Tuesday, August 31, 1943

The Charlotte News

Tuesday, August 31, 1943


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports further gains by the Red Army, taking from the Nazis Yelnya, 45 miles east of Smolensk, and Glukhov, 42 miles northeast of Konotop. Yelnya was described by the Russians as an important road junction and the most important center of Nazi defense in the area of Smolensk. Further to the south, after the taking of Taganrog the day before, the Soviets moved on toward Stalino to the northwest.

The revolt in Denmark had so far claimed 2,000 dead or injured as the Nazis were reported to have put down the open demonstrations after two days. A general strike, however, was now in the offing, despite Nazi threats of death, pursuant to the decree of martial law, for participation in it.

Prime Minister Churchill, following a vacation spent fishing ensuing the close of the Quebec Conference, indicated his and FDR's desire to meet with Premier Stalin to discuss plans for the establishment of a second front in Europe. But, he cautioned, the second front could only be established, apart from political considerations, when sufficient men and materiel were gathered to effect it. He reminded that the British had once had a compelling second front in France only to lose it at Dunkerque. No repetition could be tolerated.

Ted Lawson, in Chapter 4 of Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo, continued on the inside page, tells of the disclosure finally by Col. Doolittle of the nature of their secret mission after the men had put to sea aboard the U.S.S. Hornet. It was a relief finally to understand what they were to do and all thoughts then turned toward the capabilities of the B-25's to perform the mission and to make an unprecedented take-off from the short carrier deck, the initial planes having only half the length of the deck for the launch, as the other half had to carry the other B-25ís.

On the editorial page, "Two Worlds" remarks on the inevitability in war of the great disparity between the fighting front and the domestic front. The fighting men fought bravely and well in all wars historically in which America had been involved. But, just as surely, the domestic front nearly collapsed in bureaucratic red tape and bickering over budgets and which branch of the service got what in equipment and materiel. It had been so in the Revolution, in the War of 1812, on both sides in the Civil War, and in World War I. Thus, resigns the piece, there would be no reason to expect anything different in this war.

"An Easy War" hopes that the draft boards would not talk too much more of exemptions to fathers because of "hardships". Compared to the rest of the world, the piece predicts that all fathers who were drafted, while their wives and children would have hardship, would consider their hardship very slight. Americans, offers the piece, had thus far had a pretty easy time of it during the war.

"The Fallen" chronicles the death of King Boris in Bulgaria and the escape of Count Ciano, son-in-law of Mussolini, from house arrest in Italy.

Boris, the piece says, was a collaborator of the worst stripe and Bulgaria was now better off that the quisling was gone.

Count Ciano was one of the murderous clique surrounding Mussolini and had to be found and punished for his war crimes.

The front page informs of Ciano being on the run dressed as a peasant, either near the French frontier, in Innsbruck, Austria, or within the Spanish Embassy in Rome. An unconfirmed report out of Switzerland stated that the Count and his wife already had been arrested.

"Hull of 1906" reminds that Cordell Hull had always been a conservative, as exampled by such stands as opposition in 1918 to womenís suffrage, for Prohibition, and refusal to support the anti-Klan plank of the 1924 Democratic Convention.

The reminder is meant to take the surprise, if any, out of the recently revealed dispute in the State Department between Secretary Hull and the liberal New Dealer, Sumner Welles.

Raymond Clapper reports of a new concept anent repayment of Lend-Lease aid, not in dollars but in lives saved, as well as reciprocal aid, natural rubber, for instance, from the Dutch and British when the East Indies were recaptured. For every dollar spent in Lend-Lease, Americans did not have to send soldiers abroad to fight the war, only the materiel for the Russians, British, and Chinese to do so. How could the repayment be calculated when American lives were thus being saved by the Allies receiving Lend-Lease?

Samuel Grafton complains again of the limited recognition provided by America and the British to the French Committee at Algiers. He points out that, while it might sound good to offer as rationale for this limited recognition the need to wait until the liberation of France for the French to select their own government, the French Underground in May had met, at the risk of their necks, and voted decisively to back General De Gaulle, had maintained contact with him despite Hitler having declared such communication illegal, and had established close ties with the Committee at Algiers. Did this support not constitute the popular will of France, therefore providing the expression of French approval for the Committee as a sovereign representative of all France? Why should not therefore America and Britain recognize the Committee? Why did they not recognize the French Underground?

Dorothy Thompson examines the relationship between Moscow and Washington with the recalling from Washington by Moscow of Ambassador Litvinoff and the apparent forced resignation from the State Department of Sumner Welles, advocate for international cooperation inclusive of Russia.

Observers, she suggests, well knew in May that when Litvinoff left Washington, he would likely not return. It was too bad, she says, for Litvinoff had always worked to facilitate friendly relations between the Soviet Union and the United States.

As for Welles, she deplores the campaign of rumors swirling about him, malicious and libelous, leading to his ouster. Mr. Welles, she hopes, would be sent on a mission to Moscow as an emissary of the President to effect sound relations with the Soviets.

Drew Pearson again examines the Hull-Welles conflict, now finding that other liberals within the State Department were being bugged and forced to resign. Those targeted had been in favor of the Loyalists against Franco during the Spanish Civil War and had been supporters of General De Gaulle and the Free French. Leading to the ousters was the circulation of salacious and sensational stories of sexual infidelity and indiscretion, in turn leading to the demand for resignation.

Not since the days during the tenure of Frank Kellogg as Secretary of State under President Coolidge had the State Department, says Mr. Pearson, been involved in such muckraking politics.

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