Monday, January 28, 1946

The Charlotte News

Monday, January 28, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that a high Government official had predicted an end to the steel strike within a week or so.

All of the 248,000 meatpackers returned to work in the Government-seized plants.

Senator Millard Tydings of Maryland, interrupting the Southern filibuster against the FEPC bill, called upon President Truman to set up a world disarmament conference to prevent an atomic world war. He openly doubted whether the U.N. was up to the task.

Captain Ellis M. Zacharias testified to the joint Congressional committee investigating Pearl Harbor that he predicted to Rear Admiral Husband Kimmel in March, 1941 that if the Japanese attacked, it would likely occur on a Sunday morning. Admiral Kimmel had already testified that he remembered no such comment, but that another officer present had remembered it.

Of course, there also may have been other captains for each day of the week. One cannot fault Admiral Kimmel for not being better prepared on every Sunday morning in 1941. Indeed, had the Japanese spies in Honolulu become aware of extra precautions being undertaken on Sundays, the attack, no doubt, would have occurred on another day. It was planned for that time precisely because it was known that, following Saturday nights and in accordance with American tradition, attentiveness was at a low ebb on Sunday mornings in expectation of honor of the Sabbath.

Charlotte sold its Old Courthouse property to J. H. Carson for $425,000, Mr. Carson representing an unnamed client. The client, "a man of great wealth", anticipated spending one to two million dollars in improving the property for business. It was believed that a highrise hotel was to be built on the land.

According to the Baltimore Evening Sun, with a clothing shortage in the country, thousands of men's suits nevertheless were being hoarded in warehouses in Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York. The hoarding was in anticipation of the release of price controls.

Hal Boyle, still in Hong Kong, relates more of the "Hong Kong hero", Chester Bennett, ultimately beheaded by the Japanese. He had the opportunity to leave Hong Kong on a repatriation vessel in 1942. He had purchased the $300,000 worth of food for the prisoners of the internment camp to which he had been assigned and then was convinced to stay in the colony by the British colonial secretary, also interned. Mr. Bennett managed to convince a Japanese barber, second in command at the camp, to allow him to remain outside on conditions that he not transact business and remain close to his home. But Mr. Bennett had agreed with the British to relay information on Japanese shipping to the British and Chinese secret agents in the interior of China, and he did so at the risk of his safety.

On the editorial page, "The Price That Kills" comments on the man in divorce court in Los Angeles who had been forced by his wife to pay $5 for kisses, because, she had claimed, he was always "buzzing and pecking around", ringing her buzzer.

The piece suggests that Pandora's Box had been opened, inviting misery to every married man. But actually, the man had gotten off pretty light, not counting the cars, fur coats, and rent.

It concludes by expressing the hope that the judge would refuse his divorce and condemn him to a lifelong companionship with this woman for compromising the American dream.

"What Ails Georgia?" finds the refusal of the Georgia House to approve the right of succession to governors to be possibly a rejection of the progressivism of Governor Ellis Arnall, which included prison reform, elimination of the poll tax, and improvement of higher education. Or, it could have been that they were simply acting on principle, with respect to any governor. Time would tell.

Some had disparaged Governor Arnall's liberalism as more showmanship than substance or that he was even an extension of the Ed Rivers machine.

But in fact his approach had been new and refreshing, such as his bringing personally before the Supreme Court the freight rate differential case. He had won national stature in his role as the paradigm for the new Southern Governor.

The piece concludes that, while either Eugene Talmadge or his son Herman might, as many predicted, become the next Governor—as both would, the son succeeding the father when the latter died at the end of 1946 before being sworn in, and then, following a disputed order of succession placing the Lieutenant Governor in the office, was elected in his own right in 1948 in a special election—too many in the state had come to admire Governor Arnall to cause it to be his last service.

Governor Arnall would never again, however, serve in elective office, though he would run in 1966 against Lester Maddox, a race in which Jimmy Carter was also a prime candidate, splitting the majority of the Democratic primary vote three ways, with Governor Arnall achieving only a plurality; the resulting runoff was won by Mr. Maddox by 70,000 votes, the general election in which the Republican won the plurality, with over 50,000 votes written in for Governor Arnall, being decided ultimately by the Legislature in favor of Lester Maddox. Governor Carter would succeed Governor Maddox in the 1970 election, the law against succession, as in many Southern states of the time including North Carolina, then still being extant.

Governor Arnall would subsequently turn down an offer by President Truman in early 1947 to be appointed United States Solicitor General, responsible for arguing the Government's position in cases before the Supreme Court.

"'Good' Germans Again" thinks the poll of American soldiers in Germany regarding their views of Germans to be disturbing, that it had revealed that a majority liked the Germans, made excuses for Hitler, forgave the wholesale slaughter of the Jews, believed Germany had good reasons for starting the war, and that Germany should dominate Europe as the most efficient nation. They had also stated their preference of Germans over the British and French because the Germans were clean and industrious.

The Army had been stunned by the results.

Majorities also favored long-term occupation and harsher treatment of both Nazis and ordinary Germans.

But the other majorities caused a reflection back to 1938 when the Bundists in America were holding mass rallies at which they gave praise to Hitler and Mussolini because the trains ran on time. These soldiers could not see the poison at close range and thus suggested that Germany would likely not come to justice.

The piece might have also intuited from the results that a majority of the American soldiers had a preference, no doubt, for beer, and, with the fighting over, little in the way to inhibit its consumption and little in the way of working off its effects.

A piece from the Washington Post, titled "The Girls Come Home", finds that women who had served in the armed forces were coming home to cold receptions from women's organizations, were disillusioned as a result. There were no songs such as "When Mary Comes Marching Home", to greet them. Moreover, the roles of women did not lend themselves to heroic deeds, the reserve of men. Most women worked behind the lines at routine jobs. As they returned, other women saw them as competition for marriage.

Generally, however, Americans had to be proud of the faithful and valuable service provided by the women and their personal and professional sacrifices to do the routine jobs they dutifully performed. It was hoped that job opportunities and social welcome would overshadow the lack of reception by women without a military record to present on their job applications.

Drew Pearson comments that the Economic Stabilization Act gave the President authority to fix wages and prices to correct gross inequities, and that therefore he had authority, if he wanted to exercise it, to insist that steel accept the 18.5 cent recommended wage increase. Some of the President's advisers wanted him to get tougher with steel, had reminded that the small merchant, operating under OPA regulations, was fined or sent to jail for violating price ceilings while the steel industry was allowed to skate with impunity.

One of the problems was that the President had allowed himself to be pressured into abolishing the War Labor Board shortly after V-J Day. Insiders felt it was his worst mistake thus far. Both Secretary of Labor Schwellenbach and Reconverter John Snyder had pressed the idea. The fact-finding committees were ad hoc substitutes. He could also create a new War Labor Board under the Economic Stabilization Act or provide the fact-finding committees with teeth.

Insiders believed that the steel strike could have been avoided had Mr. Truman simply been tougher and utilized the tools at his disposal.

Mr. Pearson notes that moving Fred Vinson from being Reconverter to Secretary of Treasury and the firing of Will Davis as economic stabilizer while replacing him with "Snuffy Smith" Collett of Kansas City were the President's most significant appointments.

He next relates of the Senators holding the filibuster, stalling for time, having slowed down the Senate Reading Clerk in his too fast reading of the Senate Journal.

Finally, he tells of the Ecuadorians becoming unsettled at the continuing presence of U.S. troops at the base afforded them during the war in the Galapagos Islands. Now that the war was over, the Ecuadorians wanted them out. The same was true in Brazil. Sumner Welles, when he had been Undersecretary of State until August, 1943, had handled such matters by offering to exchange training of the Latin American troops by U.S. personnel and perhaps awarding the countries with surplus cruisers and destroyers, in exchange for continued peacetime use of the bases.

Dorothy Thompson starts to compare the destruction of Lidice by the Nazis in June, 1942, in retaliation for the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich, to the destruction by the British of the village of Bekasi in Java. But her friend, the Grouse, corrects her by informing that the latter village had been supposedly a nest for rebels collaborating with the Japanese. The villagers had caught 20 British Gurkha troops and four RAF crewmen, had the village butcher dismember them while alive. The villagers were warned to evacuate before the village was torched and no innocent human life was lost.

She then continues her conversation with the Grouse on other, unrelated topics.

Samuel Grafton states that the Government plainly had no idea how to deal with strikes, as reflected by the utterance of several contradicting opinions by the President at a recent press conference. It did not have the problem with agriculture or with business, only with labor. The problem appeared to result from a Government attitude that labor was not a fully matured adult on the national scene. There was no anti-farm bloc in Congress, but a large anti-labor bloc.

Marquis Childs comments on the nomination of Stuart Symington to be Assistant Secretary of War for Air and the ongoing filibuster on FEPC holding up his confirmation. The Air Force commanders who knew Mr. Symington from his work as Surplus Property administrator liked the appointment. He would be the successor to Robert Lovett, who had returned to the banking business.

It had been said that good men would not wish to serve as assistant secretaries except in time of war. It was one of the arguments against joining the Army with the Navy.

The argument suggested, says Mr. Childs, that patriotism only operated in time of war, a dubious proposition in light of the new responsibilities required of the Government.

A "30-Months Veteran" from Fort McClellan in Alabama writes a letter stating that he received The News everyday and read the People's Platform daily. When he saw the agony of the men protesting in Manila of their slow discharge, he had begun to sympathize with the position taken by "The Young Working Girl" who had denounced strikers as unpatriotic and favored sending them to man the occupation zones. He advocated alteration of the tactic used by FDR in 1943 to break the coal strike, "work or fight" to "work or occupy".

Actually, the first form of national "work or fight" legislation was introduced by Congressmen Lyndon Johnson of Texas and Carl Vinson of Georgia in 1943 to get at abenteeism at work, seeking reports from industry of those not showing up for work in war-essential industries and then making those reports available to draft boards for reclassification of the absentees. FDR proposed similar legislation in late 1944 which failed to pass in early 1945, not to break strikes per se, but to reclassify workers who quit jobs in war-essential industries to obtain other jobs in anticipation of the end of the war and returning veterans competing for their old jobs.

A "G.I. Joe" suggests in a letter to the letter writer who had written inveighing of the "Dago Jews" and stating that the Germans had a good idea in wiping out the Jews because they conspired with the Communists to foment another war, that he read Wendell Wilkie's One World or The Anatomy of Peace by Emery Reves.

He has a good idea but gives the previous letter writer far too much credit obviously in implying that he could read.

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