Tuesday, August 20, 1946

The Charlotte News

Tuesday, August 20, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the Decontrol Board would announce at 7:00 p.m. its decision on whether to reinstate price controls on food, off since July 1. Stay tuned to your radios for the 9:00 broadcast by the three-man board, explaining their determination.

The United States and Great Britain had decided to oppose the Russian demand for joint control with Turkey of the Dardanelles in alteration of the Montreux Convention of 1936, which allowed Turkey to bar any nation from using the straits for passage of warships in time of war. The State Department did not oppose, however, giving Russia freer rights to the straits.

The State Department sent a diplomatic note to Poland in protest of oppressive acts preventing "normal democratic political activity", that the Government had permitted persecution of Polish Labor Party members through arrests, censorship, administrative interference and other oppressive acts. The note advised that certain steps had to be taken to assure free elections.

Undersecretary of State Dean Acheson described as "outrageous" the attack the previous day by Yugoslavia on an unarmed American transport plane, causing it to crash. Yugoslavia defended the action as well as a previous incident in which it forced to the ground another transport plane on July 12.

Lt. General Sir Frederick Morgan, chief of the UNRRA Displaced Persons operations in Europe, had been sent home following months of controversy during which he had charged the exodus of Eastern European Jews into the American sector of Germany to be the result of an international conspiracy. He had also charged that Soviet spies were working in UNRRA's Western European network. UNRRA director Fiorello La Guardia had suggested the change.

The British Government stated that it would ask the U.N. Trusteeship Council to appoint it as sole trustee for Palestine, but that it would not surrender its mandate in the Holy Land.

In Calcutta, the four days of violence between Moslems and Hindus in protest of the British policy for Indian independence, appeared to be at an end, with the death toll approaching 3,000. The immediate problem was food distribution, completely disrupted by the rioting, prompting fear of disease. The violence had begun after the Moslem League urged "direct action".

In Danville, Ill., a 21-year old farm hand confessed to the murder of his 19-year old girlfriend by stabbing her repeatedly after she refused his advances. The two had been sitting in a car talking for about two hours in Kickapoo State Park when he attacked her and tore off her clothes. He said that she had begged for her life and that she would not tell anyone what had happened if he would allow her to live. He said he then lost his head.

In Magee, Tenn., the manhunt was nearly over for a black family, members of which were accused of shooting a deputy and three other men trying to investigate a claim of shooting at a car full of white men. Twelve members of the family had surrendered. While two veterans who were brothers were still at large, the brother who had fired into the car had been taken into custody.

In both Alamo and Copperhill, Tenn., veterans groups vowed to destroy political machines in the area.

Senator Clyde Hoey spoke to the Charlotte Rotary Club at the Hotel Charlotte, expressing new approval in the previous four or five months of U.S. foreign policy with respect to Russia and faith in the vitality of American democracy and free enterprise, favoring an end of a regulated economy. He correctly predicted that the new Congress in 1947 would pass labor legislation to protect the public from strikes and would reduce restrictions on business. He expressed approval of the Congress having killed legislation to make FEPC permanent.

Emery Wister of The News reports that a company out of Wilkes-Barre, Pa., which had taken down payments from Charlotte veterans for purchase of pre-fabricated homes and then gone bankrupt, would refund the money as soon as the company was again solvent.

On the editorial page, "The Theory May Be Excellent, But..." comments on a controversy stirring anent John Temple Graves of Birmingham for his editorialization against James D. Carmichael, political protege of Governor Ellis Arnall of Georgia, in the late Democratic primary election, won by reactionary Eugene Talmadge. The News, in an editorial of July 26, had defended Mr. Graves against a charge made by James Street of Chapel Hill that he was a "potlikker Pegler", referring to the conservative columnist Westbrook Pegler, and a "bellhop of Southern reaction". But it had also found him, in challenging the politics of Governor Arnall and Mr. Carmichael, to be implicitly supporting the reaction of Eugene Talmadge.

Mr. Graves had described his position as being opposed to "totalism" and that individualists ought not be deterred from opposing excesses from the left by the fact of excesses from the right, that collectivist ideas were so commonly accepted that it was difficult to check them at a point which would prevent democracy from being eroded.

The piece says that it basically shared the beliefs expressed by Mr. Graves, including his opposition to "totalism, whatever that is."

Mr. Graves believed that Senator Claude Pepper of Florida, should he carry his New Dealism further, would become both "alien and ill". The piece finds his support tacitly of Mr. Talmadge to be, however, something certainly "ill".

As it was the custom of Mr. Graves to begin his columns with a quote, the editorial ends with a quote from Thomas Jefferson: "Of the various executive abilities, no one excited more anxious concern than that of placing the interests of our fellow-citizens in the hands of honest men..."

"The Ambitious Carolina Communists" tells of a series of articles being written for the Winston-Salem Journal by its staff writer Chester Davis regarding the Communists of North Carolina. They had first established in the state in 1929 during the Loray mill strike in Gastonia in which Police Chief Aderholt had been killed and the leader of the strikers, a Communist, Fred Beal, was accused thereafter of conspiracy to commit murder. The high-handed tactics employed by the industrialists against the Communists had won them sympathizers in the state through the mid-thirties.

During the war, the organization in the state shut down and its leader joined the Army. Since the war, a new secretary, a veteran of the Navy in the Pacific and an Alabama newspaperman, had appeared and established headquarters in Winston-Salem. He was willing to discuss candidly the party business with Mr. Davis but balked at naming the 200 members in the Carolinas to avoid causing potential problems with their employment. He contended that Communists did not seek revolution, that it was not part of Marxian philosophy, that it instead rested at prediction of revolution within the United States before socialism would become a reality.

Their immediate goal was to form a third-party movement on the principles of anti-monopolism and anti-imperialism.

The piece finds it a bold venture considering that no one thus far had managed to establish a viable second party in the Carolinas. The secretary had remarked that a big mistake of leftists was to try to push for progress too fast. The editorial concludes that he likely had a long wait ahead.

"The CSAAF: Too Little, Too Late" tells of two veteran pilots of the war having established the Confederate Air Force in New Bern. They had assumed the title "colonel", the lowest rank in the CSA. One of them had a beard resembling that of President Lincoln, an inauspicious sign.

The piece wonders what might have been had the South possessed an air force during the Civil War, decides that it would have undoubtedly been superior to that of the North, as, by observation, it had determined that most successful pilots in the war had hailed from the South.

"And how history might have been changed if a dusty courier had arrived one day at General Lee's command post to report: 'Suh, General Hill is moving in on the left with the First North Carolina Bombardment Group (heavy)...'"

But, we feel compelled to add, the change would likely have been short-lived as another courier arrived at headquarters to inform: "Gen'ral Lee, suh, a report has just come that Atlanta has disappeared in a mushroom-shaped cloud of dust after a blinding flash resembling the sun. What does it mean, Gen'ral?"

A piece from the Atlanta Journal, titled "Let's Be Honest About It", indicates that some Southern newspapers had expressed resentment against Northern newspapers which criticized the South, without properly taking account of some of its own political machinations expressed in the machine politics of Mayor James Curley of Boston, in jail, the Hague Machine of Jersey City, and the like, and that Southern newspapers ought give it back in kind as they had not.

The piece states that the contrary was true, that Southern newspapers had condemned the machines of the North. It was seldom that Southern newspapers did not call attention to such excesses whenever they arose outside the region. So, as long the region dished out the criticism, it had to be prepared to take it.

Drew Pearson suggests that in the previous year since the end of the war, Russia had lost all of its wartime allies as friends and, with the possible exception of Finland and Czechoslovakia, alienated its neighbors also in Eastern Europe. Bulgaria and Rumania, were it not for the Red Army presence, would bolt as Soviet satellites. Hungary and Austria had in their recent elections voted against the Soviet-backed candidates. The Russians were not even popular in Yugoslavia where Soviet-backed Marshal Tito held power. And the Communists had peaked in their popularity and begun to recede in France.

The countries nearer Russia tended to show greater dislike for the Soviet than those, as France, further away. Germans in the American-British zones of Germany were fearful of being left to the authority of the Russian forces in the East.

The danger to America being coaxed into a war against Russia was in too much following the policy of Great Britain and not remaining enough aloof from both Britain and Russia.

He states that a report had been transmitted of three days of exchange of rifle fire between American and Russian troops along the Korean border, the first such deliberate exchange of fire between Americans and Russians. The British General Staff had been meeting to plan strategy for defending the Near East. So, while it was apparent that some hardliners in Moscow were willing to risk war, some of the military brass in London also believed it time for a showdown with Russia.

Seldom did a nation provoke war deliberately and the best way thus to prevent it was to convince the belligerent that it would be forcefully resisted if it became aggressive.

So he recommends a policy that the U.S. not follow Britain, but leave matters regarding Russia to the U.N., serve notice on Russia that aggressive action would mean war, and use every means to establish amicable relations with the Russian people.

Marquis Childs discusses the Wisconsin Republican Senatorial primary of a week earlier, won by Joseph McCarthy over incumbent Senator Robert La Follette. DNC chairman Robert Hannegan had sought to persuade Senator La Follette during the spring to switch to the Democratic Party after determining to dismantle the Progressive Party which Mr. La Follette had led for twelve years. Mr. Hannegan assured him the support of the Democratic organization and the CIO PAC, but Mr. La Follette turned down the invitation. He believed that his defeat was the result of the far right Republicans, in combination with the far left of labor, dominated by Communists, upset with him over his May, 1945 speech criticizing Russia, ultimately preventing his moderate liberal candidacy to succeed.

But incumbent Governor Walter Goodland had been re-nominated despite opposition from both the right and left of the Republican Party.

Mr. Childs asserts the belief that Joseph McCarthy appeared as "an able, hard-working politician with the advantage of an excellent war record" who campaigned intensively across Wisconsin, while Senator La Follette had remained in Washington to work on the reorganization bill. Mr. McCarthy's opponent in the fall, former Congressman Howard McMurray, a liberal, promised an aggressive campaign supported fully by the Democratic national organization.

Senator La Follette had been responsible for legislation safeguarding the rights of organized labor against employers who hired stool pigeons, spies, and goon squads to try to break unions. Nevertheless, labor had forsaken him in the election. Mr. Childs believes that the Senator's experience would continue to serve Government well in some role.

We assume, incidentally, that as time would move along in the next four years and onward, Mr. Childs would considerably change his opinion of Joseph McCarthy, as, ironically, he had written disapprovingly on the day preceding the primary, the previous Monday, of the witch-hunts being carried on within HUAC and by Senators Styles Bridges of New Hampshire and Kenneth Wherry of Nebraska, presenting in the latter cases their list of supposed Communists within the State Department.

And, by the way, one must take the above-referenced 1979 article of interest on Joseph McCarthy's war record together with the fact that the same author, in his 1991 biography, John F. Kennedy: A Question of Character, asserted that "Jose Jiminez" was President of Cuba before Fidel Castro—or maybe, it was actually referring to a proxy for Fidel Castro, himself, the reference being a bit ambiguous. It is even listed in the book's index for your convenience in ascertaining the fact. But, he may have had a point.

At page 67 of the aforementioned work, the author says: "The perpetual inflation of the PT 109 story for political purposes reveals a basic lack of integrity on Jack's part."

But on the concluding page of the article on Senator McCarthy, after marshalling a plentiful proffer, compiled from 125 interviews and documentary evidence, showing that the Senator had fabricated completely and then exploited for campaign purposes a "war wound" from a fractured foot and burn resulting from a prank, claimed to enter the Marines as a buck private and work his way up to captain when in fact he entered as an officer, manipulated receipt in 1952 of a Distinguished Flying Cross based on a fabricated claim of having flown on 32 wartime missions, 21 of which he never flew, and had in 1944 engineered for himself a commendation from Admiral Nimitz which was made on the apparent recommendation of a letter from Captain McCarthy's immediate superior, who claimed subsequently in 1977 never to have written it, most likely therefore forged by Captain McCarthy himself, the author concludes: "Critics would often publicize Joe McCarthy's exaggerations and distortions of his military record, noting that his resignation from the Marines exempted him from some of the most bloody battles in the war: the return to the Philippines, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa. But in fairness it must be said that he served the corps and his country ably and with distinction. He risked his life on several occasions, and not entirely for the later political dividend." He offers no similar indictment of basic integrity which he later would assert against President Kennedy for alleged distortion of war record.

We point it out in passing, not to be unduly picky against this particular author, but as a general point to suggest that a reader always bear in mind that even the most authoritative works make occasional mistakes, sometimes more than occasional mistakes, and that authors sometimes reach personal conclusions at odds with the very evidence they marshal in their research. Failing to read with alertness and a critical eye will make the launch into any work at worst an exercise in futility, at best an exercise in chance, rather than instructive scholarship at the end of the rainbow.

Peter Edson comments on the War Department making announcements regarding veterans hospitals which did not make sense. It had announced the closing of the Ashford General Hospital, formerly the Greenbrier Hotel, at White Sulphur Springs, W. Va.—that which would camouflage the construction between 1959 and 1962 of a labyrinthic underground bunker for sequestering the seat of Government in the event of nuclear attack. Being one of three large hotels taken over by the Government during the war, the Government had paid over three million dollars for the facility and made about two million dollars worth of improvements, but was now selling it as war surplus property.

Parenthetically, because the Government was seeking at this time a place of refuge for the Government in emergent circumstances, it is probable, though apparently unverified, that the Government retained rights in the Greenbrier grounds for the establishment of the bunker facility when the times might require. The fact that General Eisenhower, presently chief of staff of the Army, was President when the facility was begun, adds to that likelihood.

In addition, three other large Government hospitals were being closed at the end of September, at Framingham, Mass., Galesburg, Ill., and Springfield, Mo.

The Corps of Engineers had let contracts for seven new hospitals.

The reasons for the turnover were manifold. Many of the wartime hospitals were temporary and were not fire-proof. Most were going to the National Housing Agency to be converted to temporary housing for veterans or for the lumber used to build them. More permanent facilities were usually going to state governments. Many of the hospitals were remote, near training facilities, and thus would make it hard for relatives to visit. They were also far from medical schools and their experts in most cases.

The Army operated 60 hospitals during the war, with 23 still in operation. After the changes, they would be reduced in number to 12 or 15. Only one new general hospital, at Ft. Totten, N.Y., was scheduled to be constructed, to afford a hospital for the port of New York.

The V. A. would build 78 new hospitals at a cost of 771 million dollars and make additions to 42 others costing 68 million dollars. The V. A. currently had 106 hospitals.

A letter writer responds to an August article in Cosmopolitan by Dr. Samuel Green of Atlanta, Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan, in which he had contended that the white man was supreme. She retorts that she was a white woman and that she should never be colored with prejudice, that Jesus was supreme regardless of his color at birth.

She finds Dr. Green intolerant of virtually everyone, that it was completely contrary to the war aims to suggest that fellow citizens, because of their color or religion, were somehow inferior. She finds Dr. Green's attitude not to convey Christian understanding.

America, she asserts, was not afraid of the Klan, as it would stand united, not divided by regions.

A letter writer suggests that it was a good thing America was not a dictatorship, as contended by Russian newspaper accounts, for if it were, it would simply take over "little Russia" and give it a "good walloping". Only democracy could for long survive and dictatorships would fall.

The editors respond: "Little Russia? Have you looked at a map lately?"

A letter writer responds to another letter which had suggested that GI's were waking up around the country, as indicated by the recent formation in Pinehurst of the G.I. Democrats of North Carolina to organize the state's Congressional districts. She thinks the veterans were already awake, had been since democracy was threatened by Hitler in 1940, and continued to be.

A letter from a black veteran of World War II says that he had fought against some of the same things now occurring in America. He remarks on a letter of August 3, expressing the belief that blacks ought be kept in their place, by saying that his place was enjoying democratic government, which prevented one group from governing another. Most citizens who were peaceful and "Godly-minded", he believes, were trying to establish better relations between the races, were not agitating race hatred or producing friction.


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