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Evening star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, November 15, 1943, Image 7

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Effort Made
To Discredit
President Roosevelt recently se
lected a small group of editors and
writers and invited them twice to
the White House for a long and
rather intimate
discussion of the
problems of the
war. For doing
this simple and
useful thing he
now is being at
tacked by a sec
tion of the iso
lationist press
whose mistaken
purpose is to
arouse competi
tive jealousies
and stir up fric
tion between the D*Tld Lawrence.
President and the many writers who
have not been invited.
The palpable effort is being made
to discredit the dozen who did at
tend. The claim is being publicly
made that they will be unduly in
fluenced in what they write or edit.
In fact, it is charged openly that
the attending writers are made con
fidantes on information they can
not print so that other things can
be planted on them that they may
This correspondent—although his
name was published by an isolation
ist critic in the list of those allegedly
present at the informal White House
gatherings recently—does not hap
pen to have been invited to any of
the sessions. The President has!
every right to invite whomever he
pleases to the White House for the
discussion of public business.
Follows Precedent.
What's more, Mr. Roosevelt is
merely following the precedent set
by other Chief Executives who, since
the era of President Theodore
Roosevelt, have asked writers and
editors singly or in groups to come
to the White House occasionally for
a discussion of contemporaneous
affairs. Noi has such a custom ever
disturbed the regular newsmen
whose duty it is from day to day
to report the “spot” news that comes
out of the executive offices.
It’s a good thing for the President
to hold as many press conferences
as possible. The regular twice-a
week sessions with all the corre
spondents arc much too crowded
and uncomfortable for note-taking
or hearing. A larger room should
be used, possibly the east room, with
chairs provided. Also impromptu
questions and answers have some
times produced unintended embar
rassments that never would arise if
the subjects or topics were submitted
to the President in writing in ad
vance of the meetings, as is done in
the British Parliament. These White
House press and radio conferences
have developed into an institution
of which America may well be proud
—an example and a challenge to
all the governments of the free
world to be.
At the same time it is a fortunate
development that the President can
fine time also to see smaller groups
and give them his ideas about the
war and its progress. These sessions
could become as useful to the Presi
dent as to his visitors for a Chief
Executive lives in virtual seclusion.
He learns only what he reads or
what callers tell him. And if those,
callers happen to be sycophantic;
job-holders or thick-and-thin sup
porters there is not likely to be
any reciprocal advantages to such
As for writers and editors, all of
them with rare exception have too
high a sense of duty to their readers
to allow themselves to be over
whelmed by the awe of a presi
dential presence and thus permit
themselves to be swayed by any
thing told them if it is something
with which they cannot conscienti
ously agree in their writings. They
•re much too vigilant to be used for
political purposes and the President
is much too experienced to believe
they could be.
Constructive Step.
In wartime and in the formula
tion of international policies for
peacemaking, it is important that,
the press of America be clearly in
formed by governmental spokesmen.
Thus a constructive step has been
taken. Heretofore the President's
relations with the reporters of
Washington have been good but
With managing editors and publish
ers the relations have been strained.
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On The Record—
Some months ago, Oen. Pat
ton, in a letter to the small
brother of a fallen soldier, prom
ised the youngster that he, too,
would have
an opportun
ity to fight
for his coun
try some day.
On Wed
nesday, the
Secretary of
the Navy,
Frank Knox,
against the
illusion that
this was like
ly to be the
last War.” Dorothv Thompson.
On Thursday, Alexander Sever
sky forecsist the war of the
future. For him this Second
World War is only a test of the
real power of aviation. “The
present war has yet provided
few examples of pure air strat
egy . . . strategical bombing is
still in the experimental stage
. . '. in the future, as aviation
asserts its dominant role, war
making will become increasingly
a contest in destroying weapons
at their point of origin.”
Also on Thursday, Senator
Ralph Brewster debated with
Harry D. Gideonse on the sub
ject "Are America's and Britain's
economic aims compatible?” In
the course of his argument Sena
tor Brewster listed conflicts of
interest which unless solved to
American satisfaction might "sow
the seed of another and greater
war.” The war, he thought,
might occur, if America did not
receive her "proper share” of
trade. Among other things he
demanded "a more equitable
sharing of the British petroleum
reserves in the Persian gulf.”
Bet Against Own Success.
I greatly hope that none of
these gentlemen will have any
thing to say about the coming
peace. For if they are already
betting against the success of
their own plans, let us make
other plans.
Mr. Knox's plan is to have
permanent universal military
training, the world's largest air
force and fleet, and be sure that
“we don't end this war too 60on.”
and only when our troops stand
in Berlin and Tokio.
We are to knock out Germany
and Japan once and for all, leav
ing only the United Nations as
power factors on earth. We are
to make sure that the follow
ing peace “will endure for a long
time.” But we must be warned
against the illusion that it will
I do not know which of the
United Nations, Mr. Knox con
siders will be our next enemy.
Senator Brewster is more spe
cific. If we don't get what we
want, it may be Britain. And
one cause may be competing in
terests of British and American
oil companies in territory be
longing to neither Britain nor
Senator Brewster picks a good
point for his next war—Persia.
American and British boys are
to fight each other there in be
half of the conflicting Interests
of private companies. But there
is another power interested in
Persia, though not in oil conces
sions, but in an outlet for a so
cialist economy to warm water.
That is Russia. So we could
have a wonderful war bound to
embrace the whole world, or lay
the foundations for World War
No. IV. That would be fine be
cause by then, we will have per
fected atomic disintegration, and
so can blow the human race off
the earth and give this globe
a final, lasting peace.
We must be grateful to Sena
tor Brewster for making clear
where power politics and free
play for the competition of pri
vate industrial empires will lead
us. We should be grateful to
Mr. Knox for warning us of the
results of placing our faith in
the maintenance of huge stand
ing national armies. We hope
Alexander de Seversky will con
tinue to describe future wars in
the air. Mr. Seversky promises
us that the next war in the air
will be humane. Few people will
be killed. The result will not
be many corpses, but "general
People To Sift Causes.
Curiously enough, I don’t be
lieve these prophets. I don’t
believe we are going to fight
over Persian oil, nor even over
air transport. Nor do I think
that the people are going to
put their trust in immense na
tional arms.
For, when this war is over,
the people are going to go care
fully into its causes. They are
going to review the diplomacy of
the last 20 years. And they are
going to find out that this war
need never have happened. They
are going to see that it was the
result of the game of power poli
tics, fostering the hope that a
war could occur which would
not affect their own nation, but
militate to their own Interests.
They are also going to see that
wars occur because the govern
ments and ruling powers of na
tions do not know how to or
ganize and use their own re
sources and manpower for the
wealth and happiness of their
own people, and so turn them
loose in conquest as a way out
of a dilemma.
Tliat is not said to exculpate
Hitler and the Germans who
started this catastrophe. But
what has to be explained is how
and why he, and the nation be
hind him. were able to get into
the position where they could
do all this.*
When we find the right an
swers, by asking the right ques
tions, we can be more optimis
tic about enduring peace than
Mr. Knox, Mr. Seversky, Gen.
Patton, or Senator Brewster.
(Re)eaaed bjr The Betl Syndicate. Inc.)
Mr. Roosevelt has had a sort of
chip-on-the-shoulder attitude to
ward the owners of newspapers and
it may well have resulted from the
ideological complexes of those New
Deal bureaucrats who have had
such ready access to his ear. The
publishers, on the other hand, have
looked askance at the use of the
administration's power to injure the
press just because, as they felt,
most of the editorial pages have not
happened to agree with the radical
ism and at times the totalitarianism
of the New Deal.
In time of war, however, and in
the anxious days that lie ahead if
is important for all of us to work
together against the vicious set of
international enemies we are fight
ing. Any move, therefore, that
looks toward bringing together our
President and our press, whether
through large groups or small,
through writers or editors or pub
lishers. is a move in the right direc
tion and should not be suspended
Just because of the mischievous ma
neuvers of an isolationist-minded
(Reproduction Rights Reserved.)
CJ”HE opinions of the writers on this page are their own, not
necessarily The Star’s Such opinions are presented in The
Star’s effort to give all sides of questions of interest to its
readers, although such opinions may he contradictory among
themselves and directly opposed to The Star’s.
-—------- " ' ■ 1
The Great Game of Politics—
In summing up his view of the
military situation a few days ago,
a high American military author
ity, just returned from abroad, said:
“The war Is
won, but the
war is not over
—not b^ a Ion
shot.” In efleci
Mr. ChurchiU
said the same
thing in his re
cent speech.
What is meant,
of course, is that
though com
plete victory
seems assured,
the possibility
of defeat
through inertia, indifference or stu
pidity still exists.
In brief, this is no time to relax.
Nonetheless, the propspect is such
that it is no longer sensible to post
pone consideration of the vital post
war domestic problems on the
ground that first we must win the
war. That is why the acceptance
by Mr. B. M. Baruch of the respon
sibility for making plans through
which our war economy can be
unscrambled after the fighting is
over *in such a way as to avoid
chaos, provide jobs and re-establish
private enterprise has had so fa
vorable a public reaction.
With Mr. Baruch as the directing
head, clear thinking and disinter
ested recommendations on this sub
ject are assured. There was never
a time when these things were more
needed. And it is encouraging that
as Mr. Baruch starts on this, the
biggest job yet laid in his lap, other
indications of clear thinking, fore
shadowing support, should come
from the United States Senate.
Sound Suggestion.
The proposed constitutional
amendment offered last week by
Senator Tydings of Maryland is
certainly the soundest suggestion
for the re-establishment of Fed
eral financial stability, so essential
to any postwar health, made in
many a long day.
What Mr. Tydings proposes is
an amendment which, in peace
time, would prevent Congress, ex
cept by a three-fifths vote of each
branch, from appropriating more
money than it has levied taxes to
raise. That is as simple a financial
propsal as well could be made. Yet
it is as far-reaching as any that
has been made. If it had been in
force 10 years ago, we should
never have started this war with
any such debt burden as we had
when the Pearl Harbor attack was
made. If it had been in effect 10
years ago, we should never have
had the reckless governmental out
pouring of billions which occurred
before Pearl Harbor.
If it should become operative with
in the next two years, all fear of
Federal financial collapse—and it is
a very real fear—would disappear.
The simplicity of the proposal is its
chief virtue. A child can understand
it, and there seems no room for any
Intelligent person to oppose it. All
it means is that every dollar that
Congress appropriates must be bal
anced by a dollar raised by taxes.
What could be sounder than that?
What could be fairer than that? It
would insure against bankruptcy. It
would automatically eliminate waste.
I It would compel the Government to
live within its means in peacetimes
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great national crisis.
Urged 10 Years Ago.
How can there be an argument
against that except an argument in
favor of waste and instability? What
excuse can there be not to adopt
the Tydings proposal? At any rate.
Senator Tydings can look to one
man for support—and his name is
Baruch. For it is interesting that
this simple, sound idea was urged by
Mr. Baruch upon President Roose
velt 10 years ago when the big
spending policies for public works
and relief were inaugurated. Mr.
Baruch was for spending that
money, all right. He thought that
was fine. And he didn’t care, he
said, how many billions were spent,
I provided that every dollar spent was
covered with a tax dollar; provided
that the two things—appropriating
and taxing—were linked, as they
should be.
He knew, of course, that there is
no surer way of keeping Congress
from appropriating recklessly than
to compel Congress to cover with
taxes. It is interesting, too, that at
the start Mr. Roosevelt was enthu
siastically in favor of this plan. It
was directly in line with the 1932
platform and his personal pledges.
It was just what he wanted to do.
But it was not at all what the ad
vanced thinkers of the early New
Deal wanted to do.
They were the original advocates
of that strange theory that the size
of the national debt does not matter,
because “we merely owe it to our
selves.” There was too, the pressure
from the gallant boys of the Harry
Hopkins “tax, tax, spend, spend,
elect, elect” school. In the end,
they swung the President away
from his promises and his convic
tions and we started galloping down
the road toward Federal bankrupt
cy. It is time to get back to fiscal
sanity; the Tydings proposal points
the way.
Air Line Cargo Service
To Be Started Tomorrow
By the Associated Press.
NEW YORK. Nov. 15. —Trans
continental & Western Air, Inc., an
nounced yesterday its "sky freighter" j
will take off at La Guardia Field for
the West Coast at 12:45 a.m. tomor
row on the first all-cargo trip over
the shortest, fastest, coast-to-coast
air route.
TWA officials said the cargo flight
would reach California in 17 hours
and 18 minutes flying time and will
be made nightly, with stops at Pitts
burgh. Chicago, Kansas City,;
Wichita, Amarillo, Albuquerque, Los
Angeles and San Francisco.
A companion eastbound flight will
leave San Francisco at 12:15 a.m.
daily and Las Angeles at 3:15 a.m.,
arriving in New York at 12:14 a.m.
the next day. The plane will stop at
Philadelphia to pick up westbound
cargo and deliver it at La Guardia
Field in time for the nightly West
Coast flight, officials said.
Backs Atlantic Charter
CAIRO, Nov. 15 UP).-—Premier
Mustapha Nahas Pasha announced
yesterday Egypt's decision to join
the nations adhering to the Atlantic
Charter. He spoke at the Wafdist
: Party's Silver Jubilee Congress.
This Changing World—
Washington and London are
gravely concerned over the un
expected flare-up in the Lebanon
Republic, where the representa
tives of the
Gen. de Gaul
le’s Commit
tee of Nation
al Liberation
have adopted
too much of a
high - handed
policy with
the newly
created inde
Eritish Gov
The Ameri
can and the
British gov
ernments will do their utmost to
get the French to change their
attitude if possible without losing
face. The reason the conflict
between the French and the
Lebanese is considered so impor
tant is that rebellions spread fast
in that section of the world.
If the Arabs in Palestine, Syria,
Iraq, Saudia Arabia and North
Africa lose faith in Allied prom
ises there Is no telling what prob
lems might confront us in the
near future. And we already have
enough on our hands.
japan tinier* rirture.
Japan also enters the Middle
Eastern picture. On the surface
there seems to be no connection
between the Japanese and the
Arabs. But, official circles point
out something which escapes the
average citizen: That the Em
peror of Japan is now the ruler
of more Moslems than any other
head of government in the world.
There are more Mohammedans in
the newly acquired Japanese ter
ritories than there are, for in
stance, in the British Empire.
For the time being there has
been no active co-operation be
tween the Arabs and the Japs
although Tokio has sent a num
ber of agents to the most impor
tant Arabic centers in the Middle
East. They have made no head
way. But should these Moham
medans believe our pledges are
worthless nobody can say what
may happen. Moreover, the Brit
ish have vital interests in the
Middle East and a hostile Arab
population may create a situation
which would seriously interfere
with the Allied war effort.
The question of the Lebanon
Republic is simple. At the time
the British and the Free French
under the command of Gen.
Georges Catroux decided to take
that important strategic country
away from the Vichy—that is to
say the Nazi—influence they
promised the Lebanese complete
independence. The result has been
that these people collaborated
with the Allies and facilitated the
defeat of the Vichy forces under
the command of Gen. Francois
Following this victory and the
establishment of a joint British
Free French administration, the
Syrians were told they could
have elections, to get themselves
a president and a parliament.
They took the word of the Al
lies at its face value and pro
ceeded to hold elections. The
British meant what they said.
It was to their advantage to have
an independent—nominally at
least—Lebanon. The loyalty of
the people of this new republic
was certain. The American Gov
ernment, in order to show that
it approved the idea of a Leba
non Republic, sent to Beirut a
diplomatic agent, George Wads
worth, our former Charge d’Af
faires in Rome.
Seen As War Promise.
The French Committee of Na
tional Liberation apparently did
not intend to have a really in
dependent republic in that sec
tion of Syria. It considered the
pledges given to the people of
the Lebanon before the Vichy
forces were expelled as one of
those war promises which should
not be accepted literally.
The committee representative
at Beirut became gravely con
cerned when the Lebanese took
themselves seriously and pro
ceeded to organize their country
as an independent republic. The
French representative, Mr. Hel
leau, had on hand a number
of Senegalese eager to fight. He
let them loose on the new gov
ernment, the newly elected par
liament and disposed with the
aid of some tanks and a couple
of battalions from Senegal of the
whole “nuisance.” In prewar
days these methods worked suc
cessfully. But now the situa
tion is radically changed.
The Arabs are aware of their
power in the world. The lrre
flected action of the Committee
of -National Liberation stirred up
not only the people of Syria but
the whole Arab world including
Washington and London be
came worried. The French had
put their foot in a wasp's nest
and there is a serious possibility
that the Americans and the Brit
ish might be stung too unless
the situation is remedied within
a short time.
Pressure is now being brought
on Gen. De Gaulle to change his
attitude and keep his pledges.
It is hoped that the director
of the Committee of National
Liberation will prove more co
operative than he has in the
Arthur J. O'Keefe Dies;
Was New Orleans Mayor
By th* Associated Press.
NEW ORLEANS. Nov. 15.—Arthur i
J. O'Keefe, 67, Mayor of New Or-1
leans when Huey P. Long was build
ing his political empire in
Louisiana, died here Saturday night,
after a long illness.
Elected to the mayoralty in 1926,1
Mr. O'Keefe took an active part in
establishing flood control for the
Mississippi Valley. He was granted
an indefinite leave of absence in
1929, due to illness.
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How to Gamble
And Win, Too!
By J. F. McEVOY.
I have friends who think they
know how to gamble—and maybe
they do. But every once in a while
they run up against the real thing
and their moans ,
of surprised pain
touch me to the
“He wag a pro
fessional,” and
the quiver in
their voice im
plies, “He cheat
ed me.” I used
to ask, “How do
you know?” —
and if they knew
they had been
cheated, why
j. p. McEroy. didn't they com
plain. But they shrugged me off.
“You cant catch them at it,” they
would say, “but I know I was cheated
—I can’t tell you how I know, but
I just do.” Now, when women give
you that routine, they have the
grace to call their guessing "femi
nine intuition”—which is supposed
to be an improvement on telepathy
and frequency modulation.
Me, I’ve given the whole subject
as much thought as I am capable
of (watch your prepositions, Junior!)
—and finally I decided to appeal to
an expert, since gambling is some
thing from which I know frcm noth
ing of. (Junior! I have to speak
to you again . . .)
Newspaperman, Himself.
You see, when I was young and
charming, I was a newspaper re
porter in Chicago in the bad old days
when newspaper offices looked like
the “Front Page’’ and the reporters
talked like Ben Hecht—in fact, the
best one of them was. (Was, Junior?
Parse that sentence!)
I was innocent and dewy and my
pink cheeks were fuzzy like a peach,
and the local room was full of
wicked old habitues and spns of
habitues who would lure me into
poker games in which I consistently
lost those pitifully few dollars I was
supposed to send home to my dear
old mother down in the country.
Since the boys began to count on
this weekly addition to their salaries
—one even married the girl on the
strength of it—and I was falling
behind in my sleep, I worked out a
compromise which pleased every
body. Came the night of the weekly
poker game, I folded my small con
tribution in an envelope, slipped it
under the door, and went home to
bed—and slept with that clear
conscience that only could oome
from the realization of having
brought a little happiness into the
lives of my fellowmen—the dogs!
All this came back to me when I
appealed to Nick the Greek, who
confessed that the secret of suc
cess in professional gambling is not
what you think. “Most people think
professional gamblers have to cheat
to win, but that’s not true. They
don’t even have to play cards any
better than you do. All they need
terdo is one thing—sleep all day."
And then Nick the Greek went
on to say that most amateurs think
they’re better than they really are,
| while professionals have made a
career of knowing just what they
can do and what they can't do.
And one of the things they’ve
learned is that no man can work
hard all day In a business and then
sit up all night playing poker and
hope to be as wide awake at 3
o'clock in the morning as the man
who* sleeps all day and doesn’t get
up until evening.
“That's what professional gam
blers do,” says Nick. “They crawl
out of bed fully rested, just about
the time the businessman is stag
gering out of his office, punch-drunk
from arguments and conference*.
The gambler bathes and sh&veat
puts on fresh linen, eat* leisurely
and well, plays with the childno
pets the dog. kisses his wife, an$
goes out hunting for a busir.eserati)
who is falling on his face but woi^|
admit it."
Nick says, “Trom there on all th*
gambler has to do is sit In and
play—not even cleverly or brilliantly,
just competently—just play aad wait
until that important hand comes
around at 1 or 2 or 3 in the morn
ing, and you should have your
keenest wits about you, but you
You're exhausted. You nod a
little—and that's the split second
the professional has been waiting
Jor all night. He doesn't have to
cheat. He doesn't even have to b*
any better player. All he needs 1*
to be rested when you’re tired, to
be wide awake when you’r* half
asleep. And that’s when h* get*
But I like my system better. I
don't even have to sit up *11 night
and get tired to lose my money.
(Distributed by McNausht Syndicate. feai

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