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James M. Fenwick

Off Limits

Dangerous Times, Mate

(4 October 1948)

From Labor Action, Vol. 12 No. 40, 4 October 1948, p. 3.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the ETOL.

These are dangerous times we live in, mate. Even the most casual act can be fraught with peril. The other day, for instance, we dropped into the five and ten to buy a comb. There amid the combs made of various new plastics was one group labeled “GUARANTEED NON-EXPLOSIVE!” We bought one quickly and got the hell out before a chain reaction let go at the notions counter.


“Concrete plans,” says the Times, “for a military ‘Atlantic Pact’ that in event of war would pool the global resources of the United States and Canada with those of Britain, Prance, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg have made rapid progress here in the last few weeks ...” Points covered were: “the overall coordination of strategy, plans for the standardization of arms, plans for common supply of material and plans for joint use of overseas bases ...”

Using the excuse of “military security” (a phrase which at the present rate of utilization is going to serve as the epitaph of civilization) the sessions were shrouded in secrecy from the very people who will pay for the war in the dearest sense. The leaders of both the Democratic and Republican parties, however, were informed as to what took place—after the fact, of course. On the question of the slaughter of the peoples the Democratic and Republican party find it very easy to compose their differences.

The dispatch pointedly notes that no public announcement of the pact will be made until after the November elections. This is being done so as not to furnish propaganda material to Wallace, who is trading upon the war fears of millions of people in order to further his program of, appeasement of Russian imperialism.

This plan, says the dispatch, consists of “defense arrangements” and will be taken out of the blueprint stage only “in the event of war.”

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