The Charlotte News

Friday, October 25, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Russia had withdrawn its objections to inclusion of the question anent the veto on the Security Council within debate before the General Assembly of the U.N. There had been almost unanimous opposition to the Soviet proposal to exclude it. Soviet delegate Andrei Vishinsky, however, assured that Russia would not abandon its position of maintaining the veto.

Winston Churchill, speaking before his constituents in Loughton, stated that he had evidence to support his questions in Commons the day before as to whether the Russians currently had 200 divisions, about two million men, deployed in Eastern Europe. He gave praise to a speech earlier in the day by Prime Minister Attlee to the Trades Union Congress at Brighton in which the latter had accused the Soviet leadership of erecting "a wall of ignorance and suspicion" against the rest of the world.

A map is presented on the page compiled by the Associated Press showing estimates of 1,646,000 deployed Soviet troops and where they were positioned: 725,000 in Germany; 425,000 in Poland; 275,000 in Rumania; 85,000 in Bulgaria; 60,000 in each of Hungary and Austria; 8,000 in Yugoslavia; 5,000 in Czechoslovakia; and 3,000 in Albania.

The London Daily Mirror criticized Mr. Churchill for using insult and innuendo to state Britain's differences with Russia, as he had done five years earlier.

Actually, no, it was perhaps six years earlier, but five years earlier, after the Nazis had invaded Russia on June 22, 1941, Mr. Churchill had stated that he would put in a good word for the Devil himself, should Hitler's armies invade the province of Hell.

Attorney General Tom Clark spoke in Raleigh at a meeting of the North Carolina State Bar, saying that the country had an army of six million criminals, larger than the forces deployed in the field against both Germany and Japan during the war. He favored reform of criminal laws to prevent "unscrupulous" lawyers from effecting delays in justice by quibbling over words and technicalities.

But that would require abandoning the English language and all of logic and argument, would it not?

He favored local police departments, not a national police force, to enforce the law.

The Attorney General cited examples of criminals employing modern technology to effectuate their criminal enterprises. He called to mind a case in which youths, during the recent New York City crime wave, had resorted to walkie-talkies to communicate during burglaries. This same ring had used infrared light to enable the burglars to see in the dark while the police could not see them. They were caught because they could not resist spending too much money in public places.

The Justice Department was in the process of analyzing the contract between the Government and UMW to determine whether John L. Lewis had a legal right to renegotiate the contract entered in May under which the nation's mines were being operated until the mine operators accepted terms.

Mr. Lewis's United Mine Workers Journal editorialized that the "burrocrats" in Washington were seeking to hold onto wage control and policing of labor relations, but, the publication insisted, continuation of wage controls in light of abandonment of price controls would be futile.

Harold Milks reports that in China, the Government's military offensives in Manchuria and on the Shantung Peninsula were creating new barriers to any possibility of resumption of formal peace negotiations between the Government and the Communists. The offensives were begun at a time when the cease fire hung in the balance. The timing tended to confirm rumors that military leaders were running the Government.

Cotton again dropped in price to its daily limit of $10 per bale on the cotton exchange of New York.

In Garden City, N.Y., a 63-year old nationally known surgeon, chief of the Nose-Throat-Ear Division of Brooklyn Hospital, apparently brooding over an illness which had interrupted his 21-year old son's promising medical career, killed his wife, her mother, and then shot himself four times in the head, though not yet dead. He had also shot his son in the chest, but he was expected to live.

The University of Washington was conducting a study of 5,000 to 6,000 dead fish pulled from Bikini Lagoon after the two atomic tests of the previous July. The scientists were using rubber gloves to handle the fish. The fish still evidenced radioactivity from the blasts. Students would not be allowed to work with the fish until all radiation had dissipated.

Vice-Admiral Ross McIntire, former physician to President Roosevelt, stated in his new book, White House Physician, that the President had been planning a trip to London at the time of his death on April 12, 1945 at Warm Springs, Georgia. The purpose of that trip, according to son Elliott Roosevelt in his recently published book, would have been to try to get the British public to understand the need for abandoning the British imperial policy in the postwar world. The planned trip, said Vice-Admiral McIntire, was in response to an invitation by Winston Churchill.

The President had also planned a trip to the Pacific theater of the war and to China, following the U.N. Charter Conference, which had been scheduled before the President's death to start on April 25, 1945.

Vice-Admiral McIntire sought to put at rest the notion that the President was ill during the fall campaign of 1944 and during his trip to Yalta in January and February, 1945, immediately following his fourth inauguration. He said that through the morning before his death, his heart and arteries gave no clue that he might suffer a cerebral hemorrhage. The doctor was worried of the general strain on the President, not any particular illness.

He also reported that the President, who had initially intended not to run for a third term in 1940 but was talked into it by party chieftains, nearly backed out after there were objections raised to the nomination of Henry Wallace as Vice-President to replace aging Vice-President John Nance Garner, and after Jim Farley, raising strong objections to the third term as contrary to American tradition, departed the Roosevelt camp and threw his own hat in the ring for the nomination in February, 1940. The President had drafted a statement of his intention not to run but withdrew it before it was published.

On the editorial page, "There Is Talk of Peace Again" comments on the recent optimistic statements of British Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin, Secretary of State Byrnes and the President, Prime Minister Stalin and Foreign Commissar V. M. Molotov on the prospect for a permanent peace.

They all made the same points: differences of opinion between East and West were not necessarily indicative of war to come, and that it was time to quiet the factions who spoke of the Iron Curtain as making war inevitable.

President Truman had again made the point in his speech to convene the U.N. General Assembly that the purpose of the organization was not to make the peace but to preserve it once the peace had been established by the major powers. It underscored both the failure of the Paris Peace Conference and the need for realistic expectations from the fledgling U.N.

Mr. Truman had stated that in the event of another world war, "Civilization as we know it cannot survive."

There was emerging from these various statements hope for the future to bring about a permanent peace. Perhaps the negotiators were looking beyond the various narrow points of dispute, Palestine, Iran, Trieste, the Balkans, etc., to the broader picture.

There was still danger that weariness on both sides could cause isolationism to re-emerge. But for the moment, the danger appeared to have passed. It hopes that the name Lake Success would prove prophetic.

"'One of the Greatest Men....'" tells of Winston Churchill ranking President Roosevelt above both Washington and Lincoln in his "favorable influence exerted on history." His opinion might be the product of undying gratitude for American aid saving Britain in its "darkest hour".

And so the column was more impressed by the opinion expressed in Robert Van Gelders Writers and Writing. In October, 1941, Mr. Van Gelder had interviewed Hans Habe for The New York Times. Mr. Habe, a young Austrian, had escaped a Nazi prisoner-of-war camp to which he had been interned after fighting with the French Army. He had escaped, eventually making his way to the United States. Mr. Habe stated that he owed his life to President Roosevelt, not only as the greatest English teacher in the world, but as one of the greatest men who had ever lived. He had never heard anyone in Europe criticize FDR. But he did hear criticism as soon as he entered New York Harbor.

The country's respect for President Roosevelt, it suggests, had been the prime weapon in the war, and could prove yet the prime weapon in building a peaceful postwar world. The tragedy of the time was that it had lost such a great leader, and, sometimes, also the spirit which he had evoked and represented to the world.

"The Vindication of Chester Bowles" tells of Mr. Bowles, during his last weeks as OPA director in the spring, having warned that cotton prices were being driven upward by speculators and that sooner or later they would crash. He urged the cotton exchanges to raise their margin limits to $40 or more, a recommendation not followed.

Mr. Bowles then announced that OPA would issue a margin limit of its own. Senator Elmer Thomas of Oklahoma, now seeking from the Government limits to halt the declining price of cotton, had threatened to see to it that OPA was completely scrapped if Mr. Bowles implemented his limits on margin. Senator Burnet Maybank of South Carolina, a cotton broker, asked Mr. Bowles to resign.

Mr. Bowles thereafter did resign, in response to the watered-down legislation passed to keep OPA going, legislation he found unworkable. And gambling on the cotton exchanges was allowed to continue without restriction, until the collapse the previous week. The fact tended to vindicate Mr. Bowles's earlier assessment.

The Atlanta Journal had stated that the rise in price of any basic commodity from manipulation by gamblers had to be a misfortune for the country.

A piece from the Greensboro Daily News, titled "Of More Than Local Import", comments on the controversy in Charlotte regarding the SBI investigation of the divorce mill case and lottery case and the necessity for it from the implied lack of cooperation between the local police and the Solicitor.

The editorial is especially concerned about the claim of the Secretary of the North Carolina State Bar that SBI chief Walter Anderson, former Charlotte Police Chief, had pulled an agent from the divorce case to work on the lottery case because of his personal feud with his successor, Chief Littlejohn, and the use of a State Patrol officer in the raid of the numbers racket. State Patrol officers were necessary for highway safety duties, it posits, and should not be used for duties ordinarily the responsibility of local law enforcement.

Drew Pearson comments that the amazing thing about Nazism before Pearl Harbor was that it was able to suck in so many people and entities, including the venerable Reader's Digest, with the largest circulation of any magazine in the world. One editor of the magazine was in contact with Hitler's personal Ambassador in Washington, Hans Thomsen, as well as with Dr. Manfred Zapp, the head of the Trans-Ocean News Service, official Nazi propaganda agency.

The owner of the magazine hired Lawrence Dennis, now under indictment for sedition, to write smears of Vice-President Henry Wallace in mid-1941 anent Mr. Wallace's supposed plan to supply "milk for Hottentots" all over the world, paying Mr. Dennis $4,300 for the articles, the money being handled through a front man. Mr. Dennis also claimed to have collaborated with Senator Harry Flood Byrd of Virginia on an article for the magazine, published just prior to Pearl Harbor.

The Digest also employed George Eggleton of Scribner's Commentator, a magazine which Assistant Attorney General O. John Rogge reported was subsidized by the Nazis.

Mr. Dennis was also working through Nazi agent George Sylvester Viereck, nephew of the Kaiser and Hitler's chief propaganda agent in the United States. Mr. Viereck had instructions from the German Embassy to pay Mr. Dennis $20,000.

The column then reprints a letter received from Calvin Zimmerman, North Carolina Republican field director of finance for the RNC, in which Mr. Zimmerman states that Mr. Pearson's column of October 19 had misrepresented his intentions when it stated that he wanted to have OPA rebate all fines collected under price control, with penalties added. He had in fact said that OPA should be required to rebate to those who had been charged treble damages as penalty the amount of the penalties over that which tax violators paid, between five and 35 percent. He threatened suit unless his full statement were printed in the column. It was.

Marquis Childs struggles to make sense of the Nuremberg verdicts and sentences. He finds it incomprehensible that Hjalmar Schact, who had directed the finances for the Reich, had escaped with an acquittal, equating it to acquitting Al Capone for his gang activities. His guilt was certainly no less than that of Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop who was hung.

Likewise, he finds it difficult to understand how the tribunal could have acquitted Franz von Papen who had convinced President von Hindenburg to make Hitler Chancellor and had plotted the undoing of America after World War I.

Nor could he make sense of the fact that Grand Admiral Karl Doenitz received only ten years for his guilt on two counts and Konstantin von Neurath, twenty years on guilt under all four counts. Others, such as Julius Streicher, found guilty on only one count, received the death sentence for guilt on fewer counts.

He does not question the life sentence of Rudolf Hess, as the tribunal obviously thought him insane.

The varying sentences without apparent reason might cause some to question the court's rationale and tend to make martyrs rather than punished criminals of the hung.

He joins Justice Jackson in calling for swift justice for the financiers and industrialists who enabled Germany to fight. He hopes that, were it to be the case, the stage trappings plaguing Nuremberg would be absent.

Samuel Grafton urges thinking philosophically or morally about the recent meat shortage which led to removal of price control on meat, and about shortages in general coming out of the war. There was no disgrace in having shortage after war and yet the Government was behaving as if there were, removing rationing of many items, notably tires and gasoline, right after V-J Day, trying too fast to end control. The result had played right into the hands of Republicans who had exploited the meat crisis by appeals to the stomach, not to a higher plane. No Democrat came forward to make the argument that sacrifice was necessary to obtain economic stability.

This hypothetical Democrat might make the argument that there was more to the individualism being advocated by Republicans than standing up for beef, that there was a long view beyond the butcher shop and meat racks.

A letter responds to Harry Golden's letter regarding the Nuremberg verdicts and sentences, which had taken exception to the sensitivity expressed by some newspapers regarding publication of the "too gruesome" photographs of the executed while no such tenderness had been demonstrated in deference to the pictures of piles of corpses of concentration camp victims stacked liked cord-wood, which had appeared in newspapers in April, 1945 when the first stark evidence of the bestiality of the Nazi crimes began coming to light.

This letter finds Mr. Golden ignorant of the meaning of "Fascism", that the term only referred to nationalism. He suggests that Americans who upheld the Constitution were increasingly feeling complimented when called "Fascists". He suggests that many of the Founders, including Thomas Jefferson, were nationalists—and, we assume, by logical extension, therefore Fascists. And Fascism, he adds, was Communism's greatest enemy.

Implicitly, he accuses Mr. Golden of being a Communist. He finds him a sentimentalist for referring to the corpses of victims of the Holocaust as being "stacked like cord-wood".

He thinks the "thoughtless spectacle" of the hangings at Nuremberg to be no solution to prevent crimes into the future.

The editors respond that Mr. Golden had asked the question whether there was a wave of sympathy in the country for those hung at Nuremberg. The letter writer, Q.E.D., had provided the answer. The editors state that they had reprinted the letter to show how much difference a year could make to perceptions.

A letter thanks the newspaper for the series of articles by Pete McKnight on the proposed cross-town boulevard.

A letter from the editor and publisher of The Southern Pines Pilot thanks the newspaper for the Burke Davis articles on the state of North Carolina's medical care and the need for new and expanded facilities. She states that she intended to undertake to bring that information to the people through her own newspaper.


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