The Charlotte News

Friday, March 21, 1947


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Undersecretary of State Dean Acheson told the House Foreign Affairs Committee that the existence of Communist-dominated governments anywhere in the world stood as a danger to the security of the United States. Communist organizations around the world, he said, acted with a degree of discipline and unanimity which was, beyond peradventure, not merely coincidence.

Secretary of State Marshall and Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin called upon the Council of Foreign Ministers meeting in Moscow to create plans for a German government in the form of a federation. Secretary Marshall wanted a provisional government, to be established forthwith, composed of the heads of the presently existing states and provided the necessary powers to create and operate central administrative agencies. Next, a constitution would be drafted consistent with democratic principles and decentralization of the government, leaving the powers not assigned to the central government to the states, similar to that of the U.S. Constitution. Governing of the country would then transpire through both the central government and the state governments recognized by the constitution. He favored implementation of the provisional government at once so that the treaty to be approved ultimately could be implemented right away.

The Council agreed to the prior Marshall proposal to have Austrian Government representatives at the meeting when it considered the Austrian treaty.

Two former Communists, including Fred Beal, testified before HUAC that a former New Jersey lawyer, Leon Josephson, was an agent of the Soviet Secret Police and leader of a ring of passport forgers, more important than Gerhard Eisler, whom the committee previously had regarded as the supreme Communist authority in the country. Mr. Josephson had refused to testify before the committee and it was preparing a contempt citation against him.

Mr. Josephson, according to Mr. Beal, had given defendants legal advice in the murder trial regarding the death of Police Chief Aderholt, occurring during the textile mill strike in Gastonia, N.C., in 1929. The lawyer and the wife of one of the defendants had also arranged for false passports for seven of the convicted defendants, that they might go to Russia during pendency of their appeal.

The House Ways & Means Committee approved the Republican-backed bill to cut income taxes by thirty percent for small taxpayers and twenty percent for others. The vote followed along party lines. Former chairman of the committee Robert Doughton of North Carolina had proposed postponement of tax reduction until it was clear what expenditures would be required to provide foreign aid, but that proposal was defeated. The tax cut as proposed would be retroactive to January 1. The bill provided for about 3.8 billion dollars total in tax cuts from the 16 billion in tax revenue currently being collected by the Government.

A Senate Banking subcommittee approved continuation of rent controls through February 29, 1948.

UAW president Walter Reuther presented to GM management proposals for a wage increase of 23.5 cents per hour, to $1.56.5 per hour, a rise from an average of $1.33.

In New York, police were searching the debris accumulated over 40 years by two reclusive brothers who lived in a mansion on Fifth Avenue, seeking the whereabouts of one of the two brothers, feared buried in the morass. The other brother, blind, was pulled from the clutter already dead. The police responded to reports of neighbors who said that the two brothers, who had withdrawn from wealthy society four decades earlier, had not been seen for some time. Police described the mansion as being akin to a cave.

In Los Angeles, the City Council passed a curfew ordinance, signed by the Mayor, making it unlawful for boys and girls under eighteen to be on the streets without an adult after 10:00 p.m. Such a curfew was already in effect in Los Angeles County. It subjected parents to criminal prosecution for violation.

In Hollywood, the owner of Ciro's nightclub complained that tipping was too heavy among the customers, creating a hazard to their fun. He stressed that maitre'd's and headwaiters earned good salaries and that it was not necessary to tip them to obtain a good table. Tips of 10 to 12 percent were sufficient for the waiters and a quarter should be the maximum necessary to reclaim the customer's hat and coat from the cloakroom.

But how much to get your fish back?

Bandleader Kay Kyser, prominent advocate of North Carolina's Good Health Program, had testified before a House subcommittee considering appropriations for the Labor Department and Federal Security Agency. He told of the simple plan stated in simple language which had received support by the people of North Carolina, and suggested the same nationally. He said he had become energized by finding out that North Carolina, eleventh in population among the states in 1940, was 46th in literacy and 44th in per capita income, 40th in doctors per thousand people, and 42nd in hospital beds per thousand. A third of the state's 100 counties had no hospital beds at all.

Tom Fesperman tells of the start of the Charlotte Hornets baseball training and tryouts amid the residual mud and slush from the recent snows.

The groundskeeper had told of a bad winter in which his chickens and dogs which he kept at the field had been stolen, leaving him only three chickens and no rabbit dogs. Didn't matter about the dogs as no rabbits were around for the dogs to hound.

Newer, bigger bleachers were being erected at Griffith Park.

As sportswriter Furman Bisher took a call under the bleachers, a player hit two homeruns. One of the spectators told Mr. Fesperman not to tell him who it was. When Mr. Bisher returned, someone told him that one of the boys had just hit two over the fence, but when Mr. Bisher asked who it was, Mr. Fesperman refused response.

Spring had come.

Sports editor Ray Howe was busy covering the first day of the Greater Greensboro Open, and we hope that he was able to obtain a view of all the tees adequately at once, because it can become a very complex and perplexing thing to cover otherwise, this GGO, this Scotland on the greens.

On the editorial page, "For a United States of Europe" tells of Representative Hale Boggs of Louisiana and Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas planning to introduce a resolution to have the Congress express its sense that a United States of Europe be created within the framework of the U.N.

Its terse message was intended to begin a debate on the President's new foreign policy with respect to Greece and Turkey, instead to stress unification in the West as counterpoint to Soviet expansion in the East.

George Washington had predicted to General Lafayette the creation of a United States of Europe. Victor Hugo had likewise foreseen the day when Big Ben would be united with the Champs Elysees. Many modern statesmen, including Winston Churchill, Charles De Gaulle, and John Foster Dulles had advocated same.

Such a union would resolve the dilemma posed by a Germany restored to economic and industrial strength, keeping it as a state safe from aggression against its neighboring states.

Clayton Fritchey, editor of the New Orleans Item, had stated the case forcefully for such a federation as sine qua non for restoration of Europe economically. Europe, he posited, was in the same status as the colonies in America had once been before the Revolution. They could hang together or hang separately.

The piece thinks the Boggs-Fulbright Resolution to be a wise one, for a European federation offered a remedy against Soviet expansion more potent than did the ad hoc approach, without U.N. involvement, of the President's new unilateral aid policy.

NATO, militarily, created in 1949, and the European Common Market, economically, formed in 1957, established some facsimile of such a union, albeit, being formed by treaties, not one constructed by actual surrender of sovereignty by the individual constituent nations to a central governing authority.

"Birth and Death of a Dream", a by-lined piece by Harry Ashmore, written from Clemson, S.C., regarding his alma mater, Clemson College, takes the reader back to the days of John C. Calhoun, whose former mansion stands on a hill above the campus.

The Civil War had ended the dream of a great railroad connecting Charleston and the West, which was to pass through nearby Stumphouse Mountain. The Calhoun Mansion passed to Thomas G. Clemson of Pennsylvania who was a geologist and had been minister to the Netherlands, also played violin. He was the father-in-law of Pitchfork Ben Tillman, the fiery Governor and Senator who led the poor whites in populist revolt against the aristocratic traditions of the state, an exponent of which was Mr. Clemson.

But the latter willed his lands to establish an agricultural and mechanical college to bear his name. Both Mr. Tillman and Mr. Clemson believed that the path to the future lay in the railroad and in agricultural research.

The old Stumphouse Mountain Tunnel outside the town which had lain inchoate for a century covered in vines, the remnant of the beginnings of the railroad dream cut short by the bellicosity of 1860 and beyond, had now been cleared away to serve as a place in which blue cheese was being cultured. During the war, Roquefort cheese had been cut off from import and scientists searched for a way to produce it domestically. The dairymen of Clemson had come up with the idea of the tunnel as a curing post to produce the bacterial mold which provided the characteristic taste. Five years earlier, the first South Carolina blue cheese was produced and deemed as good as original Roquefort.

During the war, the experiments continued but domestic shortages made it impossible to produce it commercially. Now, the Clemson Dairy Department had announced that a new cooperative had been formed to produce the cheese on a commercial basis. The private dairy cooperative would market the cheese produced from the laboratories of the College.

It could produce a revolution in agriculture in the mountain counties of the Carolinas and Georgia, as Brown Swiss cattle were now being ordered to produce the milk adapted to cheese-making—in stark contrast to the African middle-passage chattel which had been ordered prior to the intercession of war in 1861 to chip away at the tunnel.

Thus, the cycle had gone from the railroad as one dream to cheese-making as another, the gantlet in between serving as the crossroads. Stumphouse Mountain, he concludes, albeit via a particularly smelly form of cheese, might yet serve to bolster a failing economy.

Blessed are the cheese-makers that their enriched days may be veined in blue.

Drew Pearson tells of the frustrated attempts by former Undersecretary of State Sumner Welles, as early as 1942, to exact terms of peace from the Allies while their tears were hot, their backs to the wall. Secretary of State Hull had overruled him. The result now was that France and Russia, no longer with their backs to the wall, were in no mood to bargain.

To prevent further mistakes of the same sort, it would be good, he advises, to exact terms from Britain and Greece regarding the aid program proposed by the President. The British should be encouraged to cancel the loans made by British banks to Greece at exorbitant interest rates, as high as 16 percent. Otherwise, the aid to Greece would go in large part to support the debt service on these loans. King George of Greece should be forced to abdicate, as not representing democratic interests and standing as a barrier to guerrilla surrender. A moderate coalition government should be formed in the country. The British Army should exit as soon as an American-trained Greek force could take over. There should be heavier taxation on wealthy Greeks. The American burden should gradually be transferred to the U.N.

Fiorello La Guardia had suggested to the Premier of Greece that foreign nationals living around the Mediterranean be forced to shoulder their share of the financial burden in Greece through higher taxation. But the Premier would not endorse such a plan.

As an example of why the Greeks felt such intense bitterness toward the British, he tells of an incident in fall, 1944 after the British took over Athens, in which a peddler was making a sale at the Acropol Palace Hotel a few minutes prior to the start of the 7:00 p.m. curfew. It took a few minutes to count out the money and by the time the transaction was complete, it was a few minutes after 7:00. As the peddler departed he was machine-gunned to death by British soldiers for being in violation of the curfew.

Marquis Childs tells of a reunion dinner of the members of the Advisory Board of the Office of War Mobilization and Reconversion. One of the guests who had enjoyed himself the most was former Secretary of State Byrnes, director of OWM for two years. Another was Philip Murray, head of CIO. Mr. Murray had personally thanked Mr. Byrnes for his "grand job" at State. Mr. Byrnes wondered whether those in the union felt the same way, to which Mr. Murray responded that he believed that they did, save for perhaps 10 percent, representing the Communists and fellow travelers. That ten percent was the tail which in the past had appeared to wag the dog.

Mr. Murray had been forced to intervene in disputes for some time between Communists within individual CIO unions and non-Communist members engaged in rows over direction.

The CIO Executive Board had approved a Murray directive to have all members withdraw from membership in either the Progressive Citizens of America, the Henry Wallace supported political organization, or Americans for Democratic Action, the Eleanor Roosevelt supported organization which boasted among others in its membership, Mayor Hubert Humphrey, Representative Helen Gahagan Douglas, and former Representative Jerry Voorhis. There had been considerable resentment among the union local officers anent this decision. They had liked the concept of ADA, which was striving both to be progressive and bar Communists from its membership. The CIO officers in Pittsburgh where the Steelworkers Union was dominant, were planning to attend an ADA conference until the ruling preempted it.

Mr. Murray had a difficult row to hoe, in trying to maintain the CIO on a steady course while staying the wayward horses bent on revolt.

Samuel Grafton again discusses the contradictory aims of the GOP Congress, on the one hand wanting to cut income taxes by 20 percent while on the other supporting the President's plan to police the world to thwart Soviet expansionism, though the latter would cost considerable sums. The Republicans also wanted to halt compulsory military training and to reduce the Federal Government's size while maintaining a Federal footprint sufficiently formidable to arrest the Kremlin from aggressive action.

There was no way to satisfy these contradictory desires. A businessman could have freedom to run his business, but not, should he desire to change to labor leader, a union. The theme was to have more freedom and less government for some people, but the converse for others.

The resolution of the conundrum did not lie in granting the GOP more power, as they could not possibly attain the goals sought. The country could not have a warlike foreign policy on a peacetime budget any more than one could square a circle.

It did not matter how many people shared in this fantasy, as bound to fantasy it was inevitably constrained by reality to remain.

A letter from the press chairman of the North Carolina Infantile Paralysis Campaign thanks the newspaper for its contribution to making the drive a success. It urges readers to contribute to the Easter Seals campaign, to take place between March 20 and April 6.

A letter from a member of the Civitan Club notes the high attendance, despite bad weather, of the concert by the Central High School Band, Chorus, and Orchestra at the Armory the previous Thursday. It thanks the newspaper for the publicity which produced the high attendance.

A letter asks readers whether they intended to side with the President's plea for aid to Greece and Turkey, intended as it was, he thinks, to kill the U.N., as surely as the Republican Congress and President Harding had killed the League of Nations in 1921 by refusing to join the League, crippling it from the outset.

A letter from the executive director of the American Council for Judaism seeks to correct a common misperception borne out by headlines which often interchanged the word "Jew" for "Zionist". Jews, he informs, were bound only by a common religion, not by any belief in establishing a Jewish nation, the latter being the Zionist creed and that which distinguished him from other Jews.

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