Wednesday, May 22, 1946

The Charlotte News

Wednesday, May 22, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that John R. Steelman, labor adviser to the President, stated, following a conference with the railroad unions, that he was unsure of the chances for resolution of the rail strike before the end of the truce the following day. A. F. Whitney, president of the Trainmen's union, stated that he was "deaf, dumb, and blind" after making a proposal to Mr. Steelman to resolve the impasse, the details of which he would not disclose.

In New York, the U.N. Security Council decided unanimously to continue to consider indefinitely the Iranian case, based on the doubts expressed by Iranian Ambassador Hussein Ala as to whether, notwithstanding his own Government's assurances of the fact, Soviet troops had completely evacuated Azerbaijan or had done so by the deadline of May 6. Andrei Gromyko remained absent from the proceedings pursuant to his boycott of the issue. The committee, however, declined a proposal to send a telegram to Premier Qavam of Iran asking whether he was satisfied with the situation, presumably because the response, based on his favorable attitude toward Russia and his telegram to the committee that full evacuation had occurred, would be predictably "yes".

President Truman signed the temporary housing bill, which set up the basis for constructing 2.7 million homes in the following two years, including a provision for 400 million dollars in subsidies to builders for production of low and medium-priced homes for veterans.

The Senate Banking Committee defeated a proposal of Senator Homer Capehart of Indiana to end all consumer price subsidies on food by the following July 1, subsidies which totaled 1.6 billion dollars per year, requested by OPA to increase to 1.7 billion. The subsidies acted to hold down retail prices on food while allowing farmers to receive higher prices and thus encourage production.

Government mediation, led by Secretary of Interior J. A. Krug, called Social Security Board chairman Arthur Altmeyer to present a statement, presumably on his study showing that coal mines had deducted 5 percent of miners' pay for welfare funds in Southern coal mines.

Senator Claude Pepper of Florida stated that he was ready for the Senate to act on pending labor legislation, the first proposal being to put forth a sense of the Congress favoring establishment of labor welfare funds, as that proposed by John L. Lewis in the coal strike, a proposal which Senator Pepper believed had little chance of success. He predicted instead that the Congress would pass hasty anti-labor legislation which would later be regretted by the nation.

Harold Ickes, in his column, discusses John L. Lewis and his royal willingness to release the nation from his grip for two weeks during the truce in the coal strike through May 25, but still refusing to explain his demands with specificity.

Comparing Mr. Lewis to Hitler and the UMW members to the Jews of Germany under Hitler, he states that while the miners had the right to have decent health care, housing, and education, the fact remained that UMW was not democratic, but only spoke with one voice, that of John L. Lewis and his dictatorial pronouncements, that the dues he collected were controlled as his own private fund, making it intolerable to have a 70 million dollar welfare fund also under his control.

By the same token, the mine owners had scorned human rights in their treatment of the miners and likely no one with a less dictatorial approach could have exacted from them the demands which Mr. Lewis had.

The Government should put teeth, he says, into the mine inspection law, which was at present only advisory and not compulsory, once problems in safety had been discovered by inspections. But to yield to Mr. Lewis under the current dictates would be tantamount to Munich in 1938. The Government would essentially be carrying the umbrella of Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain. There would be no industrial "peace for our time".

Once the concession was made, Mr. Lewis could make demands which could produce runaway inflation, throw thousands out of work, and cause the starvation of millions abroad.

In Memphis, Boss E. H. Crump disclosed that he had received a letter demanding $50,000 in small bills on May 20, threatening him or his wife with death were he to refuse payment or to report the matter to the police. The letter was delivered with four cents postage due and signed, "Revised Capone, Inc." Mr. Crump stated that he knew the originator of the letter but would not elaborate, except to say that a group from Chicago had used the same name and had recently been in and out of Memphis.

Stating that armed gunmen had sought to intimidate him during the 1913 Legislature, was fired upon in 1916, and had also received an extortion note the previous year, he concluded, "You can say 'Crump pays four cents to be murdered.'"

The piece points out that support from Boss Crump was worth 40,000 to 50,000 votes in Shelby County, enough to elect or not senators and governors, as it had been for the previous two decades.

In Atlantic City, N.J., the D.A.R. Resolutions Committee failed to present a resolution to the 55th Continental Congress to delete from the Constitution Hall rental contracts in Washington the words "white artists only", recently controversial in causing the ban of Hazel Scott from performance at the Hall the previous October, and, more notoriously, the ban of Marian Anderson at Easter, 1939, when Eleanor Roosevelt in consequence arranged for Ms. Anderson to sing before the Lincoln Memorial on Easter Sunday.

The chairperson of the committee explained that she had not the time to work on resolutions "not vital to the Congress". She said that the phrasing was awkward in the contracts and could be more "diplomatically" reworded.

We suggest: "No niggers allowed to perform in D.A.R., dat Constitution Hall."

The head of the Polly Wyckoff Chapter of Levonia , N.J., which had submitted the resolution, stated that she would likely present it the following day from the floor, but would definitely not withdraw the resolution as she was 62 and had not given up fighting yet. Six other women from her chapter were wild when the Congress passed the resolution dissolving the Luce committee. She also stated that the president-general of the D.A.R., from Georgia, was in error when she stated that only the United States Congress could alter the segregation customs in the nation's capital.

In Chicago, horse slaughtering at the stockyards was estimated to reach an all-time high in 1946, with more than 150,000 horses to be butchered for human consumption, double that of the previous year. Half of the meat would be shipped overseas as war relief. By comparison, in 1940, 18,750 horses had been slaughtered, and the number had steadily risen during the war.

In Lancaster, Pa., police accused Amish youth of engaging in wild horseplay, including strip parties, at Intercourse, Amish community capital. Four youths were arrested on disorderly conduct charges. It was customary for 150 to 200 Amish youths to drive in buggies at sundown on Sundays to Intercourse, at the triangle formed by two intersecting roads. There had been complaints that the interacting youths were blocking traffic in Intercourse with horse and buggy races in the road.

They brought their own beer, and some of the young girls did strip dances in the triangle.

A police corporal stated: "Imagine a strip dance with hooks and eyes. They aren't allowed to wear buttons, you know." The police had investigated the matter in plain clothes—whether with buttons or without, not being revealed. When one of the youths spotted the marked patrol car, however, they scrammed and the police were able to catch only the four in Intercourse.

Moral: Even the young Amish can hook your buggy eyes in an Intercourse triangle.

Nix, lads. Buttons!

On the editorial page, "Three Forgotten Americans" tells of three African-Americans about whom few white Americans had any knowledge. One was Crispus Attucks, the first American killed in the Revolutionary War, having been shot by British soldiers on Boston Common March 5, 1770 as a mob stoned the soldiers. Four others were killed in what became known as the Boston Massacre, helping to fuel the ardor of revolution, manifested six years hence.

Peter Salem was at Bunker Hill when the British attacked the colonists in June, 1775, was shot to death when he fired on and struck Major Pitcairn.

Salem Poor fought in the Revolution in several campaigns and had so many acts of bravery to his credit that his superiors stated that to provide the details "would be tedious".

Yet, their ancestors could not in 1946 join the D.A.R.

It hopes that the descendants of these three men could shrug off the tensions stimulated by the D.A.R.'s discriminatory policies and that the fact would not serve as a cause celebre to retard improvement in race relations.

It hoped that the spirit embodied in the memories of Messrs. Attucks, Salem, and Poor, would one day be recognized as part of the true spirit of the Revolution and that it would make the controversy within the D.A.R. impossible of further occurrence.

"When that happens, the furore will subside and any such debate between Georgia's Mrs. Talmadge and Connecticut's Mrs. Luce will no longer rage."

"A Criminal Waste of Money" discusses the inherent evils of sprawling bureaucracy, the complaints against which were as old as government itself. Recently, Dr. Carl V. Reynolds, State Health Officer, spoke of the problem in connection with the state's health organizations, 20,000 in number, collecting five million dollars per year from the public to combat various diseases, primarily, tuberculosis, polio, and cancer.

There was tremendous waste and duplication of effort within the system, much of the money winding up being spent for overhead. The groups raising the money for worthy causes, it recommends, should pool their resources and funds to reduce such waste.

"That Strange Season Again" discusses the Silly Season, spring turning by measures into summer, the time of Pan, "when the fiendish laughter of the goatherd echoes in the land, that the tragi-comedy is at its best—and it is not always pure comedy by any means."

In Kenton, Ohio, Charlie Brown, a black truck driver, was standing in a library reaching for a book when he was struck by a bolt of lightning, the tenth time he had been so reached by Thor. The librarian, standing but two feet from him, was untouched.

As reported on Monday's front page, in San Diego Harbor, a young Navy fireman aboard a minesweeper received his tax refund check at home in Dunkirk, N.Y., for $555,555.55, when he had anticipated only $23. He might buy a new bathtub.

In Pontiac, Mich., William Royce, also known as James Royce Shannon, author of "The Missouri Waltz", a favorite of President Truman, committed suicide by throwing himself beneath the wheels of a train.

"He had lived to see his song mean something else than Mark Twain and the ancient river, the sleek mule and the forsaken Ozarks. It had become Pendergast, Truman, Hannegan, a Washington maelstrom."

A piece from the Charleston News and Courier, titled "The Mint Question", explores the undying argument as to whether the mint grown in the Upcountry of the Blue Ridge was equal to that along the criks in the Lowcountry of South Carolina.

An acquaintance of the newspaper who lived in Columbia had a variety of mint, the roots of which had been imported from Prospero's Bermoothes. And, it explains, Prospero was probably better informed than any living statesman of Spartanburg or other locality of South Carolina.

It recommends the cultivation of mint, but warns that the mint of Virginia, while good, was "too boasted, or 'publicized'."

We are compelled to correct the piece, to the extent that it misascribes "Bermoothes" to Prospero, when it ought be properly attributing it to the sprite, Ariel.


Of the king's ship
The mariners say how thou hast disposed
And all the rest o' the fleet.


Safely in harbour
Is the king's ship; in the deep nook, where once
Thou call'dst me up at midnight to fetch dew
From the still-vex'd Bermoothes, there she's hid:
The mariners all under hatches stow'd;
Who, with a charm join'd to their suffer'd labour,
I have left asleep; and for the rest o' the fleet
Which I dispersed, they all have met again
And are upon the Mediterranean flote,
Bound sadly home for Naples,
Supposing that they saw the king's ship wreck'd
And his great person perish.

But, perhaps The News and Courier somehow, subliminally, was responding to presentation the day before by The News of the abstract from the piece by Willian Carlton, "Is the Conservative South a Myth?" or to Henry Wallace who had recommended it on Saturday, or both.

For, in the same play, says Iris:

Ceres, most bounteous lady, thy rich leas
Of wheat, rye, barley, vetches, oats and pease;
Thy turfy mountains, where live nibbling sheep,
And flat meads thatch'd with stover, them to keep;
Thy banks with pioned and twilled brims,
Which spongy April at thy hest betrims,
To make cold nymphs chaste crowns; and thy broom-groves,
Whose shadow the dismissed bachelor loves,
Being lass-lorn: thy pole-clipt vineyard;
And thy sea-marge, sterile and rocky-hard,
Where thou thyself dost air;—the queen o' the sky,
Whose watery arch and messenger am I,
Bids thee leave these, and with her sovereign grace,
Here on this grass-plot, in this very place,
To come and sport: her peacocks fly amain:
Approach, rich Ceres, her to entertain.

"...August, die she must..."

As to the last squib, as we have previously stated, we once took a statistics course in a quonset hut, near the Arboretum, and never saw a single Indian, just means and medians of roses. So, we don't know what that means.

Drew Pearson discusses the report of Herbert Hoover on the world food situation to the President's Famine Emergency Committee, stating that millions in China were beyond help.

The head of General Foods, Clarence Francis, asked Mr. Hoover what would be done to get corn and wheat to the manufacturers, to which the former President replied that he did not think anyone in the United States would starve. Mr. Francis persisted but Mr. Hoover remained steadfast in his insistence that manufacturers could take care of themselves.

General Foods was one of the largest food companies in the nation. Its chief stockholder was Mrs. Joseph E. Davies, wife of the former Ambassador to Moscow. She served more food at her Washington parties than any other hostess.

He next discusses the hero-status granted by the public to Maj. General Leslie R. Groves, Army head of the Manhattan Project. He had deserved some publicity, says Mr. Pearson, but not the inordinate status as atomic expert with which he had been invested, having unduly exalted status with both Congress and the Bernard Baruch chaired U.N. Atomic Energy Committee.

He was not the best exemplar of efficiency, having been, while still a colonel, in charge of construction of the Pentagon and, in that capacity, decided that a brick company nearby should be moved to make way for a highway cloverleaf interchange to supply traffic to the new War Department headquarters. Enormous materials were used for the project and an additional 3,000 car-miles of brick loads had to flow into Washington each day from the company's new location, taking up precious rail traffic during the war. The War Department had recommended against the project, but Col. Groves disagreed and insisted, despite the viability of an alternative plan to detour the roads around the plant.

A member of the War Production Board at the time of construction of the Pentagon accused General Groves of materially retarding the war effort.

Mr. Pearson suggests that he was taking the same approach to atomic energy, retarding the peace effort.

Finally, he reports of the huge volume of mail pouring into Congress, objecting to the gutting of OPA in the House extension bill, and urging that it be restored. Some 600,000 pieces, much of it from veterans, had arrived in one week.

Marquis Childs suggests the strike situation in the country to be turning sinister, with seven CIO maritime unions set to strike June 15. Although there were several AFL unions on the wharves, the CIO could greatly impact shipping throughout the country, interfering in consequence with delivery of food overseas. A special committee of the National Maritime Union and the Longshoremen's Union were assigned to work on the latter problem, but had not reached a decision, would likely insist that UNRRA ships carry nothing except relief supplies.

But UNRRA only shipped that food for which the foreign countries could not afford to pay. Most of the food went by private shippers.

Mr. Childs finds that the Communist influence within the maritime unions, having been historically stronger than in other unions, was having its impact. For with starvation overseas came the prospect of an offering Soviet hand to relieve the hunger, and with it, Communist indoctrination.

Prime Minister Stalin had declined the President's request to join in relieving the famine.

In the midst of the controversy was the charge by Senator George Aiken of Vermont that during the war, there had been collusion between the Maritime Commission and shipping companies in the building of merchant ships.

The maritime unions represented the left and John L. Lewis and UMW represented the right, making the situation ripe for political exploitation. The railroad unions generally took a moderate approach politically.

Looking at the entire picture, Mr. Childs finds that if the intent was to harm the country economically and politically, it could not have been better orchestrated.

Samuel Grafton finds that the food crisis had developed largely out of speculation on higher prices, that farmers preferred to feed grain to fatten livestock rather than to sell the grain on the market, awaiting higher prices for both grain and livestock.

It was akin to the fact that clothiers had more golf shirts than underwear in stock.

The whole system was being driven by inflationary jumps with too few controls, and was affecting the lack of food abroad.

Former President Hoover had counseled every American individual to conserve, but doing so was quite difficult in the context of an inflationary spiral. His ultimate solution was to raise the price which the Government would pay for wheat, contributing further to inflation and keeping grains off the market in anticipation of yet higher prices.

A surplus of money, not a shortage of food was the real problem. The solution lay in having rationing stamps along with money to pay for food, and deflate demand via the rationing.

A letter writer says that the downfall of the United States was John L. Lewis, who was practically running the nation. The author had been out of the Navy for two weeks and could not find a job, concluded that neither he nor the nation had a future, thanks to Mr. Lewis and his greed.

He then recites the Pledge of Allegiance and recommends its testimony.

A letter writer informs that an ad for the Morris Field airshow which had appeared May 16 in the newspaper contained an error which he circled, that he, as one of the participating fliers in the show, had served with the Ninth Air Force in England and France in an A26 Invader, not an A27 Invader.

He was proud of his plane and wanted its designation reflected therefore accurately. Otherwise, readers might not know how good the A26 was.

A regular letter writer predicts that the "Revolush" would come not from the right or left, but from the middle. For the commercials on the radio and their insistence that everything was "full-bodied" was enough to drive the listener to revolt.

He wanted to use M. Guillotine to cleave the commercials from the air at will.

"Oh yes, I know, we're a patient people. We just sit and listen and say nothing. But some day—brother, I can see it coming—some day they're gonna go too far!"

Brother, you said it, and they long ago did. At least we do have some defenses today, but there is always one sure cleaver: the off-switch.

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