The Charlotte News

Wednesday, November 27, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in Washington, Federal Judge T. Alan Goldsborough had ordered a ten-day extension of his temporary restraining order, originally ordered to endure for nine days, to restrain the UMW strike and specifically direct John L. Lewis to rescind his declaration that the May 29 contract with the Government was deemed void on November 20. Following argument on the contempt citation, the judge also expressed the opinion that Mr. Lewis and the UMW were guilty of contempt if they continued the strike in defiance of the order.

The lawyers for Mr. Lewis argued that the Smith-Connally Act, allowing punishment for striking against the Government, did not apply because the Government, itself, did not view the miners as Government employees and there would have been no work stoppage had the Government not violated the terms of the contract. The judge wanted to know why the miners had not sought relief from the Wage Stabilization Board, as allowed by the Smith-Connally Act. The Lewis lawyers responded that they had no need to go to the WSB because the contract itself allowed for renegotiation, a provision held over from the private contract with the operators.

As Mr. Lewis departed the courthouse, a cameraman stuck his camera through the window of the car to grab a photo, whereupon Mr. Lewis rapped the photographer's knuckles with his cane. The man did not get his picture, but said he would do nothing about the assault.

The U.N. political committee voted to hear the proposed question of troop inventory together with arms limitation, in accordance with a British proposal, opposed by the Russians and the French. The committee then approved of the mandatory disclosure by member nations of their troop inventories of soldiers deployed in both enemy and friendly states, and the requirement of reports on air and naval bases maintained by member nations in foreign countries.

In Greece, it was reported that a new battle had erupted in Macedonia, as 600 alleged Communists occupied the villages of Mavron and Mandhalon, not far from the Yugoslav border. Some press dispatches indicated that villagers resisting the attack, mistaken for guerillas, had been machine-gunned by Greek fighter planes.

The Duke of Devonshire declared in London that the Hindu-Moslem disturbances in India were the beginning of one of the worst civil wars in history. It had been earlier announced that the British Government had invited India's Viceroy, Lord Wavell, and the Indian Party leaders to come to London for talks. A British Government official stated that disturbances in Bihar and Bengal already amounted to civil war on a small scale.

In Tokyo, the War Crimes Tribunal heard evidence that Japanese captors in Burma during the war retained quinine supplies for themselves, denying it to Australian, British, and Dutch prisoners, many of whom perished from typhoid fever as a result. Men confined to hospitals were often ordered to work after cursory inspections of their physical condition, many then dying from the forced labor while in a weakened or ill condition.

For the first time since the London Conference of Foreign Ministers in September, 1945, complete secrecy was imposed on meetings of the Big Four foreign ministers. It was stated that they talked about Trieste and some of the 30-odd other unresolved questions anent the Italian treaty.

In San Francisco, three men serving life terms at Alcatraz, on trial for the slaying of a guard during a riot the previous May, asked the Warden to send "some of them nice, soft mattresses" because the ones they had in county jail were not so good. The Warden replied that they were beyond his jurisdiction.

Weather through most of the nation was expected to be mild on Thanksgiving, albeit rainy along the Carolina coast and in northern Florida, as well as in the Pacific Northwest, with snow in parts of the West.

The President's annual Thanksgiving Proclamation is reprinted on the page.

On the editorial page, "The Decision on Housing" finds the previous year's effort by the Government to build housing to have failed. Wilson Wyatt, Housing Administrator, had been severely hampered by Congress and by the Reconstruction Finance Corporation insisting on proper credit from prefabricators before making any loan commitments. The question was whether the Government had an obligation to veterans to build housing adequate to their needs. As long as construction was in the hands of private builders, the price of housing was out of reach for most veterans. The builders wanted a "boom and bust" cycle to adjust the market price. But that would leave many veterans without adequate housing for a prolonged period.

The entire process had been slow and arduous, producing little housing. If the Government was licked, as it appeared to be, it was time to admit it, "to bet or get out of the pot."

"Watch Out for Those Experts" comments on the suggestion by Coleman Roberts, president of the Carolina Motor Club, that Charlotte establish a Parking Commission to study and plan the city's parking. It fears such a commission would only add to the growing list of city surveys which had been formed on the opinions freely given of self-appointed citizen "experts" as much as on those of engineers and others qualified to make judgments. The City Council, it suggests, needed to distinguish between an outraged citizen and an expert.

"Restrained Speech, Unrestrained Action" comments on the fisticuffs between a Georgia Assistant Attorney General and Emory Burke, head of the Columbians, Inc., of Atlanta, a racist, anti-Semitic outfit similar to the Klan. Mr. Burke wound up knocked to the floor.

Many editorials had condemned the Assistant Attorney General for his conduct, but the piece thinks he also deserved some level of commendation for verbal restraint in that he preceded his punch line with the phrase, "Dad blame it," rather than something more colorful.

The Greensboro Daily News was reminded of the telephone linesman who, after having molten lead dropped down his neck by his careless assistant, stated, "I trust, Clarence, that you will be more careful in the future."

The judge in Atlanta had charged both men with contempt, Mr. Burke for his having made an insulting remark prior to the punch. The piece hopes that the court would take into consideration the fact that Mr. Burke was well equipped to provoke and that the Assistant Attorney General might be forgiven for resisting the temptation to call Mr. Burke what he was.

A piece from the Richmond Times-Dispatch, titled "Leader with Feet on the Ground", comments on the news that Dr. Guy B. Johnson would leave his position as director of the Southern Regional Council, which he had held since 1944, and return to his teaching post at the University of North Carolina, finds it regrettable. His balanced point of view in race relations would be missed.

He was not swayed by radicals. For instance, regarding the riot the previous February at Columbia, Tenn., the Council sent investigators before issuing any statement. Dr. Johnson then sifted the evidence and presented it objectively, concluding that the riot was begun by white people, but once the violence started, was continued nearly equally by both whites and blacks. He thought some white people and some black people ought be punished.

It remarks that unfortunately no white people had been punished. All 25 defendants had been black. Two had been convicted, and those two convictions had been recently thrown out by the court as unsupported by the evidence. Despite mangling a bit, toward the leeward side, the facts concluding the case, the piece finds the result to have been a tribute to Tennessee justice.

The advance in race relations could be attributed in large part, it says, to Dr. Johnson.

Drew Pearson discusses Russian suspicion that the shooting of Russian delegate Gregory Stadnik in a New York delicatessen during a robbery was staged by the State Department because of their awareness that Mr. Stadnik was using the delicatessen as a dropbox for messages back to Moscow obviating the necessity of use of the mails.

The last thing the State Department would have done was to stage such an event, as the fact and content of Mr. Stadnik's messages were known and they contained little or nothing which could not have been read in the newspapers. The robbery was a typical holdup in New York City. But the Russians would never be so convinced.

He next tells of the Assistant Attorney General who had brought the petition for contempt against John L. Lewis, being cited for illegal parking while he was in the Federal court. He decided that he could be more easily arrested for illegal parking than John L. Lewis for holding up the nation's coal.

Stricter regulations governing mine safety had been imposed since the Government had taken over operation of the mines the previous May. It had resulted in a 10 percent drop in number of men killed in mining accidents. During the first quarter of 1946, 233 men were killed in the mines, compared to 216 men during the period from August 15 to November 1 when Government regulations were in effect. About half the men were killed in cave-ins.

The Government had also produced more than a million more tons of coal than when the mines were under private ownership, meaning the fatality rate was even less when measured as a function of tons mined, 1.31 compared to 1.45 under private ownership.

He next tells of Justice Robert Jackson becoming irritated during oral argument of a case involving an attempt by the FCC to revoke the license of radio station WOKO in Albany, N.Y., for misrepresentations to the FCC. The attorney for the station had argued that if all stations who made such misrepresentations had their licenses revoked, it would result in large gaps on the airwaves. Justice Jackson then sternly asked whether that did not indicate the need for "drastic action". The attorney quickly changed the subject.

Marquis Childs relates that the Republicans were planning to investigate the report of Elliott Roosevelt contained in his recently published book, As He Saw It. The book had drawn suspicion of Republicans regarding whether FDR made any secret deals with Winston Churchill or Josef Stalin. The book was critical of Churchill and supportive of Stalin, causing Republican suspicions to be heightened.

The last time Mr. Childs had spoken to FDR, he stressed his concern regarding the need for an end to imperialism and colonialism after the war. He had been especially emphatic on the matter regarding French Indo-China and the Dutch East Indies.

As He Saw It, he finds, was a superficial treatment of FDR during the war, amounting to little more than cocktail party conversation. It neglected the fact that India and the East Indies were on their way to independence.

Other books recounting the war were also in the works. Harry Hopkins, who had died in early 1946, left behind notes being compiled by playwright Robert Sherwood, a speech writer for FDR. Former Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau was bringing out a memoir. Louis Adamic's Dinner at the White House had spawned controversy, prompting a libel lawsuit from Winston Churchill for relating an allegedly abrupt conversation between the British Prime Minister and FDR over dinner.

The first volume of Winston Churchill's multi-volume memoir, the only such record from a wartime leader which would be produced, was due to be published the following year. He was dictating the book to a secretary. But even though the Churchill work would undoubtedly be well written, given Mr. Churchill's command of the language, it was still a work which would lack the perspective of time which only historians 50 to 75 years hence could provide to the war by weighing the complete record. He suggests it as something the Republicans ought bear in mind when trying to make the facts of the war fit their own prejudices in the investigations into the near past.

Harold Ickes discusses the joining of the issue with respect to the dispute between the Government and John L. Lewis, urges that no further appeasement be provided to the arrogant union boss suffering from a "Hitler complex". There would likely be great suffering at home and abroad for lack of coal before Mr. Lewis could be properly deflated. The miners deserved justice but so, too, did the public whom they served.

The Administration had a powerful weapon in the Big Inch and Little Inch pipelines to transport natural gas into Philadelphia and New York.

Recently, War Assets Administrator, Maj. General Littlejohn, rejected all bids for purchase of the pipelines. Whether it was wise or not only time could tell. But he was not going to allow the public to be cheated by high rollers seeking to purchase the pipelines for a pittance. Mr. Ickes favors reopening of the bids forthwith and not waiting 60 or 90 days. He cautions General Littlejohn to avoid having political operators bring his administration under suspicion.

Mr. Ickes does not mention the consideration being voiced by the Administration regarding Government operation of the two pipelines during the coal emergency.

A letter discusses various ways for the state to collect additional revenue to meet its new budget, a tax on soft drinks or cigarettes, restoration of the state sales tax, higher taxes on cigarette manufacturers, or restoration of the state tax on land.

A letter from Harry Golden simply says: "John L. Lewis is a Republican. HAD ENOUGH?"

The latter phrase had been used in the 1946 Republican Congressional campaign as the primary slogan.

A letter writer hopes that John L. Lewis would not win another dispute. FDR's programs had put Mr. Lewis in his powerful position. The Government, he thinks, ought freeze the UMW funds and deny it further rights to collective bargaining.

A letter from losing Congressional candidate P. C. Burkholder expresses his irritation at the editors' November 19 note below his letter of that date, now explaining that the newspaper had ignored him during the campaign and "lowrated" him after the campaign, not at the same time, as the note had found difficult to understand.

"You remind me of a yellowjacket sittin on a cork screw figuring out where to sting next."

A letter writer finds that the more Mr. Burkholder said about his loss in the campaign, the more it became clear that he was not qualified to represent the district in Congress.

A letter from an Army private en route to Korea on the SS Blue Ridge Victory expresses delight in having read See Here, Private Hargrove by former News reporter Marion Hargrove. He wants to know his whereabouts.

The editors respond that ex-private Hargrove lived in New City, N.Y., and supply his street address.

Eventually, Mr. Hargrove would wind up as a scriptwriter in Hollywood, providing through the ensuing decades many television scripts, and a few movie screenplays, including that for "The Music Man" in 1962. His first offering for television was a 1949 story for the Philco-Goodyear Television Playhouse, titled "Something's Got to Give". Whether bearing any relationship, in the eyes of the man on the moon or otherwise, to the aborted 1962 movie of the same title not being clear, he did provide nine scripts during 1957 to 1959 for the tv Western series, "Maverick".


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