Monday, June 24, 1946

The Charlotte News

Monday, June 24, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Pravda had declared that Russia would never surrender the uniltaral veto in any authority under which atomic energy was shared by the nations and declared the Baruch Plan for sharing the technology to be a bid for "world rule" by the United States. It praised the Russian plan, which joined the American plan in proposing to ban production and use of nuclear weapons.

But after that common element, the plans diverged considerably in terms of the program for sharing and the means of inspection and enforcement.

The Soviet press had not published fully the Baruch Plan.

Former Secretary of the Treasury Fred Vinson of Kentucky was confirmed as the 13th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. The President declared that the number 13 would be lucky for the country, and the new Chief replied that he hoped it would be.

Chief Justice Vinson would only live another seven years, dying at age 63 in 1953.

On Sunday, a large earthquake had struck in the Pacific Northwest, causing the buildings of downtown Seattle to sway, the most severe in the region in several years. One man died in Seattle from a heart attack while walking to church. Buildings were also reported to have swayed in Vancouver. The quake shook the area from Vancouver Island, B.C., to Olympia, Washington.

In Paris, the four-power foreign ministers conference was reported to have rejected Austria's demand for cession from Italy of the Southern Tyrol, but had not reached agreement on the Italian-French border issue.

In New York, India filed a complaint with the Security Council regarding alleged mistreatment of its citizens living in the Union of South Africa. The secretary-general of the Arab League stated that the question of Palestine would be brought before the Security Council to seek independence for Palestine from Britain.

General Eisenhower filed his final report as Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, stating that he was kept in the dark by Russia until four months before V-E Day as to the Soviet overall strategy for victory. At Christmas, 1944, President Roosevelt secured an agreement with Marshal Stalin to receive the representative of the Western Allies to be given a full briefing.

General Eisenhower ascribed the victory to Allied teamwork on the part of Britain and the United States and miscalculations at the same time by Hitler and Field Marshal Von Rundstedt. He assessed the three major battles in Europe to be Normandy, the Falaise pocket, and the battles west of the Rhine during February and March, 1945.

In London, Earl Browder, the former head of the American Communist Party, was held incommunicado by British Security Police acting on orders of the Home Office.

Also in London, Lily Pons and her husband, conductor Andre Kostelanetz, were presented to the Royal Family Sunday night following the last of four concerts in Britain.

Senator Glen Taylor of Idaho proposed a buyers strike to bring prices down, should Congress effectively abolish OPA. He spoke to a group of housewives who gathered before the Washington Monument in support of retention of OPA and its powers.

Harold Ickes, in his column, explains that Representative Charles La Follette of Indiana had sought to obtain the Republican nomination for the Senate and had failed in the previous week's primary. He then declared that he would not remain in the Republican Party after his current term expired.

He remarks that many Republicans, including himself, had determined likewise as long ago as 1912. Their hopes had been buoyed briefly by the nomination in 1916 of Charles Evans Hughes but became quickly dispirited by Republican leaders who were more interested in "twisting the tails" of former Bull Moosers, the third party of Theodore Roosevelt, than in building up the Republican Party. And it had been that way since that time, decrying any attempt to become progressive.

Mr. Ickes suggests also that the Democrats could no longer be relied upon, however, as a vehicle for "progressive, liberal legislation" any more than could the Republicans. Democrats in Congress were vying with Republicans to see how reactionary they could be. The Truman Administration was not offering leadership in the area of progressive legislation, stultified by advisers George Allen and John W. Snyder.

In other primaries, liberal Attorney General Robert Kenny of California was thrashed in both party primaries by Governor Earl Warren. The candidate in the Nebraska gubernatorial race, endorsed by Harold Stassen, was badly beaten, suggesting the end of Mr. Stassen's chances to garner the Republican presidential nomination in 1948.

The state election laws made it nearly impossible for a third party to organize and get on the ballots. So it was questionable as to what progressives such as Mr. La Follette were going to do. The only realistic choice appeared to be to support the best candidates available, regardless of party.

In Los Angeles, early cowboy silent film star William S. Hart died at age 83. He had suffered a stroke in May.

In Miami, the weeping wife of R. J. Reynolds, Jr., received her divorce. Mr. Reynolds had filed his own petition. Both alleged extreme mental cruelty. He said that she had an ungovernable temper. She said he displayed a "Jekyll and Hyde" personality. Since that implied that the former Mayor of Winston-Salem was a murderer in his spare time, she likely had never read the book.

On the editorial page, "Speaking of Vision—I" recalls the 1941 brochure issued by the newspaper to call attention to the city having surpassed the 100,000 population mark, and its statement that Charlotte had followed a forward course with vision throughout its history.

The piece takes issue with the claim by citing the example of the Lion's Club drive to raise $400,000 for Freedom Park, dedicated to the veterans. When all the pledges were in, only half the money had been raised. Charlotte generally responded that parks throughout the city were instead needed.

But in Winston-Salem, when a drive was conducted to raise funds for a new Memorial Coliseum, $850,000 was collected. The argument that Winston-Salem's millionaires had contributed the bulk of the money was untrue. Over half came from individual small donations.

It recommends that Charlotte should see an eye doctor to have that "vision" it claimed checked.

"Speaking of Vision—II" provides a footnote to the foregoing editorial, finding the effort by the veterans of the Independence Post of the American Legion to have been laudable in attracting the J. A. Jones Construction Company contribution of $300,000 worth of housing, 50 homes in all, to be built without profit to the builder. They had decided a few months earlier that the efforts of the Federal Government to supply housing would take probably until 1964 to fulfill.

Their effort, it suggests, embodied the spirit of the vision which could pervade Charlotte.

"How to Perpetuate a Legend" treats of the rumor printed by Time that there were 25,000 "almost-new" passenger cars rusting and rotting in the Atlanta Ordnance Depot. According to the magazine, publicity in the Atlanta newspapers had supposedly forced the Army to give up 7,000 of them.

The charge against the Army, inefficiency and waste, was, it turned out, wrong. The Army had purchased only 20,000 passenger cars during the entire war. The depot was a collection point for surplus vehicles to be assembled and repaired, then transferred to another Government agency or sold to the public.

When the Time story was written, there were only 525 cars present and only 48 of them were operable.

The magazine had, per its custom, offered no apology, but admitted its error.

But the legend created, it suggests, would haunt the Army for a generation, that it let shiny, new sedans rust away in the Georgia sun while Americans were forced to walk or ride busses and trains to work.

It suggests that an apology would have been proper.

A piece from the Louisville Courier-Journal, titled "Auditioning the GOP Program", comments on the statement by GOP chairman Carroll Reece that the electorate would be choosing in the fall between the Republicans and Communists, that the line would be just so many words without any positive program being put forward by the Republicans, of which there was thus far no evidence.

The public was being asked to buy a pig in a poke and the times required more than that.

Drew Pearson reports that General Joseph McNarney, commander of occupied Germany, liked to sing and did so whenever the Allied commanders got together. The Russians had come to believe in consequence that the words to the National Anthem went: "Three cheers for the Sam Jones Junior High School, the best Junior High School in Toledo." The Russians had learned all of the words.

It suggested the good relations between the American and Russian armies of occupation in Germany. But little was being done to bring the people of the two countries together, such as foreign exchange programs for students.

He next tells of the National Science bill proposed by Senator Harley Kilgore of West Virginia to stimulate scientific research and enable free access to patents from the research. Representative Wilbur Mills of Arkansas had introduced a counter-measure, favored by the National Association of Manufacturers, led by Dr. Vannevar Bush, which would enable the patents to be distributed primarily to large corporations, as they would be allowed to have dollar-per-year men on the board.

President Truman supported the Kilgore measure and vowed to veto the Mills bill if it should be passed. The President, from his Senate days as head of the Truman Committee with oversight of Government and military waste, detested the concept of dollar-per-year men from private industry, who inevitably swayed Government programs only to corporate interests at the expense of the public.

He next comments on the Maryland Comptroller General, Millard Tawes, running for Governor with the support of Senator Millard Tydings. Mr. Tawes, during the wartime gas rationing program, had driven a state-owned V-12 Cadillac to Georgia for a wedding, causing a stir. Mr. Pearson wonders whether the controversy would still haunt Mr. Tawes in his bid to be Governor.

Governor Herbert O'Conor of Maryland, however, running for the Senate, had a similar problem in that his wife had driven a state-owned car to Charleston, S.C., for her health during the war.

Finally, he reports that Harold Ickes had complained to the Washington Star for censoring his column of May 15 on Senator McCarran of Nevada. He had complained that the neighboring column in the paper by Frank Kent was just as caustic. But Mr. Pearson points out that the difference was that the reactionary Star and the reactionary Mr. Kent were simpatico.

Marquis Childs discusses the continuing widespread support for OPA despite campaigns to discredit it. It was likely that the Congress would strike out its amendments to eliminate most controls on food prices. But other amendments would have an inflationary effect, albeit one which would not be felt for several weeks. And so the blame would likely be cast generally on Government, rather than registered just against the Congress.

The whole machinery of price control had been messed up by the delay in the bill until the last minute before the July 1 expiration date for OPA. Manufacturers were waiting to see what would occur before releasing goods into the marketplace.

A no-strike pledge from labor, which Chester Bowles had announced was in the works, had been fouled up by the claim reported in the press that President Truman opposed it, when, according to Mr. Bowles, it was not so. Nevertheless, it made the chances of obtaining such a pledge very slim and thus left the Congress without any pressure from labor to leave price controls in place.

Readers had often asked Mr. Childs why he stuck by OPA. His response had been that he believed that Mr. Bowles was a reasonable man and that price controls were genuinely necessary to prevent the runaway inflation which he predicted would occur without them. But it was likely, he believed, that Mr. Bowles had held his last press conference as a member of the Truman Administration.

Samuel Grafton, still in Los Angeles, analogizes the loss of interest in politics in the country since the death of President Roosevelt to the loss of interest in baseball after the retirement of Babe Ruth. FDR had galvanized interest in politics among those normally not so interested.

Politics after Roosevelt, he believes, would be increasingly professionalized and that, unless another depression would come, the people would leave the business of governance to the professional politicians and pay little attention, resembling the Twenties when the citizenry looked upon Government as it did its car: as long as it got fair mileage, there was not any point in looking under the hood.

No other country was so passive toward its Government as was the United States. American life was basically apolitical, especially in lush times as in 1946. The national credo was that there were two sides to every question.

Ahead, therefore, he saw a gray period in which there would be a prolonged snooze. And in that there was the danger of such complacency that a sharp bump might have to serve to awaken the populace. Whether the leadership would be as astute as President Roosevelt had been regarding the possibility of war remained an open question.

The Roosevelt era had left behind a large labor movement and many veterans who would be active on many issues. The press might devote more space to politics simply because "there was once a Roosevelt".

A letter from the general manager of the Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce announces that the Veterans Administration had found new facilities in the Nissen Building in Winston-Salem. It thus enjoyed, it says, facilities as good as any in the country.

A letter votes for the return to the newspaper of the Eric Brandeis column, "Looking for Life", as does another letter. This writer, a regular, was ready to discontinue her subscription when Randolph Churchill was dropped by the newspaper.

A letter declares that the column of Mr. Brandeis represented the "triumph of mediocrity" and wished it good riddance.

The writer wonders, however, what had happened to Dorothy Thompson, that some of the feminists, as the author, missed her.

The writer was pleased at the return of Dorothy Knox to the newspaper after months of ill health.

R. F. Beasley contributes a short piece from The Monroe Journal, titled "Like a New Man", in which he discusses an election in Leesburg County, Ohio, several years earlier, in which a candidate for sheriff sought to insert an ad in the small town newspaper. The publisher, addicted to strong drink, along with the printer, also drinking, mixed up the words of the ad. He prints the results.

The last paragraph read: "While it has been impossible for me to see all the voters, I will state that it has been a God-send to me and I will appreciate your vote and three bottles of this wonderful tonic, which I hope will help me in my fight."

Mr. Beasley adds that he won the election.

Candidly, judging by his last contribution of June 3, Mr. Beasley may have suffered from a similar malady, that is rearranging his words to change the meaning.

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