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July 25, 1952 - Image 2

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Michigan Daily, 1952-07-25

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FRIDAY, JULY 25, 1952


The Real
ATER FIVE MINUTES in Chicago it is
hard to take the Democratic National
Convention any more seriously than you
would take Ringling Brothers circus.
The banners, buttons, music, and the
mobs of yelling teenagers, whose actions
would draw adult disapproval at a high
school football rally, contribute to the
carnival appearance.
Add a log cabin, some refreshments stands,
a group of outland delegates, seeing the big
city for the first time, TV cameras, several
thousand newsmen, throngs of spectators
and you have the greatest show on earth.
But it's not the ballyhoo itself which gives
the convention such a ridiculous look, it is
the who and the why behind it all.
'FLet's start first with "spontaneous out-
bursts," "tremendous ovations," and "wild
demonstrations." Supposedly the reflec-
tion of the average party member's intense
loyalty and enthusiasm for a particular
candidate; they are really as phony as a
three dollar bill.
Most of them are the brain-children of
well trained and well paid public relations
sections with which every candidate is
The demonstrators themselves are an in-
teresting group. Most of them are teen agers
who consider waving a banner and cheering
more fun than the local movie.
The convention hall gives just as bad an
impression. The only people there who
seem businesslike and interested in what
is going on are the TV cameramen.
During the early sessions most of the
seats on the convention floor are empty. The
delegates are either milling around talking
to each other, or have gone out on some
business more important to them than lis-
tening to the speaker.
The speeches are a farce. No one pays the
least attention. Accoustics are so bad in the
hall that coupled with the noise created by
the talk and movement on the floor it is al-
most impossible to hear even if you try.
Even the press section is nearly deserted.
Most of the newsmen are either following
delegates or candidates in an effort to
uncover their machinations or have re-
tired to the well equipped press lounge in
the basement to have a cold drink and
watch the progress of the convention on
The one thing which is mentioned least
of all is how the public feels. Neither the
candidates, the delegates, or the press seem
vitally interested in what candidate the
Democratic voters of this country want to
vote for.
-Jack Bergstrom
TWO CONCERT BANDS, one carillon, five
conductors, and two carillonneurs were
the participants in last night's outdoor con-
cert, "on the mall." The program was per-
formed, on the whole, excellently but with
one serious flaw. The one particular pro-
vince of bands, the one type of music that
can only be, performed adequately in a band,
the march, was totally absent. Just as one
expects symphony orchestras to play sym-
phonies, and string quartets to play quar-
tets, one expects, indeed looks forward to,
bands playing marches. With the wealth of
marches of real musical calibre, it is un-
complimentary and unnecessary to borrow
literature from other mediums, when such
borrowing never seems appropriate anyway.
An example of what I mean was the caril-
lon-band duet in selections from Moussorg-
sky and the familiar Bells of St. Mary's.
Precision between the two mediums was
lacking, the total effect was not unified. At

best it was an interesting experiment. But
what can't be denied is that Dr. Revelli al-
ways comes up with a first-rate band, and
this fact gave the concert some interest.
-Donald Harris
Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily
are written by members of The Daily staff
and represent the views of the writer only.
This must be noted in all reprints.

Washington Merry-Go-Round

Germ Warfare in the Italian Press

(EDITOR'S NOTE: The following two letters are the full text of the re-
cent publicized exchange between Italian Communist Ezio Taddei and
American novelist John Steinbeck. The letter to Steinbeck was printed
in L'Unita, official Communist Newspaper on June 15 following the violent
anti-Ridgeway riots when he made a tour through Italy.
Steinbecks letter answering Taddlei was printed in L'Unita several
days later. It was, however, cut by the editors and followed by a rebuttal
by Taddei. The passages of Steinbeck's letter that were not printed are
enclosed in parenthesis.)

CHICAGO-Politics can be a cruel busi-
ness. The cruelest blows dealt in the
current race for the Democratic presidential
nomination were to Vice President Alben
Barkley and Averell Harriman. Undoubted-
ly, they were not meant to be cruel, for in
Barkley's case they came from those, who
love him most-his wife, Leslie Biffle, and
the President. However, it will probably em-
bitter him for the remainder of his life.
The stage was set for Barkley to enter
the presidential race on July 5, the last
day congress was supposed to meet, at a
luncheon given by Senate Secretary Bif-
fle, the Veep's close personal and political
friend. Since Congress was supposed to
close that day, President Truman return-
ed to his old stamping ground, attended
the lunch, had a couple of bourbons and
was pulled to one side for a conference
with Biffle.
Biffle is the man who put Barkley across
as vice president at the Philadelphia con-
vention in 1948; also the man who, posing
as a chicken salesman, toured the country
taking political soundings that summer and
predicted Truman could win. He has long
wanted the Veep to become president; like-
wise the new Mrs. Barkley.
So, at this luncheon, Biffle urged Truman
to switch his support from Harriman, then
his No. 1 choice, to the much-loved, elderly
Truman agreed.
The very next day Barkley, buoyed up
by hope and spurred on by his wife, made
a formal announcement that he would
actively push his campaign. That was
why, on arriving in Chicago, he walked
from the railroad station to the hotel.
That was also why the party bosses passed
out word that it's "Barkley the White
House wants."
However, the days when the President can
hand down orders on his successor and get
them obeyed are past. When George Harri-
son, head of the AFL Railroad Clerks, heard
this from Bill Boyle, former chairman of
the Democratic National Committee, he
phoned the White House, insisted on talk-
ing to the President direct, and the follow-
ing conversation took place:
"Mr. President, Bill Boyle tells me you
have selected Barkley."
"That's right," replied the President.
"Well, that puts me on an awfully long
limb because I have been pushing Harriman
as you indicated 10 days ago," responded
"Well, stay out on the limb for a little
while longer," Was Truman's cryptic re-
Whether the President meant by this that
he was merely using Barkley as a stalking
horse to stop Kefauver is now known. How-
ever, the much-loved and no embittered
Veep will never recover from that political
THE BLOW at Averell Harriman was not
quite so brutal, chiefly because he is a
younger man.
What happened was that Paul Fitz-
patrick, top Democratic leader of New
Yorki, wanted a "holding candidate"-a
man who could hold New York'sbig block
of delegates together thus permitting
Fitzpatrick to trade at the convention and
throw the New York delegates at the right
First Fitzpatrick approached New York's
Sen. Herbert Lehman. Lehman, past 70, ridi-
culed the idea. He said he had no chance
to become president and didn't want the
New York delegates pledged to him.
Next Fitzpatrick went to Harriman, urged
him to run for President. Harriman took
him seriously, jumped in with all his energy,
plus considerable money, and proceeded to
put on a bang-up campaign. In fact, he put
on such a good campaign that even his
best friends were surprised.
Fitzpatrick has stuck with him, but
doesn't look happy about it. He wears a
little Harriman button, sits back, goes
through the motions of steering the Har-
riman campaign, but there is no passion
in his drive, no optimism in his voice. He
is merely paying lip service to a comit-

ment he made.
For novice Harriman, however, this has
been an experience. He has found himself
able to make better speeches than the old-
timers, he has snapped out of his habitual

shyness, and he will be a politician to be
reckoned with in future administrations.
SAD SIGHTS at the Democratic conven-
tion include: former White House Gen-
eral Counsel Clark Clifford, now playing
would-be kingmaker for Sen. Bob Kerr of
Oklahoma. Clifford, whose law practice
benefitted considerably from his White
House contacts, now realizes he has pulled
a bull, can't get off the hook . . . . Three
other former White House advisers are also
riding the losers' train. They are gracious
Grace Tully, former secretary to Franklin
D. Roosevelt and FDR's two top ghost writ-
ers, Judge Sam Roseman and Robert E.
Sherwood. The trio worked hard in Averell
Harriman's corner .. .. The Roosevelt fam-
ily is well represented at the convention. In
addition to Mrs. Roosevelt, there is Frank-
lin, Jr., who spearheaded the Harriman
forces, while Jimmy Roosevelt beat the
brush for Kefauver. Mrs. Roosevelt's private
favorite is Governor Stevenson, with whom
she served at the United Nations. However,
the former first lady, an invited speaker
at the convention, carefully avoided show-
ing any partisanship. Two of her sons'
Elliott and John, are backing General Eis-
(Copyright, 1952, by the Bell Syndicate)
Liberal Action
CHICAGO-Liberal Democrats are reas-
serting their control of their party in the
one forum they have not ceased in 20 years
to dominate-the national convention
The striking developments here are
fresh stages in their continuing effort to
build a party that will be invincible in the
pivotal states where elections are won
and lost.
The price of this effort is the loyalty of
the solid South. It is a high price but it is
the price.
In that sense, Democrats are making
a great contribution to the two-party sys-
tem in the South. It mayhbe even greater
than the Republicans made two weeks ago
when they jilted their real hero for a can-
didate with Southern appeal.
Because this convention seems des-
tined to nominate a candidate in Gov-
ernor Stevenson who is acceptable to the
Southerners, many people are question-
ing their timing. Why did they join the
issue now, it is asked, especially when
when they face such formidable opposi-
tion in General Eisenhower?
The answer is that they are fighting the
Democratic partners of the conservative co-
alition which rules the congress, and are at-
tempting to limit their power. The only
place they can reach them is the convention
What has happened since World War II
first began to absorb President Roosevelt's
energies is that such a coalition has in-
creasingly wrested control of congress away
from the administration and the party nom-
inally in power.
For the last few years Congress has fought
President Truman very little on domestic
issues; it hasn't had to, it has merely ig-
nored him. Lately all its energies have beenj
concentrated on exerting influence on the
foreign policies he still has largely under
his control.
Yet every four years the Democrats have
met, built a liberal platform, named a
president who said piously he believed ev-
ery word of it, and won the election. The
seniority system has always enabled the
southerners in Congress, even those who
openly opposed the party, to hold their
chairmanships and control the course of
legislation. When they needed a few votes
they crossed the aisle and got them from
Republicans of the midwest and mourt-
tain states.
When Congress reorganized after the sur-
prise victory in 1948 even the avowed Dixie-
crats got back their positions and perqui-
For a very long time the men who are
forcing the issue here have done a slow burn
while they took a back seat for the coalition.

Some of them, as former Sen. Francis My-
ers of Pennsylvania, believe their defeat
came because the party did not fulfill its
campaign promises.
(Copyright, 1952, by the Bell Syndicate)

Dear Steinbeck:
AM SURE that this letter of
mine will cause you some trou-
ble and I think that owing to it,
the F.B.I. gentlemen might sub-..
mit to you, in these days that you;
are in our Country, their famousI
questionnaire, the one where at
the twelfth question is written:
"What do you think of the Italianc
situation?" and the sixth: "Have1
you any friend in the Communist{
I am sure of this, but I also
think that they cannot harm you.
For two reasons: first, because
you are the writer: John Stein-;
beck ,and, then, because the F.B.I.
cannot avoid the fact that mil-
lions of persons know you.
THE SUBJECT of this letter re-,
fers to the American General
Ridgway's arrival in Italy and
what is happening due to that.,
If I should make a complete
exposition, I should write many
pages and I should start from
that you said some years ago on
your return from Italy, regard-
ing an officer, who was teasing
an old Sicilian by letting him
go to a Palermo dock with prom-
ising to let him go to America.
It was a joke. Do you remem-
The American soldiers started
with jokes, then, going forward,
they were no longer satisfied and
some passed from jest to wicked-
ness. So now they are fully
I would like you to go, for
example, to. a "Night Club" in
Trieste to see what happens.
Do you want me to tell you?
Listen to me. There are in Tries-
te some night coffee-houses, where
only American soldiers and cer-
tain women go.
THESE WOMEN are recruited]
by the landlord, who obliges them
to go there every night and to stay
till the closing, which is in the
During these night-orgies, it;
is now a custom that a soldierI
suddenly starts to beat his wom-
an. He pushes her down to the
floor, beats her with his belt-
and all this in the center of the
place; while the other soldiers
keep dancing, because they say
all this gives colour to the place.
If we wanted to find some rea-
sons for what I have just told
you, we could say that the Ameri-
can soldier has discovered how to
humiliate and how to offend what
in America is considered a sort of
idol: the woman.
A woman, who in the United
States dominates life, she can be'
beaten here; her dress can be
snatched in the presence of all,
she can be derided. Then the en-
tertainment continues.
What I have just said, I can
see with my own eyes, and it is
not at all produced by my imag-
Of course here there is a cer-
tain control, owing to the public
opinion, but inother countries
things happen in a different way.
.. * *
DO YOU REALIZE, for example,
what is happening in Korea, where
there is war; a small people, whom
American politeness has taught
(Americans) to despise, have held
at bay the American Armies for
two years!
The recentsevents have given
an idea of this and enough news
has leaked out to strike all the
civilized world with disgust and
It is not a question of faults
committed by single individuals,
(for in such cases responsibilities
would be limited) but of crimes
organized, ordered and directed
by a Commander in Chief.
After having bombed houses and

huts and machine-gunned whole
columns of families looking for a
shelter, after tanks had passed
over babies' bodies, the American
General Staff has secretly ordered
to prepare a great quantity of in-
sects: flies, lice, fleas, spiders.
Many physicians were neces-
sary to prepare the culture of
the most terrible diseases.
Lice were inoculated with bacil-
li, then all this filthy material
was sent to General Ridgway, who
ordered his soldiers to spread it
among the poor people, already
striken by misfortune.
Can you imagine a baby of four
or of one year, with one of those
flies laying on its face?
The baby does not brush it off,
it does not expect this, it does
not know it. Then the pustules
will come out on its body, then a
high fever. then its mother, she
too with pustules on her chest,
will try to warm it. Instead they
both will die, then a spider is
ready to rest on another baby,
a1mcs .. a.n s *..n . t..

Dear Taddei:
I WAS BORN and grew up in
California where many of the
farmers and a great many of the
fisherman were Italians. Their
sons and pretty daughters were
my school mates and my friends.
I knew the old people too and
very often sat in their kitchens to
drink wine, to eat the wonderful
things they cooked and to talk
quietly in Amity. My littlest sis-
ter was very much in love with an
Italian boy. They were really close
friends. With a good number I
stood up when they were married
and with not a few I took my sad
place to carry the coffin to their
When I came to Italy a few
weeks ago and drove slowly
through the country, it was like
coming home. The warmth and
vitality and generosity of the Ital-
ians was not new to me. It was a
lovely memory from my childhood.
THEN I ARRIVED in Rome and
saw a headline in the newspaper
L'Unita' which read "An Open
Letter to John Steinbeck by Exio
Taddei and the letter began, "Dear
Steinbeck." I was pleased and
::omplimented by this attention.
And then I began to read the
letter. The second line said, "I
am convinced that this letter will
cause you trouble."
"Why does Ezio Taddei want
to cause me trouble?" I thought.
"I don't recall ever having
harmed him." The opening of
the letter saddened me I admit.
But then I continued to read
and I realized that your letter
was not written to me. You were
simply using me as a decoy for
unwary readers. It is a very
old device.
If your open letter had been
simply a denunciation of me as a
person or of me as a writer, I
should never have thought of an-
York with the hangman of Sing
Sing? No, you surely would de-
test it. Then why should we ex-
alt the sight of this general?
The hangman of Sing Sing
may be only an ignorant man
forced by need to accept that
abominable life.
Moreover at Sing Sing babies
are not killed, while General Ridg-
way, knew very well that spread-
ing a territory with venomous in-
sects, the first victims would be
the most defenseless.
You would not go with the hang-
man of Sing Sing and not even
with General Ridgway, otherwise
you would not be the writer John
Steinbeck. Yet the United States
Government has named this Gen-
eral as Commander in Chief of
the Atlantic Army, at the same
time Europe has named him
"Plague General."
But the Italian soldiers did more
in their barracks.
You know well that there is
a language of soldiers which re-
flects military happenings in a
picturesque way.
So a soldier today, who finds a
fly in his tin, says: "Corporal, I
found an American General in my
* * *

swering it. But this is not so. You
have attacked through the use of
my name a number of people and
things I thoroughly intend to de-
fend. For that reason I answer
you, Dear Taddie.
In your letter you have made
a number of errors in fact. I
do not know whether you have
done this intentionally but I in-
tend to inspect your statements
for your readers if not for you.
In the very first part of your
letter you refer to "famous ques-
tionnaire of the F.B.I.," a docu-
ment you know so well that you
even quote the numbers of the
I have never heard of such a
questionnaire, but I have made
inquiries and I discover that such
a questionnaire does not exist. I
have further found that there is
not one single F.B.I. man in Italy.
YOU SHOULD inform yourself
better. You accuse me of not
knowing anything about Italy and
then you make a series of state-
ments which prove beyond doubt
that you do not know anything
about America. The F.B.I. is a
bureau of investigation which de-
velops evidence concerning crimes
which have been committed in the
United States against the United
States Laws. It acts under our
Departmentof Justice which is a
branch of our Treasury Depart-
ment. It has no power of its own
to do anything at all except in-
vestigate. It does not issue ques-
tionnaires. Could you, Dear Tad-
dei, have made a mental switch
since they both have three initial
letters? Could you be thinking
not of F.B.I. but of G.P.U.?
In the same paragraph you
make it very clear that it is not
the F.B.I. but you, Ezio Taddei,
who are issuing the question-
naire. I will certainly answer
your questions.
Your question No. 12: What do
you think of the Italian situa-
Answer : I am not yet well
enough informed to have arrived

ant. And again you fall into
your habitual error of inaccur-
acy. You say-"The American
Government named this general
as commander in chief."
If you will look at the records,
you will find that the NATO na-
tions, among which is Italy, ask-
ed the American Government to
make General Ridgway available
for this command. He was reluct-
antly withdrawn from the East
where he was doing a very good
job. It was Ridgway who ground
up the attacking Communists and
who with smaller forces brought
them to a standstill so that they
wanted to talk truce.
Could your hatred of Ridg-
way be caused by the fact that
he is too good a general? A
Communist never forgives the
man who beats him ,but he will
usually try to knife him in the
back. And incidentally, you
are at this moment trying to
think of some way of doing that
to me, aren't you, Dear Taddei?
I know the pattern very well.
The next attack will concern
some phase of my private life.
I've seen it too often.
The next one of the errors in
your open letter to me indicates
that you have not even read the
dispatches of the Russian Chinese
Communist group. You should do
that before talking about poor lit-
tle North Korea. For a long time
the hundreds of thousands of Chi-
nese armed with Russian weapons
were "Volunteers." That pose has
now been abandoned even by the
Chinese press.
The Chinese Communists now
boast of 800,000 new Chinese sent
into Korea. The Chinese and Rus-
sians now openly conduct the
truce talks. And you know as
well as I do that from the very
beginning, the United Nations
troops have been overwhelmingly
d *
I WONDER whether you be-
lieve your own accounts of chil-
dren ground up under our tanks,
of huts blown up, and refugees
machine-gunned. But perhaps you
believe anything you are instruct-
ed to believe. And so I will ask
your readers who are not in-
Why, ifwe are so brutal to
refugees, do they always come
to us, never to the Communists?
People in trouble do not run to-
ward brutality. They run away
from it. Why do the hundreds
of thousands of refugees we are
feeding in South Korea never
show the slightest desire to go
north behind the Communist
lines? Why do great numbers of
them swear that they will kill
themselves if they are forced
In your open letter you told a
story. I want to tell you a story
told me by a friend and backed
with photographs. One morning
early, a band of old korean wom-
en in ragged dresses approached a
United Nations post. The sentw
challenged them as is ndnal,
whereupon they charged the post
throwing grenades as they came.
Our soldiers fought them off with
difficulty and when they inspected
the dead, they found under the
women's clothes, not only penises
but grenades andnburp guns. Are
these the machine gunned refu-
gees you spoke of? What a brave
way to fight! The pictures are
available if your paper would like
to print them.
I come now to the heart of your
lettt, the reason for your letter,
the matter which you thought
would case me trouble, germ wi-
If You know the truth about
the so-called germ warfare, dear
Taddei, you must be cynical.
And if you are cynical, what
contempt you must have for the
intelligence of the Italian peo-
(Continued on Page 4)



at a valid answer.
Your question No.
have friends in the
Answer: I am a
I have acquaintances
ties, all groups, all
religions. I know

6: Do you
in all par-
colors, all
and have


Interest On A Few Dollars Savings
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nota X1f

"Rig'* This Way, You-All"
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come out of a propaganda office,
but have arisen in the barracks,
and come from the mouth of
those who shall show their arms
to General Ridgway. Imagine
their feeling the day he will re-
view our troops.
It is true that some Italian
personages guaranteed our blind
obedience, but perhaps in Amer-
ica the situation is not well
Do you realize that we have
certain men here, whose preten-
tion to public estimation is fun-
There is, for example, our Prime
Minister. In America you have
heard his name. During the first
world war, while Italy was fight-
ing against Austria, he was em-
ployed "ad personam" with Arch-
duchess Maria Joseph and, at the
same time, he was a member of
the women's Committee of noble
patronesses, to honour Maria Jo-
Therefore, realize, dear Stein-
beck, how our soldiers feel to go
and fight, commanded by Plague
General and by a member of the
Women's Committee of noble-
women of Vienna, the page of
an archduchess. And guess what
might happen if one of our of-
ficers, honourable men, was
handed a bunch of insects to be
spread on another land. Surely
we will oppose all this, we can-
not have any responsibility for
our life when in the world such
faults are committed.
Italian people will not be known
to histnrva s laz y rfvhn rGen

known Nazis, Fascists and Com-
munists. Also I have known
men who have been both Fas-
cist and Communist. Does this
mean anything to you?
Following your questionnaire,
you indicate that I might have
immunities from persecution be-
cause too many people know me.
* *.*
DO YOU THINK, Dear Taddei,
that our courts operate in the
dark the way those of some other
countries do? If I commit a crime
against our laws I will be investi-
gated and then tried, but tried in
the open, Taddei - tried in the
open, where every one can see and
judge. And if guilty I will be pun-
You have a curious and erron-
ious idea of how our government
operates. Don't you think, since
yourdislike us so, that it would
be wise to know what you are
talking about? For instance,
when you speak of Sing Sing,
wouldn't it be better if you
know what Sing Sing is?
Sing Sing is a prison of the
state of New York in which men
convicted of crimes are imprison-
ed. Sing Sing is also famous be-
cause, through the work of War-
den Lawes and his successors, it
has become one of the model pris-
ons of the world for the rehabili-
tation of criminals. There is only
one capital crime in the State of
New York, and that is murder.
If a man commits a murder he
is tried publicly by a jury, and if
convicted, he is sentenced by a
judge, who incidentally is elected
by the people. His case goes then
to higher courts on appeal, and
if all of them including the gover-
nor find that he has been fairly
and truly given every chance to
prove innocence, he is electro-
Now you say that I would not
walk down the street with a
"butcher of Sing Sing." The
words are yours. This butcher
is a man who has a job with the
state. He is not either ignor-
ant nor brutal. He must be an
electrician because of the nature
of the execution. His total work
is to test the chair and, on or-
ders of the Warden, to throw a
I do not know this man, but I
once knew an executioner in Cali-
fornia and he was a good man
with a large family. He had many
friends including me. Why should
I not walk down the street with
a man who is doing his job under
the law? The Sing Sing man is
probably an honest and self re-
specting man and he has never
taken the man he has killed and
hung him head down in front of
a public gas station no matter
what the crime has been.
* * *


lP~ Ml71w t

Sixty-Second Year
Edited and managed by students of
the University o! Michigan under the
authority of the Board in Control of
Student Publications
Leonard Greenbaum Managing Editor
Ivan Kaye and Bob Margolin
.....Co-Sports Editors
Nan Reganall..........Women's Editor
Joyce Fickies...........Night Editor
Harry Lunn . .......... Night Editor
Marge Shepherd ........ .Night Editor
Virginia Voss ..........Night Editor
Mike Wolff ................Night Editor
Tom rreeger..... . Business Manager
O. A Mitts..,..... Advertising Manager
Jim Miller...... Finance Manager
Jim Tetreault..... Circulation Manager


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