Plan for Executiv Consulation with Congress
Roosevelt's Scheme for Committee on Foreign Policy
Whether President Roosevelt's plan for between-session consulation with legislative leaders on questions of foreign policy is carried into effect during the eight weeks that will elapse before Congress reconvenes for its 1940 session now appears to rest entirely with the President himself.
The plan was first advanced by the President at the “national unity conference” at the White House, September 20, attended by leaders of both the Democratic and the Republican parties. It was formally laid before Congress and the country in the President's message at the opening of the special session, September 21. In that message, he asked Congress to enact his proposals for revision of the Neutrality Act of 1937 and then to adjourn without taking up other legislative business. But he added that leaders of both parties had agreed to remain at the capital after adjournment and that he intended to “consult with them at frequent intervals on the course of events in foreign affairs and on the need for future action in this field, whether it be executive or legislative action.”
With the adjournment of the special session, after a complete victory for the administration in the neutrality fight, most of the legislative leaders who had been expected to remain at Washington departed for their homes. Several announced that they would hold themselves in readiness to respond to any summons from the White House and pointed out that rapid transportation facilities were available for that purpose. No such call has gone out to date, and no demand that the plan of consultation proposed by the President be put in operation has come from responsible leaders of either party.