags of nations across the sea. To the end that America shall be wholly American. And to the end that America shall be wholly secure.

This I offer as a specific, detailed, concrete blueprint of our Postwar Foreign Policy; as America's contribution to world peace.

But in it all I make one reservation, one important, essential reservation. In what we do, in what we offer, in our collaboration with other nations for a better world, there must be no surrender of the sovereignty of the United States; no abatement in her status as an independent, individual nation. We will collaborate but we will not amalgamate. We will become part of no Utopian Super-state, no partner in Union Now, no tail wagging at the end of any dog. But a nation, proud, just, generous. A tuition righteous in intention and mighty in performance. A nation separate, distinct, independent, individual until the end of time. We will do our share and more than our share. But when we have done it, when the end has been attained, we must and shall remain a sovereign and separate state—the United States of America, one, indivisible, permanent and indestructible.