The Charlotte News

Thursday, July 10, 1947


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Czechoslovakia was likely to withdraw its previous acceptance of the invitation to join the French and British at a conference in Paris beginning July 12 to discuss the Marshall Plan. Czechoslovakia was apparently about to change its course after consultation with Moscow. Yugoslavia, Hungary, Albania, Rumania, Bulgaria, and Poland, all Communist-dominated Governments, had already rejected the invitation. Poland stated its willingness to participate in the Marshall Plan but did not want to attend the conference as the attendees would not be able to offer amendments to the Plan.

Twenty-two members of Congress were sponsoring various bipartisan proposals to set up the U.N. as a world government with legislative, judicial, and enforcement branches. Members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, however, described the proposals as premature, that more time ought be provided the U.N. to develop its enforcement mechanism on its own. The bills were in response to the continued recalcitrance by Russia on issues of setting up a world police force and control of atomic power.

The President announced to the press that he would veto the tax bill the second time around, should the Senate, as appeared likely, pass it. The only change in the bill from its first rendition, vetoed by the President and sustained by the Senate, was the effective date. Republican leaders, joined by some Democrats, were starting a campaign to try to override the veto.

Most Democrats had indicated in caucus, according to Minority Leader Alben Barkley, that they would vote to sustain a veto, though a few had stated that they would vote to override.

Some Republicans expressed surprise at the announcement, that it was the first time in memory that a President had stated his intent to veto a bill before it had been passed by the Congress.

Of course, it was unlikely that any President in recent memory had seen the like of the asses which pervaded in this 80th Congress, with the temerity to seek passage of a second identical bill just vetoed and sustained the previous month. Technically within the bounds of the Constitution, it was certainly a move out of bounds in terms of fair play, and demoted the entire process to one of political chicanery and behind-closed-doors deals to try to strike a quid pro quo for enough Senate votes to override the veto, as reportedly had been taking place. The Republicans, drunk with new power, forgot that the American people were watching and were smart enough to understand what they were seeing. Getting votes enough for victory and then thinking one has a mandate to do what one damn well pleases is the path to sure political destruction. The Republicans, in 1948, would find out that cruel lesson.

The President was meeting with his Council of Economic Advisers on the possible impact of the new wage agreement signed between the coal operators and UMW, with its large wage increase threatening a rise in coal prices.

The President stated that he was not concerned over a report that defeated Congressman Roger Slaughter, whom the President had targeted the previous summer for defeat in the Democratic primary in his home district in Missouri because of the Congressman's consistent opposition to the President's program, had publicly stated that a scandal threatened the office of the President—referring to the 71 indictments in Kansas City for vote fraud in connection with the primary in which Enos Axtell, eventual loser in the general election, had beaten Mr. Slaughter. Mr. Slaughter had said that he considered the President an honest man, who, however, like Presidents Grant and Harding, had been misled by false friends and was the victim of his own impetuosity.

The head of the Young Democrats stated that the Republicans had done little other than to regress to the time of Presidents Harding, Coolidge and Hoover.

The House passed the presidential succession law, already passed by the Senate, which placed the Speaker of the House third in line to the presidency, replacing the Secretary of State, based on the rationale that the Speaker was an elected and not an appointed official. The President would sign the legislation, as he had originally proposed it shortly after coming to office in 1945. The bill placed Speaker Joe Martin next in line to the presidency as there was no vice-president at the time.

In Karachi, a correspondent reported that Moslem and Hindu businessmen were busy seeking exchange of businesses between the proposed independent states of Hindustan and Pakistan, and that a general population transfer was taking place.

In London, Prime Minister Clement Attlee had agreed, during debate on the bill to create the two independent states, to name the heads of both Hindustan and Pakistan, and that he would select Muhammad Ali Jinnah to lead Pakistan and Viscount Mountbatten, the Viceroy of India, to lead Hindustan, an arrangement to which the predominantly Hindu Congress Party in India was in agreement. There were some 500 princely states outside the two proposed states which Mr. Attlee said that he hoped would join one or the other.

In New York, two men were being questioned in connection with the death of the woman whose body was found nude and strangled the previous day in her apartment, probably murdered Tuesday afternoon. The identified woman had the men's names in her black book. Dental impressions were being taken to determine whether the teeth of either man matched the bite mark found on the woman's right arm or on a cigar butt found in an ashtray in the apartment. One of the men admitted that his clothing was in the apartment and that he had been with the woman on Monday night, providing conflicting details, according to police. An autopsy showed that the woman had taken part in sex not long before her death.

In Los Angeles, a couple were granted the right to separate quarters in the same house, provided they did not molest one another, pending their divorce.

In Tennessee, a search by numerous law enforcement officers, the National Guard, the Red Cross, Boy Scouts, and several private individuals, for a week in Nickajack Cave at Shellmond, for a man who disappeared and was said by the cave's owner to be inside the cave, turned up nothing. The man turned up in New York City. According to the Public Safety Commissioner, the man's disappearance had been a hoax from beginning to end. The cave owner, however, claimed to have believed that the man was actually in the cave.

Who knows? Perhaps, Nickajack came out in the Big Apple.

The State Board of Education had unanimously approved its budget of 59 million dollars for the coming school year. Teaching certificate holders would receive a 20 percent increase in pay.

Tom Schlesinger of The News reports on the upcoming Soap Box Derby in Charlotte, with 160 entrants already signed up. Build your racer and join the fun, kids.

That boy in the picture needs to spread a little fiberglass or airplane dope over that car, sleek her down some. Too many cracks are showing for modern driving pleasure.

In Bish's Dish, sportswriter Furman Bisher tells of a new frame of mind having done wonders for the Hornets, as provided on the sports page.

In London, Princess Elizabeth had announced her engagement the previous midnight to Lt. Philip Mountbatten. The two held a Buckingham Palace garden party this date. Guests swished through wet grass to view the couple. Princess Elizabeth wore gloves to hide the engagement ring, equipped with three diamonds in a platinum setting.

Hey, what are you hidin', lady?

Ain't it quaint? It must be nice to be Royals.

They have kind of a funny wave.

Anyway, they said magic was in the air. Wonder if the Walrus was there.

On the editorial page, "The Two-Thirds Rule Again" discusses the attempt by Southern Democrats to restore the super-majority rule under which Democrats had nominated presidential and vice-presidential candidates from 1832 until 1936. It had given to the South a balance of power position, even if unable to nominate a Southerner by the tactic. The rule was altered in 1936 to provide for a simple majority, relegating the South to the sidelines. The Southern Democrats were now planning a campaign to restore the two-thirds rule at the 1948 convention.

The Southern Democrats for many years had been more sympathetic with the goals of conservative Republicans than with the national Administration and party. As long as the South maintained a one-party system, it again opines, it could not hope to exert influence nationally, and the attempt to restore the two-thirds rule was doomed from the start.

"Cactus Jack Lights a Match" tells of former Vice-President John Nance Garner having burned all of his private papers relating to his 39-year tenure in Washington, including a time as Speaker of the House and Vice-President under FDR, from 1933 to 1941.

Robert Todd Lincoln had been planning to burn his father's personal correspondence before being interrupted by a friend, resulting in the proviso that the papers would be opened 21 years after the death of the younger Lincoln, scheduled for July 26, 1947.

The loss of the Garner papers was too bad, it suggests, as a means of supplementing and perhaps contradicting or affirming some of the assertions being made in Collier's in the five-part series, the fourth part of which being published this week, by Jim Farley. Mr. Farley had been attacked by Walter Winchell and other Roosevelt supporters for the series. Mr. Garner might have cleared up the mystery as to why he was not on the ticket again in 1940, and instead had gone home to Uvalde, Texas, and, after the June convention, had not returned to Washington save for two weeks. (Given that he was 71 in 1940, there was not really too much of a mystery involved.)

It suggests that all such documents were part of the public trust to inform subsequent generations of history and should be maintained.

We will say this much for President Nixon. He did not accede to the advice of some of his loathsome advisers and set a bonfire for the White House tapes on the South Lawn before they came to light during the Ervin Watergate Select Committee hearings in July, 1973. But perhaps he was only motivated not to do so by the belief that he might be subject then to impeachment for destruction of evidence. That we need to speculate on such motivation is a shame.

"Exercise in Red and White" tells of the pamphlet prepared at the direction of Congressman Wright Patman of Texas, "Fascism in Action", having been approved for publication by a narrow majority of nine votes in the House. It would supplement "Communism in Action", prepared at the direction of Congressman Everett Dirksen in 1946. The piece is glad that Fascism would find exposure equal to that of Communism, but finds it distressing that 115 members, nearly half the body, had voted against the publication of the document on Fascism.

Nearly half the House, in other words, took the approach that Communism was a dominant threat to the world, to the exclusion of Fascism, over which a world war had just been fought.

A piece from the Greensboro Daily News, titled "Here Comes the Freedom Train", suggests to the American Heritage Foundation that it get its sponsored Freedom Train started right away, to carry across the land the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, that the people might see their vital documents first-hand. For in the caboose lurked Representative Clare Hoffman of Michigan, and, perhaps, HUAC, the former wondering aloud whether the train might be subversive, carrying to the people leftist ideas, embodied in Jefferson's Declaration.

All of those Founders, as we know, were Commie Radicals, except for Alexander Hamilton, who was President right before Abe Lincoln. That Tommy Jefferson proceeded to take parts of his Bible out. How much more subversive can you get than that?

They were probably sent here from some other planet aboard a spaceship. Let's find out where that planet is and send an atom bomb to destroy it.

Drew Pearson discusses the impact of weather on foreign policy, that bad weather in the U.S. and good weather in Russia had caused grains to be decreased in production. Wheat would be a record-breaker, but Russia had also enjoyed a bumper crop in wheat, as well as in other grains. Russia would likely be able to end bread rationing at home and export 300-million bushels of wheat. Rye also would be in substantial surplus in Russia. Steel and manufactured goods remained, however, almost as important to Europe as food and so gave to the U.S. the continued political advantage.

Speaker Joe Martin had recently commented that visiting at the White House was much more formal under President Truman than it had been under President Roosevelt. No longer was he asked about the Douglas firs on Cape Cod, of which he knew nothing, and of which FDR knew he knew nothing. It was, according to Mr. Martin, the late President's way of putting him "in a hole".

Congressman Eugene Cox of Georgia had nixed the V.A.'s ability to build a badly needed V.A. hospital in Tallahassee, Florida, because he was miffed about V.A. administrator General Omar Bradley refusing to allow a V.A. hospital in Mr. Cox's home district in Thomasville, Ga., to continue operation, on the basis that the wooden structure was a fire hazard.

The Commerce Department had decided to lift all export controls on cast iron with respect to lavatories and bathtubs, to relieve the surplus in such bathroom fixtures produced in expectation of housing starts which had not materialized. It was another example of the short-sightedness of Republicans in Congress who acceded to the desires of the real estate lobby.

Pilot pay, a cause for air crashes cited by several CAB officials, was a factor being avoided by the Government in its assessment of causes. TWA pilots and other transoceanic pilots received top salaries, between $15,000 and $20,000 per year. But domestic pilots received only between $185 and $300 per month in base pay, received whether they flew or not, plus their hourly pay for actual flight time. That system led to taking chances to maximize hours.

Marquis Childs states that in an effort to raise revenue, the Republicans in Congress had considered raising the postal rate on books, from 4 to 8 cents on the first pound and from 3 to 4 cents on each additional pound. Magazines had received a preferred rate for many years, but not books. It would only raise two or three million dollars in revenue and do an injustice far out of proportion to the benefit. Books were as vital to learning and dissemination of information as magazines.

He cites as example Inside the U.S.A. by John Gunther, a book weighing at least five pounds, a remarkable compendium of knowledge concerning the country. Likewise, The Greek Dilemma by William McNeill was a valuable handbook on the Greek problems facing the country in administering the aid package just passed by Congress. A Study of History by Arnold Toynbee provided a study of the rise and fall of empires through the ages. Christ Stopped at Eboli by Carlo Levi provided a better understanding of the politics of desperation extant in Italy.

The cheap postal rates enabled book clubs and individual booksellers to thrive. The publishing business was not able easily to defend itself in Congress and it was unfair therefore for the Congress to take away a preferred rate in postage.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop remark of the positive response in Europe to the Marshall Plan being a surprise even to the most conservative of its planners. But there were trouble signs for the Plan in Congress. One unidentified Senator had stated that both houses, as of the present time, would turn down the Plan by large majorities.

Former Minnesota Governor Harold Stassen, contender for the Republican presidential nomination in 1948, had stated that before European nations received the aid they would need renounce any attempt at socialism. Senator Joseph Ball of Minnesota had recently stated on radio a similar desire. There was belief in the Senate that conservative Senators who wanted the Plan to fail would use Mr. Ball's concerns as a stalking horse behind which to hide.

The position thus favored would be rejected by the British and the French, causing the plan to be rejected, thrusting the democratic states of Europe into the grip of Soviet dominance over the Continent.

Secretary Marshall could exert his military prestige to testify before Congress of the necessity of such aid from the military perspective. But the tactic might not be successful for its overuse in the past. Another, better method would be, as being discussed, to appoint a high-ranking State Department official to declare and explain to Congress the foreign policy of the country.

A letter from the national commander of the Catholic War Veterans tells of the organization passing an unanimous resolution which favored the Stratton bill to admit 400,000 displaced persons from Europe at the rate of 100,000 per year. The majority of the delegates had been veterans of the late war and were geographically dispersed over the country.

A letter writer asks that the presses be stopped, as he had just observed fourteen flying saucers passing overhead.

Four were Wedgewood blue, with the seven Graces. Three were Bavarian. Three were Haviland in obsolete patterns. One was Minton, an indeterminate model. And two were unidentifiable, probably Royal Dalton.

They were, he fathoms, flying toward some "vulnerable antique shop". He asks that the information be directed through proper channels to the War Department.

We underscore and champion his request. But we have to note a probable omission of Aynsley Bone and Johnson Brothers examples, probably the two Unidentified he lists. The Aynsley easily may have been headed to Aintry, Georgia, or Atlanta, the Johnson Brothers, to somewhere in Texas.

In any event, should you have been paying close attention the last few days, you will undoubtedly think that we read ahead this letter. Again, except for Hal Boyle's salutary pieces, which we read earlier, we did not peek ahead, as we never do.

Fourteen is the number. Fourteen was the number of flying saucers spotted in our backyard. And Olivia de Havilland is not spelt Dhalfvillain—even if Alek J. Hidell may be so spelled, especially anagrammatically. (It may be no wonder that a good portion of Americans today obviously cannot spell even rather simple words.)

In any event, if you want one of the flying saucer exemplars, you must up your ante, beyond a mere $1,000 apiece. Each example will lend evidence, we promise, to resolution of the Mystery of the Flying Saucers of Summer, occurring in 1947. Now how much is that worth, friend?

You better think, pal, long and hard on your answer. The fate of the world may well depend upon it.

A letter writer offers the explanation that the explosions at Bikini the previous summer, probably especially at the Baker test, had produced the flying saucers, via an atomic foam cloud rising and forming frozen discs, whirling so fast that they continued to whirl. Some were probably as large as an airplane but became smaller once coming closer to earth, then would melt before reaching the surface.

He says that he was in the rug cleaning business and believed the foam would be a boon to his cleaning solution. He asks therefore for contributions of the stuff should anyone around town find any such foam on the ground.

A letter from Inez Flow does not, disappointingly, attest to the flying saucers or offer explication for same, but rather continues to declaim anent alcohol. She is still upset about the editorial she had previously criticized in her last letter and believes that she was slighted by the editors' note accompanying it, as it had chopped off part of her sentence.

She then queries whether, given the whole sentence, as she prints, anyone could claim that the 75 Charlotte ministers who had criticized the Police Chief for his neglect in enforcing the liquor laws were being "contemptuous", as the prior editorial had originally charged.

The editors succinctly answer the question, "Yes."

A letter writer offers $100 to anyone who could find anything in the Bible which says that God gave to man an immortal soul, saying that the passages which promised death as the wages of sin appeared to trump the modern theologians who contended that the soul of man was immortal, thus superordinating him to the beasts of the jungle.

We think it probably the one which says: "And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?" And the other which says: "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him."

So where is our $100, pal?

What happens, having laid your bet, made your contract, if you don't pay up? Is that what you asked?

Well, the Son of the Father might visit you, as a thief in the night. That's what.

You want to make a bet, pal?

That's right, send it in small bills.

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