Monday, November 12, 1945

The Charlotte News

Monday, November 12, 1945


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the Red Chinese and Chiang Kai-Shek's Government had agreed to allow the Political Consultative Council to resolve all remaining issues in the undeclared civil war. The Council would be called into session on November 20. A Communist spokesman stated, "If Chiang cancels his orders for 'bandit suppression', there can be peace."

Meanwhile, a Nationalist General predicted that there would be a drive by Government forces into Manchuria "very soon", despite the presence there of Communist troops. The Communists claimed that commando troops trained by the O.S.S. were being deployed by the Government against the Communists. Without indication of whether Communists would be represented, the Government called China's National Assembly to meet on May 5.

In Java, British Indian forces gained control of virtually all of Soerabaja, as British tank crews repulsed charges by Nationalists, killing numerous Indonesians. Fighting also erupted in Tandjoengpriok, the port of Batavia, as Indonesians sought to attack warehouses. Indonesian Foreign Minister Soebardjo pleaded for Soviet intervention on behalf of the Indonesians, agreeing still to allow British troops to continue to disarm the Japanese. The British announced that they had made direct bomb hits on the main Indonesian army headquarters and other staff headquarters. The British arrested three Japanese generals for turning tanks, armored cars, and ammunition over to the Indonesians, in violation of terms of surrender.

In Japan, Japanese Communists placed Emperor Hirohito at the top of the war crimes list, for his part in the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Prime Minister Attlee discussed with President Truman the idea of pooling atomic energy technology by turning it over to the control of the U.N. Security Council, with the proviso that the Soviet Union would adhere to certain stipulations regarding territorial and diplomatic aspirations.

Cordell Hull, former Secretary of State, became the eighth American to win the Nobel Peace Prize, awarded for 1945 for the first time since 1938. It was awarded primarily for his part in formulating the basis for the United Nations Organization, though he had retired in November, 1944 prior to the San Francisco Charter Conference in April-June, 1945.

The International Red Cross was named retroactively to receive the prize for 1944; it had also been awarded the Nobel in 1917. The Nobel committee indicated that the prize would also likely be given retroactively, for at least the years 1943 and 1942.

General Eisenhower arrived in Boston, to travel to Washington to testify on his opinion with regard to joining the armed forces under a Defense Department. In his absence, General Patton, as senior general in Europe, was placed in temporary command of the occupation forces. Senator Owen Brewster of Maine registered an objection to the fact, to which an aide to General Patton indicated there would be no comment—to the dirty little son-of-a-bitch.

Randolph Churchill, son of Winston Churchill, writes a piece on the economic well-being of Southern Ireland, in the best shape of any country in Europe, with plentiful agricultural production and the means to export food to the rest of Europe. Southern Ireland had remained neutral during the war, to the ire of the British and Americans, and so its relative plenty was looked upon with bitterness by many.

Mr. Churchill had a chat with President Eamon De Valera, whom he had not seen in six years. He had not changed; indeed, the entire country had not changed during the war. It was said that the only change observed by a Dubliner returning from six years of service with the British Army, was that Jack Nugent, proprietor of the Dolphin Hotel, had gone on the water wagon. Mr. De Valera, remarks Mr. Churchill, had not altered his drinking habits, was still a tee-totaler.

In the 31st installment of General Jonathan Wainwright's account of his captivity by the Japanese, he tells of the starvation endured on Formosa at Karenko Prison by the men. General Wainwright developed beriberi and other disorders by December, 1942, had reduced to 125 pounds, his same weight when at West Point 36 years earlier. The men were so desperate for food that it caused resentment if one of the prisoners received a bean in his soup and the others did not. A general was assigned the task ultimately of dividing the food equally among the men.

British Maj. General Beckwith-Smith died of starvation on Armistice Day, 1942, and the men observed a moment of silence at 11:00 a.m., the hour of the Armistice in 1918.

Eventually, the men were able to convince the Japanese to allow them to work. They were assigned to clear an area for a truck farm just outside the prison, and were told they would be able to eat whatever they raised. They saw it as an opportunity to avoid death by starvation.

While not on the page, General Wainwright also related this date of being beaten twice while at Karenko, the second time stabbed in the wrist with a bayonet by a Japanese sentry.

William Turner, who had been convicted and sentenced to hang on December 28 for the shooting murder of a 15-year old girl in West Virginia on July 31, had escaped the Preston County jail with another convict, and remained at large. Be on the lookout.

A new feature of The News, "Teen-Age Topics", premiered this date, written by a former columnist for Ladies' Home Journal. Unfortunately, we do not have it.

Gusty winds swept the Southern California coast, driving a 40-foot fishing boat ashore at Redondo Beach and beaching as well seven small mackerel fishing boats at Santa Monica. There was a trace of rain in Los Angeles.

On the editorial page, "A Shot-Gun Indictment" remarks on the charges by the outgoing head of the City Health Department that there was political interference being brought to bear on the department's milk inspectors. He had brought enough to light to show that Grade A milk in Charlotte was meaningless. Dairymen charged that inferior grades of milk were being marketed.

"Santa Claus and the Atom" tells of the Goucher College sociologist who advocated destruction of Santa Claus to provide children with straight thinking, in the manner of scientists who had split the atom.

The piece concludes that it did no good to compare him with the man of legend who went into the backyard on Christmas Eve, fired his shotgun, and declared to his children that Santa Claus had committed suicide. The sociologist was not so mean, just a realist.

"We have traded our dreams for test-tubes, all the world's a laboratory, and everybody knows that laboratories must be sterile."

The piece suggests, instead of destroying the Santa Claus myth, however, that the practice be followed from another story, wherein a businessman instructed his infant son to jump off the mantel into his arms, whereupon he stepped back and let the boy land on the hearth, telling him never to trust anyone, not even his own father.

Hey, listen here. Santa Claus really exists. Let's just stop this scientific mumbo-jumbo right now. We were talking to him just the other day, as we were putting new runners on his sleigh.

It's the atom bomb that doesn't exist. It's all in what you believe.

We've never seen one up close. Have you?

"The Trigger-Happy South" reports on the FBI statistics, that of 525,756 cases of draft evasion, only 89,293 had originated in the South, and of those, only 2,139 suffered conviction.

Many detractors of Southern traditional valor, however, claimed that the South rushed to the fight out of hot blood, primitive instincts, willing to fight for any cause, good or bad.

But the South, it insists, believed in the saying of Patrick Henry and in the concept of world citizenship enunciated by Thomas Jefferson.

Its trigger-happiness, moreover, stood it in good stead in a world eager "to build its future on its willingness to reach over the mantel and drag down the squirrel gun."

"Ancient Delusions" tells of the Harvard Conference of Public Affairs which concluded that the United States was returning to a sense of isolationism based on the false security afforded by sole possession of the atomic bomb.

But the professors, says the piece, should not expect rational thinking from a populace which championed raising of prices and avoidance of inflation, threatening international neighbors while preserving the peace, demobilizing while remaining a military power. Return to isolation fell right into line with this unreality.

The conference had called on President Truman to inform the people of the realities of the bomb, that they were still as vulnerable as ever. But the President was presently engaged with the unreality of the Congress.

A piece from the Greensboro Daily News, titled "Toward Clarifying State Laws", comments on the recommendation of North Carolina's Secretary of State, Thad Eure, that the Legislature make laws effective from a specific, uniform date rather than from the date of ratification of the particular law. The change would provide predictability and reasonable notification to the public of when laws would become effective, eliminating confusion.

The piece favors the change and generally improved knowledge of the law. Many laws had long been on the books but went wanting of enforcement, as no one bothered to become acquainted with them. It cites as example the election laws.

Mr. Eure, incidentally, served, by his retirement in 1989, 53 years as Secretary of State of North Carolina, 66 years of continuous government service, the longest such record in the history of the United States.

Drew Pearson reveals a secret agreement made by President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill at Quebec on September 15, 1944, regarding the dismantling of German industrial capability in both the Ruhr and Saar regions of West Germany. The equipment was to be given to the Russians and other countries devastated by the Germans to enable them to rebuild.

Since that time, however, the British had behaved differently with respect to dismantling German industry, showing reluctance, along with certain American generals, recruited from industry. President Truman favored the dismantling of German industry and thus would agree with the Roosevelt policy in this regard, Roosevelt having not trusted the British after World War I given the loans made to Germany to enable it to rebuild as well as support from the British Foreign Ministry. FDR had candidly informed Churchill of this lack of trust, leading to the accord.

Mr. Pearson posits that President Truman might suggest this agreement to Prime Minister Attlee during their meeting to obtain British cooperation in the dismantling of German industry.

Much of the British thrust to maintain the industrial capacity of Germany lay in economic interests, trade, as well as the political belief that a strong Germany acted as a bulwark to Russia.

He next comments on an exhibit of photographs by the Navy on display at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, primarily of military leaders worldwide during the war, but also of lesser figures in the Roosevelt Administration. Yet among all the photographs, not one appeared of General MacArthur. The conclusion was that the Navy did not think General MacArthur to have been a war leader.

Samuel Grafton recommends the appointment of Harold Ickes to be High Commissioner of Germany, as the military wanted out of the duties of occupation.

He extols at length the virtues of Mr. Ickes and his suitability for the post, among them his striving as Secretary of Interior to preserve the civil liberties of the West Coast Japanese-American internees during the war. At 71, says Mr. Grafton, he was still capable and full of energy, had been an early opponent of fascism, long before Pearl Harbor.

The military occupation government, however, would continue through 1949, at which point, John J. McCloy, Assistant Secretary of War and to become in 1946 the first head of the World Bank, would be named the first High Commissioner of West Germany. Meanwhile, General Eisenhower would remain in command of the Western sector until March, 1947, when General Lucius Clay would become the commander.

Marquis Childs comments on the recent off-year election, stating that too much was being made in terms of its predictive character for the 1946 and 1948 elections, still a long way away. Many felt that the election of William O'Dwyer as Mayor of New York, in a turnout which was the lowest since 1929, spelled the doom of Governor Dewey politically as he had campaigned hard for one of the challengers, making irresponsible charges along the way against Mr. O'Dwyer.

Mr. Childs questions whether that was so, despite the heavy tradition against renominations in the Republican Party and the fact that Mr. Dewey had hurt himself in the claim that, at the request of the State Department, he had withheld during the 1944 election key information he had learned on Japanese code-breaking by American intelligence, so that the Japanese would not become alerted to the fact and change their codes. The claim had backfired.

But, he reasons, the electorate would be looking for men with service records by 1948, and Captain Harold Stassen, former Governor of Minnesota and aide to General MacArthur during the war, as well as a delegate to the San Francisco Charter Conference, would be a prime candidate for the Republican nomination, even if he had supported FDR's foreign policy.

In Detroit, the voters, in record turnout, elected veteran Mayor Jeffries over CIO UAW representative Richard Frankensteen, who had generated much excitement and support among workers, if unable to effect settlement of a wildcat strike during the campaign, having been booed from the stage.

Mr. Childs concludes that the people wanted plain speaking, but were getting, for the most part, politics as usual.

Has it ever been any different?

One person's "plain speaking" is usually another person's chicane piquing.

S. A. Reed of Southern Pines writes of the dimensions in space of a billion dollars in thousand-dollar bills, roughly ten boxes with the dimensions five feet by two feet by three feet, four inches, each. This by way of asking whether the citizens were aware that the Reconstruction Finance Corporation proposed to destroy billions of dollars worth of planes, ships, tanks, and other surplus weapons, at least according to the October 28 Ray Tucker column, "The National Whirligig".

A "working girl" writes a letter bemoaning the fact that Charlotte stores placed on sale their stockings only at 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. when the working girls were hard at work, apparently having preference to sell only "to the women who don't have to turn their lily white hands to do a thing."

She wanted a pair of hose to rinse out at night so they would be dry in the morning to wear to the office.

Some of the girls who worked closer to downtown had an advantage also over those who worked away from the Square.

She supposed it was the same as those who cluttered the eating places while the working girl had to wait in line, spending "her whole precious hour waiting".

"Oh well, such is the life of a working girl."

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