The Charlotte News

Saturday, January 11, 1947


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the UMW and John L. Lewis filed their briefs with the Supreme Court regarding the contempt citation, finding of guilt in December and 3.51 million dollars in fines imposed pursuant thereto, $10,000 personally to Mr. Lewis, for having violated the Federal Court's temporary restraining order directing Mr. Lewis and the union to call off its November 20 declaration that the May 29 contract with the Government was void for breach and that a strike would be called, as it was. The brief contended that the Norris-La Guardia Act of 1931 forbade issuance by the Government of injunctions against strikes. The Government contended that the Smith-Connally Act of 1943, which provided for Government seizure of vitally important industries pursuant to emergency war powers and forbidding strikes against the Government during operation, trumped the Norris-La Guardia Act and made it not applicable to the Government. Oral argument was set for the following Tuesday.

The proposed merger of the Army and Navy into a Department of Common Defense gained momentum with Republicans for its promise to cut the budget, eleven billion of which in the President's proposed budget was allocated to military spending.

Both Democrats and Republicans appeared to be in agreement that 3.5 billion was as much as could be cut from the 37.5 billion proposed by the President. That would require considerable reduction of military funding.

Retail prices were on the way down, including those on eggs, cheese, lard, fresh and canned meats, canned citrus fruits and dried peaches and dried apples. It was predicted by the head of the Institute of Food Distribution that the drop would average ten percent by April.

Pete McKnight of The News reports that two Mecklenburg County Representatives in the State House were seeking to assure that the state's mentally afflicted were not overlooked in the current sesssion of the General Assembly, to insure that the state's mental institutions received adequate appropriations in the face of lobbying efforts from many special interest groups for other purposes. Seven million dollars was necessary, according to one of the Representatives, for a building program in the state's facilities.

The bill to raise teacher pay had been returned to the State Senate by the House after amendment raising the graduated percentages of increase, averaging 30 percent.

The House Committee on Education of the General Assembly was set to determine whether the May 20, 1775 Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence was actual or apocryphal. If the bill passed, it would require the document to be taught in the state's schools and would prohibit use of any book denying its authenticity, or that of the Halifax Resolution. The bill would also require that the State flag and seal, as they presently did, continue to bear the two dates of the documents, the latter being April 12, 1776.

We shall track the progress of this important bill with assiduous diligence. It is a giant step forward in the State's progress and that of the nation, indeed, a boon to mankind generally.

Actor Cary Grant arrived safely in Nogales, Ariz., aboard the private plane of Howard Hughes, the latter piloting, after the plane was reported missing following takeoff from El Paso, Texas, bound ultimately for Mexico City via Guadalajara.

Tom Fesperman of The News tells of Winston Churchill placing a trunk call to the Charlotte Barringer Hotel to a rather excited telephone operator, seeking to speak with his son Randolph, in town because of a scheduled talk in Gastonia this night. The younger Mr. Churchill, however, refused an offer to have his picture taken while speaking with his father, as the latter would disapprove for its lending then the tendency of appearance that others were eavesdropping on the conversation. The picture permitted appears on the page.

His talk, he ascertained from an assistant, would be on "Europe Today", one of two canned speeches—the price of which was set to drop in coming months, inversely ratiocinated in relation to rising supply—, which he gave around the circuit, five lectures and three columns per week since the previous October. He refrained from using notes during the talks. He would drive the next day to Chattanooga and then to Memphis, wanted to know the driving time. He planned to spend March in Texas, a good time, he was told, to see that state, its purlieus and ha'nts.

"But," said Iulius, "I'd rather not there a'tall, lest afirst I'd me Geritol."

Steve Canyon was going to start in The News on Monday. A large drawing of Copper Calhoon attempts to lure readers, along with an article on the subject culled from Time, reporting of cartoonist Milton Caniff surrendering his rights to "Terry and the Pirates" by switching from the McCormick barn at the Chicago Tribune to the Hearst Syndicate, and thus inaugurating his new strip hero.

Save your ink, pal. We simply refuse to partake. That stuff leaves you loopy.

On the editorial page, "The Basic Issue in Education" addresses the biennial message on the budget by the Governor. It takes exception only to Governor Gregg Cherry's recommendations on solving the crisis in education as being too conservative in proposing only a 20 percent increase in teacher salaries. The Assembly had recommended a more realistic increase averaging 30 percent. The North Carolina Education Association had sought increases of overall expenditures averaging 60 percent, too high to be realistic, but also reasonable to achieve the necessary quality education in the state. The latter, however, was not practically within the state's means.

Regardless of amount, a substantial increase was required in teacher pay.

"Life in the Upper Brackets" tells of those taxpayers in the upper brackets, the thousand or so citizens who earned more than $300,000, including Deanna Durbin and Thomas Watson of IBM, the latter being the head of the list at $425,000 annually. As a group, Hollywood led the field. The comedian who sold the product on radio generally earned more than the executive of the company for whom the selling was done.

While it says it did not begrudge the actors and actresses their incomes, it suggests it as evidence that the national values were out of kilter. Abbott and Costello, "a couple of broken down burlesque comics", received $469,170 in 1946 while General George C. Marshall received $15,751.

It concludes that money was not the true measure of worth and that General Marshall would be remembered long after Abbott and Costello.

Unfortunately, we are not so sure of that anymore.

Test the premise on your fifteen-year old, not so astute in history; perhaps the studious fifteen-year old might try it on the fifty-year old not so keen on the subject, but watch the left hook from the latter, should you succeed in proving more ignorance of pop on college prep than pulp pop.

"Oil for the Wheels of Government" reports on a piece in The New York Times Magazine regarding the distillation of bourbon, the drink having become the preference of the country's drinking population. The author had traced the drink through America's leaders, starting with former Vice-President and Speaker of the House John Nance Garner, who regularly tippled and entertained with same, concluding that bourbon oiled the wheels of state.

But according to the Raleigh News & Observer, peanuts were the most popular treat in the North Carolina Legislature, offered up by Speaker Pearsall and received by visitors with delight. Yet, it concludes, peanuts could instill a powerful thirst for drink.

A piece from the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, titled "By Any Other Name....." comments on a manufacturer of juke boxes eschewing the label for its bad connotations and instead labeling them "music vendors" of canned corn. The change of appellation might make the machine more palatable across the bridge table.

The term "juke box" had derived from the sociological guinea pig families, the Jukes and the Kallikaks, the former having been followed generationally for their criminal tendencies, disease and poverty. Sixty percent of those traced showed degeneracy and had cost society an estimated 1.3 million dollars during a period of 75 years.

So, it concludes, it was probably better for the manufacturers of the box not to call attention to the origins of its label and let sleeping dogs lie.

Drew Pearson suggests that the difference in the President's dealing with his new Secretary of State, George Marshall, and the former, James Byrnes, would be that Mr. Truman resented the independence of Mr. Byrnes from the Chief Executive and reliance on diplomacy off the cuff, without providing the White House with reports of future plans. The President had nearly fired Mr. Byrnes when he returned in fall, 1945 from the first Foreign Ministers Council meeting at Moscow at which point the Secretary had held a press conference and announced a radio talk before briefing the President.

The previous February, the President had asked General Marshall to become Secretary, keeping the matter from Secretary Byrnes by sending it through the War Department, until someone there showed the message to Mr. Byrnes some weeks later. Mr. Byrnes then offered his resignation on April 16. General Marshall had indicated his lack of desire at the time to head the State Department and, therefore, Mr. Truman decided to relent, during which period relations between Mr. Byrnes and the President considerably improved.

The President's desire to have the General head State, however, had never changed in the interim. General Marshall possessed a charm which the President admired, had always been candid and never sought to cover up mistakes. He respected the civilian authority of the Commander-in-Chief and had gone out of his way to impress Mr. Truman with all military plans before implementing them. The President also felt sorry for the General when he was cited by the Army Board of Inquiry for some of the blame for unpreparedness at Pearl Harbor and believed that he should have been the overall commander for the Normandy invasion instead of General Eisenhower, Winston Churchill having nixed General Marshall for the role.

When the President sent General Marshall as his personal emissary to China the previous year, he had done so as his friend. The President had related a year earlier that he went to General Marshall early in the war as a Senator and offered his services in the Army, but the General had wisely turned him down.

General Marshall had markedly differed with Winston Churchill over war strategy, reluctantly agreeing to invade Italy, but refusing to go through the Balkans into Yugoslavia and Greece instead of through France, the snow-covered mountains in the former countries posing a death trap and the Aegean and Mediterranean full of enemy submarines. Mr. Churchill had sought to stymie the Russian movement into the Balkans while General Marshall was concerned only with immediate military victory, not future political advantage.

The General had bristled at the Quebec Conference of 1942 in which Mr. Churchill insisted on appointment of Lord Louis Mountbatten as the commander of the forces in the India and Burma theater. The British announced the matter to the press, however, before word could be sent to Chiang, annoying the General and prompting him to charge the British with bad faith on the part of the British Army, confronting the British chief of staff, General Sir Alan Brooke, with the charge.

On Monday, Mr. Pearson would look at General Marshall's background with Russia.

Marquis Childs reviews the Secretary of State's personal staff during the eventful eighteen months of James Byrnes's tenure in the post. His personal team during the time included Donald Russell, with whom he had practiced law in Spartanburg, S.C., Mr. Russell having streamlined the Department and the Foreign Service. Benjamin Cohen had acted as counselor to the Department. Assistant Secretary William Benton had placed a lot of energy into revitalizing the foreign information program.

Undersecretaries Dean Acheson and Will Clayton had proved invaluable, the former having served as Acting Secretary while Mr. Byrnes was away in Paris and New York at the Council of Foreign Ministers meetings, and had more knowledge of running the Department than any previous undersecretary. Mr. Clayton had initiated negotiations for improving world trade relations.

General Marshall, by contrast, had never relied so much on a personal staff during his tenure as chief of staff of the Army, but he had a remarkable capacity for assessing personnel.

Foreigners complained of a lack of continuity in the country's conduct of foreign affairs, Mr. Stetinnius having become Secretary in November, 1944 and remaining only until the following late June before being succeeded by Mr. Byrnes. If the Byrnes team were to be changed, then the progress made in the previous months might be lost. If it stayed intact, then General Marshall could maintain the ground gained.

Samuel Grafton comments on the appointment of General Marshall as further confirmation of the arising of a new center in American political life. The General had just issued his report on return from China which criticized both the Kuomintang of Chiang and the Communists of Mao. But it went beyond the standard criticism of both sides, popular in American political life. It evidenced genuine analysis of the problems, favoring liberals coming to power in the troubled country, condemning feudal reactionaries within the Kuomintang who opposed a coalition government. He believed that Chiang was the only leader available to effect a united China under the new Constitution. He asserted that the Communists had been recalcitrant extremists, falsifying with propaganda the purpose of Americans in China.

There had been members of the Kuomintang never interested in peace, while the previous February, some of the Communists had worked genuinely toward rapprochement. The General rejected the notion, as employed in Greece, that the way to fight the left was to move further right.

Editorialists had already begun to entertain the viewpoint that the answer to unity might lie in the liberals in China. Thus was evidenced the development of the new American center. But it would have to be more open to change than in the former support of restoration of King George in Greece and the Kuomintang in China as exponents of democracy.

Arthur Krock of The New York Times also assesses President Truman's appointment of General Marshall, stating many of the points which Mr. Pearson had expressed.

Ambassador to Brazil George Messersmith had recalled that right after the American gunboat Panay was sunk by the Japanese on the Yangtze River in China in December, 1937, General Marshall had met with Secretary of State Hull and been singularly impressive in the meeting, calling for exercise of statesmanship on the issue. He was regarded as having a thorough understanding of diplomacy and non-military consequences of international actions and crises.

Mr. Truman conceived the President's role to be that prescribed by the Constitution, a policy maker, while the Secretary of State simply implemented that policy. General Marshall would more likely fit well this conception than had Secretary Byrnes.

The President insisted on government by civilians. But General Marshall, the first professional soldier to occupy the position of Secretary of State, was distinct from most high-ranking military men and was not a graduate of West Point. The fact that the Senate had acted immediately and unanimously in confirming the General underscored the high esteem in which he was held for these qualities of diplomacy.

The General faced the problem of getting along with a Republican Congress which had in mind achieving victory in 1948, and so might face political issues which Secretary Byrnes had avoided.

That General Marshall had dealt during the war with both Stalin and Churchill and was respected in both Moscow and London as a man who could not be bluffed or driven, would provide him with an initial formidable stance in assuming the role of Secretary of State.

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