Thursday, June 20, 1946

The Charlotte News

Thursday, June 20, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the State of Georgia had filed suit in Fulton County Superior Court in Atlanta to seek revocation of the charter of the Ku Klux Klan on the basis that the Klan was conspiring to take over State Government by means of "force, violence, terrorism and hate" by organizing police officers, cab drivers, truck drivers and other such key employees. The suit alleged that seven posts of the Klan in the Atlanta area were conspiring to deny due process to citizens, to which they were entitled under the State Constitution, and that the Klan had committed crimes against society by conspiring to beat and terrorize Georgia citizens.

In Nuremberg, Albert Speer testified that in March, 1945, he had plotted to kill Adolf Hitler by means of slipping poison gas into his bunker, but could never get it past the guards. He had acquired a new form of gas which had been developed in February, 1945, and was especially deadly.

Tel Aviv was declared off limits to all British troops, except military police and patrols, following a new outbreak of violence in which one Jewish man was killed, bringing the three-day death toll to 22 Jews and three Britons. A spokesman for the Palestine Arab Higher Committee contended that the violence by the Jews was driving British opinion toward the Arabs and he hoped that it would persist.

In Batavia, Java, a Japanese captain, Hiroshi Nakamura, was being sought in connection with a stolen treasury of thirty million dollars worth of jewels, gold, and cash taken from the Dutch East Indies during occupation and commandeered by the captain just before the Japanese surrender. His Eurasian mistress had provided information on the captain to British authorities, who had detained also a British captain and a sergeant in connection with the stolen loot. Six million dollars worth of the treasure, including diamonds as big as a thumb, had been recovered.

The House Appropriations Committee approved an Army budget of seven billion dollars, the largest ever in peacetime, twice as large as that in 1941. It included 175 million dollars for development of atomic energy, less than the 397 million dollars sought by the Army. It reduced by 150 million that which had been sought by the Army for occupation activities and relief.

At the U.N., the Russians proposed, as a substitute to the Baruch Plan, that a world convention should be organized which would outlaw all atomic weapons and that the United States would destroy all of its atomic weapons within three months. The Russian plan provided that within six months following the ban, all signatory nations would pass their own legislation setting up punishment for violations. The primary distinction in the plans was that the Baruch Plan provided for sharing of the secret only after proper safeguards were in place and sanctions implemented for violations.

A British informant told reporters that the four-power foreign ministers meeting in Paris had reached agreement on the withdrawal of British and American troops from Italy within 90 days, provided that the Russians would withdraw troops from Bulgaria within a similar time frame. They also agreed that a four-member commission would be set up, consisting of the ambassadors of the four powers in Rome, to supervise inspections of Italy to insure adherence to the treaty conditions.

The Senate-House confreres had still not reached agreement on whether to draft eighteen-year olds, the House members objecting to the Senate compromise which would allow the taking of eighteen-year olds as a last resort to fill quotas.

In New Delhi, the Congress Party adjourned indefinitely following the report of the arrest of its president-designate, Jawaharlal Nehru, in his native state of Kashmir. He had been arrested for entering the state against a magistrate's order. He was also wounded on the cheek. The adjournment had cast a gloom over the assembly which had been abuzz with optimism regarding the prospect of agreement between Hindus and Moslems over a plan for independence of India from Britain.

Economic Stabilizer Chester Bowles stated that he would resign his post should the Senate-House confreres return a bill which would act to kill OPA and allow for crippling inflation. The only hope to avert it appeared to be a sustained veto by the President.

Mr. Bowles expressed optimism in getting a no-strike pledge from labor provided the cost of living would remain stable.

The major meatpackers of the nation were reported to have been virtually forced out of the cattle market the previous week by hikes in wholesale meat prices which, according to the packers, prevented them, under current price ceilings, from obtaining adequate profit to remain in business. The packers said that during the previous week they had probably acquired fewer cattle than in any week in their history.

Maj. General Alden Waitt of the Chemical Warfare Service told the House Appropriations Committee that the potentialities for chemical and biological weapons would in the future equal or exceed the destructive force of any weapons used in World War II, including the atomic bomb. These were weapons, he said, which could not be controlled, except by controlling war itself.

The chemical research, however, did have civilian applications which were beneficial, including use of nitrogen mustard gas in cancer research and development of treatments for glaucoma and for heavy metal poisons.

The latter remedy would be simply to turn down the volume.

On the editorial page, "Another Ill-Considered Compromise" finds it significant that Congressman Walter Andrews, on the conference of joint House-Senate confreres regarding the draft bill reconciliation, had wired his vote to break the deadlock on the teenaged draft provision while on his way to view "a preview of World War III", that is the Bikini atom bomb test.

The extension and revision of the draft law was being handled poorly by Congress, not facing the fact that occupation was as much a part of the war as the actual shooting war had been. The House was reacting to polls in an election year in voting to exclude eighteen-year olds. But the war itself had exhausted all other age groups, making it a practical necessity for the relief of men who had been overseas for a prolonged period, to maintain the necessary complement of occupation forces.

The extension for only nine months would also be perceived abroad as hesitancy on whether the United States really wanted to participate for the long haul in occupation. That would be deemed good news by the Germans, Japanese, and the Russians.

Moreover, exempting the 18-year olds was not even good politics, as it would make the soldiers required to remain in service the more bitter, while leaving the threat of having eventually to take the 18-year olds anyway.

"For the Soldier Who Walks...." remarks on Infantry Day having passed without much notice during the week, the hero of the war having been quickly forgotten in the press.

The piece thinks it might be just as well, as the atomic bomb might have replaced the infantryman for good, eliminating the need for the manned front line in warfare. Every previous attempt through history to eliminate him had been checked in short order, requiring again the foot soldier's deployment.

The editorial suggests that the infantryman would be neither surprised nor disappointed at the failure to recognize the day set aside to honor him. He would rather simply have a house than a parade.

"And he has long since learned to expect neither."

"On How to Pass a Buck" comments on the Legislature's consideration of new campaign finance limitations. The Raleigh Times had expressed the opinion that the Corrupt Practices Act of 1931 was inadequate for keeping limits too low, that it spawned only perjury among candidates.

The Greensboro Daily News fixed blame on failure of enforcement of the law. But Secretary of State Thad Eure had stated that his responsibility ended when the statement was filed, whether accurate or not. The law appeared to corroborate that indifference, imposing upon the Attorney General the responsibility to investigate the reports for accuracy. But the Attorney General had stated that his office only responded to official requests for investigation.

Under the present law, it was plain therefore that little reform in North Carolina's elections was going to take place.

A piece from the Winston-Salem Journal, titled "Dr. Odum's Challenge to Greatness", finds Dr. Howard Odum of the University of North Carolina reviewing the impact in the South of the recent Supreme Court decision in Morgan v. Virginia, finding an undue burden on interstate commerce from enforced segregation in some states on interstate busses while other states outlawed it. Dr. Odum believed that the result would challenge Southern tolerance, but that if the region were wise, it would not allow anything to stand in the way of its socio-economic opportunities.

The piece agrees with the advice and expresses the belief that the South was ready to embrace such a position. The fact that the decision was received with little comment out of the South indicated a change in attitude regarding the elimination of Jim Crow racial barriers. The South, while still clinging to many of its traditions, was not going to become preoccupied with petty concerns which would obfuscate the goals needed to overcome the more fundamental problems it faced as a region, economically, educationally, and socially.

Drew Pearson reports that the British Foreign Office was concerned over possible revelation of a secret report written by British intelligence in 1944 on General Mikhailovic, on trial for war crimes in Belgrade, accused of collaborating with the Nazis during occupation of Yugoslavia. For the British report revealed that the British were quite aware of the collaboration with the Nazis by the Chetniks led by General Mikhailovic while professing to be for the Allies. It said that General Mikhailovic was genuinely anti-German but considered Tito's Partisans more dangerous to Yugoslavia than the Axis. The report went on to say that there was no hope of converting the Chetniks from their position.

He next reports of Assistant Postmaster General Gael Sullivan from Chicago who had established himself as an efficient Government officer, setting up helicopter mail deliveries in the Los Angeles area beginning July 1 and striving to achieve 12-hour mail service between any two communities in the country.

Connecticut Senator Thomas Hart, a Navy Admiral, had spoken to his Senate colleagues against unification of the Army and Navy. But just after serving in the Pacific war, he had written articles for the Saturday Evening Post plumping for unified command of the branches, part of which is quoted, regarding amphibious operations in the Solomons and the British experience at Singapore and Malaya.

Marquis Childs tells of Vermont's industrial relations council, with representatives of industry and labor, functioning apart from the State, a first of its kind in the nation. It had achieved good results in labor-management relations. It had fostered mutual respect, considered a key ingredient to salutary relations.

Senator George Aiken had been a major force behind the creation of the council. A collector of wild flowers who became a nurseryman before his entry to politics, he and Senator Warren Austin of Vermont, both Republicans, were progressives who could lead the Republican party into fruitful areas if given a chance. But the Republicans appeared instead bent on following regressive leaders, in a return to isolationism and reaction. It would take more forcefulness than anyone had thus far demonstrated to reverse the trend established by the Republicans in recent elections.

Samuel Grafton, still in Los Angeles, tells of consumers becoming choosy over prices. Variety had reported that nightclub trade had measurably dropped, indicative of uncertainty and fear of partaking of the vices.

The danger was that industry might change from producing in mass quantities at low prices to producing in small quantities at much higher prices.

The manufacturers who were begging for higher prices were begging also to be kicked, for prices would eventually have to fall as consumer interest lagged and dipped and economic wherewithal began to fade and fag. But as prices would fall, consumption would nevertheless continue to drop because of unemployment and fears of spending for lack of income in the flop.

A letter presents correspondence to and from Representative Sam J. Ervin regarding the extension of OPA, the letter writer favoring continuation of price controls. The author had sent to Mr. Ervin a News editorial of June 10, advocating retention of controls to avoid the spiral of inflation, finding the delay by Congress until the twelfth hour before the July 1 expiration of OPA to send to the President a bill which he could approve or veto to be a "cheap political trick" so that blame could be cast on the President rather than the Congress for the death of the agency and consequent inflation.

Congressman Ervin responded by saying, "There has been more heat and less light generated by the proposed extension of the OPA than any other proposition which has confronted Congress since I have been here."

He sensed that the people wanted price controls retained on the things they needed to buy and removed on all the things they had to sell, an impossible situation to meet. He believed that OPA had done both good and evil, that the strikes in the country and increases in prices and wages demonstrated that OPA had not held the line as much as many believed. OPA's policies, he further asserts, had caused much of the rise in the cost of living by giving higher ceilings both to new manufacturers and old manufacturers producing new types of goods.

He favored continuation of OPA, provided that price controls would allow for reasonable profits to producers and sellers of goods and services.


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