Thursday, January 24, 1946

The Charlotte News

Thursday, January 24, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the Navy would undertake its experimental atomic tests off Bikini Atoll on 97 ships, 50 of which were operational, with plans to begin "Operation Crossroads" in May and continuing with further tests in July. The tests would include two aircraft carriers, including the Saratoga, oldest in the fleet. A German heavy cruiser and a Japanese battleship and light cruiser would also be included. The operation would be under the command of Vice Admiral W. H. P. Blandy.

The United Nations General Assembly ordered the creation by the Security Council of a commission to set up controls on atomic energy. The Security Council appeared ready to hear the complaints brought by Russia against Britain for the situations in Greece and Java, and against Russia in Azerbaijan Province, brought by Iran.

The President appointed General Carl Spaatz chief of staff of the Army Air Forces, succeeding General Hap Arnold who was retiring in February.

The President urged U.S. Steel to accept the 18.5 cents per hour wage increase to end the steel strike in the national interest, but stated that he had no intention of seizing the industry at the current time, though not ruling out later seizure.

A private industry wage committee asked the Government to turn over Government-owned steel plants to individuals who would accept the 18.5 cents Government-recommended increase.

The meatpackers union ordered its members to return to work when the Government would begin its seizure of the plants on Saturday. The union had been assured by the Government that the fact-finding committee's prospective recommended wage would be put into effect retroactively to the date of seizure, even though presently the workers would receive their same wages.

Hal Boyle, still in Hong Kong, tells of a newspaper account of a robbery of the home of a wealthy Chinese dealer of dental supplies who lost $200,000 worth of jewelry. He had intended to use his money to erect an entertainment center for American military personnel, but still had enough left over, overlooked by the thieves, to build the center. And if the stolen jewels were recovered, the proceeds would be donated as well, except for 20 percent to cover the offered reward. He made it clear that his money did not derive from war profits.

In Los Angeles, a bakery executive charged in a divorce suit that his wife's kisses cost more than his sweets, $5 a pucker. She confirmed the charge, saying that he was always "buzzing and pecking around", no doubt ringing her buzzer, annoying her, and so placed the toll on access to her bridgework. Whether she charged by the minute was not made clear.

Ginger Rogers dances with her husband, apparently oblivious to the photographer, at the Hollywood Macambo.

On the editorial page, "Time for a Change" discusses the method of replacement of the judicial district solicitor following the death of John Carpenter. The Governor intended to appoint his replacement though it was normally an elected position. The replacement would not run for re-election, similar to that which had taken place with the selection of Judge Sam Ervin to run unopposed for the Congressional seat of his deceased brother Joe in exchange for the pledge not to run in the fall.

It advocates that the present would be a good time for Mecklenburg to assert itself in the judicial district and force an election for the post rather than accepting a Gaston county solicitor, especially since the Legislature appeared ready at its next session to redistrict and place Mecklenburg in a separate judicial district from heavily populated Gaston County.

"Camp Croft's Future" finds Camp Croft in Spartanburg, S.C., to be typical of the suspended animation into which the various training camps used by the Army during the war were now placed, pending a determination of whether universal military training would be implemented in peacetime. While disfavoring universal training, the piece states that it would be preferable to the current status, holding up plans for reconversion and use of the camps as potential temporary housing for veterans.

The FEPC filibuster was further holding up the decisions in these critical areas.

"Led by the Nose" indicates its absence of willingness or erudition to contest the conclusion of Howard S. Grove, cosmetician, that Casanova was not a great lover, but rather simply discovered the art of personal hygiene, took a bath, dabbed himself with perfume, thus making his mien irresistible to the women of his day.

The editorial states, "We detect a faint echo of the B.O. foghorn behind Mr. Grove's remarks, but we will pass over our suspicion that he is a tool of the soap interests in order to get at the more fascinating part of his revelation, the remark about perfume." It proceeds to state that it was disconcerting to view this traditional paradigm of manly passion as having stepped from his bath and dashed bits of perfume about his phiz. It suggests that such notions could breed chaos in the field of romance, especially as perfume companies advertised the essences of attraction.

One company, for instance, bottled Saint alongside Sinner, the latter presumably "suitable for an evening in the opium dens", while the former was for attending church.

If a man were attacked suddenly by the aura of Surrender, then he could quickly escape into a masculine atmosphere pervaded by stale beer.

"We are haunted now by the vision of a crowded bus: on a front seat sits a young lady drenched with the fabulous new scent, Libido, and through the door comes a clean-cut young fellow who has touched his ear lobes with Aphrodisia ... ah, but that way lies madness."

The excerpt from the Congressional Record returns for the first time since early November, with part of the statement of North Carolina Senator Josiah W. Bailey, debating the FEPC bill. He explains that when he once ran for Governor and lost in 1924, he had attacked the Ku Klux Klan for their intolerance. A group of men had stopped his car between Kinston and LaGrange, stating it to be their understanding that a Catholic was in his employ. He replied that he did not know about the matter as he did not inquire about religion in hiring. They described a particular individual.

Later, after the campaign, Mr. Bailey asked the employee of his religion and he replied that he was Lutheran, had immigrated from Czechoslovakia.

"And here was that miserable, snooping, intolerance undertaking to put me in a bad light unless I should discharge him."

Drew Pearson reveals that former Congressman Hamilton Fish of New York, who FDR had tried for years to defeat before finally succeeding in the 1944 election, had, notwithstanding his previous isolationism and even friendliness to the Nazis prior to the war, been invited to the White House for tea by Mrs. Truman. No one was explaining the purpose of the meeting, but Mr. Fish's supporters viewed it as the first step on his road to a comeback.

He next tells of Marshal Georgi Zhukov complaining to Field Marshal Sir Bernard Montgomery of the British occupation force in Germany maintaining within their occupation zone a contingent of several hundred thousand German soldiers prepared to fight another war. He contended that the troops were regularly being drilled by their own officers and that 100,000 had been allowed to retain their small arms, while heavier artillery and tanks were being kept at the ready. He considered it a violation of the Potsdam agreement formed in July, 1945.

General Montgomery had responded with a wave of his hand, saying that the number was far less than indicated, but that it was of no consequence in any event.

The same sort of thing had presaged World War II in the aftermath of World War I, as British money had flowed to munitions manufacturers throughout the rebuilding process of the German war machine and the British had dissuaded the French from stopping the Germans from invading the Rhineland in 1936. Britain was still pursuing balance of power politics, seeking to form a Western bloc of nations consisting of Britain, France, Belgium, Holland, and Germany against Russia. That, he asserts, was the real purpose behind the maintenance of the German force.

He next tells of how well off the steel industry was because of favorable tax treatment during the war, which was now paying off by allowing the companies to write off their capital expenditures in a shortened period of time during the war. Bethlehem Steel, for instance, had the most profitable year in its history in 1945, made more so by the tax breaks.

Marquis Childs advocates the investigation of the steel industry by the Congress to determine whether it was deliberately trying to break the back of the union, as after World War I, by resisting the 3.5 cents difference in that being offered at 15 cents per hour in wage hikes and that having been accepted by CIO per the Government recommendation, 18.5 cents per hour.

He calls for summoning not only Benjamin Fairless of U.S. Steel, but also Ernest Weir and Tom Girdler, the other kingpins of the steel industry, to explain their positions. CIO had asserted that Mr. Fairless was willing to acquiesce, though he denied it, and that the other steel moguls had forced his hand in refusing the compromise.

Steel and G.M. held a lock on the country preventing reconversion, and stood as a potent societal force, more powerful even than the Government.

Moreover, the President's proposed budget, as long as the major strikes continued, could be treated with a grain of salt, as it was predicated on estimated revenues without regard to strikes.

At stake was the economic welfare of the nation, not just the workers and industry. Thus, the public had a right to know what in fact was going on behind the scenes.

Samuel Grafton finds the President analogous to a flower girl trying to sell posies to passersby, none of them taking the time to stop, in a country bound to have its way until hell would freeze over. G.M. chafed at labor for wanting to examine its books, while steel kicked for labor not looking at its books to see that it could not afford the demanded wage increase or even the compromise.

The prevailing trend eschewing compromise would make the country sorry later unless it listened to the President now, trying desperately to hold it together as forces of intransigence, especially in industry, sought to pull it apart.

Dorothy Thompson views the threatened strike by New York City Council member Michael Quill of his transportation workers union in order to obtain a referendum on whether the City would continue to own power plants to spell an end to political liberty in the country should his threat prove successful. For it would mean government by coercion rather than by popular will. Mr. Quill, she points out, was a Communist or fellow traveler.

On the other side of the political spectrum, however, Southern Senators were engaging in equally destructive tactics regarding the filibuster to prevent a vote on the Fair Employment Practices Commission bill. The filibuster consisted of reading of collateral material into the record, not engaging in any substantive debate on the bill. Nothing else could come before the Senate in the meantime. She labels the move "bolshevistic", as it was an assault on democratic government processes.

Such "common ruthlessness" as these episodes showed portended use of force to decide political questions. Mr. Quill and the Southern Senators were acting as brothers, enemies to civilization, social peace, and progress.

A letter writer expresses support for Senator Bailey's efforts to curb the power of the unions.

The editors respond that if unions were essentially outlawed, wages would be frozen, and, necessarily, so too would be profits. It questions whether that would be good.

Another letter writer, a first lieutenant in the Army, expresses laughter at the gall of the letter writer of January 19 who had written of the need for a "big American-type smile, with God in our mind" while eliminating, as had the Germans, all the Jews, including the "Dago Jews", who were in conspiracy with the Communists.

This writer expresses his thanks to the voters for not putting the previous writer in the Congress, for which, he had informed, he had run in 1944.

A third letter writer finds treasonable the filibuster of the Southern Senators against FEPC.

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