The Charlotte News

Wednesday, November 10, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in Paris, the U.N. political committee, by a vote of 48 to 6, demanded that Yugoslavia, Albania, and Bulgaria stop aid to the Communist guerrillas of Greece and settle their differences with Greece. The Russian bloc nations voted against the resolution.

The Russians proposed an amendment to a plan submitted by Dr. Ralph Bunche to convert the truce in Palestine to an armistice, suggesting that the Security Council order negotiations between the Arabs and Jews.

In Paris, well-informed American sources told of the prospect of a meeting between President Truman and Secretary of State Marshall within two weeks regarding holding direct talks with Russia to ease East-West tensions.

In China, American dependents were being evacuated from Shanghai and Nanking, ahead of the Communist forces, as the Nationalists' position in the North became steadily worse by the hour. Suchow and Pengpu were reportedly isolated by the Communists. The Yangtze was feared open to a crossing by the Communists, which would render Nanking vulnerable.

Food riots and strikes had beset Hankow, Shanghai, and Nanking. Municipal workers in Nanking had stopped work for want of rice, resumed when a little was disbursed. Mobs were roaming the streets and people had been trampled to death. Police had fired on rioters in Nanking and Hankow, where a large rice shop was set afire.

Chiang Kai-Shek was holding meetings to try to form a new Cabinet.

Senator J. Howard McGrath, DNC chairman, who the day before had expressed disagreement with Eleanor Roosevelt regarding her suggested expulsion from the party of the Dixiecrats, stated that Henry Wallace would not be welcomed back into the party unless he performed an act of contrition.

Senator Glen Taylor of Idaho, who had run as the Progressive Party candidate for the vice-presidency, said that the President had run practically on the party's program during the campaign and so the Progressives would wait to see whether he delivered on his campaign promises before determining the party's future. He would support any liberal proposals of the President and reminded that he had supported him in sustaining vetoes of regressive legislation during the 80th Congress.

Marquis Childs, appearing on the front page, discusses the future of the Dixiecrats. Not even such Southern liberals as Jonathan Daniels of the Raleigh News & Observer or Hodding Carter of the Delta (Miss.) Democrat-Times could support the civil rights program proposed by the President. Mr. Carter had endorsed Governor Dewey during the campaign, though not expressly basing that support on the civil rights issue, as Mr. Childs assumes he had. (It should also be noted that Mr. Daniels, for the passage of intervening events, would, by 1964, support the civil rights program of the Kennedy-Johnson Administration as he would be a delegate for LBJ to the 1964 Democratic convention, just nine weeks after the passage and signing into law of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.)

Mr. Childs suggests a compromise on civil rights worked out at a meeting of Southern leaders, to be held in North Carolina, probably in Raleigh or Chapel Hill, for it being the most progressive state in the South historically on civil rights. The President could be invited to speak before such a meeting.

He cites the proposed Federal anti-lynching law as a force bill which particularly rubbed against the grain of the South, because of its Federal enforcement provisions, not, per se, its outlawing of lynching. He thinks it would be possible to work out a Federal-state compromise to strengthen the laws against lynching in the states without the prospect of Federal encroachment on states' rights.

Historically, the problem in many areas had been the failure of local law enforcement to do anything about lynchings, indeed, in many instances, cooperating with the lynchers.

In New York, AFL longshoremen participated in a wildcat strike, leaving between 3,500 and 10,000 longshoremen off the docks.

Hurricane warnings were posted along a 75-mile stretch of the North Carolina coastline in advance of a tropical storm with 80 mile per hour winds, expected to skirt the mainland during the afternoon hours.

In Shelby, the jury in the trial of the two men accused of murdering a 15-year old girl, an unwed mother and lover of one of the men, returned a verdict of guilty of second degree murder against the principal, the girl's lover who had originally been charged with the murder. It was unclear what had occurred in the case of the other defendant, charged with aiding and abetting.

The previous day, the convicted man's wife had pleaded no contest to a charge of manslaughter, presumably based on her confession of guilt in the shooting, which she had previously recanted and then re-confessed. That plea, however, in which the prosecution had participated, still appears quite inconsistent with the verdict against her husband.

Martha Azer London of The News tells of the Christmas Festival to come to town on the following Wednesday. Several motorcades had traversed the state to publicize the event. Some Boy Scouts traveling in the lead bus of one of the motorcades were singing "Jingle Bells".

Hey, it's not even Thanksgiving yet. Give it a rest, ye merry gentlemen. It's 75 degrees in Charlotte this date. How is that remindful of Christmas?

In London, the Church of England approved the use of atom bombs as a "defensive necessity".

On the editorial page, "The Little Man with an Idea" tells of the David-and-Goliath story of Resort Airlines, conceived by Lt. Col. L. C. Burwell in the China-India-Burma theater of the war. The airline was to be comprised of veterans who would fly passengers on vacation flights, not ordinary travel. But after three years of trying, the airline was still seeking to obtain a license through the Civil Aeronautics Board.

The proposed airline would not be competing with the major airlines and so it appeared to be something about which there ought be little or no controversy. Nevertheless, the airlines had ganged up to involve the licensure process in a morass of bureaucratic red tape.

During the summer, a CAB examiner had recommended that the license be granted, and since, the matter was under review by the whole Board. If favorable, it was then up to the President to approve it.

The piece suggests that the story of Resort Airlines ought appeal to the President as it was that of the little man with an idea plugging away and never getting discouraged. It suggested that in America, there was still plenty of opportunity for the ordinary person.

"The Future of the Dixiecrats" regards the future of the States' Rights Party after the election. It suggests that if the South were left to its own resources, they would likely be consigned to obscurity, as were the renegade Democrats in North Carolina in 1928.

The only thing on which the Dixiecrats had coalesced support was the civil rights issue. Many Democrats in the South who voted for the President objected to his handling of the civil rights program.

The piece suggests that a middle ground was available on the issue but if the President and the Northern Democrats pushed the matter too hard, then the Southerners of the party might again align with the Republicans to block it. That could make a martyr of the Dixiecrats and garner for them additional support.

The front page piece by Marquis Childs had suggested a conference of Southern leaders be held to work out a calm solution to the problem. The editorial supports the idea, to provide a forum for presentation of the South's case on the matter. It would show that the President was acting in good faith and not for political reward. It would also provide a place for North Carolina to present the fact that it had gradually put into place a system of equal opportunity for all races and that such could be accomplished without Federal legislation.

The President and the Democrats were committed to civil rights, as he had promised to work for the program on the campaign trail and the Democratic platform had called for a strong civil rights program. The concept of equal opportunity was an American principle, but even the most liberal Southerners objected to the President's proposed program.

That editorial was obviously a bunch of rationalizing hooey, but never mind.

"French Voters Swing to the Right" remarks of the French elections to the upper house of Parliament, the Council of the Republic, which had resulted in a victory for the party of Charles De Gaulle, the RPF, and a crushing defeat for the Communists, who lost four-fifths of their existing 94 seats, rendering them only a small minority with but 16 seats on the Council. The RPF had the largest single bloc of seats, over 100, though not a majority of the 269 seats. Most of the seats acquired by the RPF came from the Communists.

General De Gaulle was confident that he would soon be elected premier, and he was probably correct. He was intensely anti-Communist and ERP would be important to his victory, as it was assumed in France that Americans would not aid any nation controlled by Communists. Italy had responded to this belief in its elections of April 18 by turning out the Communists.

In Asia and the Balkans, the country had, however, been less successful in getting rid of the Communists.

In France, the anti-Communist Government had been elected by the people. In other countries, less democratic means had been employed. For this reason, the State Department and Americans generally would not press an objection to the rightist orientation of General De Gaulle, an "out-and-out totalitarian".

Drew Pearson describes the first Cabinet meeting after the election as sober and down-to-business. The President did not speak of firing anyone. Only Secretary of State Marshall was absent, attending to his duties in Paris. Secretary of Defense James Forrestal said nothing. The President spoke of his long-term program.

Presidential adviser Clark Clifford appeared to nix Averell Harriman as the next Secretary of State.

Navy Chief Francisco Regacho bet $1,500 that the President would be re-elected. He had been in the Navy six years under the Republicans and was not promoted beyond 1st class, but got to the position of chief under the Democrats, and so had to go with his friends.

It was National Cat Week and Mr. Pearson informs that he was chairman—already having been reminded by his wife, as he stated in the column of two days earlier. His black cat Cinder had gotten him into it. The cat staged a sitdown strike on the paper on his desk whenever he wrote critically of Harry Truman. He had inherited Cinder from his daughter.

He reminds that the chief enemy of grain was rats and that cats were valuable in keeping the rat population down.

The Joint Chiefs, in cooperation with the British, had determined to make Canada the arsenal of the British Air Forces. Factories would soon be set up in Canada to manufacture jet bombers and transports plus a jet fighter for the Arctic circle. It would disperse the vulnerable British aircraft industry and boost production of fighters and bombers in the Western Hemisphere.

U.S. Ambassador to France Jefferson Caffery told Foreign Minister Robert Schuman of France that if a plan being considered to bring Communists into the French Government were implemented, all of the ERP aid would be cut off. The French had considered the plan as a way of heading off the Communist-led coal strikes. M. Schuman convinced his colleagues to dispense with the idea. The U.S. Embassy still worried of subsequent revival of the plan.

James Marlow tells of the President wanting to expand Social Security benefits to provide for twenty million more persons than were currently covered, about thirty million.

The original Social Security Act had been passed in 1935 and under it employers had to start paying one percent of the first $3,000 of wages per employee in 1937. Employees were taxed one percent of wages to go into the fund. The fund had 9.5 billion dollars at this point, with annual disbursements of about 466 million dollars, going to over two million recipients. The maximum available to each recipient was $44.80 per month and the minimum was $10. The benefits were disbursed to retired workers over 65, or if dead, the spouse over 65, as well as dependent, unmarried minor children, and some others. Spousal benefits were half that of the retired worker. The average payment was $25 per month.

Farmers, farm workers, the self-employed, domestic workers, and employees of non-profit organizations were not covered. The President wanted to include them. The President also wanted to increase by half the payments. He would likely ask Congress to increase the one percent tax on the employer and employee to compensate for the increased benefits. He would also likely raise the amount taxable to the employer to the first $4,800 in wages paid the employee.

DeWitt MacKenzie suggests that the average American would greet with relief the likely order to come in a few days from the President to the State Department to begin negotiations on a military treaty with the five Western European Union nations—to become NATO.

Reliable sources in Frankfurt stated that the U.S. was already providing France with five million dollars worth of military equipment.

The pact would be purely defensive in nature, as a means of assuring the West against aggression by the Russians. It was unlikely that Russia would launch a military attack against Western Europe with the might of the United States lined up with it.

A piece from Steel, trade publication of the steel industry, suggests that industrialists stood in a discredited position following the surprise results of the November 2 election. A majority of industry's executive, operating, and technical personnel were believed to favor the Republican doctrines.

One thing industry could do, it suggests, to remedy the consistent failure of Republicans in elections was to make a favorable position toward industry an asset rather than a liability with the public. Rather than using public relations to sell the public on industry, it suggests that the money be utilized to provide the public with the benefits of industry in a way it could recognize.

Free products?

It suggests that the Old Guard of the GOP abdicate in favor of younger men with open minds.

We demand free products.

A piece from the New York Times, titled "Poor Proverbs", proved that Republicans did not, as commonly believed, have a better chance of winning in an election with a small turnout of voters. The aphorism that people clung, in a bandwagon effect, to the winner's coattails was also disproved as Governor Dewey had been apparently the winner prior to the election. That farmers always voted with Republicans in prosperous times was also debunked, as was the old saw that to win, the candidate had to carry New York State. The latter had been true in every election since the Civil War, save in 1868, 1876, 1916, and now 1948. That the pendulum swung right after a war was also wrong in this instance. And Maine had gone for Governor Dewey, not as had the nation.

A piece from the Asheville Citizen, titled "Four Against the Windmill", tells of a linotype operator in Charlotte—whom the editors identify in a note as Claude Albea of The News—, a columnist in Raleigh, another in Washington, and a former Democratic national chairman in St. Louis appearing as the only prophets of the election results in 1948. It suggests them as the Don Quixotes of the day, spearing a windmill.

A piece from the New York Sun, titled "No Mixed Spice", tells of the London Times reporting on a man of Elgar Road in Reading, England, who had violated the Sunday proscriptions against selling spices. He had sold them to a small girl, who was then spotted by an inspector leaving his shop. The proprietor pleaded guilty and was fined 30 shillings. The piece thinks it somehow lyrical while laughable.

Not unless there was a barber shop involved.

Another pome appears from the Atlanta Journal, this one "Reporting Reflex Action of One Who Was the Father of an Infant Child a Good Many Years Ago:

"Whene'er I hear a baby cry
I croon a soothing lullaby."

First, you had better descry
That baby's diaper is thoroughly dry.

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