The Charlotte News

Friday, March 14, 1947


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the Soviet Government newspaper Izvestia had, in a lengthy front page editorial, accused the United States of interfering with the internal affairs of Greece and Turkey by proposing 400 million dollars in aid to the two countries. It accused the U.S. of ignoring the principles established in the U.N. Charter and of bypassing that body. It was the first official Soviet reaction to the President's speech to a joint session of Congress the previous Wednesday.

Senator William Jenner of Indiana wanted to know whether reports were true that Foreign Minister Ernest Bevin had told Secretary of State Byrnes in October that the British intended to pull out of Greece. He believed it to be a relevant inquiry before agreeing to approve the President's request for aid.

Secretary of State Marshall told the Foreign Ministers Council meeting in Moscow that the United States did not consider a society democratic if men who respected the rights of their fellow men were not free to express themselves without fear of reprisal, being denied the right to work and pursue life, liberty, and happiness.

He also informed that 80 of 117 war production plants in the American zone of Germany had been completely liquidated and that the U.S held only about 15,000 Nazi prisoners of war, most in Italy, while another nearly 16,000 were being discharged in the American occupation zone of Germany.

China, it was reported, was not likely to agree to participate in the conference so that the Russian request for discussion of the Chinese situation could be accepted.

Two former Undersecretaries of the Treasury under FDR, Roswell Magill and John W. Hanes, urged Congress to go ahead with the Republican-proposed 20 percent across-the-board tax cut.

In Los Angeles, actress Jean Peters appeared in court regarding court approval of a movie contract, wearing an ostentatious diamond and sapphire ring given her by Howard Hughes, apparently an engagement trinket. She said that the two were serious about one another.

Nora Flynn, wife of Erroll, had a baby on Wednesday. He had come from the Caribbean to be with her.

Also in Los Angeles, Dr. Otto Klemperer, noted conductor and former director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, was struck in the head by two black men who had promised to help him study American jazz in the black nightclubs of the city. They robbed him of $30 and threw him out of their car after hitting him with fists. He was found lying in the street shortly before dawn.

In Philadelphia, a $75 per week bookkeeper and his wife had discovered a cardboard box in their cellar containing $92,800 in cash. They reported the find to the police and the police were trying to determine the origin of the money. The couple had lived in the house for 25 years, but it was unoccupied for awhile during the fall while the man was in the hospital. The police placed an around-the-clock gaurd on the couple and the house.

In Pembroke, N.C., near Lumberton, a bank was robbed by two men, one of whom entered an open side door of the bank two or three minutes before scheduled opening time. The robber presented a check drawn on a lumber company to one of the cashiers, and, when it was pointed out that it was improperly signed, the man pulled a short pistol and herded three employees into a closet, grabbed all the cash he could from the till, approximately $9,500, and then fled through the side door to an awaiting car driven by an accomplice. The FBI was aiding local law enforcement in trying to track the robbers. The driver was described as a short, fat man.

If you see them, let the authorities know immediately. Do not approach. They are armed and dangerous. The tall, dark principal robber had stated to the cashier, "If you squawk, I'll get you."

In Gastonia, a seventeen-year old boy was found guilty of assault with intent to commit sexual assault on a fifteen-year old girl, occurring February 7, the conviction carrying a one to fifteen year sentence. Brothers of the defendant and brothers of the prosecutrix became engaged in a fight which was quickly stopped by bystanders.

The defendant had testified that he knew the girl for three months, saw her at a basketball game and she agreed to allow him to carry her home. He then got carried away and jumped her bones, though he claimed consent as a defense. He denied using any force or his handkerchief to cover her mouth, as she contended, said that she kissed him goodnight when he took her home after taking a few liberties. The family physician testified that she was a virgin.

Too many hormones.

Now, thanks either to his actual guilt or a bad lawyer, he will be friends with Big Ben for awhile.

Next time, son, play basketball rather than just being a spectator. Learn thus your place on the court and that there are penalties for undue and unwanted contact.

In the State House and Senate, identical bills were introduced to establish a Medical Care Commission to oversee licensing, inspection, and regulation of hospitals in the state.

A State Representative from Forsyth County said that if the bill did not pass the Legislature to ban the sale of beer and wine in Bethania Township, he would reveal through a joint resolution what was going on in the body. He would then introduce one of the most stringent prohibitionist bills ever seen in the state.

Tom Fesperman visits the Charlotte Draft Board in the Independence Building to find out what was going on in the postwar days, found that it was not much. Ms. Purse informed him that no one had been drafted since the previous October. Nevertheless, they had 55,000 files to go through and sort out.

He then visits the railroad transfer agent in Charlotte at the Southern Railway Station, a man who had grown up in the Bronx, told him of the Pelham Bay station. He had resided in Charlotte since the turn of the century, but his map of the Bronx filled a large space on his office wall.

A man had called Mr. Fesperman to say that he had read his interview with Arthur Smith, as printed two days earlier, re the latter's authored hit, "Guitar Boogie". The man wanted a Les Paul recording of the tune as he was the No. 1 fan of Mr. Paul. Mr. Fesperman admitted to him that he had never heard of Mr. Paul until a few days earlier, leaving the caller in shock. The man said he had played a hot guitar himself in the Buddy Rogers orchestra, but these days found himself mainly listening to other hot guitars.

He imparted the secret of hot guitar playing, that the best of them started the tune with the melody and then made changes along the way, getting faster and faster, hotter and hotter. When they were going ninety miles per hour down the dead-end street, they kept on going until they had forgotten what they started out to play, until the wax ran out, or they reached the Wall.

Mr. Fesperman concludes, "You can never tell, when you start out of a morning, what you're going to learn that day."

On the editorial page, "Britain Has No Choice" tells of Winston Churchill having offered a motion of censure against the Labor Government on November 27, 1945 and it having been soundly defeated. The previous week, he had done it again, seeking a "no confidence" vote, in the midst of the worst winter in over fifty years, but was again soundly defeated in the effort, by a vote of 374 to 198, nearly the same vote as before.

The result showed a lack of confidence in the Conservatives in the Parliament. Mr. Churchill had charged that placing basic industries under Government control was a crime with consequences which had hampered recovery and damaged the future of the country.

But the Conservatives had failed to offer any alternative to Labor's plan for recovery. The Government by the Conservatives prior to the war had brought the country nearly to ruin. The Labor recipe was not a revolution, but an alternative which was still conservative when compared to the French form of Socialism. It was a nation trying to compete with totalitarian regimes which predominated in Europe. It was no wonder that the average Briton still supported Labor when the Conservatives had offered no alternative plan.

"Is There No Common Interest?" discusses the Supreme Court decision upholding the right of foremen to engage in collective bargaining, that they were not excluded from the class of employees, as defined by the Wagner Act, simply because they acted on behalf of the employer in a supervisory capacity. All employees, the case concluded, had a duty to act in the interest of the employer.

The process of unions seeking higher wages for employees while management sought to minimize costs by keeping wages down was a constant struggle which had produced deteriorating labor-management relations, especially as the unions had achieved great power.

Labor and management had to stand or fall together. It was part of the capitalist heritage. That was the principle recognized by the decision. It should not be forgotten or abandoned.

"Council Is in the Middle" tells of the City Council being caught in the middle between conflicting demands, on the one hand for use of the Armory basement by the Parks & Recreation Department's Teen Age Club, and on the other by the 378th Combat Engineers Battalion of the National Guard.

The Guard had turned down an offer of facilities at Morris Field, owned by the City, for its remoteness. The Teen Age Club likewise argued for a central location. The City, it offers, had a responsibility to both groups.

If you have a spare basement room, and do not mind a little noise, let the City know.

A piece from the Greenville (Miss.) Delta Democrat-Times, titled "Ban 'Lanterns on the Levee'", discusses the late William Alexander Percy's 1941 book on life in the Mississippi Delta, which had deservedly become a classic. Mr. Percy spoke only for himself in a personal story of humanity.

But now the Teachers' Union of New York was demanding that it be banned from the New York public schools, together with other books they deemed to provide in between their covers unfair treatment to blacks.

Mr. Percy, it opines, was fairer and more compassionate to all people than anyone else of whom the editors were aware. Regardless, the union demand was dangerous in seeking to ban a book for its perceived opinions. Nor was there any effort by the union to ban books which took the opposite extreme to that perceived of Mr. Percy's exposition.

The action did not provide confidence in the reputation of New York City as the chief exponent of American liberalism. Mississippi had many books on its library shelves which were repugnant to most people of that state. Yet, there was no effort to ban them.

Regardless of whether it would be banned, the book, it predicts, would be read long after its purge was forgotten.

In May, 1941, W. J. Cash, in his last book review for The News, had given an enthusiastic treatment to Lanterns on the Levee and its author, finding him to be a true Southern aristocrat who had turned out a beautifully written work "which ought not be obscured by any ideological disputes".

The bottom line, of course, is that everywhere you go there are stupid people, from California to the New York Island. To ban a book, any book, is by definition to be a Fascist dictator of other peoples' thought patterns, no matter the perceived righteousness of the stand in so doing. If a particular circumstance cannot withstand comment, criticism, parody, or what have you in the way of commentary, then the thing sought to be banned must have some grain of truth of which the censors are afraid or are concerned that they lack the wherewithal to argue against the particular articulation.

Similarly, though not at issue in the instant case, it is so with speech, even hate speech. Everyone has the right to hate and to express it. If you repress it, you get guns in the schools, doper. Maybe the Fascists among us, however, are too dumb to realize that connection.

Liberality is a state of mind, open to debate and ideas. It is not a check-list of politically correct stances, implying instead Fascist dogma to which one has to adhere or be banished. It is a major fault running through American society to this day, appearing to derive from the Puritanical underpinnings of the society which run through every facet of it and through every people, regardless of racial, religious, and ethnic heritage. The Puritans, at the end of the day, were an intolerant lot of louts. And, save in cheaply romanticized story books, they were anything but pure or they would not have needed to adhere to such rigid standards to keep from going astray in major ways.

Drew Pearson again tells of Secretary of State Marshall's trip to the Foreign Ministers Council meeting in Moscow and what he hoped to achieve. In an earlier column, he had told of the diplomats' views that a cleavage existed between the Molotov-Gromyko wing of the Politburo and the Stalin contingent, the former being opposed to the West on suspicion of imperialist motives to justify Soviet expansion, and the latter favoring cooperation. While it might be true, the fourteen members of the Politburo had never lost sight of their ultimate goal, to create a workable peace, as Russia could not afford another war for the foreseeable future. He then seeks to dissect the Russian goal based on events occurring since the previous fall of 1946.

The previous September, after the firing of Henry Wallace as Secretary of Commerce regarding his criticism of the policy enunciated in Stuttgart by Secretary of State James Byrnes, which had favored a tough stance toward Russian expansionism, the Russians had reacted with concern to the anti-Russian criticism evident in the American press in the wake of the firing. After Mr. Wallace had departed, the Russians knew that they would no longer have any support within the Cabinet. Thus, Josef Stalin told a reporter that he foresaw peaceful relations with the U.S., and Foreign Commissar Molotov mollified his hard position, as did other Russian delegates to the New York Foreign Ministers Council meeting. The Russians even had agreed to the U.S.-proposed international inspections of munitions and atomic energy plants as a basis for sharing the atomic secret.

But the Kremlin had undertaken this softer approach with the idea of inducing American feelings of security to undercut the critics of Russia and those wishing a strong American military in peacetime.

In fact, there was no real change beyond superficialities in the Russian policy. In Russia, the press and radio continued its anti-American propaganda. The Russian commanders in Korea were refusing cooperation with the American commanders to work out a solution for governing the country. Russia was ignoring its previous promises to evacuate Manchuria in China, and was trying to cause problems in Greece, as well in Norway. It was also seeking to create problems for the U.S. in Latin America.

Soviet Ambassador Gromyko was stalling on the issue of atomic energy, backfilling on his previous agreement on inspections, eventually, two weeks earlier, rejecting the concept entirely, doing so after it was reported that Russia had developed a small atomic bomb.

The underlying policy in Russia was to foment world revolution, not war, to enable it to buy time to rebuild. It was one reason the Russians favored a centralized German Government, as it would more easily than a Federation of states enable takeover of Germany.

He asserts that time could be on the side of the U.S. provided it was smarter than Russia and became an example of orderly democracy, the major concern for the ensuing decade. The U.S. needed to be the best run and most humanitarian country in the world. That translated into a generous foreign policy. The entire country had the responsibility to engage in fewer strikes, companies to accept smaller profits and more sharing of resources. The country, he asserts, needed also to pay close attention to foreign developments, as much so as to the ball scores.

Marquis Childs tells of enemies of peace, "TOO LITTLE" and "TOO LATE", who had contributed to the soaring price of wheat, with it set to reach perhaps $3 per bushel before a bumper crop would go on the market in the spring. These enemies had valuable allies in the weather affecting Europe, first the drought in the Mediterranean, then another drought in Eastern Europe.

In the Rumanian province of Moldavia, the peasants had eaten their seed grain. In Yugoslavia and the Ukraine, acute hunger brought the populations nearly to starvation.

Then came the cold and snow of the present winter, delaying the spring planting and curtailing the winter harvest.

Secretary of Agriculture Clinton Anderson should have purchased grain when it was plentiful the previous fall. He refused on the bases that he did not want to get caught with high-priced grain in the face of lowering prices and that it would be embarrassing should the Government buy too much. The demand now in the face of scarcity was pushing up the price. Mr. Anderson the previous summer had not wanted to set a fixed quota for America's grain commitments abroad. Privately, the figure of 250 million bushels was used. It was now being supplemented with corn to bring the amount to 400 million bushels, albeit contrary to the accustomed dietary habits of Europeans to have such an admixture. It had brought rioting by Italians.

Mr. Anderson's associates were hoping to buy wheat from the early record harvest in Texas and Oklahoma. Failure to meet quotas could produce turmoil in Europe, especially Italy, leading to a Communist regime.

Bread was on the rise in New York, from 15 to 16 cents per loaf, and appeared headed upward. Whether it was the result of the wheat situation or other factors in the economy generally was debatable. But it was unlikely to decrease any time soon.

Samuel Grafton suggests that one of the consequences of providing aid to Greece would be to allow any nation within reach of Russia to blackmail the United States into providing it with financial aid to resist Soviet domination. Hitler had used the tactic pre-war to obtain concessions from the Western democracies. Reactionary governments anywhere in the world could contend that the internal domestic opposition was Communist and then look to the U.S. for aid. The policy therefore would lead inexorably to U.S. support of reactionary governments in Europe.

Any right-wing government in a small state near Russia could adopt the policy to prop itself for the ensuing fifty years. It could lead to condoning all manner of repression by such right-wing governments.

But the new policy was going to prevent the absorption of Greece by Russia by propping up the present Government. He urges turning the matter over to the United Nations at the earliest possible time to determine what to do about Greece, both economically and militarily. He deems the most frightening event in the previous decade to have been American willingness to accept without protest a retrenchment to an earlier, unworkable policy of unilateral action.

A letter describes the world situation, divided between the West and Russia. The immediate interests of the United States, he says, were in America, but its hearts were with Secretary Marshall in Moscow, trying to effect a lasting peace.

A letter from another Joe Martin, of Connecticut, suggests that friends of Governor Dewey in Congress were attempting to compel the Chinese to legalize the traffic in opium. He believes that the low state of world morality should not be deemed moral, as was being propagated by Republican foreign policy adviser John Foster Dulles and Speaker of the House Joseph Martin of Massachusetts.

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