Monday, February 11, 1946

The Charlotte News

Monday, February 11, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that White House press secretary Charles G. Ross stated that personnel changes in top Administration posts were imminent. Press speculation centered on rumors that OPA administrator Chester Bowles would succeed "Snuffy Smith" Collett as Economic Stabilizer and be provided additional powers. Mr. Ross also stated that a formula for settling the steel strike would shortly be announced.

The Big Three pact made at Yalta one year earlier was made public for the first time, disclosing that Russia had mandatled three conditions for its entry to the Pacific War, including outright possession of the Kurile Islands and that the status of the Mongolian People's Republic in Outer Mongolia would remain unchanged. It had also been agreed that there would be Anglo-American support for the unilateral veto for each of the Big Power permanent members of the Security Council and separate U.N. membership for White Russia and the Ukraine. Russia agreed to join the Pacific war two or three months after the end of the war with Germany, eventually declaring war on Japan at that juncture, on August 8, 1945, after having renounced in April the renewal of the neutrality agreement of 1941 with Japan.

The Ukraine Foreign Commissar told the U. N. Security Council that it should act to restore peace in the Dutch East Indies, referring to Indonesia, to avoid a situation analogous to the Spanish Civil War, as a prelude to another world war. The United States opposed the investigation. The Dutch Foreign Minister argued that the matter was domestic in nature and beyond the jurisdiction of the U.N. The Ukraine Foreign Minister countered that the League of Nations, in the face of the same argument, had refused to act in Spain in 1937.

An effort was being made to conclude business of the first U. N. session by Thursday.

In Manila, Lt. General Masaharu Homma was convicted by the military tribunal trying him for war crimes, and sentenced to be shot. He stood accused, among other things, of being responsible for the Bataan Death March of April, 1942.

Philadelphia was beset by the largest traffic jam in the city's history after transit workers struck, stranding three million commuters.

The meatpackers unions decided to hold in abeyance a determination on a Government fact-finding committee recommendation for a 16-cent per hour wage hike.

Housing administrator Wilson Wyatt stated that most of the prioritized building materials would be funneled into housing costing $6,000 and less. He also anticipated abandoned war factories to be used for making prefabricated homes, with Government guarantees for a market.

Hal Boyle, writing from Rangoon in Burma, tells of his return trip from the Orient aboard Royal Air Force planes, analogizing the bone-jarring experience to riding in a freight car as opposed to a Pullman. It is remindful of a similar story told by the late Raymond Clapper in March, 1942.

As a bonus, we present an inside page of the newspaper, with its story regarding the steps being taken to improve the city's abattoirs so that butchery in the community might continue unabated under appropriately sanitary conditions.

It is further related that two carloads of British brides would arrive on the Southern Railway Piedmont Limited from Chicago-New York the following day. Only four of the brides, Mrs. Bates, Mrs. Caines, Mrs. Outlaw, and Mrs. Mustard—the latter a good English name, reports Mr. Graham of Southern Railway—would exit the train in Charlotte, though bound further South with their husbands or other relatives, either to the Old South State or to the former Penal Colony of the Crown. The Queen Mary had not yet showed.

Also present is the story of the Jaycees Jollies of 1946, featuring a black-face minstrel show. A parade in black-face would begin at 4:00 p.m. at the corner of Stonewall and Tryon Streets.

Be sure and catch it. It soon may be a long time gone.

On the editorial page, "Houses At Last?" sarcastically finds the Government finally to be responding to the severe housing shortage for returning veterans, with Congress having resisted for six months the idea based on rejection of the concept of regimentation, until veterans were waiting in line for park benches with Southern exposure. Now, the shortage was to be resolved by an 850 million dollar subsidy to enable veterans to buy homes at $6,000 or less, allowing the builders to obtain their profits at taxpayer expense, while old housing remained without price ceilings.

Thus had been avoided regimentation by passing the buck to the American public, the American way.

"Pluck and Luck" finds that the sudden rise of George Allen's income from $9,000 per year to $50,000 had involved a little more than the typical Horatio Alger story, as he had made his rise at the same pace of Harry Truman since the summer of 1944. At the time, Mr. Allen, as Mr. Truman's secretary, had suddenly been made a member of several boards of directors of large corporations. He agreed to give up his $28,000 per year job as vice-president of an insurance company should he be approved as RFC chairman. The Senate Banking Committee promptly approved the nomination, with the only opposition coming from Republicans.

The editorial questions the nomination and opines that more investigation should have been undertaken before the approval by the committee. It would no doubt add to the growing campaign material being compiled by the Republicans for the fall elections.

"No More War &" remarks that "War &" had been removed from the Community Chest of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County for the first time since August, 1942. During the war, it had contributed to 19 worldwide agencies; now it would once again contribute only to the 16 local agencies it ordinarily served.

During the war, the Community Chest had raised 1.4 million dollars for 88 war agencies, including USO, War Prisoners' Aid, United Seamen's Service, United China Relief, Belgian War Relief, Philippine War Relief, plus similar organizations for all of the occupied countries of Europe.

A piece from the Greensboro Daily News, titled "Let Them Stay a While", comments on the commutations being considered by Governor Gregg Cherry for three Gaston County white inmates who had served less than five years each in prison out of 18 to 25 year terms to which they had been sentenced for the murder of a young black man at his home. The men, along with a fourth man who had already been released early on parole, had followed the victim after an altercation on the highway.

The murder had been categorized at the time by one organization as a lynching, though The Daily News and other newspapers of the state had disagreed with this label, finding it to have been ordinary murder.

The men, though charged with first degree murder, had struck a deal whereby the State accepted guilty pleas to second degree murder. The Daily News had supported the stiff sentences. It saw no reason now to shorten them. Much praise had been given the State for swift justice in the case. It now risked losing that positive reaction. The editorial questions whether like consideration to shortening the sentences would be given had the victim been white and the assailants black.

Drew Pearson tells of the 82nd Airborne Division having paraded up Fifth Avenue in New York on January 12, among them having been several low-point men who had been discharged ahead of high-point men still in Europe. Thousands of G.I.'s had protested, sending telegrams to Mr. Pearson. The War Department had responded that the low-point men were specialists, needed to train parts of the Regular Army.

But, two days after the parade, a directive was issued for the discharge of these men, done expressly without intent for publicity.

He next tells of the good humor, equanimity, and hard work of George Allen, nominated to become the chair of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation. In 1944, Mr. Allen had attached himself to vice-presidential candidate Truman, believing that FDR would not live long into his fourth term. But with all of his positive qualities personally, Mr. Allen represented Republic Steel, American Aviation, Consolidated Vultec, and WLW of Cincinnati, causing some to wonder if he had divided loyalties.

Marquis Childs comments on a poll taken in September among the American occupation troops in Germany which had shown that the troops were inclined to like the Germans more than the French and to have been influenced markedly in their opinions by being around the Germans. Mr. Childs, however, points out that the phraseology of the questions had determined the responses. He provides an example in which the conditional clause of the question had excepted the fact that the British, French, or Germans were allies or enemies during the war and then asked soldier preferences. Most had stated that their opinions had not changed toward the Germans since occupation had begun. Fifty-one percent believed that Hitler, though wrong in starting the war, had done a lot of good for Germany before the war. A quarter of the respondents thought that Germany, as being the most efficient country in Europe, had a good case therefore for having a controlling influence in post-war Europe.

With this situation extant, General Eisenhower and Secretary of State Byrnes were discussing the idea of turning the occupation duties over to a civilian agency, though Mr. Byrnes did not believe the State Department to be well equipped to handle the duties.

Mr. Childs advocates a professionally trained occupation force, conditioned against attempts by the Germans to indoctrinate the occupiers to propaganda.

Samuel Grafton describes the resentment of Britons to the cessation of dried egg imports by British Food Minister Sir Ben Smith. He had done so because the 140 million dollar price tag for dried eggs was too high.

On the same day he had announced the cessation, the U. S. Government had begun a program of buying surplus dried and frozen eggs to prevent a collapse in the U.S. market. The eggs would wind up stored in warehouses.

It was only one example of many involving surplus in the American market against scarcity in Europe. He reminds that America would ultimately suffer for 50 years to come if it now failed to heed the need for food in Europe.

A letter from a Lumberton resident compliments the editorial page for intelligence and fairness, that the editors appeared to read all sides of issues, not just conservative literature, as many editors appeared to do. She did not agree with everything the editors had to say, but did agree most of the time. She also states that the servicemen who visited Lumberton, Fort Bragg being only 30 miles distant, always displayed enthusiasm for The News and that all of them who read were familiar with it.

She was especially impressed by the sense of fairness displayed on the race questions and FEPC, though believing that The News could stand some modification of its view on the latter issue, having stated its general support for the concept of equal employment opportunity but believing FEPC to be the wrong approach, that Government enforcement would only lead to reactionary trends in the South. She points out that most ministers, college leaders, and many church groups supported FEPC. North Carolina's Senators, Clyde Hoey and Josiah Bailey, being opposed to it, appealed to the "backward and prejudiced element" of the state's population. She believed the Senators also to be prejudiced.

She then quotes at length from Olive Schreiner's From Man to Man, finding it prophetic of the recent radar contact made with the moon, the passage being a mother's dream related to her young daughter, after the latter refers to another girl as a "nigger", regarding people coming from another star to earth and finding the ignorance of the earthlings pitiable. They laughed and considered humans inferior races by the practice of such customs as believing that enchantments of a few words turned wine and bread to blood and flesh, and that sprinkling water on the foreheads of babies somehow sanctified them.

The letter writer suggests that should such an arrival from another star occur, the people of earth might then seek a celestial FEPC against the pure white men of Mars who would come to earth with condemnatory superiority in mind.

The editors take issue with the letter writer's expression that Senators Hoey and Bailey were somehow not speaking for the majority of the citizens of the state. They were instead, it says, representing the prevailing opinion, and it was wishful thinking to believe otherwise.

A wife of a discharged veteran wonders in a letter at whether the visit to Charlotte by the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra was necessary at a time when 5,000 local residents needed housing.

The editors agree in theory, but note that the orchestra would only require transitory housing while the residents needed permanent housing, and so not having the entertainment would not help the housing shortage.

Another letter writer, owner of a local garage, responds to the "American-Type Smile" letter of January 19. He, as had a previous letter writer, wonders whether such a letter served any purpose in print.

The editors state that they had published it to see what reaction it might garner, that not a single letter in response, of which there had been many, supported the position of the writer. They felt it wise to point out through the letter that the notion of Aryan racial superiority did not begin with the Nazi and had not perished from the face of the earth with the death of Hitler. They were glad that the letters in response bore Anglo-Saxon and Celtic names.

Framed Edition
[Return to Links
Page by Subject] [Return to Links-Page by Date] [Return to News<i><i><i>--</i></i></i>Framed Edition]
Links-Date -- Links-Subj.