The Charlotte News

Saturday, February 28, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Southern Democrats were planning further activities to oppose the President's civil rights program, including a plan in Mississippi for a meeting the following Monday to establish a headquarters for the "True White Jeffersonian" Democrats—presumably in opposition to those True Blue. Representatives from eight states in this movement had contributed $61,500. In response to the request of the committee of five Southern Governors, chaired by Governor Strom Thurmond, who had met with DNC chairman J. Howard McGrath, the Southern Governors Conference was planning to meet in Washington March 13 to hear a special committee report on the civil rights issue. In Congress, Southern Democrats planned to renew their fight the following week against the anti-poll tax legislation.

Governor Thurmond predicted that the country would have a new President the following year. He had removed his autographed picture of President Truman from his office wall.

Senator Claude Pepper of Florida and Governor Earle Clements of Kentucky both spoke out separately against Governor William Tuck's appeal to the Virginia Legislature to remove President Truman's name from the ballot and replace it with only the party name, freeing electors to vote for the candidate of their choice when the electoral college would meet in December. Senator Pepper said it would give the people's vote to a little group of party bosses. Governor Clements said that he would not follow the lead of Governor Tuck. Kentucky had only the party names on the ballots in 1944, but since that time the law had been changed.

North Carolina and Tennessee also required the names of the party nominees to appear on the ballot. Only electors' names appeared in Arkansas, South Carolina, Alabama, Florida, and Georgia. Louisiana required Democrats to support the party nominee.

In Prague, Premier Klement Gottwald opened a farmers' and peasants' rally by declaring that a a complete change would occur in the country, beyond the recent changes in his Cabinet, now dominated by Communists. He stated that his Government would be merciless in purging agents of domestic and foreign reaction.

The former Minister of Justice prior to the Cabinet purge was found badly injured, according to official reports, the result of an attempted suicide. The Government withdrew privileges from foreign broadcasters. The Minister of Education said that new textbooks would be prepared to politicize the schools. The new Minister of Industry stated his intent to nationalize all industries with more than 50 employees.

Annabelle Bucar of the U.S. Information Service in Moscow submitted her resignation to Ambassador Walter Bedell Smith on the ground that she had been married to a Russian baritone for over a year and had developed views of Russia incompatible with the policy of the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, which she believed worked against the interests of the Russian people.

In Palestine, Arabs attacked the Jewish settlement of Maanit Narbata, 40 miles south of Haifa. No details were available.

In China, the south Manchurian port of Yingkow was reported taken by Communists, dashing hopes of the Government to use the port for an offensive in the spring. Yingkow's harbor was locked in ice, preventing the Government from landing reinforcements for the garrison, the soldiers of which, the Communists claimed, either fled or were wiped out.

In Athens, the Greek Government arrested 700 Communists and members of the Communist organization "Self-Defense", for investigation of possible aid to the guerrilla forces in the North. Greek troops, meanwhile, were pressing an offensive in Delvinaki near the Albanian border, with reports stating that seven villages had been recaptured from the guerrillas.

Senator Arthur Vandenberg set March 15 as the target date for Senate passage of the 5.3 billion dollar initial first year appropriation for the Marshall Plan. Action on the President's proposed 570 million dollar aid package to China for one year and the proposed additional aid of 275 million to Greece and Turkey would follow. Senator Vandenberg stressed that the takeover of Czechoslovakia by the Communists and entreaties being made to Finland by Moscow caused time to be of the essence in passing ERP.

In Helsinki, President Juho Paasikivi was planning to name a delegation the following week to discuss the Soviet offer of a friendship treaty with Moscow. Most Finnish believed that the proposal was not an ultimatum but a logical result of strained international relations. Parliamentary elections were scheduled in Finland for the following July.

In Raleigh, the Jefferson-Jackson Day dinner was scheduled for this night, with Senator Tom Connally as the speaker. Senator Clyde Hoey of Shelby would introduce the Texas Senator.

In Charlotte, nine persons were injured when a Duke Power bus collided with a coal truck on Siegle Avenue during the afternoon. The driver of the coal truck, dragged underneath the truck, was in critical condition. The other eight persons, all passengers of the bus, suffered only minor injuries.
The truck was said to have turned into the path of the bus.

In The News straw poll, General Eisenhower continued ahead of the field with 82 votes to Thomas Dewey's 68 and Henry Wallace's 66, with Arthur Vandenberg coming up fourth at 56 and Senator Taft gaining ground with 44, ahead of Harry Byrd at 35, and President Truman losing steadily as they rounded the turn, with only 32 votes, still tied with Harold Stassen.

Columnist Earl Wilson, covering the President's vacation in Key West, tells on the back page of the journalists covering the President not being sure of his chances of re-election but being in agreement that he was a "mighty human fellow".

In San Francisco, Pacific Factory described a new device for the automobile, which emitted an electrical signal while parking, to prevent the car from scraping anything when it was within 4.5 inches of contact. The device was mounted at the rear of the right front fender, in the vein of a front mudder, and on the front part of the right rear fender, akin to a mudder in reverse, to prevent backlash from the fodder sitting in back of the semi-mudder.

In any event, a buzzer warned the driver of the impending mudder-fodder contact, such that the dotter could get out of the way of them udder-parkers.

On the editorial page, "Truman, Wallace, Roosevelt" suggests that if President Truman had not fired Henry Wallace in September, 1946 as Secretary of Commerce regarding differences between Mr. Wallace and then Secretary of State James Byrnes over whether to maintain a hard-line policy toward Russia, the problems now facing the President, both with the third-party threat of Mr. Wallace and the revolt of the Southerners, would not be taking place. For the President would not have felt the need to over-compensate to liberals by proposing the civil rights program, leading to the Southern revolt.

It goes even further to posit that had Mr. Wallace not been fired, the cold war struggle with Russia might not have started or at least might not have taken the course it had.

The struggle between President Truman and Mr. Wallace to attract the support of the liberals and independents extended back to the 1944 convention and the nomination of Senator Truman to the ticket after it was determined that Vice-President Wallace was no longer suitable, especially to the South and the big city bosses of the North and Midwest.

It finds that President Truman failed to realize that the people had not given him a mandate but rather had given it to FDR in 1944 and that when FDR died in April, 1945 and Mr. Truman became President, he needed to follow his original statement of intent to carry on the policies of his predecessor. He did not have the political authority to get rid of most of the New Dealers in the Administration and replace them with old Missouri cronies—not entirely a fair assessment as many of the old Cabinet had simply determined to retire despite the efforts of President Truman to get them to stay. And Secretary of State Stettinius had only been appointed by FDR to the position in December, 1944, immediately ahead of James Byrnes, who had been supposedly promised the nomination by FDR when he was bypassed for the vice-presidential spot on the ticket and, upset at being twice passed over, decided to go home to South Carolina only to be called from retirement by President Truman for Mr. Byrnes's recognized expertise in foreign affairs, having been by FDR's side as "Assistant President" throughout the period from 1943 until shortly before the President's death, including attendance at the Tehran and Yalta conferences.

The piece posits that the President had, as a result of these new advisers and Cabinet personnel, diverged from FDR's views toward a conservative viewpoint both on foreign policy and domestic policy—forgetting for the moment that President Roosevelt, himself, had declared the New Deal over in 1943 in favor of pursuing at the time the war. President Truman had relaxed wartime controls after the war only to try later in futility to recover them when inflation proved their release premature, and had abolished Lend-Lease immediately following the war only to realize later that Europe was stumbling into bankruptcy without aid, necessitating first the Truman Doctrine and then, quickly, the Marshall Plan, both originally proposed during the first half of 1947.

The Administration had abandoned the wartime rapprochement of the Roosevelt Administration, as established at Tehran and Yalta, in favor of a path ushered in by the "iron curtain" speech of Winston Churchill at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, in March, 1946, with President Truman on the dais. Since, a two-world strategy had been pursued by the Administration—also an oversimplified view.

It concludes that the supreme irony was manifest in the President's quick retreat to the New Deal by adopting a civil rights program to stave off another defeat.

"This time, however, there are few thinking Americans who will fail to see that he is reaping the consequences of his failure to follow the true Roosevelt mandate."

Fortunately, after Mayor Hubert Humphrey introduced the civil rights plank in July at the Democratic Convention prompting the Dixiecrat revolt led by Governor Thurmond, there were few thinking Americans who would not see through this sort of criticism to its ultimate purpose of defeating the President's civil rights program by attempting to call it a desperate attempt to garner Northern liberal support rather than as an honest effort toward achieving the necessity of forcing the South to grow up and stop playing games with human liberty and rights guaranteed to all by the Constitution, if not sufficiently clear at the Founding for those who could not read so well, having been plainly articulated in the Fourteenth Amendment at its ratification in 1868.

"What of Our Will for Peace?" finds the message of U.N. deputy delegate Herschel Johnson to the people of Charlotte in his written message in appreciation of receipt of the annual Brotherhood Week award as the Carolina Israelite person of the year, to be one of prophetic declaration, that the world was at a turning point and that if a turning away from the U.N. were to result, it would be unlikely that a better method to achieve peace and avoid war could be found. As a primary guide of the approval the previous November of the Palestine partition plan by the U.N. General Assembly, Mr. Johnson was not in favor of evading the issue of using force to implement the plan if necessary.

One speaker at the event, Maj. General Frederick Irving, had declared that with the Communist takeover in Czechoslovakia, the cold war tension had reached the point where only one victor between Russia and the U.S. could emerge. But, suggests the editorial, that victory had to occur at the U.N. in the diplomatic field, not on the battlefield. For if another hot war were to occur on the world stage, only totalitarianism and destruction could result.

The American people held the key to make sure that the U.N. would succeed where the old League of Nations had failed.

"Virginia's Scheme" comments on Governor William Tuck's proposal to the Virginia Legislature to take the names of individual candidates off the ballot and place only party names on it, such that the state's eleven electors in November would be freed to vote for the candidate of their choice from among the winning party. The effort was designed to punish President Truman for his civil rights program. The proposal, finds the piece, eroded the democratic will of the people.

Virginia was one of seven states to retain the poll tax, abandoned by North Carolina in 1920.

The piece thinks the move one of faithlessness and a poor showing for the state which had produced Thomas Jefferson and Woodrow Wilson.

Drew Pearson follows up on his previous day's editorial on the failures of the State Department in Palestine, suggesting that Secretary Marshall had allowed the situation in Palestine to drift without calling a special meeting of Arab and Jewish leaders to hash out differences, that which had been accomplished with effect by his predecessors Henry Stimson, regarding the Chinese-Russian disputes of the Hoover era, and Frank Kellogg, in the Chaco border dispute between Bolivia and Paraguay during the Coolidge era.

The President had sent notes to the Kings of Saudi Arabia and Iraq, but the notes had proved ineffective as they were not initially made public. When they leaked, Secretary Marshall ordered an investigation of the State Department to determine who caused the leak.

Mr. Pearson proposes two possible remedies. One lay in Transjordan, where King Abdullah was not opposed to partition and possessed a fairly modern army, trained by the British. An exchange could be made to give Transjordan police power over the Arab section of Palestine.

Provision of oil royalties had proved another way to appease Arab chieftains during World War II. The result was that the kings were as dependent on America as America was on the oil. The other option, therefore, was to implement an old Hoover proposal to irrigate the Tigris and Euphrates valleys, utilizing Arabian-American Oil Co. revenues, to counterbalance the loss of the lands in Palestine to the Jews under partition. It would provide, in effect, a new homeland for Arabs.

Much of the payoff to King Ibn Saud to keep him happy had come from the U.S. taxpayer in the way of subsidies while the oil companies reaped the profits. So the proposed financing would enable big oil to pay back the American people. The subsidies took the form of the U.S. Fleet presence in the Mediterranean, paying twice as much for the Arabian-American oil as was necessary, and cash advances to King Saud through the RFC and Export-Import Bank, amounting to 55 million dollars, 30 million of which had come from the RFC during the war, the remainder for a railroad for the King.

The State Department had catered to every whim of the Arab kings while being opposed to the Jews in Palestine.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop examine the President's late decision on Palestine, ambivalently supporting use of force, if approved by the Security Council, to preserve the peace while expressly not supporting force to enforce the partition plan. The decision reflected a division within the State Department and with the military on use of force.

There were three choices, a trusteeship for Palestine, reopening of the partition settlement for further negotiation, or enforcement of the agreement. The first option would open the door to Russian unilateral enforcement and potential sacrifice of Middle Eastern oil, while the second would lead to bitterness on the part of the Jews and eating of crow politically. But the third option meant asking Congress for authorization to send an American force to Palestine, which would inevitably mean some limited selective service, as the military only had 100,000 men available for the job.

The State Department favored enforcement of the plan based on the notion that to waver meant a perception of weakness, jeopardizing the viability of the U.N., itself. The military, while concerned over Middle Eastern oil, was most concerned about the manpower issue. The British had failed to maintain order in Palestine with 90,000 men.

The continued indecision could prove costly, but it was still too early, venture the Alsops, to make a firm determination. Much more delay, however, they caution, could lead to division at home, loss of face abroad and the eventual need to use force anyway.

Marquis Childs looks at Brotherhood Week, finds it hard to find much brotherhood on the world stage with the situation extant in Palestine and with the Communist takeover in Czechoslovakia. But domestically, he finds positive signs. The Friendship Train, suggested and seen through to conclusion by Drew Pearson during the fall, had started a positive ball rolling in that direction.

Recently, Secretary of State Marshall had met with a group of Boy Scouts who were planning to earn money to send food to a Boy Scout troop in France via the CARE program, responsible for sending three million dollars worth of aid per month overseas in $10 donations, with the packages subject to designation of specific recipients.

A former Army Air Forces flyer wanted to help rebuild a French town which he had helped to bomb during the war.

But these voluntary actions were not being translated into official action. The Stratton bill to allow immigration of 100,000 displaced persons of Europe during a four-year period had languished in Congress for many months without action. People were insecure and felt that the influx of refugees would threaten their jobs. The same insecurity bred hate in some pockets of the population.

He concludes that while the reservoir of good will in the country was substantial, if it were compromised by political ineptitude and indifference, the world would be a poorer place.

A letter writer tells of returning from an extensive bus and train tour of the North and having gleaned opinions which she wishes to share with readers. A New Yorker thought that Southerners lynched blacks for sport. A Minnesotan thought the President had no real interest in blacks but only wanted to attract their votes, slipping into the Republican column. A Pennsylvanian thought the civil rights effort would wake up Southern Democrats to their duty first to be the Solid South in support of the Democratic Party and to be Southerners only secondarily, that the President would eventually convince them to support the program. A woman from Tennessee thought the civil rights program could split the Democratic Party wide open and in consequence, if the President could not get the program passed, would fail the Northern blacks who would retaliate by voting Republican.

And she goes on a bit to provide some other views on the matter.

She then provides viewpoints gleaned from black passengers on some buses she rode, buses on which the black passengers rode alongside whites, appearing peculiar to her, different from the happy, jolly Negroes riding at the rear of the Southern buses to which she was accustomed, laughing, singing, hosanna-happy.

A Chicago woman informed of "Push Day" on which black people delighted in pushing whitey. Did you ever?

She asked others about this notion and had it confirmed repeatedly—apparently not fully appreciating that she was being "pushed" the while. She wonders why people would push just for the sake of pushing.

Maybe it was because you were not pulling.

She was told in the dining car on the train that she should look at the homes and schools for blacks in the South, though she says she knew of them as she lived in the South. But she was curious as to the Northern counterparts and saw squalid dwellings indicative of the fact that the North had not done any better than the South in providing for blacks, except that the North tolerated the presence of the black. She asks: "Who wants to be tolerated?"

Push her down the stairs.

After the Civil War, she finds, the former slaves had found that freedom took from them the food, shelter, and clothing for which they had worked and left them shiftless beggars who sought to be taken back. "The same is true of a canary bird born in captivity, his wings are not ready to fly long distances."

Clip this floogie bird's wings and send her back home before someone tosses her from the train or the bus and she winds up down the drain.

She says that the Africans, once brought to America against their will, needed the help of white people to achieve liberty, "but not overnight".

How long is "overnight" to you, lady? You've been asleep for a long time obviously. Push her and wake her up.

The South, she concludes, understood the Negro far better than the North and the Negro had a better chance to achieve happiness in the South, "to live and grow in the South and little by little, step by step, coming into his own than the way they are up North, to sit where they wish, eat where they wish, go where they wish, but to forever see themselves not wanted." She had never seen a single black in all her travels through the North smile or laugh.

You need show her some teeth, boy, as you push her.

She urges her fellow Southerners not to put aside segregation as the Northerners wished, so that the South would be as the North, while, secretly, the North wished they could be as the South.

Give her another shove before she leaves.


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