The Charlotte News

Friday, April 25, 1947


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in the Sarona suburb of Tel Aviv, bombs had wrecked a billet, leaving four British constables and a British police inspector dead and six injured. The Jewish underground Irgun organization had threatened "blood for blood" violence, prompting the British to surround Tel Aviv while rescue workers dug through the debris. The bomb had been delivered to the location in a mail truck driven by a man in a police uniform. The driver had disappeared, and 90 minutes later, the bomb exploded. The billet had been attacked the previous month, but the attackers were driven away by gunfire.

Rumors circulated that the British were considering disbanding the Jewish Agency because of the continuing violence.

Secretary of State Marshall was on his way home, via Berlin and Iceland, from Moscow, after the unsuccessful conclusion of the 45-day Foreign Ministers Council meeting to try to resolve the German and Austrian treaties. He reiterated his disappointment that not more had been accomplished.

The Military Staff Committee of the U.N. abandoned efforts to reach unanimous agreement on several basic points regarding establishment of a U.N. police force. Most of the objections had come from Russia, involving the location of international bases, the relative contributions of the Big Five powers, and the contingency plans for withdrawal of the troops after an emergency had passed. The committee was planning to issue a report nevertheless by the following Wednesday to meet its deadline.

A German businessman stated in Munich that he had spent several weeks in the Russian occupation zone of Germany and discovered that the Soviets were combing a large area in the mountainous region of Saxony in an attempt to discover uranium ore deposits. American officials believed the statement possibly to be true, but warned that it might also be planted.

The President discussed the telephone strike at his weekly Cabinet meeting but no definite action was planned other than to continue arbitration.

A photograph shows a workman effecting repairs to an important trunk line cable near Eden, Wisc., severed Wednesday through vandalism. Repair required splicing back together of more than a thousand wires.

We hope that he was wearing adequate protection for the fact of the high-tension wires. They will sometimes try to catch your bell and wring it in the big ringer if you're not careful.

An Associated Press survey showed declines in prices on scrap steel, turpentine, eggs, cocoa, coffee, flour, lard, butter, hogs, corn, and oats from those of the prior week. But generally prices were not moving downward very much in response to the President's pleas for action in that direction. There were even increases in the prices of hides, cattle, lamb, rye, and cotton. Most raw materials remained unchanged in price.

The UAW signed a contract with G.M. for an 11.5 cents per hour increase in wages plus benefits, which Walter Reuther, president of UAW, stated equated to more than the sought 15 cents per hour flat rate increase.

Weirton Steel Co. of Weirton, W.Va., signed a contract with its independent union workers for $1 to $1.16.5 per hour, an increase of 12.5 cents per hour, plus vacation benefits. The union president claimed it to be the best contract in the steel industry, better than the 12.5 cents wage increase, equivalent to 15 cents with benefits, negotiated earlier in the week between U.S. Steel and the Steelworkers Union.

The Queen Elizabeth was loaded in New York with 250 tons of flax seed to supply Britain with spring planting after the devastating winter, now producing floods from the melting snow. The Cunard Lines stated that the intended cargo of jewelry, furs, and other such items which would provide more revenue were set aside to make room for the flax seed.

The mother of a soldier sentenced to life imprisonment by a military court martial in Livorno, Italy, for being AWOL and deserting, contending that he suffered from amnesia, wrote to President Truman, offering to serve the sentence herself. He had walked into the UNRRA headquarters in Rome the previous November asking for reports on the Battle of Cassino, which took place in latter 1943 and the first four months of 1944.

Thirty-two Japanese soldiers captured on Peleliu, holding out for not hearing of the Japanese surrender in August, 1945, had maintained themselves by stealing food and other supplies from the Americans nearby. The camp was only 400 yards from the main road but was well concealed. They were being treated as disarmed military personnel rather than prisoners of war.

In Canon City, Colo., a prisoner who had been unjustly confined for six years for the murder of a gas station proprietor in 1937, had received $10,000 from the state, but was giving it all to his mother. The family had given up their home and cotton plantation to acquire money for his defense. After a lie detector test found him truthful, the chief prosecution witness recanted his testimony identifying the man. He was then pardoned by the Governor.

Novelist Willa Cather, author of My Antonia and winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 1923 for One of Ours, had died at age 70 in New York from a cerebral hemorrhage. Prior to becoming a novelist, she had for six years been managing editor of McClure's Magazine.

Ms. Cather had flown on.

In Durham, the Duke Hospital nurse, who had been shot while walking with her boyfriend through Duke Gardens, had improved to good condition. Police still had no leads in that incident or the previous day's arson involving the setting of seven fires inside the hospital. Hospital officials believed the firebug was an employee.

In Los Angeles, the children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren of a 106-year old woman prepared to throw a birthday party for her, the first she had ever had.

She was reported to be not overly excited—probably thinking to herself, "Thank ye very much."

On the editorial page, "The Doctrine Makes Strange Bedfellows" tells of the 67 to 23 vote in the Senate to approve the Truman aid plan to Greece and Turkey being hailed as evidence of unity on foreign policy. It had been typical of recent years, since 1940, for the Senate to show such bipartisan unity on matters of foreign policy.

But the 23 votes against the aid package could not be dismissed, being comprised of 16 Republicans and seven Democrats, four of whom were Southerners, Senators Harry Flood Byrd of Virginia, Kenneth McKellar of Tennessee, Claude Pepper of Florida, and P. the B. W. Lee O'Daniel of Texas. It appeared significant that the most fiscally conservative Democrat, Senator Byrd, wound up on the same side as the most liberal, Senator Pepper, who opposed the aid on the ground that the matter ought be resolved by the U. N. instead of unilateral U. S. action.

The prevailing opinion was that there was no way to get along with Russia and that the step was thus necessary to help assure stability in the Near East.

The piece accepts the necessity of the Truman Doctrine, but finds the dissenting vote signal of the fact that there were many things which the public did not know about it.

The minority was not one opposing the Doctrine out of isolationism as before the war, but rather basing opinions on varied premises. It raised a question as to whether the appearance of national unity was an illusion.

The only way to assure success of the Doctrine was for the American people to become aware of what it meant.

"The Liberals and Political Action" comments on 87 liberals, including Frank Porter Graham and Professor Howard Odum of the University of North Carolina, issuing a statement condemning Communism and its works. It was in response to the attack on liberals as being fellow travelers and the failure to distinguish between being pro-Communist and favoring more friendly relations with Russia.

The failure which produced this perception was not of liberals, but rather of the general public, which left no room for fine distinctions of any sort or even for honest disagreement—remindful strongly of the tenor of the times in the country following September 11, 2001, as well that following the Gulf of Tonkin incident in August, 1964 regarding Vietnam.

The piece hopes that it was a temporary state of affairs which had produced the necessity of such a statement, but until the times would pass, the liberal would find himself politically impotent.

"It Happens in the Best of Brackets" tells of former Undersecretary of the Treasury O. Max Gardner, who had died in February just before leaving New York to assume his duties as Ambassador to Great Britain, having overpaid nearly $53,000 in taxes for 1946.

It demonstrated that even a financial expert could become lost in the complex morass of provisions governing payment of taxes. It suggests that it was posthumous compliment to his integrity that he erred so much on the side of the Government.

Drew Pearson tells of a backstage tug of war ongoing over the desire of Secretary of State Marshall to have appointed as Undersecretary Robert Lovett, former Assistant Secretary of War. Mr. Lovett was a partner in the Brown Brothers, Harriman banking firm, and Secretary of Commerce Averell Harriman, whose father helped to found the firm, though without anything personally against Mr. Lovett, was not pleased at the prospect of having another such partner high up in the Government. There had already arisen criticism of the number of Wall Street men in the Administration. Mr. Pearson provides a list. Many were able men but one more, many thought, was too many.

The reason for the opening was that Undersecretary Dean Acheson wished to retire as soon as Secretary Marshall could find a suitable replacement. Of course, Mr. Acheson would go on, in 1949, to become Secretary of State, succeeding General Marshall.

He next informs again of Maj. General Harry Vaughan, the President's military aide, wielding great influence, as exhibited in the case of the demotion of Brigadier General William Lee to Colonel because in February, 1946 he had slapped John Maragon, friend of General Vaughan and also, for unknown reasons, able to wield extraordinary influence in the Administration over the Greek situation. General Vaughan had managed successfully to prevail on Secretary of War Robert Patterson to have the official record of demotion state that there was no connection with the Maragon incident.

Meanwhile, notes Mr. Pearson, Mr. Maragon, a former shoeshine boy in Kansas City, who had once shined Mr. Truman's shoes, had purchased some postcards with foreign writing on them while in Cairo. He asked whether the script was Hebrew and when informed that it was, he threw them on the floor and stomped on them, saying, "We got plenty of Kike stuff in the States already."

He next mentions a secret agreement with Iran to provide 50 million dollars worth of U.S. military supplies. General Norman Schwarzkopf, Sr., father of the commander of the Desert Siege and Desert Storm forces of the first Iraq war of 1991, was training the Iranian forces. General Schwarzkopf had made a name for himself by prosecuting Bruno Hauptmann, the convicted kidnaper and murderer of the baby of Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh.

The U.S. was studying how to defend India from a possible Russian drive in World War III.

Marquis Childs tells of the President's attempt at "moral suasion", to have manufacturers reduce prices to avoid a recession or depression, having little impact, save on isolated companies. Former OPA head Chester Bowles had stated in The New York Times that the effort would not work for the fact that no individual business was governed by single decision-makers regarding the setting of prices and that the drive for maximizing profits was too great to resist in any event.

The top industries for profits in 1945-46 were those where demand was greatest: distilling, at 41 percent of net worth; hosiery, at 28 percent; drugs, at 23.6 percent; baked goods, at 21.8 percent; and dairy products, at 18.9 percent. Iron and steel profits were only 7.5 percent of net worth of the industry.

The Congress was acting contrary to the President on the subject of reduction of the debt before reducing taxes, the only sound policy with the nation's debt being 250 billion dollars after the war. As Senator Joseph O'Mahoney of Wyoming consistently warned, no longer could the country afford the boom-to-bust cycle of yore for adjusting prices.

Pursuant to the Employment Act of 1946, the President had submitted a comprehensive economic program to the Congress, and the joint House-Senate committee was to have submitted its findings and recommendations by February 1, but had so far submitted nothing. Chairman Robert Taft and vice-chairman Jesse Wolcott were finding it hard to agree on matters, especially housing.

The best hope for checking prices was in consumer common sense.

Samuel Grafton discusses the Christian Science Monitor report that the Western powers would be more eager to be rid of Generalissimo Francisco Franco in Spain if they could be certain that the country would not then go left. It represented a doubt in the democratic system of government and freedom.

The U.S. had no right to demand assurance from any country of a particular type of government. That was not true freedom. To prefer Fascism to a leftist government was to give the image of freedom without its substance. Freedom meant the freedom to go right, left, or even crazy. Only through that process could come the human forbearance which provided the only real security.

The type of freedom which the country would like to give to Spain was sick. After twenty years of such freedom or of Franco—in the end, 28 more years—Spain would still be a hotbed of unrest, whereas after twenty years of freedom, it would become a stable country rid of its insecurities.

"But the tied arm withers, the fixed compass shows no direction, and it is hard to see how men can be made free unless they remain free to choose freedom."

A letter from a resident of the Oakview section of Charlotte objects to what he perceives as gerrymandering to get about half the suburb within the proposed extension of the city limits and leaving out the rest.

A letter writer from Rock Hill, S.C., objects to the editorial on the Charlotte Hornets baseball team, describing the Rock Hill team, which twice beat the Hornets in the openers, as "raw". He predicts the Rock Hill Chiefs would do it again.

The editors respond that the manager of the Chiefs had never seen four of his players before the opening game, thus the descriptive adjective; but the manager of the Hornets had wished he had never seen them at all.

A letter responds to a letter of April 21 recommending a "wet" vote in the June 14 referendum on controlled sale of liquor in Mecklenburg County. He objects to the terminology as some thought the referendum was designed to curb the sale of liquor through bootleggers and thus was "dry". He urges the referendum backers to forge unity on the point.

A letter writer also responds to the same letter, disagreeing and praying that the referendum would not pass and lead the boys and girls to perdition through drink.

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