Tuesday, March 12, 1946

The Charlotte News

Tuesday, March 12, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Izvestia, the Soviet Government newspaper, had stated in a piece by Eugene Tarle, a respected Russian historian, that if the Anglo-American military alliance proposed by Winston Churchill at Westminster College a week earlier were to be implemented, there would be a sharp negative change in relations between Russia and the West. He said that Russia would not allow a repeat of the German invasion of June, 1941 and would not permit even modest preparation for an offensive attack. Mr. Tarle counseled against showing force toward Russia, historically a supreme irritant to the Russian people. He asserted that the British Labor Government was supportive of Mr. Churchill's position, that Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin had encouraged Russia's southern neighbors to resist Soviet aggression.

Mr. Tarle recalled the troubled past between Britain and the United States, contrasting it with the untroubled relations between the United States and Russia, that Russia had been the only major power, for instance, which had taken a neutral stance during the American Civil War, while Britain and France had sided with the South.

Senator Tom Connally of Texas, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, called for a new Big Three meeting to discuss in plain language the differences which had emerged between Russia and the West, to make it plain that Russia's right to determine its form of government did not extend beyond its own borders. He stated his belief that the Soviets did not wish war.

Daniel De Luce reports from Nuremberg that Field Marshal Albert Kesselring testified before the war crimes tribunal on behalf of the defense of Hermann Goering that he was at least partially responsible for the bombings of Warsaw, Coventry, and Rotterdam, the worst bombings inflicted by Germany.

Paul Koerner, who had known Herr Goering since 1926, testified that Goering had intervened against the Nazi Party purge of 1934 and had established concentration camps only as a means of re-education of enemies to the State.

In Buenos Aires, it appeared that Col. Juan Peron, the incumbent vice-president, had defeated Dr. Jose Tamborini in the election for the presidency of Argentina. A major organization which had supported Dr. Tamborini conceded the Peron victory. At present, Col. Peron led or had already won in provinces which would give him 216 electoral votes, needing only 189 to win. Dr. Tamborini led or had already won in provinces with 160 electoral votes.

An anonymous OPA source indicated that OPA would soon grant to Ford, Chrysler, and Hudson new car price ceiling hikes of about three percent.

Former President Hoover, having been placed in charge of an emergency committee by President Truman to assess food needs in Europe, announced that the necessary cereal to avert starvation in Europe was eight to nine million tons short of minimum needs, but that all except about one to two million tons could be made up by reducing American and Latin American consumption. He expressed the hope that the U.S. could obtain five million tons out of Latin America and another two million from reduced consumption at home.

Correspondent Eddie Gilmore provides the first in a series of articles on what was taking place in Russia. He tells of the railways having been one of the major handicaps of old Russia; now they had been improved during the war and new and improved rail systems were still being built. In 1937, Russia had 53,000 miles of rails, compared to 236,000 in the United States.

Many of the new projects were in Kazakhstan in the southeastern Soviet Union. He provides the details of the new lines and their routes.

Hal Boyle reports again from Cairo, that students from 15 to 25 years old formed the backbone of the movement for independence of Egypt from British influence. Mustapha Momen, 23, an architectual student, was their most influential spokesman. He had led the previous five demonstrations, some of which had ended in violent bloodshed. He was a member of the Moslem Brotherhood Association, which sought political liberty for Moslems from Casablanca to Calcutta. He predicted that the students would revolt unless the U.N. took positive steps toward removal of British troops from Egypt. The British, he said, had promised twenty times since 1882 to remove their troops.

In Hollywood, actress Judy Garland gave birth this date to a daughter, Liza, who weighed six pounds, 10.5 ozs. Ms. Garland had been married the previous June to director Vincent Minelli.

Happy birthday.

On the editorial page, "A Strange Time for Apathy" discusses the Republican effort for the upcoming Tenth District Congressional race, having chosen from a hat P. C. Burkholder of Mecklenburg as their nominee, thus conceding by default the race to the Democrats. Perhaps, because he liked buttermilk, disliked the smog of Charlotte, preferred the country.

There were only four days left before the filing deadline and only one Democrat, Hamilton C. Jones, appeared on the primary ballot. Mr. Jones had been rejected by the voters on four previous occasions. The incumbent Sam Ervin had stated in January when selected to complete the unexpired term of his deceased brother that he would not seek re-election. Thus, Mr. Jones might, by default, become the next Congressman from the district.

The piece laments the apathy demonstrated by both parties, even in the face of a great part of the citizenry believing, as never before, that the country was going to hell in a handbasket. As things presently appeared, it offers, the election would only be a reflection of the electorate's apathy and not its choice of leadership.

Indeed, four-time loser Mr. Jones would win the race. He would be re-elected twice before losing in 1952 to Charles R. Jonas, a Republican, who would serve in the district until 1973.

"A Parable for Our Time" tells, in quasi-Biblical terms, of the seemingly paradoxical banner for the times, "Raise Wages: Prevent Inflation", as carried by those who were "organized, affiliated, and amalgamated". Those within the ramparts of Free Enterprise cried out that these were evil days, and thus sought to lay down an edict against the right of organization, affiliation, and amalgamation.

It tells further of the ruler of the province of Jersey, Hague, having turned from the gates with his many horsemen the unorganized, unaffiliated, and unamalgamated, being on the side of the organized, affiliated, and amalgamated.

"And a stranger in the land, seeing these things, cried out, 'It passeth understanding.'


We suppose, having mentioned above Mr. Jonas and 1973, we would be remiss were we not to make remark of this piece's confluence in style with this publication, also from 1973. How we came to know of it is not your concern. It is on deep background, part of our mission on earth. Never doubt it. Don't talk back either, or you will regret it.

"Flying Dutchmen of Highway 21" finds that it was not a waste of court time for a judge to conduct a study of how much liquor could be hauled into Mecklenburg from South Carolina on a single trip. There was a one gallon per person per trip limit set by law. Bootleggers merely employed persons to carry the legal limit from Fort Mill each day.

The piece suggests that increasing the limit would decrease wear and tear on Highway 21 to Fort Mill and decrease the overcowding of the buses. While some would complain that it might increase the flow of liquor into the county, it could not imagine how the flow would become any greater than it already was, with liquor readily available by telephone any time of day.

A piece from the Spartanburg Journal, titled "The Pot and the Kettle", comments of Judge H. Hoyle Sink of the Mecklenburg-Gaston judicial district favoring a five-day waiting period for obtaining a marriage license after applying for it. Many of the divorce cases he heard were of couples who had married in South Carolina, underage at the time.

The piece finds the criticism justified, but also it thought Judge Sink ought take into account the fact that North Carolina courts appeared loath to investigate proper North Carolina domicile before granting divorces for South Carolinians. If that procedure were followed, the South Carolina Legislature might be induced to pass a divorce law.

Drew Pearson reports that the nuclear scientists were largely pleased with the way the Navy was setting up the atomic bomb tests for Bikini Atoll. Admiral William Blandy, in charge of the tests, had taken nearly all of the scientists' suggestions, except that they had wanted it postponed for a few weeks—which ultimately would occur, from May to July. Their concern was that they could not complete certain equipment designed to measure the tests by the May date. The Navy at first was balking because of the prospect of the typhoon season and the consequent necessity of postponing a year if it were postponed for even a few weeks. The Navy's appropriation for the coming year was dependent on the outcome of the tests.

In contrast, the scientists found little to approve in the way the Army handled atomic energy, especially General Leslie Groves. One problem was absence of water at Los Alamos and the need to truck it from the Rio Grande at great expense. The Army had not considered this probem when planning the site and had built no pipeline or dam system as a remedy. At times during the current winter, Los Alamos had no water at all. Water froze in the lines and some burst. The scientists were not pleased and blamed General Groves.

West Coast steel magnate Henry Kaiser was seeking from the Justice Department prosecution of Big Steel moguls for anti-trust violations. Mr. Kaiser had been refused steel by Weirton Steel to build his Kaiser automobile; he had been provided only a provisional "maybe" by U.S. Steel; Tom Girdler of Republic Steel had berated him for having deserted the Detroit auto manufacturers and signing with the UAW a separate agreement and for doing likewise during the steel strike, signing his own agreeemnt with the United Steelworkers, leaving other manufacturers in the lurch.

Mr. Pearson states that Eastern big business had been gunning for Mr. Kaiser for some time, displeased with his notion of competitive industry on the West Coast, draining off business from the East, not liking his stance in favor of retention of OPA beyond the end of the current fiscal year, and not appreciating his eagerness to sign union contracts, apart from the rest of the steel and auto industries. So now they believed that they had him where they wanted him and could deprive him of steel. Scene of the crime, says Mr. Pearson, would be at the Willow Run plant outside Detroit, where he was planning to build his Kaiser automobile.

Marquis Childs finds it encouraging that action was finally taking place to get the necessary food to Europe to avoid widespread starvation, with the Hoover plan now being developed in conjunction with Secretary of Agriculture Clinton Anderson.

A severe drought in Kansas, however, threatened a third of the wheat crop. Dust storms had begun, the monsoon failed in India, drought conditions prevailed in South Africa, and the political upheaval in Indonesia had limited rice production. The result would be that millions would die in India and China.

Farmers were planting more corn because it was more profitable to feed corn to hogs and cattle. Acreage of wheat had dropped from 81 million in 1937 to 52 million in 1942, and had risen again to 69 million in 1945. Getting farmers to increase production was difficult because of fear of sudden drop in demand and being stuck then with a surplus. The problem of world hunger promised to continue, however, through 1947, according to the British Minister of Food, Sir Ben Smith.

Mr. Childs had talked recently to Sir Ben at a cocktail party, where food flowed plentifully, stuffed eggs, salted nuts, anchovy paste on toast, celery, olives, salted nuts again.

Sir Ben had declined the offerings several times but finally succumbed, taking from the tray one olive.

He had informed that, at this juncture, rationing in America would do little good, but would be likely necessary the following winter, at least as to some foods.

The only sacrifice presently being made in America was to substitute dark bread for white, which had to seem odd to the parts of the world living in starvation.

Samuel Grafton comments on the formalization of the bloc in Congress formed between the Republicans and Southern Democrats. Seventy-five Representatives of both parties had met the previous Wednesday to arrange strategy on curtailing price control. Another 25 Congressmen had expressed their agreement with the group.

Coalition Government was becoming the watch-phrase in Washington, enabling a coalition of fragments of conservatives to effect a majority.

"And like whispers sighing among the bare branches of the Winter-ridden trees, one hears echoes of the speeches of long ago, when we used to sit at the feet of our elders, and hear them tell us again how America had become great because it had developed a system of party responsibility, and had avoided dubious foreign tricks like putting together unstable parliamentary coalitions, to rule without formal public sanction or official accountability."

Congressman Fred Hartley of New Jersey, the head of the bloc's drafting committee on price controls, suddenly had become the most important member of the House. "You may forget about your Mister Speakers and your majority leaders; Mr. Hartley is the works."

To demonstrate that Mr. Grafton knew whereof he spoke, Mr. Hartley would be the House sponsor, along with Ohio Senator Robert Taft, of the Taft-Hartley Act passed over President Truman's veto in mid-1947 to restrict strikes and outlaw the closed shop.

Mr. Grafton indicates that Mr. Hartley's power was made even more menacing by the type of price control he favored, providing full cost plus normal peacetime profits as new price ceilings all along the line. It would remove incentive of manufacturers to reduce costs or increase volume of production. The higher one's costs rose, the higher the profits would go as well. "All this has about as much place in an anti-inflation program as would a proposal to give away free confetti during a keep-your-city-clean week."

The coalition, however, could set policy while, if inflation were to result, the Administration would get the blame from the voter. One answer to the problem would be for the public to begin to refer to the coalition as the Conservative Bloc, apart from party labels.

"Let its members run, in the North, and, especially, in the South, as what they are; so that a candidate who intends to serve as the wick of a firecracker may not pass himself off before the voters as an innocent piece of string."

President Truman could not effectively seek a purge of members of his own party as his predecessor had attempted in 1938, an attempt which had backfired for the most part even given the popularity of FDR at the time. President Truman did not have the political capital built up to undertake such a campaign and, having been a former Senator for a decade and having gotten on well with members of Congress during that time before becoming President, he did not have the will for such undertaking in any event. But, with the sweeping Republican victories in both houses of Congress in 1946, he would be able effectively in 1948 to run against the "do-nothing" 80th Congress, blaming the Republicans, not the coalition, for the problems.

A letter writer suggests that Burke Davis had painted a too rosy picture of the A.B.C. system of controlled liquor sales, stimulating revenues in wet counties to fund schools and other public facilities. He cites an article from State magazine out of Raleigh indicating that liquor ratioining might be on the horizon because bootleggers were buying liquor at A.B.C. stores in the Eastern counties and then reselling it at triple or nearly quadruple profits.

He assures that he would provide more information, later.

Of course, he neglects to realize that the reason for the high profitability of such purchases and resales were the dry counties where the bootleggers thrived.

A letter from a regular writer indicates that Mr. Churchill's speech at Westminster College had been in poor taste and that, if he wished to undertake political speeches in the United States, he ought become a U.S. citizen. The author disfavored a military alliance with Britain in peacetime.

He reminds those eager to fight Russia that in June, 1941, Germany's military experts and generals had believed that the war with Russia would be over in six weeks to 90 days. When military experts claimed that America could lick Russia in a couple of hours with the atom bomb, they forgot that Russia might also have a trick or two of its own to hurl back.

An engineer of the State Highway Commission writes a letter complimenting Burke Davis for his thorough examination and report on the Charlotte Traffic Survey prepared by the City Planning Board.

"Tired and disgusted Navy men" write a letter from Tokyo, complaining of slow demobilization, asking for support to get them home.

Another letter writer indicates that the black citizens of Charlotte were tired of having lies told about them by persons such as the letter writer of March 5 who had complained of blacks crowding out white people on buses and sidewalks. She says that the buses had signs reading, "White patrons please seat from front, colored patrons please seat from rear," and yet the white patrons would sit at the back when there was plentiful seating at the front, while the black patrons always obeyed the signs. She believes that the previous letter writer must be one of those whites.

If whites like him thought that blacks would move out of the way on the sidewalk so that they might pass, they were mistaken.

"I notice," she continues, "he hasn't accused any Negro of crowding him out from the bullets and bombs or the space of ground with the white crosses so many of them got in the Army."

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