The Charlotte News

Thursday, January 8, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Secretary of State Marshall urged Congress to pass the European Recovery Program in such form that it would be effective or not to pass it at all. He also indicated opposition to the GOP-proposed plan for a Government corporation to administer the program, supporting the President's proposal for a single administrator responsible to the President and Secretary of State. He further stated that the 6.8 billion dollars proposed to be allocated for the first 15 months of the program was a figure reached with precision and not a generous estimate.

House Ways & Means Committee chairman Harold Knutson stated that the President's proposed tax plan was "as dead as a mackerel". He said that he intended to press his own 5.6 billion dollar tax cut package. Speaker Joe Martin agreed that the President's plan to increase corporate taxes by 3.2 billion to pay for an individual tax cut would get nowhere.

But former Speaker Sam Rayburn backed the President's plan and conceded nothing. Senator Tom Connally also indicated support for the plan.

In Jerusalem, seven Jews of the Irgun organization freed a captured Jew from the hospital, who had been arrested the previous day in the bomb attack at the Jaffa gate. Three in the armored car had been killed and two others had been arrested.

The death toll in Palestine since the partition by the U.N. on November 29 had reached 627. In the Jaffa gate incident, 17 Arabs had been killed and 36 injured, along with two British police officers.

The President announced appointment of George V. Allen, Ambassador to Iran, to become Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs. Mr. Allen was from Durham, N.C. He would succeed William Benton who had resigned on October 1. The position was responsible for the Voice of America broadcasts and other foreign information programs.

The report, incidentally, makes a mistake when it says that Mr. Allen accompanied Secretary of State James Byrnes to the 1943 Moscow conference. Mr. Byrnes did not become Secretary of State until July, 1945, following the U.N. Charter Conference. Edward Stettinius became Secretary in November, 1944. Cordell Hull remained Secretary throughout FDR's Presidency until that time. Mr. Byrnes was at the time, in late 1943, the War Mobilizer, deemed "assistant President" to FDR.

Senator Charles Tobey announced that the Banking Committee would begin hearings the following week on the renewed proposal of the President that he be granted authority to control prices and wages, stating that there was little interest among Republicans in granting such power. Some Republicans, Senator Homer Capehart and Senator Ralph Flanders, were introducing bills for price control and rationing.

Steel magnate Henry Kaiser urged the steel industry to create an impartial anti-inflation commission to police voluntary agreements among industrialists to charge reasonable prices. He wanted to insure that allocations of steel did not crush small business and new manufacturers.

Senator Homer Ferguson stated that his Appropriations subcommittee investigating grain speculation was going to investigate former Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau—in another effort during the election campaign to tarnish the Roosevelt image while investigating everybody, except Republicans. Mr. Morgenthau had appeared on a corn traders list released by the Department of Agriculture. He stated that he had lost money in his trading the previous year. He had not been in Government service since July, 1945.

In Washington, Charles Michelson, former publicity director for the DNC and journalist, died at age 79 from congestive heart failure. He had retired in 1943. He had worked on several West Coast and New York newspapers during his journalism career.

Four Marines had disappeared on a hunting trip on Christmas Day near Tsingtao, China. Another had been reported AWOL. The Chinese reported that the Communists had killed one of the five Marines.

In Rio de Janeiro, the Communist Party had been outlawed and police fought with Communists attempting to publish their newspaper. Four Communists were wounded in the fighting.

In Bern, Switzerland, two newspapers speculated that Josef Stalin might be dead. The Soviet Embassy in London denied the rumor.

In Frankfurt, Germany, a German woman from the Russian occupation zone was arrested seeking to enter the U.S. occupation zone illegally, carrying smuggled food consisting of two smoked cats and one smoked dog.

Hmm-mmm. Gooo-oood. Those are good victuals, especially with onions and Russian dressing.

In Needmore, W. Va., twin boys were born two days apart, delivered by two different doctors. Apparently, they needed more.

Tom Fesperman tells on an inside page of one of Charlotte's outstanding black citizens, retired barber Thad Tate. Mr. Tate had given his shop to his employees.

On the editorial page, "America's Year of Decision" discusses the President's tax-cutting plan set forth in his State of the Union message of the previous day, proposing a $40 individual "cost of living" credit for every taxpayer and dependents of the taxpayer, coupled with an increase of 3.2 billion in corporate taxes to offset the loss of revenue. The plan undercut the Republican proposal to provide across the board tax cuts to everyone, with about 70 percent of the 5.6 billion going to the lower income brackets.

The piece finds the President playing election-year politics in so proposing. It was not good statesmanship as it was inconsistent with the Administration's urging of big business to cut prices, a movement begun by GE.

The tax battle on Capitol Hill promised to weaken ERP, as Republicans would be invigorated by the President's challenge on taxes to cut down the Marshall Plan further than they already had indicated they would.

It was a time for curtailment of the Government bureaucracy, but the President's proposals provided no hope along those lines. His social program suggested larger government. The piece posits that the country could not fight Communism abroad, rebuild Europe, cut taxes at home and enact the domestic program proposed by the President.

The President acted the part of the candidate in making his proposals and that was to be expected in a presidential election year. The leadership of neither party, it opines, had shown a willingness to put the country first, ahead of partisan advantage.

"Doug's 'Labyrinth of Destiny'" comments on the prospect of General MacArthur entering the GOP race for the presidential nomination, prompted by his reply to the Wisconsin Secretary of State that he would be honored to have the support of his home state's population for "public service". The Secretary interpreted it as an affirmative nod that he would seek the nomination. But others in Wisconsin, including the State Chief Justice, found it devoid of any such notion.

The piece is impressed by the language in the message quoted in the title, finds it unlikely that General MacArthur indited such a phrase just to show his skill at phraseology. It accepts that his hat would be in the ring and urges the General to make it official.

A piece from the Winston-Salem Journal, titled "Oil and the People", tells of Congressman Robert Doughton of North Carolina urging that it would be up to the people to determine whether to impose controls on the oil industry regarding the current fuel oil shortage. He expected them to demand control should the industry not remedy the situation.

The piece finds that such a demand would be contingent on what would occur in the coming few weeks of winter weather.

Another "pome" from the Atlanta Journal, this one "Revealing a Valuable Tip in the Matter of Purchases that Will Save You Considerable Moolah":
Here's a money-saving plan;
Buy it wholesale if you can.

Drew Pearson tells of Dominican Republic dictator Rafael Trujillo harboring enemies of Venezuela and apparently preparing to send an armed invasion force against the country. An intercepted letter from Sr. Trujillo outlined the plot. He had been purchasing arms from Brazil for the purpose, far more than needed for the defense of his own country.

Czechoslovakia was preparing to devalue its currency, following in the footsteps of Russia.

An 80 million dollar recovery plan for the Navajo Indians to extend over a decade would soon be placed before Congress by the Department of Interior and Secretary J. A. Krug. Conditions on the reservation from drought and soil erosion had deteriorated to the point where emergency aid appeared necessary. He outlines the six programs which would be proposed to improve life on the reservation.

He notes that many Navajo who had fought during the war wanted the right to vote and were planning to take their battle into the Arizona courts.

Marquis Childs suggests that Henry Wallace's entry as a third-party candidate to the 1948 race might deal a fatal blow to the Truman bid for re-election. It gave the GOP the sense that they could win without making concessions to independents.

A few months earlier, a prominent New Deal Democrat was approached to be the Wallace manager. Refusing, he warned Mr. Wallace that if he went through with the candidacy he would destroy himself and do a disservice to the country. The unnamed Democrat—probably James Farley— urged Mr. Wallace to remain in the party and support the President. Then, if, after the election, he still felt let down, he could start a third party or work for his own nomination as a liberal in 1952.

Mr. Wallace eschewed the practical advice, a problem throughout his career, letting himself be guided by "some very curious people."

He was not so much a politician as a scientist and philosopher. And his contribution to agricultural science, with his high-yield hybrid corn, was not insubstantial.

So it was not surprising that his supporters wanted a politically savvy Democrat to manage the campaign. No one presently in the Wallace camp had such practical experience and knowledge.

One political realist had stated that the Democrats would not win without the "lunatic fringe" and that Mr. Wallace would take it with him. Mr. Childs finds truth in the statement, but posits that there was more to it, that Mr. Wallace voiced the hopes and fears of many who were troubled and confused.

Samuel Grafton challenges conservatives to show the way of controlling inflation by voluntary measures, per the GOP bill from the special session the previous month. He continues his suggestion of an across-the-board price reduction of five percent. France had tried it a year earlier with inconclusive results. But France had been in too much economic trouble for it to work. Some consumers did, however, respond.

The poor American corn crop the previous year had saved the country from a recession, scaring consumers and stoking inflation.

He wants businesses to begin posting at once a "5" on their stores to indicate participation. If the program did not start voluntarily, then the way of volunteerism would be inevitably the way to recession.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop tell of the future of ERP being on the shoulders of Secretary of State Marshall and Senator Arthur Vandenberg, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee. Both stood above politics and appeared prepared to engage in the necessarily strong persuasions to obtain approval for the Plan more or less as proposed.

Secretary Marshall had suggested that he would tell the Congress that cuts in the program would cripple it. And no members of Congress, save perhaps Senator Glen Taylor, running with Henry Wallace, would want to be responsible for the failure of the Plan.

Senator Vandenberg had shown that he would remain independent of the Administration to wield authority in the GOP, but would not compromise on principle with his party members. It explained his recommendation, accepted by the Administration, to state a proposed allocation only for the first year of aid, while continuing to seek a four-year commitment, a sound strategic move. He also favored referring the ERP administration issue to the Brookings Institution.

There was reason to believe that Senator Taft would openly contest Senator Vandenberg on these issues. While many Republicans wanted to follow the isolationist rhetoric of Senator Taft, they were beginning to doubt whether that line would carry them to re-election. If Senator Vandenberg succeeded in chilling them from joining the Taft cadre, the world would stand appreciative at the "blackmail of virtue".

A letter from the Mayor of Monroe, N.C., thanks The News for its support of the town during 1947 and for supporting generally the growth of the Piedmont Carolinas area.

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