Thursday, October 24, 1946

The Charlotte News

Thursday, October 24, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the U.S. and Russia appeared at odds regarding the right to discuss before the U.N. General Assembly the proposal by Cuba and Australia to end the unilateral veto of the Big Five powers on the Security Council. The U.S. opposed the measure, but supported the right to debate it.

President Truman in his speech to open the General Assembly the day before, had urged the U.N. to get on with the process of controlling atomic energy and suppressing weapons of mass destruction.

U. N. Secretary-General Trygve Lie of Norway condemned the Franco regime in Spain and called on the General Assembly to set a course by which democratic government could be restored in that country.

President Truman informed a press conference that he had left the threat of another coal strike up to Secretary of Interior J. A. Krug, administrator of the Government-operated coal mines since the spring. John L. Lewis had threatened a UMW strike by November 20 unless renegotiation of the contract with the Government were begun by November 1. The coal mine operators had not yet accepted the May contract terms negotiated with the Government, under which the mines were being operated.

The President would not discuss wage controls. Administration officials stated that wage controls would not likely be removed all at once, but rather in stages as industries lost price controls.

He would not discuss whether he would engage in stump speeches prior to the November 5 mid-term elections and refused to place bets on its outcome, as, he said, betting was illegal in Missouri.

Mr. Truman also expressed the hope that the eighteen Estonian refugees who had arrived the previous day from Sweden could be accommodated in some way. Attorney General Tom Clark had obtained a temporary stay of an order deporting the refugees, who had been given 24 hours originally to make up their minds whether to go to Canada or Cuba, in each of which private landowners had offered them refuge.

The Government stepped into the three-day old TWA strike of 1,400 pilots, as both the pilots' union and TWA management accepted Federal mediation. Some 15,000 additional employees were out of work from the strike, furloughed without pay. The union wanted $13,000 per year in salary for a pilot flying 920 hours annually in a Douglas DC-4, and $14,250 for a pilot flying 862.5 hours in a Lockheed Constellation in domestic service. More pay was sought for international flights. Management contended that the union demands actually amounted to $13,900 and $15,300 respectively. There were also other union demands.

Senator Elmer Thomas of Oklahoma stated that he believed Republican politics was behind the large sale of cotton the previous week which had sent the market price plummeting from 39 cents per pound to 32 cents, $25 per bale.

High Administration officials predicted that the Congress would end price controls entirely by January. Only a few such controls, including that of rent, would remain by that time, as the President would in the meantime trim controls to the bone to vest political responsibility in the Congress for the end of control.

Meanwhile, OPA removed controls over all cosmetics except soap.

Price rises were expected temporarily in the food items and beverages released from control the previous day, leaving only about two percent of food restricted, sugar, syrups, and rice.

In Los Angeles, a man who had confessed to the kidnaping and robbery of showman Earl Carroll, arrested a few hours after the $240 robbery, was sentenced to an indeterminate term of five years to life in San Quentin.

In Oakland, California, two men robbed a furniture store of $1,520, but placed rugs under the bound and gagged manager and his wife to make them "as comfortable as possible" during the robbery.

Winston Churchill had sued Louis Adamic for libel based on assertions in his 1946 book, Dinner at the White House, regarding an alleged conversation at a dinner on January 13, 1942 between Mr. Churchill and FDR, at which Mr. Adamic was present. The suit sought damages and a ban on publication and sale of the book.

The ensuing January, Mr. Churchill would settle with the publisher, Harper & Brothers, for a reported 5,000 pounds plus ban of the book in England. The book is still banned there. Don't peek, mate. You don't want to know. Keep him in mind as he was.

Here's a hint. It has to do, sub rosa, with this passage:

From the hors d'oeuvre plate on the small table before her Mrs. Roosevelt took a tiny sausage impaled on a toothpick, and holding it out of Fala's reach as a bribe, coaxed him to lie down and roll over. Fala went through the performance, then sat up to get his reward. "Good boy," said Mrs. Roosevelt, giving it to him amid general laughter.

"Good boy, Fala," echoed F.D.R., and the Scottie ambled back to the desk and plopped at his feet.

Any suggestion that it may have had something to do with a footnote, now apparently expunged from the volume, if it ever existed, claiming that the Prime Minister's support of the Greek Government and opposition to the EAM during the rebellion in fall, 1944 following the end of Nazi occupation, for EAM favoring that Greece pay less interest on a loan from the Hambros Bank, which had aided Mr. Churchill in 1912, is just part of the disputatious booby's take on the matter, obviously not the case at all, Drew Pearson having leveled the same charge without civil consequence in fall, 1944.

Charlotte Chief of Police Frank Littlejohn asked the Kiwanis Club to cooperate in the effort to stem bootlegging, which he pointed out had resulted in the sale of 41,000 cases of illegal liquor in Gaston and Mecklenburg counties during the previous year. Few of the bootleggers ever wound up in jail.

A new hosiery mill, the Gilt Edge, was announced as being incorporated in Charlotte.

In Columbia, S.C., rowdy pre-game fans caused problems in the downtown area, fortifying themselves for the 2:00 p.m. kickoff of the South Carolina versus Clemson football game. Some troubled a theater, breaking fixtures inside. Others trespassed on other businesses along Main Street. Tomatoes and other vegetables were hurled at police trying to keep order on campus. Some car windows were smashed and bottles were thrown. Two men were arrested trying to hawk 3,000 counterfeit tickets.

Well, that's what you get for scheduling a football game on a Thursday afternoon.

On the editorial page, "The Feathers Are Flying Today" comments on the opening of the annual Community Chest drive, with a goal of collecting $281,000. The chest provided funding for 17 social agencies in the community, including the YMCA, the YWCA, the Boy and Girl Scouts, Travelers' Aid, etc. It urges giving.

"We'll Pay for Operation Jordan" comments on the cotton price slump of the previous week, being attributed primarily to a cotton speculator from New Orleans, Thomas Jordan, who controlled 300,000 bales on margin and had reportedly dumped 150,000 bales on the market the previous week.

He had begun as a speculator in 1941, borrowing $300, which he parlayed into $1,400 from crap game winnings. Then, by May, 1941, he had accumulated a million dollars from cotton speculation. Prior to the previous week, he had netted ten million dollars.

He dealt in speculation on paper, not cotton. There appeared to be no action contemplated by the exchange against him.

There was growing sentiment for Federal control of the exchange. The piece thinks it better if such could be avoided. But to do so, the exchange had to clean its own house, making a distinction between legitimate brokers and gamblers such as Mr. Jordan.

But so far, the exchange had admitted of no need for reform.

"City Council's Wise Decision" applauds the Council for allowing residents to propose and discuss alternate routes for the newly proposed cross-town boulevard, to be known as Independence Boulevard. It doubts, given the study by traffic experts prior to establishing the proposed route, that the residents would be able to find a viable alternative which would be both cost effective and not simply shove onto other residents the problem of a highway near or through their neighborhoods.

A piece from the Atlanta Constitution, titled "Look Who's Talking Now", reports of the new commander of the American Legion blaming the real estate speculators and builders for the housing shortage, building houses too expensive for the veteran to afford and selling them at inflated prices. Coming from a Republican, it was a significant attack on greed and profiteering.

While building materials were high in price and it was difficult to build a cheap house, few were trying.

More veterans would protest, it predicts, as had those in New York the previous weekend, occupying the State Senate chamber for 23 hours.

Drew Pearson states that in response to reports that the U.S. had sent stockpiles of atomic weapons to England, diplomatic denials were hurriedly issued—along with a denial by President Truman. But the British said little. Instead, they sent Brigadier Stewart Menzies, head of M5, Military Intelligence, M6, Military-Political Intelligence, and M12, Russian Intelligence, to America to plug leaks.

The decision to send the bombs to England was known only to six top level men in the U.S. Few civilians, even in the Cabinet, knew of the whereabouts or numbers of atomic weapons.

When Harold Ickes had been Secretary of the Interior, he had objected to nuclear weapons being controlled by the military. When Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal took exception, Mr. Ickes asked him if he knew where they were kept and the Secretary admitted that he did not. Neither did Secretary of War Robert Patterson. Neither did President Truman.

Mr. Pearson remarks that few men had the civilian welfare more at heart than General Eisenhower and Admiral Nimitz, but not all military men shared their view. Shortly, control of atomic weapons would pass to a civilian commission, authorized by Congress, but not yet fully manned by the President.

He next tells of Jake Vardaman, appointed by President Truman to the Federal Reserve Board, stepping on the toes of his chief, Marriner Eccles, regarding the latter's policy prohibiting buying on margin in the stock market. How long Mr. Eccles would take the criticism without resigning remained to be seen.

V. M. Molotov wanted to admit the press to all sessions of the U.N. General Assembly meeting.

Herbert Hoover had advised Governor Thomas Dewey to top President Truman's Yom Kippur speech, advocating that the British accept 100,000 refugees for immigration to Palestine. On the weekend prior to the Monday speech by the President on October 4, Mr. Dewey had recommended several hundred thousand refugees be admitted. Former President Hoover stated that the higher figure might enlist for Governor Dewey a few thousand more votes in the gubernatorial race.

The State Department would soon present a four-billion dollar lend-lease bill to Russia. The bill to Britain had been reduced to 650 million dollars prior to the three billion dollar loan.

He next imparts of the local option dry versus wet campaign getting underway. In Wichita County, Texas, veterans led the wet forces successfully to victory, with more votes cast than in any other election in the county's history. The county had voted dry in 1942. The next clash would come on November 5 in over 60 precincts of Chicago.

Marquis Childs, in Los Angeles, tells of social change ongoing on the West Coast. The population had risen dramatically since 1940, with a city the size numerically of St. Louis having been added to the Los Angeles area in six years. It was estimated that for every person leaving the area, four were arriving. It was expected that ten million people would live in Southern California by 1950. The entire population of California stood at 9.5 million.

But Californians were not facing the future. Los Angeles had turned down a 44 million dollar bond issue to make improvements to meet the growing demands. Problems were being obscured by postwar prosperity.

During wartime and immediately afterward, there was generally a labor shortage, but companies now were reducing manpower and where the new immigrants would go to work therefore remained a question mark. Douglas Aircraft employed 100,000 people in fall, 1943. Now, it employed 23,000.

During the war, Henry Kaiser built a steel plant at Fontana, 60 miles from Los Angeles, utilizing money borrowed from the Government. It was fully contracted through 1948, and could repay its loan. But Mr. Kaiser wanted the loan reduced because U. S. Steel was able to buy a plant at 20 cents on the dollar at Geneva, Utah, giving it unfair competition to Kaiser in the West.

Kaiser had acquired as surplus war property part of the Douglas factory at Long Beach. His complex, including Fontana, would rival Pittsburgh and Detroit in steel manufacturing capability, thus cutting trans-continental railroad freight service measurably.

Many of the competitors were trying to undermine Kaiser by claiming Government favoritism toward it.

Regardless, people were coming to California, and would either be employed on a private payroll or wind up on the Government dole.

Samuel Grafton states that the most knowledgeable people in New York now spoke openly of a coming recession and even forecast that good things would derive from it, primarily readjustment of prices and wages. They recalled the recession of 1920-21, after which there followed eight years of good times until the Crash. They assumed that to have good times, a recession was first required to occur.

The New York Journal of Commerce had printed an editorial in which it advised the Government not to spend a lot of money for relief and public works when the recession came. Relying on the 1920-21 recession as a model, it believed that it would be short-lived. It believed that the earlier recession had allowed recovery to take place because of its fostering price readjustments.

The recession to come could be left at the doorstep of Senator Robert Taft for his efforts to dismantle price control. But it might not be as neat as the economists who wanted it believed. The U.S. would likely stand alone in a recession, as Canada and Britain had kept inflation down, and Europe was too busy rebuilding to have a recession.

Such a recession might adversely impact foreign affairs. A world looking to the United States for leadership might think twice about a country which required economic decline to set itself straight, "begging for dirty weather as the only way we know to clean our streets."

A letter responds to the letter writer who found the News too harsh on the Klan and thanks the newspaper for its editorial note following that letter. This writer insists that his letter was not an attack on the previous writer but an appeal from a Catholic that all races and creeds were an integral part of the country. He had served during the war in Burma and in China. He saw missionaries, Protestant and Catholic, teaching Christianity to the native populations. He returned from the war without bigotry.

But he returned to attacks on Catholics. While he did not believe in waging a Holy War against Russian Communism, it was appropriate for Catholics to dig in their heels against intolerance of any sort, and if that included attacking the intolerance of Communism to Christianity, so be it.

A letter from Los Angeles objects to the latest manifested idiosyncrasies of women, that being crossing of legs to show several inches of flesh, only to become offended if she became aware of a coy but silent appraiser of her feminine qualities. She would then stretch and pull her skirt downward to modest levels, an hypocritical gesture, he thinks.

He wanted the ladies to leave the dresses short and hiked up or long and let down, but left alone once seated.

A letter from bandleader Kay Kyser comments on the series of articles by Burke Davis on the Medical Care Program of North Carolina, which had stressed Mr. Kyser's positive and energetic role in helping the program to accumulate large contributions. He thanked Mr. Davis for his probing look at the medical care situation in the state and bringing forth the need for new and expanded facilities. The Good Health Program, of which Mr. Kyser was part, wished, he says, that every newspaper in the state would follow suit, assigning a special reporter to look into the health care needs and inform the debate on same.

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