Season Of Adjustment And Discontent – December 8, 1947
. . . or click on the link here for Audio Player – News Of The World – December 8, 1947 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection
This December 8 in 1947 saw the country battling Inflation, the Cold War unfolding and American cities squabbling for bragging rights.
On Capitol Hill, the GOP was readying a plan to combat inflation and was poised to introduce it to the 80th Congress. The plan proposed to lower the anti-Trust Law barriers just far enough to permit whole industries to agree to lower the cost of living, otherwise they would run afoul of current statutes for fixing prices. The Truman plan called for a rationing of scarce goods and to control prices, but only if scarcities and prices got out of hand. Additionally, the plan would give the President further control over exports, to balance them against the need for domestic stability. The plan also called for a 40% increase of Gold reserve in banks, instead of the pyramid type of reserve control proposed by Fed Chairman Marriner S. Eccles. All proposals and counter-proposals guaranteed for lively debate in the coming days/weeks.
Meanwhile, the Marshall Plan was being the source of attack on Capitol Hill. The plans to whittle the Plan down to a trickle was heading for defeat and the $500 million Aid package to Britain, France and Italy was expected to pass. Meanwhile, estimates of further Aid to Europe via The Marshall Plan was expected to jump another $500 million, making the eventual outlay of Aid to reach the $1 billion mark.
In Europe, the strike situation was being laid at the feet of the Communists, as French Premier Robert Schuman’s government told strikers they must return to work by Wednesday (December 10th) and they will get no pay for lost work during their walkouts. However, the cabinet offered workers a cost-of-living premium of 1500 francs, retroactive to November 24th, when the strikes began and all would be forgiven except for sabotage during the strike.
The Council of Foreign Ministers meeting in London narrowly averted dismal failure in their efforts to find economic unity of Germany as a first step to a German Peace Treaty. Secretary of State Marshall brought about an initiative enforcing questionable concessions from Soviet Secretary Molotov through a new document of Russian demands on Germany; a document similar to one introduced by Molotov weeks earlier. In rejecting the new proposal from Molotov, the conference was forced to continue talks for at least another week.
And Italy was in the news with demonstrations in Rome against the DeGasperi government by members of the Italian Communist Party, ranging from 10-50,000. The demonstrations were peaceful in contrast to the rioting which took place the Friday before, where one Communist demonstrator had been killed by Police. The demonstration on this day was silent, but it underlined the threat of a nationwide strike unless the DeGasperi government responded to demands of the Communists to give work to the unemployed. The Police promised to investigate the killing of the demonstrator, even though they claimed the bullet which claimed the life wasn’t the same caliber as the police weapons used on Friday.
And a pitch battle for bragging rights erupted between Los Angeles and Philadelphia over which city was now ranked Number 3 in population and which was 4th. Los Angeles claimed it was #3 with a population of some 3,900,00 to Philadelphia’s 3,373,000, but Philadelphia claimed those figures were wrong. Settling the argument once and for all would have to wait unil 1950 when the official Census was taken. Chicago was Number 2 and New York was #1, FYI.
And that’s just a small slice of what went in this rather fractured world for December 8, 1947 (also a Monday) as reported by News Of The World from NBC Radio.