The Charlotte News

Tuesday, January 20, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in New Delhi, forecasting the assassination on January 30, a bomb hurled by a Hindu refugee exploded against a wall 50 yards from Mohandas Gandhi, as he addressed an open prayer meeting. He had ended his fast for peace on Sunday after five days and one hour. The man who had thrown the bomb also had a hand grenade in his pocket. He was arrested and taken into custody.

John Foster Dulles testified to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that Soviet leaders were doing everything they could to weaken the economies of Europe's free states, making the Marshall Plan mandatory. He said that it was to the "enlightened self-interest" of the country to implement the Plan. There could be no peace treaty for Germany and Austria until the Plan was in operation, assuring the free states that they would remain so. He also favored placing policy-making for Germany in the hands of the State Department—which, under President Eisenhower, he would head until his death in 1959. Mr. Dulles had been the chief GOP foreign policy adviser since the 1944 presidential campaign, when he served in that role to the party nominee, Governor Thomas Dewey.

In Berlin, Soviet Marshal Vassily Sokolovsky told the Allied Control Council that Russia was opposed to establishment and reorganization of the British and American combined zones. He charged that the bizonal merger was violative of the Potsdam agreement of July, 1945. It was the first Allied Control Council meeting since the failed London foreign ministers conference during the fall.

The Republican Steering Committee in the House was planning its tax proposal, apparently set to ignore the previous day's testimony of Bernard Baruch, recommending no tax cut for two years and imposition of inflation control. The Republicans also appeared prepared to accept the Knutson 5.6 billion dollar plan and to reject the President's proposal for a $40 individual credit to be financed by a 3.2 billion dollar corporate tax increase. Republican leaders suggested, however, that the Knutson cut would be trimmed to about four billion dollars.

Senator Charles Tobey of New Hampshire, chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, came out in favor of a preparatory meat rationing law, proposed the previous day by Senator Ralph Flanders and Congressman Jacob Javits, but said he opposed giving the President other powers to regulate the cost of living until the voluntary-compliance bill, passed during the special session, had a chance to work.

The Senate Armed Services Committee rejected the President's nomination of Maj. General Laurence Kuter to become head of the Civil Aeronautics Board. A member of the Board, meanwhile, resigned, leaving a third vacancy out of five positions.

Ed Pauley, assistant to Secretary of the Army Kenneth Royall, insisted that the Senate investigators looking into his speculation in the grain market issue a statement either saying that he made money through business acumen only or proceed to prove that he benefited from inside information. He denied the latter contention, made by GOP presidential candidate Harold Stassen. Mr. Pauley stated that he would resign his present Government posts, including being reparations adviser in the State Department, at the end of the month. Both positions had been temporary.

The winter cold continued to grip North and South Carolina and highway officials urged caution as light freezing rain coated the highways and byways and dirt roads which lead, however long and circuitously, right to your door.

In Winston-Salem, officials of the Forsyth County Committee on Public Solicitation met to determine whether it would remain the only county in the nation without a March of Dimes drive to combat polio. Members of the Committee believed that the National Foundation had been raising funds out of proportion to its need.

In Charlotte, Mecklenburg County officials, including Welfare Superintendent Wallace Kuralt, father of eventual News reporter and CBS newsman Charles Kuralt, met to determine a course of action to have the eleven year-old girl, born mentally defective, admitted to a mental facility, following a story the previous day by Tom Fesperman indicating that the child was in a crowded four-room home with nine other people, including five other children. The girl was reported to be violent and impossible to control, compromising the health of her younger brother, suffering from rheumatic fever.

Freck Sproles of The News tells of women's fashions for the summer being practical and "'prissy'", based on the New York fashion shows. The pictures and the story appear in the Women's Section, should you have an interest in being practical and prissy.

Frank Morgan says: "Flatterer... A flatterer, I have noticed, is a man who says things to your face he wouldn't say behind your back. Flattery is a kind of soft soap—and as we all know, soft soap is a lye."

Just give us some truth.

On the editorial page, "A North Carolina Tragedy" remarks on the eleven-year old mentally defective girl whose family had been unable to have her committed thus far to a mental facility for the absence of space.

The State was undertaking an expansion program of its mental facilities, but in the meantime, it urges, there should be an investigation to determine whether there had been indifference demonstrated to the plight of the girl.

"Taft Gaining over Dewey" tells of Governor Dewey, still not an official candidate for the GOP nomination, having finally authorized his executive assistant to issue a statement saying that he would accept if nominated.

That much was already known. The question arose whether the Governor had waited too long to announce his candidacy to enable him to overcome the lead held by Senator Taft, an announced candidate since the end of 1947.

It suggests that the Republicans were being dragged to an uncertain fate by Senator Taft, and that Governor Dewey had cause for concern as to the viability of his own candidacy. If the GOP nominated Mr. Taft, then the platform would inevitably be isolationist on foreign policy and opposed to both ERP and inflation control measures.

"Gandhi's Lesson in Peacemaking" tells of the end of Gandhi's fast having occurred Sunday after 121 hours. He did so after pledges from Moslem and Hindu leaders that they would carry forth his program of peace through "restoration of communal love".

The piece contrasts this picture with the columns appearing in many American newspapers on Sunday which forecast a nuclear war in the 1950's, one without a winner and in which everyone would lose. It showed how far adrift from reality America was, compared to the sanity being demonstrated in India.

The Hindus and Moslems who respected Gandhi were moved to put aside their differences, at least temporarily, in deference to his well-being.

The tragedy of the West, it offers, was that it was afraid to trust its own spiritual powers. It had no loving leader as Mahatma Gandhi, "Mahatma" meaning "great-souled one". No one could speak of peace and love in the United States and command such respect.

The Christian world was waiting, it says, for a voice to arouse it from the "evil war trance" induced by fear.

"It has forgotten the One who said, 'Be not afraid.'"

It hoped that Gandhi's work would remind the West that a positive demonstration of good will was more powerful than the atom bomb. Too many of the people did not desire peace and too many accepted war as a fait accompli or favored a preemptive war. Too few had confidence in the U.N.

One cabal in India, of course, would see to it ten days hence that the "sanity", of which the piece speaks, would be, indeed, short-lived.

Three leaders, each of whom in varying degrees carried their own spiritual force, one openly modeling his public life after Gandhi, would bless the nation in the 1950's and 1960's, only to have their corporeal lives also cut short by bullets. We hope that yesterday, as we celebrated Martin Luther King Day, you thought of all three of them.

Two were politicians, but, in one sense, so are we all and so was Gandhi, a lawyer by profession. One does not have to stand for political office to engage in politics. If you converse about anything of importance to the country or to the world, you are engaging in politics. Without it, we would be lost to tyrants.

A short piece from the Memphis Commercial Appeal, titled "A Dollar's Worth", describes how a dollar would not go as far as it once would, with productivity per person in the work place imperiling existing structures of hours and pay. It advises that what would be done for the dollar would redound to the people.

Excerpts appear from a speech by Justice William O. Douglas, delivered in Chicago on the occasion of the commemoration of the centennial of the birth of Governor John Peter Altgeld of Illinois. Justice Douglas, who was being touted as a possible vice-presidential candidate if he wanted the position on the Democratic ticket, praised Governor Altgeld for his stands in protection of civil liberties at a time, during the robber-baron era, when civil liberties were being assailed.

Justice Douglas said: "I remember recent instances where tyrannical judges sitting in local courts rode roughshod over the civil liberties of defendants charged with crime. In one case it was a doctor, in another an editor who thundered personal disapproval and started campaigns to rid their cities of those oppressive practices."

To do so, he warned, was not always easy and required persistence and courage. But those devoted to democratic rights would take the "direct and daring course." And that, despite that they might be "pilloried and cursed".

"A people indifferent to their civil liberties do not deserve to keep them, and in the revolutionary age may not be expected to keep them long. A people who proclaim their civil liberties but extend them only to preferred groups start down the path to totalitarianism."

It was better to lose pleading the case for democracy than to lose by default.

Drew Pearson tells of the head of the National Farmers' Alliance urging the President to go to Congress as any other citizen and put forth his views before a Congressional committee. The President dissented, saying that his best weapon was to go before the American people with a microphone.

Senator Harry Cain of Washington had been given the job by Senator Taft to draft a bill continuing rent control beyond the current deadline of February 29. But Senator Cain was opposed to rent control. Democrats had introduced bills with teeth.

Comptroller General Lindsay Warren had probed the operations of RFC subsidiaries. Mr. Pearson provides some of the initial findings, re Andrews Steel in Newport, Ky., resulting in Government losses.

The President had called in Democrats from the House Ways & Means Committee to build up opposition to chairman Harold Knutson's 5.6 billion dollar tax cut proposal. He again urged his plan for a $40 credit per individual, funding it with a 3.2 billion dollar corporate tax increase.

Former Postmaster General and DNC chairman Robert Hannegan was of the opinion that one of the worst mistakes of the Truman Administration had been dispensing with the excess profits tax right after the war, which taxed virtually all of the income of corporations after the point of profits equal to those earned in the period immediately prior to the war. Federal Reserve chairman Marriner Eccles was of the same opinion.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop indicate that Russia appeared to have caught on, in a rudimentary fashion, to how American politics worked, as demonstrated by their hope that the Henry Wallace third-party candidacy would wind up causing the election of a reactionary Republican, in turn, the downfall of the Marshall Plan.

Word now had it that Russia planned to withhold any action in Europe for the ensuing two months during debate on the Plan, in the hope of lulling the Republican majority in Congress either to abandon or severely weaken the Plan. The Soviet bullying had in the previous two years resulted in the 3.7 billion dollar loan to Britain in 1946 and Truman Doctrine aid for Turkey and Greece, approved the previous spring, as well as the emergency winter aid for Italy and France approved in the recent special session of November and December.

They warn that if the Republicans took the bait and junked or weakened the Plan, the results would be disastrous in Western Europe, starting with Britain in the spring.

Samuel Grafton wonders what it was like to be a fifteen-year old growing up in America, experiencing for the first time in its peacetime history a collective animus directed toward an avowed enemy, Russia. For two and a half years since the end of the war, the anti-Soviet rhetoric had dominated the colloquy anent foreign policy.

The consequence was that the country now had an eleven-billion dollar defense budget in peacetime and could not touch it without a loss of security. It meant that as long as the cold war would last, the defense budget was locked and could not be reduced, taking away a fourth of the country's revenue before foreign aid.

It left little money for social programs after the basic operations of the Government itself were factored into the equation.

During the previous history of the country, it had not had to spend large amounts on defense in peacetime. That fact had distinguished it from other nations.

The country was rendered fundamentally different, he says, by having to spend eleven billion dollars on defense.

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