The Charlotte News

Thursday, March 27, 1947


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Secretary of War Robert Patterson told the House Foreign Affairs Committee that the President's plan for aid to Turkey and Greece was to prevent war, not promote it. He said that the plan entailed sending ten to forty military missions to each of the countries. Representative Karl Mundt of South Dakota stated that he intended to introduce an amendment limiting the number of missions to a hundred for each country, to which the Secretary stated his lack of objection.

In Greece, 80 of 400 guerrillas had been killed by Government forces in a 24-hour battle at Marmara, near Delphi, a hundred miles northwest of Athens.

At the Moscow Foreign Ministers Council meeting, V. M. Molotov agreed to consider the French proposal for defining German assets in Austria to distinguish what had been expropriated by Germans by force and duress. Russia had maintained that all German assets in the Eastern occupation zone belonged to Russia as reparations. The Western nations had no quarrel with this basic position as long as the assets were determined to be genuinely belonging to the Germans.

The House passed the Republican bill to cut taxes by four billion dollars. The Democratic effort to delay the bill until more was determined anent the need for foreign aid was defeated. Lower income taxpayers would have a 30 percent tax reduction and most others would receive a 20 percent reduction. The cut would be retroactive under the bill to January 1. Senator Robert Taft indicated that the Senate would probably limit the reduction to the coming fiscal year, to start July 1, lowering the reduction therefore to about a billion dollars for the current tax year.

In Centralia, Ill., 18 more bodies were brought from the coal mine which had exploded Tuesday afternoon, bringing the total known victims to 35, with another 76 still trapped 540 feet below ground and believed dead. Heavy snow fell at the mine as rescue efforts continued. Rescuers said it could take a week to explore fully the three and a half mile shaft.

In Britain, the flood waters were receding slowly throughout England and Wales. Many still were stranded, however, in upper floors of buildings. Thirty airplanes full of American Red Cross supplies were being provided to the country.

No word came on whether any progress had been made in talks between Government officials, labor, and management seeking to avert a telephone strike scheduled to begin in the United States on April 7.

Undersecretary of the Treasury A. L. M. Wiggins testified to a Senate subcommittee that unless the Senate would restore the House-approved cut in Secret Service funding, the Service could not properly protect the President and his family.

Ray Howe provides the list of scores for the first round of the Charlotte Open, which began this date at the Myers Park Club course. Henry Ransom led the field of early finishers with a two under par 70. But Herman Keiser and Lew Worsham were four under par midway through the back nine holes. By the twelfth hole, Charlotte's Clayton Heafner was at even par.

Snow fell on the course amid frigid temperatures, keeping the galleries down.

Stay tuned.

On the editorial page, "The Hedge on Permanent Improvements" finds surprise that the bill to provide 48 million dollars in improvements had passed the State House without problem, containing as it did the plan for the four-year medical school at the University.

One reason for its success had been that it contained provisions allowing the Governor and Advisory Budget Commission to delay funding of the proposal until they saw fit and until the Federal Government had appropriated funds for at least a third of the cost of building the new medical school and hospitals. While wise, the effect of the provisions would be to delay indefinitely the building of the medical facilities.

The opponents to the medical college therefore might simply be biding their time and picking their battlefields for continuing later their opposition on the appropriate occasion.

"The Erosion of Basic Liberties" remarks on the editorial favor greeting the President's executive order to cleanse all departments of disloyal personnel and to implement loyalty tests, aimed at weeding out Communists and sympathizers. The White House had been quick to instruct that no witch-hunt was taking place. The piece accepts the notion as the President was not given to any such activity in the past. The system of review was subject to appeal to the courts.

But the policy marked a change from the times when a person's loyalty was assumed until some reason prompted question to the contrary. Now, the onus was on the employee to prove loyalty, with the assumption being the converse.

The program would cost between fifteen and twenty million dollars and cause a major expansion of the FBI.

The Washington Post had opined that no impairment of Constitutional rights would take place under the new policy. But the piece wonders whether employees would not be chilled in exercise of free speech by the fact of knowing that their words and deeds would be scrutinized henceforth for loyalty.

The editorial accepts the President's explanation for the need of the program but bemoans the loss of liberties which inevitably accompanied it, a steady erosion of which was becoming emblematic of the times. Everyone was less free if Government personnel had their freedom thus curtailed.

"Vermont's Displaced Politician" tells of Republican Senator George Aiken of Vermont stating in the New York Times Magazine that the record of his party in the 79th Congress had been poor, that the 80th Congress would have to do much better to earn a good reputation for the party. He was not encouraged after the opposition had surfaced to the confirmation of David Lilienthal as head of the Atomic Energy Commission, after the determination to put tax reduction ahead of national defense, the decision to enact labor legislation which would cripple organized labor, and the effort to retreat into isolationist thinking.

The piece offers sympathy, understanding his perspective coming from a one-party Republican state and being constrained thus to run under a party banner he did not wholly support, much as Southern Democratic Senators.

Drew Pearson tells of the Foreign Office in Britain having wanted to continue British presence in Greece and Palestine, and that policy perhaps having been sustained but for the opposition by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, worried re dwindling British assets. While some rumblings to this effect had occurred as early as the previous October, no concrete decision was reached in the British Cabinet until three weeks earlier, notwithstanding the rumors that Secretary of State Byrnes had been informed by Foreign Secretary Bevin as early as October of the impending cessation of aid. The harsh winter which had exacerbated an already bad situation economically worked to turn the tide in favor of the Exchequer, and the Foreign Office was told to get out of Greece.

He notes that some observers had wondered how the British could maintain 100,000 troops in Palestine while removing their paltry 10,000 in Greece as being too expensive. The answer was that Palestine, too, would soon be cut off. Palestine, he ventures, should have been turned over to the U.N. much earlier, as it would now be difficult for any subsequent authority to handle it.

He next tells of President Truman's emissary to Greece, Paul Porter of Kentucky, seeking to learn basic Greek, beginning with "thank you", which was "efhristo". The Greeks told him to say it as "F. Harry Stow", which he did well during a reception. But the next morning, he could only manage "Harry F. Stow", to the puzzlement of his Greek hosts.

Diplomatic observers, many of them Latin American, believed that President Truman had made a mistake in bypassing the U.N. in his proposal for aid to Greece and Turkey, that now Russia would have a precedent by which it could provide aid to Nicaragua and Panama, with an eye toward control of the Panama Canal. It was known that the Russians had numerous agents within Latin America. Chile was already signing a trade pact with Russia.

The case of Iran, where the Russians had not removed their troops by March 2, 1946 as promised in the previous wartime Russian pact with Iran, assuring evacuation within six months after the end of hostilities, had been successfully handled by the U.N., its first great success. Iran was one of the most strategic areas for the Russians because of its access to the Persian Gulf, providing an outlet to a warm-water port.

That U.N. victory, which backed down the Russians, was now being nullified by the Truman Doctrine—for the first time, since the March 12 speech which defined it, being so named in print. The President should have at least sent a simultaneous note to the U.N. explaining his position.

The wife of deceased former Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer told of the Mexican people still talking about the three-day visit earlier in the month by "Harrito", "Little Harry" to the Mexicans. They had loved him.

The wife of General Marshall surprisingly had been named to the list of the ten best dressed women in Washington.

Marquis Childs tells of a growing movement in Congress to outlaw the Communist Party in the country, based on its membership allegedly committing treasonous acts. The Communist's loyalties were divided or perverted, owing absolute loyalty to the Communist ideology.

He views the argument to outlaw the party, however, as a dangerous manifestation of this fear. By outlawing the party, the membership would only move underground, making them more dangerous than they were in the open.

Canada had outlawed the party on May 15, 1940 as a war security measure. Many Communists were then interned, including the head of the party. Others went underground. Several took refuge in the United States to evade the Canadian draft, returning to Canada only after the German attack on Russia, June 22, 1941. At that point, the war became a virtual holy war for the Communists.

In December, 1942, the Labor Progressive Party formed and put out a manifesto endorsed by the interned head of the Communists. It was plain that the Labor Progressive Party was simply another label for the Communists. In June, 1945, Fred Rose was re-elected to Parliament under that party label, having been first elected in 1943. Mr. Rose was one of the arrested alleged spies accused of providing documents to the Russians. He was convicted and sentenced to six years in prison. At his trial, evidence surfaced that he had been an agent of the Soviet Union for 23 years, since age 17.

He cites the example to show that outlawing the party had no impact on treasonous activities. And it was impossible to outlaw all dissident parties which formed. To do so emulated the Czarist state in Russia which, despite its secret police, eventually collapsed in the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917.

Disloyalty and intrigue would only increase under a regime of suppression. To try to outlaw the party only amounted to a confession of fear and lack of confidence in the strength of the country.

Samuel Grafton tells of the unhappiness in the country, a feeling of downright rottenness, lacking in trust of the world and each other. The country was adrift and had no idea of the next way-station.

Yet, the Declaration of Independence assured the right to pursuit of happiness.

Bypassing the U.N. was not making the country any happier than its rightward drift. It was creating tension. The rightwing was gloomy, not happy, and instilled the same mood.

The new philosophy for getting to the future was to pour money into backward countries threatened by their looming neighbor. Fifty years of universal military training to support such policies could wind up in a generation which did not know how to smile. It might sidestep into an underground left or just give up on being happy, accepting grimness as a fact of American life.

"...[A]nd a generation from now Americans may write forlornly of the earlier breed, who knew how to steer it with a laugh and a grin."

He was right, of course, except that eventually, after so much shock and awe was endured by the generation at the footstool of the Conservatives, there came a point where Liberals began laughing so hard that they could scarcely contain their mockish humor at the absolute absurdity of these Men qua Mice, searching for a way, quite futilely, to control everyone else, much as they still do and make regular unwitting fools of themselves before the body politic. It really is quite entertaining. What would we do without them? Life would be pretty boring. And they have to do something other than basket-weaving at the home.

Richard Nixon, for instance, was possibly a better entertainer than Ed Sullivan, while emulating him in gesture and showmanship the whole time.

A letter to the Chief of Police complains of the pedestrian traffic problem at the corner of E. Morehead Street and S. McDowell, leaving the pedestrian without the free right of crossing on the green light. He had witnessed old ladies waiting up to thirty minutes at the corner, trying to cross.

He warns that someone would be killed and that the City would be to blame.

He wants the light in front of the new bowling alley to agree with that in front of Armstrong's Drug Store, which would aid greatly those trying to cross in front of Addison Apartments.

We wholeheartedly agree. That should have been done years ago.

A letter from Clarence Kuester, executive vice-president of the Chamber of Commerce, thanks the newspaper for its work to improve Charlotte and the Carolinas.

A letter writer complains that a lot of talk was taking place anent Communists while no one paid much attention to the Fascists, who had caused so much trouble before and during the war. She thinks that the country might as well not have a Constitution.

A piece from the Houston Post tells of the late Senator Josiah W. Bailey of North Carolina having in 1937 responded to a question as to why he found it so hard to support the New Deal of his own party, by referring to the expediency of Pontius Pilate, who had been a shrewd politician but one not admired by Mr. Bailey. The Apostle Peter had died on the cross after taking the hard way rather than agreeing with the popular will. Christopher Columbus pressed on in his voyage despite being implored by his men to turn back. Robert E. Lee likewise had gone the hard way. Moses had chosen to dwell in the tents of the wandering tribes of Israel rather than in the palaces of the Pharaohs, and had died in the wilderness. Jesus had died on the cross after taking the hard way. They had all been unpopular men.

Senator Bailey thus concluded that he should also take the hard way, not the way of greatest approbation and least resistance.

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