Thursday, May 16, 1946

The Charlotte News

Thursday, May 16, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the President gave the coal operators and UMW until 5:30 to decide whether they would submit to mutually agreeable selection of a single arbitrator who would resolve the contract impasse while the miners remained at work. He did not indicate what he would do in the event they failed to agree. Both sides had told the President prior to his announcement that further negotiations were useless.

The head of the Civilian Production Administration, John Small, in the wake of the coal strike, called for emergency legislation outlawing strikes for at least six months while a more permanent bill could be properly debated and drafted.

Railroad and union representatives told the President that negotiations to avert a rail strike set to begin Saturday had also broken down.

The four-power foreign ministers conference in Paris ended, with another conference set to take place beginning June 15. The foreign ministers gave their approval to final changes in the terms of the Italian armistice. V.M. Molotov agreed to a U.S. proposal to have a four-power commission investigate German disarmament within all four zones of occupation. The investigation was considered preliminary to possible agreement to the U.S.-proposed 25-year mutual assurance pact re German disarmament. The British indicated their agreement to the pact; France had already assented.

In New York, the U.N. Security Council adopted unanimously a secrecy rule whereby executive sessions of the Council could be maintained in secret from all representatives of nations not on the Security Council.

In Tokyo, Shigeru Yoshida, conservative peace advocate jailed during the war by the militarists of Japan, was elected Premier in the Japanese House of Representatives and was then given the Imperial command to form a new Government. Premier Yoshida headed the Liberal Party, which formed a coalition with the Progressive Party, both being conservative despite their names, to elect the Speaker of the House.

Reports of a pending civil war at Nantung in Northern China, with gathering Communist forces numbering 100,000, were refuted as mere rumors being disseminated by the Chinese Government press.

A plane carrying merchant seamen crashed in inclement weather, shortly after takeoff from Byrd Airport near Richmond, Va., at around 1:00 a.m., killing all 27 persons aboard, including three women and three children. The plane appeared to have plummeted straight down into a wooded area.

A B-17 crashed near Fairfax, CA., en route from Los Angeles, killing two and critically injuring six.

Meeting in Pinehurst, N.C., the American Cotton Manufacturers Association called on Congress to end all price and production controls on cotton textiles. Walter Montgomery of Spartanburg, S.C., was elected chairman of the trade organization, succeeding Charles Cannon, Towel King, of Cannon Mills in Kannapolis.

In San Francisco, an Army officer who had been imprisoned with his wife of 33 years by the Japanese at San Tomas prison in Manila during the war vowed to accompany her to a leper colony, to which she was to be assigned for her suspected leprosy. The leprosy was thought to have been contracted while she and her husband worked in the South Pacific doing research several years prior to the war. The dormancy stage of leprosy was said to be five years or more before its symptoms become manifest. The couple were hopeful that the new drug streptomycin would work to cure her condition.

In Pana, Ill., a couple were renting a portion of a cottage when they heard strange, ghostly noises emanating from the attic. The husband went to investigate the clanging of a chain overhead and the sound of "hoo-oo-ee" uttered in shrill tones. When he started up the steps to the attic, he heard a low, moaning voice say, "Don't come up here."

The couple then summoned the police who determined that the ghost was a 19-year old and his 14-year old brother, assigned the task by their father of ousting the tenants from the cottage by scaring them away. The brothers, who occupied two rooms of the four-room cottage, were charged with disturbing the peace and released after agreeing to pay costs. The couple had not been served with an eviction notice.

Hal Boyle, still in Berlin, tells of Irma, the German blonde, who met the doughnuts at the bar of the American club. An officer playing darts knew and greeted her by name. The bar tender, a German, knew her as well. He gave her a plate of doughnuts while she awaited the arrival of a captain from the second floor dining room. As she drank brandy with the dart-throwing officer, he offered half his doughnut to her which she refused, saying she did not care for them. Nevertheless, she finally acquiesced and nibbled little pieces of the sugary doughnut.

Eventually, the captain joined them, and the band began to play as the bar became more crowded. Every other dance, the dart thrower would break in on the captain and dance with Irma, after each dance buying her a drink and getting her to share in another doughnut.

"By midnight, Irma was completely happy. She felt secure in the music and gaiety. The drinks had helped her forget that her worn dress looked shabby compared to the neat uniforms of the American officers." [Continued on page 11A]

We've a feeling this may be another one of Mr. Boyle's goat's milk stories and recommend therefore parental discretion, or at least discussion, before going to page 11A. For if, in a sugar rush, Irma clicked up her heels, there is no telling what the dart thrower with the doughnuts did.

On the editorial page, "Let's Stick to the Rules" posits that a better library and parks system, defeated in the recent bond election by the vote-against-registration requirement, though passing by simple majority, ought be top priorities for the city in the future. The Mayor was challenging the constitutionality of the requirement of vote-against-registration.

While the system was unfair, the piece asserts that it would also be unfair to set aside the result of the election when the people voted or chose not to vote with knowledge of the requirement. Those not voting were, under the rule, making a statement, whether unintended or not, and should not therefore be cast aside.

"Franco Asks for Trouble Again" comments on a recent statement by Generalissimo Francisco Franco that there were no other problems in Spain to be resolved, that the U.N. could not resolve the problems of the member nations and thus should not be concerning itself with Spain.

The piece interprets that he meant that Spain had resolved its problems in blood-letting of Republicans, with his Insurgents aided by the Fascists and Nazis. He had used the dungeon and the gallows to maintain order since the victory of the Insurgency in 1939.

It was true that there were greater dangers to peace than Spain, but it was no longer acceptable to view internal problems within a nation as strictly its own, without threat to world peace, a principle invalidated by the precursor events to World War II in Spain.

The Russians were correct about Spain posing a threat to world peace, just as they had been ten years earlier. The U.N. should sever diplomatic relations with the Franco Government, but doing so would have little effect. He was the last standing idol of the Axis.

"A Sheep in Sheep's Clothing" indicates that the effort of the CIO PAC in the Fifth, Sixth, and Eighth Congressional Districts of North Carolina had thus far had little impact on the decisions of the voters or the one-party system. The fears that there would be radicalism brought to the state by PAC had not been realized. There had only been a determined drive by PAC to register voters.

A piece from the Winston-Salem Sentinel, titled "Is It a Good System?" examines the legal requirement that special tax elections required, for passage on non-essential projects, a majority of those actually registered to vote, not just a majority of those voting. It favors elimination of the extraordinary requirement and allowing of a simple majority rule.

Drew Pearson informs that the War Department was closing down a Russian radio station within the Pentagon, one which had gone into operation secretly at the start of the American-Soviet alliance during the war to enable the Soviet Embassy in Washington to communicate directly and securely with Moscow. It was illegal for any foreign country to operate a radio transmitter within the United States. While the Pentagon setup was illegal, FDR had approved it and assured its secrecy by placing it within the War Department headquarters. No American was allowed inside the radio area, as 70 Russian officers and men acted as staff.

He next tells of the President directing that a new chief of protocol be named for seating at state dinners and other such gatherings, different from the appointment made by Secretary of State Byrnes. The reason was that the individual selected by the President was well liked by Bess and Margaret Truman.

A fight was brewing inside the National Dry Goods Association, which had been lobbying heavily to end OPA, then compromised such that it favored only amendments to the pricing structure but not abolition of price control.

Now, given public reaction to the emasculated OPA bill which had resulted from the heavy lobbying, NDGA was worried enough to begin to change its position, as was, in consequence, its chief spokesperson on Capitol Hill, Representative Fred Hartley of New Jersey.

Marquis Childs informs of the conclusions of Harvard Professor Sumner Slichter, as contained in a piece in the May issue of Atlantic Monthly, pertaining to the spate of strikes and labor disputes since the end of the war. He posited that the unions had not benefited from the strikes, that the wage increases obtained were too small to make up anytime soon the pay for the time lost from work, that it would take until 1948 for the workers at G.M. to meet the level of earnings they would have had without the strike, and would take until 1953 to equal the pay based on the company's original offer of 13.5 cents per hour raise. Other workers, those at U.S. Steel and G.E., were in similar straits. Moreover, higher wages would reduce the amount of overtime available, consequently reducing production.

The companies also suffered from the strikes, but, because of the tax carry-back of 1945 after the war, to a lesser degree than the workers.

There was a danger of an established pattern of Government intervention based on the precedents set by the fact-finding boards which had been established to resolve the G.M. and steel strikes.

The coal miners would need work a long time to make up for their losses, even with a healthy wage increase. And in the coal industry, there was no true collective bargaining. John L. Lewis dictated terms and waited out the acquiescence of the operators.

Samuel Grafton suggests that the fight over food was political, that former President Hoover wanted the United States to follow an ultra-conservative policy in dealing with world famine, avoiding rationing at all costs. For rationing represented Big Government as opposed to free enterprise. It would threaten to curtail high farm prices, could lead therefore to Federal aid for farmers and reduction of inessential crops. So Mr. Hoover waged the fight against rationing while campaigning to alleviate hunger abroad, losing both fights.

On March 21, Mr. Hoover had said that it would take three months to set up rationing and that the food crisis would pass in four months with the first harvest in Europe. Now, he was saying that the crisis would pass in five months and thus rationing was still unnecessary.

He had also recommended that Secretary of Agriculture Clinton Anderson be given more power to raise farm prices.

Returning to the United States, he stated that the grain deficit had been cut by two-thirds, but largely through reduction of estimates of need, accomplished by reduction of daily caloric intake to 1,500 per person, a starvation diet.

While Mr. Grafton does not question the sincerity of Mr. Hoover in both opposing rationing and desiring to feed the hungry, he also finds his entire approach structured by politics and the desire to stay away from any Government control of the free market in doing so, with the consequence that many would sicken or even die from inadequate diets as a result.

A letter finds John L. Lewis to be a bad egg, but urges that he be given everything he wanted to end the coal strike, as he would ultimately obtain it anyway.

A letter responds to the letter of May 13 from the chairman of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., which had advocated elimination of price controls to stimulate production. The writer finds him eager to stimulate runaway inflation, reminiscent of the 1920's, which ultimately led to depression.

The editors respond, "Well said, but what Mr. Williams said was that OPA shouldn't be hanging on, what with a big supply of cigarettes on hand."

A letter writer asks why the United States should be afraid of russia, with no capital letter. He urges to hell with them and other nations, as the consequence of fattening them would only be war and more war.

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