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League Head Holds Hoover’s
Policies Call for Probe • by Congress. Declining to run up the flag of apology for accusing President Hoover of being "abysmally ignorant' of naval affairs, William Howard Gardiner, president of the Navy League of the United States, strips his craft for action, asserting that the Chief Ex ecutives "entire conduct of our naval affairs" demands congressional investi gation. In a letter to the League's members, released for publication today, Mr. Gardiner insists that President Hoover's special committee, named as an after math of his famous statement, "im putes to us that we said something we did not say and then criticized us for Its own miststatement.-’ The statement points to refutations, from official sources, of the Hon. Mr. Stimson’s alle gations of false statements on our part." Cites Navy Day Message. Mr. Gardiner deals with the Chief Executive in this language: "In con clusion it seems appropriate to recall that Mr. Hoover, after showing such a lack of personal understanding as to naval matters, has alleged in the state ment that he issued on our last Navy day, in effect that, as he believes our Navy and Army now to be strong enough to repel invasion, they should not be increased lest so doing increase Ill-will in other countries—and this al though our Navy is, in essential re spects. much weaker than are those of other Naval Treaty Powers when judged by treaty quotas. “For him to take such a position is to go back on the platform on which he was elected and to turn his back on such parity principles as are claimed for the London Naval Treaty. And furthermore, it is, in effect, to express complacence at the existing naval •uperiority of other powers and to deny our naval protection to our distant out lying possessions and to our vitally im portant world-wide trade. “Such a misconception of the duties of our Navy and the consequent finan cial policy of Mr. Hoover toward our Navy are the present naval problems that cry for a congressional investiga tion into his entire conduct of our naval affairs. And it is to such sub jects that we hope to be allowed to de vote our attention rather than to re butting Mr. Hoover's organized efforts to discredit the Navy League seemingly because it states truths unpalatable to him.” Says Stand Was Backed. At the outset of the letter, the league's president cites the fact that letters of support and encouragement received from members of the Navy League and others in his differences ■with President Hoover, outnumbered by more than four to one those of criti cism, “a large portion of the latter be ing anonymous.” The statement that Initiated the controversy was the pam phlet entitled "The President and the Navy” and was published on October 28. In it, Mr. Gardiner used the words “abysmally ignorant" in referring to President Hoover and his dealings with naval affairs, particularly his proposal to immunize food supplies in time of war Taking up the food immunization program in his letter of today, Mr Gardiner says that the "Survey of American Foreign Relations, 1931,” is sued from the Yale University Press on behalf of the Council on Foreign Re lations. of which latter the Hon. Elihu Root is honorary president, and the Hon. John W. Davis is president, said the first of this month .that "such a scheme would be opposed by the strong est powers in Europe because it 'would destroy the offensive value of sea | power at the root.’ ” Mr. Gardiner continues: “The Navy League takes thi^ occasion to express throughout our country its great grati tude for this wholly unexpected crlti j cism of Mr. Hoover’s proposal and col I lateral support of our point of view, in this particular respect, by these very distinguished gentlemen.” Hits Presidents' Inquiry. President Hoover's Committee of In quiry into Mr Gardiner's prior state ment, today's letter said, in its entire report, failed “to prove that any ton- [ nage figure we have given or ratio | figure we have deduced therefrom is not correct.” The letter takes the Hoover Committee to task for finding j itself “in the unfortunate position of having signed a report it alleges that! 'the United States has under construc tion at the present time a larger total j tonnage than any other power’ (95.100 tons) whereas, in its same report, it says that 'Prance is building at the present time 197,424 tons’; and of hav- j ing signed a report wherein it alleges j we had said that 'the actual auxiliary ship ratio of Japan is 15.1' to that of 10.0 for the United States, whereas we had said no such thing, but, on the contrary, had said that the Amerlcan Japanese ratio in this respect was 10.0 10.0—a misquotation in the report that Mr Hoover's Committee signed upon which glaring inaccurary on its own j part it repeatedly relies to attack the \ accuracy of the assertions we made al- j though, in its entire report, it failed to prove that any tonnage figure wre have ! given or ratio figure we have deduced therefrom is not correct. * * * "The first specific allegation in the letter wherewith Mr. Hoover's Com mittee transmits to him the report it signed is that we said ‘that the Wash ington Naval Treaty established a ratio of 10-6 as between the American and Japanese fleets as a whole,’ says i today's letter. Denies Making Statement. “We did not say that. The fact that j the Washington Naval Treaty limited j the aggregate tonnages of only the i capital ship and aircraft carrier cate gories is so well known as cot to call' for specific reiteration. Indeed, its; limitation of the capital ship category , saved other powers the expense of at tempting to build up relatively to the capital ships we then had approaching completion and which we scrapped. And having been saved such expense they were in all the better position to avail themselves of the opportunity left j open by the Washington Treaty to build unlimited aggregate tonnages of all categories other than capital ships and aircraft carriers. Thus under the provisions of the Washington Naval Treaty and outside of its limitations, between its date of signature in 1922 and the opening of the London Naval Conference of 1930, the British Empire laid down nearly 270.000 tons of sea going combatant naval vessels, the Japanese Empire about 235,000 tons. France nearly 220,000 tons and Italy over 130,000 tons, while the United States had laid down merely about 90,000 tons of such vessels. In short, even Italy laid down more new sea going naval tonnage than the United States, while the other three treaty powers averaged among them each to build about three times as much new tonnage as we did.” Quoting the Republican party plat form of 1928, the letter of Mr. Gardiner says: “We pledge ourselves to round out and maintain the Navy in all types of combatant ships to the full ratio provided for the United States by the Washington Treaty for the Limitation of Naval Armaments and any amendment thereto” and adds “a pledge that Mr. Hoover has taken no step of material moment to carry out since he has been in office.” The letter continues: “The second specific allegation in the letter of transmittal signed by Mr. Hoover's Committee seems to seek to convey the impression that we said 'that the ratios established by the London Naval Treaty are effective prior to December 31, 1936.’ Imputation Is Denied. “Here again Mr. Hoover's Committee imputes to us that we said something we did not say and then criticized us for its own misstatement. “What the London Naval Treaty does is to set up, category by category and sub-category by sub-category, certain aggregate tonnage quotas of underage ships that are the maximum limits not to be exceeded on December 31, 1936. Where one or more of the signatory powers may have a present excess in one or more categories or sub-cate gories. they are to scrap down 'gradu ally' during the life of the treaty to the stipulated quotas. And where they may be below such quotas, they are permitted to build up to them, under certain provisions, but not to exceed them during the life of the treaty— although there is a provision that the United States is not permitted to lay down its maximum quota of large-gun cruisers otherwise than on a schedule that would preclude its completion until a year or more after the expiration of the treaty. “It is pertinent to present program problems, however, to note that whereas the overall American-British-Japanese treaty quotas for underage auxiliaries are respectively 661,200 tons, 676,700 tons and 448,050 tons, the total tonnage of auxiliary underage vessels built and building as of October 1, 1931, were merely 456,050 tons for the United States, but 597,281 tons for the British and 455,985 tons for the Japanese. Tonnage Ratios Differ. “Thus while the treaty quotas are in the ratio of about 10.0-10.2-6.8, the tonnage ratios for such ships actually built and building, as of last October, were about 10.0-13.1-10.0. And it is also of timely interest to note in con nection with present program problems that the above tonnage figures show that whereas in October the United States had less than 70 per cent of its treaty quota in underage auxiliaries built and building, the British had over 88 "per cent of their quota and the Japanese over 100 per cent of their quota built and building. v “To state such figures and their re lationships is not to allege that the quotas should be attained before the end of the treaty at the close of 1936—even though Senator David A. Reed stated publicly after an interview with Mr. Hoover on May 2, 1931, that ‘unless we build the Navy to treaty limits by 1935, we will have no standing at the next naval conference.’ ” Mr. Gardiner s letter then proceeds to deal with Secretary Stimson, who at tacked the statement relating to the Hoover-MacDonald conference on the Rapidan, which had appeared in the League's original pamphlet. Mr. Gardi ner turns his guns on Mr. Stimson’s quoted statement that the Senate Com mittee on Foreign Relations “never sat in executive session" and relies on the committee's own report of hearings on the London Treaty to show that.it sat in executive session on several occa sions. Mr, Gardiner cites the resolu tion introduced by Senator McKellar and later passed, designed to secure from the President papers relating to the London Treaty. Holds Information Refused. Then Mr. Gardiner's letter has this to say: "Nevertheless, on the day fol lowing the passage of the McKellar res olution. President Hoover, in a mes sage to the Senate, refused to transmit to.it the matters requested, alleging that to do so would be a breach of con fidence, hut at the same time asserting that therein were no secret agreements, etc.” The letter adds : "It seems that when pre-conference agreements are men tioned by others, the administration is likely to imply that reference is being made to secret agreements outside the text of the London naval treaty, but running concurrently or collaterally to it. This is an implication of the ad ministration’s that is in no way war ranted by the text of our pamphlet that Mr. Hoover’s committee sought to dis Turning its attention next to the Hoover committee’s exception to the Gardiner statement that the President had held up the building of cruisers, today’s letter asserts "that construction on all five of the first gToup of cruisers was delayed until after the close of the first fiscal year stipulated by Con gress, namely, 1929; that work was held up on three of them Immediately after its being merely nominally started in July of 1929—this admittedly as a friendly gesture to England; that real work was not started on two of these three until several months after the close of the last fiscal year Congress had stipulated for their construction, namely, 1930, and that normal prose cution of work on the other cruisers of this group seems to have been some what delayed.” The letter commented that "as the Japanese, French and Italians did not then suspend any con struction reciprocally to the American and British suspensions, there is no question but what Mr. Hoover's gesture was not commensurately copied by any of the other naval treaty powers.” Approve* Howe Pamphlet. Mr. Gardiner believes that Walter Bruce Howe, chairman of the league's board of directors, in his pamphlet of Novem ber 25 has “adequately refuted” the Hoover committee claim, attributing to the league’s chairman “that the Presi dent Intended under the one-year ‘holi day' to forego our treaty rights to carry on the construction of 87,600 tons of naval vessels, Including the seven cruis ers now building.” The Gardiner letter of today thus disposes of the Hoover group: “As the committee appointed by Mr. Hoover avowedly with the purpose of showing up what he mistakenly alleged to be ‘untruths and distortions of fact’ on our part has not only failed to do so, but apparently has felt constrained to ' sign a report and letter of transmittal themselves evidently distorted, there would not now seem to be any further occasion to consider this miscarriage of a highly organized effort to discredit the Navy League seemingly because we told unpalatable truths. “On the other hand, it is of primary and pressing importance to determine whether the general and budgetary pol icy of Mr. Hoover toward the United States Navy is based on adequate ap preciation of the reasons why we main tain a navy and of the characteristics requisite in a navy to satisfy such re quirements. “In his appointment of his commit tee he specifically excluded such sub jects from its considerations, although almost a half of the text of our pomph Jet, that his committee was appointed to refute dealt with a phase of his naval policy.” Association Elects Officers. ATLANTIC CITY. N. J., December 8 (fl5).—-George L. Brunner of Dertott, yes terday was named president of the Motor <fe Equipment Manufacturers' Association at its first annual con vention. Other officers were announced as David Beecroft of New York, vice presi dent; C. H. Burr of New York, treasurer, and C. C. Secrlst of Chicago, secretary. Ship your Christmas packages by the I .‘afe. sure way—Railway Express Agency. —Advertisement. E GSCHAPERCO Improved MERION Gas Water Heaters on Display Here 4100 Georgia Ave. AD. 0145 SEARS, ROEBUCK AND CO.= SAVE *15 to A Merry Christmas With an ELGIN BICYCLE Beautiful Elgin Oriole Chromium - plated handle bars, rims and sprocket.' Fully guaranteed. A beauti ful bike, in flashing red color trimmed with white. A SMALL DOWN PAY MENT, BALANCE EASY MONTHLY PAYMENTS, OR OUR WILL-CALL PLAN with a small deposit will reserve your selection until Christmas. 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The young foreign minister had al ready a long report of 100 pages to present to Premier Mussolini at Rome on his “most satisfactory' mission” and his talks with President Hoover and Secretary Stimson. H Duce already had told Grandi over the transatlantic telephone, before he left Washington, how pleased he was, so the foreign minister knew, as he stepped off the boat, that a hearty welcome was in store for him. A big demonstration was planned here, but it was canceled at Grandi's Insistent request. He wished, he said, to have the first sign of approval come from Mussolini himself. The Grandis were away 31 days, 11 of which they spent in the United States. Besides the report to 11 Duce, Grandi also has prepared another In the form of an address to the Italian Senate, which he will probably deliver tomorrow. It will contain no new reve lations, but will be a commentary on the joint communique issued on No vember 19. Signora Grandi’s report isn’t written yet, but she has a world of stories to tell little Franco and Simonetta, her two children, about the cheers their father received and all about the tall buildings and the subways and the big stores with escalators in New York. Most important for Franco and his sister, however, will be the huge cases of toys, sent by American friends, which will be given them in three instalments. The Grandis were greeted here by Alexander Kirk, charge d’affaires of the American embassy, in the absence of Ambassador Garrett, who la in the Whited States. Austrian Rebel Held. GRAZ. Austria, December 8 (-T1).—Dr. Walter Pfriemer, leader of an unsuc cessful revolutionary movement in Sep tember, who afterward fled the country, returned to Graz yesterday and was arrested. 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