Thursday, August 15, 1946

The Charlotte News

Thursday, August 15, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that blunt exchanges occurred between Secretary of State Byrnes and Foreign Commissar V. M. Molotov at the Paris Peace Conference regarding Mr. Molotov's claim that some nations had been enriched by the war. Secretary Byrnes had retorted that the United States had spent 400 billion dollars on the war and so he hoped that the statement of Mr. Molotov did not refer to the U.S. The Secretary of State also indicated his disagreement with Russia's implications of late that Italy had been less democratic than other countries because the Balkan nations had harmonized their views with Russia. He praised Italy's new democratic government.

Britain supported the Secretary's remarks and found intolerable the Bulgarian demands of the previous day for Western Thrace from Greece.

An authoritative source in Britain stated that President Truman had sent a letter to the British Government stating that he could neither approve nor disapprove of the British plan to partition Palestine without the consent of the people of the United States. The White House confirmed that the President had sent along some suggestions to the British regarding the plan.

In Palestine, after being exhorted by the Irgun organization to revolt against British authority, Jews issued a second threat to blow up the general post office in Jerusalem, requiring evacuation of the building.

The aircraft carrier Franklin D. Roosevelt sailed for Lisbon, with the apparent intention of sending a signal to the Russians that the United States did not support the Soviet demands for military control with Turkey of the Dardanelles.

In Springfield, Ill., Col. Robert McCormick, editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune, in a Republican Day address, declared that the Democratic Party was controlled by the "Communist-dominated" CIO PAC and that the Republicans in the Eastern states were controlled by "money-mad millionaires". He called for organization of freedom loving people to avoid a repeat of the nominations of Wendell Willkie and Thomas Dewey in 1940 and 1944, respectively, which he deemed an effort deliberately to forfeit the presidency to the Democrats.

The notorious isolationist added that there was no doubt that President Roosevelt and his "anti-American Cabinet" had led the United States into World War II. Great Britain and Russia, he asserted, influenced more than half of the radio commentators in the country and had plotted with those voices to lead the country to war when "85 percent" of the people opposed it—a false statement, the public having been about evenly split prior to Pearl Harbor in entering the war militarily but heavily favoring aid to Britain in the form of Lend-Lease.

In Cleveland, National Maritime Union president Joseph Curran stated that his union supported the striking maritime workers on the Great Lakes, and that the union's full membership would likely strike in sympathy for their cause of a shortened work week. The strike had impacted 25 organized and 15 unorganized ships.

In Los Angeles, a former chef ended a scheduled 100-day fast after 84 days, designed to draw attention to world hunger and collect money for the cause. He lost 43 pounds but collected only $58.85.

In Gapland, Md., a soldier, communicating through a reporter, wanted Violet of Great Britain to know that he thought she was a swell dancer but that they should just be good friends. She had been writing the soldier without response and had then written the Baltimore Sun, certain that her letters were being intercepted. They were not. Ricky had been receiving them but had not been able to form the words of reply.

It's not hard, soldier. You just write back and say something like: "Hiya, Violet: How's tricks? Last night, the men from Venus came again, landed in my soup and stirred around in there with some crackers awhile until they got tired and went on to bed in the spaghetti by the furnace in Transition Land. What to do? Called the FBI about it, and you know what they said, Violet? Get some help, buddy. Can you believe that? I'll be over soon, now, just as quick the spaceship is ready after the repairs to the saltine clipper on the wingtail. Yours, Ricky"

Odds are, you won't hear from Violet again—unless of course Violet also has Venutians visiting in her soup, in which case you will have to change tactics.

The hot Charlotte Hornets won the previous night, entering thereby first place in the Tri-State league, as the story is told by Furman Bisher on the sports page.

On the editorial page, "The Wind in the Pines" comments that South Carolina would now choose between Strom Thurmond and Dr. James McLeod in a runoff for the Democratic nomination for Governor. The great amount of rhetoric expended by the candidates against the Barnwell machine during the campaign was so much "wind in the pines", as the next Governor would have in fact little power to do anything about it, given the emasculated role of the Governor in South Carolina.

His major weapon was the veto, a means only of negating unwanted legislation, but without the ability to put much forward positively. He had no appointive power, leaving the position without patronage. He could only recommend and try to rally public support for a position.

The General Assembly had the major power. But that body was comprised entirely of Democrats, without responsibility to their own party. It was as if they were all members of no party, without a platform, or that each member was his own party. It led to ineffective government.

Factionalism sometimes substituted for party conflict, insuring some discipline. It was most effective when violent controversy occurred in the state, keeping the members in session into the summer months.

What was true of South Carolina was in some respects true of other one-party states of the South. Without a counter-check on responsibility, officeholders tended to become fat and lazy and the crooked officeholder grew wealthy.

The South could not thrive until an active two-party system came to be. Labels did not matter, but rather the ability to present conflict, as the Founders recognized, was an imperative to insure honest and reasonably efficient government.

"On Observations from the Bench" comments on Superior Court Judge Felix Alley having lauded new Solicitor Whitener for his clearing the criminal court calendar with efficiency, indicating in the process that a major weakness in the North Carolina judicial system lay in the fact that juveniles were largely immune from prosecution. But, he pointed out, 56 percent of the nation's crime was committed by offenders under 15 years of age.

The Judge favored legislation which would impute to parents and guardians legal responsibility for their charges. Courts under such a plan could fine parents for the misdemeanors of their children and levy against them for the property damaged.

The piece agrees, except when the judge favored a return in extreme cases to the public whipping post—whether of the parent or child not being made clear.

It wonders, however, why such off-the-cuff remarks of judges never received attention from the Legislature.

Well, in this instance, it is rather obvious. For one, the public whipping post would have, even in 1946, been undoubtedly deemed cruel and unusual corporal punishment, as even capital punishment required a form which did not entail undue physical suffering. As to the Judge's other suggestion of having the offender's criminal responsibility imputed to the parent or guardian, except in the case of actual conspiracy or aiding and abetting, such imputation would have been contrary to every principle of Anglo-Saxon jurisprudence throughout its history, negating the whole concept of causation and individual responsibility for crime.

One cannot impute responsibility for a crime to another who had no role in the act, either by active and specific encouragement to do it or actual participation in the planning of it. It would fly in the face of any recognizable precept in the law of criminal responsibility and set a dangerous precedent.

Would an employer then not be subject to being made criminally responsible for the acts of his employee taking place during employment and within the scope of his employment duties, under the civil law principles of respondeat superior? Such an employer is civilly liable for his employee's actions, but, if not an abettor or co-conspirator, not criminally.

So the answer as to why the Legislature did not take up the suggestion was simply that the suggestion in this instance did not follow established principles of the law.

Some states have legislated criminal responsibility on the part of a licensed vendor of alcohol for serving it to an obviously impaired individual, with the attendant reasonably foreseeable risk that the person might then immediately drive a motor vehicle; but that responsibility is premised on licensure by the state to serve alcohol and the history of regulation of same, plus the notion of encouragement subsumed under aiding and abetting an offense, even if indirect in that instance. Licenses always carry with them privileges which subject the possessor of the license to additional responsibility while the individual is acting within the scope of that license, premised on privilege of the license.

But there is no license necessary to have or raise children.

Laws which proscribe contributing to the delinquency of a minor or failure to exercise parental control are secondary to the principal crime, and premised on the principles of aiding and abetting. The Judge in this case was advocating making the parent a principal violator.

"The Little Flower's Poor Manners" finds the faux pas of Fiorello La Guardia, director of UNRRA, in questioning the Czechs on where they obtained the grain to provide him with a large beer upon his arrival in Prague, not to be without its benefits, even if brusque and offending to the sensibilities of the Czechs. The Asheville Citizen and the Louisville Courier-Journal had remonstrated Mr. La Guardia for his tactless insistence on efficiency, but, says the piece, his province was to insure the feeding of the masses, not international etiquette.

While rude, he was rude equally to nearly everyone, but, in the process, got things done. Each ill-mannered attack on the Czechs was counter-balanced by an equally ill-mannered stand against the Soviets taking away resources from the Czechs.

His style was much more efficient than the mild-mannered Herbert Hoover, whose approach appeared futile as against American selfishness and European greed.

A piece from the Elizabeth City Advance, titled "Sheriffs Get Up Early", tells, in rather strange, circuitous language, the simple fact that Sheriffs across the State of North Carolina got up too early to see the twilight of the existence of their office by the intrusion of modernity on their function and purpose.

Drew Pearson, back in Paris, writes that the best thing occurring to the U.S. occupation troops had been the arrival of their wives. Some had not seen their families for two, three, or even four years. The band would play, "Kiss Me Once, Kiss Me Twice"—won't get kissed again, or something like that.

The arrival of the wives had worked to ameliorate morals of the soldier. Profanity at Army sports contests had immediately disappeared. Fewer frauleins were observed living in Army quarters.

He next suggests that the carrier Franklin D. Roosevelt, bound for Lisbon, was more than merely a good will gesture, but was rather in response to Portugal having turned down recently the American request to lease the U.S.-built Azores air bases. He notes that the British, with long-term treaty relations with Portugal, could allow the lease of the bases.

He next reports that Secretary of State Byrnes had phoned Washington to urge the passage by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee of the amendment introduced by Senator Wayne Morse of Oregon to have the United States subject to World Court decisions without veto. It was the only way, urged Mr. Byrnes, to avoid the Russian insistence on maintaining the right of veto in the U.N.

But Senators Tom Connally of Texas and Arthur Vandenberg of Michigan had torpedoed the amendment, introducing, on advice of John Foster Dulles to Senator Vandenberg, an alternative amendment that the U.S. could determine unilaterally what was a domestic issue not subject to being heard by the World Court. That amendment had passed, angering Secretary Byrnes for undermining his efforts to get the Russians to abandon their intransigent position on the Security Council veto, and, more problematic, the same on the proposed international atomic energy commission.

Marquis Childs comments on a piece of legislation introduced by Representative James Trimble of Arkansas to provide for a constitutional amendment to establish an emergency Government in the case of Washington being hit by an atomic bomb and wiping out the entirety of the three branches. While seeming fanciful, given the times, remarks Mr. Childs, it might prove in the future to represent common sense.

It provided that surviving commanders of the military would select a civilian to act as interim President, who would then call a meeting of surviving Governors, who would elect one of their number to act as President and another as Vice-President, who would then serve the uncompleted term.

Mr. Childs posits that the whole drama would unfold on the nation's television sets, to the extent that television transmission lines had not been destroyed. He selects as the hypothetical President the Governor of Illinois, and the new, temporary capital as Springfield. The new President would tell the country that it was the first time that war had been carried to the shores of the United States and, being more awful than any previously known, would mean more sacrifice by the people.

It could, he warns, become a reality should the arms race continue to build.

It was not clear, however, how a modern war could be waged if the concentrated industrial centers of the country, or one or more of them, composed as they were as an interlocking web, would be destroyed. The country was particularly vulnerable to mass attack. The Army-Navy Munitions Board, in consequence, was surveying caves and mines as possible sites for locating vital industry and military facilities. Initially, these caverns would be used for storage of essential tools and critical raw materials.

Strictly speaking, the Congress was, and still is, subject to the 25th Amendment ratified in 1967, authorized under Section 2 of Article II of the Constitution to "by Law provide for the Case of Removal, Death, Resignation or Inability, both of the President and Vice President, declaring what Officer shall then act as President, and such Officer shall act accordingly, until the Disability be removed, or a President shall be elected." It is true, however, that no provision determines what would happen if all three branches of the Government were wiped out simultaneously.

Peter Edson comments on the fact that just before the 79th Congress had adjourned for the elections, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee had voted unanimously for a new international protocol on pelagic whales, that is a whale which lived in the ocean, as opposed to one which lived on land or in the air.

This important bill, overlooked by the newspapers, did not prescribe the protocol to be followed when whale met whale or if one spouted before the other.

The whaling protocol was a treaty drafted the previous fall in London between the major whaling nations, save Russia and Japan, the result of a conference called by the British to remove the whaling restrictions of 1937.

Norway, however, had opposed the move because of dwindling numbers of whales during the previous century from unrestricted hunting. The United States supported the Norwegian objection and put forth a proposal of its own. The result after a month of debate was a compromise that only limited whaling could take place.

For a whale to reach legal maturity, fit for the kill, took four years. In that time, it would have one calf. But after a five-year hiatus in whaling, Norway had found no appreciable increase in the whale population.

The United States was not significantly impacted by the whaling industry. While a leader in whaling in the 19th century when whale oil was necessary for lamps and used to make soap, and the whalebone was used for women's girdles, there remained only one whaling industry, in Eureka, California, and that had not been in operation since 1944.

Nevertheless, the State Department and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee had seen fit to expend time on this treaty when other, far more pressing matters, such as long-term housing for veterans, had been left by the 79th Congress to hang.

Frank Porter Graham, in a reprinted except from his commencement address to the University of which he was president, states that for too long the South had been dependent on the industrial empire of the North, that now was arising a new independent Southern industry, and much of the agriculture and industry of the South and its success depended on its universities and their research.

Diversified crops, diversified industries, nine-month school years and county-wide public libraries were all interrelated mandatory requirements for progress, "with the liberal arts and sciences undergirding them all".

Research in both the pure and social sciences, research in the humanities, was necessary to achieve these goals. Teachers and scholars, paid at a decent living salary, were necessary to carry on this research. Laboratory equipment and libraries had to be established for the purpose.

"In this region of the Old South, where human slavery made its last stand in the modern world, industrialism makes fresh beginnings on virgin soil. We have the lesssons, in the tragedies of the one, and the opportunities, in the power of the other, to make a contribution to the cause of mankind and the history of civilization, distinctive and rich in a deeper sense of human personality and in social relations to be worked out, on the basis of freedom and justice, by friendly folk who live under the Southern sun in a pleasant land between the mountains and the sea."

The region had within it the capability, he states, "to develop with intellectual freedom nobler human attitudes than have yet characterized the history of any people."


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