The Charlotte News

Friday, February 14, 1947


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Prime Minister Attlee of Britain sought with his Coal Cabinet to fix an approximate date for ending the industrial shutdown in the country. There were signs that the crisis had reached its climax. The Prime Minister thanked President Truman for the offer of diverting coal shipments from other European countries, but declined as he viewed the need on the Continent to be just as great.

Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin announced that Britain had determined to present to the U.N. the Palestine problem for resolution.

The House-Senate Budgetary Committee rejected a proposal to maintain Army and Navy funds intact and agreed to work toward reduction of the President's proposed budget by six billion dollars, or, as a compromise, 4.15 billion, in the latter case, without more than token cuts to the military of about 200 million dollars for each branch.

Tom Watkins of The News interviews Tenth District Congressman Hamilton Jones, who indicated he would vigorously oppose reduction of the military budget.

Live hogs on the Chicago exchange reached $26.25, the second highest level in history, the highest having been $27.50 the previous October 15, after removal of price controls on meat.

Cotton futures dropped $4.50 per bale on the New York market and $3.55 per bale in New Orleans, before both markets recovered substantially.

The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington ruled 2 to 1 that the OPA had exceeded its authority under the War Mobilization and Reconversion Act of 1944, in using a formula based on prior usage to allocate sugar to producers of sweetened condensed milk. OPA officials stated that the ruling might upset the entire sugar rationing program.

Burke Davis of The News reports that heated debate had continued before the State Assembly's Joint Appropriations Committee regarding the proposed four-year medical school at the University.

As if once were not enough, the page sees fit to report again on the selection of the five prettiest pairs of legs in the country, as chosen by ad representative Barry Stephens. This report adds that Betty Grable did not fit the bill in measurements, as she stood only 5'4" and had considerably smaller legs than the dimensions specified by Mr. Stephens as the new post-war ideal.

In Bloomington, Ill., a night fireman had made two friends, both mice, Susie and Tommy. But then they produced two offspring and now he had to share his lunch with all four. He said that he guessed you could overdo a good thing.

In New York, a magistrate had expressed hope for saving the life of a war veteran springer spaniel, Scout by name, condemned to death for biting three persons while readjusting to civilian life. The owners were accused of abducting the dog from an animal shelter on the eve of its scheduled execution. One of the victims, a 14-year old girl, had sent a letter saying she was only scratched, not bitten. The magistrate stated that he was only determining the guilt of the owners, not whether Scout had to die, in the hands of the Health Department. But he hoped the dog would be allowed to live.

Hang in there, buddy. How were you to know that they weren't Krauts? They train you for war, and you react. You were just doing your duty. Sic 'em, Scout.

On the editorial page, "Long Step in the Wrong Direction" finds a North Carolina House bill to eliminate the requirement of a statement under penalty of perjury that those obtaining a divorce had not done so by fraud to be merely creating a loophole in the law by which fraud could continue. The law's stated purpose was to eliminate the prospect of perjury in obtaining a divorce. The piece counsels that the real object ought be to eliminate the fraud from divorces, not make it the easier to obtain them through false statements.

But, judging prospectively by the Hiss case, one might find in the Garden then the snake by which temptation offered the overly ambitious and avaricious prosecutor might damn the whole thing into the eve of endless perdition.

In any event, the conundrum was the reason for the advent of no-fault divorce laws, relative uniformity in which, state to state, replacing diverse laws, as whether tartar sauce was desirable with their fish was sometimes a problematic irreconcilable difference, when required in the particulars.

"Warhorses with Long Memories" tells of the latest assault on academic freedom, that of John Clark, proposing that the University turn down a $30,000 grant from the Rosenwald Foundation for its being for the purpose of advancing equality among the races, having been defeated by former Secretary of the Navy and Ambassador to Mexico Josephus Daniels and former Governor Cameron Morrison. Both the Winston-Salem Journal and the Greensboro Daily News had praised the two elder statesmen for their roles in the matter.

The Board of Trustees had overwhelmingly turned down member Clark's proposal after hearing the eloquent presentation of Messrs. Morrison and Daniels. Governor Morrison had presented the words of former Governor Charles B. Aycock, who had stated at the turn of the century that depriving the vote and equal justice to blacks would ultimately deprive the leaders of the state of their authority.

"The Danger Amongst Us" finds it not out of place that the Republicans would invoke the memory of Abraham Lincoln to promote such divergent views as a ten percent hike in the ceiling on rents and the raising of tariffs. Jackson Day would soon be occurring, at which time the Democrats would undertake to invoke the memories of Andrew Jackson and Thomas Jefferson to promote their own current legislative desires.

It finds, however, wisdom in Carl Sandburg's remarks on Lincoln Day, in an interview in The Hendersonville Times-News, in which he had quoted from a Lincoln address, delivered at age 28 to the Young Men's Lyceum of Springfield in 1838, stating that the greatest danger to the republic was from within, not from abroad.

"As a nation of free men we must live through all time or die by suicide."

The piece thinks that if the Republicans would bear the thought in mind, they would not do any violence to Mr. Lincoln's memory otherwise.

A piece from the Durham Sun, titled "But We Need Doctors", advocates expansion of the two-year medical school to a regular four-year school, as proposed, at Chapel Hill, stating that Durham needed more doctors as did the rest of the state, with one doctor on average for every 1,600 people. Medical experts stated that one for every 800 to 1,000 people was required for proper medical care. The state needed another 1,300 doctors to accomplish that goal.

Today, incidentally, it appears that North Carolina has one doctor for every 230 people, which may be, therefore, about three too many per, provoking inexorably the law of diminishing returns, even the law of insistence, whereby unneeded medical care is force fed the patient, especially the elderly, to afford a demand for the increased supply of doctors and their medicine-men purveyors of narcotic substances. Don't go unless you must. They will kill you with kindness.

Drew Pearson tells of Senator Robert Taft having passed the word along to fellow Republicans that no former FDR appointee of note was to have a high place in the Government, and that the Senate might as well begin by refusing to confirm David Lilienthal as chairman of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission. Thus, Senator Styles Bridges of New Hampshire had begun an attack on Mr. Lilienthal, selected for his remoteness from Tennessee, where Mr. Lilienthal had headed TVA.

He next tells of the quiet session of the House Judiciary Committee considering the Gwynne bill to ban portal-to-portal pay, as recognized by the Supreme Court as being within the purview of the 1938 Wages and Hours Act. Irving Richter of the UAW presented an indictment of the Wages & Hours Division of the Labor Department, allegedly having cheated workers out of millions of dollars in back pay through one-sided settlements of disputes. Fines were miniscule and often no back pay was awarded at all. He told of workers in Alabama, South Carolina, and Georgia earning as little as five to six dollars per six-day week as late as 1943. To get around the law, employers were calling truck drivers and wood cutters in the wood pulp and paper industry "independent contractors".

Ambassador George Messersmith had been sent back to Argentina, after being dressed down by Secretary of State Marshall for being too friendly to dictator Juan Peron. Yet, observers reported that Mr. Messersmith appeared to remain on friendly terms with Sr. Peron. He had told Secretary Marshall and the President that the Peron regime would be more friendly to the United States than the alternative, the extreme Argentine Fascists, Alianza Nacionalistas. He had not convinced, however, either the President or Secretary Marshall of this point. U.S. policy toward Argentina remained unaltered.

Marquis Childs tells of the bituminous coal mines, thanks to high demand and the need for overtime to make up for losses during the previous strike, producing a record amount of coal, 13.75 million tons per week thus far in February. Both the Government and UMW were awaiting the Supreme Court decision on the Federal Court's contempt citation against John L. Lewis and the UMW issued in December. Mr. Lewis had called off the strike at that time until March 31. Should the Court rule in favor of the Government, the task of transferring the mines back to private ownership would be fairly simple; if the other way about, it would be more difficult.

The Northern mine owners appeared willing to negotiate a new contract with UMW, which would include the welfare clause in the Government contract negotiated the previous May. But the Southern owners remained problematic.

Even if the Government should win, there was a likely prospect of an April strike, as demand for coal eased at that time and the miners would wish to get in some loafing in the spring. If the Congress had not acted, however, on labor legislation by that time, it was likely that Mr. Lewis would hold the miners in line, to avoid egging on the Congress.

The contrasting decline in British coal production had begun long before the nationalization of the coal mines by the Labor Government at the start of the year. Both the miners and owners had resisted the introduction of modern machinery. British industry was dominated by large cartels.

The American volume ought permit sending more coal to Europe to alleviate the conditions from the harshest winter in 50 years. Secretary of Interior J. A. Krug, however, had stated that the current volume of two million tons of exported coal per month to Europe was fixed by port capabilities.

Harold Ickes tells of America having a good friend in Foreign Minister Count Carlo Sforza of Italy. He had refused, on peril of his life, to accept Mussolini and the Black Shirts when they had marched on Rome to set up a dictatorship in 1922-23. He had then fled to his estate in Southern France, then to the United States, arriving as a virtual pauper. He supported himself through lectures and spent much of his time in Washington pleading for the Italian republic.

Mr. Ickes had first met him on September 11, 1940 at the British Embassy, arriving with only the clothes he wore.

He had soon ceased to be welcome at the State Department under Cordell Hull. He also received little encouragement from the British Embassy, which gave instructions on the matter to the State Department. Prime Minister Churchill feared that Count Sforza's desire for a republic would imperil the throne of Victor Emmanuel in Italy, thus also imperilling the British throne.

Count Sforza initilly could not get a visa to return to Italy in 1943 after the fall of Mussolini, but eventually, one was issued. FDR held Count Sforza in high esteem and Mr. Ickes had taken it upon himself to present his case to the President, who hoped that Count Sforza would have a high place in the post-Mussolini Government. The Count had later written to Mr. Ickes, assuring his full support of the United States and had offered to raise an army to fight on the Allied side.

Mr. Ickes believes that Count Sforza was the best qualified of anyone in Italy to be Foreign Minister. He was devoted to Italy and the cause of liberty throughout the world.

A letter writer favors raising teacher salaries 25 percent and more, to assure quality teachers in the profession. He also favors payment on a twelve-month basis.

A letter from a veteran states that most veterans wanted to buy or build a home, not just rent one. But with incomes averaging $38 per week, it was difficult to achieve that quest.

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