America at war! (1941–) – Part 3

Edson: Army didn’t save $1 billion, but did stop waste of it

By Peter Edson

Ferguson: War brides

By Mrs. Walter Ferguson

Background of news –
Record of the 78th Congress

By Richard M. Boeckel, editorial research reports

The 1943 session of the 78th Congress, which adjourns today, has been marked by close cooperation on foreign policy and sharp differences between the executive and legislative branches of the government on every domestic policy of leading importance.

The principle of U.S. participation in a post-war world organization to prevent aggression and preserve the peace was endorsed by the Senate in the Connally Resolution and by the House in the Fulbright Resolution – both adopted by overwhelming votes. The Lend-Lease Act was extended for one year and the Trade Agreements Act for two years by the largest majorities ever given for these measures. Extraterritorial rights in China were relinquished and the long-standing policy of Chinese exclusion was abandoned in gestures of friendship to China.

Action of Congress on domestic policies recommended by the administration has contrasted sharply with its unbroken support of the President’s foreign policies. The President’s veto of the Connally-Smith Anti-Strike Bill in June was overridden immediately after it was received at the Capitol. The House sustained the veto in July of a bill to outlaw government food subsidies, but has since passed a new anti-subsidy bill which is now pending in the Senate.

Compromise on Ruml Plan

The $25,000 salary limitation, imposed by executive order, was rescinded by a bill which the President allowed to become law without his signature. The power of the President to alter the gold content of the dollar was not renewed by Congress.

The administration succeeded in preventing adoption of the Ruml Plan to abate 1942 income tax liabilities in full, but was forced to accept a compromise on the “forgiveness” issue in the Current Tax Payment Act. In response to the administration’s request for $10.5 billion of additional revenue, the House passed a tax bill which will yield only a little more than $2 billion.

Appropriations for what Congress considered “non-essential” activities were subjected to sharp reductions. Requests for military and naval appropriations were allowed in full, for the most part, but some impatience was displayed with estimates which were believed to be in excess of current needs.

The National Youth Administration, the National Resources Planning Board and several other New Deal agencies were terminated by a denial of further appropriations. Federal crop insurance was dropped and cuts were made in appropriations for the Office of Price Administration and the Office of War Information because of Congressional dissatisfaction with certain of their policies.

Service allotments increased

War Manpower Commissioner McNutt was deprived of authority over the Selective Service System, and his “work-or-fight” orders were nullified, but the administration was able to prevent other fundamental changes in draft policies. A bill for blanket deferment of farm laborers from the draft was held up in the House after passage by the Senate.

Sharp increases in allowances for dependents of servicemen were voted by both houses and an effort is now being made to obtain enactment before Christmas of a bill for payment of generous mustering-out bonuses to discharged servicepeople. An administration soldier-voting bill which would have set up a federal war ballot commission was rejected by the Senate in favor of a substitute which would do no more than “recommend” new legislation by the states, to facilitate soldier voting.

The Senate shelved a federal-aid-to-education bill long sought by the administration; it passed a bill for government war bond advertising in newspapers, which was opposed by the administration and was later shelved in the House. Action on legislation to expand the Social Security System and a large number of measures to smooth the transition from war to peace was postponed to 1944.

Millett: Are American women patriotic?

Ruth Millett poses an embarrassing question and finds little reassurance in array of facts
By Ruth Millett

Miss Powell to concentrate on acting in new picture – other Hollywood items

By Erskine Johnson

Ernie Pyle V Norman

Roving Reporter

By Ernie Pyle

At the frontlines in Italy – (by wireless)
Every morning a medical-aid man makes the rounds on all the gun pits in our battery. He carries a little satchel of bandages and has some instruments hooked to his belt. When he arrived at our pit one day, he said:

Any sick, lame or lazy in this crew today?

Nobody was sick but they all admitted to being lazy.

The only business the medic could drum up was to dole out some cotton for their ears and to paint the cracked fingers of one boy. He carefully spread the vivid purple ointment around the cracked cuticle, and then with a big grin proceeded to pain the entire nail on all 10 fingers, as though he were a manicurist.

Despite the dampness the boys’ fingers are cracking open from the dirt and from washing always in cold water. One of the crew said his fingers had hurt so the night before that he couldn’t sleep.

The medic, incidentally, eats razor blades. He is a farmer from Statesville, North Carolina, named Pvt. Clarence C. Upright. He says for $25 he’ll eat a double-edged razor blade, wash it down with a glass of water, and let you examine his mouth afterwards.

He says he used to do it for less, but since the Italians have raised the price on everything, he decided he would also. He tried to get me to buy a performance, but I told him I’d wait till I got home again and see it in a carnival for two bits.

War, friend, is silly

One night about eight of our crew were lying or kneeling around a blanket in a big tent playing poker by the light of two candles. Our battery wasn’t firing, but the valley and the mountains all around us were full of the dreadful noise of cannon.

There was a lull in the talk among the players, and then out of the clear sky, one of the boys, almost as though taking in his sleep, said:

World war, my friends, is a silly business. War is the craziest thing I ever heard of.

And another one said also, mainly to himself:

I wish there wasn’t so blankety blank war no more at all.

Then complete silence, as though nobody had heard. And when words were spoken it was something about the game and no one talked about war. Weird little snatches like that stand out in your mind for a long time.

We were sitting in the gun pit one dark morning when word came over the field telephone that a delegation of Russian officers might be around that day on an inspection trip. Whereupon one of the cannoneers said:

Boys, if they show up in a fighting mood I’m taking out of here. They’re fighters.

And another one said:

If Uncle Sam ever told me to fight the Russians, I’d just put down my gun and go home. I never could fight people who have done what they have.

Those poor war workers

The powder charges for our guns come in white sacks about the size of two-pound sugar sacks. Three of them tied together make one charge, and that is the way they arrive in their cases. The type and number of each charge are printed on the bag.

One day the sergeant in calling out his instructions asked for a charge of a certain size. When the powderman brought it, it was only half as big as it should be.

The whole crew gathered around and studied it. They read the printing, and there it was in black and white just as it should be, and yet it was obviously a short charge. So, the boys just threw it aside and got another, and that started a long run of conversation and wisecracks along this line:

They’d say:

Some defense worker who had to work on Sunday made that one. He was just too tired to fill it up, the poor fellow.

If we’d shot that little one the shell would have landed on the battery just ahead.

Guess somebody had worked eight hours already that day and made 20 or 30 dollars for it and had to work overtime at time-and-a-half and was just worn out.

Or somebody who had to drive all of three or four miles after work to a cocktail bar and he was in too big a hurry to finish this one. It sure is tough on the poor defense workers.

The boys were more taken with their own humor than by any bitterness. It’s as “Peewee” Graham says:

You can’t stand around all day with your trap hanging open, so you got to talk about something. And practically anything new for a subject is mighty welcome.

Clapper: Oil

By Raymond Clapper

Maj. de Seversky: Many Americans fail to distinguish between air transport and airpower

By Maj. Alexander P. de Seversky

Motortrucks for civilians seen in 1944

Auto industry approaches $10-billion rate in war output
By Julian Chase, Automotive and Aviation Industries editor

Shopping rush boosts store sales 10-25%

Books set record as gifts; demand for jewelry, fur coats soars
By the United Press

The home front –
State offers free vocational training to disabled veterans denied U.S. aid

As much as 4 years’ schooling provided under plan

Völkischer Beobachter (December 22, 1943)

Unser Bild zeigt den amerikanischen Flieger Kenneth D. Williams aus Charlotte (North Carolina) 1504 Scott Avenue, geb. am 16. Mai 1922. Williams wurde, wie schon gemeldet, bei Eggese (Groß-Mackenstedt) abgeschossen. Er gehört zu den feindlichen Terrorfliegern, die ihre Bomben auf Frauen und Kinder und auf die Wohnviertel deutscher Städte werfen. Die Staffel – der seine Maschine, eine Boeing-Fortress II, angehörte – trägt offiziell die Bezeichnung „Murder Incorporation,“ zu Deutsch „Mordverein.“ Diese Bezeichnung trägt weiter jedes einzelne Besatzungsmitglied in großer Schrift auf der Rückseite der Fliegerkombination über dem amerikanischen Hoheitszeichen. Der Gefangene Williams gab im übrigen bei seiner Vernehmung an, daß andere Staffeln und Besatzungen auf ähnliche Bezeichnungen, die aus der Gangstersprache entnommen sind, getauft wurden. Die Physiognomie des amerikanischen Fliegers Williams läßt darauf schließen, daß nicht nur die Namen, sondern auch die Besatzungen der Chicagoer Unterwelt entstammen.

Der Heldenkampf der Japaner auf Makin und Tarawa –
Nur die Toten schieden aus

U.S. State Department (December 22, 1943)

841d.01/228: Telegram

The Ambassador in the United Kingdom to the Secretary of State

London, December 22, 1943 — 4 p.m.

Personal and secret to the Secretary.

Your 8004, December 18, Department’s 7184, November 13, was held by the Embassy until my return and because of the absence of both Eden and the Prime Minister. I explained the British position on this issue to the President in Cairo, having taken the matter up at great length with the Prime Minister on my journey out there with him. I understood the President would talk with the Prime Minister on this subject but do not know the results of their discussion.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .



The Diplomatic Agent in Lebanon to the Secretary of State

Beirut, December 22, 1943

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

I should, I believe, add the following report regarding my brief conversation in Cairo with the President:

Summoned by telephone message from Mr. Kirk, I arrived in Cairo the evening of December 2 and was received by the President the following afternoon. In reply to questions, I gave a brief review of the Lebanese crisis; then presented President Khouri’s letter.

I explained that I had brought the letter personally in the thought that, should it be thought appropriate that personal reply be made from Cairo, an expression of satisfaction at the outcome of the crisis might be added to the usual formal acknowledgment and good wishes.

The President appeared to welcome this suggestion and asked that a reply in the suggested sense be drafted for his signature. He asked that it include mention of the fact that, had time and duties permitted, he would have desired personally to visit Lebanon. I was, too, to convey to President Khouri, but not to include in the letter, Mr. Roosevelt’s keen personal interest in reforestation, a subject which possesses particular historical as well as current interest to Lebanon.

The latter message has been delivered. It was received with evidently sincere interest and appreciation.

The aspect of the Lebanese crisis in which President Roosevelt seemed to take special interest was as to whether General de Gaulle was personally responsible for the dictatorial action taken by Monsieur Helleu in suspending the Lebanese Constitution, proroguing Parliament and imprisoning President and ministers.

I could only answer that rumour and report in Beirut, which I tended to credit, had it that Helleu had acted under de Gaulle’s general instructions and that de Gaulle had later approved Helleu’s action in the matter. General Catroux, I added, had been categorical in insisting that, in his opinion, Helleu had misinterpreted and exceeded them.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .


740.00119 EW 1939/2036

The British Embassy to the Department of State

Washington, December 22, 1943

Aide Mémoire

The Tehran Conference considered the question of a joint declaration to the German people on the basis of unconditional surrender. Marshal Stalin informed President Roosevelt on November 29 that he thought this would be bad tactics vis-à-vis of Germany and suggested instead that the Allied Governments concerned should work out terms together and make them generally known to the German people.

Mr. Eden suggests that this matter should be dealt with as soon as possible by the European Advisory Commission. He hopes that, if the United States Government agree, they will send appropriate instructions in this sense to their representative on the Commission.

The Pittsburgh Press (December 22, 1943)

Berlin maps revenge for Soviet trial

German Army courts will deal with American, British captives
By Robert Dowson, United Press staff writer

Yanks raid Germany again

8th Air Force fighters support bombers in daylight smash
By Walter Cronkite, United Press staff writer

Two savage battles rage on Italian front

Fierce battles in Italy; Yanks gains two miles
By C. R. Cunningham, United Press staff writer

Strike peril grows –
Rail unions widen their wage demand

8¢ an hour increase, overtime separate now asked

Rail problem poses big job for Roosevelt

President shows he will tackle wage case in person
By Fred W. Perkins, Pittsburgh Press staff writer

Best Christmas gift ever –
Wife receives cable ‘dead’ flier is safe

Family here rejoices over ‘miracle’ that saved airman