Thursday, April 25, 1946

The Charlotte News

Thursday, April 25, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the Trainmen and Locomotive Engineers unions had voted to begin a strike on May 18. They promised that the deadline would not be extended.

The secretary of the CIO told the Senate Banking Committee that the House version of the OPA-extension bill would necessitate throwing out the wage increases already approved and starting over. The increases had been premised on the belief that price controls would continue, and the contrary would invalidate the new contracts.

CIO president Philip Murray, speaking in Atlantic City to a meeting of the Textile Workers Union, accused the AFL of copying CIO in beginning a Southern strategy with textile workers, a position adopted by CIO previously.

The D.A.R. relaxed a long-standing rule against allowing African-Americans to appear in its Constitution Hall in Washington, affording a place for the Tuskegee Institute choir to perform a benefit June 3 for the United Negro College Fund. There was no indication whether it signaled abandonment of the old rule or was just a single exception.

In October, a flap was created by the denial of use of the hall to pianist and singer Hazel Scott, wife of New York Representative Adam Clayton Powell. First Lady Bess Truman, having been invited previously to a D.A.R. tea, refused to cancel her acceptance of the invitation, further stirring the controversy. Whether, in the background, Mrs. Truman or the President, or emissaries of the White House, had cajoled the D.A.R. to relax the discriminatory policy, was not revealed. In 1938, the D.A.R. had notoriously denied use of the hall to singer Marian Anderson. Eleanor Roosevelt then interceded to arrange for her to sing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial Easter Sunday, a prelude to the speech from the same spot 25 years later by Dr. King.

The Chinese Communists had, according to a Government spokesman, taken the city of Harbin in North Manchuria before the complete withdrawal by the Russians, scheduled to occur this date. The Government still insisted that the Russians evacuate the port city of Dairen.

Fritz Kuhn, former head of the German-American Bund, was released from prison in Asperg, Germany, after six and a half years of incarceration. He had been housed in the German prison since October, along with 135 German diplomats. The German diplomats grumbled about the release while they remained in the cooler. Mr. Kuhn would have to forfeit, however, 725 calories per day from the 2,000 calories provided him in prison.

Mr. Kuhn had been interned in the United States as an enemy agent in 1943 and was ordered deported to Germany in May, 1945, his citizenship having been revoked in 1943. The grumbling German dipolomats did not understand the distinction that he had not been accused of any war crimes.

In the Philippines, General Manuel Roxas increased his lead for the presidency over incumbent President Sergio Osmena from 50,000 to 82,000 votes, with 3,400 of 14,000 precincts reporting, twice the number of precincts from the previous day. Roxas had obtained more than a 50,000-vote majority in most of Manila's precincts.

The four-power meeting of foreign ministers got underway at Luxembourg Palace in Paris. The conference would seek to draft treaties for Italy, Rumania, Hungary, Bulgaria, and Finland.

In the local race for Solicitor, the challenger, Mr. Whiting, was going to continue in the race against the interim appointee, Mr. Whitener. Mr. Whiting was of Mecklenburg County and Mr. Whitener was of Gaston County. The Mecklenburg County Commissioners had refused to approve funding for an assistant solicitor to enable Mr. Whiting to be so employed and withdraw from the race. The division of the judicial district was in the offing and it was believed that having the Solicitor from Gaston, as tradition had dictated, would inhibit the Legislature in undertaking the division.

An inside page tells of official final tallies on the local bond election having finally showed that the voters had actually passed, by 62 votes, one of the special project bonds, providing for $50,000 for health purposes. The amount would be matched by Federal funds. The vote was actually a super-majority, as were all of the other tallies on the special projects, but a law required that they be approved by a majority of those registered to vote, not just those actually voting. The final totals on each issue are listed.

Tom Fesperman tells of the Dog Show held at the Armory. Nearly 300 dogs were on display, including the pictured light buff cocker spaniel, Nifty, of Akron, Ohio. At nine months old, Nifty was already just one point short of being declared a champion dog. Nifty obviously is suspicious of the camera man.

The best bulldog was Lucky Laddie of Terre Haute, Ind.

Sorry, no mention of Winkie.

And, don't miss "Bish's Dish" on the sports page, the column of Furman Bisher, sportswriter for The News, who had been to Shelby in the rain to cover the season opening baseball game. He had just joined The News within the previous several months, having served a four year hitch in the Navy from 1941. Mr. Bisher would eventually go on to become sports editor for The News in 1948 and became one of the leading sportswriters in the South, working for the Atlanta Constitution. He passed away just a year ago, on March 18, 2012, and continued to write for the Journal-Constitution through 2009, finally retiring at age 90.

A photograph shows the long shadow cast over New York City by the Empire State Building, as photographed from the top of the spire, onto which was being erected a new 61-foot television antenna. (Incidentally, why David Cohn stated that the building had only 52 stories and not 102, in his 1941 piece in The Saturday Review on The Mind of the South, as we just referenced Tuesday, we could not explain. Perhaps, half the building was enshrouded in fog when he observed it. Such was the case in 1972 when first we espied the World Trade Center in its infancy, appearing no more than about twenty stories high. We understood, however,...)

On the editorial page, "Another Mecklenburg Declaration?" remarks on the chairman of the County Democrats urging more Southern independence from the national party. He advocated fighting radicalism in the party by returning to the principles of Andrew Jackson, the most radical Democrat ever to take a high place in Washington.

While his understanding of history was therefore flawed, the piece applauds his effort and urges the local Democrats to listen to him. It hopes that stands would be taken which would eliminate the hypocrisy of Democrats who were opposing Administration policy while giving lip service to continued support of the national party. It might even be time for these Democrats to move completely out of the party. While such a departure would assure defeat of the party at the polls in the fall, it appeared part of their aim anyway.

The greatest obstacle the County chairman faced was the resistance to the independence movement for the fact that it would cause loss of party patronage for the Democrats to abandon the party. Furthermore, it was possible through party affiliation to obtain votes from various parts of the political spectrum, though a candidate's policies might conflict with the adherents to several points on that spectrum.

Since North Carolina was still a one-party state, however, the matter was, for the most part, academic. Yet, the move for independence posed a start, it believed, in the right direction.

"The Visitor at St. John's" comments favorably on the unusual, though not unique, fact that a black educator, Dr. Benjamin E. Mays, president of Morehouse College in Atlanta, had spoken at a white church, St. John's Baptist, in Charlotte. While it was far from a bellwether of change in relations, it did suggest a recognition in the white community that valuable and reasonable input was not limited to the white race, a matter unthinkable a few decades earlier.

Dr. Mays served as an interpreter between the races, to improve understanding, necessary in most Southerners, claims to the contrary notwithstanding. One such meeting would not change the course of race relations, but thousands of them over time would.

"Journalism Adds a New Dimension" comments on the advent of paid political advertisements in the form of editorials being sponsored for display in American newspapers by various organizations.

Also new to journalism was the reporting of what would occur to the house of any citizen leaving the community, whether it would be up for sale or rented during the housing shortage. Louis Graves of The Chapel Hill Weekly was routinely announcing the disposition of each house as part of the story of any departing faculty member.

The war, it concludes, would not really be over, until reporters could return to answering the basic questions: who, what, when, where, and how, and the realtors could return to their normal functions of selling and renting houses rather than writing editorials for paid space.

A piece from the High Point Enterprise, titled "It Won't Work in Dixie", discusses the twin drives for a million new members each by CIO and AFL in the South. It would rather have the battle waged elsewhere. Disruptive tactics, it suggests, would not work as well in the South as in other regions of the country, as there were not so many hoodlums in the South. The leadership of the unions grated on Southern nerves, though the great body of labor received general support. It hopes that the leadership of both AFL and CIO would recognize the fact.

Drew Pearson again writes a letter to his sister, this time on the occasion of birth of a new daughter, relating it to the ostensibly unrelated event of the attendance of the Paris peace conference by Secretary of State Byrnes. He nevertheless finds the events inextricably bound by the fact of the peace conference largely determining whether there would be another war which his niece and two-year old nephew would someday have to endure.

It had been a year since the end of the war and only now were the diplomats trying to work out the final phases of the peace. After World War I, people had grumbled at the sloth of convening Versailles, notwithstanding its inception a mere two months following the Armistice and its conclusion only six months later.

The problem appeared to be that the common peril, the glue binding the Allies together, had passed with the war. The late Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox had advocated establishing an agreement with the Allies on air bases during 1942, and Harold Ickes had negotiated an oil treaty before the end of the war.

He offers that the worst foreign policy mistake made by FDR was getting rid of Undersecretary of State Sumner Welles in August, 1943, and replacing him with Edward Stettinius. Mr. Welles believed in forging agreements while the common bond was still in place among the Allies. To this end, he had studied a proposed U.N. plan and received permission from FDR to try to iron out difficulties in the peace while the war still raged.

But when Mr. Welles left the Administration because of conflict with Secretary Cordell Hull, who had issued an ultimatum that either he would resign or Mr. Welles would be asked to leave, the ground work Mr. Welles had laid was discarded. Thereafter, the siege of Stalingrad ended and Britain no longer needed to worry about attack, making it harder to obtain agreements.

He suggests that the fault for the delay was not that of Secretary of State Byrnes but rather in not having struck while the anvil was hot during the war. The mistakes of peace, he suggests, were not as easily glossed over as the mistakes of war.

He concludes with his recognition that it was not the sort of letter to send to the mother of a newborn baby, but he also believed that it made sense to face the problems now, and that it was better to admit failure in constructing the peace than to try to pretend that something had been won which had not.

Marquis Childs reports the death of John Maynard Keynes in England, the renowned economist having succumbed to exhaustion following months of work on Bretton Woods and the loan to Britain from the United States. If he had lived another day, he could have read of the speech delivered in the Senate by Senator Arthur Vandenberg of Michigan, urging approval of the loan, though he had estimated, half jokingly, that 90 percent of the people of Michigan were opposed to it. The tougher fight for the loan would be in the House.

On the same night, Ambassador Lord Halifax said his farewells in New York and prepared to return to England, signaling the end of an era marked by unprecedented cooperation between the United States and Britain.

Always magnanimous, the Ambassador, while once visiting Detroit before Pearl Harbor, encountered isolationist demonstrators outside his hotel, was hit by an egg hurled by one of them. He responded calmly that it was fortunate that they could live in a country where there was so much food that they could afford to throw it at one another.

Samuel Grafton suggests that the House was abdicating its responsibility as a part of the Congress by returning muddled and watered-down bills. Extension of OPA had been one, the selective service bill, another, extending the draft six months but suspending induction for five months until just before the mid-term election, then leaving it to the President to decide whether the manpower was needed to meet military occupation quotas.

The New Republic had recently published a study of House bills not very well known to the public, each of which demonstrated further this same sort of pattern of abdication of responsibility. Fire insurance companies had been exempted from anti-trust laws to render pending court action moot in the field. Similarly, the railroads were exempted from anti-trust laws, as already being regulated by the I.C.C., tending to thwart the efforts of Georgia Governor Ellis Arnall to eliminate the freight rate discrimination by railroads against the South and West by charging that it was the result of an unlawful agreement. A bill exempted oil companies from having to pay royalties to the Government on tidelands oil.

The House had, with such actions, left it to the Senate to become the sober, responsible body.

A letter from the newspaper's courthouse reporter, Tom Watkins, objects to the City Council and County Commissioners holding secret meetings in executive session when State law required that all meetings be open to the public. Secrecy implied that the Council and Commissioners were hiding something from the public. He wonders whether an action in Superior Court to obtain a writ might be the remedy to bring the matter to public attention.

The editors state that it was one of the most remarkable letters ever received in the letters column because it had come from such a source, completely independent of his duties for the newspaper and unsolicited by the newspaper.

A letter writer from Glendale, S.C., thanks the newspaper for its informative editorials on national issues, requests that it provide the voting records of Senators and Representatives in the area, states that he had tried to get the local paper to do the same but without success.

The editors note that they tried to provide the voting records of North and South Carolina members of Congress on critical legislation, but that generally it proved a difficult task as many votes were not recorded. Such was the case on the emasculated OPA bill in the House and the amendment-bound minimum wage law in the Senate.

A letter from Greenwich, Conn., states that some of the finance companies were in favor of the weakened OPA bill out of the House, indicating that the statesmen of the House lacked knowledge of the country.

A letter from the minister of St. John's Baptist Church, to which an editorial this date refers, thanks the newspaper for coverage of its conference during the week.

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