The Charlotte News

Monday, October 21, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the first airline strike in history had taken place at TWA, both in the U.S. and overseas. Some 1,400 pilots and co-pilots walked off the job after several months of trying to obtain higher wages. Current pay was $7,800 to $9,100 per year, according to the pilots. But the airlines contended pay was $12,500 per year. Base pay was $3,000 with hourly and mileage allowances on top of it. The Civil Aeronautics Board had recommended the previous month $750 more base pay and revisions to the allowances. TWA had stated that the Board's recommendation allowed for a 36 percent increase in salaries. But the pilots had rejected the proposal, contending it was no more than a 24.7 percent increase.

Ninety scheduled flights had been canceled for some 3,000 passengers and 25 tons of mail. The Indian delegation was unable to fly to New York for the opening of the U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday. TWA was the fourth largest airline in the country.

In Albany, New York, 70 World War II veterans ended a 23-hour sit-down strike in the State Senate chamber, undertaken in protest of the housing shortage. The protestors were refused food during their strike. They met with Governor Dewey for forty minutes and then ended the strike, but promised to work to defeat him in the election two weeks hence and to take their campaign nationwide, demanding that 800-million dollars worth of housing be built. Governor Dewey blamed the Federal Government for the shortage.

Some 2,900 CIO members and veterans had marched on the New York Capitol Saturday. The unions were seeking pay increases, led by Michael Quill of the Transport Workers Union of New York City.

OPA stated that controls were slated to come off flour, bread, and other baked goods during the week. The action would free about 93 percent of the family food budget from price control.

Automobile prices, which had been raised 32 percent above 1942 prices, were not set to be increased further for awhile.

UAW announced a new wage drive, to be presented initially to Chrysler during the week. A specific demanded wage was not to be stated, as anticipated rise in the cost of living would be rapid in the ensuing 30 to 60 days. Only about half of the 800,000 members had reopening clauses in their contracts. Only Chrysler employees, among the big three automakers, had such a clause. The Ford and G.M. contracts expired in the following spring. The workers wanted an adequate retirement and social security benefit program and a guaranteed annual wage.

Cotton prices, after a weekend suspension in the market following a sell-off on Friday by one large trader, causing a drop of $10 per bale and $25 for the week, initially rebounded to wipe out the losses of Friday but then suffered another fall, winding up $2 to $2.50 lower than at the close on Friday.

The longest power company strike in the nation's history, the 27-day Duquesne Light Co. strike in Pittsburgh, ended, and service was resumed on a normal basis with all 3,200 workers returning to work. It was estimated that the strike had cost the city 300 million dollars in business and wages. The employees voted to submit their 20 percent wage increase demand to arbitration.

Livestock continued to stream to market, but hogs sold at higher prices, up $2 in Chicago; cattle remained steady, and sheep fell. Fully 62,500 hogs were sold this date, compared to only 5,500 a week earlier, and 31,300 a year earlier. Cattle numbered 156,800, compared with 88,500 a week earlier, and 135,000 a year earlier. Sheep numbered 118,600, compared to 83,000 a week earlier, and 91,400 a year earlier.

In Berlin, voters Sunday rejected the Communist Party, which lost even in the Soviet occupation zone by a margin of three to two. Social Democrats led in all four sectors with 48.8 percent of the vote, with Christian Democrats coming in second with 22.2 percent. The Communists polled 19.7 percent, coming in third. Liberal Democrats received 9.3 percent. About 83.9 percent of those eligible voted. The Social Democratic platform, like that of the Communists, favored socialization of industries. The Communists, however, favored expropriation of property from former Nazis, a proposal opposed by the Social Democrats. The Christian Democrats favored private property rights. The new council in the Russian sector would replace one established by the Russians the previous year.

The British and Americans expressed satisfaction with the Berlin results. In the last previous free election in Berlin, in 1932, the Communists had won 30 percent of the vote.

In the whole of Germany, the Communists ran ahead in the district and state diet elections in the Russian zone. The Social Democrats were not recognized as a separate party in that zone but were combined with the Communists.

Rudolf Hess was said to be regaining his memory rapidly, now that he no longer was threatened with the gallows. He claimed during his trial at Nuremberg to remember little or nothing.

In London, George Bernard Shaw stated that the suicide of Hermann Goebels was actually a benefit to the Allied powers, that he would have supplied ample tablets of morphia to all of the accused and saved the Allies the job of hanging them.

In Ipswich, England, a 12-year old boy was found hanging by a cord in a storeroom. His father said that he had been reading of the Nuremberg executions and apparently was "staging a hanging himself."

Hal Boyle, in New York, reports of the arrival of the Queen Elizabeth from its first peacetime voyage since before the war. The ship carried over 2,300 passengers, many being delegates to the U.N. General Assembly meeting, including V. M. Molotov and Senator Tom Connally of Texas, arriving from Paris after the Peace Conference. The ship was now painted anew, over its wartime navy gray. It had sailed a half million miles and transported over 800,000 servicemen during the war. It had first arrived in New York in March, 1940, in a secret passage to escape bombing.

Bess Myerson, Miss America of 1945, was married in White Plains, N.Y., to a doll company executive and former Army officer. Ms. Myerson had graduated from Hunter College and was planning to pursue a master's degree at Columbia in music.

Al Capp debuts Lena the Hyena on the comics page, along with a picture contest winner from among 600 News readers who participated in a contest to draw her likeness before Mr. Capp unveiled her for public consumption.

You'll just die laughing when you see it.

On the editorial page, "Judge Bobbitt's Historic Decision" comments on the ruling in Mecklenburg Superior Court that parks and recreation facilities, contrary to traditional doctrine, qualified as "necessary expenses" under the State Constitution, thus exempting them from the provision requiring a majority of the registered voters to pass a bond measure in support of them. It was now hoped that, if the decision were upheld by the state Supreme Court, it could be extended to the library as well, the bond measure for which having been defeated in the spring by a majority of those registered, but passed by a majority of those actually voting.

Judge Bobbitt had set aside prior precedent on the basis that the law was expanding and changed with the times. As more congestion had occurred in cities, parks and recreation facilities were now necessary, unlike the agrarian setting of the state in 1868 when the North Carolina Constitution had been ratified anew after the Civil War. The piece finds the reasoning sound. It believes it would open the way to a similar interpretation on libraries.

It thanks the lawyer and citizen who waged a friendly lawsuit to test the law, and Judge Bobbitt for his decision.

"We Have a Couple of Monsters" tells of the lottery racket and bootlegging in Mecklenburg having become so large as to become monstrous, the former taking in around a million dollars in gross profit annually and the latter three million.

The Louisville Courier-Journal had recently remarked that the horse racing news syndicate had moved into Louisville, with members of the Capone gang of Chicago leading the way. It related a murder in Chicago of a racketeer who was seeking to establish himself in the racket with the fledgling operations in Louisville.

Such operations inevitably led to violence to curb competition on the illegal enterprise. It offered easy money, more than in established walks of life. The only way to stop it was either to legalize it or vigorously to enforce the laws against it. Thus, far Charlotte had done neither.

"North Carolina's Number One Need" tells of the North Carolina Good Health Association report in preparation for the next Legislature, regarding the overall health prognosis of the state. It found North Carolina without adequate medical facilities and suffering from a shortage of doctors and nurses.

In draft rejections during the war, the state had ranked between 44th and 48th in any given year, dead last in 1943. Of whites, 49.1 percent were rejected and of blacks, 71.5 percent. But within the orphanages, only 16 of 1,860 who went into service were rejected. The reason, the report contended, for the disparity was that the orphans received regular medical care. It suggested that the citizens might be better served by placing their own children in these orphanages.

A piece from the Greensboro Daily News, titled "A Note on Towns and Trees", comments on a recent North Carolina Supreme Court decision out of Goldsboro which held that a city could determine whether to turn a public park into a parking lot. The piece finds it good democratic doctrine but not altering the fact that most towns and cities were opting to do just that, reducing the green area with pavement.

The remedy was for the mayor of each town to appoint a planning and zoning committee who would take into account the aesthetics as well as the pragmatic needs of the community. The municipalities which did so learned that it paid to have parks by attracting people to the community. Those which did not learned the truth in the old saw, "Hell has no parks."

Drew Pearson tells of Hermann Goering having provided, prior to his death, the American investigators in Germany an account of how the Nazis had sought to undermine American public opinion to defeat President Roosevelt in 1940 and maintain America's neutrality in the war.

Along with the statements of other high ranking Nazis, the news of the compilation contained in the report of Assistant Attorney General O. John Rogge had inspired a great deal of reaction in the American people, some wanting the report suppressed. Mr. Pearson had obtained one of the suppressed copies and was going to publish portions in his column. He felt it important to show a pattern of how the Nazis had sought to infiltrate public opinion to avoid any recurrence.

He lists some of the highlights: Reader's Digest had paid $4,300 to Lawrence Dennis, head of the American Fascist Party and indicted for sedition. Sosthenes Behen, head of I.T.T., was being used by the Nazis to obtain business contacts in the U.S. He had been especially close to Nazi agent Gerhard Westrick. The Germans knew in March, 1940 that John L. Lewis was going to oppose FDR even though the UMW was not apprised until six months later. James Mooney, vice-president of G.M., told Mr. Westrick that he would try to convince FDR that it was best to get along with Germany, even after Hitler had overrun Norway, France and the Low Countries. Father Coughlin wrote a letter to the German consul in Detroit asking for German support of Coughlin's anti-Semitic and anti-Roosevelt efforts. Carl Byoir, a New York public relations agent, collected over $100,000 from the Nazis for publicity he provided under the cover of the German Railroad Information Office.

He then provides verbatim quotes from the report. It states that Paul Schmidt of the Nazi Embassy in Washington informed that Hitler and Joachim von Ribbentrop believed that anyone would be more favorable to Germany than FDR. Their study found that Wendell Willkie, FDR's opponent in 1940, would not be friendly to Germany but would not be so energetically opposed or able to muster public opinion so easily as Roosevelt.

Former Nazi Ambassador to Washington Dieckhoff stated that Von Ribbentrop always wanted the Foreign Office to try to influence the 1940 election against Roosevelt. The Nazis plotted to have John L. Lewis publicly oppose FDR.

In 1944, the Nazis supported Governor Thomas Dewey more vigorously than Mr. Willkie in 1940. They aimed propaganda at certain nationalities in the U.S. to try to influence their votes. They tried to plant allegations of secret agreements formed supposedly between FDR and Stalin. The Nazis even believed that a negotiated peace might be attainable under Mr. Dewey. They did not believe it possible to influence the press, but found the press almost universally behind Dewey. They tried to plant in the neutral press, in Sweden and Switzerland, stories which would cause question of Roosevelt, but had no success.

Mr. Pearson promises another column on the efforts of Hitler to sway the opinion of the American people.

Harold Ickes suggests that President Truman and Senator Robert Taft along with their associates were playing Drop the Handkerchief. The last one on the ground had been the President's when he released meat controls the previous Monday.

It had started when OPA was set for renewal July 1 and Congress stalled, sent the President a bill he vetoed, and then another which he reluctantly signed, proving in the end unworkable. In the meantime, the National Association of Manufacturers had whipped public and press opinion against further price control.

Mr. Ickes reminds that in his column of July 8 he had predicted that the second bill would no more hold water than a colander. But the President had at least placed himself in a position where he could claim with credulity to the voters that he had saved OPA. He had, however, not saved price control.

The Republicans and Democrats continued to play a game of shuttlecock on price control even though it was virtually ended. Mr. Ickes posits that both parties should lose on November 5. Many of the countries of Europe which had been occupied during the war were making economic progress while the U.S. floundered behind political games.

The President, he concludes, as had often been the case, had guessed wrong and was forced to eat political crow.

Samuel Grafton suggests that, now that price control was no longer an issue in the country politically, the conservatives would need a new issue other than Government control.

When Hitler was on the scene, liberals had it easy. Everyone had a common enemy against whom to fight. But with him gone, liberals suddenly became the issue, as the common cause was no more.

Now, the ground had shifted to make conservatives the issue. If meat backed up in the butcher shops because of high prices, then the President could call upon the American Meat Institute to do something about prices rather than the other way about under price control. Prices, not control of them, were now the issue.

Wall Street had resumed its decline after a momentary pause to cheer the end of controls. It obviously did not believe that the end of controls had solved the problems. Calling on government to solve labor issues would not be so easy now that government was no longer meddling in business profits.

The shifting of the ground might save liberalism by giving it a new, if negative, position on which to stand. The conservatives now could be targeted, taking the place the liberals had held since war's end.

A letter responds to "How to Breed a Communist", which had posited that the way to stimulate Communism was to to deny a decent living to the populace, that the way to render the movement impotent was to insure a decent life for everyone. This writer thinks that, and the simpatico statement of Attorney General Tom Clark, to be "gobbledygook", thinks that Mr. Clark ought proceed against anyone depriving citizens of a living. Moreover, the majority of citizens could vote. He believes Mr. Clark and The News editors were breeders of Communists.

All who could not earn a living, he says, were simply lazy or inept. If only the people would give up their whiskey and their cars to afford a home, all would be fine.

A letter responds to "It Can Still Happen Here" regarding the Klan activities spreading through the South, thus far absent from North Carolina. The writer thinks the editorial had been unfair to the Klan. B'nai B'rith had their ethnic organization. Blacks had the NAACP. The Italians had the Sons of Italy. Why could not the "white Protestants of the Anglo-Saxon extraction" have their own social club?

Only the adopted sons could have their social organizations, not the native sons of those who founded the country and fought its wars and pushed its frontiers from coast to coast.

He contends that the Klan was not responsible for every lynching and that lynchings were more common before the rebirth of the Klan in 1916. Thirty-five or forty years earlier, he says, whippings were routine on the Southern plantations, those of '05 and '10.

The editors respond: "When the B'nai B'rith, the NAACP, or the Sons of Italy take to hiding under bedsheets, deny civil liberties to 'Anglo-Saxons', use the whip and the rope to intimidate American citizens who do not share their faith, and publicly desecrate religious symbols we shall be the first to demand that the Attorney General take action."

A letter from the North Carolina Good Health Association thanks the newspaper, and especially Burke Davis, for its editorials and articles on the hospital and medical care shortage in the state.

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