Friday, June 7, 1946

The Charlotte News

Friday, June 7, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that President Truman had announced the selection of Secretary of the Treasury Fred Vinson to become the new Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and John W. Snyder to replace him as head of Treasury. Senators were quick to predict speedy confirmation of both.

Republicans and pro-labor New Deal Democrats, however, criticized the nominations, but none indicated that they would oppose them. The New Deal Democrats stated privately that they had preferred a more liberal appointee to become Chief Justice and were openly opposed to Mr. Snyder. Republicans expressed disappointment that a Democrat was named to replace Republican Chief Justice Harlan Fiske Stone, who had passed away suddenly in April.

For the first time since the first Republican President, Anbraham Lincoln, the Republican Party was represented by only one seat on the Supreme Court, that of Justice Harold Burton, the former Senator from Ohio appointed the previous fall by President Truman to replace retiring Justice Owen Roberts, also a Republican.

With the President's political capital already in considerable trouble, he could not afford at this juncture to appoint either a Republican or a liberal Democrat to the position. Earlier in the week, when asked, he had pointedly told a reporter that Secretary Vinson was not under consideration for the post.

John L. Sullivan was also appointed Undersecretary of the Navy, following the earlier withdrawal from the nomination by the controversial Ed Pauley.

OPA ordered the price of milk raised a penny per quart.

The Senate appropriations committee cut 40 million dollars from the four billion dollar budget of the Navy previously approved by the House.

West Coast ship owners were preparing to make an offer to three of the seven maritime unions to try to stave off the June 15 strike.

The House began consideration of legislation to pay 15,000,000 former servicemen an average of $250 each for missed furlough time. It was expected that the bill would pass without opposition.

The trial in Montreal of accused Canadian spy Fred Rose, a Communist member of the Canadian Parliament, neared its end. Mr. Rose testified that he knew nothing of the alleged co-conspirators with whom he allegedly conspired to pass secrets to the Russians, that the only thing he had learned of them came from documents he had taken the previous September from the Soviet Embassy at Ottawa.

In New Delhi, Mahomed Ali Jinnah, leader of the Moslem League, announced the League's acceptance of the British Cabinet's plan for a federated union of India, albeit continuing to insist on eventual establishment of the separate Moslem state of Pakistan.

In Naples, fighting erupted the night before between monarchists and police, followed by surging crowds of monarchists in the streets of Naples during the day. Naples had voted Sunday four to one for preservation of the monarchy, while the country as a whole soundly rejected the continuation of the House of Savoy.

Harold Ickes, in his column, discusses the takeover of the coal mines by FDR in summer, 1943, and then working out an agreement with the UMW in November of that year, which included a $1.50 per day wage increase, a dollar of which was for travel time to and from the pit. There was little increase therefore in actual wages.

Some of the press, such as the Baltimore Sun, reacted by calling it appeasement. The Milwaukee Sentinel termed it a weak and discreditable performance by the Administration and blamed Mr. Ickes for it. The Washington Post also found it to be a high price for production of coal.

The new contract with UMW provided for $1.85 more in wages per day, retroactive to April 1, the start date of the strike, plus provision for the health and welfare fund based on payment by the operators of a nickel per ton of coal mined, a million dollars of which per year was to be administered directly by the union and John L. Lewis. It was anticipated that the package would require a 55-cents per ton increase in the retail price of coal to consumers.

Mr. Ickes wondered what the reaction to this settlement was in these same newspapers who had condemned him and the Administration in 1943 for significantly smaller concessions.

A series of articles by News correspondent Reed Sarratt regarding eligibility for Social Security benefits had resulted in numerous persons over 65 going to the Social Security office to claim their benefits, and thus Mr. Sarratt received praise from the local manager of the office.

Burke Davis reports on Page 1 of Section II of the newspaper of public housing in Charlotte being a good place for the homeless. You know where you can find it.

In Jersey City, N.J., two men hijacked a truck, en route from Durham to the Seaboard terminal in Jersey City, containing 637 cases of cigarettes valued at $41,000. The truck driver, from Durham, was placed in a car with a blanket over his head and, after being driven around for five hours, was dumped by the side of the road. He said that one of the men, brandishing a pistol, had entered his truck as he was stopped for a traffic light, and then within a few blocks, the other man jumped on the running board and took over the wheel.

A man in New York who lived in White Plains left a note for his wife saying that he had gambled and lost, leaped to his death from the 71st floor of the Empire State Building, landing on the 30th floor terrace.

In Cincinnati, striking brewery workers were provided free beer.

In Cleveland, the Pere Marquette Railway announced that it would experiment with eliminating the "tyranny of custom" of dining car tipping, in the hope that the trial would establish a new custom, freeing the traveler from the onerous obligation.

In Atlanta, the Klan had allegedly beaten a 21-year old black man, a Navy veteran employed by an Atlanta hotel. The man said that he had been administered 52 lashes at gunpoint on the night of February 13 in a remote location near the city. The State Attorney General was investigating.

On page 3-A, Harold Booker, in his column, "Thinking Out Loud", finds his readers feuding over whether a photograph of Mr. Booker wearing a straw hat and smoking a cigar displayed proper accouterment for the columnist. We can't venture an opinion as we do not have the photograph.

In Gladys, Ky., an eighteen-year old, Shorty, prepared to marry a 79-year old widow, Mrs. Large, but first Shorty had to obtain his parents' consent, which he did. The youngest of Mrs. Large's 49 grandchildren was the same age as Shorty.

You're only as young as you feel, or, as old as you feel, as the case may be.

On the editorial page, "Presidential Pals Move Upstairs" comments on the appointments of Fred Vinson to be Chief Justice and John W. Snyder to be Secretary of the Treasury. It finds Secretary Vinson to be well qualified politically but of questionable background for the Court, with only a short tenure as a Federal Judge behind him. Whether he could mend the rumored rift among some of the Justices, notably between Justice Black and Justice Jackson, was subject to question, but his even temperament likely suited the task.

As to Mr. Snyder, he was considered merely a Truman crony from Missouri being promoted and had been blamed for most of the Administration's failures during the previous year, as he was the chief adviser to the President. New Dealers had been seeking his ouster, Drew Pearson just having reported that he showed up in the rail strike negotiations having imbibed a few too many and interfered more than facilitated settlement; it was possible that he would face some opposition to confirmation.

"The Man with the Guitar" comments on the CIO PAC's elation regarding the election of Jim Folsom as Governor of Alabama, despite Mr. Folsom never having sought PAC support in a state controlled by the anti-union rural vote.

It was questionable how much PAC support had helped Mr. Folsom.

The Birmingham News had opposed him, but stated after his election that he had won because of a desire for change from the status quo, that his opponent was part of the present State Government.

Mr. Folsom, not having served previously in elective office, appeared to follow in the long line of Southern demagogues, from Huey Long to Robert Rice Reynolds. The Southern dictator, it predicts, would arrive, not on horseback, but barefoot, picking a guitar. Extreme poverty in the region assured the archetype's enduring status.

Governor Folsom, unable to succeed himself, would serve another term as Governor, from 1955-1959, and would run again in 1962, losing to George Wallace.

"Happy Birthday, Dear Clarence" comments on the 70th birthday party for Clarence Kuester and celebrates his 42 years of service to the community as the Chamber of Commerce secretary.

A piece from the Hendersonville Times-News, titled "What's the Matter with UNO?" comments on the editorial in which The News had presented the Hunter College bartender for the U.N. delegations as refutation to the contention by the Boston University president that the U.N. delegates were drinking too much.

It questions why such expensive preparations were made to serve them intoxicants if they were not consuming the liquor, and what, if not alcohol, had prompted the delegates to behave as they had.

The News editors add that they had suggested three reasons: the ideological conflict between capitalism and communism, the revolutionary currents in the world, and the ruins from the world war.

Drew Pearson reports that Majority Leader Alben Barkley, future Vice-President, was without a car and had to hail cabs from the sidewalk. President pro tem of the Senate Kenneth McKellar and the secretary of the Senate each had two official cars, and every Cabinet member had a car. Senator Barkley had no outside income like many of his colleagues, and his wife was ill, causing him to have to pay the doctors' bills by taking speaking engagements.

Since the death of FDR, the Senator had exerted for the first time real leadership in the Senate rather than being led by the White House as had formerly been the case.

He had hoped at one time to be appointed to the Supreme Court but had given up on that prospect. But, Mr. Pearson adds, it might be a good time for someone of Senator Barkley's stature to be appointed to the Court to effect healing.

He next reports that with the removal of price controls of milk, livestock, meat and poultry by the Senate Banking & Currency Committee, the growers of grain would retain their product to feed more livestock, causing a problem for dairy and poultry farmers and withholding of grain from the starving abroad.

Among his Capital Chaff , he relates of the President having a new DC-6 aircraft.

Tall Dean Acheson walked to work every morning with diminutive Justice Felix Frankfurter.

Marquis Childs reports that the President had determined to veto the Case strike restriction bill. He was preparing a message to go with the veto, justifying it on the basis of his own record as a Senator during which he never sought permanent restrictive legislation on labor and had not in his message to Congress two weeks earlier, asking for emergency legislation only and a joint study by Congress to be conducted before passing more permanent legislation.

The Case bill had emerged without so much restriction as it initially had possessed, but carried a 60-day cooling off period which could be easily circumvented by the unions without participating in the mediation process.

Labor had opposed the bill, especially Sidney Hillman of the CIO PAC, but Mr. Hillman also was cautioning against a third party movement which he viewed as only likely to result in the election of a reactionary Republican in 1948.

Secretary of Commerce Henry Wallace was of like opinion. He had strongly endorsed the two-party system and the Democrats before the American Labor Party dinner two weeks earlier. He stated after the dinner that he would work for progressivism within the party unless a scandal erupted in the Administration or a determination to go to war with Russia.

Harold Ickes was heading the Independent Citizens Committee of Arts, Sciences, and Professions, which strongly advocated a third party.

Whatever would turn out with the Case bill, Mr. Childs concludes, it would undoubtedly be a hot campaign topic.

Mr. Wallace, as indicated previously, would leave the Administration within a few months, being fired by the President, and would form the Progressive Party in 1948, running as its presidential candidate with Senator Glen Taylor of Idaho, a man with a guitar.

Samuel Grafton, still in Los Angeles, reports that housing had replaced sex as the chief topic of conversation in the city, and that conversation was bitter in tone. People in the movie industry muttered, whenever they saw business establishments being built, that the wood should have been diverted to homes in Westwood; the homeless muttered that the Government was allowing materials to be used to build movie sets. One had to drive a hundred miles outside the city to find hotels with vacancies.

Even maternity hospitals had cut their allowed stays to five or six days. Parking lots restricted parking to patrons only. Laundromats were filled to the brim all the time.

These conditions impacted the homeless more than anyone else, compounding their problems.

Most believed that there was plenty of building material with which to construct new houses but that it was being held from the market, awaiting release of controls.

The job situation was similar to other places in the country, with available good jobs for good people, but no one much taking ordinary jobs, leaving a shortage of unskilled labor, but a rise in unemployment among the unskilled.

He cautions that if real inflation were to grip the country, he dared not speculate on the exacerbated condition and its impact on the people's mood.

The general feeling was uneasiness about the future, that staking a place in the postwar economy was mandatory, but that one had to get a running start and jump aboard a moving vehicle or remain on the sidewalk observing until the right opportunity came along.

A letter from the executive secretary of the North Carolina Catholic Layman's Association responds to an editorial of May 28 which had indicated that the bishops of the Catholic Church in Italy had warned Catholics that if they voted for leftists, they could be denied the sacraments.

Citing the papal encyclical of Pope Pius XI, the previous Pope, he suggests that the warning was in furtherance of the battle of the Church against Communism and atheism, and did not involve, in the strictest sense, the Church becoming engaged in politics, as the editorial had stated.

The editors respond by quoting the May 22 edition of the Vatican newspaper, Osservatore Romano, which stated that the sanctions for voting for leftist candidates could include "denial of public sacraments".

Nobody said, however, what Romano Mussolini of the Chet Baker Sextet had to say on the matter. Whatever it was, don't shoot him for it, and get all the cranberry sauce all over the shoes.

A letter from the Southern States Industrial Council favors the Case bill and asks the President to sign it.

A letter writer, who had previously written urging the country to let the foreign nations starve so that they could not again wage war against the United States, now complains of food prices going through the ceiling.

"Always, someone says, we can't do this, we can't do that, but they are doing it. Who's ruling the country now? Nothing but the Communist Party."

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