The Charlotte News

Wednesday, March 12, 1947


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the President had addressed this date a joint session of Congress, calling for 400 million dollars of aid to Greece and Turkey in the ensuing fiscal year, including provision of military materials and advice. It was immediately recognized as ushering in a new era of Soviet-American relations, eventually to become known as the speech which defined the "Truman Doctrine".

The President stated: "...[I]t must be the policy of the United States to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressure." The U.N. was not in a position to act speedily enough on the matter and it was necessary because the British could no longer afford the aid. He stated that the country must supervise any aid it extended and proposed that the aid to both countries include military men and civilian technical experts. The speech was greeted with only tepid response generally from the members of Congress, but the latter two points received a smattering of applause.

Senator Homer Capehart of Indiana wondered aloud whether the country would fight communism wherever it was found or stick to the Monroe Doctrine and its time-honored commitment to protection of the immediate interests of the United States and its neighbors.

Former Speaker and present Democratic Leader in the House Sam Rayburn expressed full support of the President's proposal.

Others in Congress stated that they awaited further information before expressing an opinion.

The President did not mention the International Trade Organization and the renewal of the reciprocal trade agreements, the primary subject of his speech at Baylor University the previous Thursday.

Secretary of the Treasury John Snyder stated that tax collections were running ahead of schedule. He hoped that there would be a balanced budget for the current fiscal year. He also expressed opposition to the broad cuts in taxes favored by Congressional Republicans.

In Cincinnati, the fourth of six men trapped underneath a collapsed five-story building, undermined by flooding of the Ohio River, had been brought to the surface alive and well. One man had died and one remained buried. The men were trapped in the rubble for 27 hours.

In Peoria, Ill., police questioned the leader of a picket detail in connection with the shooting death of the president of the Toledo, Peoria & Western Railroad, slain amid a longstanding strike which had a year earlier been characterized by violence and the deaths of two of the strikers at the hands of company guards. The leader being questioned had been a witness against the four guards at their trial, at which they were acquitted of manslaughter. He appeared voluntarily for questioning.

Burke Davis of The News tells of the dry forces of Mecklenburg hogging the floor before the State House Finance Committee hearings to determine the fate of a county-wide referendum on liquor. The wets remained silent. The dry forces urged that while the Legislature generally passed local bills, the local bill in question had repercussions throughout the state. The bill provided for dividing profits with small towns throughout the county, towns which had consistently voted dry. The drys viewed it as an attempt to inveigle support for the bill.

Tom Fesperman tells of a rare blood replacement operation on an infant in Charlotte to rid the child of deadly Rh factor in its blood which caused destruction of red blood cells, the first such procedure in the area and one of only a few in the country. It was performed at Memorial Hospital. The child had been born the previous Friday and without the procedure, likely would have died shortly thereafter from the inherited condition. Often such children were stillborn. The problem arose when the Rh-negative mother, a trait in about fifteen percent of the population, gave birth to an infant with Rh-positive blood, causing the mother's blood to attack the infant's red cells. The procedure was carried out by removing the baby's blood via the leg extremity at the same time the new Rh-negative blood was being transfused through the scalp. The amount being transfused had to remain ahead of that being withdrawn, to avoid extortionate overdraft charges.

The baby was not out of danger but was responding well, crying more forcefully than at any time since birth.

Well, you would, too, if you lost all your blood to some bunch of people in white masks.

What about the Footsies and the Piggies? What are they supposed to do, rot? What if the baby insisted on standing on its head when the procedure took place? Where is the dipstick to determine when the baby is full up again?

We're telling you, stay away from these people. They're mean. They get you going in and coming out, stick you with needles and every other thing under the Sun.

After the procedure was complete and the baby stopped crying, its first words, said the doctors, were, "Sanguinary much."

Tom Fesperman also tells of "Guitar Boogie" being the new hit in the cabarets of the nation. Its prime purveyors on record were Alvino Rey, Les Paul, and Ray Block, in that order of appearance. The composer of the hit tune was Arthur Smith of Charlotte, who sat down and spoke with Mr. Fesperman at the soda shop in the Wilder Building.

He and his two brothers, Sonny and Ralph, had begun playing around Kershaw, S.C., when they were knee-high to Roy Acuff. Eventually, they had aired some hillbilly songs on a Spartanburg radio station. Sonny played rhythm guitar, Ralph, accordion. The war then intervened to break up the group. They had managed to get together once to play in New York in 1945, doing a few recordings for Super Disc. At that time, they improvised "Guitar Boogie". A music publisher heard it, bought the rights, and Arthur added lyrics, giving him an extra $50 for the printed version. He had never heard the words sung, however, as the band did not use them.

They received a penny royalty per record sold and the records were selling like hotcakes.

Arthur, his two brothers, and Roy Lear had been performing for some time twice daily on WBT in Charlotte. One show was boogie, the other hillbilly.

Cafe Society, a posh nightclub in New York, had invited them to perform nightly but they had turned it down on religious grounds because they did not wish to play on Sunday, a part of the arrangement.

"Guitar Boogie" would eventually get souped up, ported, hot-rodded.

On the editorial page, "Now the Senate Faces a Test" comments on the confirmation process of David Lilienthal to become chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, having been approved nearly unanimously by the Atomic Energy Committee, only Senator John Bricker having voted against confirmation. Now, the process would go before the full Senate and Senator Kenneth McKellar vowed to wage a floor fight, as he had waged a fight as a non-member of the Committee.

Even opponents had conceded Mr. Lilienthal's ability and integrity. Thus, they resorted to attacks on his patriotism, but had adduced no evidence attesting to their vague contentions of Communist sympathy.

Senator Robert Taft was also opposed to Mr. Lilienthal and his opposition as a leader of the Republicans could derail the appointment. Whatever would happen would be the result of personal spite and partisan politics, led respectively by Senators McKellar and Taft.

"Carrie Chapman Catt's Crusade" pays tribute to Ms. Catt who had died at age 88, the leader of the suffragettes from the 1890's. In 1920, the right of suffrage was finally given to women and the catcalls which had greeted their parades ceased.

That the right of suffrage had not opened the door fully to women in society had been greeted as a failure by Ms. Catt. But women were no longer treated as second-class citizens and so the tireless efforts she had put forth were to a good end. It assured her a lasting place in the history of the nation.

"Good Food on the Table" tells of an era gone by in which good cuisine in local restaurants could be anticipated without much exception. The shortages of food and manpower during the war had taken their toll, and the result was a gastric nightmare.

The Virginia Hotel Association and Chamber of Commerce were sponsoring a chef's tournament to try to restore the grandeur of the past. Fifteen chefs from across the nation would live in the Cavalier Hotel at Virginia Beach for a week and would serve as judges of the competition from among Virginia's leading chefs.

The piece hopes that the other Southern Chambers of Commerce would take the cue from Virginia and seek to re-establish culinary excellence in the South, the table being part of its traditional welcoming committee.

A piece from the Greensboro Daily News, titled "Too Easy on the Draw", expresses the belief that some form of probable cause ought exist before HUAC entered the University of North Carolina campus to conduct an investigation into whether or not there were un-American activities present. While the piece understands the reaction of president Frank Porter Graham in extending full cooperation to the Committee, it nevertheless believes that a witch hunt ought not be encouraged and should first express its grounds.

Well, they did not yet fully appreciate that the new Republicans had gone out to the barnyard after the war and studied carefully the process in which dogs discern between friend and foe. This activity is that to which the new Republicans became inured in the manure. These types still very much exist. They seem to pick up the habit in their reckless youth—out in the barnyard.

Drew Pearson boils down the situation in Greece to the three alternatives of either throwing good money after bad to prop up the bungled British effort or to use the American influence at the U.N. to enable the World Bank and world police force to put Greece back in order, or to let Greece flounder, in which case it would wind up in Russian hands.

Even Republican isolationists were opposed to the latter course for its inevitable result. A Soviet-dominated Greece meant bottling up the oil of the Middle East as it would permit Soviet control of the eastern end of the Mediterranean.

For the President and Congress, the first course was the easiest and would probably be the one followed. But as long as British troops continued to dominate Greece, there would be continued turmoil, giving advantage ultimately to Russia. The errors of the Churchill Government with respect to Greece, beginning in fall, 1944, after the Nazi occupation ended, could not be undone overnight.

The League of Nations had done an effective job in Greek Macedonia, one of its few rebuilding successes. The Turkish population which had been problematic was removed, with Greeks taken from Turkish Anatolia and resettled in Macedonia. It had led to amity between Greece and Turkey. He suggests, therefore, that the job would be better handled by the U.N.

The World Bank had about nine billion dollars in assets, a part of which could be used to provide aid and currency stabilization to Greece, the primary purpose of the Bank. The U.N. could also provide police protection through its joint chiefs of staff and the Security Council, set up to afford such a joint police force. The fear that Russia might dominate through the U.N. was unfounded, as General MacArthur had proved in Japan. The unilateral veto power on the Security Council worked both ways.

The Good Neighbor policy which former Undersecretary of State Sumner Welles had convinced FDR to pursue with respect to Latin America had worked well, based on mutual sharing of interests rather than unilateral action as in the past in Latin America, only engendering hard feelings toward the U.S. The Pan-American nations had resolved the problems as a team. When things did not go well, the U.S. did not have to accept the entire blame.

The British Empire had acted as a unit, not concerned with teamwork, resulting in the bitter criticism of its handling of Palestine and Greece. If the United States now became the banker for the British headaches, the blame for the errant British stewardship would be extended to the U.S. in Turkey, Greece, Italy, and North Africa. The anodyne to this dilemma lay in U.N. action.

He tells of Congressman Walt Horan of Washington urging radio networks to exercise better judgment in presentation of crime programs. He then found three of his four sons listening intently to one of the crime shows.

A presentation of a Polish newsreel at the Polish Embassy, showing Herbert Hoover arriving in Europe to inspect the food problem, had identified the former President as Fiorello La Guardia.

James Roosevelt had signed on with Kennedy-Buchman pictures to be consultant on a film biography of FDR, but Eleanor Roosevelt and son Elliott were against it.

Marquis Childs regards the confirmation process of Gordon Clapp as chairman of TVA to replace David Lilienthal, appointed chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, as a sideshow to the Lilienthal confirmation. Mr. Clapp had been with TVA since its inception in 1933 and had been general manager since 1939. TVA's extraordinary record during the war had been the result essentially of Mr. Clapp's management.

Two weeks earlier, Senator Ralph Flanders of Vermont had indicated his intention to vote against David Lilienthal but for Mr. Clapp. The Public Works Committee had voted 7 to 5 against Mr. Clapp's confirmation, essentially a vote against TVA, a vote against public power. Mr. Clapp suffered from the anti-Lilienthal propaganda, labeling him a Communist sympathizer, which was also directed in part against TVA. Mr. Childs states that the Red smear was ridiculous given that TVA was an answer to communism, as it demonstrated private enterprise working effectively with the Government. Some American Communists had even turned away from the party after viewing the operation of TVA.

He urges that the Senators view the Clapp confirmation on its own merits and not as part of a larger effort to undermine TVA.

Samuel Grafton, back in new York after his tour of Western Europe, comments that London was a sad city at the end of an empire. In New York, people talked of beginning an empire, to take up the British burden which it could no longer handle financially. He wonders what, in that event, 50 years of empire, the length of time since Queen Victoria's Jubilee, would do to the United States, especially as that empire would be second-hand, after its constituent interests no longer turned a profit, was even without a Kipling.

England had been left a dud in the wake of empire, with a ruling class which stood unemployed.

If Greece and Turkey represented international problems, they should be solved internationally, not by the U.S. alone. The President should be consulting with the rest of the world on the issue, not just the Republicans. The whole process ignored the U.N. and suggested a throwback to an earlier era, which had led to disaster.

He urges finding a way back to the U.N. before embarking on the disastrous course alone. Either financial aid or military protection should be afforded only by the U.N. to Greece and Turkey.

"But if we, unilaterally, begin now to place guns in the Middle East, who will ever be able to untangle the moral rights and wrongs, or to answer the dark question of who started what first, and who threatened, and when?"

A letter from the editor of the North Carolina Catholic responds to "Morals, Faith and Compromise" of March 3, suggesting that its comments by way of criticism of the Catholic's stances in support of the Supreme Court decision which had held bussing of Catholic school children to parochial schools to be a public function which did not violate separation of church and state under the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, were misleading to readers.

He takes particular exception to what he regards as the editorial's criticism of the publication's stand against atheism, the Christian Century, Communism, birth control, and Methodist Bishop Oxnam. He explains that the Christian Century had defended atheism. Birth control was against moral law and Bishop Oxnam had referred to planned parenthood as "sacred".

Wait a minute. What does birth control have to do with planned parenthood? Birth control has to do only with preventing birth. Most parenthood is quite unplanned, regardless. And when it is planned, it usually gets into a heap of trouble fast. Children insist upon a lack of planning.

He concludes that right is right and wrong is wrong.

The editors respond that the article in question had reduced the Protestant protest of the decision to a satirical dialogue between two brutish characters named Jukes and Kallikak, ignoring the sincere argument of most Protestant leaders and of the four-Justice minority opinion in the decision, that separation of church and state should be absolute. That was what the piece considered "uncharitable" about the Catholic's position.

A letter from bandleader Kay Kyser thanks The News for its February 11 special edition on the Good Health Program of the state and expresses pride that he was invited to participate with an article as a leading campaigner for the Good Health Association.

The President's remarks to Congress this date follow:

Mr. President, Mr. Speaker, Members of the Congress of the United States:

The gravity of the situation which confronts the world today necessitates my appearance before a joint session of the Congress. The foreign policy and the national security of this country are involved.

One aspect of the present situation, which I wish to present to you at this time for your consideration and decision, concerns Greece and Turkey.

The United States has received from the Greek Government an urgent appeal for financial and economic assistance. Preliminary reports from the American Economic Mission now in Greece and reports from the American Ambassador in Greece corroborate the statement of the Greek Government that assistance is imperative if Greece is to survive as a free nation.

I do not believe that the American people and the Congress wish to turn a deaf ear to the appeal of the Greek Government.

Greece is not a rich country. Lack of sufficient natural resources has always forced the Greek people to work hard to make both ends meet. Since 1940, this industrious and peace loving country has suffered invasion, four years of cruel enemy occupation, and bitter internal strife.

When forces of liberation entered Greece they found that the retreating Germans had destroyed virtually all the railways, roads, port facilities, communications, and merchant marine. More than a thousand villages had been burned. Eighty-five per cent of the children were tubercular. Livestock, poultry, and draft animals had almost disappeared. Inflation had wiped out practically all savings.

As a result of these tragic conditions, a militant minority, exploiting human want and misery, was able to create political chaos which, until now, has made economic recovery impossible.

Greece is today without funds to finance the importation of those goods which are essential to bare subsistence. Under these circumstances the people of Greece cannot make progress in solving their problems of reconstruction. Greece is in desperate need of financial and economic assistance to enable it to resume purchases of food, clothing, fuel and seeds. These are indispensable for the subsistence of its people and are obtainable only from abroad. Greece must have help to import the goods necessary to restore internal order and security, so essential for economic and political recovery.

The Greek Government has also asked for the assistance of experienced American administrators, economists and technicians to insure that the financial and other aid given to Greece shall be used effectively in creating a stable and self-sustaining economy and in improving its public administration.

The very existence of the Greek state is today threatened by the terrorist activities of several thousand armed men, led by Communists, who defy the government's authority at a number of points, particularly along the northern boundaries. A Commission appointed by the United Nations Security Council is at present investigating disturbed conditions in northern Greece and alleged border violations along the frontier between Greece on the one hand and Albania, Bulgaria, and Yugoslavia on the other.

Meanwhile, the Greek Government is unable to cope with the situation. The Greek army is small and poorly equipped. It needs supplies and equipment if it is to restore the authority of the government throughout Greek territory. Greece must have assistance if it is to become a self-supporting and self-respecting democracy.

The United States must supply that assistance. We have already extended to Greece certain types of relief and economic aid but these are inadequate.

There is no other country to which democratic Greece can turn.

No other nation is willing and able to provide the necessary support for a democratic Greek government.

The British Government, which has been helping Greece, can give no further financial or economic aid after March 31. Great Britain finds itself under the necessity of reducing or liquidating its commitments in several parts of the world, including Greece.

We have considered how the United Nations might assist in this crisis. But the situation is an urgent one requiring immediate action and the United Nations and its related organizations are not in a position to extend help of the kind that is required.

It is important to note that the Greek Government has asked for our aid in utilizing effectively the financial and other assistance we may give to Greece, and in improving its public administration. It is of the utmost importance that we supervise the use of any funds made available to Greece; in such a manner that each dollar spent will count toward making Greece self-supporting, and will help to build an economy in which a healthy democracy can flourish.

No government is perfect. One of the chief virtues of a democracy, however, is that its defects are always visible and under democratic processes can be pointed out and corrected. The Government of Greece is not perfect. Nevertheless it represents eighty-five per cent of the members of the Greek Parliament who were chosen in an election last year. Foreign observers, including 692 Americans, considered this election to be a fair expression of the views of the Greek people.

The Greek Government has been operating in an atmosphere of chaos and extremism. It has made mistakes. The extension of aid by this country does not mean that the United States condones everything that the Greek Government has done or will do. We have condemned in the past, and we condemn now, extremist measures of the right or the left. We have in the past advised tolerance, and we advise tolerance now.

Greece's neighbor, Turkey, also deserves our attention.

The future of Turkey as an independent and economically sound state is clearly no less important to the freedom-loving peoples of the world than the future of Greece. The circumstances in which Turkey finds itself today are considerably different from those of Greece. Turkey has been spared the disasters that have beset Greece. And during the war, the United States and Great Britain furnished Turkey with material aid.

Nevertheless, Turkey now needs our support.

Since the war Turkey has sought financial assistance from Great Britain and the United States for the purpose of effecting that modernization necessary for the maintenance of its national integrity.

That integrity is essential to the preservation of order in the Middle East.

The British government has informed us that, owing to its own difficulties can no longer extend financial or economic aid to Turkey.

As in the case of Greece, if Turkey is to have the assistance it needs, the United States must supply it. We are the only country able to provide that help.

I am fully aware of the broad implications involved if the United States extends assistance to Greece and Turkey, and I shall discuss these implications with you at this time.

One of the primary objectives of the foreign policy of the United States is the creation of conditions in which we and other nations will be able to work out a way of life free from coercion. This was a fundamental issue in the war with Germany and Japan. Our victory was won over countries which sought to impose their will, and their way of life, upon other nations.

To ensure the peaceful development of nations, free from coercion, the United States has taken a leading part in establishing the United Nations, The United Nations is designed to make possible lasting freedom and independence for all its members. We shall not realize our objectives, however, unless we are willing to help free peoples to maintain their free institutions and their national integrity against aggressive movements that seek to impose upon them totalitarian regimes. This is no more than a frank recognition that totalitarian regimes imposed on free peoples, by direct or indirect aggression, undermine the foundations of international peace and hence the security of the United States.

The peoples of a number of countries of the world have recently had totalitarian regimes forced upon them against their will. The Government of the United States has made frequent protests against coercion and intimidation, in violation of the Yalta agreement, in Poland, Rumania, and Bulgaria. I must also state that in a number of other countries there have been similar developments.

At the present moment in world history nearly every nation must choose between alternative ways of life. The choice is too often not a free one.

One way of life is based upon the will of the majority, and is distinguished by free institutions, representative government, free elections, guarantees of individual liberty, freedom of speech and religion, and freedom from political oppression.

The second way of life is based upon the will of a minority forcibly imposed upon the majority. It relies upon terror and oppression, a controlled press and radio; fixed elections, and the suppression of personal freedoms.

I believe that it must be the policy of the United States to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures.

I believe that we must assist free peoples to work out their own destinies in their own way.

I believe that our help should be primarily through economic and financial aid which is essential to economic stability and orderly political processes.

The world is not static, and the status quo is not sacred. But we cannot allow changes in the status quo in violation of the Charter of the United Nations by such methods as coercion, or by such subterfuges as political infiltration. In helping free and independent nations to maintain their freedom, the United States will be giving effect to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations.

It is necessary only to glance at a map to realize that the survival and integrity of the Greek nation are of grave importance in a much wider situation. If Greece should fall under the control of an armed minority, the effect upon its neighbor, Turkey, would be immediate and serious. Confusion and disorder might well spread throughout the entire Middle East.

Moreover, the disappearance of Greece as an independent state would have a profound effect upon those countries in Europe whose peoples are struggling against great difficulties to maintain their freedoms and their independence while they repair the damages of war.

It would be an unspeakable tragedy if these countries, which have struggled so long against overwhelming odds, should lose that victory for which they sacrificed so much. Collapse of free institutions and loss of independence would be disastrous not only for them but for the world. Discouragement and possibly failure would quickly be the lot of neighboring peoples striving to maintain their freedom and independence.

Should we fail to aid Greece and Turkey in this fateful hour, the effect will be far reaching to the West as well as to the East.

We must take immediate and resolute action.

I therefore ask the Congress to provide authority for assistance to Greece and Turkey in the amount of $400,000,000 for the period ending June 30, 1948. In requesting these funds, I have taken into consideration the maximum amount of relief assistance which would be furnished to Greece out of the $350,000,000 which I recently requested that the Congress authorize for the prevention of starvation and suffering in countries devastated by the war.

In addition to funds, I ask the Congress to authorize the detail of American civilian and military personnel to Greece and Turkey, at the request of those countries, to assist in the tasks of reconstruction, and for the purpose of supervising the use of such financial and material assistance as may be furnished. I recommend that authority also be provided for the instruction and training of selected Greek and Turkish personnel.

Finally, I ask that the Congress provide authority which will permit the speediest and most effective use, in terms of needed commodities, supplies, and equipment, of such funds as may be authorized.

If further funds, or further authority, should be needed for purposes indicated in this message, I shall not hesitate to bring the situation before the Congress. On this subject the Executive and Legislative branches of the Government must work together.

This is a serious course upon which we embark.

I would not recommend it except that the alternative is much more serious. The United States contributed $341,000,000,000 toward winning World War II. This is an investment in world freedom and world peace.

The assistance that I am recommending for Greece and Turkey amounts to little more than 1 tenth of 1 per cent of this investment. It is only common sense that we should safeguard this investment and make sure that it was not in vain.

The seeds of totalitarian regimes are nurtured by misery and want. They spread and grow in the evil soil of poverty and strife. They reach their full growth when the hope of a people for a better life has died. We must keep that hope alive.

The free peoples of the world look to us for support in maintaining their freedoms.

If we falter in our leadership, we may endanger the peace of the world—and we shall surely endanger the welfare of our own nation.

Great responsibilities have been placed upon us by the swift movement of events.

I am confident that the Congress will face these responsibilities squarely.

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