The Charlotte News

Friday, April 2, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that more than twenty American C-47 transport planes flew food and passengers along the twenty-mile wide corridor from Frankfurt into West Berlin, and the British sent in a freight train despite the Russian blockade of land traffic without inspection by Russian troops. The British reported no problems. The U.S. Army issued an order to put a train through the following day. The Soviet regulations imposed on incoming trains was more vague than the ironclad rule they had implemented the previous day anent outgoing traffic.

A Soviet-backed newspaper in Berlin stated that harsher measures would be imposed if the present restrictions did not halt excessive movement of Berlin's industrial assets to the West.

The American section of Berlin experienced a run the previous night on butter and canned powdered milk, after fresh milk by regular train from Denmark failed to arrive the previous day. There were adequate supplies, however, of other foods.

Despite rumors to the contrary, General Lucius Clay, U.S. military governor, ordered no evacuation of American women and children dependents of soldiers or military government workers.

The final version of ERP, providing for 6.098 billion dollars of comprehensive aid, inclusive of additional aid to Turkey and Greece, and aid to China, was determined by the House-Senate confreres reconciling the two versions of the appropriations bill. The Senate version's time scope of four and three-quarters years was favored over the House version's one-year term. Of the total, 5.3 billion was appropriated for the first year of ERP. About a quarter of the 463 million dollars set aside for China was not restricted as to use and could therefore be used for military purposes. The bill also included 60 million dollars for the U.N. International Children's Emergency Fund. The bill was expected to be approved this date by both houses and then be forwarded to the President for signature into law.

The U.N. General Assembly, based on a Security Council determination, was scheduled to convene on April 16 in extraordinary session to reconsider the Palestine partition plan, based on the proposal by the United States. Russia, still supportive of partition, abstained from exercising its veto, leaving the decision unanimous.

In Rome, a Sicilian labor leader was killed by machine gun fire of unknown assailants. Two in his party were wounded. A nationwide labor strike was being called in protest of the disappearance of another labor leader and observers feared other Communist reaction in advance of the April 18 elections.

In Winston-Salem, N.C., a spokesman for Local 22 of the CIO United Tobacco Workers stated that a message had been sent to Italian workers, condemning President Truman. They said that the President had asked for authority to invade Italy if the elections went against the Fascists in control of Italy, supported by American big business. They also claimed that the Administration was seeking to deal a death blow to American unions—presumably by the President's veto of Taft-Hartley the previous June. The primarily black membership of the union said that they worked for low wages in the tobacco industry, maintained by race prejudice and hatred. The message accused the Government of refusing to move against race discrimination and segregation in the country—presumably in reference to the President's February 2 civil rights program which threatened to cost him the election through the Southern revolt.

By simple syllogism, we interpret the call the previous June 12 by the subcommittee of HUAC of which Representative Richard Nixon was a member, that Local 22 of the United Tobacco Workers be investigated as subversive, as evidence that Mr. Nixon would be a major supporter of the President's civil rights program, the veto of Taft-Hartley, and the President generally, in the upcoming election.

The President reportedly was leaning toward having the Justice Department seek a court injunction under Taft-Hartley to stop the nineteen-day coal strike.

The President vetoed the 4.8 billion dollar Republican tax measure, but the House voted to override the veto by a vote of 311 to 88, 82 of the majority being Democrats, 45 more than needed for the two-thirds majority. Of those opposed to override, 84 were Democrats. It was expected that the Senate would also vote to override, this date. The primary provisions of the bill are again set forth. The Senate had sustained vetoes on two attempts at the same tax-cut measure the previous June and July. The present measure spread the cuts more evenly than the prior two, providing the bulk to the lower tax brackets.

The President nominated Superior Court Judge Wilson Warlick to the Federal District Court for Western North Carolina, succeeding Judge E. Yates Webb, who had recently retired.

The President went to Willamsburg to receive an honorary degree and honor also Canadian Prime Minister MacKenzie King at the College of William & Mary. He was greeted by Governor William Tuck of Virginia, leader of the Southern revolt over the President's civil rights initiative, the two exchanging cordial greetings.

Campaigning for the Wisconsin primary the following Tuesday, Thomas Dewey, who had re-arranged his campaign schedule to accommodate a two-day tour of the state, stated his intended firm approach to Russia while also favoring peace. He urged adoption of the temporary draft and universal military training but assured that if firmness toward Russia were used, no need for American troops would become necessary. He took pokes at both General MacArthur and Harold Stassen.

In Tsingtao, China, the four Marines released the previous day by the Communists, held since being captured during a hunting expedition on Christmas Day, one of their number killed at the time, told of their being fired upon without warning by the Communists without knowing who the persons were firing on them, thought they were Nationalist troops and began hailing them, at which point the firing began. They did not return the fire. The wounded Marine had only an arm wound but was initially refused first aid by the Communists and, sometime later, succumbed without the other four knowing the circumstances. The Communists reported that he died from two chest wounds at the first aid station, not evident percipiently to the other four. They said that the Communists were poor shots or they all would have been killed by the fusillade. The four said that they were not mistreated during their captivity.

In Circleville, O., a young man from Huntington, W. Va., told a janitor at Circleville High School that he was supposed to copy on the music room blackboard the entire score of "The Flight of the Bumblebee". After doing so, he proceeded to pick up a trumpet belonging to the school and play the score, at which point the janitor returned to his chores. When he got back, the man and the trumpet were gone.

The man took the trumpet to a music shop to sell, whereupon the operator asked him how he was to know it was his horn, at which point the man played the Rimsky-Korsakov piece.

After the man returned to Circleville, he decided he wanted a horn to play, asked a man on the street, who, fortuitously, was the local Schools Superintendent, the location of a music store, was directed to same, at which point he was then arrested for larceny.

It turned out that he was wanted in his native Huntington for larceny of seven other horns.

That apparently was some kind of a sting operation, probably organized by the CIA.

On the sports page, Furman Bisher tells of the Charlotte Hornets baseball team getting Cal Ermer back as a second baseman, having been sent back to the minors by the Washington Senators.

On the editorial page, "Dealing with Franco Spain" tells of the House move to allow Spain to partake of ERP provided it satisfied conditions, removed by the House-Senate confreres reconciling the two versions of the bill, having nevertheless shown the disposition of some political leaders in the country to make strange friends to combat Soviet expansion in Europe. It had provoked surprise and reaction among many, particularly liberals. Franco had collaborated with Hitler during the war.

It predicts that Spain would be included in ERP, nevertheless, probably after the election. President Truman opposed the House measure, but it was, notwithstanding, consistent with his policy of placing economic rehabilitation and military defense against Communism above all other considerations.

While it was difficult to accept the prospect of dealing with Fascist Spain, it had to be realized that the ERP recipient nations were as democratic as America and would likely open their doors eventually to Spain as a participant in ERP aid, their right under the plan. Also it could not be forgotten that the original invitation to ERP was inclusive of Russia and the Eastern bloc nations, until they turned it down, some under coercion from Moscow, as in the cases of Poland and Czechoslovakia. Russia's intervention in ERP was forcing the West to deal with Spain, to provide a united front. It was the same motivation impelling the aid to Turkey, Greece, China, and maintenance of amicable relations with the Arab nations.

Spain had both military strategic significance, in affording natural bases for defense of Western Europe, and provided necessary resources for the rehabilitation of Western Europe, leading Britain and several Western countries to develop trade agreements with Spain.

"A Good Gray Politician" tells of Henry Harkey, 76, widely respected locally for his earlier stands against machine politics, having a birthday party attended by State Treasurer Charles Johnson, running for governor, trying to shake his image as a machine politician. Mr. Harkey had held office in the state during the 1930's, had been a proponent of better roads, education, sound financial policies, welfare services and economic development.

He had served, among other roles, as a member for two years of the board in charge of gasoline and oil inspection for the state. He made politics neither a vocation nor an avocation, but rather in service of useful citizenship. He had been a farmer and run a successful nursery business, lending beauty to the city in landscaping projects, notably at Myers Park and the Duke estate.

It joins Mr. Johnson in honoring Mr. Harkey.

"Cold War Demands Cool Heads" finds the Russian move to cut off rail traffic into and out of Berlin to be another example in the constant battle of provocation to the West being waged by Russia since shortly after the end of the war. At the time of VE-Day, after Russian and American soldiers had joined together in convivial celebration, Russia enjoyed greater amity with the U.S. than even did Britain. But then the Communists set out on a campaign to convince Europeans that America intended imperialism, as the Communists slowly expanded their will through Eastern Europe. If no crisis existed, they had to create one.

The provocation would likely increase and the situation extant in Berlin gave rise to the advice that Americans had to maintain their tempers. They could win the cold war only by doing so.

Drew Pearson tells of spring being in the air, making it difficult to write a column. Hope was the symbol of Easter, from the rising of Christ from the dead. And hope had never been needed more than in the present. During his tour across the country collecting food and clothing for the winter for France and Italy on the Friendship Train the previous November, he had developed an appreciation for the generous spirit of the American people.

The Russians, he believes, shared the same basic sentiments, once the leadership layers were peeled back. If the American and Russian people could get together, they might effect an understanding between one another. That explained why the Politburo had constructed the Iron Curtain, to prevent such mutual free-flow of information.

After talking to Secretary Marshall some time earlier, Mr. Pearson thought that he would make a public appeal to Premier Stalin to have the Russian people mingle with Americans, but that had not occurred. Yet, it was still not too late. It could be done by dropping several millions copies of such an appeal over the Eastern bloc countries, to counteract Russian propaganda disseminated therein.

The Sermon on the Mount still held a great lesson for mankind. "So, casting no stones, and not without sin, we invite our potential enemy to join us in a new journey down the road to friendship." While such an invitation might fall on "stony ground" or on "sands and quickly be washed away", if only a part fell on fertile ground in Europe, the appeal would be worth its making. If it failed, at least Americans and Europeans would know that an honest effort had been made at rapprochement prior to war.

The free-flow of defectors from the United States to Russia, however, was verboten.

Marquis Childs, in Janesville, Wisc., discusses the presidential campaign of former Minnesota Governor Harold Stassen, finds him speaking against a boom-and-bust economic cycle, in favor of restrictions on exports of strategic military materials to Russia, and criticizing of parts of Taft-Hartley, before a small group of 300 gathered at the local YMCA.

Mr. Stassen had the backing of Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin. He was trying to proceed as had 1940 nominee Wendell Willkie in 1944, when the loss in the Wisconsin primary broke his early campaign and he departed.

Governor Dewey, who had intended to bypass the campaigning in Wisconsin, had suddenly changed plans and was going to tour the state for two days. General MacArthur was another important component of the primary, scheduled for the following Tuesday, though not actively campaigning, still being in Tokyo. His appeal to the uncertain voter who favored a strong leader to deal with Russia might give victory in the primary to him.

Samuel Grafton tells of reaction to his proposal for a model peace conference comprised of leading citizens who would debate the Western and Russian positions and then propose plans to ease tensions between East and West, to provide some sound footing for possible approaches to Russia. Some offered money in support of such a proposal and some made specific suggestions as to the form such a model peace conference ought have.

A New York businessman, for instance, had suggested a group of 25 to 50 participate in the conference, in splendid isolation. Another suggested regular meetings be held in 3,000 communities, to discuss the duty to strive for world peace. Another suggested that professional teacher organizations should take the organizational lead in a movement for peace with democracy. Others proposed other ideas, such as the veteran who was working on "Operation Peace", which would include disabled veterans from each of the states meeting in Washington.

A letter writer urges joining together against the "rats" of Communism, so that everyone could sing in chorus, "Pop, Goes the Weasel".

A letter from P. C. Burkholder, failed 1946 Republican Congressional candidate running again in 1948, rails against the "International New Dealers", committing to paper his usual billingsgate against liberals and the New Deal, including his charge that "America's International New Dealers" started World War II. He finds it not credible that the New Dealers claimed that the isolationists started the war by refusing to play Santa Claus, saying that the war started after America's New Dealers were already playing Santa Claus.

A quote from the Jackson (Miss.) Daily News: "Three old men were discussing the ideal way of dying. The first, aged 75, said he'd like to crash in a car going 80 miles per hour. The second, 85, said he'd take his finish in a 400 mph plane. 'I've got a better idea,' said the third, aged 95, 'I'd like to be shot by a jealous husband.'"

Another quote, from the Fort Myers (Fla.) News-Press: "The Georgia story that the klan forced reporters to drink liquor sounds like a dodge to make sure the meetings are covered."

Another quote, from the Richmond News-Leader: "When we speak of 'our' scientific superiority, it isn't personal. Most of us could not tell an electron from a universal joint."

Another pome from the Atlanta Journal, this one "giving a possible explanation why the Governor of Alabama pays no attention to disapproval expressed by the public regarding his carryings on with the women folks":
He cannot hear the hissin'
For the the smackin' and the kissin'.

Doggerel from the Greensboro Daily News:
Off-hand we'd concede that
Gen. Bennett Meyers
Could have made use of some
consistent liars.

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