The Charlotte News

Monday, November 15, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Communist threats to Nanking in China had increased as Communist troops surged southward from the Suchow area, where a pitched battle had been taking place, involving nearly a million men. Nationalist troops at Suchow were said to be isolated. The Nationalist forces guarding Nanking were reported to be breaking up. The Communists were within 135 miles of Nanking, having advanced to Suhsien. The railroad connecting Nanking to Pukow across the Yangtze had been cut in several places.

The fall of Paoting, capital of Hopei Province, was said to be imminent. Government officials were evacuating the city, 90 miles southwest of Peiping. The Communists had occupied Chengteh, capital of Jehol Province.

Chiang Kai-Shek and top leaders of the Government were meeting to draft a complaint to the U.N. that Russians were aiding the Communist Chinese.

The Chinese Communist radio, heard in San Francisco, claimed that only another year of fighting would be necessary to eliminate the Chiang Nationalist Government, the Kuomintang.

Former Ambassador to Russia and France William Bullitt arrived in Shanghai to study the Chinese situation for a special Congressional committee.

In Paris, Canada demanded before the U.N. Security Council that the U.N. order Israelis and Arabs to negotiate an immediate armistice in Palestine. Dr. Ralph Bunche, U.N. mediator for Palestine, had proposed substituting the truce with an armistice and the Canadian proposal closely paralleled it.

The British had asked that the U.N. extend to Northern Palestine its approved November 4 resolution, calling for evacuation of the Southern Negev desert by both sides, with pressure threatened if the order were refused. The British said that they would be willing to discuss their proposal alongside the Canadian proposal.

Israeli Foreign Minister Moshe Shertok urged the U.N. to grant Israel membership in the organization.

Still in Key West, the President had nothing to say about the proposals for Palestine. He also had no comment on Cabinet changes in his new Administration.

Civil defense planners in Washington said that bomb shelters were only partial defenses against an atomic bomb, that the best preparedness measures were to implement a system to the save the injured, extinguish fires, and prevent panic.

Nobody panic; it's just an atom bomb. Duck and cover. Everything will be alright. You won't feel a thing.

In Canada, Prime Minister MacKenzie King resigned his post after 21 years. Louis B. St. Laurent, a member of the Cabinet since 1941, was asked to form a new cabinet. Mr. King was 78 and retired by choice.

A House committee investigating automobile trade practices heard from witnesses who claimed that they had to pay $500 in "commissions" when they bought new cars in Washington. The salesman who took the commission confirmed the payment, saying it was a "tip". The committee had found that across the country, consumers had been coerced into taking 250 million dollars worth of accessories they did not desire and had lost 200 million dollars worth of trade-in value on their cars.

AFL president William Green told the AFL convention that the new goal for organized labor would be to defeat any member of Congress who refused to back repeal of Taft-Hartley.

In London, Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip, married a year earlier, became parents of what appeared to be a future king, delivered the previous day at 9:14 p.m. Britons greeted the news with glee and U.S. warships joined British naval craft at Plymouth, England, in firing a 41-gun salute to the "Bonny lad", as he was being called. That, we infer, would make him Bonnie Prince Charlie.

Martha Azer London of The News tells of actress Adele Mara coming to town for the Christmas Festival, to start the following Wednesday. Among the dignitaries of the city greeting her would be News publisher Thomas Robinson and Mayor Herbert Baxter. Her latest motion picture for Republic Pictures was "The Wake of the Red Witch" with John Wayne. It's about a sailing ship, not a witch.

On the editorial page, "Good Use for Easy Money" tells of Mayor Herbert Baxter proposing to take advantage of Federal funding available for low-cost housing. The piece agrees that as long as the Government was doling out money for the purpose, the city ought get its share.

Private builders had been scared away from low-cost housing because of the time it took to obtain return on investment. While 2,000 white dwellings were being built in the city each year, a negligible number of black dwellings were being built. There was need to have housing to replace slum dwellings to make slum clearance work.

"Our Mental Hospitals" tells of Dorothea Dix, a hundred years earlier, having gotten the North Carolina General Assembly to reconsider the bill before it to appropriate $100,000 to build a mental hospital. None then existed in the state and the bill had been initially defeated badly. But on the second vote, it passed 91 to 10.

The new hospital, the site of which was chosen by Ms. Dix on a hill in Raleigh, became known as Dix Hill, named for her grandfather.

The North Carolina Mental Hygiene Society and North Carolina Neuropsychiatric Association would pay tribute to Ms. Dix the following Friday.

The 1949 Legislature would be asked for appropriation of 30.4 million dollars to make improvements to the State mental hospitals. The piece suggests that the present body was better informed than their counterparts a century earlier when the woman from Massachusetts had to educate the legislators to the need for mental health facilities.

"The Grass Looks Greener" tell of a new type of perennial grass, Suiter's Grass, which remained green year-round. It opened the way for a livestock industry in North Carolina which was largely missing. Haystacks would not be needed. It also cut down on soil erosion to enable more efficient farming.

A piece from the St. Louis Globe-Democrat discusses the Hoover Commission study of the Executive Branch of Government to make recommendations for streamlining it and effecting more efficient operation thereby.

The demands on the President were enormous and the number of employees in the Executive Branch had grown so large that it was impossible for one person to keep track of it. The President had no time to himself, shook one to two thousand hands per day and signed 400 documents each day. He received $75,000 per year, a salary set in 1909. After taxes, payment for personal staff and household expenses, he was left with about $10,000 each year for himself and his family.

New pay schedules would be part of the Hoover Commission recommendations. But administrative reorganization was the chief priority.

Drew Pearson tells of defeated HUAC member John McDowell of Pennsylvania having used $3,400 per year in salary for a secretary who did nothing to subsidize a local politician in Wilkinsburg, Pa., a photographer by trade who served in the Legislature. He notes that Mr. McDowell had been defeated by a Republican editor running as a Democrat, Bert Kline.

The President and his advisers had decided that Taft-Hartley ought be completely repealed and replaced with a new bill, as Taft-Hartley contained the old collective bargaining measures of the Wagner Act. It would restore the closed shop and the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service to the Labor Department, and Presidential fact-finding boards would be given authority to make recommendations to settle strikes. The President would ask for bans on secondary and jurisdictional strikes, as banned under Taft-Hartley, and for a provision for emergency takeover in the case of such strikes as that by UMW, threatening national security. A 90-day cooling off period would also likely be in the new legislation. The President opposed the injunction procedure as a means of halting a strike, but he also realized that court action might become necessary in certain strike situations.

Federal District Court Judge Walter Lindley of Illinois had refused an appointment to the Court of Appeals until after the election because he thought President Truman would lose and that the GOP Senate would not confirm him. He was a Republican appointed by President Harding and it was unlikely that the Justice Department would continue the recommendation for his elevation given the hesitation.

In addition to former Georgia Governor Ellis Arnall and Secretary of Commerce Charles Sawyer predicting the victory of the President, a cab driver in New York had bet each of his passengers a gallon of wine that the President would win. He now had a lot of wine.

Editor V. Y. Dalliman of the Illinois State Register did the President the most good in downstate Illinois.

The Florida chairman of the Democratic Veterans Affairs Committee had borrowed $200 from friends and bet it at 7 1/2 to 1 odds in New York, to collect $1,500 he needed for campaign expenses on behalf of the President. The Republicans wound up paying for it.

U.S. Assistant Attorney General Vincent Quinn of New York had been charged by HUAC members with not actively prosecuting alleged Communists working in the Government. Mr. Quinn had run for Congress and won, while two HUAC members who criticized him lost.

Marquis Childs tells of a change in Russian strategy evidenced by a statement by Josef Stalin regarding peace, a statement after the election by V. M. Molotov that the Republican defeat was the defeat of those who wanted war, and the Soviet newspapers grabbing onto a rumor, though unfounded, that the President might meet Stalin in Moscow.

Behind this new strategy might be the realization that Soviet policy previously had led only to greater preparation for defense by the U.S. rather than apathy as hoped. If Foreign Commissar Molotov had elected to participate in the Marshall Plan in mid-1947, as was his option, the Russians might have been able to undermine it from within. The blockade of Berlin had backfired, not forcing out the West.

Pro-Communist Johannes Steel had visited the Soviet satellite countries and distributed his monthly newsletter titled, "Report on World Affairs", in which he had said that it was not likely that there would be war with Russia anytime in the ensuing two years.

It was, however, unlikely that the Soviet harassment in Berlin and elsewhere would cease. The Kremlin would be ready to exploit American mistakes, one of which was, he opines, the decision to turn the Ruhr industrial area back to German ownership, contrary to the predominant Western European will on the matter. That move provided propaganda to the Soviets, as many people were beginning to believe that too much control was being returned to Germans who might use it to wage another aggressive war.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop relate that the German Communist Party leaders had sent a letter to Marshal Sokolovsky, Russian military commander for the East German occupation zone, urging ending of the blockade, while professing continued loyalty to Moscow. The letter had not been received well and four of the Communist leaders had been jailed. The leaders had been labeled by Marshal Sokolovsky "narrow nationalists". The two principal leaders had been allowed to retain their positions only because purging of them would have created an uproar.

A similar situation existed in France where the Communist leader was distrusted by Moscow for exhibiting the same kind of nationalism. In that case, the leadership of the party had been transferred to two individuals more amicable to the Moscow line. As in Germany, the French Communists were displeased with the Soviet foreign policy, aiming to destroy the Marshall Plan and wreck recovery.

A letter from the Community Chest campaign chairman thanks the newspaper for its support in the drive. He notes that while the drive fell short of its goal by eight percent, it collected more in peacetime than ever before.

A Quote of the Day: "We wonder if our city authorities have ever considered putting zippers on our downtown sidewalks. This annual business of drilling holes through the cement for the accommodation of flag poles must be building up a sizable cost bill as the years unfold. And then it must be quite a job to fill the holes with cement after the parade has passed." –Oklahoma City Daily Oklahoman

Zipper? All you need is one of those little brass cups with a threaded cap on it, and a special tool to screw it in and screw it out. Or, you could put the whole city on a turntable and rotate the holes around the poles each year.

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