America at war! (1941–) – Part 3

In Washington –
Christmas gift of discharge pay hits House snag

Committee leader finds complications, won’t ‘go crazy like Senate’ on bill to provide soldier $200-$500

Editorial: Our conscience is clear

Editorial: Christmas is coming!

Edson: 1918 experience shows need for post-war plans

By Peter Edson

Washington –
The recent flurry of peace rumors, even though entirely unfounded, emphasizes the need for speed in the formulation of definite governmental plans for the demobilization of war industries and post-war planning. The parallel for that is from the last war, when the 1918 Armistice, coming months before it was expected, caught the President, the Congress and all the war agencies entirely unprepared to deal with the situation.

Contemporary accounts of the confusion in Washington after the 1918 Armistice are highly amusing, though terribly scandalous. One observer had it that of the 231 dollar-a-year men then in Washington, 230 wanted to go home at the earliest possible minute. Some of them apparently did, leaving on their desks unsigned letters. The catchphrase of the day was that:

The night of Nov. 11, the War Industries Board caught the midnight train home.

The War Industries Board itself, which under the chairmanship of Bernard M. Baruch was the War Production Board of its day, really faded from the picture in three weeks. While it had ample powers for wartime, it lacked authority for post-war operations. Belated proposals to give the Board this post-armistice authority met with no support whatsoever from Congress. The new Congress elected in the November 1918 election was Republican and the lame-duck Congress remaining in office would have no part of any proposal that came from the Wilson administration. A day after the Armistice, Congress has before it proposals to cut back all expenditures.

Such was the psychology of the times for the immediate return to normalcy.

Trend of the times

Today, all this reads like handwriting on the wall. The same forces that shaped the course of events in 1918 are shaping up now. If there is any moral in this potential repetition of history, it should be found in the record of what happened after the 1918 Armistice – months of uncertainty in readjustment shifting gradually into a year of inflation and then the costly deflation of the early 1920s.

Fortunately, something does seem to have been learned from this sad experience. Whereas, in September and October of 1918, President Wilson was counseling against any too definite post-war planning and Mr. Baruch himself was too busy running the war production effort to give them to post-war planning, today the President and Congress and the war agencies have all made a start towards post-war planning.

And Mr. Baruch, as head of a new unit in the Office of War Mobilization under James F. Byrnes, is in this war concentrating all his attention on these readjustment problems he did not have time for in the last war, tackling them one at a time in the order of their importance, beginning with termination of contracts, then the disposal of inventories of surplus materials, disposal of government-owned war plants and machinery, and so on right down the line.

Private industry itself is more alert to the requirements of post-war planning and the need for orderly demobilization than it was in 1918. That is perhaps the most encouraging aspect of all.

Inflation dangers

The dangers of post-war inflation are perhaps greater than the dangers of wartime inflation, release of wartime savings in a national spending spree could easily result in great price rises. Rationing of production might be necessary to avoid running up prices.

Seemingly minor problems like these serve to emphasize that post-war readjustment will be one of the most difficult periods the United States has ever gone through.

The idea that no one should waste time now planning for the future, is thus a fallacy.

Ferguson: Cost of war

By Mrs. Walter Ferguson

Background of news –
Serious rift in Democratic ranks

By Bertram Benedict, editorial research reports

Senator Joseph F. Guffey (D-PA) is likely to be replaced next week as chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. The Senator was excoriated in the Senate last Tuesday by Senator Harry F. Byrd (D-VA) and Josiah W. Bailey (D-NC) for having declared that Southern Democrats had formed an “unholy alliance” with Northern Republicans to defeat a plan for assuring servicemen of an opportunity to vote in the 1944 presidential election.

Senator Bailey exclaimed bitterly in the Senate on Tuesday that:

Southern Democrats maintained the Democratic Party and kept it alive in all the long years of its exile.

It certainly is true that when the Democratic Party is out of power, the bulk of its strength nationally comes from the South. In 1929, after the Republican landslide of the year before, 24 of the 37 Democrats in the Senate came from the South, and 105 of the 165 in the House.

Even when the Democrats are in power, the South may provide the majority of Democrats in Congress. Today, there are a dozen more Democratic representatives from the South than from other parts of the country. In the Senate, there are 25 Southern and 32 non-Southern Democrats but, with only one-third of the Senate elected every two years, the anti-Democratic trend manifested in the 1942 elections could not make itself fully left in the Senate membership.

Definition of ‘South’ disputed

Sometimes the South is considered as 10 states – Virginia, North and South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas – frequently called the “Solid South.” In this case, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Oklahoma are termed “border” states, along with Maryland, Missouri, and sometimes Delaware and West Virginia.

The Census Bureau puts Delaware, Maryland and West Virginia with five Southern states on the Atlantic Seaboard to form a “South Atlantic” category.

In this presentation, the South is considered, perhaps arbitrarily, as comprising 13 states – the “Solid South,” Kentucky, Tennessee and Oklahoma.

The other great source of Democratic strength is the large cities of the East, Midwest and West. Of the 104 non-Southern Democrats now in the House of Representatives, 50 came from cities of over 500,000 population – including 19 from New York and seven from Chicago.

Unlike the Southern members of Congress, who can count on reelection even in a Republican landslide year, most non-Southern Democrats are in danger when the Republicans sweep the country.

Two factions in conflict

The economic interests of the Southern and the urban non-Southern Democrats often conflict. That was well shown in the vote, last June 25, overriding the veto of the Connally-Smith anti-strike bill. In the Senate, the Southern Democrats voted 22–0 to override, the non-Southern Democrats 20–10 to sustain the veto. In the House, the Southern Democrats voted 105–8 to override; the non-Southern, 63–15 to sustain.

In the 1924 Democratic National Convention, a motion was made to condemn in the platform the Ku Klux Klan – anti-Catholic, anti-Jewish, anti-alien. The motion was lost by only five votes. The Southern delegates voted 252–54 against it, delegates from the nine New England and Mid-Atlantic states voted 245–36 for it, with others about evenly divided.

Until 1936, the two-thirds rule gave the Southern Democrats a virtual veto power over the presidential and vice-presidential nominations of the party, but in that year, majority rule was substituted.

Yanks in India get the best food, housing

Reverse Lend-Lease helps in providing for U.S. troops
By A. T. Steele

170,000 prisoners of war now in U.S.

Ernie Pyle V Norman

Roving Reporter

By Ernie Pyle

Allied HQ, Algiers, Algeria – (by wireless)
The Army mess where I used to eat during infrequent visits to Algiers was staffed at one time by soldier-waiters. Then later we had French girls, and now upon my return our waiters are Italian prisoners. And they are in fact the best we’ve had.

They’re terribly attentive, and grin all the time, apparently because they’re so happy with their jobs. They don’t speak English, and very few of us speak Italian, so a very neat system of dining-table communications has been devised.

Each place has a little typed menu with each dish numbered. With it is a tiny slip of paper with numbers running up to 15. So you simply take a pencil and circle the number of whatever you want and hand the slip to the waiter.

Pretty soon he comes back with exactly what you ordered no matter how illogical your appetite may have been. They simply never make a mistake that way. I think we ought to try it at home.

Pvt. George McCoy used to do a daily buttonhole broadcast for WEAF on the steps of the Astor Hotel in New York. The program was called The Real McCoy. Now he’s on the staff of the Stars and Stripes doing the same thing – buttonholing soldiers on the streets and having them talk into the microphone.

Ernie is buttonholed

He calls the present program The Sidewalks of North Africa. Just before I went home last fall, George buttonholed me and got me up to his studio and made some kind of record for broadcasting to the soldiers.

I don’t know what I said because it was the second time in my life I’d ever done such a thing, and I was so scared I can’t remember.

I ran into Pvt. McCoy again yesterday and he was all aflutter. Seems he’d read in a clipping from the States how I’d turned down an offer of $1,500 for one broadcast. So he’s been running around all over Algiers telling people what a wonderful person I am because I turned down $1,500 at home but did one for nothing over here.

It’s nice of George, but the truth is I’m just plain silly.

Transient correspondents at Algiers stay in six rooms set aside for us at the Aletti Hotel. A newcomer just goes from one of the rooms to another until he finds either an empty bed or some floor space for his bedroll, and moves in. The first I stayed with John Daly of CBS. The second I slept on a balcony in the new sleeping bag That Girl bought me as a farewell gift. And now I’m in a room with Red Mueller of NBC, who is about to start home for the first time in 20 months.

Tireder and tireder

My battle friend, Chris Cunningham of the United Press, is still here after nearly two years at war. Here too are Hal Boyle and Boots Norgaard of AP, Don Coe of UP and Graham Hovey of INS, all old pals of last winter in Tunisia and all of them getting tireder and tireder of war.

Chris and Hal have been put to writing war columns similar to this one for their press associations. Hal, who always has a funny remark, says:

I’m writing for the people who look over the shoulders of the people reading Ernie Pyle’s column.

On the second day back in Algiers, I went up to Allied headquarters to give Gen. Eisenhower a copy of my book. In the outer lobby, you had to show credentials to a soldier behind the desk. After the soldier had made out my entry pass, he said:

I’m almost from your hometown.

“Where’s that?” I asked.

“Montezuma, Indiana,” he said.

The soldier was Luther C. Manwaring. He is a quiet and gentlemanly young man of 25, who hasn’t been home in nearly two years. I was through Montezuma about a month ago, so I was able to tell Pvt. Manwaring that our respective hometowns were still there and thriving and hardly mussed him or me at all.

O’Hare downed in night battle

Navy hero helps to repel Jap torpedo attack
By Charles P. Arnot, United Press staff writer

Maj. de Seversky: 75mm guns equipping U.S. bombers only first of heavy plane armament

By Maj. Alexander P. de Seversky

Simms: Small nations hit by policy on Yugoslavia

Fear America and Britain may desert them for rebel regimes
By William Philip Simms, Scripps-Howard staff writer

Poll: Dewey leading choice of GOP in New Jersey

Willkie and MacArthur run second and third, survey shows
By George Gallup, Director, American Institute of Public Opinion

The home front –
New Selective Service Act does not stop induction of pre-Pearl Harbor fathers

Regular flow into Armed Forces not to be interrupted

Völkischer Beobachter (December 12, 1943)

Durch Zensurversehen in unsere Hände gelangt –
Was man in USA hinter verschlossenen Türen spricht

Drahtbericht unseres Lissaboner Berichterstatters

v. m. Lissabon, 11. Dezember –
Aus begreiflichen Gründen haben es die amerikanischen Nachrichtenagenturen unterlassen, über eine Arbeitstagung des amerikanischen Kriegsministeriums in Fort Belor ausführlich zu berichten, in der Jimmy Byrnes in seiner Eigenschaft als Koordinator der USA.-Kriegsanstrengungen eine vielsagende Ansprache hielt. Aus einer in Lissabon durch ein Versehen der USA.-Zensur eingetroffenen Nummer der Washington Post entnehmen wir die bezeichnendsten Stellen dieser Rede, welcher insofern besondere Bedeutung zukommt, als Byrnes nach Roosevelt zu den mächtigsten Männern in den USA gezählt wird.

Byrnes erklärte den in verfrühten Siegeshoffnungen schwelgenden Amerikanern:

Wir sind heute dem Siege keineswegs näher als etwa die Deutschen im Sommer 1940 oder die Japaner unmittelbar nach Pearl Harbour. Es gibt keine Entschuldigung für die voreilige Annahme, wir würden eine bedingungslose Kapitulation der Achsenmächte erleben. Der Weg nach Berlin und Tokio ist ebenso lang wie hart und blutig. Wir mögen auch noch so viel nach Zwietracht in Deutschland Ausschau halten. Wenn wir ehrlich mit uns sind, müssen wir eingestehen, daß dafür sehr wenig Wahrscheinlichkeit vorhanden ist. Immer und immer wieder beweist das deutsche Volk, daß es sehr gut einstecken kann. Wir dagegen haben nicht einen Beweis dafür, daß unsere Heimatfront stärker und einiger als diejenige unserer Feinde ist. Im Gegenteil, die Zeichen unserer eigenen Zwietracht stärken den Kampfeswillen unserer Gegner.

Der Unterstaatssekretär im USA-Kriegsministerium Patterson zog auf der gleichen Tagung in einer anderen Ansprache entsprechende Schlüsse und sagte:

Ein gefahrenschwangeres Jahr steht uns bevor. Ein Jahr der Siege, aber auch der Niederlagen, und wir wollen und müßten beten, daß erstere überwiegen, weil es ein Jahr schwerer persönlicher Tragedien für viele Amerikaner sein wird.

Man wird zugeben, daß diese Worte, selbstverständlich hinter verschlossenen Türen gesprochen, sehr merklich von den Siegesfanfaren der Bluffkonferenz in Teheran abstechen, eben weil sie in einem sachlichen und nicht agitatorischen Zusammenhang gesprochen wurden und nicht für die Öffentlichkeit bestimmt waren. Sie ermöglichen uns einen kleinen Einblick in die wirkliche Verfassung unserer Feinde und zeigen uns, wie wenig sie selbst an den Erfolg ihrer agitatorischen Beschwörungen glauben, ja sogar schon so weit gehen müssen, von den „Zeichen ihrer eigenen Zwietracht“ zu sprechen, weil sie fühlen, daß ihre Rechnung niemals aufgehen kann.

Interessant ist in diesem Zusammenhang, daß sich immer mehr derartig vorsichtige Stimmen in Amerika zu Wort melden. Auch der bekannte Rundfunk- und Zeitungskommentator Ernest Lindley hat es für nötig gehalten, seine Landsleute zu warnen und auf die Möglichkeit einer „schlagenden deutschen Vergeltung gegen England“ aufmerksam zu machen: So sagte er:

Es würde eine große Dummheit sein wenn wir die Möglichkeit ausschlössen, daß das deutsche Oberkommando irgend etwas Sensationelles im Hintergrund bereit hält.

Auch Raymond Clapper, sonst einer der optimistischsten USA-Journalisten und glühender Unterstützer der Roosevelt-Politik, schlug in seiner Pearl-Harbour-Gedächtnisrede im Rundfunk erheblich sanftere Töne als sonst an und erinnerte die Amerikaner daran, „wie leicht wieder ein so überraschender und atemberaubender Schlag aus heiterem Himmel niedersausen kann,“ und forderte eine raschere Bereitschaft aller Bürger der Vereinigten Staaten.

Kleinlaut für den Hausgebrauch

Die große Sensation der Woche war für Amerika aber die Forderung des früheren republikanischen Präsidentschaftskandidaten Alfred Landon nach einer außenpolitischen Festlegung der Republikaner auf der Linie „keine verstrickenden Allianzen, keine Völkerbundideologie, keine Festlegung auf die Moskau-Charta.“ Der Londoner Daily Express hält dieses Bekenntnis für sehr witzig und bemerkt dazu:

Wenn die Republikanische Partei diese Linie ihres Chefs gutheißt, wird Wendell Willkie in der kommenden Wahl kaum als Kandidat gegen Roosevelt auftreten können.

Andere Beobachter unterstreichen, daß Landon seine Erklärungen ausgerechnet während der Konferenz zwischen Roosevelt, Stalin und Churchill abgab, und sehen in der Wahl dieses Zeitpunktes gröbste Kritik an der amerikanischen Außenpolitik.

Unterschätzt den Gegner nicht! Glaubt nicht an einen billigen Sieg und an einen inneren Zusammenbruch Deutschlands! Achtet auf den deutschen Generalstab. Rechnet mit Niederlagen und betet für Siege, Seid vorsichtig in der Außenpolitik und in den allzu weitgehenden Verpflichtungen gegenüber den Sowjets und den Engländern!

Wie passen alle diese Warnungen, die gewitterartig auf die Yankees niederrauschen, zu jenen todbitteren Nachkriegsplänen, die in Amerika schon zu einem Gesellschaftsspiel geworden sind, weil man so tut, als ob der Sieg schon geborgen sei? Sollte Mister Byrnes recht haben und diese Reden und Warnungen ein Anzeichen der inneren Unsicherheit und Schwäche des USA.-Kolosses sein?

U.S. Navy Department (December 12, 1943)

CINCPAC Press Release No. 192

Our battleships and carriers which bombarded Nauru Island on Decem­ber 8 (West Longitude Date) started large fires throughout the target area and destroyed nine planes on the ground and one in the air. We lost two aircraft. One of our destroyers received one hit from enemy shore batteries suffering minor damage. A Navy search Liberator of Fleet Air Wing Two strafed a medium cargo transport and its escorting patrol vessel near Jaluit on December 10.

CINCPAC Press Release No. 193

Two Navy dive bombers collided on December 7 while engaged in training exercises near Keilii Point, Maui. Pilots of both planes parachuted safely, but their radiomen were killed.

A bomb from one of the two planes in collision fell and detonated among a force of Marines participating in field maneuvers nearby. Twenty Marines were killed and 29 were injured. A court of inquiry is investigating circumstances of the casualty.

U.S. State Department (December 12, 1943)

868.01/416: Telegram

The Ambassador to the Greek Government-in-Exile in Egypt to the Secretary of State

Cairo, December 12, 1943 — 10 a.m.
Greek Series 128

I am reliably informed that during a long session on December 8 with Mr. Churchill and Mr. Eden the King of Greece steadfastly refused to make a declaration proposed by them to the effect that he will not return to Greece unless and until called for by the Constituent Assembly to the formation of which he agreed in his declaration of July 4.

I saw the President on December 3 and advised him regarding this proposal and after he had seen the King he desired me not to associate myself with any effort to force him to a course of action against his will. This I have been careful not to do both before and since. I understand that the President told the King that there was no necessity for him to make any declaration whatever unless he so desired.

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

In this connection the British appear to have been influenced in taking the attitude they did chiefly by a change in military plans regarding operations in Greece and by the anti-British and anti-King propaganda being spread there to the benefit of the Communist leadership. They hoped to kill this propaganda and deprive this leadership of many recruits by making clear now that no possibility exists of the King’s being forced on the country. Because of the present and probable future Republican makeup of the Greek Government the solution arrived at may be regarded as amounting to much the same thing in effect as the original proposal.


The Pittsburgh Press (December 12, 1943)

U.S. fliers down 138 Nazi planes, lose 20 in heavy raid on Emden

Germans suffer crushing defeat in savage sky battle
By Phil Ault, United Press staff writer

Allied troops clear out key pass in Italy

Gateway to important Liri Valley believed held by 5th Army
By C. R. Cunningham, United Press staff writer

Hull warns Axis puppets to quit war

Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria told they will share in disaster

18–22 group, father or not, eyed by draft

Selective Service office corrects interview on family status