The Charlotte News

Saturday, July 12, 1947


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the 16-nation conference began in Paris to discuss the Marshall Plan and set forth the nations' needs and their ability to supply their own resources in coordination. Britain and France were leading the conference, having issued the invitations to the other fourteen nations. Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin stated that all of the resources of the British Empire would be used to support the effort. He also reaffirmed that the invited countries not attending, the eight Soviet-bloc nations plus Russia, would be welcome at the table if and when they chose to contribute to the "health of Europe".

In Greece, Government forces were said to be inflicting heavy casualties on guerrilla forces in the mountains of the northwest, near the Albanian border.

In Palestine, it was reported that two British sergeants had been kidnaped from Natanya, believed to be held by a Jewish underground organization. Hagana, a moderate Jewish organization, was reported to be searching for the two missing sergeants to avoid imposition of martial law by the British. The organization warned that it would impose its own martial law if the two were not released.

In Washington, in the Senate subway, an individual fired two pistol shots at Senator John W. Bricker of Ohio, presidential candidate and Republican vice-presidential nominee in 1944. The assailant, William Kaiser, a former member of the Capitol Police, was taken into custody by the Metropolitan Police. He said that he was trying to refresh Senator Bricker's memory. Mr. Bricker, who was not harmed, described him as a disgruntled patronage seeker who had lost money fifteen years earlier in a failed building and loan association in Ohio. Mr. Bricker, as district attorney at the time, had filed for liquidation of the loan association.

The man fired twice, the first from 15 feet away and the second from 150 feet as the Senator and a companion fled the scene on the subway tram. Senator Bricker believed the gun to contain blanks as he did not hear any bullet strike anything.

Of course, it may have been the case that he was struck and just did not realize it until years later.

The Senate still had not voted on the renewal of the tax-cutting bill, delayed by unsuccessful attempts by Senator Wayne Morse of Oregon to amend the bill.

Many economists in the country were now predicting an economic downturn as prices would reach new peaks in August and September. The full employment reported the previous day was considered a negative factor, driving the engine of inflation.

In Brunswick, Ga., guards shot six black convicts to death and wounded seven others as they purportedly sought to escape from a prison camp. The N.A.A.C.P. called for an investigation of the incident. After 27 prisoners had struck and refused to work, one man allegedly charged a guard in the yard where the men were assembled, and the guard shot him in the leg. At that point, several men tried to climb the barbed wire fence enclosing the yard. Four guards then opened fire with shotguns.

In Charleston, Federal District Court Judge J. Waties Waring ruled this date that blacks were entitled to vote in the South Carolina Democratic primaries, declaring the new South Carolina system of treating parties as private clubs for purposes of primary elections to be unconstitutional.

In a second case, he ruled that a black man seeking admission to the University of South Carolina Law School on the ground that the state afforded no black law school, would receive remedy if the South Carolina State College for Negroes were equipped with a law school by the beginning of the fall term. Otherwise, he and others qualified to enter law school would be admitted to the University Law School, or the state would have to cease providing a law school for anyone.

Burke Davis previews a special section of the newspaper, to appear on July 29, which would survey the industrial life of the Piedmont of the two Carolinas and its three million inhabitants. The region stretched from the Greensboro-Winston-Salem-High Point area to Charlotte and south to Spartanburg, S.C., embracing tobacco, furniture, and textile manufacturing.

The News picked its first of seven weekly winners of an amateur photo contest. The winning entries are on the page. The winner received $5 and second place, $2.50. The grand prize winner after seven weeks would receive $25 and the three runner-ups, $10 apiece. The winners would then compete nationally for $10,000 to be divided between 167 prizes. The emphasis was on human interest rather than photographic technique.

On the editorial page, "Congress and a World Tragedy" regards the 880,000 displaced persons of Europe two years after the end of the war. The President, the previous week, had urged that the Congress pass legislation to allow 400,000 such persons into the country over the course of the ensuing four years. England, France, and Belgium had suspended their immigration quotas for the purpose. The United States, it concludes, had a moral obligation to follow suit, especially given its relative prosperity following the war.

"An Experiment for Spastics" tells of St. Martin's Episcopal Church in Charlotte having converted a portion of its Parish House into a day nursery for children who, while mentally normal, were physically disabled. It afforded a temporary solution to the problem, which required a hospital. Dorothy Knox of The News was leading a group seeking construction of such a facility. The experiment meanwhile at St. Martin's was helping to fill the void, even if on a very limited scale.

"Mr. Truman Just Keeps Rolling" tells of the President's popularity having regularly declined from July, 1945 through October, 1946, and since, having regularly increased. His veto of Taft-Hartley, however, had not yet had any impact on his popularity. He picked up two points from organized labor, according to the latest Gallup poll, and lost only three points among farmers.

The result showed the discrepancy between that which politicians and journalists deemed important and what the people actually thought. President Truman's folksy personality probably held him in better stead with the voters than his actual record in office.

The Republicans were faced with the difficulty of convincing voters to change horses when they were more preoccupied with "who made the saucers fly."

A piece from the Greensboro Daily News, titled "Willie and John Paul Jones", counsels restoration of the house where John Paul Jones had lived in Halifax, N.C., with Willie Jones, pronounced as "Wiley", really, or, "wily", wryly. It was from Mr. Jones that John Paul obtained his cognomen—notwithstanding a recent editorial in the Washington Post which could not determine the fact.

John Paul Jones's legendary role and many statements accorded aphoristic status placed him among the pantheon of great men in history. His residence in North Carolina thus deserved commemoration.

Drew Pearson recounts the President's conversation with a group of county agents who had visited at the White House. The President said that they had much in common.

He tells of the President's shock at the news that the coal operators had agreed to such liberal terms for John L. Lewis and the UMW. It appeared to be an effort to back Mr. Lewis in his support of Governor Dewey. Many had considered the President a hero in December for backing down Mr. Lewis with the Federal court order and contempt citation after he defied the order not to strike pending outcome of the Federal case on the Government contract and his right unilaterally to declare it violated and hence void.

Now that Mr. Lewis was back in the driver's seat with political capital, he intended to use it to destroy both the President and Senator Taft, for whom he had equal contempt. Administration leaders claimed that in exchange for support of Governor Dewey, the U.S. Steel Corp. and Pittsburgh Consolidated Coal Co. had agreed to the generous terms of the contract. The former was controlled by J. P. Morgan and the latter by Andrew Mellon. The substantially increased wages would be passed to the consumer such that it would not cost the companies anything.

Administration officials were especially perturbed at the fact that coal and steel prices would rise in response by about a dollar per ton, starting an inflationary spiral.

Not mentioned by Mr. Pearson, incidentally, in his inflation-spiraling calculation is the doubled royalty per ton of coal mined to be paid to the board-controlled UMW health and welfare fund, five cents having been paid under the Government contract. It may have been the case that the royalty was specifically prohibited under the contract terms, or under the Wagner Act, from being included in cost calculations for setting prices.

It should be noted also that the Government contract of May 29, 1946 had provided for an 18.5 cents per hour increase, consistent with the formula used to settle the UAW and steel strikes of 1945-46. The earlier terms with the Government added therefore $1.66.5 per day, based on a nine-hour day, to miners' pay. The new terms added effectively another 44.5 cents per hour or $1.20 per day, as explained on July 4 and July 8, based on a shorter work day of eight hours—even if calculating out the rates, including the extra hour under the new terms at time-and-a-half, renders an effective increase, spread over nine hours, of only 41.3 cents per hour. But who's counting? Give about three pennies, maybe, of the 44.5 to Mr. Lewis's pockets that he might attend the operas. If not, he could be trusted to give it to the Pope's coffers, for the widows and orphans.

Albert Einstein expressed to a friend his concern that military mass-mindedness which had taken grip of Germany with the Junkers appeared now to have done so in the U.S.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop suggest that the flying saucer sightings were emblematic of the times when compared to the old days of the Loch Ness monsters and other sea serpents and dragons. The man-made horrors, rather than the fantastic, were now the obsession du jour. Driving the tendency was the perception that there would be no warning, as in the past, when enemies were preparing for war.

But actually the deposits of radioactive particles in the upper atmosphere, which would become part of the precipitation, could, when tested, demonstrate when the Soviets had enchained an atom bomb, as discerned during the American detonations. The dust from the Trinity test on July 16, 1945 had settled later in Midwestern cornfields, ruining photographic negatives, the base of which had been made from the cornstalks.

Scientists had gadgets which could act as Geiger counters in the upper atmosphere. Amateur physicists also had such gadgets.

They might be called weather balloons or something else—Roswellians from another planet, Bluto.

G. Herzog had noticed a substantial increase in the reading registered by his Geiger counter a couple of days after the Trinity test, from his house in Houston, Texas.

But clouds traveled at the rate of only 60 miles per hour, hardly therefore yielding an adequate early warning for approach of an atomic weapon. It only afforded a means to know of a test of a device.

Get your Geiger counter, a kite and let her rip. Then, you, too, will know, hours after it transpires, when the end of the world occurred.

They conclude that the Soviets had impliedly warned non-cooperators that they would suffer within ten years, when the Soviets obtained their first atomic weapon, and thus had successfully obtained cooperation from the eight Soviet-bloc nations who had refused invitation to the Paris conference starting this date to assess the Marshall Plan.

Samuel Grafton remarks that the Marshall Plan had afforded the first clear victory for the U.S. diplomatically over Russia, and that it had been accomplished through an offer of aid, not by threat.

He advocates enlarging therefore the Marshall Plan and passing the Stratton bill to allow 400,000 displaced persons of Europe into the U.S. over a four-year period. That would render impotent the anti-American arguments being heard in Europe.

One of the problems with the Truman Doctrine was that it copied British policy, bending almost double to get close enough to King George of Greece to make a deal. The Marshall Plan enabled an upright stance for the country.

Allowing the displaced persons into the country would lend an able and willing labor force as well as knocking into a cocked hat the attempt at spreading ill will toward America.

A letter writer, responding to a critic's letter, reiterates the stance he had taken in a previous letter, advocating that the Social Security Board be allowed to invest its funds in the private market to insure the stability of the program.

A letter writer responds to P. C. Burkholder's letter attacking President Roosevelt for running up the debt of the country. He points to the war as being the primary reason for the debt. He suggests that Mr. Burkholder's view was obviously that a Republican President would not have gotten the country into war, and had it not been the case, the country would now being living prosperously and well.

He concludes, as we did without reading this letter, that the patch on the pants to which Mr. Burkholder had beheld as lucky for a man to have after the Roosevelt-Truman years, would be unnecessary after the GOP got through straightening things out, as a person would be lucky then to have pants.

A letter from the Salvation Army thanks Tom Schlesinger of The News for his story on the Rev. B. F. M. Fahl in the July 9 edition of the newspaper.

Mr. Schlesinger, incidentally, was the son of Arthur Schlesinger, the prominent historian, and brother of Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.

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