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Evening star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, April 28, 1944, Image 6

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A—6 * FRIDAY. April 28, 1844
t=-'.i','"r:i-Ti,!■=—arjf . . 1 i'.i,'„r'.wja
A Dangerous Doctrine
The legal actions which have been
started or are about to be filed in
Chicago as an outgrowth of the
Government’s seizure of the Mont
gomery Ward mail order house
should result in a long-overdue
clarification of the President’s
powers in a situation of this kind.
Heretofore the Government has
Invoked every conceivable legal
technicality to dodge a court test
of its powers to impose settlements
in labor disputes. The War Labor
Board has contended that its “di
rectives” are merely advisory, and
since it lacks a ithority to enforce
its orders no one has a right to go
into court and challenge their valid
ity. This is not compatible with
the kind of relationship that ought
to exist between the* dovernment
and the people, and the decision
to abandon these devious tactics
should be welcomed by all concerned.
The seizure of the Montgomery
Ward establishment at the order of
the President and the forcible evic
tion of Sewell Avery, head of the
concern, by soldiers acting at the
direction of Mr. Roosevelt’s subordi
nates rest upon practical as well as
legal considerations. It is the latter,
however, that are of controlling
Interest in connection with the
litigation now under way.
In taking over the plant, the
President acted on the basis of an
opinion by Attorney General Biddle
that he had lawful authority to do
so. A careful reading of the opinion,
however, leaves many doubts on this
The Attorney General relied in the-!
first instance on the Smith-Connally|
Act, which empowers the President
under certain conditions to seize
“any plant, mine or facility equipped
for the manufacture, production or
mining of any articles or materials
which may be required for the war
effort or which may be useful in
connection therewith.” It requires
a considerable exercise of the
imagination to fit the Montgomery
Ward mail order house into this
category, and there is excellent
reason to believe that Congress in
passing the law had no thought that
it would be applied to such an
It also may be inferred that Mr.
Biddle has doubts on this score, for
his opinion goes on to express the
view that, aside from any authority
derived through th® Smith-Connally
Act, the President could lawfully
seize the Montgomery Ward plant
under “an aggregate of powers” that
are “derived from the Constitution
and from various (unspecified)
statutes enacted by Congress for the
purpose of carrying on the war.”
Unless it is proposed to abandon
constitutional government in time
of war, this assertion of vaguely
defined power is an exceedingly
dangerous doctrine. Where does the
President’s authority end? If he
can seize a man’s business and
forcibly evict the operating head
under his “aggregate of powers.” and
without regard to specific legisla
tion enacted by Congress to deal
with such situations, what protection
has any citizen against wanton abuse
of power? It is no answer to say
that Sewell Avery is a recalcitrant
representative of “big busness,” nor
is there any great comfort in the
thought that the administration, for
reasons best known to itself, has
r»framed from the use of strong
arm tactics in dealing with similar
recalcitrance from such men as John
L. Lewis and James C. Petrillo.
Political and other considerations
may shield the mass of the people
from these exercises of asserted
power today, but if the assertions
are permitted to go unchallenged
and unclarified, there can be no
effective guarantee of such protec
tion in the future.
Mr. Baruch's Philanthropy
It is characteristic of Bernard M.
Baruch to be interested in health.
His favorite photograph of himself
shows him in the role of an amateur
boxer, six feet three inches tall, one
hundred and seventy-five pounds in
weight. The date of the picture is
1895, but its subject has changed not
much in appearance and bearing
except as time has altered all men
who "have lived and worked three
score and fifteen years.
Mr. Baruch’s father, as it happens,
was a physician—a surgeon in the
armies of the Confederacy—and he
wanted his son to be a doctor, too.
The story is that a “famous phren
ologist” felt young ‘ Barney’s” crani
um and said: “He has great gifts
in finance and business” but nt
special genius for medicine. In anj
•ase, the futur^ adviser to President!
went Into Wall Street as “a broker's
boy” and laid the foundation of the
fortune which makes possible his
generous philanthropies today. His
choice of objectives is as natural as
it is sound. If there is any single
development more than another for
which modern science deserves sup
port, it is that of the cure and
correction of disease.
But it is not to the whole vast
field of medical enterprise that Mr.
Baruch is devoting his money. He
stipulates physiotherapy involving
the treatment of nerves and muscles
with light, heat, water, massage and
exercise. Particularly, he seeks to
benefit sick and wounded soldiers
and sailors in need of rehabilitation
help. The sum of one million one
hundred thousand dollars will be
made available to finance a ten year
project. Something symbolic is
represented in the fact that grants
are designated to the Medical College
of Virginia, where the donor’s father
was a student, and to Columbia
University in New York, where the
same parent later was a teacher.
Mr. Baruch is assured of the
appreciation of all those of his
countrymen who look forward to a
healthier as well as a freer and
more notably prosperous world after
the war.
Streamlining the Military
The nature of modern battle con
stitutes in itself a most persuasive
argument in favor of the broad plan
to merge the War and Navy Depart
ments into a single governmental
unit. Everywhere at present, in
every major offensive undertaking,
our land, sea and air forces must
operate as a closely integrated team
directed by a unified over-all com
mand. If they did otherwise, func
tioning separately and not together,
our victories would probably be few
and far between, for if experience
has taught us nothing else in these
bloody times, it has taught us that
no one branch of our armed serv
ices can be sufficient unto itself but
that all are interdependent.
And what holds true in respect
to the co-ordinated organization of
our forces for combat—such as in
the case of our amphibious opera
tions in the Pacific—seems by logic
to hold equally true for the admin
istration of the Army and Navy at
the highest level of authority, in
peace no less than in war. Indeed,
since Pearl Harbor, we have moved
far toward this kind of adminis
trative unification, and have in ef
fect largely achieved it, through
the mechanism of the joint chiefs
of staff headed by General Marshall
and Admiral King under,the civilian
leadership Of Secretaries fitimson
and Knox—5a mechanise linked to
’the President through A<fcniral
Iflihy»„who is attachedLJiixectly to
Mr. Rdbseveit as a sort of chief of
chiefs of staff.
This setup, as events have dem
onstrated, has been of great service
in promoting the efficiency of our
armed forces by reducing duplica
tion of effort, cutting down %aste
motion and pulling together many
loose threads in such Qelda as plan
ning and supply. But a2 General
McNarney, deputy chief of staff
and one of the Army’s most brilliant
organizing minds, has just told the
House Committee on Postwar Mili
tary Policy, the structure, despite
its obvious value, will fall apart
automatically with the end of the
war and the expiration of the Presi
dent’s emergency powers unless
Congress takes steps in the mean
time to give it permanence on the
basis of enabling legislation.
With Secretary Stimson, General
McNarney has therefore called
upon Congress to act “as soon as
possible,” so that the integration
and streamlining of our military
strength may become a formal
legislative fact “within six months
after the war.” Though some ad
vocate that the change be put into
effect even before the end of hos
tilities, neither he nor Mr. Stimson
appears to favor such a course, feel
’ ing—with good reason—that a fun
! damental midwar departmental re
organization of this sort could lead
to serious confusion at a time when
great battles still remain to be
fought. As explained by General
McNarney, the plan, to become
! operative not until after the shoot
ing stops, would be to consolidate
the War and Navy Departments into
a single organization headed by a
“secretary of the armed forces,”
with three undersecretaries—one for
the Army, one for the Navy and one
for the Air.
This plan, in its broad aspects, is
believed to have the approval of all
the military and civilian leaders
charged with the main responsibil
ities of prosecuting the war. It
gives rise to several controversial
questions, of course, and it may tend
j to excite anxious speculation over
j the relative future influence of the
' different branches of service and
I over their ability to continue whole
some competition in tne proposed
new organization. But such matters
are of secondary significance. The
all-important thing, in General
McNarney’s words, is to do no more
at first than to establish the funda
mental consolidation, for “we must
i avoid the error of trying to prescribe
| exact specifications to cover multi
j tudinous details that can be worked
out only in an evolutionary manner.”
This makes sense. The whole basic
plan makes sense. What is happen
! ing on all the battle fronts of the
j world leaves little room for doubt
that something like it is not only
essential but virtually inevitable.
The Problem of Greece
The recent mutiny in the Greek
Army and Navy based on Egypt
dramatizes one of the most complex
; and difficult problems facing Allied
! statesmanship. This problem has
1 hithert^i been kept in the back
ground of public attention, largely
because its significance was under
estimated. Yet. the political future
of Greece will profoundly affect the
destiny of the entire Near East, be
cause Greece is the strategic link
between the Balkans, Turkey and
the Mediterranean. This crucial
position makes Greece an interme
diate zone between Britain's historic
sphere of influence in the Mediter
ranean and what appears to be the
expanding sphere of Russian influ
ence in Central Europe and the
Balkans. Chronic instability in
Greece would thus have far more
than local importance. It would be
a trouble-breeder and a hindrance
to postwar reconstruction in the
whole Near Eastern region.
Unfortunately, Greek dissension
is deep-seated. The modern Greek
displays much of the intense fac
tionalism and localism which proved
the undoing of ancient Hellas. The
country’s political history ever since
it attained independence from Tur
key a century and a quarter ago
has been a troubled one. During the
First World War Greece was torn
between the followers of King Con
stantine and those of Eleutherios
Venizelos, the Cretan statesman
whose diplomatic successes gained
Greece so much in the preceding
Balkan wars. This feud was never
really healed and produced revolu
tionary shifts froifi monarchy to re
public and back to monarchy again.
During the past decade a new factor
appeared in the shape of an ultra
radical movement communistic in.
character. The re-establishment of
the monarchy under King George II
in 1935 was never accepted by the
republican and radical elements,
and the following year revolutionary
unrest had become so widespread
that, under apprehension of a Com
munist uprising, the government
proclaimed martial law, suspended
the constitution and set up a dicta
torship under General John Me
taxas. Mussolini’s invasion four
years later rallied the country
against the invader but did not
efface its internal dissensions. The
Axis conquest in 1941 and the ter
rible sufferings which ensued have
engendered renewed factionalism
that is reflected among the Greek
refugees abroad. The question of
the King’s return after the expul
sion of the German and Bulgarian
invaders is not the only source of
discord between Greek factions, and
Communist influence appears to be
growing. What liberated Greece
will be like is an enigma that time
and the course of events can alone
It is a far cry from Chamberlain’s
umbrella to a hundred thousand
parsfchutes now ready for action.
This and That
By Charles B. Tracewell.
“Dear Sir:
“A few days ago. while walking
through the woods, I ran across a small
animal with small eyas, small ears, gray
fur add a broad bushy tab.
“It was about one loot long, short front
feet, long back ttet. it both sprang and
ran. Do we have beavers in this section?
Was this a beaver?
“Yours truly, O. C. T.”
Our correspondent’s animal probably
was a raccoon.
Beavers are brown, and have broad
spa tula te tails. They are large, weighing
as much as 50 pounds, and being about
42 inches long.
Measurements of raccoons vary con
siderably. An average length of a full
grown adult will be about 32 inches. The
tail will run about 10 inches long. It is
a bushy tail, ringed as neatly as any
tiger cat’s.
The coon, as it is universally known,
is one of our most interesting animals.
Specimens may be seen in the National
Zoological Park, but a few of them live
in the suburban sections.
Recently one was caught in Chevy
Chase, Md.
It had been seen in a hollow tree, and
later was caught while drinking out of
a fish pool.
* * * *
Coons love the woods, almost as much
as squirrels do. Wherever there are
trees, there are likely to be raccoons.
They like to sun themselves on the
branches. Out at the zoo they may be
seen lazily enjoying life aloft, peering
down through the black mask which
goes across the eyes.
This is one of their most distinctive
features, next to the ringed tail.
They are good fishermen, and if seen
near a goldfish pool may be suspected
of having designs on the swimmers.
Their diet, however, is quite varied.
A coon will eat anything from potato
peelings to soft coal. How do we know
this? Because we had a pet coon once.
It was a long time ago, but we have
never forgotten.
A raccoon will eat poultry, birds, mice,
eggs, frogs and their eggs, various mus
sels, even insects. It will eat nuts,
fruits and vegetables.
Nocturnal in habits, this has led to
| the famous “coon hunts,” long a popu
lar feature of rural America.
In the pioneer days, coonskins were
regarded as money. Coonskin caps were
held in high regard, and even today
fetch a good price.
From the sport of coon hunting has
| arisen the coon dog, so-called.
There is even a race of coon cats, a
variety of the domestic species.
The raccoon is a hibernating animal,
and this habit is one of several which
make some naturalists call it the “little
brother of the bear ”
One of the most interesting habits of
the animal is that of washing its food
before eating.
As a pet, it makes one of the best, but
never becomes as tame as the cat or dog.
Always there will be a residue of wild
ness in its nature.
It is something of a thief, and will
steal food, even when there is no neces
sity for doing so. When kept as a pet, it
must be chained most of the time.
Specialists say that no raccoon will eat
j meat without first washing it himself;
if his owner tries to do the job for him,
he will resent it and wash the meat all
over4again before he eats it.
If a trap is used to cafch the animal,
the device must be placed under water.
Hunting with dogs at night always has
been tne favorite method of capturing
Its capture by hunters is due mostly
to the animal's love for trees. Invariably
it will take to this refuge, and will re
main there even when the tree is cut
Probably there is no other small ani
mal in America which has been as much
persecuted as the raccoon. It deserves
better of us, because it u a real
Letters to The Star
Medical Authorities Cited
In Behalf of Miracles
To the Editor of The Star:
For the benefit of many fair-minded
persons who might be deceived and mis
led by the slurring references to cure*
effected at Lourdes, written by Adam
Quill in The Star for April 20, I ask
space in which to present a statement
of facts concerning the miracles at this
great shrine.
It very generally is conceded by im
partial authorities that Lourdes offers
the best place in the world for the study
of unexpected cures, because of the ex
istence there of a strictly impartial med
ical board which examines all claims
for cures. In the world-wide history of
shrines the medical board at Lourdes
is unique.
It is called the Bureau des Constata
tions Medicates. It was founded in 1882
to examine and certify reported cures.
The bureau is under the direct author
ity of a president and a staff of 12
eminent physicians.
The president of the medical bureau
since 1926 is Dr. Auguste Vallet. He
received his degree at the University of
Bordeaux. He has been a student of
the School of Naval Physicians at Bor
deaux, a physician and surgeon of the
first class of Colonial Troops, and a
professor at the Franco-Chinese Insti
tute at Shanghai.
More than 3,000 medical men of all
creeds and from all nations take part
in the rigid examinations of reported
cures. Until the present war these ex
aminations were held every year.
The doctors on the president's staff
always are in attendance in an office
near the grotto. When a cure is re
ported the patient immediately is re
moved from the crowd and taken to fhe
office, where he is examined, X-rayed,
and tested by medial experts. The
record and history of his case from his
local physicians must be presented and
studied for comparison with his existing
conditions. Cases of psychiatric inter
est, whether accompanied with organic
conditions or not, are summarily dis
posed of.
The function of the bureau is to de
1. Are there certificates that show the
malady to have existed at the time of
the pilgrimage to Lourdes? 2. Was the
malady suddenly stopped in its evolu
tion at a time when there was no tend
ency to an improvement? And what
morbid symptoms disappeared at that
time? 3. Was there a cure? In what
way can it be proved? Did the cure take
place with or without the use of med
icine? 4. In the present state of science
is a medical explanation of this cure
likely to be given?
The medical bureau may make one
of four decisions: (1) The patient is
hysterical, there is no cure; (2) the
case is not completely cured but an
“interesting amelioration” has taken
place; (3) the case, which (under cer
tain natural conditions) was curable
has been cured; (4) the case, which was
incurable, has been cured supematu
In the event of this last decision the
! patient must return after a year’s time
to be re-examined. Then, if he has suf
fered no relapse, his cure will be "cer
tified” officially by the bureau. It is
quite well known that a high percentage
of the French members of the medical
bureau are “free-thinkers” and are en
tirely out of sympathy with Lourdes.
Yet from time to time they are forced
to confess that there is no scientific
explanation for the sudden cure of some
organic malady at Lourd*.
The Internationally known surgeon
and biologist, Dr. Alexis Carrel 1, for
many years has been Interested In the
phenomena that takes place at Lourdes
and he publicly has declared to bodies
of his professional associates that or
ganic lesions sometimes Instantaneously
have been cured at the famed shrine
And Dr. Vallet has said:
The cures of Lourdes are in some
sense a suspension of the laws of na
ture. Logic forces us to admit that
they are brought about by a direct In
tervention of God, for it is Impossible
otherwise to explain how nature’s laws
can be rendered inoperative in so many
To attempt a comparison between the
cures at Lourdes and the fakery of
Alexander Dowie, as Mr. Quill has done,
is to display ignorance beyond compre
hension in this day of intelligence
May I remind Mr. Quill that the Na
tion is at war? It is the duty of all
Americans to stand together in the com
mon cause. It is no time to be sniping
at the faith professed by many thou
sands of the Nation’s defenders
Frowns on ‘Reverse Bataan’
To thi Editor ol The Star:
I wish, as an American, to take ex
ception to the phrase "Reverse Bataan"
used several times recently by news
commentators when referring to the
Allied advances in New Guinea and
other South Pacific areas against the
Ic is natural for us as ‘‘home fronters”
and returned soldiers to picture Bataan
as the scene of human and humane
soldiers and officers being killed, starved
and tortured into insanity by hordes of
insane, fiendish devils.
I do not believe that under the most
drastic conditions of war s hell on earth
would any American soldier in his wild
est moment perpetrate the atrocities on
any fellow being which the Japs were
guilty of at Bataan.
Couldn't we find a less odious com
parison to use in referring to our boys
on the battle fronts?
No—I am not a pacifist. I have two
sons in service and I am proud of both.
Praises Inspector Mansfield
To the Editor ol The Star:
Because of the thoughtfulness of your
paper, The Star, in sending Inspector
Richard Mansfield to our school, the
pupils of the Crummell School had a
very delightful and instructive assembly.
Inspector Mansfield's background as a
police officer, together with his out
standing talent as an illustrator, made
his talk exceptionally Interesting.
The topic ' Safety” is one which can
not be overemphasized with school
children. The message that is left will
be long remembered by any child whose
attention can be held as attention ift
held by Inspector Mansfield's original
This assembly with Inspector Mans
field was held quite some time ago.
Although we of the Crummell School
are late writing about it, we are. never
theless. deeply grateful to The Star for
this activity. MAE T. BAKER,
Principal, Crummell School.
This Changing World
By Constantine Brown
The lull on the eastern front, where
only local encounters have taken place
In the last 10 days, is believed to be due
to a regrouping of the Russian forces.
The basis for this construction is the
official Red Army communiques, as Rus
sian troop movements and dispositions
are unknown here. Most military ob
servers believe that, in keeping with the
! Teheran agreements, probably calling
for a joint attack against th£ Reich
from the east and west, the Soviet high
command is preparing important mili
tary operations between Lwow and the
Naroova River.
The very successful operations of the
Red Army in the south, which resulted
in the reconquest of all of Southern
Russia—except the Sevastopol citadel—
and of a portion of Romania to the
Seret River, have little effect mi the
Allied strategy against Germany. A
further advance in that area would not
unduly worry the German high
* * * *
The Carpathians, an uninterrupted
chain of mountains with peaks as high
as 12,000 feet and dense forests covering
the lotoer sections of the ranges, form
a natural barrier between Eastern and
Central Europe. A relatively small and
well-equipped force, probably not more
than 30 divisions, could hold the few
passes almost indefinitely against an
attack by four times as large an army.
Airplanes and mechanized forces are of
little avail in this area. In most mili
tary quarters it is considered incon
ceivable that the Russian general staff,
would waste time and men in an attempt
to cross the Carpathians.
In Lower Romania there is an impor
tai’t military objective, Ploesti and the
oil field stretching for some 100 miles
north of that city. There are no moun
tainous ranges to defend that section
and Bucharest, the capital of Romania.
But there is an excellent line south
of Moldavia which would be difficult to
break. The line extends roughly from
the Carpathians to the Danube. Be
cause it is relatively short and is
anchored on the mountains and the
Danube River it would be difficult for
an attacking army to outflank it. This
line was heavily fortified before the
war. According to available reports its
fortifications have been greatly im
proved and modernized.
* * * *
A force not exceeding 20 divisions
would be more than ample to resist for
several months. The Romanians are
said to have some 12 divisions still avail
able for combat on this main line of
fortifications and the Germans, taking
advantage of the good lines of com
munications in Walachia, could move
necessary reinforcements whenever the
situation demanded it. At present only
four German divisions are reported to
be in the Galatz and Focsani areas to
bolster the Romanian troops.
A Russian advance across the Danubi
an Delta into Dobruja and thence into
Bulgaria is equally considered here as
an unworthwhile military operation.
This Romanian province is between the
Black Sea and the Danube. It would
be difficult to maneuver large forces in
such a small area.
The latest reports indicate there are
still 115 German divisions on the eastern
front. The mobilization in Hungary has
been completed and it is believed that
some 20 Magyar divisions are available
to assist the Germans. In addition,
there are some Latvian and Estonian
forces amounting probably to seven di
visions. Thus in the area from north of
Czenowitz to Lake Peipus there are more
than 200 Axis divisions,* behind strong
natural defenses or strongly fortified
lines. It would take more than a
“token offensive” to keep these forces
busy all the time and prevent the Ger
man high command from shifting troops
from the eastern to the western front.
On the Record
By Dorothy Thompson
It must be eight or ten years since I
saw an early exciting documentary film,
“Night Mail,’’ a dramatization of the
British postal system. I found this
drama of work and service more en
thralling than nine-tenths of the Holly
wood romances. Behind it was the di
rector of the film unit of the British
Post Office, a remarkably imaginative
man, John Grierson.
Today Mr. Grierson is director of the
National Film Board of Canada, and
he has revolutionized, with films, mass
education in Canada.
He spoke this week before the Inter
national Labor Office, currently meet
ing in Philadelphia.
Mr. Grierson is a forthright man. What
he told the ILO was that their brilliant
studies about labor conditions ana prob
lems, all international matters in gen
eral. would get little response unless
they found means to reach the people
in terms of their own work, their own
jobs, their own interests.
He warned the delegates that the
ordinary' man, from one end of the
world to the other, is fed up with ab
stractions about international co-oper
ation and the League of Nations. “If
we ever again sit in our capitals and
throw these old abstractions at the peo
ple. we sha& deserve the isolationism
that we shall certainly get,’’ he said.
“The farmer or industrial worker is not
just being selfish, materialistic or
parochial. He is being sensible, if in
ternational co-operation does not, ap
parently, and for all to see, mean any
thing to his destiny ... he has good
reason to be skeptical."
Says Mr. Grierson further, *If we are
going to have international co-operation
we must develop education in inter
nationalism and see that it begins on
the local doorstep. The education that
people want today is in knowing where
they get off. They want to know what
the fancy notions mean in terms of the
homes they will live in, the bread they
will eat, the families they will raise
. . . and, in my humble opinion, they
are right.”
* * * *
Mr. Grierson reminded the ILO that
they had offices in 50 nations, and that
through years of work vast knowledge
had been collected. But he told them
they must translate their information
into mass education. He pointed out
that whole nations are not intimately
bound together in any way, but that
all the groups within nations are and
always have been. He illustrated this
with an experience.
Once, in connection with the corona
tion in England, he had a film made of
the royal stamp collection. He never
anticipated its success! He found out
that not only in England, but in the
most remote corners of the earth, were
millions of people who were passion
ate stamp collectors. Stamp collecting
was what bound them together, not
noble sentiments about international
Similarly, all over the world are mil
lions of men and women dally grappling
with education, industrial work and
management, agriculture, child care,
cooking, every possible facet of life and
work, and held together only by these
common interests. Mass education for
international collaboration, should, he
suggested, consist in the visible, prac
tical, revelation of these common in
* * * *
He suggested that the nations whose
people do certain things better or dif
ferently from others, should not hide
their lights under bushels, but through
organizations like UNRRA and ILO
party the message in terms of the
common man. For, said he, “No edu
cation will work any longer that is not
associated with actual needs and in
terests. Howler wide and deep the
strategies of the world may develop,
they begin in a man’s job, in his com
munity, and in his immediate sense of
Mr. Grierson was critical of the means
taken to integrate the .wntitera’,JUrpnfc3
with the soldiers' front. He excoriated
the concentration on flag-wavlfii and
general patriotic ballyhoo, instead of
regl^ing that the people everywhere
“are hungry for a knowledge of the
future, for a chance to understand
what is in the making, and how they
can participate in it, not only as to its
benefits, but as to its duties."
And Mr. Grierson has not confined
himself to theaters, but developed much
larger audiences outside their walls—in
granges, clubs, schools, trade unions,
making traveling theaters, accompany
ing pictures by lectures, sending them
up and down the country, into the
tiniest hamlet, making the backwoods
man aware of his two great neighbors,
the United States and Russia, trans
lating everything into homely terms.
(Released by the Bell Syndicate, Inc.)
Vital Decisions Near
By Maj. George Fielding Eliot
There have been some recent reports
as to the weakness of German anti
aircraft Are over formerly well-protected
targets in the interior of Germany, and
as to the increase in the intensity of
antiaircraft fire in the coastal districts
of France and Belgium. These reports
suggest that the Germans may be shift
ing antiaircraft batteries toward the
so-called “invasion area.”
The evidence is not sufficient to be
conclusive, but whether or not this par
ticular German decision has been taken,
it may serve as a useful illustration of
the sort of decisions which the Germans
must make, and the disadvantages un
der which they must make them.
In the first place, if the Germans are
shifting their antiaircraft batteries to
the coast, it means that they think the
time of invasion is very near. So con
sidering, they cannot wait any longer to
strengthen their coastal antiaircraft
from new production. They must re
duce their internal defenses. The chief
risk they run in so doing is a matter of
guesswork on the time of invasion.
If they have guessed correctly, not
much harm has been done; for as the
time approaches, more and more of the
attention of our aircraft will be turned
to the coastal areas, hence the shift of
German flak is a sound move. If, how
ever, they have guessed wrong, then for
a period of time German industrial cen
ters are going to be more exposed to
our raids than before, and damage
which the Germans might have avoided
will be sustained—to the extent that the
flak couid reduce the effect of the
* * * *
Next, as the batteries are shifted to
their new locations, the position orig
inally assigned to each battery—particu
larly the heavy batteries, which are less
mobile than the others—represents a
guess as to where that battery may be
needed. It represents a guess as to
where we are coming in. It is. of course,
a guess which may be rectified; but not
without loss of precious time. If the
sum total of these guesses is heavily on
the wrong side, it might make a con
siderable difference in the outcome of
the first two or three days of fighting:
and those two or three days are likely
to have a disproportionate influence on
the outcome of our initial efforts to
establish firm beachheads.
Of course, the Germans will try—in
this matter as in all their other prepara
tions—to make the best guesses possible.
They will have a whole section of their
Intelligence staff told off to try to think
as our staff is thinking. These German
officers will be engaged in making their
own Invasion plans—they will be trying
to work out just the plans they would
make, if they were in faet Gen. Elsen
hower’s staff instead of Marshal Keitel’s.
But they cannot carry their thinking
beyond a certain point. They cannot
allow that thinking to become concen
trated on a single definite idea. They
cannot, in other words, follow the falla
cious theory of arriving at “the enemy’s
most probable intentions.” Once you
permit yourself to do that, in war, you
are hardly better off than if you had
tossed a coin to determine what the
enemy might be planning. You have
fixed your mind, you have convinced
yourself that the enemy is going to do
so-and-so-and if he does something else,
you are sunk.
*' * * *
So in military planning, the defensive
side cannot do more than study the
enemy’s various “capabilities.” He might
do this, or again he might do that. He
might move in at this point in strength,
and make a feint at that point to de
ceive us. He might attack at three or
four places simultaneously, and then put
his main effort behind the initial attack
which proves most successful. And so
Hence the decisions which the de
fending side can safely take are limited.
They can include the provision of a
strong front line defense, but they can
not commit too many troops to that, or
many of them may be immobolized and
useless when the time comes. They can
include the location of reserves at main
centers of communications, but they
must always be torn between having
enough at any given point and the
danger of too wide a dispersion so that
there may not be enough, in time, at
that point which turns out to be the
point of crucial importance.
The attacking side, on the other hand,
can carry its thinking and planning
much farther ahead. Its staff knows
what it is going to do, and where, and
when. It probably knows a great deal
about the enemy’s dispositions to meet
the attack, because it has air superiority
and therefore can carry out extensive
aerial reconnaissance, both visual and
* * * *
It is, therefore, possible for the section
of Gen. Eisenhower’s staff which is
supposed to represent the enemy's
thinking, to g<? very much farther than
can the Germans who are trying to put
themselves inside British and American
This is what is called the advantage
of the initiative. It permits definite
plans to be made, to be carried out at
definite times and under definite condi
tions. The defender can make only in
definite plans—to do this if the enemy
does that, and on the other hand to be
ready to do something else if the enemy
does the other thing.
(Coprrliht. 1844.)
'Colossal Blunder*
Montgomery Ward Seizure
Sure to Bring Lew Change
By David Lawrence
If seizure of Montgomery Ward la
lawful, then President Roosevelt has the
right to seize every newspaper and
magazine and every other business
which refuses to grant "maintenance
of-membership” clauses In contracts
with labor unions.
The President has made a colossal
blunder. It will not only injure him
politically, but It will bring about the
amendment of the price-control law
and the Wage and Salary Stabilization
Act so that the powers hitherto exer
cised will be sharply curtailed.
The episode is most regrettable from
the standpoint of the administration
because the Attorney General's opinion
is worded so as to endeavor to establish
the supreme right of the President to
act as dictator. •
"War Powers’* Unlimited.
What the Attorney General has said
will astound the Nation. It means that
there is no constitutional protection any
more—the President can do as he
pleases. There ks no reason now why
he cannot order anybody to do as the
administration directs and use the
flimsy pretext that the "war powers” he
holds give the authority to back him up.
Mr. Biddle's opinion uses the fiction
that the Commander in Chief possesses
some peculiar war powers. Under the
Constitution, he is Commander in Chief
of the Army and Navy and has no au
thority over civilians unless martial law
it declared. Civil rights have not been
suspended, yet Mr. Biddle claims that
the statutes do Invest the Commander
In Chief with powers to seize plants.
He makes the point that Congress,
under the Smith-Connally law, author
ized seizure of war plants and then
goes on to try to prove that Ward’s is
a part of the war effort. If Congress
had intended any such meaning, it
would have said so. It could easily have
said "any and all plants directly or in
directly related to the war effort.” But
it used no such broad language.
Mr. Biddle, evidently fearing that the
courts might construe the Smith-Con -
nally law not to apply to Ward’s, then
said it wasn’t necessary to invoke just
that statute because all the laws relat
ing to war powers gave the President
the needed authority. No precedents
were cited and no detailed explanation
to the Nation was made—it’s simply the
arbitrary claim of the Attorney General
that the law is what he says it Is. Opin
ions from an Attorney General who de
clines to justify the action taken by
citing the basis in law for his action
are valueless.
Tbe Case as a Precedent.
If the Attorney General Is right—
namely, that the President in time of
war can exercise any authority he
wishes, can confiscate property and use
force to eject from his own office the
head of a company who asks to be shown
the legal authority for such acts—then
constitutional rights in America can be
said to have vanished.
All over the country and throughout
the world the news sooner or later will
be transmitted that, in order to help a
labor union get a maintenance-of-mem
bership clause, the Roosevelt adminis
tration was willing to use troops and
take away civil rights granted under
the Constitution.
Members of Congress for the most
:,#art stand aghast at the action. They
have seen their own acts again and
again misinterpreted in regulations and
Government orders but not until the
Ward case was the full effect brought
home to them.
The Constitution says something
about seizures. It is in the fourth ar
ticle of the Bill of Rights, which says:
“The right of the people to be secure
in their persons, houses, papers and ef
fects, against unreasonable searches and
seizures, shall not be violated.”
The newspapers show pictures of
Sewell Avery, chairman of Ward’s, be
ing forcibly ejected because he asked the
Attorney General and the troops for
their authority to remove him.
The whole country can understand the
issue—and it will be heard from in the
election campaign. The administration
has made a mistake that may be re
flected in protest votes not only from the
Middle West but from other parts of
the country next autumn. For It will
be asked, "What is the use of winning
a war against totalitarianism abroad
and succumbing to totalitarianism at
home?” And it will be a hard question
to answer.
(Reproduction Rights Reserved.)
We Fight in Russia
Prom the Topeka Capital.
Modern wars are fought with tools
and machines and supplies to an even
greater degree than by men. And so,
in considering Russia’s magnificent vic
tories against the Nazis, the people of
the United States have a right to share
in the satisfaction which Moscow an
nounces so often through firing salutes.
We. the people of the United States,
are fighting in Russia—not with man
power, but with the products of our
farms and our factories, our ingenuity,
our labor and our dollars.
According to the Foreign Economic
Administration, the United States has
contributed 7,800 planes. 4.700 tanks and
tank destroyers and 177.000 tons of ex
plosives to the Red Army’s drive against
Hitler. These are only a few of the
staggering figures which could be re
called. Shoes, gasoline, food, medicine
—the range of war supplies sent from
here to Russia is endless.
Without aittempting to deprecate the
astute generalship of the Russians, and
without trying to take any credit away
from the individual Russian soldier who
is among the world’s best, all Americans
deserve a pat on the back for aiding
them. Instead of saying “the Russians
are whipping Hitler," we can instead
say: “We are whipping Hitler." The war
on the Russian front is oUrs as much as
the war in Italy or in the Pacific.
The Old Canal—Spring
Years pass, the lures of many years
The grass-bound towpath, worn by
plodding feet;
The mirror'd curves, which endlessly
The dogwoods purity, the red-bud’s
A flash of crimson wings—that song
From tender green where sun and
shadow meet,
Or—hauntingly, unutterably sweet—
A distant thrush-note calling through
the rain.
Below, the river roars its mighty way ]
Between the cliffs, impatient for the!
Above, the stream of human life at play.
With strident horn, whirrs by insistently.
Remote and still, indifferent it lies
And sleeps and dreams of long-lost cen

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