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Evening star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, January 18, 1944, Image 1

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Weather Forecast
Mr tonight: low about 31. Tomorrow
fair, moderate temperature.
Temperatures today—Highest, 39. at
130 p.m.: lowest, 27, at 7:10 a m. Yes
terday—Highest, 40, at 3:55 p.m.; low
est. 22. at 7:20 a.m.
Lote New York Markets, Page A-11.
Guide for Readers
race.
After Dark_B-7
Amusements - B-U
Comics.B-14-15
Editorials .A-6
Finance .A-ll
Lost and Found A-3
rag*.
Obituary .A-l
Radio .B IS
Society . B-3
Sports.A-12
Where to Go.. B-3
Woman s Page B-10
An Associated Press Newspaper
92d YEAR. No. 36,420.
__WASHINGTON, D. C., TUESDAY, JANUARY 18, 1944—TWENTY-EIGHT PAGES. ***
Wasfalniton HI T7 L> T71 T /"<T? XT rp Q FIVE CENT*
and Suburbs 1 XlltJliJli X O. Elaewhera
British Press
Indignant Over
Peace Bid Story
Foreign Office Denial
Brought to Attention
Of Soviet Government
■r the Associated Tress.
LONDON, Jan. 18.—The Brit
ish press minced no words today
in expressing indignation over
Pravda’s publication of a Brit
ish-German “separate peace”
talk rumor, the London Daily
Mail denouncing it as insulting
and the Manchester Guardian
calling it a “slanderous accusa
tion.”
The morning papers generally
displayed the story on their front
pages, emphasizing that the British
Foreign Office had issued a denial
of the truth of the report printed
in Moscow by the Communist Party
organ. Not one London afternoon
paper published the Moscow story
yesterday, although there was no
censorship ban.
Meanwhile, it was announced that
the Foreign Office's denial of the
story has been brought to the at
tention of the Soviet government by
the British charge de'affaires in
Moscow.
May Reassert Position.
In the absence of any official ex
planation from Moscow', and in view
of the wide circulation given the
report yesterday by the Moscow
radio, the Daily Mail said the Brit
ish government “may deem it neces
sary in the near future to reassert
in Commons their determination to
abide by their agreements never to
make a separate peace."
An Associated Press dispatch
from Madrid said authorized Span
ish sources denied last night that
Nazi Foreign Minister Joachim von
Ribbentrop had been in Spain and
termed Pravda's “Cairo rumor" that
Von Ribbentrop had discussed peace
with two British officials on the
“Pyrenees peninsula" as ridiculous.
Disclaim Information.
From Lisbon, similarly, an Asso
ciated Press dispatch quoted British,
Greek and Yugoslav sources as dis
claiming any information of the
rumored peace talks. Allied diplo
mats there recalled there was no
substantiation for previous rumors
that Von Ribbentrop had been in
Portugal,
The Daily Mail, whose headline
read: “Britain kills ‘separate peace’
lie." commented that “the news
paper Pravda must be remarkably
ignorant of British national stand
ards. This is the only excuse we can
find for it."
“The the world at large the story
carries its refutation on its face,”!
said the Manchester Guardian, "but |
what is not pleasant is that such
slanderous accusation against an ally
should be circulated among the Rus
sian people."
Rumor Previously Ignored.
The Daily Express, owned by Lord
Beaverbrook. one of Russia's best
friends in Britain, carried no edi
torial. A political correspondent,
however, wrote that, the rumor had!
been making the rounds in various
forms since Prime Minister Churchill
and Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden
i See PRAVDA~Page A-ll.)
Two Moscow Papers
Ignore 'Cairo Rumor'
Story Outranks Hess Case
In Public Interest
Br the Associated Press.
MOSCOW. Jan. 18.—Neither Iz
vestia, official government newspa
per, nor Red Star, officials newspr
per of the Red Army, published to
day the "rumors from Cairo" story
about an alleged separate peace
meeting between two British offi
cials and German Foreign Minister
von Ribbentrop.
There was no editorial comment in
either Izvestia or Red Star about
yesterday’s Pravda story, which still
is today's big news in Moscow.
Pravda. the official Communist par
ty newspaper, does not publish on
Tuesdays.
Ever since publication of the story
the telephone of every foreigner
here who has any Russian friends
has been tied up with calls inquir
ing what it is all about.
Foreign diplomats expressed more
surprised over why the Russians
published the rumor than over what
the rumor reported.
Nothing ever gets into the Soviet
press by accident, one high ranking
diplomat pointed out. He said he
was perplexed as to just why this
rumor was served up to the people
in such fashion.
Foreign observers who w;ere in
Russia when Rudolf Hess took peace
proposals to Britain said yesterday’s
story caused far more comment.
The British denial has not been
printed here. If it is published that
probably will end the affair as far
as the Russians are concerned.
Jim Lucas, Marine Writer,
Made Second Lieutenant
B> the Associated Press.
Jim G. Lucas, the marine combat
correspondent whose graphic story
of how the marines took Tarawa
Island from the Japanese made
newspaper headlines throughout
the country, became a second lieu
tenant today.
The former courthouse reporter
for the Tulsa (Okla.) Tribune was
sworn in as a commissioned officer
by Brig. Gen. Robert L. Denig, di
rector of the Marine Corps’ Division
of Public Relations.
Lt. Lucas, who had been a master
technical sergeant, is now on duty
here.
Churchill Returns to London,
Promises War Statement Soon
Prime Minister, Recovered From Illness,
Unexpectedly Walks Into Commons
By the Associated Press.
LONDON. Jan. 18.—Prime Min
ister Churchill returned to Lon
don unexpectedly today after a
convalescing from an attack of
pneumonia in the Middle East
and told a cheering House of
Commons that he expected to
make a statement on the war in
the near future.
The Prime Minister, who looked
slightly tired but happy, asked the
House that he be given ‘‘some lati-'
tude" about the actual date for dis
cussing the war. thereby indicating
he planned a careful summary of
events in prelude to western inva
sion of Europe.
As for himself, when asked by a
member what steps he was taking
to relieve himself of some of his
official duties to conserve his health,
Mr. Churchill replied amid laugh
ter:
‘‘I am obliged to you for your
solicitude, but I have no changes
to propose at present in my rou
tine.”
Mr. Churchill again drew laughter
when he demurred at Comdr. Oliver
Locker-Lampson’s proposal that "we
go off and drink this toast: ‘Death
to alh dictators and long life to all
liberators’ * * *.”
“It is very early in the morning,”
Mr. Churchill chuckled.
As the questioning proceeded, Sir
Herbert William asked if Mr.
Churchill were aware of any "false
optimism” voiced in a recent speech
in which Gen. Sir Bernard L. Mont
gomery indicated the probable early
capture of Rome.
“I don't know about false op
timism,” Mr. Churchill replied.
"There has been a lot of bad
weather."
One of Mr. Churchill’s first visitors
is expected to be Gen. Dwight D.
Eisenhower, supreme Allied com
mander for western invasion.
Mr. Churchill’s reappearance in
i See CHURCHiLLTPage A-llT~
Test of Moscow Pact
Seen in Soviet Reply
To Hull's Proposals
Secretary Offers U. S. Aid
To Russians in Reviving
Relations With Poles
By BLAIR BOLLES.
The American Government,
hopeful that disturbing develop
ments in Russian-British rela
tions will be halted before they
generate a United Nations crisis,
today awaited a reply from the
Soviet Union to a note which is
regarded here as providing a
test of the Moscow Four-Nations
Declaration's effectiveness—Sec
retary of State Hull’s offer of
this country’s good offices to
promote a Soviet-Polish recon
ciliation.
Mr. Hull, it is said, sent his note
with some confidence that it would
be well received in Moscow, despite
puzzlement in official circles here
about the implications of the Mos
cow Pravda article reporting that
two British officials had discussed
with German Foreign Minister
Joachim von Ribbentrop the possi
bility of a separate peace. Viscount;
Halifax, the British Ambassador,
categorically denied the truth of the
report.
Secretary Hull dispatched his note
before the Pravda article appeared.'
The most serious view taken of,
the Pravda article was that it is a
warning to Great Britain and Amer
ica that Russia is prepared to aban
don the concept of general political
collaboration agreed on at the Mos
cow conference if it is not given a
free hand in Eastern Europe, in
cluding Poland.
Greeks Deny Rumor.
A more generous interpretation
was that the Soviet government had
some not readily apparent purpose
in permitting the publication of the
article and that Russia, despite ap
pearances, will follow a policy faith
ful to the Moscow conference con
cept,
A tentative view advanced as to
the meaning of the Pravda article
was that Russia wanted to embarrass
the Greek and Yugoslav govern
ments in Cairo, both of which are
out of its favor, though it main
tains diplomatic relations with them.
The Pravda article attributed the
separate peace "rumor” to “reliable
Greek and Yugoslav sources” in
Cairo.
Greek Ambassador Cimon P.
Diamantopoulos informed the State
Department yesterday that the
Greek government was not the
source of the information.
It was conjectured that Mr. Hull
would not have addressed his note
to the Soviet government with the
expectation that it would be re
jected. His public reaction to the
Pravda article was temperate. He
said at his press conference yester
day that he had not received the
report of the article.
Berle Quotes Litvinoff.
Assistant Secretary of State A. A
Eerie, jr„ last night quoted former
Russian Ambassador Maxim Lit
vinoff to the effect that “peace is
indivisible” in a speech at Constitu
tion Hall which served as a restate
ment of the United States' col
laborationist policy in foreign af
fairs. He said that "each nation's
own primary interest requires it to
co-operate with the others" and
quoted the clauses of the Moscow
Four-Nation Declaration. He added:
“Those clauses of the declaration
<See HULL, Page A-ll.)
Rapido River Crossed
By American Patrol
North of Cassino
French Occupy Town
3 Miles Northeast
Of German Bastion
Bj- the Associated Press.
ALLIED HEADQUARTERS.
Algiers, Jan. 18.—An American
patrol crossed the Rapido River
north of Cassino and probed the
Nazis’ strong “Gustav line’’ posi
tions, Allied headquarters an
nounced -today, French troops
occupied Sant’ Elia, 3 miles
northeast of Cassino.
The doughboy patrol found the
Germans entrenched in fortified po
sitions 300 yards beyond the western
bank of the Rapido and withdrew
across the river after a skirmish.
French forces advanced 1.000 yards
to seize Sant’ Elia and also captured
the hamlet of Valvori, 2 miles far
ther northeast, as the Allied arc
tightened on Cassino, sentinel of
the valley pathway to Rome.
Patrols were active elsewhere on
the 5th Army front, and the Allies
continued consolidating recent gains.
New Line Being Set Up.
Meanwhile the Germans quickly
put last-minute touches on their
new line, which from Cassino to
Sant’ Elia runs along the west side
of the Rapido. on the slopes of
Mount Castellonc, in some places
considerably back from the river's
bank.
Canadians supported by tanks
launched an attack on the Adriatic
flank on a 1,000 yard front in the
Tomasso area about a mile inland
from the coast. Despite stiff oppo
sition from Germans holding high
ground, they made some gains which
included a foothold across a stream
flowing into the sea. At last reports
the fighting was continuing with
satisfactory results.
Tire weather was excellent but
somewhat cloudy on the 5th Army
front. with gales blowing hard in
the mountains. On the 8th Army
front it was cold and clear in the
coastal area but there were high
winds and snow inland.
Pisa Yards Bombed.
Alofa Allied heavy and medium
bombers smashed at enemv com
munications and RAF Weliingtons
early today bombed the Pisa rail
way yards in bright moonlight.
Plying Fortresses and Liberators
of the United States 15th Air Force
pounded Nazi supply lines yester
day with blows on three railway
centers on the main double track
from Florence to Rome.
Early reports indicated good re
sults were achieved on all three
targets—Arezzo, Pontassieve and
Prato. Photographs showed six di
rect hits by Liberators on the
Arezzo yards.
The big bombers and their escorts
made the round trip without meet
ing enemy planes and the general
German inactivity on the ground
and in the air puzzled some crew
men.
Yugoslav Targets Hit.
While the big bombers were put
ting a crimp in German transporta
tion. Warhawks of the United
States 12th Air Force went across
the Adriatic to Sibenik in Yugo
slavia. set off a terrific explosion in
an ammunition ship in the harbor
and damaged barracks. Two other
vessels were attacked.
Mitchell bombers escorted by 12th
Air Force fighters bombed the rail
center of Temi north of Rome, and
like the Fortress and liberator crews,
met no opposition.
Shrieking Japs Routed 5 Times
In Fiercest Gloucester Battle
By MURLIN SPENCER,
Associated Press War Correspondent.
WITH THE MARINES AT CAPE
GLOUCESTER. Jan. 14 (Delayed).
—For fully five minutes the Japa
nese chanted and shouted, “Prepare
to die, marines." At 4:15 a.m. they
charged.
Five times they charged, and five
times the marines hurled them back
in what has become the fiercest bat
tle of the Cape Gloucester campaign
—the battle of Walt’s Ridge.
The battle on the invaded western
end of New Britain is over now and
the full picture Ls complete. It is a
picture of brave men slugging it out
in vicious hand-to-hand encounters;
of a gun crew exhorted to superhu
man efforts by the need for a lone
piece of artillery; of bearded, weary
men, their hearts pounding as
though they would break as they
hauled ammunition to the men on
the line.
For a half hour the issue was in
doubt. It was so serious that at the
end of the fourth attack troops on
the left side of the marine line ran
out of ammunition and carriers re
plenished the supply barely four
minutes before the Japanese
launched their fifth and last attack.
Lt. Col. Lewis Walt had his com
mand post approximately 75 yards
from the tip of the ridge that was
given his name. This former Colo
rado Aggie football player from Ft.
Collins, Colo., took over command
of the troops who had been in the
line over a week. They were dis
couraged men who had lost two of
their top-ranking officers in heavy
fighting which preceded the final
battle.
Col. Walt knew before he had
been there long that this would be
one of the decisive battles of the
campaign. It w#s apparent that
the ridge was a strong point of the
(See MARINES, Page A-3.)
Reds Close In
On Rovno, Nazi
Railway Center
Drive on Northern
Leningrad Front
Also Rolls On
fMap on Page A-2.J
By the Associated Press.
MOSCOW, Jan. 18.—Troops of
Gen. Nikolai Vatutin's 1st
Ukrainian Army were reported
closing in today on Rovno (in
old Poland), key German com
munications center 110 miles
south of Pinsk, another main
objective of the Russian forces
on the northern edge of the
frozen Pripet Marshes.
Fall of Rovno, junction of the
Berdichev-Warsaw and Sarny-Lwow
Railways, would imperil the German
grip on a vast area of Southern
and Southwestern Russia, alreadv
threatened by Gen. Vatutin's left
wing driving toward the Rumanian
frontier.
Gen. Vatutin's center, based on
Novograd Volynski, 50 miles east of
Rovno, was driving on the rail hub
from the east, northeast and north,
constituting a triple threat which
made its early capture a possibility.
One column moving in from the
northeast already has occupin Tu
chin. 13 miles away, and is steadily
beating down savage enemy resist
ance, a Russian communique said.
Engineers Called In.
Soviet engineers were called in to
provide equipment for the crossing
of the Horyn River, which flows
westward through Tuchin's outskirts,
and which was not frozen suffi
ciently for transport on the ice. Be
yond the river there was a formida
ble 4-mile-wide swamp barrier ex
tending to the village of Goringrad.
strongpoint of Rovno's outer defense
system 10 miles to the north, which
also has to be negotiated by the
Russians.
Meanwhile, the five-dav-old Rus
sian offensive on the Leningrad
front continued to roll forward with
the occupation of five additional
localities north and northeast of
Novosokolniki. a rail junction on
the line connecting Velikie-Luki
and Riga (the old Latvian capital).
Towns captured yesterday, the Rus
sian war bulletin said, included
Kurova. seven miles northeast of
Novosokolniki: Kiselevichi. 10 miles
to the north: Alkhimovo. 12 miles on
the northeast, and Sloboda. 15 miles
to the north.
(The German high command
said the Russians were attacking
north and northwest of Nevel,
north of Lake Ilmen, south of
Leningrad and south of Oranlen
baum. with "growing intensity.”
(Berlin broadcasts said the Red
Army was using 250.000 men on a
250-mile-long front below Lenin
grad and acknowledged Russian
breakthroughs north of Nevel,
north of Lake Ilmen and south
west of Vitebsk, White Russian
base which has been under siege
bv Gen. Ivan Bagramian's Baltic
Army for weeks, i
Advance Units Move Ahead.
The Red Army communique made
no mention of the situation in lower
White Russia, where Gen. Kon
stantin Rokossovskv's forces were
last, reported battling their way
through the frozen Pripet marsh
land toward Pinsk. 100 miles to the
west. Advance columns of Gen.
Vatutin’s right, wing, meanwhile,
operating out of Sarny to the north
along the Horyn River, were said to
be within 47 miles of Pinsk.
In the lower Ukraine. Gen. VI
tutin’s left wing repulsed fierce
German counterattacks yesterday,
the Russians said. Main fighting
centered north of Uman. 12 miles
south of Yarovatka. where the Rus
sians previously had cut the Smela
Khristinovka railway, a minor Nazi
escape route from the Middle Dnie
per bend. Uman is 90 miles south
east of Vinnitsa, where reinforced
German lines have temporarily held
up the Red Army spearheads.
Eighty German tanks, 16 armored
cars. 6 big guns, 200 trucks and
other war gear was destroyed by the
Russians in the Uman action, the
communique reported, adding that
on all fronts yesterday 2.300 Ger
mans had been killed, i.200 of them
on the Leningrad front.
Cairo Radio Reports
Wounding of Tito
German Losses Heavy in
Bosnia, Partisans Say
ES the Associated Press.
LONDON, Jan. 18.—A rumor that
| Marshal Josip Broz (Tito> of the
| Yugoslav Partisans has been
! wounded in Montenegran fighting
!was broadcast today by the Cairo
radio.
There was no confirmation in the
Partisan communique, which was
broadcast earlier by the Free Yugo
slav station.
Tire Partisan communique said
the partisans have inflicted heavy
losses on German motorized forces
trying to drive through Western
Bosnia into the town of Glamoc, 55
miles southwest of Banja Luka.
It acknowledged, at the same
time, that strong German forces
have landed on the island of Brae,
south of the Dalmatian port of
Split.
Brae, which commands what may
be the “invasion corridor” for the
Allies from the Adriatic into Cen
tral Bosnia, was the scene of an
attempted German landing last Oc
tober which was beaten off by Par
tisan forces.
Navy Fighter Plane
Dedicated at Airport
As Bond Drive Opens
Series of Events Give
Fourth War Loan
Impressive Start
High-powered tangible evi
dence of Washington's bond
buying efforts was provided to
day as the Fourth War Loan
drive opened, when the first of a
fleet of 80 carrier-based Grum
man Hellcats, Navy fighter
planes, was dedicated to the Dis
trict at the National Airport.
The airport ceremony was the high
I spot of a series of features arranged
to give the local bond drive an im- i
pressive start toward the goal ofj
595,000,000. At the same time, other1
events were taking place all over the j
: city, including the first visit by Gov-'
ernment employes to the American
Mariner, 10.000-ton Liberty ship,
moored at the Municipal Wharf. At j
2:30 p.m the general public was to;
be admitted to the vessel for the
first time.
The first of the District's Hell
cats was dedicated formally at 11
a m. today by Mrs. Cassin H. Young,
2700 Connecticut avenue N.W., j
mother of Capt. Cassin Young, who
was killed while commanding the
U. S. S San Francisco in action!
against the Japanese near Guadal
canal last year. Present at the
ceremony were Rear Admiral Law
rence B Richardson, assistant chief
of the Bureau of Naval Aeronautics,!
and John A. Reilly, chairman of the
District War Finance Committee.
Will Bear Seal of District.
The seal of the District of Colum
bia was painted on the fuselage of
the plane. Each of the 80 District
sponsored Hellcats will carry simi
lar insignia.
The plane was brought to Wash- 1
jington last night directly from the
Grumman plant at Bethpage. Long
Island, by Lt. O. E. Van Schaick of
the Naval Air Ferrying Command.
The plane will continue on its jour
ney to the West Coast as soon as
weather conditions permit, and it
will be placed in service immediately 1
aboard aYi aircraft carrier.
Money for the 80 Hellcats was ob
tained from the $32,600,000 worth of
bonds bought by individual buyers
In the District during a specially!
authorized drive last fall.
Wallace Buys Bond.
Meanwhile, Secretary of the
Treasury Morgenthau started things
off at the Capitol this noon by sell
ing Vice President Wallace his first
•bond during the Fourth War Loan
drive. The ceremony took place in
the office of Col. Edwin H. Halsey,
| secretary of the Senate, and was
’attended by Speaker Rayburn,
House minority leader.
Secretary Wickard and employes
of the Agriculture Department, first
Federal agency to be allowed time
off to visit the ship, were wel
comed aboard the American Mariner
today by Rear Admiral Emory S.
Land, Maritime Commission chair
man.
Mr. Wickard said the opportunity
to come aboard "is an exciting ex
perience for me.” Speaking to mem
bers of his department aboard the
vessel, Mr. Wickard said he wanted
to join President Roosevelt in the
defense of Government employes
and pointed to the $1,200,000,000 in
War Bonds bought by Federal work
ers since the beginning of sales.
Mr. Wickard said that a total of
9.9 per cent of Agriculture Depart
ment workers' pay is now going into
War Bonds.
Ship Open Evenings.
The ship was to remain open until
5 p.m. and then reopen between 7f30
and 10 p.m. These visiting hours are
to be observed daily for the public
while the vessel is in port. Agricul
ture Department workers will get
another chance to see the ship to
morrow between 10 a.m. and noon,
and other Federal agencies will be
allowed on board on subsequent
mornings.
Opening the national campaign
last night, Mr. Morgenthau told the
Nation over a four-network broad
cast that the execution of a traitor
and three German officers by the
Russians after conviction for war
atrocities offered the “answer” to
what would happen to Axis ring
leaders after Allied victory.
The Secretary took the role of
narrator in the hour-long broadcast
(Continued on Page A-4, Column 1)
Southern Democrats Appear
Ready to Make Peace in Party
Cheer Wallace Proposal for West-South
Coalition; Barkley May Remove Guffey
! Two developments of the last
124 hours indicate the admini
stration and Southern Democrats
are healing their differences
after recent threats of party
strife in an election year.
| A banquet last night of Governors
and members of Congress from be
low the Mason and Dixon line end
ed with shouts of "Wallace for Vice
President.” after he had urged the
South to join with the West and
other areas in support of national
measures to abolish trade barriers
and decentralize financial controls.
The Governors were here on one
: phase of that problem—the elim
| ination of what they regard as dis
criminatory Southern freight rates.
At the same time there were re-;
ports at the Capitol that Senate!
Majority Leader Barkley is planning
steps to overcome the intraparty
strife that developed in that branch
ecently over servicemen’s voting leg
islation.
Will Replace Guffey.
Senator Barkley was said to have
promised the Southerners that a
new chairman will be named for the
Democratic Senatorial Campaign
Committee in place of Senator Guf
fey of Pennsylvania. A recent
charge by Senator Guffey that
Southern Democrats had joined an
! alliance with Republicans to beat
[the Federal war ballot for service
iSee DEMOCRATS. Page A-ll!)
Stimson Starts Check
On Oversea Officers
Who Took GOP Poll
Senator Green Told
Of Order to Identify
Spangler's 'Friends'
Secretary of War Stimson dis
closed today he has begun an
investigation to find out what
Army officers took a poll of the
political sentiment among sol
diers overseas for Chairman
Harrison Spangler of the Re
publican National Committee.
The Secretary told of the inquiry
in a letter to Senator Green. Dem
ocrat. of Rhode Island who had
written to Mr. Stimson after read
ing reports from Chicago 10 days
ago. in which Mr. Spangler was
quoted as saying that a “survey"
indicated sentiment among service
men overseas against the Adminis
tration was about the same as
among civilians at home. Mr.
Spangler estimated 56 per cent of
the voters at home were leaning
Republican.
The chairman said later his in
formation about soldier sentiment
came from four Army officer friends,
who were Republicans, and he de
fended their right to give him their
opinions.
Stimson Letter Quoted.
Senator Green wrote Mr. Stim
son that he and other Senators
were deeply concerned over the mat
ter. Mr. Stimson wrote.
"My Dear Senator Green:
“I wish to acknowledge receipt of
your letter of January 12, 1944. re
ferring to press stories to the effect
that the chairman of the Republi
can National Committee had spon
sored a survey of political opinion
among the armed forces in Eng
land gnd inquiring if an investiga
tion had been instituted by the War
Department.
Inquiry Ordered.
“Prior to the receipt of your letter,
the commanding general of the Eu
ropean theater of operations had
been directed by cable to make an
immediate investigation of the facts
alleged in the press stories and to
(See STIMSON. Page A-2.)
Utilities Commission
To Probe Streetcar
And Bus Accidents
Sets Public Hearing
Feb. 1 on Capital Transit
Safety Methods
The Public Utilities Commis
sion today ordered an investiga
i tion “into the causes of acci
dents resulting from or in con
nection with the operations of
Capital Transit Co. streetcars
and buses,” and set a public
hearing for February 1.
The commission said the investi
gation was to determine the follow
ing three points:
The sufficiency of the safety ap
pliances in use on streetcars and
buses and what action should be
taken to obtain greater safety.
The methods employed by the
transit company in hiring and train
ing personnel intrusted with the
operation of streetcars and buses
and whether the methods should be
modified and if periodic checks of
the personnel should be made “from
the standpoint of safe operation.”
What proportion, if any, of the
expenses incurred annually for in
juries and damages are due to the
: fault of the company in failing to
adopt sufficient safety measures and
how such proportion of annual ex
penses for injuries and damages
'should be treated on the books of
the company for rate-making pur
poses.
Hankin Cites Figures.
In a memorandum to the PUC,
Gregory Hankin. commission mem
ber. said the number of deaths re
sulting from the operations of the
transit company had increased from
7 in 1939 to 33 in 1943, and that the
number of injuries had risen from
1.284 in 1939 to 2.185 last year.
Mr. Hankin said that accruals for
injuries and damages had risen
from $568,400 in 1939 to $1,113,700
last year.
“It may well be that all of the
accidents are a normal incident of
such operations. If so, they are
properly a charge upon the public
' * Mr. Hankin commented.
“On the other hand, it may well be
(See TRANSlTTPage A-2T~
Woman Industrialist Calls
For Defiance of Profit Tax
By the Associated Press.
KANSAS CITY. Jan. 18.—Miss
Vivien Kellems. Westport (Conn.)
industrialist and war plant owner,
announced today she had not paid
her December 15. 1943, income tax
and called on all business to follow
her example by putting aside “post
war reserves out of their taxes.”
“Either by design or through ig
norance, the Government refuses to
allow me to set up a postwar reserve
so that I may continue the business
which I have spent 16 years build
ing,” she said in an address at a
civic group luncheon.
“Not only that, but through a
smart trick called ‘forgiveness’ and
getting-up-to-date-pay-as-I-go, I
tacked on an additional 25 per cent.
And this so-called pay-as-you-go
tax proposes to tax me on a wartime
inventory, work in process, some of
j which will not be delivered for six
months, the money tied up in ex
; pansion of machines, most of them
j so much junk when the war is
over. Not only is the Government
i trying to collect a tax on profit but
jit is actually forcing me to antici
pate profits on work not yet
done. * * *
“Therefore, I am not only with
holding this money so that I may
continue to manufacture tools for
our boys who are fighting all over
the world, and so I may continue
to employ the people who are de
pendent upon this business for a
living, but I call upon all business,
both big and small, to follow my
example and put aside postwar re
serves out of their taxes.”
Miss Kellems. whose plant man
ufactures shell lifters, grips used on
mine-sweeping cables and connec
(See KELLEMS, Page A-2.)
Ickes Suspends
Briggs in Probe
Of Letter Case
Secretary Asks
Grand Jury to Call
Him in Inquiry
By the Associated Press.
Secretary of Interior Ickes
today suspended without pay
George N. Briggs, one of his
assistants, “pending the outcome
of the inquiry by the grand jury’’
into the so-called “Hopkins let
ter.”
Mr. Ickes also announced he had
asked permission to appear before
the District grand jury investigat
ing the letter. The Secretary said
he knew nothing whatever about
the "Hopkins letter,” and doubted
if he could shed much light on it,
but declared:
"I do not relish the bandying
about of my name in connection
with a matter which seems to be
as bizarre and absurd as it appears
to be contemptable and vicious.”
The names of Mr. Briggs and Mr.
Ickes were brought into the compli
cated affair yesterday by Senator
Langer, Republican, of North
Dakota, who read to the Senate
a series of letters w'hich he said
had been wTitten by Mr. Briggs to
C. Nelson Sparks, author of the
book “One Man—Wendell Willkie.”
ganger Accuses Briggs.
Senator Langer interpreted the
correspondence as meaning that Mr.
Briggs furnished to Mr. Sparks, for
publication in the book, the letter
purporting to have been signed by
Harry Hopkins, adviser to Presi
dent Roosevelt. Mr. Hopkins has
denounced the letter as a forgery.
Senator Langer also interpreted
the correspondence as indicating
that Mr. Ickes himself had posses
sion of the letter for a time.
Mr. Ickes today said: "I hope
that the grand jury will soon find
the person guilty of this hoax so as
to be able to deal quickly and ap
propriately with him."
Henry a'. Schweinhaut, special
assistant to Attorney General Bid
dle, said 'here was "no doubt" in
his mind that the "Hopkins letter"
alleging to give views of Mr. Hop
kins about the prospective presi
dential candidacy of Mr. Willkle
this year, was a forgery.
Mr. Schweinhaut. commenting on
the inquiry, predicted it would be
"demonstrated” that the letter was
forged and stated in response to a
question that he "wouldn't be sur
prised" if the person responsible
was turned up.
Briggs Not at Ofl|ce.
Mr. Briggs did not appear at his
office this morning but gave out a
statement at his home at Fairling
ton. Va.. accusing Senator Langer
of attempting to smear Mr. Ickes.
Reporters noted that Mr. Briggs’
; t> ppwriter and that if his secre
tary had been removed from his
office at the Interior Department
and learned that three men had
taken them away. The Federal Bu
reau of Investigation said it had no
comment on this matter.
Mr. Schweinhaut said he "im
agined" Mr. Briggs would be called
before the grand jury.
I The Briggs statement said:
"This whole affair is a double
barreled blast at Secretary Ickes.
It was the Secretary who as pub
; he works administrator had Bill
Langer, then Governor of North
Dakota, impeached for the misap
plication of Federal funds.
The other half of the gun barrel
is occupied by the Patterson press,
which is determined to wreck the
Secretary of the Interior and it will
destroy any one who gets in the
way of its deadly purpose.
"Even if I had written everything
that Sparks has released through the
two channels that for years have
been thirsting for Mr. Ickes' blood
I would have a still greater con
tempt than I now feel for one
who would furnish newspapers with
photographs of private mail which
; purports as this does to deal with
very personal matters."
Senator Langer inserted in the
Congressional Record yesterday
• sight letters and six telegrams which
he said were sent by Mr. Briggs—
the letters on Interior Department
stationery—to Mr. Sparks.
Mr. Briggs said that two of the
eight letters read by Senator Lan
ger were authentic.
niM-nea in Kecora.
One of the eight letters said Mr.
Ickes was at one time in possession
of the alleged Hopkins letter, which
was addressed to Dr. Umphrey Lee,
president of Southern Methodist
‘University, Dallas. Tex., who is now
in Washington. Mr. Ickes said:
| “I don't know who will ultimately
turn out to be the villain in the
'Hopkins letter' thriller, but It will
not be I.”
Mr. Briggs said a pamphlet he
wrote in 1940 critical of Mr. Willkie
was the foundation for the anti
Willkie book by Mr. Sparks. Mr.
Briggs met Mr. Sparks during the
1940 preconvention campaign, when
(See LETTERS. Page A-lT)
Taft to Speak
In Radio Forum
Senator Robert A. Taft of
Ohio will speak on “Wage and
Price Control — Congress or
the President?” in the Na
tional Radio Forum this eve
ning. Senator Taft will be
introduced by Edward Boykin,
director of the Forum pro
grams.
The National Radio Forum
is a Blue Network feature, ar
ranged by The Evening Star
and broadcast locally over
The Evening Star Station,
WMAL, at 10:30 p.m.
bet Off to a Buying Start—Make Your First Investment Today in the Fourth War Loan Drive

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