The Charlotte News

Wednesday, December 1, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that an unnamed top State Department official had said that the formation the previous day of the separate Berlin government by the Communists had made resolution of the blockade crisis more difficult, if not impossible.

The Communists in Berlin, meanwhile, took over City Hall in the Soviet sector. Russian-controlled German police prevented the duly elected Mayor from entering his office in the building. Members of the anti-Communist Government asked the Western powers to back the plan to make Russian marks the sole currency for the city, the stated Russian reason for continuance of the blockade.

The three Western powers accepted the six "neutral" nation proposal for appointing a special commission to study the currency issue in Berlin, with an eye toward resolving the crisis. The Western nations stated, however, that the creation of the separate government in Berlin would be maintained in mind during negotiations. They also implied that they might undertake counter-measures to that move.

Chinese Communists were reported to be advancing on Nanking, as retreating Nationalist troops sought to form a defense line around the capital. A warning was being prepared for foreign diplomats that Nanking was no longer safe. The Government severed its air link with embattled Suchow to force obedience to an order to abandon the city. Some 140,000 Government troops were surrounded by Communist troops 50 miles south of Suchow, and the latter's defenders were retreating per Government orders to try to rescue these encircled forces.

Madame Chiang had arrived in Washington to ask for aid.

The Government asked farmers to produce more poultry, milk, vegetables, sheep and lambs in 1949.

In Kalamazoo, Mich., "union goons" this date broke into the strike-bound Shakespeare companies, producers of fishing tackle and auto parts, wrecking equipment and parked cars, injuring several workers.

They were probably wearing pointed shoes and bells.

Frank Noyes, 85, co-founder and first president of the Associated Press, had died in Washington. Mr. Noyes had been president of the A.P. until 1938, having helped to found it in 1893 with Melville Stone.

Mack Bell of The News tells of a three-year old boy, just returned from Germany with his military father, who had shown up Mr. Bell with his expert rendition of German, singing Christmas carols as if he were a kraut.

We only sing Christmas carols in English, young sir, in this country. If you want to sing them that way, you go back to Germany.

The University of California at Berkeley announced the finding in South Africa of a new species of ape man, larger than the previously discovered giant Java man, who had stood nine feet tall. The new form would be called Swartkrans man.

In Los Angeles, Rita Hayworth had her divorce from Orson Welles finalized. The couple had been married in September, 1943 and had been separated since November, 1947.

Ms. Hayward was now seeing Aly Khan, British-educated sportsman. Which is better than seeing an alley cat.

In honor of the 60th birthday of the newspaper, from an 1888 News story is recounted the high-jinx of young boys who had raided a man's turkey coop during the holidays, in response to which the man had rigged a bell with a string on it, leading to his bedside, by which he parked his shotgun for ready utilization in the event of the boys' return. The boys heard of the impending trap and made ready their counter-move—about which you will have to turn to page 4-A to discern.

There were only 20 shopping days remaining until Christmas. Better hurry...

On the editorial page, "Civil Rights: A Time for Compromise" tells of Ralph McGill of the Atlanta Constitution, along with other Southern observers, favoring compromise on civil rights to avoid a confrontation with Southern Democrats in the new Congress.

The President, after his mandate in the election, was planning to push anew in the 81st Congress his ten-point civil rights program. It was likely that he would now push hard for it.

Southerners in Congress could expect nothing but defeat if they sought to filibuster the program's constituent parts. Most Americans favored at least some of the program. Southerners therefore had to recognize the need for compromise if they were to retain any political power.

The piece counsels that they look at the most controversial aspects of the program, the anti-poll tax provision, the anti-lynching provision, the elimination of segregation in interstate transportation, and the Fair Employment Practices Commission, and therein find ways of reasonable compromise on these key points.

In the first two areas, the question remained whether the Federal Government had power to legislate or whether they were exclusively within the province of the states' police powers. The elimination of segregation in this limited area of interstate transportation was not one which would intrude on the social fabric of the South. The FEPC provision called for compromise to assure equal opportunity and pay between the races for similar jobs. If there were no compromise, then a force bill might result, intolerable to most Southerners.

It recommends that persons such as Senators-elect J. Melville Broughton of North Carolina and Estes Kefauver of Tennessee ought exert leadership to effect compromise.

"Moscow's Hollow Gesture" tells of the Russians having accepted the plan offered by the six "neutral" nations of the Security Council to appoint a special expert commission to resolve the currency issue in Berlin, the sticking point for the continuation of the Russian blockade. But the acceptance was simply a hollow gesture, as, at the same time, the Communists of Berlin elected their own Government, dividing the city politically.

The Western nations did not immediately accept the proposal as they realized that the Russians were not going to cooperate with a decision of the neutral nations which might determine the issue contrary to their liking, that is that Russian-controlled marks would be the sole currency of Berlin, allowing for economic domination of the city.

The free world shared the exasperation of the Western diplomats regarding Russian policy. The piece advises the Russians to realize that the negotiations over Berlin involved events which would affect the lives of all people of the world.

A piece from the Congressional Quarterly relates of the several different walks of life from which the new members of the 81st Congress had come. It tells, for instance, of several former football players from the pros and college coming into the Congress. It omits Congressman-elect Gerald Ford of Michigan, however, in this respect. Someone at the Quarterly must have been chewing gum without their helmet.

Drew Pearson tells of Secretary of State Marshall having policy differences with General Lucius Clay, U.S. military occupation commander in Germany, becoming evident in a recent conference. Both General Clay and U.S. Ambassador to France Robert Murphy believed that the Berlin crisis was beyond mediation, irritating Secretary Marshall, who was trying to mediate the crisis in Paris before the U.N. Subsequently, the story of the conference leaked and Secretary Marshall had an investigation initiated to find out who had caused the leak.

Secretary Marshall was also upset that General Clay had determined the policy to give the industrial Ruhr back to Germany, upsetting the French.

Mr. Pearson notes that Ambassador Murphy, who had input to the Ruhr decision, hated France.

The President told Senator-elect Jim Murray of Montana, when informed that a month before the election, the Lewiston News had predicted the President's re-election with 308 electoral votes, that his own prediction was far short of that number. Whereas the President received 304 votes, he had predicted 276 votes, ten more than necessary to win. His prediction was predicated on winning every state with a Democratic Governor, save Virginia. The President, to his surprise, had carried both California and New York, the home states of the Republican nominees. He had also carried Virginia, but lost Democratic Maryland.

The column next explains the case of a Marine who had taken out a life insurance policy containing a clause which barred recovery in case of death from injuries sustained in an aircraft. The insurance company had refused to pay after the Marine had disappeared into a cloud bank three years earlier while piloting an aircraft in the line of duty. Senator Joseph McCarthy, an ex-Marine, was launching an investigation into the company, had asked the Commandant of the Marine Corps to bar the company from writing policies on Marine bases.

Marquis Childs tells of the expectations by liberals in the Democratic Party that the President would bring liberal-progressive blood into the new Administration, to foster fulfillment of his campaign promises for a second New Deal.

Former OPA administrator Chester Bowles was emblematic of the new, liberal leadership in the party after his election as Governor of Connecticut. Mr. Bowles believed that the Administration could not stick to New Deal spending policies in an inflationary economy. There was not the need to create purchasing power as under FDR emerging from the Depression. Different circumstances called for different economic policy.

The President had received the blame in 1946 for the inflationary economy, and the people, in response, had elected the GOP 80th Congress. Now that they had elected a Democratic Congress again, they would expect the campaign promises to be kept.

James Marlow discusses the quandary of scientists debating whether it was their moral responsibility to refuse to build nuclear weapons, given their potential for mass destruction.

One argument was that the scientist, while having the duty to pursue science to its rational ends, also had a moral responsibility as a member of society not to build weapons of mass destruction. But if that argument prevailed, the dictatorships, which could enslave scientists and force scientific research, would emerge as victors in a subsequent war in which their weapons would inevitably therefore be superior. So, in keeping with the scientist's duty to society, he should not refuse to make weapons for defensive purposes, while preserving his moral responsibility by warning the public of their potential.

Even the scientists had not resolved the inevitable paradoxes into which the competing arguments lapsed.

A letter from the chairman of the Charlotte Parks & Recreation Commission tells of a mission worker relating the story of Adam and Eve to children who were accustomed to living up an alley, and, upon asking where Adam and Eve lived, the children having replied, "Up an alley."

He favors approval by the voters of a pending bond measure which would enable building of parks and recreation facilities in targeted areas of the city most in need of the space, to avoid the concept of living only "up an alley".

But if mama's got no shoes and papa's looking for the fuse, then what good is a park going to do? Provide a new place to sleep? Build some new housing first, with plenty of paved parking lots to accommodate the shiny, new cars. Then worry about the parks in Eden.

A letter from the president of the Children's Theater Council expresses appreciation to the newspaper for publicizing its production of "Snow White", the first production sponsored by the Council.

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