Monday, April 15, 1946

The Charlotte News

Monday, April 15, 1946

THREE EDITORIALS

Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that OPA would restore wartime slaughter control by a quota system and that the FBI was ordered to investigate alleged false claims for food subsidies after slaughterhouses had dealt in the legally prohibited black market, both of which efforts were aimed at eliminating the black market in meat. The quota would allow established meatpackers to obtain more meat so that certain slaughterhouses would not be able to hog the market through black marketing practices.

The Iranian Government indicated that it wanted the complaint against Russia before the U.N. Security Council withdrawn as having been resolved. There was no word yet from Hussein Ala, the Iranian delegate to the U.N.

The U.N. had agreed to lease the Sperry Gyroscope Company plant for three years from the Reconstruction Finance Corporation. The facility, abandoned since the end of the war, would become the offices for the U.N. until it established its permanent headquarters.

Associated Press correspondent Frank O'Brien provides the first in a five-part series of articles on the Balkans, starting with Rumania where he had spent several months. Mr. O'Brien reports from Bucharest of the importance of Rumania to Russia as an ally. Rumania had, as an ally to Germany durng the war, provided a million men and important supplies, which almost turned the tide of war against Russia in the Caucasus.

Thus, to Russia, Rumania was invaluable to have on its side. It had oil, cereals, meats, leather, excellent railroads, textile and iron industries, and above average roads, plus the Danube and Black Sea coast line to afford transportation of goods and raw materials. With a Communist-dominated Government in place, Russia had the controlling hand at this point in the key Balkan land. Its armistice demands on Rumania were being ruthlessly applied, draining off every bit of available goods.

In China, a battle was being waged between the Chinese Communists and Government forces for Changchun in Manchuria. The Communists had control of all three airfields.

Harold Ickes, in his column, discusses the fact that only America, of the nations which had at one time or another controlled colonial interests in the Pacific, including Australia, Japan, the Netherlands, England, and France, controlled its mandates as military appendages. American Samoa had been so governed since 1900. Guam was in the same situation. It was probable that the U.S. would maintain control over some of the captured islands during the war, Iwo Jima, Saipan, and the others.

Though the total population of these islands was only about 100,000, the world would look to America for leadership in governing trusteeships. Mr. Ickes suggests that full trusteeships pursuant to the U.N. Charter be created in these islands. Guam and Samoa should have a civilian administration.

He suspects that the Navy was behind an effort to oppose statehood for Hawaii, which it deserved.

Chester Bowles, economic stabilizer, told the Senate Banking Committee that price controls could be lifted by mid-1947 in all except areas of acute shortage, and the danger of inflation would be dissipated by the end of 1946.

Governor Sam Ford of Montana declined to request Federal troops to help quell riots in Butte, occasioned by roving bands of women and teenaged boys on Saturday and Sunday nights in protest of workers at the Anaconda Copper Mining Company who had refused to join a strike. Several of the non-striking miners had received threats by phone. Ten homes of non-strikers were practically destroyed by the rioters.

Associate Editor Harry Ashmore reports on the South Carolina General Assembly, his reportorial stomping grounds prior to the war. It had ended a particularly tumultuous session after a week-long debate on liquor, but with no resolution, leaving the existing system, which pleased no one, intact, that of private liquor stores.

In Knoxville, at the urging of the Rev. J. Harold Smith, a non-denominational preacher, 20,000 persons turned out in protest of the cancellation of the preacher's radio broadcast by WNOX. The station had initiated the practice of donating air time to rotating religious broadcasters and cancelled the paid time, including that of Reverend Smith. The station had offered him a portion of the donated time but he rejected it.

The Knoxville News-Sentinel, because of its support of the ban, was also the scene of mob protest. The newspaper had editorialized that the real source of Rev. Smith's consternation was his no longer being able to solicit donations over the air.

A photograph shows Bernard Baruch, chairman of the United Nations Atomic Energy Commission, meeting with fellow commission members in their new office, a six-foot bench in New York's Central Park. Mr. Baruch became known for park bench meetings of this type.

On the editorial page, "On Punitive Labor Legislation" comments on the special legislation aimed at the American Federation of Musicians Union president James Caesar Petrillo, to get at his practice of using coercive tactics to prevent playing of music by other than musicians who belonged to his union, the latest having been a ban on playing on the radio music by foreign musicians. It ventures that the act might bring about more renditions being played on the radio of "Onesie, Twosie".

The fact that the legislation was aimed only at the Musicians Union suggested that a coalition of pro-labor members of Congress and those who were being vigilant of labor practices could only be effected when a particular union leader had gone so far that even the most ardent supporters of labor on Capitol Hill could no longer tolerate the practice.

It suggests that the New Deal approach to labor had largely been sociological, to enable workers the right to obtain the living wage which employers had been unwilling to provide voluntarily. But now wage earners were earning a good living, rendering obsolete the New Deal legislative approach. To continue to legislate higher minimum wages, shorter hours, and greater benefits for workers meant inevitably lower productivity and a suffering economy.

The unions increasingly were engaging in the type of personal featherbedding of its leadership as that in which Mr. Petrillo was engaged. A general law to get at the practice would have been a sound approach, rather than the ad hoc legislation aimed at a particular union. The Congress needed to go beyond favoring of unions or labor and return to the principle of protecting the consumer from the excesses of both.

"It Isn't the Judge's Job" comments on the increasing frequency of attacks by judges on the morals of the community in the face of its high religiosity, at least as evidenced by high church attendance. Increasingly, the judges of the Superior Court were also taking action.

One judge had on Friday issued capiases for witnesses and defendants who failed to appear, ordered the Sheriff to find them and take them into custody, and hold them until Monday. It wonders whether the defendants already under bond would not have the bond forfeited. (The answer generally would be that they would, subject to being reinstated by the judge at the time of appearance.)

It finds the fact of having to take such action indicative of the inefficiency of the Mecklenburg courts. Moreover, by Saturday afternoon, the Sheriff had located none of the absent persons. Presumably, it indicates, the court would find them in contempt when and if they were found or were to appear voluntarily.

"The Bond Election Isn't Settled" notes that the registered voters for the bond election had risen to 7,500, a week prior to the registration deadline, but was still only a fraction of registered voters, leading to the conclusion that most of the city's residents had no interest in the outcome of the election.

On the special projects, the new library, the new auditorium, parks and recreation facilities, and improvements to the airport, not voting was legally the equivalent of a vote against the bond, as a majority of registered voters would be needed to pass them, whereas only a simple majority of those voting would pass the essential projects, school, street, water and sewer improvements.

There was no reason for the distinction in the law, but it was the case. Should bad weather intrude on election day, it would likely impact the result therefore of the vote on the special projects. It urges that voter apathy might wind up costing the city the "non-essential" civic projects it needed for the future.

A piece from the Charleston News & Courier, titled "What, After All, Is in a Name?" recommends that the South Carolina Democrats, to avoid being infiltrated by blacks under the Supreme Court's ruling that blacks be admitted to Georgia primaries, change their name to the Straightouts, the party which, in 1876, had nominated Wade Hampton. The party could also call itself the Hampton Men or the White Party or the People's Party, but the newspaper preferred Straightouts.

The newspaper, it should be noted, was not being the least bit ironic. It was just being incredibly backward and stupid, even by 1946 standards.

Drew Pearson tells of the British Foreign Office instructing the British delegate to the U.N., Lord Cadogan, that the U.S. and Britain favored delay in hearing the complaint raised by Poland against Spain, on the belief that if given time, Franco would effect a compromise with Spanish Republicans. Since the Republicans opposed the Communists, most were acceptable to both the U.S. and Britain. The Vatican also favored this approach. France was on the spot because it had to close its border with Spain, and leftwing French Socialists would side with Poland.

The tactic explained why Lord Cadogan had moved for a three-day recess after Poland filed its complaint against Spain.

Mr. Pearson notes that most diplomats believed that the worst foreign policy mistake made by FDR had been providing tacit approval to Franco even after it became evident that the Germans and Italians were using Spain as a training ground for battle during the Spanish Civil War. Had Franco been removed at that time, then other dictators might have been chary about waging war.

Finally, he notes that the son of Texas Senator W. Lee "Pappy" O'Daniel was listed on his father's newspaper masthead as vice-president of the enterprise and as a lieutenant, "retired" from the Army. The young O'Daniel had spent two years in or near the District of Columbia and never saw the least bit of action, had strings pulled for him to get through officer candidate school after flunking the test twice when most were washed out after one failure. Only officers who had been wounded in combat were entitled to the distinction of having "retired" accompany their name.

Marquis Childs finds the assessments of President Truman by columnists after a year in office to have been charitable, in the same vein as the President, himself, who genuinely appeared to want to do the right thing. The trait, however, sometimes led him naively to believe in the good intentions of men. When they misled him, as in the case of Winston Churchill at Westminster College, he was disappointed.

He was hard working, read 30,000 words of memoranda per day. The country appeared to favor providing him room to prove himself, given the hard task into which he had been thrust a year earlier.

The Republicans were relying on the formulas of the past to win back the White House in 1948, hoping that in the meantime the Democrats would make enough mistakes that the electorate would turn against them. But the record the President was compiling might, by the fall and in 1948, wind up embarrassing the Republicans for their coalition with Southern Democrats.

Production was starting to take hold and reconversion was now proceeding, and if inflation could be checked, prosperity appeared likely for the ensuing two or three years. Although the President would have little to do with the creation of that prosperity, his sincerity might earn him the credit for it among the people.

Samuel Grafton comments on the disappearing act, when convenient, of the Republican coalition with the Southern Democrats. For instance, the previous week, new RNC chairman Carroll Reece of Tennessee had denounced the Southern "Bourbons" for keeping themselves in political power via the poll tax. Yet, these same Southerners were on quite friendly terms with most of the Republican members of Congress when it came to voting against the President's reconversion program.

But Mr. Reece did not stop there. He denounced also the Northern wing of the Democratic Party, consisting, he said, of Communists, radicals, and machine politicians. Despite these Democrats being equally opposed to the Southerners, Mr. Reece found no saving grace in them.

Thus, the strategy he was going to follow in trying to obtain a victory for the Republicans in the fall had become apparent: to cobble together various disenchanted groups, blacks who did not like the Southern Bourbons, conservatives who did not like liberals, liberals who did not like Communists, the sum of which would be a convention of the unhappy and confused.

The Republicans had no third position, however, to distinguish themselves from the Southern Democrats and the Northern Democrats. They voted with the Southerners on most important issues and only harmed the interests of the Northerners.

A letter writer says that she will vote in the state and county elections for the dark horse candidate rather than the candidate chosen by the political ring which, she had learned, selected the preferred party nominees.

A letter writer says that he was now carrying a gun and would use it next time a motorist would aim his car at him while crossing the street and then at the last moment, swerve to avoid hitting him, a practice occurring frequently in downtown Charlotte.

He had endured the experience twice recently, on one occasion in front of a police officer who laughed at him. He would use the gun the next time on the motorist's rear end, and no one would be laughing then.

The editors respond with their reluctant sympathy and suggest that he try for the motorist who would stop on the red light and then take off at first sight of the yellowa yellow light also intervening the red and green in those days. They add that they hope, however, the man's aim was good so that he would not hit the laughing policeman.

A letter from the Republican candidate for Congress, P.C. Burkholder, provides the crime statistics of the previous three years, finding crime improving but not the rate of prevention, contrary to that which the newspaper had suggested in its April 11 issue. Only larceny had declined in incidence, "and with blood money flowing in confusion on every street there is not much excuse for that kind of crime." Auto thefts were up.

The editors note that they were glad that Mr. Burkholder's moral outrage was not confined to national issues.

A letter from Memphis tells of the Cotton Carnival to be held in mid-May in that city for the first time since 1941, in tribute to King Cotton. They would also welcome home the Maid of Cotton from her nationwide tour.

The editors ask whether the writer was certain that the King had not abdicated.

Herblock.

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