100%

Scanned image of the page. Keyboard directions: use + to zoom in, - to zoom out, arrow keys to pan inside the viewer.

Page Options

Download this Issue

Share

Something wrong?

Something wrong with this page? Report problem.

Rights / Permissions

This collection, digitized in collaboration with the Michigan Daily and the Board for Student Publications, contains materials that are protected by copyright law. Access to these materials is provided for non-profit educational and research purposes. If you use an item from this collection, it is your responsibility to consider the work's copyright status and obtain any required permission.

July 14, 1954 - Image 2

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1954-07-14

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

PAGE TWO

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

IVEDNES DAY, JULY 14, 1954

PAGE TWO THE MTCHI~AN DAILY WEDNESDAY, .TTJLY 14. 1951

_ _

Republican Campaign Myths:
Corruption, Taxes, McCarthy

"Can We Have Peaceful Co-Existence
in Washington?"

VOICE OF THE FACULTY:

f

AN EDITORIAL of yesterday on this page sup-
ported the record of the Eisenhower Adminis-
tration, contrasting it with the chronic corruption,
usurpation of power, high taxes, inflation and bu-
reaucracy allegedly characteristic of the Truman
presidency.
Faced with, such an array of accusations, it is
difficult to begin a reply. It is always easier to hurl
an impressive charge than to make a convincing
defense. Let us, however, examine the recent rec-
ord of the Republican Party - the instrument
through which Eisenhower was elected and must
implement policy - and compare it with that of
the Democrats.
No one will deny that governmental corruption
existed under Truman, as it has under every presi-
dent. But what sort of corruption? In almost every
case, it has taken the form of collusion between
businessmen and government officials below the
policy-making level to violate the law or to operate
on the fringes of legality. Such events, of course,
are reprehensible, and the press accordingly gives
them wide circulation.
But there are other types of governmental
corruption. There is a far vaster form which
operates through legislatures and policy-makers
in the Executive. This form is much more lucra-
tive and audacious in scope than that of shady
manipulators who work in the recesses of the
Federal Housing Authority, the Internal Revenue
Bureau and other agencies.
This far grander form of governmental corrup-
tion involves the remaking of laws and the mani-
pulation of government policy for the benefit of
privileged interests.
Item: the gigantic give-away of public lands,
power-producers and resources by a Republican
Congress and Executive. Has the press given this
outrageous misappropriation of public properties
the same attention as it gave the petty graspings
of the five-percenters exposed in Truman's time?
No: the press and the Republicans apparently be-
' lieve that mink coats and deep freezers are the
only manifestations of corruption. What about the
really big fix, which leaves no such convenient sym-
bols with which to inflame the public mind? Will
not the people pay far more for unjustifiably high-
priced electric power than for the hit-and-run
tactics of the five-percenters?
Let it not be thought, however, that the Re-
publicans are immune from petty corruption-
even when out of the White House. Since World
War 11, three Republican Congressmen have been
jailed for accepting kick-backs on their office
payrolls-but not one Democrat. Senator Mc-
Carthy got $10,000 for writing a pamphlet for a
housing corporation, while a member of a Senate
committee on housing. Senator Bridges was ac-
egsed of helping five-percenter Greunwald to
fix a tax case, and made a rather poor showing
while attempting to explain things away at a
Senate hearing. Sen. Brewster got so patently in-
volved in another matter of tax evasion that he
couldn't get re-elected.
The truth of the matter is as Justice Hughes put
it, at the time of the major scandals during Re-
publican President Harding's term: "Neither poli-
tical party has a monopoly of virtue or of rascality.
Let wrong be exposed and punished, but let no
partisan Pecksniff affect a holier-than-thou atti-
tude. Guilt is personal, and knows no party."
ACCORDING TO Republican campaign myths,
the growth of executive powers, higher taxes
and inflation are all abuses of Democratic. mis-
management.
The chiefest myth of all is that our economic ills
result from a vast governmental bureaucracy and
budget. Let's face realities: the size of our budget is
basically determined by the Cold War, and 85%
of it is military in nature. We face problems
of national survival. Defense is vital and it is not
cheap.
The Republicans made a big campaign noise
about a reduction of taxes; when they got into of-
fice, they found it necessary to reduce military ex-
penditures in order to make their promise good. So
they'came up with the "New Look" in warfare,
which so diminishes our Army that it commits us
to fight no other kind of war but an atomic one-
"massive retaliation," in Secretary Dulles' euphe-
mistic phrase.
Therefore, should there be another Korea-
type aggression, we will not be equipped to in-
tervene on the spot with forces in the field-
we will have to resort to the horrors of World

War III. Is that the most efficient way to buy
military security?
But the mentality of penny-pinching has long
been a distinguishing feature of the Republican

Party. It has been obsessed with tax-reductions at
a time when the issues facing us are the most awe-
some in our history. Heavy taxation is a powerful
means of bringing our nation's vast resources into
the global struggle against Russian imperialism. It
is a means of matching the Russians' total com-
mitment against us. According to many Republi-
cans, however, it is just a technique devised by
Lenin to wreck the American economy. Just re-
cently, a Republican governor suggested the aboli-
tion of the income tax as "the root of all evil."
He wants a plan whereby the states regulate feder-
al expenditures. Such primitivism is quite at home
in the Republican Party.
As for the growth of governmental bureaucracy,
it is noteworthy that no significant reduction of
the Executive's working force has occurred under
Eisenhower. For better or worse, bureaucracy is
the way things get done in modern society-and
this is as true of private industry and large uni-
versities as of the government.
The crises of our times, both foreign and do-
mestic, have placed huge demands on our gov-
ernment, and it has grown to meet them. Vast
bureaucracies have their evils and abuses, of
course-but they are not inventions of the Dem-
ocrati Party.
Truman and Roosevelt are accused also of usurp-
ation and dictatorship. Nonsense. They have ex-
ercised the legitimate powers of the presidency
with vigor and within the constitutional frame-
work. The times are full of challenges from abroad,
and the president is responsible for the direction of
foreign policy: thus, his functions have naturally
and properly expanded. In domestic affairs, let no
one forget that the American people have repeat-
edly approved the New Deal and its works, and
that the Republicans failed to elect a president un-
til they promised not to dismantle it.
NO CATALOGUE of Republican inadequacies can
be complete without the mention of McCar-
thyism. The chief practitioner of that nauseating
creed, together with the great majority of his imi-
tators, are Republicans. And that Party has been
appallingly slow to recognize the 'cancerous nature
of his growth it has nourished.
The Republican Party-though, especially re-
cently, by no means all of its members-has
compromised with and winked at McCarthyism,
with its revolting armory of lies and totalitarian
practices, for the sake of whatever votes it can
get.
It was Sen. Taft who advised "Joe" to keep
bringing case after case, and if one doesn't work
to try another. Never mind that innocent reputa-
tions were being destroyed and the honor of the
Senate sullied, in the process of "bringing up case
after case."
Two days ago, Republican Governor Kohler of
Wisconsin revealed himself as the man who per-
suaded Candidate Eisenhower to omit from a Wis-
consin campaign speech a defense of Gen. Marshall
from the vicious slanders of "traitor" and "living
lie" hurled at him by McCarthy and his gang.
"After all," said the Governor, "when you visit the
Pope, you don't tell him what a great guy Martin
Luther is."
But when you encounter deliberate lies, con-
tempt of the law, naked greed for power in the
midst of your own party, common decency de-
mands that you speak out and eject the trans-
gressor from your midst.
The Republican Party, though moved to indigna-
tion over alleged Democratic failings, is slow to
the anger of the just in the case of Senator Joe.
When McCarthy was spewing his poison at the
Democrats alone, all was well; only when he turn-
ed against the Eisenhower Administration in the
case of Secretary Stevens did the Republicans do
much of anything about him-and even then, only
with great reluctance and after extreme provoca-
tion, including the vicious abuse of a distinguished
Army officer.
But Republican Senator Mundt still thinks "it's
all in the game" for McCarthy to receive classifie;
documents in defiance of the President and the
law. And the Republican leadership in the Senate
moved quickly to kill Senator Flanders' (R-Vt)
motion to kick McCarthy out of his committee
chairmanships. And the President seems unable to
pronounce the name of the Senator from Wiscon-
sin in the course of his occasional pleas for justice
and decency.

~Li
I
3 ' - li
~Tc~w
e~i7 141
Xtn{r
vo* -H

ON THE
WASHINGTON
MERRY-GO-HOUND

Modern Need for Strong Xe tte4
Atlantic Union Seen TO THEEDITOR

WASHINGTON - Despite back-
stage efforts to throttle it, one of
the most important Senate investi-
gations of the Eisenhower admin-
istration gets back into gear today.
It won't have the benefit of TV
cameras or radio coverage, and
it's being conducted on a shoe-
string. Nevertheless, the probe
goes into the strange reasons why
the President of the United States
should go over the heads of the
Atomic En e r g y commissioners,
which is most unusual, and order
them to sign a contract with a
private power firm without com-
peting bids, and when that contract
will cost the taxpayers at least
$100,000,000 more than if operated
by the government.
Those who would like to stop the
probe are Senators Dirksen of Illi-
nois and Hendrickson of New Jer-
sey, both Republican members of
the Judiciary committee which is
conducting the investigation.
Another senator who has reached
out a clammy hand to discourage
the probe is Senator Jenner of In-
diana, who is chairman of the
Rules committee which passes on
the funds for such probes. So far
the investigating subconmittee has
had so little money that it can
hire no investigators, not even sten-
ographers.
The work has been done almost
singlehandedly by Sidney Davis,
former law clerk of Justice Hugo
Black, whom Senator Langer of
North Dakota persuaded to come
down from New York to investi-
gate monopolies. Davis has been
so short of fundsbthat he has even
had to serve subpoenas himself-
quite a contrast to the army of
probers McCarthy has flung around'
the USA with his Senate appropri-
ation of nearly $200,000, plus pri-
vate financial support from friends.
Amazing Facts
Despite this handicap, however,
and with- the strong support of
Chairman Langer, a Republican,
the Senate committee has already
uncovered some amazing facts.
Here are some of them:
1. Pressure was brought by other
public utilities to make sure other
competing companies did not bid
for the atomic energy plant at
West Memphis; thus the Dixon-
Yates combine, which got the bid,
had an outright monopoly-thanks
to Eisenhower's personal order.
2. It was apparent that the pri-
vate utilities had made a deal with
t h e Eisenhower administration,
perhaps as early as a year ago,t o
put across this contract in order
to block further expansion of gov-
ernment power by the Tennessee
Valley Authority. Some congress-
men claim this was a payoff for
the private utilities' support given
the GOP during the 1952 campaign.
The strategy was so carefully pre-
pared that Eisenhowe actually
spelled out the Dixon-Yates plan
in his budget message last Jan-
uary.
3. The strategy of blocking TVA
was o n e reason for dumping
TV Administrator Gordon Clapp, a
nonpolitical career man who had
an excellent record and who was
immediately snatched up by New
York City at a higher salary to
handle its power problems. Eisen-
hower told congressmen in all ser-
iousness that he was thinking of
replacing Clapp with Bob Neyland,
football-baseball coach at Tennes-
see University, who obviously knew
little about power problems.
The way in which the utilities
. ... , . .4 F . ., . ...,. , - -

UlEW PEARSO Y
kow to prepare s 'Id on the West
Memphis plant. Suddenly, while
preparing the bid, Gibbs and Hill
walked out.
Questioned by senators as to why
Gibbs and Hill exited so suddenly,
Von Tresckow said that officials
of the company had come to see
him on May 6 and said they were
sorry but they had to pull out.
"Did Mr. Sloan (head of Gibbs
and Hill) tell you who was exerting
pressure on them?" asked Counsel
Davis. ,
"Yes," replied Von Tresnkow,
"that Mr. Dixon was exerting pres-
sure through Mr. England. And
Mr. England in Atlantic City was
one of their very good customers,
and the implications were that it
had been done also to other cus-
tomers of theirs, as well as sup-
pliers."
The Dixon referred to above was
the partner in the Dixon-Yates
combine which got the AEC con-
tract after competition was re-
moved; while England is president
of the Atlantic City Electrical
Company.
"Did they say anything about
pressure from electrical equipment
manufacturers or boiler manufac-
turers?" Davis asked.
"Generally, yes," replied V o n
Tresnkow, "w i t h o u t mention-
ing names."
When Sloan was called to the
witness stand, he aibied all over
the committee room, but finally
admitted that he withdrew from
his business arrangement with Von
Tresckow because of pressure from
other private utilities.
The senators also brought out
evidence showing that the Atomic
Energy Commission could h a v e
built the plant for at least $90,
000,000 less, when spread over the
life of the contract, under the Von
Tresckow proposal.
Furthermore, the power plant
at the end of the contract, would
have reverted to the United States
instead of becoming the property
of Dixon-Yates, as specified under
the contract which President EI-
SENHOWER ORDERED TO B
SIGNED.
These are some of the facts com
ing to light in one of the mos
significant probes of how the power
companies had subsidized teachers
paid for slanted textbooks, and fi
nanced c e r t a i n newspapers in
a drive to put their own powe
policies across on the nation.
Copyright, 1954, by the Bell Syndicate
Sixty-Fourth Year
Edited and managed by students o
the University of Michigan under th
authority of the Board in Control o
Student Publications.
Editorial Staff
Dianne AuWerter...Co-Managing Edito
Alice B. Silver....Co-Managing Edito
Becky Conrad ............Night Edito
Rona Friedman..........Night Edito
Waly Eberhard...........Night Edito
Russ AuWerter............Night Edito
Sue Garfield..........Women's Edito
Hanley Gurwin........... Sports Edito
Jack Horwitz......Assoc. Sports Edito
E. J. Smith........Assoc. Sports Edito
Business Staff
Dick Aistrom.........Business Manage
Lois Pollak........Circulation Manage
Bob Kovaks.......Advertising Manage
Telephone NO 23-24-1

By PROF. PRESTON SLOSSON
THE CHIEF trouble with the human race is that its social inven-
tions lag behind its technical inventions. In themselves, our so-
cial inventions, such as the home, the church, the school, the state,1
are quite as wonderful as any mechanical gadgets. But they are not1
so rapidly altered and adapted and improved. Americans who would
not be found dead in a 1925 automobile, or who would writhe with'
shame at having a 1951 TV set, still think that the political and eco-
nomic system worked out in the eighteenth century is good enough
for us, and for grandchildren. What nation would go to war with '
a 1900 battleship, or a 1930 airplane or tank? But the "nationa\ T
sovereignty" of Grotius, and the "state rights" of Calhoun, and the
"balance of power" of Mazarin, and the hemispheric isolation of Mon-
roe, not to mention the "protective" tariff of Clay, are plenty good t
enough for political life. t
Nor is Uncle Sam a sinner above all men. Quite the contrary. M
Europe is cluttered with still more antiquated concepts than these: i
medieval relics such as king, noble, and established church; primi p
tive, almost neanderthal, regimes such as dictatorship or rule by sheer
force without law or right; national feuds which have, at bottom, no n
a
more dignity than a family feud in the Great Smokies; a concept of o
"national honor" which is little more than a gangster's desire to keep n
other gangs afraid. The newly emancipated nations of Asia and Afri-
ca show not a whit more enlightenment than their former European v
rulers. India is very internationalist-unless you mention Kashmir; c
Egypt insists that Suez is not a world highway but a local national d
ditch; I'ido-China blithely leaps from the frying pan of French colon- m
ialism to the far more ardent fire of Russian despotism. c
Of course, a human race with any sense at all would have b
invented a league of nations before inventing gunpowder; would i
have established a world state before creating the atom bomb; b
and would, I may add, have developed unemployment Insurance f b
before the steam engine. But our human way is to do something a
with machines, watch the social consequences, and then try to w
patch up the damage; always locking the garage door AFTER If
the auto is stolen! Even then, the lock is often inadequate.
But it is no use simply to scold humanity and, in the manner of o
Shaw and Wells, demand a new and more sensible race of supermen.W
We are stuck with human nature and original sin for a long, long C
time, and merely railing at human folly does little good. The practi- t
cal statesman must see what can be done with the tools within reach. m
I could work out at ten hours notice a better constitution for a world t
state than any that is likely to be achieved this thousand years. (It e
would, of course, have some minor defects; but its only major defect! o
is that it would remain on paper and never go into effect.) I know
more than a hundred other professors and publicists and public men ti
who could do the same job, perhaps better than I could. Now, if an w
improved machine could so easily be devised, the patent office woulds
be besieged; the big corporations clamor for the rights of production; a
advertisers spread their copy to catch the consumer. But, while thew
maker of Emerson's "better mousetrap" becomes a millionaire; the o
advocate of international union and the abolition of war can take his]
choice between being scorned as a "Utopian dreamer," as an unpa-i
triotic and unamerican propagandist, or as a "wild-eyed radical." You h
see, mousetraps are serious business; politids and diplomacy are mere-m
ly a sort of game, with rules as old as the rules of chess. a
Yet we cannot safely rest content with the feeble devices which P
existing statescraft has managed (against any amount of unenlightenw
ed opposition) to create. The United Nations has many virtues, but it an
is not a means of enforcing peace, and never will be, so long as agres- t
sor governments retain the veto power. The NATO deserves our strong- s
est support, but it is merely an alliance, and alliances dissolve likef
cloudbanks, EDC is a great step forward but it is an army hanging fr
in the air without a real government behind it. All such precautions
may prove as unable to prevent a Third World War, as the League and p
the Locarno Pact and the Kellogg-Briand Pact were unable to prevent s'
a Second. Moreover, the despotic government and predatory poliy of't
Russia and her satellites postpone to an indefinite future date the1P
t transformation of the present United Nations into a real world feder-
ation. World unity, the only final answer to war, is no more possible d
with Malenkov than with Hitler.
Union must begin with those who are ready to unite. That is the
one indispensible condition. Granted some basic human rights, and
the freedom to make political choices by counting heads instead of'
breaking them, other national divergences are not insuperable ob-
stacles. Monarchies and republics have feaerated together, as in the
old Holy Roman Empire. Capitalist and socialist regimes can co-exist
in a federal system. The British Commonwealth contains samples of
nearly every race and degree of culture known to mankind. Switzer-
land has within its narrow bounds Protestant and Catholic cantons;
German, French, Italian, and Romansch-speaking cantons. Our own
United States is a melting pot of all peoples of Europe, and a goodishc
slice of Africa too. Nor need we take "Atlantic Union" too literally,.
Already the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, in spite of its name,Z
takes in Greece and Turkey which are many miles from the Atlantic.t
A union of nations willing to enter a permanent organization to keepj
peace might well include countries as far apart as New Zealand,
Israel, Uruguay, and Norway.t
The exact constitution of this federal union is a minor mat-
ter. In any event it will not be made by the neat schemes of
political scientists, but by the rough working compromises of
practical politicians. Probably there will be much overlapping.
The British Commonwealth may be a unit within It, and yet it-
self conist of other units such as Canada, containing still small-
er units such as Quebec. A great deal of the Union may lie with- N
In a west-continental-European customs zone, and still other s
r parts outside. Some colonies will doubtless belong to the Uniona
as a whole (as do our territories); others may, for reasons of
national sentiment or advantage, remain attached to particular

states. There will be, especially at first, more "functional" than U
r "structural" unity. (Just so, the German Zollverein preceded the P
German Reich). I doubt if any individual will be a "world presi- L
dent," except in some purely nominal and honorific way; more
probably the chief executive will be a Council, like the Swiss,
containing representatives of several states. There will have to
be some sore of law-making body; possibly with two chambers, g
so that one can represent population and the other national Yi
equality, but not necessarily following precisely thepattern of
our Congress.W
At first the powers of the Union will be jealously limited because B
the fetish of national sovereignty is still worshipped in most parts of0
f the world. The only absolute essential is that military and diplomatc
r power should be exercized only in permanent cooperation. No member
of the Union could retain the power of making war at its own discre-
tion, or of making alliances on its own account, or of refusing sup- T
port to the common decisions of the Union. No member of the Union i
r could refuse arbitration or mediation or oppose the decision of an in-P
r ternational court, if the alternative were war. There would doubt-v
r less be an international armed force, but in th'e beginning it mighte
r be smaller than the separate national armies (eventually the reverse'
r would be the case). But the political control of all these armies mustu
r be vested in the Union.
r Beyond this indispensible minimum there is the widest range foro
r experiment. Why should not the great international highways, such v
as Panama and Suez, be transferred to the Union? Why should notn
r the Union directly administer uninhabited lands (such as Antaro-
r tica); cosmopolitan ports; backward colonies; disputed border zones? i
r Could not steps be taken toward a Union coinage, a uniform passport,
system, a collective postal and expressage administration? Immediate

The Daily welcomes communica-
tions from its readers on matters of
general interest, and will publish all
letters which are sined by the wri-
ter and in good taste. Letters ex-
ceeding 300 words in length, defama-
tory or libelous letters, and letters
which for any reason are not in good
taste will he condensed, edited or
withheld from publication at the
discretion of the editors.
Sacrosanct ..
'o the Editor:
I AM AWED by the sacrosanct
attitude of Mayer Lodes who con-
ends that The Daily has no right
to criticize Senator Kit Clardy of
ficehiganzbecause the University
s a state school supported by the
eople who elected Clardy.
In addition to the opinion that
o one is exempt from analysis
nd criticism, I point to a few
ther items that Mr. Lodes has
obly overlooked.
The Daily is the voice of a Uni-
ersity which houses a large per
entage of outstate students who
on't know Kit Clardy from the
nan in the moon, and probably
are less. On what basis will it
e said that they cannot criticise
Kit Clardy. You cannot discrimi-
late against part of the student
ody just because they happen to
e residents of the state. This is
single heterogeneous community
where everyone is entitled to the
reedom of speech.
If Mr. Lodes must cling to his
pinion, please note that Kit Clardy
was not criticized in his specific
apacity as Senator from Michigan,
[e was analyzed as a member of
hle Un-American Activfties Com-
iittee, and this is certainly a na-
ional concern and not an affair
xclusively dealing with the State
f Michigan.
When one refers to Clardy's elec-
ion by the people of Michigan, it
would be well to remember that
ot everyone voted for Clardy. It
tands to reason, then, that there
re taxpayers opposed to him and
who are entitled to have their
pinions aired also.
The person of Kit Clardy very
much concerns the University since
is appearance along with the Coin-
nittee brought so much confusion
nd disgrace. Criticism, honest and
enetrating, never hurt anyone
willing to face the facts. If more
ewspapers had the intelligence
,nd freedom of the Michigan Daily,
he American public might not be
o apathetic and confused in the
face of their fast-disappearing
reedoms.
If Mr. Lodes is a Clardy sup-
'orter let him come out and say
o. But don't attribute the un-
ouchable status to fallible peo-
le just because they pay taxes;
money is not a prerequisite to wis-
om. C-Judy Gregory
Cedar Point, Ohio

A

r

DAILY
OFFICIAL
BULLETIN

The
failing
nation

Republicans are guilty of a great moral
in the case of Senator McCarthy, and the
may have long to suffer for it.
-Allan Silver

+ MUSIC +

The Daily Official Bulletin is an
official publication of the University
of Michigan for which the Michigan
Daily assumes no editorial responsi-
bility. Publication in it is construc-
tive notice to all members of the
University. Notices should be sent in
TYPEWRITTEN form to Room 3510
Administration Building before 3 p.m.
the day preceding publication.
WEDNESDAY, JULY 14, 1954
VOL. LXIV, No. 17S
Notices
Students, College of Engineering.
The final day for DROPPING COURS-
ES WITHOUT RECORD will be Friday, +
July 16. A course may be dropped only
with the permission of the Classifier
after conference with the Instructor.
University Terrace. A zero-bedroom
unit is available now to any person who
s married and has an academic ap-
pointment at the University. Contact G.
L.Hansen, 1060 Administration Build-
ng, or phone NO 3-1511, Ext. 2662.
Seniors: College of LS&A; and Schools
f Education, Music, and Public Health:
Tentative lists of seniors for August
graduation have been posted on the
Registrar's bulletin board in the first
floor corridor, Administration Building. C
Pleasc notify the Recorder at Registrar's
window number 1, 1513 Administration
Building if any changes in your name
or degree are necessary.
EDWARD G. GROESBFECK
Assistant Registrar
Free Art Classes will be held for the
following four Saturdays at 10 o'clock.
The work will be out-of-doors in sketch-
ng, painting in oils, water colors, and
pastels. All those desirous of entering
must register at Water's Book Store on,
Wednesday, July 14. The work is offer-
e by Margaret Dorman, a graduate
f the University in the field of Fine
A.rts. At the end of the session there
will be an exhibition of the work done.
Cerele Francais: The Summer Session
CecileFrancais will meet weekly on
Wednesday evening at 8:00 through the
month of July, in the Michigan League.
A varied program of music, talk, games,
and discussions is planned. These meet-
ings are open to all students and resi-
dents of Ann Arbor who are interested
in France and things French. No prev-
ious membership is necessary. All are
welcom~eCosuit the League bulletin

Rackham A uditorium..
ALICE EHLERS, Harpsichordist, playing the
Goldberg Variations of Johann Sebastian Bach.
THIS WAS one of the outstanding musical events
of the year, and, indeed, one which we shall
not often hear surpassed. Even a second rate per-
formance of this work would have been worth at-
tending, for it is one of the masterpieces of key-
board literature. It has everything: in its theme and
30 variations one can find a huge variety of carefully
delineated musical moods, with wonderfully exe-
cuted counterpoint, the most subtle rhythms in the
world (so it seems), and many surprisingly modern
twists and turns in the melodic and harmonic pat-
terns. Even today, over two centuries after its com-
position, the work is almost bewildering in the

terpretation. Far from allowing one or two formulae
to suffice for the whole performance, she let each
variation dictate its own interpretation. Thus, some
variations were played with the octave coupler for
added sonority, some without it. Some were executed
with a smooth legato touch almost throughout,
others with a skillful contrast of legato and stac-
cato. In Variation 19 she made use of the lute stop
with its delightful plucked-string sound. Madame
Ehlers' tempo rubato is a most interesting pheno-
menon. Her playing of Variation 13, for example,
would have horrified the "metronome school" of
Bach playing, but I, for one, found the lyric quality
of the piece enhanced by the rhythmic liberties
she took with it. Variation 11 was played with a
very slight rubato-just enough to remove any feel-
ing of stiffness from its even flow of sixteenth notes.
Madame Ehlers is not afraid of a sturdy ritard at

Back to Top

© 2021 Regents of the University of Michigan