The Charlotte News

Thursday, January 23, 1947


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Attorney General Tom Clark had announced the indictments of former Representative Andrew May of Kentucky and the three officials of a wartime munitions combine, the Garsson brothers, Henry and Murray, and Joseph Freeman, on charges of conspiring to defraud the Government in war contract deals. The indictment charged that Mr. May had agreed to receive over $53,000 from the firms. Mr. May, who had served in Congress since 1930, had been defeated in the fall election following revelation of the charges through extensive inquiry by the Senate War Investigating Committee. The offenses charged carried a fine and up to two years in prison.

In Georgia, all highway funds and tax collections were frozen by the appointments of competing state officers by Herman Talmadge and Acting Governor M. E. Thompson. Mr. Thompson announced that the Fulton National Bank had recognized him as Acting Governor by cashing the first executive check drawn since he had taken office. Mr. Talmadge tacitly admitted that he did not have control of executive funds, but was seeking it.

Senator Joseph Ball of Minnesota told the Senate Labor Committee that the Ball-Taft-Smith bill would eliminate special privileges of unions and make them responsible to the public interest. The bill would provide for a 60-day mandatory cooling off period before a strike could be called, and created a Federal mediation board.

Thus far, no bill had been introduced in the Senate which included mandatory arbitration or outlawed strikes against public utilities, though several mandatory arbitration bills had been introduced in the House.

The State Legislature agreed to a compromise arrangement on teacher and State employee salaries, affording a temporary bonus, scaled inversely to the present pay. The total allocation was about 8.1 million dollars, compared to 6.9 million originally favored by Governor Gregg Cherry and the State Senate, which had provided for 20 percent increases.

Greece presented a note to the Foreign Ministers Council seeking higher reparations from Germany, demanding more than the 4.35 percent of the reparations to be paid by Germany, as allotted by the January, 1946 reparations agreement formed in Paris.

A helicopter crashed on takeoff from a carrier during the Byrd Antarctic expedition, but all aboard were rescued uninjured. It was the third aircraft lost during the expedition, including a PBM with three fatalities, and another helicopter crash the previous Sunday, also without injuries.

In New York, the Justice Department sought dismissal of a lawsuit filed by the employees of Mt. Clemens Pottery Co. for portal-to-portal back pay for its involving such a small amount of time as to result in de minimis remuneration. It recommended that the court take further evidence to determine whether more time was involved in preparation for work. The case was being heard before Federal Judge Frank Picard, who had originally issued the decision allowing portal-to-portal back pay, upheld by the Supreme Court the previous June. Judge Picard had been the subject of an editorial the previous day.

Representative John Taber of New York favored balancing the Federal budget in 1948, utilizing a sledgehammer, and also trimming of the 1947 budget, already approved by the previous Congress.

Lee Wiggins of Hartsville, S.C., was sworn in as Undersecretary of the Treasury, replacing O. Max Gardner, new Ambassador to Great Britain.

In Manchester, England, two Scotland Yard homicide investigators were looking for the slayer of a ten-year old girl, dubbed "Little Red Riding Hood". Another girl, age four, had been murdered on a Yorkshire moor the previous September. In each case, the right shoe of the victim was missing. Each body had been carried from the scene of the crime and deposited elsewhere. The latest victim had not been raped, as had the first little girl. There were no signs of a struggle in the latest case and the child's clothes were clean.

In Columbia, S.C., the FBI arrested four people Tuesday, and another three the previous night in New York City, on charges of attempting to bribe a War Assets Administration official to obtain information on the lowest bids necessary to buy war surplus steel, textiles, and shoes.

In Lodi, California, the 17-year old girl who had accused a man of abducting her at knife and gunpoint, tying her up, and leaving her in a motel room from which she had managed to escape, cleared an ex-convict of San Francisco whom police had detained as a possible suspect after the girl identified his counterfeit conveyed by a picture as appearing similar to the visage of the kidnaper. The abductor had demanded $10,000 in ransom.

In Oberlin, O., someone had raised the Communist flag at Oberlin College during the previous weekend. It had finally been taken down the day before. The delay was the result of the rope, utilized to hoist and lower the flag, having been cut. Whether the pole was also greased was not bespoken.

On the editorial page, "The General Clears the Air" comments on General Marshall's Sherman-like declaration that he had no intention to run for political office or accept any draft for same. He viewed the position of Secretary of State as being a job to accomplish, and he would do it without ambition for another position.

Pursuing a bipartisan policy, the President's choice of General Marshall was inevitable, as he was a man who genuinely had no political aspirations. His predecessor, James Byrnes, had political aspirations, having been a Senator before appointment in 1941 to the Supreme Court, but had been assumed to be pretermitted from seeking national office by dint of Southern political foundations, the South being foregone to the Democrats, thus without electoral benefit to the national ticket.

"South Carolina's New Governor" tells of Strom Thurmond's inaugural address outlining a need for reorganization of state government along lines to assure greater efficiency. The program was not radical, but appeared progressive, to insure frugal government.

It was unlikely that the Legislature would enact the bulk of his program, but he had public support in presenting it.

The newspapers which had criticized his campaign were supporting his enunciated program. It believed he had launched his career with bright prospects.

He would, in one fell stroke at the Democratic convention in 1948, however, manage to dispel all of that bright promise and replace it with the darkness of racism, to dog him the rest of his lengthy days.

"Out of the World of Ideas...." remarks on Albert Einstein stating in his letter on the editorial page that the secret of atomic energy was no longer a secret and that there was no defense to the atomic bomb. He had both an abiding sense of fear and feeling of guilt regarding its development. He supported the U.N. proposals for control of atomic energy, but also found them inadequate.

The problem, he contended, was in the realm of ethics, not physics.

The Emergency Committee of Atomic Scientists, of which Dr. Einstein was chairman, sought a million dollars to support its endeavors to promote the effective control of atomic energy. The attempt was worth the effort and, it concludes, should be actively supported.

A piece from the Elizabeth City Advance, titled "So Geese Are Silly?" tells of a recent census of the wild fowl having been undertaken by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Department in cooperation with the Coast Guard. It found an increase in the population of geese, mallards, and sprig-tails, the wild fowl having learned the appearance of a hunter's blind and how to avoid it. The geese were smart and had found their hideaways. It suggests that the hunters might do likewise.

Drew Pearson tells of the RFC having curtailed loans to small businesses, through the actions of two Republican commissioners taking advantage of the absence of two Democratic commissioners. George Allen had resigned and Charles Henderson was in California. Both were friends of small business. Mr. Allen's successor had not yet been confirmed by the Senate. Of the remaining three commissioners, two were Republicans. The two Republicans, both representing big business, one, Fisher Body of G.M., acted on January 17 to end the program under which RFC had underwritten 75% of small business loans, making it easier for small businesses to obtain the loans from banks. It ended a program under which RFC had loaned 464 million dollars to small business since March, 1945.

He notes that RNC chairman Carroll Reece was for small business.

He then provides detail of how the underwriting program worked.

Among his miscellaneous items, he notes that the withdrawal of Russian troops from Iran the previous year had occurred because of the need for troops at home to maintain order in the face of growing shortages and want of food.

President Truman had told his Cabinet members not to fight the new Congress but to insist upon justice.

The President was having a hard time attracting anyone to fill the post of president of the World Bank, despite it paying $30,000 tax free, more than the President's own net salary.

Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal remained unhappy with the Army-Navy merger plan, wanted the Secretary of the Navy to continue to be part of Cabinet meetings. Secretary Forrestal would be appointed the first Secretary of Defense.

Marquis Childs tells of the universal praise greeting General Marshall as he became Secretary of State. But he would also be expected to perform miracles. He was the fourth Secretary in a little over two years, since Cordell Hull had left the position in November, 1944. He had taken part in the Big Four conferences during the war, but was nevertheless new to the role of diplomacy. The career experts in the State Department did not yet know his views except with respect to China.

His first major test would come at the Foreign Ministers Council meeting scheduled in Moscow for March 15, with its agenda of setting up the treaties for Germany and Austria. If General Marshall did not go to Moscow, as his predecessor had attended the conferences personally, the move would be interpreted as a shift in U.S. policy. But some counseled that he remain in Washington to reorganize the Department and instead send an experienced surrogate in his stead.

Such experts as Charles E. Bohlen would accompany General Marshall. Mr. Bohlen had been present at every meeting between FDR and Stalin, which included the Tehran Conference of November, 1943 and the Yalta Conference of February, 1945.

Diplomacy required different skills from military administration, for which the General had become well known during the war. It would take time for him to adjust to the new role. Mr. Childs asks that he be given a chance, but urges that miracles should not be anticipated.

Samuel Grafton suggests the conundrum facing the Republicans, that of getting along with a President who was bending to the Republican will, while planning ultimately to skewer him in the campaign of 1948.

RNC chairman Carroll Reece had sent a letter to 7,500 Republican leaders across the country telling them that the President should be considered the opposition. He complained that the President's State of the Union address and economic message had not been specific enough, that he was against a World War II veterans' bonus. But the Republicans were favoring a tax cut, and to be for a bonus under such a proposal would be to choke a gnat to swallow a camel. Ultimately, Mr. Reece was finding it difficult to attack the President, for he had swung to the right with the Republicans.

The differences at present between the Administration's policy and that of the Republican Congress were de minimis, suggesting a campaign which, without the emergence of an active third party to stir the political waters, would be hard-pressed to rise above banalities.

A letter, as indicated in the column, comes from Albert Einstein, seeking to promote the Emergency Committee of Atomic Scientists for control of atomic energy. The editorial had appropriately summarized its contents. The letter proposes six basic facts of which the public ought be aware.

A letter writer comments on state taxes before the Legislature. He favors not doing away with the franchise tax, imposing a tax on theaters, and a kilowatt-hour tax on electricity. He also favors return to North Carolina of a portion of excise taxes from the Federal Government, collected on tobacco.

A letter opines that there were three classes of people who voted dry, bootleggers, police officers, and narrow-minded religious fanatics.

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