The Charlotte News

Wednesday, January 15, 1947


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in Atlanta, Governor Ellis Arnall was claiming to be still the sitting Governor, while Herman Talmadge, son of the deceased Governor-elect Eugene Tamadge, also claimed the office after being elected by the State Legislature to succeed his father. Lieutenant Governor M. E. Thompson also claimed the office pursuant to the Georgia Constitution, having been elected at the same time as Eugene Talmadge. Neither had been sworn in when Mr. Talmadge had died a month earlier. Mr. Arnall contended that he was holding onto the job until Mr. Thompson could be sworn in. Mr. Thompson was initiating a fight in the courts to obtain the office.

Thus, a confrontation developed in which Governor Arnall refused to surrender the physical office to Herman Talmadge. Governor Arnall formerly swore in a new Adjutant General as head of the State Guard, after Mr. Talmadge had sworn in the former Adjutant General who had served under Governor Arnall.

Governor Arnall phoned Secretary of War Robert Patterson and requested recognition of his Adjutant. Apparently, Mr. Patterson had provided his assent. After learning of the call, however, Mr. Talmadge's Adjutant told his assistants to block all communications to Governor Arnall.

The State Guard, the piece notes, had been set up during the war in lieu of the National Guard, and continued until demobilization of the National Guard from wartime emergency service.

Governor Arnall described Mr. Talmadge as a "pretender" whom he would not recognize as anyone other than a private citizen visiting the Governor's office. Meanwhile, Mr. Talmadge swore in his lieutenants.

Both men called on the assistance of the National Guard to avoid violence, although Mr. Talmadge claimed that he had ordered the National Guard to protect Governor Arnall the previous night as he exited the Capitol amid jeers from Talmadge supporters.

Mr. Talmadge had been elected by the Legislature at 2:00 a.m., and immediately went to the Capitol to set up his offices. He confronted Governor Arnall, who stated his awareness of that election, but also stated that the Legislature had no constitutional authority to elect a Governor. He thereupon refused surrender of the office.

Mr. Talmadge posited his claim on the provision of the State Constitution which permitted the Legislature to elect a Governor if no person achieved a majority vote in the general election—not the case, as his father had run unopposed and thus won overwhelmingly over write-in candidates, which included 700 votes for Herman Talmadge. But Herman claimed that the death of his father prior to taking the oath of office invalidated the elder's majority, leaving him as runner-up, and requiring the legislative election.

The two men now occupied separate offices, twenty yards apart.

They might have first sought to dig up the remains of the senior Talmadge to determine whether an overly zealous Talmadge supporter might have hastened his demise.

President Truman was set to hold the next day his first bi-partisan conference of the "Big Six" leadership in Congress, including four Republicans, Senators Wallace White and Arthur Vandenberg and Representatives Joe Martin and Charles Halleck, and two Democrats, Senator Alben Barkley and Congressman Sam Rayburn.

Senator Robert Taft of Ohio announced that the Senate Labor Committee would begin comprehensive hearings on all labor proposals, starting January 23.

Representative Vito Marcantonio of New York, a member of the American Labor Party and a Democrat, was ignored by both parties in handing out committee assignments. The Democrats contended that it was the responsibility traditionally of the majority party to determine committee assignments for third party members. The Republicans, however, contended that Mr. Marcantonio was also a Democrat and thus should be considered, for purposes of assignment, a member of the minority, and so given his assignment by the Democrats.

The conference committee of the North Carolina General Assembly, set to try to reconcile the House and Senate bills providing for a raise in teacher and State employee pay, the House version establishing 25-30 percent graduated increases inversely proportional to present pay, and the Senate version, a twenty percent flat increase. The committee appeared initially to favor the Senate version of the bill.

The British Foreign Office challenged a Soviet claim to the Arctic island of Medvezhi in the strategic Spitsbergen Archipelago, indicating that Russia was bound by the 1920 demilitarization treaty governing the islands, making it Norwegian territory. Russia claimed through Tass that it was not bound by the treaty as its signatories included the Axis nations of Japan and Italy. The British spokesman stated that the position did not obtain as many treaties, such as the Hague Convention and the Montreux Convention, had been signed by former enemies without that being raised as objection to their continuing validity.

In Detroit, young girls of the Liberty School in Highland Park were told to don their swim suits before entering the school swimming pool, after mothers complained that their daughters were swimming there in the nude as part of their normal physical education. The 150 girls at the school ranged in age from 9 to 13.

The superintendent who issued the order stated that nude bathing of 200 other girls at two elementary schools would continue.

The boys at the schools also swam in the nude, but the girls swam separately in the nude.

One mother of a thirteen year-old thought nude bathing would lower the girls' morals and saw no purpose in it. Another had forbidden her daughter from swimming in the nude, as it connoted membership in a nudist colony. The freedom could lead to any number of things.

The nude activity had been approved six weeks earlier to provide the girls more time to swim, without having to change into and out of swimming outfits before and after their swimming. But the superintendent was altering the policy at the Liberty School in deference to the mothers who did not want their daughters swimming in the nude.

The only female member of the Board of Education expressed the belief that the entire matter was out of place and that it only served to call undue attention to the girls' nudity, making them self-conscious.

As a bonus, the inside page is available this date, with a further report from Pete McKnight on Charlotte's parking issues. Tom Fesperman reports of a troubled usher late for a Catholic wedding.

On the editorial page, "The Governor Lays It on the Line" clarifies that, while Governor Gregg Cherry initially had proposed the twenty percent salary increase for teachers and State employees as only a temporary measure, he had now issued a statement that it should be the law for the ensuing two years. He was opposing adamantly the House proposal for a higher increase, as being an undue burden on the budget, also having to pay the bill for unprecedented highway improvements and other worthy projects.

The Governor, it thinks, had done the Legislature a service by explaining the budgetary constraints, absent Federal aid for education, and taking his stand on the issue.

"The Anonymous 'Fact-Finders'" comments on a group of anonymous doctors who would weigh in on the proposed establishment of a medical school at the University in Chapel Hill. There had been little public opposition among physicians, but plenty of sub rosa criticism of the plan. This process thus allowed for expression of that sentiment.

While The News had favored locating the school in Charlotte, not within twelve miles of the Duke Hospital and medical school, the decision had been formally and adequately considered and determined, and reopening it now would only serve to give voice to opponents of the Good Health plan, opposed to creating any new facility.

Nor was there any reason for the survey to be conducted anonymously, as if conducting an election for Kleagle of the Klan.

"It Pays to Be Masculine" states that while the new amendment to the State Constitution provided equality for women in terms of jury service, there remained inequity between the sexes in pay to State employees. The only female department head in the state, the Commissioner of Public Welfare, Dr. Ellen Winston, received $5,500 per year, compared to her male counterparts, earning $6,000 to $6,600. Despite her request for $6,600, the Advisory Budget Commission recommended that her salary remain the same, despite absence of any criticism of Dr. Winston's performance and the fact that she was one of the few department heads holding a doctorate.

The piece thinks it grossly unfair.

A piece from the Stanly News & Press, titled "Women on the Jury", comments on the new amendment to the North Carolina Constitution providing that women could serve on juries. It suggests that women defendants would fair less well in the criminal justice system with women on juries, generally less sympathetic than men to members of their own sex. The notion applied also to women witnesses bringing charges, civil or criminal.

It posits that the presence of women would therefore have an ameliorative impact on the justice sytem, as many women witnesses had in the past gotten away with bringing false charges against males. It would bring some level of wholesomeness to the process, greatly needed in the courts.

Drew Pearson explains why the announcement by Secretary of State James Byrnes that he was resigning came on January 6, rather than, as planned, on January 10. Newsmen had learned of the story and called Mr. Byrnes to inquire. He then went to the White Hosue and stated that he would go ahead and tender the resignation, in the works for several months.

The President had told Admiral Leahy, his personal chief of staff, Charles Ross, White House press secretary, and Bill Hassett of the impending resignation. Mr. Pearson observes that when three people in Washington knew of a story, it was no longer a secret.

Philip Murray, head of the CIO, stated privately his support of President Truman's proposed legislation to eliminate jurisdictional strikes and secondary boycotts, as well as other proposals. CIO had little trouble with jurisdictional strikes, that is a contest between competing unions for representation of a given group of employees, even if considerable problems had erupted between AFL and CIO unions in the area. William Green, head of the AFL, agreed to consider having a joint AFL-CIO committee to eliminate such disputes.

Senator Charles Tobey of New Hampshire had suggested to Senator Arthur Vandenberg of Michigan, the new president pro tempore of the Senate, that, given his expressed belief in democratic principles, he should share his limousine, perquisite of the job, with each of the other 50 Republican Senators, one week per Senator, leaving it, in deference to his position, for two weeks at the disposal of Senator Vandenberg. Somebody then changed the subject.

He next tells of how the back-room arrangements were made for Senator Bilbo to take a trip back to Mississippi, delaying action of the Senate on his ouster for 60 days. The Senator had gone to Senator Clyde Hoey of North Carolina and asked that a deal be constructed to enable him to continue to draw his pay that he might be able to afford another operation on his mouth—which turned out to be cancerous, and from which he would die the ensuing August. He told Senator Hoey that he was flat broke and could not even afford the transportation back to Mississippi otherwise. (His picture in Life, in which he appeared in a "food-stained" suit, appears to corroborate the claim. Or was it cleverly arranged stagecraft by the career craftster? It seems he could have sold the island and dream house which his grafting had enabled him to acquire by "gift" from war contractors.)

In any event, Senator Hoey talked with Senator Alben Barkley, the Democratic Minority Leader, and then Senator Barkley arranged a conference with the Republican leadership, Senator Robert Taft of Ohio, Senator Wallace White of Maine, and Senator Eugene Millikin of Colorado. Only the latter opposed the deal, wanted Senator Bilbo formally ousted from the Senate. But when it was pointed out that it would tie up the body's initial business for thirty days to get by a filibuster of the effort, he relented and consented to the arrangement. Thus, Mr. Bilbo went home, ultimately to die.

Marquis Childs discusses the paradoxical American approach to control of nuclear technology and the atom bomb, on the one hand desiring control with inspection while on the other, demonstrating a tendency to want to protect the secret at all costs, never minding that eventually, other nations would be able to acquire the technology. The longer America waited to implement control with inspection, the more dangerous the world became, as the "secret" became less valuable. The bomb was not truly wrapped up in brown paper spotted with sealing wax.

The resignation of Bernard Baruch from the U.N. Atomic Energy Commission had prompted many to suggest that it was "appeasement" to give away the "secret". Yet, no responsible American would trek very far from the Baruch position, seeking control with verification and destruction of all atomic bombs eventually, after safeguards for inspection were in place.

Senator Styles Bridges of New Hampshire had stated a need to inquire of the safeguards surrounding the "secret". A Senate committee, either the Commerce Committee or the nine Senators of the Joint Senate-House Atomic Energy Committee, would look into the fitness of the five men of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, appointed by the President while Congress was in recess.

Powerful patent interests wanted to amend the bill which had created the Commission, to eliminate the provision requiring open sharing of atomic patents subject to certain safeguards.

Senator Arthur Vandenberg of Michigan had contributed measurably to the bill and would be in a position, as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, to defend it.

Mr. Childs thinks it a dangerous delusion to think that the United States could profit from delay in mandating control of atomic weaponry while sharing atomic technology. The delay only encouraged competitor nations to engage in an arms race to develop their own bomb in defense, in fear of American right-wing nationalists.

Harold Ickes begins with a quote from former cowboy singer Senator Glen Taylor of Idaho, from an address on the Senate floor, June 26, 1946, in which he stated, in reference to Senator Bilbo, that a U.P. report had ascribed to the Senator a statement that his supporters ought use "any means" to prevent blacks from voting in the Senate primary. Senator Taylor had urged immediate investigation by the Committee on Privileges and Elections.

On July 1, on the eve of the Mississippi primary, Senator Taylor had stated that the matter tested the sincerity of the Senate, urging immediate investigation of the crimes suggested by Senator Bilbo's exhortation to prohibit voting.

He had, on January 3, 1947, given Mr. Bilbo's continuing profligate skein of spewing race hatred abroad the land, stated that it was the Senate on trial in the Bilbo case. Mr. Bilbo, said Senator Taylor, offered the poor white only a vague sense of superiority to blacks, rather than nourishment, education, and decent housing, the same sort of savage ideal which Hitler had offered depressed Germans, Aryan superiority.

Mr. Ickes quotes his own column of July 17, in which he had stated that action on the Bilbo matter tested the integrity of the Senate. He again urged on October 16 that Senator Bilbo be denied his seat should the charges prove true regarding voter fraud.

Mr. Ickes concludes that Senator Taylor's January 3 speech was a great one which should ring for a long time in the ears of the nation. Mr. Taylor, and some Democrats who had assisted his effort, had proved the Democratic exception in lambasting Senator Bilbo. His removal from the Senate, for all intents and purposes, had not therefore been the exclusive province of Republican activity. The Republicans who led the effort had demonstrated superior public morals to the twenty or so Southern Democrats who had started a filibuster in support of Senator Bilbo, based on state's rights, the right of Mississippi to elect whomever it wanted as its representative—provided, of course, it followed the Federal Constitution which created that Senate in the first instance, and which provides expressly for the right of all citizens to vote.

Mr. Ickes overlooks, however, the painfully obvious fact that Senator Bilbo, and many Southerners, some well-educated, of his day, could not read the English language or gather its import and obvious logical implications, instead engaging in childish word games to try to make the language, itself, seem an ass.

A letter writer opposes compulsory arbitration of labor disputes, and encloses a letter sent to Josephus Daniels of the Raleigh News & Observer, whom he describes as an advocate of compulsory arbitration, setting forth the argument against it, favoring instead voluntary mediation and arbitration as the path to good labor-management relations.

A letter writer expresses his adulation for The News as unselfish, unbiased and philosophically-minded.

The editors respond: "Thanks—from the whole, blushing bunch."

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