Friday, August 23, 1946

The Charlotte News

Friday, August 23, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Marshal Tito of Yugoslavia reportedly was in the process of rejecting the 48-hour ultimatum of the State Department which had demanded release of the seven-man crew and three civilians aboard the C-47 transport forced to land on August 9 and that inspection be permitted for bodies of the five-man crew of the C-47 shot down on August 19 by Yugoslav forces. The reply, however, had not been received by the American Ambassador.

The American crew members and two of the three passengers of the August 9 flight had, however, already been released prior to receipt of the ultimatum. And it was reported the previous day that two American officers would be permitted to inspect the area where the second plane had gone down. So, the terms appeared to be satisfied with the exception of the tenth person on the August 9 flight, a Turkish officer whom a Yugoslav spokesman stated was being held because the flight over Yugoslav territory had not been accidental.

Another report, however, quotes the American pilot, William Crombie, as saying the Turkish officer was gravely wounded by the Yugoslav fighters, and another Yugoslav report stated that he was still in the hospital. The pilot stated that the fighters flew alongside the plane and rocked their wings, an American sign indicating assembly. The fighters dove at the C-47 several times and pulled away, leaving the pilot without understanding of what they meant. Thus, the pilot did not respond and then the fighters began firing. The Yugoslavs apparently thought it the international sign for a forced landing.

The Yugoslav Fourth Army reported that it was unlikely any of the five crew members of the other plane had survived.

The Paris Peace Conference, four weeks after convening, finally passed the preamble of the Italian treaty, its first substantive act of business. The preamble named the signatories. A bloc of nations, including France, China, Australia, and Canada had reportedly formed to seek softer terms of peace for Italy because of its overthrow of Mussolini in July, 1943 and aiding the Allies in the closing days of the war. The bloc wanted lower reparations levied on Italy.

Harold Ickes advocates to the voters that they elect on November 5 Senators and Congressmen who would "clean house" and provide an orderly and efficient Government. There had been too much graft and corruption among the lawmakers and too much petty bickering for partisan and personal advantage.

Most of the Congress were honest and decent, but one bad apple could spoil the appearance of the whole. He favors open investigation into Senate and House ethics.

Senator Elmer Thomas of Oklahoma had been publicly charged several times with openly speculating on cotton and was one of the more vociferous spokesmen of Congress when any cotton legislation was pending. Senator Theodore Bilbo had been charged with receiving a bribe for a war contract. The Mead Committee in the Senate had investigated thoroughly the ties of Congressman Andrew May to the Garsson brothers combine of companies, but no one had done anything about the allegations against Senator Bilbo.

Nobody had done anythiong about the report that prior to the war, Senator Millard Tydings of Maryland had been trying to find scrap iron to send to Japan.

Congressman Jed Johnson of Oklahoma had solicited favors from the Department of Interior during the war, but no one had investigated that in the two years since the charges. He had been defeated in the primary.

Congressman John Coffee of Washington had discovered a way to get around campaign finance laws by accepting a contribution without reporting it. His secretary had said that were every member of Congress held to account likewise, the jails would be full. The statement had stood as a challenge to every member of Congress to investigate such matters, but the 79th Congress had not accepted the challenge.

Now it was up to the voter to judge.

OPA announced a price ceiling rise of 2.5 percent for tires for passenger cars, motorcycles, and busses. The popular size 6.00-16 four-ply would now be $16.10 rather than $15.70. Tough luck, there, fella. Next time, avoid the nail.

A price increase was also authorized for certain building materials, ranging from one to three percent.

The price ceiling on toilet tissue increased by six percent. There would likely be a run on that before the effective date.

The ceiling on newsprint was raised by $7 per ton, to $74, apparently in response to a ten percent upward revaluation of the Canadian dollar. Eighty percent of American newsprint came from Canada. The price had risen by $6.80 on July 1 after the temporary expiration of OPA, which had regulations forbidding purchase of Canadian newsprint over the price ceiling.

In Chicago, the United Packing House Workers served a 30-day notice of of strike against three major packing companies.

In New York, James Farley, former Postmaster General and kingmaker of FDR, stated that he would miss the State Democratic convention, the first time that would occur since 1918. He said he would be out of the state on business.

In Los Angeles, 22-year old movie actress Linda Christian was released after serving parts of five days on a charge of speeding 58 mph in a 25 mph zone. Her attorney produced a 1907 decision holding that incarceration during part of a day counted as a whole day and Ms. Christian, whose sentence had been interrupted twice by her attorney obtaining her release on habeas corpus, surrendered to serve her last two days, apparently close to midnight.

She would subsequently marry Tyrone Power, then race car driver Alfonso de Portago. Her kiss, however, would not bring the latter much luck.

In San Francisco, a conductress found a purse containing $3,000 in cash and travelers checks in her streetcar. She then said, "Why the heck am I doing this, when I could be south of the border?" and took off for Canada.

Actually, on second thought, she turned it in and received a $1 reward from the generous owner of the purse.

Guess she won't be getting many free fares on the streetcar anytime soon.

In Chicago, the WCTU protested a movie scene in the RKO release, "The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer", in which 17-year old Shirley Temple was shown taking a drink. The WCTU thought it would be a disservice to American youth who looked upon Ms. Temple as a role model.

We assume that thus was born the children's non-alcoholic bar drink dubbed "Shirley Temple".

The "Joe McCarthy" was served to the anti-Red crowd of kids. Its ingredients were secret, for fear that the Rooskies might get the recipe and use it to indoctrinate American youth to Com-mmm-munism, as it was blue and white, with not a trace of red.

It also had to be drunk through a limbeck to keep from going blind from the lead poisoning.

On the editorial page, "The Disfranchised Conservatives" comments on the effect of the one-party South on politics, tending to disfranchise both liberals and conservatives. Liberal Democrats who would support a national Democratic Administration often found that their support also sent conservative Democrats from the South to Congress to oppose that same Administration's policies. By the same token, conservative Democrats who did not support such an Administration were nevertheless forced to deliver the votes for it in the quadrennial election.

The Southern Democrats had been divided into a typology by Stewart Alsop: "The traditionalists and conservatives" standing for the status quo, typified by Senator Walter George of Georgia, Senator Harry F. Byrd of Virginia, and Senators Clyde Hoey and Josiah W. Bailey of North Carolina; "the liberals", such as Senator Claude Pepper of Florida and Governor Ellis Arnall of Georgia, who, while standing for gradualism on the race issue in a way which seemed fascist to many Northern idealists, were nevertheless progressive by Southern standards; and "the reactionaries", such as Governor-nominate Eugene Talmadge of Georgia, Senator Theodore Bilbo and Congressman John Rankin, both of Mississippi.

Only the reactionaries obtained benefit from the one-party system.

The solution appeared to be for the conservatives to peel off and join the Republican Party and for the liberals to remain Democrats, while the few remaining reactionaries would go to one or the other. The problems inherent in the current one-party system appeared to hearken a two-party system in the South, albeit not to be formed overnight.

Recently, Arkansas Democrats had met to discuss formation of a third party because they viewed the national party as having left them behind. RNC chairman Carroll Reece of Tennessee had suggested that the one-party system was holding the South in bondage, and Governor Arnall had asserted that the one-party system would last as long as the only alternative was the Republican Party. The piece views each of these three approaches as unduly biased.

"Impatience Can Be Dangerous" discusses the effort of 84 veterans to remove the Mayor of Dallas Township in Gaston County because of his "star chamber" tactics, including issuance of warrants, making arrests, and holding a gun on one citizen. The piece suggests that the veterans appeared to be taking up the spirit of the North Carolina G.I. Democrats, recently formed to organize the Congressional districts of the state.

Such a movement could be useful as long as it did not venture into the tactics of violent rebellion shown in Athens, Tennessee, a few weeks earlier regarding the Sheriff's seizure of the ballot boxes when a slate of veterans was running against the county machine. Those veterans themselves had urged others not to emulate them as it was, they said, the votes, honestly counted, which had put them in office, not their guns. The shooting, said one, proved its own futility.

While it was likely not to be accomplished, it was possible that the North Carolina veterans could bring about a political revolution. The piece finds it of doubtful necessity but, it hopes, the veterans would bear the possibility in mind.

A piece from the Shelby Star, titled "Equal Rights for Women", discusses the North Carolina equal rights amendment to the State Constitution, to be put before the voters the following November. Despite support from the Governor, the Legislature, and some women's groups, it had excited little public comment. The amendment would change the word "men", for those to be summoned for jury service, to "persons", and conform the outmoded term "male", in reference to eligible voters, to the 19th Amendment ratified in 1920, granting suffrage to women. The piece believes that, while imposing a hardship on women now imposed only on males in the state with regard to jury service, it was a necessary responsibility of citizenship, and expresses the hope that the amendment would pass.

Drew Pearson discusses, as mentioned by Marquis Childs, the expression of Dr. Harold Urey, University of Chicago chemist who had worked on the Manhattan Project, that it might become necessary to wage a preemptive war of international control if cooperation could not be had on atomic energy. A later war might risk civilization.

Mr. Pearson believes that not following British policy and cooperating within the context of the U.N., plus not appeasing Russia, making it clear that aggression would be met with force, international control of the atom per the Baruch Plan, and cultivation of mutual friendship between the countries were the ways to avoid a war between the West and Russia which the people of neither country appeared to want.

The most important factor was to encourage friendship, but America had done little in this regard, and Russia, less. The Russian Government had a policy against fraternization with non-Russians in the occupation zones. Moscow restricted the availability to Russians of the State Department's "Amerika", a much sought publication in Russia on American life. The propaganda disseminated to the Russians said that America had no role in the conquest of Japan, that America had taken Alaska from Russia by trick, and that race riots and lynchings occurred in America everyday.

He urges exchange students and professors and free exchange of publications between the countries. If, he says, it turned out that Russia would not desire American friendship, then it might become necessary to take up the suggested alternative course of Dr. Urey and "unloose the atomic bomb as an advanced preventative."

Marquis Childs also looks at the prospect of war with Russia, finds it unlikely save in the event of an accident. For Russia was ill-prepared for war, had first to complete its new Five-Year Plan for rebuilding Soviet industry and develop its own atomic weapon. The United States was not likely to initiate war, even in the face of provocation such as that recently by Tito's Yugoslavia. What lay ahead, many predicted, was a long period of propaganda and bluster by the Soviets. The danger would come in five years.

Dr. Harold Urey, as mentioned by Drew Pearson, had recently stated in Air Affairs his belief that the only way for the country to be secure, short of agreement on international control of atomic energy, was for America to conduct a war of world conquest, in which millions would be killed, to gain control of the weapons of mass destruction. He viewed it as a possible alternative course, though one he did not contemplate with pleasure.

Some Americans believed that such was a realistic point of view. To check this idea meant understanding the calculated propaganda aims of Russia and realizing that they did not wish war but would seek as much as they could get without war.

Peter Edson says that America's hospital needs would be met when the five-year Federal hospital building plan had utilized its 1.125 billion dollar fund from Federal, state, and local sources, designed to add 714,000 hospital beds to the 1.739 million extant, based on the AMA's 1945 study. The total cost would be 3.9 billion dollars. Only a third of the authorized 1.125 billion could come from the Federal Treasury.

Given that each locality had to come up with its own survey and bonds to meet the rest of the costs, the building program would likely not begin until 1948 and would not be completed until 1955.

The notion that it would open the door to socialized medicine was defeated by the fact that the conservative AMA and the American Hospital Association supported the endeavor.

A letter advocates free enterprise practiced by liberal businessmen in a way that did not wind up trampling the economically weak.

A letter from a former G.I., wounded in action, suggests that Americans fought in the war because they had to fight, not for this or that ideal. Germany and Japan had declared war on the country. He joined the military because all the fellows were joining and fought because he was being shot at, not for the Four Freedoms or lofty ideals.

He says that he felt silly having written the letter, but had to get off his chest the notion as so many people wrote hypocritical letters regarding the ideals for which Americans had supposedly fought in the war.

A letter writer says that those who would oppose an international granary ought be "excommunicated from the family of nations and from the household of God."


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