Tuesday, June 18, 1946

The Charlotte News

Tuesday, June 18, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that four British officers had been kidnapped from an officers club in the Hotel Yarkon in Tel Aviv by a dozen Jewish extremists, believed to be of the organization Irgun Zvai Leumi, apparently protesting the death sentence imposed the previous week against two members for participation in a raid on a British Army camp the previous March. Violence had also erupted in Haifa where nine Jews were killed, adding to another nine in the same area killed in recent days. The Jews were said to have attacked a railroad shop and powerhouse, causing some damage. Unsuccessful attempts were also made to bomb and stop trains from Haifa to Lydda.

In Paintsville, Ky., two busses of a line which had been on strike since April 18, were beset by an ambuscade from the woods, with eight bullets striking one bus and three bullets, another, no one, however, reported as injured.

A freakish tornado struck southern Michigan, in the area of Detroit, and southwestern Canada on Monday night, killing 13 and leaving many more injured.

At the four-power foreign ministers conference in Paris, the Russians appeared to be adopting a more lenient attitude toward the question of disposition of Trieste and demands for reparations to be paid by Italy.

American delegate to the U.N., Herschel Johnson, stated that he would refrain from voting on the British proposal to send to the General Assembly without recommendation the issue of severance of diplomatic relations with Franco's Spain.

The House and Senate confreres remained deadlocked on the issue of drafting teenagers.

The Army revealed a new secret weapon, a jet made of molten metal capable of speeds of five miles per second, 18,000 miles per hour, five times faster than the V-2 developed by the Nazis, thus forming a potential defense system against atomic rockets or armored space ships. The jet would fly six times faster than a bullet and 22 times the speed of sound.

The Senate Military Committee approved the promotion of General Mark Clark to the permanent rank of major general, over objections of some of his men from Texas for the loss of personnel in the Rapido River crossing in Italy in early 1944. They contended that the crossing should not have been made under the circumstances.

In Winston-Salem, a Greensboro attorney was elected North Carolina Department Commander of the American Legion. Col. Leonard Nason, an author and veteran of both world wars, told the Legion that the Government was not doing enough for veterans and that it would be up to the Legion therefore to change the attitude of the Government.

Hal Boyle, writing from Geneva, tells of a Swiss watch repairer, of several generations of craftsmen, whose son did not want to follow him in the trade, a commonplace occurrence in Switzerland. The present generation did not appreciate the joy and pride of slowly handcrafting a precision instrument. Switzerland in consequence was having a problem finding workers for its watch factories.

Skilled craftsmen earned about $150 per month, barely enough to meet the cost of living.

The watches produced by the Patek Philippe factory where the watchmaker worked, resulted in fine timepieces which sold mainly to the wealthy. General Patton had purchased four. King Farouk of Egypt and Leopold of Belgium had purchased watches made at the factory. The watches cost between $175 and $3,750. The manufacturer also occasionally had orders for custom watches, such as the $11,000 piece ordered by an American woman which took five years to build from 800 parts and 80 jewels.

The touring American soldiers were more interested in the "Russky watches" made by machine, costing ten dollars. The Swiss watches were then sold to the Russky soldiers for $100, provided that they sounded like a grandfather clock when placed to the ear, had a big second hand, a black face, and radium dial. But it had to tick "like a hammer on an anvil".

Because of a shortage of fats and oils, British soap rations were to be cut, such that the Ministry of Food would allow each Briton six bars or eighteen ounces of soap flakes per eight-week period.

The joint Senate and House confreres appeared to be ready to compromise on OPA by leaving in place controls on butter and pork prices, while eliminating controls on beef and lamb, poultry and eggs, and all other dairy products. The conference would begin its work on Thursday.

OPA announced a 3.3 percent hike in the ceiling price of automobile tires.

Ovid Martin reports that Americans would be forced into a slimmer diet in the ensuing year compared to that of the past year. There would be, according to Secretary of Agriculture Clinton Anderson, less meat, necessitating about ten pounds less consumption per capita, less poultry and fewer eggs, wheat products, dried fruits and dry peas, but more canned fruits and vegetables, and juices. Butter would be in short supply but cheese and dried milk would remain about the same.

We can see by one of the photographs that shortages are definitely on the rise.

Even in a minute: so full of shapes is fancy
That it alone is high fantastical

On the editorial page, "What Makes a Coalitionist?" sets forth a table of the voting records of North Carolina's House delegation during the previous five months of 1946. In twenty record votes on major bills, the table assessed the "Democratic vote" or "Republican vote" of the members, all Democrats, based on the votes respectively of Democratic Majority Leader John McCormack of Massachusetts and Republican Minority Leader Joe Martin of Massachusetts.

Of the twelve Congressmen, only one, John Folger of the Fifth District, voted consistently with his party, nine of eleven times. Three others, Major Alfred Bulwinkle, Bayard Clark, and Zebulon Weaver, voted often with the Democrats. But eight of them, including Ways and Means Committee chairman Bob Doughton, voted consistently with the Republicans. Mr. Doughton differed only once from Mr. Martin's Republican position, voting in favor of a Federal school lunch program, the least important of the record votes.

Four of the eight coalitionists had voted for the Administration's compromised 400-million dollar subsidy package in the temporary housing bill, and five had voted against removing all price controls on March 31. Three opposed cutting the Commerce Department's appropriations.

The chart, it concludes, pointed to a sick patient. For the North Carolina Democratic delegation was voting consistently against its own party and the White House, an Administration for which North Carolina had overwhelmingly voted in 1944. It was not possible to explain the votes, but none of the delegation was taking to the stump bragging of opposing the Democratic policy platform. Nor did it foreshadow any defeat in November at the hands of Republicans, the one-party state still being solidly Democratic.

"The People Aren't Afraid" finds significant that the proposal submitted to the U.N. Atomic Energy Committee by Bernard Baruch, that the U.S. would destroy its entire cache of atomic bombs and turn over the secret of atomic energy to an international authority provided the unilateral veto on the authority were abandoned and safeguards and checks implemented to insure use for peaceful purposes, had received nearly unanimous approval in the American press. Even the isolationist New York Daily News had kind words for it.

Most editors spoke of it as the first step toward a world federation of nations. The public appeared also onboard, as no mass outcry against the sentiment of the editors had been heard. Most Americans, it believed, would support joining an international federation to preserve the peace, with argument only anent the details.

But there was a danger that the rising tide of internationalism, and the concomitant fear otherwise of world conflagration which was driving the sentiment, would be dissipated in a return to normalcy before the world leaders could recognize it.

If the British and Russians, however, could lay aside their own suspicions and undue caution in the postwar world, then isolationism and nationalism might yet not have their resurrection.

A piece from the Asheville Citizen, "Way Down Southeast in Dixie", finds Professor Howard Odum of the University of North Carolina agreeing with Henry Clay who, in 1848, had said that he knew "no South, no North, no East, no West". Dr. Odum, in his new work, In Search of the Regional Balance of America, had found more authenticity in a regional division along the lines of the Southeast and Southwest, the Northeast and Northwest, the Middle States, and the Far West.

The piece finds such differentiation by the renowned sociologist to strain traditional forms of song and story, such as that suggested by the title, not to mention serving as a threat to Senator Beauregard Claghorn.

But it nevertheless concedes that Dr. Odum was correct, as usual.

Drew Pearson remarks that the latest feud within the Supreme Court between Justice Jackson and Justice Black, with Justice Frankfurter somewhere in the background, was nothing new in the history of the Court, that shortly after the Founding, there was an attempt to impeach Justice Samuel Chase, and the rancor continued through the tenure of Chief Justice John Marshall, who defined the place of the Court as a co-equal branch of Government with the Executive and Legislative branches.

The late Chief Justice Stone had not gotten along well with retired Justice Owen Roberts, though both were Republicans. (Mr. Pearson errs in assuming both were appointed by President Hoover. Justice Roberts was appointed by Herbert Hoover in 1930, but Justice Stone had been appointed by President Coolidge in 1925.) The two men had locked horns over Justice Stone sitting in a case in which a party was represented by his former law firm.

The worst recent dispute had been between Justice James McReynolds and Justice John Clarke. During the six-year tenure of Justice Clarke, from 1916 to 1922, Justice McReynolds refused to speak to him, until Justice Clarke finally succumbed to the ostracism and resigned. Justice McReynolds had also sought to drive Justice Louis Brandeis from the Court, often leaving the bench or rattling his papers when Justice Brandeis read an opinion, and even refusing to sit down to lunch with him.

During the Grant Administration, Justice Robert Grier, senile at the time, was induced by Chief Justice Salmon Chase to change his vote in a case regarding the validity of the Legal Tender Act, needed by the Republicans to support their fiscal policies following the Civil War. Republicans on the Court charged Chief Justice Chase, a Democrat appointed by President Lincoln, with altering the opinion of the Court because of his political ambition to run for President as a Democrat.

Justice Samuel Miller charged the Chief with resorting "to all sorts of stratagems of the lowest trickery". The minority wrote a biting memo regarding the Chief Justice's conduct and recommended to Justice Grier that he resign.

In 1895, Justice Stephen Field, also a Lincoln appointee, led an attack against the constitutionality of the income tax. Justice Field, at 80, was considered senile, was found asleep often while hearing arguments. His vote had been pivotal in the 5 to 4 decision striking down the law, requiring ultimately that the 16th Amendment to the Constitution be passed in 1909 and ratified in 1913, specifically permitting an income tax.

Retired Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes, during the time he was off the bench after resigning as Justice in 1916 to run for President against Woodrow Wilson, before being appointed as Chief in 1930 by President Hoover to succeed former President William Howard Taft, had lectured at Columbia Law School regarding the effort of the other Justices to seek the retirement of Justice Field—brother of David Field, originator of the Field Code, the first set of Rules of Civil Procedure in the country. He had served on the committee to get Justice Grier to retire and his colleagues thus thought that bringing up that fact might induce him to leave. Justice John M. Harlan—grandfather of Justice John Harlan to be appointed in 1955 by President Eisenhower—was given the assignment to talk to Justice Field. After being reminded of his part in the effort to coax Justice Grier to retire, Justice Field stated that he not only remembered it but that it had been the dirtiest day's work he had ever done in his life.

During World War I, the Court suffered another feud, when Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes stopped speaking to Justices William Day and Willis Van Devanter for their having asked him not to write one of his usually scintillating dissents in the espionage cases.

And President Lincoln had rebuked Chief Justice Roger B. Taney after the latter called upon the commanding officer of Fort McHenry in Baltimore to seek release of a prisoner, which the officer refused to do. President Lincoln had said: "The judicial machinery seems as if it had been designed not to sustain the Government but to embarrass and betray it."

Marquis Childs reports that a the Senate Small Business Committee had reported that concentration of industry in a few companies had resulted from the war, with two-thirds of all manufacturing being controlled by 250 large corporations. These corporations owned as much industry as all of the industry in the country prior to the war. The top 100 corporations spent 66 percent of all the Government funds expended on research during the war, more than the entire country spent on scientific research prior to the war. These corporations thus had a tremendous competitive advantage emerging from the war in developing peacetime applications from their wartime production.

If OPA were gutted, it would be primarily small business which would suffer, as only the large corporations could survive in an inflationary spiral. The 63 largest corporations had increased their net working capital during the war by about eight and a half billion dollars, more than the working capital of all corporations in 1939.

Senator Robert Taft, who always spoke of his affinity for small business, had been a chief force behind dismantling the controls of OPA.

Under such an economy, free enterprise would give way to statism, a system in which both corporate wealth and the power of labor were frozen, a fulfillment of the Marxian model of capitalism. To stop it from occurring would require positive action by the Government along the lines of TVA, plus strong enforcement of anti-trust laws.

"If we do nothing, the drift toward the age of the economic glacier will continue."

Samuel Grafton, still in Los Angeles, discusses the general feeling pervading his travels through the Southeast and Southwest that the breakdown in relations between the United States and Russia had caused the people to react by becoming more sharply critical of the Soviets. It could be argued that the press censorship in Russia was feeding this criticism, as it most usually centered on finding fault with the closed society of the Soviet Union, exemplified by the absence of a free press—so incredibly dulled by the prevention of imagination for so long, a whole generation having come of age under the iron grip of totalitarian control of even the thought process, that, insipidly, the application was made of the word "iconic" to everything Soviet, to the exclusion of every other adjective, for the journalists having become so incredibly stupid with time and indoctrinated viewpoints as to be unable to think of any other descriptor to describe virtually anything held semi-sacred by the Soviet system, whether in popular or political culture.

Well, we embellish a bit.

But Mr. Grafton finds it to be the reverse, that the breakdown in relations had exacerbated the criticism, causing the critics to focus microscopically on the faults and differences between the American and Russian systems, which had been known to exist for the previous 29 years. Americans now discovered faults where they once strained to find virtues.

Another consequence of the breakdown was that the skeptic had returned to the stage: those who once cheered the late Wendell Willkie and his "One World" concept, now were doubting its pragmatic application.

"It is the scoffer's day; and we might say that a moral climate of high idealism has been replaced by a kind of damp fog. And while the international crisis seems to legitimate the scoffing, the scoffing, in its turn, deepens the crisis. So, again, there has been a kind of reversal, for while isolation did not produce the breakdown, the breakdown has released the forces of isolation in American life. They have been saved in the nick of time, by a disaster, and that is part of the cost of the disaster."

It implied axiomatically, in all probability, that former Minnesota Governor Harold Stassen, with his optimism for a better world through international cooperation, would not be the Republican nominee for the presidency in 1948. Another effect of the breakdown in relations therefore was the reshaping of domestic politics, bringing to the forefront by default candidates and politicians with fixed ideas having nothing to do with Russia, "but who carry all their baggage with them as they ride the wave of anti-Russian feeling."

Liberals were also despairing, causing some to turn against liberalism, believing it had let them down. Some liberals believed that Russia and its press had not tried to see the more salutary portion of the American vox populi and so had exacerbated the problem.

"All these developments combine to strengthen the feeling that the great breakdown between Russia and the West is not the topic of one year, but the event of a generation, an occurrence which can shape a century, in that it not only changes men's thoughts, but changes also the very apparatus and mechanisms by which men produce thoughts, and the climate in which they try to think their thoughts."

All of it proved that one-worlders were correct in their predictions of the cost of a breakdown in Soviet-American relations. But it was not in the negative way that the world wanted it proved. It presented now the last chance to turn around, "for once in an eon, men can evaluate a failure without having to enact it."

A letter writer from New York, an assistant professor of engineering English at NYU, comments on the fact that, while millions starved in Europe, China, and India, the United States was only shipping about half of its grain commitments, while American garbage cans were full of food scraps.

He quotes from Michael Straight in The New Republic of May 27, that 150 million tons of grain were being converted to 20 million tons of meat in the country, that fifteen million tons of grain could be freed for export, provided hens and hogs and cows would be fed the same portions as before the war.

So, he concludes that by adopting this modest sacrifice, millions would be saved from starvation.

He makes an appeal to conscience, via the words of the Bible, to refrain from gluttony and provide charity.

A letter states that the writer had not and did not intend to read Forever Amber—the criticism of which by a prior News editorial had received contrarian response in a letter from Pittsburgh on Friday. It was enough for the writer to hear a young woman say, after peeling her eyes on the book, that she felt need for a bath.

One could read dirty things from the Bible or from English history, according to the writer, but not presented in a salacious manner designed to appeal to prurient interests or "cater to the depraved imaginations" of the reader.

The unidentified writer next comments on the letter which had advocated letting the people of Europe starve so that they could not again war on America. The writer finds former President Hoover convincing on the topic, that America had an obligation to feed those abroad.

The writer also finds it intolerable that the country was putting up with labor bosses who ruled the roost, suggests that the unorganized workers ought be heard and that Congress should stop kowtowing to the loud-mouthed unions.

A letter writer, reading of airplanes being wrecked on mountaintops—apparently referring to the B-29 crash the previous week in the Great Smokies at Collins Gap along the Tennessee-North Carolina border, killing all twelve aboard—suggests that static electricity surrounding mountains had interfered with instruments and caused the crashes, interference exacerbated by higher altitudes. He adds that the discharge which occurred during lightning proved the phenomenon.

The editors remark: "Could be."

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