Thursday, June 27, 1946

The Charlotte News

Thursday, June 27, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Senator Edward Moore of Oklahoma had given a long, fiery speech on the Senate floor against continuation of OPA price control, contending that it was the darling of the CIO PAC to force economic collapse and the overthrow of the Government so the Commies could take over. Senator Moore further charged that Economic Stabilizer Chester Bowles was likely being supported by PAC and was using public funds to further his political ambitions, that he would likely be on the Democratic ticket in 1948.

Senator "Pappy" Lee O'Daniel of Texas was ready to begin his promised filibuster of the bill to extend OPA. Unless the bill would pass before Sunday at midnight, OPA would expire. If it did lapse, however, the victory would only be symbolic as the Senate could then approve the legislation afterward.

Pass the biscuits and the danged fertilizer and let's go have a ball.

Cotton prices rose above 31 cents a pound for the first time since 1923.

Mr. Bowles announced a three to four cents per pound rise in the price of coffee.

The four-power foreign ministers, meeting in Paris, agreed to provide to Greece the Dodecanese Islands, provided they would be demilitarized. The Western nations rejected an alternative proposal by Russia that Trieste be made an autonomous district under the sovereignty of Yugoslavia or that it be placed under joint sovereignty of Yugoslavia and Italy. Russia had turned down the French proposal that the port be internationalized. The three Western powers found the Russian plan unworkable and contrary to the principle adopted by the foreign ministers during the London conference the previous September, that dominant ethnicity would determine sovereignty. Trieste was predominantly Italian.

In Belgrade, grave diggers testified at the trial of General Draja Mihailovic, charged with treason by collaborating with the Axis during German occupation, that they had witnessed the execution and burial of 20,000 Yugoslav citizens.

In New York, Herbert Evatt declared that he would raise the proposal to abolish the veto of the Big Five on the U. N. Security Council, after the Russians had exercised the veto three times the previous night regarding the question of continued diplomatic recognition of Franco's Spain. It was the longest and bitterest session yet of the Security Council, lasting nearly six hours.

President Truman stated that the world food crisis was not over but that the United States was now meeting its goal of grain shipments overseas for the first six months of the year, six million tons. The final shipments, however, to meet that goal would not leave American ports until after July 1. All save 500,000 tons had been shipped.

Great Britain announced that it would ration bread and flour the following month, avoided during both world wars. The ration, to begin July 21, would allow nine ounces of daily bread for the average person and 15 ounces for manual workers, 11 ounces for female workers and expectant mothers. Meat rations were raised to allow the purchase of 28 cents worth per week, up from 24 cents.

George and Paul would receive but two ounces daily, while John and Ringo would be able to gorge themselves with eight ounces, maybe an ounce or so toasted, with a crumpet on the side. The Stones, being bad, of course, would be left without, being afforded only porridge.

Rationing would be based on units, a one pound, twelve ounce loaf of bread being four units and a pound being three. A pound of flour would consume two units. Units would be interchangeable to enable more consumption of bread by heavy bread eaters and less for those who wished to exchange their units for something else.

Winston Churchill wanted to debate Labor on the imposition of rationing without proper explanation of the reasons. Labor voices in Commons drowned out his speech.

The Army placed the toll of dead and missing Americans of World War II at 308,978, a fatality rate of 2.98 percent of the more than ten million men and women who had served in the Army. The numbers covered the period from May 27, 1941, the point at which President Roosevelt had declared a national emergency, through January 31, 1946. The missing were down to 1,424, the remainder of the formerly listed missing having been declared dead after a year. It was unlikely those remaining on the list would be found alive.

Of the dead, 363 were from Mecklenburg County. Their names were provided on two inside pages of the newspaper.

The Josiah Wedgewood arrived in Haifa with 1,300 illegal Jewish immigrants aboard. They were transferred to a clearance camp after disembarking. Twenty had sought to escape by boat the previous night and were arrested, believed to be crew members of the ship.

Hal Boyle, still in Berlin, tells of American housewives being short of bobby pins for their hair in recent weeks, causing a minor crisis. One wife stated that she had a thousand-dollar rug and a $600 china closet, but no waxed paper, mop or cleansing powder. Many of the requisitioned houses were well-furnished, but without curtains or table lamps, and in need of plumbing and window repair.

Berlin still stood in ruins for the most part, causing the American children to gape in amazement.

The Americans had plenty of food, able to purchase fresh steak, bread, and butter in the Army commissary, enabling them to be better off than when they were in the United States.

In Chicago, the police stated that the prints found on the ransom note provided by the kidnaper and presumed killer of six-year old Suzanne Degnan the previous January, did not match those of Richard Thomas who had confessed to the crime in Phoenix. That plus other discrepancies in his story had caused the police to dismiss his confession as bogus.

In Gunn City, Missouri, a four-year old boy had been slain after being battered and beaten. His body had been discovered in the stock pond of his parents' farm. A blow to the head had killed him. He had gone missing the previous Friday and was discovered on Saturday morning. Small V-shaped marks, about the size of a small hammer or heel of a shoe, were found on his face. The Sheriff still had no leads on who the murderer was.

The Post Office announced that it would issue a special cancellation stamp on the atom bomb test date at Bikini, stating "atom bomb test, Bikini". It was expected that 200,000 pieces of mail would be sent and that they would become collectors' items.

On the editorial page, "Two Ways to Skin a Cat" comments on the effort of the housewives of Bitomto, Italy, to do something about the poor quality of the bread. They went to City Hall and beat up the Mayor.

In Charlotte, the merchants, with considerably greater restraint, went to see the City Council about the new hikes in licensing fees. They discussed the matter politely, even cracked a few jokes.

But, the piece comments, if the quality of bread improved in Bitomto, then the technique of less than friendly persuasion would have worked, and so...

And so, the implication is that the merchants of Charlotte would make an offer to the City Council which it might not be able to turn down very easily.

"The Show's the Thing" begins by saying: "The poured honey of the NBC accent may in time remove the delightful burry talk of the Carolina hills, soften the jargon of the Coastal Bankers, and doom Gullah to intelligibility."

But South Carolina's political carnival had to be maintained for its charm and entertainment.

During the week, the eleven gubernatorial candidates had appeared in Barnwell, reputed through the years to be the locus of the headquarters for the State machine. All save one had complaints against the State. The one claimed that the people did not appreciate what they had. Two of the candidates attacked the Barnwell "ring", while the other eight had distinct grievances.

While the people understood that none of these candidates held out the panacea for their ills, they were nevertheless being entertained and that was the important thing.

"Bringing a Judge Up to Date" comments on Judge J. H. Clement having been shocked to find the absence of so many defendants and witnesses during his term of court in Mecklenburg, so many that he wound up without any cases to adjudicate at trial. The piece seeks to bring him up to speed on the history of the county's jurisprudential record and that what he found was typical. It ventures that only a new solicitorial district, with a smaller calendar for Mecklenburg only and a solicitor from the county, would make a difference.

A piece from the Louisville Courier-Journal, titled "How're You Gonna Keep 'Em..." discusses the ongoing censorship of information in Moscow with regard to the United States, including a refusal to print the whole of the Baruch Plan for sharing the atomic secret for peaceful purposes. The Russian press had condemned its provision to abolish the veto as premised on an imperialistic motive. The Soviet appeared to be utilizing obfuscation and anti-Western propaganda to keep the minds of the Russian people off their low standard of living.

Drew Middleton of the New York Times, reporting from Moscow, had stated that the primary concern of Russians was not the atomic bomb but rather acquiring consumer goods, woefully lacking. They obviously did not place much stock in the Soviet propaganda regarding American intent to build up its military apparatus for the purpose of world control.

The piece concludes that it would be wise for America to restore the State Department funding for the information service, especially shortwave broadcasting capability, to provide Russians with information on the better lifestyle in America. They would then want to have a similar standard of living and exert pressure on the Government to improve their conditions. It would serve to distract the Soviet from its larger designs.

Drew Pearson discusses an uncomfortable session had between veterans groups and Jack Small, the Civilian Production Administrator, regarding his agency's approval of the Monmouth, N.J., racetrack and a 250-room addition to the Shoreham Hotel in Washington. The veterans thought those materials should have been diverted to housing for veterans. Mr. Small sought to explain the Shoreham addition by saying it would serve foreign relations, and the racetrack, by the fact that it was already in the works before the stop-orders were placed in November on non-essential construction.

The veterans were not satisfied, but Mr. Small broke away on the excuse of needing to meet with Secretary of War Robert Patterson.

Mr. Pearson next turns to the subject of the extension of OPA, reporting that Senator Homer Capehart of Indiana, the Wurlitzer King, had stated to OPA head Paul Porter that he and his colleagues did not wish to destroy price control but instead wanted to make it work properly. He told Mr. Porter that he could not understand why OPA would not cooperate. Mr. Porter responded that Senator Capehart reminded him of the fisherman who pulled the fish from the water and said to it that he did not wish to hurt it, just gut it a little.

The column next tells of the diplomatic victory for Secretary of State Byrnes at the Paris conference in obtaining a pledge from the Russians to evacuate Bulgaria. It had come out of a tete-a-tete between Foreign Commissar V. M. Molotov and Mr. Byrnes, in which Commissar Molotov quizzed him on what America was doing in Italy by enlarging the airfields. Mr. Byrnes in turn asked Comrade Molotov what Russia was doing maintaining its troops so long in Bulgaria. Eventually, the discussion led to the commitment by the Russians to evacuate.

In the same discussion Molotov asked Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin of Britain whether Britain would like to commit to evacuation of its troops from Greece, to which Mr. Bevin abruptly replied that it was none of his "damned business".

Finally, he imparts of an exchange of verses between Representative John Rankin of Mississippi and Representative Charles La Follette of Indiana. Mr. Rankin had taken offense at Mr. La Follette's statement that, upon leaving the Republican Party at the end of his current term, he could not stand either to join the Democrats because of some of its members. Mr. Rankin took that statement to be in reference to himself. He then told of the man in his home territory who died and had on his grave inscribed the lines: "Hark ye, stranger passing by,/ As you are now, so once was I./ As I am now, so you must be./ Prepare for death and follow me."

A neighbor, said Mr. Rankin, had added to that epitaph: "To follow you I'd no consent/ Unless I knew which way you went."

To that, Mr. La Follette drafted his own lines in reply: "If I shall start a new goal to seek,/ From time to time over my shoulder I'll peek,/ And if by chance I find John Rankin behind,/ I'll know I'm wrong and change my mind."

Marquis Childs discusses President Truman's unraveled nerves having been shown by his abrupt reply to a telegram from Senator Charles Tobey of New Hampshire pleading for grain for poultry farmers of his state, saying that it could be released without hampering overseas shipments to the hungry.

The President nursed a grudge for Senator Tobey's part in bringing about the withdrawal of Ed Pauley's nomination to be Undersecretary of the Navy and it appeared this ill feeling had motivated the angry response to a simple plea. The President had stated that Senator Tobey was placing the welfare of animals above people and that he needed a cooling-off period, which, when complete, would entitle him to visit the White House. Senator Tobey felt that his dignity had been negated.

Senator Tobey, Mr. Childs points out, had supported the Administration on Bretton Woods, the British loan, and reciprocal trade agreements, and had generally pledged his support across party lines to the President shortly after he took office. The President, he suggests, may have alienated a valuable ally in the Republican Party because of his insistence on loyalty to Ed Pauley, a trait born of the President's early political experience under the wing of the Pendergast machine in Kansas City.

Peter Edson reports of the lack of judicial experience by the sitting Supreme Court Justices. Newly sworn Chief Justice Fred Vinson had the most judicial experience with but five years, four on the Court of Appeals of the District of Columbia, and another as chief administrative Judge of the Emergency Court of Appeals for Price Control. While there were no complaints, his juridical career had been undistinguished.

The only other Justice with any significant prior judicial experience was Wiley Rutledge, who had also served four years on the D. C. Court of Appeals. Justice Hugo Black had served 18 months as a police court judge in Birmingham around 1910, 27 years before his appointment to the high court. Justice Black had served 12 years as a Senator.

He then proceeds to provide the experience of the other six Justices, which included political, prosecutorial, administrative, and academic backgrounds.

The late Chief Justice Harlan Stone had complained that there were not enough real judges on the Court to get the work done. While they were all able lawyers, Mr. Edson suggests that the best lawyer in the country would probably make the worst judge—a bit of a nonsensical statement since ultimately all judges, at least in modern times, are licensed lawyers, leading to the inevitable inference that lousy or at most mediocre lawyers make good judges?

He concludes by wondering what was going on in the lower courts that they were not producing sufficiently appealing candidates to be nominated to the highest court. The six-week search, he suggests, for a replacement for Chief Justice Stone implied a pool of judicial talent in the country at low ebb.

In any event, the practice of appointing politicians to the Supreme Court would end with the appointment of Governor Earl Warren as Chief in 1953. Since then, most, though not all, of the appointees have come from the ranks of judges. But none have been prominent political figures, with the one exception of Robert Bork in 1987 whose nomination was defeated in the Senate. He was the Acting Attorney General in October, 1973 who obediently fired Special Watergate Prosecutor Archibald Cox after he had demanded that the President turn over his taped White House conversations, after Attorney General Elliott Richardson had resigned rather than honor the improper request and Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus had also resigned for the same reason. It forever branded Mr. Bork as a kowtowing weasel cooperating willingly with an attempt to frustrate justice.

A letter from Republican candidate for the House seat in the district, P. C. Burkholder, provides some detail of his trip to Grandfather Mountain in Western North Carolina to attend the singers convention in an open field amid "natural rock", and conveniently intermixes his political points with the travelogue. Mr. Burkholder joined the group from Morganton on the rock to sing his own version of Rabbie Burns's "A Soldier's Return".

Read at your own risk. Something about mica and the corruption of the New Deal, we think. During the winter of 1945, a man had come to him in the Sears shrubbery department to buy some shrubbery and it turned out that he was a mica mining engineer driven from the business to shrubbery by the throat-cutting New Dealers. The mica mines had been shut down after providing wartime mica for the war effort because cheaper mica could be obtained from India where the laborers were paid "six-cent a day" rather than the 60 cents per hour in the mica mines of Western North Carolina. And, on top of it, the Federal Government had accused the North Carolina mica mine owners of monopolistic and price-fixing practices and taken them to Federal Court.

He was going to "fight tooth and toe-nail to get the Government out of business; playing around in other people's business where they have no business; wasting our money and resources." The fate of America depended upon it.

He was pleased to see that The News was on the newsstands in the mountains and that he could wear his ten-gallon hat without being arrested.

Maybe he was understudy to Tom Mix, or something like that. Or Gene Autrino.

Well, mica was valuable for radio equipment and microphones, for which the country paid dearly.

At least he did not work in the buttermilk crisis in Mecklenburg this time.

The editors respond to another letter seeking the return of Eric Brandeis's column, informing that it was back.

A letter from the president of the North Carolina Federation of Business & Professional Women's Clubs thanks the newspaper for coverage of its recent convention, especially thanking reporters Freck Sproles and Harriet Doar.

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