The Charlotte News

Saturday, January 24, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Tass was studying the proposal made by Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin before Commons on Thursday and seconded by Opposition Leader Winston Churchill the previous day, to foster Western European union beginning with unification of Western Germany. The initial reaction by Tass was to view it as U.S. and British imperialism. Belgium expressed favor for the plan and the Netherlands was giving it careful consideration. Denmark, Sweden and Norway had yet to provide a reaction.

Senator Arthur Vandenburg unveiled a plan, developed by the Brookings Institution, to have ERP administered by a single Cabinet-level administrator, but not subject to State Department control. The administrator would have complete control, subject only to presidential veto. Earlier, some GOP leaders had favored an eight-man bipartisan corporate board subject to Congressional oversight. The Administration wanted a single administrator working under the supervision of the State Department.

The CIO proposed a 29-month extension of rent controls beyond the February 20 end date, and abolition of all of the leases made to run through 1948 pursuant to the current law, which permitted 15 percent rent increases in such leases, to assure tenants that the rent specified in the contract would be frozen after the February expiration date, until the end of the lease term. The CIO wanted all provisions allowing rental increase eliminated.

In Louisiana, Earl Long, brother of the late Governor and Senator Huey Long, was well ahead in the tabulation of the Democratic primary votes for Governor. He had not yet obtained a necessary majority, however, and a runoff was thus likely. Mr. Long had been Governor previously.

In Ambridge, Pa., a 25-year old Cleveland man, having been drinking a dark liquid, shot a female passenger and a trainman on a Pennsylvania Flyer coach bound from Cleveland to Pittsburgh, before being subdued by passengers, including the husband of the woman who was shot. The man was arrested on a charge of assault with intent to kill. He said that he had done no wrong.

In Goshen, Ind., the 75-year old leader of an Amish sect pleaded guilty and was sentenced to six months at the State prison farm for assault and battery of his 41-year old daughter, kept tied by a rope and chain in her room for ten years for refusing to join the sect. Three physicians who examined the daughter said that she was insane.

In Lawton, Okla., an intoxicated soldier from Fort Sill led MP's on a chase for 12 miles shortly before midnight, after he commandeered a tank and proceeded hurly-burly, crashing it into three cars and panicking Lawton residents. When he returned to the base after his cruise downtown, the pursuers were able to construct a fake barrier made from scaffolding and bluff him to a halt. He was then taken into custody.

He was just preparing for that Day to come in May.

Tom Fesperman of The News tells of the eight-year old boy, whose mentally deficient older sister had compromised his recovery at home from rheumatic fever, being admitted to Mercy Hospital in the city for treatment. His sister's violent outbursts had delayed his recovery. Following the attention focused on the case by the News stories, the girl was to be admitted to the Caswell Training School in Kinston within several weeks.

The piece points out that there were several other cases in the county also awaiting admission to the overcrowded State hospitals.

A sleet storm hit the Carolinas, covering the highways and byways and dirty roads which lead right to your door with two inches of snow and ice for the nonce, for your contemplation and admiration. The storm had developed from the mass of cold air beneath warm air drifting in from the Rockies. The temperature in Charlotte, reaching a low of only 41 on Thursday, dropped to 16 by the early afternoon of this date.

There was much slipping and sliding of pedestrians along sidewalks, and motorists moving without their usual abandon along roadways. Some men carried new sleds as they proceeded through the Square.

Stay at home, relax, and read a book, build a fire, rest your restive toesies, but don't put the book on the pyre, and also don't go outside to pick posies.

On the editorial page, "Douglas' Challenge to South" remarks of the "subterranean rumble" stirring amid Southern Democrats anent the prospect of Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas becoming the vice-presidential candidate on the ticket with President Truman. The stirrings were unfavorable for Justice Douglas's known liberal opinions, many of which had struck at the foundations of segregation. But the rumble was unlikely to cause disturbance of the intention of the big city bosses to offer him the nomination. It had been these bosses who had dumped from the ticket Vice-President Henry Wallace in 1944 for Senator Truman, to the pleasure of the Southern Democratic leaders at the time.

But that move in 1944 did not signify Democratic power; rather, it was the coincidence of the bosses making a choice simpatico with the Southerners.

Mr. Truman had moved leftward, and to cinch the tie to the left of the party, a liberal vice-presidential candidate appeared necessary. Mr. Justice Douglas presented the right background for the position.

It offers that the Southern Democrats would not achieve any power nationally until they stopped voting with the Republicans in Congress and began voting in accordance with liberal objectives. For it was liberalism which had vast popular appeal. The Democrats could win only when they espoused those liberal views made popular in the New Deal. Yet, the South, for all its liberal tradition, had produced no great liberal leader of national rank. The region paid little attention to its foremost liberal leaders, such as former Georgia Governor Ellis Arnall, Senator Claude Pepper of Florida, Senator Lister Hill of Alabama, and UNC president Frank Porter Graham—the latter to be appointed to the Senate seat of deceased J. Melville Broughton, after his death two months into his first term in 1949.

The vice-presidential candidate ultimately would be former Senate Majority Leader Alben Barkley of Kentucky. Justice Douglas would remain on the Court until his retirement after a stroke in 1975, that despite a determined effort in the latter sixties, led by Representative Gerald Ford, to push Justice Douglas to resign or even into impeachment, as Justice Douglas describes in one volume of his memoirs, The Court Years. The effort occurred all because the Justice still had the innate ability to chew gum and walk at the same time, though once in the Teens, he had been arrested riding the rails for a bum in his prime.

We note that the opinions of the Southerners, of whom the piece speaks, were somewhat mistaken in laying judgments contained in majority opinions solely to the Justice whose name appeared thereon, in this instance, Justice Douglas. For to obtain consensus in opinions on the Court means that the inevitable result is a collective opinion. Justices are typically assigned cases by the Chief for writing a legal opinion thereon, which, after due research by a Justice's law clerks—young lawyers, not clerks in the typical sense—, is then circulated among the members of the Court for comment, suggested change, and the like. Then, alternative opinions might be drafted and offered in the stead of or in supplement to the lead opinion, the latter utilizing different or additional reasoning to reach the same legal result. Thereafter, following discussion in conference, and, sometimes, further amendment, additional dissents or concurring opinions offered as alternative, a vote is finally taken. From that process, a "dissent" or "concurrence" might become the majority opinion, and vice versa. Depending on the Court and depending on the case, its subject and complexity, that procedure may vary. But that is typically the way things work. Thus, while one could fairly discern from a lone dissent or a lone concurrence a particular legal viewpoint of a Justice, one could not necessarily divine precisely from a majority opinion more than the general viewpoint of those Justices voting in favor of it, irrespective of the particular Justice who delivers the opinion. One cannot simply read therefore majority opinions delivered by particular Justices and assume therefrom particularized authorship, as one might read a book. It is rather a consensus opinion which develops in the majority or plurality following a somewhat lengthy and involved process of consideration.

It was true, however, that Justice Douglas was consistently a prime defender of civil liberties on the Court, whether it was during the era of Chief Justices Charles Evans Hughes, Harlan Fiske Stone, Fred Vinson, Earl Warren, or Warren Earl Burger, encompassing the span of his tenure on the Court. And that stance was, in that time, normally associated with being liberal. Yet, for instance, in 1944, he voted with the majority in the notorious Korematsu case, upholding as Constitutional, under the peculiar emergent circumstances then extant, the 1942 executive order interning Japanese-Americans living on the West Coast following Pearl Harbor and the declaration of war on Japan. That opinion was delivered by Justice Hugo Black, another prime defender of civil liberties during the era. Justice Frank Murphy, also a consistent defender of civil liberties, dissented, along with Justices Robert Jackson and Owen Roberts, typically considered "conservatives" on the Court.

The words "liberal" and "conservative", always somewhat murky, have become increasingly so twisted and confused in our society since the advent of the age of television in the 1950's that one cannot any longer necessarily equate across time spans those labels as applied to particular individual Justices on the Court or even to particular individuals in society generally. What may have been quite liberal in 1948 may be considered quite conservative today by relative standards. One can only try to effect, for pedagogical purposes, a more abstract standard by which to place, philosophically, the legal opinions of particular Justices, assuming that has any importance, which, in a close study of the law, it should not. The validity of each legal opinion should stand on its own reasoning and through time, regardless of authorship or labels applied to it, and sometimes, as in Korematsu, framed by the very particular circumstance under which it arose. Those labels may thus properly differ by the type of legal issue before the Court. Such labels, in other words, while we use them to pigeonhole Justices by quick reference marks, often break down when getting down to cases and realizing the actual facts and legal principles steering a Justice's reasoning.

Good judgment therefore should not reject out of hand a particular legal opinion simply because it bears the name at the top of a Justice who has suffered the indignity through time of being labeled a "conservative", "liberal", or "moderate". One should read legal opinions with an open mind and realize that results in cases are sometimes limited by the particular legal stance of the case, or the facts underlying it, or the higher Constitutional principle involved, not because one party is "good" and deserves therefore to "win" and the other "bad", a "loser" in an unremitting state of perdition, and deserving hell on earth. That is not the way the law functions, at least outside the courtrooms of the ilk of "Judge" Roy Bean and other such drunken louts pretending to be lawyerly judges. If you admire that sort, or make such emotionally laden, personality driven judgments, you are in trouble vis-a-vis the law of the land and need to study its actual applications through time more closely.

"Churchill Sounds the Alarm" posits that Winston Churchill's position enunciated in Commons the previous day, in support of the British Labor Government's position of urging union in Western Europe to secure itself against encroachment by the Soviets, to be a fine example for American Republicans to do likewise with respect to the Marshall Plan, and not to follow the lead of Senator Taft and former President Herbert Hoover in attacking the Plan and seeking to eviscerate it to the point of producing impotency.

The Plan, it offers, was necessary to arrest Russia's westward advance, through recovery rather than engaging in increscent saber-rattling rhetoric and enhancing of the implements of war.

The British Government, apparently in concert with Washington, appeared deliberately to be urging a showdown with the Soviets, to avoid a worse showdown potentially when Russia achieved production of the atomic bomb, thought by Mr. Churchill to be a year or two away. The piece finds this approach to dovetail with the Marshall Plan.

"Eisenhower Changes the Picture" suggests that the definite withdrawal by General Eisenhower from consideration as the presidential GOP nominee indicated possible maneuvering behind the scenes, as his candidacy had been discussed for the previous year without his having definitely put his foot upon it. It refers the reader to the below column of the Alsops for further exposition of this point.

It finds the withdrawal doing nothing for General MacArthur and plenty for Governor Dewey, Senator Vandenburg, who had stated he was not a candidate, Harold Stassen, and Earl Warren, the latter only a candidate in California, stating that he would conduct no national campaign—effectively running therefore to control a slate of delegates at the convention.

More than anyone else, the President benefited from the withdrawal, as only General Eisenhower had been beating him in the public opinion polls.

A short piece from the Lexington (Ky.) Leader tells of the Jackson County Sun disfavoring poetry submissions so much that it charged 3 cents per word, whereas classified ads cost only 2 cents per word.

But was not that because poetry is much more costly and time consuming to produce than classifieds, thus subject to profiteering through a royalty tax of an additional paltry penny per word?

Or was it the case that the words out of place made for hyper-typer minted pendulums swinging in the space unyielding, a devil's disciple's disgrace, unwielding their knife blades' shaper-rapiers' unsuspected face—suddenly—in the midst of rented pain and plenty of sun-scalded race of rainy-gainers wanting to inflict coups de grace in their alleys so tinny, flaming farcical folly from the few to the many, one, and thus add, for the sake of Ra, then and there, on the counter, a single sun-drenched penny? Dear sir or madame, won't you please, for a full extra buck, atone and printy?

Drew Pearson tells of Secretary of the Army Kenneth Royall of North Carolina having unabashedly used $50,000 of Government money to lobby for military conscription, despite proscription against such lobbying in the Federal law, making it a crime to do so. Mr. Royall had even admitted the conduct to the Congress, thus putting Attorney General Tom Clark on the spot as to whether to prosecute or not.

The House Expenditures Subcommittee, chaired by Representative Forrest Harness of Indiana, had in July explained the lobbying effort, virtually all of the money having been spent on the making and distribution of a military-training propaganda film. Two members of the Army were employed also to tour the country promoting Universal Military Training.

The FBI had completed its investigation of Mr. Royall and it was reported to be highly unfavorable. Furthermore, Mr. Royall had refused to agree to refrain from violating the same law in the future.

One of the more interesting Senate races shaping up for the year, he suggests, was that in Wyoming, where Judge Thurman Arnold, former lead trust-buster in the Justice Department, was contesting incumbent GOP Senator Edward V. Robertson, a conservative ranch owner. It would tell a lot about the electorate, based on which candidate would become the choice, given their diametrically opposed views on government and finances.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop discuss the RNC having determined that the rank-and-file members of the party would not again dictate the selection of a candidate as General Eisenhower, as they had done in 1940 with the nomination of Wendell Willkie, until shortly prior to that time, a Democrat. They wanted an old-guard candidate, probably, for the most part, desiring Senator Taft, but realizing they would need to settle on a more practical choice. Governor Dewey, though he was too independent to become naturally their choice a second time, had the most committed delegates.

The movement for the Eisenhower candidacy had been propelled by Stuart Scheftel, a magazine publisher, Henry Sears, brother-in-law of Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, and, most recently, Senator Charles Tobey of New Hampshire. Polls were showing the General to be the strongest potential Republican nominee. Mr. Scheftel was busy withdrawing the General's name, however, from the Oregon primary ballot and was not so eager to join Senator Tobey's move to place him on the New Hampshire ballot.

Without these organizational moves to round up and accumulate delegates for the convention, it would have been impossible, they conclude, for General Eisenhower's candidacy to have succeeded.

The editors note that the piece might explain some of the reasons that General Eisenhower had, the previous day, finally, without any equivocation, withdrawn his name from consideration as a candidate, even if Senator Tobey believed that there might be enough room for semantic quibbling to catch a last glimmer of hope in the twilight. He would have to wait four years, however, for realization of that glimmering.

Samuel Grafton continues his analysis of the country's foreign policy, stating that columnist Walter Lippmann had suggested that if the country forged its policy on the basis solely of anti-Russianism, it would wind up funneling money to any state which cried for help from the dratted Communists, no matter whether the government was fair or foul. Another writer had suggested that an annual 40-billion dollar defense budget might be the result.

Wait until you see Star Wars, Mr. Grafton, promulgated by a new President somewhere down the line, one, nevertheless, who has been in your news just a few months back and with whom you are reasonably familiar, albeit playing a considerably different role in your time.

"And we are moving helplessly, automatically, in these directions. There is an unbuttonedness about us, a sense of loss of control, of being adrift, in the grip of mighty forces, unkempt, blowzy, compulsive."

Ah, you did read the tea leaves, after all.

He finds that the new perspective, while not of war, was also not of peace, rather of a sense of hopelessness about maintaining the peace.

The eleven-billion dollar defense budget, built on fear, could easily wind up stretching to 40 to 50 billion. "The cat of conformity has our tongues, placid conformity in the drift toward war."

Such defense budgets would reduce the country to the level of the prewar European countries which could not afford progress after defense. It meant dispensing with the magic which had built America and made it different. Soldiers would become the preeminent members of society in such a state.

Only redirecting policy to search for peace could wrest control from the drift. The country needed to convince itself and the rest of the world that it desired peace. In that time, a battleship could be built without scaring everyone, whereas, presently, the country could not even feed the hungry abroad without engendering fear. He suggests that such be the cry against any American making a bellicose speech.

A letter writer finds that man had not advanced morally in 5,000 years, still living by the Ten Commandments. In every generation, man devolved to the primeval state of war. The danger to capitalism was not Russia but materialistic greed. He favors "exact justice, equal opportunity, and equal right".

After expounding considerably further in the realm of generalization, he concludes, as he always does, "So it is."

Fine, but show these people how to bring those high principles about, that you might one day say, "So it was, but now it is better."

A letter writer thanks the newspaper for its publicity given Bill McGarrahan in his campaign for children.

A letter from the superintendent of the public schools of Blacksburg, S.C., thanks the newspaper for the favorable publicity it gave the schools of the town.

Another "pome" from the Atlanta Journal, this one "Reporting a Feminine Attitude That Has Been Conveyed To This Department From Time To Time":
Gals look with loathing
On sheep in wolves' clothing.


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