The Charlotte News

Wednesday, May 7, 1947


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Representative James Richards of South Carolina, seeking to avert a campaign to sidetrack the 400-million dollar aid bill for Greece and Turkey, had contended to the House that Russia had joined the U.N. to defeat its purpose and was not in good faith. Congressman Leroy Johnson of California echoed the sentiments.

Representative Karl Mundt of South Dakota stated that HUAC was investigating a "pro-Soviet" talk at Western High School in Washington by Aleksandra Pavlona Lewis, wife of the former code clerk at the American Embassy in Moscow. Her talk had triggered a student demonstration, four students walking out of the lecture in protest of Ms. Lewis's alleged unfair comparison of the Russian and American systems. They were especially offended when she compared Russian and American schools, noting that Russian schools were free.

By all means, let us investigate that important matter. For if four teenaged students walk out of a lecture, boy, it must be a serious issue worthy of the Congress of the United States pulling down the very heavens if necessary to get to the bottom of this Commie plot to infiltrate the minds of American youth.

It is good to know that Mr. Mundt was on the job.

A picture of a bullfight appears on the page, showing the bull forcing the bullfighter from the ring.

Senator Styles Bridges of New Hampshire stated that the Post Office Department was engaged in a campaign of propaganda by contending that Congressional budget cuts would curtail mail service. He said that the Post Office Department was already living beyond its means.

In St. Louis, the president of the Southern Baptist Convention attacked the February Supreme Court decision, Everson v. Board of Education, which had held that providing Catholic parochial school children transportation on public school buses did not violate the Constitution's First Amendment Establishment Clause, necessitating separation of church and state. He believed that the decision was an attack on religious freedom, violating the wall between church and state.

Striking telephone unions in Wisconsin and the District of Columbia, comprised of 11,000 workers, settled their strikes. The total workers on strike numbered 300,000. The D.C. workers accepted pay increases of between $2 and $4 per week. The details of the Wisconsin settlement were not available.

Meanwhile, the National Federation of Telephone Workers abandoned efforts the previous night to reach a national settlement of the 31-day old strike.

The Government was still hopeful of an imminent settlement of the strike between the A.T.&T. Long Lines Division and the American Union of Telephone Workers, an affiliate of NFTW.

In Charlotte, the strike was facing financial difficulty and the ardor with which the strikers were pursuing the strike appeared to be weakening. Twenty or more strikers gave up and returned to work. Private donations had been coming to the union to be distributed to the workers.

J. A. Daly reports of the Charlotte Aviation Committee having amended its petition for rehearing before the Civil Aeronautics Board to obtain routes to Chicago and other points west and northwest, citing a finding that if Pennsylvania Central Airlines had service into Charlotte, the city could have increased its passenger traffic by 50 percent the previous year. It also desired a route from Delta. The CAB had denied in March the city's original peition for lines in addition to the limited service afforded by Eastern Air Lines.

In Chicago, a little boy, age 6, who had been seriously burned in a fire, was anxious to try on his new roller skates which he had received as a gift. His father was unable to tell him directly that he could not use the skates because both of his legs had been amputated.

In Charlotte, a prominent business man, owner of the Carolina Scale Shop, was found dead, possibly the victim of murder. He had taken a drink of whisky and shortly thereafter died of cyanide poisoning. It was believed that the whisky was intentionally laced with the poison.

A photograph and story appear of Avak Hagopian, a twenty-year old Armenian with reported powers to heal by prayer, arriving in New York to begin his healing. He would first practice on the crippled 37-year old son of an Armenian wine producer in California, worth ten million dollars. Many had crowded forward at his arrival at La Guardia in an effort to touch the young, uneducated mechanic.

The father of the crippled man said that if Avak cured his son, who had been hit by a bus when nine years old, he would build a memorial healing center to which people could come to be healed.

We look forward to that. It has got to be cheaper than the hospitals.

If it does not work out, he can always service the winemaker's motor pool.

Time describes him as a goldsmith's apprentice. So, he could hammer out a nice neck chain for the boss on the side, maybe, to remunerate the airfare and lodging.

That's better than winding up in the Bay. Take it or leave it, pal.

On the editorial page, "Charlotte's New City Council" tells of the previous day's city runoff election, in which only a fourth of the eligible voters participated, nevertheless having provided competent government for the City, with a representative City Council having been elected. Seven were veterans of either the Spanish-American War, World War I, or World War II, only three of whom were youthful, however, in the spirit of the promised new blood by the state Democratic G.I. organization formed a year earlier.

"The Communists Place an Ad" comments on an ad of the North Carolina District of the American Communist Party appearing in this date's newspaper. It explains that it was publishing the ad because of the newspaper's faith in civil liberties and the legal nature of the Communist Party in the country, thus entitled to protection by the Constitution. As long as the organization's statements were not seditious, they had the right to publish their ideas.

While advertising went beyond mere expression of ideas and entered the realm of salesmanship, it could only sell a product ultimately acceptable to the public. Should it fail, it would disappear. It asserts that the Communist philosophy, as advertised, could not survive the test of public acceptance and thus there was no reasonable fear of its attempt to be accepted.

That begs the question of whether an unsavory but popular philosophy should be denied the right of access to advertising for the fact of its popularity.

"Hedge Against Unpreparedness" backtracks from the editorial column's recent stand in favor of Universal Military Training, favored by most military experts, finding a persuasive argument being made against its necessity by the New York Times military expert, Hanson Baldwin, and Maj. General John S. Wood, wartime commander of the Fourth Armored Division. They reasoned that UMT was unnecessary because the country had amply trained personnel from the war to last through the ensuing decade, and the paltry six months of training under UMT would not be of use in any actual war. A conventional war would require a build-up again of military strength, affording ample time for training of personnel in any event. And an atomic war with rockets would find only limited use for ground personnel.

Thus, the two experts had concluded that UMT was a waste of time and effort. The piece finds that it agrees.

A piece from the Asheville Citizen, titled "Tyranny of the Hemline", tells of an English correspondent to the Washington Post having written to plead for the influence of the newspaper to be brought to bear in contraposition to the effort at lengthening hemlines to frumpish dimensions.

New York and Paris had sent down a ukase, however, that the hemline was to go to mid-calf or lower. That was to be the fashion.

The short skirt had emerged in 1920, receded briefly in 1923, and went to 21 inches above the floor in 1928. By 1932, it had declined to ten inches, and then began slowly rising again with better economic times until the war, when it leveled off.

The fashion tyrants would likely have the last word on the subject.

You just wait twenty years, you old fashion-wise fuddy-duddies.

Drew Pearson discusses the meeting between AFL and CIO leaders in Washington regarding possible merger of the two labor organizations. Philip Murray, president of CIO, and UAW president Walter Reuther wanted the two organizations to enter upon a trial merger for the purpose of defeating the Congressional legislation. William Green, head of AFL, believed that the two organizations were already doing so. John L. Lewis of UMW vociferously advocated defeating the labor legislation, as the Republicans could not be trusted any more than the Democrats. Such a statement surprised the others at the meeting, as Mr. Lewis had been politically hand-in-glove with the Republicans since 1940.

Mr. Murray also suggested that the unions agree to eliminate or curb through arbitration any jurisdictional strikes and secondary boycotts, to head off the Congressional effort to ban them. Mr. Green responded that the jurisdictional strike had been a problem in AFL unions for 75 years and that nothing could be done to stop the practice.

Mr. Murray wanted the new organization to be formed in a true spirit of merger, with a new name, the Congress of American Labor. At that, AFL balked, with Mr. Green and Mr. Lewis insisting that CIO simply come back into AFL with equal standing and that the smaller AFL auto and textile unions would be merged with the CIO counterparts.

Finally, after Mr. Murray threatened to walk out of the meeting because of dogmatic behavior by Mr. Lewis, demanding that CIO cooperate or abandon hope of merger, the meeting adjourned to an indefinite future date without resolution.

Marquis Childs tells of the labor bill shaping up in Congress with thunder and lightning of a threatening nature. The forces who wanted a tough bill believed it would work to Republican advantage should the President veto the measure. The inner circle at the White House took a different approach.

The President, should he veto the bill, would be powerless to stop a coal strike after the mines reverted to private ownership from Government operation on June 30. The present restrictions imposed by law on strikes against the Government would no longer apply and the Government could not seek an injunction to prevent a private strike under current law. The country could in consequence be shut down for weeks by John L. Lewis, bent on revenge for his being shown up by the Government during the winter in the contempt proceeding.

The Republicans could then point an accusatory finger at the President for not signing the labor bill, which would afford a cooling off period before a strike could be called.

But he could sign the bill and express that he was doing so regretfully, citing these very emasculating contingencies if he were to veto it. Some of the President's advisers were counseling that labor's power was on the wane, with the public no longer sympathetic to national strikes. So he might very well gain by making it clear that his actions in signing such a bill were in the public interest.

The President's order to investigate any personnel in the Federal Government who were not able to pass a loyalty test had nullified to a great extent the Republican effort to cloak the Truman Administration in a Red coat for 1948, suggesting Communist influence within the Executive Branch. The Truman Doctrine, being strongly antipathetic to Communism, would not tolerate the attempt to place the red stamp on the Administration. Thus, what the Republicans had left as a potential trump card in the election was the labor controversy.

Samuel Grafton finds some muttering within the business community that the President's meager drive to obtain voluntary reduction of prices might precipitate a recession by prompting consumers to wait until prices dropped before buying.

But the notion was capricious, blaming talk by the President about high prices for the economic troubles on the horizon, rather than the high prices themselves. It went along with the canard that high production would bring about lower prices, when prices remained high despite record peacetime production, "a notion which makes more than one business man today, looking over his crowded stock room, laugh like a wild thing."

Conservative economists were rejoicing privately over the latest wage increases, believing that the additional buying power in the workers' pockets would lead to greater consumption and avoid a severe economic downturn. They did not say so publicly because it would violate the myth that high wages were the source of the problem.

When these questionable theories were added to the restrictive labor legislation, the sum was a nonsensical approach to the economy, if the goal was in fact to avoid a recession or depression. It was a conceptualization born of unreality and one which was highly doubtful of positive effect on the economy.

A letter from the pastor of the First Wesleyan Methodist Church of Charlotte responds to a letter of May 1 which had responded to his previous letter of April 28 citing various Biblical verses proscribing consumption of alcohol. The responding letter writer had cited other verses which he believed not to condemn strong drink or wine, and urging voters to vote their personal understanding of the issue of liquor control in the June 14 referendum, irrespective of Biblical verse.

The pastor asserts that the responding writer had lifted passages out of context when his own verses were contextual, and so tries to set the record straight.

Of course, the issue was not support or not by the Bible but the simple fact that proven experience had shown that prohibition did not decrease drinking and only increased the crime of bootlegging and all its unsavory concomitant criminal activity, including murder.

A letter tells of a Superior Court judge, who, a year earlier, on March 26, 1946, had been reported by The News as finding more crime in dry counties than in counties with ABC stores to control sale, now apparently changing his mind. Sitting on the bench in Carteret County, the same judge had decried the ABC stores in that county as having led young people to start drinking. He had voted for the stores but now believed it to have been a mistake.

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