T HE MICHIGAN DAILY
________Fift y-Sixth Year
MAN TO MAN:
Saving the Dead -OPA/
,.v. ...__ _
Edited and managed by students of the University of
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City News ................................ Clyde Recht
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afember, Associated Collegiate Press, 1945-46
NIGHT EDITOR: ELINOR MOXNESS
Editorials published in The Michigan Daily,
are written by members of The Daily stafg
and represent the views of the writers only
HE MEXICAN PEOPLE have elected a new
president, but won't officially know who he
is until late this week.
Both candidates are claiming success. Miguel
Aleman, the Government party candidate, is
in fact so sure of it that he has already thanked
the people "for the great honor they have con-
ferred" upon him, While Dr. Ezequiel Padilla,
candidate of the Mexican Democratic party, has
stated he believes the actual popular vote to favor
Aleman has been expected to win, for, backed
by the big, entrenched Government party ma-
chine, he has done extensive and expensive
campaigning on a platform of industrialization,
continuing the progress made .since the revolu-
tion, and a cleanup of the Government party
administration of the country. He has followed
a middle-of-the-road policy on the whole, and
is reported to be smart, hearty, and popular.
Dr. Padilla, former foreign minister, is, on
the other hand, more of an individualist.' He.
ran more on his own personality and merits as
a successful diplomat and a critic of the machine
Aleman represents. He is known to favor inter-
national cooperation and, during the war, inter--
American cooperation. His opponents have thus
been able to criticize him as a U.S. supporter,
which is not a very complementary name to have=
But one of the most important problems
of this election, candidates aside, is that of
honest voting. Mexico is putting to test for
the first time its new election law, which pro-
vides for registration of voters and the super-
vision by government and party representa-
tives of the polling places. This should re-
place the irregular voting of the past years,
with its practical policy of "might makes
right" at the polls, and may the strongest man
But with this new law, the 3,000,000 who voted
Sunday were to be given the right to free choice
of one of the four candidates running. Early
reports indicate it was not too successful an ex-
periment, for Dr. Padilla has already charged
that the election in Mexico City and its- sur-
rounding federal district was "stained by the
gravest frauds," that the Army, which main-
tained order at and guarded the polls, did not
have facilities to avoid fraudulent maneuvers.
One would expect Mexico.City to be the best
policed of any spot in the country.
The election results, as well as the test of
Mexico's democracy, in voting, remain to be
ascertained. They are important because, with
Mexico's proximity to us and position as a link
with the capitals of Central and South Amer-
ica, it is important to us to have a govern-
ment which is, if not favorable, at least will-
ing to be friendly with us. Even more import-
ant is the actual practice of democracy in a
country whose government has promised it
democracy and peaceful free choice of the
representatives of that government.
Poland's Unicameral Victory
In the first election held in Poland in eleven
vesars the lfin 7en alition has won what an-
By HAROLD L. ICKES
"tPA" WILL BE SAVED but price-control will
be abandoned. And politics will be served.
The compromise "price-control" bill which has
the blessing of the Administration in place of
the one that the President vetoed is a fake. It
is a masterpiece of deceptive double-talk.
It will no more hold the price line than a
colander willhold water.
Price Administrator Porter's statement that
the new version is "workable" is accurate in only
one sense. It is workable as a device with which
it is hoped to gain a political advantage. Ac-
cording to the President, the Taft amendments
would have meant a sharp upturn in prices; al-
though how he could ever have proved this it
is difficult to see since, as the Republicans took
occasion to point out, prices had been increasing
generally under the act that the President want-
ed continued. The best that can be said is that
the country was already suffering from a crip-
'D RATHER BE RIGHT:
By SAMUEL GRAFTON
LOS ANGELES--Our thoughts are fixed on
price control this week, but price control is
only a straw in the wind. The plain truth is that
Congress is dismantling as many of the govern-
meit's social and welfare activities as it dares
and price control is neither the beginning nor the
end of the story.
The Fair Employment Practices Committee,
for example, was allowed to die quietly last week,
with a few sticks of type for its tombstone. The
President had asked for a permanent Fair Em-
ployment Practices Commission to protect mem-
bers of minority groups in the job market. He
had asked this at a time when the national con-
science is extremely sore on this point; at a
time when books on the Negro problem are
national- best-sellers, and when a play on this
subject outruns musical comedies on Broadway.
He had asked this during our debate with Russia,
when we are setting ourselves up as the World's
chief spokesman for minority rights, and for the
doctrine of equal justice under law. Yet Congress
allowed the committee to die, deliberately knock-
ing the national hat askew, and having us turn
a blowzy face to the world. Maybe there is a
swing to the right, but Congress is running a
couple of miles ahead of that swing, capering and
doing a high-kick.
A- few days ago, too, the President presented
to the House a meek little plan for merging a
number of government bureaus, thus consoli-
dating government activities under fewer heads,
and rationalizing government operations. The
plan had been carefully worked out over a period
of months; it had no special implications, left
or right (except the implication that government
is here to stay, which is considered a radical idea
in some quarters); but the House voted against
it, with almost no discussion. It did so in a kind
of mean, bored, pettish way, but a casual voice
vote. It was like tearing something up without
reading it. And in that vote could be felt all of
Congress' hostility toward the administrative
side of government, an antipathy operating at
so high a level of passion that it no longer thinks
in terms of arguments, but only of opportunities.
It is this feeling which has slopped over into
the field of price control, and the argument
could be offered that Americans are being'
made the helpless victims of an ideological
war. Conservative opinion has sold itself on
the theory that business can be safe only if
government is helpless and the mutilation of
price control is only one chapter in the long
story of the implementation of that theory.
If cupidity is not the explanation for the
messing of price control (and we are assured
that no one important intends to raise prices,
or to make an extra nickel) then the only
remaining explanation is the grimly ideologi-
cal one, that Americans have been given the
fright of their lives, and have been sent spin-
ning off into a strange adventure, as the anost
identical result of a clash between two theories
We are off, into whatever the future holds, un-
der a strategic plan which prohibits the use of
a national strategy, whether for the protection of
minorities, the control of prices, the taking of
precautions against unemployment, or what-
ever. Price control is only one issue among
many and conservative thinkers are well aware
of this, for they always take care to state and re-
state their anti-government philosophy in ex-
plaining their legislative aggressions.
It is a strange thing that it is the liberal
leaders, like Mr. Truman, who fail to accept
the challenge on this wide front, and who treat
each incident, like price control, as if it were
a single, separate thing; as if it had no connec-
tion with a conflict that it as deep as our lives
and as wide as our futures.
(Copyright, 1946. N.Y. Post Syndicate)
If the United States had taken as long to de-
cide to help Britain in war as it is taking to de-
cide whether to help Britain in peace, things
would have gone better for Hitler. Aid to Brit-
ain now has many political, as well as economic,
justifications similar to those which prompted
Lend-Lease in 1941.
-The New York Times
pling inflation which the Taft amendments
might have accelerated.
With the passing of each day it becomes more
and more apparent that the whole show-.
the debate in Congress, the Presidential veto
and the rewriting of the bill-has been a polit-
ical maneuver designed to win public support
for Mr. Truman and to discredit the Repub-
licans. It was not clever on the part of the
Republicans, or of Senator Taft in particular,
that they permitted themselves to be jockey-
ed into a position where the President could
bash their brains out with a veto messae
and then give his blessing to a bill which will
hold the line no better than Mr. Taft's pro-
posals would have done and may, in fact, re-
sult in less production.
The President is in a position where he can
now go to the people in the November election
exclaiming, "I saved the OPA." And so he did,
but he did not save price-control. He caught
hold of a drowning man and hauled a corpse
aboard the water-logged boat.
The virtual elimination of subsidies means that
the cost of milk which, since June 30, has jump-
ed from two to four cents a quart in most cities
will not be reduced. This increase of from ten
to twenty per cent has been due almost entire-
ly to the termination of subsidies.
The provision of the bill which makes the
Secretary of Agiculture, rather than the Price
Administrator the final authority on what farm
commodities can be kept under control is a crip-
pling blow. The Secretary of Agriculture, who-
ever he may be, is peculiarly susceptible to
pressures from farm lobbyists. The incumbent,
Secretary Anderson, is predisposed to sneeze
when the well-organized farmers take snuff.
He has borne little resemblance to a Rock of
Gibraltar against the pressures that have been
brought to bear upon him.
Moreover, the new bill sets up a commission
of three which will have the power; upon ap-
peal, to overrule any order of either Paul Port-
er or the Secretary of Agriculture. Of such
shoddy material is the newOPA made.
The abolition of the maximum average price
order which required manufacturers to pro-
duce a certain amount of low-priced clothing
is of course another victory for higher prices
The elimination of the provisions requiring
dealers i automobiles, household appliances
and similar reconversion items to absorb part
of any price increase means soaring prices.
The provision that price ceilings for Mnanu-
facturers must be based on an industry-wide
average will tend to limit production. Industry-
wide ceilings tend to crowd out the manufactur-
ers whose costs are high and thus limit produc-
tion to those whose costs are at or below the
average. In addition, ceilings based on industry-
wide averages generally favor the big against
the small producer.
The only thing that the bill does is appar-
ently to restore ceilings on rents yet Mr. Porter,
in arguing for the extension of the OPA bill,
said that unless the price line were held, rents
would have to go up.
In effect the Congress has given notice to
the employes of the OPA, so that every em-
ploye will be out job-hunting. The good ones
will get jobs. The poor ones will not. Thus
we will have an unworkable law in the hands
of incompetents. It requires no seer to fore-
tell the result.
In effect, OPA is dead and nothing remains
except to take its death mask leaving President
Truman and Senator Taft in the center of the
stage putting on the act of the pot calling the
(Copyright, 1946, N.Y. Post Syndicate)
FRENCH FILMS are unpretentious and inex-
pensive. They also have a flavor all their own
which, however much it may be peculiar to
France, is also universal. The Art Cinema League
provided us with ample evidence as to the truth
of this thesis last night when it presented "The
Heart of Paris." The title is an inept translation.
But, though the heart is not that of Paris, there
is one in this movie-big and warm. It belongs to
Raimu whose superb performance in "The Bak-
er's Wife" cannot be forgotten even by an Ameri-
can audience jaded with Hollywood's artificiality.
This time Raimu is the owner of a bicycle shop.
But, he is still the lovable, generous, effusive
bourgeois. Selected to serve as a juror, he takes
a personal interest in the pretty young defend-
ant whom he does much to save. The courtroom
scenes are best. In them there are subtlety and
depth such as cannot be attained where the prac-
tice of "typing" prevails. Each witness possesses
some unique quality that sets him off as human
and believable. Michele Morgan plays the role
of Natalie Rocuin convincingly and even bears up
under a plot that grows increasingly attenuated
with every reel after her trial. So does the cast
as a whole. Yet, it is Raimu's picture and if it
is not his best, it is still better than the Bad
Buncombe with which we are being bombarded.
BAI NAABY By Crockett Johnson
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