Saturday, August 3, 1946

The Charlotte News

Saturday, August 3, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the 79th Congress had adjourned until after the November elections, possibly not to reconvene at all. As a last item of business, the Senate had voted 60 to 2 to approve a resolution authorizing the President to provide the U.N. with the agreement that the country would submit to the jurisdiction of the World Court on matters of treaty interpretation, international law, breaches of international obligations, and reparations. It would not extend, however, to strictly domestic matters of the United States, such as immigration policy or the operation of the Panama Canal.

The Senate War Investingating Committee announced that, after a month-long hiatus, it would resume its hearings into the Garsson munitions combine and possible graft and corruption involving war contracts and Congressman Andrew May and others.

The Paris Peace Conference voted 12 to 8 to rotate the conference chair among the Big Five nations, in French alphabetical order, starting with the United States or "Amerique". Ethiopia abstained. Each chairman would rotate every three days.

Why not "Estados Unidos", in which case China would be first? This preferential ordering is wrong and violates the Four Freedoms, the freedom to speak another language besides that native to the site of the meeting. We shall shoot you unless you change your rule and allow China to proceed first as chair.

Why rotate every three days? Does this duration suggest a termination date of the conference after only 15 days in session? Or, if, perchance, it should proceed longer, will it not be the case that either it must last a multiple of 15 days or favor one or more nations in the rotation? This is wrong.

Furthermore, why did Ethiopia abstain? This question should be investigated as it may imply serious lack of unity in the conference of nations, leading inexorably to the conclusion that Generalissimo Francisco Franco remains the only man who can step into the breach and bring unity forthwith to a world on the brink of unified conflagration and self-destruction.

The Army responded to Soviet charges that the three Russian soldiers taken into custody previously in the American sector of Berlin and then released to the Russians in exchange for release of Americans arrested in the Russian sector of the city, had been treated as "criminals". The Army retorted that the three soldiers had engaged in forcing German employees of the U.S. Army to divulge classified information and documents regarding the U.S. Army and its policies.

Chinese naval officers sailed back to Shanghai from the United States carrying so much contraband, watches, fountain pens, cosmetics, and cigarettes, sold on the black market, that the economy of Nanking had been destabilized. Cigarette prices dropped sharply. The fleet's commander and two officers were arrested for smuggling.

In Port Washington, N.Y., a railroad conductor and engineer were killed and ten passengers injured when a locomotive slammed head-on into an electric passenger train on the Long Island Railroad. The passenger train had left the station only three minutes before the collision.

In Bayonne, N.J., the Freehold Express collided into the back of the Barnegat Express at the 8th Street Station before horrified bystanders on the station platform. At least 79 passengers were injured, most in the rear car of the Barnegat, and one killed, the fireman of the Freehold, buried under tons of coal when the locomotive and tender overturned.

In Athens, Tenn., a three-man citizens committee of veterans had taken over operation of McMinn County and its jail, restoring order after the violent melee Thursday regarding a dispute in counting of ballots in a contest between the veterans slate of candidates and that of the local political machine, the veterans ultimately being declared the winner. A demolition bomb which veterans set off at the jail had forced 34 special deputies and the Sheriff to surrender at 3:00 a.m., Friday. The Sheriff left town. Eighteen persons were injured in the gun play and bombing.

The Governor stated that he would send four state patrolmen to the troubled town.

President Truman returned home to Missouri to vote in the Missouri primary election. His first action would be to call upon his 93-year old mother who lived near the Grandview Airport.

OPA had announced increases in the ceilings on bakery goods, a penny a loaf for bread up to two pounds, wheat, flour, cereals, macaroni, noodles, corn meal, and hominy grits. The rise in bread price came from higher costs of shortening and other raw materials forming the constituent basis for a loaf, and continuing restriction of output because of the 85 percent limit on flour production, making it impossible for bakers to offset higher prices with higher production.

In short, if the dough rises, so must the bread to pay for it.

Ceiling price posters at restaurants were deemed by OPA not to be required unless a return to meat control was instituted on August 20, as prices would vary too often to make posting practicable.

Hal Boyle, in Bamberg, Germany, tells of American soldiers observing nude black-haired German girls, but sans the typical crude jokes or giggling, as the visual exihibition was in the context of art class at the Bamberg Art School. The soldiers were learning to draw in their spare time as an alternative to chasing frauleins. The class was strictly voluntary. About 140 soldiers were taking the course, which included also painting, photography, sculpturing and woodcarving. Whether all these crafts involved nude girls was not entirely clear.

The soldiers, none of whom had taken art before, were said to be surprisingly serious about the classes. Some of the models dated the students, but the former sergeant who directed the program said that the soldiers' activities during off hours were none of his business.

The school was housed in the Water Castle, overlooking the Regnitz River, built during the seventeenth century by a wealthy citizen who did not like paying taxes and so donated buildings to the town authorities, thus establishing a name as a philanthropist. To spite his relatives quarreling over his death bed regarding their inheritance, he invested all of his liquid capital in the castle. His heirs eventually found the upkeep too much and gave the edifice to the town.

Backdrops for the models were formed by coffin silk, which many German girls used for dresses.

The soldiers preferred portraiture, probably the au naturel variety. Then, in order of preference, came life class, landscapes, and still lifes—anything except military subjects.

Senior officers who had initially found the school to be one for "sissies" were now approving it as it cut down on the high rate of venereal disease.

On the editorial page, "Reserve a Dark Page for the 79th" finds no tears to be shed over the adjournment of the 79th Congress, having passed but 6 of the 21 points proposed by President Truman to foster reconversion. And, worse, it had offered no substitute of its own. The party system had collapsed in 1946 and Congress refused to face up to the critical need of the coutnry for an organized program to effect smooth transition to peacetime.

It had, to its credit, rejected traditional isolationist doctrine by approving the U.N. Charter, the loan to Britian, and creating the civilian atomic energy commission. It had also adopted a reorganization plan to streamline Congressional committees and subcommittees.

But in housing, labor, the peacetime draft, and price controls, it had faltered badly, winding up only with delay and either non-action or watered-down compromise legislation. Everything which carried with it a suggestion of an extension of the New Deal, the long-term housing act, making permanent the FEPC, the full employment bill, the minimum wage law, and the creation of the Missouri Valley Authority, all were rejected without much consideration or so emasculated as to be meaningless.

The sum of it was to establish drift in the country at a critical juncture in time, brought about by a coalition of Republicans and Southern Democrats. As exemplified by the normally conscientious Senator Robert La Follette of Wisconsin, who wanted to end price control except on dairy products to favor his home state, the Congress turned toward the politics of self-interest, placing it ahead of the good of all.

But the Congress was only reacting to the way the people behaved, also using the post-war period as a way of making profits. The people did not appear to want the type of leadership which was required in this period of readjustment.

"Operation McMinn Can't Be Justified" comments on the melee in Athens, Tennessee, finding it to be an organized military operation by the former G.I.'s, using techniques they had learned in the war to subdue the deputies holed up in the county jail with two ballot boxes. There had been no deaths and little pointless violence, indicative of it not being a mob action but rather one carefully planned and orchestrated.

While there was little doubt from the evidence that the established courthouse ring was corrupt and seeking to rig the election, the effort to subdue it by effectively canceling all the votes by military-style takeover could not pass without further review by the courts.

There were legal methods by which to deal with election frauds. While natural sympathies would run to the veterans, no one who was thoughtful could condone their actions, as nothing short of complete breakdown in government could justify such vigilanteism.

"A Note on Presidential Integrity" appears to take a new stand on President Truman, the column having for the most part heretofore taken a position vacillating between condemnation and lukewarm acceptance of the 33rd President. Now, in the wake of his veto of the tidal oil lands bill which would have forfeited Federal rights in the lands to the states, it suggests that "by and large, no braver man than Harry Truman ever occupied the White House."

It finds his loyalty earlier in the year to Ed Pauley during his controversial nomination fight to be confirmed as Undersecretary of the Navy, to be troublesome, as he stood by his nominee and friend long after it was prudent. But though Mr. Pauley had favored the tidal oil lands bill and had his nomination derailed by the revelations of Harold Ickes that Mr. Pauley, as treasurer of the DNC, had offered, in exchange for the Government abandoning its position on the tidal oil lands, to raise from oil interests $300,000 for the Democrats in 1944, Mr. Truman could now lay his personal loyalties aside and do what was right for the country, vetoing the bill and allowing the Supreme Court to decide the issue.

The piece finds it a courageous statement and one which appeared to define Harry Truman, a man of mixed attributes, with personal loyalty sometimes overriding his good judgment while, in the end, as here, doing the right thing.

One could, of course, readily extend this analysis to Richard Nixon, but stopping short of the last phrase, by which failing Mr. Nixon suffered his fateful junction with history, doing the wrong thing when loyalty came into conflict with the national interest, placing himself and his friends above his public responsibility, at least until loyalty conflicted with his own personal interests, at which point he burned bridges as in the April, 1973 firings of his staff. At least, that is one way to view Watergate. There are also other ways to perceive it, which are far more sinister in their implications.

A piece from the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, titled "Missouri Avenue or Rosebud Drive", rejects the name "Missouri Avenue", as applied to a quiet suburban street 20 blocks long in Washington. For vital Missouri—the list of the variety of activities through time in which being rendered in inimitable prose worth reading—only the street leading to the White House would be fit to adopt the state's name. It favors instead, for the quiet suburban street, the name "Rosebud".

Why Rosebud? Find out. Investigate everything you know or have ever heard regarding the name Rosebud and its significance to this 20-block section of Washington. It could be a major player in the past 67 years of American history and practical math—especially the part about Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn plotting piracy, and Missouri being "where the hills talk in the night and a train whistle answers from far out across the bottoms". What do the whistles say? Are the bottoms foggy?

You must know. You must find out. You must search.

Go to it. But as you do, bear in mind careful observation of Euclidean sails and seals, Gideon tales and teal, and Albion gales and reels, in your search for the key.

Drew Pearson reports from Paris that an important conversation had taken place between Prime Minister Clement Attlee of Britain and Secretary of State Byrnes, in which Mr. Attlee proposed a trade: Britain would support the U.S. plan to unify Germany, provided that the U.S. would support a British plan to partition Palestine into four segments, one of which would be Jewish and another, Arab. Mr. Byrnes at first balked based on President Truman's opposition to any division of Palestine, as Jewish leaders in the United States were not in favor of such partition. But, he agreed tentatively to approve it, contingent upon the President's approval.

It would place, says Mr. Pearson, the President in a difficult position, between his own Secretary of State and the Jewish community.

It was believed, he notes parenthetically, that Mr. Attlee had substituted at the conference for Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin as much for the purpose of offering this deal as for the stated reason of Mr. Bevin's ill health.

Mr. Byrnes, after starting in the position of Secretary of State a year earlier, close-mouthed, not holding weekly press conferences as had been the tradition of the State Department since Charles Evans Hughes, now had taken to establishing an official leaks policy through his aides, holding regular, candid press conferences.

He had astounded the delegates to the 21-nation conference by suggesting that the sessions of the Rules Committee be open to the press. To everyone's surprise, V. M. Molotov went along with the suggestion on the premise that the press had so mangled the Russian view of the treaties that openness would lead to clarity and accuracy. It was a fulfillment of the goal established by President Woodrow Wilson in 1919 at Versailles, which Mr. Wilson, himself, soon abandoned.

Mr. Pearson next follows up on his revelation in a Sunday broadcast of July 15, just before the Montana primary lost by Senator Burton Wheeler, (and also included in his column of July 18, as well more fully presented in a pair of contemporaneous columns by Marquis Childs on July 18 and 19), regarding the alleged statement by William Rhodes Davis to Hermann Goering that Senator Wheeler could be relied upon to help defeat FDR in 1940 and that Mr. Wheeler had made speeches, portions of which were written for him by German propagandists.

Mr. Wheeler, upset about his loss of the election and blaming the revelations for it, wired Justice Robert Jackson in Nuremberg and asked whether, as the report claimed, this information had come from American Justice Department interrogations of Herr Goering and other defendants on trial at Nuremberg. Justice Jackson had replied inconclusively.

Mr. Pearson reaffirms that documents in the possession of the Justice Department stated that the Nazis were reliant on Senator Wheeler and John L. Lewis, as well as others, to help defeat FDR in the hope that Wendell Willkie would not bring America into the war. Senator Wheeler, he says, was likely not aware of his being used by the Nazis in this manner, but he had intervened on behalf of George Sylvester Viereck, paid $300,000 by Hitler to influence U.S. Senators.

Marquis Childs goes through a checklist of primary issues which had been before the 79th Congress since the beginning of 1946, indicating their resolution or lack thereof. As they have been previously covered in some detail, we leave it to you to review.

Peter Edson, whose column will substitute throughout August for vacationing Samuel Grafton, remarks on the successful attempt of former college president, Senator William Fulbright of Arkansas, to establish a 14-million dollar fund from the sale of war surplus goods sold abroad for the purpose of establishing free worldwide education. The program had been proposed as an amendment to the Surplus Property Act, just passed by both houses of Congress.

It was based on the inability of most of the war-torn countries to fund the purchase of surplus goods in American dollars. The program would allow use of each country's own currency, enabling it to stay in the country to fund the scholarships. The money could be used for American students attending school in foreign countries or for paying transportation of foreign student to attend schools in the United States. It could also endow professorships of Americans teaching abroad.

The bill provided for a million dollars per year for the ensuing twenty years, for use in England, France, Italy, China, Mexico, and the Philippines. T. V. Soong of China stated that his only reservation was that the beneficiaries of the programs might become known as "scrap" students—a lot better, nevertheless, than crapulous.

The State Department would administer the program.

A letter from a newcomer to Charlotte finds the "Friendly City" not so friendly. He primarily objects to the problems between blacks and whites, finding The News always championing the cause of blacks. But, he cautions, unless blacks were brought under control, a race riot was promised which would eclipse anything seen previously in Detroit or other places. Blacks, he finds, had no respect for whites, refusing to yield to the white man as he sought to board the bus, crowding him out and not allowing him a seat.

Or, in walking down E. Trade Street, blacks would walk arm-in-arm, forcing off the sidewalk all white people.

Or, driving along down the lane, if a white person blew his horn at a black person crossing the street, the black would respond with insolent remarks, such as "Watch the Hell where you are going."

Or, employing a black woman as a servant would result in her telling the white employer what she would do and would not do, and then when the wife came home, the work was half done and the black woman sat in the chair reading the paper.

Or, if a white person went to the store to try to buy some scarce items, he would find black people packed two or three deep in line to buy the item, making it impossible for a white person to obtain it.

He was born in the State of Mississippi and before there could be racial equality, he ventures, the black person had to be educated as to what the concept meant—that, as he believes, the black could never be an equal to the white.

In Mississippi, he relates, they had very little trouble with the black, for "they know their place and stay in it, and very few of them will say that they are mistreated"—and those that do, know what their treatment shall be.

The editors respond that they stood only for racial justice under the laws of the United States and North Carolina, that their observations did not coincide with those of the letter writer, that by and large, with few exceptions, blacks were courteous, and the long record of peaceful cooperation between the races in North Carolina refuted the letter writer's prediction of coming riots or racial disharmony, "unless Negroes are kept forcibly in what most white Mississippians regard as their place."

A letter sets forth verse on the shortage of clothing, requiring hand-me downs from brother to brother and seams to be let out for the other, all awaiting the day when production would increase under OPA.

A letter from a native Southerner expresses disgust at the racist letter appearing on July 30 from Clover, S.C., reacting to the anti-Klan radio broadcast from the steps of the Georgia Capitol by Drew Pearson on Sunday, July 21. This writer had served four years in the Pacific and witnessed many fellow troops who were black, fighting for preservation of democracy denied to them at home.

"In my estimation the sooner some of these Southern politically blinded and prejudiced, individual dimwits, arrive at the realization of the fact that all the Negro wants is an opportunity to work, eat, and clothe his family and be left alone, the sooner racial peace and harmony will prevail in the South."

A letter objects to the newspaper cutting out the portion of the Radio Log for each ensuing morning since the newsprint shortage in May from the coal and rail strikes had forced for a short time curtailment of the newspaper to eight pages.

The editors respond that they were still trying to conserve space and that morning radio schedules rarely varied. "Soap operas, hill-billy bands, newscasts, the rest of the standard forenoon fare, appear same time, same station five days a week."

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