Saturday, March 30, 1946

The Charlotte News

Saturday, March 30, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the U.N. Security Council, by unanimous agreement of ten members, with Russia absent, had determined to send messages to Prime Minister Stalin and Premier Ahmed Qavam of Iran to ascertain whether Russia was extracting concessions from Iran for the withdrawal of Russian troops from the country. If not, stated Secretary of State Byrnes, then it was likely the Security Council would deem it unnecessary to take further action in the matter. The message carried an April 3 deadline for response. The Iranian delegate, Hussein Ala, disputed the contention of Andrei Gromyko that Russia and Iran had reached an agreement regarding the withdrawal.

At Nuremberg, former German Foreign Minister Joachim Von Ribbentrop, in his continuing direct testimony from the previous day, denied to the war crimes tribunal that Germany had advance information on the attack on Pearl Harbor and also stated that Germany never wanted the attack to proceed. The intent of the Tripartite Pact of early 1941 between the three Axis nations was to keep the United States out of the war.

That pact, parenthetically, had provided that in the event of any neutral nation, meaning the United States, entering the war against any one of the three Axis partners, the other two would join in mutual defense, declaring war on the neutral nation.

Herr Von Ribbentrop, captured in the nude in June, 1945, asserted that Germany desired that Japan attack the British ports of Singapore and Hong Kong, not undertake any act which would draw America into the war. He also stated that through his diplomatic efforts he repeatedly sought to help America.

He further stated that Belgium, Luxembourg, France and Britain had all plotted against Germany, necessitating the first strike against Poland. He had a sleepless night when Germany invaded the neutral countries of Belgium and the Netherlands, but, he said, it was unavoidable.

He also said that unless the tribunal hurried its decision, the world would be taken off by three burgundy cows, seven green horses, fourteen large blue bears, and one purple bull dressed in pink carnations which were coming soon from a distant universe, the planet Iotaly, to gather all the stragglers and save the Reich's heritage for its destiny at Ragnarok on the starry plain so that all good little Nazis could go beddy-bye with pleasant dreams.

But he did not explain why it was that German agents were in Japan during the several months prior to Pearl Harbor, known at the time and published in the American prints. Nor did he explain why it was that Japan set in motion in its High Command meeting with the Emperor on July 2, 1941, the course, beginning with the occupation of French Indo-China in late July, 1941, which would eventuate in the attack on Pearl Harbor and its aftermath, that meeting having been held just ten days after the Germans invaded Russia on June 22, a central contingency of the Japanese plan for Pan-Asiatic expansionism being whether Germany would succeed in its attack, keeping Russia's military occupied with Germany in the West such that it could not respond against Japanese aggression. Nor did he explain why it was that Japanese Ambassador to Germany Hiroshi Oshima was reported on November 29, 1941 to have met with Herr Von Ribbentrop and the latter reported to have assured Ambassador Oshima that Germany would declare war immediately on the United States should Japan go to war against either Great Britain or the United States, consistent with the Tripartite Pact.

It was probably all a ruse to trick the Japanese into believing Germany was their friend when all along they wanted to be friendly to the United States.

In Heidelberg, the Seventh Army was deactivated as the Third Army, formerly under the command of the late General Patton until October, since under the command of General Lucian Truscott, took over all occupation duties in the American zone of Germany.

The Far Eastern Commission, over the objections of Russia and New Zealand, agreed to uphold the decision of General MacArthur to allow Japan to hold national elections on April 10.

The majority of Congress indicated that the atomic tests off Bikini Atoll would proceed during the summer after being postponed by President Truman for six weeks from their originally scheduled date in mid-May. The efforts of Senator James Huffman of Ohio, Senator Scott Lucas of Illinois, and Senator Joseph O'Mahoney of Wyoming to have the tests canceled so as not to send the wrong signal to other nations that the United States was preparing for war, had fallen on deaf ears.

The Navy announced that the Signal Corps would send 15 rockets 60 miles above the earth into the ionosphere starting in the fall, for the purpose of collecting air samples for meteorological analysis. The Army had already launched rockets 43 miles above the earth. The Navy rockets would weigh 2.5 times that of the Army rockets.

The atomic tests also were for purposes of measuring weather impact.

Just as Mount Weather in Virginia would become a place of refuge for Government personnel in the case of major hurricanes and twisters.

The minimum wage bill was weighted down with a provision which would allow increases of the ceilings on farm prices, jeopardizing the minimum wage legislation. President Truman promised a veto of the bill in that form. Senator Richard Russell of Georgia had pushed for the farm amendment which passed by virtue of the coalition of Southern Democrats and Republicans.

OPA announced that its price increases to be allowed on new cars produced by Ford, Chrysler, Hudson, and Nash would range between one and fifty-one dollars, with the lowest hike, one or two dollars, going to Chrysler. The increases were designed to make up for the recently agreed wage increases for workers. The increases would be absorbed by the dealers, a ruling which the dealers found unfair and which they were determined to contest. OPA had countered that the dealers, even absorbing the increases, would make profits exceeding the pre-war period, based on their being able to sell cars with less overhead for advertising and the like given increased demand pent-up during the war, and their being able to re-sell used cars with greater profitability.

Hal Boyle, still in Athens, tells of the national election to take place the following day for the first time since the end of German occupation during the war. Greece was the only nation in the Balkans free from Russian influence. With Greece being the last outpost of the British Empire in the Balkans, the election stood as one of the most important in post-war Europe.

Greece was also the only Balkan nation with an active political left. But most observers believed that the new Government would be rightist in orientation, dominated by the royalist Populist Party, expected to win the majority of seats in Parliament, and perhaps pave the way for the return of King George, who many believed the lesser evil to Communism. Many considered that voting for a return to royalty would stave off the threat of Communism more readily than with a republican government, though they preferred the latter form. Greeks feared most a return to the strife of the civil war in 1944 following the ouster of the Germans.

Twenty-one political parties had put forth a thousand candidates for 354 seats in Parliament.

Greece had fewer quislings per square mile than any occupied country and so the turnout at the polls was expected to be high.

The Communist Party and five other leftwing groups which coalesced under the banner of the National Liberation Front were boycotting the election.

If you can obtain your own full copy of the newspaper, you can read Tom Fesperman's piece on hats in the Woman's Section, the pictorial on Boys' Week, and all the latest news from the golfing world.

A photograph shows Eleanor Roosevelt holding her new godchild.

On the editorial page, "Victory in the Gymnasium" finds from the dispatches that America would either benefit or incur detriment from the presence or absence of Russia in the U.N. meeting at Hunter College gymnasium in the Bronx.

The piece, however, wonders what Secretary of State Byrnes intended to do after a determination of Russia's culpability in the Iranian matter. If Russia refused to accept any proposed action by the Security Council, an impasse would be encountered which would pose the stumper: what next?

The problem of the United States taking up this fight was that no matter how much Russia was found to have trampled the rights of Iran, the accuser was self-interested, along with the British, for having a stake in Iran's oil.

A diplomatic victory might be achieved in the situation but it also might be overshadowed by destroying the prospect of peace to be achieved through the U.N.

The dispute had revealed that the United States now shared the Soviet perception of the U.N. "as an arena where the great powers struggle to establish and maintain the precarious balance that means uneasy peace."

"The Caste System Is Also Horizontal" comments on the special Army board, consisting of both officers and enlisted men, investigating the caste system between officers and enlisted men, hearing from such luminaries among veterans as Stars and Stripes cartoonist Bill Mauldin and former Yank editor Joe McCarthy—not that one.

It suggests that time might be saved, however, if a magazine, Salute, recently published by former editors of Yank, were introduced into evidence, as the former enlisted men had busied themselves therein venting spleen against the officers, suggesting, for instance, that General Eisenhower was paid too much as chief of staff with his $6,000 per year salary and $5,900 special allowance.

It points out that 75 percent of the officers of World War II had come from the ranks of enlisted men. But the editors at Yank and Stars and Stripes were too busy building their private careers to be too concerned over it, from the confines of their "furlined foxholes in New York, London, Paris and Manila" where they were part of a "strange, unreal and frequently disgusting pseudo-military life that existed in the rear echelons." They were, it continues, "certainly well qualified to report on the unequal distribution of liquor, girls and private baths."

But beyond that rear echelon, the real issue was whether the caste distinction was necessary on the front lines to carry out the main task of the Army, "the slaughter of the enemy".

The board would find that the distinction was horizontal as well as vertical, that the general on the front lines was exposed to far greater hazard than the private first class assigned to Communications Zone headquarters. Moreover, the "minor privileges accorded rank in combat are matched with terrible responsibilities."

The editorial suggests that the board call before it all living wearers of the Congressional Medal of Honor, so few in number that it might become necessary to ask bearers of the Distinguished Service Cross also to appear. If these men had a quarrel with the privileges accorded officers behind the lines, then the Army had cause for real worry.

It should be recalled that Associate Editor Harry Ashmore, presumably the author of this piece, had served during the war in the Army and achieved the rank of lieutenant colonel in the 95th Infantry Division of the Third Army.

"Speaker Harris and an Old Ghost" tells of Georgia Speaker of the House Roy Harris stating before the Columbia Rotary Club that the recent Federal court decision which held that Georgia could not bar blacks from the Democratic primary would bring about a return to racial violence of the type seen during Reconstruction. His rhetoric, no doubt, stimulated the active Georgia Ku Klux Klan as well as the followers of Gene Talmadge.

But, as The News had recently pointed out in an editorial of March 11, The Atlanta Journal had collected editorial opinion from around the state of Georgia, which by and large welcomed the decision and found no ghosts of the type lurking in the shadows as foreseen by Mr. Harris.

Yet, he saw the decision to hearken a return to Black Power stimulating in turn White Power movements to counteract it, as during the era of the birth of the Klan. But in so hypothesizing, he ignored that there had been no more political unity among blacks in the Southern states where they could freely vote in primaries, such as North Carolina and Virginia, than there had been among white voters.

The Columbia Record had suggested that if blacks ever were to unite it would be in reaction to such incendiary speeches as that of Speaker Harris before the Columbia Rotary Club. The News editorial quite agrees.

He was either crying wolf, sincerely believing his own rhetoric, or was doing so to avoid the type of progress which would cost him his political position. In either case, concludes the piece, it was deplorable.

Also, and again we swear by the Heavens that we do not read ahead unless we tell you, a squib at the base of the column says the following: "A film producer believes the public will be ready in 1950 for serious treatments of war as history. No Mata Hari having emerged in the great conflict, it will of course be necessary to invent one."

It pays to read the Sears and Roebuck catalogue.

"Transistor", incidentally, from August 15, 1945, is now here, Spartan Dog.

Let us try to add to Mr. Sandburg's notion that "what can be explained is not poetry" by suggesting that what is destructive is not art but rather the lowest and most common form of nihilistic vandalism, childishly so.

Drew Pearson suggests that the American people were getting their first close-up view of Oriental cloak-and-dagger diplomacy in the Iranian dispute with the Russians before the Security Council. The ablest practitioner of the art was Andrei Gromyko, always cognizant of what he was doing at each moment.

Whereas the Anglo-American anti-Soviet representatives in Iran, placing confidence in the anti-Soviet Shah, sent messages urging resolution of the dispute posthaste, Mr. Gromyko received messages from Moscow telling him to stall. He and Polish Ambassador Oscar Lange sought every conceivable chance to delay the proceedings. The Soviet Ambassador at Tehran had orders to start a revolt to oust the Shah and make Premier Qavam, a Russian puppet, top man. The Russians had allowed Qavam during the previous two years to have many economic concessions in Northern Iran, making him one of the wealthiest men in the Near East.

It had been reported that the Soviets had spent 1.5 million dollars in gold in Iran during the previous month to try to destabilize the Shah. The British Embassy, no slouch, he says, at cloak-and-dagger diplomacy, had meanwhile seen to it that the Shah had everything necessary to protect Anglo-American interests. The British, in their evacuation from Iran more than a month earlier, had left behind valuable military equipment.

The Iranian Ambassador to the United States and their representative at the U.N., Hussein Ala, was bitterly anti-Soviet but received his marching orders from Premier Qavam, causing the two to clash. Ala's supporters, including men who had helped the Nazis prior to the war, had urged him to press his case against Russia before Qavam removed him.

Thus was the backstage maneuvering behind the high-sounding rhetoric of the Security Council.

He next tells of Senator Elbert Thomas of Utah, chairman of the Military Affairs Committee, even-tempered ordinarily, losing his cool regarding an effort by Senator W. Chapman Revercomb of West Virginia to continue the delay of the Federal Science Bill to encourage scientific research. His apparent reason was that he was a bitter enemy to West Virginia Senator Harley Kilgore, his Senate colleague on the other side of the aisle and co-sponsor of the bill.

Senator Thomas had been a leading social scientist before coming to the Senate and when Senator Revercomb questioned whether the bill ought include social scientists, leading to the Government paying for "racial studies and things like that", Senator Thomas stated that the bill was subject to discussion as long as it was discussed intelligently.

After a vote, Senator Revercomb was defeated in his effort to remove social scientists from the bill. Senator Thomas then explained to him that it is very difficult to distinguish physical and social scientists. Senator Revercomb insisted the opposite, to which Senator Thomas replied that it was only easy if one did not know anything about either—his point presumably being that both areas are premised on the scientific method with the same goal of approximation of truth through hypothesis and replicatable experimentation to test it, only the object and tools of the study being different.

The committee then approved the bill.

Marquis Childs suggests that the charge that Herbert Hoover, set to go to Europe to make a report to the President on the food needs of the nations, had used food for political purposes during 1921 and 1922 was coming primarily from Communist sources.

Drew Pearson, however, on Tuesday had reported that resigning UNRRA director Herbert Lehman, former Governor of New York, had told friends of his belief that the former President would play politics with food and that it was a principal reason for his tendering his resignation.

Mr. Childs, in any event, believes that charge unfair and seeks to set the record straight.

He states that the American Relief Administration headed by Mr. Hoover after World War I had at its height been feeding over ten million people within Russia alone, in 24 provinces, the Ukraine, Moscow, and Leningrad. The movement of food to Russia had begun in July, 1921 following an appeal by Maxim Gorky. An agreement was reached that the American workers would supervise the food distribution but would not engage in any political activity in Russia. At the time, anti-Red sentiment ran high in America, fueled by exaggerated stories in the press regarding the excesses of the Bolshevik Revolution.

The result of the program was undying gratitude in the minds of most Russians. The fact that the Communists minimized the work should not be taken, according to a National Information Board study, to reflect the widely held public opinion in the country.

The food relief program of that era had effectively saved the regime of Lenin, as the threat of famine made incipient a stampede on the young and still vulnerable Soviet Government.

Only in Hungary had food been used for political purposes, in the civil war in that country to put down the revolution orchestrated by Bela Kun, in favor of the rightists. But that had been the exception and not the rule.

Bertram Benedict indicates that the coming coal strike, set to begin at midnight on Sunday, would be the eighth since 1919. He proceeds to provide the history of each of those strikes, taking place in 1922, 1927, lasting seven months, 1933, 1935, 1939, 1941, lasting 22 days, 1943, involving four strike periods between May and November resulting in Government seizure of the mines, and the previous October of 1945, involving supervisory personnel of the mines which resulted in a sympathy strike by the miners to avoid crossing picket lines and because it also involved mine safety inspectors.

A letter writer objects to the local bond election on the basis that it was not the time to be spending money, especially for farmers. There was no need, he says, to build more school buildings and more miles of road for joyriding. He also wonders at the haphazard pattern of school bus routes in the county, hauling some students to overcrowded schools while leaving others practically empty.

A letter writer responds to a responsive letter to his earlier correspondence, stating that he did not know that Albert Einstein and Robert Louis Stevenson were authorities on theological research. He also thinks the writer's contention that Einstein had proved that two plus two did not necessarily equal four should result in some "wise guys" getting together to begin a movement to make it equal three, as it might come in handy on tax day.

A letter states that the Moslem League in Palestine resisting Jewish immigration and settlement was undermining the position of Moslems in India, as a similar minority seeking a separate Moslem state. Jews were subject to the same danger in Palestine to which Moslems were exposed in India. The recent outbreaks of violence against Jews in Cairo and the pogrom in Tripoli, he contends, supported this position.


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