Election 1944: Roosevelt will speak Thursday (10-31-44)

The Pittsburgh Press (October 31, 1944)


President will speak Thursday

Byrnes hints GOP victory may cost Russian aid in war on Japs; New England trip next for Roosevelt

Washington (UP) –
President Roosevelt, adding another political speech to his campaign schedule, will speak by radio from the White House Thursday night.

White House Secretary Stephen T. Early said no decision had been made on the time or networks to be used.

Proposals for trips to Cleveland or Detroit have been dropped; the President will definitely campaign in Connecticut and Massachusetts Saturday and make a major speech in Boston that night.

Largest radio coverage

The Boston speech will be from 9:00 to 9:45 p.m. EWT over the Blue, NBC and CBS networks – his largest radio coverage of the campaign to date. Fenway Park probably will be the scene of the speech.

About 10:00 a.m. Saturday, Mr. Roosevelt will speak from the rear platform of his train at Bridgeport, Connecticut. He then will go to Hartford, arriving about noon. Mr. Early said that if the weather is good, the President will motor to a bandstand in a centrally-located park in Hartford and make another extemporaneous speech.

The President plans to drive from Hartford to Springfield, Massachusetts, arriving there about 2:00 p.m. for another informal talk. Then he will board his train again for the trip to Boston.

Change ‘would prolong war’

James F. Byrnes, the President’s chief home front aide, entered the fourth-term campaign with an implication that a change of administration now may remove any hope of Russian cooperation in the war against Japan.

In a nationwide radio address marking his first major appeal for Mr. Roosevelt’s reelection, the director of war mobilization and reconversion asserted last night that victory for Governor Thomas E. Dewey, Republican nominee, would “inevitably delay the winning of the war and jeopardize the peace for which our boys are fighting and dying.”

Doubts Dewey could do it

Mr. Byrnes hinted the United States might obtain Russian cooperation in the war against Japan. But he raised doubts that it could be obtained by Mr. Dewey who, he said, “as late as 1940 denounced recognition of Russia by our government and who Is now criticizing the efforts of our government to bring about a friendly accord between Russia and Poland.”

Mr. Byrnes’ speech opened the last full week of the fourth-term campaign, which will be climaxed by Mr. Roosevelt himself with an address in Boston Saturday. White House Secretary Stephen T. Early indicated the Boston trip, which will probably include platform stops at Bridgeport and Hartford, Connecticut, and Springfield, Massachusetts, may be Mr. Roosevelt’s last of the campaign.

Mr. Byrnes hammered the theme that a victory for the “Republican candidate” might prolong the war.

He asked:

Will it not take time, when time means lives, for the Republican candidate to secure the cooperation of Russia in the war against Japan, without which cooperation the war will be unnecessarily prolonged?

The other important issue of the campaign, he said, is safeguarding the peace when it is won. And, he added, the present Republican leadership in Congress cannot “be relied upon to carry through effective, nonpartisan peace plans for our active participation in world affairs.”

Isolationism thorn

He named seven Republican Senate leaders who. he said, failed to help the late Wendell L. Willkie in his efforts to “turn the Republican Party from isolationism" and said it would be “unwise” to place the nation’s hopes for future peace in their hands.

He said:

It would be equally unwise to believe the Republican candidate, who himself gave no notable assistance to Mr. Willkie… could not obtain the support of his party in Congress for an effective international organization to preserve the peace by force if necessary.

Indirect ‘praise for Roosevelt’

Mr. Byrnes said Governor Dewey’s statement that he would retain such military leaders as Gen. George C. Marshall and Adm. Ernest J. King “indicates he realizes the danger of changing men who are making decisions as to military strategy.” This, Mr. Byrnes declared, could only be interpreted as praise for Mr. Roosevelt, who selected them.

Mr. Byrnes said:

The Republican candidate may honestly believe that in these fateful hours he could become Commander-in-Chief and do a better job than the President, but do we know that? And do our Allies know that? I do not know of any experience he has had with such problems as are daily decided by the Commander-in-Chief.

The Republican leaders whose records Mr. Byrnes attacked were Senators Hiram Johnson (R-CA), Arthur Capper (R-KS), Arthur Vandenberg (R-MI), James J. Davis (R-PA), Gerald Nye (R-ND), Wallace H. White Jr. (R-ME) and Henrik Shipstead (R-MN).