Letters from readers (7-25-41)

The Pittsburgh Press (July 25, 1941)

Sees release of troops after a year’s training as folly

Editor, The Pittsburgh Press:

An editorial in your paper of July 18 naively took the view that Congress should extend the time for service of the selectees only if it could be demonstrated.

Your front pages carry headlines proclaiming the facts of emergency every day. Congress is appropriating untold wealth to deal with the emergency.

If Hitler conquers Russia, the emergency will be knocking at the doors of Alaska. And if Hitler conquers England, it will be at our own front door.

Under these circumstances, it would be great folly for the country to substitute untrained men in the Army for partly trained men now in service, and the Scripps-Howard papers should certainly be advocating immediate action to avoid this mistake.


Backs joint tax plan for husband, wife

Editor, The Pittsburgh Press:

The proposal for a new tax plan requiring returns based on the family income as a whole is a very good thing, long overdue. Many object to married women working, regardless of the fact that American democracy theoretically grants each individual the right to direct his or her financial destiny, because they feel it is unfair to single women, and married men supporting families without the aid of a working wife. They would agree to a law banning married women from jobs.

Such a law would be totalitarianism at its worst, for it would place adults (wives) at the mercy of their husbands. They would not have the assurance of being able to leave home without starving, for if they tried to find work they would either have to lie about their marital state or find the doors of industry and business closed to them, all because they are still legally married. Such a law was tried in Washington with the government workers, but it was repealed because women divorced rather than quit their good jobs, and because couples lived together unmarried rather than pay for a marriage license with the girl’s job.

Numerous women somehow just can’t help eating their cake and having it too, especially since men do the same.

The proposed joint-tax law, however, does not encroach on the woman’s rights as a citizen. It is only fair that the whole family income be taxed. After all, the whole family, as a unit, enjoys the benefits of the money flowing into the family pocketbooks. A working wife usually enjoys good clothes and furniture; she often does not have to worry so much about scraping and saving as the homebody, so she should be more than willing to be taxed accordingly.

As a married woman, the law gives her certain advantages, such as inheriting property and insurance from her husband, and taking his name with a “Mrs.” in front of it. Many feel that all this is too much for one person to enjoy. The proposed law would remove this feeling, for it requires the married woman to pay for those trimmings.

There is some justice in those complaints, because those advantages were given the matron in the dawn of humanity as a compensation for her slavish state as a woman and a wife.

Bringing the matter up-to-date, however, we find that having gained near-equality with the men, it is time for her to dispense with some of these old trimmings. Everybody knows the attitude of bishops and churchmen towards female equality, and can regard with suspicion their “fears” that the new law will endanger women’s rights. They contradict themselves, perhaps unintentionally, by declaring that it will increase divorce and “living in sin.” They should remember that such were the arguments against female suffrage and also female education. Of course those old critics were right, because marriage was doomed when the first girl was allowed to learn to read. But it has taken and will take rather a long time, and meanwhile we need these extra millions for defense, and this new law is a good way to get them.


Opposes entry into war unless U.S. is attacked

Editor, The Pittsburgh Press:

Where, as a nation, are we going? What are we seeking? These and similar questions occupy the public mind today. Opinions are expressed in the public press and over the air by leaders of thought and it is more surprising how varied these opinions are. The founders of our country, far-seeing in their wisdom, warned against the danger of entangling alliances. They sensed the results of our meddling in the affairs of other nations and had incorporated in our Constitution a prohibition against such a step.

It proved a very wise move, at least up to now, but it seems to be a thorn in the side of some who are itching to do something, as they say, for the preservation of democracy. Strange as it may seem the country is divided as to war. Some there are who would go right into the fracas “to save democracy.”

Others would bring us in the back door. They would propose doing things that would inevitably lead us into war. These, of course, claim to have the interest of America at heart – good Americans all. If only they would take enough time out from prying into other people’s’ affairs and revert back to the World War, the picture would oom up before them something like this:

10 million men killed and 30 million wounded; thousands disabled. Misery and want followed and the whole world paid through the years of depression and is still heavily burdened from that devastating, yet futile struggle.

However, the majority overwhelmingly want peace but their voices seem lost mid the din and roar of the propagandists. It is up to us to save democracy. If we fail to heed the warning, if we strike the blow, in a word, if we fail to give our all, our money, our machines, our manpower, yes, our very life’s blood, all is lost.

America shall be no more. How foolish! No, America cannot, must not be enticed again into this terrible holocaust. By all means let us prepare ourselves against aggressor nations. Let us guard ourselves against the enemies of our fair country from within, as from without. Let us fight when attacked, but until then let is have peace.

Millvale, PA

See problem of truth as individual matter

Editor, The Pittsburgh Press:

What is truth? This most vital question has never received a satisfactory answer. Truth is a word without a logical definition. Each individual, it seems, has to settle this problem for himself. But one thing every honest person will admit is this:

The Truth must be a fruit of righteousness! There can be no truth or anything good in doctrines based upon or run by political or religious trickery.

These falsehoods have contributed more than anything to the corrupt, confused condition facing mankind everywhere in the world today.

223 Long View Dr.