Monday, May 13, 1946

The Charlotte News

Monday, May 13, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the coal operators agreed to pay three million dollars in back holiday overtime pay to UMW miners for four holidays since the end of the war, a prerequisite demanded by John L. Lewis before negotiations could continue on a new contract.

The President was said to be prepared to extend the life of Selective Service should the House not act to extend the draft by May 15, its slated expiration date. If not extended, there would be no authority to conduct inductions; but the President had authority to maintain the machinery so that it would not wither while Congress continued to consider the matter.

Harold Ickes, in his column, favors statehood for Hawaii, a status for which Hawaiians had voted two to one in 1940. The loyalty of the Territory and its people was beyond reproach having been amply demonstrated during the war and more than qualifying it for statehood. Fully 33,000 Hawaiians, 52 percent of whom were Nisei, had served in the armed forces. No sabotage occurred during the war in Hawaii. The population of Hawaii was half a million, larger at the time of admission than any other state, save Oklahoma. Hawaii ranked sixth in trade with the United States. Its taxes exceeded its receipt of Federal expenditures and ranked ahead of several states in state revenue.

The question of statehood had been pending since 1935. Postponed by the war, the House took up the matter the previous December.

Hawaii would, of course, become the 50th state, but not until 1959, shortly after the admission of Alaska.

In Asheville, N.C., the Grand Jury indicted Loretta Brozek on the charge of kidnapping for her abduction on February 26 of four-year old Terry Taylor from her Charlotte home while Ms. Brozek had served as her nursemaid for a week. The story had pervaded the front page of the newspaper for three days until Ms. Brozek's capture in Baltimore on February 28. Ms. Brozek should have never left Omaha.

The Mecklenburg County Commissioners adopted a new fiscal year budget, $361,526.08 higher than the previous year's budget. The complete breakdown of the budget is provided, should you have some strange interest in it. Who knows?

A plan for collecting $150,000 to $200,000 in needed revenue for the City was proposed by the City Manager, by means of a 25-percent surcharge tacked onto the water bill for sewer usage.

Radio station WBT in Charlotte, according to its general manager Charles Crutchfield, applied to the FCC for a license for an FM affiliate. The station had obtained an option from Duke Power to purchase Spencer Mountain as the location for the site.

Plans for establishment in Charlotte of an Argentine-based firm which manufactured rope-soled canvas shoes was announced, and operations would begin in about 90 days. The firm would initially employ about 30 persons.

Actress Constance Bennett was set to marry on June 22 for the fifth time in Hollywood, to a colonel who had been chief of staff of the Army Air Transport Command's Pacific Division.

A woman, and friends, persisted in standing in front of a bulldozer in Charlotte to prevent workmen from removing a stand of trees and shrubbery in Robinson Park, until a temporary restraining order which had issued to stop the work could be served. She moved from one tree to the next as the bulldozer operator tried to evade her. Finally, the process server, dressed in his pajamas, showed up with the order. The work was planned to make way for additional parking in the park. The park was dedicated to Col. Joseph F. Robinson.

In New York, a Navy lieutenant vowed to appeal the ruling of a New York court that he was the legal father of his wife's child, notwithstanding the fact that the child was born a year after he left for overseas duty, 355 days to be exact. The court also denied his petition for divorce based on adultery, founded on the contention that a one-year pregnancy was impossible. The judge of the court ruled that it was not, however, medically impossible to have a one-year term, based on the testimony of a Jamaica doctor.

But did he try?

The court cited a 1921 British case upholding legitimacy after a 331-day term. The judge had obviously been reading Moby Dick.

Anything is possible in New York, we guess, sailor. Better luck next time. They call it, we believe, Simple Trans-Atlantic Telepathic Insemination via Cable unless he was in the Pacific, in which case one needs a pencil to transmit the message. It is not Simple at all in the Indian Ocean.

He would need to move to Chicago next time. Recently, a court there had held that a 340-day pregnancy term negated the possibility of paternity. Strike one for justice.

On the editorial page, "There's No Fight at the Bottom" indicates that the rank and file miners in West Virginia coal towns were not showing bitterness regarding the continuing strike and the failure of management to meet the demands of UMW. PM reported that company-owned stores of West Virginia were open and extending credit to the striking miners at the rate of three dollars per day.

It appeared that miners and owners alike viewed John L. Lewis as a phenomenon beyond their control. The operators appeared to have stopped trying to break the union, although their mistreatment of miners probably persisted in some instances. The only justification for Mr. Lewis's iron grip on the union was the necessity of combating violent tactics, as in the past. But those tactics were of a bygone era and so the need for legislation had arisen to curtail the power of Mr. Lewis.

"Half Black-Market and Half OPA" reports that a survey by the local OPA office had found that half of the 87 grocery stores in town were violating price controls in canned goods, though meats were not checked. Whether the grocers were charging higher retail prices to obtain higher profits or whether they were simply passing on high prices which they had to pay was central to the issue of whether they should face tough penalties. The 44 grocers obeying the law were enduring unfair competition from the others.

The grocers could not persist half in compliance and half not, lest the complying grocers soon follow the lead of the others to survive. The citizenry had not turned in the violating grocers or even gone to the complying grocers to save money, demonstrating an indifference to the regulations.

The piece commended the local OPA for its survey and hoped that hearings would produce positive action. Price ceilings were still holding food prices in check despite the widespread violations.

"The Symphony's Best Season" compliments the Charlotte Symphony on completion of its best season yet, finishing with a concert the previous week, featuring Brahms, Sibelius, and Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue", the latter with jazz accompaniment. Attendance had also been the highest in the history of the Symphony.

The guest conductor, Lamar Stringfield, had, earlier in the season, brought the Briarhoppers for performance with the orchestra, which had resulted in high attendance.

It remarks that when the North Carolina Symphony had played Brahms's 1st Symphony a few weeks earlier and letter writers responded regarding the interpretation of the second and third movements, there was a feeling that culture had finally come to Charlotte.

Unfortunately, the editors appear perhaps not to have accurately recalled the letters in question, at least insofar as the ones printed. Those had expressed irritation not at the performance but at Pete McKnight's review of the performance, expressing his dissatisfaction with the locus of the performance, the "cold barn" which was the Armory. The letters thought he had criticized the level of performance unduly. But perhaps that is what the piece impliedly means, merely leaving out the middle man.

The Symphony had shown earlier its ability and now it was attracting an audience worthy of its skill.

A piece from the Christian Science Monitor, titled "The Plea for Split Pea Soup", quotes the Mock Turtle from Alice regarding soup and suggests that he would have had his own ideas regarding the plea of the Wisconsin Restaurant Association that split pea soup be made the national soup, notwithstanding the fact that Wisconsin was the "premier pea-packing State". Other areas of the country had their own preferences: the Gulf Coast, chicken gumbo; the Pacific Northwest, Navy bean.

For unstated and unknown reasons, the Wisconsin restaurateurs wanted November 15 to be declared National Soup Day.

Beethoven believed that only the pure in heart could make good soup. Someone had once stated that the United States had a million cooks but only one soup, whether bean or tomato not being made clear. The piece states emphatically, however, that it would not have been split pea.

We agree. We think it has something to do with childhood memories of children in school regurgitating some of that split-pea soup right onto the cafeteria floor. Whatever the case, to this day, we cannot handle it even as a last resort. We would starve first. Sorry, Wisconsin. It's just the way it is.

Incidentally, "brains", from July 18, 1945, once was "tomatoes", until some looney decided to move it around like musical chairs. In general, sort of childish and dumb. Witless. Mindless. Can't see the forest for the sticks trying, no doubt, to reach out and grab YOU.

Drew Pearson discusses the dramatic flair with which John L. Lewis regularly conducted himself, from his personal appearance to his entrances at the dining room of the Carlton Hotel in Washington. He maintained a luxurious office at UMW headquarters.

He was in competition with Philip Murray of CIO and was jealous of his power over the auto workers and steel unions, as well as his friendship with the President, galling to Mr. Lewis.

A chief restraining force on Mr. Lewis had been his wife, deceased for several years. He now had a friendship with Alice Roosevelt Longworth, daughter of Theodore Roosevelt, whose ego was as great or greater than that of Mr. Lewis. She had bragged to friends that she once kept him waiting in the car for half an hour while she attended a cocktail party, thus being the only person who could hold up the man who was holding up the nation.

He next tells of Switzerland holding on to all of the gold which the Germans had stolen from France, Denmark, Belgium and other occupied countries, 130 million dollars worth sent to Switzerland for safekeeping during the war. The Allies had demanded the gold and a third of the German stocks and bonds deposited with the Swiss. The Swiss had refused the demands, stating that they would contribute 25 million dollars to the rehabilitation of Europe, an offer which the U.S. representative found insulting and so walked out of the conference.

The Swiss, however, had 1.5 billion dollars in assets in the United States, including 500 million in gold, all of which were frozen, and on which the French were preparing to place a lien. Treasury Secretary Fred Vinson was in favor of forcing the Swiss to pay back the stolen gold.

Samuel Grafton examines the paradoxical thinking of many conservatives in the country, on the one hand plumping for removing price controls, without regard to the famine abroad or inflation at home, while on the other decrying the President for not having taken a stronger hand in ending the coal strike. He suggests that these voices could not have it both ways, freedom for some, businessmen and farmers, and curtailment of freedom for others, the unions.

Richard Boeckel reports of a bill sponsored by Senator Scott Lucas of Illinois which would criminalize any conspiracy to break down and paralyze industries of the country to the point where the public welfare would suffer. He points out that while a long line of cases had protected the right to strike, it could also be curtailed if the public interest were adversely impacted.

The National Labor Relations Act of 1935 and the War Labor Act of 1943 both gave labor the right to strike, albeit under the latter act, giving the President authority to seize crucial war industries for the sake of national security, as had the original War Powers Act of 1941.

Much of what Mr. Boeckel covers was abrogated or delimited by either the Taft-Hartley Act of 1947 or the steel seizure case of 1952.

A letter from the chairman of the board of directors of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company views OPA as authoritarian or totalitarian in its continuing post-war control of prices, favors abolition of all price controls, seeks to appeal to the tobacco farmer by suggesting that he ought have the highest price the market would bear for his tobacco. He had no criticism of OPA as a war measure, but believed it had outrun its purpose.

We would expect no other or more enlightened opinion from a purveyor of Death and Poison. But in those days, when so many people smoked and so little, by comparison to later, was known of the dangers of smoking, it is not surprising that the editors did not respond, especially in a tobacco-locked state and state of mind. And we mean, pointedly, the resulting syllogism.

Herblock proves himself this date entirely prescient of things to come fifteen years down the road.

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