The Charlotte News

Wednesday, October 2, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the eleven defendants convicted of war crimes and sentenced to hang by the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal intended to seek clemency from the four-power Allied Control Council and, failing that, would seek death by the more preferable method of firing squad.

The three acquitted defendants, Hjalmar Schact, Hans Fritsche, and Franz von Papen, sought transportation to the British zone but were refused by the U.S. Third Army in charge of the American zone. Meanwhile, the German civil authorities in the American zone threatened, pursuant to the de-Nazification laws, to arrest the three if they remained in the American zone.

German newspapers praised the work of the Tribunal but criticized the three acquittals and stated that the German people had the right to raise other charges against them.

*Crowds of Germans carrying Communist banners marched through Berlin in protest of the verdicts of the three acquitted defendants, as well the relatively lenient treatment accorded the seven who received prison sentences, three of whom, Rudolf Hess, Walter Funk, and Grand Admiral Erich Raeder, having each received life sentences.

*Austria announced that it would seek to prosecute Franz von Papen and Baldur von Schirach, the latter having received twenty years in prison at Nuremberg, for war crimes against Austria related to its annexation by Germany in 1938.

*Hermann Goering, in an interview with the London Evening Standard, stated that the fate of the world rested on the United States maintaining control of the atomic bomb. He also asserted that the greatest wartime leaders had been President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill. In response to a question, he stated that he did not think it appropriate for him to commit suicide as had Hitler, because there would have been no one left to impart the true story of the Third Reich. He believed that in fifty years, if the German people survived that long, they would view him and his endeavors fairly. When asked whether he believed the Nuremberg trial had been fair, he asserted that it was "political".

At the Paris Peace Conference, the Yugoslavian delegate accused the United States and Great Britain of conspiring to establish Trieste as a British-American colonial military base on the Adriatic and that in so doing, both nations had renounced the democratic principles, "gone with the wind", established by the Foreign Ministers Council of the Big Four.

Also at the conference, the United States charged Russia with draining the economy of Hungary of 180 million dollars annually or 35 percent of its national income, and proposed to cut reparations to Russia from Hungary from 300 million dollars to 200 million. The U.S. had sent three diplomatic notes to Moscow, in March, July, and September protesting the situation, each without reply.

*In San Francisco, Secretary of War Robert Patterson told the American Legion convention that military weakness was the road to war. He advocated maintenance of "respectable military strength".

The gravely ill former Secretary of State Cordell Hull—who would recover—urged the nations on his 75th birthday to set aside their differences or face "incalculable disaster".

Near Shanghai, three American soldiers sought to find five airmen reportedly held captive by Lolos, and to identify three skeletons found by the Chinese within a few miles of Sichang. The skeletons were not necessarily connected to the captives.

Negotiations, with the Government as mediator, continued to try to end the latest maritime strike, as settlement appeared close.

Near Battle Mountain, Nev., a B-29 bomber exploded, killing all eleven aboard. Only fragments of the plane and one human arm could be found in the rugged country.

Harold Ickes reports that he had learned from fellow columnist Walter Winchell that Jesse Jones, former Secretary of Commerce, might be behind the E. Holley Poe bid to buy from the War Assets Administration the Big Inch and Little Inch pipelines which had carried oil during the war to the East Coast in lieu of sea traffic, tied up by war shipping and in peril of U-boat attack. He suggests that if Mr. Jones was in back of the deal, the Government should exercise caution for his horse-trading mentality. Mr. Ickes liked, however, the fact that Mr. Poe was involved in the bid as he had worked for the Department of Interior when Mr. Ickes was Secretary.

The proposal was to use the two pipelines to transport natural gas to the Northeast, an economic use of the lines which could also end the grip of John L. Lewis on the country by providing cheap competition to coal. Moreover, the proposal involved cash rather than credit through the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, as other potential buyers were seeking, effectively to put the Government in the pipeline business. The deal would recover eighty million dollars of taxpayer money and ought be done on a cash basis.

There were drawbacks to the proposal. Mr. Jones wanted to provide an exclusive franchise to the big five utility companies of New York and New Jersey, primarily Consolidated Edison of New York and Public Service of New Jersey, for distribution of the natural gas. All New England companies ought be able to distribute the gas.

Furthermore, the deal would tie up a 60-year supply from two large Texas gas producers at a low price of 1.5 to 3.5 cents per thousand cubic feet. Other bids offered up to 9 cents per MCF.

According to defeated gubernatorial candidate Homer Rainey of Texas, the people of the state would eventually become indignant at this low price and place a large export tax on the gas, raising the price to the Northern consumer without benefit to the Texas producer.

The United States finished the first quarter of the fiscal year with a 119 million dollar surplus. The President had predicted a 1.9 billion dollar deficit, however, for the entire year.

*Outside MGM Studios in Hollywood, no violence was reported this date following a melee the previous day which had left 37 injured and 13 arrested in response to a strike by members of the Conference of Studio Unions, disputing whether they or the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees had the right to build movie sets. A Sheriff's deputy had been beaten severely and remained in critical condition from the previous day's violence. This day, about 750 members of the union circled MGM nine times without incident. Sheriff's deputies saluted each time the pickets passed their position carrying U.S. flags. Some of the pickets wore parts of military uniforms and steel helmets.

In Nashville, a 21-year old painter was charged with assault with intent to commit murder for deliberately running down an expectant mother. She escaped with minor injuries and her baby was born prematurely but was in fair condition. There was no motive apparent in the incident but he told a female passenger that he was going to hit the woman. After he did so, he stopped briefly, turned the woman over, and then drove away.

In Detroit, a draft-dodger, former football player turned artist, blamed his wife's big blue eyes for his draft dodging for five years. He pleaded guilty to the charge of violating the Selective Service Act. He had been supported first by his wife and then his girlfriend, both school teachers. He was waiting for the bus to report to the induction center when his wife talked him into staying. On the dodge, he spent his time writing short stories and verse, painting abstract pictures, and learning to play the saxophone, clarinet, and accordion. Then, after two years, in 1943, his wife divorced him. She said that she did not turn him in because he had unusual literary and other artistic abilities, that the world had enough "ditch diggers and soldiers". Artists had to be preserved for the future, to save civilization.

In Houston, a 30-year old woman collapsed as a train headed for her, but the engine came to a stop inches from hitting her. She and a man were trying to catch a train to Oakland, California, when the woman got her foot caught in a tie as they crossed a trestle. The male companion jumped free. A switchman flagged down the train.

*In New York, Father Divine claimed to have imparted to Joe Louis his divine gift for boxing. He said that he had gotten the idea of having another black heavyweight champion boxer when Jack Johnson lost the title.

*In London, a small white terrier was chased by a subway train for six miles before finally emerging from the tunnels panting. Crowds at ten stations through which the dog and train show had passed had been cheering the dog. The trip to Chapham Common, where the dog climbed onto the platform to catch a breather, normally took twenty minutes, but because the train and the other trains following in its wake had slowed to accommodate the dog's pace, it took fifty minutes. The dog was deemed at a disadvantage because, unlike the train, it had nothing to chase.

In "Bish's Dish" on the sports page, Furman Bisher tells of colorful manager Spencer Abbott of the Charlotte Hornets, who had guided them to the league pennant but would not be back for the 1947 season.

On the editorial page, "The Precedents of Nuernberg" finds that the War Crimes Tribunal had accomplished its mission of delivering fair justice. The defendants had in three cases convinced the court that there was a distinction between being a good German and a Nazi war criminal. It had eliminated from the scene eleven gangsters and sentenced seven others to long prison terms, three to life.

The piece posits that it would serve as an historical lesson to others, that living by law rather than force was the only acceptable course. Until that point would be reached, the trial was "nothing more than a good, if occasionally absurd show."

The verdicts showed the signs of the division between the four powers who did the judging. The Russians provided a dissenting opinion.

If World War II would be the last war in history, then the trials at Nuremberg would achieve real meaning.

"For if the world catches fire again, the only precedent that will be remembered will be the right of the victors to condemn the vanquished."

"Who's to Blame for Housing Failure?" examines the back and forth blame game between Government and private builders for the housing failure during the first year of postwar construction. The builders claimed that Government regulations were unworkable and that they could form a voluntary plan which would carry into effect all the goals of the Government program with greater efficiency. The Government contended that its program was hamstrung by the builders who were funneling materials into the black market and not building homes for the average consumer.

No one could fault the Government not putting faith in an industry that was resisting so strenuously its regulations.

The argument was not doing anyone any good. Inflation was already a major threat to the ability to own a home and thus to home builders. It was therefore a proper concern of the Government.

The piece quotes extensively from an article in Practical Builder, stating that while wages had increased, individual production had gone down, making the cost of homes rise. It was also hard to obtain loans because of the unstable prices.

"Notes for National Newspaper Week" states that American newspapers were as free as they ever were, the last free press on earth save in Britain. The worst of American newspapers looked better than Izvestia or Pravda.

The worst newspapers in the country, The Chicago Tribune and The New York Daily News, each had greater circulations than did the best, The New York Times. But it indicated the freedom of the press to be wrong.

In North Carolina, the most adamant supporter of prohibition, The Raleigh News & Observer, was published in a wet county surrounded by predominantly wet territory. The most adamant opponent of prohibition, The News, was published in a dry county surrounded by dry territory. It might be a sign of impotence or independence or both. "At any rate we have always found it an oddly comforting thought."

A piece from The Elizabeth City Daily Advance, titled "A British View of Judge Parker", finds interesting a report from Nuremberg published in The New Yorker by British novelist Rebecca West, anent alternate War Crimes Tribunal justice, Federal Appeals Court Judge John J. Parker of Charlotte. She said that he proved that a "good local product can be sent the world over and do trade no harm." People in America, she finds, had high standards for their judges and those translated elsewhere into likeability, regardless of how cosmopolitan or not the judge.

Drew Pearson tells of the loyalty of Texans to one another as expressed in repartee between Senator James Mead of New York and the President's military aide, General Harry Vaughan.

On September 24, the same day Josef Stalin had told the London newspaperman that there was no danger of war, Russia was sending to Turkey a note again demanding joint military protection of the Dardanelles, causing the Turks to be on high alert for the potential of a military emergency in case Russia attacked. Essentially, Russia was demanding similar terms to those which they had demanded of Hitler to enter the war in 1940, control of the Dardanelles, Iran, Iraq, the Balkans, and the mouth of the Red Sea.

Mr. Pearson believes that Russia had every right to an outlet through the Dardanelles into the Mediterranean. Many thought it little different from U.S. control of the Panama Canal, but that lease had been negotiated at the turn of the century under Theodore Roosevelt. In 1946, the U.S. was discussing joint Pan American defenses and that might ultimately entail the canal.

Russia, he suggests, remained a serious war hazard despite Stalin's reassuring statements.

Senator Theodore Green of Rhode Island had complained to President Truman that by staying in rain-soaked Newport for only a day before sailing to Bermuda, he had given Newport a black eye. The President said he would try to stay longer the next time he visited.

Marquis Childs reports of the rocket bomb observations made in Sweden, as well over Athens and Italy. A reliable American had told him that the rocket bombs were real, not just the product of postwar hysteria. Officially, nothing was known about them, but whatever had been observed or imagined, the sightings had subsided.

The most reliable opinion had it that they originated from Russian tests being conducted at Peenemunde and that the reason for using Sweden as a target area was not political but rather that Sweden had large forest areas which were sparsely populated and, being a small country, would not likely stir controversy over the tests.

Such action resembled that of the Soviets in the fall of 1939 when thousands of Poles, many of whom were professionals and intellectuals with their families, had fled to Russia to escape Nazi occupation and persecution. They were placed in forest camps during the dead of winter with meager provisions and died in an average of three weeks. There was no special hostility toward the refugees but the Russians could not afford them shelter.

The U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey reported that little damage had been done to the rocket research facilities of the Nazis at Peenemunde. Sources had told Mr. Childs that the Russians had taken it over almost intact, along with several German rocket scientists. America had obtained its share of these scientists, but so had Russia.

Perhaps, the so-called "Russian hail" was no more than a stray meteor magnified by postwar nerves and suggestibility. Regardless, he wonders how long it might take for the world to return to normalcy after the shock of war.

Samuel Grafton examines the state of liberals in American politics. The conservatives believed that with Henry Wallace gone from the Cabinet and Robert Hannegan rumored soon to be leaving, the liberal wing of the Democratic Party would have no further voice in the Administration, that in consequence, no matter which party won in November, the next Congress would revise the Wagner Labor Act.

But conservatives, he offers, need not find so much solace in these events, as they had forgotten that 1946 had seen a worldwide leftward movement politically, that there were twelve million U.S. citizens involved in the labor movement, and that the liberal wing of the Democratic Party had been a decisive factor in each of the previous four presidential elections.

Moreover, the liberal and conservative fight within the Democratic Party was an old fight, with the conservatives for many years on the outside before gathering their forces and organizing in the wake of the death of President Roosevelt. The liberals now had only begun to awaken to the fact of the loss of FDR as a unifying force within the party. The conservative wing had mastered the trick of opposing the President without departing the party while winning allies among the Republicans.

The liberals would now need to organize themselves in a way similar to that of the conservatives beginning in 1938, at the time of the attempted and failed FDR purge. The liberals needed to realize that even if the President abandoned them, they could remain at home within the party as much as had the conservatives at that earlier time.

A letter responds to two editorials, "What Sort of Deal Is This?" and "A Great Need for Awareness", both apparently from the missing September 30 edition, finding the first justifying the second and the second requiring action. The writer favors disbarment for both the judge and Governor Cherry, involved in the deal described but not imparted.

The editors respond that the deal did not call for such an extreme action as favored by the letter writer, but they would like to see the Bar Association condemn the use of technicalities to evade the intent of the law.

We can only speculate that the "deal" in question had something to do with resolution of the issue of whether the library bond election qualified as an exemption, that is a necessary expense, under the State Constitution such that a majority of those voting rather than a majority of those registered to vote would be necessary to pass the measure, as explored September 6 in an editorial.

A letter from the director of the U.S. Soil Conservation Service, Hugh Bennett, thanks The News for its contribution to soil conservation and for its editorial in praise of "Hugh Bennett Day" on September 9 in Wadesboro.

A letter from the president of the North Carolina Concrete Masonry Association warns of unqualified operators who were producing substandard concrete blocks in the state, of such poor quality as to constitute a menace. The Association had been formed to stop the practice and insure that the blocks conformed to building codes. The Association had received the endorsements of the State Fire Marshal and the Insurance Commissioner.

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

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