Friday, November 2, 1945

The Charlotte News

Friday, November 2, 1945


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the idea that there could be a Jewish homeland established in Palestine had resulted in anti-Zionist rioting in Cairo and Alexandria in protest of the Balfour Declaration, promising the British Empire's support in facilitating the establishment of such a homeland, signed on this date in 1917—28 IF.

The rioters hurled stones and bricks, aimed at Jews and foreigners. Egyptian troops patrolled the streets firing into the air, seeking to disperse the crowds. Arab sections of Palestine also initiated a general strike, while the railroads of the country were severed in 153 places by saboteurs, four of whom were killed, two while attempting to set explosives at the Haifa Oil Refinery.

Reminiscent of Kristallnacht in Germany in November, 1938, the rioters broke out shop windows in processions from Mustafa to Kemel Square to Abdien Palace.

The Jews, said the Palestine Post, had gone from the defensive to the offensive.

Field Marshall Lord Gort tendered his resignation as British High Commissioner of Palestine, citing illness.

Other similarly riotous demonstrations had occurred in the Levant States, Syria and Lebanon.

Chinese troops began occupation landings from U.S. transport vessels on opposite sides of Laotung Bay in Manchuria, the vessels having originated from Haiphong in Indio-China and Hong Kong. The landings occurred as the Russians were beginning their withdrawal, to be completed by December 1. The site of the landing on the west side of the bay, at Hulutao, was 70 miles northeast of the clashes between Government forces and the Red Chinese at Chinwangtao. The east side landing, at Yungkow, was a hundred miles southwest of Mukden and 140 miles north of Port Arthur.

In Java, peace was restored at Magelang by noon this date after a truce, following continued intense fighting the night before between Indonesian Nationalists and British Gurkha troops. Elsewhere, conditions were improving, the trouble spot of Soerabaja being still delicate. The evacuation of some 1,500 Dutch nationals, most of whom were women and children, had been effected, with another group about the same size expected to be cleared by the night.

The British and Indonesian leaders continued to meet at Magelang to discuss a permanent resolution to the dispute, centering around ouster of Dutch influence from Java and the East Indies. The order of ceasefire to the Nationalists issued by Indonesian President Soekarno had been ignored by many. The British blamed the Japanese for starting the uprising, giving their arms to those whom they wanted to establish self-government.

Quinine production and rubber plantations in the East Indies had survived largely intact during the war, the Indies having formerly accounted for 40 percent of the world's rubber prior to December, 1941.

Premier Van Ecker of Belgium released a report on the visit of King Leopold with Hitler at Berchtesgaden on November 19, 1940, to show that the exiled King had been on cordial terms with Der Fuhrer. Leopold was quoted by Hitler's stenographer, Paul Schmidt, as having stated that he had appreciation for the "great work" of Hitler and his desire to construct a "lasting peace based on justice, collaboration, and solidarity between the peoples" of Europe. King Leopold, for his part, denied the accuracy of the report, emphasizing that Herr Schmidt had often been accused of misquoting. Thus far, the Belgian Parliament had refused Leopold the right to return to Belgium to resume the throne from his exile in Switzerland.

The joint Congressional Committee investigating anew the attack on Pearl Harbor sought from the President a directive to Government officials to volunteer any information they had regarding the attack. The Republicans wanted to be able to examine records, a proposal which the committee voted down. The Republicans had interpreted the President's October 23 statement of cooperation with a majority of the committee to permit the Democratic majority to control the access to information, as it required a majority vote to obtain Government records or to call Army and Navy personnel.

The President criticized the House Expenditures Committee for dragging its feet on the full employment bill and unemployment compensation, prompting House Majority Leader John McCormack to comment that he believed the President's criticism, while not appreciated by the committee, might spur public support for the legislation and hasten action by the committee and the Congress as a whole.

Harvard president James B. Conant, also an eminent chemist, advised the Senate Military Committee that it was not wise to rely on banning of the atomic bomb as a means to peace. Such had been tried with poison gas after World War I, but only because gas was an ineffective weapon of war, without control as to its area of dispersion and impact, not unlike atomic weaponry. He asserted that it would take Russia between five and fifteen years to catch up with America's head start in developing atomic energy.

In reply to an inquiry by Senator William Fulbright of Arkansas as to whether the United States was now more vulnerable to destructive and sudden aggression because of the advent of the bomb, Dr. Conant stated that it was "peculiarly adapted to the destruction of an industrial society" though having been developed by same.

He believed that the more important part of the bill under consideration, to establish a commission to study and control the use of atomic energy and devote it to peaceful purposes, was its provision for the establishment of fellowships and scholarships for scientific research.

Labor leaders continued to call at the White House in advance of Monday's start to the labor-management conference. Representatives of Texaco, G.E., and the UAW each expressed hope that the conference would have success, Charles Wilson, president of G.E., likening it to an old New England town meeting on a large scale, wherein the labor representatives would speak for the citizens of the country.

Some 23,000 additional workers went on strike across the nation, raising the number of idle to 266,000, most of the new walkouts being in nineteen textile plants in Maine, New Hampshire, and Connecticut, 10,000 of whom were in Maine where the workers sought an additional 10 cents per hour. In the San Francisco Bay Area, an additional 5,000 machinists went on strike in the ongoing walkout there, bringing its total to 60,000.

In New Orleans, industrialist and war boat builder Andrew Higgins had shut down permanently three plants of Higgins Industries during an AFL union walkout of 2,000 workers in the fourth day of the strike. He stated that he did not plan to reopen the plants but would sell them to the union as long they agreed not to reopen them under his name.

In the twenty-third installment of the series of articles by General Jonathan Wainwright, he explains further of the final surrender late on May 6, 1942 of Corregidor and the other forces under his direct command. On the afternoon of May 7, he was taken to Manila to deliver a broadcast to the other commanders in the Philippines, directing their surrender per the conditions which he had reluctantly signed at midnight on the 6th.

Initially, General Wainwright had resisted the broadcast, informing the Japanese that Maj. General William Sharp, commander of the forces on Mindanao, would likely ignore the order as he was subject only to General MacArthur's direct orders. But, it suddenly hit him that the broadcast would enable General Sharp to have a day to contact General MacArthur before the written orders were delivered to him.

General Wainwright was picked up at 5:00, being told he would return to Corregidor that night. He never was permitted, however, to set foot on the Rock again. As he had passed by his men for the last time, they stood in salute despite having been given no food or water by their captors, in consequence of which General Wainwright felt tears welling in his eyes. He compared the feeling to that which Robert E. Lee must have experienced at Appomattox.

During the circuitous journey to Manila, he and his men were provided some rice and bony fish, the first food they had received in 48 hours. It was not until midnight that they reached the radio station in Manila. General Wainwright observed that Manila had become a ghost town, the neighborhood in which the station was located having had the buzz of Times Square the last he had seen of it. Now it was deserted silence.

In Gary, Indiana, Frank Sinatra appealed to the white students of Froebel High School to call off their strike from classes in protest of the bi-racial admission policies of the school's principal, R.A. Nuzum. The leader of the pack indicated that the students had not been moved by the pleas of Mr. Sinatra, that he gave them no argument which had changed their minds.

Mayor Joseph Finerty bragged that he had given Mr. Sinatra a "dressing down" for some of his remarks to the students, for his having indulged in "some personalities" with "most unfortunate" statements.

The piece is silent on further particulars of the bi-racial context, who and how many and what proportion might have been involved.

The World Youth Conference in London, England, attended by 500 delegates of 64 nations, called for a youth crusade against the Fascist Governments of Spain, Portugal, and Argentina. A resolution was introduced by a Russian delegate calling for sharing of the atomic bomb and placing it with the United Nations so that it could never again be used in war.

Dick Young of The News reports of a Cumberland, Ky., minister of the Church of the Living God in Jesus' Name holding services in Charlotte while handling copperhead snakes on the command of the Lord. As with all such cultists, he professed the belief that the snake handling was a test of his faith, that God would protect him from the harm of the venomous viper crawling along his arms.

The preacher had, since he was nine, been a miner in Harlan County, Ky., moonshine capital. He had been preaching for eight years.

Said the preacher, "I handled the snake last night and the night before, too. The spirit has been running good. There has been no interference..."

Also featured on the program this evening would be the Haley Brothers of Bristol, Virginia-Tennessee. They would demonstrate their faith by one of their members sticking his tongue into a blaze and would then "play balls of fire over his arms." Said the preacher of the act of deific submission: "You can see his tongue smoke. It looks like it would fry but he is not harmed."

As we have said, down yonder by the swamp, many years ago, we once handled a copperhead. It got cut in twain by our brother wielding a hoe.

On the editorial page, "Familiar Red Herrings" reports that journalists touring the country had found that the 50 major war plants were well on their way to reconversion, nearly complete. Most of the manufacturers expressed confidence in the future and were laying plans for expansion by a quarter of production.

John L. Lewis had told Ralph McGill of the Atlanta Constitution that many new inventions would be placed into operation in industry within the ensuing year, resulting in lowered costs of production and higher output with less manual labor required to operate them, leaving the issue as being the entitlement to higher wages to those fewer hands to increase production.

The piece asserts that it was a natural phenomenon for industry to fight in such times of adjustment for taking the cost from payroll while labor sought to take it from profits. No matter which way the President would lean in the upcoming labor-management conference, the system of free enterprise in the country would be secure.

"Coverage" finds somewhat justified the complaints by the Manchester Guardian in England that the United Nations Organization not find a permanent home either in San Francisco, as proposed, or anywhere else in the United States. It had cited the lack of impartiality of the American press as one primary consideration.

And, indeed, says the editorial, the curious admixture of gossip and entertainment columnists with established journalists at San Francisco covering the two-month conference between April 25 and June 26 had caused rancor even among the American journalists. But, it quickly points out that it was a passing phase of curiosity, and journalists, irrespective of the location of the organization, would quickly be winnowed such that coverage would be restricted to the serious functions of the organization once it got underway.

"We know of nothing more likely to cool the ardor of an American managing editor than a debate on tariff policy conducted in seven languages."

"Beyond Pity" remarks on the report that Hermann Goering had laughed uproariously when told of the suicide of Dr. Robert Ley while awaiting trial at Nuremberg. "Good riddance," said Goering. "He was no good anyway." Julius Streicher, just down the hall, had stated, "He was a pig inside and out."

The piece remarks that the statements were accurate, that Robert Ley had been a Jew-baiter and drunkard, with a mind "almost as foul as the pornographic Streicher's and whose corruption was almost as spectacular as Goering's."

It was unimpressed by Ley's final confession before suicide, laying Germany's problems to anti-Semitism and professing a newly found belief in God.

What happened to these men now was not so important as what had caused the German people to run to their boot heels seeking their leadership.

"Terminology" acerbically suggests that instead of trying to name wars, the interregna being of shorter and shorter duration, the period of truce in between be named, such that the period of 1918 to 1939 had been the Pre-Atomic Armistice and the new era was the Post-Atomic Armistice.

The recent campaign of the Chicago Tribune to pin a name other than World War II to the last war was futile, it being hard enough to name wars, as exampled by the recent efforts of the United Daughters of the Confederacy to try to have the Congress officially change the name of the Civil War to the War Between the States, 80 years after its end.

The excerpt from the Congressional Record has Senator Joseph O'Mahoney of Wyoming debating Senator Tom Connally of Texas on the proposal to repeal the excess profits tax passed during the war to curtail inflation, Senator O'Mahoney inquiring whether the defects of the tax could not be removed without tossing the whole baby, Senator Connally responding that he would not wish to submit to surgery to remove all of his defects as he wished to live a little longer.

Senator O'Mahoney replied that Senator Josiah W. Bailey of North Carolina had stated that he had assaulted the tax with a broadaxe, not a rapier.

Senator Albert Hawkes of New Jersey stressed that the repeal of the tax would not necessarily insure additional revenue as excess profits would not necessarily accrue in the post-war period. Senator Connally suggested that if Senator Hawkes thought the companies would not make the excess profits, he could go home and rest on his silk pillow with the thought that the tax would not have to be paid, to which Senator Hawkes responded that he was popular in the South because he had a cotton pillow.

Senator Connally stated that he would obtain a cotton pillow for Senator Hawkes if needed one, that he was trying to preserve the production of revenue to pay off the war debt, to which Senator Hawkes responded that no money could be obtained from a dead duck or a golden egg from a dead goose.

Senator Connally responded: "The dead goose does not care whether anything is taken out of it because it is already dead. A surgical operation does not hurt a dead goose."

Drew Pearson comments on the transportation snafu complicating the discharge of men from the Army and Navy. He provides several examples of the reasons for the frustration of the men: the loading at Bremershaven of 650 German horses, many of them race horses, for transportation to the Army Cavalry School at Fort Riley, Kansas, while a plane load of brass hats flew from Fort Riley to Germany to insure their cargo was loaded safely; the Army Transport Command had given top priority for three Army planes to carry football players from Nashville to Washington to particpate in the ATC football game; a Liberty ship carried 47 soldiers and 17,000 tons of ballast sand; two race horses were flown from Los Angeles to San Mateo via commercial flight; and a colonel used two big cargo planes for his pheasant hunting trip in North Dakota, including transportation of a jeep.

Meanwhile, on Eniwetok in the Marshalls, 10,000 sailors and Marines were waiting to go home while beach-combing for shells, as Seabees built luxury quonset hits for the officers, and a laundry, hospital, garage, and ice cream plant to accommodate 3,000 men, facilities which would never be used by more than 500. The men for nineteen months had been allowed to wear any type of clothing they desired, but now were suddenly ordered to wear complete uniforms or be placed on bread and water for ten days. The men were being encouraged to join the regular Navy. But they just wanted to go home.

He next informs of a visit with Pope Pius in Rome by the House Appropriations Committee, at which the Pope blessed the birth of a son in Washington to General W. L. Mitchell who had accompanied the Congressmen on the trip. The Pope stated that it was the most remote blessing he had ever provided.

Mr. Pearson notes that the Pope had given shelter within the Vatican to 6,500 Jews during the war, disguised as priests, nuns, and brothers.

Finally, he tells of Congressman Percy Priest of Tennessee who lived 170 miles from Oak Ridge, told a friend, when asked, that the proximity to the bomb's development did not bother him as Tennesseeans had always been known for their atomic energy. Congressman Oren Harris of Arkansas then quipped in response that the Tennessee politicians were keeping things as split as the atoms at Oak Ridge.

Marquis Childs finds President Truman's Navy Day speech, summarizing for the first time his foreign policy, to have been merely a rehash of that already stated, and that British Foreign Minister Ernest Bevin had the previous day provided a much more significant speech to Commons, stressing the urgent need for United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration aid to Europe for the coming winter. Congress had not yet appropriated the authorized remaining 550 million dollars of the 1.3 billion United States contribution to UNRRA. If the fund were not soon appropriated, the shipments of food in the pipeline would be delayed, with potential starvation of millions the result.

The Army was unloading large amounts of no longer needed food at bargain prices. Thus, prompt action by Congress could enable UNRRA to take advantage of this situation. The President had not exerted enough leadership to press Congress to act, opines Mr. Childs, leaving a growing tendency toward drift as the operative policy.

The country appeared behind the policy of feeding Europe and there was now plenty of food available in the country with the gradual ending of rationing. In Iowa, the heart of Republican isolationism, the home of Herbert Hoover, food administrator for Europe after World War I, polls consistently showed support for it. Both genuine humanitarian sentiments and the desire of producers to avoid glutted markets motivated the support for the policy.

But time, as with the collective belly, was running thin and prompt action was required, as winter fast approached in Europe.

Samuel Grafton finds that, on the whole, the relations between President Truman and Congress were worse than the tenuous relations between FDR and the Congress, despite the new President's assiduous wooing of the members of the body where he had sat as a Senator for a decade before becoming Vice-President the previous January 20. Congress refusing the President at every turn was now so routine that there appeared little chance of obtaining Congressional action on any proposal of the President.

Congress had turned him down four times on additional funding for UNRRA to fulfill the needs for winter aid to Europe. Twice he had been turned down on the broadening of unemployment compensation and the request that the United States Employment Service not be returned to the states. Likewise, he had been refused his request to make permanent the Fair Employment Practices Committee, just as had been the case in January with FDR.

Whereas President Roosevlt had engaged in nasty rows with Congress and won, President Truman had sought to glad-hand them, making improved relations with Congress a cornerstone of his new Administration, and was getting nowhere.

Mr. Grafton asserts, wisely, that nasty rows were a part of democracy and not necessarily a bad thing to assure its viability. While the relations with Congress were more amiable, it was superficial amiability.

The flotsam in the morass of assiduity was that there was, amid the amiability, an ongoing struggle for power between the desire for centralized planning from the Executive Branch and the desire on the part of the conservative majority in Congress to return to laissez-faire and simply allow the country to drift of its own accord sans guidance from the Captain. The result of this superficial cooperation was the breakdown of cooperation, nearly resulting in the breakdown of government.

Meanwhile, the House Judiciary Committee was drawing up legislation to declare the war officially at an end, which would have the effect of dissolving formally the President's war powers granted as part of the declarations of war in December, 1941.

The President, posits Mr. Grafton, appeared to be realizing the problem—his decision to cancel all travel in the coming months being signal of this realization. The President would, he continues, come to realize that all Presidents were constantly in trouble with someone—the statement of Abraham Lincoln on the issue of pleasure for the people being probably the best summary of it. And that he could not avoid troubles by moving over to Dodge City. That would only change brands.

"It is time for Mr. Truman to begin to fight for the things in which he believes, not to let troubles creep up on him but to choose his troubles deliberately and wisely, and to learn to love them, as his predecessors did."

S. A. Reed of Southern Pines writes a letter anent a Walter Lippmann column of October 26 in which he had expressed support for the idea of universal military training as espoused by the President and General Marshall.

Mr. Reed thinks the timing to be inapropos:

"In this Witch's Sabbath of post-war ferment, with its lies and counter-lies, its unconfirmed rumors and unconsidered statements, where the world scene changes from day to day, there is certainly no place for the reversal of a policy as old as the nation itself. Surely there will be a little time for cooling off. No American wants to drop an atom bomb on Moscow and as certainly no Russian wants to obliterate Washington."

He hearkens back to the end of World War I, when it was assumed that the Lewisite gas developed for the 1919 spring campaign in France, which, for the Armistice, never materialized, would be the weapon of choice in the "next war". But it turned out that the number of deaths occurring just in the production of the gas was so high that it was impracticable as a weapon.

He questions whether Americans were so eager to try out the atomic bomb and the rocket ship that the conscription of all of America's youth had to be undertaken, "training for a new carnival of horror".

Mr. Reed concludes that if it was to be the case, then surely Congress should provide for the training of the entire civilian population because there had been more civilian casualties during World War II than military.

Unfortunately, too many in Congress, especially those in the class of entering freshmen in 1946, took such sentiments entirely to heart, not as the irony which was intended.

We note parenthetically that the October 26 piece by Mr. Lippmann was but a day beyond having appeared on the same date as his piece of October 25, 1962, during the Cuban Missile Crisis, suggesting, three days after the crisis had been made public by the President, that a deal be struck for removal of the obsolete Jupiter missiles from Turkey in exchange for removal of the missiles introduced to Cuba.

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