The Charlotte News

Thursday, January 22, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that British Foreign Minister Ernest Bevin urged before the House of Commons formation of a Western European union to face the "ruthless" drive by Russia. He favored unification of Germany but believed that the Russians, in their formulation, wanted too much centralization, making it too easy for transmutation into a one-party dictatorship.

The Hagana organization, the militia of the Jewish Agency, stated that it had attacked the Arab village of Yazur and killed twelve this date, following an Arab attack which resulted in the deaths of seven Jewish police officers and wounding of four others at the edge of Jerusalem. The deaths raised the total killed in the Middle East to 951 since partition of Palestine by the U.N. on November 29.

In Greece, Army units repelled strong guerrilla forces from Notia Europos and Actochori in the Edessa area of Western Macedonia.

The U.S. revealed, from the seized German Foreign Office records, a secret offer made in 1940 by Stalin to Hitler to join the Axis on condition Russia be provided a free hand in Finland, a base near the Dardanelles, and a dominant voice in the Middle East. Hitler did not respond. The State Department released the information, and it was being broadcast via the Voice of America into Russia and Eastern Europe.

In Bavaria, the Bavarian Trade Union Federation called for a walkout by its million members, in support of the 24-hour protest by 200,000 workers the previous day in Nuremberg and Cologne, regarding food shortages.

At a press conference, the President said that he would officially announce his candidacy for re-election sometime before the July Democratic convention, but that there was no rush. He supported parts of the plan enunciated by Bernard Baruch to a Congressional committee, but not that of former President Hoover, who favored reduction of foreign aid from a four-year program to one of 15 months.

AFL president William Green proposed a 45-hour work week with overtime pay as a method to increase production and help reduce inflation, provided Congress would approve an effective inflation-control measure, including most of the President's ten-point plan, with the exception of the desired authority for wage controls.

The President had stated at the press conference that he was not in favor of such an extension of the work week, as also proposed by GM president Charles Wilson. He again lauded the other Charles Wilson, head of GE, for reducing prices.

In Colton, California, four men were killed in a powder explosion at the Portland Cement Co. quarry. The quarry mined lime rock for use in cement. The explosion came from premature detonation of dynamite. One of those killed was on the job for the first day.

In Savana, Ill., an explosion at an ordnance plant was felt over three states, but there were no injuries reported.

In Los Angeles, a woman, 20, was charged with extortion by sending a letter to actress Betty Grable, threatening to kidnap her seven-month old daughter unless she was paid $5,000 to refrain from the act. The young woman had arrived recently from Texas, would likely be residing in California for awhile.

A new cold wave hit the Midwest and snow fell again in the East. The temperature reached a cool 29 degrees below zero in Pembina, N.D., with zero being the norm across the country to Chicago. Snow reached accumulation of eight inches in West Virginia, and some new snowfall was recorded in New York City, already beset by record snow.

In Gerrard Hall on the campus of UNC in Chapel Hill, the 23rd annual North Carolina Newspaper Institute convened. It was open to the public. University Comptroller William D. Carmichael—after whom Carmichael Auditorium is named—would host a luncheon for the event at the Carolina Inn, at which would be featured the folk songs and ballads collected by Dr. and Mrs. I. G. Greer.

We note that Gerrard Hall apparently was once the scene of a speech by President Andrew Johnson, said to have been delivered while he was quite in his cups. In any event, it is documented that Presidents James K. Polk, a graduate of the University, James Buchanan and Woodrow Wilson each spoke there.

We once took a class there on appreciation of classical music, Music 41. A couple of times, in another context, we, ourselves, were granted the stage to deliver a talk to some animals on loan from the Zoo to the University. On one such occasion, we delivered a reading of some of our poetry, which was well received and deeply appreciated.

On the editorial page, "We Must Out-Think the Russians" tells of Eleanor Roosevelt returning from Geneva where she had chaired the U.N. Commission on Human Rights, stating that she was impressed with the Russian challenge to American world leadership. She advised that the U.S. needed to find ways to be strong enough, including "out-thinking" the Russians, to allow Russia to work with America. Otherwise, the country had to prepare for another war.

America had the foremost Navy in the world, the strongest industrial capacity and economy generally, sole possession of the atomic bomb, a strong Air Force and military generally. But it was not utilizing this strength with intelligence. Mrs. Roosevelt asserted that America had to play the role of the disciplined adult to the undisciplined child, which was that of the younger U.S.S.R., advice which the piece thinks sound.

The first mistake had been made in issuing an implicit challenge on arms build-up, believing that Russia would be unable to compete. But they were busy changing their subordinate position in this regard. The Marshall Plan was designed to rectify this mistake.

The other mistake was in thinking that atomic power gave the country security. But the Air Policy Commission report, released January 14, had stated that it would cost about 24 billion dollars beyond the current defense budget over a four-year period to prepare for a long-range assault on Russia. And even that would not assure survival. The report emphasized that only abolishing war would enable complete security.

It concludes by asserting that the country still had the time to out-think the Russians, but not so much as the Congress thought.

"Threat by Southern Democrats" comments on the threat of new Governor Fielding Wright and Senator James Eastland, both of Mississippi, to bolt the Democratic Party if it continued along the course toward effecting "anti-Southern" legislation, such as that to authorize permanently the FEPC, an anti-lynch law, an anti-poll tax law, and other such bills.

It had been the Southern politicians who pushed for dumping Henry Wallace from the ticket in 1944, leading to the nomination of Senator Truman, thus would be ironic should some of the Southerners bolt.

The reaction of party managers, that the Southern Democrats had no other place to go, was valid. A GOP victory would deprive the Democrats a return to committee chairs. And a victory by Thomas Dewey might make matters worse, as he was in favor of the "anti-Southern" legislation, as apparently also were the undeclared General Eisenhower and the declared Harold Stassen.

It concludes that it looked like a bad year for Mississippi.

A piece from the Dallas Morning News, titled "The Iniquitous Margarine Taxes", tells of more people turning to margarine, with butter costing over a dollar per pound. The New York Academy of Medicine and the AMA had stated that margarine was as nutritious as cow butter.

But there was a tax of a dime on yellow-colored margarine, and only a quarter cent on the uncolored type, which was sold typically with an additive for coloring it in the kitchen.

Senator William Fulbright of Arkansas had proposed a bill to repeal the tax on colored margarine and the piece supports the move. Cow butter, it opines, ought compete with margarine on its own merits.

Drew Pearson states that, in the wake of Oklahoma Senator Elmer Thomas admitting that he had traded in the commodities market, there might be a Congressional investigation of his activities. Yet, he might also escape that fate.

The Senate Republicans were planning to utilize Hollywood stars to make 25 films regarding the accomplishments of the 80th Congress in the first session. The actors would presumably include future California Senator George Murphy, Robert Montgomery, and Adolphe Menjou, each of whom had testified the previous latter October before HUAC in a manner supportive of that Committee's efforts to root out Communists in Hollywood. The movies would cost about $50,000 to make. They were to be aimed at Republicans to encourage turnout in November.

Democrats were purchasing 16-mm projectors to show political films at their meetings. But there apparently would be no actors performing in Congress with other actors, as in the Republican films.

James Caesar Petrillo, in his testimony the previous day to the House Labor Committee, had hinted that he might call off his ban of playing recorded music on radio stations, provided Taft-Hartley were altered to enable a larger welfare fund for his American Federation of Musicians. Only those who performed live and in recordings were eligible under the current law. Acting chairman of the Committee, Gerald Landis of Indiana, then consulted with Congressmen Richard Nixon of California and Charles Kersten of Wisconsin, neither of whom voiced objection to the change.

Piano players had to be nice to Mr. Petrillo in case the political gig were to go sour, as, for instance, might non-concentrated orange juice shipped in tank cars.

The Ambassador to Poland, Stanton Griffis, was bored and wanted transfer elsewhere. Secretary of State Marshall's assistants suggested Palm Beach for his new assignment.

Tin was being returned to its wartime status, meaning a shortage of tin cans, prompting protest by Campbell Soup, accusing the Administration of using the tin to produce containers for food to send abroad while leaving consumers at home sans cans. The industry proposed voluntary controls, but the Administration refused. The Army and Navy wanted reserves of both tin and oil in case of a sudden attack.

A former military aide of General Eisenhower had dropped a hint that the General might, after all, despite his protestations to the contrary, run for the GOP nomination in 1948.

The Progressive Party convention would take place in Philadelphia, right after the Democratic convention in the City of Brotherly Love, site also of the Republican convention.

Marquis Childs discusses recommendations made to Congress by Bernard Baruch, already covered in the previous day's editorial column, and the importance of them in assuring that the Marshall Plan would work. His principal point had been that the domestic economy was inextricably tied to the success of the Plan. Mr. Childs believes that the Baruch recommendation to forgo tax cuts for two years and authorize a freeze on farm prices for three years, with guarantees to the farmers that they would obtain the frozen price during that period, were sound plans to reduce inflation by reducing the incentive of workers to seek increased wages to keep pace with rising costs of living.

The Republicans were determined to pass a tax cut, though it would likely be less than the 5.6 billion dollars proposed by House Ways & Means Committee chairman Harold Knutson.

He notes that Mr. Baruch had been called a warmonger and ignored when he returned from Germany in 1938 proclaiming that Hitler was determined to attempt world conquest.

Mr. Childs recommends that the U.S., within the framework of the U.N., should make it clear to the nations of Western Europe that in the event of aggression against them, the U.S. would come to their aid. It would clarify American intentions to the world.

Samuel Grafton indicates that Walter Lippmann had stated in an editorial column that the rebuilding of Europe under the Marshall Plan required trade with Eastern Europe, the Western nations needing raw materials and food from the East in exchange for manufactured goods. The Plan, therefore, was not only an effort to box in the nations behind the iron curtain.

To presume that it would not be so bad to let the Republicans gain the White House in 1949, on the belief that they might junk ERP, was to engage in delusion. And the person who supported the Plan only in the belief that it would stop Russian expansion would ultimately come to oppose the Plan, as that person inevitably would develop the belief that other, cheaper methods could be found for the purpose, i.e., building up of American military forces.

Those who favored the Plan as a means to create economic and political stability in Europe, and by that method stop Russia's expansionist aims, supported it for its intended purpose.

Those who wanted to dismantle the Plan were not moving in the direction of peace.

A letter from two Davidson College students, after reading of the plight of the eleven-year old mentally deficient girl who had not been committed to a State institution for lack of room, asks why her younger brother, whose health suffered from the presence of his violent sister, could not be taken into a private home.

The editors note that many residents had written offering a place in their homes for the boy. But the head of the State mental facilities had assured that the girl would be admitted into the Caswell Training School at Kinston within several weeks.

A letter writer responds negatively to "Congress Doesn't Feel the Cold", appearing January 16, saying it contained no logic. Rationing was divisive and would not increase supplies. He says that as a farmer, he would benefit from rationing of fuel oil, but there would be little produce to be harvested in the fall. He perceives a managed economy to be a mismanaged economy.

The editors reply that it was better to put the public interest before the private interest, and the Government was in a better position than private industry to regulate the economy for the general welfare.

Another "pome" appears from the Atlanta Journal, this one "Advising One and All Not to be Caught Unawares By the Tricky Behavior of the Thermometer During the First Month of the Year":

Keep as warm as you can
In the month of Jan.

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