Saturday, July 21, 1945

The Charlotte News

Saturday, July 21, 1945


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that 174 Mustangs struck between Osaka and Nagoya the previous day, ensuing the record-setting attack of 600 B-29's prior to dawn. Other Mustangs struck targets on Kyushu, at Kagoshima, Kushikino, and Myakonojo.

Liberator and Mitchell bombers of the Seventh Air Force hit five Japanese airfields in the area of Shanghai and started fires on docks on the Whangpoo River on Wednesday, meeting no opposition. B-24's of the Fifth Air Force hit the Miho airdrome on southern Honshu and the Temitaka airstrips on the east coast of Kyushu. Some of the contingent also hit Formosa. Still other Liberators struck trains along the Indo-Chinese coastline off Nha Trang, while still others hit targets in the area of Canton in China.

Tokyo radio made mention of a single B-29 which had raided the capital the previous day, labeling it as example of a "sneak attack" designed to create confusion. It also complained that the attacks, which had a debilitating psychological effect on the population, could not be anticipated from empirical data or by interpolation.

In 17 days, a single B-29 would venture over Japan, packing a payload which would do quite a bit more than create confusion.

The Chinese troops were closing in on Kweilin from three sides, repulsing Japanese counter-attacks. The Japanese had suffered numerous casualties in Fukien Province, six miles south of the South China coastal highway town of Yunsiao, 65 miles northeast of Swatow.

The Big Three held their fifth meeting at Potsdam, with each meeting since Tuesday reported to have lasted nearly three hours. The foreign secretaries of each country, Secretary of State James Byrnes, Foreign Minister Anthony Eden, and Foreign Commissar V. M. Molotov, also had held meetings each day since Monday.

Both Prime Minister Churchill and President Truman were urging that the talks proceed more quickly to resolution. The Prime Minister was hopeful of return to London by July 26, the date on which the election returns from July 5 would be announced, following the prolonged count of soldier absentee ballots.

It was thought that President Truman was premising bargaining of proposals at the conference on Soviet participation in the war against Japan.

The Army and Navy Journal reported that the President had taken with him to Potsdam a draft of acceptable terms of Japanese surrender, as approved by the State Department, the War Department and the Navy. The terms required that Japan abolish its air force and fleet, and also otherwise disarm militarily. Territorially, it would be reduced to the home islands. War industries would be abolished, with the Japanese economy under the control of the United Nations. Finally, it would surrender all war criminals.

The question of how Emperor Hirohito was to be treated was not yet determined. Liberals and New Dealers wanted him executed; others wanted only the warlords sought as war criminals.

The Journal stated that it may or may not have been significant that on the eve of Stalin's departure from Moscow for Potsdam, the Japanese Ambassdor to Russia conferred with Foreign Commissar Molotov.

The Navy and Department of Defense Transportation protested to the Senate that the Army had stepped up its return of troops to the United States without notice and had consequently swamped transportation facilities.

The Navy announced the prospect of the discharge of some 30,000 older Navy officers and enlisted men by December to allow for enlistment and induction of younger men.

Three Army airmen who had each lost a leg in combat were now being permitted to fly again as observation instructors at Drew Field near Tampa, having requested to do so. They were joined by another veteran who had lost an arm.

In Spain, Generalissimo Francisco Franco had announced his new Cabinet appointees following a long expected shake-up. Despite five new members being regarded as supporters of the monarchy, the new Cabinet, it was thought, would follow the principles of the Falangist Party, the party of El Caudillo.

In Oregon, the forest fire which had consumed thus far 46,000 acres still raged out of control, but rains were helping the effort to extinguish the fire. It was believed it would continue to burn, however, through Tuesday.

In Fort Worth, a 25-year old corporal who had been interned for three years in a Japanese prison camp was back home but barely alive, suffering from tuberculosis of the throat, lungs, and stomach. He was being treated, but had not eaten for a day. His parents expressed continuing hope and faith that he would recover. Some 7,000 letters of encouragement had been mailed to him from all parts of the United States and Canada.

The hapless Navy seaman in Miami, who had become embroiled in the beer-bottle fracas with a woman he had picked up in a bar, entered his plea of self-defense in her death, caused by striking her on the head with a beer bottle after she had hit him in like manner. He had awakened to find her dead in his hotel room, where the fracas had apparently taken place. An admiral was backing the sailor and so he had been released on a $1,000 bond, awaiting trial on the charge of manslaughter.

A farmer from northern Wisconsin was looking for a bride and so wrote about it to his Congressman, Alvin O'Konski, who made the missive public. He stated that he was still looking for a wife as he was fed up with having housekeepers for whom he could not supply adequately city wages. He had tried matrimonial clubs but found the members only to be after the "mazuma" and "city life". He was content on his farm, but had a five-year old boy, 30 head of cattle and calves to oversee.

On the editorial page, "A Nest of Reds" remarks that Congressman John Rankin of Mississippi was now about the business of sniffing out the Communist sympathies of Secretary of War Henry Stimson, having already ferreted out Undersecretary of War Robert Patterson and Assistant Secretary John J. McCloy.

The trio had not been very clever, remarks the piece, in disguising themselves as true blue Americans and so it was glad to aid Mr. Rankin in exposing their true sympathies.

Comrade Stimson had learned his Communism at Yale in 1888 and furthered his interest during his tenure with a law firm beginning in 1893. His time in the Republican Party had solidified his Communist positions, stamped finally upon him ineradicably when he had run for Governor of New York in 1910, leading to his being tapped by President Hoover as Secretary of State in 1929.

The kicker was that he belonged to such Stalinist front societies as Psi Upsilon, Skull & Bones, and the Century and Downtown Clubs.

Comrade Patterson had received his LL.B. at Harvard in 1915 in recognition of his Communist support. As a Federal District and Appeals Court judge, he had been involved in the inner councils of Communism—and so on and so forth down the line of Red organizations.

Comrade McCloy had been working for the Stalinist forces by handling Lend-Lease as a non-New Dealer.

So Mr. Rankin, it concludes, had them dead to rights as Reds, pinned as traitors, fit to be hanged.

Don't you worry, Mr. Rankin. As sure as we shall cross the Jordan, at least the U. N. Charter is safe and sound and in Patriotic hands.

"The Other Side" comments on the report of University of North Carolina president Frank Porter Graham regarding the state of education in the South and its prospects for the future. He revealed that in many communities in the South, less than $40 per pupil per annum was spent on education, compared to $140 in many communities of the North and West. California, despite being at the top of the heap in money spent per pupil, supported Federal aid to education. Some Southern states, even if their entire general fund were spent on education, could still not match the national average. Only 300 million dollars per year in Federal money was being sought for education in the post-war period, the same amount spent on the Civilian Conservation Corps prior to the war, the latter organization having been comprised of only one percent of the number of persons that populated the public schools.

The editorial posits that the decision was not so simple and clear cut as Dr. Graham suggested. The Government did not have the 300 million on hand and could ill afford to borrow it by raising taxes with a national debt already at 250 billion dollars. Taxpayers could not afford any more. Yet, the states were in flush times with revenue and could afford to fund education.

North Carolina had voted in the last legislative session at the beginning of 1945 to retire its entire debt out of the general fund. And the state had regularly increased its expenditure on schools, more so than most Southern states. Were Federal funds made available, it suggests, then the state would not find it necessary to provide so much for education.

The same arguments, it offers, applied to negate Federal aid for hospitals and rural health centers.

The real issue underlying the lack of willingness of Southern states to accept Federal funding, however, as Dr. Graham well understood, was the question of it being provided with strings attached, primarily the requirement of integration. Ditto for the hospitals.

"Wolves Together" warns that the Moguls of Ogle on the street corners, the Latin drug store vaqueros gazing at the skirts that passed their vision, the buckos of the wild tropics with a peeling orbit upon the "jungle chick" in scanty attire, were all of one tribe and fraternal order.

They shared common characteristics: a quickening pulse at the chick; the trademark covert glance; "the same fascinating skirmish between male and female that touches even this low form of coquetry".

But there were variations in accordance with local custom and law. Venezuela banned the whistle in favor of a low murmur of appreciation. Yet, it allowed the amorous suitor to utter under his breath such remarks as "luscious mango" and explain that the world quivered but did not fall when she passed, even if the latter would land the wolf in jail in the United States—and probably also in Nassau.

To remedy the erratic application of rules, the piece favors a United Wolves Organization with a Security Council and General Assembly. That way, it could be made safe "to point out the quivering beauties of womanhood in this country, to whistle in Venezuela, or yell the hubba-hubba at the veiled queenies of Iran."

Just don't do it in Mississippi. Don't do it in Mississippi, if you are not of the same race as the object of the whistle, especially not in latter August, 1955, even if you happen to be only 14 years old.

The excerpt from the Congressional Record has Representative Paul Cunningham of Iowa suggesting to John Rankin that the G. I. bill enabling veterans to obtain loans only after 30 days following discharge, so that he would not be pounced upon by wolves near the base seeking to make fly-by-night loans, was probably an injustice to the veterans.

Mr. Rankin responded that the reason for the 30-day requirement was to protect the men.

Representative Jessie Sumner of Illinois wondered why Mr. Rankin did not fix the language which required the Federal Loan Administrator to approve the loan, so that if the lender did take advantage of the soldier, the Administrator could withdraw the approval.

Drew Pearson reports that, despite State Department denials, there had been peace feelers from the Japanese, indeed, more than just feelers, but outright proposals, one of which was debated by the Joint Chiefs for more than a week. It had proposed that the Japanese withdraw from Korea, Manchuria, and China, be allowed to retain the Emperor, and not be invaded in the home islands. Undersecretary of State Joseph Grew had prepared a response, which allowed the retention of the Emperor as one of the acceptable terms, the rest of it being secret. But there was also considerable difference of opinion within the State Department and the Administration as a whole regarding the Grew terms. Assistant Secretaries Will Clayton and Dean Acheson both were opposed to it.

He next reports that First Lady Bess Truman had invited black news photographers from Chicago to the Truman home in Independence, Mo., to take photographs of the family cook, an African-American. The local press, however, who had been barred from the residence since Mrs. Truman and her daughter Margaret had arrived there from Washington in early June for the summer, howled in response. A friend of the Trumans, the U.S. Marshal, visited the home and talked to Mrs. Truman about the matter, and, thereafter, the African-American photographers returned home without the photographs of the cook.

Mr. Pearson next sets forth the terms proposed for German payment of reparations, as being discussed in Moscow. The Soviets proposed that Germany pay 20 billion dollars over a five-year period, in the form of labor, goods, and factories, that half of it go to Russia, four billion each to the U.S. and Britain, and two billion divided between European war victims. The U.S. had proposed through Ed Pauley similar terms, but with the United States receiving a larger share of the reparations. The British, for concerns over their wires being tapped in Moscow, had yet to lay forth any proposal.

Finally, he synopsizes the troubles in Japan being caused by the incessant bombing raids. He also reports that Japanese prisoners of war in Indo-China, Burma, and the Dutch East Indies were completely oblivious to these problems in Japan and still clung to the belief that the Japanese Navy was going to re-establish supply lines to the South Pacific.

Marquis Childs recounts a disturbing report from France that many of the returning Frenchmen who had been in forced German labor battalions were pro-Nazi. The explanation was thought perhaps to lie in the deliberate planting of such agents among the French workers, cultivating them as pro-Nazi, to try to spread Nazism again through Europe, or that they had been heavily brainwashed with propaganda or were pro-Nazi before ever leaving France originally. The returnees were believed to be engaged in dissemination of anti-American propaganda. And, with the French unhappy with the level of American assistance, such propaganda was gaining traction among the French.

Several million G.I.'s being processed out of Europe through France were complicating the situation by letting their frustrations be known at having to be in France.

Moreover, the recent visit of three members of Congress to France had resulted in statements that the French were waiting around for America to feed them, a gross oversimplification of the status of matters. The French contended that they were not receiving adequate coal to run their industries to enable them to produce, that 40 percent of that coming into France was being used to transport U.S. troops and supplies. Inflation was rampant and prevented the French peasant from being able to purchase adequate food.

The result was unrest, including anti-Semitic demonstrations in France. By winter, such ill feeling could turn into revolt and American soldiers could be caught up in it and injured or killed, leading to harsh reaction in the United States and the potential for providing isolationists a new platform on which to stage a revolt against the Charter of the U.N. Such a revolt would also be welcomed by the Fascist and Communist forces in Europe which sought to discredit American democracy.

Samuel Grafton reports that Leo Crowley, head of the Export-Import Bank, favored loaning to Russia a billion dollars during the coming year to finance trade with the Soviets. It was so despite the fact that Mr. Crowley was a conservative and that no protest to the proposal had arisen from among conservatives. The reason was that Russia was one of the few countries willing to buy American heavy machinery and would be able eventually to pay for it. Moreover, it would not use the machinery to make products in competition with American industry, as Russia, because of its communism, had little interest in export.

Russia had been taking machinery out of Germany and the United States had not sought to prevent the move. The U.S. had no desire for such machinery as it would only lead to unemployment. Likewise, German labor battalions were useful to Russia, but not America.

So, the differences in economic structure, despite the ideological differences in the two political systems, were actually conducive to a cooperative system of trade.

The commercial differences would come with nations with whom there was little ideological difference, such as Britain. Already, the British were competing for foreign markets with America, as in France. So, Mr. Grafton wonders whether the conservatives in support of the billion for Russia, such as Senator Robert Taft of Ohio, would likewise support a billion to stimulate trade with Britain.

A letter writer replies to the racist letter written to the editor two days earlier regarding the author's belief that the striking African-American laundry workers ought be drafted, provided minimal training, and sent immediately into the front lines in Japan, that these workers did not need higher wages for which they were striking because blacks had a lower standard of living and thus did not require higher wages.

The response properly asserts this logic as absurd, smacking of an earlier century, the eleventh. He supports the letter writer in his view that he did not want labor unions controlling the country, but saw no danger of that taking place, certainly not on the basis of this particular strike of laundry workers. He points out that he had two sons in the service and if something were to happen to either of them, he would not blame a Charlotte laundry worker for striking for higher wages.

Another letter recoils at The News having printed a series of stories on Hermann Goering's notebook excerpts, finding it "balderdash" and labeling Goering along with Von Papen as the two greatest war criminals among the Nazis for their being the two most sane among them.

Candidly, we found little with which to be more than completely bored in the parts of the series we were able to read on the front pages. Mostly it consisted of Herr Goering's disjointed review of chit-chat.

We do not comprehend, to tell the truth, the "Side Glances" of the day, as it is much too complicated for our feeble wits, escaping even our side glances, but, while we are considering it further, this bone will roll the stone, we suppose.

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