Thursday, June 6, 1946

The Charlotte News

Thursday, June 6, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the AFL Seafarers International Union had struck nationwide, nine days prior to the scheduled start of the CIO maritime strike. The CIO National Maritime Union was expected to join the strike as a show of unity. The reason for the early strike was that the War Shipping Administration was putting as many ships to sea as it could to prevent strikes, as seamen could not strike while at sea or in foreign ports.

The latest offer of the CIO unions, a 44-hour work week instead of the current 56-hour week, had been rejected by the operators.

The Senate had passed the draft bill, extending the draft for a year and including 18 and 19-year olds. The House version now had to be reconciled by joint confreres. It was anticipated that the only area of trouble would be the inclusion of teenagers in the Senate bill and their exclusion in the House bill, with a possible compromise being to include only 19-year olds. The House bill had also extended the draft by only nine months with a six-month holiday on inductions, but those provisions were expected to be negotiable by the House to accord with the Senate version. The Senate had also included pay raises up to 50 percent for enlisted men, which had not been in the House version, but that variance, too, apparently could be reconciled.

The Senate Banking Committee agreed to recommend extension of price controls for a year but with numerous amendments which considerably undermined the effect of OPA, including the removal of controls on meat, livestock, poultry, and milk.

In Nanking, Chiang Kai-Shek issued to Government troops an order, effective Friday, for a 15-day truce in the civil war to enable the Communist forces to adhere to the original January ceasefire terms, which had been broken by both sides.

Chicago's Loop continued the clean-up following the La Salle Hotel fire, the worst hotel fire in the city's history. The telephone operator at the hotel's switchboard had remained on duty throughout the early stages of the fire to alert guests and was said to have saved hundreds of lives in the process. She remained until she passed out at her duty station and was then rescued. The Bell Telephone Company was preparing to acknowledge her valiant effort with an award.

The U.N. Security Council began looking at the issue of Spain, following submission of a special subcommittee report. The most controversial recommendation was cessation of diplomatic relations with the Franco Government, a move disfavored by the United States and Britain but favored by Russia.

Eddie Gilmore reports further on conditions in Russia from his five year stint there as a war correspondent, recently returned to the United States. He discusses this date the Russian effort to develop nuclear energy. Conventional wisdom was that Russia was years behind the United States in the technology, but the previous November, Foreign Commissar V. M. Molotov had stated that Russia would soon develop its own atomic energy.

A crash program was underway to stimulate the scientific community by attracting young scientists, building new laboratories and offering perquisites of the choice new housing in the country and lavish summer homes, called datchas.

Brig. General Lawrence Craigie of the Army Air Forces stated that they needed to have new wind tunnels capable of generating Mach 10 winds, 7,600 miles per hour, to test missiles.

From Frankfurt came the report that 1.5 million dollars worth of jewels were missing from the Hesse family estate near Frankfurt, where American soldiers had been maintaining a headquarters. The jewels were missing from the basement and were thought to have been discovered and taken by the Americans. An investigation was promised, but most of the soldiers had already returned to the United States.

In Brooklyn, women who had been waiting in line in front of a meat market since 1:30 a.m. became irate when late arrivers began breaking in at the front of the line, causing a hair-pulling melee.

We know the phenomenon. We once saw it occur in the early hours one morning outside the Federal Building in San Francisco in February, 1976, while standing in line to see 20 minutes of the Patricia Hearst bank robbery trial that afternoon. A woman lost her wiggie-hat in the rain in Juarez, but it was not yet Easter time, just a Valentine.

Six months later, we were in Burbank one evening, saw Robert Stack running into a Safeway Store to investigate a homicide on the premises, missed his mark, had to reshoot it twice, over the course of 90 minutes while they buffed down the shine of the police cars and their headlamps. All he said during the interminable waiting, over and over: "Let's shoot this mother."

On the editorial page, "Cash Money and Free Elections" tells of an investigation being conducted into excessive campaign expenditures and voting irregularities in the Congressional race in the fifth district of North Carolina, comprising Surry and Stokes Counties, between incumbent John Folger and blanket king, Thurmond Chatham.

The blanket king would lose, despite apparently funneling $100,000 into his campaign, much of it coming from wealthy friends, indicating, says the piece, the likelihood that Mr. Chatham, if elected, could not maintain independence, would be beholding to his wealthy contributors.

There was also question as to how such a large amount could be spent on a Congressional campaign. There was a suspicion that some of it went to purchase votes, a circumstance which was all too common in North Carolina elections.

The piece recommends legislation to limit campaign contributions.

You can stop laughing now.

"An Ex Post Facto Argument" suggests that Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin's remark to Commons that the Soviet Union should take advantage of the opportunity at present to construct the peace as it might not come again, was uttered a year too late. The opportunity, it suggests, was lost somewhere between San Francisco's U.N. Charter Conference of a year earlier and the U.N. meetings at Hunter College in the Bronx, still ongoing. It also suggests that Mr. Bevin's warnings should have been addressed, in addition to Russia, to the United States and to his own country, as the failure to reach accord was mutually shared.

It suggests that there was no need to feign cordial relations between the three nations as the peace negotiations had broken down, apparently irretrievably.

American foreign policy, insistence on maintaining the atomic secret from the Russians, demanding compulsory military service, the plan to retain military bases in the Pacific and Atlantic, sending American troops to fight against the Chinese Communists, and the treaties to arm and train armies of the Pan American countries all contributed to the breakdown, and, it insists, it was well to bear it in mind.

It points out that Eddie Gilmore had reported that Russians did not want war and harbored no immediate imperialistic plans, that they were in no condition to do so economically or in terms of infrastructure, that they were busy rebuilding out of the ruins of the war.

A piece from the New York Herald-Tribune, titled "Not Welcome in Georgia", discusses the move in Georgia by Governor Ellis Arnall, directing the State Attorney General to prosecute the Klan for violations of its charter, going beyond its non-profit and no-politics provisions, as well for the organization's unlawful aim at destruction of civil liberties.

The outfit was heavily engaged in the gubernatorial contest between former Governors Gene Talmadge and E.D. Rivers, along with liberal James Carmichael. The Klan was making anonymous threats against the Governor.

The editorial wishes the State well in its efforts to unmask the Klan and keep the state on enlightened paths.

Drew Pearson discusses what he regards as Harry Truman's worst enemy, his loyalty to his friends, telling of the weekend two weeks earlier, during which he had urged to Congress passage of the emergency bill to curtail strikes just as the rail strike was settled on Saturday. He proceeds to provide detail of the meetings preceding the Friday night radio broadcast to the nation and the Saturday speech to Congress. As those meetings have been covered already, we shall let you read of the play-by-play on your own this time.

The final draft of the radio address he delivered Friday night had heavy input from James Byrnes and Fred Vinson, with John Snyder ultimately vetoing many recommendations they had made, such as dispensing with the personal references to Trainmen's union president A.F. Whitney and Locomotive Engineers union president Alvanley Johnston, which the President left in the speech. The speech was completed only 20 minutes before Mr. Truman went on the air. At that time, the President did not know precisely what type of legislation he was going the next day to ask Congress to pass.

He next tells of former Secretary of Commerce and RFC chairman Jesse Jones heading back to Texas to try to sway troublesome elections, among which was the strength being shown in the gubernatorial race by liberal Homer Rainey, ousted president of the University of Texas—who in spring, 1941 had extended the invitation to W. J. Cash to speak at the commencement ceremonies. Mr. Jones was also distressed over liberal forces gaining strength in his home state of Tennessee, where Boss Crump's political power and that of ailing Senator Kenneth McKellar appeared on the wane.

Marquis Childs discusses the charge from Russia that the United States, by asking for retention post-war of wartime bases constructed in such places as Iceland, was engaging in imperialism. He points out that across the Bering Strait, the western tip of Alaska was but 54 miles from the eastern tip of Siberia. And in western Alaska, the United States possessed no defenses of consequence.

In the Aleutians and southern Alaska, there were several bases, but these were hundreds of miles from Russia and usually beset by bad weather conditions. The closest base to Russia was Kuskokwim, 300 miles north of the Aleutians, and that was being decommissioned along with Naknek, also on the west coast.

The major bases of Alaska had been established against Japan during the war, thus had little or no strategic value with respect to Russia.

Because of Russian secrecy, the United States knew practically nothing of what was taking place in eastern Siberia, while the Russians were well aware of the lack of Alaskan defenses.

Mr. Childs seeks to reassure Russia by pointing out that if the United States were possessed of any genuine imperialistic designs involving Russia, the first place it would seek to shore up defenses would be on this Alaskan frontier.

Samuel Grafton continues to discuss his friend, the candidate for Congress in Los Angeles, by way of explaining further the pervasive feeling he had encountered a month earlier along the Outer Banks of North Carolina, then two weeks earlier in the Deep South, and now in Los Angeles, that the country was suffering emotionally, torn between expectations of post-war plenty and the sense of disappointment from failure of those material dreams yet to materialize.

His friend had experienced questions which suggested the pointlessness of running for Congress.

A woman resident of the city for a long while told Mr. Grafton that the society had slowed down since the end of the war. People milled around listlessly, not much discussing the atomic age, damning the unions but without resolve to try to do anything about the strikes. They had no voice, with both President Roosevelt and Wendell Willkie dead.

Servicemen drifting into Los Angeles did not seem to look forward to anything and appeared afraid that they would not find that for which they had been looking.

His friend told him that it was not even an interesting breakdown as in the Twenties. It was the Twenties without F. Scott Fitzgerald.

A letter from a member of the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen, one of the two railroad unions which had previously gone on strike two weeks earlier, suggests that the President had used the methods of Hitler to resolve the rail strike, says that the workers had built the country, but could not stand up for their rights without being threatened by the President. The President, he says, had sided with the capitalists.

A letter from a lawyer comments on the President's remarks at the Washington College commencement exercises in Chestertown, Maryland, the previous weekend, in which he had urged that creation and participation in small businesses be the aim of the graduates rather than joining large corporations. He points out that the President had caused wage increases from the coal strike to be passed on to consumers, just as he had at the conclusion of the automotive strike.

He sees from it all capitalism being reduced to feudalism.

A letter from Senator Clyde Hoey expresses his full agreement with "No Time for Disunity", an editorial of May 27, supporting the President's decisive action in his speech before a joint session of Congress, seeking a labor-draft provision.

Senator Hoey says that he had always favored the working man and believed strongly in organized labor, but the union bosses were dictating to the working man when they should strike for better wages and conditions, and the worker had no say in the matter.


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