Wednesday, June 12, 1946

The Charlotte News

Wednesday, June 12, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the martime unions had rejected an offer by the operators for a compromise on the work week. The unions stated that they would strike as scheduled on the 15th unless either they received a pay increase or shortened work hours. They had last been seeking a 44-hour week, down from 56, and the operators had offered in lieu thereof paid time off at the end of each voyage, a day for each week at sea.

British Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin announced before the Labor Party's annual conference his intention to oppose the immigration of 100,000 Jews to Palestine because of the necessity of sending a division of British troops to guard against violence. Stating further that America did not want too many Jews immigrating to New York and thus favored immigration to Palestine, he did favor the creation of a Jewish Palestinian state.

He also stated that he would form separate peace treaties with the defeated nations of Europe if the negotiations among the four powers continued to bog down, and indicated that he would not be party to any strategy against Russia. He also declared that England would not impose economic sanctions on Spain.

In Rome, clashes between Monarchists and Republicans had resulted in "broken heads" from sticks and iron bars. Naples had calmed since its riot by Monarchists against the Communist headquarters the previous day. Confrontations resulting in multiple arrests had also taken place in Taranto. King Umberto was still clinging to his throne pending the outcome of petitions charging electoral fraud in the recent election which had ousted him.

The War Department announced the arrest of a fourth individual, Roy Carlton, a former tech sergeant in the Army, in the jewel heist at Kronberg Castle involving the Durants, the husband and wife Army officer-thieves. Mr. Carlton's participation was believed to be minor.

In the Nebraska Republican primary, isolationist Senator Hugh Butler beat Governor Dwight Griswold, an internationalist backed by former Minnesota Governor Harold Stassen. The election was seen as a setback to the chances of Mr. Stassen to garner the Republican presidential nomination in 1948.

In Idaho, Senator Charles Gossett was defeated in the Democratic primary by George Donart, backed by Idaho Senator Glen Taylor.

Senator John Bankhead of Alabama had suffered a stroke on May 24 and his condition was indicated by Bethesda Naval Hospital to be grave.

A B-29, en route to Chicago from Florida, had crashed in the Great Smoky Mountains at Collins Gap, a mile east of Clingman's Dome, on the Tennessee-North Carolina border, killing all twelve aboard. The crash occurred sometime after 2:15 a.m.

Three Army jet fighter planes made a transcontinental flight, from March Field, California, to Andrews Field, Md., in five hours and 31 minutes, 14 minutes longer, including a refueling stop, than an XB-42 Army bomber had made the trip the previous December. Their 40,000-foot altitude had caused them to fly in extreme cold, especially on the leg from Oklahoma City.

In Philadelphia, a blind woman took in a North Carolina veteran and his family, allowing them to share her apartment, after the owner of an apartment house in which a friend resided told them they could no longer stay with the friend, leaving them homeless.

Harold Ickes, in his column, tells of Dr. John R. Steelman, long a confidante and supporter of John L. Lewis, being the de facto Secretary of Labor as President Truman's chief labor adviser. The Secretary, Lewis Schwellenbach, often learned of decisions on labor issues via the newspapers.

Dr. Steelman had contributed much to the recent coal strike settlement and, along with John W. Snyder, had too much to say about the rail strike settlement.

During the long tenure of Frances Perkins as Secretary of Labor, she was regularly harassed by demands for her to be replaced with a strong-man. Now that the country effectively had two such strong men heading the Government labor office, Mr. Ickes wonders whether it would be better off with Ms. Perkins in the role of Secretary. Or, he suggests sardonically, perhaps even John L. Lewis.

The price of bread was raised a penny by OPA. Rye had gone up two cents in April and so the price increase was not applicable to it. The reason for the hike was that bakers' costs had increased pursuant to the 25 percent reduction in available flour, ordered to afford famine relief abroad.

Nathan Polowetzky tells of the 300th boithday being held for Brooklyn. It had started in 1636 with a half barrel of beer and three containers of brandy, used as the means of barter by which Dutch settlers purchased Flatbush from the Rockway Indians.

Ten years later, on June 12, 1646, the broken marshy land, Breuckelen, became a city. Now, it was the largest of the boroughs, with 2,783,000 inhabitants, most of them Dodgers fans.

The Patriots of George Washington had fought the Battle of Long Island against the British who had landed at Gravesend Bay. Walt Whitman had edited the Brooklyn Eagle. Coney Island had taken its place as the playground of the East. The Navy yard produced such stalwarts as the Monitor, the Missouri, the Iowa, and the Franklin D. Roosevelt. In the Gay Nineties, the "trolley Dodgers" became the Daffiness Boys.

In 1898, Brooklyn was incorporated into New York City against considerable protest for it being a city of quiet neighborhoods being swallowed by a city of graft and corruption. Reverend Henry Ward Beecher warned: "Who owns New York? Satan."

Mr. Polowetzky concludes: "Oh well, Moitle. That is all past. Come, leave us celebrate."

On the editorial page, "The Veto Message Is Worth Reading" suggests that the President's written message to Congress explaining his veto of the Case labor restriction bill evidenced his deep consideration of the issue and that he had focused on whether the bill would serve to stop massive strikes which hurt the people and the economy, determining that it would not.

He took sides with neither the unions nor management. The criticism of the bill was based strictly on its perceived lack of provisions for curtailing strikes.

The vote sustaining the veto, though narrowly, should convince Congressmen, it opines, of the futility of trying to pass hasty legislation to limit the power of organized labor.

The President had reminded the Congress and hopefully the public that the solution to the labor problem had to be measured by its impact on the public interest, and the piece finds that the message was "a good day's work".

"The Democratic Choice Is Final" comments on the suggestion by The High Point Enterprise that the North Carolina primaries be moved forward to the last week in July to shorten the political season while leaving enough time for the general election battle between the Democrats and Republicans.

The piece wonders as to what The Enterprise was thinking, since few North Carolina contests were not decided solely by the Democratic primary, with usually only perfunctory races in November.

It hopes that there might come a day when it would be otherwise and a genuine two-party system might thrive, but it was nowhere in sight.

It mattered little whether the primaries were in the spring or in the summer. The result would be the same.

"The Wonders of Television", marking the first time an editorial in the newspaper had dealt with the medium which the country has taken for granted for some 60 years, suggests that it would change the character of broadcasting. It predicts that the radio personalities of the day with good voices but lousy faces would be cast into oblivion.

It then tells of the first television broadcast, via ABC, featuring Henry Morgan, as described in detail by his press agent. It marked the first time that a studio audience was encouraged to laugh out loud during a broadcast. Another first was the strip by Mr. Morgan to his waist after he complained of the heat generated by tv lights. It also marked the first time a sponsor's slogan was animated for television, a demonstration of Adler Elevator Shoes.

It was, it says, a preview of the future, when, from one's own living room, it would be possible to see a soft drink hitting the spot or an animated potato chip or the anodyne to the stomach-sufferer take effect...

You probably understand.

It concludes, "Science, we always say, is wonderful."

A piece from the Atlanta Journal, titled "Eddie Gilmore Comes Back Home", compares to Odysseus the roving journalist, back home for the time being from Moscow after covering the war for five years, finds Mr. Gilmore more at home anywhere in the world than his ancient Ithacan counterpart.

At Charlotte, they had photographed him upon arrival; at Atlanta, in his old home state, they had done likewise; at Birmingham, in his original home state, they had welcomed him with his Russian wife. And it was probably to be the case that, when the couple returned to Moscow, Pravda and Izvestia would welcome him back home.

He was, it says, that sort of fellow.

Drew Pearson suggests that those who had observed President Truman through the years could not determine whether it was personal loyalty or some other trait which caused him to suffer for the likes of Kansas City Boss Tom Pendergast, James Vardaman, John W. Snyder, Ed Pauley, and others of the type. It was as if the President sought to wreak vengeance on anyone who opposed one of his old Missouri cronies, by placing the crony in a position of trust over the public interest. For instance, at the start of his presidency, he fired Maurice Milligan, the U.S. Attorney who had jailed Tom Pendergast. He also fired Attorney General Francis Biddle who had sided with Mr. Milligan.

Recently, advisers to the President had suggested the appointment of Justice Frank Murphy as Chief Justice; but because he had been Attorney General at the time of the prosecution of Tom Pendergast, the President refused to consider him.

It made no difference to the President that John Snyder's advice had caused many economic problems since V-J Day, including bungling of the railroad strike and release of housing controls and controls on clothing materials. The President nevertheless had appointed him to be the new Secretary of Treasury. It remained a mystery why the President continued to support him.

Next, he tells of Labor Secretary Lewis Schwellenbach being a patient man, having learned the art from being a laundryman in Spokane. But he had a tough time with the President during the maritime strike. He had counseled the President not to say anything which would rankle the maritime union leaders. The next morning, the President announced his intention to use the Navy if necessary to keep ships moving in the event of a strike. The statement tended to remove all pressure from the ship owners to settle the strike.

The Navy then announced that it was calling for all reserves and volunteers to help break the strike, further incensing Mr. Schwellenbach.

Both outgoing Secretary of Treasury Fred Vinson and Secretary of State Byrnes had indicated that they wanted nothing more to do with settling strikes after John Snyder had bungled the railroad settlement.

Marquis Childs reports that with the union bosses competing for power, the public was left to suffer, as exemplified by the threatened AFL maritime walkout. The AFL Sailors Union denounced the CIO maritime leaders as Communists. The CIO leaders called Harry Lundeberg of the Sailors Union a Trotskyite.

The ship owners had protested the unions' demand for a combination of wage increases and reduced hours, that it would cause the U.S. merchant marine to be unable to compete on the world stage, as crews of some nations worked for half that of the present pay of American merchant mariners.

The International Labor Office was meeting in Seattle to try to effect a minimum wage for all seamen of all nations, at 16 British pounds, or $64, per month. It was designed to end the cutthroat foreign competition. But the average American merchant seaman earned $127 per month. So the proposal for the international minimum wage would not eliminate the problem for U.S. shippers. The result of the AFL and CIO maritime disputes could be mass unemployment on the waterfronts by simply pricing U.S. shipping out of international competition.

Compounding the problem was that fewer men were needed in the machine age to do the work of the past. It now took 60 million men to do the work of 150 million in 1900; and, it was predicted that it would cut that work force to 30 million by 1980, as the machine advanced in efficiency and capability.

He finds the Seattle conference to be a step in the right direction and a shortened work week an imperative. But it should not be effected through strikes or violence.

Samuel Grafton, filing another report from Los Angeles—out of order apparently, as his previous day's offering was datelined New York—finds the political dialogue in the country very different from what it was a year or two before. There was now a grimness with respect to Russia. A polarization of opinion on Russia had developed and attitudes had hardened, with less intercommunication between the two sides, anti-Russian and pro-Russian.

Informal discussion of the issue usually turned bitterly discordant, the anti-Russians usually citing bad treatment of American journalists while pro-Russians spoke against America's desire for new military bases in the Atlantic and the Pacific. The result for many was disaffection from politics, despite having been active previously. Some stated that they were going to buy a farm and sit it all out.

During wartime, the hope existed that world unity could come out of the war, but now that hope had faded. Now, the former internationalists were shrinking inward, appearing to head for the land.

A letter writer from Rockingham, N.C., the wife of a railroad man, supports the Trainmen and Locomotive Engineers in the recently resolved rail strike. She says the conditions were poor and outdated, as were the work rules, 25 years old. Her husband had worked as a brakeman and switchman since 1943, had worked long and hard hours during the war when there was a manpower shortage, enduring sixteen-hour shifts, sometimes on four hours sleep.

She concludes by saying that the tactics of President Truman in resolving the strike resembled those of Hitler, and that he had lost in the process the respect and the vote of many working people.

The editors thank her for her eloquent defense of the railroad workers, and express the belief that few would question the magnificent record compiled by the railroad men during the war years.

A letter writer does not appreciate an article by Burke Davis anent the Piedmont Courts, a low-income residential area, says that not all of its residents were slums, that some were respectable citizens.

She wants him to stick to writing about a subject he understood, liquor, and realize that most slums were caused by excessive consumption of alcohol.

The editors indicate that Mr. Davis did not intend to suggest that the residents of Piedmont Courts were not respectable citizens. Rather, he pointed to the record of the residents of the Piedmont Courts as being a good one, that before they were built, low-income families had to struggle to maintain a respectable way of life.

Framed Edition
[Return to Links
Page by Subject] [Return to Links-Page by Date] [Return to News<i><i><i>--</i></i></i>Framed Edition]
Links-Date -- Links-Subj.