Friday, March 1, 1946

The Charlotte News

Friday, March 15, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the Iranian Minister of War, General Ahmed Sepebod Amir Ahmedi, had stated that the Iranian Army, and every boy and girl in the country, was prepared to fight to the last man should Russian troops move toward Tehran from Karaj, 20 miles away. The statement came after his consultation with the Shah, Mohammed Resa Pahlavi. The Shah intended to submit the question of Russian aggression again to the U.N. Security Council later in the month when it would meet in New York.

General Ahmedi stated that the Russians had only partially evacuated Semnan, Shahrud, and Meshed in northeastern Iran where the Russians had stated they had begun evacuation, per the terms of the 1942 treaty, on March 2, six months following the end of the war.

Diplomatic sources informed that the Russian movements toward Khoi along the Turkish border with Iran may have been in response to the reported formation at Khoi of a Kurdish Government, seeking to back up that Government because of the Kurds being at odds with the Turks.

It was reported in the London Daily Telegraph that a dispatch from Tehran had stated that the American Ambassador to Iran, Wallace Murray, had visited with the Shah several times in recent days and had promised American support to Iran in the event of confrontation with the Russians.

British observers believed the Russian troop movements were simply part of a war of nerves, a defensive gesture for having overstayed beyond March 2.

Winston Churchill received a mixture of boos and cheers in New York as he rode up Broadway to City Hall where he addressed 600 persons. The police called the booing persons Communists. At City Hall, 25 placards were raised reading: "No American shall die for Churchill, no World War 3". Others chanted, "We want peace; Churchill wants war." Mr. Churchill would provide a speech at an official dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria at 10:30 p.m., in which it was expected he would respond to critics of his Westminster College speech of March 5.

At Nuremberg, Hermann Goering, continuing his direct testimony to the war crimes tribunal, denied that he had looted art galleries throughout Europe, but contended that he had paid for every piece of art he had obtained and was cheated in many of the deals, with premiums added when it became known he was interested. Hitler had made him photograph all works confiscated from Jews after which Hitler took his pick, leaving Herr Goering only seconds. He also stated that he had planned to make reparations for the art taken from the French by establishing a fund for families of Frenchmen killed in the war, but had never gotten around to it.

American lead prosecutor Justice Robert Jackson objected to questioning by Goering's counsel of his client regarding the doctrine of reprisal, that such a doctrine would not be available to a defendant as a defense when applied to prisoners of war as a violation of the Geneva Convention, that it was only applicable when there was systematic violation of international law ongoing by the opposing nation. The Court had responded that it would, however, be relevant to mitigation of sentence were the tribunal to find Herr Goering guilty of war crimes and so proposed to allow the presentation to proceed on that basis.

In Ottawa, a member of Canada's Parliament, Fred Rose, a Communist, and four other Government workers were accused of providing secret data to the Russians, including secrets regarding the super-explosive dubbed "RDX". Chemistry professor Raymond Boyer from McGill University was charged with providing secret information on RDX.

Eddy Gilmore reports from Moscow, in the fourth in his series on Russia, of automobile production which one day might rival the United States. The first Soviet produced car had been made 20 years earlier. Three large, modern plants had been built in Moscow, Gorky, and Yardslavl by the beginning of the war and Russia had ranked fourth in the world in auto production at the time and second in trucks.

New factories were being built in Georgia, in the Ukraine, in Minsk, and in Siberia. By 1950, the Gorky plant was expected to be turning out a thousand cars per day. Automated production lines were being developed and output for 1946 was expected to be double that of 1945.

Russia had a luxury model, the Zis 110, comparable to a cross between a Buick and a Cadillac, as well as the Victory, similar to a Ford, Chevrolet or Plymouth. A midget car, the Moscovitch, which achieved 60 miles per quart of gasoline, was also being produced.

You need Moscovitch, American. Better than pony car.

General George C. Marshall returned from China where he had been since mid-December as special envoy to resolve the conflict between the Chiang Government and the Red Chinese in Northern China. He was summoned to a meeting at the White House and declined immediate comment on his mission.

AFL president William Green openly criticized the Truman Administration for its "crazy quilt" of wage-price policies, calling the President's advisers "incompetent".

Hal Boyle, still in Cairo, tells of people beginning to look alike after spending time abroad. They forgot you. You forgot them. Only the person who picked up the tab remembered.

Some, however, stood out, such as the Russian in Hong Kong with whom he shared a room and who shot cockroaches off the ceiling with a rifle every morning. A nurse in Tebessa had called the hospital ward for head injuries "the cabbage patch". A barber in Naples had provided free shampoos for all men with blue beards.

An American captain with whom he sailed in the North Atlantic during the war had been mortally afraid of German submarines. Many of his friends had perished in U-boat attacks. He was convinced that the convoy was doomed and predicted that they would never reach England, being the last ship in the convoy.

In Norfolk, the police continued to investigate the killing on Thursday of the president of the Norfolk Southern Railway, fatally wounded by a bullet fired by a child with a .22 rifle from a wooded area in Norfolk's Algonquin Park. The man had been walking his pet black cocker spaniel in the park when he was hit behind the left ear at around 5:00 p.m. A second bullet had whizzed by the ear of a woman at the scene standing guard over the body while another woman had gone to summon the police.

On the editorial page, "More Cards on the Table" finds the toughening of both U.S. and British policy toward Russia, plus the statements of Mr. Churchill, followed by Russia's movement of troops in Iran toward the Turkish and Iraq borders, not to be an improvement in the prospects for peace but had at least served to lay additional cards on the table.

There no longer was any question remaining as to what Russia wanted, as had prevailed during the time since the end of the war, but how far it was willing to go to get it still remained unanswered. Russia wanted security by means of a series of buffer states surrounding its borders. It also wanted the atomic bomb, access to a warm-water port, and oil.

The request for Russia to stake its security instead on the U.N. had come from the U.S. and Britain, countries with democratic buffers already in place, possessed of 85 percent of the world's supply of oil, numerous ports, and atomic power. It was no wonder that Russia was not impressed with the invitation.

When fascism had arisen in Europe, inimical to both democracy and communism, it behooved the two sides to join hands against the common enemy. But the alliance, forged by necessity, had always been an uneasy partnership. Since the war, this uneasiness had grown to a manifestation of fear by the democracies of the Soviets which matched the irrationality of the fear possessed historically by Russia of democracy.

The reply of Josef Stalin to Winston Churchill's speech, calling it dangerous and full of lies, appeared to be a return to the notion that the only saving grace for Russia was world revolution. But it was a logical result of Winston Churchill having voiced the West's "fundamental hostility" toward Russia.

Before the current proposal for another Big Three meeting should be rejected, the alternative needed to be considered, that the world was quickly becoming divided into two armed camps, breeding the potential for another world war.

World War II, as with all wars, had only afforded the opportunity for peace and the opportunity now was slipping away. Once gone, it would not make much difference which side had caused it.

"Mecklenburg Has a Candidate" comments on the entry to the race for Solicitor of the judicial district by Judge Ben Whiting of Mecklenburg being the death knell of the old system under which a gentleman's agreement had it that the presiding judge of the district would come from Mecklenburg while the solicitor would come from Gaston County. The acting Solicitor, appointed in the interim by Governor Gregg Cherry before the special election, Basil Whitener of Gastonia, was also going to run.

Both men were well qualified, but Mr. Whitener's election would spoil the argument for a separate judicial district for Mecklenburg. The resulting vote would therefore be one largely as a referendum on whether to have separate judicial districts for the two counties. Both would benefit from increased court efficiency through separation.

Thus, the editorial endorses Judge Whiting for the position.

"Second Battle of the Bulge" discusses the battle being waged by Lt. Col. Mary Agnes Brown, adviser on women's affairs to the Veterans Administration, regarding the right of women veterans to have expenses incurred in pregnancy and childbirth paid by the Government. The piece thinks it a more formidable challenge likely to General Bradley as head of the V.A. than was anything he encountered commanding troops in North Africa or Europe during the war.

Should such payment become authorized, "...inevitably, the clerk on duty, pushing forward a stack of forms to be filled out in quadruplicate, will absently ask the VA bureaucrat's eternal question: 'Was the disability service-incurred?' On that day the General will remember Kasserine Pass as a place of infinite peace and calm."

A piece from the Statesville Daily, titled "All This and Truman Too", comments on Fulton, Missouri, having planned for 40,000 people attending the events surrounding the visit to the town of President Truman and Winston Churchill, but only 20,000 having shown up, leaving hot dogs and hamburgers to be consumed by locals for the ensuing week to avoid waste during the food shortage. It demonstrated again the maxim, that the best laid plans of mice and men...

The piece comments on the saving grace of providence, therefore, that President Truman had to cancel his promised trip to Statesville in November because of the emergent strike situation in the country, probably saving Statesville a similar fate to that suffered by Fulton.

Well, aren't we cute and catty?

Drew Pearson comments that with all of the negative attention being paid to the nominations of Ed Pauley, Jim Vardaman, and George Allen, it had gone virtually unnoticed that former North Carolina Governor O. Max Gardner, a primary architect of the New Deal and "a friend of man", had just been sworn in as Undersecretary of the Treasury.

When he came to Washington in 1933 to practice law, Governor Gardner resigned the DNC, believing that law and politics should not mix. Had Ed Pauley behaved likewise, then he would have been confirmed as Undersecretary of the Navy.

Governor Gardner, who had come to know Governor Roosevelt prior to the 1932 election, as both had been Governors at the same time, wrote a letter in June, 1932 to FDR proposing the New Deal, setting down the course which the Administration ultimately charted. He suggested that the future President become more liberal to appeal to the liberal spirit which was governing the great masses of people in the country.

"I am satisfied," he had written, "that we are in the day of the New Deal and that many of our preconceived ideas and formulas are going to be thrown into the discard. We are more than blind if we can think the American people will stand hitched to the status quo."

Josephus Daniels, writing from his post as editor of The Raleigh News and Observer, had attacked often the "Gardner machine" out of Shelby as having become too powerful in the state, getting Clyde Hoey, his brother-in-law, also from Shelby, elected Governor in 1936 and Senator in 1944, and being instrumental in the appointment of many judges across the state. Yet, Mr. Daniels and Mr. Gardner had remained friends and often had dinner together.

Mr. Pearson comments that observing the quality of the schools in North Carolina, its high rate of literacy and its tolerance, one had to conclude that the Gardner machine or the way Josephus Daniels had kept it on its toes, or both, had been a good thing for the state.

Governor Gardner had become more liberal with the passage of years but had never lost his Southern charm or his ability to understand people. He had demonstrated the latter quality in a conversation with the Duchess of Windsor during a visit to Washington in which he told her that she appeared as lovely as before her meeting the King of England, and in response to her telling him that he was just practicing the old "Southern blarney", had replied that the Southern politician could always be believed except when running for office. Since he was not running for anything, she had to accept what he said as true, that when Americans talked to the Duke and Duchess, they believed they were talking in the presence of history.

Governor Gardner had never run for office since leaving the Governor's Mansion and had turned down several offers by President Roosevelt for appointments, preferring to spend his spare time on his front porch in Shelby, rocking in a rocking chair given him as a wedding present by the black citizens of Shelby 35 years earlier.

Mr. Gardner had recently lost his eldest son James who had managed the Gardner Rayon Mills near Shelby. Mr. Gardner had assured his workers with a notice posted that rumors that the mill would be sold were unfounded, and that his other son, Max, Jr., would take over running of the mill as soon as he returned from military service in Japan.

It was at this point that Secretary of the Treasury Fred Vinson, an old friend of Governor Gardner, asked the latter to become Undersecretary and he accepted.

Judge Vinson, as we have noted, would be appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court at the resignation of Harlan Fiske Stone in June.

A year earlier, Mr. Pearson had addressed an open letter to Governor Gardner, his old friend.

Marquis Childs reports that while concern over Russia's continued military presence in Iran had been the ostensible reason for the State Department's stronger stand against Russia, the deeper issue was Russia's demand for cession of the Turkish provinces of Kars and Ardahan on the boundary with the Soviet Union. The fear in the State Department was that it would be only the first demand for Turkish territory, followed by a claim to the Dardanelles, to obtain free access from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean. Were Turkey to capitulate, then the Turkish Government would be so weakened that it might eventuate in Communist control of Turkey.

Thus, as Drew Pearson had imparted the previous day, the United States was sending the battleship Missouri accompanied by the destroyer Power to Istanbul the following week bearing the body of the deceased Turkish Ambassador to the United States, whose remains had been reposing for two years in a vault in Arlington.

The Missouri, having been the place of surrender of the Japanese, constituted a symbol of American sea power. When Lord Lothian died in the U.S., his body had been returned to England aboard a cruiser, traditional practice.

Mr. Childs reminds that the blowing up of the Maine in Havana Harbor in February, 1898, despite the cause never having been ascertained, had been taken up by a part of the press to such an extent as a rallying cry for nationalism that it resulted eventually in President McKinley authorizing troops being sent to Cuba, resulting in the Spanish-American War, leading, as a fruit of victory, to cession of the Philippines by Spain to the U.S., creating the American stake in the Pacific "with all its fateful consequences."

The Navy could have quietly begun to build back the strength of the Mediterranean fleet, which would have been reported by the intelligence services of all the nations of the area. Such a plan was said to have been considered by the Navy but rejected.

Support of Turkey made sense as it had modernized to a great extent since 1918 and possessed no Communist fifth column or split internally on foreign policy, the people of Kars and Ardahan having voted heavily in favor of incorporation into Turkey after World War I. But, Mr. Childs asserts, the support of Turkey ought be premised on a show of real strength, not merely a symbolic gesture.

But was the man in the White House from Missouri telegraphing something else to the Russians beyond the presence of American sea power? Was he reminding of the atom bomb and its terrible and sudden capability, with celerity, to stop aggression dead in its tracks? implicitly associated not only with the Missouri, but also the Indianapolis.

Samuel Grafton tells of Thomas Dewey and John W. Bricker being the leading candidates for the 1948 Republican nomination for president, and so it was odd that neither had commented on the present Russian situation. It followed the tradition that potential presidential candidates should remain "as silent as so many wooden Indians" on foreign policy.

Mr. Dewey had made speeches in which he inveighed against juvenile delinquency, voiced support for veterans, and commented on other domestic matters, but nothing had been said "in the Winter of our discontent" on Russia.

While Mr. Dewey the previous spring had indicated his support of Bretton Woods as a means to international monetary stabilization at a time when there was general agreement over the issue, Governor Bricker had stated his opposition to it at the same time. But otherwise, neither man had spoken, except in the most general terms, on foreign policy.

Mr. Grafton suggested that the time should be one of great debate on the world crisis to maintain the peace into the future, not resting on quaint and obsolete traditions. Aspirants for the White House should inform the American people where they stood on such momentous matters.

Another interpretation of the silence was that the two major parties had become virtually indistinguishable in their world view, Senator Arthur Vandenburg sounding little different from Secretary Byrnes, and that both accepted the inevitability that the post-war hope for lasting peace had evaporated as quickly as it had been born in the eleven months since the death of FDR. He concludes that in such case, it would be worth questioning which party had won and which had lost in such hardening of the national view.

A letter counsels that it was a fine thing for counties of the state to be Dry. He had been a Dry in 1908 when the state voted for prohibition. But it was also delusory, for it merely posed a "Dry trap with Wet bait, to catch them, the young folks, in."

He believed that what he had heard in earlier times had been true, that the Dry forces and the bootleggers had worked together to establish prohibition. The 18th Amendment, establishing national Prohibition in 1919, had been a disaster, wreaking havoc across the nation. Prior to it, he had never seen drunk boys and girls in public; after its passage, it was not safe to be on the roads for the presence of drinkers.

He says that there are thirteen other major sins in the Bible and so there was no sense in concentrating on only one. The sin was in the man, not the jug. Prohibition had to target the source of the desire for alcohol, not the means by which the underlying desire was slaked.

A letter asks that a reporter who had written articles favoring the A.B.C. system come to Cheraw, S.C. and observe the number of parks built from liquor revenue while seeing also the number of people drunk in public on the streets.

A letter writer asks for clarification as to whether, at the death of FDR, Senator Clyde Hoey had said it was the greatest tragedy since the death of President Harding or whether he had referred instead to the death of Mark Hanna. He wanted to hang the quote beside De Wolf Hopper's "Casey at the Bat".

The editors respond that Senator Hoey had said it was the greatest tragedy since the death of President McKinley, and add, "So far as we know he was never awarded any prize for understatement."

Which, we take it, was another way of saying that, as with his brother-in-law, at least when not running for office, he was never given raspberries for hyperbole.

As Tammie glowr'd, amaz'd, and curious,
The mirth and fun grew fast and furious;
The Piper loud and louder blew,
The dancers quick and quicker flew,
The reel'd, they set, they cross'd, they cleekit,
Till ilka carlin swat and reekit,
And coost her duddies to the wark,
And linkit at it in her sark!

Now Tam, O Tam! had they been queans,
A' plump and strapping in their teens!
Their sarks, instead o' creeshie flainen,
Been snaw-white seventeen hunder linen!-
Thir breeks o' mine, my only pair,
That ance were plush o' guid blue hair,
I wad hae gien them off my hurdies,
For ae blink o' the bonie burdies!
But wither'd beldams, auld and droll,
Rigwoodie hags wad spean a foal,
Louping an' flinging on a crummock.
I wonder did na turn thy stomach.

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