The Charlotte News

Wednesday, February 4, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in New Delhi, India outlawed the RSSS, militant Hindu organization. Its printing presses and office equipment were to be confiscated. Angry mobs had attacked its members and those of the Mahasabha Party since the assassination of Gandhi the previous Friday. Police estimated that 700 to 800 members of the organizations would be arrested across India in the current round-up. An estimated 300 to 500 had already been put in jail, many arrested on open charges while others were detained for their own protection.

The U.S. formally accused the Government of Rumania of abolishing the last vestiges of civil liberties in the country through violence and political chicanery.

The U.N. Palestine Commission intended to send a party to Palestine within about ten days to lay the groundwork for the partition, approved by the U.N. on November 29.

An SOS distress signal was received north of the Leeward Islands in the Caribbean, believed from the downed British Star Tiger airliner with 29 persons aboard, The signal had indicated "Tiger".

A joint Senate-House subcommittee sought a Congressional pledge to cut 2.5 billion dollars from the President's proposed 40-billion dollar budget.

The Federal Housing Expediter, Tighe Woods, stated his belief to Congress that rents would rise 50 percent if rent controls were not extended again beyond February 29.

Defense Secretary James Forrestal announced that the Air Transport Command and the Naval Air Transport Service had merged. Maj. General Laurence Kuter, just rejected by the Senate as CAB chairman, would become the head of the combined service.

In Chicago, corn plunged in price by as much as eight cents per bushel, partially the result of a spurt in offerings by country corn dealers.

You better stop that.

The TWA Constellation "Star of China" set a new record for flight time from Los Angeles to New York, making the trip in six hours and 39 minutes with 33 passengers aboard, beating the previous mark by eight minutes, averaging 379.2 miles per hour.

In Hollywood, the three-year old daughter of movie director Howard Horwitz disappeared before dawn and then was discovered by neighbors crying, saying that her father had dropped her and run into the garage. Mr. Horwitz was aroused from a sound sleep by his neighbor and thought his daughter was in bed. Apparently, the child had mistaken an abductor for her father. A window showed signs of forced entry to the home to effect a burglary, and the child appeared to have been carried outside so that she would not make noise.

The South Carolina Prison Superintendent appealed to the Legislature for a modern facility which would cost five million dollars. The extant facility had been in operation since 1867.

Tom Fesperman of The News again reports on the mentally deficient in the state, with 2.5 million dollars appropriated and awaiting expenditure for either expansion of the Caswell Training School or construction of a new facility. Some 2,000 cases were being cared for at home as a result of insufficient facilities.

The nine-year old girl whose manic condition threatened the health of her younger brother, suffering from rheumatic fever, in a small home with six children, was still awaiting admission to Caswell, though its director understood the emergent nature of the situation.

The sports page covers the American League baseball schedule. It also reports on the basketball victory by N.C. State over North Carolina the previous night, 81 to 42, in Raleigh, one of seven losses which North Carolina would suffer against 20 wins during the season, winding up third in the Southern Conference. N.C. State, whose roster included future Duke head coach Vic Bubas and future N.C. State head coach Norm Sloan, would go on to win the Southern Conference title, posting a record of 29-2, before losing in the opening quarterfinal round of the NIT to DePaul.

It would take, incidentally, twenty years, until the ACC Tournament finals in 1968, for UNC adequately to repay this loss, not to mention a 40-point drubbing the following season, albeit interspersed by a pair of UNC routs in 1957 and once in 1961, the latter by 31 points. UNC would win the 1968 Tournmanent over State, coached by Norm Sloan, 87-50. But, as the regular season contests were much closer, we would have to attribute the margin of the loss to N. C. State being tired from the game the previous night, one of the greatest run-and-shoot affairs ever witnessed in college basketball in the modern era, against Duke, coached by Vic Bubas. The scorekeeper, in fact, was said to have passed out from the torrid pace. It also made for some of the most thrilling television ever witnessed in the world of sports to that point in time. State won by one basket. It was not unlike the fast-paced affair of two years earlier in the semi-finals of the Tournament, between UNC and Duke, albeit that one unfortunately not televised, which Duke would survive by a point.

In any event, Bones says, "Well, better luck next year."

On the editorial page, "A Southern Bolt to the GOP?" tells of speculation afoot on the Southern politicians meeting in Tallahassee possibly to select a presidential candidate of their own. It could mean that they would withhold Southern electors from the President, depriving both parties of a majority and sending the election to the House, that the Southerners would be able to control policy in the next administration and prevent the President's progressive program on civil rights from being realized.

But the reality was that a Western or Northern Republican would be the choice for President in such a scenario, similar to the election of 1876 in which Ohio Governor Rutherford B. Hayes, the popular vote loser, wound up being elected by a special commission to decide the election based on three slates of contested electors, depriving either Governor Hayes or his opponent Samuel Tilden, the Democrat, a majority. Governor Tilden of New York had been a reformer of his time and was disfavored by conservatives. A deal was made with the contested states by the supporters of Governor Hayes to end Reconstruction in the South in exchange for sending to the electoral college only those slates committed to Governor Hayes. And the Commission determined on a partisan vote to give Governor Hayes the election.

The current revolt, it suggests, was not Southern, per se, but rather a manifestation of the left-right conflict disturbing both parties. The GOP platform had been more disturbing to Southern Democrats in 1944 than the President's current proposals. And the Republicans were pushing for a civil rights plank again in its platform as hard as was the President for reforms.

Too many Southerners used white supremacy to get elected to Congress, where they then consistently voted with the Republicans. They might not be bluffing this time and would actually bolt the party. But the ultimate effect of such a move would be to deliver victory to the Taft wing of the GOP.

"The Great Eccles Mystery" tells of the consternation felt by liberal Democrats regarding the demotion of Marriner Eccles from chairman to vice-chairman of the Federal Reserve Board. The President had not explained his action. The New Dealers thought that it meant that the President's apparent move to the left was only illusory.

Others in Washington believed that Mr. Eccles was too unconventional for the financial community. The consensus of opinion was that he had shown the President and the New York bankers how to stop inflation by having a managed recession, cutting down the supply of money. The bankers did not want such a program and the President appeared annoyed by the suggestion that his remedy for inflation, wage-price controls and rationing, was not sufficient.

Time would tell whether the President had made a wise move.

"Social Responsibility in Charlotte" reports of an address to the Rotary Club by Dr. Hardy Liston, president of Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, urging "social responsibility" for the community and explaining the substantial contributions to the community made by graduates of the University.

The piece thinks it a good plan for growth of the community, to undertake its own development and not wait on Washington or the State Legislature.

A piece from the Detroit News, "Cockeyed Free Enterprise", tells of Sunoco having boosted its prices purportedly because it was getting too much business, joining other leading producers of oil. Sun had started the current round of price increases by buying up crude supplies, initially saying it would absorb the higher price and not pass it on to consumers. But when the other companies boosted prices, Sun followed suit. The purported reason for it appeared questionable if not spurious.

Sumner Welles, former Undersecretary of State until August, 1943, states that Germany had to be taught that it could not repeat aggression, and to that end, it could not become a centralized state. It should be maintained under international control until the people demonstrated a moral conversion from the past. The major powers needed to cooperate in such an effort.

But the lessons of the post-World War I period had largely been ignored since 1945. The American occupation zone had not done anything appreciably to re-educate Germans regarding democratic liberty. Instead, de-Nazification had been a farce, its control given over to Germans. A survey by the AMG showed that the Germans were more receptive to totalitarianism than they had been two years earlier.

The American occupation had stressed relief and had done little to stimulate self-help.

Collaborators were being used to screen inmates of displaced persons camps, being largely responsible for continued anti-Semitism in Germany.

The U.S. had largely ignored France in shaping occupation policy. The French were justified in the view that any German government had to be a confederation of several states, not elected by the German people as a whole, that integration of Germany within a United Europe was necessary, and that such could not occur if Germany were allowed to become highly centralized and super-industrialized. Yet, the proposals offered to the Germans by the U.S. tended toward the contrary, a unified, centralized state.

The administration of the American zone was to be switched to civilian authority beginning July 1, but, he posits, that change should have occurred two years earlier. The entire administration of Germany needed to be transformed such that the military would be the enforcement arm for policy, not the policy-maker. And policy should be determined only after consultation with France, as it would be France which would bear the brunt again of any errors which would allow Germany again to become armed and hostile.

Drew Pearson tells of the Agriculture Department having tried unsuccessfully for two years to obtain information from Russia on its "shelter belt", consisting of trees planted to prevent soil erosion. The Soviets had refused and in consequence, the U.S. was curtailing its exchange of information on agricultural improvements, previously open to Soviet inspection. The Russian experiment had begun over 50 years earlier but was only discovered by the U.S. following the war.

Senator Kenneth Wherry, always interested in funny Indian names, such as "Winnie Left Her Behind", mentioned on the Senate floor three years earlier, had, the previous week, risen to inquire of the Senate Clerk after he read out the name, "Mabel Townsend Petty On Top". The Clerk corrected it to "Mabel Townsend Pretty On Top", and the Senator relented.

Grand Dragon of the KKK Samuel Green returned to Atlanta upset that Klavern No. 1 had decided not to support Herman Talmadge in the gubernatorial race for his stands against labor. He was also mad that the events of the meeting were leaking to Mr. Pearson and that the column had reported that Mr. Talmadge was anti-labor. He claimed to have talked to Mr. Talmadge and was assured that he would be strong for labor.

Dr. Green said that 1948 would see a lot of cross-burnings and parades.

A new klavern would be established in Chattanooga with 189 members.

International Falls, Minn., coldest spot in the U.S., refused to pay black market prices for fuel oil and in consequence, after entreaty to the President, was promised a special shipment. St. Cloud, Minn., received ten carloads of fuel oil as it was in the district of Representative Harold Knutson, chairman of the Ways & Means Committee.

Marquis Childs discusses the demotion of Marriner Eccles from chairman to vice-chairman of the Federal Reserve Board and its implications to the fight against inflation and the President's position in Washington and in the country. The bankers had been opposed to Mr. Eccles's plan to curb bank credit as well his cheap money policy. They wanted to have the price of government bonds decreased and the interest rates to rise on private lending. The President had supported the Eccles plan as late as his State of the Union message.

The demotion was designed to get Mr. Eccles to resign completely from the Board. The plan supposedly was put forward by two bankers, one out of New York and one out of Chicago. Supposedly, Secretary of the Treasury John W. Snyder continued to support Mr. Eccles.

Since Mr. Eccles had not resigned, he would come out the winner in the matter, with the majority of the Board on his side, the Administration's endorsement, and new public support.

The new chairman, Thomas McCabe, was primarily an industrialist rather than a banker.

Samuel Grafton tells of the current economic situation being akin to that 12 years earlier during the winter when fuel oil was not to be readily had because of low wages. Now, wages were fine but there was shortage because everyone else could afford fuel oil also. The country was not adapted to universal prosperity.

The mild recession favored by some economists would knock 20 to 30 percent of consumers out of the market. Then shortages would cease but only at the expense of that portion of the consuming public, a return to the way things had been prior to the war.

He ventures that President Roosevelt would have delivered a radio talk by this point on the fuel oil shortage and announced a national program to extract oil from low-grade deposits and another program to produce synthetic oil. He would have embraced the high demand and rejected a return to smallness.

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