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James M. Fenwick

Off Limits

(5 January 1948)

From Labor Action, Vol. 12 No. 1, 5 January 1948, p. 3.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the ETOL.

It Says in the Paper ...

The Veterans Administration, which, if it does nothing else, certainly cranks out the statistics, recently estimated that by the year 2000 there will be 3,400,000 World War II veterans still alive.


The foregoing figure was obviously computed on the basis of the next fifty years being ones of peace. That business and the military do not quite see the coming years as being of that character is demonstrated daily in the press.

According to the New York Times, for instance, the biggest brass in the armed forces has been holding quiet conferences with leading capitalists throughout the country. The most recent conference was held at Omaha, with 600 representatives of business in attendance. Similar conferences have previously been held in Seattle and Chicago.

Maj. Gen. Everett S. Hughes, chief of ordnance, stated that “one of the major purposes of the meeting was to enable the military and industrialists to get acquainted and understand common problems.” One of the problems taken up was the dispersion of important industry to, the mid-west.


Newsweek reports that a full-scale “educational” campaign to sell universal military training to the country is about to be launched. Former Associate Justice Owen Roberts of the Supreme Court, and other citizens not obviously tied to big business, will front the campaign. UMT, as currently planned, would train 1,000,000 young men a year at an annual cost of $1,500,000,000.


While money for political and military purposes can be spent without a noticeable howl arising from the capitalist class, the national housing program remains completely stalled. A housing conference has been called by Representatives Javits and Kennedy, and others, to be held in Washington in early March.

“We are not mad at anybody, and we hope nobody is mad at us,” said Mr. Javits, declaring that it was not proposed “to hold anything like a protest meeting.”

Labor veterans’ committees and the AVC please note.


Further note on the veterans’ post-war world, from the New York Times for December 4, 1947: “The need for doctors in physical medicine for the Veterans Administration ‘continues to be acute,’ and there probably will be shortages in this field for the next four or five years, Dr. A. Ray Dawson, assistant medical director of the VA’s Physical Medicine Rehabilitation Service, declared here yesterday.”


Officers and Gentlemen All

“ATLANTA, Ga., Dec. 21. – Maj. Gen. Leland S. Hobbs, deputy commander of the Third Army, said today that Col. Hugh A. Adair, commander of the Camp Gordon disciplinary barracks at Augusta, Ga., would be transferred in January, but emphasized that charges of brutality there had nothing to do with the change.”

“WASHINGTON, Dec. 15. – The Air Force indicated today it has adopted a policy of watchful waiting with respect to one of its farmed-out generals and two former colonels who are under fire ... for accepting priority deliveries on new automobiles arranged through the influence of a W.A.A. contractor.”

“WASHINGTON. Dec. 21. – The Army announced yesterday that American occupation forces in Germany are under searching investigation on sensational charges of ‘black marketing, customs violation and similar misconduct ...’

“... it was believed the investigation would cover reports that high-ranking officers, including a general, were engaging in profiteering that would rival the activities of Maj. Gen. Bennett E. Meyers.”

“NEWPORT, R.I., Nov. 30. – Brig. Gen. Ralph C. Tobin, 57, U.S. Army, retired, became the adopted son and heir today of Mrs. Hamilton Fish Webster, 80, childless socialite whose husband died in 1939 leaving her a fortune of $1,250,000.”

From Newsweek, Dec. 22: “Secretary Forrestal is urging Truman to ask a pay raise of about 25 per cent for Army and Navy officers.”


With the veterans organizations: According to the Veterans’ Bulletin of the UAW the “VFW showed a loss of 685,000 members in the past year.” ... The American Legion’s Veterans’ Homestead Bill was recently subjected to an analysis by Charles Abrams, New York Post housing adviser, who concluded: “The bill is a menace, but one or two clauses may be worth salvaging, it should be redrawn and made part of the TEW bill. And it’s time the Legion made its choice between housing its vets or fattening the real estate boys.” ... Over the clang of the pin-ball machines Warren Wright, national Americanism chairman of the Amvets, recently raised his voice to announce a drive against radicals in veterans’ organizations. “They are usually good speakers,” he said. “By practiced oratory and by knowledge of floor procedure they hope to stampede the rank and file membership. Then, too, they make ample donations to win favor.” That’s how to tell us reds, Warren – look for the big money boys.

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