The Charlotte News

Monday, April 21, 1947


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the President urged again the lowering of prices across the nation, both by industry and the farmer, to stem the prospect of further inflation by discouraging the need for wage increases to keep pace with the rising cost of living. He made his statement in New York at the Waldorf-Astoria to the annual Associated Press luncheon.

AFL president William Green invited the CIO Peace Committee to confer in Washington on the issue of merging the two labor organizations, in light of the forthcoming restrictive legislation from Congress. CIO had taken the position that merger could only occur after both organizations had joined to fight such restrictive legislation, both at the Federal and state levels. But AFL had taken the stance that effective fight could be waged only through merger.

The problem may have been in formulating a merged name for the new organization. FLOACI is one option, suggesting sharp cardsmanship. FCILOA has a ring to it. FOALIC, while sonorously acidic in flavor, was also connotative of new birth. IFLOAC might work in summers, but would suggest chilly winters, and inevitably give the notion that it was exerting itself to socialize the British air industry from abroad, not to mention provisioning contingency for another game of chance. CIAFLO was conflicted, for being in the works, and implied too many secret meetings down where the water table meets the road. COALIF probably gave the wrong impression also. So, they just finally, obviously, had to settle, after years of trying, on a more pedestrian combination.

U.S. Steel reached an agreement with the Steelworkers Union to provide a $1 per day increase in wages. It was hailed by the entire industry as a harbinger of a year without strikes. The total effective raise, including benefits, was 15 cents per hour.

The nationwide phone strike entered its third week without resolution.

The House Appropriations Committee recommended a 47 percent decrease in the budget for the Interior Department, seeking to abolish the Division of Power and the Division of Geography, and reducing the Division of Oil and Gas.

Snow fell in sections of southern New England, with nine inches recorded at Manchester, N.H., and six inches at Concord, N.H., and Pittsfield, Mass.

We note, for the sake of a current Congresswoman, that Concord, N.H., was not from whence emanated the cacophonous shot heard 'round the world.

We know that it gets confusing, just as in Beaufort and Beaufort, Concord and Concord and Concorde and concordance, conquered.

The irreverential referendum on the controlled sale of liquor in Charlotte was moved from June 7 to June 14. Be sure and mark it on your calendars. You don't want to miss it, unless you like the bootlegger.

In New York, a killer who reportedly giggled, as he beat to death with a pipe a fifteen-year old girl, was being sought in a manhunt by more than 50 Brooklyn detectives. The girl and her brother, who survived the attack, had been victimized by a burglar who broke into the family apartment while their mother was away at a movie. The boy described the killer as uttering, "He, he, he," as he wielded the pipe against his sister.

An unidentified body of a woman was discovered in a trunk on a dirt road near Keyport, N.J., dead for two days. Police were trying to establish identity through dental records.

A pair of photographs tell of a little girl, age 5, from Michigan who had lost both her hands in a farm accident the previous fall and was learning to write with her artificial hands, even demanding to do farm chores, to which her parents had reluctantly acceded.

In New York, Scout, headed for execution, was provided clemency, after being condemned for biting three people, when one of his victims recanted, saying that he only scratched her. Scout was a veteran with the Coast Guard during the war and was, no doubt, therefore a victim of circumstance, suffering from post-war stress.

Scout's caretakers had been charged with disorderly conduct for harboring a fugitive as his death was pending, seeking evidence in support of his innocence in the third alleged attack which had condemned him to death row as a three-time loser. They received suspended sentences.

April 21, 1947—the day the running stopped.

On the editorial page, "A Remedy Becomes an Irritant" finds it a myth that better relations among the races could not be legislated, that North Carolina, by banning the poll tax in 1920, by allowing blacks to ride inter-city buses, by providing for equal pay between white and black teachers, had considerably improved race relations in the state.

But the editorial draws the line at agitation, as reported from Chapel Hill the previous week, where four men, two white and two black, boarded a bus bound for Greensboro to test the Jim Crow segregation law, providing that black passengers could sit only at the rear. The two black passengers sat at the front of the bus and the two white passengers backed them up against the driver's protest for breaking the law. The protest was orderly. All four passengers were arrested.

A Presbyterian minister of Chapel Hill, Rev. Charles Jones, received the four protesters into his home and drove the two black protesters to Greensboro. He stated that he was followed home by taxicabs and threatened anonymously—perhaps stemming from the February murder of a cab driver and immediately subsequent brutal beating and lynching of the accused, Willie Earle, near Spartanburg, S.C., in Pickens, by 30 men whose trial was about to start. In response to being threatened, the minister and his family left home for a few days.

Soon afterward, several cab drivers were arrested for assaulting a student talking to a black woman at the bus station in Chapel Hill. (We note parenthetically that on November 24, 1963, as we visited Chapel Hill, our papa stopped the car in front of that bus station, crossed the street to the offices of the Chapel Hill Weekly and purchased a copy of the newspaper of the date, which we still retain. We remember it well, hauntingly for some reason, more than any other single incident in that particular visit to Chapel Hill that day, at least prior to hearing the news from Dallas via radio, as we headed out from Chapel Hill via Highway 86, just as we passed New Hope Church, regarding the murder of Lee Oswald.)

Reverend Jones had engaged in such protests before and reportedly presided over a divided church on the race issue. Chapel Hill, itself, was reported to be divided on the race issue.

The piece expresses the view that the protest did little good and only served to stir emotions. It suggests that legislation could be used to foster better racial feelings, but that such protests would only cause ill will.

It quotes the Chapel Hill Police Chief as urging citizens not to engage in conduct which could "stir up bad feelings."

We respectfully disagree, even if the matter, save by analogy to the paradigmatic labor movement, might not have been so clear in 1947, that amelioration of race relations would ultimately require more than good will, legislation, lawsuits, which, without demonstration, would not have been in most instances, and the courts. The South, as a whole, not just Chapel Hill and not just North Carolina, which, we agree, had a much better record on race than the rest of the South, with Chapel Hill perhaps leading the way in the state, never would have changed were it not for such brave protests as this one, presaging that of Rosa Parks in late 1955 in Montgomery, Alabama, in the wake of the Emmett Till lynching of August 28, 1955, near Money, Mississippi. Chapel Hill and North Carolina do not exist in a vacuum. The entire issue of racial segregation and Jim Crow laws had to be tackled in such manner or we would, no doubt, still have them. It ultimately took blood sacrifice of the worst kind, including that of the President, for things to change.

The murderous forces of reaction who brought about these laws, had the superstitious and irrational beliefs on which they were premised passed to them through the centuries, that racial segregation was ordained by the Bible, was held fast as a religious tenet. The editorial does not appear to understand and appreciate that notion so well. One only needs to be confronted with one of these rapscallions once to understand it. They are willing to kill to protect their stupid beliefs, ultimately, because they realize how irrational those beliefs are and that they need the force of arms to protect them against assault and threat.

When you hear someone say to you, "Are you threatening me?" when you have done nothing to suggest to any rational individual any form of verbal or physical threat, you will know that you are talking to the Klan or its functional equivalent, or a descendant thereof wearing different regalia. Mark them by their words.

"Spokesman Without an Audience" tells of John L. Lewis having lost such favor with the American people that few paid attention to his histrionics in response to the Centralia, Ill., coal mine disaster, branding Secretary of Interior J. A. Krug a "murderer" for his negligence in enforcing mine safety, ignoring the while his own ability under the Government contract of the previous May to close unsafe mines, a power which he never saw fit to exercise, despite complaints for a year at Centralia by the miners.

The previous week, a report had been issued by the Federal Coal Mines Administration, finding health and safety conditions disgraceful. It placed part of the burden on labor for not pushing, along with the operators, for better health standards. Many operators had sought them but the leadership of the union had not responded.

The piece suggests that it was too bad the public no longer paid heed to the union leadership because of Mr. Lewis. For it was clear that mine safety was disregarded by both labor and management. The miners deserved a better shake.

"In Ideals Are Seeds of War" says that the man from Mars, should he drop in, could not understand the current antics within the U.N. He would listen to Andrei Gromyko and Warren Austin, Senator Arthur Vandenberg, Henry Wallace and Winston Churchill, conclude that all were men of high ideals, coming at the problem of aid to Greece and Turkey from different perspectives. The Martian might think that the world had been without a war for a long, long time, and was spoiling for another.

The Security Council rebuked Russia and gave approval to the American plan for aid, saying it could see beyond the U.N. Charter. Mr. Gromyko had argued eloquently that the matter belonged in the U.N. But the Security Council believed that Russia's penchant for expansion was dangerous, and this belief obviously formed the motivation to ignore the protest of Mr. Gromyko. It weighed the Russian history of aggression against the absence thereof in American history, took the assurances of Secretary of State Marshall, that the U.S. had no imperialistic aims in Turkey or Greece or the Balkans in making this offer of aid, at face value.

The Martians would not have known of that history preceding the Security Council approval of the loan.

This, of course, is the Secret History which led to the visit by the Roswellians in the coming July, to try to understand better our world.

A piece from the High Point Enterprise, titled "Teachers and Committee Clerks", tells of the Legislature having given a $176 bonus to the committee clerks while not giving the higher salary increase to teachers recommended under the South Piedmont plan, about 60 percent, as opposed to the compromise plan of 30 percent eventually approved.

The editorial has no objection for the clerks' bonus, but recoiled at the Legislature having not provided the higher salaries for the teachers.

Drew Pearson tells of the proposed loan of 400 million dollars to Greece and Turkey, set to pass the Senate the following day. Then it would be up to the President and State Department to direct the loan proceeds in such a way that the situation in Greece did not continue to act as a threat to peace, exploding from the boiling fat.

He finds that the papers of John Quincy Adams, James Madison, and General Marquis de Lafayette showed that a similar issue had arisen 120 years earlier when Greece had sought a loan of a million dollars to keep it from being a pawn between Russia and Great Britain as a threat to peace. The American fleet at the time had been sent to the Mediterranean and Great Britain claimed to be strained financially.

General Lafayette had told Thomas Jefferson in a letter of June 1, 1822 that he recommended that the fleet visit Greece. He had reported to a Greek citizen that he did not think the loan was possible from the Government, but that it ought be sought from private resources within the country.

The primary difference between the situation in 1821 and that in 1947 was that in the first instance, the Russian Government had been Czarist, controlled by Czar Alexander.

We pause here, for the sake of the Palinpsorosisaurouses of the country who have great troubles with the notion of President Obama appointing "czars" to look after the economy or what-not, to remind that the term has often been used in modern times to describe anyone with broad executive powers acting within the authorized limits of legislation and the Constitution to effect lawful ends, but delegated broad discretion by the President, within his authority to do so. President Reagan appointed a "drug czar" and an "education czar", for instance. Please don't be so stupid as to say, "That's different; that was Dutch, the Man with the Star." Try studying history for a change, even relatively recent history, rather than reacting from your hind parts at anything which to your ears sounds strange because you never read a newspaper beyond the comics page and the tv schedule, or a book other than Harry Potter or other such derivative drivel off the supermarket bookstand. Try reading whole sentences, whole paragraphs, whole books and understanding them, holistically, not just catch phrases and individual words which you look up, read the first definition which your brain happens to understand, or of which are informed by someone else to whom you impute better reading comprehension, and then become horrified at the meaning thus gleaned, scared of your own shadow, hiding under the bed with your gun to ward off the "czarist regime". You may know well the rules of soccer: try learning the rules of the Constitution, beyond your limited perception of the Second Amendment. The rudiments really are not that hard. There really is no excuse in 2014, if you went to regular schools at all, for being dumb. Just a friendly counsel, mind you.

In any event, General Lafayette was concerned regarding the aristocratic conspiracy in Russia as a threat to the Ottomans in favor of the Greek "co-religionaires", and remained so in 1826.

President Monroe, in 1824, had expressed concern over Greek independence to Congress, and former President Madison had expressed a like concern in 1829, at Britain encouraging a monarch in Greece, that France had a more liberal approach to the situation.

Former President John Quincy Adams told in his memoirs of having called upon, in 1830 after his Presidency, the Russian Ambassador and expressed to him concern about the Government of the United States having to maintain the Greeks against encroachment by Britain and Russia. The Russian Ambassador stated that the British anxiety had stemmed from fear of loss of the Ionian Islands, including Malta, a British key to the Mediterranean, as proved again during World War II, not only defensively, but as a staging area for both the North African campaign and the campaigns in Sicily and Italy.

Mr. Pearson ventures that the Dardanelles was the source of continuing problems with respect to Greek independence through time, and until these key straits, controlling access from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean and warm-water ports, were internationalized, the situation would continue to be a problem. The U.N. should take financial and political control to determine the independence of Greece.

Marquis Childs looks at the President's executive order that the Justice Department conduct an investigation to ferret out disloyal persons within the Government and provide for screening new employees on that basis. The President had reportedly stated that it would take care of any charges against the Democrats that they were coddling to Communists.

The ACLU had recently sent representatives from its New York office to complain to Attorney General Tom Clark about the order, fearful that it would turn into a witch-hunt.

And, indeed, the language of the standard, as quoted in the column, was broad enough to include just about anyone or any organization within its definition. In the future, a reactionary President could label subversive anyone favoring world government, while the left-wing administration might seek to include the National Association of Manufactuers within the list.

One solution proposed appointing a small commission to develop a list of subversive organizations to act as a litmus test. But the Supreme Court had said that more than mere membership in an organization needs to accompany any decision that a person is subversive, at least for purposes of denying citizenship or allowing deportation, or determining sedition. The person need actually embrace the seditious beliefs of the organization.

He quotes the dissent of the late Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes in the Schwimmer case, after Swammerdam, that the protection of freedom of thought in the country had to embrace not only thought with which the country agrees, but, more importantly, thought which the country hates.

The cost of enforcing the President's loyalty rule could run to 50 million dollars per year, plus an initial cost of twelve million to ferret out the estimated 2,000 or so disloyal persons among 2.1 million Government employees.

The task was being driven by fear generated from the Canadian case which surfaced immediately after the war, in which Canadian officials, including a member of Parliament, were found to be passing secrets to the Soviets. But to find such a person or persons was like looking for a needle in a haystack and might compromise liberties in the search.

Samuel Grafton, back in New York from his sojourn to the Outer Banks of North Carolina and his annual channel bass fishing foray to see how the other half lived, tells of Bernard Baruch giving a speech to the South Carolina Legislature in which he had advocated a 44-hour work week, with no strikes or layoffs before the start of 1949, so that production could be increased to ward off inflation. It sounded as economic planning, with an arbitrary date set for its termination.

It was not necessarily a bad idea, but the same people who were applauding it had decried the New Deal form of economic planning. There was no reason to support one and not the other.

Economic planning was also being undertaken by the Republicans in the form of the new labor bill to limit union activity. It was as much coercive and compulsory as any ever devised by the Roosevelt Administration. So, the idea that economic planning had ended was incorrect. The Republicans had won in the fall by convincing enough people that a return to laissez-faire economics was sound policy. But now, they were setting those principles aside with the new labor bill.

Another principle on which they had run was that taxation should only be for raising revenue, not coercing social policy. Yet, the Republicans proposed a twenty percent tax reduction to promote business interests, a form of social policy.

The notion that the economy could be free was a myth in the first instance, and the new policies in Congress bore out this notion. The Baruch plan enunciated to the South Carolina Legislature was one which shoved laissez-faire into the closet.

A letter warns that the cross-town boulevard would require more tax dollars and only create more difficulty in getting ordinary street repairs made in the city, appears to counsel against it.

A letter responds to one of the letters of the previous week against the referendum on controlled sale of alcohol in the county. This writer challenges the previous writer's resort to Biblical verse as a basis for opposing the referendum, finding it to miss the point. Bootlegging presently prevailed in the absence of controlled sale. Revenue to the state and county or enriching of the errant parvenus seemed to be the choice.

He favors voting yes and wet on the referendum of June 14.

A letter writer counsels voting on the referendum based on the way the voters drink, not in reliance on the counsel of others.

That does not seem so wise to advise. The voter might get drunk and either not show up or mark the ballot incorrectly.

A letter provides support for the stands of Henry Wallace against Washington politics. Congress and the Administration needed someone to "scare hell" out of them, as the voters would not do it.

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