The Charlotte News

Friday, February 7, 1947


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that a Superior Court judge in Rome, Ga., had held that, pursuant to the Georgia Constitution, the rightful successor to the Governor's office was Lieutenant Governor M. E. Thompson, succeeding the deceased Governor-elect Eugene Talmadge, who had died in December prior to taking office, invalidating thereby the claim of son Herman Talmadge to the office by his having been elected by the Legislature. The decision ordered the State Pardon and Parole Board to provide records on budgetary matters to Mr. Thompson, not Mr. Talmadge.

The decision would be appealed to the Georgia Supreme Court, which would uphold the lower court decision.

Another court in Atlanta was about to hear the trial of a request for injunction to bar Mr. Talmadge from exercising the duties of Governor.

The body of Ambassador O. Max Gardner, who had died suddenly on Thursday morning in New York City from a heart attack, hours before scheduled departure via ship to assume his post at the Court of St. James in London, was brought home to Cleveland County, N.C., arriving in Kings Mountain, then proceeding by cortege to his native Shelby. He would be buried in Sunset Cemetery the following afternoon, after services at the First Baptist Church conducted by the Reverend Zeno Wall, Ambassador Gardner's close friend.

Bystanders stood watching as the casket was lifted from the train, appearing still to be in a state of shock over the sudden news the day before of Ambassador Gardner's death. The train bearing his body was Train No. 29, with the addition of three special cars at its end.

Undersecretary of State Dean Acheson had accompanied the family aboard the train, representing Secretary of State Marshall. He would also attend the funeral.

From Edrine, Turkey, came a report that cannon fire had been heard all night near the Greek-Bulgarian frontier, indicative of another insurgency of Greek rebels.

Republicans in Congress were said to be near agreement on a 32 billion dollar budget, 5.5 billion below that proposed by the President. Part of the reduction would come from a two-billion dollar diminution of the President's proposed allocation of 11 billion dollars for national defense.

Harold Stassen, former Governor of Minnesota, and Senator Robert Taft clashed on proposed labor legislation. Mr. Stassen testified before the Senate Labor Committee of which Mr. Taft was chairman, proposing a majority secret vote by workers before a strike could be called. Mr. Taft termed the proposal "trivial" and a lively exchange resulted. Mr. Stassen also was opposed to the ban on the closed shop and industry-wide bargaining. Both men were considered prime candidates for the Republican presidential nomination in 1948.

A Federal Grand Jury in New Orleans had cleared boat builder Andrew Higgins, who had supplied most of the landing craft during the war, of any wrongdoing in relation to war contracts.

In Philadelphia, a four-year old boy was bitten to death by a stray dog as he played in the snow behind his home. The dog had already bitten a six-year old child the previous day.

State legislators were opposing a bill to create a board of examiners for funeral directors and embalmers.

James Lindsley, "aboard a barstool at Ciro's Restaurant" in Hollywood, tells of Jim Moran, "the professional screwball", who had once sold an Eskimo an icebox, having posed as Crown Prince Saud of Saudi Arabia, who had been visiting the area of late, walking along the Sunset Strip the previous night shortly before midnight. He and two cohorts entered Ciro's. He sent a note under the name Patrick Desmond to the bandleader, Jerry Wald, requesting "Begin the Beguine", with a ruby-red stone accompanying the request.

As the apparent Prince then made his way toward the door, he dropped several stones onto the floor and motioned to his retinue to leave them where they were. Someone then gasped that they were jewels and a scramble for them began the beguine.

The jewels were glass.

Mr. Moran had once found a needle in a haystack and recently had played mother to an egg which ultimately hatched an ostrich. Most of his stunts had been for profit, but this one, he said, had been for fun.

He had ordered champagne at Ciro's until reminded that Mohammedans did not drink. He then stuck to ice cream and coffee.

More cold weather was gripping the Midwest, with near blizzard conditions in the Dakotas.

The temperature in Miami rose from the previous day's 32 to 49.

Cold weather was expected again in Charlotte this night, following a bit warmer temperatures this date than in previous days across the state.

On the editorial page, "Full Circle on the Bomb" tells of the fears of revelation of the atomic secret to agents of foreign governments having overtaken the feeling of confidence engendered by the bomb when dropped on Japan in August, 1945.

Even Bernard Baruch, formerly chair of the American delegation of the U.N. Atomic Energy Commission, appeared to be looking for Reds under every bed. He had made public reference to the spy case out of Canada and reportedly had gone further in private meetings. The Army was convinced that the secret would be preserved as long as tight enough guard was placed around it.

But, as the physicists related, the secret of nuclear fission was known to scientists around the globe, and long before the revelatory Smyth Report of July, 1945.

The concern over Soviet interception of the secret was emblematic of the new nationalism and cynical lack of faith in peaceful means to afford sharing.

The mentality, suggests the piece, was more dangerous than the bomb. General Eisenhower had called it "Maginot-mindedness", in reference to the misplaced reliance by the French on the Maginot Line to hold back the German Wehrmacht in advance of spring, 1940.

It suggests that the bomb was equally vulnerable as a source of reliance against World War III.

"The Great Closed-Shop Debate" discusses G.M. president Charles E. Wilson's statement that he would never sign a contract with a union providing for a closed shop. The Southern Democrats and Republicans would soon introduce legislation to outlaw the closed shop—to be made a part of the Taft-Hartley law to be passed over the President's veto the following July.

The bill had been introduced in the House by North Carolina Representatives from Beaufort, Gates, and Martin Counties, where there was practically no union labor.

Business generally opposed the closed shop arrangement and unions typically supported it. An open shop allowed the employer to weaken the union by hiring of non-union personnel.

It posits that the philosophical advantage was with the employers as there was something fundamentally disturbing about forcing a worker to join a union to obtain employment at a given company. The union response was that closed shops were achieved only through collective bargaining, not by any law compelling their existence. Yet, having the closed shop meant that the workers were represented by the union whether, individually, they wished to be or not.

The motives of each side appeared to devolve to issues over money, not democracy. There was no good reason to mourn the passing of the closed shop. Yet, in so championing such a law to ban it, the supporters were giving approbation to Government intervention in employer-employee relations, long considered their bane.

"Could This Be Music?" finds the fox-hunting feud in Iredell County, of which a recent editorial had remarked, to have spread to Rowan. Some fox hunters operated from automobiles at night and were unarmed. They raised foxes to hunt them and then let them go if caught by the hounds.

Such practices infuriated farmers who wanted the fox population reduced because of their marauding activities in the chicken coops.

The fox hunters liked to listen to the hounds baying in the night air, regarding it as the "sweetest music this side of Shangri-La."

The farmers rejoined that the music of the hounds awoke them at night.

Bill Snider of The Salisbury Post had recounted hearing a conversation in which the hunter described the sound of the hounds as "purty music" while a farmer said that it sounded to him "like a bunch of hound dogs yelpin'".

Drew Pearson tells of enlisted men going to jail for selling cigarettes on the black market in Shanghai while the high-ranking officers were able to sell their cars for $8,200 on the black market and ship them by Navy LST boats, all with impunity. He provides radiograms from an admiral to a lieutenant commander, and another admiral aiding the shipment, as proof of the case.

He next tells of former Government economist Robert Nathan, author of a report for CIO on the ability of industry to afford higher wages without commensurate increases in prices, finding objectionable an AFL analysis of his report. He called the offices of AFL and was told by one of their economists that she had written the analysis. When he asked whether she had read his report, she candidly replied in the negative.

He imparts that the selection of Representative John Taber of New York as the chairman of the joint Senate-House Budget Committee, rather than House Ways & Means chairman Harold Knutson, had been a break with tradition. The Republicans had deliberately passed over Mr. Knutson, while he was presiding, leaving him for once speechless.

Samuel Grafton, writing from Paris, tells of the realism found in French foreign policy as contrasted with that of America and Britain. The French wanted to internationalize the Ruhr and its industry to avoid being hit over the head again by Germany.

Much of the diplomatic efforts by the United States and Britain seemed in pursuit of phantasms, whereas French policy was "reassuringly real, like life in a kitchen."

It seemed that the French reaction to the British plan for rationing to increase exports three years down the line would be to ask how anyone could be assured that the exports would be desired at that time.

As he had sat in a French cafe in the snow of St. Pierre near Maintenon having lunch, he considered the fact that the woman proprietor of the unheated cafe had feted him and his companions with pate and chops, potatoes and sausages, cheese and special crepes. There was the sense among the French that, amid hardship, there had to continue respect for the dignity of life.

Harold Ickes finds that the bill passed by the 79th Congress to provide an additional $2,500 worth of expense money per year tax free to members of Congress to have been a skimption. He had recommended increase of Congressional salaries from $10,000 to $25,000. The expenses of members of Congress varied by the district or state from which they hailed. The members also received a mileage allowance for travel to and from their home states and districts at the rate of 20 cents per mile. Senators also received $10,000 per year for an executive assistant and $20,000 to $34,000 for clerks, the latter relative to the population of the states. Representatives received $9,500 per year for clerical personnel.

Government employees otherwise had to bear up under the limitations imposed by such low salaries.

Mr. Ickes suggests that the Executive Branch also be treated to increases in salary and perquisites.

A letter from Charles Crutchfield, general manager of Charlotte radio station WBT, comments on the January 29 editorial "Onward, Downward With the Arts", condemning radio for its increasing commercial appeal at the expense of quality programming.

He proceeds to cite statistics to try to erode the point of the editorial, suggesting that 60 percent of the air time in radio was produced by local staffs of the stations, none of which was the product of an advertiser.

He defies anyone to find radio advertising "as noxious as some of the body odor-depilatory copy that appears in the press."

He takes issue also with the editorial's conclusion that the trend was away from radio listening. He believes that in 25 short years, radio had come a long way, matching the print press service.

The editors reply: "Matches our service? Why we admit the wireless is way out in front. No matter how hard we try to pack more punch into our 'body odor-depilatory copy' we can't find a thing that compares with that B. O. foghorn."

Seems it would be more apt to compare the latter to doggy breath, especially employing 20-20 hindsight as a limbeck.

A letter writer finds the Senators inquiring of members appointed to the Atomic Energy Commission whether they had ever met a payroll, opining such inquiry to reduce the worth of men to the answer provided that question. He asserts that it would be disqualifying to answer it in the negative.

But the people who had moved the earth were not payroll men, Robert Burns and William Shakespeare, St. Paul, Spinoza, Columbus, Socrates, Rembrandt, Hugo Grotius, and Stephen Foster, to name a few. Even Benjamin Franklin would have to equivocate in response.

"As fast as 'pay roll meeters' are interred with six pall-bearers, duly appointed by the Chamber of Commerce, somewhere there sits a 'non-pay roll meeter', who may be then laying the foundation for his immortality with some special service to the intellectual advancement of mankind."

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