Saturday, September 7, 1946

The Charlotte News

Saturday, September 7, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the Seafarer's International Union called for a general strike across the country should the Government take over operation of the ships presently stranded by the strike of maritime workers. The strike, in its third day, was declared a hundred percent effective. Among the cargo tied up in ports were 250,000 tons of relief for Europe and Asia aboard UNRRA ships. It appeared to shippers that it was the costliest strike in American shipping history. The issue was the reversal of a Wage Stabilization Board ruling of the Government forbidding as inflationary any pay raise above $17.50 per month, while both the unions and the shippers had mutually agreed to a $27.50 per month increase.

President Truman announced that the planned third atomic bomb test, Charlie, to have been a deep water detonation, would be postponed indefinitely. It had been scheduled for 1947, but in light of the successful two tests at Bikini Atoll in July, it was deemed presently unnecessary. The action was taken on recommendation of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

A year later, in the August 11, 1947 edition of Life, the findings were published of the military and scientists regarding the effects of the Able and Baker blasts and the continuing radiation detected both at Bikini and on the ships exposed to the blasts, several of which had been towed to San Francisco and Puget Sound. The conclusions were that the contamination of the ships could last for years to come, that the contamination at Bikini would slowly be washed away by the sea, that there was no harm done to any of the observers of the two blasts, but that if an atomic bomb were detonated underwater, for instance, in New York Harbor, two million people could be killed from the blast and resulting radiation. No defense yet existed to the bomb other than the diplomatic prevention of nuclear war.

Ironically, the only pig which survived of the 147 onboard the test ships was labeled No. 311. No. 311 had been locked in a bathroom aboard the Japanese cruiser Sakawa, which sunk. But the pig somehow managed to escape and was found swimming in Bikini Lagoon after the Able test of July 1.

In Paris at the Peace Conference, Italy and Austria had signed an agreement to end their dispute regarding the South Tyrol, allowing the region to remain Italian but with regional autonomy for German-speaking inhabitants of Bolzano and Trento. The conference deferred action on a proposal for a court of human rights, as the U.S. favored it being taken up by the U.N.

London newspapers, The Times and The Daily Telegraph, praised the speech the previous day by Secretary of State James Byrnes in which he urged a unified Germany without partitions and its retention of the Rhineland and the Ruhr.

A map appears outlining the Byrnes proposal.

In Athens, the Greek Government again placed in effect emergency measures to try to halt violence. The Acting Premier asserted the belief that the trouble stemmed from Yugoslav declarations at the Paris Peace Conference. Violence which had preceded the previous Sunday's plebiscite to retain King George II had intensified since that election.

In Bad Nauheim, Germany, Captain Joseph Robertson was acquitted of authorizing cruel and unusual punishment in the beatings and corporal punishment administered to American soldier prisoners at Lichfield Prison in England. He was the last of six officers and ten enlisted men to be tried.

In heavy trading in New Orleans, cotton futures for October exceeded 37 cents per pound for the first time since 1923.

The Civil Production Board said that it would fight to maintain skirt and dress lengths short through the winter, but would gradually allow them to be lengthened in the spring and summer of 1947. Other curbs on material usage in dresses, such as extra pockets and fancy sleeves, would also end.

In Kansas City, a little girl was missing with a newly hired maid. The child's ex-GI father offered his life savings, $200, as reward. The woman and child were believed to be hitchhiking to St. Louis. One man reported supplying a ride to Independence for a pair matching the description. The woman had been an inmate at the Girls' Industrial School in Ohio.

The incident appeared as the exact scenario which had played out in late February in Charlotte when the four-year old daughter of a local physician was taken away by her 19-year old maid, also in the family's employ for only a few days. That incident had ended happily with the safe return of the child within a couple of days, after an alert resident of Annapolis, Md., read newspaper accounts of the description and realized that she had just hired the young woman, then contacted the police.

In Atlantic City, Miss America was being crowned and the winner appeared to be 18-year old Janey Miller, Miss Atlanta, having already won the talent prize on Thursday with her performance of an aria from La Tosca by Puccini and having tied Miss New York in the bathing suit competition.

The actual winner of the pageant, Marilyn Buferd, Miss California, was not mentioned in the piece. C'est la vie.

Goes to show that you can't rely on everything you read in the newspapers.

In London, the private secretary to King George VI denied a report appearing in the London Star that Princess Elizabeth was about to become engaged to Prince Philip of Greece.

Goes to show that you can't rely on everything you read in the newspapers.

On the editorial page, "The Cost of Political Apathy" reports that about 260,000, 26 percent of eligible South Carolinians, had cast their votes in the late gubernatorial runoff primary between Strom Thurmond and Dr. McLeod. Of the million-plus eligible voters, 381,000 were black and effectively barred from the primary voting, notwithstanding a recent Federal court decision mandating recognition of their right to vote in same. It left about 387,000 white voters who had not voted.

The campaign had been lively with numerous stump debates throughout the state and thus should have stimulated great interest reflected at the polls.

Though occurring in a one-party state, the voter apathy thus manifested was by no means unique. Illinois, for instance, among other states, had shown the lowest primary votes, Republican and Democratic, in its modern history.

The moral was that people who did not vote had no right to complain later of their government.

"The Faith of Ellis Gibbs Arnall" comments on the extract in The Atlantic Monthly from Georgia Governor Ellis Arnall's book, The Shore Dimly Seen, that opponents and supporters alike would find it interesting as providing his assessment of the mind of the South. Those, such as John Temple Graves II, who believed the Governor had taken over the New Deal philosophy for his own personal political advantage would find in it a basis for bolstering the argument. Mr. Arnall had graduated from college in 1932, when FDR was elected. As a new experiment in government, it was only natural that Mr. Arnall, in his early days of politics, would have been swept into the New Deal philosophy.

He predicted a full-scale industrial revolution in the South within the ensuing twenty years, requiring integration with the rest of the nation economically, necessitating more government planning. With that, the racial, social, and political problems of the South would take care of themselves.

He had stated that needs were economic; civil liberties were not in immediate danger of transgression, but could be eroded only through political weakness attendant to poverty.

His style, says the piece, was erudite and polished, referencing easily Berkeley, Hume, Swift, Pope, Bolingbroke, and Locke—the latter, he instructs, having participated in the planning of North Carolina. In setting forth the dominant Scotch-Irish heritage in the South, he showed a familiarity with the arcane history of the persecutions in Ulster. All of it flowed smoothly into his narrative, giving the effect that it was not injected for the sake of affecting merely an appearance of erudition.

Though a champion of the common man, Governor Arnall had "something aristocratic in his style", just as his name suggested, a quality which might place him as alien to the modern South, more akin to the past tradition of aristocracy which associated scholarship with politics.

It concludes that if the extract was a fair sample of the work, it might rank him with Thomas Jefferson, Zebulon Vance, John C. Calhoun, and Alexander Stephens. Southerners could take pride in the fact that he was the only practicing politician in the country who could have written such a work.

"Keep an Eye on that Amoeba, Men" expresses concern that Los Angeles might be seeking to annex as a suburb Charlotte, for the fact that the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce had expressed the belief that the population had reached 115,000, ranking Charlotte as 35th in percentage of increased population among cities of over 100,000. It challenges Clarence Kuester of the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce, as he was urging annexation of areas containing another 20,000 persons to Charlotte, to keep an eye on the spreading amoeba of Los Angeles, lest it plant a city limits sign one day on Independence Square.

It might have more appropriately advised looking north to San Francisco.

A piece from the Louisville Courier-Journal, titled "Life Is Real, Life Is Earnest", comments on the condemnation by Russians, according to Pravda, of anything not sufficiently ideological for use in education of the young. It had denounced escapist literature. The piece speculates that perhaps the fear was that the average Russian might catch through it a glimpse of freedom and be turned away from the industrial grindstone and the five-year plan.

On the other hand, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, which the piece uses as its springboard to suggest its imminent elimination from the Russian literary tableau, would hardly qualify as a very good example for turning the mind of the average worker toward a concept of freedom. But, never mind.

Stuart Symington, Assistant Secretary of War for Air, later to become Senator from Missouri, substitutes for Drew Pearson, tells of his recent world tour, that it was one of sadness for the observation of the results of the war and the mounting tension between nations. He had seen the "sinister beauty" of the atomic bomb test at Bikini, had visited with Pope Pius XII and seen the "piety and sincerity" in his face as he spoke of hopes for a better world, had heard Justice Robert Jackson lead the American prosecution at Nuremberg, eloquently accusing the 21 defendants on trial of being responsible for the killing of six million persons in Europe.

The most vivid memory, however, was the collective conviction that the new technology of the time had made "the man-made walls of isolationism" forever futile. Those walls, including the Wall of China, which had taken 1,700 years to build, were all now without effect.

While swimming from a boat on Lake Geneva in Switzerland, he thought of the protection provided Switzerland by the Alps. But then suddenly, two fighter planes flashed across the sky, reminding that even mountain ranges no longer afforded protection from man's advances in weaponry.

They viewed Shanghai and Calcutta behind their walls. The wall of the Bonneville Dam had afforded far more understanding for the people it served than the walls of misunderstanding through the centuries.

But in the United States, there were barriers to understanding, built on factionalism, labor strife, and racial and religious bigotry.

The 17 million veterans who had seen the conditions in foreign countries had come back home understanding the value of democracy and wanting to obtain a good job and have a home. It was for them, he suggests, that the country should get about the process of reconversion and continuing of a strong economy built up during the war. Production, he asserts, was the key.

Barnet Nover, substituting for Marquis Childs, comments on the fact that the fiery speeches at the Paris Peace Conference by Italy's Ivanoe Bonomi and Yugoslavia's Ales Bebler regarding Trieste had been treated passively by international diplomatic observers, whereas once the disagreement would have spawned concern of an imminent crisis.

For it had become clear that the Big Four continued their support of the Foreign Ministers Council agreement to internationalize Trieste under U.N. supervision and that no changes could take place at the conference without the consent of the Big Four, the case also as to all five treaties under consideration. The question was not whether the conference would ultimately follow the recommendation of the Council on Trieste but whether, once set up, it would be able to function. It only had a chance to work if all the major powers, as well as Italy and Yugoslavia, supported it.

Former Premier Bonomi was only expressing a very strong probability that Trieste would become an "apple of discord" between Italy and Yugoslavia once internationalized. But in fact, says Mr. Nover, it stood as a permanent barrier between the West and Russia. The agreement to internationalize had only shifted the problem from the territorial to the political and economic level.

Samuel Grafton, back in New York, discusses the counter-intuitive quality of the stock market crash of the previous Tuesday in light of the conservative victories in both foreign and domestic policy during the previous year, with every political indication being that the Republicans would do well in the fall. Most of the New Dealers had departed Washington but stocks still fell.

Wall Street's own reasons sounded childishly naive, for instance, that foreign investors were withdrawing their money from the market for America being too entangled with Europe and its problems. Another reason given was the prohibition on margin trading, but it stood as double-talk, as on other occasions traders were pleased that margin traders were out of the picture, thus leaving stocks to be purchased only by those who could afford them.

Conservatives had generally promoted the idea that liberalism and its feared government planning was the primary danger to the country. Having convinced themselves of this notion, conservatives had fought successfully every effort at government planning during the previous year. Yet all of it had led to government uncertainty. With much of price control gone, production had risen but so had prices, reducing purchasing power. The executive power of the Government had withered and "Rooseveltian order" had departed from both domestic and foreign policy.

It was this uncertainty, he offers, which had led to the sudden downturn in the stock market. While blaming other pressures, the stock market could not face the fact that the bull market had occurred in a time of price control. It clung to its theory that government control had to be to blame, that foreign policy or not allowing margin trading were the culprits.

Parenthetically, perhaps a persisting theme to be gleaned from the first 17 months without FDR, albeit not likely strictly the cause of the downturn in the stock market, is that to be effective as a leader of such a diverse democracy as the United States, especially in the early stages of mass communication media at a time when much of the nation was still illiterate or functionally so, one had to be perceived as both a dynamic leader, articulate and worthy of the role, but also possessed of a quality of human understanding and visible human weakness overcome. In the case of FDR, the historical question will always remain as to whether, without his crippling polio, he could, as a New York-bred aristocrat, have ever been perceived as the leader that he was by the average citizen.

While President Truman possessed a folksy quality, he was thus far regarded primarily as the product of a political machine, who, while personally honest, was driven too much by interpersonal loyalties and a willingness to compromise when he could not exert leadership effectively, in the persisting conflicts between labor and management, the struggle between military and civilian interests for control of the country's foreign policy, and the desire, not only by interests within the country but within Great Britain as well, to focus American foreign policy on preventing expansionism by the Soviets and a return to balance-of-power politics, fueling mutual international suspicions in the process and the germination of a new arms race, away from positions being advocated by the President, the "one world" politics of internationalism and sharing of the atomic secret under U.N. supervision at a point when adequate controls could be implemented to assure its use only for peaceful purposes.

In short, President Truman was considered perhaps too much of the people, but not above them, while President Roosevelt had achieved the proper balance.

A letter from a regular writer finds the world preparing for World War III against the hibernating bear of Russia by frightening it into submission, including preventing its stealing of the Iranian oil of the West. It was a pity, he suggests, that the Western animal trainers had failed to attract the bear's good will and now had to use the whip.

A letter expresses the belief that the United States should not engage in forcing its form of government on any other nation, that Russia had a right to practice communism. While noting that he was neither a Communist nor supporter of anyone advocating the overthrow of the American Government, he also believed Americans unfair to Russia, linking Communism with atheism, despite the fact that many atheists in America were law-abiding citizens and not in the least Communists.

Neither Abraham Lincoln nor Thomas Edison, he reminds, had belonged to a church.

He expresses regret that FDR had died when he did, that had he not, the country would likely not be facing the problems it had.

He believes that the country should turn from the notion of defeating Russia and Communism and instead build up the land and insure the rights of everyone to think and believe as they saw fit.

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