Thursday, September 26, 1946

The Charlotte News

Thursday, September 26, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in Pittsburgh, 3,000 street car operators walked off the job as a protective measure against threats in conjunction with the strike of workers at Duquesne Light Co. The strike left thousands of commuters stranded. Meanwhile, the electrical supply had been reduced to 40 percent of normal. The street cars had already been reduced to a quarter of their normal number in operation.

After a request by the City, the court which had issued an anti-strike injunction withdrew it and dropped contempt charges against ten union leaders. The court had previously imposed a one-year jail term against the union president. The City believed that the strike would be more readily settled without the injunction in place.

In Tokyo, the War Crimes Tribunal heard evidence of a conference in March, 1941 between Foreign Minister Yosuke Matsuoka and German Foreign Minister Joachim Ribbentrop that the biggest worry of the Japanese nine months prior to Pearl Harbor had been that the American Fleet would not fight, causing the war to drag on for years. Herr Ribbentrop had counseled a sneak attack on Singapore to shorten the war in Europe, that the United States would then be powerless to counter-attack, while Russia was tied down by the 150 German divisions along its western border. Japan therefore, said Ribbentrop, had unique opportunity for expansion in the Far East.

In Athens, Greece, a reception for the return of King George II to the throne was planned for Saturday despite civil war in Thessaly and Macedonia in protest of the plebiscite to restore the crown. The 30,000 British troops in the area were slated for departure as soon as transportation would become available.

In Paris, Secretary of State Byrnes called for a plenary session of the Peace Conference so that the Finnish treaty could be adopted and the other four treaties moved along toward adoption to meet the deadline of October 15 for conclusion of business. The conference had been in session for two months.

Congressman Adolph Sabath of Illinois asked for an investigation by the Justice Department into an alleged conspiracy to violate anti-trust laws by meat packers to deprive the market of meat in order to get rid of price controls. The packers were contending that they could not obtain livestock from producers.

Meanwhile, the Agriculture Department reported that fewer hogs were going to market than at any previous time in history. The White House would not respond to questions regarding the call by House Majority Leader John McCormack for a 60-day moratorium on meat price controls to get the horses out of the hospitals.

OPA head Paul Porter stated that an order was being prepared to make more meat available for hospitals and similar institutions, requiring packers to set aside the same amount of meat as they had in 1944 for such vital facilities. He opposed the McCormack proposal as it would only stimulate inflation and a glut of livestock which, in turn, would precipitate further shortage down the road.

The 15,000 members of the CIO Marine Engineers union were preparing to stage a strike beginning Monday if the operators did not agree to a 35 percent wage boost. They did not benefit from the recent AFL and CIO wage boosts of $22.50 to $27.50 per month. The operators were offering only 10 percent and three-quarters of the $2 per hour overtime demanded.

In Washington, the National Executive Committee of the Democratic Party met to discuss policy for the fall elections. The primary talk with reporters centered on the desire for removal of meat price controls and the desire to have Henry Wallace and Senator Claude Pepper speak during the campaign but without making any statements contrary to Administration policy.

In Victorville, California, five cars of an eleven-car Union Pacific passenger train from Chicago derailed injuring 50 to 75 people and killing at least four. The engineer and fireman were pinned in the cab but were removed.

In Poughkeepsie, N.Y., it was reported that President Roosevelt had left an estate with a net value of 1.085 million dollars and gross value of 1.8 million. The piece provides the breakdown for inquiring minds who need to know. For instance, the Little White House at Warm Springs was valued at $7,826. He had left life insurance of $562,000 to the Warm Springs Foundation, the polio center which the late President had founded.

Carter Davidson reports from Jerusalem regarding the Gazelle boys, supposedly five in number who ate grass, ran 50 miles per hour, and spoke only the language of their foster parents. The story originated in Trans-Jordan's bars as a tale of gazelle hunters finding one boy living with gazelles, and after traveling 50 mph in a car to capture him, took him to the hospital where he would only eat grass. But later it was learned that the boy was from a Bedouin family, was mentally deficient, lived in a hospital but consumed a normal diet.

Another of the Gazelle boys was being trained by the oil companies to perform 50 mile per hour pipeline patrol. A third was being taught English to learn what the gazelles discussed other than love.

The Johnson City (Tenn.) Press-Chronicle increased its weekly subskimption price from 25 to 30 cents because of increased costs of labor and materials.

The Pacusan Dreamboat B-29, set to travel non-stop in 43 hours from Honolulu to Cairo, might take off, weather permitting, at 5:30 a.m. Friday morning.

Get your tickets.

On the editorial page, "Armistice in the War of Words?" reviews American newspaper reaction to the recent statements of Josef Stalin to a British reporter, indicating his belief that peace could be achieved and war was not imminent.

The San Francisco Chronicle had stated that if Stalin did not think it so, it wasn't.

The Washington Post had concluded that a change in attitude by V. M. Molotov at the Paris Peace Conference or by Andrei Gromyko on the U.N. Security Council would be validation of Stalin's words.

The New York Times had pessimistically asserted that words and actions from Russia were often different things.

The New York Herald-Tribune had, however, trumpeted the development as a possibly sincere effort to establish peace.

The Los Angeles Times sided with the New York Times in pessimism.

The Atlanta Constitution echoed the Herald-Tribune's viewpoint.

The editorial concludes that, while Stalin's words should be viewed skeptically and with some suspicion, the statement nevertheless could not be ignored and might, if a positive response were made by the President and Prime Minister Attlee, lead to an amicable understanding which would dissipate the mutual tension and fears, especially if Prime Minister Stalin truly believed his assertion that the Western powers could not surround Russia if they wanted to. He appeared confident in Russia's defenses, thus removing fear as an emotion to stimulate defensiveness.

"'A Challenge to the Law...'" comments on the eloquent statement by Judge Frank Armstrong at the conclusion of the Blanton divorce mill case of the previous week, which had wound up in convictions by the jury of the two codefendants and a plea of nolo contendere of the third. He had described the case as the worst in his experience and that perjury and subornation of perjury struck at the very heart of the judicial system, that justice had to be based on truth. The felony was compounded when perjury was committed for private ends, as in the case of obtaining divorces on perjured testimony regarding in-state residence.

He rejected the argument that attorneys were not required to conduct investigations of their clients' cases before bringing them to the bar. He found it unquestionably the duty of every attorney to do so. He hoped that the case would stand as a warning to others.

The editorial concludes that the Judge, the Solicitor, the SBI which investigated the case, and the secretary of the State Bar all deserved the public's gratitude. The primary defendant, Mr. Blanton, received a prison term of five to ten years and the codefendant, a local attorney, was disbarred and sentenced to two to five years. The codefendant who pleaded nolo contendere received a prayer for judgment, continued until the appeals of her two codefendants could be decided, meaning judgment and sentence were deferred until that time.

"The High Cost of Prohibition" tells of former Charlotte City Manager Robert Flack taking over the same position in Durham and receiving $76,000 in quarterly liquor profits revenue with which to operate, a luxury he never had in dry Charlotte.

Charlotte was nearly twice the size of Durham and so the piece suggests that Charlotte's ordinance was costing the city $576,000 per year, one-seventh of the City budget, an amount which could buy a lot of books, pay for a lot of police protection, and pave streets.

Moreover, wet Durham was not in the crime sweepstakes with Charlotte, second in the nation in rate of murder and in the top ten percent in felony assaults.

A piece from the Statesville Daily, titled "The Attack on Wilson Wyatt", looks at the demand for ouster of the Federal Housing Expediter because only 10 percent of the veterans housing was completed in 30 percent of the two years allotted for the short-term housing program. It had also been charged by the National Home and Property Owners Foundation, a non-veterans group, that he was using the funds to advance public housing and state socialization.

There were shortages of labor and materials which had caused the delay and so it was best, it counsels, to defer judgment on Mr. Wyatt. Home construction in Statesville, it relates, was moving along briskly.

Drew Pearson reports that Remington Rand was engaging in a substantial lobbying effort to gain control of I. G. Chemie, seized Swiss-Nazi company during the war.

The anti-OPA Senators and Congressmen, such as Senator Kenneth Wherry of Nebraska, who had yelled in the spring about OPA not enforcing price controls against the black market now complained that OPA was engaging in too much enforcement.

President Truman had made unprintable comments about Senator Claude Pepper of Florida. Senator Pepper heard of them. The President, says Mr. Pearson, did not seem to realize that he could not gain the cooperation of Senators by hurling at them billingsgate.

The President was considering the appointment of a new commission to study lynchings, as discussed at a recent conference with NAACP executive secretary Walter White and James Carey of the CIO United Electrical Workers. Both men informed the President of the blinding in Batesburg, South Carolina, the previous February, of Isaac Woodard, as he was beaten by the police chief and his men while traveling on an interstate bus after being honorably discharged from the Army as a sergeant. Sgt. Woodard had allegedly gotten into an argument with the bus driver for supposedly spending too much time in a washroom during the stop. He had served 15 months in the Pacific.

The President had said that he was familiar with some of the cases they discussed but was not aware that the brutality had become so widespread. He stood horrified by what he heard.

Mr. Pearson was apparently not yet aware that this date the President had turned the Woodard case over to Attorney General Tom Clark, who would shortly initiate Federal prosecution against the police chief based on Federal jurisdiction. The effort would end, however, in an acquittal by the jury after short deliberations. Sgt. Woodard had been convicted of disorderly conduct by a local judge and fined, based on the contention of the police chief that Sgt. Woodard had grabbed his billyclub, leading to the beating.

The news of the story had been widely disseminated for the first time in July and August by Orson Welles via his weekly radio program.

Assistant Secretary of State Spruille Braden was upset that U.S. Ambassador to Argentina George Messersmith had several talks with followers of the Fascist Juan Peron Government, suggesting that Argentina would make a solid ally to the U.S. should war break out with Russia.

Thievery was rampant in Manila in Army and civilian post offices, requiring General Eisenhower to send specially trained M.P.'s to break it up.

Marquis Childs tells of Stockholm's newspapers telling the same day of Henry Wallace's resignation and the purge of directors of collective farms in Russia. Prewar progressive values in Sweden had been disturbed less than anywhere else in Europe. The Swedish were intensely interested in developments both in the East and West, as they were aware of their position in between.

The departure of Mr. Wallace had not resolved doubts over American foreign policy. Reassured by the Stuttgart speech on September 6 by Secretary Byrnes, the Wallace speech had appeared to arouse a feeling among the Swedish that America was returning to isolationism.

Gunnar Myrdal, the political and social scientist and Minister of Commerce, believed that the stock market difficulties and the strikes in America heralded a depression and political crisis. After his previous visit to the United States to compile his study on race relations, he had predicted a postwar boom and bust cycle for the country. He had previously made accurate economic predictions. In consequence, Sweden did not wish to tie its economic future too closely to U.S. fortunes. Sweden was in the process of concluding a 250-million dollar trade deal with Russia, to be covered in large part by a five-year credit to the Soviets.

The Swedish were preoccupied with everything Russian, including the mysterious rockets which coursed through their skies from the area of Peenemunde. Both Russian and English lessons were being taught weekly via the radio, with a bit more time devoted to Russian. Swedish airlines had the only valid contract to fly into Moscow, even if the route could not be utilized for some time to come. A Russian trade union delegation was currently visiting Sweden.

Sweden generally wanted to maintain its independence while doing business with Russia.

Samuel Grafton looks at the hue and cry being raised against Henry Wallace, developing into a stampede. But if Mr. Wallace was really the mouse his opponents were trying to make him out to be, they would laugh him off, not engage in such a furious effort to discredit him and drum him out of the Democratic Party.

Mr. Grafton finds it ironic that the disconsolate members of the party who had bitterly opposed President Roosevelt and were now opposing President Truman with even more vigor had been permitted to stay in the party while Mr. Wallace, who had the previous spring suggested a purge of anti-Administration Democrats, appeared now on the outside.

He likens the purge to that in Russia of former Ambassador to the United States and former Foreign Commissar Maxim Litvinov.

"The worst of the Wallace incident is that one hears in its overtones the thin cry 'Faster! Faster!' as angry men pound down the road, hoping, perhaps, that by speed alone they can create the impression that they know precisely where it is they are going."

A letter from the executive secretary of the North Carolina Food Dealer Association has trouble reconciling the editorial of Tuesday, stating that livestock was sold out, with the front page article which had stated that there was a large amount of cattle on the range.

The editors respond by indicating that Time had on Friday asserted that the bulk of the livestock had been slaughtered during the ten-week period after July 1 when OPA price ceilings were not in effect. Much of the meat had been sold but some had been stored. Meat industry experts, it further reported, foresaw no easing of the meat shortage before year's end. The New York Times on Sunday had reported a similar story.

But the Agriculture Department on Tuesday had stated that there was plenty of livestock on hand, nearly matching 1944 peak levels.

So, they conclude, something was amiss. They hope that it was the News editorial and the sources on which it had relied, so that a porterhouse steak might be in the offing as proper crow.

Louis Graves of The Chapel Hill Weekly provides a piece titled "CharLOTTeans?" in which he questions why Charlotte residents were so called, as well why The News called residents of Fort Mill, S.C., "Fort Millians".

Were Hillsboro residents Hillsboroites? He thinks it not sonorous, reminding of insects. But Hillsboromen had a virile sound, perhaps too virile, ignoring Hillsborowomen.

Durhamites, he thinks okay. Mt. Olive-eaters, maybe not so, any more than Sanforder or Dunner or Dunnsman or Rocky Mountaineer, better called Rocky Mound for its small hills of less than ten feet.

Lynchburger or Petersburger was fine, but not Richmonder or Norfolkers or Portsmouthers or Galaxians or Fairfaxians.

Elizabeth Citizens? Nags Headsmen? sounding, he says, savage.

Buffalonians was acceptable, but what about Manteo and El Paso?

Dallasites? Dallasses when competing with Fort Worth?


He then wonders whether the accent in Charlotteans is on the "e" or the "lott".

And concludes by saying that a Fort Millian ought be a Fort Miller.

He never even attempts the hyphenated towns. We always heard "Winstonian" when it was pressed, never "Winston-Salemite", or even "Salemite", which comes too close to the border.

Usually, people just said, "I'm up 'ere a' Wins'on."

Attempting in some locales to describe yourself or someone else as a Fuquay-Varinian or just a Fuquayan could probably land you in jail or at least under detention awaiting I.N.S. clearance, especially late at night in West Texas, on your way to visit a Roswellian or Roswellite.

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