Election 1944: Army to share radio time with political parties (8-28-44)

The Pittsburgh Press (August 28, 1944)


Army to share radio time with political parties

Shortwave facilities will be used by five groups for broadcasts to servicemen

Washington (UP) –
The War Department announced today that equal time on its shortwave radio facilities will be made available upon request each week to all qualified political parties for rebroadcast of “political addresses” to U.S. Armed Forces overseas.

It said the arrangement will become effective next month and will end Nov. 1, by which date “overseas voting should be completed.”

Provided by law

The action is in conformance with a recent amendment to the Soldier Voting Act under which, the Department said:

The Army may rebroadcast “political addresses” over government-controlled radio stations provided equal time, if requested, is given to each political party having a candidate for President in at least six states.

It listed the Democratic, Prohibition, Republican, Socialist and Socialist Labor parties as now qualified for such radio time under the law.

Ruling reversed

The announcement followed Friday’s War Department action in which it first granted the Socialist Party radio time for an overseas broadcast to troops, upholding the Socialist contention that President Roosevelt’s Bremerton, Washington, speech Aug. 12 was a “political address,” and six hours later withdrew the permission on grounds it had determined that Mr. Roosevelt’s Bremerton “report” was not political.

Republican National Headquarters issued a statement quoting GOP National Chairman Herbert Brownell Jr. as saying that “I think before making any comment I will wait to see if the ruling is reversed by any higher-ups.”