America at war! (1941–) – Part 3

7 dead, 75 hurt in Texas wreck

Troop train skids, crushes a wooden coach

Murray keeps mum –
Fundamental rights plea made for CIO vote fund

Pressman’s advice to CIO cited in summation of events leading to prosecution demand
By Fred W. Perkins, Pittsburgh Press staff writer


Christmas in January

By Florence Fisher Parry

New York –
The theater is my business when I’m in New York, so to the theater I hide, and let who will attend the exhibits, the concerts and the opera. If you have a week here with a dozen shows to cover, there’s little time left for the other arts.

Tired? Tired of show-doing? What a silly question. What physical exertion is employed in going to the theater I have always been at loss to imagine. One sits in a comfortable orchestra seat in pleasant darkness surrounded by civilized persons who keep quiet and mind their own business. At intermission one can limber one’s bones and partake of refreshment.

As for this employment taxing the brain, what call the current attractions can make upon the cerebral centers is beyond my powers to conjure.

Not the real McCoy

We had scarcely arrived here last Thursday morning when word came to us of the smash hit of Ruth Gordon in her very own play Over 21. I have already reported the enchantment we found in the matinee performance, albeit the comedy purported to show the “hardships” endured by the camp-following wives of our men in training, and succeeded only in giving us a glorified version of the real McCoy.

To returned wives, who have known what it was to live without plumbing, heat, refrigeration, electricity and even more basic conveniences, the “living room of 26D, Palmetto Court, Miami, Florida,” was a palatial Eden, and Miss Gordon’s Mainbocher wardrobe the war’s most cruel anachronism. But the comedy and its star and cast – directed with uncanny skill by George S. Kaufmann – is definitely my favorite of all the new pieces in town.

Because we would have had to stand to see it, we eschewed The Voice of the Turtle that same evening, hoping for a better break later in the week. As you know, this three-character comedy with Margaret Sullavan and Elliott Nugent playing the bemused kismetters is the smash comedy hit of the season, and it is to the everlasting credit of the “press” handling it that it has not gone to their heads, but that they continue to bend backward to assist the desperate out-of-town reporter who, perversely, MUST see only the hits for which no seats can be got at any price.

The temptation for press and box office to grow heady over a hit is one all too often yielded to, transforming the most affable box office into a kind of restrained Gestapo headquarters. Standing beside a certain box office the other night, a little heady over my own blessed fortune in being able to bag a rare two-on-the-aisle for a distinguished success, I overhead a customer say to the Lady-Behind-The-Window:

What YOU need, Miss, is another Depression!

The dusky Moor

We went that same night to see Early to Bed, for after such a prolonged run the assumption is that there must BE something there, and found it to have the most apt title of any show in town, full of broad buffoonery, bright dancing, dull innuendo and many, many costumed performers whose names on the program were as plentiful as upon the credit sheet of a super-movie.

It is not, to be quite frank, my kind of show, but the quantity-seekers will get their money’s worth, for had it been a circus it would have required four rings, not three with the sideshow and concert thrown in for good measure. There is always room and need, in New York, for exactly this kind of musical; and I recommend it heartily to the couple of whom I write yesterday, who didn’t, you remember, like Othello.

Which brings me to this highly-publicized and discussed prestige production of the season, the Theater Guild’s ambitious and unique Othello with the powerful Negro Paul Robeson as the dusky Moor. I shall give a fuller report of this production in Sunday’s column; suffice it to say here that I am resolved never again to accept the critical opinion of my betters when it comes to this most personal of all the arts, the theater.

Othello, as presented by the Theater Guild, is NOT the Othello of my strictest dreams. It is challenging, powerful, sensational and popular. But Paul Robeson, in my opinion, does not give a powerful or even distinguished performance; rather does he produce a sonorous and tragic figure of solitary and somehow touching inadequacy. His Othello commanded my pity, but never my admiration or deep homage.

Hillman says post-war rate of $100 billion

Sloan plan called bid fir unemployment for 10 to 15 million

Retail buying and war costs set high marks

Jack & Heintz excess profit $7 million

U.S. to recover money through taxation and withholding payments


In Washington –
State-controlled soldier-vote bill is given approval

House Elections Committee’s measure rejects Army and Navy plea for federal distribution of ballots

Soldier vote issue may affect 7 million

Washington (UP) –
Senator Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. (R-MA) said today that seven million American fighting men will be overseas by election time in November.

Mr. Lodge made this estimate at a Senate Elections Committee hearing on the Lodge-Austin compromise soldier-vote bill.

President Roosevelt in his Christmas Eve broadcast said 3,800,000 men are already overseas and that the total will reach five million by July 1.

Washington (UP) –
The House Elections Committee today approved a soldier-vote bill leaving control over absentee ballots for servicemen and women in the hands of the states.

The proposal would authorize the Secretaries of War and Navy to send cards to all members of the Armed Forces and the Red Cross, merchant seamen and civilians serving overseas, requesting them to notify the secretary of their home state if they desire an absentee ballot. The state officials would then forward the ballots and upon their return dispatch them to local election boards.

Retains Senate provision

The committee-approved bill retains that provision of the Senate legislation recommending to the several states that “appropriate machinery” be enacted to handle the disposition of the presidential ballots.

The principal difference between the bill approved by the House committee and that passed by the Senate is that the House measure provides that the Secretaries of War and Navy should place in the hands of service personnel overseas by Aug. 15 a postal application for a ballot.

The Army and Navy have gone on record as holding that only a system of federal distribution of ballots is workable. Both bills reject that contention.

Coalition defeats bill

The House committee voted 7–5 for the bill, with four Republicans and three Southern Democrats approving it.

The coalition defeated a “compromise” proposal offered by Chairman Eugene Worley (D-TX), which would have provided for a federal ballot commission to prepare ballots which would be transmitted to servicemen and women by the Secretaries of War and Navy.

Weiss urges soldier vote

Washington –
If Congress could find no constitutional objections to the draft, it shouldn’t raise such a question about the right of soldiers to a federal ballot in the coming election, Rep. Samuel A. Weiss (D-Glassport) told the House of Representatives.

Mr. Weiss presented petitions signed by 10,000 Allegheny County residents, representing 3,100 men in the armed services and urging passage of a soldier-vote bill.

‘Jet’ secrecy lauded by War Department

Enemy manpower still in millions

AP to appeal membership order of court

Judges ban competition as factor in accepting newspapers

FCC decides against banning newspaper ownership of radio stations

By Charles T. Lucey, Scripps-Howard staff writer

Funeral services held for Clare Luce’s daughter

Anti-racket bill called up for early Senate hearings

Joseph Eastman of ODT to be first witness for Hobbs bill, designed to curb wartime interruptions

Labor’s change seen in draft of better law

Plea for ‘national service’ called admission of failure
By Rep. Mike Monroney (D-OK)

Travel viewed as hard work in portal area

Labor Department enters mine case before Supreme Court


Governors’ poll on soldier vote –
Dewey stands pat on New York law

Bricker to call special session of Ohio Legislature after Congress passes bill; other states plan action
By Robert Taylor, Press Washington correspondent

Washington –
Governor Thomas E. Dewey believes that New York’s soldier-vote law is adequate to assure every New York soldier a vote, and he plans no further recommendations to his legislature, but Governor John W. Bricker plans to call a special session of the Ohio Legislature when Congress passes a soldier-voting bill.

The two Republican presidential possibilities made their positions known in a poll of governors conducted by Senator Theodore F. Green (D-RI).

Mr. Dewey, replying through his secretary Paul E. Lockwood, implied that the federal government had failed to cooperate with New York’s soldier-vote program. The reply said:

The New York law for soldier voting appears to be complete and, if the U.S. government had consented, would have permitted every soldier from this state to vote in each of the last two elections.

Mr. Bricker reported that:

It is my purpose to call a session of the legislature as soon as Congress acts on this matter.

Nine other governors replied, like Mr. Dewey’s secretary, that their state laws were adequate to permit soldier voting, and that no further action was contemplated now. These states were Alabama, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, Oregon and Pennsylvania.

Altogether, 23 governors either consider present soldier-vote laws adequate, are waiting to see what Congress does, are considering the problem and have reached no decision, or will make legislative recommendations “if necessary.”

Two governors, John Moses of North Dakota and Lester C. Hunt of Wyoming, mentioned that they favored federal action. States in the waiting group include Delaware, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, Tennessee, Arkansas, Idaho, Vermont and Washington.

In 16 other states, governors have made or will make recommendations to their legislatures, in regular or special session, for soldier-vote legislation. These are Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Oklahoma (where a referendum is planned), Rhode Island, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

Senator Green is reporting the results of his poll to the Senate Privileges and Elections Committee, as evidence of the need for federal legislation. Congressional supporters of such action have cited cumbersome and conflicting state laws as the principal reason for a federal military ballot to assure each servicemen a vote on federal offices.


Poll: Political air of Illinois is all for Dewey

Some Willkie backer opposed to Chicago for GOP convention
By George Gallup, Director, American Institute of Public Opinion

With Chicago picked as the GOP convention city, surveys of Republican sentiment show the political climate of Illinois is more favorable to New York Governor Thomas E. Dewey than it is to Wendell Willkie.

Although Mr. Willkie declared he had no personal objection to the selection of Chicago, some of his backers were opposed to the choice. The Midwest as a whole, and Illinois in particular, is the center of Mr. Willkie’s weakness as a candidate.

The center of his strength is New England, the stamping ground of Governor William H. Wills of Vermont, who came out with a strong endorsement of Mr. Willkie early this week.

Dewey clearcut choice

The contrast between Illinois and New England is revealed in surveys by the Institute. In Illinois, the current top choice of the Republican rank and file is Governor Dewey. He receives twice as many votes as the next candidate, Gen. Douglas MacArthur. Mr. Willkie and Governor John W. Bricker are the next two choices, running about even in strength. Governor Bricker has gained in recent weeks, whereas Mr. Willkie has lost a little.

In New England, Mr. Willkie enjoys a marked advantage over all other candidates. An Institute survey covering Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont shows him receiving nearly twice as many votes as Governor Dewey. When Governor Wills endorsed Mr. Willkie, he was clearly reflecting the sentiment of this area.

More than half for Willkie

The vote follows:

Asked of Republicans: Whom would you like to see the Republican Party nominate for President?

Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont only

Willkie 55%
Dewey 29%
MacArthur 10%
Bricker 4%
Stassen 2%

A recent survey in Massachusetts likewise found Mr. Willkie leading, with a vote of 40% as compared to 30% for the next most popular candidate, Governor Dewey.

La Guardia forgives World Series stunter

Airman frozen by flak wind crawls back to man his guns

Bombardier whose sense of duty made him cripple for life named for highest award
By Douglas Werner, United Press staff writer

Small, adequate British industries may beat U.S. to post-war word market

By Henry J. Taylor, Scripps-Howard staff writer

Packard: Cervaro hills stained brown with U.S. blood

Push against Italian town takes many lives and much courage
By Reynolds Packard, United Press staff writer

Steele: Overseas Yanks in favor of national service law

Soldiers want anything that will stop strikes; believe drastic measures justified
By A. T. Steele

Roosevelt’s conferences with press drop sharply

President now meets half as often with reporters as he did before war

Washington (UP) –
President Roosevelt, who used to hold regular twice-a-week press and radio conferences, has averaged only a little better than one a week in the last year.

Wartime travel and occasional illnesses have been the principal reasons given for Mr. Roosevelt’s lessening contacts with reporters.

Continuing to “take it easy” after his recent illness on orders of his doctor, Mr. Roosevelt did not hold his press conference today. He also scheduled no Cabinet meeting, but held three appointments in his residential quarters.

For years it was the President’s custom to meet with newsmen virtually every Tuesday afternoon and Friday morning to make announcements and to submit to free-for-all questioning. These conferences were rarely cancelled and held even when he was out of town for the benefit of reporters traveling with him.

Since Pearl Harbor, however, Mr. Roosevelt has more and more missed his news conferences. Not one is held when he is out of Washington in wartime because reporters now travel with him only on exceptional occasions.

Mr. Roosevelt held only 59 press conferences in 1943, compared with 96 in 1942, 91 in 1941 and 96 in 1940, the third-term campaign year. During the 10 months he was in office in 1933, he held 83 conferences. The total since he took office on March 4, 1933, is 929.

The President has held only three news sessions since Nov. 9, shortly before he left the country for the Cairo and Tehran Conferences. He was out of the country for about five weeks and had no contact with press or radio reporters during that period. For the past two weeks, he has been ill and recovering from an attack of influenza.

He held two news conferences shortly after his return, one on Dec. 17 and again on Dec. 21, and one after Christmas, on Dec. 28, but none since.

A few days after the Dec. 28 conference, Mr. Roosevelt became ill and although he has virtually recovered and is holding a daily schedule of appointments, his physician, RAdm. Ross T. McIntire, has recommended that the President “take it easy” for a while.

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