The Charlotte News

Monday, September 16, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Secretary of Commerce Henry Wallace reaffirmed his stand for a softer policy with respect to Russia and assured that he would continue to fight publicly for the view, despite it being repudiated by President Truman as not comporting with U.S. foreign policy. Secretary of State Byrnes, according to aides, was angry about the statement in a speech by Mr. Wallace on Thursday evening at Madison Square Garden. Mr. Wallace was scheduled to meet with the President in the ensuing two days. The Secretary of Commerce stated that he did not intend to resign his position and would continue to speak out on foreign and domestic policies as part of campaigning to help Democrats in the fall elections.

President Truman called upon the U.N. Economic and Social Council to convene a Scientific Conference on Resources Conservation and Utilization during the latter half of 1947 for the purposes of assessing the depletion of natural resources caused by rebuilding war-torn nations and developing industry in under-developed regions, to prevent war over scarce resources in the future.

The returns of the German election held Sunday showed, with 50 percent of the vote counted, the Christian Socialists ahead in the French zone, the moderate leftist Social Democrats leading in the British zone, and the Communist-dominated Socialist Unity Party winning in the Soviet zone. The Communists lost badly in the three Western zones.

Senator Tom Connally told the Paris Peace Conference, in response to the statement previously by V. M. Molotov that Trieste should be under Security Council control, that Trieste should be truly free and independent and not a satellite of either Italy or Yugoslavia.

In Palestine, police searched the Sarafand area, 15 miles south of Haifa, for bomb-carrying saboteurs who attacked a police station and wrecked power lines the previous night. It was not clear to which organization the saboteurs belonged. After the arrest of 23 Irgun leaders, the underground organization issued new threats of violence. Fifteen other suspected terrorists were arrested by police in the Jewish quarter of Jerusalem during the morning. Irgun did not claim responsibility for recent bank robberies in which three Arabs had been killed. Police believed that the Stern Gang was responsible for the robberies.

Navy Lt. George Tweed returned to Guam to present a 1946 Chevrolet to his friend who had shown him a place to hide from the Japanese and brought him food for 31 months during the war. But a crowd of protestors formed, shouting that Lt. Tweed had caused the death of a priest who was tortured and killed by the Japanese to obtain information of the hiding place of Lt. Tweed. The protestors also blamed him for the death of four other Guamanians at the hands of the Japanese.

In Lt. Tweed's book, Robinson Crusoe, USN, he told of the priest having revealed a confessional statement of Lt. Tweed's whereabouts to others, being then captured by the Japanese and forced to talk, ultimately revealing the hiding place before being killed. Lt. Tweed managed to escape before the Japanese got to him.

Harold Ickes suggests that the conferring of decorations by the military ought follow some procedure. Decorations were being handed out too liberally by generals who were giving ribbons and medals to other generals and politicians for little more than ceremonial functions. Governor Thomas Dewey had been awarded the Congressional Selective Service Medal for his being the titular head of the Selective Service in New York. Mayor William O'Dwyer of New York had recently been cited for service in a similar vein.

The fact was causing resentment among servicemen who had fought in the war but received no decorations. The receipt of a decoration seemed to Mr. Ickes to have become a function of being in the right place at the right time.

Veterans' Report had reprinted an article by E. J. Kahn, Jr., titled "Something Rotten in the Fruit Salad", stating that both Americans and foreigners were bedazzled by the number of decorations to Americans.

The report of the Chief of Staff of the Army stated that 1.54 million decorations for gallantry and meritorious service were awarded during World War II, with 70 percent being Air Medals. Exclusive of those medals and Purple Hearts, the Infantry received 34.5 percent of the decorations and the Air Corps 34.1 percent. The fighting men on the ground, despite higher casualties, received a million fewer medals than the Air Corps. The Air Corps also received more discharge points than the infantry.

Under War Department regulations, no soldier who served in Italy for only seven months could obtain more than two campaign stars. A soldier who served for the entire year and a half of the Italian campaign could receive no more than four stars. Yet in one instance, according to Mr Kahn, an airman received, in addition to his Air Medals, enough points for six stars in only six months of service.

The House Campaign Expenditures Committee called on all organizations which were engaging in political activity to report voluntarily the extent of their operations, particularly the amount of money they intended to spend for the fall elections. The committee was set up to receive complaints and investigate them to determine any violations. The committee was planning to investigate the election in Missouri which had resulted in the defeat of Congressman Roger Slaughter after the President had engaged the support of Tom Pendergast to arrange the defeat because of Mr. Slaughter's consistent opposition on the Rules Committee to the White House reconversion program.

In New York, the CIO maritime strike continued as negotiations to achieve the same rate of pay as granted AFL seamen collapsed. AFL continued to refuse to break CIO picket lines, despite urging by the president of the International Longshoremen's Association of its members to cross the picket lines because the NMU was comprised of "Commies".

Also in New York, the American Federation of Musicians reached an agreement with management for 20 percent pay increases, and thus bands began playing again in hotels and nightclubs.

In Manhattan, barbershop helpers and manicurists went on strike but with little impact on barbershop business.

OPA granted six percent price hikes on Fords, Mercurys, and Lincolns.

In Arizona, Hollywood dress designer De De Johnson narrowly escaped death in a fall from the rim of the Grand Canyon, but was recovering in a hospital from shock and a sprained ankle. She fell 50 feet from a wall while posing for a photograph for her husband. She missed by an inch falling off the ledge to the floor of the canyon.

In Mecklenburg County Superior Court, a judge ordered three defendants into custody during their trial for subornation of perjury in connection with their operation of a divorce mill, accused of inducing false boilerplate statements by plaintiffs in divorce actions. The reason for the unusual move when the defendants had been out on bond was apparently because one or more of them had sought to speak with members of the jury.

Perhaps they liked to died when they heard it, which is probably why the devil-in-prints or the reporter transformed the charge to "subordination of perjury".

Mark Trail joins the comics page on 4-B.

On the editorial page, "Annual Wage for Industry?" comments on the advocacy by Vann Bittner, director of CIO's "Operation Dixie", of a guaranteed annual minimum wage for workers just as white collar workers s received. He campaigned for it on the basis that it would provide security for the worker which under the present system he lacked.

But the piece finds the approach a poor sales pitch, for management looked for efficiency, not security for the worker. Until the plan could be promoted on the basis of affording security, it would likely fail.

"The Proud Old Hickory Division" comments on the achievements during the war of the 30th Infantry Division, comprised of the North Carolina, Tennessee, and South Carolina National Guard, spearheading the attack from Normandy to the Siegfried Line, through the slow winter campaign, and in the breakthrough at Julich. In the early spring of 1945, it had led the way near Munchen-Gladbach in what it hoped would be its last campaign.

It was now being reconstituted in Raleigh, one of the first Army divisions to receive reactivation orders during peacetime. Its traditional morale made it the best division on which to call. Major General John Hall and Colonel Paul Younts, both of North Carolina, were commanding the division and the state had a right to be proud of them and the division they led.

But there was still hope that it might never again have to engage in a military campaign.

"See Here, Commander Hargrove" tells of a controversy in which Marion Hargrove—formerly of The News, at one time the most famous private in the Army for his wry commentary on Army life contained in his column,"See Here, Private Hargrove"—had become embroiled as the would-be American Legion Post which he commanded, the Duncan-Paris Post, was not being accepted by the American Legion for official membership because it had too many Communists within its membership. Its membership included Dashiell Hammett and Lester Rodney, sports editor for The Daily Worker, as well as others writers and journalists who were or had flirted with Communists.

But Commander Hargrove was not accepting defeat and was taking the case of the Post to American Legion headquarters in Indianapolis. The piece predicts he would be received as a leper and have little success, but would cause the Legion to receive unfavorable publicity from its move, which was likely all Mr. Hargrove intended.

A piece from the Greensboro Daily News, titled "Birthday of a Famous Son", comments on the 84th birthday of O. Henry, William Sydney Porter, born in Greensboro on September 11, 1862, deceased since 1910. His books had been translated into 13 different languages, spanning the globe.

The city could take pride that it had produced such a literary figure "not untouched by the vision of the hero of Brickdust Row who no longer saw mankind 'as a rabble but his brothers seeking the ideal,' however far astray their search may lead them."

As we have before commented from the North Woods, we once bought our little blue roadster across the street from the location of Mr. Porter's boyhood home, by dint of coincidence on June 4, 1973, 63 years minus a day from his death, a fact we did not realize at the time. Probably a good thing that our papa did not notice that point and make note of it also to the supercilious salesman or likely he would have thrown us into the street and we would have never bought our little blue roadster.

Drew Pearson reports that friends of Secretary of State Byrnes had stated that he might resign after the Paris Peace Conference because of his ailing health. The reports were correct, as he would leave the post at the end of the year. Mr. Byrnes's doctor had advised that he could remain in the post only if he took periodic rests. Mr. Byrnes thought this unwise, given the experience with Cordell Hull, who stayed away from his office six months during 1942.

At 68, he was tired, with relentless duties. After Paris would come the U.N. General Assembly and the Pan American Conference followed by other conferences. He had made seven roundtrips to Europe in fifteen months as Secretary of State. By contrast, Cordell Hull made only one trans-Atlantic flight in twelve years.

Mr. Pearson notes that he believed Mr. Byrnes was doing the most effective job in the position of any Secretary since Charles Evans Hughes.

He next reveals that during the Sicily campaign in July, 1943, General Patton had been asked by Field Marshal Montgomery to slow down and wait for the British to catch up. General Patton had pretended never to receive the telegram and continued moving.

During the Normandy offensive in summer, 1944, Field Marshal Montgomery was supposed to break through at Caen to draw off German troops from General Bradley's men. But General Montgomery waited and called for more American troops until Generals Bradley, Patton, and Joe Collins made the breakthrough at St. Lo, leaving General Montgomery still at Caen. Shortly afterward, General Eisenhower made General Bradley the general field commander in place of General Montgomery.

According to the officers who fought, these incidents were not the result of accidents of war but the politics of war. Many in the Pentagon thought that while General Montgomery was visiting the United States, he should be asked whether, in the event of another war, politics would be ruled out.

He notes that Ralph Ingersoll's Top Secret was the best book recounting General Montgomery's war-slowing tactics.

The Secret Service, he next reports, were watching a couple from Bermuda who had crashed the President's vacation, posing as journalists married to one another. In fact they had never so worked and were not even married. Their ruse had come to light when they sought and obtained permission to read all of the press dispatches which had been sent out from the ship. The journalists onboard then investigated the couple to discover their true identities.

Barnet Nover comments that were relations between Russia and America as bad as Americans feared, then one would expect Berlin, in the middle of the Soviet occupation zone in Germany, to manifest that fear. He relates, however, that it was not the case as American officials in Berlin expressed no fear of imminent war. They did feel, however, that differences would continue to disturb the relations between the two countries for a long time.

But tension had already existed between the two countries for a long time. There was more fraternization between Americans and Germans in Berlin than with Russians, or even between Russians and Germans.

One of the reasons for a more relaxed view of the situation was that the iron curtain in Berlin appeared as only a venetian blind. There was some secrecy, such as in the use of German manufacturing facilities to turn out military equipment for the Red Army, but the Russians had also been lenient in permitting Germans to cross the borders between occupation zones in Berlin, including allowing foreign journalists to enter the Russian zone.

The Russians had managed to set up a coherent policy in their occupation zone and obtain some advantage from that head start, but that advantage had been somewhat diminished by the Byrnes speech in Stuttgart on September 6 setting forth American policy, not very different in principle from that of Russia, even if the espoused aims and means were different.

The United States had a long way to go to be on even footing with Russia in the German occupation, but it had also regained some lost ground and was more nearly even than just a few months earlier.

Samuel Grafton reports that signs on Wall Street were that the inflationary period would not last very long, as evidenced by the report that real estate prices were dropping. Conflicting reports were appearing about whether Americans were spending more on food and less on luxury items or less on food and more on luxury items, thus harming the farmer.

Wall Street was predicting that because commodities prices had fallen six months after stocks had begun to fall following World War I, the same was likely to recur. Stocks had begun to fall in May.

In the current final phases of the inflationary cycle, some prices would fall while others would continue to rise. It could be a more troubling part of the cycle as "pinheads" could make money on the way up in speculation while the unfortunate could lose it on the way down.

He predicts that the divisive wrangling in the country would reach new heights during this period, an obscure price to be paid for "a heedless inflationary binge".

A letter lists the fourteen things which the author believes constitute good citizenship.

A letter from Major General T. B. Larkin, Quartermaster General, states that he had been misquoted by the NEA Service as criticizing Reserve Officers when he had never made any such statement. He cites several examples in which the Reserve Officers had performed well during the war.

A letter writer congratulates The News for its responsive editorial to Admiral Halsey, saying to the Admiral that it was the people's business where the American Fleet sailed and not just that of the Navy. He suggests that American policy was turning a blind eye to British imperialist policies which permitted King George II to remain on the throne in Greece. The British, he offers, would like the remaining four exiled kings in Britain returned to their respective thrones in Hungary, Bulgaria, Rumania, and Austria.

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