Wednesday, November 28, 1945

The Charlotte News

Wednesday, November 28, 1945


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that General George C. Marshall was called from his recent retirement as chief of staff of the Army to become special Ambassador to China, following the resignation of Maj. General Patrick Hurley. After Ambassador Hurley had conferred with Secretary of State Byrnes, the Secretary stated that he believed General Hurley would return to his post in China.

General Hurley, according to the Washington Evening Star, had a file of messages which had been allegedly sent to Chinese Communists by persons in the State Department who General Hurley considered to be Communist sympathizers.

Members of the House, Democrats and Republicans, called for investigation into the Far East foreign policy and the diplomatic personnel stationed there. Republican Representative Carl Curtis of Nebraska called for termination by the State Department of all Communists on its payroll. Others wanted General Hurley to testify before the House.

That which would come to be known as the McCarthy era, after the election in 1946 of Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin, had just begun.

In Iran, an insurgent military force was said by Iranian Government representatives to be reported heading toward Tehran from the north out of Azerbaijan Province. Government troops were placed at the ready.

Former Ambassador to Japan Joseph C. Grew testified to the joint Congressional committee investigating Pearl Harbor that he had destroyed some codes used by the embassy prior to the attack on December 7, 1941, and some other codes afterward. Senator Homer Ferguson of Michigan wished to know which codes were destroyed before the event, to which Representative John Murphy of Pennsylvania objected as being unduly revelatory.

In Nuremberg, Franz Von Papen and Arthur Seyss-Inquart, first Chancellor of Austria after Anschluss, were described by American prosecutors as leaders of the fifth column which prepared the way for invasion of Austria in 1938. Herr Seyss-Inquart was charcaterized by assistant U.S. prosecutor Sidney Alderman as the "original quisling", having an active role in inciting the violence which led in 1934 to the assassination of Austrian Chancellor Englebert Dolfuss.

Rudolf Hess was deemed not insane for purposes of standing trial.

The court denied a request by the prosecution to introduce an affidavit from Kurt Schuschnigg, former Chancellor of Austria, placed in jail by the Fuehrer for seven years. The affidavit told of Nazi plotting against Austria. The affidavit had received objection from the defense as hearsay, that the affiant should appear in person to testify.

The previous day, not reported on the front page, Mr. Alderman had summarized evidence showing the steady gobbling up of Czechoslovakia by the Nazis, following Munich in September, 1938.

President Truman nominated Admiral William Halsey to become a five-star admiral of the fleet. Admiral Halsey was about to retire from the Navy. Only three other five-star admirals had been appointed, Admiral Chester Nimitz, Admiral Ernest King, and Admiral William Leahy.

Former director of the Office of Censorship in Europe, Byron Price, stated that the situation in Germany was daily growing worse and America soon would have to confront the decision as to whether it would abandon the effort to occupy Germany.

In Pittsburgh, Chicago, and other steel manufacturing areas across the country, steel workers appeared to be voting heavily in favor of strike, to obtain their demanded $2 per day increase in wages.

Forty-four war veterans, members of the New York Police Department for only 29 hours, were being assigned to assist patrol officers, albeit without badges, guns, or uniform. The move was in response to the rising crime wave in the city.

One of the most severe earthquakes of the twentieth century had been registered in India, believed to be centered in the Indian Ocean near the Gulf of Oman.

The Associated Press, in compliance with a Federal court order, allowed the Chicago Sun, a competitor to the A.P. member Chicago Tribune, to join the news service. Other major newspapers across the country also were admitted.

The Charlotte Chamber of Commerce authorized seeking from the Federal Civil Aeronautics Board permission for Charlotte to have a direct air route to Knoxville, Tenn., from which air routes to the Midwest and Far West originated.

In Washington, poet Ezra Pound, on trial for treason for allegedly broadcasting Fascist propaganda in Italy during the war, entered a plea of not guilty through his attorney and made request for bail based on his claustrophobia. The judge ordered a psychiatric examination, to which Mr. Pound assented, to determine the validity of the claim.

In Los Angeles, the husband of the 24-year old woman who had married Ellsworth Wisecarver, 16, said that he had forgiven her. His wife stated that all was copascetic, as she appeared on a criminal charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Ellsworth was still in the custody of juvenile authorities. It was his second marriage to an older woman, having married a 22-year old when he was 14, a little over a year earlier.

A crash of an Army transport plane, a C-24, near Walhalla, S.C., after it flew off the radio beam, and tried to fly too low to sight landmarks, knocking out an engine on treetops and then circling in a ten-mile radius to enable passengers to parachute to safety from 200 to 300 feet, managed to have no fatalities, only occupants suffering from shock and exposure. One lieutenant, however, was still stuck in a tree 60 feet off the ground awaiting his rescue on the edge of the Chattooga River.

We just hope that, in the meantime, the lieutenant does not suffer the misfortune of a run-in with the brother-in-law of Arthur Queen, who prob'bly 'll turn up in a day or two, drunk as usual.

Hal Boyle, still in Shanghai, continues his saga of "Flags", the psychopathic parrot, who was "more stubborn than a cave full of Japanese". He remained embittered to the bitter end, refused to talk, grunted. Not even an "Okay, Joe." Wouldn't sing. Too lazy to fly. Just ate. According to A. P. prize-winning photographer Frank Filan, of whom two days earlier Mr. Boyle had written, he was "the stupidest bird that ever lived".

He had been on a seaplane tender off Treasury Island for most his lousy life until he was ordered dispatched based on the possibility that he might spread psittacosis among the men. The medics always suspected every parrot of being a carrier of the dreaded flu. But, A. P. corrspondent Charles McMurtry came to his rescue, taking him as a pet, whereupon Flags fell overboard and nearly drowned, had to be fished from the drink with a pole. He enjoyed the water but always forgot to swim.

One of the men on Guadalcanal fixed a sleeping perch for Flags, but he abandoned it and instead chose to sleep with Al "Red Dog" Dopking of the A.P. During the night, Flags decided to leave Mr. Dopking some special gifts, awakening the journalist in horror.

Eventually, Flags was flown to Australia, lived for ten days on cocoanuts, bananas, and K-rations. Mr. McMurtry then took him back to Honolulu in a specially built cage.

One day, Mr. McMurtry returned from work to find Flags dead. He had hanged himself in his own cage.

The editors note that Mr. McMurtry had sent out a circular letter to all staffers in the combat zones marking the sad passing of Flags, remarking that he had just met A.P. photographer Grant McDonald, surely having nothing to do with his suicide soon afterward.

On the editorial page, "The Drys' Pyrrhic Victory" comments on the tireless campaign waged, with a good deal of political savvy, by the 22 prohibitionist organizations in the country. Perceived by many as having not gotten beyond the elementary notions posed in "Ten Nights in a Barroom", they actually were a good deal more sophisticated, as their results demonstrated, even if in the bargain also quite illogical.

Twelve million veterans coming home from the war would not wish any form of tampering with their personal habits. They represented enough political strength to counteract the prohibitionists and would likely do so.

The piece comments that even Mecklenburg County might finally vote to allow sale of liquor in ABC stores within the coming year.

"Another Door Is Shut" discusses the fact that the United Nations Organization had become meaningless in just a matter of months since the Charter had been signed in San Francisco June 26. Even Senator Burton Wheeler of Montana had voted for it, the foremost isolationist in the Senate prior to the war.

Yet, there was still hope that it would provide a starting point for international cooperation. President Truman had been such an advocate of the U.N. But now, Senator Tom Connally of Texas had recently asserted flatly that he would not everdesire world government. As an unofficial Administration spokesman on U.N. matters, Senator Connally was a lawmaker to whom great weight could be imputed. The statement flew in the face of the advocacy for world government by Senator William Fulbright of Arkansas, Senator Glen Taylor of Idaho, and Senator Joseph Ball of Minnesota.

The piece saw the statement by Senator Connally as having slammed the door on any hope that the U.N. would carry weight into the future, for its only hope for viability as a world organization would be through its function as a world government. The statement represented a victory for isolationism. The U.N. had been reduced to a mere debating society, pleasing those nationalists who supported it, with obviously such a limited purpose in mind.

"No Check, No Balance" criticizes the bill which ended the excess profits tax as of January 1 for not having a provision which would have caused it to apply to all profits which customarily a business would have realized in the period prior to expiration. For not having such a provision, the manufacturers were able to hold back production until after January 1. And even then, the desire to wait until price controls would be lifted might impact their willingness to put goods on the market for even a longer period.

The reason, however, that no such provision was in the bill was that it would have been beyond the powers of Congress to impose taxes and excises. For taxes cannot be legally imposed on that which might have been or would normally have been, but rather only on realized income. Were it otherwise, the power to tax could extend to whatever Congress deemed a person or persons ought earn based on their education, skill, age, etc. It could result in taxes substantially higher than a person's actual income. That would simply be unconstitutional. It would be seeking to tax non-existent income, based on a prior pattern of earnings, a tax on thin air.

The political cartoonists would have had a field day on the resulting tax: no taxation based on hallucination.

Congress could have imposed higher taxes on inventory, but not on unrealized income per se.

A piece from the Louisville Courier-Journal, titled "Ellen Glasgow and the South", remarks on the death November 21 at age 71 of Ms. Glasgow, novelist and essayist, resident of Richmond, Virginia, her entire life. She had grown up in the same house in which she died. Her health had not been good for a few years.

The impetus for her writing, remarks the piece, had come from her loathing of the sterile Southern escapist novels of her youth.

Each of her thirteen novels had deliberately rebelled against the type, treating the South as it really existed, not hanging somewhere between earth and sky, though she never became a member of the newer realist school.

Said Ms. Glasgow, "...[T]he Southern States have more than an equal share of degeneracy and deterioration; but the multitude of half-wits and whole idiots, and nymphomaniacs, and paranoiacs and rakeshells in general that populate the modern literary South could flourish nowhere but in the weird pages of melodrama. There is no harm in the fashion, one surmises, until it poses as realism. It may be magnificent, indeed, but it is not realism, and it is not particularly Southern."

The piece concludes that she had been a "truthful interpreter of her time and place" and a great artist, "one to whom her region and the nation will continue to pile up an unpayable debt."

In The Mind of the South, W. J. Cash, in two separate passages, paid high tribute to Ms. Glasgow, one of his favorite novelists:

Once set at a desk with a quill, talent, in so far as it was really such, inevitably tended to assert its natural right, to bear its possessor, at any moment when he happened to be off his guard, into the detachment which is the prime necessity of the artist, to struggle against the strait-jacket of propagandizing purpose and to break out of it at every opportunity.

In the case of Joel Chandler Harris it all but completely breaks clear; the secondary values seize command and become the primary ones. Plainly having in it the will to render the Old South as an idyl. Uncle Remus nevertheless succeeds in being an authentic creation, in catching almost without exaggeration and without false feeling a fact and a mood which actually existed. Or, again, Cable's The Grandissimes, so predominantly a piece of sentimental glorification that it goes mainly unread nowadays, yet had so many flashes of untrammeled insight, so many sudden lapses into realism, that his countrymen actually denounced it as a libel. And there are even passages in Thomas Nelson Page, the very forefront of propaganda, in which the advocate is all but submerged in the artist.

Propelled into the practice of letters by sociological forces, never able in these years to escape from the stultification which the dominance of a too great and too immediate patriotic bias involved, the South was yet swinging slowly and always toward a time when it should come to the use of literature more or less purely for itself. And toward the end of the period this tendency would reach definite realization in a young woman living at Number 1 Main Street at Richmond in Virginia. By 1900 Ellen Glasgow was beginning decisively to stand apart, to approach the materials of her world almost exclusively from the viewpoint of the artist.

The Mind of the South, 1941, 1969 ed., Book II, Chap. I, "Of the Frontier the Yankee Made", Section 13, p. 147

All along from 1900 Ellen Glasgow had of course been exercising her irony on her native land, in a long series of tales which grew constantly more penetrating and impatient of sentimentality. And in 1925 she produced, in Barren Ground, what I judge to be the first real novel, as opposed to romances, the South had brought forth; certainly the first wholly genuine picture of the people who make up and always have made up the body of the South.

–Book III, Chap. III, "Of the Great Blight—and New Quandaries", Section 10, p. 384

Cash exchanged correspondence with Ms. Glasgow during the spring of 1941, after publication of his book in February. And we still do not know what she meant by the reference to a rat in relation to The Education of Henry Adams, there simply being no rat mentioned in the work.

Drew Pearson comments on Congressman William Gallagher of Minnesota, the former street-sweeper, having placed blame for Congressional sloth on the leadership of several House committees, commenting that of the four of which he was a member, only the Indian Affairs committee was active. He wanted renewal of President Roosevelt's pet project, to construct the St. Lawrence Seaway, desired action on full employment and the minimum wage. The leaders of the committees, he asserted, did not trust the full membership of the House to afford an up-or-down vote on these important pieces of legislation. He wanted action, not speeches.

Mr. Pearson had found it as refreshing as had the Louisville-Courier Journal in its piece reprinted at the bottom of the column the previous day.

Next, he reports that John L. Lewis would bring the UMW back into the fold of AFL, that the deal had already been finalized, would formally be announced January 21.

He then reports of the deputy overseas property liquidator, needing to travel from Warsaw to Prague in early October, seeking first to hitch a ride on an Army plane, but finding none available. Several sources told him that trying to get onboard a Russian plane would be futile, that the red tape would take ten days to clear even if the Russians granted permission.

Eventually, a UNRRA worker managed to arrange an offer of a ride from the Russians, enabling him to travel fully 400 miles for 97 cents American. After arrival in Prague, he had to drive to Vienna and Frankfurt, was stopped by the Russians only twice through Vienna. But in American territory, between Vienna and Frankfurt, he was stopped six times and eventually arrested by an M.P. for speeding on an eight-lane autobahn with no traffic in sight, with his chauffeur proceeding at 55 mph.

That was Mr. Pearson's lesson in Russian red tape.

Marquis Childs comments that the strike by the UAW against General Motors appeared to be set to last indefinitely, with the prospect that eventually Congress would intervene with the passage of the pending anti-strike legislation. It would impact both management and labor as it would provide for compulsory arbitration, opposed by both sides.

John L. Lewis stood behind the drama as the hero or villain, depending on how one wanted to place him. He was angling for leadership of the CIO and leaning toward Republican interests for 1948, his natural party affinity, having only supported Roosevelt in 1936 and then Wendell Willkie in 1940.

Mr. Lewis could blame the CIO for its wage demands should the anti-strike legislation be passed. In the meantime, as Mr. Pearson examined in detail, he would take the UMW back into AFL, where he would become the predominant power.

He would blame the anti-strike legislation also on the conservative Southern Democrats in Congress, even though they would be inevitably aided by Republicans.

The split in labor would likely continue into the 1948 election cycle, as FDR was no longer around to heal bruised feelings. It was all to the liking of the Republicans, eager to recapture the White House and the House.

His gamble for a return to personal power, one which threatened all of labor with adverse consequences, was characteristic of Mr. Lewis's entire life.

Samuel Grafton equates the destruction by the American occupation forces of Japan's cyclotrons with the destruction of microscopes or any other scientific tool. It was emblematic of the reaction to the discovery of nuclear fission, that it had made the country fear knowledge. Several American scientists had protested the action, some of them having worked on the bomb.

The President had recently drawn the distinction between nuclear fission for energy production and research, and for weaponry. But the action in destroying the cyclotrons was not aimed at curtailing the latter activity, rather the former. It had the effect of maintaining man in perpetual ignorance of the atom and its inner workings.

It was all a "wild pitch", just as some of the comments in the isolationist press which had stated that it would be anti-American to question the country's atomic policy.

"And the worst of it is (we always come back to this) that the kind of security offered by these dubious new developments in American life does not even make us secure; it is the kind of security that makes the guardian jumpy, and causes his hand to tremble, and when he throws, to throw wide of the mark."

A letter writer, taking information from the October 22 issue of Life, finds that the President was broad-minded enough to be able to sit down to separate meals with Presbyterians, Methodists, and Baptists, and afterward have a drink of bourbon. He was therefore, concludes the author, the "True-man", both to the churches and the devil who inspired the brewers. The piece had said that in response to the question as to how he was, posed by a salesman named Petty at the Belknap Hardware Store in Caruthersville, Mo., the President had stated, "There is nothing wrong with me that a little whisky wouldn't cure," thus advertising, according the author of the letter, the "devil's dirty work".

Well, somebody had to do it.

Even Gene Tunney, the prize fighter, contends the writer, would object to the President's endorsement of whisky.

He quotes the Bible, Ecclesiastes 10:1: "Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savor: so doth a little folly him that in reputation for wisdom and honor."

He quotes General Pershing, presumably from sometime during or not long after World War I, when prohibition was being debated, on the harm of liquor to his men of the Army.

The author concludes by giving praise to Mr. Truman as a great leader, but admonishes him for leading the country, especially the nation's youth, to the depths of hell by giving tacit approval to drink.

He does not stop to think that the desire for liquor long preceded Harry Truman and long followed him also. His endorsement or not likely had very little to do with any rampant drunkenness of the time, of which there appeared to be a fair amount.

But, rampant sobriety can be just as demeaning and tending to lead to the depths of hell if utilized in the wrong way. Adolf Hitler, he neglects to inform, was a tee-totaler. That no more indicts tee-totalers as tending toward Hitler as it did Mr. Truman as tending toward the devil or an inattentive drunk for his not foreswearing alcohol in small quantities.

Perhaps, rather than urging the President to repent his grave sin of moderate drink and supposed endorsement of drink, the author should have read a little more of Ecclesiastes 10:

8 He that diggeth a pit shall fall into it; and whoso
breaketh a hedge, a serpent shall bite him.

9 Whoso removeth stones shall be hurt therewith; and he that
cleaveth wood shall be endangered thereby.

10 If the iron be blunt, and he do not whet the edge, then must he
put to more strength: but wisdom is profitable to direct.

11 Surely the serpent will bite without enchantment; and a babbler
is no better.

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