The Pittsburgh Press (September 14, 1940)
CZECHS SOLD BY ROOSEVELT, WILLKIE SAYS
President Telephones Hitler and Mussolini, He Charges in Talk
Aboard Willkie Train En Route to Kansas City, Sept. 14 –
Republican presidential candidate Wendell Willkie charged President Roosevelt today with having telephoned Hitler and Mussolini to “sell Czechoslovakia down the river at Munich.”
Addressing several thousand persons who crowded around the observation platform of his special train at Joliet, Ill., Mr. Willkie asserted that Mr. Roosevelt “promoted the Munich pact.”
He did not elaborate beyond saying that the President’s telephone calls to Adolf Hitler of Germany and Benito Mussolini of Italy in 1938 had helped “sell out” the Czechs.
Chicago, Sept. 14 –
Wendell Willkie started his Western presidential campaign tour today with a final blast against the Chicago Kelly-Nash Democratic political organization and a threat to send income tax evaders to prison.
After his six-speech whirl before an estimated million Chicagoans yesterday, the Republican candidate had one more speech left when he got to the railroad station to board his special campaign train.
Addressing nearly 1,000 persons who crowded around the observation platform, Mr. Willkie cracked back at Senator Scott Lucas for making capital of his “to-hell-with-Chicago” quip before electrical workers in suburban Cicero yesterday.
’Watch New Dealers’
Mr. Willkie said:
Watch the New Dealers – Senator Scott Lucas and his gang – try to discount the cheering throngs who greet me. They can well be afraid. Any defenders of the Kelly-Nash machine are in tough shape. When I’m elected, I’ll take Kelly-Nash to the nether regions.
People of Chicago: Get rid of them and I’ll help you. There will be no income tax settlements when I’m President. We’ll send them where they ought to go.
Thanks from the bottom of my heart and God bless you.
Plans Several Speeches
Rear platform speeches were scheduled for Joliet, Morris, Ottawa and LaSalle, all in Illinois. He was to leave the train at Peoria, Galesburg, Rock Island, Ill. and Davenport, Iowa.
The “to-hell-with-Chicago” incident which drew the sharpest Democratic retort to Mr. Willkie’s Chicago remarks was made before 25,000 Western Electric employees and others at Cicero.
“Here in Chicago–,” Mr. Willkie began. “This is Cicero,” some in the crowd broke in. Mr. Willkie laughed.
All right, we’re in Cicero, to hell with Chicago. We’re outside of Kelly-Nash of Chicago.
Senator Scores Him
Senator Lucas, head of the Midwestern Democratic campaign, said:
His consignment of Chicago to eternal damnation is a revelation of the primary rashness of the Willkie character. It shows his unsoundness, his lack of the balance and of the wisdom which the nation needs in this time of appalling emergency.
Can anyone of the men and women who, three months ago, were prepared to admire Willkie now imagine him as President in the four years when the nation’s very fate may depend upon cooler judgment?..
The net result of Willkie’s medicine show invasion of Chicago yesterday will be, I predict, that the city will rebuke him next November with a Roosevelt majority of 500,000 instead of the previously expected 300,000 and that downstate will join with its great metropolis in turning his profane insult back upon his head.
Cheered in Loop
From Mr. Willkie’s standpoint, the high point of his day-long tour through the city was the tremendous ovation given him in the Loop as crowds beginning at buildings on both sides of the street jammed against his slowly-moving auto, and ticker tape, torn telephone books, and confetti poured down from the skyscrapers. Tears came to his eyes and he said he “supposed” that he had seen a million persons during the day.
His audiences yesterday were packing house workers, plumbing equipment makers, electrical equipment employees, steel workers, and Negroes and to all of them he preached the same basic doctrine – that America is weak because of alleged New Deal failures to get business back in production and men off the relief rolls and back on private payrolls; and a pledge that he would build an economy and defense so strong that no dictator would seek to strike.
Raps Lynching 'Evil’
To thousands of Negroes assembled in a baseball park, he gave a special promise that he would work to eliminate both private and governmental discriminations against them, and would continue government relief for persons unable to obtain private jobs. He called for enactment of legislation to curb “the evil of lynching.”
The Chicago tour was Mr. Willkie’s first intensive personal campaigning and he worked at it so hard that his voice was husky and his legs tired from effort as he went to his “skyway suite” high in the Stevens Hotel to retire early.
He stood on the back of an open auto, waving first one hand, then the other, and both together to the crowds and revealed a gesture new to him, a clenched fist to display determination.
Throw Kisses to Women
He winked at admirers and threw kisses to women employees in laundries and beauty salons and among the factory workers he sprinkled
His attractive wife, Edith, who had been afraid even of the comparatively smaller crowds at the Philadelphia Republican Convention where he was nominated, stood in the car beside him and enjoyed the show so much that soon she was throwing roses to the crowds that lined LaSalle Street, the heart of the financial district, and spacious Michigan Avenue.
The nominee’s 20-year-old son, Philip, made his first campaign speech yesterday to thank Negroes for their support of his father, and to stand beside a Negro youth, 23-year-old Ray Evans Jr., with whom he once attended school in Rush County, Indiana.
Refers to Roosevelt
Mr. Willkie’s accent is that of a typical Hoosier, with some slurring of syllables, and he took cognizance of some previous criticism of his diction yesterday to tell laughing crowds that he had no “Harvard lilt” or “Groton accent”. He did not say so, but the reference to Mr. Roosevelt’s education and style of speech was apparent.
His schedule today takes him toward Kansas City, where he will spend all of tomorrow, giving the final touches to his Coffeyville, Kansas speech Monday afternoon, which he has designated as the formal campaign opener. That address will be broadcast nationally.