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Evening star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, February 27, 1936, Image 8

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Craig Assails Hagood
\ *
Recommendation That He Be Ordered
Home Strongly Worded.
Mr th« Associated Press.
Following is the text of Gen.
Matin Craig's memorandum to the
War Department in which, as chief
Of staff, he recommended that Maj.
Gen. Johnson Hagood be with
drawn from duty and ordered
home:
Memorandum for the Secretary of
War:
Subject: Testimony of Maj. Gen.
Johnson Hagood before subcommittee
of House Appropriations Committee,
on December 17, 1935.
1. I deem it necessary, for the good
of the service, to invite your attention
to the testimony given by Maj. Gen.
Johnson Hagood, now commanding
the 8th Corps Area, before a sub
committee of the House Appropria
tions Committee, on December 17,
1935. as reported in The Washington
Star of February 10, 1936, and to
Maj. Gen. Hagoods reply, by first
Indorsement, to letter of inquiry ad
dressed to him under date of Febru
ary 19. 1936. in which he admits that
the statements attributed to him
“are substantially correct.” The
clipping, letter and indorsement are
Bttacned hereto.
2. According to this account, Gen.
Hagood told "what he thought of
some of the New Deal relief spend
ing." A part of the account reads as
follows:
“The general said he was 'not
familiar with the various pockets in
which Uncle Sant keeps his money,'
but that he understood 'there is budg
et money which is very hard to get;
there is P. W. A. money which is not
so hard to get, and then there is a
vast quantity of W. P. A. money
which is very easy to get for trifling
projects, but almost impossible to get
for anything worthwhile.'
"He said he called W. P. A. funds
•stage money.’ because 'you can pass
It around, but you cannot get anything
out of it in the end.’ 'It is harder
for me to get 5 cents to buy a lead
pencil than to get $1,000 to teach
hobbies to C. C. C. boys,’ Hagood told
the committee. ‘I do not like the
Government standard lead pencils and
I cannot get by the controller with
the kind of pencils I like. But C. C. C.
hobbies are exempted from the con
trollers decisions. They do not have
to come up to Government specifica
tions. One *ian can be taught to
collect postage stamps while another
man can be encouraged to take an
interest in butterflies. Under the
W. P. A. I can get $200 to build a
gravel walk to the garden house, but
X cannot get $10 to repair a "busted"
steam pipe.’ ”
Urging appropriations for perma
nent housing of the Army, he is fur
ther quoted as saying: “'I am sug
gesting that you do it now, there is
a lot of easy money floating around,
and not to wait until you are skinning
the budget to the bone in order to
make up for past extravagance. I
got $45,000,000 last year for the
C. C. C., and I got a lot of this stage
money from the W. P. A.' ”
3. These quotations speak for them
selves. When a general officer who.
within some two months, will be, ex
cept for the chief of staff, the rank
ing officer on duty with the Army,
refers to the work which the Gover
ment is seeking to do in training
young men to useful and gainful oc
cupations as “C. C. C. hobbies,” "col
Jectlng postage stamps.” "taking an
interest in butterflies,” etc., and to
expenditures made under the direc
tion of the Works Progress Adminis
tration as money "almost impossible
to get for anything worth while” and
as "stage money.” the writer of a
telegram of protest addressed to you
is certainly justified in characterizing
Gen. Hagood’s statement as a "con
temptuous reference to policy ap
proved by the head of the state, who
Is also his commander in chief.”
4. If this were the first offense of
this nature, some measure of excuse
might perhaps be found for an officer
whose "eccentricities” were noted by
Maj. Gen. P. W. Coe in an efficiency
report made as early as 1919. But Maj.
Gen. Hagood's 18 years as a general
officer have been marked by repeated
examples of lack of self-control, irre
sponsible and intemperate statements
and references to War Department
policies in which his opopsition and
contempt have been very thinly veiled.
There have been reprimands and ex
plantations to little avail. In 1927, for
example, without any apparent effort
at securing authority or acquainting
his superiors with the nature of his
comments, he published a book entitled
“The Service of Supply,” in which he
commented very freely on the delects
and shortcomings of officers who head
ed important branches during the
World War. specifically naming them
and describing their supposed unfitness
and incompetency. The inspector gen
eral described the book as containing
“tactless, ill-advised and doubtful
statements of fact and opinion” and
“unmilitary in tone and tenor and at
times intemperate in both. If the cir
culation is extended it will do con
siderable harm; among the uninformed
It will bring ridicule upon the War
Department; among the informed it
will bring down ridicule upon the au
thor. Both condition* militate against
the service.”
In the same year, Gen. Hagood’s
conduct with respect to the relief of
Col. George F. Baltzell from com
mand of the 22d Infantry resulted
in a letter from the War Depart
ment in which he was advised that
"your failure to conform to the usual
approved methods of command, your
faulty judgment, hasty action and
intemperate statements in adminis
tering discipline, conclusively shown
in the investigation of this case, in
dicate that you do not possess the
qualities of command expected of an
officer of your high rank.”
His personal file discloses a repri
mand, in 1929, in connection with
the flippant tone used in forwarding
a communication from the adjutant
general of South Dakota. Evidently
the trait of flippancy is too ingrained
for reprimand or admonition to have
much effect.
5. Gen. Hagood Is an officer of high
professional and technical attainment,
of brilliant Intellect and great energy,
but he apparently feels that these en
dowments entitle him to express him
self in a manner that would bring con
dign consequences on others. His re
marks before the subcommittee can
only be characterized as flippant in
tone and entirely uncalled for and de
signed to bring ridicule and contempt :
upon civil agencies of the Government.
They were not necessary to the laud
able purpose which he desired to ac
complish and can only be denominated
as of the "wise-crack" political type
which every Army officer—and most
assuredly one of such high rank—
should sedulously avoid in his public
utterances. In stating that he was in
structed by me that he was free to
answer any question or to make any
statement which he might choose,
common sense, of course, should have
made him understand that political
comments and criticisms, never proper
in an Army officer, might not freely
be made, nor can the effects of remarks
so deliberately designed to hold up
r*" —
Government agencies and policies to
ridicule and contempt be avoided by a
telegram to the chairman of the House
Military Affairs Committee (found in
the Congressional Record for February
13. 1936, at page 2037) that the ofllcer
is “deeply shocked at being accused of
criticizing the President." Gen. Ha
good either Intended his remarks in
their natural satirical sense, or he did
not. If he did so Intend them, the
offense was deliberate; if he did not
so intend them, his judgment' and
common sense are sadly lacking.
6. I am strongly or the opinion
that disciplinary action is called for
by these remarks. They have excited
general comment throughout the Army
and in the civilian press. If permitted
to pass without comment by the War
Department, it would be construed
as hardly less than tacit approval
of the sentiments expressed by an
authorized spokesman. I do not recom
mend investigation with a view to
trial by court-martial, but I think
that the situation is such that action
of a nature to serve notice on all
that the War Department will not
tolerate this type of utterance should
be taken, once and for all. Gen.
Hagood is over 62 years of age and
is subject to compulsory retirement
by the President, under (section 1244,
Revised Statues. (This ‘ was done in
the case of Maj. Gen. Adalbert Cronk
hite.) He might also be relieved from
command and ordered home to await
orders. A mere reprimand would be
no more effective than It has been
in the past
I, therefore, recommend, in the
interest of the service, that Gen.
Hagood be relieved from his present
station and duties, and ordered to his
home to await further orders.
MALIN CRAIG.
Chief of Staff.
Approved 21 Feb., 1936.
GEO. H. DERN,
Secretary of War.
-■ --9 .
Hagood
A
(Continued From First Page.)
cipline, perhaps forcing him to retire
permanently.
Breaking its “usual rule of silence,”
the War Department made public a
letter from Gen. Malin Craig, chief of
staff, to Secretary Dern declaring Ha
good’s record was "marked by repeated
examples of lack of self-control, Irre
sponsible and Intemperate statements."
"Gen. Hagood is an officer of high
professional and technical attainment,
of brilliant intellect and great energy,”
Craig reported. "But he apparently
feels that these endowments entitle
him to express himself in a manner
that would bring condign conse
quences on others.”
"His remarks before the subcom
mittee can only be characterised as
flippant in tone and entirely uncalled
for and designed to bring ridicule
and contempt upon civil agencies of
the Government.”
Craig added the remarks "can only
be denominated as of the ‘wisecrack’
political type.” Accusing him of
“thinly veiled” opposition and “con
tempt” toward War Department
policies in the past, Craig pointed out
that Hagood Is over 82 years old and
"subject to compulsory retirement by
the President.”
He assailed as "contemptuous” Ha
good’s references to C. C. C. activities
as “hobbles,” "collecting postage
stamps” and "taking an Interest In
butterflies.”
A resolution introduced by Senator
Metcalf, Republican, Rhode Island,
calling for an Inquiry into the Hagood
Incident, Is expected to be discussed
in the Senate Military Committee to
morrow. it seeks an investigation of
'any allegations” of Government ef
forts "for the suppression of free
speech.”
LEGION PROTESTS REMOVAL.
CHICAGO, February 27 (£•).—From
several quarters of the American
Legion here today came condemnation
of the removal of Maj. Gen. Johnson
Hagood as commander of the 8th
Army Corps Area at San Antonio.
Forges Post. No. 196, of the Legion
announced it had adopted a resolution
of protest, which said in part:
"A dangerous precedent will have
been established if an officer in the
%
Army or Navy is to be disciplined and
removed from his command simply
for giving what he believed to be
truthful answers put to him by mem
bers of a congressional committee.”
Regarding the affair, Edward F.
McGinnis, past commander of the
Cook County (Chicago) Legion, stated:
“When this storm is over In Con
gress the matter will be forgotten
and Gen. Hagood, who spent a lifetime
In the service of his country, will
probably be accorded the same shame
ful treatment accorded the late Gen.
William Mitchell.
"The Legion should take steps to
see that Gen. Ha good is not likewise
destroyed by New Dealers who can’t
atand the truth about Army housing
conditions."
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