Saturday, March 16, 1946

The Charlotte News

Saturday, March 16, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that General Marshall, having returned temporarily to Washington from his post as Ambassador to China, stated that the situation in Manchuria was extremely critical and that additional American-trained Chinese Government troops were being sent into the area of Mukden from which the Russians had just evacuated, leaving a void which had been filled by contesting Communist and Government troops. He also assured, however, that virtually every difficulty between the Communists and the Government had been resolved where misunderstandings had arisen with regard to Chinese unification. In consequence, American forces in China were being rapidly reduced. He said, after consulting with the President and Secretary of State Byrnes, that the United States would provide financial assistance to China during the period of the efforts at unification.

Lots and lots of checks would be cashed.

The previous evening in New York, Winston Churchill urged the Soviet Union to submit its issues to the U.N. to enable continued sympathy from the West. He favored the settlement by the Security Council of the Iranian issue of continued Soviet troop presence. He warned that an early test of the Security Council would come regarding Soviet pressure on Turkey to cede control of the Dardanelles. He stated that at Potsdam the previous July, the Americans and British had offered to Russia free peacetime use of the Dardanelles, whether for merchant or war ships. Russia, however, insisted on a fortress inside the Dardanelles, which would afford it the power to restrict at will traffic through the Straits.

Moscow radio quoted Izvestia as complaining of Iran defending British monopolistic interests in oil by refusing similar concessions to Russia in the northern provinces.

Meanwhile, the Iranian Minister of War, General Ahmed Sepebod Amir Ahmedi, who was quoted the previous day as saying that every soldier and boy and girl in Iran was prepared to defend to the death the capital from any incursion by Russian troops, claimed that the interpreter had mangled his remarks and that he had said no such thing. It was not reported what he claimed to have actually stated.

Pravda claimed that the United States was taking valuable property, including platinum, gold, silver, and jewelry from Japan, Pravda apparently seeking to offset criticism regarding Russia's removal of heavy industrial equipment which had been installed by the Japanese in Manchuria. The estimated value of the loot alleged to have been removed from Tokyo in October, 1945 was half a million dollars. The report had come from Stars and Stripes, the Army newspaper. General MacArthur had made public the confiscation from German and Japanese sources who had been illegally holding the property in violation of an order by General MacArthur that all assets be reported.

The Spanish Foreign Office complained of the State Department's white book recently released on Spain's activities during the war. Spain contended that it had remained neutral throughout the European war as well as during the preceding Spanish Civil War.

Hal Boyle, still in Cairo, tells of a 15-year old orphaned Sudanese boy, nicknamed "Awad the Great", adopted by a group of A.P. correspondents, allowing him to live for the previous two years in their apartment, acting as custodian, cook and bottlewasher, sometimes office banker. His only bad habit was that he washed his feet in the kitchen sink.

Southern California suffered its worst earthquake since 1933 when a quake had hit Long Beach.

Deadly tornadoes struck in the areas of Birmingham, Demopolis, and Livingston, Alabama, killing at least four persons.

In Philadelphia, Pa., thieves stole a trailer containing twelve tons of sugar from a trucking terminal three blocks from a police station. The sugar was worth $12,000 on the black market. The thieves brought their own truck, hooked up the trailer and drove away.

In New York, the 116th annual St. Patrick's Day Parade was held a day early along Fifth Avenue, led by the 165th Infantry, dubbed "The Fighting Irish", who had seen action in the Gilberts, Saipan, and Okinawa. The old 69th and Rainbow Division followed in the parade. Mayor O'Dwyer, the first Irish-born mayor of the city since 1894, looked over the parade from his reviewing stand.

In Florida, as told by a photograph, the newest recreational activity was sand surfing on beaches, that is a landlubber motivated by a sail attached to a wheeled frame.

Probably not so refreshing with the sand whipping in one's face, but at least the shark danger would be minimized, we suppose.

On the editorial page, "The Case for Price Control" indicates that the President's new wage-price formula and Economic Stabilizer Chester Bowles's effort to interpret it had brought on a new wave of criticism of OPA. Even elements on the left of the political spectrum had begun to oppose it.

It states that some readers had questioned why The News did not on occasion print the argument against the continued viability of OPA. The piece responds that they had, admitting that price controls were annoying, badly administered, un-American, and obstructing of full production. But it had also seen the wisdom in OPA as a curb against inflation. If price controls were to be removed on automobiles, household appliances, and clothing, for all of which there was pent-up demand, then inflation would run rampant. The OPA was not a good thing, but the alternative was far worse.

"The Elemental Matter of Health" comments on the establishment of the North Carolina Good Health Association to provide more doctors and quality health care within the state. The fact that North Carolina had led the nation in rejections for the draft based on physical disability was enough to make the case that such an association was needed.

"Civil Liberties in the Army" suggests that the Army and democracy were contrary terms, that no one need harbor illusions of a democratic Army. Thus, it should have come as no surprise when the Army transferred the editors of Stars and Stripes for being too aggressive in promoting their view that demobilization was occurring too slowly.

It points out that the Texas National Guard Division had recently offered its opinion that it should not have been ordered to cross the Rapido River during the Italian campaign, resulting in relatively large casualties. If democracy had been in place, undoubtedly the soldiers would have voted not to cross. So would other soldiers in the American Army have voted not to cross any number of rivers, as the Russians would likely have voted not to cross the Dneiper.

It suggests that inveighing against the undemocratic ways of the Army was placing the cart before the horse, that the only way to be rid of an undemocratic institution would be to remove the necessity which required it.

A piece from the Winston-Salem Sentinel, titled "They Came to Tarheelia", tells of the book The Illinois by James Gray, naming the three strongest voices of the American renascence in poetry to be Edgar Lee Masters, Carl Sandburg, and Vachel Lindsay. They each wrote, according to Mr. Gray, in the true language of America, not the stilted rhetoric of English precisionists, nor with the sentimentality of the Victorian poets. Mr. Gray had attached significance to the fact that all three men hailed from Illinois.

The piece suggests that, by the same logic, North Carolina might attach significance to the fact that the two living men of the three, Mr. Masters and Mr. Sandburg, were both now residents of North Carolina, Mr. Sandburg in Flat Rock near Asheville, and Mr. Masters at the Selwyn Hotel in Charlotte.

Drew Pearson recounts General Eisenhower's angry response recently at a party to those who were discussing openly the prospect of war with Russia, increasingly a favorite topic in Washington social circles. General Eisenhower had stated that such a war would not profit the United States, that it would take years to conquer Russia and then have to slog through Siberia, that Russia had sacrificed mightily during the war and did not want war itself. Nor did the United States, following so much hardship and sacrifice.

He next tells how times had changed with respect to Iran in relation to the United States. A decade earlier, the Minister to the United States had been stopped for speeding in Maryland, declared diplomatic immunity and then resisted arrest, for which he was taken into custody. Secretary of State Hull apologized for the incident but the Shah and the Minister remained incensed, and the Minister was called home, the Legation closed. Now, the U.S. was the best hope of Iran against the continued presence of Russian troops in the north beyond the March 2 deadline for departure.

He remarks also on the power exerted by the building lobby to emasculate the housing bill out of the House. It had used an oft-employed tactic of writing ghost letters voicing opinion on the pending legislation. One letter had urged defeat of the bill and also even a roll-call vote on it.

Mr. Pearson remarks that the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars had not actively supported the bill. Many veterans believed that it was because the hierarchy of both organizations had real estate interests. AMVETS had supported the bill actively.

Marquis Childs reports that Senator Kenneth McKellar of Tennessee had recently criticized OPA for snooping on businesses to assure compliance with price control regulations. He did so with Chester Bowles testifying before Senator McKellar's committee. Attorney General Tom Clark and Secretary of the Treasury Fred Vinson had defended OPA to the Senator.

The debate highlighted the dilemma of the White House, as Senator McKellar, as president pro tem of the Senate and chair of two powerful committees, had become one of the four most powerful Democrats on Capitol Hill.

The Senator's power at age 77 pointed up the evils of the seniority system which had allowed him to accumulate such power. To counter it, it was being recommended by a House-Senate committee on reorganization that a Senate and House retirement plan be implemented so that Senators and Congressmen could retire with adequate income at an advanced age. There was also a recommendation to reduce the number of committees.

The report had been referred to the Senate Rules Committee of which Senator McKellar was a member and of which three other members were chairmen of committees which would be abolished by the recommendations. Thus, whether the report would ever get out of the committee was questionable.

Mr. Childs favors allowing the Senators and Congressmen who developed the report to draw up the legislation to implement it.

Samuel Grafton discusses the trend in the country, with the advent of the atomic bomb, toward secrecy in lieu of free exchange of scientific information. Two Oak Ridge scientists had developed a paper on the effects of radiation on the human body and wished to read it before the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, but had been denied the opportunity by the Army, fearing disclosure of atomic secrets.

The Army had now resorted to giving lie detector tests to scientists to determine whether leaks of secrets had occurred.

Senator Arthur Vandenberg of Michigan had proposed that a joint Army-Navy board be given oversight of a civilian board which would control atomic energy. Effectively, such a procedure would give the military control of atomic energy. The chairman of the Senate Atomic Energy Committee, Senator Brien McMahon of Connecticut, had opposed this plan on the basis that it would give unlimited snooping power to the military. But the committee had nevertheless voted for the proposed measure.

Mr. Grafton wonders what might have become of electricity had it been discovered in connection with a war and then turned over to the military for control. It was not a question of revealing atomic secrets but who would decide whether scientists could study such things as the impact of radiation.

The trend was emblematic of turning away from the founding principles of liberty to the era of the lie-detector.

A letter from a regular writer questions what would happen to those Mecklenburgers who would drink three million dollars worth of liquor annually if it were legalized for sale under the A.B.C. system. She posits that they would drink away their savings and thus have nothing with which to purchase a home or clothe their children. The children might attend better schools but they would do so in rags. Taxes for the wealthy would be reduced while the drinkers would bear the burden.

Long lines of these drinkers would form in front of the A.B.C. stores, run by sober men who would sell liquor at reasonable prices, making it more available. The result would be a modern Sodom and Gomorrah.

The editors respond that indeed the goal was, as the writer had indicated, the establishment of stores run by sober men who would distribute liquor at reasonable prices, with the revenue to fund public purposes. It would do away with the bootlegging system which was causing patrons in Mecklenburg to divide three million dollars annually between the bootleggers and the legal stores in South Carolina. If the latter was a better system than that proposed, then, say the editors, they were guilty of promoting Sodom and Gomorrah.

A letter writer responds to the editorial note following her previous letter of Monday which had recommended reading of I Timothy 6:10 anent the liquor issue, the editors having remarked that they continued reading too far, down to verse 23, regarding taking a little wine for the stomach, (which is actually a part of the previous chapter).

She retorts: "Maybe a 'little wine' is good for the stomach. But you sure are a pain for the other fellow to stomach when you get too much wine. We all know right from wrongómore than we care to admit sometimes."

Another letter compliments the previous letter by the foregoing forgoing author, and corrects the editors on their chapter citation of I Timothy. She instructs that Paul was concerned of Timothy's health. So many who drank wine did not use it as Paul directed. She recommends Proverbs 20:1 and 23:20-32, the last of the latter verses reading: "31 Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. 32 At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder."

She adds that she enjoyed reading The News everyday.

Still another letter on the subject says that taking a little wine did not mean putting liquor in the hands of people to guzzle at will and land in hell. He recommends Habukkuk 2:12, 15, the latter from which he quotes in part, omitting the motive: "Woe unto him that giveth his neighbor drink, that putteth thy bottle to him, and makest him drunk also..."

He challenges the editors to "make a righteous excuse against these words."

The editors respond with Romans 12:17: "Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men."

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