Monday, March 25, 1946

The Charlotte News

Monday, March 25, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the U.N. began its second session, this time meeting at the Hunter College gymnasium in the Bronx, its temporary meeting place until a permanent site could be fixed within the Eastern United States, chosen in London the previous month as the permanent home for the organization. Secretary of State Byrnes delivered a message of welcome to the delegates from the President. He said that the U.N. Charter did not intend to outlaw change "in an ever-changing world", but did compel all states "to refrain from the use of force or threat of force except in defense of the law."

We deem it no accident, incidentally, that one day after the kick-off of this meeting of the U.N., North Carolina would, just a short distance away in the Garden, meet the Aggies of Oklahoma A & M for the N.C.A.A. basketball championship.

It was also no accident apparently that Soviet forces were reported the previous night by Moscow radio to be withdrawing from Iran, with evacuations already completed from Meshed, Shahrud, and Samnan, begun March 2, and the remainder of the evacuations having begun March 24. It was stated that evacuation would be complete within five to six weeks.

Premier Ahmed Qavan of Iran, however, was heard to say nine hours before the broadcast that no reports had reached Tehran of any exiting Russian troops. He stated that no direct negotiations were ongoing with the Russians.

In Belgrade, General Draja Mihailovic, King Peter's former War Minister, leader of the Chetniks and a hero in the Yugoslav guerilla underground during the war, was placed under arrest as a traitor and war criminal by the Yugoslav authorities. He had been sought for two years by the forces under Marshal Tito.

In Tokyo, Emperor Hirohito conducted his third "meet the people" tour within a month. The crowds shouted "Banzai" as he rode by in his Mercedes Benz limousine adorned with an imperial gold chrysanthemum. As on previous occasions, the Emperor was dressed, wearing a white sportcoat and a pink carnation.

We make no apology for completing that truncated sentence.

One minor official bowed so low that his head was smacked by an opening door of the limousine. The man recovered after first aid was administered and then showed the Emperor a reclaimed land project where wheat and potatoes were being grown on a former airfield, still littered with bombed airplanes along its edges.

Whether the little girl in Greensboro, or at least a kindred spirit of the little girl, who opened the door on Mr. Nixon in August, 1960, causing him to miss some crucial time on the campaign trail such that, to keep his pledge of visiting all 50 states, he wound up on the eve of the election in Alaska, might also have been for some reason in the Hirohito entourage this day in 1946, we do not know.

The joint Army-Navy atomic bomb task force stated that even with the delay of six weeks to permit more Congressmen to view the Bikini Atoll tests, both tests would be able to be baked at the Crossroads during the summer, hopefully shortly following July 1. Weather strictures, with the typhoon season starting in the Pacific in August, and the start of college in the fall, requiring the presence of professors who worked on the bomb project, were limiting parameters. Winds could carry deadly radiation after July. Scientists expressed satisfaction with the extension as it would provide time to set up measuring instrumentation which would not have been available otherwise in time for the tests.

An American sailor in Shanghai shot himself in the temple after being cornered by Chinese police in an alley, following his alleged theft of three diamond rings from a jewelry store.

Bernard Baruch warned the House Banking Committee that if it followed the prescription of N.A.M., which wanted removal of all price ceilings to allow increased production and consequent competition as a curb to inflation, "we're all going to fall down on our faces." He urged that OPA be extended, and that only through that process would production be stimulated, removing the incentive to hoard product pending lifting of price controls, thought by many industry representatives to be imminent. The continuation of price controls, he insisted, was the only way to preserve free enterprise.

Mr. Baruch also indicated his vehement opposition to the Government wage-price policy which had allowed an 18.5 cents per hour wage increase to the steel industry, forecasting that it would lead to demands for higher wages all along the line, leading then to inflation. He also advocated a halt to increase of the money supply and to lowering of taxes, until the budget was balanced.

The Supreme Court held 6 to 2 in A.F. of L. v. Watson, 327 U.S. 582, in an opinion delivered by Justice William O. Douglas, that Florida state courts must first interpret the provision of the Florida Constitution approved in 1944 by the voters outlawing the closed shop, before it would be ripe for the Federal courts to determine. The construction of the amendment would first have to be provided by the Florida Supreme Court before the constitutional issues could be properly discerned. The union had contended that the provision violated the First Amendment right of association, the Fourteenth Amendment, and the Contract Clause of the Federal Constitution, the latter prohibiting interference by the state with private contracts. Without reaching the merits of the contentions, the Court sent the case back to the U.S. District Court which had held the provision not to be violative of the Federal Constitution, with instructions to await the determination of the Florida courts before issuing its final ruling.

Chief Justice Harlan Stone filed a dissent in which he asserted the case ought be dismissed for want of Federal jurisdiction.

Justice Frank Murphy dissented in part based on his belief that the ruling left the union without an effective remedy should the Florida courts uphold the provision, as the U.S. District Court had already ruled against the union's position. He favored immediate ruling, finding the case ripe for determination.

Correspondent Max Hall reports on the UAW convention in Atlantic City, where CIO head Philip Murray gave praise to R. J. Thomas, UAW president, contesting Walter Reuther for the presidency of the union. Mr. Murray denied that it was an endorsement but supporters of Mr. Thomas loudly cheered the approbation.

Mr. Murray accused Governors Harry Kelly of Michigan and Edward Martin of Pennsylvania of discriminating against unions during the recent strikes. He also vowed to carry the fight of the unions to the South to organize workers, which he promised would begin in 1946.

Hal Boyle has been moved today to page 5A. We are sorry. You will have to get your own.

The News starts this date a Monday column, the "Carolina Farmer", covering agriculture in North and South Carolina on pages 4B and 5B. If you want it, go and get it.

Harold Ickes would start a column in the newspaper on April 1. Whether we shall be endowed with the opportunity to partake of it, we shall have to wait and see.

A photograph shows the arrival of the Soviet delegate to the U.N., Arkady Sobolev, appearing in good sprits. Not so his wife, whose image suggests displeasure with the journey or something.

Undisclosed in the caption, we also glean, is that his eight-year old son was heard to say, "I can tell you do not like me, Amerikan. I will bury you, Saracen Pig, Spartan Dog."

On the editorial page, "The Reluctant Highway Commission" remarks negatively on the State Highway Commission having cut off public debate recently on the secondary roads of the state, in bad condition, muddied and preventing farmers in many instances from getting their produce and livestock to market. Charlotte's former Mayor, Ben Douglas, had been the member of the commission who had moved that it adjourn into executive session when another member had attacked his fellows on the commission for inaction on the issue.

The Greensboro Daily News had severely criticized the action and this editorial joins the chorus of condemnation. It suggests that it was time for Governor Gregg Cherry to intervene to get the commission moving on the issue.

"Wishing Won't Make It So" responds again to the Hendersonville Times-News regarding its editorial responses to The News anent the Republican and Southern Democratic coalition which had formed to block the President's legislative agenda for reconversion. The Times-News called the Truman Administration "the national socialist regime in power in Washington", believed the New Deal an evil program set on the nation by the Hounds of Hell.

The Hendersonville newspaper appeared, it suggests, to misunderstand the editorial stance of The News, that it was not endorsing the Truman program merely because it had criticized the Democrats as being hypocritical to continue bearing the Democratic Party label while inveighing regularly against its leader's agenda. The News did not question their right to oppose the Administration but had asserted that the Southerners ought either do so from within the structure of the party or leave the party and join the Republicans.

The position of The Times-News that FDR and the New Deal had seized the Democratic Party was "the fanciest piece of reasoning" it had yet encountered. FDR had been nominated and elected by the people four times, three times following the principles of the New Deal being made clear to the American people. At no time in that period had the conservative Democrats repudiated the President or the New Deal, North Carolina Democrats having provided their endorsement in 1944. It thus wonders whether The Times-News believed that President Truman had injected some form of new radicalism into the Roosevelt doctrine.

The primary objective of The News, it continues, was to encourage an active two-party system. It believed that North Carolina would vote Republican if given a chance—a correct assumption after 1964. That should be to the liking, it asserts, of the Hendersonville newspaper. Yet, it even attacked that notion, saying that no compulsion was exerted on the voter to vote for a liberal Administration while also voting for a conservative Congressman.

It concludes that there was nothing new about the conservative-liberal dichotomy in American politics, that it was the foundation of the two-party system, and The News only sought the opportunity for North Carolinians to vote on it.

Of course, the editors of the day had no notion that eventually the dichotomy would be parsed on such lines as the right of a woman to choose whether to have an abortion during the first trimester of pregnancy, flag burning, compulsory recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance, prayer in schools, and other such purely ad hoc social issues du jour, trying, quite antithetical to America's founding principles, to eliminate separation of church and state and freedom of speech and association and the right of privacy, having no place therefore in the political debate in the country, needing settlement by the courts only because of bullheaded people desirous of an official mandate from on high that all Americans be compelled to do as they do and deem "right and moral", not recognizing the inherent foundation pin of the country being the right of individual freedom and choice.

The primary social issues of 1946, in addition to reconversion, which included adequate housing and jobs for veterans, were racial injustice and the proper methods of redressing it and the proposal to continue the draft into peacetime for the first time in the nation's history.

We remind again, on the particular topic of abortion, that, as the opinion itself in Roe v. Wade painstakingly elucidates, it was the pre-Christian cult of the Pythagoreans who originated the concept of transmigration of souls, that life begins at "conception", the definition of the term itself being subject to variable definition. It misses the point to discuss the origin of life, a purely theoretical concept in any event. Roe v. Wade rests not on the point of conception but on the point of viability, when a fetus can sustain life apart from the mother's womb, an empirically verifiable event. The scientific method, that is replicatable tests of an hypothesis and conclusions drawn from those tests, cannot assert that an independent life, apart from the mother's life, is created by the fertilization of an egg by a sperm cell. What results is simply that, still a part of the mother.

The determination of conception rests strictly in the realm of poetic assumption or not. Some may believe that the divine spark of love in two people is really the point of the conception, or the thought of bringing a child into the world, hence the very terminology attached to it, "conception", cheapened and demeaned by those who advocate that physical conception, an act of sex, is the point at which "life", as they define it, begins.

We cannot make law on the basis of poetic assumption or the cheapening of poetic assumption, stripping from it all poetry. No one may tell you what poetry to read or believe, just as the Government cannot tell you what religion to choose to believe and practice or whether to practice one and believe in one at all. That rests solely in the area of social debate, of individual choice, not in the courts, at least when left free of strangely compulsive heretics to the American Constitution who insist in the their own private dictatorships. Strip choice from the area of early termination of unwanted or unplanned pregnancy, and next, someone else will seek to strip choice from the First Amendment entirely, and then where are you but in a Fascist state?

To assume that the point of conception is the key to the issue brands the anti-abortion advocate as a person who has not even bothered to read and understand the decision which they inveigh against, sometimes to the point of sinistral and evil acts, including murder.

Emotional bias on an issue does not substitute for understanding. Do homework before carrying signs. Inevitably, one then is probably not so inclined to carry signs about much of anything of a serious nature. The homeworker will graduate into the realm of reasoned articulation rather than the spitting in people's faces, the realm of the emoting screamer.

"An Accent Makes a Difference" finds Lady Nancy Astor's performance before the South Carolina Legislature the previous week, in which she had immediately endeared herself by stating to uproarious applause that she preferred "Dixie" to "My Country 'Tis of Thee", to have been acceptable for her further encouragement implicitly to clean up the electoral system in the state. She had mentioned that the "colored troops" of Britain had performed well in the war and that Britain's Government was more democratic than America's because it could be turned out at any time and did not permit the filibuster.

The editorial finds the Lady's accent, which rhymed "house" with "moose", to be ingratiating to the South Carolina legislators in a way which Henry Wallace could not be for his being a foreigner from Iowa. So, if it took a special love of "Dixie" to get across the point, so be it. The editors suggest that they preferred "Dixie" also.

A piece from the Statesville Daily, titled "A Reflection on the South", expresses the wish for the defeat of Senator Theodore Bilbo and Representative John Rankin, both from Mississippi, in the 1946 elections, finds their demagoguery "nauseating", both stirring racial prejudice at their whim. Their presence in the Congress disserved the entire South.

Drew Pearson discusses the small incidents which, if allowed by the world to slip by without correction, could develop into wars. He had gone to Paris in 1928 with Secretary of State Frank Kellogg when the Kellogg-Briand Pact was formed, outlawing war. Secretary of State Henry Stimson during the Hoover Administration sought to implement the pact whenever he could. In 1929, just as the pact was being signed, Russian troops were aligning on the Chinese border in Northern Manchuria regarding issues with the Chinese eastern railroad. Mr. Stimson had sent a stern message to the Russians which, while bringing rebuke for the United States having such temerity when it had chosen not to recognize the Soviet state diplomatically, had the desired effect: the Russians withdrew their troops.

In 1931, when the Japanese entered Mukden in China, Mr. Stimson wanted the United States to take action, but was restrained by isolationist Republicans within the Hoover Adminsitration and by President Hoover, himself. Mr. Pearson suggests that had Mr. Stimson, appointed Secretary of War by FDR in 1940, gotten his way in 1931, then the Japanese might have been forced to withdraw from Manchuria before they obtained the raw materials from China which had enabled development of the war machine which would attack at Pearl Harbor.

In 1935-36, the incursion by Italy into Ethiopia was not stopped by the League of Nations, primarily through the influence of the power of big oil in the U.S. and Great Britain. Cutting off oil to Italy at that point would have prevented the attack on Ethiopia by air and ship.

Then came Hitler's accession of the Rhineland and the Ruhr, also without exception from the League. France could have easily stopped Hitler at that juncture. But, without British support, France chose not to act. Then came the annexation of Austria in 1938.

FDR had balked when it came to the Spanish Civil War in 1936, despite understanding that Italy and Germany were using it to prepare their armies and air forces for war. Powerful forces in the Catholic community were opposed to lifting of the arms embargo to the Republican Government, allowing Franco's Insurgents ultimately to win by 1939.

President Roosevelt had sought, however, an economic blockade of Japan in October, 1937, when he gave his Chicago "quarantine" speech. Britain had sent a part of its fleet to Singapore, but Mussolini had discovered its purpose and began attacking British merchant shipping with submarines, causing the fleet to return to Gibraltar.

Mr. Pearson concludes: "History has a way of repeating itself. Today the first test of the United Nations over Iran may be the first break in the new machinery in which the people of the world have pinned such hopes. The test cannot be side-stepped or postponed."

Marquis Childs finds it emblematic of the era following any war that there was afoot efforts to curtail the power of the Federal Government obtained during the war. The present efforts in Washington were remindful of the era of President Grant.

Senate Bill S.7, the Administrative Procedure Act of 1946, had just passed the Senate by a voice vote. Hardly anyone had noticed, with the concerns of the people focused on a readjustment to normal civilian life.

Parenthetically, we note that the bill begins with an insertion by Senator Pat McCarran of Nevada of an article by Willis Smith of North Carolina, then president of the American Bar Association, telling of the necessity for such legislation.

In a racist smear campaign conducted by campaign manager and future Senator Jesse Helms, Mr. Smith would, in 1950, defeat Senator Frank Porter Graham, former president of the University of North Carolina, who had served as interim Senator following the death of former Governor Melville Broughton in 1949, himself having been elected in 1948 by defeating William B. Umstead, appointed to fill the seat of the deceased Senator Josiah W. Bailey in December, 1946. Senator Umstead would subsequently be elected Governor in 1952, dying in November, 1954, succeeded by Lt. Governor Luther Hodges, eventually appointed Secretary of Commerce by President Kennedy in 1961.

Sam Ervin, as we have also previously noted, would be appointed in 1954 to fill the shoes of deceased Senator Clyde Hoey of Shelby—and the rest, as they say...

In any event, Mr. Childs tells of this bill, S.7, and its pages dripping "with legal language that is about as intelligible to the ordinary citizen as Chinese", set to reduce "to the vanishing point" administrative agencies by enabling judicial review of nearly every decision such agencies made. The legislation, however, was "nullifying nothing", according to Senator McCarran in answer to a question by Senate Majority Leader Alben Barkley, but also, admitted Senator McCarran to Senator Walter George of Georgia, did nullify the rule which made it impossible for courts to review the evidentiary basis for National Labor Relations Board decisions—in short, in the phraseology of another time and somewhat different context, "dripping with the words of interposition and nullification".

In the House were pending two other bills, one sponsored by Representative Hatton Sumners of Texas which would take the Government back to the "candlelit age", and the other by Carroll Reece of Tennessee, likely the next chair of the RNC. The latter bill would submit all decisions of the Federal Trade Commission and other agencies to judicial review.

Mr. Childs notes that reasonable men had voted for S.7, and so it would not be fair to suggest it as radical, as they believed that Federal agencies needed reduction of their powers accumulated in the Thirties during the recovery from the Depression and during the war. But, he suggests, the direct approach was the way to curtail those powers rather than through this sweeping legislation, as it would enable potentially the return of power in the country to Wall Street and its holding companies controlled by a few powerful law firms, as prevailed during and after the Gilded Age in the country following the Civil War.

Samuel Grafton urges again that the U.N. might be too young as an organization to handle the issue of Russian troop presence in Iran beyond the deadline of March 2 set by the 1942 Russo-British-Iranian Treaty, that it would be better to have direct resolution by the principals meeting among themselves than to run the risk of a proposed resolution by the Security Council at which Russia might balk and thus cause dissolution of the organization in its infancy.

He relates of a story of Thomas Edison proposing to install electrical voting lamps in the House of Representatives, only to have the plan naysaid by the body on the basis that the exchange which proceeded on the floor during the slow process of voting was crucial to the decision-making process. He suggests it by way of analogy to the urging of the Security Council to make a quick decision on the Iranian issue, all the more ironic for the complaint being brought in part by the United States whose Congress was known to take six months to allow a decision to simmer before taking a vote.

Another letter to the editor appears from one of the Harvard students who had sent the previous letter remarking negatively of the police work in Charlotte, siccing hounds to the trail of an alleged peeping tom who turned out to be a Johnson C. Smith student, after the man had been shot at five times and struck once by the brother of the homeowner and his wife at whose window the peeper was seen peeping.

This letter responds to the prior responsive letter of the individual who knew of the situation and concluded by saying that he would shoot to kill any peeper he caught peeping. The Harvard student finds the attitude no different from that of lynchers, exhibiting the same form of vigilanteism and callous indifference to human life. He asserts that there was a moral issue at stake.

He also wonders whether the police department was in the habit, as the previous letter writer had contended, of telling residents to go ahead and shoot and not call them about peepers.

He suggests that police incompetence had left the task to a citizen posse to track down the man, the same sort of incompetence which could produce a Charlotte version of the Columbia, Tennessee, riot of the previous month.

The indifference to human life exhibited by the citizenry, the police, and, in this instance, The News, he concludes, made it not hard to understand the high rate of violent crime which existed in Charlotte. He had learned in the Charlotte Sunday schools the notions of "Thou shalt not kill" and "Love thy neighbor", and he thought them therefore not to be, as implicit in the previous letter, Yankee notions.

The editors chafe at the letter, as they had the first one, and find it curious that so much interest was invested in such a routine shooting when any daily court docket provided better examples of the callous indifference of the community to human life. They also reiterate the failure to understand why race was being injected into the episode when there had been no evidence that the man's race, whether "white, black, yellow, or even crimson", was known to the shooter at the time. Nor was there any evidence of police brutality, just an appalling lack of official interest in the matter.

The editors seem to suggest that the shooter offended human rights on an equal opportunity basis, with indifference not only to life but skin color in so doing.

Fine and dandy. Maybe had the letter writer not been so uppity and attended one of the area schools, they would have given him a little more deference. Perhaps, had he been able to rhyme "house" with "moose", as Lady Astor had impressed them.

A letter writer compliments the newspaper for its stand on John Barleycorn, saying that he was not a heavy drinker, sticking to the rule of moderation, which meant three or four times yearly making an eggnog with whisky acquired from Fort Mill, S.C., on his occasional trips to Charlotte to loaf and window shop. He plumps for more moderation and less damnation by the churches.

He concludes, steamily: "P.S. I heard a man say, we have a new bread toaster at our house.

"Yes, we take a slice of bread put between two pages of 'Forever Amber.'"

A letter finds the Republican County Chairman's previous description of Congressional candidate P. C. Burkholder to suggest a nice man whom he might find an appealing candidate were he a Republican. But he takes exception to the description of him as not even belonging to the Myers Park Country Club, the letter writer saying that some of his best friends belonged to the club, implying that such membership did not suggest any supercilious attitude.

By dint of coincidence with the news today that Tiger Woods won for the eighth time the Arnold Palmer Invitational Golf Tournament at Bay Hill Country Club in Orlando, tying a record for wins of a golfer in a single tournament with the eight wins by Sam Snead in the Greater Greensboro Open, Sam Snead having won the day before in 1946 his second G.G.O., covered by Burke Davis, as we were informed Saturday on the front page—to the exclusion of the N.C.A.A. Tournament semi-finals—Mr. Snead having won his first G.G.O. in 1938, we find this story, still sans any mention of the N.C.A.A. Tournament with the finals set, after all, for the Garden tomorrow, that is, unless it is, somehow, in code, contained in juxtaposed stories, not subject to full revelation for fear that it might fall into the hands of the Rooskies, at least until the U.N. should get the situation straightened out with Iran.

Somehow, sometimes, for some recondite reason, there seems to be a plot afoot somewhere out there in the empyrean in the order of revelation of some of this stuff.

We thought that maybe the omission of mention of the basketball tournament resulted from the fact that the story of Mr. Snead's accomplishment in Greensboro was in a newspaper in Florida, where the emphasis has always been on gators and sunshine sports, such as spring training in baseball, rather than basketball, Florida, being without a winter typically, never producing a team fit to play in the N.C.A.A. Tournament. But, checking other papers as well in basketball towns, we still find no mention of it within the bounds of the sports pages.

Surely some enterprising newspaper man must have devoted an inch or so of print to Bones, Hook, Bob and the others as they went off to do battle against the Kurland Outfit. But, we have not found it. Even if they didn't provide the sizes of the shoes the fellows wear, the color of their favorite shirts and socks, the type of girlfriend they like, their favorite singers and hobbies, the books they read, the hotels where they stay, the food they eat before the games, the people they talk to while walking down the street, the things they say, the places they go, the shows they attend, the strange and wonderful things they think, at least they could have provided a tiny little mention of the fact of the game.

Maybe tomorrow or Wednesday.

Never minding that, we have now had a chance to analyze the player match-ups and have determined that North Carolina will indubitably win, as we previously averred, 70 to 58, give or take a few points, maybe 43 to 40, in a run-and-shoot affair. We know it's a stretch for the high score, but the times are becoming faster, and the game of basketball must, inevitably, keep pace with the Times.

The reader will be instructed, come tomorrow, by the actual event itself, that our prediction is remarkably accurate, as it must be in the Garden on Tuesday, the day after the beginning of the first regular meeting in the United States of the United Nations Organization inside the gymnasium at Hunter College in the Bronx.


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