The Charlotte News

Monday, March 15, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Secretary of State Marshall told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that if aid were stopped to Greece, the consequences would be "swift and tragic". The consequences to Turkey would not be as "active" but were also serious. He was testifying in favor of the Administration's recommended additional aid of 275 million dollars for Greece and Turkey, to supplement the 400 million provided the previous spring.

In Paris, British Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin urged the 16-nation conference to include Western Germany in the Marshall Plan. Portugal appeared ready to propose that Spain be included in ERP.

The President instructed Federal agencies to turn down requests from Congress and the courts for secret papers regarding loyalty investigations of Government employees. He directed that all agency heads submit such requests directly to him for determination. Secretary of Commerce Averell Harriman had already refused to provide HUAC with documents on the investigation of Dr. Edward Condon, head of the Bureau of Standards and object of HUAC scrutiny of late for supposedly being the top security risk anent the atomic secret. The loyalty investigations had been taking place pursuant to executive order since July, 1947, but were maintained as top secret.

Nearly half of the bituminous coal miners of the nation stopped work in response to the call by UMW leader John L. Lewis for miner pensions. About sixty percent of the miners in West Virginia walked off the job. In all, about 200,000 went on strike. No direct call had been made for the walkout. Anthracite miners in Pennsylvania continued on the job. Mr. Lewis was demanding $100 per month in pensions for miners over 60 with twenty or more years of service. The operators claimed the proposal to be too expensive. The present contract continued through the end of June.

A Federal judge in Washington held the provision of Taft-Hartley banning union political activities to be an unconstitutional impingement on free speech and dismissed indictments against CIO president Philip Murray for engaging in such activity, an advertisement in the CIO publication in support of a candidate for election in Baltimore County. The case had been intentionally brought to test the validity of the provision.

Two of three major packing houses turned down an offer to arbitrate their wage dispute with the CIO United Packinghouse Workers, set to strike nationwide at midnight the following night. The union had sought a 29-cent per hour wage increase but was prepared to settle for 20 cents. Two-thirds of the union membership received less than $1.10 per hour. Armour had not replied to the proposal but Swift and Cudahy had rejected it.

Senator Robert Taft was aboard an airplane which crash-landed on ice-covered Kennebec River in Maine, but was unhurt. Also aboard were Senator Owen Brewster and the pilot, likewise uninjured. The engine suddenly cut out when the crankshaft broke. Senator Taft said that it was a nice, soft landing.

A former New York City advertising executive, Torrey Stearns, formed a "People for Eisenhower" organization, inviting citizens to mail postcards stating their support for the General, in the hope that it might convince him to change his mind about not running for the presidency.

In San Jose, Costa Rica, the Government was under siege by a revolutionary force virtually isolating the capital city. The Government had asked General Anastasio Samoza, strongman of Nicaragua, to send help to stem the revolt. Jose Figueres, leader of the revolutionary forces, trained by the U.S., claimed to have wiped out half of the force sent to extricate him from his mountain fortress.

In Chicago, 44 spectators and handlers involved in a cock fight had been arrested under a rarely invoked statute banning the sport.

In Louisville, six workmen were killed and at least 26 others injured in an explosion at the International Harvester Farm Equipment Company building. More persons would have been present but for the fact of a changing shift at the time.

On Mount Sanford in Alaska, storms threatened to bury the wreckage of a Northwest Orient Airlines DC-4 which had crashed on its way from Shanghai to St. Paul, Minn., carrying 30 seamen back home after delivery of a tanker. There appeared to be no survivors.

Police Chief Frank Littlejohn of Charlotte advocated the imposition of a citywide curfew after 11:00 p.m. for teenagers to curb incidents of recent vandalism. The police had caught the alleged culprits responsible for draining most of the water from the lake in Freedom Park, killing most of its stock of fish on Thursday evening. They were two boys, ages 14 and 13, arrested on Sunday following investigation by six members of the Police Department. They had used a hammer and chisel from home to cut the chain which secured the valve. Originally, the police had speculated that two older persons had done the deed for the fact that it normally took two workmen to open the valve.

"Cinderella" would be performed by the Girl Scouts of Troop 1 at the Lions' Club Building this night at 7:30 in Mt. Holly. Don't miss it. Refreshments will be served by members of Troop 2.

Former News writer Burke Davis, now with the Baltimore Evening Sun, reports on page 16-A regarding there being plenty of nickels in Baltimore.

As no doubt imparted on the sports page, on Saturday night, DePaul had defeated N.C. State, Southern Conference champions and considered one of the nation's top teams, in the opening quarterfinals of the N.I.T. in Madison Square Garden in New York. The Wolfpack lost 75 to 64, albeit without the services of their leading scorer at 15.6 points per game, All-American Dick Dickey, down with the mumps. Whether some enterprising sports reporter had the audacity to suggest a headline such as, "Pack Mumped Out of N.I.T. by Blue Demons", we don't know. Perhaps, it would have been too cheeky.

State finished the season 29-3, its only other losses coming in close games to West Virginia and defending NCAA champion Holy Cross, with All-American Bob Cousy.

The semifinals of the eight-team N.I.T. would take place this night and conclude on Wednesday night. The N.C.A.A. Tournament, also with an eight-team field, would begin Thursday, with Kentucky meeting Columbia and Holy Cross playing Michigan in the Garden in the semifinals for the Eastern championship, while on Friday in Kansas City, Kansas State would contest Wyoming and Washington would vie with Baylor for the Western title. The overall semifinals would take place in each separate locale on Saturday and the finals, on Tuesday, March 23, in the Garden—obviously giving the Eastern champion the advantage by acclimation to the city, arena and court, not having to travel on the two days off, plus having only to play two games in three days in the Eastern championship round rather than on back to back days as the Western champion, the latter ultimately forced to play three games in five days. This lopsided format obviously needs revision.

On the editorial page, "U.S. Needs ERP and Draft" finds wisdom in the call by former Secretary of State James Byrnes to reinstitute the draft, as universal military training had been delayed by the Congress for so long that it was now too late to implement it. The draft also would take several months to meet manpower needs in a confrontation with Russia. Quick passage of the Marshall Plan to assure security thus took on added importance, to hold Italy, France, and the other Western European nations solidly on the side of the U.S.

The same members of Congress responsible for delaying the Marshall Plan were also delaying UMT, and would likely oppose a draft. Yet, they were crying the loudest for getting tough with Russia. The sloth and inconsistent stance were the result of election year politics and isolationism, as well the delusion that the atom bomb was sufficient to provide security.

"How to Stop the Vandals" finds Police Chief Littlejohn's Saturday statement that parental negligence was the source of growing vandalism in Charlotte to extend not only to the parents of the perpetrators but also to all who were indifferent to the acts of vandalism. It urges formation of an organization of parents to deal with the growing problem. More money was needed for recreational facilities and programs to funnel the energies of youth into more creative and responsible outlets.

You build a basketball court; they will come. No more vandalism, as thefts on the court are acceptable and you can shoot the eyes out of your adversary with impunity.

"Shrieking in Stalin's Ear" comments on the Alsops' column of Saturday in which they stated that Secretary Marshall needed to shriek in Premier Stalin's ear to be heard beyond the tightly controlled walls of the Kremlin, alerting him to the concern felt by Americans regarding the takeover by the Communists in Czechoslovakia, that such Soviet moves could precipitate war.

The piece questions whether the shrieking would have any impact and whether indeed it might trigger the opposite result, that is increasing the Russian campaign of expansion. It thinks the main result of the Marshall and Truman statements might be only to alarm the American people, not Stalin.

A piece from the Memphis Commercial Appeal, titled "They Look 'Darling'", tells of two young females on the bus being ecstatic over an athletic hero having peroxided his forelock, which they thought made him look "perfectly darling".

The writer found the specimen more novel than darling. Whatever the case, it finds the fad harmless enough, if inexplicable. But, as the song went regarding the turkey trot, everybody was doing it.

Drew Pearson tells of Secretary of State Marshall asking the Senate Armed Services Committee to meet with him at the State Department, and when they arrived, imparting to them that war could erupt with Russia over the Balkans or Italy and that the uncontrollable Yugoslavs might transgress the borders into Italy at any time. He stated that he did not want to send an ultimatum to Russia for fear it might provoke war.

The Red Army had 1.7 million men in Russia plus 25 artillery divisions and 50 NKVD divisions for internal security, a total of about 2.45 million men.

In Germany, the Red Army was concentrating its forces, appearing to be ready to force the British and Americans out.

Sweden was concerned about being caught between Russia and the West and so refused to have anything to do with the West.

The Russians were rumored to have 100,000 guided missiles, more accurate than the V-2. They had also stockpiled about three years' worth of wheat.

Diplomatic intelligence suggested that Russia intended to engage in terrorism in Europe to coerce Italians to vote for the Communists in the coming April 18 elections. They also wanted to scare Western European nations away from joining the new Western European Union and to act before the Marshall Plan was implemented. The fact of the U.S. election also made the timing good for Russia.

Italians, living for so long under Fascism, were susceptible to scare tactics employed by the Communists against the peasants to get them to vote Communist. The Italians were also concerned about the Communist takeover in Czechoslovakia and so wanted to join the right side. A truly free election would disfavor the Communists, but it did not appear headed in that direction.

He next imparts of the tension between Congressmen George Bender and Clare Hoffman, both Republicans, regarding the witnesses to be called in hearings over the Administration's alleged proposal to hold back embarrassing news.

Marquis Childs tells of Virginia being under the control of a few persons prepared to tell the people for whom they would vote in November, based on the legislative proposal of Governor William Tuck to place only party names on the ballot, freeing the electors to vote for their choice of candidate. That person inevitably would be Senator Harry F. Byrd, the boss of Virginia politics.

The proposal was not well received by the state's newspapers and a compromise had been put forth whereby the Truman Democrats could gather a thousand signatures and qualify for the ballot under their own label. The name of the Republican candidate would, as always, be on the ballot.

As a result, Virginia would likely go into the Republican column, an extraordinary result. Many Democrats were resentful of the tactics of the Byrd machine and would thus not vote for the party label with assurance of it being a vote for Senator Byrd. But they would also not vote for the President based on his promulgated civil rights program.

In fact, come November, Virginia would wind up voting for the President by 47 to 41 percent.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop tell of the exchanges of heated words between Andrei Gromyko and Warren Austin on the U.N. Security Council regarding Palestine not being suggestive of a positive result in the offing.

There appeared to be no American policy on Palestine. President Truman had decided not to send troops to the troubled Holy Land to enforce the partition plan. But such negation was not a policy.

It was hoped that the British could be persuaded to stay an additional six months beyond the evacuation date of May 15. President Truman had sent letters to the Arab leaders urging compliance in exchange for promises of U.S. and U.N. guarantees of the borders of the Arab and Jewish states. But King Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia responded that political leaders in America could change and such guarantees thus could be altered or eliminated. Transjordan's King Abdullah had refused to participate in the enforcement out of fear of being assassinated by the Mufti's men. Western European nations and South American nations had also refused participation.

A trusteeship had been considered, but if it involved only the U.S. as trustee, that would mean a commitment of American troops. If not, it would lead to Russian troops in Palestine, as Mr. Gromyko appeared to hint. In that event, Palestine would quickly be made a satrapy of the Soviets.

It was likely that the U.S. would press for a General Assembly meeting to reconsider partition. If that were to happen, it would mean abandonment of partition and failure to deal effectively with the problem.

A letter from former News reporter Reed Sarratt, now in Baltimore, responds to a letter of March 5, which had unfairly attacked UNC president Frank Graham, branding him a Communist in an open letter to Senator Clyde Hoey, and urging that he be dismissed as UNC president.

The writer had accused Dr. Graham of being a member of an "un-American" organization, namely the Southern Conference of Human Welfare. HUAC had so labeled the organization the previous June for its sponsorship of an address by Henry Wallace in Washington. The accusation was without foundation. Mr. Sarratt urges reading of an article on the subject by law professor Walter Gellhorn in the previous October issue of The Harvard Law Review, titled "Report on a Report of the House Committee on Un-American Activities". HUAC's accusation resembled that made recently by the Committee against Dr. Edward Condon, director of the Bureau of Standards, for supposed association with a Communist espionage agent, based on guilt by association.

Neither the FBI nor the Attorney General had ever listed the Conference as "subversive", as the previous letter writer contended.

Senator Hoey had recently attested on the Senate floor to the patriotism of Dr. Graham and needed no instruction on the topic.

Dr. Graham had served the country well during and since the war on various boards of the Federal Government and his loyalty was above reproach.

The following March, at the death of newly elected Senator J. Melville Broughton, new Governor Kerr Scott would appoint Dr. Graham to the Senate seat, which he would lose in the 1950 election to Raleigh attorney Willis Smith, whose race-baiting campaign would be managed by Jesse Helms.

A letter from the president of the Mecklenburg County Council of the Boy Scouts of America thanks the newspaper for a series of three articles published on Cub Scouting.

They must have been one each for Wolf, Bear, and Lion. The Bobcat maybe got left out in the cold again.

Framed Edition
[Return to Links
Page by Subject] [Return to Links-Page by Date] [Return to News<i><i><i>--</i></i></i>Framed Edition]
Links-Date -- Links-Subj.