The Charlotte News

Monday, February 9, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in Tokyo, Prime Minister Tetsu Katayama announced that he and his Cabinet, of the moderate Social Democratic Party, would resign on Tuesday because they had been "riding a whirlwind", lacking in legislative support. It was the first Cabinet under Japan's new constitution. General MacArthur stated that he would not seek to interfere with the resignation.

A Senate-House economic subcommittee voted unanimously to restore controls on the alcohol distillers' use of grain through October 31. The previous 60-day control period had expired at the end of January. The new recommendation was to limit the entire distilling industry to 2.5 million bushels per month. Allocation would be determined by the full committee.

Senator Charles Tobey called for a cut in the interest rate of 6 percent allowed on overpayments of taxes. Senator William Fulbright said that he would go along with the plan provided the same cut were made on underpayments. Several Senators and Congressmen were listed among those who were due refunds for overpayment.

The House committee investigating commodities trading ordered an investigation of the price drop in the market the previous week. The committee wanted to find out to what extent those who profited from the drop had advance information regarding an alleged leak out of the Agriculture Department before the public was made aware of the price drop. Secretary Clinton Anderson had denied that there was any leak.

Congresswoman Edith Rogers of Massachusetts stated that the Commerce Department had informed her of its intent to halt all shipments of oil to foreign countries from East Coast ports during the fuel oil shortage.

The President was planning to visit the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and the Guantanamo Navy base in Cuba, beginning February 21.

In Cleveland, the United Rubber Workers wanted a 30-cent per hour wage increase for its 200,000 members, as a prophylactic measure against the increased cost-of-living.

A dozen top businessmen believed that the peak of business activity had been reached and possibly already passed. A conference of the executives had been arranged by Prentiss Coonley and Ernest A. Tupper, private business consultants.

In Chicago, Dr. Wingate Anderson of Winston-Salem, president of the AMA, stated that there was an alarming trend toward specialization in medicine such that fewer doctors would be able to involve themselves in general family practice, leading potentially to disaster. At the next economic depression, the specialists might be forced into family practice without proper preparation. He reminded that during the Great Depression, some doctors were forced to do menial work, as elevator operators or taximen, to earn a living. None to his knowledge had been family doctors.

In Charleston, S.C., a 21-year old woman who had suffered from rheumatic fever for three years, during which time she had two severe heart attacks and was given only a slim chance to live another year, had undergone successful heart valve surgery at the Medical College of South Carolina. The surgery, first of its kind, successfully removed an obstruction to a heart valve, formed by scar tissue blocking flow from one chamber to another. The young woman had seen an Associated Press dispatch the previous September regarding the experimental surgery by Dr. Horace G. Smithy and contacted the Medical College through her own physician. Dr. Smithy initially agreed to perform the operation, but upon examination of the patient, he thought she might be too far gone to be a candidate. Eventually, he changed his mind and the surgery had given the woman a chance to live a normal life.

Charlotte had received approval from the State to issue over three million dollars worth of bonds for municipal improvements, including those for sewer, water, public health, fire stations, and fire fighting equipment. In spring, 1946, 1.5 million dollars worth of bonds for some of the same improvements had been issued.

In Charlotte, an eleven-year old boy, whose clothes were on fire, was saved by three Charlotte Jaycees as he ran down Hawthorne Lane shouting for someone to put out the fire. The three men threw their overcoats on the boy and patted him down. He and some of his friends had been playing with gasoline and some of it had spilled onto his knickers, which then caught fire from a lit match or cigarette on the ground. He suffered only minor burns.

That will show you to emulate the Water Department employees.

Also in Charlotte, snow began falling in the early morning and had made roads hazardous by 1:00 p.m., with temperatures falling to 25 and expected to go to 20 by nightfall. Accumulation was expected to be between four and eight inches in Charlotte and throughout the upper Piedmont region of North Carolina. Ten inches was predicted for Brevard in the Western portion of the state.

At Caesar's Head...

Hugh White of The News tells of the fledgling Piedmont Airlines out of Winston-Salem establishing a flight for the first time between Wilmington, N.C., and Cincinnati which would include Charlotte on its route. The reporter flew aboard the aircraft from Charlotte to Cincinnati to get a feel for the service on the DC-3. He tells of the experience. Everything was fine and dandy except that the seats out on the left wing were a little drafty, especially at the tips. But it got there and that was doing pretty well for a Douglas Aircraft plane.

Bun Watterson had a Gaston gully in 1941, until he learned a method to double his yield on oats and barley, as described in the Carolina Farmer pages of the newspaper.

On the editorial page, "Which Way for the South?" suggests that those Southern Democrats calling for a revolt from the national party over the President's ten-point civil rights program might find that they spoke only for a small minority of Southerners. The movement might show the gradual extinction of the reactionary Southern pol, those fire-breathers who passionately defended racial segregation.

Efforts to convince Governor Fielding Wright of Mississippi and the others in the forefront of the movement to abandon it for having the effect of probable election of a Republican President recognized the changes taking place in the South and that a Republican President would be even less sympathetic to the goals of the Southern reactionaries than the Democrats.

The new South was one of industrial revival, with spokesmen in the universities, the churches, the professions and labor organizations. Former Governor Ellis Arnall of Georgia, Senators John Sparkman and Lister Hill of Alabama, Senator Claude Pepper of Florida, and Congressman, soon to become Senator, Estes Kefauver of Tennessee had led a liberal movement in the South, along with educators such as Frank Porter Graham of UNC and others. The late Josephus Daniels and his son Jonathan of the Raleigh News & Observer, Hodding Carter of Mississippi, Virginius Dabney of the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Barry Bingham of Kentucky, and Ralph McGill of the Atlanta Constitution had been among the leaders of this movement in journalism—though it had been reported the previous week that Mr. McGill had found fault with the President's civil rights program for being stimulative of Southern reaction and having the effect of encouraging Klan membership.

The region could go backward with the secessionist movement or move forward in progress behind leaders of reason.

The so-called Solid South presented a false picture, perpetuated by Southern reactionaries in Congress. It blinded the nation to the reality of the new South.

"How much longer the nation continues to misjudge the problem of the South depends on how much longer the South waits to repudiate its false leaders."

We posit that the progressive movement in the South found its greatest national exponent in the person of Lyndon Johnson, especially after he became President, but also while he was Senate Majority Leader prior to becoming Vice-President. To fail to appreciate that role of President Johnson is to be blind to a central component of our progress as a nation in the past 75 years or so. We always have had the sneaking suspicion since the early days of his Presidency that those who vehemently and bitterly attack Mr. Johnson do so, first and foremost, because they regard him as a Southern turncoat to the cause of reactionary Southern ways.

And to suggest that he had anything to do with the death of President Kennedy is not only to be blind to the events of Dallas but also to be blind to that period of history itself.

It is not in the least naive to suggest that Lyndon Johnson was one of our greatest Presidents in modern history, second only to FDR in getting things done. You may not like the look of the way he got things done sometimes, but on close analysis, the same can be said of FDR. The difference was that LBJ possessed a Texas drawl which many regarded, and still do, as indicative of his being a hick. He was no hick.

That, of course, is not to suggest that President Kennedy, had he lived, would not ultimately have been able to maneuver the recalcitrant Southern Democrats, with the aid of Vice-President Johnson, in such manner that they would not have filibustered to death the Civil Rights bill and the Voting Rights bill. And one can never divorce from the ultimate success of that legislation the considerable social conscience which had overtaken the nation after the brutal assassination of President Kennedy, taking away much of the racist ardor against those bills, except in the very deepest and most insensitive parts of the South—in many parts of which President Kennedy was revered as no other President in modern history.

But there was bitter reaction to the liberalism of President Johnson, compounded by the beginnings of bitter reaction by 1967-68 to the war in Vietnam, which had been initially supported in the 1965-66 period by most Americans, a sentiment that gradually increased through 1972, especially among the young people of the country, the males of whom were draft-eligible and not able to sit on the sidelines comfortably and wax philosophical about a war or absent themselves from having a point of view on it.

"'Don't Quote Me' on Inflation" suggests that the reason the economic experts were unwilling to go on the record regarding a solution to the inflation problem was that they knew very little about how to stop the spiral. Some said that the current price drop would be a healthy adjustment, but their optimism was fraught with a sense of foreboding that it could turn into a major bust.

A prolonged winter in America and Europe could create pressures on the agricultural production of America, which could upset the success of the Marshall Plan.

The best hope was that the price break would produce a gradual decline to act as relief from inflation. But it was not to be greeted necessarily as hearkening such a trend. And price control was no less needed than before, not just to relieve inflation at home but also to enable the Marshall Plan aid to be obtained at a reasonable cost. Failing to set up price and wage controls could prove disastrous to the Plan's effectiveness—creating the conditions which could lead to the fall of Europe to Communism and precipitate the conditions leading ultimately to nuclear fallout with Russia, the destruction of the generation both in the crib and as yet undelivered and unborne.

"Monroe's Formula for Progress" suggests that a profile of the town of Monroe and its progress since the war, published in The News on Saturday, had provided a blueprint for other small towns to follow. It had enjoyed a boom during the war and realized at war's end that its traditional agrarian base would no longer suffice to support its economic growth. It turned then to industrial expansion. It purchased Camp Sutton from the Government and would use it as a site for small industrial plants, utilizing raw materials from surrounding Union County.

The Mayor believed in local self-determination, not looking to Raleigh or Washington for a solution to problems falling within the purview of municipal oversight. A slum clearance program, for example, had been undertaken without Federal funding through the local property owners agreeing to raze substandard housing and replace it with new housing at their own expense.

The piece applauds the town's apparent civic planning.

A brief piece from the Arkansas Gazette tells of Dedham, Mass., with 16,500 population, undertaking a long-range 50-year program of urban planning.

James Marlow of the Associated Press tells of a threatened Southern filibuster in the Senate should the President press his proposals on civil rights and manage to get them to the floor. He explains that the House had a rule limiting debate whereas the Senate did not. It took at the time a two-thirds majority—today, three-fifths—to effect cloture to end debate.

He explains some of the mechanics of filibuster and the history of it spanning a century, the longest having been by Senator Robert La Follette of Wisconsin, who in 1908 filibustered for 18 hours and 23 minutes on a money bill. Second longest was by Senator Huey Long of Louisiana, who in 1935 spoke for fifteen hours against the National Industrial Recovery Act.

It was difficult to stop a filibuster because Senators were reluctant to vote for cloture, as they might wish to use the device themselves in the future. But it effectively allowed government by one or a small handful of Senators and thus a small section of the country.

Senator Allen J. Ellender of Louisiana, a Huey Long protege, had threatened a forty-hour filibuster on the civil rights bill if it were to come to the floor for debate.

Drew Pearson tells of former heavyweight champion Gene Tunney being provided a double round trip flight on a C-47 from Washington to New York to enable him to give a 30-minute lecture on sportsmanship at Bolling Field in Washington, despite the President's executive order to conserve fuel in military aircraft. He could have boarded an Army plane in New York and made one round trip. Instead, the Army flew the plane from Washington to New York twice.

The previous fall, when the University of North Carolina had played the University of Georgia in football, Secretary of the Army Kenneth Royall, a UNC graduate, received a free round trip flight aboard an Army plane and also had a limousine and chauffeur at Government expense to shuttle him to Kenan Stadium from the airport, the limousine having been driven from Washington for the purpose and driven back to Washington after the operation was completed.

Yet, the Army was informing Congress of its need for more money.

Secretary Royall contended that he was trying to persuade the UNC Board of Trustees at the time to allow UNC president Frank Porter Graham to take a leave of absence to sit on the U.N. committee assigned to resolve the Dutch East Indies dispute with the Indonesian nationalists, needed the car for the purpose. But no explanation was given as to why he could not obtain a car from Fort Bragg.

Well, he was not going to show up in some old rattle-trap, whale-backed Army green smoke-bucket. He wanted to illuminate his point with a shiny limousine, something which would impress the Board of Trustees.

The Army had just sold 215 jeeps to Iraq to be used by the Arabs against the Jews in Palestine. Britain, Russia, and the U.S. had stopped all sales of arms to the Jews. The State Department was quiet regarding the Arab rebellion against the U.N. partition of Palestine, while, two years earlier, it had raised Cain about the continued occupation by Russia of Iran in violation of a 1942 agreement to leave within six months of the end of the war. Sir Alexander Cadogan, the British liaison officer to the U.N., had warned that U.N. officials would be killed upon arriving in Palestine. Senator Harley Kilgore of West Virginia had accused the State Department and the British of conspiring to cause the partition to fail by default.

Representative Ellsworth Buck had stated at the close of hearings on James Caesar Petrillo, regarding his efforts to have musicians paid extra for television work, that he understood the problem. The hearings had been televised under hot klieg lights, and the Congressman did not like the heat.

The DNC headquarters had a staff of 50 people, the RNC, 150. The RNC had collected four million dollars. The DNC was mum on the contents of its collection plate thus far.

Former President Hoover had said that he would remain neutral in the race for the GOP nomination. He had been against nomination of any military leader before General Eisenhower had taken his name out of consideration. He thought it was bad timing, given the world situation, to have a military man in the White House.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop discuss the disunity present in CIO, with the pro-Communist left-wing and the anti-Communist wing at loggerheads. The pro-Communists had walked out over the rejection by president Philip Murray of the Henry Wallace third-party candidacy and the endorsement of the Marshall Plan. CIO counsel Lee Pressman, the baling wire previously holding the two sides together, had just resigned to join the Wallace campaign and it represented deep trouble in the labor organization.

Mr. Murray was determined to root out Communists from the organization and, to that end, he had cleaned up the national headquarters, was working to clean out the lower echelons and the CIO PAC, a more formidable task, as the Communists had entrenched themselves on the pattern of big city bosses.

It would be very difficult to get the Communists out of the Communist-dominated unions such as the United Electrical Workers, the third largest CIO union. Nevertheless, Mr. Murray was determined and was proceeding apace on that basis.

Marquis Childs tells of the Department of Interior having issued a warning several months earlier that there might be an oil shortage in the winter of 1948-49 as the sales of oil burners had dramatically increased. The oil burner industry scoffed at the notion.

The U.S., with six percent of the world's population, produced 60 percent of the world's oil and consumed 63 percent of it. In 1940, for the first time, the amount of energy derived from oil and natural gas exceeded that from coal, and the differential had steadily risen on the side of oil and gas. Americans were using twice as much oil as prior to the war.

Some of the blame could be placed on John L. Lewis and his insistence on repeated UMW coal strikes since the war, another looming on the horizon for April 1.

The Army and Navy had recently complained of not being able to obtain enough aviation fuel and crude oil to continue training, as the big oil companies were no longer interested in bidding on the military's contracts. That problem had been corrected by a joint effort of the oil companies such that the services were now guaranteed 90 percent of their needs for the current fiscal year.

Most oil men had become convinced that access to Middle Eastern oil was vital for U.S. security. But that conclusion would place the military in the most troubled spot on the international scene.

The country could not cut off exports to foreign countries which had long depended on U.S. oil without major repercussions which could lead to cessation of Middle Eastern oil flowing to America and cause ultimately rationing to be instituted on domestic supplies, a dreaded result to the average consumer.

A letter from a "mother" objects to placing one club for teenagers in the downtown area, instead wants one on the west side of town and another at Independence Square. She feels that students should be discouraged from going downtown rather than enticed by the single club concept.

Listen, mama, like, that's Squaresville, you dig? Downtown is where it's at, where the action is. Nobody wants to stay in the digless suburbs and listen to your, like, Cubed-out, Curbed-up jive. You are from another era, catless and without kitty. You are old-fashioned. We want Action, with a capital Axe.

A letter from a couple says that they are happy that Buz Sawyer had been renewed in the strips.

A letter from an anonymous Cherryville reader expresses the same sentiment, says that he or she had been reading The News for five years or more.

We have been reading it longer than you have and we could care less about your Buz Sawyer. Didn't he go off the deep end at Squaresville in a chicky run?

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