Wednesday, February 13, 1946

The Charlotte News

Wednesday, February 13, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Secretary of Interior Harold Ickes, the longest serving FDR Cabinet member, had resigned, stating bitterly that he could not continue to serve in the face of what he perceived as President Truman having questioned his veracity with regard to his charge that Ed Pauley, nominee to be Undersecretary of the Navy, had offered a $300,000 campaign contribution in 1944 to have the Government relinquish its claims on offshore oil lands in which Mr. Pauley had an interest. In a letter to the President, reprinted on the page, he made his resignation effective March 31, but the President stepped up the date to the immediate Friday, February 15.

Mr. Ickes, 71, had made many political enemies during his thirteen year tenure, but those who worked with him at Interior were uniformly supportive and loyal. He had a reputation for coining phrases, some applied to political enemies. He called Thomas Dewey, for instance, a "chocolate soldier" and the late Huey Long a sufferer of "halitosis of the intellect".

When asked, he stated to reporters that he would not actively oppose President Truman should he become the party nominee in 1948 but would wait to see who the opponent would be before determining whether he would support him. He also disclosed that he had not supported Mr. Truman's nomination for vice-president at Chicago in the summer of 1944. It was as unlikely that he would serve the President in some other capacity as it was that the President would ask him to do so.

The President had simply stated that Mr. Ickes might be mistaken regarding the intentions of Mr. Pauley.

The White House was close to announcing its wage-price formula for resolving the steel strike, ongoing since January 21.

New York's shutdown of the previous day, unprecedented in the city's history, was not continued into this day, despite the continuing ten-day tugboat operators strike which had cut off fuel supplies. The shutdown was estimated to have cost businesses nine million dollars, five million to the garment industry alone.

The 48-hour mass transit strike in Philadelphia ended.

Robert Best, former American newspaper correspondent, indicted by the United States for treason for broadcasting Nazi propaganda during the war, had been arrested by the British in Austria. Mr. Best, a South Carolina native, had been interned in Vienna by the Germans in December, 1941, but when the other internees were repatriated as part of a prisoner exchange program, Mr. Best chose to stay and conduct the broadcasts.

Argentina was said to be preparing a response to the United States blue book, which charged that Argentina had broken faith with other Latin American countries and the U.S. in dealing with Nazi Germany during the war. The blue book contained documents from Nazi Germany which the State Department asserted to be proof that Argentina had actively collaborated with Germany.

New York was being backed by the U.N. site selection committee to be the temporary headquarters of the U.N., while the Westchester-Fairfield area of New York and Connecticut was being recommended as the permanent site. The final decision would be up to the General Assembly. San Francisco, site of the Charter Conference of the previous spring, had been rejected as the temporary locale, as the British and Russians, among others, thought it too far from Europe. The temporary site was expected to be the locale for several years.

At last check, it still is.

As told in a photograph, the Queen Mary had finally showed in Chicago-New York, with 299 more British war brides and their children aboard. They could not yet disembark, however, until all the cowboys and Indians ceased shooting at each other and the tigers and rabbits were cleared from the pier.

On the editorial page, "How About the County?" discusses the improvements to be made in the city's abattoirs, as well as the new one to be built by a Shelby business. But the county meat inspections remained problematic.

"View from a Pulpit" comments on a speech being delivered by Dr. George Heaton, pastor of the Charlotte Myers Park Baptist Church, to the National Management Association in Chicago. The theme would be the common goal of management and labor. He believed that labor and management were too far removed from local interests in trying to effect resolution of their differences. The common goal could be defined by such local interests, concerned with production rendering profit with as little waste as possible.

"Three Indefensible Strikes" finds the strikes of transit workers in Philadelphia, the tugboat operators in New York, and the electrical workers of Pittsburgh to be indefensible, given that 16,000 workers had held up fifteen million people.

It opines that strikes ought be prevented by workers of public utilities, given the special treatment of utilities and the fact that they were without competition. There was ground in this instance for mandating arbitration, for the sake of the common good.

It was only part of a needed definition of labor's rights and privileges, to be undertaken by an impartial body dedicated to protection of the public interest.

A piece from the Christian Science Monitor, titled "Prices on Old Houses", discusses the housing bill pending in the Congress and the need for low-cost housing for veterans. It suggests that Congressman Wright Patman's desire for a $6,000 ceiling on new houses would be more realistic at $8,000, considering the cost of materials. But something had to be done as some old housing had doubled in price.

Drew Pearson tells of Jim Farley having asked to accompany Cardinal Spellman to Rome and having been allowed the privilege. It came at a time when he was planning to run for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in New York against Senator Jim Mead. President Truman and the rest of the Democratic hierarchy supported Senator Mead. But Mr. Farley wanted to run and win and then be able to determine the Democratic nominee for the presidency in 1948, with himself positioned to be the vice-presidential nominee.

President Truman had informed a pair of Congressmen advocating statehood for Hawaii that he supported the effort and had so mentioned the fact in his State of the Union message. He offered that the fact that Hawaii was non-contiguous with the rest of the country was inconsequential. In 1940, the people of Hawaii had voted 2 to 1 in favor of statehood.

The President was non-committal on the question of statehood for Alaska.

Marquis Childs indicates that the Government had reacted with surprise at the news of a grain shortage and threat of mass starvation in Europe and Asia as a result. But the facts had been apparent for several months. The problem derived from the hasty removal of controls following V-J Day, in response to pressures inside and outside the Government.

But it was not all to be placed at the doorstep of President Truman, as the reactionary Republicans and the National Association of Manufacturers, hoping to make political hay of the situation, had called for a quick return to normalcy. The hope had been that the President might resist release of controls, angering the people. But this approach had ignored the post-war responsibilities of the nation as victor in the war.

Bertram Benedict indicates that moves were afoot in a dozen state legislatures in session to raise the salaries of governors. Only 20 of the 48 had salaries as much as or more than $10,000, the current salary of members of Congress. Median pay was $8,000, while the mean was $8,875. New York paid the highest salary, $25,000. He provides a list of the salaries by state, North Carolina paying $10,500, $500 more than California, fifth in population. Last was South Dakota, paying $3,000 per year. Tennessee paid but $4,000. But governors did have a house included, whereas members of Congress received no housing allowance.

A piece from PM by Frank Sullivan, creator of Mr. Arbuthnot, not to be confused with abattoirs, tells the story of the G.I.'s waiting out their discharge uncomfortably in Alaska.

They had been told that a glamorous lady from Hollywood would visit them, and so they proceeded to render everything ship shape to welcome her.

But at the last minute, they realized there was no lady's powder room and so they set about constructing a "Chiquita Sale" in a hurry. They finished just in the nick of time, rude though it was.

The plane arrived and the lady emerged, fulfilling all the soldiers' expectations. She dined with them and provided them her bit of entertainment, then, after five hours, said her devoirs and boarded the plane.

But not once had she visited the powder room so meticulously prepared for her.

It leads inevitably to the conclusion that she had asked herself the question, "To be powdered, or not to be?" and determined that discretionary taxation was the better part of her compact.

A letter to the editor thanks Burke Davis for his articles on the abattoir situation. The letter writer could not understand, however, the position of the chief inspector, that were state inspection regulations strictly followed, the abattoirs would need to be shut down, but could not be because of the community's need for the slaughter to continue. The abattoirs were filthy, with flies everywhere because of the absence of screens. The author thinks he was not a fit inspector.

The editors note that it was the policy of the City Health Department which permitted the low standards to prevail, not the fault of the inspector. It reminds that conditions were now being improved, following the expose of Burke Davis.

Another letter suggests that the March of Dimes fund be set aside for a new abattoir as the old ones had been the source apparently of the local polio cases.

A soldier from Fort Bragg writes a letter asserting that the newspaper readers would be better served by leaving part of the back page blank than continuing to run the "Mr. Breger" comic strip, written from the perspective of the G.I.

The editors agree with the soldier and invite other comments from soldiers to determine the general consensus as to whether the strip ought be dropped.

A letter finds one of the writers who had suggested that Senator Hoey ought be tried for treason for his participation in the filibuster of the FEPC bill, to be overwrought. He suggests that filibuster was a right under the Constitution and so Senator Hoey could not be charged with treason for engaging in it. Of course, that is hooey. There is nothing in the Constitution permitting filibuster. It is simply a Senate convention by tradition and rule, subject to being abolished by the Senate itself through alteration of the number of votes needed for cloture.

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