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Clear and colder tonight: lowest tem perature near 15. Tomorrow fair, cold. Temperatures today—Highest, 31, at 12:01 a.m.; lowest. 22,. at 8 a.m. Yes terday—Highest, 38, at 12:20 a.m.; low est, 31, at 11:59 p.m. Late New York Markets. Paae A-19 Guide for Readers Page. Amusement* B-14 Comics B-18-19 Editorials A-10 Edit’l Articles .A-ll Finance A-19 Lost and Found A-3 Page. Obituary .A-12 Radio ..B-19 Society .B-3 Sports _ A-17 Where to Go B-15 Woman's Page.B-12 An Associated Press Newspaper 92d YEAR. Xo. 36,400. WASHINGTON, D. C., WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 29, 1943—FORTY PAGES. *** . ■ *■ .. . ... 11 ■ »i Watbinston 'TH"DVTf' r’TT'NTQ FIVE CENTS and Suburb* -L Xl XiXL< Hi LIjJMo. elsewhere British Sink 3 Nazi Destroyers In Battle Off Coast of France; Allies Blast Airfields Near Rome Other Ships Hit; Action Perhaps Still Going On By the Associated Press. LONDON, Dec. 29.—A brilliant new victory in the British Navy's campaign to destroy the last effective strength of the German fleet—the sinking by combined warship and air action of three German destroyers in the Bay of Biscay and crippling of others —was announced today. A joint Admiralty and Air Min istry communique telling of these blows in southern waters off the coast of Fiance followed by only a few hours publication of the full story of the sinking of the German battleship Scharnhorst in the Arctic by the 35.000-ton battleship Duke of York apd a force of cruisers and destroyers. Full details of tile Biscay action arc yet to be told, but it plainly was a large-scale enterprise and one which perhaps still is continuing. “Other details are awaited,” the communique said. Danes Sink Blockade Runner. In the same area an Axis blockade runner was sent to tlie bottom by coastal command planes. Nothing was said of any British lOsS. This new spurt of British naval fire—fire which already has dealt a crippling if not a mortal wound to German capital ship power—brought to at least 42 the number of German destroyers and torpedo boats known sunk since the start of the war. This total is exclusive of ships known to have been hit and prob ably lost. The first announcement did not say when the action had taken place. It was assumed from the wording of the communique that the German naval vessels may have been escorting the enemy convoy through the Bay of Biscay, which lies west of France and due north of Spain. (Todays German communique, broadcast from Berlin, said the fight began Monday and ended today. ‘'Engagements took place between German destroyers and torpedo boats and light British naval forces.” the Nazi high com mand announced. “Our own and the enemy air force took part constantly in the actions. In the course of hard fighting there were damages on both sides.” » 'The United States Foreign Broadcast Intelligence Service pointed out that German broad casts for European press con- ; sumption made no mention of the lost destroyers, but said "c British cruiser about to take part in the fighting was damaged to the point where it had to break off the engagement and leave the area oi fighting.' ) Follows Sinking of Scharnhorst. The new blows against Hitler’s fast dwindling navy came on the heels of the sinking of the 26,000 ton Scharnhorst late Sunday off Norway’s north cape after she and oihe; German surface units had ventured forth to attack a Russia bound convoy. The Admiralty disclosed yesterday that the Scharnhorst had fallen be fore the guns and torpedos of the British attackers. "Some survivor.- were picked up and were made prisoners of war.” the announcement declared (The bat tleship had probably 1.400 men aboard.) The account of the fight told how the Scharnhorsi was intercepted by cruisers when she sought to attack the convoy, then attempted to es cape The Duke of York, flagship of the home fleet, called up by the covering force, engaged the Scharn horst with her 14-inch., guns. Slowed Down by Torpedoes. When the Scharnhorst again at tempted to escape she was slowed down with torpedoes fired by de stroyers The Duke of York again engaged her, and the final torpedo attack which completed her de struction was filed by the British cruiser Jamaica. Tire British force was disposed In two main divisions under the tai mediate command of Admiral Sir Bruce A. Fraser, commander in chief ol the home fleet, who was aboard the Duke of York, the Ad miralty disclosed. The Jamaica and four destroyers ■were with the Duke of York. The other formation consisted of (See-NAVAL. Page McNaughton's Retirement Laid to Montgomery Clash WINDSOR. Ontario. Doc. 29 (Ca nadian Press*.—John Marshall, par liamentary writer for the Windsor Daily Star, said yesterday that one of the reasons Lt. Gen. A. G. L. McNaughton left the command of the Canadian Army overseas was that Gen. Sir Bernard L Montgom ery is not an easy man to get along with. The retirement of Gen. Mc Naughton, "though necessitated by ill health, solves an awkward prob lem,'’ Mr. Marshall wrote in a dis patch from Ottawa. "It ends the clash of temperament _ between Gen. Sir Bernard L. Mont gomery and himself which has ex isted for the past few years and which -previously had been inter rupted by Gen. Montgomery being placed in command of the 8th Army. * * * “With Gen. Montgomery returning under Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower to lead the (British Land Army’s) on slaught on the continent, it would have been almost inevitable that the differences between Montgomery and McNaughton would have cropped up again. • • Two Britons Appointed to Head Invasion Air and Naval Forces Leigh-Mallory and Ramsay Named to Eisenhower Staff By the Associated Press. LONDON, Dec. 29.—The over all Allied high command for the approaching invasion of Western Europe was virtually completed : today with the appointment of | two Britons to command the naval and air forces which will ; operate under Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, supreme com jmander. Admiral Sir Bertram Ramsay, who planned the naval phase of the Allied North African and Mediter ranean invasion operations, was named naval commander in chief. Air Marshal Trafford L. Leigh-Mal lorv, head of the RAF's Fighter Command, was chosen to lead the aerial forces. These appointments, following the < See APPOINTMENTS, Page A^6~»1 Doolittle to Direct All U. S. Air Units Based in Britain Maj. Gen. James H. Doolittle, new commander of the 8th Air Force, including all United States air units in Great Britain, takes over a role in connection with the forthcoming invasion, the exact functions of which are still to be revealed. Under the assignment shifts an nounced by President Roosevelt yes terday at his press conference, Gen. Doolittle's predecessor in the 8th Air Force command, Lt. Gen. Ira Eaker, becomes Allied air comman der in the Mediterranean area, suc ceeding Air Marshal Sir Arthur Tedder, who has been named deputy to Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, who will lead Anglo-American forces in the invasion of Western Europe. _Lt. Gen. Jacob L. Devers. former ~~ 'See"GENERALS.' Page A-6 t Reds Storm Defenses Of 2 Junction Points 80 Miles West of Kiev Vatutin Retakes in Week Half of Area Captured In Nazi Tank Drive By the Associated Press. LONDON. Dec. 29.—Six days after his troops regained the offensive. Gen. Nikolai Vatutin’s forces today were storming the outer defenses of Zhitomir and Korosten. strategic junction points on the Leningrad-Odessa railway, 80 miles west of the Ukrainian capital of Kiev. Front dispatches placed one spearhead of Gen. Vatutin's 1st Ukraine Army within 10 miles of Zhitomir after sweeping through Korostishev and Smolovka. Heavy Soviet field guns, planted less than 20 miles away, were softening the city’s defense works. Other advance units smashed weakening enemy lines and captured Zlobichi. 5 miles southeast of Korosten. and Bekhi, an equal dis tance to the northeast. Radnmysl and Brusilov Retaken. Thus, in the first week of his new winter offensive, Gen. Vatutin has recaptured approximately half the territory which Marshal Fritz vor. Mannstein took during his abortive five-week tank drive in the Kiev bulge. Important towns retaken in clude Radomvsl and Brusilov. Reoccupation of Ghitomir and Koiosten. apparently just a matter of days, would nullify almost all the enemy’s gains achieved during his costly counteroffensive. The Red Army scored on two other important sectors of the long front, according to the Moscow war communique. In Northern White Russia Gen. Ivan Bagramian's Si berian shock troops dissipated 16 German counterattacks on the ap proaches to Vitebsk, killed more than 1.200 Nazis and liberated sev eral villages. Dispatches said Gen. Bagramian's vanguards were within | five miles of that heavily fortified enemy stronghold. South of the Kiev bulge, in the Dnieper bend^flEhe Germans were also falling back, in the drive on Kirovo grad. the Russians destroyed 33 Nazi tanks and killed 1.000 enemy troops after shattering a fierce tank and infantry counterattack with a deadly artillery barrage. The Germans were forced back to their original posi tions in this area. Moscow said. Greatest Gains in Kiev Bulge. Greatest gains were recorded in the Kiev-bulge fighting, however. The Germans were falling back so rapidly in this area that they were forced to abandon 16 big guns, 10.000 mines. 30.000 .shells, nearly 1.000.000 cartridges and 100 trucks. Russian prison cages rapidly filled. Moscow said. Red Army guns wrecked 36 German tanks and self-propelled guns and 6 of the latter weapons were captured intact. Gen. Vatutin's troops forced pas sage of the Teterev River defense barrier in their swift advance on Zhitomir. The gains put them les? than 115 miles from the Rumanian border and the former Russian province of Bessarabia. The surging Red Army troops cap tured 60 more villages yesterday be sides Korostishev and Smolovka including Nekhvoroch, 17 miles northeast of Berdichev. and Pavo loch, 25 miles southwest of Fastov. Duce's Death Reported In Madrid Dispatch Ly the Associated Press. LONDON. Dec. 29.—A Madrid dis patch to the London Daily Mail quoted a diplomatic source today as i saying that Benito Mussolini died [10 days ago in a German hospital "from long-standing stomach trouble 'complicated by acute mental de j rangement.” Berlin asserted last night that Spain had recognized Mussolini's Fascist republican government "as the only legitimate government of Italy," but there was no confirmation from Spanish or other sources. The broadcast quoted a German Transocean propaganda agency dis patch from Rome. Mussolini's pup pet government was set up after Italy capitulated to the Allies. M Two Commando Raids On Island of Sark in Channel Reported Nazi Account Follows Earlier Stories About Preinvasion Probing By the Associated Press. LONDON, Dec. 29.—The Ger mans today said two British Commando assaults had been carried out within three days on Sark, in the Channel islands which lie athwart the possible path of Gen. Dwight D. Eisen hower’s forthcoming invasion of the continent from the west. The German account, broadcast by the news agency DNB. followed a report by the German high com mand Sunday of a combined British Commando raid Christmas eve in an apparent preinvasion probing of defenses on the Nazi-held French coast. None of the reports was confirmed by any Allied source. The broadcast said the Sark as saults "failed like all similar at tempts of this kind." The Germans claimed Sunday to have wiped out the Commando force raiding the Channel coast. Heavy Detonations Heard. “As the enemy approached the beaclies several heavy detonations could be heard and the glow of fires observed, presumably due to the ex plosion of mines." DNB declared. 1 "It could be assumed from this ; that the mines had done their work. A later checkup confirmed this. One British soldier was found dead. On the German side there was no need for the defenses to go into action." The Germans occupied Sark and the other Channel islands at the end of June. 1940. The islands lie 15 to 30 miles from the west coast of the Cherbourg Peninsula and are valuable stepping stones for any Allied invasion of the French coast. From their first-class fighter bases, planes could give tactical support to allied landings. British Residents Mistreated. Sark is the wildest and most pic turesque of the Channel islands. It lies six miles west of Guernsey, is three miles long, a mile and a half wide and is almost entirely rock bound. Its normal population is 570. After the first small-scale British raid was made against the island, first-hand information was obtained of ill treatment of British residents. Then the British seized a proclama tion signed by the German comman dant saying all male civilians be tween 16 and 70 who were not native . born had been deported to Germany. The dame of Sark, Mrs. Sybil Mary Hathaway, still was on the island, according to news reaching London early this year. Her hus band. Robert W. Hathaway, a Yale graduate, was said to have been de ported to Germany. ► - Enemy Pictures Raid as Attack On Capital Itself CANADIANS WHO TOOK Ortona smash on toward Pescara. Page A-4 Bj the Associated Press. LONDON, Dec. 29.—Allied me dium bombers peppered airfields near Rome yesterday and Nazi propagandists sought today to picture the operation as an at tack on the capital itself. A rominunique from Allied head quarters at Algiers confirmed the bombings today. Earlier enemy radio stations were on the air with wild eyed descriptions of how "heavy bombs" shattered the outskirts of Rome, causing damage and casual ties in residential quarters. Tire Paris radio said bombs fell on Garbatella about l1* miles east of Vatican City and close enough foi Pope Pius XII to see the raid The official report from Allied headquarters, however, said the bombers had attacked hangars, buildings and dispersal areas of the airfield at Ciampino. south of Rome, and accurately blasted the Centocello airdrome east of the city Mosquitoes Raid Reich. Allied planes based in England also began winging into action again after a Christmas lull. Twin-engined Mosquito bombers struck at Western Germany last night and Typhoon bombers hit the "rocket-gun coasi of Northern Fiance Both missions were carried out without loss. In addition, fighters swept over enemy territory in daylight, destroy ing a German plane and losing one of their own. The raid on the airfields outside Rome was the ninth reported in the area of the Italian capital, although Rome itself has not been bombed by the Allies since August. The Paris broadcast said the Pope watched the bombing from a window and asked to be informed of any damage. A German propaganda broadcast m November said that an Allied plane dropped bombs on Vatican City on November 5 The Vatican radio said later that an unidentified plane, flying low over Vatican City, had dropped four bombs which caused damage but no casualties Allied hcadquaitrrs in Algiers an nounced November 7 that a thor ough investigation showed that Vati can City was not bombed by the Allies. 'In a statement broadcast Mon day by the Vatican radio and recorded by United States Gov ernment monitors, Pope Pius in dicated the nationality of the plane was known, declaring that the November 5 attack was •'de liberately planned and dishonor ably and unsuccessfully screened behind the anonymity of the pilot." The statement did not identify the attacker.i The German broadcast today said Allied planes dropped heavy bombs on outlying quarters of Rome, and that six hits on a residential quarter near the Basilica of San Paolo de stroyed several houses, left numer ous dead and injured many. Machine Gun Fire Reported. A bomb that exploded near Cento celle, east of the city, hit several persons, the broadcast declared, and added that about 50 were wounded by machine gun fire. It also asserted that several persons were killed or injured in collapsing houses in Pie trallata.' northeast of the capital An all-American force of Flying Fortresses. Liberators. Mitchells and Marauders, in the war's first bomb ing of Rome, dropped hundreds of tons of bombs on rail and airfield installations at Rome July 19. The i crews were specially trained to carry out a precision attack and carefully (instructed to avoid historical and religious points. Maj. Boyington Downs 25th Japanese Plane Bx the Associated Press. SOUTH PACIFIC ALLIED HEAD QUARTERS, Dec. 29.—Maj. Gregory Boyington. Okanogan 'Wash.' ma rine flying ace. downed his 25th | Japanese plane over Rabaul. New Britain, Monday. Maj. Boyington now is only one behind the 26-plane record of Maj. Joe Foss and Capt. Eddie Ricken backer. Veterans' Agency Gets Priority On Personnel to Speed Work The House Civil Service Commit tee, which has been conducting a special investigation designed to effect wholesale reductions in Fed eral personnel, now is engaged in an emergency drive to recruit an ade quate force for the Veterans Admin istration. Chairman Ramspeck said today he has found that agency is "woe fully undermanned and in desperate need" of personnel to handle serv icemen's disability compensation claims. As a first step. Mr. Ramspeck has obtained lrom the Budget Bureau an order giving the Veterans Ad ministration equal priority with the .War and Navy Departments in ob taining personnel through ©»vil | service. I This will have the double effect of allowing the agency to have first call with the War and Navy Depart ments on Civil Service recruits and preventing the raiding of Veterans’ Administration employes by Gov ernment agencies paying higher wage scales. Chairman Ramspeck took this j action after hearing many com plaints from disabled veterans of the present war, regarding delays in * obtaining disability compensation. Investigations showed there is a backlog of more than 80,000 com pensation cases and that the Vet erans' Administration is three and four months behind in thousands of these cases. Mr. Ramsneck s investigation shows that in Washington alone, the Veterans’ Administration urgently needs 1.000 employes and is “des perate'’ for doctors. All over the country in veterans' hospitals there is similar need for doctors, nurses, orderlies and other employes. The Veterans' Administration al wavs has been one of the low pay *cale agencies and never has been even adequately supplied with per sonnel. it was pointed out. The agency last about 5.500 of its em ployes to the armed services. Others went to private industry and the remainder was raided by other Gov ernment agencies paying higher salaries. “There is a very critical need for clerks and typists doctors and hos pital attendants.'’ Chairman Rams peck said. He added that the Civil Service Committee will concentrate its efforts on meeting this new situation. JHEGETSW . BETTER fg V AIL THE Mi %, TIME SI Wm part oil i L THE ACT, BUT k; b HE STILL l SURPRISES 1 1 fc, ME!^£ j Stiffening Resistance Fails fo Halt Marines At Cape Gloucester ; Tanks and Planes Aid Americans Closing In On Jap Airdrome the A -.'OCi*:ed P:(' v ADVANCED ALLIED HEAD QUARTERS. New Guinea. Dec. 29.—Stiffening Japanese ground resistance and a heavy tropical rainstorm failed to halt the ad vance of American Marines from their invasion beachheads at Cape Gloucester. New Britain, toward the enemy's airdrome. The leathernecks, with tank sup port and aided by planes which pounded enemy defenses with 150 tons of bombs, pushed their way 2 miles from the shore where they landed Sunday to within 1L miles of the airdrome. Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s com munique today also reported that American air fighters and ground and torpedo boat guns beat off per sistent air attacks at Arawe. the Army's invasion base 60 miles south east of Cane Gloucester, downing 37 enemy planes. The Cape Gloucester marines col lected dividends in supplies, am munition and artillery captured from the Japanese who abandoned the stores in their hurry to escape the tons of explosives laid down by plants and warships when the in vaders hit the beach on the north western tip of New Britain. Jap Counterattacks Repulsed. Pour enemy counterattacks against the marine line running inland from Borgen Bay. east of the cape, were repulsed, and 4 out of 36 Japanese planes which attacked vessels off the beachheads were downed by the ships' guns. , A headquarters spokesman said 1 the four attacks were made in con secutive "thrusts and were carried out by a force larger than patrols. Marines in the invaded sector west of the cape have consolidated their positions and put patrols into enemy ; territory, the communique said. At Arawe the 6th Army sent patrols back into the jungle land j above the base of the Arawe Penin sula, resuming operations in an area : from which the Americans were | driven Sunday by a Japanese coun | terattack which was halted at Umtingalu Village. jail riant' 11111 n.iiMtn in nr. The destruction of 37 Japanese planes Sunday night and Monday by jArawe air fighters and ground and ships' guns brought to 84 the number of enemy aircraft downed there since the December 15 invasion American losses and damage have been de scribed as slight. American Thunderbolt fighters struck down 30 planes from 75 Japa j nese bombers and fighters which I came over Arawe in tw'o formations after dawn Mbnday. Earlier, ac curate antiaircraft ground fire had 1 winged three planes from dive bomber formations, and American ! torpedo boats took a four-plane toll j from another wave of 30 dive i bombers. ! The Australians in Now Guinea (SeiTPACIFIC" Page~A^5. i President Kept From Office By 'Old-Fashioned Cold' President. Roosevelt is confined to the White House with a "good, old fashioned head cold," William D. Hassett, presidential secretary, said today. Rear Admiral Ross T. Mclntire, the President's personal physician, said the Chief Executive has no fever, but he will remain away from his office and make no en gagements. Britain Halves Rates On War Risk insurance By the Associated Press. LONDON, Dec. 29.—War risk in surance rates on shipments to and from the United Kingdom have been cut in half, effective January 1, the government announced today, re flecting Allied gains in the fight against the U-boat. The new rate will be 10 shillings (about $21 per hundred pounds sterling, compared to the old rate of 20. Fourth- Term Query ‘Picayune,' Roosevelt Says, Citing Record Appears Nettled by Reporter's Question After Reciting Administration's Benefits By J. A. FOX. President Roosevelt is think ing in terms of postwar America, but while there is little more than a year of his third term left, he considers "picayune" the question whether he will seek a fourth term to press his plans for shaping the future of the Nation. The President's news conference was set straight on both counts yes terday when he indulged in a little homily on New Deal acomplisli ments. likened critics to individuals who had forgotten how to spell "cat” and emphasized his conviction that larger doses of New Deal spe cifics would be needed in the postwai era. though he said the program lr this country would have to be fash ioned with due regard to what was done elsewhere. The background for the presiden tial discourse was the recent dis closure that Mr. Roosevelt felt the phrase "New Deal" had become out moded after a decade of usage, and that a substitute was In order something like "Win the War.” Yesterday, he wa.f asked if there was anything further on the matter The President replied that he had expected that question, but hesi i tated as to whether he would say more, for it all comes down really, he continued, to^a rather puerile and political view of things. Then he launched into a discus sion of the things that had been ' «See ROOSEVELTr^Page”A^12.~ Biggest War Supply Job Is Still Ahead, Wilson Declares Previous Production Held 'Insignificant' By WPB Official F.y ‘hr A ocia rri Charles E. Wilson, executive vice chairman of the War Pro duction Board, said today the volume of materiel shipped for the invasions of North Africa and Italy was “insignificant” com-1 pared with the job ahead of equipping Gen. Dwight D. Eisen hower's all-out assault on West ern Europe. "I am sure in my heart—as I think most of you are—that the Germans will be smashed. I believe in 1944, " Mr Wilson told a meeting of executives of WPB's Office of Operations. 1 “I will pray with you that the Germans will break—that the psy chology will get them and that the terrific pounding from the air will help—I'll pray, but I don't count on it and I know the military people don't count on it.” Production to Increase. Mr. Wilson told the WPB officials that the year ahead would be the most difficult of the war for them. Civilian goods must be increased, he said, but "by comparison with the No. 1 job—supplying the armed forces—it is unimportant.” I needn't remind you that the volume of munitions we must pro duce in 1944 is greater than in 1943 —or at least equal if you give cre dence to cut-backs reported to be coming later. In some categories tlfe increase must be tremendous if we are to I keep our Army, Navy and Maritime 'See WILSON, Page A-3.1 German Bid to Poles Reported Rejected By the Associated Press. LONDON. Dec. 29.—'The Polish underground movement rejected a Christmas Day bid from the Ger mans to join in fighting the Rus sians. the Polish Telegraph Agencv said today. The Polish underground station said the offer was made by Hans Frank, Nazi governor general of Po land. who used the theme that the “danger of Bolshevik success threat ened the Polish nation." McCarran Indorses Proposal to Let D. C. Vote on 'Home Rule' Believes Expression By District Residents Would Aid Committee By DON S. WARREN. Chairman McCarran of the Senate District Committee today approved the suggestion that there be a formal, if unofficial, referendum on a revised plan for a “home rule” government for the District before it is submitted to the Senate for consideration. The Navada Senator, author of the measure debated at the recent extensive hearings before a District subcommittee, emphasized details of the proposed referendum have not been worked out and that it would be only of advisory nature, since Congress will have to determine, if tire form of city government is to be changed. Senator McCarran said he felt for some time that some form of a ref erendum vote by the people of the District was the only way to deter mine if Washington residents rhally want Congress to adopt a plan as may be reported by the District Committee. Proposed by Burton. The suggestion that the McCarran home rule" subcommittee would consider a referendum test if a bill were reported favorably was ad vanced last week by Senator Burton Republican, of Ohio, who has collab orated actively with Chairman Mc Carran in the conduct of the hear ings. The two members agree there are problems of mechanics involved in calling for a referendum, since Washington lacks established voting machinery, and that it would entail some delay in action on the pending measure. But such a move they re gard as perhaps the best answer to the questions they expect to be asked in the Senate as to whether the great majority of Washington resi dents would want an elected local government under the limitations that Congress will retain exclusive legislative control over the National Capital. Chairman McCarran indicated the program likely would be for the subcommittee, after it completes studies of the voluminous transcript of the hearings, to consider the wide (See HOME RULE, Page A-4.) Firm Held Unessential byOPA Supplies U. S. Oil in Emeraencv A critical fuel oil shortage at Gal linger Hospital, the Navy Medical Research Center at Bethesda and the Naval Torpedo Station at Alex andria has placed Treasury Depart ment procurement officials in the peculiar position of being obliged to obtain oil from L. P. Steuart & Bro.. Inc., the firm which the OPA has charged is not essential in the Dis trict, it was learned today. According to Treasury officials, the shortage developed when the Standard Oil Co. of New Jersey, which is under contract to supply bunker oil for the buildings, proved unable to delive* » w # At Gallinger Hospital, the oil sup ply today was reported so low that even after an emergency delivery of 3.300 gallons from the Steuarts’ tanks this morning, it was doubtful whether there was enough on hand to last until tomorrow morning, un less further deliveries were made this afternoon. ‘We just had to have oil,” a Treas ury spokesman said, explaining the decision to procure oil from the Steuart Co. ‘‘The Standard Oil Co. reported that a barge had failed to arrive. The supplies were running low and if they hadn't been running low to the point of being critical (See STEUART, Page A-4 ) Rail Strike Off As Three Unions Cancel Orders Parley in Office Of Gen. Somervell Averts Walkout STEEL MILLS nearly back to nor mal; wage talks continue. Page A-18 Ey the Associated Prers Secretary of War Stimson an nounced today that the heads of the three railway unions which had not previously rescinded their strike calls had assured the War Department that they •would take no action that would imperil the successful prosecu tion of the war” and that they would cancel immediately the walkout scheduled for 6 a.m. tomorrow. The three union chiefs issued a joint statement with Lt. Gen. Brehon Somervell, head of the Army’s Service Forces, after a con ference in the latter's office. They were David B Robertson of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen, H. W Fraser of the Order of Railway Conductors and T C. Cashen of the Switchmen's Union of North America. Gen. Somervell was assigned by Mr. Stimson to take over the rail roads. The three unions represent ap proximately 150.000 railway employes whose decision to strike tomorrow caused President Roosevelt to order the Nation's railroads taken over by the Army Monday night. Leaders to !see Byrnes. The three leaders arranged to meet War Mobilization Director Byrnes at his White House offices at 2 p.m. to discuss their -ige demands. They refused, n. n while. to discuss their case or the withdrawal of their strike order. Executive Committees of the three brotherhoods were at a hotel, avail able on short notice for meeting* to ratify any action. The brief announcement, read by Maj. Gen. Alexander Surles. head of the War Department Public Rela. tions Bureau, follows: •'The Secretary of War announced that there will be no railroad strike Representatives of the Order of Railway Conductors, the Brother hood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen. and the Switchmen's Union of North America today as sured Gen Somerville that they and the organizations they represent will take no action which might imperil the successful prosecution of the war. and that they will immediately cancel the strike order.” Both Mr. Stimson and Gen. Som ervell said that as far as they are concerned ther.e would be no arbi tration of wages while the roads are under their control. The unions' decision not to strike did not dispose of the wage controversy. The 15 non-operating unions of more than a million work ers accepted the President’s offer to arbitrate, but Mr. Roosevelt an nounced yesterday that he cannot proceed to do that until the unions and the carriers agree on what is to be arbitrated. Thus the controversy is back where it started, except that the non-op erating unions have withdrawn their ; strike authorization. They accepted graduated increases of 4 to 10 cents I and want the President to decide their right to overtime after 40 hours, but the carriers want both questions decided as one The two operating unions—train men and engineers—who promptly accepted the President as referee are receiving, meanwhile, the bene fit of a 5-cent hourly increase which he awarded as an overtime benefit. With all the fanfare and flourish accompanying Government posses sion of the railroads. Mr. Stim json broadcast last night an as surance to the public that "there will be no alteration in schedules, in service or in personnel because of the change." "The same men will operate th« trains, the yards, the shops, the sta tions, and all other installations in precisely the same way as before.” he said. The Secretary explained that the (See RAILROADS. Page A-8. > D. C. Has Light Snow, 3-Inch Fall Nearby Temperature to Drop To 15 Degrees Tonight A light snow of brief duration greeted Washingtonians this morn ing, accompanied by a low of 22 degrees at 8 a.m. and a brisk wind. Nearby Virginia and Maryland re ported snow ranging from 1 to 3 inches in depth. The Weather Bureau predicted colder weather for tonight, with a low of about 15 degrees expected. The forecast for tomorrow is fair ;and continued cold. The tempera ture was 26 degrees at 11 a m. Roofs here revealed traces of | snow, with an occasional flurry noted in streets. Otherwise tha 1 District escaped a white blanket. | Fairfax County had about an i inch of snow. Culpeper reported 13 inches. A light snow fell in Mont ! gomery County. There was none in lower Prince Georges County or Arlington County. ' The forecast for Maryland to morrow is clearing weather, dimin ishing wind and continued cold. The same forecast covers Virginia', with the exception that snow is pre dicted tonight in the southeast por tion of the State. The brunt of the Virginia snow fall was centered in the Piedmont regions, which earlier last night ex perienced a moderately heavy rain fall that froze as the temperature dropped in the early morning. Travel was hazardous in the Fred ericksburg and Richmond areas. The Lynchburg. Martinsville. Roanoke and Danville areas were covered by about 2 inches of snow’.