The Charlotte News

Thursday, February 19, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that members of Congress reacted to the President's call for 570 million dollars in additional aid to the Chiang Government in China to rebuild its economy by calling it too little, too late. Senator Styles Bridges of New Hampshire, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, thought that the civil war between the Communists and Nationalist forces had advanced too far to be remedied only by economic aid, favored sending military aid as well.

In Nuremberg, Field Marshal Wilhelm List was sentenced to life imprisonment for the killings of hostages by German soldiers under his command. Seven other Nazi generals were also convicted of similar war crimes and received sentences ranging from seven years to life in prison. Two other generals were acquitted. The convicted generals were responsible for the deaths of 63,000 prisoners, some of whom were murdered. The court ruled that under international law, hostages could be killed by an occupying force to maintain order, notwithstanding its finding the rule deplorable. In addition to use of that factor, it mitigated the sentences imposed, despite finding murder in many cases, based on the partisans in the Balkans who had opposed the Germans not being entitled to treatment as prisoners of war as they also had not complied with the rules of war.

DNC chairman Howard McGrath, Senator from Rhode Island, asked, in a radio speech delivered the previous night, that Henry Wallace step aside as a third party candidate on the basis that he could do nothing but cause the defeat of President Truman and the "practical liberalism" of Democrats in the fall. He asserted that Communists saw in the candidacy of Mr. Wallace an opportunity to disrupt the two-party system and create splinter parties which had brought chaos and collapse to European nations. He urged that Democrats take a lesson from the Congressional campaign in the Bronx, which the Wallace-backed candidate had won on Tuesday, and to get out and vote.

Former Vice-President Wallace announced the previous night in Miami that he received nearly a half million signatures to place his name on the primary ballot in California.

In Washington, a group of Southerners canceled their reservations at a Democratic Jefferson-Jackson Day dinner on the basis that prominent Democrats intended to rally around the President and his civil rights program. The wife of Senator Olin Johnston of South Carolina stated that she would not attend because she feared that she might be seated beside a black person. Her party of 45 had dwindled, she said, to 30, as others had expressed the same concern. She thought that the civil rights program was a ruse to garner votes from among black folks.

Senator McGrath stated that several black people would attend the dinner as he could not practice segregation in honoring the $100 per plate reservations.

An investigation by the House Rules Committee into whether Earl Long, candidate in Louisiana for governor, had been involved in income tax fraud was delayed until after the Louisiana primary the following Tuesday, based on a series of maneuvers by House Democrats on the Committee favoring Mr. Long. Another candidate in the race was also being investigated by the Rules Committee

The Carnegie-Illinois Steel Corporation raised prices by the equivalent of $4.89 per ton for forging grades and $4.82 for rolling grades.

In McCormick, S.C., the decomposed body of a woman was found by two hunters in a wooded area four miles from the highway. The Sheriff ruled out suicide in the death based on his certainty that no woman would commit suicide in such a remote location. A .32 caliber pistol with two empty cartridges and an illegible pawn ticket were found in a location near where the body was found. No identification of the body had yet been made.

In Charlotte, probable cause was found in juvenile court against an eleven-year old boy, binding him over to Superior Court on the charge of first-degree burglary, a capital offense at the time, for breaking and entering a residence while the occupants slept and stealing a wallet containing $64. The boy was arrested in Lexington. Judge F. M. Redd said that he wanted to review the matter with Superior Court Judge J. A. Rousseau and Solicitor Basil Whitener before proceeding further, as the boy did not appear to Judge Redd to understand the nature of the crime and the legal consequences potentially coming from it. Psychiatrists were appointed to examine the boy's mental condition.

Retarded children in Charlotte were to be afforded for the first time special instruction through a program sponsored by Christ Episcopal Church at the kindergarten level and by the State, upon approval of costs, at the grade-school level. The Junior Chamber of Commerce had been the major force behind the establishment of the program and was bringing for a speech a doctor from the University of Mississippi, who had enjoyed great success while in Chicago in raising the I.Q.'s of 240 such children to normal levels.

Mecklenburg County officials expressed amazement at the move to consolidate the County and City health services while a study was ongoing at the Institute of Government in Chapel Hill to determine the cost effectiveness and efficiency of such a move.

Spanish Professor Fred Fleagle of Davidson College, near Charlotte, died of a cerebral hemorrhage in Memorial Hospital this date after falling ill the previous night. He had been at Davidson since 1921, was originally from Michigan and received his education at the University of Michigan. He was 63 years old.

In Los Angeles, the wife of screenwriter St. Clair McKelway obtained a divorce on grounds of cruelty. She contended that he had spent much of the day in bed, demanding absolute quiet in the house, while she contributed $30,000 to family expenses. The couple had been married since the previous April.

On the editorial page, "Wallace Jolts the Old Parties" discusses the surprising political upset in the special election in the Bronx Congressional district where the Henry Wallace-backed candidate, Leo Isacson, a member of the American Labor Party, had won on Tuesday. The regular Democratic nominee, backed by Bronx boss Ed Flynn and the Truman Administration and supported by Mayor William O'Dwyer and Eleanor Roosevelt, had been expected to win. Mr. Flynn, as did Mayor O'Dwyer, blamed the overwhelming victory by Mr. Isacson on the Communists and voter apathy displayed by those opposing Communism.

The piece interprets the results as suggesting a repudiation by the voters of both major political parties rather than an endorsement of the politics of Henry Wallace. It did, however, show that support for Mr. Wallace, at least in New York, was greater than anticipated. But that was to be blamed on the lack of interest being stimulated by either of the two major parties rather than the appeal per se of Mr. Wallace and the Progressive Party.

The Bronx results plus the national opinion polls of Gallup and Fortune appeared to forecast an election in November in which the Republicans would fare worse than the Democrats in the political upheaval taking place.

It would prove an astute observation.

"We Don't Need Thought Control" takes issue, as does the following piece, with the proposal of Dr. John Studebaker, U.S. Commissioner of Education, to promote a program in the public schools to teach of the perils of Fascism and Communism. The program suggested, along with other programs afoot of the stripe in the country, a form of thought control usually associated with totalitarian police states.

More schools and more teachers were needed, not a regimented instruction program to indoctrinate students to "the American way".

The loyalty tests and hearings before HUAC were not salutary. They had only served to show that most of America was free from any Communist taint. Out of 150,0000 Government employees tested in one round, only eleven were failed as being suspect for disloyalty. HUAC had produced only a handful of such suspects. No threat to the country had been uncovered.

The Reds and fellow-travelers had already been ostracized completely in American society and there was no need to conduct surveillance on the American people or effect propaganda campaigns and tests of loyalty to maintain democratic faith. More leaders who shared that faith and saw the danger of turning the Red scare into restrictions on freedom of speech were instead to be sought.

A piece from the Greensboro Daily News, titled "Public-School Witch Hunt", expresses dismay at the proposal by Dr. Studebaker to teach in the schools the impact internationally of Communism and Fascism, with emphasis on the former, and to push the "American way of life".

The piece thinks that it would serve to encourage teen psychoses and neuroses, as it would potentially promote searching out the neighborhood Communist and pointing the finger at him or her. The young people would then initiate the greatest witch-hunt since the Salem trials.

Part of Dr. Studebaker's strategy was to teach how these two totalitarian approaches had served to put business in "straitjackets". The piece points out that the power trusts during the 1930's had adopted the same strategy to oppose the New Deal.

It favors stopping the program before it was able to start the following fall in the public schools.

Drew Pearson tells of reporter Douglass M. Allen, Jr., of the Cincinnati Times-Star, owned by the Taft family, heading to Australia to recapitulate the northward advance to the Philippines by General MacArthur during the war. Special attention was to be paid to the mansion built by the Seabees for the General at Hollandia and the resentment he had aroused from the Navy during the advance. Those incidents might provide good fodder for Senator Taft in case the General decided finally to throw his hat into the presidential ring.

A dispute had arisen as to whether the diary of Josef Goebbels belonged to the Hoover Presidential Library or the Government. Friends of the former President had discovered the diary while Mr. Hoover was touring Germany on behalf of the Administration to report on financial conditions. After editing by Louis Lochner of the A.P., the diary was about to be published by Doubleday. But the Government claimed rights as it came from the American occupation zone, and urged also that the original belonged in the Library of Congress, not the Hoover Library.

The diary, he remarks, showed that its author was insane.

Senator Edward Moore of Oklahoma, a tool of the oil and gas lobby, had summoned Federal Power Commission appointee, Edward Behling, to his office whereupon two lobbyists set upon him to try to obtain an advance commitment to a position on a bill which would permit gas companies to raise prices. When Mr. Behling refused to state his position, finding it unethical to do so, Senator Moore retaliated by blocking his appointment to the FPC. A Commissioner of the FPC then wrote a letter of protest of the action. But, meanwhile, Mr. Behling was now promoting the price boost sought by the gas companies and Senator Moore had switched his position to support of the appointment.

HUAC had received a secret report on the formation of international brigades out of the Soviet bloc, known as the Soviet Foreign Legion, infiltrating Greece, France, and Italy. Its first mission a year earlier had been to support the guerrillas in Northern Greece. The fighting of the brigades in Italy and France was expected initially to consist of nuisance raids.

Marquis Childs discusses the work of the Atomic Energy Commission during its first year after troubled Senate confirmation of chairman David Lilienthal and the other four Commission members. Having talked with the members, with military men, scientists, members of Congress on the Joint Committee on Atomic Energy and others, Mr. Childs had found that progress had been made by the Commission and that no other form of control of atomic energy able to win approval in Congress and from the public would have been so effective.

There had been no conflicts with the Military Liaison Committee, with appeal to the President in the event of being overruled by the Commission. The chairman of the Committee, General L. H. Brereton, had worked in harmony with the Commission.

The commissioners were of varying political stripes, but had not allowed politics to enter the Commission deliberations. Even as some members of Congress grumbled, they understood why politics could not be allowed to affect the process.

The Commission would direct during the year about a half billion dollars of appropriations.

The members of the Commission had to be reappointed and confirmed each year.

He concludes that good news rarely made the front page and the first year of AEC had been good news.

Samuel Grafton defines more terms, as he had begun to do a week earlier.

"Aplomb" meant that anti-price control Senators were able to declare that prices were stabilized.

"Old Tory" referred to one one who could face up to the danger of unemployment in the cities or a $2.27 Government support level for wheat in the country.

"Split Personality" referred to an Administration which declared itself in favor of peaceful settlement of Palestine but had to wait until the U.N. determined what it would do, despite the U.S. being its most influential member.

"Sincerity" referred to anti-price control Congressmen who blamed exports when wheat rose above $3 per bushel and then supported sending more exports when wheat dropped below $3.

"Freedom" referred to a system in which people discussed everything but changed nothing. It had a big enough tent to be inclusive of the notions of the closed shop and the discriminatory neighborhood covenant, barring those unlike the covenantors.

"Public Scandal" referenced anyone in Government who had committed a sexual indiscretion in the past, been involved in any financial irregularity, had written a book or used an unusually polysyllabic word unfamiliar to cub reporters in need of a comic squib for the day.

"Dangerous Thoughts" were hard to detect and those best equipped to do so usually believed that slight unemployment would help in reducing the inflationary spiral, that rent controls ought be abolished, and that atomic bombs ought be dropped on any country in disagreement with the U.S. Troublemakers, on the other hand, were those who believed in housing and medical care for everyone.

A letter writer remarks that Dr. Daniel Poling, a leading Baptist minister, who favored compulsory universal military training, was an example of someone who allowed men of another profession to convince him to be their tool. The writer says that he was not a pacifist but he could not understand how a preacher could convince himself that killing was consistent with Biblical teaching.

The author believes that UMT could only be used for one purpose, to facilitate establishment of a military dictatorship in the United States.

A letter writer expresses upset with the City for not connecting six houses on his block, built fifteen years or more earlier, with the sewer system, on the stated basis of not having funds for the project. If his children were to ever contract an illness from the resulting ground contamination consequent of overflowing septic tanks, he intended to sue the City.

A Quote of the Day: "The number of ku klux klans operating under aliases is probably greater in Palestine at this time than in any other part of the world." —Charleston News & Courier

Another Quote of the Day: "A laughing hyena escaped from a circus Winter quarters. We'd suggest looking for it in movie houses." —Tallahassee Democrat

Another Quote of the Day: "Henpecked hubby wants to see that plane that can beat the speed of sound." —Dallas Morning News

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