The Charlotte News

Friday, January 17, 1947


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Herman Talmadge had seized complete control of the Georgia State Capitol and had forced Governor Ellis Arnall into a downtown office building, from which he vowed to carry on his crusade to preserve the Governor's office for Lieutenant Governor M. E. Thompson, elected in November, and thus, by the State Constitution, in line to succeed the deceased Eugene Talmadge who died before taking office after being elected Governor. His son Herman claimed that the majority received by his father in the election was invalidated by the death before taking the oath of office, leaving it to the Legislature to decide the successor. The Legislature had elected Herman Talmadge, the runner-up in the uncontested election with 675 write-in votes.

The Talmadge forces had seized the Capitol Rotunda desk from whch Mr. Arnall had sought to conduct business. When Mr. Arnall had been confronted by the Talmadge man, State Representative Jimmie Dykes, he was told: "Ellis Arnall, you remind me of a hog. You got your head in the trough and you just can't stop." Mr. Dykes, a hefty former football player, challenged Mr. Arnall or anyone else to a fight if they disagreed with his stance. He had no takers.

Every football player knows, however, smart guy, that the bigger and fatter around the head they come, the harder they fall, usually, as little cry babies when they get a little, bitty bruise. "Oh, mommy, mommy, mommy, he had the audacity to hurt me. Help! Call the po-lice..."

It's easy to talk big, fat boy, when you have the State Highway Patrol on your side.

Mr. Arnall addressed the people via a radio microphone, saying he had been denied access to the Capitol and would retreat to the Candler Building, reiterating an earlier statement that a coup d'etat by military force had transpired in the state. A crowd outside the Capitol interrupted the speech several times with cheers and applause.

News Associate Editor Harry Ashmore provides a special report from Atlanta, titled "Red-Necked Boys Take Over Georgia", in which he agrees with Herman Talmadge that it was ridiculous to have two men claiming to be Governor of the state. Many Georgians were laughing at the circus, one lawyer addressing all of his friends by the title, "Governor".

A large photo on the front page of the Atlanta Journal showed Fiddlin' John Carson playing "Oh Sally Goodlin" in the State Capitol lobby while a wool-hatted State Senator danced a jig beside him.

A taxi driver told Mr. Ashmore that it did not matter much how the dispute came out, as all the politicians were only after the dough, and the people would lose regardless of how the show would go.

Other Georgians did not consider the spectacle at all funny and were taking seriously the legal challenge posed by Lieutenant Governor M. E. Thompson.

There was a danger of violence as Herman Talmadge's call to all of his friends in Georgia had brought out hundreds of rednecks from the hills to the State Capitol to protect the rights of their man. Some wore wool hats which looked to be from the era of Tom Watson. Many wore faded overalls. On Tuesday, they had taken over the gallery of the House and maintained a steady vigil for sixteen hours as the Legislature voted for the successor to Eugene Talmadge.

The Army and Navy, led, respectively, by General Eisenhower and Admiral Chester Nimitz, declared their wholehearted support for the President's plan of consolidation of the Army and Navy, under the administration of one Cabinet officer, with additional non-Cabinet secretaries for each of the two branches. Both Secretary of War Robert Patterson and Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal, to become the first Secretary of Defense, agreed also to the plan.

The color red had been restored to the Army and Navy insignias, after being banned during the war for its sometimes being mistaken for the Japanese meatball, sign of the rising sun.

In Nuremberg, Admiral Karl Doenitz, serving ten years for war crimes, told an interrogator that a U-boat attack in October, 1939, west of the Orkney Islands, had hit the 33,000-ton British battleship H.M.S. Nelson, carrying at the time Winston Churchill, not yet Prime Minister. The three torpedoes which hit the ship, however, failed to explode, a common experience, said Admiral Doenitz, at the start of the war. The Admiral stated that German intelligence had confirmed the presence of Mr. Churchill on the ship at the time.

The British Admiralty reported that Mr. Churchill had been onboard the Nelson in November, 1939, but there had been no record of any torpedo attack or unexploded torpedoes hitting the ship at the time. It had been mined during that month, but Mr. Churchill had not been aboard at the time.

In New York, an 18-year old male, a student at Pratt Institute and resident of a nearby rooming house, had been beaten to death, the word "Nazi" and a swastika carved on his chest, and then left on a Brooklyn street, clad only in pajamas.

An explosion Wednesday in Plymouth, Pa., at the Nottingham Colliery had killed fifteen anthracite coal miners. An investigation was proceeding into the incident, which took place 850 feet below ground.

Near Bakersfield, California, at least seven persons were killed and 75 to 100 were injured when a Southern Pacific passenger train hit a broken rail and derailed. One coach, in which most of the injuries took place, had separated from its undercarriage and rolled a hundred yards across a potato field. The train had been proceeding at about 60 mph at the time of the accident.

A 23-year old young woman from Queens, N.Y., was beset by hiccoughing for 60 days, until surgery gave her relief when a surgeon at the V.A. Hospital in Alexandria, La., removed part of her right phrenic nerve near the heart. The young woman had appealed to the President over her condition. She had received relief two years earlier when the left phrenic nerve was removed by the same doctor.

On the editorial page, "Fruit of the One-Party System" comments on the dispute over the proper occupancy of the Governor's office in Georgia, being waged between Herman Talmadge and Governor Ellis Arnall. It bespoke the heritage of one-party politics in Georgia, preserving the form of a two-party system while not exhibiting a trace of it in substance.

Mr. Talmadge asserted his claim to the Governor's Mansion based on 675 write-in votes received in a general election in which his father had run unopposed on the ballot. Mr. Arnall claimed that the effort thwarted the will of the people.

The piece suggests that the will of the people would be thwarted no matter the outcome. They would be governed for the ensuing two years by a man to whom they had not given their popular approval. While it could happen under a two-party system, it would not be as likely for not being so susceptible to the same sort of deal-making as had characterized the Legislature's election of Mr. Talmadge to succeed his father.

The one-party system, always given to corrupt politics, had reduced the democratic process in Georgia to a travesty.

"Gambling Is a Horrid Word" tells of a man employed by a Wall Street brokerage having been summoned for jury duty and sought his way out of a gambling case by telling the court that he was, himself, a gambling man, referring to his stock activities, and thus could not sit impartially on the matter.

As a result, the head of the New York Stock Exchange canceled his registration, saying that the man had a misconception of the stock market, by equating it with gambling.

The piece questions the wisdom of the Exchange in doing so. It remarks that a table in Time showed stock prices going through the roof in 1946 while production remained flat. Thus, the market was inversely reacting to the business climate. The market appeared to have been betting on shortages producing high prices, a form of gambling.

To straighten out the mangled last sentence, it should, presumably, read: "And, remembering the bleating that came from the suckers, and, er, speculators last Summer when the game appeared equally constructive, and a curve turned suddenly downward, we are also constrained to note that a crap game appears equally constructive."

At least, that is what we think it was meant to say, more or less. Perhaps, the absence of Mr. Ashmore had resulted in the mangling.

"For the Love of Democracy" comments on the illogical effort of the Drys to obtain a statewide referendum on alcohol, but only by holding the elections in wet counties, and if elections were to be held in dry counties, they would be only on a county-wide basis to avoid wet majorities in the cities and towns.

The Wets also were not particularly reasonable in their efforts to obtain election to abandon prohibition in dry counties.

Both sides did not want the people to speak unless they could be reasonably certain as to what the outcome would be. The notions espoused had little to do with expression of democratic will and so it proposes that both sides abandon such rhetoric.

A piece from the Louisville Courier-Journal, titled "Ragged Dick and Tattered Tom", comments on the disappearance from the American consciousness of the books of Horatio Alger, Ragged Dick and Tattered Tom, conveying the notion that they were unworthy of enduring literary life.

It suggests it to be a bit saddening, however, that 92 percent of the children questioned by the New York Children's Aid Society had never heard of Mr. Alger. A whole generation had grown up on the ethic instilled by the rags-to-riches characters in the books, that riches and honors came from virtue.

Mr. Alger had become an ordained Unitarian minister, but only worked at it for two years.

He never wrote a great and serious novel, as he had wanted to do. Instead, he wrote his rags-to-riches stories at the pace of one every two weeks.

He had based his characters on those he knew from his patronage of the Newsboys' Lodging House, but now they had forgotten him.

Drew Pearson continues his look, begun the previous day, at the diplomatic skills which had been exhibited by former Secretary of State Byrnes, picking up where he left off, discussing the Yugoslav delegates having walked out of the Foreign Ministers Council meeting over the Italian treaty provisions regarding internationalization of Trieste.

V. M. Molotov came to Mr. Byrnes to find out what the problem was and he was informed of the frustration occasioned by the failure, after three days of effort, to agree on any but minor provisions of the Italian treaty adopted in Paris by two-thirds of the 21 nations present. Mr. Byrnes insisted, as he had with the Yugoslavs, that he would be content not to have a treaty for another year unless agreement could be reached on the previous terms to which assent had been given.

Mr. Byrnes also told Mr. Molotov that the reservoir of good will felt by Americans toward Russians during the war had been exhausted by the post-war name-calling. Mr. Molotov was surprised by this statement and immediately assented to three of fifteen key provisions in the Italian treaty.

His subsequent attitude continued to be one of assent, rather than dispute. Mr. Molotov even finally agreed to U.N. arms inspection on Russian soil. As a quid pro quo, he had received assurances from Mr. Byrnes that the United States would not change its position for at least a year on the Security Council veto power.

Mr. Byrnes also had differences with the British regarding its operating deficit in the British occupation zone of Germany, which included the industrial Ruhr. The deficit had reached 400 million dollars in 1946, while the U.S. zone, primarily agricultural, had only a 200 million dollar deficit. A plan had been put in place to unite the two zones economically and have the U.S. pick up the bill for half the British deficit. But Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin proposed a 60-40 split, with the U.S. footing the larger portion. Mr. Byrnes responded that he would agree, provided that the British traded occupation zones with the Americans. Mr. Bevin balked, called in a financial expert to explain the woeful British situation. Mr. Byrnes, after listening, offered to pay 65 percent of the British deficit in exchange for trading zones. Still, the British balked.

Mr. Pearson concludes that the former Secretary had shown "canny statesmanship and diplomatic charm" in weathering one of the roughest periods of foreign relations in the history of the country, and had left those relations in much better condition for his eighteen-month effort.

Marquis Childs tells of the first major confrontation between liberals within the Republican Party and the regular Republicans, regarding continuation of the Senate War Investigating Committee. The liberals made their points, were ignored, and the regular Republicans went on about their business, entering into a compromise whereby the committee would be continued for a year on the condition that it not undertake an investigation into the American occupation troops in Germany as had been desired by Senator Owen Brewster of Maine, chairman of the committee.

Senator Charles Tobey of New Hampshire had opposed the move on the basis that it would defeat the purpose of reorganization, passed by the 79th Congress, to have this special committee continued, as it overlapped the functions of the Armed Forces Committee. He believed it would open the door to other such deals to allow a particular Senator to have a chairmanship of a committee.

Senator Wayne Morse of Oregon also opposed the extension as there was no place for special committees under reorganization. To underscore the point, he withdrew his request for creation of a special committee to investigate Army and Navy court martials.

But the Republican leadership knew where they wanted to go and so ignored the liberal wing.

Harold Ickes discusses the meeting on January 4 of the Americans for Democratic Action in Washington—which included Eleanor Roosevelt, Mayor Hubert Humphrey of Minneapolis, Representative Helen Gahagan Douglas and former Representative Jerry Voorhis, both of California, Paul Porter, Leon Henderson, and Chester Bowles—having eclipsed the meeting of the Progressives in New York the previous week, led by Henry Wallace.

Mr. Ickes posits that the reason for the problem was that the Progressives had not distanced themselves from Communists and fellow travelers, as had the ADA. The split among liberals was problematic for 1948.

Theodore Roosevelt had formed his Bull Moose liberals in 1912 and nearly was successful in the effort, did account for victory of Woodrow Wilson over incumbent William Howard Taft.

He recommends that the two groups join forces rather than continue split. For the ADA to work within the Democratic Party, as it claimed it was going to do, would prove unfortunate. It would find the going tough when confronted by the reactionaries of the South and corrupt big city machines of the North.

Bertram Benedict discusses the proposed unification of the Army and Navy in a Department of Common Defense. As that would occur in July, and it had already been thoroughly discussed on the page, we shall leave it for you to read in detail, packed, as it is, with a blizzard of statistics.

A proposal for combining the armed forces had been first presented in 1912 when President Taft was in office, and had been considered several times since, the Navy having almost always opposed it, and the Army only occasionally opposing it.

The primary arguments for it were the savings in duplicative functions and efficiency in the command structure to enable coordination of forces, a primary problem to which fault was assigned for lack of preparedness at Pearl Harbor.

Opponents argued that merger was no guarantee of efficiency or economy, that in business decentralization had often led to economy. They also believed that competition between the Army and Navy kept both branches on their toes, that the advantages of merger could best be obtained through informal cooperation.

Among Senator Soaper's jejune remarks is this one, full of abstract abstrusity: "'The rolling from side to side of Liverpool tram cars has produced generation after generation of British sailors.' For the budding contortionist, nothing could be nicer than the fourth seat in a taxicab."

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