Election 1944: Pre-convention news


Background of news –
New Dealers woo Farley

By George Van Slyke, North American Newspaper Alliance

New York –
President Roosevelt’s bid for a truce with the conservative branch of the Democratic Party marks a complete reversal of the politics of his two preceding national campaigns and is accepted today by leaders in both the New Deal and right-wing camps as confession of concern over the fourth-term candidacy.

If the White House were not alarmed over the deep split in the party ranks, it is regarded as certain that the national committee dominated completely by the President would not have about-faced in its sessions Jan. 22 in Washington and made its amazing appeal to James A. Farley to forget the past and come back home.

For the first time since the long battle was waged through the President’s second term to purge the Supreme Court and old-line Democratic Senators and Congressmen has Mr. Roosevelt made such a move for harmony.

Party unity deemed essential

Second only in political importance to the formal launching of the fourth-term campaign six months in advance of the original White House schedule, the overture to Mr. Farley as head and front of the anti-fourth-term candidacy is the most significant move so far made by the New Dealers.

Following Mr. Farley’s battle against the third term in the 1940 convention, he fell into disfavor with the President and New Deal politicians and was dropped without ceremony or apology.

It has been an open secret for the last year that Mr. Farley was the driving power behind the anti-New Deal campaign against a fourth term. Now that the campaign is actually underway, the fourth-term managers have recognized that Mr. Roosevelt must have a unanimous party behind him in the 1944 election if he is to overcome the losses he had sustained on the home front in the last four years.

This is the first definite move initiated by New Dealers in more than six years to bridge the old party split, most serious in the Democratic ranks since the Prohibition fight in the 1928 campaign with Al Smith as the nominee.

Post-election brushoff expected

Judging from all surface indications, the old party chiefs with the exception of the Hague-Flynn-Kelly combination are distinctly cool to the New Deal overture. Evidently, they regard it as a mere gesture which would hold through the campaign this year by […] Mr. Roosevelt’s candidacy and the New Deal bosses and then collapse and […] further assurance on that subject.

Mr. Farley has made no comment on the action of the Democrats in lauding him to the skies as their greatest leader. It has not been possible to reach him for comment which in itself is unusual as he is as a rule approachable on any political subject.

He is leaving in a few days for a six weeks’ business trip across the country and his office has stated it was to be strictly a business tour. However, it will not be surprising if the Democrats flock around to see him in every state he enters.



Pegler: Dewey campaign

By Westbrook Pegler

Albany, New York –
Quite a lot of trained observers, as reporters are sometimes called, will be dropping into Albany between now and June to take looks at Tom Dewey in the role of governor because it looks as though he will be the Republican nominee against his predecessor in the little office on the second floor of the great monstrous heap of a building called the State Capitol of New York. In some ways the situation resembles that of 1932 when Mr. Roosevelt was beginning to get hot and so many of us thought that if we could just have legalized light wine and beer most of our troubles would be solved. Governor Dewey hasn’t said he wants the nomination but neither has he said he will not accept it and you can sure he will because he will have to. How could he refuse?

Suppose then that in the election he wins and Mr. Roosevelt and Mrs. Roosevelt pack up and move back to New York or Hyde Park and the New Deal crowds go swarming out of town in a great exodus. That is not an easy supposition because even Mr. Dewey’s best friends won’t claim that against the Roosevelt organization and the soldier vote which would go to the C-in-C. Mr. Dewey has an even chance.

Something of a job

However, it might happen and in that case, a hard-working, conscientious ambitious young fellow of 42 would be pitched into a career of terrible responsibility, work, worry and heartache.

He would have to take over the presidency of an enormous nation in this awful war and replace thousands of New Deal people with his own, keep the war running to victory, get acquainted with Churchill, or Eden and Stalin, clean up the labor mess, stand off inflation, and finally, make a beginning at least in the appalling problem of bringing the fighters home from Europe, if not from Asia, India and the South Pacific, and easing them back into jobs, not on public payrolls but in private industry in such a way as to stand off commotions.

It is not a job that any honest man would court out of vanity or an ambition to be historic or for any other motive but a deep desire to serve his country and his people.

A gleaming, black eye

Mr. Dewey is campaigning, if you care to say so, by keeping right on top of his job as governor and turning in a remarkably fine performance, getting along well with politicians and others, running a good state and just doing his work. He always ran a good office as District Attorney in New York where he and his staff were an enthusiastic team very little bothered by jealously or friction and the only had press he received was traceable to personal dislike of him because he has a way of putting the eye on you with those gleaming back orbs which seem almost to pop when he gets enthusiastic or mad, or because he was inclined to be cocky as, indeed, he was, being a young fellow and very smart and full of success.

He is less cocky now and thoroughly mature and he offers remarks that government is a profession requiring experience and great, constant application, which hasn’t meant to me he was trying to improve himself in the art of government for the purpose of returning to private law practice. Young fellows who come in from the country and make good spectacularly in New York are inclined to throw weight about but if that was one of Mr. Dewey’s faults when he was throwing the New York racketeers and some of the toughest of the lowdown politicians into Sing Sing, he is grown up now.

It’s different now

I believe he would have been mangled if he, instead of Willkie, had been nominated in 1940 not only because he was still a little green but because the people would have shied away from the idea of a 40-year-old President, with the war turning up our street.

But at 42, Mr. Dewey has served a trick as governor of a state of tremendous interests and problems and all with a sure, confident hand and no faltering and has shown a disposition and the ability to reduce taxes and prevent squandering and to treat the people as citizens, not wards of the state or subjects of a ruler.

That soldier vote will be a great handicap, though. They don’t know him, they live from day to day in misery and doubt and it is natural to suppose that they will vote for the commander-in-chief, even for a fourth term, provided by November the war still goes as well as it does.

The Pittsburgh Press (February 2, 1944)


Verbal battle rages –
State curbs barred from soldier vote

Southerner’s amendments killed; Senator assails Roosevelt
By John L. Cutter, United Press staff writer

Washington –
President Roosevelt’s plea to Congress for enactment of soldier-vote legislation embodying a federal ballot was attacked anew in both House and Senate today, but the Upper Chamber beat down a series of amendments designed to make state voting laws paramount in determining validity of service ballots.

Rep. John E. Rankin (D-MS) brought many members of the House to their feet with an impassioned 45-minute speech defending the so-called “states’-rights” soldier vote bill, passed by the Senate and pending in the House. He attacked the new Lucas-Green federal-ballot bill pending in the Senate as a communist-propagandized and unconstitutional measure.

‘Whipping boy’

In the Upper Chamber, Senator John A. Danaher (R-CT) accused Mr. Roosevelt of making Congress a “whipping boy” in attempting to push legislation through to enactment and in what Senator Danaher viewed as the President’s current attempt to persuade voters to elect the kind of Congress he wants.

Senator Danaher declared:

The President has played labor against the Congress, the Executive against the Congress, and now the servicemen against the Congress.

Always it’s the Congress he makes the whipping boy as he says to the American people. “You give me the kind of Congress I want and things will be different.”

‘People waking up’

But the American people are waking up to what’s going on and we Republicans have been picking up a few seats here and there in recent elections.

Rep. Rankin, applauded in the House, charged that the true author of the Lucas-Green-Worley measure was:

…one Herbert Wechsler down in the Justice Department who was a member of the National Lawyers Guild, legal arm of the Communist Party.

The first amendment defeated by the Senate would have provided that the validity of service ballots should be determined “in accordance with state law.” It was rejected 23–60.

It was the first vote on the bill since the Senate began debating it 10 days ago. Introduced by Senator John H. Overton (D-LA), the amendment was one of a series designed to guarantee state control over voting by armed service personnel.

It would have revised the section dealing with the validity of ballots. As written, this section proves that the proposed Federal War Ballot Commission will have no power to pass on the validity of ballot but that this determination shall “be made by the duly constituted election officials of the appropriate districts, precincts, counties, or other voting units of the several states.” The Overton amendment would have required that the validity determination be made “in accordance with state law” by the state voting units.

Second amendment

The Senate also rejected, by voice vote, a second Overton amendment which would have written into the law the stipulation that “qualifications of the voters shall be determined by state law.”

Mr. Overton’s third and last amendment was defeated 16–69. He said it was “aimed at tearing the heart out of sections one and two of the 1942 law.” Sections one and two of the 1942 Soldier Voting Act waived poll tax and registration requirements, notwithstanding any state laws, for soldier and sailor absentee voting for President and members of Congress.

The Senate adopted unanimously without debate an amendment by Senator Arthur H. Vandenberg (R-MI), instructing the Army and Navy to give state ballots the same transmission priorities accorded federal ballots as far as practicable without injury to the war effort.

Doubt as to effect

The Army and Navy said it would be difficult to handle state ballots, so there was doubt as to how much practical effect this amendment would have.

Meanwhile, the House continued to debate the soldier-vote issue in connection with a previous Senate-approved bill calling on the states to facilitate absentee balloting by service personnel. Final House action on the issue appeared unlikely before Thursday or perhaps Friday.


Bell believed set to oppose Senator Davis

Duff’s withdrawal leaves no other candidate for Grundy, Pew
By Kermit McFarland

Lieutenant Governor John C. Bell of Wynnewood, Montgomery County, is the leading probable as the anti-Davis candidate for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate.

Mr. Bell, a potential candidate all along, becomes the principal prospect as a result of the positive refusal of Attorney General James H. Duff to enter the race.

If he runs, Mr. Bell will be supported by Governor Martin, his chief political backer, former U.S. Senator Joseph R. Grundy, and Joseph N. Pew, wealthy Philadelphia oil man.

Mr. Bell is a Pew protégé and Mr. Grundy, up to now, has been averse to running him against U.S. Senator James J. Davis, who will seek renomination in the April primary.

No other candidate

But the refusal of Mr. Duff to run leaves the Grundy-Pew axis virtually without any other candidate.

Chief factors pointing to Mr. Bell’s selection are these:

  • He is the most available candidate.

  • He has the strong backing of Mr. Pew.

  • While he is not held in high favor by the Governor and Mr. Grundy, Mr. Grundy is so set on trying to beat Senator Davis he is likely to take any “reasonable” candidate.

Mr. Grundy was once a member of the U.S. Senate, by appointment of the late Governor John S. Fisher. But in his first campaign, Senator Davis beat him – and badly – for the Republican nomination.

Failure in past

Efforts of the Pew-Grundy combine to beat Mr. Davis six years ago ended in a similarly dismal result.

Mr. Bell is 51, a lawyer, finance chairman of the Republican campaign in 1938, Secretary of Banking in the James administration and Lieutenant Governor since January 1943. He belongs to the Old Guard faction of the party and is bitterly anti-New Deal, a qualification which rates first with Mr. Grundy and Mr. Pew.


Willkie, Dewey, Stassen in Wisconsin primary

Madison, Wisconsin (UP) –
A slate of Republican convention delegates pledged to former Governor Harold E. Stassen of Minnesota will be entered in the Wisconsin presidential preferential primary April 4, Dr. F. L. Gullickson, former GOP state chairman, announced today.

Governor Thomas E. Dewey of New York and Wendell L. Willkie will also be represented by slates of delegates in the primary election.

Ernie Pyle V Norman

Roving Reporter

By Ernie Pyle

In Italy – (by wireless)
In the past our Army has worried some because the soldiers didn’t have a very good idea of what the war around them was all about. This was largely because the Army never told them. But several months ago, a definite program of making our combat troops better informed was inaugurated, and it is taking effect now in many phases of our operations overseas with which I am not acquainted. But I have seen one example of it in the Air Forces.

In the bomber group which I have been visiting, pilots come down to the enlisted men’s mess hall every evening and tell them what happened on their missions that day. Our squadron flew three missions on this particular day so three pilots came down that night – one to describe each mission.

They brought maps with them and told the soldiers exactly what they were trying to bomb, how successful they were, how much flak they ran into, how many enemy fighters they saw, and what road strafing they did on the way home. They also told the men why each point was selected to bomb, and what its destruction would mean.

The pilots made it informal, and one of them who had had a rather tough mission wound up by saying:

I think I earned my pay today.

The next one got up and said:

Well, I didn’t earn mine.

His flight had had an easy ride, encountering no fighters and little flak.

Receive summary of ground war

Later I was with a squadron of 20 bombers and sat in on their early-morning briefing. The briefing officer, before starting on the details of the forthcoming mission, gave the crews a complete summary of the ground war throughout the Italian and Russian fronts in the previous 24 hours, as brought in over the teletype system.

All this is a good thing. It’s easier to fight when you know what the other fellow is doing and how he is getting along.

At this 20-bomber field one of the enlisted gunners finished his allotted number of missions the day I got there. He was Sgt. Lester C. Eadman of Weyauwega, Wisconsin. Sgt. Eadman has been overseas 15 months and was wounded in the leg by flak last winter in one of the raids over Tunis. Eadman just cleaned up and loafed all the next day after his last mission, and he looked mighty satisfied with everything.

A lot of pilots and enlisted men who have finished their missions get married as soon as they hit home. Three gunners in this same group went home together recently and all three were married within two days after they got to the States.

Pin-ups vs. girl back home

There has been a controversy in the Stars and Stripes over the pin-up girls vs. the girl back home. One soldier wrote in and said the picture of his one-and-only was good enough for him and to hell with pin-up pictures. but he had a lot of dissenters. Personally, I don’t see that there’s much conflict. I’ve ever heard of a soldier writing to his real girl to break off the engagement because he had fallen in love with a picture.

Looking at a pin-up girl is pleasant, and sort of academic. Everybody carries pictures of his own family, anyway, and gets them out on the slightest pretext. I’ve looked at thousands of pictures of wives and three-month-old babies of soldiers, and have said “Hmm!” and “Ah, beautiful!” and “My, what a strapping youngster!” until I’m red in the face. Don’t get the idea that I mind it. Not at all. It gives me an excuse to haul out my own pictures and show them right back.

My, how many women look alike!

But from this vast experience of looking at pictures of other men’s wives, I’ve got one definite cross-section impression, and that is how much alike so many women in the world look. Don’t shoot, boys, I didn’t mean YOUR wife.

The reason I have brought up the subject of pin-up girls is to tell of a pin-up gallery in one room occupied by six mechanics of my dive-bomber squadron. Tacked on their walls are three dozen of the most striking pin-ups you ever saw.

Before long the squadron will have to move and give up its present nice quarters. When it does I think the pin-ups should be left there and the room roped off by the Italian government as a monument to the American occupation. I’ll bet the place, if given a few centuries’ time, would become as historic as Pompeii.


Editorial: Some are counted, some aren’t

They are being counted – those young Americans on the warships, in the air, on the beaches of the Marshall Islands in this greatest of our battles with the Japs.

They are being counted – those young Americans who press forward today against the Germans’ fire, over the hills and plains of Italy, on to Rome.

Their comrades have been counted on a hundred bloody battlefields, from Attu to Bataan to Guadalcanal to Tunisia – and white crosses mark the places where they stood when they were counted.

But some of their representatives in Congress, trustees of the government for which those young men are fighting and dying, don’t want to be counted – not even at $10,000 a year.

Today the Congressmen are voting on the question of whether the Armed Forces shall be permitted to vote in the next election by state ballots or by federal ballots. But they are not deciding this issue by a record roll call, which would provide a public count of where each Congressman stands.

They are deciding it by a “teller vote,” that being a parliamentary device by which lawmakers register their will anonymously – to the end that when election time comes constituents will not know where they stood or how they were counted.

Gen. MacArthur said:

Only those who are ready to die are fit to live.

Only those Congressmen who are ready to vote in the open on the merits of this issue or any other, without weighing party considerations and the danger of political death, are fit to make our country’s laws.


Editorial: The President says oh

From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

There is some small speculation on the question whether President Roosevelt, saying “Oh: when a fourth-term resolution was presented to him, meant the expression to convey surprise, approval or dissatisfaction.

There are, of course, always the further possibilities that he intended the oh of depreciation, or the shrinking oh, or the wool-gathering oh which denotes that the speaker has not kept up with the conversation.

Possibly, also, the President intended to say “Oho,” and committed a typographical error. If he did, this would explain nothing at all, Oho being open to an equal number of interpretations. The best guess is that he meant exactly what he said, and that it was the noncommittal oh, the big round empty oh, the oh of the present non-indicative mood.


If their jobs are waiting –
Soldier-vote issue raised in NLRB union elections

Question is whether ex-workers overseas should get ballots; Pittsburgh case is example
By Fred W. Perkins, Pittsburgh Press staff writer

Washington –
While Congress quarrels over votes for soldiers, the National Labor Relations Board is bothered by a similar problem…

Should men and women in the services vote in elections under NLRB auspices to determine collective-bargaining agents in the plants where they formerly worked, and to which they presumably will return when mustered out?

The problem is posed by two companies that demand voting rights in such elections for former employees now in the Armed Forces. In one case, the affected union opposes the company, and in the other the union has not been required to take a position.

NLRB’s record is against giving a general guarantee of voting rights to former employees overseas, its reason being the time element. It requires such elections to be completed within 30 days after they are ordered, and may of them are held within 15 days.

Before the war

Before the war, NLRB’s policy provided for absentee voting in collective-bargaining elections. This was changed soon after Pearl Harbor, because it was foreseen that the movement of troops overseas would complicate the receipt of ballots. Now, soldiers or sailors who happen to be in the vicinity when an election is held are allowed to take part in voting at their former place of employment, but no effort is made to send ballots even to servicemen still in this country.

The Botany Worsted Mills in New Jersey has objected to an election, held some weeks ago, on the ground that servicemen were not included. NLRB’s ruling is expected in a week or two.

Pittsburgh case

The other case has not yet reached Washington, still being before the regional board in Pittsburgh, Nicholas Unkovic, attorney for the Mine Safety Appliance Company, has said it will be carried to the U.S. Supreme Court unless a favorable decision is given by NLRB.

The company demands that its 655 employees in military service be allowed to participate, with the 2,700 now on the payroll, in an election to determine whether bargaining rights shall be won by the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers (CIO). The company is also fighting to make the election company-wide, in all its 14 plants, instead of restricting it as the union desires to one plant with 200 employees at Callery, in the Pittsburgh district.

NLRB officials say there is a decided difference between political elections and collective-bargaining elections, in that public officials are elected for specific terms while in bargaining elections the result may stand only until there is a substantial change in the employer’s personnel.

A soldier coming home may find that he is “stuck” for several years with a Senator or President he doesn’t like, but if he disapproves of the union in his place of employment (and if enough others think likewise), another vote can be forced on this question.

The Pittsburgh Press (February 3, 1944)


Vote bill foes offer measure as compromise

Alternate allows federal ballot only if state fails to act

Washington (UP) –
Administration foes in the Senate today threw their strength behind a new soldier-vote plan permitting a federal ballot only where states fail to enact adequate absentee voting laws.

The proposal, in form of an amendment to the Senate’s administration-backed Lucas-Green federal ballot bill, was injected into the soldier-vote dispute as both the House and Senate continued debate under limitations which may bring a decision Friday.

Senator Scott W. Lucas (D-IL), leading the administration fight for the Green-Lucas federal ballot which provides a vote only for President, Vice President and members of Congress, said the coalition amendment was not acceptable.

The principal features of the coalition plan included:

  • The federal ballot would be authorized only to Dec. 31, 1945.

  • The federal ballot would not be allowed for the resident of any state which prior to June 1 provided an absentee voter law waiving registration and setting up machinery to have ready 45 days before Nov. 7 ballots, envelopes and voting instructions weighing not more than 1.2 ounces.

  • Voters would have to write in the name of their choice for President, Senator and Congressman, and would be forbidden to write in only the name of the party they favored.

  • No absentee voter would receive either the federal or state ballot, however, without applying or it through a postcard to be supplied by the soldiers and sailors war ballot commission.

  • Specification that only the individual states shall determine voter qualifications and ballot validity.

  • Give state ballots equal priority with federal ballots in transmission to and from the war fronts.


Francis Myers likely choice in Senate race

State Democratic Committee to name candidates tomorrow

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania – (special)
Congressman Francis John Myers of Philadelphia is the probable choice of the Democratic State Committee for the party’s nomination for U.S. Senator, it developed here today.

The committee meets tomorrow to recommend a slate of candidate to Democratic voters in the April 25 primary.

Balance of slate

The balance of the slate which the State Committee is expected to choose will line up as follows:

JUDGE OF THE STATE SUPREME COURT: Charles Alvin Jones of Pittsburgh, now a federal circuit judge, 1938 Democratic nominee for Governor.

JUDGES OF THE STATE SUPERIOR COURT: Judge Chester H. Rhodes of Stroudsburg, who will be a candidate for reelection, and Auditor General F. Blair Ross of Butler.

AUDITOR GENERAL: State Treasurer G. Harold Wagner of Wilkes-Barre.

STATE TREASURER: Ramsey S. Black of Harrisburg, third assistant postmaster general.

Mr. Black was the original favorite of U.S. Senator Joseph F. Guffey for nomination to the senatorial seat now held by Senator James J. Davis (R-Pittsburgh). Other factions in the party, however, objected to Mr. Black’s candidacy and Philadelphia leaders won their argument for an eastern candidate.

Jones agrees to run

Judge Jones, whose present position is only one judicial step below the U.S. Supreme Court, is reported to have agreed to run for Pennsylvania’s highest court after party leaders assured him of their unanimity on his candidacy.

In his present job, Judge Jones has a lifetime appointment at a salary of $12,500 a year. The State Supreme Court pays each judge $19,500 a year and the terms run for 21 years.

Judge Rhodes was elected in 1933 and is the only Democrat on either appellate bench.

Ross bows to others

Mr. Ross was originally a candidate for the Supreme Court nomination, but bowed to the wishes of the slate-makers. He was the Democratic nominee for Governor last year, but lost by a wide margin to Governor Edward Martin, a Republican.

Mr. Ross was formerly State Treasurer and Treasurer Wagner now hopes to duplicate his predecessor’s trick of switching to the Auditor General’s office. Neither fiscal official is permitted to succeed himself, under the Constitution.

The ‘Boy Orator’

Congressman Myers, 42, is serving his third term in Washington. He is a lawyer, a former State Deputy Attorney General and a native of Philadelphia. After he was first elected, he attracted considerable attention among Democratic Party adherents as a “boy orator.”

In addition to selecting a slate of candidates for the April primary, the State Committee, at its session tomorrow, is expected to adopt a militant resolution advocating a fourth term for President Roosevelt and to line up a list of 12 candidates for delegates-at-large to the Democratic National Convention to be held in Chicago in June.


Farley sees New Deal as in its last days

Denver, Colorado (UP) –
James A. Farley, former chairman of the National Democratic Committee, said today that “the people are tired of being pushed around.”

He said the election of many Republicans was evidence of that fact, and indicated that he believed the New Deal was in its “last days.”

Mr. Farley said:

It is up to the American people to say when they have had enough pushing around by the bureaucrats. They and they alone will settle the issue.

O’Mahoney appointed

Washington –
Senate Democratic Leader Alben W. Barkley (D-KY) today named Joseph C. O’Mahoney (D-WY) as chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, succeeding Joseph F. Guffey (D-PA).


Willkie calls for high taxes to pay for war

Lower living standard must be accepted, candidate says

New York (UP) –
Wendell L. Willkie, candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, said last night that Americans must submit to “ruthless” taxation and lower their standard of living or else “we shall lose in debt the victory we have gained in blood.”

Predicting a post-war public debt of more than $300 billion at an interest cost of $6 billion a year, Mr. Willkie told a meeting in the New York Times hall that:

We should pay now for as much of the war as we possibly can.

He assailed the administration’s tax program as “unrealistic” and said President Roosevelt’s request for more than $10 billion in new taxes should be doubled.

He said:

Every dollar of war cost that we pass on to the future thins the financial bloodstream of the future.

There is only one principle to apply to war taxation, and that is a hard principle; we must tax to the limit every dollar, corporate and individual, that is capable of bearing a tax, particularly those corporate and individual earnings which are created by the war itself. That limit is reached only when the war effort itself is threatened. All else must be sacrificed and all must share the sacrifice to the bone.

During a question-and-answer period, Mr. Willkie reiterated his demand for close international cooperation in boundary disputes such as the present Polish-Soviet one.

Wants Soviet friendship

He said:

Let’s still try to find a method of cooperation because millions of lives are involved in our finding it.

The 1940 Republican candidate, who leaves Friday on a speaking tour of Western states in connection with the 1944 campaign, criticized “so-called political experts” who contend that the American people “will never stand for a tough tax program.”

He said:

Give the people an understanding of the issues involved and they will do their duty by their country, however incredibly painful it may be.


Editorial: Unpardonable cowardice

The freedoms of a democracy which we in America enjoy were not won through political cowardice.

Men like Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, John Hancock and Patrick Henry had the courage to speak their minds and to “stand up and be counted” even though profession of their convictions may have resulted in death.

Similarly, the freedom of a democracy cannot be preserved through political cowardice.

Yet 233 members of the House of Representatives have demonstrated political cowardice in refusing to make known their positions on the question of giving servicemen the right to vote.

In a democratic legislative body, the members may vote as they see fit on any issue. But the citizens to whim they are responsible have an equal right to know how each representative votes on every issue.

Democracy falters when those entrusted with carrying out the grave responsibilities of government don’t have the courage to stand up for their convictions.

It is disturbing to record the tactics of the Republicans on this issue.

One of the vital strengths of a democracy is a strong, aggressive, intelligent, constructive minority – a “loyal opposition.”

By secreting their obstructionism behind an artificial parliamentary rule, the Republicans are attesting to the common charge that they have a peculiar talent for doing the wrong thing.



Pegler: Dewey’s record

By Westbrook Pegler

Albany, New York –
It would be foolish to pretend that the rising interest in Tom Dewey’s work as Governor of New York is limited to just that.

Although he is not a declared candidate for the Republican nomination for the Presidency nobody is naïve enough to think he would refuse to and that is why his work as governor, the adoption of a short, understandable state income tax form, his determination to make the cities meet their financial responsibilities so as to reduce their debts, the better to meet post-war conditions, his attitude toward the people whom he regards as citizens, not wards of the government, are of national interest.

This new state income tax form consists of just one page, for taxpayers whose income consists of wages, salaries, commissions, pensions, interest, dividends, partnerships, estates or trusts. It contains only 22 questions and schedules from A to I, such as “Were you married and living with your wife or husbands?” and “if so, state name and did your wife or husband have a separate income and if so, it included in this return?”

There is a reverse side, but half of that is taken up by instructions and the blanks on the top half are for the explanation of deductions claimed on page one. It can be used for incomes up to any amount derived from the sources specified, by contrast with the idiotic federal return required of individuals above a certain rather modest bracket.

Duplication in taxes

Moreover, although Mr. Dewey has not attacked the subject, his tax department is imbued with the idea that the federal and state governments should divide the tax field by agreement and avoid duplications. The income tax is the horrible example of this duplication, because the New York law compels the citizen to pay a state tax on money already paid to the national Treasury, a plainly cynical imposition.

The question may be raised, for example, whether the federal government has any right to collect amusement taxes inasmuch as amusement is a strictly local occasion. A man takes a girl to the movies. In what respect is that an interstate transaction? If the federal government may tax tickets, why may it not tax real estate? But if it confines itself to its own traditional American responsibilities it won’t have to collect local taxes.

The Dewey administration’s tendency seems to be toward restoration of the responsibility of the subdivisions of government and the division of taxing powers so that the federal government will not be collecting from the people to finance local improvements and assuming the function of the subdivisions without reducing their wasteful rapacity. Similarly, the state would operate in its own well-defined tax field and the cities and other inferior subdivisions would have to make their own way on their own revenues.

Old bonds for sale

Recently, Mr. Dewey’s controller, Frank Moore, has been telling careless cities that they can’t refund old bond issues but will have to pay them of. There is political risk in this because it means higher immediate local taxes in some cases but Mr. Dewey pointed out in a speech to a meeting of publishers that one city has repeatedly refunded an issue of bonds sold to raise soldier bounties in the Civil War and is still paying interest on them although the payments have amounted to many times the original amount. In another case, Boss Tweed in 1868 sold a bond issue paying 7% to pay for a sidewalk in the Bronx. The sidewalk is gone and probably no man lives who remembers it.

He said:

Some of the bonds will mature in 1975, but some cannot be paid for another 100 years since they are not callable. The bonds go on and on. These stories could be multiplied by the hundred.

There is no Harry Hopkins anywhere in the Dewey state government, nor a Henry Morgenthau or Randolph Paul. there are no timeless moochers’ quarters in the Governor’s mansion or embittered failures in the battle of life striving to revise the rules in favor of the incompetent to the detriment and discouragement of those who are able.

That simplified tax return is a bright example of the new type of New Deal. The old one, including instructions, contained six pages.

The Pittsburgh Press (February 4, 1944)


Senate spurns curb on voting

Taft proposal is turned down, 46–42


Washington –
The Senate today rejected, 46–42, the substitute Taft plan for soldier voting which would have restricted use of a federal ballot in the coming election. The plan called for a federal ballot only in event the voter’s home state failed to certify by June 1 that it would be able to provide, 45 days before the Nov. 7 election, a regular state ballot weighing not more than 1.2 ounces.

Washington (UP) –
The administration’s fight for a special federal ballot for absentee voting by servicemen concentrated in the Senate today after undergoing a stunning defeat in the House of Representatives.

The House climaxed an 11-hour marathon session last night by passing, 238–69, a bill to leave the balloting process almost entirely up to the states – the same bill denounced by President Roosevelt last week as a “fraud.”

At his news conference today, Mr. Roosevelt was reluctant to discuss the House rebuff. He said the situation is now more up to Congress than to him.

The measure, originally approved by the Senate Dec. 3, thus went back to the Upper Chamber, carrying only minor House amendments. It promised to complicate still further the soldier-vote debate in the Senate which is considering whether it should reverse itself and provide at least limited use of a federal ballot.

The administration’s defeat in the House was administered by a coalition of Republicans and Southern Democrats. They not only upset administration strategy – to stall House action until the Senate acted in a compromise measure – but also accepted President Roosevelt’s challenge to “stand up and be counted” by name.

The coalition defeated an administration motion to recess without a final vote. It defeated, 215–164, an attempt to substitute the administration-approved Worley federal ballot bill for the states’ rights measure. It defeated, 155–104, a compromise substitute which would have provided limited use of a federal ballot.

Margin never close

The 51-vote margin in those two tries was as close as the administration ever came to stemming the tide.

Then, with victory at hand. House Republican Leader Joseph W. Martin Jr. (R-MA) announced to the chamber that his party was ready to accept the President’s challenge. He called of a roll call vote on a Republican-sponsored motion to recommit the bill to committee. The motion was defeated, 224–168.

A moment later, Mr. Martin clinched his victory. He obtained a “stand up and be counted” roll call on final passage of the state’s rights bill. Rather than be counted as voting against any form of soldier vote legislation, administration supporters swung over in droves and the final tally was 328–69.

‘It’s not hopeless’

Senator Scott W. Lucas (D-IL), co-sponsor of the federal ballot bill which the Senate has been debating for two weeks, said after the House action that the situation still “certainly is not hopeless.”

He was not certain by what parliamentary method the Senate could inject a federal ballot provision into a measure which had been passed by both Houses without it, but he was certain it could be done.

Otherwise, many Congressional observers believe that if the bill reaches the President without substantial change, he will veto it.

The bill approved by the House provides that members of the Armed Forces, the Merchant Marine, the American Red Cross, the Society of Friends, the Women’s Auxiliary Service Pilots or the USO outside the United States, and eligible to vote in any primary, special or general election, shall use the absentee balloting procedures of their home states.

It recommends that the states accept applications for absentee ballots which have been prepared under the 1942 Soldier Voting Act and which would be distributed by the Secretaries of War and Navy and the War Shipping Administrator.

Upon receipt of such applications, the secretaries of states should forward them to the voter’s home county or local election official who would then mail the proper ballot to the individual. The bill suggests that the states waive any registration requirements.

As a substitute for the state ballot method of absentee voting, the administration on Jan. 24 began a fight in the Senate for a special federal ballot, to be issued every qualified voter without application, allowing space for a “write-in” vote by either name or party designation for President, Vice President, Senator and Congressman.

In the Senate, as in the House, the opposition consisted of a coalition of Republicans and Southern Democrats. The Senate coalition stalled action in that chamber until after the House acted, upsetting administration strategy and throwing the whole issue into a parliamentary tangle.


Myers named by Democrats

Senatorial candidate choice delays committee
By Robert Taylor, Pittsburgh Press staff writer

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania –
Congressman Francis J. Myers of Philadelphia was chosen today by State Democratic leaders as the party’s candidate for U.S. Senator.

Agreement on Mr. Myers came after a wrangle held by action by the 109 members of the Democratic State Committee for 1.5 hours beyond the scheduled meeting time.

Once the leaders had settled on Mr. Myers, a three-term Congressman, immediate approval of the committee was conceded.

To seek Davis’ seat

Mr. Myers, if nominated at the April 25 primary, will oppose the Republican nominee for the post now held by U.S. Senator James J. Davis of Pittsburgh, who will seek renomination on the GOP ticket.

The wrangle over a Democratic endorsement developed when James P. Clark, Philadelphia city chairman, declined to select a candidate for State Committee endorsement but summoned a caucus of the Philadelphia delegation.

After 1.5 hours, the delegation and the state leaders announced agreement on Mr. Myers, this turning down the bid of some Philadelphia leaders, headed by publisher J. David Stern, to obtain endorsement for ex-Congressman James P. McGranery, who resigned his House position recently to become an assistant to the U.S. Attorney General.

Myers attends session

Opposition to Mr. McGranery arose when he took the Justice Department job and his vacated post was snapped up by a Republican in a special byelection several weeks ago.

Mr. Myers informed of the tangle, came here early today after a late-night session of Congress, and appeared before the Philadelphia group. Mr. McGranery was not here.

Forty-five minutes after the committee was scheduled to meet, State Chairman Davis L. Lawrence announced the delay was due to caucus of Philadelphia members.

Lead for 4th term

In addition to picking a senatorial candidate, the Democrats were prepared to take the lead in the fourth-term movement and instruct their leaders to enter President Roosevelt’s name in the April 25 preferential primary.

A resolution to that effect was to be presented to the State Committee and its adoption appeared certain.

The rest of the slate of state candidates was complete, although there was a prospect that one or two competing candidates will carry their fight for endorsement before the State Committee.

Previous agreement

The leaders ratified a previous agreement on U.S. Circuit Court Judge Charles Alvin Jones of Pittsburgh for Supreme Court, Superior Court Judge Chester H. Rhodes and Auditor General F. Clair Ross for Superior Court, State Treasurer G. Harold Wagner for auditor general and Ramsay S. Black, third assistant postmaster general, for state treasurer.

A Westmoreland County delegation, led by State Senator John H. Dent, urged a place on the judicial slate for Common Pleas Judge George E. McWherter of Westmoreland County and Mr. Dent said his name would be placed in nomination at the Committee meeting.

Another competing candidacy which may be put before the Committee is that of John F. Breslin of Carbon County, executive assistant to Auditor General Ross, seeking nomination for auditor general. State Treasurer Wagner, however, with soldier support from Luzerne County organization leaders, is scheduled to get the endorsement.


New Deal foe supports Hull

Group to meet in St. Louis in April

Chicago, Illinois (UP) –
Harry H. Woodring, former Secretary of War in the Roosevelt administration, said in an address prepared for delivery today that a meeting of “anti-New Deal Democrats” would be held soon with the aim of preventing a fourth term and proposed Secretary of State Cordell Hull for President.

Mr. Woodring prepared the address for delivery before the Chicago Executives Club after he met with anti-administration Democrats from 23 states to plan a campaign to “oust New Dealers” from the party.

He praised President Roosevelt’s foreign policies and suggested that he be appointed to head the American delegation to the peace table.

Mr. Woodring, former Governor of Kansas, in an interview, declined to divulge details of the proposed anti-New Deal meeting but said it probably would be held in St. Louis before the middle of April.

Mr. Woodring said New Dealers by necessity would have to align themselves again with the Democratic Party. He added:

But if those factions fail to relinquish control of the party and continue their dictatorial tendencies, the true Democrats will take steps to prevent them from using the name Democratic Party, thus forcing the New Dealers to organize a party of their own.

Mr. Woodring said a poll conducted recently by Herbert Hoover showed that “71% of the people of the United States are tired of present governmental operations.” But, he added, they are divided between the Democrats and the Republicans.


Senator Vandenberg supports MacArthur

Washington (UP) –
Senator Arthur H. Vandenberg (R-MI) said today that he favored Gen. Douglas MacArthur for President because he would be a “better commander-in-chief” than President Roosevelt – particularly “if by next November, we are concentrating on wiping Japan from the Pacific map.”

Explaining his support of Gen. MacArthur, Mr. Vandenberg opposed nominating a civilian on the Republican ticket on the ground that he would not be impressive against “Roosevelt’s ‘win-the-war’ appeal, and against ‘swapping horses,’ etc.”


Democrats saved nation, new chairman asserts

Birmingham, Alabama (UP) –
The Democratic administration, “which has piloted us through the perils of the past decade, saved the nation and then gave it the strength and determination to defeat its enemies,” Robert E. Hannegan, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, said in a prepared address read here last night.

The speech, delivered at a Jackson Day dinner, was read by Edward W. Pauley, party treasurer, who earlier told newsmen that if President Roosevelt wants the nomination for a fourth term, “he’ll get it.”

Both Mr. Hannegan and Postmaster General Frank C. Walker, who was originally scheduled to make the address, were prevented from appearing, Mr. Hannegan because weather conditions grounded his plane in Washington and Mr. Walker because of a death in his family.