Friday, June 28, 1946

The Charlotte News

Friday, June 28, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Senate Majority Leader Alben Barkley had informed the President that unless he signed the OPA bill which had emerged finally from the Congress, there would be no OPA at all after Sunday as there was no prospect of agreement in the Congress even for a temporary extension. He put it to the President therefore as an "all or nothing" bill. The White House did not comment.

The President pledged his full support to the plan for control of atomic energy proposed by Bernard Baruch in the U.N. Atomic Energy Commission and his efforts in trying to effect a compromise with the Soviet proposal, as the commission began its deliberations on the plans. The major stumbling blocks continued to be the Soviet insistence on retaining the veto and that the atomic secret first be shared and all U.S. atomic bombs destroyed, prior to the implementation of a system under which inspections would take place to assure peaceful use of the technology.

Soviet physicist Alexander Pavlovich Zhdanov had discovered that cosmic rays at high altitudes could completely split the nucleus of an atom causing it to break into its constituent protons and neutrons.

Arturo Toscanini and La Scala orchestra refused to go to Paris for a concert scheduled for Sunday, in protest of the four-power foreign ministers having ceded to France the northern Italian communes of Tenda-Briga and Mont Cenis. The Maestro stated that the cession amounted to a human rights violation and contravened the Atlantic Charter.

Harold Ickes, in his column, again discusses George Allen, presidential adviser and member of the board of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation. He reports that prior to the latter appointment, Mr. Allen had sought from A. P. Gianini a lucrative position as a member of the board of directors of Bank of America, which Mr. Gianini declined to provide. Mr. Allen, however, continued on the boards of directors of several corporations and financial institutions which sought the aid of RFC.

Senator Robert Wagner of New York had introduced a bill to continue the life of RFC though June, 30, 1952, a bill without any provision prohibiting outside directorships on corporations receiving RFC assistance. Both Democrats and Republicans, says Mr. Ickes, appeared bewitched by Mr. Allen's persuasive charm and humor.

The House, however, might yet put such a provision in the bill.

Recently, it was reported by Washington correspondent Bert Andrews in the New York Herald-Tribune that President Truman was attending a stag party at the Hard Rock Club and someone suggested that they call up Mr. Allen who was in Cleveland at the residence of Tom Girdler, head of Republic Steel, on the board of which Mr. Allen enjoyed a lucrative position. Mr. Allen insisted that he should not have to pay for the call, that Mr. Girdler ought foot the bill. Mr. Ickes suggests that Mr. Girdler probably did not mind as Mr. Allen had gotten him in to see the President during the steel strike.

Mr. Ickes may have missed the big story in that last item.

The President had approved the plan to build a 500-bed seven-million dollar Veterans' Hospital in Charlotte on the site of the former McClintock Golf Course, taking up 32.5 acres of the 69-acre site. The remainder of the land was to be utilized for a residential development to be constructed by the private owner of the land.

In Philadelphia, a double-decked pier collapsed, killing five workers. Other workers were thrown twenty feet into the Delaware River but survived. The missing workers were trapped inside freight cars which sank to the bottom of the river.

In Detroit, the Dodge plant underwent a work stoppage the previous day because of hot weather, as 5,000 workers walked off the job, unable to bear the fumes.

On the editorial page, "An Epitaph for the Wagner Act" finds the Federation of Hosiery Workers at the local Hudson Hosiery Company to be complaining to the National Labor Relations Board regarding alleged unfair practices, including management having sent a mild letter to the employees explaining the company's position on wages and that they were comparable to average figures for the industry, and that the company had offered certain inducements to employees, including higher wages and bonuses, if they would refrain from joining a union.

The piece remarks that the union regarded higher wages and bonuses as being unfair labor practices unless the union obtained them.

It suggests that the epitaph for the Wagner Labor Act should be: "Done to death by those it sought to aid."

"Salute to a New Champion" comments on the 85 Soap Box Derby participants on Euclid Avenue hill the previous day, suggests that they would have amazed Barney Oldfield.

Chevrolet was organizing the event, such that the participating cars were now streamlined jobs, not the old packing crates nailed to a 2 x 10. The News and radio station WAYS co-sponsored the Derby. It had rigorous regulations and each boy who participated had to build his own car.

Tommy Smith had won the race in his "Faul & Crymes" car, and would thus advance to the nationals at Akron, Ohio.

Keep your fingers crossed.

"A Note on Fire-Prevention" finds the Raleigh News & Observer complimenting a piece attributed to The News, regarding an editorial which had noted that in two of the recent hotel fires, the La Salle in Chicago on June 5 and the Canfield in Dubuque on June 9, the fires erupted near the cocktail lounges, thus presenting an argument for prohibition. The editorial offers correction that due credit for the editorial belonged instead to the Charlotte Observer.

But, it continues, had it been writing on the topic, it would have pointed out that the third disaster, at the Baker Hotel in Dallas, had occurred in a state which forbade open consumption of liquor and sale except in liquor stores, suggesting another cause than alcohol consumption unless there was a speakeasy on the premises. (The news report indicated a boiler explosion as the ignition source.)

The piece further suggests that the most likely culprits in the fires were either smoking in bed or kitchens with open flames. So, it advises regulations requiring asbestos sheets and outlawing the sale of food in hotels.

Furthermore, given the recent fire in the ferry terminal on Staten Island, given that New York harbor was constantly covered in a film of oil, ferries ought be constructed well away from the water.

A piece from the Charleston News & Courier, titled "There Have Been Other Strikes", explains again that the shortage of meat had been caused in part by producers holding back their livestock from market until price controls would be released, a kind of producers' strike.

It brought to mind Aesop's fable of the Belly against which the Members struck because Belly was lazy. The Members refused to lift an arm or leg in his service. But eventually, they began to starve.

The same would be true of the striking workers were they not to come to a realization of their plight with respect to Belly.

Drew Pearson discusses the delay in release of the bombing survey of Japan because of competition between the Army and Navy as to which branch inflicted the greater damage. After V-E Day, civilians had conducted a survey of Germany and found that some of the larger raids, such as that on Schweinfurt Ball Bearings Works, had been ineffective, despite high casualties, 600 American airmen lost in the Schweinfurt raid. The report had displeased General Hap Arnold. So the Pacific survey was instead being prepared by the military in conjunction with civilian surveyors.

The civilians had already determined that the heaviest damage was inflicted on Japan by the U.S. submarines, shutting off almost all supplies to the main islands from the outlying areas toward the end of the war. Japan, by the end, lacked, in consequence, enough gasoline to fly its planes or oil for the ships to put to sea.

Second in inflicting damage were the Army long-range land-based planes, the B-29's, and third were the carrier-based Navy planes.

More damage could have been inflicted had there not been jealousy between General MacArthur and General Arnold. General Arnold had placed the 20th Air Force in China, requiring that its fuel be shipped from India over the Hump in the Himalayas, causing the flights to be ineffective relative to the 14th Air Force under General Claire Chennault, which bombed Japanese shipping off the China coast.

The civilians concluded that if the 20th Air Force similarly had concentrated on bombing shipping rather than siphoning gasoline from the submarines, the war could have been won more quickly—implying that the atomic bomb would never have been used, a bold assumption given that the Japanese had vowed to fight to the last man standing on the main islands, before the dropping of the two bombs.

The B-29's had not caused much damage until they were flying from the Marianas, Saipan and Tinian. Of course, the B-29's had only flown a small number of missions in the two months they had been flying in June through August, 1944, before the Marianas were captured during the summer and flights began taking place in earnest from them in the fall of 1944, with the largest missions beginning in the winter.

Mr. Pearson next imparts further information on why Justice Robert Jackson had written the caustic letter to the Senate and House judiciary committees regarding Justice Hugo Black. As already told by Harold Ickes, Mr. Jackson had first been promised the Chief Justice position in 1941 when Charles Evans Hughes retired. But because of the senior position on the Court occupied by Justice Stone—and, no doubt, the fact that the retiring Chief was a Republican as was Justice Stone, appointed by Calvin Coolidge in 1925—FDR was counseled to appoint Justice Stone.

But at the time he appointed Mr. Jackson to fill Justice Stone's seat, the President promised that at the next vacancy of the Chief, Justice Jackson would be elevated. When that failed to happen, he became embittered and blamed Justice Black, Acting Chief after the death of Chief Justice Stone. And, indeed, Justice Black had advised the President against appointing Justice Jackson.

He next tells of Judge Roy Hofheinz in Texas granting free radio broadcast time to all candidates for up to ten hours on his station, KTHT.

Congressman Estes Kefauver of Tennessee, future Senator and vice-presidential candidate running with Adlai Stevenson in 1956, defeating Senator John F. Kennedy for the nomination, was starting a probe into American business monopolies to show how the war had concentrated business in the hands of a few large companies.

Marquis Childs, two days short of seventeen years to the day before the address of President Kennedy to West Berliners in front of the Berlin Wall, discusses the "sort of Chinese wall" developing between Russia and the Western powers, with new stones being added at both the U.N. and the foreign ministers conference in Paris, "so that soon we shall scarcely be able to look across at one another."

Before departing for Paris, Secretary of State Byrnes had written to Mr. Childs, taking polite issue with his statement in a previous column in which he had asserted that Mr. Byrnes should have earlier pressed the proposal for a 25-year four-power treaty to maintain the peace in Europe. He quotes from that letter, in which Mr. Byrnes stated that he did make the proposal at the earliest possible time after becoming Secretary the previous July, that having been at the first foreign ministers conference in London the previous September, following Potsdam in the latter half of July. Josef Stalin had agreed to the proposal on Christmas Eve, 1945. Thus, the previous Paris meeting in April was intended merely as a platform for disclosing what had already been previously proposed and to which assent had been provided. Then Foreign Commissar Molotov rejected the treaty in April.

That which apparently caused the change of mind in the interim was the "iron curtain" speech by Winston Churchill at Fulton, Mo., on March 5. The Kremlin had perceived the speech as aggressive and that President Truman had at least tacitly provided his preliminary approval—though he later denied having any advance knowledge of the content of the speech. Premier Stalin had been upset by the speech and even more so by the fact that no one in the Attlee Government in Britain had repudiated it.

"Perhaps the case is hopeless, as we are told so often by those who denounce 'appeasers.' The headlines—on atomic energy, on Trieste and so on—seem to confirm this. But we should not reconcile ourselves to this final disaster until the heads of state have met once again to try to clear the air of doubt and suspicion. It is time for Stalin, Truman and Attlee to sit down around the conference table to see whether any area of agreement exists."

Parenthetically, we note the presence of at least two open black umbrellas on a sunny day in the Rudolph Wilde Platz where President Kennedy spoke in Berlin on June 26, 1963, as East German guards looked across the Wall from rooftops with their field glasses.

Samuel Grafton, now in Rosarito Beach, Mexico, having driven from Los Angeles viewing billboards with beautiful girls on them, even those of the undertakers, tells of his trip south. He and his companions took in the swallows of Capistrano, stopping to read in a newspaper of how General Eisenhower had accused the Russians of holding up the war effort, passing through land resembling the Midwest, then through California's Spanish heritage, down below San Diego past untrammeled beaches, then finding that there was suddenly no place to park. Finally, on to Mexico, crossing into Tijuana.

The presidential election was scheduled for July 7 and the walls were plastered with posters for the opponents, former Foreign Minister Ezequiel Padilla and Miguel Aleman—who would win the election. Mr. Grafton was hard-pressed to discern the positions of each candidate.

Below Tijuana lay a vast emptiness until one reached the hotel at Rosarito Beach with its bars and ballrooms.

Suddenly appeared a man declaring that he was for Aleman and against Padilla, that Aleman spoke for the working man. He was angry and departed with his anger intact. He commented favorably on the visit of Franklin Roosevelt in April, 1943. Only one other President, William Howard Taft, had been to Mexico and he only visited a border town, whereas President Roosevelt made it into the interior as far as Monterrey. The man knew the exact dates of both visits and considered them great events.

They mentioned President Truman and the man shook his head negatively, asking if he wasn't a Republican. Mr. Grafton and his party then went to dinner.

A letter comments on Bishop Bernard Shell's remarks to the American Veterans Committee in Chicago, criticizing Congress for its reactionary response thus far in the post-war period, refusing to act to make FEPC permanent, tabling indefinitely the minimum wage increase, emasculating the full employment bill and OPA, but being hasty to pass anti-labor legislation in the wake of the wave of post-war strikes.

The writer supports the Bishop's remarks and urges that liberals tell the Rightists the same thing which President Roosevelt had told them, that they were economic royalists who did not believe in democracy.

Harry Golden responds to the editorial earlier in the week on the death of silent film cowboy star William S. Hart, taking exception to the comment that his acting skills were inadequate. Mr. Golden points out that Mr. Hart had a Shakespearian background before his cowboy days, and had been one of the preeminent Richard III's, as well as providing outstanding performances in plays by Ibsen, Pinero, and Shaw. He had appeared with Sarah Bernhardt on her first tour of the United States.

The motion picture industry had kept that past hidden so that the cowboy movie fans would not think him a dandy of the stage.

His last appearance on the stage was in 1930 in "Lamb's Gambol", a benefit for the actors' charities, and it was reputed to have been a show-stopping performance, as he recited "The Shooting of Wild Bill Hickock".

A letter writer re-prints a piece from the Raleigh News & Observer of June 23, discussing the moribund silkworm industry which had once been promising in Cumberland County, remarking therein that The News had mentioned in a piece by Tom Fesperman, on June 17, that a man kept 25,000 silkworms in his garage apartment in Charlotte.

She suggests that there ought be Tar Heel silk dresses made by Tar Heel silkworms. She once had some and her mulberry tree leaves were now going to waste in their absence. She wants the address of the man with the garage so that she might be able to get a pair from him.

The editors assure that the letter was being forwarded to the gentleman, but that, in actuality, he maintained 250,000 silkworms in his apartment, not a mere 25,000.

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