Monday, April 22, 1946

The Charlotte News

Monday, April 22, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Japanese Premier Kijuro Shidehara, along with his Cabinet, the first full-time occupation Cabinet, had stepped down in the wake of the April 12 election which had failed to deliver a majority for any party. The Government had been in place for six months and had drawn heavy criticism since the beginning of the year from all save one party in Japan, as well from the bulk of the press, for its failure adequately to address the food problem in the country and other problems of occupation, leading it to be labeled a do-nothing Government. The leading political partiers were joining with Premier Shidehara to form a new Cabinet.

Secretary of State James Byrnes would leave the following day for a Paris peace conference with the foreign ministers of Britain and Russia, deemed crucial in determining the fate of international cooperation into the future, a last ditch effort to gain the cooperation of the Russians to avoid settling back into the pre-war condition of spheres of influence divided between East and West.

In what would become more important news, Chief Justice Harlan Stone, elevated to the position of Chief from Justice in 1941 at the retirement of Charles Evans Hughes, had partially collapsed and was led from the bench following the reading of an opinion by Justice Stanley Reed. He was held up on either arm by Justice Reed and Justice Hugo Black.

The Chief Justice would die this date, to be succeeded in June by Secretary of the Treasury Fred Vinson. Chief Justice Stone, 73, had originally come to the Supreme Court in 1925, appointed by President Coolidge.

Housing Expediter Wilson Wyatt predicted that the House OPA bill, saddled with its crippling amendments, would prevent the building of the necessary housing for veterans, by requiring the hike in prices of certain building materials based on its provision mandating the allowance of "reasonable profits" in setting price ceilings.

The president of the National Association of Wool Manufacturers, in testimony before the Senate Banking Committee, referred to OPA supporters as being guilty of "hokum", setting off shouts of remonstration from both Republican and Democratic Senators, including Majority Leader Alben Barkley. Senator Homer Capehart of Indiana, however, found the comment apropos, that OPA head Paul Porter and Economic Stabilizer Chester Bowles had called the businessmen who opposed price controls various names and so, he concluded, what was good for the goose was right for the gander.

Mr. Porter addressed a meeting of 3,000 OPA workers in Washington, at which he stated confidence that a revised bill in the Senate would permit holding the line on prices to prevent inflation.

Senator Styles Bridges of New Hampshire proposed an alternative to merger of the armed forces in a Department of Common Defense, favoring instead a Cabinet level Council of Common Defense, consisting of the separate departmental heads of the Army, Navy and Air Forceólittle different from the present organization except for the provision of a separate Air Force department and nominal establishment of a Council, a civilian version of the Joint Chiefs.

The War Department asked the House to refrain from acting on universal military training until the beginning of 1947 so that it would not become an issue in the upcoming Congressional campaigns.

Harold Ickes discusses in his column the right of the President to insist, as President Truman had done, that personnel within the Administration, including military personnel, respect executive policy decisions once made and cease all public debate at that time. The President had adamantly insisted that Navy officers cease publicly opposing his policy of merger of the armed forces into a Department of Common Defense. The Navy had lobbied insistently for maintaining the separate branches.

Mr. Ickes suggests that, quite apart from the national interest, the admirals were primarily interested in their own and the Navy's well-being. While they had the right to testify frankly of their opinions when called by Congress to do so, anyone who otherwise spoke against established Administration policy ought be demoted in rank.

Twenty Japanese soldiers who had been jailed since November and December on suspicion of beating prisoners during the war had been freed in Tokyo.

In Federal court in Wilmington, a Lumberton, N.C., slaughterhouse operator was fined $45,000 and sentenced to twelve months in prison, suspended, for violating Federal law in having participated in the black market in meat, circumventing OPA controls on meat prices.

The front page urges Charlotte voters to approve the entirety of the twelve-million dollar bond measure set for a vote the following day.

A photograph appears of a four-year old girl, who had lost her father during the fighting in France in 1944, giving President Truman a hug while she pinned on his lapel the first 1946 "buddy poppy", in remembrance of the veterans who had sacrificed their lives during the war. The poppies, taking symbolic significance from the fields of red poppies which greeted the soldiers in Normandy and from "In Flanders Field", the poem of John McCrae from 1915, were being sponsored by the Veterans of Foreign Wars to raise money for the families of deceased veterans.

Hal Boyle tells of the Neapolitan version of Casey Jones on his ill-fated trainóan introductory comment which would draw considerable opprobrium and correction from the News staff and editorsó, a coffee bistro operator in Naples who had a complicated Machina Espresso, a byzantine work of engineering art for the purpose of practicing the artisanship of coffee-making. He describes in elaborate detail how the complex machine worked.

Being now familiar with this sort of process, with espresso machines on nearly every corner of the nation, and sometimes two or more per corner, with smaller versions available for $25 for the home, we need not elaborate on the means by which they produce the airy foam, especially out of respect for the consternation engendered in the editors by the considerable faux pas with which he started the piece this date, deserving, therefore, no less than truncation.

Probably got into that doggone goat's milk again.

On the editorial page, "A Southern Banker Looks at Paper" tells of A.L.M. Wiggins of South Carolina, former president of the American Bankers Association, having stated his support for the 3.7 billion dollar loan to Great Britain on the basis that it would stimulate international trade.

With the national debt after the war standing at 270 billion dollars, to loan the money to Britain to buy mainly raw materials in the United States for the ensuing five years would be beneficial to the country. To fail to do it would delay restoration of international trade and make impossible the operation of the new World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

The piece counseled paying attention to Mr. Wiggins on the issue rather than to those on Capitol Hill who were posturing against it on the basis of it being a "gift" to Britain which would never be repaid.

"Is Georgia Growing Up?" comments on a recent election in Richmond County in Georgia, near Augusta, in which the Cracker Party, White Supremacist and anti-CIO, had lost in a county election all of the seats it had sought, suggesting thereby that a new day in Georgia had arrived.

The candidates of the party had engaged in their typical rhetoric during the campaign, finding solace in the recent cross-burning by the Klan on Stone Mountain, ignoring the progressive moves by Governor Ellis Arnall, who had gotten the State Constitution amended to eliminate the poll tax and was pushing for universal suffrage in the state.

Despite there being only 4,000 of 26,000 voters who were black and no active CIO union in the county, the voters had determined to vote for good government before voting for Crackers.

"Honest Hal, the Heretic", as suggested above, states the newsroom's determination to raise money for the education of Hal Boyle, to eradicate his ignorance of American history as evidenced on Saturday when this day's column came over the teletype to The News, anent Casey Jones and "his train, the famous Old 97". It had since been corrected, it notes, to read only "ill-fated train".

The telegraph editor had broken down and wept, as all the presses came to a sudden halt, in an effort to amend this gross error. Near riots erupted around the big desk. A large copy boy resigned in a body. Heresy anew, even if in mew, had been committed in their midst and all stood aghast, in unremitting confusion at the unrepentant contusion administered to the doddie sacre bleu of historical fact, as preserved in song and story.

Then, one man began to sing the first lines of the Ballad to Casey Jones, switched quickly over to Old 97, by which switch he had a chorus following in train.

An editor next put in a note to the Associated Press offices in New York asking for revision. They wondered whether sanity had broken down worldwide and eyed carefully all A.P. copy thereafter during the day, suspicious now of its intersection with fact.

Then came A.P.'s reply, which everyone gathered round to spy:

"Original version Casey Jones mentions only train he hit, No. 4. However, Southern Railway official says Jones piloted No. 99. Boyle refers Henry Whittier's ballad 'Wreck of Old 97' in which Jones uninvolved."

It concludes that, while duly retracted, A.P.-style, it was nevertheless an unforgivable error by Mr. Boyle and Southern Railway. Casey never had any truck with Old 97 from Lynchburg to Danville on the three-mile grade. Casey's legendary run was far away, Canton, Miss., to Memphis, it was made. Engine 382 was an hour and half late into Canton and he sought to make up time at Grenada. He alone had perished in the steam when the train left the rails.

"Our heritage has been betrayed."

A piece from the Charleston News & Courier, titled "Mr. Stassen's Prejudice", examines the liberal former Governor of Minnesota, being offered as a leading Republican candidate for the nomination for the presidency in 1948, recently having appeared in the Carolinas.

He was concerned about racial discrimination.

The piece points out that 3.5 million blacks had migrated to the North during the war and could not find employment outside the major cities, wherein they resided for the most part in segregated neighborhoods. It suggests that Mr. Stassen therefore should lead a movement which would break down the prejudices which prohibited blacks from entering rural areas of Ohio, Montana, Washington, Wisconsin, Nebraska, the Dakotas, Oregon, California, and Minnesota.

The Pacific Northwest, it offers, had abundant room for Southern blacks, but the cold weather kept them away. It labels it the "Jim Crow" of Americans and the "Americanism" of "Liberals" as Governor Stassen.

It adds that the white farmers did not resent their black neighbors in South Carolina.

This editorial appears as yet another piece of the day ascribing Old 97 to Casey Jones.

Drew Pearson challenges Lord Cadogan, British delegate to the U.N., to deny a second telegram from the British Foreign Office instructing him on how to obstruct the issue of Franco's Spain coming before the Security Council. Lord Cadogan had the previous week denied a report of Mr. Pearson that previous instructions to that effect had been provided him by the Foreign Office.

The column then quotes, in substance, the telegram, which stated that the Spanish problem was internal and that it therefore would set a bad precedent for the Security Council to hear the complaint urged by Poland and France. To hear it would fly in the face of articles 2 and 103 of the U.N. Charter and was not within the ambit of chapter 6.

If it were to be considered, it instructs Lord Cadogan to vote in the negative on any question of threat to the peace and international security posed by the Spanish situation. It also expressed opposition to imposition of any economic sanctions against Spain. It further opposed referral of the matter to the Council of Foreign Ministers of the four powers for resolution, as suggested by the French in December.

Marquis Childs discusses the excellent work of the Senate Atomic Energy Committee in reaching unanimous agreement on its proposed bill to have an international commission to control all uses of atomic energy for waging war. It had ensued a thorough examination of 110 witnesses from science and the military, representing all stripes of opinion.

While it was said by Maj. General Leslie Groves, head of the Manhattan Project, to be even more restrictive in some respects than the highly restrictive May-Johnson bill, resisted by most of the scientists for its too great concern with secrecy and criminal penalties for violation of same, it was nevertheless the result of a thorough analysis of the facts pertinent to atomic energy and had acted as both a public education and an education of the Senators on this critical subject.

He concludes by saying that the ordinary journalistic rule of thumb, based on the concept of "Man Bites Dog", had proved true in this instance, as the unanimity of the committee had assured its relegation to a footnote of the daily news. Only conflict made the headlines. But this agreement was of utmost importance and deserved attention, requiring that the precept be broadened to include it.

He notes that Sam and Bella Spewack had just produced a Broadway play on the topic of news, titled "Woman Bites Dog".

The rule, of course, still holds true, and with a vengeance.

Samuel Graftonówith his by-line restored after suspiciously losing it for three days to Bertram Benedictócomments on the House price control bill having finally coalesced the conservative voices of the Congress, led by John Rankin of Mississippi and Senator Robert Taft of Ohio. The Government, he posits, was being operated by two diametrically opposed camps, one in the House and the other in the White House.

An editorial in the ultra-conservative New York Sun, by Phelps Adams, had with glee proclaimed the event as hearkening the end of Administration control over the Congress, and that the result was a "revolution". Mr. Grafton agrees that the bill was that, the result of a thirteen-year struggle for power by the right with the New Deal, the result having been achieved by the coalition between Republicans and dissident Southern Democrats.

The coalition were focused on the grab of power, not its consequences to the average household, which would be forced under the proposed bill to pay more for consumer goods should it pass the Senate. It was futile to try to get them to see that the practical results would be harmful to the average American. Nor was it appropriate to lay it off on lobbying groups. These House members knew what they were about.

He declares that the vote on price control had ended the Roosevelt era, that the conservatives had seized control for the first time since 1933.

A letter writer thanks the newspaper for its liberal stance and states his support for a liberal Democratic Party, in the same vein as Franklin Roosevelt. He adds that he was opposed to a limit of one six-year term for the President, finds it being championed by Roosevelt haters.

A pair of letter writers object to Pete McKnight's critical review of the North Carolina Symphony Orchestra's performance in the Charlotte Armory the previous Wednesday. Mr. McKnight apparently had found fault with the conductor's interpretation of Brahms.

The authors state that they had been privileged to hear performances conducted by Sergei Koussevitsky and Arturo Toscanini, and found the presentation by the North Carolina Symphony to be first class, even if lending an interpretation to the music different from that of Bruno Walter or John Barbirolli.

They conclude that they were glad that Mr. McKnight had deigned to unbutton his overcoat for the performance, but hastened to add that he apparently did not take it off to become an integral part of the audience.

The editors note that listening to Brahms in a "cold barn" was one of Mr. McKnight's "favorite sports". If he had not found fault with the presentation of the "wispy, nebulous" second movement, he would not be deemed the competent critic which they considered him to be.

They add that the coat was a light trench coat, not an overcoat, proper equipment for the evening.

A letter examines the virtues of leaves and suggests that victory taught nothing, defeat, everything, that hard knocks made people stronger and better, thus to be greeted with cheer.

A Quote of the Day comes from Harold Stassen: "The world needed Government on a world level before the atomic bomb. Now it has become imperative."

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