Saturday, August 17, 1946

The Charlotte News

Saturday, August 17, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that President Truman's announcement of intention to ask Congress for legislation to allow entry of Europe's refugees had garnered little initial support from Congress. Senator Charles Andrews of Florida, a member of the Immigration Committee, stated that he did not think the committee would approve the proposal. A member of the House Immigration Committee felt the same way. Since 1924, immigration quotas were limited to 150,000 per year for all nationalities.

Senator Glen Taylor of Idaho, however, voiced support for the President's plan, calling it commendable.

Representative John Rankin of Mississippi believed that there were already too many "so-called refugees pouring into this country bringing with them Communism, atheism, anarchy, and infidelity."

He apparently found them off key.

Former Senator Guy Gillette of Iowa, president of the American League for a Free Palestine, thought the proposal sound. He had just returned from an inspection tour of Palestine.

In Haifa, the British prepared to ship another 1,500 illegal Jewish immigrants to Cyprus. A second camp was being prepared for the refugees, enabling the available accommodations to house 10,000.

In Calcutta, Moslems and Hindus continued to fight one another in riots which included stabbing and looting. An estimated 250 persons had been killed and another 1,600 injured. Political leaders of all parties condemned the rioting which was in response to British policy regarding Indian independence.

The Paris Peace Conference voted 15 to 6 to allow Austria to be heard on the treaty with Italy, and unanimously to allow, pursuant to a Russian proposal, Iran to be heard. The Russians opposed the hearing of Austria because they believed it for the purpose of demanding the South Tyrol from Italy, a claim rejected by the Council of Foreign Ministers.

Senator Arthur Vandenberg told the Michigan American Legion Convention in Grand Rapids that Russia should be afforded the same "square deal" which America was seeking from Russia. He reasserted his faith in the U.N. and urged that differences with the Soviets could be worked out.

Izvestia expressed the grief of the Russian people at the news of the death of writer H. G. Wells, whom they praised as a "passionate anti-fascist".

In England, Scotland, and Wales, thousands of homeless families invaded military camps to establish homes for themselves. At Prestwick, Scotland, the squatters occupied fifteen huts formerly used by the Canadian Air Force. They were left undisturbed. No disorder was reported and generally the families were treated with restraint by authorities.

Flooding continued in Illinois, across the Mississippi River from St. Louis, killing four people. Twelve inches of rain had fallen in two days. More than a thousand were left homeless.

In Boston, Hodding Carter, editor and publisher of the Greenville (Miss.) Delta Democrat-Times, asked that Mississippi and the South not be judged by Senator Theodore Bilbo, "a horrifying warning of what the combined forces of bigotry and anger and fear can produce in a democracy." He also stated that he was, in a sense, glad that Senator Bilbo had won re-election as he could do the state less harm in Washington than as Governor. In two terms in that latter role, he had left the state bankrupt and its universities in disrepute.

In Taubenberg, Germany, the former tailor for Eva Braun expressed his story, saying that she was pretty but ordinary, had no sense of style. She was the only person in Germany who could get away with addressing another German without the obligatory, "Heil Hitler". She usually just said "good morning" or the like.

Hitler's photographer, to whom she had once been apprenticed, found her a good apprentice but "never quite clean", her neck having been dirty most of the time.

Both men wanted to forget their memories of the Hitlers.

In Dayton, O., a man had suffered for seventeen months from the hiccups. He had received four operations, had tried standing on his head, eating ice cream in gulps, blown into paper bags, drunk water in various ways, all to no avail. His children had even sought to scare away his problem. He had been forced to quit his job and had lost nearly 50 of his 135 pounds.

Yeah, but did he hold his breath for an hour while flying upside down?

In Atlantic City, a two-year old climbed into the driver's seat of a milk truck and started it, managed then to send it crashing into a new sedan, another vehicle, finally bringing it to rest against the front steps of a house. He emerged unhurt, said that he wanted to be a milkman.

They don't take drunks, stupid. It takes years of work to be a qualified milkman. You better sober up first, pal.

On the editorial page, "Workmen Worthy of Their Hire" finds the hiring by the City Council of Henry Yancey as the new City Manager to have been a good selection. But there had been protest of the $16,000 salary approved to lure him from his previous like position in Greensboro where he received $13,500.

The piece finds that the salary was double that of the Governor, was the highest of any salary for a public official in the state. Yet, it was quite low compared to comparable private sector jobs. The manager of any multi-million dollar corporation received two to three times the amount. Add to that the fact that the position had to be confirmed by the City Council every two years, and to obtain a qualified person, the salary was justifiable. Hiring of an inexperienced person could have cost the city many times the higher salary.

"In Defense of the War Department" reports that Undersecretary of War Kenneth Royall, of North Carolina, had made a speech at Washington, N.C., in which he stated that the War Department had performed its function during the war honestly and efficiently, but that the investigation by the War Investigating Committee, chaired by Senator James Mead of New York, had performed an exemplary role in ferreting out the corruption which existed in war contract dealings during the war.

The piece finds this acceptance of the role of the committee both commendable and likely to allay any suspicion of corruption at high levels of the War Department, in stark contrast to the defensive attitude shown by Representative Andrew May of Kentuckty, who contended that the investigation into his connections with the Garsson brothers combine was the result of a witchhunt.

"Notes on an Occupational Disease" expresses lack of recollection of any prior such spate of rocket-to-the-moon editorials as spontaneously had appeared in the previous few weeks, in the wake of the Bikini tests, the report of radar contact with the moon, launch of V-2 rockets in New Mexico, the launch on Swedish forests of mysterious unarmed rockets from an unknown source, and the death of H. G. Wells.

But, it posits, there was more to the stimulus for the notion than just current events. It served as a greater mechanism for escape from the humdrum of economic, political or social issues than even the "birds-and-bees editorial". And in the birds-and-bees scenario, it was always possible that some bird fancier would protest that "the red-crested titwee's mating call is 'Peewit, peewit,' not 'keewit, keewit', and a raging controversy will break around the uneasy editorial chair."

Since no one had been to the moon, there was less chance of some professor of expertise contending that it was not of green cheese and unattainable in the process.

In the dog days of summer in 1946, there was need of such refuge, as they were most probably also the dog days of the Twentieth Century itself, a time of "heat and futility, of unwanted questions and unpleasant answers." Doubts were pervasive, even among those ordinarily given to relative certitude in the ultimate capability of man to work through his difficulties.

"Tolerant readers, we trust, will indulge us if they find here evidence of a marked editorial tendency to run, not walk, to the nearest exit."

A piece from the Winston-Salem Journal, titled "On How to Deal with Communists", comments on the expression by the Columbia State of fear of organization of the Communist Party in the Carolinas and the editorial response to same by The News, finding The State to be overwrought with concern for the fact that the best defense against Communist propaganda was to allow it full daylight for expression.

The editorial agrees, finds any curtailment of freedom of expression to be threatening of all freedom of expression and that making martyrs of the apostles of a creed was the surest way to popularize it.

Dealing with Communism effectively meant allowing it to have sufficient rope with which to hang itself and, in the meantime, showing, Q.E.D., the advantages of a free system.

Marquis Childs finds the small but significant strike of the CIO-affiliated American Communications Association against Press Wireless, Inc., halting all wire traffic from Europe at the critical time of the Paris Peace Conference, to be indicative of a problem with labor. The ACA was said to be highly influenced by Communists and, with its control of overseas communications by wire, could act as a Trojan Horse by which Communists could exert control of United States news and consequently freedom of the press.

While the national CIO took the position that its member unions were free to take their own course, eventually the subject of Communist influence had to be addressed. Another example was to be found in the United Furniture Workers, where, in Grand Rapids, Mich., three officials had resigned, asserting that the union was rife with Communists.

Another example was the United Public Workers of America, consisting of Federal, state, and county employees, having taken up a pro-Soviet line and insisted on the right to strike against the Government, prompting Congress to add riders to bills to prevent Government payment of salaries to any employee who belonged to an organization supporting the right to strike against the Government. While the union quickly shifted policy, it had lost in consequence a large share of its membership.

Thus, he counsels, the CIO executives would do well to remember that support of Soviet Russia would cause defections of members. Should ACA continue its policy, the rival AFL Commercial Telegraphers Union would benefit by receiving defectors. It was one advantage to the two competing union systems. "When the companies are narrowed down to one big company and the unions to one big union, then we will be in for trouble that will bear the label of one totalitarianism or another."

Peter Edson comments that Congress had managed, by exhaustive study, to cut a billion dollars from the 1947 budget, but then had turned around at the end of the session and appropriated an additional 2.5 billion dollars for the veterans' back furlough pay, eliminating the savings.

The largest cuts were to the departments of Interior and Commerce, with Interior cut by 103 million from that recommended by the Bureau of the Budget, and Commerce by 44 million, still a record appropriation, however, for that Department.

He then provides detail of several other departmental and military budgets and their cuts.

Some of the cuts were more illusory than real. For instance, the U.S. contribution to UNRRA was cut by 135 million dollars but the differential remainder was to be funded out of Lend-Lease appropriations.

In the end, it was all a bit of a juggling act.

A. L. Fletcher, of the North Carolina Unemployment Compensation Center, explains how the unemployment compensation dispensed by the State operated, disputing in the process the notion that such payments constituted "rocking-chair money", paying people, in other words, to be lazy. The recipient was not going to get rich from such scant payments and would not be encouraged thereby to avoid search for a well-paying job. The payments merely assisted the recipient in making ends meet until a job could be found which generally matched both the recipient's skills and former level of payment.

Drew Pearson begins by recounting that reporter E. J. Dillon of the Philadelphia Public Ledger had been the object of severe criticism by his readers after returning from the Versailles Conference of 1919, predicting then that the treaty would lead to another war. The readers did not want to hear of it.

Mr. Pearson believes that his own readership was in the same mood and would rebel against his pessimism regarding the current Paris Peace Conference and its ability to effect lasting peace.

Yet, many believed that developments in the Near East were pushing the world toward imminent war, perhaps within weeks. Russia had deployed 120,000 airborne troops along the Black Sea, presumably ready to attack Turkey for control of the Dardanelles. The Politburo was said to be ready for a showdown over the straits, to that end had made their demand regarding revision of the Montreux treaty of 1936, that Russia and Turkey be allowed jointly to control the straits. The Russian Navy was concentrated in Sevastopol and Feodosiya on the Black Sea. And the British Foreign Office and General Staff believed that the time for a showdown with Russia was nigh, as Sweden was being used by the Russians as an experimental ground for launching radio-controlled rockets from the Peenemunde facility in the Russian occupation sector of Germany, those rockets being understood as calculated eventually to hit Britain or even across the Arctic Circle to the United States.

The British scientists believed that the Russians could wind up with the atomic or more deadly cosmic ray at their disposal within another year of experimentation. The British also realized that the United States was not prepared to wage war against Russia unless Russia and England were to clash.

The British General Staff had deployed three divisions to Iraq for a showdown with Russia regarding Iran, and the British Fleet was in the Mediterranean standing by. At least nine other British divisions and the RAF were prepared to support such an effort. Baghdad was heavily fortified by the British.

The U. S. Army was fortifying Alaska and working with Canada to defend the entire Arctic Northwest, after it had been revealed in the Canadian spy trial that the Russians were collecting data on this region, as well as data on all American troop movements, even those within the American South.

The Russians were heavily fortifying the coast of Albania, providing partial control of the entrance to the Adriatic and preventing potentially an Allied fleet from rescuing British and U.S. troops guarding Trieste against Russian-backed Yugoslav incursion. Russia had also replaced troops in Europe with fresh soldiers, had 750,000 in Germany, 350,000, up from 90,000, in Rumania, four divisions in the Sudetenland, and 6,000 Russian planes in Poland and Rumania.

Twelve factories in the Russian sector of Germany were producing munitions, and the old Skoda Works in Czechoslovakia was producing munitions interchangeable with Soviet weapons. Poland and Yugoslavia were likewise producing such arms.

He concludes by asserting that the arms race was again on.


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