Monday, March 11, 1946

The Charlotte News

Monday, March 11, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the Communist Party newspaper Pravda had denounced Winston Churchill's speech at Westminster College as signifying an end to the three-power alliance forged during the war and forecasted that his proposed U.S.-British military alliance would liquidate the United Nations, as inevitably such an alliance would be aimed at the U.S.S.R. with the two Western powers ruling the world. Calling Mr. Churchill "reactionary", it said that, in the wake of his loss the previous July in the British elections, he was reaching for the coattails of America as a means to exert influence on world policy. Having pretended to be a friend to the Soviet Union during the war, it continued, he had returned to the views he held following World War I, "galloping on his old horse".

Prime Minister Clement Attlee told the House of Commons that the former Prime Minister had spoken for himself as a private citizen at Fulton, and that the Government therefore was not required to respond. He assured that the Government had not been made aware in advance of the contents of the speech. Mr. Attlee was urged by a Labor Party member to repudiate the speech since Mr. Churchill was the leader of the opposition. Mr. Attlee did not reply.

Meanwhile, Mr. Churchill met briefly with President Truman at the White House to say his farewells before heading back to Britain.

In Mukden in Manchuria, Chinese Communist and Nationalist troops were said to be fighting in the streets in the vacuum left by the evacuation of Soviet troops. More troops from each side were heading into the area as Communists heavily outnumbered Nationalists. It was not clear that the evacuation of Mukden presaged evacuation of Manchuria by the Russians.

A Senate-House appropriations conference restored the previously Senate-slashed funding of both OPA and the Civilian Production Administration.

Aiming to break hoarding of clothing, OPA announced cost adjustments allowing price hikes on certain scarce items, such as men's suits. Louis Rothschild, head of the National Association of Retail Clothiers, predicted that the new regulation would place on the market 700,000 suits which manufacturers had withheld in the hope of higher prices. Others criticized the move as making it harder for veterans to afford suits.

After consultation at the White House, Senate Majority Leader Alben Barkley stated that the Administration was going to place special emphasis on trying to get the Senate to restore to the housing bill the 600 million dollars in subsidies to encourage manufacturers of residential building materials. The Administration was also getting ready to release an order severely limiting the construction of business and commercial buildings, especially those devoted to recreation and amusement.

Five juveniles had been arrested by the Charlotte police after ransacking the First Ward School during the weekend. In recent weeks, several incidents of vandalism of churches, homes, and schools had been reported.

Hal Boyle, still in Cairo, explains that women loved Egypt, not because of the many physical attractions but rather because men were assigned the chore of washing dishes. These men were not sissies. The Sudanese servants, known as sofragis, were tall and muscular, with scarred faces from their tribal markings. They efficiently took care of all domestic work in the household.

A photograph shows an underwater volcano 200 miles off the coast of Honshu in Japan pushing lava up to form a new island, about 600 feet wide and 75 feet above sea level in some places.

On the editorial page, "The Political Color Line Fades" comments on Primus King, a black man of Columbus, Georgia, who sought to register to vote in the Democratic primary and was refused by the County Democratic Committee based on his race.

He had challenged the denial in Federal Court on the ground of it denying him his Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendment rights of Equal Protection and the specifically guaranteed right of any citizen to vote. After winning in the District Court, he won the previous week in the Fifth District Court of Appeals. The Atlanta Journal had reported that his attorneys were Georgia-bred white men, that the Federal District Court judge was from Georgia and one of the members of the panel of the Court of Appeals was from Georgia. Thus, no claim could be made of carpet bagging.

It predicts that the case, plus the Allwright decision by the Supreme Court in April, 1944 out of Texas, preventing Texas Democrats from excluding blacks from state-sponsored primaries, would spell the end of the political color line in the South.

The Journal had reported that the small town newspapers in Georgia appeared to have accepted the decision without quarrel. In Valdosta, 350 black citizens had voted in a Democratic primary in which only 3,000 votes were cast. The local newspaper found the election to have been conducted cooperatively and was a great step forward for blacks of the county.

The newspapers of Tifton and Claxton offered that allowing the black vote might serve as impetus to greater white participation at the polls, as presently minority government was the rule.

The piece concludes that if the change in voting pattern would mean an end to one-party rule in the South, then it would be of benefit not only to the black voter but also to the white as well.

Of course, in Mississippi and Alabama, it would take another 20 years to begin to eradicate the color line in voting.

"Grass blue", incidentally, has done moved to here.

Somehow, out there in the grand ethereal plan, it may have relationship to one of the little squibs at the base of the day's column: "And yet, if Rep. Jim Curley can be incarcerated for making promises he couldn't possibly fulfill, what statesman is safe?"

"Dark Days at the Haberdashery" comments on the bleak days of men's clothing stores, with only a smattering of socks and neckties in their shop windows. Inside, the shelves stood largely empty. The clerks resembled pallbearers.

Women's stores, while also lacking in stock, were not nearly in the same state. Men's clothing manufacturers had been deliberately hoarding clothing until prices would rise.

But with the new OPA regulations, relief appeared on the horizon, though it also promised higher prices. The haberdashers would not reap the benefits of the hoarding by the manufacturers. They would pay the higher cost along with the consumer.

The piece concludes by wondering whether President Truman, who had once been a haberdasher, ever stopped to reflect on the problems occasioned by his compromises in wage-price policy.

"Blueprint of Our Social Effort" compliments the Community Council for preparation of a directory of social services in the community, providing their officers, directors, functions, and addresses and phone numbers.

Drew Pearson reports on Secretary of Commerce Henry Wallace telling the President that the atomic energy committee of the Senate was about to report out a bill which would turn control of atomic energy over to the military and would constitute the first steps toward Fascism in the country.

It would provide, among other things, the military with authority to fire any scientists from public or private employment who it deemed a security risk, establish its own regulations for people working on atomic energy, establish criminal penalties for discussion of the subject among scientists except as allowed by Congress, and permit private ownership of fissionable material.

Mr. Wallace found it absurd to provide such pervasive authority to the military and President Truman agreed, saying that he would do everything he could to stop such Army control of atomic energy.

But it was questionable how far the President could get with the Senate, which was placing more reliance on General Groves than on the atomic scientists. General Groves, though head of the Manhattan Project for the Army, had placed little faith in the project in its early stages. Professor Harold Urey had stated recently that General Groves had delayed the project for at least eighteen months.

He next tells of veterans adopting the initials "VAV" to place beside any Congressman's name who had voted against veterans' rights. The House had avoided a roll-call vote on the housing bill the previous week. But newsmen in the gallery had nevertheless recorded the "teller vote". Republicans, with the exception of a few liberals, voted as a bloc to emasculate the bill. He provides the breakdown on Democrats voting against the subsidies and price control provisions, all of whom were from the South, including Representative Sam Ervin representing Mecklenburg, who was not going to run for re-election.

He next states that there would be no repetition of the railroad strike of 1922 which had crippled transportation across the country. Both sides had submitted their positions to arbitration which would be, by law, binding. Since the 60-day cooling off period had been passed in 1926 as part of the Railway Labor Act, there had never been a nationwide strike. Thus it was not likely to occur on this occasion.

Marquis Childs discusses the great influence on President Truman exerted by Admiral William Leahy, his personal chief of staff. He advised on political and economic matters as well as military and diplomatic issues. He served as a bridge between the Roosevelt and Truman Administrations. FDR had appointed him in 1940 to be the Ambassador to Vichy, in which position he remained until returning to Washington to become FDR's personal chief of staff in 1942. During his time in France, he became attached to Marshal Petain and refused to believe ill of him, even after reports surfaced of his foolish behavior as Ambassador to Spain and his subsequent conviction in France for treason for which he was now imprisoned, approaching 90.

The Admiral was deeply suspicious of Communism, perhaps formed by his observations in France at a time when the left and right were at extreme odds. He had been a major force in convincing the President to take a tougher stand toward the Soviets.

The Admiral's advice was most resented by others, especially DNC chair Robert Hannegan, when he began advising on domestic policy. Mr. Hannegan was rumored to be on the threshold of resigning in frustration over the type of advisers upon whom the President relied on domestic matters.

Bertram Benedict discusses royalties paid by companies to unions, indicating that the UMW in its renegotiation of its contract was seeking, among other things, a royalty of ten cents per ton of coal mined, to form a fund to pay for better medical care and insurance for the miners.

G.M. had rejected such a proposal by the UAW, but Kaiser-Fraser had provided a $5 royalty for each car produced in its plants, a proprotionate amount for farm equipment, the proceeds to go to a trust fund to be annually distributed to workers.

The American Federation of Musicians union of James C. Petrillo received royalties from record manufacturers which went into a fund controlled solely by the union. It was supposedly used to help musicians whose performances were curtailed by recordings of live performances. A bill had recently been passed by the House to prevent use of force, threats, or intimidation in the collection of royalties, aimed specifically at the tactics of Mr. Petrillo after he had banned the broadcast of any performance by foreign musicians because they were not members of his union.

Pending bills in both the House and Senate would forbid an employer from paying royalties to a union. The Senate bill, sponsored by Senator Josiah Bailey of North Carolina, was to be introduced as an amendment to the anti-strike legislation which had passed the House in February.

A letter writer, a veteran needing a home, complains of seeing stories about local businesses in Charlotte erecting buildings and wonders where the businesses got their materials. Moreover, real estate agents were reluctant to deal with G.I.'s who needed two to three weeks to obtain G.I. loan approval.

He had left his wife and four daughters in Norfolk and set out to find housing and work. He had found a job in Virginia but no housing, and then found the same situation in Charlotte, would soon have to return to his makeshift home in Norfolk.

He was bitter over the lack of housing when businesses could build at will.

A letter writer comments on the letter from the three Harvard students who had written sardonically the previous week regarding the man who had bragged of shooting five times and hitting once an alleged peeping tom, a freshman, as it turned out, at Johnson C. Smith.

This writer's sister and brother-in-law lived in the house outside of which the alleged peeper was shot. He says that the neighborhood had been beset by a series of peeping incidents during the previous two months, but the police had done nothing, in one instance supposedly telling a woman to shoot and then call an ambulance but not the police—however improbable such an irresponsible statement by the police.

He says that if he ever were to see someone peeping in a window, whether a student at Harvard or Johnson C. Smith, he would feel justified in putting a bullet between the person's eyes, and further says that, after four years in the Army, he could probably do it.

He thinks that the Police Department was justified in siccing bloodhounds on the suspect's trail, but, per their usual record, had been sloppy and were unsuccessful in catching the peeper. Citizens had trailed the suspect to the Johnson C. Smith infirmary where he had been treated, without a report to the police, for a gunshot wound.

He says that the people were so upset with police inefficiency that they were thinking of hiring their own police force.

So, the moral is: killing, okay; peeping, capital offense.

What if someone is seen at a window of a house in which they either live or know someone who lives there and are merely seeking to draw their attention or are locked out? Shoot, and ask questions later, we suppose.

Romeo, in the play, would have met, no doubt, an earlier demise as some Capulet, Curt by any other name, equipped with a pistol, would have done him in outside Juliet's window, skulking in the dark like that, most assuredly salivating over the consummate thirteen-year old, not having seen the change of fourteen years, standing in her nightie before her open boudoir window.

The lines would have been necessarily altered to read:

"O Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo? [Pistol shot startles Juliet.]

"Hark, but what is that mine ears endure from out my sight in yonder brake?"

Curt Capulet, the cousin from the deep wood: "That'll teach ye, ye dang little smart aleck, peepin' in on my cousin like 'at from within the wooded brake. Juliet, 'tis only me, your coz Curt. Caught me a poacher outside yer winder. Kilt him good. My only regret is that, in the dark, though methought him a Moor, upon the pitiless light of my lanthorn he a'pears not, but of good Paduan stock."

A letter from the State Commissioner of Banks offers that the exemption on usury granted to auto loans over $50 should be repealed as many such lenders loaned at a rate in excess of the legal rate of interest.

A letter asks how stores could be made to sell legal liquor which God had condemned. The resulting revenue for roads and schools would be the Devil's work. She could not see what was to be gained in losing one's soul.

She suggests reading I Timothy 6:10: "For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows."

The editors respond that they had read the verse but did not stop soon enough, getting to verse 23, which says: "Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake."

Yeah, but we have soft drinks for that purpose these days, smarty pants. Besides, backslider, that's in the previous chapter.

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