The Charlotte News

Monday, December 16, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the U.N. General Assembly turned the matter of arms reduction over to the eleven-member Security Council and then adjourned, with the next meeting scheduled for September 16 in New York. A special session might occur in the interim to approve an arms reduction plan to be put forth in final detail by the Council.

The meeting had resulted in a feeling of cooperation for the first time between Russia and the West, as Russia had acquiesced on many points which previously it had stubbornly resisted. Delegates attributed the better relations to Secretary of State Byrnes—about to resign—for his disclosure voluntarily of the foreign troop census of America, a matter first proposed by Russia.

U.S. delegate Warren Austin expressed the belief that the session had realized the dream of the U.N. and set the world on the road to permanent peace.

The Senate War Investigating Committee received a report from its counsel that America was spending 171 million dollars annually to feed the U.S. zone of occupation in Germany while Russia paid nothing, had the Germans in its zone eating homegrown food. It was attributed to the failure of attempts to unite Germany economically, pursuant to the terms of the Potsdam agreement of July, 1945.

Senator Josiah William Bailey of North Carolina had passed away the previous day at age 73 from a cerebral hemorrhage. He had been recovering from a heart illness which first came to light eight months earlier, when he suffered on Saturday the hemorrhage. Mr. Bailey had been a liberal early in his political life, but later became conservative shortly after entering the Senate in 1931, vigorously fighting against New Deal proposals, especially the 1937 Supreme Court-packing plan of President Roosevelt. He had, however, supported FDR during each of his four presidential runs.

Governor Gregg Cherry was considering the appointment of a successor to complete the remaining two years of the term. It was thought that William B. Umstead would be the likely choice—as he would be. W. P. Horton was thought a possibility. And future Senator Willis Smith, a Raleigh lawyer, was also being promoted by friends for the position, as was Secretary of State Thad Eure.

The Supreme Court had accepted the ten-point appellate brief of John L. Lewis and the UMW, set for argument January 14. Among the points raised were whether the fines imposed were excessive, 3.5 million dollars against the union and $10,000 against Mr. Lewis; whether the Judge had the authority to issue the restraining order to instruct Mr. Lewis to call off the strike and not declare the Government contract void; whether the Court could extend for ten days the restraining order without the consent of Mr. Lewis; and whether the Court had admitted into evidence irrelevant testimony.

The Supreme Court refused to accept a petition by 219 Indonesian sailors fighting deportation to Java, claiming they faced upon return prosecution and possibly death. The piece reviews various other actions of the Court this date.

A new housing program was said to be in preparation by the new Housing Administrator and Housing Expediter who had just taken office this date, with a goal to increase new housing construction by forty percent and restrict the floor space of new homes to assure affordability.

In Murfreesboro, Tenn., a black man who had barricaded himself in a house and engaged for an hour in gunplay with two law enforcement officers, had been removed and taken into custody.

Katherine Lawrence of Chester, England, provides the first of a six-part series on her impressions of Charlotte gleaned during a recent visit. The pieces would be printed also in Chester. She had been drawn to the city by the presence of her brother, found it not as she had pictured it, insipid and full of bumptious arrogance and dust-covered streets beneath perpetually blue skies. She found instead a community firmly ensconced in its history, a town with a soul and definite personality. She had come to love the city, its greenness, the architectural charm of Elizabeth Avenue where she was staying. In England, such a suburb would be miles from town and peopled only by the near rich, with proper political connections and pedigree.

She next intends to provide some impressions of English everyday life, to impart of the common factors shared by Americans in the conduct daily of their homes.

A photograph appears of two collies, Waldi and Netli, who opened the window of the house in which they resided and patiently awaited daily to be fed. They responded to both English and Swiss.

Freck Sproles tells further of the needy in reliance on the Empty Stocking Fund, among them a widow with three children, who was unable to provide them with toys at Christmas.

The Fund, including a $5 contribution by Anonymous No. 5, and another $5 contribution from Bess "The Horse"—not to mention $21 from the Adams family, including $10 from J. R. and $1 from Gee Bee—, had risen to $4,735.25, enough for each of the 2,000 needy children to have a $2.36 toy—and still climbing. Pretty soon, you can own the whole city.

On the editorial page, "Free Enterprise Means Competition" quotes from Wendell Berge, Assistant Attorney General, Justice Department authority on anti-trust laws, stating that Americans did not at present have control over their economic destiny because of the concentration of control of the wealth in a few large corporations.

The war had accelerated the trend. It provides examples from A. G. Mezerik's Revolt of the South and West: 80 percent of the cigarettes and 64 percent of the smoking tobacco was produced by three companies; 55 percent of the beef, 83 percent of the veal, and 56 percent of the hides came from three major packers; 44 percent of the canned milk and 42 percent of the cheese were produced by three dairies; 67 percent of the plums and 56 percent of the asparagus were canned by three canning companies.

In 1929, 48 percent of wage earners had been employed by 3.8 percent of the employers, while in 1937, 51 percent of the workers were employed by the same 3.8 percent, and by 1944, 62 percent were employed by only two percent of the employers.

This monopolization had transpired amid all the talk of free enterprise being restricted by the New Deal and the war. Free enterprise, however, could not survive without competition. Monopolies tended to thrive absent government control, strangling competition.

"Henry Wallace and the World" tells of Mr. Wallace taking over the editorial page of The New Republic since the former Vice-President's departure from Government in September. He was arguing in his initial editorial that both major political parties were now in the hands of conservatives, setting forth his views on how the Democrats ought function.

It extensively quotes Mr Wallace's views on foreign policy, clarifying his criticism of the Byrnes get-tough policy with Russia, over which the former Secretary of Commerce had gotten into hot water and been forced to resign in the wake of his speech at Madison Square Garden on September 12.

He stated that there was a dangerous drift toward war which was leading the U.S. to prop up corrupt and undemocratic regimes to act as bulwarks against Russia. A dangerous arms race was forming, in which America was spending 13 billion dollars per year while Russia maintained five million men in the Red Army, as its factories and fields remained idle. UNRRA was expiring at the end of the year with nothing put forward to replace it. Russia was utilizing German scientists to build rockets capable of attacking America as other German scientists were busy aiding America in the development of its own rockets capable of attacking Russia.

The search for security was leading to insecurity and war. "Security alone can never be achieved." It was no more attainable than happiness by searching for happiness.

Real security came from the establishment of democracy everywhere, with nations accepting international law, and living standards being raised. World welfare had to be undertaken before any permanent peace and security could be reached.

The piece finds Mr. Wallace's articulation of his position not to be appeasement of Russia, as he was sometimes accused of advocating. Nor was it a new or radical thesis. It had been the basis for American foreign policy until the end of the war. It was the premise for the creation of the U.N.

The country needed reminding that during the previous year, the bi-partisan foreign policy had reversed course, now favoring limited internationalism, dividing the world quickly into two armed camps. Only Henry Wallace, and no political party, was present to express the contrarian view.

The editorial finds it unlikely that Mr. Wallace, alone, could alter the course of the policy, but deserved an A for effort and a break from being labeled a Red.

"Keep Your Guard Up, Santa" comments on Christmas being a season of loose talk, in addition to holiday cheer. When a member of the younger generation expressed his wishes for Christmas, cautious parents often provided a qualified promise, upon the contingency of good behavior.

In New Britain, Conn., the previous week, it had been reported that a five-year old boy, upset over not having received his bicycle requested of Santa the previous year, socked him in the jaw.

The piece thinks the assault justified, a proper reminder that Santa Claus was a scapegoat for all the broken promises of parents.

Drew Pearson tells of a meeting the previous week between John L. Lewis's lawyers, Tom Clark, and Chief Justice Fred Vinson , in which was discussed the Supreme Court taking the case on appeal directly from the District Court on an emergency basis. Mr. Lewis's lawyers wanted a 25-day delay in the hearing to prepare their arguments. Mr. Clark wanted it set right away, on December 16. Chief Justice Vinson had stated his inclination to set oral arguments for the following Thursday, December 12, five days after the meeting. Two hours after that, Mr. Lewis called off the strike.

He next tells of Senator Tom Connally of Texas falling for the charms of those at the State Department, such as Outerbridge Horsey, who handled Spanish affairs, regarding the determination of how to handle Franco's Spain. Senator Connally had, during debate at the U.N., stated that the U.S. would not be bound by any resolution regarding Franco. The statement shocked other delegates and eventually Senator Connally apologized for the remark, stating that he had not meant it.

Other members of the delegation, Warren Austin, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Congresswoman Helen Gahagan Douglas, were opposed to his initial stance. Senator Arthur Vandenburg had also told the Senator that he was making the U.S. appear ridiculous. Undersecretary of State Dean Acheson had likewise called his hand.

At one point, Senator Connally was heard on an open microphone, of which he was oblivious, asking the British delegate Sir Hartley Shawcross how he should vote on the Franco matter. He was told to abstain and Senator Connally obliged.

The State Department now hoped to replace Franco with Indalecio Prieto, a member of the Loyalist Government, who favored a negotiated peace with Franco. Mr. Horsey had been educated in England, explaining perhaps his siding with the British in their defense of Franco.

Marquis Childs reports on the little noticed fact that President Truman had recently appointed a Committee on Civil Rights comprised of distinguished citizens, based on a plan by Attorney General Tom Clark, to develop legislation to enable the Federal Government to act when the civil rights of minorities were violated. It had arisen in response to the July lynchings of the two black couples near Monroe, Ga., by a mob of white men during broad daylight.

Mr. Clark had impaneled a special Grand Jury in Atlanta to look at the case. The Attorney General wanted a new law to empower Federal authorities to go beyond state authorities in such cases, albeit hoping to avoid the use of the catch-phrase "anti-lynching law", so unpopular in the South. Working with him was North Carolinian T. Lamar Caudle, Assistant Attorney General, (a friend of the late Congressman Joe Ervin, discovering on the previous Christmas Day the body of the Congressman, following his suicide in Washington).

The Republicans were likely to set off a pious campaign for an anti-lynching bill, confident that Southern reaction would filibuster it to death, leaving the Republicans to reap benefits politically outside the South. But the bill proposed by Mr. Clark would try to construct compromise legislation acceptable to both Southerners and Northern Republicans.

The chairman of the Civil Rights Committee was Charles E. Wilson, president of General Electric. Its membership included Dr. Frank Porter Graham, president of the University of North Carolina, Monsignor Francis J. Haas, bishop of Grand Rapids, Mich., the Rev. Henry Knox Sherrill of Boston, and Morris L. Ernst, a lawyer from New York.

During the year and a half since VJ-Day, Mr. Childs remarks, there had been relatively little racial strife, and the creation of the Committee was a wise move on the part of the President to prevent future disturbances.

Harold Ickes comments on President Truman not having re-appointed Dr. Ross McIntire, personal physician to FDR, as the Surgeon General of the Navy. It was, he says, the result of party politics, causing the sacrifice of the last of the Roosevelt inner circle. Dr. McIntire had readied the Navy Medical Service for the war and performed admirably in the role, anticipating well the medical needs of the Navy. Why the President had demoted him was not readily understandable.

Commodore Vardaman had, while a Captain in the Navy, gone to a Naval hospital in New York, and, finding it not to his liking, transferred to a hospital in St. Louis without permission, then charged the Government for his transportation. The expense was routinely disallowed, but Captain Vardaman blamed Dr. McIntire. President Truman made Captain Vardaman a Commodore and took him on as his chief Naval aide. Commodore Vardaman was found to hate FDR and everything for which he had stood. He also disliked Dr. McIntire. It was the Commodore's advice to the President which nixed the Admiral's reappointment as Surgeon General of the Navy.

The President had named in his stead Captain Clifford Swanson, after first promoting him to Rear Admiral. He had a good medical record, but had no executive experience. Mr. Ickes hopes that he nonetheless had executive ability.

A letter from Inez Flow regarding her favorite topic, liquor, discusses the campaign waged by the beer and liquor manufacturers to apprise the public of the taxes they paid. She thinks such public education on liquor to be appalling. She finds drunkenness to have increased since the repeal of prohibition in 1933. She wants the power of the press used to attack liquor rather than advocating legal consumption.

A letter from Mr. Robinson accepts the apology issued December 11 by Mr. Horne of Manly Dorm in Chapel Hill. He thanks him for the offer of the book on argument for $2, but claims to be the author of numerous books on the subject and had read many as well, including Blackstone and Darrow.

He says, having interpolated from the address of Mr. Horne, that he remembered twenty years earlier when he thought as a student that he knew everything. He recommends, for $35, "Requirements of a Valid Argument", by Blackstone or Darrow.

Parenthetically, we think we read one of Mr. Robinson's books in grade school: "How to Argue Your Way Out of the Paper Bag You Are In after Using It to Forestall Hyperventilation, in Four Easy Steps", with a special foreword by Delbert G. Blackstone and Oliver Wendell Darrow III, both law partners in Porcupine Flats, doing a booming business selling cactus lands to gold prospectors.

It's a good thing the student did not live nearby in Grimes or Mr. Robinson would have, no doubt, argued the premise of dirt.

R. F. Beasley, of the Monroe Journal, writes of the letter to The News from the Hatteras, N.C., postmistress who had been turned out of her 32-year civil service position, she claimed, based on politics, because she had not supported the local Congressman. She had found the spoils system as dirty as during the term of Andrew Jackson.

Mr. Beasley instructs that President Jackson had not been corrupt and those who had been fired by him simply had more ability to be heard, had considered their offices as inviolate personal possessions.

He concludes by suggesting that perhaps when the Republicans, now that they had power in Congress, would shake out all of the Democratic postmasters, this woman might feel her position avenged.

Incidentally, in the interest of fuller disclosure, at Christmas, 1965, at our specific request, we received, among other gifts, a copy of Barry McGuire's album, titled "Eve of Destruction", the recent release at the time by the Rolling Stones, "December's Children", and, wethinks, one other, which we cannot recall directly, but which might one day come to us indirectly. "Rubber Soul" had come our way earlier in the month, and it was very good. It was a happy Christmas, even if, should we recall accurately, a bit rainy, hazy, and grey out of the doors. Albums, by the way, in those days, so that you won't think us to have been preeminently spoiled, went for a cool $2.77 on discount, which was usually, leaving aside snobbery, how we obtained them, except for those of Los Cinco Fabulosos, whose spinners we had to have as soon as a new one hit the shops, wherein prices were, in our little village in the Alps, immutably and fixedly set at standard retail, $3.98 for albums and $1 for the little ones with the bigger hole, yet but a small trifling skimption of luxury for which to suffer the loss of pennies in price for being among the first to have, not just once but more than thrice, within the Alpine Sea of Verrazzano.

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