The Charlotte News

Saturday, October 12, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Lt. General Walter Bedell Smith, Ambassador to Russia, told the Paris Peace Conference that the United States, in accordance with a compromise proposal by the Czechs, was prepared to transfer to Hungary about 200,000 Magyars living in Czechoslovakia. Every effort should be made, he stressed, to alter territory so that as few people as possible would need leave their ancestral homes. The discussion arose in the context of the Hungarian treaty, the fourth of the five treaties to be approved by the conference, with only the treaty for Finland remaining. The treaty with Bulgaria was approved at 1:15 a.m. this date.

A move by the United States of October 2 to cut Hungary's reparations from 300 million to 200 million dollars was defeated by the conference.

*General Joseph Stilwell, hero of the Burma campaign during the war, had died at age 63 at Letterman General Hospital in San Francisco from a liver ailment. He commanded the Sixth Army at the time of his death. He had entered the hospital on September 28 for a routine checkup of his liver problem, and five days later underwent emergency abdominal surgery from which he did not recover. He had received the Distinguished Service Cross, the Distinguished Service Medal, an oak leaf cluster to the medal, and the Legion of Merit. A day before his death, Secretary of War Robert Patterson conferred upon him the infantryman's badge, an award which he esteemed and desired, to show unity with the men of rank.

In China, with Kalgan captured from the Communists, speculation ran as to whether the Government forces would proceed toward Yenan, a mountain-protected fortress of the Communists, considered nearly impregnable.

The capture of Kalgan appeared to have doomed further peace talks in the Chinese civil war, as the capture would unify all Communists in the fight. The Communists had said that they would not resume negotiations until the Government called off its advance on Kalgan.

President Truman was planning to provide a radio talk on Monday at 10:00 p.m., regarding his intentions on continued price controls on meat. Conflicting accounts emerged as to whether the President would compromise on meat controls or hold the line.

*The President accepted the resignation of Federal Court of Appeals Judge John J. Parker of Charlotte as alternate justice of the War Crimes Tribunal at Nuremberg, stating that the trials had blazed a new trail in international justice. Judge Parker left the position as he believed his job over with the end of the trials and sentencing set to be executed October 16 for the eleven defendants sentenced to death.

*Henry Wallace announced that he would become the editor of The New Republic, saying that he would use the position to try to alert the world of the need for avoiding an armaments race.

In Washington, 5,000 hotel workers went on strike, forcing guests to make their beds and hotel restaurants to serve food cafeteria-style. They sought a wage increase of 15 cents per hour for employees not receiving tips and 10 cents per hour for those who did.

In New York, detectives raided a gambling operation, only to find that it was at the time being held up by two robbers, who were arrested along with the seventeen players.

Also in New York, a thousand people stood in line at a meat market, camped outside since 9:00 a.m., in response to a rumor spread by word of mouth that there was available meat for Sunday dinner, causing everyone to take to hoof for the market. They were not deterred by windswept rain. A few police officers were assigned to keep the line in order.

Two crashes, eight miles and 40 minutes apart, near Alexandria, Virginia, left five dead in an Army bomber but all 26 passengers and crew alive in what appeared to onlookers as a fiery and deadly crash of an Eastern Air Lines DC-4. Both crashes occurred in thick fog. Said Captain Joe Morris as he stepped from the wreckage of the EAL plane in a daze, "I'm all right. I was right on the beam..." He then began gushing blood from his mouth.

"Nickel", of September 26, 1945, incidentally, is now here. "Knitting" and "weaving" are now here.

In Birmingham, Ala., an explosion which demolished a banana storage room of a produce company in the downtown area had injured twelve persons, several critically.

In Baltimore, the three men arrested the previous day by the FBI for trying to sell to a Baltimore newspaper for $7,000 photos of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, were provided $1,000 bonds and released. The FBI clarified that the pictures were not actually of the bomb itself but of related materials and equipment.

In London, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor chatted with reporters at Sunningdale estate, owned by Lord Dudley, in their first visit to England since 1939. Rumors were circulating that the Duke was to be named British Ambassador to Italy, denied by the Foreign Office. They did not mention the Royal Family. The Duke stated that they would be meeting with Prime Minister Attlee and with Winston Churchill.

In Trowbridge, England, a Wiltshire couple told authorities that neighbors were practicing witchcraft against their four-year old boy. A court then ordered them separated from their son for three months. The parents practiced a "weird rite" to placate the witches next door, by keeping the boy in bed with them. He woke up crying and scratching his mother and pulling her hair. They would then get up and pour salt on the fire, after which they would hear a "chinking noise" at the back of the grate, and the boy would stop crying. They used the same ritual to stop banging on the wall.

The boy was found "cowed and pale", according to the representative for the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. The parents were charged with neglect.

In Santa Monica, California, actress Margaret O'Brien, 9, had signed, with court approval, a new contract providing her with $2,500 per week for 40 weeks each year for three years.

On the editorial page, "Free Enterprise and Self-Interest" comments on the promise of Administration leaders to get from the President some relaxation of meat price controls. But it thought that the demand by the beef industry to remove all price controls and a statement by the chairman of the OPA Beef Industry Advisory Committee, saying that there was plenty of cattle available for market as soon as ceilings would be lifted, expressed the last word on the issue.

The implication was that the cattlemen were staging a sitdown strike, which they denied. The Advisory Committee chairman stated that the motivation was the expectation of higher prices after controls were released and had nothing to do with seeking to embarrass the Administration before the elections.

That was simply good business and could not be condemned. But it was puzzling that there was no great public outcry against the meat producers, despite the shortage and the promise of higher prices when the shortage would end. Yet, the public readily condemned labor for the same tactics.

The OPA had sought to place consumer interest above that of the producer, but the public had not supported it. The piece wishes that the cry of agony in response was more coherent.

"Note on Tolerance and Laughter" tells of columnist Earl Wilson looking at the debate regarding the dialect stories popular in the nightclubs. Groucho Marx saw no humor in lampooning a racial type. He believed that the act of his brother Chico, Minerva Pious's Yiddish Mrs. Nusbaum on the Fred Allen Show, and the Amos 'n' Andy radio holdover from minstrelsy tended to hold up to ridicule persecuted or despised minorities.

It was the same "sentimentality" which caused the Interracial Committee to petition newspaper editors to abandon use of the word "Negro". While the motive was honorable, the implication of shame of racial background was ultimately imported, an absurdity in a country which took pride in its heritage as an ethnic melting pot.

There were those who used racial epithets to arouse mass feeling against minorities. But the nation would abandon its national heritage if it were to accept the standard being promulgated against humor based on racial eccentricities.

It suggests that the South had its history of persecution for its own regional eccentricities, that white Southerners had been as much the butt of satire as any other group. Rather than resenting it, Southerners took pride in their strangeness and peculiarities.

It cites as Exhibit A for the premise Senator Claghorn, who had returned to the air the previous Sunday on the Fred Allen Show, saying: "Speak up, son, speak up; don't just stand there; you can talk—you ain't Henry Wallace." The Senator was the South's favorite comedian and, it suggests, it would be a shame if he were taken off the air to accord the feelings of some few detractors.

It concludes that laughter at peculiar traits in the culture was a sign of national tolerance, not bigotry.

You might think, by the way, that we thought about "on the beam" above after reading this piece. You would be wrong. We had not even seen this column at all when we referenced that and linked again to the Samuel Grafton piece placed online a year ago with the underlying link within it. Did you ever?

By the way, we would like for the reader to concentrate for a moment on the utter uselessness and vacuity inherent in uttering "n-word" for "nigger". Either say the word, appropriately embraced in spoken quotes, or something like "racial epithet" or "ethnophaulism", or don't use any reference to it at all. Everyone knows what "n-word" references, including four-year old children, unless they are insulated in rubber cages from life. Are those using it routinely trying to make it socially acceptable to say "n-word"? It is honkified to say it.

So stop and think for a moment how stupid it sounds. Someone new to the crowd might think it the opposite of "outward" and wind up as terribly confused as the person who thought "niggardly" was a racial epithet.

They are just words, nothing more, nothing less. Stop trying to control or dodge or re-direct speech. That is fascism, regardless of the particular words used, short of actual threats. It is a means of personal control of someone else, and it is manipulative behavior, aggressively and neurotically. Who is to say what is offensive? If you think you can make the rules, legislator, and have them apply across the board to every context without utter chaos and fascism being the result, you are quite dumb. Part of our right to be free is to say what we wish. It is expression, nothing more, nothing less. No one needs a license to speak their mind. Frown upon it; disagree with it. But don't dare squelch it. For in that lies the danger that you will not know any longer where the snakes are before they reach out and bite you.

"Old Soldiers Never Die...." comments on the reunion of only eight Confederate Army soldiers at the 56th reunion held at Edgewater Park, Miss., earlier in the week. Most of the sentiment evoked was pity for them. But the Confederates themselves would refuse such a role.

They still had a sense of the mischievous about them. The two North Carolina representatives encountered a reporter and pretty female photographer in Spartanburg on the way home. General W. W. Alexander shouted: "Hot dog, now this is more like it. That's what keeps me alive, just a-lookin' for pretty gals."

General R. V. Collie had said, "Me too... Shoot, gal, you see the whites of our eyes, don't you?"

Say what?

When the reporter offered to help General Collie board the train, he refused, saying that the reporter might break what he had in his bag and winter was coming.

Say what?

The piece concludes that while it was almost winter, the Generals would likely see other winters before the final reunion of the CSA.

Say what?

Whatever they meant, it appears that someone was pulling someone's leg clean off, as the last of the Confederate veterans from Mecklenburg had supposedly died in 1940. But, perhaps they were talking to ghosts and did not realize it.

A piece from the Greensboro Record, titled "Sermon from the Bench", tells of a charge to the Harnett County Grand Jury by Judge W. M. Burgwyn of the Superior Court, speaking of lynch mobs, telling the jury that they were comprised of cowards, afraid to come out into the open. None had been arrested or tried and probably would not be.

People in the country were trying to pit race against race, Gentile against Jew, Protestant against Catholic, class against class. But Jews, he reminded, were of the nation of Jesus, as well as of Moses. The Catholic Church had preserved the Bible through the dark ages. The black population of the country had made substantial progress in a relatively short amount of time since slavery.

The country was founded on the principle of freedom. It had a responsibility on the world stage to exert leadership in that direction. It could not do so if there existed dissension and intolerance at home.

The piece finds the statement commendable and timely.

Drew Pearson tells of Standard Oil of New Jersey inviting 40 journalists from Boston, New York, and Washington to the King Ranch in Texas, one of the largest cattle ranches in the nation with over a million acres—and owner of 1946 Triple Crown winner Assault. Its part owner, former Congressman Richard Kleberg, addressed the newsmen at an elaborate dinner in which generous helpings of roast beef were served. He stated that until Washington stopped playing politics with the American dinner table and assured decent prices for meat, the shortage would continue, possibly leading to famine by winter. There was plenty of meat on the hoof but ranchers were going to strike until they could make a profit.

Mr. Kleberg received 15 million dollars annually from oil drilling on the ranch by Humble Oil and so could afford such a strike.

Mr. Pearson notes that he had been defeated in 1944 by angry voters after it was disclosed that his office received kickbacks of half the salaries paid Congressional ushers and pages hired by the office, as quid pro quo for the appointments.

"Greaseball", by the way, from October 17, 1944, is now here.

He next relates of the caustic statement at a meeting by outspoken former New Dealer and labor expert Anna Rosenberg to Philip Murray of CIO, William Green of AFL, and Eric Johnston of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, regarding collective bargaining, which she termed "collective bludgeoning" of the American consumer.

Apparently, he was referring to the same meeting of the President's Reconversion Advisory Committee of which he had previously related, wherein Ms. Rosenberg plucked the feathers of the corpulent Mr. Green by suggesting that he appeared not to be suffering personally from the meat shortage.

Finally, he reports of General Harry Vaughn, military aide and adviser to the President, having to vacate his West Wing office next to the President and move to the East Wing, adjacent to chief of staff, Admiral William Leahy. General Vaughn was not happy about the move, arranged by George Schoeneman, executive administrative assistant to the President, in charge of determining office space at the Executive Mansion. Mr. Schoeneman had been seeking to move General Vaughn since he took over the office space without approval shortly after Mr. Truman became President. The new occupant of the office was Clark Clifford, legal adviser to the President, fresh out of the Navy.

Mr. Clifford would later become Secretary of Defense under President Johnson during the last year of that Administration in 1968, and had earlier been a prominent foreign policy and intelligence adviser to both Presidents Kennedy and Johnson.

Marquis Childs examines the great amount of criticism being hurled at the President, most of it from the same sources who had criticized President Roosevelt, but for opposite reasons. Whereas they had found in Roosevelt a dictator or at least a man bent on power, they found Truman too weak, not assertive enough.

Mr. Childs suggests that in this fact was a telling view of a Government designed for another time, when the country was primarily agrarian and wanted a decentralized government. With the country being solidly behind price control, the Congress had rejected the President's program. In parliamentary systems, he would have been out as a result. But he had to serve for another two years.

The President had done courageous things, such as trying to economize in an election year and supporting embattled General Omar Bradley, head of the Veterans Administration, when many special interest groups for veterans wanted him out.

The problems at the end of the war were so great that it was difficult to see how anyone could have handled them without trouble. It was time, he asserts, to stop awaiting the strong man to move the nation forward. Rather the question was whether the country, as a great world power, could afford "a collapsible Government".

A letter from a disgruntled customer of Macy's Department Store in New York City reprints a letter he had sent to them regarding his wife's purchase of merchandise a couple of weeks earlier which she had not yet received. It was explained by Macy's that the trucking strike in New York had prevented delivery of the goods to the post office.

Anyway, he goes on a bit, into the oath the attorney for Macy's took when he entered the bar, the war and war service of the family, and so on and so forth.

Bottom line was that he wanted Mrs. Krebs's $119.57 worth of goods, including the rug without which no one could cross the rubicon. And he urges the head of the department store, Jack Strauss, to get an injunction against the Teamsters to halt the strike to enable the sending of the $119.57 worth of goods to Mrs. Krebs, who was working night and day for the born and unborn. Or Mr. Strauss, he suggests, could deliver the goods himself to the post office and be done with it. If so, he opines, it would equal in American history the ride of Paul Revere.

You remember him. He warned the British that the Colonists were coming.

A letter from the Chapel Hill chapter of the Southern Conference for Human Welfare reprints a resolution passed recently, condemning the 35-cent per hour minimum wage of laundry and maintenance workers of the University.

It goes on to explain that workers who had a 25-year employment history with the University were earning but 45 cents per hour. Laundry workers received 32-33 cents. They had recently staged a temporary sitdown strike. The University was trying to encourage students to work in the laundry. It had also refused to recognize the right of the workers to organize and bargain collectively.

It concludes that the organization would fight this system and would carry the fight to the Legislature.

Samuel Grafton tells of the liberals of the country doing the bidding of Republicans and conservative Democrats by leaving the Democratic Party disgustedly, and deserting the President, either to sit out the election or to register as independents. The question was whether the conservatives had taken control for two or ten years, or indefinitely. It was largely up to the liberals, mostly those of the North, as to how long control by conservatives would last.

"The struggle is in the highest degree important and dramatic too, to every American who knows a bit of his country's history; and the liberal of courage who sticks it out now is worth a dozen cry babies carrying their wounds and hurts to the nearest corner."

"Fala", from September 26, 1945, is now here. Ye Fala?

*Denotes story not on front page of The News of this date, culled from other newspapers of the date.

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