Friday, February 1, 1946

The Charlotte News

Friday, February 1, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that British Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin told the U.N. Security Council in London that the Soviets and Communist Party propaganda endangered world peace. The statement came in response to the assertion of Andrei Vishinsky, Russia's Vice-Foreign Commissar, that Britain imperiled world security by maintaining troops in the form of a "white terror" in Greece. Mr. Bevin responded that the British were only seeking to allow all voices to be heard in Greece and not do as Russia had done in Rumania, installing a favorable minority government. The Greek Ambassador to Britain supported the statements of Mr. Bevin.

Vice Admiral William W. Smith told the joint Congressional committee investigating Pearl Harbor that a secret Navy map showed that an American patrol boat was in the vicinity of the area of the Japanese Fleet on December 5, 1941. The vessel was not shown, however, on the locating map of the following day or on December 7.

Representative Bertrand Gearhart of California stated that the U.S.S. Wright, a seaplane tender, had spotted an unidentified ship about 300 miles from Hawaii on the night of December 6, as well as an unidentified plane, but was concerned about disobeying orders to maintain radio silence and so did not report the observations. Vice Admiral Smith stated in response to Mr. Gearhart's question that the observation of a plane indicated the presence of a carrier. Vice Admiral Smith also stated that he believed the Japanese would not have taken the risk to attack the West Coast had the Fleet been stationed at San Pedro, but would have been able then to take the Hawaiian Islands.

At Nuremberg, not covered on the page, the French presented the testimony of Emil Reuter, President of the Chamber of Deputies in Luxembourg, regarding the virtual annexation of Luxembourg by the Germans.

In Munich, police arrested 51 members of the "Edelweiss Pirates", an organization formed to commit burglaries, thefts of baggage, forgeries, and black marketeering.

In Bucharest, a Russian lieutenant colonel was assassinated. The blame was placed on fascist remnants still in Rumania. Even an anti-Communist newspaper in Bucharest condemned the act as being perpetrated by enemies of the country.

The American Legion criticized General Omar Bradley for his handling thus far of the Veterans' Administration of which he had been in charge for six months. They asserted the need for a business man rather than a soldier to run the V.A. The Legion wanted a probe by Congress, asserting that 300,000 to 500,000 disabled veterans were not receiving proper compensation without undergoing physical examination, as well as other complaints. Members of Congress defended General Bradley and asked that he be given a chance to do his job.

Hal Boyle continues his story of Chester Bennett, the executed "hero of Hong Kong". He tells of Mr. Bennett's last day, October 9, 1943, the day he and 32 other prisoners were beheaded by their Japanese captors. Mr. Bennett, having just learned that his wife of a year was pregnant, wrote a letter to her. Still suffering from the effects of the torture inflicted on him, he went to his death calmly.

The eleven white men, seven Indians, and 14 Chinese were put to death at the direction of the camp commander, Captain Yamaguchi, who had also served as judge at the trial of the prisoners. Black execution hoods were placed over each man. Swords were then used by Japanese non-coms to behead them, after which each man's body was pushed into an adjoining common trench. The execution was over in a matter of seconds.

The search for the United Air Lines plane which had crashed the previous day with 21 aboard on Elk Mountain near Laramie, Wyo., was halted because of a blizzard. The plane was thought to be buried in the deep snow. It was believed located near the 11,000-foot summit of the mountain and rescue workers had gotten within 300 feet the night before until being forced to turn back by the weather. They had approached a deep furrow in the snow where the plane apparently crashed, but saw no sign of wreckage.

"Snuffy Smith" Collett, Stabilization Director, announced that sugar would increase by a half cent per pound.

That was better, at least, than the $5 being charged by the bakery executive's wife in Los Angeles.

The director of the Fish and Wildlife Service stated that the Bikini Atoll tests of the atomic bomb to be conducted during the summer would kill a lot of fish, but considering the number in the Pacific, the director stated that it was not worth worrying about.

Dr. R. L. Pittman, a surgeon from Fayetteville, announced his plans to build a 400-room modern hotel on the Old Courthouse property which he had just purchased from the City of Charlotte for $425,000. The cost of the hotel was estimated to be 1.5 million dollars. Each room, Dr. Pittman said, would have a shower, a tub, and a radio. There would also be a parking garage in the basement, and a convention hall to meet the needs of Charlotte. The entire building would be air conditioned.

A photograph appears of a quadruple amputee, Pfc. Jimmy Wilson of Jacksonville, Fla., behind the wheel of a specially adapted automobile which he had driven from Atlantic City to New York with Miss America, Bess Myerson, by his side. In the back seat were Pfc. Ernest Sardo, triple amputee of Elmira, N.Y., and Al Schmidt, a Marine from Philadelphia who had been blinded in combat.

Chances for an end to the G.M. strike appeared slim, as President Truman once again called for a meeting of the two sides regarding the steel strike, indicating a new proposal to be given to U.S. Steel.

Another photograph shows the first Minister from Saudi Arabia to the United States, Abdul Al Faqui, stepping from an airplane at Washington National Airport.

On the editorial page, "A Welcome Decision" supports the decision of the Mecklenburg Democrats to end the informal arrangement under which the solicitor for the judicial district would come from Gaston County and the resident judge from Mecklenburg. It was, says the piece, 40 years overdue. Now, the field would be open for candidates from Mecklenburg to enter the race for solicitor. It removed the last objection to the proposed redistricting by the Legislature to place Mecklenburg and Gaston Counties in separate judicial districts.

"The Mud Grows Deeper" discusses the poor condition of county roads in the state and the complaint of the farmers to the Governor that the county, rather than the State, be given authority over them. The farmers wanted their taxes to go directly to their roads, rather than into the common State coffers. The argument was fallacious, says the piece, for the county received its fair share of tax revenue.

County control had been tried in North Carolina and it had not worked. But it did work in South Carolina, where the system of roads was superior to that of North Carolina. The counties might not do any better than the State, but county control might be worth a try if the Highway Commission did not make substantial improvements in the coming year.

"The Paradox Again" discusses the shooting death of a woman by her 84-year old grandfather-in-law. He was upset and, per his usual state, drunk, at her having spurned his proposal of marriage. The victim, whom he said was also drunk, had hit him over the head with a chair rung and then rushed to obtain a butcher knife. He contended that his thumb then slipped off the hammer of the gun and he killed her accidentally. The only eyewitness was so drunk that he was oblivious to the scene.

The jury found the man guilty of manslaughter and the judge, after musing at how a church-going community could have one of the highest per capita murder rates in the country, sentenced the grandfather in deference to his age to a year in the County Home. Normally, manslaughter carried a twenty-year term.

The piece only found objection in housing the old man in the County Home, reserved usually for minor juvenile offenders.

A piece from the Winston-Salem Sentinel, titled "Candid But Just?" comments on the editorial in The News regarding the death of Solicitor John Carpenter. It found the editorial one of the most honest and candid editorials which it had seen recently on the death of a prominent citizen. It had been compassionate toward the man while not bemoaning the loss of a heavily criticized prosecutor, who was fitted instead for the role of a defense attorney in light of his large heart. The editorial finds the objectivity refreshing.

Drew Pearson discusses a new Cabinet committee being formed by Secretary of State Byrnes, consisting of himself, Secretary of War Robert Patterson, and Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal. The purpose was to formulate U.S. foreign policy. The move constituted a precedent never before instituted. It would harbinger the National Security Council, established by the National Security Act of 1947.

He next relates of General Eisenhower having been cornered recently by six young women, wives of service men with children, members of the "Bring Home Daddy Club". The General had to ask what the family allotment was of which the wives complained. It was $80 for one child and $100 for two.

Next, he states that historians, just as contemporary columnists, would never agree on whether Harry Hopkins had been a positive or negative influence on FDR. But they would agree that the late President never had a more loyal friend.

Mr. Pearson relates that Mr. Hopkins had lived around the corner from him during part of his tenure in Washington. He lived in an ordinary frame house with a basement entrance, living alone with his young daughter and a maid. He spent a lot of his time in bed because a third of his stomach had been removed to prevent the spread of cancer. He worried more about the President than he did himself. Eventually, the President invited him to live in the White House where he resided for three and a half years. From that point on, Mr. Hopkins sat in on the most vital conferences impacting world policy. He was a defender of Winston Churchill and believed that the Russians must be supported no matter their sins of oppression.

Mr. Hopkins had accompanied the President to Casablanca in January, 1943, to Tehran in November, 1943, and to Yalta, in January, 1945. The trips took their toll on him and sent him back to bed for weeks following each trip. He had also gone to Moscow on behalf of President Truman in May and June of 1945, to work out the Polish situation, a thorn in the side of the U.N. confreres in San Francisco, preventing further negotiations until resolved. Mr. Hopkins had ameliorated the dispute by arranging for a representative government of Poland, paving the way for final passage of the U.N. Charter and for the Potsdam Agreement in July.

When Mr. Hopkins left Washington for New York after the death of FDR, those who knew him realized that his own death would be but a few months hence. The reason for his existence had passed with the passing of the President.

Dorothy Thompson comments on the steel strike, finding that U.S. Steel president Benjamin Fairless had gotten to the heart of the issue by asking how much wages could rise without a rise in prices. She then covers ground in the column which has been covered endlessly in the previous months and so we leave it for you to read.

Ms. Thompson concludes that the strikes should end with worker income determined by production. After production resumed in full, then could come wage hikes. The present situation was crippling the nation's newly found place of leadership on the world stage.

Marquis Childs discusses the character of British Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin who had spent his earlier days fighting Communist infiltration to the Transport Workers Union which Mr. Bevin had headed. He had developed from the experience a wariness and suspicion of Communists. He feared that a fascist dictatorship was developing under the Communists in Eastern Europe. The view was shared by most of Britain's Labor Party. They plainly rejected the Soviet view of trade unions as being subject to the will of the State, forbidding strikes and allowing only discussion of issues, with the industrial commissar having the last word.

Bertram Benedict begins by quoting the lament of Jeremiah, "...saying peace, when there is no peace," indicating it to be particularly fitting of the moment. In the U.N., Iran had complained of Russia's interference in Azerbaijan, while Russia had complained of Britain in Greece and Indonesia.

He then ticks off troubled areas, Java, Indo-China, Siam, with the British suppressing native revolts in each country, Greece, where civil war appeared to be breaking out, Iran, with the Soviets preventing the Government troops from trying to stop the insurgent movement in the North, Turkey, where the Soviets had made demands on the Dardanelles, China, where fighting persisted despite the truce between the Government and the Communists, with armed unrest in Korea.

Nevertheless, the picture appeared rosy beside that which had been ongoing during the six months after the Armistice in 1918. In the first six months of 1919, Russian troops clashed with British and American troops around Murmansk and with the Japanese around Vladivostok. The Red Army was fighting in Latvia and then was forced from Riga by the Germans. Relations between Russia and Finland were degenerating. The Red Army was driven from Vilna in Poland by General Pilsudski, resulting in a war between the two countries when the Poles moved into White Russia. In Hungary, a Communist regime took power and declared war on Czechoslovakia and was then attacked by Rumanian armies. Russia declared war on Rumania in May. Yugoslavian forces invaded Albania as Italian forces sought to maintain occupation forces along the coast. In Germany, a Communist uprising erupted in Berlin and Munich, while a Communist Republic was suppressed in Bavaria. There were also Communist revolts in Austria. In Czechoslovakia, troops clashed with Polish forces around Teschen. Conflicts were present in Portugal, Ireland, Asia Minor, China, Haiti, and Costa Rica.

A letter writer again addresses a column written by Leonard Hall, this one appearing in The News on January 21, in which he had berated the occupation forces as cry babies and mutineers for wanting to come home. She suggested that Mr. Hall, if he was as patriotic as he claimed, ought go overseas himself. She urges Mr. Hall to stick to things about which he knew, such as New York cheesecake.

The editors respond that they had not liked Mr. Hall's columns of late but also found the writer's question of why he was not overseas to be irrelevant. They add that they were "uniformly equipped with ruptured ducks" in the Ivory Tower—whatever that was supposed to mean.

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