The Charlotte News

Friday, March 7, 1947


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the President was summoning Congressional leaders to the White House on Monday to discuss the international situation, postponing his scheduled Caribbean cruise indefinitely. Specifically, the President wanted to discuss the prospect of the British withdrawing economic support from Greece and the need for the United States to supplant that aid. The President was scheduled the following Wednesday to address a joint session of the Congress to appeal for the aid to both Greece and Turkey. Congressional leaders had already attended a White House session the previous week on the issue, at which time they were briefed by Secretary of State Marshall. They were to be called back when details of the situation were learned, apparently to be the subject of the Monday session.

In London, Britain's transportation was snarled for the third consecutive day by snowdrifts ten to thirty feet deep and a sheet of ice on the roads. At least 300 major highways were blocked and many railways were cut, with twelve towns and hundreds of villages being isolated. Food supplies were dropped and 300 coal mines stood idle. The weather conditions were as bad as at any time during the winter, the worst in more than 50 years in England. The London Daily Herald, Labor Party newspaper, reported that coal production loss in Wales stood at 260,000 tons, half the amount saved in all of Britain by the shutdown of industries. Temperatures hovered around freezing.

The House Appropriations Committee, in its first departmental budget cuts, voted to cut Treasury by 34 percent and the Post Office by one percent.

The Supreme Court decision announced Wednesday upholding the contempt citations against John L. Lewis and the UMW likely had resolved the coal mining problem until July 1 when the mines were set to revert to private ownership from the Government, which had controlled them since the previous May 29. The Federal District Court still had to try the case on the issue of whether Mr. Lewis had the right to declare the contract with the Government terminated.

Mr. Lewis told the Senate Labor Committee that he had no idea how to prevent another nationwide coal strike, but suggested that the Government stop using a blackjack on the miners.

They must have thought they were Richard Kimble.

The President declared April 7 Army Day and April 6-12 Army Week.

J. P. Morgan was reported to have left a net estate valued at 4.643 million dollars, after 7.3 million in Federal estate taxes and over two million in state estate taxes were deducted from the 16 million dollar gross. Debts and expenses of the estate amounted to nearly two million dollars.

The State Legislature voted to end its session no later than April 4. Mark it down. We look forward to it.

In Evanston, Ill., a man parked his taxi at a 45-degree angle on Chicago Street, told his passenger that he had to deliver a package, would be back in a minute. The six-year old passenger then got behind the wheel, turned on the ignition and hit the gas. The car was in reverse and the cab flew backward into a parked vehicle, bounced off, spun around, rammed two other parked cars, as motorists slammed on brakes to avoid hitting the errant cab, until the motor died. The boy was not hurt.

We can relate to that somewhat. Once, our papa left us in the Lincoln on the poor side of the tracks, the Lincoln pointed slightly downhill. We were in the backseat, doors locked. He forgot to put the car in park, and the Lincoln started to roll, whereupon we called to papa for help. Papa heard, came running, was able to get inside and apply the brake just afore the car rammed into a tree. But we did not have anything to do with it.

That was a couple of weeks back.

Dick Young of The News tells of seven GI-sponsored candidates for seven spots on the City Council having announced for the April 28 primary and the May 5 election. He provides their names and a brief sketch of each. There was no candidate for mayor offered by the group.

Tom Fesperman of The News tells of the housing shortage in Charlotte not having been relieved in a year, though many houses and apartments had been constructed, as the people continued to flock to Charlotte, not able to find housing.

He next imparts of seeing a young man with thick glasses in a bookshop reading Das Kapital by Karl Marx, then turning to The Theory of the Leisure Class, on which he doddled for several minutes, apparently with much leisure time to spare.

A fellow reporter had been pinched by a bum for a nickel, went then into his favorite pub, had a ten-cent beer, only to see the bum sitting nearby sipping the reporter's favorite 15-cent brand.

Hell of a note, ain't it? Give a bum a nickel and they take a dime already got, outdo ye.

It was probably that Richard Kimble again.

Ray Howe reports on the sports page of the outcome of the first round of the Southern Conference Tournament in Durham. As reported yesterday, South Carolina beat Duke 56-54. N. C. State beat Maryland 55-43. North Carolina topped Richmond, also by a score of 55-43, and George Washington beat Washington & Lee 70-55. This night, South Carolina would meet North Carolina and N. C. State would play George Washington. Stay tuned.

In Edinburgh, Scotland, a man was granted a divorce after proving to the judge that his wife's complaints of coming home with lipstick on his mouth were unfounded. Instead of coming from his secretary, the redness derived from licking labels.

So, naturally, all the spouse now has to do is find some labels with red dye no. 2 in the glue and, pretty much, he or she can come home as you like it.

On the editorial page, "A Lady in a House Divided" tells of democracy in the hands of the Legislature appearing as "The Lady Known As Lou"—whomever that might be, badly abused in the tug-of-war.

The contest was the wets versus the drys on the statewide referendum on prohibition, introduced by the drys, seeking to overcome the wetness of the 25 of 100 counties which were wet. The fight was a renewal of that which had transpired since 1715.

As always, democracy and religion did not mix, and so the drink issue would have to be resolved by some other means than through the ballot box.

"One More Vote Will Tell" tells of thousands of North Carolinians concluding that their General Assembly was anti-labor, with the passage of the ban on the closed shop by the House and its passage by the Senate appearing imminent. The working veterans suspected that it was purely a blow at labor, not a boon as promoted.

If the Legislature really had the interests of the working man at heart, they could convince him perhaps by voting in favor of the Labor Commissioner's bill to establish a state minimum wage, to provide balm for that part of the job market not engaged in interstate commerce, thus not subject to the Federal minimum wage law. The bill would only allow for a 40-cent per hour wage and, for most industries, was already below the wage established by contract. Yet, still, some 35,000 workers were not earning at least 40 cents per hour.

If the Legislature refused to pass this bill while passing the closed shop ban, the label "anti-labor" would stick.

"Who You Say's Delinquent?" discusses the tendency to blame juvenile delinquency on the breakdown of the American family, on parental delinquency. Mecklenburg Juvenile Court Judge Marion Redd was a proponent of the theory.

It then quotes from the late Tom Jimison, questioning in his unique style how the figure generators knew that there was more delinquency than there was in the past. The older generation had always spoken of the younger in that manner, saw bogeys where there was only child's play.

His quote might be best summarized by another later one of some-another Alias, "Old lady judges watch people in pairs..."

It concludes that while the doctrine might not wash so well in the age of the sociologist, the placing of the blame on the parents might extend further to the grandparents and on down the line...

"Why don't they admit we never got all the raising we needed—and never will."

The problem may lie in the notion that it is very difficult for two people or one person, trying their best to earn a living, also properly to raise a child, and so they turn part of the duties over to the nursery school or kindergarten or primary and secondary school. And then those single teachers per year, until the middle school years when more teachers are utilized, have difficulties themselves because of the necessity of being surrogate parents during certain hours to 20, 30, 40, 1,000-million children per diem.

And, in the modern age, the task was complicated by the advent first of the movies, then radio and the phonograph record, then tv and more phonograph records, all standing also as surrogate parents of a sort, and now...

Is it any wonder?

A piece from the Raleigh News & Observer, titled "Chore Boy, of Course", inquires into how Senator Wayne Morse, a Republican, had been elected in Oregon in 1944. It had happened because the Standpat Republicans did not think they could elect one of their own Olde Dealers. So, in came Senator Morse, a New Dealer who refused to divorce himself from its ideals.

When Mr. Morse had criticized Republicans for their near-Fascist policies being currently championed, the RNC chairman Carroll Reece chastised the Senator, and, in turn, Mr. Morse called Mr. Reece a "chore boy for reactionary Republicans" who wanted to carry the country back to the days of the policies which had resulted in the Depression, the policies of laissez-faire.

It reminded of the late Senator George Norris of Nebraska, when he discovered that the Republican Party "belonged to the House of Privilege" and that his only salvation was to vote for Roosevelt. The result was that Mr. Norris was defeated by the Republicans because he did not take orders from the "Plunderbund". If Mr. Morse persisted in opposition to Republican graft, he would have the same fate awaiting him.

Eventually, as we have noted, Mr. Morse became a Democrat, and a leading Democrat, in the Senate.

Drew Pearson comments on the President's address scheduled before Congress for the following Wednesday, in which he would ask for between 250 and 350 million dollars—actually to be 400 million—for aid to Greece and Turkey. The need for the aid to Greece was premised on the British statement that they could no longer handle the financial burden associated with Greece. The President's request, which became known for its enunciation of the "Truman Doctrine", did not entail direct military aid.

Mr. Pearson states that the promise would not be one for the long term and that no lengthy commitments would be made without the permission of Congress. The money would go directly to Greece, not through Great Britain. Former OPA head Paul Porter had worked out the plans.

Privately, diplomats told of the British Government treating Greece as a mere puppet, Edgar Bergen to Charlie McCarthy.

It was seen as one of the most important decisions in American foreign policy since the 1940 decision of FDR to convoy American munitions in British ships across the Atlantic.

The British Empire was crumbling, in Greece, in Palestine and the entire Near East, and the new move by the President appeared to be a continuation of the policy already begun to deliver financial aid to the crumbling ruins of that Empire.

He suggests that the present trouble in Greece stemmed from the four years during which the U.S. had allowed the British a free hand in the country while America supplied through lend-lease the military apparatus and, post-Nazis, through UNRRA, food and supplies. Greece had drifted into practical civil war, with guerilla forces fighting in the north, in reaction to the British occupation.

He reviews the mistakes made in Greece during the war, beginning at the Casablanca Conference in 1943. FDR agreed with Churchill that the Mediterranean was a British sphere of influence and that Britain should handle all political matters there. FDR's advisers explained later that they did not then realize how far Churchill intended to go.

Relying on excerpts from previous columns, Mr. Pearson then relates some of the tactics of the British which eliminated American influence over Greece while utilizing American aid to enable the occupation after the Nazis were driven out in 1944. American citizens, for instance, were forced to wear British uniforms when working for UNRRA in December, 1944.

He reiterates a story he had told previously of the receipts found on a killed British UNRRA worker, showing payments of gold to the Greek right-wing Royalists. The receipts were dated shortly before December 3, 1944, when the Greek Civil War had begun. The civil war was the excuse for sending in British troops to quell the disturbance, and they had been present since that time.

In December, 1944, Churchill had sent a cable to General Ronald Scobie directing him to act as if the British were in a conquered city as they rode their tanks into strife-torn Athens, with the ELAS rising up against the Royalist forces. He gave specific orders to open fire on any armed male within Athens who challenged British or Greek Government authority.

At the time, Secretary of State Stettinius, who had just succeeded Cordell Hull in the position, issued a statement divorcing the U.S. from the British policy in Greece. It was, says Mr. Pearson, the reverse of that which President Truman was doing presently.

Mr. Pearson in this column tends to look upon the Greek situation and the the relationship of the United States to it in something of a vacuum, isolated from the rest of the picture during the war. Obviously, President Roosevelt had to look upon the demands of Winston Churchill with an eye to the entire picture at the time of the Casablanca Conference in January, 1943. The war was still raging in Russia. The American forces were occupied in the Pacific, just having begun to make headway in the Solomon Islands during the previous six months, after tough going in the initial six months after Pearl Harbor, when, at times, things appeared bleak, headed to defeat, with the fall of the Philippines in April and May, 1942, the sea battles not doing too much better in those early days of the war. The North African campaign had gone well during November and December, 1942, but Sicily and Italy still lay ahead, and the decisions had to be made whether to try to strike first at that "soft underbelly" of Europe or attempt a cross-channel invasion during the spring or go initially through the Balkans. Certain deference had to be paid to the British whose interests, after all, in great part, were the reason for the American aid in the first instance, to protect American interests from being breached by a Nazi takeover of Britain and its large Navy. The President's first interest was to limit American troop involvement to the extent possible and providing deference to British desires was prime in that determination.

The entire picture can, by no means, be drawn down to Greece, a relatively small player in the entire matter. It is the same type of faulty microscopic analysis in hindsight which leads to the spuriously founded misgivings regarding the American efforts at diplomacy at Munich in September, 1938, specifically that of Ambassador Joseph Kennedy, not regarding the fact that the primary players against the interests of Germany were then Britain and France, in the "sell-out" of Czechoslovakia to buy a temporary peace, which most astute observers of the time realized was only that and not Neville Chamberlain's vaunted and grossly overstated "peace for our time". America was inevitably in the role of impartial, neutral mediator of the extremes, not a spectator certainly, but neither having the means to determine with absolute authority the outcome. In the event of another world war, it was not certain what America's role would be, while it was quite plain the role Britain and France would play in such a conflict, and right away, not deferred by dint of the decreasing insularity afforded by two oceans.

The criticism by Mr. Pearson also has to be filtered through the lens of his own tiffs with President Roosevelt, the President having called Mr. Pearson, not good-naturedly, a "calumnist", even if Mr. Pearson had given high praise to the President since his death and was never a major gadfly with respect to him personally while he was alive, even if the President appeared to regard him as something more troubling than just an ordinary journalistic kibitzer. The President's primary problems with him dealt with statements in the column about members of the Administration which sometimes had led to internal dissension or hurt feelings, sometimes being unfounded hearsay, occasionally resulting in resignations.

Marquis Childs tells of a Midwestern manufacturer with about a thousand employees who had been under pressure of late to merge with one of several large corporations. He did not wish to do so, but informed that, economically, he might be forced to it for self-preservation. He defended the proposed twenty percent tax cut of the Republicans in the House, as the upper tax brackets were being squeezed beyond their capacity. He feared most the inheritance tax which might force his heirs to sell the company to pay it.

Mr. Childs suggests that it showed the process of merger, the big fish swallowing the little fish, and the uncertainty in business brought on by the tax code and its ramifications and intricacies, growing "like an idiot Topsy".

President Roosevelt had periodically remarked at press conferences of the need for revision of the tax code, but elections always intervened to sidetrack any such effort. The same was true presently, but there was 1948 to which the Republicans were looking eagerly, and so the twenty percent tax cut was on the agenda, to appeal to Midwestern businessmen.

He finds the attitude dangerously short-sighted, as surely as was the Democratic expediency to appeal to the working class. The Republicans were now seeking their appeal to a different class.

Harold Ickes tells of the prior philanthropy of John D. Rockefeller, Jr., having helped construct the Colonial National Historical Park at Yorktown, Virginia, where Lord Cornwallis surrendered to George Washington and his rag-tag Continental Army. Mr. Rockefeller had contributed $42,000 to the cause, practically a King's ransom at the time. He had also given much to the restoration of Williamsburg to its Colonial appearance.

But the Yorktown memorial now was in danger of having a large bridge built over it, as the State of Virginia had authorized funding for such a project, to tower 300 feet above the battlefield. He assures that he had no issue with bridges, as he had helped to build many when Secretary of Interior.

One should not, however, dominate over the sacred ground where men fought and died to give birth to the concept of American freedom.

Previously, Virginia had cooperated with such Federal projects, as in the Shenandoah National Park, with its Federal highway being built to connect to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina and Tennessee.

A low-level bridge across the York River could be constructed a few miles above the proposed site, at the mouth of Queen's Creek, without damaging the beauty and historic value of the memorial. The high-level bridge would cost the State twice as much as the low-level bridge, including the cost of approaches, as the Federal Government would foot part of the cost of the low-level bridge, which would be incorporated into the Federal highway system.

Eventually, in 1952, the Coleman Bridge was built, not visible from the battlefield, and having a turret-style rotating middle section to enable large sea-going ships to pass to the Navy Yard. In 1995, a replacement for the aging and too narrow bridge was constructed in nine days from off-site assembled sections floated into place.

A letter from Charlotte Mayor H. H. Baxter responds to the letters regarding the City's alleged non-cooperation with the Air Reserve Association and their having folded tent because of the City's refusal to lease Morris Field as a training facility at a nominal fee, despite the fact that the field was given to the City by the Government free of charge the previous year.

He explains that several buildings remained vacant awaiting some agreement with the National Guard or any branch of the War Department. No agreement had been reached in the nine months since the field was provided to Charlotte. The City, he says, was willing to cooperate with the Air Reserve, but had the responsibility of fire protection and general supervision, and was limited in not being able to spend ad valorem tax money for the purpose. No plan had as yet been submitted which resolved the problem, but the City remained open to suggestions.

A letter from B. U. Grantham rants at A. W. Black for his protest against "racial tolerance" and apparent discrimination against liberals as being Reds. Brotherhood Week should not be called farcical and love was the basis of human understanding. "'All men are brothers.'"

But, as we suggested, wethinks Mr. Black was playing the fool; whether Buggy was, too, we cannot tell. They may be one and the same person, for all we know.

No one can be this stupid on both sides. We place our confidence in the ultimate goodness of human nature.

A letter writer tells of going shopping, getting his dry cleaning from the shop, then going to the big grocery store to do some shopping. He had to leave his buggy to look around, leaving behind his dry cleaning.

And you know what happened? When he returned, someone had stolen his dry cleaning.

He spoke to the manager about it and went around checking all the baskets and buggies. Nowhere was to be found his dry cleaning. The manager admitted that others also had lost their dry cleaning in the store.

Decent citizens had the right to shop without getting fleeced and robbed in broad daylight. He warns people not to leave their dry cleaning lying around as there was clearly a dry cleaning thievery scheme abounding. The caveat extended to pocketbooks and other items which could be taken by thieves.

We usually just carry all the food with us when we have to leave the buggy so no one will take it.

A letter writer responds to another letter writer who had suggested that the author, in his initial letter, was against a referendum on the liquor issue. He contends that he was not, but believes that the referendum should include the whole County, not just wet Charlotte, that the County twice previously had voted dry. He implies that the woman writer of the response was drunk, or at least needed new glasses, when she wrote the responsive letter.

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