Saturday, January 19, 1946

The Charlotte News

Saturday, January 19, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Henry J. Kaiser, West Coast steel magnate, had signed an agreement with CIO to meet the President's recommended 18.5 cents per hour wage increase, accepted by CIO, but turned down by U.S. Steel.

Meanwhile, with the rest of the steel industry still deadlocked between 15 cents and 18.5 cents in increases, the steel workers were already walking off the job in anticipation of the strike set to begin at midnight on Sunday.

Meat was becoming increasingly scarce after four days of the meatpackers strike, with fish and poultry being plentiful as substitutes.

In London, Iran put its grievance with Russia before the Security Council, the first major issue to come before it, having to do with the Azerbaijan situation in northern Iran and Soviet obstruction of Iranian Government troops from trying to put down the Insurgent insurrection in the province.

The atomic energy issue was also turned over to the Security Committee of the General Assembly, a first step in following the Big Three proposal to turn all atomic energy issues over to the Security Council. The move was unopposed by the General Assembly.

In Seoul, 200 right-wing students demonstrated against the trusteeship status of Korea, as agreed at the Moscow conference by Russia and the United States, to be effective until 1950 at which point Korea would be granted independence. Two students had been killed and several injured in the resulting gunfire with the civil police.

A 55-year old man from Passaic, N.J., offered himself as a substitute for the soldier condemned to die in Japan for killing two Japanese civilians. Several petitions for clemency had also been mailed to the Government.

American occupation headquarters in Frankfurt reported that ten Russians committed suicide and 21 others were hospitalized after injuring themselves following their forcible removal from Dachau onto trains to be transported back to Russia. All of the Russians being forcibly transported were either deserters, those who had donned the German uniform during the war, or rendered aid voluntarily to the enemy. Some 271 had served in the German armed forces.

Senate Republicans were attempting to block the Southern filibuster to prevent the bill to make permanent the Fair Employment Practices Commission from coming to a floor vote. The Republicans were adopting the tactic initially of maintaining sessions everyday until 6:00 p.m. with the promise that if they could not break the filibuster in that manner, they would consider adopting Senator Wayne Morse's suggestion of holding round-the-clock sessions with cots supplied in the Senate cloakroom for weary Senators. The Southerners contended that they had 40 votes to block cloture, only 33 of the 96 being needed.

An experimental radio plane crashed into the ocean 30 miles off Cape May, N.J., after it broke from two controlling planes, "flying wild" over midtown Gotham for awhile. The plane was said to contain "confidential gear". If you find it, give it to the Government.

Tommy Manville, just married for the eighth time five weeks earlier, was again in the midst of a Nevada divorce from his new wife.

Hal Boyle writes from Hong Kong of this and that. He tells the story of the rickshaw coolie who retrieved the only icicle ever found in Hong Kong's balmy climate, only to have it melt before he could show it to anyone.

He imparts also of the popular anecdote about the Aussie soldier in New Guinea who was never fit for inspection because of the messy war and the mud, and, after being blown up, was not fit either for inspection when he got to heaven.

A woman in Seattle is shown in a photograph having to thumb a ride as the bus strike kept away all public transit.

Another photograph shows the Chicago Stock Yards standing empty.

The spot price of cotton in New Orleans closed steady but unchanged.

On the editorial page, "Notes on the UNO" suggests that the UNO, while it appeared orderly and plausible in London, was "as irrelevant as an echo." The actions seemed remote to daily life in America, an abstraction to be discussed by intelligent people, but without passion.

The President had stated casually at a press conference that the United States intended to retain those captured bases which it deemed essential to security. No voice in the Congress rose in protest of this decree.

The absence of debate in the country and passive acceptance of the U.N. was remarkable, meaning that Americans accepted the U.N. as a complete and final entity, not a foundation on which could be built a real world organization to preserve the peace.

The New York Times was content with the UNO as "a town meeting of the world". But if it was to be effective on the world stage, each member nation would have to surrender ultimately some portion of its sovereignty to the organization, a process which would take time and be accomplished only grudgingly. Yet, only in such publications as The New Yorker had this issue even been broached to the American people.

The piece compares the present nascent form of the UNO to the first hundred years of the United States when each individual state refused to surrender its sovereignty to the Federal Government, resulting finally in the Civil War.

The fact that Americans had not been consulted about giving up their sovereignty prevented the representatives to the UNO from doing so, and, opines the piece, would eventually doom the organization to failure. It would be doomed in the end by the apathy of the American people.

"Free Enterprise at Work" comments on the steel strike being one based solely on the wage dispute, not on principle, as the G.M. strike, profits versus collective bargaining. The two sides had genuinely sought to work out their differences, while U.S. Steel in the end appeared more stubbornly clinging to its position that it could not go beyond 15 cents despite the President's stated willingness to allow raising of the price ceiling by $4 per ton to allow the recommended 18.5 cents, accepted by the CIO.

The piece reminds that, while the consumer would be frustrated as the strike began to slow reconversion and continue the shortage of goods deprived him during wartime, the principle of collective bargaining and the principle that employers could refuse to pay demanded wages were part of the free enterprise system.

A piece from the Louisville Courier-Journal, titled "The Problem in Burley", discusses the problems in burley tobacco, with Kentucky having an over-abundance causing a decline in prices. The excess crop had come about from illegal planting. Violations only cost 10 cents per pound and when prices hit 50 cents per pound, the farmer could afford the penalty. Then the neighbor would get wind of it and follow suit.

The solution appeared to be reduction of acreage allotments and raising of penalties for violations. But the move to increase allotments for flue-cured and bright-leaf tobaccos was causing concern over competition, preventing lowering of allotments for burley.

Some comprehensive system therefore needed to be implemented.

Drew Pearson hopes that General "Vinegar Joe" Stilwell would one day write his memoirs on his experiences in China. He believed it would be more enlightening than the condemnatory, bitter statements of former Ambassador Patrick Hurley during the fall after his return from China following his resignation. General Stilwell was of the opinion that the peace agreement which General Marshall was able to effect in China would not last very long. He had said also that General Hurley had succumbed to the charms of the Chiang Government shortly after he took the post as Ambassador, while having come to it stating that he would tell Chiang what to do and what the United States wanted.

Of 243 divisions of Chinese Government troops, General Stilwell had been provided only two rag-tag divisions by Chiang. Most of the Chinese soldiers were either lolling about or in the North fighting the Communists during the war. In 1943, the Government had determined that the Allies would win the war in China, and, said General Stilwell, that was about what took place.

He asserted that Chiang was another Hitler and the economic base of China was as Japan, feudalistic. There was no difference between the Communists and Chiang's Government. Chiang's Army was a Nationalist Army, as much political as the Communist Army.

The people of China, he further informed, did not like Chiang and his high taxes, required to be paid 75 years in advance and four times annually. As example, the General related that in 1943, when a rumor circulated that the Japanese had captured Chungking, signs immediately began appearing in a village reading, "Down with Chiang Kai-Shek."

Mr. Pearson notes again that Maury Maverick, having recently returned from a mission to China, related to the President that Chiang had negotiated a favorable trade deal with the Russians while leaving the Americans out, despite the vast amount of Lend-Lease aid provided to China during the war.

The column next tells of the varied requests from veterans received by the Veterans Administration, from fixing traffic tickets to purchasing automobiles to one which cryptically had stated by telegram, "Assistance needed stop Brother murdered here Dec. 26 stop Reply by wire."

Such collateral requests were holding up G.I. benefits to veterans.

Marquis Childs examines the forces of "defeat and destruction" on both sides of the political divide in the labor situation. On the extreme left, there were the Communists, who believed in an impossible perfectability of society which they perceived the Soviet Union to be achieving, albeit viewing the situation through rose-colored glasses, ignoring the realities of Russia.

On the extreme right, there were those who wished to return to what they deemed the perfect past, that which had never been, one in which they envisioned no labor unions and, consequently, no labor trouble, a mythical situation.

Both extremes wanted the sought management-labor compromise to fail, in the hope that out of it would come their respective realized dreams of utopia.

Professor Harold Laski of Britain had recently spoken in New York, saying that there was no compromise, that one side or the other had to win. Mr. Childs differs and believes that the great mass of the American people differed, that they believed in some form of compromise in the age of the machine. But whether it would be reasonable remained a question.

Samuel Grafton tells of the flour millers, popular in the financial press as an example of the problems associated with Congress leaving up in the air the issue of whether price controls would expire or not on June 30. The flour millers sold their orders four months in advance of delivery, and they could not determine the price accurately because they were receiving under price control an 80-cent subsidy, due to expire June 30. If renewed, there was little problem. But if not, they would have to make the 80 cents through price hikes. Thus, the dilemma existed as to how much they should charge for their advance orders.

It was emblematic of the situation to come in all sectors of the economy, and suggested economic chaos as prices were being drawn upward and production downward in anticipation of price controls being eliminated. Mr. Grafton finds it to be the situation most worthy of condemnation in the economic practices of the country since war's end, more so than those of the consumer.

A letter writer extols the virtues of Robert E. Lee on his 139th birthday, offering up numerous quotes as if in paean.

Another letter writer, a veteran, thanks the News for its series of articles and editorials on the housing shortage, wonders for what the war was fought if not for a decent place to live. Or, he asks, was it strikes?

A third letter writer, from Bessemer City, says that all Americans were fed up with the "Dago Jews" and their plot with the Communists.

"Germany done a good job when they cleaned up the Jews," says he.

He believes America ought do the same thing and have the Communists who don't like the wages "go back to country they come from as we are overrun now with low breed from the old weak-minded people from the old country."

"What we pure, true laboring people want is peace, happiness, with kindness and a big American-type smile, with God in our mind."

He concludes by insisting that his name be printed with the letter and informs that he had run for the House of Representatives in 1944 but lost.

The editors state: "We can't understand it."

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