Wednesday, September 11, 1946

The Charlotte News

Wednesday, September 11, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that at Paris, the United States renounced any claim of reparations from Italy to promote international stability, but also cautioned that it did not intend to provide aid to Italy only to see it go out as reparations to other countries. The cost of the country's war effort against Italy was estimated at 20 billion dollars of the 335 billion spent on the entire war. Since the war, the U.S. had sent a billion dollars in credits to aid the civilian economy and had paid the Italian Government an additional hundred million dollars for Army occupation costs.

In London, the Syrian delegate to the London Conference on Palestine, Faris Bey El Khoury, declared, in speaking for the Arab delegates, that the issue of Palestine was one of worldwide concern and that the Arab delegation objected to any part of Palestine being reserved for Jewish immigrants. He agreed with British Prime Minister Clement Attlee's statement of the previous day that a solution could be found to the Jewish problem but that it should not be in Palestine.

Surprise raids by the British and American military throughout the American and British occupation zones of Germany had uncovered hidden stones and metals worth millions of dollars, stolen by the Nazis during the war. The stash was thought to be a possible intended means of financing a resurgence of the German nationalist movements. The raids had been only in the two zones because the records discovered pertained only to those areas.

The twelve-day old Teamsters strike in New York and New Jersey involving 25,000 members of the union was labeled by an executive of the Teamsters as the worst rank-and-file revolt in the history of the union. A late report announced that 30 to 40 percent of the 15,000 truckers on strike in northern New Jersey would return to work the next day.

The CIO Maritime Union threatened to join the AFL seamen on strike unless the Wage Stabilization Board reversed its decision to hold the line of increase in wages to $17.50 per month to avoid inflation. The West Coast AFL members had agreed with management to have a $22.50 raise while the East Coast members had agreed to a $27.50 raise. The CIO wanted the decision reversed as to the entire industry, not just the AFL members. WSB chairman Willard Wirtz—future Secretary of Labor under Presidents Kennedy and Johnson—said that there would be no Board statement until, at the earliest, later in the day.

The stock market began to rebound from its previous day's seventeen-month low with trading exceeding three million shares, and some stocks, such as Eastman Kodak, rallying by ten dollars per share. The total value of the market, before the day's trading began, had shrunk by 9.3 billion dollars during the previous eight days.

In St. Louis, OPA officials stated that though there was no meat in the butcher shops, there were two million pounds in cold storage.

OPA announced a rise in the ceiling on flour and the elimination of controls on razor blades, baby carriages, and fountain pens, with a rise of 18 percent on the price of window glass, and work gloves placed under a flexible formula based on cotton apparel prices.

Harold Ickes comments that his recent column supporting the right of any citizen, including the President, to support or oppose any candidate for Congress, specifically referring to the case of Congressman Roger Slaughter whom the President had, with the solicited help of the Pendergast machine, successfully defeated in the late Missouri Democratic primary for his having stalled the Administration's programs in the Rules Committee, had been written without the knowledge that the Pendergast machine, in so doing, had denied the citizens the right of a free election.

According to the Omaha World Herald, several precincts had reported lopsided results against Congressman Slaughter, giving him none or only less than ten votes. In the four machine-controlled wards of the district, the opponent, Mr. Axtell, had won by a total of 2,075 votes, the equivalent of his overall plurality in the election.

While Mr. Ickes opposed Mr. Slaughter for his politics, he did not support stealing an election. While admitting that President Roosevelt had accepted support from corrupt bosses, he did not consort with them as did President Truman in this instance. Moreover, the Roosevelt Administration had sent Tom Pendergast and other members of the machine to prison.

By contrast, President Truman had defended Tom Pendergast on the floor of the Senate and had fired the U.S. Attorney who had prosecuted him. One of Mr. Pendergast's nephews had been appointed to a Federal job during the Truman Administration.

He concludes that the country was entitled to have a President who would not be a part of the mire of machine politics and would instead assist in the effort to create decent standards of public service.

In Abilene, Kansas, General Eisenhower's mother, 84, died of a heart attack at home in bed.

In Pittsburgh, an eighteen-year old postal worker was charged with stealing mail after having been found to have dumped 5,000 pieces to lighten his load during the previous two months. He wanted to finish each day early.

In Jersey City, N.J., a man who was playing host to a friend and his wife had some beers and then went out, had more beers, then went to the friend's home, had more beers, and then, in his exuberance, hugged and kissed his friend's wife, whereupon the husband grabbed a .32-caliber gun from the china closet and shot his friend three times, striking him in the chest. The victim did not wish to press charges and said it was all his fault for losing his head with his friend's wife, but the police chief thought otherwise and booked the man for assault with intent to kill.

In Fayetteville, N.C., the case of Wall C. Ewing, accused of murdering his wife while engaged in a sliding board romance with her sister, was sent to the jury for deliberations with instructions that they could return one of four verdicts, murder in the first degree, murder in the second degree, manslaughter, or acquittal. The defense argued that Mr. Ewing was a chronic alcoholic incapable of planning and transacting a murder, and that the prosecution had failed to prove its case, entirely circumstantial.

The two kingpins of the Charlotte numbers racket, found guilty the day before of two charges each, were sentenced to two years on the roads and fined $5,000 each on the counts of conspiracy to promote a lottery, and were given suspended sentences of six months and fines of $2,000 each on the charge of operating a lottery, the latter sentences suspended on condition of not violating the lottery laws for two years. Both appealed the convictions to Superior Court where they would be entitled to a full jury trial on the misdemeanor charges, a jury trial not being available in Recorder's Court—still the way of it in North Carolina's two-tier trial court system, though the lower court now, and for many years, being called District Court.

The other 48 defendants who had been arrested as runners in the operation were then tried and most, though not all, were found guilty, with sentences of six months on the roads and payment of $25 fines plus costs, suspended on condition of not violating the lottery laws for two years.

A witness who had helped convict the defendants with his testimony was, at the request of the Solicitor, merely assessed costs with a $100 fine suspended upon the payment of costs.

In Copenhagen, several persons reported a "ghost rocket" over the city the previous night, flying without noise at 1,000 feet, emitting a bright light.

A photograph appears of a recovered Howard Hughes after his near fatal crash in Beverly Hills in July while piloting his experimental plane. He was now flying in his B-23 to New York to challenge the revocation of the seal of approval on "The Outlaw", his latest film starring Jane Russell and Walter Huston.

He perhaps needed to collaborate with the ghost rocketeer of Copenhagen.

On the editorial page, "There'll Always Be a Protest" suggests the plan for a cross-town boulevard to be an imperative for the city to relieve congestion, even though understandably being opposed by local residents who would find it cutting through their quiet neighborhoods.

The Federal Government was slated to foot most of the cost of the road, with the city only having to put up a few thousand dollars.

As indicated, this thoroughfare would be built, albeit somewhat re-routed from the currently proposed plan, as Independence Boulevard.

"There's Always a Scandal in Housing" comments on a report by The New York Times that high prices on key home-building materials in the black market had put the quietus on private builders in the vicinity of New York City. The piece suspects that the idea was equally valid in Charlotte if on a smaller scale.

It provides the figures for the black market prices compared to pre-war prices in New York.

But if price controls were removed from building materials, it was questionable whether the situation would be improved. It would likely only legalize the high prices. Some ceilings were already high, such as on flooring.

Whether there was a ceiling on ceilings is not explained.

Regardless, a scandal was taking place in not building the necessary housing for the citizenry and especially returning veterans.

"The Fantastic Oleomargarine Laws" states that the Saturday Evening Post had looked at these laws which forbade in some states selling of oleo already colored yellow and in others having a tax imposed on its sale.

What was puzzling was that the Southern states, which produced practically no butter but almost all of the cottonseed oil for oleo, had similar laws to those in Wisconsin and other dairy states. Margarine had to be sold and served in restaurants white, and only colored yellow at home.

It expresses delight that the Post had reacquainted the public with the subject, but any movement to eliminate the restrictions should logically have its inception in the South, "the champion suckers among the millions of Americans who are victims of the astounding fraud."

A piece from the Salisbury Post, titled "The Tides Turn Southward", recommends the column of Roger Babson as he viewed the South as a good place in years to come to be witness to the changes ahead, for better or worse, in society.

Drew Pearson states that the maritime strike could have been averted had it not been for the internal disagreements between Joseph Curran of the CIO unions and Harry Bridges of the AFL seamen. The Secretary of Labor would have given them as much as $30 per month increased wages in May had it not been for Mr. Bridges telling the Washington CIO representative to mind his own business when he reported on the negotiations with the Secretary. Then the Wage Stabilization Board made its order capping the increase for the CIO unions at $17.50, but the War Shipping Administrator gave AFL $22.50, setting up a strike scenario by AFL when the WSB cut the wage increase back to $17.50.

He next tells of the Securities & Exchange Commission, which had been moved from Washington to Philadelphia in 1942, wanting to return home, but being opposed by many reactionary Congressmen and bureaucrats, urged by big business to block the move, to lessen SEC's effectiveness.

The speech on Germany by Secretary of State Byrnes at Stuttgart the previous week had been approved by President Truman 12 days prior to its delivery. The Russians learned of it at the same time through unknown means. Because the thrust of it was to form a Western pact to prevent Soviet expansionism, stories began to circulate that the Russians intended to take Silesia from Poland and give it back to Germany to counteract the Byrnes offers made to Germany to establish democracy in a unified Germany both politically and economically. But the Byrnes-Truman position was that the Soviets could not so act without the assent of the allies.

The International Ladies Garment Workers Union had put up a million dollars for the purchase of FM radio sets from manufacturers, seeking to break the opposition to FM by the radio manufacturers who wanted first to sell off their stock of sets not capable of receiving the FM signal. The ILGWU owned a broadcasting company and had licenses to operate several FM stations.

Bertram Benedict discusses a proposal for a new third party for the Democrats of the South to be placed before the Arkansas State Democratic Convention. Southern Democrats had been frustrated since the Party changed the rule in 1936 requiring a two-thirds majority for the presidential and vice-presidential nominations, formerly giving the South effectively veto power over the nominations.

The Arkansans charged that neither major party was representing white Southerners and that the Truman Administration was working with the Communists and fellow-travelers to undermine all things held sacred in the South.

Senator Harry Flood Byrd of Virginia had received votes from Mississippi, Virginia, and Louisiana for the presidential nomination in 1944 as a declaration of dissent from national policy. The Texas Democrats had, prior to the 1944 national convention, urged its delegates to vote for someone other than FDR, but at the convention only voted half for another candidacy, which was eliminated in the fall within Texas. Other such movements, in South Carolina, Mississippi, and Louisiana, likewise lost their appeal.

He notes, apparently by way of an implicit warning to Southern Democrats, that in 1860, the South had opposed the Democratic candidacy of Senator Stephen A. Douglas of Illinois and favored instead Vice-President John C. Breckinridge, both of whom were ultimately on the November ballot, splitting the Democratic vote and giving the election to the Republican, Abraham Lincoln—not actually historically accurate, as only the votes of California and Oregon, with a mere seven total electoral votes, would have been shifted by combining the popular vote totals of Senator Douglas and Vice-President Breckinridge, leaving only the overall popular vote total thus favoring the Democrats, 2.22 million to 1.87 million, but the electoral votes still heavily favoring Mr. Lincoln, 173 to 91.

Douglas Larsen discusses the fact that reorganization had caused the Administration-proposed version of the merger of the Army and Navy to be losing out to the Navy's position, albeit one not completely opposed to any form of merger. Senator Elbert Thomas of Utah was the chairman of the Military Affairs Committee and was expected to introduce the bill for merger. But his committee was set to be merged with the Naval Affairs Committee at the start of the new Congress, shifting the chairmanship either to Senator Millard Tydings of Maryland or David Walsh of Massachusetts, both of whom favored the Navy position. Or, if the Republicans were to take the Senate, as they would, the chairmanship would fall to one of three Senators also supporting the Navy.

The Army Air Force had supported the merger more vigorously than any other branch as it would put them on equal footing with the Army and Navy under the Department of Defense. But some now stated that the Air Force had soured on the plan based on the idea that the Air Force might become a single department without the merger and that the Navy appeared to have obtained President Truman's support against a single chief of staff.

The Navy had agreed to some form of merger but not the quick merging of the branches, though it had failed to articulate clearly its position. The Navy also wanted it determined how much of the merger could be effected by executive order of the President rather than by legislation.

Should the Thomas measure fail in the new Senate, the Navy was said to have its own bill ready for introduction which might more easily obtain Congressional support.

A letter suggests that Russia was seeking to force Communism on Eastern Europe and that it was not the case that the United States was seeking to impose democracy on Russia.

A letter from the Adjutant of the local American Legion Post provides a resolution passed by the members which condemned the "farcical" military justice which had been meted by the tribunal at Bad Nauheim, Germany, allowing the officers of Lichfield Prison in England to escape with small fines the charges of aiding and abetting the imposition of corporal punishment and beatings on American soldier prisoners while imposing stiff sentences on the enlisted men who administered the punishment. It also opposed the caste system which allowed privileges to officers and supported the recommendations of the Doolittle board to provide for a more democratic Army. It favors putting pressure on Congress to legislate such changes as necessary to correct these problems.


Framed Edition
[Return to Links
Page by Subject] [Return to Links-Page by Date] [Return to News<i><i><i>--</i></i></i>Framed Edition]
Links-Date -- Links-Subj.