Election 1944: Pearl Harbor probe pledged by Bricker (9-21-44)

The Pittsburgh Press (September 21, 1944)


Pearl Harbor probe pledged by Bricker

Democrats accused of ‘hiding facts’

Baltimore, Maryland (UP) –
Ohio Governor John Bricker said today he would do everything in his power to air immediately all the facts about Pearl Harbor if the Republican presidential slate is elected in November.

Declaring at a press conference that the Roosevelt administration should “give us the facts now,” the Republican vice-presidential candidate added that “there is nothing that happened in December 1941 that could possibly hurt the war effort now.”

Mr. Bricker came here for a series of conferences with GOP leaders and a speech tonight. At Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, last night, he called for an immediate trial of RAdm. Husband E. Kimmel and Maj. Gen. Walter C. Short, Navy and Army commanders at Pearl Harbor when the Japanese struck.

‘Won’t be periled’

In response to press conference questions as to what his attitude would be, in the event of a Republican victory, if the military staffs advised against publication of Pearl Harbor details, Mr. Bricker insisted that the war effort would not be imperiled by so doing.

Mr. Bricker said:

Divulging of the facts would establish confidence in the government once again. The American people are not subject to dictation. There is nothing to warrant withholding the facts of the disaster from them. The facts are known to the administration and it should come clean with the American people.

Mayor Theodore R. McKeldin welcomed the governor upon his arrival here, but a scheduled tour of shipyards was canceled.

At Wilkes-Barre, Mr. Bricker said the New Deal was attempting to preserve its “entrenched power” by propaganda, intimidation and suppression of vital news.

The Republican vice-presidential nominee made his fourth major speech in Pennsylvania within two days in his 3,250-mile Eastern campaign swing at the Wilkes-Barre Armory.

Mr. Bricker said that the Roosevelt administration is “spending hundreds of millions of dollars” to propagandize the President as the “indispensable man,” is “withholding news,” is purposely confusing the issues and has begun a campaign of “threats and intimidation” to win the election.

Hillman is mentioned

Answering a claim that “we must not change horses in midstream,” Mr. Bricker said:

The New Deal convention answered that one when it changed the off horse and Sidney Hillman holds the check line on the lead horse.

He said:

There is no other motive that could prompt keeping the American people in the dark. In a republic, a people’s government, there’s no place for secret commitments for closed door conferences. We want no armed guards keeping the American people in the dark as they did at the food conference. We want no more Dumbarton Oaks conclaves, considering the matters that the American people. who will ultimately foot the bill, do not know about.

The best assurance that the best interests of the American people will be protected by any commitments would be in the elections of Governor Thomas E. Dewey as President. The New Dealers are fighting to save their jobs. The Republicans are fighting to save the nation!

Strikes at Biddle

The campaign of intimidation and threats being carried on to preserve those jobs, Mr. Bricker said, more recently was under the leadership of Attorney General Francis J. Biddle. He recently “brought indictments against western railroads without the facts, admitting that it would take 18 months to secure the facts and try the case he had lodged,” Bricker said.

That indictment, Mr. Bricker said, was one of the “most unsound and demagogic effort that could be conceived.”

Mr. Bricker said:

If Attorney General Biddle represents the philosophy of the New Deal, then we are threatened with a dictatorship, right here at home should the New Dealer be successful in his campaign.