The Charlotte News

Monday, December 30, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that a majority, 8 of 12 votes, of the U.N. Atomic Energy Commission had approved of the U.S. plan for control of atomic weapons. Russian delegate Andrei Gromyko objected to the plan, contending that there was need to outlaw atomic weapons, not just control atomic energy. He rejected the abolition of the veto with respect to Security Council enforcement of the plan, claiming that it was essentially a revision of the U.N. Charter. Russia would be able to veto the plan within the Security Council. The Soviets favored the absence of the veto, however, in the inspection and control organizations, but wanted them subject to the final approval of the Security Council for any recommended sanctions for violations.

A House committee on postwar economic policy charged that Russia was engaged in virtual economic enslavement in Eastern Europe and its German occupation zone, recommended renunciation of the Potsdam accord and demand that Russia leave Germany should the Soviet be found to be using German war plants to rearm itself.

President Truman appointed Carroll Louis Wilson, a 36-year old engineer, to be the general manager of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission. He had been assistant to Dr. Vannevar Bush during the war and had been a consultant to the Commission since the previous October.

The President had also appointed A. L. M. Wiggins of Hartsville, S.C., a banker, to become Undersecretary of the Treasury, replacing O. Max Gardner who had been appointed as Ambassador to Great Britain, to become effective when the Senate approved the appointment of Mr. Gardner.

Representative Harold Knutson of Minnesota, to become chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee, reaffirmed his stance to have income taxes reduced by 20 percent across the board. He also wanted a thorough investigation into foreign trade and tariff policies, and liberalization of the Social Security laws to include some 20 million workers denied coverage, including persons who were self-employed, farmers, domestic workers, and professional people.

Senator Alexander Wiley of Wisconsin warned against repeal by the new Congress of all wartime controls at once, that the result could produce chaos.

The Republicans were meeting to select the leadership of their steering committee for the new Congress, despite objection from Senator Charles Tobey of New Hampshire, contending that the selection should not take place until the new Congress actually convened on Friday.

According to the Solid Fuels Administration in Washington, the bituminous coal industry, which had been shut down twice in 1946 by strikes, including the most recent one in November, another in the spring, had produced 9.5 percent less coal during the year than in 1945. Anthracite coal, not affected by strikes, jumped 9.9 percent in production.

The National Association of Manufacturers criticized the report of Dr. Robert Nathan prepared for the CIO, arguing that, based on profits, industry could afford up to 25 percent wage increases without raising prices.

A severe windstorm struck Southern Christian and Todd Counties in Kentucky, including the Army post at Camp Campbell, where $350,000 worth of damage was reported. No one was killed and only two persons were injured.

In Los Angeles County, grocery clerks were planning to go on strike starting Thursday. Get your groceries early.

In Los Angeles, divorce filings and marriage filings had increased from 1945, with the average being five divorces for every six and a fraction marriages.

Also in Los Angeles, composer Wakefield Cadman, whose compositions included "Land of the Sky Blue Waters" and "At Dawning", was reported seriously ill at age 65.

In New York, the retail price of Scotch, bonded bourbons, and ryes were cut by several liquor retailers, the result of a price war locally following OPA release of controls.

In Chicago, the director of the zoo stated that stacks of mail which had come to him after his suggestion that surplus zoo animals would make nice Christmas gifts, had indicated a definite lack of preference for wildebeests and sitatungas, for which he received no offers. Most of the bids were for monkeys and a baboon for sale, going for $40 and $65 each, respectively. Small alligators, selling for $1 per foot, up to five feet in length, and $2 per foot for larger sizes, were in demand from Floridians and Louisianans. Small snakes were not listed on the bill-of-fare or on the bill of lading.

On the editorial page, "The Lynching Record for '46" tells of the downward progression during the war of lynchings in the South, five in 1942, three in 1943, two in 1944, and one in 1945, only to see six persons lynched, according to Tuskegee Institute records, in 1946—four in the Monroe, Georgia, case of the two couples lynched in July in broad daylight by a mob of unmasked white men who stopped them at a bridge as they were being taken back to their homes by their employer, a local farmer, following the release from jail of one of the two men, brothers, who had an altercation with another white farmer.

There were four other cases which were considered borderline lynchings by the Institute and 17 instances involving 22 victims in which lynchings were averted by prompt intervention from law enforcement or private citizens. All of the cases, save one, took place in the South.

All six of the lynchings were the result of trivial offenses against the victims, in three instances in the Monroe case, because the three happened to be in the car with the man who was the target.

While the statistics were insignificant when laid alongside traffic deaths or other forms of murder, they were a different specie of crime because of their involving the community mores, not just an individual act of negligence or deliberate violence. Lynching, to be so categorized, had to involve mob action based on race. It tainted not only the actors involved in the crime, but also those members of the community who condoned it.

The South could not blink the fact that lynching occurred only where racial prejudice thrived, assuring the perpetrators of the crimes commission with impunity. It was no accident that five of the six lynchings occurred in Georgia and Mississippi where the now deceased former Governor Eugene Talmadge and Senator Theodore Bilbo had campaigned in the 1946 primaries in those states on the basis of white supremacy.

The fact of the six lynchings stood as stark testimony that the South had not conquered its history of racial prejudice and hatred. Ground gained during the war had been lost.

"The Matter of Immigration" comments on whether immigration quotas would be increased by the 80th Congress, as urged by the President, to allow displaced persons from Europe into the country. Conservative newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst and columnist Westbrook Pegler, in the Hearst stable, argued that all immigration should be halted, as did now Senator Elmer Thomas of Oklahoma.

Senator Thomas ignored the moral issue at stake as to whether the country should turn its back on the immigrants in need of refuge. The piece remarks that the scientists who had been instrumental in development of the atomic bomb were primarily immigrants or of recent immigrant background. It thus poses the question whether it was practical to try to keep immigrants out of the country.

"Report on the Man in the Cab" tells of the New York Times deciding to use the locomotive engineers across the globe as a barometer of how things were for the average person in 1946, thus dispatching reporters around the world to find out how they lived. An engineer in the United States received $600 per month, one in Japan, $25, in Russia, $750, in Spain, $56, and in Great Britain, $109. There were great variations also in the living standards which could be afforded by them.

The Times concluded that the result would be about the same for almost any other occupation on which comparison was made. The average locomotive engineer could not be pinned neatly into a category according to The Times, remaining individuals. The study was thus reassuring.

A piece from the Asheville Citizen, "Charlotte Looks It Over", comments on the series of articles by Burke Davis during December showing that Charlotte led the state in rate of arrests for public drunkenness despite Mecklenburg County being dry. It suggests that the city had outgrown its tolerance for prohibition, supported by illegal bootlegging operations, not paying revenue to county and city coffers.

Drew Pearson discusses how General Eisenhower was selected as Supreme Allied Commander for the Normandy invasion on June 6, 1944. It had been made on the last day of the November-December, 1943 Tehran Conference of the Big Three, FDR, Prime Minister Churchill, and Josef Stalin. Messrs. Churchill and Stalin had argued vehemently over the avenue for opening of a second front, Churchill wanting it to be through the Balkans and Stalin desiring an invasion via the English Channel, Stalin's reasoning being based on the desire to take pressure off the Eastern front.

At the conclusion of the meeting in which the decision was made for the Channel invasion, Stalin raised the question of who would be the military commander of the expeditionary force. Churchill had abruptly replied that it would be "COSAIC", that is the Supreme Allied Commander, and stalked from the room. At Roosevelt's urging, the three then met again an hour later to discuss the matter further. Stalin demanded that the commander be named or he would not agree to any of the other provisions reached at the meeting. FDR agreed that the commander would then be selected.

Roosevelt then consulted with Admirals William Leahy and Ernest King, both of whom favored General George C. Marshall, then Army chief of staff, as the commander. FDR agreed but Churchill refused his assent, believing General Marshall to be anti-British in sentiment.

President Roosevelt told General Marshall that he intended to announce his appointment if he wanted the position, and Churchill would never back down on his commitments, as he had threatened to do. General Marshall, however, believed that the commander ought have the full support of the Allies, though the U.S. was supplying 70 percent of the personnel and 80 percent of the materiel for the invasion. He believed that otherwise Churchill would sabotage the invasion. General Marshall recommended General Eisenhower, and thus the General became Allied Commander.

He next praises Office of War Mobilization director John R. Steelman for having recommended the abolition of the office, with Mr. Steelman reverting to his old position as special assistant to the President.

Marquis Childs discusses DNC chairman and Postmaster General Robert Hannegan and the rumors that he would resign as DNC chairman following the Republican landslide in the Congressional election in November. Mr. Childs indicates that if he did so, it would only suit the pleasure of the Southern conservatives, desiring a return of the party to its pre-New Deal form.

Mr. Hannegan had been party chairman in 1944 when FDR won his fourth term. Ed Flynn of New York had been chairman in 1940. Jim Farley, who had been the chairman in 1936 and had engineered FDR's win in 1932, had stepped aside in 1940, opposing the third term, and had not participated actively in 1944. Mr. Farley wanted Mr. Hannegan to step aside in favor of fresh blood in the Democratic leadership.

But Mr. Childs suggests that, given the outcome in 1940 and 1944, it was not so much the political leadership which determined the result of elections, but rather the dynamic of the times. With the war over, it was likely inevitable that the Republicans would achieve their victory, regardless of who the professional politicians were in the party leadership.

Harold Ickes discusses the effort of the Senate to oust Senator Theodore Bilbo or prevent him from taking his oath as a Senator the following Friday. A simple majority could prevent him from taking the oath, but a two-thirds majority was necessary for expulsion after Friday.

The evidence adduced by the War Investigating Committee that he had accepted payments for war contracts and, in one instance, for helping a man obtain narcotics legally from a doctor, was sufficient to warrant expulsion, especially when coupled with the evidence before another committee that he had his henchmen intimidate black voters, who made up nearly half the eligible voters in Mississippi, out of exercising their franchise in the primary.

Mr. Ickes raises the previous cases of Republican Senators Frank L. Smith of Illinois and William S. Vare of Pennsylvania in 1926, denied their seats by a Republican majority in the Senate for having spent too much money in the primary, undermining the trust of the electorate and hence the dignity of the Senate. Based on that precedent, the Senate ought deny Mr. Bilbo his seat, and for the Democrats to permit him on partisan grounds to remain would place the Senate itself in a bad light, making the body "an accessory after the fact in political high crimes and misdemeanors".

A letter writer tells of spending Christmas with her husband, a veteran flier of the war in Europe, and three children in a cold schoolhouse because of the absence of available housing at Morris Field in Charlotte, having been refused emergency housing at the former Army Air Forces training facility, now owned by the city, after they were evicted from their apartment.

A letter writer with several children also was seeking housing at Morris Field, asks whether one resident who reported having a playroom at the facility would mind renting that to her family.

The editors respond that the impression given in an article that the couple in question had extra room was incorrect, that the family of four lived in a small four-room apartment.

A letter from a doctor tells of the shortage of trained nurses in the state.

A letter comments on the News editorial of December 23 which had taken issue with Drew Pearson's reporting of the John W. Bricker faux pas at the Gridiron Club dinner in Washington, finding Mr. Pearson to have committed a "childish trick" in violating the usual confidence afforded the participants at the dinner and reporting of Mr. Bricker's harsh and impolitic rhetoric directed at the President, not usually the case at the annual dinner, suggesting that Senator-elect Bricker had shot himself in the foot in one fell stroke for the Republican nomination for the presidency in 1948.

The writer thinks it was unnecessary to issue the chastisement to Mr. Pearson, as he assigns to the public the belief that the Fourth Estate generally no longer possessed ethics and thus was not taken seriously.

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