Wednesday, August 14, 1946

The Charlotte News

Wednesday, August 14, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Republican Joseph McCarthy, 37, of Wisconsin had defeated Senator Robert La Follette, in office for 21 years, for the Republican nomination for the Senate. Mr. McCarthy, as a former Marine, had been a tailgunner on several missions in the Pacific war. He had been elected a circuit judge before the war at age 30, the youngest such judge ever elected in Wisconsin.

It would be the first time in 40 years that the La Follette household would not be represented in the Senate, Senator La Follette's father having preceded him in the Senate for 19 years.

With all except a small number of precincts reporting, Mr. McCarthy, who had charged his opponent with being an isolationist, led by 6,700 votes of the 400,000 cast for the two candidates. He had run in 1944, while still in service, against Senator Alexander Wiley for the other Senate seat from Wisconsin, and come in second in the primary without having returned to the United States to campaign. It was considered probable that Mr. McCarthy would win in November, given the tendency in recent Wisconsin elections of GOP victories.

Senator La Follette had been a Progressive Party member for twelve years but had voted along with others of that party to dissolve it the previous March.

It would, of course, be a significant election to American history, although the groundwork for Joseph McCarthy and what became known as "McCarthyism", synonymous with "witchhunt", had been laid both before and after the war, primarily by HUAC, but also of late, as just pointed out on Monday by Marquis Childs, by Senators Styles Bridges of New Hampshire and Kenneth Wherry of Nebraska, who had been doing exactly that with which Senator McCarthy would come to be most identified, presenting in 1950 a secret list of "Communists" supposedly within the State Department, ultimately expanding his lists to include personnel of the Defense Department, the C.I.A., and employees of sixteen defense plants, charges of such infiltration of the nuclear facility at Oak Ridge having also been brought up before HUAC by Representative John Rankin while the 79th Congress was in session in 1946.

Parenthetically, it should be noted that Orson Welles, the subject of a News editorial the previous day regarding the controversy surrounding the blinding by police officers of Isaac Woodard thought to have occurred in Aiken, S.C., and where and whether the incident had occurred, had considered for a time running for the Senate from his home state of Wisconsin against Joseph McCarthy, but in the end chose not to do so, a decision he later regretted.

Wisconsin Governor Walter Goodland, at 83, the oldest Governor in the country, won renomination on the Republican ticket.

It is noteworthy also, in a purely ironic sense, that news correspondent Bill Lawrence, on the CBS program "Face the Nation", would grill Senator McCarthy on November 7, 1954, on the eve of the beginning of the hearings on his censure—a censure which, as he predicted, would occur on December 2, albeit not deterring Senator McCarthy from continuing his crusade, thereafter considerably muted and with less potency, until his death in 1957 from complications resulting from his alcoholism. On June 5, 1968, Bill Lawrence was one of three ABC newsmen, along with anchor Howard K. Smith and Bob Clark, who interviewed Senator Robert Kennedy just hours before he would be fatally shot at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles after winning the Democratic primary in California, defeating his principal primary opponent, Senator Eugene McCarthy of Minnesota—in the days before the current pervasive primary system, inaugurated in 1976. Vice-President Hubert Humphrey, of course, was the favorite at the time for the nomination after President Johnson had declared in March that he would neither seek nor accept the nomination, in order to focus attention on the Paris Peace Talks and ending the war in Vietnam. Vice-President Humphrey, who had been Senator from Minnesota but was born in South Dakota—hence the reference in the ABC interview by Senator Kennedy to that being his "home state", the primary in which Senator Kennedy had also won on June 5—did not participate actively in most of the 1968 primaries. The reference by Senator Kennedy to Senator Humphrey dropping out of the primaries after West Virginia was to the 1960 race for the Democratic nomination with Senator John F. Kennedy.

Robert Kennedy, as a young attorney, had served for six months in 1953 as assistant counsel for the subcommittee on investigations which Senator McCarthy chaired, and then later, beginning in early 1954, served as Democratic minority counsel for the special subcommittee chaired by Senator Karl Mundt of South Dakota, the ranking Democratic member of which having been Senator John McClellan of Arkansas, appointed in 1954 to investigate the charges and counter-charges regarding special privileges allegedly accorded by the Army to Private David Schine, who served as an investigator for the McCarthy subcommittee, so that the Army could obtain favorable treatment from the McCarthy subcommittee in its investigation of Communist infiltration in the Army, and the counter-charges that the McCarthy subcommittee chief counsel, Roy Cohn, had sought from the Army favorable treatment for Private Schine, to keep him from being sent overseas, using the threat of the McCarthy subcommittee's implicit power to smear to achieve that end. These latter hearings led to the censure of Senator Joseph McCarthy, who was not related, of course, to Senator Eugene McCarthy either by blood relation or politics.

The British Cabinet announced the intention to have the British military to continue its efforts to interdict illegal immigration of Jews to Palestine in the face of increasing Jewish disturbances in the country. Three persons had been killed and seven wounded at Haifa the day before during the transfer of a thousand of the illegal immigrants to Cyprus. The Cabinet was discussing, according to an informant, the release of Jewish Agency leaders who had been arrested in the June 29 sweep in response to Jewish leaders that the release was deemed prerequisite to talks with Britain on the future of the Holy Land.

In China, large-scale fighting resumed in north China where Communist reports claimed to have wiped out two Chinese Government divisions consisting of 3,000 men, prompting another 5,000 soldiers to surrender in fighting in North Giangsu Province. It also stated that heavy fighting was taking place in East Honan and North Kiangsu Provinces.

In Paris, the Bulgarian delegate, speaking to the Paris Peace Conference, made claim to the Greek territory of Western Thrace, receiving support for the proposal from Russia and the Ukraine. The territory would provide Bulgaria with outlet to the Aegean Sea. Greece protested that Bulgaria had aligned itself with Germany during the war and thus should not be permitted concessions.

Turkey, according to reliable sources, was preparing to refuse the Soviet demand that the Dardanelles be placed under exclusive joint Soviet and Turkish control militarily, with commercial traffic allowed to all nations. According to the source, the Turkish reaction would be that the change would violate the 25-year commitment under the Montreux Convention of 1936.

A source in Britain said that Britain had rejected the demand of Iran that Indian troops be removed from the troubled city of Basra, Iraq, along the Iranian border.

Harold Ickes discusses the veto by President Truman of the tidelands oil bill which would have given control of tidelands oil from the Federal Government to the states, mooting a pending case before the Supreme Court. The oil interests had strongly supported the bill and engaged in heavy lobbying efforts to get it passed. They had raised a false issue that the Secretary of Interior wanted to extend the Government's jurisdiction from tidelands to land beneath harbors, inland waters, bays, ports, lakes and rivers. In his veto message, the President had accurately stated that an amendment had been offered by the Secretary of Interior, formerly Mr. Ickes, to allow the states to have access to these lands, but was defeated by the proponents of the tidelands bill.

Mr. Ickes provides praise to the President for seeing through the lobbying efforts and vetoing the ill-advised bill which would have severely curtailed the nation's petroleum reserves and deprived the Supreme Court of its position as final arbiter of the dispute.

In Pontiac, Mich., a group of about 200 veterans, protesting lack of vacation pay, shut down three General Motors plants employing 13,000. Many of the employees refused to cross the picket line of the veterans, mounting the protest on the first anniversary of V-J Day. Vacation pay was based on a percentage of how much the employee had earned during the prior calendar year, depriving most veterans of the pay.

Employees of the New York Stock Exchange walked off the job for two hours, causing the exchange to operate on a make-shift basis by non-union workers. The employees had voted overwhelmingly to strike at any time for a 25 percent wage increase, a five-day week, a seven-hour day, and other benefits.

Meanwhile, without formal pause, the nation celebrated the first anniversary of V-J Day.

OPA authorized an immediate price increase on coffee of 10 to 13 cents per pound and an increase also in the price of beans, with kidney beans set to rise about two cents per pound and navy beans by a penny per pound.

In London, a former RAF pilot was ordered held for trial for the murder of one of two women with which he had been charged. The naked, mutilated corpse of the victim in question had been found on a resort ground at Bournemouth, where royalty often visited.

In Joliet, Ill., a man who had been convicted and sentenced to a one-to-fourteen year sentence for assaulting the previous March a nine-year old girl by hitting her with a hammer three to nine times and then shooting her four times after she resisted his advances, was ruled sane and that he should serve the sentence at Stateville Prison rather than being confined to a mental facility.

In Brooklyn, a nine-year old girl saved the life of her fourteen-year old brother by using scissors she had been employing to make paper dolls to cut him out of a drapery cord from which he was dangling by his neck. He had been on the upper portion of his bunk-bed, experimenting with tying knots in the drapery cord, when he slipped and was caught by the cord.

In Wilkes-Barre, Pa., a marriage license clerk found a two-dollar bill, submitted as part of a three-dollar license fee, to have written on it a proposal of marriage, to which the woman had responded in another message on the bill that she would "in due time".

We hope it does not wind up as the scene in Brooklyn, requiring the scissors of a judge.

On the editorial page, "The Emergency in the Public Schools" discusses the problem again of the elementary school teacher shortage in North Carolina threatening to undermine the educational progress which had been made in the state and throughout the South. Governor Gregg Cherry had, in response, called for a special session of the Legislature to be convened to pass a 25 percent teacher salary hike to enable filling of teacher positions with qualified personnel. Additional study of the issue could be had in the 1947 regular legislative session.

The editorial thinks it a sound proposal to meet the emergent need.

"Another Athens Takes Care of Its Own" finds the actions of local and state officials in Athens, Alabama, to have been commendable in quelling immediately the potential for violence when it was reported that there were wandering gangs of white men roaming the streets of the town and that they had driven out most of the black residents.

The Sheriff had sought to stabilize the situation immediately and sent for help from the State, which complied without delay. The riot, in consequence, was ended in its initial stages.

The local Solicitor had then called together a Grand Jury to issue indictments against those who had instigated the riot, calling for immediate trial and punishment.

The praise from the outside had been consistent, proving that when the South acted to handle quickly its own problems, there was no outside interference about which it need be concerned.

"Notes (Prejudiced) on a Strike" argues, despite acknowledged self-interest, against the sympathy strike by the American Communications Association which had resulted in an embargo on international press messages being received by wire. The strike of 3,000 members of the association had come over a strike by 300 employees of Press Wireless, Inc., one of several agencies transmitting overseas news.

The only alternative left was transmission by telephone, a slow and expensive process.

The companies whose workers were involved in the sympathy strike could take no action to end the strike as their workers had no grievance. It suggests that the responsibility of these 3,000 sympathy strikers to the public to insure that news was properly communicated from overseas, especially during the time of the Paris Peace Conference and other important international developments, should have outweighed their concern over their brethren striking for higher wages. Any strike which shut down a public utility under such circumstances where there was no grievance by the vast majority of striking workers received little sympathy from the public, and would likely not on this occasion.

A piece from the Louisville Courier-Journal, titled "A Campaign Issue or a Booby Trap", finds it not surprising that the GOP leadership, according to House Minority Leader Joe Martin of Massachusetts, was keeping an eye on consumer prices and planning in the fall campaign to use any OPA failure to prevent inflation.

The Republicans had emasculated OPA of its authority to control most prices and now was going to use any failure to do so to try to elect its own. It was a gimmick which likely was being plotted by the Republicans all along during their protestations of OPA as unduly restricting free enterprise.

Drew Pearson, still in Vienna, discusses the clumsiness of Ed Pauley, evident in Austria, since being assigned at Potsdam a year earlier by the President to act as adviser on reparations contracts. He had given his assent to the Russian plan of seizing German assets for reparations, but did not define what assets were available. The claim had applied to Austria and German assets within that formerly annexed country. It had not distinguished German assets formerly seized from others, such as Jews in Austria. When Hitler had annexed the country, he nationalized all industry, making it the property of Germany, subjecting that, too, therefore to fulfillment of Russian reparations. The problem had led to a conflict between the American and Russian occupiers in Austria.

To combat the effort, General Mark Clark, head of American occupation in Austria, had urged the country to nationalize its industry, placing Russia on the spot, as the Soviets favored nationalization and the spread of Communism. Russia proposed that the Allied occupation forces be able to overrule the Austrian Parliament. Nevertheless, the unilateral veto on the Allied Council permitted General Clark to veto any decision to overrule the Parliament. The Council had adopted a rule under which after 31 days, without Allied Council disapproval of a parliamentary decision, it would become law.

General Clark had been authorized by Secretary Byrnes to return to Austria the industry in the American zone based on the Potsdam declaration that Austria was dragged into the war by Hitler. By returning the property stolen by Hitler, U.S. prestige in Austria had risen precipitously and rendered Soviet policy in a bad light among the Austrians.

But Russia was feeding the Austrian workers in its zone nearly four times the calories per day that the rest of the country received, and paid high wages, albeit from money out of U.S. funding, as was some of the food. That latter situation, he explains, had come about from Russia shipping food supplied by UNRRA out of Austria, requiring the United States to make up the difference. General Clark was asking UNRRA to penalize Russia and straighten out its inefficient distribution policy.

There was no country in Europe, Mr. Pearson comments, where Russia was less popular. Austria had known parliamentary democracy prior to the war. Communists received less than five percent of the vote in the elections of the previous winter. If given the chance to support itself economically, Austria would not be subject to Communist domination.

Marquis Childs finds fault with the Paris Peace Conference for limiting itself to the issue of concluding five treaties with former German satellites rather than broadening its scope to include the more salient issues of the time, such as the Middle East and Palestine, to prevent further war. It was concerning itself too much with the past, not enough with the future.

With respect to Palestine, there was needed a comprehensive plan which could be extended to the whole region. Such a plan would raise the standard of living of the Arab peasant in cooperation with the Jews of Palestine who had made the desert bloom. Repeatedly, Arabs had sought Jewish advice on agriculture. A plan could make this informal consultation into a cooperative program.

The British partition proposal had within it a proposal for a 200-million dollar fund to establish various irrigation and hydro-electric projects, as well as provide for education of the Arab peasant in the ways of modern agricultural methods.

The fact, however, that much of the proposed fund would probably have to come from America had set the old isolationist voices clamoring that it was a bribe of the Arabs not to resist establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine and should be paid by the British who would most benefit.

But the people of Palestine would not await the fineries of diplomatic efforts to resolve politically this crisis. They were going to move forward in establishing their destinies regardless of Western influence.

Nor was it any longer sufficient policy to back an influential sheik or pasha and hope that he could rein in the destructive and conflicting influences within a given land. The State Department and British Foreign Office appeared still wedded to this old, outmoded technique of diplomacy.

The British, with their oil holdings in Iran, faced an embarrassing situation as the Communist-inspired Tudah Party made demands on the Anglo-Iranian Oil Co., half-owned by the British, placing on the spot other political parties with their cries to the British of imperialiasm, jeopardizing the British position.

The situation required more than the pretty words being expressed by Secretary Byrnes in Paris.

Peter Edson discusses the Federal Regulation of Lobbying Act which had passed as part of the reorganization plan for Congress. Its interpretation was being debated. It provided for disclosure of accounts of spending and registration by all lobbyists who received or solicited money to influence legislation or Federal elections, but exempted persons appearing before committees as long as their efforts were confined to that issue. It also exempted public officials acting as such, as well as political action committees as defined by the Hatch Act. The disclosure requirement included publication of accounts in the Congressional Record, promising voluminous such statements every three months, as the number of lobbyists had burgeoned during the war from 400 to about 4,000.

The question had arisen as to whether the CIO PAC was exempt under the bill.

Newspapers and other media organs dealing in commentary were also exempt, as were citizens, whether individually or in groups, engaging in urging legislation on their own.

A letter from a veteran asks for the support of the newspaper for the effort of veterans to form a GI Association in the country to bring about progress.

The editors respond that they had the previous day editorialized in favor of the new GI Democrats of North Carolina, which had just formed the previous weekend in Pinehurst, dedicated as it was to the general good and not special interests or special benefits for veterans.

A letter advocates cleaning up a junkyard near the Southern Railway station which was an eyesore to visitors and presented a danger to public safety by the fact that it attracted vermin and vagrants who used the old auto bodies for housing at night.


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