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Evening star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, May 26, 1947, Image 9

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Peacetime Research
On Military Aircraft
Held Vital to Security
By David Lawrence
There is a curious complacency
about the security of the United
States. Almost everybody thinks
that with the atom bomb and a lot
of ships and
planes and sol
diers and sailors
in reserve from
the last war,
America could
meet any sud
den attack and
that another
Pearl Harbor is
remote, if not
Inherent in
this reasoning
is the belief that
America has the
air power to
carry the atom DitU
bombs to any quarter of the globe.
The answer to this is that, while
the United States may have planes
this month or this year, those same
planes may be obsolete and sur
passed by the airplanes of some
other country. America a year
hence may be in the same relative
position as on the day of the Pearl
Harbor attack.
Unless research and designing is
maintained and stand-by facilities
are kept available, the air power
of the United States is more theo
retical than real.
The real story of Pearl Harbor is
a story of the dearth of airplanes.
Even if an alert had been sounded
in Hawaii and the Philippines, the
United States had neither the naval
aircraft carriers nor the land-based
planes adequate to defend those
bases or to carry the war to the
No War Warning Expected.
If it had not been for the orders
placed by the British and French
governments in 1939 and 1940, the
United States would not have had
any military aircraft facilities what
soever when war broke out with
Japan. In the next war, there may
not be the two years of warning as
there was this last time and hence,
unless the United States assures it
self of airplane facilities that can
turn out tlje latest type of military
aircraft, America’s billions for all
other defense weapons and services
may be proved wasted.
The problem has been somewhat
complicated by the injection of a
sort of over-all or lump sum budget
idea for the armed services. This
is one of the unfortunate by-prod
ucts of the controversy over unifi
cation. The fact is that the needs
of the Navy, for instance, are one
thing and the needs of the Army
Air Forces are quite another. Each
service should be given what it
really needs to assure American
security, irrespective of the needs
of the other.
The Army will need planes and
so will the Navy but they will need
different types. Neither Army nor
Navy aviation, however, is going
to have anywhere to go for new
planes unless the United States
Government takes immediate steps
to preserve military production in
the aircraft industry.
The competition in military air
craft is keen. Foreign governments
do not publish bulletins telling of
their progress in research. The de
signing of engines for planes is not
the same for war purposes as for
passenger travel. The requirements
of fighter planes are different from
those of long-range bombing air
craft. These are simple truths fa
miliar to airmen but not to the
general public, which supposes that
all that is needed to win a war is a
lot of money and a lot of indus
trial plants that can be converted
instantly to wartime needs.
Companies Need Contracts.
This is a false assumption. Air
craft companies that make planes
for peacetime uses have no reason
to carry on research on military
weapons to be used in air warfare
unless they have contracts and or-|
ders from the Government specifi
cally asking them for that kind of
product. ■
The private manufacturers have
no more or less responsibility than
any other citizens to provide facili
ties than can be used in wartime.
This is a task for the military and
naval and aerial experts of the
armed services. Above all, it is a
task for the commander in chief,
who can request from Congress that
certain sums be set aside for mili
tary aircraft development.
This can be arranged on a “cost
plus" basis or by negotiated con
tract* as was the case during war
time. But unless the Government
itself insists that research and even
production of certain types of mili
tary aircraft be carried on each
year and that certain stand-by facil
ities be provided from among the
surplus war plants, the defense of
the United States may be imperil
led and our power to repel the atom
bomb attacks of another country re
duced to an alarming point of weak
Army and Navy officials have
been worried about this question and
had a secret session recently with
aircraft manufacturers to discuss the
whole problem. Unless, however,
Congress takes kindly to the idea
and something by way of special
earmarking of defense funds for this
purpose is accomplished, valuable
time will be lost while, as reports
from abroad already indicate, other
nations step up their research and
production of military aircraft.
(Reproduction Right! Reserved)
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This Changi
Marshal Tito May
To Penetrate Italy
By Constantine Brown
Suspicions of some American ob
servers that Marshal Tito of Yugo
slavia may decide to penetrate into
Italy under some pretext, when and
if the Italian
peace treaty is
ratified by the
Senate and
American troops
withdrawn, were
increased last
On May 20 the
Italian press re
ceived a strongly
worded state
ment issued by
a Yugoslav dip
lomat attacking
the United
States and Great
Britain foi| their Brown,
failure to surrender to Marshal
Tito "Yugoslav traitors and war
criminals whose escape has been
facilitated by the authorities and
who are now living undisturbed in
various places in Italy.”
The statement, which caused
considerable anxiety in Italian po
litical quarters and is said to have
contributed to the difficulties of
forming a new Italian government,
ends with this ominous sentence:
"It is clear that this situation is
in contradiction with the funda
mental principles of justice and
humanity and in contradiction with
the decisions of the United Nations, ’
34,004 Yugoslavs Involved.
The leaders of Italian political
parties—except for the Communists
—fear that soon after ratification
of the peace treaty'Marshal Tito
will demand officially that some
30,000 Yugoslavs, who escaped into
Italy after the collapse of Gen.
Draja Mihailovich's resistance to
Tito, be handed over to the Yugo
slav government.
For the present Marshal Tito has
no right to ask the Italian govern
ment for the surrender of these
victims. He has asked the Amer
ican and British representatives who
ng World
Be Preparing
After Treaty
are sifting the evidence against al
leged war criminals in Italy to turn
over to Yugoslavia those named in
a list prepared by his government.
However, only 50 persons who ac
tually co-operated with the Ger
mans have been extradited in the
last four months.
The attitude adopted by Wash
ington and London is that those
who opposed Tito and escaped from
Yugoslavia cannot be described as
war criminals, in accordance with
the rules laid down in London which
guided the trials at Nuernberg and
Article 44 of the peace treaty pro
vides, however, that the signatories
are entitled to demand from Italy
all persons directly accused by any
of the victorious governments as
war criminals as well as the mate
rial witnesses involved. Some 30,000
Yugoslav refugees fall into this cate
Many Refugees Are Hiding.
There is little reason to believe
that the Italian government would
hesitate to comply with Marshal
Tito's demands after the peace
treaty has been signed. But there
are many refugees in Italy who
entered without papers and are
hiding throughout the country.
There are no records on these aliens
and it is unlikely that the Italian
police could comply in full with
Yugoslav demands made directly to
the Italian government.
Those who have followed this
situation fear that as soon as Italy
is bound by the peace treaty the
Belgrade government will demand
the immediate surrender of every
Yugoslav who is wanted by the
OZNA, the Yugoslav secret police,
and any delay in complying with
this request will impel the Yugoslav
government to send a “police force”
to enforce its demands.
This may be the signal for Palmiro
Togliatti, chief of the Italian Com
munist Party and Marshal Tito's
former colleague in the Comintern,
to make himself head of the Italian
government, thus establishing a
physical link between Moscow and
Paris by way of Northern Italy.
Man to Man
Important Supreme Court Decision Seen
Increasing Responsibility of Press
By Harold L. lckes
The Supreme Court has handed
down a decision, by a vote of 6-3,
that enlarges and confirms the al
ready great powers of the press.
The court, in effect, held that
newspapers have
the rig hi to
print the news
concerning our
courts as they
find it, whether
accurately or in
accurately. Fur
ther, it deter
mined that the
newspapers may
comment as they
choose, on a
case on trial,
without being
held in contempt
of court.
The case which H»r»is l. i«k*».
the Supreme Court used to voice
its opinion had its roots in Texas.
Covering an unimportant case in a
county court, a reporter for the
Corpus Christi Caller-Times wrote
stories which, as Justice Douglas
says in his opinion, “were by any
standard an unfair report of what
transpired. But inaccuracies in re
porting are commonplace.” He
added, “(The editorial) was, we as
sume, an unjust criticism.”
It seems to me that this decision
was in the public interest and fairly
represents what citizens generally
believe that “freedom of the press”
ought to mean. Warranted criticism
of the courts, even during judicial;
proceedings, cannot hurt the court!
if justice 1s being administered as!
evenly and impartially as it should |
be. But criticism should be fair
and it should be based upon ob
jectively considered facts.
Doesn't Seek Less Criticism.
I am not arguing for less criti
cism. All of us might be the better
for more of it and it should be as
pointed and as severe as circum
stances warrant. The newspapers
should criticise when necessary, and
with effect, but they should be will
ing to take as well as to give. As
a matter of fact, to the extent that
they are fair and objective, they
would find themselves beyond the
range of criticism.
Certain newspapers do and have
done some pretty indefensible
things. Some newspapers at in
tervals, and others, even the best
of them, on occasion can give ex
pression in their editorials, their
news columns or by cartoons, to a
personal venom, the effect of which
can be much more damaging than
the sentencing of a reporter or pub
lisher to two or three days in jail
for contempt of court. Yet, under
the doctrine in the case under dis
cussion, the press, in effect, is told
that no proceedings for contempt of
court can reach them.
Justice Douglas in writing his
opinion did not even express right
eous indignation over the publica
tion of an editorial that he re
garded as “unjust criticism.” On
the contrary, by remarking that
"Inaccuracies in reporting are com
monplace,” he, in effect, said that
it does not matter whether pur
ported news is accurate or not.
But if this decision makes it vir
tually impossible for a judge here
after to deal harshly, or even firmly,
with a newspaper for a real or
fancied offense against the court
I,— ■ •
while a case is on trial, it imposes
a heavy responsibility upon decent
newspapers and decent newspaper
men. They should realize that free
dom to report badly and to edi
torialize recklessly become flagrant
licenses unless carefully curbed.
In the absence of fear of contempt
proceedings, the newspapers are un
der a heavier obligation to exercise
,Great Responsibilty Involved.
It is still true that with great
power should go great responsibility.
As the best of them now generally
are, more should be more certain
of their facts than some of them
even try to be, especially if the
purported facts relate to an indi
vidual or institution that can be
greatly damaged in public estima
No editorial writer should ever
permit personal feeling or vindic
tiveness to flow through his pen.
Cartoonists should confine them
selves to making their points clearly
and as cleverly as may be, without
the cruel delineations that, at times,
almost constitute an obscenity. It
is even to be hoped that at least
the responsibile newspaper will re
frain from publishing a picture that
has been deliberately taken to catch
the subject at a disadvantage or In
an embarrassing pose. Such a photo
graph is not a fair representation.
I suggest that the newspapers of
the land should, voluntarily, set up
some machinery through which,
either on their own motion or on
complaint made, they can judge
whether, in a given case, a news
paper has abused its power. Even;
without the right to impose pen
alties, beyond suspension or ex-1
pulsion, such an organization could
exert a wide Influence for eood.
Membership in it would be coveted.
A summary of the facts in any case
heard, supporting a well-reasoned
conclusion, would impress upon the
newspaper fraternity the responsi
bility for constant self-examination
and self-restraint.
I, for one, hope that the news
paper profession will live up to the
very great responsibility that has
been laid upon it by this significant
decision by the Supreme Court of
the United States.
(Copjripht, 194T.)
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SUBURBAN HEIGHTS —By Gluyas Williams
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The Great Game of Politics
Reform of OIG Is Held Necessary
If It Expects Another Extension
By Frank R. Kent
The chances are that the State
Department’s Office of International
Information and Cultural Affairs
(generally designated as the OIC)
and which in
cludes the so
called “Voice of
America” will be
saved — almost
by the pro
verbial shoe
string—from the
complete obli
teration that
seemed assured
by the recent
attitude of the
House. But some
of its gaudiest
feathers will be
plucked out and
the uninhibited, **»»•
unrehearsed and unrestrained na
ture of its operations will be modi
At least such is the hope. Rep
resentative Mundt has sponsored a
bill providing the legal authoriza
tion the agency lacked but laying
down certain restrictive conditions,
and Representative Taber has soft
ened sufficiently to indicate ap
proval of a reduced appropriation
to keep it alive. *
However, this survival is not due
to the dire predictions of disaster
that have come from the not en
tirely disinterested individuals un
der whom it is now functioning, nor
from the gay young radicals who
are having so much fun in their
It is not even because of the sober
commendation by the conservative
press, convinced of the essential
soundness of the idea though un
enthusiastic about the quality and
manner of the operation. Actually, I
the OIC has been saved from the!
extinction (eagerly sought by a
considerable number of justly irri
tated persons) through the efforts
of Secretary of State Marshall, sup
plemented by those of the chief of
staff, Gen. Dwight Eisenhower.
Generals Saved Program.
These are the men responsible
for rescuing it—if it is rescued—
from a somewhat savage Congress
all set to end what was quite
widely regarded as an ill-spent life.
The emphatic and powerful asser
tion of Gen. Marshall that discon
tinuance of the OIC would weaken
American foreign policy and make
our position abroad more difficult
to maintain just could not be ig
nored. That, coupled with his ex
pressed belief in the real need
of pro-American propaganda to
counteract anti-American propa
ganda—a belief strongly supported
by Gen. Eisenhower—was too much
for the Republican leadership. That
is easy to understand.
Under the impact of those non
political statements from those
particularly nonpolitical men, it
gave ground. To reject, would have
put Republican leaders in a posi
tion hard to defend and impose a
responsibility no party leadership
would care to assume. So, unless
things change, the OIC, somewhat
scarred by its experience and, per
haps, somewhat chastened by its
fright, probably will continue an
other year.
It will have a rather precarious,
reluctantly granted lease of life,
but it will have escaped threatened
destruction. However, it will be
well for those who operate and con
trol it during the next year to real
ize that this is by no means a
permanent lease and, unless they
want to court death at another ses
sion, they will be wise to "mend
their ways.”
Inferior Quality Opposed.
For the opposition to the OIC has
not been to the principle upon
which it is based but upon the in
ferior quality of its personnel and
the absurdity with which it has
often performed. A lot of the silly
things done in and by the OIC have
been brought out by congressional
investigators. They include the
eulogy of Mr. Wallace, broadcast by
the “Voice” while he was abroad
engaged in assailing American for
eign policy; the distribution,
through its "cultural agents” in
foreign capitals of an obscene novel;
the sponsorship of some—to the
ordinary American — ridiculous
specimens of modern American art,
etc., etc.
It will also be well to remember
that some of our best-trained dip
lomats in the department privately
—as they must—take a dim view of
the OIC. Their contention is that
its "cultural attaches” whom they
have had to absorb in our embassies
and legations are anything but
“cultural” fellows and have really
nothing much to do; that the sala
ries paid by the OIC to some of its
personnel are higher than they pos
sibly could earn in private life and
put them almost on a compensation
equality, where they do not belong,
with ministers, ambassadors and
even cabinet members; that this
would be forgivable and even justi
fiable if they were worth it—but
they just are not.
On the contrary, they are of the
extreme crusading, New Dealish.
OWI type, in whose judgment not
many have confidence, however pure
their hearts may be. In brief, men!
of experience in the field, while
subscribing to the propaganda prin
ciple, are dubious whether, as now
operated, the OIC does as • much
good as it does harm.
Saved after a tremendous effort,!
it should be remembered that there |
exists inside and outside the de-1
partment, as well as inside and out1
of Congress a degree of intense hos
tility toward OIC. Clearly, if it
is going really to be useful it ought
to be reformed. Clearly, unless it
is, not even Gen. Marshall will be
able to save it next time.
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Legalized Slot Machine
Compared to Pickpocket
two. Henry McLemore.
By that time the State of Florida
may very well have legalized the
picking of pockets, and I want to
get In on the ground floor.
If you think I’m crazy making
such a statement, please let me
inform you that a bill to legalize
slot machines in the State already
has passed the Senate Finance and
Taxation Committee, and many
believe that it wont be long before
the “one-armed bandits ’ will be as
legal as church attendance.
Pickpocket Beats Slot Machine.
Now, a State that will put the
okay on slot machines will come
close to saying “yes” to any pro
posal to extract money from the
citizens. A pickpocket is a fine
sportsman compared to a slot ma
THE EVENING STAR, Washington, D. C. • A—9
chine. A man has a sporting chance
against a pickpocket, to begin with.
He can sew his money in his watch
pocket, or keep his hands in his
pockets all the time, or, if robbed,
has a chance to outrun the thief
and slug him on the Jaw.
But against a slot machine, a man
hasn’t any more chance than a GI
at a court martial. If he hits a slot
machine with a right cross, all that
gets hurt is his hand. If he tries
to wear one out by playing it with
out let-up, the machine will be
standing long after the man is dead.
As if to add “tone” to slot ma
chine playing, the bill now before
the Florida legislators designates
that the slot machine be of the
electric console type. Just what
this is I don’t know, but I imagine
it looks like a super juke box. with
enough lights to fascinate the idiotic
and sufficient buttons to give off the
mating call to morons.
Being electric, the designated ma
chine undoubtedly requires no effort
on the part of the sucker. He just
drops in a nickel, dime, quarter,
half dollar, or dollar, steps back
and gets nothing.
Electricity Eliminates Exercise.
This electrical business eliminates
the only virtue possessed by the
old type slot machine. At least
a man got exercise in going broke
on the hand-operated “bandits.”
He had to pull the lever a few times
before he was broke.
If the bill now before the Florida
solons passes, the operator of the
machine will get 12 cents out of
each dollar played, the State six
cents, with 82 cents being returned
to the sucker. Let us not go into
the question of how the State is
going to police each machine to
see that its mechanical insides are
so set that it will pay oil S3 cents
on the dollar. Well let Alice and
the dormouse and the Mad Hatter
discuss that at the next tea party.
Suffice to say, those who operate
slot machines must be thieves at
heart, else they wouldn't harbor
thieves under their roofs.
„ In conclusion, I would like to
tell the Florida legislators that as
much as the average American
loves the things that go with a
decent standard of living, he would
rather ride over a rough road, have
his children study by lamplight and
boil his drinking water than know
that his super highways, his de luxe
schools and extra-purifled water
came from the nickels, dimes and
quarters of men and women who
couldn't afford to put them in a
slot machine.
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