The Charlotte News

Friday, January 16, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the U.N. confirmed that Indonesia had accepted a truce proposal offered by the Netherlands Government and that it would be signed the following day. Attempts to resolve the conflict had been ongoing since the previous summer. Dr. Frank Graham, president of UNC, had gone to Jakarta with Richard Kirby of Australia to effect the truce on behalf of the U.N.

In New Delhi, Mohandas Gandhi entered the fourth day of his fast, seeking to obtain peace in India between the warring sects following partition the previous August, separating off Pakistan as a new independent dominion. Medical personnel said that he could withstand another ten days of fasting before seriously compromising his health. One doctor said that the Indian spiritual leader, 78, was getting weaker by the hour.

Gandhi would be assassinated on January 30.

In the Ruhr in Germany, 50,000 striking workers, complaining of shortages and inadequate food, were getting ready to return to work. German authorities warned of possible food riots in the American occupation zone. Many of the workers in the Ruhr were on near-starvation diets. The president of the British-American zone's executive committee stated that for the first time since the end of the war, the people of the zone faced famine.

The President stated in a letter to the Senate Armed Services Committee that its denial of permission for Maj. General Laurence Kuter to serve as chairman of the Civil Aeronautics Board while still receiving military pay constituted a "disservice" to the nation. The post had been vacant since the beginning of the year.

Secretary of the Treasury John W. Snyder told the House Ways & Means Committee that President Truman would likely veto a 5.6 billion dollar tax cut as proposed, that it would be a major threat to economic stability and create a 2.1 billion dollar deficit for the following fiscal year. He urged instead passage of the President's proposed tax cut of $40 per person, as a credit for individuals and dependents, and then paying for it by raising corporate taxes by 3.2 billion dollars.

Chairman Harold Knutson rejected Mr. Snyder's argument and said that he intended to push forward on the Republican tax cut. Representative John Dingell of Michigan, however, placed a bill embodying the President's plan before the Committee. Former chairman Robert Doughton of North Carolina stated that he was not in favor of either plan.

Senator Taft criticized the President's budget in Providence, R.I., before a group of Republicans, saying three billion dollars could be cut from the 40-billion dollar total. He proposed an increase in Air Force funding as an alternative to Universal Military Training. Senator Taft found problematic the fact that the Administration now said that there would be a 7.5 billion dollar surplus, whereas the previous summer, the Treasury reported a prospect of 1.5 billion, on which basis the President had twice vetoed the previously passed tax cut.

James Farley, FDR kingmaker and DNC chairman from 1933 to 1940, criticized the third-party candidacy of Henry Wallace. He said that the Progressive Party appeared as a one-man party and would possibly end that way.

In Indianapolis, the NLRB sought a temporary injunction against the International Typographical Union for an alleged violation of Taft-Hartley, in that it had caused discrimination by employers against employees based on denial of membership in the union for reasons other than non-payment of dues.

In Detroit, the UAW announced that it would seek a 25-cents per hour wage increase and an additional five cents worth of other benefits. The executive board stated that the increases were necessary to meet increased costs of living. Either Chrysler or G.M. would be the first target of the effort. The contract with Ford did not expire until later in the year.

In New York, a plagiarism suit against novelist Daphne Du Maurier, contending that she had plagiarized Rebecca, was dismissed on the ground that she never had access to the works, Blind Windows and "I Planned to Murder My Husband", both by Edwina MacDonald, which were claimed as the basis for the plagiarism. The court also found Rebecca sufficiently dissimilar to the MacDonald works to remove it from the purview of plagiarism. Ms. MacDonald died after initiating the suit and her son continued it as administrator of the estate. Ms. Du Maurier testified that she had never heard of the author or the works.

Likely story. Everybody has heard of "I Planned to Murder My Husband". It's on the news almost every night.

In Chicago, an explosion blew a 150-foot wall out of a structure near The Loop, killing five persons and injuring four.

Also in Chicago, the condemned axe-murderer, scheduled to be executed this date, made a phone call to two men serving sentences in Washington State, who he implicated as his accomplices in one double murder. He had confessed to 44 murders all over the country and had sought to delay his execution date that he might aid the authorities. During the 90-minute monitored conversation, both men whom he accused denied involvement. The telephone call had been arranged by the Chicago Herald-American. A transcript of part of the call is included for your perusal.

If either man had an attorney, he ought be executed. In any event, "Sugar Man"—not to be confused with President Truman—and the other man both denied even knowing the prisoner.

In Atlanta, Mayor William Hartsfield declared that the small houses being built since the war amounted to "involuntary birth control", as the first baby or first dog caused overcrowding. Eventually, he said, people would have to transport their houses on their backs as snails.

North Carolina Governor Gregg Cherry praised Josephus Daniels, who had died the previous day at age 85, succumbing to pneumonia. His remarks are provided on the page.

On the editorial page, "Josephus Daniels of North Carolina" eulogizes the passing of the former editor and publisher of the Raleigh News & Observer, former Secretary of the Navy under President Wilson and former Ambassador to Mexico under FDR, from 1933 through October, 1941, in that role being a prime mover in implementing and fostering the Good Neighbor Policy initiated by President Roosevelt, significantly improving relations in Mexico which had suffered prior to the tenure of Mr. Daniels, since the Pershing punitive expedition of 1916 which sought Pancho Villa and his compadres for the murderous raid on Columbus, N.M.

At Mr. Daniels's last public appearance, following a Presidential press conference at the White House, he had advised the press to write less of war and instead to induce the people to think in terms of peace by writing of peace.

Besides being a crusader against such things as British imperialism and American monopolies, he also was a Puritan who advocated prohibition and a devout Christian, having caught pneumonia from attending his Methodist Church in Raleigh with a bad cold.

He had started the News & Observer at age 18, in 1880, and became one of the nation's most noted editors, similar to William Allen White in Emporia, Kansas.

Mr. Daniels, it concludes, taught the people that "America's greatest glory comes from its citizens who love their fellow men and live courageously in that faith."

We recommend his three-volume memoir for a thoroughgoing and candid history of North Carolina from his early days through his death, as well tracing parts of the history of the nation and Mexico, of which he had first-hand view in his various roles.

It is possible to become blinded by the fact of Mr. Daniels's primary role as a newspaper editor in the white supremacy movement in North Carolina at the turn of the century and the Red Shirt campaign leading to bloody violence in Wilmington in 1898. While not excusing that gross misjudgment, which he fairly admitted as such in his memoirs, it is also necessary to place it in the context of the times, a time when, in 1896, Plessy v. Ferguson and its doctrine of "separate but equal" had become the law of the land. There is no indication in the public career of Mr. Daniels that he was a racist, at least in later years.

W. J. Cash, who in 1938 befriended son Jonathan Daniels, co-sponsor with Blanche and Alfred Knopf of Cash's Guggenheim Fellowship which took him to Mexico in June, 1941, stated, in his sole reference to Josephus Daniels in The Mind of the South:
Again, the very next year [in 1903] after [Emory's Dr. Andrew] Sledd's article [condemning lynching and Jim Crow], John Spencer Bassett, then serving as professor of history in Trinity College, a Methodist institution at Durham, North Carolina, which has since become Duke University, published an article in the South Atlantic Quarterly, issuing from Trinity and edited by himself, wherein he carried iconoclasm to the point of asserting that, after General Lee, Booker T. Washington, the Negro, was the greatest man born in the South in a century. The demand for his dismissal was so great and strident that even Josephus Daniels, in general one of the most liberal and intelligent editors the South has had, was swept into the current and regularly printed the professor's name as "bASSett." But the president of the college told the trustees that he would resign if Bassett were sacrificed, and the whole faculty secretly went on record to the same effect. Faced with that ultimatum, the trustees, after a stormy debate, voted to retain him.

It is unnecessary to exaggerate the meaning of this. There were many factors at play in these decisions—the threat of the standardizing authorities to strike Trinity off the accredited list, for instance, and the concern of many of the professors for their own professional status. It is perhaps not without significance that Bassett, though a native North Carolinian, did not tarry long before retiring to the North. And there would yet be other instances of the triumph of intolerance in the schools. Enoch M. Banks, a native Georgian, was dismissed from the University of Florida faculty in 1911 merely for saying in the Independent that in the Civil War "the North was relatively in the right, while the South was relatively in the wrong." Nevertheless, the slow development of criticism and tolerance for it within the academic circle was indubitable.

—from Book III, Chapter II, "Of Returning Tensions—and the Years the Cuckoo Claimed", Section 23, page 331 of 1969 ed.

"Congress Doesn't Feel the Cold" tells of Democratic Senator Burnet Maybank of South Carolina joining the Republicans in denouncing the President's economic message, desirous of limited wage-price controls and rationing. He believed the talk about controls was frightening the people. But with the fuel oil shortage, his words, it suggests, likely struck a hollow chord with many Southerners.

The fuel oil problem was national in scope and required some form of control to cure. Charlotte officials had done their utmost to obtain fuel oil and seek Federal assistance but had come up short.

"Sweetness in American Politics" tells of Terry Tullos, 3, the poster child for the March of Dimes drive to fight polio, having visited the White House from his native Laurel, Mississippi. He had thrown his arms around Mr. Truman and said that he was sweet. In so doing, he had accurately described an endearing quality possessed by the President. It stood in contrast to many politicians who were mean-spirited.

The President's bright disposition had proved such an asset that it might induce others to follow suit. It suggests that it might have come from his piano playing and love of music—which, with hindsight in plentiful store, we know to have proved a generally fallacious assumption, as in the case of a successor who also played the piano.

The information had come directly from Martha Truman, the President's recently deceased mother, who had reported that Harry Truman never tired of playing for her the old songs she liked, and that it was this fact which had made his nature sweet.

You can do it, too, of course, without learning to play an instrument. Use the record player and refrain from playing your own favorites too much and too loudly.

Bear in mind the old, old axiom: Your mother should know.

Of course, the mother of Richard Nixon may not have favored any music outside church music and "Simple Gifts", in which case, perhaps creating some of the problem. But who knows?

As we have mentioned once before, in March, 1970, when Ed Sullivan presented a film of the Beatles singing, for the first time publicly, "Let It Be", our mother, a school teacher, commented that she had played the song for her pupils, who loved the piece. We, having never heard of it prior to that time, thought she was crazy, but let it go. It turned out that she was right, as we discovered many years later among her possessions the sheet music for the song, recorded as we now know, in 1969, prior to the recording of "Abbey Road", released the previous October. Your mother should know.

A piece from the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, titled "A Tar Heel for 'The Voice'", praises the selection of George V. Allen of Durham as Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs. In that position, he would administer the international information service, including the Voice of America, and the student and technician exchange program. The previous Assistant Secretary had been William Benton, who resigned in frustration the previous September, claiming that he could not do his job with the budget cut in half to six million dollars.

Thus, Mr. Allen faced a formidable task and would need to try to obtain from Congress increased appropriations.

Drew Pearson again assesses the chances of war between Russia and the U.S., based on his observations while recently in France and Italy to accompany the Friendship Train. In this entry, he looks at the optimistic signs, tells of the Communist Party in Italy being the largest outside the Soviet Union, controlling a third of the Parliament. The proportion was similar in the French Chamber of Deputies. Thus, both Governments had to cooperate with the Communists. In Italy, many cities had Communist mayors. But most appeared only superficially Communist, likely to change with the winds as conditions improved.

Most of the Italian and French people with whom he had dealt who were Communists did not understand the theoretical basis for it.

In Czechoslovakia and Poland, there were many who wished to break away from Russia. The same was true in the Yugoslavian states of Bosnia and Southern Serbia.

France and Italy had the advantage of not having had to deal with the Red Army. But hunger had caused many to gravitate to the Communist Party. And when the Marshall Plan would begin to have an effect, these same people, he asserts, would bolt. But food and money alone, he cautions, would not win Europe. It would take convincing them of the peaceful intent of America in extending the aid.

Russia had done an excellent job of propaganda against the U.S., tainting its image as an imperialist nation in the eyes of many Europeans. Many believed that there was no social security in America or unemployment insurance and old-age pensions. They believed that Wall Street completely controlled the country, that the aid was only offered as a bribe to prevent Europe from falling into the Soviet sphere.

Relating that the goods aboard the Friendship Train had been loaded by free labor and transported overseas by free labor made an impression on the French and Italians. The lesson was that America needed to explain to the people of Europe its motives for giving the aid and provide Europeans with new goals for which to strive.

He promises a future column on what could be done to instill hope.

Marquis Childs tells of the Progressive Party, under whose banner Henry Wallace was running, intending to hold a rally in Chicago to find support for Mr. Wallace, thus far not attracting any great number of liberals as hoped.

When he was in the Roosevelt Administration as Secretary of Agriculture and then as Vice-President, Mr. Wallace had many loyal followers among liberals in Government. Most, however, had left the Government, but still held influential positions around the country. Yet, only two or three had rallied to the Wallace candidacy, prime among them being C. B. Baldwin, former head of the Farm Security Administration.

Mr. Wallace's supporters hoped to garner up to 200,000 votes in Illinois. If he should attract that many, it would likely swing the 28 electoral votes to the Republican candidate.

Representatives of two unions in Illinois had approached the Democratic king-makers and told them that if Professor Paul Douglas were the candidate, they would defect to a third party. Professor Douglas was a liberal and for the Marshall Plan. The Democrats ignored the warning and selected Mr. Douglas as the candidate to run against the isolationist incumbent, Senator Wayland Brooks.

It was not clear what the rally would accomplish, except possibly to nominate a vice-presidential candidate, probably Senator Glen Taylor, assuming that he would accept. He had said that he would do so if he were to become convinced that the President intended to lead the country into a preventative war—that which we have come to call "preemptive" warfare.

Samuel Grafton tells of the New York Journal of Commerce saying that retailers were counting on continued high prices to maintain dollar volume. The notion was circular: the retailers were dependent on high prices, which had reduced production volume by seven percent the previous year, to maintain high return. The cycle of inflation worked that way, requiring dependence on it for survival. Only more inflation could take care of the problems caused by inflation.

But some consumers were eliminated from the market with each price rise. He says that he was not acquainted with the supposed consumer who was indifferent to high prices. At a party which he had attended recently, a boycott of the week was proposed, beginning with butter. He had thus forgone butter for several days.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop tell of the leaders of the Northern Democratic organizations having sent word to Justice William O. Douglas that the vice-presidential nomination was his for the asking. Of course, Senator Alben Barkley would become the candidate.

The supporters of Justice Douglas were the same big city bosses who had been responsible for the Truman candidacy in 1944, rejecting incumbent Henry Wallace and War Mobilizer James Byrnes.

The President had not weighed in on the choice and his decision would be respected.

The party leaders had rejected Professor Paul Douglas for the gubernatorial nomination, favoring Adlai Stevenson. They instead supported him for the Senate, though they did not like him, but thought he might win.

The South was already expressing its anger regarding the President's anti-discrimination proposal and a Douglas vice-presidential nomination might be the final straw, for his consistent liberality and tolerance. While many of the Southerners liked Justice Douglas personally, they would not be disposed to accept a candidacy forced on them by the North.

A letter writer suggests the virtues of simplicity as being the "Gibraltar of democracy".

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