The Charlotte News
Friday, November 15, 1946
Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that John L. Lewis was determined to stand by his commitment to shut down the nation's bituminous coal mines on November 20, declaring that the May 29 contract with the Government would become void on that date. He brushed aside appeals from the President for a 60-day truce to permit consideration of return of the mines to private ownership. The operators had agreed to the proposal, under which if no new agreement could be reached by January 16, the mines would be returned to the private owners. Attorney General Tom Clark had determined that the contract could not be renegotiated as long as the Government ran the mines.
The TWA pilots ended their 26-day strike with an agreement to submit the dispute to arbitration
The U.S. and Russia joined together at the U.N. to oppose a move by the smaller nations, led by Australia and Cuba, to eliminate the Security Council veto power of the Big Five. The U.S. instead encouraged voluntary restraint in use of the veto, liberal use of which had been made by the Russians. Senator Tom Connally, who spoke on the matter, advised that the veto should only be employed when determining whether to undertake intervention and should not be used to defend nationalistic interests. France also opposed the proposed amendment to the Charter.
In Nanking, the Communists, led by General Chou En-Lai, prepared to leave the capital, declaring that hopes for peace were dead as Chiang Kai-Shek called the National Assembly into session. The Communists had boycotted the Assembly, charged with drafting a new constitution, the Communists demanding that the Government return vast Communist territories seized the previous January.
Senator Arthur Vandenberg of Michigan advised his fellow Republicans to justify their election before concentrating on 1948.
Representative John Taber of New York, slated to become chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, recommended a cut of a million of the 2.3 million Federal employees and nine billion dollars off the Federal budget, a third of which would come from the reduction of personnel. He stated that 2.5 billion could come from cuts of non-recurring expenses of the military, most of which would be the terminal leave payments which had already for the most part been distributed. The remaining 1.5 billion would come from other agencies, especially involving construction projects.
The House Republican Steering Committee met and made recommendations for a twenty percent individual income tax reduction, establishing an eight-year term limit on future Presidents, some form of labor legislation, ending of war powers, relief from shortages of soap, oils, and food, and substantial savings of government costs.
A Western Airlines pilot stated that he was certain he had sighted the wreckage of the Western Airlines DC-3 which had disappeared in snow-capped mountains north of Burbank, California, on Wednesday, en route from Salt Lake City via Las Vegas with eleven aboard. The plane was at Lebec, 50 miles north of Burbank. The pilot saw no signs of life in the wreckage.
Mayor Herbert Baxter of Charlotte stated that he agreed with the chairman of the County Board of Commissioners that an independent study of consolidation of the governments be conducted.
In Royston, Ga., a man and a woman, each from prominent families, were found shot to death in a car parked in a secluded area. One man had been arrested as a suspect. Mob violence was threatened against him and he was therefore turned over to the Highway Patrol by the Sheriff and transported to Atlanta.
In Columbus, O., a woman who had won the Mrs. America contest was debating whether to return to her home with her husband and four children or tour the country for six months. She appeared leaning toward abdication of the throne, but her husband said she might retain her retinue after all. The prize included $2,500.
A woman in Brooklyn, who believed she was 24 years old, discovered that she was 26 when contacted by a man seeking to establish his citizenship by virtue of birth aboard the S.S. Susquehanna 26 years earlier, on the same voyage as the woman from Brooklyn, named Susquehanna.
In Kewanee, Ill., the previous day, a tomcat walked across some power lines, causing a five-hour work stoppage at Kewanee's two largest industrial plants. The cat was electrocuted. He may, however, have had eight more lives. So, don't worry about him. He's probably still out on the prowl.
In Miami Beach, pursuant to a court order, workmen began chopping away 7.56 feet of a house which encroached to that extent on neighboring land. A mix-up in two deeds had caused the boundary confusion. The adjoining owner once owned the offending property. The house had been encroaching for 25 years. The owner of the house had signed a quitclaim deed on the encroachment with assurance from her attorney that her house would never be disturbed.
Anyone in that jurisdiction ever heard of adverse possession? which generally requires only seven years for the encroaching owner to acquire the rights to the encroachment, when the possession is performed openly and notoriously. Given the quitclaim deed, there may have been, however, consent by the original owner of the adjoining property, in which case the adverse possession would not lie.
Oh well, enjoy the Christmas breeze. We hope it stays warm and no hurricanes come.
Dumb judge. Bad judge. Make that moron live in the house. There is also, stupid, something called basic equity and fairness. Maybe you never heard of it.
In Beckley, W. Va., a thief who stole nine of ten Belgian hares from a man's home had been asked by the owner to return and get the tenth while he was at it, as he had no need now for the remaining rabbit.
On the editorial page, "City-County Consolidation" finds reasonable the suggestion by the chairman of the County Board of Commissioners that the Institute of Government in Chapel Hill render a study of consolidation of the City and County Governments before any final decision would be made on the matter. It would determine whether it was realistic to have full consolidation or better to go about it piecemeal, department by department. The important thing was that now elimination of the wasteful separate system of government was under consideration.
"The Virtues of Conflict" reports that the President's Armistice Day speech, tossing the ball to the Republicans in a conciliatory tone, was being hailed as statesmanlike, lacking any bitterness over the loss.
But the Republicans were committed to dismantling the New Deal and so if the President assisted them, he would undo 14 years of progress made under his party banner and would abandon the principles on which he had been elected to both the Senate and Vice-Presidency.
It was possible that the electorate had voted not so much against the New Deal per se, but rather against its inefficient application in recent times. Another way to interpret the results was that the people simply wanted balance between extremes in their government. It was not, however, the obligation of either party to seek such compromise.
The President's duty was to continue to fight for that which he believed and protect the achievements of the New Deal, even if he were to lose every battle in the process. He should no more abdicate his responsibility of leadership than to acquiesce in the suggestion that he resign.
The democratic system was based on conflict and not cooperation. Thus, it was a good thing that such conflict would thrive in the ensuing two years.
A piece from the New York Times, titled "The Great Cotton Mystery", written at the time of the third suspension in two weeks of the cotton exchange because of dropping the $10 per bale limit during the course of one trading session, when prices had dropped from 39 cents to 29 cents per pound, says that Senator Walter George of Georgia had given the cause as the OPA regulations on cotton trading, while the Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture saw it as an effort by the Administration to get cotton back to parity.
When the war began in 1939, cotton was at 8 cents per pound. Thus it had risen 400 percent by October 15, compared to an average rise in the same period of 156 percent for the 28 sensitive commodities and 200 percent for farm prices. During the spring, cotton had been at 27 to 28 cents. Department of Agriculture figures for prospective crops during the summer showed one of the lowest crops on record, prompting speculation and thus the sudden rise in price.
At 39 cents, cotton was 13 cents above parity, and 14 cents above rayon, even greater differential being extant when a ten percent loss factor on cotton was included. With the uncertainty surrounding continuation of price controls, mill inventories had accumulated.
Thus, the sudden drops in price during the previous fortnight were not really so surprising.
Drew Pearson tells of FDR making John L. Lewis into the powerful union boss that he had become. By 1932, his once powerful union of 400,000 members after World War I had dwindled to 90,000 with a treasury balance of about $50,000. Then, only about 28% of the bituminous coal miners belonged to the UMW and wages were a skimption. Now, the treasury balance was at 75 million dollars and wages were better than ever before. Mr. Lewis was rolling in mazuma, owned a large Virginia mansion, had a chauffeured limousine, and an annual salary of $25,000.
He might obtain his demands yet again in the current crisis, but eventually the American people would have had enough.
The column provides a brief biography of Mr. Lewis, who quit school after the seventh grade, wandered the country, primarily learning to speak, mined a little coal, but was mainly an organizer.
His first use of the hard-fisted tactic was to fire labor leader John L. Lawson of Colorado following his indictment on a trumped-up charge of murder after he had tangled with John D. Rockefeller. The move by Mr. Lewis was interpreted by the rank-and-file as a bow to Wall Street and it almost ruined him. After Mr. Lawson was acquitted, Mr. Lewis would not even let him return as a common laborer in the mines. Mr. Lawson thus became a hero to the miners. Centenarian "Mother Jones", in consequence, became an enemy to Mr. Lewis.
On November 1, 1919, Mr. Lewis called a strike by UMW. President Wilson responded by obtaining an injunction against the miners and Mr. Lewis backed down. Mr. Truman was about to do likewise.
Mr. Pearson believes that with John R. Steelman sitting at the right hand of the President, Mr. Lewis could make easy prey of the Government and get his way.
Another column on Mr. Lewis, it notes, would follow shortly.
Harold Ickes suggests that, rather than the Democrats being sorrowful over the results of the election, it was the Republicans who ought be feeling sorry for themselves. In the landslide Roosevelt victory of 1932, there were many new Democratic faces in the Congress, some of whom were unfit to serve. But then FDR exerted leadership over the country and could control patronage for the Democrats. The Republicans of 1946 were not in the same boat. Some of those elected would be as the lover caught on the rebound by the wrong girl. "And there will not be nearly enough political pie even to take the edge off of the insatiable appetite."
No single Republican would be accepted as party leader. The Republicans would also be fighting among themselves for the party nomination in 1948.
Mr. Ickes injects that President Truman ought announce forthwith that he would not seek the nomination of the Democrats in 1948. He could be easier elected Governor of Vermont than President in 1948.
Both parties would be playing politics for the ensuing two years and the Republicans would not practice self-restraint as the President had counseled.
The seniority rule meant that Republicans who had managed to survive through the Roosevelt years would be guiding the party in the Congress, and the thrill of victory would quickly dissolve into doubt and sorrow on the part of the people who had believed that if they only got rid of the old men of the Roosevelt era, all would be well in the country. But the Republican replacements, whom he lists, were none too young or appealing politically.
He concludes by wondering to what degree the Republicans would be inclined to continue their coalition formed in the 79th Congress with the Southern Democrats.
Samuel Grafton wonders what was going on in the minds of those—such as Senator William Fulbright and Harold Ickes—who had counseled President Truman to resign after appointing a Republican Secretary of State to succeed him. If the operative principle motivating this advice was that a divided Government could not operate properly, the same logic could have been applied in 1938 to have FDR resign when the conservative coalition in Congress formed between many Southern Democrats and Republicans on domestic issues and isolationists of both parties on foreign policy. In 1940 and 1944, the country re-elected FDR but also voted in a Congress which hated him.
The reason, he suggests, for the schism in voting was that the cities were under-represented in Congress while the rural sections of the country were over-represented based on population.
There really was no crisis, as during the war many in the country were glad to have the President able to fight against the coalition tide in Congress. The people tended to be more loyal to the President than to Congress. If anything had changed with this rule of thumb, then the Republicans ought have to prove it in 1948.
There remained a large liberal feeling in the country and to give the whole Government over to the Republicans would deny that popular will expressed in 1944. If done, it would find other avenues of expression such as strikes, radicalization, and third parties. Democracy could be efficient when political life was not; indeed, democracy was sustained by inefficient politics.
He finds equally silly the notion that the country should allow the Republicans to make their own mistakes for two years so that the negative results could sweep the Democrats back into power. That would only hurt the poor of the country.
"Come down out of those towers
A letter from the superintendent of Surry County Schools advises that unity among teachers would be the best policy in achieving salutary ends for education, especially higher teacher salaries. Surry County teachers, he says, were fully behind the plan of the North Carolina Education Association for holding the line at a twenty percent increase.
A letter writer urges Democrats not to give up because they had lost in the election, that the people would not retreat to the days of the Hoover Administration when wages were low and poverty was rampant. Without price control as an issue anymore, most Democrats, he believes, would return to the fold of their party.
A letter from the secretary of the Charlotte Writers' Club states the organization's support for the South Piedmont Teachers Association's stand on salary increases, that is forty percent, twice that recommended by the NCAE.
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