Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Southern Democrats
were boiling mad over the President's ten-point anti-discrimination
program which he provided to the Congress the previous day,
including recommendations to enact legislation to end Jim Crow
segregation, establish a Federal anti-lynching law, an anti-poll tax
law, and to make permanent the Fair Employment Practices Commission.
Senator James Eastland of Mississippi called the proposals
Representative John Bell Williams of Mississippi stated on
the floor of the House that he would rather see the Democrats
defeated than to stab its "best friends" in the back.
You are not the best friend the Democrats ever had, pal. So,
if you wish to defect, good riddance.
Representative John Rankin of Mississippi wanted to know why
the country should spend billions fighting Communism in Europe only
to have the President "ram the platform of the Communist Party
down the people".
Representative Jamie Whitten of Mississippi said the South gave
blacks the best protection of any region in the land.
Representative L. M. Rivers of South Carolina said that the
South had been the nation's whipping boy too long and warned that
the Solid South one day would not be so solid.
Georgia Representative Ed Cox succored likewise the South's
continued chickens' hit against the President's proposals, saying
that he thought Henry Wallace looked good, compared to the
President, was sickened by the President's attacks on his loyal
One Deep South Senator, unnamed, said that a conference of
Southern governors was going to occur in Tallahassee the coming
Friday, to lay plans to nominate their own candidate for the
The House voted in favor of the Knutson tax reduction measure
the previous day, by a tally of 297 to 120. The North Carolina
delegation voted 9 to 3 against it.
In India, large numbers of the Mahasabha and the RSS,
reactionary militant Hindu groups which had opposed Gandhi's call
for peace with Moslems, were being arrested for questioning while
others were beaten and stoned throughout the country.
The assassin of Gandhi the previous Friday was named in the
press for the first time as "Narayan Vinayak Gadse". The
actual spelling was Nathur Ram Vinayak Godse. He would be convicted
and executed before the end of 1949.
Gandhi's ashes would be cast into the Ganges at Allahabad on
February 12, not within 36 hours of the cremation ceremony on
Saturday, as originally stated in the press. The date was selected
by "casting of the stars" to determine the most propitious
In Damascus, Syria, truckloads of Arabs were observed
arriving, leading to speculation that a general attack on Jews in
Palestine was being planned. Statements by the leader of the Arab
forces, Fawzi Bey Al Kaukji, provided support for the belief. It was
thought by some observers that the attack would occur February 15.
In Athens, the Greek Government announced the arrest of 139
persons in Lamia for a plot to seize that town. The Government said
that 25 Communists were among those arrested. All would be tried by
a military tribunal.
In the British-American occupation zone of Germany, two to
three million workers were idle in protest of food shortages,
paralyzing industry. The strike was expected to last a day. U.S.
Military Governor of the U.S. occupation zone in Germany, General
Lucius Clay, declined to criticize the action, but suggested it as
unproductive of the desired end to obtain more food. There were no
demonstrations against the black marketeers, whom Germans held
responsible for the food shortage.
In Stuttgart, Germany, General Clay rebuked Pastor Martin
Niemoeller, imprisoned by the Nazis in a concentration camp during
the war, for his urging defiance of the de-Nazification program in
Germany. General Clay said that while Germans had freedom of speech,
it was unwise to criticize the policy given the conditions in
Germany. Pastor Niemoeller asserted that the program sowed anew the
seeds of hate.
Russia was planning to return seven tankers and a cargo
vessel loaned by the U.S. during the war. The return would take
place in the ensuing two months. The U.S. had asked for return or
payment for a hundred such vessels.
Joseph Curran, head of the CIO maritime committee and the
NMU, stated to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee opposition to
the proposed transfer of 500 merchant ships to the 16 recipient
nations under the Marshall Plan.
John L. Lewis implicitly threatened a strike by April 1 in
the bituminous coal industry unless payments were begun from the
negotiated welfare fund, being held up by the operators. Operators
took the statement to be in compliance with the 60-day strike notice
provision of Taft-Hartley.
AFL president William Green announced selection of former
Senator Burton Wheeler of Montana as head of its new PAC in the
coming elections. Mr. Green asserted that Senator Wheeler's pre-war
and wartime isolationist views would not interfere with his duties,
as the primary goal of the organization was to obtain repeal of
Taft-Hartley. His pro-labor record during his four terms as Senator
was the foundation for his selection.
The AFL council voted to oppose Henry Wallace's third-party
candidacy on the basis that they found him to be an "apologist"
A Senate Banking subcommittee voted 3 to 2 against
authorizing the Government to prepare for meat rationing as proposed
by the subcommittee chairman, Senator Ralph Flanders of Vermont. The
proposal would next be considered by the full committee. The action
appeared to foredoom the President's requests for other inflation
In Los Angeles, the third wife of Johnny Weissmuller was not
contesting a Reno divorce obtained by the former Olympic swimming
champion and star of the Tarzan movies, but had filed anew to obtain
support for the couple's children. Mr. Weissmuller had married his
fourth wife right after the divorce on the previous Thursday.
Reporter Ralph Gibson tells, on page 5-A, of FBI agents being
prepared for anything which might develop.
In Cambridge, Md., foxes had become so abundant that they
were chasing the hounds and romping with them in the backyards of
On the editorial page, "Inflation with Tax 'Relief'"
finds that the American people did not appear excited about the GOP
tax relief measure because it promised more inflation as more money
in circulation would accelerate demand for goods, causing prices to
rise further. Inflation would hamper the effectiveness of ERP, and
ERP was necessary to prevent Western Europe from falling into the
grip of Communism.
The only members of the public who were seeing it otherwise
were within the Republican trance, viewing the tax cut proposal from
a self-interested stance. But the wise taxpayer understood that the
relief provided by the bill would be transitory in the face of
The better course would be to use the money to pay down the
war debt, to legislate inflation control for the sake of success of
It posits that the Republicans were making a grave error in
backing the tax bill, one for which they would likely pay come
November—as they would, across the board.
"It's Too Smoky to See the Law" says that the smoke
abatement ordinance in Charlotte, on the books since December, 1940,
was good. That it was not being enforced was a product of the war
and the dimming of memories since the war of former times. The smoky
pall which had hung over the city the previous day was a new
recurrence—brought about by the increased use of coal and wood for
heat resultant of the fuel oil shortage.
It urges enforcement of the ordinance, despite the shortage,
as minor repairs of ventilating systems could bring about better
"India's Example for the West" suggests that the
more it examined the violence and split in India, the less it seemed
so remote, as many Americans believed it, the difference between
Hindus and Moslems being not unlike the American difference with
Communists, in each case over religion and politics.
The assassination of Gandhi, it offers, could be more easily
understood by imagining the assassination of such an American
exponent of peace, seeking resolution of differences between America
and the Communist world.
The identified assassin of Gandhi was a member of the
Mahasabha, a politico-religious Hindu organization favoring militant
violence, seeking to transform India into a religious state and
revive ancient Hindu laws and practices. At the division of India
into Moslem and Hindu regions the previous summer, the rivalry had
begun which had set the stage for the current crisis.
Much of the same sort of thing had transpired in the West
with respect to Communism.
India's leaders were seeking to invoke the memory of Gandhi
to carry forward his peace program. Should it succeed, then the West
would have to admit that the Hindus and Moslems were more civilized.
Should it fail, the result would show what happens from preaching
We in the United States, of course, for the past half
century, do not have to imagine any longer the situation described,
perfectly fitting the pattern prior to and after the assassination
of President Kennedy.
The only thing we would add is the factor which fueled
immediate hate among many Southerners of that time, accustomed to
reaction over any suggestion of racial integration, as set forth in
perfect example on the front page of this date. It was that
reactionary temperament coalescing with xenophobic urges toward
Russia, labeling "communist" anyone favoring integration
or other progressive programs, urges often coexisting in the same
people, which drove the hubris, in assumption of official sanction, to commit the assassination if not contributing to the actual conspiracy, in turn whetting the appetites of blood lust for more.
A piece from the Christian Science Monitor, titled
"Boys in Trouble", tells of a survey showing that 80
percent of juvenile delinquents came from good homes, the most
common factor found being parental neglect. It finds the movies, the comics, and the radio holding forth false values for the younger
generation. The solution, however, was not to engage in censorship, as
proposed by the Soviet delegate to the U.N. Subcommission on Freedom
of the Press, but rather for parents to provide their children with
interests and ideals more appealing than those hawked by the
purveyors of sensationalism.
Drew Pearson tells of 91-year old George Bernard Shaw having
written a letter to Fanny Holtzmann, a New York attorney, endorsing
Henry Wallace, stating also that he would prefer a Republican
President should Mr. Wallace not prevail. The Republican, he said,
might steal a horse, but the Democrat would dare not look over the
hedge. Mr. Pearson reprints the letter.
NMU head Joseph Curran and John Green, head of the shipyard
workers, had told CIO president Philip Murray that he should make
his support of ERP contingent on an agreement that aid to Europe
would be shipped only in American ships with American seamen. Mr.
GOP Congressman Robert Gearhart of California told the
Republican caucus on the tax bill that 77 percent of the proposed
GOP bill would benefit those with incomes under $4,000. Congressman
Fred Crawford of Michigan, sometimes called GM's Congressman,
thought that both parties had fallen for the soak-the-rich strategy
to garner votes.
Joseph & Stewart Alsop inform of a heretofore secret
exodus having been ongoing since the end of the war by more than
5,000 Russians from the Russian zone of Germany to the Western
zones. These citizens of Russia had nothing to fear that was not
shared by all other citizens of the Soviet state, and such an exodus
was without parallel in history. Sixty percent of the refugees were
Soviet officers and officials, the remainder soldiers. One was a
colonel. Others left behind important positions. To deter such
defection, the Soviets had ordered home all dependents of the
military-government staff to maintain a bank of hostages back home,
and ordered most of its soldiers and civilians in Eastern Germany to
move into guarded barrack areas.
Still, the exodus continued.
It had been shown that more than a million Russians had
joined the Nazi forces during the war, fighting under General
Vlasov, and that the fighting by these units was among the bloodiest
of the war. Thus, it was not clear as to who these emigres from the
Russian zone of Germany were. But the fact of the Vlasov success in
recruitment during the war showed that Russian loyalty to Moscow was
They suggest that while the Soviets would conquer any form of
disunity in their regime, the exodus provided hope that the Soviets
would come to terms if confronted with Western strength and unity.
There are two observations to be gleaned from this piece,
first, that some of the emigres may have been extreme right-wing
Nazi types, and, second, that there was no guarantee that many of
them were not spies who were pretending to defect for that purpose.
Beware the Trojan Horse. Thus, any slender reed of hope this fact
may have provided was quite tending toward the illusory, born of
wishful thinking at the time.
Samuel Grafton comes to the reluctant conclusion, after
reading The Gallery by John Horne Burns and That Winter by Merle Miller,
that the Twentieth Century hero was a man
sitting and drinking alone in a bar. Both books, set during the war,
presented a shabby display of individualism, with each principal
character "wrapped in cellophane" and guaranteed of no
contact with any other human.
"The two books together constitute a kind of American
Lushes' Guide from Italy to Iowa." The two authors presented
every man as an island, with no inner voice communicating in the
lost year stretching into the lost decade.
"And these are the lost people, on the edges of an
individualistic society, snatching angrily for love, as one snatches
for canes at a carnival." Eventually they reached only for a
He finds both to be honest books, setting up honest
questions, the Burns book being the richer and the Miller book, the
more glamorous, the latter having to do with the fringes of the
literary set in New York. The central question posed in both books
asked whether a society could become too individualistic, that in
tossing aside liberalism, the society might have so atomized itself
into the alienated that it had broken down the bonds which forged
it. Some of the characters portrayed had become as they were from
race bias, others from economic slippage amid competition, and some
for lack of direction at the inception.
A letter from the executive secretary of the North Carolina
Catholic Layman's Association, who had previously criticized the
editorial "A League of Honest Men", itself critical of the
Christmas message of Pope Pius XII, says that he had only sought, in
light-hearted fashion, to make comment, not to stir up a hornet's
nest as apparently the letter had. He thinks his opinion was not
very dissimilar from that of the editorial, which had recommended
more attention to injustices in the West than the injustices of Communism
and its threat to the internal security of the United States,
thereby to inspire respect for American democracy over Soviet
So expressed, he agrees.
The editors indicate their assent.
A letter writer proposes, without so specifying, that which
General Eisenhower had proposed a month earlier to Pennsylvania
Republicans, a voluntary moratorium on profits for a year by
industry, to reel in inflation.
It had not gone over very well with Republicans, one primary
reason, as pointed out the previous day by Drew Pearson, for General
Eisenhower having withdrawn his name from consideration for the GOP
nomination in 1948.
A letter from the Board of Directors of the Family &
Children's Service expresses thanks to the newspaper for its
sponsorship, as always, of the Empty Stocking Fund for needy
families at Christmas.