Wednesday, April 3, 1946

The Charlotte News

Wednesday, April 3, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Iran had offered to allow the Security Council to table temporarily the case involving Russian troop presence, provided Russian troops would, unconditionally, be evacuated by May 6. Russia had responded to the Council's inquiry regarding conditions of withdrawal by saying that there were none based on oil concessions or the like. The response, communicated by Andrei Gromyko, stated that within 45 days Russian troops would be out of the country.

Iran's delegate to the U.N., Hussein Ala, however, stated that there were conditions attached to the withdrawal, namely that unusual circumstances could interrupt withdrawal, that Russia continued to interfere in Iran's internal affairs, and that negotiations had failed, but Iran nevertheless wanted a peaceful resolution of the matter.

In Hilo, Hawaii, seven more bodies were discovered as a result of the tidal waves of the previous day, as the possible death toll reached 176 in the entire Pacific region, with 79 dead and 85 missing. In Hilo alone, 55 had died and 73 were missing. The remaining deaths were on Kauai, Maui, and Oahu, plus ten deaths in the Aleutians and one in each of California and Peru. Four thousand Hawaiians were rendered homeless. Property damage was in the millions of dollars. The tidal wave activity had completely subsided.

The housing bill was unanimously approved by the Senate Banking Committee, restoring the 600-million dollar subsidy provision and the old-house price ceiling, previously removed from the House version of the bill. Senator Homer Capehart of Indiana had led a Republican attempt to cut the subsidies in half and vowed to take the fight to the Senate floor.

Whether the old Wurlitzer King's rallying cry would be, "Well, half a home is better than no home or, worse, a home in Nome; besides, the stout veteran can add on as his family grows following cessation of the interrupted peace," was not reported.

The House Banking Committee approved an amendment to the OPA extension bill to provide for decontrol as supply came into balance with demand and placed authority for decontrol in the hands of the President rather than OPA.

In Chicago, a board of arbitration awarded 16 cents per hour in wage increases to 1.1 million non-operating railroad workers, to which the workers reluctantly agreed. They had asked for 30 cents per hour.

Because of a shortage of steel, Ford was forced to close a portion of its operations for a week, laying off 35,000 workers, 20 percent of its work force.

The Republican National Committee elected as its new chairman Representative Carroll Reece of Tennessee, who defeated former Connecticut Senator John Danaher. The President replied at a press conference when questioned about the choice, that reporters should read a Baltimore Sun editorial, which had stated that the Republicans were "standing pat with the standpatters" and that they were waiting "for weariness to elect them".

President Truman could not have known how perspicacious his choice of recommended editorial opinions would turn out to be.

Harold Ickes in his first substantive column discusses the United States interests in overseas oil and the inability of the country in the modern age to ignore it. He informs, as former Petroleum Administrator for war, that the Government was already aware that domestic reserves would be inadequate to fuel another war or even meet domestic civilian needs within another generation. He had determined in his former position that it was necessary to form agreements which would make foreign supplies of oil available when needed and that peace turned on an equitable solution of availability of oil more than on any other factor. Both determinations were, however, within the purview of the State Department where interest in oil was minimal. So, Mr. Ickes had gone directly to President Roosevelt and found him a sympathetic and intelligent listener on the subject.

The discussions resulted in the Anglo-American oil treaty of 1944-45. When it was concluded the previous October in London, Mr. Ickes indicated to President Truman that discussions with the Russians regarding oil ought immediately begin. The President had agreed, but nothing had yet been done to initiate such discussions.

It took no great foresight to understand that Russia would be interested in Iran, with its vast oil reserves. Russia had as much interest in Iranian oil as the United States did in oil outside its borders. Both countries had large domestic reserves of oil, but both needed additional resources as well for the coming era.

Ralph McGill, in the second of his series of articles on Palestine, reports from Rehovoth, after having traveled the road north through the Judean hills, showing traces of ancient terraces, destroyed by time, erosion, and the Arab shepherds and their flocks. At Rehovoth, he consulted with the Agricultural Research Institute regarding the farming system and the efficient use of the land, causing the yield of six acres in Palestine to equal that of 25 in Holland or Denmark, in the latter of which Mr. McGill had observed efficient farming in its own right.

It was explained by Dr. I. Volcani of the Institute that there was a longer growing season in Palestine, enabling yield of two and a half to three crops per year. Dr. Volcani, between 1927 and 1934, had developed the plan for the Zionist farmers.

Many colonies in Palestine had failed during the early 19th century for want of an agricultural plan by which to subsist. They had tried to grow olives, almonds, and various other crops, all without demonstrable success.

Dr. Volcani's plan yielded four tons of cow peas annually from each quarter acre of land, ten tons of millet or maize, four tons of green foliage, and four to six tons of sunflowers. Each crop was harvested in three to four months, so that three crops per year provided the yields.

During the next ten years, he continually documented the yields and the requirements of each farm to produce these yields. The end result enabled the Jewish Agency to state with statistical underpinning that Palestine could support many more farmers.

Hal Boyle, still in Athens, reports that Greece faced a huge job of reconstruction, with 23 percent of its buildings destroyed by the war and 200,000 families living in makeshift hovels. Its agricultural output had been reduced by 20 percent during the war.

The country had lost 450,000 people from war wounds, malnutrition, and disease. Even the German minister of national economy during Nazi occupation had admitted that Greece had suffered more than any other country from the war. And peace had as yet brought no solution to the country's problems.

Rolls Royce Ltd. of London announced that the world's most expensive automobile, the Silver Wraith, would be rolling and ready for delivery in July, costing $17,636, $4,000 of which was the British purchase tax. Reserve yours now and you may not have to wait for the 1946 Fords and Chevrolets. It should prove a very nice investment in future years and might obviate the necessity for the 3.75 billion dollar loan to Britain, should enough Americans purchase their own.

If so, however, having noted a penchant among Americans for the gaudy and ostentatious, we advise restraint from the temptation to paint doo-dads on the exterior. The paint work on the Rolls is one of the nicer qualities of the automobile and the application of doo-dads tends to spoil the aesthetic appeal which naturally emanates from the automobile. Its self-perpetuatingly emanant aura becomes interrupted by the chaos created visually when doo-dads mar the otherwise perfect steel landscape flowing in quiet solicitude both of the tactile and visual senses across smooth and spacious expanses of the automobile.

One of a pair of escaped death row inmates of the District of Columbia jail had been captured. The other man remained at large. Both had donned guard uniforms to effect their escape, apparently having lured the two guards into a game of cards as a ruse by which to get them their clothes to lose. The captured prisoner, convicted of the murder of one red-haired woman, and accused in two other murders, also of red-haired women, stated, "You can't blame a guy for trying, and I'm going to try again." He was glad that no one was hurt.

Be on the lookout for Earl McFarland, still at large. Whether he had a preference for hair color was not revealed.

On the editorial page, "The Coroners Are At It Again", after lamenting again the facts that the Mecklenburg coroner had determined self-defense in the shootings of two suspects killed by Charlotte police officers and the failing still of the Gaston County coroner to state anything beyond an undetermined cause for the death of Solicitor John Carpenter, points to the Fayetteville coroner as having abused the rights of a man arrested in the murder of his wife. The coroner had held a mini-trial at which witnesses were called, without the man being able to be present to cross-examine these witnesses or present his own evidence. The coroner had far exceeded his legal duties under law to determine cause of death and had implicated a particular suspect in the death of this woman.

Some, however, interpreted the ambiguities of the law to permit the coroner to undertake any action in a homicide case short of imposition of sentence on an accused.

The Legislature, it opines, ought intercede to make the law more clear.

"Restoration of a Great Lady" takes note of the restoration of good academic standing to Winthrop College, then a women's college, by the Southern Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools. The college had briefly lost its academic accreditation. The editorial states that the newspaper had never had any doubt that the standing would be restored quickly.

"New Moral for an Old Proverb" comments on an ad appearing on the editorial page of the Sunday edition of The New York Times which had offered full patent and manufacturing rights for an electronic rat trap. Thus the adage had expired that the inventor of the better mousetrap would wait until the world would beat a path to his door. Next a stitch in time saves nine would likewise bite the dust, and maybe one could now cry over spilt milk.

Surrounding the ad were editorials on the world's misery, starvation in Europe, corruption in the Army of occupation in Germany, weakness and vacillation in Washington, with the U.N. having its problems in Hunter Gym in the Bronx.

The fact that the Rochester Electronic Trap was being offered up for patent and manufacture was not, in light of everything else, funny, it says, not funny at all.

A piece by R. F. Beasley from the Monroe Journal, titled "Reflections on the ABC Argument", tells of Mr. Beasley's past belief in prohibition as the answer to the liquor problem, tempered by his realization that a large segment of the population would have liquor regardless of legalization. But the liquor problem had been ameliorated during the previous twenty years and, he believes, would continue to abate.

That liquor was an evil was not to say that the presence of controlled sale through the A.B.C. system was not desirable. He would not vote for a liquor store in Union County because liquor consumption was minimal. But in one of the more populous counties such as Mecklenburg, he could understand why someone would want to have the A.B.C. system to replace the bootlegger as an inevitable purveyor.

Drew Pearson reveals some of the key parts of the secret testimony given by cartoonist Bill Mauldin to the special board investigating the Army caste system between officers and enlisted men. Mr. Mauldin had requested that his testimony be maintained in secret because he did not wish to embarrass some of his G.I. friends whose complaints he would be echoing.

He had stated that the Army officers had created false issues in transferring to Okinawa the two editors of Stars and Stripes in Tokyo. The brass hats had claimed that they were Communist sympathizers when they were not. He said that morale would benefit from allowing men to blow off steam in print.

Mr. Mauldin told of several problems he had personally encountered with Lt. General John Lee, Commanding General of the Mediterranean Theater. General Lee believed that there was no room in the Army for soldiers who popped off, strongly adhered to the caste system. General MacArthur also was an advocate of the caste system.

The largest complaint among G.I.'s was the disparity in privileges behind the lines at the rear echelon. The enlisted men ate different food and lived in different quarters from the officers.

He next tells of Senator James Huffman and Representatives George Bender and Mike Feighhan, all of Ohio, presenting President Truman with a specially engraved invitation to the July Sesquicentennial of the Founding of Cleveland. The engraved invitation caused the President to remark on a book he had been reading about the history of the White House and a story therein telling of Grover Cleveland having handwritten his own invitations to Cabinet members and friends to attend his wedding.

The President also reminisced with Congressman Bender about having sung together when both were members of Congress. The President usually had provided the piano accompaniment as they sang such songs as "Bringing in the Sheaves".

Marquis Childs remarks on the UAW convention in Atlantic City which had just elected Walter Reuther as UAW president against incumbent R. J. Thomas. The left had split within the union, the Communists backing Mr. Thomas and the Socialists, Mr. Reuther.

Senators Robert La Follette of Wisconsin, Harley Kilgore of West Virginia, James Mead of New York, and Wayne Morse of Oregon were attempting to get a resolution passed to inquire into the facts behind the recent labor troubles, especially the lengthy G.M strike. There was need to know why the strike lasted three weeks after an agreement had been reached.

Samuel Grafton discusses the crusade of Ohio Senator Robert Taft to defeat the 600 million dollar housing subsidy to encourage builders to construct low and medium-priced housing. Senator Taft believed that it would provide blanket authority to housing expediter Wilson Wyatt to spend the money as he pleased.

But the purpose of the bill and the purpose of Mr. Wyatt's job was to induce builders to construct 2.7 million homes in two years. He needed this open authority to place the subsidies where they would do the most good to stimulate the construction. Mr. Taft, however, did not like Government working efficiently in this manner. Instead, he wanted general increases in prices of building materials to stimulate construction.

Mr. Grafton concludes by suggesting that the veteran two years hence could take comfort in the protection Senator Taft was affording him from big Government, when, his roof leaking, he found his pajamas wet.

A letter states that the editorial of March 29, "Inflation Down on the Farm", suggesting that farmers were mortgaging their land to buy other land to take advantage of the food boom, was incorrect. The reason, he thinks, for the rise in farm prices was the real estate dealers and townspeople. He says that he farmed and that he was not breaking even, that farmers were not getting rich as the piece had suggested.

The editors note that they had not intended to imply that farmers were getting rich but were concerned about their becoming poor through over-investment in land.

A letter writer from Hawaii says "Aloha" and expresses interest in the features page of the newspaper, would miss it when leaving Columbia in a few days to return to Hawaii.

A letter from an Army sergeant takes issue with the letter of March 28 which had taken issue with the criticism hurled at Britain by a previous letter writer. The current letter states that the Irish had been troubled by the British as recently as 1920-23, not just in the time of Cromwell, as the previous writer had implied. Despite mistreatment at the time by the British, many young Irishmen had flocked to join the British Army, Navy, and Air Force to fight during the war.

The Irish had proper reason, he asserts, to complain of British behavior.

A letter writer, who had written letters in the fall critical of The News for its ediotatism, comments again on the victory of the Drys in Rockingham County, finds it not surprising that the newspaper had reacted as it had, believes that all the churches should expel from their membership the drunkards—surely as Jesus did.

Only the good moneychangers belong in the church.

All the drunkards she had ever seen were not respectable people and looked as "bussards".

She was anxious to have the editors comment on what she had to say. "Just as Sam Morris would say—it is just something the way a wet soaked baboon will try to show his point, but can't find one."

The editors, apparently conceding that they were baboons, remain mum, even if doubtful that they couldn't find one.

"Understand", incidentally, from November 5, 1945, is now here. "Documentaries", under which lay "Oh How We Danced", seems to have disappeared completely because some fools can't. But, everybody's got one, so...

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