Thursday, February 21, 1946

The Charlotte News

Thursday, February 21, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that mutinying Indian Navy seamen had trained their guns on Bombay following a day of fighting between Indian and British troops against the seamen. It was reported that as many as 200 casualties had resulted. The mutineers were complaining about discrimination in pay and demobilization. Bombay meanwhile was being fortified by the British.

Some 100,000 to 150,000 anti-British demonstrators took to the streets in Cairo, began setting fires and rioting, demanding the withdrawal of all British troops within the Nile Valley.

The acting head of the Jewish agency in Palestine issued a statement saying that the British decision to use German prisoners of war for work was deliberate insult.

South of Batavia in Indonesia, Indonesians machine-gunned British troops.

Russia announced that the leaked nuclear data to the Russians by personnel of the Canadian Government had been "insignificant", that it regarded both radar and atomic energy. Pravda charged that Canada was exploiting the leak to encourage anti-Soviet propaganda and to distract from the failure of British Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin at the recently concluded London U.N. conference.

The electrical workers of Pittsburgh threatened to renew their strike for a 37 percent wage increase if a compromise could not be arranged by February 26.

The telephone workers had still not determined definitely that they would strike nationwide.

Lancaster, Pa., transit workers voted to end their sixteen-day sympathy strike after an agreement to a 12-cent per hour wage increase, a compromise from the demanded 20 cents.

President Truman continued his unflagging support for the nomination of Ed Pauley to be Undersecretary of the Navy. Mr. Pauley stated that he had no intention of withdrawing his name from nomination in response to the requests for same from several Senators.

Meanwhile, Republican Senator Wayne Morse of Oregon urged Mr. Pauley to resign as the situation was distressing to the country. Democratic Senator Theodore Bilbo of Mississippi, however, gave his support to Mr. Pauley and praise for the President remaining loyal to him. He wanted to show his contempt for Harold Ickes by voting for Mr. Pauley's confirmation.

Such support was of questionable help.

The Senate confirmed Paul Porter to be the new director of OPA to replace Chester Bowles who was getting ready to become the new Economic Stabilization director.

Cotton prices rose sharply in both New York and New Orleans.

Tom Lambert, substituting for Hal Boyle, reports from Tokyo that the Japanese were carefree jaywalkers, would whimsically cross the street just to engage another in conversation, oblivious to onrushing traffic. Mr. Lambert, driving a jeep, nearly ran over a man who held a box on his shoulder obscuring his view. Traffic laws were meaningless to the bicyclists, rickshaw pullers, cart haulers, and oxen drivers, each of whom were likely to intermingle with traffic without warning.

A photograph shows actress Paulette Goddard stepping from a new TWA Constellation in New York, after having been piloted by TWA owner Howard Hughes on the maiden non-stop flight from Los Angeles to New York.

On the editorial page, "Max Gardner Is Drafted" comments on the acceptance by former Governor O. Max Gardner of the nomination to be Undersecretary of the Treasury, after he had turned down several previous offers of posts in the Administration. Effectively, he had been drafted by President Truman.

Governor Gardner, it offers, would be a welcome addition to the Administration, had performed well in his term as Governor and had advised both President Roosevelt and President Truman since that time, as well as having been chair of the Advisory Committee of the Office of War Mobilization and Reconversion.

Governor Gardner, it suggests, was a conservative liberal or liberal conservative, with deep concern for the common man, earning him respect among New Dealers, while never alienating conservative business interests in his fiscal conservatism.

While the appointment had its political ramifications, it was not intended primarily to pander to North Carolina as the state was safely in the Democratic column, and the President had already appointed Kenneth Royall of Raleigh as the Undersecretary of War and Lamar Caudle of Wadesboro as Assistant Attorney General, (Mr. Caudle having been the person who discovered the dead body of his friend, Congressman Joe Ervin, who committed suicide on Christmas Day in Washington).

It suggests that full Cabinet rank for Governor Morrison might be in the cards as the present course of the President suggested he would create several Cabinet vacancies as time passed.

As indicated, Governor Morrison would be tapped to become Ambassador to the Court of St. James in early 1947 but would die February 6, before assuming the post. For whatever reason, when President Truman would appoint Secretary of the Treasury Fred Vinson to become Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in June, 1946, Governor Morrison would not be elevated to become Secretary.

"Two Eminent Conditions" finds the appearance in Charlotte that evening of former Ambassador to Mexico and Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels and Bernard Baruch to be emblematic of Brotherhood Week. Mr. Daniels, as editor of the Raleigh News and Observer, and Mr. Baruch, as a financier, had both contributed often to Government service, each beginning that service during World War I, with Mr. Baruch serving as war mobilizer and Mr. Daniels appointed to his post administering the Navy, with FDR as an Assistant Secretary, the latter's first position in the Federal Government.

Both were appearing at the invitation of Harry Golden's Carolina Israelite, with Mr. Daniels set to receive an award for "distinguished service in furthering human rights and inter-faith amity." Mr. Baruch was to present the award.

The piece offers that the roles could have as easily been reversed, that the fact that Mr. Baruch was Jewish and Mr. Daniels Christian was irrelevant. Both understood that intolerance was alien to the country. Both shared a common faith transcending theology, symbolic of brotherhood.

"The Lone March to Washington" discusses the Taxicab Army moving from Chicago, its home base, to the nation's Capital "against the wind and with flags down". It was, at last check, moving through Pennsylvania, paying respects in Massillon, Ohio, to "General" Jacob Coxey, to discuss the billeting problem when the "Army" reached its destination. The General, who had led marches of unemployed workers to Washington in 1894 and 1914, was not at home, but, it says, Rock Creek would presumably be as hospitable as ever.

It was likely, by the time the piece reached print, that the 350 veterans of the "Army" had already reached Washington and appeared before the Justice Department to fulfill its goal of demanding anti-trust action against the monopoly in Chicago's taxi trade.

It was a familiar plaint, heard also in Charlotte, where local ordinances appeared to set up a monopolistic franchise, having nothing to do with outlawing evils of the trade, drivers of questionable backgrounds who ran rackets on the side or were simply unsafe drivers. In Charlotte, licenses were limited in number while not providing enough standards for operation. It urges the City Council to remedy that problem.

A piece from the Raleigh News and Observer, titled "No War and No Peace", comments on the Erwin Cotton Mills, the employees of which had been on strike for four and a half months, having called off its intention to reopen the mills without settlement of the strike, calling it a wise move. Had it done so, violence would have ensued and bitterness would have been prolonged. The prolongation of the strike, as bad as it was, was a less troublesome condition.

Both sides now, however, needed to concentrate on settlement of their differences and end the strike. It served neither side for it to persist.

Drew Pearson reports that Russia had 240 attaches in Ottawa, though officially a smaller number, arousing suspicion for some time as to why so many had been necessary. By contrast, the American and British Governments each maintained but about twenty representatives in Moscow.

Russia had 136 attaches in Cuba and an even larger contingent in Mexico prior to the "mysterious" death of Ambassador Konstantin Oumansky in a Mexican Air Force airplane crash of unknown reason in January, 1945, having been Ambassador since June, 1943.

The Canadian Government maintained surveillance of ten homes leased in Ottawa to Russian attaches. Each was jammed with cots and beds. It was believed that many of the excess number had come from the United States, crossing the border at will with diplomatic immunity.

U.S. officials were paying close attention to the appointment of new Soviet Ambassador to Brazil, Jacob Surye, former envoy to Germany prior to the war. It appeared to observers that it signaled a Soviet focus on Brazil as a center of activity in South America.

Mr. Pearson next informs that diplomatic circles found Lt. General Walter Bedell Smith, appointed to become Ambassador to the Soviet Union, to be wanting of qualifications for such an important post, determinative of whether there would be peace or war in the coming generation. General Smith was amusing, but "no mental giant".

"Beetle" Smith had once served as aide to Maj. General George Van Horn Moseley. General Smith served then only in the line of duty, but following his retirement, General Moseley was being proposed by the Knights of the White Camellia, (a.k.a, Ku Kluckers), as Fascist leader of the United States and was investigated by the Dies Committee for un-American activities.

Mr. Pearson further states that on the night of December 6, 1941, General Smith, then a Colonel and aide to General Marshall, received from Col. Otis Sadtler the "winds" execute message regarding termination of diplomatic relations with the United States and orders to destroy diplomatic codes, indicative of imminent war, supposedly indicating attack at precisely 1:00 p.m. Sunday. General Smith had determined not to deliver the message to General Marshall. Mr. Pearson believes that had he done so, there may have been sufficient warning of the attack to change the course of the war.

Mr. Pearson had received erroneous information. He had previously commented on it January 8. The overwhelming evidence was, and the conclusion of the joint Congressional committee would be, that there was no "winds" execute message ever received. Thus, this charge appears not based in fact.

Samuel Grafton reports that the National Association of Manufacturers was taking out ads setting forth an argument that it was impossible to resume production under price control. But Chester Bowles had told the House Banking Committee that unemployment was at its lowest point in twenty years under price control and that 52 million Americans were now employed, and if not in production, he wondered what it was they were doing. In World War II, America had produced five times the food and other items produced in World War I, again while under the strictures of price control from 1942 onward.

Mr. Bowles had told the committee that he favored price increases for industries which needed them to maintain normal profits, but opposed them otherwise. Food, comprising 40 percent of the cost of living, rent, another 19 percent, and clothing, another 12 percent, would remain stable in price. The increases would primarily be afforded the industries which needed metal.

Both N.A.M. and Senator John Bankhead of Alabama had already voiced opposition to this plan, the latter wanting an increase in farm prices.

The argument between the two sides was taking place amid production and record retail sales, and thus bore the stamp "Made in Unreality". Much of the tension was aroused by speculation and the desire of manufacturers to hold onto goods until price controls were eliminated or more significantly relaxed. The farmer, fearing inflationary trends, would likewise reduce his production. If the Congress ultimately determined to extend price control for another year beyond June 30, its designated expiration, then such fears would be reduced.

Marquis Childs comments on the case of the arrest of the 22 Canadian officials who had allegedly leaked atomic secrets to the Russians shortly following the dropping of the atomic bombs on Japan the previous August. The piece was written before the Russian announcement this date that the secrets leaked were "insignificant". At the time, the Senate Atomic Bomb Committee, chaired by Senator Brien McMahon, was unaware of the precise nature of the secrets leaked.

The committee had been concerned regarding leaks in the United States and with the activities of Communists in the country. He comments that such groups had changed as weathervanes with the changing alliances during the war, denouncing British imperialism at the time of the Russo-German non-aggression pact in August, 1939, and then denouncing Fascism after the June 22, 1941 invasion of Russia. In the interim, strikes and sabotage had imperiled the war effort within the United States and, in some instances, could be traced back to Communist sources.

The Communists therefore in the country constituted, he says, a Fifth Column which would become loyal to Russia in a showdown.

At the same time, civil liberties had to be recognized and branding of any leftist organization as tending toward Communism would do violence to the American system. Most persons of the left had nothing to do with Communism.

If the situation, he continues, had a flavor of H. G. Wells, out of The Shape of Things to Come, three centuries hence, it was nevertheless the way "responsible men are talking", as the new atomic power, with its capability for absolute destruction, had spawned such thoughts.

A Royal Commission in Canada was now investigating the leaks and, if it turned over its findings to a court for public trial, the evidence was expected to establish links to a Soviet-influenced network operating in the United States. Already, "a convenient leak" by the State Department had resulted in the F.B.I. wanting to arrest Russian agents with the State Department having intervened to let them go.

In two recent speeches, J. Edgar Hoover had warned of Communist in the country, one before the International Association of Police Chiefs in Miami and the other before the Catholic Youth Organization in New York. The F.B.I. had maintained a careful watch on suspected Communist agents, in some instances making reports to foreign Governments regarding the suspected activities of their own diplomats because of association with persons directing suspected Communist activities in the country.

"It is a cruel dilemma—the dilemma of a Fifth Column in a democracy—and it will plague us often in the future."

A letter asks how long the American press would continue to "whitewash the Vatican". While Congressmen visited Pope Pius XII and urged him to visit America, it had apparently been forgotten that his predecessor, Pius XI, (albeit confused by the writer with Pius XII), had in 1933 signed a concordat with the German Government of Hitler and, in 1929, made a pact with Mussolini. Pope Pius XI had also supported Franco's Insurgency in Spain in 1936-39. Pope Pius XII, who became Pope in 1939, had again blessed Franco the previous November.

The letter writer believes the latter fact to be the reason that the democracies were loath to free the thousands of Loyalists held prisoner still by the Franco Government.

The author asserts that Roman Catholicism was totalitarian and hated democracy, bent on finding scapegoats and shifting blame while falsifying history.

"Let America and all other democratic countries wake up, or they will soon be taking orders from the Vatican."

The editors, without correcting the misstatements of fact, respond: "Here's another cheerful little item for Brotherhood Week. J.P.W. Davis overlooked the Catholics when he peered under his bed but Mr. McIlwaine fills in the gap."

Another letter responds to the Charleston News & Courier editorial reprinted the previous Thursday, sarcastically writing of the Communist "aristocrats" leading Russia, to the exclusion of the bulk of the population.

The writer wonders, however, how South Carolina compared favorably to Russia, when only 15 percent of the population voted in its general election in 1944. The core of the Democratic Party governing the state was comprised of the state and national committeemen.

He was proud of South Carolina because of Secretary of State Byrnes and Bernard Baruch, both natives, but they were just as much a product of an aristocratic system, he concludes, as was Stalin, Molotov, and the rest. He counsels looking therefore first at South Carolina's own linen.

A letter wonders why The News had devoted space to an article by Tom Fesperman titled "Clattering of Rocks on Porch Is Sign Someone Loves You", as a Valentine's Day greeting, inviting the same sort of vandalism characteristic of Hallow'een.

"Tho [sic] we have no small children to receive Valentines, still the hoodlums of this section broke our screen door by throwing heavy rocks at it. Other years the fun was more playful, but your article referred to above seemed to be license for rougher fun."

Yet another letter on the same subject states: "You ought to have your head cracked for putting that suggestion on second front of The News Thursday afternoon urging the children of the community to go out and throw rocks at people's houses."

An article in the Observer, it offers, had shown what trouble had been stirred up by the piece.

It urges Tom Fesperman to leave town or hopes "that the Lord will call him away!"

The editors simply respond: "We hate to think about next Christmas Eve, when we run our annual story about the custom in Gastonia, where the citizens fire shotguns instead of singing Christmas Carols."

Both of the latter letters were left unsigned. We have a feeling it was probably Clara Edwards, in league with some outside agitator, most likely a Yankee Negro, unfamiliar with local courting customs, an ignorance of which the nation subsequently would become disabused.

Every native of North Carolina certainly knows that it is quite customary to throw heavy rocks at the screen door of one's intended, as a boulder display than that of the competition.

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