Detroit Free Press from Detroit, Michigan on February 18, 1943 · Page 6
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Detroit Free Press from Detroit, Michigan · Page 6

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Thursday, February 18, 1943
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THE DETROIT FREE PRESS THURSDAY. FEBRUARY 18. 1943 On Guard for Over a Century AN INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPER JOHN $. KNIGHT. PUBLISHER J. H. BARRY. GENERAL MANAGER vfcHtKn wy morning by Det'Oit Frt Prtm. from Hi Horn Ofiee. 321 W. Lafart A.. Detroit. Michigan. Entered m eo4-clt (xatiw at the eoltrrffiee of Detroit, Michigan, uoaer the Act of March 3, 1879. KtfXrVEKED BY CARRIER IN DETROIT ANO MICHIGAN CITIES ANO VILLAGES Daily and Daily Sunday Sunday WTZK f .S .12 3 FtR YEAR (Pad in Advancal.... 12.00 6.00 18.00 MAIL SUBSCRIPTIONS POSTAGE PAID IN UNITED STATES. CANADA ANO MEXICO PAYABLE iN ADVANCE Daily and Daily Sunday Sunoay aF MONTH $ l.OO $ .50 $ 1.50 THREE MONTHS 3.0O 1.50 4.50 JUX- MONTHS 6.00 3.00 9.0O ONE YEAR 12.00 6.00 15.00 Mat) Edition an R. E. D. Routu in Michiosn Only by Mail-Daily Only J5.CD per year MEMBER OP THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Ttr AeoejtrJ Pratt it excluiivei entitled to the lit for reoroduet'xi of all newt ditpatches credited to it or not other-vim oreditod in tnii inner, and alio the local nert publithed rem. All no-l - 'blication of tpecial ditpatches herein re alio reserved. TELEPHONES Far Wan Ads Only RAndolnh 9400 f or AM Other Dem'trnenU RAndolpn 8500 In c!ing. aik for desired decartm et. Ed, tor. a!. Advertising. StiOscriptier, Etc. THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 18, 1943 As We See It State Reorganization Delay pOV. KELLY announced Tuesday that he will not be ready to proceed, at this session of the Legislature, with the major departmental consolidations proposed in his inaugural address. They are expected to be taken up in detail at a special fall session. This delay will be justified, if in the interim the men designated to make a study of the Governor's proposals for streamlining the State government attack their duties with industry and intelligence. Everything depends on who is going to make the study. A Sensible Arrangement CECRETARY WICKARD and OPA Ad-k J ministrator Brown have agreed, amicably, to divide the field of food control. Generally speaking, Wickard will have charge of distributing non-rationed foods to all users and of rationed foods to all processors. Brown will handle rationed foods from processor to consumer. That should remove the overlapping and conflict of authority which led to frequent clashes between Wickard and former OP Administrator Leon Henderson. The new arrangement is a logical approach to a serious food situation. It is to be hoped that their use of common sense instead of belligerency ii the beginning of sound team work. War W orkers and the Law POUNTY PROSECUTOR DOWLING says he is satisfied with the way the Misdemeanant Release Bureau is functioning. Judges W. McKay Skillman and John J. Maher had complained that the bureau was keeping war workers arrested for minor offenses from their jobs. According to Dowling, six bona fide war workers, arrested over the week-end, were released on their own bond. The Misdemeanant Release Bureau was created to stop the scandal of certain judges letting gamblers and prostitutes go back to their vocations without spending time in the lockup. Workers helping to win the war are entitled to have their status taken into account. Yet even they should not be encouraged to think they can get away with anything. Ration Booh No. 2 A PPLICATIONS for War Ration Book No. 2 suggest that someone has taken to heart criticisms of the OPAwful complexity of previous regulatory forms. The procedure to be followed in registration, during the four days beginning Feb. 22, is simplicity itself. Anyone who follows the clear rules printed in yesterday's Free Press can't go wrong. All that is required is to clip and fill out, according to directions, the Consumer Declaration we published on page one; and in the specified period take both it and Ration Book No. 1 to your local board. One form to a family suffices, if all members are listed. Book No. 2, for point rationing of canned and frozen foods, becomes effective March 1. Book No. 1 continues for sugar, coffee and shoes. If rationees bear the simple directions in mind, they will have no trouble. New Luster in the Pacific , SIGNIFICANT sentence in the Navy 1 communiques that disclosed results of a ten-day naval fight with the Japs in the Solomons area was that the enemy "refused to accept a decisive battle." One reason might be the nature of the Japs' operation the covering of troop evacuations from Guadalcanal. But it could also signify that the Jap admirals are fearful of reaching the point at which major engagements would risk too much for comfort, reducing their battle strength too far under parity with American warships for the safety of their conquests. The Navy's announcement did not reveal the number of American ships damaged, but the inference is that the clashes wounded the Japs more than they did us. It also disposed of Tokio's "fishing" claim that two American battleships and three cruisers had been sunk. The news will recall to Detroiters Ambassador Grew's visit here last week, during which he stressed that attrition of the Japs' strength is not enough, by itself, for victory, important though attrition is. The Navy's word is welcome. It adds new luster to the consummate bravery and efficiency of the personnel involved. But it still is only the beginning. Bunk and the Budget rpUESDAY' press conference found Mr. Roosevelt in one of those jovial discursive moods which lead him to make large and sweeping judgments about the Nation in general and his political critics in particular. This time he announced himself as the watchdog of the Treasury a bit of irony in itself and indulged in a number of homilies about non-war spending, all of which were beside the point. The point is a combing over of the whole 1943-44 budget to find wherein the proposed $109,000,000,000 monster may have some of the fat whittled off without damage to the war effort. The President hewed to the line laid down in his budget message. Congress, he said, may profitably occupy its time with scrutinizing the 4 per cent non-war expenditures "only now he says it is only 3.5 per cent. It may even succeed in peeling the figure to 3.4 per cent. Then came the harpoon to the economizers. Even if this much of a reduction is effected, he declared, the time spent in controversy and the cost of printing the debate in the Congressional Record ($33 per page), likely will come to more than the budgetary savings to be effected. He dwelt at some length upon an example of the corollary harm if reductions are not wisely made the loss to the Nation if the National Resources Planning Board, headed by his uncle, Frederick A. Delano, continues to be denied the sum of $1,400,000, a deprivation ordered by the House Appropriations Committee. This example, he implied, may stand for others. TT WAS all very genial and pleasant, but Mr. Roosevelt proceeds upon a false assumption. His premise is that the 98 cr 96.5 per cent budgeted for war expenses is sacrosanct, untouchable, the amount below which the Congress must not go or the war effort will be jeopardized. This attitude of course is the bunk and once Congress is deep in debate on the budget it will be shown to be just that. The greatest fiscal expert alive couldn't draw up a schedule of more than $100,000,000,000 to be spent for war purposes alone and not slip on the side of wasteful generosity, time after time. For all his love for genial lecturing of his critics, Mr. Roosevelt- knows this, and he knows that Congress knows it. And he also knows that Congress will ignore his premise as it proceeds to the performance of its duty the minute examination of the whole budget, to the end of removing items superfluous to both non-war AND war expenditures. At least this is to be hoped by every taxpayer, who is the one hit by cockeyed extravagance. Good Morning By Malcolm W. Bingayl OFF THE RECORD' I was raised in the Pat Baker school of journalism, the first law of which was that you should never give a politician a break. To the Old Man all politicians were potential crooks. It was the duty of the newspaper to suspect one of dishonesty until he proved himself : innocent. But, having done that j it was the further duty of the j paper to begin suspecting him of someining eise. How to Win a Three-Legged Race CD Eberstadt Out HPHE job of the War Production Board is - to produce materials. After many trials and errors Donald M. Nelson was placed in charge of that work. Since then he has gathered around him men trained in production and the flow of supplies. Chief among these is Charles E. Wilson, former president of General Electric and acknowledged to be a genius in mass production. Control of materials has been in the hands of Ferdinand Eberstadt, a Wall Street broker of high standing and aggressive nature. But he is not a production man. Wilson insisted such authority had to come under him if production was to be maintained. Behind Eberstadt were the Army and Navy engineers who have long wanted to take control of production out of civilian hands. Now Nelson has placed control of materials under Wilson and has fired Eberstadt. It seems apparent from Mr. Roosevelt's silence that the White House acquiesces to this new program. Such conflicts in authority and opinion on procedure are everyday occurrences in big manufacturing corporations and in private business would not cause a ripple. The mairl question is production. That, from all reports, we seem to be getting in plenty. The WPB appears now to be manned in key positions almost wholly by men who possess the "know-how" of mass production and are delivering the goods. The Army and Navy each naturally wants all it can get for its own branch of the service. They usually combine against civilian demands. It is up to the WPB to look with open mind on all three phases of the problem. From all we can gather from Washington they are performing a nonpolitical job with as much efficiency as could be expected under such stress. That is the main thing: getting the job done. All else is mere detail. 81 Per Ballot SITY and County officials are on sound ground when they protest a primary election setup that requires the printing of nearly a million ballots, only a small fraction of which are used. In money, the cost of Monday's polling came to about $1 a voted ballot. In waste motion, materials, time and effort, the price is beyond accurate calculation. The need is not for anything that would jeopardize the electors free choice of public servants; rather it is for a job of streamlining to restore meaning to each election. Perhaps, as City Clerk Leadbetter suggests, the answer is to rewrite the election laws, so that all candidates would be required to run on the fall ticket. In any event, the situation is deplorable enough to warrant the attention of the Legislature. It is to be hoped that Detroit will spare nothing in making its just complaint known to both Houses. In keeping with this, no reporter should ever permit anybody to tell him anything in confidence. "Let him know right off the bat that anything he says will be printed," he would roar. "These varmints are trying all the time to tie a reporter's hands knowing that if they can tell him something confidentially the reporter is bound to consider that confidence sacred. By this means, a smart politician can protect himself from being quoted and often from being caught." Journalism has matured since those rough and ready days. Maybe it has just matured and then, maybe again, it has gone into decadence. In the old days when a reporter asked a politician a direct question the latter would counter by asking: "Can I talk to you confidentially about this?" The reporter was trained to answer: "No! These are the questions and we are going to print the answers. VYe have no confidences of any kind. Our readers are entitled to know what you say." "Then I won't say anything." "All right! We'll get the an- answers elsewhere, but remember you had your chance first." The Pat Bakers passed on to whatever rewards awaited them and a newer type of editor and reporter took over. They did not consider all men in public life crooks. In fact, they found most of them honest men but, of course, with faults. They were at least given the benefit of the doubt. But one rule held: "Never accept a confidence because it is the j quickest way to tie your hands I when working on a news story, j As you must never break a confi-j dence, be very careful from whom j you accept them." I This rule seemed to hold good up : to about a decade ago when a new ; expression was coined. They call i it "off the record." If I remember rightly it began when Al Smith i kept using his line, "Let's look at j t h e record," and Mr. Roosevelt j with that genius for jesting began using the opposite, "off the record." It is fitting and proper for all j Presidents to be allowed to speak f to the press confidentially. No one has ever quarreled much about that. Not even with Cal Coolidge's mythical "White House Spokesman." But the President is the one exception or should be. But now it has come about that all cabinet officers, commissioners, fourth assistant secretaries, senators, congressmen and bellhops use the expression "off the record," which means that they cannot be held responsible for anything they say because the source cannot be given and they cannot be quoted. All of which makes journalism a panty-waist affair. The old reporting seems to be passing out and a new type of journalism based on hand-outs and interpretation by commentators seems to be coming in. The direct contact, where reporter and official i stood face to face and battled it j out for truth's sake, gives way to ; indirection and political gossip j columns. It may be that this system will ! work out into something better. I do not pretend to know. All I know is that after two days and two nights in Washington I felt a touch of nostalgia for the old days when the reporter was a cross examiner and the man he faced had no recourse to this "off the record" stuff. The American Society of Newspaper Editors was in Washington all day Friday and Saturday. From early morn till dewy night we listened to speeches. All off the record. Even in a few of the feeble question and answer periods now almost extinct nothing new was added. When it was all over and I began checking on mv notes I could not find any information anybody had gleaned. Not one of the dozen or more leaders in Government who talked to us "off the record" told us a thing that we could not have found out by reading our newspapers and current magazines. Off the record has become a synonym for the run-around. With the exception of General Marshall (who was magnificent merely as a blunt, honest personality with dynamic force and who talked without notes) most of the gentlemen read carefully prepared papers that we all knew had been checked and rechecked before being permitted even "off the record." And don't tell me it is on account of war! That's the way it was long before we got into war. I long for the old time reporter who will get right up in meeting and say "never mind , that bunk; what I want to know is, what about " He may go out on his ear, but he will have had the fun of being an old timer on the job. INTERCEPTED LETTERS Walter i. Mckenzie Referee in Bankruptcy Federal Building Dear Walter: T OYALTY pays! After 30 -Lj years as a deserving Democrat, without reward, you finally land a life-time job. Good luck! nrELINE TETE ySsA Merry-Go-Round By Drew Pearson T7ASHINGTON, Feb. 17 The House of Represen- tatives' ban on free mailing privileges of Government departments without Congressional okay is much more significant than Administration leaders admit. It shows that the Republicans today really rule one house of Congress. They won by the narrow margin of 204 to 201. It was a test case. Administration leaders vigorously opposed the mail ban on the ground it would interfere with vital Army and Navy mail. For some time Democratic leaders have expected growing defections in Democratic ranks, chiefly among Southern and farm congressmen. However, the leaders were not prepared for the technique the coalitionists used in this case. Actually, only six anti-New Deal Democrats voted for the Keefe amendment banning free mail for Government bureaus without Congressional okay. What spelled defeat for the Administration was the fact that 19 other Democrats, including 11 from the South, led by Rep. Hatton Sumners of Texas, did not vote, thus assuring a Republican victory. A few were legitimate absentees, including Rep. Jack Cochran of Missouri, who has been ill. But the majority absented themselves deliberately, according to House leaders. Rep. Sumners and others were reported seen on the floor just before the vote, but disappeared when the clerk began to call the roll. Besides Sumners and Cochran, other absentees were Reps. Abernethy of Mississippi. Bland of Virginia, Boykin of Alabama, Bryson of South Carolina, Clark of North Carolina, Cullen of New York, Domengeaux of Louisiana, Heffernan of New York, Kennedy of New York.. Lewis of Colorado, McGran-ery of Pennsylvania, Maloney of Louisiana, Mansfield of Texas. Morrison of Louisiana, Norton of New Jersey, Sheridan of Pennsylvania and Steagall of Alabama. NOTE Democratic coalitionists have decided to use the "stay-away" technique rather than outright voting against the Administration. On close votes, it is just as effective, since House Republicans usually vote solidly on all measures. Only two Republicans Burdick of North Dakota and Miller of Connecticut out of 197 on the floor, were recorded against the free mail ban. The Senator from Nciv Mexico TTJHEN Vice President Guani of Uruguay was in " Washington he was entertained at luncheon by the Vice President of the United States. After luncheon, Vice President Guani spoke eloquently, paying tribute to the Good Neighbor policy, and for the benefit of the Americans present his speech was translated from Spanish into English by Senator Chavez of New Mexico. Senator Chavez has many Spanish-Americans among his constituents and prides himself on his knowledge of Spanish. After Guani finished, Senator Barkley of Kentucky, majority leader, rose to reply. He spoke eloquently in English. And Senator Chavez rose to translate into Spanish for the benefit of the Uruguayan Vice President. But after a few sentences, Vice President Guani interrupted. 4T think," he said, that I can understand Senator Barkley's English better than I can Senator Chavez's Spanish." Investigating Martin Dies " TWO decisions were made at the first closed-door meeting of the House Appropriations sub-Committee named to review Dies Committee charges of un-Americanism against certain Government employees. The subcommittee, headed by fair-minded Rep. John H. Kerr of North Carolina, decided first to hear only the individuals against whom the charges have been made. No character witnesses will be permitted to testify, except in unusual cases. Second, the committee decided to throw out any cases. in which there is the slightest doubt about accused employees' loyalty to the United States. The fact that an employee has been a member or has attended meetings of a so-called Communist "front" group won't be considered sufficient evidence to oust him from his job, in the eyes of the reviewing subcommittee. This is significant, because virtually all the evidence the Dies Committee has on Federal workers is based on connections with "front" organizations, like the League for Peace and Democracy, now disbanded. Chairman Kerr insisted that there must be conclusive proof of un-Americanism before any employee is discharged, since "what we do may ruin a man and his family for life." Kerr urged super-caution in dealing with all cases, and he was vigorously supported by the other members of the subcommittee. Lane Powers of New Jersey. Frank Keefe of Wisconsin, Albeit Gore of Tennessee, and Clinton Anderson of New Mexico. Rep. Powers said the slogan of the committee should be a saying which had been drilled into him at his alma mater, Pennsylvania Military College: "When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost." Quatrains By Edgar A. Guest' Everyday Religion By Joseph Fort Newton COME weeks ago one of my pieces was a swift review of the biography of John Magee, Jr., by Hermann Hagedorn the boy who wrote the winged, skyey sonnet, "High Flight," which has won so much praise. One of my readers sent a copy of the piece to the father of the boy. Rev. John Magee, who is a clergyman in Washington. The father, in a lovely letter, says that he liked my little review the best of all. Many other poems, many sermons, and no end of editorials have been inspired by the soaring song of a boy who died at nineteen, and who, before entering the air service was dedicated to God anew, as at his birth. "We believe that God's best was coming to him. no matter what happened," his father writes, "and we take 'High Flight' to be an answer to our prayer. It has inspired, uplifted, exalted so many people of all kinds." Also, he tells me that the British landscape painter, Nevinson, although losing his sight, and warned not to use his eyes, painted another picture, after reading "High Flight" in the papers, which he thinks is his greatest. The painting is entitled "A Battlefield of Britain." a scene high up above the earth, showing the new air warfare raging in the sky; which is so marked a fact about the global war now going on everywhere. Underneath the painting he put a quotation from the sonnet, "Where never lark or even eagle flew. Pilot officer Magee." Prime Minister Churchill has accepted the painting as a gift to the British nation, and it is to hang henceforth in the Air Ministry in London a tribute to an American boy poet and pilot! Not only his father, but all Americans will be proud and happy, despite our wistfulness of heart, at thought of a gay and gallant lad who climbed the sky in defence of freedom, and who kept his faith to the end. "The job must be done, but it is a dirty job. Shall we ever get clean again?" a Belgian boy asked his father, shortly before he, too, died in a crash. Yes, we shall be clean again, if we keep the spirit of John Magee. The Belgian boy added: "If anything happens, you must carry on, not losing one day. That will keep you straight on the track, and if we keep steady everything will come right." There is the wisdom of courage. The Voice of the People This column Ii for Fre I'mi rrarfrr tn. Jnr'4 their nniniont on n.tio of the dr. I'leae be brief. Writer mnt eisn their name end arllr,uM. whirh will be omitted on reoet. Luce Talk To the Editor: Congresswoman Luce's quip of "globaloney" and her address in general was worth v of the large crowd that remained to hear her. B. G. D. To the Editor: Clare Boothe Lure j has been petting: an excellent press ! lately. Never before have I heard so much about a humble Repubh-I can representative from Connecti-I cut. Personally. I found the spite-; ful wit which was so entertain in ; in the mouths of the unreal wome:, of the stage to be nauseating in the mouth of a representative wh was meeting to discuss the mos: vital issues of the nation's history, and who employed it to attack th one man who has had the courage to think in terms of humanity, no: profits. Unless the American people are greater fools than I think them to be. Mr. Wallace's idealism will stand unshaken by such frivolitv. ROBERT D. WILLIAMS. A Daily Practice To the Editor: In answer to Mr. Rankin. I have been a reader of the Free Press for 12 years. I like it because it prints news and not propaganda. However, I do read other papers, magazines and books. I read the New York Times. The issue of Feb. 5. first page, is rather conflicting with his claims. As for the Saturday Evening Post, it is a fine magazine, but it print- ; ed a "sensational story" by a man who knows how to write them. I would much rather read books such as "The Land of the Silent People," by Robert St. John, and "Nor Any Victory," by Ray Brock, for both were in Belgrade when it was bombed. As for my claim that the Communistic press took the lead in the vicious attacks upon General Mikhailovich, the Daily Worker and its close foreign language "associates" made a practice ol it almost everv dav. DR. STANLEY PAPICH. GUARANTEED Buy Bonds! Why do we have to plead' Bun bonds for ships and tanks and guns' Buu bonds and stamps! They're guaranteed Against default by all our sons. sfr EASY SERVICE Aaainst the splendid deeds they do. Who have the battle lines to hold, Tis shame to u:alk a block or ia'o And ivhimpec that the icmd is cold. TO ALL GRUMBLERS Be careful hoiv you grumble here At your small share in victory's cost Lest some one may be standing near Who has a son: "reported lobt!" GOOD Since of the dead but good is said I'm sure around the world will rise, Well-understood, a shout of "Good!" The day that Schickelgruber dies. Dies To the Editor: I particularly admire your attitude toward Martin Dies. He has concentrated about 90 per cent of his efforts on Communism flinging that charge rather carelessly at liberals in general, including some strong anti-Communists. He has missed the boat completely on our more deadly enemy Fascism. When we have the FBI (with whose work he has interfered) and the Army and Navy Intelligence at work, we certainly should not waste the taxpayers money on Dies, who was repudiated bv the citizens of Texas when he attempted to run for the United States Senate. C.A.C. To the Editor: As Great Britain retains her famous Scotland Yard, so we need and should always retain the Dies Committee. More money should be given to them and unlimited powers be granted to them, with one restriction that they do not adopt or be coerced by any union, and that they operate at all times according to the Constitution of the United States. MARY M. WHARTON. Flint, Mich. Right to the Point -By Robert Quillen- Ananias was afraid of a shortage, too. He set the example by not reporting all he had. Why do big shots brag? It sounds childish when we aren't winning, and it's superfluous when we are. . The weakness of a Democracy is that free people must be scared or mad before they will help leaders save them. The movies had us fooled. The bravest hero may be a queer little guy who doesn't look a bit like a matinee idol. We don't like these big-shot pow wows. It isn't smart for leaders to huddle so one bomb could change history. People were no better in 1910, but only less frank. For example, daughter ate daintily before company but filled up in the kitchen. Japanese Relocation To the Editor: Yes, we are fighting Japan but we are not fighting our loyal Japanese-American citizens, nor their loyal parents, who would gladly become citizens but our laws forbid. There is no doubt that evacuating thf Japanese from our west coast was a military necessity, but it has brought great suffering and hard-snip to thousands. Many of the Japanese are splendid farmers. There is a great shortage of farm labor. And now our government plans to bring these two together. Let us be fair and treat them as loyal and patriotic until they prove themselves otherwise. The government will thoroughly check and double check every one before he is placed on a farm. MRS. MAX L. JOHNSTON. Linden, Mich. To the Editor: You better change the motto of your paper for you surely are not "on guard" when you back the plan to locate Japs near or in war plants. We have already paid dearly for our belief that they were harmless, loyal people, too much in love with us to ever be treacherous. Why not send them to Russia? They need men and are not at war with Japan. m. C. To the Editor: There seems to be somewhat of an antagonistii feeling regarding the transporting of Japanese labor to several states and placing them on farms. If as is claimed, there are several thousand of them known to b" loyal American citizens. I see to reason why they should be objected to anj' more than any other nationality. Having been in th? position of supplying labor to farmers for years, I positively know that if the system of locating these people is properly supervised, they could be of much value in solving the farm labor shortage problem. WILLIAM LEGGETT Bay City, Mich. To the Editor: I have been a farmer for over 40 years and I, for one, would not employ Japanese labor under any circumstance. Wliy does our Government wish to, spread these Japs over four or five states? Cant they see what the outcome would be? Soon there would be Japanese-Americans by the score and more, and this would very much please old Tojo in Tokio. Why not put these Japs to work in shipyards and war plants wheis there is police protection to guard against sabotage, and send tnp farm hands back to the farms' It must be remembered that th farmer has money invested ;n machinery, livestock and other things. BYRON DRIVER, South Lyon, Mich.

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