The Charlotte News

Friday, June 6, 1947


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports repeated Communist attempts at control in the Balkans, that the chief of the Communist opposition in Bulgaria had been arrested this date on charges of conspiring against the Communist-dominated Government. The leading Communist in Hungary, strong man Matyas Rakosi, bragged that the Communists had undertaken the coup the previous week before the Americans could blink. Communist Premier Petru Groza of Rumania and members of his Cabinet departed for Belgrade where, it was reported, a Balkan federation, dominated by Russia, was being formed.

The State Department meanwhile sent a chastising note to Russia, bearing the imprimatur of the President, accusing it of illegal interference in Hungary's internal affairs by fomenting the coup which unseated from power Premier Ferenc Nagy and his number two man. The note threatened appeal to the U.N.

In Budapest, people huddled in cellars nightly to listen to broadcasts of foreign news. Conversations in cafes were carried on in whispers. It was reported that in Gyombo, ten miles south of Budapest, the police had confiscated all radios and warned the citizens not to listen to foreign broadcasts.

Other rumors told of mass arrests in Rumania and Russian troops gathering on the border with Bessarabia.

John Hightower of the Associated Press reports that one of the reasons being offered for Secretary of State Marshall's speech the previous day at Harvard—to become known as the speech enunciating the Marshall Plan for rebuilding Europe, albeit actually outlined in several speeches and policy initiatives—was that he deemed it of utmost importance to have the Europeans create a blueprint for their own economic reconstruction to avoid the increasing bitterness in Europe being directed at the U.S. for the perception that that it was dictating policy.

The Marshall Plan was thus to place the responsibility for directing use of the American aid on the shoulders of Europeans, to prove that they could take the initiative in rebuilding their war-shattered economies, a condition precedent to furnishing aid in the future. It was not clear, however, from whence the leadership to accomplish these ends would come.

Despite billions of dollars in aid having been pumped into Europe during the prior two years since VE-Day, it was said to be worse off than a few months earlier. One of the principal problems involved the persisting trade barriers between nations.

It was reported from Seoul that a steady stream of Koreans were migrating south from the Russian to the American occupation zone, with 36,592 refugees being registered by the U.S. Army in May.

In Wusih, China, 90 miles west of Shanghai, the Chinese workers for the five newspapers forced the papers to shut down and ask that the Government liquidate their assets, when the workers struck for payment in rice, a demand which the publishers stated that they were incapable of meeting.

Herbert Evatt, External Affairs Minister for Australia, voiced approval of the Truman Doctrine, that it meant the end of the era of "peace at any price" and coddling forces of control.

Former Vice-President Henry Wallace, speaking the previous night in Raleigh, N.C., stated that the world needed a peace treaty between the United States and Russia before any other peace treaties could effectively be concluded. He said that the Truman Doctrine was strengthening Communism rather than capitalism and that the country was proceeding on a suicidal course by cooperating with reactionaries around the world.

Both the U.S. and Russia, he continued, had overplayed their hands with mutual suspicion. He charged that the Republicans in Congress, under the leadership of Senator Arthur Vandenberg, were more remorselessly sabotaging peace than they had after World War I, in 1920 and 1921, under the leadership of Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, Sr., of Massachusetts—rejecting then American participation in the League of Nations and thus stripping that organization of any hope of effective curtailment of rearmament and economic planning to avoid the hunger which beset Europe and gave support for the likes of Mussolini and Hitler.

Mr. Wallace, beginning a tour of the South, would speak this night at Montgomery, Alabama.

Senator Claude Pepper of Florida urged Americans to pay attention to Mr. Wallace's advice and that he would work also to try to return the Democrats to support of liberal policies. He differed, however, from Mr. Wallace on the latter's previously enunciated intention not to support President Truman for re-election, stating that he would remain loyal to the Democratic Party and President Truman, come what may.

Senator Styles Bridges of New Hampshire was glad that Mr. Wallace was pursuing a third party track but was traveling under a banner which contained "an abundant amount of red" in its coloring.

Democrats, including Representatives Clarence Cannon of Missouri and Albert Gore of Tennessee, charged that the Republicans would never reach their goal of cutting the President's 37.5 billion dollar budget by six billion dollars, that, after review of two-thirds of the budget, they had managed to cut only 3.25 billion, 1.5 billion of which was said to be "phony", as it represented an 800-million dollar cut in tax refunds which would have to appropriated later, and another 830 million in a mere bookkeeping transaction, involving note cancellations of the Consumer Credit Corporation.

Senator Robert Taft, replying to the President's criticism that he was following a "fallacious and dangerous" boom-and-bust economic theory, accused the President of creating the basic conditions which caused high prices to occur. The President had responded to a statement by the Senator that the Administration was following a policy of providing foreign aid which maintained high prices domestically. Among other things, Mr. Taft replied that the President had vetoed the first OPA bill the previous latter June and then, following the election in November, had abandoned all of OPA, despite, according to Mr. Taft, the Congress giving the President full authority to continue to regulate most prices.

Of course, that was a load of poppycock on the part of Mr. Taft.

Senator James Murray of Montana criticized the Taft-Hartley bill as being indicative of the Republican Congress allowing the National Association of Manufacturers to be the spokesperson for the economic system.

In Taylorsville, N.C., Alexander County celebrated its centennial, with participants adorning costumes from the previous century. Parachutists of the 82nd Airborne Division out of Fort Bragg marched with residents dressed as pioneers in coonskin caps, while others in the parade bore the habit of Confederate and Yankee troops of the Civil War, while still others were dressed as belles out of the Gay Nineties or veterans of the First and Second World Wars, or hoop-skirted ladies of the antebellum era—affording a mixed metaphor to say the least. Some were in modern limousines, others in Model T's and covered wagons.

A 400-member cast re-enacted the county's history in a pageant titled "Echoes of Alexander County".

One-legged Moses Austin, it is recounted, had driven a giant ox hitched to a sled seven miles each day to the courthouse in Taylorsville to take up his post as the first register of deeds in the county in 1847. Jonathan Barrett, a trapper and hunter, had first settled the area in 1750.

In Los Angeles, Governor Earl Warren, father of six children, was chosen as the "ideal father" by the All-American Congress.

Robert Eunson of the Associated Press reports on the third anniversary of D-Day from Cherbourg, France, where he visited an American cemetery set among apple trees. He tells of 90,000 Allied losses during the Cherbourg campaign to break through the endless hedgerows finally at St. Lo and enable the fast move into Paris a month later, in August, 1944. There were nine American cemeteries in Normandy, bearing 28,462 white crosses, the heavy losses ascribed principally to the arduous fighting required to get through the hedgerows where Nazi machine gunners set up nests and waited for the Americans to emerge, and where anti-aircraft gunners could fire at will on parachutists, resulting in a five-to-one kill ratio. Only 5,000 Germans were buried in Normandy.

One veteran of the campaign listed the causes for the heavy casualties in the area as the hedgerows, the breaks in the hedgerows, and the shells exploding in the trees. Each farm was bordered in Normandy by hedgerows, affording perfect ambuscades behind which the Germans could lie in wait. The same veteran, Major Robert Crisson, a picture of whom appears looking across Utah Beach, stated that of the 600 men under his command who participated in the initial assault on Normandy, only seven came out of the war alive.

On the editorial page, "The Government and Housing" finds the absence of discussion of the housing shortage to be one of the stranger manifestations of the time. In consequence, the Wagner-Ellender-Taft long-term housing bill had been buried in committee. But the Administration had performed no better in the area than the Congress, earlier pushing out Housing Expediter Wilson Wyatt after a year, despite his prodigious efforts to use the limited resources available to him to implement a housing program. He had been replaced by Frank Creedon, friend to the construction industry.

Enough controls on building priorities and materials had been retained to annoy builders, but not enough to encourage building of low and medium-cost housing. Housing starts had declined in the first quarter, compared to the first quarter of 1946. Prices remained high on that which was available. The homeless veteran in consequence seemed to have given up hope for ascertaining fault, only wanted an affordable home.

The present system of a few controls, it opines, was no solution to the problem.

"A Raise for the GI Student" tells of a bill before the Veterans Committee in the House, sponsored by freshman Congressman Hamilton Jones of Mecklenburg, to raise the stipend for G.I. students from $65 to $75 for single persons and $90 to $105 for married G.I.'s, plus an additional $20 for the first child and $15 for each additional child.

The piece supports the effort as the current outlay provided for only subsistence living and the program to offer free education to G.I.'s was an important piece of the puzzle for reconversion of the economy to peacetime on a fully productive and stable basis, such being essential to worldwide economic stability and thus maintenance of peace into the future.

"Education by Remote Control" tells of two students of the University of Louisville who worked by day at Fort Knox and commuted to classes at night, having thus found it sometimes difficult to stay awake in physics class. To fill in the exiguities resultant of nodding off, they had taken to employment of a wire recorder to take down verbatim the professor's lectures whenever...

It prompts the piece to ask why then professors should not simply tape their lectures and send them to students, and then students could share them with neighbors.

The piece, while not saying so, undoubtedly understood that the answer to its rhetorical questions lay in part in the fact that a necessary ingredient for an effective college education is attendance of classes on a regular basis and being a part of the social environment of the college campus. It is an irreplaceable experience. The motivation to learn, once achieved in that environment, might be called forth by such remote control devices later in life. But the initial live experience as a foundation cannot be substituted artifically by vicarious means such as audio or even video recordings of live lectures. You can figure out the reasons for yourself, perhaps analogizing to the difference in subjective experience between watching a video presentation of a live play and attending a live performance.

It brings to mind a class we had in New Deal and Fair Deal history under a former chancellor of the University, a Kenan Professor earning therefore $100,000 per year in the early 1970's, who once caught a student taping his lecture, abruptly stopped the class, quite out of character, and proceeded to order the student, in no uncertain or briefly stated terms, to stop the tape recording and not repeat it again, saying that the lecture was "worth $100,000" and was not therefore subject to being recorded.

This Professor, J. Carlisle Sitterson, was one of the better we ever had, was a staunch defender of freedom of speech during his tenure as chancellor, and so the incident caused us to ponder why he had been so adamant about not having his lectures recorded other than through ordinary taking of notes. We venture that part of the answer may have been that taking notes and listening carefully to a lecture in person are as much a part of the experience necessary to the learning process as reading textual material included in a syllabus and taking examinations or writing theme papers in the course. Without careful note-taking at some stage, one's ability to relate the subject matter in writing might prove frail and freighted with difficulty. Without careful attention to live lectures, efficient note-taking, during or after the fact, is not easily accomplished. Use of a tape recorder provides an illusory basis for skipping note-taking or provides to other students a surrogate in class to avoid attendance, perhaps on a rotating basis.

As with all classes at the University, there were no attendance records maintained, and so attendance of classes was entirely the responsibility of the student, it being determined wisely that young men and women could make up their own minds quickly, via the consequent positive and negative reinforcement achieved in grades, as to whether they wished to be college students or goofs, hanging out elsewhere during class time, that if the latter inclination prevailed enough, they might just as well drop out and either join the march, in our time, to Vietnam, or go home and work at some toilsome activity resemblant to a summer job.

We doubt, incidentally, despite the way Professor Sitterson phrased his objection, that it had anything to do with the salary he was being paid and his appraisal thus of the value of the lecture in monetary terms, paltry for his contributions to the learning experience.

In any event, we doubt that correspondence courses can attain a semblance of a true college degree, and thus any wisdom in that which, if taken literally, the piece suggests, other than as a supplement to a college experience already had. One must attend classes and go through the campus experience for four years to obtain a true collegiate understanding and appreciation for the subject matter which one studies most assiduously and in which one obtains a degree. There is simply no substitute for that as the memories associated with correspondence courses are necessarily limited to one's own private experience, divorced from any group sharing in same. One does not get the same breadth and knowledge acquired in the latter experience. There is no true manner in which a degree may be packaged and shipped by mail.

That said, there is also no manner in which a student who does not actively seek his or her education on campus, when given the precious opportunity to do so, can be made to benefit from the four years of experience if wasted in other pursuits than learning.

There should be no inclination thus to accept the suggestion of the piece in any more than the entirely facetious vein in which it was obviously offered.

A piece from the Greensboro Daily News, titled "Welcome for an Altruist", comments on the announcement by James Vogler, State Representative of Charlotte, that he would run as State Treasurer to succeed Charles Johnson, who, after several terms in the post, announced that he would instead seek the gubernatorial nomination.

The piece welcomes Mr. Vogler to the campaign for the fact of his long experience and because Charlotte men were not usually seeking of state posts. As chairman of the N.C. Food Dealers Association, it remarks, Mr. Vogler had to be seeking the position out of altruistic motives.

Drew Pearson relates of the Justice Department effort to prosecute for civi rights violations the acquitted defendants in the state prosecution in the South Carolina lynching case involving Willie Earle on February 17, kidnaped from the jail in Pickens. The state jury had acquitted 28 of the 31 defendants and the court had directed a verdict on the other three the previous month in Greenville. Assistant Attorney General Lamar Caudle of North Carolina and Attorney General Tom Clark, originally from Texas, were leading the effort for a Federal case. Both were determined to make lynchers accountable for their actions.

It is possible under law to prosecute twice for the same criminal conduct without doing violence to the prohibition against twice putting in jeopardy a defendant's life or freedom, provided the second prosecution is by a different sovereignty, meaning that Federal jurisdiction could be brought to bear if the first prosecution was under state law. Statutes passed after the Civil War, the so-called anti-Klan statutes, provided for both civil and criminal penalties for denial of civil rights, even if these offenses carried far less stern penalties than state prosecutions for murder.

It was hoped by the Justice Department that, even though the Greenville trial had been conducted appropriately by the judge and prosecutor, a Federal jury might be drawn from a larger pool of the population and thereby enable a different result, especially in the wake of the outcry nationally against the outrageous verdict, acquitting the 28 men despite 26 of them admitting their role in the lynching and several specifying Carlos Hurd as the shooter who finally killed Mr. Earle after he had been beaten nearly to death by several of the others.

He next tells of three-quarters of the coal operators, excluding the separately negotiating Southern operators, having walked out of negotiations with John L. Lewis the previous week so that the President would have to sign the Taft-Hartley bill to avoid the prospect of a coal strike, as the bill provided for injunctive relief to stop strikes which affected the entire country in an essential industry.

Expecting negotiations with the Northern operators to conclude successfully, Mr. Lewis was caught off guard when he discovered what they intended. The operators refused to offer more than 15 cents, while Mr. Lewis demanded 35 cents, though he was willing to accept less. Mr. Lewis confided to associates that the looming prospect of invoking Taft-Hartley now put the Sword of Damocles over his head.

The column relates that the second Axis Sally, the one who had broadcast from Germany during the war, would be tried for treason and it looked like there was a good prospect for adequate evidence being propounded for conviction. Several G.I.'s had stepped forward who had been in the German prisoner-of-war camps and were asked by Sally to make treasonous recordings for her to broadcast. The Italian Sally had already been convicted and punished by an American Army tribunal.

It had been impossible to convict thus far any Tokyo Rose, four of whom existed, for the fact that there were no witnesses to the broadcasts available to testify. None of the four visited the prisoner-of-war camps, as Sally had.

Marquis Childs tells of the visit of Andrei Vishinsky, Deputy Foreign Minister of the Soviet Union, to Carlsbad, Yugoslavia, supposedly for his health, as Carlsbad was a noted spa. It was being noted in all foreign capitals because in 1945, Mr. Vishinsky had gone to Rumania, shortly after which Prime Minister Nicolai Radescu was replaced by Soviet puppet Peter Groza, at the behest of King Michael, to whom it was said Mr. Vishinsky had provided an ultimatum. Mr. Vishinsky's visit to Czechoslovakia might be innocent, but given the coup in Hungary, engineered by the Soviets, it had provoked suspicion.

The Soviets dominated Hungary with troops, making the coup easy, but such was not the case in Czechoslovakia. Nine of 26 Cabinet ministers were Communists, as was Premier Klement Gottwald. The Communists had received a plurality of the vote, 38 percent, at the most recent election. But indications were that a new election would show different results, as the Communists had lost popular support. Such a result could prove embarrassing and so it was believed that the Russians would do everything possible to avert it.

There would be three steps to strengthen the Communist hold on the Government: discovery of a supposed Fascist plot, focused on the Slovakian Democratic Party; a declaration by the Premier of a state of emergency; and then replacement of non-Communists with Communists in important posts in the Government by use of police force. While not easy of accomplishment, if the Kremlin believed it important enough, then Mr. Vishinsky undoubtedly had such a mission and was up to the task of effecting it.

The spas of Carlsbad were reserved for Russian high-ranking military men. The location was near Joachimsthal, in which mining of extensive uranium deposits was ongoing at the direction of the Soviets.

Thus, the visit of Mr. Vishinsky was being watched carefully throughout Western Europe.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop tell of Presidential advisers no longer issuing in their economic forecasts dire warnings of recession, though no one was yet painting a rosy picture of the immediate future. They were saying instead that the present period was one of economic readjustment. There would be some decline in prices, accompanied by some layoffs, but they believed it would not last long. One of the group, unnamed, was analogizing it to the grippe, which would not lead to pneumonia. And, continuing the metaphor, the patient would leave the sickroom stronger for the experience.

The only contingencies which might throw a wrench in these predictions were the possibility of a broad crop failure, resulting in continued worldwide food shortages, causing domestic food prices to rise, precipitating labor unrest; a coal strike when the mines were turned back over to private ownership at the end of the month, causing production to be halted again; or if the dollar exchange shortage caused sharp reductions in American exports, coinciding with a domestic recession. A severe winter in the Western U.S. had harmed crop production but the prospects of a strike in the coal industry appeared unlikely.

It was estimated that a cut of a billion dollars in exports annually meant unemployment for a million workers. Currently, the country exported between 14 and 15 billion dollars worth of goods each year. A substantial cut in this amount in the midst of readjustment could have disastrous effects.

A letter on the upcoming liquor referendum suggests that voters follow their conscience, that resort to moral arguments was as useless as justifying the establishment of ABC stores on the basis of supplying revenue to the county, only beneficial on balance if their presence did not also increase liquor consumption and its attendant problems. The vote, the writer offers, might be a mistake, but the voter had the solace of knowledge that each person was forgiven for errors in judgment.

A letter from A. W. Black takes issue with the editorial, "Fascism Is a State of Mind", and its statement that HUAC was seeking to smear the reputation of anyone who was liberal. He wonders who the editors regarded as liberal, saying that most liberals had a tendency toward being Red and should be regarded with suspicion. He says he was not a liberal, as he believed that no one should be given special privilege, that liberal policies of racial and religious tolerance were by design discriminatory.

At least, he gets through his inditement without any misspellings, his more usual tendency.

Again, we caution that Mr. Black had a history of writing through his hat, and it was difficult to tell whether he was being facetious to bait opinion to the contrary or serious. It was also difficult to know whether in fact he was Mr. Black or Mr. White or Mr. Red. Plainly, however, he was not Mr. Blue.

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