The Charlotte News

Saturday, October 30, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Communist troops had either taken or were taking Mukden, the principal Manchurian city, from the Nationalists in China. American consular personnel remained in the city. Some 400,000 troops were involved in fighting on both sides. Most of the 150,000 Nationalist troops who had held the corridor to Chinhsien, 125 miles south of Mukden, had likely been vanquished. Many troops had been deserting from the Nationalist forces in recent weeks.

Many high Chinese Nationalist observers believed that the civil war had thus been decided for the Communists, as the Nationalist forces had lost their spirit and will to resist. It was doubted that Chiang Kai-Shek, who had returned from Peiping to Nanking, signaling an emergency, could rally the troops to put up more than token resistance to defend even Peiping, Tientsin, Hankow, Nanking and Shanghai, around which many troops stood guard. A suggestion, long voiced sub rosa, that Chiang retire and leave the country for a year, was coming increasingly into the open.

In Palestine, the hill country north of the Sea of Galilee was reported under heavy fire as Jews and Arabs were on the move. The U.N. ceasefire order scheduled to take effect this date appeared therefore not to have been obeyed by either side. The Government of Lebanon had accepted the order provided the Israelis would comply. Heavy fighting had been ongoing throughout the night in the region.

In Germany, the Russians were undertaking new removals of factories, suggesting a withdrawal of their occupation forces. The factories involved were not only those owned by Germans but also those held under Soviet title. It fit the pattern announced at the Warsaw conference several months earlier when the Russians called for withdrawal by all four powers and issued a list of 163 plants to be dismantled by mid-1949.

That's good. The cold war is over then. We can shift our focus under President Dewey to China.

In Paris, the Interior Ministry reported that 301 French policemen and soldiers had been wounded since the beginning of strife among the striking coal miners. Violence was subsiding. Three strikers had been killed and many more wounded.

John L. Lewis sought to have William Green, head of AFL, condemn the shootings of the striking miners in France and ask the President to cut off aid to the country. Mr. Green responded that he was surprised that Mr. Lewis would take the side of striking Communists. Mr. Lewis responded that he understood that "Truman axmen" and members of AFL had forced Mr. Green to retract his earlier condemnation of the shootings and that therefore he would not take umbrage at Mr. Green's lies contained in the coerced statement.

The President entered the last weekend of the campaign, with his well-traveled train heading for home in Missouri, after stops this date in Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, with St. Louis being the last scheduled stop this night. He would then remain at home in Independence, awaiting the cruel word of the nation's complete rejection of his leadership and embrace of the 34th President of the United States. After delivering his doubtless well-prepared concession speech, the President had plans then to go to Key West to recuperate from the jarring defeat.

Thomas Dewey, aboard the "Victory Special", arrived in Manhattan from New England, predicted not only his own sure win but also that of the GOP Congress. He told a crowd in New Haven, Conn., "You can't buy peace by giving away other people's freedom."

Former Vice-President Henry Wallace followed the President's visit to Harlem by telling that community's residents that the President was making "shallow, hollow, worthless promises" on civil rights.

With the cooperation of the Republicans, the Democrats were able to get President Truman's name on the Michigan ballot, after the 19 electors inadvertently failed to file their certificate timely with the Michigan Secretary of State.

In Loudon, Tenn., 30 miles from Knoxville, Tennessee National Guard units were called out by Governor Jim McCord to put down threatened mob violence regarding the death of hillbilly singer Ray Brewster in an automobile accident with the Sheriff and a deputy, both charged with responsibility for the death. The two had chased Mr. Brewster's automobile and shot out the tires, causing, according to Mr. Brewster's father, the car to leave the road and overturn. The Sheriff said that Mr. Brewster had tried to ram the Sheriff's vehicle twice and on the third attempt, Mr. Brewster's car left the road. The officers' fate awaited the grand jury's determination.

In Reno, Nev., the wife of author John Steinbeck was granted a divorce. They had been married since 1943. She had been called as a witness in a coroner's inquest regarding the shooting death of a man after he had lost $86,000 in a Reno gambling casino.

In Charlotte, a man was being held for allegedly robbing evangelist Bishop Grace of $29,000 in Concord on October 10, taken after hours through a break-in at the United House of Prayer. Police had recovered from the man a diamond-studded watch and diamond-and-emerald ring fitting the descriptions given the jewelry by Daddy Grace. They also recovered $300 in cash.

Tom Schlesinger of The News reports on the Halloween trick or treating to come this night in Charlotte, a day early by the calendar. He points out that the day is in celebration of the eve of All Saints Day, All Hallows Eve, a holy night. But, nevertheless, 500 parties were scheduled for youths across the city.

But it was not a holy night because it was October 30. Tomorrow night is holy.

On the editorial page, "Property Tax Limitation Amendment" is for the proposed amendment to the State Constitution to raise the permitted levy of 15 cents per $100 of property value, passed in 1920, to 25 cents. It explains that the levy could be increased by special approval of the General Assembly for a special purpose, causing many counties to have rates ranging from 55 cents to $2.20 per $100 of valuation.

But the State Supreme Court had criticized the overuse of the exception to approve taxes for general purposes. Thus, the amendment was necessary in an era of increased expenses.

"Russia's 15-Year Plan" tells of an ambitious reclamation plan in Russia which by 1965 was scheduled to provide eight systems of forest belts in four defense lines, utilizing every collective farm in Russia, about 300 million acres, fifteen million of which to be forested. The plan also included 45,000 reservoirs and artificial ponds on State collective farms. Eighty thousand collective farms over the course of six years would be placed under an improved grass and crop rotation system, to allow for high yields of grains even in drought years.

Izvestia, bragging of the program, said that capitalism was not capable of such organization and planning.

The piece concedes the point, but suggests that the average American would regard such bureaucratic control necessary for this program to be undesirable. Yet, America had a program of reclamation and conservation dating back to the days of Theodore Roosevelt at the turn of the century, predating the Russian Revolution by 15 years. The American effort, however, was based on education rather than regimentation.

It cites the recent "Miracle Day" in Charlotte, during which a 120-acre soil-depleted farm was made again productive through the soil conservation efforts of 300 volunteers and over a hundred pieces of donated farm equipment in front of 60,000 observers.

Russia, it finds, might accomplish more than the U.S., but it would be doing so through the use of slave labor, much as the pharaohs had built the pyramids.

"Religious Book Week" tells of the week being dedicated to religious books, sponsored by the National Conference of Christians and Jews, reminding that the nation was founded by men who valued religion as "the fountainhead of our rights and the bulwark of our liberty."

It remarks that, increasingly, Americans had turned from religion, becoming "Sunday Christians", bragging that money would buy what prayer would not obtain.

It suggests that Germany and Italy prior to and during the war were examples of pagan societies in which totalitarian leaders destroyed or rendered impotent the church as an institution before taking away the rights of Germans and Italians. It regards the Conference as doing humanity a service by reminding of the fact that truth was written in many books.

A piece from the Charleston News and Courier, titled "Not a Lynching—And Why", tells of the murder of a black man in Spartanburg County, S.C., with five black men having been accused of the murder. The piece complains that the "'Liberal' and highbrows of New York and Pittsburgh" would not label this murder a lynching because of the race of the alleged murderers, whereas if they had been white, it would be so construed. It concludes sarcastically, "The 'intelligentsia' understand."

There is a reason for the fact. The "lynching" by definition is carried out by two or more persons in vigilante fashion to mete informal justice. Historically, it is actually race neutral, though usually it has been the result of a white mob taking one or more black persons and then killing them, usually in a brutal and ritualized manner. The facts behind the killing in Spartanburg County are not provided, but in all likelihood, it was not the type of situation usually deemed a lynching.

Murder is murder, especially to the victim and his or her family. The label is inconsequential except in determining the punishment for the crime and potentially allowing prosecution by the Federal Government.

Drew Pearson tells of Republicans in Oklahoma charging former Governor Bob Kerr, running for the Senate as a Democrat, with spending too much money in the campaign. But the people who were making the charges were themselves less than reputable.

Vice-presidential candidate Alben Barkley said that his face was red from kissing all the pretty girls in West Virginia.

Representative John McDowell of HUAC, jittery about re-election, told the secretary-treasurer of CIO to tell his old friend, Philip "Murphy", president of CIO, that he was not hostile to the organization.

The Commodity Credit Corporation refused the banks' request for an increase in interest rates on cotton, wheat, and corn loans to farmers, insured by the CCC and hence the taxpayers, saying that the risk therefore was all on the Government, not the banks.

Marquis Childs discusses Pro-America, a supporter of Thomas Dewey, which Mr. Childs had previously described as a successor to the isolationist America Firsters of the late Thirties. He had received a letter from the president of the organization claiming the charge was not true, that they favored ERP.

He apologizes for any injustice but raises the question of two seemingly incongruous stances of the group, being for ERP and advocating a tax cut for all income groups. Many who would vote for Mr. Dewey would find those tandem positions appealing, though he had not explicitly promised a tax cut, rather "tax revision".

But the next President would likely have to ask Congress to repeal part of the tax cut of 1948 to pay for foreign aid and defense. And the Western European Union compounded the problem by expecting funding for an army from the U.S.

Moreover, Mr. Dewey had promised increased aid for Nationalist China and he had criticized the President for not doing more for it.

Mr. Childs, viewing it in that light, regards the tax cut of 1948 as a "monstrous folly". It had only encouraged the public to believe that the country could reconstruct the world while also not paying for it. It had put the Government into deficit spending.

He suggests that Mr. Dewey might, as President, be able to carry his followers with him over the obstacle of believing in this folly, but that it would be difficult.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop indicate that Governor Dewey, "long before he is officially installed in the White House", would face a monumental decision, to approve or not America's joinder to the Western European Union. The WEU nations had determined to open negotiations with the U.S. for a formal military defensive pact—to become NATO the following spring.

Informal talks had been proceeding in this direction since the passage of the Vandenberg resolution to provide for association of the U.S. with the WEU. But the U.S. representatives, led by Undersecretary of State Robert Lovett, had stressed to the five WEU nations that the Congress would have to make the final decision. So, President Dewey would not be committed to any action in the formation of the proposed North Atlantic treaty.

The exploratory phase had now ended and the Europeans wanted to proceed with the treaty. Negotiations to that end, would likely begin within a month, unless President-elect Dewey nixed them. It was expected that John Foster Dulles, as Secretary of State-designate, would come from Paris to the U.S. to take charge of these negotiations shortly after election day.

There would be many difficulties to overcome but the central problem was funding by the U.S. of rearmament of Western Europe. Without it, the treaty would merely be a scrap of paper. It would, according to military experts, require a commitment of 1.5 to two billion dollars in the first year.

A letter writer remarks of a discussion by the Chicago Round Table on October 24 regarding the atomic bomb and how to secure peace. There was no consensus from the discussion but it was revealed by one participant that the bomb was now two million times more powerful than any other bomb or explosive.

He believes that the only hope lay in science and research to develop further atomic energy until all human need around the globe was met. He hopes that the coming Dewey administration would have the will and power to restrain Russia and impetuous Americans from getting into a nuclear confrontation.

Don't worry. Be happy.

A letter from the chairman of the American China Policy Association, Inc., responds to an editorial of October 9 anent China and a letter taking issue with the editorial on October 13. He imparts that though 13.5 million dollars had been earmarked for military aid to China in April and that 125 million had been appropriated generally for the purpose, nothing had yet gone to China because of deliberate delay by the Executive Branch. The appropriation would expire at the end of the fiscal year and even the next administration might not have time therefore to utilize it.

He asserts that if China were to fall to the Communists, then so would all of Asia, leaving General MacArthur with a "second Bataan" from which to retreat in the case of war with Russia, the difference being that he would be beleaguered in the islands of Japan rather than in the Philippines.

Well, sorry. It did not quite work out that way. Better luck with the Doomsday scenarios next time around.

A letter writer says that as a Charlotte Clippers fan, he wished to comment on the Sunday broadcasts of their football games. He thinks the announcers' comments about the opposition, such as, "They should lose playing football like that," were uncalled for in relation to players doing their best. He wonders how the announcers would feel were they on the field taking the beatings which the Clippers could dish out.

He wants the opponents to leave town saying that they took a beating from a good Charlotte team who were also good sports.

Well, how about if the announcer said, "Hell—heck—he made it; they finally scored"? We had no problem with that comment by Bill Currie once upon a time, circa 1969, when an early season opponent of UNC in basketball failed to score a field goal during most of the first half. It helps the opponent realize their need for improvement in the fundamentals of the game. Moreover, no one usually hears it except the fans of the team for whom the announcer is announcing. If the tree falls in the forest and nothing is there to perceive the vibratory waves, what difference does it make who hears it?

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