Willkie talk will sample GOP attitude (10-18-43)

The Pittsburgh Press (October 18, 1943)

Willkie talk will sample GOP attitude

Speech to ‘Freshman Club’ to test Congress’ reaction
By Lyle C. Wilson, United Press staff writer

Washington (UP) –
Wendell L. Willkie comes here tomorrow to address Republican legislators and to test Congressional reaction to his proposal for a post-war United Nations council to maintain peace.

He will speak before the Republican “Freshman Club,” an organization of newcomers to Congress. But veteran Republican Senators and Representatives will also be present.

Political observers are saying that it is “Willkie against the field.” There is a Midwestern boomlet centered now in Nebraska for former Governor Harold E. Stassen of Minnesota, presently on active duty with the Navy.

Bricker lagging

Governor John W. Bricker of Ohio, three times elected to that office, has more than favorite-son backing. But his campaign so far has not seemed to move very rapidly.

There is talk here that Senator Robert A. Taft (R-OH) may get back in the scramble before the last national convention ballot is cast, although he took himself out of the race last December by announcing his support of Governor Bricker.

Gen. Douglas MacArthur has enough nationwide support to keep his name well up in preference polls. Senator Arthur H. Vandenberg (R-MI) has been talking up Gen. MacArthur for months.

Labor policy snag

But Mr. Willkie is more active than all the rest of them combined so far. His major obstacle is opposition of organization Republicans, including some key Congressional leaders. There is some evidence that he offended Congressional Republicans in last week’s St. Louis speech by saying that a wise labor policy “must not be in the punitive spirit of the Southern Democrats’ Smith-Connally Act.”

That act, aimed primarily at United Mine Workers president John L. Lewis, was sponsored by Southern Democrats but had substantial Republican support as well.

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