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Evening star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, December 19, 1940, Image 1

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Weather Forecast
Increasing cloudiness, warmer; lowest
tonight about 34: tomorrow cloudy,
warmer, followed by light rain. Tem
peratures today—Highest, 44. at 2 p.m.;
lowest, 29, at 5:15 a.m.
From the United States Weather Bureau report.
Full Details on Paae A-2.
Closing New York Markets, Page 22.
An Evening Newspaper
With the Full Day's News
Associated Press and (/Pi Wirephotos. North
American Newspaper Alliance. Chicago
Daily News Foreign Service and The Star *
Staff Writers. Reporters and Photographers.
uFl Mesas Asseciated Frets.
89th YEAR. No. 35,296.
Italians Are Trapped in Bardia,
British Blasting Tobruk Road;
Churchill Expecting Invasion
. JL. __
31,546 Prisoners
Already Counted,
Cairo Declares
STRUGA, Yugoslavia (at the
Albanian border), Dec. 19 t/P*.—
fleets of German transport
planes were reported today to be
shuttling Italian reinforcements
across the Adriatic to the Al
banian battlefront in an effort
to halt the Greek counter-inva
BASEL. Switzerland. Oh).—The
newspaper Le Democrat of Dele
mont reported today "from a good
source in Zurich" that freight
and civilian traffic have been
suspended on the Brenner rail
way line to permit the passage of
German divisions who are on
their way to Italy.
By the Associated Press.
CAIRO, Egypt, Dec. 19.—Italian
rearguard forces left to defend Bar
dia, Libya's principal base in the
frontier region, have been trapped
and their way of escape to Tobruk
is under aerial bombardment. Brit
' ish war communiques declared to
“Advanced elements of our troops
which have successfully contained
numerically superior enemy forces
in Bardia are being steadily rein
* forced and the position of the rem
nants of the beaten Italian army in
that area can now be regarded as
precarious,” said a British general
headquarters communique.
The Royal Air Force, recounting
raids and reconnaissance which
took British planes over the western
desert battle zone and also over
the frontiers with Italian East
Africa, reported:
"The Bardia-Tobruk road was
also bombed but little movement is
Land Patrols Active.
Linked with aerial operations
against Italian-occupied Ethiopia
and Eritrea were British land patrol
"On the Sudan frontier our patrols
were again active in the Kassala and
Gallabat areas (facing Eritrea and
Ethiopia, respectively), inflicting a
number of casualties on the enemy."
said the communique.
General headquarters said that
^31.546 Italian prisoners, including
1.626 officers, had been counted
already as the haul of the Libyan
offensive and that several thousand
more were being removed from
battle areas.
** (An Admiralty communique is
sued in London told of continu
ing bombardment of Italian posi
tions along the coast and Prime
Minister Churchill in his Com
mons address spoke of army
(In fighting at Sidi Omar, the
Prime Minister reported, 800
prisoners and a battery of ar
tillery were captured. "Perhaps
their hearts are not in their
work,’’ Mr. Churchill said of the
R. A. F. Fans Wide.
Bardia, less than 10 airline miles
northwest of the junction of the
Libyan-Egyptian frontiers, was an
important Italian supply base and
port. The normal population is
The R. A. F. fanned wide in its
offensive. It made a “w-ave" attack
two nights ago on Benina Airdrome,
which its communique described as
•‘one of the heaviest raids of the
war in the western desert,’’ destroy
ing 18 Italian planes and firing the
A Rhodesian squadron raided Ital
ian flying fields and troops in Me
temma area of the Ethiopian-Sudan
borderland, while others struck at
Jebel Serobatib, in the Sudan-Erit
rea region.
With the fall or Bardia apparently
Imminent there were indications
that the Italians also were making
preparations to abandon Tobruk, 70
miles to the west.
The British said their reconnais
sance planes had observed troop
movements in the direction of Derna,
80 miles further west along the coast.
Number Trapped Uncertain. .
How many Italian troops still lay
within the net the British were at
tempting to tighten around Bardia
was uncertain here. The normal
garrison, however, was said to be
one division, and it was believed
that this number has been aug
mented by remnants of the units
routed at Sidi Barrani and Salum.
Heavy rains were said to have
handicapped but not halted British
mechanized units and the air force
W'as said to be playing a major
role in the advance despite adverse
(The British radio, in a broad
cast heard by CBS. declared
British airmen had shot down
or put out of action more than
100 Italian planes during the
last seven days while "probably”
losing no more than five craft
British Using Seized Stores.
The British were said to be putting
to good use the great quantities of
stores they were reported to have
captured in driving the Italians out
of Egypt.
The Italians’ only serious shortage
appeared to be in metals. Many of
the Italian troops had no steel
helmets and many of their fortifi
cations had no barbed wire. The
Italians also had little gasoline, for
most of their vehicles operate on
oil, which was a disappointment to
the British.
British Take Back 120
From Somaliland Raid
NAIROBI, Kenya Colony, Dec. 18
(Delayed) (PP).—British headquar
ters announced today that patrols
• which were reported to have raided
El Wak in Italian Somaliland had
retired across the Kenya border with
approximately 120 prisoners after
getting fire to buildings and supply
Hitler Forced to Act in Next
2 Months, Commons Is Told
Armed Parity With Reich Seen in 1941;
Losses in African Battle Put at 1,000
Text of Churchill Report, Page B-15.
Bs the Associated Press.
LONDON. Dec. 19.—Adolf Hitler
needs "to do something now, or at
any rate in the next two months,”
Prime Minister Churchill declared
today; therefore German invasion
still is Britain’s “supreme danger.”
At the same time, in his pre
Christmas war review before the
House of Commons, Mr. Churchill
spoke joyfully of Britain's continu
ing offensive against Italy in Africa
and optimistically of Britain's
chances next year of armed parity
with Germany. Britain is only half
armed now, he said.
If Britain's 1941 strength is not
used in defense of the British Isles,
Mr. Churchill said, it may be used
in “other theaters.” but he did not
say what they might be.
The Battle of Africa, he declared,
has cost Britain less than 1,000 killed
and wounded as against capture of
at least 30,000 prisoners and much
material, but above all had demon
strated the quality of British Em
pire forces, permitting Britain “to
take bolder views than those open
to us before.” The British were
contending against odds of 3, 4 and
5 to 1 in Libya, he declared.
Mr. Churchill suggested that the
present tapering off of the German
air siege of Britain might mean
“preparation for some other form
of activity against Britain.” Bad
~~iSee CHURCHILL' Page A-21.) "
Italians Reported
Abandoning Key
Albanian Towns
Occupation of Klisura
And Tepeleni Near,
Greeks Indicate
B> the Associated Press.
ATHENS, Dec. 19.—Unconfirmed
reports from the Greek-Italian bat
tlefront in Albania said today that
Italian forces had withdrawn from
the key mountain towns of Klisura
and Tepeleni. Another dispatch said
that Greek occupation was imminent.
The Greeks apparently were fol
lowing the usual practice of delaying
entrance until surrounding areas had
been mopped up.
In the case of Tepeleni and Klisura
in the middle sector of the front, the
Fascist warriors were said to have
withdrawn merely to heights about
the towns, in position to fire on
Greek troops should they try at once
to occupy the two places.
"Despite bad weather.” said one
dispatch, “Greek columns are con
tinuing their advance, especially in
the central sector where, after heavy
artillery fire, they reached Klisura.
“The Italians abandoned their po
sitions, where they had been fight
ing for three days, and left in the
hands of Greek troops abundant war
material and quite a few prisoners.”
The current Greek offensive also
is aimed at the sea coast town of
Meanwhile ,the British Royal Air
Force told of a “most successful” at
tack yesterday on the port of Va
lona. which is in the path of the
Greeks’ coastal column, 25 miles
north of Chimara.
The British encountered “strong
fighter opposition” and fought a 20
minute running engagement. One
Italian plane was believed to have
been downed and one British plane
made a forced landing on its return
to base.
Germans Are Reported
In Taranto and Turin
B' the Associated Pres*.
NEW YORK. Dec. 19.—The Co
lumbia Broadcasting System last
night reported receipt of a wireless
message from Belgrade. Yugoslavia,
which said that authoritatve sources
“stated German forces are now con
centrated in Taranto, Italy, and that
a certain number are in Turin.-’
“No precise figures are available,”
the message said. “According to
eye-witness reports reaching the
same sources here, German troops
were sighted early this week pass
ing southward through the Brenner
Pass and others were seen aboard
ship in the harbor of Trieste. These
reports estimate the Trieste con
centration at one division” (about
15,000 men).
C. B. S. said that despite Italian
government denials of infiltration of
German troops into Italy, its cor
respondent’s story of Tuesday from
Belgrade was further confirmed by
last night’s message.
If German soldiers actually are in
Italy in force, it could mean that
they are intending to help the
Italians in Albania or will attempt
to run the British blockade of
Africa and aid the Italian forces in
Senator Johnson Is Added
To Influenza Victims
By the Associated Press.
SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 19.—Cali
fornia's influenza epidemic added
Senator Johnson, veteran Repub
lican member of the Senate, to its
list today.
The 74-year-old Senator was con
fined to his home. His family and
physician said his condition was not
serious, but he was resting in bed as
a precaution.
Thousands of Californians have
been stricken in the last few weeks
with a mild form of influenza.
Christmas vacation started early
for hundreds of school students as
numerous institutions closed because
of the epidemic, which made huge
cuts into attendance. ,
Senator and Mrs. Johnson re
turned to San Francisco from Wash
ington a few days ago to spend the
holidays and to visit their grand
son. Phillip B. Johnson, who is Ul
in a hospital. %
British Again Smash
At German-ltalian
Mannheim Is Blasted
Third Straight Night;
Milan, Genoa Bombed
LONDON (JP).—Londoners heard
air-raid sirens shrilling early this
evening for the first time in three
i -
; B> the Associated Press.
LONDON. Dec. 19.—Three straight
nights of R. A. P. bombardment of
Mannheim, Southwestern German
; industrial, commercial and com
1 munications center, were described
i today in well-informed quarters as
| part of a British move to smash
! communications between Germany
and Italy.
Linked with the third attack last
night was an R. A. F. smash at
Italy—a factory In Milan, docks at
Genoa and an airdrome In Northern
Italy, according to the Air Minis
try's announcement.
Informed quarters stressed the
Mannheim raids, however, as an
attempt to smash communication
links between the axis powers while
British troops continued their pres
sure against Italian forces in Libya
and British air and sea forces
helped the Greeks fight Italy in
In the darkness last night R. A. F.
bombers planted bombs amid the
smoke of previous bombardments
of Mannheim, . the Air Ministry
Bombed 31 Times.
By British count, Mannheim has
been bombed 31 times since the war
started. Aside from its importance
in axis communications, the city
factories make submarine engines
and provide other finished products
needed by warring Germany.
Still another motive in the Mann
heim attack, it is believed, is the
British wish to give successive re
gions of Germany a taste of heavy
raiding something like the Nazi air
force has been giving to various
sections of England. Fire damage
was reported by the Air Ministry.
The ministry said four large new
fires were started in Mannheim,
“where smoke from fires of previous
raids” still could be seen.
“At Milan,” a communique said,
“a large area was seen to be blaz
in furiously.”
e submarine base at Lorient,
in Nazi-occupied France, also was
attacaed, the ministry said.
The British lost no planes in the
night's raiding, reported to have
been carried out despite bad
(The Swiss high command
earlier had reported a new vio
lation of Swiss territory by “for
eign warplanes” which "crossed
the Jura in a southeasterly di
rection,” the route frequently
used in the past by British flyers
raiding Italy.)
German Air Force Inactive.
. Although conditions over the
Channel were described as “not
unfavorable,” the German air force
remained inactive last night and
for the second successive day the
morning communique on aerial op
(See MANNHEIM, Page A-147)
The Idea May Be O.K., Mr. President, but Will It Hold Water?
# •—
Christmas Money to Needy
Has Doubled Happiness Value
Organizations' Gifts Brighten Homes That
Would Be Dark on a Hopeless Day
Many in Washington have hit on a scheme for doubling their
money between now and Christmas.
They double it in terms of human happiness—sending to The
Star's Christmas Fund dollar bills and five-dollar bills and checks
bigger yet. The money is going to families in extreme need
lighting a flash of Christmas joy < — —.
in Homes tnat now lace only dark- j
ness. Your gift in the hands of a
mother of the needy will do more
good than you know.
Bring or mail your contribution
; to Christmas House, outside The
i Star Building at Eleventh street
and Pennsylvania avenue N.W.
Here is an account of what some of
' your fellow citizens did yesterday j
for Yule cheer:
i Employes of the Coast and
j Geodetic Survey held a Christmas
party in the Department of Com
merce auditorium, and presented
$134.45 to The Star-Warner Bros.
N. B. C. campaign. Their Santa
Claus also gave to Bill Coyle, radio
i director of The Star, 200 toys and 50
pounds of candy for distribution to
underprivileged youngsters.
A woman, who listens to the
N. B. C. Kibitzers broadcast their
appeals for the Christmas fund,
sent in her second gift.
"I had already given all I thought j
(Continued on Page A-3, Column 1.) !
Christmas House
If you're in the vicinity of
Christmas House, at Eleventh
street and Pennsylvania ave
nue N.W., at any of tne WMAL
broadcasting periods, stop by to
make a contribution and take
part. Representatives of organ
izations can arrange to appear
on one of the broadcasts by
calling NAtional 5000 and ask
ing for Christmas House.
12-12:15 P.M.
. 1:2* to 4:45 KM.
9:45 to 10 A.M.
4:30-4.45 P.M.
7:15-7:30 PJW.
Freighter Beached
After Crash With
U. S. Battleship
The Arkansas Hits Cargo
Vessel Early Today
Off New Jersey
Pi the Associated Press.
NEW YORK, Dec. 19.—A 26,100
ton battleship, the U. S. S. Arkansas,
and a freighter collided in the dark,
early morning hours today off the
Jersey coast, damaging the cargo
vessel so badly she had to be
beached after limping 40 miles to
New York Harbor.
The crash occurred off Seagirt
about 3 a m. None of the personnel
aboard either Ship was injured and
the Arkansas, oldest battleship of its
type in service, was practically un
Listing heavily to port, the 5,148
ton freighter, the Melrose, was run
aground by her master, Capt. George
E. Tubbs, on Red Hook Flats, a
shallows off the Brooklyn shore,
within sight of the Brooklyn dry
dock she had sought to reach.
The Arkansas—carrying about 500
Naval Reservists, the last group of
some 5,000 undergoing training for
commissions—also continued on to
New York and dropped anchor in
her customary spot in the Hudson.
Capt. John L. Hall, jr„ of Wil
liamsburg, Va„ commander of the
battleship, said later, “We all saw
the ship for about 15 or 20 minutes
before we had this light collision—
only a glancing blow—but it could
not be avoided.”
_He added that, pending an inves
1 (See COLLISION, Page A^5.)
Summary of Today's Star 1
Page Page.
Amusements D-10 Radio_D-8
Comics-D-8-9 Serial Story.. C-5
Editorials ..A-12 Society_B-3
Finance_A-21 Sports _D-l-3
Lost, Found _D-5 Woman’s
Obituary ...A-14 Page_D-4
Britain still only half armed,
Churchill says. Page A-l
British again smash at Reich-Italian
communications. Page A-l
30,000 Italians taken prisoner, Eden
says. Page A-l
Italians reported abandoning key
Albanian towns. Page A-l
Matsuoka pleads for U. S. to stay out
of war. Page A-l
Envoys to provide news of Medi
terranean situation. Page A-19
Risto Ryti elected President of
Finland. Page B-5
Logan-Walter bill objectives seen
approved next session. Page A-S
New tactics to speed arms produc
tion being studied. Page A-l
Military training plan for all youths
of 21 predicted. Page A-l
Washington and Vicinity.
Princess Juliana to watch press con
ference today. Page A-18
Dirksen to explore possibility of
D. C. personnel cut. Page B-l
Editorial and Comment.
tetters to The Star. Page A-12
Answers to Questions. Page A-12
This and That. Page A-12
David Lawrence. Page A-13
Constantine Brown. Page A-13
Jay Franklin. Page A-13
Gould Lincoln. Page A-13
George Fielding Eliot. Page A-13
After Dark. PageB-14
Christmas Story. Page B-18
Vital Statistics. Page C-4
Service Orders. Page C-4
Nature’s Children. Page D-5
Bedtime Story. Page D-8
Winning Contract. Page D-9
Cross-Word Puzzle. Page D-9
Uncle Ray's Corner. Page D-9
Draft System Change
To 21-Year-Old
'Class' Plan Seen
European Principle
Said by Sponsors to
Have Many Advantages
A radical change in the selective
service law, replacing the present
system of training available men
between the ages of 21 and 36 with
a new plan of calling out each
year all qualified men of 21, was
predicted today at a source high
in the defense program.
C. A. Dykstra, director of selective
service, conferred with President
Roosevelt today and admitted as he
left the White House that they had
discussed proposed changes in the
age limits of men liable for military
While no definite announcement
came from the White House or
selective service headquarters, it was
reported that the President is in
terested in the plan to lower the
age of trainees. It was indicated
that the draft director gave the
President results of a study made
by selective service officers of the
“annual class” system.
This proposed change, currently
under discussion by officers of the
War Department and the Selective
Service System, is expected to be
advanced at the new session of
Congress as an amendment to the
act. It is understood that its
sponsors will urge it as a more
of less permanent defense policy.
The new plan—an old story in
Europe—would retain the principle
of selective service, but place it
on a more practical and equitable
basis, those favoring it contend.
Sponsors Claim Efficiency.
The European system of com
pulsory military service, sometimes
known as the Swiss plan, calling
out men for training when they
reach a certain age and designating
them afterward as the “class” of
that year, is regarded by Army
officers and some members of Con
gress as a more efficient plan and
one even less likely to disturb the
economic balance and democratic
traditions of America than the
machinery set up by the Selective
Service Act of 1940.
Congress is expected to consider
the annual class plan along with
other suggested changes in the law,
one of which would remove the limit
of 900,000 on the number of selectees
who may be in training at one time
during peace.
Statisticans at the Census Bureau
estimate that 1,300,000 Americans
will reach the age of 21 during the
next year.
If, as at present, jnen between the
ages of 18 and 21 were allowed to
volunteer, it was pointed out, there
would be an annual reservoir of
(See CONSCRIPTION, Page A-18.)
265 D. C. Registrants
Take Physical Tests
Tomorrow Night
296 to Get Examinations
Tonight; All Will Have
X-Rays Next Week
Selective service authorities today
ordered 265 registrants to report
for physical examinations at four
Washington Hospitals at 7 p.m. to
morrow. These, with 296 registrants
ordered yesterday to appear for tests
tonight, make a total of 561 pro
spective selectees out of which the
25 local area boards expect to fill
the District’s January quota call
of 202 men.
While most of the physical ex
aminations will be completed in the
hospital checkups, all of the regis
trants involved will report to the
District Public Health Clinic here
beginning early next week for chest
X-rays and laboratory tests. As
was the case in Washington's first
quota call last month (in which SI
selectees were inducted for one year
of military training) final physical
examinations will be given the se
lectees at the Army induction sta
tion for this area.
Induction Station Changed.
Since the “token" induction in
November, 3d Corps Area headquar
ers has changed the induction sta
tion in the Washington area from a
location at 458 Indiana avenue NW.
to the 5th Regiment Armory in Bal
timore, Md.
Brig. Gen. Albert L. Cox, selective
service executive for the District,
announced today, however, that
members of the 260th Coast Artil
lery Regiment, National Guard, will
be inducted here instead of in Bal
timore or elsewhere, as had been
scheduled. Col. Henry Pillsbury, 3d
Corps Area medical officer, conferred
with authorities here today regard
ing a place where the examinations
for the Guardsmen might be held,
and a decision on this matter is ex
pected in the next few days. The
tests are expected to begin on Jan
uary 6. and continue at the rate of
about 200 men a day until the anti
aircraft regiment members have all
been given final checkups.
The Guardsmen, like the selective
service men, also will be given chest
X-rays and laboratory tests.
Registrants ordered to report to
morrow at 7 p.m. at local hospitals
Board No. 1 (Emergency Hospital).
Albert P. Gault, jr„ 27, 1430
Thirty-third street N.W.; Sidney
Blatt, 27, 4042 Fessenden street N.W.;
Clay B. Cofer, 23, 3317 Dent street
N.W.; Richard W. Rabak, 23, 2826
Thirty-ninth street N.W.; Joseph
W. Widlick. 31, 3739 Benton street
N.W.; Charles A. Estep, 24, 3117 N
street N.W.; Harold Hughes, 24, 3325
N street N.W.; Arthur E- Farquhar,
21, 3307 O street N.W.; Francis L.
King. 28. 3039 Q street N.W.; Wil
liam B. Briggs, 32, 1603 Thirtieth
street N.W.: Vernon G. Mastin, 21,
1417 Thirty-fourth street N.W.;
Lawrence A. Knapp. 35, 1645 Thirty
first street N.W.; Edward K. Adel
sheim, 25, 2209 Observatory place
N.W., and Vivian M. Mastin, 23,1417
Thirty-fqprth street N.W.
Board No. 2 (Garfield Hospital).
Claude J. West, 27, 2630 Woodley
place N.W.; Bruce F. Johnston, 28,
2709 Woodley road; Carl A. Landis,
35, 2929 Connecticut avenue N.W.;
David Pincus, 25, 3412 Morrison
street N.W.; Irving W. Thompson,
22, 2865 Twenty-ninth street N.W.;
(See DRAFT, Page A-2.)
Cabinet Considering
New Defense Setup;
British Get Go-Ahead
Three-Man Command
Is One of Four
Or Five Proposals
President Roosevelt will present to
his cabinet today, summoned for an
unusual Thursday session, four or
five plans for reorganizing the ad
ministrative machinery of the de
fense program.
Whatever decisions or conclusions
are reached in today's consideration
of this problem will, in turn, be
placed before the National Defense ,
Commission at a White House meet
ing tomorrow. The weekly assem
bly of the council at the White
House has been postponed from its
customary Thursday hour until to
morrow, to expedite whatever re
visions may be agreed upon today.
Among the alternatives to be
placed before the full cabinet today
will be one for the formation of a
three-man super-council of defense,
probably to be composed of the
Secretaries of War and Navy and a
leading member of the present de
fense commission. For this post,
William S. Knudsen, production
chief, generally is under considera
tion, and the entire plan is presently
being worked out in detail by War
and Navy Department officials af
ter a White House conference late
Chairman Might Be Named.
Nature of the other proposals for
revamping the defense set-up was
not made public in the White House
announcement today that such a
revision is under consideration.
There has been frequent specula
tion, however, that a simple ap
pointment of a Defense Commission
chairman with more precise author
ity than now exists is one of the
courses considered.
Disclosure of the intentions to
revise the administrative defense
machinery was made by Stephen T.
Early, secretary to the President,
during the questioning about re
ports that there had been agree
ment in principle on the three-man
supreme defense Council.
Actually, Mr. Early said, the plan
was left with War and Navy De
partment heads after their White
; House meeting yesterday and a re
i quest made to them by the Presi
dent that they return it with fur
ther details.
"The President has before him
and is studying along with this one
four or five plans,” Mr. Early said.
"In an effort to ascertain what, if
any, realignment of the defense set
up is necessary. He has yet to
decide what part of these may be
meritorious or should be applied.
Announcement to Follow.
“With the cabinet meeting this
afternoon and the Defense Com
mission tomorrow, as soon as all
hands can work out and agree on
the necessary and best plan there
will be an announcement of it.”
Meanwhile. Secretary of War
Stimson intimated that President
Roosevelt would head the three-man
“super” defense council, if it is set
He gave a quotation from George
Washington in praise of a single,
unified command to lend support to
his theory that President Roosevelt
would retain direction and control
over the proposed new council.
Mr. Stimson refused to comment
on any details of the duties that
would be imposed on such a coun
cil, although he confirmed reports
of the administration plan when
questioned about it at a press con
ference. At one time he referred to
the matter as having been "reported
from the White House.” When it
was suggested to him that no offi
cial report had been issued from
thpt source, he then referred to it
as “reports published in the news
When Mr. Stimson was questioned
about the proposed Defense Coun
cil, he said that was a matter which
the President has in charge and
(bee DEFENSE, Page A^l 8 J ‘
Congress Won't Quit
Until New Session
Ends It, Barkley Says
Br the Associated Press.
Senate Majority Leader Bark
ley said today that Congress
would remain in session until it
expires automatically with the
opening of the new Congress
January 3.
(Earlier story on page A-5.)
Stimson Moves to Protect
Soldiers From Exploitation
By tbe Associated Press.
Secretary of War Stimson, declar
ing soldiers had been exploited
financially and subjected to a bad
moral influence in unnamed com
munities near Fort Bennlng, Ga.,
announced today he would create
an organization to deal with such
conditions throughout the country.
He told his press conference
there would be a committee to work
toward improvement of health and
sanitary conditions in towns near
Army posts, and co-operate with
law enforcement and other offi
cial agencies in the communities.
The aim would be to control “un
desirable persons and places,” in
crease proper recreational facilities
in the towns and protect soldiers
"so far as we can from being ex
Mr. Stimson said it was highly
important that the camps where
selectees would undergo a year's
training be in a good neighborhood,
and, if the neighborhood were not
good, that it be bettered.
He said he had found on a recent
visit to Port Bennlng that there was
“great room for improvement in one
of the neighboring towns—in all
sorts of ways.”
Just as soon as the post at Ben
ning was increased* he said, and a
lot of young officers came in looking
for quarters nearby, all the rents in
the town went up threefold.
"That inflicted a great hardship
upon the youngsters,” the Secretary
"Conditions of a moral character
in one of these towns was an even
worse influence.”
England Is Told
To Buy Pending
Final Finance Plan
President Roosevelt and Secretary
of the Treasury Morgenthau this
morning made a decision of vast
importance to the British cause, con
cluding that the British buying rep
resentatives should be given the go
ahead sign at once to take all but
the final steps in negotiating for
the purchase here of new war ma
terials without concern about pay
Mr. Morganthau, in announcing
the decision at his press conference,
said that actual British contract
signing would have to await con
sultation between Mr. Roosevelt and
the Congress on the financing plan
for British needs which the Presi
dent outlined Tuesday. Speed is the
watchword, and Stephen Early, the
White House secretary, explained
the idea behind the arrangement:
"Instead of stopping their nego
tiation. let them go ahead and get
l everything ready for the actual
! signing of contracts when the new
j authority is at hand.”
Ships Need Not Wait.
The construction of 60 cargo ships
in American yards for the British
will not have to await congressional
sanction of the President's British
financing plan, Mr. Morgenthau
said. He announced that the Brit
ish would be told they could go
ahead at once with the business of
signing contracts for building these
vessels. Cargo ships are at the
moment the most urgent British
The British have $50,000,000 in
cash earmarked for the ship-build
ing. The vessels. Mr. Morgenthau
said, are to be 410 feet long and
weigh 9.300 tons each. It will take
a year to a year and one-half to
construct them.
The orders have yet to be placed,
Mr. Morgenthau said. At the same
time the administration's legal ad
visers are searching for a method
under international law by which
the United States might assume
title to 37 Danish vessels docked or
anchored in American ports and
turn them over to the British.
British Provide List of Needs.
Besides the ships and past orders,
l the British prospective war material
purchases come to $3,000,000,000, one
j quarter said. On Mr. Morgenthau's
! desk during his press conference lay
a long catalogue of British needs.
I which he said had been presented
| to him yesterday. The list has been
■ cleared, he said, by the Army, the
| Navy and the National Defense Ad
; visory Commission,
i The Secretary declined even to
i hint at what the catalogue included.
But the goods listed there are the
things on which the British are
being told to negotiate for, provided
they sign no contracts until Con
gress has had ample opportunity to
study the financing plan.
From other sources it was learned
by the Associated Press that the
British -were seeking contracts for
12.000 additional planes, at a possible
cost of $1,125,000,000 ; 2.000 to 2.500
more tanks, and guns and ammuni
tion costing about $1,700,000,000.
Secretary Morgenthau declined
himself to estimate the amount of
the new British potential contracts
and Mr. Early at the Whitg House
said he did not know what quantity
of arms England would need to
j finish the war or whether she was
planning ahead for only a year or so.
Orders, But No Money.
“Everybody admits and agrees."
Mr. Early said, “that time is of the
essence. Now comes a period when,
I take it, the British authorities are
worrying about and working upon
orders to be made by them and for
which they will not, have cash to
These orders will come under the
proposed leasing and mortgaging
system outlined by Mr. Roosevelt,
provided, it was apparent from what
Mr. Morgenthau said, that Congress
agrees with the President's idea.
The Secretary would not discuss de
tails of the President's plan, but he
revealed that the President's press
conference Tuesday was the first
time that the revolutionary plan had
been made known to anybody out
side Government circles.
Not even the British themselves
were aware of it, he said. Mr. Mor
genthau said he told Sir Frederick
Phillips, the British Undersecretary
of the Treasury, about it at 5 p.m.
on Tuesday. The Secretary said that
he had kept himself from all con
tact with the press or the British
until that time on that day so he
would do nothing to let the plan
leak out prematurely.
Form of “Consultation" Uncertain.
The Treasury Secretary said he
did not know what form the “con
sultation" between the President and
the Congress would take—whether
Congress would be asked for legisla
tion on the finance plan or requested
merely for its approval by resolution.
He made it clear, however, that
“naturally we expect the British to
wait for signing contracts until
Congress has had a chance to study
this plan.”
The orders for the desperately
needed 60 cargo vessels may be
placed by this week’s end, authori
tative circles said. The ships will
be able to move at 10 to 11 knots
and cost about $1,250,000 apiece or
perhaps less. When it was drawn
to Mr. Morgenthau’s attention that
60 times $1,250,000 is a good deal
more than the $50,000,000 earmarked
by the British for the purpose, he
“If the ships cost more than that
($50,000,000), they are good for more
tens, many more tens”—apparently
tens of millions.
As for the Danish ships, their cap
tains have refused since the German
occupation of Denmark in April a
British offer that they permit Brit
ish seizure of the* vessels on the high
seas. The Government s hope !■
(See BRITISH AID, Page A-5.)

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