2 OCTOBER 1942, Page 2

Mr. Roosevelt and Congress

"The perfect politician," says an American aphorism, "never opposes a new appropriation and never supports a new-tax." With elections pending in November for one-third of the Senate and the whole of the House of Representatives, the members of the United States Legislature have been behaving like a body of perfect politicians. President Roosevelt sees where that road must end—in inflation ; and as supreme executive officer of the nation he is concerned to stop it. Hence the growing divergence between him and Congress, which has come to a head over the question of statutory farm prices. Ever since he took office Mr. Roosevelt had been known as tfie farmers' friend, and no American statesman had treated them more generously. It is the more significant that he should now be resisting their claims to a raising of farm prices, which would, he says, constitute " an immediate threat to the whole price structure " of the United States. The issue is joined over a Government Bill, to which both Houses of Congress passed the farmers' amendments. The Senate, however, have accepted an amended form of the Administration formula, and with this modifi- cation the Bill goes back to the House of Representatives. Unless a compromise is reached it will fall to the President to take the matter into his own hands. It seems to be generally expected that the Supreme Court would support him if he did—presumably in terms which would lay stress on the state of war, and not create a precedent for peace-time Presidents.