Saturday, March 9, 1946

The Charlotte News

Saturday, March 9, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that an unconfirmed report from Mukden in Manchuria stated that 22 trains were evacuating Russian troops from the capital. Fires were reported to have been started in the city in the wake of the departure. It remained uncertain whether American and Chinese troops would soon enter the area.

It was reported from Chungking that famine and pestilence had claimed the lives of 49,000 people in southern Hopeh Province. China generally, contended the Chinese Minister of Food to the Kuomintang, was in dire need of food relief. Some of the problem was the result of feeding the Japanese prisoners, and so he urged speeding of the repatriation process plus faster transportation of UNRRA relief.

Radio Moscow charged the United States with violating a Big Three agreement on Bulgaria and attempting to sabotage it. At the Foreign Ministers Conference in Moscow the previous September, it had been agreed that Russia would provide friendly advice to Bulgaria to broaden its Communist-dominated Government to include two additional party interests. The opposition, however, declined to accept Cabinet appointments on the basis that their functions would only be pro forma and not substantive, and the Government then declared that it had no further responsibility for the agreement.

The United States sided with the opposition, stating that the participation should have been on a substantive level. The British had adopted the American view of the situation.

Privately, the State Department stated that Bulgaria had been added to the list of trouble spots between the U.S. and Russia. The list, the anonymous spokesperson stated, might also be extended to include Turkey.

Still no reply had come from the State Department protests regarding continued presence of Russian troops in Northern Iran beyond the March 2 deadline for removal, and in Manchuria, albeit in the latter case, apparently resolving.

It was announced in Washington by the War Department that Army personnel who were deemed to lack loyalty to the Government and Constitution would be denied participation in "sensitive duties", including duties connected with atomic energy and radar, as well as education of troops and attendance at officer candidate schools.

The announcement impliedly upheld General MacArthur's recent decision to transfer to Okinawa two editors of Stars and Stripes for their too active editorialization regarding slow demobilization and their prior alleged association with Communist activities before entering the service. One of the editors had denied ever belonging to any Communist organization and the other, while admitting one-time association, stated that he had resigned the party before induction.

It was not explained exactly how editors exercising First Amendment rights, preceded by the exercise of rights of free association in civilian life, equated with not upholding the Constitution.

Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin retired from his post as secretary general of the British Transport and General Workers Union, a post he had held since 1922.

In Bolton, England, a grandstand, in a stadium packed with a record crowd of 70,000 spectators, collapsed at a soccer match between Stoke City and the Bolton Wanderers, killing 34 persons and injuring several others. Because of the crowd noise, cheering continued until the ambulances began arriving, as the greater portion of the crowd was not apprised that there had been a disaster. Play was suspended for 26 minutes while the casualties were removed and, after the field was cleared, play resumed.

Chin up. Cheerio. We just went through a war. What's a little more death? Carry on.

The game ended in a scoreless tie. Bolton, however, moved into the English Football Association Cup semi-finals after defeating Stoke City in the first leg of the quarter-finals the previous week. The previous record for attendance of a soccer match at Burnden Park Stadium in Bolton had been 69,912, established in 1933. The previous record for the number killed was not indicated.

The collapsed grandstand, which had a capacity of 2,800 persons, was used for storage by the Ministry of Food.

Hal Boyle, still in Cairo, tells of a TWA chief hostess looking for flight hostesses who wanted an interesting job seeing the world in the process. The chief hostess had been at the job for ten years and flown 8,000 hours and 1.5 million miles, the equivalent of six trips to the moon or 60 times round the globe.

She said that she was the only one of the original class remaining. Most left after about a year to be married.

The pay started at $150 per month with regular raises. About 85 hours per month were spent in the air, more during the summer.

The chief hostess reported that she had never encountered an emergency and most of the hostesses lost their fear of mishaps after the first few flights.

John Daly reports of growing concern in Southern textile circles regarding the unprecedented purchase of cotton textile mills by Northern businesses, establishing large-scale absentee ownership resulting in substantial replacement of management with Northern personnel. Textile stocks were being purchased at well above traditional prices. Cotton textile industrial leaders indicated that it was simply a form of traditional merger and integration.

A photograph appears of Princess Elizabeth and her sister, Princess Margaret, both adorned in "party dress", obviously preparing therefore to party.

Prof. Selby Maxwell, having predicted it to be partly cloudy and cooler this date, had missed the mark again. It was cooler but no clouds could be found. The News remained, however, on the lookout for a cloud to make the professor honest.

On the editorial page, "Touch of Irony for Jackson Day" comments on Democratic National Committee chair Robert Hannegan having addressed a letter to North Carolina Democrats as they met for their Jackson Day Dinner, urging organization to insure re-election of a Democratic majority in both chambers of Congress. He had to know that, while in North Carolina the Congressional delegation would assuredly remain solidly Democratic, it was also, like the rest of the South, not of the same party as President Truman on most issues.

Thus, as he urged retention of numeric majorities, he effectively urged a Republican working majority, in coalition with Southern Democrats, in the House.

The piece suggests it was one of the unfortunate fruits of a one-party system in the South, which might work ultimately to prove a tragedy for the nation.

As, in November, 1963, it would.

In 1946, the House and Senate, despite large majorities for the Democrats going into the mid-term election, would swing by large majorities to the Republicans, expected by many to be the case in the House but coming as a surprise in the Senate, reflective of the considerable discontent in the nation with the job the new President and his Party had done thus far since the end of the war. In 1948, however, the Democrats would regain majorities in both chambers.

"Back-Handed Boost for Jimmy" states that since the column's previous editorial regarding the entry into politics by James Roosevelt by virtue of his having become director of PACICCASP, a political action committee dedicated to recruiting liberal and progressive Congressional candidates for the fall elections, it had been informed that the committee was a Communist front organization. The informant was Congressman John Rankin of Mississippi, chair of HUAC. No one in Congress had much risen in protest of the revelation.

The first editorial had concluded that PACICCASP could do little harm. Now, it was not so certain. For the protest of Congressman Rankin definitely provided the PAC with a good deal of stature and respectability, alongside the CIO PAC, the ACLU, the Lawyers Guild, the Newspaper Guild, and other such organizations which had fallen under the stamp of Communism at the hands of Mr. Rankin.

Mr. Roosevelt, if he played his cards well, might even wind up having to testify before HUAC, increasing further his credentials as head of a viable organization. He only needed to be denounced by Senator Theodore Bilbo to make it a clean sweep and insure himself a bright political future.

After all, the same labels had been applied to Mr. Roosevelt's father during his twelve years as President.

Of course, the light-heartedness with which this game was usually being played at the time would turn sinister within short order and become life threatening to those who were black-listed during the McCarthy-Nixon era, the more its strident, humorless proponents were successfully mocked, the more strident and humorless they became in response, through a glass darkly, usually to the very bottom of the glass.

We note that in the previous note we left out "Citizens" from PACICCASP, rendering it "PACICASP". Never leave out "Citizens".

"Incorrect Facts, Correct Conclusion" corrects the assertion of The Elizabeth City Advocate, in response to a story out of Charlotte of a conviction for murder of a hotel house detective when he shot a man who he claimed had attacked him first. The Advocate had called him a member of the police department who was engaging in bootlegging.

The evidence showed that, while he had some police connection as an underground investigator of bootlegging for the police chief and was, according to the prosecution, seeking at the time of the killing to cut himself into the bootleg liquor trade, he was no officer of the law.

But the reasoning of the story in the Advocate, that bootlegging led to this sort of conduct and thus prohibition was conducive ultimately to a worse evil than controlled sales of liquor, was valid.

A piece in the Columbia Record, titled "Prohibiting Tax Collection", suggests that prohibition did not prohibit consumption of liquor, only collection of revenue from the sale of it. Kansas was an example, with prohibition but plentiful liquor available.

Thus, it recommends rejection of the local option bill pending in the General Assembly of South Carolina.

Drew Pearson reminisces of how the Anglo-American alliance, which Winston Churchill favored in his Westminster College address as a post-war permanent condition, had operated during the war.

At Cairo in late 1943, FDR had informed Chiang Kai-Shek of America's commitment to reopening the Burma Road to supply the Chinese by land. But the next day, Mr. Churchill vetoed the plan to reopen the road. President Roosevelt had suggested that the British return Hong Kong to the Chinese in exchange for it becoming a free port. Mr. Churchill was not supportive of a such move, indicating, as he had in his speech in November, 1942, that he did not intend to become the first King's First Minister to preside over the dissolution of the British Empire. Mr. Roosevelt then had to persuade Chiang not to depart the Cairo Conference in a huff.

At Casablanca, in January, 1943, Mr. Churchill disfavored a cross-channel invasion of France while the President and the U.S. general staff wanted it. Mr. Churchill finally stated that if it took place, then Britain would only commit 30 percent of the total troop strength based on the lost generation of young men from the First World War.

General Al Wedemeyer, then head of the war plans division for the general staff, stated that such a percentage differential would delay an invasion for a year because of the need to train and transport American troops to England, whereas it would be much more quickly accomplished were Mr. Churchill to agree to a 50-50 split. But the Prime Minister remained resolute. Eventually, the invasion force was 70-30 percent, American to British.

Mr. Churchill had been so annoyed by the pressure that he convinced the President to have General Wedemeyer transferred to India to serve under Lord Louis Mountbatten.

Mr. Churchill had also obtained at Casablanca a promise from the President to enable British control of the Mediterranean theater. Much of the later trouble in Greece starting in fall, 1944 was thought to be attributable to this off-hand accord.

There were further clashes with Mr. Churchill's positions at the Ottawa Conference, (presumably in reference to Quebec Conference of September, 1944), as General Marshall wanted faster action in the India-Burma theater while British General Sir Alan Brooke, British chief of staff, showed resentment.

Mr. Churchill had then cajoled FDR into making General Marshall commander of Allied forces in Europe, but when the report leaked to the press, there was such an outcry that the President withdrew the change of assignment and left him as chief of staff of the Army.

The Prime Minister had balked when the President sought to put pressure on him to grant sovereignty to India, adamantly refusing the invitation.

One former Roosevelt adviser observed that Mr. Churchill's seeking of an Anglo-American alliance was coming too late, that he should have acquiesced to American will during the course of the war if he wanted cooperation now.

Finally, Mr. Pearson remarks that House Ways & Means Committee chair Robert Doughton of North Carolina had advocated continuance of payment by Americans of the luxury tax on such items as furs. But he also recommended it for such luxuries for children as movie tickets.

Marquis Childs reports on a debate brewing between scientists and the Army as to who controlled atomic power, the debate having been brought into the open by Dr. Edward Condon, director of the Bureau of Standards, who had been one of the researchers on the Manhattan Project. Maj. General Leslie Groves had tried to make it appear that only a handful of malcontents among the scientists were opposed to Army control, but it had become plain that the opposition was not so limited.

As a result of the dispute and fear of having to take orders from the military, scientists were refusing Government jobs at high pay. Added to the already shortened supply of scientists because of absence of university training during the war and the seeking by American industry of scientists from within universities, the situation had left a dearth of available scientific personnel for the Government.

Scientists who during the war had received deferrals from the draft had been drafted after V-J Day and often assigned to duties far afield from their scientific expertise.

While decorations were handed out wholesale to the military during the war, scientists received none, even though many civilians in war industries received Distinguished Service Medals. The Medal of Merit, however, had been awarded to 22 scientists who had worked on atomic energy. By comparison, England had awarded its prestigious Order of Merit to only 24 living individuals, six of whom were scientists. Russia had also given prestigious awards to its scientists.

The military had referred to scientists during the war by the pejorative term "long hairs".

The scientists only wanted to be able to do their work without a military nursemaid.

Samuel Grafton suggests that both Mr. Churchill and Mr. Truman were tired, along with the rest of the world. It was in that atmosphere that criticism of Russia afforded some relief from such weariness, as it acted as distraction from domestic problems and caused the President little adverse reaction even from the segments who disfavored his domestic policies.

The President, he assures, was no Iago, plotting in the wings some dastardly plot, but rather was reacting from this general state of weariness.

Many observers were wondering why the President had gone to Fulton, Mo., and appeared on the platform with Mr. Churchill as he delivered his speech at Westminster College, critical of Russian expansionism in Eastern and Central Europe. He would have been better served perhaps to have stayed away and awaited reaction from the world's capitals. But attending also showed that the President was not engaging in any fence-sitting.

Likewise, it was clear that Mr. Churchill was sincere in his protestations. His argument, however, provided the British Empire with utility in the world, as a necessary restraint against Russian expansion in Europe, thus securing sustained existence of the Empire in a world hostile to colonial interests. So, it was unclear whether Russia truly disserved Britain or stood as an ironic life-preserver.

During its 29 years of existence, Soviet Russia had been the chief concern in the world while also being the least of its problems. The concern over its possible expansion had been the major problem.

Perhaps, in self-restraint, given Mr. Churchill's stature and continued presence in the United States, Mr. Grafton did not logically extend his thought to include the expression that part of the reason for the thrust of the Westminster College speech by Mr. Churchill, though tending to fly in the face of the presumed sincerity which Mr. Grafton attributes to him, might well have been that he realized fully this complex, understanding that in a world free of a common enemy to the West, it would be easy enough to accede to the already extant volume of opinion in Congress and abroad the United States, evident by the challenge to the 3.75 billion dollar loan to Britain, to return to isolationism or some variant of it, making room only for a watered-down version of the United Nations. But that is not to say that Mr. Churchill concocted the concern simply for the self-interest of Britain, regardless of any genuine perceived threat from Sovet expansion. One must see the situation as they saw it in 1946, with the atomic secret, however insecurely, in Western hands for the moment and Russia eagerly seeking to obtain it, thus left wondering whether, should the Soviets eventually develop an atomic weapon, its threat would then be used as a means by which to cudgel the opposition and gain further ground in Europe and Asia, unchallenged by the West for fear of provoking a nuclear confrontation.

A letter from a regular writer finds the housing shortage getting no better, causing G.I.'s to complain. But Congress appeared nevertheless unconcerned, the House having just emasculated the President's building program.

Soon, he ventures, there would be plenty of housing available, albeit mainly closet space. But, there was no need for homes anyway if America was going to fight Russia. Abandoned mines would be preferable housing in that event.

Another letter writer, a civil engineer who had worked in the Georgia Highway Department, defends a Charlotte radio announcer, one-time News reporter Grady Cole, who had criticized the country roads of Mecklenburg County. Despite the protestations of Governor Cherry to the radio-man's digs in song and story, the roads were in many instances improperly graded, tending to throw vehicles off curves, and possessed of compound curves leading directly into bridges without a proper straight-away for at least 100 feet in advance of the bridge. Such roads could deter the tourist trade.

A letter from the Publicity Committee of the North Carolina Dental Society complained of a syndicated article appearing March 5 in The News regarding thumbsucking, wherein it had been stated that thumbsucking was harmless.

No, say the dentists. It is definitely a "menace to mouth health, to appearance," and sometimes caused malformed nasal passages conducive to colds. The only dentists not concerned about it had been misled in their dental schools. Long-term observation demonstrated the deleterious impact of the malady.

Wrap that sucker with adhesive tape. The child will then be deterred. It does no good to threaten dipping it in castor oil as most children have not the foggiest idea what that is.

It isn't safe.

Another letter writer tersely tells his personal tale of being openly a drinker, that there was no sense hiding it, for if he did, he would be a hypocrite, that there was no point in serving two masters and so he was prepared to tell the world that he was a drinker. But please do not call him a hypocrite, he asks. Just say that he drank. And he'd "rather drink in a safe place and come out whole."

As we said, it will be exciting. Woe be unto he who shall deny it. Once again, we inform, we do not read ahead.

Framed Edition
[Return to Links
Page by Subject] [Return to Links-Page by Date] [Return to News<i><i><i>--</i></i></i>Framed Edition]
Links-Date -- Links-Subj.