Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that France, in spite
of objection by Britain and the International Monetary Fund,
devalued the franc, in an effort to avert economic ruin and
widespread unemployment. Many London investors rushed to buy gold,
believing that the French action could affect adversely the value of
the pound. The rush, in turn, caused African gold shares to rise in
value and British Government securities to drop.
The House Interstate Commerce Committee recommended an
immediate ban on all exports of petroleum products to alleviate the
fuel oil shortage in the country. It also recommended that new funds
and authority be provided the Interior Department to accelerate
development of oil derived from coal and shale.
Secretary of Interior J. A. Krug proposed in a report that
nine billion dollars be appropriated over the ensuing ten years to
encourage production of synthetic oil and gasoline. He also reported
that an ingredient in corn cobs could be converted to sugar and
fermented into liquid fuels.
The President formally nominated General Omar Bradley to
succeed General Eisenhower as chief of staff of the Army. General
Eisenhower was scheduled to retire February 15 to become president
of Columbia University. The decision had been made months earlier
and was already known.
Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher, who had successfully pleaded her case
to the Supreme Court to be admitted to the University of Oklahoma
Law School or a suitable separate-but-equal in-state facility absent from the landscape, was
petitioning anew to the Court to be admitted to the University on
the basis that the law school which the State was seeking to set up pursuant to the decision
could not possibly be equivalent to that at the University. It
consisted of only three faculty members and was being instituted in
a one-week period, with Ms. Fisher as the only student. Her
attorneys also stated that the Oklahoma Supreme Court had refused to
abide the Supreme Court decision of January 12 by refusing to admit
Ms. Fisher to the University Law School, insisting that state
law had to be followed, requiring segregated facilities. The
decision had allowed for admission to the University Law School
absent an equal in-state facility to which Ms. Fisher could be
forthwith admitted. Her lawyers essentially contended that the
effort to create such a law school on the spur of the moment was a
And, indeed, anyone who has ever been to law school will understand her complaint, that the Socratic method of a law school class involving multiple students, at least in the first year, is invaluable preparation for the practice of law.
The Court was in recess for the week and so it was unlikely
that any action could occur on her petition before February 2.
HUAC chairman J. Parnell Thomas was reported to be seriously
ill from a stomach hemorrhage during a voyage to the Canal Zone in
Panama, reportedly to investigate rumors of subversive activities
Don't worry. Our crystal ball tells us that he will recover
and live until 1970, plenty of time still to ruin more people's
lives, even if his criminal prosecution and imprisonment will sadly
cut short that time soon enough. Don't worry about that though, as
there is someone on the Committee ready and willing to pick up the
ball, the one floating in the porcelain tank.
In Manila, a strong earthquake hit, following a four-hour
series of quakes on Sunday which had killed 27 people. Iloilo on
Panay was hardest hit, though Negros, Cebu, Leyte, and Marinduque
islands were also jolted.
In Merrill, Mich., in Saginaw County, a 20-year old man was
arrested after forcibly taking his former fiancee, 17, who had
broken off their engagement, on a 300-mile car ride before she
finally talked him into driving no further. She had convinced him
that taking her across the Michigan line into Indiana would add ten
years to his sentence. He then told her to take the wheel and she
drove home. According to the prosecutor, he would be charged with
kidnaping and breaking and entering. He had taken her on such a ride
the previous summer, but was not prosecuted at the time.
Perhaps, the cold weather on this occasion had induced him to wear mittens, leading to difficulties with his adductor pollicis.
In Baltimore, a night watchman called the president of the
City Council to tell him of a plan to improve the city's transit
service. Because it was 3:30 a.m., the Councilman asked if he could
call the man back later during the day. But the watchman refused to
give his number because he might be awakened by the call.
Emery Wister of The News tells of a freezing rain and
snowstorm moving in from the Southwest, threatening renewed sleet
and ice, already a problem since Saturday. Rain was hitting Muscle
Shoals, Ala., and snow was forecast for Knoxville, Tenn.
You had better stay indoors, kid, and continue reading that
book, or maybe, another, if you have finished the first one or are
desirous of a differentadventure.
Rusty Riley joins the comic strips on the comics page.
On the editorial page, "Charlotte's Dream and Reality"
tells of City officials having made a tour of Charlotte's slums the
previous week. They had paused before a "crackerbox" which
rented for $1.50 per week, occupied by an elderly black woman. In
full recognition of her plight, the woman had said to them, "Ain't
it terrible that people have to live like this?"
The slum area was to be replaced eventually by a park with a
broad esplanade, based on the vision of a consultant from New York
City hired by the Planning Board to plan urban renewal. It was the
hope of the future.
"Ike Brightens Democratic Outlook" suggests that
Henry Wallace's third party candidacy may have caused the GOP to
re-think its election strategy and decide that it could win with a
more conventional candidate than General Eisenhower. The General had
led President Truman 55 to 45 percent in the Gallup Poll. Senator
Taft was losing 63 to 37 percent, and Governor Dewey was slightly
behind in a close race, at 51 to 49 percent. General MacArthur was
behind the President 57 to 43 percent. The Fortune Survey showed
similar results, with General Eisenhower leading 48 to 34 percent
over the President, and the President leading Governor Dewey 43 to
The independent vote would largely determine the outcome, and
the Republicans appeared, with General Eisenhower out of the race,
to have lost their only chance to attract those voters. Mr. Wallace
appeared to be taking votes from all of the candidates and so was
not a factor.
The Republicans apparently were counting on later poll results
to bolster their chances.
"Beware of Love While Courting" tells of a
sixteen-year study by sociologist Dr. Ernest W. Burgess on marriage,
as reported in Collier's, finding that companionate marriages
were happier than those of romantic love. Sex or physical attraction
had to be relegated to third or fourth place in selecting a mate. If
the marriage were to thrive, mutual understanding, common interests,
and temperamental compatibility took precedence.
Dr. Burgess recommended first being friends before becoming
lovers, and that love at first sight was a warning to leave out the
The piece finds the advice practical but offering no
assurance against a drab life and nothing to ward off the heartbreak
of losing the true love of one's life in exchange for the pragmatic. To be fair to Dr. Burgess, however, he did expressly leave room for finding romantic love within the context of the companionate relationship, provided the cart came not before the horse.
The piece offers that the actual reason for higher divorce
rates was not as the study had found, but rather simply the result
of modern living conditions. It opines that love would do better
when the economic and social problems of the society were solved.
We might suggest further that the modern age had enabled more
choices, outside the formerly confined community and neighborhood in
which one came of age and often spent an entire lifetime.
Opportunities for travel, both physically and, moreover, by flights
of the imagination spurred by movies, radio, and now the new
television, about to begin to pop up increasingly in living rooms
within a couple of more years, had provided the visual and sensual
stimuli to transplant one from the current surroundings to that
Great Elsewhere, where all was lovey-dovey and everyone happy in the
end, no matter the exigency or querulous interlude or other
inevitable conflict encountered for the duration of the show, all
assumed by vicarious experience of the passive viewer to be
necessary incidents of domesticity to keep the paradox in the box
interesting, within the tragicomic confines of modern stagecraft,
magically, via the running headlong script of the persons in the
family appointed director and writers for the day, transmogrified
into the actual mid-Twentieth Century home.
Life had become a scripted affair and, to those inclined to
live their lives by such absorption of fantasy transference to
reality, hopeful of that place depicted on the screen, it had to be
thus and such and not such and thus, counter the script, or
dissatisfaction would become the rule of the day. No dead air in the
living room, as that was not part of the program, even in the silent
era. Dead air was a sign of abnormality, an aberration of the new generation instructed by incessant auditory vibration and, alternatingly, either visual mortification or gratification, or both at once to the warped, breeding in that deathly silence tension.
the spot on the wall widened until the only thing left was the
larger spot on the wall, leading, naturally enough, without the good
offices of Bon Ami working even to ameliorate the problem, to either the end of the marriage or trekking somehow through the spot into
that other realm of imagination, searching for where the kid went,
or making up one to pass the time.
A piece from the Milwaukee Journal, titled "Tax
Sleuths Worth Their Hire", tells of the IRB developing new ways
to find tax cheats, among whom were commercial fishermen, doctors,
and farmers, either not keeping books or manipulating them to hide
James Marlow discusses the three anti-lynching bills pending
in Congress. Some 200 such bills had been offered since 1900, and
had sometimes passed the House only to be filibustered to death in
the Senate, as in 1938, the last time such a bill had been passed by
the lower chamber.
The new bills provided for a fine of $10,000 or twenty years
in prison for anyone aiding a lynching, $5,000 or five years for any
law enforcement officer failing to protect a prisoner from a lynch
mob, and allowing the next-of-kin of a victim to sue, for as much as
$2,000, the municipality where the lynching occurred.
The primary argument offered against the law was that it
invaded states' rights.
The President's Commission on Civil Rights had reported that
often communities condoned lynchings and public officials
participated in them, either actively or passively. Effort to punish
the crime was thus resisted. The threat of lynching stood as a
chilling reminder, constantly hanging over the heads of blacks in a
given community, that a misspoken word or out of place gesture could
lead to death.
Drew Pearson tells of GM having recently placed Richard
Mellon, of the wealthy Andrew Mellon family, on its board. The
company manufactured almost half the motor vehicles in the country
the previous year and needed adequate steel for the purpose. Mr.
Mellon and his family controlled the largest share of stock in
Bethlehem Steel, and the National Bank & Trust, controlled by
Mellon, ran Jones & Laughlin Steel. So GM would have access to
even more steel in 1948, causing independent manufacturers, such as
Kaiser-Frazer automobiles, to have a tougher time.
Many of the largest companies were doing likewise.
He notes that Mr. Mellon was a close friend to Secretary of
Commerce Averell Harriman, who was pleading with steel companies voluntarily to allocate steel across business, but had refrained from
He tells of six Italians, including Enrico Fermi and five of
his schoolmates, having obtained a patent on atomic energy in Italy
in 1935 and in the U.S. in 1940. During the war, the Atomic Energy
Commission had expropriated all patents on atomic energy, but was
now planning to compensate the patent holders.
The last paragraph of the segment causes us to think that it might have
something to do with Watergate, but we are not certain of that. It
could be our eyes lost in rhymes.
He next tells of Montana Congressman and future Democratic
Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield having prepared a report on
why Panama had refused to grant long-term leases to the U.S. for
bases it had sought for the protection of the Canal Zone. Mr.
Mansfield found that it was a function of the pendency of local elections and
believed that the National Assembly would ultimately reverse the
decision. The legal basis for refusal was that, technically, the
treaty under which the leases were made was set to expire a year
after the Japanese surrender. The popular uprising which supplied
the fuel for enforcing that provision had been the result of three
professors at the University of Panama fanning the flames of dissent
among a few college students. The spirit then was quickly
transferred through the population. The 51 delegates of the Assembly
who voted against the leases were all up for re-election the
following May. Communists in the country only played a secondary
Joseph Alsop tells of Herbert Hoover having suddenly become
the point man for opposition to ERP. His plan was to reduce ERP to a
charitable commitment, crippling ERP's intended purpose to bring law
and order to Dodge by means of establishing economic and political
stability. Apparently some Republicans, such as Representative
Christian Herter of Massachusetts, had advance knowledge of the
former President's proposal, as Mr. Herter's proposal had resembled
In the Senate, prior to the Hoover proposal, there had been
an effort to reduce the appropriation for ERP for the first 15
months from the President's proposed 6.8 billion dollars to five
billion, and in the House, to four billion, with the plan that the
figure would finally be reconciled at the mid-point. President
Hoover had pegged the appropriate amount at four billion. So the
Hoover letter to Senator Vandenburg, containing the proposal, had
merely given weight to an already extant initiative brewing among
The normal efforts at compromise between the Executive and
Congress did not apply in this instance as the State Department had
already pared ERP to the bone, in the hope of quick passage, given
the emergent need for the aid in Europe by early spring.
The members of Congress were carefully keeping track of the
pulse of their constituents in determining how to vote on ERP, but
that would not change the situation for those in the 16 nations to
receive the aid. ERP was the final test for dependability of the
U.S. in dealing with Russia. The country would seem to Western
Europe as a "broken reed" should the contest in the
Congress be lost.
Marquis Childs tells of the anonymous case of "Mr. A"
who came to Washington from a private sector job in which he had
earned $60,000 per year, to take a job at $10,000 per year, and
after being kicked around, left. They would not have Mr. A to kick
around anymore, but his job in the Government had cost, he figured,
$90,000 for the year, including losses from lack of attendance to
his businesses and the like, and loss of the ability to deduct
business expenses. Mr. A had a lot more than an Oldsmobile and a
cloth coat when he came to Washington.
The President had been criticized for appointing too many
military men to Government positions, the latest being the failed
nomination of Maj. General Laurence Kuter to become head of the CAB.
But the four other men, all civilians, who had been the most
qualified competing candidates for the job, had turned it down. One
reason they gave was the salary, $10,000, and another was the
potential for abuse by Congress and the aviation industry. So, the
President had nominated General Kuter and had sought to obtain from
Congress an exemption so that he would not have to forfeit his
military status and flight pay. Congress refused and nixed his
A letter from failed Republican Congressional candidate P. C.
Burkholder wants to make it "perfectly clear" that the New
Deal had a "bloodthirsty hunger for power and control over the
American people". He is against New Dealers, no matter who they
are or where they come from. They were causing departure from the
Constitution. They falsified the facts and blamed it all on Russia,
when they were only trying to accomplish what Russia already had
done, "complete control over the people, plus."
The "plus" would probably have to await his next
letter for exposition, which we shall await, as always, with bated