America at war! (1941–) – Part 3

Ernie Pyle V Norman

Roving Reporter

By Ernie Pyle

Ernie Pyle has written many, many moving columns, but none more stirring than his description of the touching farewells to a young Army captain, killed in Italy. It is beautiful writing, about a heartbreaking scene. Ernie will never forget it, and we doubt if you will.

At the frontlines in Italy – (by wireless)
In this war I have known a lot of officers who were loved and respected by the soldiers under them. But never have I crossed the trail of any man as beloved as Capt. Henry T. Waskow of Belton, Texas.

Capt. Waskow was a company commander in the 36th Division. He had been in this company since long before he left the States. He was very young, only is his middle twenties, but he carried in him a sincerity and gentleness that made people want to be guided by him.

A sergeant told me:

After my own father, he comes next.

A soldier said:

He always looked after us. He’d go to bat for us every time.

Another said:

I’ve never known him to do anything unkind.

I was at the foot of the mule trail the night they brought Capt. Waskow down. The moon was nearly full and you could see far up the trail, and even part way across the valley. Soldiers made shadows as they walked.

Dead men had been coming down the mountain all evening, lashed onto the backs of mules. They came belly down across the wooden packsaddle, their heads hanging down on the left side of the mule, their stiffened legs sticking awkwardly from the other side, bobbing up and down as the mule walked.

Makes you feel small

The Italian mule skinners were afraid to walk beside dead men, so Americans had to lead the mules down that night. Even the Americans were reluctant to unlash and lift off the bodies, when they got to the bottom, so an officer had to do it himself and ask others to help.

The first one came early in the morning. They slid him down from the mule, and stood him on his feet for a moment. In the half-light he might have been merely a sick man standing there leaning on the other. Then they laid him on the ground in the shadow of the stone wall alongside the road.

I don’t know who that first one was. You feel small in the presence of dead men, and you don’t ask silly questions…

We left him there beside the road, that first one, and we all went back into the cowshed and sat on water cans or lay on the straw, waiting for the next batch of mules.

Somebody said the dead soldier had been dead for four days, and then nobody said anything more about him. We talked for an hour or more; the dead man lay all alone, outside in the shadow of the wall.

It’s Capt. Waskow

Then a soldier came into the cowshed and said there were some more bodies outside. We went out into the road. Four mules stood there in the moonlight in the road where the trail came down off the mountain. The soldiers who led them stood there waiting.

One of them said quickly:

This one is Capt. Waskow.

Two men unlashed his body from the mule and lifted it off and laid it in the shadow beside the stone wall. Other men took the other bodies off. Finally, there were five lying end to end in a long row. You don’t cover up dead men in combat zones. They just lie there in the shadows until somebody else comes after them.

The uncertain mules moved off to their olive groves. The men in the road seemed reluctant to leave. They stood around, and gradually I could sense them moving, one by one, close to Capt. Waskow’s body. Not so much to look, I think, as to say something in finality to him and to themselves. I stood close by and I could hear.

One soldier came and looked down, and he said out loud:

God damn it!

That’s all he said, and then he walked away.

Another one came, and he said, “God damn it to hell anyway!” He looked down for a few last moments and then turned and left.

Holds dead captain’s hand

Another man came. I think it was an officer. It was hard to tell officers from men in the dim light, for everybody was grimy and dirty. The man looked down into the dead captain’s face and then spoke directly to him, as though he were alive:

I’m sorry, old man.

Then a solder came and stood beside the officer and bent over, and he too spoke to his dead captain, not in a whisper but awfully tender, and he said:

I sure am sorry, sir.

Then the first man squatted down, and he reached down and took the Captain’s hand, and he sat there for a full five minutes holding the dead hand in his own and looking intently into the dead face. And he never uttered a sound all the time he sat there.

Finally he put the hand down. He reached up and gently straightened the points of the Captain’s shirt collar, and then he sort of rearranged the tattered edges of his uniform around the wound, and then he got up and walked away down the road in the moonlight, all alone.

The rest of us went back into the cowshed, leaving the dead men lying in a line, end to end, in the shadow of the low stone wall. We lay down on the straw in the cowshed, and pretty soon we were all asleep.

Clapper: Australia

By Raymond Clapper

Heavy demand continues for steel plates

Shipbuilders press mills for materials needed to construct boats


Kidney: Western Democrats yell for Wickard, Black scalps

Fourth term, Wallace, Hopkins and farmer-labor issues due for blowup at meeting
By Daniel M. Kidney, Scripps-Howard staff writer

Washington –
Western and Midwestern Democrats are making plans for some hellraising at their national committee meeting here Jan. 21.

Invitations for the Westerns to gang up before the meeting and present a program of demands have been sent to state chairmen and national committeeman and chairman of the Western States Democratic Conference organized at Omaha in 1942.

“No holds will be barred” when the Westerns caucus here, Mr. Quigley said over the long-distance telephone from his home. Topics will include the fourth term, Vice President Wallace, Harry Hopkins, post-New Deal planning, and farmer-labor problems.

Wickard, Black must go

Here in Nebraska, the Democrats want “a complete housecleaning in the Department of Agriculture,” he said.

He said:

Secretary Wickard should resign and take A. G. Black, governor of the Farm Credit Administration, with him. We can never again win votes in the farm belt with those two staying on the job.

Mr. Black is the man who sold Wallace the idea of killing the little pigs. Now he is just a stooge for Wickard, who is running things all wrong.

Our No. 1 plan is for them both to get out.

Hull, McNutt, Farley

Mr. Quigley had just talked to a “prominent Democrat” who told him he didn’t mind a fourth term for the President “if the war is still on,” but felt that “a strong Democratic leader should replace Wallace on the ticket.”

Should the President choose not to run, there is talk in Nebraska about Messrs. Hull, McNutt and Farley – in about that order – Mr. Quigley reported.

There is no complaint about the war on the international conferences, he said, and aside from the farmers wanting things run differently, the main criticism is the lack of a labor policy.

Little talk of Hopkins

Mr. Quigley said:

We haven’t much industrial unionism out here, but what union men we have never have struck in wartime, and they are just as much against strikes as are other citizens.

There has been little criticism there of Harry Hopkins, he declared, and added:

You just hardly ever hear of him or Wallace.

In fact, he would prefer Mr. Hopkins to Mr. Wickard as Secretary of Agriculture, he indicated.


GOP Army survey shows Republican trend is 56%

Spangler lets news of move slip as national committeemen gather in Chicago
By Thomas L. Stokes, Scripps-Howard staff writer

Chicago, Illinois –
Members of the Republican National Committee, state chairmen and chairwomen, and promoters of various presidential candidacies arrived here with the first big snowstorm, moved into the still-disarranged Stevens Hotel, occupied until a few months ago by the Army and things immediately began to happen.

Most talked-of was something let slip by the somber national chairman, Harrison E. Spangler. This was the revelation that he had enlisted the help of four Army officers – captains and lieutenants whom he knew – to make a survey of four battalions of American soldiers in England to see what percentage would vote Republican and what “New Deal,” as he put it.

The fact that this cross-section indicated soldiers would vote about the way Mr. Spangler estimates the folks at home will vote – 56% Republican, 44% Democratic – was interesting, but not as interesting to correspondents as the disclosure that the RNC chairman had asked Army officers to make such a poll.

Dope from South Pacific

Republican National Committee aides fidgeted nervously as the chairman was led on by reporters’ questions after he had let slip the story about the survey of soldier sentiment.

He also had information from the South Pacific – which he said he wouldn’t describe as a survey, just informal reports – and he also said that “we’re getting letters from soldiers every day.” He would not name the four officers who made the survey in England, but he thought they were within their rights.

Did he have evidence that Democrats were making similar surveys? No – but he had seen their claims about the soldier vote, which indicated they were getting information.

Candidates are praised

The Spangler episode was the highlight as Republican leaders went into session. But reporters were kept busy chasing off to headquarters of the promoters of various presidential candidates. Represented here are Governor Dewey of New York, Governor Bricker of Ohio

Mr. Willkie, as usual at such party affairs, is in the role of outcast.

That the 1940 nominee is ready to go to the mat with party leaders trying to block his renomination was made plain by the speech Saturday night by Governor Wills of Vermont, one of his champions, who ruffled the old-liners by accusing them of courting party suicide if they think they can win with anybody, and reject Mr. Willkie’s capabilities and popular appeal.

Bitter undercurrent

The fighting mood of Mr. Willkie and his lieutenants was also manifest in the attitude of his group here, headed by National Committeeman Ralph H. Cake of Oregon, his campaign manager, who indicated Mr. Willkie would enter the California primary against Governor Earl Warren.

Foes panicky, GOP head says

Chicago, Illinois (UP) –
New Dealers are “panicky” and “in their panic, they have become ridiculous,” Harrison E. Spangler, Republican National Committee Chairman, today told GOP committeemen, gathered here to choose the city and date for the party’s 1944 presidential nominating convention.

The group is expected to select Chicago as the convention city at a meeting tomorrow and to fix the date for the gathering as the last week of June.

Mr. Spangler told the committeemen that they have good reason for being confident over the outcome at the polls in November.

Jim Farley quoted

He said:

An administration which sought to feed on class prejudices has been rebuked.

He quoted James A. Farley, former Democratic National Committee chairman who managed President Roosevelt’s first and second campaigns but broke with the Chief Executive over a third term, as saying the American people are “tired, terribly tired, of being kicked around.”

He said:

They are quarreling among themselves. A potent number of Jeffersonian Democrats, fed up with the New Deal, threatens to bolt and form a party of their own, free from executive domination.

The record in domestic affairs for the last 11 years rises to haunt them. In their panic, they have become ridiculous.

New Deal terms won’t die

Mr. Spangler said that the term “New Deal” which Mr. Roosevelt proposes to replace with a “Win-the-War” party label “is now an embarrassment,” but he said the term would not die.

He said:

It will live on as a description of the kind of government people of this country will not tolerate again.

Mr. Spangler earlier said the Republicans will not make their plans with an eye to what the Democrats will do.

He said:

We can beat them with any candidate we name.

‘Victory through unity’

Meanwhile, the committeemen read a pamphlet entitled “Victory Through Unity” which was headlined by the declaration that “Indications Point to Smashing Victory for Republican Party in November.”


Prohibitionists name attorney as candidate

Los Angeles, California (UP) –
Claude A. Watson, formally notified of his nomination as the National Prohibition Party’s presidential candidate, today called for a fight against governmental bureaucracy and extravagance and against the “strongly entrenched liquor power.”

His acceptance speech was the first political platform to be announced officially by a 1944 presidential nominee.

The Los Angeles attorney said:

Today we find the liquor power again strongly entrenched, in legal and quasi-legal partnership with government everywhere. It is the same old liquor power, the same liquor traffic, but in even more insidious form than when the righteous wrath of an aroused nation sounded its death knell.

Mr. Watson described his platform as a “four-square” stand and urged an end to “overlapping, liberty-destroying bureaucracy” and demanded “real economy” in government.

Calling for freedom of individual enterprise and an end to government competition with private business, he said his party was still opposed to establishment of monopolies of trade and wealth.


Communists ask new name

Browder urges wide discussion on change

New York (UP) –
Earl Browder, general secretary of the Communist Party, recommended last night that the organization at its May convention delete the word “party” from its name, but continue under a title “indicating its character as a communist association for political education.”

The recommendation was in a report by Browder to a meeting of the national committee, which unanimously approved the proposal and others involving policy and party organization changes.

Browder asked that the proposed name change “be thrown open for wide discussion, in which the general public is invited to participate,” before the May convention.

Challenge national policy

He suggested a name:

…more exactly representing its [the party’s] role as a part of a larger unity in the nation, not seeking any partisan advancement – a name, for example, like “American Communist Political Association.”

The committee, which concluded a three-day session today, issued a statement warning that the “Win-the-War” policies of the nation will be challenged in the coming national election.

The statement said:

A rejection by the people of all defeatist attacks on the President’s and the nation’s war policy is an inseparable part of the successful and speedy victorious conclusion of the war. The national election of 1944 is as much a test of the people’s support of the war as was the election of 1864.

Big Three conferences lauded

The statement said it was evident that present political issues “will be decided within the form of the two-party system traditional in our country” and said the party’s contribution in the election:

… will be to aid the struggle for the unity of the people in support of the nation’s war policies, without partisan or class advantages.

The committee lauded the Moscow, Tehran and Cairo agreements and described them as “a program to banish the specter of civil wars and war between nations for several generations,” but warned that the war “is not yet won. The really decisive fighting lies ahead.”

Simms: U.S. may call home envoy to Buenos Aires

Move would show American reaction to Argentina’s pro-Axis policies
By William Philip Simms, Scripps-Howard foreign editor

In Washington –
Navy post-war demobilization studied

Efficient method sought for returning men to civilian life; survey doesn’t mean early end to war, bulletin warns

Völkischer Beobachter (January 11, 1944)

USA-Industrie will ihre Kriegsprofite verewigen –
Sie sprechen schon vom ‚sowjetrussischen Europa‘

Verbissener Widerstand unserer Truppen in Süditalien –
Täglich nur 140 Meter im Durchschnitt

Günstige Bevölkerungsentwicklung auch im 4. Kriegsjahr –
1943 mehr Geburten als im Jahre 1942

U.S. State Department (January 11, 1944)

The Secretary of State to the President

Washington, January 11, 1944

Memorandum to the President

I wish to refer to telegram no. 9050 of December 29 from Ambassador Winant which reads in part as follows:

The Department will be familiar with the Soviet accusations against the Polish resistance groups in Poland which were lodged at Tehran to the effect that these resistance groups were actually cooperating with the Germans in that they were fighting the so-called partisans which were really Russians dropped by parachute.

It would be helpful to me and to the senior members of the Department who are handling Soviet-Polish matters if the pertinent sections of the report on the Tehran Conference with regard to the aforementioned Soviet accusations might be made available to the Department.


President Roosevelt on the State of the Union
January 11, 1944, 12:10 p.m. ET


The Speaker laid before the House the following message from the President of the United States, which was read by the Clerk:

To the Congress of the United States:

This nation in the past two years has become an active partner in the world’s greatest war against human slavery.

We have joined with like-minded people in order to defend ourselves in a world that has been gravely threatened with gangster rule.

But I do not think that any of us Americans can be content with mere survival. Sacrifices that we and our allies are making impose upon us all a sacred obligation to see to it that out of this war we and our children will gain something better than mere survival.

We are united in determination that this war shall not be followed by another interim which leads to new disaster – that we shall not repeat the tragic errors of ostrich isolationism – that we shall not repeat the excesses of the wild twenties when this nation went for a joyride on a rollercoaster which ended in a tragic crash.

When Mr. Hull went to Moscow in October, and when I went to Cairo and Tehran in November, we knew that we were in agreement with our allies in our common determination to fight and win this war. But there were many vital questions concerning the future peace, and they were discussed in an atmosphere of complete candor and harmony.

In the last war, such discussions, such meetings, did not even begin until the shooting had stopped and the delegates began to assemble at the peace table. There had been no previous opportunities for man-to-man discussions which lead to meetings of minds. The result was a peace which was not a peace.

That was a mistake which we are not repeating in this war.

And right here I want to address a word or two to some suspicious souls who are fearful that Mr. Hull or I have made “commitments” for the future which might pledge this nation to secret treaties or to enacting the role of Santa Claus.

To such suspicious souls – using a polite terminology – I wish to say that Mr. Churchill, and Marshal Stalin, and Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek are all thoroughly conversant with the provisions of our Constitution. And so is Mr. Hull. And so am I.

Of course, we made some commitments. We most certainly committed ourselves to very large and very specific military plans which require the use of all Allied forces to bring about the defeat of our enemies at the earliest possible time. But there were no secret treaties or political or financial commitments.

The one supreme objective for the future, which we discussed for each nation individually, and for all the United Nations, can be summed up in one word: Security.

And that means not only physical security which provides safety from attacks by aggressors. It means also economic security, social security, moral security in a family of nations.

In the plain down-to-earth talks that I had with the Generalissimo and Marshal Stalin and Prime Minister Churchill, it was abundantly clear that they are all most deeply interested in the resumption of peaceful progress by their own peoples – progress toward a better life. All our allies want freedom to develop their lands and resources, to build up industry, to increase education and individual opportunity, and to raise standards of living.

All our allies have learned by bitter experience that real development will not be possible if they are to be diverted from their purpose by repeated wars – or even threats of war.

China and Russia are truly united with Britain and America in recognition of this essential fact:

The best interests of each nation, large and small, demand that all freedom-loving nations shall join together in a just and durable system of peace. In the present world situation, evidenced by the actions of Germany, Italy, and Japan, unquestioned military control over disturbers of the peace is as necessary among nations as it is among citizens in a community. And an equally basic essential to peace is a decent standard of living for all individual men and women and children in all nations. Freedom from fear is eternally linked with freedom from want.

There are people who burrow through our nation like unseeing moles, and attempt to spread the suspicion that if other nations are encouraged to raise their standards of living, our own American standard of living must of necessity be depressed.

The fact is the very contrary. It has been shown time and again that if the standard of living of any country goes up, so does its purchasing power – and that such a rise encourages a better standard of living in neighboring countries with whom it trades. That is just plain common sense – and it is the kind of plain common sense that provided the basis for our discussions at Moscow, Cairo, and Tehran.

Returning from my journeyings, I must confess to a sense of “letdown” when I found many evidences of faulty perspectives here in Washington. The faulty perspective consists in overemphasizing lesser problems and thereby underemphasizing the first and greatest problem.

The overwhelming majority of our people have met the demands of this war with magnificent courage and understanding. They have accepted inconveniences; they have accepted hardships; they have accepted tragic sacrifices. And they are ready and eager to make whatever further contributions are needed to win the war as quickly as possible – if only they are given the chance to know what is required of them.

However, while the majority goes on about its great work without complaint, a noisy minority maintains an uproar of demands for special favors for special groups. There are pests who swarm through the lobbies of the Congress and the cocktail bars of Washington, representing these special groups as opposed to the basic interests of the nation as a whole. They have come to look upon the war primarily as a chance to make profits for themselves at the expense of their neighbors – profits in money or in terms of political or social preferment.

Such selfish agitation can be highly dangerous in wartime. It creates confusion. It damages morale. It hampers our national effort. It muddies the waters and therefore prolongs the war.

If we analyze American history impartially, we cannot escape the fact that in our past we have not always forgotten individual and selfish and partisan interests in time of war – we have not always been united in purpose and direction. We cannot overlook the serious dissensions and the lack of unity in our War of the Revolution, in our War of 1812, or in our War between the States, when the survival of the Union itself was at stake.

In the First World War we came closer to national unity than in any previous war. But that war lasted only a year and a half, and increasing signs of disunity began to appear during the final months of the conflict.

In this war we have been compelled to learn how interdependent upon each other are all groups and sections of the population of America.

Increased food costs, for example, will bring new demands for wage increases from all war workers, which will in turn raise all prices of all things including those things which the farmers themselves have to buy. Increased wages or prices will each in turn produce the same results. They all have a particularly disastrous result on all fixed income groups.

And I hope you will remember that all of us in this government represent the fixed-income group just as much as we represent business owners, workers, and farmers. This group of fixed-income people include teachers, clergy, policemen, firemen, widows, and minors on fixed incomes, wives and dependents of our soldiers and sailors, and old-age pensioners. They and their families add up to one-quarter of our 130 million people. They have few or no high-pressure representatives at the Capitol. In a period of gross inflation, they would be the worst sufferers.

If ever there was a time to subordinate individual or group selfishness to the national good, that time is now. Disunity at home – bickerings, self-seeking partisanship, stoppages of work, inflation, business as usual, politics as usual, luxury as usual – these are the influences which can undermine the morale of the brave men ready to die at the front for us here.

Those who are doing most of the complaining are not deliberately striving to sabotage the national war effort. They are laboring under the delusion that the time is past when we must make prodigious sacrifices – that the war is already won and we can begin to slacken off. But the dangerous folly of that point of view can be measured by the distance that separates our troops from their ultimate objectives in Berlin and Tokyo – and by the sum of all the perils that lie along the way.

Overconfidence and complacency are among our deadliest enemies. Last spring – after notable victories at Stalingrad and in Tunisia and against the U-boats on the high seas – overconfidence became so pronounced that war production fell off. In two months, June and July 1943, more than a thousand airplanes that could have been made and should have been made were not made. Those who failed to make them were not on strike. They were merely saying, “The war’s in the bag – so let’s relax.”

That attitude on the part of anyone – government or management or labor – can lengthen this war. It can kill American boys.

Let us remember the lessons of 1918. In the summer of that year the tide turned in favor of the Allies. But this government did not relax. In fact, our national effort was stepped up. In August 1918, the draft-age limits were broadened from 21-31 to 18-45. The President called for “force to the utmost,” and his call was heeded. And in November, only three months later, Germany surrendered.

That is the way to fight and win a war – all-out – and not with half-an-eye on the battlefronts abroad and the other eye-and-a-half on personal, selfish, or political interests here at home.

Therefore, in order to concentrate all our energies and resources on winning the war, and to maintain a fair and stable economy at home, I recommend that the Congress adopt:

  • A realistic tax law – which will tax all unreasonable profits, both individual and corporate, and reduce the ultimate cost of the war to our sons and daughters. The tax bill now under consideration by the Congress does not begin to meet this test.

  • A continuation of the law for the renegotiation of war contracts – which will prevent exorbitant profits and assure fair prices to the government. For two long years I have pleaded with the Congress to take undue profits out of war.

  • A cost-of-food law – which will enable the government (a) to place a reasonable floor under the prices the farmer may expect for his production; and (b) to place a ceiling on the prices a consumer will have to pay for the food he buys. This should apply to necessities only; and will require public funds to carry out. It will cost in appropriations about 1 percent of the present annual cost of the war.

  • Early reenactment of the stabilization statute of October 1942. This expires June 30, 1944, and if it is not extended well in advance, the country might just as well expect price chaos by summer.

We cannot have stabilization by wishful thinking. We must take positive action to maintain the integrity of the American dollar.

  • A national service law – which, for the duration of the war, will prevent strikes, and, with certain appropriate exceptions, will make available for war production or for any other essential services every able-bodied adult in this nation.

These five measures together form a just and equitable whole. I would not recommend a national service law unless the other laws were passed to keep down the cost of living, to share equitably the burdens of taxation, to hold the stabilization line, and to prevent undue profits.

The federal government already has the basic power to draft capital and property of all kinds for war purposes on a basis of just compensation.

As you know, I have for three years hesitated to recommend a national service act. Today, however, I am convinced of its necessity. Although I believe that we and our allies can win the war without such a measure, I am certain that nothing less than total mobilization of all our resources of manpower and capital will guarantee an earlier victory, and reduce the toll of suffering and sorrow and blood.

I have received a joint recommendation for this law from the heads of the War Department, the Navy Department, and the Maritime Commission. These are the men who bear responsibility for the procurement of the necessary arms and equipment, and for the successful prosecution of the war in the field. They say:

When the very life of the nation is in peril the responsibility for service is common to all men and women. In such a time there can be no discrimination between the men and women who are assigned by the government to its defense at the battlefront and the men and women assigned to producing the vital materials essential to successful military operations. A prompt enactment of a national service law would be merely an expression of the universality of this responsibility.

I believe the country will agree that those statements are the solemn truth.

National service is the most democratic way to wage a war. Like selective service for the Armed Forces, it rests on the obligation of each citizen to serve his nation to his utmost where he is best qualified.

It does not mean reduction in wages. It does not mean loss of retirement and seniority rights and benefits. It does not mean that any substantial numbers of war workers will be disturbed in their present jobs. Let these facts be wholly clear.

Experience in other democratic nations at war – Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand – has shown that the very existence of national service makes unnecessary the widespread use of compulsory power. National service has proven to be a unifying moral force – based on an equal and comprehensive legal obligation of all people in a nation at war.

There are millions of American men and women who are not in this war at all. It is not because they do not want to be in it. But they want to know where they can best do their share. National service provides that direction. It will be a means by which every man and woman can find that inner satisfaction which comes from making the fullest possible contribution to victory.

I know that all civilian war workers will be glad to be able to say many years hence to their grandchildren:

Yes, I, too, was in service in the great war. I was on duty in an airplane factory, and I helped make hundreds of fighting planes. The government told me that in doing that I was performing my most useful work in the service of my country.

It is argued that we have passed the stage in the war where national service is necessary. But our soldiers and sailors know that this is not true. We are going forward on a long, rough road – and, in all journeys, the last miles are the hardest. And it is for that final effort – for the total defeat of our enemies – that we must mobilize our total resources. The national war program calls for the employment of more people in 1944 than in 1943.

It is my conviction that the American people will welcome this win-the-war measure which is based on the eternally just principle of “fair for one, fair for all.”

It will give our people at home the assurance that they are standing foursquare behind our soldiers and sailors. And it will give our enemies demoralizing assurance that we mean business – that we, 130 million Americans, are on the march to Rome, Berlin, and Tokyo.

I hope that the Congress will recognize that, although this is a political year, national service is an issue which transcends politics. Great power must be used for great purposes.

As to the machinery for this measure, the Congress itself should determine its nature – but it should be wholly non-partisan in its makeup.

Our Armed Forces are valiantly fulfilling their responsibilities to our country and our people. Now the Congress faces the responsibility for taking those measures which are essential to national security in this the most decisive phase of the nation’s greatest war.

Several alleged reasons have prevented the enactment of legislation which would preserve for our soldiers and sailors and Marines the fundamental prerogative of citizenship – the right to vote. No amount of legalistic argument can becloud this issue in the eyes of these ten million American citizens. Surely the signers of the Constitution did not intend a document which, even in wartime, would be construed to take away the franchise of any of those who are fighting to preserve the Constitution itself.

Our soldiers and sailors and Marines know that the overwhelming majority of them will be deprived of the opportunity to vote, if the voting machinery is left exclusively to the states under existing state laws – and that there is no likelihood of these laws being changed in time to enable them to vote at the next election. The Army and Navy have reported that it will be impossible effectively to administer 48 different soldier voting laws. It is the duty of the Congress to remove this unjustifiable discrimination against the men and women in our Armed Forces – and to do it as quickly as possible.

It is our duty now to begin to lay the plans and determine the strategy for the winning of a lasting peace and the establishment of an American standard of living higher than ever before known. We cannot be content, no matter how high that general standard of living may be, if some fraction of our people – whether it be one-third or one-fifth or one-tenth – is ill-fed, ill-clothed, ill-housed, and insecure.

This Republic had its beginning, and grew to its present strength, under the protection of certain inalienable political rights – among them the right of free speech, free press, free worship, trial by jury, freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures. They were our rights to life and liberty.

As our nation has grown in size and stature, however – as our industrial economy expanded – these political rights proved inadequate to assure us equality in the pursuit of happiness.

We have come to a clear realization of the fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. “Necessitous men are not free men.” People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.

In our day these economic truths have become accepted as self-evident. We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all – regardless of station, race, or creed.

Among these are:

The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation;

The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;

The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;

The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;

The right of every family to a decent home;

The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;

The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;

The right to a good education.

All of these rights spell security. And after this war is won, we must be prepared to move forward, in the implementation of these rights, to new goals of human happiness and wellbeing.

America’s own rightful place in the world depends in large part upon how fully these and similar rights have been carried into practice for our citizens. For unless there is security here at home there cannot be lasting peace in the world.

One of the great American industrialists of our day – a man who has rendered yeoman service to his country in this crisis – recently emphasized the grave dangers of rightist reaction in this nation. All clear-thinking businessmen share his concern. Indeed, if such reaction should develop – if history were to repeat itself and we were to return to the so-called “normalcy” of the 1920s – then it is certain that even though we shall have conquered our enemies on the battlefields abroad, we shall have yielded to the spirit of fascism here at home.

I ask the Congress to explore the means for implementing this economic Bill of Rights – for it is definitely the responsibility of the Congress so to do. Many of these problems are already before committees of the Congress in the form of proposed legislation. I shall from time to time communicate with the Congress with respect to these and further proposals. In the event that no adequate program of progress is evolved, I am certain that the nation will be conscious of the fact.

Our fighting men abroad – and their families at home – expect such a program and have the right to insist upon it. It is to their demands that this government should pay heed rather than to the whining demands of selfish pressure groups who seek to feather their nests while young Americans are dying.

The foreign policy that we have been following – the policy that guided us at Moscow, Cairo, and Tehran – is based on the common-sense principle which was best expressed by Benjamin Franklin on July 4, 1776:

We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.

I have often said that there are no two fronts for America in this war. There is only one front. There is one line of unity which extends from the hearts of the people at home to the men of our attacking forces in our farthest outposts. When we speak of our total effort, we speak of the factory and the field, and the mine as well as of the battleground – we speak of the soldier and the civilian, the citizen and his government.

Each and every one of us has a solemn obligation under God to serve this nation in its most critical hour – to keep this nation great – to make this nation greater in a better world.

The Pittsburgh Press (January 11, 1944)

Roosevelt demands draft of men, women for labor

But President links his program with four other proposals
By Lyle C. Wilson, United Press staff writer

Washington –
President Roosevelt in his third wartime State of the Union message to Congress proposed today enactment of a national service law drafting every able-bodied man and woman – “with appropriate exceptions” – needed for service in essential industry.

He said his national service plan “will prevent strikes.”

Saying that the government “already has the basic power to draft capital and property of all kinds for war purposes on a basis of just compensation,” the President added that “nothing less than total mobilization of all our resources of manpower and capital” will hasten victory and reduce casualties.

Mr. Roosevelt, however, made his national service recommendation dependent on enactment of the remaining four measures of a five-point legislative program submitted today to the second session of the 78th Congress. These were:

  • A realistic tax law to absorb all unreasonable individual and corporate profits.

  • Continuation of the renegotiation-of-contracts law to prevent exorbitant profits and to assure fair prices to the government.

  • A food cost law enabling the government to guarantee minimum prices to farmers and to impose ceilings on food prices to consumers. He also asked for continuance of subsidies on necessities at a cost of about $1 billion a year.

  • Reenactment of the Stabilization Act of October 1942, which otherwise would expire June 30. This provides for control of wages, salaries and prices.

Mr. Roosevelt also demanded that Congress resolve its controversy over the soldier vote by legislation which will not leave voting machinery exclusively to the states. He said state-controlled machinery would be unworkable and would deprive the overwhelming majority of servicemen and women of the right to vote.

Mr. Roosevelt said national service legislation would “prevent strikes” for the duration of the war and make available for war production or for any other essential services every able-bodied adult. He said he had hesitated for three years on such a recommendation and realized now that the United Nations could win the war without it. But Mr. Roosevelt feels that it will shorten the war and lessen the cost in blood.

He explained:

It will give our people at home the assurance that they are standing foursquare behind our soldiers and sailors. And it will give our enemies demoralizing assurance that we mean business – that we, 135 million Americans, are on the march to Rome, Berlin, and Tokyo.

Arguments had been advanced against making American men and women workers subject to a labor draft, the President said. But heads of the War and Navy Departments and the Maritime Commission who beat responsibility for the procurement of the necessary arms and equipment and for the successful prosecution of the war in the field” urgently recommended the labor draft.

Mr. Roosevelt will explain the reasons for his recommendation directly to the people in a fireside chat at 9:00 p.m. ET tonight. His message at noon was read by clerks in the Senate and House.

He said:

National service is the most democratic way to wage war – all-out war. It does not mean reduction in wages. It does not mean loss of seniority rights and benefits. It does not mean that any substantial numbers of war workers will be disturbed in their present jobs.

I would not recommend a national service law unless the other laws were passed to keep down the cost of living, to share equitably the burdens of taxation, to hold the stabilization line and to prevent undue profits.

I hope that Congress will recognize that, although this is a political year, national service is an issue which transcends politics. Great power must be used for great purposes.

Ridiculing “ostrich isolationism,” Mr. Roosevelt said that in the post-war world all “freedom-loving nations shall join together in a just and durable system of peace.” He proposed “unquestioned post-war military control” over disturbers of the peace – Germany, Italy and Japan.

For the benefit of “suspicious souls,” the President said he had made no unconstitutional commitments at his Cairo or Tehran conferences although he had committed the United States to specific military plans.

He added, “But there were no secret treaties or political or financial commitments,” or pledges which might cast the United States in “the role of Santa Claus.”

He confessed to a “letdown” when he returned from his conferences and was confronted with the situation on the home front. Scornfully, the President cited the “noisy minority” which demands special favors from Congress.

He continued:

There are pests who swarm through the lobbies of the Congress and the cocktail bars of Washington, representing these special groups as opposed to the basic interests of the nation as a whole. They have come to look upon the war primarily as a chance to make profits for themselves at the expense of their neighbors – profits in money or in terms of political or social preferment.

Disunity at home – bickering, self-seeking partisanship, stoppages of work, inflation, business as usual, politics as usual, luxury as usual – these are the influences which can undermine the morale of brave men ready to die on the front for us here.

The time has come, he said, to prepare for a lasting peace and he added a fourth category to the evils against which he has said he would protect the people – the “ill-fed, ill-clothed, ill-housed and insecure.”

In an economic Bill of Rights, he stated the “right” of every individual or family to jobs, adequate food, clothing and recreation, fair markets, fair competition, decent homes, adequate medical care, social security and a good education. And he warned against a “rightist reaction.”

He said:

If such a reaction should develop, then it is certain that even though we shall have conquered our enemies on the battlefields, we shall have yielded to the spirit of Fascism here at home.

On the subject for “a realistic tax law,” the President called for legislation to “tax all unreasonable profits, both individual and corporate, and reduce the ultimate cost of the war to our sons and daughters.

He asserted:

The tax bill now under consideration by the Congress does not begin to meet this test.

The new recommended food law, the President said, would enable the government “to place a reasonable floor under the prices the farmer may expect for his production” and place a ceiling on the prices paid for food by consumers.

Continuing to fight for subsidies, the President said this plan “should apply to necessities only, and will require public funds” amounting to about 1% of the annual cost of the war. This would be roughly $1 billion.

He pointed out that the stabilization law expires June 30, 1944, and “if it is not extended well in advance, the country might just as well expect price chaos by summer.”

The President went to bat for the soldier vote attacking “alleged reasons which have prevented the enactment of legislation” to preserve for the members of the Armed Forces “the fundamental prerogative of citizenship – the right to vote.”

“No amount of legalistic argument can becloud this issue in the lives of these 10 million American citizens,” he said, saying it was the duty of Congress to remove “this unjustifiable discrimination against the men and women in our Armed Forces and to do it as quickly as possible.”

Yanks drive three miles from Cassino

5th Army takes two more heights near Rome road stronghold
By C. R. Cunningham, United Press staff writer

Allied fliers batter Europe

Balkans, Germany, France hit by air fleets
By the United Press

Halsey: ‘Must capture Tokyo’

Admiral opposes early peace with Japs

Clare Boothe Luce’s daughter is killed

Palo Alto, California (UP) –
Ann Clare Brokaw, daughter of Rep. Clare Boothe Luce (R-CT), was killed in an auto collision at an intersection here today.

Miss Virginia Hobbs, companion of Miss Brokaw, was injured.

Miss Brokaw, a senior at Stanford University, had been visiting her mother in San Francisco, who arrived there last weekend on a speaking tour.

As soon as she was notified of her daughter’s death, the Congresswoman, wife of Time Magazine publisher Henry Luce, went to Palo Alto.

Clerks reject peace plan; bills pile up

Philadelphia Company desks are still unoccupied by sitdowners