The Charlotte News

Thursday, October 17, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the high prices on cattle, sheep, and hogs had begun to decline as tens of thousands of animals began arriving in major markets. Hog prices in Chicago dropped $2 per hundred-weight. Steers, however, went to $37.50 from the record high of $35.25 the previous day.

In Kansas City, where an all-night stream of animals arrived at market, prices declined.

In New York, wholesale butter prices declined 7 to 8 cents per pound after reaching a dollar per pound and more. Cheese went down 1 to 6 cents a pound, as eggs were down a copper or tuppence per dozen.

Cotton futures also headed downward.

Secretary of State Byrnes returned from the Paris Peace Conference to Washington and was received by the President, who congratulated him on a job well done. Mr. Byrnes would address the nation via NBC radio the following evening at 10:00 p.m. Be sure to tune in.

Meanwhile, the State Department reversed itself on providing a credit to Czechoslovakia, reportedly because of concern over charges of the U.S. waging dollar diplomacy.

In Russia, the reports in Pravda of the suicide of Hermann Goering and the executions of the other ten convicted war criminals from the Nuremberg trials were limited to stories of less than 200 words.

In Nuremberg, the bodies of the dead had been cremated and the ashes scattered secretly. It was disclosed that Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel had apparently planned to commit suicide with a sharp piece of metal secreted in his wallet but was foiled in the attempt by an attentive guard. The commander of the prison cleared Mrs. Goering of aiding in her husband's suicide. They had always been separated by a glass screen during her visits.

Kingsbury Smith, one of the eight correspondents who witnessed the executions, expresses the belief that the visit of the correspondents to the cell block prior to the time set for commencement of the hangings may have triggered the suicide of Hermann Goering, alerting him that the fatal hour was approaching. Some of the guards turned their backs on the prisoners as the reporters arrived in the cellblock. Mr. Smith suggests that it may have provided opportunity for Goering to take the fatal potassium cyanide.

He saw Goering on his bed, appearing to be asleep. The other prisoners were pacing their cells. He thought it odd that Goering had fallen asleep on his last night, and so remarked to one of the guards and the other journalists.

President Truman praised the Nuremberg verdicts as beacons which would serve as warnings to "brigands" that the fate of death awaited them.

In an exercise in Japan, a thousand American troops landed on a beach at Sagami Bay near Tokyo, a projected point of landing for the previous May had Japan not surrendered the prior August. A few trucks and jeeps sank in the exercise as the LST's could not get close enough to the beach to afford smooth landings.

A report indicated that FDR had in March, 1942 insisted that the lend-lease commitments to the Soviet Union, especially regarding ball bearings for airplanes and tanks, aircraft cord, springs for machine guns, automatic rifles and other munitions produced from wire, be fulfilled by the War Production Board, even if it meant shorting other fronts. Between June and October, 1942, the Board expressed concern regarding the directives.

OPA stated it was planning to hold the line on rent control increases. The agency removed price controls on coffee, vegetable fats and oils, including margarine, mayonnaise, and salad dressings, all in response to the address by the President on Monday indicating that the removal of the remaining controls on foods and other items would be expedited.

Near Laramie, Wyo., a charter plane crashed, killing all ten passengers and three crew members en route from Oakland, California, to Chicago. Eight of the passengers were sailors.

In Santa Barbara, California, Edward Kennedy, the correspondent who prematurely broke the story of the surrender of Germany in May, 1945, receiving condemnation for breaking his promise of confidentiality until the surrender was officially announced the following day on May 8, was appointed managing editor of the Santa Barbara News-Press.

In London, Scotland Yard was investigating a daring robbery of thousands of dollars worth of the Duchess of Windsor's million-dollar collection of jewelry, stolen as she and the Duke visited the residence of the Earl of Dudley during their first visit to England since 1939. One source estimated the loss at $100,000. Ace detective, Inspector J. R. Capstick, was assigned to the case, immediately began narrowing the field of suspects based on the type of crime. The thief had eluded men of Scotland Yard assigned to round-the-clock protection of the Duchess and Duke.

The Pacusan Dreamboat landed in Washington, a little strange as it was last reported in Paris ready to fly the Atlantic to Massachusetts. There seems to be some cover-up going on. They are on both sides of the Atlantic at once, some sort of telekinetic transportation afoot about which they do not wish you to know.

The Martians will fix that when they land next summer in New Mexico. They radioed ahead to us that they are coming and will fix everything.

On the editorial page, "The Last Act of the Tragedy...." finds pleasure in the fact that Hermann Goering cheated the hangman with poison. He died as he lived, a cheap fraud. The ten other defendants condemned to death died with relative dignity on the gallows.

Only eight journalists were permitted to witness the hangings, preventing cheap sensationalism which would have characterized the American press coverage. The executions were but a minor aftermath of the trial and convictions.

It quotes Arthur Seyss-Inquart's last words: "I hope that this execution is the last act of the tragedy of the Second World War, and that a lesson will be learned so that peace and understanding will be realized among the nations..."

It suggests it as a fitting epitaph for Herr Seyss-Inquart, the sadistic gauleiter of the Netherlands, as well as for his fellow war criminals.

"The Principles of Honest John Bricker" tells of the Republicans still relying, as they had for the previous four presidential elections, on the weakness of the Democrats rather than the strength of their own party.

In Ohio, as Marquis Childs had informed, there were two candidates leading the GOP, both of whom were considered possible nominees for the presidency in 1948, former Governor John Bricker and Senator Robert Taft. Senator Taft was willing to accept some Government control, such as in necessary housing and medicine. In foreign relations, however, he had drifted back toward isolation with his caustic attack on the Nuremberg trials.

Mr. Bricker wanted to take the country back to the pre-New Deal era to a form of laissez-faire. His basic platform, it offers, was not so scary, but his presentation was. He labeled the entire Democratic Party as being Communist in orientation. Even the anti-Russian foreign policy of Secretary Byrnes looked Communist to Mr. Bricker.

Either he accepted this nonsense as truth or he was being cynical, in which case partisan politics had reached a new low. Democrats had never charged the Republican Party with being Fascist. He was either a fool or a knave. Either way, it was disturbing that he was a favorite for the Republican nomination.

"How to Breed a Communist" agrees with Attorney General Tom Clark that reaction bred Communism, creating a system in which citizens could not earn a decent wage because of the avarice of a few. Eliminating such inequities and adopting a moderate democracy was the way to make Communism unattractive.

Trying to root out Communists was easier said than done because they were usually citizens, not from foreign countries. Denying them Federal employment, as advocated by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, was one thing, but trying to stop them from running in elections, as some newspapers sought, was another.

A piece from the Concord Tribune, titled "Well, What's Wrong with That?" finds peevish the anger of the Mecklenburg Rural Police at the fact that the SBI had called in the Highway Patrol to conduct a raid on the illegal lottery operation. Instead, it says, the police should have been grateful for the arrests.

Drew Pearson tells of both the Army and Navy objecting to the attempt of the President to balance the budget at their expense, the only way he could effectively accomplish the task. Most Government agencies had been pared to the quick during the war. He had already cut two billion dollars from the military budget, despite protest from both branches.

The column suggests a few small cuts of chaff from the military, such as the Naval Air School in Olathe, Kansas, where the commander was tearing down a barracks to provide lumber for his own quarters while veterans housing was in shortage. The base also had twelve idle refrigerators. Other savings at the base were also possible, such as the commander's personal flights for frivolous reasons.

He next tells of the origins of the Senate Investigating Committee, which looked at graft and waste in the defense industry. In 1940, freshman Senator Harley Kilgore of West Virginia had suggested the idea to then Senator Truman, as both spoke of their mutual interest in the Civil War. Senator Truman then introduced a resolution to create the committee and made special arrangements to have Senator Kilgore join it. Now, the latter had become its chairman.

He next informs of Senator Leverett Saltonstall of Massachusetts, a liberal, not getting along well with former Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, a conservative, who had given up the seat to join the Army, and was now seeking a comeback in the other seat. It might aid Senator David Walsh in his campaign to be re-elected.

Senator Walsh would lose to Mr. Lodge, who would then go on to serve one term before losing to Congressman John F. Kennedy in 1952, now less than three weeks from election to the Congress.

Mr. Pearson tells of the GOP split in Montana resulting in booting out the isolationists, such as the brother of former Congresswoman Jeanette Rankin, the only member of Congress to vote against the declarations of war in 1941. The split would likely help the Democratic candidate for the Senate, Leif Erickson, and Representative Mike Mansfield.

Marquis Childs, in Madison, Wisc., tells of the state returning to no-frills Republicanism. There was also talk of another third party, to replace the moribund Progressive Party, abandoned the previous spring by Robert La Follette, Jr., who returned to the Republican camp and was then defeated in the primary by Joseph McCarthy, a "circuit judge and a veteran of some of the fiercest battles of World War II."

The original impetus for the Progressives, founded in 1924 by the elder Robert La Follette, former Governor and Senator, was to get control of out-of-state interests seeking to dictate Wisconsin policy. One of the first battles concerned freight rates, considered unfair by Wisconsin farmers. In 1938, Governor Phil La Follette, brother of Robert, Jr., tried to put the party on a national footing, only to undermine it. The homespun radicalism of that party was now absent from the political landscape. The Communist threat was so dominant in the state that the Democratic chairman had repudiated one Democratic Congressional candidate suspected of Communist ties.

The Democratic opponent to Joseph McCarthy was Howard McMurray, who had to court labor through the CIO PAC. Mr. McCarthy, however, had obtained more votes in industrial areas than either Senator La Follette or Mr. McMurray.

Catholicism was also on the ballot in the form of a referendum to make school bus transportation of students to parochial schools free. Mr. McCarthy was Catholic.

He also was an internationalist, advocating aid to Western Europe and Eastern Asia, in contrast to the provincialism of the La Follettes. He wanted to maintain military strength in anticipation of a time when it would no longer be necessary to have a strong military.

Samuel Grafton tells of Eugene O'Neill emerging from reclusion to provide his first play in a dozen years, "The Iceman Cometh", a play with the message that to face reality is to die and thus better to remain deluded.

His period away from the stage corresponded with the New Deal of FDR, but Mr. Grafton makes no pretense of suggesting thereby his politics. He does, however, correlate his re-emergence with a period of public sorrow and social stagnation. "The Iceman Cometh" would not have fit the FDR era, when hope was running high for man's ability to live securely in some cooperation.

In the interim, a generation had come of age not knowing the name of Mr. O'Neill, and so he had become something of an anachronism. Now he came forth to remind that life was "a formless mess, to be tempered, if at all, with alcohol and illusion." The work resembled plays being produced in Paris evincing the new philosophy of existentialism. It begged the question why pessimism had suddenly taken hold of the stage in France and the United States. He wonders why well-heeled audiences accepted such fare.

He concludes that such themes excused the audience from meditating deeply on the fate of their fellow man. They did not imbibe the play, but drew solace from it, affirming their apathy. For if life were worthless, then nothing could be done to improve it, relieving the "lazy conscience" of responsibility.

"[L]ock", incidentally, from June 6, 1946, is no longer available, and so is dedicated to the 50, who apparently died for little or nothing except some corporatista's creepy claim on a copyright of one scene from a movie from 50 years ago.

A letter replies to the letter which had imagined a conversation with a child remembering the good old days of the Hoover Administration. This writer remembers more deprivation than plenty, and describes another conversation with a child expressing that condition.

Another letter also responds to the previous Hoover-of-plenty letter, telling of the author's memory that the working class earned but four dollars per week during that period.

A letter from the chairman of the Trade Barriers & Penalties Division of the National Cotton Council tells of the cotton growers having for years fought the crippling margarine laws which forbade yellow-colored margarine as competition for butter. The Republicans, he asserts, backed the dairy farmers in support of the laws. The cotton growers, who supplied cottonseed oil for the margarine, were fighting against the laws and had been for four or five years.

The editors respond, "Tickled to death."

A letter invites friends to the author's 82nd birthday party, with prizes and a greeting from the "old soldier", the oldest in the State Guard.

A letter from the North Carolina Education Association thanks the newspaper for enlightening public opinion on the need for more teachers at higher salaries.

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