Friday, June 25, 1943

The Charlotte News

Friday, June 25, 1943


Site Ed. Note: The front page recounts a story by Associated Press reporter Edward Kennedy, just back from North Africa after being the only reporter to have followed the fighting from its beginning there in 1940 to its end in Tunisia. He had been in Spain prior to the war, where the Nazis tested their most effective weapon, the 88mm gun. It had cut the British to pieces in North Africa, but finally had proven weak against American 90 and 155mm guns.

He indicated that with the clearing of the Mediterranean of Axis planes and ships, the way had been opened for virtually unimpeded short-range bombing runs by the Allies on Italy, resulting in few casualties as the peninsula was lightly defended and exposed by clear weather for the most part, enabling the Norden bombsight to do its work with efficiency.

An RAF raid on Wupertal was reported from the night before. Thirty-three bombers failed to return. American Flying Fortresses of the Eighth Air Force attacked unidentified targets in northwest Germany. Eighteen failed to return.

Keeping the Axis guessing as to where invasion might take place, for the first time in ten months American Liberators bombed Greek territory, hitting an airdrome at Salonika. Also dropped were posters encouraging the Greek people to remain hopeful of liberation.

A German radio source reported that the British Eighth Army had been dispatched to Syria to launch an attack from there.

Hitler complained of Greek and Yugoslav "pirates", guerillas operating effectively in the Aegean against Axis merchant ships.

The President vetoed the anti-strike legislation passed by Congress which would have imposed severe criminal penalties on anyone leading a strike. He vowed instead to use the threat of the draft as a weapon to encourage men to remain on the job in vital war industries where they enjoyed draft exemption. He also recommended a change in the Selective Service Act to allow men between 45 and 65 to be drafted to serve in non-combat positions. He indicated that certain sections of the anti-strike legislation would have only stimulated labor unrest in the country and precipitated strikes where there would otherwise be none.

In Chapter 22 of They Call It Pacific, Clark Lee tells of the dearth of supplies provided Bataan and Corregidor during their siege by the Japanese. The piece continues on the inside page, recounting the three ships which the United States determined to send full of medical supplies and other essentials but which got only so far as Cebu under the command of Patrick Hurley before being sunk by the enemy. The only supplies which got through came by submarine and from some limited blockade running undertaken at the command of General MacArthur to the province of Iloilo to the south of Luzon.

And another inside page reprints a piece from Collier's Magazine on the irrepressible journalist from Onslow County, Billy Arthur, occasional contributor to The News. Mr. Arthur was quite familiar in his day to University of North Carolina alumni. He had been head cheerleader for two years during the Depression while attending the University, graduating in three years. He occasionally returned to lead the cheers well into the 1950's.

The last paragraph of the story summed up his personal attitude about his most obvious difference from the bulk of the rest of humanity.

On the editorial page, "Saving Dixie" finds an article out of Fortune to suggest new life being breathed into the South by the war, its industrial base having nearly doubled during the war years. That was a much needed salve to the old wounds of the South in terms of its ability to compete with Northern business and industry. Historically, that disparity had been triggered by three trip wires: high trade tariffs on cotton and other raw materials on which the South's economy depended; absentee ownership of industry; and the differential in freight rates causing businesses to have to employ cheap labor to compete with Northern business blessed with substantially lower rates.

Fortune had concluded that the South’s period of self-criticism, nourished by its writers, had encouraged reform to the region.

Concludes the editorial, the economic handicaps to the South must be removed or the progress it had recently enjoyed would steadily be retarded until it fell back into its old and worst habits.

"Parks to Riots" discusses the opinion ventured by The New York Times that a large contributing factor to the riot in Detroit had been its lack of public facilities, especially parks, to serve as release from tension in a quickly bulging population moved there to acquire war industry jobs.

The reference was made especially applicable to Charlotte for its citizens’ refusal to accept the new park dedicated to African-American use, there being no park accessible to blacks in the city at this juncture in time.

The piece warns, along with the chairman of the Charlotte Parks Commission, that seeking to defeat the new park, as many area residents were doing by moving the matter into the courts, was to do a prime disservice to Charlotte's future security, that riots could one day be the result as well in Charlotte for such a foolhardy and even unpatriotic attitude in the present.

Raymond Clapper discusses the need for America to assert its intention to adopt after the war a peacekeeping role by insuring the maintenance of a close working relationship among the United Nations, not allowing the fragile coalition built between the U.S., Britain, and the Soviet Union to collapse as with the alliances struck in the First World War--which had included both Italy and Japan on the side of the Allies. It was clear to him that Britain and the U.S.S.R. would work together to forge further this conditional friendship after the war, but it was yet not so obvious what America's position would be.

And on that position hung the fate of the future. He believes that therefore asserting the intention forthrightly at present would deal a blow to Axis morale and by equal measures issue a positive reinforcement to the continued vitality of the wartime alliance when the shooting finally would stop and the starkly evident need for interdependence quickly dissipate into a much more subtle necessity in the face of the ever increscent build-up of arms, especially air power, during the war, potentially otherwise turned against one another in the aftermath--that which we called the Cold War.

The Christian Science Monitor looks at the Roosevelt Administration's relation with the six-month old 78th Congress, considerably more conservative than its predecessors during the height of the New Deal era. Now, the President was more cautious in advancing any extension of the social agenda, aware that the mood of the Congress was to cut back agencies and programs, not foster more or increase funding to those already in existence. The recent de-funding of the National Youth Administration and the severe curtailment of the Farm Security Administration plus the significant reduction of funding to both the Office of War Information and the Office of Price Administration stood as visible examples of this new congressional frugality.

Too, the President's attention was primarily constrained to the war, not domestic issues, which by natural processes, therefore, meant less intense stress on areas of social reform.

His political capital with the new Congress was not without some strong measure of remaining grace, but it was exerted with more restraint than in the past, with his weight behind having the Congress advance the war effort, largely not denied him thus far.

Dorothy Thompson, reading a piece appearing in the Scripps-Howard papers written by Senator Harry Flood Byrd, decrying the extension of government bureaucracy since World War I, finds his attitude woefully atavistic to a time when the world was much smaller and two oceans apart from the rest of it significant.

She argues that in order to rebuild Germany and Japan after the war, it would take many government agencies and hands, that the call would be for bigger government, not smaller. She thus wonders aloud whether the country, just as it was beginning to see signs of victory, was not also beginning to lose its grip on the future world.

"Somewhere, perhaps, there is an American, whose great role it will be to recall us to ourselves. Let him know that the moment has come for him to speak."

Some might say that this American was Harry Truman. Others might venture that it was Dwight Eisenhower. Still others would find it to be without doubt John Kennedy or Martin Luther King.

One thing is perfectly clear, however: It was not him.

You know who we mean.

"It's Treason" lightly examines Governor J. Melville Broughton’s proclamation against loafing in wartime, finds it to be such a tried and true occupation among "Carolinians" (presumably being inclusive of North and South) that no proclamation against it would likely do much to stem the tide inherent in generations of practice at the art of hidebound indolence.

Cash had once reviewed a whole book on the subject of the half-loaf, in December, 1939, and without getting beyond the title page; as well earlier, just after starting as a regular editorial writer for The News, in November, 1937, as he looked at the subject through the lens of Christopher Morley's self-described tendency to linger for long over the writing of one book as a precondition for its quality. This focus by Cash was by way of long having admitted himself to have been guilty of the preference for sublime, supine idlesse over the rigors of laborious vigor.

Yet, of course, Cash was hardly the lazy fellow he proclaimed himself to be, at least judging by his unrelenting output during the 1930's, being one of those primary contributors to the flow of self-criticism which Fortune bespoke as the turning point of the Southern determination to do better.

But, naturally, that entailed thinking and, to some, the luxury of lassitude was to allow the devil of thought, which led in turn to Treason.

And remember to bring your old records in to Ivey's so they can make new ones from the old ones. But, for goodness sakes, no cardboards, please.

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