Friday, August 9, 1946

The Charlotte News

Friday, August 9, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Secretary of State Byrnes sternly rejected the oppostion of V. M. Molotov to the voting procedures adopted by the Rules Committee at the Paris Peace Conference, which provided for a two-thirds vote to have an issue positively recommended to the Foreign Ministers Council for final decision, but referral also by a simple majority.

The issue was a tempest in a teapot as the Foreign Ministers Council had veto power, and each of the four members had unilateral veto power.

The demand by Russia for ten million dollars in reparations from Germany was rejected by Britain, stating that, in accordance with the Potsdam agreement, no party was entitled to take goods from Germany by way of reparation until Germany established an export surplus. The statement also supported the American proposal of cooperation among the four administering powers in occupied Germany.

Soviet journalist Ilya Ehrenburg, recently returned from his tour of the United States to his native Russia, wrote in Izvestia that the "iron curtain" in Russia was real, but was created by the American press and movie studios, preventing the average American from having a genuine understanding of Russia.

French officials in Indochina announced that about 500 men from Siamese territory launched an attack on the Siem Reap Hotel, a Cambodian military convalescent facility near the ruins of Angkor-Vat.

Governor Ellis Arnall of Georgia stated that Federal investigators and State Police had made little progress in their investigation thus far into the July 25 lynchings of two black couples at Moore's Ford Bridge near Monroe.

The Washington Post had quoted an unidentified Georgia official as saying that the FBI had focused on three of the mob, were tying up the ends of other evidence before making arrests, and that there were actually two mobs involved in the lynching, the second group being assigned to guard another road down which the car carrying the couples could have traveled to reach its known destination—if true, tending to exonerate Loy Harrison, the white farmer who was carrying the couples back to his farm after having picked up Roger Malcolm, released from jail on bond from an assault charge resulting from a stabbing during a fight with another farmer, rendering suggestions in some latter-day accounts that the route taken by Mr. Harrison was the "long way" back to the farm, suggestive of his complicity, completely inconsequential.

Governor Arnall, however, stated that he knew of no arrests or identifications as yet in the case. He had been informed that there was no definite information.

Employment figures for July showed that a record high of over 58 million persons were employed, four million above the same month in 1945. The armed forces employed another 2.64 million, sending the total above the sixty million sought by Secretary of Commerce Henry Wallace, who had just warned, however, that the figure was misleading because the bubble was temporary based on inflationary trends, and set to bust.

The same figures showed 2.27 million unemployed persons, 900,000 of whom were veterans, up from the 830,000 total unemployed a year earlier. An additional 1.5 million veterans were in school or not seeking jobs.

Harold Ickes looks at sanitized news anent the Philippines, beginning with the recent visit by President-elect Manuel Roxas to the United States, during which he was lauded without the harsh intrusion of truth, that he had aided and abetted the Japanese during occupation and had supported a declaration of war on the United States as part of the puppet regime.

A civil war was in progress in Central Luzon, between the mistreated peasants and the Roxas forces. The Roxas party had unseated the seven Democratic Alliance men in the lower house and the three opposing Senators. A simple majority rule, favoring Roxas, had been instituted with regard to foreign policy matters, replacing a two-thirds majority rule.

Moreover, the President was allowed to remove any person from Government service deemed unfit, allowing only those who were loyal to remain. There were bills pending to abolish the people's court and to broaden and presidential powers.

While General MacArthur and Ambassador Paul McNutt, as well as Senator Millard Tydings of Maryland, might view the newly independent Philippines with pride, the Philippine people did not.

Mr. Ickes expects a demand from the Roxas Government for American troops to re-establish order, an ironic situation were it to take place. There were presently 90,000 American troops and 25,000 Filipino Scouts in the Philippines. The entire standing Army of the United States in 1935, he points out, consisted of only 138,000 men.

In the Dominican Republic, a major earthquake, aftershocks, and resultant tidal waves occurring since Sunday had claimed the lives of 52 persons and left some 20,000 homeless in the towns of Matanzas and Puerto Plata on the northern coast of the Samana Peninsula. Haiti and Puerto Rico felt the earthquake and aftershocks but reported only slight damage. The source of the quake was believed to be in the ocean floor 50 miles northeast of the Dominican Republic.

President Rafael Trujillo appealed to Fordham University's seismograph laboratory to analyze the earthquake.

In San Francisco, a woman became the 64th suicide from the Golden Gate Bridge during its nine years of existence.

That was before they erected the suicide fence. They do not have one on the Bay Bridge, but you cannot ordinarily walk on that, except in an earthquake. Moreover, the riptides off the Golden Gate, as the Bay meets the ocean, provide the deadly mechanism virtually assuring death by a broken back from the leap.

In Madison, Ind., a 62-year old woman who was "always doing things for people", was charged with attempting to poison one woman, and investigation was taking place into the deaths of five others. During the previous decade or so, the woman had been a housekeeper in four homes where people had died in their sleep. The exhumations of two bodies were being sought.

In Boykin, S.C., five convicts were killed when a gravel pit in which they were working collapsed on them. The men were dug out within 25 minutes but had suffocated in the meantime.

In Prichard, Ala., a two-and-a-half year old infant was rescued after falling through an opening of a six-foot deep culvert. The screams of his three-year old brother brought the parents, and the father spotted an opening 75 feet beyond the point at which the child had fallen into the storm drain. He then lowered his wife into the line and the rushing water swept the child into her arms, whereupon a neighbor who was an ex-G.I. performed artificial respiration and revived the unconscious boy.

In any event, he got his dip on a summer's day.

On the editorial page, "Carolinians and the Coalition" provides a study of the voting records of the four Senators from North and South Carolina during the 79th Congress. It eliminated certain bills with riders which made determination of party loyalty unclear, such as in the case of the OPA bill which, as Congressman Sam Ervin had pointed out, could be opposed because of opposition to price control or because the bill was deemed inadequate to provide proper control to avoid inflation.

It then determined party loyalty either by looking at the measures supported by the Administration or, as a last resort, by Senate Majority Leader Alben Barkley.

On that basis, Senator Josiah W. Bailey of North Carolina, whose illness prevented a full record, had voted five times with the Administration and five times against it. Senator Clyde Hoey had voted five times with the President and twelve times against. Senator Burnet Maybank of South Carolina, whose wife's illness had also prevented a full record, had cast his lot six times with and seven times opposed to Administration programs. And Senator Olin Johnston had registered agreement five times and eleven times against.

Overall, their attendance record was good. The Senators, none of whom were up for re-election in 1946, disagreed with each other as much as with the President and no clear pattern of basis for opposition emerged, while generally they voted with the conservative wing of the Democratic Party.

All four had voted for the Case strike control legislation. The piece provides several examples of the split votes.

The editorial concludes that the four Senators, having been elected as part of the New Deal Democratic platform, had abandoned it, and that it was a dubious proposition to suggest that they had remained constant while their party had drifted leftward. It finds, however, that they were voting their convictions and had the right to do so, even if different in some respects from the will of the electorate.

But, it concludes, just as the President had said of Congressman Roger Slaughter, that if he was right, the President was wrong, it could be said that if President Truman was a Democrat, the four Senators were not.

"The Hard Facts of Competition" discusses the findings of conservative Business Week that Japan had been able to produce textiles at a much lower price than Americans, not only because of the great differential in wages, 8 cents versus the new level of 73 cents, but also by developing during the war an efficient industry, with machines running faster and with more bobbins per machine than their American and British counterparts, aided further an efficient repair system to keep the machines running.

Though requiring more labor and benefiting from lower wages, there were additional factors involved in the lower price, which had caused American export of cotton goods to dwindle.

Drew Pearson reports that in the Russian zone of Germany, twelve factories were producing munitions for the Red Army, while in Czechoslovakia, 400 million dollars had been appropriated for munitions which could serve either the Czech or Red Armies. Yugoslavia and Poland likewise were producing munitions suitable for use by the Red Army.

Meanwhile, the Paris Peace Conference lumbered along at a slow pace, arguing about procedure and rotating chairs.

And the sides in the meantime were being constructed for the next war, with the Soviet bloc in Eastern Europe, Russia, Belorussia, the Ukraine, Poland, Yugoslavia, and Czechoslovakia, setting itself at odds consistently with the Western nations. Occasionally, Norway would join the Soviet voting bloc, worried about being within striking distance of the Red Army.

The most pathetic satellite of Russia was Czechoslovakia, the delegate of which was Jan Masaryk, nicknamed "The Prisoner of Zenda". His sympathies were with the United States and Britain, which had aided the founding of Czechoslovakia after World War I, when his father, Tomas, was President. But he voted nevertheless with Russia because of the proximity to the Red Army.

The most forthright of the anti-Soviet bloc were Australia, the Netherlands, Brazil, and Belgium.

The Russians had won too many points at the conference, he asserts, by arguing with such assiduity that the other side tired and acquiesced. It had obtained the dominant voice on the peace commissions for each treaty being settled by the conference, and thus could virtually control how those treaties would be settled. In another coup, the Russians had managed to prevent any Western nation, which had not declared war on a given nation whose treaty was being settled, from sitting on the commission, whereas the Soviet bloc nations were not so required to have declared war. Brazil, for instance, could not sit on the commission regarding Finland while the Ukraine and Belorussia, both of which sat out the war, could participate. Russia had never declared war on Bulgaria and thus, under the rule, should be barred from the commission on that treaty. But no hand was raised in opposition by the West.

Mr. Pearson adds that it might be the case that sportsmanlike James Byrnes would win out in the end, holding one hand behind his back as it were, but the smaller nations were concerned that the game might be lost on strikes before any runs could be scored.

We hope, at least, it won't be called for rain.

Marquis Childs discusses the recent flurry of anti-trust cases being brought by the Justice Department, under the direction of Assistant Attorney General Wendell Berge, head of the division, who followed a policy of vigorous enforcement. A recent Grand Jury investigation initiated in New York City against savings banks and mortgage companies for allegedly fixing interest rates, had stirred political controversy. James K. Vardaman, just appointed to the Federal Reserve Board, called Treasury and FDIC officials to prompt them to testify, worried that an indictment of the banks might drive away investors, especially foreign investors.

The attorney for the banks was Adolph Berle, one-time New Dealer and Assistant Secretary of State. He argued that the President had delegated to him the authority in the early part of the Administration to enable the New York banks to obtain stability, and for following those practices, they were about to be prosecuted.

Eventually, Attorney General Tom Clark intervened and the Grand Jury investigation was temporarily suspended. Any action which would be taken would likely be civil in nature.

In another case, Mr. Berge wanted to block the purchase of a Utah steel mill by Bethlehem Steel on the basis of it creating a monopoly, but once again Mr. Clark ruled that it violated no anti-trust laws. Mr. Berge had threatened to resign, but was staying on, seeking to implement what he believed was the strict letter of the law on anti-trust statutes.

Peter Edson indicates that in the year since the Potsdam agreement, which had adopted the Morgenthau plan to de-industrialize Germany and convert it to a largely agrarian economy, save for essential industry, many alterations of this plan had taken place, as it had proved unworkable in practice. An additional goal of Potsdam that Germany be treated as a single economic unit had also not been realized. Germany was to have a living standard no higher than the average for the rest of Europe.

The problem had been that the Control Council had been unable to implement the policies necessary to bring about realization of these goals. Secretary of State Byrnes had proposed that the U.S. and British zones become unified economically, and had invited France and Russia likewise to join them. Coordination of transportation, coal-mining, farming, and housing between the four zones had proved problematic. Each of these major segments of the economy impacted the other, such that none could be effectively started. Germany would likely have to endure a housing shortage for many years, as no start had been made on rebuilding the cities.

Agreements had been made to regain control of German assets in Switzerland and Sweden, and claims had been made on those in Spain, but no agreement had yet been reached.

Spencer Murphy, of The Salisbury Post, indicates, in a piece titled "Our Bumper Crop", surtitled "Yesterday and Today", that the leading crop in the South was the baby crop. He wonders whether it could be made an asset for the region and whether the states could properly discharge their responsibilities of education while insuring that all children were fed, clothed, and housed.

When compared to the national average, an infant born in North Carolina had a less than average chance to live, had a greater chance of contracting a contagious or hereditary disease, and of losing its mother at birth.

His schools were a greater distance from his home than the average for the nation; he had fewer teachers, who were less well-paid.

The libraries were not so well-stocked and his access to recreational facilities was below average.

He had less than an average chance of completing high school, and if accomplished, less than an average chance of entering college or graduating.

Juvenile offenders were housed with adults.

Potential draftees or volunteers to the military were less likely than the rest of the nation to be mentally and physically fit for service.

"But though this vein could be explored farther it is one in which the North Carolinian, proud of his native heath and ambitious for his commonwealth, runs the risk of tempting the fate of Thomas Gray's rude forefathers of whom he said 'chill penury froze the genial current of the soul.'"

Mr. Murphy concludes that North Carolina needed to invest generously in the future of education and cultural, social, and charitable services to insure that the new crop—that which would in time come to be called "baby boomers"—could grow up straight and strong.


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