Tuesday, April 30, 1946

The Charlotte News

Tuesday, April 30, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that eight men were missing and 80 injured when munitions aboard the U.S.S. Solar exploded while being unloaded at Earle Navy Depot in Earle, N.J. Two explosions erupted at around 10:45 a.m., the second being the most violent. The ship, which sunk in the explosion, was named after Mate Adolfo Solar of Philadelphia, killed at Pearl Harbor.

Two Russian fighter planes buzzed the personal B-17 of General Mark Clark as it flew from Vienna to Linz piloted by Brig. General Ralph Snavely, commander of the U.S.F.A. Air Division. General Clark was not aboard. It was the third such incident in ten days, the others involving actual shots being fired by Russian planes at U.S. transport aircraft. (Whether these latter mentioned incidents involved the attacks off Manchuria is not made clear in the report.)

John L. Lewis refused to continue negotiations with soft coal operators in mediation conducted by the Labor Department until such time as the operators agreed to pay overtime for four holidays occurring since the August 21 order of President Truman revoking a previous order during the war which provided for overtime pay for six holidays. The owners thought that the rescission order nullified the provision.

Eric Johnston, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, told a reporter that were price controls to be removed, the U.S. economy would be in the back of the doghouse within a week, calling the position favored by the National Association of Manufacturers "suicidal".

The American Cotton Manufacturers Association called for an end to price controls, despite the estimate that it would result in immediate increase by 20 percent in cotton prices, which, the Association claimed, would lead to greater production.

House Democratic Leader John McCormack of Massachusetts stated that the people of his state were in a state of "revolution" regarding the House action to curtail OPA's powers. Other House members, however, found that their visits home during Easter confirmed that they had been correct in their decision on OPA, requiring that price controls allow for reasonable profits and taking away food subsidies.

Attorney General Tom Clark promised a crackdown on income tax evaders who made their living off the black market. OPA announced it would step up enforcement on price controls to help eliminate the black market, increasing meat enforcement agents by 200 to 850, more than double the 400 in the field three months earlier.

In Paris, Secretary of State Byrnes proposed to the four-power foreign ministers conference a 25-year four-power mutual assistance pact to maintain the peace in Germany by assuring continued disarmament.

The report on the Venezia Giulia, including Trieste, one of the most difficult problems facing the conference, was presented to the four powers.

The U.N. Security Council sub-committee assigned to investigate Poland's complaint against Spain began its work. The Russians stated that they had a document seized from Berlin, which they would provide, showing a 1943 Spain-German cooperative protocol.

General Eisenhower toured the Army's Tripler General Hospital at Honolulu, where he was hailed by one of the patients as he departed with: "What a terrific guy! He didn't even bust up our poker game. That's a General for you."

In Tokyo, General MacArthur's headquarters disclosed a plot to assassinate him, to be carried out on May Day by a group led by a former Japanese police officer and kamikaze pilot, Hideo Tokayama, during Communist demonstrations near General MacArthur's headquarters. The Communists were not involved in the plot. One of the co-conspirators disclosed the plot and stated that Tokayama had attempted to poison his coffee at one point when the head conspirator thought that he would not go through with his part.

Hal Boyle, in Berlin, tells of the first German emigrant to America since the end of the war, 80-year old Emma Buechner Steinberger. She would fly to America with three-year old Bella Raphael, a Jewish orphan adopted by a Brooklyn sergeant in fulfillment of a battlefield pledge he had made during the thick of the Battle of the Bulge in latter December, 1944. Mrs. Steinberger was the mother-in-law of A.P. correspondent Louis Lochner, who had headed the Berlin bureau for fourteen years prior to the war. Mr. Lochner was flying home with her.

Prior to the war, Mrs. Steinberger and her husband had entertained at their apartment in Berlin notable foreign dignitaries, including four American ambassadors, Fritz Kreisler, Vladimir Horowitz and other artists. Her husband had died the previous month after 56 years of marriage.

She often refused to go to the air raid shelters during the war, but once she was convinced by a neighbor to do so, and a few minutes later, a dud dropped into the apartment, through to the basement, carrying her lifetime collection of silver and china down with it.

She would make her home with the Lochners in Hollywood, California.

More than 8,000 persons had been killed in automobile accidents during the first quarter of the year, an increase of 44 percent over the first quarter of 1945—the likely result of the end of gasoline rationing after V-J Day and the end of the nationwide 35 mph maximum speed limit for fuel conservation. The total of 8,120 deaths was still lower than the record, 8,250, established in the first quarter of 1941. The National Safety Council estimated that there would be 38,000 fatalities during 1946, still less than the 39,969 in the record-setting year of 1941.

The Celanese Corporation announced that it would spend 15 million dollars to build a plant at Rock Hill, S.C.

In Wheaton, Ill., the Du Page County Grand Jury began its investigation of the Burlington Railway crash of the previous Thursday which resulted in the deaths of 45 persons and left 69 others injured. The Grand Jury was seeking solely to determine whether there was any criminal negligence involved in the collision of the Exposition Flyer into the Advance Flyer, stopped for an unscheduled inspection of the train after an object was seen flying from the undercarriage.

In Birmingham, England, comedic xylophonist and percussionist Teddy Brown, originally of New York, who tipped the scales at 336 pounds, an elementary penguin, died suddenly at age 45 following a performance at Wolvershampton theater.

On the editorial page, "The Queens College Campaign" discusses the campaign of Queens College to raise $400,000 for much needed construction of new buildings on its campus. The College had already obtained a commitment from its sponsoring church, Myers Park Presbyterian, for $150,000.

"Curt, Clear, Completely False" reports of the expressed hope of three Russian newspaper editors who had come to Washington for a meeting of the American Society of Newspaper Editors that the two nations would eventually reach agreement on interchange of information.

But, contrary to that expression, the three reporters also contended that the American press was as shackled as the Russian press and also claimed that the Russian press never attacked America in the unfettered manner in which American anti-Russian newspapers did. The three editors promised, however, to work for greater freedom for American correspondents in Russia.

Time had badly misquoted Ilya Ehrenburg, one of the editors, attributing to him the remark, "'One who hates the Soviet Union' is likely to be a Fascist," when he had actually stated that all Fascists hated the Soviet Union, their remaining common trait in the face of different guises donned since the end of the war.

The piece remarks that Mr. Ehrenburg had not responded to the libel, but it could not have helped the Russians' view of the American press.

It does not relate of what Senator Bilbo may have thought of the Time faux pas, whether it was another example of "nigger-loving" by the Luces.

"Tippecanoe and the Registration Blues" reports of the efforts of the North Carolina Committee to encourage voter registration, which included a group from U.N.C. Woman's College at Greensboro taking over a department store window, utilizing as a slogan, "Yours is the greatest show on earth," in front of a circus motif with a ticket booth for registration to enter the big top.

The Committee's press release urged playing of "Registration Blues" and "Polling Place Polka" on the radio.

While in the tradition of American political circus, going back to "Tippecanoe and Tyler, Too", it also represented America's political immaturity, as Americans required being thus cajoled into voting, never attaching too great importance to the responsibility which accompanied the right.

"We are indeed beset by 'Registration Blues', plunged into an indigo mood by this fresh evidence that the vote in free America still has to be peddled as though it were a bottle of Pepsi-Cola."

They could not know how freighted with tragically significant portent the statement would, 17 years later, prove itself to be.

A piece from the Richmond Times-Dispatch, titled "Liquidation for a Zany", comments on the Theodore Bilbo tirade against the "nigger-lover" Luces on the floor of the Senate, as reported the previous Friday, suggests its motivation was to appeal to the down-homers because of a fiercely competitive opponent in his re-election race, former Representative Ross Collins. Mr. Collins contended that Mr. Bilbo had paid only $72 in Federal income taxes during his entire 32 years in public office, since 1913, a charge which Senator Bilbo had refused to discuss.

It was also reported that his campaign manager said to Mr. Bilbo's former secretary that if he were to reveal during the campaign what he knew of the Senator, he would be killed.

The editorial recommends getting rid of the Senator, liquidating him, hearkening back, as he did, to the days of James K. Vardaman, Cole Blease, and Tom Heflin.

Editorials are reprinted from the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Raleigh News & Observer, the Winston-Salem Journal, the Durham Herald, and the Elizabeth City Daily Advance, each favoring, as had The News, the appointment of Federal Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge John J. Parker, narrowly defeated nominee of President Hoover to the Supreme Court in 1930, as the replacement on the Court for deceased Chief Justice Harlan Stone. The editorials were not necessarily suggesting that Judge Parker be made Chief, being implicitly premised on reports that the President intended to elevate either Justice Douglas or Justice Jackson to the position and then name a Republican to the vacancy. Judge Parker, tapped in the fall to be the alternate jurist on the Nuremberg Tribunal, fit the bill.

As indicated, the President would name in June conservative Democrat Fred Vinson, Secretary of the Treasury, to be the new Chief Justice.

Had Judge Parker been nominated, it would have been an unprecedented move, no previously rejected nominee having ever been renominated to the Court. Only four nominees during the past century, Judge Parker, Judge Clement Haynsworth in 1969, Judge Harold Carswell in 1970, and Judge Robert Bork in 1987, have been defeated for nominations to the Supreme Court. There have been only eight other defeated nominations for the Court in the history of the country.

The nomination of Justice Abe Fortas to be Chief in 1968 was filibustered to death by Southerners and Republicans, never coming to a vote, in which he would have been narrowly confirmed. He resigned the Court in 1969 amid politically stimulated controversy regarding his finances and speaking fees, and Judges Haynsworth and Carswell were then rejected as successive Nixon nominees to the vacancy, before Harry Blackmun, who would deliver the controversial Roe v. Wade opinion in 1973, was confirmed.

After the defeat of Judge Bork, the nomination by President Reagan of Douglas Ginsburg in 1987 to fill the same vacancy was withdrawn. Harriet Miers was nominated by President George W. Bush in 2005 to replace retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, a nomination then withdrawn.

While well-intentioned, the editorial efforts of the North Carolina newspapers for Judge Parker represented indulgence simply in wishful thinking.

Drew Pearson tells of a secret meeting held by ten Senators, Claude Pepper of Florida, Warren Magnuson of Washington, Joe Guffey of Pennsylvania, Glen Taylor of Idaho, James Huffman of Ohio, Harley Kilgore of West Virginia, James Mead of New York, Homer Ferguson of Michigan, William Knowland of California, and Arthur Capper of Kansas, regarding changes in Senate rules to limit debate to ten days. The move was intended to squelch filibuster and enable getting the anti-poll tax bill to a vote before the summer recess for campaigning, and possibly also the bill to make FEPC permanent, previously filibustered.

A recent effort by Senator Wayne Morse of Oregon to have the controversial anti-poll tax bill, already approved by the House, approved by unanimous consent when only he and Senator William Langer of North Dakota were present on the floor, which would have, if allowed, been so passed, had elicited mail both favoring and opposing the maneuver, some finding it quite as fair as the filibuster.

Senator Ernest MacFarland of Arizona had shown up in opposition at the last moment to head off the quarterback sneak over the goal line.

He next reports that U.N. Ambassador and former Secretary of State Edward Stettinius had, while Lend-Lease Administrator in 1943, hired three government employees at $50,000 to write a book on Lend-Lease, bearing only his name as author. The profits went to a philanthropic fund selected by Mr. Stettinius. It followed up a report Mr. Pearson had made the previous week, stating that Mr. Stettinius had sought and been denied permission by the Secretary of State to hire, at government expense, a ghost writer for his memoir anent the U.N. Charter Conference in San Francisco the previous sping.

The public, Mr. Pearson informs, was making no distinction among Republican members of the House in the obloquy hurled at them for the majority having voted to bridle OPA with restraining amendments. Congressman Richard Welch of San Francisco, who voted against each of the amendments, was an example. He reported that he had been bombarded with negative mail, critical of the House vote.

Finally, he tells of the Senate Military Committee voting 10 to 1 for merger of the Army and Navy into a Department of Defense, but with some committee members objecting because of lack of sufficient debate on the measure before the vote.

Marquis Childs discusses the three Russian editors which the piece in the column also regarded, stating that Mr. Ehrenburg had a special interest in seeing the South to report on the squalor in which he had heard white Southerners lived.

Konstantin Simonov was a more literary figure, having authored the bestselling novel translated for Americans, Days and Nights, the story of the battle for Stalingrad. He had also written poetry, some of which was so intimate that Stalin had suggested that it should have been published only for the author and his wife.

General Miwhall Galaktionov, the third editor of the group, was a military adviser for Pravda, about whom little was known.

That which the three would write of America for the Russians would be followed with great interest as it would undoubtedly have a significant impact on the way Russians would come to view post-war America. The State Department's pamphlet titled "America", 20,000 copies of which had been allowed to circulate in Russia, had been enormously popular, each being passed around to several different people to feed the insatiable curiosity of the Russians regarding American life.

If these editors were to write of the current boom era, it would be a false portrait based on transitory events, but would at least provide a start in the direction of openness.

Mr. Childs hopes that three American writers would be allowed to write freely of Russia so that mutuality of understanding between the two countries could begin.

Samuel Grafton finds the prevailing American opinion on the U.N. to be favorable for the previous year but favorable only because of assurance that the American view would be sustained by a majority of the Security Council, confirmed by consistent votes.

That form of support carried a danger of splitting the world into power blocs of a majority and minority, that the "unity" provided by the U.N. would effectively be disunity by majority rule, causing the Council to be formed as an instrument of power rather than cooperation. Russia, meanwhile, stood on minority rights, analogous domestically to Southerners couching their arguments in terms of states' rights in the face of a strong Federal Government.

A paradox was created in American thought, therefore: support of a strong central governing council for the U.N.; opposition domestically to a strong central government of the United States.

He finds it instructive to view the further analogy of American perception of the Supreme Court, conservatives viewing a conservative Court, when state governments were liberal, as a friend of the people, preserving American institutions and free enterprise, while more liberal Courts were viewed with distrust and disdain, precipitating a return march in martial step to states' rights.

He might have added that much of this mercurial tendency arose, and arises, out of pure ignorance of the American system of government by its people, fueled in that ignorance by the voices of demagogues, sometimes ignorant, sometimes Machiavellian; and especially as to the role of the courts, especially the appellate courts and the Supreme Court, not designed as men and women simply holding up their fingers to the political winds or assessing the relative size of the parties' pocketbooks and political power to determine what the majority, "moral" or otherwise, wants at any given juncture. Were that the rule of law, as it sometimes has been and sometimes still is in some states—which is when the people need to awaken to their duties to oust such jurists from office—we would be no better than the worst banana republic on earth—as some states have been and are.

"Baby", from March 19, 1945, by the way, is now here. "A Rose for Lotta" is now here.

i'm standing there watching the parade
feeling combination of sleepy john estes.
jayne mansfield. humphrey bogart
mortimer snerd. murph the surph and so forth...

from "The Back Pages: Second Anthem on the Wall of WHAAAT?", by Who Knows When, 1965

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