The Charlotte News

Saturday, March 22, 1947


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Foreign Commissar V. M. Molotov had proposed that the new German government be modeled on the Weimar Republic, to which the British and French registered their opposition. Foreign Secretary Bevin of Britain stated that the Weimar Republic had allowed the President to suspend the Constitution and had thus paved the way for Hitler. Mr. Molotov opposed federalization of the government, as favored by the U.S. and Britain. Secretary Marshall stated that Mr. Molotov's proposal would be regarded by the U.S. as a federal proposal, as it divided state and federal government.

Senators Arthur Vandenberg and Tom Connally were undertaking an effort to assure the world that the President's plan for aid to Greece and Turkey was consistent with U.N. principles, by calling attention to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Mission report specifying that Greece needed financial aid and recommending that some of it come from the United States. The Senators proposed a preamble to a bill authorizing the aid, which would indicate that the U.N. was not in a position financially at the present time to afford the aid.

A piece corrects a statement attributed the previous day to Undersecretary of State Dean Acheson, that he had supposedly informed Congress that a Communist-dominated government anywhere in the world would endanger the security of the United States, when in fact the question which had elicited the response, as determined by reporters upon closer examination of the transcript, was limited to China.

Both the House and Senate had decisively passed legislation to ban portal-to-portal back pay suits, previously found by the Supreme Court to be authorized by the 1938 Wage and Hours Act. The Senate just passed the legislation 64 to 24. It appeared that sufficient majorities were present in both houses to override a Presidential veto of the bill. The bill outlawed all pending and future suits seeking portal-to-portal pay except those specifically allowed by contract or industry custom. It also prohibited suits by unions for the portal pay and provided for a two-year statute of limitations from the time the work in question was performed.

Senate Republicans agreed to support extensions of rubber price controls, but had not yet agreed on extension of rent and sugar controls.

The Justice Department was looking into complaints about sudden rises in the cost of gasoline, ranging from a half cent to a cent and a half per gallon. Both Governor Mon Wallgren of Washington and Governor Earl Warren of California had asked the FBI to investigate the increases. Standard Oil of New Jersey attributed the increases to a sudden hike in crude oil prices.

In Santa Ana, Calif., a seventeen-year old heiress and her fiance were charged with murder of her parents by ball peen hammer before their bodies perished in the explosion of a yacht the previous Saturday night in Newport Harbor. The couple left an estate valued at $600,000, the apparent motive for the alleged murders. The ball peen hammer had been recovered by police and fit the head wounds of the victims precisely. The heiress was allowed to attend the funeral from jail. She wore a mink coat over her white cotton jail uniform. She cried softly by the graveside.

Well, you would, too.

Ben and Bernice would perhaps be intervening on the honeymoon of the loving couple.

In Los Angeles, Captain Alden G. Howell, oldest living Confederate commissioned officer, died the previous Thursday at age 106. He had been an attorney and banker in Waynesville, N.C., for 33 years before moving to Los Angeles thirteen years earlier. He had just celebrated his last birthday on February 18. During the Civil War, he had commanded Company B of the Sixth North Carolina Regiment and was present when General Stonewall Jackson was mortally wounded in May, 1863 at the Battle of Chancellorsville by his own men, pickets who mistook him for a Yankee as he returned to the Confederate lines after dark.

Tom Fesperman tells of a man who composed a poem regarding Charlotte's insistence against left turns:

Over the moon the old cow jumped;
She wasn't such a jerk.
'Twas the only way, with No-Left-Turn,
She could ever get to work.

A Captain in the Army who was the public relations officer at the Recruiting Station gave a speech before the Exchange Club in which he stated that under the present set-up, it was possible to exist in the Army. After laughter, he corrected his faux pas to read "enlist".

A legless man in front of the Presbyterian Church was begging for coins, being passed by the pedestrians without heed, until another crippled man hobbled by and gave the legless man some coins. Seeing this scene, others then contributed.

In response to the letter a few days earlier from "Rambling Bill" of Phoenix, formerly of Cleveland County, urging readers to come to Arizona to hunt gold with him, a man dropped by the newspaper and wanted the Arizonan's address for he was thinking of moving to that state. When asked by Harry Ashmore whether the man knew anything of gold hunting, he said he did not but his sinuses were killing him.

On the editorial page, "More Progress in Mental Care" tells of the pending acquisition from the Federal Government of the Camp Butner facility and its 3,400 bed hospital as a mental health farm. It would go a long way toward improving the state's capability of providing mental health care, away from the dark horrors of a decade earlier when facilities in the state were woefully inadequate.

It reminds that the buildings to be taken over would need considerable upgrading within ten years.

"Reduce Rates or Increase Exemptions?" examines the competing theories for lowering taxes on the lower bracket taxpayers. The Knutson tax reduction plan had just been altered to allow for thirty percent reductions to lower bracket taxpayers, those earning less than $1,000 in taxable income. But the bill still was sure to experience resistance as most Democrats and Republicans believed that the country could not afford a dramatic reduction in revenue.

The alternative method by which tax relief could be afforded the lower brackets was through increasing exemptions. They had been decreased under FDR to make the lower brackets more accountable, to give the wage earner a greater interest in his Government. But now, with the pay-as-you-go tax plan, whereby taxes were deducted quarterly from the wage earner's paycheck, that advantage was no longer present. The taxpayer simply saw the tax as a deduction and did not have to worry about paying it out of pocket.

Increasing exemptions would take many taxpayers off the rolls and relieve the Government of the expense of maintaining records on hundreds of thousands of taxpayers whose income justified only a small amount of tax in the first place.

"It Ain't Funny, Senator" reports that Senator Alexander Wiley of Wisconsin had polled his colleagues in Congress regarding their favorite jokes and had come up with some unfunny entries. The piece imparts three. We agree that they leave a lot to be desired, and so you may read them on your own.

Congressman Paul Dague stated in response to the poll, "Frankly, to me Congress is no joke."

A piece from the Winston-Salem Sentinel, titled "The Area of Domestic Need", tells of Howard University president Mordecai Johnson stating in Durham that the Southern United States was in greater need of financial aid than Greece or Turkey. He favored funneling money to domestic housing, clothing, and feeding the underfed. If done, the U.S. could live without fear of Communism.

The piece finds the words instructive and in need of wide dissemination. It was futile, it says, to allow Fascists to run wild in the State of Georgia while fighting Communism with aid to Greece, or making Germany safe for democracy when night riders ruled Mississippi and organized gangsters held sway over the city halls of New York and Chicago.

Drew Pearson reports that, absent further misbehavior by John L. Lewis, the Congress would likely not ban the closed shop or industry-wide collective bargaining, or make arbitration compulsory. Instead, Republican leaders had determined to put through a mildly restrictive bill which they believed would be acceptable to organized labor. It would ban jurisdictional strikes and secondary boycotts, compel financial reporting by unions, and make employers and unions equally liable for contract violations.

The reason for the change of attitude was that the Republicans did not believe that they could muster the necessary two-thirds majority to override a Presidential veto. They were also concerned about having it as an albatross to wear in the 1948 campaign, that the Democrats would make it a party-line issue.

He next tells of a Congressional page boy playing checkers and receiving instructions on a move from an older man watching the game, to which the page took some umbrage, challenging the older man to play. Quickly, the older man scored a blitz. Later, the page realized that he had been playing Senator Tom Stewart of Tennessee.

Mr. Pearson informs that there were 180,000 deaths annually in the country from cancer.

The Bronx Veterans Hospital was dedicating a swimming pool to the four chaplains who had given their lives during the sinking of the Dorchester during the war.

He tells of a bill sponsored by Arkansas Congressman Wilbur Mills which would enable 48 dollar-per-year men from big business to govern how appropriations to the National Science Foundation would be allocated, and would not restrict how patents from Government-funded research would be distributed, enabling them to be provided the large companies, from which the dollar-per-year men came. The original bill, sponsored by Senator Harley Kilgore of West Virginia, which had previously passed the Senate, establishing the Foundation, had provided for all patents derived from public funds to be made publicly available. It was likely that the Mills bill, favoring big business, would be the one ultimately passed by the Congress as the Kilgore bill was tied up in committee in the House, thanks to the efforts of the National Association of Manufacturers.

Marquis Childs discusses the pending labor bill before the Labor Committee, sponsored by Senator Joseph Ball of Minnesota. Senator Wayne Morse of Oregon was opposed to it, believed that it would essentially end the ability of labor to engage in collective bargaining. He had proposed an amendment under which the jurisdictional strike and secondary boycott would be banned and providing for the ability of the NLRB, with an expanded membership under his bill, to obtain an injunction when necessary against either employers or labor. Anything else, he believed, would be disastrous for labor.

The Committee wanted to hire a consultant and Senator Ball recommended a former New Deal lawyer, Gerard Reilly, a member of the NLRB in the past who had become known for his dissents. Senator Morse opposed him for the position on the ground that he had authored the Ball bill and thus could not be seen as truly impartial.

There was some additional opposition to the Ball bill among Republicans on the committee, including Senators Aiken of Vermont and Ives of New York. But even if the committee failed to recommend the bill, it would likely pass the entire Senate, with support from Southern Democrats.

The House bill was even more stringent in its limitations on labor.

Organized labor was berating Senator Morse for his moderate proposals, accusing him of favoring compulsory arbitration. Rather, Mr. Childs suggests, labor should get behind the moderate approach to avoid the more radical curtailment of union power. They appeared, however, unable to grasp the strategic wisdom of such a move.

Harold Ickes tells of Collier's Magazine having awarded the previous year its Congressional awards to Congressman Mike Monroney and Senator Arthur Vandenberg for being willing to stick their necks out. Recently, Mr. Monroney had done so with respect to the sugar issue and the need to retain price controls on it.

The president of the Pepsi-Cola Co. had testified to the House Banking and Currency Committee that sugar ceiling prices were unnecessary and costing the American family upwards of a billion dollars per year while costing taxpayers millions for enforcement of the regulation. Finished products utilizing sugar had gone way up while refined sugar remained under price control.

In response to the testimony, Congressman Monroney had suggested that the American housewife could buy candy bars for six cents a bar and use the chocolate for sweetening, to avoid the gambit posed by the president of Pepsi, that the housewife was being fooled by the fact that the first 35 pounds of the allotted 93 pounds of sugar per year was rationed and under price control at 9 to 10 cents per pound, while the remaining 58 pounds of sugar was in finished products and cost 25 cents per pound and more, as it was not under price control.

Mr. Ickes suggests that Mr. Monroney's "let them eat candy" was tantamount to Marie Antoinette's "let them eat cake". He thinks Mr. Monroney may have stuck his neck out too far on this one.

A letter from the editor of the Farmers Federation News, sponsor of a presentation of "The Pirates of Penzance" by the Davidson College and Queens College choruses, provides a favorable review of the performance appearing in The Asheville Citizen. The performance was attended by 7,200 school children, only one of whom was lost after the performance was over. One youngster sat in the front and sang every song from memory along with the cast. The author says that he was a pretty civilized human being.

A letter from Inez Flow, addressing her favorite topic, alcohol, tells of Federal District Court Judge E. Yates Webb addressing the Grand Jury in Shelby recently anent the notion that liquor stores would not end bootlegging, as over a thousand stills had been seized the previous year in the 25 wet counties of the state.

But what does that prove? except that the bootleggers were operating in more tolerant conditions to bring bootleg whiskey into the 75 dry counties from the wet counties.

A letter from a doctor representing the Wayne County Medical Society thanks the newspaper for its edition the previous month on the Good Health Program of the state.


Senator Soaper says: "'After Greece, what?' our darker thinkers ask. Or, to put it the hard way: if Greece is in the frying pan, is our next jump as specified in the proverb?"

With complete Cassandrian perspicacity, the Senator might have noted also that it might be so but for eventually taking the Jupe-tunic stuffing out of Turkey as superfluous, once the basting for tenderization was complete, turning the policing chores then over to the Mercury of Polars out upon the holy sea of tranquility, dependent on Nature's abhorrence to the vacuum produced from welshing on the rarebit, unsettling as that was to the Megiddophiles, bent on frying the egg to see whether from it, the Bird might be rebirthed.

This night in Kansas City, the West Regional was won by Oklahoma, nipping Texas, 55 to 54. The East Regional was won by Holy Cross in Madison Square Garden, handily whipsnaking CCNY, 60 to 45. The championship game between Holy Cross and Oklahoma would be played on Tuesday night in New York, the winner to go on to the World Games in Geneva to determine the rights to share or not to share the atomic secret realized and released already out of the Garden, thought by the diplomats to be the only fair way finally to determine the issue, provided the little shavers wouldn't foreordain the points. Should Oklahoma win, however, it was decided in advance, the world stage would afford the setting only for the contest re control of tidal oil rights, the tidal t' ye Allwrights having already been primarily determined with the elimination of Texas.

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