The Charlotte News

Friday, February 13, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in Berlin, Germans in the Soviet-occupied zone were instructed by the Russian commander to set up an economic commission for the Eastern occupation zone of the country, similar to that in the Western zone. The commander turned down an invitation to join the zone's economy with that of the Western zone and continued to protest the establishment of a combined British-American economic zone, so-called Bizonia. A Soviet spokesman stated that the directive did not imply creation of an East German government.

In Jerusalem, reports came of the killing the previous night of four Jews, whose bodies were found at Stephens Gate shortly after British troops had picked them up at a gunpost and then supposedly released them after questioning. It was not clear how they had died. The deaths caused the Jewish quarter of Rehavia and the business sector of Zion Square in Jerusalem to be placed out of bounds to British troops out of fear of reprisals.

The death toll in Palestine had reached 1,161 since the partition by the U.N. had been approved November 29.

The British Foreign Office announced that Sir Oliver Franks, expert on the Marshall Plan, would replace Lord Inverchapel as the British Ambassador to the United States, beginning probably in May.

UNC president Frank Porter Graham ended his U.N. duties with the Committee of Good Offices, which had formed the truce between the Netherlands Government and the Indonesian nationalists. Dr. Graham was appointed as a special adviser on Indonesian affairs to Secretary of State Marshall.

Commodities prices showed some signs of strength with grain prices irregularly climbing. Butter, however, dropped between five and 6.5 cents per pound on the wholesale market. Retailers had reduced the prices of flour, bacon, ham, lard, vegetable shortening, eggs and butter, and, in some cases, beef. Cotton prices dropped about $2 per bale in New York, $1.25 to $2.60 in New Orleans. Price changes in stocks were small.

In Nebraska, Senator Taft proposed a cut in farm supports.

In Uniontown, Pa., a baby girl born without a mouth, a first in recorded medical history, had two operations performed by a dental surgeon to separate the jaws which had grown together. The premature baby now had a chance for a normal life after her jaws were freed.

In Utica, N.Y., eleven members of a family, six of whom were children, died in a flash fire in a ramshackle frame dwelling.

In Salem, Mass., Moses T. Stevens, textile magnate who owned the North Andover mill, left an estate valued at six million dollars.

In Jackson, Miss., the Democrats of that state met in convention, replete with Confederate flags and rebel yells, determined that Senator Harry Flood Byrd of Virginia—to whom the Mississippi electors would go in 1960, despite the state having voted for Senator Kennedy over Vice-President Nixon—might be asked to head a revolt from the Democratic Party based on the ten-point civil rights program being advanced by the President. Governor William Tuck of Virginia was also being counted on to take a prominent role in the revolt. The group backed a resolution to hold a conference of "all true white Jeffersonian Democrats".

You had better watch yourselves, for we have a feeling that Tommy would not really approve your taking up his name in such reckless manner.

First-term Mississippi Senator John C. Stennis, succeeding the deceased Theodore Bilbo the previous November, advocated keeping the fight within the party.

North Carolina Governor Gregg Cherry was, according to reports, planning to try to sway his appointees to cease support of former Governor J. Melville Broughton for the Senate seat held by William B. Umstead, appointed by Governor Cherry to succeed deceased Josiah W. Bailey, who had died in December, 1946.

As indicated, Mr. Broughton would win but would die in March, 1949, two months after taking office. Frank Porter Graham would be appointed by new Governor W. Kerr Scott to fill the seat.

Arthur Jones, Southeastern representative of the National Recreation Association, was named as new superintendent of the Charlotte Park & Recreation Commission.

Freezing rain and snow hit areas from the Plains states to the East Gulf region, causing a partial embargo on rail freight into parts of New England and New York State, even though temperatures in those areas were moderate. Most of the South received heavy rain.

On the editorial page, "The 1929 and 1948 Price Breaks" recounts that Bernard Baruch believed the present price decrease did not foreshadow a depression. But economic experts had been saying the same thing at the time of the October, 1929 Crash, described then by Prof. Irving Fisher of Yale as merely a shake-out of the "lunatic fringe" who speculated on margin. He had predicted that the market would climb again within weeks. It did not.

Farmers, who had been leading the opposition against price controls, now wanted Government supports for their prices. They had to recognize that neither consumers nor producers would be safe under the Taft program of allowing the free market to run without controls.

"An Emergency for the Navy" tells of the post-V-J Day two-year enlistments in the Navy coming to an end by July 1, leaving the Navy facing then a manpower shortage of about 150,000 men. Those presently deployed were fewer in number than those involved in the Guadalcanal invasion in August, 1942. Filling the gap was necessary for the security of the nation, and the Navy would be making therefore a broad appeal for enlistments. Its success would determine whether a volunteer force would be adequate to the military needs of the country or whether Universal Military Training would have to be instituted.

"Piedmont on the Airways" tells of the Civil Aeronautics Board having authorized the new Piedmont Airlines to establish a new route from Wilmington, N.C., to Cincinnati via Charlotte. Piedmont, headed by T. H. Davis of Winston-Salem, had thus become a pioneer in the area in commercial aviation and The News welcomes it to the fold of airlines serving the region, believes that it would be a boon to Charlotte's development.

A piece from the Asheville Citizen, titled "Strikes—Then and Now", provides the pre-Taft-Hartley strike statistics of 1946, in comparison to those after the Act took effect the previous August 22, finding that the number of strikes, strikers, and man-days idle to have been greatly reduced, with the latter figure being about 28 percent of the 1946 total. The purpose of the legislation, whether it was to be considered good or ill, had been, thus far, fulfilled.

Drew Pearson recounts that the President had so alienated both the Southern and Northern wings of the Democratic Party that there was talk of dumping him. His demotion of Marriner Eccles from chairman to vice-chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, as well as ridding from the Administration other New Deal appointees, had angered Northern Democrats, while the proposed ten-point civil rights legislation had boiled Southern Democrats. The only people the President had pleased were Republicans.

In consequence, some Democrats were talking privately of organizing for Justice William O. Douglas as the party nominee, while others favored a draft of General Eisenhower. Henry Wallace had indicated that he would withdraw if any New Deal Democrat were nominated.

The joint Economic Committee had voted to restore grain controls on distillers, despite opposition by Representative Jesse Wolcott of Michigan, considered the distillers' man in Congress, a loyal subject of Hiram Walker.

House Ways & Means chairman Harold Knutson was vacationing in Florida while members of the Committee had become incensed at a footnote in the report on taxes commissioned by the chairman, the footnote saying that small businesses were ailing from high taxes, wage and hour laws, cooperatives and Government regulations. No mention was made of big business and its monopolistic practices. Republicans were outraged to find the note, and a secret caucus was called to try to redirect the legislation away from the chair's sole discretion. Finally, after some wrangling, the caucusing members of the Committee decided not to do anything about the footnote and hoped that being mum would cause it not to be noticed.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop inform of a change in Administration policy on Palestine, as demonstrated by the President having told DNC chairman J. Howard McGrath and executive director Gael Sullivan not to give encouragement to Zionist leaders seeking aid, and that all policy on the issue would be made only at the highest levels.

It was reminiscent of the change in policy which had occurred in September, 1946, when, on the eve of a leaked statement to be made by Governor Dewey advocating immigration of 100,000 Jews to the United States, the President, on hearing of it from then DNC chairman Robert Hannegan, beat Mr. Dewey to the draw by proposing his own immigration policy for 100,000 Jews, whereupon Governor Dewey increased his proposed number. The entire matter, however, had derailed careful negotiations ongoing between the Jews and Arabs in Palestine and the British, who reportedly were near a compromise agreement on the division of Palestine as proposed by the Anglo-American Committee.

Now, the policy-making on Palestine was consigned to the new National Security Council.

Reportedly, the President had told a Zionist leader that he would not lift the embargo on arms to Palestine as it would expose America to involvement in the conflict. He also blamed the Zionists for not resolving the crisis in compromise a year earlier. The Alsops, however, find the President's charge, if true, to convey an abdication of Presidential responsibility in the matter.

The DNC leadership believed that the Palestine problem could hurt the President in the coming election, even more so than the third-party candidacy of Henry Wallace. It was hoped therefore that the issue could be removed from the political arena.

They suggest that no matter what would take place or what the correct strategy was on Palestine, it should not be colored by election year politics for the purpose of outdoing Governor Dewey.

Samuel Grafton looks at definitions of certain words in the current economy, starting with "inflation", that the happy situation constituted inflation while the unhappy was a deflationary cycle, with unemployment and loss of value on inventory. The Republicans contended that the Government's buying of wheat was inflationary and that deflation would occur when the wheat purchases ceased. Some believed that fasting was the way to stop inflation, others, that unemployment provided the path, while still others of a small minority favored Government planning.

He defines other terms: "winter weather", that which caused the fuel shortage; "government planning", that which had caused the fuel shortage the previous year in Great Britain; "freedom", the right to discuss the government measures to protect the people and the right then to discard them as interference with freedom; "progress", that which was sure to come without change; "change", that which occurred sometimes when no progress took place; "oil", that which powered ships in Britain to keep the displaced Jews out of Palestine, preventing its desert lands from becoming arable and, in return for which, Britain made deals with the Arabs to nullify the UN-approved partition plan; the "left wing", those who took the more advanced and radical view, having recently become to Americans a derogatory reference, as most so leaning had been swept from the Government.

A piece titled "America's Turn to Freeze", absent a by-line, tells of the weatherman having swapped the extreme winter of the previous year in Europe, one of the worst of the Twentieth Century for most areas, for one with severe patterns affecting North America. Temperatures in St. Moritz, Switzerland, were at 50 degrees, causing some tough sledding for the Winter Olympics in that locale. But Maine, North Dakota, and other border states were hitting near-record lows this winter.

Snow had been bad but not so bad as the March 11-12, 1888 30-hour blizzard which dumped 21 inches of snow on New York City, four inches less than the 25.8 inches which had fallen December 26, 1947. Yet, Washington had deeper snowfall in both 1899 and 1922. California had a 60-inch snowfall in 1933 in Giant Forest and 73 feet, eight inches in 1906 in nearby Tamarack.

The Arctic icecap, thought by most scientists to be retreating northward for the previous 20,000 years, having once reached into what was now U.S. territory and covering nearly all of Europe, was observed to be retreating in Siberia at the rate of 100 feet per year.

Stefanson found Arctic seas to be a degree warmer than a decade earlier, indicating drier, milder winters in the long-term future.

As the scientists have pointed out, that which today we call "global warming" or "climate change" has been going on for the ages naturally. The point is that in the previous 165 years or so, during the Industrial Age, the rate of that trend, whether cooling or warming, or vacillating somewhere in between, is vastly accelerating beyond that produced by the natural processes, not allowing for Nature in its normal slow course to adapt to the changes. And the data is inescapable that the accelerating pace correlates with the precipitously increased emission of greenhouse gases, hydro-fluorocarbons, since 1850.

One cannot point to the immediate weather pattern of the present year or the previous year or the previous single decade to develop the trend, but must look to the long-term changes compared to the data on previous long-term changes to enable an adequate, objective assessment, sans economic bias toward continued dependence on fossil fuels which emit the bulk of hydro-fluorocarbons into the atmosphere, forming the greenhouse effect.

Remaining stuck in an obscurantist view does no one any good, does not make the pattern go away by ignoring it and pretending that it does not exist. Trying, perhaps as a rationalization for continuing to drive the gas-guzzler without compunction, to contend that catching some scientists a few years ago falsifying data in an area where, obviously, data and conclusions therefrom are going to vary as to the timetable for the melting of the polar ice and consequent rising of sea levels, somehow relieves recognition of the reality of polar ice-melt, still does not make the fact any the less, does not relieve the individual from the responsibility not to drive the gas-guzzler, U.S. auto pollution being the greatest single factor in contributing to the potentially irreversible cycle from excessive accumulation of hydro-fluorocarbons in the atmosphere, does not relieve the electorate of the responsibility of removing from office oil-money induced members of Congress, State Legislatures, and Governors who conveniently blink the truth for the sake of personal power and wealth, who try to make it into a left-versus-right issue for appeal to the gullible constituent with a right-think checklist, while making jest out of the worst calamity imaginable, far worse than any terrorist act ever committed or the sum of them, with potential consequences far worse than even the two world wars combined. Trying to say that well, after all, it is them who are to blame for it and resigning that the poor, little individual is thus helpless to stop it, merely avoids personal responsibility while continuing to be a contributor to the problem.

Such snow-blindedness as becomes manifest in occasionally bad winters, leading some to say, "See, the cold winter where I live proves it isn't so," will only mean, through avoidance, that the next generation, those presently in the crib, will suffer from the ill effects of ignoring the problem and damn this generation before the end of their lives. For we have the data and the capability of discernment of the patterns shown in photographs taken from space and the other technological advancements in our time, which our forebears did not. For them, the frontiers were limitless. We now have the knowledge at our disposal which informs that the frontiers do have finite limits which, when exhausted, cannot be replenished. Energy based on fossil fuels cannot be maintained indefinitely. But beyond that undeniable fact, to continue to emit the hydro-fluorocarbons into the atmosphere will, with time, upset the planetary ecosystem with disastrous results, potentially leading to worldwide famine. To continue to live it up in spite of that knowledge is to do the damnable thing with respect to later generations as yet unborn, daily committing the equivalent of violence against them.

The solution starts with the individual and exercise of individual responsibilty to pollute as little as possible. We all pollute to some degree, based on carbon usage in a given year. The goal is for each individual substantially to reduce that footprint and to try within one's means to convince others to do so, either in refraining from driving so much or in buying alternative energy vehicles and getting rid of the gas-guzzler. No one is trying to take away the freedom of another by so suggesting. We are merely trying collectively to survive on a planet which otherwise may not have many years to go in a form fit for human habitation.

We hope that a hundred years from now they will either thank us for responsible action in time or will laugh at us, much as we laugh at some of the quaint misconceptions of the masses of a hundred years ago following in lock-step the practices of the robber-barons and corrupt opportunists who always abound from age to age, because we did not foresee until it was nearly too late that abandonment of the archaic oil industry and all of the international terror it had spawned in the Twentieth and early Twenty-first Centuries to their light cars and other energy consumptive applications running on alternative energy plants which work just as well and go just as fast and far without polluting the atmosphere, was not only the wise choice but the only one to make in the end. If they wish to laugh because we were slow to realize the problem, at least they will be able to laugh and not damn us for being responsible for killing them. And the naysayers today can always continue to say twenty or forty years from now that it was all a hoax, that we did not need to get rid of the good old gasoline engine and the friendly neighborhood gas station, that it was the socialists and globalists and all those creeps with fancy degrees and wild talk, that all would have been well had people just gone about their business. At least they will have survived on a planet with an environment which can still be inhabited and sustain life and permit such talk, without roasting to death by the millions in the year-round some-sum-summertime.

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