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Evening star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, June 04, 1947, Image 11

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Truman's Use of Veto
In Tax and Labor Bills
May Decide Election
By David Lawrence
President Truman will lose his 1948
battle for re-election or give himself
chance to win—
he does with the
labor and tax
bills in the next
If the Truman
veto takes its
place alongside
the Russian veto
as an unpopular
exercise of pow
er against the
will of the ma
jority, the Presi
dent will find !
himself compel- \
led to use the
veto power much j
more in the ses
sion of Congress I
beginning next January.
For a veto of the tax bill means a
much more drastic revision of taxes
next time and a much more difficult I
bill for Mr. Truman to sign in 1948.
The veto game Is one that can bej
• played by both sides and It would |
be most unfortunate if the President
made the veto power a major issue.
To veto a bill that is desired by
virtually two-thirds of the member
ship of both Houses but on which
a veto cannot be overridden because
a handful of members over and
above a one-third minority of one
House sustains the veto means that
a President is more powerful than
two-thirds of one House of Congress
and more powerful than a group;
that is two or three votes less than ;
two-thirds of the other House. This
is considerable power for one man to
use capriciously.
Only in an extreme case is the
use of the veto power justified when
sentiment is so preponderantly in !
* better-than-even
depending on what
DitM t«wren<·.
iavor of a particular measure.
Urjed To Veto Both Bills.
The President is being urged by
tome members of his cabinet to veto
both the labor and the tax bills.
While there is a two-thirds vote to
override a veto of the labor bill,
there is not such a vote for the tax
bill. Mr. Truman will be in the posi
tion of saying he is willing to have
a tax bill passed that takes effect
January 1, 1948, but he is unwilling
to approve one that takes effect only
six months earlier. It is improbable
that Mr. Truman can write a veto
message which can persuasively
argue that tax reduction would ruin
the country now but would not hurt ;
six months later. Mr. Truman could
argue, of course, against any and all !
tax reduction either now or in 1948.
but that would be even more diffi
cult to justify from a political j
The Republicans have a program
of applying about half the surplus
to debt reduction and about half to
tax reduction. The President is on
the spot, because nearly all the
Democrats have gone on record in
favor of some kind of tax reduction.
While the bill proposed in the
Senate recently by Senator Lucas,
Democrat, did not favor the Repub
lican formula, it was nevertheless
a bill to reduce taxes. Mr. Tru
man cannot ignore the record made
by his own party in favor of the
principle of tax reduction.
To deny 48,000.000 taxpayers a
reduction in taxes which would
amount to $4,000,000,000 a year is
a very arbitrary step for a Presi
dent to take unless he can make a
clear case of fiscal danger to the
Nation. Certainly the reduction of
the $260,000,000,000 debt by $2,000,
000,000, under the Republican plan,
instead of $4,000,000,000 for debt
reduction with no relief in taxes,
is not enough of a difference to
justify an argument of peril to the
country's financial structure. The
Republicans would have all the
better of that argument, especially
since the Truman doctrine favors
the idea of spending billions for
relief of, peoples in foreign coun
Could Avoid Antagonism.
If Mr. Truman signs the tax bill,
he will avoid antagonism among i
conservative and liberal voters
«like, for they will all benefit. If
Mr. Truman vetoes the tax bill,
however, .there will be no tax
reduction law this year and maybe
next year, because the Republicans
will present Mr. Truman with a
much stiller bill next time and
really put him on the spot. They
will do so because they will feel
he began playing politics this year
with the tax problem—assuming
that he,vetoes the present bill.
To veto the labor bill, on the
other hand, will not cause Mr.
Truman much political injury. For
when the measure becomes law over
the veto, as seems certain, the rec
ord of friendship with the unions
will have been maintained by the
President and after the bill has
been law for a few months, most
people will forget that there ever
was a veto if the legislation works.
If it doesn't work, they will cer
tainly not blame Mr. Truman.
The logic of the situation po
litically—that is, from Mr. Tru
man's own angle—is to sign the tax
bill and veto the labor bill. To
veto them both is to pile up trou-j
ble and commit political suicide,!
giving the Republicans a veto issue.
Signing both would send Mr. Tru
man's, popularity curve up 10 points
and mean that the conservative
vote in both parties would, in large
part, swing to Mr. Truman and
probably would be enough to re
elect him.
(Reproduction Right* Reserved.)
This Changing World
Russia's Coup in Hungary Held Proof
She Can't Be Stopped With Shoestring
By Constantine Brown
The ineffectiveness of the Ameri
can Government's efforts to fore
stall successful completion of Rus
sia's coup against the Hungarians
is driving home
Dism on a world- î j
wide scale on a ^
that no strong
American policy CMMUntin# Brawn,
was ever applied to the situation in
a. way which would give Russia to
understand that no further expan
sion of her sphere in Europe would
be tolerated.
Communist intentions became
quite clear last winter, when the
first steps toward conversion of
Hungary into a Moscow puppet were
taken. At the time HQngary was
η a sort of no man's land. She could
have been diverted into either camp.
She had a predominantly conserva
tive government, made up for the
most part of members of the Small
holders' Party, but including some
Communists in key positions where
they could defy the majority ele
ments in the government. A Com
Tiunist was mistakenly permitted to
neaa a military ponce aeparuneni
si the War Ministry and with this
authority the coup began in Janu
First event was the rounding up
of a large number of politicians,
army officers and other officials on
the charge that they were involved
In a pilot to restore the regime of
Admiral Horthy, Hungary's Nazi
serving prewar regent, when Russian
troops left the country in accord
ance with the Hungarian peace
,reaty. Although the fictitious char
acter of this plot was readily ap
parent, 13 persons were tried on
the charge and several were sen
tenced to death. / , f ^
Credit Wasn't Impressive.
The American Government was
not swift to act on the warning
signals, and when it did act, limited
itself to granting Hungary a credit
of $15,000,000 for the purchase of
American surplus supplies inJIurope
Premier Ferenc Nagy. now teposed
by the Russians because he refused
to make himself their puppet, was
hardly impressed with such a paltry
sum as evidence of the United
States' intention to stand firmly
against the further advance of
communism in Russia. Nor could
the mass of Hungarians be expected
to be impressed.
When on March 12 President Tru
man announced his doctrine of
American resistance to the spread
of communism, it provided for aid
only to Greece and Turkey. Nothing
vas said or done to forestall what
was apparent months ago, namely,
that Russia intended to secure
Hungary behind the iron curtain
before the peace treaty became ef
Perhaps it was felt in Washington
that with Russian troops occupying
all of Hungary and Communists
holding key positions in the govern
ment—despite their numerical in
feriority bcth in parliament and the
cabinet—the country was already
written off to Russia. Perhaps it
was felt that it would take actual
armed coir bat to dislodge the Soviet
masters from Budapest. Whatever
the reasoning, Hungary was per
mitted to fall completely into Rus
sian hands with little more than a
gesture of opposition from the
United States.
froope May Be Asked to Stay.
Moreover, the peace treaty is, in
effect, already nullified by Russia's
avv in xvivuig vu' a «bitiivi a***bJ
and other Smallholder Party-offlclals,
for a pro-Russian government in
Budapest now can "request" Russia
to keep her troops in the country
beyond the 90-day limit set for evac
uation of the Soviet armed forces.
If Russian troops remain the United
States will have no legaJ leg to stand
on in protesting.
Russia appears still able to move
unhindered from conquest to con
quest. She has now established her
lasting dominance over the first
large non-Slavic nation in Europe.
All her other puppets—except tiny
Albania—are either Slav nations or
so heavily infiltrated with Slavs—
such as Bulgaria—that they may be
regarded as Slavic. The eastern
zone of Germany has, of course, only
a small minority of full-blooded
Slavs, and it is hoped that Germany
eventually will be recreated. Thus,
the Hungarian victory represents
the spread of Slavic communism to
the non-Slav western-oriented re
gion of Europe.
Italy and. France hang in the
balance, with Communists excluded
from both governments and their
reaction still awaited. If American
policy proves as ineffective in those
two cases as in the case of Hungary,
we will have real cause for worry.
Man to Man
Disavowal of Pendergast Machine
Is Termed Incumbent on President
tfy Harold L. Ickes
President Truman should lose no
time in terminating his connection
with the notorious Pendergast or
ganization in Kansas City. He
should use the
power of his of
fice in appre
hending the
thieves who
stole the ballots
from the vault
of the Board of
Election Com
missioners there,
as well as put
ting it behind
the prosecution
of the 71 per
sons who have
already been in
dicted for elec
tion fraud. Harold.i,. Iek*i.
With all of the moral fervor of
which he is capable, he should de
nounce the outrages against de
mocracy that have occurred in his
State of Missouri. The ballots that
were stolen weie eloquent of fraud
ψ the primary election in the 5th
Missouri district, in which Roger C.
Slaughter was defeated by Presi
dent Truman's candidate, Enos
Axtell, for the Democratic nomina
tion for Congress. The President's
silence at this time would be un
bearable. Weasel words would be
intolerable. A shrugging of the
shoulders would be unforgiveable.
Loyalty to friends is a cult with
President. Truman. Loyalty in re
turn for loyalty has been the excuse
offered for making some shocking
moves with respect to appoint
ments to high public office. But, in
view of what has happened in Mis
souri, his continued loyalty to as
questionable a gang of political·
crooks as has ever existed in this
country is unbecoming in the Presi
dent of the United States.
Impugned Ballots Stolen.
After Attorney General Clark had
gone through the slow-motion of
a "preliminary" investigation of
these vote frauds, a Jpcal grand
jury swung into real action and re
turned 81 indictments against 71
persons. The grand jury had
checked the ballots in more than
30 precincts and those that seemtd
to evidence fraud were locked in a
vault. It was these that were
Kri nt.h*»r rnnrhisinn mn rirawn
than that the stolen ballots consti
tuted sufficiently strong evidence
that might cause prison doors tc
open. But even without the ballots
the trail of political corruption leads
straight to the notorious Pendergast
crowd. It was to Jim Pendergast
who succeeded to Tom Pender
gast's political throne, that Presi
dent Truman appealed for help to de
feat Representative Slaughter. That
defeat was evidently accomplished
by the Pendergast machine by the
crooked methods in which it i«
adept. This is the reason that hi
must lose no time in dissociating
himself from a corrupt gang that
has more than once shocked thf
moral sense of the country.
It is all the more important that
he should do this because he has
himself, in the past accepted the
favors of the Pendergast machine
By its grace he first went to thf
United States Senate. With its sup
port he was re-elected for a second
term. Thanks to the co-operatior
of Pendergast with other leaders ol
unsavory city machines—Hague ol
Jersey City, Ed Flynn of the Bronx
Hannegan of St. Louis and Edwarc
J. Kelly of Chicago—Harry S. Tru
man became Vice President of the
United States. Then he succeeded
to the presidency.
Defended Him in Senate.
Be it said, for whatever it maj
be worth, that President Trumar
has always rendered unto Pender
gast the things that were Pender
gast s. He arose on the floor ol
the Senate on one occasion to de
fend Tom Pendergast. who had beer
*ent to the penitentiary for gros;
I income tax irauas. wnen president
Roosevelt nominated Maurice Milii
!gan for United States district at
torney, at Kansas City, Senator
Truman protested the nomination
and insisted that it be withdrawn.
I It was Milligan who, in the line of
'his sworn duty, had convicted Pen
dergast. When he became Vice
I President Mr. Truman saw to it
that Milligan was not nominated
Guilty of defrauding his own
Government as Tom Pendergast has
been found to be, he had set Harry
|S. Truman's faltering feet on the
ι road that was to lead to the higft
jest office in the land. In defending
Pendergast and in punishing the
district attorney who had convicted
I him. Mr. Truman, as Senator and
then Vice President, put loyalty to
; his friends above concern for his
country's welfare.
When he appealed to Jim Pender
gast for help to defeat Mr. Slaugh
! ter. President Truman must have
known, from experience, of the
I methods that had been resorted to
in the past by the Pendergast gang
to put over its man.
Here is a moral Issue, as well as
a political one, upon which Presi
dent Truman must take his stand
in a way that cannot be misunder
stood. Will he renounce his long
time close association with the no
torious Pendergast gang? Will he
instruct his Attorney General to do
a real job? Will he denounce the J
notorious Pendergast gang and
throw his great influence against
the political crooks? Will he
equivocate or will he condone by his
; silence? The country Is waiting to
hear from President Truman.
The Great Game of Politics
Political Pressure to Veto Labor Bill
Viewed as Test of President's Courage
By trunk Κ. Kent
Though Mr. Truman may "check
short" In some directions as Presi
dent, there is one quality which his
friends have maintained he has in
full degree — to
wit, courage.
This is, indeed,
the "lovely vir
tue" and it has
endeared Mr.
Truman ti> a
great many
people who be
lieve that while
he can easily
make mistakes,
he can neither
be frightened
nor bullied nor
pushed around.
It is greatly to
be hoped that Fr*»k X. Kent.
this reputation is firmly based as
it is about to be subjected to an
extremely severe test. For a cam
paign of extraordinary proportions
and almost unprecedented viru
lence has been launched, the sole
idea of which is to scare Mr. Tru
man into vetoing the labor bill
which both branches of Congress
have passed by overwhelming ma
jorities and which the bulk of the
country undoubtedly favors.
This movement developed its most
spectacular form on Wednesday in
New York, where Mayor OOwyer,
in an act for which there seems no
reason save craven political truck
ling, had declared the day a mu
nicipal holiday to enable the labor
bosses and their radical allies to
put on a dramatic protest against
the signing of the bill.
Designed to Alarm.
This show is to be followed by
accelerated activity of every CIO
and Communist publicity agency,
by resolutions and demonstrations
upon the part of all the left-wing
groups; and by a deluge of letters,
petitions, etc., designed to alarm
both President and Congress. Ac
cording to Mr. Victor Riesel of the
New York Evening Post, who is an
authority on labor-union strategy,
the AFL alone proposes to have
some 7,000,000 telegrams sent to
the White House demanding a
veto. i
In addition, various pro-CIO col
umnists are screaming at the Pres
ident that unless he vetoes the bill
Henry Wallace surely will run as
a third-party candidate, thus in
surmg tne Truman aeieat. Tnis is
a particularly silly threat utterly
devoid oi foundation, but a labored
effort Is being made to make it
seem plausible none the less. Also,
inside his administration, the Secre
tary of Labor and some of his more
servile assistants have been steadily
playing the labor lobby's game in
attacking the bill at various labor
conferences and conventions.
Supplementing them, of course,
Is the blundering Mr. Gael Sullivan,
acting chairman of the Democratic
National Committee, who is of the
Hannegan school of politics which
believes that the way to correct a
political mistake is to repeat it. Add
all this up and clearly the hullabaloo
about the ears of the unfortunate
Mr. Truman will be terrific before
his final decision is made. The great
question now is whether he will
succumb to the pressure.
Bill in Tune with Publie.
To offset it are the facts that
nearly half the Democrats in Con
gress voted for the bill; that the
more able ancHess political members
of his cabinet think he should ap
prove; that the acceptance by Con
gress of the milder Senate bill has
deprived him of his reason for dis
approval on its merits and would
make a veto seem almost wholly
political. There is the further argu
ment that the bill itself has been
overwhelmingly approved by the
press of the country; that it is un
doubtedly in accord with public
sentiment; that the need for pro
tective legislation is almost too clear
to dispute.
Though the voters who favor this
bill are greatly in excess of those
who oppose, the difference is that
the first are not organized and the
second are. Thus the opponents are
able to make a great deal more
noise than their numbers warrant.
In that way they calculate to im
press the politicians from the Pres
ident down. In that way they incul
cate fear. In that way they think
they can put over their bluff. To
those who know the situation best,
the test for Mr. Truman is not only
of his courage but also of his clarity
of thought. To their way of think
ing it will be stupid as well as craven
to be scared into a veto. Because
it is as clear that the people as a
whole want this bill as that if it
were not for the political threats!
from the labor bosses it would be
promptly signed.
Tito, Ballroom Dance,
Cheese, Corn Discussed
By Henry McLemore
Observations by a man who
doesn't let bis right eye know what
his left eye is doing: If It is true
that the meek will inherit the
earth, then the
citizens of the
United States of
America will
some time own
the world .. . .
This is the
smartest, rich
est, toughest
country in the
world, yet it
goes along year
after year ab
sorbing insults
from countries
which couldn't
carry its shoes. Brtry MeLemert.
America frets ab<Jut Russia, when
Russia really isn't . in the same
league . . . America takes harsh
notes, white papers and other dip
lomatic foolishness from such places
on the map as Yugoslavia, Hungary,
Italy, Finland and Romania, when
what it should do is to say, "Shut
up, baby, or else we'll let you have
it—and have it right on the kisser."
Can you imagine Tito, if positions
were reversed, putting up with what
this country has put up with his?
And the same goes for all those
little countries scattered in the
trouble section of the world.
It is all right to be tolerant,
understanding, generous, nice, and
any other word you can find in the
thesaurus, but why ask 140,000,000
people to sacrifice their pride at the
same time? After all, when we eat
humble pie a la mode, we are not
eating it for a country, but for some
stuffed shirt, who wears medals of
his own design, and wants to trade
in on the decency of American folk.
What we need is a policy which will
tell those creatures to shut up if
they don't want to have their heads
luiviu&ru vu.
Changing the Subject
Here comes a quick shift from the
State Department racket to ball
room dancers. It Is almost impos
sible to go anywhere at night in
New York without having to watch
a man (and woman—the man in
white tie and tails, hair grease and
phony smile, the woman in sequins,
phony smile, and half a pound of
paint—doing what is called a ball
room dance. First they do a waltz,
then a rhumba, then a "native"
dance of some faraway country, and
then what is known as "our inter
pretation" of something or other.
The dances they do have no con
nection with a ballroom. They
dance 15 or 20 minutes, and for a
good 18 minutes of the 20 the wom
an is either being whirled in the
air by her panting partner, or the
man and the woman are backing
away from one another with what
they consider is a seductive look In
their eyes. Let a man and his wife
or a boy and his sweetheart dance
that way, and they would be thrown
out by the management.
Can you imagine what would hap
pen to me in most of the ballrooms
of the country If I suddenly picked
up Jean, whirled her around my
head, skidded her across the floor,
and leered at her while she sat
bruised, beaten and shaken up. In
a far corner of the room? Can you
imagine the havoc that would ensue
if all the dancers went in for this
kind of thing? More people would
be killed than were bumped off at
Cheese and Corn Problems.
Why is it, to change the subject
again, that it is impossible to buy j
what we Used to know as "rat" or,
"store" cheese? Strong, yellow, j
cheap, good cheese that made maca- j
roni and cheese a lovely dish, andi
jave to au gratin potatoes a solid,
nagniflcent taste. Mort of the
sheese you get these days has all
the flavor of cheap flannel, and has
ibout as jnuch authority as Eisen
hower's orderly. Rave the cows
changed? I'd like to know.
What makes corn on the cob sell
for $1 à dozen even in bargain
stores? Could Henry Wallace be to
blame? Whoever is to blame, it
doesn't make sense.
What kind of a setup are we liv
ing in when, if the reports are true,
Margaret Truman stands to make
more on a short concert tour than
her daddy does in a year for hold
ing down the toughest, most impor
tant Job in the world? Either the
people or the economic setup is
cockeyed. If things are that mixed
up, why worry about getting hit by
an atomic bomb? Seems to me it
would be a graceful way out.
Poets must be crazy folk, else
they wouldn't write so much about
the beauty of the song of birds when
the average person, given h fit an
hour of voice culture, can ouuing
the leading Bird soprano, bass or
Why do the Republicans and
Democrats go to the trouble and ex
pense of holding conventions when
It is quite obvipus that their candi
dates will be-lilr, Dewey and Mr.
Truman? Any one who wants to
bet otherwise will find me a willing
(Distributed by McN»u»ht Syndicate. Inc.)
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