The Charlotte News

Wednesday, February 19, 1947


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that British Prime Minister Clement Attlee stated that industry in the Midlands of England could be resumed the following Monday after a two-week shutdown resultant of the unprecedented coal shortage brought on by the worst winter in half a century. Reduction in domestic usage of electricity, cut by five hours per day, however, would have to continue. Coal production had increased by 119,000 tons the previous week over the same period the previous year.

British Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin blamed American Jews for putting pressure on the U. S. Government in such a way that he had not been able to resolve the situation in Palestine, asserting that he could have reached a solution which would have assured peace twenty years into the future were it not for American interference.

Next time, you can resolve the crisis with the Germans alone, too, pal.

We know, that was a different Party.

President Truman asked Congress for legislation to make possible an early end to the national emergency which had prevailed in the country since 1939, seeking outright repeal of 24 laws and that emergency operations under 36 permanent statutes be suspended. He wanted the provision implemented by March 15. Actually, the national emergency was not declared by the President until May 27, 1941, not in 1939 at the outset of the war in Europe, and most of the special statutes and the War Powers Acts permitting the President broad emergency powers were not passed until after Pearl Harbor. Lend-Lease was passed by the Congress in March, 1941, though President Roosevelt had already engaged in informal lend-lease by the deal constructed with the British the previous September to provide the 50 old destroyers.

CIO president Philip Murray told the Senate Labor Committee that if William Green of AFL would meet with him, they could work out an agreement to eliminate jurisdictional strikes.

In Bridgeport, O., a retired railroad engineer who had lost his voice 36 years earlier suddenly regained it and explained to reporters what had triggered his regeneration. Something told him to speak and he did. He had lost his speech in 1911 in a railroad accident, had just recovered from a heart attack at age 82, was now able to speak again. The accident had occurred when his train stalled in a tunnel, unable to pull its load further uphill, at which point the exhaust fumes overwhelmed him, causing him to black out and paralyzing his vocal cords.

In Matewan, W. Va., the Sheriff reported that Police Chief Allen Hatfield had admitted shooting Hubert McCoy in self-defense. Mr. McCoy had accompanied a prisoner to jail, under arrest by Chief Hatfield. Hard words ensued and Mr. McCoy struck Chief Hatfield and then a patrolman, knocking him to the floor and then reaching for a gun, whereupon Chief Hatfield fatally shot Mr. McCoy.

Whether the feud was thus resumed was not yet known.

We are not sure who wrote the bold leading headline for this date's News, but it has to win a creativity award, even if somewhat initially confusing. A stranger to the state who was not following too closely the Legislature's biennial meeting would have to wonder what in the first place North Carolina had been doing in authorizing the marriage of wildlife.

In any event, a House committee of the Legislature voted to separate the division of Game & Inland Fisheries from the Department of Conservation & Development, something of which you, no doubt, need to be aware 67 years on. You can thank us for letting you know. Your life may depend on it one day.

If you are an outsider passing through North Carolina and are stopped while driving erratically, you just tell the officer that you are perfectly aware that in 1947 there was a law passed to allow divorce of wildlife. You will, no doubt, be allowed to go on your way.

Jo Spivey of The News tells of a bill introduced Monday night in the State Senate to provide for parks and recreation facilities in the town of Monroe, another thing you need to know.

A bill was introduced to place all taxicab operations under the authority of the State Utilities Commission. Memorize it, for there will be a test later in the week.

The bill had been sponsored by the North Carolina Taxicab Association, the executive secretary of which was Marshall Kurfees of Winston-Salem, who would become Mayor of the city in 1949 and serve in that capacity until 1961.

Until it was straightened out more or less some 15 years ago, for decades, the name of Mayor Kurfees was unfortunately informally attached to the locally infamous Hawthorne Curve on I-40 through Winston-Salem, as his Administration had been instrumental in creating it to save businesses in its path, allowing the raised freeway constructed in the mid-50's to straddle a creekbed, causing through the years numerous accidents from sleepy drivers not prepared for a sharp curve on the interstate. Several wound up in the creekbed below. Hence, "The Kurfees Curve".

All news is local and this edition's front page clearly proves the adage.

That underlying "Side Glances" of December 16, 1944, incidentally, is now here. "Did" is now here, more or less.

Burke Davis reports on page 3-A of having visited the Valdese Hospital in Western North Carolina, to provide an example of an efficient small hospital and to report its needs, typical of most such rural and small-town hospitals in the state.

Among other things, the Davidson College Board of Trustees at its annual mid-winter meeting increased tuition charges to $300 per year beginning with the next school year. Be sure and take advantage of that. It is certainly a bargain which may not be around long.

In Hollywood, actress Frances Rafferty obtained a divorce from her husband, an Army major, after she said that she had lost 14 pounds when her husband left her after returning from overseas, preventing her from being able to work.

Apparently, her roles called for someone a little plumper.

On the editorial page, "An Immutable Fiscal Law" comments on the position of The Charlotte Observer that state taxes were so high by comparison to neighboring states that it was difficult for North Carolina to attract industry. The piece disagrees, pointing out that when local and state taxes were combined, the rate, while somewhat difficult to ascertain, tended to be competitive or lower than that of neighboring states.

To reduce corporate taxes while increasing expenditures, as proposed by The Observer, would throw the state budget out of balance.

"'48 Ought to Be Restful" tells of Senator John Sparkman of Alabama, future vice-presidential candidate for the Democrats with Governor Adlai Stevenson in 1952, predicting a Democratic victory in 1948, despite the present gloomy prospects. The piece wonders for what, should it prove true, the Democrats would stand, since the end of the New Deal was apparent. They were for more spending than the Republicans and more realistic tax cuts, but little else could be divined as a program.

Senator Sparkman insisted that the Democrats had the interests of the common man in mind and for that reason would be victorious. The piece, however, questions whether, with rising incomes, there was still such a proverbial "common man" on the scene. The Republican victory in the fall appeared to suggest the contrary.

The piece looks forward to the 1948 race as restful, as two parties who were both conservative were unlikely to stimulate any great excitement or unrest in the country.

A piece from the Louisville Courier-Journal, titled "Record of a Nation's Faith", asks the reader whether the record of high divorce among veterans, their complaints over shortage of housing and other living conditions, and the anecdotal information of crime committed by veterans had become tiresome.

A Census Bureau report from the Louisville area stated that more than a third of the veterans who had housing at all were living with their families or other families. Another third lived in homes in need of repair or lacking in sanitary facilities. Hundreds had no homes at all. They could afford only about $40 on average per month in rent. Only a small number of habitable dwellings were unoccupied and those were beyond the reach of the average veteran. Marriages cracked under the strain of such circumstances.

It was no wonder, it concludes, that the veterans were bitter upon their return to such conditions at home after facing successfully the enemy abroad.

Drew Pearson tells of complaints by Democrats regarding the House-Senate Budget Committee meetings sometimes being held only for House members and in secret. But often Republicans were wrangling among themselves at such meetings. Senator Chan Gurney of South Dakota, chairman of the Armed Forces Committee, opposed the proposed 1.75 billion dollar budget cut to the Army and the 250 million dollar cut to the Navy. He wanted an overall cut of only 4.5 billion, with token cuts to military spending. Senators Robert Taft of Ohio and Eugene Milikin of Colorado joined in this view.

Congressman Everett Dirksen of Illinois insisted that the proposed cuts had been determined through consultation with the best people in each department, and to try to itemize the various cuts, as desired by some members, would provoke endless debate. He could not reveal who the consultants were from each department or they might become the object of retaliation.

Mr. Pearson notes that the Reorganization Act passed by the previous Congress required that budget and other important committee hearings be open to the public, whereas the instant meeting of the Budget Committee had taken place behind closed doors.

Marquis Childs discusses how the Republicans intended to cut the budget, with a scalpel or an axe. The requests for eleven billion dollars in appropriations by the Army and Navy might be trimmed with precision without doing damage to either service. Yet, the Republicans did not appear willing to utilize such an approach, and cutting wholesale from these budgets could cause problems. Senator Arthur Vandenberg of Michigan and Senator Gurney were determined to prevent such cuts in the House, but would have a hard fight against their equally determined fellow Republicans.

Meanwhile, as the world emerged from the war, it was witnessing the disintegration of the British Empire which, for 150 years, had maintained order in the world. Thus, to cut defense spending radically could result in unpreparedness for the world to come out of this transition period.

Essential to the goal of balancing the budget was that the nation maintain a 150-billion dollar per year national income, to allow generation of the necessary balancing revenue. If it fell significantly below that figure, there would be problems meeting the five billion dollars of annual debt service. The budget for the ensuing fiscal year would be nearly back to normal, as six to eight billion dollars in the present budget was connected to termination of the war.

While the voters voted out the New Deal the previous November, they had not voted for a return to the Old Deal extant prior to 1933. Those Republicans who thought it so, Mr. Childs suggests, might be in for a rude awakening come 1948.

Harold Ickes comments on the House bill to send to the states the proposed amendment to limit the presidency to two terms in office. He recommends that the merits of the amendment be thoroughly discussed and considered before being approved by the states. That FDR had run a third and fourth time during extraordinary circumstances of the nation did not require an emergent amendment to correct the situation. He thinks the dispassionate debate on the matter ought be further removed in time from the end of the Roosevelt Administration.

An amendment ought strengthen and preserve the concept of self-government, the impetus for the Constitution. That the people preferred Roosevelt in 1940 and 1944 was not ground for depriving the people henceforth of the right so to vote. It was tantamount to ruling that a horse which had won two races could not race again.

He indicates that his personal preference was that a President should not serve more than two terms, at least under ordinary circumstances. But, on occasion, as in 1940, the voice of experience was the one best suited to the job. Wendell Willkie, while a highly capable man, had not any background in international affairs. He would have faced at least a Democratic Senate, and Government would undoubtedly not have operated as smoothly as it did during the war.

No nation ought cripple itself so as to be deprived of the opportunity of continuity of leadership in the midst of a war. The proposed amendment, he believes, was targeting FDR in death, and such spite was childish in nature.

A letter from a physician thanks the newspaper for the issue the previous week on the Good Health Program in the state.

Two other letters, one from the librarian of Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, likewise thank the newspaper for the issue.

The column then presents excerpts from editorials from the Asheville Citizen, the Concord Tribune, and the Kinston Free Press, each also complimenting The News on the edition.

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