Wednesday, May 31, 1944

The Charlotte News

Wednesday, May 31, 1944


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that British troops of the Fifth Army had moved to within fourteen miles of Rome, just below Pescarella Nuova, two miles closer than the previous day. Troops west of Velletri were within six miles of the Pope's summer home at Castel Gandolfo.

Eighth Army troops under the command of Lt. General Sir Oliver Leese broke into the outskirts of Frosinone, 23 miles from the Fifth Army front along Highway 6, as Fifth Army artillery shelled the highway making German supply difficult. Eighth Army forces had also made their way through L'Americano, 18 miles from the mouth of the Tiber. In the process, they occupied Ardea, 2.5 miles east of Campo Iemini.

Still, German lines were holding along a 25-mile front between Valmontone through Velletri to Campo Iemini on the coast, a line which the Germans appeared to be seeking to hold at all costs as it protected the final stretch of the Via Casilina to Rome.

A total of 3,500 American planes from England and Italy struck targets in France and at the Ploesti oilfields of Rumania, the latter force involving 500 to 750 heavy bombers. The raids also included strikes in Germany at Mulhouse, Hamm, Osnabruck, Schwerte, and Soest, involving a force of between 250 to 500 bombers and 1,200 fighter escorts.

The raids on Germany, France, Austria, Belgium, and Yugoslavia the day before had resulted in eleven lost bombers and nine fighters, with a bag of 66 Luftwaffe planes.

The night before, RAF Mosquitos struck Germany at Leverkusen, while medium bombers hit along the French invasion coast. The operations were carried out without loss.

A German broadcast denied the story from the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet of the day before stating that five American airmen had been killed by angry civilians in Germany on Sunday. The broadcast clarified that only one such airman had been beaten to death by civilians on their way to church, claiming they had been strafed by the airplane’s crew, shot down.

In Russia, the six-week lull in fighting on the Eastern Front had been broken by a Nazi thrust into the Russian lines north of Iasi in Rumania, resulting in significant German losses. The movement appeared to be an effort to cause Russian troop displacement rather than the beginning of a new offensive.

The Japanese, sweeping down the trackless Canton to Hankow rocks of the ballast, had advanced 11 miles south of Tungcheng toward Changsha, 45 miles away. In Hupeh Province, the Japanese captured Kuingan. In Honan Province, the Chinese fought their way into Paofeng, seeking to recapture the provincial capital at Lushan, a town which had exchanged hands several times during the war.

The Japanese, utilizing veterans of the war in China, continued to hold their positions in the fifth day of fighting for Biak in the Schouten Islands off New Guinea. In the first tank battle in the Southwest Pacific, taking place at Biak, the Japanese were reported to have lost 11 of their 30 tanks while defending Mokmer airfield.

A photograph shows actor Lew Ayres, who played Dr. Kildare in the movies, involved as a chaplain's assistant in the fighting on Wakde Island off New Guinea. Private Ayres was a conscientious objector. Although the caption indicates that he intended to enter the ministry after the war, he instead resumed his acting career.

The State Department announced that the United States was prepared to offer itself for entry into a United Nations organization with the other Big Four nations, premised on the notion that each nation would retain power over its own armed forces and would commit them to an international peace-keeping mission only as each nation approved the commitment. All nations would be bound to observe the rule established at Moscow in October: that no country would enter the sovereign territory of another without express approval of the international organization.

Strikes involving more than 50,000 workers across the country, 40,000 of whom were lumbermen on strike in the Pacific Northwest, another 9,000 at American Steel & Wire in Worcester, Mass., and the rest involved in the continuing Parke Davis & Co. strike, the Federal Mogul Co. strike, and the bakery drivers strike in Detroit, all appeared headed for resolution with the War Labor Board. The lumbermen were already returning to the job without being prompted by their CIO union leadership.

Hal Boyle posts a sequel to his self-imposed fast before the hooves besetting the enjoyment otherwise of his repast comprised of horse steak and chips, with lettuce and coffee on the side, all for 80 cents--maybe even a coffee roll, in any event belying the sign which read, "All steaks served in this establishment are horse meat."

The French proprietor, noticing the unfinished steak, had informed Mr. Boyle sympathetically that the English did not care too much for horse--the putative statement of Richard notwithstanding, or simply not taken into account by the proprietor, apparently, perhaps for there not being then enough prominent Richards, as would later come to be the case--despite its healthful aspects, rich in blood vitamins. His most usual patrons, he allowed, were French and Belgian.

He instructed that most of the horse meat derived from Scotland. He only served steaks, but other establishments served horse liver and tongue as well. He urged Mr. Boyle to try the latter delicacies sometime.

Mr. Boyle then took a quick exit.

Elizabeth, the Czech refugee who had accompanied him with her sister and Don Whitehead, having polished off her own and part of Mr. Boyle's steak, was chocked full of energy and ran to catch a cab. Mr. Whitehead remarked that the steak must have been thoroughbred.

Mr. Boyle, the rest of the day, had the feeling that a Shetland pony was prancing about in his stomach. He was glad that the meat was not from the winged Pegasus; for the feathers would have been too much to handle.

Not to mention being thrown off the meal, as Bellerophon.

He renounced henceforth to the French all gray mare speciality.

As we have before admitted, when we were but little tyros, we had the experience, involuntarily, of consuming apparently quite a lot of horseburger at a local establishment across the road from the broad expansive greens of the always empty sweeping hills of the orphanage, Chips by name, which claimed to sell hamburgers.

We noticed no difference. We, to our knowledge, suffer no ill effects from the manifold transactions, except whiiiinever we sneeze, we have to stamp our left hoof several times and then shake our mane from side to side furiously to resume stasis. There may be other effects of which we are not fully aware, the existence of which we shall leave to the re-he-he-ader to decide.

On the editorial page, "A Surplus" looks at the hearings held before the Senate Military Affairs Committee chaired by Robert Rice Reynolds anent the question of a labor draft, finding the data muddled and presenting no clear case either way, for its necessity or not.

Case in point was the textile industry where there was a surplus of available labor, principally among women, but women who were staying home for the absence of good wages in the industry. Thus labor leaders testified that higher wages were needed, not a compulsory labor law, to tap the available labor market.

"Helicopter" comments with approval on the proposed helipad to be incorporated into the plans for the new downtown auditorium. It was looking appropriately to the future when speakers would come from distant places to address Charlotteans. It fit with the plans to include such modern luxuries as air conditioning and proper acoustics and seating facilities.

"Deferment" discusses the request by Admiral Husband Kimmel to have his court martial proceed to enable airing of the various charges made by the Roberts Commission, chaired by Supreme Court Justice Owen Roberts in early 1942, and to correct numerous alleged inaccuracies in its Report.

The piece agrees that Admiral Kimmel and General Walter Short had the right to clear their names and should have a court martial proceeding prior to the end of the war. But, offers the piece, to have it begin before the November election would be foolhardy as it would drag the matter inevitably into political wrangling, seeking to embarrass the Administration.

"Concerts" approves the program of thirteen presentations sponsored by the Charlotte symphony and the Junior Chamber of Commerce to be had in Memorial Stadium during the summer months.

Perhaps, there would be added a bonus concert at season's end, in celebration of the liberation of France, which might consist of a medley of a major hit which your mother should know. It might have gone something akin to this. Never could see any other way. The rest, as they say, was Henry's horsestory, that which appears to be rinnin as cuttysarks in some o' yer minds throughout Life. Please, if you will, try, once in awhile, to live one of your own, for a change for the better. If you don't, will putt you, light your soursaut, sousfaux, sousfer van. (1297, R. Gloucester (Rolls) 10144--"The sousprior of hor hous the monekes chose echon." 1907, W. De Morgan, Alice-for-Short, xxxii. 332--"She knew well enough that the unheard portions of the conversation were worse than what had reached her ears, and the sous-entendus probably still worse than they.")

Samuel Grafton reminds that President Roosevelt had for long appeared reluctant to meet with Josef Stalin, ostensibly gave in when pressure began to mount for such a meeting from the New York Times, no friend to Russia.

Mr. Grafton describes this process as FDR's intended mode of operation, to appear reluctant until pressure mounted externally to do that which he actually intended or desired to do all along. It was the same method he was using with respect to the creation of the United Nations organization. Even Republicans were beginning to advocate such an organization, contending that President Roosevelt was lagging behind the times and playing power politics with the major powers, China, Russia, and Great Britain, at the expense of the smaller nations.

It was, concludes Mr. Grafton, precisely where the President wished to be.

Marquis Childs discusses the lack of an informed public on matters such as TVA and what it had accomplished. He compares the flooding in the Midwest from recent tornadoes to the large rainfall within the Tennessee Valley region without consequent flooding, presenting it as quod erat demonstrandum of the benefits of TVA. Mounting opinion in the Missouri Valley now favored such a system of dams and government-operated power utilities to alleviate flooding and bring cheap electricity to the region.

The lack of public awareness extended to other fields: 60% of the people had never heard of the August, 1941 Atlantic Charter, the principles of which had largely governed discussions at the recent Big Four conferences in November and December at Cairo and Tehran.

Mr. Childs suggests that, as with the films being produced in Canada by John Grierson to explain how, for instance, the mail was delivered by the night train, Walt Disney might do the same for TVA as he had in the film "Victory Through Air Power" a year earlier, simply explaining through Alexander de Seversky, the primary advocate for air power, the need for long-range bombers to effectuate the air war, especially in the Pacific.

Drew Pearson retracts the previous story anent the supposed big ear of Charles Wilson, vice-chair of the War Production Board. Mr. Wilson had not in fact eavesdropped on a dinner party held over a year earlier at James Forrestal's house, as reported by Mr. Pearson on May 17, resulting in the conversations with Bernard Baruch and high-ranking officers of the Army, critical of the President and the Administration, getting back to the White House. The conversations had leaked, but no one knew how. It was definitely not via a big ear employed by Charles Wilson aimed at Mr. Forrestal's house. There was no G.E. big ear, as we posited.

The point of the editorial, however, underscores Mr. Pearson, was to praise the President for being big enough to overlook the episode and appoint Undersecretary of the Navy Forrestal to the position of Secretary in replacement of the recently deceased Frank Knox. He posits that this point had been lost in the controversy and anxiety regarding the potential for eavesdropping arising in the wake of his column.

Mr. Pearson goes on, however, to relate of several sophisticated listening devices which could pick up conversations outdoors from substantial distances, developed for baseball games to listen to rows between the base umpires and players and managers.

Bigosh, look at Dottie. Dottie appears not to have any trouble being heard.

He next looks at the several differences emerging between Great Britain and the United States in terms of post-war policy: that the U.S. could not condone the continued post-war manifestation of the British Empire, in India, in Hong Kong and China; that Churchill's ideal for balancing post-war Europe through effectively dividing up Central Europe into spheres of influence held by the Big Three was repugnant to the notions of the Atlantic Charter and the international resolve to spread the Four Freedoms abroad the world; and that FDR favored inclusion of the small nations in any post-war peace organization. These were differences which yet were to be resolved, and appeared, based on the recent speech of Prime Minister Churchill to Commons, widening rather than narrowing.

A letter writer expresses doubt of the accuracy of the editorial appearing May 25 regarding Thomas Dewey's claimed 140 million-dollar surplus, alleged by the editorial to have been contrasted in error by his supporters to that of the 100 million-dollar deficit left by FDR in 1933. The editors stuck by their guns on the facts originally imparted, that Governor Lehman had rung up half the surplus during his decade in office and had implemented the policies from which Governor Dewey had benefited, along with additional substantial benefits having come from the war, producing a larger tax base in New York.

The letter writer appeared confused on some basic economics, as to why there was a 30 million-dollar discrepancy in additional accumulated surplus arising between the period of January and March, 1943, before Governor Dewey began to affect the budget. If one reads the editorial, it is not very difficult to understand. One should always read thoroughly any editorial before responding to it by way of a letter to the editor, lest one become regarded as the nether end of a horse, fit then to be consumed in a restaurant in Soho in London.

And Dottie appears to have come back to the "Side Glances" in a big way, being heard with our big ears. As we have said, look with thine ears.

Scattered clouds hung over Dover Strait, as the daily Dover weather report imparted, with fair visibility, a northeasterly breeze blowing to lower temperatures to the high fifties and low sixties.

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