26 JANUARY 1945, Page 2

The Fourth Term

The inaugural of an American President could never be negligible, but there can have been few inaugurals in history so brief and unambitious as President Roosevelt's last Saturday. The wise decision to curtail the inaugural ceremony and dispense with all pageantry was perhaps due not merely to war-time austerity, but to a desire to avoid accentuating a fourth-term re-election for which the war alone could furnish justification. The reiteration of the President's gospel of interdependence, and his quotation of Emer- son's saying that "the only way to have a friend is to be one "— the good-neighbour policy, in other words—must have fallen on more receptive• ears than seemed likely a few weeks ago. The

endorsement by the Republican Party's national chairman of Senator Vandenberg's speech demanding firm action to curb German aggres- sion, and a military alliance between the principal United Nations, has left isolationism hamstrung. International co-operation is the national policy of the United States, not the policy of a party. That con- siderably strengthens the President's hands. So from another point of view does the fact that he has no longer to be thinking of the chances of re-election and cannot be suspected of seeking it. But the President still has problems In the domestic sphere, and they start with trouble in the Senate this week over his nomination of Mr. Henry Wallace to be Secretary of Commerce in place of Mr. Jesse Jones—who is bitter about being displaced, particularly by Mr. Wallace, and has no hesitation about saying so. The appoint- ment has to be confirmed by the Senate, and in all likelihood will be, but not without a lively and probably unedifying discussion. Mr. Wallace was fteated hardly in not being adopted as candidate for Vice-President, and it is in the country's interest as well as his own that he should be given Cabinet office.