The Charlotte News

Friday, November 12, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Senator Styles Bridges of New Hampshire, chairman of the special watchdog committee on foreign aid, had urged the President to call a special session of Congress to consider providing additional aid to China. He believed that if aid were not given immediately, the Communists would take control of China.

China had already taken more than 112 million dollars of the 125 million appropriated by Congress.

The Nationalists in China were reported to have routed nine Communist Chinese columns at the grand canal in the Suchow battle.

In Paris, Secretary of State Marshall said that the Russians were carrying on a campaign of propaganda to weaken the position of the U.S., and that published suggestions in the Moscow press that the President meet with Premier Stalin in Moscow was a part of that propaganda.

In London, the five Western European nations, France, Britain, and the Benelux countries, met in a secret meeting to discuss the proposed North Atlantic treaty with the U.S. and Canada—to become NATO in the spring. The French foreign office was proposing a 50-year agreement under the treaty. The proposed alliance might be expanded to admit Portugal, Denmark, Norway, Iceland, and Ireland.

In Greece, Premier Themistokles Sophoulis tendered the resignation of his coalition Government to King Paul and it was accepted. The Government had been in power since September 7, 1947.

A 26-year old woman from Greenville, N.C., employed by the U.S. counter-intelligence corps, had been missing in Germany since October 27. She had been in Germany since the previous December and had joined the counter-intelligence corps the prior September 1.

In Tokyo, former Japanese wartime Premier Hideki Tojo and former Foreign Minister Shigemori Togo were found guilty of war crimes, Tojo being sentenced to hang and Togo to 20 years in prison. Sixteen other high level wartime Japanese officials received life sentences, including Marquis Kochi Kido, adviser to the Emperor, and General Hiroshi Oshima, former Ambassador to Germany. In all, the 11-nation tribunal convicted 25 defendants of war crimes, following a two and a half year trial.

The President ordered that the Defense Department and Veterans Administration investigate the reasons for delays in payments of veterans' disability and death benefits.

Six Northeastern U.S. manufacturing plants announced layoffs based on ever-increasing wages pricing their products out of the market or sales lagging behind production. The companies included U.S. Time Corp., Indian Motorcycle Co., G.E., and the L. C. Smith and Corona Typewriter Co.

In Raleigh, the State Board of Education requested that the Advisory Budget Commission recommend to the 1949 Legislature teacher salary increases of 59 percent and that 50 million dollars be allocated from the General Fund to local governments for construction of school facilities.

In Pittsburgh, Metropolitan Opera star Raoul Jobin was accidentally stabbed in the wrist during the third act of Carmen, but despite bleeding, continued on stage through the fourth act until he fainted at the end of the opera as the curtain fell. The character of Carmen, played by Gladys Swarthout, stabbed at the character of Don Jose, played by Mr. Jobin, as part of the opera performance, but inflicted an actual wound. Ms. Swarthout had borrowed a real dagger at the last minute, rather than using the usual wooden prop. She said that in 30 performances as Carmen, she had never failed to suffer bruises, but had never before actually stabbed Don Jose. The audience remained unaware of the incident. Mr. Jobin received five stitches at the hospital. He was not upset, said that it was bound to happen when the singers put their hearts into the roles.

—Yeah, Bob, terrible thing, near tragedy. The bullfighter gave her the knife and she twisted it in with relish.

—Yeah, that's another good one, Bob. Just like Truman in the campaign. Write that down for '52.

—'50? No, Bob, I don't think so. They don't like this HUAC business much, ye know. So...

—Pumpkin on the farm. Oh, yeah, I had about forgotten since that didn't come up by Halloween.

—Good, Bob. You're still working on the pumpkin angle and you've got my back. I'll look forward to the story. But don't do anything illegal. You see what Pearson did to Thomas.

—Absolutely, the press are vicious, Bob.

—Kill? Pearson? No, Bob, let's not do that. Too much risk. If they get caught, the first thing they'll do is squawk or turn to blackmail.

—Yeah, no, murder. Bad business, Bob. Stick with the pumpkin.

Ray Stallings of The News tells of it being Circus Day in Charlotte, with Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey in town.

He tells all about it.

We prefer the account once given—as will be related in the 60th anniversary edition of the newspaper next month, we predict—, by the late "Bishop" Tom Jimison—lawyer and, for his drinking, defrocked Methodist minister, primarily responsible for the overhaul of the state's mental institutions for his 1941 one-man participant-observer report on Morganton—, who, while a reporter for the newspaper many years earlier, after being assigned to cover the circus parade, wrote expertly and succinctly: "I seen the parade. It wasn't much."

On the editorial page, "Further Musings on the Revolution" tells of the newspapers still performing a postmortem examination of the stunning upset by President Truman in the election. The New York Times had determined that it was the closest election since 1916 when President Woodrow Wilson, by a half million votes, beat Charles Evans Hughes, until resigning to run, a Justice of the Supreme Court, and subsequently reappointed by President Hoover as Chief. But President Truman had won by two million votes and had handily won the electoral vote, 304 to 189.

Arthur Krock of the Times had also pointed out that without the Progressive and Dixiecrat splits within the Democratic Party, the President likely would have garnered another 85 electoral votes, the 38 in the South which went to Governor Thurmond and the 47 in New York which went to Governor Dewey, resultant of the heavy vote for Henry Wallace in that state. But if Mr. Wallace had been on the ballot in Illinois, then the President might not have won that state, carried by only 33,000 votes. Mr. Krock had also considered that some of the Southern states might have voted Republican without Governor Thurmond on the ballot.

Citizens of Yugoslavia expressed surprise that Henry Wallace had not received at least ten million votes, rather than the 1.1 million cast for him.

The French believed the election signaled the continued vitality of the New Deal and constituted a mandate for the Marshall Plan.

The Arabs in Cairo were said to be upset by the results, as they foresaw a continuation of the pro-Zionist policy of the U.S. Government.

In Tokyo, aides of General MacArthur were letting it be known that the General, even as a Republican, had foreseen the victory of the President.

In Nanking, the Chinese Nationalists were sorrowful over the defeat of Mr. Dewey, as he had made increased aid to China a campaign issue.

It concludes that the President would still find some tough hills to climb in Congress, as many of the same Southern Democrats were present who had blocked his previous efforts to get his domestic agenda through the Congress. Henry Wallace had probably helped the President in the election while consigning the Progressive Party to oblivion for its Communist-directed campaign platform. The Dixiecrats showed that the civil rights issue in the South was not so critical to induce Southerners to forsake the Democratic Party. But it also finds that the 1.1 million votes cast for Mr. Thurmond indicated that the Southerners could not be ignored by the President and that the old cultural patterns could not be upset from without, absent reprisals.

"UN or Israel—Which?" tells of Israel fighting, in violation of the U.N.-ordered truce, to achieve occupation of the territory in the Negev desert, awarded to Israel by the November, 1947 partition plan. The Egyptians had violated the plan by occupying the Negev.

The Israelis could now take all of the territory awarded them under the partition plan. But if they proceeded against the Iraqis in central Palestine, they would again violate the U.N. truce. If Israel continued fighting, the war would likely end quickly. If it obeyed the truce, the fighting would likely drag on in skirmishes for many months.

The piece likes Israel and says it would ordinarily favor a quick mop-up to achieve the partition plan. But since it was contrary to U.N. directions, it believes that the interests of the U.N. superseded those of Israel and that it should therefore bow to the wishes of the organization, lest the U.N. suffer and therefore Israel, itself, having been given recognition by the U.N. in 1947, also suffer.

There had to be an international force created for the nations to work together for peace and the U.N. was the only suitable body to sustain it.

While the U.N. was not helping Israel and vice versa, the U.N. was more important and its decisions had to be obeyed.

"The Circus Comes to Town" provides a few stanzas on the circus coming to town. Sample:

"The trumpets blare and the elephants stare
And the lion paws his cage
The tiger growls, the hyena howls
And the monkeys scream in rage."

Don't quit your day job
And try to become a poet.
For circus trumpet or no,
The notes don't flow.

A piece from the Nashville Banner, titled "For a Harvest of Toys", praises the Jaycees of Nashville, in cooperation with the Fire Department, in collecting toys for indigent children for Christmas.

Drew Pearson tells of Secretary of Agriculture Charles Brannan planning to present to the new Congress a farm program which would undo much of the regressive farm legislation of the 80th Congress. The new program would include canceling the ban on Government grain storage, which curtailed the ability of the Government to purchase excess grain and thus pay support prices, forcing farmers to sell below support levels, 90 percent of parity. ERP would be ordered to stop buying grain for Europe through private companies, a legislated practice which had chiefly benefited Argentina and foreign grain brokers. Mr. Brannan would also press for ratification of the wheat treaty, guaranteeing farmers a stable foreign market. The new program would also include permanent price supports and controls on production through acreage limitation. Greater production of beef cattle and dairy cows would be urged to compensate for the shortage of meat and milk. Soil conservation, crop insurance, rural hospitalization and rural housing would also be part of the new farm program.

The wife of Nuremberg war crimes tribunal Judge James Morris was observed regularly chatting in friendly fashion with the wife of an accused war criminal awaiting trial. Judge Curtis Shake of the tribunal had invited the German defense attorneys to dinner at the Grand Hotel, to which Germans were generally denied entrance. Judge Shake had presided over the trial of the I. G. Farben defendants, who had received lenient sentences for their operation of the chief war industry and the most notorious slave-labor camps.

Governor Lester Hunt of Wyoming, just elected to the Senate, was the only Governor in U.S. history who was a dentist. Republican money from the East to his opponents' campaign in his previous gubernatorial races and in the Senate race had been exposed by Mr. Hunt, and helped him win as a Democrat in a predominantly Republican state.

Marquis Childs tells of only one Republican survivor on HUAC following the election, Congressman Richard Nixon of California. Chairman J. Parnell Thomas had been indicted for fraud against the Government for his kickbacks from salaries of bogus staff, as uncovered by Drew Pearson. Representatives Richard Vail of Illinois and John McDowell of Pennsylvania had been defeated. And Karl Mundt of the Committee had won a Senate seat in South Dakota.

Congressman Thomas, of the original members of the Committee appointed in 1938, was the only one who had managed to survive. The first chairman, Democrat Martin Dies of Texas, who set the pattern for the Committee, was defeated in 1944. (Actually, he chose not to run again because of his unpopularity.) Four other original members were defeated, including Democrat Jerry Voorhis of California—defeated by Mr. Nixon in 1946. Mr. Voorhis had sought to curb the excesses of the Committee and was labeled implicitly pink by Mr. Nixon during the campaign for his receipt of support from the CIO PAC.

Representative Noah Mason had left the Committee and had been returned to Congress since that time, including in the 1948 election.

Representative Thomas made Congressman Dies appear as a statesman by comparison, with a cabal of newspaper men and informers running the Committee behind the scenes, on the instructions of secretary and chief examiner Robert Stripling.

Conservatives as well as liberals had been disgusted by the Committee's tactics, with conservatives concerned that the the Committee was usurping the role of the courts.

Dr. Edward Condon, the director of the Bureau of Standards, was a notorious case in which the Committee demanded that the President turn over the confidential loyalty investigation file of the FBI, to which the President refused.

In early 1945, the Southern Democrats combined with the Republicans to vote permanent status to the Committee. The new Congress might seek to end it. But again, a coalition of Southern Democrats and Republicans might block the attempt.

The new chairman would be Congressman John Wood of Georgia, former chairman in the 79th Congress, who supported the Committee's continuity, claimed that it could be handled without witch-hunts.

The Committee, to perform useful work, Mr. Childs finds, would need overcome its past reputation, one of the first steps toward which would be to eliminate Mr. Stripling.

Mr. Nixon, incidentally, was given headline billing over this piece in the St. Petersburg Times, perhaps his first headline outside California—not to be his last.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop tell of the President having issued a directive for the 3,000 Marines to remain at Tsingtao in China, albeit not to hold it at any cost. The directive showed that the President would be more assertive now on foreign policy than in his first three and a half years in office, relying not as much in the future on the State and Defense Departments to make foreign policy. The President favored positive American action in China in the face of the increasing Communist takeover, having captured control of Manchuria the previous week with the fall of Mukden.

The State Department had favored a policy of inaction on China, with only the presence of a limited number of military advisers. But doubts of the validity of this policy had crept into the White House, even if the new directive of the President was no more than a token gesture.

The Navy had proposed evacuation of Tsingtao several months earlier, but the Army objected. The continued presence of the Marines would act as a compromise.

Former San Francisco Mayor Roger Lapham, head of ERP for China, had been in Washington urging a plan under which aid would be delivered directly to the local Chinese forces fighting the Communists, rather than to the Government of Chiang Kai-Shek. The reasoning was that Chiang distrusted General Fu Tso-Yi, the leader of the Nationalist forces, and so had not provided his troops with full support.

But if this policy were to be followed, the Nationalist Government of Chiang would collapse, leaving the country subject to the Communists in the North and the local warlords otherwise, until the Communists would eliminate the outmanned warlords one by one to establish complete control.

If the President had bearded Secretary of State Marshall and asserted the policy of American activism six months earlier, the Alsops posit, then he might have been able to forestall the result which had now advanced so far that American intervention would likely be only a waste of resources and effort.

It should be noted that Secretary Marshall favored the hands-off policy in China after being the emissary of the President in China during 1946, finding that the Communists were enabling efficient land reform whereas the Chiang Government was mired in corruption and inefficiency, believed that American aid and intervention therefore would only be a wasted effort on a regime not worth saving, destined to fall anyway. The President had accepted this analysis and acted accordingly with respect to China.

Elmo Roper suggests that the election proved that the New Deal had firm roots among the voters. He provides Fortune polling results on questions regarding the New Deal, finding a decisive plurality of 47 percent of respondents having described it as being "for the common man", with lesser numbers finding it connotative of "red tape" or being "wasteful".

Fully 61 percent believed the New Deal had done more good than harm since the Depression, with only 24 percent holding the converse opinion.

Thirty-eight percent believed that the New Deal had considerably shortened the Depression, and another 28 percent believed it had shortened it a little, only 21 percent believing it had not shortened it at all. Similar responses were recorded on whether the New Deal had lessened the severity of the Depression.

Seventy-three percent believed that the Government should provide for the indigent.

He finds, in sum, that the people were not opposed to the liberal objectives of the New Deal legislation, even if there was some opposition to the methods by which that legislation had been implemented. In the election, the voters had responded to those candidates who openly supported the New Deal rather than those who remained silent on many of its major aspects or, as in the case of Mr. Dewey, who said they would carry it out but more efficiently.

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