The Charlotte News

Thursday, December 2, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Col. Frank Howley, the American sector commandant in Berlin, stated that the Russians had broken so many agreements that it was likely superfluous to try to effect a new one to resolve the blockade crisis. He described the Communists who had established a separate government in East Berlin to be "criminals".

He informed that the airlift had supplied a store of 39 days worth of flour and 33 days worth of meat for the West Berliners.

The U.N. Security Council in Paris referred the question of U.N. membership requested by Israel to a membership committee, following conflict between the British and American positions on the matter, the British asserting that the application was premature, the Americans completely supporting it. The delay meant that the application would likely not be heard before the following year.

A group of Palestine Arabs had asked King Abdullah of Trans-Jordan to rule over them, to which he had not yet replied.

In China, the Communists claimed Suchow after Nationalist abandonment of the city ordered by the Chiang Government to afford defense of Nanking. The taking of the city exposed the rear of the retreating forces, seeking to support armies surrounded by Communists at Suhsien and Pengpu, to within a hundred miles of the capital. Encircled Nationalist troops were believed to have only a week's supply of munitions remaining.

Madame Chiang Kai-Shek arrived in Washington, requesting appointments to see the President and Secretary of State Marshall to importune for aid. Any aid request which the President and Secretary might approve would need Congressional approval, which could not occur until January, and the situation was so volatile in China that officials believed that aid approved for present conditions would not be applicable a month hence.

Secretary of Defense James Forrestal recommended giving generously equipment to the proposed NATO pact nations to make such a pact viable for common defense.

In Oxford, England, a man was hanged for the murder of an 89-year old widow, whose body was discovered in a trunk inside the woman's home where she lived alone. She had apparently died of suffocation after the man put her in the trunk while still alive.

One of the most persistent fogs in a generation lifted from Britain and Western Europe this date. British air and sea transport had been tied down by the fog for six days, as were transportation facilities down to Portugal on the Continent. The Berlin airlift, hampered by the conditions, resumed its full operation from the British sector but the American sector bases remained enveloped in fog.

In Kalamazoo, Mich., the Union Steelworkers claimed responsibility for the "goon" invasion of the Shakespeare companies plants the previous day, during which seven persons had been injured and property damaged. A spokesman said that reports that Communists had led the raid were "lies". He accused Shakespeare of importing strikebreakers from other states to bolster its work force to 500, some of whom had brandished arms at pickets without provocation and with impunity, despite the presence of law enforcement personnel. Only 20 of 700 workers who had left the job three months earlier had returned to work. These strikebreakers had, he said, also heaped "filthy and obscene abuse" on the pickets.

How dare they. Abuse? Nosir. Fight back, men, with sticks and stones. Are you men or mice?

The State temporarily banned the sale of liquor in Kalamazoo.

Shakespeare had no immediate comment on the assertions of the USW spokesperson.

The AMA announced that it had collected 3.5 million dollars to establish a fund to wage a campaign to oppose formation of a Government-controlled health insurance program. The fund was comprised of assessments of $25 against each member of the AMA. The organization strongly disfavored compulsory medical insurance.

The newspaper, in celebration of its 60th anniversary, provides some wit contained on the pages of the first edition of the newspaper in 1888—just after the election in which Benjamin Harrison had defeated President Grover Cleveland based solely on an electoral college majority, losing the popular vote. They are real side-splitters, almost as good as the one-liners on the radio. For instance, Muldoon had discovered a 125-pound turkey, called an "ostrich".

In Chicago, the grand champion steer, "Old Gold", sold at $10.75 per pound for 1,200 pounds, to establish a record, capping the previous record by a quarter per pound. The purchaser was going to serve "Old Gold" as steaks in his Shamrock Hotel in Houston. "Texo", the reserve grand champion, sold for only $4 per pound, topping the record for that position by .75 per pound.

In Fayetteville, N.C., a 19-year old woman who had been made part owner of a music store where she worked and was set to wed the store's owner after Christmas, was fined on two traffic violations after she bumped a police car on the fender. She had befriended the owner's mother while vacationing in Myrtle Beach the previous summer.

Whether her car was orange and had a body by Fisher is not indicated.

On the editorial page, "Desire Under the Dome" finds that the 300 million dollars proposed in Federal aid to education could not be afforded by the Government and even if it could, should not be spent, as education was better taken care of by the states, flush with surpluses, as in North Carolina. The Federal Government, in contrast, was operating on deficit financing, with a bill outstanding of 250 billion dollars in war debt. It counsels that once the dole was established, the states would become dependent on it and within a few years, there would be passed a bar against racial discrimination and segregation as a condition for receipt. While in the abstract, it allows, such might be a good thing, it would not be suitable to the Southern states, especially in the form of coercion to receive the Federal largess.

Thus, it favors declining the Federal money, contrary to the wisdom of UNC president Frank Porter Graham, who had advised that the Federal Government was the only entity capable of righting the educational imbalance between the wealthy industrial urban areas and the poorer school districts in the rural South.

"Weakening the South's Case" finds the Toombs County, Georgia, lynching of Robert Mallard on November 20, allegedly shot once by several robed white men blocking the road to the Mallard home, to weaken the South's response to the anti-lynching law, that lynching had been all but eliminated in the South and what little remained was being effectively prosecuted—as if it took this case, in addition to several others since the war, to counter that proposition.

It provides the chronology of events, in which the Sheriff arrested the widow of Mr. Mallard for the murder, only then to have newly elected Governor Herman Talmadge intervene and order that the woman be released and the true culprits found. The Sheriff released Mrs. Mallard the previous Monday and hinted that new arrests were forthcoming. The widow had stated that she recognized one of the assailants and recognized the cars of two others.

Nevertheless, a dispute had arisen as to who should swear out the warrants for these men, the widow, herself, or, per the usual practice, the public prosecutor. If the Sheriff refused to issue warrants, then the case would have to await a grand jury determination in February, the intervening delay to cause problems in the effective prosecution of the case.

The piece posits that the Sheriff and his KKK friends were playing a deliberate game of "pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey" while individual rights and society's rights to the truth were being frustrated, making the system appear as an ass—which was not really very hard to do in the South in those days.

A piece from the Asheville Citizen, titled "Without Benefit of Hearing", finds that the sudden increase in automobile liability insurance rates in the state, without hearings on the subject before the Insurance Commissioner, poorly served the interests of the public to be informed of the reasons for the hike. The raise in rates came after a report indicated that cars on the road presently were in better condition and were thus safer than the bulk of the cars on the roads the previous January, after which the request for higher rates had been made.

Drew Pearson tells of Madame Chiang Kai-Shek's mission to the U.S. to seek aid for her husband's ailing regime being hampered by a tarnished reputation, obtained from her previous trips, during which she lived lavishly in swank hotels. Her family members had also contributed to the poor public perception. During one such visit, her niece, for instance, in the latter years of FDR's life, had complained of the White House sheets and tried to call Secretary of State Cordell Hull to make a personal complaint. All Madame Chiang had going for her was her charm, and that was wearing thin on Americans. Much of previous American military aid wound up in abandoned weaponry picked up by the Communists, just as had been the case during the war when American-supplied arms routinely wound up in the hands of the Japanese.

She was also having her troubles within China, even within her own family, of which she was the youngest sibling. She and her brother, T. V. Soong, were scarcely on speaking terms. A sister, Madame Sun Yat-Sen, widow of the founder of the Chinese Republic, was openly sympathetic to the Communist armies and thus also inimical to her younger sister's interests.

The Chinese warlords had tolerated Madame Chiang as long as she could deliver much needed munitions from the U.S. That time, however, was passing.

A major part of the problem causing surrender of Chinese troops was lack of food. Russian propaganda was better than American propaganda in exploiting this issue, even though the Communist armies had little more to eat than did the Nationalist armies. The troops simply did not want to fight any longer for Chiang and his corrupt regime.

John Foster Dulles, acting as chief U.N. delegate in Paris in the absence of Secretary of State Marshall and U.N. chief delegate Warren Austin, was exerting the kind of authority he had hoped to have as Secretary of State in a Dewey administration.

The Chinese delegation had to listen to the English translation of a speech by the chief Chinese delegate as they could not understand his dialect.

Marquis Childs discusses the French resistance to the return of the industrial Ruhr to Germany out of fear that it would enable rebuilding of the German war machine. But the counter-argument to internationalization, as the French favored, was that German workers would not perform for foreign owners, a reasonable position.

Secretary of the Army Kenneth Royall had ordered an investigation into who in the American military occupation command structure had made the decision to curtail the program of de-cartelization in Germany. Whether the program could ever be made effective was questionable, but allowing the old owners to have control of industry again would inexorably lead to re-establishment of the old cartels which had primarily financed the Hitler war machine and thus enabled World War II.

But there was a middle ground between internationalization and giving the industries back to the Germans. Proposed had been a trusteeship not overseen by nations but private concerns. One such entity was the International Co-operative Alliance, an alliance of cooperatives forming the ownership of large industries in Europe, Britain, and South Africa. The Alliance was a democratic organization and had good international representation, including Russia. General De Gaulle could not use it for political propaganda.

In the NATO negotiations, the French would likely insist that the U.S. commit to use all of its force in the event of an attack on one of the signatories, a condition which Congress would almost certainly not approve. Mr. Childs concludes that such might represent therefore the resistance to the "irresistible force".

Joseph & Stewart Alsop tell of the President's 15 billion dollar ceiling on defense spending in fiscal year 1949-50 having caused apparent effort to reduce or slow implementation of the Congressionally-approved expansion of the Air Force from 55 to 70 groups. The expansion, not coincidentally, was to have been completed by 1952, the year in which, according to the experts, the Russians would first develop an atomic bomb. Thus, curtailing the Air Force expansion could have disastrous effects on military preparedness for this eventuality, A-Day, as the Air Force could not be expanded except over a period of time.

The policy thus appeared to the Alsops as "suicidal folly", but they allow for correction of the impression through the discovery of additional facts. They counsel, however, that if the country were going to throw away its military strength, the people ought be aware of the stakes.

A Russian Bikini—or better phrased, a Russian Trinity—, need not, they posit, create concern, provided the country remained adequately prepared. They favor building six-foot thick bomb shelters, that which sheltered human life from the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs—the fallacy in which comes from the fact that now the bomb was manifold times more powerful than those dogs in the manger.

Samuel Grafton, no longer carried by The News, observes the presidential election from the standpoint of the exit of reaction in the world, asking whether the election of Mr. Truman was connected with this phenomenon worldwide. He posits that it might have been so. With the 60 million members of the untouchable caste in India having been granted full rights of citizenship, it made more sense for America to elect a leftover New Deal party on a civil rights platform than conservative Republicans.

While the worldwide spread of liberal politics could be independent of the American election, for more than a decade the country had been stressing interdependence of world events. A man voting based on his fears was enough to constitute a liberal. The reactionary solution as a means to stability had lost the confidence of voters across the world. The Republicans failed to make a case when they claimed in essence that they were beaten because even the farmers were afraid of their policies.

ERP administrator Paul Hoffman had recently observed that one aim of the Marshall Plan was to increase average per capita income in Western Europe from about $320 annually to $500, adopting therefore a liberal stance. It was there, he concludes, that the country could determine what trends were spreading across the world.

A piece from the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, titled "Spontaneous Stinkerism", uses the phrase to describe the source of delinquency of some juvenile delinquents, regardless of parental supervision and societal benefits in home and community life, objects to laying the blame solely on bad parenting, inadequate supervision at school, or lack of recreational facilities in the community and other such exiguities, real as they were. Having started with its premise, it leaves the rest to the sociologists.

A letter from the vice-president of the Piedmont Fire Insurance Co. objects to an editorial in the Durham Sun on October 1 which had criticized the Department of Insurance for its approval of a 25 percent increase in fire insurance rates. The letter writer seeks to explain why the rate increase was justified.

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