Thursday, September 16, 1943

The Charlotte News

Thursday, September 16, 1943


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the American Fifth Army, after receiving its reinforcements, had begun a massive offensive against the German lines around Salerno, pushing eight miles inland from the beaches, regaining the territory lost during the previous few days.

The British Eighth Army had moved north another twelve miles to within 37 miles of Agropoli, the southernmost point of the 24-mile Salerno bridgehead held by the Fifth Army.

General Mark Clark, commander of the Fifth Army, predicted that when the two armies, the Fifth and Eighth, joined together, they would shortly be able to take from the Germans Naples and Rome and points in Northern Italy.

An Italian newspaper reported that German troops were guarding the Vatican with machineguns, preventing anyone from entering or leaving Vatican City. The excuse the Germans offered for the action was to prevent anti-Fascists from taking refuge within the Holy See.

On the Russian front, the Red Army took Novorossisk, the last important port held by the Nazis on the Black Sea. The combined land and sea operation in the Kuban River delta foreclosed the possibility of Hitler obtaining oil from the Caucasus.

In the Pacific, Allied troops moved closer to the Japanese airdrome at Lae on New Guinea.

On the editorial page, "Press Freedom" reports of an editor in Mobile, Alabama who had been freed from jail after being confined by a judge for contempt for criticizing His Highness's court decision. The case was reversed on appeal and it was held that mere criticism of a court decision could not constitutionally be regarded as contemnacious conduct. To be punished, the criticism also had to be libelous--to which, incidentally, truth is, at least ordinarily when the law is applied fairly and justly, a defense. The purported defamatory utterance must also be published to a third party, that is not made in the context of confidential or legally privileged communications or uttered only to the party about whom the remarks pertain--again, that is, when the court applying the rules is not itself as corrupt as Judas.

In a time where increasingly the government had engaged in attempted censorship of the press and where the President made no hesitation about openly criticizing the press, such as the recent attack on Drew Pearson, the editorial finds the news refreshing and heartening.

"The Job Ahead" recommends to Congress that it deliberate with gravity its decision on the preservation of the peace after the war and that it do so with alacrity.

"Song Pressure" takes issue with the author of "The Old Rugged Cross", Reverend George Bennard, who had recently pronounced, "A nation will rise no higher than the moral tone of its songs." Says the editorial, the preacher's criticism of jazz, swing, and ragtime flapperism as leading to decadence was without historical foundation and thus was misplaced. Germany, France, and Russia each had behind them a solid foundation of classical music and yet the war betrayed what good it had done. America, for all its musical vagaries, was the great production center for winning the war. The axiom put forth by the reverend thus didn't hold water, as demonstrated by the current tiger-despoiling hit of the moment, "Pistol Packin' Mama", not leading the country to the depths of perdition and perfidious debauchery.

"The Republicans" suggests that Samuel Grafton, were it not for the fact that he was on vacation, might be heavily criticizing the muddled conclusion on foreign policy coming out of the recent Mackinac Island meeting of the Republican National Committee. It would have been easy, says the piece, simply to haul out a copy of Wendell Willkie's One World and offer up to the people some chapter headings for policy and it would have been both well-received and well understood. Instead, Mr. Willkie was left out of the conference and the most becoming news from it on the future was the controversial proposal by Tom Dewey that America enter into a permanent treaty for mutual defense with Britain after the war.

Raymond Clapper again addresses the issue of whether the post-war world would coalesce around a few nations such as the U.S., Great Britain, China, and Russia, or whether it would be a representative, multinational body, the United Nations.

He offers that both Roosevelt and Churchill favored a policing organization to maintain the peace, but one working through the combined chiefs of staff, that is those of the U.S. combined with those of Great Britain as under the wartime setup, not a multinational force surrendering individual national sovereignty. But would it include Russian chiefs of staff? Chinese? Mr. Clapper thought it ought.

Drew Pearson discusses the creation of the food relief agency for war torn nations, to be under the chairmanship of former Governor Lehman of New York. Governor Lehman had been dissatisfied with its former incarnation as part of the State Department because of that department's emphasis on policy formulation rather than administration. Thus, the Congress was about to authorize American participation in the United National Relief and Rehabilitation Administration, an international organization which would also have members from Great Britain, China, and Russia.

Mr. Pearson next turns to White House grass growth and other things of note and not.

Dorothy Thompson praises the effort of Cordell Hull to bring some clarity to the table in his recent speech regarding post-war aspirations of the country, especially regarding Russia, regarding which he indicated the desire would be, as in the wartime relationship of mutual interdependence, cooperation and sustained coexistent peace.

But Ms. Thompson also finds the speech to have fallen short on specifics as to how to achieve these laudable ends of cooperation and peace, given the historical differences between the West and Soviet Russia. She reminds that twenty years of diplomacy preceded the outbreak of World War II. If the matter therefore were again left to the diplomats to resolve and maintain the peace, a world war would be just as likely to recur.

If, she warns, the intention was to divide up Europe between a sphere of Western influence, occupation zones by Britain, the U.S., and Free France, and a sphere of Russian influence, then tensions were inevitable. If the Russians were to be given buffer zones in Europe to act as a cushion rather than as a bridge to the West, then again tension with the West, a magnification rather than reduction of the divergent tendencies of the societies, would be the inexorable result. If the policies were going to be to prevent treaties with Russia, to silence democratic movements as with the French Committee of Liberation supported by the Russians, to have an Anglo-American occupation force in Europe for a lengthy period, then the inevitable differences already extant between the U.S. and Russia would only become wider gulfs.

The Reverend Herbert Spaugh commends the art of living to his readers, to find something to do which flows from the creative inertia in the human being rather than trying to live vicariously, to be entertained and nourished solely by the creativity of others. He cites the craze among the teenagers over Frank Sinatra as an example of that which he finds negative, a craze which a New York psychiatrist had suggested flowed from the war, "a neurotic age--a twisted age".

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