The Charlotte News

Friday, February 21, 1947


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that President Truman requested that Congress appropriate 350 million dollars in foreign relief aid to liberated countries, as the efforts of UNRRA were drawing to a close as of the end of March.

Senator Arthur Vandenberg of Michigan stated that he would oppose a six billion dollar cut to the President's proposed budget on the ground that the necessary military cuts of two billion dollars, possibly more, would jeopardize the safety of the nation.

Walter Reuther, president of the UAW, told the Senate Labor Committee that workers needed to receive another hike in wages to keep pace with the rise in cost of living, and that profits, the highest in history, could support it without commensurate increase in prices. He favored continued Government control of wages. Senator Joseph Ball of Minnesota reacted by suggesting that Mr. Reuther's call for continued Government control of wages in peacetime amounted to socialism.

In Chicago, a 13-year old boy, distraught over his missing dog, a black mongrel puppy he had named "Blackie", hanged himself. Then the dog returned home. It had been the boy's first pet and the puppy had slept with him on many nights. He used the puppy's leash to hang himself.

Go buy a new damned dog next time. It's just a damned dog. They are all alike to everyone except you. It is your imagination at work. They are not individuals. Certainly nothing to get hung up about. You really have to be stupid to do that. If you're going to be that dumb, you might as well go ahead before you do something worse.

We once had a dog named "Blackie". It died.

The heaviest snowstorm of recent years hit the East Coast, from Maine to North Carolina, leaving at least 31 persons dead in its wake. Dickinson County, Virginia, had 27 inches of snow. Washington had seven inches of snow. New York received eleven inches amid a 38 mph whistling wind, the city's worst snowstorm since that of March 7-9, 1941, when 12.1 inches fell and likewise snarled the city's transportation. New York's expected high temperature was 20 degrees, potentially dipping to as low as 10 during the night.

Chief cause of the deaths were traffic accidents and over-exertion in shoveling snow. New Jersey recorded eleven of the deaths and Pennsylvania, nine.

The temperature was predicted to fall to 22 in Charlotte on Saturday. It was sunny this day, with a morning low of 24 degrees, rising to 41 by 2:00 p.m. Across the state, it was cold, with considerable snow on the ground west of Durham, four inches, for instance, in Winston-Salem.

A photograph is displayed of the ice-covered trees of the churchyard at the First Presbyterian Church in Charlotte.

On the editorial page, "Five Minutes vs. Six Years" tells of a state commission set up six years earlier to study the solicitorial districts of the state, and having come to a conclusion that redistricting ought take place, eliminating two of the districts and reorganizing the remaining 19 to make the caseloads of solicitors approximately equal.

After the six years of diligent work was set forth to a legislative committee, it took five minutes for the committee to render an unfavorable recommendation on the proposals. It probably meant the death of the bills before the Assembly to reorganize the districts.

The rejection was based on the opposition of 17 of the solicitors, including the Mecklenburg-Gaston Solicitor, premised on the notion that the bills would forbid that they could participate in the private practice of law, that more, not fewer, solicitors were needed in the state, and, primarily, that the plan of redistricting would have disintegrated the long-established political arrangements in each district. So, for political expediency, the report obtained an unfavorable recommendation.

"Taxi Service Is a Local Matter" tells of the taxicab operators, unlike most other such trades, having asked the State to regulate them at the same time they asked for a monopoly through licensure. They had proposed that the State charge the operators a three percent tax from their income to pay for regular inspections.

The piece finds the proposal to be in good faith, but questions the wisdom of removing the taxis from municipal control and placing them under the State Utilities Commission.

We told you there would be a test on the topic later in the week.

"Religion and the Shoe Business" comments on a shoe manufacturing firm in Providence—presumably, for want of a state designation, in North Carolina, not Rhode Isalnd—, hiring a minister as the vice-president in charge of Christian relations. He would take instructions from God, not the board of directors, and undertake the work he deemed necessary, would be paid an indefinite amount for his services, perhaps $20,000, perhaps $100,000. The brothers who owned the firm stated that they did not necessarily expect higher shoe sales as a result.

The piece finds the practice commendable enough, but wonders why the minister needed to be on the payroll, that placing the church on the payroll would be a better method for contributing to the religious life of the community, as the brothers stated that they wished to do.

A piece from the Elizabeth City Daily Advance, titled "Is There No Other Answer?" hopes that Secretary of State Marshall could find another method by which to back up United States foreign policy than through the establishment of universal military training in peacetime, unprecedented in the history of the country. The nations, it points out, which had adopted such training programs prior to the war, France, Germany, and Italy, were now reduced to third-rate powers, in the latter two cases, struggling for new existence.

Drew Pearson relates that many Republicans, especially Col. Bertie McCormick, publisher of the Chicago Tribune, had wanted Senator Arthur Vandenberg to run as vice-president with the Republican nominee, Governor Alf Landon of Kansas, in the 1936 election against FDR. Failing in his efforts at persuasion then, Col. McCormick had become Mr. Vandenberg's severest critic eleven years later for desertion of his old isolationist principles and aiding the State Department in its internationalist policies.

Senator Vandenberg had stated that he did not want the 1948 nomination of his party, and appeared sincere in that regard. He stated that he felt burned out, as his pace had been unrelenting since Pearl Harbor. The Senator was 64 but looked younger. He was the leading statesman on the Republican side of the Senate aisle.

He next tells of Senator Kenneth Wherry of Nebraska announcing that George Meredith, formerly director of public relations with the National Association of Manufacturers, had, paradoxically, been made the executive director of the Small Business Committee.

He next draws the same parallel made the previous day by Marquis Childs between the confirmation process anent the appointment in 1916 of Louis Brandeis as Justice to the Supreme Court and the confirmation hearings for David Lilienthal as chairman of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, both men having been skewered for supposed Communist or Socialist leanings, both the object of politically and economically motivated opposition. Justice Brandeis had gone on to become one of the nation's great Justices.

Marquis Childs suggests that the public ought pity the poor bureaucrats stuck between two divided parties. He cites the case of Assistant Attorney General Wendell Berge, in charge of the anti-trust division of the Justice Department, appearing before the Senate Committee on Civil Service to justify his division's requested appropriations. Senator William Langer of North Dakota, chair of the committee, berated Mr. Berge for not putting anyone in jail for violation of anti-trust laws. Mr. Berge explained that it was rare that judges and juries would apply criminal penalties to such matters involving businessmen. Thus, virtually all the cases were civil in nature.

Senator Langer cited the example of the tungsten manufacturers who had conspired to set the price of tungsten at $453 per pound when it cost $24 per pound for the manufacturer. The Senator was upset that no one would be sent to jail in the matter.

He then cited the case of the motion picture industry, again asking Mr. Berge whether it would not be a deterrent to violation of the laws to put some movie moguls in jail. Mr. Berge replied that he did not think it necessarily would so work. He explained that the Justice Department had a case proceeding which was designed to divest the theaters from the motion picture companies and that it was headed to the Supreme Court.

Senator Langer expressed his approval of the criminal convictions in 1941 of Willie Bioff and his friend George Browne for labor racketeering in connection with the Stagehands Union, and their extortionate demands that the studios hire more stagehands than necessary for particular jobs. He thought the same treatment ought be applied to the movie moguls. But Mr. Berge disagreed, saying it would be unfair to pick on two or three such persons when the whole industry was at fault in producing a system of vertical monopoly, developing over a period of years.

Mr. Childs thinks that such badgering by Congressional committees of dedicated public servants was likely to deter others from serving and chase away the qualified from their positions.

Samuel Grafton, absent from the page since the previous Saturday, now in Prague, tells of feeling free in the city despite being within the fringes of the Iron Curtain. He could go where he liked, had discovered a country trying to resolve differences between Eastern and Western cultures. Non-Communists described the Communist Prime Minister, Gottwald, as first a Czech and not a Communist as in other Eastern bloc countries. Czechs had been kept in jail for collaboration without being charged formally, but were also provided fair trials and often acquitted.

A woman told him that the country really wanted to be Socialist and that the Communists would attract fewer votes in the subsequent election. He found present both Communists and anti-Communists, but overriding partisan considerations, there was a strong feeling of Czech national pride.

In the first post-war election, the Communists had polled 38 percent of the vote, becoming the plurality party, campaigning on a platform of nationalization of most industries. Mr. Grafton was informed that they had won by favors, such as giving away farms, but that it had also been an honest election.

There was only a small Russian presence in Czechoslovakia, though the study of Russian was compulsory for the school children. The press appeared free, but did not print anti-Russian articles. When Czechs met Russians, the discussion was of trivialities, not the country or its politics.

He concludes that while the world was saying that East and West could not get along, Czechs nevertheless went about the business of trying to make it a reality.

A letter remarks on the kangaroo agility necessary for pedestrians to dodge the erratic drivers of Charlotte. There were, the writer says, too many teenagers and alcoholics behind the wheel. The writer wants all drivers to have to undergo both a mental and physical test, to weed out the "drunks and morons".

The author owned a car but was afraid to drive it, used the bus, though the busses also had some moronic drivers.

A letter from UNC Board of Trustees member John W. Clark sets forth the verbatim policy of the Rosenwald Foundation, encouraging integration within society, concentrating on trying to desegregate the Christian churches and on labor organizations. The Foundation found it impossible to obtain equal education under dual systems. Seventeen states mandated segregated schools. The Foundation was seeking an end to the practice.

Mr. Clark had recently drawn fire for opposing a Rosenwald Foundation grant of $30,000 to the University for the promotion of equality among the races. As the editors point out in response, he had also given a speech recently defending white supremacy doctrine and attacked the press of the state for not providing a true picture of the plight of Senator Bilbo of Mississippi and the late Governor Eugene Talmadge in Georgia. In response to an eloquent appeal by former Governor Cameron Morrison and former Ambassador to Mexico Josephus Daniels, the Board of Trustees had rejected his opposition, as University president Frank Porter Graham stated that the Foundation had never sought to influence sociological research at the institution.

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