St. Louis Post-Dispatch from St. Louis, Missouri on January 13, 1946 · Page 36
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St. Louis Post-Dispatch from St. Louis, Missouri · Page 36

St. Louis, Missouri
Issue Date:
Sunday, January 13, 1946
Page 36
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PAGE 2D ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, SUNDAY, JANUARY 13, 1946 ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH Try the Industrialists! Founded by JOSEPH PULITZER 9 December 12. 1871 Published fey The Pulitzer Publishing Co. Telephone AJdreia MAm 1111 1111 Olive St. (I) THE POST DISPATCH PLATFORM I know that my retirement will make no difference in its cardinal principles; that it will always fight for progress and reform, never tolerate injustice or corruption, always fight demagogues of all parties, never belong to any party, always oppose privileged classes and public plunderers, never lack sympathy with the poor, always remain devoted to the public welfare; never be satisfied with merely printing; news; always be drastically independent; never be afraid to attack wrong, whether by predatory plutocracy r predatory poverty. ' JOSEPH PULITZER. April 10, 1907. LETTERS FROM THE PEOPLE Strikes Against the Public To the Editor of the Post-Dispatch: The abuses of the right to strike have about reached the limits of endurance. We just finished a war to end dictatorships, only to find the unions are trying to paralyze our nation through an equally dangerous dictatorship. We can tolerate a union's right to strike, but when a retail grocer cannot call at his wholesaler's with his own truck and obtain his supplies, without threats of violence, it is the duty of the authorities to guarantee that man's right to do business. After all, there are other than union members' rights Involved, and this infringement of the public's Tights can be settled quickly by some courage on the part of our authorities. The sooner we get the elemental fact nettled that a minority's rights are subservient to the rights of the general public, the better off we shall be. FORMER FRIEND OF LABOR. To the Editor of the Post-Dispatch: The telephone strike is a strike against the public health and security. What does the union propose to guarantee (for what a union guarantee is worth), concerning the handling of police, fire, doctor, ambulance and other emergency calls in manual telephone areas and in dial phone areas after the breakdown of equipment? Let's see the answer over the signature of a "responsible" union officer. It is the duty f the police to maintain public safety. What do the strikers intend to do to keep emergency systems working efficiently? It is the duty of the mayor, health department, and a!- dermen of each of the towns to uphold the public welfare. What do these men plan to do about emergency services? HENRY J. TUCKER. Webster Groves. To the Editor of the Post-Dlspafch: I have just read in your paper that the union leaders of the truck drivers ordered the out-of-town producers who truck their own fruit and vegetables into the city to "get off the streets by 7 o'clock, and slay out of town." Is this the America of which we have been so proud? Of which we have boasted that people are free? I just wonder how long the people of St. Louis will stand being ordered about by a few who think they are above the law. Some wholesalers closed because they were afraid of trouble. Do we not have a police force to protect the rights cf the citizens? Or does it just protect the union leaders? HENRIETTA GOLDSTICKER. Boxcar Shelter To the Editor of the Post-Dispatch: The railroads have thousands of boxcars ready to be scrapped and burned because their salvage value is too little to pay the cost. A bit of cutting up, working over and arranging could make these a part of the answer to the emergency housing problem. L. W. A Regular on Demobilization To the Editor cf the Poet-Dispatch: As a regular Army man who had served through World War I, I have the greatest respect for Army discipline, without W'hich victory could not be won. There is a difference, though, in the nlisted professional soldier, who obeys orders without question, and the draftee, who looks forward to a civilian life. Those boys in the Philippines, who are now making headlines by their protest, do not consider themselves professional soldiers and can be excused for their actions since Congress promised to discharge drafted soldiers six months after the "duration." During the Revolutionary War, history tells us, the soldiers in Washington's army deserted in the spring in order to go home and plant their crops. Their interest in their families' welfare was as strong as their fight for freedom. Those men could be classed as the draftees of the pfesent day. Prompt demobilization is a, job for Congress, not the "brass hats." What is Congress going to do about it? MORRIS WOLFF. University City. Radio "Thriller" Nuisance To the Editor of the Poet-Dispatch: There is a growing resentment of parents of young children for the radio programs intended for children's amusement. These programs are "Hop Har-rigan," "Terry and the Pirates," "Jack Armstrong," "Dick Tracy," "Superman," "Captain Midnight" and "Tom Mix." All cf them, without exception, deal with crime, murder, spies and saboteurs. The fault lies at the doors not only of the radio stations permitting such broadcasts but also of the companies using such means of advertising. There are better ways to make money than Influencing the minds of our youth toward wrongdoing. The programs definitely contribute to the deterioration of the morals of our youth. Chief Probation Officer Frank Keller's comment on the cause of the six youths wrecking their school underlines our sentiments. MRS. HARRY E. CONNOR. Webster Groves. "It is our inflexible purpose," said Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin in the Yalta Declaration of less than a year ago "It is our inflexible purpose to destroy German militarism and Nazism and to insure that Germany will never again be able to disturb the peace of the world." The trials now in progress at Nuernberg are designed to make sure that the "inflexible purpose" of the wartime Big Three is carried out. Crushing defeat of German militarism in the war was only the beginning of the process. Nor will the task be accomplished until the roots of German militarism are exposed and are killed for all time. Those roots are both militaristic and economic. Since the manifestations of militarism can be rigidly controlled by determined Allied supervision, the tenacious and readily hidden economic roots are today the more dangerous. Yet it is the "supreme scandal" of the Nuernberg trials, to quote the phrase of Richard L. Stokes in a dispatch to this newspaper a month ago, that not one of the men whose machinations drove those roots deep into the soil of the German state is now on trial as a war-maker. Of their complicity in the great plot which launched the war, there can be no doubt. Said Henry II. Fowler, director of the Enemy Branch, Foreign Economic Administration, at a Senate hearing last June 26: Germany was in fact ruled by the Nazis in partnership with the German General Staff and the major industrialists. Any effective program of economic and industrial disarmament which we and our allies undertake must take cognizance of this fact. Justice Jackson placed the industrialists among the war-makers in his brilliant statement of last June, and the Nuernberg indictment includes them in its general summary, but the tribunal did not follow through by bringing even one of their number to trial. At last a definite plan for lifting this scandal from the tribunal is in the making, Mr. Stokes reported Friday from Nuernberg. The plan is for another trial after the present one is over, the new arraignment to cover a group of the German industrial barons who are unrepresented in the prisoners' dock at Nuernberg today. If the Americans and Russians alone wish to prosecute these economic war lords, so be it. The two powers have authority to proceed on their own if the British and French continue unwilling to co-operate. This procedure is vital to avoid a repetition of the fiasco of justice that followed World War I, and also to avoid a repetition of the renewed conspiracy that began at the same time. Said Mr. Fowler in the testimony cited above: All through the 1920s, the General Staff and the industrialists continued their efforts to organize and prepare the German economic and industrial system for World War II. They instituted and managed inflation; the"y arranged for foreign loans to Germany; they were able to make arrangements with the Allies so that reparations actually were used to promote their plans rather than to Impede them, and they widened and strengthened the network of domestic and international cartel arrangements for the same purpose. German war plants were moved to other countries. All over the world, including the United States, cartel arrangements were made that handicapped potential future enemies in the production of war materials, and benefited the Germans. These cartel deals gave the German firms the benefit of new discoveries by their foreign partners, and very little data were given them in return. The deals restricted manufacture of important products abroad. This country was caught short at the outbreak of war in such essentials ss synthetic rubber, optical instruments, magnesium, plastic glass, chemicals, etc., because of cartel restrictions with which some of our largest industries were bound. The Kilgore subcommittee report sums up the situation as follows: Using their cartel affiliates or subsidiaries, German industrialists built up a network which impaired the production of other nations, obtained sources of foreign exchange for Germany, gathered economic intelligence and spread Nazi propaganda. So, as Mr. Fowler summed up the case, "when the Nazis came to power in 1933, they found that long strides had been made since 1918 in preparing Germany for war from an economic and industrial point of view." Justice Jackson needs the backing of an alert and enlightened public opinion at home if he is to succeed in his excellent plan for bringing the industrialists to justice. Manasco Little Accident The germ of Southern Bourbonism has been Isolated and a clinical study of it has been filed in a spirited analysis of Representative Carter Manasco of Alabama by Helen Fuller in the New Republic. Mr. Manasco, who represents, one way or another, the Seventh District of his State, is a rather startling evidence of how accidentally the democratic system can work when not enough people care about attending to it. Nature evidently cut Mr. Manasco out for in-distinction. Both his ambitions and his views were of sharply limited proportions. It was purely by chance that after quitting his law practice in Jasper, Ala., he became a clerk to Speaker Bankhead. Eight years later,' when Mr. Bankhead died, it was by the most whopping chance that the mantle, several times out-size, engulfed the clerk. Of the 142,000 potential voters in the Seventh District, fewer than 10,000, or about 8 per cent, voted for Mr. Manasco. Thus functions the universal ballot in poll-tax-ridden Alabama. Mr. Manasco set out to represent 8 per cent of his constituency, or less, and has been doing very well at it indeed. Thanks to the freakish committee system of Congress, he has become a Power. The chairmanship of the Committee on Executive Expenditures, to which he aspired, fell to him by default: no one else wanted it, for no important bill had been referred to it for years. Now the full-employment bill, the Federal reorganization bill, the armed forces unification bill and surplus-property legislation have been entrusted to his committee. The clerk from Alabama's Seventh District has exploited the defects of the committee system so well that, in the words of Miss Fuller, he has become a one-man bottleneck. Especially is it true in the instance of the full-employment bill, which he has done his utmost either to shelve or to make meaningless. Carter Manasco, the political accident, ia really something to think about. He represents a more pertinent dilemma than the old one of how many angels can perch on the point of a pin. How many members of Congress can perch on pointlessness? Music at Washington University Friends of the university and lovers of music will warmly welcome the establishment at Washington University of a department of music. Miss Avis Blewett, the donor of the $160,000 which makes this possible, has suggested that the activity of the department be confined in the beginning to a cultural treatment of the subject. The teaching of applied music must necessarily await the growth of the department into a full-fledged conservatory, but this possibility, somehow, no longer seems remote now that a nucleus has been created. Meanwhile, it may be well to determine whether indoctrinating the whole student body with some sort of understanding of music is not more important than turning out a limited number of specialists. One, of course, does not exclude the other, and the desirability of a fullblown, well-staffed professional school is admitted without argument. But the admission of music to full standing as a cultural subject with its disciplinary and humanizing values acknowledged to be as great as those of literature, history or philosophy, has not yet been accomplished. There are still some vestiges, even among educators, of the belief that music is a mere social accomplishment and not an essential attribute of an educated man. If music is on the way to major recognition at Washington University, it is to be hoped that its inculcation does not bog down in a morass of so-called "appreciation." Poetic descriptions of music or any sort of verbal analysis of its anatomy is no substitute for a direct contact with the material. Moreover, the student is at a disadvantage unless he has a certain amount of musical literacy, and that involves an ability possible to anyone of ordinary intelligence to read musical notation. Students in high school or even In grade school could be taught to read music. At the moment, however, such instruction is largely extracurricular, and a college department of music would have to contend with a general lack of musical literacy. But a certain amount of instruction could be undertaken even at the college level along with a consistent and direct contact with all the great music of the literature. The important objective to be attained is the incorporation of music into the general culture. If the desirability of that is recognized, the means of bringing it about will inevitably follow. Arithmetic Artist A mathematical wizard namely, a statistician of the Bureau of Labor Statistics has committed what seems to us to be an eighth-grade error. He predicts a rising standard of living this year because, he says, of "the greater availability of consumer goods in all price ranges." That prediction, we think, is a product of the multiplication of zero and the square root of a great big If. The Costs of War As the Bank of International Settlements explains, its estimate of 680 billion dollars does not begin to measure the total cost of the recent war. To the "direct" costs thus borne by the world's treasuries must be added what are coldly called the "Indirect costs." The account books of history, for example, will also include entries for the waste of resources that might otherwise have made man warmer, better fed, happier oil, steel, aluminum, copper, wool . . . the postwar adjustments the cost of rebuilding cities and civilizations torn down by violence; the cost of bloody revolutions in other lands and of industrial strife in our own . . . the loss of precious time when young men and women should have been devoted to furnishing their minds instead of to learning to hate and kill . . . the loss of life, in combat and out, of uniformed men and women, of slaves held by the aggressors and of millions of innocents whose crime was being in the middle yes, and the victims of science and productive genius at Hiroshima and Nagasaki ... the lost eyes, legs, hands and ruined brains and nerves of hosts whom the war did not kill outright the lost productive energy of these people and the sons and daughters they will not have, and the handicapped children some of them will have . . . the grief and anguish which eat at the vitals of the legions whose near and dear are lost or broken, and the anxiety of a world which, having dallied with madness, wonders whether It can ever become sane. Inverted Advice on Plug-Uglies The head of a major news agency is not a person one would expect to find offering advice to broadcasters on how to mix news with advertising plug-uglies. Yet Seymour Berkson, general manager of International News Service, is quoted in Broadcasting magazine as offering this suggestion on how to interrupt newscasts with commercial chatter: Do not follow a story of tragedy by a flip or humorous commercial. When possible, spot the commercial to follow some domestic story of not too grave consequences, or some feature story. . . . This not only makes for good taste, but it gives the advertiser a break. Giving the advertiser a break seems a peculiar concern for a news manager. We had always thought that the purpose of a newscast was to give the public a break. Mr. Berkson's statement is, however, an indirect admission that advertising can make a distasteful sandwich of a news broadcast. And the listening public is fed up with this breach of good taste. Why, then, didn't the INS manager say so and let it go at that? So far as education Is concerned, it looks like it's the GI Bill of Try-and-Get-It. STARK SILHOUETTE From the Baltimore Sun. ' Enemies of Decent Housing The Mirror of Public Opinion Organized campaign of misrepresentation, to discredit Government action on dwellings, is conducted by lobby of real estate groups, former official charges; their supporters in Congress block moves to do something about slums; the result: no homes for veterans. Nath an Straus, Former United States Housing Authority Administrator, in The Nation A recent statement of mine that the housing shortage had been deliberately planned by reactionary real-estate interests has been violently contradicted. However, there Is ample evidence that the real estate interests have consistently opposed all new housing which could offer competition with their ancient and insanitary alums. The real estate boards, the apartment house owners' associations, the building and loan groups have conducted a campaign to discredit public housing. To ask Us to believe that this barrage on many fronts, this constant repetition of the same misstatements, was not the result of a deliberate campaign, is to ask us to stretch our credulity to the breaking point. The lobby of the National Home Builders' Association is powerfully abetted by that of the National Association of Real Estate Boards, represented by Herbert U. Nelson, and that of the United States Savings and Loan League, represented by Morton Bodfish. Fat Profits From Slums The activities of all three are directed to blocking any legislation which would provide good low-rent housing and thereby interfere with the fat profits gained by keeping insanitary slum shacks and dark slum rookeries crowded with tenants. Mr. Nelson and Mr. Bodfish maintain close personal contacts with key members of the congressional committees and seem to have almost unlimited sums at their disposal for printing, arranging conventions and entertaining lavishly. Aligned against housing legislation are a number of Congressmen united not by party ties but by pocketbook Interests. Representative Albert Gore (Dem.) of Tennessee is perhaps the ablest of the group. He is an influential member of the Committee on Banking and Currency, where he has been spokesman for the point of view of the slum landlords. Gore is rightly credited with having been chiefly responsible for killing public housing. After failing to smother in committee a bill providing for additional funds for the program, he made his fight on the floor of the House. The speech he delivered on Aug. 3, 1939, when the bill came up for final passage, has always seemed to me to be an outstanding example of the extremes to which men will go in garbling facts and misquoting figures to protect the interests of those they serve. Frontal and Flank Attacks Representative Gore had the satisfaction of bringing about the defeat of the bill In a close vote. In the six years since then, he has been equally successful in preventing all legislation to provide decent housing for returning veterans. The point of view of the reactionary real estate interests was represented by the Committee on Public Buildings and Grounds, which handled all war-housing legislation, by the chairman, Fritz Lanham (Dem.) of Texas. The notorious Section IV of the Lanham Act of 1941 provided that war housing should not be designed or ever used after the war to provide good housing for American families. In a speech before the United States Sav ings and Loan League, Mr. Lanham said: "The Federal Government doesn't belong permanently in the housing business, except in very rare instances. You can't find anything in the Constitution that snys the Government has to build houses for the citizens. . . . "The real estate business naturally and properly belongs to the real estate men. . . . There is nothing in it (the Lanham Act) to do with slum clearance or low-cost housing for low-income groups.'' Should any bill to provide decent housing for those who live in the slums be enacted into law, the real estate interests have other means to block the program. The Appropriations Committee of the House allots money to the various Government agencies to carry on their work. In practice, subcommittees of this large committee hear the applications. On the subcommittee which considers and acts upon requests from the housing agencies the slum landlords have two watchdogs. The function of Wigglesworth (Rep.) of Massachusetts seems to be not only to lend respectability to the cause of the slum owners but to make certain that, if any low-rent housing bill does pass, the Government agency charged with carrying out the program shall be harassed by lack of funds for administrative and technical personnel. Another Hatchet Man Wigglesworth's co-worker on the committee is Taber (Rep.) of New York. The hatchet man of the so-called "economy bloc," Taber works quietly behind the scenes and seems to have mysterious connections with reactionary and isolationist groups. These are the men who have successfully led the fight to kill low-cost housing and to bring about the shortage of homes by which slum owners are profiteering today. I believe that those who treat the problem of the homeless veteran lightly are gravely endangering the country. I believe that they do not appreciate how men feel who discover that, while they were risking their lives to protect us, we were doing nothing to protect them and their families. Millions of ex-service men are bitterly resentful that we have provided no place for them to live but a miserable slum dwelling. The Government appropriated the funds to build weapons for a victorious war. The veterans expect their Government to provide the funds to build them homes for lives of peace. TWO KINDS OF WORRY From the Raleigh (N. C. ) News and Observer. A dispatch from Holland says: "The Dutch worry about Indies." A companionate headline would read: "Indies worry about the Dutch." The Dutch worry because they fear they cannot continue to exploit these people so long dominated by force. Their ex-colonists worry that they may not get the self-government and independence promised all countries "all over the world" in the Atlantic Charter. The Dutch have a right to rule their own country, but the people of Asia have the same right to self-government. Imperialism must go. , Poems by a Great Writer 01 France's Underground "Aragon: Tort of the French Resistance," K4lte4 ly Hannah Joarphson and Malcolm Cowley. (Duell, Moan V I'rarce, w Vork.) The art of poetry during the present century has too often been a private art, written for the poet himself, or perhaps for a few other poets. During his youth, Louis Aragon was a practitioner of Dadaism, on of the most extreme forms of "private poetry. It was therefore inspiring to hear of him during France's worst years, a man in his forties, a discharged war hero, wearing several decorations, again risking hi life, this time by helping to organize the writers of his country into that great "conspiracy of the poets" which aided the establishment of a vast underground press to keep the people informed. These intellectuals discovered that they could occasionally use the legal press. Because poetry is allusive and indirect, and perhaps because of the stupidity of Vichy and German censors, they could say things in poetry that would never have been permitted in an article. The result was poetic renaissance of a sort not seen ia modern times. The poet had accepted a social role. He wrote for the people, and the people read what he wrote. France was occupied, but its culture flourished. The present volume Is an anthology f Louis Aragon's war writing. The first half of the book contains translations of some of his best poems. These translations sre done by men who are poets in their own right Malcolm Cowley, Rolfe Humphries, l.ouis MacNelce and Stephen Spender, for instance. The work has been done with taste and inspiration. Here are two stanzas from "The Ballad of One Who Sang at the Stake," probably as immortal as & poem can be: Only a word and you can live. One word will set you free; Say but a word and you can live) Like us, on bended knee. ". . . If It had to be done all over I would tRhe this road again." The voice that sane; lomorrow'i song Rose from the Iron chain. The last half of the book is prose which Aragon wrote to be surreptitiously printed and passed from hand to hand. Much f it is as moving as the poetry, especially "Saint-Pol Roux, or Hope," a passionate account of the brutal killing of a fellow poet; and "The Martyrs, by Their Witness," an account of the murder of 27 hostages. This book is the sort for which the word "great" should be reserved, for it deals with the great years of a great man's life. To adapt one of Aragon's own sentences, here is a book "hailing from the murk of a dungeon, not an academic thing born of witless leisure." , JOSEPH J. FIREBAUGH. State College of Washington, Pullman, Wash. Best-Selling Books if. Compiled by Me Vet York HcroJd Tribun. NON-FICTION "The Egg and I," by Betty Mac-Donald, reported by 30 bookselh-rs out of 4i: "Us Front," by nil! Mauldln. 28: "The At ef Jackiea," bv Arthur Srhleslnuer Jr., 17; "Brave Men," by Ernie r-yle. 16: "Pleasant Valley." by Loula BromfleM. 13: "Soldier of Democracy." bv Kenneth 8. Dails, 11. FICTION "The Black oe." b Thomas H. Oe-taiii. 41; "The White Tewtr." by James Ilamaey III. man. H3: "Ca Tlmberlane." bv Sinclair Jis. 24: "The Peacock hd Hit Tail." by Alice Ttsdale Hnhert. 2: "Forever Anther." hv Kathleen Winaor. 20; "The River Road," hv Frances laikinsnn Keyeg. 15.

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