The Charlotte News

Thursday, February 12, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that at Triveni Sangham in India, the ashes of Mohandas K. Gandhi were distributed this date along the Ganges at the confluence of the trinity of rivers most sacred to India, in accordance with a Hindu funeral rite. Hundreds of thousands of people attended the ceremony. Portions of the Mahatma's ashes were distributed to all sections of India for use in separate rites, as a symbol of his bond with the people of India.

The Soviet Information Bureau contended that German Foreign Office documents from 1937-38, seized at the end of the war, showed that Great Britain and France had encouraged Hitler prior to the start of the war to invade Russia and that the two nations allowed Germany to take over Czechoslovakia after the Munich Pact of September, 1938. Little mention was made of the United States in this release. Meetings between British diplomats and Hitler, at which was discussed a deal whereby Germany would attack Russia, were alleged to have occurred on November 19, 1937 and on both March 3 and July 10, 1938.

The British Foreign Office denied the charge of any collusion with Hitler to invade Russia.

It was the second released statement regarding the documents, intended as response to the State Department's release of documents on January 21, showing that Russia sought peace with Germany in December, 1940 on conditions that it be given a free hand in Finland and in the Dardanelles, enabling free access to the Middle East, an offer to which Hitler made no reply.

A leading cotton trader from New Orleans told the Senate Agriculture Committee that he was not aware of any Government leaks which would benefit trading, that there may have been some in the past but not in recent years. He posited that requirements of high margins on wheat trading had precipitated the current price decline by discouraging speculators from entering the market, causing the farmer to receive less for his product. He said that no legislation could eliminate speculation.

Income in the U.S. in 1947 totaled 197 billion dollars, twenty billion higher than the previous record. The increase was attributed by the Commerce Department primarily to increased farm income. The annualized rate of income for December reached 209.7 billion, a little higher than that used by Republicans to justify the 6.5 billion dollar proposed tax cut.

On the birthday of Abraham Lincoln, Governor Thomas Dewey said that President Truman had failed in his foreign policy and that he was getting ready to propose an alternative.

Senator Taft called for a hard-boiled approach to the Marshall Plan and for tax reduction.

Harold Stassen said that Senator Vandenberg was the best exponent of the principles of President Lincoln with respect to world problems.

The Southern Governors upset over the President's ten-point civil rights program announced that they would go to Washington on George Washington's Birthday, February 22.

Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin, vice-chairman of the joint Senate-House Housing Committee, predicted that Congress would pass a long-term housing bill during 1948. He disfavored Government-operated or owned public housing projects. He wanted a goal of 1.5 million new units per year, but admitted that 700,000 of the units would inevitably be out of the reach of the average consumer without Government participation in the financing or a method to reduce prices.

In New York, Professor Albert Einstein of Princeton received the One World Award for 1948 for his recognition that scientists are involved in mankind and cannot avoid taking stands on moral issues of the time. He would receive a trip around the world as the award, in honor of the late Wendell Willkie who espoused the "One World" philosophy in 1943 in his book of the same name, following his round the world trip.

As the nation's stock markets remained closed for Lincoln Day, world markets marked time in anticipation of the next day's trading.

In Chicago, livestock was traded at 50 cents lower to 25 cents higher than the previous day. Cattle prices were unchanged and lamb was 25 cents higher.

Procter & Gamble, Lever Brothers, and Colgate-Palmolive announced a five percent wholesale price cut in soap, in response to lower prices on fat and oil.

Some New York food retailers cut prices on meat by around 15 percent.

In Ulrichstein, Germany, a Danish airliner, a C-47 transport, crashed on a foggy hill in the vicinity of Frankfurt after losing altitude, killing an estimated eleven persons aboard. Ten persons survived.

Some fifty miles from Alamosa, Colorado, a 400-foot wide, ten-foot deep avalanche swept three small cars of a mountain railway into 400-foot deep Toltec Gorge, but none of the fourteen occupants were killed. Five were hospitalized and seven others had minor injuries. The snow cushioned the cars as they plunged down the 40-degree slope into the gorge. One car came to a rest against a tree just a few yards from a precipitous 500-foot cliff. The other two cars stopped further up the slope.

More rain was predicted for Charlotte after a deluge this date which washed away most of the remaining ice and snow from the snowstorm the previous Monday. The low was predicted as 33 degrees for the following morning. The low this date was 32 degrees and it was 41 by 12:30 p.m.

In Palm Beach, Fla., future Arkansas Governor Winthrop Rockefeller, grandson of John D. Rockefeller, would marry Barbara Sears, daughter of Lithuanian immigrants, the following day in an evening ceremony at the home of Winston Guest. The bride to be had played "Pearl" in the Boston company presentation of Tobacco Road and had appeared in several films.

Everyone is invited obviously, or why else would news of the event be on the front page of the newspaper?

You can get you some of that free caviar on saltines.

On the editorial page, "Dangerous Confusion over UMT" finds it irresponsible for the Congress to have pigeon-holed Universal Military Training. Religious and school groups had been especially active in opposition to it, but, while earnest in their attack, could also be in error.

Dr. Robert Hutchins, chancellor of the University of Chicago, had given a speech in which he had said that he had not read the lengthy report of the President's Advisory Commission on UMT, nevertheless willingly ventured a negative opinion on the proposal. The piece suggests that he was as positive of the lack of danger of war as he had been in 1941 when he and other isolationists fought a defense build-up in the country.

It recommends reading the first 95 pages of the report and opines that opposing UMT encouraged potential enemies and increased the risk of a war for which the country would be ill-prepared.

Dr. Hutchins, we note, would, in 1959, become the founder of the Center for Study of Democratic Institutions at Santa Barbara, California, which would have as its vice-chairman former News Editor Harry Ashmore, who resigned in July, 1947 to become Associate Editor of the Arkansas Gazette in Little Rock, of which he would quickly become Editor, and in which capacity he would be awarded a Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing in 1958 for his editorials on the school integration crisis at Central High School in Little Rock during the fall of 1957 and into the spring of 1958.

As previously explained, Mr. Ashmore and the Center, in 1967, became conduits to try to achieve a platform for peace in Vietnam, as set forth in brief beginning at the 1:26:00 mark of "In the Year of the Pig"—which is to suggest the Year of the Monkey, 1968, and the Year of the Rabbit, 1963. (Perhaps less attention to alleged copyright violations for absurdly money-grubbing third or fourth-hand reasons, 48 years on, regarding material few would ever see or of which would even become aware other than in an environment such as Youtube or its equivalent, would be far more astute to the salutary purpose of such films as "In the Year of the Pig", whose original documentarian has been deceased since 1989, than purblind ignorance of the substance of that on which someone purports to hold a copyright, effectively attempting thereby to lock away understanding and sharing of same behind some authoritarian's doe-eyed, vaulted wall.)

"'Expert' Analysis of the 1948 Man" finds more cheer than gloom coming from the report of psychiatrist Dr. Edward A. Strecker, urging that America was on the brink of disintegration from the rising rates of divorce and juvenile delinquency. The piece counsels that man had been contending against such forces for time immemorial and had withstood two world wars and universal depressions in the previous 44 years. He was nevertheless seeking to achieve peace out of this morass.

The editorial finds humankind merely responding adaptively to the changes wrought by modernity. Its performance thus far should be applauded rather than bemoaned as auguring the end. The people were looking ahead with the pioneer spirit.

"They seem to be short mostly in psychiatrists and prophets who have the pioneer's faith in man and his destiny."

"Bob Taft on the Price Decline" finds Senator Taft's praise of the lowering of prices as vindication of his free market philosophy to be wrong-headed when he then turned on the President by suggesting that the Administration was seeking to limit the downturn in prices that it could continue to make a rational case for re-implementation of price and wage controls.

The President had to be concerned about limiting the downturn so as not to allow it to become a depression with widespread unemployment. As people might become nervous over the quality of the President's leadership, public criticism of him could cause the downturn to become such a rout.

Senator Taft would attack Government relief measures for such unemployment with equal vigor to that he was applying to price and wage controls, and that, suggests the editorial, was troubling.

A piece from the Providence (R.I.) Bulletin, titled "Whistling Critics", recommends that theater and music critics in the country take up the French practice of whistling to express disapproval, as had at least one French critic, reproved for doing so by the Paris Association of Drama and Music Critics.

The piece asserts that critics ought be given a whistle with varying tones to express the level of disapproval, thus providing the audience and public with a convenient short-hand, eliminating the need for the written review.

Drew Pearson tells of trying to convince Henry Kaiser that his suggestions of additional Friendship Trains running from other parts of the country, in supplement of the November train which went from Los Angles to New York, had been wrong-headed, that in so doing he had underestimated the resolve of the American people to form additional trains on their own. One was coming from the Southwest, a Friend Ship had been organized in New England, and two trains were coming from Springfield, Ill., and Lincoln, Neb., respectively, as the Abraham Lincoln trains.

He regards it to be appropriate on the birthday of President Lincoln to determine whether Americans were acting on the charge contained in the Gettysburg Address: "It is for us the living ... to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced."

He proceeds to relate of various efforts across the country to provide aid directly to Europe, such as the Maine iron works which was building fishing trawlers for France, packed with food and clothing collected by Maine Rotary Clubs. The Rotary Club of Nantes, France, would distribute the food and clothing. The Maine Sardine Packers provided a carload of food. In New Orleans, the people adopted the French city of Orleans and were providing their surplus food to that city. The same sort of effort had occurred in Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and Alaska.

The aid, as he could attest from riding the Friendship Trains through France and Italy distributing the earlier collections, would be genuinely appreciated.

Marquis Childs suggests that fears surrounded ERP, the fear by the State Department that the Congress would so emasculate the Plan as to render it ineffective in the draw, the fear of the Republican leadership in Congress that a small band of recalcitrant Senators were intent on doing just that. The 16 recipient nations had proposed a new meeting which then was called off. The process demonstrated a lack of leadership to carry the ball and make ERP successful.

After a tentative date for the meeting was set, word reached Washington that the intent was to discuss the kinds of political contingencies attached to the aid which would render it unworkable. The State Department, worried of the effect such discussion might have on the legislative process in Congress, sought to have the meeting called off or postponed. Thus, it appeared there would be no meeting.

Mr. Childs think it would have been better simply to have asked that discussion of unacceptable political contingencies be removed from the meeting's agenda.

Another example of the fear governing the situation came in the form of talk of compromise on the program in Congress, where the Administration was suggesting that the first year of ERP be funded from the RFC at around 5.5 billion dollars to avoid stalemate and a prolonged debate on the 6.8 billion proposed for the Plan by the President. Senator Vandenberg had suggested that such a debate could wreck the entire program. But compromise could divert public attention from the real issues involved, the rebuilding of Western Europe to ward off potential Soviet expansion. And those who wanted to emasculate the program could use compromise as a stalking horse to afford time to weaken it.

Secretary of State Marshall would soon address the National Farm Institute at Des Moines in reference to that issue, so that the ultimate goal would not become lost in the devil's shuffle over the details.

Samuel Grafton looks at the decrease in prices, warns of the person wishing to lower wages based on it, as prices were not down very much and had not been reflected yet in the cost of living. It would not harm anything if reduction of wages lagged behind reduction in prices.

He also cautions of anyone suggesting that rent control ought be eliminated on the basis that inflation was under control.

The Congressman who wanted to undertake artificial buying of agricultural product to keep farm prices up was another of whom to be wary.

The person who advocated a period of unemployment as a "natural readjustment" was likewise to be avoided.

Generally, he advises not listening to the advice of those who had contended that prices would adjust shortly after controls were eliminated based on higher production and increased competition.

A letter writer favors an agreement by both houses of Congress that they would commit to cooperation on foreign policy.

A letter writer assumes that the President intended to use Federal power and snoopers to abolish racial segregation and states' rights, believes it would lead to calamity for all and that the President was in league with CIO and the Communists.

He advocates calling a Democratic convention for Southerners other than in Philadelphia, where the "mongrel convention" would take place in July.

A letter writer finds the opponents to civil rights to be the enemies, undermining the Constitution and the Bible, especially the Sermon on the Mount. She recommends putting such Fascists in jail, suggests that the President so had the power under the Constitution to do.

While the first point is a good one, the rest appears to be precisely contrary to the Sermon on the Mount, as well the Constitution, especially the Fourth and Fifth Amendments. Or did we miss the part where Jesus said, "Blessed are the bold who shall place in bonds all who shall disagree with these words"? That may have been the Roman Jesus, the impostor known to all as "Heyzeus".

And the Constitution does not say that the President has authority to do anything remotely of the kind suggested. The Congress has limited authority to suspend, pursuant to Article I, Section 9, the right to habeas corpus, that is to say due process rights ordinarily attendant arrest and incarceration, but only in times of rebellion or invasion threatening the public safety. The President would only have that authority if granted by the Congress under emergency legislation, as during the late war. While one might make a theoretical case burg by burg on the dangers posed by the Klan and similar organizations to the public safety, such activity had not reached a point, as in the Civil War, where the Congress could call on historical precedent to support any such move, to which there would only have been violent backlash potentially stimulative of a civil war in fact among the hotheads of the South.

A letter writer predicts violence in the South should Congress enact any part of the President's civil rights bill. He thinks it would cause a second period of Reconstruction, reminiscent of the carpetbagger era. He advocates reading Thomas Dixon's The Clansman and The Leopard's Spots for insight as to what would occur in such an environment.

We would recommend, instead, The Mind of the South by W. J. Cash for insight into what precipitates the attitudinal mindset held by the letter writer, how to ameliorate it and bring it from the Nineteenth Century wedding to which it is romantically and superstitiously pledged in blood-oath fealty, to a modern understanding of mutual self-interest accruing from an integrated society, educationally, economically and socially.

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