The Charlotte News

Saturday, October 23, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that an authoritative source in Paris had revealed that Russia had rejected the six "neutral" nation plan for resolving the Berlin crisis, as indicated the previous day. The Western powers had accepted the plan, which called for lifting the blockade and counter-blockade after which there would be a four-power parley to establish the Russian mark as the sole currency of Berlin. The Russians had recently called for essentially the same plan, but the Russians apparently wanted the currency issue settled simultaneously with the lifting of the blockade. The Western powers had consistently said that they would not negotiate under threat of the blockade.

High American sources said that the U.S. and Canada would begin shortly to draft a military treaty pledging full aid to the five Western European Union nations, France, Britain, and the Benelux countries.

The International Committee for the Study of European Questions said that a general crisis in popular support behind the iron curtain was endangering Russia's hold on Eastern Europe.

In Paris, Communist union leaders called for a general strike in St. Etienne on Monday, following the call up of 50,000 troops and police to keep order in the coal strike.

Arab forces believed to be from Syria attacked Jewish positions north of Lake Hula and captured a height at Sheikh Abbad in the region of Manarah, between Syria and Lebanon. The Arabs claimed that Jewish concentrations in the region showed preparation for attack.

Egyptians claimed Jewish violations of the U.N. ceasefire in the Negev desert, accepted by both sides.

In Seoul, South Korean rebels and loyalists were locked in a battle for Posong, which had changed hands twice in 24 hours. The rebels currently held the town. Posong was near Sunchon, captured by the rebels earlier. Police said that 150 police and townspeople were executed by the rebels as they held Sunchon. About 700 rebels, described by the Government as Communists, had been captured.

The President toured Pennsylvania this date, making a direct appeal to the coal miners to help block the GOP plan "to crush organized labor to the ground." He paid tribute to deceased former UMW head John Mitchell, who had headed the union during World War I. He made no mention of John L. Lewis.

With but nine days left in the campaign, the President would leave Washington again on Sunday night for Indiana, Cleveland, Chicago, Boston, New York, and St. Louis, his final tour of the campaign.

In Harrisburg, Pa., a woman undergoing surgery was killed by an explosion of the anesthetic gas used to anesthetize her. The hospital superintendent said that he assumed the explosion resulted from static electricity, but that its cause had not yet been determined.

A Venezuelan freighter, on fire, continued to sail toward Norfolk. The Coast Guard had attempted to effect rescues of the crew, was prevented by high seas. But the freighter later stated that it was not in need of assistance.

In Burbank, California, six Jato rockets had been used to speed the takeoff of a Navy 180-passenger Lockheed Constitution, shortening its run by 24 percent. The rockets, contained in bottles, would provide extra safety in case of power failure during takeoff.

In Chicago, a 78-year old widower refused to marry his tenant, a 68-year old widow, who wanted to marry him and said she would not pay the rent unless he did. He said that even if he married her, he would not get the rent, but did not wish to do so. She had sworn out a complaint against him for disorderly conduct for not marrying her and insisting on collection of the rent. The complaint was dismissed.

In Charlotte, twice-failed Republican Congressional candidate P. C. Burkholder had revealed his plans to vote for Democrat Hamilton Jones, the incumbent, for Congress, his opponent in 1946. He had decided to say "goodbye to my Republican headaches" and re-registered as a Democrat. He was fed up with the ruling elite of the Mecklenburg County Republican Party.

Just how all that squared with his indication a couple of weeks earlier that FDR and President Truman were Communists and that the New Deal was a Communist program, we shall have to wait and see—with bated breath.

On the editorial page, "The First Frost" tells of the initial frost in the Carolinas the previous week having silenced the insects. It was a clear signal of the change of season.

It was October again.

"Planned and Frozen Economy" comments on an article in the October Fortune by R. C. Leffingwell, titled "How to Control Inflation". Mr. Leffingwell was chairman of J. P. Morgan and had been Assistant Secretary of the Treasury during World War I. He found that too much money, too cheap was the chief cause of the current inflation. The Federal Reserve Board policy creating that situation led to short-term deflation and long-term inflation. He foresaw the threat of nationalization of resources as a result.

But the gold system was sound, he ventured, with the gold in the Reserve Banks and not in the pockets of the people.

He advocated reduction of tariffs, of Federal payrolls, deferring raises in social security and other benefits, deterring speculation through use of credit, reduction of bank-held public debt, continuation of high taxes, and other policies, as means of controlling inflation.

He rejected a planned and frozen economy.

"Democracy in Athens" tells of the current regime in Greece being interested only in perpetuating their own power. The guerrillas in the northern mountains were fighting against this clique. Though mostly Communists, these guerrillas were akin to the American revolutionists. Americans, however, could not support them, though their natural allies, because of their affinity to Russia and the policy of containment of Soviet Communism.

So the country was sending aid to a corrupt and reactionary Government. If the government could be molded by the Americans into a more democratic regime, it was likely that the guerrillas would turn away from Communism.

It was to be hoped that Secretary of State Marshall, visiting Greece, could effect such a coalition.

A piece from the Louisville Courier-Journal, titled "Barnum Would Envy the Russians", finds the story of a red ice age elephant with off-white flanks discovered in Siberia, as reported by the Soviet press, on its way to Moscow for exhibition, to be the envy of P. T. Barnum were he still living.

Drew Pearson tells of Midwestern farmers learning the ways of Washington lobbies. The grain lobby was controlled largely by Argentines and French refugees. The lobby was able to convince the Congress to pass a bill to prevent the Government from acquiring more storage space for wheat and corn purchased at parity. The Government was prohibited from renting space. The lobby also was able to include in the Marshall Plan a provision to utilize "private channels of trade", meaning working through more expensive brokers to buy grain instead of working through the more efficient Commodity Credit Corporation.

He names the three large grain companies who most benefited from these bills. Their primary contact on the Hill was former Congressman Roger Slaughter, whom the President had targeted successfully for defeat in the Democratic primary in 1946.

The legislation reduced the amount of grain storable by the Government from 300 million bushels to 50 million, causing the price of grain received by many farmers to fall below parity.

One of the most respected and efficient Congressmen of the previous decade had been Everett Dirksen of Illinois, now retiring from the House to support Governor Dewey. His Republican successor was Judge Harold Velde, about whom Republicans were not too happy. His chief money-raiser had resorted to blackmail in some instances to solicit funds and much of the candidate's support had come from night club and gambling interests.

It would be interesting to note whether reactionary Senator Curley Brooks of Illinois could capture the black vote of East St. Louis and Chicago. He was claiming to be their friend, but had been responsible for the Senate filibusters of the civil rights measures, keeping them pigeon-holed in committee for more than a year.

Marquis Childs tells of Harold Stassen and Thomas Dewey having become close despite the defeat of Mr. Stassen in the debate on Communism leading up to the Oregon primary, which ended Mr. Stassen's momentum toward the nomination and solidified Governor Dewey's position. Former Governor Stassen was contributing more to the Dewey campaign than any other single individual, campaigning in most of the states where Senatorial seats were in doubt.

Thus, Mr. Stassen would have a very important job in the Dewey administration—which, judging by history, would amount to the lot of running for the presidency again and again and again...

He had hinted that he would only be interested in the jobs of either Secretary of Defense or State, the latter likely to go to John Foster Dulles.

Stewart Alsop, in Birmingham, Ala., finds the South united behind opposition to a Federal civil rights bill. One Southern Dixiecrat had told Mr. Alsop that either blacks should be shipped back to Africa or redistributed among the population of the United States such that they would constitute no more than ten percent of the population of any given county.

But there were people of genuine good will in the South, such as Ralph McGill, editor of the Atlanta Constitution, James E. Chappell, editor of the Birmingham News, Senators Lister Hill and John Sparkman of Alabama, and many other liberals who believed that the Federal civil rights program would lead to backlash and disaster.

The anti-poll tax measure and the anti-lynching bill were not so problematic for these Southerners as was the Fair Employment Practices bill and the anti-segregation measure. The liberals contended that either would lead to backlash from the Klan and other such groups.

Liberal Southerners were not complacent about the South's discrimination against blacks and there had been progress, notably in education. But they contended that social and economic equality could only come from the South itself.

Aubrey Williams of The Southern Farmer, a friend of deceased FDR adviser Harry Hopkins, had come out against Henry Wallace and for the civil rights program, making himself a leper among Southerners. He had asserted that the South's treatment of blacks was evil and that it had to be fought. He pointed to the fact that of a million subscribers to his publication, only a thousand had canceled in the wake of his endorsement of the civil rights program. He also pointed to the recent poll taken at the University of Alabama law school favoring integration of the facility by qualified blacks.

But he represented a small minority and unenforceable legislation was tantamount to nothing. It was difficult to see how such legislation could be enforced in the South as it existed.

A letter from Charlotte Mayor Herbert Baxter responds to an editorial regarding off-street parking and the need for the City to build a facility, as recommended by the Planning Board. The editorial had urged the City Council to take up the matter. The Mayor says that their hands were presently tied for want of enabling legislation, which they would try to obtain from the 1949 Legislature.

A letter from A. W. Black responds to another letter writer anent the latter's defense of FDR and the New Deal, against Mr. Black's consistent indictments. More of the same blah, blah, blah...

A letter writer looks forward to Robert Humber addressing the Rotary Club in Charlotte, says that Mr. Humber was active in the World Federalists, favoring world government.

A letter writer, the same author to whom Mr. Black responds, explains that when he had written of plutocracy versus democracy, he meant to blast the plutocratic press for its "vicious treatment of the democratic press and democracy". He believes the heading of the letter given by the editors was not true to its meaning or content.

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