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Evening star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, December 08, 1931, Image 12

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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
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
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
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
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,
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
“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
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,
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Demonstration Is Canceled
at Foreign Minister’s
Insistent Request.
By th« Associated Press.
NAPLES, December 8.—Foreign Min
ister Dino Grandi, with Signora Grandi
and other members of his party, ar
rived in Italy at 8:30 this morning
after their trip to Washington.
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
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Associate Kent Judge Transfers
Case to Cecil County Court
on Defense Plea.
Special Dispatch to The Star.
CHESTER TOWN. Md., December 8.—
A change of venue to the Cecil County
Court was granted here yesterday by
Associate Judge T. J. Keating to George
Davie, colored, 28, who is accused of an
attempted assault upon Mrs. Edgar
Lusby at her home near Kennedyvllle
two weeks ago. Judge Keating was sit- i
ting in the place of Judge L. W. Wickes.
’yho is ill.
In a petition, filed by R. H. Rogers
and former Senator J. H. Legg. his at
torneys, Davis claimed that he could
not get a fair and impartial trial here.
Under the State constitution the court
was compelled to grant the petition,
Davis was arrested in Wilmington two
, , .. ■—.
days after the alleged assault. He waa
apprehended by Sheriff John T. Vick
ers and Wilmington detectives.
---»- -—
Viscouat Seeks Divorce.
LONDON, December 8 (TP)—The Lon
don Daily Mail said yesterday tnat Vis
count Ratendone. heir of Lord Willing
don, the viceroy of'India had filed a
petition for divorce from his wife, the
former Maxine Forb's Robertson, daugh
ter of the actor, Sir Johnston Forbes
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