The Charlotte News

Friday, May 9, 1947


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the House defeated amendments to the Greece-Turkey aid bill to ban use of American combat forces and limit the size of any military mission to one hundred men in either of the two countries. The proponent of the measures, Representative George Bender of Ohio, a Republican, labeled the bill an attempt to create an "insane military alliance" in the name of providing food and clothing to Greece and Turkey. Supporters of the bill stated that such a move would invite the Soviets to take an enriched prize, knowing that they could do so without military contest.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted unanimously to approve the peace treaties with Italy, Bulgaria, Rumania, and Hungary. The treaties would now proceed to a floor vote where two-thirds approval was required for ratification. Some opposition to the treaty with Italy had centered on a clause demilitarizing the country, with the contention that it would then be exposed to the same kind of Russian expansion which the proposed aid bill for Greece and Turkey was designed to prevent. The Administration had expressly disagreed with this point.

In Cleveland, Miss., Undersecretary of State Dean Acheson, speaking to the Delta Council, a group of farmers and businessmen, favored a five-point postwar economic program for reconstruction of Germany and Japan. He stated that Secretary Marshall had insisted that such a program, which included opening the doors to imports, needed to go forward immediately, without waiting for Big Four approval.

Following the settlement of the long distance operators' strike, the operators refused to cross picket lines on the East Coast, and the same situation was believed to exist nationally. The NFTW estimated that 250,000 of the 287,000 strikers who had walked off the job on April 7 remained on strike. About 50,000 non-union workers had returned to work.

The Senate voted against a labor bill amendment, proposed by Senator Joseph Ball of Minnesota, which would have enabled employers to obtain injunctions against both jurisdictional strikes and secondary boycotts. The argument against the bill was that it would lead inevitably to repeal of the Norris-La Guardia Act of 1932, which prohibited injunctions against strikes.

In St. Martinsville, La., 18-year old Willie Francis, previously convicted of a murder committed during a holdup, was executed in the electric chair on a second attempt at administering the penalty. The first time, a year earlier, the voltage was insufficient and the attempt had failed. The case of Mr. Francis made its way then to the U.S. Supreme Court on the contention that to try to execute him a second time amounted to cruel and unsual punishment, proscribed by the Eighth Amendment. The Court found otherwise, based on the particular circumstances of the first attempt, that there was insufficient suffering to bar a second try, there being no "wanton or deliberate" infliction of unnecessary pain in the first attempt.

Mr. Francis died calmly. The holdup which cost the druggist victim his life, and ultimately that of Mr. Francis, had netted four dollars and a watch.

In New York, an NYU coed, 21, was thrown by a man suddenly and bodily in front of a moving subway train, but onlookers were able to rescue her before the train made contact. They then beat up the assailant. The train had stopped fifteen feet short of where the woman had been thrown. Apparently, the man did not know the coed.

Also in New York, a panhandler pushed another panhandler, his friend, onto the tracks of a subway train, killing him. They had quarreled over the split of the day's profits, $6. The two men had panhandled together for five years, with the man who killed the other often posing as a blind man. He apologized to police and said that he had lost his head.

In Los Angeles, actress Laraine Day had her California divorce granted but with the proviso that the judge considered her previous Mexican dissolution to be a nullity. The judge set aside a previous show cause order by another Superior Court judge re the validity of the previous divorce, allegedly obtained by fraudulent statements. The divorce decree would not become final under California law until the following January.

Ms. Day was married in El Paso, Texas, to Brooklyn Dodgers manager Leo Durocher shortly after the Mexican divorce.

There was no mention of the fact of the bigamy at issue. Recently, in North Carolina, Judge Sam Ervin had sent to jail a couple on charges of bigamy for just such shenanigans, obtaining a divorce in Nevada, not entitled to full faith and credit in North Carolina because of inadequate domicile in the forum state. The divorced spouse had contested the validity of the divorce. After it was held invalid, the State charged bigamy.

In Hollywood, actor Glenn Ford burned his hand in a fire on the set of a Civil War movie, "The Man from Colorado". Gasoline used to start the fire had suddenly exploded. An extra was also injured.

Served that Yankee right for tryin' to burn down the town of the good folk. He 'as lucky to get out with just a burned hand.

On the editorial page, "The Path to Prosperity" finds that Mill & Factory, a trade publication, had found in a survey of labor and industrial leaders that management and labor agreed that the path to prosperity was through ever-increasing production. Labor believed that the best way to obtain wage increases without raising prices was through increased production and improved efficiency.

Yet, in practice, management was maintaining artificially high prices while labor was engaged in feather-bedding and make-work practices.

All had agreed that in 1941, after a century of continuing advance in production, output per man-hour began to decline. When the upward trend was restored, the economic storm would subside.

"Teaching Is Still a Profession" points out that, according to the National Education Association, the trend among educators was toward increasing the effectiveness of current professional organizations, not formation of militant teacher unions. The unions which had formed, predicted an article in the NEA Journal, would decline as conditions in the profession improved. It was pointed out that teaching was a profession and not a trade, and thus should not resort to strikes, which, if undertaken, would amount to an abdication of the public trust.

It finds admirable the fact that the teachers were maintaining their principles in the face of considerably lower pay than similarly trained professionals. But their willingness to sacrifice could not be exploited indefinitely. It was the duty of every citizen to see that financial rewards were increased commensurate with the high standards set by the profession.

"Another Look at Huey Long" agrees with the Pulitzer Prize juries on its award for editorial writing in 1946 to The Wall Street Journal, and with its literary award to All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren. Mr. Warren, a Southerner, had presented an excellent fictionalized account of Huey Long. The account was more tolerant than that of John Dos Passos in Number One and less sentimental than the story by Adrian Locke Langley in A Lion in the Street. Mr. Warren's work added dimensions, which the other two authors had overlooked, to the Long-like character—the classic Machiavellian figure, semi-comic, semi-tragic, making a fine pretense, educated, yet buffoon-laden fop, of being a populist.

The piece wonders whether Huey Long might have risen to power in another manner than through corruption and selling out the very people he professed to love and represent. Whatever the answer, the saga could not be repeated too oft as the system still bred in politics such adherents to personal expediency.

It hopes that the example of Mr. Warren would inspire others to mine further the literary vein.

Little did the editorial reckon that as it was being written, a Congressman from California, receiving his legal education in North Carolina less than a decade earlier, was busy following in the footsteps of Mr. Long, without so much of the populist, folksy appeal of the latter, a kind of strait-laced Long-fellow who learned his craft well during his short stay in the South, prepping himself in the wings for his part in the grand play as a sophisticated version of the crafty old Southern pol who everyone knew was as corrupt as dirt but fell nevertheless on their knees in obeisance to his will as he passed dispensing patronage and personal favor to his loyal retinue, providing that which they wanted to hear to make themselves feel better about their depressed or even depraved lot.

This latter-day Long-fellow would emerge into the spotlight very soon as a member of HUAC, doing that from which he would make his career, attacking the integrity of good people, branding them falsely as inimical Communists or fellow-travelers for his own political advantage. If, indeed, which was in fact not the case, he later gave to his "enemies" the sword which they then twisted with relish, he was the grand swordsman in the play all along and deserved thus whatever back thrusts he finally received, and much worse.

A piece from the Christian Science Monitor, titled "Luncheon at the Platypusary", tells of a luncheon for New Yorkers and out-of-town guests at the Bronx Zoo platypusary for three goodwill ambassador-platypuses from Australia. Usually, they arose only at night, but exception was to be made for the mid-afternoon greeting.

Drew Pearson tells of Raymond Patenotre, the grandson of the deceased owner of the Philadelphia Inquirer, being wanted by the Government for alleged tax fraud of eight million dollars and, after having remained in voluntary exile from the country to avoid capture and prosecution, having returned to the United States. The Government had frozen three million dollars of his assets and he was trying to obtain it. Meanwhile, bigshot lobbyists were trying to get the tax fraud charge lifted from the Patenotre family. His attorney had been charged with swearing a false statement in connection with the taxes of Mr. Patenotre's mother, but had not been prosecuted.

He next informs of Supreme Court Justice Frank Murphy and former Federal Appeals Court Judge Thurman Arnold, being the executors of the estate of Evalyn Walsh McLean, having for a short time had sole possession of the Hope Diamond and other family jewels, having the duty to find a secure place of storage. The jewels had been stored in shoeboxes by the recently deceased Washington socialite. As she had died two weeks earlier on a Saturday, the two executors were hard pressed to find temporary shelter for the jewels with all of the banks closed. They rode around Washington for an hour or so with about four million dollars worth of jewels, until finally obtaining the consent of J. Edgar Hoover to open the FBI vaults as a temporary depository.

He notes that Russia wanted to buy the Hope Diamond as its original owner had been Catherine the Great.

We note that the Hope Diamond curse enthusiasts leave out this anecdote and the fact that Justice Murphy would pass away two years hence, in July, 1949, at age 59. Thurman Arnold, however, would live until 1969. So perhaps it disserves the legend of the curse to point out this bit of fate in passing, its results being mixed. Surely, however, there must have been some tragedy in the Arnold household which might be cited to the 9's as supporting evidence. You must dig, dig, dig deep for your curses, curse-people.

Mr. Pearson next informs that Harry Thaw, the millionaire convicted of murdering architect Stanford White, had left a $25 bequest in his will to writer Clare Sheridan, cousin of Winston Churchill. She said that she had never met Mr. Thaw and would give the money to British food relief. Mr. Thaw had also left a small amount to columnist Walter Winchell.

Marine Corps Commandant Alexander Vandegrift had recently met with General Eisenhower to discuss the bill before Congress to merge the Army and Navy. General Vandegrift wanted the Marines to be separate from the Army. General Eisenhower agreed that the traditional amphibious mission of the Corps would be maintained in the new set-up and would be separate, under the supervision of the Navy. General Eisenhower refused, however, to commit on separate representation on the Joint Chiefs. He adamantly opposed the request that the Marines have a separate occupation force for foreign duty, General Eisenhower insisting that occupation was strictly the job of the Army.

Marquis Childs tells of an election coming up in the State of Washington to fill the vacant seat of deceased Congressman Fred Norman, a Republican, an election which could foretell the direction the country might take in 1948. The Democrats contesting in the primary held opposing viewpoints on the Truman Doctrine, one being very supportive and the other, opposed, the latter taking the line of Henry Wallace, favoring U.N. intervention in the matter of Greece and Turkey rather than unilateral action by the United States.

The Republican candidates were very much alike, following Republican doctrine on foreign and domestic programs.

The Democrats hoped to use the Republican cuts to power and reclamation projects, so vital to the Pacific Northwest, to gain support. Representative Henry Jackson of Washington was the only Democratic member of the delegation and the only member seeking to restore the cut appropriations for reclamation and power projects to the Department of Interior.

The final votes on the cut to the Bonneville Dam project, sought to be restored by Senator Wayne Morse of Oregon, and the other cuts in power and reclamation would come up prior to the June 7 Washington primary date, and would be closely watched by Washington voters. The outcome might determine the outcome of the vote.

Samuel Grafton finds that the New York Herald Tribune had accurately described the country as turning away from intellectual principles and toward brute force as a means of enforcement of both domestic and foreign policy. On the domestic front, the House had approved 35 million dollars as an appropriation for the FBI but had virtually destroyed the effectiveness of the Bureau of Labor Statistics which kept track of wages and costs.

On the foreign front, the State Department's information agency and Voice of America broadcasts had been trimmed to the bone while 400 million dollars was to be appropriated for aid to Greece and Turkey, in what would be essentially a police action to oppose Soviet expansion in the Dardanelles.

So, on both fronts, the trend was toward a strong police force and a considerably emasculated effort at transmittal of information as a means to guide legislation domestically and to aid in the peace effort abroad.

Whenever someone arose to say that the democratic ideals of the country were its strongest assets and entirely adequate tools for maintaining security, their cries were ignored "like that of a lost cat on the back fence", and those voices had diminished in number within the preceding few months.

A letter writer believes that the 400-million dollar loan to Greece and Turkey would be for building up their military apparati and that more money, stretching into billions, would eventually be spent in those countries. He also predicts that millions of Americans would be lost fighting there one day.

Woe, horsy.

A letter from Inez Flow again addresses the liquor issue, again from the same standpoint as always. She was agin it from the get-go. She asks in conclusion: "Would Christ vote for ABC stores?"

Well, we could ask him when we next run into him.

We'll put in a question about the DEF store while we're about it.

A letter from the president of the Charlotte Lions Club thanks Martha Azer of The News for her report on the Lions Club program for the visually handicapped. The Club maintained cigar stands, gum machines, and a workshop for the blind.

Framed Edition
[Return to Links
Page by Subject] [Return to Links-Page by Date] [Return to News<i><i><i>--</i></i></i>Framed Edition]
Links-Date -- Links-Subj.