The Charlotte News

Wednesday, April 9, 1947


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that settlement appeared near in the dispute between A.T.&T. and the American Union of Telephone Workers regarding the long distance part of the strike begun Monday, with only the responsibility for payment of the bill for arbitration still being a contested issue. The Labor Department which conducted the arbitration said it did not have the appropriations to pay for it and the unions contended that the they could not afford to pay the $500 per day, or about $20,000. The settlement might also lead to settlement of the remainder of the strike as well.

Former Vice-President, Secretary of Commerce, and Secretary of Agriculture Henry Wallace arrived in London, bearing chickens and eggs and looking for progressives to promote peace through world unity. He told a press conference that he feared that the Truman Doctrine, urging aid for Greece and Turkey to stop Soviet expansion, would lead inexorably to war with Russia. He favored instead using the resources of both Russia and the United States to increase productivity for the common man over the world, not to divide the world into warring camps. But he believed that it would take several years of depression in America before lasting peace would become a goal to which the country would be dedicated.

Dr. Syngman Rhee, Korean political leader who had recently visited Washington, claimed that President Truman had promised to urge to Congress a 600 million dollar loan to Korea as soon as a government could be established which the U.S. would recognize.

At the Foreign Ministers Council meeting in Moscow, the British and Americans proposed a revision of the German-Polish border to include inside Germany agricultural lands provisionally assigned to Poland at Potsdam in July, 1945. Russia opposed the proposal, Foreign Commissar Molotov claiming that the borders had been fixed at Potsdam. France wanted to study the matter further before committing either way.

Secretary of State Marshall and Foreign Secretary Bevin quoted from Premier Stalin at Potsdam, that he did not consider final the determination of the Polish borders at the Oder and Neisse Rivers. Mr. Bevin argued that pushing the border too far west would force Germany to become an industrialized state and would thus disserve the cause of peace. General Marshall proposed appointment of a special border commission, comprised of members from the Big Three and Poland, to study the matter and make recommendations on the border. Southern East Prussia and Upper Silesia as Polish territory were not in issue, but Secretary Marshall wanted assurance that the coal resources in those regions would be devoted to Europe as a whole.

The eleven-member U.N. Commission on Conventional Armaments turned the matter of arms reduction over to the Big Five permanent members of the Security Council for resolution.

The last of U.S. troops departed Iceland after six years of protective service in the strategic wartime country.

The first in a series of three articles from the Associated Press speculates on whether there would be a business recession in the U.S. Leading economists were generally agreed that for the second quarter of the year, prosperity would continue at record levels, but a recession would likely ensue during the summer. It would, however, be salutary, readjusting prices downward. For the present, the country had greater income, 177 billion dollars, than ever before, with only 2.5 million people unemployed against 56 million employed. Business failures were low. Steel mills were running at 97 percent of production capacity, a post-war record. Large pent-up demand existed, especially for automobiles and other consumer goods not available during the war, and a tremendous housing shortage begging for a housing boom was also present. Liquid assets of Americans amounted to 150 billion dollars to enable spending.

But climbing prices and the perception by consumers that it was prudent to wait for lower prices could also spell trouble a few months down the road. The next article would examine some of the predictions by individual economists.

The President explored the issue of higher prices at the Cabinet meeting of this date, with Edwin Nourse, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, Marriner Eccles, chairman of the Federal Reserve System, and James Webb, Budget Director.

Mine operators charged that John L. Lewis was in deliberate defiance of an order by the Supreme Court to refrain from further strike activity against the Government-run coal mines and was using the Centralia, Ill., disaster which killed 111 miners as an excuse for striking, first during a six-day period of mourning, now conditioned on reports of safety validation by Federal inspectors. Coal production stood at 40 percent of normal.

The UMW Welfare Fund, with 18 million dollars in assets, established a death benefit of $1,000 per family for the miners who died at Centralia. Mr. Lewis wanted the 5 cents levy per ton of coal from operators to support the fund, as negotiated with the Government, doubled when the mines were returned to private ownership.

In Philadelphia, a veteran husband and four children were hoping to find their missing wife and mother, who disappeared February 25 and had not been seen since.

In Pittsburgh, a sixteen year-old girl who had swallowed a two-inch sewing needle had it extracted by use of a small magnet suspended down her throat with a string. Diabetic, she was unable to undergo surgery. The experimental procedure was performed at the University of Pittsburgh Medical School. Do not try that at home.

Good thing it occurred in Pittsburgh, where needles are made of steel, not wood, such as in Washington.

In London, England, a waitress, 29, was charged with murdering her six-year old daughter on her birthday. The child's body was found in a suitcase inside the home. The mother admitted strangling the child and told police she would tell them all they wanted to know about it.

In Hollywood, Frank Sinatra was involved in an imbroglio with Lee Mortimer, columnist for the New York Daily Mirror, outside Ciro's nightclub and restaurant. Accounts of the incident varied. Mr. Mortimer claimed that he had been jumped from behind by Mr. Sinatra and three other men. He admitted saying unkind things of Mr. Sinatra within his column.

Mr. Sinatra's agent claimed that Mr. Sinatra heard Mr. Mortimer refer to Mr. Sinatra by some uncomplimentary epithet, more than Mr. Sinatra could bear, and so he "let him have it." The agent denied that any heavies were involved.

Mr. Sinatra, himself, stated that he was raised in a rough-and-tumble neighborhood where direct action was expected. For two years, Mr. Mortimer had been needling him from his column, calling his bobby-soxer fans "morons". They were only 14 or 15, said Mr. Sinatra, and should not be called morons even if they did try to tear his clothes off.

Mr. Mortimer had to undergo X-rays and was seeking the advice of an attorney before swearing out a warrant of arrest with the Sheriff.

Major League Baseball Commissioner "Happy" Chandler suspended Brooklyn Dodgers manager Leo Durocher for a year. You may read of that on the sports page.

Hal Boyle was back theya still vis'tin' in Easte'n Nor' Car'lina, now touring the 200-year old Orton Plantation of Cape Fear. The plantation was founded in 1725 by Roger Moore after Indians of "Sugar Loaf" across the river burned the first smaller home to the ground. "King Roger", as he was dubbed for his imperious manner, then, subito, formed a band of squires and massacred the Indians such that all was well. A young "new masses" third generation plantation owner was now trying to supplant the rice paddies of the old plantation, which went belly-up during Reconstruction, with a nursery business formed from the plantation's camellias, azaleas, and daffodils. The flowers were nursed in the nursery by 20 descendants of the plantation's original 50 slaves, the harvest then sold to Yankees in the North, who had once used the plantation during the Civil War as an infirmary, thus sparing it from Sherman's purges.

On the editorial page, "Of Mr. Roosevelt and Mr. Truman" comments on the contrast between the two men, President Roosevelt having been a man of courage and imagination who attracted men of vision, while President Truman was cautious to a fault. The piece wonders what sort of reception the atomic scientists would have received had they been dealing in 1939 and afterward with Mr. Truman and his advisers.

It suggests that Mr. Truman would have wanted to consult Congress before committing to the program. But it also notes that with war inevitable in 1939, the people themselves were willing to gamble. The President's attitude only reflected that tendency.

There was, however, evident a fundamental difference in temperament between the two men. President Truman, while not facing certain war, was also not confronted with certain peace, but had turned away from the scientists and visionaries in formulating his policy, in favor of cautious advisers who did not wish to take risks, placing their stock in a strong Army and Navy.

"The boldness has gone out of government, but the feeling persists that the men in Washington, having misread the meaning of history, are taking the longest gamble of all in the name of caution."

"An Epitaph for Henry Ford" finds the automotive kingpin to have been one of the last of the industrial giants who deserved the label "rugged individulist". He had been a pioneer of the automobile and had insisted on realization of his dream to see it in the hands of every family. But he never lost his simple ideals, even if he was blind to certain parts of history.

He had before the war put forth anti-Semitic views in his Dearborn Independent and circulated the false Protocols of Zion, but later repudiated those stands as the realities of Nazism began to take shape. He had been a firm believer in peace in both world wars, sending the Peace Ship to Europe in World War I, resulting in both criticism and bitterness.

He had used flying squadrons to battle strikers at the Ford Motor Co. in the 1930's but eventually gave the unions more than they had demanded.

He maintained the business within his family and fought off the combinations of his competitors, while setting the pace for the industry.

"The Return of Our Bob Reynolds" comments on a report in the Asheville Citizen that former Senator Robert Rice Reynolds, who had originally been elected in 1932 against the patrician former Governor and incumbent Senator Cameron Morrison by touring the state as a populist hallooing the people from his Tin Lizzie, was planning a run for the Senate in 1948, probably against former Governor J. Melville Broughton and incumbent Senator William B. Umstead, appointed the previous December to succeed deceased Josiah W. Bailey. He believed that the temperament of the people had changed to align more with his anti-Communist views since he had decided not to run in 1944. He would have to use his rhetorical skills and demagogy to hide his former isolationism and formation of a Fascist organization, the Vindicators, which, before America's entry to the war, promoted peace with Germany and leaving Perfidious Albion to fend for itself.

His decision not to run in 1944 had been predicated on a realization that the people had lost confidence in him as their Senator. The piece believes that the memories of North Carolinians were not so short as Mr. Reynolds appeared to believe.

A piece from the Richmond Times-Dispatch, titled "Weapon of the Demagogue", tells of Herman Talmadge publishing a political newspaper called The Statesman, in which he claimed to be for the people. Such political tricks, it asserts, were always practiced by the demagogue, from Hitler to Huey Long, appealing without inhibition to the gullible.

Drew Pearson tells of a secret strategy meeting held by the Republicans regarding the labor bill, discussing the stand which the President might take on the bill. Senate Labor Committee chairman Robert Taft warned that the President would assuredly veto a tougher bill than the one he was sponsoring, especially a bill which would ban the closed shop.

But with the telephone strike and John L. Lewis still showing defiance in the wake of the Centralia, Ill., coal mine disaster, the majority of the committee, including Senator Taft, now favored a tougher bill. Their attitude was that the President could veto it if he wanted, though they doubted that unless a wave of crippling strikes beset the country, there would be enough votes for an override. But if the legislation could not be passed over the President's veto, then the Republicans could blame him for blocking it.

Senator Wayne Morse expressed the view at the meeting that he was not interested in political maneuvering but rather wanted a bill to serve the public interest. He wanted a bill which the President would sign, such as one outlawing the jurisdictional strike and secondary boycotts, as well as setting up a mediation and conciliation service, even if the President might hesitate to sign a bill with the latter provision. But a bill outlawing the closed shop had little hope of getting by the President.

Mr. Pearson next informs that when Republicans were busy trimming by two-thirds the normal appropriations for the Bureau of Labor Statistics, they thought erroneously that the Bureau had been the creation of the New Deal. In fact, it was created by President Chester A. Arthur in 1884. The result of the cut would be that the BLS could not determine the cost of living region by region, further undercutting the ability of Congress to do anything about inflation in the wake of removal of price controls.

Moreover, 90 percent of all union contracts were hinged to the cost of living index within particular regions. The critics of labor wanted things maintained that way. Now, labor could cite national statistics in support of their demands.

Meanwhile, he notes, Congressman John Taber of New York, fiscal conservative who was a primary advocate of slashing the BLS budget, maintained the largest staff in Congress, costing nearly $125,000 annually.

He notes that Senator Theodore Bilbo, should he recover from his cancer, might be indicted for war contract frauds. Mr. Bilbo would be dead by August.

Former Chancellor of Austria Kurt Von Schuschnigg had been invited to speak at Temple University by the institution's president until protests became so great that the invitation was withdrawn.

Marquis Childs discusses the President's Jefferson Day speech to Democrats, broadcast by radio to the nation the previous Saturday night. His primary theme had been the new prosperity. If it held through 1948, the unthinkable six months earlier might yet come to pass: the President could be elected to a full four-year term.

One Senator had recently referred to Mr. Truman as Calvin Coolidge with a grin. Mr. Childs finds the speech reminiscent instead of the speeches of Herbert Hoover in 1928 and through the first half of 1929, claiming prosperity of the time for the Republicans. Mr. Truman did not claim the prosperity for the Democrats, but it was implied.

He had also sounded a warning note, however, on rising prices, discordant though it was to the primary theme.

The new foreign policy regarding aid to Greece and Turkey was supposed to come from an uncontrolled economy. The need for food in Europe had sent grain prices up $3 per bushel.

The President's popularity had swung from 85 percent in July, 1945, to 32 percent the previous fall, back up to 60 percent presently. The fluctuation was largely the result of the state of the nation at any given time, rather than the action or inaction of the President. Now that the Republicans were in control of the Congress, they would suffer the brunt of reaction to economic problems.

If a year hence, the President could still proclaim prosperity in the nation, it would signal that the major decisions had been postponed for a year, but it also might be determinative of whether the President would be elected in 1948.

Samuel Grafton also discusses the conundrum of the President's current wave of popularity, appearing to emanate from the discontented mood of the country, vented on the party in control of Congress. With declining purchasing power, Americans were blaming the Republicans for the condition.

The Republicans were trying to pass their anti-labor program at a time when the cost of living was rising rapidly. The Republicans had caused the price rise when they wrecked price control the previous summer. They wanted both higher prices and limits on labor.

No longer were people so resentful of labor for striking as they had been a year earlier when prices were controlled and relatively low. Even in the conservative press, there were expressed bits of sympathy with labor.

The changed sentiment in the country had produced the rift in the Republican Party.

Rather than personalities determining the country's mood, social forces were the prime causative factor.

"The fact that a touch of glamour should now have descended on the almost resolutely mediocre figure of Mr. Truman is perhaps one of the greatest demonstrations on record that it is the play of these deep and half-hidden social forces that makes history."

A letter suggests that to avoid the inevitability of nuclear war with Russia, appearing a foregone conclusion otherwise to the writer, a thousand influential Russian families be selected by the United States to live in large cities of the U.S., while the Russians would select a thousand influential American families to live in major urban areas of Russia, to be rotated annually. That way, he believes, there would never be a nuclear war.

A letter from a Baptist minister comments on an April 4 editorial urging passage of ABC control in the upcoming referendum on liquor in Mecklenburg County. He finds the figures cited of Mecklenburgers spending some $800,000 annually in York County, S.C. on liquor not to indicate, as the editorial had opined, that county prohibition had failed. Instead, he suggests, enforcement had failed. He believes that legalized sale of liquor would only increase consumption, and the murder attendant with it—and Calvin Coolidge.

A letter from the dean of the School of Medicine of the University of Mississippi thanks the newspaper for its edition in February dedicated to the Good Health Program of North Carolina.

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