Tuesday, June 11, 1946

The Charlotte News

Tuesday, June 11, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the President had vetoed the Case labor restriction bill and the House had voted not to override the veto, narrowly avoiding the necessary two-thirds majority by only five votes. Democrats cheered the outcome in the chamber while Republicans booed.

The President had coupled his veto with an explanatory message to Congress saying that workers could not be compelled to work in a peacetime democracy, that the bill would only increase labor strife, that strikes had to be considered in light of the overall economy and full employment, and that the bill only dealt with symptoms, not the causes of the strikes.

The Case bill had provided for creation of a fact-finding mediation board of the Government which would have dealt with any labor dispute during a mandatory 60-day cooling-off period before a strike could be called, banned secondary boycotts, and provided for lawsuits to enforce contracts against either labor or management.

The President further distinguished his call for emergency labor-draft legislation from the Case bill, providing for permanent legislation, stating that he believed more time was necessary for study of a permanent solution, while he desired only temporary legislation to deal with reconversion.

Justice Robert Jackson, still acting as lead American prosecutor at Nuremberg, lashed out bitterly at fellow Justice Hugo Black, bringing into the open a long-smouldering dispute between the two jurists. Justice Jackson, in a written statement to the Senate and House judiciary committees, accused Justice Black of threatening "war" upon him unless he covered up facts in Jewell Ridge Coal Corp. v. United Mine Workers, 325 US 161, May 7, 1945 coal mining decision, decided 5 to 4, holding that portal-to-portal time must be included under the work week established under the Fair Labor Standards Act, a case in which Justice Black's former law partner had represented the UMW.

Justice Jackson, in throwing down the gauntlet, stated, "If war is declared on me, I propose to wage it with the weapons of the open warrior, not those of the stealthy assassin."

He referred to a May 16, 1946 column of Doris Fleeson in the Washington Star in which, he alleged, the threats against him by Justice Black had been exploited by the columnist. Justice Black had been quoted as saying that Justice Jackson's dissenting opinion, couched as a concurrence, in the subsequent denial of rehearing before the Court, was an "open and gratuitous insult" and "slur" upon his personal and judicial honor. Justice Felix Frankfurter had joined Justice Jackson in that brief opinion which offended Justice Black, though not referring to him by name, only to the petition of Jewell Ridge seeking rehearing based on its assertion that Justice Black should have recused himself because of his former partnership with the UMW attorney.

Justice Jackson added that he did not view it as a matter of lack of honor for Justice Black to have sat on Jewell Ridge, but rather one of "judgment as to sound judicial policy".

Most of the House committee members expressed doubt that the committee would consider articles of impeachment regarding the matter. But many on Capitol Hill speculated whether the two justices would resign the Court in the face of such acrimony between them. House members also indicated that it was likely rules for the Court would be created regarding recusal by Justices when they had a conflict of interest or personal relationship with the parties or their representatives in a given case. It was also speculated that, to achieve unity on the Court, it was likely that Fred Vinson would be quickly confirmed by the Senate as the new Chief, set to be heard by the Senate on Friday. Justice Black had been Acting Chief, as the senior member of the Court, since the death of Chief Justice Harlan Stone in April.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court corrected an error in its posted decisions of the previous day which had stated that the petition of Willie Francis, to determine whether Louisiana could try a second time to electrocute him, having failed the first time, had been denied, when in fact it had been granted.

In Naples, a large monarchist demonstration turned into rioting, as the demonstrators sought to storm Communist headquarters next door to police headquarters, in response to which police and military personnel directed rifle and automatic weapons fire against the crowd.

In Rome, 100,000 Communists, Anarchists, and Socialists marched on the Viminale Palace to protest against the Government's delay in proclaiming an end to the monarchy, voted out a week earlier. The demonstration was non-violent.

Secretary of State Byrnes stated to reporters that the United States was considering whether to send troops to Palestine to assist the British in maintaining order during the increased immigration of Jews.

The President announced formation of a Cabinet Committee on Palestine, consisting of Mr. Byrnes, Secretary of Treasury-designate John W. Snyder, and Secretary of War Robert Patterson.

In Belgrade, Yugoslavia, General Draja Mihailovic admitted at his trial for treason by the Tito Government that he had met with the Germans in the second half of November, 1941, a meeting which resulted in the Germans sending five divisions against him. He admitted that he had issued an order to some of the troops under his command permitting them to exist under German occupation as legalized police units. He was accused of collaborating with the German occupation forces.

The House unanimously passed the bill providing for pay to discharged military personnel for lost furlough time during the war.

An Army official in Washington stated that the 1.5 million dollars in recovered jewels from the Durants, Army husband and wife officer-thieves, following their arrest a week earlier in Chicago in the La Salle Hotel, would be turned back over to their rightful owner, the Hesse family of Kronberg Castle near Frankfurt, Germany. For the time being, however, the jewels would be held as evidence.

It was also disclosed that U.S. Customs had seized from Col. Durant 106 unset diamonds upon his entry to the United States from Germany. It was not yet known whether they were part of the Hesse loot, but it had been reported that 106 diamonds were missing from the estate.

Captain Durant wanted reporters to know that she had not gone looking for the booty's hidey-hole in the basement of the castle, over which she was supervising officer, but that it was pointed out to her by a German electrician, Ludwig Weiss.

It was reported from Seattle that Paul Satko and family, the intrepid explorers who had set out in 1938 from Richmond, Va., in their "prairie schooner", half truck, half boat, for Alaska to homestead, had decided to throw in the towel on the adventure after six years since arrival in Alaska—by way of Tacoma, where the adventure nearly ended with a court injunction against sailing the boat.

But the determined Satkos circumvented that ruling by driving north to Canadian waters from which they sailed to Juneau in the ramshackle contraption which Mr. Satko had cobbled together, powered by an old Ford V-8 engine. The "ark", dubbed "The Chicken Coop" by Tacomans, served as their home until it was wrecked in a storm.

They had lived off the land near Ketchikan, clearing timber, shooting bears, picking berries, sending their eight children to school, and saved a little money along the way. Mrs. Satko, during the process, gave birth to a new daughter, named North Sea Meridian.

But Mr. Satko was unable to obtain title to sufficient land to make the venture worthwhile any longer. At age 54, he was "coming outside".

He got through the war, anyway.

Had the Satkos been in a different musical, would the daughter born in the Ultima Thule been named South Sea Bubbles?

On the editorial page, "The Majesty of the Law" comments on the failure to appear of six of eleven defendants called for trial in criminal cases in Superior Court. Five of the six missing defendants stood accused of assault, four with a deadly weapon. Yet none of the court personnel, including the judge, appeared the least bit perturbed by the no-shows, merely issuing capiases to the Sheriff to arrest them.

The piece suggests the routine as calling for reform in bail practice, immediate forfeiture of the bond upon failure to appear. In many cases presently, no cash bond was required to be posted. Arresting defendants who failed to appear and holding them until trial was another possibility which had been tried.

"Curtis Johnson's Generous Gesture" remarks on the gift by Charlotte Observer publisher Curtis Johnson of the Fresh Air Camp to the local Y.M.C.A. It included 24 buildings with a cash value of $155,000. It had served for 70 years already as a free vacation place for hundreds of Charlotte's underprivileged boys, sponsored by the Observer. Now, Mr. Johnson had determined, in eleemosynary generosity, to turn it over to direction by the Y.M.C.A.

"Mr. Mencken Takes a Dim View" reports of Henry Menken's statement that the U.N. had no more chance "than the Ku Klux Klan would have in the Vatican", consisted of three or four gangs of thieves, all trying to jockey for advantage. He predicted that it would meet the same fate as the old League, based on a dispute between England and Russia.

The piece comments that Mr. Mencken's observation was typical of his cynicism and, while his observations were usually shrewd, if deliberately overstated, and while the U.N. had furnished plentiful fodder for such conclusions, especially given the failure of any of the major nations to recognize that peace required surrender of some degree of national sovereignty, it was also likely the case that should Mr. Mencken's prodding thusly of the booboisie to abandon the notion of the U.N. as a salutary debating society and prompt it instead to action, might insure defeat of his Cassandrian prophecy, in which case, it further suggests, Mr. Mencken would likely be a "very happy old newspaperman."

A piece from the Asheville Citizen, titled "Tar Heels and Segregation", surveys reaction to the Supreme Court case decided a week earlier, Morgan v. Virginia, outlawing segregation on interstate busses. The editorial reaction initially had been moderate in North Carolina, with The High Point Enterprise observing that it failed to see how the Supreme Court could have taken any other position under the Constitution.

It also had expressed the warning that the decision could lead to trouble in the South unless all citizens were tolerant of each other, implicitly, suggests the piece, soliciting tolerance by the minority of the majority.

It quotes The News as having stated that the race problem was so ingrained as to be beyond the realm of legal resolution, that answers had to come from within.

The Durham Herald had expressed surprise that nothing was spoken in the decision regarding "the necessity of Christian living in which all men have rights". The Herald opined that a period of adjustment lay ahead, after which the pattern of new living would be better than the old.

The Greensboro Daily News believed that the races would, regardless of the decision, continue to segregate themselves on public transit if the same provisions for comfort and convenience were offered both.

The editorial rhetorically asks whether that suggested continuation of the old pattern.

It concludes that the precedential value of the case would likely be in the realm of judicial intervention, especially regarding the 14th and 15th Amendments, that is Equal Protection and Due Process under the law for all citizens of the several States, and, under the 15th Amendment, the right to vote extended to all citizens. The Court had not, in recent years, ruled on these issues in that context. "It may now have lost all its historic inhibitions."

The piece was quite prescient. And it was high time, in the wake of world war where many brave citizens of all colors and backgrounds, religious, ethnic, social and economic, fought and died for the sole purpose ultimately of preservation of that Constitution against Fascists.

Drew Pearson comments on the meeting of the United Nations Food Board, which had just granted to Belgium an additional allocation of 160,000 tons of wheat. The French delegate had sought from the Belgian delegate a trade of the wheat for French wine, to which the Belgian delegate agreed, depriving the children of Belgium of their additional wheat. The conversation had been overheard by an American delegate who understood French.

He next indicates that the Budget Bureau had drafted a secret report on the veterans housing situation, finding that Government agencies had permitted certain scarce building materials to go to Asbury Park, N.J., for a race track, to other places for country clubs, and other non-essential commercial construction. Primary blame was placed on Civilian Production Administrator John Small and his agency.

"Meanwhile, the boys from fox-holes who were looking forward to homes of their own, have to pound the pavements looking for apartments or else double-up with mothers-in-law."

He next reports that the Spanish Consul had become upset at the absence of the Franco Government flag, and the presence of the Republican flag, at a Chamber of Commerce dinner in Brooklyn at which Senator Owen Brewster of Maine was the featured speaker. Eventually, the upset Consul agreed to stay.

Finally, he comments that six-foot, eight-inch Jim Folsom, Governor-elect of Alabama, would be a political force with whom to be reckoned. It would be six months before he took office, one of those months to be spent as the guest of Georgia Governor Ellis Arnall. He intended to study the progressive Governor's Administration, with an eye toward emulating it. Mr. Folsom had been a leading delegate supporting the re-nomination of Henry Wallace for the vice-presidency at the 1944 Democratic Convention. Governor Arnall had also supported the Vice-President for the re-nomination.

Politicos speculated as to the influence to be wielded by Mr. Folsom over Mr. Wallace. The answer probably lay in the guitar player accompaniment.

Marquis Childs finds the appointment by the President of Fred Vinson to be Chief Justice to have been a good one, that he had, since 1937, served in many capacities in the Government which would provide experience as a conciliator on the Court, beset as it was by personal problems between the Justices.

Mr. Childs suggests that had President Truman sought a chief from within the membership of the Court, he would have appointed Justice Jackson, whom he had long admired for his strict constructionist philosophy of the Constitution. He also admired Justice Jackson for having agreed to take on the duties at Nuremberg, though his absence had caused problems for the Court, causing thirteen cases, albeit not of crucial importance, to be held in abeyance pending Justice Jackson's return, as they had been originally heard with his presence on the bench.

But, in the end, the schism on the Court was too deep to permit the appointment of Justice Jackson.

Mr. Childs suggests that he would like to be a fly on the ceiling of the first conference of the Court with the new Chief Justice.

Samuel Grafton, back in New York after his cross-country tour from the Outer Banks to the Deep South to Los Angeles, continues to write of the troubles in the country following the war. At Lockheed in Los Angeles he was told that many of the workers, including women, did not wish to give up their jobs at the end of the war.

It was hard also for many of the soldiers to readjust to peacetime after the war. Plant managers believed that many of the former servicemen had higher ambitions than before the war, following their experience in supervisory positions in the Army. It was hard to be a private in civilian life in a factory after having served in the role of foreman with responsibilities over men in the Army.

Lockheed had fought hard to keep some supervisory personnel out of the draft and had succeeded in doing so. But now, men were returning from service and were entitled to their old jobs back under law, and thus layoffs had to occur of men who had been withheld from the draft because of their value to the company, thus penalized for their efficiency.

Soldiers had "an almost pathetic appetite for education" which he saw displayed prominently one day during his visit to Mississippi with the Soviet journalist Ilya Ehrenburg. A bellhop in a hotel knew a little Russian and Italian from his wartime service. He gave up an afternoon of work to sit in on conferences with Mr. Ehrenburg, helping out with European place names and discussing strategy.

"He was happy, and he held on to the afternoon; and the next morning, when we drove away, and he went back to his bags, I had my first feeling that the wildly rejoicing part of the return to civilian life was over, that the first tint of the reminiscent glow was already in the air, with present sorrow gliding past dismay."

A letter comments on the latest from the letter writer who wrote on June 7 complaining of high food prices and that the Communists were now ruling the country, having stated previously his belief that the foreign nations ought be left to starve so that they could not wage war in the future.

The author thanks God for freedom of speech so that the citizens could know what types of opinions they needed to confront and combat with other speech. He would not, however, counter the old "red herring" of labeling an opponent as Communist by resort to retort of branding his adversary "reactionary". He finds the Administration weak in dealing with the unions. But it was absurd to cast the leaders as Communists.

A letter from the director of the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis urges readers to peruse ten articles in the latest issue of Hospitals, regarding the crippling disease.

A letter writer from Florence, S.C., expresses gratitude that the column of Eric Brandeis, temporarily excluded because of the shortage in newsprint resultant of the rail strike, would return. She always read Dr. Herbert Spaugh first, Mr. Brandeis second, and C. A. Paul third, and thanked the editors for the newspaper.

Another letter thanks Burke Davis for his informative piece of May 20 on the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence—as we have said, an outlandish myth of enduring proportions.

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