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. PART TWO —EDITORIAL SECTION
Editorial Page—Features pje Jhmtimj Pte Organizations—Civics TEX PAGES. WASHINGTON, D. C., JULY 7, 1940. " ' - ~ ” ' ——-■———-----------------— _» War's Strangest Chapter Features Battle Between Fleets of Britain and France -. ^, • ; Review of Forty-Fourth Week of War By Blair Bolles. Near the scenes of two sea fights glorious in the English memory, Aboukir Bay and Trafalgar, the modern English Navy this week sank or seized most of the ships in the French battle fleet. Thus, in an “unnatural” way, Great Britain went to war against her recent ally, now the subject of Germany (perhaps soon the ally of Germany). France broke diplomatic relations with England, whose Prime Minister, Churchill, wept in telling the House of Commons the sad but stirring story of the action against France taken by his majesty’s ships. Tears, however, were not the week’s symbols in Britain. The English showed an ever-increasing sternness. The menace of their island’s invasion grew daily closer. Much of the old bulldog grit so long associated in the popular conception with the English character has shown itself unmistakably in recent days. Only time will tell whether England has more than grit. Today actually but three countries are at war in Europe—Germany and Italy against England, aided by her dominions and Egypt. However, the whole world watches them and feels their influence. The American Gov ernment, through its President and its Secretary of State, denounced both the German political philosophy and the German pretensions to authority in the Western Hemisphere. The Balkans heaved and Japan and Britain brushed each other diplomatically in the Far East. Fighting Fronts The war proper between Germany and England and Italy and England has been comparatively tame. But out of this restrained belligerency recently has come a series of paradoxical and contradictory events fittingly capped by battle between two nations less than a month ago fight ing side by side. The week presented the strange case of Balbo's death and the strange case of the torpedoed ship. Italo Balbo, Italian air marshal, was a casualty of the previous week, dying In an air crash over the Libya whose colonial governor Mussolini had made him. Italy mourned him as a hero killed in action against the enemy, and now has named Marshal Rodolfo Graz lana to his Libyan post. "The only fact which can be established is that Marshal Balbo did not perish in combat with the Royal Air Force,” the Balbo British Foreign Office an Mystery nounced. “A careful investi 1 gation shows that no British aircraft wrere concerned in the crash of Balbo's machine and there is thus no truth in the statement that he fell in battle.” Was this famous Italian a victim of Italians? "The truth probably never will be known.” It is known, however, that almost 1,000 Germans and Italians were victims of a German torpedo. They were aboard the S. S. Arandora Star, 15,501 tons, ploughing westward across the Atlantic toward Canada off the coast of Ireland. At 6 a.m. Wed nesday morning her unhappy pas senger*, principally interned Germans and Italians, were roughly awakened by a violent lurch of their vesseL A German submarine had sent a Ger man torpedo into the ship, not knowing .that it was carrying fellow nationals to Canada “for the duration,” following a similar ship that reached Canada Mon day. The interned men, thrown into panic, fought with each other and with the 500 soldiers and crew members on the ship for the right to be first in the life boats. One German, to calm his colleagues, clubbed them with a rifle in order to pnng order in the de parture from the ship. There were but three dozen lifeboats. In Arandora Star them 1.000 of the men Sinking from the Arandora Star reached Western Scot land's shore and safety. It was the greatest passenger ship disaster of this war. In Berlin, the German high com mand issued a communique announcing the ship's torpedoing. Later on that same July 3 the British met the French in the Mediterranean. The strange triumph at sea registered by the one remaining foe to Hitler will stand forever as among the oddest of all naval engagements in the world’s history. The political repercussions may be great enough to preclude British and French co-operation for years to come. They had not been on opposite sides since the end of Napoleon's wars in 1815. The background of the extraordinary meeting is this: On paper the French government of peace headed by Marshal Petain delivered the French fleet into the German hands through the truce of Compiegne. The British, staking their defense chiefly on their control of the seas, exclaimed in anguish at this clause In the compact. They resolved that what Hitler was promised Hitler would not have. They went after the fleet, truce or no truce, and got it, or most of it. The battle between the British and French was divided into three parts. In English and Scottish Anglo-French ports, the battle was al Sea Battle most bloodless. At Plymouth, Portsmouth end Sheerness, armed British sailors took possession of two battleships, two light cruisers, the world's largest sub marine, the Surcouf, and 200 small mine - sweeping and anti-submarine craft. A British seaman and a French officer were killed and a French officer, two British officers and a British en listed man were wounded during a scuffle aboard the Surcouf. The battle reached Its bizarre heights at Oran, Algeria, near the western end of the Mediterranean, and at Alexandria, in the inland sea's eastern sector. The French at Alexandria were trapped and considering giving themselves in to the British hands, as together the British and the French warships turned against an Italian attack from the air. the British trap at Alexandria ensnared a French battleship, four French cruisers and a number of smaller ships. The French resisted at Oran, and the battle raged for an hour and 27 minutes. The anxious story of the fight at Oran Prime Minister Churchill, a prose artist and master at military depiction, de scribed in the House of Commons on July .4: "Yesterday morning an officer asked to interview the French admiral (Gen soul) and after being refused, presented a document demanding that the French fleet should act in accordance with one of the following alternatives: a. To con tinue the fight against the Germans GEN. JOHN J. PERSHING. He urged Congress to enact a military conscription laro for de fense. . —A. P. Photo. and the Italians, b. To sail with a re duced crew to a British port. “ ‘If conditions are refused,’ the request continued, ‘we must require you to sink your ships within six hours.’ Churchill s The anguish which this Anguish process has caused to the . British Admiralty can be imagined.<, When finally th#'#*Uich admiral refused to comply (Admiral Sir James) Somerville was ordered to com plete- the operation before darkness. He opened fire at 5:58 on the powerful French fleet, protected by shore bat teries (in the Mers El-Kebir fortress). ‘‘The British attack was accompanied by heavy attacks from aircraft from the Ark Royal. By 7:20 a battle cruiser of the Strasbourg class was damaged and ashore. A battleship of the Bretagne class was sunk and another heavily dam aged. Two French destroyers and an airplane carrier were sunk or burning. One battle cruiser, either the Strasbourg or the Dunkerque, succeeded in sailing out of the harbor pursued by aircraft, She was hit by one torpedo, but was joined by other French vessels, all of which reached Toulon (French European naval base) before they could be over taken. “The Dunkerque will, at any rate, be out of action for many months to come.” Even if the Ally had become enemy, Mr. Churchill spoke well of their valor. “The French ships fought with the char acteristic courage of the French Navy.” As for Britain’s enemy in the Mediter ranean, the Prime Minister said: “The Italian fleet kept prudently out of the way.” So the French suffered the greatest defeat at sea since Lord Nelson beat them at Trafalgar in 1805. The British had found a way of insisting that the French uphold the pre-truce agreement Eng land says the nation had to keep the fleet out of German hands. Within 36 hours after the battle of Oran, the Petain government, a German . , puppet, seated at Vichy, retain s broke off relations with Eng Protest land in the name of France, denouncing the naval en gagement, carried out by Admiral Som erville and directed by radio from the Admiralty in London, as “treachery.” What the future relations between France and England could be, none foresaw. Foreign Minister Baudoin, at Vichy, pub licly blamed Britain for France’s sur render to Germany, asked the press to assure the United States of France’s con tinued friendship, and denounced the warfare at Oran: “Mr. Churchill is guilty of an act of aggression which is without precedent in the history of the world, because the French warships at Oran were demobilized and without steam to maneuver for battle.” Next day French planes bombed the British port of Gib raltar and two British cruisers blockaded French West Indian island of Martinique. For the British, the naval battle in triplicate represented but one phase of the effort to confound the Germans in their plans for invasion. The Germans, for their part, steadily pushed these plans forward. On Monday, for the first time, the German Army set foot on British soil by occupying two of the British Channel Islands, close to the French coast, Guernsey and Jersey. Guernsey is 90 miles from the British port of Plym outh. The Germans claimed they tor pedoed a British cruiser of the Orion class and shot down 18 British planes attacking “non-military targets in North ern, Western and Southern Germany.” The Germans announced the cost of the western war against the Nether lands, Belgium, Luxembourg Losses on and France was 27,074 West Front killed, 111,034 wounded and 18,384 missing. An estimate of the French losses were 1,500,000. The extent of the German under-sea warfare widened, and London reported the loss of 884259 tons of shipping to German and Italian torpedoes during the week ending June 33. Berlin claimed Britain, final citadel of the Allied cause, is feeling the force of Germany’s iron fist through the Nazi air fleets which raid the beleaguered island night after night. In the above sketch Artist William Heaslip depicts aerial and land actions which mark bombing assaults on British areas. The air over the quiet English village is filled with the sight and sound of death. Searchlights stab the skies seeking the invaders as an anti-aircraft battery rakes the clouds, bringing down a Messerschmitt in flames. A Royal Air Force Spitfire sweeps upward to engage in another duel as its first victim, a Heinkel bomber (rashes on a house near the placid stream. ' a submarine put a torpedo in the British ship Illustrious. The day the Arandora Star went down and the French fleet lost at Oran. German bombing planes raided England all day, killing two, wounding 22. The next day the droning bombers returned to their work over England, and the British government took a great step toward preparation for the arrival of Germans at the English shore, issuing an order excluding the public from the entire east coast. With previous orders, this meant that from Berwick-on-Tweed in Scotland down the east coast and around to Dorset on the south coast Eng HITLER CUNNING SEEN IN ALLIES' BATTLE Lloyd George Charges Petain Duped on Disposal of French Fleet By David Lloyd George. LONDON.—The only serious battle last week was fought between the British and French ships. Of all the wars ever waged, this surely is the most amazing. Every turn in its fortunes is a startling surprise to all the prophets and experts. None of them foresaw its most astounding developments—unless it be the astound ing man who has been responsible for them all. Those who on either side of the At lantic foresee for themselves safe limits to his destructive powers may,live to rue their confidence. In the Machiavellian terms of peace he dictated to an aged French soldier, Hitler never asked for the surrender of the French fleet. Oh, no, that would be too obvious a device for handing it over as a formidable weapon for in vasion of an Allied country. Even Petain might not stand for that. Petain's honor must be saved. It was stipulated that the French fleet was not to be used to attack Britain. It was simply to be interned in French ports under German and Italian control. Petain Signed in Good Faith. Petain was taken in by Hitler's pledge—countersigned by Mussolini—and signed on the dotted line the insidious conditions of armistice in the genuine belief that he had faithfully discharged his obligations to his ally. The British government, in what was a matter of life or death to their country, could not place the same dependence on the promise given by a wily enemy who could easily And any number of ex cuses for evading it. If Britain shrank from capturing or otherwise rendering innocuous the Prench fleet, and its ships were consequently added to the powerful Italian fleet and the small but effective German fleet, an armada might be assembled against Britain which, with the aid of aerial supremacy, might overwhelm British resistance to invasion. In that contingency, the dictators would achieve their purpose. If, on the other hand, the British should sus pect Hitler's design and demand the surrender of the Prench fleet to them selves, then there woiild arise a pretty quarrel between the old confederates. Either way Hitler scored. Hitler’s Craft and Cunning. If the grand democratic alliance should provoke misunderstanding be tween Prance and Britain, their fleets would end in destroying each other. That also would serve his purpose well. His (energy is demoniacal, but it is noth ing to his craft and cunning. He has , partially—but only partially—succeeded in his design. It is true he has forced a sea fight between the navies of Prance and Britain, but a substantial part of the French fleet is under British con trol. Some of its ships have also been put out of action. The Hitler artifice will no doubt have the effect of strengthening the Laval intrigue to convert France into a Fascist state, more or less on the model of the victorious authoritarian constitutions. That is the next move of the Petainists —or rather the Lavalists. It is their chance to suppress the democratic in stitutions in France. There will be an attenuated, intimi dated assembly of senators and deputies at Clermont Ferrand, from which the democratic leaders will have been elim inated. Laval, who is not devoid of subtlety, in appealing to his rump parliament will use to the utmost the argument that better peace terms will be conceded to a state whose constitution approximates to that of the victors. When the Laval constitution becomes the governing docu ment the real conquest of Prance by Nazi Germany will be a fait accompli. It will be an authoritarian state robbed of all the compensating ingredients to be found in Germany and Italy. Britain Prepares for Invasion. Here on this island, we are preparing with feverish energy to defend our homes against the invaders. There is no doubt in my mind that invasion is impending. Neither is there any doubt that it must be and will be resisted with every re source at our disposal. I have not wit nessed any sign or symptom of quailing or submission herer The only questions asked are: “When will it come? Where will they land? What are we expected to do to resist?” (Copyright, 1940.) I France. land haa a line 20 miles deep entirely given over to military operations. In the air the British gave the Ger mans tit for tat. Twice the flyers in the Royal Air Force bombed the German 26,000-ton battleship Schamhorst, lying in a floating dock at the Schornhorst Kiel Canal. The British Bombed warriors of the sky set fire to oil storage tanks in Hamburg, and, according to Berlin, who called the action "unscrupulous,” killed 11 children, 3 women and 1 man in Ham burg and Barmbeck. For Britain the war during the week meant a good deal more than the prob lem of Germany. There was Italy, a bona fide enemy, and Japan, for London an annoyance. Italy meant battle in air and on water and menace in the Near East. A British authority ia Cairo said that during June the British air force shot down 60 Italian planes in the Near East. A Cairo naval communique reported that between June 27 and June 29 British naval air forced sank four Italian submarines and the destroyer Espero in the Eastern Med iterranean. The Italians in turn said WINSTON CHURCHILL. The Prime Minister of Great Britain wept as he told Parlia ment of the Anglo-French naval battle. —A. P. Photo. their airplanes dispersed British tank columns during fighting along the Egyptian-Libyan border. Saturday, Count Ciano. Italian foreign minister, left for Berlin to talk with his ally. Italy also meant a problem in regard J to Syria, French mandated territory lying at the Mediterranean’s eastern end. Theta Gen. Mittelhauser commands French troops. Britain, the London Foreign Office said, "could not allow Syria or Lebanon (adjacent to Syria), to be occupied by any hostile power.” A statement said that the British gdvern ment assumed that the action of Gen. Mittelhauser in ceasing hostilities did not mean that if Germany or Italy sought to occupy Syria or Lebanon, the French forces would not oppose them. Week end rumblings along the Syria-Palestine bor der indicated perhaps the French in Syria will fight the British. The Japanese problem arose from threats toward the English colony of Hong Kong, Chinese coastal island. The military authorities speeded the civilian evacuation of Hong Kong, Far East hoping for the removal of Upheaval women and children by today, preparatory to per haps a military defense operation. In Tokio it was reliably reported that the British were holding firm to their posi tion in one of the chief points of irrita tion between England and Japan. Eng land, it was said, refused the Japanese demand that she close to arms traffic the road from Burma, English possession, to the Chinese forces of Chiang Kai-shek, with whom the Japanese are waging unadmitted war. The Burma road is the Chinese generalissimo's last remain-, ing artery of communication to the outer world. While England pursued a policy of aggressive sternness, another country in stress, Rumania, followed its customary policy of agility. When Russia carved away her top provinces of Bessarabia and Northern Bucovina, Rumania looked for help from Germany. Germany, oc cupied in the west, this week disclaimed any pledges of assistance to King Carol. Hungary, classically desirous of taking her lost province of Transylvania from Rumania, went ahead with mobilization on a large scale. Sofia, capital of Rumania’s southern neighbor, Bulgaria, heard report that Germany had promised her backing in taking the province of Dobrudja, once Bulgarian, from Rumania. In that dis tressful circumstance, King Carol, know ing he had no friend in Russia, Hungary or Bulgaria, with agility sought again to Impress Germany by appointing a new staunchly pro - German government headed by Ion Girgitu, friend of the Nazis In Berlin. Any moment Balkan explosions are expected. * * * • The Americas The United States had a cosmopolitan week. The Par East was a problem. In London R. A. Butler, undersecretary of foreign affairs, intimated that the British Eastern attitude, expressed in the stand for Hong Kong and the re fusal to accede to Japanese desires about the Burma road, was adopted to please the United States, which has a well developed policy of declining to meet Japanese wishes that would further the success of her belligerency on the Asiatic continent. Mr. Butler gave this intima tion just two days after the American fleet reappeared in Hawaiian waters after a surprise disappearance of a week earlier. The fleet’s departure from and the fleet’s return to the mid-Paciflc are yet to be explained. Germany concerned the United States much more than Japan. On June 17 the State Department conveyed to the bel ligerent governments of Rome and Ber lin through its representatives abroad the Monroe Doctrine notice that the United States would not countenance any transfer of American territorial pos sessions of countries conquered by Ger many and Italy. Friday Secretary of State Hull dis closed that Germany oflered what here could be accepted only as Monroe an unsatisfactory reply. Doctrine Germany complained that the American interpretation of the American Monroe Doctrine would confer on some European countries the right to possess territories here and bar other nations which, like Germany, have no such American holdings from such a right. Berlin reiterated that it had given no occasion for any assumption that it intends to acquire such posses sions. Mr. Hull was vigorous in his ob servations on the German view, observa tions which he made to the press in a formal statement. The kernel of his statement was that the United States will not allow the Germans entry into the American political held. ‘The Monroe Doctrine is solely a policy of self-defense, which is intended to preserve the independence and in tegrity of the Americas,” he said. Then he referred overtly to German wishes for a “Monroe Doctrine” in Southeastern Europe and Japanese wishes for a "Mon roe Doctrine" in Asia: The Monroe Doctrine "never has resembled, and it does not today resemble, policies which appear to be arising in other geograph ical areas of the world, which are alleged to be similar to the Monroe Doc trine but which, instead of resting on the sole policy of self-defense and of re spect for existing sovereignties, as does .the Monroe Doctrine, would in reality seem to be only the pretext for the carrying out of conquest by the sword, of military occupation and of complete economic and political domination by certain powers of other free and inde pendent peoples.” As Mr. Hull spoke in Washington, President Roosevelt spoke in Hyde Park, where he is spending the week end. He talked to the press on permanent peace. The first essential for its Roosevelt birth, he said, is freedom on Peace from fear, to be accom panied by freedom of dis cussion and freedom of opinion—free doms which the German wray does not recognize. The bindery of this per manent peace, he said, would be dis armament. Meanwhile, his chief assistants in the formulation of the national defense pro gram were whipping into shape a request to go before Congress next week for $5, ©00,000.000 in new funds for arms. Only a few days earlier he had signed legisla tion clearing the way for immediate ex pansion of the United States Navy into the largest sea force in the world. To help pay for the arms, he sent a brief message to Congress requesting a “steep ly graduated excess profits tax, to be ap plied to all individuals and corporations without discrimination." In the offing was a.message from the President on compulsory military training. The Sen ate Military Affairs Committee and Naval Affairs Committee took steps toward assisting the President in the un ,folding of his national defense policy by approving the nominations of Repub licans Henry Stimson as Secretary of War and Frank Knox as Secretary of the Navy. Tomorrow, it is expected, the Senate will consider the nominations in a body. Both these Republicans denied the charge they are "interventionists." Both upheld the policy of material aid to Britain. Mr. Stimson received commit tee approval by a vote of Compulsory 14 to 3, Mr. Knox by 9 to Training 5. When it was finished with the problem of Mr. Stimson. the Senate Military Affairs Committee turned to hearings on the bill by Senator Burke, Democrat, of Nebraska, providing for compulsory mili tary training in the United States. A series of distinguished witnesses, headed by Gen. John J. Pershing and James B. Conant, president of Harvard Univer sity, indorsed the bill. "Such a measure, in my opinion,” Gen. Pershing wrote to the committee, “would promote democracy by bringing into in timate contact and on equal footing young men in all walks of life. More over, it might well be the determining factor in keeping us out of war.” "The threat against us is not only physical, ’ Dr. Conant said, “the threat is against our entire way of life. The training of personnel, like the produc tion of instruments, is essential at once. Under modem conditions, it is obvious that we cannot wait to prepare—we can not wait for a declaration of war or the moment of attack.” Supplementing these domestic moves to Insure the peace of America is the West ern Hemisphere movement. The week produced statements by both Argentina! and Cuba for all-American solidarity. In Buenos Aires, Foreign Minister Jose; Maria Cantilo said that his country will* support a policy of "continental soli-J darity and autonomy of action” wheii the foreign ministers of all the American^ republics meet in emergency session at£ Havana July 20. Whether this indicate* real support of the solidarity movemante will be tested at the conference. The Cuban government is taking more sweeping view of the inter-AmerHJ can situation. Its cabinet last weel£ declared its support of any stand for continental American peace which may be proposed at the meeting. The cabinet said Cuba would lend complete co-opera# tion in any effort to improve inter-* American trade. In Chicago Secretary of Agriculture Wallace urged' that th* American republics “unify their eco% nomic power.” The proposal for thi$ step will be laid before the delegates a| the Havana conference. Problem of British ships at Frencli Martinique, 700 miles across Caribbean from Cuba, threatened to complicate whole order of inter-American neutral* ity safeguards, resting chiefly on declara* tion of Panama, which established 300« mile zone around Americas barred tc$ fighting. Fight between British an<f French near Martinique seemed possible if not probable.