Wednesday, October 30, 1946

The Charlotte News

Wednesday, October 30, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the night before, Soviet Foreign Commissar V. M. Molotov had made a sweeping proposal to the U.N. General Assembly for world arms limitations.

Greece registered before the Assembly its support for the Russian proposal. The Greek delegate called for international control of weapons and sanctions for any states which violated such an agreement.

The Australian delegate differed with Russia's charge that the smaller nations were seeking to do away with the veto power of the Big Five on the Security Council as a means to effect world domination. Australia was one of the prime proponents, along with Cuba, of the proposal.

In Jerusalem, Jewish terrorists were said by police to be responsible for three bombs being exploded in the city's Central Railway Station following a gun battle with police. Three persons, including one policeman, were dead or missing. Three were arrested after two had been wounded by police.

In another incident, two soldiers were killed and ten injured when a land mine, also attributed to Jewish terrorists, exploded under a convoy inside the city.

The nation's cotton exchanges, with the exception of Dallas, were closed for the third time in less than two weeks because of the cumulative tumble of prices by $50 per bale, to prevent further drops in price, nearly unprecedented. The price had been a bit over 39 cents per pound on October 8 and now stood a bit over 29 cents, equating to a $50 decline for a 500-pound bale. Speculation on cotton, not supply and demand, was being blamed for the drop by knowledgeable sources.

Representative John Sparkman of Alabama met with the President and urged that the Government take over cotton at a floor price of 25.67 cents per pound until the price could be stabilized. The President was considering the problem and assured that the Government would do everything possible to stablilize the price.

Stock prices fell $1 to $5 per share in response to closure of the cotton exchanges.

OPA allowed a wide extension of rent ceilings, including four areas in North Carolina. Gaston County was to undergo rent control starting Friday.

The Allied Control Council in Berlin determined not to make public three suicide notes written by Hermann Goering.

In Louisville, two leaders of the prohibition movement, evangelist Sam Morris of Dallas and lawyer Henry M. Johnson of Louisville, sued in Federal Court to dissolve the CBS Radio Network. The suit also named as defendants the Schenley Distillery Corporation and, individually, Jacob Paley and sons William and Samuel, and Isaac Levy and his son Leon, holders of a controlling interest in CBS. The accusation was that CBS had refused to sell broadcast time to Mr. Morris to promote abstinence, instead promoting the Schenley company and its inducement to consumption of wine and beer. It also sought 15 million dollars in monetary damages.

In Kansas City, an eleven-year old boy, stricken two weeks earlier by polio, but refused medical attention by his mother, who believed that the Lord alone could cure him, died. His father had expressed the desire to have the boy treated by a physician.

Burke Davis continues his series on the separate government of the County and the City, their functions, and the waste produced thereby. He cites the County and City courts as example. The County court was rarely busy more than an hour or so per day and its functions could easily be taken over by the City courts at a considerable savings in judicial and solicitorial personnel.

The City Police purchased several makes of cars to spread business out among the dealers. The County purchased one make, more efficient because of the ability to interchange parts within the fleet. The County also hired its own mechanic whereas the City took the cars to city mechanics where prices were high.

He cites several other areas, including the separate city and county tax collection system, where money was wasted.

On the editorial page, "Unity Can Also Mean Inaction" finds the South Piedmont District school teachers' demand for a forty percent salary increase, twice that proposed by the North Carolina Education Association, to be reasonable even if probably not realizable under the present state budget. The argument that the teachers might receive less than 20 percent should they ask for more did not seem sound. The higher request actually strengthened the NCAE's 20 percent request by making it appear conservative. The higher pay demand was premised on bringing the profession in line with others requiring a similar level of skill and education, thus appeared reasonable.

The Legislature, it asserts, undoubtedly wanted to see unity among the teachers on a 20 percent increase, but such unity also might compromise the ability to achieve a competent teaching force.

"Ghost with a Golden Voice" reports of RNC chairman Carroll Reece, in addition to branding all Democrats as Communists, was objecting to the use by the Democrats of recordings of FDR, as being exploitative of the oratorical gifts of one who had passed on.

The piece speculates that the Democrats might also dig up some of the speeches of Herbert Hoover and Alf Landon, to recall the voices of the vote-losers in juxtaposition to the vote-getter.

In Philadelphia, GOP leader and Sun Oil Company tycoon Joseph Pew had gleefully predicted Republican victory because "the Pied Piper is no longer here to charm the rats..."

While there was no doubting the verbal skills of the late President, others preceding him had such gifts without being able to win the White House. William Jennings Bryan had been the Democratic nominee three times and failed each time, despite the gift of elocution suited to his time and audiences. Winston Churchill, despite the blessing of dramatic eloquence, could not turn back the tide which swept his Conservative Party out of power in July, 1945. Thomas Dewey had studied for the opera and brought a nice baritone to the microphone, but had not been able to charm the voters with it in 1944.

It concludes with the offer of advice to Mr. Reece that it was perhaps the fact that President Roosevelt had won because of what he said more than the manner in which he expressed it.

"The Restrained Cave-Man Technique" discusses the recent elopement of bandleader Artie Shaw with Kathleen Winsor. It was Mr. Shaw's fifth marriage in 36 years. Each of his prior spouses, save his first who was a nurse, had substantial wealth. In order, they were Lana Turner, the daughter of Jerome Kern, and Ava Gardner. Ms. Winsor was the author of Forever Amber, the controversial novel.

The piece remarks that it had studied Mr. Shaw for a clue to how he had won these five beauties but found no answer. But in the record of his divorce from Ms. Gardner it thinks it may have found the secret. She complained that he belittled her when she talked and ridiculed her when she remained silent. It finds the characteristic to be that of a "restrained cave-man" which would add piquancy to courtship, even if dissipating in attractiveness with time.

Mr. Shaw, it suggests, had no patent on the technique. There was a longstanding tale of a farmer who told his cronies at the village store how he kept his wife content and in her place. When he got home, if supper wasn't ready, he would raise cain, and if it was, he would refuse to eat it.

A piece from the Asheville Citizen, titled "The Lament of a Lame Duck", tells of Republican Senator Raymond Willis of Indiana, not re-nominated by his party, ascribing all manner of maladies in the country to the Administration. Speaking in Asheville the previous Monday, he had said that the national debt, the number of broken marriages, the percentage of juvenile delinquency, the amount of Government propaganda, and major crimes, were all to be laid at the doorstep of the Democrats.

It points out that the debt had been run up in large part from the Depression, occurring under Republicans, and from the war. It supposes that as many Republican homes were broken as Democratic. Juvenile delinquents were too young to vote. It did not quite know what he meant by "propaganda". The crime wave had it stumped, but it would admit of some blame against the Administration as long as Senator Willis allowed that the country also had a crime wave under President Harding after a world war.

And, Senator Willis accused the Democrats of demagoguery.

Drew Pearson discusses the grievances being raised by John L. Lewis with regard to the Government coal contract, which he was trying to renegotiate. First, he wanted the coal weighed before washing, not, as it was, at the tipple, after washing, reducing its weight by 4 percent and denying therefore the welfare fund, based on tonnage, five cents per ton. But the welfare fund had grown since its inception in May to seven million dollars and the UMW was already a wealthy union.

Second, Mr. Lewis wanted allowance for vacation pay when miners left the job before the end of the year. Secretary of Interior J. A. Krug had already acquiesced on this issue, leaving only the tipple washing at stake.

Many were speculating that Mr. Lewis's real goal was to embarrass the Government on the eve of the election. Privately, Justice and Labor Department lawyers were criticizing the Department of Interior lawyers for sloppy drafting of the contract which left many loopholes through which Mr. Lewis could slip.

He next tells of Pat Hurley facing bilingualism in his race to unseat Senator Dennis Chavez in New Mexico. General Hurley did not speak Spanish. Senator Chavez, who did, also made a point that he spoke Gaelic, the language of General Hurley's ancestors. But General Hurley did not speak Gaelic either.

When Averell Harriman had taken over as Secretary of Commerce, he was confronted with the thorny issue of raising freight rates, as sought by the railroads. A railroad man himself, Mr. Harriman had to rely on the established policy that since the railroads were asking for higher rates so that they could employ more people to handle less business than in the past, the Government had opposed the increase.

The reason the railroads were seeking the increase was because of a private commitment made by John W. Snyder while reconversion director that if the railroads would agree to provide a wage increase, they would receive a commensurate freight rate increase. But since the Commerce Department had not agreed to provide the freight increase, it would be difficult for Mr. Harriman now to reverse course.

Mr. Pearson notes that one of the largest antitrust cases being prosecuted by the Justice Department was against Mr. Harriman's Union Pacific Railroad, and when he had been asked his position on antitrust laws, he had declined comment, an unusual stance for a Cabinet officer vis-a-vis a Federal statute.

Harold Ickes finds it strange that in the face of another threatened coal strike, with coal already costing $20 a ton to consumers, the War Assets Administration was refusing even to consider selling the Big Inch and Little Inch pipelines for fair bids made on a cash basis, to permit carrying of natural gas, otherwise going to waste in Texas, to the East Coast, the wasted gas estimated to run 684 billion cubic feet per year, enough to heat three to five million homes. Meanwhile, the WAA was considering bids from oil producers of about a quarter the value of the bids from the natural gas producers, and based on credit, not cash, to pipe oil through the lines. Inevitably the latter use would be unprofitable and lead to a tax write-off of the debt. It would also render useless a large number of the oil tankers in service. And gas could only be moved through pipelines, not in tankers.

All of this illogic appeared the result of influence by John L. Lewis. While he was about it, says Mr. Ickes, he ought explain his role in relation to the Nazis and his attempt to defeat FDR in 1940 with the aid of the German Government. He wonders why the WAA would allow a man who had not hesitated to undermine the war effort to encourage a policy favorable to his coal interests, fostering higher consumer prices at the expense of a cheaper means of heating homes.

Samuel Grafton remarks on American conservatism being largely alone in the world while socialism was riding high. But, with the end of price control, American conservatism had won an important victory and now was poised to try to score another, by diluting the Wagner Act to seek to limit collective bargaining rights.

President Truman might ultimately be cajoled to go along with the attempt on the advice that it was necessary to prevent a depression.

To the worker, the attack could not be more ill-timed, as he saw his paycheck shrinking from higher prices. There was even an attack afoot on rent ceilings which would cut further into his earnings. His last refuge was the labor union, and now that was under attack.

It was as if conservatism in America was fighting back for the defeats to conservatism abroad, in Russia, England, and France. But it was fighting against a shadow, as the working man in America had never staged a revolt.

"It is like a montage of broken bits of film to see a working stiff, say in Peoria, reaching for a buck for butter, only to have it denied, in part because, 29 years ago, there was a revolution in St. Petersburg and Moscow."

A letter suggests that the 80th Congress would have many problems with which to deal, one being the shortage of sugar in the shack.

Secretary of Agriculture Clinton Anderson had produced a report while still in Congress two years earlier which had attributed the shortage to failure of the Government to purchase sugar from the growers of Cuba and other islands in the Caribbean.

Fulton Lewis, a reporter, had indicated that the Government intended to turn the matter over to the U.N. Its food committee advocated 12 percent less sugar consumption than during the prewar years, which would amount to a 30 percent decline in consumption by 1950.

He believes the next Congress ought deal with the issue and not allow it to be determined by the U.N. If they did not, then they should be turned out of office in two years.

Sugar. Have you gotten enough today? Remember it when you mark your ballot.

Treat, or Tricky.

A letter writer is disturbed by the discovery in 1942-43 that eighth grade schoolchildren in the state were being taught that the May 20, 1775 date adorning the North Carolina State Flag was apocryphal, not in fact representing the first declaration of independence in the colonies. He provides a history of the State Flag, from its inception at the beginning of the Civil War, as North Carolina seceded on May 20, 1861, placing that date on the battle flag along with May 20, 1775.

That flag had been superseded in 1885 by the current flag, placing on it both the May 20, 1775 date and April 12, 1776, the date of the Halifax Resolution to send to the Continental Congress North Carolina's delegation to vote for independence.

He infers from these facts that the Legislature intended the May 20, 1775 date of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence to be honored and studied by the children of the state in their history classes.

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