Election 1944: Pearl Harbor blame put on Roosevelt (8-30-44)

The Pittsburgh Press (August 30, 1944)


Becomes election issue –
Pearl Harbor blame put on Roosevelt

Montpelier, Vermont (UP) –
Clarence Budington Kelland, Republican National Committeeman for Arizona, told the Vermont State Republican Convention today that the “odium” of the Jap attack on Pearl Harbor must attach itself to President Roosevelt as “the highest authority which permitted the condition to exist.”

Mr. Kelland charged the President with allowing Pearl Harbor to “drowse and dance instead of being alert to repel attack,” with the neglect of elementary precautions and the congregation of U.S. naval vessels “in a single spot… like sitting ducks.”

He asked:

Why dare they not bring to trial the Army and Navy officers charged with the guilty responsibility for that disaster?

Why, knowing the awful extent of the disaster, did the Commander-in-Chief in a speech to the nation declare that the sinking of our fleet in Pearl Harbor would have no appreciable effect upon the war in the Pacific?.. He knew that as a result of the sinking of our fleet Japan was free to attack innumerable islands, make wide conquests, invade Burma, capture Hong Kong and Singapore, while we looked on helpless.

Mr. Kelland asked:

Why, knowing the imminence of war, did the Commander-in-Chief neglect the Philippine Islands and fail to garrison and supply them for defense?