The Charlotte News

Thursday, December 19, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Russia had proposed to the U.N. Security Council an extension of a proposal for a study of conditions on both sides of the Greek frontier to include all of Greece, but that conditions between Greece and Albania, Yugoslavia, and Bulgaria be limited only to border areas. The Russians had, three months earlier, vetoed a similar American proposal regarding these border areas. Andrei Gromyko voiced complaint of the Greek Government as spawning border tensions and disputes which had led to a state of civil war in the country.

The commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars asked the Federal Housing Administration to consider providing forty-year, low-interest loans for veterans. The law presently limited FHA loans to 25-year terms.

Senator Theodore Bilbo again testified to the Senate War Investigating Committee that he had not received a "damn cent" of the $25,000 contributed to him by a war contractor in 1940. It was the second time he had made the statement. He admitted receipt of four checks from a Mississippi contractor totaling the $25,000. The fund, he said, had been exclusively used to support the unsuccessful Senate campaign of Wall Doxey.

He flung it against the wall, but it didn't stick. He went back to Mississippi, where he died of throat cancer.

He could not remember a "casual conversation", regarding receipt of $25,000, over four years old and believed no one else could.

Therein likely lay the tale on which he was pinned.

He labeled his former secretary, Edward Terry, who had testified the previous day against him as a "Judas Iscariot"—waiting for to carry him home.

He said he had borrowed money to effect a property settlement with his former wife.

He was a poor man and had received but two Christmas gifts during his career in the Senate, an automobile and living room furniture. He contended the gifts, from war contractors, were from friends with no bows attached. The gift of the car was customary in Mississippi as an expression of appreciation for service above and beyond the call of duty.

Watch your parking meter, Mr. Bilbo.

He flung it against the wall, but it didn't stick. He went back to Mississippi, where he died of throat cancer.

As of December 15, the Government had a surplus of 177 million dollars, compared to a 79 million dollar deficit at the end of the previous quarter. Tax payments due for the quarter had made the difference.

Senator Robert Taft of Ohio called upon business to keep prices down and asked labor to refrain from unreasonable demands for hikes in wages.

Alfred P. Sloan, president of G.M., speaking before the Boston Chamber of Commerce, stated that wages could not be raised without raising prices.

The carrier U.S.S. Ranger was headed for scrap. The carrier, commissioned in 1934, had been used in the initial assault on Casablanca in November, 1943, ferrying Army fighters into the North African campaign.

In Inyokern, California, physicist Robert Borde of the University of California stated that a group of scientists was studying radiation from outer space via a squadron of converted B-29's used as flying laboratories. But he added that it would not be anytime soon that battleships would be driven by cosmic rays.

That's no good. We thought for sure that we could get a ray-gun by Christmas.

Pete McKnight of The News reports of a complicated liquor law on the books regarding importation of liquor to Mecklenburg from other areas where it was legal. As long as it was not intended for sale, there was little problem. A consumer could transport up to a gallon for personal use as long as the seal on the bottle was unbroken, along with the chain dragging from behind it. A person could possess liquor if he could transport it.

But if a known bootlegger were caught in a car with four passengers, each with a gallon, it might cause the person a dickens of a time in trying to prove his case sublime, that he did not intend the liquor for sale, but rather wanted only to float his own boat. The driver, according to the State Attorney General, in such cases could be prosecuted under the law, even if the passengers were not arrested.

Senator Josiah W. Bailey, who had died the previous Sunday, left an estate valued at $267,500, $200,000 of it in real estate, and the bulk of the rest in life insurance, to be distributed among his widow and five children.

In Hollywood, actor Sterling Hayden had been awarded the Silver Star for bravery for his service in the Marines in the Mediterranean during the war, for his work conveying arms to partisan forces under Tito in Yugoslavia and for conducting patrols through enemy-held territory.

In San Pedro, California, a want-ad appeared: "Two veteran machine gunners desire position as rum runners or other racket."

The veterans stated that they had not received any replies. They had intended to offer themselves for any sort of work, but machine gunning was that for which their Army training had best prepared them.

In Hollywood, actress Alexis Smith broke her ankle as she ran down some stairs on a film set, confining her to a bed for ten days.

This incident, undoubtedly, provided the basis for the familiar thespian saying: "Break an ankle."

In Los Angeles, there was a new curfew instituted for garbage cans, requiring that they be in their own back yards by 8:00 p.m. on days of collection.

Katherine Lawrence of Chester, England, provides the fourth in her six-part series on her impressions of Charlotte during a visit with her brother. She wants some information regarding animal and bird life in the area, as she would be questioned about it on return to England. She had seen tame squirrels and garden abodes of blue jays and woodpeckers.

She found the children politely mockish of her British pronunciation of words, sending them "into peals of wild laughter." The children of Charlotte were the first she had experienced, those of New York having been squirreled away in places unseen. She found the sight of a perambulator on the sidewalk in Charlotte to be a novel experience on her trip thus far to the United States.

The behavior of the four children in her brother's household where she was staying, ages seven to seventeen, was quite different from that which she expected from images conveyed by American motion pictures.

Hollywood had lured many a British bride to the United States for a "rainbow ride", only to find disappointment and a desire to return home. Hollywood, she says, had much for which to answer.

She often went to the drug store, as she had a passionate desire for that which they sold, accompanied by her youthful guide, one of the four children, Milly.

"And my education proceeds with each indulgence for Milly generally cheeses school-closing time and flings me, without a shade of pity, into hordes of shouting, laughing boys and girls, and I find myself sitting next to some blond, pipe-smoking giant with a tasty line in slang and neckties. It is all to the good."

She promises to her English audience, also receiving her reports at home, instruction in the coming weeks on American children, whom, she promises, they would like.

We don't know, quite frankly, what happened to the Empty Stocking Fund. We shall consult with Santa Claus and find out. We hope that no one posing as a faux Santa stole it and it is being kept from the expectant 2,000 needy children, desirous of the $2.53 toys, with time, presumptively, still left for the value to rise yet more. We shall see. Don't despair just yet. There are a few days left.

It could be the doings of that English woman, spending all that collected money down at the drug store for various sundries and other things they sell. Ever since she came to town, it seems, the Fund has disappeared.

On the editorial page, "Making Local Option Local" states that in 1947 it was unlikely that Charlotte would have a chance to vote for a local option plan to have controlled sale of liquor through the ABC system, despite the fact that the City Council supported it. A minority of rural citizens in the county who favored keeping it dry would resist the proposal enough to insure that it would not soon come to a vote.

Local option was a bad system. The dry counties only invited bootleggers from neighboring areas to sell the liquor tax-free. But even so, the piece says it would welcome a local option to establish the ABC stores in Mecklenburg. Legal liquor would not eliminate the problem of drunkenness, but would impair its unseemly, sick sister, bootlegging, responsible for so much attendant crime along with the sale of liquor. And it would supply a million dollars per year of revenue.

"The Toast of Old Atlanta" tells of Senator Robert Taft of Ohio, thought to be the favorite to capture the 1948 Republican nomination for the presidency, writing off the South as a one-party region dedicated to continuing Democratic rule. He asserted that it was a problem for Southerners to resolve, without outside interference.

It implied that the Republican Party would not funnel money into the South to try to bolster its minimal organization.

He also stated that the party had no intention of using the South as a whipping boy.

The platform he outlined was to end all controls by July 1, 1947, balance the budget on the basis of reasonable taxation, reduce personal income taxes by 20 percent, and restore the balance of power between labor and industry.

The groups before whom he spoke, the civic clubs of Atlanta, provided him with a standing ovation, despite his being a Republican.

It suggests that Mr. Taft's hopes for the presidency must have been bolstered by this reaction. Labor and taxes would provide the same fertile electoral ground which "rum and Romanism" had for the Republicans 20 years earlier, in 1928.

Of course, it all worked out just ducky for the Republicans and Senator Taft.

"The Choice: Peace or Plague" comments on a visit to Charlotte by a chemist, Milton Burton of Notre Dame, who had worked on the Manhattan Project at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, as the chief of the radiation chemistry section. He believed that chemical warfare was a greater hazard to the world than the atomic bomb. For if the U.S. used the bomb, the nation against whom it had been used would retaliate with chemical warfare. Once initiated, biological warfare could not be stopped. It was indiscriminate and lacked control. Its ultimate goal was the destruction of all life on the planet. Mankind had unlocked the secret of his self-destruction.

At the same time, Senator Clyde Hoey told the North Carolina Bottlers Association that the U.N. would enable enduring peace for the United States.

It was easier to accept the latter rosy view than the former dire prediction of Dr. Burton. But no war had been prevented the easy way.

A piece from the Winston-Salem Journal, titled "The Klux Are Also Silent", discusses the consternation exhibited in Charlotte regarding the "Silent Citizens", a secret organization dedicated to taking government away from politicians and placing it in the hands of efficient businessmen who would not be dominated by the political bosses.

While laudable, the private businessman in government inevitably soon learned that the public interest could not be run as a private concern, where profit was the motivating force. No government official, constrained by the Constitution and the public welfare, was as free to make decisions as a corporate executive within the confines of his own by-lawed institution.

But regardless of the wisdom of the movement generally, the organization had begun life ignominiously, in secrecy, suggesting the Klan as a model. If those involved truly were the business leaders of the community, they had no cause for alarm in revealing their names with impunity.

Of course, the truth probably was that they were not the solid citizens they claimed to be, but rather the Klan, by any other name, still the Klan.

A piece from Editorial Reports tells of the likely effort by the 80th Congress to fashion its own labor legislation, in the nature of the previously vetoed Case bill, rather than accepting proposals of the Administration. It summarizes what has already been said on the editorial page several times in the preceding months and so you may gather it up for yourself.

The Taft-Hartley Act would be the result of the new Republican Congress in 1947, a law passed over the veto of President Truman.

Drew Pearson relates of how Senator Tom Connally, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, and delegate to the U.N. meetings, almost caused the U.S. to have to reveal the atomic secret by January 1. It stood as the counter-argument to those who had propounded the notion that President Wilson had failed in the wake of World War I to obtain ratification by the Senate of the Versailles Treaty because of his refusal to include the Senate in the Paris negotiations.

The chief delegates of both Britain and the United States had gone to a dinner given by Secretary of State Byrnes, leaving Senator Connally to lead the debate along with Sir Hartley Shawcross of Great Britain, regarding the proposal for a troop census and disarmament. V. M. Molotov still led the Russian delegation and was eager to agree to the suggestion of Mr. Shawcross that all troops, including domestic troops, and all armament, could be inspected provided the British could inspect Russian troops and armament. Senator Connally said nothing, apparently not understanding the full import of the proposal, requiring by January 1 disclosure by the U.S. of the atomic secret.

Eventually, the matter was sorted out and the proposal torpedoed by Secretary Byrnes, after protest by Bernard Baruch. But because Senator Connally had nearly allowed this agreement to go forward to the Assembly for a vote, it appeared that the U.S. was standing in the way of multilateral disarmament.

Marquis Childs urges readers to send a $10 check to CARE, Inc., for the purpose of feeding the hungry of Europe, the $10 supplying 20 pounds of food to either a person specifically named or to an institution which would distribute the food.

CARE had been organized a year earlier and was filling about 3,000 orders per day, delivered four days to a week after the order was placed by the beneficent donor. The director of CARE was Lt. General William Haskell, with the American Relief Administration following World War I and one of the organizers of UNRRA, the life of which was about to expire at the end of the year.

He provides a letter from a woman in Warsaw who expressed her thanks for the CARE package received by her family. Her husband had been killed in the war in 1939 while a reserve officer. She had just returned from a concentration camp where she was confined for two and a half years. She had the responsibility of care for her 80-year old mother and a seven-year old son. She had cried when she received her package.

The Ursuline nuns of Italy also expressed thanks for their packages to distribute to the poor of the country.

CARE had purchased the Army's 10-in-1 wartime packages earlier in the year, the packages which were then sent to Europe upon receipt of the $10 donations.

Mr. Childs reminds that there had been a tug of war between East and West, with Russia suggesting that the U.S. had sought to use food for political purposes, while the U.S. had suggested the same of Russia. It was too bad that the hungry of Europe stood in the middle. He counsels that the impulse of CARE be sustained and increased.

Samuel Grafton, again in New York following his trip to Mexico, tells of his return via four-motor. At the first stop, in San Antonio, passengers drank ice water with gusto, having been deprived el agua peligrosa in Mexico—bad for glass.

At a stop in Dallas, the passengers drank milk, with equal fervor for the same reason.

Then it was on to Washington, non-stop, and back to New York, where everything appeared strangely tidy for want of anyone sleeping on sidewalks or sitting in doorways in the early morning hours.

He then attended a football game between the New York Giants and Chicago Bears, just a week after attending a bullfight. The crowd was only interested in its team winning the game. It was a betting crowd and so those not so interested in football could still have the thrill of pursuit of a hundred dollars. It was also a social occasion. At bullfights, many arrived alone, to be able to concentrate on the spectacle before them.

At the football game, many would leave if the game became lopsided. They wanted to depart with urgency, as if needing to escape something dead in their midst. Three fistfights had erupted during the exit from the stadium. At the bullfight, going home was part of the afternoon's event.

In the New York evening, the talk turned to the U.N. and what the U.S. and Britain would do, unlike the talk in Mexico, which was also about what the U.S. was going to do. The Mexicans could only make little jokes about the U.N., Pan Americanism, and what the U.S. might do, as they had no power to change the course of events.

The person with a briefcase in New York now appeared as a character in a prosperous story, needing inexorably to move on to the next thing.

Louis Graves of the Chapel Hill Weekly offers his take on the flap raised by the London Daily Herald with regard to O. Max Gardner probably intending to supply London society with mint juleps as he came to town as the American Ambassador.

Mr. Graves had known Mr. Gardner since fall, 1902 when they were on opposing football squads, and could report that Mr. Gardner would serve mint juleps if his diplomatic guests desired them, or anything else, should they wish another type of drink.

He provides some color on the mint julep, including a stanza from a poem by Clarence Ousley of Georgia and Texas, concluding:

And we reveled in the plenty that we thought could never pass
And lingered at the julep in the ever-brimming glass.

We might add:

And when you are done, when thoroughly through,
Take your little julep, boy, and stuff it up your

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