The Charlotte News

Wednesday, March 6, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Winston Churchill had advocated a "fraternal association" between the United States and Great Britain during his speech the previous evening at Westminster College in Fulton, Mo. He predicted that eventually might come common citizenship between the two countries. An audience of 3,000 witnessed the speech.

President Truman also spoke briefly, urging that the U.N. Charter become the law of the land and of the world.

Nothing is mentioned on the front page regarding Mr. Churchill's remarks on Russia and the "iron curtain". Nor was there any earthquake after the speech which predicted the Cold War. Those facts had been steadily growing, however, since V-J Day, culminating in the recent arrests by Canadian authorities of 22 Canadian Government employees alleged to have given secrets regarding nuclear data to the Russians.

The previous day, the U.S. had admonished Russia for continuing to maintain troops in Iran beyond the March 2 deadline to which it had agreed by treaty. Another State Department protest was also lodged against Russia taking heavy equipment from Manchuria in former Japanese territory and sending it to Russia.

In Columbus, Ohio, President Truman addressed a special session of the Federal Council of Churches of Christ in America, appealing for religious support for his housing, health, equal job opportunity, and education programs, as well as his recommended extension and improvement of social security. He also sought support for developing atomic energy under a "high moral code" to harness it for the common good.

He blamed high-pressure lobbying groups "greedy for gold" for opposing the extension of the Price Control Act and keeping the minimum wage down.

The President counseled a renewal of religious faith in the country as a means to resolving the problems at hand.

Former Secretary of Interior Harold Ickes told Senator Millard Tydings of the Senate Naval Committee during hearings on confirmation of Ed Pauley as Undersecretary of the Navy that he had informed FDR in 1944 that he would have a scandal if an oil man, referring to Mr. Pauley, remained on the Democratic National Committee, Mr. Pauley then being treasurer.

Mr. Ickes said that Mr. Pauley had used improper methods in opposing Federal control of oil lands. He did not recall a statement in which he was quoted by the St. Louis Post Dispatch on July 5, 1945 as saying that Mr. Pauley did not use improper methods in his opposition on the oil lands issue. He had not disclosed to President Roosevelt Mr. Pauley's proposition of raising $300,000 from oil men for contributions to the 1944 campaign chest in exchange for the Government dropping its suit to assert Federal control over the offshore oil reserves. But he had led up to the point several times and the President had not asked him any questions, leading Mr. Ickes to believe that the President did not want to know of it.

Efforts continued to avert the nationwide telephone workers strike but thus far no resolution had been reached, with last reports saying that the union demanded 18.5 cents per hour in wage increases and management had agreed to just under 17 cents, up from the previous offer of 15 cents.

The heads of the two major railroad unions set March 11 as the date for strike to begin, one which would progressively shut down the nation's rail system. Under the Railroad Labor Act, the strike could be averted, however, for 30 to 60 days by the President through appointment of a fact-finding committee.

UAW sent a letter to the National Labor Relations Board charging that, in adjourning arbitration hearings after G.M. refused to participate, the Board was effectively joining G.M.'s efforts to break the UAW.

Coastal batteries at the entrance to Haiphong Harbor at Hanoi in French Indo-China fired upon a French cruiser, the Emile Bertin, with Maj. General Jacques Leclerc aboard, as it and other French warships awaited permission to land 20,000 French troops intended to relieve a Chinese garrison. The shells, however, missed the ship by more than a mile. Hanoi was the seat of the unrecognized Viet Nam Republic. A landing craft was also reported fired upon and one soldier seriously wounded.

The War Department denied rumors that all leaves had been canceled, that demobilization had been frozen, and reserves alerted for possible call-up.

Hal Boyle reports from Bombay that India showed little signs of realization of the internal problems the country would face with independence, an imminent prospect. The political leaders were divided only on the question of whether the country would be divided into Moslem and Hindu, establishing the proposed independent Pakistan and, if so, its constituent parts, or whether it would be united. Regardless of the resolution of that issue, India would be a "political battlefield of opposing economic and social philosophies."

India was poverty-ridden and possessed of a low literacy rate, its wealth concentrated in a small upper class. He wonders whether, if the political revolution succeeded, social and economic revolution would be far behind.

The young intellectuals of the country blamed the British for all of the country's ills. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru wanted India to lift itself from feudal agriculture into industrial democracy. Yet few of his followers appeared to understand the need for changes in Indian life before such democracy could be achieved even in rudimentary form.

A picture shows Swarthmore College students picketing the White House, seeking amnesty for conscientious objectors whose status was denied and were jailed as a result for avoiding the draft.

A clothing thief had been captured in Wichita, with the loot still in his grip. Bedspreads, sheets, you name it. The thief had snagged all of it. Good that they caught him, with the clothing shortage. The chair would be too good for this miscreant. Hang him from the highest tree in Wichita, for all the others to see and derive a lesson from the scene.

Professor Selby Maxwell, the new supplemental weatherman for The News, had predicted that it would be cloudy and cooler this date. It was.

On the editorial page, "Tough Talk at Westminster" comments on Winston Churchill's speech the previous evening at Westminster College, finding his words on the Soviet Union to be tough enough to satisfy Secretary of State Byrnes, Senator Arthur Vandenburg of Michigan, former Ambassador to Moscow Averill Harriman, and even William Randolph Hearst. His tough talk carried the apparent imprimatur of President Truman, who had read and approved the speech, and introduced Mr. Churchill.

He had urged a tight Anglo-American military alliance, working under the principles of the United Nations Charter, to check Soviet expansionism in Eastern and Central Europe.

Accepting his assertion that coexistence of the West and Russia could only come by counterbalancing military forces entailed abandonment of the U.N. as a "parliament of man" and rather seeing it as Mr. Churchill, "as an arena in which the weight of the balanced powers shall be periodically tested without bloodshed."

The editorial suggests that if the world were not prepared to break with the pattern of the past which produced two world wars in twenty years, then, as Mr. Churchill foresaw, another would inevitably come. Neither a return to the past nor idly sitting were acceptable courses, the latter possibly becoming the "final, fatal error of our time."

It should be noted that, for all of Mr. Churchill's grounding in history and mental acuity with respect to the events he had witnessed at close hand during the previous thirty years, the bulk of his speech might have been predicted by reading closely the editorials in recent weeks from Dorothy Thompson, Marquis Childs, Drew Pearson, and Samuel Grafton; and might, in fact, have been predicated in part on that reading, serving as a tap to American opinion while Mr. Churchill had been relaxing since January in the Florida sunshine down by the Surf Club, painting his pictures of the world passing by his view in Miami Beach.

"As Usual, Progress Is Expensive" tells of the new Zoning Commission meeting for the first time and discussing the need for funding for widening of streets. There was agreement that doing so, however, would not cure the traffic snarls besetting Charlotte. But without it, says the piece, no other plan would alleviate the traffic problems.

It hopes for a future when the city might be abandoned "lock, stock and barrel" and a move made into "planned and beautiful suburbs."

"Job For An Ex-Heir Apparent" discusses James Roosevelt's entry into politics by becoming chair of the Political Action Committee of the Independent Committee of the Arts, Sciences, and Professions, (not to be confused, it advises, with the Pacific Area Command Island Convoy Control and Submarine Patrol, PACICCASP).

The organization would support the Truman policies, said Mr. Roosevelt, and so it appeared a liberal group. It suggested itself as a good fit for the former heir apparent to the Roosevelt legacy, on whom most had expected a dynasty to grow. And, it offers, PACICASP was unlikely to cause anyone harm.

As indicated, Mr. Roosevelt would run unsuccessfully for Governor of California in 1950 against incumbent Earl Warren, and would be elected a Congressman from California in 1954, serving for a decade in that capacity.

Yet, there would be no Roosevelt dynasty.

Drew Pearson discusses the good job being done by aggressive Housing Administrator Wilson Wyatt. Recently, he had spoken to the National Association of Home Builders, a group hostile to his aim of building three million new homes during the ensuing two years. In a 45-minute talk and another 45 minutes of answering questions, he appeared, however, to have won his audience as all 3,200 rose at the end and cheered. He had told them that the program he proposed was going to help, not hurt, their businesses and proceeded to explain how, with the 600 million dollars of proposed subsidies to be paid to materials manufacturers who increased their production.

The group had opposed the plan prior to the talk, but afterward, wired Congress of their reversed position.

He next tells of the appointment of Maj. General John Hildring to become Assistant Secretary of State for the occupied areas. The State Department had planned to put the areas of Japan and Germany under the control of a civilian but had determined in the end to appoint an Army officer. General Hildring's job was to set up new civilian governments in the former enemy countries, a job which ultimately would determine whether a future war would break out again with the former Axis states.

Lastly, Mr. Pearson tells of the State Department becoming informed in March, 1944 of the presence of Nazi spies in Spain working against the Allies. The list included Gustav Lenz, Joachim Canaris, Eberhardt Lieckbusch, Herman Baltzer, Gustav Fock, Hans Van Buch, and Kurt Von Rohrscheidt. The State Department, however, had done nothing at the time, but continued to allow shipments of oil and cotton to Franco.

Wonders Mr. Pearson, why had it taken so long for the State Department to get tough with Franco's Spain, having finally just released a joint statement with Great Britain and France condemning Franco and urging liberal republican groups in Spain to stage a bloodless revolution.

Marquis Childs, writing from Clinton, Iowa, reports that the major concern in the heartland was not what was taking place in Iran or Moscow, but rather housing and the real estate boom. Suddenly houses had risen in price, some changing hands two or three times in a year, fueled by the need of millions of families for housing. But the other side of the coin was that renters were being evicted so that the owner of the property could sell it for a substantial profit.

Another passion-filled topic was nylon stockings, men and women standing in lines for hours to buy them.

Also hot was discussion of automobiles and getting orders in to dealers so that one would not be left walking when full production finally resumed. One dealer had said that he believed he would get no more than a hundred cars during 1946, had been offered $1,500 for the 1946 model he was driving.

The mood was anti-labor given the strikes which had curtailed post-war production and delayed return to a feeling of normalcy.

Clinton had a Dupont-owned cellophane plant which had been doubled in size, because, claimed the people, unions were not strong.

Mr. Childs finds fault with Congress not implementing the President's housing plan to put ceilings on prices of new and old housing. There had been a land boom in the Midwest after World War I which had caused terrible hardship. So the refusal by Congress to go along with the plan was all the more troubling.

Samuel Grafton comments on the inevitability that Congress would have to pass some form of extension of price control. The resentment over that prospect was spilling into the debate over housing, with the Southern Democrats and Republicans apparently forming their coalition to defeat the Patman bill on housing as a planned demonstration against government restrictions on business.

He suggests that when a bloc in Congress went so far as to defend free enterprise by maintaining a system which rendered people homeless, it had lost touch with the American dream. Veterans were angry about not being able to find housing. And for Congress to play such a game in this territory was risky and reckless.

There was nothing socialist about the Patman bill. It merely sought to stimulate producers of housing materials to increase their production by a targeted 600 million dollar subsidy package, requiring that the materials thus produced would be channeled into residential housing. It also provided for price ceilings on new and old housing.

The Republican answer was that veterans be provided $2,000 loans with which to purchase a home. But that prospect would not be conducive to affordable housing when, without the subsidies afforded by the Patman bill, builders could earn more profits by building business structures.

The period of time the country was enduring was typical of post-war, a time also when a token victory by a political bloc could turn into defeat for a nation.

A letter writer, who had written on February 22 dismissively of the argument that miscegenation would follow from the FEPC bill had it not been filibustered to death, and received a somewhat questionable endorsement of his view on February 28, states that Randolph Churchill's recent column, typical of his usual Russo-phobia, was without merit when he attacked the unilateral veto power of the Security Council as preventing action by the U.N. The writer wonders whether the United States would have approved the U.N. Charter had the veto power not been included. Britain also likely would have balked. Neither would have wished to risk having the U.N. responsible by majority vote for deciding when to deploy force. Thus, when Russia demanded the veto, it was in the face of a capitalist, anti-communist world, but the need for the veto extended beyond Russia to the U.S. and Britain as well.

A letter from Lumberton comments on the February 21 letter from a man who wrote of the Vatican making agreements with both Hitler and Mussolini prior to the war, in 1933 and 1929, respectively. The author reminds that these were concordats which dealt with church matters, not political matters, seeking to prevent political interference with the church in Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy. It was wrong for the previous writer to suggest that the Catholic Church hated democracy.

He urges that the writer visit the local Catholic priest and discuss the matter more fully.

A letter from three students at Harvard, apparently from Charlotte, found a piece in The News regarding a vow by a man to hunt down "dead or alive" an alleged peeping tom, who apparently turned out to be a student at Johnson C. Smith, to be indicative of the need for game laws to protect human beings. They suggest sardonically that it made apparently little difference to this man, who bragged of shooting at the accused peeping tom five times and hitting him, that he was black. Nor did the fact apparently impress the police who sicced their bloodhounds on his trail.

They conclude that the people of North Carolina ought form a committee for equal justice for the man who had formed the hunt so that he would, in the future, not be the object of such bullying.

The editors respond that the race of the man had nothing to do with the allegation, that all persons in the dark appear gray, and that a freshman at Harvard who turned up at night outside a window on Central Square might likely receive the same treatment as this freshman at Johnson C. Smith.

Bloodhounds giving chase and guns blazing over a misdemeanant, in Cambridge?

Somebody's muse at The News this day was a little confused.

The question really was whether it might have been Miss Delores Purdy that was being sought as the object of the secret peering through the screen wire, in which case her all-inclusiveness might lead to dismissal.

We move for non-suit, your hona, for want of a negative pregnant.

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