The Charlotte News

Wednesday, July 3, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that two proposed Senate bills, one already passed by the House, which would extend OPA's life by twenty days until more permanent legislation could be passed, were sent to the Senate Banking Committee. Senator Pass the Biscuits W. Lee O'Daniel gave up his efforts to block the bills, saying he believed Americans would celebrate on the Fourth of July the death of OPA. Senator Kenneth Wherry of Nebraska had also participated in the effort to prevent the legislation from moving forward.

Prices rose on milk, butter, and meat in absence of price controls, meat rising 20 cents per pound, butter, 15 cents, and milk, three cents per quart.

Livestock continued to pour into the stockyards, though large meat packers were awaiting the outcome of the OPA decision by Congress.

The Army and Navy reported that 59 of the 73 ships parked in Bikini Lagoon had been damaged or destroyed in Sunday's Able blast. Five were sunk. It was determined that the bomb would be more effective against cities and industrial targets than military targets. Military observers did not believe, however, that any personnel aboard any of the ships in the target area could survive such a blast. A goat which had been on the deck of the target ship Nevada was sick from the radiation.

Pravda declared that the test was harmful to the peace talks, undermining confidence in the seriousness of the American claim of desire for peace. It questioned why the expensive test on Bikini had to be conducted if America truly proposed to dispose of its bombs per the proposal of Bernard Baruch before the U.N. Atomic Energy Commission.

Senator Theodore Bilbo appeared to have been re-nominated in Mississippi for another term as Senator, as he led four other candidates by a small cumulative margin, 3,446 votes, with the vote count in some precincts still outstanding. His lead over the nearest candidate was 38,000 votes, but he would need to score a majority to avoid a runoff.

Though running dead last, Senator Bilbo obtained 12 votes in the all-black town of Mound Bayou. The Harvard-educated Mayor reported the results.

Representative John Rankin, in the House since 1920, was also re-elected in the primary.

At Nuremberg, Hitler's chauffeur, Erich Kempka, testified that he saw the Fuehrer lying dead inside the Reichschancellery on the afternoon of April 30, 1945 and had helped to carry both the body of the Fuehrer and that of Eva Braun outside the bunker for cremation. He had not actually seen Hitler die. He stated that he had also witnessed Martin Bormann, on trial in absentia, blasted by a bazooka and presumed dead.

As the issue of Trieste was nearly determined and the Italian peace treaty nearly complete at the four-power foreign ministers conference in Paris, it appeared that the 21-nation peace conference scheduled to begin in Paris within a few weeks would take place. The treaty and resolution for Trieste would then be presented at the 21-nation conference for adoption.

The Government was preparing to reject a British proposal that the United States send troops to Palestine to help maintain order during the projected immigration of 100,000 Jews. The President indicated that the Government would take financial and technical responsibility for the transportation of the immigrants.

The Senate War Investigating Committee investigated influence exerted during the war on the Chemical Warfare Service by Representative Andrew May of Kentucky, chair of the House Military Committee. In one instance, Mr. May had contacted General William Porter, chief of the CWS, and sought to convince him not to go forward with a proposed cancellation of a war contract with Batavia Metal Products, Inc., of Batavia, Ill., one of nineteen corporations which Senator James Mead, chair of the committee, accused of war profiteering. The war contract was being transferred to another company, which Mr. May had found to be "crazy stuff".

In Budapest, the U.S. dollar was now worth 100 quadrillion pengos, as ten quadrillion pengo notes were released into circulation. A pengo had been worth 29.5 cents in June, 1939 before the war.

Harold Ickes once again castigates the President for his bad appointments, again centering on Ed Pauley, the reason for the resignation of Mr. Ickes in February as Secretary of Interior. He finds the angry letter of the President to Senator Charles Tobey of New Hampshire, regarding his appointments and the issue of Senator Tobey's desire for special release of grain to the poultry farmers of his state, to be not only ill-tempered, but indicative of the President's lack of leadership.

The bulk of the column is a reiteration of things on which Mr. Ickes had dwelled periodically since February and so we leave it for you to read.

He concludes: "Moreover, the Senator's interest in feed for poultry was perfectly legitimate. Chickens and the eggs that they lay are also food and indispensable food at that."

A photograph shows that the New York, being inspected by Navy Secretary James Forrestal and Vice Admiral W. H. P. Blandy, had survived the Bikini blast without damage, including the painted sign on the bulkhead, "Old Sailors Never Die".

Whether the sign was now in day-glow colors was not mentioned, for reasons of national security.

On the editorial page, "Congress Still Dodges the Issue" comments on the refusal still of Congress to face the issue of whether demand had equaled supply such that it would be acceptable to remove price controls without fear of runaway inflation. The Congress instead was plodding along, insisting first on a rent control substitute bill, ignoring the reality that livestock prices had gone suddenly through the ceiling, making that industry every bit as culpable as landlords who were rent gouging, with consumer price hikes inevitably to follow on another indispensable item, food. While housing was in shortage, food and automobiles also were in shortage.

"A Corrupt Practices Act Could Work" tells of the bureaucratic roadblocks encountered by the Democratic challenger to Hamilton Jones, the Democratic nominee for Congress in the district, when the challenger brought complaint that Mr. Jones had spent far more than that allowed by campaign spending limits, alleging expenditures of from $25,000 to $50,000.

The State Board of Elections had stated that it was in the nature of an allegation of violation of the Corrupt Practices Act and so it had no jurisdiction. Nor did it have authority to refer it to the Attorney General who did have jurisdiction. It appeared that little was going to take place.

While it appeared unlikely that any transgression of the election laws had occurred as charged, since Mr. Jones, having run previously, only needed to distribute a few cards and place his name on the ballot to get elected, it still was remarkable that such insouciance characterized the elections system in North Carolina.

The piece does not agree that campaign limits were too low. At $6,000, the limit was adequate for a position with a salary of only $10,000. The problem was in the failure to enforce the law, rendering it meaningless. The Corrupt Practices Act could be made to work if the Legislature were to enact appropriate amendments.

"Shades of Billy Mitchell" provides a pair of quotes from Vice Admiral W. H. P. Blandy after the Bikini test, stating intitally that drawing conclusions was the job of the Joint Chiefs, not his; then, 24 hours later, when all the capital ships were still afloat in the wake of the blast, stating that it had proved that the Navy was still a viable and necessary part of the military apparatus.

It reminded of another admiral telling Billy Mitchell that the future of the airplane in warfare was doubtful in relation to the Navy.

Yet, the damage accomplished to the ships in one blast had equaled that inflicted during the war by hundreds of kamikazes. Moreover, the crews of the undamaged or slightly damaged ships likely would not have survived such a blast for the consequent radiation.

If the ultimate outcome of the test would be the sort of closed-minded conclusions reached by Admiral Blandy, then the results would be worthy of the critics' label of the test as an elaborate boondoggle for the brass hats.

The underwater Baker test later in the month might convince the Admiral to give up the ship, but it was likely that it would cost more than the 72-million dollar Bikini test to do so.

Of course, the answer would eventually come in the form of the nuclear submarine equipped with missiles capable of firing nuclear warheads, enabling undersea stealth and mobility for the atomic sea monster, and nuclear power to enable range and time at sea never imagined in the age of the old diesel sub, thus assuring the viability of the Navy into the nuclear age and through the Cold War.

Drew Pearson tells of the inner circle around President Truman which had advised him regarding whether to veto the OPA bill, as he had finally determined to do. Secretary of the Treasury John Snyder, Civilian Production Administrator John Small, and Secretary of Interior J. A. Krug wanted him to keep it while Attorney General Tom Clark, at first agreeing with them, later helped the President draft the veto message. Others, primarily OPA head Paul Porter, Economic Stabilizer Chester Bowles, Secretary of Commerce Henry Wallace, and John Steelman, new War Reconverter, had advised from the start that veto was the proper option.

Housing Administrator Wilson Wyatt, not personally present at the meeting, favored the veto, but with less vigor, as did Secretary of Agriculture Clinton Anderson.

The President had almost changed his mind the previous Friday when he met with Congressional leaders, but explained to them that the bill was simply unworkable despite their long and careful crafting of it. The cost-plus amendment which Senator Robert Taft had sponsored was especially onerous, causing impossible accounting tangles for both the Government and business. Even proponents of the overall measure in industry had so advised.

He concluded that he would not fool the country and put forth a band-aid which would not cure the disease.

He also told them that if they went home to campaign without delivering a substitute bill, he would call them back into special session.

Mr. Pearson notes that the President had reluctantly accepted the resignation of Chester Bowles on the eve of the announcement of the veto, Mr. Bowles insisting that many members of Congress would view price control in a more favorable light following his departure. Mr. Pearson notes that the truth, however, was that, over time, any such administrator charged with the responsibility of keeping the lid on inflation would wear out his welcome with Congress. The same had been true of the first OPA head, Leon Henderson.

He next reports that Kodak was unable to use its film stock packed in Kansas straw because radioactive dust from the Trinity test a year earlier in New Mexico had drifted over Kansas and settled on the straw, turning the film stock black.

HUAC chairman John Wood of Georgia and Representative Karl Mundt of South Dakota had ordered quietly an investigation to begin into the activities of the Ku Klux Klan, following which a vote would take place again on whether to have a full-scale investigation.

Marquis Childs discusses atomic energy a year after its first successful test at Trinity test on July 16, indicates that the University of California Medical School had just announced successful treatment of superficial skin cancers with radioactive phosphorous, one of the first peaceful uses made known of radioactivity. To this point, nuclear technology was thought primarily to have utility only as a weapon. But it had also opened a new field in scientific discovery in the treatment of cancer.

A report of the United States Bombing Survey quotes Dr. Robert Stone of the Manhattan Project stating that little was still known of the mechanism of the action of radiation on living tissues. Methods of treatment had therefore been symptomatic rather than causal. Studying the outcome of radiation effects on human beings following the Hiroshima and Nagasaki blasts, the Survey reached the conclusion that the number of deaths from radiation within a half mile of ground zero would have been nearly as great as the actual figures even without the immediate effects of the blast, that is fire, wind, etc. The deaths of those within a mile would have been only slightly less than the actual number. The major difference would have been in the time of death from radiation poisoning, anywhere from a few days to three or four weeks.

The military still controlled the technology such that it was largely inaccessible to medical science. The skin cancer treatment had come out of cyclotrons operated at the direction of Dr. Ernest O. Lawrence of the University of California. But the amount of radioactive substance which could be produced in that manner was infinitesimal compared to what could be produced at the atomic facility in Oak Ridge, Tenn.

The House had held up the bill passed by the Senate to provide control of nuclear energy to a civilian commission. The House Military Affairs Committee, chaired by Representative Andrew May, had essentially filibustered the bill out of ignorance and fear.

Mr. Childs suggests that nuclear technology potentially held in its store great wonders in medical science, but thus far Americans had cowered "before it in pitiful fear of our own inhumanity."

Peter Edson discusses an incipient investigation by a House subcommittee on small business into business monopolies. During the war many large businesses became larger as half a million small businesses were forced to close. The Senate Small Business Committee had issued a 350-page report on the subject. Many of the statistical analyses of that report, however, included only data accumulated through fall, 1944, and thus did not provide the full picture of what had taken place since the end of the war.

Of the 63 U.S. corporations which had assets of over 100 million dollars, their assets had more than doubled, from an aggregate of six to fourteen billion dollars, during the period from June 1939 to June 1945, permitting these hugely capitalized corporations to take over areas of the economy in the post-war world.

The chairman of the House subcommittee was Estes Kefauver of Tennessee, who had drafted a strong anti-monopoly bill, requiring that any corporation embracing more than five percent of sales in a given area of commerce would be subject to Government review for monopolistic practices. It would eliminate a loophole in the Clayton Antitrust Act, which prevented a corporation from buying the capital stock of another company if the effect would be to reduce competition or create a monopoly while allowing a corporation to purchase the assets of the other company.

A letter writer believes that a "more happier" Rockingham would be the case were there more picnics such as that she attended behind her home in Beaunit Park where the non-unionized workers of Beaunit gathered. She did not work at the plant but was lured by the sound of the music from the Sanford Huggins band and found the people friendly, inviting her to join them.

A letter from Republican Congressional candidate P. C. Burkholder comments on the story of June 26 which stated that State health inspectors had cited meatpackers in Charlotte for importing 50 bulls from Kansas and the butchering of them when the packers had not passed proper inspection. With horse meat being served to substitute for the meat deficiency, he finds this exercise of discretion unwarranted. Packers in other states, such as in Pennsylvania, with a strong two-party system, were able to get their meat without such interference from "political gangs".

It was as bad, he says, as the buttermilk fight.

But, was the Kansas meat tainted with radiation from the grain consumed after radioactive dust had fallen on the crops the previous summer? Perhaps the State inspectors knew more intuitively than superficial examination of the matter suggested.

A letter writer is glad that the sermons of Eric Brandeis had returned, as well as the column of Dorothy Knox.

A letter writer reprints his brief letter to Senator Clyde Hoey, stating that the voters wanted him to represent them and not big business, as most of Congress had been doing, that they should be standing fully behind the President and pass an acceptable OPA bill for the benefit of all the people.

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