Monday, September 23, 1946

The Charlotte News

Monday, September 23, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that W. Averell Harriman, Ambassador to Britain, had been appointed by President Truman to succeed Henry Wallace as Secretary of Commerce. Mr. Harriman was widely considered one of the principals behind the new get-tough policy with Russia, signifying a unified foreign policy in the Administration. He had been responsible for lend-lease aid to the Russians and was Ambassador to Russia for more than two years during the war.

Originally a Republican, Mr. Harriman of New York had supported New York Governor Al Smith for the presidency over Herbert Hoover in 1928 and had also supported Governor Franklin Roosevelt in 1932, thereafter joining the New Deal.

Mr. Harriman would run unsuccessfully in 1952 for the Democratic presidential nomination, but would be elected Governor of New York in 1954 and serve one term, defeated in 1958 by Nelson Rockefeller. He would in the interim prior to 1953 serve in several important diplomatic posts under the Truman Administration and would become in 1961 Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs and in 1963, Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs under President Kennedy. During President Johnson's term, from 1965-69, he would be Ambassador-at-large.

In his capacity as Undersecretary of State, Mr. Harriman was among a State Department group, along with Undersecretary of State for Economic and Agricultural Affairs George Ball, and Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs Roger Hilsman, who, along with White House aide Mike Forrestal, son of James Forrestal, favored a coup to depose South Vietnam President Ngo Dinh Diem and his brother Ngo Dinh Nhu, though not implying an endorsement of the bloody coup carried out November 2, 1963 by the South Vietnamese military, resulting in the deaths of both brothers. Ambassador to South Vietnam Henry Cabot Lodge, however, had been the primary proponent of the coup. General Maxwell Taylor, Attorney General Robert Kennedy, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, and CIA Director John McCone had been opposed to the coup. This status was documented by President Kennedy on a dictabelt of November 4, 1963, intended for his memoirs—albeit interrupted by someone, possibly the present Ambassador-designate to Japan or her younger brother, to say hello for the sake of history. Some people. No manners whatsoever while someone is plainly trying to work.

We mention it because, based on an unreliable source, Wicked-pedia, as it is wont to do, completely misstates the case by suggesting that Mr. Harriman "ordered" the coup and was running the show in Vietnam in 1963, a ridiculous statement in the premises for anyone who can think and understands the process of government generally and the context of those times specifically. We shall not deign to correct it, however, as that is not our job. We would be doing nothing else if every time we ran across misstated facts in Wicked-pedia, we sought to correct them. The same Wicked-pedia paragraph refers to a statement by Lyndon Johnson, made off-handedly to Senator Eugene McCarthy on February 1, 1966, as a "confession in the assassination of Diem" because President Johnson stated that "we", plainly referring generically to the United States in conjunction with the South Vietnamese military, went in there with a "bunch of thugs" and assassinated Diem. The transmogrification of connotation to turn that statement into a personal "confession" would certainly have been news, no doubt, to Senator McCarthy. Nor did the statement even mention Averell Harriman, Wicked-pedia nevertheless contending it "indicated complicity on Harriman's part".

With this appointment of Mr. Harriman, in the space of 17 months since the death of President Roosevelt, the Cabinet had been completely changed except for Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal, who had replaced Frank Knox following his death in April, 1944. President Truman had also made two Supreme Court appointments, Harold Burton a year earlier, replacing retiring Owen Roberts, and Chief Justice Fred Vinson, following the death in April, 1946 of Harlan Stone.

A General Accounting Office representative testified before the House Merchant Marine subcommittee that the report of his office that there had been estimated profits of wartime ship builders of 356 million dollars on a capital outlay of 23 million dollars required legislative protection of the citizens' interests by restoring checks and controls on military contract spending. One company had begun in 1942 with an initial investment of $600 and accumulated profits of over two million dollars, despite the war contract specifying that no profits would come from the transaction. Many companies, such as Kaiser, had made unreasonable profits.

Maritime workers across the country returned to work after the 17-day maritime strike, the strike having concluded Saturday night with the approval by operators of the increased pay to CIO National Maritime Union members commensurate with that granted by the Government to AFL maritime unions. Three maritime unions whose contracts would expire at the end of the month, however, were making demands of operators which, if not met, could lead to another strike.

General Eisenhower told Stars and Stripes that he believed that the world could not stand another global war and that education was the key to preventing it. The General stated that he harbored an intense hatred for the Germans who had led Germany into the war and for those Germans who had believed in the Nazi cause.

In Iran, rebellious nomad tribesmen of the Dashtestani and Hayadavoodi tribes had captured several Persian Gulf villages, including Reeque and Daylam, launching repeated attacks on Bushire, one of the largest ports on the Iranian coast. The Government had sent a large contingent of troop reinforcements to the area of Bushire in Fars Province.

At the Paris Peace Conference, the United States sided with Russia in favoring only limited reparations from Rumania to private individuals and companies who had lost property during the war. The unexpected move before the Balkan-Finnish Economics Commission was motivated by the belief that Rumania could not support such reparations. Russia had supported a formula under which one-third of the losses would be compensated; the exact percentage supported by the United States was not yet stated.

In Haifa, 588 illegal Jewish immigrants to Palestine were transferred from a schooner to a British troopship for deportation to Cyprus. About a hundred of the refugees had jumped overboard and attempted to swim to Palestine but were captured. One passenger was killed the previous day in resistance to the British entry to the ship. It was the sixth shipload of Jewish refugees transferred to Cyprus.

Meanwhile, a yacht carrying 130 legal immigrants arrived in Haifa.

PM reported in New York that Reparations Ambassador Ed Pauley had provided President Truman with a report recommending that Germany pay reparations to displaced European Jews that they might resettle in Palestine. But the President's advisers had been reportedly sharply divided on whether to release the report, some favoring its release to show that the President was still cocnerned about the problem of displaced persons, while others believed its release would be a reminder in the run-up to the midterm elections that a year had passed since the end of the war without resolution of the issue.

Harold Ickes recommends Citizen 13660 by Mine Okubo, a Japanese-American woman living in Berkeley at the time of Pearl Harbor and then interned in April, 1942. Mr. Ickes relates that his own observations as Secretary of Interior before and at the outset of the war showed that the Army was more concerned about possible acts of sabotage by Japanese in Hawaii than with being alert to the surprise attack. On the mainland, the Army had taken no precautionary action, but then, after the Pearl Harbor attack, lost its head, urged on by the public and some private interests who wanted to capitalize on taking Japanese property. That had led to the general round-up of all Japanese living within the coastal areas in the West and placing them in detention camps.

Located in the desert, these places, he says, were concentration camps, comparable to Dachau and Buchenwald.

Dillon Myer, an able and just man, was placed in charge of the War Relocation Authority, an agency later transferred to Interior. Mr. Myer deserved credit for fighting back against injustices in the relocation effort.

After the war, many of the Japanese wished to return to Japan and had been aided by the Government in that effort. Others were being relocated back into regular communities. A bill before Congress would provide restitution for lost and misappropriated property of the Japanese.

He concludes that the Japanese, if left alone during the war, would not have caused any problems. They had not in Hawaii where the percentage of Japanese population was much greater than along the West Coast. And no one fought more determinedly for the American cause in the war than Nisei soldiers.

The entire relocation effort was one of which no American could be proud and a fair understanding of what was done could be gleaned from Citizen 13660.

In New York, a 13-year old boy attempting to fly a kite from the roof of a five-story apartment building stumbled backward over the ledge and fell to his death.

In Tazewell, Va., a fifteen-year old girl had been raped and strangled to death, her body left on a local golf course. She had been abducted at around 2:00 a.m. after departing from a bus near her home, returning from Tennessee after the car in which she and three others had been riding broke down.

Burke Davis, former Associate Editor of The News until a year earlier, now providing special reports, tells of the work of the State Bureau of Investigation located in Raleigh with its new director, former Charlotte Police Chief Walter Anderson.

In one case the previous summer, a Laurinburg farmhouse had burned with four people inside, including an 18-month old infant, all having been shot with a shotgun before being consumed by the blaze. The police thought that the husband of the couple had come upon a love scene between his wife and a male boarder, shot the three, set the house on fire and then shot himself. But the SBI was called in and determined that there were footprints leading from the house, then soon identified a suspect who confessed. The defendant stated that he had committed the crime because he had been accused of stealing liquor.

The SBI only had a staff of fourteen persons, nine of whom were agents, with a budget of $68,000 per year. Only one was a lawyer, one a ballistics and handwriting expert, one a polygrapher, and three trained in fingerprinting. Two were general investigators.

The bureau's role was primarily to provide expertise to local law enforcement agencies in helping to solve specific crimes. They also investigated lynchings, election and Social Security frauds, and violations of gaming and lottery laws, or other such crimes involving routine violations against the laws. They acted only at the invitation of local law enforcement.

The SBI had recently dug up the evidence on the Charlotte butter 'n' eggs racket which resulted in the arrest of the two ringleaders and numerous runners. They had also been involved in the investigation of the divorce mill case in Charlotte.

In Boston, the Massachusetts General Hospital announced that its inability to obtain meat would result in its serving horsemeat to its patients as a "tasty substitute".

In Pittsburg, an eleven-year old boy killed a skunk with a bow and arrow inside the family home after the skunk had obtained entry. The smell remained. Because of the boy's sick younger brother, however, the parents could not yet fumigate the house.

In Oquawka, Ill., an extensive hunt, involving 150 men, a dozen hounds, and three airplanes, had been undertaken to try to find a cat-like beast seven feet long and two feet tall, resembling a puma or cougar. But when a track was located, it was found to be that of a dog. The hunt was terminated.

On the editorial page, "What Is Adequate Air Service?" comments on the vice-president of Eastern Air Lines insisting that Charlotte was receiving adequate air routes, contrary to the contention of the Charlotte Aviation Committee. The EAL vice-president had asserted to the Civil Aeronautics Board in Washington that over two thousand empty seats had flown out of Charlotte the previous month aboard EAL flights.

But the CAC countered that many of those seats were reserved to passengers in other cities along the route and could only be used therefore to travel to specific destinations. Furthermore, 13 of the 22 flights out of Charlotte departed in the wee hours or arrived at their destinations late at night. A Pullman berth could achieve the same results. Increasing demand for non-stop or limited-stop flights between major cities left cities like Charlotte out of the flight schedules.

It was not possible to determine how many passengers were being left out, but the CAC believed it was well over the number of empty seats on EAL flights.

It indicates a personal experience in which an attempt in August a week in advance to fly to New York had resulted in failing to get a desirable flight for three successive days.

"An Old Suspicion Is Diminished" comments on the conclusion of the divorce mill case with convictions of all three codefendants for conspiracy to suborn perjury and suborning of perjury by obtaining divorces for South Carolina residents on the basis of false statements knowingly entered into the record that the plaintiffs were for six months residents of North Carolina, as required by North Carolina law at the time.

One of the codefendants, a lawyer, was also likely to be disbarred, as the secretary of the State Bar had so moved in open court after the convictions.

It provides praise to both the SBI and the Bar for aiding the investigation. The Solicitor had stuck strictly to the case and did not allow it to be sidetracked by the efforts of defendant Ward Blanton to suggest that the prosecution was the result of a conspiracy between the Mecklenburg County Bar Association and the Department of Justice. The Solicitor had also indicted missing South Carolina witnesses when they failed to respond to subpoenas to testify in the case.

The results belied the suspicion that anyone with enough connections in the county could beat any rap.

"A Mushroom for a Refugee" comments on the Associated Press descriptions of hats worn by retired Col. Oveta Culp Hobby, former head of the WACS, to the Episcopal Church convention in Philadelphia. They had been described variously as "washtub effect, with green and red taffeta ribbons", "combat helmet effect, gray with spangles", "stove pipe, or leaning Tower of Pisa effect, with jade ornaments", and "atomic bomb effect, a large mushrooming affair with tight ribbon band below".

Ms. Hobby had stated that she was a "refugee from a WAC uniform". She had managed it in splendid fashion.

Not so her male counterparts who were often to be seen with a plaid suit over an olive drab Army-issue shirt for want of ability to find a men's shirt among the scarcity.

Ms. Hobby's atomic hat with mushroom effect, it hopes, might become high fashion among women to remind the public that "man has now reached that point in his development where he no longer has time to get completely out of uniform before he has to start crawling back in again."

We feel compelled to note that one of our great-great-great grandfathers was a hatmaker who died in the latter months of the Civil War. Long before knowing that, we were impelled, in 1966, by serendipity, in response to social graces in respect of convention set in place by our dancing teacher, who also taught dancing, ordering each student to construct a hat for the "Crazy Hat" contest of the ballroom dancing school, which our mama compelled us to attend, no doubt to refine our social graces—awaiting our mama accomplishing our registration to which, as we have previously related, we sat one hot August afternoon beneath the curve of Hawthorne, listening to the song, amid the thumping of the traffic above, about being "bound to fall...kidding you", which we were. Our creation was simply to take one of our papa's forlorn fedoras and form a piece of construction paper, one side painted grayish-black in water-color, with a deeper shade of black superimposing thereon the expression, "Stovepipe", to insure no mistake of our masked meaning, by taping the opposing edges together, attaching the resultant cylinder such that it conformed to the perimeter of the hat's crown, and, for good measure, perhaps subconsciously borrowed from Dr. Seuss through the haze of earlier days, bending the cylinder sharply in the March middle-music, as any stovepipe naturally would, whether to the right or left, we do not recall. The result, to our surprise, won the acclaim of our fellow students and we took the cake for "Craziest Hat", our only prize in dancing class. We do not recall what, if anything, we won. But the thought was what counted. So, we suppose, even if, strictly speaking, there was no jade ornamentation or Italian connotation, we had something bearing verisimilitude to one of the capital adornments of Ms. Hobby.

The mushroom effect would have probably been a prize-winner, too, had we thought of it.

If you are looking for some sort of explanation, it has possibly something to do with a bent Lincoln Capri at the crossroads. We prefer to think, however, within the mists of time, that it means that our great-great-great grandfather mayhap have constructed a hat for President Lincoln, which is why he was conscripted into the Confederate Army in 1864 at age 53.

A piece from the Asheville Citizen, titled "Baseball for the Herrenvolk?" comments on the German enjoyment of baseball since being introduced by the Army to the children of the American occupation zone. But it had drawn protests from a Russian colonel in the Russian occupation zone that it involved quasi-military training and so was verboten.

The piece counters that baseball was one of the more individualistic sports around and was therefore not in the least military in its character. "Any lad who would goose-step down to second is at the mercy of the lamest catcher."

"A dose of baseball for the Herrenvolk, junior grade, ought to be just about what the doctor orders. There is no master race on the diamond and the trajectory of a good Texas leaguer has nothing in common with a mortar shell. Let the kids go on choosing up sides for a game which would disdain a drill sergeant as much as it abhors the family dinner bell."

Drew Pearson presents the amendments and their sponsors which were engrafted on the OPA extension bill, responsible for the rise in prices ordered by OPA under certain mandatory strictures requiring minimum profits. Among the several amendments was one decontrolling tobacco, sponsored by Senator Clyde Hoey of North Carolina.

OPA head Paul Porter, however, had a sense of humor. When asked at a dinner by British Labor Party leader Herbert Morrison to describe his job, he referred to the statement by Andrew Jackson at the Battle of New Orleans in 1815 who, as the British were firing over the American cotton bale barricades, told his men, "Elevate them guns a little lower." Mr. Porter stated that his job was to "elevate them prices a little lower."

The column next informs that Chester Bowles had lost the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in Connecticut primarily because Senator Brien McMahon had only given him lukewarm support.

Finally, he tells of Republicans probably being behind the beef shortage as the Midwestern ranchers, feedlot fatteners, and meat packers were largely Republican. A meat shortage would help Republicans in November in the midterm elections.

Marquis Childs finds the downturn of the stock market to be precursor to a coming economic depression similar to that of 1929-30. Such a depression would make the Republicans happy, and a charge had been made that political manipulation was responsible for the country's economic troubles. Economic troubles had always preceded major political transitions.

But he finds it too easy to explain away the problems merely by politics. The question remained, with nearly 60 million Americans employed and production high, why the stock market was having trouble. The answer was in soaring prices which had ended the boom in which consumer goods were purchased as soon as available. The average family was now starting to show restraint in buying.

He had recently bought a dozen oranges, a pound of butter and enough fish for five people for $2.69. While on the edge of a resort area, the prices were not much higher than in the general consumer market.

The origin of such inflation came from the fact that the country did not during the war resist the temptation to cut out excessive profits and wages as the Government spent billions for the war. Canada meanwhile did, and in consequence its economy was now in good shape.

More recently, the Truman Administration had, shortly after V-J Day, released most controls not subject to law. John W. Snyder as Economic Stabilizer was responsible for the move and then in June was made Secretary of the Treasury at the appointment of Fred Vinson to become Chief Justice.

The attempts to rationalize away the stock market problems had been heard also in 1929 and later. It was possible that only a recession would come out of the dip, given the amount of accumulated savings from the war still in the hands of consumers. Such a recession would be exploited by the Republicans into the election year of 1948 and conceivably could determine the presidential election. From that might come Republican prosperity.

But if prices were to decline quickly, then a depression or recession might be avoided. Yet the trend was still in the other direction. A sudden increase in productivity also might result in avoidance of an economic crisis. The ensuing two or three months would tell the tale.

Peter Edson remarks on the problems in education across the country, with reported school closings in Maine from lack of teachers and teacher shortages by the thousands in Kansas, Virginia, Oregon, Kentucky, Ohio, Texas, and Georgia.

College and university students had suddenly increased from 1.4 million to two million since the previous year with the return of veterans. Colleges were seeking high school treachers, high schools were employing primary school teachers, city schools were seeking teachers from rural schools, while rural schools were closing or hiring inferior substitutes. Primary and secondary school children increased from 25 to 28 million during the war. Since Pearl Harbor, over half a million teachers had quit the profession to join the service or obtain better paying jobs. Prior to the war, one-quarter of that rate were leaving teaching.

Teacher salaries had increased from the prewar average of $1,400 per year to $2,000, still less, however, than most day laborers. The average Government worker received $2,600. Presently, it was being recommended by the Commission on Teacher Education that salaries be increased to an average of $2,400 per year, with it going to $4,000 after ten years of experience for a college-trained teacher.

Work load also was to be reduced to 25 to 30 pupils per classroom rather than the current 40 to 50. Better pension plans were also proposed, along with higher teacher standards.

A letter finds the actions of Senator Hoey in voting against Administration policies and with the Republicans to contravene the basic principles under which the country was founded and its political parties established. Senator Hoey was, says the writer, a "sorry Democrat".

A letter writer wonders why President Roosevelt had abandoned Henry Wallace in 1944 as his running mate when FDR was loyal to his other lieutenants. A man in the know had told him that the reason was that Mr. Wallace was head of the Communist Party and that FDR knew it.

The editors respond: "And what did the man who knows the answers think that made President Roosevelt, who 'abandoned' Henry Wallace by giving him a place in his cabinet?"

A pair of quotes of the day: "It was a sorry day at Bikini for stacks and masts. As a consequence, these will either have to be strengthened or eliminated. Hulls also must be strengthened and ship interiors must be completely changed." —Vice-Adm. W.H.P. Blandy, commander of Operation Crossroads

"It is clear that atomic bombs, if ever used again, will be used against cities." –Dr. William G. Penney, British physicist at Bikini


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