The Charlotte News

Thursday, November 4, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the President would return to Washington the following day at 11:00 a.m., to ride in a parade down Constitution and Pennsylvania Avenues, festooned with flags for the triumphal procession to the White House. Government workers would be allowed to skip work for two hours to attend. Children would be excused from school if they brought notes.

You can bet your life that they would not have done that if Strom had won. Ain't that prejudice for you?

Congratulatory messages from all over the world were pouring in to the White House so fast that they could not keep track of them.

At Jefferson City, Mo., the President appeared before a cheering crowd from the back platform of his familiar campaign train.

Francis LeMay tells of the way being open, with the mandate given the President and his party, for renewal of the 21-point legislative program first put forth by the President on September 6, 1945 at the conclusion of the war, rejected almost entirely by both the 79th and the 80th Congresses. But now he had a greater majority in each house than even in the 79th Congress, the last elected with FDR, in 1944.

Mr. LeMay calls the social legislation package, which included civil rights, public housing, and health care, "Truman's Deal". It would be called instead the "Fair Deal", a phrase used by the President during the campaign and which he would incorporate in his January State of the Union message as the proper expectation from the Government of every citizen.

Senator Robert Taft shrugged off the election results with the comment that it was almost impossible to put out an administration in the midst of economic boom. Outgoing Speaker of the House Joe Martin commented that he looked forward to cooperating with the President and cheerfully accepted the will of the people.

The President was expected to stop in Wilmington, N.C., on Sunday morning to attend church while on his way to Key West, Fla., for a vacation. Rev. Charles Maddry of the First Baptist Church had wired the President, inviting him to attend, and the President had accepted.

Rep. Hugh Scott, chairman of the RNC, said that he was going on a vacation, but not a permanent vacation, the following day. He said he was echoing the sentiment of many Republican leaders who believed that the Republicans were down but not out.

Ovid A. Martin, farm reporter for the Associated Press, speculates that two actions of the 80th Congress appeared to stand out as reasons for the defeat of the Republicans: repeal of the Government's authority to provide emergency grain storage facilities to enable the Government to purchase over-produced grain at support prices, and the Senate's refusal to ratify the international wheat agreement, designed to provide growers an assured export market at favorable prices for the ensuing five years. The actions had caused farmers to doubt the Republicans' fealty. Also, Harold Stassen had during the campaign blamed the Truman Administration for high food costs, further irritating the farmers.

Before the election, Democratic leaders had noted a switch in the Midwestern farm belt from Mr. Dewey to the President, as farm prices had fallen below Government support levels without the benefit of Government support, because of the grain storage strictures passed by the Republican Congress.

In New York, Wall Street rebounded somewhat from the election news which had caused a temporary downturn in major stock prices. Key stocks advanced a few cents to $2 per share. Prices, however, remained below those of Monday.

In Paris, the U.N. General Assembly rejected by a vote of 48 to 6 the Russian proposal for atomic control, that is destruction of all atomic bombs first and then creation of an international control body. Russia rejected the Western proposal for control, that international inspectors be established under U.N. supervision and all atomic power turned over to the U.N., only then followed by destruction of existing arsenals. Soviet delegate Andrei Vishinsky charged that the U.S. did not truly want international control but was participating in a "cunning maneuver" to wreck the plan for control.

The Baruch plan for international control, approved by a majority of the 58-member political committee, was shortly to go before the General Assembly for a vote.

Also in Paris, the United States asked the U.N. Security Council to delete references to sanctions in the British-Chinese proposal for resolving the war in Palestine. Initially, it was announced that the U.S. would back the proposal, but the President had intervened to change the position because he believed the proposed diplomatic and economic sanctions were too heavily weighted against Israel. The U.S. would otherwise support the proposal, calling for both the Egyptians and the Israelis to retreat to the positions they had before fighting began for a week in the Negev desert area on October 14. It would mean a Jewish retreat and an Egyptian advance. The Russians opposed both the resolution and the U.S. amendment.

In the Azores, a B-29 crashed on takeoff from Lagens Field, killing 18 of 20 persons aboard. The plane was one of twenty returning from London to the U.S. The cause of the accident had not been determined.

In New Hanover County, N.C., voters approved betting on horse races, opening the way for establishment of a million dollar track in Wilmington. The campaign for the approval had been ongoing for 16 years.

They are still waiting.

In Conover, N.C., a gunman in overalls robbed a bank and adjoining Duke Power office of $1,000 this date. No one was injured. He escaped in an automobile. Be on the lookout for a man in overalls in a car.

Martha Azer London of The News reports of a visit to Charlotte by Congressman Fred Hartley of New Jersey, co-sponsor of the Taft-Hartley legislation. Mr. Hartley, who had chosen to retire from Congress, said that he believed there would be no repeal of Taft-Hartley in the 81st Congress.

He complained that Thomas Dewey had not as vigorously defended the law as the President had attacked it during the campaign. He said that Mr. Dewey had not conducted an adequate campaign generally, but that his advisers deserved a lot of the blame.

He saw no significant opposition to the Fair Employment Practices Commission other than among Southern Democrats, and believed that it would therefore become law by the following February.

On page 10-A, Hal Boyle tells of the initial expectant jubilation at Republican headquarters in New York on Tuesday night, awaiting the election results, having turned first to surprise, then doubt, then disbelief, and finally to "stunned fear and panic".

"As Truman bobbed up like a cork, the Republicans began to drift home, disillusioned. 'And I waited for this night 16 years,' said one old man sadly, as he departed."

On the editorial page, "Beyond a Famous Victory" finds the Truman surprise victory to be the result of an admirable show of pluck during the campaign by the President, who had seemed bound to lose on every estimate, including that of his own party, prior to the vote. Even the Southerners who had bucked the party over civil rights could not help but admire the way he had come from behind to win and win handily, carrying the Congress with him.

But his battle had just begun. He would need to attract a new top-notch Secretary of State to replace Secretary Marshall who was resigning. Secretary of Defense Forrestal, another first-rate Cabinet member, was also reported to be leaving.

Economically, the country, while prosperous, feared a downturn in prices and consequent layoffs, a bust. Support by labor rather than industry would not greatly aid the President, as industry's goal was to produce to make profit whereas labor wanted higher wages for less work.

The Congress, though nominally of the President's party, would still be at odds, insofar as the Southerners, with many of his programs, civil rights, public housing, and price controls.

There would, however, be areas of cooperation, continuity of foreign policy and the Marshall Plan, extended renewal of the reciprocal trade agreements without the temporal limitations placed on them by the 80th Congress.

Plus, Russia could read the returns and realize how little stock Americans placed in the Communist line which had led Henry Wallace and the Progressives.

It concludes that it was a time for leadership and cooperation. It was the newspaper's hope, though not its expectation, that the country might enjoy both.

"Where's Elmo? Where's George?" asks where the red-faced pollsters, Messrs. Roper and Gallup, had gotten to, along with the Chicago Tribune, which probably was not red-faced, though it ought be.

It suggests that it was perhaps best that they had been "caught with their points down", as the polls had been regarded as sacrosanct, as reliable as the thermometer, taking all the mystery out of the elections. It was no fun to enter the theater at the end of the show.

Whether or not the damage to the pollsters' reputations was permanent remained to be seen, but polls cost money and at present, following this debacle, not many people were hiring.

"A Principle Pays Off" remarks on State Senator Joe Blythe of Charlotte having become DNC treasurer at a time when few Democrats, especially Southern Democrats, placed any stock in President Truman. He had remained loyal nevertheless and done an excellent job in the role, even while disagreeing with the President's stand on civil rights. His excellent fund-raising organization which paid for the President's cross-country tours and radio spots had greatly helped to win the day and should assure Mr. Blythe, it predicts, a high level place in the Administration should he desire it.

"Heaps of Fun, Little Damage" applauds the community effort, led by the Parks and Recreation Commission, the Police Department, the Department of Sanitation in sweeping up leaves, churches, schools and civic organizations, plus parents, in providing for a safe Halloween with minimal vandalism.

No one had even stolen the handle this year or let the little fishes drown—even if that was not on Halloween.

Sumner Welles, former Undersecretary of State until August, 1943, remarks on the third anniversary of the U.N., facing a stern test in trying to resolve the Berlin crisis and atomic control against Soviet resistance. Herbert Evatt of Australia deserved much credit for coordinating the smaller nations since the Charter Conference in San Francisco in the spring of 1945.

Mr. Evatt had recently made a speech to the Assembly which had celebrated the strengths of the organization rather than its presumed failings. It had preserved peace in Iran, in Indonesia, and between Pakistan and Kashmir, while limiting the fighting in Palestine.

Moreover, Russian recalcitrance was not entirely to blame for the failures. Vacillation of American foreign policy had not helped in some instances, as when the President changed Palestine policy four times since the partition plan had been passed the previous November, originally put forward by the U.S. The Administration had ignored the U.N. when it sought more aid for Greece and Turkey. The President's recent proposal, quickly withdrawn, to send Chief Justice Vinson to Moscow for bilateral negotiations with Premier Stalin would have undermined the U.N. efforts to resolve the Berlin crisis and effect control of atomic power.

The Truman Administration had gone along with the U.N. when it benefited American interests but had balked when it was not expedient to do so. The national policy needed consistently to back U.N. efforts for the organization to have a chance to succeed.

James Marlow—substituting for Drew Pearson, whose column, again assuming a Dewey victory, had to be scrapped—discusses the fact that in all recent elections only a small minority of the people, about 30 percent of the eligible electorate in each of the elections of Warren G. Harding in 1920, FDR in 1932 and 1944, and now Harry Truman in 1948, had actually voted for the President.

Some of the reasons included simple apathy or inability to get to the polls. In other cases, Southern blacks had been barred in the past from voting and Southern whites often found it unnecessary and superfluous to cast ballots as the state offices were shoo-ins for the Democrats in the general election.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop, from "Flying Dual Control", announce summarily, through their syndicate manager on the New York Herald Tribune, the killing of their column this date for the fact that they "prefer their crow fricaseed".

We agree. They muffed it, and for weeks on end.

But so had Marquis Childs and Drew Pearson.

DeWitt MacKenzie discusses the victory of the Communist Chinese in Mukden, effectively taking all of Manchuria, and its implications. He calls "buncombe" the notion that the Red Chinese were simple agrarians fighting for land reform, apart from the Russians. He cites the recent article indited by Communist leader Mao Tze Tung for the Cominform, successor to the disbanded Comintern, in which Mao boasted of Communist control of a quarter of the land mass of China and 35 percent, 160 million, of the nation's population.

The Government of Chiang Kai-Shek, economically, militarily, and politically, was dead. The U.S. could not save it for the vastness of the aid requisite for such a huge country.

But, Mr. MacKenzie posits, the U.S. ought consider it a responsibility to aid in the defeat of Communism generally, even if the Chiang Government was not a democracy, was reputedly corrupt and inefficient. He ventures that some moderate level of aid, in between complete abandonment and a full-scale program, not affordable with the Marshall Plan, would appear reasonable.

Alexander George comments on the five-term reign in prospect for the Democratic Party, surpassing the two streaks of the Republicans from 1869 to 1885 and again from 1897 to 1913. Only the Republican-Democrats of Thomas Jefferson had surpassed the Democratic 20-year continuous term in the White House, with two administrations each for Mr. Jefferson, James Madison and James Monroe, before John Quincy Adams won a House victory over Andrew Jackson in 1824, the first Federalist President since his father had left office in 1801.

FDR's record four elected terms might stand, he says, for a long time as the country had determined in 21 states already to ratify the new term-limits amendment, limiting any individual in a lifetime to two four-year terms in the presidency or vice-presidency. Only 15 more states needed to approve the amendment for its final ratification.

Ah, but President Truman could still be in office, even with the amendment, in 1960 or even through his death in 1972.

In 1937, the Democrats had a record majority in both houses of Congress: in the Senate, 75 to 17, with four independents; in the House, 333 to 89, with 13 independents. In 1936, FDR had won 46 of 48 states against Alf Landon.

FDR had also appointed nine justices to eight seats on the Supreme Court. (Mr. George's numeration of only seven is in error, viz., Justices Black, Frankfurter, Douglas, Jackson, Murphy, Byrnes, elevation to Chief of Justice Harlan Stone, Reed, and Rutledge.) With the resignation of Justice Owen Roberts in 1945 and the appointment of Republican Senator Harold Burton by President Truman, and the death in April, 1946 of Chief Justice Stone and the appointment of Fred Vinson in his stead, the entire Court was now the product of the Roosevelt-Truman Administration—not accomplished since the first Court of six members appointed by President Washington.

He briefly recaps the highlights of the 12 years of FDR's Administrations, and the feuds with Congress and the Southern Democrats which had beset and characterized the first 43 months of the Truman Administration. President Truman had been at the height of his popularity at war's end in 1945, but the appearance of cronyism and ineptitude, in combination with the feuding, starting with his own Cabinet, between Henry Wallace and James Byrnes, and with Harold Ickes over the appointment, withdrawn, of former DNC treasurer Ed Pauley as Undersecretary of the Navy, had eroded his popularity to the point where his re-election had seemed an impossibility—until the ballots were counted.

From the Thomaston (Ga.) Times comes this little rhyme to remember from a sign on the back of a tractor-trailer rig:

"Left—Passing side.

You dig?

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