The Charlotte News

Monday, March 17, 1947


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Foreign Commissar V. M. Molotov sought at the Foreign Ministers Council meeting in Moscow 10 billion dollars in reparations over a 20-year period from Germany, starting with the date of the July, 1945 Potsdam Agreement. He also sought four-power control over the industrialized Ruhr and immediate cancellation of the agreement to combine the American and British zones of occupation.

The United States, through Ambassador Robert Murphy. meanwhile sought participation by 18 smaller nations in the Conference with respect to the creation of the treaty with Germany. Russia opposed this plan and wanted each nation admitted separately, not by group. Andrei Vishinsky stated his lack of objection to Iran's participation. He specifically objected, however, to participation by Turkey.

In Tokyo, General MacArthur told a press conference that he advocated a peace treaty with Japan as soon as possible, replacing the military occupation with mild control by the U.N. for an indefinite period. He stated that the occupation duties were almost complete, leaving only economic issues with which the military was not equipped to handle. It was the General's first on-the-record press conference in more than five years.

A delayed dispatch from Hanoi reported that French troops had occupied Mon Cay on the northern coast of Indo-China, close to the Chinese border.

Senator Henry Cabot Lodge of Massachusetts urged that Congress put stiff requirements on the aid proposed by the President for Greece and Turkey, but stated that he believed the aid had to be provided.

The Supreme Court issued an order making its March 10 decision effective March 20, requiring John L. Lewis and UMW to call off its planned March 31 strike or incur the additional 2.8 million dollars in fines imposed by the Federal District Court on the contempt citation of December 7, that part of the 3.5 million dollar total fine having been remitted by the Court in its decision upholding the validity of the contempt, the remission contingent upon the strike being called off. Normally, the mandate would not have reached the lower court until March 31, leaving five days by court rules during which the miners would have been potentially off the job.

Housing Expediter Frank Creedon and Temporary Controls Administrator, Maj. General Philip Fleming, both told the House Banking Committee that removing rent controls after March 31, 1947 would cause substantial increases in rents across the nation. General Fleming stated that it was essential that they remain in place through June 30, 1948.

Britain went on special daylight savings time, which would add a second hour on April 13, reversing the first hour on August 10, and then the second, on November 2. The double daylight savings time was put into effect to save energy during the coal shortage of the prolonged severe winter.

In Jerusalem, two all-Irish regiments of the British Army celebrated St. Patrick's Day, but the Royal Irish Fusiliers, Ninth Infantry Brigade Regiment, had to curtail its activities because of its duties engaged in lifting barbed-wire barriers to free 25,000 Jews in the Mea Shearim district after two weeks of restriction by martial law.

In Berkeley, California, a 27-year old man, who sought unsuccessfully to reconcile with his estranged wife, shot her to death, then himself. He died the next day.

Guess they won't be reconciling after all.

In Cambridge, Mass., police responded to a noise complaint, found a man fully clothed splashing in the bathtub, singing loudly. He agreed to stop singing but continued his splashing.

The Purcell's Women's Apparel Shop in Salisbury, N.C., was completely destroyed by fire.

Rumors abounded in Charlotte that the case against the eighteen local dairymen for watering down milk and selling it as whole milk might be dropped for insufficient evidence. The investigators apparently had not properly labeled the milk which was watered when they investigated the matter the previous fall, and the evidence therefore could not be identified as originating from a particular dairy.

There were 112 people on the City Police Court docket up for charges of public drunkenness, arrested during the weekend in dry Mecklenburg. There were only 33 other defendants on the docket.

Tom Fesperman tells of the dull morning in Police Court, as the remaining drunks and other assorted persons accused of crime came before the court. One man told of a party he was attending. He wanted to wear something different, chose an evening dress and called Georgia who owned the dress. He had allegedly taken it from Viola. But Georgia was not in the courtroom to confirm his apparent story of consent to the taking, and so the case had to be dismissed.

The judge remarked that the case would have to be tried twice, after Georgia showed up. You cannot do that, judge, even in North Carolina. Try reading the Constitution.

Looks like Georgia's dress would go unredressed.

After paying a visit to the Detective Bureau where things appeared equally dull, Mr. Fesperman decided to go to a movie, preferably a whodunnit, "with much shooting around corners at mobsters on a rainy night."

On the editorial page, "There Can Be No Compromise Now" finds the President's speech of the previous Wednesday to have rejected the United Nations in favor of an unilateral course of action, essentially leaving the U.N. as an amalgam of Western nations bent on defeating Communism, leaving therefore the Soviet Union outside.

Historians, it suggests, might argue in the future the wisdom of such a course, that the President took the country into a situation out of unfounded fear of Russia, as surely as Russian efforts at expansionism were premised on unfounded fear of the West.

Congress could repudiate the President's proposed policy, but there did not appear any strong resolve to do so. That left two alternatives: either except the President's policy and hope that from the old balance of power politics might come peace, or return down the road of isolationism, which promised eventual war.

"The Legion's 'Dusk to Dawn' Survey" tells of the American Legion's survey of every family in Mecklenburg County in an effort to sign up new members and to see that every veteran or veteran's family was receiving proper benefits. The Legion believed that there were so many benefits available on the books that many veterans were overlooking them. The piece thinks it a laudable service and one which would enable the Government to be more efficient in administering benefits.

"The Taxi Drivers' 'Defense Fund'" discusses the admissions of guilt by most of the 31 defendants, most of whom were taxi drivers, in the lynching of Willie Earle the previous month in Pickens County near Greenville, taking Mr. Earle from the jail after his arrest for the stabbing death of a Greenville cab driver the previous night.

A defense fund had nevertheless been established for the defendants—all of whom would subsequently be acquitted in May. The fund had collected $2,000, most of it from Greenville.

The piece wonders whether the motivation for the fund was to aid the cab drivers in obtaining justice or, more probably, to see that the lynch law was preserved so that murder could continue in South Carolina with impunity whenever men felt like taking the law into their own hands.

A piece from the Asheville Citizen, titled "A Monumental Slip", comments on the Raleigh Times being upset at the movement to erect monuments on the Capitol Square in Raleigh to Andrew Jackson, Andrew Johnson, and James K. Polk, each of North Carolina birth. The Times had implied that President Polk only attended UNC and was not born in the state, as he was, in Mecklenburg County.

The piece thinks it a proud boast to have three native Presidents, or at least two and a possible third, with Andrew Jackson's birthplace being disputed with South Carolina, and thinks the state ought therefore brag on the fact with monuments—possibly only half a one thus to President Jackson.

Drew Pearson tells of the general opinion in Washington being that the President's speech of the previous Wednesday, to become known as defining the "Truman Doctrine" proposing 400 million dollars worth of aid to Greece and Turkey to ward off Soviet aggression, constituted as momentous a change in foreign policy as President Roosevelt's decision in 1940 to begin convoying munitions in British ships across the Atlantic.

Most observers were amazed that extreme Greek Royalists had the President's ear, notably Archbishop Athenagoras and Reverend Thomas Daniels, who were granted entry to the White House to consult with the President and have dinner with his military aide, General Harry Vaughan.

Greeks in Washington had petitioned in 1938 to remove Reverend Daniels as pastor of their church for unpriestly behavior, based on a 1930 arrest for public drunkenness as well as two 1916-1917 divorce suits in which he was cited for committing adultery. The church adopted a bylaw that he could not enter the church even as a worshipper.

He next imparts of Justice Felix Frankfurter speaking at the Harvard Law School law review dinner and being quietly heckled by an old colleague on the faculty, Professor Thomas Reed Powell, who did not relish Justice Frankfurter's remarks.

At one juncture, when Justice Frankfurter complimented the Harvard Law School for not practicing discrimination on the basis of religion or color, a young assistant professor, Robert Braucher, one of Justice Frankfurter's former students, rose from his seat to protest the claim with regard to color, at which point Justice Frankfurter told him abruptly to sit down, addressing him by an inaudible name. He obeyed, but, suggests Mr. Pearson, would likely be gone from the faculty after the end of the term.

Marquis Childs discusses the pressures from the rise in the cost of living being placed on labor to engage in new rounds of strikes. In January, the Steelworkers Union and U.S. Steel agreed to a two and a half month extension of the contract during which negotiations could take place. But the company appeared to want to scale back union gains made in recent years, in terms of the union shop and seniority rights. Little talk was concerned with wages.

With the Republican Congress set to restrict labor unions, it was no wonder that the company had been emboldened in its demands.

Representative Helen Gahagan Douglas of California had dramatized the cost of living increase by bringing a bag of groceries onto the floor of the House, which she had purchased for $15 at a local supermarket chain store. The previous June, as price controls effectively ended at the end of the month, she had bought the same groceries for $10. In that period there had been a 30 to 35 percent price increase, compared to 15 percent for the entirety of the four years during which price control was in effect.

She was waging her fight to retain rent controls before they expired on April 30. If that were to occur, rents, says Mr. Childs, would likely skyrocket by as much 50 to 100 percent. At that point, pressures to strike would be that much more increased.

An excerpt from the Congressional Record is printed by The News, providing the exchange between Congresswoman Douglas and Representative Frank B. Keefe of Wisconsin, regarding the subject of rent control and the cost of living.

—Yeah, Bob. I was thinking in terms of that double-daylight savings time in Britain. That could be a hell-of-a-thing here. We could use it against some of the pink unions to trap them in their own overtime and double-time arguments under the Wage & Hours Act. I'm stll thinking it through, but I'm pretty sure we could make it so confusing that even Lewis would not want to tackle it. Maybe a two and a half hour advance in three or four stages, with an interim period which reverts to standard time for a couple of weeks.

—Thank you, Bob. I'm glad you like that idea. I was up all night thinking it through.

—Yeah, the Douglas woman. Got her groceries at the Red market where the prices were maintained deliberately high to embarrass the Republicans. Yeah. Good. Good work, Bob. You stay on that.

—Even red onions and lots of spaghetti sauce. Yeah. Bet she got the kind with the vodka in it.

—No? Well, that was a joke, Bob.

—Yeah. Well, red peppers, too, and tamales. Oh yeah. That's very funny also. But I haven't got the time, right now, Bob. We're busy working up this Hollywood angle.

—Oh, yeah. Yeah, Bob. It couldn't be more serious. They're trying to infiltrate the minds of the young people, ye know, at the Saturday movies. There are probably a good fifty percent of them pink as can be, and twenty percent outright red. Maybe more.

—Oh no. No, Bob. Jimmy Stewart's clean.

—Yeah. John Wayne's okay, too.

—No, it's just the troublemakers, mainly the writers, the ones who want to contest everything, cannot understand the will of the American people to have a Republican administration in the White House.

—Cagney, Bogart? Iffy, Bob. Yeah. Yeah.

—Yeah. Good, Bob. 'Must be resolute, not long-hirsute.' Good. I like it. Could use a litle work though. Some of the slower constituents or the ones new to the area might not fully understand. But you keep at it, Bob. It has promise.

—'Must be resolute and astute, not long-hirsute or such a dupe.' Yeah. Well, it's getting there, Bob. Keep trying.

—Oh, definitely, Bob. Keep up the good work on the Douglas grocery buying. Yeah.

—Oh, that's good. 'Most buy from the green grocer; Helen, only from the Red grocer.' Yeah. Definitely has a ring to it, Bob. Tuck that one away for a rainy day.

Samuel Grafton discusses Secretary of Labor Lewis Schwellenbach's proposal to outlaw the Communist Party, finding it an attempt to change American life to do away with the very thing which separated it from Russia: freedom of thought and expression. Communism was necessary to explain to the countries in the Soviet sphere that in America, there was allowance made for contrary ideologies, unlike Russia where no capitalism was tolerated.

Just as Mr. Schwellenbach proposed to fight suppression with suppression, President Truman, with the proposed aid to Greece and Turkey, was trying to fight expansionism with something very much like expansionism.

Domestically, the U.S. should live democracy and argue against Communism, while internationally, it should fight Soviet expansionism with international law before the United Nations, not play the game of the other side by taking unilateral action. The world, he thinks, might begin to have its doubts of an agitated America.

Incidentally, you may save your transcendental cards and letters. We quite understand that in North Carolina's "Police Court" or Recorder's Court, the equivalent today of the District Court, a defendant, after conviction, is entitled of right to a trial de novo in Superior Court. Thus, all the judge, in practice, had to do in the above-referenced case of Georgia's dress, allegedly taken without the consent of Viola by William who wanted to look nice at the party, was to find the defendant, erroneously or not, guilty, and... But that is not the way it was reported by Mr. Fesperman, who was, after all, the K-9 reporter for the newspaper. And so...

Nor are we being contemnacious of that judge. You can read the statement ostensibly so suggesting with two different inflections, should you read it at all, without, that is, employing a third eye of the Nether regions.

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