Newspaper Page Text
Fair, low near 22 tonight. Continued cold tomorrow. Temperatures today—Highest, 39, at 8:56 ajn.; lowest, 25, at 5:20 a.m.; 35 at 1:30 p.m. Yesterday—Highest, 38, at 5:10 p.m.; lowest, 23, at 9:25 a.m. Late New York Markets, Page A-15. Guide for Readers Page. Amusements, B-16-17 Comics _B-22-23 Editorials _A-S Edit’l Articles. _„A-9 Finance _A-14-15 Lost and Found A-3 Pate. Obituary, -^..A-18 Radio .B-23 Society .B-3 Sports .A-13 Where to Go.—B-2 Woman's Page.B-18 _I An Associated Press Newspaper 92d YEAR. No. 36,414. WASHINGTON, D. C., WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 12, 1944 —FORTY PAGES. *** • .... * 1" 1 11 ■■ - - __ Washington rnTTT>T7iT7i /^TT'VTmo FTVE CENT® and Suburb* XXUvXjXj VXiiMXO. Elsewher* Nazis Raise Claim of U. S. Toll To 124 Bombers and 12 Fighters In Three-Hour Battle Over Reich London Speculates That Raid Cost 60 Big Ships By the Associated Press. LONDON, Jan. 12.—The Lon don press speculated today that the United States 8th Air Force had lost three score bombers in yesterday’s attack on Germany. The German high command claimed 136 planes, 124 bombers and 12 fighters were shot down, and a German-censored report reaching Sweden estimated the Americans lost 25 per cent of the planes sent over Western Germany. All these figures were without of ficial confirmation—the 8th Air Force still was compiling its reports almost 24 hours after the bombers’ return from the raid, which turned into a three-hour running battle. The Evening News speculated that American losses might have been 60 bombers—possibly on the basis of the October 14 attack on Schwein furt, Germany, when that record loss was suffered. The Germans at that time claimed 123 planes downed. Figure Is Raised. A special communique from the German high command, broadcast last night, also said 123 planes were shot down in yesterday’s attack, but this figure was raised today to 136. The loss of only nine planes was ad mitted. Meanwhile, the Scandinavian Telegraph Bureau's Berlin corre spondent, estimating losses at 25 per cent, said there was speculation that Nazi planes were equipped with a new secret device which improved their effectiveness in combating the heavy bombers. A preliminary announcement last night said the escort of the bomb ers—Flying Fortresses and Libera tors—included Thunderbolts, Light nings and a new type of long-range fighter. Unquestionably the battle, fought in stormy weather, was one of the greatest aerial engagements of the war. Fly Across Berlin Outskirts. The Berlin correspondent of Stockholm's Aftonbladet said part of yesterday’s attack, at least, was directed against Magdeburg, impor tant arms and railroad center about 100 miles west of Berlin, and Hal berstadt, in the same vicinity. The correspondent added that Fortresses flew across the outskirts of Berlin for the first time in attacking these places. Aftonbladet said the American flyers feinted toward Berlin and an alarm sounded there just before noon yesterday—the second time since the war’s start that a real day light warning has been given in Ber lin. An “unimportant part” of the bombers swept over the outskirts of Berlin and was met by antiaircraft fire, while most of the planes turned south toward the main objectives, it added. “No large damage was caused at any of these places,” Aftonbladet as serted. Continuous Attack. Last night's 8th Air Force com munique said merely that targets in Northwest Germany had been at tacked and that “strong fighter op position' was encountered. A sup plementary statement told of the three-hour battle and said the bombers were subjected to continu ous attack going to and from the target. “The Germans threw in virtually every type of aircraft that could give battle to the bombers and their assault was vicious and determined,” the statement said. The leader of one formation, Brig. Gen. Robert F. Travis, said there were only three minutes between the time the first enemy planes were (See RAIDsTPage A-fd Liquor Monopoly Plot Charged by Van Nuys Br the Associated Press. Senate attention today turned to charges by Chairman Van Nuys of the Liquor Investigating Committee that whisky monopolies are seeking “to take over control of the beer and wine business." Senator Van Nuys ordered a new public hearing tomorrow to hear Edward W. Woot ten. executive secretary of the Wine Institute of California. "Our information,” said the chair man, “is that Seagram’s, National Distillers. Hiram Walker and Schenley’s have been buying up vineyards and vintners' establish ments as well as breweries. The big four already control most of the liquor and the distilleries in this country. They are concentrat ing on controlling everything. “We expect to develop that they have forced the price of wines steadily higher by selling it in fifths where wine formerly was sold in gallon jugs." He said the committee also will inquire of the Office of Defense Transportation whether "there have been exorbitant allowances of al cohol for antifreeze despite the number of automobiles that have left the highways.’ Wholesale Evacuation Of Sofia Is Reported By the Associated Prcsi. LONDON, Jan. 12.—The Cairo radio said today that evacuation of Sofia, the much-bombed capital of Bulgaria, now is under way on a large scale. The radio reported the latest raids Monday inflicted considerable dam age to industrial districts and added that the government and ministries were understood to be leaving the eity. ' ^ Piraeus, Port of Athens, Raided Twice by Large Bomber Force Nazis Report Retreat From Cervaro; 5th Army Captures More Heights By the Associated Press. ALLIED HEADQUARTERS, Algiers. Jan. 12.—Allied bombers, striking another day-and-night doubleheader blow into the Bal kans, battered Piraeus, the port of Athens in Greece, in heavy force yesterday, while aground I the 5th Army seized more high ! ground in* Italy, Allied head quarters announced today. (The German communique said the Nazis had been thrown out of Cervaro, fortified village four miles east southeast of Cas sino on the Rome road, ‘‘after hard fighting,” and also lost a mountain top to the northeast. (Cervaro was the last village outpost guarding Cassino, the powerful Nazi stronghold block ing the road to Rome. Allied troops had closed in on the vil lage from the south and the northeast.) The one-two punch against Piraeus was delivered by ‘‘a con siderable force” of Flying Fort resses by day, followed by RAF Wellingtons swooping in last night. Sofia, capital of Bulgaria, was ham mered Monday in the same kind of swift blows. Fortress crewmen declared many fires were started in the harbor area, and a warehouse blew up. Fortress gunners downed five Ger man fighters, and their Lightning escorts bagged three more. The Wellingtons hit about 10 p.m., starting at least nine large fires and touching off one huge explo sion. The ground communique said the 5th Army advance continued "and some further high ground was seized. Enemy pockets of resist ance were cleared up and our front line straightened out.” One German patrol crossed the (See ITALYTPage A-14.) ~ Polish Cabinet's View On Soviet Territorial Proposal Due Today Third Conference Held Since Offer of Curzon Line as Boundary By the Associated Press. LONDON, Jan. 12.—A state ment setting forth Poland's re action to the Moscow proposal for a solution of the two coun tries’ territorial dispute was ex pected today as the Polish cab inet in London was summoned to its third meeting in 24 hours. The Russians, while asserting they intend to keep the bulk of the Ukrainian and White Russian areas incorporated into the Soviet Union in 1939, have suggested the “Curzon line” of 1919 as a possible Russian Polish border and emphasized that a strong Poland, with an outlet to the Baltic Sea, could be rebulit with territory taken from the Germans. The Polish cabinet held two meet ings yesterday and conferred with British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden between sessions, apparently to learn his views before reaching a decision. It appeared in London that early settlement of the dispute depended on the degree to which the Polish government in exile was willing to reconstitute itself on a basis friendly, or at least agreeable, to Russia. The Russians have objected to some members of the government, among them Gen. Kasimierz Sosnkowski, commander in chief, and others of the military organization. An opinion widely expressed in London was that Moscow had at least provided a starting point for negotiations, but if the Polish gov ernment were not amenable the Russians would turn to the "Polish patriot group” formed in Russia. A bid for greater recognition of this group was made last night by Wiktor Grosz, a member of its Executive Committee, who asserted in a Moscow broadcast recorded by United States Government monitors that "the political -attitude of the Union of Polish Pariots has won the confidence of the United Nations.” “We have separated ourselves from the suicidal anti-Soviet policy of the so-called London governmenl and have convinced the world that all of Polish emigration is not marching blindly into an abyss,” he declared. Spanish Wreck Kills 96 LONDON, Jan. 12 UP).—A DNB (German news agency) broadcast said today that 96 persons were killed and more than 100 injured yesterday when the Madrid-San Sebastian ex press and another passenger train collided near Arevalo, 75 miles northwest of Madrid. „ Aussie Tanks Drive Japs Back, Almost Clearing Huon Area Barges Believed Trying To Evacuate New Guinea Troops Are Blasted Bj the Associated^Press. ADVANCED ALLIED HEAD QUARTERS, New Guinea, Jan. 12.—Complete control of the Huon Peninsula on Northeast New Guinea was in sight for the Allies today. Australians de feated the Japanese in a tank and artillery action there which ended with the victors crossing the Buri Rives on the coast. The Japanese, finding their posi tion more and more untenable as the Australians force them up the coast toward American invasion troops at Saidor. stanchly resisted the Aussies. but finally gave way be fore the tanks, leaving their dead on the field. Gen. Douglas MacArthur's com munique reporting the Australian victory also told of Allied air action against enemy barges and supply points along the New Guinea coast from Gali village north to Uligan. Many barges, some of them bearing troops which the Japanese may be attempting to evacuate from the Al lied nutcracker, have been destroyed in recent days. Allies Bomb Bogadjim. The Allied campaign to clear Huon Peninsula started soon after the fall of Lae, on the southwest shore, Sep tember 16. While one force of Aus tralians drove around the coast, an other battled its way northward in land, through the valleys of the Markham and Ramu Rivers. The inland force is nearing Bogadjim, enen®r supply point on the coast about 20 miles south of the larger Japanese base at Madang. Below Madang, and around 60 miles from the Australians who crossed the Bari River, are the Americans at Saidor. Allied bombers visited the Bogad jim area, the communique said, dumping 76 tons of explosives on supply dumps and destroying eight bridges on the highway that leads to Madang. United States marines smashed back two Japanese counterattacks south of Borgen Bay in Northwest ern New Britain and advanced slightly in their fight for Hill 660, important height in the Cape Gloucester area. Allied heavy bombers helped the leathernecks with smashing attacks on enemy defense positions. A Japanese convoy of six ships was spotted southeast of Kavieng, New Ireland, by an American naval Cat alina flying boat which put a bomb » <See PACIFIC, Page A-14.) Flyers Save Lives by Tosslng Out Dead Comrade to Liqhten Plane B> the Associated Press. A UNITED STATES LIBERATOR BASE IN ENGLAND, Jan. 12.—The crew of a shattered Liberator strug gling back from France on only one engine threw the body of their dead navigator into the English Channel to help lighten their ship —and credited this with saving their lives. “We followed the course he gave us before he died, and it brought us through,” Pilot Lt. Glenn E. Jor genson of Freewater, Oreg., said to day. “We had unanimous faith in his navigation.” Jettisoning their comrade’s body was a grim decision to have to make, but with the plane dropping rapidly toward the ocean—with four wounded and two frostbitten men who would have drowned if the plane had “ditched” in the sea— and the crew throwing everything loose overboard, from guns and ammunition to their radio and even their helmets, it was considered justified in an effort to save the lives of the other nine. The Liberator, “Conquest Cav alier," was jumped by eight twin engined Messerschmitta and a Junkers 88 rocket plane soon after it bombed Northwest Germany a few days ago. The navigator was Lt. Arthur E. Barks, Providence, R. I. Shells tore a 2-foot hole in the stabilizers and blasted the engines, gasoline tank, radio and hydraulic and interphone systems. One exploded in the navigator’s abdomen, killing him instantly and wounding Bombardier Lt. Roy D. Stahl, jr„ Pontiac, 111., and starting a fire with smoke so dence that Lt. Jorgensen could not see the co-pilot, Lt. Charles R. Matthews, Thomas ton, Ga, beside him. Other wounded gunners were Sergts. Lee Dotson, Buzzards Bay, Mass., and Herman Schaffer, Flush ing, N. Y. The battle ended at the French coast and the fire was put out, but the plane was dropping so fast that the crew, after jettisoning every thing, resorted to starting a dead, oil-less engine to help the one good one, running it until it was a red-hot mass when it fell on the runway as they made a one-wheel landing on an English coastal field. Other crewmen: Gunners—Sergts. Paul V. Vetochi, Somerville, Mass.; Charles R. Jones, Fort Worth, Tex.; Frank Sacco, Brooklyn, N. Y. Russians Press Gains in Face of Counterattacks Rail City of Sarny Possibly By-Passed In Soviet Drive BULLETIN. LONDON iJP). — The Red Army has captured Sarny in prewar Poland, the Moscow radio announced tonight. By the Associated Press. MOSCOW, Jan. 12.—In the face of German counterattacks, the Russians kept up their ad vances today in the Western Ukraine and north and south of the rail city of Sarny, where the Red Army is pushing west ward. Alter cutting the north-south rail road through the Pripet Marshes at points 7 miles north and south of Sarny, the Russians were just 75 miles short of being halfway between Kiev and Warsaw. (The dispatch suggested the Russians plunging through old Poland were by-passing Sarny, 35 miles inside the prewar fron tier. Besides the troops north and south of the city, other Rus sians last were reported 5 miles east of Sarny.) “On many sectors, offensive battles were assuming a more violent char acter,” the army newspaper Red Star said, “the enemy has intro duced new units to complete his defeated infantry and tank divi sions.” rnreat to Railroad Increases. < Other Russian columns advancing! toward Rumania increased their! threat to the Odessa-Warsaw Rail road. In the Upper Dnieper Bend sector the Germans by hard fighting and heavy losses still were holding open their narrow escape corridor from the Smela-Kanev area, where they were being squeezed between the 1st and 2d Ukrainian Armies. No Russian report suggested a German withdrawal, although the peril to the Nazis increased every hour. At no point, Red Star said, was the enemy able to stop the Soviet drive, despite the heavy weight of armor thrown into the battle. Furious tank charges against troops of Gen. Nikolai Vatutin ap proaching the Odessa-Warsaw rail way were beaten back. Red Star said, with guerrilla detachments lending valuable aid to the Soviet Regulars. The Germans also were reported launching fierce counter assaults south and southwest of Ber dichev. but these, too, were smashed, Red Star added. From inside the Dnieper bend where huge concentrations of Ger man troops face encirclement by the forces led by Gen. Vatutin and Gen. Ivan S. Konev, enemy resistance also was increasing. Red Star re ported. These German counterattacks were not surprising, it was pointed out, as there have been recurring reports of heavy German reinfoce ments being pushed to the front as the situation became more and more dangerous. Threatened With Disaster. The Nazis, it was said, must con tinue their resistance, no matter the cost, in order to avoid a major cal amity not only in the Dnieper bend but as far west as Odessa. The war already is being brought closer to Rumania as Gen. Vatur tin's troops continue their march down the Ukrainian steppes toward the Odessa railway, thus threaten ing to throw the Germans back on the resources of that satellite na tion. The Nazis, dispatches said, have been able to bring in reserves in divisional strength, despite their re verses of the last two weejcs, and these fresh units have taken up the fight under new commanders who have been rushed to the front to try and halt the Red Army offensive. Democrats Lack House Majority By One Member The Democrats are one short of a majority of House seats today for the first time since 1931, because of vacancies, but they still retain numerical superiority over the Re publicans. Resignation yesterday of Repre sentative Gavagan, Democrat, of New York to go on the bench left this line-up: Democrats, 217; Repub licans, 208; other parties, 4; vacan cies, 6. A majority of the full mem bership is 218. Of the six vacancies, two seats were held by Republicans and four by Democrats. Republican leaders predict they will pick up four or five of the vacancies. Pennsylvania will hold special elections next week to fill two of the vacant seats. One is a traditionally Republican district. The other is a Philadelphia district that went Democratic in the last two elections, but by a narrow margin in 1942. A runoff primary in Alabama Feb ruary 8 is expected to choose a Democrat to succeed the late Rep resentative Steagall. In any event, the division between the two major parties will be extremely close for the remainder of this yeu^ 7 I THINK THE TIME >h I HAS COME To DRAFT HIM AS A CIVILIAN SOLDIER... -HE'S DONE A GOOD JOB. \ BUT WE'VE GOT TO DO / S ^BETTER! J. ■ ¥8® mmmmm■ , $ m-m '» 1 \ e f 'Fair for One, Fair for All' Leaders in Congress Cool to Roosevelt's Plea for Tax Raise President Is Expected To Use Stronger Words In His Budget Message By the Associated Press. Presiclent Roosevelt’s implied demand for sharply increased taxes was all but shrugged off today by a Congress which had heard—and rejected—a series of similar suggestions from the Treasury. The first move is up to the Senate, which began work yesterday on the $2,275,600,000 tax increase bill, which the President regards as inadequate, by voting to freeze the social secur ity pay roll tax throughout 1944 at the current rate of 1 per cent on employer and employe. A "realistic tax law" led off the President's legislative recommenda tions in his annual message yester day on the state of the Union. He contended the pending bill "does not begin to meet” the test of taxing all unreasonable profits and reducing the ultimate cost of the war. May Restate Demand. Members of Congress generally interpreted that phrase as meaning that the Chief Executive wants all or most of the $10,500,000,000 addi tional revenue repeatedly sought by Secretary of the Treasury Mor genthau. That belief was shared in some Treasury quarters which predicted that Mr. Roosevelt would restate his demands in even more vigorous language when he submits his budget message tomorrow. Most of the lawmakers didn't want to talk for publication. They just shook their heads when asked if there was any chance of going much beyond the $2,000,000,000 mark in an election year. Representative Knutson, Repub lican. of Minnesota, however, read into Mr. Roosevelt’s message a re quest for another general tax meas ure this year and gave notice that Republicans would oppose higher rates. The Minnesotan is House Repub lican leader on tax legislation. Sees Republican Opposition. Mr. Knutson said Republicans would oppose another general tax bill in 1944, "because the Treasury, which speaks for the White House, has taken the position that future increases in income taxes must come from the lower brackets.” In speaking of the desirability of taxing all unreasonable profits, both individual and corporate, Mr. Knut son said the "President apparently has forgotten .that present surtax rates reach a maximum of 90 per cent and that war profits of corpora tions are now taxed at a rate of 90 per cent, which Congress proposes in the pending bill to increase to 95 per cent. Incidentally, the Treas ury Department, speaking for the White House, did not recommend an increase in the excess profits tax. “I have repeatedly brought out that of the 1014 billions of new taxes requested by the administra tion. 6’i billions would come from increases in the personal income tax on the great mass of taxpayers in the lower brackets, for whom the President in another portion of his message expresses great solicitude— particularly those who are on fixed incomes. “The Republication members of the Ways and Means Committee for months have taken the position that income taxes are now as high as the people can possibly pay.” “Could Go Too High.” Chairman George of the Senate Finance Committee declined to com ment directly on the President’s stand, but he told newspapermen that he was convinced taxes could go too high. “I believe with Chairman Dough ton of the Ways and Means Com mittee,” he said, "that you can shear a sheep for years, but you can skin it only once.” Senator George, also chairman of the Senate's Postwar Planning Com mittee, said he wanted to see all potential employers "with enough meat left on their bones to provide jobs for the returning soldiers and those who will be let out of war jobs.” Mr. Roosevelt’s plea for continu ation of the war contracts renego tiation law met a happy response from Senators Walsh of Massachu (See TAXES, Page A-6.) Dewey's Name Leads Field At GOP Chicaao Conference Backers Worried Over Formalities Of Candidacy By GOULD LINCOLN, 8t»r 8t»fl Correipondent. CHICAGO, Jan. 12.—The name of Gov. Thomas E. Dewey of New York led the entire field of po tential Republican presidential nominees in the conferences of Republican national committee men and State chairmen just closed. These Republican leaders frankly confessed they wanted him because they believed he would make the strongest candidate. The practical mechanics of getting his name before the Republican Na tional Convention when it meets here June 26 has his supporters wor ried. Along with this problem goes the practicability of electing and hold ing State delegations for Gov. Dew ey when he has said he is not a candidate and will not become one In other words, what worries them Dewey, Willkie Tied In Poll of GOP Committeemen Gov. Thomas E. Dewey and Wendell L. Willkie topped pos sible contenders for the Repub lican presidential nomination in a poll of the party's National Committee meeting at Chicago. The vote was conducted by As sociated Press correspondents, using blank ballots and sealed ballot boxes. The results gave Gov. Dewey and Mr. Willkie 21 votes each. The remaining votes were scat tered. Twenty-three committee members were open-minded. Of the #5 represented at the meet ing, 82 voted in the poll. Story on page A-3. | U how all this Dewey sentiment can be translated into action. It is obvious that Mr. Dewey can never say he is a candidate without I * Sec LINCOLN. Page A-3.) President Proposes 34,000-Mile System Of Modern Roads Sends Plan to Congress; Cost Is Estimated at $750,000,000 Annually President Roosevelt today sent to Congress a report recommend ing development of a 34,000-mile system of highways which he de c'ared would provide “a trans continental network of modern roads essential to the future economic welfare and defense of the Nation/’ The proposed system would follow generally the routes of existing Federal aid highways, but the President urged that the actual routes “be left fluid.” explaining that if fixed courses were de termined. land prices would rise “exhorbltantly” in many cases. It was estimated the program would cost $750,000,000 annually, “over a reasonable period of years.” The generalized scheme would put Washington on three principal arteries: One to the North and South, one to the Northwest toward the Pennsylvania border and the third Southwest toward West Vir ginia. Similar routes are now in existence. The report was produced by the National Inter-Regional Highway Committee named by Mr. Roosevelt and headed by Thomas H. Mac Donald, commissioner of public roads. Might Take 20 Tears. The committee, estimating the program could be spread over a pe riod of 10 to 20 years, made the study on recommendations by the President and Congress. The $750,000,000 annual expendi ture would be divided equally be tween urban and rural sections but the total cost of the venture was not (See ROADS, Page A-14.) Democrats Expected To Name Hannegan As Party Chairman Tax Chief Is Reported To Have Inside Track For Walker's Job By tht Associated Press. CHICAGO, Jan. 12.—Robert E. Hannegan, St. Louis, now Com missioner of Internal Revenue in Washington, is expected to suc ceed Postmaster General Walker as chairman of the Democratic National Committee when that committee meets in Washington January 22 to pick a national convention site. Mr. Walker arrived here today with Ambrose O’Cpnnell, vice chairman of the Democratic com mittee to survey the hotel situation. Mr. Walker would not discuss his impending resignation, but it was learned authoritatively that he in tends to step out of the political job and that Mr. Hannegan has the inside track as his successor. Others who have been mentioned for Democratic chairman are David Kelly, national committeeman from Grand Forks, N. Dak., and George E. Allen of Mississippi and Wash ington, now secretary of the com mittee. Won’t Predict Exact Date. Mr. Walker indicated the Demo crats would select Chicago for their convention and meet in the same stadium that will be the scene of the Republican convention starting June 26. The Democratic chairman would not predict the exact date for the Democratic gathering, but he indi cated it would be around mid-July. The Democratic party held its 1J40 convention here beginning July 15. “I believe in a short campaign." Mr. Walker said. Mr. Walker is known to have ac ~(See DEMOCRATS, Page A-6.) Infidelity Charged to Doris Duke By Husband's Lawyer in Court By the Associate)! Press. ELIZABETH, N. J., Jan. 12.— Counsel for James H. R. Cromwell charged In court today that the former Doris Duke Cromwell had turned him out of their home in favor of an unidentified member of the British Parliament. “The acme of refined cruelty was reached,” Lawyer James E. Toolan told Advisory Master Dougal Herr in Chancery Court, “when Mr. Cromwell's valet, calling at Duke Farms for Mr. Cromwell’s clothes, was compelled t« wait several hours, until noon time, because Mr. Crom well’s bedroom was then occupied by his successor in his wife's affection, a truant member of the British Parliament who found Duke Farms, as well as Mrs. Cromwell’s home in Honolulu, more relaxing than Lon don, then undergoing the fury of Teutonic bombing."^ Mr. Toolan also charged that the former Doris Duke, tobacco heiress often referred to as the wealthiest girl in the world, had “humiliated" her husband while he was Minister to Canada and contributed heavily to his defeat in an election for Sen ator from New Jersey. Mr. Toolan and Meyer Ruback, his co-counsel, asked the New Jer sey Chancery Court to take three steps: Declare Mrs. Cromwell’s Rene divorce null and void, enjoin her from claiming a divorce or any ad vantage under the Reno decree, and attempt to persuade the court at Reno to set aside its decree on the strength of New Jersey evidence that her true residence was not in Nevada. Mr. Cromwell is seeking in New Jersey a limited divorce, under which l (See CROMWELL, Page A-3.) Congress Split On Enactment Of Labor Draft House Committee to Study President's Request Tuesday By the Associated Press. President Roosevelt’s request for enactment of national service legislation — under which the services of men from 18 to 65 and women from 18 to 50, with certain exceptions, would be sub ject to Government call—split Congress wide apart today and foreshadowed one of the most bitter fights of this election year. A cross-section of sentiment in Senate and House indicated it would be touch-and-go whether the Chief Executive's request would be granted or denied, with the opposition seem ingly having the edge at present. The reaction ranged from a charge by Senator Wheeler. Democrat, of Montana that the President’s pro posal was “a very definite, if not final, step toward Fascism,” to the contention of Representative Wads worth, Republican, of New York that it was "the democratic thing to do.” “Murray Calls it “Quack Medicine.” Labor leaders renewed their oppo sition. Philip Murray, president of the Congress of Industrial Organiza tions, denounced national service legislation as “quack medicine” for what he termed the failures of legis lative and executive agencies, and R. J. Thomas, president of the CIO United Automobile Workers, de clared it “smacks of slave labor.” William Green, president of the American Federation of Labor, added his voice to labor’s declared opposition to the proposed legisla tion. He asserted it would "under mine our basic concepts of democ racy” and would not prevent strikes or solve manpower problems. "There is no real comparison," Mr. Green's statement said, "be tween drafting men for service in the armed forces of the country and drafting them for service in private industry operating for private profit. As emient an authority as Mr. Ber nard Baruch has publicly warned against this.” Cites Britain's Experience. Mr. Green said Great Britain* experience with a national service law demonstrated that It would not stop strikes. In 1942. he said, "the number of strikes in Britain was greater proportionately than in the United States.” Mr. Green added that “we are all \ agreed that strikes should not occur ; during the war emergency," and , said that since the Pearl Harbor attack he had not ordered, ap proved or condoned one strike. » Norman Thomas, Socialist party leader and several times candidate for President, criticized the proposal as a “step towards Fascism or totalitarianism.” “There is no excuse when the problem of production is so nearly solved. • • * To pass such a law now in the present setting will be a far more significant step towards 'Fascism or totalitarianism than some j of the acts or proposals of that j ‘rightist reaction’ which the Presi ! dent justly condemns,” the Socialist I leader said. Many Non-committal. ! Many members of Congress steered clear of committing themselves and took the attitude that enactment of a worker draft law should be con tingent, as the President suggested, on passage of legislation to hold down living costs, revamp the tax system and curb profits. Many were inclined to feel that the service legislation should follow the others, not precede it. | Chairman May called a meeting 'of the House Military Affairs Com ! mittee for next Tuesday to consider the President's request. Mr. May's committee held extensive hearings last year on a national service bill introduced by Mr. Wadsworth and Senator Austin, Republican, of Ver mont, but took no action on it. Three courses confront the com |mittee. Mr. May explained: To re open the hearings, to write a bill without further hearings, or to shelve the entire subject, at least for the present. As for himself. Mr. May said he was never “hot” for national service legislation, but felt that in view of the President’s message the com mittee and Congress should take some action. Sentiment of other members was sharply divided. Chairman Reynolds of the Senate Military Affairs Committee left no doubt about his position. He as sailed national service legislation as (See ROOSEVELT. Page A-3.) Chase Bank Indicted On War Trade Count Charged With Assisting Industrial Diamond Dealer By the Associated Press. A Federal grand jury in New York returned two indictments today charging the Chase National Bank and Leonard J. A. Smit, a dealer in industrial diamonds, with “conspir ing and engaging in" the illegal sale and export of industrial diamonds in violation of the Trading With the Enemy Act, Attorney General Biddle announced. Other defendants also indicted on the same charge include two cor porations controlled by Smit—Anton Smit & Co.. Inc., and Elfantum. Inc. Mr. Biddle said the two indict ments, together with five others re turned by the same grand jury De cember 20, 1943, but made public for the first time today, collectively charge that Leonard Smit and his various companies, through the as sistanije of the Chase National Bank, "contrived by illegal means to trad* in industrial diamonds in contra vention of various wartime lawi freezing the funds of certain foreign nationals and prohibiting the export of certain stratsflfc^ materials."