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Evening star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, March 24, 1944, Image 6

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with Sunday Mornlnr Edition.
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A—6 FRIDAY, March U, 1944
Red Cross Development
Miss Mabel T. Boardman, in her
book entitled "Under the Red Cross
Flag at Home and Abroad,” explains
that prior to the organization of
the International Red Cross "provi
sion for the care of the sick and
wounded was an idea of extremely
slow development.” Something, how
ever, had been attempted—even
among peoples of very limited cul
ture. In ancient Egypt physicians
were employed by the state for the
service of soldiers gratuitously. Men
skilled in the removal of arrows are
mentioned in the chronicles of the
Trojan War, and Homer himself,
though blind, possessed such knowl
edge of wounds thaf: according to
De Quincey, he was “fitted * • * for
the post of house surgeon in a
modern hospital.”
But Alexander the Great engaged
physicians only for his own imme
diate staff, and the ordinary enlisted
troopers of his armies were left to
shift for themselves. A similar care
lessness seems to have characterized
other Eastern commanders, possibly
as a result of the proverbial fatalism
of the Orient and the notion that
life is cheap implicit therein. Miss
Boardman says: "The military hos
pital * * * dates from the time of
the Roman Empire” and further
observes: “Consideration for the
soldier was not confined to the
Romans, for Tacitus gives accounts
of the wives of the Germans dressing
the warriors’ wounds.” Also, "a
touch of the Red Cross spirit mani
fested itself after a battle a thou
sand years ago, when Haldora of
Iceland called to the women of her
household. 'Let us go and dress the
wounds of the warriors, be they
friends or foes.’ ”
Not until the Crimean War,
however, did people commonly be
gan to realize the importance of
making provision for the sick and
wounded in any measure equal to
existing need in periods of bitter
conflict between nations. It was the
example of Florence Nightingale and
thirty-eight associated nurses at
Scutari in 1854 that furnished the
"inspiration to others” which is the
driving force of the Red Cross now.
So compelling^ is its appeal in the
prevailing crisis that the average
citizen gladly responds to it. If some
individuals require repeated urging,
the apparent neglect is not due to
misunderstanding of the humane
objective of the campaign. The lag
in the 1944 drive in Washington must
be attributable to some other diffi
culty. Baltimore already has sub
scribed more than a hundred thou
sand dollars above its quota. The
sum still to be raised in the Nation's
Capital and its environs is $1,162,301.
Those who have not yet enlisted
are asked to send their contributions
to War Fund headquarters, 1615 H
street Northwest, as promptly as
Bolstering the Balkans
It is difficult as yet to appraise
the scope and character of German
moves in the satellite countries of
Southeastern Europe. The military
occupation of Hungary is obviously
part of a general tightening of Ger
man control throughout this region,
but it is hard to say how much of
this is done to forestall rebellious
defection and how much to set up a
more efficient defense against a
contingent Russian invasion.
It is important to remember that
Hungary has hitherto been much
less under direct German control
than either Rumania or Bulgaria.
The original agreement between
Budapest and Berlin was that Ger
man troops should not be quartered
in Hungary, but should be merely
accorded full transit privileges.
This corresponded to the situation
which then existed. Hungary was
far removed from any but the Yugo
slav battlefront, and that was(
quickly cleared up by the German
military triumph in the spring of
1941. By contrast, Rumania and
Bulgaria were both vital military
bases for German activities in the
Eastern Mediterranean and against
Russia. Furthermore, Rumania
contained Germany’s main natural
source of oil. Hence, those countries
have continuously harbored large
German forces-which are instantly
available for occupation purposes,
whereas in Hungary German troops
have to be brought in for garrison
It is unlikely that much effective
resistance can be expected in either
Hungary or Rumania, even should
the native authorities be replaced
by what amounts to a German mili
tary regime. Unquestionably the
great majority of the people in both
countries are disillusioned, disaf
fected, and eager to get out of the
war. But fear of Soviet Russia is
Widespread, and neither country
can hope to escape the consequences
of having fought on the Axis side.
If Anglo-American armies were
victoriously driving up through the
Balkans, as they were in the summer
of 1918, the defections of the last
war might be repeated. But the
prospect of a Russian invasion and
occupation is a different matter.
The chances are that the Germans
can reorganize their Balkan strat
egy against the Russian advance as
easily as they did their strategy in
Italy against the Allies after the fall
of Mussolini and the collapse of his
Fascist regime.
Still, the negative results of these
Balkan changes should be consid
erable. Such satellite troops as can
still be counted under German
orders will be less reliable and must
be supplemented by German divi
sions which could be highly useful
elsewhere. An added strain has
thus been placed on the Wehrmacht
at a most critical moment.
WLB At Work
The War Labor Board has just
worked out another of those neat
little compromises which solve
nothing and appease no one.
A week ago the board refused to
receive evidence from the Amer
ican Federation of Labor, which had
been insisting that the board mem
bers urge the President to “modify
realistically” the Little Steel for
mula under which wage increases
were to be kept in line with living
costs. It was added, however, that
the board might change its mind
and listen to the AFL if future de
velopments warranted.
Then came the CIO United Steel
Workers with a demand for an in
crease of 17 cents an hour, frankly
designed to demolish the Little Steel
formula. The CIO asked for a
hearing on its claims, but the AFL
members of the board, supported
by the industry members, were able
to block action. After a few days of
deadlock the compromise emerged.
The board authorized one of its
panels to receive testimony on the
CIO demand. Then, to salve the
feelings of the AFL and to enable
that group to claim part of the
credit if the wage formula should be
breached, the board, reversing its
action of last week, directed an
other panel to take testimony on
the AFL demand for a realistic
modification of the formula. On
top of all this the board next pro
ceeded to serve notice that while
it can recommend a change in the
formula if its operation is creating
“gross inequities,” the fact that it
is prepared to consider any evidence
submitted by the panels should not
be taken as an indication of any
“present decision” as to whether it
will or will not eventually seek a
i change.
While these maneuv^ings Were ;
going on. a board committee, which
! for months has been investigating
the cost of living at the request of
the President, remained strangely
sjlent. The labor members of this
investigating group “jumped the
gun” several weeks ago with a re
port purporting to show an ex
cessive rise in living costs, and the
| conclusions of this report will serve
, as a principal basis of the new wage
demands. These findings, however,
have been denied by the Bureau of
Labor Statistics and refuted by the
OPA. Yet in the face of these of
ficial findings, which destroy the
basis of the claim for higher wages,
and despite the failure of its own
investigating committee to return a
report, the WLB now proposes to go
ahead with hearings to ascertain
whether it should or should not
recommend that the Little Steel
formula be scrapped and wage in
creases granted to groups whose
actual earnings place them among
the best-paid workers in the coun
Whatever else may be said of this
muddled procedure, it certainly is
not calculated to inspire confidence
in the War Labor Board and its
The 'Gl Bill of Rights'
As unanimously approved by the
Senate Finance Committee, the so
called “Gl Bill of Rights” is much
more sweeping and generous than
any veterans legislation in our his
tory. An omnibus measure, it pro
vides for hospitalization, academic
education, vocational training, loans,
a special employment service and
unemployment benefits, with all
members of our armed forces eligible
under it when honorably discharged
after at least six months of service.
Perhaps the most outstanding
feature of the bill is the educational
provision. This is aimed primarily
at insuring against a serious na
tional loss of skills and potential
leadership, the development of
which has been interrupted by the
process of taking young men out of
school or apprenticeship to put them
into the hard business of war. Ac
cordingly, all veterans, on the basis
of qualifying tests, would be entitled
to special vocational training to
equip them for jobs in private in
dustry, or to a resumption of their
formal academic studies at the Gov
ernment’s expense. Under this ar
rangement, which was advocated
some time ago by President Roose
velt, full-time students would receive
$500 a year for tuition, plus a sub
sistence allotment of $50 a month
and an additional $25 monthly for
each dependent—in some cases, for
as long as four years.
Two other important features of
the committee-approved bill are
those covering loans and unemploy
ment bqpeflts. The loans, which
would be interest free for the first
year and which would run up to
$1,000 per veteran, would be made
to finance the repair, purchase or
construction of homes, farms and
I busineaihproperties. The unemploy
ment benefits, ranging from $15 to
$25 a week for a maximum of 52
weeks, and beginning one month
after the receipt of mustering-out
pay, would go to-all ex-soldiers out
of work through no fault of their
own. Like the educational program,
these two provisions are designed,
among other reasons, to cope with
the social and economic dislocations
incident to demobilization.
Properly named the Servicemen’s
Aid Act of 1944, the measure has
been indorsed by both the American
Legion and the Veterans of Foreign
Wars, and some quarters predict
that it will be supported almost as
overwhelmingly by the whole Con
gress as it has been by the Senate Fi
nance Committee. For although it
will cost between three and three and
a half billion dollars—and perhaps
even muCh more than that—several
of its provisions are absolutely essen
tial to an intelligent handling of the
problems that will crowd in upon us
when peace comes. Further, al
though the bill may seem to be on
the lavish side in things like educa
tion, a good argument can be made
for it as a project far-sightedly de
signed to promote the war-retarded
development of a precious national
resource—the potential skills and
talents of the millions of young
Americans now in uniform.
Commendable and necessary as it
may be, however, this proposed leg
islation is sobering, too—sobering
because it reminds us that the co
lossal costs of this struggle will not
end with the end of the shooting.
At the very least the measure will
involve an expenditure of three bil
lion dollars. Add to this another
three billions for the mustering-out
pay already authorized by Congress.
Add to it, too, the billions more
which are likely to be sought in fu
ture bonus and pension drives. Add
everything together, in short, and
we find that the expenses of war in
this day and age—wholly apart from
the fearful price exacted in terms of
blood—are almost too much for any
nation to stand, even a nation as
rich as ours. Certainly, we cannot
afford to have the same thing hap
pen again in another generation.
Almost as much as anything else,
the costliness of the ‘‘GI Bill of
Rights” is an exhortation to us to
do our best this time to help work
out and firmly maintain a world
peace that will endure.
This and That
By Charles E. Tracewell.
“Dear Sir:
I am now feeding a very interesting
flock of cardinals. I suppose they are
cardinals. I started feeding with a sin
gle gadget which I bought in New York
one day and since that time I have pur
chased «rdo7.en. They are hung in ever
greens, and take a cylinder of seed and
“Well. I started off two years ago with
one cardinal. Last spring a pair showed
up. This year—a convention every day.
Four to eight or 10 for each meal and
goodness knows the females they traipse
around with are a scandal!
“About 500 yards from the bird feed
ers is a comer of a five-acre corn patch
which last year contained blue jays. I
never saw blue jays near the bird feed
ers till one day a month ago I scattered
some of this store-boughten wildbird
seed around on the ground. It had sun
flower seeds in the mess and a delega
tion of blue jays landed on it like George
Patton’s army. How come, they know
so much?
“I am visited frequently but not daily
by a flock of swiftly moving small birds
with a tint of ‘electric' blue when they
fly away. What are they?
“My so-called farm is in fairfax Coun
ty on Holmes Run and is about 10 acres
clear and 35 acres oak woods. Plenty of
small wild life in spite of the fact it is
only 10 miles arrow line from here to
Fourteenth and F streets N.W. If you
feel the urge to visit these parts, I am
always your host,
“And daily-reading friend, E. G.”
The small birds about which this cor
respondent inquires were most probably
bluebirds. They have been reported in
numbers in the Virginia suburbs. Some
are winter residents hereabouts. Thev
live in nearby Viiginia all winter, and
also in Wesley Heights in the District of
Bluebirds migrate early in March, and
are gregarious in migration.
There is no bird talked about more
and seen less than this famous beauty.
At one time there were thousands here
abouts. but since 1912. when a sleet
storm killed so many of them, they have
not been seen so much. In our own
yard we have had exactly two bluebirds
in 14 years.
The bluebird of song and story is seven
inches long, with upper parts light (co
balt! blue, under parts cinnamon, chest
nut and white. This is the male. bird.
The female is bluish-gray on the back,
passing into bright blue on the rump.
The wings are blue, the breast not so
bright as the male.
We have found that many persons are
not familiar with this bird, due to its
scarcity, and that when they suddenly
see it they often wonder what it is. They
most often do yot realize that it is as
small as it really is.
When the English came to America
they called the bluebird the “blue robin,"
since its breast reminded them of their
own “robin red-breast" at home. Our
own robin, of course, is not really a
robin at all. but is a member of the
thrush family, to which the robin be
longs. Both baby robins and bluebirds
have thrush-like spots on the breast,
which they lose when they grow up.
There are not many birds with blue on
them after all.
The indigo bunting is a- summer resi
dent here, the earliest here, the earliest
known arrival date being April 18. This
was in 1818. The male is cerulean blue,
changing to bluish green in certain
lights. They are not gregarious. The
bird is 53i inches long.
The tree swallow arrives about March
24. It is six inches long, with steel blue
tints above. It might be called “elec
tric blue.” The cliff swallow comes
about April 10, and also is steel blue
above. It is 6 inches long.
The blue-gray gnatcatcher arrives
March 16, is 4 Vi inches long. It is gray
ish-blue above.
The barn swallow comes March 30, is
about seven inches long and is steel blue
The only other bird with blue on him
around here is that true American, the
blue jay. A correspondent, A. R. S„ of
Nineteenth street, crIIs attention to a
lost poem, “A Genuine American,” by
Jamee Whitcomb Riley, which appeared
In £ recent Issue of the Mercury, f
Letters to The Star
Mr. Baruch Warn* o£ Delay -
In Postwar Planning
To the Editor of The Star:
I am always interested in the altitude
of The Star on any matter of public
concern. Consequently upon my return
from a short holiday following the con
clusion of my report concerning war
and postwar adjustments, I read with
great satisfaction your editorial expres
sion of February 20, as well as that of
February 23.
You are entirely right when you in
dicate that there is no reason for Con
gress to be apprehensive over the find
ings of Mr. Hancock and myself. We
never contemplated, as some of the law
makers seem to think, by-passing Con
gress. On the contrary, we assumed
from the start that our report would
get nowhere unless there was complete
co-operation between the Executive and
Congress. A reading of the report will
clearly reveal that Congress would lay
down whatever policies it feels are wise
and desirable. It is left open to Con
gress to enact our recommendations into
law, or others which it might conclude
were more to the point. However, I do
hope that our lawmakers are not focus
ing their attention more on postwar
problems than upon- the necessity for
developing plans for currently stimu
lating our war effort and adjusting that
effort from time to time to the needs
of peace as conditions will Justify.
I must sound one note of warning and
that is that unless action is had
promptly, the passage of time will work
very seriously against us and the fore
shadowing of peace will not find us
engaged in the process of adjusting our
selves to the return of normal conditions.
You may recall that our report promised
ah adventure in prosperity should we
fully prepare ourselves for the end of
hostilities during the period of transi
tion from war to peace. I am fearful
we shall have an adventure in adversity
should steps not be taken quickly.
Urges Help for Jews Now
To the Editor of The Star:
In re your thoughtful editorial, ‘‘A
Wise Course," March 19, commenting
upon the shelving <by the congressional
Foreign Relations Committees) of the
Palestine resolution, the writer goes
along with you wholeheartedly as far as
you go.
He believes that the inept, poorly
timed portion of the resolution, with
reference to a political statehood for
Jewry, was largely responsible for the
advice of Gen. Marshall and others to
hold the matter in abeyance.
He thinks, however, that your editorial
"stopped in the fourth inning,” assuming
that you. like all Jewish Americans and
Christian Americans, have a genuine
concern for the millions of persecuted
Jews in unhappy Europe.
Where are these people to go, if not to
Palestine and other havens? What is
the meaning of the recently appointed
War Refugee Board, if not promptly and
eflectivelv to succox these victims, not
only of Nazi sadism, but of world laissez
faire of decades standing?
In the spirit of an accompaning edi
torial, "Great Affirmation,” and in the
spirit of the lenten season, the thunder
ing command “We are our brothers
keeper” must ring in our ears.
If we really mean to save the Jews
• and others oppressed) of Europe, now—
not later—is the time to save them and
ourselves in the process.
^ ants Museum Sav ed.
To th« Editor of Th« Star:
About two years ago a new Institu
tion was introduced to the people of
Washington—new perhaps to most of
the residents of the District, but really
quite an old institution to the people
of other cities where its influence has
been felt for years. I am speaking of
the Children’s Museum, which is one
of several such museums located in
most of the large cities of our country,
the first being founded in Brooklyn in
At the time of the founding of the
Washington Children’s Museum, the
most suitable place that could be found
was the Villa Rosa, at 4215 Massachu
setts avenue, which at that time was
in a most deplorable, rundown condi
tion. I do not know very many of the
particulars pertaining to the ownership
of the property, but I understand it
involved both the District and Federal
governments. After much patient labor
on the part of the director of the mu
seum, the property was turned over to
her to use for the duration of the war,
after which time a more stable settle
ment was to be made.
Feeling certain that the museum had
a home for at least two or three years,
Miss Matilda Young, the director, and
a group of volunteer workers went
ahead w’ith plans to convert the build
ing and grounds into a recreational
and educational institution for the
children of Washington. This work has
been done largely by the children them
| selves and any one doubting the value
1 of such an enterprise should visit the
museum and see for himself the re
markable change that has taken place.
Here children from 7 to 15 are free
under proper supervision to develop
their own particular hobbies to the best
of their ability. Here they may run
and play over nine acres of wooded
land, away from the noise and terror of
traffic. Here they can examine other
children's handiwork and in turn ex
hibit their own with great pride and
satisfaction. Exhibits from every land
are so presented to them that they are
able to examine them without the usual
fearful warning, “Don’t touch,” the
bane of a child’s life. All this is avail
able to every child in Washington,
through the efforts of a group of people
w'ho are practically giving their lives
for a cause which should have the
support of every person who claims
any civic pride whatsoever.
And then what happens? Without
warning, with utter disregard for the
welfare of the younger generation, at a
time when child delinquency is on the
increase, the property is sold into pri
vate ownership, sold right out from
under the hundreds of children who
have endeared this spot to their hearts
by many happy hours of work and play.
Can it be that the prospect of re
newed taxation, now that the property
is in private hands, was a deciding
factor in such a move?
I make this plea in the hope that
it is not too late to save this ideal
location for the children of Washington
or if it already be too late that some
other suitable location may be found
for the Children’s Museum. If it be
lost, then Washington has taken a step
backward. WILLIAM F. GREEN
The Nights Are Long
It is not the days I fear
But the nights are long.
Since you followed a bugle calling
Stilled is my song.
The wind sighs in the tree-tops
And the branches weep
While I am shut inside
Where the hours creep.
Letters u>erc some small comfort
But now there are none;
I lie and wait in the darkness
For the rising sun.
Though this seems forever and ever,
I pray to be strong;
It is not the days I fear,
But the nights are long.
alice craig,'Redhead.
This Changing World
Constantine Brown
me Deauniur laeotogicai ouuaing
constructed in August, 1941, to shelter
the most cherished hopes of the human
race mqst have been built in such
a haste and with
such poor materials
that today it needs
a thorough redeco
Prime M i n i s ter
Churchill proposes
to do the job. He
announced on
Thursday that in
his world-wide
broadcast next Sun
day he would deal
at length with such
matters as "the
present stalas and
clarification of the
Atlantic Charter."
In making this announcement the
British leader left the impression that
he did not regard the charter as in
flexible. This indication already is
creating repercussions in American
quarters which are considering that
"honorable" document as the ideologi
cal foundation for America's participa
tion in the war.
* * * *
The charter contains only guiding
principles. President Roosevelt and
Prime Minister Churchill purposely
avoided any concrete matters such as
future boundaries and set forth only
cardinal points which should be applied
to all peace-loving and decent nations.
It also contained the hope that after
the war all nations would behave in
a civilized manner and abandofl ag
gressive intentions and territorial ex
pansion at tne expense or tneir neigh
bors. Under the circumstances, it is
impossible to say that those who have
accepted the charter at its face value
consider it other than an “inflexible”
document. Frontiers and forms of gov
ernment are necessarily flexible. They
have been so ever since the beginning
of history.
And the President and Prime
Minister recognized this fact when
they said, for instance, that "they
desire no territorial changes that do
not accord with the freely expressed
wishes of the peoples concerned”; or,
when they solemnly declared that
“they respect the right of all peoples
to choose the form of government under
which they will live. * * *”
* * * *
These carefully worded sentences pro
vided for territorial transfers and gov
ernment changes, but recognized the
Immutable right of the nations thus
concerned to decide on them of their
own free will. The postwar physical
aspect of the world was thus recognized
as being flexible, but the right of the
peoples themselves to consent and decide
about these changes was inflexible.
Since December 7, 1941, the foreign
policy of this country has been based on
the lofty idealism inherent in the Amer
ican people. From the practical point
of view, however, the administration has
endeavored to dovetail this idealism with
a practical policy based on maintaining
at all cost the unity of the United Na
tions. In the last 12 months, in par
ticular. criticism of the policies of the
other members of the United Nations
was frowned on because, we were told,
it might jeopardize the war effort.
When these compromises appeared
sometimes to go too far, President
Roosevelt was warned by his advisers
familiar with European psychology that
we must not compromise with our prin
ciples. Europe, he was told, has a pro
found belief in the honesty and in
tegrity of America.
* * * *
The peoples "of the strife-ridden con
tinent, subjected to all kinds of political
double-crossings, have a firm conviction
that the United States, a young coun
try, is politically honest. This, Mr.
Roosevelt was told, is our main political
baggage and it would be disastrous for
all concerned to allow it to be lost. Mr.
Roosevelt also was warned that unless
we scrupulously keep our word, the chaos
which will follow will be worse than
the war itself.
When President Roosevelt announced
soon after the outbreak of the war that
America would become the "arsenal of
democracy,” he reflected the will of the
vast majority of the American people
who were disposed to go to any length
to crush the totalitarianism which was
menacing our institutions. No one cared
a great deal under what name this
totalitarianism was disguised. Britain
and her Allies were fighting for prin
ciples close to our hearts and we had
decided not to allow them to go down.
Long wars always bring surprises and
shifts. This war has been no different
in this respect. It is understandable
that some changes and readjustments
have to be made regarding the flexible
purposes of the war. But it is not con
ceivable that there can be any bargain
ing with the principles which brought
us into the war.
On the Record
Dorothy Thompson
The united States allows itself ex
pensive luxuries, and one of them is
political parties, unwilling to subject
their partisanship to the realities of the
American situation.
An election at a
crisis in a war is an
unique political lux
ury. No other coun
try with representa
tive government has
a constitution which
compels it to throw
its national and in
ternational policies
into the arena of
public debate every
four years no matter
what the circum
There Is only one
other powerful political democracy left
on the globe—the British. The British
can change their Prime Minister any
minute, through a vote of the House of
Commons By that power they greatly
influence his policies. But they exercise
it over specific issues and are not com
pelled at stated times to risk a complete
overthrow of government and the set
ting adrift of all its policies, past
and present.
* * * *
The House of Commons is overaged.
It has sat since 1935. There is no doubt
that a new election would immensely
increase the power of labor. Yet no re
sponsible labor leader is pressing for a
general election before the end of the
European war.
There is nothing in the American Con
stitution that creates political parties,
or prevents them from exercising self
discipline. There is nothin* in the Con
stitution to prevent the Republicans
from nominating Mr. Roosevelt with a
Republican Vice President. Actually, in
many local elections, both parties do
nominate the same candidate. This
country’ needs until the war’s end, a Na
tional Government, with continuity.
The mere fact that in seven months
there may be a complete political over
turn is already reducing the United
States to a question mark behind a
cipher in the councils of the United
* * * *
Important political decisions are in
the making—between Great Britain,
Russia and the United States. Normally
speaking, the United States would hold
the key in this combination. Great
Britain, from the beginning, has chosen
to align herself with the United States
in preference to any other power. The
question of how every British policy will
be received by the United States has
affected all decisions.
The Soviet Union also has made it
clear that in the existing alliance, it
leans by preference toward America.
Before the British-Soviet 20-year alli
ance was signed, Mr. Molotoff came to
Washington in the hope of getting one
with us. There are greater possibilities
of conflict between the British Empire
and the Soviet Union than between the
United States and the Soviet Union.
The United States is the natural link
between the three Allies, a fact which
should give great authority to our views.
Even geographically, America occupies
the central position.
But there are already indications that
Britain and the Soviet Union are setting
out to make joint policies without us—
a most unnatural state of affairs. Let
nobody call this an anti-American con
spiracy. It is a necessity. One need
only imagine that it was the British or
Russian governments that might be
completely overturned in seven months.
How would that affect our policy? Ob
viously we would draw closer to that
government w'hose internal and external
policies promised stability.
'.'O’ * * * * 3.
Specifically, the recognition of
Badoglio and tire King by the Soviet
Union has not caused any stir in Lon
don. Mr. Churchill is for the Italian
King and the principle of monarchy.
Washington is tentative about it. Mr.
Churchill is forthrightly supporting Tito.
We are silent on the subject. Mr.
Churchill Is clear on the Finnish ques
tion. We are reluctant. Mr. Churchill
has said that the Polish frontier at
the Curzon line is just and reasonable.
We are silent.
The plain fact is that Mr. Roosevelt »
Government cannot, at this junction,
make any policy guaranteed against
reversal in seven months. Even if we
took a stronger line—for or against the
British and/or Russian policies—it
would be discounted in Moscow and
London, because of the precarious
political situation here.
World influence is not strength
alone. It is strength in continuity.
This continuity could be secured by
our political parties. Actually they are
destroying all calculations. Their
foreign political platforms are vague
and anyhow policy is not made by
platforms, but by continuous diplo
matic actions.
When in 1940, seeing France collapse
before my eyes, I cabled from Paris
recommending that the Republican
party nominate Roosevelt and Willkie,
I was called insane. Why insane? Had
they done so, Roosevelt and Willkie
<or any other Republican Vice Presi
dent) would certainly have been
elected and associated together for
four years, and the Vice President
could have been nominated this year
for the prime position, without render
ing America all but impotent for
Political parties, which George
Washington called "factions” warning
against the dangers that could arise
from them, are only instruments for
the Nation. When they consider the
Nation as their instrument, they are
not fulfilling their purpose.
Criticism in War
David Lawrence
Publication of certain criticism In
these dispatches recently concerning the
loss of 410 American lives and 23 trans
port planes in Sicily last July due to our
own gunfire h a a
brought forth in
formal explanations
from Army Air Force
sources and from
other War Depart
ment sources.
These may be sum
marized as follows:
1. The Army Air
Forces contend that
they had not the re
motest responsibility
for the orders that
sent the troop trans
ports into action or
for the course taken
by the planes, and that the Associated
Press dispatch of last week which ex
pressed the view of naval authorities in
the area abroad to the effect that the
air forces operated separately in this
venture was inaccurate.
2. The air forces enjoy autonomy of
authority only at the top level of the
staff, but not in the field, where they
operate under orders of the theater com
mander and on no front is an air offi
cer in over-all ctmmand.
3. The air forces are not using their
energies to promote a separate ar inde
pendent air force, but are devoting
their attention to the problems of the
war. They feel they have been unfairly
criticized for their part in the Sicilian
* * * *
4. The headquarters viewpoint of the
Army takes a broad view of the whole
incident and aays the transports were
under the command of the general in
charge of operations and that the air
forces operated solely as aerial truck
drivers, merely delivering men from one
destination to another as ordered.
5. The operation was a highly compli
cated amphibious movement involving
delicate questions of timing and location.
Orders were issued, but. with 3,000 ships
at sea in that area and with many of
the troops in action for the first time,
it appears that orders were not always
understood or properly delivered. This
is also the detached viewpoint of Army
headquarters here.
6 As for suppression or withholding
of the news for eight months, this is
explained as the responsibility of the
commander in the local theater of
operations affected, and though Wash
ington may think certain things should
be announced, the local commander
evidently has the final say. In this
instance the local commander presum
ably felt that to disclose any part of
the facts would have required further
disclosure and that this would have
affected operations to come.
* * * *
The foregoing explanation does clear
up the point that the over-all orders
for the dispatching of transport planes
did not come from the Air Forces and
that it was not done on their initiative.
Tt also explains why the news was not
immediately revealed, but it will be
asked why. after a month or so had
elapsed, the public could not have been
told the facts instead of having them
leak out accidentally and thus necessi
tate an official statement only when
the leak occurred.
In war some mistakes are inevitable.
The Navy has made its mistakes as
well as the Army. The loss of four
cruisers at night in 1942 in the Solo
mons, when the Japanese caught us
by surprise in a harbor, is a case in
point. But the news was announced
shortly thereafter, though the blams
for what happened has never been dis
closed for fear, it is understood, of
hurting the feelings of another country
whose naval officer had a primary re
sponsibility in the affair. Other mis
takes have doubtless occurred in firing
on ground troops with one's own artil
* * * *
The answer to all this is a relen‘
less study of the facts by disinterested
tribunals and the fostering of a spirit,
of co-operation between the armed
services at all levels. Co-ordination on
paper must always be supplemented
by wholehearted co-operation in the
field not only at the top level but all
along the line.
It would be interesting to know what
actual planning was done in North
Africa in advance of the Sicilian opera
tion by all branches of the armed serv
ices concerned and whether the sending
of the air-borne troops at night into a
location close to the firing line was a
last-minute decision or whether it was
anticipated in advance as a military
operation. It would be interesting to
know just which branch of our armed
services is really responsible for the
loss of the 410 American boys. It's
an unpleasant subject but in the end
constructive results can flow from ex
amining unpleasant subjects even while
the war is in progress.
(Reproduction Rieht* Reserved.)
Burma Campaign
Maj. George Fielding Eliot
ii is now' clear mai wnat tne Japa
nese are worrying over in Burma is
the very considerable, and increasing,
danger to their main North Burma
base at Myitkyina,
the northernmost
rail terminus of the
Chinese and Amer
ican troops of Gen.
Stilwell’s command
have gained control
of the Hukawng
Valley, and have
forced (he pass lead
ing southward into
the Mogaung Valley,
which gives direct
access to the rail
way just below Myit
kyina. Meanwhile,
from the north, another Chinese column
is over the pass at Sumprabum and is
moving toward Myitkyina.
Nor is this all. A statement in Thurs
day’s communique from New Delhi that
Allied aircraft are supporting our
ground troops in the Mawlu and Indaw
areas gives us a clear indication of the
location of our air-borne forces: Mawlu
and Indaw are stations on the railway
from Mandalay to Myitkyina, about 120
miles below the latter point. At Indaw,
the branch line to Katha leaves the
main line; Katha is only about 15 miles
east of Indaw, and it lies on the Irra
waddy River, which is the only other
supply line for Myitkyina and also for
the Japanese base at Bhamo. There
fore if our air-borne troops also control
Katha. as is quite possible, they have
cut both the rail and river supply lines
of all the Japanese troops in North
* * * *
Under these conditions, the Japanese
are saaiy nanaicapped in tneir defense
of Myitkyina, and it is hardly to be
wondered at that Allied forces have
been making steady progress. If our
air-borne troops can maintain their
grip on the railway and the river, the
ability of the Japanese in North Burma
to go on fighting will come to an end
when their last cartridge and their
last shell have been fired. Allied fon.es
have already reported considerable cap
tures of Japanese material of war,
which will not help to improve the
Japanese situation.
Of course, our air-borne forces are in
a dangerous position indeed. They arp
right in the middle of an enemy-held
country, dependent for the time being
entirely on air support and supply. The
enemy will make desperate efforts to
wipe them out, for if he loses Myitkyina
and Bhamo. it will not be very long
before the Ledo road will be extended
to those points, and Bhamo already has
a good road.connection with the Burma
road to Kunming. In other words, what
we are playing for is the reopening of
road traffic between China and India,
and we are in a fair way to accom
plish it,
* * * *
The natural Japanese reaction, aside
from operations directly against our
road-blocking enterprise, is to intensify
the offensive west of the Chindwin
River, toward Imphal. But this seems
a desperate business, undertaken very
largely as a diversion, and a not too
hopeful diversion at that. Our air
superiority, for one thing, must make
the supply of any considerable Japanese
force extremely precarious, the more so
the farther the Japanese get from their
river bases along the Chindwin. There
seems no reason to suppose that the
Japanese^advance on Imphal eannot be
checked by the Anglo-Indian troops
already in that area; indeed, the south
ernmost of the three Japanese columns,
that in the Tiddin region, already is
being broken up. Nor does there seem
to be any reason why there should be
any relaxation of pressure on the North
Burma front because of the operations
southeast of Imphal.
* * * *
If Myitkyina is the objective, as now
seems virtually certain, of Gen. Stil
well's masterly offensive, then we may
be confident that he has already as
sembled, at his forward depots, ample
supplies to see it through. The real
point about which success or failure
probably revolves is the ability of the
British-Indian air-borne commandos to
keep the Japanese communications sev
ered until Myitkyina has been taken,
or at least until it is too late to relieve
that threatened stronghold.
This is certainly one of the boldest
operations of the war. Whether it suc
ceeds or fails, it shows what brave men
can do, and to what an extent imagi
nation and enterprise can overcome even
the terrific handicaps of jungle, moun
tain and swamp. It should be a tech
nique increasingly effective against such
a foe as the Japanese, who for all his
excellent fighting qualities is likely
to be especially upset by the unexpected.
In the Burma fighting, where the Japa
nese must operate at the ends of long
and tenuous lines of communication,
they can now have no feeling of security
as to any vulnerable place along those
lines; they must guard everything, for
there is no spot in Burma to which our
planes cannot reach. Therefore there
Is no spot where an air-borne descent
may not, be made. The Japanese hav*
hardly heard tha last of this form of
(CoWTifhl, 1944.)

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