The Charlotte News

Saturday, May 17, 1947


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in Greenville, S.C., the State rested its case in the trial of the 31 defendants in the lynching of Willie Earle on February 17. The judge refused to allow the prosecution to admit into evidence photographs of Mr. Earle after the lynching. The prosecutor argued that the photographs showed malice by the manner of mutilation of the victim's body. An FBI agent had testified that the defendants' own statements showed that there were six men, including the victim, in the lead taxi, of a procession of taxis, who drove Mr. Earle to the scene of his brutal beating and eventual execution by two shotgun blasts, the latter to his head. Woodrow Wilson Clardy had driven the lead taxi, and the other defendants in it were Carlos Hurd, Sr., implicated as the trigger man in the shooting, Jesse Lee Sammons, Hulbert Carter, and Charles Maurice Covington.

Defense counsel sought directed verdicts based on insufficient evidence having been adduced against certain of the defendants to make a prima facie case on the charged crimes of murder and being accessories after the fact to murder. The judge stated that he would defer ruling until the following Monday. He had not yet ruled on the admissibility of the incriminating statements of 26 of the defendants, the outcome of which would determine his ruling on the motions for directed verdict.

In the trial in Washington of former Congressman Andrew May and the Garsson brothers for fraud and bribery in connection with obtaining war contracts, Mr. May testified the previous day that $7,500 he received from the Garsson brothers was in repayment of a business debt for a loan. He was accused of receiving $55,000 in bribes. Mr. May would continue his testimony on Monday.

In New York, Russia and the United States appeared heading for a showdown in the U.N. Security Council regarding a Slav revolt against maintenance of an international watch in the troubled Balkan frontier. U.S. Deputy Delegate Herschel Johnson of Charlotte interrupted the Yugoslav representative as he criticized the Greek Government, alleging its responsibility for all border incidents along the frontiers with Albania, Yugoslavia, and Bulgaria, prompting Andrei Gromyko to exchange sharp words with Mr. Johnson, telling him not to interrupt the Yugoslav delegate. Mr. Johnson stated that he did not intend to have Mr. Gromyko tell him when and how he could speak, prompting Mr. Gromyko to say that Mr. Johnson was not the arbiter. Ultimately, the Yugoslav representative was allowed to continue his statement.

In the Pacific, the U.S.S. Oklahoma, turned upside down by Japanese torpedoes at Pearl Harbor during the 1941 attack and then subsequently raised and refloated, but never returned to operation, sunk for the second and last time, 540 miles from Honolulu, in three-mile deep waters as it was being towed by an Oakland, California, company to drydock. The ship had been listing badly before it succumbed. No crew were aboard at the time. The ship had been launched on March 23, 1914, prior to the outbreak of World War I.

The new Governor of Formosa lifted martial law declared in February after 5,000 people were killed during rioting on the Chinese island.

An earthquake, recorded in the Weston, Mass., and Fordham University seismology laboratories, was placed 8,600 miles from New York, somewhere in the Solomon Islands.

In the remaining telephone strike, 52,000 workers of Southwestern Bell in five states and Michigan Bell agreed to settlement terms. The Southwestern Bell settlement was for an increase of $4.42 per week on average for non-supervisory workers. The Michigan settlement was based on a raise of $3 to $4 per week. Still, the workers were not returning to work because of the continuing Western Electric strike.

In New York, Western Electric negotiations with 6,000 strikers in 24 states reached an impasse. The company had refused to discuss wage increases without a no-strike clause in the new contract.

The President flew to Grandview, Mo., to attend to his 94-year old mother who had taken a turn for the worse while recovering from a broken hip suffered weeks earlier.

J. A. Daly of The News reports that the chairman of the American Yarn & Processing Co. of Charlotte stated that his just finished tour of ten European countries left him with the impression that there was no prospect in the near future for restoring American foreign trade with European business and industry, as the manufacturing base remained in a state of shambles.

In Salisbury, N.C., a man 26 years old died after a fight with another man the previous night at a high school baseball game.

In Lumberton, N.C., the man who had been shot in the chest while sleeping at home by a man hired by his wife stated, after being informed by the Sheriff of the manner of his shooting, that he did not wish to see his wife, out on $15,000 bond, while recuperating in the hospital.

Can't figure that one. Heartless and unforgiving. The little darling was just confused in the manner of demonstration of her affections.

After being shot in the chest the previous Sunday morning, he had raised up and chased the hireling from the bedroom, foiling the plan for a perfect murder. But he also did not die, further foiling the plan.

In Pontiac, Mich., three young men were caught in the midst of a luxury buying spree after one of their number had stolen from his mother $15,000 on April 18, prompting her to attempt suicide. The three young men, ages 22 and 21, were held on charges of carrying concealed weapons. They had but $3,400 remaining of the loot. They were arrested when they returned to Detroit to trade their new car for a bigger model with the intention of then heading to Baltimore and eventually to Florida.

At least it was not on Mother's Day. Every cloud has a silver lining.

In Dijon, France, in the wine cellar of Burgundy's Clos Vougeot vintner estate, producing wine since medieval times, the U.S. Ambassador, Jefferson Cafferty, was required to pledge that he would never cut his wine with water, was thus admitted after so pledging to the Knights Wine-Tasters, Les Chevaliers Du Taste-Vin, one of the most ancient orders in France and memorialized in French song and story. He was to be initiated with the triple invocation of Noah, father of the vine, Bacchus, father of the wine, and St. Vincent, patron of the wine-growers, at which point he would receive a purple ribbon and a silver wine-taster's saucer—which could fly.

But was he required to pledge also not to cut the mustard?

On the editorial page, "Courtesy and the Parking Problem" discusses Mayor Herbert Baxter's plan to give out-of-town parking and minor traffic violators only a warning. It had good things about it, but also drawbacks.

The piece found no problem with suspending traffic violations for motorists unaware of the city's peculiarities, but did not think it could afford to skip fines for parking violations, when parking was so limited. It would tend to work a hardship on the city's residents. The county residents would be treated as out-of-towners for absence of a municipal windshield sticker.

While the Mayor's proposal only would extend to those inadvertently violating the law, proving absence of intent would be problematic. It favors giving the program a trial run, but believed it to be doomed to failure.

"A Producer on the Price Question" tells of the President's efforts to urge reductions in prices being no more successful than Herbert Hoover's previous efforts years earlier in urging prices to rise. The more practical approach was undertaken in Newburyport, Mass., where the town's merchants banded together to lower prices uniformly by ten percent. But it was also doomed to failure unless the campaign spread nationally, as it had failed to do.

The United Fruit Co. had taken out ads saying that the price it charged for bananas plus freight and handling, as well as the final retail price at the market, were excessive. It wanted consumption increased after public pressure was brought to bear to lower prices. The fact that bananas were highly perishable meant that the company needed to move its stock.

Everyone along the line, from producer to consumer, had a stake in maintaining minimum prices and maximum sales.

They all knew what it was worth.

"An Echo from Another Era" tells of former House Sergeant-at-Arms Kenneth Romney being convicted for maintaining a shortage in the House Bank of $144,000, that it would have provided campaign fodder for the Republicans except for the fact that the shortage began in 1927 when Calvin Coolidge was President. The shortage derived initially from Mr. Romney losing $65,000 in real estate speculation in Florida. He then maintained the books balanced thereafter through a series of bad checks.

Thus, the Republicans could not crow when the era of speculation which led to the problem had come about under Republican Administrations.

A piece from the New York Times, titled "Lynching at the Bar", comments on the trial in Greenville of the 31 accused murderers of Willie Earle. The jailer claimed that, in broad daylight, he did not recognize any of the mob who took Mr. Earle from his custody at gunpoint. That was a traditional see-no-evil reaction.

But the police had managed nevertheless to extract admissions and confessions from 26 of the defendants.

Mr. Earle might have committed an evil crime of murder, himself, but that did not give to the mob the right to undertake extrajudicial action and kill him. He was not afforded the due process rights the defendants were now receiving in Greenville.

The piece suggests, as had an editorial earlier in the week in The News, that regardless of the outcome of the case, the fact of the strenuous prosecution made it a red-letter day in South Carolina.

Again, given that which would subsequently transpire in years to come, we have to disagree, with 20-20 hindsight in store.

Drew Pearson tells of former Minnesota Governor Harold Stassen facing 60 freshman Republican Congressmen after his return from Moscow as an observer. Only one question went unanswered, what he thought his chances were for the 1948 Republican nomination for the presidency, which his assistant waved off.

He said that the Russian people, and perhaps the Government, wanted peace. Most of the Russian plants were now converted to peacetime production. Russia was busy building its industrial infrastructure to raise the standard of living. The Russian people had friendly feelings for the U.S. and were convinced of a mutuality of sentiment.

Mr. Stassen did not find fault with the loan to Greece and Turkey, but did express dismay at the way the proposal had been initiated by the President. He urged that in the future, loans to other countries should be preceded by an awareness of how the money would be spent.

He advocated more certainty in foreign policy, that the President and Secretary of State Byrnes had, in July, 1945, agreed to foggy conditions at Potsdam regarding reparations, leading to the present lack of clarity in resolving the dispute with the Russians.

Mr. Stassen said that he opposed the Hartley labor bill, that it went too far in seeking to equalize relations between management and labor. He also asserted belief in a planned economy.

Senator Taft had read an old speech when allowed time by NBC to debate William Green of AFL anent the labor bill. He read the speech with difficulty because of its small print. The network had expected more for their donation of time.

Former Roosevelt aide Eugene Casey had heard that several disabled veterans were trying to buy Robert Allen's new book, Our Fair City. Mr. Casey then bought 176 copies and distributed them to the Army, Navy, and V.A. hospitals.

Former Governor Charles Edison of New Jersey was taking dance lessons at the Arthur Murray Studios and expressed the hope that political engagements would not interfere with the course. Mr. Murray told him that two candidates for the presidency had taken lessons from him and that if they had taken a couple of more, they might have won.

If Mr. Nixon, by August, 1960, had done so, and, thus being adequately fleet of foot, avoided that car door opened by a child in Greensboro...

The rest cuts across quite a bit of history. We shall leave it for your untrammeled mind's restive imaginings to consider. It is too disturbing for us.

Marquis Childs, in Albany, N.Y., tells of finding the state capital exhibiting the quality of Shangri-La, with Governor Thomas Dewey moving calmly toward his goal of becoming President. Everything which had transpired during the previous seven months made it more likely that he would realize the goal—as he would in Chicago. He had risen rapidly in public opinion polls. The insiders in Washington and New York talked as if it were a foregone conclusion that he would once again become the Republican groom.

Despite pressures exerted on him from within and without the party to take stands on major national issues, he had refrained. The following month, he was going to tour the Western U.S. Saying nothing of import was obviously the best.

Mr. Childs finds the effort to parallel that of FDR as Governor of New York in 1931-32. Then, too, the Government was divided between the two parties and the country was undergoing economic chaos. As FDR could stand on his solid record in New York, so could Governor Dewey, who had developed a successful state program for housing of veterans, had passed an anti-discrimination bill, and had enabled a half-billion dollar fund for construction of public works. FDR had also successfully avoided taking stands on national issues.

Mr. Dewey was only 45 and looked young. The men around him believed him a man of destiny, groomed for the position, and it appeared now that everything which had gone before was preparatory to the race ahead. The cake was within reach.

Stewart Alsop suggests that if the Truman Doctrine would succeed in containing Soviet expansion, the United States would need employ a new technique for its financial implementation.

Since the end of the war, Britain had quietly spent 760 million dollars in Greece. The British thus stood shocked that America was only going to send 250 million to Greece. But the British had also not handled the job of post-Nazi reconstruction and reorientation efficiently, seeking instead to buy time on installments, without any master plan.

What was true in Turkey and Greece was true also in Korea, China, and the Middle East, possibly in Italy and France. For the Truman Doctrine to work, there had to be a master plan and that would not allow for piecemeal financial support. The two financial instruments involved were the Export-Import Bank and the World Bank, the first of which was American and the latter dominated by America. But the areas threatened by the Soviets were financial risks to these entities, leaving the Truman Doctrine on shaky ground financially into the future.

The growing monetary crisis and the apparent shift in the Communist Party made it likely that in countries where the Communists controlled labor, the party would discard the collaboration it had previously undertaken with governments of which it was a part and instead would use its power within labor to reduce to chaos the slowly recovering economies.

A letter writer favors controlled sale of liquor in the upcoming June 14 referendum, indicates that in 50 years, the dry argument had not advanced beyond one of morality, not addressing the issue of failure of enforcement leading to rampant bootlegging under prohibition.

A letter writer states that until the public could be educated anent the dangers of alcohol consumption, nothing would take place to change alcohol abuse, no matter the outcome of the referendum.

A letter from a woman in Jonestown, Miss., comments on the good feelings engendered by the radio program celebrating Mother's Day, concluding with a song by young Margaret O'Brien.

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