The Charlotte News

Friday, October 11, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the Paris Peace Conference refused to approve the initial draft of the Bulgarian treaty, setting its frontiers co-equal to those of January 1, 1941. Greece had been critical of the borders as allowing Axis ally Bulgaria to emerge from the war stronger than prior to it, and also contended that the West was caving in to Soviet pressure to establish the borders. The U.S. stated that it would defend Greece against any foreign aggression. The vote was nine in favor of the treaty and 12 abstaining.

The Russians argued that the United States and Britain were treating Bulgaria unfairly by violating an agreement to recognize the Government if it included two opposition party leaders, and criticized the U.S. for calling for a special meeting of the Allied Control Council to deal with free elections in the country. *Andrei Vishinsky gesticulated so demonstratively at one point in his address that he knocked a glass of water from the rostrum onto a translator below, then quipped, "Where there is fire, there must be water." He contended that the Greek Navy was far superior to that of Bulgaria and that Greece had a mountain range also to protect it from land invasion by Bulgaria.

In the process of approving the Rumanian treaty, the conference adopted, by a vote of 15 to 6, the proposal to open the Danube to free trade.

In China, Government forces captured the Communist second stronghold at Kalgan.

*The War Department announced suspension of the draft through the end of 1946 because of unexpected high levels of volunteers, numbering a million during the previous year since the end of the war. The suspension affected 35,000 men who had been called up for the draft and would not need to be inducted.

*In Zagreb, Yugoslavia, Archbishop Alojzijc Stepinac, head of the Roman Catholic Church in Yugoslavia, was convicted of collaboration with the Axis during the war by aiding the puppet Croatian Government, and sentenced to sixteen years imprisonment at hard labor. He was also found guilty of forcing Catholic indoctrination on Orthodox Serbs. Two co-defendants were sentenced to death and ten others, including several priests, received prison sentences. Three Franciscan monks for whom the prosecution sought clemency were acquitted by the three-judge court.

Pope Pius XII expressed disapproval of the verdicts, stating that the Archbishop had complained to the Croatian Government regarding its excesses and that his arrest had occurred only after a letter he had written urging religious freedom had been read by Yugoslavian priests from their pulpits.

The Vatican newspaper called the verdict "ignominious", the result of a trial against the Catholic Church.

Undersecretary of State Dean Acheson stated that the United States was deeply concerned regarding the verdict and the conduct of the trial, that press reports had questioned its fairness. The Pope, he said, had not, however, sought intervention by the U.S. in the verdict.

The President was close to a decision on meat control. He had three options, leave controls in place, lift or modify them, or increase importation of beef, principally canned beef from Argentina. He was not considering seizure of the cattle or meat supplies.

The President was considering not accepting the resignations of the two industry members of the Wage Stabilization Board, who had submitted their resignations because, they said, the board no longer could function effectively.

OPA raised the price ceiling on newsprint by $10 per ton. The price had been raised on August 22 by $7.

Harold Ickes finds a disturbing campaign being conducted in the Illinois 19th Congressional District on behalf of Republican Congressman Rolla McMillen against his Democratic opponent, Olive Goldman, seeking to cast doubt on Ms. Goldman for her supposedly being Jewish. Neither she nor her husband, Marcus, both of whom were known as responsible academics at the University of Illinois and who regularly gave radio talks anent politics, were not in fact Jewish.

He calls upon Congressman McMillen to denounce such statements made in his behalf and if he did not, should soundly be rejected by the Illinois voters. His record, in any event, was not impressive, having voted to override the President's veto of the initial OPA bill, to lift price controls on housing, to support the Case anti-labor bill, the extension of HUAC, and the exemption of the railroads from antitrust laws, as well as opposing the British loan.

In the Illinois race for lieutenant governor, the Republican had sought to win votes by referring to the Italian descent of his Democratic opponent, and in another race, the chairman of a county Republican committee bragged about the Republican candidate for Governor being Protestant.

"Any American who is really an American would decline to hold office if elected on such issues as these. We talk a lot in this country about being above race and religious prejudice. It is about time that we really did something about it."

In Baltimore, the FBI had arrested three men, two discharged servicemen and an Army reserve captain, on charges that they had sought to sell for $7,000 to the Baltimore News-Post unauthorized photographs of the atomic bomb. One of the men, a former private, had been stationed on Tinian in July, 1945 as the bomb sat waiting for delivery, took off its cover and snapped the pictures. The newspaper had received the offer within the previous two days and promptly alerted the FBI. The charges against the men carried a possible fine of up to $100 and up to a year in jail.

*In San Francisco, General Joseph Stilwell, hero of the Burma campaign, was reported to be weakening from a liver ailment. The 63-year old General would die the following day.

Burke Davis of The News reports that double-dipped Democrat, Governor Gregg Cherry, was stunned by the suggestions that North Carolina become a two-party state, contending that with 360,000 Republicans, the state was one. The Republicans had sent eight persons to the State House and two to the State Senate. He stated that the Republicans always ran string in presidential election years and in the Western part of the state. The Governor did not think that gerrymandering had diluted Republican power.

He informed that the general fund of the State was running a 20 million dollar surplus, but that 13 million of it was being sought for teacher salary increases, leaving a limited amount for the other programs seeking increases.

He thought race relations in the state were good, that though the physical plant of black schools lagged behind, teacher salaries had been equalized and there were waiting lists for black teachers with a shortage of white teachers.

The Governor was in Charlotte briefly, on his way to Gaston County for its centennial celebration.

In Tokyo, a newspaper editorial cautioned the Japanese against worshipping General MacArthur as a god, as they had Emperor Hirohito. The General's biography had sold 800,000 copies in Japan and there was an increasing tendency to deify him.

Subzero and sub-freezing weather was reported through the Midwest.

*In Hollywood, 38 striking picketers from the Conference of Studio Unions were arrested at Technicolor studio when violence erupted as police moved in to try to quell a disturbance. The strike stemmed from a dispute as to which of two rival AFL unions had the right to build movie sets.

In Fenway Park in Boston, the Red Sox were leading the St. Louis Cardinals 2 to 1 after three innings in the fifth game of the World Series. The Cardinals had won 12 to 3 the previous day to even the series at 2 to 2. Stay tuned.

On the editorial page, misdated, "Negative Victory at Lawrenceburg" finds some, but complete, solace in the acquittal of 23 of the 25 black defendants in the trial regarding the charges stemming from the riot at Columbia, Tenn., February 26.

The prosecutor had based his case almost wholly on racial prejudice, but the all-white jury had rejected "this cross-fire" for the bulk of the defendants.

The acquittal had served to muzzle those critics who had sought to use the case as an indictment of the South. A vocal critic of the South, Vincent Sheean of the New York Herald-Tribune, had praised the verdict as a vindication of Southern justice. The New York Times had also praised the verdict as a triumph for Southern justice.

The News sees the case, however, as more a negative victory, preventing injustice, but not yet providing justice. For the indictment had been against the black community in a situation where there was mutual rioting on both sides of the racial divide. It took two races to have a race riot.

"On How to Hunt Communists" gives praise to the moderate approach taken by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce regarding the identification of Communists, advocating finding actual members of the party and not looking for "fellow-travelers" in a broad net. They believed that American Communists who had allegiance to a foreign power should be barred from employment by the Federal Government, and that fair but stringent loyalty tests be administered. But they did not advocate denial or violation of civil liberties to hunt down Communists.

Unfortunately, the spokesman went on to contend that there were Communists within the Treasury and Labor Departments, as well as in labor unions. He also charged that Communists had been responsible for the Potsdam agreement so that Germany would have an "unworkable economic program". He refused to provide names.

The tactic amounted to the worst sort of Red-baiting, reminiscent of the tactics of former Congressman Martin Dies and Congressman John Rankin of HUAC. The piece concludes that the spokesman for the Chamber was more interested in smearing the Administration and the unions than in ridding the Government of Communists.

"If he ever does seriously set out to implement the program he outlined it would be well for him to remember that, while the Communist is undeniably fair game, he is an elusive animal who must be hunted with a rifle, not a shotgun."

"The Rifle and the Rope" comments on the requests by Generals Keitel and Jodl, and Hermann Goering for death by firing squad rather than hanging. Hanging was a mark of dishonor in international military circles. Shooting was not. The U.S. Manual of Courts Martial prescribed firing squad execution for spies honorably serving their country, while hanging was to be meted to traitors, rapists, and murderers who had been particularly brutal in their crimes.

To grant the request would enable the three to die as German patriots rather than war criminals and traitors. The Allied Control Council thus had no choice but to deny the request. It was not a matter of petty malice but a way of driving home the point of the Nuremberg trials.

A piece from the Salisbury Evening Post, titled "The Salt of the Dearth", tells of Salisbury housewives cleaning the store shelves of salt based on a rumor that the Government was about to impound all salt to prevent livestock owners and processors from curing the meat for storage.

The result had been to create a probable shortage of salt in Salisbury for awhile. It was not clear from whence the rumor derived as it had not yet spread to nearby cities.

The piece rejects the premise, but finds it disturbing that there would likely be no salt around for the steaks and chops and roasts. And so they would go out and purchase a couple of tons themselves.

Drew Pearson provides the inside story on how President Truman came to provide his statement urging Britain to adopt the Anglo-American Palestine Commission recommendation to allow immigration of 100,000 Jewish refugees into Palestine and to support an independent Jewish state rather than a division of Palestine between Arab and Jewish sections, effectively to be controlled by the British and Americans.

Just before Yom Kippur on October 4, the President was informed that Governor Thomas Dewey was scheduled during the weekend of Yom Kippur to speak before the United Jewish Appeal and intended to advocate the migration of displaced Jews to Palestine. The President was urged to beat him to the punch by stressing his own previous advocacy on the issue. At first a tepid statement was drafted by the State Department, calculated to offend as little as possible Arabs and the British. The White House rejected it and handed the draft to Undersecretary Dean Acheson to be sharpened. The President then delivered the note to Mr. Attlee. Mr. Dewey then gave his speech, urging that "hundreds of thousands" of Jews be allowed to immigrate.

The crew of the "Truculent Turtle", the Navy bomber which set the flight record for a nonstop flight, from Perth, Australia, to Columbus, Ohio, over 11,200 miles in 57 hours, visited the White House and President Truman wanted to know the whereabouts of the baby Kangaroo, dubbed "Joey", which had accompanied them on the flight. The commander told him that it was not yet house broken and had to be held by the tail to prevent it from jumping around. The President expressed his understanding.

Admiral Nimitz then told of the baby kangaroo which kept jumping from its mother's pouch to the annoyance of the father kangaroo. The baby told him that it was not his fault, that the mother had the hiccups.

Similar to the Wallace debacle of September, the President had told OPA head Paul Porter that he did not intend House Majority Leader John McCormack of Massachusetts to issue a statement calling for release of all price controls on meat to relieve the shortage, though Mr. McCormack had made the statement thinking that he enjoyed the full backing of the President following a conference with him. Mr. Pearson suggests the confusion as further evidence that the President had difficulty saying "no" to friends.

He next recounts of an incident between the Governor of Rhode Island, John Pastore, and Assistant Secretary of the Navy John Sullivan in which the latter had been informed that the Governor intended to send a troop of highway patrolmen to seize from the Navy an airfield which belonged to the State and which was to be turned back over to it by the War Assets Administration. The rumor had started when a night watchman overheard the Governor tell a highway patrolman jokingly that if the bureaucratic red tape on the issue lasted much longer, he would have to send the patrolmen to seize the field. The watchman reported the statement as having been made seriously and it then made its way to the Assistant Secretary. The Governor, seeing the opportunity, pretended that the statement had been intended seriously and told the Assistant Secretary that the field would need to be reconveyed or he would follow through on the threat. Within half a week, the field had been re-transferred to Rhode Island.

**Lastly, he notes that liberal Republican Senator Wayne Morse of Oregon, despite his credentials, was campaigning hard for reactionary Republican candidates, the same type he fought in the Senate, and against liberal Democrats.

**Denotes portion of Pearson column not in The News version this date.

Marquis Childs offers his column to the future social historian who would seek to interpret the postwar period. He uses as his microcosm for the society the local farmers market and his conversation with a farm woman selling eggs at 80 cents per dozen, a quarter higher since Mr. Childs had gone to Europe a month earlier. She remarked that a friend had tried to recall the last time eggs were so high, thought they had reached a dollar per dozen in 1928, significantly the year before the Crash, when the peak of the boom period following World War I had been reached.

He then moved over to the chicken counter where he found chickens also to be high, priced at $5, the same that customers used to pay for turkeys. Even scrawny chickens were going at 90 cents per pound.

He wonders therefore how long the average consumer could pay such prices, which included 93 cents per pound for butter and 21 cents per quart for milk. Price control, according to a Gallup poll, was, not surprisingly, not so popular as it had been in May, prior to the fight in Congress over its renewal and the eventual watered-down bill which the President had reluctantly signed to avoid being without any control. The argument posed by the lobbies for the manufacturers and farm groups had been that prices would be held stable if controls were removed as production would be increased. That argument was no longer proving true as farmers and manufacturers had received ample price increases from the Administration and yet prices continued to rise.

He suggests that the future social historian could look to statistics to understand the period, but that just as good an indicator could be found within the confines of anecdotal evidence gleaned from the farmers market.

Samuel Grafton tells of a friend who had called him, upset that a group called American Action, Inc. had been formed to raise money to elect a far right-wing Congress in November. He wondered what more the organization could want, with liberals having been fired in Washington—Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau, Secretary of Interior Ickes, and Secretary of Commerce Henry Wallace all gone within the previous ten months—, a Congress which was already to the right, and a foreign policy, increasingly hostile to the Soviets, also to their liking.

American Action had as its stated charge to fight against "enemies at home", yet was campaigning against 187 Congressmen, ranging in opinion from far left to mildly liberal to progressive Democrats. The right wing was now seeking to co-opt for itself all rights to patriotism, not just occupy the field of American politics. Every form of liberal thinking was under attack and being equated to Communism or something at least inimical to the American way of life. They preached that the end of reform was statism and that all liberals were totalitarians.

"The extreme right wing fights on, after it has very largely won, because it wishes to do more than beat you; it wants, my dear, to eat you. In pursuit of this total conclusion it finds it not at all awkward to stand and announce coolly that all its enemies are totalitarian."

A regular letter writer thinks that C. W. Tillett's letter of the previous Saturday was pollyannaish, regarding the Nuremberg verdicts setting a lasting precedent for asserting jurisdiction over those waging aggressive war. He does not view the trial as demonstrating the operation of international law, for it was, in any event, an ex post facto application of law to crime, not producing respect, in his opinion, for the law.

The only thing, he asserts, that Nuremberg changed was the meting of punishment against military leaders as severe as against spies and traitors. But insofar as the victors punishing the vanquished, it was not novel.

He disagrees that the Big Four could not stop Germany prior to 1939 because of the absence of international law to intervene. He does not see Nuremberg as representative of public opinion or an instrumentality by which the peace might be preserved.

He does not question the verdict but it had taken a long time to establish an obvious fact of the defendants' guilt for waging aggressive war.

But, he ventures, the U.N. might yet foster peace, to be determined only when the U.S. and other major powers would begin to disarm.

"In the meantime it will be encouraging to some of us to know that the United Nations now have the legal right to make San Salvador behave."

A letter writer tells of some of the history of Old 97, prior to its last wreck near Danville. It had wrecked also near Leonard's Creek between Thomasville and Lexington, N.C., killing the engineer and his fireman. The author had been assistant postmaster at the time in Thomasville. The wreck was caused, he says, by a small amount of earth falling onto one of the rails causing the train to derail when it hit it.

The 97 was built for speed, with large wheels. In the Danville wreck, two engineers had been killed, one, named McCormack, having been on the run to reacquaint himself with the route after having been laid off the road for awhile.

In the report presented by Tom Fesperman on October 3, someone had related of 5,000 canaries onboard the train that fateful day, but the letter writer had only heard of two birds, both of which survived the crash.

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