The Power to Declare War

Archive Report

Ludlow Resolution and the Panay Incident

When the American gunboat Panay was sunk in the Yangtze River, December 12, placing a severe strain on American-Japanese relations, the discharge petition filed by Rep. Ludlow (D., Ind.) to bring before the House of Representatives his resolution proposing a constitutional amendment providing for a popular referendum on declarations of war, bore 205 signatures. Within two days the 13 additional signatures needed to complete the petition had been attached.1 As a result, the House will take up on Monday, January 10, Ludlow's motion to force the resolution from committee. If that motion prevails, the resolution will be immediately debated and will remain before the House until it is adopted or rejected.

Completion of the discharge petition came as a surprise ...

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