The Charlotte News

Monday, April 19, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the early returns in the Italian elections, begun the previous day and continuing into this date, showed a lead among anti-Communists for the Senate and that the Christian Democrats, headed by Premier Alcide De Gasperi, were leading even in the Communist-dominated northern cities of Turin, Venice, and Florence, as well as in Milan and Bologna. The more decisive returns, however, would come from the Chamber of Deputies elections, which would not begin to be reported until this night and early the following day. Turnout was estimated at 90 percent of eligible voters, possibly a world record for a free election. Polling places had been peaceful. There had been 330,000 armed watchers patrolling the election.

The President told a joint session of Congress that Cuba's struggle for freedom at the turn of the century was an "inspiration for the hard tasks that confront us in our own time". The address commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Congressional declaration that Cuba was free from Spanish rule. He gave compliment to the Cuban people for having "the will that peace and understanding" would prevail, rather than being "flouted and betrayed".

The Atomic Energy Commission reported that a test of a nuclear weapon had taken place on Eniwetok Atoll but declined to state the precise test date for security reasons. A classified report on the results was being presented to the Joint Congressional Committee on Atomic Energy. It was the sixth atomic bomb detonated since the initial test at Trinity in New Mexico on July 16, 1945, followed by the two bombs dropped over Japan and the two tests, Able and Baker, in July, 1946 at Bikini Atoll in the Pacific. The testing ground on Eniwetok had been announced the previous July 22.

In Washington, the Federal District Court held John L. Lewis and UMW in contempt for not calling an end to the coal strike when ordered but rather waiting a week until after the basis for the strike, a demand for $100 per month pensions, had been resolved. Sentence would be pronounced the following day. The case was before the same judge who had found Mr. Lewis and UMW guilty of contempt in December, 1946 and imposed a $10,000 fine on Mr. Lewis and a 3.5 million dollar fine on UMW, later reduced to $700,000 by the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court refused review of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals decision which had struck down the effort in South Carolina to make the Democratic Party primary a private affair by removing all laws governing primaries from the books. The case had based its decision on the Allwright case decided in April, 1944 by the Supreme Court, striking down an all-white primary in Texas as violative of Equal Protection and the Fifteenth Amendment.

Grant Reynolds, New York State Commissioner of Corrections, told the House Armed Services Committee that a nationwide protest was beginning by blacks against segregation of the armed forces. The protesters also would refuse to be drafted into a segregated military if a draft law were passed by the Congress. Mr. Reynolds had been an Army chaplain during the late war. He formally submitted to the Committee his signed pledge that he would not serve in a segregated military again. He criticized Senator Wayne Morse for impliedly threatening A. Philip Randolph, head of the Brotherhood of Pullman Porters, when he had testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee that there would be backlash in the black community to a draft into a Jim Crow military and that he intended to call for civil disobedience to it if it were passed. Senator Morse, formerly a law professor at the University of Oregon, had stated that the action would constitute treason.

Senator Taft campaigned for the primary in his home state of Ohio, and leading Republican presidential contender Harold Stassen said that he would begin his campaign in that state on Wednesday, predicted victory in Florida but said that it was too early to predict the outcome in Ohio.

The Republican Party leaders met in Philadelphia to determine who would deliver the keynote address at the convention in June.

In Winston-Salem, George Earle, former Democratic Governor of Pennsylvania, stated that there was a better than even chance that only ten percent of the population of the United States would be alive within a few years, based on the danger posed by the Soviet Union. He said that he had warned President Roosevelt of the Soviet danger in May, 1944, but that, because of the influence of Harry Hopkins, the President did not wish to hear it. He was then called back into the Navy from his position as a Presidential emissary from 1943-45 in the Balkans, and "exiled" to Samoa.

He forgot that Russia was an ally to the West at the time and a sine qua non for winning the war without losing substantially greater numbers of men in the fighting.

In Greensboro, two masked gunmen held up a High Point Road cafe owner and escaped with $1,750 in cash. The two men hid in the restaurant after it was closed, until the proprietor and his wife returned after carrying employees home. The proprietor and his wife and baby lived in an apartment over the cafe. One of the bandits gave the baby a bottle of milk from the refrigerator and tucked it into bed after tying up its mother. The other bandit, meanwhile, used pliers to twist the toes of the owner, applied a hot knife to the soles of his feet and jabbed his face with lighted cigarettes to get him to provide the combination to the safe. The couple maintained that they did not know the combination and the thieves eventually left with the cash they could obtain otherwise.

The State Superintendent of Public Instruction said that he would press for the adoption by the Legislature of the minimum annual salary of $2,400 for teachers, which the Education Association had just proposed.

On the editorial page, "Let's Help Elks and Red Cross" tells of a statewide program underway, sponsored by the organizations named, to collect and send books to the war-torn countries of Europe to replace those either burned by the Nazis or destroyed by the war, itself. The Junior Red Cross was in charge of collecting the books in the public schools and the Elks were going to transport them by truck to their lodge and there package them and pay the overseas freight.

It provides the types of books and magazines sought and urges contributions. None of those which might be found in secret places within the house were welcome, plus arithmetic in English measures, foreign language books, books on wartime subjects, high science, political and denominational texts, though Bibles were sought, and unfair portrayals of the United States.

"Butter Lobby Seeks Revenge" again expresses support for the elimination of the discriminatory tax on margarine, encouraged historically by the butter lobby.

"What Would Jefferson Say Now?" discusses the first of a four-volume history of Thomas Jefferson authored by Columbia University history Professor Dumas Malone, following twenty years of research on the subject. He had told the Atlanta Journal that Mr. Jefferson, were he still around in 1948, would have been considered left of center but not a wild-eyed reformer, would want civil rights extended as far as practicable, would want a strong federal union with as much government as possible in the hands of the states, would be in favor of world union and the U.N., but without the Security Council veto, and would find large urban areas intolerable.

The piece then interprets the views in accord with its own preconceptions, which had already been laid forth in the column on several occasions recently, including ascribing to Mr. Jefferson the idea that he would thus not be in favor of legislating social customs on race and would support states' rights in education.

We say hogwash to the editorial's nonsensical, self-serving interpretation. Thomas Jefferson's original draft of the Declaration of Independence, as reconstructed by history Professor Julian P. Bond of Princeton, contained the following clause: "[King George III] has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights of life & liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating & carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere, or to incur miserable death in their transportation thither. This piratical warfare, the opprobrium of infidel powers, is the warfare of the Christian king of Great Britain. Determined to keep open a market where MEN should be bought & sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce: and that this assemblage of horrors might want no fact of distinguished die, he is now exciting those very people to rise in arms among us, and to purchase that liberty of which he has deprived them, & murdering the people upon whom he also obtruded them; thus paying off former crimes committed against the liberties of one people, with crimes which he urges them to commit against the lives of another."

In 1776, albeit prior to the invention of the cotton gin in 1793, not coming into widespread use prior to around 1830, causing a vast expansion of slavery thereafter up to the Civil War for its new profitability in accelerating the process of picking cotton, the notion of condemning slavery, as Mr. Jefferson's draft obviously did, lest the charge be made by the British of hypocrisy, was hardly one which would be considered "practicable", that term more nearly compatible with the compromise which the Second Continental Congress effected so as to avoid defeat of the resolution for independence by South Carolina and Georgia, to enable adoption of the Declaration as finally written, without the clause on slavery.

Thus, in 1948, 80 years after the ratification of the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments, respectively, abolishing slavery, assuring Equal Protection of the law and Due Process to all citizens, and providing the right to vote to all citizens, where is it likely that Thomas Jefferson would have stood on the notions advanced by President Truman: an end to segregated interstate transportation facilities, Federal anti-poll tax legislation, Federal anti-lynching legislation, and assurance of Federal oversight to provide for equal opportunity and pay in employment transacted within interstate commerce, when, during the passage of those eight decades, it had been made plain that the Southern states were not holding true to the rights embodied in the three post-Civil War ammendments or even fully according the basic precept of the discredited separate-but-equal doctrine enunciated by the Supreme Court in 1896 in Plessy v. Ferguson, which hardly served to provide equal facilities, especially in the crucial area of education? The answer, we assert, has to be regarded as self-evident.

But, you can always view that whole process as the work of commees during connivance to draw a draught, such that you are actually, therefore, still subject only to the Crown. Choose wisely.

Drew Pearson tells of British Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin objecting in October, 1946 to President Truman announcing that the U.S. favored the immigration to Palestine of 100,000 Jews, prompted by the advance report that Governor Dewey was going to announce his support of such a proposal on the eve of Rosh Hashanah. Mr. Bevin asked Secretary of State Byrnes whether there would be any more elections in New York which would determine U.S. foreign policy.

Such hasty decision-making, Mr. Pearson says, had led to the tragedy in Palestine. The reversal of the U.S. stance on the partition plan was reached by the President in less than an hour. He notes that Secretary of Defense Forrestal's banking firm had floated the loans for the American oil companies in Saudi Arabia.

He again provides the minutes to a meeting by KKK Klavern No. 1 in Atlanta, including the report of a Klansman who launched a vigorous attack on Mr. Pearson for announcing that the Klan would burn a cross in Augusta. All of the members were urged to catch the spy giving the column the scoop. The Klansman, owner of a funeral home, Awtry-Lowndes, said that he would be glad to bury "the rat" free of charge.

Better get some of that kryptonite.

Grand Dragon Dr. Samuel Green was upset that there were no new membership applications a week into the new membership drive. He felt safe in giving the details of the planned cross-burning in Augusta as it was too late for Mr. Pearson to report of it on his Sunday radio show.

The column then tells of the Army remount stations being turned over to the Department of Agriculture pursuant to a bill introduced by Senator Wayne Morse, vigorously opposed by Senator Elmer Thomas of Oklahoma, where the El Reno remount station was located. It was said to have oil beneath it and the oil companies wanted it. Senator Morse and Senator Thomas did not get along, as Senator Morse had introduced a bill to have members of Congress declare their commodities market trading, something which Senator Thomas had performed through surrogates, making large profits in the process, as Mr. Pearson had previously elucidated.

Marquis Childs again looks at the award for best lobbying effort of the year, finds a leading nomination being for the Big Five airlines, American, Eastern, TWA, United, and Northwest, which carried the bulk of the domestic U.S. commercial air traffic. They had just been awarded by CAB an increased subsidy for mail-carrying, which would cost the taxpayers an additional five million dollars, over and above the 21 million already being paid them from the Treasury. Eastern was showing a 36 percent net after-tax profit and the other four, an average of ten percent.

Senators Homer Ferguson and Styles Bridges were preparing to investigate the actual costs of carrying the mail by air, something which had not been done since the early Thirties.

CAB had found that airmail cost five times as much as air cargo. Young veterans had formed several air cargo companies, but CAB had not yet approved a single application to operate chartered routes, causing many of the companies to go out of business. The military had determined that in the event of war, 4,000 cargo planes would be necessary, but the certified airlines only had 70 such planes in service. As long as the Government continued to subsidize the big airlines, it was unlikely that the service would expand by competition.

Pan-Am had received over 16 million dollars in mail subsidies in 1947 and was seeking from CAB another eleven million.

With its new chairman and a new member, CAB had the opportunity to break from its existing pattern, to afford smaller companies a chance to compete.

Stewart Alsop, in Rome, examines the Italian elections. The Russians had just rejected the Western proposal to give Trieste back to Italy under an alteration of the Italian treaty, despite the Italian Communists seeking a pro-Italian gesture from Moscow on the eve of the elections. Minimally, the Soviets could have waited until after the elections to reject the proposal, and so the move was baffling.

It was being speculated that either the Russians were just stupid, or, as widely believed, that they wanted the Italian Communists to lose the elections to avoid making war with the West an inevitability in the event of victory. The third theory was that the Russians were holding out gestures of good will while also reserving more coercive and forceful behavior for later, a typical Soviet strategy. Fitting that pattern, the Russians had come out in favor of returning the former Italian colonies in North Africa to Italy, before the recent negative move. Finally, the theory existed that the Russians had written off Italy and had determined to concentrate on the Balkans.

The actual candidates in the Italian elections were the U.S. on the one hand, offering ERP aid, and Russia on the other. Italians of all political stripes accepted this notion. The posters for the election were concerned almost exclusively with one country or the other, rather than candidates and issues.

R. M. Farmer contributes the last of the four articles sought by The News from the Charlotte unit of the United World Federalists, advocating world government. He points out that the group of six atomic scientists, led by Albert Einstein, had recently issued a statement in favor of world government. He again posits the UWF basic position that the world could not survive without it, as war would be made inevitable otherwise, and would be ultimately apocalyptic in the nuclear age.

Congress was about to begin hearings on Concurrent Resolution 59, which expressed the sense of the Congress that the President should take immediate action to call a general conference of the U.N. pursuant to Article 109 to enable the U.N. to interpret and enforce world law to prevent war. He states that the UWF supported this resolution and urges writing one's Congressman expressing support of it.

Rather than singing to the choir, why don't you start, instead, by having them write letters to General Curtis LeMay?

Mr. Farmer writes a letter to the editor expressing thanks for printing the articles and says that if an atomic war were to occur, they would at least have the satisfaction of knowing that they had done their best to prevent it.

Well, maybe, but it will be short-lived, for perhaps 20 minutes at most. Charlotte might survive a little longer, but the fallout from the blast sure to hit Winston-Salem for its industrial complex will drift in short order toward Charlotte. Trust us. We studied the matter awhile back.

Another pome from the Atlanta Journal, this one "dedicated to the fourth month of the year with special attention to its most celebrated characteristic:
"April showers
Continue for hours and
hours and hours."

A Quote of the Day: "The man who sells his vote to the crooks is not as bad or as stupid as the man who gives it to them for free, which the stay at home does." —Kingsport (Tenn.) Times

Incidentally, the advice of Dumbo and the Quickclipped Foxies with the Ditzel-Hair notwitstanding, no one has suggested mandatory voting in the United States, only that voting should be officially encouraged and not discouraged. Dumbo and the Foxies, however, want only Republicans, especially conservative Republicans, at the polls on election day and therefore insist that it is your right not to vote, as a statement of defiance. In fact, it is only a statement of ignorance not to vote, that you are too stupid to be informed during the primaries and to make a statement of choice. Every U.S. soldier in every war since the Revolution fought, ultimately, for the rights secured under the Constitution, including, foremost among them along with the First Amendment freedoms, the right to vote.

"'Mrs. Oliver speaking. . . . What fish have you this morning? Cod? Halibut? Sole? Plaice?'

"'There to lose what binds us here,' she murmured. 'Soles. Filleted. In time for lunch please,' she said aloud. 'With a feather, a blue feather . . . flying mounting through the air . . . there to lose what binds us here . . .' The words weren't worth writing in the book bound like an account book in case Giles suspected. 'Abortive,' was the word that expressed her. She never came out of a shop, for example, with the clothes she admired; nor did her figure, seen against the dark roll of trousering in a shop window, please her. Thick of waist, large of limb, and, save for her hair, fashionable in the tight modern way, she never looked like Sappho, or one of the beautiful young men whose photographs adorned the weekly papers. She looked what she was: Sir Richard's daughter; and niece of the two old ladies at Wimbledon who were so proud, being O'Neils, of their descent from the Kings of Ireland."

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