The Charlotte News

Friday, February 28, 1947


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Britain, its economy near the breaking point, had asked the United States to shoulder the bulk of its commitments to Greece, especially that to enable purchase by Greece of arms and military equipment.

The Senate voted unanimously to apply 2.6 billion dollars of any budget cut to paying off the nation's debt. The measure was a compromise between the three billion favored by Senator William Knowland of California and the one billion favored by Senator Robert Taft of Ohio. The compromise was proposed by Senator Eugene Millikin of Colorado. The overall debt reduction from the President's proposed 37.5 billion dollar budget was 4.5 billion under the resolution, still to be voted on.

The Senate Appropriations Committee voted to fund the OPA until June 30 for administering rent control and controls on sugar and rice. The amount was drastically cut, however, from that sought.

The House approved the bill to ban suits for back portal-to-portal pay.

Former President Herbert Hoover told the Senate and House that he recommended a loan of 475 million dollars for relief to Germany and 350 million to five other European countries and China. He had just returned from a three-week tour of Europe, at the request of the President, to determine the need for relief.

The Army sent four flying boats to Trinidad, Bolivia, to rescue some 3,000 persons from a flood, as they clung to treetops, rooftops, and debris.

The Army closed its last base in France, Belgium or the U.K., with the closure of Camp Gennevilliers near Paris. The Army originally had 6,787 properties in the three countries during the war, 224 of which were provided permanently for cemeteries.

The Army P-82 fighter "Betty Jo" completed a 4,978-mile non-stop flight from Honolulu to New York in fourteen hours and 33 minutes, establishing a record distance for a fighter plane. The pilot was Lt. Col. Robert Thacker of El Centro, California, and the co-pilot was Lt. John Ard of Inglewood, California. They were running on empty by the time they hit La Guardia.

The transcontinental record had been established on January 26, 1946 in a P-80, flying the coast-to-coast distance in four hours and 13 minutes.

Ford Motor Company reported production at its highest post-war rate, turning out over 20,000 vehicles during the week, just ahead of that produced the previous October. In January, the company had produced just over 80,000 vehicles, with 83,000 indicated for February.

Generally, automotive output had increased to 100,000 vehicles in the United States during the week, the highest ever. February production for the U.S. and Canada would be 395,000 vehicles, most in the U.S.

In Gallitzin, Pa., a runaway Pullman car, the last car of the Pennsylvania Railroad's "Sunshine Special", en route from New York to Texas, careened down a mountainside and resulted in the death of the porter and injury to ten passengers. The accident occurred only a mile and a quarter beyond the "Horseshoe Curve" at Bennington where the "Red Arrow" had wrecked eleven days earlier, claiming 24 lives and injuring 150 others.

The automatic airbrakes of the disconnected car should have engaged to halt it as soon as the airhose was severed. The handbrake had also failed for unknown reasons. The remainder of the thirteen-car train continued on to Pittsburgh, 100 miles away, and the other passengers did not know of the accident until that point.

In Chicago, it was reported that wheat hit its highest peak since 1920, advancing to the 10-cent limit increase in price, to $2.53 per bushel for March futures.

The explosion of the gas tanks at a service station in Bristol, Tenn., wound up killing five persons the previous day.

In Conshohocken, Pa., a woman sadly said that she did not want to kill her G.I. husband and would always love him. But the 21-year old expectant mother had, unfortunately, shot him as she waited for a bus on January 6 at Fort Meade, Md. She intended to name the child after him. She was acquitted in Federal Court in Baltimore of the shooting. The reason for the acquittal is not provided.

In Charlotte, the case against the two defendants accused of murdering Herman Satinover, well-known bootlegger, went to the jury before noon. After two hours of deliberations, they had not reached a verdict and a recess was declared.

Emery Wister of The News reports that City detectives and agents of the Alcohol Tax Unit had raided a home in which 160-proof denatured alcohol was being produced for sale, to form a drink called "Smoke" which, after a couple of belts, knocked the drinker cold. The man and his wife had been selling it for a nickel per belt during the previous three months. They had been selling a gallon of it per day. The piece gives their address should you wish to get some "Smoke" when the couple get out.

Or, should you wish to be smoked, you can go over there where Mr. Satinover went.

On the editorial page, "Charlotte's Stake in Education" reports that Pete McKnight of The News had determined that no matter what the Legislature did about teacher salaries, the county would continue to pay a major share of school costs. As education benefited the entire state in increased revenue and trade, a principal beneficiary of which was Charlotte, the city had a substantial stake in seeing to it that the entire state received better education.

"The Republicans and King Cotton" tells of the rising costs of cotton production, along with competition from synthetic fibers, having driven American farmers out of the market. Once cotton provided 600,000 bales per year to the manufacture of tires; now, that was supplanted by rayon.

A House committee had just cut 19 million dollars from the budget to fund a Department of Agriculture research program to improve cotton marketing methods. Cotton Digest considered it a major blow to farmers and it hoped that the Congress would realize that curtailing cotton production would lead to Southern farmers turning to other crops in competition with the corn-producing and dairy states.

The piece joins the opinion and hopes that the Congress would restore the appropriation.

"Duncan Patterson Tillett" praises Mr. Tillett who had died the previous day of a sudden heart attack at age 61, saying he was the antithesis of a banker, looking for the opportunity to serve his fellow man.

Drew Pearson tells of a report provided two years before the war that the nation's railroads would not be up to another war and would need 400,000 new freight cars. But the American Railway Association had opposed the move, saying the present cars were in good shape. The result had been that critical steel had to be diverted during the war to build freight cars. The present cars were aging, resulting in more train wrecks. They were being replenished at the rate of 7,000 per month, while 7,000 cars per month were being scrapped.

During discussions on the budget cuts, Representative John Taber of New York had pointed out waste in the Army, which included having four Congressional liaison offices when only one had sufficed during the war. Another example was assigning 22 Army officers in Germany to write a history of the Nuremberg trials.

Congressman Jacob Javits of New York, a decorated war veteran, gave a one-minute speech on the floor recently which was sent by the State Department to the country's foreign diplomats for its strong statement on refugees. He had stated that only about 25 percent of the displaced persons were Jews. Some 800,000 were Poles, White Russians, or Ukrainians who refused to be repatriated to their homelands because of the governments presently in place. The United States had agreed to underwrite 45 percent of the operating budget of the International Refugee Organization of the U.N. Other nations had joined the effort to bring the budget to 75 percent of that required.

Marquis Childs again discusses the confirmation of David Lilienthal as chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission and the organized effort of Republicans to oppose the confirmation. Especially troubling in this regard had been Senator Robert Taft who had tried to suggest that Mr. Lilienthal would be a "security risk" to the nation, undermining his integrity.

As Mr. Lilienthal had, along with Undersecretary of State Dean Acheson, formed the report the previous year recommending civilian control of atomic energy, a first step in formulating the nation's atomic energy policy, furthered by Bernard Baruch when he was on the U.N. Atomic Energy Commission, not to confirm Mr. Lilienthal would be to undermine confidence abroad in the nation's nuclear energy policy and its dedication to adhere to that thus far set forth—which included, in the Baruch recommendations, sharing of the nuclear secret at a point when adequate safeguards and inspections could be assured.

Mr. Childs finds the effort to derail the nomination backed by the most influential and wealthy Republicans. It disserved the reputation of Mr Taft to be involved in the effort. He hopes that Senator Arthur Vandenberg of Michigan would become the voice of support for the nomination, as he knew much more of Mr. Lilienthal's abilities and character than did Senator Taft.

Mr. Taft had recently charged that the American people appeared to be basing their opinion on columnists and radio commentators, as well as pressure groups. But as far as Mr. Childs could determine, there was no organized effort to support Mr. Lilienthal, only that by the Republicans to defeat his nomination.

Harold Ickes discusses the growing food crisis in the world, brought on in part by the policies of the dictators in Germany, Italy, and Japan who had encouraged the production of large families, ignoring the lesson of history that larger populations placed stress on resources. Even the United States was in danger of becoming over-populated and thus a have-not nation.

It was necessary to conserve and rebuild what had been destroyed in the war if the United States was to live in comfort "and leave behind us an earth that will sustain our children in comfort and security."

There were thousands of acres of arable land in the U.S. not being utilized, as there were in Africa, Asia, and Australia. It only took the will to develop this acreage to feed the starving millions.

He asserts that the only way to end war would be to conquer fear and relegate want to the Dark Ages. If the people of Europe were starving and freezing and those in Asia had barely the essentials for survival, then life in America was not safe.

He indicates that during his time as Secretary of Interior, he had advised President Roosevelt to hold a world conference on natural resources. He had also made the request of President Truman. He hopes that the Economic and Social Council of the U.N. would call such a conference when it met later in the month. Meanwhile, the country ought take an inventory of its own resources. Food, clothing, and shelter were necessary to prevent war, and they were dependent on natural resources.

A letter to State Representative Harvey Morris comments on his statement that there were 2,600 bootleggers in Mecklenburg County and 250 speakeasies in the city, asking why Mr. Morris could not do something to stop it. As long as the law permitting a legal gallon of liquor for personal use at home was in effect, it was difficult to clean up the bootleg trade. He believes that opening liquor stores would only provide protection to the bootlegger, who could compete against the price based on the tax.

A letter writer likewise addresses the same issue and also is against controlled sale.

A letter writer takes the same position, asking whether the State should sell a person liquor when it was illegal to get drunk.

A letter writer says that if everyone bought as much whisky as he did every year, there would be no need for a liquor referendum. He is in favor of the ABC stores. He would be in favor of absolute prohibition. He would favor substantial increases in fines for breaking the liquor laws. But the fines imposed were a skimption.

He had lived in Raleigh with ABC stores and found there fewer bums, less vice and crime, and less drinking. A vote against the ABC system was to encourage bootlegging.

He asks for comparative murder rates.

The editors provide the FBI statistics for 1946, showing North Carolina as third highest in the nation with 11 murders per 100,000 people. Charlotte's murder rate was second in the U.S., at 14 for the first half of the year. Boston, meanwhile, had seven; Denver, 13; Miami, 10; Pittsburgh, 16; Newark, 10; San Francisco, 16; New York, 160, which, to equal Charlotte's rate, would have been 980.

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