The Charlotte News

Thursday, May 15, 1947


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the U. N. General Assembly, by a vote of 48 to 7, created an eleven-member Palestine Inquiry Commission, which did not include any of the Big Five major powers, and then adjourned the extraordinary session which had lasted eighteen days. The Arab nations continued their protest against the action, favoring immediate independence of Palestine, and refused to agree to a truce until the Inquiry Commission could conduct its investigation. The Commission was due to render a report by September when the Assembly would meet in the regular course.

Congressman Fred Hartley of New Jersey, sponsor of the House labor bill, said that the ultimate bill to come from conference would not have a ban on industry-wide collective bargaining. He also expected it to exclude the right of private employers to seek injunctions against jurisdictional strikes and secondary boycotts. Both provisions had been in the House bill, but not in the Senate bill.

John L. Lewis agreed to bargain for a new contract with the private coal operators, without participation by the Southern operators who demanded to bargain separately. The move was viewed as likely to avert a nationwide strike on June 30 when the mines reverted from Government control to private ownership.

Former OPA head Chester Bowles proposed a ten percent price reduction in the country, 20 percent in home construction costs, and a 15 percent raise in wages to enable consumers to purchase goods at reasonable prices and get the economy back on track. He also urged scrapping of the proposed tax cut, as well as other recommendations.

In Washington, former House Sergeant-at-Arms Kenneth Romney was convicted of concealing for twenty years a shortage in the House bank account of $143,663. He faced up to 30 years in prison and a $30,000 fine. He had permitted former Congressman John Smithwick of Florida to cash $65,000 in checks which were not negotiable, and had taken $5,000 from the account himself.

In Greenville, S.C., the trial continued of 31 defendants accused of being members of a lynch mob who murdered Willie Earle in February, taking him by shotgun from the Pickens jailer and, after a brutal beating, shooting him twice, the second time in the head. Roosevelt Carlos Hurd, Sr., accused by one of the other defendants of being the trigger man in the shooting, admitted, in a pre-trial written statement read by the prosecutor, participation in the the killing but denied firing the shotgun blast to Mr. Earle's head.

Mr. Hurd said that Ernest Stokes had demanded that Mr. Earle admit the killing of the Greenville cab driver the previous night and tell of his accomplices. Mr. Earle said that he did not know. The men started beating him at that point, and someone fired a gun two or three times. Mr. Hurd claimed that he did not know who fired it, that he did not have a gun. He said that when he saw that the men were going to kill Mr. Earle, he turned around as he did not want to see it happen.

In Lumberton, N.C., the Sheriff was investigating the shooting of a prominent citizen while in bed at home. The Sheriff stated that the man's wife had admitted to him having hired a third person to shoot her husband while sleeping and make it appear as a suicide. She had explained that she was in love with another man and reached her decision the previous Sunday morning, shortly before the murder.

The plan for a perfect murder was foiled when, after the young man hired to do the crime shot at the man in bed, the man raised up and chased him out of the room before collapsing. He was recovering in the hospital.

In Atlanta, the body of a 31-year old woman was found strangled by rope in Peachtree Creek. The woman had been raped. She was the wife of a former G.I. who had been in prison in Germany during the war, before escaping in 1944. He now taught art at Olglethorpe University and the High Museum of Art. Members of the family said that the victim had been in the habit of picking wild flowers along the banks of the creek.

In Nagasaki, it was reported that deformed pumpkins, two-bulbed onions, and two-headed eggplants were growing in the midst of radiation from the atomic bomb of Augsut 9, 1945. The agricultural experts in Nagasaski and Kyodo were experimenting with growth of vegetables in the irradiated soil.

In Cranberry, N.C., the students of the local high school remained on strike in protest of not re-hiring their principal, C. E. Bowlick. The School Board the previous day had voted to uphold the school's decision to hire the replacement.

We note that the previous day's story stated his name as C. C. Bowlick. We leave it to your investigatory skills to determine the correct middle initial.

In any event, the new guy will probably be a turkey. But he might have a gander to bring to bear on the issue.

On the editorial page, "The Labor Bill Takes Shape" finds the prevailing opinion to be that enough votes were available in both houses of Congress to override a Presidential veto of the Taft-Hartley Act, after the two versions of the bill would be reconciled in committee and presented to the President for signature. So, it would likely become law.

The unions viewed it as a "slave labor bill" while the National Association of Manufacturers gave it hearty approval.

Most believed that some adjustment to the labor-management relationship was called for as it had drifted too much in favor of labor. But many believed that the bill to come from Congress was too restrictive and punitive.

The piece finds that the bill would not hearken the end of trade unionism as some on the right and left predicted. The unions would lose some of their advantages but the working man would retain his voice and vote. And ultimately, if the new law did swing matters too much in favor of management, then pressure would be brought to bear to correct that inequity as well.

"Mr. Dorn's Prescription for Peace" provides an excerpt from a statement in Congress by Representative William Jennings Bryan Dorn of South Carolina, that a strong defense, including a strong Air Force and convincing of the Soviets that the nation was prepared to use if necessary the atomic bomb on Russia, was the best method of insuring security, that the 400 million dollars being sent to Greece and Turkey would not suffice unless backed by a strong military presence.

The piece thinks it an extreme view but honest. Mr. Dorn had been interrupted by boos from the gallery several times, insuring that his remarks would be greeted in South Carolina with sympathetic reception.

But Mr. Dorn had not reckoned with the cost of such a program as he believed would assure peace. It would mean maintaining a wartime footing for the military and no debt retirement, necessitating the same taxes and possibly an increase. Such a prescription would be only slightly less unpleasant than war itself.

A piece from the Durham Herald, titled "Debt to an Inspiring Teacher", tells of the the death at age 70 of Margaret Roberts, Asheville school teacher who had inspired Thomas Wolfe as an adolescent. She had challenged him to read every major lyric in the English language and was convinced that he would one day make a great contribution to American letters.

It quotes the late Mr. Wolfe's presumed homage to her, in the form of the description of the character Margaret Leonard in Look Homeward, Angel.

"Well, sir," she said, in a low voice, in which a vibrant wire was thrumming, "I'm glad to know you." The voice had in it that quality of quiet wonder that he had sometimes heard in the voices of people who had seen or were told of some strange event, or coincidence, that seemed to reach beyond life, beyond nature—a note of acceptance; and suddenly he knew that all life seemed eternally strange to this woman, that she looked directly into the beauty and the mystery and the tragedy in the hearts of men, and that he seemed beautiful to her.

The piece echoes his praise of the school teacher.

We note that there is some degree of danger in doing that which the editorial does, albeit in this instance in well-meaning fashion: using a character from a novel to represent in full measure a person from the author's life. Such efforts, in a negative vein, by some of the inhabitants of Asheville during the life of Mr. Wolfe had led to whispers and discord with his work which reportedly caused him great pain. While, no doubt, elements of actual individuals with whom an author has had contact, vicarious or actual, always involve themselves within the framework of such characters, in books, song or story, as humanity must inevitably suffuse to such characters their lifeblood, lest cardboard cut-outs on the page result, to ascribe to them perfect rendition in full of the author's perception of an actual person is to do injustice to the complexity of humanity and each individual, as well to the author's imagination and ability to draw on different parts at once of experiential data to form an amalgam within the mortar, carefully orchestrated or not, from which the characters take shape beneath the author's pestle.

Certainly, Mr. Wolfe was a great deal more complex as an author, not so much the simpleton, than to have lain down, completely formed, whole persons from reality, casting in sacrificial bequest parallel lives to pour into eyes poring page after page in search of the otherwise empty vessels constituting the devices used to move the insistent, unrepentant action of his novels, such that Eugene Gant, for instance, could become a light, fully focused, into his own soul and character, without variation in the abstract from the paradigm thus giving Eugene breath, yet sans freedom to act on his own, apart from his father. It simply is not that facile and closely defined.

Had the author intended it to be so, he would have dubbed Altamont simply "Asheville" and at that let it go. Altamont is not really Asheville, you see.

It should further be noted that the character in the novel, Margaret Leonard, had conquered tuberculosis. Whether Ms. Roberts had done likewise is not given. Regardless, Mr. Wolfe died, a year short of a decade after publication of his first novel, of tuberculosis of the brain.

Drew Pearson informs of the effort by the Administration to get money for military training and arms for Latin America, including Argentina. He cites the history of the Dillon-Reed firm in New York giving money in the Twenties to Bolivia, with the disastrous results that the country warred on its neighbor Paraguay. Assistant Secretary of State Spruille Braden, being quite familiar with this history, was prevailing on the President not to seek such loans. The Army thought otherwise and they had convinced Secretary Marshall of the correctness of their position.

Giving this money could create competition among the Latin American nations for strength militarily, which could then lead to war. It could also cause the Governments in power to become stronger, that they could retain that power indefinitely. That in turn could lead to revolt and Communism.

He next tells of Admiral Roscoe Henry Hillenkoetter of St. Louis being appointed as the new director of the Central Intelligence Agency—though the Agency would not be formally created until the following September.

Senator Styles Bridges of New Hampshire had, during the confirmation hearings, registered objection that news of the appointment had leaked to the Paris press before it was announced in the United States. Admiral Hillenkoetter responded that it was as much a surpise to him as anyone. He subsequently found that the French Secret Service had discovered the information and leaked it to the press. Senator Bridges then withdrew his objection.

Senator Lister Hill of Alabama cracked that the French Secret Service seemed to have as much information gathering capability as Drew Pearson.

Stewart Alsop begins by reciting from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland re the story of the flung baby, the slung frying pan—and ultimately the pig. He compares the baby, less the direct reference to the changeling, to Greece under British control, now being flung at the U.S. in similar fashion. The Duchess had to play croquet; the British had a better rationale, being too broke to continue in their role.

There were signs that other babies would similarly be thrown to the United States for caring. Leftists in Britain who opposed the U.S. were greeting the flinging with a certain grim glee. But both British and American policy makers who were serious found the idea of such baby hurling to be short of the best way to stop Soviet expansion, the goal of the policy.

The British and Americans were considering some mutual accord under which a working partnership could be effected, with the responsibilities of each nation defined based on economic wherewithal. A parallel policy would be formulated for the Middle East. A State Department representative had already discussed the matter with the British Foreign Office.

Secretary of State Marshall had asked Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin while they were in Moscow, to supply the "People, not Pashas" memorandum, prepared by the British Foreign Office, advocating abandonment of the British policy of maintaining order through a few rich pashas, and instead attempting to raise the standard of living for all people. But the lack of British funds had consigned the plan to oblivion, and the British still maintained in the Middle East its imperial pasha technique.

The State Department for many months had been of the opinion that a "People, not Pashas" program would be the only effective means in the Middle East of countering Soviet expansion.

Samuel Grafton finds the rightward drift of the Republican Party to be coming to an end, signified by the fact that both Ohioans, Senator Robert Taft and Senator John W. Bricker, were out of the running for the 1948 presidential nomination.

Mr. Taft had been on the wrong side on the confirmation of David Lilienthal as Atomic Energy Commission chairman, opposing the nomination. He also took another hit for his support of a ban of nationwide collective bargaining.

The Christian Science Monitor had found that the leading candidates for the nomination were presently Governor Thomas Dewey, ultimately the 1948 repeat nominee, Senator Arthur Vandenberg of Michigan, and former Minnesota Governor Harold Stassen. Mr. Stassen was more popular with the Republican voters than with the leadership of the party. The fact that these three men, each progressive, had become the front runners underscored the turn back toward the middle and left by the Republicans, if only slightly, yet significant by comparison to the country at large.

Still a better indication of the change in direction of the country was the fact of increased popularity of President Truman. If his popularity were to drop ten points, then Messrs. Taft and Bricker would be back in the running for the nomination.

Another sign of shift in popularity away from the conservative Republicans was their childish attempt to blame the press, claiming a conspiracy, even among Republican newspapers, to discredit their program.

So, he concludes that the rightward movement in the country had reached its limit in all probability and was heading back the other way.

A letter tells of listening to the radio on November 8, 1923 when a flash was broadcast of a young, magnetic leader in Germany attempting to lead an overthrow of the Government. At the time, the Republicans controlled Congress and the White House, and everyone said "keep cool with Coolidge", eschewing efforts to undertake military preparation. When Japanese and German aggression became apparent between 1931 and 1937, the Republicans in Congress prevented military preparation.

The party had admitted that it was as "dumb as an ass" between 1923 and 1941. Now, under their leadership, the country had declared war on Russia, not on Communism.

A letter from the State Hospital in Morganton advocates that the U.N. admit Austria, Czechoslovakia, and Poland as members.

A letter responds to the letter responding to the letter of A. W. Black, possibly not really A. W. Black at all, regarding his taking umbrage to the praise of the newspaper for Grady Cole of WBT radio. No one on the radio was liked by everyone, and Mr. Cole obviously had a substantial following.

The letter writer's daughter, he says, liked Bob Hope and Jack Benny, while he thinks they stunk. But he does not hold it against anyone that they liked them.

He read the editorial page. His wife read the society page, because women were "crazy like that". His son consumed the sports page and would never look at the editorial page. Radio, he thinks, was the same. People read what they liked and listened to what they liked. He was glad to be in a country where you could do so.

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