Tuesday, June 4, 1946

The Charlotte News

Tuesday, June 4, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that British Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin had told Commons that Russia should not miss the opportunity to construct the peace, as the time was ripe for it, failing which, it might never come again. He stated that peace in Europe could only occur with the full participation of the Russians. The fact that the Russians had rejected the proposal of Secretary of State Byrnes for a 25-year, four-power vigil of Germany should not, he urged, be cause for dismay either by Britons or Americans. Mr. Bevin also disagreed with the Russian desire to have Trieste annexed by Yugoslavia, favoring that it become an international port. He favored submitting the peace treaties to the world conference of 21 nations should the foreign ministers not be able to reach agreement at the June 15 meeting.

President Truman accepted reluctantly the resignation of Edward Stettinius as the United States representative to the U.N. His temporary replacement would be his deputy, Herschel V. Johnson of Charlotte, until a new appointment could be made.

The Security Council, meanwhile, began considering the subcommittee report which recommended denunciation of the Franco Government in Spain and advocated a bloodless coup by republican forces.

A mystery had arisen as to what had happened to some 2.5 million Japanese in Manchuria, North Korea, Sakhalin, and the Kurile Islands, all territory occupied by Russia since war's end.

In Moscow, Mikhail Kalinan, President of the Soviet Union, had died at age 70 of cancer.

In the wake of the Supreme Court case in Morgan v. Virginia, holding the previous day that segregated interstate bussing per statutes in certain states posed an undue burden on interstate commerce because other states prohibited segregation in motor transport, blacks had not thus far appeared to alter their behavior on the busses passing through the ten states with such Jim Crow laws, which included North Carolina and nine other Southern states. Blacks were still sitting in the back of the bus. The states impacted by the decision were examining their statutes to determine whether they would also be deemed invalid in court challenges, as the Virginia statute.

Senator William Stanfill of Kentucky was waging a fight to defeat the Senate draft bill's provision to include teenagers, saying that it was unnecessary for the fact of a million men between ages 20 and 30 having been deferred during wartime. It was expected that action would be taken on the draft extension bill this date.

Heads of the maritime unions indicated a willingness to lower their demands to avert a nationwide maritime strike set to begin June 15.

In Italy, with about ten percent of the election returns tabulated from Sunday's election to determine whether the country would retain the monarchy, results were showing its rejection by a vote of two to one. The industrial northern section of the country heavily opposed retention while the less populated agrarian southern section favored it.

The United States and Britain agreed to return their wartime bases in the Azores to Portugal following an additional eighteen months of transit use to permit continued lines of communication with occupation troops in Europe and Japan.

Associated Press correspondent Eddie Gilmore, who had recently returned from five years in Russia covering the war, asserted that Russia, neither its leaders nor its people, wanted to fight another war. Everyone to whom he talked on return to the United States, upon finding out he had been in Russia, wanted to know whether another war was likely. There was a sense of urgency in their inquiries.

Russia, he states, was not in any position to fight another war anytime soon. Its coal, electrical, and iron industries were crippled, though on the rebound. The country remained far behind the United States and Britain in atomic research. Its Air Force and Navy were far behind those countries as well. The Russians were anxious to embark on the five-year plan for rebuilding.

Earlier in the year, the Russians had talked of fearing the possibility of war being initiated by Britain.

Much of what fueled the speculation was the method by which Russia conducted its diplomacy: Andrei Gromyko walking out of the Security Council during consideration of the issue of Soviet presence in Iran beyond the 1942 treaty deadline for evacuation by March 2; the Soviets' extended presence in Manchuria.

Hal Boyle reports on page 7-A that Germany had few friends left in Scandinavia, those few being primarily in Sweden.

A report to the Senate Small Business Committee stated that 98 percent of the nation's flour mills would be closed by this date. The Minneapolis Mills reported that wheat supplies were nearly gone.

Attorney General Tom Clark announced the indictments of eleven men on charges of conspiracy to violate price controls on the sale of 11,500 barrels of whisky, rendering alleged illegal profits of two million dollars. The whisky was alleged to have been sold in the black market nationwide.

From Chicago, William Ferris reports that draught beer was on the way out, condemned as a part of the horse and buggy days. It had all but disappeared already outside the major cities. Immediately after repeal of Prohibition in 1933, draught beer comprised 80 percent of the market. In 1946, it was only 30 percent, the remainder bottled. It was explained by a representative of a beer trade organization that bottled beer went further with less waste and was more easily marketed, with the trademark in plain view on the bottle. During March, 1946, the brewing industry, according to the Treasury Department, had produced 5.5 million barrels of beer, 3.7 million of which was bottled. A year earlier, production was higher, 6.3 million barrels, of which four million went into bottles.

The new British Ambassador to the United States, Lord Inverchapel, arrived in Washington, with his 17-year old Scottish bagpipe player ushering him in with pipes, as shown in a photograph. Lord Inverchapel replaced Lord Halifax who had retired from the post after serving since 1940.

In London, a first edition of Thomas Gray's "Elegy in a Country Churchyard" sold for $4,200. The copy had originally been sold 200 years earlier by Rev. J. Strickland Rugby for sixpence.

Where it had been squirreled away in the meantime was not stated.

On the editorial page, "The Labor Draft Was FDR's Baby" reminds that it had been FDR who originally put forth the idea of a labor draft, not President Truman, though the latter had now become saddled with the official condemnation from labor for having dared to suggest such a proposal ten days earlier.

President Roosevelt in 1943 had vetoed the Smith-Connally Act, providing for criminal penalties to anyone who assisted or urged a strike after Government seizure of a plant. He had done so, though it was passed over his veto, with the caveat that he believed the Act would only stimulate further strikes, proposing in its stead a labor draft. That call had brought no great outcry at the time from labor leaders.

The President had renewed the request in both 1944 and early 1945. At the later time, the bill passed both houses of Congress but was shelved with the end of the war before becoming law.

The only difference in the Roosevelt and Truman proposals was the timing of the latter, after the war. But many Americans believed that the war effectively still continued until full production was reached in the country. Mr. Truman's mistake, it opines, was that he waited too long to ask for a labor draft, had led the stampede right after V-J Day to remove controls from rationing and prices.

President Truman, it was said, had placed too much faith in the American people to follow his advice urging voluntary compliance in practicing self-restraint to obtain full production during reconversion. The piece finds it central to the difference between Mr. Truman and his predecessor, that FDR was a realist who understood that a free people need a leader "to protect themselves from themselves".

"Governor Arnall Points the Way" compliments Governor Ellis Arnall of Georgia for his commencement address the previous Sunday at Winthrop College, especially given a tough season for commencement addresses when, with veterans returning to campuses after the war and shortages abounding, bright invitations to the future were likely as not to be greeted with raspberries from the back of the hall.

The Governor, amid his generalities about the centrality of education to the future of the country, spoke of having raised teacher salaries in Georgia during his term as Governor by 125 percent and the state's educational rank having soared in the process from 47th to third.

The piece urges the students to bear that remark in mind, that a state only received the education for which it was willing to pay in taxes. Southern states had for many years maintained teacher salaries at a level below the national average and below any comparable profession, receiving in some instances less than the pay of state employed janitors. Low educational standards and low teacher pay went hand in hand.

"The Eviction of Charlie Jett" tells of the eviction of a squatter and his family of five in Thomasville, Georgia, as shown in a pair of photographs on the front page the day before, Mr. Jett and family being told to leave the converted service station by its owner, a farmer who wanted the building for other purposes. The owner began tearing it down around them when they refused to leave. They obtained a court order temporarily restraining him from continuing to raze the building and were now living in the roofless remaining structure, pending the outcome of their $2,500 damage suit.

It was signal of the times. Initial sympathies were with Mr. Jett and against the farmer who owned the building. But, as one thought about it, the farmer had the right to his own land as against a squatter. Why should not the Government have given Mr. Jett a place to live with his family? Why should the Government force the farmer to keep a squatter on his land?

"If somebody's rights must be abridged, why should it be Ballard, the farmer, rather than Charlie Jett, the penniless rolling stone?"

Mr. Ballard was only one among many private property owners forced to pay a penalty to meet the needs of the homeless.

A piece from the Spartanburg Journal, titled "Unemployment and the Labor Shortage", tells of a critical labor shortage in the area as a hundred Bahamians were being brought from Florida to assist in picking the peach crop.

Yet, 1,100 veterans were currently registered locally as seeking employment through the U.S. Employment Service. Some 2,000 non-veterans were also seeking employment.

In six months, no one passing the editor's uncut grass and hedge had knocked and offered to do the work.

The facts added up to a problem in society. It questions what could be done to make the jobs more attractive to those seeking work.

We have one suggestion, Mr. Editor. Go out and cut your own grass and trim your hedge.

Sorry. You asked for it.

Drew Pearson remarks that many of Henry Wallace's political advisers had urged the Secretary to attack President Truman's call for a labor draft and emergency strike legislation, to bolster the Secretary's support among labor. But he was talked out of it by his chief political adviser, Harold Young of Dallas.

In the summer of 1943, Mr. Wallace's advisers had also wanted him to criticize President Roosevelt for having taken him out as head of the Board of Economic Warfare for his chafing with Secretary of Commerce Jesse Jones in urging a greater war production effort, especially in the area of development of synthetic rubber. But Mr. Young had also talked him out of that one as well.

Opinion was divided, he notes, on how this earlier passivity had affected Mr. Wallace, some believing that his political stock rose to new heights, others convinced that President Roosevelt was sending then Vice-President Wallace on new ventures, such as the Moscow trip in the summer of 1944 to allow him to dangle over the edge, then cutting the rope by allowing the Democratic convention authority to select his 1944 running mate.

He next comments on the race for Congress in New Jersey of incumbent Fred Hartley, safe in his seat for 16 years, now being challenged by another Republican, Walter Schaefer, the latter running on the fact that Mr. Hartley was one of the chief enemies of continued price control. Mr. Hartley had a huge campaign chest from the National Dry Goods Association, but his opponent had behind him angry housewives.

In the end, Mr. Hartley would be re-elected for one more term, defeating in 1946 his successor in 1949, Peter Rodino, eventually to become chairman of the House Judiciary Committee which voted articles of impeachment in July, 1974 against President Nixon, forcing his resignation August 9—all over an ordinary third-rate burglary.

Did you ever?

Southern Democrats, he next explains, wanted fertilizer rationed by the Agriculture Department, so that it could be devoted to the growth of more cotton and tobacco dow' 'er in a fiel'. They wanted potash fertilizer distributed on the basis of 1944 when the South consumed 44 percent of the supply but produced only ten percent of the nation's food. Five Midwestern states had produced half the nation's food in 1944, utilizing but six percent of the fertilizer. The Midwestern farmers did not object to rationing potash if that rationing recognized the importance of food production.

Midwest farms were now planted to capacity and the only way to increase production of the land was through increased use of fertilizer.

Marquis Childs discusses the resignation of Edward Stettinius as U.N. delegate, and urges the President to accept the resignation—which he had done.

Mr. Stettinius had risen from the higher echelons of business at General Motors to become one of the proteges of Harry Hopkins, along with such young luminaries as Nelson Rockefeller, former Assistant Secretary of State for Latin American Affairs, and Averell Harriman, now Ambassador to Britain.

Mr. Stettinius had begun his Government career as lend-lease administrator and had so impressed in the role that he was made Undersecretary of State at the time of the forced resignation of Sumner Welles in August, 1943 after the latter had conflicted with Secretary Cordell Hull, causing Mr. Hull's ultimatum to the President. Mr. Stettinius in that role had begun the process of reorganization of the State Department diplomatic personnel, but moved slowly, principally concentrating on the physical remodeling of the State Department building itself. He had also performed admirably as the head of the American delegation to Dumbarton Oaks in August through October, 1944, charged with formulation of the working draft of the charter for the U.N., with details and member approval left to the San Francisco Conference.

On the resignation of Mr. Hull, Mr. Stettinius then acceded to the position of Secretary in late November, 1944. He continued to reorganize the State Department, to try to get rid of the dead wood and replace them with some of the young, ambitious personnel. That included the appointment as Assistant Secretary of Mr. Rockefeller and the controversial poet Archibald MacLeish, Joseph Grew as Undersecretary, and Dean Acheson as Assistant, subsequently to be appointed Undersecretary in July, 1945. With the death of President Roosevelt the following April, however, the personal style of Government which the late President had led suddenly vanished. Mr. Stettinius had offered his resignation, but President Truman asked him to remain though the U.N. Charter Conference, set to start in San Francisco only twelve days later. Mr. Stettinius obliged and was then replaced by James Byrnes right after the end of the conference on June 26, 1945.

As the principal American delegate to the U.N., he had served efficiently but remained out of his element amid a sea of seasoned diplomats, such as Andrei Vyshinski in London and Andrei Gromyko in New York. At the end, his role had been somewhat taken over by Secretary of State Byrnes during the controversy over continued Russian troop presence in Iran. It was in the wake of that ruffle that Mr. Stettinius stepped aside. His temporary successor by law, deputy Herschel Johnson, was an able professional diplomat who could serve well in the role until a new person could be appointed.

Republican Senator Warren Austin of Vermont would get the nod to succeed Mr. Stettinius.

Samuel Grafton, still in Los Angeles, takes a tour of the Lockheed aircraft plant, which he had last seen two years earlier at the height of its wartime operations. Now it was largely hollow, though still carrying on production ten times that of its pre-war status. "Today, it is like a lake which has frozen over, with only a bit of free water left in one or two coves." It was down to 20,000 workers, having employed as many as 95,000 during the war. The huge yards which had teemed with P-38's was now barren. A sense of unhappiness and restlessness now pervaded, a function of post-war blues.

Employees could not find fit places to live or use their wartime earnings to buy things which had been put off during the war, not even able to find a decent shirt to buy. Generally, the mood seemed characterized by a fear of the future, both personally and for aviation, as well for the world.

Of the 4,900 men rehired by Lockheed after returning from service, a thousand had already departed, a hundred of whom left to buy farms, 300 moving elsewhere because of the housing crunch, 150 saying they wanted to attend school, and 90 saying that they wanted to go into business, usually that of selling electrical appliances.

The discontented from other areas of the country had come to work at Lockheed, former waitresses who had decided not to put up any longer with surly customers, former school teachers who wanted to work in a factory rather than endure the limitations of a small town and its school board politics.

Plant officials were aware of this mood, a combination of holiday festiveness and uneasiness, but had little idea what to do about it. People, said one official, had gotten the idea during the war that everything would continually rise, and when the rising stopped at war's end, they did not know what to do.

Now, they were building Constellations for overseas passenger airlines, a very different task from the thousands of fighters turned out during the war.

Meanwhile, a wrecking ball worked outside, clearing away the old bomb shelters.

Hey, kids, over here. We have a solution! Gather round. Let's us go elect ourselves an anti-Red Congressman or two, who will really whip the anti-Red sentiment up good against all the liberals in Washington controlling our lives and preventing our growth into the future, and start us a Cold War. Then everything will be happy-happy again and all will prosper as we put down all those ne'er do wells on New Deal relief. Our own reeeavoooluuuution!

A letter asks the newspaper to print the voting records of North Carolina Senators Clyde Hoey and Josiah W. Bailey, along with that of Representative Sam Ervin, as well as persuading them to provide their views on legislation for the newspaper.

The newspaper responds that it tried regularly to do so, whenever the wire services provided the breakdown of votes in Congress. But often bills were passed or not through voice votes, without tabulating the individual yeas and nays. Moreover, amendments sometimes added to a bill could cause a no vote on the bill as amended to be a yes vote on the bill prior to amendment.

A letter from the U.S. Savings Bond Division of the Treasury urges the buying of savings bonds to help pay for the national debt and reduce the risk of inflation, while earning interest on the bonds.

A letter from a veteran asks that the "help wanted" column not be discontinued.

The editors respond that they had done so only temporarily during the rail strike when newsprint was scarce, forcing elimination of all advertising and cutting the newspaper the previous week down to eight pages. They printed the letter to suggest the service provided to the public by ads, that they were not just the primary source of revenue for the newspaper.

A letter criticizes News reporter Pete McKnight for what it considered a bad critique of a recording of "Carmen" with Rise Stevens—who passed away in March, 2013—singing with the New York Metropolitan Opera. According to the writer, Mr. McKnight had thought the whole thing terrible, though the recording had the very best opera talent available. Ms. Stevens was not "throaty", as apparently Mr. McKnight had complained. Mr. McKnight, concludes the nameless "Ex-McKnight Reader", needed to learn to tell good music from bad.

The editors reply: "Well, at least he signs his name when he expresses his opinion of the greatest Carmen, etc."

Incidentally, so do we. As with a lot of other things here, you just don't know it when we do. In any event, the letter writer adopts the stance that because someone is a renowned singer, whether in opera or other forms of music, they are beyond criticism for their performace on a given occasion, on a given recording. Start down that road and all of music suffers as a result. No one, engaged in any artistic pursuit, is ever above their audience to the extent that they cannot be criticized without the critic assailed as someone without taste. Criticism is how the art is improved and from which, often, it derives a higher meaning and appreciation by a wider audience. The critic of Mr. McKnight offers no counter to his criticism, only negating the comments to which the letter attributes to him, effectively denying him freedom of speech, stating that Ms. Rise and the Met were the best, and so... And so what? She sounds throaty.

Whether this nameless writer was inspired by that coterie who had written in April complaining of Mr. McKnight's criticism of the North Carolina Symphony's performance of Brahms, primarily because of the "cold barn" which was the Armory, is not indicated.


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