The Charlotte News

Tuesday, December 7, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Socialist Ernst Reuter, an outspoken foe of Communism, had been named lord mayor of Berlin, so chosen by the newly elected city assembly. He would face another ballot by the assembly in January. The Communists in East Berlin did not recognize him.

General Lucius Clay, military commander of the U.S. occupation zone, said that a thousand Germans were fleeing the Soviet sector to the West every day, at least since October. The bad economy in the Eastern sector and fears of a police state were the primary factors stimulating the exodus.

In Paris, the U.S., through acting chief delegate John Foster Dulles, asked the U.N. to provide protection for South Korea against threats of violence and terror from the North, controlled by the Communists. He criticized Poland, Czechoslovakia and Russia for recognizing the North Korean regime. He said that the North was seeking to rule the entire country, though a Republic had recently been formed in the South.

The Security Council committee assigned to study the membership application of Israel ended its study without recommendation. It remained unclear whether the application would be approved before the next meeting of the U.N. in April in New York.

In China, Government sources admitted that 110,000 Nationalist troops were encircled by Communist troops southwest of Suchow. The Hwai and Yangtze Rivers afforded the remaining defenses to Nanking. The Yangtze was lightly defended while the remaining mobile forces defended the Hwai.

In Japan, on the seventh anniversary of the attack at Pearl Harbor, Hideki Tojo and six other condemned Japanese war leaders were temporarily under reprieve until the U.S. Supreme Court heard their appeals, scheduled for argument on December 16.

In Athens, three women and four men, convicted of treason in the Communist guerrilla revolt in Greece, were executed.

HUAC renewed its hearings this date into Government spying for the Communists, with focus on the Alger Hiss and Whittaker Chambers conflict in testimony the previous August. Mr. Chambers had then accused Mr. Hiss, a State Department attorney beginning in the mid-thirties, of being a Communist. He had not at that time, however, accused him of being a spy or transmitting documents, as Mr. Chambers was now asserting in the libel suit filed by Mr. Hiss against Mr. Chambers and would, beginning the following day, assert to the grand jury in New York. Former Undersecretary of State Sumner Welles was scheduled as a witness. Committee chief investigator Robert Stripling would also appear as a witness, regarding the allegations of Mr. Chambers that Mr. Hiss had provided him secret State Department documents on microfilm. Representatives Karl Mundt and Richard Nixon would handle the hearings. Mr. Nixon, fresh off the boat from Panama, said that he was seeking authority from the Committee to put everything the Committee had found before the New York grand jury. Mr. Nixon would testify to the grand jury the following week. He also said that he would ask the Justice Department to appoint a special attorney to handle the case before the grand jury.

Perhaps, Archibald Cox at Harvard might be willing to serve.

Secretary of State Marshall, 67, underwent surgery at Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington to remove a kidney. The condition necessitating the operation had been discovered the previous summer.

The Postmaster General said that postal rates would need to rise to make up for the projected record deficit of $550,000 experienced by the Postal Service in the current fiscal year, up from $310,000 from 1947-48.

In Rome, Ga., a ten-year old boy, son of a striker at the Celanese plant was shot in the back by a neighbor employee as the boy chopped wood in his parents' yard. Police believed the neighbor mistook the boy for his father. The boy was recovering in the hospital.

In Burlington, N.C., a young lad was able to sneak under the canopy of the Chamber of Commerce float in the Christmas parade and then set on fire the pants leg of Santa Claus who was aboard the float. Santa extinguished the fire, whereupon the boy sought to set the other pants leg on fire, at which point Santa climbed down the chimney of the float to extricate the boy from beneath. The unknown boy then cut the boot of Santa, nicking a toe, before fleeing.

We think we know who it was.

In York, S.C., the trial continued of the man accused of killing a local oil dealer the previous June. Mr. Rice was testifying against defendant Corn, accused of killing his employer, Mr. Beam.

We still await the testimony of Mr. Squash re the activities of Mr. Pumpkin. But that might be in another case.

In Charlotte, the Sheriff confiscated the books and records of the Justice of the Peace for examination by the grand jury for unstated reasons. The State Bureau of Investigation was also assisting in the investigation at the request of the local prosecutor.

In celebration of the 60th birthday of the newspaper, The News tells of the 1888 miscellany column, "Local Ripples", which reported on a cornucopia of this and that, samples of which are provided. One such item was that the noon train on the Richmond & Danville Road brought a tremendous crowd to the city such that the buses, cabs, street cars and hacks were all filled.

In New York, a bench warrant issued for actor Errol Flynn for failing to appear on a charge of assaulting a police officer by kicking him in the shin. The assault came after a dispute in a taxi late at night, when the taxi was stopped by the cop because he thought the driver appeared too young. When the driver got out of the cab to show the officer his credentials, the movie publicity agent traveling with Mr. Flynn allegedly heaped abusive language on the officer while Mr. Flynn sat quietly in the cab. Everyone was then taken to the police station by the copper, whereupon after an argument, Mr. Flynn allegedly kicked the copper in the shin. After his arrest and release, Mr. Flynn said that the copper was using "Gestapo methods".

We agree.

Hundreds of bobbysoxers who had gathered outside the court hoping to see the actor enter for his appearance wound up disappointed.

He should have been there. That was a mistake.

On the editorial page, "Taxi Service—What's Wrong?" tells of the taxis in Charlotte being overloaded with calls such that it was difficult to obtain one.

A black man was seeking to establish a new company to serve the black community, his application being considered by the City Council. The piece asserts that the fact might urge existing companies to improve their services.

Red Top and Victory Cab sometimes refused to carry passengers on long trips across town, as shorter trips enabled them to attract more fares.

The City Council was meeting to determine whether to require meters in the cabs or to have two charge zones, 50 cents and 75 cents. Then, however, passengers, it suggests, might get upset as to which zone their ride properly belonged.

But remember, cabbies, if Robert Walker or Errol Flynn should come to town, they must be treated with deference if they get into an argument about the fare or the driver. Just humor them, or one may catch the train and the other a ship, which will lead one or both to the merry-go-round, and we really don't want that.

"Message to a Berliner" tells the typical German, who it names "Hans", a former Nazi who had learned much of geopolitics and that the survival of Europe was not a gift but rather something to be seized by calculation and action, of American perception of his decision on the previous Sunday to cast his vote or not in the municipal election, finding that it was in his best interests to do so and to cast it in favor of one of the three non-Communist parties on the West Berlin ballot. The West characterized the vote as an act of "civil courage"; the Soviets called it a vote for "famine and chaos".

It says that Americans did not yet know what to make of the vote, whether an expression of faith in democracy and the Western concept of government for the people and by the people, or merely faith in Western power to win the battle of Berlin and eliminate the Russian blockade, a desire to be on the winning side and to have meat and potatoes on the table during the winter.

Regardless of cause, the vote had provided a mandate, of which the Communists were taking note, that there was a desire for the West to stand firm against totalitarianism in Berlin. It responds that America accepted that mandate and would stand firm.

Sumner Welles, former Undersecretary of State until August, 1943, tells of the Herbert Evatt and Secretary-General Trygve Lie proposal before the U.N. recently, urging the Big Four powers to resolve their differences over Berlin, having provoked much bitter reaction, claiming that it was put forth so that the Soviets would be relieved of responsibility for the crisis.

Indicative of why American foreign policy was relegating the U.N. to the discard, as the American delegation in Paris said that it would cooperate fully with the smaller nations of the Security Council in effecting a resolution of the crisis, General Lucius Clay in Berlin stated that it would be impossible to effect a resolution within the context of diplomacy before the U.N. As long as military brass determined foreign policy, the U.N. would be long on assurances and short on performance.

He recommends that the President, as his new term was beginning, reassess the relationship to the U.N. and whether the country should follow the policy urged by his military advisers or a policy designed to strengthen the U.N. as the only means by which to assure collective security.

Drew Pearson tells of Emperor Hirohito breaking with tradition to have lunch with Joseph Keenan, the lawyer who had prosecuted the highest war leaders of Japan, including Hideki Tojo. The Emperor—bless his heart, the little equestrian—told Mr. Keenan that he hoped that he would return to Japan at a time when he had no such duties to perform. The Empress—bless her heart, the little poetastress—was interested in hearing about the President's daughter Margaret and her singing career. The Emperor wished to know of the President's hobbies, policies and the election.

He plays poker, sips whiskey, cusses freely in private, and listens to the World Series with the Supreme Court. Any other questions, two-faced jackass?

Black Congressman William Dawson of Illinois was set to chair the House Expenditures Committee, the first time a black Congressman would chair a House committee. It was one of most powerful in Congress, possessed of the authority to investigate practically anything it chose. In the 80th Congress, it had the role of paring down the Truman Administration's policies. But now the Republicans were shorn of their power. Mr Dawson was well-liked by his colleagues, even those from the South. But, because of his lack of experience on the Committee and generally in the Congress, he might be unprepared for the position. Second in command, however, was shrewd California Congressman Chet Holifield who understood well how committees operated.

Secretary of Agriculture Charles Brannan, who had been significant in the campaign for the President, recently agreed with Thomas Dewey in assessing the job done by TVA on soil conservation as poor. North Carolina's soil conservation, by comparison, was far ahead. Tennessee, along with Pennsylvania, did not cooperate with the U.S. Soil Conservation Service, instead looked to their respective States. Mr. Brannan said that the Department would frown on establishment of a Missouri Valley authority unless it agreed to cooperate on soil conservation.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop relate of the idea being booted about in the Administration to appoint a head of the Joint Chiefs to be an organizer and resolve conflicts between the three branches, something for which the armed services unification bill had not provided. General Eisenhower was being touted as the best choice for the position, even if only temporarily so that he could return to his current position as president of Columbia University within a few months. At that point, after the initial priorities and assignments had been set, another general of standing, perhaps Omar Bradley, could take over the job.

The President was correct in wanting the military to economize, but the method by which it was to be accomplished, ordering a budgetary ceiling of 15 billion dollars, appeared suicidal. Rather, the way to achieve the economy was to give the branches time to trim away their duplication and overlap, streamlining to essential strength and military requirements in a unified manner.

It was necessary to do away with the inter-service rivalries and jealousies. "If we are to survive in this bleak world," they posit, "this much at least is essential."

James Marlow tells of preparations for the inauguration on January 20. The organizers expected 750,000 people and the festivities would likely cost $300,000 dollars. It would be the first inauguration ever televised. The details were still being determined.

He informs of the order of events to take place during the swearing-in ceremony and following parade down Pennsylvania Avenue from the Capitol to the White House.

Tickets for seats in the reviewing stand in front of the White House will cost $2 to $10 or more, should you wish to try to get one. He provides the address to which to write.

The inaugural ball would be held at the National Guard Armory which held only 5,200 people and was by invitation only.

Well, just be that way, then.

Samuel Grafton, no longer carried by The News, finds it ironic that the AMA was demanding $27 per member to pool its resources to form a 2.5 million dollar fund to fight the President's proposed compulsory health insurance plan, which would be a pooling of resources to insure better health care.

He takes solace from the fact that new car advertisements were beginning to mention prices.

He finds the President's conciliatory remark that business had nothing to fear from him to be unduly solicitous to business, that business could take care of itself while the President's job was to formulate economic policy. Such remarks improved the morale of those whom the President had just defeated in the election. It reminded him of the President calling price controls emblematic of a "police state", just before he asked for them and began campaigning on the position.

He regards Britain, once an "irresistible force", now to be an "immovable object" for its opposition to Israel's immediate admission to the U.N., nevertheless characteristic of Britain's recent policy positions. The kind of greatness embracing an irresistible force did not accompany an immovable object. A force could bypass an object, "leaving it sitting forlorn and alone, in a place that was once way uptown."

A piece from the Jackson (Miss.) Clarion-Ledger takes a firm stand against wife-beating.

A piece from the McComb (Miss.) Enterprise-Journal tells of a hoot owl perched in a red oak tree outside the bedroom window awakening the editor at 4:00 a.m., finds it comforting against the notion that the town was becoming too sophisticated.

A piece from the Santa Fe New Mexican relates of city residents buying potatoes from the Government for a penny per sack and then dumping them in the river, retaining the sack and selling it back to the Government for 15 cents, all in the furtherance of eliminating the vast stores of subsidized potatoes.

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