The Charlotte News

Monday, November 1, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in China, Mukden had fallen to the Communists, though Nationalist Chinese planes bombed the city and Chiang Kai-Shek vowed to fight on. The victory gave the Communists control of Manchuria.

The U.S. approved the purchase of five million dollars worth of arms by China. Disbursements from the 125 million dollars appropriated by Congress for China had amounted to 110 million with the additional five million.

The fighting in Mukden reportedly had caused the loss of large amounts of American munitions provided to the Chinese Nationalists. Much of the ammunition now in transit was of a type which fit guns lost to the Communists.

In Palestine, according to U.N. observers, Israeli troops were in full control of northern Palestine and had crossed the border into Lebanon. A two-day offensive had cleared all Arab forces from the Galilee area. Lebanese Government sources denied that Israelis had entered Lebanon.

An Israeli spokesman reported that for the first time in recent weeks, all was quiet on all fronts the previous night. Israeli headquarters had ordered all troops to cease firing at 3:00 a.m., twenty hours after the effective time of the U.N.-ordered ceasefire.

The Russians rejected two American requests to interview the woman who had been with Irving Ross, a U.S. official with ERP, when he was murdered in the Soviet sector of Vienna the previous Saturday. The woman, who had been savagely beaten by the assailants, blamed four Russian soldiers for the attack. Robbery had been cited as the probable motive by U.S. officials.

The President was disputing the pollsters, predicting his victory in the election the following day.

Governor Dewey also predicted victory.

Both candidates had returned to their homes to await election day and the tabulation of the results.

In addition to the presidential race, the Senate was also up for grabs and attention was focused on it as much as with the larger race. Some 50 million citizens were expected to cast their ballots.

Elmo Roper predicts again that Thomas Dewey would win the election, reminding that on September 9 he had predicted that result by a wide margin, so sure of it that he then vowed to cease reporting on percentages unless a significant event took place. None had. He relies on the polls taken in August, which showed Mr. Dewey ahead 52.2 percent to 27.1 percent for the President. He thus stands by his prediction in September: "Mr. Dewey is in."

Old Aesop fabular saying: Laziness does not the pollster profit.

Tom Fesperman of The News tells of the campaign of the Republicans in the state being the greatest in twenty years. But the pollsters believed that it would go for naught, with little impact on the results. North Carolina had not bolted the Democratic Party as in 1928 when it voted for Herbert Hoover over Governor Al Smith. President Truman would carry the state, with Strom Thurmond coming in a poor third. The Democrats would win the state offices. The Republicans might pick up some of the twelve Congressional seats.

The national head of the League of Women Voters was visiting in Charlotte, making a tour of North Carolina, urging women to vote in the election. The League had 83,000 members.

In Donora, Pa., an all-night rain washed the air of the industrial town where smog was blamed as an accessory in the deaths of 19 elderly people during the course of 36 hours. Longtime residents could not recall seeing such dense smoke as hung over the town starting the previous Friday. The complete absence of wind allowed sulfuric acid fumes to concentrate in the air. A similar smog event had caused the deaths of 70 people in Belgium in 1930.

Clyde (Rabbit) McDowell of Texas would manage the Charlotte Hornets baseball team the following season, succeeding Joe Bowman. Furman Bisher tells the story on the sports page.

On the editorial page, "A Battle We Are Losing" tells of the Communists in France and Italy being successful at leading the workers, who were predominantly men. A Gallup poll recently had shown that 30 percent of the people were Communist in France, virtually all male workers. While an election might not be won by the Communists, the battle for this group was being lost by the West. The same was true in Italy despite the April 18 elections in which the anti-Communist parties had won a majority.

It advocates convincing these people that the Russian propaganda was merely a sales talk, making promises which would not be kept, for the sake of Russian expansion. It was meanwhile, through the strikes being led by the Communists, crippling the economies and making economic recovery a lot more difficult, undermining the Marshall Plan, an intended result.

"A Creditable Chairman" praises state Democratic chairman Capus Waynick for presenting a well-articulated campaign for Democratic state offices.

"Politics and Barbecue" says that Alexander Pope, who longed for a "whole hog barbecued", would be in hog-heaven as a voter in North Carolina's barbecue belt. Both parties had provided enough barbecued hog to feed Pope's England for a week or two. Everyone seemed to have had a good time. The farmers and their wives met their old friends from the other end of the county.

It was all very homey. "And if you have an ear for the profound, it was democracy." Buying votes with barbecue, it suggests, was better than taking them at the point of a gun.

Bullocks for ballots, not bullets for ballots.

Drew Pearson writes an open letter to his daughter in Los Angeles anent the election and her first vote. He says that Governor Dewey had conducted one of the most technically skilled campaigns in recent years, managing not to anger anyone. He had managed even to escape questioning about his absence of a war record, when the head of the Gold Star Mothers asked him in a letter whether he had a farm deferment in 1942. He had campaigned in most of the 48 states, making numerous speeches without ever discussing the basic issues, such as reclamation in the West, which would have stepped on the toes of the power interests. Instead, he referred to the large amounts appropriated for the purpose by the 80th Congress, without mentioning that the appropriations had so many strings attached that it was proving a bonanza for the power companies.

By contrast, the President had faced the issues head-on. The country knew exactly where he stood, causing trouble for him in the South. While his record was good on paper, the country knew also that it was inept in practice, sometimes inexcusably so. The men surrounding him seemingly sought to sabotage all of the good things for which he stood.

Governor Dewey's record in New York was excellent both on paper and in the performance. The men around him were of the Roosevelt brain-trust type, believing in teamwork, even if cold-blooded and deliberate in the execution of it.

In assessing the candidates, it was also necessary to look at the parties behind them. The GOP had since the Civil War drawn its financial support from the bankers, utilities, and big business. They had gotten that for which they had paid. It was dubious whether Thomas Dewey could break the grip of these financial backers, though he was tough personally. The Democrats drew most of their support from the big cities of the North, thus making the party far more liberal. But the alliance with the South had also rendered the Democrats confused.

Man for man, the Democrats had better legislators than the Republicans. If elected President, Mr. Dewey would be lucky to have some isolationists in his own party defeated by Democrats.

He says that the Democrats for the first two terms of FDR had passed some of the greatest social legislation in the country's history, long overdue. The Republicans would have a chance to make their mark when they took office in January.

Mr. Truman had put up a valiant fight and if he had done so throughout his time in office, he would not be in so much trouble. But because of the Wallaceites and Dixiecrats, he could not possibly win re-election, though he would have a bigger popular vote than previously anticipated.

Mr. Pearson hopes that President Thomas Dewey would take the Republicans back to the days of Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt.

Marquis Childs tells of correspondence from GOP vice-presidential candidate and Governor Earl Warren to Secretary of Interior Julius Krug in September, asking what had happened to a power plant scheduled for construction in Central California. California had been faced with the worst power shortage in its history for nearly a year, causing drastic economizing to maintain essential services.

Secretary Krug had answered that the 80th Congress had refused to provide appropriations for the plant, despite careful explanations by Government engineers regarding the potential for power shortages. PG & E (Piggie) had managed to stop the plan. The president of Piggie in 1946 had testified that there was no power shortage and that there would be none.

Governor Warren already knew the facts. He was just following form for the sake of the California Senate. He was well aware of the private forces trying to defeat public development of resources.

Governor Dewey had been less specific in his support for public power than Governor Warren during the campaign, but had endorsed carrying electricity over public transmission lines for the same charge, whether over a long distance or a short distance.

Mr. Childs suggests that as Vice-President, Mr. Warren might have to fight for public power in Washington, a major test of his role.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop tell of the State Department's proposal to create an Institute of Russian Studies peopled by those army officers, scientists, civil servants and Communist party officials, as well as intellectuals generally, who had escaped the Soviet Union. The proposal had almost been lost during the election year but it had merit. They recommend it to President Dewey's foreign advisers.

They use as example the chief Soviet map specialist before the war who had defected after he was ordered to the Soviet zone of Germany following the war. He escaped to the American zone, but had been forced to stay in a small town in the zone for two years, living on a subsistence basis, largely ignored by American officials. His experience was typical.

In the late war, strategic bombing had a wide margin of error because of saturation bombing. But in a future war, strategic accuracy with atom bombs would be crucial. A Russian cartographer therefore would be of incalculable value, as extant mapping of the Soviet Union was less than perfect.

Perhaps as many as 100,000 Russians had fled Russia since the war. There were also 150,000 Russians taken to Germany as slave labor during the war who had avoided repatriation, living in the Western zones. Many were former officers and scientists, as well as party officials, secret police and intellectuals.

This reservoir of information had hardly been tapped.

Samuel Grafton, no longer carried by The News, suggests that the diplomats take a year off and contemplate matters from the proverbial mountaintop and drop the idea of wholesale changes to the world, that it was not likely that the world would achieve unity through oneness. It was more likely that oneness would only be achieved through traditional plurality, the status quo of world order through time.

It was no more likely that the U.S. would ever be converted to Communism than it was that the Soviet Union would be converted to capitalism. He thinks the idea that one system had to defeat or predominate over the other to be an unrealistic position and one which was bogging down negotiations in useless, redundant rhetoric.

He wants the U.N. to provide to the delegates kazoos or other such noisemaking devices so that they could deter such windbagging, sandbagging, and stonewalling with a simple blow or twist.

A letter writer comments on the death in Supply, N.C., of the young woman who had been unconscious for 156 days since a May automobile accident in Fayetteville. She was a resident of Mecklenburg County and the county bore responsibility for her care. So he wonders why she wound up at her mother's house where she died.

The editors respond that local Welfare Department officials explained that the woman's family obtained her release after neuro-surgeons examined her thoroughly and found that they could not relieve her comatose condition.

A letter writer expresses shock and confusion at the editorial endorsement by The News of Thomas Dewey on October 21, believes that President Truman, while making mistakes, had basically done a good job, could not fill the shoes of his predecessor and so looked small. Nor had he been supported as he should have been. He thinks Mr. Dewey would not be a good choice and that a vote for Strom Thurmond would be essentially one for Dewey. He believes that Herbert Hoover would be in a Dewey cabinet and that such would not bode well for the country, given Mr. Hoover's tendencies to favor big business and not the South.

A letter writer suggests that no matter who was elected, he would be persona non grata with a large segment of the population. But the less unity in the country, he opines, the less likely it would get into another war.

He was to the left of the Republicans but did not like anything the Democrats had to say regarding the idea of voting for President Truman because there was a good chance the Democrats would achieve a majority in the Senate. Since Democrats voted as Republicans when in the majority, he wonders what the urgency was in having such a majority.

Another pome appears from the Atlanta Journal, this one "Advising Against Double-Dealing in Contacts With Your Fellow Man:

"Practice deceit
And your ruin is complete."

Hold a poll in 1948,
And be prepared to meet your fate.

Framed Edition
[Return to Links
Page by Subject] [Return to Links-Page by Date] [Return to News<i><i><i>—</i></i></i>Framed Edition]
Links-Date Links-Subj.