Wednesday, October 20, 1943

The Charlotte News

Wednesday, October 20, 1943


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the Germans had abandoned the Volturno River Valley and moved north six miles to the town of Mondragone and onto the high Massico Ridge on a line to Venafro, wreaking havoc in their wake as they followed a scorched earth method of retreat, including the murder of Italian civilians.

The Fifth Army occupied Pignataro, Roccaromana, and Dragoni, giving them territory eleven miles north of the Volturno.

Still encountering heavy resistance from the newly reinforced Nazis along the Adriatic coast, the Eighth Army captured Petacciato, nine miles west of Termoli.

In the Pacific, American airmen again attacked Rabaul on New Britain, destroying 60 Japanese planes and sinking two warships.

From the Chinese front came the report that the Japanese had been prevented in hand to hand fighting and cross-river exchanges of artillery fire at Luku from crossing the Salween River, entry point to southwest China. The Japanese had in consequence spread troops north and south along the river's west bank.

A Swedish dispatch indicated from Berlin that the previous 24 hours had been the darkest thus far in the war for Germany in Russia as the Russians gave no quarter in continuing to push the Germans back along the Eastern front. The Russians had broken through at Kremenchug, leaving the Germans but one line of retreat in the Dneiper River bend, that at Krivoi Rog. South of Gomel and north and south of Kiev in the Ukraine, the Russians continued to make gains.

Yugoslav Partisans had thwarted an attempt by Germans to land on the Dalmatian coast and on two islands in the Adriatic.

An American raid took place on unnamed targets in West Germany during the day, the first American raid since the successful Schweinfurt mission of October 14. The raid followed by a day an announcement by General Hap Arnold, Chief of Staff of the Army Air Force, that American fliers were prepared to lose 25% of their forces on each mission provided a target was deemed of sufficient importance.

It was announced that a South American substitute for the quinine lost to the Japanese in the East Indies had been discovered, albeit necessary to be administered in larger doses than quinine for the same results. Quinine was crucial in fighting malaria.

On the editorial page, "Our Spirit" contends that, contrary to statements attributed Count Sforza, recently returned to Sicily from his twenty-year exile as an anti-Fascist, the spirit of a country is insufficient to achieve and maintain peace. The Count, as indicated by Raymond Clapper, had asserted that as long as a country had a democratic spirit, no matter the planning, things would work out. The editorial begs to differ, suggesting that another Mussolini could entreat those of the right spirit nevertheless to follow him to the precipice. People tend to live with blinders in place until world events propel them to act, bringing home the imminent threat of personal death in war.

Spirit without planning for the post-war world would only repeat the mistakes made after the Armistice ending World War I. The return to normalcy, ignoring in suffusion of downy comfort the propulsion of time toward the future, averting eyes from the many unhappy men returning to Germany with their spirits crushed and tempest tossed by loss in war, had quickly allowed, in absence of constructing the strong pinions of peace, the foundation layers painted for the next war.

Raymond Clapper appears to have viewed the matter somewhat differently, believing that an optimistic spirit would redound to imbue the people with the will to achieve peace in the post-war world, that a return to an isolationist view would result in a repeat of the history of the prior 20 years.

"Little Victory" remarks on the Supreme Court's allowing to stand a lower court ruling finding it unconstitutional, in violation of freedom of speech, for the War Labor Board to have issued a directive denying an employer the right to speak to employees about joining a union. The editorial applauds the decision and believes that such issues would likely define, more than either the war leadership of FDR or his past performance leading the country from the Great Depression to new prosperity, his popularity with the electorate in 1944.

The piece suggests that the President therefore should pay attention to the decision and understand from it that Americans were not in favor of any form of restriction or regimentation at the time.

It should be noted, however, that the Supreme Court merely denied a petition for writ of certiorari. It did not therefore decide the case one way or the other. That does not equate necessarily to approval tacitly of the lower court decision; it only indicates that the Court did not deem the issues presented by the case important enough or clearly defined enough to accept it for review. A petition also may be denied simply for unstated procedural problems with the manner in which it is presented to the Court.

"Mr. Willkie" reminds that, despite Wendell Willkie's apparent favor among rank-and-file Republicans in the race for the 1944 presidential nomination among the declared candidates, he was opposed by the political bosses of the party. He also would be bucking a tradition of not re-nominating a defeated candidate. The Republicans had never done so, even if Theodore Roosevelt, had he lived, likely would have received the nomination instead of Warren G. Harding in 1920.

The Republicans would not do so this time either as the favorite in the popularity polls, Thomas Dewey, despite protestations too much that he had no ambition to run, would become the nominee--not just in 1944, but in 1948 as well, making him the first, but not the last, non-incumbent Republican to win the nomination of his party twice, albeit still the only one to be so nominated twice in succession. Adlai Stevenson would duplicate the feat for the Democrats in 1952 and 1956, as had William Jennings Bryan before him, nominated three times.

"Running Wild" elucidates the corruption extant in the government war contract business, as informed by the Comptroller General Lindsay Warren. Mr. Warren wanted more power to stop the corrupt practices whereby manufacturers wined and dined War Department officials in order to gain favorable nods on war contracts and to obtain government loans for reconversion to peacetime industry at war's end.

Samuel Grafton denigrates the proposal by Senator Butler of Nebraska to investigate Lend-Lease. That a chickenís heart could be plucked still beating from the chest of the chicken and kept alive for years was not nearly so remarkable, says Mr. Grafton, as the proposal of the Senator to investigate Lend-Lease apart from the results it had achieved among the Allies since it was signed into law in March, 1941.

The simple answer to the Senator's questions enunciated regarding the efficacy of Lend-Lease was that it had saved American lives. The fairness of demanding payment in kind for the aid diminished to a mere cipher when so considered.

Drew Pearson suggests that Cordell Hull might take a leaf from which to learn out of the manual of Ambassador Concheso of Cuba who managed to gain an audience with Stalin and came away with vivid impressions of how the Russian Premier saw the world.

Mr. Pearson also tells of a man named Dean, assistant director of the Bureau of Mines, objecting that the War Production Board was using a dictaphone surreptitiously to record telephone conversations of unsuspecting parties talking with members of the Board.

Mr. Dean might have said to Col. E.F. Jeffe that there was a cancer growing on the War Production Board, and that the boil it had produced had quickly to be lanced.

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