The Charlotte News

Wednesday, January 28, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in Paris, the gold monetary program being put forward by Premier Robert Schuman appeared to be achieving narrow victory in the National Assembly, having been narrowly approved by an Assembly committee the previous day. The Gaullists opposed the measure. The Government had tacitly made approval of the program, which would permit free trade in gold within France while devaluing the franc and establishing a free currency market, a condition for the continuation of the coalition Government, though not yet asking for a vote of confidence. Only the gold measure was subject to approval by the Assembly and the Socialists, who had initially opposed the position, had determined to abstain from voting. But it remained questionable whether the Government, which included Socialists in the coalition, could continue.

The majority of the House Ways & Means Committee, having approved the day before the Knutson tax cut proposal of 6.3 billion dollars, reported that it could be achieved with enough of a surplus to pay eleven billion dollars toward reduction of Government war debt. The measure would go to the floor for a vote on Monday, virtually assured of passage by the Republican majority.

Former Senator Robert La Follette of Wisconsin told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that if Western Europe were to fall under Communist domination, it was doubtful that America could maintain its independence. He favored U.S. aid to Western Europe as the only means to save it. But he also stressed that, ultimately, only the Europeans could save themselves by increasing production. He served the previous fall on the Harriman Committee to survey the nation's resources to determine its ability to produce adequately for service of both domestic needs and the Marshall Plan.

Senator Charles Tobey of New Hampshire wanted to know who the forces were who had convinced the President to demote Marriner Eccles from chairman to vice-chairman of the Federal Reserve Board. He deplored it and believed the President had placed himself in a very bad position by the move.

Relax. He just did it to give you something more about which to get mad and investigate.

Steelworkers of the CIO, headed by Philip Murray, announced that they would seek a new contract in 1948, the third such postwar raise. The CIO United Electrical Workers had also announced that they would seek a substantial wage increase, and the packinghouse workers wanted 29 cents more per hour. Those unions joined the UAW, which announced earlier it would seek higher wages, starting at GM, then Chrysler. The Ford contract was not yet set to expire.

Robert Denham, counsel to the NLRB, charged GM with an unfair labor practice under Taft-Hartley by refusing to bargain collectively with the CIO UAW regarding establishment of an insurance plan.

According to White House press secretary Charles G. Ross, George Baker of Harvard's School of Transportation turned down the offer of appointment as chairman of the Civil Aeronautics Board because of the $10,000 salary. The law prohibited the appointee from holding a job in the private sector while serving as Board chairman.

In the winter snowstorm gripping the nation from the Rockies to the Gulf and Eastern Seaboard, the death toll had reached 160, with 250,000 workers idle, as fuel oil shortages continued to plague the country. Temperatures in Colorado were as low as 50 degrees below zero, a bit nippy. Fuel deliveries to industries in Detroit were cut off for at least a week. Some 200,000 autoworkers could not report to work. In Pittsburgh, 15,000 steel workers were stranded at home. In Ohio, about 25,000 workers had to stay away from work. In Texas, 44 South Plains towns, including Lubbock, were without proper gas.

Two more aftershocks were felt in Iloilo on Panay in the Philippines, where it was reported that 3.5 million dollars worth of damage and loss of 200 houses had occurred. The unofficial death toll stood at 28.

East Carolina Teachers College, in Greenville, N.C., had an enrollment of 1,354 students for the winter semester, which were not so many as there were on a North Carolina ant hill.

In Charlotte, Mayor Herbert Baxter endorsed "Marshall's Dream", the plan for urban renewal, to replace slums with a pleasant esplanade from City Hall and Courthouse Squares to Stonewall Street. What happened after Stonewall Street, we cannot say. The plan was so dubbed after its architect, Engineer J. B. Marshall.

It has not been made clear just what would happen to the residents of the slums to be eliminated under the plan. Guess they could maybe hang out in tents and cardboard boxes on the pleasant esplanade, or go over and live in the railroad cars when more luxury was desirable.

Perhaps, however, we sell the City Council and Planning Commission short. We shall see.

Maybe they will come up with a dream community in the all-white suburbs for these displaced black residents, to be assimilated into perfect harmony with the surrounding community, in houses with white columns and beautiful porticoes, apple trees and trimmed hedges in perfectly symmetrical rows, with lovely ladies in hoop skirts and gentlemen in tails and top hats populating every yard and pleasantly waving to passersby. Call the new village Harmony.

In London, Loretta Young had caused an uproar in the London press by having said that the British were short on essentials, suggesting, among other things, that factory workers fainted every day on the job at around 11:00 a.m. for want of nourishment.

They obviously needed a Dr. Pepper at 10. Send then some Dr. Pepper.

She also said that Englishmen wore beards for want of razor blades.

But if you give them razor blades while they are delirious from hunger, would that not potentially lead to mass suicides or murders?

She also said that people walked on cardboard patched shoes and that fish was being cooked in paraffin for lack of fats.

That's easy of remedy. Send then some Fats Waller records.

The Daily Mirror headline read: "The Things Some People See", suggesting in the story that she had got back to America with "an aching heart for all the hunger and shivering she thought she saw."

The London News printed the headline: "Life In Britain, By Loretta Young".

The Daily Herald said that it normally did not print "fiction", but would make exception this time. It explained that she had claimed that she gave a child a piece of chocolate and the child had replied, "Do I lick it or bite it?"

Obvious enough: It had to have been a Peter Paul Mounds, on which the child had never clapped eyes. C'mon, Loretta.

The Herald editorial replied that the children enjoyed chocolates and sweets, not affordable before the war in as much quantity as allowed under the rationing plan of the Labor Government. It also informed that the nation was tired and "drained of feeling" from the war and could not do better than the considerable production achievements of the postwar period thus far.

Well, our reaction is that we think that Mr. Lennon ought apologize for causing us to believe for many, many years that his friend, Mr. McCartney, perhaps had an ulterior motive in his lyric, obviously now unraveled as to its true meaning. It was the case that "Sweet Loretta Fat", as Mr. Lennon called her, who thought she was a cleaner, but was in fact a frying pan, obviously knowing therefore the cryptic symbology being employed, was none other than Ms. Young.

And, as always, we did not, could not, would not, for we had not the print or the energy with which so to superintend, look ahead to find this story. Nor had anyone to our knowledge ever linked the two in print or otherwise.


General Eisenhower was reported to be expecting a grandchild in April. His name would be David, born March 31, for whom Camp David is named. He would later marry the daughter of President Nixon, Julie.

By dint of coincidence, Tennessee Congressman Albert Gore and his wife were also expecting a child, to be named for his father, also to be born March 31.

In Los Angeles, Chico Marx had sued Warner Brothers for $200,000 for use of his name, without his permission, in the movie "Rhapsody in Blue". He was particularly annoyed because of attribution of his approval of certain piano playing techniques of which he did not approve.

If we were representing the studio, the first question we might ask the comedian was whether there was a Sanity Clause in the contract in which he did not provide permission to the studio for use of his name in association with the piano playing technique of which he did not in fact approve.

And if it did, why did he not sign it? If it did not, then the company could not possibly be liable as the contract did not exist in the eyes of the law, and so was null and void ab initio, ipso facto, meaning that Warner Brothers had no contract with him not to use the reference to his name, in which case, obviously, it could. Stare v. Decisis, 8 Q. B., 1587 Wollcott, J. Sine die.

If he should be so ineluctably temerarious as to answer, "Why you Wanna no approve my disapproval?" we might ask for a momentary recess to gather our thoughts.

Frank Morgan says: "As Seneca, the Roman philosopher, once observed, 'Life is a play; it's not the length, but the performance that counts.' Which reminds me that about the time one learns to make the most of life, the most of it is gone."

We couldn't go that far.

On the editorial page, "Hard Lesson in Rent Control" tells of landlords in Japan going cuckoo over rent control sought to be imposed by the MacArthur occupation. A provision to limit land prices to the price fixed for rice was rejected by the landlords such that rice was now 1,700 yen per koku, the amount of rice to feed an average person for a year, whereas it had been 92 yen, while land prices had remained stationary. Just as American landlords, the Japanese landlords had not understood the macroeconomic theory behind rent control and had sought to evade it, with disastrous results.

The rent control provision in the U.S. passed the previous year, extending rent control for a year to February 20, enabled the signing of a lease lasting through 1948, provided the tenant accepted up to a 15 percent increase, thus locking in the rent beyond the rent-control period established by the bill. But only nine percent of tenants had assented to the 15 percent increase. How the Congress would resolve the problem remained up in the air, whether to continue the current solution for another year or to allow the 15 percent increase without the necessity of the landlord providing an extended lease.

Maybe, with six, the tenant could get eggroll.

Goo, goo.

You now understand everything, save the Boston grass. Tuscon, Arizona, is so very obvious as to be demeaning to your faculties to deign elucidate its Eleusinian mystery.

"Gallup Poll Angers the GOP" tells of Republicans disputing the accuracy of the Gallup Poll showing President Truman leading all Republican candidates in the race, save General Eisenhower, now officially not a candidate since the previous week.

Doris Fleeson, a Washington columnist, wrote that "historical indicators" revealed a different story, with Democrats without any gubernatorial posts in New England, save in Rhode Island, and none in pivotal states across the nation—unable thus to gerrymander districts as could the Republicans. The Democratic big-city bosses were no longer so powerful. And, quoth the Republicans, there had been past "glaring" Gallup errors.

The piece suggests that the Republicans, should they hope to win, pay more attention to the mood of the people, especially the independent voters who would decide the election, than to "historical indicators".

As we know, the Republicans were exactly right and the major polls on the eve of the election proved exactly wrong. The Republicans finally got something right.

Query whether the Republican complaints at this juncture caused a shift in the sampling techniques of the pollsters, leading to the notorious disaster of 1948 polling predictions. Polls typically skew samples on the basis of the previous election's turnout ratios between the parties, the percentage of the sample polled being a function of the percentage of registered voters of a party who cast their ballots in the previous election in a particular district. If District A had, for instance, 50 percent Democrats, 40 percent Republicans and ten percent Independents voting in the previous presidential election, those ratios would generally be maintained in the polling sample to obtain an accurate reflection of the district's preferences among candidates. The swing districts most usually selecting the winner in the elections historically would be given the most weight typically in polling data.

Perhaps, on urging by the Republicans, the polls changed that formula, giving the Republicans more weight than that to which they were entitled based on "historical trends", explaining the historical fumble.

Moral: Be careful of that for which you wish, especially having gained control of both houses of Congress in the mid-term election, and then doing little, if anything, to effect cooperation with the President, showing him downright disrespect, winding up earning, properly, the disrespect of the country and being credibly denounced as the "do-nothing Congress". Investigating everybody, with emphasis on those with whom you disagree, is not the way to win friends and influence people.

"Chancellor Flowers of Duke" tells of the Duke Board of Trustees accepting the resignation of the Duke president, Robert Flowers, and allowing him to become chancellor, a new position at Duke.

He had been associated with the institution since 1891, when it was Trinity College, had been a professor there for 40 years, and was widely respected by the students he had taught. And as an administrator, he had helped to shape the institution into the modern university which it had come to be, out of the small Methodist college which it had been. He had largely realized the dream charted by founder James B. Duke and president William P. Few, the latter having died in 1940, at which point, the mantle had passed to Dr. Flowers.

It posits that the institution was fortunate to have him remain as chancellor and that, being on the threshold of a great era of service to the nation and humanity, it should take great care in naming a new president in the tradition of Dr. Few and Dr. Flowers.

A piece from the Louisville Courier-Journal, "Imperialism's Decline in East", tells of the crumbling of empires as the U.S. had provided for independence of the Philippines; Great Britain having done so with respect to India and Burma; Holland, with regard to Indonesia; France, contemplating greater freedom for Indo-China; and most recently, Great Britain planning to allow self-rule in the Malayan states. There was also the prospect of giving Korea, occupied by the U.S. and Russia since war's end, back to Koreans, and Formosa back to its native inhabitants.

But enlightenment was not the primary impelling force behind the policy of liberation. Rather, the mother countries could no longer afford to sustain their empire interests after the war.

Britain was still maintaining control of Singapore and Hong Kong but the tendency toward independence moved the world closer to the time when "one world" could be a reality.

Drew Pearson tells of General MacArthur having fired General Eisenhower, when the latter was Lieutenant Colonel, as his assistant in the Philippines before the war. Since that time, the two men had not been on good terms and General Eisenhower's friends had reported that it was why he had inserted into his withdrawal statement the admonition that no military career man should aspire to the presidency absent extraordinary circumstances, which obviously he believed did not inhere at present. The words were aimed directly at General MacArthur, to deter him from running and the Republicans from drafting him.

In Atlanta, KKK Grand Dragon Sam Green, a physician, was against election of Herman Talmadge in the upcoming gubernatorial primary—despite Mr. Talmadge having come out in favor of an all-white primary to be achieved through a test to be given on knowledge of the Constitution, as determined subjectively by voter registrars, and saying that 90 percent of black people were unqualified to vote whereas 90 percent of white people, including illiterates, had the necessary mental wherewithal to do so.

Dr. Richard Eubank, a dentist, had, however, led the Klavern No. 1 meeting in January when the decision was made to support Mr. Talmadge—the previous year having been selected by the Legislature to become Governor in the stead of his father, Eugene, who had died before taking office in late 1946. After a bitter fight with the Lt.-Governor-elect M. E. Thompson, supported by outgoing Governor Ellis Arnall, the State Supreme Court had determined that the correct interpretation of the Georgia Constitution established succession by Mr. Thompson. Mr. Talmadge, who had in the meantime occupied the Governor's Mansion and the Governor's office at the Capitol, and barred Governor Arnall and Lt.-Governor Thompson from it utilizing state police, stepped aside until the 1948 election.

But others in the Klavern disfavored the backing of Mr. Talmadge, recalling that his father had been anti-labor, supporting a dollar per day in wages for the worker.

Dr. Green had held a meeting the previous week to try to heal the kackling krack among the Krackers in the Klavern.

Hey, fellas. How about supporting comprehensive state-provided medical and tooth care? It's states' rights. Then there's no need to depend on the employer for it.

The Republicans, with General Eisenhower definitely now not running, were planning to stress in the coming campaign the President's appointment of an extraordinary number of military men to civilian Government positions. The President had said recently to Democratic Senators that he did not intend to use military personnel as long as he could find qualified civilians; but absent that, there was no reason to refuse to appoint qualified military personnel. Senators Burnet Rhett Maybank of South Carolina and Harry Flood Byrd of Virginia had sided with Republicans in voting against confirmation of Maj. General Laurence Kuter to be head of CAB. Other Democrats voted "present", neither confirming nor opposing confirmation.

He tells of Senator Ralph Flanders of Vermont eagerly protesting a bill on coinage, to make unnecessary future bills on coinage, on the ground that the bill was unnecessary—until two of his colleagues whispered to him that it was a bill which he had sponsored.

Marquis Childs tells of Ambassador to Iran George V. Allen giving up that post to become Assistant Secretary of State for information services, including the Voice of America. He was fourth or fifth choice, as the others had rejected the appointment. But he was eminently qualified for the job, important for its role in combating Soviet propaganda with information on America to be disseminated through Eastern Europe and into the Soviet Union.

With the cut in half of the budget for the Information Service the previous summer, many of the most qualified people in the agency had resigned.

The Information Service beamed up to two million words per week and it was inevitable that not every member of Congress would agree with every statement made. Editorial criticism recently had been aimed at the information distributed in China for not adequately criticizing the Government of Chiang Kai-Shek. But if every such statement were challenged, the result would be a void of information.

He expresses the hope that Congress would grant Mr. Allen a free hand in putting forth information, that he might have a chance before any effort would be made to censor or limit him. Senator Alexander Smith of New Jersey had said as much in his report on the Mundt bill, which had cut the funding for the agency. But Senator Smith had also stated that criticism would be proper if there were reflected any persistent partisanship in the information purveyed. Mr. Allen's predecessor, William Benton, had never been given that opportunity.

Samuel Grafton tells of the devaluation of the franc to the point where a dollar was legally worth 300 francs, whereas previously the value had been 119, or 240 on the black market. In Britain also, times were tough economically, as shortages abounded for want of imports, the theory being that goods produced at home should be exported to America to obtain needed dollars and credits. The target was the upper class.

Because of inflated prices leaving inessential goods outside the reach of most Americans, American business also was looking to the upper class as the primary consumer base. He suggests that the upper class consumer thus had great responsibility for keeping the American economy and that of Britain and France afloat.

He questions whether the target customer, however, actually existed in sufficient numbers to meet the task, doubts that it was so, making it the more important for the Marshall Plan to be passed so that Europe could recover economically and sustain its own production, likewise, for the Baruch plan of inflation control to be implemented to assure stability of the domestic economy in the meantime, to allow for the necessary production to support the Plan.

A letter writer responds all too politely to the nut case who had proposed giving Russia an ultimatum of ending its expansionist policies or dropping an atomic bomb on Moscow, by referencing former Secretary of War under FDR and former Secretary of State under President Hoover, Henry L. Stimson, writing in the October issue of Foreign Affairs, counseling instead patience with Russia in the postwar world. Mr. Stimson condemned those who were fellow travelers in America, but also those who favored strong-arm tactics toward Russia. He favored approval of the Marshall Plan as a way affirmatively to defeat Russian expansion while fostering peace, not war.

The writer agrees.

A letter writer is opposed to any long-term commitment to ERP.

He also thinks Winston-Salem and Forsyth County, in being the only county nationwide not to have a March of Dimes drive because it questioned the proper expenditure of the money collected, had performed a service by expressing doubt as to the charitable purpose of the organization, not approved by the National Information Bureau, set up to determine the adherence to eleemosynary purposes in public solicitations.

See there? That's why we still have polio in this country by the billions. It's those corrupt New Dealers again with their fancy Yankee talk and policies of Federal control, taking your guns, shape-shifting, lizard-looking, coming down here telling us what to do, contrary to the good John Birch people who are omniscient beings. Everybody knows that Franklin Roosenfeldenowitz, his real name, was actually not a cripple. He could walk as good as anyone. There are pictures, friends, which prove it. We have them, but we are afraid of instant death from a laser-sighted high-powered rifle should we reveal them. But the truth cannot be hidden forever: It was just a Roosenfeldenowitz ruse to arouse sympathy. Now, don't you feel stupid?

And in fact, Paul Revere did warn the British of the coming of the Americans over the sea to attack at the Alamo in New Orleans in 1814. And the British did not burn the White House. That was just another Government false-flag operation to inspire sympathy for a corrupt war.

In fact, the fire erupted after Doll Tearsheet, a girl-servant at the White House, thought to be the mistress of the President, was caught under the rosebushes smoking, and, that practice being forbidden to girls of the time, she quickly tried to extinguish her clay pipe, at which point, it being August and the rosebuds being dried up, one bush caught fire and quickly spread to the back porch at which point the whole place erupted in apocalyptic conflagration as might a tinderbox. The President, naturally to protect his mistress from the angry crowds who were shouting with acridity in unison outside the Executive Mansion, "Hang the rascal responsible for this and end the War now," saw the opportunity at once to engage public ardor in the cause and service of the Government, and so created the false story that the British had lit the match.

It is believed also, though not proved yet, that the killing of Tecumseh was effected actually and personally by Andrew Jackson, a Democrat, not at the direction of William Henry Harrison, a Whig, and that thus only Democrats should be the subject of the Curse, regardless of party affiliation, as we do not wish to seem biased, being as we are, fair and balanced. In fact, "Old Hickory" surreptitiously sported the scalp of Tecumseh for years afterward on his belt, revealing same only to select company in his presence, in a manner suggestive of his seductive powers with the ladies, the rumor of which further irritating the Shawnee Nation, which then decided by collective council to act, until some drunken Indian at its head got the names confused after came forth the slogan, "Tippecanoe and Tyler, Too", he mispronouncing it "Tuppercanoe", thought it rhymed with Tecumseh and so erroneously cast the curse upon President Harrison and successors elected in zero years, albeit the catch, of course, being that the Curse only applies to males. And the rest is history. It takes 2020 vision to understand these things.

Don't even get us started on the Civil War. We have not lost yet. There was never a truce, as that weakling Lee did not represent all Southerners anyway and was secretly conspiring all along against the South in favor of his old cronies from West Point. Why else would that old pansy have given up his guns to the Government?

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