The Charlotte News

Friday, April 11, 1947


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that V. M. Molotov had blocked the attempt by France to obtain approval at the Foreign Ministers Council meeting of an economic merger of the Saar with France. Russia wanted more time to consider the proposal. Russia also opposed independence for the Ruhr as dismembering Germany. Secretary of State Marshall and Foreign Secretary Bevin had agreed to immediate establishment of a commission to work out such a merger.

Senator James Eastland of Mississippi contended that Henry Wallace was doing a great disservice to the American people by speaking against the U. S. proposal to provide aid to Greece and Turkey outside the U.N. He believed that the former Vice-President might cause allies to desert the country. He claimed that Communist leaders had invited Mr. Wallace to France after he finished his tour of Britain.

The telephone strike had still not been settled after the union policy committee refused to accept the settlement offer by A.T.&T. for the long distance part of the strike. Efforts at resolution continued.

The House Labor Committee approved the parts of the proposed labor bill outlawing industry-wide bargaining, jurisdictional strikes, sympathy strikes, and secondary boycotts. The bill also would withhold collective bargaining rights from any union which had a communist or sympathizer as an officer, or anyone "reasonably regarded" as such. The Committee had already approved portions of the bill banning the closed shop and providing for other restrictions.

In Oklahoma City, streetcar and bus drivers struck, leaving the city without mass transportation.

The last of the three Associated Press articles on the state of the economy states that while business was rising, the average consumer was spending with greater reserve, with retail sales beginning to decline in some cities, most notably in San Francisco, St. Louis, Dallas, and Kansas City. Such indications pointed to recession. In Philadelphia, there had been a decline in production.

But generally, business was booming as never before, with pent-up demand still for automobiles and other consumer goods cut off from production during the war, and plenty of money available to purchase them.

It then reviews in detail the economic conditions in Boston, New York, Atlanta, Richmond, and Philadelphia.

In London, the assistant general secretary of the British Chemical Workers Union stated that atomic research workers were becoming sterile and developing skin diseases. He said that 20 of 50 men working in one research center had been affected, complaining of rashes and lassitude, though not complaining of sterility.

The death toll from the tornado which hit Oklahoma and parts of the Texas Panhandle had risen to 132, with 1,305 known to have been injured. In Woodward, Okla., 85 had perished, with a thousand or more injured. A hundred blocks of buildings were levelled in the town of 5,500.

At San Quentin, a woman was executed for murder of the person to whose custody she was paroled after an eighteen-year prison term served on a prior murder conviction. She became the second woman in California's history to suffer the death penalty. The woman had three husbands who had committed suicide. One of the husbands of her victims died in a mental hospital. She maintained her innocence for the murder until the end.

The warden said, "Take it easy." Eleven minutes later, she was dead.

In Nashville, a man convicted of murder was executed, but only after he patiently waited in the chair for fifteen minutes while an electrician made repairs after discovering a broken power line.

Governor Phil Donnelly of Missouri refused extradition to North Carolina of Royal Wadsworth, fugitive from a prison camp since 1936. Mr. Wadsworth had served in the interim in the Army and had established a good record, including 30 months overseas, was a self-supporting citizen of St. Louis. He had two years of a three-year sentence remaining to serve, for house-breaking and larceny.

In New York, the bus driver who took his Bronx bus for a tour of the East Coast and wound up in Hollywood, Florida, before being arrested, appeared in court for arraignment on a charge of grand larceny. He pleaded not guilty. At the bail hearing, his attorney contended that it was a case of spring fever.

More than 50 bus drivers showed up for the court appearance and they had scheduled a dance to raise money for his defense and general bills. One of the dance prizes was a pair of roundtrip tickets to Florida, presumably by bus.

Moral: Commit a brazen enough crime and garner public attention from it, and everybody comes to your aid. The ordinary bum on the Bowery picked up for loitering probably should take heed, grab a bus, and set sail for sunny climes.

Hal Boyle, now in Beaufort, N.C.—pronounced as "beau", never as in "beauty", lest you wish to be hung as a renegade hassler from Sou' Car'lina, come up 'ere to make trouble—tells of the Federal project, ongoing there since 1912 after a study of the matter for a decade before that, to preserve the malacolemmys centrata and the malacolemmys palustris, otherwise bound for extinction because of their delicacy, sought far and wide in the nineteenth century, from Cape Cod to Texas, by kings, butter-and-egg men for their light-o-loves, and Chinese retirees as a fountain of youth, believed by them to be possessed of restorative and preservative powers. The female malacolemmys were able still to produce eggs at 50 years of age, and over 2,000 females of the species within the preserve had produced over 11,000 offspring the previous year, 240,000 since the program had begun 35 years earlier. They were ugly, resembling a black snake poking its head from a helmet with a diamond design on its back, but delicious in a soup.

Come to think of it, maybe it was one of the malacolemmys, escaped from the preserve, not wishing to wind up in the soup, which produced that egg we thought was a translucent rock when held up to the sun, until we pinched it and it spat the yellow gooey stuff all over our front, back 'ere in the olden times, down 'ere in Eas''n Nor' Ca'lina. That would account for it being in our sandbox, and yet the mother not being around to make us pay the penalty, either with a beak or fangs, for crushing her egg. She was too slow to catch us. We've been running ever since.

On the editorial page, "The CAB Lands a Body Blow" tells of the Civil Aeronautics Board rendering a decision which refused to permit Pennsylvania-Central or Delta Airlines to route trunkline service through Charlotte, ending any immediate hope for east-west air service through the city. It also left Charlotte at a severe disadvantage to other Southeastern cities, including Winston-Salem, Greensboro, Asheville, Spartanburg, and Atlanta, each of which received permission for important east-west trunk routes.

Well, all of that no longer applies. So, you can read the rest if you like.

"Senator Byrd States the Issue" comments on the recent statement by Senator Harry Flood Byrd of Virginia urging the U.S. to force a showdown with Russia in the U.N. He generally had supported the foreign policies of both President Roosevelt and President Truman. But he was also especially niggardly when it came to spending, whether on domestic or foreign affairs.

He claimed that the U.S. had contributed more than 15 billion dollars in foreign aid since July 1, 1945. He wanted to decrease this figure rather than increase it. To continue this aid meant maintaining high taxes.

Although his plan to submit the Greece and Turkey issues to the U.N. ignored the reality that the U.N. simply was not equipped to deal with either matter, his fiscal conservatism was facing another, equally serious reality. The American people needed to understand that the Truman Doctrine necessarily entailed perpetuation of high taxes.

"Facing the Challenge of the Future" tells of the organization having been completed of the privately funded Community Research and Development Council, with membership inclusive of some of the biggest names in Charlotte. It would first tackle trying to get a new auditorium, determining its costs, financing, etc.

A piece from the Richmond Times-Dispatch, titled "Dollar Words and Five-Cent Ideas", finds too many experts liking "to gild five-cent ideas with two-dollar words." It cites a piece by Aldric Revell from the professional magazine Channels, having taken to task social workers for heavy use of argot to express, when unadorned, simple concepts.

Which leads us to ask, regarding J. Edgar Hoover's urgent message, as conveyed in the Lockport, N.Y., Union-Sun & Journal, on juvenile delinquency and the need to "channelize" youth from the juke joints and pool halls into youth clubs and the like, stimulative of constructive group activity: well, how are you going to channelize the youth without channel bass? You could wind up with the tarantula and Tantalus all at once, if not careful.

Drew Pearson tells of the Justice Department planning to bring a major anti-trust case against A.T.&.T. and its subsidiary, Western Electric, the equipment supplier for A.T.&T., which owned 98 percent of the Western Electric stock. No other equipment supplier could sell equipment to A.T.&T. The latter had a service monopoly on all long distance service in the country. Other companies wanted to manufacture phone equipment. The case would likely be held up until the end of the telephone workers strike.

He notes that it was why customers could not buy phones.

We note that it was the one monopoly which worked for the benefit of the consumer, until it was broken up in the early 1980's. Now, we have no phone service worth a damn, unless you wish to pay $5,000 for a gold phone and three million dollars per month for a "service plan" which actually works.

He next provides details on behind the scenes efforts to resolve the strike.

Marquis Childs forecasts that several Congressional junkets to Greece would begin by the fall, after the aid package would be approved. He suggests that the members pay heed first to the report provided by members of Parliament, both Conservative and Labor, who went to Greece the previous summer.

They recommended understanding that the assignment to rebuild Greece was complicated and would depend for success on enforcing major modifications of existing Greek policy. The group estimated that between 1.5 and four billion dollars would be required to complete the job. American observers had estimated, however, no more than 500 million dollars over a five year period, stating that the British had not taken into account such factors as the value of Greek exports to bring down the cost.

The job, nevertheless, was formidable. The roads were a mess, with only 15 percent of them in good working order, and another 35 percent even passable. It took 22 hours to negotiate the distance of 220 miles from Athens to Salonika, and cost $14 per ton for cotton to be shipped 60 miles to Athens, the same cost to bring cotton from India to Athens.

The M.P.'s also found problems with the guerilla forces of both the right and left in various pockets of the country. The right outnumbered the left in the Peloponnesus, had more opportunities for intimidating the left than the left had of intimidating the right, opportunities of the right which had not been neglected, a statement freighted with typical British gartered discretion.

The Americans thus needed to approach the problem with both the wisdom of Solomon and the patience of Job.

Samuel Grafton suggests that the Russians, if they had their way in Greece, would likely impose a system not to the liking of either the United States or the Greek people. But the Russians could speak frankly on the matter of the rightwing nature of the Greek Government, a truer assessment of the situation than the fantasy which the U.S. was diplomatically constrained to maintain.

As a result, the U.S. was in moral trouble and had begun to play with words. For instance, the President contended that the Greek Parliament represented 85 percent of the people. But with leftist abstentions, it was really more like 50 percent of the people. Bringing up such unpleasant facts was leading to being labeled unpatriotic, another typical refuge when the country was in moral trouble.

The Greek Government, for its part, had proceeded to jail five or six hundred Greek liberals and leftists. Were they to escape, they would undoubtedly head to the mountains to join the guerrillas.

Were it only a temporary venture, it would not be so hard to explain. But the program had been elevated to the status of the "Truman Doctrine", an extension of the Monroe Doctrine, and thus presented itself as a more or less permanent policy into the future. "But can we really see ourselves enduring these unlovely embraces with the wrong people, and nesting in this semantic wilderness, for a hundred years?" It implied a hundred years of increasing self-deception. The Greek people themselves would lose confidence in the Americans.

The comparison with the Monroe Doctrine, he ventures, was inapposite, the Monroe Doctrine being designed to keep the monarchs of Europe out of the Americas. Moreover, it did not start by asserting false premises to justify the ends sought, propping up a corrupt and dictatorial monarchy while couching the aid in terms of support of preservation of democracy.

Frederick G. Brownell, writing in the American Magazine, advocates wiping away 61 of every 62 county and municipal government entities of the 155,000 extant in the country. He draws his conclusion from the report issued recently by the Council of State Governments. The savings would ne some two billion dollars per year to the taxpayer, about 20 percent of the average tax bill.

There was much talk of trimming Federal waste, but not of ridding the country of so much local government.

Brother, you said it.

Most of them are going broke now, anyway. Get rid of them. All they do is harass people and confuse the issue most of the time to preserve their own little fiefdoms. It is not the Federal Government which we have to fear. It's the local-yokels of the Fascist stripe. Get rid of them. Throw the corrupt bums and their bribe-taking schemes in the river.

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