The Charlotte News

Tuesday, March 23, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that debate began in the House on ERP, as the Senate was expected by nightfall to pass the President's proposed aid for China and supplemental aid for Greece and Turkey. The Senate had already passed ERP. It was hoped that the entire aid package would be before Senate and House confreres by late the following week.

Congressman Charles Eaton of New Jersey began the House debate by declaring the stakes to be surrendering the world to Russian control or being a champion of freedom.

Italy flatly rejected the proposal of Yugoslavia to trade Trieste for the Italian city of Gorizia, a proposal made in the wake of the Saturday three-power proposal that Trieste be returned to Italy from its status under the Italian treaty as an international territory under the protection of the U.N. The U.S. also appeared ill-disposed to Yugoslavia's offer.

Former pre-war Ambassador to Japan Joseph Grew urged the Senate Armed Services Committee to pass the President's proposed limited draft and universal military training to assure American strength and perception of same abroad, especially in Russia. It appeared that the majority of the Committee favored both measures.

Governor Thomas Dewey demanded that the President provide a "full and frank disclosure" of the international crisis, beyond that in the President's address to Congress the previous week. The Republican front-runner for the presidential nomination favored a "hard-boiled" program to halt Soviet expansion. He labeled the Truman foreign policy "vacillating and inadequate". He stated that he did not believe the country was on the verge of war but accused the Administration of allowing Russia to retain territory freed by the U.S. forces during the war.

He found the U.S. backtracking on the Palestine partition plan to be emblematic of "bungling" by the Administration. He hoped for a resolution of the problem.

Alabama Senator Lister Hill, formerly a supporter of the President, called for him to quit the race for the presidency. He said that the situation in the South prevented Democratic unity if the President were the Democratic nominee. The Senator, who had been mentioned as a possible vice-presidential candidate with the President, said that he would work for the nomination of a person who represented the interests of the South. Senator Carl Hatch of New Mexico said that the President had informed him that he would not quit the race.

In Brooklyn, three Democratic leaders from heavily Jewish districts said that they were withdrawing support for the President based on the change of stance on the Palestine partition plan.

House and Senate confreres on the year-long rent control extension bills were still deadlocked on the issue of home rule determination of rent controls, unacceptable to the Senate. The current extension, provisionally extended by a month in February, would expire at the end of March.

The House Ways & Means Committee voted 18 to 5 in favor of the 4.8 billion dollar tax cut bill passed by the Senate. The original House bill called for a 6.5 billion dollar cut. It virtually assured passage of the Senate package by the full House. Speaker Joe Martin predicted that a veto would be overridden.

In Washington, the UMW rejected a Government plan for ending the nine-day walkout by soft coal miners. The next step by the Government would be to invoke Taft-Hartley as an emergency measure and set up a fact-finding board, following the report of which an injunction to end the strike could be sought. The Government mediator had proposed a fact-finding committee to examine the UMW demand for an increased pension for miners over 60 with 20 years in the mines. The operators had reluctantly accepted the Government proposal.

Near Kelso, Wash., the search continued for the missing C-24 Army transport plane which had crashed in the vicinity on Sunday afternoon. Two red flares had been spotted which gave hope that there might be survivors among the eight aboard the plane. Ground rescue crews were en route to the location.

In Santa Monica, California, actress Carole Landis sued for divorce from her fourth husband, producer Horace Schmidlapp. She had first married at age 15 in 1934.

Charlotte Memorial Hospital was charging less for its indigent patients per day than two Durham hospitals. The finding came in response to complaints by the City and County that they were being asked to contribute too much to the Charlotte hospital for indigent care.

Ray Stallings of The News tells of a man from Ontario, Canada, having been arrested at 1:30 a.m. the previous Thursday for violation of the noise ordinance by whistling. The arresting officer said that he twice whistled so loud that it could be heard a block away. The officer approached the man and asked, "Where do you think you are, in the country?" The man replied, "Ask me in a proper way and I'll tell you." A conversation ensued which led to the arrest. The subject may have been pertinent to art.

The defense attorney in the case put on so many witnesses, attractive females in the company of the defendant at the time of the alleged offense, each of whom described it as only one whistle designed merely to hail a taxicab stationed across the street, that the judge eventually stated that he would acquit the man if counsel promised not to present further witnesses. He then did so.

This night in Madison Square Garden in New York, Kentucky won the N.C.A.A. Tournmanent over Baylor, 58 to 42, the first of four national championships which would be won by Adolph Rupp as head coach, the other three coming in 1949, 1951, and 1958. He would retire as the winningest coach in Division I of N.C.A.A. college basketball, with 876 victories, all at Kentucky, against 190 losses, from 1930-31 through the 1971-72 season. The record would stand until 1997 when Dean Smith, head coach of UNC from 1961-62 through the 1996-97 season, finished his head coaching career with 879 victories, all at North Carolina, against 254 losses.

In head-to-head match-ups between the two legendary coaches, albeit coming after the legend of Coach Rupp had been cast and before and during the burgeoning of that of Coach Smith, the latter came out the winner 5 to 2, all in regular season play, including three wins by UNC at Kentucky. Sorry, Wildcats. That's the way the cookie crumbled. We heard or saw all seven of those contests, too. Both men were coached at the University of Kansas, thirty years apart, by another legendary coach, Phog Allen, who in turn learned the game from its inventor, James Naismith.

Holy Cross, the defending N.C.A.A. Tournament champion led by All-American Bob Cousy, won the consolation game, 60 to 54, over Kansas State, to finish third in the tournament.

On the editorial page, "'Door Wide Open' to a Truce" suggests that there were two points in the President's foreign policy address on St. Patrick's Day and the statement the same day by Secretary of State Marshall which deserved more attention than they had received. One was the President's omission of mention of the need for increased emphasis on air power. The other was Secretary Marshall's indication that the country was leaving the door open to Russia to make conciliatory moves, echoing remarks of the President in his speech. The latter was especially important in light of the "hold the line" campaign with respect to Russia shaping up in the country.

The temporary draft and universal military training recommended by the President were both defensive measures. Air power could be regarded as both defensive and offensive and the President's omission of mention of it was carefully designed to assure Americans, Europeans, and Communists that there was no contingency plan to attack Russia.

The need for manpower made it clear that there was an insufficient force available at present to wage war against Russia, and the slow response of the people and Congress to the call showed how difficult it would be to arouse ardor for the propositions. Moreover, establishment of bases in Western Europe would require a long-term effort. The elections in Italy brought home the realization of the magnitude of the campaign needed to hold Western Europe out of the Communist camp.

This "hold the line" policy backed up the sincerity of Secretary Marshall's statement that settlement was the desired end of the East-West conflict.

If the Communists were to lose the April 18 elections in Italy, then a conciliatory move by Russia might bring about a truce in the cold war. But if the contrary occurred, the balance of power would be upset, shifted to Russia, and some spark leading inexorably to war might take place out of the confusion. Yet, the hope was that settlement might find the light of day.

"It's a Fair Tax Reduction" tells of Senator Wayne Morse of Oregon predicting that an override of the President's veto of the Republican 4.8 billion dollar tax cut bill was "in the bag". But if the world situation worsened before the veto, then the two-thirds override vote in both houses might not occur.

It explains the bill's provisions and finds it fair in its distribution of tax cuts between the wealthy and those of average and low income, the latter receiving most of the cuts.

It provides a table of relative income after taxes imposed under the current law versus the Senate bill, expected to be adopted by the House.

A piece from the Washington Post, titled "The Last Man", tells of a machine shop operator in Lakewood, N.J., constructing an underground fallout shelter, airproof, with cooking and lighting facilities aboard, plus plenty of food. The man had designed various gadgets for the military during the war and so appeared adept at what he was doing.

The man was unmarried and apparently did not intend to follow the example of Noah, not planning to stock his shelter with fauna of the region. In the event of nuclear holocaust, he would be the last man standing, and, ventures the piece, he was welcome to the status.

Drew Pearson tells of a conference in Key West between the military brass and Secretary of Defense James Forrestal at which was discussed the prospect of use of the atomic bomb. The President's chief of staff, Admiral William Leahy, was opposed to its use in any manner which would potentially harm civilians. He was reminded that the bomb was not susceptible to use on a small target and that American civilians would not be spared if the bomb were used against the U.S.

Secretary Forrestal was shocked at the prospect that Russia might kidnap and hold for ransom American wives and children of U.S. troops in Korea and Germany, in the event of a nuclear attack by the U.S. It was finally determined that there would be no war initiative by the U.S.

The country had plenty of atomic bombs in its arsenal and the capability to produce many more very quickly. The latest version was a thousand times more powerful than that dropped on Hiroshima. To use the atomic bomb peremptorily, however, would incur world revulsion and run against the grain of American morality and tradition against first strikes.

The Russians had the capability of utilizing captured German submarine and V-2 rocket technology to sail within range of the American coastline. Thus, preparation for the possibility of such a peripheral attack had to be undertaken.

Mr. Pearson points out that much of the Army's equipment was outmoded, with nothing new having been purchased since the end of the war in August, 1945. The military budget for 1948 was eleven billion dollars, only three billion of which went to the Army, two billion of that to pay occupation costs in Japan, Germany, and Korea.

Many good Democratic Congressional candidates were withdrawing from the race on the belief that President Truman could not win in November.

General MacArthur's backers were stressing his home state of Wisconsin as the testing ground for his presidential bid. If he could not fare well in that primary, his chances were considered nil.

Mr. Pearson wonders where the needed deficiency appropriation for Voice of America was, in advance of the Italian elections, queries Congressman John Taber on the matter.

The U.S. intended to move for admission of Italy to the U.N., and if Russia balked at the proposal, the Italian people would at least know who their real friends were.

Congressmen faced $500 rents near the Capitol because they had exempted new apartments from the rent control law.

Former Secretary of War Pat Hurley had re-united with his brother after 37 years apart. The latter turned up as a California ranch hand, had been out of touch.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop discuss the Communist influence on the campaign of Henry Wallace, informing that the content of his speeches was directed by a group meeting each Wednesday night, led by a known Communist. The speeches themselves were written by a non-Communist, but the direction of the campaign came from the small Communist clique within it. The bulk of Mr. Wallace's supporters were non-Communist liberals who genuinely wanted peace and saw him as the best vehicle by which to achieve it. But the effect of the campaign was to disintegrate the left wing in the country by running or threatening to run Wallace-backed candidates in races where the few remaining New Deal liberals would otherwise win.

The incumbent Congressional campaigns of Helen Gahagan Douglas and Chester Hollifield in California were examples. Both were summoned to a meeting by telegram at which their positions on ERP would be questioned, with the implication that if they continued to support it, a Wallace candidate would be entered in the campaign. Both replied that their positions in support of ERP nevertheless would not change. It was especially courageous for Congresswoman Douglas, as she was informed by the Wallace campaign that 30,000 signatures in favor of Mr. Wallace had been collected in her district, which she had won in 1946 by only 5,000 votes.

The same was true of Professor Paul Douglas in Chicago, running for the Senate. Because of his support of ERP, he was tagged for defeat by the Wallace forces. The result would be the election of Senator Curley Brooks, backed by the isolationist Chicago Tribune.

Samuel Grafton finds members of Congress wondering why the Administration had suddenly declared a foreign crisis when the same set of circumstances had prevailed for several months. The conventional wisdom was that it was because of the impending April 18 elections in Italy. But it was questionable how the call for a draft in the United States could affect the Italian elections.

To declare a menace, however, was to give urgency to the President's program, hanging fire for nearly a year. Since the previous June when ERP was proposed as a reconstruction program, it had been transformed into a stop-Russia plan, working, as columnist Walter Lippmann had pointed out, at cross purposes to its original intent, inclusive at the start of Russia. The new thrust of ERP made it difficult for the program to succeed, causing diminution of the hope of making the U.N. work.

The Russians were using the call for peace to their advantage, making the U.S. appear bellicose. It would be prudent to use the strategy in reverse on Russia. Mr. Grafton again, therefore, proposes that a conference be called with Russia to ease the growing tensions between East and West.

Another quote from the Charleston News & Courier: "A 'reactionary' is a person who refuses to believe that 'changes in the times' change the meaning of the Ten Commandments or of the Constitution of the United States."

Nah. A reactionary is just another dumb redneck incapable of understanding how dumb he or she is, and regardless of whether he or she might work for a newspaper.

A letter writer provides a letter he had addressed to Democratic gubernatorial candidate Oscar Barker, an attorney of Durham, in which he sets forth his views on prohibition, favoring same, and wonders where Mr. Barker, whom he had previously supported for public office, stood on the issue.

"God would bless a Governor for following His program of salvation."

Let us, therefore, by all means find out where Mr. Barker stands.

As the matter is determined county by county, the Governor obviously has a whole lot to do with what occurs on this all-important issue.

A letter writer thanks the editors for responding to his previous letter with an editorial of March 11 but informs that they had missed his point, that there was inadequate law enforcement in Charlotte, especially as applied to the traffic and parking laws.

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