America at war! (1941–) – Part 3

Ship to honor Sheppard

‘Enlightened’ Congress returns to go to work

Legislators again face controversial subsidy, tax, soldier-vote and bonus issues

Watching gang film –
Two kidnappers seized in movie

Pair admits abducting woman, 2 men


Willkie leadership best, Vermont Governor says

His arms are free and he ‘packs wallop in both fists,’ Wills says, urging fair play

Montpelier, Vermont (UP) – (Jan. 8)
Governor William H. Wills of Vermont called on the Republican Party tonight to nominate Wendell Willkie for President because:

He can give leadership better than President Roosevelt, better than any other prominent Republican challenger.

In a nationwide radio address from his home, the Republican governor of a state that has never sent a Democrat to Congress said “only Willkie packs a wallop in both fists.”

Governor Wills asserted:

Roosevelt’s right arm is in a sling labeled “Domestic Shortcoming.” In a sling, too, is the left arm of every Republican challenger except Willkie, and this sling is labeled “No Foreign Policy.”

Both Willkie arms free

No slings hamper Willkie. Both arms are free. Willkie’s left glove is stamped “Sound Foreign Policy,” his right glove is marked “Sound Domestic Policy.”

Governor Wills said he felt that too many “professional politicians” believed that Republican victories last November indicated the GOP could win with anyone.

He said:

The last ballot in Kentucky was hardly counted… when the four-year locusts of Republican politics blackened the horizon to blight the victory crops. This cloud had some leaders and some spokesmen. I do not have to tell you who they were: Alf Landon, John Hamilton, Joseph Pew, Senator Nye and the Rev. Gerald L. K. Smith; and, of course the Metropolitan McCormack-Patterson newspaper axis. They were loud. They were angry. They indulged in much loose talk.

Nothing constructive

But Governor Wills said, he could not believe these were the “voice of the resurgent Republican of 1944.” He said the resurgent Republican is “forward looking… seeks to build and strengthen… wants ours to be a better country, this a better world.”

Governor Wills said:

These political locusts… had nothing constructive to say. They agree on no candidate. They simply agreed in their hatred of the outstanding Republican of our times – Wendell Willkie.

Governor Wills said he did not mean to infer that Mr. Willkie is the only Republican qualified to be President.

Plea is for fair play

He said:

Nevertheless, I think Wendell Willkie is the only Republican certain to beat the strongest Democratic candidate.

My plea… is for fair play in our convention. If Willkie is given an honest chance to win the Republican nomination and loses it our party will still be one of which we can be proud, even though we go down to defeat at the polls with a lesser man as candidate.

If, however, he becomes the victim of smart political manipulation in a Stop-Willkie drive, with a handful of bosses dominating the Republican National Convention in 1944 as they did in 1920, I fear for our survival. Such a course, I fear, means suicide for the Republican Party.


Willkie: People forced Big 4 sessions

Now they must demand economic, political pacts

New York (UP) – (Jan. 8)
Wendell L. Willkie said today the Moscow, Cairo, Tehran conferences had “established effective military coordination and cooperation of the four great Allies” but had not “produced sufficient political and economic and moral understandings.”

The 1940 Republican presidential nominee told the sixth Victory Rally of the Metropolitan Opera season that:

The force of the peoples’ opinion was responsible for the very fact that the conferences took place and for such progress as has been made.

Pravda criticism ignored

He said:

The people must now assert their opinion clearly to bring about those political, economic and moral understandings which alone can make real the great principles for which we fight.

Mr. Willkie did not refer to the criticism of him by Pravda, Moscow-published official Communist Party publication, which called him a “meddler” because of a magazine article in which he referred to boundary lines in territories Russia recognizes only as its own.

Casualty lists will be “heartbreakingly long,” he said, “unless internal collapse comes soon in Germany.”

He focused his remarks regarding the home front on the Roosevelt administration.

Seizures are disturbing

He said:

In 1933, it was pointed out our specialist was Dr. New Deal; today, he is Dr. Win-The-War. Now this idea – even though facetiously suggested that American people are always sick and are not robust individuals is an insidious doctrine – a doctrine that would make morale hypochondriacs of us all if we accepted it.

Mr. Willkie said:

The recurrent seizures of factories and mines and the recent seizure of the railroads are disturbingly present in all our minds. Those were the drugs prescribed by the doctors when the case became too painful. But the disease remains, and it will not be cured by giving drugs to the people. For it is a disease of the doctors, not of the people. And it will only be cured by attacking its fundamental cause – maladministration.


Eyes Presidency now –
Moody: Dewey just waits for ripe moment to toss in hat

Governor says he’s not an active candidate but he’s careful to leave door open for draft campaign
By Blair Moody, North American Newspaper Alliance

Albany, New York – (Jan. 8)
Tom Dewey, the Owosso, Michigan, boy who became Governor of New York at 40 and the country’s leading political mystery man at 41, is running for President. Make no mistake about that. The only question is: When?

Ever since Governor Dewey flatly refused to “line up” delegates to the Republican National Convention next June, his real intent has been a prime subject of speculation, especially among those Republicans who are determined to nominate him anyway.

His name continues to lead all the polls. His record as a racker-buster, which built him early a reputation for clean government and effective management, endures. Above all, they think he might carry New York, even against Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Publicly, Mr. Dewey has taken no notice of all this except to declare himself out as an active candidate, while carefully leaving the door ajar not to shut out the draft. He is almost ostentatiously “busy being Governor of New York.”

Goal is White House

If the political weather should appear unpropitious at convention time, or if the party should swing toward Wendell L. Willkie or some other candidate, not by a single word or act of Mr. Dewey will it be possible to demonstrate that he had any other idea than to serve out his four-year term at Albany.

But no political reporter could spend much time with Mr. Dewey, especially not with his close associates, and carry away the slightest doubt that his ultimate goal is the White House.

He is acting on state issues, but thinking in national terms. He is laying a pattern of policy at Albany which can be used to forecast what he would do in Washington.

Watching the winds

And, basically, he is doing just what he thinks President Roosevelt is doing – watching to see how the political wind blows, meanwhile maneuvering quietly to make his path toward nomination smoother.

Dewey knows, of course, that he could not be nominated for President and refuse to accept; not and ever have another chance.

By convention time, he may be eager, though in the light of previous statements he cannot actively campaign. He certainly will want it if by then it is clear Mr. Roosevelt won’t run.

Knows his business

But Mr. Dewey shares none of the blithe hope of some wishful-thinking Republicans that resentment against the New Deal and wartime irritations have made the Presidency a pushover. And he knows that “bad timing” can be disastrous to his career.

Mr. Dewey’s estimate of Mr. Roosevelt as a vote-getter may be measured by keen interest in the current report that FDR may take himself out of the race by “getting himself elected President of the United Nations” before the Democratic convention.

This report has the President planning to get together with Prime Minister Churchill, Marshal Stalin and Generalissimo Chiang to establish the nucleus of a world organization, which would immediately choose Mr. Roosevelt, not by virtue of office but personally, as “President of the world” for a 10-year team.

Change called beneficial

One picks up the impression that Mr. Dewey thinks this would be top-notch idea, because (1) the country would retain the services of Mr. Roosevelt in the field in which he is most competent and (2) it would pave the way to the periodic change in leadership which has kept our democracy healthy.

Mr. Dewey seems to think that Mr. Roosevelt is about as interested in home-front issues now as the Governor of New York is in being a District Attorney. He has covered that field and moved on.

And one gathers the impression that, if nominated against Mr. Roosevelt, Mr. Dewey would counter the President’s foreign experience by contending that what the nation needs above all else in the next four years will be a leader who can avoid an economic crash at home.

Aided by war

Even his political enemies admit that Mr. Dewey has weathered his first year as governor of a state which has more people than Canada with an excellent record. He is first to admit that the “hurricane of war” has been a help.

He has played canny, but clean, politics. He enraged Republican wheelhorses, seeking plums after 20 hungry years, by making major appointments by merit.

But he disarmed a Legislature poised to “show that cocky little so-and-so” by calling in its leaders, reading them his first message paragraph by paragraph, asking them to “tear it apart,” and changing it where he could be convinced.

He raised a “land-army” of 111,000 volunteers last summer and harvested a 2,500,000-ton fruit crop, much of which would otherwise have rotted.

Consults farm leaders

A farm owner, whenever he makes a rural move, he calls in leaders of the big farm organizations.

He named as conservation chief a game and wildlife enthusiast who heads a statewide network of organizations which will be no political handicap.

When the war helps pile up a surplus of $140 million, the largest in state history, Mr. Dewey resisted demands of pressure groups to “tap” it, insisting on laying it away for jobs for returning soldiers.

His tax program is geared to a readjustment of exemptions, the key to a fairer system, which has long been overlooked by the federal government.

Cooperation favored

Mr. Dewey thinks America’s post-war interests require working closely with Britain and Russia, especially if Stalin gives us a hand with Japan, and China.

Of his message to the Legislature last week, one associate remarked:

At any point, cross out “New York,” write in “the federal government,” add three ciphers, and you have it.

Many politicians, including some in Albany, believe that if the President runs, Mr. Dewey would prefer 1948 to 1944.

Give Mr. Roosevelt a fourth term, they say, especially a second victory over Mr. Willkie, and the Republican Governor of New York could not miss in the inevitable swing back four years hence, while a defeat by “The Champ” this year might ruin him.

Danger in waiting

But there is another angle. If Mr. Dewey should “wait” and Mr. Willkie should win the nomination and be elected, then the GOP would become a Willkie party and Mr. Dewey’s next change would be eight years hence, if ever.

If the party really wants him, Mr. Dewey can’t wait. And at the moment there is certainly not the slightest indication he would welcome the nomination of Mr. Willkie.

Editorial: ‘Just tell them to stick together’


Editorial: Is Stalin mixing in our politics?

Folks are laughing about the way Pal Joe Stalin has turned on Wendell Willkie. It is amusing. But it will not hurt Mr. Willkie politically. One Willkie liability was that he was said to be too cozy with the Russians. Now, Marshal Stalin has disowned him.

We doubt that the fourth-termers are rejoicing over the implication that Moscow wants Mr. Roosevelt reelected. Certainly there will be no Republican candidate with a record of more friendliness for Russia, and the President can hardly be less critical of Moscow’s Polish policy than Mr. Willkie’s mild references which provoked Pravda’s bitter attack.

Indeed, Mr. Willkie’s plea, “Don’t Stir Distrust of Russia,” was so gentle in its admonitions to Moscow to go easy on territorial grabs that the reason for Marshal Stalin’s violent reaction is not entirely clear. In Washington, there are two guesses. One is the political. The other is diplomatic – the idea that Marshal Stalin, by striking at Mr. Willkie, is warning the President to keep hands off the Russian-Polish dispute.

It seems rather far-fetched that Marshal Stalin has to speak to Mr. Roosevelt through a Pravda editorial denouncing Mr. Willkie. After all, the Marshal and the President only recently spent many hours together discussing the Polish problem, along with others, and Marshal Stalin at least spoke very frankly – according to all reports. Anyway, there have been many Pravda and other Moscow statements claiming eastern Poland, and there are plenty of official pegs upon which to hang a repetition without seeking some wild Willkie article for that purpose.

However that may be, Marshal Stalin’s official organ did definitely take a partisan position on Mr. Willkie as a presidential candidate. That is what disturbs us. We don’t like the idea of Marshal Stalin trying to influence an American election, whoever his candidate may be. It was bad enough when his defunct Communist International took a hand in our elections through its American subsidiary. It will be worse if Moscow tries to mix into Republican and Democratic nominations and the presidential election.

The danger is not that Marshal Stalin might succeed, if such were his desire. He could not.

The danger, rather, is that such foreign interference in our domestic affairs would destroy the American-Russian cooperation which is so greatly to the interest of both nations, so essential to a speedy victory, and so necessary to a lasting and prosperous peace.

Russia is not alone in the temptation to mix in American politics. A British group wants the President reelected. Several European governments-in-exile indirectly are agitating among foreign-born American minority blocs in a way which could easily become interference in our domestic affairs.

No foreign government can be blamed for recognizing that its interest will be touched by the American election, just as our interests will be affected by the fate of ministries abroad. But we don’t interfere. Any foreign government which tries to pick an American President will earn the enmity of the United States.

Meyer: Indictment of home front

By Agnes E. Meyer, The Washington Post

Irish launch film company, soon will start ‘shooting’

Pat O’Brien to star and Phil Ryan will be the producer; Carole Landis is signed for their first movie, Pilebuck

Ace radio producer takes broadcasting technique to screen

Dentist who ‘doctored’ programs is head man in filming biographies for Hollywood studios
By Si Steinhauser

Funeral for Mrs. Hoover likely to be held Monday

New York (UP) – (Jan. 8)
Tentative plans were made today to hold the funeral of Mrs. Herbert Hoover, wife of the former President, in St. Bartholomew’s Church here Monday.

Mrs. Hoover died of a heart attack last night in her Waldorf-Astoria suite at the age of 69.

Herbert Jr. and Allan, the Hoovers’ sons, are on their way here from the West Coast and definite plans will be made after their arrival. The burial will be at Palo Alto, California.

Mr. Hoover was with his wife last night when she was stricken.

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U.S. Navy Department (January 10, 1944)

Joint Statement

For Immediate Release
January 10, 1944

The following joint Anglo‑American statement on submarine and anti‑submarine operations is issued under the authority of the President and the Prime Minister:

  1. Total merchant shipping tonnage lost by U‑boat action in De­cember was again low despite an extension of operating areas. Fewer U‑boats were destroyed during the month by our air and sea forces owing to several factors, including increased caution by enemy. Our supply routes were, however, well secured against U‑boat attack.

  2. In 1943 U‑boats sank but 40% of the merchant ship tonnage that they sank in 1942. On the other hand, United Nations merchant ship ton­nage construction in 1943 approximately doubled the tonnage delivered in 1942. Nearly half of our tonnage lost for the year 1943 was during the first three months; 27% was lost during the second quarter of 1943, and only 26% was lost during the last six months.

CINCPAC Press Release No. 223

For Immediate Release
January 10, 1944

Navy search Liberators of Fleet Air Wing Two bombed Kwajalein Island on January 9 (West Longitude Date). No enemy fighters were encoun­tered and anti-aircraft fire inflicted no damage.

In the evening of January 9, heavy bombers of the 7th Army Air Force bombed Wotje. In a separate operation carried out the same night, Navy search Liberators also attacked Wotje from low altitude sinking an auxiliary oiler and another small vessel offshore, wrecking two planes on the airfield and damaging shore installations. All of our planes returned safely.

In the morning of January 8, medium bombers of the 7th Army Air Force attacked Emeiji Island in the Jaluit Atoll. One of our planes was damaged by anti-aircraft fire and one crew member was wounded.

U.S. State Department (January 10, 1944)

The President to the President’s personal representative, temporarily in Iran

Washington, January 10, 1944
Personal and secret

Dear Pat: I am given to understand by the State Department that the Foreign Minister of Iran is very much perturbed about the stories the American press and radio have carried about a reported plot to assassinate the various Heads of State during the conferences at Tehran in December.

I wish you would explain to the Foreign Minister that there was never any question of suspicion about any Iranian, but that the report of threatened violence involved German agents who were believed to have entered Iran without authority. As you know, my move from the American Legation was made primarily in order not to expose any of the conferees to the risk of attack by Axis agents while coming to visit me. I hope that you can put at rest any misunderstanding about the incident. I do not wish to make any further statement to the American press about it as such action would only increase general attention to the matter.

I hope that you may be making fine progress in your work.

With all good wishes [etc.]


The Pittsburgh Press (January 10, 1944)

Yanks batter Nazi rail hub for Balkans

15th, second largest U.S. Air Force, now flying from Italian bases
By Robert Vermillion, United Press staff writer

5th Army takes 3 key ridges

Yanks circle town four miles from Cassino
By C. R. Cunningham, United Press staff writer

Just a punk from Peoria –
American in first battle captures 19 ‘supermen’

Then hero who talked Germans into surrender disappears without giving his name
By William H. Stoneman


Congress due to keep eyes on elections

Taxes, consumer subsidies and soldier vote among problems

Roosevelt on radio at 9:00 p.m. Tuesday

Washington (UP) –
President Roosevelt will not deliver his State of the Union message to Congress in person tomorrow but will make a radio address at 9:00 p.m. ET tomorrow, giving a brief version of the message which will go to the Capitol at noon.

The President’s physician, RAdm. Ross T. McIntire, asked the Chief Executive not to go before Congress in person tomorrow.

Adm. McIntire sought to avoid a possible recurrence of the light case of grippe from which Mr. Roosevelt has been suffering, although he is now virtually recovered.

Washington (UP) –
The 78th Congress, its members freshened in outlook after a three-week holiday among their constituents, moved into its second session today confronted with important problems of both war and peace.

The new session faced an ambitious program in a year of presidential elections, an event certain to influence the activities of the most evenly-divided Congressional party ranks in a decade.

There were irksome questions of taxes, consumer subsidies and the soldier vote carried over in half-finished form from the first session.

Opening to be routine

In addition, because the war in Europe may be won before this Congress expires next January, it must plan now for at least partial demobilization of the nation’s huge war machine.

Today’s schedule was only the routine formality of getting the second session underway,

Mr. Roosevelt’s annual State of the Union message will be read in Congress tomorrow.

The budget message, to be sent Thursday, is likely to call for an outlay in the neighborhood of $95 billion.

Tax bill in Senate

Taxes were first on the Congressional agenda. The Senate may start floor debate tomorrow on the $2,275,600,000 tax bill which it was unable to finish before the Christmas holiday.

The program for the rest of the year will probably include:

  • SUBSIDIES: There is a Feb. 17 deadline on efforts to develop a compromise on the outright ban on consumer food subsidies voted by the House. A limit on their amount appeared possible.

  • LABOR: Either national service legislation, if the President asks for it, or an extension of the penalty provisions of the present anti-strike law to non-government-operated war industries is in prospect.

  • BUDGET: The first of the annual appropriation bills will probably be introduced in the House before the end of this month. New appropriations may reach nearly $100 billion by June 30.

  • SOLDIER VOTE: The House Elections Committee will meet tomorrow on the Senate-approved resolution leaving to the states the job of providing votes for members of the Armed Forces. Federal-enabling legislation is still definitely in prospect, however.

  • LEND-LEASE: Existing authority for the Lend-Lease agreements expires June 30. A movement to nail down world post-war petroleum and aviation rights for the United States may be made when extension legislation is considered.

  • OFFICE OF PRICE ADMINISTRATION: Existing OPA authorization expires June 30. Republicans will probably attack its administration of price-fixing and rationing when renewal legislation comes up. Farm Senators have threatened to press enabling legislation if OPA does not take pork off the ration list during the current surplus.

  • VETERANS BENEFITS: The Senate has approved mustering-out payments for veterans ranging from $200 to $500, depending on length of service. The House is expected to cut it to a single uniform figure. There probably will be added later programs of unemployment compensation, educational aid allotments, disability allowances and perhaps even adjusted service compensation.

  • FOOD: A sizable bloc in the House is still demanding that all food production, pricing and distribution be placed under a single federal agency. They may seek to make it a rider on the OPA continuation bill.

  • PROHIBITION: Rep. Joseph R. Bryson (D-SC) is planning a determined drive for wartime national prohibition. He has already introduced a bill and a House subcommittee will hold hearings of it this week. Meanwhile, a committee by Senator Frederick Van Nuys (D-IN) hopes to find some means of breaking the current whisky shortage.

  • FOREIGN RELIEF: Legislation to authorize financial participation by the United States in the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration is already started through Congress. Specific appropriations may be made before the end of this year.

  • INDUSTRIAL DEMOBILIZATION: Congress will probably set forth a policy for terminating war contracts and disposing of war plants which protects both the government’s financial interest and the civilian economy. It may also set up a federal program of public works to ease unemployment during the conversion period.

May decide strategy

The strategy that Senate Republicans will employ in this election-year session may be decided at a party conference scheduled for Wednesday.

The meeting was called to fill the posts of conference chairman and party whip, vacant since 1935. It may bring a showdown between the GOP Old Guard and Republican freshmen.

The issue was brought into the open by freshmen who feel the party has a good chance to win control of the Senate in next fall’s election if it will attack the New Deal with vigor at every possible opportunity. They are not satisfied with the quiet, soft-spoken leadership of Acting Minority Leader Wallace H. White Jr. (R-ME).

Old Guard nominees

To meet this challenge, the Old Guard has put up this slate for Wednesday’s meeting: For chairman, Arthur H. Vandenberg (Michigan); whip, Robert A. Taft (Ohio); secretary and acting leader, Mr. White.

The freshmen are expected to offer an opposition slate. If they do it is certain to be topped by someone who would miss no opportunity to challenge each item of administration legislation.

Thus, the outcome of Wednesday’s meeting may determine whether the Republican minority will attack the administration almost daily or follow the Old Guard strategy which, to date, has been to establish more quietly the record they wish to submit to the voters in November 1944.

How Congress lines up

Washington (UP) –
Here is the political division of the 78th Congress at the start of the second session, as compared with the lineup a year ago:


1943 1944
Democrats 57 58
Republicans 38 37
Progressive 1 1

1943 1944
Democrats 222 218
Republicans 208 208
Progressive 2 2
Farm-Labor 1 1
American Labor 1 1
Vacancies 1 5

The homesick city

By Florence Fisher Parry

Ex-President of Lithuania killed in fire

Exiled leader trapped when he returns for overcoat

WAC lieutenant accused; lawyer claims persecution

Army board postpones further hearings for a week