The Charlotte News

Monday, December 6, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in Berlin the previous day, 86.2 percent of eligible West Berliners turned out for the vote for city government, registering 1.3 million ballots, each one considered a protest of the Soviet occupation policies and the blockade extant since latter June. The Social Democrats, demanding socialization of Germany on the British Labor Party model, took the majority of seats, with 64.5 percent of the vote, followed by the Christian Democrats with 19.4 percent and the Liberal Democrats, with 16.1 percent.

The Russians had refused to allow the Eastern sector of the city to participate in the election.

In 1946, the Communists had polled 19 percent of the vote in city elections.

In China, the Communist radio claimed that the Communist troops had encircled the Nationalist forces previously guarding Suchow, having retreated south to try to rescue encircled Nationalist forces at Suhsien and Pengpu, defending Nanking. If correct, the only Government troops with freedom of movement were those on the new Hwai River defense line, a hundred miles northeast of Nanking, manned by relatively inferior troops. The battle would likely prove decisive for the fate of Nanking.

About 63 million dollars of military aid had been provided China in the previous 18 months, while about 230 million in military aid had been given to Turkey and Greece under the Truman Doctrine.

The President, in a quarterly report on the two-year 625-million dollar Greek-Turkish military aid program, said that the Greek drive against the Communist guerrillas had bogged down, with the Greek Army partly responsible for failing to make a determined drive against the remaining rebel positions following victories the previous summer. The President's previous quarterly report had indicated "conspicuous success" in Greece. The estimated number of remaining guerrillas had increased from 15,000 in the previous report to 22,000. The report to Congress also said that American aid to Turkey had produced significant progress to enable Turkey to resist Communist pressures.

A New York grand jury, sitting for the previous 18 months, heard testimony from Whittaker Chambers regarding alleged State Department documents which, in microfilmed form, had wound up in his hands and which had become known as "the pumpkin papers" for their having been secreted by Mr. Chambers for a time in a pumpkin on his Maryland farm after he had retrieved them from their hidey-hole in a dumbwaiter at his nephew's home in Brooklyn for a decade, until they fell under a discovery request in the civil suit for libel filed by Alger Hiss against Mr. Chambers. Mr. Hiss was under subpoena by the grand jury also to testify. A HUAC investigator, William Wheeler, was also scheduled to testify regarding the nature of the documents which he was turning over to the grand jury on behalf of the Committee. The documents had been produced by Mr. Chambers during his testimony in a deposition in the civil suit. He claimed that the microfilmed documents came from an unnamed source in the State Department for transmittal to Soviet agents during 1937-38. He then split with the Communists, he claimed, before completing the transfer of the documents. He hid the microfilm in the pumpkin to avoid discovery of it by Soviet agents who might visit his farm—which, again, makes absolutely no sense, assuming that he had, as claimed, split with the Communists a decade earlier.

He may have been also hiding his bottle of rum nearby the pumpkin, maybe inside a squash.

Mr. Chambers had claimed that the reason that he had not previously revealed the existence of the documents during his testimony before HUAC the previous August was that he was a Quaker and did not want to hurt anybody.

Yeah, sure. Did a man named Richard, by chance, suggest that one to you, pal? How long is your nose today?

HUAC would begin its own new set of hearings the following afternoon at 2:00. The purpose of the hearings was to determine who provided the documents to Mr. Chambers.

Wonder who it would be. This is going to be one humdinger of a mystery, better than even the Box 13 series on the radio. Hey, let's all tune our ears and listen in tomorrow to that nice, young Mr. Nixon. He may have a future.

Former Undersecretary of State Sumner Welles had advised HUAC not to release any State Department documents to the public for their potential sensitivity.

Flares from an undetermined number of survivors were spotted in the Pacific after an Air Force C-54 transport had gone down Sunday with 37 persons aboard, several hundred miles from Johnston Island. A lifeboat had been dropped but it was not known whether the survivors had seen it. A vigil was being maintained on the survivors. The plane had not sunk initially and so it was hoped that a large number had survived.

Actor Robert Walker was charged in Topeka, Kans., with being drunk and destroying city property after a melee at the police station, injuring a police sergeant's shoulder. He had been arrested after a call of a disturbance at a Topeka hotel, where police found Mr. Walker, two women and another man engaged in an argument with a taxi driver. They brought Mr. Walker to the police station and called the Menninger Clinic where Mr. Walker was a patient. At some point thereafter, Mr. Walker suddenly rose from a seated position and punched his fist through the plate glass covering a bulletin board. In the ensuing scuffle to restrain him, the police sergeant was injured. He said that he had nothing against Mr. Walker, that he was a sick man.

In Florence, S.C., a fire broke out in the downtown area at Rainwater Furniture Company, causing a quarter million dollars of damage.

In York, S.C., a jury, set to try a defendant truck driver for murder of his employer, was chosen in 21 minutes. The body of the employer, an oil dealer, had been found the previous June 12 near the North Carolina border, floating in a box in a muddy tributary of the Catawba River. It was determined that he had been shot fatally inside a warehouse of his business. The defendant, who denied connection to the murder, had been arrested five days later. If convicted, he faced the death penalty.

In Fayetteville, N.C., the pastor of the Immanuel Baptist Church had been asked to resign because of his views against prohibition. He had been a combat chaplain in the European theater of the war.

In Charlotte, a local County Recorder's Court Judge, Fred Hasty, retiring after five years on the bench to return to private law practice, said that beer and wine ought be placed under ABC supervision, finding that the root cause of most of the cases on which he had sat involving assault, rape, drunk driving and other offenses was the imbibing of a "couple of beers". Unregulated sale of beer and wine, he believed, was causing most of these offenses.

The News, in celebration of its 60th birthday, relates of the churches of the town in 1888, prominent among which were the First and Second Presbyterian Churches. Evangelical meetings were also held.

A description of another type of service is also provided from an edition of 1888, that of an "open-air preacher" and some bears. The preacher beat the bears two to one in crowd appeal, singing "The Little Log Cabin", at which time he threw his hat in the mud and invited everyone forward who wished to be saved, wiping his nose with an indigo handkerchief.

Another 1888 report is provided of a mission Sunday school wherein the teacher remarked on the improved complexion of one of the pupils, to which the pupil responded by informing her that the reason for it was her having given up the habit of snuff-dipping. Upon inquiry, the teacher then discovered that three other pupils were also addicted to snuff. The report had concluded that the mission Sunday schools did some good after all.

On the editorial page, "Revision of the Senate" tells of Senator Arthur Vandenberg of Michigan proposing a partial solution to the gridlock caused by filibusters. His solution would make it possible for 90 or 95 percent of the Senators to force an immediate vote on an issue, thus not allowing one or two Senators to continue a filibuster in a national emergency.

The piece ignores the existing rule which permitted cloture of debate by a two-thirds majority vote—now three-fifths. The Vandenberg proposal was only for emergency situations rather than the usual anti-civil rights type filibuster, which the piece seems to assume it would also help to eliminate. But if the Senate could not obtain a two-thirds vote, it obviously could not get a 90 or 95 percent majority.

"The Treatment of Alcoholism" recounts two questions posed by a minister writing a letter appearing on the page, which inquires of the cause of alcoholism and the remedy for it. The piece suggests that the answers may not ever come completely. Part of the problem was susceptibility to alcoholism, consisting of a state of mind and emotions, weakness of personality, lack of confidence, deficiency in will power, and an unwillingness to face unpleasant facts or events. This complex varied among individuals.

The alcohol itself was only the means of escape, not, per se, the cause. There was plenty of alcoholism during Prohibition.

Jail did not cure the alcoholic. Nor did nagging and reprimands or depriving him of his bottle. He only resorted to home mixtures.

Starting as a psychiatric problem, the alcoholic became a medical problem after time.

If it were possible to have complete prohibition, every thinking person would approve. But, pragmatically, that was not possible. Prohibition simply did not work.

"The Ruhr and World Peace" counsels following the French wisdom in not allowing the Ruhr to be returned to German control. Shortly after Hitler had taken over the Ruhr, his war machine began building toward World War II. The French Army could have then been able to stop him, but the British and French leaders counseled instead cooperation and support. To avoid the prospect of the same debacle again, it supports having the Ruhr controlled by an international commission.

A piece from the Greensboro Daily News, titled "Choo-Choo on Time", pays tribute to UNC star halfback Charlie "Choo-Choo" Justice, the "runningest, passingest, puntingest football player" it had ever seen, just named to the college football All-America team. When he had arrived in Chapel Hill, coach Carl Snaveley had indicated his hope that he would come out for football. The piece says that it was fortunate for the team, the school, and the sport in general that he had, enabling Mr. Snavely to "'git thar the fustest with the Justice.'"

Now, you silly referee with your free flag flying, do you not see what a nice parable you have interrupted and destroyed? You have possibly ripped a hole in the universe so wide that it will never be repaired. This could have been the greatest UNC football season since 1948, but for your stupid impetuosity in throwing that improper flag for offsides on an onsides kick, properly recovered at mid-field, and, given a tiring Clemson defense and a season-long UNC offense accustomed to working fast and efficiently under pressure, probably set to lead to a touchdown, the only real mystery being whether the two-point conversion would have been successful for the tie to send it to overtime.

You are a fool, a silly, damned fool. Keep your damned flag in your pocket and play with it. Or, better, just ball it up and stick it in your mouth. Did someone bribe you or have you always suffered from attention deficit disorder?

Justice: she is not with you, with the possible exception that you share her blindness. That is not a compliment.

Also, to the Clemson fans who continue to insist that there was a missed targeting call after the fumble, you are wrong. That was incidental contact. Both players were in motion and happened to meet helmet to helmet. The player accused of targeting was diving for the loose ball, not trying to hit the Clemson player who had already fumbled and happened to move into the UNC player's path, already established. If anything, the UNC player was instinctively using his helmet to avoid an injury to both players, to allow the helmets to absorb the impact. Maybe you have never played football in real gear. It's different from tag football at the beach with your girlfriends.

Drew Pearson writes an open letter to Secretary of State Marshall, stating that he agreed in theory with the policy that Western Europe ought be armed against Soviet invasion, provided they would have the will to fight. He says that, based on his travels in Western Europe with the Friendship Train a year earlier, he did not believe it likely that they would fight. Being tired of war, Western Europeans did not perceive enough difference between the aims of Russia and the United States to risk becoming embroiled in another war in which they would be in the middle ground. While they trusted the U.S. more than Russia, they were not willing to enter a fight. The nations themselves would likely declare war and send troops, but the will to fight would be lacking. They would fade away just as the French, Belgians, and Dutch had before Hitler's armies.

The battlefield therefore was one of ideas and ideals, to convince the Western Europeans of the new order for world peace which the U.S. was seeking to build with the Marshall Plan.

As things stood, Western Europeans saw the same German bankers and industrial cartels which supplied munitions to the Hitler war machine again possibly controlling the Ruhr industrial region. The American bankers who had, prior to the war, loaned billions to Germany were now Secretary of Defense Forrestal and Undersecretary of the State Robert Lovett, carrying out the same policies again.

The Ruhr held out great economic promise for all of Europe and the consumers needed protection, just as American consumers had protection by the I.C.C. and utility commissions. So, he recommends appointment of a commission of smaller nations, peopled by members of the international cooperatives, to control the Ruhr to protect those interests. Such, he posits, would dispel the suspicions of Western Europeans regarding rebuilding of Germany, and cut the ground from Russian propaganda, demonstrating that American foreign policy was not controlled by bankers but rather by an unselfish desire to build the future peace.

Marquis Childs tells of a sad and beaten looking figure having appeared on television the night of the election, Congressman Hugh Scott of Pennyslvania, RNC chairman. Prior to the results having determined the House solidly for the Democrats, he had tried to make the result in the Senate and the reduced majority in the House seem as a good thing, to temper the arrogance of the GOP Old Guard and eliminate the impact of the Chicago Tribune isolationists.

A month later, Mr. Scott appeared to have recovered his spirit, as he had sent a letter to Republican leaders saying that they would need to fight the "spendthrift" Democrats and their "alien philosophy". It counseled an affirmative program, but never discussed concrete issues. Not containing any fresh thinking, the letter primarily warned of a Democratic "police state".

Oregon Senator Wayne Morse, by contrast, counseled a progressive stance for the party, much as Governor Dewey had championed during the campaign. Mr. Morse said that the Republican Party had defeated itself in the election. He favored realignment of the party based on "Constitutional liberalism". It likely represented the majority view among Senate Republicans.

Senator Morse had stressed that had 36,000 votes in Ohio, Illinois, and California been shifted, Mr. Dewey would have won. By the same token, points out Mr. Childs, a half million votes in New York for Henry Wallace given to the President would have given him New York. He counts such statistical analysis as a futile game which would leave the GOP exactly where it was, "in a dead end".

Joseph & Stewart Alsop tell of a ranking French diplomat having proposed to British officials a settlement to the Berlin crisis, whereby the four powers would leave Berlin in the hands of an international commission appointed by the U.N. It was not likely that such a proposal would be adopted but State Department officials had considered the same idea, some even enthusiastically favoring it.

The reason for consideration of such drastic measures was that the resolution of the currency issue could no longer be seen as a means to resolve the crisis. Indeed, there might not be any realistic proposal which would resolve the crisis among the four powers. For there was no longer any basis for four-power control of the city, as the Russians had refused to hold elections the previous day as held in West Berlin. Such elections had been the subject of agreement at Potsdam in July, 1945. The Russians had also given recognition to the East Berlin rump government established unilaterally, without voter approval, by the Communists.

The proposal to have a U.N. commission control the city was unlikely to have any success, as the Soviets would only be required to withdraw to the borders of the city while the Western powers would have to withdraw to the Western zone of Germany. A commission would have a difficult time therefore holding free elections and even if it succeeded, the resulting government, anti-Communist, would be surrounded by the Soviet-controlled zone of Germany, leading inevitably to further Russian bullying.

If the plan were offered and rejected by the Russians, Soviet policy would be left without a leg on which to stand. If they were to agree, then a plan for simultaneous withdrawal from Austria might also be arranged with the Western powers providing that any invasion of Berlin or re-establishment of the blockade would be a cause for war, reducing thereby the chances for Russian attack against Berlin's independence.

A letter from the pastor of the Bethel Presbyterian Church in Clover, S.C., inquires, per the above editorial, about the causes of alcoholism, positing the question in the context of the two-part series by Tom Fesperman of The News on alcohol, appearing November 23-24. He wonders why the newspapers promoted the "germ" which caused the disease.

A letter from the president of the Charlotte Rotary Club congratulates the newspaper on its 60th anniversary.

A letter from the Charlotte Jaycees thanks the newspaper for its efforts in publicizing the production of The Glass Menagerie.

A letter writer comments on the editorial, "Civil Rights: A Time for Compromise", and the statement therein that the State had abolished the poll tax in 1920. She had found that her city and county tax bills had poll taxes listed of $1 and $2, respectively. She asks for an explanation.

The editors respond that they had advocated abolition of the last vestiges of these taxes which remained on local books, even if not enforced to prevent voting. The editorial on which the letter writer commented had referred to abolition of the State poll tax.

A letter writer thanks the newspaper for its editorial on the passing of Mrs. E. L. McKee.

Framed Edition
[Return to Links
Page by Subject] [Return to Links-Page by Date] [Return to News<i><i><i>—</i></i></i>Framed Edition]
Links-Date Links-Subj.