The Charlotte News

Thursday, January 16, 1947


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Herman Talmadge, elected by the Georgia Legislature as Governor, had ordered the National Guard and State Highway Patrolmen to seize the Executive Department at the State Capitol and the Governor's Mansion. State Patrolmen prevented Governor Ellis Arnall from entering both the offices and the mansion. Governor Arnall referred to the seizure as being accomplished by "storm troopers" and that a military coup d'etat had transpired in Georgia.

The four State Patrolmen who blocked Mr. Arnall's entry to the Executive Mansion warned that they would use violence if necessary to prevent his access. He relented, saying, "I fear no man or any four men armed with revolvers, but merely through consideration to you, I shall not persist." He vowed, however, to continue his legal fight to teach them respect for law and order and the Constitution. And he would.

Governor Arnall established an office in the Capitol rotunda. He eschewed any military forces. He tried to re-enter his old office but was actively barred by Talmadge men from doing so. The Talmadge forces had removed the locks from the doors the previous night. Governor Arnall warned all department heads that until the matter of legitimate succession was settled in the courts, they acted at their peril unless accepting instructions from him.

Governor Arnall contended that he had to hold the office for Lieutenant Governor M. E. Thompson, who had legally succeeded Governor-elect Eugene Talmadge upon his death in December prior to taking office.

Ultimately, the Georgia Supreme Court would uphold the position of Governor Arnall and declare Lt. Governor Thompson the appropriate successor until another election could be held in 1948, at which time Herman Talmadge would be elected as Governor.

Secretary of War Robert Patterson stated that he was consulting with Attorney General Tom Clark regarding the matter of whether the National Guard could be used in Georgia by the State Adjutant General. Governor Arnall and Mr. Talmadge each had appointed separate Adjutants General, Mr. Talmadge appointing the Adjutant who had served under Governor Arnall.

In Washington, Senator Harry Cain of Washington State thought that enough bills had already been introduced in the new Congress to keep it busy for the ensuing two years.

The State Senate of North Carolina passed the compromise recommended by the conference committee, raising teacher and State employee salaries by twenty percent. In the House, the measure was still being heavily debated. The House had passed a 25-30 percent graduated increase. The conference recommendation stated that the bill was a temporary measure for the remainder of the current fiscal year only.

Henry Ford II announced a price reduction in Ford automobiles, ranging up to $50 per car, made in response to the President's plea for lower prices to enable higher consumer purchasing power. The President and Congress greeted the news positively, as did the steel industry. There was no indication from G.M., Chrysler, or other automakers whether they would follow suit.

Commodities prices fell on cotton, wheat, butter, and some textiles in response to consumer pressure, refraining from making purchases.

In London, the strike by lorry drivers ended after eleven days. By its end, it included 50,000 workers, most of whom were engaged in sympathy strikes. The lorry drivers' demands for a 44-hour week rather than a 48-hour week, and payment for overtime for shifts exceeding eight hours had been accepted.

Apparently, the demand for two weeks paid vacation per year, whether to Bermuda or the Isle of Wight, was right out.

In Paris, Socialist Vincent Auriol, elected the previous day to head the National Assembly, was elected President of the Fourth Republic, receiving critical support from the Communists.

In London, a world flight speed record was achieved by W. A. Waterton, a former RAF squadron leader, who flew from Paris to London at an average speed of 618.4 miles per hour, covering the 206 miles in twenty minutes. He accomplished the flight in a Gloster Meteor 4-E-549.

On the editorial page, "A Zoning Law at Last" tells of Charlotte getting its first zoning law, which would mean much to the city's residents. They could now erect a house without fear that a pool hall might wind up on the other side of the street.

The setback provision originally in the proposed ordinance, to enable widening of streets to relieve traffic congestion and permit more parking area, was eliminated from the ordinance before passage. That contingency ultimately was going to be necessary, but could be left to a separate ordinance.

"'Sordid Little Political Trick....'" tells of the reported statement issued December 22 by the Southern Association of Commissioners of Agriculture, favoring repeal of reciprocal trade agreements, a report which had triggered a lengthy editorial, turning out to be false. The majority of the commissioners, including North Carolina's Agriculture Commissioner W. Kerr Scott, future Governor and Senator, had stated that the statement was released without their authorization.

Some of the members had not yet repudiated the statement, however, and if it turned out that they were responsible for issuance of the statement, then the Association needed to undergo housecleaning. It recommends to Mr. Scott that it be undertaken or he ought resign.

"The Byrnes Team Is Breaking Up" tells of the assistants of former Secretary of State Byrnes tendering their resignations as he had done, not because of any opposition to new Secretary Marshall, but simply because they desired private sector employment and, in some cases, had been appointed out of personal loyalty to Mr. Byrnes. But the loss of the staff would mean an interruption in the process of reorganization of the Department, badly needed for many years.

It was rumored that Undersecretary of State Dean Acheson had also tendered his resignation, but that the President had talked him into staying for an additional six months.

The piece concludes that it was probably too much to ask of General Marshall, with the other pressing matters to which he had to attend, also to engage in extensive reorganization at State, in the manner that he had effectively reorganized the Army as chief of staff.

A piece from the Shelby Daily Star, titled "The Mecklenburg Declaration", states its full support for the authenticity of the May, 1775 document, purported to be the first declaration of independence within the colonies.

But it asserts that the bill just introduced within the State Legislature to prohibit the teaching of any theory anent the document other than its authenticity was questionable philosophically, as no legal body ought instruct a teacher in the truth.

The role of a teacher was to marshal the evidence and allow the students to deduce their own conclusions.

Truth rarely needed a defense and certainly needed no statute to preserve it. The historical relevance of the Mecklenburg Declaration was not strengthened by placing it on the shoulders of a statute. It might be weakened by the effort.

Drew Pearson discusses the efforts of former Secretary of State James Byrnes at the Paris Peace Conference during the summer to negotiate informally, over small, private dinners, with Soviet Foreign Commissar V. M. Molotov. Mr. Molotov was receiving his instructions from Moscow and remained intractable on the Soviet demand for ten billion dollars in reparations from Germany and for the Ruhr, the industrial heart of Germany. Mr. Byrnes remained equally adamant that Russia could have neither. Mr. Molotov asserted that the reparations issue had been settled at Yalta in February, 1945, but Mr. Byrnes replied that Yalta and Potsdam, in July, 1945, had only left the matter open for discussion, had resolved nothing.

When the two got together in New York the prior November, Mr. Molotov was more flexible on matters.

The Yugoslav delegate, the Vice-Premier of the country, had walked out of the Conference in New York regarding his refusal to accept the determination on Trieste as an internationalized city under the administration by a Security Council-appointed governor. Mr. Byrnes talked to the Vice-Premier and told him that if they could not finalize the Italian treaty, it could wait a year, but there would be no yielding on the Trieste matter. In the meantime, the U.S., he also informed the Vice-Premier, would retain its troops in the city. The Vice-Premier left crestfallen. Mr. Byrnes, posits Mr. Pearson, had once again deftly handled diplomacy.

Marquis Childs urges that the effort of the Congress to pass a new labor bill, providing for a 60-day cooling off period before a strike could be called, and mandatory mediation by a Federal Board during that interim, would effectively end the right of collective bargaining for unions. Some provisions of the new bill, its outlawing of the jurisdictional strike and secondary boycotts, were salutary.

Placing government strictures on collective bargaining, however, was unlike any other Western country and could undo the good obtained by unions in recent years. The old bosses of the unions were slowly passing from the picture from age. He offers that it would be better to allow that system to die away, rather than abruptly seeking to terminate it by law, especially should the law prove, as with Prohibition, unenforceable practically and weighted by an entangled raft of government bureaucracy.

Samuel Grafton discusses the split among conservatives, as much a schism as among liberals, as evidenced by the fight between Northern and Southern conservatives over the seating of Senator Theodore Bilbo.

There was an effort among Republicans to pass a party measure on labor rather than the Taft-sponsored bill, which, it was thought by the conservatives, would lend too much support to the Taft nomination for the presidency in 1948.

Governor Thomas Dewey had told the New York Legislature that a publicly-subsidized housing bill was needed, a strange request coming from the putative leader of a party which believed in private enterprise as the salvation for the housing shortage. Senator Taft, co-sponsor of the Wagner-Ellender-Taft bill for long-term housing, also supported public housing.

The post-election dream of dispensing with the liberal trend in Washington had ended with a confrontation with the realities of life in the country and the need ultimately to obtain votes. During the first week of the 80th Congress, conservatives were more at odds with each other than with liberals.

A letter writer urges that the country needed to achieve cooperation in such areas as labor and management differences to establish itself in the eyes of other nations as a world leader in effecting peace and harmony in the world.

A letter from an old friend of the new publisher of The News, Thomas L. Robinson, informs that Mr. Robinson, when a teenager, was the most polite individual he had known. Originally hailing from Boston, the new publisher had as relatives Charles W. Eliot, president of Harvard from 1869 to 1909, and Rev. Dr. Henry W. Bellows of New York, Mr. Robinson's grandfather, who was one of the founders in 1860 of the Sanitary Commission, out of which had derived the Red Cross.

We thank the amity of the gentleman from Florida for that information. We have a need to know who it is comin' down heya takin' ove' things, maybe bringin' the wrong so't o' pedigree to beya on things, such that theya might be some so't o' doorkey revoolution brought on by it.

A letter finds that the way to raise teacher salaries was to cut corporate taxes to the bone so that corporations would want to locate in the state, and so that teachers would then wish to come to such a prosperous place, at least judging by the advocates of lower income taxes, while also leaving the sales tax as it was. He concludes that the proponents of such a plan really were attempting to undermine progress in the state.

And Senator Soaper again returns to the editorial page, after a five-year absenceŚwith about as much of worth to say as before.

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