Tuesday, October 19, 1943

The Charlotte News

Tuesday, October 19, 1943


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the entire Fifth Army had now crossed the Volturno River, effectively ending the battle for the Nazi defense line and placing the Allied troops astride the Tierno River, next objective on the road to Rome. Coinciding with a tribute by General Eisenhower to the "footslogger", the ordinary infantryman, the infantry had taken six towns, Gioia, Liberi, Faichio, Pontelatone, Albignano, and Bresso, all north of the Volturno.

On the Adriatic coast, the Eighth Army captured Montecilfone and Santo Stefano, representing a gain of about four miles against stiff German resistance.

Hal Boyle relates the story of an American citizen operating a jewelry store in Naples, reporting that his entire inventory of watches, worth $1,450, had been requisitioned by the Nazis as they evacuated the city, leaving him with but a worthless piece of paper. For that, he had but one word to describe them: "Thieves!"

The RAF again bombed Berlin utilizing Mosquito bombers as a large raid also took place the previous night on Hannover. Seventeen bombers did not return. The most likely target, as in all previous raids on Hannover, was the Continental Gummiwerke, a principal rubber manufacturer for the Reich.

Both the RAF and American Air Forces were now aiding the Partisans in Yugoslavia with bombing raids on German strongholds there.

Secretary of State Hull began meeting in Moscow with British Foreign Minister Anthony Eden and Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov. Reading the tea leaves from the personnel present in support of the foreign ministers, the reports predicted that the focus of the meeting would be on settlement of the issue of Russia's post-war boundaries.

The conference would precede by five weeks a similar meeting of the heads of state for each country for the first time jointly.

On the Russian front, amid dust storms, the Red Army engaged in fierce fighting with the Germans in and around Melitopol, gateway to the Crimea. To the north, another contingent of Soviet troops gained four miles beyond the Dneiper River bend from captured Zaporozhe, threatening to join the eastward moving troops against Melitopol.

Frenchmen hiding in the Upper Savoy Province of southeastern France, seeking to avoid deportation to Germany to be used as forced labor, were engaged in bitter fighting with German forces. The French had been virtually wiped out by 400 Nazis with machineguns and armored cars.

In the Pacific, three Japanese troop barges attempting to land at Finschhafen on New Guinea were repulsed and largely destroyed, two having been sunk, by the Australians holding the city and airbase since October 2.

A report from the Navy indicated that American submarines, plying even into Japanese home waters, had sunk or damaged 460 Japanese vessels since the beginning of the war.

On the domestic front, the House Ways and Means Committee, led by reluctant Democrats in combination with its entire Republican membership, killed the Administration's proposed tax bill to raise individual and corporate taxes to add 10.5 billion dollars to the revenue stream of the country. The Committee also appeared ready to make short shrift of the proposed alternative to help pay for the war, the national sales tax.

--Hell, let the next generation pay for it. We got enough taxes. All they do all day is sit around puling and drooling over their milk bottles anyway.

Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins reported that in August, average weekly wages ranged between $34.39 for non-durable manufactured goods and $49.61 for durable goods, an increase of 1.6 percent over July. The average work week spanned 45 hours.

Coal miners were earning $45.52 to $46.24 per week.

On the editorial page, "Our Planes" finds a statistic released by OWI, that 1,867 American planes had been lost since the beginning of the war while American planes had destroyed 7,312 enemy planes, indicative of vast technical superiority of American aircraft and military equipment generally. The glowing report came about a year after American planes were coming under criticism for being too slow when compared to the British Spitfire. Nevertheless, the numbers didn't lie. Despite the American Air Forces being divided among the branches, they were, in combination, still the most formidable air armada in existence across the world.

"Profiteers" applauds the investigation into rent gouging by landlords renting at a premium to soldiers training at Morris Field in Charlotte.

"Reprimand" supports the attack by the London press corps on the five returning globe-trotting Senators for their stirring antipathy among the Allies by such antics as waxing critical against Britain for not paying enough in return for Lend-Lease, seeking an investigation of Lend-Lease repayments, and suggesting that Russia ought allow America use of its Eastern bases from which to launch attacks on Japan in exchange for opening a second front in Europe.

Says the piece, "[I]f, after the triumph over Germany and Japan, we permit men like Henry Cabot Lodge to rail in the Senate, we will have lost as miserably as we lost in 1918." It goes on to describe metaphorically the five Senators as termites eating away the timber of the United Nations.

Senator Lodge, who had already seen active duty in 1942 in North Africa, would quit his Senate seat in early 1944 and return to active duty for the duration. The scion of the Cabot and Lodge families, serving the country and Massachusetts since the founding, would successfully run for the other Massachusetts Senate seat in 1946 but would be permitted by the people of Massachusetts to serve but the one additional term before being beaten in 1952 by Congressman John F. Kennedy.

"The Passing" offers that the need for the Civilian Defense program for the war had largely dissipated as the likelihood of air attack within the United States had become quite remote. It was no longer worth the money to maintain it and thus the piece calls for a relaxation locally of its attendant strictures.

Sometime letter writer Edna Hendricks of Dallas, N.C. provides praise to the recent News editorial suggesting Senators Ellender and Nye playing magpies, as well the piece which had criticized Senator Burton Wheeler for his positions hearkening back to the days of his isolationism prior to Pearl Harbor.

Ms. Hendricks also has praise for Dorothy Thompson's criticism of the returning five Senators, equates the five to the Israelite spies of the Bible sent out by Moses to give a report on their native land, only two of whom having come back with favorable tidings.

Dorothy Thompson discusses the recent indications from the Senate that it would pass a resolution favoring United States participation in a post-war international organization to preserve the peace. She praises the Senate for its progressive outlook on the matter and the Administration for not being too picky on the particular wording of the resolution, thus avoiding the mistake made by President Wilson in insisting that the Senate approve all of the treaty, including the controversial portion anent sanctions, to establish U.S. membership in the League of Nations.

Samuel Grafton calculates it an absurdity for some of the Senators returning home to be suggesting that America should obtain some of the territory held prior to the war by the British and the Dutch in the East Indies. Why should they turn over their territory to the United States when the British were fighting alone against Germany for over two years? Until it would become clear that America intended the bases for assurance of world security and not just American security, it was a request made coquettishly.

Drew Pearson assesses the advantage to the Allies in gaining from Portugal rights to allow the British to maintain anti-submarine bases in the Azores. Mr. Pearson believes it a strategic coup, to prevent a likely concentration of U-boats in the Gibraltar Strait to inhibit Allied shipping into the Mediterranean for supplying both the Italian Campaign and the Burma-India theater through the Suez Canal.

U-boats now had torpedoes, he informs, which could explode not only on actual impact but also by coming within the magnetic field emitted by a ship's steel hull or by sensing the vibration produced by a ship's engines. The wolfpacks would likely be busy harassing convoys around Gibraltar, especially as the northern Atlantic route to Great Britain was now virtually secure against concentrated U-boat menace. Thus, the Azores were a prize gift to the Allies.

He also tells of the rise in price soon to take effect on strawberry jam as fruit prices--not to mention the lengths of skirts--were being hiked.

Finally, he examines the proposal of Pan American Airways to have a giant corporation composed of all airlines seeking rights to overseas air lanes. The idea of such a monopoly was opposed by the Civil Aeronautics Board for its tendency, among other things, to eliminate ordinary competitive tensions which generally would provide better and cheaper service for the public.

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