The Charlotte News

Monday, July 14, 1947


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the sixteen-nation Rules Committee at the Paris conference studying the Marshall Plan named France, Britain, Italy, Norway, and the Netherlands as the Executive Committee to supervise the proposal for the plan to be submitted to the U.S. State Department. The Rules Committee completed a draft plan to be submitted to a plenary session of the conference the following day. It also named four technical committees to assess European resources to contribute to economic recovery, scheduled to report findings prior to submission of the request for U.S. aid. The composition of those committees is provided.

A Dutch spokesman stated that Western Germany would need be added to the 16 nations, representing all of Europe save Spain, not originally invited, and the eight Soviet-bloc nations and Russia which had turned down the French-British invitation to the conference.

Secretary of State Marshall was scheduled to deliver a major foreign policy address this evening to the annual Governors' Conference at Salt Lake City.

In Palestine, martial law was imposed by the British Army over the Natanya area, in which 10,000 to 14,000 people lived, while a search transpired for two kidnaped British sergeants, taken by the Irgun underground Jewish organization. Irgun sent a note demanding the release of three members of the organization under death sentences. The British searchers were instructed to ignore, during their house to house search, any findings of arms or suspects not connected with the abduction.

The moderate Hagana organization had begun to search for the sergeants on Saturday but withdrew because of British troop interference.

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 7 to 6 not to investigate the Justice Department's conduct in probing the 1946 Kansas City Congressional primary in which the President's favored candidate, backed by the James Pendergast machine at the behest of the President, Enos Axtell, defeated the incumbent Roger Slaughter, who had consistently held up the President's program in committee. Only Senator William Langer among Republicans on the committee voted against the investigation; Democrats were unanimously opposed.

The Senate, as anticipated, passed the reiterated tax bill, headed for a second veto, as already announced by the President. The vote was 60 to 32, four votes short of the necessary two-thirds for override. Three Senators were absent from the voting, Robert Wagner of New York, Elbert Thomas of Utah, and Charles Tobey of New Hampshire.

Republican Senate leaders stated after a meeting with the President that no special Congressional session was contemplated for the fall. But a special committee might undertake hearings on the Marshall Plan late in the year to have legislation ready for January action, should the current Paris conference produce a concrete plan. There would likely be no action on the President's proposed legislation for admission to the country of 400,000 displaced persons from Europe during the remaining days of the session.

The Republican Congress was more concerned about a tax break for the rich than 880,000 suffering souls in Europe, stuck in camps for two years.

It was one among many reasons why none of the Republican leadership in Congress was fit for the presidency.

The President asked the coal and steel producers to wait until a fair test of the wage contract just negotiated by UMW with the operators could transpire before raising prices, noting that the producers had been taking in their fair share of increased profits. The President stated that there was widespread concern about the inflationary effect the settlement might have.

In Melbourne, Fla., 21 persons were killed in a plane crash of a DC-3. Two others were in critical condition. The plane was bound from Newark to Miami with 36 aboard, including a crew of five. All passengers were Puerto Ricans headed ultimately home.

In Philadelphia, the General Hospital was closed for the second time in six months because of an outbreak of diarrhea on the maternity ward. The new outbreak had resulted in the deaths of two infants. Twenty-seven babies had died in eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey during the first outbreak.

In Rome, a benign type of para-typhoid had occurred from ice cream sold at a parlor in the San Giovanni quarter. Health officials believed they had the problem licked.

In Cork, Eire, a German sea captain decided not to return to Germany with his family and so began hauling coal for a Cork company. The job was expected to last a week and he would likely not get further employment when a shipping shortage eased.

In Pt. Pleasant, W. Va., a man attempting suicide by a knife, died of a heart attack.

In New York, a man died when he jumped or fell from the 86th floor of the Empire State Building, landing on the 21st floor. He was the fourteenth person to die after falling from the building.

In San Diego, a trial of a New England couple entered its fourth week in Federal Court on charges of enslavement of a black maid. The couple contended that the maid considered herself one of the family and did not desire pay. The wife denied threatening the woman with jail for an affair with the wife's first husband if she refused to cooperate. The wife would be convicted. The jury hung as to the husband, a lawyer and former politician.

In Charlotte, a safe was robbed at the Charlotte Theater as thieves made off with $939. They were believed locked inside the theater when it closed. They had used an axe and other hand-tools to break into the safe.

Another safe at the Aetna Loan & Finance Co. was also robbed of $1,400. Entrance to that building had apparently been effected by means of a key. A hacksaw was used to break open the safe.

On the editorial page, "Round Two on the Tax Bill" tells of the second tax-cut bill, identical to the vetoed and sustained first bill, save for the effective date, having come about because Senator Harry F. Byrd of Virginia had switched from his former criticism and now supported the bill, causing apparently, according to The Wall Street Journal, enough Southern Senators to switch their votes to assure an override of the veto on the second time around.

Nothing ostensibly had changed since June when the bill was first passed. Senator Byrd had voted for it at that time, but his active criticism of it had been responsible for some Southerners voting to sustain the veto.

The reason for the switch apparently was that Senator Byrd believed that cutting off revenue would be the only way to induce the Republican Congress to engage in genuine budget-cutting.

The piece, however, finds the stance to be contrary to the "sound fiscal policy" which he had originally advocated.

The new tax cut would not be an improvement in the Federal tax structure. The President favored a review of the entire structure, personal and corporate. The system had grown piecemeal through the years, dictated by political expediency and needed revision with equity in mind.

The bill provided for only modest cuts in real dollars to the average taxpayer, while benefiting greatly the upper brackets.

"Is the South Really Liberal?" tells of another article appearing by Professor William G. Carlton, this time in Harper's, asking in its title, "Why Call the South Conservative?" He had previously written a similar article for The Virginia Quarterly, the subject of an editorial a year earlier. He contended that the Southern liberal tradition had been stronger than conservatism from Jefferson through Roosevelt, that the South had been responsible for the nominations of both Woodrow Wilson and FDR, and that its Congressional delegation had led the liberal trend during the New Freedom and the New Deal.

He found that the myth of Southern conservatism had arisen because of the changing nature of liberalism, formerly agrarian, now urban and industrial. It was, he opined, unfair to expect Southern Democrats to be as liberal as Northern Democrats, as the South remained agrarian in orientation.

He offered voting records compiled by The New Republic to show that Southerners in the previous Congress voted consistently more progressively than Midwestern Congressmen.

The piece finds the thesis deceptive. While there had been a shift to industrial liberalism, if the South could not adapt to the change, then it should not be labeled anything but conservative. A liberal tradition, as Professor Carlton posited, ought cause the region to adapt to the new trend. Instead, Southern Congressmen were following the traditionally conservative Republicans.

Nor could Southerners claim credit for FDR and the New Deal. The South had supported FDR out of opportunism, to have a Democrat in the White House and all which that portended for political patronage. The support of Speaker of the House John Nance Garner of Texas, the eventual vice-presidential nominee, had assured Governor Roosevelt's nomination in 1932.

It points out that even Senator Theodore Bilbo, a reactionary, could boast of a liberal voting record in the early days of the New Deal.

It concludes that the failure of Southerners to modernize their liberality could prove disastrous, as the third party talk of Henry Wallace was not such an idle threat as many Southerners thought.

"A Warning for the Bootleggers" tells of a stiff sentence being given to a leading bootlegger of Mecklenburg County, serving as notice to bootleggers that the recent election in June which approved ABC controlled sale of liquor would act to inaugurate stiffer enforcement than in the past of liquor laws prohibiting bootlegging. Formerly, violations of these laws were winked at under prohibition.

Drew Pearson writes another open letter to his daughter, remarking on a clipping she had sent him from the Chicago Tribune, in which publisher Bertie McCormick was attacking Mr. Pearson for attacking a Congressman with a KKK-like background. Robert Jones of Ohio, nominated by the President as a member of the F.C.C., had been a member of the racist, xenophobic Black Legion of Ohio.

Mr. Pearson assures his daughter that he had to stand for principle, as when Senator Alben Barkley of Kentucky, for whom he had high respect generally, sought to call off the investigation into the war contract graft of Congressman Andrew May, also of Kentucky. Mr. May had just been convicted of taking bribes in connection with war contracts.

The Congress was a club, and every time he saw the clubbish atmosphere trumping principle, he felt it his duty to report it, as when the bill introduced by Senators Wayne Morse and Glen Taylor to require disclosure by members of Congress of their financial dealings wound up pigeonholed in committee.

Witnesses who had never appeared before a Congressional hearing often were grilled to pieces, while members of the club received "milk and honey" treatment, without facing embarrassing questions. No FBI agents were assigned to look into the member's background.

The FBI had begun an investigation of Mr. Jones a day after his nomination to the F.C.C., but the Justice Department called it off as it might prove embarrassing to the President.

The Congressional committee reviewing the appointment had white-washed Mr. Jones and investigated only the witnesses testifying against him.

He concludes that while the incident was not so important of itself, when added to matters in which Congressmen voted for their pocketbook interest rather than the public interest, it formed the basis for the low ratings given Congress in opinion polls.

He signs the letter, "Love, From the Old Man".

Marquis Childs discusses the military manpower status in light of the likelihood that Congress would adjourn on July 26 without passing Universal Military Training. The Army had estimated that 1,070,000 men would be needed during the coming year for occupation duties in Germany and Japan and the other commitments of the country's foreign policy. The deficit estimated at present was between 100,000 and 150,000 men. It was not so great as originally thought, as voluntary enlistments were going well. It was a pleasing result, given the full employment status in the private sector. A recession would only increase enlistments in the armed forces. Moreover, a recent bill passed by Congress had increased the inducements for a military career.

The War Department was increasingly of the opinion that the force of 250,000 men in Japan could be significantly reduced, as favored also by General MacArthur. There was also a growing opinion that the forces in Korea should be entirely removed. That sentiment was based on the notion that Russia, while it would take over the country, would face severe difficulties in maintaining control in light of the nationalistic factions within Korea. Both moves would relieve 200,000 men, enabling parity against voluntary enlistments, with an additional reserve available.

The American occupation forces in Korea had experienced difficulties with both the Russians and the Korean nationalists.

Despite Senator Taft having stated his opposition to UMT, virtually assuring that it would not be passed by the Senate, 74 percent of the American people had stated their support of it in a recent poll. The organized lobby against it, however, was both articulate and influential. But the opponents did not provide constructive alternatives to keep the nation strong in a time of uncertainty, the concern of the War Department.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop state that the flying saucer sightings had driven home the lesson that the U.S. had not developed an adequate warning system against surprise attack. If it were so, then the military could have quickly allayed concern and explained precisely what the sightings were. The conclusion was that the country was not prepared for the worst.

A radar umbrella was necessary for the entire continental U.S. Also necessary were advance warning bases outside the contiguous borders of the country. Both projects would be very expensive to construct and maintain. The projected bases in Canada and along the Arctic frontier were still in the planning stage. One base, at Churchill on the Hudson Bay, existed, but its value even as a test base was dubious, as it was at the end of the Canadian railway. The Arctic bases would be in sub-zero wilderness and supply would be difficult. They would have to sustain life for months at a time for those assigned to man them.

While no one had yet built long-range supersonic aircraft or guided missiles, such were contemplated as being possible and so the means to track and counteract them had to be constructed. Some 7,000 German scientists were in the employ of the Russians, hard at work on the development of these weapons. Since the end of the war, the A-9 rocket, a successor to the V-2, had been developed by these scientists in the Eastern occupation zone at Peenemunde.

The American missile program, to afford potential counter-attack capability, was also lagging. There was need for construction of a supersonic wind tunnel and that remained in the planning stage. Its cost would be two billion dollars and that would necessitate continuing high taxes. But high taxes were cheap, they contend, when faced with the alternative of porous defense and warning systems.

It should be noted that in early 1948, General Nathan F. Twining, then head of the Air Technical Service Command, later to become chairman of the Joint Chiefs, established Project Saucer, later redubbed "Project Sign", to investigate the potential for national security breaches from the UFO's, specifically to determine whether the Soviets were behind the objects. General Twining's family, incidentally, had resided during the war in Charlotte.

After any threat to national security was eliminated, the Project was closed at the end of 1949. In 1952, however, Project Bluebook was inaugurated by Air Force director of intelligence, Maj. General Charles P. Cabell. That project continued until the end of 1969. "Bluebook" may have developed out of the notion that submission to which ordinarily implied the presence of a proctor.

Given the originator of the latter project, its actual task may have been to seek out intelligent life on this planet, and then destroy it, with extreme prejudice if necessary.

A letter writer responds to an editorial of June 21 on the Bulwinkle-Reed bill to exempt the railroads from the anti-trust laws on the theory that the railroads were adequately regulated by the Interstate Commerce Commission. Senator Clyde Hoey of North Carolina supported the bill on this basis. The writer cites others who supported the bill.

A letter writer states that while he did not support the prohibitionist point of view of Inez Flow, he admired her logic in shattering the arguments of The News and its "somewhat sophomoric editor". He thinks the succinct reply, "Yes," to her most recent letter supplying the full quotation of the 75 ministers who had criticized Police Chief Littlejohn for failing to enforce liquor laws in the county, asking whether it still appeared "contemptuous" as charged in a previous editorial, was "curt" and "contemptuous" in and of itself, as well as "insolent and discourteous".

The editors respond that they had not intended any disrespect or discourtesy to Ms. Flow, but only reiterated their continued disagreement with her claim that the statement of the ministers was not "contemptuous".

Actually, we found "Yes" refreshingly brief, while accentuating the positive. After all, they could have simply said nothing. Would that have been "curt", "sophomoric", and "insolent"?

The sophomoric editor had been a Lieutenant Colonel, serving on the front lines in France under General Patton. Then, presumably, he did not seem to the letter writer so sophomoric. But you never know. The writer, along with A. W. Black, might also have written in A. Hitler. And Ms. Flow may have written in A. Capone.

Among the things Senator Soaper says: "At that Los Angeles super-market which offers free movies, Dora became so confused she asked for a Gregeory Peck of that spinach."


Framed Edition
[Return to Links
Page by Subject] [Return to Links-Page by Date] [Return to News<i><i><i>--</i></i></i>Framed Edition]
Links-Date -- Links-Subj.