The Charlotte News

Saturday, April 12, 1947


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the Senate GOP Conference voted 21 to 7 to lump all labor measures into one omnibus bill, risking thereby a veto by the President, rather than employing three separate measures on different aspects of the labor issue. The vote came in the immediate wake of the House Labor Committee voting to approve a strict labor measure, including a ban on the closed shop.

The Foreign Ministers Council, meeting in Moscow, agreed that land reform should be undertaken in Germany by the end of 1947, that all fortifications would be destroyed by the end of 1948, and that war factories would be liquidated by mid-1947. It had not reached agreement on whether government should be centralized or by individual states.

The issue of German disarmament would be raised in a meeting on Monday.

Andrei Vishinsky told a press conference that Russia's main bone of contention with Britain and the United States was the matter of reparations from Germany. Russia could not accept a treaty without such reparations, to be provided out of Germany's industry.

Former Vice-President Henry Wallace stated in Manchester, England, that the United States had embarked on a program of "ruthless imperialism" which was bound to fail because the American people would never support its cost. If unchecked, he warned, the American empire thus resulting would stretch to China and the Near East, and pole to pole. He stated that the American leaders believed that the U.N. was "doomed to insignificance" and that communism had to be stopped by American material and arms. He urged that communism could not be bought off and, as well, that "no unfree people will stay bought."

Resulting from this policy, America was aiding "every dictator who hoisted the anti-Communist skull and bones."

Mr. Wallace was next scheduled to speak at Stoke-On-Trent this night and in Liverpool next day.

Senator Arthur Vandenberg of Michigan, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, thought Mr. Wallace's statements a "shocking thing", in that he had gone abroad to speak against his own government. Senate Democratic Whip Scott Lucas of Illinois said that it should be clear to those abroad that Mr. Wallace was speaking only for himself and not as an official of the United States.

Of course, it should have been likewise clear, as it was obviously not, that Winston Churchill, when he spoke at Westminster College in March, 1946, stirring up all of this mess with the "iron curtain" warning, was also speaking as a private citizen of Britain, not in his official capacity as an M.P. and Opposition Leader, as was then made clear by Prime Minister Attlee and Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin.

Mr. Churchill, it must be remembered, held an abiding hatred for the Communist regime, and a personal dislike of Josef Stalin and his peasant heritage, nearly as much as he had for Hitler and the Nazis. It must be faced that he was an aristocrat, who had a distaste for the working class achieving any sort of real power, leading to his suspicion of the Communists for more than only ideological reasons.

Once rung, it is hard to unring a bell, and, in the end, that was likely the effort of Mr. Wallace, to counter the work of Mr. Churchill the previous year and the obvious effect it had on American foreign policy as well as on Soviet policy in reaction, unsuccessful though Mr. Wallace was for the most part in doing so.

The telephone strike appeared to be mired in trying to reach a resolution even of the long distance portion of the strike, and predictions were now that it was going to be long, after all.

In New Jersey, it was hoped that full telephone service would be restored based on a test of a new law permitting seizure by the Governor in the case of a strike by a public utility. A meeting of state and national union officials would resolve the issue. The State Legislature had amended the law to impose substantial criminal and civil penalties for non-compliance, and, initially, workers had returned to the job. They then relented after being ordered by the local union not to cross the picket lines. The matter was about to proceed into the courts on action initiated by the State to force the workers back onto the job.

Richard O'Regan tells of Adolf Hitler having a genuine fear of the American B-29 Superfortress in the closing months of the war. He also lacked faith in the V-2. The revelations surfaced out of charred remains of stenographic transcripts of a conference with Hermann Goering held on January 10, 1945.

In Genoa, Italy, police took custody of Lucky Luciano, re-deported from Cuba to Italy. He had been paroled in early 1946 by Governor Thomas Dewey, who sent him to jail in 1936 as District Attorney of New York, after he had served nine and a half years of a 30 to 50 year sentence for forcing prostitution. He was to be transferred to Palermo in Sicily for investigation of his return to the West the previous year.

In Paris, a man confessed to stealing from a private residence a copy of the Mona Lisa, worth $25,000. The copy was recovered.

President Truman went home to Grandview, Missouri, to pay a visit to his aging mother, was picked up at the airport by daughter Margaret, driving her own car.

Britain would go on Double Summer Time starting the following day, to conserve coal and fuel after the long, harsh winter of 1947, depleting its resources.

CIO International Longshoremen's and Warehousemen's Union president Harry Bridges was re-elected and the union resolved as a goal to have a six-hour work day. It then turned its attention to the international conference of sugar workers, called by the ILWU, which was concerned with worker issues on the cane plantations of Hawaii, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Mexico, and the United States.

We congratulate, incidentally, the University of Connecticut for their improbable national championship in basketball last Monday, having finished the season ranked 18th, just one spot ahead of our team—a championship which we, no doubt, predicted on February 12, at the time our school beat the school 12 miles away in the frozen snowdrifts after the great rescue by "Sarge" and the dogsled team of their team to bring them to our school for proper thawing.

But, we must register disagreement with the young gentleman who stated that the team's run was in response to being banned from post-season competition the previous year because the squad last year did not make the grade imposed by the NCAA academically, failing for four successive years to do so.

Young gentleman, the first responsibility of a college student is to go to class, learn, and make the grade academically. NCAA standards are not that high. A far distant priority is to play basketball or other sports well, as an adjunct to a college education, ending ideally in a diploma which means something other than a mere statement of a degree to hang on a wall. It ought mean acquisition of the ability to transcend and understand a situation, to argue a position of import and defend it with fact and evidentiary examples, not hyperbole and emotion—leadership, not salesmanship.

Basketball is entertainment, instilling along the way hopefully a sense of fairness, and, when played at certain levels, entertainment for the masses, which will lend to the participants easy approbation—for awhile. Then, as inevitably will occur, time passes and you have to move on to something else, at which point the spectators who once cheered so loudly will assess what you can or cannot do off the court.

Bear it in mind, young lad.

Moreover, your team was 20-10 last year and unranked in the last poll of the season, 49th in the RPI. It was thus hit or miss whether you would have even made the tournament. You were not banned in a year which held out great hope for much success in the post-season.

It is best, most of the time, save perhaps during a war or other major national event which bears social commentary, to accept your well-earned publicly awarded prize with grace and dignity, and leave the stage, keeping your mouth, otherwise embraced with considerable privilege vis-a-vis other college students and other citizens generally, quite shut.

For indelibly stuck now in our question marks is whether you won that title by being stupid jerks and jocks, skipping class to play basketball and giving undue priority to same, rather than also being, first and foremost, students, as we would like to prize our university as championing, as well as the one 12 miles away, in the Yukon, even if both be down Souf.

But we make room for the exultation of the moment and realize your youth, also, and so we forget the faux pas, which, being an exercise in freedom of expression, needs no forgiveness.

Yet, we pay special homage this year to Presbyterian College of Clinton, S.C., which finished the season, according to the RPI ratings of 349 colleges and universities in Division I college basketball, 349th, with a record of 4-26. Now, that takes courage through the entire course of a season.

Perhaps, the Blue Hose team ought challenge the University of Connecticut Huskies team to an informative academic showdown, as in the days of the College Bowl—which was, incidentally, a very good program for young college-bound students to view on Sunday afternoons. Maybe much could be gleaned and learned from such a contest, likely far more so than from the basketball tournament this year.

It is always good, after all, for an underdog to win.

Incidentally, an anagram for "always", we just realized by mistyping, something we are wont to do often enough, is "lawyas".

It was us, by the way, who put forth the original idea one time back in 1975 to have a game at our university between the many excellent alumni basketball players and the current team, at any given time, something which caught on for awhile.

You owe us.

Hal Boyle, back in New York, tells an O. Henry-type story of his friend who got what he wanted, but only after winding up in a strait-jacket.

The remainder of Mr. Boyle's piece from yesterday, a portion of which was omitted for space considerations in the other paper, is here.

On the editorial page, "The Phones Still Work in Indiana" comments on the compulsory arbitration law with respect to public utilities in Indiana serving to keep the phones working despite the strike. It explains the particulars of how it worked.

It applauds the Indiana system and believes it ought apply nationwide to public utilities, a special category of labor.

"How to Draw a Political Line" reports that RNC chairman Carroll Reece had complained that the radio networks had awarded free time for the President to deliver a political address on Jefferson Day, the previous Saturday night at 10:00 p.m. The GOP wanted equal time for free.

It finds the point reasonable, but questions who would be chosen to respond to the President. Would it be Governor Dewey, titular head of the party, or Senator Taft, or someone else, Harold Stassen or Governor Warren, for instance? If Mr. Reece chose only one spokesman, he would expose himself to severe criticism from within his split party. There was no chosen horse from the GOP in the running at this point.

The fact was that the President always had the advantage as the incumbent. There was no practical solution to the dilemma. Yet, Mr. Truman was in the spotlight because he was on the spot, a situation which Governor Dewey, for instance, was able to avoid, to his continuing counter-advantage.

"Case of the Crusading Crooner" comments on the fight earlier in the week in which Frank Sinatra had become engaged with New York Daily Mirror columnist Lee Mortimer outside Ciro's nightclub in Hollywood. It finds no objection to Mr. Sinatra's general nightlife or even his hanging out with Lucky Luciano and others of questionable merit.

But it does object to his press agents trying to turn the singer into a white knight. He had rushed out of the courtroom after stating asininely that he had struck Mr. Mortimer because he paid insufficient respect to his bobby soxer fans, calling them "morons", then was immediately on his way to New York to receive a Thomas Jefferson award from the Council Against Intolerance—presumably for his principled stand in November, 1945 in Gary, Indiana, when he addressed the students there who had struck because the principal insisted on integrating the high school, allegedly providing preferential treatment to the black students.

The editorial thinks Thomas Jefferson should be left out of the matter, and Mr. Sinatra left to spar with whomever he wished. It suggests that Mr. Jefferson would be strained by the effort to commercialize his high ideals.

A piece from the Greensboro Daily News, titled "They Can't Go Home Again", discusses a bill before the House to permit 100,000 refugees per year to immigrate from Europe to the United States during the ensuing four years. They would constitute only half the number then in Displaced Persons camps. About eighty percent were Christian and twenty percent Jewish. They could not return to their homes because of fear of oppression on religious, racial, or political bases.

For humane reasons, it asserts its support of the bill. Under immigration laws, 154,000 persons per year were permitted to immigrate, but less than half that number had been permitted into the country in the previous fifteen years.

Screening could take place to avoid bringing into the country undesirables. There was plenty of work to be had. There were plenty among them who hated tyranny and sought and loved liberty. It was that which had made the country great.

Drew Pearson writes a letter to his sister on the second anniversary of the death of Franklin Roosevelt. He had, the previous week, taken his nieces and nephews on a sightseeing tour of Washington, including a tour of the White House, during which her three-year old sat down in the middle of the East Room and watched the crowds pass.

It was his first visit to the residence portion of the Executive Mansion since FDR's death. As they toured, he remarked, history was being made in another part of the house, so that the young ones would not have to fight in another war, this time against Russia.

He admired FDR, but believes he made a mistake in not stopping the aggressors when he had the opportunity. Mr. Truman might prove an even greater President for he was taking such a stand, one which required courage.

In 1936-37, Mr. Roosevelt had been urged to take a stand on the Spanish Civil War, against the Fascist Insurgents of Franco, but had, despite the effort deriving from Senator William Borah, an isolationist from Idaho, refused the advice. Mr. Borah had said that Mussolini and Hitler were backing Franco and using the war as a dress rehearsal for the world war, that if the U.S. could stop the insurgency, world war could be averted. He knew of the conference because his partner, Robert Allen, had arranged it. Mr. Pearson had talked to FDR directly, urging such intervention, and had written columns about it at the time.

With respect to the Japanese aggression, in 1931, when the first move into Manchuria was made, Secretary of State Henry Stimson had sought to get the League of Nations and the machinery of the Nine-Power Pact to interdict the incursion. But President Hoover had been only lukewarm to the idea and the allied leaders of Europe, especially England, were opposed to it.

In 1937, when the Japanese made their move in July into Central China, the President gave his Chicago speech in October, warning the unnamed "bandit nations" against further aggression, that a quarantine should ensue. Admiral William Leahy, chief of Naval Operations, wanted to mobilize the U.S. Fleet with help from the British to form a blockade to cut off oil, scrap iron, copper, and cotton, to starve the Japanese military machine. FDR initiated the policy, but Secretary of State Hull did not like it, and many politicians told the President that he would lose votes from the move. The Republican isolationists hated it and the British were resistant. So, he relented—in a time when public opinion had not been galvanized as it was by the attack on Pearl Harbor four years later.

But if the President had stuck to his guns, Mr. Pearson opines, the war in the Pacific might have been avoided.

There were other examples of such opportunities missed, as in the British not backing the French when Hitler moved into the Ruhr in 1936. Had it been so, the German war machine would have crumbled.

He concludes by saying that while he did not like the idea of giving aid to the Greek Royal Family, a Fascist enclave, or supplying aid to Turkish high-handed tactics, he was convinced that the Soviet policy was directed toward elimination of democracy in Europe and discouragement of Americans to the point that they would retreat into isolationism. The Truman Doctrine, he asserts, could re-establish democracy in Greece and show the Russians that the American people were determined to continue working for the principles for which they fought during the war.

Marquis Childs remarks on the 100th anniversary of the birth of Joseph Pulitzer in conjunction with the report by the Commission on Freedom of the Press. Many had felt the latter report a superfluity, while others found it useful in performing criticism of monopolistic interests in the press and radio. But it had glaringly omitted the men and women who actually created the newspapers.

Mr. Pulitzer had dedicated himself originally to telling the news for the enrichment of the reader and progress of the human race, not just for the sake of running a business. It was that principled stance and example which had sustained him throughout his career, even after he became the wealthy publisher of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch—for which Mr. Childs had originally worked.

Mr. Pulitzer retired from the newspaper in 1907, saying that he felt sure it would "always oppose privileged classes and public plunderers, never lack sympathy with the poor, always remain devoted to the public welfare, never be satisfied with merely printing news."

Mr. Childs believes that message should become a motto for every newsroom.

The Commission's report had quoted from William Allen White of the Emporia, Kansas, Gazette, saying that too much of the time publishers and business managers of newspapers were wealthy enough to become part of the country club set and suffered from that syndrome, forgetting the responsibility they had to the public, causing eventually the arrogant mentality to infiltrate the entire newspaper, making it hard to get all of the news printed about many topics.

Mr. Pulitzer, concludes Mr. Childs, never allowed that to happen and attacked unremittingly privilege and plunder, making bitter enemies along the way, but without ever coloring his principles.

Joseph Alsop repeats the charge already presented by Drew Pearson that John L. Lewis was no less responsible for the mine safety issues which led to the Centralia, Ill., mine explosion, killing 111 miners, than was Secretary of Interior J. A. Krug, operating the mines for the ten months before the disaster, whom Mr. Lewis nevertheless called a "murderer" for his neglect of mine safety.

The Federal mine safety code was attached to the previous May agreement between the Government and UMW. Mr. Lewis wanted shared responsibility for enforcement of the code, the right of the miners to close a mine deemed unsafe, while Mr. Krug insisted that it should be the Government's sole responsibility. In the end, Mr. Lewis won his point, contending that the Government could never adequately safeguard 2,500 mines.

So, at Centralia, the responsibility locally for the mine's safety was actually in the hands of the miners. But Mr. Lewis never raised the issue on Centralia's safety until after the disaster.

He had therefore used the mine mishap as an excuse to try to undermine the credibility of Mr. Krug, with whom he was bitterly upset regarding the November strike being ended by court order at the behest of the Government. He also had used the tragedy to stop work, which he had intended to do all along, but for the Supreme Court's ruling in March, preventing further strike, lest the remaining 2.8 million dollars of the contempt fine, remitted by the Court, be imposed.

But Mr. Alsop finds it fortunate that Mr. Lewis had so acted, as the mine safety issue needed dramatizing in the public eye. Yet again, given the state of the country, a work stoppage in the coal mines was another part of mortgaging the country's future, a sentimental gesture which the country could ill afford.

He favors establishment of compulsory national arbitration in such national crippling strikes. But Congress, the Administration, and the business community had been adamantly opposed to such a measure, even if sentiment with the Administration was now growing for it in light of recent events.

A letter takes issue with State Representative Harvey Morris of Mecklenburg County for his supposed effort to obtain dismissal of Walter Clarkson as County Attorney because Mr. Clarkson was taking a public stand in favor of continued prohibition in the county, and against the referendum on controlled sale through ABC stores.

The letter writer wants Mr. Morris to attend church, to get down on his knees and pray to God for forgiveness.

The editors correct the writer by indicating that Mr. Morris had not sought the dismissal of Mr. Clarkson but only asserted that county employees should not campaign on either side of any public question. They note that a recent editorial had disagreed with this point.

A letter writer, in favor of the local tax for education to supplement the State expenditure, to raise teacher salaries, urges voters to turn out in force to pass the local measure.

A letter from bandleader Kay Kyser praises the Legislature for having appropriated the money for the Good Health Program, for which Mr. Kyser had been a primary campaigner across the state during the previous summer and fall. He thanks the newspaper for its support.

Senator Soaper says: "With the new 50-second camera, press photographers needn't dash back to the office to develop the shot. However, some of the boys are saying the present world situation is as good as a darkroom."

Senator, leaving aside the faux pas of starting a sentence with "however", rather than appropriately embedding it between clauses, you have no idea what a mouthful you just uttered for the future of the country.


By the way, we had to watch some of the basketball games via the device of the internet scorecard, called "Gamecast". Whoever is responsible for that needs to employ people to do it next year who do not fall asleep at key points in the game for five or ten minutes at a stretch, during which there is no, or only sporadic, update, especially during the last three minutes. Also, the website needs to hire people who can speak English. Is it any wonder that we have a major national problem with the English language when it is written out on the official NCAA website thusly: "UNC take 20-second timeout"? And that was the way it was written routinely throughout the tournament, obviously keyed into the computer that way.

It is important to use the language properly when putting on the face before the world of representation of colleges and universities of the country. We do not know what they pay these individuals, but the NCAA is certainly wealthy enough to hire people who can at least write the English language correctly. We do not refer, incidentally, to hastily written entries which simply may be the result of typographical errors.

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