Election 1944: Senator Ball backs Roosevelt (10-23-44)

The Pittsburgh Press (October 23, 1944)


Republican Ball backs Roosevelt

Foreign policies cited in stand

Senator Ball

Washington (UP) –
Senator Joseph H. Ball (R-MN) said today that on the basis of President Roosevelt’s stand on foreign policy “I shall vote for and support Mr. Roosevelt” in the Nov. 7 election.

Mr. Ball, a strong advocate of close international cooperation to maintain peace, had posed three questions concerning that issue and said the answers to them would determine whether he would vote for Mr. Roosevelt or for Governor Thomas E. Dewey, the Republican presidential nominee.

Isolationists assailed

Mr. Ball said in a prepared statement:

President Roosevelt in his Saturday night speech capped this record [American leadership in the war] of action by meeting squarely and unequivocally the two vital and controversial issues on which the isolationists kept us out of the League of Nations and will fight our entry into the United Nations security organization.

He insisted that the United Nations organization be formed without delay, before hostilities cease, and that it be granted power to use military force against future aggressors without requiring individual approach of each member nation.

Governor Dewey has opposed delay but has not met squarely the second vital issue. He has spoken for a strong international security organization, but in each speech has so worded his commitment that both isolationists and internationalists could find comfort and support in what he said. A substantial part of his support is talking straight isolationist doctrine to the country.

‘Miraculous’ war record

Senator Ball said Mr. Roosevelt “is in a position to receive a clear and tremendously forceful mandate on this great issue from the American people,” but “Governor Dewey’s mandate would be confused and weak and his leadership hampered by a serious division among his own supporters.”

The “miraculous” American war record, he said, proved that the country is stronger than ever despite “changes in federal policy and administrative mistakes the past 12 years.”

Senator Ball said:

It can and will survive domestic blunders, but neither our enterprise system nor our democratic institutions will survive a Third World War. Therefore, the foreign policy which the American people choose for their government in this election becomes all important.

‘Efficiency needed’

Governor Dewey, he said, has not reversed or abandoned “any major objective or policy of the Roosevelt administration,” but promises more efficiency and a friendlier attitude toward business. Both are needed, he added, but the war is convincing proof that domestic issues cannot be separated from international issues, that “what America does at home has terrific repercussions abroad, and that the solutions reached for international problems will shape and limit our choices at home.”

Senator Ball said:

The Roosevelt administration, with some mistakes and timidity, has by its action reversed the isolationist foreign policy the United States followed for two decades. It has established American leadership of the United Nations in fighting this war and developing a world security organization to maintain peace.

Mr. Ball was said to have reached his decision after listening to the foreign policy speeches that the two candidates delivered last week – Governor Dewey before the New York Herald-Tribune Forum Wednesday and Mr. Roosevelt before the Foreign Policy Association in New York Saturday night.

Still a Republican

It was emphasized that Mr. Ball will not in any sense renounce his party – he is and will remain a Republican in principle and a foe of what he calls bureaucratic bungling on the home front by the Roosevelt administration.

But to him, a strong, forward-looking foreign policy, calling for vigorous U.S. participation in a world peace organization, transcends domestic issues in this election.

Three questions

Mr. Ball’s decision was based on a test that he proposed for both candidates – a test dealing solely with the proposed world organization and consisting of these three questions:

  • Will you support the earliest possible formation of a United Nations security organization and U.S. entry therein before any final peace settlements in either Europe or Asia?

  • Will you oppose any reservations to U.S. entry which would weaken the power of the organization to act to maintain peace and stop aggression?

  • Should the vote of the U.S. delegate on the World Council commit an agreed upon quota of our military forces to stop aggression or should the delegate be compelled to get Congressional approval in each instance?

Both Governor Dewey and Mr. Roosevelt subsequently endorsed formation of the organization before hostilities end, but the President went beyond Mr. Dewey’s stand by urging that the American delegate be empowered to place U.S. forces in the path of future aggressors without getting Congressional sanction in each instance.

The Pittsburgh Press (October 24, 1944)


Senator Ball: World future is vote issue

Invitation to visit Roosevelt revealed

Baltimore, Maryland (UP) –
Senator Joseph H. Ball (R-MN), who has announced his support of President Roosevelt because of the President’s foreign policy stand, said last night the American people will have perhaps their last chance on Nov. 7 to express their determination to prevent civilization’s destruction in a Third World War.

Speaking before the local chapter of the Foreign Policy Association, the 38-year-old liberal said the United States and the world are at the “crossroads of history” and that decisions of the Allies in the next few years will determine whether a world security organization can be established to prevent future wars.

U.S. support needed

He emphasized his “deep desire” to keep the question on a nonpartisan basis, but added that “it is a political issue because the convictions and attitudes on it of the President and the Congressmen and Senators elected this fall will determine whether or not the United States will join an effective world security organization.”

“Without the United States, such an organization cannot hope to succeed,” he said.

Talked to Roosevelt

In announcing his support for Mr. Roosevelt, Mr. Ball told a news conference yesterday that he spent an hour “discussing Dumbarton Oaks and other phases of foreign policy” with Mr. Roosevelt on Oct. 15. He said he went to the White House in response to an invitation sent through presidential adviser Harry Hopkins “as a result of my statements and speeches emphasizing the importance of the foreign policy issue in this election.”

Mr. Ball added:

Because of my great concern with the foreign policy issue, I would have been more than happy to have accepted a similar invitation from Governor Dewey or any of his advisers. I never received any.

Senator Ball predicted Mr. Roosevelt’s reelection. In response to a question, he said that if Governor Dewey should advocate in the next two weeks a stronger foreign policy satisfactory to him, it would be “a little late in the day” for him – Ball – to switch his support to Dewey.

He said he plans a 15-minute radio speech at 10:00 p.m. Thursday, under sponsorship of the Independent Republican Committee “giving my reasons for supporting Roosevelt.” He said he still considers himself a Republican /and expects to run for reelection in 1948 on that ticket.


Ball assailed by Governor Bricker

Cheyenne, Wyoming (UP) –
Ohio Governor John W. Bricker said yesterday that Senator Joseph H. Ball (R-MN) made a “grievous mistake” and rendered a “disservice to his party and to his country” in announcing that he would support President Roosevelt for a fourth term.

Advised of Mr. Ball’s announcement, the GOP vice-presidential nominee first said “you can never analyze what a man’s motives are.”

He said it was an American’s right to “vote for whom he pleases” in a national campaign, and pointed out that that was what the Republicans were fighting for in this campaign. But he added:

Mr. Ball has sought office in the Republican Party. He seconded the nomination of Tom Dewey in the Chicago convention. I think he has made a grievous mistake and that he has rendered a disservice not only to his party but to his country through injury to the two-party system.


Ball unlikely to be Willkie heir

Washington (UP) –
Senator Owen Brewster (R-ME) today ridiculed speculation that Senator Joseph H. Ball (R-MN), who repudiated his own party’s presidential candidate to back a fourth term, would fall heir to political followers of the late Wendell Willkie.

Mr. Brewster, vice chairman of the Senate Republican Congressional Campaign Committee, said in an interview that Mr. Willkie and Mr. Ball had been in disagreement on several issues, and that for several months prior to his death, Mr. Willkie was not on speaking terms with the Senator.

Mr. Brewster said:

It is impossible to believe that someone who was utterly persona non grata to another man could take on his mantle, and any implication to that effect is a strain on credulity.

Mr. Ball will further explain his decision to back Mr. Roosevelt on Thursday when he speaks for 15 minutes on the Blue Network at 10:00 p.m., under sponsorship of the Independent Republican Committee.