The Charlotte News

Thursday, May 29, 1947


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the Senate and House confreres reached agreement on the final version of the Taft-Hartley bill, which contained authorization for the Government to seek an injunction against a strike which threatened to paralyze the nation, would add two members to the NLRB, would ban the closed shop while permitting a union shop when a majority of workers voted to have it, would prohibit jurisdictional strikes and secondary boycotts, permitting the NLRB to obtain an injunction to stop them, would create a Federal mediation department independent of the Labor Department, and would outlaw health and welfare funds solely administered by unions.

The legislation would proceed to the President, who would veto it. The bill would then be passed by both houses over his veto.

The Senate and the House confreres agreed on final terms of the four billion dollar tax cut bill, with individual cuts ranging from 10.5 percent to 30 percent, the latter group being lower income taxpayers. The final version raised the income brackets for 15 percent tax cuts authorized by the Senate version, costing the Government an estimated additional 60 million dollars in lost revenue in the final version. The tax cuts would take effect only on July 1, and not apply to the first half of the year. The vote in the Senate had been 52 to 34, offering no hope of overriding a Presidential veto, requiring a minimum of 64 of 95 votes, Senator Bilbo being still in limbo.

The Senate approved a bill which Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin, who had offered the amendment, said would remove rent controls in about 30 geographic areas of the country each month. The legislation otherwise extended controls through February, 1948.

Mrs. Hermann Goering, wife of the Air Marshal who had beat the hangman by ingesting poison shortly before his scheduled execution the previous October after being found guilty of war crimes at Nuremberg, was arrested and would be tried as a Nazi Party member before the Bavarian Denazification tribunal.

General Franz Boehme, indicted for war crimes during the German occupation of Yugoslavia, jumped to his death from a third-floor tier in Nuremberg Prison.


In Rich Square, N.C.,—the predominantly black community of 1,000 near Jackson, residence of Buddy Bush, the object of a failed lynching when he broke from the seven-man mob who took him from the Jackson jail the previous Friday morning at gunpoint—, reporters staying in the community were told by friends that if they did not wish their cars damaged, they should leave. There was reported resentment on the part of residents against the FBI, though no threats of violence or property damage had been made.

Just why this resentment had occurred in this particular case, when the FBI had been the organization which obtained a confession from one of the members of the mob which led to the arrest of the other six, is not clear.

The National Safety Council stated that the number of traffic deaths in the nation decreased by 14 percent from the first quarter of 1946, with a total of 9,250. Drivers were driving more in 1947 than in 1946. New Haven, Conn., with a population of 160,600, had no fatalities.

The probable reason, not provided, was that newer cars were now on the road than the dilapidated jalopies which, for auto industry strikes in latter 1945 and through the first quarter of 1946, still persisted after the close of the war, during which, after February, 1942, there was no civilian auto production in the country.

Burke Davis supplies his second in a three-part series of articles on the operation of ABC stores in the 25 of 100 North Carolina counties in which they had been approved, in advance of the June 14 Mecklenburg County referendum to determine whether they would be established. He stresses in this piece the day-to-day operation by each store manager, who was carefully chosen by the county board. Each manager was required to keep close records of sales and liquor stock, recording every broken bottle. The only case of theft had been uncovered by state ABC officials in Durham, where a store clerk got away with one case of Scotch, a bottle at a time.

The county boards set the prices and were assured the ability to purchase liquor at the lowest rates extant in the country. He provides a tables of the prices which the stores in Charlotte would charge, comparing them to bootleg prices and South Carolina prices, the ABC prices running about half the bootleg prices and three-fourths of the Palmetto State prices.

The State marked up the price 50 percent over wholesale cost and took 8.5 percent of the revenue, the remainder of the net revenue going to the city and county.

The next day's piece would relate to law enforcement and the division of ABC profits.

After the improvement of his mother, 94-year old Martha Truman, the President returned to Washington from Grandview, Mo., where he had maintained a vigil for twelve days.

On the editorial page, "A Surprise for the Sheriff" indicates that a good many observers were, along with the Sheriff of Northampton County, amazed that seven arrests of white men had occurred in the attempted lynching the previous Friday of Buddy Bush. It was reason to be proud of the state, even if receiving a major assist from the FBI in the investigation. The County Solicitor had established a strong case, based on one of the seven identifying the others. There had been undoubtedly local pressures brought on the Solicitor to leave the matter alone as no blood had been spilled.

Mr. Bush had been awaiting trial on a "questionable charge" of attempted rape of a white woman when abducted. He had been arrested the previous day.

The trial of the "Northampton mobsters" would afford a look at the condition of justice in the state. For the nonce, with the quick arrests, the prognosis looked good. It recognizes, however, that the same had been true of the arrest of the 31 original defendants in the Pickens, S.C., lynching of Willie Earle the previous February, only to result in the acquittals of all of the defendants the previous week.

We note, incidentally, that this date marked the 30th birthday of Representative John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts, who, as we noted, was mentioned for the first time on The News front or editorial page on May 16, in the column of Drew Pearson, serving, and serving actively, in his first five months in office. Today, in 2014, the former President would have been 97 years old.

"Fascism Is a State of Mind" comments that it was not surprising that it was not aware of the fact that recently HUAC held a ten-minute meeting on Fascism and had a sub-committee on the subject, as normally it maintained its gaze only on left-wing politics. The ten-minute meeting concluded that there was no danger in the country from Fascism.

The piece tends to agree, as lumping together the members of all of the KKK-type organizations would not amount to more than twice the membership of the American Communist Party. But racism as a state of mind was far more pervasive. And HUAC had always maintained the position that one need not be a member of the Communist Party to hold such points of view. It had never hesitated to smear liberals, as removed from Communism as were the proprietors of restricted hotels from Fascism.

The American system included more than free enterprise. It mandated racial and religious tolerance, without which free enterprise could not thrive.

It concludes that even a ten-minute glance at the headlines would have convinced HUAC that there was more danger that the American mind was following the Aryan-superiority doctrines of Fascism than any alignment with Marxism.

"Death Comes to a Fighting Man" tells of the death the previous week of Marine General Evans Carlson, leader of Carlson's Raiders, who rose to fame training and fighting alongside the Chinese against the Japanese invaders during the war, and who had perfected jungle warfare.

He died of coronary thrombosis in Portland but, the piece suggests, he was in fact a war casualty as his prodigious efforts in the Pacific campaign had wrecked his health and forced his retirement.

He had then enlisted in the campaign for peace, joining company with former Vice-President Henry Wallace, stating that war was an ultimate hell which must be avoided at all costs.

The editorial thinks him entitled to a place in the first rank of American war heroes and that it was too bad that his life was cut short as he embarked on the tougher, less politically expedient campaign for lasting peace.

A piece from the Christian Science Monitor, titled "On the 'Ban'Wagon", remarks of the Little Tramp of Charlie Chaplin's creation, who engaged in slapstick and threw pies, entertaining millions across the world, while offscreen, Mr. Chaplin had difficulties which did not appeal to the audience. When he eventually produced a recent picture everyone thought utterly silly, "Monsieur Verdoux", some theater owners in Ohio banded together and decided to ban it and denounce Mr. Chaplin as an interloper getting rich off American audiences while living abroad.

The piece offers no defense of the movie, finds it silly and politically callow and vapid, but questions the ban. It is not in sympathy with the left-wing views of Paul Robeson but deplores preventing him from using a public hall for concerts. It is not cheering of Kirsten Flagstad, the controversial Norwegian opera soprano who had been branded pro-Quisling for having returned to Norway prior to Pearl Harbor to be with her pro-Quisling husband, but it does not support the boycotts of her performances.

It concludes that democracy needed less banning and more education of the public on better judgment, taste, and patriotism.

Drew Pearson tells of two wool lobbyists who helped write the bill to raise the tariff on wool to protect domestic prices, but who had not registered as lobbyists as required by Federal law.

The matter of whether the United States would demand a change in the Greek Cabinet and restoration of civil liberties as strings attached to the loan approved by Congress was being debated within the Cabinet, Secretary of Treasury John W. Snyder and Secretary of Labor Lewis Schwellenbach favoring such contingencies. But the State Department appeared to view the proposal as exerting control on Greek sovereignty and so disfavored the approach.

He notes that foreign diplomats believed that without such controls, the 250 million dollars in aid to Greece should be written off as it would wind up in the wealthy families of Greece and not for its intended purpose of reconstruction of the economy.

Britain was to receive about 65 million dollars from the money appropriated for Greece and Turkey, despite indications to the contrary. It would occur through the purchase of British arms for Greek soldiers, who already had British ammunition.

The work of returning the remains of about 200,000 dead G.I.'s from the war to be buried stateside was being delayed by the strike in the casket industry. The war dead had been initially buried in military cemeteries overseas, but most relatives sought return of the remains.

The War Department and General Lucius Clay were at odds over the money to be allocated to rebuild Germany. The War Department wanted 750 million dollars for the purpose, but General Clay thought the spending would enable Germany to rebuild its war machine. It was difficult to differentiate between peacetime industry in such areas as steel production, and the wartime industry.

John L. Lewis and the coal operators were debating the health and welfare fund established by the Government contract a year earlier, Mr. Lewis wanting doubled the operators' contribution to the fund of five cents per ton of coal mined. It was believed that he was engaging in bargaining tactics and would accept the five cents. The Southern operators were insisting on 2.5 cents.

Marquis Childs, in St. Paul, Minn., relates of a conversation he had with former Minnesota Governor Harold Stassen, the only declared candidate for the presidency a year from the start of the conventions, a fact Mr. Childs finds unusual. He regards Mr. Stassen's speech in Jefferson, Iowa—upon which comment had been made already by the Alsops in their column of Tuesday—to be bold and innovative, calling for devotion of 10 percent of the productive capacity of the nation to rebuilding and stabilizing of the economies of Europe and Asia in nations whose systems were compatible with the U.N. Charter, for the promotion of peace.

In his talk with Josef Stalin in Moscow, Mr. Stassen had stated that he believed America could engage in regulated capitalism to avoid the pitfalls predicted in Marxian theory—that periodic depressions every twenty years or so would occur until a final revolution would take place as the ownership classes gradually accumulated more wealth and property and the working proletariat accumulated less and less and grew larger in the process. Mr. Stassen believed that, without resorting to government ownership of industry as in Russia or to socialism as in England, America could regulate business to prevent depression. American economy had been regulated since the Sherman and Clayton antitrust acts at the turn of the century, the former enacted during the term of Benjamin Harrison and the latter during the Wilson Administration, but the regulation had been inadequate to prevent the conditions leading to the Crash in 1929 and the subsequent Depression.

He did not think it necessary for the Administration to undertake any particular steps to control the economy as he did not foresee any depression on the horizon. He believed that prices would gradually adjust themselves as production rose on given products and commodities. The problems had arisen, he believed, from the bad handling of price controls after the war. He favored looking at the economy on a long-term basis.

In the next column, Mr. Childs indicates, he would examine Mr. Stassen's view on the increasing tendency toward concentration of wealth in the hands of a few large corporations, exacerbated by the war economy.

Samuel Grafton believes that the President was obtaining his advisers from among the people who checked their gasoline levels by holding lighted matches over the tank. They were recommending that if the President signed the Taft-Hartley Act, it would not prevent labor from voting in 1948 for the President, as they would have no other place to go. Mr. Grafton thinks this view ridiculous, that it would in fact urge the formation of a viable third party, splitting the vote.

He dubs the third party the "Second Party", as the two principal parties were becoming indistinguishable from one another. It would not need to be radical as a party could easily move slightly left and be more liberal than the Democrats or the moderate to liberal Republicans.

The reason the country had not developed a party akin to the British Labor Party was that FDR had managed to form coalitions which soaked up that leftward movement.

Of course, in June, President Truman would veto the Taft-Hartley Act and it would then be passed over his veto by a two-thirds vote in each house. He could thus still run in 1948 as a friend of labor, and make a plausible case for it when compared to the Republicans.

A letter from a veteran of the war favors aid to foreign lands as a means of warding off either fascism or communism, each opposite sides of the same insidious dictatorial, totalitarian system.

A letter presents a letter to Governor Gregg Cherry which expresses favor of the new Traffic Safety program but was unhappy that no woman was among the 27 officers and board members. She opines that they could add the spirit of motherly concern for preventing traffic fatalities.

A letter writer finds Trouble with a capital "T" in the liquor referendum if passed, urges considering the would-be drunkards to come from among the boys and girls who would be staggering in and out of controlled liquor stores with bottles of whiskey in their hands, falling down in the gutter of man, unable to stand, fatal, dead; thus dread the demon rum as you would avoid a dirty Red and other scum.

He expresses himself a little less colorfully than we adorn his letter. But that was the drift.

Again, we do not condemn these good people and their expressions of good opinions. We are simply tired of reading them for the past several years, when the argument on prohibition, for the most part, died long ago.

But, we understand that in North Carolina it is suddenly fashionable again among North Carolina public officials looking after the environment to believe that the world might only be 10,000 years old and that oil thus might not be a fossil fuel for not having had enough time to form, is instead, perhaps, according to some bunch of Nazi scientists from World War II, a replenishable resource which is infinite and constantly being rekindled from within the core of the earth, explaining why Hitler began losing the war when he could not reach the Caucasus oilfields according to his vaunted geopolitical plans for conquering the Heartland, for the fact of the Russian Army's stand in 1942-43. Undoubtedly, the source of this theory was ultimately on the order of the work of Jules Verne, as much of Nazi science was derived from an insistence on realization of science fiction, taken over by a crop of lunatics whom Herr Hitler placed in charge of things after he led the workers' revolt, in the vanguard of which were thugs and miscreants who denied reality along with science and a rationalistic view of the world, opting for the easy view of comic books and children's fantasy stories.

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