The Charlotte News

Friday, July 11, 1947


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Finland had joined the seven nations already declining invitations to the French-British conference, to begin the following day in Paris to discuss the Marshall Plan. Fourteen nations had accepted. All of the eight countries declining the invitation were within the orbit of Soviet influence.

The Prague press speculated that the reason for the reversal of the acceptance by Czechoslovakia was based on the belief that the conference would be aimed at effecting Russian economic isolation.

Secretary of Commerce Averell Harriman disputed the Slav states' claims that the Plan would stipulate political conditions for receipt of aid.

Former Governor Dwight Griswold, head of the aid mission to Greece, stated that 35 million dollars was on its way to equip the Greek military on an "anti-bandit" basis. Military supplies were to account for half the 300-million dollars allocated for Greek aid. He asserted that the reconstruction program would help to break up the guerrilla bands operating in the mountainous north.

Greek troops were reported to be pushing 4,000 guerrillas westward after they attempted to seize Greek territory near the border with Albania, in 6,000-ft. highlands. The conflict had been ongoing since June 27, centered near Kastoria.

The Atomic Energy Commission received approval from the Senate Appropriations Committee for a 75 million dollar increase in its budget for the fiscal year.

In Washington, a Brevard, N.C., publisher told the House Labor Subcommittee that raising the minimum wage to 60 cents per hour would drive out of business many small newspapers.

The American Union of Telephone Workers voted to join CIO.

Tom Fesperman reports of a conflict in Charlotte between CIO organizing efforts and AFL, attempting to stop CIO through pickets of their meetings.

The Bureau of the Census reported that for the first time in American history, there were 60 million employed in civilian occupations in the country—the goal set by former Secretary of Commerce Henry Wallace when he had come to the position in early 1945. Farm labor increase during the summer had accounted for 1.4 million new jobs and non-farm jobs for 310,000 since the last report May.

The Republicans omitted from the Senate agenda the long-term housing bill and early cashing of bonds by veterans for their terminal pay, previously included for consideration prior to adjournment on July 26.

The Republicans were more concerned with reducing taxes for the rich, despite that bill already having been vetoed and sustained the previous month, than with housing and benefits for the veterans who had won the war.

Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas opposed the reiteration of the tax bill on the basis that the proposed four-million dollar tax cut would add to inflation and was premature. It was believed that the bill would come to a vote in the Senate this evening.

Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin and Senator W. Chapman Revercomb of West Virginia introduced legislation calling for a complete investigation of the housing shortage.

A man in Camden, N.J., was granted a divorce because he could not stand living in quarters occupied by six adults, two children, six dogs, and two cats.

In Marion, O., two brothers found the nearly nude body of a woman, tied up in a churchyard, having died of strangulation. The brothers had seen a man in the churchyard acting strangely and stopped to see what was happening. He then approached their car and told them that his license number was visible and asked what they would do about it. When they told him that they were going to the sheriff, he said that he would wait for them, but was gone when they returned with the sheriff. The woman had been divorced for four years, was probably killed, according to investigators, in some other location and left in the churchyard.

In London, with slightly leading questions, the Daily Express asked its readers, representing 10 percent of Britons, to vote informally by postcard on whether the wedding of Princess Elizabeth to Lt. Philip Mountbatten, scheduled for November, should be the "first postwar occasion to restore to Britain the traditional gaiety of a gala public event". The newspaper advocated gaiety instead of drab rationing which was followed by the general population. The alternative question posed was "should the austerity of life and Government dictate an occasion where Britain's traditional salute to happiness would seem out of place".

Chop, chop.

On the editorial page, "UMT and Our Foreign Policy" tells of twenty distinguished Americans, including Josephus Daniels, having prepared a critical analysis of Universal Military Training, condemning it as rendering hope for peace a nullity. They asserted that the atomic bomb had made conventional armies obsolete. It also communicated the country's decision that war with Russia was inevitable.

The report proposed instead universal disarmament, strengthening of the U.N., a large relief and reconstruction program for all, including Russia, strengthening democracy at home to serve as example to the world, lifting of the economic standard to avoid the growth of fifth column groups, and reliance on a voluntary enlistment program.

The Christian Science Monitor had criticized the group for being unrealistic, as had the liberal Louisville Courier-Journal.

The piece believes that the question raised was whether Russian intransigence justified abandonment of the concept of a world based on peaceful cooperation. If answered affirmatively, the protest against UMT was irrelevant as the real issue was one of survival. But at least the protest against UMT would serve to shake average Americans from their sense of complacency regarding the massive shift in foreign policy taking place under bipartisan cooperation, a departure from past peacetime policy.

"Anonymity for Rape Victims" tells of a North Carolina statute which permitted the judge in a case to bar, on a discretionary basis, the public and press from hearing the testimony of the prosecutrix in a rape case.

It asserts that the rape victim's identity ought also be barred by law from the public record, as in some other states, including South Carolina. There was no reason, it offers, to embarrass a victim of a sexual assault.

While certainly true if there is positive evidence of a sexual assault, such anonymity also would tend to shield the dishonest prosecutrix either claiming that a consensual act was rape or accusing a handy scapegoat when the actual assailant was someone she knew and decided to protect, or simply a person fabricating the entire matter for reasons of vindictiveness, either against an individual or aimed at some group identity, usually based on race.

"Suspicion Is No Excuse" takes exception to the rookie police officer who had shot and wounded in the ankle a running man who was believed by the officer to be a fleeing suspect in the Carolina Motor Club burglary earlier in the week. The shooting of a fleeing person who had not yet been linked to the crime was a violation of Department policy, quoted in the piece. Shooting of suspects was only permitted when there was no other means of capturing a person fleeing from a crime involving a serious felony, or in self-defense or defense of others.

At least in this case, the officer had managed only to wound the man in his foot, rather than, as a decade earlier in Charlotte, slipping in a ditch and shooting the fleeing black suspect in the head.

Times were improving.

A piece from the Winston-Salem Journal, titled "Of Tar Heel Sanity", tells of a case near Elizabethton in which a black man allegedly had recently attempted to rape a seven-year old white girl. The father of the girl had organized a posse to hunt him down. But when they caught him, there was no effort to lynch or harm him. They turned him over to law enforcement officials.

There had been numerous such rapes in recent months, especially in the Eastern part of the state. And yet the only attempted lynching was that of Buddy Bush in Jackson, who managed to escape the mob unharmed.

It asserts that the actions of the farmer who organized the posse to locate the alleged rapist of his young daughter deserved wide publicity to stand in contrast to the lynching image of the South portrayed in much of the national press and to serve as a positive example to others who might catch the lynching fever under such stress.

Drew Pearson tells of the Senators from Missouri and North Carolina inviting President Truman to attend the Duke-Missouri football game the following November. The President stated that he would have to remain nonpartisan in the matter as President, and therefore his non-cheering presence, being from Missouri, might cause consternation on both sides of the field. Furthermore, there was the issue on which side he might sit.

A friend of the President spotted a portrait of Benjamin Franklin over the door to his study and remarked on it. The President told him that it had come from General de Gaulle who had taken it from a Paris museum and it probably ought be returned. It had been painted by an admirer while Mr. Franklin was in Paris. The friend urged him not to send it back, that Mr. Franklin's good qualities might rub off on the President.

He next tells of convicted black marketeer John Monroe, of the House on R Street fame, having a new company, Advice, Inc., in nearly the same Washington location, on N street, while awaiting the outcome of his appeal on the conviction for which he had been sentenced to two years in prison. Whether he would again be providing lavish parties for the influential of the Capital was yet to be revealed. But he was sending out notices of his new business to all the Washington elite.

He told Mr. Pearson's investigator that his firm worked principally with foreign governments. He notes parenthetically that at one time, Mr. Monroe had tried to arrange arm shipments to Greece and the Dominican Republic. The president of the company was Col. Harry Cooper of the India-Burma theater during the war, under the command of the late General Stilwell. Col. Cooper did not appreciate the investigation and threatened to turn over the Pearson staff to the FBI, but calmed when reminded that there was no law against asking questions. Col. Cooper stated that Mr. Monroe was only a salesman for the company, in a minor role. Yet, he was listed on the incorporation papers as one of three trustees authorized to manage the company.

Marquis Childs discusses the political implications of the UMW deal with the mine operators arranged by John L. Lewis. Mr. Lewis was rumored to be getting ready to throw his weight and that of the AFL behind Governor Dewey in 1948.

He would have political weight, based on both his negotiating such a favorable deal for the miners and because he had accomplished it in spite of the new Taft-Hartley law, without a strike, making the proponents of the legislation, especially presidential hopeful Robert Taft, look rather silly.

Under the new contract, the UMW would take in 60 million dollars annually in its health and welfare fund to be administered by a three-person board, based on the ten cents per ton of coal to paid to the fund by the operators under the new contract, double that paid by the Government during the previous year, and four times that originally offered by the operators.

Moreover, despite the Southerners in Congress having backed Taft-Hartley, Mr. Lewis had left the Southern operators outside the negotiations until he had obtained the contract he wanted from the Northern operators.

It should be noted that it had been reported that the Southern operators, themselves, actually wanted to act independently and that Mr. Lewis acquiesced, rather than actively leaving them out of the process, as Mr. Childs suggests.

Samuel Grafton discusses the change between the Truman Doctrine of March, to give aid directly to Turkey and Greece, circumventing the U.N., and the Marshall Plan of June, proposing to rebuild Europe through a program of self-reliant, mutual cooperation utilizing American aid. The Russians had ignored the change, and condemned both approaches with the same brush, calling them imperialistic plans.

If the Marshall Plan was no good, he offers, America ought lie down and die as being hopelessly dissembling and duplicitous. He did not believe that of America.

The Russians, in declining to participate in the Plan, had turned down the best the West had to offer. The Marshall Plan represented a group movement away from the Truman Doctrine. The Russian rejection had helped only the eccentrics, the isolationists on the right and the Communists on the left. It left the center feeling helpless before Russia, that there was nothing the country could do to please the Soviet. In so doing, the Russians had stirred up new difficulty which they did not need.

A letter from a former staff member of the NLRB responds to a letter from the previous Saturday and provides corrections to misconceptions he believes that the letter writer had. He states that in the early years of the Wagner Act, after it was passed in 1935, there was great resentment of it by management. The NLRB, without enforcement teeth, had nevertheless done a good job in enforcing it against this climate of resentment. Labor had been less guilty of violating contracts than management, according to one labor expert who had studied the matter and served on the Board.

A letter writer finds the letter earlier in the week extolling the Southern accent to have escaped his understanding, as it was in Latin, proved by the quotes from it he offers.

A letter from the Carthage Junior Chamber of Commerce thanks the newspaper for its coverage of its July 4 celebration in Moore County. Between 6,000 and 8,000 people had shown up in a town of 1,500, and the letter finds the newspaper publicity to have been responsible for the turnout.

Among Senator Soaper's remarks: "The God with 18 arms is a character known only to the mysterious East, a region to which the search for the reliable shortstop has never extended."


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