The Charlotte News

Friday, March 19, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that at the University of California in Berkeley, Secretary of State Marshall accused Russia of using Nazi tactics in the Communist drive to engulf European free nations, saying that never before in the history of the United States had its ideals and interests been so threatened. He said that if Italy or any other Western nation elected a Communist government, it would automatically cut itself off from American aid as the Communists did not support the recovery program. But he also said that the U.S. maintained an open door to any conciliatory move by the Russians. Until such a move occurred, however, the firm policy would be to oppose further Soviet encroachment. The crisis extended beyond Europe to the Near and Middle East, as well as into China, Indonesia, Latin America, and Korea. He again urged Congress promptly to enact ERP.

The House Foreign Affairs Committee approved the 5.3 billion dollar ERP appropriation for the first year. Aid for Greece, Turkey, and China were included in the bill, despite Democratic objection.

Meanwhile, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved the proposed additional 275 million dollars worth of aid to Greece and Turkey. No final decision had yet been reached on the proposed aid to China.

Senate Republican leaders appeared near an agreement on a plan to register young men in the country for the draft but to delay actual induction until such point that voluntary enlistments lagged or the world situation became so bad as to require mobilization.

An informal poll of the House Armed Services Committee showed wide support for renewal of the draft.

The Senate approved limiting the tax cut to no more than 4.8 billion dollars. The House had passed a bill allowing 6.5 billion in cuts. Final vote on the Senate bill would likely occur later this date.

Madame Curie was released from Ellis Island in New York after being detained there since arrival the previous night by plane from Greece. Attorney General Tom Clark ordered the release to enable her 15-day visit in the country to conduct lectures. Madame Curie, along with her husband Frederick, had won the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1935 for their discoveries in radioactivity.

In Centralia, Ill., an explosion of undetermined origin had killed five persons and injured 25 when a two-story building was leveled.

In Charlotte, a man was under arrest for allegedly robbing and shooting a Charlotte attorney. An accomplice was being sought in the robbery and assault. The victim, a well known criminal defense attorney in the city, was badly wounded in the neck during the attack on W. Sixth Street near Church Street at around 3:30 a.m. The man in custody was tracked by police and found hiding in a closet, admitted his part in the robbery but claimed that his companion had fired the shot. The arrested man explained that he spotted the victim winning a lot of money in a craps game and told his companion of it, whereupon they determined to commit the robbery outside as the man started to enter his car.

The previous night in Madison Square Garden in New York, Kentucky beat Columbia 76 to 53 and Holy Cross topped Michigan 63 to 45, in the opening quarterfinal pairings of the N.C.A.A. Tournament. This night in Kansas City, Wyoming would meet Kansas State and Baylor would vie with Washington. We hope that you are having good success predicting the results. We have missed a couple thus far.

On the editorial page, "Wallace Missed the Boat" comments on Henry Wallace's statement in response to the President's St. Patrick's Day message on foreign policy, that it was a complete admission of failure of the Truman Doctrine. While it was true that the Doctrine had not been wholly effective, the worse failure was the appeasement policy advocated by Mr. Wallace. It appeared Mr. Wallace had missed the boat by removing from the Democratic Party and challenging the hard line approach to Russia via the third party. Had he remained, he could have attracted the alienated supporters of President Roosevelt and the independents.

While he probably could not have obtained the nomination, he could have controlled enough delegates to have an effect on policy at the Democratic convention. As it was, the former Vice-President was relegated to support only by a small band of Communists and fellow travelers.

"Strange American Confusion" finds ridiculous Senator Vandenberg's stated disappointment that the President had not spelled out in his speech two days earlier the foreign policy of the country. The President had in fact set forth the Truman Doctrine in its final terms. The detractors from the left and the right did not want to understand the President's speech, which had articulated the great crisis facing the nation.

The Truman Doctrine, in the year since it was first put forth with respect to Turkey and Greece, had not been respected by Russia because the American people had not shown the resolve to back up the Doctrine with mobilization. The result had been an extension of Soviet power in Eastern and Central Europe, with concomitant threat to the West. Even with these portents in the winds, there were still those appeasers and isolationists who refused to see the crisis for what it was, a crisis which had been growing steadily since the end of the war.

"A Call from Our Forests" tells of the state's forests comprising 18.4 million acres—six times that of Britain—, representing about 59 percent of North Carolina's territory, most of which was under private ownership, the rest Federal. Half of the forest land was on farms, yielding twenty different products worth 50 million dollars per year. The forests also helped to protect the watershed of a hundred hydroelectric developments and provided jobs for 71,000 workers. The forests were worth about 400 million dollars. The state had more than seven percent of the nation's timber growth and twelve percent of the sound wood volume of the South.

But more trees were being cut than grown. The State maintained two nurseries, but it would take them 67 years to replenish the state's lost tree volume. The State Forester had recently stated in The News that better restocking and conservation practices needed to be employed, with State ownership of the poorer lands and increased research into forestry and timberland management.

A piece from the Christian Science Monitor, titled "Whadya Mean—Accent?" tells of the head of the Boston public schools Department of Speech Improvement contending that Bostonians spoke the purest English uttered anywhere. The piece wonders, however, how such a claim had come to be when Bostonians spoke of parties as "patties" and cars as "caas". The town hall was in the village "squay-ya". And law was "lore", if recent, "morden". (We think the latter are more at "lawr" and "mod-en", that stated sounding as Brooklynese.)

It found it not surprising that the practitioners of the speech did not recognize their own accent, as such was usually the case.

Add a twang, incidentally, to the above and you have a lot of Southern speech as well.

Guess ever'bawdy came ova on the Mayflowa togetha. What happened?

Drew Pearson spells out the concerns arising from the President's speech to the Congress two days earlier. The first was the news of development of Russia's germ warfare program. The Russians had been working on such plans during the war as they sought to formulate inoculation for their own troops. Such had been known to the U.S. Army for some time.

The second concern was the plan to establish a new Soviet-German government by May 1, with the capital at Koenigsberg and Field Marshal Von Paulus at its head. The General had trained a special German unit of the Red Army in Russia after being taken prisoner at Stalingrad during the war, and that force now numbered about 1.6 million men. The families of the leading officers were maintained in Moscow as hostages to prevent a double-cross.

Other worries were Russian troop maneuvers in and around Germany and the Russian grab for more territory.

Part of the reason for the President's speech was to warn Russia that further expansion could mean war, while reassuring France, Italy, and the Scandinavian countries of continuing American support.

The officers of the Air Force were not in favor of building carriers as they took too long to construct and became white elephants, requiring too many warships to protect them. They were also quite susceptible to being destroyed or rendered useless by atomic bombs, even by close proximity to a blast. The U.S.S. Pennsylvania had to be towed from Okinawa to sea and scuttled recently because of its radioactivity, persisting almost two years after the July, 1946 Bikini tests. The survivor of Pearl Harbor was thus not even salvageable for its steel. The Air Force generals also found a large land army to be of little use in modern warfare at home, favoring air power as both a deterrent and an effective strike force.

Secretary of State Marshall had, however, recommended to Congress development of a large Army as a psychological deterrent, stating that development of airplanes took too long.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop find the President's speech on foreign policy to the Congress having made it plain that it would be the central issue in the campaign and would greatly affect the outcome, especially in determining who between the Taft and the Vandenberg schools of thought would be the Republican nominee. The Republican Senators had split almost evenly on the vote to reduce ERP from 5.3 to four billion dollars for the first year, demonstrating the close division in the party.

It was believed that Senator Vandenberg was now the man to beat for the nomination rather than Governor Dewey, despite Senator Vandenberg having ruled himself out for the nomination. If drafted, however, there was little doubt that he would accept. Moreover, former Governor Harold Stassen was willing to accept a vice-presidential spot on a Vandenberg ticket, providing such a popularly backed combination strong promise for election.

The nomination of Senator Taft or someone of the same isolationist ideology was not yet out of the question, but Senator Taft himself had lost much of his luster with the party leadership because of his poor showing in the polls. Those who had been backing him were shifting to House Speaker Joe Martin, more conservative than Senator Taft.

It appeared that, barring a miracle, it would be mathematically impossible now for the President to win the election, given his tremendous slide in recent weeks. That had helped the Taft stock as had also the candidacy of General MacArthur, who Taft backers believed would siphon off support from both Governor Dewey and Mr. Stassen.

If the expected deadlock were to occur at the convention between Senator Taft and Governor Dewey, the choice would be between either Senator Vandenberg or Mr. Stassen on the one side of the spectrum and General MacArthur or Speaker Martin on the other.

Samuel Grafton offers that the President in his speech had presented the crisis facing the nation but not how to solve it. He had not even invited Russia to meet for a conference. If there were no possible basis for rapprochement with Russia, then the road to peace was not available and only war therefore lay ahead.

It was a bad speech to leave out hope for an alternative, while recommending peacetime conscription, a novelty in the country's history. The speech was very nearly a plea for mobilization.

Mr. Grafton again urges a conference with Russia as the alternative to following the road to war.

A letter writer who became a citizen of Charlotte in 1897 tells of how he had witnessed Northerners and Southerners marching side by side in a parade of troops heading to the Spanish-American War, as well in the parade heading to the fight under General Pershing in World War I. The same had been true at the outset of American involvement in World War II.

He views, therefore, the attempts to renew strife between the North and South to be unrighteous and un-American. The country was comprised of one people.

A letter writer favors enacting a law, along with universal military training, to ban sale of alcohol on military bases. He also wants Congress to close all the distilleries until the food crisis had passed. No foreign aid should be given unless the recipient nation promised to close its breweries.

A letter writer finds Drew Pearson's column doing more good than harm, though he finds some of the latter likely.

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