The Charlotte News

Thursday, March 18, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Secretary of Defense James Forrestal testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee that the Army needed an additional 350,000 men to bring it to the allowed manpower ceiling, necessary to protect Europe in the event of incursion. Presently, he said, the country had only 30,000 available trained combat troops within the U.S. To meet the demand, a new draft would be necessary temporarily until universal military training would provide sufficient men for the purpose.

UMT had been stalled in the House Rules Committee since the previous summer after its approval by the House Armed Services Committee, preventing a vote on the House floor on the measure. Congressman Leo Allen of Illinois, chairman of the Armed Services Committee, stated that nothing had changed in response to the President's message of the previous day. There were more than ample votes for UMT to pass the committee's counterpart in the Senate.

Thirty-two Republican Senators determined in conference to move forward on the 4.8 billion dollar tax cut bill, with Senate debate scheduled to commence this date. Senate Minority Leader Alben Barkley stated his continuing opposition to the bill, even if reduced to four billion dollars. He wanted to wait until ERP had been passed and implemented to determine necessary spending prior to cutting revenue.

The House Foreign Affairs Committee, after voting the previous day to approve the 5.3 billion dollar ERP appropriation for the first year, voted against creation of a watchdog committee to keep track of the spending of the money. The Senate had created such a committee in its version of the bill. The House version, however, reserved that the two Congressional foreign affairs committees had to be advised on the expenditures.

At a New York St. Patrick's Day dinner the night before, the President departed from his prepared remarks to say that he would prefer defeat in the election to support from Henry Wallace "and his Communists". The remark drew loud cheers.

Mr. Wallace, meanwhile, was ready to deliver a response this night on ABC radio to the President's St. Patrick's Day message on foreign affairs, asking Congress for the renewal of the draft and to pass UMT.

Prices of meat continued to rise as the meatpackers strike entered its third day. The President's fact-finding board declined a union invitation to arbitrate the strike as it viewed its role as limited to effecting an end to it or avoiding it.

Because of the strike of coal miners, the Government, acting under residual war emergency powers, ordered a twenty-five percent cut in service of coal-burning passenger trains and coal exports. Major steel producers had already cut production for want of coke.

In Berlin, Brig. General Telford Taylor and his wife were injured when they bailed out of a C-47 transport plane and landed in Russian territory in or near the city. General Taylor was the chief war crimes prosecutor in Germany. Ambulances transported the couple, and others who had bailed out of the stricken aircraft, back to the U.S. sector. The General suffered a wrenched back and hip injury. The pilot and co-pilot stayed with the plane and made a forced landing in the British sector of Berlin. Three other crewmen and four other passengers had also bailed out, only one other being injured.

In Tampa, ten were killed and four injured when a B-29 from Spokane crashed and burned at MacDill Field at 2:30 a.m. The four survivors were in good condition. The bomber was arriving in a dense fog when it struck the edge of the runway, causing the plane to hit the ground, bounce, and then crash.

In St. Petersburg, a mother was charged with the murder of her two small children by drowning them in a lake and then trying to drown herself. She told her husband, "They belonged to God, not to you."

Ralph Gibson of The News reports of $519 having been contributed from persons as far away as Boston and Chicago in sympathetic response to the reported death of the ten-year old girl of the destitute family camping beneath the railroad trestle on N. Graham Street on Monday night. One Charlotte resident contributed $50. The child had been hit at dawn by a shifting locomotive while her father went in search of coffee as she and her older two siblings huddled in the cold. The other two managed to jump free just before the locomotive hit, none of the three having heard its approach. The money and clothing were directed to the Salvation Army to provide for the father, who was out of work as a railroad concessionaire and seeking a job. His former employer said that he would be considered for a position whenever one came open.

That was nice. Maybe by 1961...

The family meanwhile was staying in Gaffney, S.C., with the father's brother, who had put them up two nights before the accident and given his brother a little money, but then dumped the four out on the streets of Charlotte at dusk the evening before the mishap.

In Durham, Leonard Hall of Oyster Bay, N.Y., chairman of the Republican Congressional Campaign Committee, told the North Carolina GOP Convention that the New Deal had been aiding "the Commies", and that the same "gang" was now seeking taxpayer money to fight Communism. He stated that the 1946 3.75 billion dollar loan to Britain had been used for a "socialistic experiment". He compared the foreign aid to cutting holes in the roof of one's house to improve it. From all four corners of the country, he proclaimed, the people were saying that four successive four-year terms of the Democrats were enough. State leaders believed, he ventured, that Republican chances were better at this juncture than in 1928.

Let us hope, therefore, that things turn out better in the Dewey Administration than in the Hoover Administration, or else there may come four more successive Democratic Administrations, plus one.

In the woman's section of the newspaper, the editor advised in her "Thursday Cookbook" allowing the small fry a hand in dyeing the Easter eggs.

Don't dye all of the eggs yourself. That deprives the child of constructive artistic expression. Such activity provides an excellent opportunity to engage in quality time with your small fry so that the little one will not grow up to drain the water from the lake in Freedom Park, killing most of the bream fingerlings.

But skip those little designs on the eggs which come with some of the Paas dye kits. Even with vinegar, they don't really pan out very well, just wind up as indistinguishable smudges.

Be sure also to establish a variegated assortment, properly to assure that the child will not have a stultified perspective and will come to appreciate the many pastel tones which the world has to offer in between the primary colors.

In Madison Square Garden in New York, St. Louis defeated NYU the previous night, 65 to 52, for the N.I.T. title. This night, the N.C.A.A. Tournament would begin in the Garden, with Kentucky contesting Columbia and Holy Cross going against Michigan.

On the editorial page, "America in the War Crisis" supports the President's call for reinstitution of the the draft on a temporary basis and for universal military training, as means of securing the nation against possible war with the Soviet Union and to forestall Soviet aggression. Whether the move meant war would have to be answered by Russia. But it did clearly imply an armed crisis of indefinite duration, with actual hostilities being a continuing threat.

The design was also to encourage Western European allies.

The result could be to stimulate the Communists to more desperate action to try to win all of Europe before the U.S. could adequately arm itself for a strike. And it could demoralize the people of Europe with the threat of another war.

It finds that the country had no choice, in the face of Soviet expansion in Eastern Europe, save to arm itself in preparation for conflict and to deter further expansion into Western Europe.

It predicts that Republican isolationists on the right and Wallace supporters on the left would contend that the move was an effort by the President to divert attention from the domestic scene during the campaign. That would cause the Russians to perceive disunity in the country and perhaps be emboldened thereby to act. But for the Administration to have remained mum would have been to damn it as incompetent to deal with the international crisis.

Foreign policy, it concludes, would again be the paramount concern in the coming election, taking precedence over the domestic situation, concerns about inflation and possible recession. The primary question facing the voter, it finds, would be to descry who would be most effective in dealing with Russia.

"Charlotte Keeps Patriot Faith" comments on the symphonic historical drama to be presented in Charlotte during the summer to celebrate the May 20, 1775 Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence, claimed to be the first in the colonies—even if of doubtful origins, a document purporting contemporaneously to record the event, thought to be spurious, not having surfaced until fifty years later.

The pageant would be dedicated to the late Clarence Kuester, who had died the previous week. Mr. Kuester had led the effort to establish the pageant and was vice-president of the Mecklenburg Historical Society. He was replaced in the position by department store magnate George Ivey, and Mr. Kuester's two sons were also on the board, along with Mayor Herbert Baxter. It predicts that the pageant would be a fitting tribute to Mr. Kuester, to whom it would be dedicated.

A piece from the Louisville Courier-Journal, titled "American Unions Fight Stalin", tells of the CIO and AFL both trying to get the word through to European unions that Communist propaganda was false and that the ultimate attempt by the Communists was to destroy the trade union movement, as had Hitler in Germany, enslaving the workers to the state.

Drew Pearson tells of playwright Robert Sherwood having written, at the urging of several Americans, a message to the Italian people telling them that America was on their side, to be dropped over Italy in advance of the April 18 election, in the hope that the electorate would not be swayed by Communist propaganda to the contrary, claiming the Marshall Plan was imperialistic in its motives. He reprints the "manifesto for peace" prepared by Mr. Sherwood.

He next tells of Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin leading a filibuster on the joint housing committee, against a long-term housing bill sponsored by Senator Charles Tobey of New Hampshire, which would provide for 15 million new units in ten years. Senator Ralph Flanders of Vermont sponsored a more limited bill, proposing 500,000 public housing units in four years, with a provision for farm housing on a large scale. Senator McCarthy thought this latter bill ought be presented as two separate measures, one for city housing and one for rural. Senator Tobey had the majority on the committee in favor of his bill but Senator McCarthy sought to stall the vote, being in favor of a more limited bill, without the public housing provisions. He stated that he would begin discussing each of the 92 changes suggested by the staff report, seeking time until two more members of the committee showed up, one of whom was Congressman Wright Patman, who, the opposition informed Senator McCarthy, was on their side.

Eventually, while Senator McCarthy continued to talk, Senator John Sparkman of Alabama passed the Flanders bill around the conference table to be signed and when a majority had signed it, Senator Tobey walked out of the filibuster with the remainder of the committee in tow, leaving Senator McCarthy talking alone to the record.

Marquis Childs tells of the dictatorial House Rules Committee having bottled up two vital bills, one to establish universal military training and the other, on which he concentrates, to close a loophole in the 1914 Clayton Anti-Trust Act, a loophole which continued to allow corporations to buy up companies by purchasing their assets even though the Act had forbidden establishment of monopolies through buying up stock of competitors.

The bill was sponsored in the Senate by Senators Joseph O'Mahoney of Wyoming and in the House by Congressman Estes Kefauver of Tennessee, and had received a favorable report out of the House Judiciary Committee. But when it reached the Rules Committee, it was pigeonholed and could not reach the floor for a vote.

Mr. Childs regards it as enabling totalitarianism to thrive in the country through the continuing creation of monopolies, which had grown enormously since the end of the war, with large companies, inflated by wartime profits, able to purchase the assets of smaller competitors.

James Marlow tells of the new coal strike and the CIO meatpackers strike in the country. The latter had begun the previous Tuesday and involved 100,000 workers. They wanted a 29 cents per hour raise while the companies were offering nine cents. The union agreed to the nine cents, with the twenty-cent difference to be determined in arbitration, but the owners refused to go along.

About 150,000 other AFL workers in the industry had recently agreed to the nine-cent raise.

The coal strike involved 400,000 miners, who were not "willing" to work, technically permitting a walkout under the contract, set to expire at the end of June. They wanted a $100 per month pension for every miner over 60 on the job for 20 or more years. The money was to come from the welfare fund, set aside from 10 cents per ton royalties, and run by a board of trustees. The owners' representative on the board claimed that the fund could not afford it. John L. Lewis, also on the board, claimed that it could. The third member had resigned and no one had been appointed in his stead, the situation thus remaining deadlocked.

A letter writer responds to the editors' invitation to comment on the column of Drew Pearson, finds it thoroughly educational and informative for his whole family.

A letter writer agrees with the late President Roosevelt, that Mr. Pearson was a "chronic liar", an opinion he finds to be shared by President Truman. He fails to see how any respectable newspaper could publish the column.

A letter writer says that he held a high opinion of the Pearson column until more recent years, in which he found it to be engaging in smear tactics, some of which, he believes, entailed false accusations.

A letter writer finds the Pearson column informative and telling the American people, without prejudice, the unvarnished truth about Washington.

A letter writer wants no changes to the editorial page.

A letter writer responds to a piece of March 12 which had stated that the North Carolina World Federalists believed that there had to be "one world or world war". He fails to understand how there could be one world as long as the Russians adhered to their current expansionist course, believes that Russia wanted only one world under the "Red boot".

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