The Charlotte News

Saturday, October 9, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the President met with Secretary of State Marshall to discuss the international situation. Secretary Marshall had flown to Washington from Paris for the briefing. The President cut short his New York campaign trip to meet with the Secretary.

Rumors abounded that the President was considering a plan to send Supreme Court Chief Justice Fred Vinson to Moscow to meet with Josef Stalin, but diplomats had stated that the plan had been abandoned. Mr. Truman had no comment on whether such a plan was being considered. CBS reported that the President had asked for airtime on Tuesday to make such an announcement but had then canceled the request.

The six "neutral" nations of the U.N. Security Council were seeking more time to press their efforts to effect conciliation between East and West in the Berlin blockade crisis, seeking to postpone a scheduled Monday meeting of the Council to afford more time for mediation. They were urging that Russia and the Big Four directly settle their differences and that the blockade temporarily be ended during the period of negotiation. They believed that it would be useless for the Council to demand that Russia end the blockade as Russia would undoubtedly veto the resolution.

The U.N. political committee moved forward with debate on the Russian proposal to reduce major power armament by one-third. Britain argued that the proposal was a fraud on the world.

Argentina was leading a quiet move to relax the U.N. boycott of Franco's Spain. Other Latin American countries joined the effort, but Venezuela and Mexico were said to be opposed.

In Berlin, the Russians announced that large-scale air maneuvers would be held in the airlift corridors this date, to include gunnery practice. Again, U.S. officials registered a protest. The Russians had announced similar maneuvers for the previous day but no sign of them was seen by the American airlift pilots.

In Llandudno, Wales, Winston Churchill warned that World War III could come at any time as a result of the Berlin crisis and that only the atom bomb deterred Russia from engulfing all of Western Europe. America would be committing suicide and "murdering human freedom" to destroy its stockpile of atom bombs. The West had to negotiate from a position of strength.

In France, Communist-led strikes hit the country following a six-day mine strike, also led by the Communists. The strikers demanded a 40-hour week, a month of vacation pay and a minimum wage of $75 per month, double the current minimum. A million tons of coal had been lost by the strike.

In Munich, Germans sought to try Ilse Koch on crimes against humanity charges of their own, following her June commutation from life to four years on the Allied war crimes convictions stemming from her time at Buchenwald concentration camp.

In Tel Aviv, 75 to 100 Stern Gang members remained at large after breaking out of the Jaffa jail this date. The jail held most of the 250 members rounded up by the Israelis following the assassination of U.N. mediator Count Folke Bernadotte on September 17. About 120 had initially escaped, but about 50 of those only took a swim in the sea, visited with friends and returned voluntarily.

Lewis Strauss of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission said at the University of New Hampshire in Durham that scientists would soon figure out the photosynthetic basis for plant life. It could open the way for a great advance in food production. He also said that atomic energy would soon be so abundant that it would provide electricity to the ordinary home. He also said that undesirable traits could be stifled in subsequent generations through gene manipulation by nuclear energy. Experiments had been conducted in animal and plant life, and human development was being studied in Japan in the aftermath of the atomic blasts. Findings on the latter showed so far that resultant changes were undesirable.

In Pittsburgh, Socialist candidate for president Norman Thomas said that Henry Wallace and the Progressives were Johnny-come-latelies in the field of racial equality. He claimed that Mr. Wallace had not practiced racial justice while he had been Secretary of Agriculture in the Thirties.

In Charlotte, Bishop Grace appeared at the United House of Prayer on Long Street before 1,500 people. He spent the bulk of the service in a revolving chair observing the marching and palm-smacking of his flock. The band played a bebop rhythm. "Daddy" Grace had last appeared in the city on September 12.

Tom Schlesinger of The News reports of the Public Library having a display of books, magazines and films regarding the planned Miracle Farm Demonstration Day set for the following week, to turn a failing farm owned by two veterans into a fertile enterprise in the course of a few hours.

In Cleveland, the Indians took the fourth game of the World Series against the Boston Braves, 2 to 1, giving Cleveland the lead in the series 3 to 1.

Game 5 the following day, also in Cleveland, would, we predict, go to the Braves 11 to 5.

On the editorial page, "Young Republic Fights for Life" tells of the tendency of the public to forget that Russian guns and U.S. guns were already exchanging volleys in the fights in China and Greece. To both countries had been going U.S. aid, arms and military advisers, as Russia did likewise. Thus, there was actually a pair of hot wars transpiring within the context of the cold war.

According to observers on the scene, the Greek war with Communist guerrillas might last well into 1950, and was of strategic significance to protect the Mediterranean, the Dardanelles and the Suez Canal for the West. The Greek situation was under control.

But China was the greatest test. It had become a Republic in name, though not in fact, 37 years earlier, but had endured war for almost two decades, such that its Government had never achieved stability. The Chiang Government had never managed to put down the rebel Communists in the North. The American policy had been of little help to the Chinese Nationalists as the Administration had largely withdrawn from the problem.

The piece suggests that the policy in China contributed to the Soviet belief that American policy generally was spineless, exacerbating therefore the Berlin crisis. It agrees with Governor Dewey that a new policy toward China was necessary and that America could not afford to abandon the Chinese to Communism any more than Europe. If China were to fall, he had posited, then so would all of Asia.

The piece concludes that China should receive from the free world a present of survival on its 37th birthday.

"Can You Speak Freely?" begins by quoting John L. Lewis on October 6, saying before the UMW convention that Attorney General Tom Clark had tapped his phones. Mr. Clark had denied the charge with a laugh, saying that Mr. Lewis bellowed so loudly that it was not necessary. But he did not generally deny that the Justice Department had ever used wiretapping outside of espionage and criminal cases.

The piece does not know who was telling the truth in the case, but no mention was made in the contempt cases against Mr. Lewis of any wiretap evidence. If such matter were obtained and used to bring pressure on Mr. Lewis, it posits, even in the national interest, his civil rights were violated. More importantly, the rights of all citizens were at stake.

It regards nothing sinister about wiretap evidence when used to capture criminals or to interdict spy operations. But for it to be used by the Justice Department and the FBI for political purposes, to gather dirt on the party not in power, was not to be tolerated.

The New York Star had just concluded a series of articles on the topic of indiscriminate use of wiretapping and the like against not only Mr. Lewis, but also Col. Robert McCormick of the Chicago Tribune, Jim Farley, deceased publishers Joe and Cissie Patterson, Harry Bridges of the ILWU on the West Coast, former Secretary of Commerce Jesse Jones, and CIO and Steel Workers head Philip Murray. But if so, no such information appeared to have been utilized in any criminal prosecution.

It wonders why Congress was not investigating the matter as it would be salutary for the country and for the Congressmen themselves.

A piece from the Raleigh News & Observer, titled "Important Lawsuit", comments on the defamation suit of Alger Hiss against Whittaker Chambers for $50,000 for having stated on "Meet the Press" that Mr. Hiss was a Communist during the mid-Thirties when Mr. Chambers knew him. Mr. Hiss, formerly of the State Department, was presently head of the Carnegie Foundation, on whose board sat John Foster Dulles, who had recommended Mr. Hiss for the position.

The lawsuit was important for HUAC as well as to the parties involved.

It would also be important for the 1948 pumpkin crop down on the Animal Farm.

Drew Pearson tells of the Pentagon planning to present in January a military lend-lease program for the five Western European Union countries, regardless of who would win the election. The program would run 4.5 to 6 billion dollars. Under consideration were proposals to supply enough aid to outfit about 25 divisions, establish semi-permanent American air and ground force bases in all five WEU countries except Belgium, plus Italy and West Germany, and establish a ring of air bases through Norway, Greenland and Alaska to thwart any Arctic air attack by the Soviets. The WEU wanted the Pentagon also to obtain automatic right to declare war if the Soviets attacked any WEU nation. Secretary of Defense James Forrestal and his aides, however, thus far were balking because of the huge expense, totaling 31 billion dollars in the end for defense, aid, and veterans expenditures if the plan were implemented. Quietly, talks were being held with a Dewey intermediary on the subject, Ferdin Eberstadt, the likely Secretary of Defense under President Dewey.

Anytime Mr. Dewey slipped up on the campaign trail, the press was reluctant to report it, while every time the President slipped, it was front page news. In Julesburg, Colo., Mr. Dewey told the crowd that he was happy to be back in Denver. While that made the newspapers, a gaff at Greeley was noted by only a few local papers. Mr. Dewey was interrupted by a plane flying overhead with its speakers blaring "Vote for Hamil", at which Mr. Dewey said, "That fellow Hamil is no friend of mine." Mr. Dewey had forgotten that Mr. Hamil, the GOP gubernatorial candidate, was on the rostrum with him. The worst faux pas, however, was in Denver, unreported, when he urged that they return their Congressman to Washington. The Congressman was a Democrat, John Carroll.

It was no secret that Mr. Dewey disliked Senator Joseph Ball of Minnesota, in a tough fight with Mayor Hubert Humphrey for re-election. But when told that he was in trouble, Mr. Dewey wanted to come to Mr. Ball's aid.

Secretary of State Marshall was having trouble in Paris with the French and British, the French favoring some form of appeasement of the Russians and the British leaning their way, believing that Moscow would ignore efforts to get the blockade lifted. Secretary Marshall believed the Russians were in the process of stalling and remained firm that the U.S. would not leave Berlin. He reminded the allies that if they pulled out of Berlin, they would soon have to leave Germany, and then there would be no recovery as there would be no aid. In the end, the French agreed.

One of the problems, Mr. Pearson notes, was the Communist propaganda having convinced the French that the Marshall Plan was an instrument to prepare for war with Russia and that the U.S. would employ the French in that fight.

Marquis Childs tells of the President and his advisers not accepting that the people had already made up their minds on the election, thus planning to campaign almost continuously on the road until the weekend before the vote on November 2. Greater emphasis would be placed on what the President and the Democrats had done for the country rather than so much on the "do-nothing" Congress and what the Republican leaders had done to hurt the country, as in the previous cross-country train tour.

Emphasis, on the advice of Clark Clifford, would be placed on Taft-Hartley and its future threat to the unions in the hope of driving labor to the polls in large cities. But in Michigan, where the UAW had taken over the Democratic Party, there was no unusual rush to register to vote, despite only a week remaining until the registration deadline.

The campaign of Wendell Willkie in 1940, during which he barnstormed the country and made numerous speeches daily while FDR remained aloof from the campaign tending to the international situation, was the paradigm for the current Truman campaign. Eventually, FDR was forced to the campaign hustings by the insistence of Mr. Willkie. But that was in the midst of war and the electorate was reluctant to change horses in midstream.

Mr. Childs thinks that if the President had any chance for re-election, he had to pursue the active campaign he was waging. Reports had come to the White House that the underdog role of the President had begun to appeal to the public. The President would continue to show his fighting spirit against "hopeless odds".

Joseph Alsop tells of Andrei Vishinsky having an ace up his sleeve at the U.N. meeting in Paris, would propose at the right time a complete evacuation of all occupation troops from Germany. Korea stood as a recent precedent and the Cominform had called for complete evacuation. The Soviets were also forming a pro-Russian militia in Eastern Germany. Well conditioned German prisoners who had been trained by the Russians in Communist indoctrination camps had been returning to Germany in increasing numbers during recent weeks and were becoming part of the police force. This force undoubtedly would seize power in Germany for the Communists in the event of evacuation.

The Western powers, however, were unlikely to accept any such condition. It was calculated by Russia to appeal to the Germans who disliked all of the occupation forces, while preserving the objective of having control of Germany by the Communists. The only way to trump such a proposed effort would be for the Western powers to propose the evacuation first and condition it on free elections being held under U.N. supervision, and disarming of the Soviet-trained militia. The U.S. could also offer to France and Western Europe military lend-lease and provide guaranteed support against aggression.

Those favoring such a strategy argued that the time was ripe for evacuation as the Germans, because of resentment over the blockade, would overwhelmingly defeat the Communists in any fair election.

The experts believed that Russia would accept such a proposed agreement in principle and then make it impossible of final achievement by demanding such things as continued ownership of German industries in the Eastern zone, greater reparations, and a voice in control of the Ruhr.

A piece from the Congressional Quarterly tells of the next budget to be sent to Congress the following January to present a formidable task for the next President to hold under 40 billion dollars. It analyzes the problems for budget-cutters from either party.

The Carlsbad (N.M.) Current-Argus reports that a woman from Carlsbad was visiting recently in Terrell, Texas, and was questioned by a woman about the Carlsbad taverns which she claimed to have visited.

From the Greenville (Tenn.) Sun comes a poem titled "Love":
Love is like an onion,
You taste it with delight
And when it's gone you wonder,
Whatever made you bite.

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