Friday, March 29, 1946

The Charlotte News

Friday, March 29, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the U.N. Security Council again met in closed session in preparation for a public session this date regarding the Iranian situation. The British and American delegates were working to achieve unanimous agreement from the Council's ten members, excluding Russia, on investigation of the matter.

In Stuttgart, Germany, German police were charged by the UNRRA with shooting down defenseless Jewish displaced persons this date on the outskirts of Stuttgart. The action came as a result of an Army-authorized raid on a black market which ended in a two-hour riot between 1,800 Poles and 220 German police. One person, a former concentration camp prisoner, was killed and two wounded. Several German police were also injured.

The disturbance began when the Jews pushed the police from the area, saying they had no right to be there, prompting the first shots by the police. There was no return fire from the demonstrators. The Jews had been given Red Cross packages and complained that the Germans were seizing the candy and cigarettes out of them.

The Army raid was conducted on the camp to determine the presence of counterfeit ration stamps reportedly being used by the displaced persons. American armored cars rolled in after the disturbance began and quelled the riot.

In Rome, Pietro Badoglio, the first Premier after the ouster of Mussolini, was ousted from the Italian Senate, along with five other Senators, in a purge of Fascists.

The Argentine Government again responded to the charges made in the State Department blue book, that the Argentine Government, including President-elect Juan Peron, was fascist and had collaborated with the Nazis during the war, denying the claims.

A Washington representative of the Socialist Party who had spent two years overseas as a soldier clerk, told the special Army board, consisting of enlisted men and officers, investigating the Army caste system, that he favored appointment of a scientist as the next Army chief of staff, saying that Dr. Robert Oppenheimer would make a good choice. He contended that 75 percent of the work of officers was performed by enlisted men.

Another soldier who had been discharged as a major and took a job with a fire department had then re-enlisted to obtain the retirement benefits of an enlisted man.

An Army captain in Tokyo admitted to having conducted a ruse in a Japanese bank, whereby, with forged credentials, he posed as an inspector of the bank's books, seized all of its assets, closed the bank down, and then took a holiday with a Japanese girl with the $39,000 acquired. He was caught by twenty M.P.'s in a resort hotel. A tip from the hotel manager regarding the captain having given her the cash to place in the hotel safe led to his capture. He had provided her with about $666 for the service. She disappeared with the money after providing the tip to police. The captain had also given the same amount to a truck driver to take him from the bank. These funds were the only part of the loot not recovered.

John L. Lewis announced that there was no hope of resolution of the coal dispute before the deadline of midnight Sunday for the beginning of the coal walkout, which he had contended would not be a strike. Mr. Lewis was refusing to discuss wages and hours until the demand was met to pay a ten-cent royalty for each ton of coal mined, to go to a fund for injured miners. The operators had offered a pay raise of 18.5 cents per hour and reduction of hours from nine to eight per day.

Management contended that the demand for a royalty would place at Mr. Lewis's disposal more than 50 million dollars per year, making him the most powerful union man in the country's history.

The Governor of Virginia, William M. Tuck, in an unprecedented move, drafted 1,600 employees and officials of the Virginia Electric & Power Co. into the state militia to avoid a strike scheduled for Monday which would otherwise result in cessation of power across the state. AFL president William Green vowed to challenge the power move.

OPA announced a rise in ceiling prices on a third of all beef cuts and for most pork to offset a 16-cent per hour increase in wages of meatpackers in the recently resolved meatpacking strike. The American Meat Institute issued a poll of housewives indicating that 83 percent reported buying meat at above ceiling prices.

Hal Boyle, back in Athens, reports that Greeks had great respect for American ideals as so many Greeks had emigrated to America. Money sent to relatives in Greece from Americans was a chief source of Greece's financial stability during the war. The country was one of the chief beneficiaries of UNRRA aid, for which the people were deeply grateful.

Mr. Boyle found the Greek people similar to American mountain people, capable of great feuds but also fiercely loyal. They lived close to the soil, which was rocky and unforgiving. They were truer to the ways of ancient Greece than Italians were to ancient Italy.

Many dreamed of sailing to America.

Being abroad in such a place gave the American traveler, he remarks, a sense of shame for taking for granted the manifold advantages offered by American life.

On the editorial page, "Inflation Down on the Farm" warns farmers against succumbing to the temptation, tantalized by high prices currently available on their produce, to use their profits to buy up farm land to increase their production, especially doing so on credit. For, as happened after World War I during the 1920's, the boom would turn to bust and the farm prices would plummet, leaving the farmers with debt they could not pay, with the consequence of losing their land to the banks, not only the new land purchased but their original holdings which would also serve as collateral for the loans.

The Winston-Salem Journal had warned of such speculation and the editorial agrees. The only way, it says, to avoid the prospect, however, was for the Government to place ceilings on farm product to prevent the inflation in farm land.

In North Carolina, for instance, sixth among the states in differential between normal and inflated farm prices, the price of land had gone up 86 percent since 1940. It was the instinct of the farmer to invest his profits in increased profitability through purchase of more land.

"The Season for Transplanting Colleges" comments on an editorial in The Asheville Citizen which had observed that the higher education center of the state was within a 75-mile radius of Raleigh and that no major institution of higher learning existed west of Orange County, location of Chapel Hill, still east of the geographic center of the state. It found the situation to deny equality of opportunity for higher education to residents of the Western section of the state.

So, it was encouraged by the possibility that Wake Forest would be moved "lock, stock, and tradition" to Winston-Salem from Wake County, enabled by the Smith Reynolds Foundation, unlike James B. Duke transplanting Trinity College from Randolph County, to retain its name.

The editorial sympathizes with the notion expressed by The Citizen, but finds it less of an issue in the age of modern transportation than in the past when a student from Cherokee had to travel by rude means across three-fourths of the state to attend college within the state, there being three closer state institutions out of the state—presumably referring to the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, the University of South Carolina in Columbia, and Clemson, or even the University of Georgia in Athens to make a fourth.

But the reason for the westward movement, it continues, was not to afford equal geographic opportunity for higher education but rather to appease the whims and fancies of the wealthy to engage in philanthropic enterprise on behalf of education.

It did not matter so much where a college was located in modern times, rather only what the college was.

"An Exercise in Double-Talk" finds the admonition to fellow Democrats by Representative James Richards of South Carolina, that they should not be suckered into joining the coalition with Republicans, to be disingenuous as he had voted three times for primary Republican measures against the President's reconversion program, for the Case anti-strike measure, for the removal of old-house price ceilings from the housing bill, and for the decision to return the U.S. Employment Service to the states.

"Frankly," it concludes, "we don't get it."

A piece from the Winston-Salem Journal, titled "Praise for Chief Anderson", remarks of Governor Gregg Cherry's determination to have former Charlotte Police Chief Walter Anderson in service for the state. He had been appointed the previous June to be the head of the Highway Patrol and, having decided to turn down that post, had now been appointed to head the State Bureau of Investigation.

The piece thinks Mr. Anderson to be an excellent choice for the job, given his experience and skill in law enforcement and administration. Mr. Anderson, it indicates, had many friends in his hometown of Winston-Salem.

Drew Pearson begins by telling of a conversation between FDR and his friend Morris Ernst, author of The First Freedom, regarding the problem of penetrating the iron curtain around Russia, in which Mr. Ernst described a pamphlet, titled "America", having been distributed in Russia by the Office of War Information but finding its dissemination difficult such that Russians, eager to learn of American ways, had to purchase it at high prices on the black market because of Russian censorship of it. In the pamphlet was a story on George Washington Carver, the first evidence Russians had that Americans did not beat up and lynch all blacks, as Communist propaganda sought to suggest. Mr. Ernst advocated more such books being distributed in Russia to improve mutual understanding.

President Roosevelt had agreed, telling Mr. Ernst that there was one book which would win over the Russian people: the Sears and Roebuck catalogue.

One primary reason for the iron curtain, suggests Mr. Pearson, was the desire of Soviet leaders to keep the Russian people from believing that the capitalist system was superior to the socialist system.

American and British mutual understanding prevented war between them, having nothing to do in the end with differing systems of government. The same principle needed to be applied to Russo-American relations.

When Prime Minister Clement Attlee had recently made the offer of independence to India, the Russian press, intent on condemning British imperialism, had not reported the news. It was hoped that Secretary of State Byrnes would soon seek from Prime Minister Stalin a pact by which there would be free interchange of information between the United States and Russia.

He notes that there had been discussion within the Truman Cabinet of use of long-range bombers to bomb Russian oilfields had the gravity of the situation increased with respect to Iran and Turkey, and had Russian troops begun aggressive moves into the latter. President Truman was adamantly opposed to use of the atom bomb but military strategists believed that the long-range bombers used against Russia's source of oil, primarily in Rumania and the Caucasus, could effectively check the Red Army's ability to move.

He next describes Secretary-General of the U.N. Trygve Lie of Norway as being ideal for the position, given his ebullience and confident nature. When he and his family had arrived for the U.N. meeting in New York, his family were discussing things to do. His daughters wanted to see an ice hockey game and Sonja Henie ice skating. Mr. Lie, however, preferred the notion of first attending a baseball game and maybe a prize fight, though his daughters thought ice hockey would be more exciting than baseball.

Russian delegate A. A. Sobolov, (or Sobolev, in Cyrillic), was present and Mr. Lie suggested that there were great prize fighters within Russia, to which Mr. Sobolov dissented, saying that Russia did not care for boxing. Mr. Lie rejoindered that Russia was full of great fighters as evidenced by the licking they had administered to the Germans during the war.

"See?" incidentally, from May 8, 1944, is now here.

Marquis Childs tells of the inner workings of the Senate Atomic Energy Committee. It had recently received a report prepared by the State Department from Undersecretary Dean Acheson, recommending that atomic energy ultimately be turned over to an international commission. The report was supposed to be maintained in secrecy by the committee members but shortly after its receipt, two or three Senators had leaked portions of it to the press, worse than secrecy.

Attendance by the Senators at the meetings was poor, with the absent members tending to be those most in favor of military control of atomic energy. Senator Brien McMahon of Connecticut, the committee's chairman, had attended every session and was most adamant about civilian control. His proposed bill placed control in the hands of a civilian commission and amendments to it had only proposed a military board which, if it disagreed with a decision by the commission, would have the right to go to the President who would make the final call.

No one had suggested that atomic energy be turned over to any international body until proper safeguards were in place to protect it, the comments of Senator Joseph Ball of Minnesota to the contrary notwithstanding.

The bill had been rewritten in committee numerous times, reflecting the suspicion and fear which dominated the Senators' thinking on atomic control. The attitude did not bode well, concludes Mr. Childs, for future peace.

Samuel Grafton, also commenting on the Atomic Energy Committee, suggests that Congress was clinging to the unrealistic hope that America would indefinitely have sole possession of the atomic secret, that were that not their belief, they would see to it that a civilian commission would control it for peaceful purposes so that, when other nations did inevitably obtain it within a short time, they would find America out front in peaceful uses and be encouraged thereby to exert their energies to catching up on that front. Such a view was the only explanation for the Atomic Energy Committee voting against Senator McMahon's bill and for military control.

Another piece of evidence for this attitude was the fact that 120 Congressmen intended to leave their work for 42 days to see the atomic tests during the summer at Bikini Atoll, obviously conveying the idea that they were most concerned about military applications for nuclear energy. Originally, the tests were set for mid-May, during the debate over extension of OPA, but, nevertheless, the Congressmen had intended to abandon their duties and observe.

He tells of a book, One World or None, just published by two scientists, Frederick Seitz and Hans Bethe, which predicted that other nations, including possibly Sweden and other such smaller countries, would have the bomb within six years. The information was already available within the scientific community and no special genius would be needed to harness and use it to produce a bomb. Much of the American time spent on development of the bomb had been consumed in determining the practicability of the project before investing huge sums of money in it. That process was now behind the world and all that remained for nations seeking the secret was to put together the extant pieces of the puzzle and proceed.

Mr. Grafton favors thus a change in attitude to a more realistic vantage point, to set sights on the inevitability of other nations having the bomb and behave accordingly, to try to make the application of nuclear energy safe and peaceful rather than geared to bigger and more destructive bombs good only for military application. He suggests that in that event, Congress might send 120 of its members to observe the deliberations of the U.N. Security Council.

A letter writer, a pastor of the Second Baptist Church in Fort Mill, S.C., responds to the editorial of Tuesday about the victory of the Dry forces in Rockingham County and the article by Burke Davis, reporting on the victory. This minister knew the minister who had led the Dry forces and took umbrage at the editorial having described him as un-Christian for naming from the pulpit any member of his congregation who had signed the petition for the controlled sale of liquor.

He believes that any minister had the right to expose any church member's wayward ways at any time.

He also thinks it was sacrilegious for the editorial to suggest that there was room for religious people on both sides of the issue.

And we have the right not to attend your fascist church. So shut up and go away. You are evil and damned to hell. And so is your pal, the other minister.

Not because you and he oppose drink but because you are both fascist pigs who brand people in your neat little pigeon-holing within the narrow confines of your small minds for expressing their freedom of speech, you whoresons from hell. We hope by now you feel the heat 67 years on, which no doubt you suffer from having hurt good people with your slimy, narrow ways which only serve to get people killed, just as with lynching, indirectly for decades promoted from the pulpit as a means to keep the wayward black folk in their places.

The editors simply respond by quoting fully the context of the remark which the minister had found sacrilegious. We went a little further, with license bestowed by virtue of passage of time.

A woman who spent her first thirty years in England and respected the Catholic Church, of which she was a member, for its spirituality and divinity, writes a letter anent the criticism heaped on the Catholic Church, finding the Charlotte Ministerial Association to be more dictatorial on matters than other organizations in the county.

The Baptists took pot shots at Catholics. She believes the editors were Baptists, as she had, as the writer the day before, been informed.

The editors again repeat the same note as the day before, that the only label they wore was that of Democrats, which could be spelled with a small "d".

In any event, it is certainly interesting to read virtually the same cookie-cutter, scripted letter over and over, stated in slightly different ways, from five or six different people, obviously seeking by the sheer force of numbers to make a point—that anyone can be unimaginative and boring, Wets, Drys, Protestants and Catholics.

Herblock and load.

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