The Charlotte News

Thursday, November 18, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the Nationalists in China were reporting that the Battle for Suchow was over and that they had won, routing the Red Chinese, inflicting 130,000 casualties and forcing the Communist troops to flee. The military spokesman said that the Nationalist troops had incurred 40,000 casualties.

Foreign observers placed the actual situation as being in between the Government's official claim of victory and the Communists' claim of holding their initiative. The most optimistic claims had it that the victory bolstered the once waning fortunes of Chiang Kai-Shek.

A Marine contingent of 1,250 rushed from Guam to Tsingtao, 225 miles northeast of Suchow, to bolster the complement of 3,600 Marines already present. Reports were that a Communist truck column was moving toward Tsingtao from Tsinan.

In Port Said, Egypt, Egyptian authorities said that they were unloading and confiscating the cargo of an American ship, the Flying Trader, because it was bound for Israel. The ship's manifest said that the cargo was bound for Genoa, Italy. The State Department asked its Ambassador to Egypt to do everything he could to clear up the case quickly.

The President designated John Foster Dulles as the acting chairman of the U.S. delegation to the U.N. meeting in Paris, in the absence of Secretary of State Marshall, meeting with the President in Washington on the following Monday. Another future Secretary of State, then State Department official Dean Rusk, would act as alternate delegate for Ben Cohen, former counsellor for the State Department, who was designated the chief delegate during the illness of Warren Austin, who had returned to Washington for treatment.

And Secretary of Defense James Forrestal was not meeting with the President in Key West to discuss preservation of the "vicarious" peace. He may have been, however, meeting with him there to discuss the precarious peace. That's, perhaps, what happens when you are sending a story via telephone while possessed of the hiccoughs. It could, of course, have been the hilarious peace which they were trying to preserve from the celerious approach of barbarous bellicosity, but we may never know the facts.

Fiscally conservative Representative Harold Knutson of Minnesota, author of the vetoed tax bill which became effective in 1948, cutting taxes, advocated boosting corporate income taxes by four percent because corporations were making too much money. The current rate of taxation was 38 percent on taxable income above $50,000. He disfavored the President's plan of an excess profits tax for its discrimination against small corporations. Mr. Knutson, who had been chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee in the 80th Congress, failed in his bid for re-election after 32 years in the Congress.

A heavy ground blizzard had started in eastern Colorado the previous night, moving slowly into western Kansas and western Nebraska, with winds up to 40 to 50 mph. Five inches of snow fell in eastern Colorado.

Snow squalls pinned 25 hunters in the Idaho wilderness, forcing them to live off the meat of the animals they had killed. That's what you get for killing Bambi.

All Western Union lines were down in Goodland, Kansas, where four inches fell.

In Hollywood, Academy Award winning actress Jennifer Jones was scheduled to undergo an appendectomy after an acute attack of migraine the previous day.

In Raleigh, three armed, masked robbers held up 25 persons in a gin rummy game at a smoke shop the previous night and made off with $9,500 to $12,500, including jewelry and $7,000 to $10,000 in cash.

One of the robbers, the police captain imparted, loosened the trousers of the victims and dropped them down to their ankles while another guarded the door and the third man kept his gun on the victims. There is no indication what happened with the poor fellows with their trousers down, but apparently it wasn't their day.

Martha Azer London of The News tells of the success the previous day and evening of the second annual Christmas Festival in Charlotte, including 25 glamorous Cover Girls and actress Adele Mara and Western star Tex Ritter riding White Flash, plus Santa Claus. One of the largest assemblages in state history had turned out to see the parade, including the penguin and orange lollipop balloons.

Sports editor Ray Howe of The News reports on the UNC-Duke football game of the following Saturday, to be one of the highlights of the Southern Conference season. We predict victory for the Tar Heels, probably by a score of about 20 to zip—which is better than 66 to 31.

On the editorial page, "Two Competing Taxing Systems" asserts that the Charlotte Merchants Association deserved a hearing on its petition for State tax relief, to allow a State deduction for taxes paid to the Federal Government on income taxed also by the State. The State claimed that its taxes would have to be increased to allow for such a sizable deduction. While a sound argument, it begged the question of what was a fair and equitable system of State taxation.

It was to be hoped that there would be reduction of State tax rates to attract corporations to the state.

That is, if you want corporations to run the State, bribing all the pols...

"Load Is Too Much for U.N." discusses the Evatt-Lie proposal of the U.N. to have the four powers negotiate directly among themselves to end the Berlin blockade crisis, rejected by the West as long as the blockade persisted, and partially by Russia in favor of having the matter, along with the German question generally, before the four-power Foreign Ministers Council. The baffling aspect of the U.S. rejection was that the Evatt-Lie proposal had paralleled the Truman proposal before the election to send Chief Justice Fred Vinson to Moscow as an emissary to meet with Stalin, a proposal immediately withdrawn, on advice of Secretary of State Marshall, for its appearance of circumvention of the U.N.

The U.N. appeared caught in the middle, helpless, with both sides unwilling to bend on the question, the Russians insisting that the blockade would remain until a settlement on Berlin and Germany were made, the West sensibly refusing to negotiate under such duress.

Meanwhile, however, military men were planning for war, while the ordinary people of the world hoped for peace to prevail.

It'll all be over soon. When the Rooskies get the bomb next year, you know what's gonna happen. Might as well live for today.

"What To Do About China?" does not envy the task of the President and Secretary Marshall, set to confer the following Monday on the international situation, including the civil war in China. It would be difficult to issue a policy statement supportive of the Chiang Government—repressive, inefficient, responsible for rampant inflation bringing much of the population to the brink of starvation—, as the Chiang Government was said to be seeking from the Administration.

Moreover, given the defeats by the Communists in Manchuria, the Associated Press reported, enough American arms had been turned over by Nationalist troops surrendering to the Communists to equip 39 divisions. Thus, giving more aid and arms to Chiang's troops would only appear to be aiding inevitably the Communists.

The Chiang Government was broken, with his ministers fleeing or preparing to join the Communists. Chiang, himself, was done as a leader in China. It was unlikely that the President or the people would accept an American expeditionary force being sent to China, a probable recommendation to be made by former Ambassador William Bullitt, returning from his special Congressional mission to examine China. Moreover, it was improbable that the Nationalists could be saved in any event.

Chinese Communists had, for all practical purposes, conquered China. Russia would then have won Asia while the U.S. haggled over Berlin. It was time for a decision by the U.S. But the question, concludes the piece, was what decision should be made.

Drew Pearson tells of distiller Lewis Rosentiel, head of Schenley's, having planned on having an "in" with the new Dewey administration, and to that end, having retained Dewey campaign manager Herbert Brownell as his attorney, as well as inviting Mr. Dewey's right-hand man, Paul Lockwood, on a yachting trip. The favors had not much return promised.

At least, the nod to Mr. Brownell might pay off in later years, as he would become Attorney General under President Eisenhower.

Several Cabinet members were set to resign, among them Secretary of Commerce Charles Sawyer, who, though wealthy, had given only $1,000 to the Truman campaign. Averell Harriman, roving Ambassador for the Marshall Plan, was said to covet the position of Secretary of State. If Attorney General Tom Clark would be elevated to the Supreme Court—as he would the following summer after the death of Justice Frank Murphy—, then the next Attorney General would be Clark Clifford or Alex Campbell—actually to be Senator J. Howard McGrath, DNC chairman. It was rumored that Mr. Clark would replace Justice Douglas on the Court, who would be elevated to Chief after the resignation of Chief Justice Vinson to become Secretary of State.

Vice-President-elect Alben Barkley had been a widower for many years and so, upon becoming Vice-President, question would arise as to who would be his official escort at formal dinners. He had said he would draft his daughter for the purpose. The once and future Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn was also single, married long before. Both men had been single so long that they were not averse to attending dinners alone.

The President's old boot-black friend from Kansas City, John Maragon, said to be responsible for the Truman Doctrine nod to Greece in 1947, was confident of his secure place with the re-election, was hiring a suite of offices in Washington for William Helis, New Orleans oil man, offices which Mr. Maragon would apparently run for him.

Marquis Childs tells of the battling Smith memoirs regarding the Battle for Tarawa during the war, the Marine Corps version having been written by Lt. General Holland Smith and the Army version by Maj. General Ralph Smith, the Marine version charging fault by the Army commanders and the Army version contending that there was no such fault.

The Marine Corps version required no advance approval by the Pentagon, as did the Army version by regulation. Secretary of Defense James Forrestal had considered a uniform rule for all three branches, with an eye toward eliminating friction between the three branches through censorship.

Sensational stories written by retired officers, as in the case of Holland Smith, were often mistaken by the public for official policy.

Several top officers had not yet published memoirs, such as General Omar Bradley and Admirals William Leahy and Ernest King.

One of the most interesting of the military or civilian memoirs was that of Harry Hopkins, written posthumously by playwright Robert Sherwood, a friend of Mr. Hopkins, a key adviser to FDR. Mr. Sherwood was remarkably fair in his judgments, not seeking, as many memoirs thus far had, to vilify every American involved in the conduct of the war.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop tell of the political sun setting on Senator Robert Taft, considered the epitome of Republicanism. But many now believed he might retire and not seek re-election in 1950, nor seek to become the GOP minority leader in the Senate in 1949.

His time as chairman of the GOP policy committee was coming to a close and he could not even sit on the committee again without a change of party rules.

Senator George Aiken would oppose Senator Taft for the leadership of the party, as would Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. of Massachusetts and William Knowland of California, either of the latter ideally suited to become minority leader. They reasoned that the election results had been a repudiation of Senator Taft's leadership. The moderate to progressive attitude was now the dominant force in the Republican Party. Many of the reactionary Senators, as Chapman Revercomb of West Virginia and Curley Brooks of Illinois, had been defeated, leaving the party about evenly divided between progressives and those of the older tradition.

If Senator Taft sought the leadership position, he would likely be defeated. If he stepped away, then the new breed of leadership would coalesce around Senator Arthur Vandenburg, succeeding Mr. Taft as chairman of the policy committee, and Senators Lodge or Knowland as minority leader.

Senator Taft had set out in 1938 to rebuild the Republican Party in the mold of its traditional roots, but the attempt had failed. The electorate appeared determined never again to support the Old Guard policies. Since he had little use for the progressive form of Republicanism, it would be logical for Mr. Taft to leave public life. If he did so, older Republicanism would lose its "last articulate, respectable and intellectually powerful advocate."

While the new Congress would have many holdovers of the old type, they would be behaving differently, as the move for new GOP leadership demonstrated.

A letter writer, resident of Connecticut for 30 years and of Charlotte for the previous 50 years, provides a copy of a letter he had sent to the editors of the Waterbury, Conn., American, in which he had suggested that misleading statements were made about the South, especially regarding race relations. He listed what he believed were positive advances in race relations in Charlotte.

He also reported that there were criminals within the black community, as in the North, and "brutal crimes committed against white girls and women which would stir the wrath of any man". But, he added, justice was meted out promptly and efficiently by the officers of the law, not by lynching.

He pointed out that Northern cities had their mob murders and strike violence. He suggested to New Yorkers that they read an article from the August Reader's Digest, titled "The Boy Gangs of Mousetown", a chronicle of life in Harlem, in need, he gleaned, of uplift.

"The colored know that their real friends are right here in the South."

So he advised his Northern friends to study their own needs of reform in the "dark places" and leave the South the hell alone to treat its darkies the way it damned well pleased.

Tempus fugit.

A Quote of the Day: "Somebody is always criticizing the Southern people for using the phrase, 'you all'. The critics forget that the immortal orator, Cicero, began many of his orations with the phrase, 'tuss omnia' —you all." —Grenada County (Miss.) Weekly

It seems to misunderstand the phrase as actually expressed. It is "y'all", not "you all", the equivalent, therefore, of t'omnia, probably not adopted by Cicero. To simplify the complexities, you can just say "you uns".

Framed Edition
[Return to Links
Page by Subject] [Return to Links-Page by Date] [Return to News<i><i><i>—</i></i></i>Framed Edition]
Links-Date Links-Subj.