The Charlotte News

Saturday, February 8, 1947


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in Shelby, N.C., the funeral services were held for deceased Ambassador O. Max Gardner, who had suddenly died Thursday morning of a heart attack shortly before his planned boarding of a ship to take up his post in London. The extremely cold weather at Sunset Cemetery did not deter both Government officials and several thousand mourners from turning out at the ceremony. The body had lain in state at the First Baptist Church, the largest in the state, prior to the services.

Dr. Zeno Wall, presiding at the services, stated of Ambassador Gardner that "he was a big man by whatever standards you might measure bigness: big body, big brain and big soul; and he did big things in a big way... He, like a flowing stream, blessed everything he touched." Dr. Wall explained that the last speech by Ambassador Gardner was from the pulpit of the church, on "Paul, the great ambassador". Dr. Wall was an old friend of the former Governor.

Rumors had run through Shelby that President Truman might attend the services, but he was not in evidence.

In his first major foreign policy statement, Secretary of State Marshall declared that the United States had to back up its foreign policy with military power until collective security could be established to promote peace. He favored a universal military training program to achieve that end. He also stated that he did not believe that atomic energy control could be handled as part of the disarmament talks, as favored by the Russians. Disarmament could only come after international security had been achieved. He also favored a broad information dissemination service for the State Department to counteract international propaganda criticizing the United States. The U.S. would begin on February 17 radio broadcasts into the Soviet Union.

In England, Prime Minister Attlee and his Fuel Minister Emanuel Shinwell were being criticized for the latest coal crisis in the Government-run industry, which was causing the shutdown of manufacturing concerns in London, Manchester, and Birmingham beginning Monday. Conservative leader Winston Churchill planned to present in Commons a motion of censure against the Government.

The coal crisis in Europe caused a shutdown in the American occupation zone of Germany, leaving 250,000 workers idle. The shutdown was expected to last ten days.

Former Representative Andrew May of Kentucky was seeking dismissal of a Federal Grand Jury indictment accusing him of conspiracy and accepting bribes on war contracts. His attorneys charged that the indictment was not specific enough in defining the offenses charged.

Senator Arthur Vandenberg of Michigan stated that he was not a candidate for the Republican nomination for the presidency in 1948.

He also stated that the Republicans intended to correct the Supreme Court's determination of entitlement by workers to portal-to-portal pay, abolishing it as an ex post facto law. He suggested that there would be an outcry if employers were granted the right to obtain the return of excessive pay from years earlier. The decision of the Supreme Court the previous June had permitted retroactive lawsuits back to 1938 when the Wages and Hours Act went into effect, finding that required time spent in preparation for work was compensable time under the Act.

The Senator's reverse analogy, incidentally, falls flat in tortuous logic when realizing the difference between a business formed as a corporate body, with a deep pocket derived from profits generated from the sweat of its workers, and a worker, by definition an individual without such deep pockets. Perhaps, such coarse thinking, neglecting the willingness to engage in abstraction, intended to appeal to simple-minded superficiality, exemplified best Republican cognition on such matters, in his day, since, and now—an attempt, by statute, to abrogate, at least in some degree, the Thirteenth Amendment prohibition against involuntary servitude, an attempt to unwind the clock back, so that fat cats who own the plantation may get even fatter.

A decision in Detroit was shortly expected on damages from the Federal District Court considering the portal-to-portal back pay suit in the Mt. Clemens Pottery Co. case, which had decided the basic right of entitlement to such damages, the Supreme Court decision having remanded the case for reassessment of damages in light of its holding that time not recorded by the employer via the timeclock was nevertheless compensable work time based on evidence adduced that such time was a required part of the employee's day, over and above the seven minutes of recorded required preparation time which the trial court had previously held to be within the calculus of compensable time.

In St. Louis, a 14-year old girl admitted shooting to death her father when he stopped her from running away from home with her 13-year old boyfriend. She obtained the gun from the boyfriend as they were in the backseat of the car riding back home. She then shot her father through the back of the head. The car then ran off the road and broke the boyfriend's neck and fractured his skull, and caused the girl severe head lacerations.

In Illmo, Mo., a cannon aboard a Cotton Belt train broke loose from its moorings and began revolving at a high rate of speed as the freight sped along, striking nearly every car of a passing 55-car Missouri Pacific freight train, punching a hole in nearly all of them and the locomotive.

Another bitterly cold night, with the temperature dipping to 15, was predicted for Charlotte, following a one-day hiatus in the cold weather. The same was true across the state and through much of the nation, from Wyoming to the East Coast.

On the editorial page, "Caution: Spoilsman at Work" tells of the ongoing feud between Senator Kenneth McKellar of Tennessee and David Lilienthal, former head of TVA and now chairman-designate, subject to confirmation, of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission. The Senator had clashed with Mr. Lilienthal for years, since the early days of TVA, for Mr. Lilienthal's steadfast resistance to making TVA a source of patronage for the Senator.

Now, the Senator had resorted to labeling Mr. Lilienthal a Communist in an effort to discredit him. Mr. Lilienthal had responded magnanimously by saying that he supported any form of government which exalted the individual above the State and opposed any form which supported the contrary, such as that in Russia. Democracy, he believed, was an affirmative doctrine, not one opposed to other systems.

There was little doubt that Mr. Lilienthal would be confirmed, but Senator McKellar had damaged his reputation and fanned the flames of anti-Red hysteria already spreading over Washington. Doing so would cause many other able persons to avoid government service. But Senatorial courtesy would prevent any reprimand by Senator McKellar's colleagues.

The piece remarks sarcastically that the country was getting the Atomic Age off to a fine start.

"It's Not Quite That Simple" finds overly facile the statement of the Salisbury Post that the Fact Finding Group on the medical school proposed for the University of North Carolina had been founded in Charlotte as part of an attempt to discredit the site selection out of resentment that Charlotte had not been so chosen. The Fact Finding Group may have had such a bias, but it was not generalized to Charlotte. The News had originally favored Charlotte as the site but agreed that once the selection of a site had been made, it was better to have the medical school in Chapel Hill than not have it at all. The Charlotte Observer had likewise not opposed the selection.

While the survey was subject to question for its anonymity and slanted questions, it had also shown that a majority of the physicians in the state supported the establishment of the medical school. But the expressed opposition derived probably from many different reasons, not simply the site selection. Some concern was evident that a new medical school would turn out too many physicians in the state, causing a threat to the economic well-being of the doctors. Some also believed that the money could be better spent on hospitals and local medical centers.

The dissenting doctors had a right to speak their mind on the issue. The overly facile report should not be countered by overly facile opposition.

"Still Prepared—After 37 Years" remarks on the 37th anniversary of the founding of the Boy Scouts, still adherent to its founding principles, loyalty, obedience, friendliness, bravery, kindness, and reverence. There were 13 million Boy Scouts in the U.S. and many more overseas. Their sharing of their principles might provide the best hope, it suggests, for the future. It wishes the organization a happy birthday.

A piece from the Louisville Courier-Journal, titled "The Age of the Common Man", tells of a plumber from Denver upbraiding Randolph Churchill for his father's policies and for putting the kings back on the thrones of France, Italy, and Greece.

But there were no kings in either France or Italy, and so the plumber had fumbled his current events.

The piece finds it ground, along with the undue attention given the incident by the press, to postpone declaring the age that of The Common Man.

Drew Pearson tells of the applications for furlough of the three West Point football stars, Blanchard, Davis, and Poole, to play in the pros having come across the desk of General Eisenhower, causing him to reflect back on the time in 1914 when he had coached an Army football team arranged along the Mexican border. After that team had beaten every other Army team in the region, 1st Lieutenant Eisenhower had received many offers to become a coach. Because of the relatively high pay available, he had been tempted to take one of the offers. But he had chosen the Army as a career and stayed with it.

He had to disapprove the applications though his sympathies were with the three players.

Mr. Pearson notes that Lt. Eisenhower, in 1915, had received permission to coach the Peacock Military Academy, which finished the season 5-1.

He next imparts of the Republican Congress grilling Government officials as they had not been by the Democratic Congresses of the previous 14 years. Congressman Everett Dirksen of Illinois had been perturbed by the backlog of IRB cases, citing a Pearson column which had claimed that there were more than 300 cases piled up in the Justice Department awaiting prosecution. The Commissioner of Internal Revenue had agreed that there were at least that many. Mr. Dirksen wondered why the Commissioner did not have his own staff of lawyers proceed with the cases, to which the Commissioner responded that he would like to do that.

Mr. Dirksen reminded the Commissioner that Abraham Lincoln had founded the IRB. Mr. Dirksen wanted to know where budget cuts could be made, but the Commissioner told him that further cuts would seriously compromise the function of the Bureau. He advised, however, that he would study the matter.

Marquis Childs tells of the Soviet Union ignoring three polite notes from the State Department suggesting that it was time to discuss what to do about the ships received by the Soviets under Lend-Lease during the war.

The lack of response made it impossible to negotiate. It illustrated the problem faced by Secretary of State Marshall as he prepared for the March meeting of the Foreign Ministers Council in Moscow.

Of the 125 merchant ships provided Russia, it still had 95. Twenty-five had been returned. Many of the ships were intended for use in the Pacific at a time when Russia had not declared war on Japan—which it did on August 8, 1945, just after the dropping of the Hiroshima bomb on August 6. These ships had transported war supplies from the U.S. West Coast to Vladivostok. The ships were turned over to Russia to avoid seizure by the Japanese. The Japanese never bothered them, though aware that they carried supplies to defeat their ally, Germany.

The Russians apparently believed the ships belonged to them.

In contrast, Great Britain had received 200 merchant ships via Lend-Lease. In spring, 1946, an agreement was transacted whereby the ships could be used for charter service, for which the British agreed to pay the U.S. The arrangement would continue until six months after the President would formally declare the end of the war. Exempted from the settlement were the 50 obsolete destroyers transferred to Britain in fall, 1940, destroyer escorts, LST's, other landing craft and vessels which were part of the D-Day invasion. The agreement had been concluded through frank and open negotiations, in sharp distinction from the refusal by the Russians to negotiate at all.

Such open negotiation laid the groundwork for lasting friendship, a relationship upon which the Russians were looking with suspicion.

Mr. Childs suggests that less suspicion and more openness might produce a similar relationship between Russia and the United States.

Samuel Grafton, still in Paris, tells of the insecurity of life pervading Europe. Their concern was over material goods. Clothes could be obtained in Rome at relatively cheap prices, as Italians received material from England in exchange for oranges. Prague was a good source for food. American cigarettes were desirable, costing $1.50 per pack in some parts of middle Europe.

One felt the insecurity in France, in such things as attending a club for lunch to find it in total darkness as it was the day of the week when the electricity was switched off. Ration tickets were sometimes two months behind being filled by the grocers. Workers would suddenly disappear from the job for months at a time. Coal sometimes did not arrive on cold days, did on warm days.

The black market in this atmosphere appeared as an emergency organization of supply rather than an extra-legal means of exploiting shortages for profit.

The French tried to avoid thinking of America with its relative plenty.

Marion Hargrove, author of See Here, Private Hargrove and former News reporter prior to the war, tells of surprise at being informed by matter contained in a column in the newspaper by C. A. Paul, culled from a report in PM, that Mr. Hargrove was on hard times financially and rushed about his house turning off lights to save electricity. He had earlier read in the column of Mr. Paul, old enough to be his father, that he had been buying up orange ranches in Florida and receiving $50 for luncheon speeches in New York.

Mr. Hargrove thinks that there were many scurrilous things about him true which Mr. Paul might use in his column rather than digging up and spreading untrue rumors. He insists that he was as careless as ever about turning out lights.

He suggests to Mr. Paul that if he should ever desire to go back to running a cigar store, he would be happy to assist him financially in doing so.

A letter writer states that he was fed up with the hypocrisy of prohibition as a panacea for drunkenness, when it plainly had been tried and failed, had only spawned bootlegging. He hopes a referendum on controlled sale of liquor in Mecklenburg County would be successful. The revenue from it would improve schools and cease the waste of revenue to try to enforce notoriously unenforceable liquor laws.

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