Tuesday, February 5, 1946

The Charlotte News

Tuesday, February 5, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the Levant States, Syria and Lebanon, had made complaint to the U.N. Security Council against the British and French, demanding that they withdraw their troops, that they had stayed beyond the end of the war and threatened the peace and security of the region.

As to the Russian complaint aginst the British for their alleged threat to peace and security by continuing to maintain troops in Greece, supposedly supporting rightwing groups, an issue had arisen as to whether Russia could, with its veto power on the Security Council, block the 7 to 4 vote of the Council that the charges against Britain lacked any basis.

In Manila, Lt. General Homma testified at his war crimes trial that he was removed from the Philippine command in August, 1942 because of his supposed pro-British sentiments and that he had disagreed with Premier Hideki Tojo by protesting his becoming Minister of War. He stated that the military was divided between pro-German and pro-British factions, the latter of which he was supposed to have led because of his senior status and because he had trained in England. The British faction was broad-minded and liberal, he contended. General Tojo headed the pro-German faction.

General Homma stood accused of causing the deaths of 67,000 Americans and Filipinos in his charge. He claimed that he had no authority over his staff whom he did not appoint and was not informed of all incidents which took place while he was in command.

Also in Manila, a Filipino guerilla fighter who had been awarded the bronze star by General MacArthur a year earlier for aiding the American Rangers in liberating Allied prisoners at Cabanatuan, was being tried as a Japanese spy by the people's court of Manila.

Navy Captain L. F. Safford continued his testimony before the joint Congressional committee investigating Pearl Harbor, stating that, without the knowledge of Rear Admiral Husband Kimmel, he had sought to clear the Admiral from responsibility for the attack. He had written a letter in January, 1944 to Captain Alvin Kramer, urging him to win the support of Admiral William Halsey for Admiral Kimmel. He also visited Admiral Kimmel in New York in mid-February, 1944.

In Pasadena, a group of seven scientists appointed by General Leslie Groves, Army head of the Manhattan Project which developed the atomic bomb, recommended that the basic scientific and technical information gained during the development of the bomb be released, that it would enhance national welfare and help to preserve national safety. The group was headed by Dr. Richard Tolman who had been one of the advisers to General Groves on the project.

The commander of the American Legion called the fifth special meeting of the executive committee in its history, to consider the criticism which he had made of the job being performed by General Omar Bradley as head of the Veterans' Administration.

The Mexican Labor Federation, following general strikes in Brazil and Argentina in recent weeks, called for a general work stoppage as an anti-Fascist demonstration. About 1.25 million workers participated in the strike, which lasted four hours in the states and one hour in Mexico City.

Near Ketchikan, Alaska, a steamship wrecked in a storm with twenty persons missing. Three men had been rescued.

In the House, last-ditch efforts to introduce less stringent bills as alternatives to the Case bill, imposing restrictions on labor's right to strike, appeared to be making little headway. Congressman Jerry Voorhis of California had been one of the members introducing such compromise legislation, favoring the establishment in the Labor Department of a mediation and conciliation division, then enabling fact-finding boards only when that division would fail to resolve labor-management disputes.

Meanwhile, an unnamed high Government official stated that President Truman would shortly issue a statement indicating variation from the policy to retain price controls across the board, that some would be relaxed, especially in an effort to settle the steel strike.

The House Banking Committee rejected an Administration proposal to put price ceilings on previously owned houses for sale, but left in the Patman bill price controls on new housing. Mr. Patman wanted to encourage the building of $6,000 houses.

Former Governor John W. Bricker, who had run as the vice-presidential nominee with Governor Thomas Dewey in 1944, announced that he would be a candidate for the Senate from Ohio in 1946.

James Hutcheson, substituting for Hal Boyle, writes from Hong Kong of the street urchins who thrived on picking the pockets of visitors to the city. Signs warned of them at the ferry piers. They had managed a few days earlier to take $11,000 from the pockets of ferry passengers.

They operated now in a wolfpack system. Hal Boyle , who had contended with the best of the Artful Dodgers from St. Louis to Saigon, rated them good but still believed their craft was wholly avoidable with due diligence. He had saved his wallet in three separate, successive raids from a wolfpack of six boys on a crowded street.

He relates of Mr. Boyle's description of the action: the latter had managed to make his escape by spotting the vultures before they could swoop and feed. But when they persisted, he was able to knock two of them aside and obtain the relative sanctuary of a store while the wolves waited outside with baited, not sated, breath.

Mr. Boyle had managed finally to evade them until he reached his hotel where a patrolman's presence scared them away, perhaps equipped with silver bullets.

On the editorial page, "The Case for Case" discusses the Northern Republican and Southern Democratic coalition which had turned out the Case anti-strike legialstion to be debated on the House floor.

It finds the bill to be overplaying its hand in seeking to bring equality between labor and industry by limiting labor. Industry had done quite well by itself in the current wage disputes. Ford, for instance, had settled its dispute by providing 15 percent wage hikes, half the demanded increase.

Strikes were a part of free enterprise. Corporations did not give wage hikes generally without pressure being exerted upon them. And so it was anomalous for the Congressional coalition to claim defense of the American Way by controlling labor-management relations.

"A Hotel and History" reports that a local historian had determined that the property on which the Old Courthouse stood, just purchased by a Fayetteville surgeon for the purpose of building a 400-room modern hotel, replete with a tub, a shower, and a radio in every single room, even air conditioned throughout, had been historic, having been the original site for Queens College, established in 1770. It was renamed Liberty Hall, and served both the British and the Colonials as a hospital during the Revolution. It had been a public school afterward, until the Courthouse was erected on the site in 1895.

The editorial suggests that the new hotel perhaps take its name from this historic past, being increasingly lost and forgotten in the misted pages of time.

"Jimmy Byrnes, Expatriate" comments that, with the exception of John C. Calhoun, no South Carolinian had ever reached a higher office in Government than James Byrnes. It notes parenthetically that it was excluding deliberately the questionable claim of South Carolina, versus North Carolina, to the birthplace of President Andrew Jackson, stated to be in Waxhaw, N.C.

Despite his success, however, Mr. Byrnes suffered from the prophet's curse, rejection by his hometown newspaper, The Charleston News and Courier, finding him an expatriate for joining the Truman Administration, favoring passage of the FEPC bill as Southern Senators filibustered against it. It pointed out that Mr. Byrnes, while in the Senate, had declared that the Democratic Party had been taken over by blacks.

So, the News and Courier now rejected the Democrats, but also, long ago, had rejected the Republican Party. The abjuration made it understandable why the newspaper perceived Mr. Byrnes as an expatriate.

But The News also had to ask then what that made the News and Courier.

A piece from the Wilmington Morning Star, titled "Note on Free Advertising", finds the newspapers giving a wealth of free advertising to nylon stockings, as the manufacturers were about to release four million pairs the following week.

Many columns had been indited regarding the shortage and the scramble to obtain them, replaced by the war's parachutes, when some relatively few pairs reached the stores.

The piece thinks it imprudent to provide such free advertising and it hopes that it would be the last of it.

Drew Pearson examines the problems of confirmation of Ed Pauley as Undersecretary of the Navy, given his oil holdings. It was complicated by the apparent appointment of Ralph Davies to become Undersecretary of Interior. Mr. Davies and Mr. Pauley were friends.

Marquis Childs had thoroughly explained the matter the previous day and so we shall not reiterate it except as supplemented by Mr. Pearson.

Mr. Pauley had wanted to build a high-octane gasoline plant in Mexico, but the State Department, through Assistant Dean Acheson, had opposed the plan because the Mexican Government would have to pay such a high premium to Mr. Pauley that it would harm U.S.-Mexican relations.

Mr. Davies had approved the plan in his position as Deputy Oil Administrator in the Department of Interior. But Mr. Ickes, when he heard Mr. Acheson's objections, asked Mr. Davies why he had not revealed them himself. He stated that he had not been aware of them. In consequence, Mr. Ickes changed his position and opposed the plan.

The column next tells of Senator Walter George of Georgia having called a unique tax hearing to determine why the IRB had not refunded more money to the corporations under the excess profits tax carry-back provisions of the tax code.

Some contended that it was, in reality, an effort to finance the strikes, as corporations could, under the carry-back program, obtain profits during the year despite no production. Business had submitted three billion dollars worth of claims under the program and ultimately it might cost as much as eight billion dollars to the Treasury, pursuant to a bill put through Congress when no one was paying much attention.

Marquis Childs remarks that the steel industry's apparent reluctance to settle the steel strike, no matter the Government's promise of a $4 per ton price increase, indicated that there was a concerted effort by industry to break labor in a show-down. Now, steel wanted $6.25 per ton.

Industry had waged a propaganda campaign to wipe out price controls, which would be a stimulus to inflation. To yield to them in an election year would constitute political suicide, if not in 1946, certainly in 1948, as inflation would begin to plague the consumer. But if the President held firm on price controls, then the steel strike and the G.M. strike appeared destined to continue. The settlements already achieved with Ford and Chrysler would be meaningless without steel with which to build the automobiles.

And the Congress was out to punish labor with controlling legislation. Assuming it would pass both houses, it would place the onus on President Truman to veto it or not. Deadlock in the Congress would likely result.

In consequence of the move, there had been no effort in Congress to investigate the steel strike.

If steel won its effort to break the unions, it would likely prove a pyrrhic victory.

Samuel Grafton examines whether the Republicans were likely to take control of the House in 1946. They would need both labor and black votes to win. They were basing their hopes on the belief that President Truman was not doing too well and on the Southern Democrats' filibuster of the FEPC bill, which they hoped would stimulate black voters to join the Republican camp.

Their claim that the President was ineffective was based on their own maneuvering in coalition with the Southern Democrats. "The banana peel on the sidewalk claims the man has poor balance." The President could not get along with Congress, they contended, and so they offered themselves as the solution.

They were opposing the FEPC filibuster but nevertheless generally remained in coalition with the same Southern Senators bringing it about. It was as a lovers' quarrel.

They had recently voted, during the filibuster, with the Southern Democrats of the House, to de-Federalize the Employment Service and send it back to the states, despite the recommendation to the contrary of President Truman. They had also joined to force consideration of the Case anti-strike bill.

The Northern voter was faced therefore with a paradox: support the Republicans who sided with the Southern Democrats most of the time, or support the Northern Democrats, of the same party as the Southerners. Mr. Grafton believes that they would side with the Northern Democrats.

Nevertheless, the Republicans would, overwhelmingly, wrest control from the Democrats not only of the House, but also of the Senate, in the 1946 election. Their majorities, however, would be short-lived, yielding again to the Democrats in both houses in 1948.

A letter writer states that he was the local merchant mentioned in the letter appearing January 31, regarding his having supposedly been made aware of 40,000 suits being hoarded by a manufacturer.

He states that the manufacturer would have lost 65 cents per suit if sold at the current price ceiling, frozen in 1942. The clothing workers had agreed not to strike during the war, but had made amicable agreements with the manufacturers in December for substantial wage increases.

The manufacturers had sought a price increase from OPA, but were refused. They then sought to have the retailers absorb the difference without raising prices; the retailers agreed, but OPA again refused to provide its approval.

He also states that the shirt situation described in the previous letter was similar.

Another letter writer, as had one the previous week, asserts the belief that the Senate filibuster of the FEPC bill amounted to treason, that North Carolina Senator Clyde Hoey's opposition to the bill was likewise treasonous.

The editors respond that it appeared to be strong language regarding the relatively mild opposition offered by Senator Hoey.

A letter writer, a sergeant from Fort Jackson, S.C., finds The News to be a liberal oasis in a conservative desert. He offers an orchid for Samuel Grafton for his progressive ideas and logical thinking. He offers his second spa for the January 22 reprinted transcript of former Sergeant Millard Lampell's Town Meeting of the Air broadcast, finding his statements to echo the sentiments of the G.I.'s.

He favors more Southern newspapers like The News.

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