Thursday, February 7, 1946

The Charlotte News

Thursday, February 7, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the House had passed by a vote of 258 to 155 the Case bill placing restrictions on the right of collective bargaining. The bill passed with 149 Republicans and 109 Democrats voting for it, 120 Democrats and 33 Republicans against. At the behest of Representative Clare Hoffman of Michigan, the bill was read in its entirety to the House before the vote.

The bill would create a Federal mediation board with power to prevent strikes or lockouts for 30 days while it sought to resolve disputes. It would limit anti-injunction legislation and provide for civil suits against management and labor for violations of contracts. It would also outlaw violence by either labor or management in the picket lines, with specific penalties for violation, and would ban boycotts to coerce terms. Supervisory personnel would also be denied the rights to collective bargaining.

New York tugmen voted against returning to work despite seizure of the tugboat industry by the Federal Government the day before. In consequence, Mayor William O'Dwyer declared a state of emergency based on an acute fuel shortage resulting from the strike, in its fourth day. All New York City public schools were to be shut down the following day until further notice. School facilities were possibly to be used as emergency hospital wards to accommodate increasing numbers of pneumonia cases in the city, as well as to provide housing for those without heat. There was to be no delivery of coal or oil to places of amusement and thermostats were to be set at 60 degrees. A brownout was also imposed, including not burning outdoor signs and dimming of streetlights.

President Truman forecasted in a press conference that there would be a remedy forthcoming in a day or two for the major strikes, stating the primary issue to be resumption of production. Anonymous Government officials suggested the likelihood of an increase of $5.25 per ton for steel prices, rather than the previously stated $4 per ton, still short by a dollar of that which the steel industry wanted.

The President also announced the possibility of a return to meat rationing if it became necessary to prevent the starvation of millions in Europe, already suffering from a shortage of wheat. He assured that former enemy countries would not receive a richer diet than those of the Allies during the war.

The Ukraine complained to the U.N. Security Council meeting in London that the British had deliberately sought to suppress a people's movement in Indonesia, branded again as a "lie" by British Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin, as he had the Russian charge anent British presence in Greece supporting rightwing elements. The Ukraine asked the Security Council to send to Indonesia a special commission to investigate the situation; it did not ask for withdrawal of British troops.

The Security Council had the previous evening passed over the question of the Russian complaint against the British in Greece. It voted to hear the complaint of the Levant States, Syria and Lebanon, asking for removal of French and British troops.

In Nuremberg, the British prosecutors revealed that Rudolf Hess had flown to Scotland in May, 1941 bearing a plan to make peace with a new British Cabinet following a proposed ouster of Prime Minister Churchill and his Cabinet. The new Cabinet was to provide Germany with a free hand in Europe. His proposals included the claim that the United States had designs on the British Empire, including incorporation of Canada within the United States. Such proposals may have fueled the reports that he was insane at the time.

He had sent a letter of farewell to Hitler promising to use Britain's fascists to persuade the British to accede. German Foreign Minister Joachim Von Ribbentrop told Benito Mussolini that Hitler had been incensed by Hess's actions and would have him shot if he returned to Germany. Hess had made two previous attempts to fly to Scotland, the first in December, 1940, but on each such occasion was forced to turn back for bad weather.

General Homma's attorneys sought from the U.S. Supreme Court an order halting his war crimes trial in Manila on the same grounds previously advanced by General Yamashita and rejected by the Supreme Court on Monday, lack of jurisdiction by the military tribunal. The petition had been filed prior to the Yamashita ruling.

In Tulsa, four unmasked bandits entered a hotel at 3:00 a.m. and sought to rob the main safe. When the employees convinced them that they did not know the combination, they were tied up and gagged, and the robbers instead made off with a small safe, containing over $11,000 worth of cash and valuables.

They should not be hard to catch. They would be the four men carrying a small safe.

It was announced by the military that Major Thomas Ferebee of Mocksville, N.C., who had been the bombardier on the Enola Gay on August 6 when it dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, was to lay a similar egg in the Bikini tests to come in July, then scheduled for May. He was being trained for the Bikini operation with the 509th Composite Bomb Group at Roswell Field, N.M. Among the group also was Captain Kermit Behan of Houston, bombardier on Bock's Car, the B-29 which dropped the bomb on Nagasaki on August 9.

—Some of them little spacemen that come down in 1947 there got transported over to Mocksville. We know because we seen 'em one night out on I-40, plain as day.

Hal Boyle continues his report from Macao, the "Monte Carlo of the Far East". It was too small to be much trouble to the Chinese Government, but nevertheless was annoying. They resented that it was still under the control of the Portuguese, just as they resented British control of Hong Kong. Though lightly defended, Macao had been left alone by the Chinese save for harassment of the Government.

A blockade which had for awhile prevented Chinese farmers from transporting food to the colony had been lifted after the Chinese realized that they were hurting their own people more than the Portuguese of Macao.

The Portuguese comprised only about 5,000 of the 200,000 residents, most of the rest being Chinese. The population spoke a particular dialect called Macanese, comprised of parts of the languages of the trading peoples of the previous four centuries.

A photograph appears of mother, sister, and Sara Clare Fielder (or Fiedler, as the case may be), upon arrival in Chicago-New York, America. Sara Clare was the four-year old, interviewed Monday by Relman Morin, intending to do some killing of rabbits and tigers when she reached Chicago-New York, where she would attend school, unless the cowboys and Indians prevented it, in which case she could, according to her father, obtain remedy at the drug store where they had the cows which came into the house to give the milk whereupon the tigers gave pursuit. But it did not matter, because she also intended to kill the cows because there were about a fifty hundred per day coming to Chicago-New York.

She was of course quite mistaken. The Indians were in Cleveland, about four or five miles from Chicago-New York. The cowboys were in Pittsburgh-Cincinnati, about fourteen-eighteen miles in between.

On the editorial page, "Presidential Loyalty" speaks to the Kansas City politics now pervading White House appointments, with Ed Pauley being nominated Undersecretary of the Navy despite Secretary of Interior Harold Ickes having told of the offer of Mr. Pauley to contribute $300,000 in campaign funds to obtain the Government's release of its claims to California oil lands in which Mr. Pauley had a personal stake. Other such appointments included adviser George Allen to chair RFC and Jim Vardaman to be a member of the board of the Federal Reserve Bank.

It reminded that the President had associations with the Pendergast Machine of Kansas City and that during his early days in the Senate, he had performed a few favors for Boss Pendergast. Republicans were starting to call up the memories of these issues.

It was bad enough to have these clouds arise when the only issue was competence of the appointees but with Mr. Ickes now asserting an issue of honesty with respect to Mr. Pauley, it was more problematic, especially as Mr. Pauley appeared ready to take over as Secretary of the Navy in the expected event of the resignation of James Forrestal.

The President, asserts the piece, was demonstrating naivete in his loyalty to cronies from his stomping grounds.

"Story in Contrasts" finds poignant the voyage of the British brides and children of American soldiers from England to New York to join their spouses. One woman had commented that she had enjoyed two eggs per day for breakfast during the voyage, forcing her to realize that her children had never tasted eggs and that she had only recalled them as a delicacy from her own childhood.

Another had found romance with a soldier when she was but 13 and, now turning 17 in April, looked forward with expectation to moving to Roanoke Rapids, N.C., to join her husband and live in a small cotton mill village with his family.

Nine days before arrival in New York, they had left behind in tears their native England. Such contrasts would likely continue to be with them as they adjusted to their new home in America. Yet, the new problems were nothing compared to those they had faced during the war.

Their presence, it concludes, would be a reminder that it was, after all, in the phrase of the late Wendell Willkie, "One World".

"Utterly Improbable" finds it a stumper that no speaker could be found by the South Carolina Bar Association for its annual meeting, forcing its cancellation. South Carolina had traditionally been the home of extemporaneous speechifying on any number of issues, from John C. Calhoun to Gettysburg, states rights to Southern womanhood, and so forth.

"Why no lawyer in all South Carolina's history ever dared hang out his shingle until he had mastered the art of off-the-cuff bombast. There's not one among the Association's extensive membership who can't charm the birds down out of the trees, and who won't try at the drop of a subpoena."

A South Carolina lawyer could not say good morning in less than 6,000 words.

It was simply therefore preposterous to conceive that such an organization could find among its number no speaker of sufficient elocutionary prolixity, treacly proclivity, oratorical floridity, and moribund profundity for its annual meeting.

A piece from the Louisville Courier-Journal, titled "The Oppenheim Era", tells of the spy stories of E. Phillips Oppenheim, who had just died at age 79 on February 3. His stories had been possessed of the characteristics which appealed to readers as varied as London bank clerks and Iowa lawyers. The heroes and villains each had their particular sets of traits.

Imitators had diminished the Oppenheim lustre with time. Few writers had been more prolific in his day, but he had reduced his output in the previous six years as the realities of war had outshone the relative innocence of these spy novels of a bygone era.

"The real-life villains who finally came to the villa on the Riviera observed none of the conventions and the Oppenheim urbanity had no means of translating them and their real meaning into the old, smooth tales."

Drew Pearson reports of the unwitting collaboration between the leaders of Big Steel in the United States, including U.S. Steel president Benjamin Fairless, and the Axis in helping it to build up its industrial capacity to establish its war machine, while at the same time reducing the capability of the United States and Germany's other enemies. American participation began in late 1937 when there was no doubt of Hitler's expansionist goals, having retaken the Rhineland and sent arms to Franco in Spain, and boasted of the intent of Germany to reign supreme in Europe.

Both Bethlehem Steel and U.S. Steel had obligated themselves to participation in the cartel by early 1937, and four months afterward, in June, the world markets were divided among its members. In February, 1938, a delegation of European steel representatives came to the United States and obtained agreements from Bethlehem, U.S. Steel, Republic, Youngstown Sheet and Tube, Jones and Laughlin, Armco International, Wheeling Steel, Lukens Steel, National Steel Corporation, and others. The agreements established price maintenance as well as division of the world markets, with quotas established on production by each company.

The Germans, however, always exceeded their quotas, paying the required fines under the contracts, building up their war machine in the process. American and British firms, in contrast, maintained their quotas, leaving their countries behind the Germans.

The agreements were renewed as late as December, 1938, after Anschluss in Austria and after Munich. They were again renewed in April, 1939.

Mr. Pearson next reports that observers in Washington believed that after having gotten off to a good start with Cabinet appointments, President Truman had not continued with the same level of quality in his more recent appointments, such as the case of Ed Pauley as Undersecretary of the Navy, George Allen as head of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, and Jim Vardaman as a board member for the Federal Reserve Bank.

Mr. Pearson suggests that the President return to the country newspaper editor, as Josephus Daniels in World War I, as a model for a Secretary of the Navy, one who would stand up to the Admirals. Mr. Daniels had been vilified for abolishing liquor aboard ship and giving the enlisted men a chance to advance, but he had been one of the best Secretaries in the country's history.

Marquis Childs examines the shortage of doctors and medical students in the country. He had written of the problem the previous year in terms of Selective Service not having deferred premedical students from the draft to insure a steady stream of medical students into the future. But at the time, he had received in response many letters from students who had been turned down for medical school based ultimately on their religion, national origin, or race. Most had been Jewish, but many had been Italian or Catholic. The medical schools would not admit to employing a quota system but in reality they did, ignoring applications of Jews and Catholics until the classes were full, then rejecting the applications.

To restrict admissions in this manner was to undermine the American foundational principles of equality, not reserved to those families who had been present in the country in the eighteenth century.

Samuel Grafton suggests that Britain had been placed in a peculiar position before the U.N. Security Council, having to oppose Russian socialism with British socialism. Meanwhile, isolationists in Congress were seeking to block the proposed U.S. loan to Britain, placing the British between the two sides of the former Grand Alliance.

As a result, British newspapers were casting aspersions on both Russia and America with equal vigor. They believed the Russians wanted to dominate the old trade routes of the British in the Mediterranean and that the Americans wanted to dominate the old British trade. There was a unity among the British people developing around these conceptualizations.

It was incumbent upon world statesmanship, it ventures, to release Britain from this gambit by aiding Russia and Britain to come to a new agreement on the strategic realities of the Near East.

"Britain deserves more than this future of battering herself against two walls; and the world is too round for any people to have to be in the middle, if the will to take advantage of its roundness and oneness exists."

A piece is reprinted from PM by I. F. Stone, liberal journalist, regarding the filibuster of the FEPC bill. The editors preface it by saying that, while most Southern newspapers, including The News, had supported the Southern Senators' filibuster of the bill, forbidding discrimination in employment based on race, religion, or ethnicity, Mr. Stone made an argument worth considering. The editors note that The News opposed the FEPC only because it believed that legislation was not the path to racial justice.

Mr. Stone begins by calling the filibuster a subversive device, designed to allow a minority interest to block the will of the majority in Congress, undermining the democratic processes on which the country was founded. Moreover, it was subversive because it sought to perpetuate white Anglo-Saxon Protestant notions of racial superiority, exclusive not only of black citizens but also those who were Jewish, Catholic, Hispanic, foreign born or children of the foreign born.

When Senator John Eastland of Mississippi engaged in colloquy with Senator Burnet Maybank of South Carolina during the filibuster to the effect that the bill would provide a preference for a member of a minority group over a white Anglo-Saxon veteran in employment, it perpetuated a lie. The bill only prevented discrimination and gave no preferences to anyone.

The filibuster was quickly alienating 22 million Catholics, 13 million blacks, five million Jews, three million Hispanic Americans and most of the eleven million foreign born and 23 million of foreign born parentage, in sum comprising half of the 135 million people of the country.

It revived the tactics of the slaveholder who argued the benefits of slavery before the Civil War. The argument still relied for its premises on the notion of inherent racial inferiority.

"Thus we face a fundamental issue. The filibuster is the shadow of a new irrepressible conflict in which the validity of the American experiment itself is under attack."

A letter writer from Gaffney, S.C., favors the setting of fair prices to provide fair wages, the only way to satisfy both greedy management and greedy labor. He stresses that his sympathies were with labor, having seen cotton mill workers through his life laboring 12 hours for 50 cents per day. Such regimentation was the only way to avoid Communism.

An Army private writes a letter thanking The News for its liberal positions and for not being swayed by powerful lobbies as he views most of the press of the country. He had come to the South as a soldier, viewing it with disdain when observing the few large dwellings against generalized squalor. But The News had caused him to see a New South emerging.

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