The Charlotte News

Wednesday, December 4, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the UMW was fined 3.5 million dollars and John L. Lewis, $10,000, for contempt of court of which the Federal Judge had found them guilty the day before. The Judge admonished Mr. Lewis not to be contemnacious when the latter accused the Government counsel of "lying". Mr. Lewis retorted that he had already been found in contempt, to which the Judge stated in a low voice that he could be found in contempt a second time.

The amount of the UMW fine was based on $250,000 per day for the fourteen-day strike. The UMW treasury contained $13.5 million dollars. The extent of the fine was heavily argued before the Judge imposed it.

By Friday, the number of idle workers in industries dependent on coal was predicted to reach two million, as many unemployed as during the Depression. The automobile industry was about to join the idle industries as a freight embargo was set to go into effect at midnight on Friday.

A Congressional committee was informed by a natural gas producer that natural gas would be flowing through the Big Inch and Little Inch pipelines within two days, that it had to be routed from Texas and Louisiana to Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee for legal reasons.

The U.N. moved toward arms limitations agreement after the Russians agreed to accept the general principles set forth in the proposal of the United States to have inspections to assure adherence to arms limitation and atomic control. The Russians agreed for the first time that inspections would not be subject to the Security Council veto, a major stumbling block previously. The 54 nations voted to establish a 20-member subcommittee to study the various proposals and reconcile them. Both the British and American delegations hailed the development as a major concession by the Soviets.

Debate also was heard further on the issue of condemnation of the Franco Government in Spain.

At long last, obviously, those two thorny issues are going to be resolved forthwith.

In Paris, the Communist Party leader Maurice Thorez was defeated in his bid for Premier of the Interim Government, failing by 51 votes to obtain the necessary 310 majority of the National Assembly. The result came from the fact that the moderate MRP and the Radical Socialists chose to abstain from voting.

The Ohio Supreme Court ruled that landlords could prevent children from living on their premises and evict tenants who came to have children in violation of a lease agreement.

In Oakland, the general strike paralyzing that city continued, forcing the City Council to declare an emergency, vesting full police and fire power with the Mayor, Herbert L. Beach. He had declared the previous day that the City of Oakland was not going to return to the jungle. There was little food available, little gas, no public transportation, no newspapers. Milk was scarce. Automobile traffic was backed up, with traffic jams bumper-to-bumper in four lanes of traffic headed to San Francisco across the Bay Bridge. School and University of California attendance had dropped. All businesses in the East Bay remained closed.

In Langley, England, one night the previous April, an 18-year old girl awoke to find a tall, misty figure standing beside her bed. She did not tell her family at the time. Family members began experiencing strange knockings and moanings within the 300-year old home which they had just purchased. Three weeks earlier, the girl's five-year old brother got sick during the night and as his mother got up to aid him, a hand came from nowhere and gripped her wrist. Then, she, herself, saw the misty figure by the fireplace, which was still there after she ducked her head under the sheet briefly and then looked again. Some entity was pulling the bedclothes off the family members during the night. Doors opened, footsteps were heard, with no one present. A ten-year old girl who lived with the family found herself sleeping under the bed one night and did not know how she got there.

The British Society for Psychic Research was planning to send a man out to investigate the phenomena.

In Charlotte, a Superior Court Judge indicated that Charlotte ought either strictly enforce prohibition or do away with it and establish controlled sale, that drinking "wet" and voting "dry" did not make for an orderly system. He stated that he regularly saw victims before the court who had been seriously injured in assaults resulting from excessive consumption of alcohol. He stresses that Charlotte had one of the highest rates of church attendance in the country but also one of the highest crime rates.

Freck Sproles of The News, as she had the previous year, reports of the need for Christmas toys in the county for 2,000 needy children who would otherwise have empty stockings on Christmas morning. W. Irving Bullard sent in the first contribution, as he always did, starting with $15. The fund had $170 thus far.

There's still plenty of time. Do not fret.

On the editorial page, "A Lame Duck in Tokyo" discusses Congressman Edouard Izak of California visiting Japan and declaring in a press conference, after meeting with General MacArthur, that America had to maintain unilateral control of the Pacific islands captured during the war. The statement appeared inspired by the General's advice regarding the Red threat. The statement made no mention of the U.N. Nor did he comment about the "individual trusteeship" for the islands favored by President Truman and Republican foreign policy adviser John Foster Dulles.

While a lame duck Congressman had little influence over foreign policy, the fact of his pronouncement, when Congress itself had agreed to remain mum on foreign policy during the lame duck session, indicated the strange methods in which foreign policy was being transacted.

It was time for the American people to be told the inner secrets behind the perceived necessity for such pronouncements, if indeed it was so necessary to counter the Red scare with continued control of the Pacific islands, as the President, General MacArthur and Mr. Dulles all advocated.

"There Is Still the FCC" reports that the Southern Bell Telephone Company had taken its case before the State Utilities Commission to obtain increased rates and had been granted almost all it had sought. The Commission, however, criticized the parent company, AT&T, for considering corporate funds allocated to subsidiaries to be loans, being charged four percent interest, and for retaining an excessive share of the long distance tolls being charged. The Commission wanted Southern Bell to correct these AT&T practices.

It sides with the Greensboro Daily News in suggesting that the Commission ought instead seek the remedy from the FCC, its own parent organization, the only entity powerful enough to take on the country's largest private monopoly.

"The Ladies of the Jury" records that Mrs. Betty Minnick had become the first woman ever in the history of Mecklenburg County to be summoned for jury duty, pursuant to the recent approval of the amendment to the State Constitution allowing women to serve.

The amendment had passed without fanfare or great verbal support from women's organizations, unlike the suffrage movement of three decades earlier. The promises made during that movement, that political corruption would disappear when women were able to exercise the franchise, had never materialized.

Women in the jury box, it suggests, would add "feminine logic" to the state's jurisprudential deliberations. Justice would suffer no greater indignities than when Justice itself was the only woman allowed in the courthouse.

A piece by Jonathan Daniels from the Raleigh News & Observer, titled "Iron Curtain in America?" favors Federal aid to education being accepted by North Carolina to insure its place in the future of the country, just as Federal aid for health facilities was being accepted. Anything short of it would result in an iron curtain in America between the states which had Federal money to spend and those which refused it.

The South refused it because of fear of Federal imposition of racial integration as a condition for receipt of the funds. It was much better to keep the Southern children not educated properly than to have the races intermixing in the schools, together.

Drew Pearson discusses the 1926-27 coal crisis in England when the most serious strike in English history took place, a general strike which had begun as a coal strike. It was followed by the most repressive labor laws ever enacted in Britain. The whole country was paralyzed as a result. Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin had refused to compromise and the strike had collapsed under public pressure after ten days. Volunteers came forward to operate transportation facilities. British troops policed the London docks to inhibit violence and few arrests were made. The Government did not attempt to interefere with the strike. Rather it simply worked around it.

When the workers returned to the job, Parliament passed its restrictive labor legislation, making all sympathy strikes illegal, banning the use of union funds for political purposes, prohibiting primary strikes except regarding wages and hours, and holding union officials responsible for illegal strikes.

The coal strike in Britain continued from May until November and brought the collapse of the union. The miners drifted back to work, making agreements with local mine operators.

He next tells of one of Housing Expediter Wilson Wyatt's primary detractors, Joseph Meyerhoff of the National Association of Home Builders, who favored leaving the building program for veterans housing to the private sector. But Mr. Meyerhoff was busy building a shopping center in Baltimore, consuming in the process needed brick, lumber, and steel, not contributing to veterans housing.

He next indicates that Representative John McCormack of Massachusetts would be the likely Democratic Minority Leader in the House instead of Speaker Sam Rayburn, who had communicated his intent to Mr. McCormack not to run for the leadership position.

Some Southerners wanted Representative Francis Walter of Pennsylvania as leader, though he had opposed the running of natural gas through the Big Inch and Little Inch pipelines. Another possibility was statesmanlike Ewing Thomason of Texas.

But with the support of Sam Rayburn thrown behind him, it appeared that Mr. McCormack, presently the Majority Leader, would win the position.

He notes that Mr. McCormack and Congressman John Rankin of Mississippi had been bitter enemies since they had a near fist fight in the Speaker's lobby several years earlier.

Marquis Childs remarks that the Soviet agreement to the proposal for international inspection to insure disarmament and control of nuclear energy had caught the West off guard and was being studied to insure that the ostensible agreement was in fact what it purported to be. Inspection flew in the face of the Soviet idea of supremacy of the state and, consequently, the supremacy of the secret police, the NKVD.

At this writing, V. M. Molotov had stated that the inspections would be carried on under the Soviet proposal within the context of the Security Council, subject to the veto of any of the Big Five nations. The British therefore reacted by saying that the proposal was a fraud. Mr. Childs thinks it too hasty a judgment, that the Russian proposal might provide a foundation on which to build. For to veto an inspection would be tantamount to a declaration of war by one of the Big Five, no matter which country might exercise it. It would imply that the country had something to hide and invite counter-measures.

So, he concludes, the actual effectiveness of the veto in this instance was negligible.

The matter appeared now moot as the front page reports that the Russians had agreed to waive the veto on inspections.

He states that Bernard Baruch, on June 14, had wanted to include in his speech to the U.N. a proposal for disarmament, but had been asked not to do so as Senator Tom Connally had such a proposal of his own to present. So Mr. Baruch had limited his proposal to the need for overall disarmament, leaving the way open for the Russians to propose universal disarmament, a shrewd tactical move on their part.

Meanwhile, the scientists in the laboratories remained hard at work, impelled toward new discoveries, each of which could up the ante in the arms race.

Harold Ickes suggests that the sugar shortage which OPA had regularly attributed to various problems, the destruction of facilities during the war, shortage of labor, the needs of Europe, the shipping strike, freight car shortages, and other reasons, was not so great as was being trumpeted. The country had about 80 percent of the sugar it had prior to the war, which would mean 40 pounds per person annually. But the consumer was able to obtain only 15 pounds, 25 percent of the amount available prior to the war.

All of the sugar which was not going to the consumer was going to industry and commercial users, each of whom, under OPA regulations, was entitled to at least half of their pre-war sugar usage.

James Farley, former Roosevelt political advisor, had gone to work for Coca-Cola and was seeking sugar from OPA for the company to make its soft drinks. The fact that Coca-Cola hired a political person to undertake this task indicated the politics involved in increasing the allotment of sugar to private companies.

In the end, the administrators at OPA forgot that the American housewife had a vote, and part of the reason that vote went to Republican candidates was that there was little sugar to be had.

Thus, combining the piece of the day before, either by Mr. Ickes or more probably Marquis Childs, which had attributed the Democratic loss in the election in part to the Republican Communist smear campaign, the electorate made its choice, in large part, on the basis of fear of Communists and absence of sugar.

A letter criticizes labor unions for having become monopolistic, as much so as had industry in the past. The people should urge Congress to pass laws to make labor as responsible as capital.

A letter writer says that she was appointed postmistress at Hatteras, N.C., in 1914. The position paid $400 annually. Now, the position paid $2,200, with a clerical allowance of $1,400. She again sought the position but, not being a friend of the Congressman or his friends, was kicked out of the civil service position at age 61 after 32 years of dedicated service. The person who got the job came from a politically influential family. She labels the system one based on political spoils, not individual competence and experience.

A quote of the day, from former Supreme Court Justice Owen Roberts: "We need a democracy that recognizes the great dignity of the individual, the fact that the law springs from him and cannot be enforced unless the majority of the people believe it should be enforced."

Brief note to our alma mater: That was a fine win tonight, Spartans, especially as it came on the Spartans' home floor, and we offer kudos to you for it. But, we must stress that it is necessary to beat other opponents, too, not just top five teams, if one is to remain competitive. Enough said.

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