The Charlotte News

Saturday, January 17, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Secretary of State Marshall issued a statement that the U.S. did not contemplate establishing bases in exchange for aid under ERP. He felt the statement necessary to allay fears in Europe arising from a misquote of the Senate testimony of Secretary of Defense James Forrestal the previous Thursday, which had it that the U.S. did intend to ask for such bases as a quid pro quo for the aid.

Reports confirmed the belief held for months that Russia was to receive an Italian battleship, a cruiser, and 37 other vessels, about one-third of the Italian fleet, in reparations from Italy. The official report on the subject, however, remained secret.

In response to the national fuel oil shortage, the President ordered that thermostats be cut back to 68 degrees during working hours in Government buildings heated by fuel oil. Government vehicles were not to be driven over 40 mph or any further than necessary.

In Charlotte, the Weather Bureau was predicting snow this night and into Sunday morning, as the temperature would dip to 15 from temperatures this date ranging between 30 and 50 degrees. Bundle up. Memphis had suffered its worst snow in 56 years, 12 inches. Nashville had seven inches. One person had died in Tennessee and one in South Carolina from the cold.

Congressman Robert Doughton of North Carolina, former House Ways & Means Committee chairman, indicated that he would vote to sustain a Presidential veto of the 5.6 billion dollar tax reduction bill proposed by Ways & Means chairman Harold Knutson. But he did not support the President's contention that there should be no overall reduction of Federal revenue. He wanted to reduce the number of Federal employees to cut spending and provide some tax cut.

Secretary of Commerce Averell Harriman testified to the Senate Banking Subcommittee that to eliminate rent controls when they expired at the end of February would raise the cost of living and place pressure on increased wage demands.

Both Mrs. Woodrow Wilson and Eleanor Roosevelt attended the funeral services for Josephus Daniels in Raleigh this date. Mr. Daniels had served under both Presidents, as Secretary of the Navy under President Wilson and as Ambassador to Mexico under FDR.

On Monday morning at 8 o'clock, the North Carolina vehicle inspection stations across the state would begin operation. The fee would be a dollar. The inspection would look for mechanical defects and take about fifteen minutes. Be sure and get there early, especially if you still have a prewar jalopy on the road.

On the editorial page, "Marshall Plan Up to the People" tells of Herbert Agar of the Louisville Courier-Journal having suggested at the Pinehurst Forum the previous week at Pinehurst, N.C., which Secretary of State Marshall had attended, the circulation and signing of a petition to Congress, supporting passage of the Marshall Plan as proposed. The action was undertaken.

It was designed to prevent the same sort of thing which happened in 1919 when, despite popular support for joining the League of Nations, the isolationists in the Senate banded together to talk the Treaty of Versailles to death and include so many reservations as to render American participation meaningless, causing the League supporters ultimately to reject the sham resolution of the Senate. It had been out of that atmosphere that the isolationism developed which led to the country not being prepared adequately for World War II, thus contributing to its onset.

It urges more people to do as the Pinehurst Forum and speak up for the Plan, to encourage the lawmakers not to emasculate it to the point of rendering it a nullity from its inception. Congress had already reduced the commitment to one year with annual review thereafter, rather than the proposed four-year commitment, recommended to enable full planning by the 16 recipient nations.

Mr. Agar, incidentally, had originally been scheduled to speak at the Mayflower Literary Society ceremony in Raleigh on December 5, 1941 at which W. J. Cash was posthumously awarded the annual prize. He was prevented from attending by a snowstorm in Louisville and Josephus Daniels spoke in his stead.

"Estes Kefauver of Tennessee" tells of an anonymous author directing Boss Ed Crump of Memphis the previous week to deposit $50,000 in an envelope and leave it at a certain street corner or suffer death at the hands of the writer. "Mr. Ed" enclosed a note in a briefcase which read: "To the coward perpetrating this dastardly thing: anyone could take a white mouse with baby teeth and run you in the Mississippi River." He then waited at the corner, but no one showed up. Disappointed, he went home.

He faced a more formidable challenge in trying to steer the Senate race in Tennessee. His hand-picked candidate for the Senate to contest Congressman Estes Kefauver was an obscure circuit judge. The incumbent, Senator Tom Stewart, had been abandoned by Boss Crump and had not decided whether to run.

Mr. Kefauver, a member of the House for eight years, likely would win regardless of the opponent. He had a good record of support for TVA, the 1938 Reciprocal Trade Act, veterans, the Agricultural Adjustment Administration and rural electrification. Following his participation in developing the Reorganization Act of 1946, he had published a book the previous year, Twentieth Century Congress, in which he set forth proposals for streamlining the Congress. The piece provides its endorsement for his candidacy.

Mr. Kefauver would win, and in 1956, would narrowly be selected over Senator John F. Kennedy for the vice-presidential spot on the Democratic ticket with Adlai Stevenson. It was the only time John Kennedy was ever defeated in a political contest.

A piece from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, titled "Retreat into Ignorance", tells of a report from the Elementary Journal out of the University of Chicago stating that the situation in public schools would be going from bad to worse by 1955 if no program were undertaken to improve them. The problem, it said, was low teacher pay. So many qualified teachers had left the profession that temporary teaching certificates were being provided unqualified persons to fill the void. The population of children was rising fast, as 12,000 more teachers were needed in 1947 than in the previous year.

Only two percent of those attending college on the G.I. Bill were enrolled in colleges for teachers. The dire situation would, it predicts, if allowed to continue, cause increasingly lower standards of education and ultimately harm the country and its democracy.

Drew Pearson tells of personnel firings or resignations at both the Civil Aeronautics Board and the Civil Aeronautics Administration, leaving it depleted of administrators and lower personnel shaken. The President had fired the head of CAB, which allocated routes and made general policy. The CAA investigated safety issues and its head had resigned recently to go into the private sector. It left the President with the problem of trying to persuade qualified personnel to take the jobs.

The new Veterans Administration head, General Carl Gray, appointed to succeed General Omar Bradley, insisted to the House Veterans Committee that his ancestors came to the U.S. on the Mayflower and that he was a loyal American. Congressman Walter Huber of Ohio said that he was impressed with that fact but hoped that General Gray would work for the men who came over on cattle ships and the like much later. The General, flushing, said that he would.

Texas Senator P. the B. Pappy Lee O'Daniel, scheduled to appear on the new radio program "Meet the Press", at first balked unless his friends were on the panel. In the end, Walter Trohan of the Chicago Tribune, Bob Johnson of the Houston Post, and Sarah McClendon of several small Texas newspapers—to become longtime White House correspondent in subsequent years, often addressed by Presidents simply as "Sarah" at press conferences—, wound up on the panel. Mr. Pearson says that they "covered Pappy with verbal kisses". Whether there was gravy or molasses involved was not indicated.

Mr. P. the B. would be defeated by a landslide in the coming primary by LBJ, whom Mr. O'D. had defeated by an equivalent landslide in the special election of June 28, 1941, which sent then Governor Pappy to the Senate.

Ailing Senator Robert Wagner of New York had found that nine out of ten mayors of cities of population greater than 50,000 favored Federal help in remedying the housing shortage.

The State Department was getting ready to recognize the bloody regime of General Samosa in Nicaragua.

Senator Taft's labor committee was preparing to hold hearings on two opposing health care bills, one introduced by Senator Taft, calling for Federal contributions to state agencies, and the other by Senator James Murray of Montana, providing for extensive national health insurance. The latter bill was opposed by doctors.

There was backstage talk of selecting former OPA head Chester Bowles as the Democratic nominee for vice-president.

Another former OPA head, Paul Porter, when asked what he thought of the prospects of price control legislation in the Congress, stated that the only thing he could say about it was a four-letter word. It was unprintable, he said, but he was willing to spell it out: "T-A-F-T".

Joseph & Stewart Alsop discuss the new American air transport base at Tripoli in Libya, having been described by Secretary of Defense Forrestal as a link in the line to Athens. Its actual purpose, they posit, was to strengthen American power in the Mediterranean. It germinated as an alternative to sending American troops to Greece, in response to the Soviet-sponsored effort to seize Konitsa.

A minority in the Administration, mainly in the State Department, had favored sending troops. The majority, primarily in the military, advocated the base at Tripoli.

The original withdrawal date from Italy was December 3, 1947, ninety days after the treaty with Italy was ratified, as determined at Potsdam in July, 1945. That date was deferred temporarily because of the Communist offensive in Italy, via the national strike, having been timed to coincide with the American withdrawal. The American troops left behind were small in number, mainly supply sergeants, but it threw the Communist strike plan and propaganda out of kilter.

At the same time, the Russians complied with their commitment to leave Bulgaria. The 100,000 Russian troops were transferred to Rumania. To achieve that end was the ultimate purpose of the delay in having all American troops leave Italy. It had also been a source of dispute within the Government, with many in the military wanting to stick to the schedule while others saw the practical wisdom of a delay.

James Marlow of the Associated Press tells of veteran Congressman Homer Ramey of Ohio having gone home during the recess and made a speech, saying that some believed Congress to be doing too much, some, not enough. He said that it took a thick skin to be in Congress. He observed that Mark Twain had once said that he might become that "lowest form of human creatures".

Some members had broken into tears when praised, as it was simply too much to bear.

Mr. Marlow concludes by asking how the reader now felt.

How do you feel?

A letter writer wants the Government to give an atomic ultimatum to Russia to cease its expansionist policies or face nuclear annihilation.

Gee, that would be smart. Let's just do that and see what happens. Be sure, though, to get your duck-and-cover Mr. Terrific tin-hat to guard you at Zero Hour on A-Day.

He had read a piece in the Presbyterian Journal by Dr. L. Nelson Bell, for years a missionary in Japan, saying: "Give due warning to Russia and time to repent. If the warning goes unheeded, let fly the devastating bomb."

Amen, brother. That is sure a Christian way to view it. If L. Nelson Bell, by golly, advocates it, it has to be done.

We think the writer may have been drinking or tired and instead read a cartoon representation of a character named Hell Knellsome Bell, but maybe not.

The editors suggest that while such a course might enhance the nation's material security, it would not do much for its spiritual security.

Who cares about that? We're out to conquer the world. We got atomic bombs. Don't quote that Matthew 16:26 "what propheteth a man" stuff. Who do you think you are, Jesus or somebody? God gave us the atomic bomb and he meant for us obviously to use it whenever we see fit or see Red. And who the hell is Disraeli, some Jew? Marshall Plan and U.N. That is the path to the Deil's nether lands, mister. You had better read your Good Book better. There's lots o' killing in there.

A letter from failed GOP Congressional candidate P. C. Burkholder comments on the editorial of January 9, "Turning Point for the Grand Old Party?" anent Secretary of State Marshall telling Congress that a crucial time had been reached, either to support the Marshall Plan as proposed or retreat into the isolationism of the past and its attendant dangers.

He agrees that a turning point had been reached but believes that it was the New Deal which had caused all the problems, not isolationism. He contends that America had built the Russian war machine which now threatened a "New Deal war". He doesn't like the Marshall Plan at all.

Obviously. Never mind that, had Russia either made a separate peace with Germany or joined the Axis, it might have taken three million Americans killed in the war to have won it. Certainly, it would have been far more than 300,000. But what's the difference as long as you get your country buttermilk and run again for Congress?

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