The Charlotte News

Monday, March 31, 1947


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Senator Arthur Vandenberg of Michigan proposed to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that the Congress, in the aid bill, provide the U.N. with power to override, by majority vote in the General Assembly or by decision of the Security Council, any decision by the United States to approve aid to Greece and Turkey, or by majority votes in either of those countries. The President could also end the aid himself if he found it not to be accomplishing its intended purpose.

At the Foreign Ministers Council meeting in Moscow, the U.S. and Britain had attacked both French and Russian proposals with regard to German reparations and cutting down of German imports, the latter of which Secretary of State Marshall regarded as a plan to starve the Germans.

The House passed emergency legislation to extend through October 31 sugar rationing, set to expire at midnight this date. The Senate would immediately take up the bill. The Department of Agriculture would, under the bill, take over the administration of sugar controls from OPA.

The Senate Banking Committee unanimously approved an extension of rent controls through the end of February, 1948, with the administration passing from OPA to the Housing Expediter, Frank Creedon.

Miners in Centralia, Ill., were getting ready to begin a six-day work stoppage to mourn the deaths of 111 coal miners fatally trapped in the Centralia coal mine explosion of the previous Tuesday afternoon. Miners normally took off April 1 and the four-day Easter weekend. Thus, only Wednesday would be a lost day of normal coal production.

Without opinion, the Supreme Court approved, in a 4 to 4 decision, the tie leaving the lower Court decision undisturbed, that the Pullman Company could be sold to a group of 43 railroads. The sale had been opposed by the Justice Department as establishing a monopoly.

The Court also upheld 8 to 1, in Haupt v. U.S., 330 US 631, the treason conviction of Hans Max Haupt, father of one of the six German saboteurs who landed in Florida and New Jersey from U-boats in June, 1942, were caught, tried, and executed on August 8 of the same year. Herbert Haupt, who had landed in Florida, was arrested at his father's home in Chicago and the elder Haupt was then arrested for aiding him. The opinion, delivered by Justice Robert Jackson, rejected the appellant's contention that the overt acts alleged against the father, harboring and sheltering a fugitive, even if proved by sufficient evidence, were insufficient as a matter of law to sustain a verdict of treason. The lone dissenter was Justice Frank Murphy.

Albeit not part of the appeal, at some point in the process, according to the story, the appellant's attorneys had contended that the trial was conducted amid wartime hysteria, affecting the outcome. The jury, however, had urged to the trial judge that he be merciful in sentencing, and it was for that reason, the judge had stated, that he did not impose the death penalty.

As the separated stern section of the Fort Dearborn was being towed by a Navy tug to Pearl Harbor, after the ship had been shorn in half during a storm at sea, strange lights were seen aboard the hulk. Some of the lights moved. A party from the Navy tug went aboard to search the stern and one member of the party, after returning to the deck, saw one of the members he thought he had seen below decks and asked him how he got back on top so quickly. The man replied that he had never gone below. It gave the latter a creepy feeling.

Rather than ghosts, apparently salvage hunters were at work trying to obtain valuable cargo from the hulk.

But it may have been the Loch Ness monster of the Pacific.

A 44-passenger diesel bus, which had its normal route in the Bronx, had disappeared since the previous Friday, appeared to be in Hollywood, Fla., according to a telegram received from a man, demanding enough money for fuel to return the bus to the Bronx. But other sightings were made in New Jersey and in Ferndale, N.Y., during the weekend.

In Sydney, Australia, as shown in two photographs, captioned "Aussie Girls Rush Departing Byrdmen", several Australian women mobbed departing American sailors of the Byrd Antarctic Expedition at the Wooloomooloo wharf.

In the Charlotte Open, an 18-hole playoff was made necessary for this date to determine the winner, following a tie between Dr. Cary Middlecoff and George Schoux at the conclusion of the four-round tournament on Sunday.

On the editorial page, "The Cart Before the Horse" finds that the speed with which the Knutson tax plan, as altered to allow thirty percent tax cuts for lower bracket taxpayers, signaled its support by the Republican Party as a whole, not just implying as before that it had been the brainchild exclusively of House Ways & Means chairman Harold Knutson.

Whether Senate Republicans would support it remained unclear.

The question was responsibility, not economy. Thus far, budget cuts had ranged between the absurd and the malicious. For example, 8,200 IRB agents hired to handle the swollen tax returns from the post-war period, had been terminated, though they had collected 600 million dollars in revenue, twenty times their pay of 30 million dollars. The Undersecretary of the Treasury, A.L.M. Wiggins, had stated the previous week that the budget cuts of the Secret Service would make it impossible to provide adequate protection for the President and his family.

These cuts were insufficient to make a significant enough dent in the budget to meet the five billion dollars in cuts necessary for balancing it against the revenue loss in the projected tax cut. The cutting was ad hoc, not systematic. The result would inevitably be an increase in the public debt under the leadership of the Republicans, who had been elected on a plan to reduce it.

"To Honor Three Tar Heels" tells of a State Senate bill to appropriate $25,000 to honor Presidents Andrew Jackson, James K. Polk, and Andrew Johnson, each a native of the state. Statues were to be erected to each on Capitol Square in Raleigh. Tennessee, to which each of the three men had moved at an early age, and from which each rose to political prominence, had honored them previously. But North Carolina had not.

The piece thinks it appropriate finally to do so, and that sponsorship of the bill by the Mecklenburg delegation was also apropos to the effort, as two of the three Presidents, Jackson and Polk, were from Mecklenburg, even if Andrew Jackson's exact birthplace, reputed to be near Waxhaw in Union County, was in dispute with South Carolina.

"The Old, Familiar Poison" reminds that opposition to communism, as in the case of Hitler, did not necessarily imply support of democracy. The American Shore Patrol was in Charlotte recruiting members, telling of its stand against communism. But it was implementing its ideals by means of questionable tactics, asking recruits whether they were Christians, believed in White Supremacy, and owed full allegiance to the United States. Only if all questions were answered affirmatively would the recruit be contacted for possible membership.

The ASP brochure added that there was no place for "foreign agitators" in the country and that they should be deported, with strict immigration quotas imposed into the future.

The piece finds it reminiscent of the Klan, making no difference under what label such a group presented itself.

The ASP was complaining of not receiving sufficient publicity for its membership drive. The editorial remarks that with such tactics, it should receive plenty.

A piece from the Anderson Independent, titled "The Return to Normalcy", tells of explorer Attilio Gattli heading to Africa during the ensuing summer to hunt for a super-ape which had footprints double the size of man and walked erect.

The piece suggests that Congress ought hunt for this ape. Congress might suggest that newspapers conduct the search.

Regardless, the hunt suggested a return to pre-war normalcy. The Loch Ness monster would soon reappear. There would be appropriate summer clothing for men, a rocket expedition to the moon, synthetic soup, and plastic automobiles.

A girl speaking a "bird-like" language had already been discovered in Germany.

All that was needed to make the times complete was the reappearance of Anderson's "werewolf".

We have never heard of this werewolf of Anderson. Please explain.

Drew Pearson tells of U.S. District Court Judge George B. Harris in San Francisco getting ready to put the brakes on Tanforan Race Track near Palo Alto for its consumption of needed building materials. Mr. Pearson had on June 2, a Sunday edition not therefore available in The News, and June 22 exposed the issue, and asked the Civilian Production Board to do something to correct it. In response, Tanforan had threatened Mr. Pearson with a libel suit. But the CPB issued an order to cease and desist using the scarce building materials in reconstruction of the track, used by the Navy during the war, including use as a relocation depot for Japanese-American internees in 1942.

Tanforan, however, did not go quietly into the night. Rather, they appealed the Board's ruling, failing which, they went to court seeking an order setting it aside. The previous October, a Federal Judge had refused to do so. But Tanforan persisted, buying another $300,000 worth of materials and seeking again to have a Federal Court allow them to proceed with reconstruction.

On June 22, the column had reported that the lumber from Tanforan had gone to construction of a gambling casino at Lake Tahoe, owned in part by Tanforan's contractor. Tanforan claimed that the lumber went to veterans. A U.S. Attorney in Reno brought a criminal action against the contractor and fined him $7,500.

At Tanforan, two million dollars was being spent in violation of the previous Court order to restore the racetrack, appearing to be the result of wielding influence in high places. No criminal action was pursued by the U.S. Attorney in San Francisco, the U.S. Attorney stating that no investigative report had been received by his office showing the violation. CPB stated that their reports had been sent to Washington. The Washington office stated that the matter was still under investigation because of the length of the report.

But the CPB did seek an injunction to stop the construction, and a temporary restraining order was granted by Judge Harris on February 14. The Judge then cited Tanforan officials for contempt on March 21, initiating the action himself, after finding that they had not complied with his previous order.

Samuel Grafton tells of the budget for the Bureau of Labor Statistics having been cut by the Republican House from 6.7 million dollars to 2.3 million, eliminating along the way the monthly consumer price index, reducing it to publication quarterly. Coming at a time when the rise in prices was a prime political issue and when the President had begun a campaign to reduce them, the information contained in the index was now more valuable than in any recent time.

The reduction of that budget was the equivalent of one percent of the total 400 million dollar loan package proposed for Greece and Turkey. He posits that the Republicans might be concerned regarding the results of their erosion of price controls until the program had become meaningless and finally was abandoned by the President after the election, with the exception of sugar, rents, and rice. But in a deeper vein, the cut of the budget appeared aimed at eliminating from Washington the college professors. It was part of an overall tactic bent on achieving conformity and ignorance of the public.

Mr. Grafton advocates saving democracy by living it, not hiding economic facts from the public and "pestering people about their orthodoxy". The country seemed to be throwing its democracy away faster than anyone was trying to take it from them. It was the equivalent of throwing away the boat to save the cargo.

Harold Ickes tells of the Truman Doctrine, to provide aid to Greece and Turkey, having been determined, not recently, but the previous November after the election returns had shown that the Democrats had lost the big city machines based on the Republican propaganda re Communism. The administration was trying therefore to woo the return of that support.

As an example of the Republican tactics, he tells of a handbill which was circulated in the campaign against California Congresswoman Helen Gahagan Douglas, asking rhetorically why she had gone to Moscow the previous year and talked to Soviet leaders at the Kremlin. In fact, she had never visited Moscow at all and had always opposed Communism.

Now, the President had placed the Republicans in a position where they either had to follow the anti-Communist foreign policy he had promulgated or, themselves, be accused of being sympathetic to Communism.

Paul Porter was sent to Greece, after having helped Robert Hannegan and Gael Sullivan formulate this new Democratic political strategy. The President had enunciated his proposal before Mr. Porter had a chance to return from Greece and report his findings. Nor did he wait for the findings of the U.N. commission sent to Greece to report on the guerrilla activities in the north.

One could chuckle, he suggests, at the notion of the Republicans thus being hoisted by their own petard. The President was now running the game plan for the Republican Congress.

As far as the Democratic strategists were concerned, the needs of the Greek people were secondary to the political ramifications of the policy. They would win, whether the Congress refused approval of the plan or accepted it.

The President's stand at Thermopylae had assured votes for 1948.

A letter suggests shame on the VFW for proposing to picket the performance at the Armory by operatic soprano Kirsten Flagstad for her supposed pro-Quisling politics in her native Norway during the war.

The writer, a veteran of both world wars, rushes to her defense, finds it un-American to protest her performance.

On which side did you fight in those wars?

A letter from a veteran of World War II likewise finds the VFW's response to the performance hypocritical and disrespectful of freedom.

On which side did you fight, pal?

A letter from the executive vice-commander of the American Legion thanks the newspaper for its March 17 editorial, "Dawn to Dusk Campaign", regarding the Legion's effort to take a survey in the county of all households to assure that each veteran was receiving all of the proper G.I. benefits to which he was entitled, but corrects the heading to read "Dusk to Dawn".

The editors note that in later editions, the correction had been made, to place the Legion back on the night shift.

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