Election 1944: Willkie backs conference (8-22-44)

Reading Eagle (August 22, 1944)


Willkie backs conference

Wants GOP to rally support for post-war security talks

Albany, New York (AP) –
Wendell L. Willkie was said authoritatively here today to have urged John Foster Dulles, Governor Thomas E. Dewey’s foreign affairs agent, to rally Republican support behind efforts to make the Washington post-war security conference a success.

Dulles, who exchanged views with Willkie in New York yesterday, has arranged to meet with Senators Arthur Vandenberg (R-MI) and Warren R. Austin (R-VT) in Washington tomorrow before he presents Dewey’s beliefs to Secretary of State Hull later that afternoon.

Dewey has made it plain that he opposes any permanent four-power alliance to dominate the world and wants small nations to have a voice in the international security organization for which representatives of the United States, Great Britain, Russia – and later China – may lay the groundwork at the current Dumbarton Oaks Conference.

Makes recommendation

Willkie, also an advocated of small nation representation, was reported to have urged on Dulles at their meeting that no move be made by the Republican presidential nominee or his friends that could be interpreted as interfering with the conference.

Dewey’s supporters have said there was no such intent, asserting that the New York Governor has merely offered constructive proposals in several recent foreign affairs statements.

It was Willkie’s view, as explained by people who know him well here, that an international conference was difficult to assemble and that it might easily fall apart.

The Republicans ought to handle it tenderly, he was represented as having told Dulles, giving the four power diplomats full opportunity to work out a solution that could be accepted by all. If they failed, he was said to have added, then it was time for the Republicans to speak out boldly.

May remain silent

Willkie and Dulles were understood to have made no attempt at their meeting to reach a basic understanding on foreign policy and the 1940 presidential nominee was described as likely to continue to remain silent in the campaign for some time to come.

The two joined in issuing a statement after their conference which said only that they had reviewed various international problems bearing on a world peace organization in a talk “not animated by partisan consideration or having to do with any candidacy.”

Dewey, salient about the progress of Dulles’ plans, busied himself today on state affairs after being told yesterday by Horace H. Hildreth, Republican candidate for Governor of Maine, that most, if not all, of New England would go Republican this fall.