THE MICHIGAN DAITY
THURSDAY, AUGUST 1, 1940
THE MICHIGAN DAILY
The Conscription Bill Viewed
In Light Of Democratic Ideals
Grin And Bear It
0 - -
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Managing Editor .............. Carl Petersen
City Editor .............Norman A. Schorr
Associate Editors ...........Harry M. Kelsey,
Karl Kessler, Albert P. Blau-
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Business Manager ............ Jane E. Mowers
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NIGHT EDITOR:' KARL KESSLER
Vs Labor News.. ..
T HAT LITTLE CLIQUE of Bourbons
-men who seem absolutely incapa-
ble of learning that they are the ultimate bene-
ficiaries of labor legislation through its increase
of purchasing power-has found a new excuse
for an attack on American workers in the cur-
rent preparedness drive.
In the name of patriotism, we are now hear-
ing demands for abrogation of the eight-hour
day, for repeal of the wage-hour law, emascula-
tion of the Wagner Act, nullification of the
If national defense really required this, there
could be no valid objection. After all, preserva-
tion of the nation is paramount. Wagner Acts
and wage-hour laws would get short shrift from
a conquering Hitler. If we were faced with con-
quest, we would sacrifice them now to enjoy
their benefits another day.
But we are not yet in such straits-and the
Bourbons can't make us believe that we are.
The arguments that they use simply do not
THEY WANT to do away with the eight-hour
day and the 40-hour week, they say, so that
we may build more guns and planes in less time.
Hitler found out that a nation could not rearm
that way., He tried the 12-hour day and then
reverted to the shorter eight-hour period. Engd
land, too, is abandoning the speed-up ordered
last May. Modern industrial techniques, unlike
those of an earlier day, put such a strain on
the worker that he actually produces less in 12
hours than in eight. The law of diminishing
returns works that way.
Even if our armaments industry were ex-
panded far beyond its present capacity, it would
find an ample reservoir of workers in our 10,000,-
000 unemployed. Economists tell us that re-
armament is not a great job-producing industry.
They have no hope that the present program
will make room for more than three or four
million of our jobless.
BUT it is not a matter of finding men, the
Bourbons counter. It is a matter of skilled
men. Well, many of our unemployed, as certi-
fied by L. Metcalfe Walling, administrator of
the Walsh-Healy Act, are highly skilled. We
are now training many more. And, if worse
comes to worse, there is no law against paying
men overtime in industries getting a guaran-
teed profit of at least 10 per cent.
France is held up as the horrible example.
Because the trade unionists balked at working
all day and all night two and three years ago,
France fell to Hitler, we are told. Isn't the shoe
on the other foot? Did not Daladier alienate
the support of loyal Frenchmen by ruthlessly
and unnecessarily depriving them of hard-won
OUR OWN labor relations record during the
last war is a far better guide for our con-
duct in this emergency than the example of the
men of Munich. Our way brought victory. It
also formed, as has been pointed out on this
page, the basis for the reforms of the New Deal.
Essentially, it was no more than patriotic co-,
operation of government, industry and labor.
Under it, industry got profits, labor got better
wages and government got the efficiency vital
American labor is as patriotic now as it was
in 1917. That is clearly demonstrated by the
unselfish work of Sidney Hillman and other
union officials, CIO and AFL, in this emergency.
It is a sorry duty to be forced to report that these
people are concerned lest this effort to arm
against totalitarianism may bring them one of
thee bitterest fruits of totalitarianism-loss of
the right of collective bargaining. The Automo-
bile Workers, meeting in St. Louis .iust now, are
THE CONGRESSIONAL HEARINGS on the
proposed conscription bill should be deliber-
ate enough to determine three things:
How much is the demand for a total military
and civilian dictatorship over the manpower of
the Nation due to a realistic attitude?
How much is it due to plain hysteria?
How much of it is due to politics?
These questions should be fully answered now
so that the people may have complete under-
Apeace-time totalitarianism is a far graver
violation of tradition than any proposal for a
The latter is a simple issue. The people un-
derstand it and have a right to accept or reject
it as they please.
But compulsory service for all men between
the ages of 18 to 64, with broad authority for
the President to call on anybody, as he chooses
for any kind of duty, military or otherwise, is
another matter. It is not easily understood.
The American people are being asked to give
away their liberties with no assurance that they
will ever get them back.
* * *
THEY ARE BEING LED TO BELIEVE that
war is imminent. It is characteristic of
Americans to respond instinctively to any call
to patriotic duty.
It is not at all surprising that one poll shows
67 per cent of the people are in favor of some
form of conscription. They responded in the
same manner when President Wilson issued his
But, are they not now voting in the same
spirit in the belief that we either are already
at war or are about to be plunged into one?
Is it not possible that they have been whipped
into such a fever of emotionalism that they be-
lieve this is the one way to save America?
If that is the case, they have been misled.
The best of our military experts do not be-
lieve that any such massing of manpower-
42,000,000 men and boys-is necessary.
At the outside figure they are interested only
in an army of 750,000 soldiers. More, they would
not know what to do with the 2,000,000 men
Mr. Roosevelt talks about.
What' of the other 40,000,000? Out of the
clouds of oratory and tub thumping, the idea
seems to loom that they would be regimented
into various industries and civic duties-regi-
mented as was the total manpower of Germany.
As to this phase of the problem the career
men in the Army have nothing to say. That .is
all outside their tasks. They might get two mil-
lion men but any politically minded Adminis-
tration would have complete control over the
other 40 million.
* * *
BUT, the war-minded at Washington, in both
parties, argue, "this is necessary if we are
to meet the Hitler invasion when it comes."
"When it comes!" That is the spur. Yet mili-
tary experts have no idea that it is coming next
week or next year or the year after, if ever.
The career men cannot talk. However, the Free
Press here offers quotations from three world
famous writers on military matters who are
not given to hysterics, who are not running for
office, and who strive hard to see things as
First, there is Col. Frederick Palmer, recog-
nized as one of the greatest living authorities
on war. He was the official press representative
for the A.E.F. in France and was awarded the,
Distinguished Service Medal for his work. For
years, though an American, he was the military
expert for The London Times.
Is he 'excited? Not a bit! He says:
"Whence and in what strength will any at-
tack upon us come? . . . Will our impatience
for speed in our vast preparations defeat the
very object for which we are striving?"
Japan? He points out that Japan has its
hands full right now with China and will have
for some years to come without taking us on.
"This," he says, "dismisses any immediate dan-
ger on the Pacific Coast."
But there is the Atlantic--and Hitler?
Palmer calls attention to the simple fact
that neutral military observers now agree
that Germany had no "wonder army that
wrought a military miracle." Germany real-
ly had no opposition, with France collapsing
before a real fight started.
. "Consequently there is no reason why we
should be scared or over-impressed by Ger-
man might as touched by some kind of
hellish totalitarian magic."
Palmer even questions that Hitler can pos-
sible defeat England across those 22 miles of
turbulent waters. But, supposing he does? What
"Hitherto, Hitler's sea tactics have been neg-
ative and destructive. Now he must have sur-
face sea command himself. His position is re-
versed. He must protect his convoys across the
Palmer first predicts the failure of the British
campaign and then shows how utterly impossi-
ble it would be for Hitler to bring his army across
to our shores. The danger is not immediate.
"Our danger is," he concludes, "that we shall
get an extravagant, unbalanced preparedness
whose continuance we shall neglect when we
are lulled into security, with the result that
one day an enemy, or group of enemies, will
get the jump on us."
This is taking the long view, a consideration
of the years and not the days.
The whole program for conscription could
go over until after the fevers of the coming
election without in any way endangering
being loyal to the CIO, others to the AFL. But
America-as long as industry maintains
equipment production. Then we might think
The President has asked that the National
Guard be mobilized to meet some immediate
danger, the nature of which he does not state.
If the Guard is called out it will take six months
at least to furnish it sufficient equipment to
put it on a battle-worthy basis.
The presidential campaign will be over in
three months. So what could be done with
2,000,000 raw civilians in that time?
This rush program does not make sense.
SECOND, there is Hanson W. Baldwin, mili-
tary expert for The New York Times. How
could Germany land a sufficient number of
troops on this continent to require such a vast
standing army to overcome them? He says:
"The maximum initial force that could be
transported, even if control of the sea were
wrested from us, would not be much larger
than 50,000 men. The transportation of such a
force would require 375,000 tons of shipping,
perhaps forty ships, about the largest force that
could conveniently be convoyed in a single
"To supply such a force might require from
650,000 tons of shipping to 2,000,000 tons month-
ly; in other words, perhaps half of the tonnage
of the German merchant marine would have to
be devoted solely to the job of supplying 50,000
soldiers. If this force were to be doubled, the
shipping tonnage necessary would be doubled;
to supply an army of one million men in this
hemisphere would require at the very least
13,000,000 tons of shipping.
"Economically and commercially the protlem
seems impossible; not even Britain or a combina-
tion of Britain and Germany has sufficient
shipping to divert such an enormous amount of
it from their ordinary and vital trade routes
to military purposes."
* * *
THE THIRD of this triumvirate of famed mili-
tary authorities is Maj. George Fielding
Eliot, war expert for The New York Herald-
Tribune and Life Magazine, and author of the
widely read book on American preparedness,
"The Ramparts We Watch."
"Nothing could be worse," he writes, "than
to give our own people and the peoples of the
rest of the world the idea that we are going to
have, or are even on the point of creating, a
vast citizen army of millions. We cannot do
this for a long time.
"We ought not to try to build up such an
army on any half-baked basis. If we have
learned anything from the present war, it is
the need of ample training ... Let us all know
exactly what we are doing-let us all know,
not just the White House coterie and the gen-
"Let us not forget that we are primarily
a sea power ... There may be other ways
of improving the national morale besides
spending more than is necessary on an army
which, if it passes the size needful for hemi-
sphere missions, may well become an in-
strument useful only for overseas adven-
tures-perhaps for a ghastly holocaust in
"We should be quite clear on one point: That
we do not propose to furnish the manpower fo
any invasion of the European continent. It will
be much better not to create any instrument
of war which can be useful for that purpose.
"It all gets back to the lack of any co-ordin-
ated, well-weighed plan for our defense . . . We
should do our thinking now while we have the
time. And we should appoint able and experi-
epced experts to do the job of translating
thought into concrete and complete plans upon
which to base our expenditures and our labors."
By common public acceptance these three men
know what they are talking about. They are
non-emotional and non-political students of
military preparedness and the arts of warfare.
THE FREE PRESS does not question the sin-
T cerity of President Roosevelt in his drive
for preparedness, but it is forced at timesrto
question his judgment because, in the very
ardor of his cause, he lets his enthusiasm and
his emotions run away with him-as is well
evidenced by that "stab-in-the-back" speech at
Charlottesville and his proposal to "quarantine
aggressor nations" in his Chicago address in
The issue involves too vital a change in our
whole concept of American life not to speak
out bluntly about it.,
The American people should not be lulled to
sleep by grandiose talk. Our dangers from
abroad are not one-half so real as the dangers
within our own borders. 'It may well be that
the very life of democracy itself is at stake here.
Why, then, all the mad, precipitate rush?
If the members of the United States Congress
dotnot weigh carefully all the factors involved,
if they do not permit the people full and open
hearings so that they will have complete un-
derstanding, then they will be derelict in their
duty and recreant to a sacred trust.
Let the people know that once they have bent
their necks to the yoke of regimentation there
is no turning back. The bands will play martial
music, the flags will fly-and we, a once-free
people, may march to the goose-step under a
-- Detroit Free Press
Two Fly The Atlantic
Through granting permission to the Amer-
ican Export Airlines to begin transatlantic air-
plane service in competition with the already
By JAMES E. GREEN
As a reader of the Play Production
publicity releases in the columns of
the Michigan Daily (May it rest in
peace!), I have somehow gained the
impression that there is a consider-
able body of conteporary playwrights
who spend most of their time writing
plays to serve as vehicles for the con-
siderable acting talents of their dear
friend, Whitford Kane. After "Boyd's
Shop" I had the feeling that Mr.
Kane's friends just don't do right by
him. After last night's performance
of John Galsworthy's "Escape" at
the Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre, the
feeling became a conviction. This is,
needless to say, no reflection on Mr.
Kane, who was his usual excellent
"Escape" cannot really be called a
bad play. As a piece of dramaturgy it
is reasonably well put together and
its characterizations are adequate if
not deep. Its basic idea, the world
seen through the eyes of an escaped
convict, is sound, but the superstruc-
ture of ideas reared on this theme is
a shaky one. Galsworthy in attempt-
ing to generalize on simple human
relationships, alternates between ob-
viousness and vagueness. He succeeds
in making English gentlefolk palat-
able, but nevertheless, proves again
what really needs no proof; that the
values by which they live are only
in a small degree of the stuff of
The acting was generally of a piece
with the play. It was not bad, in
fact at times was quite good, but it
failed of any consistency or steadi-
ness, Norman Oxhandler as the es-
caped convict gave a rather spotty
performance but in doing so he look-
ed like a rather competent actor hav-
ing a bad night. Mary Ellen Wheeler
as "The girl of the town" (I quote
from the program) did a capable
piece of acting in her short time
on the stage. Arthur Klein as the
old English gentleman was reason-
ably close to my Hollywood-begotten
concept of the same. June Madison
and Ray Pedersen were very funny
as a couple of picnickers. Incident-
ally, Miss Madison's very capable
performances this summer make me
feel that I should offer her some
sort of apology for the notices she
received during the past year.
The settings, when they didn't
include the familiar two-dimensional
trees, were the best that I've seen
this summer. They were admirable
both for themselves and for the aid
which they gave the actors in setting
the mood. Mr. Wyckoff's staging of
the prison yard scene sets some sort
of a standard for these parts.
By KIRKE L. SIMPSON
Although rumors of an immediate
Nazi-Fascist invasion of England
have been coming thick and fast
from the Swiss whispering gallery,
there is a touch of authority and
realism about a conflicting forecast
Virginio Gayda, Fascist editor and
frequent mouthpiece for Mussolini,
has too recently demonstrated his
access to Nazi-Fascist high policy de-
cisions to be taken lightly. He fore-
told the Hitler "appeal-to-reason"
peace gesture a week or two in ad-
Gayda now warns his Italian
readers that a "spectacular" blitz-
krieg involving a mass invasion of
England is not to be expected be-
cause it is not feasible.
In so stating, Gayda is in full
harmony with Britain's Prime Minis-
ter, Winston Churchill. Summing
up England's chances of repelling a
German or German-Italian attack,
Churchill bluntly said six weeks ago
that invasion would be the last, not
the first, enemy move.
Basis For Forecast
He based that forecast on the con-
clusion that invasion by sea could
not be achieved against British sea
power adequately supported by the
Royal Air Force. Invasion by air he
also dismissed as impractical and
improbable, "until our air force has
been definitely over-powered."
Churchill explained the failure of
the British Fleet to prevent German
invasion of Norway was due to fac-
tor of distance, which made it im-
practicable to supplement naval ves-
sels with sufficient air units to block-
ade the Skagerrak and effectively.
"But in the (English) Channel
and in the North Sea on the other
hand, our naval forces will operate
with close and effective air assist-
ance," he added.
Dpring the ensuing rain of bombs
that has fallen on and about Eng-
land for more than 40 days and
nights and has thus rivaled the du-
ration of the biblical flood-rains,
little has developed to change the
The text of President Roosevelt's cers Reserve Corps.
letter asking for authority to order
out the National Guard, with the
text of the joint resolution which
he proposed for Congressional ac-
The President of the Senate,
The increasing seriousness of the
international situation demands that
every element of our national defense
structure be brought as rapidly as
possible to the highest state of effi-
ciency, in training as well as in
equipment and material.
The National Guard of the United
States, an integral and vital part of
the Army, comprises a body of men
who have voluntarily assumed an
obligation to serve the nation in any
crisis. To the extent possible under
normal conditions, the officers and
men of the National Guard have pre-
pared themselves for this service,
and I am assured that today the
Guard has reached the highest state
of efficiency in its peacetime history.
The developments of modern war-
fare are such, however, that only the
seasoned and highly trained troops
can hope for success incombat. Our
citizen soldiery, no matter how will-
ing and earnest, cannot possibly at-
tain the necessary degree of effi-
ciency through their normal training
activities. Even our professional sol-
diers require months of intensive
training to bring them to their pres-
ent satisfactory state. We know too
well the tragedy that ensues when
inadequately trained men are as-
sailed by a more skillful adversary.
Some weeks ago I asked the Con-
gress for authority to order the Na-
tional Guard into active service
should an emergency require this
action when your body was not in
session. That proposal is no longer
sufficient, as I am now convinced
that the security of the nation de-
mands that this component of our
Army be bought to the highest pos-
sible state of training efficiency more
rapidly than its present program per-
mits. Moreover, this group of men
who of necessity must be among the
first to fight in the nation's defense
have a right to the best preparation
that time and circumstance permit.
Sets Standard of Training
Realizing as I do the personal sac-
rifice that a period of extended ac-
tive duty demands of the National
Guard, I have deferred until now any
request for immediate action in this
respect. I cannot, and with clear
conscience, longer postpone this vi-
tally essential step in our progress
toward adequate preparedness, and
I am therefore transmitting here-
with legislation that, if enacted, will
enable me to order the National
Guard of the United States to active
service for such period of intensive
training as may be necessary to raise
its efficiency to a point comparable
with that of our small regular estab-
If this authority is granted, I pro-
pose to order the guard to duty in
successive increments to permit the
effective use of training facilities and
equipment immediately available.
Each increment will, of course, be
released when it attains the desired
state of efficiency.
Of equal importance is the Offi-
the thought in Gayda's mind in
warning that a repetition against
England of the swift and smashing
attacks on Holland, Belgium and
France is not feasible.'
body of officers has had little oppor-
tunity for service with troops, and
to the maximum extent possible their
training should now be perfected by
an adequate period of active service.
If ordered to active duty, they can
acquire the desired efficiency and at
the same time supply the increased
need for officers in our expanded
Regular Army. The authority I am
requesting is therefore drawn so as
to include the Officers Reserve Corps.
I ask your earnest consideration
of this program and your prompt
and favorable action thereon.
The proposed joint resolution
Resolved, by the Senate and the
House of Representatives of the
United States of America in Con-
gress assembled, that during the
period ending June 30, 1942, the
President be, and is hereby, au-
thorized to-order into the active
military service of the United
States for a period not to exceed
one year, any or all members and
units of any or all reserve compo-
nents of the Army of the United
States, and retired personnel of
the regular Army, with or without
their consent, to such extent and
in such manner as he may deem
necessary for the strengthening of
the national defense; provided,
that the members and units of the
reserve components of the Army
of the United States ordered into
active Federal service under this
authority shall not be employed be-
yond the limits of the Western
Hemisphere, except in the Terri-
tories and possessions of the United
States, including the Philippine Is-
Section 2. All National Guard,
reserve and retired personnel or-
dered into the active military ser-
vice of the United States under the
foregoing special authority sh:))1,
from the dates on which they are
respectively required by such order
to report for duty in such serviee,
be subject to the respective laws
relating to enlistments, re-enlist-
ments, conduct, rights, employ-
ment and privileges, and discharge
of such personnel in such service
to the same extent in all particu-
lars as if they had been ordered
into such service under existing
general statutory authorizations.
Section 3. All laws and parts of
laws in conflict herewith are here-
by suspended to the extent that
they may be in conflict with any
-New York Times
(Continued from Page 1)
been more successful than we in se-
curing full employment of capital
and labor resources, though they
have done so exclusively through
mobilization for war, Professor Daw-
son told. They have tapped reserves
of devotion and self-sacrifice and
exploited that sense of corporate un-
ity which is as truly an element in
human nature as the impulse for
individual self-assertion, he said.
We are as vulnerable as the Eur-
opean countries, Profesor Dawson
pointed out. We must, he warned,
protect ourselves against those coldly
"Since I took up an insurance agency as a sideline, I ain't been
bothered with loafers around the store!"
Text Of Message Requesting
Power To Call National Guard