2. “What price patriotism?”
In the middle of the crucial month of September 1942, as the German Sixth Army of some 330,000 men launched a ferocious, all-out assault against Stalingrad, and as American marines and warships battled furiously to hold the Pacific island of Guadalcanal, the resolutions committee of the National Association of Manufacturers held a private meeting at the Hotel Pennsylvania in New York City. The purpose of the meeting was to prepare a 1943 program for presentation at the December NAM convention.
Some of the more patriotic members of the resolutions committee urged that the NAM program concentrate on one issue, winning the war. James D. Cunningham, president of Republic Flow Meters Company, pointed out that “if we don’t win the war, there won’t be a postwar.”
Lammot du Pont, chairman of the Board of du Pont de Nemours & Co., spoke in reply. A respectful hush fell over the resolutions committee as he began his remarks.