Friday, March 22, 1946

The Charlotte News

Friday, March 22, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Josef Stalin had responded to three questions posed by Associated Press correspondent Eddy Gilmore with a written reply, indicating his continued support of the U.N. as a means to achieve peace, that the nations and armies did not desire war but only "certain political groups engaged in propaganda" were fueling the flames, and that the nations ought engage in counter-propaganda against such efforts and expose the warmongers.

Members of Congress generally greeted the statement with positive remarks, deeming it encouraging of hope.

News of the reply was broadcast by Moscow radio and recorded in London nearly an hour before Mr. Gilmore could wire it to New York.

In Montreal, the Government's key witness, Igor Gouzenko, testified in the preliminary hearing of Fred Rose, former member of Parliament, accused as part of the ring of former Government employees who provided atomic and radar data to the Russians. Mr. Gouzenko stated that Moscow controlled the Communist Party in Canada and thus the spy operations. He also informed that Russian security police operated in Canada. He had worked in the Soviet Embassy from summer, 1943 through the previous September 5, coding and decoding messages and had turned over the documents to Canadian authorities which they had used to make their case. Based on his reading of the documents, he believed that Russia had created friendship agencies in Canada for the purpose of "preparing for future events which could be the grounds for war."

Secretary of War Robert Patterson informed that General Eisenhower had changed his mind about his recommendation of an indefinite extension of the draft law, that instead it should be extended for only one year. Fathers were not to be inducted and service would be limited to 18 months, with age limits being 18 to 25.

New Jersey Congressman Gordon Canfield had entered upon a crusade to obtain more and better quality stockings for women, having received letters from women complaining of an inadequate supply and that those available were of inferior quality. One woman had complained that she had waited in line for 25 hours over the course of a few weeks to obtain nine pairs of stockings, none of which could be worn for their inferior quality. There was, he reported, "a yearn for more yarn"—analogous, we gather, to the world food situation in which there was need for fewer 'skids in gluttony greased, resistance de piece, riseable Yeats risible on which to make moveable feats.

Congresswoman Helen Gahagan Douglas of California stated that there were more important things about which to be concerned. Representative Edith Norse Rogers of Massachusetts said that she had bought two pairs of nylons which had disintegrated in short order. Congresswoman Margaret Chase Smith of Maine abruptly stated that no woman who could find nine pairs of nylons to buy should be heard to complain. And Representative Frances Bolton of Ohio suggested that Congressman Canfield set up a stocking exchange for women to turn in their inferior stockings—at least we assume that was what she proposed as its purpose, the stocking exchange's description having been cut off.

Hal Boyle tells of the Egyptian George Bernard Shaw, Tewfik El Hakim, despised by Egyptian women for his theory that every man should have four wives. Yet he did not have a wife, declaring himself to be a misogynist. But he thought that one wife should be for cooking, another for show during outings, another for companionship, and still another for romance.

He asserted that a man with one wife was like a car with one wheel.

Two wives would be as a man trying to start on a long journey with only a bicycle.

He was one of the highest paid writers between Calcutta and Casablanca, receiving 50 cents per word writing for a weekly magazine circulated throughout the Middle East. His publisher said that he was glad that Hakim did not stutter. He was too lazy to count the words of his articles himself, would take it to the cable office, pretend he was sending it to London, and after they had counted the words for him, declare that he had changed his mind.

A pound of string beans now cost $5 in London. Fresh pineapples from the Azores were $20 each. Pre-war prices had ranged from 50 cents to $4.

On the editorial page, "Littlejohn at Least Knows the Odds" finds the choice of the City Council for the new police chief to be a good one in Captain of Detectives Littlejohn. He knew both the crooks and the officers in the department, was aware of the odds against him in a community with inefficient courts, a high crime rate, and little evident community backing to make the system better. The predecessor, Chief Anderson, had encountered each of these issues in his time as Chief.

"A Chill Can Be As Bad As a Fever" contrasts the apathy of North Carolina's election season with that of South Carolina where a dozen people were actively contesting one another to become Governor. While there was no gubernatorial election in North Carolina in 1946, there were Congressional elections and important county races.

But the inevitable result, if running true to form, would not be better government for South Carolina, where the norm had become corruption and inefficiency. In North Carolina, while the machine controlled everything, it remained relatively clean and efficient.

The piece suspects, however, that the root of North Carolina's apathy and South Carolina's delirium were common, that they were derivative of the one-party system and would not be eliminated until a viable two-party system could be restored.

"The C&O Sets a Fine Example" tells of an advertising campaign undertaken by the Chesapeake & Ohio and the Nickel Plate railroads, to alert the public of the absence of uninterrupted trans-continental rail service.

One ad read: "A Hog Can Cross the Country Without Changing Trains—But You Can't!" All passenger travel was through interconnections. The railroads, said C & O, were in dire need of modernization and offering through service was one way to achieve it.

The campaign had produced results with through service now available in Chicago and St. Louis. The action of C & O would likely strengthen its competitors before itself and so was to be lauded the more. It was also refreshing that the message of C & O had not been couched in false altruism but had candidly stated its purpose of serving more passengers to generate more revenue.

The piece thinks the attitude ought rub off on other companies and on labor unions.

Following an introductory note from the editors in which they credit Drew Pearson with having been the inspiration for an investigation by the War Department into the Army caste system, the column speaks again of the issue, crediting Secretary of War Patterson with initiating the investigation following his trip to the Far East.

Little had been done to change the human side of the Army since the days of George Washington. Mr. Patterson was determined to get to the root of poor morale in the Army, evident since the end of the war. The mail from the G.I.'s indicated that the caste system was the number one complaint, the provision of special privileges to officers. The system had come down from the British, and while both the German and Russian armies had sought to lift the morale of the enlisted man, the American Army continued to try to impress him with his subservient role.

An example he cites of privilege was that of Maj. General Willis Crittenberger having sought for a captain an early discharge by either declaring him to be his aide or by awarding him a Bronze Star, worth enough points to enable his discharge.

He goes on to cite several other examples and indicates that G.I.'s who had worked on the cited projects had observed first-hand how the brass hats had placed personal privilege in many instances above winning the war, had returned home mad and determined never to serve again in the Army.

Marquis Childs reports that Russia had offered to France 500,000 tons of wheat and 100,000 tons of barley to ease its shortage of grains. The announcement was made by the head of the Communist Party in France, and the French Foreign Office had never gotten wind of it beforehand. The French elections were scheduled for May and so the propaganda value was enormous.

It was doubted, however, by the Russians that there would be enough shipping available to transport the wheat from the Black Sea area. But Washington was now undertaking efforts to insure that part of the offered wheat could be transported.

The leader of the Communists in France meanwhile accused the capitalist democracies of corruption, that they had imperialist designs on France, a charge which echoed the Nazis during the war.

America had not performed well in relieving world hunger, evident as a problem a year earlier. Yet, no official had recommended that surplus food be used for political purposes as Russia was now doing with France, plainly with an eye toward influencing the elections.

Samuel Grafton reports that the voluntary commitment of America to use less bread would not be enough to feed the hungry of the world. But it was unfair to blame the shortage entirely on the consumer. There were 20 million more hogs consuming 100 million more bushels of wheat than normal on farms because grain was more profitable as meat. The Government, not coincidentally, was 100 million bushels of wheat short of its commitment to UNRRA. The pigs were fat; the world was lean.

The problem was not, as claimed by the Government, a lack of adequate rail transport for the grain. An increase in grain prices allowed by the Government had not appreciably altered the situation. The problem appeared in the delay of Congress to establish a firm policy on price controls and to extend the life of OPA beyond June 30, resulting in speculation on prices and consequent hoarding.

In such an atmosphere, Mr. Grafton believes it was not appropriate for America to pat itself too much on the back for accepting slightly darker bread. More had to be done such as renewal of price control for a year and issuance of set-aside orders, preventing bakers from baking as much bread and cake as they had.

The set aside cake could go to France.

A writer submits an open letter to Governor Gregg Cherry in which he contended that the State Department of Vocational Rehabilitation and Education was practicing racial discrimination in dispensing educational benefits to veterans under the G.I. Bill. An Advisory Committee, he stated, was causing the discrimination by limiting payments to black applicants.

A letter from the manager of the Baltimore Symphony extends thanks for Charlotte's welcome when it had visited earlier in the month.

A regular letter writer suggests that recent tremors in the Charlotte area were the result of laughter regarding "The Second Battle of the Bulge", appearing March 15, which suggested as nearly impregnable the defenses which General Bradley faced as director of the Veterans Administration, with the lead adviser for women's affairs campaigning for the right of women in service to receive benefits for pregnancy leave and hospitalization.

He refers to an unnamed writer who had suggested that scientists might be smart to leave well enough alone since the first "Adam-splitting experiment released a force that mankind has ever since been vainly struggling to control."

Don't worry, Mr. Taylor. In the year 2013, the State of North Dakota will solve the problem.

Incidentally, we were amazingly accurate in every respect regarding our predictions for the outcome of the games this night in the N.C.A.A. Tournament quarterfinals in Kansas City, including the scores. We are hesitant to stretch our luck for tomorrow's games, but we shall venture that in the semi-finals, North Carolina will beat Ohio State, probably about 60 to 57, and, though wildly speculative, Oklahoma A & M will thrash California 52 to 35, maybe a little closer, all in preparation for the fateful match in the Garden on Tuesday.

Join the pool and you will be assured of positively shining, at least as much so as a wet mackerel, perhaps a flounder, in the sun. But it is better to be a wriggling fish out of water than a dead dog who got hit in the road and squashed to a pancake.

Out upon the sand-dunes thrive the coarse long grasses;
Herons standing knee-deep in the brackish pool;
Overhead the sunset fire and flame amasses
And the moon to eastward rises pale and cool.
Rose and green around her, silver-gray and pearly,
Chequered with the black rooks flying home to bed;
For, to wake at daybreak, birds must couch them early:
And the day's a long one since the dawn was red.

On the chilly lakelet, in that pleasant gloaming,
See the sad swans sailing: they shall have no rest:
Never a voice to greet them save the bittern's booming
Where the ghostly sallows sway against the West.
'Sister,' saith the gray swan, 'Sister, I am weary,'
Turning to the white swan wet, despairing eyes;
'O' she saith, 'my young one! O' she saith, 'my dearie!'
Casts her wings about him with a storm of cries.

Woe for Lir's sweet children whom their vile stepmother
Glamoured with her witch-spells for a thousand years;
Died their father raving, on his throne another,
Blind before the end came from the burning tears.
Long the swans have wandered over lake and river;
Gone is all the glory of the race of Lir:
Gone and long forgotten like a dream of fever:
But the swans remember the sweet days that were...

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