Monday, June 17, 1946

The Charlotte News

Monday, June 17, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the Senate-House conference committee had tentatively agreed on a draft bill which would extend the draft by nine months, but had not yet agreed on whether it would include 18 and 19-year olds, with it probable that a compromise would be reached whereby 18-year olds would be excluded. The confreres had also not yet agreed on the pay increase provisions.

In Jerusalem, a night of violence had resulted in the arrest by Palestine police of the entire Jewish settlement of Beth Haavara. Two British police officers had been killed by Arab demonstrators, and eight highway and railway bridges were said to have been damaged by Jewish terrorists. Dogs had led the Palestine police across the Jordan from the damaged Allenby Bridge to Beth Haavara, resulting in the mass arrests. A British Army unit had aided in the arrests by making house to house searches in the village.

The police reported being attacked by about twenty Jews at Allenby Bridge, which led into Transjordan, preceding the blast. A group of Bedouins were also said to have been attacked by armed Jews near the bridge.

The violence may have stemmed from an underground Jewish radio report that British authorities intended to deport from Palestine or imprison several thousand Zionist leaders should the situation become increasingly violent. It claimed that the list included the Mayor of Tel Aviv and teachers at the Hebrew University.

In Paris, the four-power foreign ministers conference once again took up the Italian treaty, with the disposition of Trieste looming large as to whether the conference would be successful. The Americans remained firm in their position that the port had to remain Italian, against the Russian stance that it be ceded to Yugoslavia.

General Charles De Gaulle, who had resigned in January as provisional President of the interim Government, declared in a speech at Bayeux that he favored a strong executive and a bicameral legislative assembly for the Fourth Republic. It was speculated that he would become president of such a government were his recommendations eventually adopted by the Constituent Assembly.

Sir Alexander Cadogan, British delegate to the U.N., announced the British position that action by the Security Council on cessation of diplomatic relations with the Franco Government be turned over to the General Assembly without recommendation.

Justice Robert Jackson indicated from Nuremberg that his duties as lead American prosecutor in the war crimes trial would probably be at an end on July 15, after which the prosecutions would be limited to the SS, the Gestapo, and the Hitler Youth—those who believed themselves so endowed with vast Aryan insight that everything which they could not understand was sinister for being beyond the facile dexter, thus to construct from wholecloth recondite perplexity without erudition's complexity, ineluctably cast in the cyclical movement of the Ring.

The Senate Judiciary Committee determined that it had no authority or jurisdiction to take action on the report on Justice Black, which Justice Jackson had directed to them the previous week, regarding the alleged attempt by Justice Black to induce Justice Jackson to cover up facts in the 1945 Jewell Ridge mining case and that he had refused to recuse himself in the case despite his former law partner acting as counsel for the UMW. The House Judiciary Committee had determined likewise.

The Senate Judiciary Committee also approved the anti-racketeering provision of the Case bill, which had been vetoed by President Truman and sustained by the House. The provision would make it a felony to interfere, by means of robbery or extortion, with the transportation of goods in interstate commerce.

A senior British officer reported that the German island fortress of Heligoland would be destroyed within three months and allowed to revert to a bird sanctuary. The island, with 4,000 inhabitants before the war, would be rendered henceforth unfit for human habitation, with only a pile of rocks remaining after the bomb blast.

On April 18, 1947, the fifth anniversary of the Doolittle Raid on Tokyo, the British would drop 6,700 tons of explosives on the island, altering its shape. It would be restored to Germany in 1952 after sufficing as a bombing range in the interim, and would thereafter once again be inhabited.

Harold Ickes, in his column, expresses outrage at the fact that the United States was the only nation left in the world with an immigration policy which prevented a people from becoming citizens because of their racial or ethnic background. The Japanese and other Far Eastern peoples were not being allowed to immigrate though having been in the country for many years and proved their worthiness to be citizens.

The Japanese, for example, had been excluded since 1924, admitted only as students or "treaty traders", not eligible for citizenship. The treaty under which importers and exporters had been admitted was abrogated in 1940 and all in the country pursuant to it were subject thereafter to deportation.

The Justice Department was rounding up all of these persons and preparing now to deport them. Some were parents of soldiers who had fought bravely for the United States during the war. Some had volunteered in various capacities at the relocation centers, as interpreters or as propagandists or intelligence personnel. Much of the psychological warfare material used during the war against Japan had been prepared by these volunteers. Their record as loyal Americans was without exception.

A revision of immigration laws to place the Japanese and other Oriental groups on parity with other nationalities would allow only a hundred immigrants per year. Not enough to pose any problem, it would serve to halt the cruel deportation. A bill had been introduced in Congress to permit the Justice Department to discontinue deportation in hardship cases, but it was being held up in committee during the election year.

He quotes the line of Robert Frost, "Something there is that doesn't love a wall." It applied, Mr. Ickes insists, with force to the exclusion of persons from the country who had aided the Allied war effort.

Hal Boyle reports from Zurich that G.I.'s were earning their good conduct ribbons in Switzerland by serving as good will ambassadors. During the previous eleven months, 250,000 American troops had taken eight-day tours of Switzerland at a special rate of $35, covering all accommodations.

At first apprehensive about so many foreign soldiers on their soil, the Swiss had found them more gentlemanly than their civilian visitors, with only a half dozen incidents involving misbehavior, primarily watch and camera thefts, without any crimes against women.

The first thing the soldiers usually wanted to know was where to buy watches. They also bought souvenir wood carvings.

They had learned that Switzerland was more than a land of "yodelers and cheesemakers".

OPA announced an eleven cents per pound rise in the price of butter and a six cents per pound hike in the price of cheddar cheese. Combined with the penny per quart rise in the price of milk already announced, Chester Bowles predicted that dairy products would cost consumers a total of 250 million dollars more per year.

A photograph of the fuselage of the wooden H-4 Hercules, popularly known as "The Spruce Goose", the giant Howard Hughes transport plane, shows it being dollied from Culver City to Terminal Island, California, for final assembly before its famed fiasco "flight" of November 2, 1947, during which it would barely rise over the surface of the water off Long Beach, amid charges by Congress against Mr. Hughes that he had perpetrated a fraud against the Government in his sloth in fulfilling the war contract to build it.

Tom Fesperman reports on the second front page that a Charlotte man kept 250,000 native silkworms in his garage apartment, feeding them maple and pecan leaves.

In Los Angeles, an 82-year old man married an 80-year old woman and were honeymooning following their ceremony attended by 64 of their children and grandchildren from prior marriages. They had known each other for two months.

The young and foolish will never learn.

On the editorial page, "Mr. Baruch Came Bearing Light" gives praise to the new U.S. policy as laid forth Friday by Bernard Baruch, speaking before the Atomic Energy Committee of the U.N., that the U.S. would agree to destroy its entire cache of atomic bombs and to surrender its atomic secret to an international authority operating within the context of the U.N., provided no reservation was made of the unilateral veto power on the authority and provided rules governing use of atomic energy would be established, and condign punishment set up for violation of those rules, with provision for international inspection to insure adherence.

The piece finds it the first step on the road to letting go of the unilateral veto power, which was the retention of sovereignty within the context of the U.N., a fact standing in the way of making the body a truly democratic organization with the power to maintain the peace and prevent war, and avoid the impotency of the organization which bedeviled the old League of Nations to its death.

Such abandonment of national sovereignty and surrender to creation of a world federation offered, opines the editorial, the only real hope for peace.

"Nobody Loses, Everybody Wins" discusses the need for water mains and sewage facilities for unincorporated areas of the community, Thomasboro and Chemway, so that they could host newly arriving industrial concerns. The industries would pay premiums for the facilities to retire the debt within ten years, but in the meantime, a bond was needed to float the construction costs.

"Caution: Statesmen at Work" discusses the impact of the House and Senate OPA bills, removing virtually all controls from OPA, while extending its life by a year. The worst part of it was the cost-plus provision which insured manufacturers of their profit margin, regardless of price. It would encourage recklessness on the part of producers, and would also encourage strikes to keep pace with the rising cost of living, until the average consumer could no longer afford to buy products, in which case production would be decreased, wages would fall or plants closed.

All in all, it was not a happy prospect. It was well to keep in mind, suggests the piece, this fact to remind of how the 79th Congress had handled its most important domestic matter.

Drew Pearson reports that at a meeting of Klavern No. 1 in Atlanta on June 3, the Klan had spent much of its time denouncing Mr. Pearson, Walter Winchell, The Atlanta Journal, The Atlanta Constitution, and Ralph McGill of The Constitution, referred to as "Rosenwald" McGill by Klan Grand Dragon Samuel Green, an obstetrician when not hiding behind the boys in the hood.

Dr. Green had proposed that the Klan buy thirty minutes of broadkast time over WSB to answer critics of the klorganization, the talk to be kalled "Klan Kraft", to be klarranged by Klansman Guiano.


The presentation was to be an attack on Mr. Pearson, local columnist Ralph Jones, and the two newspapers, one of which owned the radio station.

The Journal had sought to obtain removal of Atlanta policemen from the force who were members of the Klan. Eleven had shown up in uniform for the June 3 meeting, and four others appeared on Stone Mountain in May, as pictured in Life.

But membership was falling, only seven new members having come for the June 3 meeting, while 200 neophytes had shown up at Stone Mountain.

In the Georgia gubernatorial race, former Governor Gene Talmadge, who would win but die before taking office, was bidding for Klan support. E. D. Rivers, also a former Governor, had been a Klansman, but was maintaining silence on the issue. Outgoing Governor Ellis Arnall, unable to succeed himself, was taking a firm stand against the Klan, ordering his Attorney General to conduct a thorough probe of the outfit. Dan Duke, the assistant attorney general who had gone after the Klan with success in 1940, sending eight Klansmen to jail for flogging or terrorizing 63 citizens in and around Atlanta, had been assigned to the probe. Governor Talmadge had been importuned to pardon the eight men at the time of their conviction, but had initially refrained under pressure from the newspapers and ministers of Atlanta. When Mr. Duke enlisted in the Marine Corps, however, Governor Talmadge immediately issued the pardons.

He next reports that Assistant Secretary of State for Latin Affairs, Spruille Braden, was planning to resign within a month, frustrated over the continuing policy of seeking to deal with the new Peron Government, as dictated by the Army and General Eisenhower. Ambassador to Brazil, William D. Pawley, who had been sniping at Mr. Braden for months, was set to succeed him. Mr. Pawley had a reputation for being a conservative who insisted in repayment of Latin American debts, and so would be perceived as suggesting an end to the Good Neighbor Policy inaugurated under President Roosevelt and a reversion to the days when the Marines were sent in to do the bidding of Wall Street.

Secretary Byrnes had sided with Mr. Pawley, over Mr. Braden's strenuous objections, in agreeing at Rio de Janeiro that the U.S. would not make reservations against Argentina at the Rio Conference, set to begin August 20. The move so incensed Mr. Braden that it proved the last straw.

"State of siege", from September 29, 1945, is now here.

He notes finally, among several tidbits, that Oswald Mosley and his British Fascists had resurfaced in England after being quiet during the war, a rebirth analogized to the renewal of Klan activity in America.

Marquis Childs suggests that the coming summer recess of the Supreme Court would, for the time being, hold in abeyance the feud between Justice Jackson and Justice Black, but the damage done to the institution by it would continue to simmer.

Mr. Childs admits to having inadvertently fanned the flames of the dispute after long conversations he had over a period of months with the late Chief Justice Harlan Stone, who worried over the type of appointments FDR had been making to the Court, citing Justice Black as an example, expressing concern regarding whether they had the judicial skill and temperament necessary to sit or whether they would simply express their private prejudices in legal language as had members of the old Court which nullified much of the New Deal during the mid-Thirties, over the dissents of Justices Stone and Louis Brandeis. Mr. Childs had then written a magazine article based on the conversations.

Thereafter, a particular unnamed individual promoted the feud, stating that Justice Stone had personal antagonism against Justice Black. It appeared to renew the controversy which had surrounded his appointment in 1937 when the revelation came forth after his confirmation that he had been, during the 1920's, a member of the Ku Klux Klan in his native Alabama.

Justice Black became, in response, assiduously determined to justify his liberal opinions with good legal theory, enlisting Justices Frank Murphy, William O. Douglas, and often Wiley Rutledge and Stanley Reed, into his corner to frame majorities.

When Justice Jackson came to the Court in 1941, replacing Justice Stone after his elevation to Chief to replace the retiring Charles Evans Hughes, Justice Jackson gravitated to the strict constructionist view of the Constitution held by Chief Justice Stone.

Those close to FDR had said that he had never forgiven Justice Black for not having confided in him of the former Klan membership prior to the appointment. Justice Black had been a valuable New Deal Senator and had pressed hard to reveal the connections between major corporations and pressure politics. But his very partisanship also seemed to cast him as not well-suited to the Supreme Court.

Mr. Childs suggests that the only solution to the feud might be for both Justices Black and Jackson to resign the Court.

As we have indicated, neither would. Justice Jackson would die in 1954, his good reputation intact. Justice Black would retire in 1971, a week before his death, with a reputation of one of the great liberals and civil libertarians in the history of the Court.

We suggest that the strain on the Court had come from overwork. Justice Jackson was said to be wracked by his heavy schedule at Nuremberg. The Court, first with eight members serving for the term, then, following the sudden death by cerebral hemorrhage of Chief Justice Stone in April, was down to seven members putting forth decisions in a term which would see 142 cases decided. By comparison, 164 had been decided in 1945 when the Court enjoyed a full complement before Justice Jackson took his leave of absence at the end of the term, initially stating it as a six-month leave. The Court had decided 167 cases the prior year. The total would be 137 in 1947, after Justice Jackson's return, the first year under Chief Justice Vinson.

The present Supreme Court decided only 88 cases in 2012, a trend downward in the number of cases heard each term having begun during the early stages of the tenure, starting in 1986, of Chief Justice William Rehnquist, once a law clerk to Justice Jackson.

In 1982, 220 cases were decided, when Chief Justice Warren Burger presided over the Court, his tenure having begun in 1969. In 1972, 245 cases were decided.

In 1987, 188 were decided; in 1990, 172; in 1991, 154; in 1992, 122; and in 2002, only 89.

Historically, the Court began by hearing only a handful of cases each term. In 1802, for example, after John Marshall became Chief Justice the prior year, the Court decided but eleven cases. In 1820, it decided 28 cases; in 1843, eight years after Roger B. Taney became Chief, 43 cases; in 1850, 162 cases; in 1860, 66; in 1870, under Chief Justice Salmon Chase, appointed by President Lincoln, 155, during a period in which the Court vacillated in size from ten down to eight members, after the Congress refused to allow President Andrew Johnson to appoint replacements. In 1880, under Chief Justice Morrison Waite, 216 cases were decided; in 1893, under Chief Justice Melville Fuller, the number reached 274 cases.

By 1932, the Court was deciding 174 cases and in 1942, 161 cases.

In 1952, the penultimate term of Chief Justice Vinson before his death after the 1953 term, the Court decided 119 cases. In 1954, after Earl Warren became Chief, it decided 81 cases, and in 1962, 214 cases.

Thus, the case load of the Court has varied considerably through time. But it is important also to bear in mind that the case load is not necessarily indicative of the work load of the Court; rather it is the complexity of the cases before it and their importance to the law and the society at large. The Supreme Court accepts cases for review, except in the rare case where it has original jurisdiction, as in the case of disputes between the states, selectively on the basis of their importance to great numbers of people in the society and their pedagogical and precedential value to the law. Thus, the number of cases is not so important as their relevance to the society at large and its times.

It is nevertheless interesting to note that, with the coming of word processors and computers to the law during the early to mid-1980's, and primarily influencing research of the law beginning in the early 1990's, the case load of the Court has decreased markedly, from 220 in 1982 down to an average of about 90 cases for the previous fifteen years or so. In 1893, the year the first modern typewriter was introduced, the Court heard 274 cases.

Is the ability to research and write with more facility in the present age creating a tendency toward less work? Are we getting lazy as a society and world as the job of research and writing becomes a simpler task, requiring fewer hours and less strenuous exercise to get at the problem than by standing from the chair and browsing into carrels instead of having it all laid forth onscreen before one's eyes? Or, are the cases now being heard by the Court more complex and important to the law and society, case by case, than in prior periods when many more cases were decided?

Has the computer, despite its many advantages, tended to make our bodies and minds flabby? Or at least fundamentally changed the landscape of our minds, and, by accelerating, sometimes to an agitatedly vexed state, the process of execution of thought onto paper before it has had opportunity at full gestation such that it is completely framed in the mind, depriving thereby the subconscious its ordinary authority to peek through to instruct, meditatively, the conscious mind in its naturally inclined distillatory logical sequencing, not necessarily amelioratively? That is to say, mindlessly parroting pre-formed, often untested, blocks of information, without proper embrace of the whole, or the mortar which either gives the blocks adhesion beyond precarious gravity to form a cohesive unit or causes the whole to crumble at fundamentally weak points of ratiocinative stress?

Perhaps former Justice David Souter's opinions might provide some clue, as he never owned a word processor or a computer, and insisted on hand drafting his opinions in the old manner of the ancient times, B.R., the 1970's and earlier.

We posit that recollection of that process and bearing it in mind, using the computer as a tool rather than allowing it to use the writer or reader as a tool, will prevent the worst of the malady from occurring. But, note to teachers, if the student does not have, in the first instance, an understanding of the old mode of learning, reading, and writing, without the assistance of computers, then one cannot resort to the old form, and may become inherently stuck in the robotic mode of post-modern mindlessness, allowing the computer to do the "thinking", while Alice and Jerry go out to play in their sandbox.

Samuel Grafton, still in Los Angeles, states that liberals were looking for a new leader. Henry Wallace and Justice Douglas were no longer mentioned too much in that regard, appeared to have disappeared to a great degree from American consciousness, Justice Douglas, behind the walls and formality of the Court, Mr. Wallace, within the Truman Administration as Secretary of Commerce.

The liberals advocating world government and those for better social programs domestically met now only occasionally, without the coalescing force of President Roosevelt to guide them together.

There was no agenda for liberals. The ideal had become a "kind of off stage sound effect", but the sounds blended together, "into something like the roar of the sea, a noise to which the ear becomes so accustomed that it cannot hear it."

It was much easier to be defensive as a conservative, a simpler philosophy, easier to be against a thousand things than for a few. "...[A]nd when one does not know where to go, it is natural to sit down."

He wonders what form the next liberal movement would take, its first task being to find a replacement for FDR. It might come in the form of an organization of trade unionists, as with the formation of the Labor Party in Britain.

More people were talking about the apathy extant on the left, and such talk would usually precede some action.

"We are in for a complicated time, but it will not be a frozen time of immobile figures quietly holding present poses."

The election year of 1946 would produce three such leaders: one of the center and the left, Congressman John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts, though not precisely susceptible of categorization as part of either section of the political spectrum, any more so than being conservative, insofar as fiscal policy and a dedication, eventually, to preventing the expansion of Communism; Congressman Richard Nixon of California, of the right and middle, though not precisely susceptible of categorization as being of either part of that spectrum, any more than, in certain respects, the left, in terms of reaching out to seek to effect understanding with Russia and, eventually, Red China; and Senator Joseph McCarthy, not really of the right, middle, or left, as much as of politics of expediency and demagogy, an approach which Mr. Nixon would also come to adopt with aplomb.

"Axis Sally", from September 29, 1945, is now here.

"Teapot Dome", from the same date, is now here and here.

A letter from the dental officers of the Naval Reserve on Guam complains of an order which required the dentists to remain in service for three years if part of their education had been subsidized by the Government. They had not been informed of the policy when they had accepted the Government-paid education. Their professional skills would tend to wither as the practice in the Navy was limited. Moreover, there was an acute shortage of civilian dentists; the ratio of dentists in the Navy was much higher than within the civilian population.

A letter protests the dropping of the Eric Brandeis column, "Looking at Life", for its having been a good common sense column addressed to Southerners by a Southern newspaper. While The News, he says, had a national reputation, its primary audience was local and statewide and so should cater to that readership rather than presenting columns on New York night life and the like, about which few cared.

The editors reply that Mr. Brandeis's column never attracted a wide and dedicated following, and had it been so, they would have been glad to retain it.

"Side Glances", from September 29, 1945, incidentally, is now here.

"Dorman Smith" of that date is now, more or less, here.

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