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Evening star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, April 11, 1938, Image 9

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Vigilance Still
The Price of
Fight on Merger Bill,
Shows Minority
Party’s Value.
IN THE natural enthusiasm which
opponents of President Roosevelt
feel after administering a defeat
to his bill for the reorganization
of executive departments, there are
certain inferences being drawn and
exaggerations being expressed which
are not warrant
ed by a close
study of the situ
First of all, the
deteat docs not
mean that Mr.
Roosevelt’s poli
cies or objectives
have been com
pletely frustrated.
It does not mean
that a coalition
of R e p u blicans
and Democrats
to oppose Mr.
Roosevelt has
been permanent
David Lawrence.
ly formed in the House of Represent
atives. It does not mean that con
servatives are now in control.
In short, it is important that the
defeat of the President be accurately
interpreted and not grossly misinter
preted lest the friends of constitu
tional democracy be caught napping
again as they were after the Presi
dent's bill to park the Supreme Court
was beaten. At. that time the oppo
nents of the President gloated over
the victory-, thought it was all over
with the New Deal, and took such a
passive interest in what was going on
later that it took intensive organiza
tion and lots of hard work on the
part of a small band of militant citi
zens to arouse the country to the is
sues raised in this session of Con
gress by the reorganization bill.
It is easy enough, too, to say the
vote in the House last week was an
expression of a’ lack of confidence in
the President and that, in a European
sense, he lost his majority. Unques
tionably this factor entered into it.
There can be no doubt about it be
cause Majority Leader Rayburn, in
pleading for support for the bill, said
a vote against the measure would be
interpreted as a lack of confidence in
the President,
Actually, however, several elements
influenced the voting. Any one who
knows the personnel of the House can
glance over the list of 104 Democrats
who voted against the reorganization
bill and he will see there many who
have received patronage favors from
the White House or directly owe their
election victories of 1936 to Mr. Roose
velt's help. Why, then, did they de
sert him? Did these men want to ex
press a lack of confidence in him? Not
at all. Then what was the reason?
The truth is there was a backfire built
under them in their respective dis
tricts which scared them into think
ing they might be defeated in next
autumn's elections and that the Roose
velt mantle would not be as helpful
as it was before because the President
has failed thus far to alleviate the ills
of the new economic depression.
Frightened l', S. Employes.
Another factor in the voting was
somethin? that had nothing to do
with being pro or anti-Roosevelt. It
was the powerful influence of clerks
and Government employes generally
whij were frightened by the reorgani
zation bill, believing it meant a gen
eral reshuffling of jobs. These Gov
ernment employes sometimes are po
litically very helpful in a Congress
man's organization back home or else
they are In a position to do favors for
Congressmen and Senators, and now
sought their help In killing the bill.
This was not a substantial factor but
an incidental one in the lining up of
votes against the reorganization
There were other angles in the sit
uation. such as fear that removal of
a particular bureau might affect a
Congressman’s interests adversely in
this or that fashion, as for instance
the fear that the Department of Wel
fare might in some peculiar way
affect parochial schools through con
trol of the Bureau of Education. Ef
forts to amend the bill to remove
these objections were made by the
administration, but to no avail.
Finally there was a substantial
group who believed the time had come
to show the country that Congress
could be independent of the Execu
tive and that America could resist
any kind of a dictator, successful, un
successful, young or full grown. In
the same group were those who be
lieved it was time to tell the Nation
that recovery measures would come
flrtn and reform second. Also there
were members, even among the Dem
ocrats, who felt that a rebuke to Mr.
Roosevelt was needed as a sort of re
freshing example of the power of the
people to demand less experimenta
tion with and more co-operation with
the existing business system.
Passage of the tax bill in the Sen
ate, however, Is a far better indica
tion of the latter point of view. In
deed, there Is far more reason for
gratification and encouragement on
the part of business men, far more
stimulus to recovery and economic
progress in the action taken by the
Senate on the tax bill than by the
House on the reorganization bill.
Split in Party.
What the country needs to notice,
on the other hand, is that there is
a split in the Democratic party and
that on these two measures last week
the administration was defeated by
a combination of independent Demo
cratic and Republican votes. Without
the solid vote of the Republicans
neither the tax bill nor the reorgan
ization bill fight could have been
won. The importance of keeping a
minority party alive and maintaining
cohesion in its ranks was never better
Illustrated than when Minority Leader
Bert Snell was able to bring virtually
every Republican vote In the House
to bear against the reorganization
To whom should the whole victory
over the reorganization bill be as
cribed? Only to the people back
home, who took a real interest In
what was happening here. Were mil
lions of voters active? The telegraph
companies report about 330,000 tele
grams sent, but undoubtedly this in
!7« uie Astcctatton TUt
11M 9th St. N.W. NAt. 8781
The Capital Parade
Fear of Fascist Penetration Seen Dominating U. S.
Stand on Mexican Oil Seizure Repayments.
SOMETIME ago. at Warm Springs, there was a strictly official unofficial
announcement that the Mexican government would be asked to pay
only a “fair investment less depreciation value’’ for all expropriated
American properties. Now that the negotiations with Mexico are
past the face-making and in the haggling stage, it is possible to assay the
meaning of the presidential intimation. And careful checking reveals that
it means Just what it seems to, with no more than the usual dramatic grain
of exaggeration.
If the principle of "fair Investment less depreciation’’ valuation is
adhered to, it is not too excitable
to say that the Warm Springs an
nouncement was the most impor
tant single American move in
foreign affairs in the last year.
The reason for its im
portance is simple. Most for
eign investments, particular
ly American foreign invest
ments, which are concen
trated in such properties as
oil, mills, utilities and the
like, are highly speculative in nature. As in oil prospecting par
ticularly, money is put into a property as a venture. If it is lost,
well and good. If a strike is made, the value of the property is likely
to be a thousandfold above the original investment.
But the presidential intimation from War Springs means, at its
face value, that the speculative increment above the original investment in
prospecting rights and machinery will not be taken into account. The
State Department, which always tends to bleach the color from the
President’s word, explains carefully that the Warm Springs statement is
not to be taken too literally, that "we simply won’t accept the exaggerated
claims of our nationals at their face ” But, simultaneously, it is admitted
that the Warm Springs statement accurately sets forth the principle that
will be used.
And if the principle is applied in Mexico, it automatically be
comes applicable to American properties everywhere else. Precedents
are precedents in international squabbles. Thus, the basic value of
all American foreign investments is cut to the sum of the original
fair investment less depreciation. The departure from the notions of
old dollar diplomacy could hardly be more violent.
The State Department and the President are willing to make so im
mense and repcrcussive a concession in dealing with Mexico because thev
believe the good neighbor policy must be preserved at all costs Anv
action like the recent British insistence on the return of expropriated oil
lands threatens the good neighbor policy. So does too greedy an attitude
m the haggling with the Mexicans.
Of course, the reason why it is desired to preserve the good neighbor
policy at all costs is the fear of the cleverest men in the State Department,
from Secretary Hull and Undersecretary Welles down, of Fascist economic
penetration in South America.
The foresight and good sense of Mr. Welles were originally responsible
for recognition in Washington of the danger of Italo-German influence to
the south. Now that the danger is well understood, it is sensibly felt that
almost any sacrifice is worth making to preserve the only American weapon,
tne good neighbor feeling, which can ward the danger off.
The complexities of politics are exquisitely demonstrated by the fact
that the Democratic primaries of inland Kentucky, and therefore the fate
of the President s cherished Senate majority leader, Alben W Barkley mav
be intimately affected by a row in the United States Maritime Commission/
The row concerns the Maritime Commission policy, first pro
mulgated by Joseph P. Kennedy, by which mediation of labor
disputes on American ships would be compulsory. The policy is bit
terly distasteful to the Committee for Industrial Organization which
!i3T a^blS and successful new maritime union. And it has made the
. . O. leaders angry not only with the Maritime Commission, but also
furiously angry with the President.
*l‘he ?rS\ place' w£en Mr- Kennpdy was elevated to his present
ambassadorial splendors, the C. I. O leaders understood that they had a
Marhfm^r/101111*6 to.consult them bPforp naming a new chairman of the
M SnPrri0r succeed Mr. Kennedy. They were not consulted.
Mr Kennedy did intimate that Commissioner Edward C. Moran jr the
■?t*/or thC chairmansh*P. would get the place. But’the’next
but uSLeTbjThe'cTo^ R6ar Adm‘ral Em0ry S' Landl an aWe CltlZCn
With Admiral Land expressing the Navy point of view the C I O
”e *“"• *»p - thi,. c.,. o S,
v/woninf to thP rn expreS510n °f approval of the Maritime Commission
viewpoint to the current conferences on maritime labor law between
S S thefCO™s,on' the National Labor Relations Board and
Dppar,"lpot' F‘ually came the news that the Maritime Commis
sion had ordered the hiring of
i seamen for Government-owned
vessels even if non-union men had
to be taken.
Thus the C. I. o. men are in
a tearing rage with the Maritime
Commission. Unfortunately, Sen
ator Barkley's son-in-law’, Max
O'Rell Truitt, is a member of the
commission, having risen rapidly
from the general counsel's past.
Unfortunately also, Senator Bark
p r o ™! , 'leed£ ,the votes of the United Mine Workers and other
Phonrii- men iu Kentuci£>'' in order to beat the ebullient Gov. A. B ‘'Happy’
Chandler in the extremely Important Kentucky primary
the p t o0!.?”? of circumstances suggested a wicked thought to
® >' 1 men' Why not brlng tlle administration to its knees in the
Maritime commission matter by threateing to withdraw the promised sun
S ®arkIey?„ The wicked thought promptly exedcU"ed
WhitehHouse Q y made' and now the next move is up to the
(Copyright, 1938, by the North American Newspaper Alliance, Inc.)
eludes messages sent by some of the
same persons to both Senators and
Representatives. Many times this
number of letters were sent, but all
in all it would be surprising if a
count showed more than a few hun
dred thousand persons—possibly not
more than 1 per cent of the electorate
of 40,000,000. The people who are
active and take an interest are few,
but they exert a powerful influence
upon Congress.
The events of the last two weeks
show what an aggressive, militant
group can do when they rise to their
obligations of citizenship, refuting,
indeed, the notion of individual help
lessness which so many persons ex
press when they say: “What good will
my letter or telegram do?” The an
swer is: Communications to Congress
do a world of good in the aggregate,
because they reveal a trend.
Mr. Roosevelt Is far from side
tracked, for he is a resilient figure in
political combat, but the statement
made in these dispatches just a week
ago today, before the vote on the i
reorganization bill, can be repeated
now—there's a majority in both
houses ready to protect constitutional
Kenny Quality
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finest products for 68 yeors.
The next time you’re shopping
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democracy and ready to prevent the
confiscation of the people's savings.
The fight is not over. In some re
spects it is just beginning, but a mile
stone on the road to better times
and stable government has been
reached and eternal vigilance is still
the price of liberty.
(Copyright, 1938, by the North American
Newspaper Alliance, Inc.) I
CTHE opinions of the writers on this page are their own, not
n^es,sarijy The Star’s. Such opinions are presented in
The Stars effort to give all sides of questions of interest to its
readers, although such opinions may be contradictory amona
themselves and directly opposed to The Star’s.
Mandate Withdrawn
Seldom Idas Country Seen Such Enormous Swing in
Public Opinion, Writer Says.
SEVENTEEN months ago Mr.
Roosevelt was re-elected Presi
dent of the United States by
the largest electoral vote in
American history, and by 60 per cent
of the American voters. It was an un
precedented victory for a single person
ality, an unpre
cedented expres
sion of public
The victory cut
across class lines
and sectional
lines. It was a
repudiation of the
jerry-built and
totally inconsist
ent Republican
platform and
campaign. It was
also a repudiation
of extremism of
both right and
, _ . Dorothy Thompson.
left. The pseudo
fascism of Coughlin and Lemkc was
defeated. Socialism and Communism
were repudiated. The same election
swept his party into Congress, giving
him an even stronger majority than
he had had during his first term.
The President emerged with enor
mous prestige and an enormous re
sponsibility—the responsibility of in
terpreting, by his policies, the national
will of the American people for peace,
progress, greater security, greater
justice and more stable and universal
prosperity, inside the framework of
liberal democracy.
Last Friday, almost exactly 17
months later, the most popular of
Presidents suffered a defeat at the
hands of his own Congress, so over
whelming and decisive that if we lived
under a cabinet and parliamentary
system, and were Mr. Roosevelt a
prime minister instead of a President,
he would either have to resign and
call a new election or radically revise
his cabinet and his policies.
Since we do not have such a system,
we are faced by a fundamental divi
sion between the legislative and execu
tive branches of the Government,
with Mr. Roosevelt's term not yet
half expired.
This is not a cause for rejoicing. It
puts this Nation in a serious situation.
Seldom, if ever, in our history has
a political career reached such heights
and such depths in so short a space
of time. Seldom has there been so
enormous a swing in public opinion
in the course of a few months as
there has been in this less than a
year and a half. And it is pertinent,
right now, to ask why.
Two Major Crises.
President Roosevelt has undergone
two major crises in his career. The
first was the crisis of his too-great
victory. The second is now upon
him, and is the crisis of his most
spectacular defeat.
The crisis precipitated by his vic
tory was obvious on the day after
the election. The President had to
choose, then, when he stood in the
light of overwhelming confidence and
approval, whether he would consol
idate his gains, conciliate the animos
ities engendered by the campaign and
interpret the victory as a mandate to
seek the widest consensus of col
laboration. or whether he would pro
ceed into his second term in the war
like spirit of his final Madison Square
Garden speech—a speech, incidentally,
that was entirely unique in his whole
campaign. The "For all these things
we have just begun to fight" speech.
The speech in which he said that the
"forces of privilege" had "met their
match" in his first term, and in the
second would "meet their master."
On the day after the election this
column wrote:
"Yesterday the United States stood
at the crossroads. But today the
President stands at the crossroads. He
can choose struggle, mobilizing to
ward coercion, or backed by his tre
mendous majority he can choose the
widest possible measure of concilia
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tion and collaboration. In the liberal
temper, which exudes light.”
The President chose struggle. And
today finds him, temporarily at least,
a lost leader.
What happened on Friday has been
approaching remorselessly and Inexor
It has been approaching from the
very beginning of the President’s sec
ond term.
Wanted Liberal Government.
And it has come about because of
a fantastic failure, on the part of a
brilliantly gifted man, to understand
the temper of the most powerful group
in this country—the middle classes.
These classes did their share to re
elect the President. These classes did
their part in affirming that they were
finished with the new era, finished
with laissez-faire in respect to the
underprivileged, finished with the
overweening powers exerted by big
business and finance. They wanted
liberal government.
But less than a month after Mr.
Roosevelt’s secend inauguration it be
came apparent that they did not be
lieve that they had given him a per
sonal or a blanket mandate. It became
apparent that they had not made a
permanent popular front with the ex
treme left. It became apparent that
they wished liberal government to
rest upon the traditional basis of
constitutional government, of checks
and balances and limited powers. It
became apparent that they intended
to continue functioning as citizens,
and had not suspended their critical
faculties for four years, nor issued a
blank check for whatever measures
the President and his advisers might
cook up overnight. It became apparent
that, although they had -voted for
social reform, they had not voted for
social or political revolution.
As certainly as it appeared, to any
one of political intuition, that the
President would be re-elected over
whelmingly in November, so certain
was it that his bill for the reorgani
zation of the Supreme Court, intro
duced at the beginning of February,
would bring him his first defeat.
Roosevelt the Second.
The people voted for Franklin Roose
velt the First, the New Deal and a
liberalized democracy. Gradually,
since early February, 1937, they have
been realizing that what they have j
gotten is a new President, Franklin !
Roosevelt the Second, a new game,
instead of a New Deal, and a camarilla
of anonymous legislators, no longer
quite so anonymous.
They voted for directed prosperity,
not for planned depression. They voted
for domestic unity, not for domestic
warfare. They voted for a popular
government, not for a popular front.
They voted to reconstruct the economy
of private enterprise, not to dismember
And gradually Congress—the Presi
dent's own Congress, made up of
the President's own supporters — has
been catching up on public opinion,
so far, unfortunately, almost entirely
in a negative way. But up until now
the President has not caught up with
it. He has been resisting it.
It is still possible that the Presi
dent, who so swift defeat was ap
parently incubated in his brilliant
victory, may now draw victory again,
This Changing World
Edouard Daladier, Premier Designate of France,
Proved Worth in Raising Morale of Army.
EDOUARD DALADIER, Prance’s Premier designate replacing Leon
Blum, is a moderate. He has had the distinction of remaining under
three different cabinets as war minister. A few weeks ago the French
Parliament made him the minister of national defense.
Thus he has under his orders the army, the navy and the air force.
Daladier is ar\ astute politician. He managed to enlist in 1936 the
support of the Communists and persuaded them to stop sabotaging the
army. The Communists agreed
to order their young men Joining
the colors to obey and respect their
chiefs. In exchange Daladier gave
orders that barracks singing of the
•'Internationale” the Communist
hymn, should no longer be con
sidered an offense. He also per
mitted the Humanlte, the official
Communist paper, to be read by
privates and non-commissioned
officers. This agreement brought
about greater unification of the army.
Fears are expressed that France will enter now a period of seri
ous social unrest. Juhaux, the head of the French Federation of
Labor, which is more like the C. I. O. than the A. F. L„ is bent on
making trouble. A general strike looms as a dangerous possibility
in the next few weeks unless the new cabinet can reach a compromise
with Communist Deputies and Federation of Labor leaders.
* * * *
French anti-Communists who want to see at least one “strong hand”
In the government to deal ruthlessly with the disturbing elements, suggested
Marshal Petain as secretary of interior.
Petain is 82 years old, but those close to him say he maintains the
lucidity of mind of a middle-aged man and the energy of a youngster.
Those who fear that this remarkable French soldier might refuse the
responsibility of putting down strikes and social disturbances, suggest
another soldier with world fame: Gen. Maxime Weygand.
Weygand, who is a Belgian by birth, is approaching the seventies,
but his manners, his energy and the agility of his mind are those of a
well preserved man of 50.
The majority of France shouts for another Clemenceau. Whether
Daladier will be able to step into the Tiger's shoes is a question which
depends on many circumstances. In any case it is more than probable that
the Senate, which has refused Blum full powers, will grant them to the new
premier. The evolution toward a “democratic dictatorship” in France
Lazaro Cardenas, the Mexican President who has expropriated $500,
000,000 worth of American, British and Dutch oil concessions, has been try
ing since he became the head of the Mexican Republic to reform night life
In his country.
He has forbidden professional dancers to perform in cabarets after
10 p m.
Cardenas neither smokes nor drinks. He has restricted sale of alcohol
throughout the country and h8s attempted to close the many gambling
houses. He has not interfered with the national lottery, which is a money
maker for the government.
The Mexican President is an early riser—he usually gets up at 4
o’clock in the morning. After a short ride on horseback he starts
working and stays at his desk until late in the evening.
Mexico is not prepared for intensive exploitation of its newly acquired
riches. There ts only one refinery in the country and no pipe line to the
Pacific in the event the Japanese would want to buy their oil from Mexico
instead of the United States and Holland. American and British business
adventurers and representatives of German and Italian engineering firms
are now cooling their heels in Mexico City in the hope of getting a juicy
morsel out of the nationalization of the oil industry.
Cardenas is believed to be a
friend of Leon Trotzky, whom he
sees occasionally. Despite this per
sonal feeling, the President insists
that Trotzky live up to the agree
ment reached before he was per
mitted to settle in Mexico—namely,
to keep clear of any political activ
ities whatsoever.
* * * *
Last week a car with a diplo
matic tag passed the red light in a
traffic-congested street. The officer on duty blew his whistle and the
diplomat stopped his automobile. The policeman gave him the usual
fatherly sermon about “danger to the public and himself.”
The young attache said with a polite smile: "But, Mr. Cop, I assure
you I did not see the light.”
"I am not a cop,” replied the dignified officer.
"Then if you are not a cop, what business have you to stop me?” re
torted the diplomat.
“Oh, go on,” answered the helpless policeman.
out of his defeat. But that implies
admitting defeat. Not defeat for his
avowed, realistic objectives. But de
feat for the means and the strategy
that have been used.
(Copyright. ]P.3R, New York Tribune. Inc.)
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▼ n.-7
Headline Folk
and What
They Do
Johnny Adams, No. 1
Jockey, Is Leading a
Frugal Life.
TOD SLOANE took on an Eng
lish accent, a suit* at the Rita
and a flambuoyant wardrobe
when he became the stand
out Jockey of his day. Johnny Adams
of Kansas, the Nation's leading Jockey
last year, and Just now bringing In
six winners in a row in California,
mmm. *n llve* ln * trailer,
saves his money,
is in bed at iu
and never drinks
anything stronger
than strawberry
pop. He studies
cattle raising, lays
plans for a ranch
and snys ha will
never risk a nickel
on the bang-tails
—breeding, buy
ing or selling or
betting on them.
Tod S1 o a n e
hand-rode h 1 s
Johnny Adama.
fortune over a cliff and became a
forlorn old codger. Johnny Adams
has different ideas. It may be Kansas
conditioning, or it may be a change
in youth behavior. One could cite
young Whizzer White of the Univer
sity of Colorado, Sammy Baugh and
several other bell-ringing athletes of
today as examples of a new sagacity
and thrift in the yearling crop. Bark
in Henry Seidel Canby's "age of confi
dence," young people had confidence
that money would last forever. Our
less confident youngsters would make
much better models for Samuel Smile*
or Horatio Alger.
The Kansas Atom rides with all the
grace of a sack of potatoes and with
similar showmanship. At Iola, Kans.,
he Jockeyed nothing more exciting
than a team of plow horses until
one day at the Allen County Fair he
hopped a just so-so nag and brought
it home in a short-end win. That
was in 1933. His first important
winner was Billy Clover in the Topeka
Derby in September, 1934. His first
winner on a recognized track was
Marble Girl, at Riverside Park.
He has powerful shoulders and a
grip like a pipe wrench. He has
palled with horses from babyhood and
speaks their language.
This writer, hearing an address by
Dr, Gogarty of Dublin several years
ago, began to fear that, unless the
Irish-English literati find some way
of easing their intellectual tension,
they would endanger the collective
security of the world. When St. John
iSinJin) Ervine, charged with Dubhn
dynamism, wrote dramatic criticism
on the New York World a few years
ago, he almost started a war. Now
he is at it again. He reports to the
London Observer that America is quite
dangerously enraged over London's
cool reception of "You Can't Take It
With You.” One would think that
such issues as the reorganization bill,
foreign policy and reiief were just
minor matters.
(Copyright, 1038.)
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