The Charlotte News

Monday, March 24, 1947


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Undersecretary of State Dean Acheson had urged to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that the United States must invest money in Southern Korea to place it on a sound economic footing, as Russia had nixed any possibility of a unified government, following a year of effort toward that end. Mr. Acheson did not indicate how much he thought the investment should be.

Most of Korea's natural resources were in the northern half of the country, occupied by Russia.

He also again assured that no troops were to be sent to Greece and that the loans to Greece and Turkey might wind up being gifts. Those situations, he added, were not precisely analogous to that of Korea. He also informed that the Export-Import Bank had earmarked 500 million dollars for a possible loan to China. He noted that the country had spent nearly a billion dollars in Italy since its surrender in 1943.

Undersecretary Will Clayton stated that all except 150 million dollars of the proposed 400 million dollar loan to Greece and Turkey would be devoted to military expenditures. He apparently did not differentiate as to what part of the 250 million dollars to Greece would be for military aid.

The President was scheduled to meet this night with the Big Six Congressional leaders at the White House regarding an undisclosed subject, most likely the aid issue, with time for expiration of British aid only a week away.

The Treasury Department reported that it appeared that the country was still on target for its first budget surplus in seventeen years by the end of the fiscal year.

In Moscow, at the Foreign Ministers Council meeting, Secretary of State Marshall circulated a paper suggesting that the foreign ministers of the Big Four agree that occupation troops deployed by each country be reduced to the minimum necessary to carry out Allied policies and protect security, and that the German economy be made self-supporting as swiftly as possible. Another circulated American paper also proposed that every German state and federal constitution would provide for freedom from unlawful searches and seizures and arbitrary arrests, as well as guarantees of other basic rights. Political parties would also be recognized and elections subject to four-power supervision. Trade unions would be recognized and their freedom guaranteed. Freedom of the press would also be assured, except where military security necessitated otherwise. Freedom of movement of transportation of personnel and goods throughout the country would also be recognized.

In London, forty miles of subways were shut down by flooding of the Thames, snarling city traffic. The flood waters had clogged the filters which cleaned the water for cooling the subway's largest power plant. It was also reported that water had seeped into the power station. Londoners had to travel to work by "strange and devious routes."

Long queues were evident at busstops, trolley and taxi stands, and before telephone booths. Some formed at the "better hitch-hike locations."

York was virtually cut in two by flood waters from the River Ouse.

At Hebburn-on-Tyne in England, fire of an undetermined origin swept through three decks of the 22,000-ton British liner Monarch as it lay in drydock. The ship was being refitted for civilian service after serving as a troop ship during the war, including service as an evacuation ship during the fall of France in spring, 1940.

In Milwaukee, the nation's longest strike, that at Allis-Chalmers, which had lasted since the prior April, ended, with the workers returning without a contract. They still demanded a 25-cent per hour raise but would be getting 18.5 cents per hour in higher wages until the dispute could be finally resolved. During the year, the strike had occasionally erupted in violence.

In Boston, six Roxbury housewives were arrested and hauled into court where they were fined $10 apiece for gambling on Sunday in violation of blue laws. Their husbands had filed the complaints.

We wish those husbands luck on the M.T.A. should they forget their exit fares.

In Santa Ana, California, the Sheriff stated that he had important new evidence in the slayings of a couple, whose bodies were found the previous week, with their heads bashed in with a ball peen hammer, after their pleasure yacht exploded in Newport Harbor. The daughter, a 17-year old journalism student at USC, and her fiance, a pre-med student at Los Angeles City College, were accused in the slayings, but both denied any knowledge of the crimes. The Sheriff's office stated that a man in Philadelphia had called, saying that he had witnessed a friend kill the couple. He promised further elucidation of the plot, but the police had not heard any more from him.

A picture of the loving couple holding one another at their arraignment appears on the page.

Eventually, after a prolonged trial, the couple would be acquitted in October. Whether they were in fact guilty, no one ever determined. There were no other suspects in the crime. After the acquittal, the daughter determined not to marry her fiance and alleged accomplice. Her inheritance, estimated originally at $600,000, turned out to be only a paucity of that amount. She would die of acute alcohol poisoning in 1965, a loaded shotgun beside her body.

As a partial and indirect result of the acquittals, the Republican Attorney General who prosecuted the cases, Fred Howser, was defeated in the Republican primary at his next election in 1950 by Democrat Pat Brown in the dual-primary system in California. Mr. Brown went on to be elected Attorney General, and from 1959 through 1967, served as Governor, defeating, in his bid for re-election in 1962, former Vice-President Richard Nixon. And the rest, as they say...

In Willits, California, the Willits High School had reopened with a new principal after the previous principal and ten of thirteen teachers at the school had resigned in the wake of a storm over a no-petting policy implemented by the former principal, after he had found ongoing petting in the hallways. The policy sparked a series of student strikes, followed by a special election in which a majority elected to the School Board opposed the anti-petting policy. After the resignations, the regular spring vacation was extended until this date.

The danger in the open-petting policy was that it encouraged the students to bring some of their wilder animals to school with them so that the other students could have fun petting them, and the practice posed a danger to student health and safety.

Whether cages for the animals thus were made incumbent upon the students under the reversal of the policy was not clear.

Tom Fesperman tells of Charlotte lawyer C. W. Tillett maintaining a hobby anent former President James K. Polk, originally of Mecklenburg County. It helped to explain democracy to young people when they could be informed that a young boy grew up in the county to become President. He bemoaned the fact that there was little evidence of the Polk nativity in the county, only a small stone marker on the Pineville Road at his birthplace.

There was far more local interest in the birthplace of Andrew Jackson and in the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence of May, 1775, because those matters were in dispute. Andrew Jackson's mother had been seeking South Carolina when she gave birth and so the exact locale had always been challenged. And the Declaration's authenticity as the first such document in the colonies was in great dispute as well, as it had only come to light decades later.

Mr. Tillett was trying to induce Congressman Hamilton Jones to stimulate interest in erection in Raleigh of a statue to President Polk.

The future President had left Mecklenburg County at age 11 as his family moved to Tennessee. He had been a significant President, adding Texas and Oklahoma, as well as the New Mexico, Arizona, and California territories to the country during his term, from 1845-49. He had died just three months after leaving the White House.

Sports editor Ray Howe reports of the final round the previous day of the Greater Greensboro Open golf tournament, won by Vic Ghezzi, and the upcoming Charlotte Open, to begin on Thursday. Be sure and follow all the results and the leader board.

On the editorial page, "Nowhere to Go But Down" tells of a poll conducted by Mill & Factory, a trade publication for manufacturers, which found that 61 percent of those polled told of having to raise prices since the end of price controls. No one had been able to lower them. And 72 percent stated that they could only hold the line, even as they looked forward to the coming summer when productivity and demand promised to rise. Fully 51 percent stated that during the ensuing two years, they did not foresee being able to lower prices, while 44 percent admitted prices were too high. Many predicted that prices would never return to pre-war levels. Nearly half of the respondents believed that a short but sharp recession was incipient, to hit by the end of 1947.

Many had expressed the belief that a series of dips in the economy would ultimately bring down production costs and prices to a sustainable level.

The survey did convey the good news to consumers that manufacturers were of the opinion that prices could not go higher and that they also could not be maintained indefintely at the current levels.

"The Southerners and Lilienthal" tells of the latest poll conducted by the Associated Press among Senators, finding that David Lilienthal would be confirmed handily as chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, despite the controversy which had swirled around his appointment, stirred by his old nemesis Senator Kenneth McKellar of Tennessee. The vote would likely be along ideological lines, the sole basis of attack on Mr. Lilienthal having been that he was too liberal.

Senators Robert Taft and John W. Bricker had both indicated their intent to oppose him, on suspicion as a Communist, though nothing had been adduced to bolster such a belief.

Only a small minority of conservative Democrats supported that view. For he had been appointed by FDR as head of TVA and then by President Truman to head the AEC. To oppose him would therefore necessarily import extreme disloyalty to the party. Both North Carolina Senators, Clyde Hoey and William B. Umstead, were committed to support the appointment. In that, the piece finds solace.

"Spring Always Comes Again" welcomes in the late coming of spring.

The basic blueprint for the "North Carolina Hospital Building Program" is set forth, as prepared by the Medical Care Commission, set to be adopted almost in whole by the Legislature, replete with the budget for the 17.4 million-dollar program at 3.482 million per year through fiscal year 1950-51.

A piece from the Christian Science Monitor, titled "Excursion into Grandeur", expresses envy of the rights inherited by a woman in Hanna, Indiana, who at age 68 could be picked up and deposited on her own farm land at will by merely summoning the railroad which ran through it to stop for her. Her ancestor had given the railroad a right of way through his farm in exchange for the right in 1853, and since, the lineal descendants had likewise enjoyed the right. The piece thinks that a taste of magnificence.

Drew Pearson discusses a new policy of the Republicans as majority party in the Congress, as revealed in a candid colloquy between Congressman Eddie Hebert of Louisiana, a Democrat, and chairman of the subcommittee on D.C., Arthur Miller of Nebraska, who had become known in 1944 for revealing a letter from General MacArthur which had suggested his ambitions to become President. Mr. Miller had adopted as his own a bill originally sponsored by Mr. Hebert, to set up a program of alcoholic rehabilitation in the District in lieu of criminal prosecution, to be paid by the liquor interests. Another Republican Congressman had also taken over sponsorship of another bill originally introduced by Mr. Hebert, making it a felony to bribe an athlete, also a popular bill in the wake of the recent football betting scandal.

Mr. Miller informed Mr. Hebert candidly that he had been instructed by the Republican leadership to take over the sponsorship of the bill on alcoholic rehabilitation because it was a good bill, and the Republicans were going to take over sponsorship of all good bills introduced by Democrats. Mr. Hebert then stated that he took from that policy that Democrats no longer had any rights as a minority party, that the Republicans were going to take credit for all progressive measures of a substantial nature introduced by Democrats. Mr. Miller agreed.

Mr. Pearson next tells of the Treasury Department getting ready to bill Hollywood production companies for back taxes, based on the difference between that which they had paid in capital gains taxes and that which they would have paid in income taxes at a substantially higher rate, 25 percent versus 80 to 90 percent of net profits. The motion picture producers had formed corporations around individual pictures so that they could pay taxes at a capital gains rate when the corporation was liquidated after the picture's basic theater run. The Treasury disagreed with the analysis and was going to seek to see through the fiction thus created, to collect taxes at the ordinary income tax rates. Sam Goldwyn had been one of the main beneficiaries of the tax dodge device.

Marquis Childs remarks on the statement, being echoed in the Russian press, by Henry Wallace that the President's plan for aid to Turkey and Greece would not prevent change in the world and that he could not do so any more than he could hold back the tides.

Aside from its obvious allusion to Mrs. Partington and her broom, Mr. Childs finds it remindful of Anne Morrow Lindbergh's The Wave of the Future, published in 1940, in which she posited that Germany, Italy, and Russia had found the taproot for the wave of the future, that, while their governments were not more than an evil seed, not representative of the future, they were the "scum on the wave of the future."

She had found herself in odd company with notorious isolationists seeking to stop aid to Britain. (Mr. Childs appears to forget that her husband spoke to the America First rally in Madison Square Garden in the spring of 1941, sounding, along with other speakers on the dais, very much like an arm-band wearing Nazi. He is far too charitable in seeking to sanitize Ms. Lindbergh's pre-war stance. Her view in fact was fatalistic, that Nazism was a necessary evil to act as bulwark against the equally evil Communism, and, by design, intended to erode American confidence in interventionist policies. She was not at all, and neither was her husband, for their fame and his status as hero, benign characters who happened to have a few misshapen ideas.)

Mr. Wallace, he continues, had been on the other side of the controversy, running in 1940 for Vice-President with FDR. He had charged the Republicans with favoring appeasement. Now, he found himself in strange political company, with the likes of Representative Clare Hoffman of Michigan, a bitter-end isolationist, who was also against providing aid abroad.

But peace, says Mr. Childs, could still be brought to Greece with prompt and sufficient action. To fail to give aid, he insists, would be to allow the weak Greek Government to fall. In its stead would come a Fascist dictatorship, inviting more vigorous response from the guerilla forces in the north and more aid being funneled to them from Yugoslavia and Bulgaria. Inexorably, a Communist Government would result.

Aid would be too late after the civil war would begin in force. There was no way to wait until the present Government would fall or be changed. Presently, the situation vacillated between anarchy and dictatorship. The change toward democracy would have to be directed. He urges swift decision by the Congress so that the aid would not be too late in coming.

Samuel Grafton discusses again the woeful state of Great Britain's economy, exacerbated by the worst winter in 50 years. The country now was half under snow and half under water from snow-melt. But the winter might yet seem like relative plenty when spring finally would arrive, as the fields were flooded, making food scarce. And the war, by comparison, already seemed to the British as a period of relative ease.

He questions whether, with the British having obviously known months earlier that they would need to withdraw from Greece to make ends meet, the Labor Government had strategically planned the short notice to the State Department of only five weeks before the March 31 deadline. He believes it possible that they were strategically aiming at placing pressure on the U.S. to act quickly, being aware of the sloth of Congress absent the presence of emergent needs.

Behind the steady erosion of its empire interests, Britain had probably determined that it was time to bring its manpower home and put it to work domestically. America had relied on the Pax Britannica maintained over the seas for a century to enable its own manpower to remain in America; and so it was only fair now that Britain have a rest to do the same while America, much better heeled, took control of the defensive barricades.

Yet, the British press had opined that America had accepted the challenge with too much vigor, without the proper gentility and restraint which had always characterized the British stewardship of the peace. America was approaching the role with a kind of ardor which bespoke pessimism toward peaceful resolution.

"The thing shakes loose, under the violence and extremism of American opinion; and a strange, flurried chapter begins, as a great nation, in a conspicuously agitated frame of mind, undertakes the subtle and delicate business of world pacifism."

Senator Soaper says: "Much better for converting the Russians would be our regular radio shows, as only under capitalism does the dazed housewife receive a refrigerator, an automatic washer and new hat for not remembering her own name."

Also: "It is argued that there may be two magnetic poles in the Arctic, but we hope not, as where you have two you have a Polish question."

That brings up the FoMoCo issue again.

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