The Charlotte News

Tuesday, January 14, 1947


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that oral argument had begun this date in the case of the contempt citation convictions against John L. Lewis and the UMW. The Government contended that because it had the right to act to seize the coal mines pursuant to the Smith-Connally Act of 1943, it had the right to enforce its contracts and maintain them against strikes counter to the national interest. The union and Mr. Lewis argued that the Norris-La Guardia Act of 1932 prevented any form of injunction against a strike. The Government argued that the latter Act did not apply to the Government.

According to House Minority Leader Sam Rayburn, President Truman intended to call periodic bi-partisan conferences, including Republican Congressional leaders, during the 80th Congress.

A closed-door meeting between Civil Aeronautics Board members and the Senate Commerce Committee began investigations into the large number of air crashes which had been occurring during the previous year, causing the public to lose confidence in air safety. It was the first year of extended civilian passenger service.

The House Ways & Means Committee was reported to have reached agreement to leave intact indefinitely wartime excise taxes on liquor, furs, jewelry, and other luxury items. The taxes brought in about 1.5 billion dollars in annual revenue during the war.

In Hanoi, new fighting broke out as Vietnamese Nationalists attacked French posts in the surrounding Chinese quarter and shelled scattered sections of the city. The attacks were carried out by the Tu Ve, the armed youth, apparently designed to test the strength of the French positions.

Socialist Vincent Auriol was elected president of France's National Assembly this date. A coalition with the Communists had helped obtain the majority.

The North Carolina Senate defeated the House bill setting teacher salaries 25-30 percent higher, leaving the Governor's proposal for twenty percent increases intact. The measures would now proceed to conference for reconciliation.

The State Advisory Budget Commission delivered its biennial report to the General Assembly, calling for the largest spending program in the state's history, 303 million dollars.

In Atlanta, a joint meeting of the Georgia Legislature, called to elect a successor to the deceased Governor-elect Eugene Talmadge, turned into chaos and had to be adjourned. The problem was a lack of seats for the members.

They would decide whether Herman Talmadge, son of the Governor, or Lt. Governor M. E. Thompson, would be the successor. The younger Talmadge had polled 700 write-in votes in the election, by virtue of which he claimed the right to succeed his father, who had run unopposed in the general election. The Lieutenant Governor contended that the order of succession was determined by the State Constitution.

Also in Atlanta, 67 suits had been filed for wrongful death in the case of the Winecoff Hotel fire of December 7, 1946, taking 119 lives. The total amount claimed in the suits exceeded three million dollars.

In Pittsburgh, CIO steel workers, 720,000 strong, gave 30-days notice of a strike.

In Los Angeles, former state CIO president Philip Connelly began a 60-day jail term imposed pursuant to convictions for inciting to riot and failure to obey a court order to limit picketing, in conjunction with the riots a year earlier at United Motors Co. Mr. Connelly had elected not to appeal the decision because the union needed the $10,000 it would cost to take the appeal.

In London, dock workers, totaling 24,000, voted to walk off the job in support of the lorry drivers strike, already involving 30,000 workers, most of them in sympathy strikes. For the second day in a row, 2,000 soldiers delivered food to London and other major cities. Food in limited quantities thus began reappearing in London shops.

Scotland Yard reported that fur stealing had become popular, with the thieves intermingling with high society to obtain knowledge of the furs and their owners. A $4,000 fur had been stolen from Lady Newborough's Upper Berkeley Street residence, and the Yard was hard on the trail of the miscreant.

In Taunton, Mass., the former Mayor, who had been sentenced to three months in jail the previous November on lewd and lascivious conduct charges after admitting he was the father of a three-year old daughter of a woman who had posed as his wife, was running for the position again.

In Memphis, 21-year old Hilma Seay was crowned the 1947 Maid of Cotton. She would tour the country and visit Paris to model American cotton dress styles. Her father was an executive of a well drilling and pumping firm.

In New Kensington, Pa., a thirteen-year old girl, blonde and blue-eyed, married her twenty-year old baby sitter, a handsome glass worker. He had been hired to mind the girl while her mother worked as a charwoman, that of which she was char not being reported.

The mother sanctioned the marriage but did not want her daughter to leave home. As a result, the new groom departed. The bride then filed desertion papers in court. The judge determined that if the girl was old enough to marry, she ought be old enough to leave home. The mother agreed, and the case was dismissed.

The girl had dropped her eighth grade classes and was studying instead domestic choredom, the whole of it, while her husband worked at glass.

On the editorial page, "Everybody Talks about the Economy" speculates on where the Republicans might cut the budget to achieve the necessary approximate reduction of 8.5 percent, should the income tax be reduced by 20 percent. The largest part of the budget was for military expenditures, 34.6 percent. The only other two sizeable parts of the budget were the 17.6 percent for Federal appropriations for veterans, and 15 percent for international loans and relief.

Most members would be loath to make reductions in any of these three categories.

The old New Deal measures did not add up to much appropriation, 3.8 percent of the budget for health, education, and welfare, 1.3 percent for housing and community facilities, and 2.6 percent for aid to agriculture. Even if all of it were eliminated, the budget would remain out of balance by about one percent.

It would thus not be easy to grant a twenty percent tax reduction and also balance the budget, that which the Republicans were touting as centerpieces of their economic program. Former chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee, Robert Doughton of North Carolina, had stated that he wanted to see how it was going to be done.

"The High Road and the Low Road" tells of the Board of Temperance of the Methodist Church being somewhat more tolerant than many of its fellow prohibitionist organizations. In its official publication, "The Voice", Dr. Earl Ziegler, dean of the Presbyterian College of Christian Education, criticized the prohibition movement for undertaking a crusade based largely on unreliable propaganda.

He did not place reliance on legal prohibition to eliminate alcoholism. He recognized alcoholism as a major problem in the country, but saw it as a human problem, replete with a variety, therefore, of manifestations.

"Minor Crusade for a Rainy Day" tells of a businessman in Chicago waging a campaign to shorten the salutation "Dear Sir" to a simple "Sir", to eliminate undue familiarity.

The piece thinks the traditional term no more out of place than the adjectives applied to advertise and promote products, thus ought remain as a standard part of business correspondence. Unless, that is, the desire would be to go the whole route and tell the reader exactly the perceived worth of the recipient, such as in Texas Guinan's salutation: "Hello, Sucker".

We note, judging by our prior review of correspondence addressed to W. J. Cash in 1941, congratulating him on his book, that the salutation, "My dear ____" was commonplace in that period, perhaps eliminated during the war. "Sir" or "Madame", however, is much too abrupt and stiff, rather to cause the recipient to think he or she was about to be summoned to court for some purpose. It probably, however, beats "Greetings".

A piece from the Atlanta Journal, titled "Box Cars and the War", tells of the War Assets Administration selling 490 boxcars which might become the home or summer cottage for a former G.I.

The boxcar had held an honored place in the memories of the veterans of World War I for its use as transportation on the Western Front. After the war, one veterans organization adopted the lettering on the side of the cars, "40 et 8", for its name.

Now, the boxcar might, for different reasons, hold an exalted place in the minds of World War II veterans.

Drew Pearson presents his third piece on the background of new Secretary of State George C. Marshall, stressing his experience during the previous year in China as special envoy of the President. He had enjoyed his time in China as it had given him much time to reflect.

When he had been told during the previous summer in conversation with DNC chairman Robert Hannegan and Assistant Secretary of War Stuart Symington that he would become Secretary of State, he told them that he had learned during his time in the Philippines before World War I that the worst civilian rule was better than the best military rule. The tragedy of China, he believed, was its lack of respect for human life. Clothes, food, land, and raw materials all took precedence.

He held only contempt for the Kuomintang, the oligarchy which had kept Chiang in power in the Government. He described it as a loose confederation of war lords, scholars, and financial manipulators and money lenders. "Cumshaw" or "shakedown" was prevalent in the country, a system of bribing officials for the smallest favors.

General Marshall believed that China had to have restoration of civilian rule, an extensive educational program, a national health and welfare program and national sports. He was a great believer in the salutary benefits of competitive sports, instilling a sense of fair play. The country also needed moral emancipation, that it might enter the industrial and modern scientific age.

The General was known for his kind heart and personal attention to individual soldiers during the war.

He also had a "steel-trap" mind, could field twenty questions at a time from newsmen and answer each one without notes.

His first major task would be to attend the Moscow Foreign Ministers Council meeting scheduled for March.

Undersecretary of State Dean Acheson, who had been anxious to resign before the appointment of General Marshall, was now ready to remain for six months, provided he could have a free hand to clear out dead wood in the Department.

Marquis Childs notes receipt of many letters in response to his previous column on the need for CARE packages to go to the hungry of Europe. A German-Jewish refugee told of the 1,550 calorie per day menu for Germans, actually ranging down to 1,250 calories, "the cemetery card" for rationing. Rations were not reaching those who had fought Nazism or the pacifists in the country.

Mr. Childs cautions against allowing a generation in Germany to grow up hungry. The hunger of 1919-20 helped to build the foundations of the Nazi movement. He wonders therefore whether the way was being prepared for another generation of gangsters.

A large number of the CARE packages were going to Germany, but not enough were going to Europe as a whole.

Samuel Grafton discusses the problems inherent in trying to merge civilian and military personnel to control the processes of research and development of new weaponry and atomic energy.

Professor Norbert Wiener of M.I.T. had declared himself no longer available for use to the military and, to that end, had canceled a scheduled talk before the Navy on electronic calculating devices, for fear that the technology would be co-opted for military purposes, in the operation of guided missiles.

It might be worse, posits Mr. Grafton, to have a merger of civilians and military than a straightforward military-controlled program, as the former might have a tendency slowly to inculcate a system of militarization by making it palatable through civilians.

A civilian now headed the Atomic Energy Commission while a military man headed the State Department. The two systems, formerly distinct, were now moving toward integration.

Whether peace could be achieved would determine how the future would be lived and how much would be spent on armaments.

A letter from Alton Bassett asks that the newspaper's new management incorporate into the "People's Platform" more viewpoints which differed from the editorial views of the newspaper. He advocated two forums, one for the people and one for response to editorials.

The editorial staff could append footnotes, such as: "Thanks. Humph. Eds."

He reminds prohibition crusader Inez Flow that one rarely won editorial arguments with a newspaper, unless one owned the newspaper.

The editors reply: "Thanks. Humph. Eds., The News."

A letter writer recommends a conservative approach to State spending of the present budget surplus so that it would not become a deficit.

A letter comments on the January 6 editorial on Senator Bilbo, in which the column suggested the Republican effort to unseat him had been reduced to a partisan fight, despite there being good cause for his ouster from the Senate based on ethical issues, taking money for war contracts.

The writers think it as much a failure of the Democratic leadership to take a stand on the issue.

The writers inquire as to what procedure would be followed in the event Mr. Bilbo was barred ultimately from taking his seat.

The editors explain that the Governor of Mississippi, Fielding Wright, would be empowered to appoint the successor, and Mr. Wright had stated that he would appoint Senator Bilbo, invalidating any irregularity in the election procedure, but not resolving the ethical issues.

Governor Wright, incidentally, in 1948, would be the vice-presidential candidate of the Dixiecrats, running with presidential candidate Strom Thurmond, after the latter walked out of the Democratic Convention in reaction to the strong civil rights plank incorporated in the party platform.

Whether Fielding left the party permanently, however, and if so, in what condition, whether similar to that of his running mate or otherwise, we cannot positively ascertain.

A letter again comes from Lagos, Nigeria, from a person wishing to exchange correspondence and develop a pen pal, to learn of the United States, its stamps, movies, and pen cards.

The previous writer from Lagos, in August, had listed his address as Oreofero Street. This writer provides the address, 12 Bread Fruit Lane. You can write him, too. The fruit of the correspondence is bound to be bountiful.

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