The Charlotte News

Monday, November 29, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that a proposal by the six "neutral" nations of the U.N. Security Council had been submitted to the Big Four powers for consideration in settling the Berlin crisis. The plan included appointment of an expert commission to study the Berlin currency issue, with the blockade lifted at the point where the Russian mark would become the sole currency of the city, as determined by that commission. November president of the Assembly, Foreign Minister Juan Bramuglia of Argentina, said that he believed, based on preliminary talks, all four powers would agree to the proposal.

Israel formally applied for membership to the U.N. The British, while not supportive, of the application, said that they would not block it.

The battle front in China appeared to be shifting from the Suchow area to a point nearer Nanking, the Government capital. Some 250,000 Nationalist troops had been ordered to withdraw from Suchow to protect Nanking. The Communist troops were concentrating in the areas of Suhsien and Pengpu, cities on rail lines leading to Nanking. Nationalist commanders were said to be reluctant, however, to obey the withdrawal orders, leaving behind tons of munitions and supplies. Failure to withdraw could mean that the Communists would be able to take smaller units of Nationalist troops one by one and then attack Suchow at will.

Senator Tom Connally of Texas expressed his personal belief that the Berlin blockade crisis would shortly end with lifting of the blockade. As chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he said that the Committee would take quick action in January on the proposed NATO pact, that no American troops would be sent to China, and that any agreement on currency control in Berlin would have to insure that no nation would be injured financially and provide for joint control.

Federal Security administrator Oscar Ewing had submitted a proposal for broadening of Social Security benefits, extending them to the military. The proposal, if passed, would cost as much as a billion dollars. An increase in regular benefits was also included in the proposal, as well as bringing 20 million new wage earners under the system, in addition to the 35 million already covered. The new groups included farm workers, domestic personnel, the self-employed, workers in hospitals and other institutions, as well as government workers.

One of the nation's largest Chevrolet dealers, located in the nation's capital, admitted this date to a Congressional subcommittee investigating dealer practices that his good friends and good customers received new cars more quickly than others. He denied that customers with trade-in vehicles received preference, but an investigator for the committee said that his studies of the figures of the dealer showed that customers without trade-ins had to wait an average of 14 months for delivery of their new car, whereas those with trade-ins waited only an average of 50 days.

Question is posed as to why Congressman Richard Nixon was not on this committee, given his abiding interest in used cars. Guess he was preoccupied with the pumpkin.

Heavy weekend rains had swollen Eastern North Carolina rivers, with the prospect of flooding from the Neuse, Roanoke, Cape Fear and Tar Rivers imminent. Road slides were reported in the Smokies near Newfound Gap.

Emery Wister of The News tells of a cold front out of the frozen North heading to the Carolinas to put an end to the four days of rain, which had made November the wettest on record at 8.35 inches, over three times the norm of 2.57 inches. Temperatures would drop into the low thirties.

Charlotte civic clubs were sponsoring an event at the Hotel Charlotte to honor local teachers, with invitations extended to 465 teachers in the Charlotte public school system.

The University of Texas accepted an invitation to the Orange Bowl to meet the University of Georgia, losers only to UNC during the season. Texas had not previously appeared in the Miami bowl, while Georgia had made one appearance. As explained on Saturday, North Carolina had also received an invitation to the Orange Bowl, which presumably would have been accepted had the Tar Heels lost to Virginia the previous Saturday. As winners, they were headed to the Sugar Bowl to do battle with Oklahoma. In the final Associated Press poll of the regular season, UNC was ranked number 3 in the country and Oklahoma, number 5. Michigan and Notre Dame were numbers 1 and 2, respectively.

On pages 10-B and 11-B, you can find the Christmas Gift Directory to enable you to budget your Christmas gifts, to buy more with less.

On the editorial page, "Balancing Two Points of View" tells of Dr. W. H. Plemmons, executive secretary of the North Carolina Education Commission, in an article in Popular Government, finding the great shortage in the state to be an educated citizenry, not natural resources, scientific knowledge, bank deposits, or social and economic mechanisms. He concluded that more money in the banks should be given to education, to enable social and economic progress.

The executive vice-president of Wachovia Bank had stated at a regional conference at N.C. State that more manufacturing plants for locally produced raw materials should be established in the state, to maintain the bank of personnel being educated in the state.

The piece agrees that in-state jobs were necessary, no matter how good the level of education would become. It suggests listening to both points of views and settling on a reasonable compromise between them.

"The Elusive Mr. Scott" informs of the rumors which had begun to circulate anent the mysterious disappearance of Governor-elect Kerr Scott since the day after the election. Even his own family reportedly did not know where he was.

The Raleigh News & Observer posited that he might have gone to a hospital, confirming a rumor that he suffered from some health problem.

A radio station disc jockey had said that he knew where Mr. Scott was but would not reveal the secret.

Finally, Mr. Scott's secretary had said that he was on vacation, causing the rumors quickly to dissipate.

A similar episode had occurred during the 1941-45 gubernatorial term of Senator-elect J. Melville Broughton, when he was described as absent without knowledge of whereabouts, until his secretary revealed that he was on a hunting trip in the eastern part of the state.

The piece concludes that it was a tempest in a teapot, that the desire of the Governor-elect for privacy was his own business, as was his failure to sit in on the Advisory Budget Commission meeting. Some had posited that the latter absence might have been the result of his desire not to be tied down by several controversial issues which the Commission had to determine. It finds that he had no responsibility to the Commission aside from telling them that he would not attend.

"Horsing Around in the Horseshoe" tells of Metropolitan Opera major-domo Edward Johnson calling for propriety in the coming opera season, eliminating the more undignified photographs of patrons as a means to attract publicity. He had thus asked news photographers to ignore such poses of the poseurs.

But the piece pooh-poohs the notion with the realization that no one who really appreciated opera music went near the Met, instead stayed home by the radio and listened to the performances broadcast each Saturday. New York society entrants, it suggests, would not know the difference between "Tannhauser" and "Lavendar Blue, Dilly Dilly", but attended nevertheless to be seen. Thus, the undignified posing to attract the photographers.

It concludes that if the real aficionados had to put up with these shenanigans so that there would be sufficient patronage to put on the music, then so be it.

Drew Pearson tells of Senator-elect Robert Kerr of Oklahoma ribbing the President regarding the election results, telling him that the margin in Oklahoma had been greater than in Missouri and that they had left no Republican Congressman standing, whereas in Missouri, there was still one in the delegation. The President rejoined that Missourians only needed time.

Mr. Pearson notes that the remaining GOP Congressman in Missouri was Dewey Short.

Former Congressman Roger Slaughter of Missouri, whom the President had targeted successfully through the Pendergast machine in 1946 in the Democratic primary, was now under indictment for not registering as a lobbyist. His defense was that he was hired as a lawyer and that part of his duties to his client was lobbying, prohibiting registration because of client confidentiality. If successful, all lawyers could circumvent the registration requirements for lobbyists.

Mr. Pearson notes that while in Congress, Mr. Slaughter was primarily responsible for the legislation eventually passed in the 80th Congress banning the Government from renting more grain storage space, preventing support payments, forcing farmers to sell at below support levels.

New York attorney Morris Ernst had advised the House Small Business Committee to break up the big monopolies, but also warned against Government becoming too big and thus inefficient. He believed that the mandate of the Commerce Department should be revised to accommodate small business rather than the 400 largest which controlled half the resources in the country. He warned that monopolies were ultimately bad for business as profits dropped below even first year earnings for the constituent businesses conjoined, as in the case of Big Steel since 1935. While the initial effect on consumers was positive, as combines sold their products more cheaply at first, when they gained control of the market, prices would rise, with the result that the consumer finally would pay more.

DeWitt MacKenzie discusses the quandary of the Administration and Congress regarding whether the country could or should try to afford to provide further aid to the faltering Nationalist regime of Chiang Kai-Shek in China. He analogizes Nationalist China to a bucket with a big hole in the bottom.

The Chinese had begun to blame America for its own failings by claiming that if only more aid had been given them, they could have resisted the Communists in the North. Mr. MacKenzie chastises that sort of rationalization.

But Washington could not overlook the prospect of a Communist China, leading potentially to Communist domination in the Far East. Yet, America had a solid base in the Western Pacific in Japan with which to resist such domination. While loss of China would create a Communist threat to Japan, the U.S. military occupation could build up an adequate fortress against it.

He concludes that reasonable aid to China would likely be forthcoming but that the Chinese would have to work things out largely for themselves. And it was not yet determined what "reasonable" aid would be.

Marquis Childs looks at the future of television, whether it was merely a complex toy or the revolution in entertainment which it was being proclaimed. It had potential, but so had radio, too often being reduced to the banalities of audience cues to strident laughter for the redundant joke which had not been very funny the first time around.

You mean you noticed that, too, way back in 1948?

His family had just obtained a new set and he reports that it was radio with pictures to a great degree, with the newsreels sometimes showing events of the same day. But the imagination necessary to take advantage of the new medium had not yet appeared.

Sad news: with a few exceptions here and there, you will have a long wait. We're still waiting, in fact.

Recently, he had met a couple who were new television fans, originally conceiving that they could get reception from 100 miles away from Philadelphia, despite being told by the salesman that the maximum distance for reception was 25 to 30 miles. Installed in May, their set had received clear reception from one Philadelphia station and varying reception from two others.

We think that we know those—the snow channels.

They had even been able to pick up a station in Baltimore 200 miles away. They enjoyed the fare, especially "Author Meets the Critics" and a popular science program out of Philadelphia.

They followed most of the televised sporting events save wrestling, which they found boring.

That's the best there is in all of television.

They had only been to the movies twice in the seven months since getting the new set. The norm would have been 21 times in that period. They also had lost interest in radio programs.

Television sets, based on their positive experience, were now selling well in their town.

He finds television to be a "squawling infant" but on the scene to stay. The public had the power to shape it for good or evil, based on its likes and dislikes expressed. Passive acceptance, he offers, however, would not be enough.


Joseph & Stewart Alsop tell of organized labor wanting the Democrats to be a labor party, based on the victory which it had delivered for the President and the Democrats in Congress.

But the Cabinet changes which labor had anticipated had not materialized. The President planned to retain conservative Treasury Secretary John W. Snyder, displeasing to labor groups.

In Congress, labor reposited confidence primarily in the new members, such as Senators-elect Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota and Paul Douglas of Illinois. But much of the power resided with older conservatives, as Walter George of Georgia, to chair the Senate Finance Committee, and Robert Doughton of North Carolina, to return as chair of the House Ways & Means Committee.

Ways & Means appointed members of other committees, especially the Rules Committee, and Ways & Means traditionally, when Democratically controlled, would be conservative and Southern. But Northern liberals were planning to insist on greater representation on Ways & Means and might attempt to separate the appointment of other committees from Ways & Means, and create a committee to appoint committees, disregarding seniority in the appointment process.

The Rules Committee could stop legislation from reaching the floor and an alliance of Republicans and three Southern Democrats could accomplish this fact. The Northern liberals were determined not to allow that to happen. Change could be effected by no longer allowing the Rules Committee to stop legislation or by a purge of Southern conservative Democrats, a tactic favored by labor and liberal groups. Such a purge would include all Dixiecrats, as Senator James Eastland of Mississippi, Representatives Ed Cox of Georgia, John Rankin of Mississippi, and others of their political stripe.

The key figures in this fight would be Vice-President-elect Alben Barkley and House Speaker Sam Rayburn. They would initially be conciliatory, without conducting purges, but Northern pressure would be brought to bear, orchestrated by Mr. Rayburn, to keep the Southerners in line.

While there might be a short honeymoon, once civil rights legislation was on the table, there would likely ensue a battle which could permanently split the Democrats, with the result that the nominal party would become one exclusively of liberals and labor.

A letter from the secretary of the South Florida Brahman Breeders, Inc., from Bradenton, Fla., thanks a reader from Columbia, S.C., who had sent an article from the November 16 issue of the newspaper, showing that the Brahman bull was at home in the forests of southeastern North Carolina. He was glad to see it. They were good old bulls.

A letter from the football coaches and principal of West Charlotte High School thanks the newspaper for its sponsorship of the second annual "Queen City Classic" to raise money for the West Charlotte and Second Ward High School athletic programs. Each school had received $1,800 from the proceeds of the game, enough, they indicate, for their athletic program to grow.

A pome appears from the Atlanta Journal, this one "reflecting attitude of some males as they view modern millinery:

"Guys who glimpse a gal's chapeaux
Sometimes want to hold their neaux."

But with all the buttons and beaux,
Something has to secret the cheveux.


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