Election 1944: Pre-convention news

The Pittsburgh Press (December 29, 1943)

americavotes1944

Fourth term hint is given by President

His disavowal of ‘New Deal’ regarded as start of campaign
By Lyle C. Wilson, United Press staff writer

Roosevelt ordered to rest by doctor

Washington (UP) –
The White House announced today that President Roosevelt is suffering from a head cold and will remain in his presidential quarters today.

His physician, RAdm. Ross T. McIntire, said the President has no fever, but he thought it best for him to stay away from his offices.

Washington (UP) –
President Roosevelt’s disavowal of the term “New Deal” as the administration’s reform trademark was widely regarded here today as the first important move toward a win-the-war fourth term campaign.

But others regarded his triumphant accounting of administration policies since 1933 as a reply to those critics who have accused Mr. Roosevelt of having lost interest in the reform era now that a war was underway.

The President tossed the term “New Deal” overboard in a casual conversation last week. He made it official at yesterday’s news conference during which he read a partially prepared statement to nearly 200 reporters who somehow felt they were participating in an historic occasion.

Fourth term drive?

He said the patient – the United States – is not wholly well yet and won’t be until the war is won.

He was asked:

Does all this add up to a fourth term?

The President replied:

Oh now – we are not talking about things like that now. You’re getting picayune. I know you won’t mind my saying that, but I have to say something like that.

His rejoinder recalled a similar set of circumstances three years ago when he was asked whether he would seek a third term. On that occasion he advised the inquiring reporter to go in a corner and put on a dunce cap.

Raises questions

Whatever the motive, the abandonment of the term “New Deal” after ten years of what has come to be called New Deal-Democratic coalition raises some political questions. The coalition began to sag in the 1942 general elections and buckled badly in scattered contests this year.

Some of Mr. Roosevelt left-wing supporters have been intimating that he was running out on New Deal philosophers as well as terms. Some of his conservative party partners have been warning of political disaster unless Democrats dissociate themselves from the New Deal at once.

Senator Edwin C. Johnson (D-CO) said on Dec. 6:

The New Deal is through. If the Democratic Party persists in hanging on to its dead corpse it will lose the Senate, the House and the governors of every Northern and Western state in the next election.

Guffey’s dispute

Southern politicians have been muttering for months. Their displeasure burst like shrapnel in the Senate this month against Senator Joseph F. Guffey (D-PA) who had offended them in his role of New Deal spokesman. It is significant that the Southern bitterness is against the “New Dealers” rather than against the administration as a whole or against the President himself.

New Dealer No. 1 in this town is Harry L. Hopkins, Mr. Roosevelt’s personal aide and confidante. There was speculation here today whether the President might be preparing to get him out of the country in the presidential campaign year. There would be precedent for that.

When Herbert C. Hoover was nearing the test of his second presidential campaign he summarily removed from his Cabinet and sent to London as ambassador an old man who had been the prophet of prosperity until the Depression came and then had come to be regarded as a crippling political liability.

But Mellon went

The old man was Andrew W. Mellon, Secretary of the Treasury. Mr. Mellon did not want to go. But he went.

Left-wing supporters of the administration began to be apprehensive after Mr. Roosevelt, refereeing a bout between Vice President Henry A. Wallace and Secretary of Commerce Jesse H. Jones, declared Mr. Jones the winner and stripped Mr. Wallace of all participation in the war effort. It was a rebuke rarely equaled.

The New Republic’s Washington columnist on Aug. 23 wrote:

The New Dealers who are not trying to apologize for the President are asking themselves whether Mr. Roosevelt again will become the champion of progressive government once the war is won.

New leadership

The Nation, liberal weekly, said on July 24 after the Jones-Wallace row:

The man who created the New Deal seems intent on destroying it before he leaves office in his flaccid retreat before the Bourbons of his own party. Isn’t it about time for labor and the left to look around for new leadership.

Similarly suspicious, the eighth annual convention of the CIO United Auto Workers on Oct. 7 voted to support a Roosevelt fourth term only on the condition that he took “an aggressive position against the foes of the New Deal.”

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americavotes1944

Bitter battle takes shape in GOP Senatorial race

Davis flays Martin-Grundy-Pew faction in party supporting Duff for his position
By Kermit McFarland

A bitter battle for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senator, at stake in the April 25 primary, today appeared virtually certain.

Senator James J. Davis practically announced his candidacy on a visit here in which he touched off a bristling attack on the factional leaders who plan to oppose him.

Backed by Governor Martin and the Grundy wing of the party, Attorney General James H. Duff of Carnegie is the leading probability as a candidate against Mr. Davis. While Mr. Duff has made no public statement, the Governor and the Grundy forces have been proceeding as though his candidacy were an accepted fact.

Local leadership

Locally Senator Davis’ campaign will be headed by County Controller Robert G. Woodside recently reelected to a fifth term; Sheriff Robert J. Corbett, C. J. McBride of the 31st Ward, long an organization stalwart, and the Young Republican group.

County Commissioner John S. Herron, also Republican County Chairman, will undoubtedly be among the leading backers of Mr. Duff.

Senator Davis said:

Reports indicate certain men and interests are pooling their personal wealth, their political positions and their personal influence to gain control of the processes of government.

Can hold whip hand

These forces are in position to collect enforced contributions from reluctant contributors. They can hold the whip hand of dismissal over many people, both in public and private employment. They are able to make concessions to, or to threaten reprisals upon many thousands of our citizens to support those whom these interests will designate.

Senator Davis named no names, but there was no disguising his targets – joseph R. Grundy, dean of the Old Guard and perpetually a Davis opponent, and Joseph N. Pew, perennial money prop of the Republican organization.

He denounced the “pernicious practice” of “spending vast, uncountable sums to control the selection and the election of candidates.” Their ability to spend and raise campaign funds has been the chief basis of power for both Mr. Grundy and Mr. Pew.

Pew guns for Davis

Mr. Pew has given no sign of his support of Mr. Duff, until now at least preferring Lieutenant Governor John C. Bell, but he appears to be more interested in licking Mr. Davis than in any other project. Mr. Bell is anxious to run for the Senate, but a three-way split is unlikely – it would only help Senator Davis.

Senator Davis, for the first time, was defeated when he sought the Republican nomination for Governor last May. This defeat has encouraged the Grundy-Martin forces in their efforts to unseat him, an effort in which they have previously failed three times.

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americavotes1944

Roosevelt sums up achievements as he sings ‘New Deal’ swansong

‘Old Doe New Deal’ cured patient, he says

Rooseveltsicily
Franklin D. Roosevelt – he called in a new doctor.

Washington (UP) –
Here is a play-by-play account of President Roosevelt’s news conference recital yesterday of the accomplishments of the New Deal and its replacement by a “win-the-war” administration.

The discussion began when a reporter asked:

Mr. Roosevelt, after our last meeting with you, it appears that someone stayed behind and received word that you no longer liked the term “New Deal.” Would you care to express any opinion to the rest of us?

The President said he supposed someone would ask that, and that he would have to be terribly careful in the future how he talked to people after press conferences. He went on to say that what the newspaperman had printed was accurate reporting. Mr. Roosevelt said he had hesitated for a bit as to whether he would say anything further about it, and it all came down, really, to a rather puerile and political view of things.

Some people, he said, have to be told how to spell “cat,” even people with a normally good education. A lot of people have forgotten entirely.

How did the New Deal come into existence, he asked himself, answering that it was because in 1932 there was an awfully sick patient called the United States of America. He was suffering from a grave internal disorder – he was awfully sick. And they sent for the doctor.

In 1933, many things had to be done to cure the patient internally. And they were done – though they took a number of years, the President continued.

There were certain specific remedies that the old doctor gave the patient. The people who are peddling all this talk about “New Deal” today, he said, are not saying anything about why the patient had to have all those remedies. He thought those critics should be asked directly just which of the remedies should now be taken away from the patient, especially if he should come down with a similar illness in the future.

The patient is all right now – he’s all right internally now – if they will just leave him alone, he added emphatically. The President continued that two years ago, after the patient had become pretty well, he had a very bad accident. This time it was not an internal trouble. Two years ago, on Dec. 7, he got into a pretty bad smashup – broke his hip, broke his leg in two or three places, broke a wrist and an arm. Some people didn’t even think he would live, for a while. And then he began to “come to” again. The President said since then, he has been in charge of a partner of the old doctor. “Old Doctor New Deal” didn’t know “nothing” about broken legs and arms. He knew a great deal about internal medicine, but nothing about this new kind of trouble.

So, he got “his partner, who was an orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Win-the-War,” to take care of this fellow who had been in this bad accident. And the result is that the patient is back on his feet. He has given up his crutches. He isn’t wholly well yet, and he won’t be until he wins the war, the Chief Executive continued.

He added that he thought this allegory is almost as simple as learning again how to spell “cat.”

The “Old Doctor” saved the banks of the United States and set up a sound banking system.

He continued his roll call with one of the old remedies – the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation – to guarantee bank deposits, supposing there must be some people, because they raise so much smoke, who would like to go back to the old system and let any bank, at will, go and lose all their depositors’ money without redress.

In those days, he said, two other remedies prescribed were saving homes from foreclosure, through the Home Owners’ Loan Corporation; and saving farms from foreclosure by the Farm Credit Administration. He supposed some people today would like to repeal all that and go back to the conditions of 1932, when the people out West mobbed a judge who was trying to carry out the law of the land and foreclose a farm.

Then there were such remedies as rescuing agriculture from disaster by the AAA and the Soil Conservation Act; providing truth in the sale of securities and protecting investors through the SEC. He recalled saying that there is an undercover drive going on in this country today to repeal the SEC – urging that people be allowed to sell any kind of securities to the widows and orphans and everybody else in this country. A lot of people would like to do that, to take off all the protection, and let “Old Mr. Skin” skin the public again.

Another remedy was slum clearance – decent housing. There hasn’t been enough done yet in slum clearance. He did not think that most people who have ever seen slum developments would advocate stopping that, or curtailing the program, saying of course there may be a few – a small percentage of – real estate men who would like to stop all government interest in housing.

Reduction of farm tenancy was another specific.

Again, in the old days, “Doctor New Deal” put in old-age insurance; he put in unemployment insurance. He did not think the country would want to give up old-age insurance or unemployment insurance, although there are a lot of people in the country who would like to keep us from having it.

He said the “Old Doctor” took care of a great many crippled and blind people through the federal aid system and some people want to abolish all that.

And then there was the public works program, to provide work, to build thousands of permanent improvements – incidentally giving work to the unemployed – both through the PWA and the WPA. There were provided federal funds through FEEA, for starving people who had reached the end of their resources; minimum wages and maximum hours; the Civilian Conservation Corps and reforestation; the NYA, for thousands of literally underprivileged young people.

Abolishing child labor was another remedy. It was not thought to be constitutional in the old days, but it turned out to be, he said.

There were also reciprocal trade agreements, which of course do have a tremendous effect on internal diseases; stimulation of private home building through the FHA; and the protection of consumers from extortionate rates by utilities; the breaking up of utility monopolies, through Sam Rayburn’s law.

The resettlement of farmers from marginal lands that cannot be cultivated profitably; regional physical developments, such as TVA; getting electricity out to the farmers through the REA; flood control; and water conservation; drought control and drought relief; crop insurance and the ever-normal granary; assistance to farm cooperatives; conservation of natural resources.

Although his list totaled up to about 30, he said he probably left out half of them.

But at the present time, he added, the principal emphasis, the overwhelming emphasis should be on winning the war. In other words, we are now suffering from that bad accident, not from an internal illness, he said.

Mr. Roosevelt said that when victory comes, the program of the past, of course, has got to be carried on, in the light of what is going on in other countries. It will not pay to go into a military isolationism. This is not just a question of dollars and cents, although some people think it is, he said. It is a question of a long-range policy, which ties in human beings with dollars, to the benefit of capital and the benefit of the human beings.

This post-war program, of course, hasn’t been settled on at all – except in generalities. Recalling the meeting in Tehran and the meeting in Cairo, he said we are still in the generality stage, not in the detail stage, because we are still talking only about principles. Later on, the United Nations will come down to the detail stage. He said we don’t want to confuse objectives by talking about details now.

He said it seems pretty clear that we must now plan for an expanded economy which will result in more security, more employment, more recreation, more education, more health, better housing – so that the conditions of 1932 and the beginning of 1933 won’t come back again.

Now, have those words been sufficiently simple and understood to write a story about, he asked the reporters.

He was asked:

Does that all add up to a fourth-term declaration?

The President replied:

Oh, now, we are not talking about things like that now. You are getting picayune. That’s a grand word to use – another word beginning with a P – picayune. I know you won’t mind my saying that, but I have to say something like that.

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Völkischer Beobachter (December 30, 1943)

Schrei nach neuem Programm

dnb. Genf, 29. Dezember –
In einer Pressekonferenz nahm Roosevelt zu den kritischen Äußerungen über seinen kürzlichen Vorschlag Stellung, daß „der New Deal“ beendet werden sollte. Der Präsident gab einen langen Überblick über das innenpolitische Programm des New Deal und meinte, jetzt brauche er ein neues Programm, um nach dem Krieg mit der neuen Lage fertig zu werden. Damit gab Roosevelt das Scheitern seines New-Deal-Programms offen zu. Was er aber nicht sagte ist, daß er sich über das Fiasko durch eine maßlose Aufrüstung hinwegrettete, durch die schließlich das Land in den Krieg getrieben wurde.

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The Pittsburgh Press (December 30, 1943)

americavotes1944

Davis to seek state inquiry in Senate race

Probe of expenses in the 1944 primary will be requested

A Congressional investigation of election expenses in the 1944 senatorial primary campaign in Pennsylvania will be requested by Senator James J. Davis (R-PA), the Senator warned here today.

Senator Davis said that when he returns to Washington he will:

…ask the Majority Leader to have a resolution introduced immediately to oversee expenditures, particularly in the primary elections.

He added that Congress will also be asked to appropriate sufficient funds:

…to enable United States marshals to cooperate with the committee and a sufficient appropriation to supervise the votes.

‘Both sides guilty’

Senator Davis, who was declared for the Republican nomination for Governor in 1942, said:

I don’t want to see happen again what happened in Allegheny, Lackawanna, parts of Schuylkill County and Philadelphia in 1942.

Mr. Davis indicated that his proposed inquiry would include expenses of both the Republican and Democratic campaigns, declaring that:

It’s just as bad on the Democratic side as on the Republican side.

Strikes assailed

In a speech at Moose Hall last night, Senator Davis said that a shutdown of the nation’s steel mills or railroads would have been “a calamity comparable to Pearl Harbor.”

The Senator commended leaders of the railroad and steel unions:

…who, when they might have chosen to permit trouble and delay, chose rather to keep the men at work.

americavotes1944

Soldier vote support

Washington (UP) –
Democratic National Committee Chairman Frank C. Walker predicted that Congress will enact compromise legislation, making it possible for servicemen to vote in the 1944 election without controverting states’ rights.

He said in a telegram to Sidney Hillman, chairman of the CIO Political Action Committee, that he can conceive of no member of Congress being willing to deny the soldier the “chance to make his voice heard in a national election” since it would be “a strange democracy that singled out for disfranchisement the citizens who are giving the greatest service for democracy.”

He said:

What could be more absurd than to remove from the election the votes of 10 million of our most patriotic citizens?

americavotes1944

Editorial: ‘Dunce’ – ‘Picayune’

At a White House press conference some months prior to the 1940 conventions, Fred Perkins, Pittsburgh Press Washington correspondent, asked the President whether he would be a candidate for a third term. Mr. Roosevelt told Fred to put on a dunce cap and go stand in a corner.

This week, at another White House conference, after the President had boasted of the accomplishments of his administration and enumerated reasons why he wanted to abandon the “New Deal” label in favor of a new “win the war” slogan, Bert Andrews of the New York Herald Tribune asked if all that added up to a declaration for a fourth term. Mr. Roosevelt replied that the question was “picayune.”

It’s too bad, Mr. President, but good reporters are just made that way. They are curious and inquiring fellows. They are interested in the same things newspaper readers are interested in – if they weren’t, they wouldn’t be good reporters. So, they go about their job day by day asking questions, some of which may be embarrassing to those questioned, but all of which are designed to obtain news they think will be interesting to people who read.

Before 1940, and now again with 1944 approaching, Mr. President – though it may seem strange to you – reporters have thought that rank-and-file citizens who read the papers and vote in elections had, and have, a lively curiosity about your intentions.

It may in your view be dunce-like and picayunish of them, but reporters and the people they serve are interested in you as a personality and as their President, and they just can’t help wondering how long you want to stay in that White House. So, it is altogether likely – to borrow one of your phrases, Mr. President – that the question will pop up “again and again.” But the reporters don’t intend to be rude or to break the rules of lèse-majesté – they’re just curious.

americavotes1944

Edson: Bureau of Census devises advanced sampling scheme

By Peter Edson

Washington –
1944 being one of those years when the polltakers will be abroad in the land, sampling public opinion and thereby predicting who is going to be elected dogcatcher where and by how much, it is worthy of note that the U.S. Bureau of Census has worked out some new wrinkles on straw balloting which have produced amazingly accurate results.

It should be made clear at the start that the Bureau of Census wasn’t and still isn’t interested in political prophesying, the work of the bureau being limited to strictly economic fact-finding. But the bureau used its new sampling technique so effectively in the recent survey of consumer requirements that it has set the private, non-governmental polltakers like Crossley, Gallup and Roper to studying the results to see if their own methods may not need some revision.

The possibility that changes in scientific sampling methods would have to be made from time to time of course has been admitted by the commercial poll-taking organizations. The old Literary Digest poll was accurate up to 1936, when it missed completely. Gallup’s organization was close in 1936 and 1940, but it was off in 1942.

Definite improvement

The new Bureau of Census technique may not represent as much of a refinement over the Gallup method as Gallup was an improvement over the Literary Digest, but it is hailed as an improvement.

The polltakers all get their results by gathering the opinions of only a limited number of people – from 3,000 to 60,000. In the first instance, that’s approximately one out of every 43,000 people in the country. In the latter, it’s one for every 2,150. In neither case is it a big sample and that may explain why you never knew anyone who was asked for his opinion in a poll.

The trick, of course, is to pick the right 3,000 to 60,000 people for the poll so as to get a representative cross-section of the population, correctly divided as to geographic areas, income levels, sex, occupation, age groups and other pre-determined classification. This is known as “purposive selection,” to get exactly a true percentage of each classification in the entire population. Where the Literary Digest went wrong in 1936, of course, was that all of the two million straw votes it received were cast by people whose names were in phonebooks or owned autos.

‘Cell’ system used

The Bureau of Census, for its recent poll of consumer requirements, went after the problem on a different basis from both these others. First, by running through its 1940 census returns, as corrected by all the intra-census studies it has made of population shifts since then, the bureau was able to select 68 areas or “cells” which were statistically representative of other similar areas in the United States. The determination was made as to location, population, division of rural and urban population, type of farming, and other occupation. Two counties representative of each of these areas were chosen. Then from the census listing of households in all of these counties, providing perhaps 10 times as many households as it was desired to survey, a random selection was made of every tenth household. The census enumerators were told to go to those specific addresses to ask their questions.

What the census poll came up with in the end was a list of roughly 4,900 households out of 36.5 million households in the country, or approximately one for every 7,400 families.

Unfortunately, they weren’t permitted to ask their 4,900 sample families who was going to be the next President.

The New York Times (December 31, 1943)

americavotes1944

President stays indoors

Head cold continues, but he gets some paperwork done

Washington – (Dec. 30)
President Roosevelt remained in his quarters for a second day today, suffering from a head cold. His condition was reported as virtually unchanged, and he still had no fever.

The President felt well enough to do “a good bit” of paperwork, but had no callers, his aides reported, he will not hold his regular Friday press conference tomorrow morning.

americavotes1944

Lewis’ paper hits Roosevelt slogan

Calls ‘Win the War’ cloak of politics – sees New Deal dead 6 years ago

Washington – (Dec. 30)
On the heels of President Roosevelt’s adoption of the slogan “Win the War” in place of “New Deal,” the United Mine Workers Journal, the official organ for John L. Lewis’ miners union, says that the New Deal died more than six years ago.

In a leading editorial, the Journal contended in its issue to be distributed tomorrow that the “Win the War” slogan “has a greedy ring, like trying to rob the people of their birthright, of appropriating the people’s wartime prayers and their every desire, to cloak a political party.”

Criticism of the administration from this source was not unexpected, in view of the rift that developed after the mine union chief actively supported Mr. Roosevelt in two campaigns for the presidency.

The editorial said:

President Roosevelt’s belated acknowledgement that the “New Deal” is dead as such could have been well made, and honestly so, in mid-1937 – six-and-a-half years ago – for it was during the Little Steel strikes of that year when intelligent labor leaders first learned of the President’s feat that the rapid organization of the rank and file of American workers into unions might reach such huge totals as to give to the American workingman that degree of economic and political power which banking, business and industry, as well as those of the upper social caste, coupon clippers and the self-anointed ruling-class boys, deemed unwise for the workers to possess in these United States.

All of the social and control legislation which was enacted during the first years of the “New Deal” would have resulted in time, out of necessity, for the very sound reason that it represented needed reform long overdue.

The period of the Little Steel strikes, the editorial continued, made it “a matter of common gossip in big business circles that the ‘New Deal,’ as such, was dead.”

For that reason, and since the President’s second term still had some time to run, the Journal said, Mr. Lewis felt it was prudent for “labor to pay its hand out and get along the best it could for the remainder of the second term.”

It went on:

To us it seems incredible that, in shifting from the “New Deal” emblem, the domestic situation being what it is, the utter confusion which prevails as regards mustering out our fighting men and the complete lack of plans for the transition from a wartime to a peacetime economy, the erstwhile “New Dealers” would have the audacity to adopt as a new political slogan the one thing which all Americans are agreed upon – “Win the War.”

It has a greedy ring like trying to rob the people of their birthright – of appropriating the people’s wartime prayers and their every desire – to cloak a political party. In a democracy, when patriotism is involved against a common foe, the President of the United States, or a political party, has no more right to patriotic claims than the humblest citizen.

The Pittsburgh Press (December 31, 1943)

americavotes1944

Soldier vote steps

Washington (UP) –
Senator Walter F. George (D-GA) proposed today that soldier vote legislation provide absentee ballots for nominating primaries as well as the general election.

Senator George, whose home state hopes to be the first to authorize ballots for members of the Armed Forces, told reporters he believed the entire question could be solved by the states except for transporting ballots around the world.

Five governors have called special sessions of legislatures to provide for soldiers’ votes and three others are planning such a call in the near future, a United Press survey has indicated.

The soldiers’ vote will also be considered at the regular sessions of seven other state legislatures early in 1944.

The New York Times (January 1, 1944)

americavotes1944

President’s cold turns into grippe

Washington – (Dec. 31)
President Roosevelt was in bed with a slight case of grippe today following two days of confinement to his quarters with a head cold.

William D. Hassett, a White House secretary, told correspondents this morning:

I am sorry to inform you now that the President has the grippe. Dr. McIntire [Adm. Ross T. McIntire] reports he has about a half degree of temperature and that he has ordered him to stay in bed today, and probably will keep him in bed tomorrow.

As a result of the President’s illness, the Cabinet meeting, as well as the Friday morning press conference, was canceled.

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americavotes1944

Guaranteed wage called 1944 issue

Murray of CIO says demands in steel negotiations will be pushed in politics

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – (Dec. 31)
A minimum annual wage for industrial workers, to be paid and guaranteed by employers, is being built up by the Congress of Industrial Organizations as a major issue for the 1944 elections, Philip Murray, CIO president, disclosed here.

Such a guaranteed wage is one of the principal proposals now being urged upon Carnegie-Illinois Steel and other U.S. Steel Corporation subsidiaries through direct negotiations by the CIO United Steel Workers of America. The steel workers are also contending for a 17¢ hourly wager increase and other concessions.

Going several steps further than in previous declarations, Mr. Murray said that the CIO’s political action committee would be directed to enlist all possible labor and liberal support for the minimum annual wage plan as they only feasible means of protecting the nation’s workers from destructive economic post-war jolts.

Appeal to WLB planned

The CIO chief also made known that he would shortly ask the National War Labor Board to “impose, if necessary, a guaranteed annual wage for steel workers” if the steel corporations refuse to adopt this program.

The weekly wage guarantee, Mr. Murray explained, would be computed on the basis of a 40-hour workweek. That section of the contract proposal reads in part:

Such minimum weekly wage shall be computed on the straight time average hourly earnings for the year preceding the effective date of this contract, or such portion during which the employee may have been employed, plus the general wage adjustments included in the new contract, multiplied by 40 hours.

Another proviso says:

For each week during the life of this contract that the employee for reasons beyond his control does not receive a sum equal to this minimum, the company shall make up the difference.

First movement of kind

Mr. Murray said:

So far as we know, this is the first time that a labor organization anywhere has undertaken to seek the establishment of an annual minimum guaranteed wage through collective bargaining.

He pointed out that industry in the United States, through the tax laws, has guaranteed itself post-war protection. Provisions have been made, he added, “though these various measures, to afford security for American business after the war is over.”

He went on:

That may be a good thing but certainly the same thing should be done to protect the interests of American workers.

The annual wage is a sensible way of combating widespread unemployment. If we’re going to spread income and afford workers a just share of the national income, it can be done only through this proposal.

Under the proposal as submitted, if a worker’s average hourly rate has been $1, his guaranteed weekly pay would be $40, the year around, or annual pay of $2,080.

Other demands by the union include one week’s paid vacation for employee with three years or less service, and two weeks for those over three years; time-and-a-half pay for overtime learners not to receive less than the common labor rate; all employees who are in the Armed Forces or Merchant Marine to receive vacation pay while in service.

americavotes1944

ODT insists on Chicago

Tells Spangler City has more Pullmans for convention travel

Washington (AP) – (Dec. 31)
The Office of Defense Transportation has reinforced its proposal that both major political parties hold their 1944 conventions in Chicago with a statement that more than three times as many sleeping cars arrive daily at the Illinois city than at any other Midwest point.

In reply to an inquiry from Harrison E. Spangler, chairman of the Republican National Committee, seeking a “list of other cities which might be used with the least interference with our transportation problem,” H. F. McCarthy, director of the ODT’s Division of Traffic Movement, said:

Indicative of Chicago’s dominance is the following table showing the number of beds in regular-line sleeping cars terminating at various favorably located cities:

Chicago 11,368
New York 7,129
St. Louis 3,240
Detroit 1,528
Kansas City 1,279
Cleveland 1,235

McCarthy added that:

The supply of sleeping cars is extremely limited, all available extra cars being dedicated to troop train service.

McCormick: A grown-up America faces the year of decision

By Anne O’Hare McCormick

The year 1944 will be a year of decision and a year of test. Gen. Eisenhower predicts that it will see the end of the European war, and this means that Britain, Russia and the United States will have won from Hitler the power he aspired to when he threw down the gantlet in 1939. They will have won the power and the responsibility to reorganize Europe.

The European nations were already weak, weary and torn with internal strife when the Nazi drive began. Hitler’s plan of conquest was based on the assumption, largely justified, that all of Europe was as divided as Germany was when he took over. He thought he could ride to continental power over the same divisions, frustrations and hates he had exploited to achieve mastery in the Reich. He was the first to realize a truth that Stalin has now accepted: he saw that the old force of nationalism, harnessed to the new force of socialism would make a formidable team out of the two strongest impulses in the modern world.

Conquered never submitted

But he ignored the fact that the sense of nationhood is as intense in the smallest states as it is in Germany. Fortunately for the three great powers that slowly combined to defeat the Nazi dream of empire, this stubborn spirit of resistance of the lesser peoples held the fort until the big guns were ready to breach the walls. It is hardly too much to say that the fragmentations, the excessive nationalisms, which make it impossible for Europe to live in a world of larger units also make it impossible for Europe to die. If Hitler had been able to conquer Europe, if he had succeeded in convincing Poland or France, Yugoslavia or Holland that German hegemony was tolerable, the war would have been lost in 1940. If Europe had stood with Germany, neither Russian nor Anglo-American force could have taken the fortress.

The decisive factor in this war is not the four-power alliance, omnipotent as that combination of strength will be in the peace. The decisive factor is the crowd presently pushed into the background – the loose, amorphous federation called the United Nations.

The force of nationalism

This came together before the great powers merged. The truth is that not a single European people, and this goes for the satellites as well as the prisoners of war, accepted Hitler’s claims. Like it or not, our first line of defense was the force of European nationalism. This is a fundamental reality the victors will have to face. Stalin has faced it for Russia. He dissolved the Comintern because in twenty-five years it did not win a single nation. He has dropped “The Internationale” because he has learned that it will never have the appeal of a national anthem. This reality will have to be taken into account in the reorganization of the continent. The primary problem of victory will be to reconcile the force of nationalism – the force that won the war – with the compromises among nations and the concessions of sovereignty that will be necessary to maintain the international equilibrium that spells peace. For if it is clear that order cannot be maintained without force, it is equally clear that it can never be maintained by force alone. Except for a breathing spell, nations cannot be kept quiet unless they have an independent status and a conscious stake in the general security.

Many hardships ahead

For the United States, 1944 will be a hard year. This country will have to pour out blood, resources and energy as never before to ensure the victory Gen. Eisenhower expects. His appointment in itself signifies how large our share must be in the desperate struggle ahead. Victory, moreover, will bring burdens as onerous as the sacrifices of war. We shall have to assume a major responsibility for the future of Europe at a time when our minds and hands will not be free to concentrate on European problems. We shall be fighting with all our strength in the Pacific. We shall be distracted by a political campaign at home.

When Tobruk fell, the position of Churchill seemed much more precarious than the President’s. The Prime Minister in Washington during that crisis was strongly incline to agree with Roosevelt’s arguments that a fixed tenure of office for the Executive was safer and sounder than a system in which the government could be voted out of office any time. But as the President’s term nears an end, the advantages are all with the system that can put off a general election as long as necessary. Of the Big Three, Roosevelt is the only one who must face election in the decisive year of the conflict.

It is up to us

This decision is added to the others weighing upon the American democracy during the coming year. The judgments we are forced to make in our own affairs and the affairs of the world are new in our experience, new in the effect they will have on the course of history. The terrible burdens of maturity descend upon us while we are still hesitant and unprepared. But nations never go out to meet destiny. It always catches up with them at an unexpected turn of the road. On this grave and portentous New Year’s Day, it is well that Americans have to realize that they have passed the point where they can blame other powers for the mistakes of war or the failures of peace. The end of war is the beginning of the struggle for peace and of our inescapable responsibility for the world born in 1944.

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The Pittsburgh Press (January 2, 1944)

americavotes1944

Germans hope U.S. election will aid them

Want to hold until after voting, then obtain compromise peace
By Richard Mowrer

Cairo, Egypt – (Jan. 1)
Germany’s political and military leaders, with few exceptions, are convinced that Germany must hold at any price until after the American presidential elections in November 1944, according to neutral sources recently in contact with Germany.

The Germans’ reasoning is said to be as follows:

The reelection of President Roosevelt depends on the successful opening of a second front and victory for the Allies before the November elections. If victory is not achieved by autumn, Mr. Roosevelt will not be reelected.

Nazi hopes

American opinion, disgusted by Allied failure to beat Germany, by then will compel the withdrawal of the American war effort from Europe to concentrate it on the war in the Pacific and will elect to the presidency somebody who will concentrate entirely on winning the war against Japan.

Germany thereupon will approach the new American government and make a deal which Britain, no longer supported by Americans arms in Europe, will have to accept.

Want compromise

If the German Army puts up stiff resistance on the second front and inflicts severe casualties on the Americans, the public outcry in the United States will be such that the presidential elections will be strongly influenced.

Such at least, appears to be the line of thought of German higher-ups who, although knowing they cannot win, hope to avoid total defeat by making German resistance drag on.

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americavotes1944

‘Let’s win the war in ’44,’ new slogan for AFL

Washington (UP) – (Jan. 1)
The American Federation of Labor said tonight it has chosen “Let’s win the war in ‘44” as labor’s slogan, its objective and its highest resolve for the coming year.

In a New Year’s Day message, the AFL said U.S. workers are ready to work and sacrifice as never before to help the fighting forces in the great tasks that lie ahead.

The message warned, however, that victory will not end labor’s responsibilities to the cause of freedom.

It said:

We will not consider this war win until we have capped our military victories with equal triumphs for our chief post-war objectives.

These are:

  • The establishment of lasting peace under world democracy.
  • The provision of jobs for all in peacetime America.
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Völkischer Beobachter (January 3, 1944)

Wendell Willkie bestätigt:
Roosevelt unter Stalins Diktat

dnb. Genf, 2. Jänner –
Wendell Willkie bescheinigt den anglo-amerikanischen Mächten noch einmal nachdrücklichst ihre Abhängigkeit von Stalin. Die USA hätte es versäumt, so schreibt er, die moralische, wirtschaftliche und politische Führung zu übernehmen und daraufhin sei Stalin zum „mächtigsten Staatsmann der internationalen Politik“ geworden. Roosevelt habe bei der Schaffung der politischen Grundlagen für die internationale Zusammenarbeit und der wirtschaftlichen Basis für den internationalen Handel die Führung nicht an sich gerissen. Das Unvermögen des Präsidenten, dies zu tun, habe bereits auf der ganzen Erde seine Auswirkungen gezeigt.

Überall in der Welt, so meint Willkie, lege sich der Durchschnittsmann die Frage vor, was wohl Stalin demnächst tun werde, nicht aber, was Roosevelt und Churchill Unternehmen würden. Die dringlichste Frage sei die, was die Sowjetunion mit der politischen Integrität Polens und der Baltenstaaten zu tun gedenke.

Die USA, so schließt Willkie seinen Artikel, könnten die Haltung Sowjetrußlands den Kleinstaaten gegenüber nicht dadurch beeinflussen, daß sie das Mißtrauen gegen die Sowjetunion schüren. Die USA könnten Stalin nicht von der Richtigkeit und Klugheit ihrer Ideen dadurch überzeugen, daß sie „sein Land zum Fußball unserer innerpolitischen Streitigkeiten machen.“

Wendell Willkie bestätigt damit die These, daß Roosevelt und Churchill in Moskau und Teheran lediglich zum Befehlsempfang waren und widerspruchslos die Diktate des Kremlhäuptlings entgegenzunehmen hatten.

The Pittsburgh Press (January 3, 1944)

americavotes1944

First Lady says she’s tired of ‘New Deal’ too

But she thinks substitute offered by President isn’t adequate

Washington (UP) –
Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt, who has not laid the New Deal “away in lavender,” but is “sort of tired” of that name, suggested today that the President’s proposed substitute, “Win the War,” is not enough.

She did not propose another substitute for “New Deal,” but hinted that her choice probably would be something like: “Win the War and Win the Peace.”

Mrs. Roosevelt denied a report that during her trip to the South Pacific she told servicemen that the President “has decided to give you the privilege of walking the streets of Tokyo” instead of coming home. She also said she did not recall being “booed” anywhere as was alleged in an interview with a wounded sergeant by the New Bedford Standard-Times.

Mrs. Roosevelt said she would not have been surprised if the soldiers had booed her after a Tokyo propaganda broadcast which quoted her as saying that the Marines should be kept in the Pacific six months after the war so they would have time to get “cleaned up” before returning home. Many soldiers had heard this broadcast, she said, which was propaganda.

americavotes1944

Roosevelt urged as world’s leader

Minneapolis, Minnesota (UP) –
Dr. George Mecklenburg, pastor, world traveler and student of international politics, today suggested that President Roosevelt retire from American politics to head an association of nations, and that Democrats and Republicans name Wendell Willkie President by acclamation.

Dr. Mecklenburg, of the Wesley Methodist Church here, said Mr. Roosevelt is the only international figure fitted to head the world organization.

He said:

Churchill, nearing 70, is too old. Stalin is not temperamentally fitted for the place, and has too many problems at home. Chiang does not understand the world.

Dr. Mecklenburg said Mr. Willkie would be the only man left at home with a clear conception of world affairs.