Tuesday, November 12, 1946

The Charlotte News

Tuesday, November 12, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Republicans stated that the President would need adopt a moderate course if he wanted their cooperation in the new Republican-controlled Congress. Senator William Knowland of California stated that they would not accept a "PAC-drafted" law-making program. Senator C. Wayland Brooks of Illinois echoed the sentiment, saying that the GOP would not accept the "completely socialistic proposals" which had characterized the 19 months of the Truman Administration. They wanted the same type of unity which had characterized foreign policy.

The price of soaps and non-ferrous metals, copper, lead, and zinc. suddenly surged after removal of price controls, rising as much as 10 to 50 percent. The major soap manufacturers said they would raise prices about 50 percent, amounting to about three cents for a small bar of Procter & Gamble soap.

In Britain, Winston Churchill told Parliament that the prospects for Europe were increasingly bad, stating that the Soviet military was on the Elbe in strength, controlled a third of Europe, and the future of France was in doubt, with the British and American forces having been largely demobilized and sent home. He asserted that the Conservative Party took no responsibility for Potsdam as the matter was removed from their hands by the election in Britain during the conference of July, 1945. He thought that Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin of the Labor Party had, however, done his best.

In Nuremberg, a trial of 23 Nazi doctors was to begin December 5, the first of strictly American war crimes trials.

In Washington, the Treasury Department announced the arrest of the most important international narcotics trafficker known to the Narcotics Bureau, a 45-year old man from Phoenix who had posed as a successful rancher. He was caught while selling Mexican smoking opium to undercover narcotics agents. He had allegedly been trafficking for three decades.

The man had been convicted previously for robbery and safe blowing, as opposed to blowing dangerously, that is without shield from the wind. He had also been nabbed for possession of dope and had served time for counterfeiting as well. He introduced young women to narcotics while posing as a wealthy rancher and then led them into "immoral pursuits".

The Board of County Commissioners in Mecklenburg County discussed the possibility of consolidation of the City and County Governments in Charlotte and Mecklenburg. They appeared to agree that it would promote better efficiency. The main source of dispute was how to effect the consolidation. Some favored a gradual, piecemeal form.

Tom Fesperman tells of 800 GI's waiting in line to try to obtain 334 temporary apartments at Morris Field in Charlotte. They had been living in trailers, doubled up or with families. Some had spent the night on the lawn of the Information Center to assure a place at the front of the line.

In Peru, an earthquake the previous Sunday at noon reportedly left scores dead and thousands homeless.

In Hollywood, an explosion of a hand grenade severely damaged the home of a non-striking film technician, part of the two-month old jurisdictional strike by the studio set builders.

In Lamesa, Texas, a woman, 43, gave birth to her 25th child. Mother and child were doing fine. Each of the 25 births had occurred one at a time. She had been married since she was eleven in 1915. She had her first child at twelve. Her husband was 14 when they were married. He was a day laborer, and obviously also worked at night most of the time.

We hope that someone provided him with a wrapped cigar.

On the editorial page, "End of the Great Debate" finds the ending of price and wage controls except for rents, sugar, and rice, to be a sound move by the President, as the 80th Congress would have made the move itself at the beginning of the year.

But with the end of control, restraints on inflation also were ending as prices already were heading toward the 1920 post-war inflationary trend which had led eventually to the depression following mass foreclosures on farms in the wake of land speculation. Business leaders were promising that prices would not rise to ruinous levels again, that the period of adjustment would drive prices down after the pent-up demand was exhausted.

Organized labor would be faced with rising prices and thus feel compelled to seek higher wages, driving an inflationary cycle. It was unlikely they would show restraint.

The President placed reliance on the consumer to use restraint until prices began to come down. But that kind of resistance to consumption would eventually result in doing without necessities.

The law of supply and demand in times of great economic imbalance favored the rich over the poor, as the poor simply could not afford to buy the goods. Regardless, the Administration had no choice left other than to try it. But the free market still seemed the hard way to make the transition from war to peace.

"Shadow or Substance of Unity?" finds that amid the general agreement on foreign policy in the country, there was some level of dissent regarding the trusteeships over the Pacific islands captured from Japan. The U.S. was fortifying these islands with the intention of incorporating them into the sphere of American defenses. The State and Navy Departments were at odds regarding who would have control of the islands, the Navy favoring absolute U.S. sovereignty based on the islands being spoils of war. The State Department, however, felt constrained not to lend such support out of worry of seeming hypocritical in the face of complaint about the Soviet expansion in Eastern Europe. The result was that the President was asking the U.N. for individual trusteeships over the islands.

Many editors were questioning the manner in which the control of the islands was being accomplished, finding the principle of individual trusteeships in territory in which the United States had a strategic interest to be violative of the nature of the trusteeship and thus conducive to the need to compromise with the Russians over similar territorial buffers for defense in the Balkans. The U.S. was countering that Russia's hostile attitude made the islands necessary as defense bulwarks. The establishment of the trusteeships had been conducted in secret until the President had publicly announced the principle.

It concludes by wondering whether the American people, who had come to label the Administration's foreign policy a failure, were not a prerequisite to true unity on foreign policy, especially when there was no bipartisan debate on the subject.

A piece from the Wilmington News, titled "Installment Plan Consolidation", compliments the News series by Burke Davis on consolidation of the City and County Governments, but finds it unlikely of achievement all at once with so many political interests at stake. It suggests going about the matter piecemeal, one department at a time, as Hanover County had with consolidation of the health boards, the schools, and tax offices.

Drew Pearson looks at Commodore Jake Vardaman, recently named by the President to the Federal Reserve Board at a salary of $15,000 per year. He was also trying to obtain disability retirement from the Navy, entitling him to a pension for life of about $3,000 per year tax free. He had managed earlier to obtain a ten percent bonus for seagoing pay by being attached to the presidential yacht, though never going to sea except when President Truman took the yacht out on weekends. He had also ordered several enlisted men to paint and repair his home in Georgetown. He was now charged with looking after the nation's economy.

The Russian Embassy had its annual reception celebrating the Soviet Revolution of 1917 and despite the presence of V. M. Molotov, the deterioration of Soviet-American relations was evident. Most of the American Cabinet and Congress were absent for the first time since 1940. Acting Secretary of State Dean Acheson was present, along with the Undersecretary of the Navy, Treasury Secretary John Snyder, and Secretary of Commerce Averell Harriman, albeit in the latter case greeting Mr. Molotov only with a forced smile. Mr. Harriman had remarked that he was pleased to see Mr. Molotov on his knees; Mr. Molotov countered that he had observed instead Mr. Vishinski in the confessional. Mr. Molotov appeared unconvinced by Mr. Harriman's assurances that the previous week's election meant no change in American foreign policy.

Marquis Childs discusses the U.N. General Assembly and Foreign Ministers Council meetings being held in New York against the backdrop of the American midterm election. The various border and treaty disputes were mere window dressing for the larger issue at stake, control of atomic energy. The Russian and American positions appeared irreconcilable insofar as means of enforcement. Both wanted control, the Soviets going so far as to propose complete international disarmament.

But the U.S. position demanded international inspection by a neutral body while the Russian proposal did not mention inspection. Those familiar with the system had routinely indicated that Russia would never accept such outside inspection. The presence of international inspectors in Russia with power superior to the state would be an intolerable intrusion on Russian state supremacy.

By the same token, the U.S. could never tolerate an agreement built on trust and good will only. Suspicions were too ingrained. While there was some idealism in the Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928 outlawing war, the ultimate reason for American disarmament had been isolationism and indifference to the rest of the world.

The masters of the Kremlin had believed that the postwar shape of Europe would consist of a series of Yugoslavian-type satellites dominated by the Soviets. They had been forced to remold their conception as European elections had rejected Communism throughout the continent. In Bulgaria, 26 percent of the people voted against Communism despite the country being within the ambit of the Soviet Union. They did so even with propaganda circulating that such a vote would be equated with treason.

With Western Europe firmly rejecting Communism, Moscow was likely due for modification, though not overthrow of the Soviet system.

The effort to control atomic energy had to continue despite an apparent dead end ahead. The Byrnes "get-tough" policy toward Russia, Mr. Childs believes, was as foolish as pure appeasement. Anger and denunciation were the meat on which Russia thrived, aiding them in the effort to attract world opinion.

Samuel Grafton performs a post mortem examination of the election in New York, finds that the Gallup Poll had come within five percent of the 56 percent vote which Governor Dewey had polled to win re-election. The New York Daily News straw poll found 66 percent in favor of Governor Dewey. He suggests that the polls were off because some voters were afraid to express truthfully their opposition to Mr. Dewey for the tone presented by some of the press during the campaign, no fault of Mr. Dewey's camp. These newspapers had suggested that those opposed to Dewey were Reds. The race took on the quality of being between Americans of the first class and those of the second class.

President Truman was being advised to join with conservative Democrats to form an effective opposition to the Republican majority in Congress. But that would render the Democrats only a facsimile of the Republicans. Liberalism seemed now infra dig. The choice appeared to be between conservatism and conservatism. The belief seemed to run that elimination of liberality in government meant its elimination among the people, a faulty assumption.

For liberals to fall for such nonsense was to betray the republic, a failure properly to exert counter pressure against the conservative tide, to make democratic life possible. Liberals needed to realize that they represented a tradition in the country, both respectable and historical, as old as the nation itself.

A letter from the National Home & Property Owners Foundation comments on the November 4 editorial on the Wagner-Ellender-Taft bill for long-term housing, finding that much private capital had been invested in Charlotte over the years to build housing, and that system had worked well. The proposed bill, it suggests, would place housing for 45 years under the direct control of "socialistic planners in Washington", driving all private capital out of housing.

Well, that did not happen.

The editors respond that the other side of the argument had been presented by that "socialist planner" Senator Robert Taft, as reprinted the previous Saturday.


Framed Edition
[Return to Links
Page by Subject] [Return to Links-Page by Date] [Return to News<i><i><i>--</i></i></i>Framed Edition]
Links-Date -- Links-Subj.