The Charlotte News

Saturday, May 3, 1947


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the U.N. began debate on the question of Jewish representation during the debate on Palestine. U.S. Ambassador Warren Austin proposed shunting the question to the 55-nation Political Committee rather than having it heard by the full 55-nation General Assembly. The Jewish representatives expressed disappointment in the American position.

President Miguel Aleman of Mexico spoke to the Assembly, urging international cooperation.

At Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, a prison riot had broken out at the Federal prison, resulting in one prisoner dead and seven injured, one of whom was a guard. The riot stemmed from racial trouble at the prison when white prisoners objected to eating in the same mess hall with black prisoners. The trouble turned into a riot during the night.

During the morning, 250 black prisoners surrendered and, while 514 white prisoners had not yet surrendered, there was no sign of fighting in the wing, filled with tear gas.

The Senate began consideration of the 350-million dollar foreign aid bill, reduced in the House to 200 million.

Southern Bell Telephone Co. announced that if the strike of telephone workers continued much longer, the company would have to seek replacements, whose employment would be considered permanent.

Governor Gregg Cherry of North Carolina had ordered the striking telephone wokers to return to work by Monday, warning that he would otherwise request that the company begin hiring replacements.

Nationally, the A.T.&T. Long Lines Division had offered $2, $3, and $4 in weekly increases in wages, depending on locale, an offer turned down by the telephone workers union the previous night. The National Federation of Telephone Workers in San Francisco called the same offer by Pacific Bell to the workers in five states "despicable" and that it demonstrated that the company was determined to break the union. Federal conciliators were encouraged by the A.T.&T. offer, however, because the company had previously offered only to negotiate regionally, deemed unacceptable by the NFTW, which wanted the same pay rate nationally.

Meanwhile, a rift appeared within the NFTW and its demanded $6 per week raise, dropped from $12 to $18, as three Chicago locals predicted their acceptance of a $4 per week increase offered by Illinois Bell. Most of the 39 striking unions had given the NFTW Policy Committee final say regarding local settlements, but were not bound to have the Committee approve their independent resolution. The Illinois NFTW representative on the Committee left Washington to attempt to dissuade the Chicago locals from accepting the $4 raise.

Senator Joseph Ball of Minnesota expressed doubt that Communists could be kept out of labor unions merely by passing a law. He preferred leaving to the unions the job of rooting out Communists. The Hartley bill passed by the House had a provision which would deny collective bargaining to any union which was reasonably suspected of having officers who were Communists or sympathizers.

In London, the Admiralty strongly hinted that Britain might try to develop an atomic-powered battleship, enabling prolonged voyages without the necessity of refueling.

In protest of the machine-gunning of a workers' parade in Sicily on May Day, a nationwide general strike took place in Italy for a brief period.

In Rowan County, the bootleg liquor operators decided to shut down until after the May 31 referendum on controlled sale in that county, so that the people who drank wet and voted dry would realize what it would be like to be without liquor. The rationale sounded odd, however, because traditionally bootleggers opposed controlled sale.

In Philadelphia, a man was fighting off intruders to his home, having forced them into the street, when lights came on from neighboring dwellings, and he discovered that he, too, needed to retreat. The drawstring on his pajamas had broken.

On the editorial page, "Erosion at Democracy's Base" suggests that by rational views, municipal elections, being the closest form of government to the people, ought elicit the largest turnout at the polls. But, judging by recent North Carolina elections, they did not. Less than 10,000 in Charlotte had gone to the polls. In Greensboro, 3,000 of 26,000 eligible voters had cast ballots. In Raleigh, it was 8,000 out of 16,000, and in Asheville, sixty percent of eligible voters.

Each of the cities had large fields of candidates. One factor was the one-party system in each of the cities save Asheville, where the turnout was the highest.

The piece again advocates development of a thriving two-party system to curb apathy.

"What To Do about Henry" reports of the State Department broadcasts behind the Iron Curtain having recently reviewed The Wallaces of Iowa, and commented in passing about Henry Wallace being a renowned agricultural scientist who had developed a new type of hybrid corn. Senator Walter George of Georgia had objected to the comment on the basis that it promoted Mr. Wallace while he criticized American foreign policy abroad.

But, says the piece, to ignore his accomplishments in the field of agriculture would be to lie by omission and provide a false impression of the American system to the Russians, losing face by not being truthful.

It proposes instead having a debate between a representative of the State Department, such as Dean Acheson, and Mr. Wallace anent foreign policy. It might present the country as confused and divided but it would also show that Americans were not afraid of airing both sides of an issue, presenting a contrast with Radio Moscow which favored the type of censorship desired by Senator George.

"The Biggest Bar Bill in History" discusses the 8.7 million dollars spent by Americans on wine and whiskey during 1946, finding appalling the fact that it was twice the amount spent in the country on education. But it was not as bad as it looked, for liquor taxes doubled during the war and so 40 percent of that spent was in consequence of taxes.

The year was consistent with periods immediately after a war. Generally, liquor consumption was declining. In 1850, it had been 2.24 gallons per capita, 2.86 in 1860. By 1880, it had dropped to 1.39 gallons, and by 1940, to 1.02. In 1946, it had been 1.65, not so bad relatively speaking.

Recent reports showed liquor sales off by more than half in 1947, leaving the conclusion that 1946 was the year of the "great national jag" and that 1947 would be the year of the national hangover.

A piece from the Atlanta Constitution, titled "An Opportunity for the South", finds an opportunity for Southern universities and colleges to break ground in the field of nuclear research, with Oak Ridge as a centerpiece. Vanderbilt was the Southern leader in radioisotope research. Dr. Paul Aebersold, head of the isotopes branch at Oak Ridge, had spoken to a group of 100 scientists, urging research in the field to expand the opportunities presented by nuclear physics in development of energy and in aid of health.

Drew Pearson tells of Secretary of State Marshall finding from his experience in Moscow at the Foreign Ministers Council meeting that the Russians appeared waiting for an economic depression in the U.S., content to allow negotiations on the peace treaties with Germany and Austria to continue as long as possible in that hope. Depression would mean loss of confidence by Europeans in the U.S. and a turn toward Communism both there and in the U.S.

Secretary Marshall returned from the trip with new self-assurance in his diplomatic abilities, missing before he left. He had spoken to Premier Stalin only at the end of the conference to keep the Russians guessing as to the American resolve. He asserted to Stalin that America would stand firm in support of the principle of independence for Eastern Europe. Stalin said little, asserting his belief that some agreement could be reached after both sides had argued out their points.

Secretary Marshall had also reported at the White House meeting that the new foreign aid proposal to Greece and Turkey had profoundly impacted the Russians.

General Marshall became a little impatient when fiscally conservative Representative John Taber of New York began to question the cost of occupation in Europe. The President interrupted to say that it was one of the chief concerns which had to be continually evaluated, relieving to the extent possible the burden on the taxpayers without compromising security or principles of humanity.

Senator Alben Barkley, who had just returned from a trip to Egypt and the Near East, took some ribbing from colleagues over being abroad at the same time as Henry Wallace. Mr. Barkley replied that he needed to counter-balance the former Vice President. Mr. Pearson notes that while Senator Barkley disagreed with Mr. Wallace on foreign policy, he held high regard for him personally. Senator Barkley would become Vice-President in another 20 months.

The White House dinner for President Aleman of Mexico went smoothly except that no one knew until the end of the eloquent speech in English by the Finance Minister, Ramon Beteta, that he was translating for the President, who spoke only in Spanish.

Sr. Beteta then proposed a toast to President Truman, who, though caught off guard, quickly proposed a toast in return.

Note that the band did not strike up the Star Spangled Banner during the speech of Sr. Beteta, and the President did not stand on silly protocol and refuse to toast while the band played on. Such is how civilized people behave with one another—unlike some people who have not learned proper manners and respond only as parrots.

Marquis Childs tells of Congressional leaders having emerged in fair unity from the Cabinet meeting at the White House in which Secretary of State Marshall provided his report on the Foreign Ministers Council meeting in Moscow, convinced that the Secretary had accomplished all that he could while maintaining American security interests. The extremes were still held by Senator Glen Taylor of Idaho on the left and Senator Albert Hawkes of New Jersey on the right, but otherwise, there was good continuing bipartisan support for the Administration's foreign policy.

With the resignation pending of Undersecretary of State Dean Acheson, who had served successfully as a liaison with Congress, the burden would shift more to Senator Arthur Vandenberg of Michigan to keep Republicans in line with the President's policy.

Recently, an interview had been conducted with Tito in Yugoslavia by Johannes Steel of the American Labor Party, finding Tito supportive of the approach to the Soviet Union taken by Henry Wallace, calling it an objective view. Mr. Childs suggests that such agreement spoke volumes as to who was impressed by Mr. Wallace's vision, aligning with the Communist strategy in the Balkans.

Samuel Grafton suggests that a new form of isolation, not so extreme as prior to the war, but nevertheless tending toward isolation, was evident in the cut by the House of the foreign aid bill from the proposed 350 million dollars to 200 million, principally for China and Europe, distinct from the 400-million dollar package to Turkey and Greece. It showed the Congress prepared to build a bulwark to Communism in the latter cases, but not so prepared to see that the people living behind that bulwark were able to thrive.

The proposed aid to Turkey and Greece was a form of isolationism in the sense that it substituted for armed action. By using that aid to try to isolate Russia, there was a tendency also to isolate the United States.

The generous warmth shown to President Aleman of Mexico demonstrated a retreat to hemispheric politics.

He stresses that he was not trying to cast villains in the matter, but merely outlining a mood which was in vogue.

A letter from Inez Flow, addressing, as always, the subject of liquor, presents the same basic argument she had made repeatedly in recent times, that ABC stores would not stop drunkenness but would rather lend to it.

A letter writer advocates a wet vote on the referendum, as the current system of prohibition was not working, enabling bootleggers to thrive.

A letter from a Jewish reader takes exception to a headline which had appeared in the newspaper on April 25: "'Blood for Blood' Reign Threatened by Jew Unit". He believes it should have read "Jewish" and reminds of the anti-Semitic sheets which regularly inveighed against Jews in just that terminology, "'Jew' this and 'Jew' that."

The editors respond that the writer was correct insofar as it being bad usage of English, but add that in headline writing, space determined syntax on occasion. Had the newspaper been reporting in 1780, they suggest, then the headline might have read: "America Unit Victorious at King's Mountain".

But they could have squared the matter by simply saying: "Jewish Unit Threatens 'Blood for Blood'".

A letter from the commander of the local Howard Hughes American Legion Post thanks Dick Young for the publicity given the post in its sponsorship of the Old Fiddlers Convention. The event had raised $800 for charity and civic work in Charlotte.

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