Friday, September 13, 1946

The Charlotte News

Friday, September 13, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that a speech the previous night in New York by Secretary of Commerce Henry Wallace—which would lead to the former Vice-President being fired within a week—would, according to diplomatic authorities, cause problems with Soviet-U.S. relations. The speech had called for frank recognition of Soviet and American spheres of influence and denounced any get-tough policy toward Russia. "'Getting tough', he said, "never bought anything real and lasting—whether for schoolyard bullies or businessmen or world powers. The tougher we get, the tougher the Russians will get." He also demanded that the U.S. not cooperate with Great Britain in controversies involving Russia with respect to British imperialism in the Near East, that such would lead the United States directly into war. "...I believe," he asserted, "that we can get cooperation once Russia understands that our primary objective is neither saving the British Empire nor purchasing oil in the Near East with the lives of American soldiers. We cannot allow national oil rivalries to force us into war. All of the nations producing oil, whether inside or outside of their own boundaries, must fulfill the provisions of the United Nations Charter..."

Advance copies of the speech had been made available before its delivery and the State Department had been privy to its contents. Indeed, Mr. Wallace remarked during the speech that the President had read it in advance and declared it consistent with American foreign policy. Nevertheless, members of the State Department appeared stunned by Mr. Wallace's articulation of policies directly opposed to those supported by Secretary of State Byrnes. President Truman insisted, however, that nothing had been said which was at all at variance with standing U.S. foreign policy. He would apparently change that opinion during the course of the week.

Reconversion director John Steelman had given the AFL seamen the raises on which they had previously reached agreement with management, an increase of between $22.50 and $27.50 per month depending on coasts, the East Coast receiving the higher wage.

The maritime strike, however, continued as CIO seamen of the National Maritime Union immediately demanded the same wage increase and began their strike. Immediate reaction from the Maritime Commission was a recommendation that the CIO seamen receive the same increase as that granted to the AFL seamen.

AFL president William Green called upon the two public and the two private members of the Wage Stabilization Board, including chairman and future Secretary of Labor Willard Wirtz, to resign for their stands in upholding the WSB position that wage increases should be capped at $17.50 to prevent inflation.

A nationwide poll conducted by the Associated Press showed that there was a shortage of meat, a housing shortage, and that hundreds of thousands of workers in cities hit by strikes were unemployed. Sugar, soaps, fats and oils were also in short supply. The piece provides the statistics for New York, Chicago, Detroit, Washington, Baltimore, New Orleans, Denver, Jacksonville, and Atlanta.

In Chicago, it was reported that the number of meat animals received by the packers during the first eleven days of the month was half that for the comparable period in June before the changes to OPA, and hogs were about one-seventh the number.

Speaking in Ohio, Senator Robert Taft suggested a plan to end OPA in April, 1947, three months ahead of schedule. Other Senators also echoed the sentiment.

An Australian delegate to the Paris Peace Conference urged that Trieste be governed by the Big Four plus three other nations, not the U.N. Security Council, as the latter had brought itself into disrepute by arbitrary usage of the unilateral veto.

Albania told the U.N. Security Council that Greece continued to try to provoke armed conflict between the two countries. The Council was considering the Ukrainian complaint that such was taking place.

A group of U.N. inspectors just returned from Yugoslavia stated that the country was well on the way to recovery thanks to UNRRA relief.

Harold Ickes expresses pleasure at the appointment by the President of a first-rate three-man Decontrol Board with authority to determine what goods would continue to be under price control. It undermined the President's complaint that he could not find good men to serve in the wake of the Senate's damning of the nomination of Ed Pauley to become Undersecretary of the Navy during the previous winter.

To replace able Harold Smith as Director of the Budget, he could have chosen the Assistant Director Paul Appleby, but instead made a political appointment, James Webb, a protege of Undersecretary of the Treasury O. Max Gardner. The reason, according to rumors, was that Mr. Gardner had to be appeased, for he had intended to resign when John W. Snyder had been appointed Secretary of Treasury, a position, says Mr. Ickes, which the latter was not competent to fill.

He predicts that both Mr. Snyder and Mr. Gardner would take over the Budget Office to bring it back within the purview of Treasury, where it had been before President Roosevelt made it independent and directly answerable to the President—where, says Mr. Ickes, it ought remain.

The first hurricane of the season was moving in a direction west of Bermuda with 90 mph winds after striking the Bahamas with tropical storm force. The storm was moving away from the United States.

In New York, George Washington Hill, 61, president of the American Tobacco Co., makers of Lucky Strike, died after a short illness. He had believed in advertising his product, spending more than any other manufacturer, about twenty million dollars per year.

Also in New York, 50 prominent writers had joined to organize the American Writers Association to stop what they regarded as an effort by the American Authors Authority to control all American literary production. The AAA, formed in Hollywood, had proposed to establish an authority to act as repository for all literary copyrights. The AWA found the move an attempt to establish a dictatorship over the nation's writers.

In Washington, General John J. Pershing celebrated his 86th birthday.

In East Chicago, Ind., a man was arrested for cruelty for having tied his seven-year old son in a burlap sack and hung him seven feet off the floor from a rafter in a shed as punishment for taking a quarter from his mother. He said he punished his son the same way his mother had punished him.

Yeah, but she was a mother and so are you.

Cold temperatures continued to pervade the Great Lakes region.

In Chicago, police star 1313 was retired permanently and consigned to a glass case. It had been worn by an officer who was killed in 1928 at age 32 after five years on the force. Another officer wore it for six years before returning it in 1939 after his wife, two children, and both his mother and father had died during the time he wore it. Moreover, his brother, another officer, had been shot and killed by a prisoner in Criminal Court.

The last officer to wear the ill-fated badge was involved in a shooting resulting in a damage suit. He died in 1944 after 13 years of service in the 13th District Station. The star was turned in on May 13 of that year.

But what about badge nos. 3223 and 2332?

On the editorial page, "In New York They Have a Choice" comments on the pitiable attention with which Southern newspapers, including The News, had given the New York gubernatorial election between Senator James Mead and incumbent Governor Thomas Dewey. Mr. Dewey was able, honest, and conservative while Mr. Mead was able, honest, and liberal. The New York voters retained their political independence and would likely vote in November Republican, but Democratic in 1948.

The South looked on with interest perhaps out of envy because of its lack of any such competitive race between able candidates in one-party states.

"Only the Unusual Shocks Us..." comments on a report from The Goldsboro News-Argus, titled "Children in Chains", about a 16-year old black girl found in her family home tethered to a 15-pound iron ball by a chain. She was retarded and had been rejected by the State Hospital for the Negro Insane at Goldsboro, and thus was being cared for by her parents in the only way they understood. She was one of 1,200 blacks being kept under home care, as uncovered by a study undertaken during the term of Governor J. Melville Broughton between 1941 and 1945.

The hospital at Goldsboro was not responsible, for its mandate was to care for the dangerously insane, not the feeble-minded. Nor could anyone blame the families for such drastic measures, as they had no other means of caring for their offspring.

The fault, it ventures, lay with everyone in the state. While great advances had been made in the previous decade in the state's mental institutions, not enough had been done. There were thousands of people, white and black, who were not receiving proper care in institutions.

The piece concludes that the job would not be done until no newspaper could say what the News-Argus had said: "It is only the unusual and unexpected that shocks us, and in North Carolina it is not unusual for feeble-minded Negro children to be chained or caged."

"Justice Was Done in Fayetteville" comments on the trial of Wall C. Ewing, political boss of Cumberland County for many years, for the alleged killing of his wife through beating, occurring in the midst of an alleged affair with her sister. It finds the trial of such a prominent citizen to have proceeded without the expected circus surrounding it, that the prosecution presented an orderly case against Mr. Ewing and the defense sought to mitigate the crime, without seeking to avoid culpability, by showing that he was a chronic drunk incapable of forming the premeditation necessary for the crime of murder. (The defense had, however, apparently also argued that the circumstantial evidence was not enough to convict of any crime, and only argued alternatively that Mr. Ewing was a drunk.)

Ultimately, the jury agreed with the defense case of mitigation and found him guilty of manslaughter. But the judge sentenced him to the maximum penalty of 18 to 20 years in prison because of the barbarous and brutal nature of the crime.

The piece concludes that justice had been done, that the law had neither bowed to a powerful individual in the community nor overreached itself to exact revenge upon the "fallen mighty".

No one ever stopped apparently to question or explain, however, how Mr. Ewing was able in his chronically and, according to some witnesses, perpetually drunken state to get on the sliding board with his wife's sister, as a neighbor testified observing. Inquiring minds want to know.

A piece from the New York Times, titled "With a Touch of Blue", muses poetically on the passage of summer into fall during the course of September.

"Now for a period September broods over the countryside with a touch of blue. There is a rich depth of color in the sky these quiet days. Hours pass with the blue reaching from horizon to horizon: then great white cumulus clouds wander casually along sky trails, emphasizing the color around them."

Drew Pearson points out that Samuel Gompers had pioneered a policy in AFL that it not participate in politics, a formulation followed by the labor organization through its history. It vowed to support its friends and defeat its enemies, regardless of their party affiliation.

But a move was afoot in the organization, led by its leader John L. Lewis, to set up a political action committee similar to the CIO PAC. There was suspicion that Mr. Lewis was vying for a spot on the GOP ticket in 1948. Roosevelt friends told of Mr. Lewis switching allegiance to Wendell Willkie in 1940 because FDR would not give the UMW leader the vice-presidential spot. Mr. Lewis was preparing to raise the issue at the upcoming October Chicago AFL convention. He counted on the support of Bill Hutcheson of the carpenters union and George Harrison of the railway clerks.

Housewives were blaming OPA for the sugar shortage for canning, but it was really the fault of Congress for slashing the OPA budget, leaving no funds for the personnel who handled sugar for canning. He suggests therefore blaming the GOP members of Congress who led the drive to sabotage the agency, starting with Senator Robert Taft of Ohio.

He next informs that sugar would be in shortage for at least another six months as it took more than a year to rebuild the sugar industry of the Philippines, Java, Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Sumatra, all wrecked by the war. Also contributing to the problem, U.S. officials had been too generous with sugar the previous year. Furthermore, subsidies on sugar had also been maintained at a low level.

Assistant Secretary of Labor Philip Hannah, who had failed in his mission to San Francisco to work out a truce with the AFL seamen the previous week, spent two days trying but to no avail. Harry Lundeberg of the AFL seamen refused the invitation to come to Washington based on the decision of his committee, unless Mr. Hannah could guarantee in advance that the Wage Stabilization Board would reverse its decision on wage limits. Mr. Hannah told him that if he could do that, there would be no point in Mr. Lundeberg traveling to Washington in the first place.

Charles W. Tillett, Charlotte City Attorney who had attended the U.N. Charter Conference in San Francisco in spring, 1945 and reported on same for The News, offers the first of a two-part article from the Democratic Digest, official publication of the Democratic Party, titled "The United Nations Up to Date".

He begins by listing the six principal organs of the U.N., starting with the General Assembly and Security Council, and the general function of each. He then examines each, in seriatim, as to what had occurred thus far to make them function, starting with the first five.

The General Assembly had met once, in London between January 10 and February 14, was about to meet again. In its first meeting, it had discussed nuclear energy, the dispute between Iran and Russia, the dispute between Syria and Lebanon, and between France and Britain with respect to these two countries over which, respectively, they had mandates, the refugees and displaced persons, food, economic reconstruction, and international health and trade issues.

The Security Council had thus far dealt with the dispute between Russia and Iran regarding Azerbaijan Province, Russia and Britain regarding Greece, the Ukraine and Britain regarding Indonesia, the Syrian and Lebanese dispute, Iran and Russia regarding withdrawal of Russian troops, and Poland's complaint against the Franco regime in Spain.

The principle had been established in the Iran-Russia dispute that a small country could bring before the Security Council a complaint against a powerful member.

The International Court had been accepted by the Senate in early August as having jurisdiction over the United States—but with the exception that the United States could determine what constituted a domestic dispute outside the Court's purview. The Court would determine treaty disputes.

The Trusteeship Council remained the only organ not yet set up, as the condition precedent had not yet occurred, in accordance with the Charter, that it had first to be determined what territories would be subject to trusteeships. Its members would be equally from the trusteeship territories and from other countries.

The Secretariat was responsible for the administrative and clerical duties of the U.N. Secretary-General Trygve Lie of Norway had established a precedent during the Russia-Iran controversy by submitting his own opinion to the Security Council, recommending that they drop the dispute. The Council voted not to do so, but recognized his right to be heard on substantive matters before the Council.

The Economic and Social Council, the sixth organ, would be examined in the second part of the article.

"Time", incidentally, from May 26, 1945, is now here.

Samuel Grafton suggests that the drop in stock prices was likely pleasing to many Americans as they saw it as the come-uppance to big business, perhaps giving the average consumer a chance to buy a house as the sellers' market would begin to decline. The reactions were contrary to community spirit but that was always the first thing to go in an inflationary economy.

Nor was there any sympathy for the farmers who had held back produce, creating food shortages.

It left a person wondering how such schisms were affecting national well-being at a time when unity was being preached as an anodyne to the nation's economic problems of reconversion. In the smiles greeting the stock market decline, one could read the fragmentation of the country brought on by a retreat from "Rooseveltian order", leaving one to consider whether it was Roosevelt or his detractors who had spawned disunity.

Mr. Grafton considers whether in the history of legislative mistakes so few had paid so much for so little.

Douglas Larsen reports that two sinister plots were being fomented in Washington behind the scenes by three individuals, one a staffer for Senator Downey of California, Barbara Mullins, another, Charles Alldredge, an assistant to the Secretary of Interior, and the third, Alfred Little, a designer at the National Housing Agency. Their intent was to form the Society for the Establishment of the Dogwood as the National Flower and the Society for the Restoration of Red Ham Gravy.

The wild rose had won popular acclaim in 1926 as the national flower but was rejected in the end as the goldenrod afficionados claimed stuffing of ballot boxes—at least according to P. L. Ricker, president of the Wildflower Preservation Society, a wild rose man. He did not like the notion of the dogwood as national flower because it did not flourish in the West. Neither was the goldenrod officially the national flower, he further informed.

Mr. Alldredge, from Atlanta, was principally behind the movement for the return of red ham gravy, which had disappeared below the Mason-Dixon Line during the previous decade causing problems down South, leading to speculation that some Yankee was behind the plot.

An official from the American Meat Institute stated that the tenderizing process removed some of the juices which formed the red gravy. But the industry had polled consumers on whether they favored tenderized or country cured ham, finding the former to be the preference of the majority. He suggested that perhaps some substitute could be found for it.

But the three co-conspirators wanted none of that, and were determined to hold out for the red ham gravy.

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