Friday, November 23, 1945

The Charlotte News

Friday, November 23, 1945


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Cordell Hull had presented brief testimony and a written statement to the joint Congressional committee inquiring into the attack on Pearl Harbor, stating that he never gave Japan an ultimatum, attempted to delay termination of diplomatic negotiations as long as possible to buy time, and expected an attack, probably on the Kra Peninsula or in the Dutch East Indies. He told Cabinet members several times prior to December 7 that diplomatic resolution was not going to occur and that war would be the inexorable result. He also stated his belief that the attack could not have been averted except by compromise of fundamental principles of the United States.

At Nuremberg, assistant U.S. prosecutor Sidney Alderman stated, in the fourth day of the war crimes trial, that ten hitherto unknown documents would be introduced against the 20 Nazi defendants, to show that Hitler informed his military commanders in the spring of 1939 that it would be imperative to overrun Holland and Belgium as bases for attacking Britain and France, thus demonstrating a preconceived plan for the war months prior to the attack on Poland.

Former German chancellor and vice-chancellor Franz von Papen told the tribunal that President Paul von Hindenburg had instructed in his last will that the separation between the executive and legislative branches had to be maintained, that the positions therefore of president and chancellor should remain separate. He also had advised that the monarchy of Hohenzollerns be restored. The Nazi hierarchy had contended that the will had instead instructed Hitler to combine the positions of president and chancellor, as he did in 1934 after the death of Hindenburg. Von Papen, reconstructing from memory the original will which he had helped to prepare, was on trial as a war criminal.

In China, the Nationalist troops were said to be closing in on the seaport town of Hulutao in Manchuria, capture of which would enable landing of troops for a drive toward Changchun.

Meanwhile, the Communists announced that they had captured Shihkiachwang on October 27 and Yencheng on November 10.

Former Prime Minister Churchill clashed in Commons with Foreign Secretary Erest Bevin regarding the Labor Party desire, as offered by Mr. Bevin, to delay for three years a vote in Greece on whether to restore the monarchy or have a republic. Mr. Bevin asserted that it would be impracticable to hold an election under current prevailing conditions in Greece. Mr. Churchill emphatically stated that the Greeks were entitled to vote and three years was much too long to cause them to wait for a determination of their form of government.

In the 41st installment by General Jonathan Wainwright, he tells of freedom from captivity finally as the Russians had escorted the men to Mukden on August 26, twelve days after the end of the war. Arrangements were then made to fly some of the men, including General Wainwright, from Mukden, and they departed on August 27, headed for home.

He tells of how the men at Mukden heard the news of surrender, receiving word on August 16. The Russians shortly thereafter entered the camp and ordered the Japanese to surrender their weapons.

General Motors had not yet delivered the reply to the UAW demand for appointment of a three-man arbitration board to resolve the wage issue on which the union had struck on Wednesday. G.M. management had promised a reply by this date. They were still ruminating over it.

The OPA announced that after studying industry reports, there would be no increase allowed in steel prices until at least after the first of the year, potentially impacting the desired $2 per day wage increase demanded by the steel workers.

Meat rationing and rationing of fats were set to end at midnight this date.

In New York, Captain Frank Lillyman and his wife ended their dream week, as the editorial column had remarked a couple of days earlier, having been given free lodging by the Pennsylvania Hotel after the recently returned soldier had inquired of the cost for a week's stay.

In New Jersey, thieves in two burglaries made off with 125,000 of the red ration points, set to terminate at midnight. Quite a haul.

On the editorial page, "A Pressure Group Is Born" tells of Charles G. Bolte, returned, distinguished veteran of World War II, having fought at El Alamein as part of a British regiment in the summer of 1942, where he lost a leg ending his military career. He then founded the American Veterans Committee, recruiting members through personal correspondence addressed to fighting men in distant places.

He had just published The New Veteran, a book setting forth his views, in two chapters of which he had blasted existing veterans organizations, contending that they were devoted to bonuses, alcoholic conventions, and class legislation designed for the exclusive benefit of the members. Mr. Bolte believed that the veterans should devote themselves instead to the furtherance of a democratic society and a more stable world, that the AVC should become a pressure group for the common welfare, as veterans were inextricably a part of the citizenry and common weal.

The piece views the effort as having a fundamental weakness in that it would attract veterans who were dissatisfied with the VFW, the American Legion, and the Amvets, people who would be independent thinkers with the propensity therefore to establish an ideology within the new organization. It would thus become the target for anti-liberals—who would be suspicious of any thinking.

In the end, it suggests, it would likely wind up singing only to the choir. It might be more salutary should it simply remain unorganized, as private citizens within their individual communities setting forth their ideas.

"The Return of Mr. Lindbergh" comments on the praise being provided Charles Lindbergh by Naval officers upon his return from the Central Pacific where he had worked successfully as a civilian to develop a method to enable larger two-ton bomb loads on the Corsairs. When he had first arrived, he was received coolly for his isolationist speeches and front work for the America Firsters in 1941. But by the time he had left, he had earned the respect of all.

The Navy denied rumors that Mr. Lindbergh had engaged in actual combat and shot down several Japanese planes. He had test-flown the Corsair with its 4,000-pound bomb attached for the first time, but that was all.

The Corvair was still down the road a piece.

The piece indicates that Mr. Lindbergh had always excelled when limiting himself to that which he understood best, aviation, and not busying himself in political matters. His sins, it opines, had developed from naivete and he should be forgiven for it, even if having lost the mantle along the way as hero. He had proved himself instead a useful citizen, perhaps that which he had always desired.

"Alaska Comes of Age" comments that many returning veterans had declared that they would never again leave the United States, some saying they would never leave the pavement.

But the Governor of Alaska, Ernest Gruening, had written Washington to seek help against the threatened incursion of veterans. As he did not believe there would be sufficient room for them, he favored creation of screening stations in Seattle to weed all but the most worthy for the long journey north. With 7,000 veterans native to Alaska and only the prospect of 15,000 jobs in the state during the ensuing decade, his state, he implored, could not handle the insurgents.

Jack London, Dangerous Dan McGrew, and the Lady Known as Lou, were no longer in the wilds of the North, and it took a stake of $2,000 realistically to set out for the territory, once labeled by Republicans, after its purchase from Russia, as the "icebox".

The late President Roosevelt, suggests the editorial, had been incorrect in calling Alaska the nation's last frontier; it was actually just a group of businessmen trying to deal with its own local problems and desirous of no help from those of the lower 48.

A piece from the Washington Post, titled "Wearing Bell-Bottom Trousers...", discusses the proposed changes to the Navy uniform, its detractors suggesting that it had been designed to discourage mutinies in the bad old days. For someone dressed in such fashion would be sore to grant himself leave to take flight from the ship into company of the polite. Moreover, the fit tight made concealment of weapons a difficult task.

The piece dispels the notion, states that the uniform was designed with practicality in mind: the tight fit to prevent billowing in high winds across the ocean, tending to blow the man down; the bell-bottoms to allow rolling of the pant legs during swabbing of the deck; the square collar round the rear serving to protect the rest of the uniform from tar off the sailor's queue, the queue being tarred to prevent lice, the queue, the lock at the back to prevent the nuts and bolts from finding egress to the dock.

The only thing the piece could not explain was the manner of the hat, the original having a flat, circular crown and wide brim, probably protecting against sun and rain. The present hat probably was an effort to emulate the tam and pompom of the French Navy, but, if so, a failure in its intended purpose. We might conceive also that, brimless, the hat was less likely to blow away at sea, while affording the ability to be tucked down in cold weather over the ears and forelock.

If the uniform were abolished by the Navy, it predicts, women would take it up, as they had the hussar's busby, the grenadier's shako, the zouave's fez, the infantryman's kepi, and the knight's basinet. Indeed, the pea-jacket had already been adopted by the bobby-soxers.

In fact, it suggests, the history of civilization could be written in the adoption by women of men's attire, the tunic, the toga, the kilt, the dalmatic, the gown, the doublet, the cloak, the redingote, the turban, and on down the line.

The only time the principle had been reversed was in the case of pants, which had started as women's purse.

Drew Pearson indicates that President Truman had made little comment on the resolution passed by the Texas Baptist Convention condemning his occasional playing of poker and bourbon drinking, demanding in consequence that Baylor not confer an honorary degree on the President. Mr. Truman was a member of the Baptist Church of Grandview, Mo. Independence, the world headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ and the Latter Day Saints, demonstrated more religiosity than most towns its size. The Church drew five to ten thousand attendees annually to its convention and its membership embraced a third of the town. There were more than twenty other churches in Independence. Nevertheless, the citizens saw no lack of T in bourbon and poker.

The president of William Jewell College, a Baptist institution located at Liberty, Mo., stated in response that his college would confer a degree on the President whenever he was able to get to the campus.

Mr. Pearson notes that Independence was regarded by the Latter Day Saints as Zion City, the place to which Christ would return to establish the seat of world government, the large temple which they had constructed, to be the locus. He also points out that the Latter Day Saints were not to be confused with the Mormons of Salt Lake City. Brigham Young, the original leader of the Mormon sect, broke with Joseph Smith, the leader of the Latter Day Saints, in Independence.

He next discusses the nepotism thriving within the Army. Major General William Key had promoted his son to the status of commissioned officer, the only time save in combat such a promotion had been made. The younger Key had formerly been a lieutenant serving in Italy. The promotion had irritated other enlisted men without brassy fathers. The practice of favoritism was not new: in Oklahoma, General Key had been WPA administrator and had built 56 armories, more than in any other state. In Oklahoma City, the armory contained elaborate facilities for officers, not open to enlisted men.

The column next addresses troubles with the Good Neighbor policy in Latin America following the appointment of former Ambassador to Argentina Spruille Braden as the Assistant Secretary of State in charge of Latin American affairs, replacing Nelson Rockefeller in the post. He was viewed with suspicion by those south of the border because during his tenure as Ambassador to Cuba, he became embroiled in Cuban politics to such an extent that President Fulgencio Batista—who sometimes, for purposes of disguise, went by the pseudonym Jose Jimenez—had called twice for his ouster, refused by Secretary of State Hull.

Another problem spot was Adolph Berle, who, as Ambassador to Brazil, had also engaged in politics. He had a liberal, informed viewpoint, says Mr. Pearson, and good intentions, but he was also bumbling. He had made a speech in which he stated that he believed President Vargas would hold free elections, a speech to which Sr. Vargas had provided his imprimatur. After delivering the speech, however, Sr. Vargas reproved Mr. Berle for meddling in Brazil's politics.

Mr. Pearson suggests that Fiorello La Guardia, retiring as Mayor of New York, would be a good replacement for Mr. Berle. Herbert Hoover could serve with distinction, or Henry Morgenthau, former Secretary of the Treasury, former Attorney General Francis Biddle, or Leo Crowley. To avoid another war, good diplomats, he concludes, were as important as good generals.

Finally, he relates of the fortuitously broken tow-line of a Navy cruiser, the Northampton, accompanying the carrier Enterprise, which saved both ships from destruction at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. The Enterprise, along with four destroyers and three heavy cruisers, had gone to Wake Island to deliver planes and, on return to Oahu, ran low on fuel, causing some of the destroyers to have to refuel at sea from the cruisers. In the process, the Northampton broke a tow-line; after a new line had been thrown over the side, it became ensnarled in the screws and a diver was sent below to unscrew it. The operation plus bad weather had sufficiently slowed their return such that the complement did not reach Pearl until right after the attack. The ships thus became the heart of the new force assembled to fight against the Japanese Navy.

Of course, that was really just another evidentiary exhibit demonstrating the Roosevelt plot to get the United States into the war. For everyone knows that there is no such thing as serendipitous fate, especially on the high seas. It is all a part of Morgan le Fey.

Marquis Childs again addresses the Truman-Attlee-King statement on atomic energy, recommending turning it over to a commission formed by the U.N., but not addressing how the commission should be formed and appointed. Australia's Foreign Minister Herbert Evatt had expressed the concern that the Big Three or Big Four were making decisions without consulting the smaller nations, threatening a cohesive U.N., one more than a facade for power politics. He hoped that the creation of this commission would be a collaborative effort within the U.N., scheduled to meet for the first time shortly after the first of the year.

Mr. Childs agrees with the assertion and posits that should such a procedure be followed, the U.N. would get off to a good start, being truly representative of all the member nations. But the agreement of the Soviet Union was also required and thus far, the Soviets had not remarked on the Truman-Attlee-King statement.

There was another reason, he posits, for consideration of the secondary powers: the fissionable material, uranium—not understanding at the time that plutonium and the lab-produced isotopes of uranium provided a better source—, was only available from pitchblende, a substantial deposit of which had been found by the United States on Great Near Lake in Canada. But other major resources were in the Belgian Congo and in Czechoslovakia. Moreover, the secondary powers had great scientists, some having taken part in the Manhattan Project, including Niels Bohr of Denmark, smuggled from the country despite the vigilance of the Nazis, and Enrico Fermi of Italy.

Since nuclear fission had been the discovery of an international body of scientists, it should be controlled by an international organization.

Sumner Welles had advocated in 1941 that a new league be formed; if the advice had been followed, then the U.N. would not presently have been in its infancy. Remembering the failures of the past in structuring world organization, the smaller nations were demanding a say.

A letter writer, a soldier in Manila, expresses dismay that reports had come that some ships, specifically in the instance he cites, the Le Hand, were sailing to America with only a ballast load aboard, as men waited to go home.

Samuel Grafton addresses the subject of the questionable foreign policy of the United States, seeking to guess what a foreign observer might perceive it to be. He would likely find that the U.S. was determined to act unilaterally when it suited its interests, as attested by the occupation policy in Japan.

The observer would also intuit that the U.S. wanted territorial gains from the war, based on the desire for new bases in Iceland, Greenland, and the Pacific, the claim that they were for defensive purposes likely to fall on deaf ears.

The observer would also glean that the U.S. no longer supported the necessity of Big Three unanimity on a given issue, as visibly underscored by the recent agreement with Britain and Canada, omitting from their confidence the Soviets, regarding the disposition of the bomb.

He would also observe that the country used the Bill of Rights as a club, endorsing the adoption of it by Rumania, but denying it to Korea where efficient administration was the order of the day.

Finally, the observer would likely discern that the country opposed free political development in Asia, as shown by its interference in the Chinese civil war, as well condoning repression in the Indies, the recent outbreak of Nationalist Indonesian revolt in Java.

A proper foreign policy had to take into account such probable observations. Increasingly the policy was being formed in response to pressures at home and less from needs abroad. As such subjective foreign policy was dangerous, it was useful to examine how the thing looked to someone not of the country.

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