Monday, February 4, 1946

The Charlotte News

Monday, February 4, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that President Truman met for thirty minutes with Secretary of Labor Lewis Schwellenbach and CIO head Philip Murray in an effort to resolve the steel strike, now two weeks old. OPA director Chester Bowles was also scheduled to meet with the President during the day. Mr. Bowles wanted price hikes to steel limited to $2.50 per ton. The President had promised $4 per ton and the steel industry wanted $6.25 per ton to meet Government-recommended wage increases at 18.5 cents per hour.

In London, British Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin labeled a "lie" the Russian claim of Vice Commissar for Foreign Relations Andrei Vishinsky, that British troops were protecting rightist elements in Greece. Mr. Bevin denied that the British presence in Greece threatened the peace, as also charged by Mr. Vishinsky.

Former U.S. Secretary of State Edward Stettinius proposed that the U.N. Security Council dismiss the Russian complaint.

The U.S. Supreme Court refused, in a 6 to 2 decision delivered by Chief Justice Harlan Stone, the claim of General Yamashita, convicted of war crimes in Manila and sentenced to hang. He had contended that the five-person military tribunal lacked proper jurisdiction and that he should have been tried in a United States civilian court. Justices Frank Murphy and Wiley Rutledge dissented.

General Yamashita's attorneys had been afforded five and a half hours for oral argument before the Court, nearly twice the time usually allotted.

Allied Headquarters in Japan was not contemplating prosecution of either former Ambassador Kichisaburo Nomura or special envoy Saburo Kurusu, the Japanese diplomats in Washington in the days leading up to Pearl Harbor. Both had contended that they knew nothing of the plans for the attack and were not running interference so that it might transpire.

Hal Boyle writes of Kong Dan Var, 13, one of the most envied of Hong Kong's younger generation. He was a doorboy who wore clean clothes and a crimson jacket, with a bright red cap. In contrast, most his age were beggars who wore grimy clothes. Kong had never had a toy or wanted one, barely knew what it was. He spoke little English and told his story through an American soldier.

His father had been killed when the Japanese invaded in December, 1941. His brother had been placed in a prison camp and his mother went to work as a coolie, earning 25 cents per day. At 9, he had been too young to work and so stayed home, helping his mother with the cooking.

In New York, the first ship bringing British brides to American soldiers had arrived, the first "brides' ship" in more than 200 years to come from England. The ship had encountered bad swells during the initial part of the voyage, begun January 26, causing most of the women to become seasick. The women were screaming by the second day. There were also 175 children aboard, half under 18, also upset and sickened by the rolling ship.

Matters only became worse by January 30 as the ship encountered a gale force wind, the worst storm at sea of the winter, preventing its speed from exceeding five miles per hour.

In between attacks of nausea, those who could find the strength learned of the American political system and how to sing the "Star Spangled Banner". Most were apprehensive of the life to come in America.

Relman Morin conducted a separate interview of a four-year old who had arrived on the brides' ship with her mother and sister. She had stated that they were going to "Chicago, America", where she would kill rabbits—probably at O'Hare Airport, even if not yet so named.

She had never seen a rabbit except in a book. She was also going to kill tigers, which, she knew, also were present in Chicago. Her father had so informed her, and that if they were not dispatched, they would come into the house and kill the cows—which started the fire.

Parenthetically, the tigers were instead in Detroit, twenty miles away from Chicago. The Stock Market was in Chicago.

She informed that there was a cow on the boat, enabling her and her sister to have milk every day. But, when she got to Chicago, she also intended to kill the cow, because every day about a fifty hundred came to Chicago—true enough, except during the meatpackers strike when no cows came to Chicago, only the fishes and chickenses.

The cows could be had at the drug store, also a factum imparted by her father. He had told her that everything could be obtained at the drug store.

She would be going to school in "Chicago-New York", as her father had told her that they were the same except that Chicago was better. But New York had more cowboys and Indians, all of whom shot everybody else.

She then had to go kill some rabbits.

"Bang! Bang!"

On the editorial page, "Herblock Comes Home" welcomes the return of editorial cartoonist Herb Block, who had served in the Army since March, 1943, leaving his cartoon panel to Dorman Smith for the duration.

In 1942, Herblock had won a Pulitzer for his cartoon captioned "British Plane". The piece describes the cartoon, originally appearing in The News on March 11, 1941.

He now would work from Washington rather than through the NEA service in Cleveland, thus physically closer to the scene of the wreck he so often lampooned.

At 36, it suggests, he had already earned a place beside such luminaries of the editorial cartoon past as Ding Darling and Jim Berryman. The editors believe it would not be too long before he would stand alone at the forefront of his craft.

Were Herblock still alive, what would he have to say today, coincident as it would inevitably be with his cartoon of this date, regarding the discovery of the bones linked by anatomical features and DNA to Richard III? Would he find significance in the scoliosis of the backbone? Would the presence of the intact skull have led him to the title, "Alas, Poor Richard, We Knew Him Much Too Well"?

"The Legion's Tartar" finds the head of the American Legion, in criticizing Veterans' Administration director General Omar Bradley, to have embarked on a road fraught with difficulty, as the President, General Eisenhower, several members of Congress, and all of the other major veterans organizations had endorsed General Bradley and denounced the criticism.

General Bradley seemed to have isolated the cause for the criticism: the American Legion commander had disagreed with the General on the location for a veterans hospital in Illinois, a site in which the commander had a personal interest. After the statement by General Bradley to this effect, the commander backed down.

The AMVETS charged that the commander was seeking to regain the Legion's lost control over the V.A., accumulated following World War I.

The charges against the Legion seemed apt, since General Bradley had only been in the position for six months.

The piece asserts that General Bradley appeared to be doing what was best for the veterans, not for the American Legion.

"The Great Discovery" comments on a woman novelist in California who desperately needed centella asiatica, having run out of her supply when wartime restrictions cut off shipments from the Orient. She then read that centella, the "Intelligence plant", grew in some profusion in the North Carolina swamps, and so wired a professor, who had written a tract on the subject, to obtain some for her posthaste and double-quick.

He answered the call, and she was now doing fine, progressing apace with her novel.

The implications for North Carolina, the piece predicts, were remarkable. Soon, everyone in the state could have their morning cup of centella and go forth into the world with increased mental acuity.

The State could start advertising campaigns which would disseminate material containing such slogans as, "Come to North Carolina—The Land of Mental Giants", or "Improve Your Perception in Pasquotank" and other such phraseology in alliterative combination with county names.

It concludes that the Gamecock boast to the south, that vegetables in the Palmetto State were possessed of higher than ordinary iodine content, was nothing if not idle compared to this new revelation about the North Carolina swamp.

Of course, the editors could not yet know that in 1947, the Federal Government would take note of this phenomenal discovery and derive from the flora the name for the new intelligence gathering spy agency, it having had its proto-genesis as a variant of Centella Intelligencia Asiatica.

A piece from the Des Moines Register, titled "An Editor's Troubles", tells of having heard a high school student propose that juvenile delinquency ought be laid at the feet of newspapers for printing the reports which only served to fuel the flames for more of the same.

Then, the editors went home and had a terrible nightmare, that the newspapers printed nothing about crime, thus leading the populace to be apathetic toward it, allowing the community to sleep peacefully while untoward mischief continued to prevail, albeit enshrouded in darkness, unreported, at least until something so bad would occur that the secret would out.

Then everyone within the nightmare asked why they had not been apprised of the crime wave. Had they been, they might have blunted its worst blows to the community. They condemned the press for censorship and not keeping the public informed.

The editors were reminded not to take naps on their back, which was how they always had nightmares, especially after listening to talks by high school students.

Of course, the piece could not foresee a day when not only was there a newspaper, but wall to wall television news, magnifying every small story into a globe-shattering event in order to sell more cornflakes along the Yellow Brick Road. And, plainly, while we have always had violence, this constant wall-to-wall coverage, sometimes for days on end, of purely local news stories which would have remained local 35 years ago, but now become global in their impact, spawn and propagate the species of violent criminal acts.

There is such a thing as too much news coverage, to the point where the general reaction is either to ignore all of it as jaded or to imbibe and instill it, then lock the doors, have handy the gun, with or without skillet, and hide under the bed or in the safe room, acting like a complete nut, not only waiting for something to happen, but hoping that it will, to provide rationale for the paranoiac behavior, to the point that the "incident" is finally stimulated or even invited.

Drew Pearson finds the most energetic champion of the veterans to be Wilson Wyatt, former Mayor of Louisville, now head of Federal housing. He had recently held a conference with the President, Reconverter John Snyder, George Allen, the President's adviser, and press secretary Charles G. Ross.

Mr. Wyatt wanted the housing industry to build three million units in the ensuing two years, not just the 400,000 which they said they could accomplish. To do it, he wanted non-essential building in the commercial arena stopped and controls replaced on building materials on a priority basis. He also wanted subsidies for low-cost housing and conversion of Army camps to temporary housing. His proposal favored giving the highest priority to building of houses costing $5,000 and advocated the use of pre-fabricated materials to quicken the pace.

—You 'an slap them plywood up 'ere 'lot easier 'an them lapboards. You know what I'm sayin'? Then you get you a little wall-to-wall carpet rather than them 3-by floorboards. Finally, throw you up some gypsum instead o' that lath and plaster work, and you're done inside a couple or three weeks.

Neither Mr. Snyder nor Mr. Allen liked the plan. Mr. Allen first wanted the approval of Congress, as several bills regarding housing were already pending.

The President, however, liked the plan. Mr. Ross disagreed with Mr. Snyder's assessment that the press would react unfavorably. The plan was ultimately delayed until some of the objections by Mr. Snyder could be resolved.

Among Mr. Pearson's Merry-Go-Round items was that Representative John Rankin of Mississippi was searching for a ghost writer to provide the skinny on Mr. Rankin's HUAC.

He also relates that Lt. Commander Clark Clifford, a White House Naval aide, was a cousin of Annamary Dickey, the Metropolitan Opera star. Mr. Clifford would go on to become White House counsel to President Truman, would serve on the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board under Presidents Kennedy and Johnson, as well as becoming Secretary of Defense during the last year of the Johnson Administration, succeeding Robert McNamara. He also served during the last year of the Carter Administration as an emissary to India.

Marquis Childs discusses the source of the tension in the Middle East, that which, he says, was rarely discussed, oil. It was the primary problem regarding Palestine, the primary problem regarding Russia's maneuvers in northern Iran, in Azerbaijan Province.

A recent report by L. E. Degolyer, considered the most informed authority in the world on oil at the time, had disclosed that the amount of oil beneath Saudi Arabia was greater than that in both North and South America. Texaco and Standard Oil of California possessed the sole rights to develop the Saudi oil.

Ed Pauley, wealthy oil magnate, had been nominated to be Undersecretary of the Navy. It had been alleged that Mr. Pauley had participated in the Mexican oil deal.

According to some sources, Ralph Davies, another oil man was to be nominated as Undersecretary of the Interior, and slated to become Secretary at the resignation of Harold Ickes. (It would not be so. Within days, Julius Krug, most recently former head of the dissolved War Production Board, would be appointed to succeed Mr. Ickes.)

As oil men, they were knowledgeable and qualified to look after America's oil reserves and safeguard American interests in the Middle East. The Navy, with U.S. reserves depleted by the war, wanted to assure supply for the country out of that region.

The primary question centered on the terms on which access to the oil would be obtained. Mr. Childs asks whether Mr. Pauley and Mr. Davies would wage an undeclared war in the Middle East for the oil, and whether the competition for it had the potential to become a shooting war, belying all of the principles on which the U.N. had been founded the previous June.

He concludes that talk of internationalizing the oil of the Middle East might constitute naive idealism, but he counsels the nation to make the attempt rather than perpetuate imperialistic rivalry—which at that juncture primarily involved the British, the French, and, to a lesser degree, the Russians.

Samuel Grafton discusses the fact that the newly created U.S. information service for communicating about America to foreign countries, the Voice of America, was having trouble being accepted at home, both by journalists and by private enterprise. Both A.P. and U.P. sold their stories to Russia, Canada, Britain and Italy, but refused to broadcast over the 22 Government-owned shortwave transmitters to America, for fear of Government control or censorship. It was so even though VOA had told them that they could write their own scripts free from Government interference.

Likewise, the business community feared VOA because of its Government control, distrusting it despite the mission of VOA to represent the benefits of private enterprise to countries in the Balkans, the Near East, and in Russia, a way of countering the Russian Socialist propaganda.

In the end, the story which VOA ought be relating, Mr. Grafton suggests, was that of a country divided against itself.

A letter writer tells of the National Planning Association having issued in December an impartial report titled "America Must Help Feed Europe This Winter". The Quakers had endorsed it. The author concludes with General Eisenhower's warning: "Without food, there will be no peace."

A former soldier who had been stationed in North Carolina during the war and hailed from Wisconsin, writes a letter relating of his undying affection for The News and wanted to know subscription rates.

Dorothy Thompson states that the outcome of the recent election in Bavaria, conservative and Catholic, was to be expected. It voted largely as it had prior to the coming of Hitler.

Nazism, while portrayed as rightwing, had been defined by the Nazis, and perceived by the Germans, as the Revolution. The leaders of the movement were either old Army officers or frustrated intellectuals, attacking all previous German values, removing not only Socialists and Communists, but also those Germans who represented the traditional standards. Nazism represented Nihilism, not Conservatism.

Nor was the opposition to it only from the left. Karl Goerdeler, for instance, had been a moderate. He was executed by Hitler. Many of the opponents were financed by the Bosch works, including some of its engineers and executives. Many were hanged.

Some of the most stubborn opposition had come from the church.

Presently, there were three anti-Fascist movements emerging in Europe: Social Democracy, Christian Democracy, and Communism. None was oriented toward capitalism, though the first two wanted to limit government interference and control. Communism, except where backed by foreign governments, had made little headway. It had made the most progress in countries distant from Russia, such as France.

She posits it to be an illusion to assume that economic reform and social conservatism were incompatible. They were part of the same movement, one representing progress and the other maintenance of tradition while progress was being forged.

There were more things to which Germans wanted to return than to advance toward. Nazi atrocities and sadism were things they wished to abandon. Nazism had also established state control of the economy.

She concludes by quoting Dostoevsky, that "the earth will weep for its old gods." Much of it, she found, already did, "and especially those countries which have looked closest into the eyes of some of the new gods."

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.