Wednesday, May 1, 1946

The Charlotte News

Wednesday, May 1, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal told the Senate Naval Committee that the proposed merger of the Army and Navy might result in complete abolishment of the Marine Corps and recommended that the action therefore not be taken. He voiced no objection to improvements in coordination between the branches.

Ironically, Mr. Forrestal would become the first Secretary of Defense after the 1947 merger.

An Anglo-American Palestine Committee recommended that 100,000 Jews immediately be admitted to Palestine, stating that Palestine should be neither a Jewish nor Arab state. The Arab League in Cairo stated that it would resist implementation of the plan. In Jerusalem, the Arab office predicted the proposal would arouse new violence and drive the Middle East into the camp of the Soviets. It also called the proposal "high treason".

The Jewish Agency in London promised cooperation with the proposal but complained that it was not adequate to deal with the million displaced persons of Europe.

May Day celebrations occurred in the defeated Fascist countries and elsewhere throughout Europe. A six-hour parade took place in Red Square amid a sea of humanity. Moscow stated that May Day had originated in Chicago in 1896 when workers demonstrated for an eight-hour day.

In fact, however, the day had been celebrated in Russia for the first time in 1890, a year after it was established by the Socialist International in Paris.

The Allies banned celebration of the day in Trieste, but a parade was scheduled for the next day to celebrate the first anniversary of entry of the Allies to the city. The day was celebrated widely in Poland.

In Tokyo, May Day leaders greeted General MacArthur, as occupation troops still hunted for Hideo Tokayama, former police officer and kamikaze pilot, the alleged leader of the foiled assassination plot against the Allied occupation commander.

Secretary of Agriculture Clinton Anderson told the Senate Banking Committee that if the meat shortage were not resolved within 90 days, he would favor removal of all price controls on meat.

A strike of 1,350 Georgia Power workers left Atlantans hitchhiking, riding, or walking to work, as the public transit system was shut down.

The previously parched Western winter wheat belt received plenty of rain, reviving hopes that the harvest might meet domestic and foreign needs. Prospect of a bumper cereal crop, however, was not likely, at least in Kansas.

Five men were still missing and 150 had been counted as injured in the two explosions aboard the U.S.S. Solar at Earle Naval Depot in Earle , N.J., the previous day. Two crew members from Charlotte escaped injury.

Harold Ickes, in his column, says that men in politics no longer needed to have character to succeed, just a generous supply of the word "communist" to spread around in smear of their opponents. Such Red-labeling was a revival of a tradition born in the early Twenties, a practice which former HUAC chair and Congressman Martin Dies had raised to a virtual art form, but one which eventually backfired to cause him not to run again in 1944.

The "knights of the smear" appealed to the basest emotion in people, fear, as a substitute for any rational platform on which to run. They ran on gossip, not fact, for fact would expose them as charlatans reaching conclusions in search of bases.

While no one could realistically hope to stop gossip, at least some generally acceptable standard ought be erected, and expected by the public, before it would be given any credit in political campaigns.

Mr. Ickes thinks that no liberal organization should be subject to classification as "communist" or a "Red front" simply because an occasional communist either belonged to it or voiced admiration for it, any more than a woman should be judged for the type of male admirer she attracted.

Mr. Ickes could have easily been discussing the candidacy of a future President running for Congress for the first time in 1946 from California, but he mentions no particular candidates and likely had in mind the present paradigms of smear, Theodore Bilbo and John Rankin of Mississippi.

Hal Boyle reports from Berlin that wives who had come to Germany to join their husbands in the occupation forces would find life easier in some respects than in America. Renting a place to live was simpler, with no haggling involved or bonus payments to get tenants to vacate. The occupation forces would simply tell a German family to leave to make room for an American service family. The Germans therefore viewed with misgivings the arrival of American wives.

Likewise, there was no shortage of food for the Americans. They bought whatever they wanted at the commissary at much lower prices than in the United States. Cosmetics were also plentifully available to the wives, as well as stockings and French perfume.

Candy and chewing gum were easily obtainable at the PX, along with cigars and cigarettes, as well as liquor.

Near Gainesville, Tex., a man and woman were killed when a light plane, flying low, crashed into power cables and went into the Red River during a flight to find the woman's husband to tell him that his sister had been badly burned.

In New York, police were requested to interrupt the long lines of shoppers who queued up on a daily basis in front of hosiery shops to buy nylons, the lines sometimes stretching two or three blocks. The president of the Borough of Manhattan suggested that shoppers buy them by mail. The lines had caused up to 70 policemen per day to be preoccupied with duties all along the line.

See how they run.

A captain in the Charlotte Police Department stated that a teenage "speeders club", dedicated to establishing a cash pool to be awarded to the speed champion who could most quickly pilot his car from one fixed location to another, was the reason for the recent increase in speeding violations in the community. The speeders typically gathered at a drug store on Providence Road, and a boy was positioned at the end of the course to insure that every speeder passed the point of turning the 180 to return to the drug store.

The ringleader, 17, was tried and fined $25 during the week, had his learner's permit revoked for 60 days. Speeding, said the police captain, was especially dangerous at this time because cars were old and worn out, there having been no new ones for the most part since February, 1942. During April, 113 speeders were nabbed in the city, eleven of whom had been charged with the more serious offense of reckless driving. Another 154 were ticketed for not obeying stop signs.

Those stop signs... They'll get your goat if you're not careful. We never lost our hair though. Nothing to get hung about.

After running the stop sign, you go off to college, join a fraternal organization, and become a responsible citizen.

On the editorial page, "How to Avoid a Tax Increase" suggests that, with the bond election over, the city's need for money in the coming fiscal year to finance a proposed 15 percent employee wage increase and pay the remainder of the regular budget, called for a means of raising the several hundred thousand dollars of necessary new revenue.

Without raising taxes, the source which presented itself most clearly was that of liquor sale through ABC stores. While the City Council could not do anything about the issue, the voters could and should approve it.

"So Round, So Smooth, So Empty" finds the U.N. handling of the Spanish question to be ultimately fruitless, as the real issues were whether America and Britain were shrinking from its responsibility to get rid of Franco because of fear that a Communist regime might replace him, and whether Russia was in favor of an immediate vote on the matter of continued diplomatic recognition of Spain because of the hope of supplanting the Franco Government with a Communist state, which would serve as first satellite in Western Europe.

The Security Council would never ask these hard questions, however, as they were fraught with too much controversy to try to achieve answers.

"And so the Security Council is fated to operate in thin air while the Big Three, who alone could give it solid footing, insist that there is no point in their getting together when they have already established the United Nations to take care of all international problems."

"Mene, Mene, Tekel Upharsin" comments on the bust of the Young Democrats meeting in Winston-Salem, so few having shown up that it was genuinely considered by the members present whether it was to be styled a convention, a rally, or an executive committee meeting. The YD's were being run by the same personnel as ten years earlier, reluctant to relinquish membership to younger voters. They no longer adhered to the rule of 40 as the maximum age for membership or 35, for officers.

The sparse attendance did not appear to be from want of interest in politics among the young as the college campuses of the state saw political activity in profusion, informed political activity, especially among returned veterans.

Many former YD's were joining the Committee for North Carolina, a subsidiary of the Southern Conference for Human Welfare, probably because of the peculiar course being followed by Southern Democrats in recent times.

It appeared, indeed, that the proverbial handwriting was on the wall for the Democrats, at least based on the YD meeting in Winston-Salem.

A piece from the Asheville Citizen, titled "To the Fount of Wisdom", suggests that President Truman's consultation with retired Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes, regarding who would fill the vacancy left by the death of Chief Justice Stone, would be perceived by the American people as a magnanimous and appropriate gesture of courtesy, just as when FDR, in March, 1933 at the point of the new President's inauguration, had visited with Justice Holmes, retired from the Court a year earlier, originally appointed by Theodore Roosevelt.

Though former Justice Hughes had been opposed at the time of his appointment as Chief in 1930 for having resigned from the Court in 1916 to pursue the nomination for the presidency against Woodrow Wilson and for being a man of influence in the world of big business and politics, he had proved a strong liberal who forged a great Court. He would thus be able to give good advice to the President on the appointment.

Drew Pearson tells of a secret meeting between Secretary of State Byrnes and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee before leaving for the Paris four-power foreign ministers conference, preparing the Senators for possible failure on getting the urgent final treaty with Italy and resolving the issue of Trieste, both matters being held up by Russian resistance. The Secretary advocated a loan to Poland to encourage a free election. Senator Arthur Vandenburg of Michigan, with the largest Polish constituency in the country, wondered whether Russian-dominated Poland could ever have a truly free election. Mr. Byrnes stated, without much enthusiasm, that any progress in that direction would be welcome.

Senator Styles Bridges of New Hampshire wished to know why the State Department had recognized the Tito Government in Yugoslavia. The Secretary responded that recognition did not equate with approval but, when then asked whether non-recognition was not tantamount to disapproval, he expressed the opinion that the two positions should not be considered as direct opposites.

Speculation on Capitol Hill on the new appointment to the Supreme Court was that a Republican would be appointed to fill the vacancy of Republican Chief Justice Stone. Many were voicing frustration with the possibility of Secretary of War Robert Patterson being that appointee, because he had served long in the Roosevelt Administration and thus was not considered any longer a pure Republican.

He suggests that sometimes nominations were made to curb incoming parties, as when Federalist John Adams appointed John Marshall in early 1801 to restrict the Democrat-Republican Administration of just elected Thomas Jefferson. The heavy Republican bent of the Court at the outset of the Roosevelt Administration in 1933 had gone far to curb early New Deal legislation, until the deadlock was finally broken by the retirement in the fall of 1937 of Justice Willis Van Devanter and the appointment of Hugo Black, the first of nine appointments by FDR in the ensuing six years.

Through 1861, only one Democrat, Samuel Nelson in 1845, had been appointed by an opposition party President. That nomination came just before the inauguration of James K. Polk, a Democrat. But even that had been a concession appointment as President John Tyler had first nominated in succession four members of his own Whig Party, each of whom had either been rejected, withdrawn, or not acted upon by the Senate. Since 1861, there had been six opposition party appointments by Republicans.

Mr. Pearson erroneously states that Democratic Presidents had never crossed the party line to make an appointment to the Court. The elevation of Justice Stone to Chief Justice in 1941 was one, and the recent appointment the previous September of Senator Harold Burton of Ohio by President Truman to replace retiring Republican Owen Roberts was the other. He also omits to inform that the two Democratic Presidents, Grover Cleveland and Woodrow Wilson, after the first Republican President in 1861, had only made seven appointments to the Supreme Court in 16 years in office, until the appointment of Justice Black in 1937. In the meantime, twelve Republican Presidents had appointed fully 35 Justices, including five Chief Justices, while Democrats had appointed only one Chief, even if Edward White, appointed Chief by President Taft, had originally been appointed to the Court by President Cleveland.

Marquis Childs finds the behavior of John L. Lewis as head of the UMW to be contemptuous of humanity. An appeal from Fiorello La Guardia, head of UNRRA, for coal to provide humanitarian relief to Europe was dismissed by an understrapper at UMW as "publicity stuff". The UNRRA had shipped the previous week only 27,000 tons of its goal, against a commitment of 175,000 tons.

Mr. Lewis fought for the National Recovery Administration, under which he built his union membership from 100,000 in the Twenties to 600,000, as it was practically underwritten by the Government as part of NRA, its provisions allowing for checkoff of union dues by the employer as a deduction. In 1936, Mr. Lewis had spent a half million dollars of union funds for the re-election of President Roosevelt.

He had helped the late William Rhodes Davis to finance his oil venture between Mexico and Germany in 1938-39—following the expropriation of American and British oil holdings in Mexico in March, 1938, prior to the outbreak of the war and the British blockade in September, 1939, which effectively stopped the flow of Mexican oil to the Wehrmacht, leaving at the time only Rumania as a primary source of oil for the Nazis, nevertheless having provided Hitler with enough oil for the Putsch and Blitzkrieg of Poland. Thus, some blame for the war could be properly laid at the feet of Mr. Lewis.

He had also affiliated with Communists in CIO and in Latin America.

By 1940, he had switched his allegiance back to the Republicans and Wendell Willkie. A broadcast for Mr. Willkie was reportedly paid for by the oily Mr. Davis, who died in Texas on August 1, 1941, ostensibly of a heart attack, though some historians have speculated that British MI-5 may have eliminated him.

Mr. Lewis exercised unbridled power and those who dared challenge it were eliminated, states Mr. Childs, by the "goon squads". Most miners in the fields had no idea of what the current strike concerned. They had their orders and so they struck.

Organized labor would pay eventually for having paralyzed the country's post-war reconversion effort—as it would with the passage of the Taft-Hartley Act over President Truman's veto in 1947, outlawing, among other things, the closed shop and certain types of strikes.

There was merit in the coal miners' case for paid vacations and improved safety and health. But the means being utilized to achieve these goals was to court ruin of the union. Coal was on the way out in any event as a means of supplying heat, being replaced by oil during the previous twenty years, and now by atomic power.

"A man out of the Stone Age named Lewis is standing across the path."

Samuel Grafton laments that after a year since the end of the European war, America had contributed nothing unique of note to the postwar peace. The occupation of Germany was without effect: no democracy had been established; the occupation zone had been changed little, probably less than any of the other three zones.

The efforts had been too tentative and without the force of conviction, even if nothing particularly bad had been done. Instead, America had been sucked into the British gambit of waging against Russia a balance of power orientation, resulting in a hard line against Russia and a soft line against Franco's Spain.

Inflation appeared to be the final stumble, the nation having thus far avoided it, to add to the missteps undertaken during the previous year.

"And we must think of these matters, not in petty terms of mistakes made, but against the greatest reference scale of opportunities missed, of potentialities unrealized, as the postwar world heads toward its first anniversary, to be celebrated with a fatless candle on a wheatless cake."

A letter from 18 and 19-year old "soldiers" stationed at Maxwell Field, Alabama, protests the actions of Congress in extending and amending thus far the draft bill to exclude 18 and 19-year olds. It suggests that the Congress should have worried about drafting youth five years earlier into wartime, not into peacetime.

It is signed "Pvt. Jefferson Davis".

The editors respond: "To insure prompt and personal attention, we are forwarding Pvt. Jefferson Davis' letter to Senator [Beauregard] Claghorn, who knew his grandfather."

We have to say, we say, we have to say, that they might be mighty chagrined, these Northern Yankee good-for-nothin's, and even humiliated to the core of their worthless bein's, and due for a harsh chastenin', should it turn out to be the case that Private Davis really was christened at birth Col. Jeff Davis.

Smart aleck graduate of a Yankee college. You'll see, Son. Probably don't even salute when the Stars and Bars appear before thine eyes in the glory of its demise and surely set, despite its sunder being torn, once again to rise.

A letter advocates elimination of the white-only luncheons to determine the future of Charlotte, that blacks were routinely excluded from such parlance. The recent visit of Dr. Benjamin Mays, vice-president of the Federal Council of Churches, speaking at the Charlotte Convocation of Churches, proved that luncheons were not the only means through which to plan effectively the city's future, that Dr. Mays had much to say to blacks of the city.

A letter from the African-American newspaper, Charlotte Eagle, agrees with the opinions expressed in the April 25 editorial, "The Visitor at St. John's", anent Dr. Mays's visit. Such interaction was the only way to bring about racial progress. The Eagle expressed its determination to work cooperatively in the community to bring about such mutual understanding.

A letter from an Army private at Fort Jackson, S.C., sides with Russia in believing that the appointment of the five-person sub-committee to study the Franco Government in Spain was no more than a subterfuge, that the United States had been hypocritical with respect to Spain.

"It all depends on whose corn is being stepped on, ours, Churchill's, or Stalin's."

We think he meant to refer to the corn of Clement Attlee, but Mr. Attlee had been so little in the news during the previous three months, compared to Mr. Churchill, that it was easy to continue to perceive the latter as being in power in Britain, even though no more at present than Leader of the Opposition in Parliament.

Herblock, probably inclusive of his last three panels all at once.

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