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Evening star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, March 23, 1938, Image 13

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- Mr. Roosevelt
Is Called to
Account
f „. ~
T. V. A. Comment
Brings Up Old Issue
, of Campaign Gifts.
By DAVID LAWRENCE.
PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT has
done the cause of good gov
ernment a service, perhaps in
advertently, in focusing atten
tion on a little-noticed clause of the
Constitution of the United States
which says that the Chief Executive
“•hall take care
I that the laws be
I faithfully e x e -
P euted."
-* Mr. Roosevelt
I was quoting from
kr the Constitution
t n support h i s
theory that he
ma y remove
Chairman M o r
pan of the T. V.
A. on the ground
that this partic
ular law is not
being executed.
But there is noth
ing in the Con
Dwld Ltwrence,
stitution which make* the President
the final judge of whether the laws
are being "faithfully executed.” The
whole judicial system was established
to settle such disputes.
But since Mr. Roosevelt has raised
the question, it is pertinent to note
that the President of the United
States does have certain direct re
sponsibilities of initiating action for
the faithful execution of the laws.
Furthermore, a President who does not
ate that the laws are faithfully exe
cuted may himself be impeached and
subject to trial.
A Case in Point.
For this reason, it would seem that
Mr. Roosevelt would be especially care
ful about calling attention now to the
clause from the Constitution about
the faithful execution of laws on the
statute books. There is. for example,
one conspicuous case of dereliction of
duty which may be charged against
Mr. Roosevelt himself and which, for
some mysterious reason, has never
yielded any information from the
White House to enlighten the public
as to said dereliction.
• 'Here is a quotation from a law
known as the Federal Corrupt Prac
tice* Act:
Ik-- "It. is unlawful • • • for any corpo
| ration whatever to make a contribu
tion in connection with any election
at which presidential and vice presi
dential electors or a Senator or Rep
resentative in Congress are to be
ypted for. or for any candidate, po
litical committee, or other person to
accept or receive any contribution
prohibited by this section.”
Under another provision of the law,
a "‘contribution” is defined as "a gift,
subscription, loan, advance, or deposit
of money, or anything of value.”
, Considered as Contributions.
Now the record is that the Demo
cratic National Committee sold auto
graphed copies of their campaign book
♦ft corporations and accepted such con
tributions amounting to hundreds of
thousands of dollars. The Democratic
Committee considered these sales to be
contributions, because the book sales
were formally listed with the cleric of
the House of Representatives under
the heading of receipts, as provided
for by law concerning contributions.
When the matter was called to Mr.
Roosevelt'* attention last year, his sec
retary announced that the President
di{l not know the purpose for which
his signature was to be used; that he
signed a lot of blank pages, and that
. these pages were later bound with the
campaign books and offered for sale.
Even accepting that explanation on
- Its face value, the record also shows
* that subsequent to this explanation
sales of the books were made and Mr.
Roosevelt did nothing to stop them.
Did the President overlook the
’ “faithful execution” of the Federal
Corrupt Practices Act? Did he him
Self not accept, for his own candi
aey, and "in connection with” his
own election, contributions from cor
porations In violation of the Federal
law?
This matter constitutes a grave re
flection on the integrity of the Roose
velt administration and ought to have
been cleared up long ago; yet for some
strange reason there have been no
prosecutions and not even any indict
ments to detlrmine whether the law
. has been violated. The penalty for
•very violation Is, upon conviction, a
fine of $1,000 or imprisonment for
not more than one year, or both.
Non-Committal Reply Given.
A resolution of Inquiry on the sub
ject was addressed by one of the
leaders of the House of Representatives
to the Department of Justice, but a
nan-committal answer was returned.
Clearly, under the Constitution of the
United States, it is intended that the
President shall see that all laws are
enforced and not merely those w-hich
he happens to believe shall be enforced.
The obligation is all-inclusive and It
would be most unfortunate if Mr.
, Rooaevelt’a record as President of
the United States were to remain
Indefinitely besmirched by a violated
statute through which benefits were
received for his own political advance
ment.
Much of the deficit of the Demo
k eratic National Committee of 1938
was wiped out by the sale of the
campaign books containing Mr. Roose
velt's autograph, and yet no corpora
Sons or officers thereof have been
ailed before any court to answer for
their violation of the statute.
The facts are not in dispute. The
law is plain. The motive for refusal
to enforce the law is also plain. No
political party ever accuses itself or
puts its own leaders in jail. But the
framers of the Constitution put in
' feat document an impeachment clause
for that especial purpose, and some
to If public feeling should rise
Acainst the present administration as
i
m
The Capital Parade
Anti-Spending Bloc Veers Toward Lending Program.
Business Upturn Unseen for Year.
By JOSEPH ALSOP and ROBERT KINTNER.
HE determination of the administratlqp’s anti-spenders is being
slowly diluted by the recurrent deluges of bad business news. Secre
tary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau, jr.’s little group of last
ditchers, who have held off the pump-primers all winter, are now
veering toward a broad lending program.
The fact is that they are still anti-spenders, but now they are willing
to see the Government prime the pump so long as someone else is obliged
to foot the Kill. In recent conferences, Secretary Morgenthau has frankly
revealed a lively interest in a number of lending proposals. He is under
stood to have been particularly impressed with the twin proposals to lend
to the railroads and utilities operating companies large sums for con
struction purposes.
There have been a number of hopeful signs to encourage the anti
spenders in their belief that the new depression will cure itself. Particularly
notable is the land-office business being done at the Federal Housing
Administration, where there are somewhat Incredible indications that a
residential housing boom is in the making. But, by and large, the best
economists of all shades of opinion concede that no sharp upturn is to
uc wuAcu ivi une
Even men sympathetic with
the views of the anti-spenders pre
dict that, for a long time, business
will continue to move sidewise, like
a rheumatic crab, since the busi
ness level is now really appallingly
low. this makes emergency meas
ures logical.
* a * *
As the least alarmist Govern
ment prophets see it, the business
IHI5 WILtHtLP
ftlTITWIU.
Jm
curve wm take at least a year and perhaps a year and a half to climb
back to Its 1937 peak. For March, the Federal Reserve Board index is
likely to break eighty, and, while the extreme pessimists will tell you that
the spring “tilt" will be negligible, more hopeful men expect a small im
provement in the next couple of months. After that, however, even the
optimists say that the climb will be very leisurely indeed. The best that is
predicted is a return by January 1, 1939, to a Reserve Board index level
of 100.
Should the return to the 100 index level take place, there would
still be 20 points to go before the peak of the New Deal boom could be
equalled. Moreover, for full re-employment, an index level of at least
140 is required.
In such a situation, some effort to create employment with
Government funds has an all but irresistible appeal. It may be
suspected that the warning of the lending enthusiasm of Secretary
Morgentliau and other anti-spenders should be traced to a desire
to avert something worse than lending.
Senator Burton K. Wheeler of Montana has a magnificent gall. Since
an icily unfriendly meeting toward the close of the court fight, the leader
of the anti-court plan forces had not seen the President until the other
day, when he attended the White House conference on railroad problems.
Yet, after the conference was over, he lingered behind to tell the President
that his amendment to the executive reorganization bill ought to be accepted.
Since the executive reorganization bill is dearer to the President's
heart than any other, and since the Wheeler amendment was intended to
cut the gizzard out of the bill, the Senator needed considerable nerve for
his expression of views. The President took it calmly enough, contenting
himself with an emphatic disagreement with Wheeler, and the two parted
no more friends than at the start. Not long thereafter, the President
showed what he really thought of the Wheeler amendment by putting on
the openest and most savage recent display of administration pressure to
' beat Wheeler's amendment.
Altogether, Senator Wheeler seems to have been in a brash mood at
the White House railroad conference. The only rail executive present was
Carl R. Gray, former president and present vice chairman of the board of
the Union Pacific. During the conference itself. Senator Wheeler twitted
Gray with the accusation of two other important railroad men. Fred W.
Sargent of the Chicago and Northwestern and 'Patrick H. Joyce of the
Chicago Great Western, that Gray’s road had “gouged" competitors.
He also read Mr. Gray selections from a memorandum on rail
road unification prepared by Leonor F. Loree of the Delaware and
Hudson, charging Mr. Gray with blocking unification, which was the
principal object of the White House meeting. The result of the
Senator’s selected readings was an uncomfortable little scene,
which was probably just uhat he wanted.
While James Roosevelt has not finally made up his mind, it is reliably
understood that he is strongly inclined against seeking the nomination
lor the Massachusetts lieutenant
governorship. Recently, a petition
requesting him to do so, purporting
to have been signed by 100,000
dwellers in Massachusetts, was laid
on his desk. As such things always
are, the petition was, of course,
got up by the henchmen whom Mr.
Roosevelt’s control over Massa
chusetts patronage has helped him
to collect.
Within the last five days, he
has told close friends that his White
Mouse job vu too important for him to leave. He suggested that he might
be ready to run by 1940, but must serve his father in the meanwhile. That
suggests the thought that his Massachusetts henchmen were sent out to
get petition signatures in order to help build their leader up as a people's
choice for the future.
(Oopyrisht. 1038, by the North American Newapaper Alliance, Ine.)
it did against the administration of
President Johnson, the violation of
the Corrupt Practices Act may furnish
the basis for an impeachment charge,
certainly as long as the Chief Execu
tive fails to do anything about the
violations.
So it seems a hollow mockery for
the clause in the Constitution about
faithful execution of the laws to be
i ===
i used now by Mr. Roosevelt as a tech
nical reason for ousting an honest
public official like Chairman Morgan
when the politicians who have thus
far got away with a brazen violation
of Federal laws are given an immunity
through the negligence of the Pres
ident himself, who benefited by their
illegal and corrupt practices.
(Copyright. 1838.)
e^HB 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 he contradictory among
themselves and directly opposed to The Star’s.
I—- ■ -■ --
The Reorganization Bill
Measure Is at Least as Revolutionary as Supreme
Court Plan, Observer Says.
By DOROTHY THOMPSON.
IF THE bill for the reorganization
of the executive passes in its
present form we shall have gone
a long way toward establishing
authoritarian government in the
United States. Congress will have de
creed its own partial abdication and
fixed it so that one-third of that body
can permanently _
prevent tne run 5
congress ional
power from ever
being recaptured.
Thus, from in
terpreting democ
racy to mean the
uncontrolled will
of the majority,
we shall have
passed to inter
preting it as
meaning the
power of one
third of the peo
ple's representa
tives to block the
Dorothy Thompion.
wm ot me omer iwo-muas.
The events of the last fortnight, all
over the world, have occupied the
front page headlines. The repercus
sion from them has stupefied us all.
But we have got to continue to keep
our eyes open, and, for the moment,
turn them again toward Washington.
For this proposal to Reorganize the
executive branch of the Government is
at least as revolutionary as the Su
preme Court bill, and, in my opinion,
even more dangerous to representative,
democratic government. And unices
there is a howl from the country with
in the next few days, this bill, which
is now before the Senate, is very likely
to pass.
Extension of Congress’ Control.
That the whole structure of our ad
ministrative system needs overhauling
and reforming is beside the point at
this moment. What we really need,
and need desperately, is an extension,
not a diminishing, of congressional
control and the erection of a more ef
ficient apparatus for that purpose.
This bill moves in exactly the oppo
site direction. It gives the President
complete power over the bureaus, the
agencies and the public corporations,
which, with their immense funds and
their immense powers, have the ca
pacity to make or break the economic
and social structure of the country,
and under this bill the President will be
subject to less supervision than 1s given
to the head of any private corporation
in the United States.
He will be given the power “to
transfer, regroup, co-ordinate, con
solidate, reorganize or abolish” all of
the administrative agencies. This might
conceivably be a desirable move for
greater efficiency, provided that some
check, somewhere, is exercised by the
representativs of the people. But the
joker lies in the President's veto power.
Under this law he can issue an edict
with regard to all those agencies. If
Congress does not disapprove within
60 days the edict becomes law. If it
does disapprove, its disapproval is
subject to presidential veto. And it
will then take a two-thirds majority
of Congress to override him!
If Congress checks the President
the President can recheck Congress,
and all he needs is one-third of Con
gress to overrule the majority.
Wheeler Amendment.
Senator Wheeler proposed an amend
ment to overcome this. Under his
amendment, the President would still
have been given reorganization powers,
but congressional approval would be
required. This would have preserved
majority rule.
It was generally believed that Sena
tor Wheeler's amendment would pass.
But the pressure exerted by the ad
ministration and Mr. Farley upon
legislators never abates for a moment,
1
d
Have you tried Wilkins Coffee at the t\ew low price?
i whether the pressure of holding or
withdrawing support In the oncoming
congressional elections, or the pressure
of holing or bestowing patronage.
Senator Wheeler’s amendment was de
feated by four votes. Now there is
nothing left except to defeat the bill
as a whole, and draft another and
better one.
This bill must not pass. If it, does,
we shall have created a means where
by on# man, once elected President,
can rule this country with a camarilla.
If we create those means, sooner or
later, they will be used.
Democracy on the Defensive.
Democratic government is on the
defensive in every country in the
world. It has been overthrown in
state after state. And in not one sin
gle country has it been overthrown by
violent revolution. The revolutions
which have already dethroned the peo
ple have all been accomplished by
breaking down the democratic process,
destroying democratic checks, and thus
opening the gates for the aggrandize
ment of executive power, first over the
people’s representatives, and, even
tually, over the people's lives. This has
been the history of every anti-demo
cratic revolution, from Mussolini’s
coup d’etat in 1922 to the final collapse
of every pretense of freedom, in Aus
tria a few days ago.
In my next column I will discuss
more in detail the various features of
the reorganization bill conceding, as
we all must, that there is a genuine
need for a reform of the executive
branch of the Government, and that
even the present bill has its points.
But as it stands it is simply terrible.
If Congress doesn’t stop it the peo
ple must stop it, as they stopped the
bill for the reorganization of the Su
preme Court. By personal expressions
in telegrams to their representatives.
Today. Now.
I Copyright. IPS*. Ntw York Tribunt. Ine.)
--m
0. C. TEACHER TO JOIN
GROUP FOR JAPAN TOUR
Others From U. S. and Canada Are
Invited to Visit Country
This Summer.
One Washington high school teach
er will be selected to join a group of
14 others from the United States and
Canada to make a tour of Japan
this summer as guests of the Board
of Tourist Industry, Japanese Gov
ernment Railways, it was learned
here today.
The conditions announced were that
each selected teacher should pay ex
penses to the port of departure and
a reduced fare and expenses across
the Pacific. Expenses in Japan will
be met by the sponsoring group.
The selections will be announced
about May 20, and the party, divided
into two groups, will leave about the
middle of June.
This Changing World
Polish Ambassador Explains Lithuanian Question.
Aranha Doing Big Job in Brazil.
By CONSTANTINE BROWN.
HE able Polish Ambassador In Washington, Count Jersy Potockl, has,
upon instructions from his government, made an Interesting expose
of the whys and wherefores of the Polish-Lithuanian conflict.
The Ambassador explained that Warsaw had foremost in mind
the organisation of a neutral bloc o.i the borders of the tJ. a. S. R.; a bloc
which would defend its freedom of action if threatened by Berlin or
Moscow.
The explanations of the distinguished Polish diplomat as to why
Lithuania was compelled “to make friends" with Poland under the threat
Bousw
, UTMUWtIAM
| 6ldc
mm
in nil unmeaiBte war, nave gone
just a little bit too far, when he
compared the new bloc with the
Scandinavian countries.
There are no territorial grudges
between Sweden. Norway and Den
mark. The three nations got to
gether in an honest endeavor to
protect themselves against any vio
lation of their strict neutrality.
Geographically and politically they
can remain neutral in the event of
anotner suropean connagration.
The new combine however la nowhere near as homogeneous as the
Nordic coalition.
The Lithuanians cannot be counted as a faithful member of this
hybrid combination a* long as they have been coerced into It by the
mobilization of the Polish army at their borders. Their loyalty will re
main questionable as long as they can sing the old song: "You Made Me
I«ve You, I Did Not Want to do It.”
Of course the establishment of a totalitarian government in
Kaunas might facilitate the task of the Polish government. Some
suspicious observers believe that the continued presence of Polish
forces on the Lithuanian border might conceivably help whatever
elements may exist in that country to bring about a coup d’etat. In.
such an eventuality, of course, the “neutral bloc” of the East could
easily be formed.
• * * * *
Oswaldo Aranha, former Brazilian Ambassador to the United States
and at present foreign secretary of Dictator Getullo Vargas, Is showing his
friends here that he actually meant what he said before leaving Washing
ton: that he would do his utmost to preserve the ideal of Pan-Americanism
and not allow the totalitarian powers to get a strong foothold in his country.
Vargas ordered the dissolution of all "subversive organizations.” He
included among these the so-called cultural organizations belonging to the
German Brazilians. In doing this, he pointed out to the German Am
bassador, who was quick to protest against the Brazilian government's
measures, that cultural ties, these days, means also political ties. And that
the totalitarian government of Brazil could no more tolerate them than the
Berlin government could allow similar organizations of foreigners In the
Reich.
Two weeks of dickerings and exchange of conversations culmi
nated in a sharp note from Berlin. This was Aranha’s big chance.
He rejected the German note, that is to say, he refused to accept
it altogether.
In certain quarters it is expected that the sharp exchange between
the two governments might cause trouble In Brazil where there is a large
population of German stock.
Fortunately for Brazil. Germany is still quite a distance awav and
no reprisals can be expected at present.
* * * *
Inside stories which reached Washington recently indicate that, the
Spanish rebel crusler Espana which was destroyed a few months ago while
trying w> prevent tnree urrasn
ships from entering a loyalist port,
was sent to the bottom by the
H. M. S. Hood, the pride of the
British navy.
It appears that there were no
other warships in the neighbor
hood of the Espana except that
British battle cruiser. The first
reports indicating that the Espana
had been sunk by loyalist air
planes were quickly denied by the
loyalists themselves.
There were thrfe loyalist gunboats in the harbor, but they did
not put out to sea, they would have been in any event outgunned
by the rebel cruiser.
Prom these reports it appears that when the skipper of one of the
British merchantmen called on the admiral on board the Hood asking
whether it was true that British ships would no longer be protected by
the navy, the answer was that the admiral had no such instructions. The
three merchantmen sailed closely followed by the Hood. The Espana or
dered the Britishers to stay out of the territorial water. The Hood signaled
that it would stand by the British ships. A sharp exchange of signals fol
lowed, whereupon, the story goes, the Hood fired a volley which sent the
Espana to her doom.
Headline Folk
and What
They Do
Count Jerzy Potocki
Hopes to Form a
"Neutral Belt.”
By LEMUEL PARTON.
COUNT JERZY POTOCKI. Pol
ish Ambassador, the hand
somest and dressiest foreign
envoy In Washington, has
hunted over a large area of Poland with
his 18-eouple pack of fox hounds. He
doesn't like Intrusion, and he lets It be
known that his country hopes to form
a "neutral belt,"
against gate
crashers from
either side. It
would include Po
land, Rumania,
Finland, Estonia.
Latvia and Lith
uania.
Under aay
threat of aggres
sion. he has a lot
more at stake
than most Pole*
—a great racing
stable of Anglo
Arabian stock,
polo fields, vast
Jfrir Potoeki.
estates, wnere tne servitors are great
grandsons of others in the same fealty,
and an ancient villa and shooting
preserve, now' occupied by Anthony
J. Drexel Biddle, jr., our Ambassador
to Poland.
After his graduation from Oxford,
Count Potoclci shot tigers in India
and buffalo and impala in Africa, and
other game in remote places. He has
a passion for hunting and was a mem
ber of the Garner-Guffey safari into
the wilds of Northern Pennsylvania
last December. He Is planning a trip
to Alaska to shoot bears.
He is quite understandably against
change, even If it is necessary to link
six nations in a barrier against it.
A Washington friend informs this
writer that it is quite likely that
Pleas E. Greenlee, stout, ruddy, gre
garious member of the Bituminous
Coal Commission, will be appointed
head of the commission to succeed
; the retiring Charles F. Hosford, jr.
Success in a pie-counter Job sud
denly upped Mr. Greenlee from ob
scurity to eminence. When Paul V.
McNutt became Governor of In
diana, the capital swarmed with hun
gry Democrats after a stretch of lean
years. Mr. McNutt picked Mr. Green
lee for his dealer. For days on end he
processed a long line past hi* desk,
the queue reaching clear out to the
capitol steps, dishing the jobs uner
ringly to the faithful and blanking
those who had merely an appetite. It
was one of the neatest jobs of patron
age dispensing ever recorded. But he
made the mistake of trying to succeed
Mr. McNutt for Governor, with the
latter's organization backing Mr.
Townsend, and so moved into the
; national picture.
| -—*
; Lecture on Flower* and Fruits.
i The Wild Flower Preservation So
; ciety will sponsor an illustrated lec
, ture by P. L. Ricker on ‘‘Fall Flower
and Fall Fruits Attractive to Birds"
' at 8 p m. tomorrow at the Nationr!
; Museum.
In Most Likes—But Alike in
Their Taste for Senate Beer
“Pm a Clubman...
I LIKE
iLgg| BEER
SM iH/ BECAUSE • « ♦ "it appeals to my tasto for
SS8| IHw quality. I could easily afford moro expensive drinks.. •
sImIHmo I soloct Sonato bocauso of tasto preference." Ways of
ME) WMuT % life may differ, but lorors of good boor find in Sonato a
"1111 * universal tasto proforonco. Its wide appeal is the result
Ss9 ***$”**? 0f giyjgj adherence to recognised browing standards
Wm and respect for a timo-honorod quality formula.
CHR. KEURICH BREWING COMPANY, Washington, D. C.

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