Monday, March 27, 1944

The Charlotte News

Monday, March 27, 1944


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the Red Army captured Kamenets Podolsk, highway and rail junction eight miles from the Dniester River, 40 miles northeast of Czernowitz, captured Thursday.

Other Red Army contingents on Sunday had reached the Prut River, on the 1940 border of Rumania, along a 53-mile front. Artillery guns were pouring fire into Rumania in advance of a massive crossing. The Army had advanced 60 miles from the Dniester River, the pre-1940 Rumanian border, in just one week.

Byeltsi was also captured, sealing another Ukrainian escape route from use by the Nazis.

London military observers viewed the surge to the Prut River as foredooming the Germans in Odessa, as well as at Nikolaev, into which the Russians had already penetrated on Saturday.

Red Star, the Red Army newspaper, promised a "strait jacket for the mad German Valkyrie."

From Burma and India, it was reported that, while the Japanese pressed further toward Imphal, encountering Allied troops at Ukhrul, 32 miles northeast of the important junction and fifteen miles inside India, and moved closer to Kohima, in the vicinity of the Gengal-Assam railway supplying Allied troops in Northern India, two prongs of Allied troops, one consisting of British and native Kachin and Gurkha infantry, the other comprised of Chinese and Americans, moved to within 32 miles of Myitkyina, key Japanese base in Northern Burma.

In Italy, the infantry troops operating in Cassino, primarily New Zealanders, were reported now to be largely inactive as the scene had become an artillery duel between the German guns pounding the Allied stronghold on Castle Hill and the Allied artillery guns targeting especially the Nazi positions held at the Continental Hotel and Hotel Des Roses, the latter blocking access to Highway 6, the Via Cassilina to Rome. The cessation of ground troop activity indicated the failure of the third offensive of the Allies to root out the remaining Nazis, now holed up in the troublesome southwest corner of Cassino since the demolition of the town by 2,500 tons of Allied bombs dropped March 15.

In Naples, an election to determine the fate of King Vittorio Emanuele and Marshal Badoglio's Government was suspended by the Six-Party Coalition which had demanded the plebiscite. Reason given was that the coalition lacked funds and manpower to print and distribute fliers.

Allied headquarters, however, speculated that, despite continued Italian Communist rancor expressed against the existing Government, Moscow's recent grant of diplomatic recognition of Badoglio and the King as the legitimate government of Italy had dampened ardor against the regime.

In Rome, the Germans were reported to have executed 320 Italian hostages, including the son of Marshal Badoglio, in retaliation for the killing of several Nazis as they marched down a street in the capital. The report indicated that the Nazis intended to kill ten hostages for every German killed, suggesting 32 had been killed by the Italian underground. The Nazis attributed the killings of their soldiers to "communists".

During the previous month, airplane production rose in weight by four percent, but all other of the seven major categories of munitions fell in output during February. The reason provided by War Production Board chair Donald Nelson was manpower shortage, which he anticipated would increase as the war necessitated more and more draftees from essential war industries, requiring, when new workers were available at all, training with consequent loss of production efficiency.

William Worden, in the "Reporter's Notebook" column, writes from a Coast Guard transport off Kwajalein of the "Hooligan Navy", the Guard's informal label limited in utterance to those in its service, lest the transgressor of the rule should desire a round of fisticuffs. No one knew the etymological derivation of the term, but the men were nevertheless proud of it among themselves. Said the commanding officer of the vessel, it had originated with the Navy and the Coast Guardsmanís pat response to the intended insult had been acquiescence, provided the designation did not include the word "Navy".

The Coast Guard, Mr. Worden informs, was under direction of the Treasury Department in peacetime but operated within the Navy during war. The branch had suffered in World War I a higher percentage of loss among those enlisted than any other branch of service, primarily because of the 131 men killed in the September 26, 1918 sinking in Bristol Channel in Wales of the U.S.S. Tampa by a torpedo launched from a German U-boat.

Mr. Worden further explains that appointment to the Guardís Academy at New London, Connecticut, was strictly competitive rather than political, as in the cases of the Naval Academy and West Point. Applicants generally ran to about a thousand, of whom only about 50 were chosen for each class.

The Supreme Court upheld in Yakus v. U.S., 321 U.S. 414, the emergency Price Control Act as constitutional in a 6 to 3 decision delivered by Chief Justice Harlan Stone. Two individuals in Boston had been convicted of crimes for selling meat above the set ceiling prices and had contested the statute's constitutional validity as delegating the power of the legislature to the executive branch. The Court held that the Act had set forth with sufficient specificity the prescribed methods and standards by which prices should be set and controlled by the Price Administrator as not to be an unconstitutional delegation of powers provided in Article I and specifically reserved therein exclusively to the Congress. It was to be distinguished from Schechter Poultry Corp. v. United States, 295 U.S. 495, which held in 1935 that the National Industrial Recovery Act violated that strict reservation of powers by only generally and vaguely setting forth the standard, one which provided that the Industrial Recovery Administrator and the Secretary of Agriculture were empowered "to rehabilitate industry and to conserve natural resources", without specific directions as to how that would be accomplished.

The Court also answered a challenge that the Act denied the convicted petitioners due process under the Fifth Amendment by, inter alia, providing insufficient time, 60 days, to lodge a protest of the particular price regulation impacting their business adversely, and denying them any possibility of obtaining, prior to such a ruling, an interlocutory injunction to stop application of the statutory regulation by which a particular price control had been set until such time as the special process set up to test the regulation could be held and a decision made. The Court held that the procedures in time of war, set up for a national security purpose, in this case stemming inflation, were adequate under the emergent circumstances: longer periods of time and interlocutory injunctions in the meantime, never a matter of right under the law, could compromise the national security interest by allowing businesses to circumvent price controls for substantial periods of time even though their protest of the particular regulation might ultimately be denied.

The case further held that, under Article III of the Constitution, the Congress held plenary power to set up an Emergency Court of Appeal for the purpose of testing the price regulations challenged under the procedures established by the Act.

Dissenting opinions were registered by Justices Owen Roberts, Frank Murphy, and Wiley Rutledge.

In Bowles v. Willingham, 321 U.S. 503, the Court upheld the validity of the Office of Price Administration's rent control authority, also attacked as an unconstitutional delegation of legislative authority to the executive. Justice William O. Douglas rendered the opinion of the Court in which seven other justices joined. The lone dissenter was Justice Roberts. The Court explained, as re price controls in Yakus, that the Congress had set forth with adequate specificity the guidelines for rent control during the war emergency in particular geographical areas of military importance and thus did not cede its legislative authority to the executive branch.

In a third case, Tennessee Iron, R. & Co. v. Muscoda Local No. 123, 321 U.S. 590, the Court upheld the right of iron miners to receive portal to portal pay, that is pay for the time traveling from the entry of the mine to the mining site and back at the end of the shift. The Court determined that under the Fair Labor Standards Act, the terms "work" or "employment" properly embraced the time spent traveling portal to portal such that the time had to be compensated under the Act.

During 1943, one of the chief demands in negotiations of the UMW coal miners for a new contract with the mine owners had been compensation for portal to portal transportation time. The Court's holding would obviate the necessity of debating in the future the basic principle of such a controversy, as the time henceforth had to be compensated under law at least at minimum wage levels as well as included within maximum work hours. The only aspect of portal to portal pay thus at issue in future collective bargaining would be any amount of compensation sought in excess of the minimum wage standard.

The second death from rabies was reported in the nation's capital, following an epidemic of mad dogs which had broken out the previous summer.

Not to diminish the tragedy of the two deaths, but we had thought that mad dogs generally proliferated in the nationís capital in most years and seasons thereof.

On the editorial page, "The Navy" reflects on the recent report of American casualties, finding that the Navy had suffered disproportionately heavy losses when compared to prior wars, having accumulated a fourth of the 165,000 casualties and a third of the 39,000 deaths thus far tallied in the war. The piece explains that it was to be expected at this juncture, with so many amphibious operations having occurred in the Pacific where the Navy and Marines would suffer most heavily.

Henceforth, once the landings occurred in Western Europe, the piece cautions, the Army casualties would begin to mount at a much more accelerated pace than had been the case thus far. The Army accounted for 123,000 of the total casualties to date.

"Amendment" praises the speech by editor John Temple Graves II before the North Carolina Education Association in Raleigh, providing praise to the progressive view enunciated by Governor Melville Broughton on education in North Carolina. Mr. Graves stated his hope that the new program would disabuse educators of the old pre-Pearl Harbor assumption that children were born endowed with sufficient wisdom that they could be left to acquire their education by osmosis.

The editorial seconds the motion for such a concept to be incorporated within the curriculum. It also supports a resolution passed by the North Carolina teachers designed to fight in two ways juvenile delinquency: by raising the age of compulsory education to 16, before which no student could drop out of school; and mandatory sex education within the junior high and high school levels.

Well, by the time we came along, they had sex education in North Carolina, at least in one burg, in the sixth grade. Oh yes. Oh, yes.

Little Alex and little Alexis, for a time, did not even wish to skip classes in those days.

Shoes. It's all in the shoes, they say.

Unfortunately, the book had no pictures, only words and diplomatically drawn diagrams, rather like a medical textbook. The pictures had to be found elsewhere--and most assuredly, for most, were.

We note, parenthetically, that W. J. Cash in The Mind of the South made reference to the father of Mr. Graves:

Nevertheless, we need to be careful not to exaggerate the extent of the drop, and not to assume that the lynching record proves that the process was always continuous and cumulative. So far as the body of the people is concerned, the evidence for the vast survival of these emotions is plain in the very existence of the Vardamans, the Cole Bleases, the Cotton Ed Smiths, as well as in the fact that the number of attempted lynchings still ran very high. But it is plain enough, too, for the other end of the scale from the masses that not even the old proper aristocrats or their descendants were as a group by any means ever entirely restored to calm in the matter. The presence of larger numbers of these people in Virginia than in the other states quite probably went far to explain that state's increasingly good lynching record.

But, as Virginius Dabney has pointed out, it was John Temple Graves, an aristocrat by birth, who was largely responsible for the great Atlanta race riot in 1907--who asserted that, in order to protect Southern Womanhood, the South was justified in lynching any number of innocent Negroes to make the race find out and reveal the identity of the man guilty of a purported crime! And if John Sharp Williams, in some respects one of the most notable men the South has produced since the Civil War and an aristocrat to his fingertips, won election to the Senate partly by decrying Vardaman's nigger-baiting, yet he disgraced himself in his last days by openly defending lynching in that assembly, quite as though he were Cotton Ed Smith all over again.

--from Book Three, Chap. II, "Of Returning Tensions--and the Years the Cuckoo Claimed", Section 17, pp. 308-309, 1969 ed.

This reference, which Cash attributed to Virginius Dabney of the Richmond Times-Dispatch, was enough to cause Mr. Graves, writing for the Roanoke Times, to include in his otherwise positive review of the book appearing March 15, 1941 a bristling remark that his father had not been responsible for the editorial commentary contained in the Atlanta Constitution and thus was not the proper agent on whom to place blame for the 1906 Atlanta race riot, that imputation of responsibility having stemmed from a rumor, he said, which owed its genesis to a story which appeared in the New York Sun.

Of John Temple Graves II, Cash said:

For my own part, I have always been doubtful of schemes for Federal control of lynching, fearing that their net effect on the South would only be to rouse its trigger-quick dander, always so allergic to the fear of Federal coercion, and so tend to increase rather than suppress the practice. But that does not change the fact that the stand of the Times-Dispatch was an unusually courageous sort of journalism.

In Raleigh Jonathan Daniels made the News and Observer equally liberal, at least on the economic and political tide--sometimes waxing almost too uncritical in his eagerness to champion the underdog: surely a curious charge to bring against a Southern editor.

At Charlotte J. E. Dowd, one of the owners of the Charlotte News, took over the editorial reins of that once stodgy journal and made of it one of the most lively, intelligent, and enterprising in Dixie. In 1937 this paper, through a member of its staff, Cameron Shipp, carried out the most uncompromising and thorough survey of local slum conditions ever carried out in a Southern town.

The Richmond News-Leader, the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, and the Montgomery Advertiser--all already distinguished for intelligence--added steadily to their reputation for liberality in the decade. In Birmingham John Temple Graves II and Osborne Zuber made the Age-Herald and the News consistently tolerant. And in Atlanta the Constitution and the Journal at least acquired a more open-minded attitude than had formerly been theirs.

Just as important was the fact that many of the smaller newspapers were now getting more liberal and intelligent editing. One of the happy results of the depression, from the standpoint of the welfare of the South, was that it had gone a long way toward halting the old exodus to the North of talented young men with journalistic ambitions. The development of standardized daily journalism helped to that end, also. Unable to secure jobs in the East or Middle West, they were perforce driven into service at home, and carried their brains with them. They were far from free, even where they owned their papers, and had to proceed against the prevailing prejudices with great caution; but in the course of time they gradually enlarged their latitude.

--from Book Three, Chap. III, "Of the Great Blight--and New Quandaries", Section 9, pp. 382-383, 1969 ed.

"Petrillo" remarks on the efforts by Congress to raise a bill to prevent J. Caesar Petrillo of the American Federation of Musicians from further imposing his bans on amateurs playing on the radio, even extending it to high school student bands, as well his ban of union musicians recording music for play on jukeboxes. The musicians themselves appeared in favor of ending Caesar's reign over them.

If such legislation could be passed without doing violence to Labor generally, then, says the piece, it should.

Of course, constitutionally, Congress is forbidden from passing bills of attainder, that is laws aimed at particular persons, though obviously particular practices and patterns of practice are fair game.

"The Record" looks back to the 1940 campaign rhetoric of Wendell Willkie to find closer definition of his more vague statements of 1944 stump speeches. He had essentially courted all of the New Deal programs but promised fairer tax plans which would not inhibit business as, he contended, the Roosevelt program had. He favored minimal government spending. On foreign policy, he had, as had Roosevelt, pledged to keep American men out of war, while also saying that FDR had courted disaster by meddling in European affairs.

Of course, as Mr. Willkie would not obtain the nomination, it is academic what he advocated in 1944, except by way of contrast to more closely determine why the Republican Party swung to the younger Thomas Dewey.

All things equal, had Mr. Willkie been nominated, he would have never served, regardless of the outcome of the election, as he would be dead by October 8, a month before election day.

Had it been so, would there have been a substantial sympathy vote for the Republican ticket, with either Thomas Dewey or John Bricker presumably then advancing to the fore as the presidential nominee? Would any such vote have been enough to beat President Roosevelt?

It has never happened in American history that a major party's presidential nominee died before the election.

Drew Pearson finds problematic the originally induced high expectations generated from leaked press reports out of the tightly sealed August Quebec Conference between FDR and Churchill, at which Lord Louis Mountbatten was appointed to command the Southeast Asia theater of operations, including Burma and India, and, simultaneously, that there was intended a major Burma offensive to reopen the Burma Road, to enable armament and supplies to pass into China, from which then could be launched a full-scale offensive on Japan, obviating the necessity of island-hopping and crossing the vast expanse of the Pacific from New Guinea and the Solomons.

The current status of matters, with Japan on the offensive in the direction of Imphal in India and the Allies falling back in that area on the defensive, and matters otherwise in pitched battle for the Japanese base at Myitkyina in the Mogaung Valley, had caused a letdown in public sentiment. It stood as a lesson in not building overconfidence in the people with public pronouncements of intentions before results could be assured.

The Southwest Pacific command of Admiral Nimitz and General MacArthur had plainly given up on any aid soon to be provided from the Southeast Asia theater toward winning the war with Japan, as the offensive operations in the former area on the various island groups to gain command of the Bismarck Sea and isolate and encircle the Japanese remaining on New Guinea and at Bougainville, as well as the naval and air attacks on the Kurile Islands to the north of Japan, were indicative of the attitude.

Part of the problem with the Burma operation, says Mr. Pearson, had been divided command strategies, General Joseph Stilwell favoring infantry action to win the campaign, General Claire Chennault favoring air war as a primary tool, and Admiral Lord Mountbatten favoring naval action to achieve the victory.

Samuel Grafton says that the new policy with regard to France at liberation, as recently unveiled by the State Department, to enable General Eisenhower choice of dealing with whomever would best govern France, excepting anyone connected with the Vichy regime, was one in chase of no more than a "shadow in our own mirrors", of "the man who isn't there". For what it sought was a Frenchman residing in between the Gaullists, committed to a renascence of the Republic, and the Vichyites, kowtowing to Fascists and Nazis. No such being existed, offers Mr. Grafton, outside the cemeteries of France. And even if such a person did exist, he was at once a despicable fellow for his inertia in time of such grave threat to his country and fellow countrymen.

Just as the complaint had been less than facetiously circulated that the F.B.I. and other agencies assigned to ferret out Nazis and Fascists were looking for agents who were indifferent to the danger to democracy "until it was too late to avert it", so was the Government looking for a similar type of Frenchman. The United States appeared in search of a person committed to the program of General Giraud, but a Giraudist without Giraud and the distrust and suspicion of perfidy which followed him in train in North Africa.

"Uncommitted men," he concludes of this newly enunciated liberation policy, emblematic of the occupation policy as a whole, "are hunting for an uncommitted assistant."

Marquis Childs, reporting from Sheboygan, Wisconsin, still on the campaign trail of Wendell Willkie, tells of the uphill fight to win the crucial primary in Wisconsin, necessary if Mr. Willkie were to have realistic hope of being nominated by the Republicans. The most noticeable factor anent the crowds gathered to hear his message was their older age, youth having been grabbed for the most part for the war, and the fact of the nearly complete absence typically of soldiers, despite their presence otherwise in certain communities along the trail. The typical crowd response was tepid, appearing not entirely to trust the messenger.

One older man had stood to tell Mr. Willkie that if he wanted to be elected in Wisconsin, with its predominantly German heritage, he should announce a plan to end the war forthwith and bring the troops home. Mr. Willkie had, at another campaign stop in Fond Du Lac, responded angrily to this suggestion, indicating his desire to make even greater commitment to winning the war and completely vanquishing the enemy.

The message he sought to convey, internationalism during the war, internationalism after the war, and a middle passage between unfettered free enterprise and the heavy government regulation characterizing the New Deal, did not seem well to resonate with most he had encountered thus far in Wisconsin.

Incidentally, the mention in the little news piece on the page of the largest Wisconsin crowd for a Willkie campaign stop thus far, numbering 4,200 at Sheboygan, gives us moment to impart, without thus to any Anne being the least implicitly tart, far be it from that, that the riddle is simply soluble thus, utilizing the well-known middle music, the tell-tone tawny voluble truss: W. H. = W. et A., being now not Greek to you and you; and, at which point, the play needs no excuse, with the hilt's stains to the hands nigh imbrued.

Nor does the casket whose key has been turned aright.

But, sh. Don't tell the rapscallions and rabble everything we know of keys and kites, lest the curse of the bones be upon us, in gravity, from their failure to appreciate nature's light in levity.

Besides, it is far more complex than just that, as the remainder of the puzzle resides within the body of the work itself, as well in A Lover's Complaint. The resolution of the dedicatee is no more than simply the teasing externality of the rose, the innermost to be unpetaled gently, slowly, savored breath by breath, measure for measure, in undying prose.

We ought know. As we have said before, and we not kyd, Cash wrote all those plays and poems and sonnets--yes, he did--while he served generous libations, in his guise as a Scotsman, to a poacher of bad repute who hung out nearly nightly, sometimes with Hal in tow, at the Boar's Head Tavern in Eastcheap. And we have studied the work of Cash rather studiously. Not to mention Poe's pleas.

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