The Charlotte News

Wednesday, February 5, 1947


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in a report to Congress on the United Nations, the President stated that much progress had been made in 1946 but much work still lay ahead to assure world peace into the future.

The President renewed his proposal to Congress for a change in the order of succession to the Presidency, making the Speaker of the House next in line after the Vice-President, rather than the then current order, requiring that the Secretary of State be next in line. The President had asked the 79th Congress for such a bill shortly after he had become President in April, 1945. The President theorized that the President should never be allowed to nominate his own successor in the event of his death or incapacity.

Only once in our history, incidentally, has that occurred, that being the appointment by President Nixon of Gerald Ford as Vice-President to replace Spiro Agnew who resigned in 1973. Vice-President Ford, of course, then became President on the resignation of President Nixon on August 9, 1974.

The change of the Constitution in 1967 by the 25th Amendment to require the President to nominate a Vice-President in the event of that office being vacated led to the appointment of Mr. Ford. Prior to that time, the Vice-Presidency remained vacant in the event of the death of the President, until the next election. The nomination is subject to confirmation by a majority of both houses of Congress.

Though Vice-Presidents are, in a sense, traditionally appointed by the President to run on the ticket with them, they are also formally nominated and determined by the party convention and then popularly elected, subject to the quaint eighteenth century holdover of the electoral college, in each election cycle with the President.

Representative Albert Gore of Tennessee asserted that the bill of Congressman Harold Knutson of Minnesota to cut taxes uniformly twenty percent would return the tax structure to the Middle Ages and depart from the established American tradition of taxation based on ability to pay, would send the country back to the supply-side economic theories of Andrew Mellon which had brought on the Depression.

Minority Whip John McCormack of Massachusetts also criticized the measure as regressive.

The House Armed Services Subcommittee approved the construction of two experimental submarines which would sail at twice the current maximum speed of 8 knots and weigh about 2,000 tons. The Navy recommended the construction and also sought authorization for exchange of submarine data and other Naval ordnance secrets with foreign nations, primarily with Britain. Action on the latter request was deferred to avoid the appearance of creation of a Western bloc of nations aligned against the Soviets.

The subcommittee was informed by a Vice Admiral that Russia had the advantage in submarine technology because of German war booty and use of German submarine experts in the German yards, that exchange with the Russians of technology was a one-way street. There had been good success otherwise with exchange of knowledge with Britain and France.

President of G.M. Charles E. Wilson stated that he would never sign a closed-shop agreement with a union.

A bill to outlaw the closed shop in North Carolina was introduced in the State House. It also would make the check-off system, whereby dues were subtracted from paychecks, non-mandatory.

The South Carolina House passed a measure to allow divorce in the state and sent it to the Senate for action. It permitted divorce on the grounds of adultery, incurable insanity, habitual drunkenness, desertion and physical cruelty.

In Fresno, California, a Southern Pacific passenger train collided with a gasoline truck killing four persons and injuring ninety other passengers, twelve of whom were in serious condition. Fire had engulfed ten of the train's fourteen coaches.

In London, the severe cold snap had aggravated the already existing coal shortage. Factories employing 75,000 workers had shut down in England for lack of fuel. Snow covered nearly all of England, Scotland, and Wales.

In Berlin, 800 enterprises employing 32,000 workers closed because of the cold weather and lack of fuel. Another 140,000 were too ill to work.

Italy also reported snowstorms which halted traffic in the northern cities.

King George and Queen Elizabeth, and the two Princesses, sunned themselves in deck chairs aboard the battleship Vanguard, taking them to South Africa. The Royal Family saw a target shooting match between civilians and a Navy team onboard ship. Princess Elizabeth commented that she would like to do some target shooting, herself.

It was not stated what or whom she might wish to target.

The ship's cat, "Smutty", gave birth off the Canary Islands to two kittens, dubbed "Pip" and "Squeak".

Seventeen fires across Charlotte, including a fire igniting old tires at Southern Metals Co. on Graham Street, occupied Charlotte firemen during the day. The tires produced a black curtain of smoke blanketing a large part of the city.

A minister was injured when he threw gasoline on a fire in his home stove, causing a flash explosion. Never do that.

The low temperature in Charlotte was predicted to be 12 degrees, reaching as low as 13 during the previous 24-hour period, at 6:00 a.m., the lowest temperature in Charlotte since February 15, 1943. It was expected to be the coldest day on average since January 27, 1940, when the average was 15 degrees for the squirrels in the churchyard.

Across the state, even to the coast, sub-freezing temperatures were recorded, reaching 19 in Wilmington. On Mt. Mitchell, highest elevation in the state, the temperature was 11 below zero.

The weather had followed a balmy period in January, delaying hog killings. Thus, farmers welcomed the cold weather.

On the editorial page, "An Agreement of Disagreement" finds that the anonymity with which the Fact Finding Group of the the North Carolina Physicians had cloaked itself was already harming its credibility. The chairman of the Medical Care Commission questioned the accuracy of the results reported by the Group.

About 60 percent of the state's physicians had responded to the survey and so it could not be dismissed lightly. Three quarters of those had signed their responses. The doctors were nearly unanimous in their support of the Medical Care Program, but 781 of 1,240 respondents opposed the creation of a new four-year medical school at the time.

It was likely that the Legislature would request that the ballots be turned over to a neutral body for further validation. The secrecy of the Group laid it open to the suspicion that its primary purpose was to defeat the medical school. The Legislature should not hinge their approval of whether to authorize the medical school on the results of the survey, but it ought be considered.

"The Checks and Balances" tells of News columnist Dorothy Knox having urged the Mayor and City Council to place a clock on Independence Square, and the City Council had agreed. But then the Attorney General intervened to render an opinion that the Council could not so act without authorization by the voters.

It was an example of there being too many checks and not enough balance in city government because of the interference of state statutes which limited what the Council could do on its own.

"'To Improve Living Conditions....'" tells of J. E. Barrentine of Charlotte who had fought, along with The News, for slum clearance in the city, now leading the North Carolina Association of Real Estate Boards, recommending to the Legislature a bill to eradicate slums throughout the state in towns of more than 10,000 population.

The proposed ordinance, as that already on the books in Charlotte, would require indoor running water, tub or shower, a toilet, electric lights, adequate heating, and minimum floor and window space.

Because of scarcity of building materials, the ordinance might not be enforceable, as Charlotte's was not, but it would regulate all future construction.

It was part of the realtors' overall program to modernize the state's towns, including provision for adequate parks and recreation facilities and adequate street lighting.

The piece finds it a worthy program and expects little or no opposition to it.

A piece from the London Times, titled "A Harbinger of Normalcy", comments on the Board of Trade having lifted the requirement of a license to manufacture umbrellas, suggesting a harbinger of normalcy. It had not occurred to the average Briton that they had been fighting the war for the right to make umbrellas free from the permission of the Government.

Even if one did not like the umbrella or the weather which necessitated its use, at least now it could be manufactured without license.

"By such scraps of evidence we are assured that our progress towards normalcy and, beyond it, the millenium, is maintaining its original, its heartening, its glacier-like momentum."

Drew Pearson tells of the good start made by Secretary of State Marshall, appointing Undersecretary Dean Acheson as chief of staff with full authority, as he had sought, to clean house. He had also supported Assistant Secretary for Latin American Affairs Spruille Braden in his demand that Argentina be cleansed of Nazis, doing so without stepping on the toes of Ambassador to Argentina George Messersmith, who favored normalization of relations with the Peron Government. He had informed intimates that he would bring no military men into the Department. He had sought to resolve the atomic bomb issue, and had cathartically eased tensions.

Secretary Marshall had upset the British by holding his first major diplomatic conference with Ambassador Novikov of Russia rather than Britain's Ambassador Lord Inverchapel. He had met for only seven minutes with the Polish Ambassador and made it clear that the United States regarded the recent elections as a joke. He had provided a blow to Chiang Kai-Shek's Government in China by recalling the American troops.

He next tells of Congressmen John Taber and Harold Knutson calling for removal of a million persons from the Government payroll, but both being unable to tell where the cuts would take place. Mr. Taber had stated that the "propagandists" should be eliminated, but did not define who they were. When pressed by Congressman John Dingell of Michigan, Mr. Taber declared that most were in the War Department as civilian employees, numbering 300,000 in the occupied countries. He suggested that they be terminated and replaced with citizens of the countries being occupied.

Mr. Taber could not respond to Mr. Dingell when the latter suggested that the reason for use of these veterans in the positions was that the Military Government required secure employees who could be trusted.

Representative Albert Gore of Tennessee also took issue with the Knutson-Taber wholesale approach to reduction of personnel.

Secretary Marshall, while visiting the President, received a warm welcome home from the North Carolina Congressional delegation, who were filing out of the office at the time Mr. Marshall entered. Congressman Bayard Clark exchanged greetings, remarking that General Marshall had been a witness before the Pearl Harbor Investigating Committee in 1944, of which Mr. Clark had been a member. Mr. Clark stated to the General that he had made a very good witness and exhibited the patience of Job.

Marquis Childs suggests that the fear born in the Garden of Eden was akin to that derived from splitting the atom. The fear of the members of the Senate-House Atomic Energy Committee sitting in judgment of confirmation of David Lilienthal as chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission was palpable. It had been fed by the Canadian spy case in which members of the Canadian Government had provided secrets to the Russians.

Extra-judicial methods had been employed in Canada during the arrest of the spies, but the public had never approved of it, resulting in acquittals of some of the defendants when they finally reached trial.

Mr. Childs posits that the reason for such Gestapo-like tactics was fear. There was a necessity to move fast to try to interdict the spy ring and the damage it could do. Nevertheless, one of the principals, Sam Carr, disappeared and was believed in Moscow.

The spy ring had operated within a free society as a kind of Trojan Horse, gathering information within the Government, albeit much of the information provided having been freely obtainable from the Government. It suggested that the Russians were so enamored of intrigue that they ignored the availability otherwise of the information being sought from spies.

He suggests that in America, unless civilian control of atomic energy was rationally organized, there was the danger of lapse into a military dictatorship. Unless international suspicions were overcome, the likelihood of world war loomed on the horizon.

"The fruit of the tree of knowledge will not be denied."

Mr. Childs leaves out, however, a key Biblical phrase regarding the object of that tree's knowledge, that being "of good and evil".

Harold Ickes returns to the topic of the tidelands oil grab by the states, with Congressional approval afoot to undermine the pending Supreme Court decision on whether the Federal Government properly had title to the lands. Senators Edward Moore of Oklahoma, William Knowland of California, and Pat McCarran of Nevada were leading the fight in the Senate for the states. In the House, Congressman John Hinshaw of California and F. Edward Hebert of Louisiana led the way. They had also put forward a bill passed in the 79th Congress, which the President had vetoed.

Mr. Ickes warns that if the tidelands oil were not conserved, with California without a petroleum conservation law, then a return to wartime type gas rationing could occur in the future.

Toward the end of the war, the country was producing five million barrels of crude oil per day. To have produced more would have been inefficient and wasteful. After the war, overall demand had dropped only marginally, with consumer demand substantially increased. As a result, the country again was producing at its maximum output. To continue in that manner would consume the country's petroleum resources in a relatively short time. Reserves were already being diminished by the consumption level, despite more exploratory wells being drilled than ever before.

He asserts that the country, in the event of another war, could not rely on foreign oil, as the improvement of the airplane would mean that few tankers would ever reach port.

The country was nearing the point where demand for oil was about to exceed supply.

A letter from the president of the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County addresses the rising crime rate in the city, finds the imposition of punishment after crime to be doing nothing to remedy the overall systemic problem creating it.

The organization favors devoting a substantial part of police force time to prevention of crime, as opposed to apprehension of the accused. It favors creation of an inter-racial committee to study crime, its breeding grounds, the conditions conducive to it, and the like.

We suggest that any state which devotes more revenue to prisons and law enforcement than to the arts and recreation facilities and encouragement to participate in same, is asking for more crime, begging for it in fact, to keep the law enforcement apparatus and courts in business collecting the fines to support a decrepit system feeding on itself.

If you are a "law and order" advocate, you need to think about that self-evident proposition, apparent to anyone who examines the matter closely and bothers to think for one moment. Stop buying guns and go out and buy a basketball or football or baseball or ballet shoes or musical instrument and provide the incentive for using same to some young person. Stop, in short, being a contributor and even instigator of crime by promoting use of guns, and actually do something constructive for a change.

If such were a uniform attitude across the country, it would not be long until school shootings and the like disappeared from American news, a crime wave which has beset the country increasingly over the past 30 years.

"Tough law enforcement" is not a panacea, indeed, only exacerbates the problem and leads the society down a path toward Fascism and a police state.

We note today these idiots in Montana who have taken to task a judge and seek his discipline for what they deem to be an outrageously lenient sentence in a rape case involving a student and teacher, the student having committed suicide three years ago.

Such people as populate this Montana committee on judicial performance are always for the "independence of the judiciary", provided that judiciary marches in lock-step to their Neanderthal, fascist views of law enforcement and Draconian punishment.

If a judge deems a light punishment to be appropriate in a given case, his judgment ought be respected absent any evidence of conflict of interest or relationship to the party or parties involved. Question should only arise in the case of too harsh punishment of which the newspapers are full. It is certainly not ground for removing a judge from the bench or disciplining him or her, that he gave a "too light" sentence, any more than it would be for a "too harsh" sentence. There are appeals to address such issues if truly a judge has overstepped the legal boundaries of sentencing.

Montanans ought be up in arms against their absurdly fascist committee on judicial performance, prostituting itself to public pressure, exerted by an ill-informed, brainwashed public regarding the criminal justice system, the likes of which during the past 12 years of insanity has not existed in this country since the days of Joseph McCarthy. It is, in its most outspoken form, a public who would like to kill everyone, for crimes untold, not associated with their own little fascist clique, who want to carry guns into the schools and theaters, arm the nation, thinking that will avoid crime. These dumb-bells simply watch too much television, listen to too much right-wing talk radio. This committee is obviously a disgrace to democracy by kowtowing to such nonsense, and one governed by idiotic rednecks.

If you don't like what we say, you little fascist pig, you can go jump in the river.

The good and fair judge heard the evidence. Respect his opinion and experience. Stop being fascist pigs.

Not all rape cases are equal in their gravity. Some are quite questionable, believe it or not, as to whether there was consent, even if in the case of a minor, consent is considered vitiated by statute. Yet, forcible rape is one thing, and passive "rape", based solely on the age of the victim, is quite another.

You fascists need to get a life and stop poking your heads into things of which you have no insight beyond watching made-for-television movies and other soap operas, fueled by your listening to the fascist radio yellers and the nightly news. If there were half the hue and cry over unduly harsh sentences handed down in the courts everyday, the courts would be shut down and half the judges or more in the country would be removed from the bench.

Realize, you dumb, third-world redneck, that this is not Argentina. We do not execute people or put people away on the basis of renunciation, no matter who or how many may do the renouncing. Perhaps, in some parts of the nation, that has become a reality, as surely as it is in many thoroughly corrupt, third-world countries. But that must change or we are doomed as a democracy.

We are very tired of reactionary "justice", perpetrated by upwardly climbing morons who have no business anywhere near the law, obviously cheated their way through law school, and spend their time pandering to "law and order" idiots so that they will not be recognized for the complete fools that they are.

A letter from 77 members of the congregation of Cook's Memorial Presbyterian Church provides a copy of a resolution it had sent to the Legislature protesting any referendum on controlled sale of liquor in Charlotte, instead favoring a statewide referendum.

A letter writer responds to Harold Ickes's column the previous week regarding the House Un-American Activities Committee and its tendency to take a guilty-until-proved-innocent stance on matters, trickling down to the timid colleges and universities who were taking the same type of stance with respect to staff accused of subversive teachings.

The writer expects a witch-hunt worse than during the Martin Dies era, prior to 1945 when he retired from the House.

The author suggests as un-American Generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek, Generalissimo Francisco Franco, cartels, and Standard Oil Company of New Jersey, which had aided the German war effort.

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