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Evening star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, October 22, 1950, Image 58

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Russia's War of Attrition
Is Hard on America's Purse
Politboro Holds Back Its Armies in Hopes
That Our Economic Structure Will Collapse
By Constantine Brown
The Federal budget for the current fiscal year will reach the
formidable sum of $69 billion.
The Defense Department estimates that, even if a war does not
break out in Europe in the next nine months and the present combi
nation “cold-hot war” which Russia has devised continues, the neces
sity of maintaining an alert defense will require some $90 billion in
the 1951-2 fiscal year.
Thus the war of attrition which Russia has threatened against us
since 194b appears to be in lull
swing.
All the Russian leaders, from
Stalin down, at one time or an
other have stated that only the
collapse of the American economic
structure will enable the U. S. S. R.
to achieve its plans for world
domination.
The Politburo believes now that
this economic collapse cannot be
very far off. It is this belief alone
which prevents Russia from un
leashing now a shooting war in
which her military power would
be engaged. The Russian pattern
of weakening the United States by
attrition is obvious. It applies po
litical pressure in Western Europe
—in what is commonly known as
the cold war—which forces us to
pour out tens of billions of dollars
in cash and raw and manufac
tured materials to Western Euro
pean nations. At the same time
'it uses military aggression by one
of its satellites in a shooting war
in the Far East.
The North Korean aggression
is about to end in disaster for the
aggressors. Tens of thousands of
Russia’s puppets have been killed
and the country devastated. The
U. 8. 8. R. haa lost nothing. But
w# hive suffered heavily in Ameri
can casualties and billions of dol
lars already have been spent, or
are about to be spent, on the re
construction of that country.
The second "push-button war”
now is on the way in Indo-China.
The French are not capable of
defending themselves and are call
ing steadily for greater American
help. So far we are engaged only
in providing them with military
equipment amounting to some
$200 million—a mere trifle com
pared to the billions which must
be spent this year and next on our
Western European Allies.
Objectors Denounced
It is true that, on paper, the
other members of the coalition
which defeated the Axis were sup
posed to participate in this good
Samaritan work. Actually, the
United States provided more than
90 per cent of the billions spent
on relief for the hungry world.
This was followed within the
next 20 months by the Marshall
Plan, which was to prevent the
penetration of the Communist
virus into Western Europe. In
three years the American tax
payers provided some $15 billion
for that purpose, in addition to
a "loan”—which will never be re
paid—of $3,750,000,000 to the
British Labor government to en
able it to put into effect its in
dustrial nationalization policies.
We were going through an era
of apparent prosperity, and the
dance of the billions did not ap
pear too important to the rank
and file of American people.
A few far-sighted lawmakers
saw a real danger in these ex
travagant handouts. Their ob
jections were drowned out, with
out trouble. The powerful Gov
ernment propaganda machine,
which has been developed since
1939, denounced them as isola
tionists and thus endangered their
political existence.
They were denounced as favor
ing the Communist conquest of
Europe by default. High-ranking
administration officials, newspa
permen and radio commentators
produced "tangible proofs” that
France and Italy, the pivots of
Western resistance to Russia’s
drive, would become Communist
satellites unless American billions
made their peoples happy and
prosperous once more.
But no sooner had Western Eu
rope begun to recover its pre
war prosperity than we realized
that a militarily powerful Russia
was threatening the West phys
ically. The Marshall Plan had
to be implemented by the Atlan
tic pact, a military alliance
between a select number of Euro
pean nations which, from the mili
tary viewpoint, were even weaker
than during World War II.
For the first time in our history
we entered into a military alliance
with a continent where wars were
Billions Go Abroad
There is no saying, however,
what will happen if the French
government presents the Indo
Chinese case to the United Na
tions and shows that the campaign
is inspired and abetted by the
Chinese Communists, behind
whom stands Moscow.
Although the Government in
Washington is opposed, at this
time, to sending American troops
to Indo-China, its present stand
could be reversed by a decision of
the U. N. to give us another man
date to re-establish law and order
In Indo-China.
The Russian plan of attrition
against America is well on its
way. Since the end of World War
II we have spent unbelievable
amounts of wealth to bring the
world back to "normalcy.” Imme
diately after the war we spent
some $4 billion in all kinds of re
covery projects, including UNRRA.
Then we proceeded to a large
scale plan by adopting Gen. Mar
shall’s recovery program.
Although the Government was
engaged, between 1942 and 1947,;
in political appeasement of Russia,
the State Department had de
cided, even before V-E day, to
use economic assistance to pre
vent Communist ideology from
making inroads in Europe and
Asia. We proceeded on the theory
that communism thrives on hun
ger, which in turn causes unrest
and revolutions.
American legislators were per
suaded to appropriate billions of
dollars to alleviate, through an
International organization known,
as UNRRA, the inevitable eco
nomic difficulties of the world out
side of the American hemisphere.
as much to be expected as tiuee
meals a day are in this country.
But political conditions and Rus
sia’s threat to the democratic way
of life made this otherwise unpal
latable move necessary.
Moscow Pushes Buttons
The Atlantic pact was only a
piece of paper, however, without
any actual military importance
unless our European allies were
provided with arms and military
equipment. The military aid
program then was devised and
rammed down the throats of the
same legislators who earlier had
the fear that money spent so lav
ishly on the Marshall Plan might
boomerang against our own eco
nomic structure. The sums re
quired at first were modest—only
$1.2 billion for the first year and
somewhat more the second.
Meanwhile, Moscow started
pushing buttons and the cold war
became more active in Europe.
Previously concealed friction with
Moscow became an open strain in
relations. Reports poured into
Washington that the Russians
were cooking up something for
Western Europe. We knew that
they had the capability of doing
anything they wanted.
The original estimates of the
Allied general staffs that Russia
could not be ready for action un
til sometime in 1955 had to be
revised. The consensus of mili
tary men in Europe was that she
might be ready to strike, either
directly or through her East Ger
man puppets, sometime in 1951 or
1952.
This required the stepping up of
Western defenses. And while the
governments of continental Eu
rope indicated—somewhat vaguely
—that they would raise the neces
sary manpower to provide some 25
divisions in the next 18 months,
we were called on to send the
necessary equipment immediately
across the Atlantic.
As a consequence, MAP appro
priations for this fiscal year total
ing $1.2 billion had to be raised by
another $4 billion. Thus, from
V-J day to the present the Amer
ican taxpayer has provided the
outside world with some $30 bil
lion.
Administration Arouses
Concealed items, such as the
$182 million spent on the Italian
election two years ago, are not in
cluded in this figure. There may
oe other such expenditures from
secret funds which are still kept
secret.
It was only when Moscow began
its shooting war in Korea that its
plans for American economic at
trition really came to light.
The Korean aggression aroused
the administration from its deep
slumber. The defense budget had
to be drastically revised. Neces
sary funds were appropriated for
the immediate emergency in
Korea, which called for the mobil
ization of several National Guard
divisions immediately. The mili
tary effectives of the Army, Navy
and Air Force were raised to near
ly 2 million men.
The current budget of $34 bil
lion now is considered insufficient.
Soon after the return of the 81st
Congress on November 27 the ad
ministration proposes to present a
supplemental budget of $35 billion,
devoted exclusively to military ex
penditure at home and abroad.
The administration has come to
realize that prosperity in Europe,
to which we have devoted more
than $30 billion, does not raise an
adequate rampart against Russian
plans for world domination. It
has come to realize that guns, not
butter, are the answer to Russia's
threat.
Meanwhile, however, the foun
dations of our economic structure
are beginning to feel the effects
of the lavishness which our Gov
ernment has practiced since the
beginning of World War II. The
administration realizes that un
less some miracle happens and
the Kremlin and the Politburo
disappear, many more billions
must be expended for arms, am
munition and the mobilization of
the armed forces.
Today, despite economic recov
ery in Western Europe, the bulk
of the military equipment for the
Atlantic pact must be provided by
the United States. In addition,
since the continental members of
the pact are not eager to mobilize
their own manpower, we are called
to add at least 10 more American
divisions for tlie defense of West
ern Germany.
Tension Pays Off
All our pleas to France to agree
to our plans to organize an efficient
German army so far have been
in vain. France expects the ut
most assistance from us in Europe
and in Indo-China. But the pol
iticians at the head of the govern
ment are unwilling to help us by
overlooking old hatreds, prejudices
and fears.
France does not seem to realize
that our resources are not inex
haustible. We are saddled with an
expenditure of $69 billion for this
fiscal year. This is at a time when
the national debt totals $260 bil
lion and nobody can foresee how
much more we shall have to spend
on our own and our Allies’ arma
ment in the next four years.
All this is good news to the
Kremlin, however. Its plan for
a war of attrition against America
appears to be succeeding. The
tension which the Politburo has
created in the last four years to
undermine our economic system
is paying dividends. If this ten
sion continues—and there is no
indication that Russia will mod
erate it—the American budget will
bqpome astronomical.
i A
I Europe's Tiny Countries Have Troubles—But No Wars \
— — ■ —' ♦ . _
Here's How They Fare
While Rest of World
Worries Over A-Bonjb
Newspapers today are filled
with the trials and tribulations
of the great nations of the
world.
But what of the little fellows,
the real little ones, that, is?
How are they faring in these
days of hot and cold wars?
There are four tiny countries in
Europe—Andorra, San Marino,
Leichtenstein and Monaco. The
^Associated Press asked its Eu
ropean correspondents to find
cut what is going on in them.
The four have a total land
area of only 348 square miles,
less than New York City’s 365
square miles and far less than
the 452 square miles of Los
Angeles.
Their total population is 54,
000, barely more than the nhm
ber of persons who live in New
York City’s largest housing de
velopment.
Following are front-line re
ports:
MONTE CARLO UP).—This
tiny, sun-drenched flower-be
decked principality on the
shores of the blue Mediter
ranean is on its uppers.
The war in Korea has kept
away the rich Americans, and
postwar hard times in Europe
have thinned the stream of
wealthy European gamblers to
a mere trickle.
The days of dramatic suicides
by beautiful, red-haired Hun
garian girls and devil-may
care Englishmen attempting to
“break the bank at Monte
Carlo” are gone.
A simple statistic:
Back in the careless ’30s, the
Monaco government took in
about 120,000.000 francs a year
from the gaming table, its
major source of revenue. These
days tjie figure is down to
20.000,000 francs.
But Monaco still is an ideal
place for getting away from it
all—if you can afford it—for
these reasons:
1. Wonderful warm climate.
2. The principality calls itself
one of the cleanest areas on
earth, due to a determined sys
tem of washing the streets three
or four times a day.
3. No industry to speak of.
There's a beer plant, and five
dockers work in the port.
4. No Communist Party.
5. No overcrow'ding for the
total population of 25,000.
6. A constant series of exclu
sive showings of films, periodic
$1,500 fireworks displays, glit
tering balls, symphony concerts,
showings by the famed Monte
Carlo ballet.
7. No labor strife. Except for
a 10-day strike of Casino em
ployes last April, there never
has been a strike that lasted
more than 24 hours.
Monaco officials deplore the
absence of the 200 English who
used to come for a three or four
months’ stay before the war.
and religiously dress for dinner
each night.
They also deplore the many
Americans who have stayed
away, despite the effort to at
tract them by introducing the
game of craps in the Casino.
Commissioner general of tour
ism, Gabriel Ollivier, has gone
all-out to make the wealthy
feel at home. All visitors of note
find their hotel rooms crowded
with free flowers, and have a
secretary at their disposal.
The swank Hotel De Paris
has rooms from 1,600 to 3,500
francs <$4.50 to $10) and 140,
000 bottles of wine, champagne
and brandy in its cellars. A
Pigg. ' '<£N31AN& U. & S.R. i
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client who comes back 10 years '
later will find his favorite dishes
served him without even having
to ask. due to a special system
of card indexing kept by the
hotel.
Monaco, ruled by young
Prince Ranier, isn’t really very
independent from France, and
her position in international af
fairs is the same. Actually, only
3,900 of the 25,000 inhabitants
are Monaco citizens. Of these
1,000 are men, and all would
do their duty for the West.
SAN MARINO UP). — The
1,650-year-old mountain repub
lic of Sarj Marino is feuding 1
with Italy, by which it is com
pletely surrounded.
This tiny state, situated on a
mountain slope 10 miles from
the Adriatic Sea, has a Com
munist government which does
not get along too well with
Italy’s Christian Democrat au
thorities. Its officials complain
that Italy not only is five years
in arrears in payment of the
amounts due under a customs
agreement, but also is sabotag
ing its tourist traffic.
The San Marinesi are also
somewhat displeased with the
British who bombed them dur
ing the last war on suspicion
that German troops were lurk
ing in their citadel-like moun
tain. y
The republic boasts it has no
public debt but its leaders admit
times have been hard these last
years. To bolster the public
treasury, the government re
cently opened a fancy gambling
casino.
San Marino's citizens are
proud of their socialized health
program which entitles all to
free medical service, including
hospitalization and, if necessary,
accommodation in the republic's
insane asylum. Funds come
from the nationalized movie
theaters, which also provide
enough extra revenue to support
an old-age pension plan.
Most of the 12,000 inhabitants
are agricultural workers and
the state's principal export—
aside from stamps, which are
popular with collectors—is Its
famed Moscato wine. About
1,500 are employed in industry,
which includes tanneries, pot
teries and soap, cement and
macaroni factories. Bread for '
the entire population is pro
duced by a single state-owned
bakery. Another of San Marino's
products is divorces, which are
unobtainable in Italy.
A council of 60 governs the
republic, with the executive au
thority being exercised by two
"captains regent” chosen from
among the councilors and
changed every six months.
VADUZ, Liechtenstein (JP).—
Liechtenstein is a tiny, 60
square-mile state sandwiched
between Switzerland and Aus
tria in the upper Rhine Valley.
The present ruler, Prince
Franz-Josef II, married beauti
ful Vienna-born Countess
Georgine Wilzcek in 1943. The
couple has three children, all
boys, the eldest of whom is 5
year-old Prince Johann Adam
Pius, heir to the principality.
Franz-Joseph II became rul
ing Prince of Liechtenstein in
1938 His role in the govern
ment is limited by a democratic
constitution dating from 1921.
The 15-member Parliament is
elected every four years and
nominates five of its members
as the country’s “government.”
Deputy Premier Ferdinand
Nigg says proudly: "There is not
a single Communist in Liech
tenstein.” In fact, only two
political parties exist in the
country, and both are conserva
tive. Political differences are
limited to strictly domestic
matters.
Liechtenstein has been in a
customs and monetary union
with Switzerland since 1924 and
is now virtually incorporated in
the Swiss economy. Outstand
ing among the local industries is
the production of artificial
teeth, of which millions of pairs
are exported annually. Most of
the country’s power is produced
domestically in hydroelectric
stations in the Alps along the
Austrian frontier. Taxation is
low and many foreign corpora
tions maintain European head
offices in the principality. "Reg
istration fees” paid by these
corporations and the sale of fre
quently issued new series of
postage stamps form the coun
try’s principal revenue.
Liechtenstein has no army.
Its last soldier died in 1939 at j
the age of 95 and Nigg explains:
' “Our foreign policy, like that of
Switzerland, is based on abso
lute neutrality.”
ANDORRA (#).—Five thou
sand feet high in the Pyrenees
Mountains live 5,000 people, un
touched and untroubled by the
world’s strife.
The inhabitants of this tiny
principality have no Commu
nist problem and pay no taxes.
Although the nations of their
co-princes, the President of
France and the Spanish bishop
of nearby Seo de Urgel, have
fought wars, the Andorrans go
on with their main trade and
largest source of revenue: !
Smuggling goods back and forth
between France and Spain.
Smuggling is bound to flourish
in Andorra which nestles among
mountain peaks more than
10.000 feet high.
This tiny country of 191
square miles was left over by
Cardinal Richelieu's treaty of
the Pyrenees in the early 17th j
century because neither coun
try could agree on its future.
The inhabitants insist they
have the only true democracy
in the world. Local politics are
handled by a 24-man council
which is elected every four years
by male heads of family. Any ,
inhabitant has redress for griev- |
ances to the council and may
convoke it into session at any
time by paying about $25 to
cover the expenses of the meet
ing.
Chief executive officer is the
“Syndic,” who is elected by the
council from among its mem
bers.
Main legitimate source of in
come is Radio Andorra, a
French-owmed concern which,
by agreement between the
French and Spanish, has only
music programs and advertising.
Through a Spanish-owned com
pany, Andorra supplies electric
ity to Barcelona.
World War II had little or no
affect on Andorra’s cattle-rais
ing peasant economy.
The gay Catalan inhabitants
read of the world's turmoil in
the few French and Spanish
newspapers reaching them.
Their 800-year-old country
has always been at peace.
Life goes on pretty much as it
always has.
_(Dletrlbuted by the Assoclited Preen.)
THE SUNDAY STAR, Washington, D. C. C—5
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 22, 19S0
F i nns I rked by Government
But Change Might Irk Reds
Have Been Able So Far to Refuse Soviet
Any Power Over Their Internal Affairs
By Richard Lowenthal
HELSINKI.—Finland today is in danger from within. One week'!
visit has confirmed the picture of a country that has amazingly re
gained complete internal freedom. Despite complete military de
pendence on Russia, Finland is now the only country in Eastern Eu
rope where the process of “people’s democratic” penetration has not
only been stopped but reversed. This was achieved, thanks to a com
bination of fighting faith and the? ~~
high degree of national unity!
against the Communist danger.
But today this unity is largely
gone and the country is in a state
of unrest.
The chief responsibiltiy for this
change lies with the head of the
present government. Urho Kek
konen—a clever lawyer from the
Agrarian Party, who thinks he
can afford-to secure Russian good
will by concessions in internal
Finnish affairs and still determine
the limit of such concessions.
Other people have thought that
before, to their cost.
Finnish military dependence on
Russia is, of course, complete.
Under the peace treaty, the Rus
sians are Hike the British) en
titled to know everything that
is done in the Finnish Army and
to control its size and armaments.
They have a base within gun
range of the capital; trains from
Helsinki to Turku, the only Fin
nish harbor that stays ice-free
all through the year, have to
pass through that base and can
do so only by Russian leave, with
steel shutters blocking out the
train windows, and a toll of $50
paid each time.
No Iron Curtain
Reparations to Russia, not
crushing but considerable, em
ploy the best part of the metal
industry and the Soviet Repara
tion Mission has Inspection rights
in the factories concerned. All
this means that Finland could
never dream of joining any mili
tary group directed against Rus
sia, and the Russians are in a
position to occupy the country at
any moment at will.
But whether and when the Rus
sians do so is more likely to
depend upon the international
situation than on anything the
Finns do at home. That is why
the Finns have been able so far
to refuse them any power over
their internal affairs. There is
no Communist influence whatever
in the Finnish police. Its mobile
police units, specially created to
give the Communists concealed
power under the first postwar
government, were first disarmed
and then purged by the Socialist
government in 1948, and the
political police has been abolished.
‘Finland's foreign news comes
overwhelmingly from Western
sources. There is no censorship
of any kind; the only news agency
is government-controlled but it
does not suppress news. Its maxi
mum intervention is to advise edi
tors to consider carefully whether
publication of items which might
offend Russia is advisable in the
Finnish interest. Most editors
voluntarily tone down such items;
the Socialist Democrats generally
publish them and nothing hap
pens to them. Western news
papers are on sale; in the shops
there is a wealth of American
picture magazines, American flags
gayly flutter from hotel en
trances, sometimes side by side
with Soviet flags. There is no
iron curtain of any kind against
either the East or West.
Yet there is not a solid unshak
able front for the defense of this
Merchant Marine Trims Ship Under 'Shirt Sleeves' Admiral
By Francis P. Douglas
A ‘‘shirt sleeves admiral” has
taken the top job in the Federal
Maritime Administration with the
result that the Nation’s merchant
marine affairs, at one time seem
ingly operating with a compass
that had gone haywire, appear
now' to be getting back on course.
Vice Admiral Edward L. Coch
rane, U. S. N., retired, has been
chairman of the Maritime Board
and maritime administrator- for a
little more than a month.
It did not take the administra
tion’s staff long to learn that a
new hand was at the helm. Nor
did it take the admiral long to
learn who his staff members were.
His method was to walk into an
office, introduce himself and ex
plain that he wanted to know
with whom he was working.
Expert on Design
Nowadays, in the vernacular of
the Navy, the agency is described
as a tight ship but a happy one.
Admiral Cochrane is widely
known throughout the Navy—and
among warship builders of other
countries—for his long service with
the Bureau of Ships. From 1935
through World War II h* was
concerned with the design of prac
tically every ship the Navy built
during its period of greatest con
struction.
The admiral retired November
1, 1947—but not to play golf or
raise dahlias. He went to the
Massachusetts Institute of Tech
nology as head of the department
of naval architecture and marine
engineering.
The agency he now' heads was
formerly the Maritime Commis
: sion. After the war it was plagued
i by troubles that aroused exas
peration in Congress and produced
caustic reports by the General Ac
counting Office. Perhaps it was
inevitable the agency then had
five skippers since there were five
members on the commission.
The first step to meet the situ
ation was taken when President
Truman prevailed on Maj. Gen.
Philip B. Fleming to move from
the Federal Works Agency to the
chairmanship of the commission.
Then, this year, came the presi
dential reorganization plan which
divided the functions of the board
and established a straight line of
command.
The commission became the
Maritime Board, with duties to
1 administer the regulatory acts and
r
determine the construction and
operating subsidies paid ship op
erators. Construction and oper
ating functions are now the re
sponsibilities of the martime ad
ministrator.
Gen. Fleming was made Under
secretary of Commerce for Trans
portation and Admiral Cochrane
was called from MIT to take the
dual post of chairman of the
board and administrator. It took
war in Korea to get him to leave
his duties at the institute where
the Navy sends promising con
struction officers for training.
He has described his situation
at MIT as "gratifying and happy.”
There he was found frequently—
in his shirt sleeves—in the shop
working with students on models
of ships whose design they were
concerned with. What impelled
him to take his present job he
described this way in a recent
speech:
“As the Korean situation de
veloped the very strong conviction
began to grow upon me that this
is by no means a simple job nor
one which will be closed finally
with the success of the armed
forces in Korea.
"I have long had the feeling that
our generation cannot give too
satisfactory an account of its
stewardship in the world to the
generations which will succeed us.
As this conviction grew so did the
strength of that voice within me.
the voice of conscience, until I
was compelled to agree to come
back to Washington to do what
is within my power to further
the state of readiness of the West
ern nations against the eventu
alities which unfortunately seem
so certain to develop.”
Flexible Type
The transition from warship
construction to merchant ships is
not so great as it may seem. To
day merchant ships are built with
their possible use in war kept in
mind. Also, there is this remark
by Rear Admiral Charles D. Whee
lock about Admiral Cochrane:
“He is a young-minded man
who can change and reorient his
position.”
Admiral Wheelock, now deputy
and assistant chief of the Bureau
of Ships, worked under Admiral
Cochrane when he was chief.
An example of Admiral Coch
rane's ability to reorient to de
mands came during World War II
M.
Admiral Cochrane
—Sketch by Newman Sudduth.
when need developed for two types
of vessels the Navy had not been
building.
One was large landing craft—
the LST (landing ship, tanks) and
the LCI (landing craft, infantry).
The LST became well known as
the workhorse of amphibious op
erations.
The other type was the destroy
er escort. In September, 1940, Ad
miral (then Capt.) Cochrane
went to England and studied bat
tle damage to British ships and
surveyed the anti-submarine war
fare. He came back with an under
standing of the necessity for small
anti-submarine vessels. The DE
was the result.
Almost all of Admiral Cochrane’s
career has been devoted to ship
construction. After graduating
from the Naval Academy in 1914,
second in his class, he joined the
U. S. S. Rhode Island and served
aboard her during the occupation
of Veracruz.
Soon, however, he was assigned
to the Philadelphia Navy Yard
and construction. He is, incident
ally, rated as one of the compara
tively few real authorities on sub
marine design. He served in the
submarine design division of the
old Bureau of Construction and
Repair in the 1920’s, and later at
the Portsmouth (N. H.) Navy Yard
in connection with submarme con
struction.
The Bureau of Construction
and Repair and the Bureau of
A
Engineering were consolidated in
1940 into the Bureau of Ships.
In 1935 Admiral Cochrane was
ordered to Washington for con
struction work. The long lull in
shipbuilding was coming to an
end. The carriers Yorktown and
Enterprise were then building and
the keel of the Wasp was laid
down the next year. The Navy
was working on the plans for the
North Carolina and the Washing
ton, the first battleships since the
three Maryland-class vessels of
1916. The greatest naval con
struction of the world’s history
was developing and Admiral Coch
rane was destined to be in the
middle of it.
Sees Another Crisis
In the design division he had a
hand in most of the vessels used
during World War II. Practical
ly all of the major vessels of
that war, destroyers and larger,
were begun in peacetime. An ex
ception was that a few of the
destroyers started in February,
1942, took part in the Okinawa
operations.
In November, 1942, Admiral
Cochrane was appointed chief of
the Bureau of Ships. Construc
tion and repair work already had
become a crushing load and there
was no letup. Good design and
good workmanship in a ship meant
reliability and ease of mainte
nance. These factors were ap
preciated by Admiral Cochrane
who, early in his career, had
adopted the habit of leaving off
his coat with its gold stripes and
going into the shops in his shirt
sleeves to see how the jobs were
going.
Now, in the fall of 1950, Ad- j
miral Cochrane again is involved
in seeing how the job of building
and operating ships is going. And
he is deeply concerned over the
possibility of a letdown in the
feeling of urgency after the Ko
rean war is concluded. He said
he is convinced there will be an
other crisis.
“And the next may be less
convenient as to location and
more embarrassing as to time,”
be added gravely.
One of his first steps on taking
his new job was to call for work
ing plans for a 20-knot cargo
ship, useful in peace and in
valuable in war.
The Nation has a lot of cargo
1
ships but most of those still in
reserve are the plodding, 10-knot
Liberty ships. There are more
than 1,500 of them in the reserve
fleet.
“While they served a very use
ful purpose in World War II they
are not suitable for carrying vital
cargoes in forward areas,” Ad
miral Cochrane said.
Then there are the 15-knot
Victory ships. Of these, 136 have
been withdrawn from lay-up and
passed in active service. Twenty
five more are being made ready
for service and only about 75 are
left.
Of the projected new 20-knot
ship to carry 12,000 tons of cargo
Admiral Cochrane said:
“I am convinced that the con
struction of some such vessel is
sound, not only from the military
point of view of mobility and im
proved security but that it is fully
justified on the simple basis of
conservation of national material
resources.”
He pointed out that faster ships
can reduce the volume of critical
materials that must be at sea to
assure the supplies at the beach
head when needed. This is in
addition to reducing the chances
of ships and cargoes being sunk
and to greater flexibility in attack.
Last summer Admiral Cochrane
was engaged with a group of sci
entists in a study, as he put it, "of
the possible effects of scientific
developments since 1945 on the
wartime security of sea trans
port.” The year 1945 saw the ex
plosion of the first atomic bomb.
The studies were convincing
that ships have to have more
speed.
Admiral Cochrane might be said
to have been born into the Navy
when he was born 58 years ago at
Mare Island, a California naval
station. His father was Brig. Gen.
Henry Clay Cochrane of the Ma
rine Corps: his maternal grand
father was a naval officer.
Admiral and Mrs. Cochrane
have two Navy sons, Lt. Comdr.
Richard L. Cochrane, executive
officer of a destroyer, and Lt. Ed
ward L. Cochrane, jr., now serving
on a cruiser in the Formosa
straits.
The admiral’s work has brought I
him membership in scientific so-|
:ieties and numerous honors, in- j
sluding the Distinguished Service,
Medal. I
freedom. That is due to two fac
tors. First, the Finnish labor
movement is split right down the
middle; second, an important
group of “bourgeois” political
leaders now favor certain conces
sions to Russia in internal affairs,
and that group includes the
present Prime Minister.
Labor Movement Gains
Finnish communism is a gen
uine native force, not a sect of
Russian puppets as are the Com
munists elsewhere in Scandinavia.
It does not dominate organized
labor as the Communists do in
France and Italy, but it has been
a formidable rival of the Socialists
in the struggle for trade union
control throughout the last 30
years. The roots of this struggle
go back to the 1918 civil war when
an undivided Finnish labor move
ment fought for power with Bol
shevist support and was defeated
by the “whites” with German sup
port, and to the repression that
followed.
The labor movement then split
and the Socialists turned to demo
cratic legality. The Communists,
though always on the verge of
suppression, retained control of
the unions until 1930, and until
1939 the employers refused to ne
gotiate. collective agreement. Not
until then, in the resistance to
Russia’s unprovoked attack on
Finland, was national unity
largely restored; not until then
were Finland's home guards open
for the first time to Social Demo
crats.
The effect of this history is that
since the last war the labor move
ment has become far more power
ful than ever before. The result
is that Communist propaganda
can ascribe this increased influ
ence to the Russian victory and
can put forward absurd economic
claims without losing its follow
ing. To this day, the Communists
control the unions of the food and
textile workers inside the trade
union federation; the transport
and forest workers’ unions have
remained outside the federation
since their expulsion for partici
pating in last year’s Communist
inspired general strike. The metal
and wood workers, who were on
strike, were won over by the So
cialists only recently. One pow
erful motive of the present strike
is the Socialist leaders’ desire not
! to lose control again.
What it all amounts to is that
the Communists are in a position
constantly to endanger Finland's
economic stability. Last year the
general strike attempt would have
paralyzed all Finnish harbors but
for the readiness of Socialist
workers to break the strike in
order to save their government
(then headed by Karl Fagerholm,
a Social Democrat). The Kek
konen government, which has
allowed prices to riee and has
antagonized the Socialists to
please Russia, has no such re
serve of loyal support to call on
now.
Here is the second cause of
disunity. After Juho Paasikivi,
the man who three times negoti
ated peace between Finland and
Russia, was re-elected President
last March, he called on Kek
konen, leader of the Agrarian
Party, to form a broad coalition
government, including the Com
munists. The move seemed plaus
ible. The Russians showed strong
dislike of the Socialist minority
government of Karl Fagerholm
and were holding up the signature
of a long-negotiated trade agree
ment. The Socialists, however,
took the line that on no account
must the Communists be admit
ted back to government positions,
Russian displeasure, they argued,
could not do more to Finland
than a voluntary decision to hand
the keys of the country to the
enemy within the gates.
Country Drifts
After the Communists joined
the government, the Socialists
would not. Faced with this re
fusal. Kekkonen decided, appar
ently with the backing of the
President, to form a government
without either of the working
class groups. This finally led to
the Conservatives staying out as
well, and leaving Kekkonen’s
Agrarians alone with the support
of some minor splinter groups.
Since then the country has been
drifting. Kekkonen and all his
government have signed the so
called “Stockholm peace appeal,”
sponsored by Communist-domi
nated “Partisans of Peace,” except
for the Minister of War, Mr. Tiitu.
Periodical suggestions that it is
time to include the Socialists in
the government are rejected by
Kekkonen on the grounds that
“Russia would not like that.”
Meanwhile, economic stability
is sacrificed, although the country
is prosperous and the standard of
living slightly above that of pre
war.
Yet this year, with exports
booming and foreign payments
balanced, the vicious spiral of in
flation has been restarted.
The reason is simply because
the Agrarians (representing farm
ers) and trade unions here each
put forward arbitrary economic
demands and the government has
neither the will nor the power
to get them together.
Yet it is also clear that the
fundamental instability of the
present situation can only be
ended by a government recon
struction, which seems unlikely
without new elections. Finland's
choice appears to be either to
drift on under Kekkonen while
Communist influence gets strong
er, or to change the government
now at the risk of displeasing her
powerful neighbor.
(Copyright. London Observer Foreig*
Newt Service.)
* , ^

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