Tuesday, July 16, 1946

The Charlotte News

Tuesday, July 16, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that by an overwhelming vote, the House rejected the restrictive Senate bill extending OPA by a year, meaning that the bill would now head to reconciliation in conference. The President had urged that result.

The UAW called its members off the job to discuss a consumer strike against terminating OPA. Citizens committees in many communities, including Rochester, N.Y., Pittsburgh, Denver, and in Utah, were also preparing for massive buying strikes.

In Berlin, the Russians returned an American warrant officer and his wife to American authorities after they had wandered innocently into the Russian zone fifteen days earlier as they looked for a pet shop. They had been held in a dungeon for two days. Two other Americans remained missing, a captain and a lieutenant who had disappeared July 4 in Oranienburg, 20 miles north of Berlin.

At the same time, the Army released three Russian espionage suspects to the Red Army, arrested two weeks earlier.

In Ottawa, two high members of the Russian Embassy staff left the capital after a report was published by the Government on the Soviet fifth column in the country. The two had been accused of directing the spy activities and were believed to be returning to Moscow by way of the United States.

Secretary of State Byrnes, in a radio broadcast the previous evening, laid blame on Russia for the failure of accord at the Paris foreign ministers conference regarding a plan for unification of Germany economically or a plan for oversight for 25 years to assure continued German disarmament, plus the failure to agree on a treaty for Austria. He stated that The United States intended to issue orders to General Joseph McNarney, commander of the American occupation zone, to cooperate with the other three occupying powers in finance, transportation, communication, trade, and industry. If the plan failed, it would be Russia's fault.

In Washington, the chairman of the Federation of American Scientists, W. A. Higgenbotham, declared that there was no foreseeable defense to the atomic bomb and that America must stop kidding itself and develop a strategy of cooperative endeavor among the nations with respect to atomic energy. Other nations, he said, would inevitably have the bomb within four years. Security had to be based on something other than invention and gadgets. If an international arms race ensued, it would involve "a war of nerves such as history does not record." The alternative to control was decentralization as a defense. Otherwise, metropolitan real estate prices would topple as the average person realized the disadvantage of living in such prime target areas in the atomic age.

The President signed the War Department appropriation bill, authorizing 7.25 billion dollars, about one third of the previous year's appropriation.

In Dachau, the American military tribunal sentenced 43 German SS troops, including Col. Joachim Peiper, considered the leader, to death for the murder of 900 unarmed and captured American soldiers and Belgian civilians during the Ardennes offensive, which included the Malmedy massacre. The other 30 defendants received prison sentences up to life. This group included Col. General Josef Dietrich, part of Hitler's 1923 Beer Hall Putsch in Munich, and whose troops spearheaded the Ardennes offensive.

The president of the Erie Basin Metal Products Co. told the Senate War Investigating Committee that his company distributed Christmas gifts around Washington in 1943 and 1944, but that the gifts were inexpensive and went to receptionists and staff. He did not see any problem in giving a silver vanity set to the wife of a general but did find it problematic to provide a case of Scotch to a general who had oversight of the war contracts. Gifts were provided to subcontractors to expedite shipments and he saw no problem with this practice.

Cattle prices hit a new high of $25.75 in Chicago, while hogs jumped a dollar to $20, and sheep, 50 cents higher at $21.50, record highs since 1919 and 1918, respectively. The ceiling on hogs had been $14.85 under price control. The all-time high was in 1919 at $23.60 and the all-time low was $1.65 in 1932.

In Chicago, the District Attorney stated that William Heirens, accused slayer of six-year old Suzanne Degnan, had been identified by a soldier as carrying a paper bag a block from the Degnan home within an hour after the time of the kidnaping on January 7, which had taken place at around midnight. Mr. Heirens, in custody still only on the unrelated robbery, burglary and assault charges for which he had been arrested at the end of June, had not yet been formally charged in the Degnan case, but indictments were soon going to be sought in that case and the killing of a Navy WAVE, one of the "lipstick killings", with which he had also been connected via fingerprints.

He had also been identified by a janitor in a building two doors down from the Degnan home, as having been in the area during Christmas. The FBI had confirmed the police findings of a match between the handwriting on the ransom note and that of Mr. Heirens, as well as his fingerprint and palm prints on the note.

He denied reports that he had confessed to the killing and the killing of the Navy WAVE. His attorneys and the District Attorney confirmed that he had not confessed. A third case was also being investigated as a possible victim of Mr. Heirens.

A story in the Chicago Tribune claimed that Mr. Heirens had been burglarizing an apartment across a yard from the Degnan apartment the previous night and had seen the little girl in her bedroom, as well as the ladder in the yard. On the night of the kidnaping, according to the story, he went to the theater with two friends and left them at around midnight, then took an "L" train to the area of the Degnan apartment.

Hal Boyle writes from Berlin that the Irish combat soldier who headed the American garrison found relations between the four occupying nations "very satisfactory". Disagreements were frequent but friendly. The Army's tighter discipline was achieving results with the American troops. The incidence of venereal disease was declining, as was the crime rate among soldiers. Some of the unprovoked assaults by American troops on German citizens had, the commander believed, led to retaliation. Usually, such incidents were caused by jealousy of German males regarding fraternization by American males with German females.

Cafes and nightclubs were still off limits to American soldiers, relegating entertainment to service clubs. He intended to allow reopening of the better establishments once it was determined that they were under good management.

In Montana, Senator Burton Wheeler was in a close race for the Democratic nomination, with returns still too close to call and both sides predicting victory.

In Arkansas, Congressman Brooks Hays was faced with two opponents, named Parker Parker and Homer Berry. Neck N. Necked was not in the race this time, the result of some close calls, especially with Detherow E. Charr. N. D. P. Wright had to drop out after the start of the campaign because of initial intense competition from Lefty Dunn Gotter, until his German accent slipped out during one speech and it was discovered that his mother, Ida Damm Wun "Belle" Gotter, was a Communist, requiring his withdrawal. Pinky Slader was disqualified when it was discovered that he was born in Russia to Irish immigrants from Istanbul. And Imus De Trane was in dispose the night before the registration deadline, showed up a day late at the registrar's office to place his name on the ballot. He was going to challenge the exclusion in court through his lawyer, Bowlin F. R. Strykes, who hoped to forum-shop until he could get the matter heard before a favorable judge, such as the Honorable I. Don Ball or Bott L. Ryder.

In Georgia, former Governor Eugene Talmadge, who would win the race, was warning "wise" black voters to stay away from the polls.

Probably a good idea, given the choice.

On the editorial page, "Isolation Also Has Degrees" finds the defeats of former Senator Gerald Nye of North Dakota and Senator Henrik Shipstead of Minnesota to be encouraging signs that isolationism was on the wane, though not yet dead in the country. The passage finally of the British loan was another encouraging sign, especially as anti-British sentiment regarding the Jewish plight in Palestine had caused serious problems, along with the notion that the debt from the war had so imperiled the Treasury that the country could not afford such a loan, a view held by House Ways & Means chairman Robert Doughton of North Carolina.

It was not a partisan victory as 61 Republican House members voted for it, as did most of the Southern Democrats. Such a vote was not surprising given the conservative nature of the loan, designed to bolster American foreign trade and support British opposition to Russia in Europe and the Middle East. Thus, it was to a degree an isolationist move, creating a strong Western bloc against Russia.

It did, however, suggest that the country was willing to shoulder its share of responsibilities internationally, befitting its new role of world leadership. The country had abandoned pure nationalism for limited internationalism, standing as a measure of progress since the aftermath of World War I. The country perhaps had learned the hard lesson that it could not survive by fleeing reality.

"Charlotte and the Med School" discusses a letter to the editor outlining the various arguments in favor of establishing in Charlotte the new medical school associated with the University. The primary consideration was the geographical area to be served, in the western portion of the state, when Duke served the Raleigh-Durham-Greensboro area adequately.

As previously indicated, the medical school would be located on the University campus in Chapel Hill.

"The Businessmen at Chapel Hill" discusses the establishment of the new Business Foundation at the University, as reported during the weekend by Burke Davis. Some of the business tycoons present at the meeting had expressed the opinion that if business leaders were not to be alienated, organized labor would have to be jettisoned from consideration as part of its membership.

It was unlikely that labor would publicly complain as many business leaders had regarding the CIO training school in Chapel Hill. But they might likely express private doubts of a foundation for millionaires. Class conflict, with the University caught in the middle, could be the result.

University president Frank Porter Graham, however, was an advocate of having all sides heard and represented in any debate. The piece finds it beneficial to have both labor and business points of view openly aired on the campus.

In the event of irreconcilable differences, after all, they could always seek mediation at the Bull's Head Bookshop in the basement of Louis Round Wilson.

A piece from the Macon News, titled "The Return to Reason?" discusses an interview provided reporter Mark Temple of the Atlanta Journal by Emile Rieve, president of the CIO Textile Workers Union of America, in which he had stated that big unions could no longer operate as private clubs without regard to public opinion, but had to be responsible both to employers and the public.

He opposed health and welfare funds administered exclusively by unions, as sought recently by John L. Lewis on behalf of UMW.

The piece finds this unusual talk for a major union leader and welcomes it as a refreshing change from the rhetoric of Federation of Musicians president James Caesar Petrillo and Mr. Lewis.

Drew Pearson explains that the former imperial wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, former dentist Dr. Hiram W. Evans of Dallas, had been hit by the Tax Court with a judgment for $300,000. He had made the income generating the tax almost exclusively through his Klan activities, collecting dues from suckers all over the country.

He had also sold asphalt for Georgia road construction under the term of former Governor E.D. Rivers, a member of the Klan, running currently again for the gubernatorial nomination. Dr. Evans had claimed as deductions the cost of entertaining state officials in 1937-38. He had also deducted the cost for repair of a dam at his country place outside Atlanta, used for entertaining state officials. All of these deductions had been denied.

He had set up three dummy corporations to escape taxes, one in the name of his wife and three children, and one in the name of his secretary. The corporation paid Dr. Evans $1,000 per month and supplied a new automobile plus expenses. His business had grown rapidly because his ties to state officials had afforded the ability to woo state contracts.

According to the minutes obtained by Mr. Pearson of the Klavern 297 in Atlanta, it was supporting Eugene Talmadge for Governor, and, if elected, they claimed the Klan would have free rein in police jobs, rape cases, and parades by African-Americans. They had also proposed a boycott of the Atlanta Constitution and Journal. A judge was scheduled to speak on how to keep blacks from voting. The minutes revealed that a conversation had with former Governor Talmadge indicated that he favored use of guns to deal with the race problem and that if he were Governor, there would be no militia called out to deal with racial disputes.

Klan No. 1 in Atlanta had denounced black preachers speaking out against the Klan, especially Dr. Louis D. Newton. Dr. Howard Odum of the University of North Carolina and Dr. Rufus Clement of Atlanta University were also denounced. A "traitor" who had been leaking Klan minutes to the press was being sought and if discovered, would have parts of his anatomy nailed to a tree and then the tree set on fire. He would then be given a knife and the choice of cutting away his anatomy nailed to the tree or burning to death.

The column next relates of Robert Hannegan carrying 20 cases of bottled water with him on his global junket.

Lawyers returning from Nuremberg were convinced that all of the defendants on trial, except former Minister of Finance Hjalmer Schacht, would face the firing squad.

Marquis Childs examines the relative calm on the labor front compared to the previous six months. In January, 1.4 million workers were on strike; in May, it was little more than half a million. The present number was lower than at any other time during the year. It had given the President a breather.

But whether there would come more strikes was in part dependent on the outcome of OPA, whether prices would dramatically rise, causing in turn labor to seek higher wages to keep pace. UAW workers at Chrysler had already warned of a new wage demand to come within two months.

A second round of strikes could have profound political consequences. The strikes had already caused some friends of labor to turn against them. One case was that of the editor of the St. Petersburg Times, Nelson Poynter, always a friend of labor, who had sought advertising space in Indianapolis for typesetters to replace those on strike at his newspaper. The ad was refused because the typesetters refused to set the type. Mr. Poynter now felt that the unions threatened freedom of the press. He had hired former Assistant Attorney General Thurman Arnold to take the case to the Supreme Court.

In a second case, an unnamed "key New Dealer" was now engaged in active debate with certain union leaders whom he saw as irresponsible and failing to supply proper leadership.

Mr. Childs suggests that labor show some moderation, lest it continue to lose public support.

Samuel Grafton writes from Los Angeles that the Democratic Party was losing idealistic members of its own party, those who had voted for FDR or for Wendell Willkie in 1940. They were not defecting to the Republicans but would either stay at home or shift to some third party. The political debate had devolved to one between professionals. Henry Wallace was in a long period of silence and Harold Stassen was too careful in his public utterances to woo such voters in the same way Wendell Willkie had.

The public opinion polls showed President Truman failing to excite the interest of voters, even as an isolationist press approved of some of his tough stands on Russia. But that issue did not excite the idealistic and independent voter.

The American people were bored and appeared detached from politics. It was "an ideal time for the election of some such pedestrian candidate as creeps in occasionally while the nation is tying its shoe, or examining its chin in the mirror."

The person who could utter passionately an appeal for a future with greater prospect of peace and dignity at home and abroad might excite this passive electorate. But as no such figure had appeared, the elections would be quiet, potent only as reminders of what might have been.

A letter, discussed in the editorial column, provides the argument for placement of the University medical school in Charlotte. Duke served the eastern portion of the state and Wake Forest's Bowman Gray School of Medicine in Winston-Salem served the Piedmont section. But the western portion of the state was a great distance from either of these facilities. Charlotte thus posed an ideal geographical center to cure this imbalance.

Davidson College, he posits, which had produced such distinguished persons as Woodrow Wilson, could serve as a place of undergraduate study for future candidates for the school. It might even somehow be joined with the school, though, on second thought, he states that such might prove impracticable for the fact of the proposed medical school being a part of the University and Davidson being a private, Presbyterian-endowed college.

A letter responds to the unwilling resident of Charlotte, originally from Chicago, who had on Thursday objected to the newspaper's January editorial on crime in Chicago, thinking it was taking the position that North Carolina and Charlotte were superior in that respect, when, as the editors' response had explained, the editorial took the same stance as the letter writer, that North Carolina and Charlotte crime rates were substantially higher per capita than in the Windy City.

This writer, who had once lived in Chicago, had not been impressed with that previous letter. He found the newspaper to be doing an exceptional job, presenting the truth, which sometimes hurt.


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