Tuesday, November 30, 1943

The Charlotte News

Tuesday, November 30, 1943


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the Eighth Army had driven four miles forward from the Sangro River to crack the German winter defense line on its Adriatic end, capturing the Sangro Ridge southwest of the river, widening their bridgehead to twelve miles while pushing the Nazis out of the town of Mezzagrogna.

The Fifth Army fought ahead one mile to take Castelnuovo in the area of Falconara Mountain, northwest of Montaquila.

In Russia, the Red Army was reported to be making progress in each of six sectors, three in the Ukraine and three in White Russia. Of the six, the most progress was made in the Zhlobin area, northwest of recently captured Gomel.

The American Eighth Air Force conducted daylight raids on undisclosed targets in Western Germany while the RAF performed Mosquito raids on the same area the previous night. The combined raids for the month had numbered 21, one short of the record for the war set in August.

In the Pacific, General MacArthurís forces, in an offensive begun Saturday, advanced to within one mile of their next objective at Bonga, northeast of Sattelberg, taken four days earlier.

Former University of Michigan All-American fooball player Tom Harmon was rescued for the second time since April, this time in China, having been shot down in his fighter plane by Japanese Zeroes October 30 in the vicinity of Kiukiang, a port on the Yangtze River. He had been rescued from the South American jungles the previous April after having been shot down there.

For the first time, German authorities admitted atrocities, even while seeking to justify them as properly retaliatory for sixteen killings of Germans by Polish Patriots. At least 1,200 people had been shot by the Nazis, most comprising two entire villages which were wiped out in Poland.

In conjunction with Prime Minister Churchill's 69th birthday, it was officially stated for the first time that he was attending a tri-power conference in Cairo. That conference, with FDR and Chiang Kai-shek, had ended Saturday. Another report out of Reuters, however, confirmed accurately that the Prime Minister and FDR had proceeded to Iran to meet with Stalin.

Berlin radio had already echoed the report.

Hal Boyle reports of the various observations on war by sketch artist George Biddle, brother to Attorney General Francis Biddle, accompanying the troops since April, in Tunisia, in Sicily, and now in Italy, making the crossing of the Volturno River in October with the Fifth Army while under heavy fire.

And Private John Waters of Chicago Heights, Illinois was sentenced to hang by an Army court martial at Henley-on-Thames in Oxfordshire, England, after being found guilty of the July 14 murder of Doris Staples.

It was too bad that he was not in the Navy.

On the editorial page, "The Squeals" finds CIO president Philip Murray much too eager to react to any form of hindrance to Labor. In one instance, he had complained of the new tax bill, not that it was too small to pay for the war, but that it had unfairly made tax-exempt organizations, including unions, pay some taxes. In another case Mr. Murray had refused to testify before Congress regarding the labor practices at Brewster Aeronautics Corporation, being investigated for its sloth in turning out war planes. He would not stoop to answering questions which impugned the integrity of Labor.

"The May Act" finds reasonable the Army's invocation of the law to start an investigation of vice in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, vice which had led to the highest incidence of venereal disease of any Army base in the country.

"A Rival" reports that Britain had suffered from 1,281 strikes involving 396,000 workers, almost as many as in the United States during 1943. Thus, despite the labor woes of the previous eight months, especially with the coal miners, they had to be maintained relative to Britain, much closer to the battlefronts. Chief cause suggested for the labor unrest in Britain was inefficient government mediation.

"The Thirsty" remarks on a finding by a Winston-Salem commissioner that North Carolinians had spent eleven million dollars during 1943 on liquor, spending twice as much per gallon in the 75 dry counties as in the 25 wet counties while consuming only half as much in the former. By comparison, overall State government expenditures were 35 percent less. The piece concludes that no matter the times or the scarcity of liquor, North Carolinians still liked to drink.

Dorothy Thompson decries the effort of a New York newspaper to urge its readers to write demanding that Congress recommend the court martial of General Patton. She finds it part and parcel of a growing trend which had subverted democratic weal, the tendency of politicians to pay too much attention to polls and lobbying efforts of special interests in the process of governance. Opines Ms. Thompson, the original concept of the republic, to elect public officials based on enunciated policy goals and then for those office holders to seek those goals regardless of shifting public opinion and lobbying pressure, had been gradually eroded by this process.

But, notwithstanding modern trends, the military was not intended as a democratic institution, but one in which hierarchical chains of command reign supreme. It was strictly up to the military, therefore, not to public opinion, what should be done to discipline General Patton.

Samuel Grafton examines three more examples of what he used to call obscurantism, but which, to appease the less lexicographically and orthographically gifted, he had now simplified merely to "double-talk".

Among the double talk: A newspaper had plumped for free postage for soldiers while being against the food subsidy which would allow food prices to soar, causing the soldier's family at home to suffer; the same Republicans who assailed the prospect of a candidacy for Wendell Willkie because of his foreign policy stance favoring internationalism being too close to that of the President, also wanted identical foreign policy planks in the platforms of the two parties; and, the same advocates who wanted Russia to grant the U.S. use of its bases to attack Japan advocated joining with Britain in an alliance to protect against post-war Soviet expansionism.

Drew Pearson looks at the testimony of Army Air Force Chief of Staff Hap Arnold before Congress, being grilled as to why more planes were not reaching the fronts given that 8,000 per month were being produced. The British had more planes in action than the Americans despite substantially higher American production. Why?

General Arnold explained that the primary cause was the mandatory 500 hours of training stateside for each pilot and crew before entering combat. Because the Nazis had a low reserve of pilots, they only required 150 hours, rendering the reserve that much lower. Additionally, accidents occurred during training stateside, destroying planes and killing pilots. The transportation time for planes to be shipped overseas also curtailed the numbers which could be delivered.

Mr. Pearson then relates of the arrival of General Mark Clark at a landing field in Italy, only to find, strictly against regulations, a baseball game transpiring on the landing strip. The general's plane was forced to circle the field several times before landing. But upon finally touching earth and, in response to asking what was going on, being told that the officers were playing against the enlisted men of the Fifth Army, General Clark asked to take up a bat and ball for the team of officers.

Mr. Pearson also remarks on the unanimity with which the Senate Military Affairs Committee acted in requesting of Secretary of War Henry Stimson further information regarding the slapping incidents involving General Patton.

Raymond Clapper discusses again the inflationary trends to be occasioned by banning food subsidies, that the food fight was really about inflation.

For favoring a presidential veto of the congressional effort to pass the ban on subsidies, some in the cattle country, reports Mr. Clapper, had derisively called him a "left-winger". That was only one reaction among many he had received in the myriad of mail sent him on both sides of the issue.

The cattlemen had called Mr. Clapper unfair for asserting that they wanted supply and demand to run unbridled to drive food prices through the roof. Yet, their chief spokesmen before Congress had asserted that supply and demand should drive the team, rather than government regulation by economists who "wouldn't know which end of a cow to put a bale of hay before."

Probably, General Patton could have solved the dilemma for the cattlemen, double-quick.

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