The Charlotte News

Tuesday, September 30, 1947


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Senator Arthur Vandenberg of Michigan had stated that emergency aid to Europe equated with human survival in a free society. Accordingly, as the President had requested, he had called the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, of which he was chairman, to meet beginning November 10 to discuss the emergency. The President had requested 580 million dollars in emergency aid. The reason for the month of delay was that the report of the Harriman committee would not be ready on the need for aid until November 1 and the reports from the Congressional tour of Europe would not be complete before that time. He stressed that it would be separate from consideration of the Marshall Plan.

The holding of hearings before the foreign relations committees of both houses was receiving bipartisan support from Congressional leaders.

Speaker of the House Joe Martin stated that he believed the President was leading up to a call for a special session in late November.

John Scali of the Associated Press—who would in October, 1962, figure prominently in the Cuban Missile Crisis, acting for the White House as a back-channel offeror to the Soviets, via an acquaintance, regarding the exchange of removal of the obsolete Jupiter missiles in Turkey for the removal of the offensive missiles in Cuba, the deal which ultimately saved the world from nuclear confrontation—tells of U.S. officials predicting an increasingly violent anti-American propaganda campaign by Russia, believing that the article in the Communist Weekly Gazette, comparing President Truman to Hitler, reflected a decision by the Kremlin to "pull out all the stops". An official said that Russia had given up all hope of winning approval from the American public and would thus focus its propaganda on discreditng the U.S. within the U.S.S.R. and abroad—apparently basing the opinions on the British Secret Service report of Politburo meetings, as summarized by Drew Pearson in his column of the previous day. The warmongering accusations of Andrei Vishinsky before the U.N. General Assembly were seen as part of that campaign.

Boris Gorbatov, who authored the Gazette piece, had called the President a "messenger boy, bank clerk and a tool of the Pendergast machine", in addition to his comparison of him to Hitler. When General Walter Bedell Smith, the American Ambassador to Moscow, protested the article, Foreign Commissar V. M. Molotov criticized the press in America for criticism of the U.S.S.R.

The same Gazette had published a piece titled "Shylock of Wall Street" anent Secretary of State Marshall, suggesting that he sought his pound of flesh from the 16 European nations partaking of the Marshall Plan.

Mr. Gorbatov may have confused it with Morris Plan.

Argentina and Canada were elected as members of the Security Council by the U.N. General Assembly, with a third seat still not decided by the requisite two-thirds majority. The terms would last two years. The Ukraine was substituted for Czechoslovakia, vying with India on a second ballot for the third seat. The Ukraine received 29 votes and India 24. Czechoslovakia was reported to have had the support earlier in the day from both Russia and the U.S., but Andrei Gromyko engineered the substitution of the Ukraine by eliciting the support of Latin America. The third spot would, in the Soviet view, replace Poland, whose term had expired on the Council, as a member in consistent alignment with the Soviet bloc. Australia and Brazil were the other two countries whose seats had expired. Argentina was intended as the Latin American replacement and Canada as the U.K. replacement

Yemen and the newly created state of Pakistan were voted into the U.N. also this date.

In Jerusalem, another bomb exploded, this time near the Jaffa gate, but no casualties resulted. At the same time, a train, the Egypt Express, was derailed by an explosion on the Cairo-Haifa line, twenty miles south of Haifa, also with no casualties reported. Jerusalem remained jittery after the previous day's bombing at Haifa of the police headquarters, killing ten persons and injuring 77. That bomb had been claimed by the Irgun organization as retaliation for the violence against Jews by British troops in forcing disembarcation of two of the three "Exodus 1947" ships earlier in September, carrying Jews back to Hamburg for placement in displaced persons camps after their attempted immigration to Palestine the previous July.

In Lydda, southeast of Tel Aviv, two British soldiers were wounded when a mine exploded on a road on which they were traveling by military truck, and four other soldiers sent to investigate the blast were fired upon at the scene, though escaping injury. They returned fire at the passing automobile and believed one occupant had been wounded.

Meanwhile, another group of three ships, loaded with 4,500 Jewish émigrés were said to be approaching Palestine and would encounter the British blockade within hours.

The U.S. Government was considering a plan to offer some high priced foods at cut-rate prices to certain foreign countries to forestall further rises in domestic grain and livestock prices. It would include dried fruit, citrus juices, fats and oils, dried beans and peas, dried eggs, and canned vegetables. Foreign countries were using their dollars to buy grains because it provided the most nutrition for the cost. The Agriculture Department said that such a subsidy would prove cheaper than trying to supply foreign nutritional needs with grain alone. Grain was predicted to rise to $3.50 per bushel if the Government sought to export 570 million bushels in the current year, as recommended by the Cabinet committee on food to meet Eruope's minimal nutritional requirements. But only 470 million tons were available. At present, the average price at the farm was about $2.50 per bushel.

Gael Hannegan announced that, after conferring with the White House, he would not resign as previously stated from his position as vice-chairman of the DNC in late October when Robert Hennegan's resignation would become effective. The President had asked him to reconsider. Mr. Sullivan had been acting chair of the DNC for the previous year during the protracted health problems of Mr. Hannegan.

In Allentown, Pa., the police chief was kidnaped by a man he had sought to arrest for robbery. As the chief knocked on the door of the man's residence, the man appeared with a gun and took the chief hostage, warning other officers at the scene that he would shoot him if they sought to interfere. After a two-hour drive during which the chief was threatened numerous times by the gun-wielding man, the chief managed to escape by running from the car near the Moravian Seminary in Bethlehem after he convinced the robber to stop and let him get out for a minute.

Moral to would-be robber-kidnapers: Be sure to pack a bottle, not just guns.

Future Governor Kerr Scott, Agricultural Commissioner of North Carolina, stated to a gathering of members of two farm cooperatives that the Good Health Program was designed primarily to establish a four-year medical school at UNC as a method of "keeping up with the Joneses". He said that one unnamed farm organization had been used as a propaganda machine in support of the Good Health Program during the previous year. The Program allocated 6.25 million dollars to construction of rural hospitals and 5.29 million to the construction of the medical school. He favored acceptance of the offer of the Cone Estate for 15 million dollars to build the medical school instead in Greensboro, home to Cone Mills. He believed the focus of the program was not on building rural hospitals.

Dr. John Farrell, executive secretary of the N.C. Medical Care Commission, responded that only nine percent of the fund appropriated by the 1947 Legislature was allocated to construction of the medical school and that the the primary purpose was to afford medical care based on need to rural populations. The medical school would only cost 1.5 million dollars. State and Federal funds also provided for expansion of mental hospitals, tuberculosis hospitals, and the teaching hospital at UNC.

Dick Young of The News reports on the initiation of the Charlotte parking survey by the State Highway Commission. Its cost would be about $10,000, half of which was to be borne by the City. It would take a physical inventory of all parking space available, interview parkers for one day to ascertain from whence they had come, where they were going, why they had come, and how long they intended to stay, as well as taking a survey of the number of cars entering and leaving the business district. Finally, it would analyze the findings and issue a report.

In the first game of the 1947 World Series, the Brooklyn Dodgers were able to knock Pete Reiser home off a hit to short left by Dixie Walker in the first inning in Yankee Stadium to take an early lead over the Yankees before a record crowd of 73,000. Spec Shea pitched for the Yankees and Ralph Branca for the Dodgers.

The Yankees would win the game 5 to 3, scoring all five runs in the fifth inning to lead 5 to 1. The Yankees would go on to win the Series four games to three, winning game seven 5 to 2, scoring a go-ahead pair of runs in the fourth.

It could not possibly have been any more exciting, however, than the previous year's Series, won in the seventh game by the St. Louis Cardinals over the Boston Red Sox, off an 8th inning steal home by Enos Slaughter—not to be confused with the election primary contest in Missouri the previous August, in which the President's favored candidate, Enos Axtell, was able to purge Congressman Roger Slaughter, an election since having become the object of both State and Federal investigations, resulting in State indictments for voter fraud. Also Justice Jackson, and the eight other Supreme Court Justices had come to see the President at the White House during the final game, with Justice Jackson probably having arrived shoeless.

The weekly football team-of-the-week selection was revealed in the sports section.

On the editorial page, "'Solid Man' to Lead Democrats" suggests that the President's designation of Senator J. Howard McGrath of Rhode Island to be the new DNC chairman was signal of the President's "middle of the road" course. The President's ties with the Senate also influenced the choice, but the Senator's fine record was the primary criterion, as well as his own middle of the road tendencies, with a Senate record not unlike that of the President when he served for a decade prior to becoming Vice-President in 1945.

Mr. McGrath was a freshman, 43, an able worker and more active on the floor than most freshmen. He had introduced quite a lot of substantive legislation, some progressive, most of it moderate, such as his alternative to the Taft-Hartley law, introduced with Senator Murray and nine other Democrats. His campaign for the Senate had stressed bipartisan support of the foreign policy, establishment of a permanent Fair Employment Practices Commission and improved social legislation.

The choice shifted the emphasis of the party to policymaking and statecraft from practical politics and patronage dispensation, as it had been under the relatively recent tradition of having the Postmaster General as chairman. It was another sign that the President had grown in the office, away form the days when most of his inner circle was comprised of the "Missouri Gang".

"Churchill Recalls Fulton" tells of the former British Prime Minister speaking three nights earlier in Snaresbrook, England, giving approbation to America's commitment to confronting Communism. But it lacked the conviction he had when he spoke at Westminster College in March, 1946, warning of the "iron curtain" descending over Eastern Europe.

The piece could not share in his enthusiasm as the thing on the stage looked very different from the perspective of the United States. The other half of the play was how the American people could meet the burden imposed by new foreign aid.

While America considered the prospect, the French were living on leaner rations than during the time of Vichy, and the Italians were in even worse shape. Half the battle to defeat Communism would be lost if the peace could not be won with food rather than another war. A program was needed to fire the imagination of the Europeans, not just put them back to work and feed them. It had been needed a year and a half earlier when Mr. Churchill issued his warning at Fulton.

It questions whether the former Prime Minister yet understood that other half of the picture. If he did, it was past time for him to speak in support of the war against hunger, disease, despair, and economic breakdown.

"So, Bull Halsey Took Some Nips" comments on the Methodist Board of Temperance criticism of Admiral William "Bull " Halsey for his statements in the Saturday Evening Post that he had bought 100 gallons of whiskey—whether with or without official approval he could not recollect—for his fliers onboard the flattop, the Board finding it a gross dereliction of his duty in imposing discipline. They thought liquor made men fight, that abstemious soldiers as Lee, Jackson, Sergeant York, and Doolittle, had made good fighters while the drinkers fought not so well.

The piece doubts the "whoop-de-do" would advance temperance any great degree. The drys would make the Admiral a scapegoat while the wets would take solace in his suggestion that he did not trust a fighting man who did not drink or smoke. The editorial is certain, however, that the Admiral did not actually count drinking and smoking as top requisites for fighting men.

As counterpoint to the Board's recollection of the fighting prowess of the Confederates who did not drink, the piece recalls that President Lincoln responded to those temperance advocates who complained of General Grant's imbibing by requesting that his top fighting General supply his brand to other Union generals.

It concludes that the drinking habits of men did not determine their military capability one way or the other and that the Japanese plainly never discovered the brand of Scotch drunk by Admiral Halsey. The moral to be drawn from the Board's clacking over what they considered the Admiral's deviation from the straight and narrow was that the public needed education in "sane and moderate" use of alcohol.

A piece from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, titled "Labor Poll on Taft-Hartley Act", reports of the Opinion Research Corporation taking a poll on the new labor law, publishing the findings in Look. Sixty-four percent of union men opposed it generally, but when it was parsed into its separate provisions, the numbers reflected a quite different and more favorable sentiment, each provision obtaining a majority, most a super-majority, with the exception of the part of the law banning the closed shop. But even that provision was supported by 48 percent of the respondents.

Drew Pearson tells of "Henry the Morgue"—a nickname, he informs, given Henry Morgenthau by FDR for the former's doleful mien—, telling Henry Wallace that he would, in a few days, not be speaking to his old friend for his getting ready to publish his diary in series in Collier's, that Mr. Wallace undoubtedly would not like it. He had found Mr. Wallace a colossal spender in the early days of the New Deal and had so pointed out in the first installment. Without realizing how devastating the article would be to his reputation, Mr. Wallace only laughed. But since reading it, he had not allowed even his close friends to have access to his feelings about it.

He notes that Mr. Morgenthau had cleared the sections of the diary to be published with Mrs. Roosevelt and with playwright Robert Sherwood, the latter finishing and compiling the memoirs of Harry Hopkins, to be released in Collier's in the spring. But he had not done so with his old friend Mr. Wallace.

He next provides a list of failed predictions, based on statements of various heads of lobbies, regarding the effect of releasing price controls, the predictions being that it would stimulate production and consumer conservation and thus conquer, after a short spurt in prices, inflationary tendencies, ultimately benefiting the consumer.

Gerald L. K. Smith, reactionary, had launched a MacArthur-for-President campaign, to the consternation of the General.

Western politicos said that the Taft tour through California was a bust, until his wife, Martha, jumped into the breaches.

Senator Taft and Harold Stassen would appear on the same platform in Des Moines on October 8, the Stassen people being content with a Taft-Stassen ticket.

John L. Lewis had booked three luxury suites at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco for the upcoming AFL convention.

The Secret Service was displeased with Mike Reilly's publication of his account as an agent in charge of protecting the President, Reilly of the White House. The other agents saw it as a "handbook of assassination", as he had given away all of the signals used by the President's guards and the devices used to protect the Chief Executive. The result was that Secret Service Chief James Maloney was drafting legislation to make it illegal for a former agent to reveal the secrets of the Service.

Mr. Pearson notes that agent Jim Sloan, assigned to protect a girlfriend of President Harding, of Marion, O., had gone to his grave with his secrets intact despite being offered considerable money to reveal them.

Perhaps Mr. Lewis was seeking revelatory conviviality with the other side when he booked his rooms at the Palace.

Joseph Alsop, en route from Rome to Paris, describes the Italian countryside unrolling before his eyes. In the train car with him were an Italian family having lunch, consisting of a little bread, some cheap wine, and a slab of cheese, a luxury for all but the very rich in Italy.

He could not help but wonder whether the United States had lost all the qualities which had made it great.

Premier Alcide de Gasperi had sought from President Truman emergency dollars as Italy's supply was running low. The Ambassador to the U.S. presented the appeal and was referred to the State Department, which referred him to Treasury, where Secretary John W. Snyder could only refuse.

Congressman John Taber of New York, visiting Italy with the Congressional delegation touring Europe, suggested that the de Gasperi Government borrow the money from New York banks.

Meanwhile, Secretary of Agriculture Clinton Anderson had issued a statement saying that the U.S., flush with food against a hungry world in which Western Europe approached famine, would need reduce exports of food. It appeared as election year politics, to provide hope to Americans for reduced food prices in the face of an increased domestic supply. But to be honest, he should have said that to obtain the lowest price would cost another war, as the famine-ridden Europeans would likely succumb to Communism in the interim.

Food was more important than just dollars. Italians were living for the most part on a meal and a half per day, with the half-pound bread ration threatened with reduction. Wheat was not available from the U.S., not only for lack of Italian dollars with which to buy it, but also because the Department of Agriculture would not make wheat available. The bread grain deficit stood at 2.8 million tons, at least about 70 percent of which needed to come from the U.S. But Secretary Anderson had given assurance of only half that amount. If he did not change the position, the Communists would likely take control of the Italian Government by the following spring. For the de Gasperi Government had rid its cabinet of Communists only on the promise of U.S. aid.

The food shortage equally threatened France, western Germany, and the U.K. Greece was also threatened, with the Soviet shadow looming over the Balkans.

Samuel Grafton begins: "I know a Republican woodpecker who lives two from the right in a row of Lombardy poplars, and who, when I taunt him by whistling 'Dixie,' sometimes comes down to discuss public affairs with me." He spoke with his neighbor about the coming presidential election and the woodpecker told him that the Republicans were going to hit the Democrats with "the old one-two" while casting doubt on the viability of the Marshall Plan.

Mr. Grafton had told him that it would not be fair to do both. But the woodpecker insisted, saying that the New Deal had spinelessly turned Europe over to Stalin and that the Democrats had been busybodies poking around in the affairs of foreign countries, creating an imperialist impression.

Mr. Grafton countered that both arguments could not co-exist as they were mutually exclusive propositions.

The woodpecker thought the International Bank a mistake and that the Republcians would suggest using it to save Europe.

Mr. Grafton thought the woodpecker's advice amounted to play of both ends against the middle.

"One, two, button my shoe," said the woodpecker. "Hit 'em, and then hit 'em again." The Republicans would suggest formation of a new United Nations without Russia.

When Mr. Grafton suggested that as self-entangling, the woodpecker performed a somersault, nearly falling from his twig.

"Right and left and right and left," said he. Democrats were too soft with Russia until Senator Vandenberg came along to educate them. And the Democrats made policy without consultation with the Republicans.

Mr. Grafton found it contradictory, coming close to obscurantism.

"It's the old one-two," repeated the woodpecker. Foreign loans were taking the food, resources, and raw materials out of the country, and the Republicans would insist that every foreign loan would be spent on American goods and services.

Again Mr. Grafton found it contradictory and told his friend that the Republicans could not do things that way, to which his friend replied that they most certainly could as Senator Taft had said every bit of it in his speech at Tacoma.

A letter writer finds contradictory the front-page editorial of the previous week, which asked for enforcement of the liquor laws by the ABC three-man county board, when the newspaper had campaigned for legal controlled sale on the premise that the laws against bootlegging could not be enforced. The writer says that the laws would not be enforced. And the "killer" liquor would flow as never before as nothing was being done to discourage consumption.

A letter writer responds to P. C. Burkholder's statement in his letter of the previous Saturday in which he had found the fault of all the result of the New Deal, and that Herbert Hoover was making an ass of himself by allowing the Democrats to use him as a cover.

The writer finds it remindful of the younger who attacked an elephant with his peashooter.

But would it not, in this instance, be better as a metaphor to suggest it as a donkey?

In any event, he finds Mr. Hoover to have commendably accepted the invitation of the President to tour Europe and report back on conditions. The fact placed him in the role of elder statesman and Mr. Burkholder would surely be rejected in any further future bids for Congress for calling a leading figure of his own party an ass. Furthermore, the Congress he criticized so easily was comprised of a majority of Republicans, many of whom had fought in one or both of the world wars.

"Constructive criticism resides in the utility of the critic to offer a satisfactory substitute for things he criticizes."


A letter from P. C. Burkholder, failed Republican candidate for Congress, finds it incongruous for the President to ask Americans not to waste food when "his 'New Deal'" had wasted 80 million dollars worth of Irish potatoes and many more in other food products during 1947. It had also wasted half the normal wool production and killed the North Carolina mica industry. Building materials were still scarce because there had to be an excuse for Truman's long-range housing programs. Prices were high as an excuse for renewed rationing and price control.

And he goes on further in his post hoc, ergo propter hoc formula for interpreting history.

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