The Charlotte News

Saturday, March 15, 1947


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that it was expected that Prime Minister Josef Stalin would shortly speak to Secretary of State Marshall regarding his view on the President's Wednesday recommendation that Congress approve 400 million dollars worth of aid to Greece and Turkey. Both Pravda and Izvestia had already criticized the proposal, the latter saying it was evidence of U.S. meddling in other countries' affairs and Pravda similarly calling it emblematic of the imperialist polices of the United States.

At the Moscow Foreign Ministers Council meeting, a deadlock among the Deputy Foreign Ministers had taken place on the issue of Soviet claims to German assets and whether there would be Albanian participation in the construction of the German peace treaty.

The AFL United Financial Employees Union in New York announced that, pursuant to a vote of its membership, it would provide 30 days notice of termination of its contracts with the New York Stock, Curb, and Cotton exchanges, to result in a strike which would paralyze the industry.

The owner of a Charlotte fuel oil company, Banks Funderburk, was found dead on his yacht in the Inland Waterway just north of the South Carolina line, along with another Charlotte resident and the captain. They had been en route to Cuba from Wrightsville Beach via the Inland Waterway. The deaths were caused by a carbon monoxide leak from the boat's engine exhaust into the cabin.

In Fayetteville, a 28-year old Maxton man was held in connection with the Pembroke bank robbery of the previous day in which he and an accomplice allegedly stole $9,500. The FBI filed the charge of bank robbery against the suspect. All of the money, save a few dollars, had been recovered, $8,000 having been surreptitiously secreted in a syrup can in the swamp south of Pembroke. He had also purchased an automobile for $900. Originally, he had told police that he had thrown some of the money in the Lumber River, but that story was deemed unreliable. He had been arrested at 5:00 p.m. the previous day while standing beside his new car at the bus station and, under questioning, had admitted the robbery.

The piece does not, however, mention his accomplice, the short, fat man who drove the get away car.

We hope that they took up the mailed gauntlet prior to reaching into the syrup can, lest they potentially envenomed be with a most potent admixture of coppered toxin. Absent fealty to good judgment and caution, might the defendant then be charged also with battery on a coppered top-copper? Should he die, felony-murder?

With the passage by the North Carolina General Assembly of the anti-closed shop bill, a piece appears regarding the states which had banned the closed shop in 1947, including Tennessee, North Dakota, New Mexico, Virginia, and Georgia, in which the ban had just been signed into law by Herman Talmadge. Five other states had previously approved it: Florida, Arkansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Arizona. Proposed bills were pending in yet eight other states. Such proposed bans were defeated in Colorado, Idaho, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

A State Representative from Shelby, former Speaker, sought to have the gag rule of the State House rescinded. The rule bottled up legislation by requiring a two-thirds floor vote to defeat legislation opposed by the Governor and which had not been reported out favorably by a committee. The bill had been put into effect while the Representative was the Speaker in 1941 and was implemented in exchange for him being elected Speaker.

Tom Fesperman tells of a Daingerfield painting arriving at the Charlotte Mint Museum, along with two bottles of whiskey packed with it in the shipping crate.

A representative of the North Carolina Symphony Orchestra was in town and complaining of the need to feed a nickel every so often to Charlotte's parking meters. He found it to be great exercise.

The new trash boxes on the street were not yet collecting much trash.

A bus driver had encountered trouble closing the rear door of his bus, finally had to transfer the passengers onto another, whereupon he was eventually able to get the door closed and followed the other bus with an empty.

Mr. Fesperman was grateful for a note informing him that C. A. Paul's middle initial stood for Alcus.

Chester Cobb, textile magnate, had his picture in the paper recently, prompting his wife to tell him that he had to lose weight. He also had received a letter addressed to "The Rotund One". No one had noticed his corpulence before the picture appeared.

On the editorial page, "The Anti-Closed Shop Law" suggests that the passage of the anti-closed shop bill and the ban on check-off of union dues would have untold consequences as no legal experts had been called before the Legislature by the proponents of the bill to give their opinions. Those called by the opposition had warned that the bill's intricacies would promote a large amount of litigation.

If it impacted interstate commerce, then it would affect all union members in the state; if only intrastate commerce, it would impact only a small number of organized workers not working in interstate commerce. Those determinations had to be answered in the courts.

The bill, though couched in terms of "the right to work", was a punitive measure, primarily aimed at UMW, no membership of which existed in North Carolina as there were no coal mines in the state.

The bill would likely do little, but it had revealed a disturbing tendency by the General Assembly on both sides of the issue to be without the courage of their convictions.

"To Break the Bottlenecks" concerns the need for amendment of the City Charter before a master plan for new street improvements could be approved by the City Council. The Charter had to be amended by the General Assembly. At present, the Charter only allowed for street improvement at the expense of the residents who lived along them. But the new cross-town boulevard would require assessments on a broader basis as the boulevard would be serving far more traffic than that confined to the neighborhoods through which it would pass.

The provision protected against the City Council passing improvements for political purposes, but that safeguard could be maintained by a provison allowing that no street could be improved except by a majority vote of the Council in open session with public hearings in advance of the vote.

The Mecklenburg Delegation to the Legislature had initially refused to seek the amendment for the City Council, and the piece hopes that it would reconsider the action.

"The Same Old Maurice?" comments on Maurice Chevalier being back on Broadway and the critics finding him in fine fettle. But it wonders whether he would find the same America he had left behind during the war. He had successfully answered the rumors that he had collaborated with the Nazi occupation of France, and had been accepted again in Parisian society. He had said that he had simply sat out the war on the Riviera, having little association with the Germans.

The piece suggests, however, that doing nothing in the time of his country's greatest peril was precisely the point, especially when juxtaposed to the courageous and daring efforts of the French underground guerrillas, the FFI, who risked their lives to sabotage bridges and other valuable conduits which the Nazis might have otherwise utilized.

A piece from the Greensboro Daily News, titled "Then Why Not Vote?" struggles to find any sporting proponent of the dry cause in the state. Mecklenburg County's proposed referendum was being opposed before the Legislature by the churchmen who contended that the 70,000 white church-going population of the city would rise up as one chorus to defeat the bill. But if they were able to do so, then they ought be able to defeat the referendum in November. The piece questions therefore why they were so fearful of a vote on the issue.

Drew Pearson relates that Senator Henry Cabot Lodge of Massachusetts was the most vocal member at the Senate Republican caucus recently, saying that he had not been re-elected to the Senate in 1946 to have someone else do the talking for him, specifically in relation to House Ways & Means chairman Harold Knutson's continued insistence on a 20 percent across-the-board tax cut.

The session brought out the gripes of all of the sixteen new Republican Senators, based on Senator Raymond Baldwin of Connecticut writing a letter to GOP chairman Carroll Reece complaining about Republican leadership.

A vigorous discussion had taken place with regard to how rent controls ought be retained, whether under experienced OPA personnel or a new agency. Some, such as Senator John Bricker of Ohio, wanted rent controls completely abolished. He was joined by Senators Homer Capehart of Indiana and Albert Hawkes of New Jersey. Senator Taft, however, wanted to retain rent controls but through another agency.

Both Senators Lodge and Irving Ives of New York strongly favored retention of rent controls. Senator Ives was especially appalled by the prospect, as had been suggested, of turning over administration of rent controls to the courts, clogging the courts with thousands of such cases.

Marquis Childs discusses the advice of many at the time of the loan commitment the previous year to Britain of 3.75 billion dollars that first, an assessment ought be made of the overall needs of the world to determine needs relative to the capacity of the United States to pay. Now with the President's recommendation for a 400 million dollar loan to Greece and Turkey, to supplant the British aid to be withdrawn from Greece at the end of the month for want of ability to maintain it, that advice appeared increasingly propitious.

If the concept enunciated by the President were to be extended to China, it could become a bottomless pit for the U.S. financially.

Some were also saying that long-term loan commitments would be necessary for France, Denmark, Holland, and Belgium, as those countries were receiving durable goods from Britain to build factories, goods which Britain could no longer afford to export for currencies not readily convertible to dollars. Such loans might be beyond the wherewithal of the World Bank.

Congress would have to act on the President's request to avert a disaster in Greece which would make it ripe for Communist takeover. But, nevertheless, a balance sheet was needed to determine where the country's responsibilities lay. If it had been produced earlier, the sudden need for aid to Greece would not have come as such a shock.

Harold Ickes comments on the speed with which the Republican Congress was acting on important legislation. Recently, for instance, it had passed a bill to change the name of Boulder Dam to Hoover Dam. That was a move which ought satisfy the housewives complaining about the cost of living and the GI's needing a home. It would also insure food for the starving abroad.

The next act passed by the Congress ought be to establish the Order of the Cuckoo. Boulder Dam ought become Hoover Dam, the reasoning seemed to be, because President Hoover had so little to do with it.

The bill creating the dam was signed by Calvin Coolidge. On January 6, 1930, Senator Smoot had sought to call the dam Hoover, but the naming could not get past the Committee on Irrigation and Reclamation—probably because of Mr. Hoover's trickle-down economics.

Ultimately, Senator Hiram Johnson of California was primarily responsible in getting the bill through the Congress to create Boulder Dam. Senator Johnson had informed Mr. Ickes at the time that President Hoover was opposed to the project and had even sought actively to defeat it from behind the scenes.

The dam, he asserts, therefore ought be called Hiram W. Johnson Dam if it was to have a name change.

Mr. Ickes suggests an alternative wording for the bill to change the name, which included the concept that the Republicans did not like President Roosevelt, better to accord their belief that he had stuck the name Boulder on the dam. The bill would also need include an appropriation of five million dollars to effect changes in road signs, record surveys, maps, contracts, public documents and the like.

"But I would be surprised if Mr. Hoover would be willing to agree to a name for Boulder Dam that would amount to political miscegenation."

A letter writer provides a poem which she hopes would cause voters to think twice before approving controlled sale of liquor in the county.


Go ask the drunkard's wretched wife
What's been the terror of her life,
What turned her raven locks to snow?
And laid her wretched husband low?

Well, now wait a minute. To be fair, we have to say, raven locks turn to snow regardless of the whiskey being in the house. That's just a function of genes for the most part. Let's not blame the demon rum for everything.

So, too, the husband wretched becomes low without.

A letter writer, responding to the Drew Pearson column relating of the visit to the White House of Brigadier General B. O. Davis, tells of the story of Theodore Roosevelt having invited Booker T. Washington to the White House and, thereafter, being informed by a Senator that the President would forever be linked to Washington, Booker T., not George.

That, however, is probably better than being permanently linked to Bushrod, nephew of George, who became a Supreme Court Justice, and whose instructor was a Booth, who, it is said, had a chihuahua, the dog in the manger, whose offspring belonged to the Acting Booths and was a favorite of the limping Booth, all leading to Ford's, not to mention Chester, Chevys, and the Rabbits.

"Did", from February 12, 1947, is now here. Cancelling a link out of spite did not help your team, did it, stupid?

A letter inquires of the headline appearing in the newspaper which had announced the Easter "Sunrize" service, and wonders whether, when referring to the Easter sun, it should be spelled with a "z".

The editors respond: "Sunrise is spelled 'sunrize' only when gremlins are operating around our copy desk and composing room."

We have seen those gremlins. They are mean little devils. Beware of them. We catch usually a couple of them per day around here and try to eliminate them with the gremline-bane.

A letter writer thanks the newspaper for its efforts on behalf of safer intersections in the city. He had driven in Charlotte for a number of years and had noticed during a recent visit several improved intersections, which he ascribed to the paper's efforts in that direction.

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