The Charlotte News

Monday, January 19, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Secretary of Defense James Forrestal told the House Armed Services Committee that a major war would find domestic petroleum production short by two million barrels per day to meet its needs. He recommended development of submerged coastal and Alaskan oil areas.

Bernard Baruch testified to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in favor of the Marshall Plan and an anti-inflation measure to go along with it. He recommended that the latter package include a rollback of farm prices, an agreement with labor to defer further wage increases, and avoidance of tax cuts for two years as well as return to the excess profits tax existing during the war.

Senator Ralph Flanders of Vermont and Congressman Jacob Javits of New York introduced a bill to allow meat rationing by the Administration to alleviate the meat shortage.

Republicans considered a billion-dollar reduction in their proposed 5.6 billion dollar tax cut plan, that they might attract Democratic support to enable overruling of a Presidential veto.

The Supreme Court, in Lee v. Mississippi, 332 US 742, a decision delivered by Justice Frank Murphy, unanimously reversed a conviction of a man sentenced at age 17 in Jackson, Miss., to eighteen years in prison for assault with intent to commit rape. The Court found that the defendant's confession had been improperly coerced by "duress, fear, threats and physical violence", in violation of the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination and the right of due process, as extended to the states via the Fourteenth Amendment. As a matter of form, the Court remanded the case so that the State court could express its opinion on the voluntariness of the confession as the State court had resolved the matter on its erroneous finding that the defendant was precluded even from raising the voluntariness of the confession as an issue because he had denied making the confession. The Court found the latter fact to be irrelevant because the jury necessarily found that he had so confessed.

In another case, Von Moltke v. Gillies, 332 US 708, the Court decided 6 to 3 to reverse the lower court denial of a petition for writ of habeas corpus and ordered an evidentiary hearing below to determine facts anent whether the petitioner, in fact, as she claimed, entered her plea of guilty to a violation of the Espionage Act after allegedly being apprised by an FBI agent that she was equally guilty for associating with persons involved in an espionage conspiracy. The Government agreed that if the factual contention was true, the woman, who had no attorney when she entered the plea, was entitled to reversal on the basis of a coerced plea, not entered with a knowing and voluntary waiver of her rights to counsel and the panoply of due process rights attendant a trial, pursuant to the Sixth and Fifth Amendments, respectively.

A concurrence of two members of the Court, Justices Felix Frankfurter and Robert Jackson, found that the appropriate remedy was to remand to the District Court for a hearing to determine this factual issue, the gravamen of the case as they viewed it. The Court thus found that if the evidentiary hearing determined that the petitioner had been so informed by the FBI agent, she should be released from further service of the four-year sentence to which she was consigned pursuant to the plea.

The dissent of Justice Harold Burton, joined by Chief Justice Fred Vinson and Justice Stanley Reed, opined that the Government was correct in asserting that the petitioner had not produced sufficient evidence to justify her contention that the FBI agent made the alleged statements and thus the petition should be denied.

It should be noted that, potentially, even if the factual contention would be sustained and the plea of guilty thus nullified, the woman still might have to face the music a second time, as the Fifth Amendment bar against double jeopardy does not apply in a case reversed on appeal, whether by guilty plea or finding of guilt after a trial. It is then within prosecutorial discretion to seek another or renewed prosecution against the accused, based on the factual circumstances attendant the case.

Thirty-five persons had died from the cold wave striking the Eastern half of the nation. Five died in each of Kentucky and Connecticut, with four each in Tennessee and Pennsylvania. Two towns in Pennsylvania recorded lows of 38 below zero, and several towns and cities in New York recorded double-digit below-zero temperatures. In New York City, it was 8 degrees above zero.

The executive order issued on Saturday by the President, impacting Federal buildings and vehicles, had caused voluntary reduction in industrial use of petroleum.

Tom Fesperman of The News reports of an eleven-year old mentally deficient girl living in a four-room home with nine other people, including five children. Her younger brother suffered from rheumatic fever and her acutely manic condition was hampering his recovery. The parents had been frustrated in trying to place her in a facility, being told that they were already overcrowded with no space available.

In Copenhagen, a plane hit a flock of swans, killing three, and causing the plane to return to the airport.

Napoleon, the world's most famous dog, appears on the comics page each afternoon. Don't miss him. You will wish to observe whether he had a funny way of holding his right paw, tucked into his collar.

On the editorial page, "A Delay on Churchill's Monument" tells of the English-Speaking Union having shelved its plan, originally suggested by the Richmond Times-Dispatch, to raise money for a fund to bring British youths to study in American universities, to coincide with the unveiling in April of a statue to FDR in London. The excuse given was that the Union wanted first to concentrate on the FDR memorial.

But the piece speculates that perhaps it derived instead from the great change of American opinion on Mr. Churchill since war's end and his March, 1946 Fulton, Missouri, "iron curtain" speech, after which the suspicion of Russian expansion and the need to arrest it reached fever pitch. It wonders whether, if the Marshall Plan had been proposed at Fulton, the Soviets might have refrained from their subsequent expansionist activities and joined the invitation to participate in the program.

Mr. Churchill, it concludes, had put the cart before the horse.

"Common Sense on a Tax Cut" finds North Carolina Congressman Robert Doughton correct in his opposition to both the Truman $40 individual tax credit to be financed by raising corporate taxes by 3.2 billion dollars, and the proposal by House Ways & Means chairman Harold Knutson for a 5.6 billion dollar tax cut.

The Truman proposal, it finds, would discourage hope of reduced prices through increased production.

The Knutson bill was inflationary and would leave little for reducing the national debt run up during the war, would also cut the heart from ERP and drastically cut Government services.

Mr. Doughton, it thinks, reasonably wanted to effect a middle ground by trimming the President's proposed 40-billion dollar budget and affording a lower tax cut than that suggested by the GOP.

"Canada Restores Price Control" tells of Canada reimposing controls on meat and butter prices and seeking to re-institute rent control. It suggests that the Canadians were not suffering from the same delusions as many in America, that controls were of no value because they did not offer an absolute cure for inflation. But controls did alleviate the strain of inflation on the lower economic classes, even as the control measures spawned black markets and tended to cause reduction in production in peacetime.

A piece from the Christian Science Monitor, titled "Moscow Fairy Tale", relates a story of two crumbs, a Gunpowder Crumb and a Bread Crumb, living in a hunter's beard. The former vowed to destroy both the hunter and latter Crumb. Bread Crumb was then eaten by the hunter and a sparrow pecked Gunpowder, at which point he blew up. Everyone lived happily ever, save Pravda.

For Pravda was upset at its junior counterpart having printed the above tale for its youthful readers. The story was thought to be pacifist in nature. Man needed both gunpowder and bread, it declared.

The piece thinks the story salutary and in line with the aims of the Marshall Plan. But as such, it would meet inevitably with both Russian and some American censure. It was content, however, to allow "Pravda to peck away at the moral and blow up all by itself."

Drew Pearson again looks at the prospect of war between Russia and the U.S., viewed through the eyes of Western Europeans with whom he had contact during his recent tour of France and Italy with the Friendship Train. He starts with a quote from Clare Boothe Luce, former Congresswoman from Connecticut, regarding the present "tug-of-war", suggesting that Russia's newer outlook produced by the Revolution needed to be outrun by the U.S. with its own modern outlook.

We might wish initially to inquire of Ms. Luce whether that would mean junking the Constitution and declaring her Queen Bee, with all the advanced knowledge and perspicacity which she somehow managed to acquire at times, even more than that of the CIA and the President.

Mr. Pearson relates of his own experience in the Balkans right after World War I, trying to work out a simple accord whereby Yugoslavia's over-supply of corn would be traded with Austria for repairs of inoperable Yugoslavian locomotives. The Yugoslavians balked, however, not wishing to feed the hated Austrians. That hatred was especially overt in and around Trieste, with Italians hating Yugoslavs—South Africans...all together, now...never mind.

Ms. Luce, incidentally, would later become Ambassador to Italy, between 1953 and 1956, under President Eisenhower.

Two weeks earlier, when Mr. Pearson had visited this area, he discovered that Tito and the Communists had effected an appreciable change in relations around Trieste, convincing many Italians to live in peace with Yugoslavs. It had been accomplished through shrewd propaganda. He says that the area had been better off under the old Austro-Hungarian Empire extant prior to World War I, and might be better off again were Tito able to unite these diverse economic interests and resources.

The Soviets were busy creating a United States of Europe to good advantage. The Marshall Plan could interrupt this process and turn the tide toward the West. Its prospect had already had an ameliorative effect in the abrupt ending of the strikes in Italy and France. The Soviets might next strike in Greece, Austria, or Czechoslovakia.

The ultimate question was whether the Plan would go far enough and transcend merely the status of a temporary stopgap. To assure its endurance, there needed to be, he posits, a United States of Europe. Not to make such political and economic cohesion an aspect of the Plan, he believes, was a major mistake. There was discussion among the states of mutual economic issues and lowering of tariff barriers. The prejudices between European countries would pose a wall, however, over which the cap needed to be tossed.

The first step was to build a United States of Western Europe—eventually accomplished largely through the mutual interdependence within NATO and the European Common Market. He says that once such an organization were established, one by one, such nations as Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Austria would come into the Western sphere.

The problem was that America was not enough promoting abroad its own system. He favors a lot more American "salesmanship".

He is too polite to remark, as he had suggested during the summer of 1946 when in Atlanta to hold a rally at the State Capitol to counter the re-emergence of the Klan, that in large measure, inhibiting good promotion of democracy in the U.S. was the recalcitrance of the most atavistic of Southerners and their political apologists who exchanged tacit or expressed approbation of their mental wedding to an antebellum never-never land for maintenance of segregation and assurance of a ready and exclusive pool of voters.

More leadership was needed, not salesmanship.

Marquis Childs remarks that the President's Air Policy Commission report—released the previous week, recommending significantly increased spending on the Air Force to effect modernization and expansion, in preparation for a potential atomic attack, by "A-Day", set by agreement as January 1, 1953—had refrained from judgment on the division of the budget between the separate military branches. But it plainly believed that there was a great amount of waste in the budget devoted to preparation for "yesterday's war"—the Guns of September, if not August, as it were.

Such waste continued despite the merger of the armed forces six months earlier under the Department of Defense. Shore installations on the Pacific Coast, for instance, could have no possible relation to any future war. In previous times, the insularity of the two oceans afforded time for preparation anew for war; but no more in the atomic-jet age. Time's barrier had been breached, even the wall of sound, the previous October, if not yet known to the public.

Another Pearl Harbor in the atomic era would mean final defeat and disaster.

The Commission had asked Secretary of Defense James Forrestal to tell them what had been done to cut waste since merger, and he could show very little. They understood, however, the barnacles protecting the Navy from budget reorganization. The primary task for Secretary Forrestal was to create a viable Air Force while keeping the Navy in modern array. And that latter task meant pruning some of the antiquated vestiges of the Navy to make way for the Air Force.

The vested interests in resistance of such efforts were not all inside the Army and Navy. When it had come time to trim or eliminate the old frontier forts used in fighting the Indians, the surrounding towns rose up in protest. Army officers who also did not want change allied with these forces and lobbied Congress to maintain the status quo.

"Those days are gone forever. If Congress and the nation persist in living in that kind of a past, then the awakening will eventually be a rude one."

DeWitt MacKenzie, A.P. foreign affairs analyst, examines the methods of the enemy in the cold war. He looks at "Protocol M", the purported plan of the Communists to disrupt Western Germany and thus cripple the Marshall Plan. He labels the protocol an example of the "unscrupulous efficiency" of the Communist revolutionary methods, in which no holds were barred.

A document prepared by the British Foreign Office anent the protocol stated that it utilized all weapons of the proletariat to succeed.

The methods included strikes and disorders, destruction of property and liquidation of opponents, including death or political imprisonment. The British report stated that the Cominform, founded in Belgrade the previous year, would "coordinate the common battle of all socialist movements in Europe."

Mr. MacKenzie distinguishes between socialism and Russian Communism, engrafted on which was Bolshevism, the revolutionary methodology. The Communists and Socialists were often disavowing one another in Western Europe, in Britain, France, and Italy.

According to the protocol, as found by the report, the unification of the working class was of paramount importance to the Communist movement. The Bolsheviks concentrated on the German Ruhr and its coal mines and manufacturing facilities.

He finds the protocol, on the whole, to be of the Bolos' typical tactics, seeking to secure a foothold in Western Europe.

Protocol M, thus, could not be overlooked by those fighting "Red ism"—ism, ism, ism.

Brother, you can say that again.

Especially that 3M stuff—if you know what we mean.

A letter writer, a veteran of World War I, relates of personal experiences in trying to find housing in Rock Hill, S.C., and coming up empty. He suggests adherence to the Golden Rule, lest the current boom go bust.

Maude Waddell, who once contributed her verses regularly to The News during the days when W. J. Cash was Associate Editor, provides a poem, titled "Robert Edward Lee", in ode to the Confederate General.

Its opening lines and theme borrow from Sir Walter Scott, perhaps also imbuing shades of Cash:
Softly the South wind is sighing,
Soldier, take your rest

And so we shall.

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