The Charlotte News

Monday, February 2, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in New Delhi, Prime Minister Nehru said that the survival of the Government depended on restoration of the peace for which Mohandas Gandhi had sought and over which he had been assassinated on Friday. He said that there would be no Hindu rule in India, that the only raj would be that of an Indian nation, irrespective of race, creed, or religion. The Home Ministry abolished all private armies and any organization urging violence or communal hatred.

As Gandhi's ashes were prepared for spread over the Ganges in the last of the ceremonial rites accorded traditionally to Hindus, violence in Bombay continued in the wake of the assassination, as crowds sought to burn the house of a member of the Militant Mahasabha, an Hindu organization.

A nationwide manhunt was initiated to locate and arrest the participants in the conspiracy to assassinate Gandhi as well as Prime Minister Nehru and others in the Government. Persons merely suspected of being troublemakers were being arrested.

In Frankfurt, Germany, nearly three million German workers would go on strike at midnight in the largest demonstration since the war, in protest of a shortage of food. One-day strikes in other towns and cities in the British and American zones were also anticipated. Labor leaders reported increasing efforts by Communists to foment strikes in both zones.

The U.S. rejected Russia's complaint regarding the presence of American warships in Italian ports. The Russians complained that the presence violated the treaty with Italy requiring that all signatory nations remove armed forces from Italy by December 15, 1947, 90 days after ratification of the treaty. The State Department stated that America regarded the warships only as an emblem of friendship between the U.S. and Italy and were part of the Mediterranean Fleet, not considered armed forces in the sense the treaty intended.

The State Department had not yet replied to an earlier Russian protest of the re-establishment of an American airfield at Mellaha near Tripoli in Libya, a former colony of Italy.

Former House Ways & Means chairman Robert Doughton informed his colleagues during debate in the House that if they would trim the proposed tax cut from 6.5 billion dollars to 4.25 billion, the Congress would not only pass it but override the President's inevitable veto. He continued to oppose the Knutson tax cut. Two prior identical tax cuts passed in seriatim by the Congress in summer, 1947 had been vetoed and sustained in the Senate.

The General Federation of Women's Clubs urged the Senate Banking Subcommittee to grant the President authority to ration meat in case of serious shortage. The Club also wanted something done to curb inflation.

The United States and Italy signed a pact to allow free trade, with the exception of fissionable materials and arms and munitions, as well as free exchange of information, the latter unique in the history of such agreements. It replaced an 1871 treaty abrogated by Mussolini.

General Leslie Groves, head of the Manhattan Project during the war, announced his retirement from the Army.

DNC chairman Senator J. Howard McGrath said that the President would likely respond selectively to speaking invitations rather than make a cross-country campaign in 1948, but said that no final decision had been made.

Republicans said that Senator John W. Bricker, the vice-presidential nominee in 1944, might become the dark horse candidate as favorite-son from Ohio, should Senator Taft not obtain the nomination.

It was considered unlikely that Governor Earl Warren, who turned down Governor Thomas Dewey's offer in 1944 for the second spot on the ticket, would get the nod from the Governor in 1948, should the latter become the nominee again. Either Senator Arthur Vandenberg or House Speaker Joe Martin was considered more likely to be the choice for the second spot.

We'll have to see what happens.

In Iowa City, Ia., a Rock Island Rocky Mountain Rocket, traveling from Chicago to Denver, hit a freight train the previous night less than a block from the station, killing a trainman and injuring about twenty passengers.

In Philadelphia, an apartment building fire left 59 families homeless.

In Greenville, S.C., a woman confessed to having killed her husband with an axe following a quarrel in which he had threatened her with a fireplace poker. She struck him after he had gone to bed.

She said that he had been drinking. A little less alcohol in the home might be prudent from now on.

In Punxsutawney, Pa., the Groundhog, aka Le Grauntligne in Des Moines, this Groundhog Day, saw its shadow amid the splintered tints of the sun's rays, at 8:46 a.m., as he emerged from his retreat, indicative of six more weeks of winter haze in delay of summertime fun. The verdict was the same at the Philadelphia Zoo, where Gertie the groundhog also saw her shadow outside the burrow. The Grundsow Lodge Nummer Ains on Da Lechaw of Allentown made the decision unanimous.

It was the 40th observation of the Quarryville Lodge and the 78th for the Old Gobblers Knob Club of Punxsutawney.

We don't subscribe to your religion. They make you eat chocolate caramel soup with the spaghettis in the France museum.

The temperatures began to rise across North Carolina, granting relief from the worst winter storm in 15 years. Goldsboro had a snowfall of over ten inches and numerous towns and cities suffered from telephone and power outages from ice.

In Charlotte, one of the densest layers of smoke ever witnessed in the city made driving especially difficult during the day. The absence of any wind caused the smoke to lay over the city. The shortage of fuel oil had produced more coal and wood fires than usual. The smoke was so dense that it appeared as fog. Residents ate breakfast with sooty mouths.

It caused re-reading of the City's smoke ordinance, passed December 18, 1940.

On the editorial page, "Hope of Wrights for Air Age" wonders, at the death of Orville Wright the previous Friday, whether man had, as Icarus, flown too close to the sun. Mr. Wright had said that he and his brother Wilbur, who had died in 1912, could not foresee the "awful use" to which their invention would be made, but also believed that it would continue to be useful in achieving the peace.

The piece thinks that unless man learned self-control with respect to the invention, he would, indeed, as Icarus, be plunged to earth after his wax wings melted. But withal, the airplane had carried to man his greatest opportunity for human progress.

"New Steps Toward Equality" comments again on the Sipuel decision of the Supreme Court, requiring Oklahoma to admit a qualified black female law school applicant to the University law school or provide an equal facility within the state which she could attend. It had prompted other schools to examine their own admission policies. The University of Delaware had removed its racial barrier to admissions. The University of Arkansas had changed its policy to admit black students to all graduate programs "under special circumstances", such that they would study in separate classrooms. It finds the latter program a suitable example for other schools to follow.

One black applicant, however, stated that he would not seek to enter the University of Arkansas law school on that basis as he believed in full integration. The piece thinks such an attitude was counter-productive, that insisting on integration forthwith ignored the reality of the system in place for so long and the need to move gradually. It thus counsels patience and taking up the cudgels to the old system of segregation one step at a time.

"A Salute to Air National Guard" comments favorably on the formation of the North Carolina Air National Guard as following a long tradition dating back to the days of militias, such as the Hornets Nest Riflemen of Mecklenburg, dating to the Revolution. It predicts quick recruitment for the 48 officers and 381 men authorized for the unit.

A piece from the New York Herald Tribune, titled "Mr. Baruch's Wise Advice", discusses Bernard Baruch's plan for arresting inflation, which included a two-year moratorium on tax cuts, immediately rejected by the Republicans in Congress, still favoring the 6.5 billion dollar tax cut sponsored by Congressman Harold Knutson. The Republicans had also therefore cast aside the rest of his plan, as it depended on the tax program.

The piece says that neither party had come forward with a tax plan with teeth in it, as had Mr. Baruch. As it was vital to the success of inflation control and hence ERP, it would be foolhardy of the Congress to toss the Baruch plan aside without examination.

Drew Pearson tells of the reasons General Eisenhower had withdrawn from consideration for the 1948 Republican presidential nomination, prime among which was the urging by Secretary of State Marshall, who told him that he would have to accept the vice-presidential nomination on the Truman ticket were General Eisenhower to run. He had reminded the General of the loyalty of President Truman to General Eisenhower in naming him chief of staff following General Marshall's resignation from the post to become President Truman's emissary to China in 1946.

General Marshall also reminded of the potential in such a campaign for emergence of dirty laundry involving the Battle of the Bulge, the failure of General Patton to receive gasoline in late summer, 1944 through the transport pipeline out of Britain, and General Eisenhower's tendency to placate British Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery during the D-Day campaign.

The final straw was when General Eisenhower had spoken to a group of Republicans in Pennsylvania in early January, after which word leaked that he had advocated corporations taking a moratorium on profits for a year, a leak which he felt to be a stab in the back. He thus wanted no part of politics at present.

Furthermore, advisers were telling him that it would be better to wait until 1952 when four years would have passed since he had an active role in the military. They believed that the ensuing four years would be the toughest in peacetime history and that those who wanted him in 1948 would want him even more in 1952—especially, perhaps, after those who wanted him so much, or at least any Republican attractive to the public, in the White House following 20 years of New Deal-Fair Deal drought, had created those exceptional circumstances under which the General had indicated he might run, that is to say, the War in Korea. But, we do not know about any of that yet and time will tell.

General Eisenhower, in taking himself out of the race, had made a statement which was designed to deter entry to the race by General MacArthur, as he expressed disapproval of any military man running for high political office, violating the long tradition of a civilian commander-in-chief to whom the military was responsible.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop tell of the row transpiring between the State Department and the Bureau of the Budget regarding the proposed budget for ERP. It was the Budget Bureau which had insisted on a global four-year figure for ERP, stated as 17 billion dollars, when State believed it could not be properly estimated at the inception of the program.

The Republicans in Congress objected to the 17 billion dollar figure and simply removed the four-year program from the table, opting for a 15-month initial commitment and annual assessments thereafter. The Republicans also wanted to have an administrative official who was independent, only answerable to the President, rather than being closely aligned with the State Department, something akin to that which State wanted in the first place. It had been the Budget Bureau which had insisted on the administrator working closely with State. The other bone of contention with the Administration's proposal was the 6.8 billion dollar estimate for the first 15 months. The Budget Bureau estimated it at 6 billion, based on the typical slow payment of Government purchases, reducing by $800,000 the amount actually to be paid out during the 15-month period. Such was an artificially deflated figure, however, as the money ultimately would have to be paid for the food and other aid provided to Europe. But only 4.5 billion was consequently calculated into the annual budget for the fiscal year, not including the extra quarter.

Senator Styles Bridges, despite the latter formula having been stated in the budget, had accused the Administration in consequence of perpetrating a fraud. He was being less than candid in that charge, as he well understood the standard operating procedures of the Budget Bureau, both as to the 15-month issue and the insistence on a global figure for four years.

Marquis Childs discusses the wisdom of General Eisenhower in removing himself from consideration for the 1948 Republican nomination for the presidency, that he was aware that many people were looking to him as being possessed of some magic panacea for the world's problems and that such a state of expectancy was unhealthy. He also knew that a military man would be handicapped as President, as he would always be accused of favoring the military.

What was most frustrating for him was the fact that even his close friends did not believe that he did not want to be President, as he had consistently proclaimed.

There was debate regarding his ultimate statement of withdrawal, whether to say that he "could" not accept the nomination or that he "would" not do so, opting for the former as being stronger. Senator Charles Tobey of New Hampshire, head of the draft-Eisenhower movement in that state, had stated that he took the fact that he had not said that he "would" not run, to be a door left open by the General—a door to the world of imagination and make believe.

The delay in the announcement had been only a function of the General's belief that the party bosses would accept his nomination only if forced upon them. He had considered the prospect therefore unlikely, making it hopefully unnnecessary for him to issue any definitive statement of withdrawal.

Mr. Childs asserts that the General had performed an act of greatness in taking his name from consideration.

A letter from a "housewife" wants the newspaper to find out who was behind the fuel oil shortage and the variation in price between 16 and 24 cents per gallon.

A letter writer, who had previously written in support of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County being the only county in the nation not to have a March of Dimes drive for its questioning the expenditure of the funds collected, responds to criticism of his position, (apparently in another part of the newspaper, none having appeared in the interim on the editorial page, or perhaps forecasting an anticipatory breach of the peace in violation of the promissory estoppel forming the consideration for the social contract). He had also questioned the costs of ERP, and drawn fire for that as well. He says that he is an attorney and simply trying to urge the people to think. He was not opposed, per se, to the March of Dimes drive. But he does find ERP troubling for appearing to cost so much that it would founder the domestic economy.

A letter writer praises Gandhi and finds in his death martyrdom which hopefully would be as inspirational as had been his life, that his death would not have been in vain.

A Quote of the Day: "There are 27,707,000 cars in America and, according to our personal survey, there are only 26,706,999 parking places." —Arkansas Gazette

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