The Charlotte News

Friday, January 9, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the U.N. Palestine Partition Commission had called upon the Jewish Agency, Britain, and the Arab Higher Committee to meet to consult on the violence taking place in Palestine, erupting since the November 29 partition. The plan would not go into effect until October 1, and Secretary-General Trygve Lie assured that the Security Council would make sure the plan went into effect on schedule. The report of the Commission stated that 300 volunteers from Syria had entered Palestine to aid the Arab cause, attacking a Jewish settlement.

In and near Asbury Park, N.J., police found a cache of 57 tons of surplus Army explosives at a location which was involved in a shipment of 30.5 tons of explosives to Palestine, seized at Jersey City, N.J., on the previous Saturday. Forty more tons were on order at the time of the seizure. Nine men were arrested for storing explosives without a permit. The discovery came from a farmer's anonymous tip.

Four of the Navy's fleet-type submarines, along with eleven other vessels, were being supplied to Turkey, to strengthen its defenses against the Soviet Union. Six gunboats were being supplied to Greece. The Navy had 180 submarines and Russia was rumored to have 250.

Senator Robert Taft described the President's proposed legislative program as the road to "national bankruptcy" and a "totalitarian state", that it was designed to put the Federal Government in the role of "Santa Claus". He said that the Republicans would proceed with their own program.

GOP presidential candidate Harold Stassen told the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee that Administration "insiders" had made four million dollars in profits from grain speculation, and recommended legislation to prevent it. Mr. Stassen accused Ed Pauley, assistant to Secretary of the Army Kenneth Royall, of making a million dollars and not providing full disclosure to the subcommittee when he had testified that he lost money in the trading. He likewise accused Brig. General Wallace Graham, the President's personal physician, of lacking candor before the subcommittee, claiming that he did not leave the market when he said, on October 1.

In Washington, the Hollywood Ten each entered pleas of not guilty to charges of contempt of Congress and were ordered to trial, starting February 9, with the trial of screenwriter John Howard Lawson. The other nine trials would transpire beginning each successive week through March 24. The ten defendants had refused to answer questions on whether they had ever been members of the Communist Party or members of the Writers Guild.

In New Orleans, four armed robbers took $130,000 from the Hibernia National Bank, including taking a few dollars from the wallets and purses of tellers.

If you see them, ask for "Tania".

In the area of Louisville, Ky., luminous objects were seen in the skies Wednesday night, thought to be flying saucers. They were blamed for the death of an Air National Guard pilot, veteran of the Army Air Forces in the late war, who was following one of them when his plane exploded in midair after he flew too high and became unconscious. Two other Air National Guard pilots were in pursuit when the mishap occurred. The objects had been initially spotted by a colonel at Godman Field in Fort Knox.

Well, it's simple. Them Martians were after the gold. Duh.

In Oklahoma City, a new dress design had emerged accidentally when a man sought to cure the plunging neckline of the dress his wife had purchased by effecting a remedy with adhesive tape and wire, resulting in a device resembling "an out-size pair of spring-clamp ear-muffs". A St. Louis corset firm saw the result and wanted to market it. We leave it to the reader to visualize the apparatus. It is somewhat difficult from the description.

Tom Fesperman of The News reports of a shortage of homeless babies awaiting adoption, based on more couples seeking the babies than there were babies to adopt.

The FCC approved a move of FM station WMIT from Winston-Salem to Charlotte, to become the most powerful FM station in the world at 200 to 300 kilowatts. The station would be situated within the Charlotte News Building. Gordon Gray of Winston-Salem, head of Piedmont Publishing, owner of the station, and also part owner of The News, made application for the transfer. The station could reach five million people in seven states and had been operating since 1942, with its transmitter atop Clingman's Dome.

Radio critic John Crosby looks at opera on page 4-A.

On the editorial page, "Turning Point for Grand Old Party" tells of Secretary of State Marshall serving notice on the Congress that a turning point had been reached, at which either the country would move forward under the European Recovery Plan or retreat into prewar isolationism, with all its disastrous concomitants.

The Plan had already created a rift in the Republican Party between the Vandenberg wing, advancing the Plan, and the Taft wing, wanting to pare it down, especially the attendant Reciprocal Trade Agreements and International Trade Organization. The isolationists were thus rallied to make their last grand stand, and the Republican Party and the fate of the world were thus inextricably involved in the contest between the Taft and Vandenberg approaches.

"A Date for Truman in Charlotte" tells of Charlotte extending an invitation to the President to attend the symphonic celebration scheduled for the following May 20 to commemorate the signing of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence in 1775 on that date.

Four other Presidents, FDR, Herbert Hoover, Woodrow Wilson, and William Howard Taft had all visited the section on commemorative occasions, and the piece hopes that President Truman would thus be inclined to accept. Quoting FDR during his 1936 visit amid his first re-election bid, it thinks that the visit would be a "happy augury" for the President for his campaign hopes in 1948.

But to make it so, they had better adopt "First in Freedom", not "First in Flight", as the motto for the event, and then undertake to do something concrete to make the motto bear resemblance to the State motto and not just suggest a facsimile article.

"A Lesson in 'Country Buttermilk'" comments of the hope of realization by the county's buttermilk producers that the City Council had issued its last extension of the moratorium on enforcement of the ordinance banning sale of "country buttermilk", and would begin to comply by the deadline of September 1.

We shall await the deadline with bated breath and see if the fate of the world will thus be compromised. Much of it may be up to failed Republican Congressional candidate P. C. Burkholder, based on whether he leads the charge for or against compliance.

The world awaits your momentous decision, Mr. Burkholder.

But, we assure you, regardless of the outcome, we do not intend to consume buttermilk, whether of the country grade or Pasteurized Grade A. We don't like it and never have. Might as well pour a glass of sour milk and place it on the table. The palate would ne'er discern the difference.

A piece from the Greensboro Daily News, titled "North Carolina's Transformation", finds further evidence of the agricultural transformation of North Carolina away from a two-crop system of cotton and tobacco by the announcement of formation of a hog-buying station in Goldsboro.

Eventually, the hogs would catch on so well that it would be too much of a good thing. Last we heard, the hogs of Eastern North Carolina outnumbered the people. But, we suppose ham is better for you than cigarettes, even if both contribute to heart disease when consumed in excess. At least one of them is non-addictive.

The piece wants farmers of the Piedmont section to follow suit and begin cattle, hog, and poultry raising. But not too much...

The smell of a cigarette factory, candidly, is preferable.

DeWitt MacKenzie, AP foreign affairs writer, discusses religion in Russia, tells of the Eastern Orthodox Church celebrating Christmas in Russia on the previous Wednesday, based on the Julian calendar, causing January 7 on the Gregorian calendar to correspond to December 25. The Russian churches, he relates, were filled with worshipers, suggesting that belief in God could not be stifled. The World Almanac stated that 2.1 billion people worldwide believed in some form of God.

While the first twenty years after the revolution saw much anti-religious propaganda, Premier Stalin had in 1943 approved re-establishment of all rights and privileges of the Orthodox Church. It was not clear what developments had followed, other than reports of widespread worship. But propaganda against religion still persisted among Communists, insisting it to be the "opiate of the masses", stifling progress. There was nevertheless a revival of religion ongoing in Russia.

Yet Bolshevism appeared to be making progress among the children, as atheism had a tendency to infiltrate and affect young minds when preached redundantly. A hope was that the parents would inculcate religion in the younger generation.

He suggests that unless religion could be destroyed, Communism could not succeed, as totalitarianism and religion were incompatible.

Drew Pearson, in Gorizia, Italy, tells of the Minister of Transport in Italy giving a replacement for the Liberty Bell to Philadelphia, as he had heard it was cracked. The gift was intended as an answer to the American gift of the bell for Adano.

He provides his impressions of various stops of the Friendship Train delivering the American food across Italy: at Florence; at Bologna, where the Mayor was miffed at him for reporting in his column that the Mayor was one of the leading Communists in Italy planning a revolution, so did not greet the train; in Milan, where the crowd was not large in a Communist center; in Padua, made famous by Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice and Two Gentlemen of Verona, where there was a good reception, as covered by the Milan papers; at Udine, near the Yugoslav border, site of a major World War I battle; and finally at Gorizia, where Mr. Pearson made his last speech in Italy before a crowd of 10,000. Now, he was heading home to Washington, via Paris.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop posit that in the previous two days, Secretary of State Marshall had been the substance and President Truman, the shadow, in terms of speech-making. The President had urged action on the Congress which they neither understood nor wanted to undertake, while Secretary Marshall was discussing "grim realities" with men who understood the fact and that something had to be done about them. Nevertheless, the Republicans had to listen to the President, as it was no longer clear that the GOP would win the White House in 1948.

The President's domestic program, which he would come soon to characterize as the "Fair Deal", was decidedly now on the New Deal side of things. It was partly the result of the President's own inclinations and partly from the competition posed by the third-party candidacy of Henry Wallace. The struggle had occurred the previous November when he requested that the special session of Congress restore price and wage controls and rationing, to which the Republicans had immediately balked. Then, he took the advice of adviser Clark Clifford and the Council of Economic Advisers, and that advice, in the President's opinion, had paid off.

So there was little opposition, as before, within the Cabinet on the President's State of the Union message. Thus, now the President was making his own domestic policy without dissension within Cabinet ranks. Nevertheless, the moderate form of the New Deal he proposed was still not of the Roosevelt type. He did not, for instance, denounce the wealthy of the nation as inimical forces in his proposal to raise corporate taxes to pay for an individual tax cut.

Meanwhile, however, the Maritime Commission and the Civil Aeronautics Board appeared less as the New Deal, and the SEC was next on the list of lesser agencies so to be transformed.

Yet, though some of the policies proposed by the President, such as the civil rights legislation per the recommendation of the President's Civil Rights Committee, were hated by some Democrats, if the President were to be re-elected, the Alsops posit, many of these policies were likely to become law. But the personnel being chosen to administer the policies, especially fiscal policy, were coming from a more conservative stance. They conclude that it was not such a bad recipe for an Administration determined to be both moderate and progressive.

Samuel Grafton finds the American voter being offered a smorgasbord of benefits in 1948, the President offering various progressive programs and a tax cut, while Henry Wallace offered peace and an end to discrimination. But the President had no power to get his program through a reluctant Congress and Mr. Wallace was offering a program too far to the left for most voters.

The dynamic could be reversed were the Congress to become Democratic again and a Republican win the White House, a prospect Mr. Grafton finds entirely feasible, especially if Mr. Wallace were to receive as many as five million votes, as had the third-party candidacy of Robert LaFollette in 1924 under not dissimilar post-war circumstances.

He suggests that liberal independent voters needed to stop looking for a star to advance their interests and instead vote for the candidates based on the issues.

A letter from the monarch of the Azusa Grotto thanks The News for all its support in 1947, making it a year of progress for the Grotto.

A letter from the chairman and co-chairman of the Mecklenburg County Tuberculosis & Health Association thanks the newspaper for its support during the Christmas Seal drive, helping to make the campaign a success.

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