Election 1944: Pre-convention news


Lodge quits Senate to enter service

Washington (UP) –
Senator Henry Cabot Lodge (R-MA) today submitted his resignation from the Senate so that he may enter active military service.

Mr. Lodge is expected to become a lieutenant colonel. He has been a reserve officer and in 1942 had a tour of duty as a major with U.S. forces in the East Libyan desert – before President Roosevelt ruled that Congressmen could not serve in the armed services while still retaining their Congressional seats.

One report from Boston said Governor Leverett Saltonstall, a Republican, would resign and be succeeded by Lieutenant Governor Horace T. Cahill, a Republican, who then would appoint Mr. Saltonstall as Senator to succeed Mr. Lodge, whose term does not expire until 1949.

Mr. Saltonstall, here for an American Legion meeting, said he had known nothing about Mr. Lodge’s plan to resign and that he would consider the appointment “if and when” he resigns. Mr. Cahill described the report as “fiction and a fine fairy tale.”


Editorial: Two months late

It would be a fine thing if every person of voting age in the United States could vote this year at his home polling place.

It would be a fine thing if everybody could vote both in the primaries, which are straggled out from April to September, according to varying state laws, and in the November general election.

But the country is at war, and this isn’t possible.

It isn’t possible because millions of voters are fighting that war. Some of them are still in the United States, either in training or providing behind-the-gun service but they are scattered through hundreds of camps, depots, bases, stations and headquarters.

Millions of them are overseas, not only in Italy, England and New Britain, where the main fighting is going on, but at Pearl Harbor, in New Guinea, Algeria, Cairo, Iran, China, Burma, Australia, Bermuda, Panama, Brazil, Liberia, Tarawa, Alaska, Guadalcanal and hundreds of other places.

These men and women are not assigned their foreign stations, or their domestic bases, by geographical origin.

Members of the Armed Forces from Pittsburgh, as from every city, hamlet and township in the country, are distributed all over the world.

There are 48 states and 48 sets of election laws, widely different. To make it possible for each member of the Armed Forces to vote in strict compliance with the laws of his own state it would be necessary for the Army and Navy to suspend many other pressing war matters and detour an inconceivable amount of personnel and equipment to the job of distributing and collecting ballots from the thousand and one spots where American voters are stationed around the world.

Secretary of War Stimson and Secretary of the Navy Knox have said this is not possible. They have said the only way the Army and Navy can handle this problem is by making use of a “simple, uniform” ballot.

Some Congressmen and Senators dispute this. They say the whole matter can easily be handled by the Army and Navy despite the different systems, or by routine mail without any special help from the Army and Navy.

They could be right. But Mr. Knox and Mr. Stimson are in a better position to know. They have at their fingertips authoritative information from competent Army and Navy officers, at home and afield. They are familiar with the overall picture. And they have demonstrated a sincere interest in this problem.

How can we do else than accept their advice?

We have a letter from a Wilkinsburg naval officer, now overseas, who attempted to vote in the 1943 local election. Here is what he said:

My ballot for Nov. 2 election arrived Jan. 2. I didn’t even bother to fill it out. Personally, I’m quite disgusted. It was mailed Oct. 18. Whether it was the Navy’s fault or the fault of the Board of Education, I don’t know. But I do know that if ballots are held up for the presidential election, there’s going to be an awful howl raised by the men overseas. I wish something could be done about it.

Something can be done about it. Congress can do something about it. And Congress had better do it soon.


Editorial: Straight thinking from Willkie

Wendell L. Willkie’s views of fiscal policy, as set forth in his New York speech, are thoroughly sound. Unless we maintain vigorous economic health, we can neither play a successful major part in world affairs after the war nor realize our hopes for social gains and higher living standards here at home.

An economic bloodstream composed largely of debt will eventually starve all the cells in the body.

It has been said before that our standard of living will have to come down during the war. Mr. Willkie proposes to force it down by tax increases that would net twice the amount asked by the Treasury, about six times the amount voted by Congress.

We wish Mr. Willkie had been more specific as to what taxes he would lay. But he was thinking straight when he advocated, in general, ruthless levies on every dollar in every income group, leaving the American people only the actual necessities of life, in order to pay the costs of war while the war is being fought, to the limit of our ability.

This, he says, is only simple justice to the men who are doing the fighting; it is the way to save our standard of living in the future.

Expressing greater faith in the people than some others have shown, he predicts they would bear the burden willingly if given a clear understanding of the issues involved, and if assured that their money would not be wasted.

He recognizes, also, that the post-war period will present an entirely different problem. Then our desired objective will be to stimulate the flow of goods and services, the taking of risks, the creation of millions of peacetime jobs. Then will come the time for minimum rather than maximum taxes. And then the fiscal policy should be, not to impose the highest possible tax rates, but to provide the highest possible income so that relatively modest rates can provide necessary revenue.

The Pittsburgh Press (February 5, 1944)


Soldier vote test set back

Senate unable to round up quorum for session

Washington (UP) –
Too many Senators played hooky from the Saturday session scheduled for today, and the Senate had to call the whole thing off and postpone further consideration of the soldier vote controversy until Monday.

The convening hour of 11:00 a.m. ET found only seven Senators on the floor. The initial roll call was answered by 37 Senators as they filed in during the slow calling of names. A later roll call of the absentees brought the total number of Senators answering their names to 43.

This was still short of a quorum, so Democratic Leader Alben W. Barkley (D-KY) moved for a recess until Monday noon.

Senator Barkley had previously expressed hope that the administration’s federal ballot bill could finally be acted on by tonight, shunting back to the House the issue. The House had rejected Thursday night the administration federal-ballot proposal by a 51-vote margin.

Showdown next week

The showdown now due Monday or Tuesday will involve another attempt of the Republican-Southern Democrat coalition to limit the voting to regular state ballots.

There is little chance of a Senate filibuster to delay further final action as a limitation on debate was agreed to earlier this week to speed action on amendments to the pending Green-Lucas federal bill.

A comparison of the official list of those answering the quorum call with yesterday’s test vote on the Taft amendment to restrict use of a federal ballot showed that the state ballot forces had a margin of two on the floor as today’s session began.

Twenty-three of those who voted for the Taft amendment yesterday were recorded as being present. Twenty-one of those who voted with the administration yesterday were recorded as being present.

Use day to clear up mail

Senator Barkley told reporters that he could have obtained a quorum but it would have been difficult to hold the Senators on the floor throughout the day because they traditionally use the Saturday recess to clear up accumulated mail in their office.

The official roll call showed the state ballot forces on the floor included 12 Republicans and 11 Southern Democrats. They were:

REPUBLICAN: Ball, Brewster, Brooks, Bushfield, Butler, Holman, Moore, Nye, Robertson, Taft, Wherry and White.

DEMOCRATS: Bailey, Byrd, Caraway, Eastland, George, Hill, McClellan, McKellar, O’Daniel, Overton and Smith.

The opponents of the Taft amendment recorded present included 14 Democrats, six Republicans and one Progressive. They were:

DEMOCRATS: Barkley, Clark (ID), Clark (MO), Green, Guffey, Hayden, Jackson, Kilgore, Lucas, Murray, Stewart, Tunnell, Tydings and Wagner.

REPUBLICANS: Austin, Danaher, Davis, Ferguson, Tobey and Vandenberg.



State’s Democrats hope to ride with Roosevelt

Name candidates with full expectation of being running mates of President
By Robert Taylor, Pittsburgh Press staff writer

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (UP) –
Keynoting their campaign with “Victory and a just and lasting peace,” Pennsylvania Democrats have named a slate of candidates for state offices with the full expectation that they will be running mates of President Roosevelt in a fourth-term campaign.

Members of the Democratic State Committee yesterday took the first organized action toward a fourth-term campaign when they adopted a resolution asserting that:

The people of this state and of every other state look to Franklin D. Roosevelt for continued leadership.

The Committee instructed State Chairman David L. Lawrence and other committee officers to circulate primary petitions for Mr. Roosevelt and place his name on the ballot in Pennsylvania’s preferential primary April 25.

Speakers at the Committee’s biennial meeting left no doubt that they expected to fight the 1944 campaign on the international issues as both Chairman Lawrence and Rep. Francis J. Myers of Philadelphia, who emerged as the slated candidate for the party’s senatorial nomination, spoke on that theme.

Mr. Lawrence told the 109 members of the Committee:

What we do in the next election and the next administration will determine the speed of victory, the preservation of that victory and its translation into lasting peace, and the security and prosperity of the American people including the 11 million men and women in service in this war.

After receiving the committee’s designation for Senator, Mr. Myers said:

We can’t afford to repeat the mistakes of 1918, 1919 and 1920. If we do, the sons of the men now fighting will fight again in 25 or 30 years.

Mr. Myers, 42, a third-term Congressman and former deputy state attorney general, has been an administration follower throughout his service in Congress. His final selection as the senatorial candidate came in a backroom conference nearly two hours after the committee was scheduled to meet.

Complete harmony

The committee members, meanwhile, waited for word from their leaders and endorsed the selection without opposition.

Complete harmony in the Democratic primary, for the first time since 1936, was assured when Rep. Michael J. Bradley of Philadelphia, who had announced an independent campaign with labor backing for the Democratic senatorial nomination withdrew from the race.

The only opposition in the committee occurred when Westmoreland County Democrats, seeking a state judicial nomination for Common Pleas Judge George H. McWherter of Westmoreland County opposed designation of U.S. Circuit Judge Charles Alvin Jones for a State Supreme Court nomination.

Opposition voted down

The Westmoreland Countians, led by State Senator John H. Dent, were voted down, 86–16.

The committee filled out the state slate by designating Superior Court Judge Chester H. Rhodes of Monroe County, auditor general, and F. Clair Ross of Butler, for nominations to the Superior Court; Third Assistant Postmaster General Ramsey S. Black of Harrisburg, for state treasurer, and State Treasurer G. Harold Wagner of Luzerne Country, for auditor general.


Wallace warns against slip into Fascism

Labor, business, farmer must cooperate after war to avoid it

Los Angeles, California –
The central problem of post-war democracy for labor business and agriculture will be “to work together without slipping into an American Fascism,” Vice President Henry A. Wallace said in an address here last night.

A post-war struggled among “big business, big labor and big agriculture” might bring Fascism, he warned at a Win-the-War rally in Shrine Auditorium in which he predicted a “serious conflict” of “the Big Three” unless they all recognize “the superior claims of the general welfare of the common man.”

Mr. Wallace said:

Such recognition of the general welfare must be genuine, must be more than a polite mouthing of high-sounding phrases.

He added:

Each of the Big Three has unprecedented power at the present time. Each is faced with serious post-war worries. Each will be tempted to profit at the expense of the other two when the post-war boom breaks. Each can save itself only if it learns to work with the other two and with government in terms of the general welfare.

Discussing the post-war aims of workers, businessmen, farmers and returning servicemen, Mr. Wallace said they all merged into a general desire for pursuit of happiness.

Scores big businessmen

Organized labor has become of age and has become a responsible partner of management in operating industry and trade, he said.

He scored big businessmen who “put Wall Street first and the nation second” and warned they “will fight with unrelenting hatred through press, radio, demagogue and lobbyist every national and state government which puts human rights above property rights.”

Farmers, seeking bargaining power equivalent to that of labor and industry, have learned the art of lobbying, he said.

He declared:

They intend to use federal power to hold up farm prices after the war.

Mr. Wallace praised businessmen more interested in serving humanity than in making money for money’s sake.

Small man wants chance

He declared:

The small businessman wants a fair chance to compete in a growing market with fair access to raw materials, capital and technical research.

…and demanded that big business not be allowed to control Congress and the executive branch of government so as “to make it easy for them to write the rules for the post-war game.”

Discussing the returning servicemen, he said:

These young men will run the country 15 years hence.

He warned that:

Their disgust with pressure group politics wrongly channeled could lead to a new kind of Fascism. But, rightly directed, it may result in a true general welfare democracy for the first time in history.


Oppose propaganda, Bricker tells editors

Columbus, Ohio (UP) –
Newspapers must meet the New Deal’s “calculated purpose to discredit the press” with a threefold attack on government propaganda, censorship and centralization of power in the executive branch, Governor John W. Bricker said last night.

In an address hailed by his campaign headquarters as “the strongest” since he announced his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination, Mr. Bricker warned members of the Ohio Newspaper Association of three “dangers” threatening freedom of the press:

First, the use of the press for propaganda “in the nature of a trial balloon for political purposes.”

Second, censorship:

…the road down which the people of Germany, Italy and Japan were led to slavery and ultimate defeat.

Third, concentration of power in the executive branch of the government, making “the danger to a free press more and more imminent.”


Background of news –
Soldier votes and some statistics

By Bertram Benedict, editorial research reports

From present indications, the number of men and women in the Armed Forces and the Merchant Marine will be around 11 million by Election Day, 1944. Of this total, perhaps 7.5 million will be outside the continental United States.

President Roosevelt, in his soldier-vote message to Congress Jan. 26, put the number overseas by Election Day as “more than five million,” but the President evidently slipped up on his mathematics, for that is the estimate given for the Army alone.

Of the 7.5 million overseas on the Tuesday following the first Monday in November 1944, perhaps 1,200,000 will be under 21 (Georgia is so far the only state which has reduced the voting age to 18). Perhaps another 300,000 will be non-citizens, so that the potential voting strength of the Armed Forces overseas will be in the neighborhood of six million.

That is only about 7% of the total potential voting population. It is slightly more than President Roosevelt’s popular majority over Wendell Willkie in 1940, considerably less than his majority over Alf M. Landon in 1936, slightly less than his majority over President Hoover in 1932.

Not likely to be decisive

Some of the six million soldiers eligible will certainly not bother to vote, whatever the facilities provided. Of those who do vote, the division among the two major party candidates is not likely to be much greater than 75–25. In other words, the overseas soldier vote could not decide the 1944 election unless the election should otherwise be considerably closer than the election of 1940, when almost 50 million ballots were cast for President.

From the above statistics, it appears that the overseas soldier vote is not likely to provide either major party presidential candidate a margin of more than 5% of the total vote cast. Under the electoral system of the United States, that must be broken down by states, to gauge its effect.

The Democrats are maintaining that most of the soldier vote will go to the Commander-in-Chief, so that if most of the soldiers are prevented from voting, the Democrats may charge that the election was stolen from them. However, the loss of 5% of his votes in 1940 would mean the loss of only four additional states from Mr. Roosevelt, if the Republican vote were the same as in 1940. These four states are among the largest in the Union – New York, Illinois, New Jersey, and Wisconsin – and together they account for 104 electoral votes.

Would have made no difference

Mr. Roosevelt received 449 electoral votes in 1940, and the loss of 104 would still leave him 345, considerably more than enough to elect. So, if the Democrats were to lose the 1944 election with most of the overseas soldiers not voting, the loss would be due only in part to the absence of soldier votes, much more to a shift of civilian votes away from the Democratic column since 1940.

Chairman Spangler of the Republican National Committee has reported that informal polls taken by his friends indicate that most soldiers overseas are inclined toward the Republican ticket. If that be true the Republican presidential candidate will suffer if most of the soldiers don’t vote.

The states, with their electoral votes, carried by Mr. Willkie in 1940 by less than a 5% margin were as follows:

Colorado 6
Indiana 14
Iowa 11
Maine 5
Michigan 19

These five states accounted for about two-thirds of the total electoral vote for Mr. Willkie.

The Pittsburgh Press (February 6, 1944)


Pennsylvania politics –
Myers, Davis likely to be November foes

Neither is expected to have opposition in April primary
By Robert Taylor, Pittsburgh Press staff writer

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania – (Feb. 5)
The harmony program ratified here by the Democratic State Committee has forecast a race in the November election for U.S. Senator between Rep. Francis J. Myers, Philadelphia New Dealer, and Senator James J. Davis, seeking election to a third full term, as the Republican nominee.

Mr. Myers is assured the Democratic nomination in the April 25 primary by the withdrawal of all opposition just before the State Committee endorsed his candidacy yesterday, and he will run on a ticket headed, Democrats confidently expect, by President Roosevelt.

May avoid primary contest

Failure of Republican leaders to settle on a candidate to oppose Senator Davis in the primary, with the backing of Joseph R. Grundy and Joseph N. Pew Jr., left political circles believing that they may not give Mr. Davis serious opposition in the primary.

The proposal not to put organized opposition in the field against the veteran Republican Senator, who has been on unfriendly terms with the Grundy-Pew leadership for years was credited to Governor Edward Martin.

If this change in Republican plans materializes, both parties will avoid a contest in the primary election and will keep their ranks intact for the presidential election.

Democrats jubilant

For the Democrats, it will be the first harmonious primary since 1936, due to healing of the political breach between Senator Guffey and State Chairman David L. Lawrence, which has kept party affairs in a turmoil since 1938.

For the Republicans, it would be the first time since 1930 that Mr. Davis has sought a senatorial nomination without encountering a determined attempt by the party organization to defeat him.

Democrats were jubilant today over the outcome of the harmony program by which they named, virtually unopposed, a state slate to serve as a “supporting cast” to the President in the November election.

All seasoned campaigners

Each of the slated candidates is a seasoned campaigner. Rep. Myers, a 42-year-old Philadelphia attorney, is a third-term Congressman. U.S. Circuit Judge Charles Alvin Jones of Pittsburgh, designated candidate for the State Supreme Court, was the party’s 1938 nominee for Governor.

Superior Court Judge Chester H. Rhodes, originally elected in 1934, was designated a candidate for one of two Superior Court posts and his running mate, F. Clair Ross, has been elected State Treasurer and Auditor General and was the Democratic nominee for Governor in 1942.

Call on Roosevelt

Third Assistant Postmaster General Ramsey S. Black, slated for the nomination for State Treasurer, has been active in politics in Central Pennsylvania for years and G. Harold Wagner of Luzerne County, slated for Auditor General, was elected State Treasurer four years ago.

Speakers at the Democratic State Committee meeting set the keynote of the campaign as “victory and a just and lasting peace,” and the committee adopted a resolution demanding that President Roosevelt “carry the burdens of his great tasks until the war is won and a secure peace assured.”

Home front issues

Mr. Lawrence told the assembled committee:

He must continue his masterly direction of the war, because the plans that are shaped are his, the men that direct are his, the team that is winning is his, and no other man could take over in the middle of the game and call the plays correctly and without a hitch.

The Democratic leaders didn’t forget home front issues in marking out the terms on which they will fight the campaign. The committee adopted a resolution denouncing Pennsylvania’s Republican Congressmen for opposing a “stand up and be counted” roll call on the federal soldier ballot bill and urged approval by Congress of a soldier ballot.

Mr. Lawrence charged Republican Congressmen with fighting price control and boosting inflation on behalf of pressure groups and against the interests of labor.

He said:

The fight against food subsidies has been a Republican fight to raise the cost of living of the city dweller to curry favor with the organized farm bloc. Then, when labor felt the pinch of rising living costs, Republican politicians would point to the wage control agencies of government and tell working people that the Roosevelt administration has turned against them.

Labor represented

As in previous presidential years, labor will be represented on the Pennsylvania slate of delegates at large to the national convention, to serve with the state’s leading Democrats.

Philip Murray, CIO and United Steel Workers president, and James L. McDevitt, president of the Pennsylvania Federation of Labor (AFL), were designated as delegates at large, and John A. Philips, president of the Pennsylvania Industrial Union Council (CIO), as an alternate. Mr. Black, designated for the state treasurer nomination, is a former railroad worker with widespread support among rail unions.


Senate delays showdown on soldier vote

Washington (UP) – (Feb. 5)
Senate showdown on the bitterly-contested soldier vote issue was postponed today until next week when an epidemic of “hooky” playing forced adjournment of a special Saturday session shortly after it opened.

The chamber met today on motion of Democratic Leader Alben W. Barkley (D-KY), who hoped for passage of administration-supported legislation to provide federal ballots for voting by service personnel this November.

But Mr. Barkley’s hope was in vain. When the gavel fell at 11:00 a.m. ET, seven Senators were present. Twenty minutes and two roll calls later when only 44 members – four less than a quorum – had answered present, Mr. Barkley gave up and moved an adjournment until Monday.

Foes cheered

Spokesmen for the anti-administration coalition of Republicans and Southern Democrats who are opposing provision of federal ballots hailed today’s fiasco as a victory. They contended that if a vote had been possible, they would have had a 24–20 victory.

They based that claim on the fact that, of 44 Senators present, 24 voted against the administration in a test yesterday on an amendment which would have sharply restricted use of federal ballots. The amendment, opposed by the administration, lost by a 46–42 tally.

James O. Eastland (D-MS), a leader of the Republican-Southern Democrat coalition, viewed the adjournment as a good omen for the “states’ rights” legislation favored by his group, which would simply call on states to provide adequate absentee balloting procedure.

Another effort planned

Meanwhile, there was some talk that the anti-administration bloc might make another attempt Monday to settle the entire issue by a parliamentary maneuver which they tried but failed to bring off on Friday.

The maneuver involved a motion to lay aside the pending Lucas-Green federal ballot bill and take up the so-called “states’ rights” measure passed by the Senate last December and by the House Thursday night.

If those two steps were successful, the bloc would then move to accept the minor revisions made by the House and, if that motion carried, the bill would then be on the way to the White House – without any provision for federal ballots.

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Pennsylvania soldiers get data on absentee voting

But they must qualify under state law and have opportunity to get ballots

Washington (UP) – (Feb. 5)
The War Department has informed soldiers from Pennsylvania, Illinois, Nebraska and Louisiana that they have some voting to do this April – if they’re qualified under state laws and if they have the time, patience and opportunity to do what it takes to get and cast ballots.

In a preview of what will happen on a tremendously larger scale in advance of the November presidential election if no new soldier vote legislation is enacted, the department set in motion machinery to “facilitate” voting in Illinois, Nebraska and Pennsylvania primaries and in Louisiana’s general election.

Inform serviceman

Commanding officers at all military installations have been instructed to call the elections to the attention of men from the four states and to provide those who wish to vote with postage-free postcard applications for ballots. With the postcards go special instructions for each state.

Under Public Law 712 enacted in 1942, the armed services must do what they can to help service personnel obtain absentee ballots. Voting qualifications and the validity of ballots are determined by the states.

The War Department reminded prospective voters of “certain important factors,” including:

  • A soldier must be at least 21 to vote.

  • In certain states just filing application for an absentee ballot is not enough; there are other steps.

  • If a soldier doesn’t know whether he is qualified to vote, “he should immediately inquire by letter to the Secretary of State of the state of his voting residence as to whether it is necessary to register, pay taxes or meet other requirements.”

  • Upon receiving his absentee ballot, the soldier should execute it and return it immediately.

Instructions given

The War Department issued the following special information:

Pennsylvania primary, April 25: Soldiers may apply for “official war ballots” covering only federal offices, or for state absentee ballots covering all offices. The former may be obtained from the Secretary of State, Harrisburg, by use of Army postcard forms.

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Willkie will stump Wisconsin 2 weeks

Milwaukee, Wisconsin (UP) – (Feb. 5)
Wendell L. Willkie announced today that he will spend two weeks in March campaigning for the election of delegates in Wisconsin pledged to support him for the Republican presidential nomination.

He said:

I look upon the Wisconsin primary as one of the most important tests in the whole pre-nomination struggle.

The primary will be held April 4 and is the first in which leading candidates for the GOP nomination will be directly opposed. Delegate slates so far are entered for Mr. Willkie, New York Governor Thomas E. Dewey and Gen. Douglas MacArthur, commander of Allied forces in the Southwest Pacific.

Mr. Willkie made his announcement to newspapermen after conferring with 22 of the 24 delegates entered in the primary as pledged to him.

The Wisconsin primary is particularly important, he said, because of leadership in the state of the Progressive Party and of widespread circulation of The Chicago Tribune.

He also welcomed the entrance of the name of Col. Robert McCormick, publisher of the Tribune, in the Illinois primaries. This, he said, would bring the real issues of the campaign before the public.


Wallace rouses unions

Los Angeles, California (UP) – (Feb. 5)
Organized labor must raise its voice in post-warn planning to equal that of industry, Vice President Henry A. Wallace today urged a meeting of American Federation of Labor members.

Mr. Wallace said:

It is so easy in government to put the dollar and the plant before the man.

This is a fascistic idea. Yet unless labor makes itself heard among Congressional and government committees which will have so much to do with problems of reconversion of industry and post-war activity, we shall see a tendency for property rights to be placed ahead of human rights.

Earlier, during a short speech to some 3,500 assembled workers at the Wilmington yard of California Shipbuilding Corporation, Mr. Wallace emphasized that government would have to take an active part in reconversion of war industries back to peacetime production.


Miss Sumner to run again, she says, changing mind

Washington (UP) – (Feb. 5)
Rep. Jessie Sumner (R-IL), who announced during the Christmas holidays that she would not seek reelection, said tonight that she has changed her mind, because messages from friends “made me feel like a rat leaving the sinking ship of state.”

Her intention to retire had “discouraged a substantial number of Americans whose patriotic efforts I should do what I can to encourage,” Miss Sumner said in a statement.

An outspoken opponent of U.S. participation in the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration, Miss Sumner said she was afraid:

…to leave now when steps are being taken that will surely cause another war in Europe and lock our country into a world union from which we cannot secede without causing a world civil war.


History repeating itself –
Presidential election year parallels situation in 1864

Demand for ‘military man’ and soldier vote were issues when Lincoln ran 80 years ago
By Homer D. Place

For the first time in 80 years, a presidential election will be held while America is at war.

Mr. Roosevelt cannot continue as President after Jan. 20, 1945, unless he is reelected and the election cannot be put off because of the war.

The Constitution of the United States calls for the election of a President every four years. It does not take into account whether there is war or peace.

The previous presidential election in wartime in American history was that of Abraham Lincoln who was reelected on Nov. 8, 1864, during the critical period of the Civil War.

Army morale low

Early in June of that year, reports of the Union disaster at Cold Harbor began to filter into Washington.

Against a backdrop of this and other military defeats, the National Union Convention was staged in Baltimore June 7, and Lincoln was nominated for a second term.

As a gesture to the South, Andrew Johnson of Tennessee was picked as Lincoln’s running mate, no doubt, with little expectation that Mr. Johnson would ever become the Chief Executive. He had been military governor of his home state for two years and was an ardent Unionist.

Democrats name McClellan

The Democratic Party belatedly held its national convention at Chicago Aug. 29, 1864, and nominated as its standard bearer, Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan, “the idol of the Army of the Potomac” and successor to the aged Gen. Winfield Scott as general-in-chief of the U.S. Army.

One of the key planks in the Democratic platform declared “the war has been a failure.” This clause in the platform put Gen. McClellan in a difficult position. He had been the popular commander of an important segment of the Union Army which his party declared had failed. He repudiated the platform and took the stump depending largely for success on his personal popularity.

Open season for snipers

The bitter campaign was marked by flagrant disloyalty. It was an open season for snipers. They fired on the administration from the vantage points of high office and from the muffled corners of Congressional cloakrooms. Some high officials publicly denounced the administration and called for new leadership.

One of the most outspoken critics of the President was a member of his Cabinet, Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase, who openly announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination for President. Another was Postmaster General Montgomery Blair, whose radical tendencies became so evident that President Lincoln asked for his resignation.

‘Military man’ urged

Members of Lincoln’s party demanded the President withdraw as the nominee on the ground that a military man was needed in the White House.

The President told a delegation from the Union League which came to serenade him after his nomination:

I have never permitted myself to conclude that I am the best man in America. I am reminded in this connection of a story of an old Dutch farmer who remarked, “It is not best to swap horses while crossing the stream.”

President Roosevelt recently demanded of Congress passage of the Green-Lucas-Worley soldier-vote bill.

It’s an old story

This program has irked the Republican leaders now as it did the Democrats 80 years ago.

The October elections of 1864 in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana were watched as indicative of the drift of political sentiment. Soldiers from the first of these states were enabled by law to vote in the field. From barracks and the hospitals of the Capital district, ballots were collected.

The Republican majority was swelled by shipping home about 10,000 Pennsylvania soldier from Sheridan’s Army, because Pennsylvania was a doubtful state.

Army backs President

Even with the help of soldiers rushed home at the last minute to vote, the administration carried Pennsylvania by only a small majority.

The whole power of the War Department was thrown behind the President. Officers known to the admirers of Gen. McClellan were declined promotion. Furloughs were granted soldiers known to be Republicans and thousands jammed the Northbound trains which carried them to doubtful districts. Democratic ballots were seized by administration workers and never reached New York to be counted.

Lincoln reelected

The election was held Nov. 8. On Nov. 10, when the reelection of President Lincoln seemed assured, he told a delegation which came to serenade him:

A presidential election, occurring in regular course during the Rebellion, added not a little to the strain. If the loyal people. United, were put to the utmost of their strength by the Rebellion, must they not fail when divided and partially paralyzed by a political war among themselves?

But the election was a necessity. We cannot have a free government without elections; and if the Rebellion could force us to forego or postpone a national election, it might fairly claim to have already conquered and ruined us. The election, along with its incidental and undesirable strife… has demonstrated that a people’s government can sustain a national election in the midst of a great civil war.

Völkischer Beobachter (February 7, 1944)

Washington demonstriert die ‚Freiheit für Freibeuter‘

Ungeheuerlicher Raub der Ölmagnaten mit Hilfe der US-Regierung

vb. Wien, 6. Februar –
Der Vizepräsident der Vereinigten Staaten, Henry Wallace, hat sich in einer Rede in Los Angeles gegen die „großen Geschäftsleute, die die Wall Street an die erste und die Nation an die zweite Stelle setzen,“ gewandt.

Sie stellen ihre Besitzrechte über die Menschenrechte und bekämpfen mit gleichbleibendem Haß durch Presse und Rundfunk jede Regierung, die die Menschenrechte über die kapitalistischen stellt. Wenn diese Leute von der Freiheit für geschäftliche Unternehmen sprechen, dann meinen sie Freiheit für Freibeuter.

Wallace wies abschließend warnend darauf hin, daß die Soldaten in Wut geraten würden, wenn sie bei ihrer Rückkehr von der Front in die Heimat dort sehen müßten, wie die Großkapitalisten statt für die Nation für ihre eigenen Interessen und Privilegien kämpften.

Die Großverdiener der Wall Street werden diesen sozialen Auftrag des Vizepräsidenten mit wissendem Augenzwinkern begleitet haben. Denn am gleichen Tag, an dem Wallace für den inneren Hausgebrauch und für die Täuschung ahnungsloser, neutraler Zeitgenossen draußen sich an fremdem Gedankengut vergriff, gab der US-Innenminister Ickes, in seiner Eigenschaft als Erdöladministrator einen neuen großen Fischzug des nordamerikanischen Erdölkapitals bekannt, der den Ölmagnaten der Wall Street dank der Hilfe des Weißen Hauses riesige Kriegsgewinne sichern wird. Die Sonntagsausgabe der Neuyorker Zeitung PM hat dieses Kombinationsgeschäft von Regierung und Standard Oil mit folgendem Kommentar versehen:

Ickes hat ein Geheimabkommen mit zwei großen amerikanischen Ölgesellschaften für die Erschließung des Saudi-arabischen Öls gutgeheißen, das Hunderte von Millionen Dollar Reingewinn für die Gesellschaften verspricht. Dieses Abkommen schließt das Risiko in sich, daß die amerikanische Militärmacht zum Einsatz gebracht werden muß, um die Investierungen zu schützen. Dieses Geschäft ist zwischen Ickes, der Petroleum-Reserve Corporation und den beiden amerikanischen Ölgesellschaften, die arabisches öl besitzen, nämlich der Standard Oil of California und der Texas Company, ausgehandelt worden. Dies würde eine Ausgabe von etwa 160 Millionen Dollar öffentlicher Gelder zum Bau der Ölleitungen bedeuten, und zwar unter Bedingungen, die den Gesellschaften mindestens 650 Millionen Dollar und vielleicht noch ein Vielfaches dieser Summe bei der Investierung von 20 Millionen Dollar erbringen würden.

Das wirkliche Geschäft

Aus einem Washingtoner Reuters-Bericht ist jetzt klarer zu entnehmen, als es bei der ersten Mitteilung möglich war, um was es sich bei diesem Geschäft handelt. Während gestern nur die Rede von dem Bau einer Petroleumraffinerie in Saudi-Arabien durch die zur Standard Oil-Gruppe gehörende Arabian American Oil Co. und von Erweiterungsplänen für die Anlagen auf den Bahreininseln in Abdan am Persischen Golf und in Haifa war, wird jetzt bekannt, daß Ickes außerdem den Plan der US-Regierung für den Bau einer Ölleitung vom Persischen Golf bis zur Ostküste des Mittelmeeres mitgeteilt hat. Diese Ölleitung, die etwa 1.250 Meilen lang sein wird und für die mit von der Washingtoner Regierung aufzubringenden Kosten von 160 Millionen Dollar gerechnet wird, ist für die Zwecke des US-Imperialismus im Nahen Osten bestimmt. Um über diese Zweckbestimmung keinen Zweifel aufkommen zu lassen, erklärte Ickes:

Die bekannten Reserven der USA sind nach unseren Schätzungen für den Bedarf des Landes nur für verhältnismäßig wenige Jahre ausreichend. Der Bau der Ölleitung wird die riesigen Ölmengen des Gebietes am Persischen Golf den USA zugänglich machen, falls und sobald dies erforderlich ist.

Das Abkommen sieht außerdem vor, daß die Gesellschaften Öl an eine Regierung nicht verkaufen, wenn nach Meinung des Außenministeriums ein derartiger Verkauf der US-Außenpolitik schaden würde. Ickes sagte, das Abkommen habe die Billigung Roosevelts und des Außenministeriums und fügte hinzu:

Die Ölleitung wird das Öl der so geschaffenen Reserve der Regierung jederzeit zum Kauf für militärische oder Marinezwecke zu einem Preise von 25 Prozent unter dem Marktpreis, der in der Gegend des Persischen Golfes oder in den USA für gleichwertiges Rohöl gezahlt wird, anbieten, und zwar je nachdem, welcher der beiden genannten Preise niedriger ist.

Die US-Regierung dürfe jede Menge dieses Öls für einen Zeitraum von 50 Jahren für sich in Anspruch nehmen und im Krisenfalle das gesamte Rohöl erwerben, das die Gesellschaften produzieren.

Die Ölmagnaten haben großmütig der Regierung die Rückzahlung der Baukosten plus Zinsen innerhalb von 25 Jahren zugesagt, „mit einem Nettogewinn für die Regierung, über den man sich noch einigen muß.“ Nach Abzug der Spesen für Ickes und die anderen beamteten Washingtoner Helfershelfer bei diesem ungeheuren Fischzug wird bei den zu erwartenden Riesengewinnen sicherlich auch für die „Regierung“ eine Kleinigkeit abfallen.

The Pittsburgh Press (February 7, 1944)


In soldier-vote fight –
States’-rights backers score

Force consideration of amended House measure

Washington (UP) –
Senate opponents of the administration’s federal ballot plan for soldier-voting succeeded today in forcing consideration of the amended state ballot measure approved by the House.

The vote to take up the state ballot bill was 50–38. It came on a motion by Senator John H. Overton (D-LA) after the Senate had progressed right up to the point of a final vote on the administration-backed Green-Lucas federal ballot bill.

Senator Overton’s previous efforts to take up the state bill had been defeated narrowly.

Earlier, administration forces had defeated, 44–42, an attempt by states’-rights advocates to sidetrack the federal ballot soldier-vote bill in favor of a state ballot measure.

The administration strategy is to delay action on the state ballot bill until it can perfect and offer as an amendment the federal-ballot provisions of the pending Green-Lucas measure. This would send the issue back to the House of Representatives for another test before Congress takes final action.

Senate Democratic Leader Alben W. Barkley said he was confident that when Congress finally completes action on the legislation, there would be some form of federal ballot provision.


Wallace ‘suspects’ fourth-term race

San Francisco, California (UP) –
Vice President Henry A. Wallace today said, “I suspect President Roosevelt will run for a fourth term,” after an address outlining a broad post-war program.


Varga Girl wins servicemen’s vote

Washington (UP) –
Postmaster General Frank C. Walker may attempt to ban the Varga Girl’s curvaceous likeness from the mails, but he can’t keep servicemen from using the mails to petition Congress on her behalf.

Rep. Ranulf Compton (R-CT), one of the many Varga Girl defenders, reported today that he has found her appeal rates 7–1 over the soldier vote and 14–1 over the national service issue among the servicemen who write him.

Some letter writers, of course, disagreed. Some even called her a hussy capable of the degrading in fluence attributed to her by Mr. Walker.


Gen. MacArthur placed on spot in Illinois test

Word from him awaited on his view as presidential candidate

Washington (UP) –
Enthusiastic supporters in Illinois have put somewhat directly to Gen. Douglas MacArthur the question whether he envisages himself as a possible Republican presidential nominee this year.

The names of Gen. MacArthur and Col. Robert R. McCormick, publisher of The Chicago Tribune, have been entered in the April 11 Republican presidential preference primary. The entry was by petition and did not require the consent of the candidate.

Reaction awaited

But if Gen. MacArthur permits his name to go before the Illinois electorate without dissent, it may be assumed here – as dispatches from his headquarters have suggested – that he is not adverse to making a presidential campaign this year.

Wendell L. Willkie had threatened to enter his name in Illinois if Mr. McCormick became a contestant, but he told weekend questioners that he would do so only “if the colonel would travel up and down the state debating the issues with me.”

Col. McCormick has intimated, however, that he is not a candidate, and it was assumed that her will withdraw his name.

Willkie in Wisconsin race

But Mr. Willkie is going after delegate support in Wisconsin where voters are likely to have the first chance to express an official preference between him and New York Governor Thomas E. Dewey. Dewey and Willkie slates of delegates have been filed for Wisconsin’s April 4 primary.

There are reports that Gen. MacArthur ad Lt. Cdr. Harold E. Stassen, former Governor of Minnesota, may also be represented. Consent of the candidate is not required in Wisconsin.

Newspaper urges bipartisan ticket

Buffalo, New York (UP) –
The independent Courier Express suggested a bipartisan agreement calling for the nomination of Franklin D. Roosevelt for President and an outstanding Republican for Vice President on both major party tickets and a complete holiday from national party politics in 1944.

The editorial suggests:

The nomination by both parties of Franklin D. Roosevelt for a fourth term in the Presidency, with a hard and fast agreement that when the European armistice is signed, he shall resign to heads the American delegation to the peace conference, leaving to his successor the task of carrying through to victory the Asiatic phase of the war – and of handling the domestic problems attending the return to peace.

California delegates back fourth term

San Francisco, California (UP) –
California’s 56-member delegation to the 1944 Democratic National Convention today pledged itself to support President Roosevelt for a fourth term.

Stassen enters Wisconsin primary

Madison, Wisconsin (UP) –
The name of Lt. Cdr. Harold E. Stassen, former Governor of Minnesota on duty with the Navy, was entered today in the Wisconsin presidential preferential primary election April 4.

Slates of delegates for Wendell Willkie and Governor Thomas E. Dewey have already been filed for the primary.

Governor Dewey leads in Senate poll

Washington (UP) –
Governor Thomas E. Dewey of New York is the leading choice for Republican presidential candidate in 1944 among Republican Senators who are willing to express a choice now, a United Press poll revealed today. Twenty of the Senate’s 37 Republicans registered their choices.

Governor John W. Bricker of Ohio was second, Gen. Douglas MacArthur third, and Wendell L. Willkie fourth.

Governor Earl Warren of California was mentioned most frequently as a choice for the vice-presidential spot on the 1944 ticket.

Committee to shun state disputes

Washington (UP) –
Robert E. Hannegan, new chairman of the Democratic National Committee, said today that his organization will keep hands off the forthcoming primary elections, stay out of state party fights and work tirelessly for the election of Democratic nominees for the Presidency and Congress.

Willkie to enter Nebraska primary

Ogden, Utah (UP) –
Wendell L. Willkie, the 1940 Republican presidential nominee, said today on his arrival here for the opening of a western tour that he would enter the Nebraska presidential preference primary April 11.