Saturday, June 15, 1946

The Charlotte News

Saturday, June 15, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that a last-minute settlement, approved by both Joseph Curran and Harry Bridges, representing the seven maritime unions as the Committee for Maritime Unity, formed a month earlier, had prevented a maritime strike at midnight. The consequent truce while approval by union locals was pending, however, did not stop thousands of maritime workers from staying away from the job until each local approved the new contract.

New York City workers voted to end their walkout which had begun at midnight. Philadelphia approved the contract, and dock activities in New Orleans were reported as normal. Primary work stoppage was at the West Coast ports, San Pedro, San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle. Mr. Curran, after the 11:00 p.m. agreement, declared, "We'll keep 'em smiling."

The new contract would remain in effect only until September 30. Harry Bridges declared that at that juncture he would seek further concessions beyond the 22-cent per hour wage increase and reduction of the work week to 48 hours. Part of the reason for his concession was to avoid adverse reaction in Congress, with another labor restriction bill after sustaining of the President's veto of the restrictive Case legislation.

Chester Bowles gave a radio address asking Congress to be restrained in its stripping of controls from OPA to avoid an inflationary trend, predicting that by Christmas, there would be a flood of consumer goods if prices could be kept down. Mr. Bowles reportedly was advising the President to veto the bills passed by the House and Senate, still in need of reconciliation before being sent to the President's desk.

The earliest the bill could go to conference, according to Senate Majority Leader Alben Barkley, was the following Tuesday, leaving only ten days to reconcile the bills before the July 1 expiration date of OPA.

The price of coffee, an unidentified OPA official disclosed, would soon rise five cents per pound.

Better go stand in line, ladies, and start pulling the hair of the line-breakers again.

General Draja Mihailovic testified at his treason trial in Belgrade that he never collaborated with the Nazis during their occupation of Yugoslavia. The statement appeared to run contrary to his admission of collaboration the day before with the "22", the code for the Italians. He explained the inconsistency as the product of exhaustion.

General Mihailovic sided with prosecutors in opposing the defense proposal that four American pilots be called in his defense. The tribunal denied the request.

Francis Carpenter reports that an unidentified authoritative source had told him that the United States was willing to trade its atomic bomb for a world government or security system which would maintain the peace, without being encumbered by the uniltaeral veto of the Security Council of the U.N.

It would appear that this secret report was no more than a reiteration of that which Bernard Baruch was reported the previous day to have publicly announced before the Atomic Energy Commission of the U.N., the creation of the Atomic Development Authority, a plan which was receiving positive comments from Capitol Hill, but no comments yet from foreign capitals.

Perhaps, the report preceded that announcement, but was delayed because of its cryptic nature.

Or, perhaps the news was being delivered backwards on the wire services.

Regardless, Colorado Senator Eugene Millikin, of the Senate Atomic Energy Committee, demanded that the World War II treaties, under consideration at the Paris four-power foreign ministers conference, the renewal of which was just getting underway, should first be concluded before any consideration should be given to surrender of any control of atomic energy to the proposed ADA. The majority of the committee appeared in agreement.

Chairman Brien McMahon of the committee stated the belief, however, that agreement on disposition of atomic energy would hasten the conclusion of the treaties.

Dr. Verne Mason of the University of Southern California stated that three feet of concrete would afford sufficient protection against the type of atomic bombs dropped on Japan. He cited the evidence that 22 American telephone operators in Hiroshima who fled to an underground shelter as the Enola Gay approached its target were unharmed by the blast, even though directly below Ground Zero. He stressed that his conclusions applied only to Fat Man and Little Boy.

Of course, those bombs were said by scientists to have been obsolete within days of their deployment, that more sophisticated and powerful weaponry was already available.

Perhaps, four or five feet of concrete.

Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal planned to reach Bikini Atoll on June 28 for the July atomic bomb tests.

On page 3-A, John Daly of The News, in his column, "Wing Talk", discussed the recent developments in the Civil Aeronautics Board hearings on Charlotte's future passenger service.

Be sure and catch it.

On the editorial page, "Congress Gambles Against the Odds" finds it likely that most price controls, except on rent, would be abandoned by the end of the month, with Congress not taking action to extend them, triggering inevitably a veto of the bill to come out of reconciliation of the two varying measures passed by the House and Senate. The theory behind abolition was that removal of controls would encourage production and that increased production would, by competition, limit inflation.

But a repeat of the Twenties was a real possibility, in which thousands of small businesses would be wiped out during a period of deflation after consumers would be unable to afford higher prices.

It believes that Chester Bowles ought be heard in his dire warnings of "exchanging a headache for a cancer". No one had suffered under OPA, even if profits had been reduced. Price controls had kept goods off the market in anticipation of higher prices down the road and black markets had developed since the war, with wartime guilt removed from the equation. But, it predicts, those days might appear soon as the good old days.

If the Congress had guessed wrong, a new depression would likely be the result, with a return to the isolation which had led to both World Wars.

"The Haberdashers Admit Defeat" notes a photograph which had appeared during the week in the Charlotte Observer, showing the five new officers of the Apparel Club of the Carolinas, an organization of retail men's clothiers. The remarkable fact of the photo was that none of the five wore a coat. Undoubtedly, the decision to appear coatless was conscious and a tacit admission of defeat of retail clothiers to keep their clientele adequately draped.

It could be also the result, it allows, of hot weather or pride in their white shirts, which had motivated the pose sans part of their formal clothes. Or, perhaps it was a new fashion statement which would render the customary male attire of the summer coat obsolete.

"An American Mother Comes Home" comments on the return to Charlotte of Emma Clarissa Clement, selected as the American Mother of 1945, and her having become a symbol of progress for blacks. One of her seven children was a university president, one was the wife of the director of the Inter-American Foundation in Haiti, one was a Red Cross recreation director, another an Army chaplain, another a physicist, another an English professor, and the other a secretary of the A. M. E. Zion Church's mission society. They had demonstrated that racial origin could prove irrelevant to success in the society.

Mrs. Clement's return to her hometown had been received at the Armory Auditorium with a rally, and the pride expressed by the community's black population could be shared by all.

A piece from the Greensboro Daily News, titled "Note on Political Cleanliness", quotes Raleigh correspondent Lynn Nisbet as quoting a state official from one of the Western counties that the newly-nominated representative from his county was very clean, so clean that he might not do the county much good in the Legislature.

The piece does not seek to guess which of the six or so Western counties the candidate might be from but wonders whether the state official was, himself, fit to represent an electorate which "would rather be right than incumbent", that the people in that part of the state who voted for Democrats typically did not approve of New Deal politics but nevertheless voted uniformly for the Democratic candidates at election time.

Drew Pearson suggests that the most important recent conversation had occurred between General Eisenhower and Lt. General Carlos von der Becke, the Argentine chief of staff. The conversation's significance stemmed from the fact that it represented the first time that the U.S. Army had superseded the State Department in creating foreign policy and for its forcing close cooperation between the United States Government and the primary dictatorship of Latin America which had, during the war, cooperated with and assisted the Nazis.

General Eisenhower had forced the policy out of his concern for Soviet penetration in Latin America, against the State Department's desire to proceed slowly, only when sufficient controls could be maintained over arms deliveries such that they would not fall into the hands of revolutionary juntas and destabilize desirable regimes.

Juan Peron, newly elected President of Argentina, had worried of Brazil's military superiority acquired via U.S. lend-lease, and so sought his own weapons via a personal letter to General Eisenhower. He also had General Von der Becke, a German, resign the Argentine Army and go to Washington to lobby General Eisenhower as a private citizen. Assistant Secretary of State Spruille Braden, formerly Ambassador to Argentina, had cautioned the General against dealing with the Argentine for its continued animosities directed toward the United States after the election of Juan Peron.

General Eisenhower proceeded anyway, angering Mr. Braden. General Eisenhower then made it clear to Gen. Von der Becke that final approval of any arms deal had to come from the State Department. General Von der Becke then sought to impress upon General Eisenhower the importance of immediate response, with the implication that if the U.S. did not cooperate, Argentina might seek military support from Russia.

General Eisenhower finally referred General Von der Becke to the State Department. Mr. Braden, however, wrote a memo criticizing the unprecedented discussion of policy by General Eisenhower with the Argentine representative.

Marquis Childs, in his second column on abuses of the veterans training system, reports of some of the abuses reported in an AFL publication, unskilled veteran labor being employed by employers at a net cost of 20 cents per hour while Uncle Sam footed the bill under the $65 per month "training" subsidy for single men and $90 for married men.

Farmer trainees who were veterans would go to school for four hours per week and take two additional hours of personal counseling, and thus be entitled to the stipend. But most lived at home with their farm families and the subsistence payment therefore acted essentially as a bonus. The number of such farmer trainees was particularly high in the South.

The purpose of the legislation was to permit training at school or on the job while not having to earn a living, not to have a bonus payment.

On top of the stipend was the availability for a claim of up to $100 per month for a year for the veteran whose income fell below that level. The system also was subject to abuse as demonstrated by an actual case of a Florida farmer who cashed in a $4,000 orange crop one month and then the next month, because he received no income, claimed his $100.

Samuel Grafton, reporting still from Los Angeles, discusses political apathy, as demonstrated in the insouciance of shoppers in bakeries who cared nothing of the fact that pastry was in abundance while bread was in shortage, because the baker could get more for the pastry.

In the Rodger Young Village, the set aside area of Quonset huts in Griffith Park, there was no evidence of political feeling, only a sense of intense competition for space in the huts by the Rillerah. Political activity required cooperation and the competition was so keen as to occupy the field against any form of cooperative effort.

There was a housing shortage driving this urge to competition. Through the reconversion process was running the notion that a lucky strike could resolve all of a person's difficulties, through a smart deal or a better job, all of which militated against political action.

As expected, conservatives tended to huddle more closely together during the period than did liberals, as evidenced by the fact that Governor Earl Warren had won both the Republican and Democratic California gubernatorial primaries under the cross-filing law. Democratic California Attorney General Robert Kenny stated that the result was explained by the desire for safe government in such times, perceived as more likely, he suggested, through the Republican Party.

"As to whether this is a permanent swing to the right I shall leave it to others to say; there is a chance that a significant change in our affairs may halt the atomization of the liberals and begin a slow, molecular upbuilding of a new liberal program. This is only the beginning of an act, and nobody knows the curtain line."

We pause a moment to remark on the notion of Earl Warren as a "conservative", when most Americans would likely look upon his tenure as Chief Justice, from 1953 to 1969, as liberal, indeed so liberal that billboards once sprinkled the "conservative" South, including sections of Eastern North and South Carolina, we know from personal observation, urging, in no uncertain terms, "Impeach Earl Warren".

Such conceptions were indicative of a gross misunderstanding of the terms "liberal" and "conservative" and how they are used in common parlance or in huckterism from the hustings by avaricious pols seeking power over the minds and pocketbooks of those too busy to be very informed about the political world in which they live.

Suffice it to say that the term "reactionary" is the opposite of "radical", and reactionary is more precisely that with which most "conservatives", in the South at least, have, since the 1950's, identified themselves, primarily arranged around the always emotional and controversial issue, still to this day, of race.

Add to it a dose of reactionary "religion", as was the case from the early 1970's through the 1990's, and the recipe for a full-blown reactionary racist is present, with full-blown and highly carburetted inclinations to believe that racial differences were God-made and thus structured in terms of a God-created caste system, never minding the actual words of the Bible.

A letter from the Mecklenburg County Republican chairman comments on the editorial of June 12, "The Democratic Choice Is Final", questioning what it was that the High Point Enterprise had in mind in editorializing for a later primary election, in July, leaving, it had said, ample time for the November election campaign. The one-party system in the state made the Democratic primary essentially the election.

The writer posits that the results in the Tenth District had been close enough in recent years to render it doubtful for the Democrats. In 1942, the result was 60-40 in favor of the Democrat. So, he declares, apparently not having been to mathematics class very much while in school, that the title of the editorial was wrong.

He favors stopping the illegal expenditures of the Democrats and predicts then that things would change, that Republican P. C. Burkholder would be elected. The "Democratic machine candidates", he says, spent far more than the legally allowed $6,000 in the primary and $2,500 in the general election. He then cites some figures which purport to support his argument that the machine had spent upwards of $25,000 to $50,000 in its effort to advertise and then get out the vote. He charges that the reason no investigation was done was because the machine controlled the machinery of the investigation.

The editors respond by correcting first his cited raw vote figures for the years 1934, 1938, and 1942, the off-year Congressional elections, showing in the earlier years a far greater disparity in the vote than the Republican chairman had stated.

They also cite the presidential election year results as being more indicative of Democratic strength, with much wider disparity in the voting statistics, 1944 showing a nearly two-to-one margin, with 25,000 votes separating the Democrat and Republican.

Thus, the point made by the piece that the Democrats in November did not need to concentrate their effort on anything besides getting out the vote was well supported by the election results of the previous dozen years.

The editors also state that the figures supplied by the chairman with regard to the expenditures of the Tenth District Democratic nominee, Hamilton Jones, were merely opinion and not verifiable, that the candidate reported only $1,865 in primary campaign spending.

It recommends the editorial also of June 6, "Cash Money and Free Elections", advocating that legislation be passed to limit campaign spending, a problem brought to light in the campaign between Thurmond Chatham, the blanket king, and incumbent Congressman John Folger in the Fifth District, in which Mr. Chatham's wealthy friends had contributed major sums, reportedly $100,000, to his ultimately unsuccessful campaign for a job which paid but $10,000 per year, suggesting that if he were elected, he would be beholding to the purse strings, not the people.

A letter expresses gladness that Dorothy Knox had returned to her News column, "I Believe Everything", after some months away for personal health issues.

The editors ditto the sentiment.

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