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Evening star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, December 09, 1943, Image 10

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A—10 ** THURSDAY, December 9.1943
W ..
A Misdirected Criticism
With an eye toward postwar
building demand, influential ele
ments of the construction industry
are wortclng now to discredit public
housing. The arguments against
public housing are not lacking in
merit and will receive support from
those who seek to preserve private
enterprise as well as from small
property owners throughout the
land who. rightly or wrongly, are
fearful of the effect of low-cost,
public housing on their own home
investments. There have been
stupid and wasteful examples of
public war housing, which have
added fuel to the flames of public
But if the result of this movement
against public housing is to threaten
with destruction so potentially
valuable an agency as the National
Capital Housing Authority, the time
has come to stop, look and listen.
For private enterprise, correctly on
guard against governmental en
croachment in the housing field,
should be as discriminating as it is
determined in its opposition. Some
of the recent criticism of the Na
tional Capital Housing Authority is
Indiscriminate, irrational and seems
based on an inaccurate conception
of its responsibilities.
The National Capital Housing Au
thority was created originally to
work for the elimination of Wash
ington’s long standing alley dwell
ing, or slum, problem. It was
diverted from this task by the war
emergency, which sent it into the
business of providing low-cost war
housing for Government workers. It
is there that it has encountered most
opposition—and those interested in
public housing should study the
cause of this opposition, for there is
nothing mythical about it. Despite
the fact that some of its activities
have been unpopular, there are many
who are gratified that the Authority,
rather than some agency less
genuinely concerned with the best
interests of Washington, was given
this thankless task.
But war housing Is temporary.
The useful job eventually to be done
by the Alley Dwelling Authority is
in its original field of clearing up
the alleys and slum areas. That is
where a public, not a private, agency
Is needed. It is incredible to be
lieve that any enlightened, pro
gressive community will continue
indefinitely to suffer the blighting
Influences of slum housing. The
Authority has a sound and demon
strably workable program. It should
receive public support as offering
the only program which, on the
basis of past performance at least,
holds promise of wiping out the
slum areas and providing the decent
housing for those in the lowest in
come groups which has not, in the
past, been a profitable undertaking
for private capital.
Prince Hubertus, picked by Hitler
to be king of England, has just been
killed in action. He would probably
have not gotten along well with
Churchill, anyhow.
Pledge to Korea
Specific mention of Korea in the
Cairo communique represents what
well might be called the development
of an international conscience. The
United States, Great Britain and
China have joined in a declaration
that: “In due course Korea shall
become free and independent.” Only
those individuals whose memories
reach back to the events of a third of
a century ago will comprehend the
tremendous significance of such a
statement. It literally was infeasible
at the time when Korea was being
absorbed by Japan between 1905
and 1910.
The people of Korea, naturally, did
not submit to their own enslavement
without protest. They repeatedly
appealed to “the great powers” for
help against their traditional enemy.
But the powers did not respond.
They were busy with other problems
which seemed to them more im
portant. In the circumstances, Pres
ident Theodore Roosevelt spoke for
the whole world when he declined to
intervene on the ground that: “It
was out of the question to suppose
that any other nation, with no
interest of its own at stake, would
do for the Koreans what they were
utterly unable to do for themselves.”
The view thus expressed was univer
sal. It was accepted even in Korea
for a while.
But humanity at last is learning
the error of refusing to be interested
in the proceedings of aggressor gov
ernments. The taking of Korea by
Japan, it currently is realized, was
an act of defiance of the entirety of
civilization. Every nation had an
Interest in the prevention of the
crime. The lack that nothing was
done to prevent it merely serves to
strengthen the determination that
whatever may be needed now will be
done to correct It without unneces
sary delay.
Southern Senators
Becaudfe he seldom deals in per
sonalities, the language employed
by Senator Byrd of Virginia in his
reply to the attack made on him by
Senator Guffey of Pennsylvania has
attracted wide attention. On the
surface of this is a case of pent-up
indignation bursting through the
restraints imposed by a normally
equable temperament. But it is also
symptomatic of an irritating malady
which has taken hold of our political
system, and which is capable of
causing a great deal of trouble.
Angered by the Senate’s action on
the soldier vote bill, which left the
handling of this matter to the
States, Senator Guffey told news
papermen that Northern Repub
licans under Joe Pew (a Pennsyl
vania political figure) and Southern
Democrats under the leadership of
Harry Byrd had conspired to de
prive the armed services of the right
to vote. This, Senator Guffey con
tinued. was “an unpatriotic and un
holy alliance.”
Senator Byrd replied that this
was a “deliberate” misstatement
and a "gratuitous insult” to the
Democratic and Republican Sena
tors who voted for the plan which
Senator Guffey opposed. He went
on to denounce Senator Guffey in
scornful terms, and he was joined
in his repudiation of the charge by
other Senators from the South.
The record shows that Senator
Byrd was right. Actually, less than
one-third of the Senators voting on
the issue were “Southern Demo
crats and Northern Republicans.”
Therefore, it was highly misleading,
to say the least, to charge that this
“unholy alliance” decided the result.
But the aspect of this flare-up
which is the real cause for concern
has nothing to do with the question
of who was right and who was
wrong in this particular dispute.
The thing that should give all of us
pause is the fact-^-as demonstrated
by this incident — that mature
thought on vital public issues has
been so largely displaced by such
shoddy substitutes as name-calling
and “sloganeering.”
How does it happen that the
terms “Southern Senator” or
“Southern Democrat” have acquired
a certain opprobrious connotation?
If a Democrat from Illinois votes
against a “liberal” measure it is
counted as just another adverse
vote. But let a Democrat from Vir
ginia or Mississippi vote against the
same measure and it becomes a
sinister frustration of the demo
cratic processes by a reactionary
Southern Democrat who owes his
seat in Congress to the poll tax.
This is arrant nonsense, of course.
A little reflection would explode the
fiction that a member of Congress
is good or bad, depending upon
whether he comes from the South or
some other section of the country.
But reflection calls for thought, and
there are some people who shrink
from thinking for themselves. They
would rather be guided by the labels
which propaganda pins on men and
issues, and in too many instances
these propaganda labels are coined
by individuals whose real interest
does not rise above narrowly per
sonal or factional levels.
To a very large extent the “South
ern Democrat” is the creation of
the “liberals” in the Democratic
party and the political extremists
who have gathered around them.
It is they — not the Republicans—
who have given the term its cur
rency and its popular significance.
They hoped by this technique to
compel support for their programs
or to discredit those who opposed
them. Their real accomplishment,
however, has been to split the Demo
cratic party by alienating some of
its ablest and most distinguished
members, and to shake the con
fidence of a good many thoughtless
people in the integrity of what is,
after all, the democratic system. It
is high time that they turned their
energies into more constructive
Mr. Willkie says that a GOP vic
tory next year is “by no means in
evitable.” Wendell has been through
one of those sure things before.
The Yugoslav Rift
The setting up of a provisional
government by the Yugoslav Parti
sans and the bitter condemnation
of this action by the Yugoslav gov
ernment in exile headed by young
King Peter bring to a dramatic cli
max the feud between those rival
factions which has been dividing
popular loyalties and hindering
united efforts against the Axis for
more than a year. The chief pro
tagonists of the quarrel in Yugo
slavia itself are the Partisan leader,
Josip Broz, nicknamed Tito, and
General Mikhailovitch, head of the
Chetnik organization loyal to King
Peter. They and their followers
have been openly fighting each other
for months, despite efforts made by
the British authorities and liaison
officers in the Near East to compose
the quarrel and get the feudists to
reserve their pugnacity for their
Axis foes. Now the last hope of re
conciliation appears to have van
ished and the embattled factions
will presumably fight each other
more strenuously than ever.
The consequences of this rift
among the Yugoslavs may be as
embarrassing as they are unfortu
nate. Hitherto, virtually all the
United Nations, including Soviet
Russia, have recognized King Peter’s
government in exile as the legal
one, despite the fact that Russia
and, to a lesser extent, Britain have
given the Partisans aid and encour
agement in their struggle against
the Axis. ^There seems to be little
doubt that the Partisans are not
only the more aggressive but also
the ihore powerful and effective fac
tor in that struggle. Henceforth
the Yugoslav people will be practi
cally obliged to declare themselves
openly as to their allegiance to one
or the other of the rival regimes.
This may mean the definite splitting
of Yugoslavia into mutually hostile
zones. Mikhailovitch and his Chet
niks are mostly Serbs of the original
kingdom of Serbia as it existed be
fore 1914, plus Serb-speaking or
thodox persons in adjacent prov
inces. The Croats and Slovenes,
together with many Serbs, generally
adhere to the Partisans. On the
other hand, the Partisan movement
may continue to make such head
way that Mikhailovitch and his
Chetniks will presently be crushed
or reduced to negligible propor
In any case, the new Partisan
government will undoubtedly de
mand diplomatic recognition from
the United Nations. And since they
cannot simultaneously recognize
two rival regimes, accession to this
demand would mean withdrawing
recognition from the present gov
ernment in exile. Allied efforts to
help both factions against the Axis
will certainly become much more
difficult. Here is a first-rate oppor
tunity for the "Big Three” to exhibit
the unanimity proclaimed in their
joint declaration just issued after
the adjournment of the Teheran
conference. The furious factional
ism shown in Yugoslavia is latent
throughout the Balkans and much
of Eastern Europe. Something ought
to be done, and done soon.
To bring an old saw up to date
and put more punch in its true
meaning, there is no sense in crying
over spilled gasoline.
Evidently Berlin is going to be hit
again and again—perhaps on the
principle that one good burn de
serves another.
Whoever bought George Cafego
for the Washington Redskins for
$100 perhaps could get a $25 War
Bond for about $11.95.
"Three New York Deaths Blamed
on Bad Liquor,” ran a recent head
line. No, this is 1943, not 1923.
This and That
By Charles E. Tracewell.
•"Dear Sir:
"I was looking at the birds in the
yard, drawn by the several feeding out
fits I keep going, and I was struck by
the fact that this is the real bird season.
Most people I know think the bird sea
son is over, when autumn comes. They
see the migrating birds fly away, and
do not hear the songs any more, and
they think there is no use bothering
over birds again until spring comes.
"I feel that I have'a genuine and great
advantage over them, for my bird sea
son is just beginning! I have many
more birds, scores more, from now on,
than I have in spring and summer, i
do not have as many varieties, that is
true, but of the ones which stay here
I have a great many more individuals.
"I have found this difficult to ex
plain to others, they are so firmly con
vinced that the bird season is over when
most of the birds fly away in the fall.
I wish all the doubters could come to
my yard, some sunny afternoon, and
listen to the clamor of the eating bird
“It might be that they would be dis
appointed in seeing so many sparrows.
In fact, some of my neighbors say that
my feeding has drawn the sparrows,
claiming that there were none over
here before. I believe that they were
here, but that nobody paid any atten
tion to them, flying in and out of a
neighborhood. It is my feeding which
concentrates them, and which makes
them plainly visible to every one.
“I make no apologies for my spar
rows. If the other birds, the jays and
the doves, the redbirds and even two
bluebirds, get along with them, as they
do, I do not see what there is for any
human to kick about.
When I think of all the bad deeds
that are being done by humans the
world around, I begin to think that the
common sparrows are pretty good, and
wonder why any one can overlook what
people are doing everywhere to concen
trate on the supposed bad deeds of the
"Thanking you for your column, I am
"Very truly yours, M. B.”
* * * *
The English sparrow, in the average
mind, is a sort of ugly duckling of the
bird world.
He would be admired if it were the
thing to do.
It isn't, so many observers who only
now and then give any thought to the
birds tend to speak ill of it.
This column has said before that if
these persons would look at these birds,
in time they would come to see their
good points.
We believe our correspondent is cor
rect in declaring that they are in all
neighborhoods, but mostly unnoticed.
Since feeding in the downtown streets
went out, for them, the English spar
rows have been driven to the suburban
Here they fly in and out, as they
please, mostly disregarded all fall and
It is only when some one establishes
a feeding station that they are much
* * * *
These birds, finches they are, give
great sweeps of movement to any gar
den which has them.
And, as our correspondent says, they
give these sweeps at a time of the
year when there are few birds in the
average garden.
A band of these birds, usually between
two and three dozen, make the expres
sion "sweep,” as used in connection with
airplane attacks, easily understood, es
pecially if there are at least two feeding
places in a yard.
There is another thing the common
sparrows do, and that is put on a
massed singing, a veritable choral, every
afternoon, in the yard where they get
plenty of food, and where they are sat
isfied and fearless.
A full stomach makes for good music,
whether among birds or men. Music
thus takes its place as one of the very
human arts, not the aesthetic thing we
sometimes associate with the "works of
the masters.” The masters of music
were very human, after all; they liked
their beer with the best of their listen
ers. To place them on a pedestal is,
of course, human, too, but it is mostly
untrue. A sparrow with a full tummy
makes music because he likes it, and
we may suppose that Beethoven did the
same thing, and that is why, among
other reasons, his music still appeals
to after many years.
Letters to The Star
Landlord Class of Poland
Reported Feared by Russians.
To the Editor of The Btar:
There has been so much confused
thinking and writing about Soviet
Polish relations that I hope you will
permit me to shed a bit of light on the
Two problems seem to bother our
writers and political thinkers: (1) The
Soviet-Polish border; (2) The attitude
of the Soviet Union toward the future
Polish state.
I was born in Brest-Litovsk (the city
where the Germans of 1918 imposed
their infamous peace upon Russia).
Before emigrating to America in 1910,
I often walked from Brest-Litovsk to
Tiraspol to visit an aunt. That ne
cessitated crossing the Bug River west
of the city. There at the wooden bridge
was a post on which were nailed two
boards at the top. On the west side
was written “Polsha"; on the east side
was written “Litva.”
Such is the historic boundary—the
Bug River. That Is the boundary
which the Soviet Union is going to
demand and no doubt will receive.
From the day of its birth in 1918 until
the outbreak of the war in 1939 the
governments of Poland were hostile
to the Soviet Union. I spent several
years aiding in the reconstruction work
of Poland, Latvia and Lithuania—from
1920 to 1924. The ordinary people of
Poland are a hard-working, friendly
people. But the landlord class, which
dominated the government, always has
been mentally very much akin to the
Prussian Junkers. They are no more
interested in a democratic Poland than
Hitler is. Should they succeed in con
trolling the future government of
Poland, they might prove to be as much
a menace to the peace of Eastern
Europe as the Prussians are. It is this
that is bothering the minds of the
Russian people. They want to be sure
that Poland after the war will be a
genuine peace-loving nation, the wishes
of the masses of Poland will prevail
and not the arrogant and selfish
"Schlyakhta. ’’
The fears of the Russian government
are based upon their experience with
the various Polish governments from
the end of the First World War.
Friendly Comment
On Editorial Page Changes.
To th» Editor of The SUr:
It Is not often that a amall change In
newspaper make-up and style should
bring such a notable Improvement as
I saw In the editorial page of The Star
for December 7.
As nonprofessional journalists, I think
that letter writers to The Star should
feel highly honored for the fine posi
tion which has been accorded to them,
flanked by expert editorial comment on
the left, and by noted news commenta
tors on the right.
I do not hesitate one moment to say
that the reading of the editorial and
commentator pages is a “must" in my
reading habits, in order to keep up with
the kaleidoscopic whirl of news which
dashes across the front pages of the
press. Due to the unusual pattern of
world struggles, it Is highly important
that careful attention be given to the
Interpretation of news, so that truth
may be sifted out of error, and that we
shall stay in the middle of the road of
understanding these critical world
I am writing this on Pearl Harbor
day, and I remember with a pang just
what happened two years ago. I was
in Cuba, sitting with a committee of
churchmen, planning for the work of
a new year. We made some revisions in
planning, not less work, but more work
than ever to plant seeds of truth and
Bible knowledge in the hearts of people.
The unfolding events of the next year
showed the wisdom of sound planning.
We were swamped with requests for
Christian literature to explain the
sudden war-moves of Oriental aggres
sion against our fair islands in the
Pacific. We expected reduced shipping
space almost overnight, and a paper
shortage sooner or later within a course
of months. Some time before we had
some provision for an increase of 400 per
cent in demands for Bibles and religious
literature. Actual conditions stepped
up the demand to almost 800 per cent
over previous year records, the doubling
having come about because of the Pearl
Harbor raid.
So I do personally understand some of
the problems of shortages from first
hand experience, and while I commend
our editors for their valiant contribu
tion to reduce the consumption of
paper, and congratulate them most
heartily for the new make-up, I do
urge upon all those who have anything
to do with the problem, that paper
shortages should not force our strug
gling newsmen to curtail the spreading
of morale-building news; that they may
be untrammeled by force of bias or
unrestricted in the God-given right of
free speech, with the right to print
what is conducive to the correction of
wrongs, and the upholding of what is
Desire* Mr. Kent's Column
For Partisan Reason.
To the Editor of The Star:
Pay no attention to Virginian, but
keep Prank Kent s column by all means.
He is an able writer and clearly reflects
the prevailing opinions of Republican
leaders. We need to know what they
are planning, just as we need to know
what the Germans and Japs are plan
If the Republicans are headed for a
full return of private initiative, which
means another boom, another bust, and
another New Deal, we need to know it
in plenty of time. Keep Mr. Kent writ
ing, so that we may be informed.
Mars, Pa.
Smart People
From the Abilene (Ktnsts> Reflector.
The present day with its luxuries is
not so wondeful after all. In India 4,500
years ago there were cities possess
ing apartment houses. Each apartment
had a bathroom and kitchen and a sepa
rate staircase from the street. There
was even a chute from the kitchen to
the rubbish bin in the back. It all goes
to show that there were smart people
even before we came along.
Monetary Famine
From the Topeka Capital.
The paper shortage, of course, includes
that shortage of $5 bills in the average
taxpayer's pocket.
Autumn Banks
The river bank has its autumn-gold
leaves at their best,
Fading with the light, fading as the
sunset comes on.
All things come to it finally—all things
come to rest;
So it shall be with these leaves before
the dawn.
First it was rain, then the frost; they
are losing their hold.
Leaves, do not go, we say . , . But no
words can stem
The drift that must shower down in a
river of gold;
No words of ours have the power that
would strengthen them.
Soon in light, the banks and not the
trees will shine.
Soon they will dull—the autumn flags
will be browned.
The tops of the trees will drop them
along their line:
The rakes of the wind will spread
them on water and ground.
This Changing World
Constantine Brown
The American people, who were
solemnly assured at the end of the
World War that secret diplomacy—one
of the major causes of international
friction and war—
would be definitely
eliminated, are now
surprised to find
that this Instrument
of discord again Is
in their midst.
There has been no
motion by the lead
ers of the Western
democracies to give
an inside glimpse of
what was discussed
and actually de
cided at the recent
conferences at Cairo
and Teheran.
It is possible that sometime in the
future when President Roosevelt, Prime
Minister Churchill and Harry Hopkins
become once more private citizens they
may decide to publish expurgated
memoirs. The world then will be ac
quainted with some of the more im
portant features forming th% topics of
conversation between these men and
Premier Stalin.
Prom available reports only four men
know what was said within the thick
walls of the Russian Embassy at Tehe
ran. There were long conversations
among the heads of the American, Brit
ish and Soviet governments. Military
affairs in connection with the immedi
ate prosecution of the war probably oc
cupied no more than a third of the
That the geographic and political
aspects of the world of tomorrow formed
the main topic of conversation is be
yond doubt. What actually was de
cided by the three men representing
countries with such different philoso
phies is a secret which will become
known only after the Nazis have been
* * * *
It is unlikely that any actual treaties
were signed. But matters which had
kept Russia somewhat aloof from her
other principal associates, matters which
have been worrying England and the
United States in their policies toward
Russia, must have been freely discussed
and definite agreements reached involv
ing many enemy nations as well as some
of the group belonging to the United
Premier Stalin did not go to Teheran
merely to shake hands with President
Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill!
The groundwork of the conference had
been laid for several months and was
finally decided at the Hull-Eden-Molotov
conference }t Moscow. Some of the five
agreements signed by Secretary Hull still
require clarification.
The principal concern of the Ameri
can people in regard to Europe is an
early end of the war, with adequate
peace arrangements to give us confi
dence that there won’t be another war
for years to come. Hence, it is assumed
that any suggestions from Premier Sta
lin and Prime Minister Churchill giving
the appearance of such a guarantee
must have been acceptable to President
Roosevelt and Mr. Hopkins, his chief
political aide.
Britain is in a different position. Mr.
Churchill has stated emphatically that
besides a lasting peace, Britain's vital
interest in the war is to maintain her
empire. Hence, it is assumed that Rus
sia gave the British leader assurances
in that connection.
Compensatory assurances must have
been given by Mr. Roosevelt and Mr.
Churchill to the Soviet leader. It is an
open secret that Moscow is wholeheart
edly supporting forms of government
patterned after her own in Eastern,
Central and Southeastern Europe. We
know that Russia regards the Baltic
8tat*s, part or the whole of Finland,
together with an important portion of
Poland, as integral sections of the
Soviet Union.
* * * «
She needs and wants access to the
warm seas—that is, the Mediterranean—
and wishes to avoid formation of an
other "cordon sanitaire’' by establishing
subservient governments in Yugoslavia,
Bulgaria, the remainder of Poland,
Czechoslovakia and Rumania.
These governments need not appear to
the generally uninformed public as the
creations of Moscow, although they are
manufactured in the Soviet capital.
They can be presented to the outside
world as representing a popular reaction
against their governments in exile
which have failed to bring peace and
That something along these lines was
agreed at Teheran is obvious from the
fact that the British government is now
endeavoring to convince the Yugoslav
government at Cairo to make “some
arrangements" with the newly created
Partisan government in the mountains
of Yugoslavia. Also, the Poles in exile
are urged to cease their “convulsions’*
and discuss with an “open mind” the
future of their country with the Mos
cow government.
The Rumanians, Bulgarians and the
Hungarians are enemies. Hence, there
will be no objection by the United
States and Britain if the “underground"
movements in these countries, which is
almost entirely in sympathy with Russia,
pattern their future form of government
after that of Russia.
All these are, of course, speculations.
No one outside the four master minds
who were closeted for many hours to
gether in the Russian Embassy at Te
heran will know for a long time what
has been decided.
The Political Mill
Gould Lincoln
The Democrats of the South do not
intend to be kicked around any longer
by their New Deal associates. The first
formal warning that these Southern
Democrats will form
a political party of
their own—if neces
sary—came in utter
ances of Senator
Bailey of North
Carolina and Sen
ator Byrd of Vir
ginia. A statement
by Senator GufTey
of Pennsyl vania,
Democrat, attribut
ing the defeat of
the administration
supported Federal
soldier vote bill to
an ‘ unpatriotic and
unholy alliance-’ between Southern
Democratic Senators led by Senator
Byrd and Northern Republican Sena
tors, led by Joe Pew of Pennsylvania
touched off the spark.
Threats of a revolt in the South
against the Roosevelt New Dealers have
been rife for a long time. Several
Southern Governors, including Gov. Sam
Jones of Louisiana, more than hinted
at it earlier in the year. Now, according
to Senator Bailey, such a revolt is Just
around the corner. If it happens the
jig is up so far as a fourth-term election
for President Roosevelt is concerned. A
Democratic party of the South, which
placed presidential electors in the field
pledged to a Southern Democrat for
President—Senator Byrd, for example—•
undoubtedly would carry a number of
the Southern States. Without these
Southern States a Roosevelt candidacy
could not prevail next year.
* * * *
The contention of Senator Bailey and
of Senator Byrd and other Southern
Democrats is that the New Deal party
has used them at election time, taken
their votes and then thrown overboard
the principles for which the Democratic
party has stood. In addition, the New
Dealers have started throwing bricks
at "Southern Democratic Senators," as
though they were beyond the pale. They
have, the Southerners say, attempted to
invade the Southern States, to force on
them Federal antilvnchlng laws, and to
rewrite their election laws with their
antipoll tax bill and more recently with
the Federal soldier ballot bill.
The proposal to form a Democratic
party of the South is still nebulous. It
may never be carried into effect. But
the potentialities are there. It will be
interesting to see how the Southerners
are treated from now on by the New
Dealers in Congress and the adminis
tration. It is a fact that no other
Democratic Senator rose to the defense
of Senator Guffey when the Virginia
and North Carolina Senators started
working on him on the floor of the
Senate. Incidentally, Senator Guffey
was one of the first shouters for a
fourth term for Mr. Roosevelt.
A deep-seated anti-New Deal and
anti-Roosevelt sentiment exists in some
of the Southern States—perhaps all of
them. But certainly in Virginia and
Texas. Indeed, some of the Democrats
predict that a Republican candidate for
President could carry these States
against Roosevelt.
They qualify this assertion, however,
by saying that Wendell L. Willkie, the
Republican nominee in 1940 and up to
now a candidate for the 1944 election,
would be defeated. They regard Mr.
Willkie as a second Roosevelt. They did
not like the sneering wav in which Mr.
Willkie referred in a recent speech to
Southern Democrats who put through
the Connally-Smith antistrike bill.
These Southern Democrats insist that
if Senator Byrd were put up as a candi
date for President, by an independent.
Southern Democratic party, he would
carry the South by a big vote. The
Southern Democrats would much pre
fer to vote for a ticket of their own
than to go over to the Republican party.
Northern and Western Democrats in
Congress admit they do not like the
storm kicked up by Senator Guffey's
attack on the Southern Democratic
Senators. They consider that it has
put an end to any compromise on the
soldier vote bill, with its Federal ballot,
which was thrown out in the Senate
for a substitute proposed by three Dem
ocratic Senators from the South. This
substitute leaves to the States the duty
of getting the soldier vote, through the
absentee-ballot course. The House is
expected to support the substitute.
* * * *
Senator Byrd believes the States will
so amend their election laws as to
make it possible for the soldiers to
vote in the 1944 elections. He said he
would join with the other Senators who
supported the substitute bill in a letter
to all the Governors of States, urging
that they recommend to their State
Legislatures the necessary action.
The row in the Democratic ranks in
the Senate and the House is bitter. It
is reminiscent of the controversies that
developed among the Republicans in
Congress when the Progressives split with
the Conservatives, and the “Sons of the
Wild Jackass" kicked the Republican
House to pieces. This was after a long
Republican reign. Just as the present
rumpus among the Democrats comes
after a long control of government by
the Democrats.
I’d Rather Be Right
Samuel Grafton
Senator Reynolds of North Carolina
now mentions the Atlantic Charter even
more frequently than does Dorothy
He worries about the Atlantic Charter
night and day. It
is his darling, his
precious, his dear.
This Isolationist
Senator is beside
himself with fear
lest Messrs. Roose
velt and Chuchill
shall fail to respect
the Atlantic Char
ter when they come
to such matters as
defining the border
of Poland.
Why s h o u Id n’t
those two men re
spect the Atlantic
Charter? Didn't they write it? In fact,
when they wrote it, Senator Reynolds
didn't care much for it. Now he loves
it more than any declaration these two
men have made since. So far as Roose
velt and Churchill are concerned, he
heard them the first time.
This use by Senator Reynolds of the
"rights of small nations" issue exactly
corresponds to the use often made in
America of the "States’ rights" issue.
"States’ rights" are frequently used
to keep the Federal Government from
having the power to act. "Small na
tions’ rights’’ are being used by Rey
nolds (and Hearst, be it addedi to keep
the four great United Nations powers,
America. Russia, Britain and China,
from having the power to act. Under
this conception, the Atlantic Charter is
distorted into a charter of anarchy.
What could appear more attractive to
the anxiously roving Isolationist eye?
* * * *
American isolation, of course, is trying
to figure out some means of fighting
the declarations of Moscow, Cairo and
Teheran, and the States’ rights, or At
lantic Charter doodle is the best it has
found so far.
But one columnist is working a kind
of variation of the same game. John
O'Donnell has suddenly set up in busi
ness as a defender of the four free
doms. especially of one of them, free
dom of speech. Mr. O'Donnell declares
that this freedom was violated at Cairo,
where press correspondents were not
permitted to talk to the heads of states.
He hints darkly that England is trying
to avoid returning Hong Kong to China,
and that Chiang Kai-shek was kept
from talking to the correspondents be
cause he might have said something
about Hong Kong, thereby spoiling Win
ston Churchill’s afternoon.
We have here another strange new
political love affair, for Mr. O Donnell
has long distinguished himself, or at
least marked himself, by his savage
attacks on the concept of the four free
doms, as formulated by Mr. Roosevelt.
Furthermore, Mr. O’Donnell's interest
in the future of Hong Kong has hitherto
been extremely mild, to say the least.
* * * *
So now we have Senator Reynolds
passionately upholdling the Atlantic
Charter, and John O'Donnell strenuously
bothered about the four freedoms and
the territorial integrity of China. The
pro-isolationists have turned to moral
idealism in a big way. But it should
be noted that they are using moral
idealism, not to promote international
action, but to block it.
■Shese men have fought international
co-operation for years. They did so, at
first, in the guise of ‘'practical'’ charac
ters, tough babies, hats on the backs of
their heads, so to speak, cigars jutting
out, chins rough, no globaloney and no
nonsense. That having failed, they now,
in effect, are donning starched pina
fores, holding bunches of flowers in their
hands and piping of the rights of men
in an unpracticed idealist treble.
It is another exercise in the dark
science of obscurantism, that which
holds the use of almost any argumen
tative bait justified, so long as it leads
the victim to the appointed place.
Turkey’s War Risks
Maj. George Fielding Eliot
There is a great deal of speculation,
naturally, as a result of the Cairo con
ference between President Roosevelt,
Prime Minister Churchill and President
Inonu of Turkey.
Much of this speou
lation centers
the possibility
Turkey may enter
the war, or may give
military facilities to
the Allies. Such
speculation must,
however, be exam
ined in the light of
the hard realities of
the military situa
The Turks have a;
frontier in
some 360 miles in
length, on the other side of which Is
Bulgarian territory and Greek terri
tory occupied by German and Bulgarian
troops. The actual defense of this
frontier can.be shortened to a line of
something over 200 miles, so as to
cover both Adrianople and the ap
proaches to the Dardanelles. The Ger
mans have established considerable
depots of military supplies in the
Balkan Peninsula and have done a
good deal to re-equip the Bulgarian
Army. The latter is intact, has not
been used in the war, and is fully mo
bilized. It probably can put into the
line something like 18 divisions, at
least equivalent in strength and equip
ment to the average Turkish division
and composed of good fighting ma
terial. The extent to which this force
could be supported by German troops
is uncertain, but it does seem likely
that if the Germans decided to make
a great effort they could put 12-15 di
visions into Bulgaria, with the neces
sary air support. More than this they
would probably not care to risk in view
of the other demands on their reserves.
However, the frontier of European
Thrace Is not the only defensive re
sponsibility of Turkey. Along some
400 airline miles of the coast of Asia
Minor, the Turks must keep watch and
ward against possible German attacks
from the closely adjacent islands of the
Aegean Archipelago, all of which are
now in German hands. Even if these
attacks are not likely to be in great
force, they can be effective as diversions,
and they might threaten the important
Turkish seaport of Smyrna, where even
temporary German occupation might
do enormous damage to the docks and
port installations.
* * * *
The Turkish Army has been consid
erably improved in the matter of arma
ment and equipment, especially during
the past year. It probably has fully
mobilised about 28 divisions of all types,
including one armored division; these
are not equipped on the German stand
ard, but are capable of giving a good
account of themselves. In addition the
Turks can probably call up some 18-20
reserve divisions, for which they have
ample weapons as far as rifles, machine
guns and animal-drawn light field or
mountain artillery is concerned, but
which would be almost wholly deficient
in medium and heavy artillery, self
propelled guns of all sorts, tanks, ar
mored cars, antitank and antiaircraft
weapons, and would be short of motor
transport as well. The Turkish air force
is reliably reported as having 36 squad
drons of fighters and bombers of ob
solescent type (such as Bristol Blen
heims and Hurricanes), in addition to
a certain number of reconnaissance and
training units. Some additional planes
have probably been sent to Turkey
The question, therefore, which the
Turkish government must answer be
fore it takes the plunge is whether it
can defend Thrace and the vital straits,
plus its Anatolian coast, from German
attack until help can arrive from Allied
sources. That help cannot come very
quickly. must come most of the way
by rail. Turkey has no open seaport
with rail connection with the interior
anywhere west of Mersina. which is 750
miles by rail from Istanbul. Mersina
is a port of limited capacity, where
cargo has to be taken off in lighters;
Alexandretta. a better port, still has to
handle cargo by lighters, and is a little
farther away by rail. Direct rail con
tact with Syria, Palestine and Egvpt
is available.
• • * *
It must be presumed that steps have
been taken already to build up reserves
of fuel, lubricants, bombs and spare
parts at Turkish airfields, so that some
Allied planes can be flown in to offset
German air power on Turkey's western
frontier. But when this has been said,
the fact must be faced that for the
rest, Allied fighting power will hardly
begin to make itself felt either in Thrae*
or on the Aegean coast for approxi
mately eight days after the call for
help goes out from Ankara, and that
would be moving pretty fast, and would
assume that the Allied divisions are
standing by in Syria, that the train*
are all ready, that the Turkish railwa#
system works with an efficiency it ha*
not always displayed, that it is strongly
supplemented by ship movements into
Alexandretta and Mersina, and that
there Is in short, no hitch anvwhere be
tween starting point and finish line.
Can the Turks prevent any irrepara
ble disaster for eight days? Can they
keep the Germans from taking Smyrna,
or reaching the straits, or burning
wooden-built Istanbul to the ground for
eight days? Possibly. But a great deal
depends on the Bulgars. ir they throw
themselves wholeheartedly into the bat
tle on the German side, and are backed
up by a strong German Army, the
Turkish risk Is very great. But it Is a
temporary risk. The riek the Bulgar*
run in doing that would be the risk of
what would happen to them when the
inevitable day of reckoning arrives. WiU
Bulgaria take that risk now?
/£ (Copmtht. 1043.)

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