Thursday, September 12, 1946

The Charlotte News

Thursday, September 12, 1946


Site Ed Note: The front page reports that at the direction of the President, Reconversion director John Steelman had taken over the maritime strike dispute to determine whether the Wage Stabilization Board ruling that wages should not be increased more than $17.50 per month should stand. The unions demanded that it be revised to allow for the wages to which both management and labor had agreed. A decision was expected this date. The Wage Stabilization Board had voted 4 to 3 the previous night to stand by its decision. The Martime Commission had recommended the wage increase to comport with the AFL agreement of $27.50 per month. Thus, by law, it was left to the Reconversion director to settle the disagreement between agencies of the Government.

In London, at the Conference on Palestine, several Arab League delegates rejected the Anglo-American Commission proposal for a federalized Holy Land with four partitioned areas, including one Arab and one Jewish zone, all under British administration. They complained that it would delay independence for Palestine indefinitely and that it should be immediately granted.

While Marshal Tito deliberated on whether Yugoslavia should pay the demand of the United States to indemnify the loss of two planes in the incidents of August 9 and 19 in which two American planes were shot down by the Yugoslavs, the bodies of the five dead crewmen of the second plane were scheduled to arrive in Washington this date for burial at Arlington.

In Paris, Italy asked the Peace Conference for an increase in its allotted naval personnel strength from 22,500 to 35,000 and also that the ships it was required to scrap be converted to scrap iron for use in industry. Yugoslavia sought the Italian city of Monfalcone north of Trieste on the ground that most of the population, including Italians, wanted to be part of Yugoslavia.

In Lake Success, N.Y., the U.N. Economic and Social Council moved to include Spain in the proposed permanent central opium board, as Spain had been a signatory on the 1925 and 1931 opium conventions. Russia, however, objected to the course on the basis that it placed the U.N. in a position of dealing with a nation whose Government it had condemned.

General Mark Clark, in charge of American occupation forces in Austria, arrived in Washington to confer with War Department and State Department officials regarding the trouble with Russia and its definition of a German asset in Austria. Russia asserted its claim under the Potsdam agreement to all German assets as reparations, which in the Russian view included those seized from Austrians by the Germans. The result was bankrupting the country.

In Nuremberg, the wife of Hermann Goering visited her husband for the first time since his arrest 18 months earlier. The 21 defendants were awaiting the verdict of the tribunal.

Cuba agreed to pay in installments 2.4 million dollars in compensation to the U.S. for lend-lease aid during the war.

In London, the leading Communist in Britain, Harry Pollitt, charged that Government policies were leading to new wars, prompting Communist squatters in hotels and flats. Government policies were causing the housing to be de-requisitioned at a snail's pace.

Veterans organizations regarded as unfounded the fears expressed to them by Representative Clare Boothe Luce that Communists might seek to spread the London squatters movement by taking over temporary housing reserved for veterans in the United States.

In compliance with orders of Teamsters president Dan Tobin, 5,000 truck drivers in northern New Jersey returned to work. Another 5,000 drivers were expected to return as well. Other drivers in New York had responded to a call by Mayor William O'Dwyer and agreed to begin grocery deliveries.

The Treasury announced the seizure of $110,000 worth of counterfeit $20 dollar bills, the largest such haul during the previous decade. Federal authorities arrested Joseph Soroka and Joseph Giarusso of New York City in connection with the counterfeit bills after they delivered them to an undercover Secret Service agent at a mid-town hotel. A printer was also arrested for producing the bills.

Government agents were investigating 300 corporations suspected of black market operations in textiles which had contributed materially to the shortage of clothing. The primary focus was on sale above ceiling prices and obtaining prioritized material fraudulently by falsely claiming the material would be used in the manufacture of certain goods and then utilizing it to make other goods. The investigation also included tax evasion, which went along with black market operations.

Twenty-five persons in New York had been indicted since December for black marketeering, the indictments contending that the defendants were responsible for diverting seven million yards of fabric into the black market at a price of 3.5 million dollars above ceiling. Six of the defendants had been convicted, five receiving jail sentences or fines and the sixth receiving a suspended sentence.

In Miami, some 400 black citizens participated in rioting the night before in response to a report of a beating by two white employers of a black man at a grocery store after they allegedly found him stealing cigarettes. The two men were charged with disorderly conduct. The police quickly dispelled the rioters.

The temperature dropped to 28 degrees in the Great Lakes area during the morning.

In Montrose, Pa., an infant who was born weighing 18 pounds had her first birthday. She had weighed 33 pounds in April and the present weight was not yet disclosed.

Put her on a diet.

In Alma, Wis., a former enlisted man serving as a special policeman stopped a speeding motorist to find that it was his former second lieutenant. He did not write a ticket but had fun remonstrating the man, requiring him to answer "yes, sir" and "no, sir".

While at it, he could have forced him to run a mile for every mile he was over the speed limit, and in 28-degree weather, in his skivvies.

On the editorial page, "Somebody Seems to Be Missing" expresses satisfaction with the verdicts and sentences of the two kingpins of the Charlotte numbers racket and hopes that it would hold up on appeal to the Superior Court, where a trial de novo by a jury could be had.

While having initially greeted, based on prior experience, the arrests of 65 defendants with some skepticism as to whether they would ever be convicted or come to trial, it now found the justice system to have worked well. The Judge, the Solicitor and the SBI had, it says, done an excellent job.

But missing from the trial was an attorney who had been a prominent figure in the State's case and had, according to the State's primary witness, been active in the racket, serving as its attorney, keeping its books, and presiding over meetings to determine territorial division between the kingpins. He had not been indicted despite clear evidence of his involvement. The piece expresses the hope that he would be.

"Has Your Ox Been Gored Lately?" finds morally condemnable the strike by the AFL seamen at a time when the country was trying to undertake reconversion and had the duty to feed millions overseas. But at the same time, it finds the strike entirely American, just as much so as manufacturers and farmers keeping product off the market in anticipation of higher prices. It was really a strike against government interference with free enterprise.

The sailors were in it for themselves and not caring for the common good, but then neither was anyone else.

"Howard Hughes Flies Again" finds that despite Howard Hughes being a playboy eccentric, he had also, at age 40, tripled his inherited wealth through his business acumen. There was, it offers, a sense of gallantry in everything he did, from resisting censors who wished less bosom to be shown in "The Outlaw" to dictating what appeared might become his deathbed observations made of his experimental plane flight, which ended in the near-fatal crash in July in Beverly Hills.

He had proved that a rich young man could also be a useful citizen, and the piece finds it good news therefore that flying again was Mr. Hughes, even if upon arrival he wished to tour New York's saloons in dinner clothes and tennis shoes.

A piece from the Greensboro Daily News, titled "A Luxury or a Necessity?" expresses agreement with the recent News editorial which hoped that the courts would uphold the results of the Union County bond election to support the public library. The issue was the interpretation of the North Carolina Constitution, Article VII, Section 7, which provided that a "majority of the qualified voters" had to approve local taxes unless for a "necessary expense". The language requiring a majority had been interpreted to require a majority of the registered voters, not just those voting. A 1945 law, however, had allowed such a regular majority vote for a library tax, which implied that it was a necessary expense.

The editorial agrees with the News that it was.

Drew Pearson discusses the different approaches on strikes between AFL and CIO, that AFL, being led by John L. Lewis, wanted to defeat the Democrats in November and so was not averse to promoting labor trouble at this time. Mr. Lewis had agreed to provide UMW money to support the maritime strike by AFL. With Congress out of session, there was no chance of reviving the Case bill or passing other restrictive measures anytime soon.

The CIO and Philip Murray, on the other hand, felt it a propitious time to educate the public against the claim of the National Association of Manufacturers that labor practices had caused price increases, that it was therefore not a good time to call strikes. Mr. Murray had in fact threatened to boot Harry Bridges from CIO if he had called a strike of the Longshoremen's International Union the previous June.

During a night out at the ballpark in Washington three weeks earlier, General Eisenhower became so engrossed in the game that he told an adult newsboy who dropped a paper in his lap, with a headline telling of the State Department's ultimatum to Yugoslavia, that he did not wish a newspaper at the moment. The newsboy nevertheless pressed the matter, insisting that the General take it with his compliments, as he offered that he assumed the General would soon be his boss again.

Dark flour was now wasting in mills and warehouses because of the sudden reversal of the Government policy to permit production of white bread.

Some members of the GOP, the former supporters of Wendell Willkie, were being critical of chairman Carroll Reece for being overconfident about the fall election. They wanted him to take a more active role to create issues or leave the chairmanship of the RNC.

The former Roosevelt economists who had worked at the Securities and Exchange Commission asserted that the stock market slump had been caused by small investors who believed that a depression was nigh and so had sold off their holdings. The big buyers did not sell. Despite companies' extraordinary profits, the stocks of those same companies had fallen. Conventional economists were predicting that the current prosperity would last at least until spring and the greatest danger would continue to be inflation.

Barnet Nover writes from Frankfurt, Germany, staying across the street from the ruins of what had been the finest restaurant in the city, the Schweizerhof. Besides removing the rubble, nothing had been done to repair it. Even were it to be put back into shape, there was no food for it to serve and no kitchen equipment on which to prepare it.

As he was driving into the city, a German policeman stopped the car and forced it to detour because of a collapsed building with three people under the rubble. That sort of thing happened frequently. Most of the city would need to be razed before reconstruction could begin.

Denazification was making headway under German administration, as 521 prosecutors had been appointed and charges had been filed against 38,000 persons in the American occupation zone.

More complex, however, was removing from the German mind the Nazi ideas with which it had been inculcated.

Many Germans had gleaned the erroneous impression from the speech on Germany by Secretary of State Byrnes on September 6 that he was extending an olive branch to them, that the United States wanted now to be friends with Germany. Most Germans bore no visible individual guilt for the sins of the Reich. Few outside professional politicans had any interest in the transition to democracy or in politics generally. They were too concerned with daily survival.

Samuel Grafton suggests that Germans who still held Nazi beliefs ought come out of their caves and reside in houses. Russia was prepared to allow them to keep the Ruhr and Mr. Byrnes had hinted that they might retain more land in the East than expected.

He recommends that they seek more industrial capability by feigning the desire to counteract Russia.

And as the German sat in his house, he should smile at all the tracts being written about de-industrialization and de-militarization of Germany. It was the same spirit which had greeted Germany after World War I. The West no longer liked Russia and so the Germans could be confident that eventually the West would turn to Germany as a bulwark, and the cycle would begin anew.

James Street of the Chapel Hill Weekly has a piece reprinted on the page, rebuking the Weekly for its references to the Chapel Hill "writers' colony", sounds a warning of writers coming to the village from everywhere on the face of the earth. He assumes he qualified as one of the colonists but protests the fact, as he had come to Chapel Hill to escape writers' colonies.

He says that he was no pioneer as most colonists and usually such colonies had everything in them except writers. The members tended to solve the world's problems in 200 words, using hyphenated phrases to do it, labeled everybody as either "Fascist" or "Communist". They never sold what they wrote because, he assumes, it would be too crass and mercenary.

So he protests trying to label Chapel Hill a writers' colony. He had once belonged to one in New England until he was snubbed for having written and sold a story. When in justice they paid him some mind, he learned that they thought he was Clarence Streit.

"So I gave the Rebel yell, lectured on the evils of swamp dew, with demonstrations, and was chunked out of the point."


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