The Charlotte News

Tuesday, December 10, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Capitol Hill lawmakers of both parties had set March 31 as a deadline for new labor-restrictive legislation, to avoid another coal strike which John L. Lewis had indicated would occur on that date, depending on the Supreme Court ruling in his contempt case. The President assigned Clark Clifford to draft Administration proposals on the labor legislation. He was said not to want punitive legislation but desired to insure responsibility by labor.

Republicans were preparing a law providing for compulsory arbitration.

Meanwhile, the nation's coal mines were approaching normal production capacity in their second day of resumed operation following John L. Lewis's declaration putting an end to the strike on Saturday. Economists predicted, however, that it could take one or two months for the economy to recover fully from the 17-day strike and reach the pre-strike level of production in affected industries. It would take two to three weeks for the steel industry, hardest hit of the impacted industries, to return to normal, while the auto industry would take only a week or two. But the country had also not been forced to endure a severely impacting strike of prolonged duration.

Secretary of State Byrnes told the Foreign Ministers Council meeting in New York that he was opposed to any discussion of the German treaty until the views of the smaller nations had been heard. V. M. Molotov, however, had opposed this plan of action, but stated he would reconsider.

The next Foreign Ministers Council was to meet in Moscow in March.

A drafting committee on arms limitation heard conflicting views on how inspections should be effected, the U.S. favoring unlimited power by the Security Council to set up as many commissions as it deemed necessary to control inspection, while the Russians favored creation of only two commissions, one for policing reduction of armaments and the other for policing the prohibition against use of atomic energy for military purposes. Both countries agreed that there would be no veto on the commissions and that they would work by majority decision. The Security Council, however, would have final say on any sanctions to be imposed for violations which were discovered.

The Political and Scientific Committee of the U.N. approved a resolution to withdraw immediately all ambassadors and plenipotentiaries from Franco's Spain.

Chinese Communists had battled to within ten miles of Paoting, the capital of Hopeh Province, and a concerted attack on Paoting was expected shortly. Fighting continued in Honan, Shansi, and Shangtung Provinces as well. Some 80,000 Communist troops were advancing on two Government strongholds in Honan, and had captured several cities in Shansi. The Communists only held one major port, at Chefoo. According to Government officials, the Communists were preparing to engage 100,000 to 150,000 troops in a new campaign in Northern Manchuria.

In Atlanta, the State Attorney General indicated that Georgia had obtained evidence supporting criminal charges against the racist, anti-Semitic Columbians, Inc., whose goal was to establish a Nazi-like government in the United States. They had conspired to bring false arrests of innocent citizens, to assemble a private arsenal of deadly weapons, and two officers of the organization, Emory Burke and Homer Loomis, along with Ira Jett, had planned and carried out the bombing of a home in Atlanta, as well as having engaged in other unlawful acts.

The following February, Mr. Burke and Mr. Loomis would be convicted in Atlanta of misdemeanor counts of assuming the duties of a police officer without lawful authority to do so. Mr. Burke was sentenced to three years on the roads and Mr. Loomis to two years. The Georgia Court of Appeals would reverse the conviction of Mr. Loomis, but would affirm that of Mr. Burke. Mr. Loomis would also be convicted of conspiracy to riot, a misdemeanor, and sentenced to a year in jail based on his involvement in the beating of a black man in Atlanta on October 27, 1946. The Georgia Court of Appeals would uphold the latter misdemeanor conviction, stating:

There was some evidence from which the jury trying the case would have been authorized to find facts substantially as follows: that the defendant, Emory C. Burke, James Ralph Childers, Clarence H. Kite and others were members of an organization in the City of Atlanta known as the Columbians; that some of the members of this organization including the defendant formulated over-all plans whereby they were to take over the governments of the City of Atlanta, then the State of Georgia, the United States, and ultimately get control of the entire universe; that as a part of this plan they would depart Negroes and Jews and those who refused to go would be destroyed; that in connection with the taking over of the City of Atlanta they held meetings, policed certain areas of the City, and undertook to regulate and zone areas wherein only whites would be permitted to live; that in connection with this particular type of work the Columbians' headquarters was called on the 28th day of October, 1946 and information given that a Negro woman was throwing rocks through the windows of a house in a certain section of the City of Atlanta; that some time after dark on that night, several Columbians, including the defendant, went to the scene and the defendant led an investigation of the matter; that Childers, in the presence of the defendant, was given a pistol by another Columbian, Ira Jett, who kept quite a number of firearms and quite a supply of ammunition in his home, and the defendant armed Clarence H. Kite with a blackjack; they were left at the scene by the defendant together with others; that the defendant instructed them that if they saw any Negroes about the streets of this part of the City to beat them up and hold them until he returned; that a short time after he left the scene a young Negro man, Clifford Hines, appeared and some one of the party of Columbians inquired, 'Is that a Negro?' whereupon the Negro answered, 'Yes, boss, I'm on my way home,' after which the party rushed upon the Negro, caught him, knocked him down, beat him about his head with the blackjack, stifled his screams, dragged him back to the street, hailed a passing motorist, loaded him in the car, and then Childers took the pistol, pointed it at his head and informed him that if he cried out he would fill him full of lead; that at this point a policeman came upon the scene and all of the Columbians' party ran except Childers who was arrested and carried to jail along with Hines.

In New York, 28 passengers on a train were injured when a gang of boys stoned 25 Long Island railroad trains near the Rego Park station in Queens. Most of the injured were cut by flying glass. The boys disappeared.

Also in New York, youthful vandals were being blamed for a five-alarm fire at a schoolhouse after firemen found broken desks and paper scattered about on the third floor where the fire had started. Boys had been seen running from the building just before the fire began.

In Easton, Pa., the couple who had been convicted of involuntary manslaughter for refusing treatment on religious grounds to their two-year old son, who had died after falling into a tub of scalding water, were given a fine of $55 and a suspended sentence of nine to eighteen months. They were then released from custody.

Senator Clyde Hoey of North Carolina warned the National Cotton Council's Carolinas convention that cotton grown in the United States was an industry threatened with extinction by world competition. But mechanization also held the promise of the greatest prosperity ever for the cotton farmer.

Two alleged kingpins of the Charlotte numbers racket were to be tried in January in Superior Court regardless of the absence of the State's principal witness against them, who had skipped town and could not be found. A Superior Court judge also placed $7,500 fines in lieu of previously imposed prison sentences on two of the minor defendants previously found guilty in Recorder's Court of aiding the racket. The reason for the change was that the case against the two had been based on a faulty arrest warrant.

The Empty Stocking Fund had risen to $1,923.50, including $25 contributed by Mayor Baxter. Each of the 2,000 needy children now could have a toy costing $.96.

On the editorial page, "John L. Lewis Vs. Santa Claus" finds unpersuasive the motives which John L. Lewis had advanced for ending the coal strike, to enable the Supreme Court to decide the case without interference from public opinion swayed by the strike, and for the public interest. It thus looks for a truer motive.

An A. P. report had stated that 441 mines, employing 13,000 miners, were operating despite the strike, in Ohio, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. A spokesman for the West Virginia coal mines stated that one-sixth of normal coal production had occurred during the first ten days of the strike period. These reports suggested that the rank-and-file had not uniformly gone along with the strike. The UMW could not afford to pay miners strike pay and so the miners had been simply losing wages at a crucial time when winter was coming on.

Santa Claus may have been, therefore, ultimately the man who conquered John L. Lewis.

Employers, despite the accumulated power of unions, still held principal bargaining power. While the operator lost profits in a strike, the worker lost pay. The problem would likely haunt union bosses with increasing frequency in the future, regardless of what the Congress would do to revise the Wagner Act.

Strikes were now only improving slightly working and wage conditions which were not so bad, a very different scenario from earlier days. Thus, the miners were not so responsive and enthusiastic to the calling of a strike to increase wages by ten dollars per week, necessitating in the bargain a bleak Christmas.

In the future, union bosses might actually begin to ask whether a strike was really worth the sacrifice.

"There'll Always Be a Barracks" expresses shock at the announcement that the Army was planning to spend a billion dollars to construct new barracks, with 60 million of the fund earmarked for immediate use. It suggested that the Army was foreseeing a future need for such quarters.

The fact that this essential housing would, no doubt, be quickly built flew in the face of the nearly abandoned program of providing affordable housing for veterans. The Army and the Government provided to the man in service, but once he hung up his uniform, he was on his own.

"Furred, Feathered, Finny Rebels" discovers, a year after checking in with similar snippets, that George Orwell's Animal Farm might not be relegated strictly to the realm of fantasy. For the National Safety Council had reported that a woman was driving along the road when a field mouse suddenly appeared on the seat beside her, causing her to hit a telephone pole. The mouse jumped through the window, presumably, suggests the piece, to report his successful mission to headquarters.

In Baltimore, a police dog reached up on a bureau and pulled the trigger of a pistol, shooting a woman in the bathtub.

In LaGrange, Oregon, a man laid a freshly caught salmon on the seat of his car and began driving home. The salmon sneezed and the driver lost control, was finished when a grasshopper flew in the window.

Near Louisville, a rabbit wounded by a hunter, stuck his paw out of the hunting bag, pulled the trigger of a shotgun, shooting the hunter in the foot.

In Australia, a man attempting to pin down a wounded kangaroo by placing his rifle butt against its neck, was shot when the forepaw of the marsupial pulled the trigger.

It suggests that the vigilantes stop worrying about the Russians and instead keep an eye peeled for the threat from the backyard.

A piece from the Concord Tribune, titled "Minority Denied a Hearing", comments on the State Board of Education receiving messages that it give consideration to the higher salary increase favored by the South Piedmont teachers instead of the 20 percent increase endorsed by the North Carolina Education Association. The Board had dismissed the entreaties as coming from only one section of the state.

The piece thinks it unfair, that the Board ought listen to the plaint, as there were many groups in the Eastern part of the state and in the West, who favored the higher salary. But, it resignedly states, that was always the way the Board functioned, taking advice from whomever supported its own predetermined ideas and ignoring the rest.

A squib says: "Return of the two-pants suit calls attention to the sadly unpressed condition of the otherwise debonair G.O.P. elephant in the victory cartoons."

Drew Pearson provides a list of the income received by the family of John L. Lewis, starting with his own $25,000 salary plus expenses. Eleven family members raked in $150,000 annually from UMW dues.

He next informs that President Truman regularly consulted his Missouri cronies before making any decision. When Housing Expediter Wilson Wyatt, just resigned, had sought a showdown with the President on the housing program, John Steelman and Clark Clifford were busy telling Mr. Wyatt that the housing program had to fit within the broader decontrol program. Mr. Wyatt was unwilling to remain with limited powers, favoring continued control of raw materials to enable housing for veterans. The President stated that he could not agree with Mr. Wyatt's position and so he resigned.

An announcement of the decision was drafted by Mr. Clifford, saying that Mr. Wyatt was resigning because he had finished his job. Mr. Wyatt protested, refused to accept such a letter, and so the statement was removed. Mr. Wyatt worked with Mr. Clifford on a letter which would protect the President politically. Mr. Clifford stated that the White House was not going to release Mr. Wyatt's letter to the President anent housing, despite Mr. Wyatt's protests that it should be done.

A piece, originally appearing in the Detroit Free Press, by John S. Knight, conservative owner-publisher of a string of conservative newspapers, (subsequently known as Knight-Ridder), attacks Housing Expediter Wyatt, prior to his resignation. He finds the country, which had spent billions on the war effort, to have been criminally negligent in not providing adequate post-war housing for the veterans.

He suggests that the President send Mr. Wyatt packing and hire William Knudsen back from G.M. to do the job, as he had during the war. He should also invoke his still extant wartime powers to get the homes built for the veterans and fulfill that promise in return for the sacrifice which they had made during the war.

Marquis Childs tells of Iceland being as a miniature France, pulled in various political directions at once, left or right. Iceland was a vital stepping stone on the air route to Europe. The U.S. had recently signed an agreement with Iceland to allow American use of Meeks Airfield, built by the U.S. during the war, to service U.S. planes as long as the Government had occupation troops in Germany, a treaty which could not be altered for six and a half years, until the beginning of 1953. The Communists in the country had done what they could to block the vote in Iceland, labeling the United States imperialistic and militaristic in its motives.

The U.S. had returned to Iceland all of the bases it built during the war, including Meeks.

Russia had given ten million dollars to Iceland the previous spring by purchasing at $100 per ton above the world price Iceland's chief export, frozen fish, and then selling to Iceland coal from Silesia in Poland, and lumber, probably from Finland, at below the world price, giving Iceland a net balance of ten million dollars. Meanwhile, there was an acute shortage of housing and lumber in Russian cities.

Iceland's Cabinet positions were divided between two Communists, two Social Democrats, and two Conservatives.

A few days after the treaty with the U.S. was signed, Russia offered to buy all of Iceland's 1947 production of fish, provided they could also purchase the herring oil, desired by both Britain and the U.S.

Iceland, he concludes, was no longer isolated but had become a center of attention for the major powers.

Samuel Grafton, in Mexico City, provides a look at the "irreverent exuberance" of the Mexican lifestyle, with three newspapers devoted to bullfighting, a coffin-maker who called his business "Quo Vadis?", a pulqueria which had the name "Memories of the Future", after the proprietor's previous drinking establishment, called "The Future", had burned down.

Mexico sought to emulate the United States in its movie-making, but the Mexican intelligentsia complained of too much of the fare consisting of stories of cowboys, the Charros, and the hacienda life of forty years earlier. Churubusco, where many of the movies were made, appeared as fine as anything in Hollywood. But there were no writers under contract to the studios in Mexico. Nor were there agents hawking scripts, which could be purchased in the marketplace at a tenth or less the cost of American scripts. The budget of the Mexican film was about a fifth of its Hollywood counterparts. The poorly paid writers might explain why Mexican films had not gained a place in the theaters of the world.

No one in Mexico made his living as a novelist. Rafael Munos worked for the Government. Rodolfo Usigli was in the diplomatic service. Gregorio Lopez y Fuentes edited a newspaper.

American studios had come to Mexico to make films. RKO was making Maxwell Anderson's "Winterset" at Churubusco, in an adaptation by Salvado Novo, called "Lower Depths".

The movie industry served in microcosm as an exhibit of the relationship generally between industrialization and the revolution in Mexico, the two being disconnected, but the revolution hoping that industrialization would bring forth the economic progress promised by the revolution.

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