The Charlotte News

Tuesday, February 4, 1947


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the House Judiciary Committee had voted 20 to 6 to support the bill to amend the Constitution to limit the President to two terms in office. Six Democrats on the committee, including Representative Estes Kefauver of Tennessee, to become, as Senator, the vice-presidential candidate with Adlai Stevenson in 1956, opposed the measure and five Democrats supported it. The bill was expected to reach the floor of the House on Thursday. It had to be approved by two-thirds of the House and Senate before being submitted to the people for ratification by three-fourths of the states.

The bill regarded service of any portion of a predecessor's term as a full term, subsequently amended to provide for service of less than half the term as not counting as a term. An amendment to limit the time to one six-year term was rejected by the committee.

The measure ultimately would exclude from the limitation the occupant of the White House when the measure was proposed by the Congress, meaning that President Truman could have, had he so chosen, run again in 1952.

As the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution, the limitation was ratified in 1951. It contains, incidentally, the superfluous provision that it did not apply to limit the term of any person serving when the amendment was ratified. As the amendment had to be ratified within seven years of being proposed by the Congress, and the bill was passed in March, 1947, it was impossible, with it already serving to exclude President Truman from its application, for anyone else to fall within the second exclusion.

Soviet delegate to the U.N. Andrei Gromyko told the Security Council that the first step to peace was arms reduction and that it should not await, as demanded by U.S. Ambassador Warren Austin, assurance of safeguards against continued development of atomic weapons by establishment of a world police force to inspect each nation.

In a closed-door meeting of the House-Senate joint Atomic Energy Committee, Senators obtained assurances from U.S. Atomic Energy Commission chairman-designate David Lilienthal that leaks of atomic secrets would be patched. Concern in this regard had arisen from reports that the Soviets had enjoyed success in probing into the secrets. Bernard Baruch had informed the Committee that the way the Soviets had framed some of their questions on the U.N. AEC demonstrated that they had gleaned some knowledge of the atomic fission process. The Soviet delegates had used an American code word known only to the atomic experts in the country.

A bill was proposed by Republican Representative Leo Allen of Illinois as an alternative to the Knutson across-the-board twenty percent reduction bill, setting up a graduated schedule of reductions based on income.

Pursuant to British orders to evacuate Palestine, 2,000 British civilians left the country.

In Berlin, more than a hundred persons had died of exposure since December 1. Hospitals reported that 229 persons had been treated for frozen limbs and nearly 24,000 for lesser frostbite.

In Tokyo, the fifteen-year old leader of a ring of thieves which stole four million yen worth of tobacco and clothing was arrested. He had kept half the haul and spent the proceeds on trips around Japan, generously tipping geisha girls.

In Pawtucket, R.I., a seventeen-year old girl, a local mill worker, was slashed to death by an unknown assailant near a Lovers' Lane. The girl's head was nearly severed in the attack.

In Hollywood, actress Helen Walker was out of the hospital after suffering an injury in an automobile accident on New Year's night, which had taken the life of a soldier hitchhiker she had picked up along with two others, both of whom were also injured in the accident. Ms. Walker faced a manslaughter charge in Redlands as a result.

A fact-finding committee of North Carolina physicians informed of the results of 1,280 questionnaires sent to doctors across the state regarding the desired locale for the proposed four-year medical school, already designated for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Of the respondents, 781 said that they did not favor a new medical school while 418 stated that they did. When questioned as to an alternative site to Chapel Hill, the majority, 642, favored Charlotte.

A bill was introduced in the State Senate to make Mecklenburg County into a separate judicial district, separating it from Gaston County, also heavily populated.

A bill was about to be presented to the General Assembly by the North Carolina Association of Realtors proposing to eliminate the slums of the state's municipalities of over 10,000 population.

A public hearing had been set for Thursday on the measure to declare the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence authentic and require its teaching in the public schools of the state. Many state historians were expected at the hearing. Teachers were protesting the proposal as infringing academic freedom.

In Los Angeles, a woman, age 20, delivered her own child while awaiting her husband to obtain the services of the doctor.

Also in Los Angeles, Chinese Consul General Yi-Seng balanced an egg on end to prove that spring had arrived under the Chinese lunar calendar, a method of proof in China. The temperature was 83 degrees, an all-time record for the date.

The low predicted in Charlotte was 15 degrees. Spring had not yet arrived. No eggs could yet balance on end. Yeggs, however, appeared to thrive at both ends.

On the editorial page, "Notes on an 'Impending Revolution'" tells of Carey Williams writing a review in The Nation on Southern Exposure by Stetson Kennedy, regarding the book as required reading for anyone who wished to understand the impending revolution in the South.

Max Lerner of PM had returned from Atlanta a few months earlier with the same impression, as had Walter Davenport of Colliers after touring the South.

They predicted that the formerly disfranchised poor white and black would begin to vote in large numbers and thereby change the social and political fabric of the region.

But the prospect of such change was more apparent to the transient touring the South than those who lived there. Resident liberals no longer spoke of such a revolution. Hodding Carter of Mississippi was convinced that the main fight ahead would be to ward off a counter-revolution led by reactionaries.

He was quite right.

One reason for the differing viewpoints was that the native Southern liberal understood the Southern progenitor better than the outsider, the Populist Movement at the turn of the century led by Pitchfork Ben Tillman of South Carolina and Tom Watson of Georgia. While eventually leading a racist charge, these pols had stimulated initially a genuinely liberal movement among the common people of their states. But the lasting lesson was that such a movement had degenerated into reactionary politics. Professional politicians quickly learned how to use the ballot for their own ends, leaving the revolution to the likes of Eugene Talmadge in Georgia, Cole Blease in South Carolina, and Theodore Bilbo in Mississippi, defending the status quo.

As North Carolina largely escaped the grip of the Populist Movement at the fin de siecle, it had also largely escaped the converse reactionary movement which followed in its wake—albeit neglecting the Klan-like Red Shirts. The North Carolina Populists had no convenient aristocracy against which to rail as the South Carolina Populists found in Wade Hampton. Zebulon Vance had been North Carolina's great heroic blade in the Civil War but was a simple mountain man. So the "wool hat boys" who populated the movement to the south could find no such convenient plumed blades in North Carolina on whom to vent their rage. Class prejudices were never aroused so much in the state.

The "wool hat boys" knew the power of their vote but did not understand yet how that power thus generated was being used against their own interests. They reacted with disdain against would-be saviors.

Similarly, with under-educated blacks, their political bloc could easily be manipulated once obtained.

The piece notes that it does not as a result counsel against awakening of political consciousness in a broader mass of people but recommends gradualism in so doing as opposed to revolution, informing the voters before they vote.

"A revolution that miscarries can make the franchise an instrument of exploitation rather than a safeguard of liberty."

"USO Takes Up Its Final Task" urges Charlotte residents to contribute to the "final task" of the USO, to sustain the effort to entertain the veterans in hospitals for whom that entertainment was a vital part of their recovery process, alleviating the boredom which faced them daily.

A piece from the Boston Herald, titled "A Martyr of Bureaucracy", remarks on the death of Harold D. Smith in Culpepper, Va., the previous Thursday, at age 48, an unassuming personage who had been Director of the Budget during the war from 1939, effectively serving as the President's chief of staff. His salary had been $10,000 per year. He had resigned the previous June to become vice-president of the World Bank, with a higher salary.

The piece regards his death at such a young age as the crucifixion of a fine public servant.

Drew Pearson tells of U. N. Ambassador Warren Austin, former Senator from Vermont, testifying in closed-door session to the House Armed Forces Committee that an atomic war could be averted, but to do so required maintaining the atomic secret until assurances were in place of international peace, maintaining of a strong military, and retention of control of the Pacific island bases obtained during the war from Japan. He also counseled patience with the U.N., as such an organization could not be made to work effectively overnight. His primary recommendation was for universal military training and a large and well-equipped military to maintain the peace.

Mr. Pearson notes that enlistments in the Army had been so plentiful that it had suspended use of the draft.

He next tells of the RNC treasurer sending to Jim Farley, a life-long Democrat and FDR kingmaker, former Postmaster General and DNC chairman, a letter in the wake of the November election soliciting funds for the Republicans. Mr. Farley sharply responded in a letter quoted in the column, explaining why he would not contribute, that FDR and the Democratic Congress had passed more beneficial legislation in the first 100 days of his first term in 1933 than any other Congress in the country's history.

Marquis Childs discusses the fact that of the 37.5 billion dollar budget proposed by the President, eleven billion was set aside for defense, whereas only 178 million was allocated to the State Department, on which maintenance of the peace ultimately rested. Of that amount, only 25 million dollars was allocated to the crucial information service of the State Department, to combat the Soviet propaganda conveying the image of the United States as a selfish, imperialistic aggressor nation.

There was much of which the country could be proud to promote to the world, its cultural and civic achievements at home, its unselfish foreign aid abroad. It could also boast of capitalism, while not being perfect, being shaped by Congress to avoid another boom-and-bust cycle as during the Twenties and early Thirties—so as not again to confirm Marx's cyclical erosion theory, confounded by the bourgeoisie.

Such information might have countered the myth perpetrated by the Nazis during the Thirties that America was too soft and lazy to fight a war, and thereby prevented World War II.

Senator Alexander Wiley of Wisconsin and Representative Everett Dirksen of Illinois, both Republicans, had both proposed bills to establish a Department of Peace, either separately or as a division of the State Department.

Mr. Childs suggests that the State Department could become the Department of Peace if the country had a will to make it so. One of its prime assets in that regard was the information service to refute the myth that America was an imperialist state.

Samuel Grafton writes from London that the Labor Government desired friendship with America, but was finding it difficult to fulfill the ambition. After making the 3.7 billion dollar loan to Britain, which consisted primarily of credits for trade within the U.S., American food prices went through the ceiling burning up the credits rapidly.

Britain feared the U.S. more than Russia because the U.S. could do more economic harm to Britain in the future than could Russia, swamping British export trade markets with American trade. The fact that there was a Republican Congress had increased that fear. Thus had come a left wing revolt against Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin's foreign policy seeking amity with the United States.

Domestically, business was restricted to promote export, resulting in restriction of new business starts. Conservatives had begun to complain that Labor was supporting the older monopolies, including labor unions.

The Government was concerned that the shortages of labor manpower would necessitate a draft of women to fill jobs in peacetime as during the war. But such a move would chafe against Labor Party principles, as would lengthening the extent of the work week, as some proposed, to 48 hours.

The British were seeking to combine social reform with recovery, using only democratic principles to persuade to that end.

"If Attlee's head is bruised, it is no wonder. He is beating it against walls, internal and external, which have halted such movements in most places."

W.D.S., writing in the Salisbury Post, points out that North Carolina had made much progress since the days a century earlier when aristocratic Virginians and South Carolinians sneered that it was a "valley of humility between two mountains of conceit."

While North Carolinians might regard as comic opera the contest over the Governor's office in Georgia or the Senate fight against the seating of Theodore Bilbo and sending him home to roost, the state's citizens had elected to the Senate on two occasions, in 1932 and 1938, its own buffoon in Robert Rice Reynolds. North Carolina, while being the most heavily industrialized state in the South, had the highest per capita rate of draft rejection in the nation for physical and mental deficiencies.

But it had also been relatively free of lynchings and had enjoyed relatively good race relations. It had also eradicated poverty more than any other Southern state.

The state had to recognize that it needed to pay its teachers better, establish adequate health care facilities, and enable better employment at higher wages. He hopes that the Legislature would work toward these objectives.

William B. Bradford, Jr., writing in the Fort Mill (S.C.) Times, tells of matters plaguing newspapermen. An editor had informed him at a recent meeting that a linotype operator from the North refused to set the word "Yankee" whenever he encountered it and also sought to fight the editor on its usage.

Another editor had informed of typographical errors occurring in want ads, such as the one seeking a partner for bull dog raising, advertising "fine breeders now laying". Another claimed that the bulldog for sale would eat anything and was especially fond of children. A toaster automatically burned toast.

His own newspaper had printed one in which a biscuit salesman had to have two years experience within the previous six months or need not apply for the position.


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