The Charlotte News

Friday, May 30, 1947


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that a United Airlines DC-4 had crashed the previous night on attempted takeoff from La Guardia Airport in New York City during a heavy thunderstorm, killing 39 of the 48 people aboard, the worst commercial airline disaster thus far in the nation's history. The pilot survived the crash and informed the District Attorney that he had tried to gain altitude but nothing had happened. The plane continued on beyond the runway, and wound up in marshy ground on the other side of Grand Central Parkway, where it then burst into flames, burning to death at the scene 38 of the 39 dead passengers and crew. One died later. Fire and rain impeded efforts to identify the dead.

An eyewitness to the crash said that the plane had just cleared the runway when three of its four engines caught fire.

Another 80 persons were killed or were missing in a series of air mishaps around the world. In the worst air disaster of the occupation, 40 people were killed in the crash of an Army C-54 transport in a mountainous area 30 miles southwest of Tokyo. The plane had been bound for Korea with eight officers, 28 enlisted men, and four civilians aboard.

Another crash on take-off at Fairbanks, Alaska, the previous day took the lives apparently of three missing crewmen of a B-29. Nine others of the crew survived.

Twelve were killed in a collision of two planes at Tillburg, in the Netherlands.

Yet another crash took several lives in Iceland.

In Nicaragua, the remaining eight of a fifteen-man crew of a B-17, who had been forced to parachute into a dense jungle area when the plane went down on May 21, were rescued. The other seven had already been found. The men were separated by up to 10 miles and landed in a 50 square-mile area. The plane had been headed from Howard Field in the Panama Canal Zone to San Antonio when an engine caught fire. All of the survivors were in good condition.

In Budapest, it was reported that Hungarian Premier Ferenc Nagy had resigned, in what some called a Communist coup. The resignation had been submitted from Switzerland without reason.

In Vienna, Austrian police and about a hundred American military policemen used teargas to stop a hunger revolt among prisoners, most former Nazis, in the Vienna Federal Prison. The prisoners were upset that they had been denied receipt of food packages from relatives for several days.

Gee, that's tough. Maybe a diet is in order.

In Gary, Ind., a woman shot three times an intruder who sought to rob her confectionery. He staggered from the shop with $36 retrieved from the cash register, gave it to a passing motorist to drive him to the hospital, where he was listed in critical condition with two bullet wounds. The woman stated that she got her marksmanship training in an act with her father in which she shot the ashes off his cigar.

We trust that is a literal rather than figurative relating of the tale.

In Indianapolis, the annual Memorial Day 500-mile race cost the life of driver Shorty Cantlon when he crashed into a retaining wall. Billy Holland led the field at the 300-mile mark, followed by Mauri Rose, eventual winner, who took the lead after Mr. Holland took a pit-stop. Ted Horn was third, and Cliff Bergere, fourth.

Take the dead man off the track and let's get on with the race. If you can't drive the car, get off the speedway. Old lady drivers. Pass the popcorn.

The Southern Presbyterians opened their annual meeting at Montreat, N.C.

The third and last column of Burke Davis on the state's ABC system, to educate voters in the upcoming June 14 Mecklenburg County referendum on the subject, tells of the enforcement police of the ABC board, funded by at least five percent of the profits from the sale of legal liquor in the stores. Mecklenburg would obtain about 50 such officers working under a special chief. They would work to arrest bootleggers who, by the experience in other counties, would quickly begin to disappear.

An estimated million dollars of revenue would come to the county each year from the stores, with about $50,000 spent on law enforcement. It would lighten the load on courts, a major component of the caseload being liquor violators. In addition, $50,000 would go to the library, and the remaining $900,000, split between the county and city, with $9,000 to Charlotte Parks and Recreation, and 25 percent to debt retirement, and the balance of the City's share to the City Council general fund.

He supplies a chart of the tax rates in ABC counties versus what they would be without ABC revenue, and another chart of ABC sales and profits in these counties.

So, drink heartily for the sake of the library, parks and recreation, and the City Council. The alternative is the bootlegger and sordid assorted crime attached to him and his nefarious still. If you cannot beat them, learn to read your ABC's off their blood-soaking stupidity.

That's our sermon.

In London, cat burglars stole $8,000 in jewels and furs from the bedroom of Princess Romanovsky Pavlosky, then escaped in a foot chase following their discovery during a burglary of another home, that of Brig. General Andrew Clark, whose chase caused one of the burglars to fall through the glass roof of a neighboring building, nevertheless effecting escape. The Princess had been asleep in the bedroom as the thieves broke in and rifled her drawers and closet.

When you go on vacation this summer, The News will package your subscription and deliver it all when you return. Bear it in mind. That way, all the comics won't go to waste.

And when the boy finally delivers it, don't be surprised if the thusly collected bundle busts through a wall right into your eyes when he hurls it one morning at sunrise when you least expect it. Just be glad it contains no Chilean nitrate.

On the editorial page, "New Attack on the School Problem" tells of Governor Gregg Cherry having appointed a fairly representative, bi-racial commission to study education, pursuant to the $25,000 allocation by the State Legislature for the purpose.

The Governor had backing throughout the state by the people, as repeated counties voted to supplement the state raise in teacher pay with local bond measures. Only in Hickory had the election for such supplements failed, and that was complicated by an unfavorable local political situation.

"A Nomination for Oblivion" tells of General Eisenhower being of two minds, the old war horse, plumping for universal military training and general preparedness, and the peacemaker, waxing philosophical, as he had recently in New York, where he stated that war was a not a natural evil but rather man-made, increasing as man had conquered the threat from the natural environment, the forces of famine, fire, and pestilence. But those latter three natural evils were also formed and exacerbated by war. The war-preventing machinery developed by nations was analogous to the formation of fire departments on every corner to fight fires in tissue and tinderbox houses.

He had made a forceful point that the presence of vast armies no longer could assure against war. The piece finds that human progress might be defined by the difference between a bellicose Hannibal and the modern view of General Eisenhower.

"A Warning for South Carolina?" comments on the Grand Jury indictments in Kansas City during the week regarding the Democratic primary election of the President's hand-picked and Pendergast-machine supported Enos Axtell the previous August over Representative Roger Slaughter, who had been blocking the President's program in committee. The ballots from the election, secured by the Grand Jury for recount, had then been stolen by "'burglars'".

The Greenville News in South Carolina had wondered what the State could do if it were similarly challenged, and found that there was no machinery left in place for investigating election fraud. For, to keep blacks from the polls, the state had repealed its laws regulating primaries, turning the primaries into private functions sponsored by the parties.

The piece suggests that perhaps the private all-white club thus developed in the state would be of such impeccable integrity that no voter fraud could take place. But failing that, it could not see how the new system, with all form of regulation abolished, could help but stimulate such chicanery at the polls.

A piece from the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, titled "The Singed Little Flower", tells of Fiorello La Guardia having become upset that someone had called him a Communist in print, such that he was prepared to sue for libel for $100,000. The piece, however, recalls that Mr. La Guardia, in years past, had often been possessed of an acid tongue, himself. And, while they could search the records for example, with spring in the air, they rest content to sit on their hands in sympathy with the lawsuit.

The former Mayor and more lately, the former director of UNRRA, would pass away the following September.

Drew Pearson discusses the one-third cut to the Agriculture Department's budget by the House Appropriations Committee causing trouble in the Midwest, with both Republicans and Democrats from the farm districts yelling foul. One Republican charged that the Congress was treating the American farmer as the Russian Government treated serfs.

A primary bone of contention was the reduction of the $300,000 allocated previously by Congress to the farmers for soil conservation, slashed by the GOP-dominated Committee by $117,000. Some farmers had already received allotments in lime or fertilizer for the purpose and now the Government would not live up to its commitment to pay for it.

But Representatives Everett Dirksen of Illinois and Charles Plumley of Vermont countered that many farmers had, through the efforts of their county agents, become loaded with lime which they did not seek. Investigators had found lime rotting on the farms. (Hey, frame it!) Democratic Representative James Whitten of Mississippi, however, stated that he was not aware of such a condition and it was not true in his district.

But the Democrats on the subcommittee attacked most vehemently the elimination of the 30 percent set aside from import duties on foreign farm products to expand farm markets at home and abroad. For instance, this program had developed the use of starch from surplus potatoes and utilized surplus milk for school lunch programs for poor children. (Don't tell them, but it was that Democratic liberal milk which came from black cows, and they put chocolate in it to hide the taste. Grammar school is hard.)

Mr. Dirksen, however, while agreeing that the program had worked, believed that the money ought be allocated directly rather than through customs revenue.

Mr. Pearson next tells of a decision soon to be made whether to sell arms to Argentina and Juan Peron, Fascist dictator. All other relations with the Nazi-leaning nation had been normalized. Secretary of War Robert Patterson and Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal believed that Argentina would buy its arms elsewhere if America did not supply them and that the implications were thus dangerous to American and Pan-American interests. If America sold the arms, then it could train the soldiers in the use of them and the result would be more amicable relations—through joining arms.

He notes that it was true that the Brazilian Navy and Argentine Air Corps, both trained by the U.S., had been more friendly than the ground forces, trained by the Germans and French. But also, all the evidence supported the conclusion that sending arms to South America resulted in increased revolutions and greater rivalries between otherwise good neighbors. Argentina appeared to have designs on Chile, much as Hitler had on Czechoslovakia in 1938.

Other issues to be considered, such as dictator Peron's five-year plan, would be covered in a subequent column.

Marquis Childs, still in St. Paul, Minn., continues his transcript of a recorded conversation with former Minnesota Governor Harold Stassen, discussing further the Governor's idea of "regulated capitalism", with stress on the tendency toward monopoly in the country, which Mr. Stassen regarded as a major problem for the country as the principal creditor nation in the world. He believed that the United States ought encourage worldwide investment while developing a code of regulations to prevent international cartels and monopolies.

Old-style imperialism could become one of the causes of world economic crises, and could encourage thereby a turn to Communism.

He believed that in recent years the Government had not examined enough the wartime concentration of wealth and corporate monopoly. Development of new small business needed to be encouraged by regulation of these trends and revitalization of the tax code, with lessening of government regulation to stimulate such small business development.

He supported new labor regulation to reduce the number of strikes but without going too far. If labor's share of the production fruits were maintained too low, then crisis would again come, as in the Great Depression. During the twenties, national productivity and profits rose as never before, but wages were kept at a low level at a time when unions were weak. The result was a growth of consumer credit and eventual collapse of the banks as consumer power lagged behind.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop wonder whether foreign policy would become the principal issue in the 1948 campaign. Since General Marshall had become Secretary of State in January, bi-partisan support of foreign policy had gradually diminished, but there were hints that the trend might be halted.

With world economic crisis impending, it was plain that Secretary Marshall and the President would need call on Congress by the winter to provide large-scale foreign aid. And while there was respect for the stature of General Marshall, it did not supplant the confidential relationship which had existed between the Congress and the Administration when Secretary Byrnes was in charge of the State Department. General Marshall, while recognizing courtesy with Congress, had not engaged in frank, private talks with Congressional leaders before or since the Moscow Foreign Ministers Council meeting. He had met with Senator Arthur Vandenberg, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, only once since his return and that was solely to discuss the treaty with Italy.

Should the relationship continue in that vein, foreign policy would become a dominant issue in the campaign. While Senator Vandenberg and some other leading Republicans might vote with the Administration on the issue of further aid, they would not take the role of leadership of other Republicans in this course unless the Administration took them into its confidence in the formation of foreign policy.

It had to be recalled, they remind, that Secretary Byrnes, in the early weeks of his tenure, had also let the relationship with Congress, enjoyed by predecessor Edward Stettinius, deteriorate. And Undersecretary Dean Acheson, now departing the State Department, had been essential in preserving the relationship with Congress during this interlude as Secretary Marshall adjusted to the role. There were signs that the interlude in relations was drawing to a close.

A letter finds the WCTU to be a worthy organization, as long as it would stick to education, and not campaign for prohibition by law. He finds the Christian element of the organization violated when it did so, for not forgiving civil wrongs, but rather seeking to add to the penalties.

He had read recently of a man sentenced in England to six months in jail for robbing the poor-box. The latter day Christians wanted to throw the book at offenders, when Christ said to forgive "seventy times seven".

He finds most instructive on abstinence Paul's statement, "If meat cause my brother to offend, I will eat no more meat while the world stands." He had not urged prohibiting the sale of meat.

A letter writer likewise was impressed with this statement, the subject recently of Rev. C. E. Kraemer of the First Presbyterian Church in the city. As a visitor to the city, he saw no alcohol in evidence, but in reading occasionally the "Peoples' Platform", he had concluded that the city must be a dangerous, lawless place. He thinks the ABC opponents ought look at Paul's sermon on meat.

A letter writer says that she will vote against the ABC stores, for the usual reasons. She doesn't like the ABC's.

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