The Charlotte News

Tuesday, October 15, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that, pursuant to the President's speech the night before ordering an end to price controls on meat, OPA officially ended all controls on livestock, meat, and food and feed products. OPA would provide a list of items which were still subject to control, such as automobiles, farm equipment, household appliances, furniture, basic clothing, and building materials.

The President had also assured an earlier end than previously indicated to all wartime price controls remaining. He placed blame for the need to do so on "the reckless group of selfish men who, in the hope of gaining political advantage, have encouraged sellers to gamble on the destruction of price control." He blamed the "feeble law" which Congress had passed in July and which he had reluctantly signed after vetoing the first OPA extension bill.

The President also assured acceleration of removal of other restraints, such as wage controls, left from the war. In response, the two resigned industrial representatives of the Wage Stabilization Board, whose resignations the President had refused to accept, said that they would await more specific indications by the President regarding wage controls. They had resigned saying that the WSB was no longer viable as a means to regulate wages.

The Republicans called the address "death bed repentance" and "confession of failure". Most Democrats praised the action.

Predictions varied as to when meat would return in full supply, some saying two weeks, others, a year.

In Washington, pork chops, formerly 43 cents per pound, sold for a dollar per pound. Hamburger, formerly 30 cents, was at 55 cents. Bacon sold for 65 to 78 cents, up from 43 cents.

In reply to President Truman's address, RNC chairman Carroll Reece was scheduled to talk this evening on "meat and politics". Be sure not to miss it. He will tell you, at long last, where the beef really is.

The AFL told the House Campaign Expenditures Committee that it had no national political organization and had as its policy to reward its friends and beat its enemies.

In Paris, the Peace Conference officially ended as Yugoslavia withdrew in protest of the Trieste provisions of the Italian treaty. Secretary of State Byrnes condemned the action as selfish. The conference had been in session since July 29.

UNRRA reported that an investigation had shown that relief provided by the organization had been effectively distributed in Yugoslavia.

In Nuernberg, the eleven condemned war criminals were fed their last supper at 5:30 p.m., a meal of porridge, bread, and coffee. They were to meet the hangman between midnight and dawn on Wednesday, Tuesday night, EST. Most wrote letters during their last day. Julius Streicher provided six.

All received mail except Fritz Sauckel. He was obviously an unpopular war criminal.

In Pittsburgh, a rifle bullet fired into a transformer cut power to an 817-square mile area, already plagued by the strike of the Duquesne Light Co. workers.

From Shanghai, a baby panda arrived from Chengtu, bound for the New York Zoo, a gift from China. It had been fed milk and bamboo shoots during an overnight stay in Chungking.

In New York, the commander of the Pacusan Dreamboat B-29 called off a planned attempt to break the trans-Atlantic speed record, because of fouled spark plugs on his initial run to New York and his being called to Andover, Mass.

In London, the council schools were ordered not to light fires unless the temperature dropped below 50 degrees. The move was designed to conserve coal. Students were encouraged to bundle up for school and be provided calisthenics every hour.

Right. Drop and give us twenty. No more luxuries, you pansies.

Tom Fesperman of The News reports from the local stockyards that in the hills, the cattle moaned low and were being readied for market, with price controls lifted. Hogs, near Hoskins, likewise. The telephones were ringing off the hook with buyers from packing companies heading to market. The auction was set for 1:00 p.m., with expected traffic to be two head per minute.

You know what that means.

On the editorial page, "Now Is the Time for All Good Men..." comments on Republicans in North Carolina, though gerrymandered, seeking to muster support. Senator Raymond Willis of Indiana was in the state to stump for his fellow GOP stalwarts.

Democrats likewise were coming to the aid of their candidates. They were now singing the praises of the Administration, contrary to their song of a few months earlier.

In Kentucky, Senator Alben Barkley had endorsed Congressman Andrew May for re-election, despite his being under investigation and potential indictment in the Garsson brothers war contracts imbroglio.

Senator Clyde Hoey was telling young Democrats in North Carolina to come to the aid of their party, lest the New Deal would be imperiled. Only a few months earlier, he had been voting more often with Republicans than in favor of Administration policy.

It was all double-talk, but the public did not seem to mind, raised no protest. As long as it was acceptable, it suggests that the country would continue to be governed by Democrats "who love their Party in November as they never did in May."

Which is somewhat similar to the advice to be given decades later by a Congressional upset winner in California three weeks hence, that is, "Run hard to the right in the spring and then run like hell back to the center in the fall."

"It Can still Happen Here" comments on the findings by the North Carolina Attorney General that there was no remnant of the Ku Klux Klan within the state, unlike most of the rest of the South where the postwar era had seen a revival of racism and the Klan. Reports had come from Georgia, Tennessee, and other states.

The Shelby Star—in the hometown of recently deceased Thomas Dixon, author of The Clansman and The Leopard's Spots at the turn of the century, the basis for D. W. Griffith's "The Birth of a Nation" in 1915, which precipitated a revival of the Klan in the latter teens and twenties—had suggested that North Carolinians were no longer interested in an organization which stressed the past and prejudice.

While it so appeared, the piece reminds that it was "a season of uncertainty and the hate front feeds on confusion and the sense of insecurity." It warns that it would be a mistake to think that North Carolina was insulated from the types of events which had occurred in Georgia—not to mention the blinding by the local police chief of Sgt. Woodard in Batesburg, S.C., the previous February. It urges that it would not happen in North Carolina as long as the residents stamped out intolerance wherever they encountered it.

By the way, "obelisk", from April 5, 1946, is now here. "Work" was underlain by a recitation from April 4, 1967 of a portion of James Russell Lowell's "The Present Crisis" of 1845, by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., that recitation now here, at the 51:30 mark. You can also hear again the quote here, at the 48-minute mark.

"Vinegar Joe Needed No Alibis" praises General Joseph Stilwell who had just died the previous Saturday of a liver ailment in San Francisco. At the beginning of the war, he was given an experimental command, head of the Seventh Motorized Division. At the end of his life, he was head of the Sixth Army. In the interim, he had led the American and Chinese forces in Burma, seeking to reopen the all-important Burma Road to supply by the critical land route the Chinese in their fight against the Japanese occupiers.

When he pulled the remnants of his command out of Indo-China, he did so with resignation and defeat, making no alibis.

To General Stilwell, rank meant responsibility, not privilege. He proved that democracy and military success were not incompatible. His simple and forthright character had won him the respect of the American people.

A piece from the Columbia Record, titled "Encouraging the Drunk Driver", cites the 683 convictions for drunk driving in North Carolina in September, a one-month record for the state, and 4,233 in nine months, also a record, and indicates, as had The News the previous week, that the DMV commissioner blamed the result on too lenient drunk driving laws.

The piece opines that making the penalties more severe might cause juries to acquit defendants. At least the state had the consolation of knowing that the courts and law enforcement were doing a thorough job.

It suggests that local option was a recipe for drunk driving, forcing residents of one county which was dry to drive to the wet county to obtain liquor. The Record had opposed local option in South Carolina for that reason. South Carolina's method of local option was simply that liquor stores would not exist in counties where the business would not support it, and that, it says, was the best method.

Drew Pearson again addresses the letters he had received regarding his five-year plan for detente with Russia. Most favored the plan to win over the people, as distinguished from the Government, through an exchange of information, students, and culture, as well as permitting a Russian radio station and newspaper in New York, provided an American newspaper and radio station could likewise exist in Moscow.

Some had been critical.

He reprints several samples of the reaction.

A man who had been in the merchant marine for 24 years and had been to Russia five times observed that Russian machines were mostly imported, those native-made being inferior. He concludes that there was nothing to fear from Russia technologically. He believed that they were hiding nothing save extreme poverty and that the Baltic States and Czechoslovakia and Poland would provide Russia with "acute indigestion" for the ensuing half century.

A woman says that she was ready to take a Russian student into her home, that millions of American soldiers would have perished but for the sacrifice of the Russians.

One man had spent eight months with Russian sailors as their U.S. Navy radar and communications instructor, and then, following his discharge, worked for the Soviet Purchasing Commission, found them to be "plain people", not understanding diplomatic language, respecting men true and patriotic to their native country. All he met respected the United States.

A woman named Memory from Wake Forest, N.C., believed that most women's organizations would back the plan.

Marquis Childs, still in Columbus, Ohio, tells of the state's politics having swung to the Republicans just in the previous two weeks, with once shoo-in incumbent Democratic Governor Frank Lausche now appearing in trouble for re-election, set to go under in the Republican tide sweeping the state. The Democrats would inevitably lose the Huffman Senate seat and three House seats in Ohio.

Governor Lausche had been elected with the blessing of FDR in 1944 and had been regarded as a liberal. But surrounded by a Republican Legislature, he had attempted to swing toward the right while the CIO PAC made life difficult for him with impossible demands. The result was that he was a moderate, finding few friends on either side of the political spectrum. His accomplishments, which included improvement of the state's antiquated mental asylums, had been obscured.

Senator Robert Taft, of whom Senatorial candidate and former Governor John W. Bricker stood to the right, wanted a minimum program of social reform and a foreign policy tending toward the era of isolation. He had recently attacked the verdict at Nuremberg as immoral, by holding the defendants accountable criminally for waging war. He accused both Presidents Roosevelt and Truman of appeasing Russia, enabling them to build the greatest totalitarian state in the history of the world. He urged that election of a New Deal Congress again would encourage such a foreign policy. He desired an end to peacetime conscription.

Senator Taft did not like Bretton Woods for making ten billion dollars available to foreigners. He wanted protective tariffs to protect American industry against cheap foreign competition.

He liked the U.N. but wanted peace and security maintained by "freedom and justice rather than by force." He did not want to interfere in the internal affairs of other nations.

Mr. Childs remarks that Senator Taft's views paralleled those of his father, former President William Howard Taft, who in 1920 had urged the election of Warren Harding as President to nix U.S. approval of membership in the League of Nations, leading to the policy of isolationism which plagued the nation through the beginning of the war, until Pearl Harbor.

Samuel Grafton suggests that those who believed in single hot-button issues to sway voters in the fall election might find that they were only awakening voters on the other side of the political spectrum to think. He cites as example the abnormally high registration among voters in Democratic New York City, perhaps a reaction to the meat crisis and signaling a landslide for Governor Dewey. But it might also indicate disgust and disapproval of the one-issue approach to politics, portending a win for James Mead in the gubernatorial race and former Governor Herbert Lehman in the Senatorial race, to succeed Senator Mead.

He is reminded of the unexpected Labor Party victory in England during July, 1945, and finds in it a conceivable pattern for a similar victory by liberals in the upcoming election, based on the same misplaced confidence in one or two-issue campaigning. The Republicans hoped that the meat shortage and frustration with Government regulation and slow reconversion generally would translate into votes for Republican candidates. Mr. Grafton thinks it might turn out otherwise.

Samuel Grafton, in another piece not on the page this date, remarks that while the Republicans were eager to have the public blame the Democrats for the meat shortage, there was another scenario for causation, rendering the Republican argument casuistry, in which the income tax was the primary problem. Cattle growers had made their money for the year during the summer production upsurge when OPA controls were absent. To avoid high taxes, the cattlemen were taking a holiday for the last quarter.

He admits being unprepared to defend the theory to the death but pointed it out to show alternatives to blaming strictly the Democrats, and that American politics had usually more complex explanations than blaming one party or the other for undesirable results.

He predicts that if the Republicans were to take the House and the Democrats retained control of the Senate, then it would take at least five months after the new Congress was seated to pass, over inevitable presidential veto, an end to price control. With expectations of its ultimate end, however, production would virtually cease until controls would be lifted, producing a halt to the nation's economy. Election of a Republican Congress, therefore, was not the panacea for which the electorate might hope, to end the economic ills.

The conservative Southern Democratic bloc had helped the Republicans to block an effective extension of OPA in the spring and summer. The meat shortage of the spring had been in anticipation of lifting controls, followed by the glut of July and August, and now the shortage again with reimplementation of controls.

So, he questions how it was that the Democrats were at fault and finds it unlikely that the Republicans included Southern Democrats in that notion. Their real targets were Northern and Western liberals. But these liberals had not been in power recently. To throw them out would change nothing.

Essentially, the Republicans were begging for the same kind of Congress which they were begging to displace. The only way, he offers, to obtain a new Congress would be to get rid of Northern Republicans, and surely the Republicans did not want that to occur.

A letter thanks the newspaper for its editorial of October 9, "How Did We Ever Come to This?" anent the loss of the original American dream built on the founding principles of democracy, substituting for it a dust-covered moving paper fantasy built on reaction to the Soviet Union.

The person then goes on to do precisely what the editorial condemned and whip up fear of the potential for bellicosity from the Soviets, warning against being lulled by Stalin's ingratiating remarks predicting peace.

The writer did not seem to understand the point of the editorial being praised, taking its laying of facts regarding the labeling of people as "Communist" for merely being liberal to be an assertion of support apparently for such calumny.

Another letter writer praises the same editorial, saying that the answer to the editorial's title was that the country had allowed every Tom, Dick and Harry to enter from foreign lands and teach subversive notions. She suggests making the furriners pledge allegiance to democratic principles.

Another who misinterprets the editorial to which she gives praise.

A letter echoes the desperate cry for "meat, meat, meat", but disfavors removal of price controls, surely to exacerbate the situation and cause inflation in meat prices. The writer favors Government takeover of the packing houses.

A letter writ in crimson, from Clover, S.C., suggests that the high murder rate in Charlotte was the result of the high murder rate among blacks—an untrue statement, as the column had repeatedly shown.

The writer also thinks the editorial of October 10, "South Carolina's Gift to Georgia", meant that neither state was overrun with Republicans and if they were, blacks would vote.

The newspaper, the writer suggests, sounded Republican, also offers that the Mason-Dixon Line should be drawn on the North Carolina-South Carolina border.

Whatever all that was supposed to mean.

Congressman Sam J. Ervin writes a letter to Wilson Wyatt, Housing Administrator, informing him of an article by Pete McKnight in The News regarding the need for ranges, heaters, and other necessary household equipment in the temporary housing set up at Morris Field near Charlotte. Congressman Ervin urges Mr. Wyatt to grant the needed priorities to enable purchase of these appliances.

Judge Ervin was in his last two months of office, having been selected to succeed his deceased brother the previous January on the promise that he would not seek re-election. Judge Ervin would eventually become a Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court, and in June, 1954 would be appointed by Governor William B. Umstead to fulfill the term of deceased Senator Clyde R. Hoey, a position Senator Ervin would hold until his retirement from office in 1975.


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