The Charlotte News

Tuesday, February 18, 1947


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Prime Minister Clement Attlee of Britain stated that displaced persons of Germany and Austria would be classified for possible employment in Britain's coal mines and other industries which were short on manpower. The effort to reopen closed industries might cause even deeper cuts into the meager coal rations available.

The severe winter weather meanwhile continued in Britain. Householders in suburban areas were reported to be breaking up their furniture for use as fuel.

A train wreck at Altoona, Pa., left at least 20 passengers dead and 100 injured on the "Red Arrow" line traveling from Detroit to New York. The train derailed at 3:25 a.m. on the "Horseshoe Curve", sending five cars of the train down a 150-foot embankment. The cause of the accident had not yet been determined. The train was running 50 minutes behind schedule when it rounded the curve with a 35 mph speed limit.

A former employee of TVA, who admitted being a member of the Communist Party for eighteen months during the period 1937-39, denied to the Senate Atomic Energy Committee that he had written a letter published in the Knoxville newspaper in 1943 which had told of activities within TVA. He said that he had been asked to join the Communist Party by a man who was not an employee of TVA.

The House Rules Committee voted to ban amendments to the House bill proposing a six-billion dollar cut, including two billion in cuts to the military, from the President's proposed 37.5 billion dollar annual budget.

The NLRB issued a notice to unions that striking workers protesting wage and working conditions could be replaced by companies without violation of the Wagner Labor Relations Act. The statement was a reprise of a previous NLRB decision.

In Albany, N.Y., the Democratic minority of the State Senate and Assembly staged a walkout in protest of the State Police barring 1,000 spectators from entering the legislative galleries after a Republican leader deemed them to be "Reds". The Republican leader asserted that not all of the spectators were being barred and that a small delegation would be admitted.

The North Carolina Senate passed a bill to ban fireworks manufacture and sale within the state.

In Grandview, Mo., the hip of the President's mother, who had fallen the previous week and broken it, was packed in a plaster cast. She was in a cheerful mood.

In Washington, at Constitution Hall, singer John Charles Thomas sang "Happy Birthday" to First Daughter Margaret Truman on her 23rd birthday. The Baltimore Civic Opera had performed Gilbert and Sullivan's "H.M.S. Pinafore". Mr. Thomas had also sung "There Is a Ladye, Sweet and Kind" during intermission, and dedicated it to the young Ms. Truman.

In a playful mood, Mr. Thomas, on his last of several encores, feigned exhaustion, stumbled to the prop stage door, and cried, "Open the door, Richard."

In Los Angeles, John Alden Howell, a former captain in Stonewall Jackson's Army during the Civil War, celebrated his 106th birthday. He was the only known commissioned officer of the Confederate Army still alive. Only 110 Confederate soldiers remained living. Mr. Howell's old friend Josephus Daniels of Raleigh had written to him, asking that he return to his native North Carolina that he might live to a ripe, old age. Mr. Howell had been born in Waynesville and was a lawyer, banker, and soldier. He would die a month later.

In New Orleans, Mardi Gras began. Coffee importer George Westfeldt reigned over the festivities as Rex, Lord of Misrule and King of Carnival. His Queen was Henriette Vallon of an old Creole family. The Zulu King, Lord of the Negroes Mardi Gras, preceded Rex in the parade.

On the editorial page, "The Lynching in South Carolina" reports on the lynching of Willie Earle the previous day in Pickens, near Greenville, by a mob of 25-30 men who grabbed him at the point of a shotgun from the custody of the jailer, drove him into the country and there stabbed him, apparently tortured him, and then shot him in the head with a shotgun.

It was the first lynching in South Carolina in several years—though the piece neglects to point out its precursor, the beating and blinding of Sgt. Isaac Woodard a year earlier in Batesburg by the police chief there, Lynwood Shull, and his acquittal the previous November on Federal charges of assault, suggesting to the populace that lynching of a criminally accused black could still be accomplished with impunity.

The piece observes that the lynching mentality cited the need to keep blacks in their place. Such a rationale was ironic in any event, and especially so in the instant case, as Pickens was located within a mountain county with the lowest percentage of blacks of any county in the state. There were practically no blacks in Pickens.

Condemnation of the lynching had been virtually universal in South Carolina. Newly installed Governor Strom Thurmond had pledged that every effort would be made to bring the perpetrators to trial—a pledge he would keep, even if the jury chose to practice the time-honored Southern tradition of nullification and acquit the 31 defendants the following May.

A great deal of criticism of South Carolina, it predicts, would arise and the only way to dispel it would be to assure that the perpetrators of the crime were brought to justice.

Adding to the irony, of course, would be that Governor Thurmond would walk out of the 1948 Democratic Convention, leading his Southern Dixiecrats in protest of the strong civil rights plank introduced to the Democratic platform by Mayor Hubert Humphrey and adopted by the Convention. To Governor Thurmond and his coterie, prevention of lynching was one thing, equal rights and opportunity in seeking jobs and desegregation of public schools, something else entirely.

"Josiah Bailey's Last Testament" tells of a letter to the people of North Carolina, written by the late Senator Josiah W. Bailey the previous summer, at a time when he knew that his health was failing. He had expressed disturbingly a faith in a form of nationalism, finding it necessary to heavily arm the country and to stay out of the disputes of the smaller nations of the earth, whose interests were different from the U.S. He favored protection of the Western Hemisphere, doubted the wisdom of the loan to Britain for its cost to the American taxpayer.

He urged the voters not to elect anyone who was not in favor of reducing expenditures and balancing the budget. Yet, he favored an arms race and huge expenditures to keep defense strong.

The piece hopes that he was speaking for a minority in Congress and that North Carolinians would reject his isolationist notions. Yet, it believes, he appeared to be expressing a view gaining increased traction in the country. Thus, it was disturbing.

"The Case of the Two Governors" finds "a little psychopathic" the effort of some Georgia newspapers to condemn former Governor Ellis Arnall for forcing Herman Talmadge to accept the verdict of the courts on the matter of succession to the Governor's office following the death of his father Eugene Talmadge before taking the oath of office.

Ultimately, though three Superior Court judges had thus far ruled in the matter, two for Mr. Talmadge and one for Lieutenant Governor M. E. Thompson, the Georgia Supreme Court would have to decide whether the Constitution specified that the Legislature could declare the election results invalid after the death of the senior Talmadge and thus elect the successor, or whether the Lieutenant Governor-elect at the time of death of the Governor-elect was the proper successor. An ambiguity in the State Constitution had produced the contest.

The only way to resolve it was through the courts. Former Governor Arnall's efforts in this regard therefore should not find criticism.

Drew Pearson tells of President Truman's taste in art running to the conservative side, viewing the surrealists and cubists as "ham and eggs" art. He recently gave reporters a tour of his favorite paintings, starting with George Healy's "The Peacemakers", which the President had purchased for the White House for $10,000 after he had managed to negotiate the price down from $18,000. Art appraisers from the National Gallery had appraised the painting at $50,000.

He showed a magazine art spread with a painting of a fat nude circus performer as as an example of his "ham and eggs" art. The President insisted that he had never seen such a circus performer. So, he was a Hottentot if that was art.

Former Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn was recently joking about the rapidity with which the Republicans were passing bills, one bill to extend wartime excise taxes, the other for an alcohol plant.

About half the opposition to confirmation of David Lilienthal as chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission was originating from among the military brass hats. The other part was from Senator Taft's determination not to allow a former New Dealer to occupy a major role in the Truman Administration. The Pentagon had never forgiven the previous Congress for placing control of atomic energy in civilian hands. They were now determined therefore to control who sat on the Commission, trying to call into question Mr. Lilienthal's ability to protect the secret.

But the Smyth Report prepared in July, 1945 had contained about 90 percent of the secret, and the Army, itself, had released the report to the public in August, 1945. Maj. General Leslie Groves had been behind the release and, paradoxically, had also opposed civilian control of atomic energy.

But regardless of whether it was wise to release it, the fact remained that most European countries had about 70 percent of the secret before the first bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. Canada, England, France, and Sweden had atomic energy piles producing U-235, lacking only the mechanism to turn it into a bomb.

The scientists had developed a bomb 600 times more powerful than the Hiroshima bomb. But because the military still controlled large sections of the atomic laboratories, top scientists such as Leo Szilard refused to work on the Government projects.

The effort on Capitol Hill to smear Mr. Lilienthal was likely to backfire, setting back research on atomic energy by deterring qualified scientists from participating in its continued development.

Marquis Childs tells of the nation's natural resources running low after the war. According to a report issued by Secretary of Interior J. A. Krug, the iron of the Mesabe Range was running out. Reserves of other metals were low. A group of geologists had forecasted that the nation's oil reserves would run out in twenty years. The report stated that a thorough accounting would cost a billion dollars and twenty years to accomplish.

Mr. Childs had typically received letters after such columns, indicating that low-grade ores were available in quantity in the West, provided Government subsidies could be made in the form of high tariffs to make it profitable to refine them.

In the Soviet Union, 10,000 geologists were participating in the search for minerals as part of the new five-year plan. In the Karelo-Finnish Republic, airborne detectors had found a vast deposit of iron ore; others had been located in the Crimea, Eastern Siberia, and the Urals. Soviet geologists claimed that the country held the largest reserves of petroleum in the world and that U.S.S.R. oil production would double within five years.

Natural resources determined the difference between a have and have-not nation. The United States had such unlimited reserves for so long that it could not realize that a new age of increased dependency on other nations for resources had arrived. The remaining resources had to be managed carefully, and a start could be accomplished by the thorough survey recommended by Secretary Krug.

Harold Ickes tells of the need of the United States to stick by Britain in its time of want for coal. The shortage was not a function of incompetence in management of the newly nationalized coal industry. England had to draft manpower during the war to keep the coal mines running. The problems went back years prior to the Labor Government coming to power in mid-1945. If Churchill were still in power, the country would still be without coal. It might explain why he had not moved for a vote of confidence in Parliament.

A free market economy could not exist in Britain because the social and economic factors present in the U.S. which permitted a free market system could not endure in Britain. If the Labor Government were to fall, it would be succeeded by a more leftist government, one which would threaten the American economy.

Thus, both humanity and practicality militated in favor of support of Britain, which stood as an economic buffer to either communism or anarchy. It behooved the country thus to follow the maxim of being the brother's keeper.

A letter takes issue with the newspaper's criticism the previous Friday of the bill to set aside the requirement that participants in a divorce suit state under penalty of perjury that they had not participated in any fraud to obtain the divorce. He points out that the provision requiring the oath had been enacted at a time when there were only two grounds for divorce, impotency and more than one act of adultery.

The bill primarily sought to change the fact that the oath specified that the husband and wife were not seeking the divorce primarily for the sake of being separated from one another but rather for the causes asserted. Most parties to a divorce were in fact seeking separation in modern times.

He points out that the affidavits in question were not in fact sworn under penalty of perjury in any event, and could not therefore subject the signatory to a prosecution for perjury. He recommends that rather than criticizing the bill in question, the editors instead focus on educating notaries public to their duties of swearing people under penalty of perjury.

The editors respond that they would favor a bill which was limited to striking the outmoded language of purpose and strengthening the requirements for the oath. But the bill in question merely eliminated the affidavit and they thus remained opposed to it as making it the easier to obtain a fraudulent divorce.

Again, however, we remind of Mr. Hiss, the Garden, and all attendant with it, that requiring such an oath could, ultimately, bring about the end of the world for all.

Three more letters thank the newspaper for the Good Health Program issue of the previous Tuesday.

A letter from a probate judge in St. Joseph, Mich., tells readers that they could still obtain from him a copy of the booklet providing the self-analysis technique which had been outlined in a Reader's Digest article. He had been swamped with requests but they had been accidentally destroyed and so he wanted to assure readers that they could still obtain the booklet.

You can write him, therefore, should you be emotionally ill, feel insecure, fearful, or are lonesome, or the like.

Framed Edition
[Return to Links
Page by Subject] [Return to Links-Page by Date] [Return to News<i><i><i>--</i></i></i>Framed Edition]
Links-Date -- Links-Subj.