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Evening star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, February 24, 1938, Image 11

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. The Propriety
of Roosevelt
as Author
Action Surprise in View
of Criticism of Press,
Observer Says.
cision to accept money per
sonally for writing for the
newspapers has stirred up more
discussion here about the proprieties
of the presidential office than any
thing In recent years.
Mr. Roosevelt _ . _______
has every legal
right to become
a columnist or to
aell his literary
work to the news
papers. He has
heretofore written
books which have
been sold to the
public and there
is no essential
d i f f e rence be
tween the two
channels so far
-ias the sale of
one’s literary out
put is concerned.
David Lawrence.
Heretofore, Presidents usually have
waited till they left office before
writing for newspapers or magazines
on a professional basis, and opinions
have differed even among former
Presidents about it. Woodrow Wilson,
for example, wrote only one brief
magazine article after he left office
and refused to become a syndicated
columnist. Calvin Coolidge, on the
other hand, sold his comments througn
a newspaper syndicate. Herbert Hoover,
our only living ex-President, has
some rather high ideals about the
presidential office and its associations
even with an ex-President. Several
months ago. a newspaper syndicate
wrote to him with an idea of offering
a lucrative contract. He replied as
“I have long had the feeling that
the task of the columnist should be
left to professional writers who must
earn their living thereby. They do
it effectively and it seems to me it
is hardly fair competition for people
like myself. If we have anything
to say that is of value, we can usually
reach the country through the news
columns in general without trespassing
on the profession of others.”
Former President Theodore Roose
velt became a contributing editor to
a weekly magazine as well as a syndi
cated columnist after leaving the
White House, but it is not believed
that there is another case on record
of a President of the United States
engaging while in office in any money
making activities directly related to
his office as Chief Executive.
The Cause of Discussion,
t Certainly there is nothing illegal
about it, and the question of what
Is ethical or proper is a matter of
opinion varying with observers. The
Idea itself of a President writing for
newspapers on what goes on behind
the scenes is not wrong. Mr. Roose
velt has every justification for select
ing any business or profession he
Ukes—if, indeed, one grants the idea
that it is right for a President to
make money in ways that are related
to the office which he occupies.
Members of Congress frequently ac
cept money for lecturing and for the
writing of magazine articles, so there
«an hardly be any criticism on the
theory that Mr. Roosevelt Is an elected
•fficer and should give his whole time
to the job for which he draws a big
•alary. The objection will come on
the ground that many peope believe
a President of the United States
•hould not engage directly or Indi
rectly in any business whatsoever
while he is serving in the highest
Office in the land.
For If It is right to have a Presi
dent engage in money-making ac
tivities, it would be right for Mr.
Roosevelt to appear on a sponsored
radio program and accept money for
fireside talks. Or it would be equally
right for him to allow his name to
be used for a fee on testimonials ad
vertising certain products in prefer
ence to others. There are many con
cerns which would give plenty of
money to be permitted to say In ad
vertisements what cigarettes the Presi
dent smokes or what suspenders he
wears or what kind of razor he uses.
Maybe there are innocent and legiti
mate ways to make money, but a
large segment of the American people
would think them improper if a Presi
dent really commercialized his office
for private gain.
Criticism of Papers Recalled.
Mr. Roosevelt's willingness to ac
cept money from newspapers when
he has denounced them and, by in
direction, has given praise to the radio
•and the movies is somewhat of a
surprise, but inconsistency has be
come a virtue hereabouts, so it is quite
possible Mr. Roosevelt thinks it is
all right now. and that mayb^ news
papers are not so bad after all.
Just why a President of the United
States should want to make any more
money than his salary of $75,000 a
year, which is supplemented by free
automobiles, an allowance for travel
ing and official entertainment and
free servants, all of which costs the
taxpayers something around $200,000,
Is a bit difficult to understand. But
it is something hardly to be con
demned in this instance, because it
means that the profit motive is rising
In Mr, Roosevelt's psychology today,
whereas only a' few months ago the
Tugwells and the other brain trusters
were talking glibly to him about the
"service motive” and the need for
curbing and restraining, if not elimi
nating altogether, the course of the
profit motive.
Mr. Roosevelt fortunately has the
Urge to engage in money-making.
Bo do millions of other citizens, and
not a few of them will say it may
be perfectly all right for an ex-Presi
dent to do it, but they are not so
■ure It is good taste for a President,
The Capital Parade
Taxation of Future Federal, State and City Bonds Con
sidered by High-Ranking Advisers in New Deal.
JN THE fiscal purlieus of the administration, excitement is rising again
about the problem of tax-exempt securities. The temptation offered
to the hard-pressed money-raisers of the Treasury by this great well
of untapiled revenue is all but irresistible.
Therefore it is not surprising that a plan is quietly being worked
out, in quarters close to the White House, for taxation of future
issues of Federal, State and municipal bonds. The hope is that,
having been pretty completely purged of conservatism, the Supreme
Court will reverse its old stand and approve statutory taxation o*
income from public securities.
The plan which is afoot is understood to be a streamlined version of
the whole scheme suggested by Carter Glass when he was Secretary of the
Treasury. Glass, who hates tax-exempt securities almost as much as he
hates unbalanced budgets, wanted to force owners of tax-exempt securities
to declare the revenue from the tax exempts as part of their income. Then
he proposed rates on their salaries, dividends from other securities and other
taxable income, high enough to
amount to a tax on the tax-exempt.
The Glass plan was seriously
considered by the subcommittee of
the House Ways and Means Com
mittee now completing its revision
of the tax laws. It was rejected on
| the theory that a constitutional
! amendment would be better. But
, the members wavered one way and
• another before taking the negative
step. As things look now, a statu
tory attempt to attack the tax-exempt security problem should meet with
a good congressional reception.
Tile idea of limiting the taxation to future issues is intended to Im
prove the taxation's chances with the Supreme Court, and to minimize op
position from the mayors’ lobby.
* * * *
Administration congressional leaders shake In their boots whenever
they think of the new tax bill in the hands of the Senate. It has been fin
ished in workmanlike fashion by able Representative Fred M. Vinson of
Kentucky and his fellow Ways and Means Subcommittee members.
Unfortunately, Vice President Garner, who had large voice in
committee selections when Joe Robinson was Senate leader, took
care that all members appointed to the Finance Committee should be
hard-shelled conservatives.
As a result, the tax bill, with its radical "third basket” and other New
Dealish provisions, must now run the gantlet of such Senators as Peter G
Gerry of Rhode Island, Harry F. Byrd of Virginia and William H. King of
• * * * Id
For once, an anti-lynching bill has been laid aside with the consent
of Walter White, lobbyist of the National Association for the Advancement
of the Colored People. The neat squeeze play was conceived by Senator
Tom Connally of Texas, leader of the forces against the bill, and put into
effect by the Senate leadership.
It involved, of course, the President’s request for a deficiency
relief appropriation of S250,000,000. Senator Connally suggested to
Majority Leader Albert W. Barkley of Kentucky that, since the relief
measure leas intended to feed the poor, the anti-lynch bill advocates
might be driven to back down by it. Senator Barkley, who has got
to face a Kentucky primary this summer and enjoyed the lynch bill
filibuster less than a month in purgatory, hurried off to Senator
Robert F. Wagner of New York, anti-lynch bill manager.
He put it to Wagner that prolonging the debate would lay the sup
porters of the anti-lynch bill open to- the charge of starving the needy
Senator Wagner, who had about given up hope for his measure anyway
agreed to get White's opinion of this danger. He went to White and told
him that the cause of the anti-lynch bill would be hopelessly prejudiced
for the future if it continued to
stand in the way of the relief ap
propriation. And White, who is a
cautious fellow for all his energies,
saw the point. Thus, the anti
lynching bill lost its place before
the Senate with his consent.
* * * *
An entertaining and true
story, beautifully illustrating the
real nature of politics and poli
ticians, is being told about the
President and Tom Dewey. New York's excitable young district attornev
When Dewey was first emerging as a municipal St, George, his politics
were not so definite as they are in these days of talk of him as a Re
publican possibility for many high offices. The President wondered then
whether Dewey could be brought into the administration camp.
Accordingly, he sent New York Supreme Court Judge Samuel
Rosenman, one of his closest intimates, to see Mr. Deucy Judge
Rosenman. whom the President likes to call ”Sammy the Rose”
told Mr. Dewey of the White House interest in his career. He sug
gested that the New Deal would be glad to consider Mr. Dewey for
some high office, and asked politely if there were any offices Mr
Deucy desired.
™ y°,UVSa‘lMr' Dewey' cheerfully’ “l d ^e the Attorney
Generalship. The Justice Department badly needs a good cleaning out ”
(Copyright, 1038, by the North American Newspaper Alliance. Inc.)
or that it is the kind of thing a
Washington or a Lincoln or a Wil
son would ever have done. But there
again one has no right to assume
that Mr. Roosevelt wants posterity to
consider him a Washington or a
Lincoln or a Wilson, and maybe in
this materialistic age dollars are more
important than ideals, anyway.
(Copyright, 1038.)
Chinese Ambassador Urges 4-Point
Peace Formula on Rotary
Declaring that ‘‘we are threatened
with another world conflagration,”
Dr. Chengting T. Wang, the Chinese
Ambassador, yesterday outlined be
fore the Rotary Club a four-point
program to promote international
good will, which he urged the world
wide organization to adopt.
‘‘The forces of aggression have
broken loose and are surging over the
weak dam of international restric
tions and inhibitions as are embodied
in such instruments as the League
of Nations Covenant, the nine-power
treaty, the Kellogg-Briand pact and
numerous non-aggression treaties,”
Dr. Wang declared.
A member of the Shanghai Rotary
Club, the Ambassador urged the in
ternational group to strive for world
peace by devising ways and means
of combating the present situation.
He made the following suggestions:
1. Each club to set aside a larger
place in its program on the study of
the cause and prevention of war.
2. Raise funds to finance peace mis
sions to cultivate "good neighbors.”
3. Increase the number and there
fore the influence of the clubs.
4. Individually and collectively de
velop “the right mental attitude" to
make every member an ambassador
of peace.
American Bees Wanted.
Agriculturists of Argentina want
American queen bees for their hives.
Previous shipments from the United
States failed, the buzzers dying on the
way because the containers were too
small, it is said. Several shipments
of queen bees from Italy arrived in
good condition, Buenos Aires reported.
You get the cough drop
...they not only relieve, W ^iFKl
out help you to resist Hf 1
colds. Build up your alka* . o lv I
reserve with
J'HE opinions of the writers on this page are their own, not
necessarily The Star’s. Such opinions are presented in
The Star s effort to give all sides of questions of interest to its
readers although such opinions may be contradictory among
themselves and directly opposed to The Star’s
The Farm Referendums
How Could Mr. Wallace Lose One Under Present
Setup? Observer Asks, Citing Precedents.
LAST week, after the Crop Control
Act was signed by President
Roosevelt and thereby became
law, Secretary of Agriculture
Wallace became copiously vocal. He
was a very cornucopia of words. Not
only were his words numerous, they
were cleverly
c h o s e’n. They
were chosen in
a way that calls
for scrutiny.
When you find
a public man us
ing familiar
words In new
meanings, you
think of Machi
avelli. You think
of the technique
of revolution. Foi
a c c o m p 1 ishin!
revolution then
are two methods.
One is by vio
Mark Sullivan.
lenee. When men wish to bring about
revolution, but do not practice violence
I suppose we ought to be grateful for
their consideration. But the other
kind of revolution, peaceful revolution,
can be equally effective. In achieving
revolution, one of tile best techniques
consists of adroitness w ith words.
On February 16 Mr. Wallace issued
a statement of 23 mimeographed pages.
Reading it, I *.as struck by the re
currence of a word. It recurred four
times on one page, thus:
"sustained abundance”:
"producing abuntantly";
"future abundance.”
Obviously •Mr. ■ Wallace wishes to
create an impression that the crop
control law makes for abundance. But
I ask the reader, does this make
sense? Is it abundance when Mr.
Wallace pays farmers 6 cents a bushel
for not raising potatoes, as he is
now doing? Is it abundance when,
under the new crop control law, Mr.
Wallace puts a quota on farmers, tells
the farmer he must raise only so
much corn, and penalizes him if he
raises more? Is that ‘abundance''?
Or is it something else? Isn't the
proper word for it “scarcity”?
‘‘Democracy” Is Next Word.
The following day, February 17. Mr.
Wallace was again a flowing fountain
of words. He made a radio talk of j
some 2,500 words that fills 10 mimeo- I
graphed paggs. Reading it. I was again !
struck by another recurring word. It
is a word that has for Americans
an appealing aroma. In the first two1
pages the word occurred eight times:
"democratic processes” (twice);
"principles of democracy”;
“thoroughly democratic process”;
"democratic invocation”;
"democratic methods” (twice).
Now I know what Mr. Wallace
would like us to think. He wants us
to think the crop-control law is not
dictatorship nor compulsion. He wants
us to think it is democratic and vol
untary. To prove it Is democratic and
voluntary he relies on that part of the
law which provides for referendum*.
He refers to the fact that before he
can impose a quota on farmers of a
given crop, he must hold a referen
dum of those who raise that crop. If
Washington Meat Market 1506 7th St. N.W.
"In keeping store we must keep in stock what people want,
and we couldn't supply the demand* of our trade without
Washington Flour. Neighbors talk; and this is a neighbor
hood of Washington Flour boosters—for the very good Reason
that Washington Flour proves to be the very best flour ac
cording to these good house-wives. We know we never hear
any complaint, and once a lady uses Washington Flour sha
sticks to it. We tall all three 'Pantry Pals'—Plain Washing
ton Flour, Self-Rising Washington Flour and Whole Wheat
Self-Rising Washington Flour."
Is Guaranteed
It is the STRONGEST GUARANTEE that can be given
to any flour. Here it is:
Every sack of Washington Flour—Plain Washington
Flour, the all-purpose flour; Self-Rising Washington
Flour, for biscuits, waffles, shortcakes, with which no
baking powder is needed; and Whole Wheat Self
Rising Washington Flour for muffins (also used without
baking powder^—MUST give you personally better
satisfaction than any other flour you have ever used.
Note the guarantee says BETTER SATISFAC
TION—and if it doesn't your dealer will refund
the money.
That's the whole story in a few words. Prove
it by trying WASHINGTON FLOUR next time you
buy flour.
Plain Washington Flour, Self-Rising Wash
ington Flour and Whole Wheat Self-Rising
Washington Flour are for sale by ALL
grocers, delicatessens, markets and chain
Wilkins-Rogers Milling Co.
In the referendum, one-third votes
“no," then there is no quota. That is
what Mr. Wallace relies upon to jus
tify his patter about “democratic
processes.” That, he wants us to
; think, takes the curse of "compulsion”
| from the crop-control law-.
But several questions arise. How
i about the one-third of the farmers
who don't want quotas? They must
accept quotas all the same, and if they
grow' more than the quotas imposed
on them they are penalized. Cer
tainly this is compulsion on the dis
senting third And is there not some
thing undemocratic in empowering
I two private citizens, two farmers, to
press down legal penalties on a third
farmer? Traditionally an American
farmer has had the right to plant any
crop he feels like, and as much as
he feels like. By the crop-control law
he loses that right. Can process by
which that right is lost be a "demo
cratic process”? Certainly it is not
an American process.
Referendum and Results.
These referenda that Mr. Wallace
alludes to are conducted by Mr. Wal
lace’s agents throughout the country.
A referendum conducted by Mr. Wal
lace's paid agents seems likely to pro
duce the result Mr. Wallace wants.
Last October Mr. Wallace held a ref
erendum on putting quotas on pota
toes. The total number of farmers
who voted in the referendum was
about 40,000. The total who voted
in favor of quotas was about 30,000.
So Mr. Wallace announced that there
had been an overwhelming majority
in favor of quotas. He clapped the
quotas on—not merely on those who
voted for them, but on every raiser of
potatoes for sale.
That is, 30.000 farmers, by voting
for quotas imposed quotas on some
800.000 farmers who raise potatoes in
quantity for sale. And those same
30.000 "yes'' voters imposed higher
prices for potatoes on the whole coun
try, some 130 million people. As a
"democratic process” it seems to me
there Is something wrong about this.
Maybe the Supreme Court will be able
to see the "joker."
In that potato referendum why did
not more farmers go to the polls? In
Pennsylvania only 1,802 farmers voted,
though Pennsylvania has 64,242 farm
ers who produce potatoes for sale. I
know why more farmers did not go to
the polls. But I can't help wondering
about those agents of Mr. Wallace who
managed the referendum. Were they
as energetic in getting "no” voters to
the polls as in getting "yes” voters?
The Department of Agriculture has
about 86.000 employes, about 30,000 of
them scattered through the country
in direct contact with the farmers.
With an army of paid workers that
size, any head of any political organi
zation could bring about any desired
outcome of any election.
As for compaign funds, payments
to the voters, Mr. Wallace has about
a hundred times as much money as
Mr. James Parley had to run the
Democratic campaign in 1936. The
total amount Mr. Wallace will be en
We, the People
Navy Bill Called Peg on Which to Hang Debate on
Nation’s Foreign Policy.
UNLESS there is more Intelligent, continuous and responsible discus
sion of our foreign policy, all signs point to another head-on col
lision between Mr. Roosevelt's diplomacy and American public opin
ion. The public .is overwhelmingly in favor of isolation and the
only completely popular diplomatic move the President has made was in
July 1933, when he broke away from he World Economic Conference at
I/)ndon and announced that we did not propose to Fit down with so-called
international bankers. *
At present, according to the administration point of view, the Ameri
can people want only two things; they want to be assured that never
under any circumstances, no matter what may happen in Europe or in
'" ' Asia, will this country be involved
—j in war; and they want to be aa
/ sured that, if ever we do go to war,
we will have no allies.
Prom this angle the New Deal
diplomats are surprised that so
much criticism has been raised
against the $800,000,000 Navy bill,
because a strong navy is the only
practical method by which we
could make isolation stick, the only
--— -—force which could free our Pan
American policies and our European attitudes from that dependence on
the British Navy of which the isolationists complain.
* * * *
I think that the administration is missing the point of the
criticism of the Navy bill. Aside from that small handful of pacifists
who do not understand, that the strategy of defense depends upon
the power to undertake a tdctical offensive, the criticism before the
House Naval Affairs Committee and on the floor of the Senate repre
sents an effort to ascertain and discuss the foreign policy of the
United States. In this field, even ignorant, prejudiced and partisan
discussion is far better than none at all, for if there is one thing
certain about our foreign policy it is that nobody knows which is
the method by which u e can pursue the objects of our foreign policy
—peace and prosperity.
There is the policy of isolation, which is emotionally violated every
time an American takes sides in a foreign conflict, whether in Spain,
Ethiopia or the Far East. There is the Monroe Doctrine, which every
one here indorses and few understand. There is the open-door policy
in Europe and in Asia—not to mention Africa—for which we are not
prepared to fight as yet and never have been. There is the defense of
republican iastitutions in the Western Hemisphere, there is the effort to
make the world safe for the democratic natioas. There is the policy of
mutual security, of collective action, of the League, of humanitarianism
and good will. There is the “good neighbor" policy. And—whether we
like it or not—there are our own policies on tariff protection and immi
gration, which are also involved in the conduct of our foreign relations.
Out of all these impulses—in- sr* ^ *
eluding the current yearning along vT
the Atlantic seaboard to oppose to- -6 C‘“T *>/
talitarian dictatorships in Europe y?0**
and the traditional fear and ha
tred of the Japanese on the Pa
cific coast, not to mention the
general anti-British sentiments of
wide areas of this country—every
administration has to select a
course which will reflect the re
sultant will of the people. __
It is impassible to do so efficiently, unless the public as a whole is
itself considering the various elements involved. As things are now
handled, when matters are going well, there is no discussion except along
the line of propaganda and prejudice. When there is a crisis or an
incident, it is particularly hard for any responsible government to
show its hand. Fortunately, the navy bill provides a convenient peg
on which to hang a national debate, and I think that it is altogether
wholesome that the opposition and criticism should center around the
general subject of national policy itself, rather than around the technical
means required to give effect to that policy.
(Copyright, 1938.)
abled to pay to farmers by the crop
control bill will be upward of a billion
Win referendum*? How could Mr.
Wallace possibly lose them?
(Copyright. 1S3S.)
Greatest Butter Consumer.
Butter eaten in Ireland last year
averaged over 40 pounds for each
person, making the Irish the greatest
butter consumers In the world.
ESTES PARK, Colo. (IP).—A big
boom in the winter sports business is
on, says Walter Pmn, chief ranger In
Rocky Mountain National Park.
On a recent week end there were
1,258 sports fans registered in the
“That was more persons than visited
the park during the entire month of
i January last year,” Finn said.
__ * *> •*.
An American
You Should
Dr. Leiserson Is the Man
Who Mediates Difficult
Railroad Troubles.
HE railroads have won Indus
trial peace. It has taken al
most 50 years, or since the
first Railway Labor Act was
passed by Congress in 1888. Their
progress points the way to a solution
of the whole labor problem.
Dr. William M. Leiserson is chair
man of the National Mediation Board.
Thirteen mediators, counting the three
members of the board, help to settle
railway disputes when the National
Railroad Adjustment Board invokes
their services. Peaceful settlement of
disputes is an obligation required
by law. The Mediation Board
steps into the picture on request. It
has on file about 3,500 railroad agree
ments on rules, rates of pay, work
ing conditions. They are the writ
ten responsibility of both sides as
the basis of peaceful settlement.
“There are many disputes, but few
strikes on the railroads," Dr. Leiserson
Dr. Leiserson has a slow, deep, well
modulated voice. He smokes a pipe,
seeming to draw from its purring bowl
and wafting smoke the sort of quiet
reasonableness needed, for mediation.
: He drew on his patience last sum
: mer when he handled a rase for the
| Mediation Board in Chicago. Three
! hundred thousand railway transporta
tion men < conductors, engineers and
the like) were asking for a 20 per
cent increase in wages. Dr. Leiserson
settled the case after six weeks of
negotiations on the basis of a 612 per
cent Increase.
That “industrial statesmanship”
has emerged from years of railway
disputation is fairly obvious. It I*
not just an accident that as soon as
an employer of industrial labor light*
a union he runs up against a fighter.
It is a process of survival in labor’*
fight for the free right to Join the
: unions of their choice. Industry tends
to have the kind of labor leader it
! deserves. This Is in brief a bit of Dr.
Leiserson's labor philosophy.
Dr. Leiserson lives on no high pla
teau of vague labor theories. He has
been in the heat of labor problems
for many years. Born In Reval.
Esthonia, in 1883. he was brought to
this country by his parents in 1890.
He has an A. B. degree from the Uni
versity of Wisconsin, a Ph. D. from
Columbia University. He was on Wis
consin’s State Industrial Commission,
superintendent of its employment
service, supervisor of Its famous ap
prentice system. He taught economic*
and political economy at Antioch Col
lege, the University of Toledo. He
helped to put men into jobs on*a Na
tion-wide basis for the United States
Employment Bureau. He was called
the "impartial chairman" when he es
tablished a successful industrial court
for the clothing industry 20 years
ago. He was appointed by the Gov
ernor of Ohio to Investigate unem
ployment insurance, forerunner of
social security. Education, unem
ployment. labor relations are his spe
cialty. The President appointed him
to his present position In 1934.
p* ... 1
There's a lift in the voice that says
—"Pabst Blue Ribbon, please"—
and a nod of approval from the one
who serves it. Pabst has won such
acclaim through five generations.
• IMA Pmter-fttM StlM fco , Chlraia

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