The Charlotte News

Wednesday, July 9, 1947


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that both Bulgaria and Rumania had rejected the British-French invitation to the Paris conference set to convene on July 12 to discuss the needed aid to be requested by each participating European country under the Marshall Plan and the coordination of the aid among the countries. Fourteen nations of the 22 invited had thus far accepted.

Senator Bourke Hickenlooper of Iowa reported that two Army sergeants had taken important documents from the Los Alamos, N.M., atomic testing facility when they were demobilized from the project in March, 1942, but that the documents were recovered without a breach of security. The theft had only been discovered in 1947. The soldiers had acted only as souvenir hunters and were not engaged in espionage.

The New York Sun reported that highly secret data on the atomic bomb had been stolen from the Oak Ridge, Tenn., plant by workers at the plant. Mr. Hickenlooper, however, stated that the committee was aware of no such incident, but the story had prompted the revelation of the recovered documents from Los Alamos.

The Southern coal producers announced their acceptance of the new contract with UMW, already approved by the other producers. The Southern operators included about 150,000 of the nation's 400,000 bituminous coal miners. It was hoped that the mines would return to operation the following day. The miners had been on a ten-day paid vacation under the Government contract of May, 1946, a vacation which had ended Monday. Many of the Northern mines were already back in operation.

The head of the American Iron and Steel Institute stated to the Senate Steel Committee that he foresaw no continuing shortage of steel in the country.

The chairman of General Foods Corp. stated to the Joint Congressional Committee on the Economic Report that he anticipated that food prices would drop by 15 percent by harvest time in 1948. But the U.S. Chamber of Commerce stated to the same Committee that the Marshall Plan, if it became effective, would exert an upward pressure on many food prices.

The previous day, the House approved, by a vote of 302 to 112, the identical tax bill previously vetoed and sustained, save for its effective date being advanced six months. The Senate, after committee approval of the bill this date, was expected to pass the bill the following day.

In New York, the nude body of a tall blonde woman was discovered by a maid in her West 57th St. apartment. Her true identity had not yet been ascertained, as she went by at least two or three names. She had been beaten and strangled to death.

Dick Young tells of a Charlotte rookie policeman catching a man fleeing a robbery the previous evening at the Carolina Motor Club Offices. The officer shot and wounded the man in his ankle area. The man had stolen three fountains pens, two pencils, a flashlight, a map marker and a combination pencil and knife. A pistol taken from the club could not be identified yet as that found near the suspect.

On May 25, an unidentified Chinese man had foiled a robbery at the club, firing two shots at an intruder trying to steal a safe.

Tom Watkins tells of two bootleggers convicted in Superior Court for conspiracy to violate the liquor laws and sentenced to terms of two years and six months, respectively. The two were considered kingpins in the local bootlegging trade.

Russian delegate to the U.N. Andrei Gromyko stated at Lake Success that he had not yet had an opportunity to study the American skies to observe any flying saucers, but said that he would like to see one in technicolor. He stated that some attributed the sightings to the British for exporting too much Scotch to America. Others, he said, ascribed the sightings to a Russian discus thrower who did not realize his own strength. He did not believe either explanation.

In Tehran, press reports came from three locations near the Afghan border in Iran, Zabool, Shosef, and Sarbisheh, relating of sightings of "starlike bodies" in the sky, which then exploded loudly, leaving a cloud of smoke. Mehri Iran stated that it was a secret weapon dubbed the "V-20".

What happened to the intervening 18 V's is not told.

The intrepid Hal Boyle again checks in from the flying saucer man who had abducted him from a bar in New York City and was whipping him about the continent at breakneck speed.

Never fear. Mr. Boyle saved the planet from certain destruction by appealing to the better angels of the invaders' nature, Balmy and the rest. We owe him a debt of gratitude which is beyond expression.

Thanks, Hal. You did it, buddy.

As they say, Orl's Well That Ends Well, we suppose.

We also note a scant mention in the Amsterdam (N.Y.) Evening Recorder, beside the Boyle report, of the Roswell weather balloon, on page 7. Roswell, contrary to popular belief stimulated by self-interested hucksters, and their apologists and cling-ons, since it became a fad of sorts in the 1960's, barely made any ripple at all, except in the wine, at the time and for two decades afterward. It was certainly not the semi-religion of sorts which it later became to some.

It is a pleasant enough escape for a little while to view the prospect in fantasy of some advanced civilization on another, distant planet with technologies beyond our imagination and capability. But, such, it must be realized after that short while, is in the realm of fantasy, not fact, not even subject properly to faith. And, we do not necessarily measure human advancement by technological or scientific knowledge, unless, that is, one is prepared to accord the Nazis the label of an "advanced civilization".

Stick with Hal. Read some Tom Swift at the library and find more earthly pursuits to fuel your idle fantasies.

Incidentally, a good friend of ours, who, for many years, has resided in the Bahamas, and may only be reached, if lucky, by tin cans and string, was conceived, as we have verified through his father, on Palm Sunday, 1952, April 6, the Life bearing the following day's date, the one with President Truman on the cover, having presumably already hit the newsstands. For what it's worth...

In London, a Royal announcement was anticipated shortly that Princess Elizabeth would be married in the fall to Lt. Philip Mountbatten. The Evening Standard reported that the announcement would come this night or the following day. It was speculated that they would be titled the Duke and Duchess of Clarence, or of York or Sussex.

Movie editor Emery Wister tells on page 2-A of his face-lift received when he recently visited Hollywood. You may read it at your leisure.

On the editorial page, "Everybody Wins, Nobody Loses" finds the maxim rarely realized in union contract negotiations. The favorable contract just negotiated by UMW for instance assured that the consumer would be paying more for coal.

But the Ford contract with UAW had concluded with only a modest pay raise and a new pension plan which would ultimately not cost the consumer, as it would in the long-run, according to Ford, raise production efficiency. The pension plan would insure a stable work force, as to take advantage of it required continuing employment through retirement.

Such negotiations, it offers, should become a model for management and labor to follow rather than treating contract negotiations as a slugfest with a clear winner and a clear loser. Ultimately, in the latter scenario, the consumer lost.

"Congress and the Plane Crashes" tells of the President's special board of inquiry regarding the recent spate of air crashes having determined that 35 percent occurred during landing or on approach, resultant of inadequate equipment at most airports to assist the aircraft in the landing process. The board referred the matter to Congress.

Congress had heard the conclusion previously in hearings. But the Republicans had refused funding requested by the Civil Aeronautics Board to equip airports properly. Charlotte, for instance, had lost its Federal appropriation for the airport control tower until Congressman Hamilton Jones had enabled its restoration.

The entire program requested by CAB would only cost an estimated 13.4 million dollars, and yet the House had appropriated 5.9 million and the Senate only a bit over half a million dollars. While the motivation for the cut may have been that such equipment was the responsibility of local government, the Federal Government had always assumed this responsibility. Congress thus needed at least to insure that such money for equipment would be available from some source, or public safety would be jeopardized.

Congress, it concludes, had to carry a large amount of the blame for the recent crashes.

"The Last of the Mecklenburgs" finds intriguing the letter from George, Duke of Mecklenburg in Germany, to the City Council, remarking on his having just become aware that Charlotte and Mecklenburg County existed. There was a plaintive tone to his letter, suggesting that he might even wish to visit and take up residence in Charlotte. He and his family had experienced hard times under the Nazis and lost their last castles.

The editorial thinks it would be a boon to the Chamber of Commerce to have a George, Duke of Mecklenburg in residence and so they ought encourage his immigration.

A piece from the Winston-Salem Sentinel, titled "The Old Swimming Hole", finds the stir caused at Cornelius in Mecklenburg County by the nude swimmers to be a sign of the times. In the old days, boys and men swam nude in the old swimming hole as they caught catfish and suckers.

Now, with modern development, suburbs had crept into the vicinity of the old swimming hole and women were as apt to be swimming in it or sunbathing by it as the men and boys.

That was all well and good, but the piece doubts that the participants had nearly the fun that was had in the old days at the old swimming hole.

We do not mean to throw cold water on pleasant memories of old days but if the water was stagnant, it was also, it would seem, a very good place to contract polio, down at the old swimming hole, in the old days.

Drew Pearson tells of Mrs. Ted Thackery, owner of the New York Post, having failed to show up for a White House luncheon, resulting in the FBI being sent to try to locate her. It turned out that she and her daughter had not received word of the invitation. J. Edgar Hoover, himself, located her at the Statler Hotel, but she was out until the evening. The President went forward with the luncheon without her.

He next tells of the discussion between Secretary of Interior J. A. Krug and Attorney General Tom Clark on how to handle the tidal oil lands, the Federal right to which had just been determined by the Supreme Court. The states heretofore had collected royalties from leases to private oil companies. The decision was made not to try to collect back royalties as it would bankrupt the states or the oil companies. But Mr. Clark rejected the suggestion of Secretary Krug that the Government continue the state leases unaltered, as many of them ran indefinitely.

He proposed that the leases be limited in their term and that allowances should be made for companies who had made large investments in less productive wells. He also insisted that the Government should provide 37.5 percent of its royalties on new leases to the states where the wells were, pursuant to the Federal Leasing Act so mandating.

Mr. Krug agreed that the matter needed further study and that Congress would clobber the Administration regardless of what they advocated.

Mr. Pearson next tells of Republican-appointed Senate Chaplain Peter Marshall having given a talk at the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church in Washington, in which he stated that if employers were to run their businesses on Christian principles, labor troubles would disappear. He also found it intolerable that soil erosion was causing a loss of 300,000 acres of arable land each year. Both statements ran contrary to GOP policy. Mr. Pearson wonders what the Republicans might do if Reverend Marshall made such statements on the floor of the Senate.

Marquis Childs champions the idea that progressive goals at home were entirely compatible with the rehabilitation of Europe. He finds the Communist line, as made clear with the desertion from the Marshall Plan by V. M. Molotov at the recent tripartite Paris conference, to be returning to advocacy of the old isolationism, which the Communists in America advocated during the period prior to the invasion by the Nazis of Russia on June 22, 1941. The line was not any different from that espoused at the time by the America Firsters and the Chicago Tribune.

Henry Wallace now favored the Marshall Plan, found it superior, with its stress on self-determination, to the Truman Doctrine, which in his view took an imperialistic stance to aid.

The Communists in America now favored isolationism, condemning the Marshall Plan as having imperialistic aims.

The Southern Conference for Human Welfare had taken the same line as the Communists prior to mid-1941, though some of its membership departed from the peace movement, realizing the need for supplying armament to resist Fascism in Europe. That peace movement, he says, was the creature of the Communist Party and helped keep the country unprepared for war. The Southern Conference believed that social progress was not possible while the country also prepared for war.

In his Watergate Amphitheater speech on June 17, sponsored by the Southern Conference, Mr. Wallace had stressed a similar theme, even if shortly thereafter endorsing the Marshall Plan, not mentioned in the Washington speech.

Mr. Childs believes that the Soviets were determined to undermine the Marshall Plan, as would the Communist Party in America.

Mr. Childs does not explain that it was predominantly the reluctance of isolationists in Congress who kept the country unprepared for war, despite efforts by the Roosevelt Administration to the contrary. While the America Firsters whipped nationalistic and isolationist sentiment abroad the land, they had no traction without Congress. His seeming attempt, perhaps inadvertent for the limitations of space, to shift much of the burden to the Communist Party does not track well the history of the country's initial lack of preparedness for war, and is rather a shabby argument for him to make, contrary to his usually historically accurate and astute pieces. Certainly the American Communist Party had little if any impact on the Congress prior to or during World War II. And the Southern Conference was dismissed as Communist-inspired before the war, even if an unfair charge brought on by its liberal social stands in the reactionary South—just as with HUAC's recent report condemning it as linked to Communism.

But he is also quite correct that aid to Europe via the Marshall Plan was completely consistent with social progress at home.

Samuel Grafton states that the commentators were correct in asserting that the Communists were making the only organized effort at forming a third party. But it was wrong then to deduce that the Communists were the only dissatisfied element in the country. The independent liberals also were not happy with either major party. To try to suggest, as many columnists were doing, that only Communists were desirous of a third party, was simply to create a falsehood in the premises.

The two best-selling fiction books were Gentleman's Agreement and Kingsblood Royal, both concerned with race relations, as with other books also best-sellers. The American public was thus concerned with this issue. Yet, no activity in either of the major parties reflected this consuming interest. It portended a break from both parties.

Americans were also concerned about the continuing housing shortage and rising rents. But barely a flicker of interest to meet this concern was reflected in Congress.

Mr. Grafton states that he was not suggesting that a third party, and certainly not the Communists, could necessarily solve these problems, including the nagging question of peace. But third party movements were not historically formed out of strategic considerations, rather by pressure from the people. And they were always badly timed.

The Democrats and Republicans concerned about these rising pressures had better take heed and do something to relieve them, rather than persisting in largely ignoring them and complaining that the third party movement was inspired by Communists.

A letter writer responds to the "vicious and venomous" attack made on FDR by A. W. Black, as printed July 4. We agree with the assessment and the defense.

She relates of the outpouring of affection and sympathy by soldiers at the time of Mr. Roosevelt's death on April 12, 1945.

As indicated, Mr. Black, no doubt, either voted consistently for the Republican candidates or wrote in the name of Hitler.

A letter from P. C. Burkholder responds to a letter, also of July 4, responding to his prior letter attacking the New Deal. He suggests that the letter writer remove from his eyes the "New Deal scum" and stop blaming Republicans for everything which actually was the fault of the Roosevelt Administration, continued under President Truman.

He thinks that by the time the Republicans got the New Deal mess cleaned up, the average citizen would be lucky to have a patch on the seat of his pants.

And, after the Republicans got through "cleaning" again, he would likely have no pants over which to worry anyway.

A letter writer finds A. W. Black's praise of President Hoover and damning of President Roosevelt to have neglected any concern for the people who committed suicide during the Hoover years or for the victims of the war "made inevitable by Republican diplomacy."

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