The Charlotte News

Saturday, October 26, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Norway had called on the U.N. General Assembly to assist the democratic forces of Spain in ending the Franco Government. Both Norway and Chile denounced excessive and reckless use of the Security Council veto power, although not supporting its withdrawal.

Both Britain and the United States were seeking to obtain Russian cooperation in not abusing the veto, a practice which, Britain warned, if continued, could render the Security Council useless.

The four-power commission in Nuremberg investigating the October 15 suicide of Hermann Goering a short time before his appointment with the hangman, declared that he had the potassium cyanide with him from the beginning of his imprisonment, probably held part of the time within his alimentary tract, though at one time, perhaps stored within his navel cavity. There was an obscure recess under the rim of the toilet in his cell which could have served as a hidey hole. The report said that there was no negligence on the part of the American prison guards or evidence that German workers in the prison were complicit.

An earlier report speculated that he probably was able to ingest the poison while sitting on the toilet, as the guards could not see anything at that point except the legs and feet of the prisoner. Kingsbury Smith, one of the eight journalists permitted to be witnesses to the executions and allowed to pass through the cell block shortly before they were to begin, had seen Herr Goering asleep on his cot and wondered aloud as to how he was able to do so when the other condemned men, though not apprised of the precise hour at which they would be deprived of further time in their gibbet humours, could only pace their cells in restless dread.

The U.S. Conciliator announced that an agreement had been reached between the East and Gulf Coast ship operators and the AFL Masters, Mates and Pilots union, leaving only a vote of the membership to allow resumption of shipping. The agreement apparently included a 15 percent pay increase.

The Justice Department continued to examine the UMW contract with the Government, in the hope of heading off a threatened strike of the nation's bituminous coal miners. John L. Lewis contended that the contract was subject to renegotiation as of November 1. Secretary of Interior J. A. Krug, administrator of the mines during Government operation, contended that the contract, in effect since May 29, was binding as long as the Government operated the mines.

Julian Price of Charlotte, chairman of the Jefferson Standard Life Insurance Co., and one of the nation's leading executives, had been killed in an automobile accident the previous afternoon when his car ran off the road near North Wilkesboro, N.C. He was the only one of four occupants, including the chauffeur who was driving, who was seriously injured.

The Veterans Administration was contemplating expansion of its services in North Carolina, including establishment of a regional office in Charlotte to supplement the one in Winston-Salem.

North Carolina teachers met in Winston-Salem to discuss the controversy regarding the State Board of Education's recommended 20 percent salary increase, with eighty percent of the 3,000 delegates supporting it as against the proposed 40 percent increase desired by the South Piedmont teachers. Speakers in debate on the subject were limited to two minutes each. The NCEA speakers, says the piece, "'threw the book'" at the delegates—meaning, we assume, that they made it clear that the teachers should shut the hell up and take what's put before them or get the hell out of teaching, a profession, as everyone knows, dedicated to penury.

Tom Fesperman of The News reports that the CIO organizing effort in the North Carolina textile industry had not gotten off the ground after nearly six months of effort. Three mills, employing less than 500 workers, had been organized.

J. A. Daly of The News reports that the cotton crop in North Carolina had lost 9.5 million dollars of value in the recent price drop of cotton, including the previous day's $10 per bale decline, causing the exchanges again to be closed during the weekend. South Carolina cotton had declined by about 7.2 million dollars in value. Thus the combined loss for the two states was about 17 million dollars, resulting in 170 million dollars of lost buying power, based on the notion that a dollar paid to a farmer for product represented ten dollars of business down the production and consumption line.

From Mexico City, a report states that a 28-year old New York commercial artist indicated that three Mexican bandits had shot his 19-year old bride during their honeymoon. The couple, married for four months, had paddled 25 miles by canoe and were in a camp site along the desolate Balsas River, 111 miles southwest of Mexico City, when the incident took place. The woman was shot with a shotgun while she lay asleep in her husband's arms. He assumed they were aiming at him and missed.

The men shined the man's own flashlight in the couple's faces but when he demanded it back that he might care for his wounded wife, they gave it to him and then fled with the rest of the couple's belongings.

His wife, though badly wounded, did not die immediately, and he placed her in a canoe, with her arm nearly gone, and paddled frantically all night to seek help. They finally reached a village where the young woman died in his arms while the church bells were ringing.

In Las Vegas, a woman was on trial for murder for the alleged shooting of her husband. After the shooting, she had stated, according to police testimony at her trial, that her husband could not take her baby from her, now. She had wondered whether her arrest would mean separation from her child, who was slightly wounded by the bullet which killed the father.

In Hollywood, Gene Tierney had consulted a lawyer regarding a spat with her husband, designer Oleg Cassini. They were still living together and both husband and wife expressed hope that they would continue in connubial bliss.

In Los Angeles, two members of the LAPD burglary squad had reported that their lockers had been burglarized. The thieves made off with a gun, ammunition, and a leather jacket.

On the editorial page, "The Great John L. Is Off Schedule" suggests that John L. Lewis was threatening another strike to try to stay ahead of the price spiral since most price controls had been removed. Usually, he called strikes in the spring, not in the fall.

Mr. Lewis had been one of the primary proponents of an end to OPA. Trying to stay ahead of inflation was a fool's game as higher wages would mean higher prices, requiring higher wages to keep pace.

It was a reminder that the free enterprise being ballyhooed by such conservative voices were two-edged swords. In times of economic imbalance, it primarily meant the ability of each person to get their share of the wealth while the getting was good. It suggests that it remained to be seen whether it was a sound principle on which to build a prosperous future.

"The Two Constitutional Amendments" discusses the amendments on the North Carolina ballot, one to enable women to sit on juries and the other to raise the compensation of legislators.

Secretary of State Thad Eure believed both amendments to be threatened by voter apathy.

Many women were opposed to the jury service amendment, believing it would only inconvenience them. Some apparently wanted the benefits of the vote while not having the responsibilities attendant with it.

While not believing the jury amendment would necessarily make any difference in the justice system, it favors it on the basis that women were entitled to have all the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.

Legislators were allowed only $600 per session of the Legislature. It was necessary to have higher pay to attract better legislators. The amendment would provide an additional $10 per diem in expenses, up to $600, still inadequate, but better than nothing. It favors that amendment also.

"Mr. Barrentine Moves Upstairs" states that, while the newspaper agreed with the Real Estate Board only about half the time, it did have confidence in the abilities of its chairman during the previous year, Mr. Barrentine. He had been elected head of the North Carolina Association of Real Estate Boards and the piece congratulates him for it.

The housing shortage and inflation had placed pressure on the real estate boards and they needed public-spirited spokespersons such as Mr. Barrentine.

A piece from the Salisbury Post, "Medical Students and Medical Schools", tells of the dean of the Duke School of Medicine saying that North Carolina needed more medical students, but not medical schools.

The piece finds it natural enough that he would say that in his position, wishing to deter competition, but it disagreed. There was need for both students and schools.

Drew Pearson tells of Senator Theodore Bilbo having been able in the early days of the war to jockey substantial war contracts for Mississippi. Two Mississippi firms obtained a fixed-fee profit of $265,000 out of the construction of Keesler Field at Biloxi. J. A. Jones Construction Co. of Charlotte shared in these profits.

The two Mississippi firms illegally provided to Senator Bilbo an artificial lake with an island in the middle on which he built a very nice home. One of the firms dug the lake and charged it to the war contract expenses, though later changing the entry to an account receivable from Mr. Bilbo, which he had never paid. The labor and equipment to build the house were being utilized in war contracts at the time.

On top of it, one firm furnished the home and gave Mr. Bilbo a $2,000 Cadillac. Each firm also provided Mr. Bilbo, a month before Pearl Harbor, with $1,200.

About a year after these war contracts had been awarded in fall, 1941, another contract came along, and in September, 1942, one of the firms gave Mr. Bilbo checks totaling $25,000. Initially, the firm charged it as a cost under the war contract, but then changed it to reflect $20,000 as a debt personal to Mr. Bilbo and left the remaining $5,000 charged to the war contract. It appeared to be evidence that the Senator had violated a criminal statute proscribing receipt of personal money relating to any Government matter.

One of Mr. Bilbo's aides had cashed the checks and he said that he thought the money was spent in a Mississippi Senatorial primary campaign. The candidate, however, stated that no such money had been spent. Mr. Bilbo had operated a separate headquarters for the candidate, but the head of the operation stated that no more than $1,500 had been spent on the candidate out of that headquarters.

Marquis Childs, in Santa Monica, discusses the need for the organizing capacity demonstrated by the country during wartime to be transferred to peacetime. Douglas Aircraft, which, along with Lockheed and others, had built the 50,000 planesfor the war, was now turning out DC-4's, DC-6's, and Constellations for commercial transportation.

One central need, according to Douglas, was to develop the infrastructure to handle the new air traffic, to prevent congestion at major airports. Another problem was to keep busy the 3,000 engineers and technicians hired during the war. One answer to the latter issue was the military contract. Douglas had contracts to build guided intercontinental ballistic missiles in cooperation with the California Institute of Technology working with German rocket scientists.

Thus far, the country had not developed a positive strategy for foreign policy, only one for defense. If a country in Europe appeared in danger of falling within the Soviet sphere, then a positive approach would enable the United States to make loans to the country and send machines and materials to help it rebuild its industry and not be reliant on the Russians.

If the Republicans were to defeat such steps, then a theoretical foreign policy premised on the concept of cooperation would have little meaning. The opportunity of creating such a policy was still available if the Administration would take advantage of it.

Samuel Grafton remarks that the opening of the U.N. General Assembly meeting in New York was an old show now, with the public having become inured to the back and forth rhetoric characterizing the two months at the Paris Peace Conference. A year earlier, it was believed that if only the President could make a tough speech against Russian aggression, then all would be well again between the Allies. He made the speech, but nothing changed. Tough speeches, it was now realized, were not enough.

The country then believed problems could be solved by outvoting Russia in the Security Council. But that belief, too, had proved wanting. The President had stated in his speech marking the opening ceremonies of the General Assembly that "neither veto rights nor majority rights can make peace secure."

Also tried and proven of no value was the Byrnes strategy of mobilizing the world press and opinion as during the Paris Conference.

Now, there was no new gadget left to be tested at the current meeting.

Russia, too, had lost its punch, no longer able to panic the world's intellectuals by suggesting that its borders were being violated. Russia had cried wolf once too often to have any further impact. Russia had now acquired security on its own terms.

At this juncture, compared to a year earlier, the atmosphere was more sober and realistic. It was possible to arrange the future such that the problems of the previous year would appear, not as a prelude to war, but rather merely a struggle for advantageous bargaining position.

A letter writer favors international cooperation as the path to peace and posits that science could offer the seeds of destruction of the world. He favors a more religious, moral, and intellectual approach to reconversion.

A letter from Mayor H. H. Baxter of Charlotte reprints a letter he had sent to Congressman Sam J. Ervin, thanking him for his letter to Wilson Wyatt, Housing Administrator, urging that the residents of Morris Field in Charlotte, set aside for temporary housing for veterans, receive priorities for purchases of refrigerators, stoves, hot water heaters, and other necessary appliances. The Mayor asks for assistance in removing the morass of red tape delaying the priorities.

A letter from Senator Clyde Hoey expresses his concern over the delay occasioned by red tape in receiving the priorities to which the Mayor had referred in his letter to Congressman Ervin. The Senator promises his help.

A letter from the director of information of the National Housing Agency indicates that everything possible was being done to furnish the assistance requested by the Mayor.

A letter states that hanging the Nuremberg war criminals would not prevent war any more than executions prevented serious crime. Man, the anonymous writer posits, is carnivorous and thus predatory. While not all killed, that part of humanity which refrained, hired another part to do its killing for it.

The trait showed up in the meat shortage. The writer observes that some people ate rattlesnakes; some within 40 miles of Charlotte made their meals on black snakes.

"A praying, fighting, killing bunch that depends on other creatures' bodies for food that we may live. Humans are leeches."

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