Press: A General on Merry-Go-Round

  • Share
  • Read Later

(3 of 3)

Merry-Go-Round: Although one year has passed since General MacArthur drove the Bonus Army from the vacant lots on Pennsylvania Avenue, no start has been made to erect Government buildings on them. . . . This was the excuse given to get the BEF to evacuate. General: Meaning . . . that plaintiff's conduct toward said Veterans was unwarranted, unnecessary, arbitrary, harsh and brutal.

Wanted: $250,000.

Charge No. 7—

Merry-Go-Round: Harry Woodring, Assistant Secretary of War is becoming cautious. ... As he emerged from his last session [before the grand jury] . . . he was approached by a group of newspapermen. "Sorry," said Harry, "but General MacArthur has told me not to talk." NOTE: General MacArthur . . . is Woodring's subordinate but actually runs the War Department.

General: Meaning . . . that plaintiff was dictatorial, insubordinate and disrespectful toward his superior officer. . . .

Wanted: $250,000.

To Trial? If his suit goes to trial, the defense will doubtless put General MacArthur on the witness stand and cross-examine him in detail about his damaged dignity. Painfully aware that the country can easily be provoked to laughter by such an action, some of the general's brother officers on the General Staff begged him to drop his complaints. But he and his lawyers were adamant. Equally aware of the same ludicrous possibilities, Merry-go-Rounders Pearson & Allen engaged the most spectacular, publicity-wise lawyer to be found in Washington, dark, bombastic Ferdinand Pecora, investigator for the Senate Banking & Currency Committee. Hearst is represented by his resident counsel in Washington, distinguished Wilton John Lambert. United Features, a keenly interested spectator, called in the Scripps-Howard counsel, the law firm of Newton Diehl Baker, who, as Secretary of War, was General MacArthur's onetime chief. Numerous Senators, Representatives and one former Ambassador offered their legal services free to Pearson & Allen. Dozens of Washington newshawks were ready to swear that they had found the Chief of Staff "swaggering."

Editors throughout the land hoped for a trial, not only for its rich news value but for a test of the immunity, if any, of public officials from criticism of their public acts.

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. Next Page