The Charlotte News

Friday, November 1, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the United States asked the U.N. General Assembly to consider both New York City and San Francisco for the permanent headquarters of the organization. The request also did not rule out previously supported Westchester County, N.Y., a site which residents had protested.

Delegates to the Assembly predicted that it would take action against Spain in the form of a concerted break of diplomatic relations. The Security Council would determine Monday whether to allow inclusion of the matter in debate, an action deemed likely to occur as all five permanent members were supportive of the matter being discussed. The Assembly had voted unanimously the previous day to include the matter on its agenda. Any action to be taken against the Franco regime would ultimately be determined by the Security Council, after a recommendation by the Assembly.

Senator Arthur Vandenberg of Michigan told the U.N. Financial Committee that the United States was opposed to the suggestion that it bear half of the administrative costs for the organization. The recommendation had been put forth on the premise that the U.S. controlled half of the earning capacity of the world, a proposition Senator Vandenberg disputed. He asserted that the U.S. would agree to pay 25 percent of the costs, which it wanted established as a permanent ceiling for any one government. He said that he would urge Congress to approve 33 percent as a temporary one-year commitment.

Meetings began in Washington between the UMW and the Government regarding whether the May 29 contract could be reopened and renegotiated, as 4,000 miners in West Virginia stayed off the job to emphasize the threat of a strike if the negotiations did not produce the desired result. The action closed 15 mines. Both John L. Lewis and Secretary of Interior J. A. Krug were absent from the meeting.

OPA lifted controls on about a hundred items, including paper and wood matches, milking machines and other dairy equipment, lighting fixtures, a few lumber items, and some industrial products.

Cotton prices continued to rise, finishing $4 to $6.50 above the previous day's prices, with trading volume back to normal after a heavy start.

Burke Davis of The News again explains the waste in overlapping services between the separate governments of Mecklenburg County and the City of Charlotte. He indicates that consolidation of the City and County could eliminate about 500 of the 1,100 employees working for the two entities. He provides statistics on the likely savings to the taxpayers by such consolidation.

In Steubenville, Ohio, eleven Protestant ministers asked the Sheriff for the right to carry guns and to appoint 20 World War II veterans to assist them in stamping out a crime wave which had produced three killings in the county within the previous ten days. The pastors blamed racketeering and rampant vice in the county for the violence which led to the deaths.

In Binghamton, N.Y., a Halloween game turned deadly as an eight-year old boy whom playmates had buried in a pile of leaves, was struck and killed by an automobile.

On the editorial page, "The Atomic Energy Commission" compliments the President on finally filling out the membership of the Atomic Energy Commission with good appointees. They were David Lilienthal, head of TVA and a New Dealer, appointed chairman, Admiral Strauss, who had a distinguished career in the Navy and had been a confidant of Herbert Hoover, William W. Waymack, a traditional Democrat and publisher and editor of the Des Moines Register and Tribune, Sumner Tucker Pike, a traditional Republican and experienced businessman, and Dr. Robert Fox Beecher, a physicist and leading authority on nuclear fission, appearing non-partisan.

The balanced membership represented a turning away from political considerations and toward a realization that the way to peace lay in proper control of atomic energy for peacetime purposes. The President had played the role of statesman in the appointments and it might serve him better politically in the long run than having appointed cronies to the $15,000 per year jobs.

"Botched, Botched, Botched" thanks the Raleigh News & Observer for finding the exact passage being used by the Democrats to resurrect on the radio the familiar resonance of the voice of FDR, to which RNC chairman Carroll Reece had taken so much exception. In September, 1944, before the Teamsters in Washington in his only campaign speech, the President had said that the major task at home was reconversion of the economy from war to peace, a task faced a generation earlier and "botched, botched, botched" by the Republicans, concluding by urging that it must not happen again.

It comments that it was easy to imagine his dramatic staccato emphasizing the reiterated words. It again, as two days earlier, remarks that it was not so much the manner in which the late President expressed things, but the substance of his expression which made the difference with the American people.

With this type of statement being re-broadcast, it would conjure up not only the late President but also the ghosts of Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge, and Herbert Hoover, and the end to which their combined presidencies had led the country, laboring under a far less onerous task of reconversion than that currently facing President Truman.

It concludes that it was no wonder Mr. Reece was worried.

"All in the Day's Work" comments on the varied and sundry activities undertaken by the Coast Guard in peacetime, from dropping penicillin to a ship which had two passengers stricken with pneumonia, to flying several seriously ill persons to a hospital in Elizabeth City, delivering a baby, diagnosing a feverish seaman's ailment by radio from the air, freeing ships run aground on the Outer Banks, delivering messages to isolated communities, etc., all in addition to its normal tasks of patrolling the coasts in aid of shipping, guarding against marauders and pirates, spreading storm warnings among coastal residents, and protecting the walrus in the Bering Strait.

It compliments the Coast Guard as being one of the few Government agencies which was going about its business normally without asking either for passage or repeal of a law.

A piece from the Greensboro Daily News, titled "Notes on 'Southern Justice'", reports that the two black men who had been convicted out of the 25 black defendants charged in the race riot the previous February in Columbia, Tennessee, were to be freed after the NAACP had successfully moved for a new trial. The judge had declared that he was not satisfied with the evidence proffered against the two defendants. It was likely that the State would drop the charges and not seek retrial.

It suggests that one could view the development as a triumph for Southern justice or question why, in the first place, 25 black defendants had been indicted when insufficient evidence existed against any or all of them.

It was nothing of which to be boastful, concludes the editorial, and yet it should not be overlooked as an example of the fact that judges and juries in the South generally could administer justice fairly, provided a cooling off period ensued between riot and trial.

It should be noted that the NAACP at the time had as its lead counsel future Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, who personnally assisted the defense in the case at Columbia, hiring two Nashville attorneys to conduct the defense. Mr. Marshall became ill with a virus and was in the hospital for three months while the case transpired. He later recounted the aftermath of the case, as he and the other two attorneys who had obtained the new trial left Columbia for Nashville.

Mr. Marshall: There was an altercation when a radio repairman struck a Negro woman, who called him a liar. And as a result, her son, a teenager, knocked the white man down and beat him up. The mob came down to the Negro section of town to work it over, and the Negroes fired back. That night the National Guard came in and surrounded the Negro neighborhood, which was called Mink Slide, and set up fifty-caliber machine guns and just—I mean, it was horrible. These wood houses, they just went right through them like that. I don't know how many people got killed.

But it ended up, one white man was killed, and a whole gang of Negroes were charged with murder.

We went down to try that case, and I got ill. I had Virus X, and I was in the hospital for about three months. And when I went back afterwards, the mob got me one night, and they were taking me down to the river, where all of the white people were waiting to do a little bit of lynching.

Interviewer: When you say they were taking you down to the river, what were they doing? Escorting your car?

Mr. Marshall: No, they pulled the car over, and behind me I could see there were three or four state highway patrol cars and two city cars, and they wanted to see my—no, they said they had a warrant to search the car. It was a dry county, and they knew that lawyers are gonna drink liquor. Well, believe it or not, we didn't have any whiskey in the car. They looked around, they said, "We'll go in the trunk." I told the other two in the car, "Look, wherever they go, you go. Don't let them put something in there, on us."

So I could hear a guy behind, but I could never see him, and they said, "Well, maybe they'll let us search them."

I said, "You got a warrant to search us?"

He said, "No."

I said, "Well, the answer is, no."

And, "So, well, I guess you have to let them go."

So I told a local lawyer, [Z. A.] Looby, I said, "You'd better drive," because it was his car, "because I've got a New York license," and he said, "Okay," and we drove off.

The sirens went off again, and the guy came back and said—I was in the back seat—and they said, "You were driving this car, weren't you?"

I said, "I'm not answering any questions."

They said, "Well, let's see your driver's license." So I gave it to him, and he carried it back, and again—I never found out who this voice was—so then the guy says, "Get out."

I say, "What's up?"

He says, "Put your hands up."

I said, "What is it?"

He said, "Drunken driving."

I said, "Drunken driving? I haven't had a drink in twenty-four hours. Drunken Driving?"

He says, "Get in the car."

And then they told Looby and the others to keep going up the road, and they wouldn't go. They stayed following this police car, and when they couldn't shake Looby, they turned around and went back into town, and when they got into town—the big, wide street, nobody there hardly, about two or three people, middle of the afternoon, they were all down at the river.

So then we realized what was up. And he said, "There's a magistrate over there, on the second floor. You see him, right over there?" I said, "Yes, what about it?"

He said, "You go over there. We'll be over."

I said, "No you won't." I said, "If we go over, I'm going with you."

He said, "Why?"

I said, "You're not going to shoot me in the back while I'm 'escaping.' I mean, let's make this legal."

So he said, "Smart-ass nigger," and things like that, and so we went over, and there was a little gentleman, the magistrate, a little man, he couldn't have been much over five-foot-one at the most, and he said, "What's up?"

"It's drunken driving."

"He doesn't look drunk to me."

I said, "I'm not drunk."

He said, "You want to take my test?"

I said, "Well, what's your test?"

He said, "I'm a teetotaler. I've never had a drink in my life. I can smell liquor a mile off. You blow your breath on me."

I said, "Sure," and I blew my breath. I almost rocked this man, I blew so hard.

He said, "Hell, this man hasn't had a drink. What are you talking about?"

And I turned around and looked, they're gone. So I said, "What else is there?"

He said, "You're free to go." So I went out and ran as fast as I could, down to this Mink Slide, which was about three blocks down. And when I got down there, I told what had happened, and they said, "Boy, they'll be down here in a minute."

So they put me in this other car, and we went down, and we forked out like that, and I went around like this, and came on back to Nashville.

The other funny thing, I remember, I called Tom Clark, who was Attorney General, and I told him what happened, and he said, "Drunken driving?"

I said, "Yeah."

He said, "Were you drunk?"

I said, "Well, Mr. Attorney General, about five minutes after I hang up this phone, I'm going to be drunk. I'm going to be drunk!"

As a bit of cold irony, 33 years later, on November 3, 1979, a group of Klansmen shot five people to death, two of whom were physicians, three of whom were white, one Cuban, and one black, a nurse, all members of the Communist Workers Party, while the latter were helping to stage a protest in Greensboro in support of textile workers. Despite the incident having been videotaped and shown to an all-white jury in 1980, plainly demonstrating the absence of any mutual combat or self-defense, unless sticks are deemed equated to guns, the jury acquitted the six Klansmen on charges of murder and assault. A second trial in 1984 of nine others who had participated in the shooting likewise resulted in acquittals from an all-white jury.

Drew Pearson examines the cooperative agreements between German and American companies during the war, as explained in the report of recently fired Assistant Attorney General O. John Rogge. The tie-up of patents between I. G. Farben in Germany and Standard Oil of New Jersey had kept synthetic rubber from being manufactured in the United States during the war and left the public without tires for four years. The tie-up between Alcoa and Farben kept magnesium from being used in the U.S. aircraft industry, restricting airplane manufacture in the the country. Submarine sights were limited by the arrangement between lensmakers Carl Zeiss and Bausch and Lomb.

At the present, he informs, three I.T.&T. executives had been among the first Americans to arrive in Germany during occupation. They conferred with major German banker, Kurt von Schroeder, who had helped to finance Hitler, and Dr. Gerhard Westrick, who had come as an agent of Hitler to America in 1940 to urge neutrality on American business interests.

He next publishes an excerpt from the Rogge report regarding Dr. Westrick's attempts in 1940, primarily quoted in his own words. To influence American businessmen, he had come equipped with both money and the ability to unfreeze American assets in Germany. He received a salary from the German Embassy of about $3,000 per month. He stated that his most important U.S. contact was I.T.&T., knowing well its president, Col. Sosthenes Behn. He discussed his plan of coming to the U.S. with Col. Behn and then set about his mission at the start of 1940.

In the U.S., he met with Torkild Rieber of Texaco, Eberhard Faber of Faber Co., James Mooney of General Motors, and Edsel and Henry Ford. Mr. Mooney had stated in spring 1940, at a time after the invasion by Germany of France and the Low Countries, that he and a group of others were going to try to convince FDR to maintain normal relations with Germany. He wanted Dr. Westrick to inform the German charge d'affaires of this intention.

Mr. Rogge had added that it was beyond the scope of the report to cover the relationship between German and American industrialists but indicates that a letter from Dr. Westrick to Mr. Behn had proposed the division of assets of a Czechoslovakian company after the Germans had overrun the country.

Mr. Pearson notes that I.T.&T. had received more Government loan money than any other company, despite its past with the Nazis. The Import-Export Bank had set aside 14 percent of its loans for the company.

Harold Ickes suggests sardonically that it was not President Truman who was confused but journalists and commentators who were interpreting his positions. The readers of Finnegan's Wake by James Joyce had been confused as to its meaning until A Skeleton Key to Finnegan's Wake was published, explaining what the author had in mind.

The public did not have to wait for such an explanatory text on the President. One already existed. It consisted of the backtracking on his preliminary approval of the Henry Wallace speech in Madison Square Garden on September 12, resulting in Mr. Wallace being fired for his statement of differences with the Byrnes "get-tough" policy toward Russia enunciated September 6 in Stuttgart; and of the statement that the next fiscal year could see a balanced budget, later to be clarified by Secretary of Treasury John W. Snyder as meaning only a budget in balance.

To understand the President better, Mr. Ickes suggests reading Alice in Wonderland passages on Humpty Dumpty's explanation of the meaning of "glory", which he then quotes, with Mr. Dumpty saying that words meant whatever he chose them to mean. He then also quotes from the scene of the trial before the King regarding the irrelevance of whether it was important or unimportant that Alice knew nothing of the matter before the court, which she, herself, decided did not matter therefore a bit.

He leaves it to the reader to invest in the characters of the latter scenario the appropriate personnel which might come to mind.

Samuel Grafton suggests that a Republican victory the following Tuesday—as would occur—portending a Republican victory in 1948—as would not occur, would lead to America's young writers and intellectuals heading overseas to write, in the same vein as F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway after World War I, or remaining at home, as Sinclair Lewis and Ring Lardner, to write satire on the country, a literary form which had gone missing during the Roosevelt era. He posits that the reason for the exiguity had been that things were changing too fast for the satirist to obtain his grip in static gloom, the sine qua non for his fecundity.

The satirists had flourished in the Twenties, coming predominantly and ironically out of the conservative Midwest.

Another form which had also flourished in the Twenties but disappeared under FDR was the school of spiritual desolation, characterized by the works of Sherwood Anderson and Theodore Dreiser.

Republican rule would promise another static period in which both schools could again thrive, writing of the present in fine detail, not the future. America would likely become, he suggests, encircled by a world undergoing dynamic change and seem less like the center of the world than another world entirely. It foreshadowed querulous relations culturally with the rest of the world, with the social experiment of Europe being negated with religious fervor.

"A kind of passionate intellectual isolationism may be the not very surprising result, and may flavor the thinking of a generation."

In so viewing the change to come, one could not hope to affect the election, as the electorate would "look only at the top layer of apples before buying the barrel."

A letter suggests that, peace conferences and treaties notwithstanding, man's nature would have to undergo a vast change to bring about peace among nations, split as they were with such varied and competing interests.

A letter from Mr. Black finds the Reds "subtile", trying to destroy the "inheriant virtures of the Constitution", in an "antominous gathering of forces directed against the liberties of the people".

Much had been written, in an "exaustive effort to emphize the importance of vigilegence against the advance of such treacherous foes" so that could be preserved for posterity the equities and traditions for which "both anticedents and the valliant youth of all walks of life, sacraficed their most treasured pocessions to the vampire gods of war."

He goes on a bit, never maneging to improve either his erudishuning or his ornithographical reprehensibilities. He does, however, convince that he might have a future on the stage presenting a parody of double-talk.

The editors note that the spelling was all his.

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