Courtesy Reuters

The American and British Munitions Investigations

DURING the past two years the munitions industry has been under investigation in both Great Britain and the United States. The report on the results of the British inquiry was published as recently as October 31, 1936; the last section of the more voluminous American report had been published on June 19. The investigations were due in both cases to an aroused public opinion resulting from revelations made in course of the disarmament discussions at Geneva, as well as from books and articles published in this country describing some of the grosser aspects of the traffic in arms and armament. Among these was an article entitled "Arms and the Man," appearing in the magazine Fortune and depicting the financial interlockings, political ramifications, propaganda activities, and vast earning power of the armament makers of Europe. This article, published in March, 1934, was shortly afterward reprinted in the Congressional Record. On April 12 following, the United States Senate adopted a resolution directing an investigation by a special committee of seven Senators into the activities of munitions makers and dealers in the United States.

About ten months later, after the Senate investigation had begun to bring out evidence in which British concerns were frequently mentioned, the British Government decided to follow the American example, and on February 19, 1935, it set up a Royal Commission on the Private Manufacturing of and Trade in Arms. This commission also consisted of seven members but, unlike the American group, they did not hold public office. The Chairman, Sir John Eldon Bankes, was a retired judge, eighty-one years of age. Two members (one a coöperator and one a retired magazine editor) were well over seventy. The other members were a professor of comparative law, a journalist, a business man, and a woman who was formerly an official of the League. The personnel did not offer much promise of an aggressive inquiry; the members themselves had no first-hand knowledge of the problems with which they were to deal, and they were not authorized, as the

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