The Charlotte News

Thursday, December 23, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Australia demanded before the Security Council that The Netherlands be expelled from the U.N. unless it halted its offensive action against the Indonesian Republic in Sumatra and Java. It was described as the "first clear-cut deliberate violation" of the Charter by a member. Russia also demanded that the Dutch withdraw their troops from Indonesia immediately. China said that it would support the U.S. resolution that the Dutch withdraw to its positions occupied before the start of their "police action" the previous weekend. Colombia and Syria also supported the U.S. resolution.

ERP officials were meeting to determine whether ERP aid ought be terminated from The Netherlands for the action, having already cut ERP off to the Dutch East Indies.

Reports that Dutch troops were killing Indonesian civilians, including an unarmed boy, were relayed to the Security Council by the U.N. Good Offices Committee operating in Batavia in Java. A member of the Committee had personally witnessed the shooting of the boy. The troops also were torching areas which they could not hold.

In China, Nationalist warships at Tientsin drove off Communist troops, killing 1,500 of them. A. P. correspondent Spencer Moosa reported that the Nationalists had killed 800 Communist troops the previous night on the outskirts of isolated Tientsin. During a lull in the fighting because of bad weather, the Nationalist forces were fortifying their positions south of the Yangtze in defense of Nanking.

In Palestine, fighting again erupted between Israeli and Egyptian forces in the vicinity of the Jewish settlement at Nirim in the Negev Desert area, twelve miles east of the Egyptian frontier base at Rafah. Air forces were used by both sides, according to an Israeli spokesman. Israel had notified the U.N. on December 10 that it was prepared to begin negotiating a step by step release of the Faluja garrison and discuss demarcation lines throughout the area. The fighting threatened to disrupt the weeks-old truce in the Negev.

In the new Congress, Senator Clyde Hoey of North Carolina would head the Senate Investigating Subcommittee which had been chaired by Senator Homer Ferguson of Michigan in the 80th Congress. The seniority status of Senator Hoey was confirmed by Senator John McClellan of Arkansas who stepped aside to devote time to his chairmanship of the Executive Expenditures Committee.

In Marburg, Germany, the three-judge U.S. military tribunal trying the case of the American wife who had allegedly murdered her war-hero American husband after a domestic dispute, was deadlocked between finding her guilty or not guilty, and retired to deliberate further. She was contending self-defense after her husband allegedly had beaten her and threatened to kill her. She claimed that he had admitted causing the pregnancies of two German girls when she had joined him in Germany three years earlier. A defense witness testified that he had been threatened by the husband with violence for allegedly misbehaving with the wife. He said that the husband regularly beat her, having witnessed it once and having seen the resulting bruises other times.

Attempts to rescue eleven fliers stranded for two weeks on a 7,500-foot ice cap on Greenland after the crash landing of a C-54 transport carrying seven of them, followed by crashes of a rescue B-17 and a rescue glider, each with two rescuers aboard, were delayed again for bad weather. Arrangements were being made to drop Christmas dinner.

The weather better clear soon, for by 1950, there may be upwards of a thousand or so to rescue.

HUAC said in a report, titled "100 Things You Should Know about Communism and Labor", that thirteen union officers in the CIO were Communists, but that the labor organization was seeking to clean its own house. Four of the named men were union presidents, including Harry Bridges of the International Longshoremen's and Warehousemen's Union on the West Coast. The report said that in Communist countries, if labor struck, then men were sent around to kill the strikers. It also named 33 organizations, including the American Labor Party, which were supposedly Communist or Communist fronts seeking to influence American labor.

A shopping surge across the country suggested record sales for merchants for December. Sales were about three percent higher than the 1947 record. Sales for the year were expected to be eight to ten percent above those for 1947.

The Government reported that the cost of living declined again in November, by .8 percent, from a drop in food prices for the fourth consecutive month.

In Goldsboro, N.C., the Sheriff said that stills were now being fired by gas burners.

In Fayetteville, N.C., the man who had lived for twenty years in isolation in the woods in rudely constructed cardboard huts, mourning for his deceased wife, received a haircut, shave, bedding, cooking utensils, a job as a caretaker on a farm and Sunday clothes. He said that he would also like a Bible if someone had one.

Never satisfied, are you, Glutton? Why don't you go on back to the woods 'fore somebody shoots you for being a good for nothin'. At least, maybe, you'll work for a living for a change.

Merry Christmas.

In London, Prince Charles had a new nurse, Miss Lightbody, formerly nurse to the children of the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester.

Well, aren't we special?

Merry Christmas.

You don't even have teeth with which to eat turkey. Ha, ha, ha, HO!

On the editorial page, "Transition from Food to Machines" tells of the Marshall Plan recipient nations having changed in their purchase of goods in the U.S. from a ratio of 59 to 41 percent food to machines the previous spring to 60 to 40 percent machines to food, indicative of the Marshall Plan working to rebuild the countries and make them self-reliant, ultimately lessening the burden on the U.S.

"Improvement in the Taft-Hartley Act" informs of Senator Wayne Morse of Oregon and other liberal Republicans favoring repeal of Taft-Hartley, intending to join the Democrats in doing so, while retaining provisions to have unions and employers bargain in good faith, to ban secondary boycotts, and require members of a closed or union shop to be protected in their right to vote against union leadership without risk of union expulsion or loss of employment.

Senator Joseph Ball of Minnesota, defeated by Hubert Humphrey in the election, did not believe that Taft-Hartley had to be junked but rather could be appropriately amended.

The piece favors retention of Taft-Hartley with revisions to subject national strikes crippling of the economy to greater control.

"Harnett Homicides" tells of nine homicides during the year in that county, from which playwright Paul Green had hailed. He had written of the area in Salvation on a String in 1946. The piece thinks the Pulitzer Prize winning author ought tackle the subject of the increase in the homicides in the county, primarily the result of domestic disputes.

The sensational treatment of the homicides by the Dunn Dispatch had been suggested as creating the reputation for the county.

A piece from the Shelby Star, titled "Automobiles vs. Shoes", tells of sagging sales for shoes during the previous year, ascribed either to inflation or better wearing shoes. The piece suggests a third alternative: the increased availability of new cars after a dearth since the war and non-availability during the war after February, 1942. More cars meant less walking.

Which brings us to Ed Sullivan, Jack Benny, and the Doodletown Bus...

Samuel Grafton, no longer carried by The News, tells in a fragment of the need for unity among Western Alliance nations, Britain, France and the Benelux countries, with the U.S. slated to join to form NATO, that one wayward nation on a given issue could upset the balance and compromise the effectiveness of the Alliance.

Drew Pearson tells of the Council of Economic Advisers trying to plan for the possibility of either more inflation or deflation. The result would likely depend on whether the defense budget would be held at the President's ceiling of 15 billion dollars, triggering deflation, or whether it would be closer to the 30 billion stated as the total desired budget by the services, triggering inflation.

In Annapolis, Md., serious friction had developed between black and white enlisted men who performed housekeeping at the Naval Academy.

In Berlin, unemployment had risen because of lack of coal, despite the airlift. A half a million unemployed were predicted by February. The Soviets were ready to move in to stir up food and coal riots during the winter.

Senator William Langer of North Dakota wanted to know why Rural Electrification Administration cooperatives were not getting electrical equipment from the nation's primary manufacturers of same, Westinghouse, GE, Alcoa, Anaconda, and Phelps-Dodge.

American intelligence had reported that a large purge was ongoing of Communists in Poland on direct orders from Moscow, eliminating 20,000 Communists from the party on the basis that they were not completely loyal.

Mrs. Strom Thurmond was present to honor Dr. W. L. Pressly of South Carolina as "Family Doctor of the Year". Of the 400 persons present, 150 were black, as many of Dr. Pressly's patients were black.

The Marshall Plan was helping U.S. big business while hurting small business for the fact that the European recipient nations were saving their dollars to purchase only essential American goods and so had cut off trade with American small business.

Ambassador to Russia Walter Bedell Smith would return from Moscow shortly, probably for the last time.

The International Bank the previous month had loaned half a million dollars to Costa Rica and Nicaragua, only now to have Nicaragua invading Costa Rica.

Ambassador to France Jefferson Caffery predicted that General De Gaulle would come to power, legally or illegally, by May 15.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop tell of false intelligence having been transmitted by the Air Force to the White House the previous March, resulting in a scare that the Soviets were about to attack Scandinavia and perhaps might even launch an attack over the Pole against the U.S. The President was preparing a special address to Congress to ask for an emergency build-up of arms, but first sought another opinion from the CIA. That second report refuted the Air Force intelligence and said that the Soviets were incapable of any such attack for at least three months and that there was no apparent activity to suggest that it was imminent.

The President chose to rely on the CIA report, which turned out to be accurate. The Alsops suggest that the episode pointed out the need for proper intelligence gathering. Ambassador to Moscow Walter Bedell Smith had been sent to alert Stalin that the U.S. was not planning any offensive, to dispel rumors that the defense build-up was so intended. The Soviets then used the meeting as an opportunity to spread propaganda that the U.S. desired a meeting to make a bilateral deal on Germany, cutting out the rest of the Western powers. This Soviet trick was the last result of the erroneous Air Force report.

But even though the report had been wrong, the Soviets had, in the meantime, blockaded Berlin in latter June, leading to the continuing crisis. And the Communists in China had overrun the Nationalists. Both of those operations combined were as significant as would have been a Russian attack on Scandinavia. They posit that the country was in the midst of a national emergency and that it was no time for business as usual.

James Marlow tells of death hovering over the HUAC spy hearings. The previous August 13, Harry Dexter White, formerly Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for 13 years, had testified before HUAC, having been implicated as a provider of secret documents to Elizabeth Bentley and Whittaker Chambers. He denied the allegations or ever knowing his two accusers. Sometime earlier, he had suffered a heart attack and a couple of days following his testimony, he suffered a second heart attack and died.

Laurence Duggan had recently fallen from his sixteenth floor office in New York City, having been named recently by Isaac Don Levine before HUAC as having been mentioned by Whittaker Chambers as a conduit for secret documents. Mr. Chambers, however, the previous day, denied ever making that statement and claimed that he did not know Mr. Duggan.

Also, the previous week, Mrs. Chambers was charged in the death of another in an automobile accident while she was on her way to pick up Mr. Chambers after his testimony before the New York grand jury.

A letter writer urges congregations in churches to tell the Government to favor revision of the U.N. Charter to form a world government, as favored by the United World Federalists as the means to avoid future war.

A letter writer encloses two letters anent a recent News editorial regarding Federal aid to education, the letters to and from the real estate lobby in Washington, supporting the viewpoint that Federal aid was the path to socialization as in England.

Yeah, yeah, a load of circumlocution for fear of integration.

A letter from a preacher again looks at the analogy between polio and alcoholism as a disease, as explored in a recent editorial, "The Treatment of Alcoholism" and responsive letters, finds alcoholism more pernicious than polio for its pervasive nefarious impact on society.

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