Wednesday, August 21, 1946

The Charlotte News

Wednesday, August 21, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the United States had initiated a carefully planned diplomatic offensive against Russian expansion into new areas of the Middle East and Asia, stating that "very grave trouble" would result from Russia insisting by force on establishing bases in the Dardanelles. The U.S. had determined that the only way any nation could defend the Dardanelles was by occupation of Turkey, an unacceptable position.

The Prime Minister of Albania, Enver Hoxha, asked the Paris Peace Conference to recognize the country and allow it a seat at the conference, and also stated that it would never agree to any change of its borders. Greece had objected strenuously to admission of Albania because of its quisling government during the war. But Mr. Hoxka responded that all who had taken part in that government had either been killed or fled to Rome where they were staying in the finest hotels. He asked whether France should be treated as a former enemy state because Hitler had used French territory as a base for launching aggression, just as Mussolini had in Albania with respect to Greece. He also wanted reparations from Italy.

Egypt also sought reparations from Italy and Italian territory in North Africa.

Marshal Tito defended the action of Yugoslavia in the shooting down of two unarmed U.S. Army transport planes in the area of Trieste, one on August 9, the other on August 19. The crew of the second plane was believed to have been killed, with the exception of two crew members who were reported to have parachuted from the plane as it went down in flames. Seven Americans remained interned from the first incident.

Senator Styles Bridges of New Hampshire recommended use of force against Yugoslavia for the incidents.

The Decontrol Board had ordered reinstatement of price controls on meat, probably to go into effect in early September. Controls were also restored on soybeans and cottonseed products, including cooking and salad oils. Meat and livestock subsidies would be paid again at June 29 levels, allowing re-establishment of price controls at or near June 30 levels. Dairy products and most grains, however, would be left free of controls, but the Board cautioned that if milk prices were to rise, then controls would be reinstated.

A shortage in the supply of fats had produced a shortage of soap, though salvaging of fats and turning them in had helped ease the problem.

Harold Ickes finds it silly for Congress to pick over appropriations in fine detail for such things as an Indian school while allowing the Export-Import Bank to make a loan of ten million dollars to Saudi Arabia without Congressional authorization beyond the general omnibus and the authority of the State Department. He questions why the Department had waited until Congress was in recess to make the loan and had not made the intention public beforehand. He suggests it as contrary to democracy and the Constitution.

He finds it doubly objectionable given the recipient of the loan, King Ibn Saud, to whom the country had given aid during the war without much support against Hitler in reciprocation. Now, he was at the root of the difficulties with Palestine and the country was, at the behest of the State Department, mollifying him. It was, he says, "infra dig" to provide money to achieve peace, contrary to the tradition of the XYZ Affair and the pronouncement therein against paying tribute even to the extent of a penny.

He concludes that it would take 150,000 men earning $67 per week to produce enough income tax revenue to pay ten million dollars for King Saud. In the meantime, the Arabian-American Oil Co. and the Jews would be left holding the bag, for no demands were exacted from him in exchange for this generosity.

Congressmen Vito Marcantonio and Adam Clayton Powell easily won renomination as Democrats in New York's primary but could not also capture the Republican nominations as they both had in 1944.

In Miami, the International Typographers Union voted down two proposals to unite CIO and the AFL.

In Dallas, N.C., 84 veterans met to determine a course of action to oust the Mayor of the township on the ground that he had taken "star chamber" actions, issuing warrants on his own authority, conducting arrests, and, in one instance, holding a gun on a citizen. The veterans were going first formally to request resignation and then, if not accepted by the Mayor, pursue legal action.

Sports editor Ray Howe examines the baseball standings, finding that Kannapolis had to win three games down the stretch to have a chance. Details are on the sports page.

On the editorial page, "What Sort of Job Is the Manager's?" finds the newly hired City Manager Henry Yancey to be good for the city as he appeared well-qualified for the position.

"Salute to a Good Loser" belatedly notes the effort of Tommy Smith at the Soapbox Derby championships in Akron, Ohio, the previous Sunday, coming in third in a photo-finish among a field of 111 entrants, a high point in the day for the 100,000 spectators on hand for the annual event. Tommy, whose car was sponsored by The News, had been a good loser and also had predicted the winner, an entry from San Diego, when he first saw the other boy's car. The editorial expresses pride in his overall effort.

"The Lord Must Love Charlotteans..." finds the Asheville Citizen's rueful objection to the estimate by The News that Charlotte had grown to 110,000 since the 1940 census had shown 100,000, to be without proper mock. For the Housing Authority had used the figure 112,000 in its official application for veterans' accommodations and Chamber of Commerce booster Clarence Kuester had insisted that it actually was more like 115,000.

"If The Citizen still believes we have injected a whiff of marijuana into our computations, we invite the visit of a committee of the most adversely prejudiced Ashevillians, including any professional skeptics on that journal's staff." It assures them that they would find Charlotte packed with people to the point of breeding a feeling of claustrophobia.

They would leave it to the historians whether the Carolinas really needed a bustling metropolis in the particular location, but, regardless, Charlotte was "busting out all over."

A piece from the Wilmington Evening Post, titled "Doubletalk in Wilmington", discusses one Wilmington newspaper having determined that because OPA had raised the price of coffee from 10 to 13 cents per pound, it had stopped Wilmington from having a new coffee plant.

The same newspaper had complained that OPA had tripled the cost of butter but had extolled the virtues of Representative J. Baynard Clark for removing price ceilings on fresh strawberries. None of it made sense.

Among the OPA's three reasons for raising the price of coffee did not appear stopping Wilmington from having a coffee plant.

Drew Pearson comments that at the end of the war it appeared that Russia had looked forward to a virtual alliance with the United States and perceived Great Britain as out of date and of no concern. The alliance did not occur, but the U.S. had gone so far to become an ally of Great Britain that many foreign diplomats believed that American foreign policy was determined by the British Foreign Office, harming relations with Russia and other nations within the U.N.

Britain and Russia had for a century been suspicious of one another as no two other nations were in Europe. Thus, Britain viewed its only chance of survival to be in allying with the U.S. against Russia, a game of power politics in the old tradition. Britain had been so deft at the game as to cause the United States to be perceived as Russia's chief enemy.

In Palestine, with the old League of Nations shut down, Britain had no legal rights and should have turned it over to the U.N.

Britain had played appeaser to Japan in Manchuria in 1932 when Secretary of State Henry Stimson wanted to present a united front of protest to the invasion. It had done so with respect to Hitler seizing the Ruhr, saying it would not back France in resisting it; in the Spanish Civil War, had secretly backed the Franco Insurgents and sabotaged the Loyalist Government; at Munich, Lord Runciman had determined before the conference began that the Sudetenland would be ceded to Germany, making appeasement a foregone conclusion. Had all or even any of these moves not taken place, then World War II probably could have been avoided.

Mr. Pearson posits that insofar as avoiding World War III, the British Foreign Office, with its "silk-glove policy of appeasement" might prove America's most charming, but dangerous, ally.

Marquis Childs remarks on the Congress having closed a major loophole in the G.I. Bill of Rights which, if left undone, would have cost billions of dollars in lost money through the on-the-job training program. Mr. Childs had editorialized on the problem two months earlier, regarding veterans taking from the Government their $65-$90 on-the-job training supplement, the amount based on marriage and dependent status, while earning $10,000, in training for $20,000 jobs.

Senator Wayne Morse of Oregon, after consulting with General Omar Bradley, Veterans Administrator, had introduced the bill to allow the states to impose standards on what constituted on-the-job training. It provided also that the allowance could not be paid to a veteran earning more than between $175-$200 per month. The new bill would bring the allowance into alignment with its intended purpose, not as a bonus or supplement, but to provide subsistence level income during training to encourage employers to hire veterans.

Some 150,000 veterans would have their allowance cut under the bill. Despite inevitable adverse reaction by G.I.'s, the bill should stand. To allow the returning veteran to rely on the Government too much would create problems for the Treasury and eliminate the hope of a balanced budget. The 2.7 billion dollars to be paid out in back furlough pay was, except for small sums, to be paid in five-year bonds. And to have passed the job allowance as if it had been intended as a bonus would have contributed to the spiral of inflation, effectively reducing the allowance for those who needed it most.

Peter Edson lists several small or even trivial events which had caused major problems on the international scene, everything from Secretary Byrnes ruling as chair of the Paris Peace Conference that Russian delegate Vishinsky could speak only when permitted under orderly rules, grossly offending Russia, and patting on the hand Italian Premier de Gasperi after his speech, angering the French, to the bombing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem causing the fate of thousands of Jewish refugees in Europe to hang in the balance.

Major objectives had been lost in trivialities.

Two relatively minor incidents involving the downed aircraft over Yugoslavia threatened conflict with participation by American forces. The U.S. was becoming increasingly involved in Palestine. There was consideration of having the U.S. replace Japan as one of the nations which, pursuant to the Montreux Convention, could share control, on approval by the Black Sea States, of the Dardanelles. The United States had made loans to Greece and Saudi Arabia. Assistant Secretary of State James Dunn was to become the first U. S. Ambassador to Rome, lending significance to Secretary Byrnes having patted the arm of Premier de Gasperi.

Mr. Edson wonders whether the landing at Casablanca in November, 1942 had planted Americans so firmly in the Mediterranean that they could never be withdrawn.

The trifling matters, he concludes, were what made history.

A letter from a veteran finds objectionable the words of the president of Clemson, appearing in an article in the newspaper on August 3, saying that the college would "get around" to educating the veteran in due course and that age was no barrier to getting a degree. He opposed the concept of temporary colleges being established in high schools.

The veteran finds the statements to be less than encouraging of the belief that Clemson cared very much about educating the veteran.

The editors respond that the president had been quoted out of context and that Clemson had done as much and, in some cases, more to educate veterans than other institutions of higher learning in the area. The president had registered objection to temporary higher educational facilities at high schools because he believed that the veteran deserved a genuine college education, not a haphazard substitute.

A letter writer advocates an amendment to the Constitution establishing a board comprised of three appointees appointed by the governors of each state, with the power to perform a variety of tasks, including providing all war veterans $10,000 each, which he believes would make for a good future.

With that proposal alone set to cost some 50 to 150 billion dollars, depending on whether a contingency would be that the veteran had served in combat duty, there was no doubt of the quality of the future under his proposal.

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