Monday, September 9, 1946

The Charlotte News

Monday, September 9, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that near Terre Haute, Ind., the three-year old girl kidnaped Thursday by her maid, recently employed in the family home in Kansas City, was found unharmed on a farm where the maid had left her with a family. The 19-year old maid was tracked down and arrested at a home where she had obtained employment in Terre Haute. The woman, who had been employed under an assumed name, said that she wanted the child as her own and so took her and hitchhiked to Terre Haute. She was arrested on a charge of kidnaping.

The case thus paralleled exactly the case of the kidnaped four-year old girl in Charlotte, taken from the family home by her maid at the end of February, also found unharmed through an alert individual who had employed the maid in Annapolis, Md.

In Jerusalem, a British information officer announced that the Palestine railway had been severed with explosives in 50 places, disrupting the flow of oil to the port at Haifa, and two persons had been killed in violence responsive to the beginning of the British-Arab conference in London. It was thought the violence was planned by either the Irgun organization or Hagana.

In Buffalo, Admiral William Halsey told a press conference that he thought the Hiroshima bomb had been a mistake, that it was unnecessary to win the war and should not have been revealed to the world. He stated that the scientists had the "toy", wanted to experiment with it and so dropped it. He said that the Japanese Navy was nearly out of commission at the time from the fleet-based American air power and that the Japanese had put out peace feelers through the Russians long before the dropping of the bomb.

The statement, however, ignored the fact that these peace feelers did not include unconditional surrender or acceptance of occupation, and, if accepted, would have enabled Japan simply to withdraw and rebuild its military strength to wage another war. At the time, President Truman was being told by his key military advisers that there would be no way to win the war without a land invasion of Japan, and, indeed, the Japanese military had declared in July, 1945 that they would fight, if necessary, to the last person standing to defend the homeland, and had urged the citizenry to do so on behalf of the Emperor to whom they owed allegiance as a deity. Such an invasion, it was predicted, would cost a minimum of 100,000 American lives, not to mention the continuing deaths of Japanese during the preparatory bombing raids for what was planned as a November invasion.

Thus, for all his accomplishments as an Admiral during the war, this off-hand statement was both reckless and silly Monday-morning quarterbacking, appearing as an opportunistic jab from the military at President Truman.

In Paris, the Foreign Ministers Council asked the U.N. to postpone for thirty days, until October 23, its scheduled General Assembly meeting to accommodate delays in the Peace Conference.

The National Maritime Union reaffirmed its support for the maritime strike, entering its fifth day with half a million seamen off the job and traffic in every port in the country stranded. The Wage Stabilization Board was preparing to meet the next day to reconsider its position forbidding a raise above $17.50 per month as inflationary, the basis for the dispute. The strike was affecting also other transportation, causing 5,000 loaded freight cars to be idle.

A smaller than anticipated cotton crop was forecasted by the Agriculture Department, resulting in prices per bale dropping $1.75 to $2.40 in New Orleans.

Harold Ickes discusses cattle raising and grazing in the West. The Taylor Grazing Act of 1933 set up the Grazing Service to maintain the range. But Senator Pat McCarran of Nevada, in his effort to give cattle barons fee simple interest to public lands, had been responsible for legislation counteracting it which now made the small cattle raiser again subject to being driven out by the greedy cattle baron. Senator McCarran had managed, with the help of Congressman Jed Johnson of Oklahoma, to cut the appropriations to the Grazing Service by 60 percent, leaving it without personnel to police the range to prevent overgrazing, the practice which had turned the public lands of the West to a dustbowl in 1934. Nevertheless, the cattlemen had collected among themselves $100,000 to support the Grazing Service.

The cattlemen hoped to take advantage of high cattle prices and graze the public lands, but when the range would be depleted, the cattlemen would then seek the aid of the Government to restore it.

Another bill which had passed the Senate would direct the Department of Agriculture to provide holders of grazing permits permanent rights in the lands of the National Forests. It had been defeated, however, by the House Committee on Agriculture. Mr. Ickes concludes by predicting that Senator McCarran would be trying again to support the interests of the cattle barons when Congress reconvened in January.

In Fayetteville, N.C., in the case of Wall C. Ewing, accused of murdering his wife after a sliding board romance with her sister, the judge permitted defense surrebuttal testimony, in which a defense psychiatrist testified that Mr. Ewing drank so much that he was incapable of planning and executing the crime of murder, that in August, 1945, the doctor had treated Mr. Ewing in a sanatorium in Richmond, Va., for delirium tremens, a condition in which he saw snakes, buzzards and insects in his room after he had sobered up. Other witnesses had testified that Mr. Ewing drank between one and three quarts of whisky per day.

Question arises, however, as to how he got on that sliding board.

In Chicago, a new chemical process was announced for providing permanent curls for women's hair, breaking down the sulphur links at just the right time to do the job.

In Santa Monica, California, actor Ronald Colman remained seriously ill from a head injury suffered three days earlier. Thought to be in grave danger with a temperature of 105 on Friday, he now appeared to be recovering.

In Stockton, California, the Mexican Tipica Orchestra left the San Joaquin County Fair voluntarily and headed for home after pickets from the American Federation of Musicians protested their appearance during the nationwide AFM strike.

On the editorial page, "Has Charlotte Cheated Herself?" reports that a straw vote conducted by the Planning Board had found that suburban residents to be affected by the planned annexation by Charlotte were about even in their support or opposition to the plan. Those opposed did so on the understandable ground that their taxes would be raised without direct benefits from the annexation which they did not already enjoy.

But the city's residents had a right to want to incorporate those communities which fed off the city but did not pay the taxes. If permitted unrestricted growth, the communities would lower the standards of Charlotte.

The city had been cheating itself for many years by selling water and sewer facilities and fire protection services to suburbs not within the city, thus discouraging incorporation. The editorial favors that the city extend such services in the future only upon assent to annexation.

"Anson County Honors a Man and an Idea" discusses Dr. Hugh Bennett of Wadesboro, chief of the U.S. Soil Conservation Service, being honored in his hometown and deservedly so.

Through terracing, strip planting and other measures, soil erosion had been arrested through the work of the Service. It had kept many farmers from losing their land. The agency had paid for itself many times over.

There remained much to be done in the area of soil conservation and the honors given Dr. Bennett by Anson County would encourage the work to continue.

"The Controversy's Out of Bounds" comments on a controversy, addressed the previous week by a letter writer, surrounding the Park & Recreation Department issuing free passes to high school football games in the city. The City Council had asked for the resignation of the director of the Park Commission.

The piece views the controversy as a tempest in a teapot and suggests that cooler heads prevail, that the director had performed good service for the city, that spending on the parks had more than doubled during his tenure while funding of the department from taxation had remained nearly stagnant.

While the Council might overrule the director, it should not seek his resignation over such a minor matter.

A piece from The Christian Science Monitor, titled "Liberalism: What Is It?" indicates that war redefined class structures and brought people into contact with others of classes with whom they had previously not had contact. In the process of the new relationships came a trend toward extremism on the right or left, but the day could be saved by those who neither feared change nor worshipped it, who understood it and sought to guide it to constructive ends.

While such people were called liberals, the classification wanted of precise definition. The New Republic had recently asked nine public figures to define the term and their replies showed that it could not be defined. One person had said that liberalism was an attitude more than a doctrine, and that, opines the piece, appeared about accurate.

For an attempt by W. J. Cash to define the term eight years earlier, before the war and death of Franklin Roosevelt, before the end of the New Deal, or at least its gradual erosion and alteration by a recalcitrant, even reactionary, Congress, see "Now, What Is a Liberal?"

Drew Pearson, back from vacation, writes a message to the Paris Peace Conference, tells the delegates that they had been sent to secure the peace but were doing little to avoid a world catastrophe. France had lost its younger generation and could not stand another war, as neither could civilization.

Those who had been allies in war were becoming distrustful strangers again in peace. There were always grand designs for peace following a war, but none had ever worked in the past. Peace could not be achieved solely through treaties, but had to come from a new spirit of cooperation and friendship. There could be no such necessary mutual understanding when peoples were separated from one another.

Some of the confreres, he continues, appeared devoted to the maxim of Hegel: "Men learn nothing from history except that men learn nothing from history." They seemed more concerned about making procedural points than making peace.

It appeared now that the nations were forming partnerships which would culminate in another war, one which would end civilization. He charges the men at Paris of being just as guilty as the men on trial at Nuremberg for thwarting the peace.

"Unless we fix their guilt now, the Palace of Luxembourg will bear a stone tablet reading: 'This Marks the Spot Where World War III Began.'"

Douglas Larsen comments on a report by the Department of Agriculture's Sherman E. Johnson, tilted "Changes in Farming in War and Peace", recommending that the farmer, once the world food crisis had passed, should begin working shorter hours and devoting his leisure time to other pursuits. Mechanization on the farm, increased during the war, would lead to this result, enabling greater production even with a manpower shortage. Tractors on the farm had numbered 250,000 during the Twenties and now numbered more than two million. That plus better fertilizer and improved crop varieties had brought about a revolution in farming.

The farmer could now afford to work a shorter week while producing all the food he could sell.

The Department was concerned, however, that land speculation would take place and farmers would buy more to produce more and at above market prices, thus causing the farmer to have to work harder to make a profit. At first, it might pay off, but as production would grow, prices would fall and thus the effort would become self-defeating.

The farmer, the report had advised, should remain content with the size of his farm and use his extra income to purchase consumer goods and better machinery, not more land, at least until there was clearly greater demand for the food being produced.

Samuel Grafton says that he knew he was back in New York after a 100-day absence when he was stopped on the street by a woman whom he did not know, saying that her eyes were much worse and seeking directions to the hospital on 57th Street.

In another instance, a man ahead of him at a newsstand was purchasing a paper, put down a nickel and refused the change, as he said he never carried pennies.

A friend had illegally parked his large car on the street in front of a cop, who then stood in front of the car as he began to write a ticket. The cop approached the friend and he told the cop that he knew it was illegal but that he did it anyway. The cop tore up the ticket and said that the man had "very good diction".

He says that he understood now why so many people from other places hated New York: it was its acceptance of itself, the fact that it did not mind the strangeness of the city. The outside rabble rouser disliked the place because it accepted him. He could not therefore conquer the town as he could elsewhere.

"I have been where men are very worried about the state of the world, yet talk little; and I am back in the wise and witty city, which has seen too many deaths in its doorways to be easily panicked, and where men talk more, but quiver less. Somewhere in the streets of my town, there walks a man who never carries pennies, and no one cares, and I am home."

A letter from C. B. Deane, Democratic nominee for Congress from the Eighth District of North Carolina, whose finding of justification in the one-party system had attracted response in an editorial of August 29, supplies excerpts from a speech he had given before a machinists local union in Hamlet, N.C. In it, he refers to a post-Labor Day News editorial which remarked on the language of Labor having become presently defensive rather than assertive as in the past, that all of Labor's goals had been met and now it sought primarily to preserve the gains.

Just sixteen years earlier, he notes, the working man would have thought it unlikely that law would protect his right of collective bargaining and to hold union elections.

He advocates, as had the editorial, finding union leadership which would attract public support and recommends that no long-term debt be undertaken by workers, that they should welcome input from absentee management but also do their own thinking and develop a local leadership which would be felt in Washington, such that the inevitable changes to come from the next Congress could be accepted.


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