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Evening star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, January 26, 1944, Image 8

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A—8 WEDNESDAY, January 26, 1944
Tax Exemption and Slums
Current investigation of slum
clearance in the District should in
clude some examination of the effect,
over a long period of time, of ex
empting from taxation the proper
ties acquired for reclamation. This
tax exemption is now construed as
the District’s contribution, matching
in some degree Federal grants for
housing or housing subsidies. There
is a persuasive argument in support
of the practice. But with about half
the District’s area now tax exempt,
and with discussions of future pro
grams of slum reclamation based on
estimates of acquiring and reclaim
ing congested areas involving twenty
thousand substandard dwellings, it
is easy to see that this tax-exemp
tion feature can assume substantial
proportions, further complicating
the District’s disadvantageous posi
tion which already results from
excessive tax exemption.
The value of tax exemption in
properties acquired for low-rent
housing under Title I of the Alley
Dwelling Act now amounts to about
$9,000 a year, the cumulative total
from 1935 through 1942 amounting
to over $46,000. Rents are fixed now
to include a theoretical tax payment,
and it was originally intended that
the District ultimately would be re
paid for its tax exemption as invest
ment in slum clearance was liqui
dated over a sixty-year period. But
Congress now requires that all bal
ances and revenues from the proper
ties be paid into the Treasury, and
the Federal Government, not the
District, receives the equivalent of
taxes on the property.
In the case of other areas re
claimed under Title II of the act—
with loans and grants from the
United States Housing Authority—
the tax exemption is construed as
the District’s 20 per cent contribu
tion to annual rent subsidies from
the USHA, these subsidies being used
to make up the difference between
what a tenant is able to pay and the
rent which is charged. But there
does not seem to be any balance
sheet maintained to determine the '
relation between the actual amount
of tax exemption contributed by the
District and the amount of the
subsidies received from the USHA.
In some cities, it is reported, the tax
exemption amounts to as much as
50 per cent of the subsidies—instead
of the 20 per cent required by law.
The problem of tax exemption,
because of Federal property acquisi
tion, is becoming serious in many
cities, but not nearly so serious as in
the District of Columbia. There
should be carefully drawn estimates
now to show the effect of large-scale
tax exemptions for low-cost housing
on the city’s revenues from real
estate taxes. Such estimates do not
now seem to be available.
Stamps for the War
Usually at the beginning of Janu
ary the principal officers of the Post
Office Department charged with
that responsibility have decided
upon an appropriate schedule of
new postage stamps to be Issued
during the year. For 1944, however,
no list as yet has been compiled.
Meanwhile, a splendid opportunity
to dramatize the war is being lost.
Newspaper, radio, motion picture
and billboard facilities of publicity
have been mobilized to full efficiency
ever since Pearl Harbor, but stamp
designs—a natural as well as a con
venient media of propaganda in the
best sense 6f the word—still are
neglected. Only the familiar V
shaped eagle three-cent, the "Na
tions United” two-cent and the
"Four Freedoms" one-cent issues
have been produced for ordinary
use since December 7, 19*1. The
series of "Conquered Nations” flag
adhesives and the Lincoln-Sun Yat
sen five-cent "commemorative” for
China serve their special purposes
effectively enough perhaps, but they
have not had general circulation.
What is wanted is a sequence of
stamps which will advertise what
is happening on the battle fronts
where Americans are engaged. A
set of three has been suggested—one
each for the Army, the Navy and the
Marine Corps. There likewise has
been an appeal for a design paying
homage to nurses in the combat
zones. Another proposal has been
for a stamp in acknowledgment of
the sacrifices of service star mothers,
especially those whose stars have
turned to gold.
The decision, it seems, lies in the
hands of President Roosevelt, “the
Nation’s No. 1 stamp collector”; but
it also is a duty of Third Assistant
Postmaster General Ramsey S.
Black and his deputy, Roy M. North.
No "outsider” need tell them that
new issues of vivid patriotic signifi
cance would contribute to the suc
cess of the war effort, including the
maintenance of morale at heme.
There is a magic about the little
"scraps of paper’’ which Sir Rowland
Hill invented to frank postal matter
more than a century ago. His de
vice made Queen Victoria the most
widely famous woman who evir
lived. The same principle is worth
development in relation to the fight
ing of the greatest of wars today.
Travel Time Decision
The portal-to-portal pay decision
by Federal Judge A. D. Barksdale
presents an interesting, if somewhat
academic, question bearing on the
coal mine wage dispute.
Judge Barksdale, presiding in the
Federal Court at Lynchburg, Va.,
has held that John L. Lewis and the
United Mine Workers are not en
titled to compensation for travel
time under the provisions of the
Wage-Hour Act. This is not the last
judicial word on the subject. The
miners may appeal from his ruling.
Furthermore, they have a suit of
their own pending in another Fed
eral Court at Birmingham, Ala., to
test the same issue, and the Supreme
Court has before it a case involving
travel time in an iron mine, which
conceivably might be decided in
language applicable to the coal
Until there is a contrary ruling,
however, Judge Barksdale’s decision
stands, and it has an interesting
application to the wage agreement
recently worked out between Mr.
Lewis and Secretary Ickes.
Judge Barksdale pointed out that
when the Wage-Hour Act was under
consideration in Congress, Mr.
Lewis “indicated that he did not
expect the law to affect the coal in
dustry.’’ A similar position was
taken by counsel for UMW, and the
miners’ contracts have consistently
recognized that travel time was not*
work time. Nevertheless, when the
lower courts held that iron mine
workers were covered by the law,
and when it came evident that the
coal miners could not get a pay in
crease under the Little Steel
formula, Mr. Lewis suddenly came
to the conclusion that the members
of his union were covered by the
law after all, and that they should
be paid under it for travel time. In
effect, he took the position that he
was under a sort of judicial man
date to insist upon this. In his
discussions with Mr. Ickes he stuck
to this position, and emerged tfith
a contract providing pay for an
assumed average travel time of
forty-five minutes. And now one
Federal Court holds that so far as
the Wage-Hour Act is concerned he
is not entitled to it.
ine decision will probably have
little practical effect, since the Gov
ernment, as operator of the mines,
or the real owners can pay for travel
time if they want to, without regard
to .the scope of the Wage-Hour law.
.But the*ruling does shed a signifi
cant light on nature of this
settlement with Mr. Lewis, and it
should be interesting to the people,
who are now footing the bill for the
settlement through payment of
higher prices for coal. r
- ■ in
Most of the major Axis gangsters
have large deposits in banks of neu
tral nations. Evidently they believe
in keeping their run-out powder dry.
Bolivian Boycott
The State Department’s an
nouncement that the United States
would not recognize the new revolu
tionary regime in Bolivia should be
read in conjunction with similar an
nouncements by Latin American
nations and by the British govern
ment. This amounts to a virtually
unanimous diplomatic boycott of
the new regime at La Paz, with the
exception of Argentina.
These joint moves have been
taken only after an investigation
conducted by the Inter-American
Advisory Committee, on whiffh all
the republics of the Pan-American
Union are represented, with the ex
ception of Argentina, which volun
tarily absented itself from the pro
ceedings. The State Department
undoubtedly follows the report of
the committee in its condiemnation
of the regime headed by Major
Villaroel. Furthermore, the depart
ment makes it clear that the
Bolivian revolt is not an isolated
offense against Pan - American
solidarity and security. The pro-,
nouncement states categorically
that the revolution “is but one act
committed by a general subversive
movement having for its purpose1!
steadily expanding activities on the
(South American) continent. * * *
The inter-American system built up
over the past ten years has had for
one of its purposes the defending of
the sovereign republics of the hemi
sphere against aggression or inter
vention in their domestic affairs by
influences operating outside the
hemisphere and outside their indi
vidual frontiers.”
Although the department did not
mention by name the present gov
ernment of Argentina, the implicit
reference is obvious. Equally ob
vious is the suggestion that A*is in
fluences are operating in both cases
with the intent of expanding the
“general subversive movement” to
other Latin American countries,
thereby disrupting Pan-American
solidarity and security from Axis
aggression and penetration.
This diplomatic rebuke, the sever
est ever administered by Washington
to a Latin American regime since
the establishment of the “Good ■
Neighbor”* policy, is presumably the
forerunner of economic sanctions
such as the freezing of Bolivian
credits in this country and the ban
ning of shipments of supplies to her
from the United States. Since Bo
livia’s economic life is vitally de
pendent on exports of tin and other
mineral products, for which Amer
ica is almost the sole market under
current wartime conditions, the dis- i
ruptive effects upon Bolivian- econ
omy must be immediate and drastic.
Even with Argentine assistance, it
is doubtful that the revolutionary
regime could lonfe maintain itself
under such a situation.
Very Much Needed
Anybody who faces the grim pros
pect of having to file a tax return by
March 15 will be in full sympathy
with Representative Prank Carlson
of Kansas. As one of the outstand
ing Republican members of the House
Ways and Means Committee, Mr.
Carlson wants to level the wilderness
of forms, regulations and legal
phraseology now tormenting some
50.000. 000 American taxpayers. To
this end he proposes to merge the
Victory tax with the regular income
tax, establish a single tax base with
a single set of rates and exemptions,
and make several other adjustments
calculated to relieve the overwhelm
ing majority of us of the necessity of
filing any return at all.
Mr. Carlson feels that the present
withholding mechanism, which cov
ers the personal incomes of most of
us. could be so improved upon as to
permit perhaps as many as 30,000,000
of us to live happily from year to
year without ever once being obliged
to fill in a Treasury form. It is too
late today to do anything along this
line in time to save us from the job
of making out our returns for March
15, but Mr. C&rlson is looking for
ward to next year, believing that if
Congress begins at once to strive for
a drastic simplification of the income
tax laws, the American taxpayer will
not again have to suffer the bewil
derment he is suffering now.
Mr. Carlson may be aiming at the
moon when he sets out to free
30.000. 000 Americans of the need to
file returns, and his suggested reform
program may be otherwise weak in
detail, but there can be no doubt
that he is on the right track in
calling for a “major operation” on
our tax laws. For it is only too true,
as he points out, that since the
enactment of the original income
tax statute of 1913, Congress has so
amended that act as to make it “a
hodgepodge of language." This is a
point that needs no elaboration;
every citizen with the March 15th
forms before him is painfully aware
of the truth of what Mr. Carlson
says. In his words, simplification—
even if it cannot be as sweeping as
he suggests—is "our No. 1 tax job,
and is on the must list.”
This and That
By Charles E. Tracewell.
We went over to see Templeton Jones
the other evening. We had not seen
him since Christmas,'* and were pre
pared to And him playing with an elec
tric train, or perhaps testing out some
new symphony records.
Instead of that, he was seated in a
favorite easy chair, holding an over
sized red book.
"That’s *a big book you have there,
Templeton," we said.
Jones put down his tome, and looked
up with a smile.
“It is ‘The Complete Sherlock
Holmes,”* he said. "It was among my
Christmas presents and I have found
It about the best one of all.
1 “The type,” Jones pointed out, "is
small, but black, very clear, and there is
enough white space between the lines.
Many books with larger type are much
more difficult to read.
* * * *
"I can recall reading most of these
stories when I was a boy,” he went on.
“I borrowed them from the old Public
Library which was then, as I recall, on
New York avenue between Twelfth
and Thirteenth streets. I may be wrong
about the exact location.
“There is another thing that puzzles
me. I am sure that one of the novels
about Sherlock Holmes was called ‘The
Sign of the Four’* 40 years ago. In
this book the second ‘the’ is left out,
making the title ‘The Sign of Four.’
“It makes no difference, of course; the
phrase ‘the sign of the four’ and the
phrase ‘the sign of four’ both occur
several times.
“It is a grand story, whatever it is
"What a great character Sherlock
Holmes was and Is! And what a great
man A. Conan Doyle was—and still is.
I find it impossible to think of one
without the other. This is because
they were both real men.
“In rereading these storieaJ find they
hold up remarkably well. When Doyle
wrote them, the ‘hard-boiled’ school of
detective fiction was unknown.
“He believed that a good detective
story had to have something to it
besides a hero who took a drink at the
top of every page.
“So Conan Doyle gave his stories real
plots and characters, with enough ad
venture to satisfy any one. They wear
* * * *
“I have always been particularly fond
of the character of Dr. Watson. I
haven’t yet come,’’ smiled Jones, look
ing down at his big book, "to the famous
line 'Quick, Watson, the needle!’ I
wonder if it is really here, or whether
that was just a line of some imitator.
“Some radio presentations of Dr.
Watson have made him an intolerable
fuss-budget. His creator did not make
him so. He had more sense. Watson
was a sensible, ’brave man who was
never afraid to inix himself up in any
of the adventures of his friend Sherlock
Holmes. He was a perfect foil to the
great detective. If he cotftd not always
see exactly how Holmes made his de
ductions, it is no more than the rest of
us, and perhaps that is why I have a
soft spot in my heart for Dr. Watson.
* * * *
“I had the pleasure of seeing and
listening to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
when he lectured here at the National
Theater many years ago. He was a tall,
grave man with a large head and wide
shoulders. He was interested then in
the possibility of reincarnation.
"He made such a convincing talk,
that when I got home, I would not have
been surprised to have found a spirit
waiting for me in the hall of my little
“My mind, you see, was attuned to
the next world through the conviction
of Sir Arthur.
“Just as I stepped into the hall, and
before I had the lights on, a mysterious
rapping came from directly overhead.
Since I lived on the top floor this seemed
impossible, and I was very much
Templeton Jones juggled the 1,300
page book.
"It wasn’t until several weeks later
that I learned that my mysterious rap
ping had been a neighbor’s small boy
throwing a tennis ball against the wall
next to my hall! Tou see what imagin
ation will do lor you.”
Letters to The Star
Congress Held to Blame
For Labor Troubles.
fo the Editor of The Star:
There seems to be a disposition to
blame President Roosevelt for the labor
situation. But I think Congress equally
1 is to blame.
It perhaps is true that Mr. Roosevelt
has appeased labor too much. However,
when he took over the Government in
1933, after 13 years of Republican rule,
the country was sunk in an economic
depression. Millions of workmen were
out of employment. Those who could
get Jobs received very low wages. The
President set about obtaining legislation
that would remedy the inequalities of
workers and farmers.
Later, he was wise enough to sense the
danger of world domination by the ag
gressor nations. When he proposed to
“quarantine” them, he was met with
charges of “war mongering.” Yet he
used every diplomatic facility to pre
vent war After Pearl Harbor, he
realized that we could not fight unless
we could have the co-operation of labor
with patriotic citizens at large. True, he
discouraged drastic measures to curb la
bor unions. His faith was justified by
90 per cent of the organized workers.
Meanwhile, Congress is the law-making
branch of the Government. It has the
privilege and duty to pass any law need
ed to control labor, but it has failed to
do that. The Connally-Smith Act was
only a subterfuge, enacted to put the
President on the spot and calculated to
inspire rather than to prevent strikes.
Unless something is done to stop poli
tics, create unity and heal the breach
between the legislative and the execu
tive branches of the Government, we
may not lose the peace, but the war
Veteran Medical Officer Advocates
Draft of Capital and Labor.
To the Editor of The St»r:
I have been a subscriber to your valu
able paper for many years and have
read with much interest lately the views
of writers on the labor question and
especially the President's suggestion of
drafting labor for the war, and I should
like to express my own views upon the
Some such law should be enacted to
prevent strikes, for with proper legisla
tion there should be no Justification for
them, especially in the industries for
the production of materials and supplies
and in transportation necessary for the
successful prosecution of the war. There
should be compulsory arbitration of dis
agreements between employers and em
ployes by boards consisting of equal
numbers of representatives of employers
and employes and a like number of rep
resentatives of the Government, one of
whom should be its president. If the
employers and employes could not
agree, the Government representatives
should decide the question. If the de
cision should be unsatisfactory, it should
be appealed to a central and perma
nent board of arbitration or the courts;
but in no case should the work be
stopped pending a decision.
In 1899-1901, while on duty in the
Samoan Islands, I visited New Zealand
and found there some very advanced
ideas of government. For instance,
there was no tax on the first 10 acres
. of land, but there was a graded tax after
that, the rate getting higher as the
number of acres increased. There was
also a law prohibiting strikes. All dis
putes had to be settled by arbitration
and severe penalties were Inflicted on
employers and employes who violated
the law.
While I was in Auckland, the steve
dores struck without consulting the
board and they were fined and com
pelled to go back to work. There were
several refrigerator ships in the harbor
and a great quantity of mutton on the
wharves, which would spoil in a short
time if not loaded. This would have
been a great loss to the owners and to
the country. Which depended on its
commerce, especially Its mutton, for its
prosperity. The government took the
stand that the welfare of the country
should not be jeopardised by a few dis
gruntled strikers. The contention that
It is unlawful to make a man work
against his will does not “hold water,”
for the country is dependent on its in
dustries, fanning, mining, manufactur
ing, merchandising and transportation
for its life, welfare and prosperity and
the government should have enough
control over its employers and employes
to see that its needs are supplied. The
government should have at least as
much right in time of war or other oc
casions. where necessary, to draft capi
tal and labor for its needs and safety
as it has to draft men to fight and die
for its liberties.
Man is not a free agent to do as he
pleases when he is associated with other
men. He must have laws to regulate
his conduct toward them. If he is alone,
with no one to interfere, he is a law
unto himself and can do as he pleases,
subject only to.the laws of God and
nature, which he cannot violate without
paying the penalty. Man-made laws
work unjustly in many cases, although
they are supposed to be founded upon
right. When, at last, man goes before
his Maker, he will be judged by "right,”
the law of God. There are Ten Com
mandments. which can be reduced to
one: “No one has a right to do wrong.”
Commander, M. C., U. S. N„ Retired.
Discusses “No Change” Excuse
Of Some Taxi Drivers.
To the Editor of The Star:
I have just finished reading the letter
from a Taxi Driver’s Mother. The ex
periences she describes are outrageous,
of course, but I do not believe many such
happenings occur. If they do, the drivers
certainly make it up on other patrons.
My experience invariably is that they
have “no change” for even one dollar.
To me it has seemed a novel way to get
more than standard fare plus a tip. But
one day it did burn *ne up. I had a taxi
called to bring me home from the hos
pital after a serious illness. The dis
tance was six blocks, for which the
driver charged 50 cents. I asked him
to take out 75 cents and handed him a
dollar bill.'
Well, he had “no change” as usual—
and I was too ill to fuss—but it did get
my goat for I was under heavy expense
at the hospital and would not be able
to work for several weeks more. I
could not afford to be extravagant. I
get around the “no change” song now
by either walking or using the street
Winter Dawn
Blood-red as a Chinese orange through
stark houghs
The large, late sun ascends long past
its time
Into the sharp stillness of a blue-gray
Into a brittle silence of Osh-blue frost
How motionless, unwavering the early
smoke climbs up
In thin, pale spirals upon the windless
How clearly fall the silver echoes of ax
As though an answering woodsman
chopped somewhere.
And Jar the single bark of straining
Comes down the frosted morning with
a baying ring;
Far, ever far, the heart strains on its
And cries along the winter wood
toward spring.
I This Changing World
Constantine Brown
The outcome of the battle for Rome
will not be known before the end of the
week. The Germans are making stra
tegic feints in the south and are rushing
troops to cover the
eastern approaches
to the Applan Way
after the surprise
Allied landing of last
Saturday in the Net
tuno-Anzio area on
the western shores of
The operation of
the Allied 5th Army
under command of
Lt. Gen. Mark W.
Clark probably was
the most daring
undertaking of the
war thus far. We
landed a sizable force in an area where
adequate port facilities are lacking, and,
unlike Salerno, we caught the enemy
completely by surprise.
The whole question now is whether
the Germans have sufficient mobility to
bring up enough reinforcements to
check the Allies on the new front.
, * * * *
The furious attacks of Marshal Albert
Kesselring's troops in the south are
believed to be intended to prevent the
Allied forces from moving northward
and making a junction with the newly
landed units.
The combined British and American
air force is co-operating with the land
ing units more effectively than it did
four months ago at Salerno and is
attempting to disrupt the German lines
of communication from Rome to the
On the other hand, the Germans are
operating from Interior lines and hope
to be able to exploit this advantage to
the fullest in bringing up sufficient forces
to push us back to the beaches.
So far the Allies have met only alight
opposition from small Nazi detachments
which had been assigned to watch the
coast. It seems that the Germans, real
izing that there were no large harbors
where Allied transports could put in to
support a major landing operation, did
not think it possible that their opponents
would take a risk which might end in
defeat. They may have expected some
commando raids but nothing more.
Hence only isolated detachments, mostly
large-size patrols, were maintained in
the area within 30 or 40 miles to the
south of Rome.
* * * *
When it was obvious that the Allied
force was a substantial one, troops from
the north of Rome immediately were
started toward the new invasion point.
The movements of these troops is handi
capped somewhat by the fact that before
our landings the Rome railways were
disrupted by Allied air attacks. Whether
the attacks on the railways and the
present assaults on the roads leading
from Rome to the south will prevent the
timely arrival of a whole German army
remains to be seen. On this depends the
success of the Allied operation.
Marshal Kesselring is reported to have
ordered the whole German 10th Army to
the south. The 10th Army was kept ax
a general reserve on the northern ap
proaches to Rome. Some units which
have been resting after having suffered
severe punishment in Russia are said to
be included In it.
At present the greatest handicap of the
Nazi commanders appears to be the lack
of an adequate aviation to prevent our
own airmen from interfering with the
quick transport of troops from the north.
Whether the Nazis really are so short of
aviation that they cannot put in combat
more than a few lighting squadrons or
are planning a surprise will be seen In
the next few days.
* * * a
It also is considered possible that divi
sions of the 10th Army are being rushed
into action to allow the orderly with
drawal of the seven divisions in the
, Prom the military view Rome is of little
value to the Nazis. Prom the view of
morale it Is Important. The German
general stall has organized powerful de
fense lines on the Po River where they
believe they can hold out ■ indefinitely
with a relatively small force.
Their strategy has been to make us
pay dearly for every mile of ground.
They hoped to succeed In this operation
of attrition and when we finally reached
Rome the price we would have paid
would offset the advantages gained.
If the surprise landing of last week
develops according to plan and forces
the Nazis to abandon Rome the German
strategic plan will be upset. The Nazi
high command will do its utmost to
stalemate the operation and Important
battles are expected to take place next
week If the 10th Army can be rushed tax
the scene before more reinforcements
and supplies are landed to support our
Invading columns.
On the Record
Dorothy Thompson
Mr. Stimson's speech asking for a Na
tional Service Act was the high point in
a flood of criticism from official sources
about the low tone of American morale
in the war. Some
of the criticism seems
to me exaggerated.
But insofar as mo
rale is inevitably
bound together with
clarity ’about aims,
there are sound rea
sons for officials to
be perturbed. Tor
this war has one ab
solutely unique as
pect—namely, that
at this advanced
stage of it, nobody in
the public knows
what our peace plans
are. It is most remarkable that not a
single responsible editor in the country
can tell himself—to say nothing of the
country—what we hope to achieve for
Europe in general and in Germany in
particular, by victory.
* * * *
When Hitler and Japan attacked, their
aims were clear—the establishment of
German and Japanese domination over
Eurasia. As long as we were on the de
fensive, it was unnecessary to have any
other aim than survival. But with vari
ous announcements from official sources
that we may possibly expect total vic
tory in the European theater of war this
year, the question of what our victory
will mean begins to concern every
thoughtful person. In the last war we
had from the beginning a clear picture
of what we were fighting for. But in
this war we do not know'.
Yet we must presume that the peace
aims were set in Teheran. But seven
weeks later we do not know what was
agreed upon. We have the strange
phenomenon of “a people’s war” fought
ostensibly for a "peoples peace,” that
nobody can describe.
At the same time we have an im
mense discussion going on in the coun
try about peace aims. Questions like
the one, “What shall we do with a
defeated Germany?" are debated on
the air, in public forums and in count
less newspaper and magazine articles
and books. Yet the whole discussion
has a ghostly quality. For the broad
framework of the peace must have been
set at Teheran, if Teheran had any
meaning, in that case discussion is all
but futile.
* * * *
However, since every one concerned
about the future must attempt to pen
etrate this darkness, well-informed and
responsible people think they have
found out “from sources close to the
highest sources" what the plans are.
These plans are discussed as though
they were actualities, in newspaper of
fices and among groups of public-spir
ited citizens. And there is apprehension
that we may suddenly have a peace
sprung on us, which may not have the
support of public opinion in America,
when we all have time, soberly to re
flect upon the probable consequences of
such a peace.
One of the rumors now abroad has
the advantage of exactitude. According
to this Mr. Stalin, Mr. Churchill and
Mr. Roosevelt agreed to a division of
Germany into five separate and inde
pendent states. These would be a great
ly reduced Prussia, including Braden
burg, those parts of Pommerania and
Silesia not going to Poland and Meck
lenburg, with the capital Berlin. The
other four to be occupied by Anglo
American troops would be Hansa, the
North Sea districts plus Hanover;
Rhine!ands, Rhenish Prussia, Saar and
Westphalia; Central Germany, com
posed of Saxonia, Thuringia and North
ern Bavaria, and Southern, South Bava
ria, Wurttemberg and Baden.
* * * *
In this proposal there is even sup
posed to be, from the western side, a
thought of clemency. The division of
the Reich would, it is presumed, remove
any future menace from Germany and
thus enable us to be more lenient In re
spect of Nazi criminals and reparations.
I have reason to discuss this in ear
nest. For if any rjf ch idea has crossed
the minds of the < arbiters of Europe's
destiny, I fear they will find the results
to be quite other than they think.
It requires far more than a short col
umn to develop the prospects of the con
sequences of such a peace, and I shall
have to take it up again. But I wel
come this "rumor,” since it confronts
the public with a "plan” that can be
discussed. That division has at least
been contemplated is well known to
every one.
* * * *
The objections—all of which need am
plifying—to this idea are the following:
1—There will be no popular support
anywhere in non-Nazi Germany for this
plan. It will be opposed by every demo
cratic force. It will have to rest on
Quisling governments, motivated by
personal considerations of power and
resting on Anglo-American and Rus
sian bayonets.
3—It will therefore be impossible to
establish democratic popular govern
ments. These separate regimes will
have to maintain themselves by force
and suppress all free speech and free
3— It will conserve and re-create Ger
man supernationalism and lead to un
derground movements, guerrilla warfare
and constant intrigues.
4— It would demand complete unity
amongst the Allies for a very long pe
riod. Actually it would hold in itself
the germs of serious dissension between
Russia and the Anglo-American powers.
8—If, moreover, none of these things
should happen; if by some unimaginable
miracle the program would work, it
would almost certainly make Germany
the master of Europe and revive the
old "Holy Roman Empire of the German
In future column* I intend to
every one of these five points.
<*«l*»»»d kv the B»U eradicate, fee.)
The Great Game of Politics
Trank R. Kent
There ought to be no illusions about
the meaning either of the election of
Robert Hannegan as chairman of the
Democratic National Committee or the
curious fourth-term
resolution prepared
and offered by the
ardent New Deal
Senator from Rhode
Island, Mr. Theodore
Green, and adopted
by the committee
without protest.
These two things
amounted to a dec
laration of his
fourth - term can
didacy by the Presi
dent and an asser
tion of his personal
control of the party
machinery. There is no longer any
question of his position.
As plainly as any words he could have
used, they say-that, war or no war, vic
tory before the convention or after the
elec^on. he wants another four years in
the White House and is going to use
every bit of power he has to insure get
ting them. Nothing could be clearer.
This was an announcement; to call it a
"draft” is to be wholly gullible.
For one thing, the Hannegan selection
is completely revealing. As far back as
any one can recall, it has been the rec
ognized and invariable privilege of the
presidential nominee of each party to
pick his own chairman. This is a rule
that has never been broken. Nor will it
be broken this time.
All Mr. Roosevelt has done is to ex
ercise the prerogative in advance of the
convention nomination instead of later.
It, was he who picked Mr. Hannegan,
prevailed upon him to relinquish the
Treasury position he had given him and
take over the management of his
fourth-term campaign, presumably be
coming, at the President’s suggestion,
the first salaried chairman the com
mittee has had.
* * • *
Even the most naive and unsophisti
cated person will perceive that if there
were any doubt in his mind about his
nomination and acceptance, Mr. Roose
velt would not have pried Mr. Hannegan
out of a well-paid Job in which he was
happy and thrust him into another
which he was not seeking. No one can
miss the meaning of that.
As to the resolution there are two
things to be said. One is that it was
. presented by a White House supporter,
and adopted by a controlled body com
posed of practical politicians who never
make fights on principle, but whose first
consideration always is what is best for
“our local situation.”
Conspicuous among these were those
three noble exponents of the "true, the
good and the beautiful,” the Hon. Frank
Hague of New Jersey, the Hon. Eddie
Kelly of Chicago and the Hon. Eddie
Flynn of Brooklyn. There was no roll
call on the resolution but the lack of
protest was due not so much to unity of
thought on the subject as to the ob.vious
futility of opposition.
The day following the committee ac
tion a similar fourth-term resolution
was adopted at a New York meeting of
the CIO, of which organization Mrs.
Roosevelt is a member and with which
Mr. Roosevelt has had a hard and fast
political alliance for many years.
* * * *
Considering the relations of Mr.
Roosevelt and the CIO, it is a question
as to whether he has received more
favors than he has bestowed. The total
of each classification is impressive. Cer
tainly the CIO leaders will never find a
President to suit their taste as well as
Mr. Roosevelt does. Their support for
a fourth term has always been assured.
It, with that of the national committee,
Is the sum, to date, of the "draft."
There will be other resolutions and
“calls,” of course, but these are funda
mental and both were engineered by
White House aides. The one unsolicited,
uninspired, spontaneous “call” Is one
which the administration managers do
not mention and would like to have for
gotten. It was from Mr. Earl Browder,
head of the Communist party, who came
out long ago—even before Senators
Guffy and Pepper—demanding a fourth
term for Mr. Roosevelt.
Add all this up and there can exist
no doubt at all of Mr. Roosevelt's inten
tions. He is no longer a mystery man.
On the contrary’, he is out in thS open
after his nomination Just as much as
Mr. Willkie is after his. There, of
course, will be more talk of the “draft,"
and from the stooges there will be de
mands that he “yield.” and what is
said and done along thfc line from now
on will be sheer pretense and humbug.
No one questions now that he will be
nominated. The only question now is
“Can he be elected?” As to that there
are. of course, two sides. Too many un
certainties are ahead for anybody's
forecast to be worth much. One thing
upon which most politicians and ob
servers agree is that a harder light lies
ahead for Mr. Roosevelt than he had
four years ago. If there were no other
reasons the inevitable “accumulation of
resentments” insures that. A second
thing is that a Republican House of
Representatives and a hostile Senate
are a practical certainty. To a good
many that is a particularly strong argu
ment against a fourth term, because it
means an almost complete paralysis of
administration. At least, it always has.
Russians’ North Salient
•Maj. George Fielding Eliot
The Russians continue to make prog
ress in the Leningrad area, where the
immediate question is the fate of the
German troops in the salient between
Chudovo and Tosno.
These are the troops
who are still block
ing Russian use of
the main Moscow
Leningrad Railway,
They already have
been driven from
the positions they
had held so long
blocking two other
railways into Lenin
grad, farther east.
These lines will
become available for
Russian use as soon
as the engineers can
put them into working order, and it
will not be surprising if the power of the
Russian drive outward from Leningrad
itself grows greater during the next few
days. This is a matter with which the
fate of the German troop6 in the eastern
salient is closely bound up.
* * * *
As it stands now, their only hope of
escape is by way of the outer belt
railway which cuts across all the main
lines just outside Leningrad and which
reaches the Moscow railway at Tosno.
By crossing over on this line to the
south or southwest railways out of
Leningrad, the German troops in the
eastern salient might still be able to
make thftir escape. The western line
is already cut.
But if the Germans are to withdraw
In this fashion they must do It quickly.
Indeed the southwestern route may be
already closed to them. The Russians
are reported within two miles of Kras
nogvardeisk, where the outer belt rail
road joins the southwestern mainline
and other Russian elements appear to
be approaching the mainline south of
this junction point. Two miles is only
about 3,500 yards, which is a comfort
able range even for the light Russian
sledge-drawn field guns.
* * * *
It seems likely therefore that the Ger
mans are already dependent on the
south trunk line alone. This is the well
known Leningrad-Dno-Vitebsk railway
which used to be the main lateral line of
communication behind the old German
defensive front in Russia. Regarded in
the light of an escape route from the
Chudovo salient, the Russians have sev
, eral chances of preventing the Germans
from using this line. They might take
Tosno, or some other point on the outer
belt line between Tosno and the junc
tiqn with the southern main line. They
may come straight south from Leningrad
and take the junction itself. Or they
might move cross-country and cut the
south line somewhere between this junc
tion and the next point at which a con
necting railroad joins it. That point is
Betetskaya. and Russian forces driving
west from Novgorod already are reported
within 20 miles of the town.
* * * *
A Russian success at any one of the
i points named would mean that the Ger
' man troops in the salient could no
longer be supplied or reinforced, new
could they be withdrawn in any other
, way than by croas-oountry flight. This
last would mean not only the abandon
ment of their equipment and their sick
and wounded, but {Uso it probably would
mean that they would be cut to pieces
by the Russian pursuit. The winter
mobility of the Russian troops is much
better than anything the Germans have
been able to attain.
On the whole, therefore, the Russian
chances for inflicting at least a minor
disaster on the Wehrmacht are rather
bright in the area south and southeast
of Leningrad. It looks very much as
though the Germans had held their rail
way-blocking positions too long. In fact
there has been a tendency to hang on
too long notable in almost all German
strategy since Stalingrad:
This tendency is almost certainly po
litical in origin but German soldiers
have to pay a very heavy price to permit
their political bosses to Indulge them
selves in these military illusions. It is
quite possible that another installment
on this price is about to be exacted at
Leningrad and yet another in Southern
Italy. Some times one wonders how long
the German Army and its leaders will go
on paying the piper of Berchtesgaden
without taking into its own hands the
right to call the tune.
(Copyritht, 1944, New York Tribune. Ine )
Much Too Much
From the Topeka Capital.
Secretary Morgenthau, who failed to
make a success of milking cows and quit
the dairy business, is chagrined at his
inability to milk Congress. He will be
satisfied with a revenue bill of no less
than 10 billion dollars. Maybe he
too much of the cows, too.
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