Monday, November 4, 1946

The Charlotte News

Monday, November 4, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the UMW and the Government continued negotiations regarding whether the May 29 contract with the Government could be reopened and renegotiated to allow the UMW demand of the same pay for a shorter work week. John L. Lewis and Secretary of Interior J.A. Krug, with responsibility over the mines, were still absent from the proceedings, with Mr. Krug not expected back in Washington before Thursday.

Meanwhile, some 3,000 more miners walked off the job in West Virginia and Kentucky, bringing the total idle to 10,000.

The Federal mediator in the TWA strike said that both sides had accepted in principle his proposed plan for settlement of the 15-day old pilots' dispute.

In Northern Palestine, there were further disturbances the previous day, resulting in five deaths, three Arab and two Jewish, and 27 injured. Elsewhere in Palestine, there was relative quiet.

From Frankfurt, Germany, it was reported that fewer Jews were seeking to leave Eastern Europe for the American occupation zone of Germany. Having averaged 15,000 every two weeks during the summer, the number had dropped in the first half of October to 2,743.

Britain followed the U.S. example in denying a ten-million dollar credit to Czechoslovakia, as its share of a 50-million dollar loan from the Export-Import Bank. The basis for the reversal was a statement by the Czechs that they intended to sell at a profit to Rumania, within the Soviet sphere of influence, the war surplus property, the form in which both nations were to give the credit.

The Big Four foreign ministers met preliminarily in preparation for the formal meeting of the Foreign Ministers Council to finish work on the five treaties which the 21-nation Paris Peace Conference had approved, and to begin work on the German treaty. Meanwhile, the General Assembly was meeting in committees rather than in plenary sessions.

The country was preparing for the next day's midterm election, with 35 million voters expected at the polls. There were key elections in 16 states which would determine the control of the House and Senate. There were also 33 governorships at stake. The Democrats presently held a 56 to 39 advantage in the Senate, with the Progressive Party seat of defeated Senator Robert LaFollette of Wisconsin also up for grabs, and a 235 to 192 advantage in the House, with 218 necessary for a majority.

Burke Davis of The News reports that the 300,000 citizens of the "quaintly gerrymandered Tenth District", including Charlotte, a district 105 miles long and 20 miles wide, were faced with a choice between the Democrat Hamilton C. Jones, a wealthy Charlotte attorney, and the Republican, P.C. Burkholder, a ten-gallon hat wearing truck farmer, sometime Methodist minister and nurseryman. Both predicted victory.

A little of the Jones platform was included on the front page; that of Mr. Burkholder, which he had frequently addressed in letters to the editor during the summer, was relegated to the inside.

Mr. Burkholder also had a smaller picture displayed. There is definite bias afoot which ought be investigated by someone, somewhere. (If he had not worn the hat, the picture could have been larger.)

The election would determine the successor to Congressman Sam J. Ervin who had pledged not to run for re-election when chosen by the Democrats to succeed his brother Joe, who had committed suicide in Washington the previous Christmas Day.

In Montgomery, Ala., two soldiers from Fort Benning, Ga., were being held on charges of robbery and rape, after they gave a couple a ride, then threw the man out of the car and took his wife down a road, raped her, and when encountered by the police who had received a report via the husband who had caught a bus, began firing shots. The police wounded one of the soldiers.

In New York, the Grand Jury heard evidence in the $832,000 embezzlement case from the Mergenthaler Linotype Co., as one man was in custody in Miami charged with the crime and nationwide alerts were put out for his two alleged accomplices.

In New Rochelle, N.Y., a New Haven Railway conductor honored a ticket of a passenger which had been issued in 1898. There were no regulations limiting the time of use when it was originally purchased.

In Miami, it was reported that the Weather Bureau had received many letters claiming that the power of prayer had saved the state from the October 6-9 hurricane which passed through the north central part of the state with little damage. The winds had been 105 mph or more as it approached Tampa Bay, had packed 112 mph winds over Cuba (the residents of which obviously did not pray hard enough), but dissipated to 47 mph over Tampa itself. The sudden loss of force was not explained by the Bureau.

The National Park Service reported that Death Valley had become a popular tourist attraction, with 77,000 people visiting the California hot spot during the previous year.

In Los Angeles, the wife of Roy Rogers, Arlene, died from complications a week after giving birth to their third child. They had been married ten years, had met while he worked on a Roswell, N.M., radio program featuring the Sons of the Pioneers.

In Philadelphia, Drew Pearson was to be given the Unity Award for the year for his "fearless and relentless fight against the forces of bigotry in the country." Frank Sinatra had won the award the previous year.

On the editorial page, "Half Controlled, Half Free" discusses campaign issues which were not being discussed, it says, by the candidates. One was the housing shortage. The National Association of Real Estate Boards favored an end to rent controls so that single persons living alone would be forced to share apartments. It counts the argument as nonsensical, another plan which sought to justify giving business a free hand to alleviate the problems.

On the other side were those who favored Government planning of housing, and believed it the only way to build the necessary ten to fifteen million dwelling units.

The propaganda on both sides had caused a mixture of control and free enterprise, which had prevented a coherent housing program from taking shape. Most of the worst of the propaganda had come from the building industry, attacking Housing Administrator Wilson Wyatt and even predicting Government seizure of homes and land. Meanwhile, Mr. Wyatt was doing his best against a recalcitrant Congress which had torpedoed through committee inaction his plan for long-term housing.

The piece favors that the 80th Congress look anew at housing and pass the necessary legislation to enable it to take place.

"Mr. Atkins Looks Backward" tells of editor James W. Atkins of the Gastonia Gazette recalling, in his fortieth anniversary edition of November 1, his early days establishing the newspaper in 1906, when Gastonia, in 1946 celebrating its centennial, had but 5,000 citizens.

"Hazards of the White House" examines the decreasing life expectancy of the President since before 1850 when compared to the general population. Then it was 2.9 years longer than the norm. Between 1850 and 1900, it fell to six years shorter than average. Since 1900, it was eight years off the pace. The figures were based on actuarial results of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company.

While, by the fact of only 34 Presidents to date, not very accurate, they were, it suggests, interesting statistics, providing a kind of guide through the American system and its development through time.

In the early days of the republic, people believed that the best government was the least government and a President could thus spend four or eight relatively happy years in the White House.

But as the country had grown, the complexities of the office had grown with it, with people coming to expect more from their government.

President Truman put in about sixteen hours per day on the job, and had in the space of 18 months given the country probably several years of his life span—a false assumption as Mr. Truman would live to be 88, just a few weeks short of 20 years after leaving office in January, 1953. (Only former Presidents John Adams, who died at 90 in 1826, Hoover, who died at 90 in 1964, Reagan, who died at 93 in 2004, Ford, who died at 93 in 2006, Carter, presently 89, and George H. W. Bush, presently 89, have thus far outlived him. President Carter presently holds the record for longevity after leaving office, just short of 33 years. Obviously the modern health plan is working well, at least for former Presidents. Maybe we should all get such health care at the expense of the Government...)

The piece concludes that it was curious that so many people wanted Mr. Truman's job.

A piece from the Christian Science Monitor, titled "Well, What Is a Liberal?" records some answers in a private poll to that question. A liberal had responded that it was a person whose thinking could encompass changes beneficial to the greatest number of people. A conservative had stated that it was a person whose feet were "firmly planted in the air."

A neutral said, "A liberal is a young conservative."

Senator Joseph Ball of Minnesota had stated that a liberal was a person who judged issues as they would arise based on "whether their net effect will be to expand or contract the sum total of opportunities and freedoms enjoyed not by any particular group in society but by all..." He contrasted the liberal with the authoritarian who wanted to plan everything in society to fit an established pattern.

Its chief party identity tended to change with time. In Lincoln's day, Republicans were liberals; Democrats defended states' rights. Liberalism itself, however, had the unchanging characteristic of desiring progress but perceiving it as spiritual and achieved first in the thinking of individuals.

A piece from The Monitor had also been published two months earlier on the topic.

An article by Charles Harris, originally appearing in the October Coronet, provides a look at the national education crisis, with teacher shortages occurring all over the country as teachers departed the profession in droves for better paying jobs. Mr. Harris, an ordinary citizen from Illinois, labels it the country's number one problem.

He advocates that parents get to know their children's teachers personally by socializing with them, intended to invite his son's male teacher to tee off with him on the course, after which they would have drinks and socialize and then he would have the teacher eventually come to dinner and a cocktail party at their home.

He believes that local governments ought raise money from taxes to contribute substantially to higher teacher salaries, to woo the best qualified college graduates to the profession. He also wanted Federal aid to education, with a nationwide minimum starting salary of $2,400 and $100 raises per year. He wanted teachers on civic committees and city councils.

Once such measures would be undertaken, he believes, the exodus of the teachers would stop.

Drew Pearson tells of the hard times following World War I, in late 1919 and early 1920. The headlines were similar to those of 1946. There were troubles with Russia, only worse, with American troops in Siberia and Murmansk. The Northern Adriatic, specifically Flume, was the chief problem being discussed in Paris, just as Trieste had been at the Paris Peace Conference from latter July to early October.

Another headline of the former period was "Jews Massacred, Robbed by Poles". At the time, a Jewish state in Palestine was foreseen to resolve the problem.

There were various problems in France, riots, criticism over the War Department's disposition of war assets, American soldiers misbehaving.

There were plenty of strikes at home, replete with bloodshed in Connecticut, and in some of the same industries which had struck during 1946, telegraph and telephone workers, maritime workers, a four-month steel impasse, and general strikes in some cities, such as Omaha. And there was John L. Lewis and the UMW on strike in the fall of 1919, complaining of a 37.5 percent wage increase in six years while steel workers had received 117 percent increases.

The alleged Communist menace was much worse than in 1946, as May Day celebrations in several cities resulted in riots. The home of Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer was bombed. A large-scale assassination plot was threatening Congress and officials of eight cities. There was an attempt to blow up the American Sheet and Tin Plant at McKeesport, and an attempt to blow up the Federal Building in Gary, Indiana.

Large-scale race riots took place in Washington, Chicago, and St. Louis.

The Army recommended three months of universal military training for all 18-year olds.

There was a bad housing shortage. Controls were forced to an end in favor of the free market. Inflation followed, with food costing 86 percent more than in 1914, at the start of the war. The trend only changed when there was a national buyers' strike in 1920.

History repeated itself, he determines, no matter who was in the White House following a major war.

He concludes with a story about Mr. Lewis during the 1919 coal strike, being observed on a train reading The Iliad and the Odyssey, especially the stories of Ajax, Hercules, and Nestor. He had then commented, unwittingly apropos to the present, "The world is about the same now as it was then."

Harold Ickes questions the President's consistency in firing Henry Wallace for his September 12 speech expressing disagreement with the Byrnes "get-tough" policy with Russia while not raising a whimper about the disagreement with a State Department policy expressed by Philippine High Commissioner Paul McNutt or Congressman Jasper Bell of Missouri, co-sponsor, with Senator Millard Tydings of Maryland, of the Philippines trade legislation which provided for amendment to the Philippine Constitution to allow unilateral trade quotas deferential to the United States without any reciprocal rights for the Philippines.

Assistant Secretary of State Will Clayton had testified the previous April to the Senate Finance Committee considering the legislation that it was antithetical to established American trade policy and he recommended that it be amended to allow reciprocal trade rights or abandoned. He opposed trade quotas of any kind.

Mr. McNutt testified in favor of the bill, which was then passed. President Osmena of the Philippines vehemently opposed it as un-American and contrary to democratic principles.

Mr. Ickes concludes, "Mr. President, just how consistent must consistency be, in order to be consistent?"

Marquis Childs, in St. Louis, examines the next day's election in the President's home state and finds it likely that the President would be repudiated in Missouri.

FDR had carried the state in 1944 by just over 46,000 votes out of 1.5 million cast. With Roosevelt gone, it was unlikely Democrats, split as they were, would turn out in sufficient numbers in an apathetic year to enable many Democrats to win. Even the redoubtable Clarence Cannon, hardly distinguishable from a Republican, was possibly going to be defeated. Of the seven House seats held by Democrats, four or five would likely go Republican, adding to the six already held by Republicans.

The Senate race, as he had covered Saturday, was uninspired and few gave Democrat incumbent Frank Briggs, appointed in 1945 to fill out Senator Truman's unexpired term, a chance to beat wealthy corporate attorney James Kem, his Republican opponent.

The ultimate slap in the face for the President might come in his neighboring district where, with the help of the Pendergast machine, he had mustered a campaign to defeat Congressman Roger Slaughter, a Democrat who opposed the President's program consistently. The Democratic opponent, Enos Axtell, who had defeated Mr. Slaughter in the primary, now faced a formidable challenge in Republican Albert Reeves.

And Enos Slaughter, scoring from first base in the bottom of the eighth inning in the seventh game of the World Series, had enabled St. Louis to beat Boston 4 to 3, all as the Supreme Court listened to the last of the game with the President at the White House, Justice Jackson, we think, having arrived shoeless.

Boston, of course, topped the Cardinals in this year's World Series in the sixth game, the first series won by the Red Sox in Boston since 1918. Enos Slaughter was not playing this time.


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