Tuesday, April 16, 1946

The Charlotte News

Tuesday, April 16, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the Chinese Communists had broken into Changchun in Manchuria following a night of uninterrupted battle with between one and four thousand Government troops. The latter still held a portion of the city, likely at its center. Communist troop strength was estimated at 40,000. The nearest reinforcements for the Government troops were 70 miles to the southwest at Szepingkai, also, however, engaged with the Communists.

General Marshall, Ambassador to China, after conferring with General MacArthur, was preparing to fly from Tokyo to Peiping to try to put a halt to the fighting. General Marshall had been in the United States for the previous several weeks.

General Chou En-Lai of the Communist forces stated that the fight had become a full-scale civil war.

The U.N. Security Council postponed until the following day any action on the Russian proposal to drop the case regarding Iran, as having been settled between the two countries. There was no indication whether the demand by Poland, Russia, and France of immediate consideration of the Polish complaint against Spain would be taken up by the Council.

Secretary-General Trygve Lie expressed doubt that the Council could continue the Iranian matter on its agenda, since Iran, itself, had asked that it be removed. Edward Stettinius, the chief American delegate, stated that America's position was that it should not be removed from the agenda immediately.

As reported the previous day would occur, OPA placed wartime price controls on meat, along with butter and bread, in an effort to curb the black market. For the first time, price controls included cream used in ice cream and bakery products. The Department of Agriculture restored controls on slaughterhouses.

A large part of the country was without meat as a result of the action, a shortage more acute than even during wartime rationing of meat. Only fowl and cold cuts were available generally. Restaurants also lacked meat on the menu. New York and Chicago felt the shortage, Philadelphia and Detroit, not so much. Kansas City was a little tighter in meat supply. But Los Angeles had 65 percent less slaughter of beef and a 25 percent lower kill of pork. Seattle showed no noticeable impact.

A representative of the Meat Dealers Association told the Senate Agriculture Committee that releasing controls would result in no higher prices than on the black market.

Economic Stabilizer Chester Bowles told the Senate Banking Committee that coal prices would be raised in response to the coal wage settlement, pursuant to the Administration's established wage stabilization policies, as determined by the Wage Stabilization Board. Senator Robert Taft of Ohio engaged in vigorous debate with Mr. Bowles, telling him that he would remove controls on two-thirds of the commodities.

The OPA was studying the potential impact on the economy of a requested 25 percent increase in freight rates made by the railroads to the I.C.C. According to the railroads, an increase in wages, in prices of railway materials, and decline of volume of traffic had combined to force the increase.

David Wilkie, Associated Press Automotive Editor, reported that Chevrolet and Ford were preparing to go head to head in competition in the industry once full production would resume. Both companies expected to produce two million cars per year, 50 percent more than at any previous time. G. M. had allocated 600 million dollars to the Chevrolet Division for post-war expansion and rehabilitation, while Ford had allocated 200 million for the same purposes.

G.M. was busy trying to catch up with Ford following the four month strike at G.M. Ford had produced only 233,000 cars and trucks because of interruptions of materials and supplies. Current production stood at 3,500 per day, and Henry Ford II stated that he believed production, if demand warranted it, could be increased to 10,000 per day, the largest volume of production ever achieved at Ford, having taken place during the era of the T-Model.

Senator Edwin Johnson of Colorado wrote a blistering letter to the War Department accusing it of "blind and congenital stupidity" in its handling of the draft proposal. He contended that the confusion had led to the bill out of the House, which provided for a nine month extension of the draft but no inductions for six months, and prohibiting induction of teenagers. He found the bill inadequate to supply the necessary manpower for the Army in the occupation zones. The fault, he contended, lay with the War Department for demanding a year extension of the draft when a six-week extension could have been easily justified to the Congress. The Senate Military Committee, however, had already rejected Senator Johnson's six-week proposal.

In London, a rush on gold began after news of a strike near Odendaals-Rust in South Africa by Western Holdings, Ltd., causing its stock to quadruple in value in the span of a half hour. The strike yielded 62.6 ounces of gold per ton of ore.

In Detroit, the School Board reviewed whether to ban a school presentation of "Salome" which included a scantily clad teenaged girl performing a dance behind the veil, sub rosa.

Some 150 of the 800 students at the high school refused to attend on Monday when rumors circulated that the sixteen-year old student at the school who had performed the dance in the revue would be expelled. The principal, however, clarified that such an action was not under consideration and that she would not be punished at all.

The girl had originally been instructed to wear slacks during the performance but the slacks fell down somewhere backstage, at the last moment before the curtain rose.

She danced in "abbreviated shorts" and a ballet skirt with a top resembling a swimsuit. The civics teacher who sponsored the presentation lodged a vigorous protest against the dance being included at all in the play, but when it was presented, the students had reinserted the dance. She stated parenthetically that the girl was a good dancer, but that she would have stopped the show on the spot had she been present at the time of the performance.

The principal said that the costume was not objectionable to him but was of "adult caliber". The sinuous girl was not "too much to blame" for the presentation, he added. There had been no objection when it was performed outside the school, but was not deemed suitable for school presentation.

In Newark, a thief stole a parking meter and its post, the first such theft in the more than ten years during which parking meters had been in use in the city. Since the meters were emptied three times daily, it would have contained no more than 40 cents. The meter and post were worth $60.

Maybe he could sell it to Columbus on the Mayflower.

On the editorial page, "The Commission's Excellent Report" comments on Governor Gregg Cherry's Judicial-Solicitorial Commission which had recommended separate solicitorial districts for both Greensboro and Charlotte. It also recommended a raise in salary of solicitors from $5,000 to $7,500. It further proposed that a solicitor be forbidden from engaging in private practice.

The editorial believes that all three recommendations would increase prosecutorial efficiency and thus reduce the rate of crime.

"The State of the Congressional Mind" finds the House dodging its responsibilities in the draft legislation by refusing to allow teenagers to be drafted in peacetime, even though they had been drafted in great numbers during the war. The exemption made little sense at this juncture.

A draft was one of the hard necessities of war and if the Congress would not call on the nation for a small sacrifice in peacetime, it would be hard-pressed to do so in wartime. And it appeared unlikely that the Congress would generally respond on any emergent issue.

"How Does South Carolina Do It?" finds the State Highway Commission to have established contracts for improvements to only 100 miles of country roads. New contracts would afford 340 miles of paved roads and only 30 miles of county roads.

South Carolina, by contrast, had established in January contracts for 500 miles of county roads and in April, an additional 700 miles, twelve times that of North Carolina in the previous nine months.

North Carolina appeared not to hear the desperate complaints of farmers who, during winter, could not get to market.

Governor Cherry needed to push the Commission to better and more efficient performance.

A piece from the Louisville Courier-Journal, titled "The GOP Raises an Issue", opposes a plan by the Republicans to limit presidential tenure to a single six-year term. It suggests that only in the second term of a strong President would such an amendment catch the public imagination. The effort had been repeated several times during FDR's latter two terms. President Truman's re-election was by no means assured at this juncture and so the proposal lacked a living target to galvanize public opinion in its favor.

The target was FDR, himself, in furtherance of the effort to expel his ghostly ectoplasm from the American consciousness.

A single seven-year term had been proposed at the original Constitutional Convention and was tentatively adopted, then rejected. Even Alexander Hamilton had opposed any term limitation on the presidency. But Thomas Jefferson had favored it.

The Democrats had favored a six-year term in 1912, with Theodore Roosevelt as a target—ironically so, as his presence in the race as a Bull Mooser in 1912 split the Republican vote with incumbent William Howard Taft, to elect Woodrow Wilson, who disfavored term limitation.

George Washington had opposed any term limitation, even though setting the precedent of a self-imposed two-term limitation which had stood as the tradition until FDR.

The editorial concludes that it found it amusing that the Republican Party had drifted further right than the conservative Alexander Hamilton.

Drew Pearson relates that the chief worry of the war plans divisions of both the Army and Navy was the prospect of future atomic bombs being brought into the country in suitcases. The likely future war would consist of twenty such suitcases smuggled into twenty major American cities, with coerced demands then made on the Government by foreign agents.

The House Appropriations Committee had just taken away the funding for the State Department's intelligence division, which had requested only 4.15 million dollars for its budget. The preservation of this branch was important to prevent war.

The House Military Committee had voted for peacetime conscription, albeit on a limited basis, for the first time in the history of the country.

He notes that able Congressman Louis Rabault of Grosse Pointe Park, Mich., had insisted on cutting out the appropriations for intelligence.

He next relates of President Truman's adamant determination to veto bills which had as a principal subject Administration proposals, but were coupled with an extraneous rider regarding matter opposed by the President. Such was the case of the minimum wage bill with a rider attached regarding farm parity as it emerged from committee onto the floor of the House.

A group of 75 House members had formed to bring about a higher minimum wage of 75 cents, above the 65 cents passed by the Senate, and to steer the minimum wage bill on the House floor without the crippling rider.

Marquis Childs discusses the efforts to try to find food for the starving masses in Europe as food riots had erupted all over Italy, with mobs storming UNRRA warehouses.

The intergovernmental agency was trying to put together a food balance sheet but had run up against an obstacle in Russia not supplying information. When the Russian delegate to UNRRA demanded to know why scheduled shipments of fats and oils had not gone to the Ukraine and White Russia, the reply was that Russia had not supplied the necessary information to determine the requirements.

The Russian wheat to be supplied France had reached Marseille. American ships which had arrived in Russian ports were forced to wait so that a Soviet ship would be the first to arrive in France. But now American ships were also on their way to France loaded with Russian wheat. While a major celebration by the French Communists hailed the arrival of the Russian wheat in France, American wheat had been going to France for months without any recognition at all.

Russia's largesse was motivated by the upcoming French election and probably also by a desire not to have Britain and the United States receiving all the credit for world food supply. Some saw it as a move by Russia to gain world domination through wheat, rewarding friendly countries and dumping the rest into world commerce to dilute commodity markets.

But Josef Stalin had informed Eric Johnston, head of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, when he had visited Moscow in 1944 that Russians consumed their own agricultural and industrial products. So it was possible that the gesture to France was just that and not the beginning of any long-range trade policy.

Samuel Grafton comments on the contradiction before the world of the United States, with a burgeoning food surplus while the rest of the world was undergoing either rationing or outright starvation, all while America preached justice and fairness at the U.N. The average consumption of each American was 3,400 calories per day, more than twice the average for Europeans. America could not long continue effectively to preach the ideals of peace while ignoring the bellies of the world.

He asks whether America could hope to restrain the world aggressor when it could not curb its own hoarders and speculators in grain, a commodity which the world craved. America had abandoned controls after the war on meat and bread, and the resulting gluttony had presented an unseemly example before the world. It was worse than a break with the Security Council.

Both former President Hoover and President Truman agreed that rationing would not be useful at this juncture as it would take three months to institute and by that time France would have its next crop.

Mr. Grafton concludes that America would not tolerate such looseness on the Security Council where all things had to be tidy with all questions answered. But in the area of food, it was alright to brush the issue aside with excuses and rationalizations.

A letter from the Democratic candidate for the State Senate from the Catawba-Iredell-Lincoln County District takes considerable offense at The News having published on April 11 a story which stated that he was the Republican candidate for the office. He fears loss of support by being labeled a Republican and asks the newspaper for a correction.

The editors respond that the candidate had every right to be upset and duly apologize for the error, made by the Lincolnton correspondent. They remark, however, that it was becoming increasingly hard to distinguish Republicans from Democrats, but that it should not have been in the instant case. They also express delight that so many had read the article and alerted the candidate of the error, kidding him unrelentingly about suddenly becoming a Republican.

A letter asks that the City, with the bond issue pending, publish its financial statement for the previous year to educate voters.

The editors inform that the City published a financial statement at the end of each fiscal year and monthly during the year, each such report being published in the newspaper.

A letter writer favors ABC stores as being better places for the husbands and fathers to go than the illegal bootlegger. Furthermore, the liquor stores did not serve liquor as did the bootlegger. Thus the liquor purchaser would likely come home to drink. The drunk at the bootlegger often wound up behind bars, whereas if at home, he would not have.

She did not drink, herself, she says, but believed that she had no right to stop someone else from doing so.

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