Friday, August 30, 1946

The Charlotte News

Friday, August 30, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that at the Paris Peace Conference, Russia accused the United States and Great Britain of interference in the Greek election, scheduled for the following Sunday to determine whether exiled King George II would return to the throne, and had paved the way for his return with a "reign of terror". Foreign Commissar V. M. Molotov said that British troops present in Greece since liberation and American warships on their way to Greece were involved in intimidating the Greeks into returning George to the throne.

The criticism arose in the context of the Russian opposition to the conference considering the Greek-Albanian border dispute. Russia wanted only the Foreign Ministers Council to consider it, believing it to be outside the purview of the five treaties under consideration. The conference voted 12 to 7 to consider the matter at the next meeting.

The Economic Commission of the conference approved the Soviet demand for 100 million dollars in reparations from Italy over a seven-year span.

In Athens, an UNRRA official stated that a protest would be lodged against the Greek Government for using 400 UNRRA trucks to transport persons to a royalist rally the night before in advance of the Sunday election.

During the previous 24 hours, violence had increased in the capital, with 21 persons killed and 32 kidnaped by Communists.

Correspondent Relman Morin states that the French and foreigners present in Paris were more distressed that at any time since the end of the war in Europe regarding the prospect for continued peace, that World War III was already in sight, possibly in 1946 or 1947. It was a foregone conclusion, with the clashes at the conference between Secretary of State Byrnes and Foreign Commissar V. M. Molotov, that war would erupt between the United States and Russia. The acrimony appeared to Mr. Morin to be greater than at Versailles, 27 years earlier.

General De Gaulle had recently at Bar-De-Luc spoken of an inexorable collision between Russia and the U.S. He had also criticized the proposed French constitution as giving the President too little power. The French had read the statement to mean that he believed another war was at hand and that the President needed the power to deal with it from a position of strength, unlike in 1939.

In Frankfurt, Germany, 15 Germans had been arrested by the American military on charges of espionage. They had been in Moscow during the war being trained as Communists to overthrow Hitler since mid-1943, a group which included a million such German prisoners. It was believed that the clandestine movement of German officers was operating in all three Western occupation zones.

The ringleader of the group in question, Walter Kazmarek, had begun gathering data on American troop movements the previous fall and turned over American secrets to the Soviet Reparations Mission in Stuttgart. He had posed as an informer of the Army's Counter-Intelligence Corps and was an agent of the Stuttgart Military Government's special intelligence branch. He had then begun forcing protection money from Stuttgart shopkeepers who had previous Nazi Party affiliation and ousted any member of his group who disagreed with him. Mr. Kazmarek then sent a courier into the Russian zone to announce his support of the Soviet Union and opposition to American authorities. The CIC then intervened to break up the "Free Germany" organization which he had formed, initially with Army encouragement.

Harold Ickes discusses the President's "elder statesmen's organization for national defense", consisting of ten top Army, Navy, and air leaders to consult during peacetime on defense issues. They were to be paid wartime salaries for the purpose. They would overlap administrations and would thus have inordinate power. Mr. Ickes suggests that Congress ought be consulted on such a matter, with far-reaching implications.

He expresses concern at the number of military men surrounding the President. Admiral William Leahy, personal chief of staff to the President, was an able Navy officer, but he should not have been appointed by FDR to be Ambassador to France as he was too sympathetic to Marshal Petain. Likwise, he admires General George Marshall and understands why he should be sent to China to repair the damage done by General Patrick Hurley as Ambassador. He thinks highly also of General Walter Bedell Smith, who had been sent to Moscow. And Admiral Alan Kirk only recently had been replaced as Ambassador to Italy.

Maj. General Leslie Groves, who had been Army coordinator of the Manhattan Project but had nothing to do directly with the development of the bomb, wanted the bomb retained under military supervision.

Maj. General Robert Littlejohn headed the War Assets Administration.

The President had established the National Intelligence Authority headed by Rear Admiral Sidney W. Souers, succeeded recently by Lt. General Hoyt Vandenberg. The chiefs within the Authority were also military men, meaning every intelligence report would be interpreted in light of military considerations.

General Omar Bradley headed the Veterans Administration and Maj. General Lewis Hershey was director of Selective Service, traditionally a civilian post. Commodore James Vardaman was a member of the Federal Reserve Board.

Mr. Ickes concludes that by having so many men from the military in high positions in the Government, the President had set a bad precedent. The Founders intended the Government to be operated by civilians, not professional soldiers.

OPA announced a price hike on cotton garments of 2.5 percent, resulting in a retail price hike of one to two percent. It meant a price increase in fabrics of more than 30 percent since the previous March.

In Washington, the AF of L called upon employers to reveal their books to labor unions as a means to aid collective bargaining by showing their profits. A similar proposal by UAW president Walter Reuther during the General Motors strike the previous fall and early winter, a proposal approved by President Truman, had been renounced by management as intrusive. AFL stated, however, that their proposal differed by not calling for publication of the account records.

A work stoppage appeared likely by 3,000 hotel musicians in New York after Labor Day, as wage negotiations had broken down between the American Federation of Musicians and the hotels.

In Van Nuys, California, the Bendix Air Race to Cleveland had begun, with 22 planes entered, all, save one, being fighters. It was anticipated that the winner would complete the race in under five hours at an average speed of about 400 miles per hour. The race speed record had been set in 1939 at 282 miles per hour.

Flying ace Jacqueline Cochran, who had won the race in 1938 and was the only veteran winner flying, defied luck and sported number 13 on her P-51. She thought her exterior gas tanks would slow her down by 25 miles per hour.

In Kansas City, four teenagers decided to pick up a few watermelons from a patch on their way home from the county fair. From the darkness came a voice saying, "It's damned funny, ain't it?" at which point firing began from a shotgun, fatally hitting one of the boys, age 17, in the head and back and wounding another. The owner of the patch admitted firing two shotgun blasts at the boys.

In Hollywood, Robert Montgomery, PT-boat skipper during the war, was slated to become the president of the Screen Actors Guild, and Ronald Reagan and Franchot Tone were unopposed nominees as vice-presidents. George Murphy, future California Senator, was the outgoing president.

A photograph of a man appears after he had been crushed by a five-ton road roller in Chattanooga, not Baton Rouge. Terrible thing. Indelibly horrible. Don't look. You'll regret it, now and for the rest of your days. Go ask your mommy if it's okay to peek.

On the editorial page, "Even Democrats Are Mortal" comments on the North Carolina Democrats having finally considered a standard method of nominating interim Congressmen, recommending to the Legislature that each District Executive Committee would be formally authorized to nominate successors to vacancies in Congressional offices.

It was the practice followed the previous January after the Christmas suicide death of Congressman Joe Ervin, when his brother, Judge Sam Ervin, was nominated to fill his place with the understanding that he would not seek re-election. And it had proved a wise decision as Judge Ervin, it says, had served the District well.

But the piece still finds the process questionable for allowing, in a one-party state, a small number of Democrats effectively to nominate the successor to a deceased or retired Congressman. It might not act so wisely always as in the case of Judge Ervin but might saddle the district with an incompetent or even a crook.

Yeah, could wind up a Dick and Perry type thing if a small committee were so allowed to select candidates for Congress. You might even wind up with your cranberry sauce all over your shoes at Thanksgiving just from reading Life.

It agrees, however, that having a full special election under such circumstances would be too costly, especially for a short-term period as in the case of the Ervin vacancy. Yet, it favors a primary for such a sensitive position as a member of the House, supposed to be the people's representative. It suggests that were the vacancy to occur before midterm, then the primary ought be held.

Nevertheless, it was pleased that the Democrats had at least formulated a proposal for a fixed method.

"Can Winter Be Far Behind?" finds the sudden bite in the air remindful that fall was closing in, beyond which lay winter again, bringing "rain that soaks into the red earth until it can hold no more and then stands in broad puddles or runs in restless rivulets across the slopes."

Then would come the muddy roads which had paralyzed the backcountry the year before, preventing milk from getting to market and closing rural schools.

There were promises from Raleigh to cure the problem, but thus far no large-scale paving projects had begun.

In Georgia, Governor Ellis Arnall had announced a ten-million dollar state road project to be completed when winter set in, with emphasis on farm-to-market roads. But he was receiving criticism for it coming from a lame duck Governor and not waiting for Federal matching funds. Regardless, says the piece, Georgia farmers would likely get to market come winter.

North Carolina also had the money in surplus to spend on such roads. But no one yet in Raleigh appeared willing to declare the need an emergency.

"If You Can't See It, Forget It" comments on the fact that the issuance by the Internal Revenue Department of 2,980 Federal liquor licenses in the "dry" states of Kansas, Oklahoma, and Mississippi had been greeted with apathetic reaction by both Wets and Drys. Yet, it meant that nearly 3,000 persons had paid $85,977.50 to register locally illegal businesses, essentially bootleggers operating openly.

They could not be so brazen, it suggests, had they not paid someone locally to be able to operate, namely law enforcement officials. Thus was corrupted the administration of justice.

It would make no impression, however, on the Drys of North Carolina, it concludes, successful in their effort to drive Demon Rum underground, out of sight, but not far enough to inconvenience a whit the clientele.

A piece from the Columbia Record, titled "The South Must Start Over", comments on editor John Temple Graves II having stated recently at Darlington, S.C., that lynching was no longer a Southern custom, that the Monroe, Georgia, incident in which two couples had been lynched was the exception to prove the rule. The piece questions whether it was really so.

It cites another instance from Minden, La., of a 28-year old black man released from jail after an accusation but no formal charge by a white woman of breaking into her house. John C. Jones had then turned up dead, determined by the deputy coroner to have been a lynching by beating. While it was not known whether he was beaten by one man or by several, it was the lynching spirit in operation.

Likewise, the near-riot, interdicted by prompt action of the State Police called in quickly by local authorities, at Athens, Ala., was another symptom of the lynching fever being resurrected.

It concludes therefore that the South needed to begin its fight against lynching anew. It would, it predicts, be easier than in the past to win, as now most Southerners were opposed to it. It was true, in this round, only of a minority of lawless men. The only way to deal with it effectively was to insure that every local government had law enforcement dedicated to non-partisan enforcement of the law and willing to use sufficient, but no more than necessary, force to uphold law and order.

But, of course, therein lay the rub. For when the powers that be held the means to keep the majority of the population from voting and it was a foregone conclusion thus in many burgs that the local machine controlled everything, starting with the purse strings by which the average citizen earned a living, the problem was so systemically ingrained as to be nearly insurmountable, save by active intervention by the Federal Government, resisted often as "outside interference" by even those opposed to the existing system. And so...

And so we had the violent tumult of the Fifties and Sixties.

And even then, with the backlash which came in the aftermath of initial advances, the progress has been only in fitful starts and regressions, giant leaps and then tippy-toeing backwards into another time in Never-Never Land, created out of romantic visions of the past, idylls manifested only in song and story.

The piece notably leaves out the recent revelation, thanks to Orson Welles and his radio broadcasts, of the incident which had occurred February 12 in Batesburg, S.C., in which just discharged Sgt. Isaac Woodard, who had served honorably in the Pacific, was blinded permanently by the action of Batesburg Chief of Police Linwood Shull and his fellow officers, as Sgt. Woodard passed through town on a bus, the driver having alerted the police that allegedly Sgt. Woodard had created a disturbance aboard the bus by arguing with the driver. The result had been a billy-club beating of Sgt. Woodard about his head and eyes, admittedly administered by the police, led by the Chief.

The reason for the omission was likely that, as yet, no charges had been brought against the police, though they would be in October after Federal intervention based on direct Federal jurisdiction, not just civil rights violations. According to the Chief's account, he was reacting to Sgt. Woodard being drunk and reaching for the Chief's club, an account denied by witnesses. Nevertheless, the Federal trial would result in acquittal of the Chief and his men after a half-hour of deliberation.

Henry J. Kaiser, the steel and shipping magnate, substituting for vacationing Drew Pearson, looks at some of the so-called terrible things ahead—a turn toward Communism, a turning away concomitantly from Christianity and the church, and finally another war. He does not accept it as likely at all, for it would suggest a sudden conversion of men who won the war to mere sheep.

He recounts that recently his company had sought sheet steel from the factories of the East for the purpose of building automobiles at his new Kaiser plant in Willow Run, Michigan. They were told that the companies could not provide it. While they did not like the reasons given, they did not begin exchanging labels with one another, "fascists" or "communists". They got the sheet steel another way and continued their production.

"Trouble is only opportunity in work clothes."

And, parenthetically, as we know, the Kaiser automobile is well known today, nearly everyone having owned one at least once.

The West had always needed a steel industry and so during the war in 1942, his company had built the Fontana Steel Mill. At war's end, they were told that the company could not sustain but they did not close down. It was still operating and producing steel for the West. He realized that it would have trouble competing when the Great Steel Corporation was buying the Government-owned Geneva steel mill at 20 cents on the dollar, but he believed that it would find a way.

He cites again the new automobile business his company had established in just seven months, now thriving and producing "the most practical and modern car being made anywhere." It was now turning out thousands of units per month and would advance to tens of thousands by the following year—probably one in every garage by 1960.

The future looked good, he concludes, fulfilling Drew Pearson's slogan: "To work, fight, give, to make democracy live."

Marquis Childs comments that too often America's foreign policy revolved around ideological labels rather than looking more deeply to discern economic reality. He cites the example of the recent assassination, during a revolution, of Bolivian President Gualberto Villarroel, labeled by the United States to have been a collaborator with Hitler and thus getting what he deserved.

But a closer look showed that he had been reforming the abject living standards of Bolivia's Indians who worked in the nation's tin mines. Laurence Duggan, former head of the Latin American division of the State Department, had so chronicled the fact in a recent article for The Inter-American, along with remarking also on the questionable confederates of Sr. Villaroel who had wanted to make the country Fascist. But nevertheless, steps had been undertaken toward the end of improved financial conditions in the months preceding the revolt.

Ernest Galarza, former head of the labor division of the Pan American Union, had said that the revolution in Bolivia was not a victory of liberal forces against Fascism, stating, after studying post-revolution Bolivia, that the representatives of the tin mining cartel were returning to power.

The danger to the United States was that it would become identified with the interests who were trying to prevent the transition from the feudal past in such countries as Bolivia or Iran, with reaction and injustice.

Douglas Larsen, substituting for vacationing Peter Edson who in turn had been substituting for vacationing Samuel Grafton, reports that it would take a year before the prefabricated homes for veterans would start appearing. The Government was busy testing designs to determine which ones would be given a guaranteed market under the emergency housing legislation. The winners would likely be announced in September and they would begin marketing their product the following summer. They would constitute about 40 percent of the 1.5 million units to be built in the ensuing two-year period.

The precursor to the geodesic dome house, the Dymaxion house, designed by Buckminster Fuller, was one of the major surprises to the Government, proving quite practical despite its radical design and appearance. Houses with metal panels, thought initially to be the most practical idea, had turned out to be full of flaws, though not insurmountable. The major problem was that metal allowed condensation to form and the only way to get around the problem was too expensive.

The program would produce houses, he says, which would be far from perfect, but would result in housing which would not have been were in not for the Government stepping in to do it, advancing the housing industry by thirty years.

A letter comments on recent pieces in The News and The Charlotte Observer regarding the handing out of passes to high school and other school football games by the City Parks and Recreation Commission. As a father of a rising Charlotte High School student, the writer thinks the practice smacks of racketeering, that everyone should have to pay admission to the games equally and not be favored by the Commission. He wants a thorough investigation.

By all means. Bring in HUAC. Joe McCarthy will be available come January, thank goodness, to halt such abuses. Write him.

A letter from "Disgusted Crackers", natives of North Carolina who had lived in Georgia, charges the newspaper, along with other organs, with continuing the mudslinging against Gene Talmadge of Georgia. Mr. Talmadge, they say, had kept the sales tax out of Georgia, unlike North Carolina's governors. He had also lowered the license tag fees.

They had been in Charlotte since June and were still looking for a place to live. Charlotte had always been a snooty place and they felt it more so than ever. The clerks in the stores were unfriendly, whereas Georgians extended Southern hospitality. Their work was in Charlotte, however, and so they could not go back to Georgia, notwithstanding their perception of the probable desire for them to do so.

The editors respond: "You all sit right down and make yourselves at home; we wouldn't think of suggesting that you go back down yonder. Besides, after you rest with us a spell you'll find you'll like even the sales tax a whole lot better than you did Ole Gene."

A letter says that since legislative sanction had been given to contract bridge contests which provided prizes in a good cause, a question had come up as to why, in the first place, bridge was designated a "game of chance". It was no more so than baseball or boxing.

"If it is a game of chance, what about the rule of 11, and all those elaborate counting systems by which you can determine the value of your hand at around 15 and bid one no trump, or figure the value at 28 and drop dead?

"So if bridge is a game of chance, then it's OK to trump your partner's ace. Talking across the board may still be taboo, but Mr. McGilbert who thinks a one club bid better than a one spade bid is just as good a player as Mr. Von Hinson."

We concede.

A letter writer, saying that he normally liked The News editorials for enlightenment and entertainment, found not amusing, however, "The Ambitious Carolina Communists", as he was one of those who had almost cracked a lip laughing years earlier at the Italian clown and the Austrian paperhanger.


There is no Saturday edition available on the microfilm. See you Monday.

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