The Charlotte News

Wednesday, December 22, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that former Japanese wartime Premier Hideki Tojo and six other high level Japanese warlords had been hung this date in Tokyo for their war crimes. The previous Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court had refused jurisdiction to rule on the cases. The executions took 35 minutes to accomplish, beginning at midnight.

In Paris, the U.N., acting on a complaint by the U.S. and Australia, accused the Netherlands of violating the Indonesian truce of the previous January with their attack on Sumatra and Java, which the Dutch described as a "police action" to restore order in the Republican territories. They had said that they were attempting to forestall a planned Republican attack on Netherlands forces.

The U.S. suspended Marshall Plan aid to the Netherlands East Indies as a sanction against the action. The Dutch East Indies had been allocated 68 million dollars in aid, 14 million of which was affected by the suspension. The Netherlands itself was not affected by the order.

The Dutch had taken all except two major cities in Java, with a similar situation prevailing in Sumatra after the capture of the capital at Bukittinggi. A scorched earth policy had been used by the Republicans at Tjepoe, the only oil center controlled by the Republicans.

Quentin Roosevelt, grandson of Theodore Roosevelt, was believed to be one of four remaining dead passengers still in the wreckage of the C-54 which had crashed while effecting evacuation from Shanghai in the face of the approach of the Communists. A total of 35 persons perished in the crash.

Mayor William O'Dwyer of New York City ordered an investigation into the death of former State Department worker Laurence Duggan, based on a telegram received from former Undersecretary of State Sumner Welles that the death of his former close associate might not be the apparent suicide which police had labeled it. Mr. Duggan had fallen from his sixteenth floor office on Monday night. He had been accused of being a Communist by a witness testifying in executive session before HUAC. His wife, however, said that they had laughed off that charge. She believed the fall was an accident. Acting HUAC chairman Karl Mundt suggested that it might be the result of foul play.

The President departed Washington for Independence, Missouri, to spend Christmas in his hometown.

From Harrisburg, Pa., it was reported that a nationwide hunt was underway for a 21-year old woman charged with felony kidnaping of her own child from its foster parents, who had legally adopted the child two years earlier.

In Lucedale, Miss., a woman, her daughter and granddaughter were shot to death the previous night and the Sheriff who arrived to investigate a domestic disturbance at the residence was also shot to death by a shotgun blast, after which the murderer fled in the Sheriff's car. The car was wrecked about ten miles away from the scene and the woman's body was found inside the wreckage with her neck broken. She had died, however, from gunshot wounds inflicted previously.

Let's us have a merry little Christmas, with the yuletide bright. Let us hope that you will not be shot or found in someone's sights. Have yourself a merry little Christmas, doors locked tight.

In Marburg, Germany, the woman accused of murdering her American war-hero husband sought through her lawyer's final argument to the military tribunal an acquittal on the ground of self-defense. She had claimed that her husband had beaten her up and threatened to kill her two days before the shooting.

In Fayetteville, N.C., the Cumberland County Welfare Department was trying to collect food, shelter and clothing for a 72-year old man who said he had spent the previous twenty years living in the woods, twelve miles from Fayetteville. A farmer, he had gone into seclusion after the death of his wife. He lived in cardboard huts covered by old quilts. He survived off persimmon pudding and catfish stew, with an occasional possum or rabbit. He built two small boats from which he fished along the Cape Fear River.

That might work for a couple of days, but one can't grieve forever, you know. To heck with the old dead woman. We're going to town to get some burgers.

In Los Angeles, radio comedian Alan Young, for the fourth straight year, was making an appearance at the animal shelter on Christmas Eve to give away dogs to youngsters, paying the pound and license fees himself. He had given away 300 dogs in the previous three years and believed it a good way to combat juvenile delinquency.

Well, then, wouldn't giving away horses be that much better?

On the editorial page, "A Loan, Not Merely a Gift" promotes giving blood to the Red Cross both as a donation and as a loan, the latter against the time when the donor might need blood—after he or she gets smashed by one of the jalopies on the road.

Merry Christmas.

"Human Dignity in Hollywood" tells of MGM having terminated the contract of Teresa Wright, apparently because she refused to participate in some of the publicity stunts the studio desired. She said that she would forsake gladly the $5,000 per week salary in exchange for her dignity.

She echoed the cry of people everywhere, including North Carolina school teachers in their stand for a 59 percent pay raise the following year, albeit of secondary priority to several other improvements in the conditions of teaching, such as lower student loads and better facilities.

Samuel Goldwyn appeared to view his large salaries paid actors as entitling him to treat them as cattle, as had claimed Ms. Wright. It points out that the $5,000 per week salary recipient did not have to stand for such treatment, but, sometimes, the $50 per week industrial worker, for want of other work, did.

"Hasty, Ill Conceived Action" tells of Governor Herman Talmadge of Georgia having conceived a plan under which all registration of voters in Georgia would be obliterated, starting over with certain educational requirements imposed for voting, designed to produce as close to an all-white primary as possible, as frankly admitted by the Governor.

The Washington Post had advocated reducing the representation of Georgia in the House, per the Fourteenth Amendment, should the plan be put into effect. It posited that it was a fraud on the voters to allow nine House seats to Alabama, for example, which had only 214,980 ballots recorded in the 1948 election, whereas Utah, with 276,305 votes, got only two seats.

The piece counsels that the Southern press ought be equally concerned about the Talmadge proposal. Southerners were busy trying to present a convincing case to the nation for "gradualism", while Georgia was taking a step backward.

Maybe you had not noticed in the previous 83 years since the Civil War, but that was what "gradualism" actually meant. That is to say, "segregation now, segregation tomorra, segregation faweva." Where have you been, Mr. Editor, under a rock? Ah well, you are not yet possessed of the hindsight endowed by the 1950's and 1960's.

A piece from the Christian Science Monitor, titled "Why Take Chances?" counsels against the President's proposed compulsory insurance program as interrupting the voluntary program in the U.S. which had produced the greatest health care system in the world with progressive extension of the average lifespan of Americans. The European system of compulsory insurance, it says, had not worked nearly so well.

Drew Pearson tells of Governor Dewey calling for a special GOP meeting in 1949 to determine who would rule the party, the old guard or the liberals. The split between the factions was growing wider. The old guard believed that it was best to lay back and await a depression in which they could wrest power from the Democrats. The liberals argued that such an economic downturn would only benefit Henry Wallace, not the Republicans.

The President and AFL had agreed that Taft-Hartley ought be repealed. The President, however, wanted to retain a ban on secondary boycotts and jurisdictional strikes, and strikes which would compromise the national interest. AFL had agreed to these exceptions as well.

The "Dew-Drop", the special, plush plane which was developed by Lockheed for Governor Dewey when he became president, had come about from Lockheed's insistence that the Douglas plane used by President Truman be substituted with a Lockheed Constellation.

Aluminum sold to Marshall Plan countries for 16 cents per pound, well below the 19 cents charged by European aluminum producers, was being resold to the U.S. at a huge premium, after the practice was initially denied by ERP administrator Paul Hoffman. Moreover, the European aluminum, without a market in Europe because of the cheap Marshall Plan aluminum, was being bought by Russia and stockpiled for war-making capability, though Russia had enough aluminum for its own ordinary needs.

James Marlow revisits the case of Edward Condon of the Bureau of Standards and HUAC's earlier desire in March to investigate him as the "weakest link" in Government insofar as security for his suspected association with a Russian spy. Mr. Condon said that he had not willingly and knowingly associated with a spy. Many scientists came to his defense. There was never any allegation that he had engaged in any disloyal conduct. But the Committee had sought the FBI and Commerce Department loyalty check reports to no avail for their confidentiality, backed up by the President. No HUAC hearing was ever held.

The dispute had transpired when Congressman J. Parnell Thomas, now under indictment for fraud against the Government for padding his payroll to his own advantage, had chaired the Committee. But now, Congressman Richard Nixon had said that Mr. Condon received "unfair" treatment. And acting HUAC chairman Karl Mundt said that more protections should be afforded witnesses to avoid being accused without first being heard.

Sure, they were willing to back off, now. After several false starts and controversies, they had finally bagged their headline-hunting score for the year with the Hiss-Chambers case.

Thanks for the mea culpa and semi-apology, Dick.

Marquis Childs discusses the war in Indonesia, with the Dutch having just attacked the previous weekend the Republic of Indonesia to unite all of Indonesia under Dutch rule, in derogation of efforts by the Good Offices Committee of the U.N. to mediate the situation. The Republic claimed about one-third of Indonesian territory. The Dutch were developers and exploiters of the resources of Indonesia. The Republicans were not.

The Dutch claimed that they had offered a federation between the Republic and the Netherlands but that only chaos and anarchy had ensued. The Republicans claimed that they had not had sufficient time to establish an orderly government after so long under colonial rule. They claimed that the Dutch wanted to continue their exploitation while the Dutch responded that without Dutch rule, there would be anarchy and barbarism.

Mr. Childs suggests that the attempt at intervention by the U.S. throughout the postwar struggle had been too tentative, the more tragic for the commitment of the U.S. to a strong moral position on independence of colonial peoples, as in the case of the Philippines to which the U.S. remained dedicated through the process of its independence.

A letter writer responds to the veteran who had written a letter the previous week complaining about the segregated conditions on buses and the rude treatment he had received from a bus driver. The writer agrees with him, but adds his own experience of being on a crowded bus with 15 to 20 black riders, with several vacant seats beside them and each refusing to move to the rear of the bus to accommodate white passengers who had to stand.

For, you see, it would have been intolerable for a white passenger to have to sit down next to a black passenger.

That makes a whole hell of a lot of sense, you moron.

A letter from P. C. Burkholder, twice-failed GOP candidate for Congress, says that his having left the Republican Party for the Democratic Party did not mean that he had altered his positions which viewed the New Deal as tantamount to Communism. He left because Mr. Dewey had favored the Marshall Plan, which he viewed as benefiting Russia and its satellites.

That's good to hear, P. C., for we thought for a minute you had gone soft in the head.

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