By J. Simon Rofe (auth.)
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Extra resources for Franklin Roosevelt’s Foreign Policy and the Welles Mission
These efforts exemplify the extent to which the Administration had to go to circumvent nonentangling opinion. The concern for the views of the American people was evident throughout the period and manifested itself in the events to be discussed in the rest of this chapter. The Munich crisis of the autumn of 1938 represented the clearest challenge made by Hitler’s Germany to the democracies to that point. The role Roosevelt and his Administration played in the resolution of the crisis was minimal and reactive.
The steps Welles took as Acting Secretary involved him overseeing a series of “technical conferences” with other departments. ”89 These meetings amounted to Welles’ practical contribution to the preparations for war, but his policy input is entirely more important in understanding the nature of Rooseveltian foreign policy immediately preceding the outbreak of war and its relevance to the Welles mission. While in charge of the department Welles composed a series of appeals to be addressed to Europe’s leaders.
When Roosevelt was faced with the prospect of finding a new Under Secretary in early 1937, Hull wanted the job to go to “his” man, Walton “Judge” Moore. Hull had been frustrated by Welles’ conduct during the advancement of the “Good Neighbor” policy, particularly by his unorthodox communication with the President. Roosevelt resolved the controversy with Hull by reviving the long-dormant position of Department Counselor for Moore. While these beginnings did not necessarily bode well for a harmonious working relationship, Welles’ conduct in the position hardly helped to effect a seamless transition.