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Evening star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, December 15, 1937, Image 9

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Admiral Stirling Favors Action,
i If Necessary, to Protect Fleet
Retired Chief of Staff
* Sees Panay Sinking of
Great Import.
] The sinking of the United States
' gunboat Panay and the conse
' guences it may hate for American
Japanese relations are discussed
here by a retired chief of staff of
the United States Fleet, who made
the 1907-S world cruise ordered
by President Theodore Roosevelt as
a "show of force" against the Jap
anese. He u-as later commander
of the Yangtze River patrol, of
which the Panay was a un.t. He re
tired from active service in 1936.
NEW YORK, Dec. 15 (N.A.N.A.).—
The tragedy of the Yangtze River, in
the course of which the United States
Ifunboat Panay was bombed and sunk,
may actually serve to draw the United
Btates and Japan closer together. It
has become obvious In dispatches from
Tokio that the Japanese people are
not in sympathy with the acts of the
Japanese military, and this pointed
display of a lack of sympathy may
have a restraining influence upon the
men in uniform.
However, it still remains a fact
that the Japanese military are not re
sponsible to the people. The nation's
armed forces are divorced from gov
ernmental control and are directed by
a group of super-patriotic military and
naval leaders with no other curb than
the veto of an emperor, who, by train
ing from childhood, has been taught
to venerate and obey the mandates of
his aged and wise counselors.
Thus the Yangtze tragedy still seems
Almost as momentous and full of dire
consequences as was the blowing up
of the battleship Maine in Havana
Harbor, a disaster which was the
••last straw’’ that brought on the war
with Spain in 1898. A relevant object
lesson may be found in the manner
In which President Theodore Roose
velt met a Japanese threat to the
United States.
Became Truculent.
In 1906-7 the Japanese government
became truculent, at least diplomati
cally, in response to certain acts of
the American people, notably the Jap
anese school question in California,
and it seemed to some that the United
States and Japan were slowly drifting
Into war.
“Teddy’’ Roosevelt, with his usual
Impatience, decided that the place for
the United States Fleet was in the
Pacific, to be ready in case the “hot
bloods” In Tokio suddenly decided
upon war. The fleet, 16 battleships
and a few destroyers, sailed around
South America, through the Straits
of Magellan to San Francisco. By the
time the fleet reached the Pacific
coast Japan had calmed down and
all danger of war was over.
However, "Teddy” never started
anything he could not finish, and, by
his order, the fleet continued on its
prepared voyage around the world.
The 16 battleships were in the pink
of condition for battle, but the fleet
lacked destroyer guards and supply
ahips. When it sailed westward it
was not a war fleet, but a “peace”
fleet, designed to provide ocular proof
to the world and the Japanese that
the United States Navy was a well
organized, drilled and effective fight
ing fleet. The fleet visited both Japan
and China and the personnel were
most enthusiastically entertained by
the governments of both nations. It
did a world of good for peace in the
Does Not Desire War.
It is an axiom, most appropriate at
this time, never to make a threat
unless one is prepared to back it up
fully and successfully. This Nation,
although deprecating the actions of
Japan against China, and her ruth
lessness in slaughtering Chinese with
out a declaration of war. does not
desire to be drawn into a war where
her vital Interests are really not in
Tet, should conditions in the Orient
come to such a pass that the Nation’s
security in the Pacific as a law-abiding
Nation and competitor for trade in
China be seriously jeopardized, then
there is no time to be lost in placing
the fleet and its outlying bases in the
Pacific on a secure footing to prevent
them from being taken by surprise.
Japan may offer the fullest apology
and compensation for the destruction
of the Panay, but that cannot bring
back to life the innocent men killed,
nor give satisfaction to the people of
the United States and cause them
to believe that the bombing was
something that could not have been
prevented. As a matter of fact, it is
difficult to call this an unavoidable
accident. The airmen of all civilized
forces are always instructed, in sheer
self-interest, to make sure of their tar
gets before bombing.
Thousands Endangered.
Prom the beginning of this unde
clared war, especially when the lo
cality shifted to the International Set
tlement of Shanghai and the mouth
of. the Yangtze River, the bombing
by Japanese airmen against the Chi
nese has put in mortal danger tens of
thousands of the citizens of many
Western nations, including the United
States. The presence of Japanese
warships in the Whangpoo River along
the Bund of the foreign concessions,
attracted and encouraged Chinese
^airmen to show their skill in attempt
ing to pick off an enemy warship with
bombs, even though a miss did mean
■' a risk to foreign warships anchored
.pear the target and great loss of life
In the settlements.
When the Japanese Army advanced
Upon Nanking, British and United
States gunboats were directed to safe
guard lives of their citizens in Nan
king and elsewhere on the river.
This was the errand of mercy upon
which the Panay had been engaged.
I According to reports of reliable eye
; witnesses, the foreign gunboats had
: often been in danger due to the in
discriminate bombing by Japanese air
forces. When the Panay and three
! American oil tankers were sunk by
'aerial bombs over 25 miles up the
[river from Nanking, they had gone
there to avoid the apparently'reckless
bombing being conducted by Japanese
airmen around Nanking.
Built in Shanghai.
The Panay was one of six United
States river gunboats built in the
Kaignan Dockyard in Shanghai. They
were designed to cruise the entire
length of the navigable river from
Shanghai to Chungking, at the head
of the gorges and rapids of the
Yangtze. In the last two decades or
more the Yangtze, almost for its
entire navigable length of about 1,350
miles, has been the operating grounds
of Chinese pirates and bandits.
The Chinese government openly
acknowledged its inability to stamp
out this banditry and was only too
happy to give its sanction to foreign
gunboat activity in protecting mer
chant ships flying foreign flags and
engaged in important and beneficial
commercial traffic on the river. The
foreign gunboats have done excellent
work in suppressing Chinese river out
laws and have made river traffic fairly
The Japanese had claimed that all
Chinese gunboats had been sunk. Yet
naval bombers, apparently from an
aircraft carrier in the river, delib
erately let fall their destructive eggs
without first taking the most essential
precaution. This was, upon sighting
the gunboat Panay and her convoy,
to ascertain, beyond a shadow of a
doubt, that the targets to be bombed
actually were Chinese gunboats. If
the airmen now claim they could not
laentify the Panay as a United States
gunboat, then the bombs should cer
tainly have been withheld.
Once Contemplated Revenge.
There was a time, about six vears
ago. when Japan was said to have
been contemplating taking revenge
upon both the British and United
States Navies because of some fancied
slight upon Japanese actions in China.
Under the set-up in Japan, with the
government completely stripped of con
trol of the armed forces, there is abso
lutely no telling what may be the
i reactions to such incidents as the
No job is too
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Then A Doctor Told Him—"Just rub in Omega Oill"
w •**»« . acjje an(j these experts rely on Omega OiL
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Panay affair. There may be need of
curbing the wild, apparently uncon
trolled, aggressive spirit of the Jap
anese military. The instruments use
ful to this purpose are various among
the Western nations. However, it is
not a single nation’s duty to rush into
the breech and pull hot chestnuts out
of the blazing fires in China.
The United States, from a humane
and even a financial standpoint, is
somewhat interested. Yet, before we
take a step forward—a step which,
once taken, might be impossible to
retrace—it would seem the better part
of valor to discover if, by any chance,
the Nation will find itself playing a
lone hand. It must remember that
it will have pitted itself against a
nation whose thoughts and set-up are
built upon an obsession of force with
a chauvinistic purpose to fight for
what it has decided is a vital principal
of national conduct, no matter what
other nations may think or feel.
(Copyright. 1037. by the North American
Newspaper Alliance, Inc.)
Nearly 275 exhibits of foreign firms
featured the Fall Fair Exhibition in
Belgrade, Yugoslavia.
Nearly 11,000 persons work in toy
factories of England.
Scientist Asks Pooling.of Study
To Predict World's Weather
By the Associated Press.
TUCSON, Arlz., Dec. 15.—Dr. A. E.
Douglass, originator of tree-ring chro
nology, asked fellow scientists today
to come to his new laboratory here
and pool their resources to give the
world a peek at what lies ahead in
the way of weather.
The future of reclamation projects,
drifts of population and even the his
tory of nations could be foretold by
long-range forecasts of disastrous
droughts. Dr. Douglass said.
The University of Arizona astron
omer invited four scientific groups to
participate in this new approach "to
one of our great economic problems—
estimation or prediction of future con
Dr. Douglas would combine the
work of:
1. The astronomer on all apparent
changes in the sun.
2. The physicist on all forms of
,3. The tree-ring man on cycles past
and present.
4. The meteorologist on weather
changes about the world.
Large-scale operation toward long
range prediction, Dr. Douglass said,
can be brought a step closer by as
sembling data from the four groups
of scientists, reducing it to cycles in a
"frequency periodogram,” and study
ing the relation of the cycles to the
“We should analyze all available
meteorological records that are long
enough,” he said, "and develop every
possible long tree-ring record having
climatic Interpretation, in order to
lengthen enormously the meteorologi
cal knowledge by ring records scat
tered over thousands of square miles.”
He already has assembled data from
Scandinavia and North Germany,
Arizona, California and parts of New
England. He has dated and measured
half a million rings and studied twice
that number.
Shipyards of Sweden are operating
at capacity.
Turkey recently purchased six
American airplanes.
By the Associated Pres*.
SOUTHBURY. CoAn., Dec. 15,
South bury citizens weren’t quite sure
today how the zoning code would af
fect them personally, but were pretty
certain it would halt plans of- the
Qerman-Amerlcan Bund to establish
a camp in the Kettletown district.
The town was divided into four
zones restricted to various uses. Ket
tletown is now in an area restricted
to farms and residences. The regu
lations also forbid “military drill
ing with or without arms” except by
Federal or State military forces within
the town limits.
The zoning law was adopted, 142 to
91, at a town meeting yesterday.
Gregory Cassidy, Democratic town
chairman, condemned the action.
“If you don’t zone the Germans will
get you,” he snorted.
_ 3200 R. 1. Are. N.E.
J 711 G St. N.W.
——^— 1
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