The Charlotte News

Thursday, January 30, 1947


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the Russian press stated that V. M. Molotov had signed the five peace treaties with Italy, Rumania, Bulgaria, Hungary, and Poland. The treaties had already been signed previously by former Secretary of State Byrnes and would be shortly signed by Britain and France.

The Government argued in its brief in the Mt. Clemens Pottery case before the Federal District Court that damages to be assessed for portal-to-portal pay were de minimis because the time period during which employees were required to be at work prior to beginning regular work hours was of such short duration as to be offset by time spent during the day in pursuit of personal matters, not deducted from the paycheck by the employer as being trifling. The two, the Government argued, thus offset each other.

Union attorneys countered that the employers, by requiring such uncompensated pre-work duties, had sought to evade the Wage and Hours Act of 1938.

Senator Charles Tobey of New Hampshire wanted an investigation of why the Administration, through the OTC, successor to OPA, had initially backed a ten percent rent increase and then the President had withdrawn it in a "comedy of errors", saying it was for Congress to determine.

The President was slated in March to receive finally an honorary degree from Baylor University in Waco, Tex., which he would pick up on the way back from Mexico City on a visit with new President Miguel Aleman. In November, 1945, the Baptists, led by the Rev. W. L. Shuttleworth of Houston, had objected to Baylor conferring the degree because of the President's penchant for occasional poker and bourbon snifting. Baylor had intended to go ahead with the ceremony, but the President had to cancel the trip at the time because of the encroaching labor crisis at G.M.

The War Department was considering furloughs for Doc Blanchard, Glenn Davis, and Barney Poole to play professional football the following fall. The three were graduating from West Point in the spring and then would receive commissions as second lieutenants in the Army; thus, the need for the furloughs.

In the House cafeteria, Representatives Harold Knutson of Minnesota and Albert Engel of Michigan nearly came to blows in an argument regarding the proposed twenty percent tax reduction favored by the former, while the latter championed the poor who would not benefit under the tax cut. Mr. Engel at one point had grabbed the arm of Mr. Knutson, but Mr. Engel stated he never had any intent to strike him.

A North Carolina Assemblyman proposed a bill for the City of Hickory to vote on whether to have ABC stores—so that the people could learn to read the sign.

The Forsyth County delegation wanted the sale of wine and beer prohibited in Bethania—known for its drunken louts. Those Moravians, living in 1765, in their escapist mentality, drunk at the ale house all day long...

The question remains whether the bill was phrased in the conjunctive or disjunctive.

The report on the Legislature's session also tells of the joker in the deck, the gag rule, which might prevent the passage of the separate fish and wildlife commission, despite majority support of same in the House, though not yet so in the Senate. If the 49-member House committee did not approve it by a majority, then a two-thirds vote would be required for passage on the floor of the House. Thus far, only 20 members of that committee had voted their approval. A similar rule was also present in the Senate.

In Newland, N.C., four men held up the Avery County Bank, taking $30,000 and locking one employee and five customers in the vault. A woman cashier was also left tied up. Two men had entered the bank and the other two stood guard outside. The cashier eventually managed to free herself and opened the vault. She then telephoned her brother in Shelby, a Highway Patrolmen, and reported the incident.

The four had committed another robbery within the previous two days at Blowing Rock, 15 miles east of Newland, robbing a beer garden proprietor of $2,700.

The robbers left the bank in a 1946 Ford, and were last seen heading in the direction of Tennessee. The FBI was on their trail. If you see them, report it to the FBI.

Tom Watkins of The News, continuing his report on the trial of the two co-defendants for the murder of Thomas McClure, stabbed to death during a robbery at his office in the ice company, tells of one defendant testifying that he was not at the company at the time of the murder, though he and the co-defendant had been there earlier to meet the co-defendant's brother. He then claimed to have gone uptown and did not see the co-defendant again until around 2:00.

The other defendant stated that he was present at the scene of the murder but that the first defendant had stabbed the victim.

Another witness stated that the first defendant was with the co-defendant at around 1:05 p.m., rapidly walking home, shortly after the murder took place. She claimed to have stopped and chatted with both for two or three minutes. She was out to lunch at the time.

But, we thought that they were walking rapidly home.

By the way, this travesty of justice would not be permitted today, at least by competent counsel. One defendant implicating the other would necessitate a motion for severance of the cases into two separate trials, even if newspaper coverage of each might presumably defeat the purpose in a high-profile local matter.

Incidentally, the seminal California case involving the principle is People v. Aranda, (1965) 63 Cal.2d 518. Aranda rhymes with Miranda. Come on down to our boat, baby, in the midnight wind. It helps to be musical, sometimes, in recalling case names. You can figure out Mnemosyne's muse for Bruton. We don't wish to scare anyone.

Of course, if you cannot recall the associated mnemonic device, or even the principle, beyond the test...

In Rock Hill, S.C., the police chief, a former football star the previous fall for the professional Charlotte Clippers, had submitted his resignation, effective when and if a certain police officer, whom the chief had fired for conduct unbecoming an officer, was reinstated. The fired officer, son of the Sheriff, had been reprimanded by the City Council, voting 3 to 2 to allow him, however, to return to the job, in response to a reported conversation at a barber shop in which the officer criticized the chief.

This is obviously the case of the Clippers' star, "Zip", having the moss on the iron griddle clipped from underneath him at the clip joint.

The chief is pictured informally striking a match.

In London, Buckingham Palace was searched for a possible bomb, following a telephoned threat of same from a public booth, the caller stating that the bomb was set to detonate on Saturday. Nothing was found—yet.

On the editorial page, "A Merit System for Teachers" tells of the double-talk contained within the legislative report to the Governor regarding the recommendation of a merit system on which to predicate teacher pay. It said that regarding only teacher education and experience as criteria for determining salary might neglect to take into account the exceptional teacher. The experienced teacher moved up the pay scale, regardless of competence.

But teachers were not united on basing pay scale on ability as well as experience. The commission recommended spending $50,000 over a period of three years to determine a proper system of evaluation of teachers to permit the favored merit system to work effectively.

The piece thinks this latter statement to stand as a barrier to the idea of implementing a merit system, as the commission recommended. There was no need for such an experimental period before putting the system in the schools, as other states had set patterns for years of effective operation under a merit system.

It made no sense to wait three years to have a merit system in place to determine teacher pay.

"Five Public-Spirited Citizens" tells of the City Council appointing a five-person board to administer the new zoning ordinance, the first in Charlotte's history. The members appointed included an architect, a banker, a grocer, a realtor, and a president of an office supply firm. They would have broad powers to waive enforcement of the ordinance in certain cases to avoid hardship to existing property owners, forming a board to which appeals could be made as to application of the zoning regulations. The members served without compensation. It wishes them well.

We hope they did not wind up as the dollar-per-year men from industry had in Washington, serving their own companies' pocketbooks.

"The Times Are Marching Again" comments on the 65th birthday of Franklin Roosevelt, had he lived to see it. It marked the climax of the annual March of Dimes drive, inaugurated by the late President to provide funding for research to combat the crippling disease of polio.

The President's nearly quarter-century struggle with the disease, which left him, at age 39, wheelchair and leg-iron bound in the summer of 1921, less than a year after his defeat for the vice-presidency in the 1920 election, and his rise to be Governor of New York in 1929 and President four years later, had served as an inspiration to hundreds of thousands of polio patients and brought needed public attention to the disease.

In 1947, many still suffered from it, though better sanitation of public swimming pools and awareness of its causes had led to fewer reported cases, prior to the Salk vaccine, developed in 1954-55, being introduced to inoculate the population, starting in 1956.

The editorial urges the public to contribute to the drive.

A piece from the Winston-Salem Journal, titled "On Loving Our 'Enemies'", comments on the News editorial which had found irony in Southerners engaged in praise of the new GOP Congress, on the premise that the next President would be a Republican, while also assuming it a fait accompli that the South would continue to vote Democratic. The piece had found it further evidence for condemning the one-party system in the South.

The Journal thinks it perhaps a wise admonition of John Temple Graves II, quoted in the piece, regarding knowing well such potential presidential timber as Senator Robert Taft of Ohio, that being forewarned was to be forearmed. The GOP national convention had ample Southern representation and so some of the seed Mr. Graves was sowing would likely fall on fertile soil.

"And if perchance it is a good wind which threatens to blow us good fortune, haply we ought to place ourselves in position to grab it as it races by."

Sounds a bit as chasing a hole in the wind, or a wind of the whole, half of which is missing down the rabbit warren.

Drew Pearson tells of former Governor Ellis Arnall of Georgia having rejected troops to act as bodyguards on the night Herman Talmadge and his "wool hat boys" from the hills took over the State Capitol, while Governor Arnall staked claim on his old office until Lieutenant Governor-elect M. E. Thompson could take the oath of office a week hence. Governor Arnall came close to being lynched by the mob outside the Capitol, but had bravely refused any protection other than that afforded by the seven men surrounding him. He said that he would rely on the plain people of Atlanta to help each other, and that he was one of them.

He next relates of a lobbyist of the American Legion kicking a representative of the Veterans of Foreign Wars out of a meeting on veterans housing while allowing the real estate lobbyists to remain. The VFW representative had wandered into the Statler Hotel meeting, at the invitation of a Legion housing committee member, but then was quickly ordered out by the Legion lobbyist.

The FTC report on the newsprint monopoly had presented conclusive evidence of a conspiracy among the manufacturers, most of which were Canadian, to fix the price of newsprint to American newspapers. The manufacturers, especially International Paper Co. of Canada, banked with the Phipps family of Colorado, closely allied with the Rockefellers and Chase National Bank.

The report found that the monopoly had maintained former practices by placing its operations in Canada, outside the reach of the U.S. Justice Department.

Samuel Grafton, writing from London, tells of it being resemblant to the United States during the time of Franklin Roosevelt. The Tories were as the Republicans during the New Deal, venting frustrations on Labor Ministers, much as the Republicans had told notorious stories of the Roosevelts.

One woman said that her friend stepped into the shop of a furrier and sought to purchase two coats, both of which, she was informed, were reserved. Then, the woman for whom the coats were reserved arrived, the wife of the Labor Minister.

It seems, parenthetically, that we have seen this movie.

The story had other variants, involving caviar, an Oyster and Lobster House with a reserved table for a Government Minister, despite that Government having imposed strict rationing on the rest of the country.

The simple explanation for the bitterness was provided by an observant Englishman who said that it was elementary: the Conservatives had lost power.

London still demonstrated elegance, but it appeared as "a defiant flag flown by a surrounded army short of clothes and rations." The meat ration was limited to 28 cents worth per week, but there never had been a previous time when Londoners could be sure of that much meat. The shortage had always existed. The bottom third of the society were better off than prior to the war. There was no unemployment and little inflation.

Similarly, farm laborers earned more than two and a half times that of their pre-war earnings, with rent and food costs being the same.

"There is a shifting of positions in a cold house and a taking of turns at a thin larder. Meat has gone down to the lower classes and bleakness climbs to the upper."

Harold Ickes comments on ghoulish journalists, insistent during FDR's lifetime at dragging him down, persisting in the wake of his death. The latest flourish had come as a result of former Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau having published his diary maintained during the Administration. Mr. Ickes regards Mr. Morgenthau as disingenuous in his recording of events, but nevertheless supplying a ready source of information for these journalists seeking to discredit the Roosevelt memory.

In one instance, Mr. Morgenthau had related that President Roosevelt had raised the price of gold by 21 cents per ounce, selecting the number because it was three times lucky 7.

Mr. Ickes tells of the President having laughed with him on more than one occasion anent the sobersides nature of Mr. Morgenthau and having taken him in on a ruse. Mr. Ickes believes the related episode to be just such an instance. Yet, it supplied the fodder for the journalism of destruction.

Similarly, FDR was quoted by Mr. Morgenthau as having made demeaning remarks regarding the president of the Bank of England. But such was the President's habit, only meant as gentle teasing, often aimed as much at the listener as the subject of the tease. Mr. Morgenthau was a favorite listener for this sort of persiflage.

Another quote from the diary had the President referring to then Undersecretary of the Treasury Dean Acheson as a "weakling" for disagreeing with him on the devaluation of gold. Yet, if he had actually perceived him as such, he would not have made him Undersecretary of State, the position Mr. Acheson still held.

Words, he posits, can be quoted accurately, but lose their meaning out of context. The same diary quoted Mr. Roosevelt as being desirous of a strong Undersecretary of the Treasury.

It proved the adage that while a man might protect himself from his enemies, God alone could protect him from his friends.

A letter writer says that Hannah Pickett No. 1, the Safie Manufacturing Co., in Rockingham, N.C., where the writer worked, always treated its workers well. An election was set to be held and it was hoped that the best man would win. The letter writer could take it if the union could.

A letter writer from Dorchester, Mass., wanted to locate his Army buddy from North Carolina who read The News while in service. His name is Clarence Abernathy who lived on a farm outside Charlotte.

If you know Mr. Abernathy, be sure and write.

A letter writer, who had investigated several airplane crashes while an insurance investigator, opines that the plane crash on takeoff near Copenhagen, which had taken the life of opera singer and actress Grace Moore, had been caused by the plane leaving the ground at too steep an angle. A pilot, realizing he could not go forward, would then try to bank left, but the motor, lacking the power to make the turn, would cause the plane to fall laterally, and then go into a nose dive.

While keeping the nose up was a primary rule in aviation, it could sometimes be kept too high.

The same, he instructs, had caused the crash of the plane carrying Will Rogers and Wiley Post in 1935.

Whether he also means this opinion to be a supercilious remark on Ms. Moore's status in life, we do not know. Maybe not.

But we thought the problem in the crash reported the previous Monday was that the airplane was burdened with too much weight for proper takeoff, and that in the Post-Rogers flight, the issue was weather and a stalling engine at low altitude in Point Barrow, Alaska.

The Rhamkatte Roaster, writing in the Raleigh News & Observer, remarks on the Legislature's concern over the validity of the May 20, 1775 Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence and the need for a bill to validate it, then mandating that it be taught in the schools, being one of the state's firsts, along with flight.

The Old Codger had said that them there things were fixed and immovable, and so might as well invertigate the authetity of the Declawation of Philadelphriar.

It was completely authorcated, despite the fly-blows. It was on the flag. Shoot the man who e'er declare different. Only the highbrows sought to conflict with it. They'd be switched to be better off by trying to "make some glorious history" than corntest it.

They were also supercilious.

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