Tuesday, October 22, 1946

The Charlotte News

Tuesday, October 22, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the Federal Coal Mines Administrator informed John L. Lewis that reopening the bituminous coal mine contract was not warranted, but would discuss in arbitration whether the contract with the Government, under which the mines had been operated since the previous spring, was subject legally to being renegotiated. The Administration stood firm that the terms negotiated May 29 would remain in force as long as the Government operated the mines. Thus far, the mine operators had not agreed to the negotiated terms. Mr. Lewis had charged that the Government had breached its agreement and wanted new negotiations, starting November 1. He threatened a walkout by November 20 if not satisfied. Secretary of Interior J. A. Krug, in charge of administration of the mines under Government operation, stated that wildcat strikes were in fact breaches by the miners.

The National Mediation Board was considering, pursuant to the Railway Labor Act, intervention in the two-day old TWA strike of pilots and co-pilots, tying up domestic and international flights of the nation's fourth largest airline. The White House did not know whether the agency would intervene. The pilots had rejected the President's fact-finding board recommendation on salary increases, which the pilots complained only amounted to 23 percent over their present $1,000 per month average salary. It was the first airline strike in history.

Former OPA head Chester Bowles predicted that the next item to lose control would be rents. He also said that, despite the housing shortage, there was more unnecessary building in the country than at any time since the Crash year of 1929. He reported that under price control, the 175 largest meat companies were making six times the profits of 1939, before the war. One company would make between 125 and 150 million dollars.

OPA announced that the price of canned beans would rise by two to three cents per can. Get yours before it happens.

Chicago hogs were slow, dropping a $1.50 per hundred-weight. Corn and oats futures, eggs, and poultry dropped somewhat in price, with cotton on the New York exchange rebounding somewhat from its steep decline of the previous week. Cottonseed was up $30 per ton over the previous week, to $100. New York stocks declined.

Operators of the New Orleans cotton exchange claimed that Thomas Jordan was the trader who sold off 150,000 bales on the exchange, prompting the huge price drop of $25 per bale the previous week and closing down the nation's cotton exchanges during the weekend. Mr. Jordan refused comment on the story. He simply said, "I have nothing to say." The story was that Mr. Jordan controlled 300,000 bales on margin and dumped half onto the market to provoke deliberately a price drop.

OPA boosted grain allowances for liquor distillers and for beer and ale masters, providing distillers with a 16 percent increase in supply and brewers with a six percent increase.

President Truman praised the new school lunch program which he had signed into law the previous June, providing for 50 million dollars in Federal funds, to be matched by state funds.

Secretary of State Byrnes stated that the extent of freedom demonstrated in the upcoming election of October 27 in Bulgaria would determine whether the United States would continue to refuse diplomatic recognition of the Soviet-dominated country. He also informed that the U.S. would deny loans to other countries which would bring up the issues of "dollar diplomacy" or "economic enslavement", as had Czechoslovakia, prompting the U.S. to withdraw a previously promised 40-million dollar credit.

Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin told Commons that the Potsdam agreement, formed in July, 1945, would either need to be followed with respect to forming a treaty with Germany, the next treaty on the agenda for the Foreign Ministers Council and then the U.N., or the whole agreement would need to be scrapped and a new one created. He supported Secretary Byrnes's positions on Russia, as enunciated in the September 6 Stuttgart speech. He stated that Britain had no military interest in Trieste, and hoped for withdrawal soon of all British troops from Greece, wanted Iran free from foreign interference. Britain, he said, stood opposed to the Russian demands on Turkey for joint control of the Dardanelles. Despite differences between the West and Russia, he was not unhopeful for lasting amity between the major powers.

The Marine Engineers union and East and Gulf Coast operators signed a contract to settle the 22-day strike. The strike of deck officers and licensed ship personnel of the AFL Masters, Mates and Pilots union, however, continued, leaving the West Coast still strikebound.

The SS John Trumbull, a "jinx ship", was at anchor in Baltimore while the Coast Guard investigated complaints of trouble aboard, culminating in a threat of murder. Included in the complaints was a directive by the captain that none of the crew were to whistle while they worked.

The trouble on ship had supposedly begun when either someone had whistled or a live cat had been thrown overboard. Gunfights and stabbings had plagued the ship during its voyage from Italy. The captain, while the ship was anchored in Baltimore, radioed for help lest there "be a murder by daylight."

The trouble had begun when the ship was at port in Houston in August, before the trans-Atlantic voyage. It was then, according to the captain, that the cat had been thrown overboard by the messboy, giving rise, in his opinion, to the difficulties. In his entire 42-year career, he had never permitted crew members on his ships to whistle.

The ship ran aground near New Orleans, a crew member suffered a broken arm off Jacksonville, the mascot dog disappeared at Danzig, Poland, and the ship went aground off Denmark. One man was stabbed during a fight among crew members; then two others were later stabbed.

The obvious solution was to permit the men to whistle.

On the editorial page, "Storm over Lake Success" regards the meeting of the General Assembly of the U.N. set to begin the following day, predicts that the meeting would prove rancorous. But dissension might be cathartic as the purpose of the Assembly was to allow nations to blow off steam. Dr. Lange, the Polish delegate, who usually served as a Russian stooge, had commented that differences in political opinion expressed in the Security Council were to be expected and that such expression benefited the people of the world.

The piece finds this statement to be accurate, that the Assembly would not solve the problems of the world but could air them, as much as could be expected.

"The Passing of Tieless Joe Tolbert" remarks on the death of the South Carolina Republican leader, given a substantial obituary in The New York Times. He had been a maverick in Democratic South Carolina. Between presidential elections, he waited for Republican leaders to meet with him to court the South Carolina delegates. When Republicans had been elected President prior to FDR, he had been able to name judges, postmasters, district attorneys, and the rest of the political appointees. His sole interest in the GOP had been the ability to dispense patronage.

He had acquired his nickname from his lifelong refusal to wear a necktie on the premise that "I don't bother with nothing I can do without." He also was able to do without faith in the Republican prospects in South Carolina.

"The High Cost of Not Voting" tells of a determined Democratic effort to get out the vote in November out of concern that a well-organized Republican Party might pull upsets otherwise.

The American Legion also was trying to encourage people to vote.

The piece urges the citizenry to exercise the franchise, that times of relative normalcy were not to excuse failure to vote. The Germans and Italians had found out that lesson. Though there was no real choice in the state, voting would be good exercise for the day when choice might appear on the plate.

The editorial agrees with the Legion in saying that if a person did not vote, they had no right to complain about their government for the ensuing two years. That could prove an intolerable penalty, given the state of things presently.

A piece from the Baltimore Evening Sun, titled "Mine Ease at an Inn", seeks to transpose the fondness of Boswell and Samuel Johnson for fine hotels into a contemporary conversation during the current Washington hotel strike. You may read it for yourself.

Drew Pearson reports again on Hermann Goering's statements to Assistant Attorney General O. John Rogge. Herr Goering had said that the Reich would have gladly spent 150 million dollars to defeat FDR in 1940. He once contemplated hanging a sign in his office saying that no business was transacted unless exceeding 10 million dollars.

William Rhodes Davis had gone to Berlin to discuss with Goering the entire strategy after the war had started. Parenthetically, Mr. Davis wanted to get his flow of expropriated oil going again from Mexico to the German refinery built for him in Hamburg, begun in 1938 but for the most part, though not entirely, cut off after the British blockade was established following the German invasion of Poland.

Goering stated that he had talked to Mr. Davis three times about his being able to influence John L. Lewis and Mr. Lewis, in turn, being able to influence the vote of the working class against Roosevelt. Goering at this point insisted that he would have talked to Mr. Davis in terms of 100 to 150 million dollars for the purpose, not the paltry three to five million of which the Justice Department had heard. Goering liked the Davis-Lewis scheme. Mr. Lewis was apprised by Mr. Davis by telephone at each juncture of the progress of the talks.

Mr. Davis indicated that he was willing to invest millions of his own money in the scheme and that if he were successful in defeating Roosevelt, he wanted to become Secretary of State.

Goering gave Mr. Davis an advance copy of the speech of Hitler given October 6, 1939 in which Hitler made no mention of any offer of the peace Mr. Davis was supposed to be trying to negotiate directly with the White House.

Parenthetically, Mr. Davis met with FDR in this period and sought directly to arrange a peace whereby Hitler would be allowed to remain in power, retain the Danzig Corridor in Poland, and hold a plebiscite in Poland to determine control of the remaining territory, in exchange for Britain and France getting out of the war, with FDR acting as intermediary. The President was uninterested and commented to aides after Mr. Davis left that he did not like him, appeared untrustworthy.

Though the Mexican oil deal had initially been approved by the Government, Mr. Davis, prior to the Nazi invasion of Poland, had incurred disfavor of the deal by both the President and Ambassador to Mexico Josephus Daniels.

Part of the information on the Davis-Lewis scheme to defeat FDR was provided Mr. Rogge by Joachim Hertslet, a director of the German Economic Ministry, who collaborated with Mr. Davis in the oil deal with Mexico and later came to the United States to confer with both Mr. Davis and Mr. Lewis.

The report also told of the Mexican oil deal. A month after March 18, 1938, Expropriation Day in Mexico, Mr. Davis flew to Mexico. Mr. Lewis had phoned Alejandro Carille, a leader of the labor movement in Mexico City, that Mr. Davis was coming, was "all right", and that Germany and Italy were the only safe countries with which Mexico could deal. Other meetings between Mr. Lewis and the Mexicans were described in the report.

Mexican labor leader Vicente Lombardo Toledano visited Mr. Lewis in Washington later in 1938 and Mr. Lewis went back to visit Mexico also.

With the help of Mr. Lewis, Mr. Davis obtained control of the expropriated oil and sold it to the German Navy.

In 1939, following the meeting of Mr. Davis with Goering, Mr. Lewis visited Adolph Berle, Assistant Secretary of State, a meeting in which Mr. Lewis threatened to turn CIO support away from Roosevelt if he did not appease Germany. Mr. Berle flatly rejected the proposal.

Mr. Pearson promises yet another column on the Rogge report. He had written of the Rogge report and its references to William Rhodes Davis also the previous July 18 and September 21, and briefly touched on the subject on August 3. Marquis Childs had more thoroughly covered the matter on July 18 and 19.

Marquis Childs, in Los Angeles, tells of the American dilemma, the necessity of full and expanded production to achieve full employment, with more goods and services purchased by the workers. That, in turn, would mean more houses, restaurants, shops, trains, airplanes, etc. Yet in the face of these needs, the country appeared overcome by a kind of paralysis.

The country thought in terms of the 1939-40 economy, not in imaginative terms of the future. The narrow streets of a bygone era were clogged with traffic. The people almost dreaded the thought of expansion when all the new cars would clog further the arteries, a fear of a glut of goods which could not be sold.

Every city was in need of elevated highways and boulevards, but there were few signs of such construction.

Inflation meant that previous funds set aside during the war were inadequate to cover the costs of the planned postwar municipal facilities. Inflation threatened to close off the needed expansion for the future.

The need for controls was glaring, but the fall political campaign was characterized by calls for "free enterprise". Yet, the Administration was not intent on regimentation or rekindling the New Deal. The New Dealers, with the departure of Henry Wallace in September, were nearly gone from the scene.

Samuel Grafton recaps the Nuremberg trials, finds them to have scared many Americans. Most who disapproved of them, such as Dorothy Thompson and Senator Robert Taft, were not fond of Russia, believed the trials linked to class justice and vengeance. Ms. Thompson had even described them as "lynchings".

There was no question, even among the critics, of the guilt of the accused at Nuremberg, The detractors based their argument on technicalities, primarily the notion that the trials were based on ex post facto international laws. But the fact was that the defendants were accused and convicted of conspiring to violate the Treaty of Versailles and the Kellogg-Briand Pact outlawing war, as well as the laws and customs of war under the Geneva Convention. While no one had been so punished before, it was not correct to say that the laws on which the convictions were premised did not pre-exist the war.

It was not an Anglo-Saxon war, as the Russians were among the Allies. But to a great degree, Anglo-Saxon justice prevailed at Nuremberg. So exactly the opposite had occurred of that which the critics feared. The Russians were forced to sit on a tribunal which largely followed Western concepts of justice.

The critics of Nuremberg mistook victories for defeats and, in so doing, showed how completely they had given up the idea of establishing one world. They rejected Nuremberg because it was not entirely an Anglo-Saxon proceeding.

They also now stated that the law of Nuremberg must be applicable to all, including the Russians. But no one appeared to dispute that premise.

Nuremberg had served not only to punish the Nazis but had set a crucial precedent for the future to inhibit offensive war-making.

Too much opposition to Russia had led the critics into a quagmire of thinking, appearing opposed to such a crucial precedent on the basis of technical objections which did not have a valid basis in the first instance.

A letter from a local attorney takes umbrage at the October 14 editorial, "It's Time for an Investigation", and other like articles in the newspaper of late, which had pointed out that the local police had not participated in the recent raids of the lottery by the SBI and State Patrolmen or in the prosecution of the local divorce mill case, also investigated by the SBI. He thinks the newspaper was producing a feud among the law enforcement officials and that it should apologize to all involved, that the newspaper had performed a disservice by highlighting the problems.

The editors respond that no newspaper reporter had prompted the Secretary of the North Carolina State Bar to issue a public statement regarding SBI director Walter Anderson having told his agents not to work with the Charlotte Police Chief, or caused other such problems, such as the City Solicitor expressing that he did not have the loyal cooperation of the Police Department. They do not believe it a disservice to inform the public of such issues within their law enforcement agencies.

A letter from Harry Golden suggests a wave of sympathy in the country for the executed Nazi war criminals at Nuremberg. One columnist had commented that the photos of the hangings were too horrible to be published.

Yet, only 18 months earlier, photos were published of the victims of the Nazi atrocities, showing corpses piled high "like cord-wood". Mr. Golden suggests that maybe the neat manner in which the bodies were piled made them photogenic, that the scratched noses of the Nazi war criminals made them too gruesome to publish.

The Nazis had efficiently, "even gracefully", executed six million men, women, and children, taking their gold teeth and shoes as they went, and then putting the bodies neatly in furnaces and lime pits.

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