The Charlotte News

Wednesday, November 17, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in Paris, the U.S., Britain, and France informed U.N. officials that they wanted the Berlin blockade dispute left in the hands of the Security Council as a threat to peace and did not wish to negotiate directly with the Russians as long as the blockade remained in effect.

Russia had replied the previous day to the Evatt-Lie proposal for direct four-power negotiations to resolve the crisis by saying that they wanted both the Berlin and German questions discussed together before the four-power Foreign Ministers Council.

Secretary of Defense James Forrestal was flying to Key West to meet with the President, stirring speculation that his departure from the post would soon be announced. Mr. Forrestal had told a press conference in Paris recently that he did not expect to serve out another four years as Defense Secretary.

Secretary of State Marshall was returning from Paris for a meeting with the President at the White House the following Monday. Warren Austin, chief delegate for the U.S. to the U.N., had also flown back to the country for a check-up at Walter Reed Army Hospital. Dr. Philip Jessup would be the U.S. representative remaining on the Security Council until the meeting in Paris adjourned, expected to occur December 11.

Undersecretary of State Robert Lovett said that the President had received a letter from Chinese Nationalist leader Chiang Kai-Shek, appealing for a statement of support in the war against the Communist Chinese.

Henry Ford II told a press conference that another round of wage increases was inevitable, which would trigger a concomitant rise in prices. He said that price control would wreck the nation. He also supported all of Taft-Hartley. He said that it would be another 18 months before consumers could go directly to the dealership and take delivery immediately on a new automobile. Pent-up demand from the war years remained ahead of production. He also said the company did not sanction unscrupulous dealer practices, being investigated by Congress, and that Ford had fired 23 dealers for black market activities.

AFL voted a $5,000 salary increase for president William Green and secretary-treasurer George Meany, making their salaries $25,000 and $23,000, respectively. Philip Murray, president of CIO, received the same top salary.

In Louisville, Ky., a 16-year old bridegroom married the previous Saturday to a 14-year old bride, was now out of a job with the railroad which had employed him as a laborer. He was fired because of his age, which became known amid the publicity surrounding the wedding. He had stated his age as 17.

The chairman of the Mecklenburg County Board of Elections had proposed eliminating Charlotte's ward lines as outmoded and numbering individual precincts, facilitating the designation process.

Martha Azer London of The News again reports on the Christmas Festival activities of this date, with actress Adele Mara on hand along with Western movie star and singer Tex Ritter, to be honorary parade marshal riding his celebrated horse, White Flash. There would be scores of giant balloons along with Santa Claus, coming into the city by aeroplane.

What's wrong with the sleigh?

Good weather in Charlotte was predicted for the Festival. Don't forget to attend the parade at 6:00 p.m. The order of the parade is provided, including the "Big head balloon" and "Late No. D", both of which appear as mystery exhibits which you will not want to miss. There are also balloons representing an apple on a stick and a penguin.

That is because Charlotte has always been known as the Candy Apple with a Big Penguin.

On the editorial page, "Carolina Christmas Festival" tells of 200,000 people having attended the Festival the previous year and a similar crowd being expected for the afternoon festivities this year. The piece looks forward to the good show, as it had been the previous year.

We still say that it's too early for a Christmas Festival. At least wait until after Thanksgiving. What's your rush? If you spend half of November anticipating Christmas, by Christmas, it's such old hat as to be too familiar, withdrawing from the spirit of the occasion.

But, one has to please the merchants, sponsors of the event, we suppose.

"A Job for the SBI" favors putting the State Bureau of Investigation on the case of the alleged beating while in custody of the young man accused of killing one police officer and wounding another plus two bystanders in a standoff at his parents' home in Gastonia a week earlier, involving a shootout with 50 police officers. He had been photographed by the Gastonia Gazette with a bruised and puffy face a couple hours after his arrest, while being described by reporters at the scene as having only slight cuts from flying glass when he was initially taken into custody. The Gazette called for a full investigation and reported that others over time had conveyed information regarding alleged beating of prisoners by the Gastonia police. The persons making the reports were in many cases highly reputable citizens.

The police chief had responded to News questions by saying that if a reputable person stepped forward with information on an alleged beating, then he would investigate, but saw no reason to do so on the word of the defendant. If the Gastonia Police Department was not going to conduct an investigation, then the SBI ought to do so as such police conduct, no matter the charges against an individual, was intolerable.

"Understanding and Tolerance" tells of prejudice having run high in the country in 1928, depriving New York Governor Al Smith of the presidency because of his Catholicism.

That same year, in response, the National Conference of Christians and Jews was formed, with Charles Evans Hughes and Dr. S. Parks Cadman as leaders. The organization sought to teach that religious hate and prejudice was baseless, that adherents to all faiths were alike.

The following day in Greensboro, the workers of the Conference in North Carolina would meet for an anniversary dinner. The regional chairman was Frank Porter Graham, president of UNC, and members included Senator-elect J. Melville Broughton and Raleigh News & Observer Editor Jonathan Daniels.

The piece provides praise to the organization for its much needed work, both at the state level and nationally.

A piece from the Raleigh News & Observer, titled "Starting Early", tells of Governor-elect Kerr Scott having directed the State Highway Commission to make immediate estimates for paving 12,000 miles of roads and treating 36,000 more miles within four years. The people, it says, would approve the celerity at which he was moving on down the road in fulfilling his campaign promise.

Drew Pearson tells of Senator-elect Margaret Chase Smith of Maine being cuittled by Old Guard Republicans to leave her seat before she took the oath of office. They first sought prior to the election to get her to accept a cabinet post in a Dewey administration, which she had declined. Then they sought to have her back a Federal appointment for her opponent in the primaries, GOP Governor Horace Hildreth, at which point, they assured her, Senator Wallace White of Maine, retiring, would retire before January, enabling Governor Hildreth to appoint Ms. Smith to the seat and thereby achieve seniority rights. She refused that deal also.

Grand Dragon Samuel Green of Atlanta continued to be concerned about leaks to Mr. Pearson from the secret meetings of the Klan. He had tried to catch the leaker by telling select suspects particular information in the hope that it might reach print in the column, but the strategy had failed. One Klansman at the recent Klavern meeting was upset about the column suggesting that former Governor of Georgia Ellis Arnall, a bitter enemy of the Klan, might become Secretary of the Army in the new Truman Administration.

Dr. Green, a dentist, spoke of plans for a cross-burning in Macon on December 10, planned as the largest such cross-burning in Klan history. He expected 10,000 Klansmen to attend. He read a letter from a black woman asking the Klan to run another black woman out of town, eliciting laughter through the Klavern. He also said that the Kavalier Klub, the whipping and flogging unit of the Klan, had a lot of friends in the Atlanta Police Department.

The steel industry, having been relieved by the Congress of the threat of enforced allocation and placed on a voluntary allocation basis, had nevertheless rudely thumbed its nose at the Government, when the Commerce Department sought more steel for oil barges, storage tanks and pipelines, actually laughing in the face of a Commerce Department official.

GOP Senator Kenneth Wherry of Nebraska, vehemently opposed to controls, had sought allocation of more steel to small business but had also been rudely rebuffed. Thus angered, he warned the steel industry that if they did not play ball on the voluntary basis, then mandatory controls could be implemented by the next Congress.

Marquis Childs discusses the Senate returnees of the GOP in the 81st Congress, not part of the Old Guard, per se, but standing for the same values, having been elected in 1944 or 1946, the latter during the Republican sweep of the Congress. They had voted for the lobbying interests and not for the people of their states, especially in the West. They included Senators Harry Cain of Washington, Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin, both of whom voted with the housing lobby, George Malone of Nevada, isolationist on foreign policy and reactionary on domestic policy, James Kem of Missouri, Zales Ecton of Montana, William Jenner of Indiana, and Arthur Watkins of Utah.

These men took the GOP mandate of 1946 to favor carrying the country back to the turn of the century when William McKinley was President and protectionism and isolationism were the orders of the day. The mandate obviously had been misinterpreted.

One progressive GOP Senator who was defeated was John Sherman Cooper of Kentucky, losing to Virgil Chapman by a small margin.

The Dewey bandwagon had included such hangers-on as former Ambassador to Russia and France William Bullitt and former Secretary of Commerce Jesse Jones, determined to avenge the past.

Most of the Republican Senators who were elected in 1946 would have been defeated in 1948, he finds, had they been up for re-election. Republican progressives, such as Senator George Aiken of Vermont, had stated their intent to carry the party forward with new leadership. Whether there would be a drag on that effort by the reactionary new blood was yet to be determined. Perhaps, he posits, the Senators could read the election returns and adjust their conduct accordingly.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop discuss the need for new taxes, at least five billion dollars worth, in the new year to counterbalance the five billion dollar tax cut of the Republican Congress, vetoed by the President, which had left the Government 1.5 billion dollars in the red.

There would be at least a billion added to the defense budget, an additional half billion to the Marshall Plan, a billion in rearmament costs for Europe in the first year, and aid to China. Domestically, the farm price support program would need to be re-funded and the President was pressing for expansion of Social Security, public housing, aid to education, and national health insurance, all of which would add to the budget well over another half billion dollars.

The best source of tax revenue would be the corporations. One school of economic thought favored a peacetime excess profits tax, which would, however, tend to harm small business. The other school favored a rise in corporate income taxes, but that would tend to fuel inflation by causing a rise in prices to compensate for cuts in profits.

They note that the same scenario would have been true of a Dewey administration. If he had any different idea about how to balance the budget than by raising taxes, he had never revealed it during the campaign.

The editorial is continued on the next page but may be read in full here.

Sumner Welles, former Undersecretary of State until August, 1943, tells of a pall of fear having been cast over Western Europe by the American and British policy favoring immediate establishment of an autonomous West Germany. The fear was that a centralized Germany would again be able to build itself into a warring power. The French rejected the Anglo-American plan for restoring to Germany the Ruhr industrial region, favored instead the plan for an international authority over the region.

Such fear existed also in the Low Countries, in Scandinavia, in Poland and Czechoslovakia. They feared especially that the Germans would join with the Russians one day to conquer all of Europe. Just when the policy of the West was being directed at European unity, this policy of restoration of Germany was causing trepidation which threatened that cohesion.

At the Tehran Conference between FDR, Stalin and Churchill in November, 1943, it had been determined that after the war Germany would become a federation of autonomous states. Subsequent misunderstandings had voided that agreement. But the policy was still the only one which provided European neighbors security against future aggression by a renewed Germany.

Mr. Welles suggests that the time was ripe, after the President's re-election, for the Tehran agreement to be re-instituted. Only the pan-Germans and German militarists would benefit from the current conflict between Russia and the Western powers.

Another pome appears from the Atlanta Journal, this one "In Which Is Contained a Fairly Accurate Estimate of the Esteem in Which Fluttery Maidens Are Held by Bold He-Men:

"They don't care a loon
For women who swoon."

But such are goons,
Who want only big bassoons.

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