Election 1944: Plans for new drive on Japs may be given (8-11-44)

The Pittsburgh Press (August 11, 1944)


Roosevelt to report –
Plans for new drive on Japs may be given

Gains in Pacific exceed hopes

Washington (UP) –
President Roosevelt, in his promised report to the American people, may reveal the broad outlines of the Beat-Japan strategy he drafted in conferences with Gen. Douglas MacArthur and Adm. Chester W. Nimitz.

Dispatches released yesterday, telling of Mr. Roosevelt’s visit to Hawaii to inspect the men and munitions fighting the Japs and to confer with military chieftains, said he planned to report soon on his trip, probably in a radio speech. No other indication was given as to time or place.

To quicken pace

The Pacific War has been going better recently than even the most optimistic had dared hope while the grand smash at Germany was in progress.

Mr. Roosevelt’s optimism in Honolulu seemed to reflect belief that the pace against the Japs can be quickened even more.

No details of any new strategy will be permitted to leak out until after it has been put into effect, of course.

But it was recalled that Adm. Nimitz has spoken previously about driving straight across the Pacific to the China coast and establishing a beachhead there, while Gen. MacArthur’s oft-stated aim is to lead conquering Allied forces back into the Philippines and to proceed thence with defeating Japan. The two plans have doubtless been fitted hand-in-glove.

To emphasize Pacific

In Washington, members of Congress who have long charged that the Pacific War was not being accorded proper relative importance, viewed Mr. Roosevelt’s Hawaiian trip as portending increased emphasis on and speedier prosecution of that phase of the global conflict.

In general, Congressional comment was divided pretty much along party lines. Acting House Democratic Leader Robert Ramspeck (D-GA) hailed the trip as indicating “that even bigger blows are to be struck against the Japs in the future.”

But Rep. Paul W. Shafer (R-MI) viewed it as strictly a vote-getting move. He said:

The President knows the war in Europe is about to collapse but he needs a war to direct so he can win the election.

Has good news

If Mr. Roosevelt does take the occasion of his forthcoming report to review the Pacific War, he will have much good news to report. He can recall the mighty Superfortress raids in Japan’s homeland, the latest carried out only yesterday; the speedy contest of Saipan, Tinian, Guam and other islands, and Gen. MacArthur’s steady march back toward the islands where Jap forces beat down his handful of men at the start of the war.

Meeting reports on July 29 – the day he completed his visit to the mighty base built up where U.S. forces suffered disaster on Dec. 7, 1941 – the President personally renewed his pledge that Gen. MacArthur would return to the Philippines leading triumphant U.S. forces.

Warning recalled

Since Mr. Roosevelt’s anticipated report is apparently to tell the people about what he found in the Pacific, if was not believed likely that it would need to involve many, if any, of the corrections of “misrepresentations” which he has promised to deliver.

In his fourth term nomination acceptance speech, delivered to the Democratic National Convention by radio from San Diego, California, just before he left for Hawaii, the President said that because of the war “I shall not campaign in the usual sense.”

But he added that:

I shall feel free to report to the people the facts about matters of concern to them and especially to correct any misrepresentations.