Friday, November 8, 1946

The Charlotte News

Friday, November 8, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the Administration, in the wake of the election, was planning to end all price controls except on rents, syrups, sugar, and rice. OPA head Paul Porter was reported ready in that event to resign. One official stated that Mr. Porter, himself, now favored removal of the remaining controls. Housing Administrator Wilson Wyatt was said to be worried that removal of ceilings on building materials would trigger an abandonment of the $10,000 price ceiling on new housing for veterans.

The Republicans promised to end the President's emergency war powers when they took over Congress in January. But Democrats expressed the belief that the GOP would not go that far. Neither the war, the hostilities, nor the emergency on which the powers were contingent had ever been declared officially over. Most of the war powers would be gone with the end of price controls, but some residual powers, such as maintenance of more than regular Army troops abroad, would end within six months of the cessation of the war powers absent other legislation.

The President met with the Cabinet, but there was no indication that the election was a topic of discussion.

Missouri Congressman Roger Slaughter, defeated in the primary in the summer by the President's man, Enos Axtell, who lost in the general election, called for the resignation of Robert Hannegan as DNC chair, but the President was said to be sticking by Mr. Hannegan.

The Government reported that the predicted cotton crop had dropped 237,000 bales from the previous month's report, causing cotton futures to rise in price between $6.50 and $10 per bale.

Secretary of Agriculture Clinton Anderson proposed that a limit on per day trading by any single trader be placed on cotton futures at 30,000 bales, to avoid excess speculation which had been causing prices to fluctuate wildly.

In Los Angeles, John Northrop, head of Northrop Aircraft, stated that it would be two to five years before the United States developed efficient guided missiles. Radar could only work efficiently up to 200 miles as a guidance system; radio, less efficient, could extend 1,200 miles. Jets were still flying 150 mph below Mach I.

U.S. warships were preparing to make their third peacetime voyage into the eastern Mediterranean in the coming weeks, to visit Turkish ports, Beirut, and Piraeus, Greece. The State Department had earlier nixed a round-the-world flight of a B-29 on the basis that it might be perceived by the Soviets as sword rattling.

In West Brentwood, N.Y., four prisoners who had escaped from the Army's Mason General Hospital were back in custody. They had engaged in a battle with guards the previous night to effect their escape. One was a German prisoner of war. One prisoner surrendered shortly after the escape. The other three, including the German, had stolen a farmer's car which then broke down. They then sought refuge in a shack, but were quickly surrounded by police when they saw the men pushing the car, probably with an automatic aboard. The three prisoners were clad only in pajamas and so quickly surrendered in the cold weather. The two Americans had been court martialed for being AWOL, assault without leave.

A well-known Charlotte realtor was appointed to head a special committee to investigate the possibility of City-County Government consolidation.

Dick Young of The News reports that veterans would field a slate of candidates in the spring election for the City Council and mayoral races.

Britain's oldest peer, Baron Hayter, age 98, passed away. Born a commoner, he was knighted by Queen Victoria in 1875 after building up his family's locksmith business, becoming Chubb & Son Lock & Safe Co.

In Beverly Hills, fifteen members of the senior class were to be barred from attending the Beverly Hills High School prom because they had adlibbed certain lines in the senior class revue, already being protested by some parents because of perceived risque material. The lines were changed after the initial approval of the script by the faculty.

We heard that they simply had inserted such lines as, "Hey, this play is not up to Dick."

And then the voluptuous Miss Laird said, "Let them eat cake, but only on Tuesdays."

To which curvaceous Miss Halterlace added, "Welly well, what have you there hanging from your hip, a tomahawk?"

Upon so saying, the promising young Thespian, suited as a Roman soldier, Mr. Errsiegenuberthalermann, a recent immigrant exchange student from Germany by way of Sweden, intruded boldly to exclaim, "Yes, but I've a migraine today, my dear."

Finally, Wallace Edgar Mitchellinski, an eclectically inclined young lad from the East, originally from Hyde Park, transplanted to the West against his will by his stage-struck parents, dressed, as he would, it being of his own choosing, in the treble habits of an antebellum slave master, but oddly wearing with it the boots of Santa Claus, and the jeans of a hayseed, entered the stage to say, "Here I is. Come and get it."

To which a distant voice offstage replies, "I don't gets it at all. What he mean? Ain't it an R ago yet till I already seed that play?"

The major problem, complained some parents, with the whole skit, was that, though having a certain strangely, yet callow, existential, even Odetsesque, patina to it on one plane, not only did the lines make no sense, standing either alone or in combination, but it also left them strangely feeling, in further contemplation, that the best of it had been left on the cutting-room floor, longing for more, something with a bit of the je ne sais quoi qua gravitas.

On the editorial page, "Cart Before the Horse" suggests that Congressman Harold Knutson's statement that he intended, as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, to introduce two tax measures, one to reduce taxes by twenty percent, and the other to eliminate special war taxes, was subject to proper question as to what would be cut to achieve it. He would reduce taxes and Government revenue by three billion dollars, stated that he would do so by eliminating Federal jobs.

Outgoing chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, Robert Doughton of North Carolina, however, had challenged Mr. Knutson on his fuzzy math, wanted particulars on where the budget cuts would occur, which he never received during the campaign, only vague statements.

The piece thinks tax reduction a worthy goal, but not too fast. If the proposals became official Republican policy, then it might very well give the party a black eye right off the bat. A scheme for further unbalancing of an already unbalanced budget rang of demagogy by Fuzzy-Wuzzy.

"UN Might Discover America" examines the effort by some of the foreign delegations to the U.N. to find another site for its permanent headquarters, other than New York. There was a move to take it back to Geneva, site of the old League of Nations headquarters.

The piece cites three invitations from North Carolina, one from the mountains around Asheville, another from the sandhills in the East, and another from islands off the coast. It suggests that the invitations were sincere and that North Carolina would strive to make the U.N. at home.

Regardless of whether it accepted one of the invitations, it might behoove the organization, it says, to find a home other than in New York, that New York was hardly an example of most of the rest of the country.

"Experiment in Journalism" reports of the decision of Marshall Field, owner of the independent and liberal PM, to accept advertising for the first time, a decision based on the idea that control by one man, even if not exacting anything in return in terms of content, was more troubling than to have the newspaper supported by corporate advertisers.

Ralph Ingersoll had, as editor, come up with the concept of an advertising-free newspaper, sustained solely by its subscriptions. But it became quickly apparent after its birth in 1940 that it needed outside money to survive and Mr. Field came to the rescue.

The newspaper was essentially a propaganda tool for liberal interests, supporting labor and intervention from an early point in the war, acted as a counterweight to the conservative-isolationist Chicago Tribune, but, nevertheless, still was propaganda.

The piece posits that newspapers were not so beholding to their advertisers as Mr. Ingersoll suggested, that, while advertisers had some say in content, the newspaper could not survive without readership, and it was ultimately to that readership it had to answer.

Mr. Ingersoll, it suggests, had shown only that freedom without responsibility was meaningless.

It should be noted that two months hence, The News would undergo a change of ownership, passing from the Dowd family to a group of investors, which included the Dowds, with Thomas Robinson, formerly of the New York Times, taking over as Editor from J. E. Dowd, who would become business manager.

So, very soon we shall be able to test the premise somewhat and see whether the type of content in the newspaper changes with new ownership and a new editor, who would also be the chief shareholder in the new partnership. Harry Ashmore was to stay on as Associate Editor, writing editorials, until the following late July, when he would be offered a position as Associate Editor on the Little Rock Gazette. He would soon thereafter become the Editor of that newspaper, and in 1958, receive a Pulitzer Prize for his editorials on the Little Rock school integration crisis of September, 1957, quelling the interracial tensions at work in the community at the time.

Drew Pearson publishes part of a letter he had received from a young discharged Marine of Ohio, concerned about the seeming inability of the Government to resolve the problems in the country and the people blaming it all on President Truman when they, themselves, refused to do anything about the situation, just complained.

Mr. Pearson thinks he hit the nail on the head, that there had been too much complaining, including his own in his column, and not enough doing. Many of the problems stemmed, not from Washington, but from the people of the country expecting too much too fast after the war, basing everything on money, rather than extending sympathy to their neighbor who had lost a son in the war, as had been the case during the fighting. Now the trend was toward selfishness. Even the most brilliant leader could not resolve these basic problems with the people. Only the people could do it.

It was time to turn attention to the other person down the road.

He ventures that bringing more good people into the Executive Branch, including Republicans, would benefit the country. The divided government which would ensue for two years could prove disastrous if allowed to cripple the country.

The President had not hesitated to include Republicans in foreign policy issues, Senator Arthur Vandenberg accompanying Secretary Byrnes to Paris, and former Senator Warren Austin of Vermont having been named Ambassador to the U.N. Former President Hoover had been invited by the President to undertake a study of famine relief in Europe and had issued his report.

He suggests that if the Republicans stayed out of the Democratic domestic program on the notion that they could reap the political benefits in 1948, then the country might drift in the meantime toward depression, leading on eventually to another war.

Marquis Childs comments on election night that the late Chief Justice Harlan Stone had, in one of his earlier dissents to the conservative majority on the Court during the first five years of the Roosevelt Administration, stated that the Court's only restraint was self-restraint. The Court then was blocking New Deal legislation not so much based on law as the Justices' own economic predilections. The result was open warfare from the White House and the President's eventual Court-packing plan of 1937. Stalemate was the order of the day until the Court rapidly began to change in membership between 1939 and 1943.

As the Republicans were assuming power in Congress, the words of Chief Justice Stone, a Republican, should, he ventures, be raised up in neon lights for all to see. Self-restraint needed to become the order of the day. For it was the only way in which divided government could effectively work.

The House floor leadership would likely go either to Representative Clarence Brown of Ohio or Charles Halleck of Indiana. Besides such personal rivalries, there were also differences within the party in ideology. Liberals such as Senator Wayne Morse of Oregon, Senator George Aiken of Vermont, newly elected Senator Ralph Flanders of Vermont and Senator Charles Tobey of New Hampshire, could not be ignored by the conservatives of the party.

The little men of the party who had been waiting in the wings for power for many years potentially could cause major problems if their primary motive would be to turn the clock back. It might jeopardize the prospects for the party in 1948.

Judging from the Republican campaign, says Mr. Childs, it did not appear likely that a great amount of positive leadership would be forthcoming. The reaction to the election in New York was general apathy. Voters voted only out of discontent and distrust.

Harold Ickes reports further on Ambassador Paul McNutt's activities in the Philippines. As High Commissioner the previous spring, he had supported the Bell-Tydings bill which provided for equal ownership rights by Americans in Philippine property despite opposition by the State Department. One of the results had been that his legal adviser, Brig. General Ernest Burt, had been able to purchase land from the peasant farmers for 2.5 million dollars and then resell it to them at higher prices. The land had been owned by the Dominican Order of the Catholic Church which had rented it to the Philippine Government before Japanese occupation. The Government reserved the right to buy it for 1.5 million dollars after 25 years. The lease, however, was not recorded, for want, it was reported, of a quarter recordation fee.

When the Japanese took over in the wake of Pearl Harbor, the puppet Government determined to purchase the land from the church with worthless Japanese currency. Despite the church's refusal to sell, the Government took the land and discontinued the lease payments. The Government then resold the land to the peasants. When General Burt came into the picture after liberation, he bought up all the parcels.

When the deal became public, High Commissioner McNutt made a show of indignation and General Burt was forced into retirement. But he still owned the land and was reselling it. The result was a loss of prestige for America. Mr. Ickes says that Ambassador McNutt would not be able to lobby through a bill to restore it.

Editorials from various North Carolina and South Carolina newspapers assess the election. The Raleigh News & Observer found the results to be reflective of dissatisfaction with the White House and the Democratic Congress in botching the postwar reconversion program. It favors the view expressed in The Hickory Record , which had suggested that the President's leadership in the coming months would be crucial in determining whether he would be re-elected in 1948, that a liberal course ought be charted as an alternative to the Republican plan.

The High Point Enterprise states that whether the Republicans would continue in power in two years would depend on how well they assumed the mantle of leadership. The Government was neither liberal nor progressive, it asserts, and the public wanted an end to socialistic experimentation.

The Charleston News & Courier, a conservative newspaper, states that the "Southern white people" were not prepared to turn Republican, did not know where to turn, felt deserted by the national party to which they belonged. The defeat was not cause for mourning. But there was also no evidence that the Republicans would sympathize with the white Southerners.

It hopes that the West and North might embrace the Southern white people and take them to their bosoms, as they had enjoyed friendship since 1865. Without their help, it says, the Southern land would not have been "this day habitable by a white race."

The Winston-Salem Journal advocates cooperation between the new Congress and the President to solve the problems of the country. How the Republicans accepted the responsibility would determine 1948 and the destiny of the country.

The Greenville News places the burden on the Republicans to put forth positive legislation and believes that the President would not seek to block it purely on partisan grounds.

The Columbia State says that the people had expressed their displeasure with Washington and it was now up to both parties to heed the mandate given the new Republican Congress.

The Asheville Citizen expresses disagreement with Herbert Hoover's pronouncement that the country had moved to the right in repudiation of a planned economy. "Mr. Hoover is not, as he thinks, the voice of the turtle. He is the extremist of the extreme which looks upon any government intervention for social justice as the work of dark powers."

Governor Dewey, in his acceptance speech on re-election in New York, rejected both radicalism and reaction. The piece suggests that the Republican direction would likely be determined by such moderation, from Mr. Dewey and former Minnesota Governor Harold Stassen, rather than RNC chair Carroll Reece, Chicago Tribune publisher Robert McCormick, Sunoco's Joseph Pew, and other such conservative Republican voices.

The Republicans had won with a negative campaign. The fruits of that victory might thus prove negative. It hopes, for the good of the country, that it would be otherwise, that the Republicans would reject the politics of division.

We hate to be the bearer of bad tidings, but you have not seen anything yet. It is going to get a lot worse before it gets any better. Take it from us. We can see a bit further down the road than you.

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