Wednesday, August 7, 1946

The Charlotte News

Wednesday, August 7, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that a British Government source had stated that Britain might initiate a blockade of Palestine to prevent illegal immigration to the Holy Land. To this end, the British were concentrating troops around Haifa. A land campaign would center in Italy and Austria to restrict movement from Germany. Some 1,500 immigrants were aboard ships in Haifa Harbor, confined to quarters.

Byrl Locker, member of the Jewish Agency Executive, stated that while his organization would not organize illegal immigration, it would neither close Palestine to Jewish refugees who obtained passage from Eastern Europe, regardless of means.

After 20 hours of furious debate, the Paris Peace Conference adopted, by a vote of 15 to 6, the British proposal requiring a two-thirds vote for a measure to be recommended to the Foreign Ministers Council of the Big Four, which would have final right of determination. Measures passed by a simple majority would also go to the Council.

A Yugoslav proposal was also adopted, whereby Yugoslavia, Poland, Czechoslovakia, France and other nations in the Rome-Berlin axis, could make proposals directly to the Council without first going to the full 21-member conference. Secretary Byrnes and Foreign Commissar Molotov had both supported this proposal, to assure that all nations could be heard.

In Missouri, the Fifth District election, in which the President had invested political capital to defeat incumbent House member Roger Slaughter for his consistent opposition to the President's program, proved successful for the President's candidate, Enos Axtell, an unknown former Navy lieutenant, winning by 2,300 votes. The President had previously stated to reporters, referring to Mr. Slaughter, "If he's right, I'm wrong." The voters appeared to have agreed with him in the primary. Mr. Axtell had been backed, at the request of the President, by the James Pendergast "Goat" faction of the Democratic Party machine, the other faction being the "Rabbits".

But, in November, the Republican opponent, Albert L. Reeves, would win, suggestive of a pyrrhic victory for the President.

Whether the Republicans also had factions bearing animal names has not yet been told.

All three Democratic incumbent Senators standing for election the previous day won renomination in their states, including Harry Flood Byrd in Virginia, Frank Briggs in Missouri, and Harley Kilgore in West Virginia.

In Kansas, former Secretary of War Harry Woodring won the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.

In New Hampshire, Governor Charles Dale won the Republican gubernatorial nomination over Congressman Sherman Adams, the latter eventually to become, in 1953, chief of staff to President Eisenhower, a position from which he would be forced to resign in October, 1958, after a scandal erupted over his acceptance of a vicuna coat and oriental rug from a Boston textile manufacturer who was being investigated by the FTC, the implication being that the gifts were bribes to obtain White House influence in the investigation. The task of firing Mr. Adams fell to Vice-President Nixon. Mr. Adams and Mr. Nixon did not get along.

Perhaps one reason was that the vicuna coat and oriental rug was better than the cloth coat and Checkers.

Harold Ickes urges participation in the American political process via self-education on the issues and candidates of the day and then voting. He considers it a duty of citizenship. The failure of participation in electoral politics during off-year elections had resulted in more reactionary members of Congress. It was this apathy of the voters which caused the result, not a rightward shift in the general opinion of the electorate.

In Italy, the vote on whether to retain the monarchy earlier in the year had drawn an 89 percent turnout at the polls; in England, three quarters of the eligible voters cast their ballots in the previous summer's election; and in France, the proposed constitution drew 80 percent of the people to the ballot boxes. He contrasts this turnout—perhaps comparing apples to oranges, as in Britain it was the first general election in a decade—with the United States, where less than a third of the voters had voted in 1942 and a little more than half in the presidential election of 1944.

If the liberal forces were to suffer a defeat in the fall elections, it would be because the liberal voters stayed at home while the conservatives and reactionaries mobilized their efforts to elect their favorite candidates.

Reuben Markham, correspondent for The Christian Science Monitor, who had been ejected from Rumania by the Russians in June, met with President Truman this date, telling him of his observations after ten months behind the iron curtain. He stated that the people of Eastern Europe regarded the President as the champion of democracy and justice. He also related that the reason for his ejection had simply been that he reported his observations.

In Washington, House Speaker Sam Rayburn selected a special House committee to investigate how much influence was being wielded by the CIO PAC. Representative James Domengeaux of Louisiana charged Mr. Rayburn with picking members who pleased the CIO.

Reconversion Director John Steelman ordered the Civil Production Administration to begin investigating whether hide and leather plants were withholding deliberately hides from the market in anticipation of higher prices. Since reinstitution of OPA on July 25, hide production had virtually ceased, leaving shoe manufacturers without leather. The Justice Department was also going to participate in the investigation with an eye toward anti-trust violations.

Page 12-A carries a report of two Army drone bombers which had been successfully flown from Hawaii to California via remote control.

In Savannah, Ga., two black men allegedly shot and killed a city fireman and both then sexually assaulted his seventeen-year old female companion, after finding the two sitting in a parked car in a sparsely settled section of the county at 1:00 a.m. The fireman was a Navy veteran of the war.

In Chicago, William Heirens spent fourteen hours confessing the previous day, admitting all three murders with which he had been connected.

John F. Noxon, previously a prominent attorney in Pittsfield, Mass., who had spent two years on death row for murdering his mentally deficient infant son, had his sentence commuted to life in prison on the recommendation of Massachusetts Governor Maurice Tobin. Mr. Noxon was crippled from polio. He had proclaimed his innocence and refused to adopt a defense of euthanasia, recommended by his friends. He claimed that the six-month old infant accidentally touched a live electrical wire being used to repair a radio.

"'E Bond'" is now here. Try to focus through the Fog and veiled Vale.

In Atlanta, a woman reported that her estranged husband had kidnaped her at knife point and taken her to a wooded area where he had dug a grave. He told her to get into the ditch, where he intended to hold her until September 1 and then kill her, giving her the choice of stabbing or shooting. According to the woman, he had said that if he could not have her, no one else would. They had a small boy.

She requested food, and when he obliged and went to buy some, she was able, with the aid of a shovel, to escape the hole.

The husband denied that he had used a knife, said that they were having "family trouble". He was being held on a $1,000 bond.

In Syracuse, N.Y., a local building contractor named August Six became the grandfather of a seven-pound, 15-ounce boy born on August 6. He was not to be named after his grandfather, but rather would be Michael Edward Six—such that, upon his reaching six years old, he would likely adopt only his first two initials for identification, to shorten the answer for the teacher.

In Philadelphia, the secretary to Father Divine, named Martha Blessed Love, confirmed reports that Father Divine had married a 21-year old white girl from Montreal.

Father Divine had, in 1938, been involved in a prominent dispute with President Roosevelt over who had the proper right to use the name "Krum Elbow" in reference to land overlooking the Hudson, the President claiming that it was his estate, albeit only to avoid the unfortunate moniker of "Crooks Paradise" which, historically, the Roosevelt land had been called. Father Divine claimed that the reference applied only to his church land across the river.

In New York, Richard J. Reynolds II, former Mayor of Winston-Salem and former treasurer of the DNC, was set to wed actress Marianne O'Brien, or Byrne, at 6:00 p.m. at the East 52nd Street apartment of the bride's mother—should you wish to attend. They would take their honeymoon on the island of Mr. Reynolds, off the coast of Georgia—should you wish to attend.

Inquiring minds want to know.

On the editorial page, "What Changed the Doctor's Mind?" finds, contrary to the assertion of the Chapel Hill Weekly, that newspapers in the state other than the two Charlotte newspapers had protested the recommendation to locate the new University medical school in Chapel Hill. The High Point Enterprise had bemoaned the fact that High Point was not chosen, and the Greensboro Daily News had likewise protested that Greensboro was not the choice.

It relates of a study done in Mississippi by the same doctor who headed the North Carolina site selection board, when Oxford was being considered as the locus of that state's University medical school, the committee having found that all the drawbacks which were shared by Chapel Hill militated against Oxford as the place to locate the medical school. So, the editorial questions what had changed the doctor's mind, allowing selection of Chapel Hill.

We will try to guess: North Carolina is not Mississippi?

"'The Greatest Cataclysmic Force...'" tells of science editor William L. Laurence of the New York Times having witnessed four of the five atomic explosions which had thus far taken place since the Trinity blast of July 16, 1945. He had only missed Hiroshima.

Upon his return home after the Bikini tests, he found public reaction disturbing in that it appeared that there was general acceptance of the bomb as just another weapon. Such a perception could prove disastrous and render the test a "comedy of errors". The public had expected the bomb to sink the entire fleet assembled in Bikini Lagoon, kill all the animals aboard, blow a hole in the floor of the ocean, and create a tidal wave. When it did not perform in that manner, the public was relieved but believed that the military was fit to cope with the bomb.

Mr. Laurence, to counter this opinion, pointed out that a few bombs could have prevented the landings in North Africa and on Normandy, as well as permitting the Reich to destroy England, had Germany developed it first.

A rain of bombs could kill 40 million Americans in a night, along with destruction of most production centers. It was the ideal weapon for total war.

The view of Mr. Laurence was supported by the scientists who developed the atom bomb. Yet, the public seemed unperturbed by the Bikini tests, preferred to go about shopping, while the men in Paris were "trying to decide what to do about the Lion of Judah's claims in Abyssinia."

"Avast, Ye British Sailors" comments on the collision with the Riddle by the American Farmer, en route to England carrying two million dollars worth of wheat and dried eggs. The British steamer Elizabete had sought the salvage prize by attempting to tow the stricken Farmer to Wales, when the U.S. Navy destroyer Perry entered the picture along with an American freighter and a tug. A crew from the freighter then boarded the towed derelict and ordered the British crew to leave the ship, hauled down the British ensign and raised the American flag.

The Perry stated its only concern to be that the Farmer reached port, as the small Eizabete was not up to the task of pulling a ship four times its weight. But the controversy was now stirred in British newspapers as to who would properly be able to claim the salvage.

The piece found it a wonderful story, hearkening back to the days of John Paul Jones and Mister Glencannon, the latter of Guy Gilpatric's creation for the Saturday Evening Post.

A piece from the Asheville Citizen, titled "A Great Tar Heel State", comments on four North Carolinians depicted prominently in a mural in the Tennessee State Office Building as being prominent Tennesseans. They were Presidents Andrew Jackson, James K. Polk, Andrew Johnson, and Admiral David Farragut.

The Raleigh News & Observer had first made the observation, but erroneously also included a fifth on the mural, ascribing to Sam Houston North Carolina heritage, when, in fact, he was born in Rockbridge County, Virginia.

"An Englishman," it quotes Philip Guedalla as having once said, "is a man who lives on an island in the North Sea governed by Scotsmen." And a Tennessean, it continues, was "a man who puts up murals heavily decorated with North Carolinians."

Drew Pearson indicates that the great debate over voting in the Paris Peace Conference centered about the desire of Russia to have a two-thirds majority rule so as to protect what it had successfully negotiated at the foreign ministers conference with regard to the treaties. The smaller nations wanted simple majority rule and many were angry at Secretary Byrnes for not lending his support, that the two-thirds rule would wind up allowing the Soviets to partition Europe as they desired.

He next tells of a homespun reception for the delegates given by Mr. Byrnes at the American Embassy. Mr. Byrnes related of his experience on being sworn in as Justice of the Supreme Court in 1941, that after he shook everyone's hand on the Court, Justice Stanley Reed suggested that, before he actually took his seat, he should again shake every Justice's hand, as this tradition had been established a half century earlier to ameliorate the chance of further acrimonious disputes and exchange of billingsgate in what had been then a rancorous Court. Mr. Byrnes stated, when asked, that he believed that when Justice Robert Jackson returned to the Court, he and Justice Hugo Black, with whom he had been in dispute, would both shake hands and act as gentlemen.

Mr. Pearson notes that only Justice James McReynolds had refused to participate in the hand-shaking tradition, sitting in the corner and waiting for Justices to come to him.

He next tells of Mr. Byrnes advising President Truman that he did not have time to negotiate regarding the British proposal to partition Palestine, after he had intially recommended the proposal and the President had rejected it. The President was said to be considering Ed Pauley for the position of lead negotiator on Palestine to replace Ambassador Henry Grady.

Mr. Pearson also observes that Italian-Americans, Polish-Americans, and Jewish-Americans were behaving as if they were citizens of their mother countries rather than Americans, threatening to vote in November in accordance with how their mother countries would be treated in the peace conference.

Marquis Childs begins by quoting from President Truman's January 3 radio broadcast in which he had stated that 1946 would be the year of determining whether the country could "gain the future" for which it had fought during the war.

Republican members of Congress would blame the President for matters having gone awry, that the President had prematurely released controls on construction and wage stabilization, and abolished the War Labor Board. But it was a case of the pot calling the kettle black.

Price control was reinstituted only after being emasculated, and the long-term housing bill never came to a vote, though likely to have passed. Powerful lobbies had caused both results. Under antiquated rules, three or four Republicans along with Southern Democrats in committee were able successfully to block the housing bill.

With the world shrunk by war, the country could not afford another depression, inevitably having international repercussions.

Peter Edson discusses the record of the previous year in international relations, since the issuance of the Potsdam Declaration of August 2, 1945. An erroneous assumption had informed debate over whether Potsdam had been a success, that assumption being that it intended to form a permanent policy for dealing with the former Axis countries. It actually only intended a general statement of principles, leaving details to the military governments, with policy more particularly to be formed by the Council of Foreign Ministers.

Out of the several meetings of the Council since the previous September had come the agreement to submit to the present 21-nation conference the treaties outlined by the Council for Italy, Finland, Rumania, Bulgaria, and Hungary. Generally, the U.S. point of view had prevailed on determining the rules for these conferences.

There remained significant differences in the Council on preparation of a treaty with Germany. The Potsdam Declaration had stated that the Council would determine such a treaty when a Government was adequately established for Germany. Thus, the issue was still off the table at the current Paris conference.

A letter responds to the letter from the former Mississippian who had, the previous Saturday, found so much fault with Charlotte black-white relations compared to his native land where blacks were kept in their place and liked it—and were properly dealt with if they didn't.

This writer thinks Charlotte was properly deserving of its moniker, "The Friendly City", and that blacks of Charlotte showed as much respect for whites as whites demonstrated for blacks. He does not foresee the significant racial problems which the previous writer predicted and finds the writer to be prejudiced.

He predicts that when death would come to the previous writer, he would discover that all men were equal in the sight of God.

A quintessential emanation of dust, perhaps.

He thanks the editors of The News for fine editorials on race relations.

A letter responds to another racist letter, of July 30, saying that God found no race superior to another, that black soldiers had aided the victory in World War II. Had the black man been a cannibal, savage, or mongrel, as the previous letter had suggested, it would not have been so.

He concludes by pointing out that Indians originally occupied the land and the white man took it from them, asks whether the land now belonged to the white man or the Indian.

Maybe both. Let's not haggle.

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