The Charlotte News

Tuesday, November 9, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Israel asked the U.N. truce headquarters to investigate reports that British troops had entered Trans-Jordan and Palestine. The British War Office denied the claim. Israel charged also that Britain was rearming Iraq and Trans-Jordan, also denied by the British War Office.

Unofficial reports in Tel Aviv had it that the Egyptians were evacuating Gaza, given to the Arabs under partition.

In Paris, John Foster Dulles charged the Russians with conducting a filibuster at the U.N. to frustrate action on the Balkans issue with respect to aid to the Communist guerrillas in Greece.

Shanghai was facing its most critical food shortage in modern times, caused by economic restrictions, preventing food from coming from the interior, and consequent rampant inflation, all ongoing for 20 days. Chinese officials had said that they would either deliver rice or begin rationing it to ease the shortage, but no rice had been forthcoming.

In Berlin, the Russians had imposed new traffic controls by setting up six new major roadblocks at sector borders to prevent foodstuffs and other contraband from entering the city.

Democratic leaders were not in favor of Eleanor Roosevelt's proposal to oust the Dixiecrats from the Democratic Party for their lack of loyalty to the President during the campaign. Senator J. Howard McGrath, DNC chairman, said that it would be up to the Senate and House to determine who became committee chairmen.

Congressman John Rankin, singled out by the former First Lady for being a reactionary, said that he believed the country was better off hearing less from Eleanor Roosevelt. He was in line to head the Veterans Committee.

The AFL League for Political Education contended that Senator Homer Ferguson of the Senate Investigating Committee and Representatives J. Parnell Thomas, just indicted for fraud against the Government, and Alvin O'Konski of Wisconsin should not be seated in the new Congress without an investigation into their conduct. It wanted charges against Senator Ferguson, revealed by Drew Pearson, regarding favors given to the Senator, his family and friends by companies seeking Government contracts, to be investigated, and charges brought forth by the Madison Capital Times against Mr. O'Konski, that he juggled his Congressional payroll to pay for his newspaper, to be examined further.

Housing expediter Tighe Woods would ask the new Congress for tighter rent controls for another year.

In New York, two men were arrested and charged with grand theft for stealing $87 from an elderly woman on crutches. They had seen her limping along on a dark street in the city after one of her crutches had broken. They obtained two new crutches for her and she reached into her pocketbook to pay them a dollar, at which point they grabbed her purse and fled.

In Shelby, N.C., the trial proceeded of two men and a woman for the alleged murder of a 15-year old girl, an unwed mother who had been allegedly shot by her lover, one of the men, a crime to which his wife then confessed, recanted and then re-confessed. The crime took place between Cherryville and Kings Mountain on August 18. The prosecution sought a verdict for second degree murder or manslaughter against the two men and accepted a plea of no contest by the wife to manslaughter—whether voluntary or involuntary not being stated, but presumably voluntary, a killing committed in the throes of heat of passion, catching her husband in bed with the girl, in flagrante delicto, not merely a negligent homicide. But how that plea fit with continued prosecution of the husband and the other man defies understanding in any logical scenario, save as accessories after the fact or aiders and abettors. Or, under the time-honored rule of catch as catch can.

Tom Fesperman of The News describes the "yellow jacket" pill which the 21-year old man who had engaged in a shooting spree from his home in Gastonia on Sunday claimed to have ingested prior to the shootout with 50 policemen, in which four persons, including two police officers, were wounded. Doctors believed the "goof ball", as the accused had described it, contained some form of barbiturate. The man claimed to have been given the drug by his friend "Stick" after drinking a large amount of liquor. He then claimed not to recall anything after that point, which included the two and a half hour shootout.

Earl Wilson, Broadway columnist, tells of a showgirl, Jerry Stroupe, at the Old Romanian Restaurant in New York, whose grandmother was coming from her hometown of Morganton, N.C., for Christmas and would see her work for the first time. Her pictures had appeared in American Magazine and the Montgomery Ward catalogues. And she had appeared on television in a cigarette advertisement, being paid $20 for 30 minutes of work. Her interior decorator fiance was five feet, seven inches tall. Ms. Stroupe was five feet, eleven inches tall.

Wake Forest was again the team of the week in Southern Conference football among in-state teams, the Demon Deacons having defeated Duke 27 to 20 the previous Saturday, to compile a 5-2 record, having won three in a row. They would split their last two games and then lose the Dixie Bowl to Baylor.

You can read all about it on the sports page.

News readers found the new type faces being used for the newspaper since the previous day's edition to be easier to read.

Candidly, we cannot discern any difference whatsoever, despite reading the old Bodoni family type for the past 17 years. We think that it may just be a brainwashing scheme on the part of the Memphis Medium, Karnak, and those others to bump off the Bodonis and get control of the newspaper and thus the minds of all the readers.

On the editorial page, "Mental Health a Major Problem" tells of the two organizations most responsible for renewed interest in mental health, the National Committee for Mental Hygiene and the National Mental Health Foundation, having just concluded their annual meeting in New York.

These organizations needed public support from all the people to accomplish their work effectively. The National Foundation had called attention to the bad conditions in many of the country's mental facilities, indicating the need for more psychiatrists and nurses. More such personnel would mean the release of more patients from the mental hospitals after being cured.

The organizations had sought to relieve mental health issues from their traditional societal stigmatization. While they had not succeeded, as too many continued to frown on the mentally ill as "crazy" and hopeless, attitudes were improving.

The movie "The Snake Pit" and other such Hollywood fare had helped the process of educating the public to the realities of the insane asylum and those consigned to it. A rash of recent novels on psychiatry, even if many of them were bad, had at least drawn attention to the subject.

The "Truth or Consequences" radio quiz show had introduced a campaign to provide funds to the two mental health organizations.

FDR's social programs and the Government's emphasis on mental hospitals had greatly aided the cause. But the fight was not won. It urges giving money or placing pressure on the Legislature to enlarge the State's part in the fight, as well as personally to seek to destroy the old superstitions regarding the mentally ill.

We are glad to say that in 67 years, all mental health issues have been resolved in our society, obviously. Today, if you have an issue, why you just go down to the friendly gun dealer and purchase a handgun or assault weapon or both and start getting out your frustrations, then commit suicide. No more mental health problem.

And for those who fail in their suicide mission, the society most typically then simply accommodates the ultimate purpose of the subject of this obviously progressive mental health program...

"A Million-Dollar Crop" finds a brochure put together by State publicist Bill Sharpe identifying tourism as the second most important money "crop" in the state, surpassed only by tobacco. In 1947, the state had brought in 197 million dollars from tourism. Furniture, by comparison, had brought in 165 million.

The tourism business had increased four-fold in the previous decade, and expansion, according to Mr. Sharpe, was likely, given the state's attractive resorts, reasonably accessible to 60 percent of the nation's population.

It congratulates Mr. Sharpe for making this study and report.

"Education for All" tells of American Education Week being celebrated from November 7-13, during which educators hoped to cause Americans to reflect permanently on the necessity of a quality education for societal progress.

In Charlotte, fully 30 percent of those who entered high school did not graduate and in the county schools, the number rose to 40 percent. And it was not known how many students dropped out prior to high school.

There were several reasons for this high drop-out rate. One was that among the poor in the city and county, students often had to leave school to support themselves. Lack of educational funding also limited the quality of teachers and study equipment. Moreover, the importance of learning was often minimized in some homes, where the breadwinners boasted of making a good living without having finished school, passing that sentiment on to their children.

It posits that if this anti-education attitude could be lessened or eliminated, then the other two principal reasons for drop-outs would also dissipate.

The Education Commission report to Governor Gregg Cherry showed that the state was taking education seriously, and American Education week, it posits, was a good time to do something about it.

Drew Pearson provides a list of Congressmen who would never be missed, wisely selected out by the voters for defeat for being in the grip of the powerful lobbies.

They included: W. J. Miller of Connecticut, Forrest Harness of Indiana, Ways & Means Committee chairman Harold Knutson of Minnesota, Bud Gearhart of California, Charles Fletcher of California, Charles Kerutson of Wisconsin, Robert Rockwell of Colorado, HUAC member John McDowell of Pennsylvania, Richard Vail of Illinois, Fred Busbey of Illinois, John Riley of South Carolina, Horace Seely-Brown of Connecticut, Howard Buffett of Nebraska, Frank Sundstrom of New Jersey, Charles Clason of Massachusetts, Harold Youngblood of Michigan, and Max Schwabe of Missouri.

Delaware had selected a plain man, J. Allen Frear, Jr., milk and coal seller, to be their Senator. He defeated a son-in-law of the du Pont family, Senator C. Douglas Buck, who had been a friend of big business. Mr. Frear won despite Thomas Dewey carrying the state. He hoped to work for social security benefits for farmers, among other things.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop suggest that the second Truman Administration, seeking to have a second New Deal, would stand or fall on the subordinates hired. The foreign side of the equation was more important than the domestic side.

The days of Undersecretary of State Robert Lovett appeared numbered, as did those of Secretary of Defense James Forrestal. And even the standing of Secretary of State Marshall was now openly being called into question. Those disseminating such rumors from the White House were men as David Niles, who opposed the policies of the three, particularly on Palestine. While the rumors were thus suspect, it was clear that the triumvirate who had directed foreign policy effectively was about to be dissolved.

Both Secretary Marshall and Undersecretary Lovett had intended for some time to resign by January 20, 1949. Chief Justice Fred Vinson, Averell Harriman, Dean Acheson, Will Clayton and former Undersecretary of State Sumner Welles were most often mentioned as replacements for Secretary Marshall. The insiders were betting on Chief Justice Vinson if he would agree to leave the Supreme Court. The nod would go to Dean Acheson.

The new Secretary of Defense would likely be either former Secretary of War Henry Woodring, former Assistant Secretary of War Louis Johnson, Governor Mon Wallgren of Washington, or military branch Secretaries Kenneth Royall, Stuart Symington, or John Sullivan. Mr. Johnson would be selected.

They opine that the men in line for State were able, but many of those being suggested for Defense were "hair-raising".

Mediocrity had spread over the Truman Administration as a "fungus", and the question remained whether that trend would continue into the hitherto untrammeled area of foreign policy. Appointing Chief Justice Vinson or Messrs. Harriman or Acheson at State would not counterbalance a Woodring or Wallgren at Defense.

Domestic personnel had a special problem in that those who had done the least in the campaign were those who were closest to the President, such as Secretary of the Treasury John W. Snyder. These men largely opposed the liberal domestic agenda of the President, on which he had run and won the election. But whether the President would end cronyism and select men more fitting to the New Deal-type policies he wanted to implement remained to be seen.

While on vacation in Key West, the President would likely make these crucial personnel decisions, which would be among his most important decisions of the ensuing four years.

Sumner Welles, Undersecretary of State until August, 1943, tells of the bipartisan support for resistance to Soviet expansion, manifested in the form of the Truman Doctrine, supplying military aid to Greece and Turkey, and ERP, rebuilding Western Europe. But other features of the foreign policy lacked such bipartisan support, as exposed during the campaign.

Governor Dewey had opposed Administration policies on Palestine and the issue of the Italian colonies, favoring a policy to prod the Western European nations into union. He also wanted more aid for Nationalist China and inter-American cooperation.

Mr. Welles ventures that the Administration was subject to criticism for repeatedly disregarding the U.N., impeding its growth, and placing expediency above principles, as in the case of Franco's Spain.

Foreign policy had to be interlinked with defense policy, given the contests with the Soviets; but as long as foreign policy was decided by the officials responsible for defense and who spoke for the armed services, the policy would be negative, not positive, based on force rather than diplomacy.

Until the National Security Act of 1947 had diminished the powers of the Secretary of State, that office had determined foreign policy, even though circumscribed historically and by law to the powers delegated by the President. Now, the National Security Council made recommendations to the President on foreign policy. But that Council consisted of the Secretary of State and the Secretaries of Defense, Air, Navy, and the Army, plus the chairman of the National Security Board. As long as the Secretary of State was a military man, as George Marshall, the military point of view predominated in the Council.

He favors restoration of the policy-making decisions to the Secretary of State and having the Security Council coordinate functions.

He believes that Winston Churchill's March, 1946 assertion in the "iron curtain" speech at Westminster College in Fulton, Mo., warning that the Soviets only respected force, was, as proved by subsequent events, accurate.

But he believes that as long as the U.S. persisted in the policy of running the world alone rather than through collective security and putting value on strategic bases before peace settlements and human rights, and maintained that military containment of Russia was its only objective, the policy was "foredoomed to failure".

James Marlow speculates on what might occur in the ensuing two and four years with the Democrats. If they remained split, with the Progressives on one side and the Dixiecrats on the other, then the President might be unable to fulfill his campaign promises, causing disgusted voters to turn again to the Republicans for control of Congress in 1950 and for the White House and Congress in 1952.

If the Democrats could unite and pass the President's civil rights legislation, would the Southern Democrats be so angry as to bolt the party for good?

If Republicans went along with the President's program, would they be regarded as a "me, too" party, bereft of independent leadership?

Continuously since 1932, save in 1946, the voters had demonstrated a will toward the Democrats. FDR had educated the nation to expect the Federal Government to undertake great responsibility in social welfare legislation and a whole generation had grown up since 1932 believing in that credo. The New York Times had just said the previous day that there was a "Roosevelt generation of 45,000,000 out of 95,000,000 voters."

The question remained whether the Republicans could make a comeback under such conditions, unless a third party formed out of the disgruntled factions within the Democratic Party and handed a subsequent election to the GOP.

A short piece from the Christian Science Monitor discusses a response to a want-ad by a Chinese youth who placed emphasis on his flexible mind and advanced training. The piece suggests that much might be learned in the mechanical age from such emphasis on the flexible mind, and generalizes to suggest that much could be learned from the East to enable unifying experience.

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