The Charlotte News

Saturday, October 19, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Secretary of State Byrnes in his radio address the night before anent U.S.-Soviet relations had stated that the country would follow a "patient but firm" course and rejected the notion that increasing tensions with Russia made war inevitable. He stated his dislike for criticism that the U.S. had been either too soft or too tough. He asserted that the goal of the United States was cooperation with Russia, but without continuing concessions. The Secretary eschewed Russian criticism that the U.S. had sought to enrich itself and enslave Europe in the postwar world.

Henry Wallace, who had on September 12 criticized the Byrnes "get-tough" foreign policy as enunciated in the Stuttgart speech of September 6, stated that he was glad that the Secretary had apparently advanced since that speech, but still believed that his own role was to articulate the proper course for the country, one which demanded good neighborliness and justice to effect peace in the world.

The State Department charged that Yugoslavia had placed at least 165 Americans into concentration camps and rented them out as forced labor without pay. Three had allegedly been shipped to Russia. Ten had died. Yugoslavia countered that under Yugoslav law, the persons involved were Yugoslav citizens, and denied that any Americans were involved or that there was any slave labor. Yugoslavia's charges d'affaires in Washington did admit that Yugoslavia was detaining about 110,000 Germans, but that these persons were the equivalent of the German-American Bund and formed a fifth column during the war, many joining the German Army of occupation.

The nation's cotton exchanges were closed after a three-day drop of $25 per bale, to afford assessment of the situation over the weekend. Only a $10 per bale drop was permitted per day. Senator Elmer Thomas of Oklahoma charged that a "bear raid" by commodities exchanges in New York, Chicago, and New Orleans had, pursuant to a deliberate plan, caused the drop in prices.

In North Carolina, with a third of the cotton crop already marketed, it was estimated that cotton farmers would lose eight million dollars on the remaining cotton crop. Government agencies were at work trying to formulate plans to exert control on the falling prices.

More meat was available than in the previous several weeks, but still most of the nation's butcher shops were in relative shortage. That available was being sold at high prices and few were buying. Steak was running at $1.25 per pound, prok chops at 99 cents, and wieners at 59 cents. Some said they would rather starve than pay such prices.

OPA estimated that food now was about 90 percent free of price controls.

The Civilian Production Administration determined to leave women's spring fashions for 1947 to free enterprise and remove controls which had been in place since 1942 to conserve woolens, cottons, and rayons.

A Superior Court judge in Charlotte held that the operation of the city's parks and playgrounds was a necessary municipal expense, meaning, if upheld by the appellate courts of the state, that bond levies for such purposes were not subject to the majority-registered rule for voters but rather a regular majority of those voting. It was hoped that the case had laid the groundwork for like treatment of the library tax, defeated in the most recent election only by a majority of registered voters, but passed by a majority of those actually casting ballots.

The Post Office Department announced a projected 3.65 million dollar annex to the Federal Building in Charlotte, pending Congressional approval.

In Pittsburgh, the strike of workers at the Duquesne Light Co. appeared to be coming to an end after 26 days. The membership reportedly was set on Sunday to vote for arbitration.

In Cullman, Ala., the Leeth National Bank reported that $90,000 scheduled for deposit from the Federal Reserve Bank in Birmingham had never arrived. A shipment of $10,000 had been received but the second shipment had never gotten there. If you see it, let them know.

In Atlanta, a candidate for coroner was removed from jail by family members to the Nashville, Tenn., mental asylum, after he had been arrested the night before at the request of family members for disorderly conduct. He had been knocking out windows and breaking down doors. His brother had asked that he be disqualified from the election because he had not been a resident in the state for the requisite two years.

In San Francisco, the coffin makers' strike had created a shortage in caskets, threatening a serious health issue.

On the editorial page, "How Much Can We Afford?" again addresses the problem of underpaid teachers in the state, despite a rise in education spending by eight million dollars since 1939. Teachers were leaving the profession in droves.

In 1946, the education groups agreed to permit the Board of Education to speak for them at the Advisory Committee meetings on the education budget. But the teachers, it now appeared, had strongly disagreed with the leaders of these groups. The teachers wanted roughly twice as much as the Board's requested 20 percent salary increase. But the increase, while probably not holding teachers in the profession, was about all the state could afford presently. The state could move forward educationally only as fast as it advanced economically.

"Inflation Floods City Hall" tells of the connection between higher prices in chickens, 33 cents in 1941 compared to 79 cents in 1946, and the rise in the cost of municipal government, with safety inspectors, for instance, in 1941 going for $2,700 but now bringing $6,000. The City had spent about 2.5 million dollars in 1941, whereas the budget for 1946 was 3.7 million, a 48 percent increase.

It reviews the various jumps in costs in government of the City and provides a table of same. City officials' salaries had risen by 89 percent in the aggregate.

Yet, taxes in Charlotte remained lower than those of communities of comparable size. But when the newly approved bond issues were added, the tax rate would go from $1.50 to $2.00. It concludes that the days of cheap government were over.

A piece from the Greensboro Daily News, titled "We're Back Where We Started", comments on the Attorney General's reversal of his previous ruling that the Southern States Fair was "agricultural", requiring under statute a competing circus to pay a $1,000 tax penalty.

The piece wants to know who decided what constituted a real "agricultural" fair, entitling it to such preferred status.

Drew Pearson relates that Henry Wallace, usually reserved and without profanity, had stated, at the news of the appointment of former Ambassador to Britain Averell Harriman to succeed him as Secretary of Commerce: "That son of a bitch! He's the one who torpedoed the San Francisco Conference. And they want a Secretary of Commerce who will keep his nose out of foreign affairs!"

Mr. Pearson explains that at the U.N. Charter Conference in the spring of 1945, Mr. Harriman had fed to journalists anti-Soviet reports which leaked to the Russians, causing disharmony. Mr. Harriman, not long after the September 12 speech by Mr. Wallace, made some bold statements on the same issue but from a different angle, at the National War College.

He next notes the return to Washington of discredited lobbyist Robert Smith in an attempt to defeat President Truman, as he had FDR. President Truman had vetoed a law passed by the previous Congress after Mr. Smith had successfully lobbied for it on behalf of the New Haven Railroad, in which he had a personal stake. The bill had passed without most Congressmen knowing what it meant.

Now, he had raised $163,000 to defeat pro-Truman Congressmen because they might undermine insurance policies.

John L. Lewis was still in the hospital and the medical staff reported that he had been warm and human, not as they had anticipated.

Henry Wallace was receiving less than his previous $15,000 Government salary in his new position as editor of The New Republic, not the reported $75,000.

Calvin Zimmerman, a North Carolina Republican, wanted the Government to refund all fines imposed by OPA, plus a penalty.

Marquis Childs, still in Madison, Wisc., states that it was practically certain that incumbent Republican Governor Walter Goodland, 83 years old, would be re-elected. He was a legend and myth, said to be the oldest person ever to govern a state. In addition to his advanced age, his independence had won him admirers. He had battled the Legislature successfully several times.

Those who came to him seeking political favors sometimes found him to nod off if they talked too long, resulting in an uncomfortable situation.

Governor Goodland dismissed as nonsense all the talk of Communism. Americans, he said, always had to be excited about something and, for now, Communism was it.

He discounted the meat shortage as a major problem, saying that it would be better for people to go six months or a year without meat. That was so despite his 263-pound frame. He replaced his meat with Wisconsin cheese.

The Republicans had endorsed another candidate at the state convention, but Mr. Goodland won the nomination anyway, and by a substantial margin. He had become Governor in 1943, acceding to the position as Lieutenant Governor on the death of the incumbent, and was re-elected in 1944, polling more votes than either presidential candidate. He did not appear worried about his chances this time.

The Governor would re-elected, but would die of a heart attack in March, 1947.

Samuel Grafton states that the nation's foreign policy had been bi-partisan for more than a year and the domestic policy also was now becoming bi-partisan with the lifting of meat controls, albeit accomplished only by arm-twisting from Republicans.

But with all the bi-partisanship, the smooth sailing one would expect to result from it had not materialized. Walter Lippmann condemned the Paris Peace Conference as a failure and steer prices had risen to $35.25 per hundred-weight, foreshadowing inflation and $1.50 steak.

Mr. Grafton wonders whether it was not merely another round of coalition between Northern Republicans and Southern Democrats rather than true bi-partisanship. It was only since the Republican tail had begun to wag the Democratic dog that the notion of bi-partisanship in foreign policy had been received with smiles among Republicans. The new bi-partisanship appeared to be merely the old coalition which had now eliminated effectively the liberals of the New Deal.

So, he concludes, it was a false spirit of bi-partisanship which now embraced domestic policy in the form of meat without control. But it portended inflation which had been avoided without the so-called bi-partisanship.

In the arena of foreign relations, Nuremberg appeared to stand as a success in bi-partisanship, one in which the country could take pride. But Republican Senator Robert Taft had harshly criticized the trials.

A letter responds again to the Hoover-of-plenty letter which had imagined a conversation with a child on the glory days of the Hoover Administration compared to subsequent times and the present. This letter writer says that the letter only imparted part of the truth, that there had been no money with which to buy from the Hoover-of-plenty. The writer also remarks on the Bonus March of 1932 which resulted in some veterans being shot while trying to protest to obtain their veterans' bonus.

A letter thinks the Democratic howling over Senator Robert Taft supposedly engineering the meat shortage on behalf of the Republicans, attributed to him genius needed by the country.

A letter finds Justice Robert Jackson's recommendation to the President that German industrialists, diplomats, and politicians not be subjected to war crimes trials to be commendable, but also placed the United States in a bad light for excusing the crimes of the guilty within the country. The same interests, he opines, wanted to foment war presently.

He praises a Charlotte sermon of Dr. James A. Jones, as published in The News May 16, 1945, in which the minister had labeled present-day isolationists as traitors to the cause of international justice and peace.

The writer recommends hanging such traitors as warmongers.

A letter from Dallas, Texas, praises the editorial, "The Fantastic Oleomargarine Laws", anent the laws which proscribed selling of pre-colored margarine and imposed special taxes on margarine, all at the behest of the dairy lobby. The author says she belonged to women's clubs which had passed resolutions against such laws. Some progress had been made in the states, such as in Oklahoma, where the margarine taxes had been repealed.

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