The Charlotte News

Saturday, June 7, 1947


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports of further developments in the Balkans and Eastern Europe: that Communists in Austria had made a bid for power, with one of four Communist Party members in Parliament proposing that Austria establish a Government empowered to act for four years without Parliamentary restrictions and drop from its Cabinet certain conservatives, that it could then obtain Soviet cooperation in forming a treaty with Austria; the British set forth a second sharp demand for information from the Soviets regarding the Communist seizure of Hungary; and the Communist Premier of Rumania, Petru Groza, met with Marshal Tito in Yugoslavia, reportedly to consider a Balkan federation, to be under Soviet domination.

Consistent with the treaty signed with Hungary, Russia could keep troops in Hungary legally as long as there was no treaty with Austria, as Hungary served as a communications link to the occupation troops in Austria. A major issue had developed for the Soviets in Austria, in determining how to define reparations assets belonging to Germany, to which Russia was entitled, as distinct from assets stolen by the Nazis. The Big Four nations could not reach agreement at the Moscow Foreign Ministers Council meeting on this point and thus had not yet formed a treaty with Austria.

The State Department was considering the wording of a diplomatic note to Moscow, drafted Thursday, expressing disapproval of the Hungarian coup. It was proposing a joint British-American-Russian investigation of the coup. The note was designed to put the Soviet on the spot vis-a-vis world opinion, accusing it of violation of the February, 1945 Yalta Agreement with respect to the Balkans, specifically, interference with the internal affairs of Hungary. The note included a contingency that if the Russians rejected the proposal or agreed to the investigation but sought to stall it, or if the investigation showed that the Soviets had a hand in the coup, then the U.S. would take the matter before the U.N.

In France, a strike of railroad personnel within a 60-mile radius of Paris had isolated the city from the rest of the country, prompting the Government to authorize truckers to carry passengers and food. About 10,000 employees of the 700,000 total railway workers had struck.

The Chinese Communists, had made new gains in Manchuria, occupying Pulantien, following the withdrawal of Government forces from the important rail center guarding the approaches to the port city of Dairen. A Government General predicted that Government forces would soon conquer the Communists in the northeast as the civil war would reach a decisive stage.

The Senate, by a vote of 54 to 17, approved the final conference version of the reconciled Taft-Hartley bill. The House the day before had approved it by a vote of 320 to 79. Senator Robert Taft predicted that the bill would become law, regardless of whether the President would veto it, as two-thirds majorities existed in both houses to override.

Senator Taft, in his continuing debate with the President, wanted to know how he could oppose the four billion dollar tax cut passed by Congress when, in 1945, he had favored a tax cut of six billion dollars for corporations.

The President was expected to make a major speech on domestic policy this night in Kansas City, in which he would describe differences between his and the Republicans' approaches.

The Army Air Forces Transport Command completed inspections of its C-54 tail assemblies and gave them approval. The action came in the wake of the rash of DC-4 crashes.

In Massilon, Ohio, two infant girls, of eight and nine weeks old, were found murdered alongside their cribs in a hospital, apparently dashed to the floor by an unknown assailant. The District Attorney found no negligence on the part of the hospital.

Extensive flooding took place in Iowa and other parts of the Midwest, taking five lives by drowning.

In Hollywood, actor Craig Woods, 30, was said by his estranged wife, 40, seeking divorce, to be drunk and abusive most of the time. She said that she had lost 25 pounds from worry and that Mr. Woods brought into their home the spirit of the bad characters he generally played in the movies. They had been married January 4 and separated on April 14. She was granted her divorce petition.

In Raleigh, actress Ava Gardner, a native of nearby Smithfield, reported that $500 worth of furs had been taken from her on Thursday, stolen from the women's lounge of a hotel where she had left them as she attended the speech by Henry Wallace.

If you see them, let the police know. Do not approach, however, as the furs are armed and dangerous.

On the editorial page, "Mr. Wallace Raises Some Questions" finds the High Point Enterprise to have engaged in a libel against the Southern Conference for Human Welfare for labeling it an alleged Communist-front organization. The newspaper had done so by way of suggesting the attendees of Vice-President Wallace's speech in Raleigh to have been "long-haired gents and short-haired gals". SCHW had sponsored the speech.

The piece finds the characterization unfair, that while some of those in attendance were leftist intellectuals, others were mere curiosity seekers, while still others came to hear Mr. Wallace because he was the only dissenting voice in the country speaking out firmly against the Truman Doctrine and in terms of peace rather than preventing war with arms.

He believed that cooperation with Russia, rather than arbitrary resistance to Russian expansion, presented the way to peace.

Mr. Wallace had not rejected the support of pro-Russian liberals on the extreme left, but they were by no means his only supporters.

The professional politicians who had abandoned him were beginning to show signs of uneasiness in the face of his growing popularity. The reason he was attracting such large audiences, offers the editorial, was because there was great doubt in the wisdom of the Truman Doctrine, a policy never yet taken before the American people for approval in the three months since the President enunciated its urgency to Congress, in the wake of the British announcement that, for financial inability, Britain would have to withdraw its troops from Greece, leaving open to Soviet encroachment the Dardanelles, long a Russian prize to obtain warm-water access for shipping into the Mediterranean.

Such an atmosphere could create a major political sea change, and Mr. Wallace was poised to take advantage of defections by the frustrated from both parties. Calling him either a Red or an idealistic dreamer, as was the tendency of his detractors, was no longer an answer which would dissuade those interested in his message from wanting to hear it.

"Welcome for a Valiant Opponent" welcomes to Charlotte the former Secretary of the Navy, Ambassador to Mexico, owner and former editor of the Raleigh News & Observer, Josephus Daniels, despite the fact that he had come to town to speak against the ABC referendum scheduled for one week hence, a position contra that of The News. He believed that "ABC" stood for "Alcohol Brutalizes Consumers" and had stood consistently against legal sale for 50 years, breaking with some of his political allies, such as Zebulon Vance, in the process.

Though the newspaper disagreed with the opinion and argument advanced by Mr. Daniels, there was, it says, nothing involved which would injure the newspaper's respect for him as a person. It doubted that he would bring forth any new argument not already made and which The News had found wanting.

It should be noted in passing that the previous editorial makes no mention of the fact that Mr. Daniels appeared to be standing in the camp of Mr. Wallace, having opened his home to the former Vice-President as his guest while he was in Raleigh. It was perhaps out of deference to the memory of his old friend, Franklin Roosevelt, who had served in his first position in the Federal Government as the Assistant Secretary of the Navy during World War I while Mr. Daniels was Secretary. President Roosevelt always referred to Mr. Daniels as "Chief", even after being elected President.

"Self-Government for Washington" reminds that Washington, though the center of the Federal Government, was without local government, the District being governed instead by Congress, effectively disfranchising the city's 860,000 residents.

The Washington Post was engaged in a campaign to change that status and bring local government to the city. It had printed a true story of the lengthy and circuitous route taken to try merely to remove two old stone gateposts from Executive Avenue, obstructions which served only to impede traffic. The City Council had to obtain approval first from the Bureau of the Budget, then had to present a draft of the bill to the House Committee on the District of Columbia. The resulting bill had to pass the House and then be reviewed by a Senate Committee on D.C., and when passed by the Senate, go to the President for signature, as any other bill. It had taken several months to wade through the labyrinth.

The problem, says the piece, was not only an issue for Washingtonians but also the whole country, as the process was wasting the time and resources of members of Congress.

A piece from the Louisville Courier-Journal, titled "In the Good Old Days...." suggests that the cashiering of Army officers regarding the stealing of diamonds, as had occurred recently in a few cases, lacked the luster of such events in the old days of the British Empire as told by Rudyard Kipling or Edison Marshall. Then, the errant officer was brought before the regiment in the parade grounds, stripped of his buttons and sword, and made to walk out of the compound, disgraced, but confident that in due course, he could gain his honor back and become a soldier again. He was always stoic and took the blame to protect the commander's niece, Pamela, always, for some reason, the niece and always named Pamela.

Now, the commanding officer at the Pentagon probably could only break the swivel chair, the desk, and strip the officer of his briefcase, then rush off to a Congressional hearing.

Drew Pearson tells of the Democratic hierarchy having quietly snubbed Eleanor Roosevelt, honored guest at a Jefferson Day dinner in Los Angeles, arranged by son James, former California Attorney General Bob Kenny and other California Democrats. Secretary of the Treasury John W. Snyder was irked that the California delegation and Mr. Roosevelt had decided to provide a welcome mat for Henry Wallace when he spoke in California, despite the fact that he was verbally attacking the Truman Doctrine. Mr. Snyder then tried to convince Democratic National Committee executive director Gael Sullivan not to attend the dinner. Initially agreeing, he reversed course. But Mr. Snyder did not.

He next informs of Senator Arthur Vandenberg of Michigan holding up the appointment of Francis Biddle, former Attorney General, to be U.S. delegate to the U.N. Social & Economic Committee. Though the appointment had been made in January, Senator Vandenberg's Foreign Relations Committee had failed to conduct hearings. Likewise, Senator Homer Ferguson of Michigan had not conducted hearings until mid-May on the January appointment of Philip Perlman to become Solicitor General. For their obstructionist tactics in this regard, the two Michigan Senators were being called the "Bilbos of Michigan".

He reports that attendance of Senate debate on the floor had become so sparse that recently during debate on the rent control bill, Senator Glen Taylor of Idaho was the only Senator present. The reason was that most Senators viewed debate as of no moment in determining the passage of legislation. Senator Taft was acknowledged to be an erratic debater but nevertheless was able in most instances to rally Republican membership to his side. Senator Claude Pepper of Florida, by contrast, was the most convincing debater in the body, but few followed his lead.

Anti-Wallace Democrats had started a rumor that Henry Wallace was anti-Catholic for opposing war with Russia. He responded that he was campaigning for Al Smith, presumably in 1928, when President Truman, then a county commissioner or "judge", was said to have been a member of the Klan.

Men's clothing prices were slated to jump another five percent in the fall because of higher textile prices.

It should be noted that Mr. Wallace's charge that Mr. Truman had been a member of the Klan was unfair. He had paid a $10 initiation fee apparently in 1924, two years after Mr. Smith, a Catholic, was elected Governor of New York, but withdrew from membership when he was told by the Klan hierarchy not to hire Catholics or Jews for positions with the county commission. He lost his bid for re-election to the commission in 1924.

Marquis Childs discusses the continuing problem of providing housing, complicated by the recently passed bill in the House to enable raising of rents by 15 percent. Both Senator Taft and the President were united in wanting a long-term housing bill. The Taft-Ellender-Wagner bill, passed by the Senate in the previous Congress but stalled in the House, appeared headed for the same fate again. It would provide for expenditure of 100 to 200 million dollars annually to eradicate the six million substandard dwellings in the country through subsidies for low-cost housing.

The problem was contributing to rising delinquency and divorce rates.

Despite some level of bipartisan unity on the subject, the leadership necessary to dramatize the issue and get it through the Congress appeared lacking in both Senator Vandenberg with his own party and President Truman. The powerful real estate and construction lobbies only partially explained the logjam in the House.

Samuel Grafton suggests that making the Turkish-Greco line the bastion for the West to protect against Russian expansion, had practically invited the Russians to take over Hungary, as had just occurred the previous week with the Soviet-backed coup. Hungary, after all, belonged to the Eastern sector of the world thus divided between East and West.

It would be difficult to quarrel with the Russians over Hungary as they had not transgressed the line, however arbitrary, drawn by the United States in Greece and Turkey.

Two of the most respected columnists on foreign affairs, Anne O'Hara McCormick and Walter Lippmann, both had begun to cast doubt on the Truman Doctrine, both finding error in having discussed too much what the aid to the two countries actually meant, inviting a showdown. Mr. Lippmann had earlier expressed doubt, but it had grown as the Administration began to inject a form of geopolitics into the matter, tending to divide the world into spheres. Even the British, who previously had held this line, appeared embarrassed by the American rhetoric.

To save the day, it would be necessary to call back in some of the idealists and get rid of the hard-line realists. But the latter appeared to be making the calls at present. Herbert Hoover, who was advising the President, had suggested that the U.S. make a separate peace with Germany, thus favoring the establishment of even more lines of demarcation, further delineating the "boundaries of struggle".

A few more months of realism, he opines, within Europe of 1947, could condemn to failure the prospects for peace.

A letter discusses lynching and the law, finds lynching to be murder for which punishment ought be exacted. But it was unfair, he thinks, to brand the South any more guilty of heinous crimes than other sections of the country, in which atrocities also took place.

A letter from a South Carolinian addresses the liquor question, advises that the legalization of sale in Mecklenburg would not tend to make liquor any more available than it already was or lead people to drink who ordinarily would not.

A letter writer tells of having been born in a log cabin and finding it the most comfortable housing around. She thinks that building log cabins for veterans would be a good solution to the housing shortage.

She was 87 and says that unless provision was made soon for the veterans, the country would be bombed out for its sin and neglect.

The editors note that more letters on the liquor issue could be found on page 5-A, provided you are so inclined. We are not.

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