The Charlotte News

Saturday, July 6, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Representative Andrew May of Kentucky, chairman of the House Military Affairs Committee, had cashed a check for over $3,000 out of the deal in which he had, on behalf of the Garsson brothers, purchased lumber from a lumber company in Kentucky, to which $48,000 had been paid from the combine of companies with war contracts, companies in which the Garssons were active. The testimony adduced which developed the evidence before the Senate War Investigating Committee resulted in a call for Congressman May to testify before the committee. The chairman of the committee, Senator James Mead of New York, responded to the call by saying that Representative May had a standing invitation to testify. As a member of Congress, he could not be subpoenaed, however, without a special resolution passed by both houses.

An effort was being made by Senators Robert Taft of Ohio and Kenneth Wherry of Nebraska to release controls on meat prices under a new OPA extension bill, based on the notion that black market prices would thrive if meat controls were left in place. Senator Walter George of Georgia supported the amendment. The bill would reach the Senate floor on Monday after it had passed the Banking Committee the previous day. The bill in its present form won support from Majority Leader Alben Barkley and chairman Robert Wagner of New York. Doubt was expressed by the Senators, however, as to whether they could beat off the meat amendment of the opposition.

Again, the question is therefore put to the floor: Wherry is the beef?

In addition to the upsurge in meat and livestock prices resultant from the end of OPA, in Chicago, wheat had reached its peak price since 1920, at around $2.18 per bushel. Corn went from $1.44 to $2.25 a bushel. Butter in Chicago went from 56 cents per pound to 70.75 cents. The Associated Press index of 35 commodities stood at 133.76, the highest level since the start of the index in 1933. It had been at 122.28 before expiration of OPA. The index was based on 1926 prices, established as par at 100.

In Louisville, the Citizens' PAC plan for picketing of any business which was caught raising prices gained momentum, though the Mayor indicated his opposition to the pickets.

At the four-power foreign ministers conference in Paris, a proposal by V.M. Molotov that the four powers prescribe the rules of procedure for the 21-nation conference set to begin July 29 in Paris blocked further efforts to plan for the conference, as both Britain and the United States objected to the Russian proposal on the ground that it would reduce the conference to little more than a rubber stamp of the four major powers. The effort by Russia was to keep determination of the rules within the council in which there was veto power rather than allowing the 21 nations to determine the treaties. Another snag was the desire by the United States and Britain, in accordance with the Potsdam and Moscow agreements, to have China as one of the host countries for the 21-nation conference, a move opposed by Russia.

In Kielce, Poland, an eight-year old boy stated that he had been told to start a rumor that he had been held by Jews in a basement, a rumor which had touched off a pogrom of violence against Jews in the city, leaving 38 dead and 50 injured, most of whom were Jews. The boy had also claimed to militiamen that he had seen the bodies of at least a dozen Christian children in the basement where he was being kept.

Pulitzer Prize winning correspondent Howard W. Blakeslee provides the first of three reports from Bikini regarding the after effects of the Able test on July 1 of the atomic bomb. He tells of an airplane circling around the blast area, but well away from the mushroom cloud, encountering a dangerous array of radioactivity as registered on the Geiger counter. It took several minutes to escape the area. While dangerous, usually such radiation required prolonged exposure before it would prove lethal.

In London, H. G. Wells questioned, in an article for the Socialist Leader, whether the Royal Family had been involved in payments which a Government Minister had declared were remitted by Benito Mussolini to Sir Oswald Mosley, leader of the British Fascist Union prior to the war. Mr. Wells posited that if the Royal Family had been involved, then the House of Hanover ought follow the House of Savoy in Italy, out the door into exile. He offered no proof to support the query.

Buckingham Palace remained mum. When asked whether the Royal Family had aided Sir Oswald, the Keeper of the Privy Purse, Sir Ulrick Alexander, responded, "My Gom, No!"

We translate that into American English as "By Gum, no."

Now you know that when you exclaim, "By Gum," you may be transgressing a commandment. It is best to remain on the safe side therefore and keep the expression generic: "By gum", by gum.

Pressed by a reporter, President Truman stated that a story by reporter John O'Donnell of the New York Daily News, that the President had asked for the resignations of Justices Black, Jackson, Frankfurter, and Frank Murphy because of the dissension afoot on the Supreme Court, was simply another one of Mr. O'Donnell's "damned lies".

Burke Davis reports on an inside page regarding a Lenoir man who had developed a thriving business based on the collection of pollen and selling it to drug companies as an ingredient for the treatment of hay fever.

In Miami, police had located a 19-year old messenger who had made off with $76,853. The messenger led police to the remaining loot, $75,000 in non-negotiable checks and drafts hidden in a wooded area in north Miami.

Nice going, smart guy. Seen any goats?

On the editorial page, "The Foreign Ministers Agree" finds hopeful the narrow agreement reached in Paris at the foreign ministers conference regarding Trieste, Italian colonies, and reparations to Russia to be paid by Italy, such that the 21-nation world conference could be scheduled. The agreement was merely resolving the loose ends of the war and not, per se, determinative of the future. But any sign of compromise, even based on power politics, as this agreement had been, was better than the prior deadlock and represented a genuine diplomatic achievement for Secretary of State James Byrnes after a year of tough sledding since taking the post.

But meanwhile in the Bronx, the U. N. continued deadlocked regarding nuclear energy; and therein lay the makings of the future world, whether it would remain at peace or have a devastating war.

"Man's faith in peace dies hard; he will cling to it even more stubbornly as the evidence grows that he can only insure his final destruction if he abandons it."

"The Reception of the Nisei" comments on the welcome given to the 500 men of the 442nd Combat Team, comprised entirely of Japanese-Americans, upon their return home on July Fourth from Italy, where they had distinguished themselves in combat during the war. The Army had staged a party for these veterans at Camp Kilmer. The official host was Earl Finch of Hattiesburg, Miss., who, along with his family, had taken the 442nd under their wing when they were training in Mississippi.

The piece comments that it was apparently mere coincidence on the day of this recognition that the majority of Mississippi's electorate was busy re-electing Senator Theodore Bilbo, exponent of racial intolerance.

In California, the Nisei were segregated and denied civil liberties, often treated with contempt and even violence. But in Mississippi, where Orientals were few, they were treated as equals. Race prejudice in that state was reserved for the black man. In New York, some of the most ardent anti-Semites would express approbation at this magnanimous and progressive gesture in Mississippi.

The editorial suggests, in relation to Senator Bilbo, that there but for the grace of God would go North Carolina, or California, New York, or, "as a final irony, Palestine."

As we have noted before, the late Senator Daniel Inouye, who passed away last December, had distinguished himself as a member of the 442nd, and eventually was awarded by President Clinton the Congressional Medal of Honor for his heroic action on April 21, 1945, saving lives of his men by assaulting two machine gun nests, from the second of which was thrown a grenade which blew away most of his right arm, and yet continuing to fight until he collapsed from loss of blood. Senator Inouye served in 1973 on the Senate Select Committee investigating Watergate and, having served by the time of his death just days short of 50 years in the Senate, was the second longest serving Senator in United States history. He had served as Hawaii's first and only Congressman for four years prior to 1963.

"Heresy South of the Border" comments on the South Carolina gubernatorial election campaign going as usual except for a candidate twice being quoted as being for white supremacy and against "darn Yankee intrusion".

It suggested violation of deeply held Southern tradition, says the piece, to impart the phrase thusly. The candidate so uttering would never obtain grandpappy's vote that way, either in South Carolina or North Carolina.

We assume that the piece was referring to the phrase "dang Yankee" as the only acceptable rendition of the sentiment, or perhaps, for those more inclined to bilious vitriol, "gum dang Yankee".

A piece from the Greensboro Daily News, titled "And Those Who Didn't Vote", comments on the fact that four of North Carolina's Congressional delegation had voted to override the President's veto of the OPA extension bill, while three had voted to sustain it. But five, including Representative Sam Ervin, had not voted. It finds the vote hard to discern, as those from tobacco districts were split, that issue therefore not appearing determinative of the vote.

As to those who had not voted, it was unclear what had caused them to miss such an important vote, albeit not aberrant, as fully 120 of the 435 members of the House had not been present. How they might have voted, says the piece, was left to the imagination.

Drew Pearson reports on the President attending a party in honor of the 50th birthday of new Secretary of the Treasury John W. Snyder, given by his new assistant, Arthur Gardner of Detroit. The Secret Service had to inspect the Gardner house and the neighboring houses as well. Senator Alben Barkley was also present and, thirsty, proposed a drink before the arrival of the President. Mr. Gardner suggested that they should wait, but Senator Barkley insisted, saying: "I'll be damned if I'll wait for him. I've ranked him for years, and I'm not going to be outranked when it comes to a drink now."

They drank.

When the President arrived, Mr. Gardner hid his highball behind the potted palm. Senator Barkley kept his in plain view and bragged openly about it to the President, who ordered the Secret Service to shoot the Senator quietly in the backyard.

While the new British Ambassador's bagpiper played the pipes, the cake was cut and Mr. Snyder and the long list of luminary guests ate cake.

At midnight, the President departed. At 3:00 a.m., Mr. Snyder left.

This column appears to represent Mr. Pearson's work output on July Fourth. That's alright. We did not have to do much for the fortuity of a missing editorial page. We do not therefore begrudge the goldbricking.

Marquis Childs discusses the Congress being kept by the OPA extension bill from adjournment to go home to campaign. In addition, the House would likely refrain until it had passed a version of the Congressional streamlining bill, the Monroney-LaFollette bill, already passed by the Senate. The bill cut down on the number of committees and provided for experts for the committees, plus raised salaries to $15,000 from $10,000, and provided for a $6,000 per year pension for any retiring member of Congress who had served for 25 years and who had also reached age 62.

The bill was sponsored by Senator Robert LaFollette of Wisconsin, who was a master at understanding the process of government. The House sponsor was Mike Monroney of Oklahoma. The bill would bring the Congress out of the horse-and-buggy era into the modern age, a necessary passage.

With the House expected to become Republican in the fall, it was likely that there would be a divided Congress and thus the tendency toward stalemate at a time when the world would be looking for leadership from the United States. It could not afford to falter.

As indicated, both the Senate and the House would swing vastly toward the Republicans, but would swing back to the Democrats in 1948.

Samuel Grafton, in Los Angeles, discusses rising prices following the end of OPA the previous Sunday. Trade associations were now advising members to hold the line on prices to avoid adverse public reaction, mounting in the wake of initial increases of prices and rents.

The cost of living had risen eight points during the week. But the advocates of a free market without controls had gone on the defensive in response to the President's veto of the watered-down bill to extend OPA. Many chains had refused to take advantage of the end of price controls and were holding the line. No one was loudly proclaiming higher prices. A change had occurred in the climate surrounding price controls.

The Los Angeles City Council had placed a ceiling on rents. Other cities and states were considering similar action. The threat of a consumer strike also loomed large on the landscape.

The victory won by the opponents of price control thus appeared Pyrrhic. The opponents would continue to fight but without the ardor perhaps that impelled them previously.

A letter from a war veteran of Greek descent recites his own translation of a narrative from Isocrates from 2,300 years earlier, regarding "the wise and complete men".

We venture that had the Founders followed implicitly the advice of Isocrates regarding what he took to be sagacity, the United States would never have come to be, and slavery would still stride the world as a Colossus. Indeed, favoring the expedient course smacks of Machiavelli and Fascism, as does the remainder of his paternalistic advice, designed to keep men in chains to the ruling orders. Not all Greek rhetoricians and philosophers were necessarily sages in the abstract.

A letter writer finds the President's veto of the price control extension bill wrong-headed, that some form of price control would have been better than none, and that the President had improperly laid the blame on the Republican leadership, primarily Senator Robert Taft of Ohio. The writer contends that the bill was shaped largely by Democrats.

The editors correct the writer by indicating that the primary aspects of the bill to which the President had voiced complaint were inserted by Republicans, Senators Taft and Wherry. But it was true that Southern Democrats had formed the necessary coalition with the Republicans to enable these amendments to receive majority approval. A shift of a fourth of the Democrats in either chamber provided the Republicans with a working majority. So it was unfair to blame the entire Democratic membership.

A regular letter writer of late suggests that the fizzled Bikini test, insofar as its impact on surface ships, perhaps was only a method of bluffing other nations into believing that the atomic bomb was not as much of a threat as it really was. He relates that, indicative of the bomb's lack of punch, Maj. General Leslie Groves, the military head of the Manhattan Project, had been visiting the night spots during the test. He hopes that the Russians would be fooled.

A letter writer recommends the president of Norwalk Tire and Rubber Company for the position of Secretary of Labor as no strikes had occurred at the company since the end of the war.


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