The Charlotte News

Wednesday, April 2, 1947


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Secretary of State Marshall had informed Foreign Commissar V. M. Molotov that when the present withdrawals of American troops from China were completed, only 6,180 military personnel would remain in the country, those at the request of the Chinese Government. He informed that the American forces had repatriated three million Japanese from China. The report was in fulfillment of an agreement made in December, 1945 regarding exchange of information between the U.S. and Russia on the status of troops in China.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee was continuing its work on the aid legislation for Greece and Turkey, voting to require Senate confirmation of the director of the program and adopting the proposed preamble to the bill of Senators Arthur Vandenberg and Tom Connally, stating that the aid would be extended within the spirit of the U.N.

Harry Ashmore tells of General Eisenhower making his first visit to Fort Bragg and distinguishing between the present post-war Army and that of prior peacetime Armies during the country's history. He said that, insofar as the Army was concerned, World War II would not be over until all occupation troops were home. He paid closest attention to the 450,000 American troops in Germany, Japan, and Korea.

The president of the National Federation of Telephone Workers stated that it appeared the threatened telephone strike set for the following Monday would begin as scheduled. Negotiations had been unsuccessful with the Government and management.

Representative Albert Reeves of Missouri objected to the UMW sympathy strike for six days to mourn the 111 dead in the Centralia, Ill., mine disaster of the previous Tuesday, a week earlier. He referred to the action by John L. Lewis as being contemnacious of the Federal Court order barring a March 31 strike, failing which would trigger the reinstitution of 2.8 million of the 3.5 million dollar UMW fine previously imposed by the Federal District Court pursuant to its finding of Mr. Lewis and the UMW in contempt, and then remitted by the Supreme Court subject to the condition. Normally, the miners would not have worked during the Easter holiday or on April 1 and so only this date would have been a normal working day in any event. The Congressman suggested that Mr. Lewis was using a ploy to circumvent the Supreme Court ruling with impunity.

The House Banking and Currency Committee voted to postpone further action on rent and housing legislation until after the Easter recess in mid-April. At issue was whether to allow a ten percent increase in rents. The committee members wanted to consider the matter further.

Reports circulated that U.S. Steel might cut prices in response to the President's pleas for manufacturing giants to scale back their prices. But the company had no comment on the reports.

In Chicago, the Democrats retained their grip on the Mayor's office, with the election of Martin H. Kennelly. The Republicans had hoped to capture the office and the RNC had stressed the election. RNC chairman Carroll Reece, however, minimized the significance of the result as a predictor for the 1948 elections.

And indeed, in Chicago, Thomas Dewey would be elected President the following year.

On the editorial page, "Dubious Method and Just Cause" tells of North Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Walter Stacy ruling in an advisory opinion requested by the Legislature that the body could not pass a bill to raise their per diem session expenses without the people first authorizing same by amending the Constitution, rejected in the election of the previous November.

The piece finds the attempt by the Legislators to have been the blackest mark on the current Legislature. They had defied the will of the people in so doing. The editorial favors, however, an amendment to increase the stipend allowed them and the length of time it would be available, beyond merely the existing allotment for sixty days during each biennial session, necessarily truncating the compensated time the legislators were allowed to spend on the important matters of State Government.

"The Change in NCEA Policy" finds the election of the new president of the North Carolina Education Association to signal a new direction in seeking higher teacher pay. The new president supported the South Piedmont teachers' plan for substantially higher pay than the 20 percent plan originally favored by Governor Gregg Cherry and the former leadership of NCEA, and even higher than the 30 percent compromise plan adopted during the session by the Legislature.

The South Piedmont teachers had hired Judge Sam J. Ervin, former Congressman, to lobby for the plan during the session of the Legislature.

The NCEA now had leadership favoring that plan and so the group, with 20,000 member teachers, could not be ignored politically in the next election.

"A Crusade against Laughter" finds those behind the effort in Charleston by radio listeners to rid the airwaves of a woman who was reading in the style of Gullah to be unduly sensitive while understandably offended. In all likelihood, the woman was sincere and presented the readings with genuine affection for the subject.

It finds the matter symptomatic of the times when complaints came from all quarters directed at Jack Benny's Rochester, Fred Allen's Mrs. Nussbaum and Ajax Cassidy, as well as others who portrayed ethnic and racial dialects on the air in a comedic vein.

The crusade was a form of intolerance being carried on in the name of tolerance. Racial and ethnic differences were real and could not be denied. People could be considered free and equal without being considered identical. Each person exhibited eccentricities, and those eccentricities could be quite humorous when magnified. When the people lost their sense of humor regarding their variations from the norm, then man was not long for the world.

Once again, we suggest that our rampant penchant for gun violence in the country is part and parcel the result of squelching freedom of expression and raising children to be oh so tender of their little feelings when they get hurt by words, running then home to mommy or daddy and saying that the big, bad wolf had called him or her this or that or the other thing, and should thus be crushed by a road scraper and made to pay forever and ever—and dumb bell mommy or daddy then calls the principal and the mayor and anybody else in the whole universe they can reach, and complains of their little one having had his or her feelings hurt by the big, bad wolf who should be put away forever and ever.

Freedom of speech means precisely what it says, and there are no proper exceptions beyond the common law of defamation, as properly determined by civil juries, not by dumb bells privately legislating their own little Fascist agendas to marginalize liberals whom they detest for exposing their Fascism.

To try idiotically, for instance, to define "hate speech" is the first leg on the road to dictatorship. For then any active and vigorous debate quickly becomes subject to that shadow hanging over it, especially when the debate occurs between persons of different backgrounds racially or ethnically. It is nonsense and designed by ultra-conservatives, not liberals, to divide us as a nation so that the ultra-conservatives may tell us what to do and think.

Drew Pearson tells of retiring director of the Bureau of Mines, Dr. R. R. Sayers, responding immediately to a letter from John L. Lewis, seeking figures on mine inspections in the wake of the Centralia, Illinois, mine disaster, taking 111 lives the previous week. Mr. Lewis sought the information from his friend before calling his nationwide UMW sympathy strike for six days of mourning along with the miners of Centralia. Dr. Sayers, without first seeking permission in the normal course from his boss, Secretary of Interior J. A. Krug, reported that there had been 3,345 mine inspections by the Bureau in 1946 and only two mines had complied with the recommendations from those inspections. The inspections found an average of 27 violations per mine. Over half of the inspections had occurred between July 29 and March 25, the period of Government control of the mines, which began in latter May, 1946.

The Centralia mine had been inspected the previous November and Capt. Norman Collisson of the Navy, who operated the mines for Secretary Krug, wrote the Centralia management several times from November through March 7, to carry out the recommended reforms. The mine manager, despite not replying, was not disciplined by Captain Collisson. The inspector, however, was sent back to Centralia on March 17 to conduct another inspection and found that the company had undertaken thirteen steps to meet the previous recommendations, but also found serious violations still existing.

Mr. Pearson states that Mr. Lewis's hands were not clean in the Centralia tragedy, as his office had received the November inspection report and done nothing about it. Mr. Lewis made no issue of the Centralia mine safety at the time of his November 20 strike, two weeks after the inspection. Thus, his complaints were too late.

Mr. Pearson also notes that Governor Green of Illinois, to whom the Centralia miners had addressed a letter complaining of lack of safety at the mine in March, 1946, had been in charge of the mine safety at that point, but did nothing.

He next tells of the American Communist Party planning a strategy of refusing to testify before HUAC, contending that the committee was unconstitutional. That way, they could only be cited for contempt of Congress. The Justice Department and HUAC, however, were planning a strategy by which the top leaders of the party would be indicted for passport fraud and brought to trial quickly.

Marquis Childs discusses the economic boom in the country with after-tax profits running higher than at any time in history, 12 billion dollars for 1946, and at an average which would amount to 15 billion annually during the previous two quarters, the last quarter of 1946 and the first of 1947.

Food prices had risen precipitously in February and March causing the cost of living to rise and making wage stabilization difficult.

Joseph Alsop—who, along with his brother Stewart, would begin this date to alternate on the page with Samuel Grafton, replacing Harold Ickes—tells of U.N. Secretary-General Trygve Lie finding that the new Truman Doctrine with respect to aid to Greece and Turkey had undermined the U.N.

Mr. Alsop states, however, that Mr. Lie had contributed to the problem by appointing a heavily factionalized Commission to report on Greece. The American chairman, Mark Ethridge, insisted that the Commission's task had been charted by the Security Council, to look into the civil war in the north with an eye toward whether it was being stimulated by Soviet-backed Yugoslavia and Bulgaria. The other faction was headed by the Soviet member of the Commission, A. A. Lavrichef, who believed that the task of the Commission was to remain in Athens and place the Greek Government on trial, including review of sentences imposed on several guerrilla leaders.

Mr. Ethridge got his way in the end and the Commission went to Salonika to look at the civil war. The report of the Commission was expected soon, and would likely find that outside interference was stimulating the guerrillas.

Mr. Alsop thinks the result demonstrative of how unhelpful it would have been for the President to have referred the Greek-Turkish problem to the U.N. If the Commission had such trouble reaching agreement because of the Western-Soviet split, then the whole U.N. would be even more troubled.

The U.N. presently was capable of many important but subsidiary tasks, in the areas of health, world food requirements, refugee policy, and the like. Those tasks were being performed without Soviet participation. The U.N. was the skeleton for a future organization capable of resolving major problems, but, because of the split, was only presently a forum for debate.

The new Truman policy could become a major step toward elimination of the split by convincing the Soviets that imperialism would not pay in the post-war world.

A letter responds to the editorial, "The Erosion of Basic Liberties", appearing March 27, finding it to exhibit careful thought and common sense, but adopting the faulty conclusion that loyalty checks on Federal employees implied an erosion of civil liberties. He thinks it implies the contrary, that the country wished to preserve its civil liberties—by making sure that the "disloyal", i.e., those liberals who were disagreeable with the norms, had few or none.

He believes that freedom of the press could not continue to be extended to those who wished to extinguish that freedom.

But who sets themselves up as arbiter to determine who is trying to extinguish freedom?

As another recent editorial had pointed out, if our institutions are not confident enough in the American system to withstand all manner of criticism, then it must be pretty febrile, anemic, and ready to collapse of its own weight.

A letter expresses criticism of the VFW for its intent to picket the Charlotte performance at the Armory of Kirsten Flagstad of Norway for her supposed pro-Quisling views during the war when, prior to Pearl Harbor, she returned to her native country to be with her family. The writer compares the tactic of the VFW to that of the Communists.

Furthermore, he finds the criticism of Ms. Flagstad by columnist Walter Winchell to be as reliable as a counterfeit four-dollar bill.

This letter writer and the others preceding him, of like tone, appear to miss part of the VFW's point, that Ms. Flagstad was going to perform at the Armory, with the official blessing of the City Parks and Recreation Commission. It was not just a performance at a hired venue. The author, along with the others, also seems to have forgotten that of which the previous editorial in the newspaper had reminded, that the VFW had every right to picket the performance in their own expression of opinion.

A letter from the editor of the Fuquay Springs Independent sends along an issue of the newspaper favoring the candidacy in 1948 of native son "Stag" Ballentine for Governor.

He might some chance have as long as "Moose" Budweiser does not choose to throw his hat in the ring also.

Framed Edition
[Return to Links
Page by Subject] [Return to Links-Page by Date] [Return to News<i><i><i>--</i></i></i>Framed Edition]
Links-Date -- Links-Subj.