The Charlotte News

Thursday, February 13, 1947


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in Britain, Prime Minister Clement Attlee informed Parliament that the nationwide brownout, requiring residential electricity to be shut off five hours per day, extended to the entirety of the country, saving in three days 78,000 tons of coal. Wartime penalties of up to two years in prison and fines up to $2,000 had been reinstituted for violation of the orders. A special Coal Cabinet was set up. The six big power stations of London, he informed, had but a six-day stockpile of coal on hand.

Temperatures, meanwhile, had dropped to 23 degrees the night before.

President Truman declared that the United States would do everything it could to aid the crisis in Britain, including diverting to the British Isles colliers headed for other European ports. The coal to other countries would be shipped out in replacement as soon as possible. Coal shipments were regularly being increased, from 1.8 million tons in December to 2.5 million in January, with 2.9 million expected for February. No requests had been received from Britain for aid.

Over Soviet objection registered by Andrei Gromyko, the U.N. Security Council voted 9-0, with two abstentions, Russia and Poland, to consider all phases of arms limitation not being considered before the Atomic Energy Commission, meaning that the U.S.-favored plan to have arms reduction talks exclude atomic energy would be the course followed in the Security Council.

Democratic House Whip John McCormack of Massachusetts stated that it was of utmost importance for the country to maintain its military power for good, and that it was incumbent therefore on the Congress not to cut the proposed 11 billion dollar military budget by as much as two billion dollars, as being proposed by the Republicans. Representative Edwin Hall, Republican of New York, had made a speech urging his colleagues to exert caution in making any cuts to the military budget. The Republicans wanted to slash the overall budget proposed by the President by six billion dollars, to 31.5 billion.

Both Secretary of War Robert Patterson and the Navy had issued statements urging that the proposed cuts could cripple the military forces of the country.

Republican presidential candidate Harold Stassen remarked at a Lincoln Day address the night before in Washington that he was in favor of cutting Government costs, lowering of taxes, and enacting labor legislation, but repudiated efforts of his party to obstruct the President's reciprocal trade agreements program. The positions of every potential Republican candidate are reviewed by the report, except those of Governor Thomas Dewey, who would be the repeat nominee.

In the State Legislature, chairman James Clark of the North Carolina Medical Care Commission stated before the Joint Appropriations Committee of the General Assembly that a majority of his group favored establishment of a new four-year medical school at the University in Chapel Hill. The Committee was holding hearings on the Good Health Program, a keystone of which was the proposed establishment of the new medical school.

Some 300 boys in gym classes at Harding High School in Charlotte were busy studying the 52-page insert to The News on the Good Health Program, appearing in the previous Tuesday's edition.

The administrators of the Charlotte Memorial Hospital, the Presbyterian Hospital, and the Good Samaritan Hospital had lavished praise on the edition, albeit with some reservations in the cases of the latter two.

The head of a drug store in town stated that there was dope there about which he had not known.

In Columbus, Indiana, a seventeen-year old boy was being questioned by police after admitting having driven his father to a location in Kentucky following the latter having shot to death his former wife, from whom he was divorced the previous November. The man had an office in Winston-Salem, N.C., and authorities there were alerted to be on the lookout for him. He had reportedly once been a patient in the Indiana State Mental Hospital and was a "character" who had made a great deal of money from inventions.

An assistant underwriter for Aero Insurance Underwriters told the House Commerce Committee that pilots' arguments with wives and their crying babies at home had been a contributing factor to the recent spate of airline crashes, as such domestic upsets created stress and fatigue which carried over to the job of piloting the aircraft. Their eyes were off the beam.

One pilot, he reported, refused to open his cockpit window in inclement weather to allow for better visibility.

In Hollywood, bandleader Freddy Martin and his wife from whom he had been divorced a year earlier, announced that they intended to remarry the following day or Saturday. They had been originally married in 1930.

In Chicago, Barry Stephens, an artists' representative who had examined the legs of 25,000 models, selected his best ten legs: those of actresses Alice Faye, Ann Miller, Betty Grable, dancer Flora Stuart, and British singer Beryl Davis, now in Hollywood. He noted a trend in leg preferences among men back to the pre-war "beef trusters", women with twelve-inch calves and 14 to 16 inch thighs, standing 5'10". The pipestem variety, popular during the war, were out.

On the editorial page, "For a State Wage-Hour Law" tells of the proposal before the Legislature to have a wage-hour law in the state to fill the gaps left by the Federal law, except with respect to farm laborers and domestic workers, making the minimum wage and maximum hours applicable to all other jobs not in interstate commerce.

The piece thinks it a good measure, that jobs were not made harder by virtue of being in interstate commerce, and the jobs thus not subject to the reach of Federal jurisdiction deserved the same treatment.

"Where Have You Been, Senator?" tells of David Lilienthal's nomination as chairman of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission now appearing to be in trouble as Republican leader Senator Robert Taft had indicated his intent to vote against confirmation.

Senator Arthur Stewart of Tennessee had condemned the Marquis Childs column of the previous week which had called disgraceful the performance of Senator Kenneth McKellar of Tennessee in seeking to associate Mr. Lilienthal as a Communist or sympathizer. Yet, the New York Times and Time had made stronger accusations against Senator McKellar than had Mr. Childs.

Senator Stewart had also defended the integrity of Boss Ed Crump of Memphis and suggested that he, too, had not been attacked previously, though regularly a target of the Nashville Tennessean.

The piece regards Mr. Childs's suggestion, that the stain of Senator McKellar and Mr. Crump had spread a long way in Tennessee, to have been borne out by the speech.

"History Can't Be Legislated" tells of the education committee of the Legislature having issued a negative report on the proposed bill to have the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence declared authentic and required to be taught in the public schools.

The piece agrees with the committee action, urging that history could not be legislated and academic freedom not truncated by legislation. Having the putative date of the Declaration, May 20, 1775, on the State flag was sufficient commemoration and honor for the story of the Declaration, whether based on fact or apocryphal not being adequately subject to determination, thus left as a matter of faith.

We add that it makes no difference which declaration was first. What is important is whether the spirit of the notion of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, as embodied in the Declaration of Independence adopted by all thirteen of the colonies at Philadelphia, and, moreover, those freedoms, including the penumbral freedoms, embodied in the Bill of Rights of the Constitution were being recognized for all citizens of North Carolina freely. We may say confidently that in 1947, the answer to that question was decidedly no, as it was for the entirety of the country.

It does little good to teach platitudes if outside the classroom they are not respected, indeed, in many parts and in many homes, spat upon. But that, too, of course, short of the point of violence, is within the embrace and protection of American freedom, as long as the expression of hate or discrimination is not institutionalized by the State or Federal Government. In 1947, too many of the states, most especially those in the South, did so, sometimes while patting themselves on the back far too much for supposed progressivism and liberality, a kind of milquetoast version of it only being in evidence.

Yet, it is also contrary to the traditions of the country and to democracy generally to try to destroy the reputations of persons or deprive them of employment and the ability to earn a living for the mere expression of speech, no matter how detestable you may think it. It is always a form of McCarthyism, no matter the speech involved. Unfortunately, that despicable notion is receiving increasing approbation in the United States these days.

People have the right to express racist or bigoted comment and make discriminatory remarks, like it or not. And that is completely irrespective of what the self-proclaimed royal dude or dudess may say on your tv. People have the right to be ignorant fools. Without allowing same, we merely drive underground the frustrations which produce such remarks, such that no one may debate such notions and no one learns until violence erupts ultimately out of those repressed frustrations, which nevertheless fester behind walls. Never tamper with another person's free expression of ideas beyond the realm of free debate and argument. That is not your province of authority, lest you be fascist.

We posit that much of the gun violence in this country is being stimulated by just such misplaced attempts at interpersonal control of how others think and express themselves, and this peculiarly neurotic fixation the country has developed on "normal behavior", of which there is no such thing in the history of mankind, lest we become status quo lovers who thus never advance beyond the present-day cave.

Rather than stupid, fear-inducing nonsense as having drills in schools in preparation for a gunman, a ludicrous notion in the premises, or arming teachers, only apt in the long-run to spawn the very behavior it seeks ostensibly to avoid, schools ought be having drills on how to argue and debate matters of importance to our survival as a democracy, how effectively to deprogram the interpersonal fear created by mass media over time, from visual news media through television programming and certain types of movies aimed at mass audiences, deprogramming by way of active, intelligent criticism of same and understanding how those media function, that at base, they are selling tools of corporations.

More stress on that and less worry about school dress and other such perfunctory issues, playing wild west in the schools, more worry about traditional education, learning to read, write, and, most importantly, think, would lead to improved conditions quite quickly, obviating even the thought of the need for such silly drilling.

You will obviously not stop a determinedly suicidal shooter without ruining the entire educational experience for everyone and turning young students into morbid, paranoid nuts in a locked down educational environment, a process, we fear, well on its way, stimulated by a verbal minority of paranoid, gun-toting, nutty parents, often the most likely to foster the shooters, thus scared of their own shadows.

Start with that premise and then start trying to avoid the conditions which produce those shooters, who are always, inevitably, among the students being taught. That should be the goal, not encouraging the fear and the use of the very guns which become the weapons of murder. Stressing prevention of an act which has an incidence of occurrence of one in hundreds of millions of classroom-days in the country which transact completely in peace in a given year is a ridiculous waste of time and mental energy. Why not also prepare for a 747 crashing into the school, having as much likelihood of occurrence as a school shooting?

Or, in the final analysis, in trying to construct rubber bathtubs for everyone, failing to reflect on much of anything beyond a shocking, sensationalistic recent news report, are you not just plain dumb?

A piece from the Asheville Citizen, titled "'Remember the Dorchester'", remarks of the sinking of the Dorchester, a transport torpedoed by U-boat off Greenland in 1943, sinking quickly with few survivors. There were not enough life jackets or lifeboats, and four chaplains, one Jewish, one Catholic, and two Protestant, surrendered their jackets to four others and went down together holding hands.

The piece finds the four a fitting symbol for Brotherhood Week, and urges that the four, Poling, Fox, Washington, and Goode, and the Dorchester be remembered as much as Pearl Harbor.

Drew Pearson reports that the White House was irritated that Robert Hannegan had thrown the President's hat in the ring for 1948, making him now a target, suggesting that everything he would do henceforth would be for political reasons. But, in fact, Mr. Hannegan had consulted twice with Mr. Truman before making the announcement.

He next tells of Senator Kenneth Wherry of Nebraska, associated with big business interests and stopping the investigation into the newsprint monopoly, having become chairman of the Small Business Committee, now therefore nicknamed the Big Business Committee for Small Undertakings.

President Truman, not a philatelist as FDR, had recently shown a visitor a book of stamps given to daughter Margaret by the Egyptian Ambassador. It was legal, he points out, for Margaret to receive the gift, but not her father.

Mr. Pearson notes that when FDR had been President, his assistant Missy Lehand had sent such gifts to the State Department, but the President would often hide the gifts of stamps before she could do so.

He next informs of House Ways & Means Committee chairman Harold Knutson of Minnesota having gotten the approval of a procedure in the committee whereby unlimited use of proxies could be made, such that members could be absent from proceedings and still their proxies could be voted by designated members of their party. Thus, policy could be made by only a handful of members actually present.

Mr. Knutson had also gotten approval to pass his 20 percent tax cut through the committee without holding public hearings. All of the Republicans had voted for doing so, along with future House Ways & Means chairman Wilbur Mills of Arkansas, a Democrat who usually voted with the Republicans.

A representative of the Arthur Murray Dance Studio had promised to send judges and costumes to Washington for a glamour-and-rhumba contest between Democratic and Republican Senators, in light of the recent boxing match between Senator Harry P. Cain of Washington and Senator Wherry.

Marquis Childs tells of a transformation in President Truman since the previous October when he appeared worried and diffident, a prisoner of the White House. The President spoke to DNC chairman Robert Hannegan with authority after the latter returned from his Florida vacation, telling him he would have to stay on in his dual roles provided his health permitted. Mr. Hannegan, being simpatico with the President's desires, did not need to consult with him before announcing that Mr. Truman would be a candidate in 1948.

There was new harmony at the White House, replacing all of the bitter rivalries which had marred the Roosevelt White House and Cabinet. The appointment of General Marshall as Secretary of State had contributed to this cohesion. Secretary Byrnes had always exerted some degree of condescension toward the President, perhaps for the fact that Mr. Byrnes, had it not been for Robert Hannegan and the big city bosses, Ed Flynn of Brooklyn and Ed Kelly of Chicago, would have been the nominee for the vice-presidency in 1944, thus President in April, 1945.

When Mr. Truman had become President, he enjoyed an 83 percent approval rating and a three percent disapproval rating in the Gallup Poll. The previous October, the ratings were 32 percent and 53 percent, respectively. At present, the ratings stood at 48 and 39 percent.

A Gallup editor had recently pointed out that FDR had polled 55 percent of the popular vote in 1940, compared with 62.5 percent in 1936, concluding that his popularity had begun to slip, and that he was sustained in office only by the war. The fact of the Democrats' longevity in office, Mr. Childs believes, would have to be considered in approaching 1948, a past of which President Truman was heir.

Samuel Grafton, still in Paris, tells of the tranquility which prevailed politically in France, a Communist having remarked that the clergy's emergence politically was acceptable as they performed so well in the resistance, a right-winger having made a similar remark with respect to the Communists. "The centrifuge of peace has not yet entirely broken up the wartime emulsion of the ideologies."

Many observers saw the country as being divided between those who wished to go Left and thise who did not, but that nearly no one wanted to go Right. There appeared to be truth in the statement, as the Right had so disgraced itself during the Nazi occupation that no one wanted now to be associated too much with it.

There was not much taking place which was new, as everything had to be approved by both the Communists and centrist elements. The Communists believed that if a crisis were to come politically, it would be brought on by the Right seeking to establish a strong man, for instance General De Gaulle. Frenchmen looked to other than political signs as bellwethers of the future.

There were more cars in the streets and Frenchmen saw this as a barometer suggesting that France was emerging from the postwar period. Pedestrians were being run over regularly in the streets of Paris. It appeared as good an indicator as any.

A letter takes exception to "The Case of the Gored Ox", anent the proposed Constituional amendment which had passed the House to limit the presidency to two terms. He finds the editorial omitting the argument for the amendment that the two-term tradition had proved insufficient to limit the President from seeking a third term in the case of FDR, and that many citizens had been concerned by that fact and that political patronage by the in-party enabled continuance in power.

The editors respond that regardless of that patronage, the out-party had managed to capture both houses of Congress in 1946, and they saw no more need for a term limit than at original ratification of the Constitution.

A letter writer plumps for greater enforcement of state prohibition laws, disagrees with a previous writer who asserted that the liquor laws only served to promote bootlegging.

A letter from a soldier stationed at Fort Bragg as a member of the 82nd Airborne Division, the son of Representative Leo Allen of Illinois, sponsor of the gradual income tax law pending in the Congress, finds The News to be one of the fairest and most informative newspapers he had read and congratulates the editors.

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