The Charlotte News

Saturday, November 13, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Dr. Herbert Evatt of Australia, acting as presiding officer of the U.N. General Assembly session in Paris, urged the U.S., Britain, France, and Russia to settle the Berlin crisis. Secretary-General Trygve Lie joined the statement. Both offered their good offices for the purpose of effecting a settlement through mutual conversations between the four powers.

Andrei Vishinsky, meanwhile, told the political committee of the U.N. that the Russian mark would first have to be agreed as the sole currency for Berlin before the blockade could be lifted, a contingency which had repeatedly been rejected by the Big Four for its coercion. They consistently maintained that first the illegal blockade had to be lifted before negotiations could start. The blockade had been extant since June 23.

The U.N. political committee rejected by a vote of 36 to 6 the Russian proposal that the Big Five reduce their armaments by one-third and for prohibition of the atom bomb. Seven nations abstained and nine were absent.

Secretary of State Marshall stated in Paris that he would not resign his post by January 20, as reported in the press, without first consulting with the President.

In China, Communist artillery was shelling the Government airfield at Suchow, the only remaining direct link to Nanking after elimination of the rail links by the Communists, as fierce fighting continued in and around Suchow.

In Greece, King Paul gave a mandate to Foreign Minister Constantin Tsaldaris to settle the Greek Government crisis, following the resignations of Premier Themistokles Sophoulis and his Cabinet. It effectively gave Mr. Tsaldaris authority to form a new cabinet. It was anticipated that he would call upon Mr. Sophoulis to form the cabinet after consultation with the King and other leaders.

Jack Bell of the Associated Press reports of the Democrats having several presidential hopefuls for 1952, following the President's hint after the election that he did not intend to run again. He starts by naming the eventual 1952 and 1956 Democratic nominee, Governor-elect of Illinois Adlai Stevenson. Governor-elect Frank Lausche of Ohio was another potential candidate. Governors-elect Chester Bowles of Connecticut and Paul Dever of Massachusetts were also in the running. Senator-elect Paul Douglas and Senator Scott Lucas, both of Illinois, might become candidates. DNC chairman J. Howard McGrath, Senator from Rhode Island, was another possibility. Senator-elect Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota might be pushed by friends for a place on the ticket. The President's chosen successor to George Marshall as Secretary of State might also be among the contenders. Others are listed as well.

And he mentions that Democrats had not given up on General Eisenhower, now president of Columbia University, throwing his hat into the ring in 1952.

President Truman proclaimed Thanksgiving Day to be on Thursday, November 25, and urged that Americans give assistance to the hungry and homeless of other lands.

On the East Coast, the longshoremen's strike expanded to full scale, embracing 65,000 workers along the coastline from Portland, Me., to Hampton Roads, Va., threatening to paralyze the Atlantic shipping industry. Chances appeared slim for an early settlement of the wage dispute.

The railroads and three operating unions resolved their dispute over wages, with agreement to a ten-cent per hour wage increase.

In Gastonia, the father of the 21-year old man who had shot to death a police officer, wounded another officer and two bystanders in a shootout the previous Sunday with 50 officers, was consulting a lawyer regarding alleged beatings of his son by police officers while in custody immediately following the shootout as he was being transported to jail. The police said that they had no information about a beating other than from the defendant, himself, which they regarded as unreliable. The father claimed that his son had injuries when he had seen him in the jail, which had not been evident when he was originally taken into custody.

Tom Schlesinger of The News reports of E. P. Mulkey, responsible for compiling the Charlotte telephone directory. The previous year's edition had no mistakes in its listings. The year before, one error had been spotted. Mr. Mulkey had a full-time staff to maintain and update the directory and proof read the final copy before publication, a process which took a month for the 43,000 entries.

The Rainman gave us two cures...

Ray Stallings of The News tells of the Mecklenburg Humane Society investigating the mutilation of a red Persian kitten and the killing of another during the previous night. Both red kittens were owned by a ten-year old boy. The killing was accomplished by squeezing the kitten. The other had its tail clipped and skinned. The family had attended the circus and returned without checking on the kittens, but they believed that the culprit had committed the acts after they had retired. The boy was in tears, and did not know of anyone who would do such a thing in anger toward him.

And here it was Be Kind to Cats Week. Somebody, perhaps, did not like Drew Pearson. Maybe one of Congressman Thomas's minions from his staff did it.

Radio comedian Arthur Godfrey had ordered his musicians not to laugh at his jokes.

That wasn't that hard. We don't remember ever laughing at his jokes.

In any event, he said that it would cost an extra $800 to $900 per week per man in salary for such laughter, because they would then have to be paid additional money for participation in the broadcast, pursuant to rules imposed by the American Federation of Radio Artists.

On the editorial page, "The Guinea Pig Gets Self-Conscious" tells of Hollywood writers and directors finding a sense of satisfaction from the failure of the poll-takers in the late election. For, now, the creative side of motion pictures could reassert itself and trump the scientific poll-takers, who sampled audience opinions to determine story lines.

Dudley Nichols, one of the better writer-directors, says the editorial, had written an op-ed piece for The New York Times in which he expressed hope for such a result from the cooling of the romance between Dr. George Gallup and Governor Dewey.

The piece ventures that the election debacle for the pollsters might cause public backlash deliberately to throw off future pollsters, that in 1952, for instance, the respondents might express a preference for Norman Thomas, or say to the next pollster that they preferred the Literary Digest over Time, or proclaim that the favorite of the bobby-soxers was, in fact, Orson Welles.

"The great big percentage-perfect world of 1948 has been rudely torn apart by the little man from Missouri."

"Upheaval in Kansas" tells of that state, being one of the few dry bastions remaining in the nation, having nevertheless taken the first step toward eliminating its 68-year old prohibition law.

The Long Branch might soon reopen.

Only two other states, Mississippi and Oklahoma, entirely banned alcohol.

The News continues its traditional stance, asserting the failure of any form of prohibition as a means of stopping the imbibing of spirituous inebriants, whether in Kansas or in Raleigh, where a proposal to hold a statewide referendum on alcohol was set to be introduced into the 1949 Legislature, a proposal aimed at eliminating ABC controlled sales, voted county by county in some 28 of the 100 counties of the state.

"Partners in Crime" views the shootout in Gastonia the previous Sunday by the 21-year old man, upset over his father denying him use of the family vehicle, exacerbated by his ingestion of a "goof ball" along with alcohol, killing one police officer and critically wounding another as well as two bystanders, as being the responsibility in part of society for the fact that the penal system was still one of punishment rather than education and rehabilitation.

The young man had been in prison twice previously, for larceny and highway robbery, paroled for the second offense after nine months of a two-year sentence. Apparently, he had learned only to hate cops. Apparently, the Parole Commission had examined the man inadequately prior to his release.

Another reason for society's shared responsibility was that there was not enough interdiction of such drugs as "yellow jackets", "goof balls", and other barbiturates. And because the country had an obvious affection for violence, as evidenced by its popular movie fare, reading material, and radio programming. Moreover, the educational system had not adequately taught youth that there were other forms of recreation besides getting drunk. Parents were also remiss in these duties.

It concludes that while the defendant, himself, was guilty and responsible ultimately for his conduct, society acted as partners in the crime.

A piece from the Washington Evening Star, titled "Maybe Canes Would Help", tells of an instructor in personality at NYU, Veronica Dengel, who berated the fashion-consciousness of the men of the nation's capital, tending to sport sloppy coats of one color, unpressed pants of another, and stripes all over down to the socks.

In earlier times, the men of Washington had been punctilious in their sartorial choices. Canes had been important accoutrement of the era, usable as weapons against mad dogs and ruffians, while providing an air of grace and dignity during a constitutional.

The piece thinks canes ought have a renascence, that such might appeal to Ms. Dengel's sense of fashion.

Drew Pearson informs of a "Thank You Train" traveling through France to collect gifts for Americans in appreciation of the Friendship Train of a year earlier, carrying winter food and clothing from Americans to France and Italy, beset then with severe shortages in advance of ERP aid, hamstrung in Congress until the spring. The Friendship Train had been originally conceived by Mr. Pearson. Forty-nine cars of the Thank You Train were being filled with gifts, one for each state and the Territory of Hawaii, which had contributed an average of eights cents per capita to the original Train. Like the original American Train, the French Train was coming from the people, not the Government. The gifts would be chosen French products, including portraits and monuments, wood carvings, china and pottery, bells and native costumes. Some of the gifts would be suitable for colleges and universities or museums. The American railroads had offered to carry the cars for free through the U.S.

Mr. Pearson next sardonically apologizes to Patrick Hurley, who had run unsuccessfully against Clinton Anderson for the Senate from New Mexico. On October 25, Mr. Pearson had published that Mr. Hurley received a decoration for gallantry in World War I, which he had lobbied to obtain later, based on his going to the front lines on the morning of the Armistice. Mr. Pearson had received word from an officer who had been present and informed that Mr. Hurley, then a JAG Corps officer, was aware that the war was over when he went to the front that morning. So, Mr. Pearson apologizes for underestimating the gall of Mr. Hurley for accepting his medal for "'gallantry'".

He next informs that some readers had criticized him for exposing the salary kickbacks from bogus staff received by Congressman J. Parnell Thomas, chair of HUAC, and for which Mr. Thomas had just been indicted. He says that these readers appeared to confuse salary kickbacks, a fraud on the Government for receiving unauthorized payments, with simple nepotism, employing family members on the Government payroll. The latter was also deplorable but not illegal if the relative actually performed work, as did the son of Senator Arthur Vandenburg and the wife of Senator Glen Taylor, or if the relative or friend, even not performing work, did not provide the Congressman or Senator with their paycheck. He says that he made no apologies for exposing the illegal practices of Representative Thomas.

The New York manager of Voice of America had been in touch constantly with future CIA director Allen Dulles, brother of presumed Dewey Secretary of State-designate John Foster Dulles, prior to the election, and so had consistently informed Europeans listening to the Voice that Thomas Dewey would be elected to the presidency. Probably, however, nothing would happen to the manager, Charles Thayer.

Governor Kim Sigler of Michigan, after failing re-election, got in his plane and disappeared.

Bess Truman believed that Polish painter Tade Styka was the only artist to capture her husband's blue-gray eyes properly.

School teachers had voted nearly unanimously against Governor Dewey, based on his putative remarks calling the teachers' lobby one of the most vicious, during the Governors Conference the previous summer, though Mr. Dewey denied making the statement.

Marquis Childs tells of a conference at the Pentagon, arranged by Secretary of Defense James Forrestal, consisting of top industrialists, a few educators and labor leaders, regarding the business of re-armament. Several of the would-be Dewey cabinet members had been included on the list of invitees. John L. Lewis, enemy of the President and supporter of Governor Dewey in the campaign, was the top-ranking labor leader present. It appeared therefore that Mr. Forrestal had planned the conference to be transitional to the presumed new Dewey administration.

One of the union executives attending the meeting was James Carey, formerly of the United Electrical Workers union, accused of being dominated by Communists, though Mr. Carey had worked to eliminate them from the union. He was presently secretary of the CIO and expressed the concern that UEW members were being singled out for security reasons without basis in fact, and eliminated from Government work, as in the case of two employees at Westinghouse, labeled security risks though they were known to be anti-Communists, while others, known to be Communists, continued working for the company in sensitive positions. He, along with CIO president Philip Murray, believed this practice to be deliberate union busting, as singling out UEW for failing to have its officers execute the required Taft-Hartley affidavits of non-Communist affiliation, prohibiting thereby UEW from partaking of collective bargaining before the NLRB. The answers to Mr. Carey's questions at the meeting were not forthcoming.

Mr. Childs suggests that such meetings were helpful, but everyone needed to know more about what was really going on.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop tell of a Navy exercise in Newfoundland in which 100 Navy vessels were to establish a beachhead but were "sunk" by eight defending submarines based on the radar-proof German Type 21.

The Newfies won because the Navy's house did not revolve far enough to get the light bulb in all the way.

The results were significant because the Soviet Navy was primarily an undersea operation, based on the Type 21 submarine, some of which the Soviets had received from Germany in reparations, as well as the parts, tools for its production, and blueprints. The Russians were believed to have at least a hundred such subs in operation, plus 100 more short-range subs for coastal patrol and 100 long-range ones without the Schnorkel range-extending breathing equipment of the Type 21.

The Russians could keep 35 Type 21 subs afloat at any one time, and this complement appeared enough to cut vital sea supply lanes across the Atlantic in the event of war.

All was not bleak, as some of the experimental task force had been equipped with special sub-detecting and destroying devices which had enabled 85 percent of this part of the force to escape destruction.

Modernization of the Navy fleet was crucial, but required rebuilding of each vessel at great cost, not merely re-equipping it with the modern devices, which were still experimental.

The Navy was planning to spend much more on its new super-carrier than on anti-submarine modernization, considered by observers to be a mistake in prioritization.

The Navy appeared to be doing all it could to counter the underseas danger but was hampered by service budgeting and its limitations.

To get around such handicaps, FDR had created the Manhattan Project for building the atomic bomb. The Alsops posit that a similar type project should be inaugurated so that the Navy could concentrate on underseas vulnerability.

A North Atlantic treaty with the Western European Union nations, as was being considered, would permit immediate establishment of overseas bases and stockpiling of weaponry in Europe. Taking out such insurance, given the situation in Europe, was urgent.

The piece, incidentally, extends to the following page, which may be read here.

A piece from the Congressional Quarterly reports of meetings soon to be held by AFL and CIO to establish their agenda for overturning Taft-Hartley in the new Congress, as well as putting forth positions on inflation control, low-cost housing and minimum wage increases.

It lists a chart of legislation for which each labor organization was for or against, the only matters in issue which they opposed being universal military training and the Mundt-Nixon Communist registration bill.

A piece from the Roanoke Times, titled "A Word for Romance", tells of Lewis Mumford speaking to a meeting of city planners regarding public parks, expressing a desire that plenty of hiding places be afforded for lovers. H. I. Phillips had commented that romance had been pushed into such secret corners that it had become furtive and difficult. What the world needed more than anything else, he said, was love.

A piece from the Cleveland Times, titled "Iron Curtain Wit", relates a joke in vogue behind the iron curtain relative to one Krish, who eventually gets to New York from Belgrade, Bucharest, and Prague, to each of which along the way he wishes long life, until reaching the Big Apple where he says, "Long live, Krish." You can fill in the rest.

A letter from the director of the Children's Nature Museum in Charlotte, celebrating its first anniversary, thanks the newspaper for its coverage of the museum during its formative period.

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