The Charlotte News

Tuesday, January 21, 1947


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Secretary of State Marshall, arriving in Washington to assume his new position, eschewed any future candidacy for political office, stating that he would never allow himself to be drafted for any such candidacy. And he meant it.

His name had been bantered about as a possible candidate for the 1948 presidential nomination should President Truman step aside, or as vice-presidential candidate on the ticket.

General Marshall's statement compared to that of General William T. Sherman, who likewise refused any political nomination or draft.

Similarly, albeit with an initial hint of disingenuousness, forced by popular will to the political bowsprits, there would be no "I shall return" for General Douglas MacArthur, who had subtracted himself from the eddified process during the 1944 campaign, after a brief foray stimulated by Congressman A. L. Miller of Nebraska, stirring momentarily the streaming, roiling waters of ambition in the General to seek the Republican nomination.

In Atlanta, Herman Talmadge offered to submit the matter of who should succeed his father as Governor to a "Democratic white primary" vote at the end of the Legislature's session. He stated that he would resign provided Lieutenant Governor and Acting Governor M. E. Thompson would resign. The Speaker of the House would then assume the Governor's duties until the results of a special election, called within 60 days, could determine the successor. The Legislature had elected Mr. Talmadge, pursuant to his contention that the body had the authority to do so because his father had died before being sworn into office, thus invalidating the election results, in which Herman Talmadge had been runner-up with 690 write-in votes.

Elliott Roosevelt, son of the late President, interviewed Josef Stalin on December 21, during the former's visit to Moscow, and found the Russian Prime Minister unconcerned over deterioration in relations between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. Stalin said that the people were no longer behind fighting a war and so no nation could raise a fighting army, eliminating any such fear. Relations between the peoples of the two countries, he offered, had improved, even if the governments were not getting along well. He favored inspection and control of armaments for Russia and all other nations. He wanted the immediate creation by the U.N. of an international police force. The interview had appeared in Look.

Charles E. Wilson, head of G.M., addressing the national conference of mayors, called for reform of labor laws to prevent recurrence of the previous winter's crippling strikes in the auto and steel industries.

The President had asked former President Hoover once again to undertake a survey of the food situation in the American and British occupation zones of Germany. Mr. Hoover had not yet assented.

Legislation was introduced in the North Carolina Legislature to require periodic inspection of motor vehicles, to mandate financial responsibility of drivers, and for periodic reissuance of driver's licenses every three years.

John Umstead of Orange County proposed legislation to encourage more teachers, by reinstating a law which had expired in 1933, providing for free tuition to state-supported schools for persons agreeing to teach for a specified period within five years of graduation. At that point, a note for the loan of tuition would be canceled.

Cora Rice of The News reports of the State Superintendent of Education, Dr. Clyde Erwin, speaking to 400 school officials regarding the need for more appropriation of funds to education. He stated that one in four teachers was now considered subpar in credentials, compared to one in ten in 1940-41. (The report has its facts backward on the point, after attributing correctly the statistical basis for the statement.)

Tom Watkins of The News tells of the two men charged with murder in the shooting of Herman Satinover, local bootlegger, the previous morning, determining with their attorneys whether to seek habeas corpus hearings to try to obtain release from custody. A preliminary hearing was scheduled for the following day in the cases, and habeas corpus proceedings would await its outcome in Recorder's Court.

The murder had occurred in the midst of a poker game where liquor flowed freely. Mr. Satinover was upset by the remarks attributed to the homeowner that he insulted Mr. Satinover's sister. One of the two men allegedly grabbed Mr. Satinover and told the other to shoot him after he had hit one of the men in the face, and the second man then fatally shot him in the chest.

Meanwhile, the victim's mother was seriously ill in the hospital, paralyzed from a stroke suffered after receiving news of the death of her son. Prior to the shooting, she had telephoned the residence where her son was shot and told them that she would send ten men and her son over there because her daughter had been thrown out. They warned her not to send her son if she thought anything of his life.

She apparently did not.

On the editorial page, "The Troubles Georgia Will See" indicates that thanks to the efforts of former Governor Ellis Arnall, the dispute for the Governor's office between Herman Talmadge and M. E. Thompson had been reduced to a legal question to be decided by the Georgia courts. It would end the week of chaos which had prevailed since Mr. Talmadge and his "redneck followers" seized power in the state after dubiously authorized election by the Legislature.

The Talmadge forces were planning to disfranchise black voters by dissociating the Democratic primary election from the State, much as South Carolina had done. Once accomplished, the party claimed that it could set any standard it wanted for voter qualifications.

It was doubtful the device would survive Supreme Court ruling, already, in the Allwright decision of April, 1944, having stated that registrars in the Texas primaries had to admit black voters to the polls.

The white primary would open the state to wholesale corruption, enabling stealing of elections, as no state law would govern it. The worst that could happen to someone accused of electioneering was to be expelled from the Democratic Party.

Coupled with the county-unit voting system, which placed sparsely populated counties on approximately the same level as much more heavily populated urban counties, the device would further undermine democracy in Georgia.

"Double-Talk in Dixie" tells of Democratic Representative Howard Smith of Virginia singing the praises of new Republican Speaker of the House Joe Martin, while journalist John Temple Graves II urged Democrats of the South to learn of the virtues of Republican Senator Robert Taft, who, while the South would continue its tradition of voting Democratic in 1948, would likely win the presidential election regardless.

The piece finds such Southern praise of Republicans, while assuring that the South would vote Democratic, to be double-talk.

"An Unhappy Symbol of Growth" tells of unfortunate side effects of growth of Charlotte, one being the increasing presence of organized crime. As example, it cites the murder the previous morning of Herman Satinover, well known to the police as a bootlegger. Bootlegging and the numbers racket brought in a low element who, having deliberately crossed the line into criminal activity, saw no reason to stop with crimes of property, until they had worked their way up to murder. It concludes that crime paid too well in Charlotte.

A piece from the Columbia Record, "Wonderment in the Hub", comments on the U.S. Court of Appeals having upheld the conviction for fraud of Mayor James Curley of Boston. The Mayor had headed a group which obtained war contracts via false statements. He had been convicted of one count and sentenced to six to eighteen months in Federal prison. Yet, he still remained Mayor of Boston and was being acclaimed by many Bostonians.

It notes that Bostonians wondered why Mississippians had re-elected Senator Bilbo despite the charges of war contract graft against him, charges on which he had not been indicted or tried.

The answer probably lay in the fact that Mr. Bilbo, in addition to being a grafter, was an avowed racist and religious bigot.

Drew Pearson tells of the first meeting of the Committee on Civil Rights formed by the President. The livest member of the committee was Charles Luckman, head of Lever Brothers Soap Co., and the dullest was Charles E. Wilson, head of G.M., the committee chairman. New York attorney Morris Ernst, author of The First Freedom, had caused a stir when he proposed to invite the Klan, the Columbians of Atlanta, and Gerald L. K. Smith to provide their view on race prejudice. He believed the report the committee would issue would be stronger if they heard both sides.

Another proposal the committee heard was to withhold Federal aid to state universities which practiced racial or religious discrimination. An amendment which provided such exclusion had been introduced by Senator William Langer of North Dakota two years earlier and had killed the Federal aid to education bill when Southern Senators had threatened filibuster.

Mr. Pearson reminds that six months earlier, on July 21, he had challenged the Klan from the steps of the Georgia Capitol and then wrote a column on Eugene Talmadge, branding him the new "Cracker Dictator", along with his son Herman. He had compared the senior Talmadge to Hitler. Despite 125 of 132 Georgia newspapers opposing him for Governor, he had won in the decisive primary via radio salesmanship. Big business had financed the way. Eugene Talmadge claimed to have read Mein Kampf seven times and made no secret of practicing the techniques of Hitler to achieve and maintain power, had called out the militia seventeen times in his previous three two-year terms as Governor, in 1933-37 and 1939-41. When he was denied access to the state's funds by the State Treasurer, he literally blew the door off the vault, and spent money without keeping a record of the expenditures, had a racketeer inspecting the books.

He points out that as the Civil Rights Committee was meeting, Secretary of War Robert Patterson was refusing aid via the National Guard to Governor Ellis Arnall in his bid to hold the Governor's office for the legal succession of Lieutenant Governor M. E. Thompson.

He next tells of Senators Olin Johnston and Burnet Maybank of South Carolina, Senator Richard Russell and Representative Paul Brown of Georgia calling on the President to exhort the Army to speed up construction on the Clark Hill Dam on the Savannah River so that the Georgia Power Co. could not be successful in its bid to take over the project and block sale of power to cooperatives in the area. Six million dollars had been allocated to the project, but the Corps of Engineers had lagged in its construction. The President remembered backing the project in 1940 while a Senator, and assured that he would speak with Secretary of War Patterson about the matter.

Samuel Grafton comments on stereotypes, the Englishman with his pipe and strangling speech, the Frenchman with the gargantuan appetite, a bib, and willing to be distracted only by a pretty leg, the Russian with his caviar and pens, and two watches on each wrist.

The foreign stereotype of the American was changing, and it was an important aspect of gauging foreign policy. A new play by Jean-Paul Sartre had opened in Paris regarding an American lynching, performing a burlesque on the American character, portrayed as infantile, spoiled, overly sentimental, abrasively argumentative, and excessively concerned with sex, yet prudish about the subject in public.

Time had found that Europeans' experience with U.S. Army soldiers involved in black marketeering had convinced them that Americans would do anything for money. The left in Britain saw Americans as operating on a plane outside reality, reactionary, heading toward an economic depression without regard to the world at large.

While the reaction might properly be ascribed to the natural tendency to resent a country who had relative plenty compared to Europe, there might also be a grain of truth in the perceptions. When talk occurred on Capitol Hill of cutting off foreign aid to afford a 20 percent tax cut, the feeling developed that a wall was being built between the United States and the rest of the world. And on the other side of that wall, resentful Europeans were drawing caricatures of Americans in response.

"It is good to know. It is always good to know."

Harold Ickes again, as the previous day, discusses tidelands oil and the bill before Congress, which would override the pending Supreme Court decision on the subject, to give the tidelands oil rights to the several states. Forty-five state attorneys general had joined California's Robert Kenny in promoting the legislation. Mr. Kenny had sought to portray the issue as posing a danger to the waterways and rivers of the states should the Federal Government retain title to the tidelands oil.

Mr. Ickes reprints a letter he had addressed, while still Secretary of Interior, to Mr. Kenny on June 25, 1945 regarding the issue, saying that he would support a bill relinquishing all Federal rights to submerged areas with the exception of the tidelands containing petroleum deposits. Mr. Kenny would not support such a bill.

On February 5, 1946, Mr. Ickes had testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee, of which Senator Pat McCarran of Nevada was chairman, that he was prepared to quitclaim all inland waterway land to avoid the Kenny conundrum. Senator McCarran, however, ignored the offer and instead persisted in the Kenny line that the Federal claim posed a threat to states' rights to other waterways.

When the bill had reached the White House, the President wisely vetoed it, allowing the lawsuit to go forward before the Supreme Court. The case was now set for oral argument on the following February 3.

A letter from the Charlotte Altrusa Club reprints a resolution endorsing the objective of the South Piedmont Teachers Association to obtain a 40 percent increase in teacher salaries.

A letter finds confused the January 17 editorial comparing the stock market to gambling via the assertion by a prospective juror seeking to be relieved from sitting on a gambling case, then relieved also of his stock market credential. The writer contends that there was nothing incongruous in a poor stock market despite good business volume, provided the stimulus for profit was not present. He also asserts that purchasing a business was a gamble, and so participating in the stock market was also a gamble, nothing new or troubling.

Editorial Research Reports discusses socialism and communism, finding ironic the use of the military in Britain to move food to the people during the lorry drivers strike, which had recently been concluded. The men had walked out in protest of a nine-month delay in the Labor Government's decision on wage and hour demands.

That a strike had occurred under a Labor Government, leaning toward socialism, was an irony in itself; that there was a Labor Government in a country still respecting a monarchy, was yet another.

In Italy, the Socialists had divided into two factions, the leftists aligning with the Communists, which, it suggests, might turn out as the "Lady-and-the-Tiger affair", while the right-wing was proceeding in its own direction. Dissension among the radical and liberal groups and resulting strikes had paved the way in 1922 for Mussolini and the Fascists to march on Rome.

In Germany, the Communists and Socialists, refusing to unite, made it easier for Hitler to achieve power. The same was true in Spain, preceding the Franco insurgency against the Loyalists in 1936.

Karl Marx had proclaimed that a dictatorship accompanying a workers' revolt would be temporary and that the primary object against which the workers had to fight was suppression of the truth. Yet, in the Soviet Union, 30 years had passed since the Revolution and a dictatorship still prevailed. Censorship was the order of the day.

In the United States, Communist newspapers could publish freely and Communist spokesmen were allowed to speak freely during political campaigns. The U. S. Government was planning to broadcast unfiltered news into Russia from Munich.

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