Friday, October 29, 1943

The Charlotte News

Friday, October 29, 1943


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that, amid a driving rain, the Fifth Army managed to gain three miles in the Sparanise area of Italy, threatening the road junction town of Teano, east of Mt. Massico and 94 miles southeast of Rome. To the northeast in the Raviscanina area, other Allied contingents consolidated positions on the high ground along the Upper Volturno, overlooking the roads leading to Venafro.

Two miles north of the Trigno River on the Adriatic coast, the Eighth Army, also fighting heavy rain and mud, clashed with the Germans at San Salvo, overlooking the river. Fifteen miles to the east, another contingent occupied Montefalcone, and further east, another force captured Molise.

Don Whitehead details the action of the Fifth Army on October 26, behind the "rolling thunder" of a morning artillery barrage and advance bombing, taking steep 1,600 foot slopes against heavy German resistance in the Upper Volturno line.

A Navy communique from Admiral William Halsey's headquarters in the Pacific confirmed an earlier Japanese report that American planes, warships, and American and New Zealand infantry troops had taken the Treasury Islands, thirty miles south of Bougainville, the last Japanese stronghold in the Solomons. The operation on the two coral reefs comprising the islands, Mono and Stirling, was led by Rear Admiral Theodore S. Wilkinson.

President Roosevelt declared the foreign ministers conference at Moscow a success and indicated that formal documents of agreement were being prepared. His belief that Russia wished to cooperate in a peaceful post-war world had been confirmed by the conference.

He also asserted that the resolution pending before the Senate to authorize U.S. membership in a post-war international organization to preserve the peace and prevent aggression should be approved, but declined to indicate whether the proposed Connally Resolution was sufficiently strong to accomplish the desired goals for such an organization.

The President also declined to indicate whether the Government would seize the coal mines as in the spring in response to the new coal crisis after the rejection by the UMW of the War Production Board's proposed $1.12.5 daily wage increase, a raise from a dollar per hour for seven hours of work to include an extra hour and a half of compensated time at 75 cents per hour for portal to portal transportation. Fully 77,000 miners had gone on strike in the bituminous coal industry.

As discussed the previous day by Drew Pearson, King George II of Greece was headed back to Cairo from Syria and a decision appeared imminent as to whether he would accept the call of his Cabinet to renounce power once Athens was liberated pending a plebiscite to determine the will of the Greek people on the desired form of government, a condition demanded by guerilla leaders who met with the Cabinet recently in Cairo.

Herr Doktor Goebbels proclaimed, in his best Scarecrow costume, that the Allies had set November 11 as the date for Germany's collapse but that there had been no signs that the goal would be met.

From Japan, it was reported that Seigo Nakano, extreme militarist member of the Japanese Diet and venomously anti-American, had killed himself by severing his jugular vein after hearing the speech Wednesday night of General Tojo. The speech had predicted ultimate victory for Japan. Honorable Nakano had his own ideas, probably listening instead to Emperor Hirohito who saw a troubled time at hand for Japan. Nakano left a note: "I gaze at Japan and die, but I have no regrets."

Hal Boyle reports further on the "le marche noir" besetting Algeria a year after the Allied invasion, where most things could still be had, but only at a steep price. Otherwise, food and clothing, even such incidentals as wrapping paper, matches, and antiseptic cotton, were scarce.

And all the young ladies of the country could relax as the handsome phiz of Clark Gable returned unscathed from the war.

On the editorial page, "Evil Echoes" chronicles the pattern of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee vote in 1943 on joining a post-war international organization to keep the peace, reminiscent of the 1919-20 debate and vote on approval of U.S. membership in the League of Nations, its ultimate defeat in the Senate because of reservations added to the condition of membership, reservations rejected by President Wilson who wanted the U.S. to have unconditional membership.

For instance, Senator Lodge of Massachusetts, though an early advocate in 1915 for joining a "League to Enforce Peace", had led the fight in 1920 to join the League only with the reservations. Now, his grandson sat in the Senate.

"Our Shame" quotes recent Senate testimony of Herbert Agar, formerly of the Louisville Courier-Journal, recommending that the poll tax finally be eliminated by an act of Congress, that it denied freedom to the poor and blacks and thereby rejected the American ideal, that for which the soldiers and sailors fought abroad.

The poll tax was still extant in eight Southern states, reminds the editorial. Each of those states had an abysmal turn-out at the polls in the Congressional elections of 1942, ranging from only one to five percent of the population. North Carolina, one of three Southern states to have abandoned the poll tax, did little better in rate of turn-out, only nine percent. The majority of the states had turned out at a rate of at least 25 percent.

The South, concludes the piece, needed to do better in voting to overcome what effectively was a system of government based on something other than democratic weal, more in the nature of a monarchy.

Samuel Grafton looks disapprovingly at the incongruity of those internationalists who on the one hand supported vigorously the idea of a post-war United Nations organization while on the other refusing to stand with the President on the establishment of food subsidies to keep down food prices and prevent inflation in consequence from running rampant throughout the economy, in turn hampering the war effort. It was to say that intentions for the future were the gage by which conscientious support for peace should be determined, despite intentions for the present being contra a salutary result in the war itself.

Raymond Clapper, as he listens to the debate in the Senate on the Connally Resolution, points out the significance to the Allied effort of Russia's continuing success on the Eastern front, occupying and decimating fully 300 German divisions.

By comparison, in Sicily, the Sixth American and Eighth British armies had faced but three and a half German divisions and about twelve practically useless Italian divisions. Yet, it took five weeks to win there despite the elimination of effective enemy air and naval resistance.

In Italy, there were a little more than twenty German divisions fighting the Fifth and Eighth armies. Mr. Clapper thinks it would take perhaps four or five months to complete the task of conquering all of Italy.

The Allied bombing raids against Germany, by the Eighth U.S. Air Force and the RAF, would be strengthened in coming months, made more effective by longer range fighter planes to protect the four-motors and by the acquisition of closer bases in Italy, such that increased frequency of raids with fewer losses, in combination with the Russian successes, might force the Nazis to acquiesce to increasing demands of the German people to end the war.

These were the things Mr. Clapper says he contemplated while he listened despairingly to the Senate debate drone on regarding whether language in the resolution should insist on an international police force to enforce the post-war peace or was to be couched only in general terms.

Drew Pearson devotes most of his column to the efforts of the Administration to aid ailing small business. At one time, says Mr. Pearson, 69 percent of the war business was in the hands of six companies, DuPont, General Motors, Curtiss-Wright, Bethlehem Steel, Newport News Shipbuilding, and New York Shipbuilding. The problems of evaporating small businesses, unable to compete during the war with the industrial giants, promised to continue after the war unless abated by strong government regulation and redistribution of profits across the various industries which had grown fat during the war.

Many in the Government had already tried and all thus far had met with limited success in the face of interdepartmental jealousies and Army and Navy reluctance to let go of the more efficient large manufacturers for delivering war goods.

Mr. Pearson also relates of carrier pigeons being found to return to the coop 25% faster when egged on by the vision of their mate being wooed by a rival male.

Jealousy carried the war messages 25% faster.

It reminds of the report on page sixteen of The News of December 6, 1941 on the sparrows of California, suffering from the reverse problem when migrating south.

To progress, all the birds had sold out, even probably the birds of Bimini and the swallows of San Juan Capistrano.

That's what you get with all that progressivism.


And still later...

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