The Charlotte News

Monday, March 29, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that at the U.N., delegates of Britain, China, France, and Canada demanded the end of discussions before the U.N. Atomic Energy Commission regarding a Russian proposal to ban nuclear weapons, as it would only provide advantage to an aggressor nation and produce a feeling of false security in the people. The delegates of the four nations said that they would consider other Russian proposals on atomic weapons but that the proposed ban was unrealistic and unworkable in its current form.

In Palestine, bullets and bombs killed about 100 persons and injured 200 during the Easter weekend. Jerusalem was quiet this day. But 68 had been killed the previous day in the country. A British official reported that 42 Jews and six Arabs were killed when the Jewish convoy of five vehicles was burned in an ambush by 250 Arabs near the Lebanese frontier at El Kabri. The death toll since the U.N. approval of partition November 29 stood at 2,193.

Bernard Baruch told the Senate Armed Services Committee that a temporary draft and universal military training were necessary for the security of the country. He warned that the military expenditures proposed for the country would dramatically affect the economy and that in consequence legislation to permit wage and price controls should be passed and held in reserve. He favored creation of a watchdog committee on military expenditures. He agreed with Senator Harry F. Byrd that the people of the country did not understand what the foreign policy of the Government was.

The House Foreign Affairs Committee approved an amendment to the foreign aid bill to control exports of strategic materials, giving the administrator of the program the right to veto such exports to Russia or its satellites.

The Senate passed the House measure to provide provisional aid of 55 million dollars to France, Italy, and Austria, pending implementation of ERP.

The White House denied that there was any Big Three meeting being planned, denying a report from London that Prime Minister Attlee, Premier Stalin, and the President planned to meet in Berlin. Press secretary Charles G. Ross stated that the President remained open to any such meeting in the United States, but not abroad.

Secretary of State Marshall arrived in Bogota, Colombia, for the opening of the Pan American Conference of 21 nations.

John L. Lewis ignored a subpoena to attend a meeting of the President's fact-finding board re the coal strike. The meeting proceeded without him. It was expected that an order would be sought from the Federal District Court to compel his attendance. Mr. Lewis sent a note to the board saying that neither he nor UMW had done anything to violate Taft-Hartley, an "infamous enactment", and so he was disinclined to testify. He criticized two of the board members as being biased and described the Federal conciliator as seeing through the eyes of U.S. Rubber, his former employer. At stake was the UMW demand for a $100 per month pension for those miners over 60 who had 20 years or more in the mines. The operators deemed the program too expensive for the welfare fund to support.

A strike of clerks at the New York Stock Exchange and Curb Exchange did not stop business, as members and brokers took up the duties.

The Supreme Court, in Winters v. People of the State of New York, 333 US 507, a 6 to 3 decision delivered by Justice Stanley Reed, held unconstitutional a New York statute which made criminal the sale of publications devoted to "criminal news, police reports, or accounts of criminal deeds, or pictures, or stories of deeds of bloodshed, lust or crime". The statute, even as limited by the trial court to mean only when such material was massed so as to incite to violent crimes, was deemed void for vagueness such that the purveyor of the banned matter could not determine what was permissible and what was not and thus conform conduct to the law. Justice Felix Frankfurter, joined by Justices Robert Jackson and Harold Burton, dissented, finding the majority opinion to have struck down similar statutes in twenty states plus possibly those in four others, on the books for 60 years. The dissent opined:

"Not to make the magazines with which this case is concerned part of the Court's opinion is to play 'Hamlet' without Hamlet. But the Court sufficiently summarizes one aspect of what the State of New York here condemned when it says 'we can see nothing of any possible value to society in these magazines.' From which it jumps to the conclusion that, nevertheless, 'they are as much entitled to the protection of free speech as the best of literature.' Wholly neutral futilities, of course, come under the protection of free speech as fully as do Keats' poems or Donne's sermons. But to say that these magazines have 'nothing of any possible value to society' is only half the truth. This merely denies them goodness. It disregards their mischief. As a result of appropriate judicial determination, these magazines were found to come within the prohibition of the law against inciting 'violent and depraved crimes against the person,' and the defendant was convicted because he exposed for sale such materials. The essence of the Court's decision is that it gives publications which have 'nothing of any possible value to society' constitutional protection but denies to the States the power to prevent the grave evils to which, in their rational judgment, such publications give rise."

Perhaps, it can be boiled down in essence to the questions: To transubstantiate or not to transubstantiate, whether 'tis better to read of the bleed than to bleed in fact, to draw an ass by three or have it drawn contumely without delay of the lawn?

The Court granted a hearing on the lower court ruling holding that part of Taft-Hartley unconstitutional which banned political activity by unions as violative of freedom of speech. The CIO had initiated the case deliberately as a test case, publishing an ad favoring a Baltimore County Congressional candidate in the CIO News.

The high Court also accepted for review cases contesting the constitutionality of North Carolina and Arizona laws banning the closed shop.

Supporters of Senator Taft and Governor Dewey agreed to work out any differences at the Republican convention to avoid a deadlock which would throw the presidential nomination to another candidate. Neither was in favor of General MacArthur or former Governor Stassen becoming the party standard-bearer.

In Charlotte, a man who tried twice to crash an Easter Monday "dawn dance" was shot to death at 5:15 a.m., during a fight with an off-duty Charlotte policeman, who was then charged with murder. The officer had not been suspended from duty and was released on $1,000 bond. He claimed that he shot in self-defense after the deceased had returned to the club after going home to get a gun.

Ray Howe, sports editor, discusses on the sports page the success of the Charlotte Open golf tournament which had ended the previous day, but tells of there being a move to end it. Too many good shots, perhaps.

On the editorial page, "Truman and Douglas—1944-1948" suggests that should the effort to draft General Eisenhower for the Democratic nomination fail, then the party might turn to Justice William O. Douglas as the alternative to the President, to provide party cohesion. Justice Douglas had been deemed acceptable by FDR for the second spot on the ticket, in addition to Senator Truman, in 1944. The big city bosses, labor, and Southern conservatives, however, favored Senator Truman as FDR led the traditional liberals.

Without FDR, the situation had reversed and a strong liberal force was desirable now on the ticket. Since Justice Douglas had been considered for the second spot during the current campaign, he might become the choice for the top spot at a brokered convention.

"Arms Threat to U.S. Solvency" tells of Senator Harry Flood Byrd of Virginia having introduced a bill to establish a Senate watchdog subcommittee to review military spending, finds the only objection to it to be that it possibly did not extend far enough to guard against profiteering and corruption in addition to avoiding waste.

Military spending might soon go to 18-20 billion dollars per year from its current 11 billion.

It advocates a peace program to be substituted for the arms program to avoid eventual national bankruptcy.

"Special Case for Margarine" advocates the movement for a discharge petition in the House to free margarine legislation from the Committee on Agriculture and allow it to reach the floor for a vote. The move required a majority, or 218 members. For 62 years, the Committee had buried bills at the behest of the butter interests, allowing the discriminatory tax on margarine to remain in place. Fifteen of the 16 votes to shelve the legislation came from Republicans on the Committee. So the responsibility for the higher price of margarine was on the Republicans' plate.

The public could vote accordingly.

The margarine lovers might want to stage a protest: "Free Margarine from the Tax Shackles, Now; Butter Better Get on Down the Line".

Drew Pearson writes an open letter to Senator Robert Taft regarding the Administration's planned arms buildup and a new program of lend-lease to Western Europe. Mr. Pearson urges that it would produce further inflation and shortages of materials.

He advocates, therefore, a return to price controls and allocation of scarce materials to stem the tide of inflation and shortages, and also a mechanism for its implementation with less bureaucracy than during the war. He urges calling in Bernard Baruch, Leon Henderson, and Donald Nelson to map the course for a sound, bipartisan domestic policy.

Marquis Childs tells of most members of the Senate Armed Services Committee having been convinced by Secretary of State Marshall that a temporary draft was necessary to the security of the country. But the members were concerned about the leadership of the military and apparent lack of preparedness for the present crisis. No manpower studies apparently had been conducted to determine the most efficient use of human resources in the event of an emergency. Just the advocated air program would be so costly as to cause a boom-bust economic cycle of inflation. He finds it could lead to the same economic woes engulfing Europe with monetary devaluation.

The Committee members were also puzzled by a meeting two weeks before the President called for the draft, at which Secretary Marshall had informed them that it would never be necessary. Senator Wayne Morse of Oregon and other members of the Committee thus wanted more facts on the draft, especially as Congressional mail was running nine to one against it.

The Senators wondered what was happening to the large military budget, presently at eleven billion dollars, if the military was, as Secretary Marshall indicated, a "hollow shell".

Most of the criticism was aimed at Air Force Secretary John L. Sullivan, Secretary of the Army Kenneth Royal, and Navy Secretary Stuart Symington. The Senators favored a watchdog committee to oversee military spending.

DeWitt MacKenzie tells of the April 18 Italian elections being determinative perhaps of the trend of the cold war and thus one of the most important foreign elections ever. The contest was between the Christian Democrats, headed by Premier Alcide De Gasperi, and the Communists. If the Communists were to triumph, they would control a key to the Mediterranean and thereby be able to establish control of the Dardanelles and potentially all of Western Europe. The Communists had just announced that they were prepared to seize power by force if they were denied the majority which they believed they should receive at the polls.

The consensus of opinion was that the Communists and their leftist allies should get 35 to 40 percent of the vote, likely to be the largest bloc. But anti-Communists claimed that they would join together after the election to form a majority.

The recent decision of the the U.S., Britain, and France to propose return of Trieste to Italy would likely garner many votes from democratic supporters, as well as the understanding that receiving Marshall Plan aid was contingent on maintaining democratic government.

The election might turn on a contest between Roman Catholicism and the atheism of Communists. Pope Pius XII had, on March 10, officially urged Italians to vote for candidates who would safeguard rights. Likewise Eugene Cardinal Tisserant had recently denounced Communist atheism. All Italians were Catholic and so these edicts were of great importance.

A letter from a candidate for State Representative supports Governor Cherry's statement that a Federal anti-lynching law was not needed in North Carolina as it already had such a law on the books, stronger than that proposed by the Federal law. But he does advocate the President's civil rights program insofar as it was supportive of equal employment opportunity.

A letter writer challenges the letter of Francis O. Clarkson contending that General Washington was an orthodox Christian. Mr. Clarkson had written in reply to this author's original contention to the contrary. The writer offers some further arcane matter on the topic.

As indicated, one need not go further than the Christmas night attack launched against the Hessians across the Delaware for the probable extent of traditional religious conviction of the General.

Official documents do not go very far in explaining a person, their motives, character, beliefs, etc.

A letter writer comments anent "Gambling Draws the Bandits", the March 22 editorial in which the robbery and shooting of a local prominent attorney after he exited from a craps game with observed winnings was used as a springboard into a general discussion of the fact of gambling in the growing city being attractive of the wrong sort through the grapevine from far away places, providing thus the impetus to put a stop to the underground gambling operations.

This writer urges a law similar to that in Alabama, whereby a robber using any deadly weapon was subject to the death penalty.

That's a hell of an idea.

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