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Evening star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, May 27, 1947, Image 7

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045462/1947-05-27/ed-1/seq-7/

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Yellow Pages
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* •
Voice of America Broadcasts
On Right Track, Will Irwin Says
Will Irwin, author, war corre
spondent and one-time propagan
dist, believes this country will reject
one of its best weapons for peace
if it fails to explain America to the
The 74-year-old author speaks
from the point of view of one who
has been there before. In the latter
days of World War I, he headed the
foreign department of the Commit
tee on Public Information, which
roughly corresponded to World War
II’s Office of War Information with
out the trimmings.
As for the State Department's
controversial Voice of America
| broadcasts, Mr. Irwin said he would
like to see the scripts, but he be
lieves they are on the right track.
Here to Open Play.
Here for the National Theater
opening of “Lute Song,” on which he
collaborated with the late Sidney
Howard, Mr. Irwin recalled his ex
periences in World War L when he
: took on the job of bucking German
—Star Staff Photo.
propaganda abroad with no radio,
limited wire facilities and a small
staff. He directed the job from an
| old building on Lafayette Square.
"So many things I planned were
never used because the war ended
too soon, thank God," he reminisced.
"But I remember a man who came
to us w’ith a gadget that shot out
pamplets at the rate of a certain
number every minute. Just about
that time, some one had shot the
night watchman. We found out
later it was a personal feud, but at
the time we thought it was spy work.
“One night I heard a whirring
from a closet in my office. I thought
somebody had put a bomb there, but
I was going to be very brave and
throw it out the window. I flung
open the closet door and there was
the propaganda machine clicking off
Would Use Propaganda Now.
There was no use continuing this
country’s propaganda organization
; after the last war because “we went
isolationist and renounced all our
influence,” Mr. Irwin said.
But he feels strongly that, with
the United States committed to the
United Nations and with propaganda
grown from a "muling infant” to an
enormous force in the world, It
should be used by this country to
tell the truth about America to the
"Of course, propaganda is a dan
gerous thing to use if it isn’t done
right,” he added. "It must be done
under the advice of experts, who
know the minds of the people they’re
trying to reach.”
He recalled that, at the beginning
of World War I, Britain was par
ticularly concerned about Spain and
addressed the first of a series of
propaganda pamphlets to the Span
ish people.
"Unfortunately," he grinned, “the
pamphlet was written by Sir Gil
bert Parker, who started out by
comparing German atrocities in Bel
gium with the Spanish Inquisition.
That was a mistake.”
Advises Against Fake.
Mr. Irwin, whose store of news
paper anecdotes goes back to the
San Francisco fire and who bears
] the scars of the Italian retreat made
famous by Hemingway’s “A Farewell
to Arms.” concedes he is an optimist,
but he believes that effective propa
ganda could do much to heal post
war differences.
‘’Right now,” he said, "we would
have very little trouble with the
Russians if we could let the Rus
sians know.how the working class
in this country really lives.”
His recipe for successful propa
ganda: “Don’t fake; tell the truth.
Don’t advise other countries how to
run their governments. Just con
tradict false stories and tell other
peoples how Americans live and how
they feel.”
Listening attentively as he talked
and interpolating her own share of
anecdotes was the other half of the
writing Irwin family—Inez Haynes
Irwin, whom Mr. Irwin describes as
"the girl I honeymooned with at
Man, Woman Indicted
In Allotment Check Case
A man and woman yesterday were
indicted by the District grand jurj
on charges of forging and cashing
$400 in service allotment checks
which were intended for the man's
wife, according to authorities.
The two named were Kathleen T,
Shirkey, 31, whose address was given
as in the 1100 block of Ninth street
N.W., and Joseph. A. Ramm, 49
Both defendants were listed as com
ing from Roanoke, Va. The man
has not yet been apprehended, ac
cording to authorities. The woman,
it was said, was at one time em
ployed at a local department store.
The check, it was said, were in
tended for Ramm’s wife, later di
vorced. The indictment was among
17 others returned yesterday before
Chief Justice Bolitha J. Laws of
District Court.
Breach of Promise Suit
For $100,000 Filed Here
Margaret I. Morrison of the Dor
chester House, yesterday brought
suit in District Court charging Wil
liam J. Gallagher of the 1300 block
of Missouri avenue N.W., with
breach of promise to marry her. She
asks $100,000 damages.
The suit said the woman and Mr.
Gallagher hed known each other
since 1941 and that he had pro
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Tided for ter support but refused to
marry her as allegedly promised.
The plaintiff is in ter 20s and the
defendant in his 40s, according to
information. The suit was filed ir
behalf of the plaintiff by Attorney!
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