The Charlotte News

Wednesday, November 13, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Secretary of Interior J. A. Krug, responsible for operating the nation's bituminous coal mines until the operators accepted the May 29 contract negotiated with UMW, met with the operators for 45 minutes this date, but no word came as to the results of the discussion, apparently an effort to get the operators to accept the contract terms, with John L. Lewis threatening another strike on November 20 unless further concessions were made by the Government, entailing a shorter work week for the same pay.

Meanwhile, the steel industry stated that it had limited supplies of coal available, U.S. Steel reporting only a two-week supply.

Housing Administrator Wilson Wyatt stated that new housing price ceilings might have to be increased from $10,000 to $12,000 because of the removal of price controls on building materials, putting many homes beyond the reach of veterans.

Mayor Herbert Baxter of Charlotte was set to urge the City Council to do whatever was necessary to create several hundred additional housing units at Morris Field, to supplement the 404 given to veterans and their families the previous day.

Pete McKnight of The News reports that the Charlotte Hospital Council had recommended a separate medical facility for patients with communicable diseases.

The Premier of South Africa, Field Marshal Jan Christian Smuts, told the U.N. that he was prepared to take over Southwest Africa by unilateral action should the General Assembly refuse to approve its annexation. It had been a League of Nations mandate and Russia contended that the U.N. Charter compelled therefore placing it under a trusteeship along with Palestine and all other League mandates. The British retorted that the Charter did not require that any territory be made a trusteeship, leaving it to the mandatory power to determine the fate of the mandate. India also opposed annexation of Southwest Africa.

The U.S. and Britain were said to be working on a proposal to limit the use of the veto on the Security Council.

The U.S. asked the Assembly to limit the search for a permanent site for the organization to New York, San Francisco, Philadelphia, or Boston.

The Foreign Ministers Council, meeting in New York, continued to have conflict between the West and Russia regarding the treatment of Trieste under the Italian treaty concluded at the Paris Peace Conference in October. Foreign Commissar V. M. Molotov wanted a new provision inserted to have British and American troops leave Trieste four months from the inception of the treaty, creating an internationalized Trieste subject to U.N. oversight. Secretary of State Byrnes again refused any further negotiation on the terms concluded in Paris.

The Navy was going to conduct an experimental demonstration of the destruction of a surrendered German U-boat, U-977, off the coast of Provincetown on Cape Cod in Massachusetts. A description of the destruction would be released to the public.

In Peru, the death toll from Sunday's earthquake reached 300, with another 250 injured.

A Western Air Lines DC-3 with eleven aboard was missing over snow-swept mountains north of Burbank, California, having flown from Salt Lake City by way of Las Vegas.

In Baroda, Mich., a boiler at a school exploded killing one 13-year old boy and injuring sixteen other students, twelve seriously. The 16-year old nephew of the regular janitor, substituting while his uncle went fishing, fired the boiler before it exploded.

In Arkadelphia, Ark., a man having a nightmare in which he believed he was having a fight wound up beating to death his three-year old daughter. The mother was also asleep in the same room but did not awaken during the commotion. He had been a somnambulist for several years and had suffered an injury in a dynamite explosion 18 months earlier. The coroner's jury recommended that he be placed under observation at a State or private hospital.

In Cambridge, Md., a 24-year old war veteran, a crab fisherman and handyman, was sentenced to death by hanging for shooting to death his twenty-year old sweetheart, Pansy Twigg, while she was swimming with two female companions. He had pleaded for mercy on the ground that society had taught him to shoot during the war. He had shot Ms. Twigg twice, then removed her from the water, laid her on the beach, and shot her a third time. He had received a Purple Heart after serving in North Africa, Sicily, and Italy.

In Chicago, a tavern customer donated a live owl to the establishment to provide it with life, in juxtaposed contrast to the stuffed birds adorning the walls. Initially, the owner had placed it on the cash register and it remained there motionless, patrons oblivious to its being alive. But when it began blinking and went on a "hooting spree", some of the customers thought they were seeing things and went home. The owner gave the owl to the Anti-Cruelty Society.

In Camden, N.J., a taproom owner, believing a holdup attempt to be a joke, told the masked bandit to "scram". He turned and left.

On the editorial page, "But Is State Income Fixed?" again discusses the North Carolina Education Association proposal to raise teacher salaries by twenty percent, effective January 1. The proposal would take up 75 percent of the total surplus general fund.

The raise would cover no more than cost of living increases and thus, effectively, not provide a real raise for teachers, leaving them still below other occupations requiring similar levels of education. The school superintendents in the Piedmont wanted 40 to 60 percent raises, but NCAE realized that the state budget could not support presently more than twenty percent.

State revenue, however, could be increased with special taxes for education or by accepting dratted Federal aid, the hesitancy being that it would come with strings attached requiring equal educational facilities in the segregated school systems.

The piece favors reopening the debate on accepting Federal aid as a possible remedy to the teacher shortage currently causing a crisis in the state, threatening permanent damage to the educational system.

"Well, Look Who's Here" reports that the Democrats appeared to have spent a third more than the Republicans in the late campaign, despite it being won by the Republicans. Yet no heavy money had been spent by either party. The CIO PAC spent only $345,000 nationwide. The Republicans had spent $575,000 just in Pennsylvania.

America First, Inc., surprisingly spent $78,000 despite the moribund state of isolationism in the country, apparently believing its investment might bring return. The Republican victory might indeed give new breath to the organization. An entire wing of the Republican party remained isolationist or at least reluctant to accept limited internationalism.

There was the danger, it says, that the Republicans, in the drive to slash the budget, might reduce military spending. It would be welcome provided the Republicans also set in motion a policy to reduce friction with the Soviet to remove the threat of war, adopting an attitude of mollification, similar to that proposed by Henry Wallace on September 12 at Madison Square Garden, differing with the Byrnes "get-tough" policy enunciated in Stuttgart six days earlier, albeit later somewhat softened on the return of Secretary Byrnes from Paris in October.

The chief of the Army Air Forces complained that the country was already in worse shape than before Pearl Harbor in its defenses against Russian expansionism.

It hopes that the Republicans realized that isolationism was at best a temporary refuge and inevitably ended "with a bang, not a whimper."

A piece from the Greensboro Daily News, titled "It Might Be Worth Trying", tells of Mrs. B. B. Everett of Palmyra, N.C., vice-chairman of the State Democratic Executive Committee, determining that women could run the country if they wanted to do so, as more women than men were qualified to vote. She advised women to attend precinct meetings and state and local conventions to make their voices heard.

The piece applauds her suggestion, especially, it says, given what had been wrought by the vote in recent years.

Drew Pearson provides a snapshot of what might be expected from the Republican Congress on each major issue during the ensuing two years.

There would be no ostensible change in foreign policy, though the British were already worried anent a rightward swing.

As to the budget, the defense and veterans' benefits made up the bulk of it. The easiest cuts could be made in foreign aid. UNRRA and a 200 million dollar loan to Italy proposed by the President would be ditched, along with other foreign loans. Such would necessarily alter foreign policy beneath the surface. The loan was designed to prevent a weakened Italy from falling within the Russian sphere of influence.

There would be only minor tax cuts for individual taxpayers. Higher bracket cuts would be vetoed by the President.

Any move toward returning to the high tariffs of the Hoover years would be vetoed.

On labor, some Republicans wanted to junk the Wagner Act in its entirety, others wanted to avoid antagonizing labor, especially John L. Lewis and the carpenters' union boss Bill Hutchison, who helped them win the election. They would likely pass the Case bill again, vetoed by President Truman previously. It was doubtful he would again, but, if so, the power now existed to override. The bill to make unions subject to antitrust laws would also be passed.

On immigration, there would be a move to the right with witch-hunter Rep. Noah Mason in charge of the House Immigration Committee, taking his cues from the isolationist-nationalist Chicago Tribune. HUAC would also be revised and strengthened, as well as a similar committee in the Senate—and how.

He next tells of Senator Millard Tydings of Maryland having proposed international disarmament before V. M. Molotov. Mr. Tydings had always been pro-military, was a World War I veteran, and so the statement came as a shock to those few who noticed it. He had served on the Senate Atomic Energy Committee and came to appreciate from that experience the desperate need for atomic control.

He had recently told veterans that in the next war, there would be no noncombatant nations supplying arms. Atomic bombs and long-range delivery devices would exclude the possibility any longer of oceans supplying insularity. An enemy's first objective would be to eliminate industrial capability. Mr. Pearson thinks it one of the most convincing pleas yet against war.

He next proposes to the Republican Congress that it include among its promised probes an examination of the role of Robert Shields, chief of the Agriculture Department's production and marketing administration, in the Government's raising of prices for beet-sugar producers during the recent period after he had announced his resignation to take a $40,000 per year job as general counsel to the U. S. Beet Sugar Association, delaying his resignation. The price increase had been due anyway, but many thought that Mr. Shields stayed on to insure its becoming a reality.

Marquis Childs tells of the "moving van chugging up Capitol Hill" to change the party orientation of the Congress. The Administration had waited too long to clean up the remaining vestiges of price control, despite it being doomed by the writing on the wall since midsummer when the President reluctantly had signed the amended bill July 20, following his initial veto of the first version to extend eviscerated price control.

The mess over price control was primarily responsible, he opines, for the Republican sweep in the election, especially the President's clinging since August to price control on meat and then suddenly reversing course and removing meat controls just prior to the election. At that point, the President should have ended all controls and placed the blame for it on Republicans.

Even OPA head Paul Porter, who had suffered public ridicule unfairly, favored in the last days after the election removal of all controls, based on the belief that remaining controls could not be effectively administered piecemeal.

The removal of controls on building materials was going to make the already tough job much tougher for Housing Administrator Wilson Wyatt. He only had left only the ability to allocate priorities to try to sustain a program of low-cost housing for veterans. But the housing industry had been heavily lobbying to get rid of the priorities and would have a potentially greater influence on the new Congress.

The President was said to be considering elimination of all other wartime controls before the new Congress convened in January, which would leave the new Congress free to undertake whatever positive action the Republicans might have planned.

Harold Ickes suggests that the 26 inches of snow which had fallen a week earlier on Monday in Denver was nothing compared to the blizzard of ballots sweeping away Democrats throughout the country save in the South. (He describes the region as the "poll tax states", an inaccurate generic classification given the fact that only seven of the Southern states still retained the convention, for instance, Georgia having amended its Constitution in 1945 to eliminate poll taxes, North Carolina having eliminated them in 1920. Tennessee had sought to eliminate the device by statute but had been found to violate the State Constitution in so doing. Moreover, eleven states outside the South, including New York, had restrictions on the franchise.)

The most remarkable thing about the campaign was the absence of any political speeches by the President. No one invited him to speak despite his having offered to do so at the start of the campaign, seeking then to limit engagements to New York and Missouri for the most part. It was a first in American politics. In New York, it was decided that Senator James Mead and former Governor Herbert Lehman were having enough trouble in their respective races for Governor and Senator.

DNC chairman Robert Hannegan had taken to playing recorded speeches of President Roosevelt at rallies, a strategy which distracted from the current Administration and its performance. But it also implicitly deprecated the man in the White House. The strategy did not work to cause the electorate to ignore the difference.

The President, he concludes, having been thoroughly repudiated by the people, should do the honorable thing, as Senator William Fulbright of Arkansas had suggested: appoint a Republican Secretary of State and then resign, leaving the Secretary to succeed him.

In understanding better the perspective from which Mr. Ickes provided this free advice to the President, it has to be remembered that Mr. Ickes departed the Administration in February in disgust after 13 years of service, regarding his perception that President Truman had called into question his integrity in recounting the conversation with Ed Pauley from September, 1944, when Mr. Pauley was DNC treasurer. Mr. Ickes had asserted that Mr. Pauley told him that he could raise $300,000 from oil men for Democratic campaign coffers if the Government would relent on its opposition to state control of tidelands oil. Mr. Ickes had raised the assertion during hearings on Mr. Pauley's nomination as Undersecretary of the Navy, which, eventually, Mr. Pauley withdrew under pressure. The President had simply stated that Mr. Ickes might be mistaken in his recollection of the conversation. Secretary of Treasury Fred Vinson, now Chief Justice, had stated that though he was present at the time of the conversation, then serving as Director of Economic Stabilization, he remembered only some mention of the tidelands oil issue and campaign donations, but could not recall whether Mr. Pauley stated or implied a connection between the two.

A letter from the Mecklenburg County Republican chairman responds to "Mr. Jones Goes to Washington" of November 6, and its scolding of the people of the district for a demonstration of political apathy. The chairman believes the editorial correct but missing the point, stressing symptoms rather than the disease, which it views as the "consumers strike", registering dissent by simply not voting. Local Democrats, he asserts, had long been disgusted with their national party program. Yet, they had no use either for the Republicans, while others, sympathetic to the Republican view, wanted to continue to reap the Democratic patronage.

He claims to have been offered $2,000 to vote against running a Republican candidate to fill deceased Congressman Joe Ervin's seat, ultimately filled for the duration of 1946 by his brother Sam J. Ervin.

The apathy seemed to arise from the belief that one party was as bad as the other.

He blames also poor coverage by the press of the Republican candidate P. C. Burkholder. The News, he says, unfairly labeled his campaign negative. He then supplies a list of Mr. Burkholder's quotes to try to back up his argument.

Well, ten-gallon lost. Let's move on.

The editors respond that Mr. Burkholder lost ultimately, they believe, because of himself, his lack of qualifications, his being unknown to Republicans in the district, his discussion of issues being revelatory of his lack of competence for membership in the Congress, and, on top of that, his being from the North. The newspapers had ignored his candidacy for the most part because he could not be treated as a serious candidate.

A letter writer says that he had read Mr. Burkholder's letter thanking the electorate for its support, and while the people may have lost a great tax expert and economist, they had not lost a rhetorician. The letter suggested "a boon to harrassed [sic] high school teachers in English 2."

Probably so, pal, but at least check your spelling if you are going to criticize another for poor writing skills. In the space of 50 words, it would take you but a few seconds, even a glance.

The "harrassed high school teachers" unduly suggests an experience in moonshine.

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