The Charlotte News

Friday, August 15, 1947


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the Jewish organization Hagana, normally moderate, stated that it was striking at "Arab brigands" when four children and seven adults were killed in a bomb and machinegun attack in an Arab orange grove near Ramat Gan in Palestine this date. Hagana claimed that one of the Arabs had led repeated recent attacks on Jewish settlements, in the plains of Sharon and on the Fan Hawaii Cafe on the Yarkon River the previous Sunday, where four had died and ten others were wounded. The man identified as being responsible for the attacks on Jewish settlements was shot to death along with three other Arabs, and then his home was bombed, killing his wife and four children, plus two grown sons.

Two more Arabs were found dead in the Sheik Murad quarter of Jaffa, and an Arab watchman was discovered dead near Ramatgan in the Tel Aviv area.

The Palestine Government stated that the attacks were disconnected events.

Some 2,000 Arabs had moved from the Abu Kebir quarter to the all-Arab Jaffa in the previous two days in the hope of finding sanctuary.

India was made an independent state from Britain on this date. Pakistan, the Moslem portion of the country, was made an independent state the previous day. Viceroy Lord Mountbatten became Governor General by consent of the Congress Party in India. Muhammad Ali Jinnah became Governor General of Pakistan. Mohandas K. Gandhi began a fast, praying and spinning, at his "Peace Mission" in East Calcutta. He had desired a united India, was considered the primary architect of India's independence.

Communal violence continued in Lahore in the Punjab of India. But overall, the celebration of independence was peaceful in both states.

Delegates to the Pan-American Conference in Rio de Janeiro pledged to support mediation efforts to try to end the Paraguayan civil war.

The State Department maintained its position, despite Soviet opposition, that an eleven-nation conference determine the treaty with Japan, not just the Big Four powers, including China, favored by Russia. The State Department stated that its position followed the Potsdam accord of July, 1945.

The former Police Chief of Waxhaw, N.C., James B. (Buck) Patterson, 31, had terrorized the area around Lancaster, S.C., in various gun battles in which three men were killed and another seriously wounded the previous afternoon, before Mr. Patterson was shot four times. The former gold mine worker was presently confined under armed guard in the hospital. One of the dead was a constable and the seriously wounded man was a deputy sheriff. Mr. Patterson was expected to live to stand trial for the murders and assault. One of the men killed, a black man, had an altercation with Mr. Patterson while he was still Police Chief, about two months earlier. Mr. Patterson shot the man three times, then sought to escape before being cornered by law enforcement and engaging a shootout.

A report by the Associated Press states that the 1939 dollar was worth about 50 cents in the 1947 marketplace because of inflation. It bought more in some parts of the country than in others. The piece provides detail on certain goods costing more or less in different cities of the nation. In 1939, in Charlotte, bacon, for instance, had cost 19 to 25 cents per pound, whereas in 1947 it was 79 cents. Pork shops were a quarter a pound in 1939, 71 cents in 1947.

A tropical storm with winds near or above 100 mph struck in and around Tampico, Mexico, and, it was believed, had caused damage to its oil wells.

In London, in an effort to respect Greta Garbo's wish for privacy, the Daily Express printed seven lines in tiny agate type in report of her first day in London. They said it was the smallest type they had.

In Potsdam, N.Y., new parking meters had served as a hitching post for a girl's pony, who put in nickel and left her horse tied to it. The police called it legal.

On page 10-A, County Agent "Peavine" Reynolds explains uses of a substance, 2, 4-D, which worked miracles in killing weeds.

Get you some of that 2, 4-D, pardner, before it's too late and the weeds take over your plot.

The Charlotte Soap Box Derby winner landed in Akron, Ohio, to compete on Sunday in the national race against 133 other entrants. It will be exciting. Don't miss it.

On the editorial page, "Wallace, Pepper and Daniels" discusses the portent of the endorsement of the President by progressive Senator Claude Pepper of Florida, a friend of labor and a friend of Henry Wallace. Mr. Wallace had written in The New Republic, of which he was Editor, that when he visited Raleigh the previous June, he had found former Ambassador to Mexico and former Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels discouraged over the future, that he believed it would be dominated by big business and the military point of view. But he would not have anything to do with a third party and saw the solution in seeking to keep the Democratic Party liberal. Mr. Wallace believed the voices of men like Mr. Daniels were not being heeded, either locally or nationally.

The piece finds the evidence for that last statement to be slim, that there was evidence that the Democrats were preserving the New Deal and liberalism with President Truman's new appeal to labor after vetoing Taft-Hartley, and to progressive interests after the Truman Doctrine became the Marshall Plan. His vetoes of the tax bill for the wealthy and his stands against removal of rent controls, his proposed public health program, extension of social security, a new minimum wage, and other such issues had given him new appeal among progressives.

Meanwhile, Mr. Wallace and the Progressive Party were not gaining much ground.

The record of the Republican Congress had thus far set forth in high relief the distinction between the Democrats and the Republicans. Moreover, the world economic crisis was painting the distinction, with the Republicans favoring a return to isolation.

It concludes that the party of Truman, Pepper, and Daniels had established a foundation of "politically effective liberalism" after all.

"The New Flag of India Goes Up" celebrates the day of independence for all of India as the last vestiges of British domination were surrendered, the previous day over Pakistan, with a population of 100 million, and this day over Hindustan, with a population of 227 million.

Yet, as this ceremony took place, there were violent battles occurring between Moslems and Sikhs and Hindus.

Those who doubted that India could live free, it believes, were overlooking the accomplishments already achieved and the barriers overcome.

It discusses the symbolism of the new India tricolor and its essential message of peace. That spirit had sustained India through worse times. It concludes that the world democratic movement had taken a giant step forward this date.

"The Danger to Chapel Hill" suggests the controversy at the University regarding a student who was leading a Communist organization on campus to be a tempest in teapot. Raleigh News & Observer columnist Nell Battle Lewis had written columns asking University president Frank Porter Graham to explain what such an organization was doing on a publicly-supported University campus. And the Fayetteville Observer had then joined the fray along with other newspapers in the state.

It finds the influence of such a negligible organization to be minimal at best and certainly posing no danger to University students' thinking. It was typical of youth to have affinity in small numbers to radical movements, but the voices of such minority interests, while loud, had an impact typically inversely proportional to their volume.

The episode would, however, likely lend ammunition to those who sought to purge Dr. Graham from the presidency of the University. That effort, it posits, would be far more deleterious to the reputation of the University and the state than any small Communist clique of students.

A piece from the Asheville Citizen, titled "Home Rule at Home", tells of gubernatorial candidate and favorite at the time for the Democratic nomination, Charles Johnson, favoring home rule for cities and counties in the state and divesting the Legislature of the burden of making such decisions. He favored an amendment to the State Constitution so providing.

The piece says that it would be superfluous as there was already such a provision in the Constitution, limiting the Legislature from passing on such local matters and providing that any such acts in violation of the provision would be void.

The fault, it ventures, in not enforcing the provision lay with the local governments. They needed to begin acting for themselves rather than looking to Raleigh for legislation.

More editorials from various newspapers are presented regarding the special edition of The News on July 29 anent the industrial potential for the Piedmont Carolinas, a section of the newspaper which had been in preparation for three months, under the editorial direction of former Associate Editor and Acting Editor during the war, Burke Davis. Favorable reaction to the report came from the Raleigh News & Observer, the Lumberton Robesonian, the Orangeburg (S.C.) Observer, the Statesville Daily Record, and the Arkansas Gazette—the latter to which former Associate Editor and Editor Harry Ashmore of The News had just departed on July 26 to become its Associate Editor, soon to become its Editor.

Robert S. Allen, substituting for former partner Drew Pearson while he was on vacation, tells of the volumes of Abraham Lincoln's papers released recently by the Library of Congress having been a boon to knowledge of the 16th President.

But the late British Ambassador, Sir Ronald Lindsay, had imparted to FDR a story he discovered in a document contained at the British Embassy in Washington, still not unveiled in 1947 to the public.

During the term of President Lincoln, Lafayette Park, across from the White House had a tall iron fence and hedge which was closed each night at 10:00 p.m. It was a favorite spot for couples to court. One night, as Secretary of State Seward was leaving the White House late, a voice from behind the hedge whispered to him by name. He found that he was being beckoned by the British Ambassador who said that he was "in a deuce of a fix" for being locked in the park with the wife of the Spanish Ambassador, needed his assistance to escape the ordeal. Relations between Britain and Spain were strained and word of the liaison could cause an international incident.

Mr. Seward, understanding the urgency, immediately importuned President Lincoln for help. The President agreed that something had to be done quickly, but the keys to the iron gate, he informed, were with the White House gardener and he had gone home to Georgetown, a long way away in the 1860's. Finally, Mr. Lincoln suggested that the White House janitor, who had a room in the basement, could obtain a ladder and allow egress via that means for the British Ambassador and the Spanish Ambassador's wife. And thus they made their escape.

President Roosevelt had laughed heartily at the story and asked Sir Ronald how he had discovered it. He told the President that his predecessor had written a full account of the incident and the document had surfaced during a recent inventory at the Embassy.

Mr. Allen next tells of new Secretary of Defense James Forrestal planning to have his offices at the Pentagon, up to that time exclusively inhabited by the War Department. It had been a controversial decision, as many believed the Secretary of Defense ought be located in the former State Department building opposite the White House—later, the Executive Office Building. Secretary of War Kenneth Royall agreed to relinquish his suite of offices and return to the offices he had occupied as Undersecretary, one block long, instead of the two blocks which the Secretary's offices stretched.

Mediterranean commander General John C. H. Lee would soon retire after returning to the U.S. As the column had revealed the previous day, numerous complaints had been received from G.I.'s and their parents regarding General Lee's lavish living conditions compared to the enlisted men and his overly strict system of discipline, undermining morale. The War Department had no comment on why the General was retiring, just as a Congressional committee was visiting Europe and planning to investigate the situation in the Mediterranean.

Paul W. Ward, in the eleventh in his series of articles from the Baltimore Sun, collectively titled "Life in the Soviet Union", suggests that the abacus, or, in Russian, the s'choty, should have been the symbol for the U.S.S.R. rather than the hammer and sickle. It epitomized the backwardness and non-European or Asiatic character of Russia. Small business operators relied upon the ancient calculating device for the simplest transactions.

Russians had difficulties with the written word, some of which came from the difficulty in getting prescriptions filled for glasses. Yet, even young Russians with good eyesight appeared to have difficulty reading. Approximately half the pupils were in rural schools, limiting their education to four years.

The chief purpose of education was to produce good servants of the state. There was little emphasis on geography or history, the latter limited to the French and American revolutions, with nothing on Soviet history. The chief subject in schools was Marxist-Leninist doctrine. The teachers and professors of the country appeared to support this approach. The Teachers Gazette stated that the duty of each Russian teacher was to instill in students a "scientific materialistic outlook which has no truck with mysticism, the belief in supernatural forces, magic, etc."

The goal was not entirely realized as Russians, young and old, spit over their shoulders to demonstrate non-conformity. The Gazette recently had lamented that Soviet students in nine Leningrad schools, based on an examination, knew more of Josef Stalin's foreign policy than of his five-year plan for rebuilding Russia.

Marquis Childs discusses former Senator Robert La Follette and the rumors constantly swirling in the year since his defeat for re-election that he would be named to some important position in the Government. He had become a consultant to several corporations in the meantime. His only role in the Government was as one of 19 members of the Averell Harriman committee to survey the country's resources in preparation for the Marshall Plan. It was an important assignment but had been overlooked largely by the public. Mr. La Follette had been made chairman of a subcommittee to draft the report of the committee, to draw on facts developed by the subcommittee headed by Secretary of Interior J. A. Krug and the financial facts developed by the subcommittee of Edwin Nourse, chairman of the President's Council of Economic Advisers.

Mr. La Follette, before the war, had been an isolationist, but it appeared that his view had been transformed such that he understood that the U.S. now had a role irrevocably tied to Europe. He was also aware of Soviet ambitions in the world.

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