Saturday, December 1, 1945

The Charlotte News

Saturday, December 1, 1945


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal ruled Rudolf Hess sane to stand trial. Prior to the start of the session, Herr Hess, who had been disinterestedly reading novels, spoke animatedly to his fellow defendants, causing Grand Admirals Karl Doenitz and Erich Raeder to shake with laughter as he informally described to them his faking amnesia to gain a tactical advantage in the proceedings.

Maj. General Erwin Lahousen continued his testimony from the previous day, stating that Hitler and Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel were directly responsible for the murders of Polish and Russian prisoners, systematically and deliberately starved to death. He also stated that he believed that defendant Franz von Papen had negative feelings about Hitler and, according to secondary sources, had opposed Hitler's war policies.

In Aversa, Italy, Anton Dostler became the first German general to be executed, shot by a firing squad, having been convicted of war crimes for ordering the execution of fifteen American soldiers captured behind enemy lines in Italy in March, 1944 near La Spezia, during the Anzio offensive. The Americans had been attempting to blow up a railroad tunnel. He had pleaded in defense that he had been following the orders of superiors.

The joint Congressional committee investigating Pearl Harbor studied the decoding devices of the so-called "Magic" secret military and diplomatic codes of the Japanese as decoded by Army intelligence. Committee members focused on whether the process of decoding and transmittal of results to field commanders might have been accelerated.

In Honolulu, a riot had occurred November 12 involving 750 sailors of the Honolulu Naval Air Station after four sailors were reported beaten by "hoodlums" in the city and the commanding officer reportedly then allowed the sailors to avenge the attack. The sailors were said to have been carrying sticks, clubs, rocks, bars, and knives as they approached the neighborhood where the previous attack occurred. A report from Washington on the incident blamed the episode on the fact that the sailors had little to do other than await transportation home, that little in the incident was unsual except the riot.

In Tehran, the Russians began evacuating civilians from the capital at sunrise. The precise reason for the evacuation, presumably the threat of the Insurgents out of Azerbaijan Province to the north, was not provided. The approach of the Insurgents, desirous of autonomy for Azerbaijan, had last been reported turning away from the capital. Suspicions ran that the Russians were arming the rebels.

The UAW unexpectedly accepted the proposal of General Motors to reopen some of its strike-bound plants to production for the sake of supplying parts to other automobile manufacturers dependent on G.M. The union strategy had been to "blockade" General Motors while enabling other manufacturers to resume production of civilian cars and trucks, thus creating pressure on General Motors to accede to union demands to avoid losing its competitive start on resumption of post-war production, in turn creating industry-wide pressure to raise wages. Thus the accession to G.M.'s request appeared to fit the general strategy of the workers to aid the other manufacturers, even if also in the process collaterally aiding G.M.

The Labor-Management Conference concluded in Washington. The conference had generally been regarded as a failure. Leaders involved in the conference, however, expressed hope that their deliberations might have laid the groundwork for future cooperation.

A corner lot in Charlotte at the intersection of N. Pine and W. Trade Streets was purchased by Goode Construction Co. for the purpose of constructing a 250-room addition to the Builders Building, an office building on W. Trade. The cost of the proposed construction was estimated to be $400,000.

The Government was said to be ready to deed to Charlotte the real estate of Morris Field, the Army air corps training center during the war. Negotiations for distribution of the 3.5 million dollars worth of appurtenances and improvements on the property were ongoing. Morris Field was adjacent to Douglas Airport.

The North Carolina State Highway Patrol announced a new program to suspend the licenses of drivers who caused serious injury or property damage in accidents, the move resulting from the dramatic increase of serious accidents since the end of gasoline rationing on the heels of V-J Day in mid-August. The Patrol also advocated like treatment of drivers convicted of several speeding violations.

Eventually, by the 1950's, North Carolina would enact a point system for suspension of driver's licenses, one of the strictest in the nation.

In Buffalo, a judge of the Westchester County Children's Court declared that Federal action was necessary to curb the practice of "easy divorces" available in such states as Nevada, Arkansas, and Florida, resulting in undefended divorce suits in many cases because of a forum non conveniens, practically preventing the defendant from appearing.

In May, the U. S. Supreme Court had ruled 5 to 3 in the Williams v. North Carolina case that no state was obliged to recognize foreign state divorce decrees which did not comport with the forum state's divorce laws on required domicile of the petitioning spouse, a case originating with Superior Court Judge Sam J. Ervin, who had found the couple who obtained a Nevada divorce decree without proper domicile in Nevada to be guilty of bigamy, since the decree was not recognizable in North Carolina and the other spouse was a North Carolina resident.

The Supreme Court had equated to antitrust violations and even the miscalculation of need for self-defense or defense of others the notion of taking the risk in divorce cases that acts which were ostensibly lawful might nevertheless subsequently be deemed by a trier of fact to violate the laws, leading even to criminal penalties—even if the Supreme Court in this instance compared oranges to apples or even grapefruit.

In any event, short of an amendment to the Constitution, the Congress, outside the District of Columbia, lacked power, save in the area of taxation, to intrude on the exclusively state province of granting licenses for marriage and decrees of divorce. One might conceive of depriving, upon remarriage, a spouse obtaining an "easy divorce" of subsequent tax benefits for a married couple, but that would also be subject to a contention of denial of Equal Protection under the Fourteenth Amendment, assuming the marriage would be valid in other states, and, if, as in Williams, deemed invalid, a superfluous penalty in any event. In short, Williams appeared to meet the Buffalo judge's concerns to the extent reasonably practicable by the Federal Government.

Reporter Freck Sproles imparts further of needy children in the city awaiting Christmas from the Empty Stocking Fund sponsored by The News, now up to $126.

Toys did not cost so much in those days. A dollar would go a long way, probably enough to purchase the doll wanted by one child and the scarf desired by another.

On the editorial page, "Mr. Truman Bites a Dog" comments, not on the attack by Blaze on Fala and the demise of Blaze in consequence, but rather on the fact that the headline had appeared in The News during the week, "Truman Voices Faith in Russia", emblematic of the deterioration in relations with the Soviets since the end of the war. The President had only informally stated the view in passing at a press conference. If relations were normal between the two countries, it would not have been newsworthy.

Both the United States and the Soviet Union were giving lip service to internationalism while practicing nationalist aims as a foreign policy. If the President truly had faith in the Russians, he would have found no need to make such a statement to the press, as the fact would be self-evident.

The facts that the President had recommended that Congress implement mandatory one-year military service and that the only conceivable enemy against whom the country in the near future might need fight would be Russia, undermined the President's statement. Moreover, maintenance of the atomic bomb secret signified lack of faith in the Soviets.

The piece finds the statement of the President to have served no useful purpose and to have been even dangerous by encouraging complacency among Americans when they ought be very concerned of the deterioration of U.S.-Soviet relations.

"From Crag to Crag" compares the Southern agility of thought in jumping from the notion of economic equality with blacks to social equality to communism with that of a mountain goat, finds that one of the more agile practitioners of the art was Dave Clark of the Textile Bulletin.

Recently, the Bulletin, in an editorial, had criticized the Dialectic Society of the University of North Carolina for supporting the entrance of black students to the University and condemning Jim Crow segregation generally in the South, as reported by a small piece in the Daily Tar Heel.

Said Dave in response, it was representative of the type of leadership at the University, that it would not make any difference if black students were admitted, for Duke, only twelve miles distant, would remain all white, providing a refuge for those who did not wish to attend a school "where white boys and girls will be on a social equality basis with Negroes and eat and sleep with them..."

He went on to say that "most self-respecting" blacks preferred to associate with members of their own race and that most black college students were "superior people" to the riff-raff who attended U.N.C. from "East Side New York City and lower Brooklyn", their attendance being for economic reasons.


Dave thought it probably would prove embarrassing to many responsible families should the names of these members of the Dialectic Society be published, those "who were so weak-minded as to have yielded to the influences of professors and instructors who are members of the radical and communistic group at the University of North Carolina."

He also informed that the University had not sent out the story and so, he concluded, must be suppressing it, as they had in 1943 when a Chapel Hill Presbyterian minister had urged coeds to associate with a Navy band comprised of black members.

The editorial regards Dave as having outdone himself, probably with the gratitude of the Dialectic Society for bringing them such good publicity. If they did not have any communists within their membership, the publicity might attract some. And, if so, they could quote Secretary of State Byrnes responding recently to the charges of Ambassador Patrick Hurley that there were communists and imperialists in the State Department: "I suppose there were all shades of opinions within the State Department when I took it over. If not, I hope there are now, for I regard that as a very good thing."

Dave had once labeled both J. E. Dowd and W. J. Cash as Red, had, at the same time, painted Frank Porter Graham, president of the University, with the Red brush. Probably, Associate Editor Harry Ashmore would as well now join Dave's list of Reds, certainly would by 1957, probably by then in Dave's mind calculated as the leader of the Commissariat for the whole Southeastern United States.

"Pistol-Packing Veterans" comments that wholesale murder grows in proportion to the availability of lethal weapons, particularly firearms. Other types of weapons, knives, brass-knuckles, fists, requiring close contact, were messy and less likely to result in death.

The effort of police to control firearms in the country was being undone by returning veterans bringing with them souvenirs of the war.

John Wooster Martin, director of the Bureau of Public Service for True Detective Magazine, had recently been in Charlotte and stated his belief that the influx of such weapons was responsible for the recent crime wave in New York City. The weapons being introduced to the country were not traceable, causing previous registration of firearms to be rendered meaningless, with three of four being now unregistered.

Soldiers had been allowed to ship home any weapon, including anti-tank guns, rifles, and submachine guns, which were not capable of being concealed on the person.

It was still possible to discriminate these weapons from American-made weapons as they were of a different caliber, being usually 7.65 mm or 9.5 mm.

The piece favors the outlawing of all ammunition in any caliber other than for American-made guns, rendering most of the imported firearms soon useless. Ammunition was forbidden in personal luggage of soldiers and while some had been smuggled, it was comparatively in small amounts. Such a move would not eliminate the problem, but it would limit its impact.

Drew Pearson discusses the irony in China, that Chiang Kai-Shek in 1925 had been provided arms by the Russians to wage civil war and was, in consequence, perceived as a Communist leading Communist troops. Now, he was fighting the Communists in the North, regarded as a friend both by America and Britain, and an enemy to Russia.

Such changes of alliance were not uncommon in the previous hundred years of Chinese history, during which civil wars were more the rule than the exception among jealous warlords seeking "more revenue, more territory or more concubines."

Despite all of the American effort poured into helping Chiang, he was still quite capable of making deals with the Russians behind the backs of his Western allies.

The Far East experts, with whom Ambassador Hurley had been so upset as to brand them Communist sympathizers, had warned of the problem in aiding the Nationalists against the Communists, that public reaction to loss of American soldiers would be stern. Eleven crashes of American planes had been reported the previous week while flying supplies to Chiang's troops.

Mr. Pearson next continues the story of the pilot who had been killed on October 7 while carrying passengers over the Hump in the Himalayas, pursuant to an order not to carry parachutes on flights ferrying passengers. The reason for the order had since been explained, that since passengers were not trained to jump from airplanes and crews could not desert passengers, the no-parachute order had been put into effect by the War Department. Prior to just shortly before this fatal flight, parachutes were allowed on the C-54 transport planes. The fault, therefore, explains Mr. Pearson, was not that of the Air Transport Command, which had during the war, from December 1, 1942, following the loss of the Burma Road to the Japanese earlier in the year, flown 776,532 tons of supplies to China from the Burma-India theater, flown by 35,000 military personnel. Of those, 910 crew members were lost in 594 crashes.

Marquis Childs asserts that the easiest way to dispose of the opposition was, as had General Hurley in resigning his post as Ambassador to China, to brand them "Communists". General Hurley had suggested that many in the State Department were Communist sympathizers sending messages to the Red Chinese forces. Mr. Childs points out that General Hurley had been given virtual free rein in China, had sent the foreign service officers in question from Chungking back to Washington.

His mission had been to try to reconcile the Red Chinese forces and the troops of Chiang Kai-Shek into one amalgamated force against the Japanese, especially desirable as the Red Chinese were acknowledged to be more disciplined and better soldiers. But as time had gone on, Ambassador Hurley had gravitated toward Chiang, refusing to heed the advice of younger diplomats, that it would be desirable to bargain with Chiang to enable rapprochement between the two factions.

One of the young officers, who knew China and the Far East well, had been John Service, who, after being sent home, was charged with revealing secret documents, later cleared of the charge, receiving an apology from Secretary of State Byrnes. Mr. Service was reinstated with a higher rank and sent to assist General MacArthur. Another was George Atcheson, sent home, and also later assigned to assist General MacArthur. There were others as well, John Davies, Jr., and John Carter Vincent.

But, far from determining policy in China, these men had been prevented by General Hurley and military commander General Albert Wedemeyer from having any influence on policy. The latter had desired American intervention by way of supplying arms in the civil war in China to the Nationalists against the Communists and were busy eliminating any dissenting voices from the ranks.

Mr. Childs concludes that Ambassador Hurley's statements had served no useful purpose and it was hoped that General Marshall, in replacing him, might effect a solution to the thorny problems in China.

Samuel Grafton addresses the common attitude of Americans that Britain was seeking a handout in the form of a loan, "that she has put on her oldest clothes and drenched her cheeks in glycerine tears, and is working our sympathies at Washington for all they are worth", when in fact there was a considerable body of opinion in England which opposed taking the loan even if offered, especially if terms were unfavorable, as it would mean running up too much national debt, that strict rationing for another five or six years would be preferable. It was even possible that public opinion might convince Parliament to turn down the loan.

The same prevailing American attitude, that the United States was always a willing teat from which the rest of the world could receive succor, was evident in the Bretton Woods ratification process. Many had objected to America's participation, contending that it would be putting up six billion dollars for the rest of the world's nations to enjoy investment without responsibility. Yet, only three nations thus far had ratified the accord. Had it been the free meal ticket which it had been branded by the nationalists of the United States, then it would be expected that the nations would have lined up for ratification. In fact, most appeared chary of joining because it required each nation to put up its own money as security in the same amount as that which it would obtain in dollars for trade. Many countries feared that it would in consequence be overly beneficial to the United States.

Mr. Grafton asks whether the country realized that it was the only nation with a substantial commitment to the UNRRA fund which was withholding part of its authorized commitment.

The idea that America was everyone else's sucker was a holdover from the colonial era and inhibited the country from having clear insight into the problems of modern times.

A letter writer finds the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot piece reprinted the previous Monday, re the hiring of two black police officers in Norfolk, to be remindful of an editorial from several years earlier by Grover Hall of the Montgomery Advertiser, in which he had stated how wonderful it was to be a "white Gentile", and, should he be placed on trial, no one would say, "White Gentile—Catch Him."

Of Mr. Hall, incidentally, W. J. Cash, in The Mind of the South, had written:

Before I leave the theme, however, there are several other things which need to be said, by way both of setting the case of the Klan and the Fundamentalist anti-evolution movement in better perspective, and also of calling attention to the fact that these two movements seem to have carried in themselves the seed of decay and defeat.

One of them is that as time went on, opposition to them steadily gathered head in the South. There had been opposition from the first, of course, and outside the schools, where it naturally flourished vigorously. Many thousands of the older men bred in the best tradition of the South (and regardless of whether they belonged to the old aristocratic or semi-aristocratic orders or were plain people), remembering the abuses and outrages which had disgraced the early Klan in its later days, distrusting the use of the state's power for allegedly religious ends, or thinking sagely that the schools themselves were the best judges of what they should teach, refused to have anything to do with either movement or in any way to lend them approval. So did thousands of the younger men, either because of their tradition or because they had—often quite unconsciously—come to some extent under the influence of the new tolerance centering in the schools. And some of them were courageous enough to speak out their convictions: editorial writers like Gerald W. Johnson and Nell Battle Lewis in North Carolina; Douglas Freeman, Virginius Dabney, and Louis Jaffe in Virginia; Julian Harris in Georgia; and Grover Hall in Alabama; ministers like Baptist Edwin McNeill Poteat of South Carolina; politicians like Carter Glass of Virginia. Indeed, such men had such complete control in Virginia that neither movement ever got thoroughly established there.

But with the passage of time more and more men of serious intelligence began to heed the warnings of these, to examine into the movements, and to realize their implications for the South. In Alabama, Grover Hall, whose long series of editorials against both in the Montgomery Advertiser was to bring him the Pulitzer prize in journalism, won increasing support not only from the Birmingham Age-Herald and News but eventually, so far as the Klan went, from most of the dailies in the state.

The Mind of the South, 1941, Book III, Chap. II, "Of Returning Tensions—and the Years the Cuckoo Claimed", Section 26, p. 348 of 1969 ed.

Another letter finds the act of the North Carolina Baptist Convention in supporting the recall of the U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican to be un-Christian and undemocratic. The News, in an editorial, had supported the position on the same basis that the Convention had, that no other sects had a special ambassador and to have an Ambassador to the Vatican posed a problem of separation of Church and State, that with the war over, there was no need for the continued presence of an American envoy.

Beldams, whoresons, Noters' puns,
Hunched in savannas
'Til the crack o' sun,
You are but doe-pated freaks
When mine eyes, painted,
Are both unsacked and one.

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