The Charlotte News

Saturday, September 27, 1947


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Dr. Oscar Lange of Poland attacked the Marshall Plan before the U.N. General Assembly's economic and political committee as an inadequate program, harmful to the effectiveness and prestige of the United Nations, and that the 16 nations participating in the program had been arbitrarily put together. He complained also that the Plan bypassed the U.N. He favored having the committee make periodic economic surveys and recommend targeted aid. He said that the dollar shortage in Europe was partly the result of failure to cooperate between East and West.

Also, there were indications that the Soviet position on Palestine was not in disagreement with that of the U.S.

Arabs, Jews, and some Britons greeted with skepticism the statement of Britain the previous day that it intended to end the Mandate over Palestine and completely withdraw its troops unless the U.N. could effect a resolution which was acceptable to Arabs and Jews alike. British press commentary was generally favorable. A British official in Jerusalem stated that he would bet five quid that they were still there five years hence. Some Arabs believed it would encourage Jews to make more radical demands. Some Jews believed it a hedge, as the British knew there would be no agreement between Arabs and Jews. David Ben-Gurion, chairman of the Jewish Agency Executive, declined immediate comment. He found meaningless, however, the idea that Britain would withdraw at some unstated date.

A refugee ship seeking to enter Palestine by running a British blockade was boarded by British sailors, and one Jewish passenger was killed and nine others injured. The killed passenger was shot by a British sailor who reportedly was surrounded by Jews with crowbars.

The Yugoslav Government freed three U.S. soldiers taken captive on the Trieste frontier the previous Monday.

Sources in Athens, Greece, stated that Premier Themistokles Sophoulis would seek from the U.S. an additional 100 million dollars in aid, supplementing the 300 million already appropriated, to finance an increase in the forces fighting the guerillas in the north. Fiscally conservative Congressman John Taber of New York, chairman of the Appropriations Committee, said that Greece needed to convince Congress that it was doing its utmost with the resources it had and was not engaging in inefficiency, as appeared to him to be the case.

Walter Winchell responded to Andrei Vishinsky having labeled him a warmonger and a "jaunty chatterbox" by saying he would accept Mr. Vishinsky's invitation to visit Russia but not on the basis of a "vodka tour". Rather, he would want to bring reporters from ABC and the major wire services and let them decide "who really is Baron von Munchausen." Mr. Vishinsky had also labeled Frank Gannett and former Ambassador to Russia William C. Bullitt warmongers.

Senators Richard Russell of Georgia and John McClellan of Arkansas stated that they believed a "gentlemen's agreement" could be worked out between Congress and the Executive Branch to enable emergency funding for Europe on humanitarian grounds, that the money could come from the Export-Import Bank, the RFC, or the Consumer Credit Corporation. None of those organizations were designed to provide relief dollars and so the agreement to authorize the loans would have to be informal. The Senators saw this method as a means of avoiding a special session of Congress prior to January.

Robert Hannegan would resign on October 29 as chairman of the Democratic National Committee and would be succeeded by Senator J. Howard McGrath of Rhode Island. Mr. Hannegan, who had been chairman since the beginning of 1944, had been intending for some time to resign for health reasons. He would remain as Postmaster General. Gael Sullivan, vice-chairman of the DNC, would also resign October 29.

In Springfield, Mass., a traveling salesman began a period of 30-day mental observation for allegedly recording on a dictograph conversations of a bridal couple. The man was in love with the bride. He had installed the device in their home while they were on their honeymoon and ran wires to his car.

He was discovered when he fell over a bicycle on the couple's lawn, wearing earphones. The couple investigated and found where the wires led. He then promised not to do it again, but started calling them at all hours of the day and night from different parts of the country. He sought to enter a plea of guilty to eavesdropping, but the court refused the plea, set bail and ordered him to be examined.

The hapless 17-year old bank robber who shot his accomplice during the robbery in Peachland, N.C., and got away with not one bit of the $13.94 haul, surrendered to police in Sumter, S.C., at the urging of his girlfriend, after being pursued by a posse through the woods following his flat tire the previous day. He also admitted stealing a 1946 Chevrolet earlier in the week.

In Lumberton, the wife who hired a hired man to kill her husband while he was sleeping pleaded no contest and was sentenced to four to eight years in prison for secret assault. Her husband, who had been shot by the man and then awakened and chased him from the house, had, as reported in August, forgiven her and believed they could get along into the future. He had not wanted his wife sent to jail.

Dick Young of The News tells of a long awaited parking survey in the city about to be initiated by the State Highway Commission. It might take 30 to 60 days to complete.

With the beginning of the ABC system just around the corner, Burke Davis reviews some of the liquor laws, such as allowing a patron of a restaurant, with the consent of the restaurateur, to take an unopened bottle of liquor into the place as long as it remained out of sight. Just what good that was supposed to do, we cannot explain. Perhaps it made the patron feel more comfortable with the bottle by his side.

One could also sport a hip flask as long as it was not displayed. One could have a gallon in the home, but any more than that created a rebuttable presumption of being a bootlegger. One could take a gallon to a party as long as the seals remained unbroken. Presumably, the seals had to do tricks for the guests.

Emery Wister of The News tells of Bill Elliott and Catherine McLeod starring in "The Fabulous Texan".

You had better get into the queue early before the line gets there. We hear that is a rip-roarer.

On the editorial page, "Survey of the Drinking Classes" relates of a report of a study contained in the Quarterly Journal of Studies on Alcohol, conducted by two Rutgers sociologists, finding that urban drinking far outnumbered that in the rural areas, 77 percent of the city population imbibing versus 46 percent of the rural populace.

But did it account for the drunken loutism of the rural drunks? Did it take notice of the decibel levels resulting from the average rural drunk versus that of the city tippler?

Seventy-five percent of persons with foreign-born parents, and 73 percent of those of mixed parentage were drinkers, compared to 55 percent of those with native backgrounds.

Those furriners come over here, drunk, drinking the booze up and getting more drunk, shooting up the place. Send 'em all back.

Seventy-nine percent of Catholics and 87 percent of Jews were drinkers, while only 59 percent of Protestants took a toddy.

Drunk city furrin Jews and Catholics. Send 'em all back.

The smaller farm communities, the study found, tended to be predominantly Protestant.

The piece finds the statistics probably the result of urban pressures, such as overcrowded slum living, which tended to beset those of foreign-born parentage more than the native born, leading to a greater prevalence of drinking in the former group. It proved that racial and religious differences had nothing to do with drinking per se, that it was a function of social and living environment.

"Labor Tries the Co-Ops" tells of the UAW cooperative idea of selling food at wholesale prices to union members catching on fast in the Midwest and coastal areas. North Carolina locals were planning to open cooperatives in Laurinburg, Elizabeth City, and other places.

It appeared a better method of padding the worker's budget than crippling strikes and inflationary wages. Only the small merchant would lose trade. It stood as a warning of unintended collateral consequences of removing price controls and the resulting inflation.

"Keeping Up with the Joneses" tells of American personal indebtedness having reached 45 billion dollars, according to an estimate by the Institute of Life Insurance. It was five billion dollars above the peak levels reached after World War I, just before the debacle of 1929. Indebtedness increased by eight billion in 1946 and another three billion during the first half of 1947. That was so despite personal income increasing by more than 200 billion dollars annually.

It concludes that with personal savings down, it was up to the individual consumer to exercise more restraint to avoid pressures which could lead to another depression.

A piece from the Raleigh News & Observer, titled "Key to the 1948 Election", tells of there not being enough Republicans or Democrats to elect a candidate of either party without the aid of significant numbers of independents. It had proved the rule in electing each of the three Democratic Presidents, Grover Cleveland, Woodrow Wilson, and Franklin Roosevelt, since the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860. FDR had told the Young Democrats in 1939 that it was the rule. It would prove the rule again in 1948. These swing voters cast their votes on the man and the issues, not on party affinity.

FDR had thought it a good thing, for it meant that neither party could dominate without appeal to a broad base of voters not beholding to party fealty.

It concludes that if the Democrats were to forget what brought them to power and support instead the policies of Messrs. Taft, Martin and other Republicans in the coming session, they would be aiding the election of a Republican President.

A piece from the Congressional Quarterly finds the basic practical question facing Congress on foreign aid to be whether it was sensible to advance four or five billion dollars to Europe to maintain an export level at 10 to 15 billion dollars. As corollary, they would need first answer whether exports could be maintained at the level of the previous two years and what effect exports had on U.S. domestic prices, whether controls would have to be re-imposed on prices and what would occur if exports dropped.

Exports were three times higher than before the war, most of which were going to Europe. But without dollars, the export trade would dry up.

Exports represented 12 percent of production, still only three-quarters of that in 1919.

Since the end of the war, about 25 billion dollars had been distributed in aid and the Marshall Plan would require about 16 billion more over four years.

Machine tools, grains and cotton were needed and were dependent on foreign trade. During the previous thirty years, the level of business varied with exports. Losing five billion in exports, according to economic experts, could lead to a drop of 30 to 40 billion dollars in national income. Other experts, however, differed, contending that the domestic market could absorb the difference.

Some special interests, such as the National Association of Homebuilders and the Independent Petroleum Association, were skeptical of the Marshall Plan because it would require export of lumber and pipe, already in short supply.

Congressmen from wheat-producing states had opposed aid to Europe despite it meaning the difference between the parity price and $2.50 per bushel.

Drew Pearson tells of the State Department having determined that Britain could pay more of the German occupation costs by use of its Sterling, of which there was no shortage as in dollars. The British employed 18,000 civilians in their zone while the U.S. only employed 5,000, a reason why the Senate Appropriations Committee determined unanimously that for the U.S. to pick up part of the British bill, it would have to have a proportionate say in the policy followed in the British zone. Secretary of the Army Kenneth Royall had agreed with the position. The Appropriations Committee also stipulated that Britain would not withdraw its troops from the zone.

Congressman John Rankin of Mississippi was confident of victory in the special election to fill the vacant Senate seat of Theodore Bilbo, who had died the previous month. He had taken careful aim at Mississippi's hurricane damage and made a show of urging the President to provide Federal aid to the area. The President had done so irrespective of Mr. Rankin's efforts, but the Congressman managed to make it appear to the press outlets in Mississippi that he was the responsible party for grabbing the President's ear.

Despite efforts at friendly persuasion to the contrary, Senator Homer Ferguson of Michigan was determined to re-convene the hearings on the Howard Hughes war contracts, scheduled for November 17, despite the first-round public backfire.

Marquis Childs, in Jannina, Greece, tells of the road to Konitsa in northern Epirus being pitted and broken such that the jeep in which he was riding could travel but twelve miles per hour. On the other side of the mountains bordering Albania were reportedly the guerrillas, albeit out of sight. Along the road were a few signs of the civil war.

They encountered a band of shepherds who had been captured by the rebel forces on August 7, resulting in some 5,000 of their sheep slaughtered and eaten within a few days. But they were not mistreated and told that the Greek Army were Fascists out to kill all democrats and republicans. About two weeks after capture, they were able to effect escape during the night while tending their sheep.

Hundreds of villages had been looted and burned by the rebels, sometimes with Government troops nearby.

In Jannina, the officials doubted that the offer of amnesty to the guerrillas would attract many takers, saying that about 70 percent of them were involuntarily participating at gunpoint and thus could not surrender, though they would like to do so.

He concludes that the shepherd on one side of the mountain, though close to the strife, understood little of its meaning.

Stewart Alsop, in a piece written prior to President Truman's return from Brazil a week earlier, suggests that Washington planners of foreign policy must sometimes feel as Alice with the Red Queen when she instructed that it took all the running one could do to stay in one place. The idea of waiting for the regular session of Congress to pass the Marshall Plan had been abandoned and now the only question was when to call the special session and what to ask of it.

The President's chief counsel Clark Clifford had been sent back to Washington in advance of the President to prepare the ground for his return. Mr. Alsop had gleaned from the indications of Secretary of State Marshall that a special session would be called by November. But in the intervening week, it had been made clear that the President had not yet reached any concrete decision on whether to do so.

The two leaders on Capitol Hill who would figure uppermost in the debate would be Senator Arthur Vandenberg, head of the Foreign Affairs Committee, and Senator Robert Taft. Senator Vandenberg approved the basic idea of the Plan and did not rule out emergency action in a special session, but insisted that any such action should be separate from the Plan itself, as humanitarian aid to prevent starvation during the winter. For the overall Plan would need more consideration than time would allow.

A letter from failed Republican Congressional candidate P. C. Burkholder again finds the New Deal responsible for everything wrong in the universe, $2 lamb chops, dollar-per-pound butter, and dollar-per-dozen eggs. He contends that OPA personnel were still waiting in the wings at the behest of the President, ready for more price controls.

He found Herbert Hoover making an ass of himself by allowing New Dealers to use him for a cover.

"Once the New Deal is uncovered the smell will not be pleasant."

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