The Charlotte News

Wednesday, April 7, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the Russians claimed that the British transport plane was responsible for the crash with a Russian fighter over Berlin two days earlier, saying that the transport had darted from a cloud bank and hit the fighter. The British denied that scenario.

Field Marshal Lord Bernard Montgomery and Russian Field Marshal Vassily Sokolovsky had met the previous night and agreed that if the British withdrew their threat to accompany transports with fighter escorts, there would be no recurrence of such interference by Russian fighters.

The Russians boycotted two more committee meetings of the four-power governing body of Germany, and it was reported that the Russians had extended their restrictions to embrace parcel post between Western zones of Germany and Berlin.

Russia and the Ukraine were expected to boycott a meeting of the Security Council regarding the U.S.-backed trusteeship program for Palestine.

The U.S. indicated opposition to admission to the U.N. of five Soviet satellites, Albania, Outer Mongolia, Rumania, Hungary, and Bulgaria, but urged admission immediately of Italy. The Ukraine had also proposed Finland, to which the U.S. probably would not object, as well as Italy. The effort by the U.S. appeared to try to force Russia either to agree to Italy's admission or veto it in advance of the April 18 elections. It was likely that the Soviets would resort to their previous position that all former enemy nations had to be admitted at once.

The Marshall Plan threatened to split the Communist-dominated Italian Labor Confederation, with its membership believing that the choice in the April 18 elections was between the American Plan and Russia. The non-Communist and Socialist members asked the executive committee to reconsider its stand opposing the Plan, while protesting the call for a nationwide general strike for one hour the following Monday in protest of the 36 deaths and at least one disappearance of labor leaders during the previous two years, believed by the Communists on the executive committee to have been eliminated by the Mafia.

The President appointed Paul G. Hoffman, president of Studebaker, as director of ERP, and his appointment was immediately confirmed by unanimous voice vote of the Senate, after sailing through the Foreign Relations Committee without opposition. Mr. Hoffman would next designate a deputy administrator and roving ambassador.

The House Armed Services Committee voted unanimously to approve increase of the Air Force from 55 to 70 combat groups. Secretary of Defense James Forrestal had opposed the measure as requiring commensurate increases in the other branches' manpower allotment, causing defense expenditures to be prohibitive, at potentially an additional 18 billion dollars. The Secretary had asked for three billion in increased military budget.

The President's Council of Economic Advisors stated to the press that the need for standby rationing and price and wage controls was greater at present than three months earlier. It was also stated, however, that there was no immediate need to recommend legislation for the purpose. The House Banking Committee chairman, Jesse Wolcott of Michigan, had already stated that it would be futile to request anew such controls.

Attorney General Tom Clark obtained an order to show cause re contempt in Federal Court against John L. Lewis and the UMW for refusing to obey the Court order served on Monday to end immediately the soft coal strike and return to work. The matter would be heard the following Monday. Mr. Lewis claimed that the emergency provision of Taft-Hartley, under which the order was issued, was unconstitutional pursuant to the Thirteenth Amendment banning involuntary servitude, thus preventing the Government from ordering miners back to work. He also contended that it violated the First and Fifth Amendments, and abrogated the extant contract with the operators permitting such a strike.

Three railroad brotherhoods renewed their threat of a strike if their demands for higher wages were not settled by April 27.

In Wisconsin, former Minnesota Governor Harold Stassen won the Republican presidential primary of the previous day, taking 20 of the state's 27 convention delegates. About one-sixth, or 500, of the state's precincts remained to be tabulated. Of the Stassen slate of seven delegates, the low vote receiver had a total exceeding the high vote receiver of the MacArthur slate. Observers suggested that the General might therefore quit the race. The General was likely to receive seven delegates while Governor Dewey was likely to receive none, as his own campaign staff had predicted the day before the primary.

Governor Dewey had won 106 of the 303 delegates thus far chosen, having picked up 90 delegates in New York without contest the previous day. Governor Stassen had 47—25 from his home state of Minnesota—, Senator Vandenberg, 41—all from his home state of Michigan—, and General MacArthur, 7, with 102 uncommitted. There were 1,094 Republican delegates in all to be chosen.

President Truman had 54 Democratic delegates of the 1,234 to be chosen. General Eisenhower had one, from New York, and 135 were uncommitted.

In Americus, Ga., the death sentences of a black woman and her two sons, ages 16 and 14, convicted for the killing of a white sharecropper, were commuted to life imprisonment, each eligible for parole after seven years. The court ruled that since the convictions were founded only on circumstantial evidence, the court was permitted to set aside the death sentences.

In Washington, Missouri Representative Orville Zimmerman, a Democrat, died of a heart attack at age 67, while in his office at the Capitol.

The sports page, performing its annual tour of the Tri-State League baseball prospects, examines the 1947 pennant winners, the Spartanburg Peaches.

On the editorial page, "Race Issue at Chapel Hill" tells of three black students having made application to the UNC graduate school and the matter being before the Board of Trustees for determination.

The piece favors rejection of the applications, for the benefit of the black students as well as the public interest. It posits that it would debilitate race relations in North Carolina, which enjoyed a history of progress.

The issue followed closely on the heels of the January Supreme Court case of Board of Regents v. Sipuel, which held that the University of Oklahoma had to admit a qualified black woman applicant to the University law school unless the State provided a separate and equal law school facility. The State had sought to form such a facility in the course of three ensuing weeks, with the petitioner as the sole student and only three professors, an arrangement which she rejected as unequal. The case had not yet been finally determined, as the Court had rejected, for not being ripe, her subsequent petition to find inadequate the alternative separate law school and to order therefore her admission to the University law school. The matter was still pending before the Oklahoma courts and had first to be determined there before again reaching the High Court.

The piece opines that the rejection of the alternative law school by the petitioner in the Sipuel case demonstrated that seeking equal educational opportunity was only a secondary goal, behind obtaining integration of educational facilities. The opposition by black leaders to the regional graduate school concept, whereby Southern states would pool resources to form such schools, was another indicator of that attitude.

It again states the position of favoring such regional schools. It finds North Carolina to have performed well in providing separate but equal facilities for education. The State had eliminated the poll tax in 1924. Black and white teachers earned the same pay. The State paid tuition for black students enrolled in some schools and had established the North Carolina College for Negroes at Durham, with a law school—now N.C. Central University.

The State, it offers, was meeting the demands of blacks with an affirmative answer. While there was still plenty of room for improvement in race relations, the State had gone a long way in meeting the problem, and to admit black students to the University against public sentiment, it posits, would set back race relations and "indefinitely defer a real solution of this vexing social problem."

The record over time plainly shows the editorial opinion to be wrong and to be advocating the very thing it proposes to be forestalling. For it was the entrenchment of Jim Crow through eighty years after the Civil War which had caused the white community to come to accept a form of economic enslavement to replace actual slavery in the country, and to become inured to a system of apartheid. Moreover, while elimination officially of institutional inequality on a theoretical plane may have convinced some that the separate educational facilities were equal, they were not, as anyone who grew up in the South in the 1950's and 1960's, before integration fully entered the public schools, could attest. All one had to do was to visit an all-black school of the time to be so convinced. It takes integration of society, economically, socially, and educationally, to eliminate prejudice.

The piece got one thing right. They still had a lot of room for improvement, and there is still, 67 years later, room for more, despite many advances through 50 years and more of integrated educational facilities and increased integration of society. Those who move to the suburbs to escape integration and those who send children to private schools for the same purpose ignore the realities of life in the society at large, deferring indefinitely the elimination of prejudice, while admitting that their children are not up to the challenge of getting along in integrated schools, with many different types of students of varying socio-economic backgrounds.

"A-Bomb Works Against Us" ventures that Russia, in its insistence that the atomic secret be turned over to the world before any agreement on inspection coupled with continued unilateral veto power regarding atomic questions and misuse of the technology for other than peaceful pursuits, was a Russian propagandistic method of promoting American domination in the world. The recent vote on the Atomic Energy Subcommittee at the U.N. against the Russian proposal, by a vote of 9-2, with only Russia and the Ukraine voting in favor of it, confirmed the fact.

As long as America held exclusive control of the atomic secret, it was susceptible to the claim of lording over the rest of the world. The country needed therefore to develop an effective means of waging peace, by creating a world governing body along the lines of the U.N. but with more effective enforcement means, with or without the participation of the Russians. The Marshall Plan, it suggests, would not be enough to offset the war fear being promoted by Russia, with America as the purported aggressor.

"New Thought on Old Problem" tells of a mother observing her eight-year old daughter, home from school with a cold, diligently at work on a letter. When the mother picked up the letter, she read its six sentences addressed to the school principal, replete with misspellings and improper syntax, but, suggests the piece, putting forth a common sense solution to the problem of inadequate schools: "We haveent got but 4 taecher. 1. 2. 3. 4. rooms to taech in the Poeple are in 1.2. 3 4 We need more room. Or les poeple."

Well, we can empathize. We took the second grade in a trailer classroom while the City undertook to build a couple of new schools for overflow.

Two years later, we had to fill out body tags one October morning, to assure proper identification in case of incineration by a missile launched from Cuba or the Soviet Union, and at that point, the "les poeple" notion advanced by the little girl took on a whole new meaning. By then, the hallway or just a little broom closet would have been deemed quite sufficient for a classroom, regardless of overcrowding, as long as we were not being irradiated or made sick by nuclear fallout.

Perhaps, it was because more stress in the society generally through time had been placed on the first editorial's opinion and how disingenuously to circumvent the rulings of the Federal Courts, and not enough on that of the second and third opinions of this date.

In any event, the whole matter is rather Poeple-esque.

But, at least we did not have to live in fear of one of our fellow students or a former student of the school coming into class with a gun.

A bicycle chain here and there, however, was another matter...

A piece from the Louisville Courier-Journal, titled "No Easy Way to Democracy", tells of there being no cheap way to accomplish the reconstruction of Europe, that cost should not become a weighing element in the process, as peace would depend on the success of the Marshall Plan.

Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., had proposed that 50,000 foreign troops be recruited in Europe to keep down the number of Americans necessary to maintain order. But this approach suggested simplicity where there was none to be found. The U.S. had to provide full backing for the Plan or it would fail. Seeking European recruits would be an admission of lack of full American resolve. The U.S., it concludes, had adequate manpower to perform the job.

Drew Pearson tells of Congressman August Andresen of Red Wing, Minn., threatening the Southern Democrats with anti-tobacco, anti-cotton, and anti-peanut legislation should they not refrain from their fight in getting repealed the discriminatory tax on margarine vis-à-vis butter. Mr. Andresen, who expected to become chairman the following year of the Agriculture Committee, had led the fight to bottle up the legislation in committee, just released finally the previous week in a discharge petition led by Congressman Harold Cooley of North Carolina. Mr. Andresen was enraged by the Southern effort. Meanwhile, consumers paid 10 to 12 cents more per pound for margarine than for butter.

The President had sent his veto message on the tax bill to Congress on April 2, three days ahead of his intended schedule because of the stated intention of Democratic Minority Leader Sam Rayburn to head home to Texas. Mr. Rayburn was so upset at the President for splitting the party with his civil rights program, however, that he refrained from participating in the debate on override of the veto. Only three Democrats in the Senate spoke in favor of sustaining the veto, including Senator Alben Barkley, to become the vice-presidential nominee.

Air Force and Navy recruiting figures had risen so high in the first two months of the year that it threatened to take the pressure off Congress to pass the draft and UMT bills. Army figures, however, lagged behind the quota for the first two months of the year by almost 20 percent, still better than the 50 percent lag during the previous November-December period.

The National Defense Research & Development Board recommended the building up of an air cargo wing in the military to support supply lines in the event of an emergency. It stressed the growing menace posed by Russian submarines to sea transport, with the Russian submarine force five times larger than that possessed by the Nazis during the war. The Russian XXI was 60 times more difficult to locate and destroy than German U-boats. It rejected the stockpiling of material at forward bases in favor of expendable bases which could destroy targets and then be transplanted near the next target. That strategy made air transport the best option to form the means of supply. Air lift capability in future wars would, the Board had predicted, be the controlling factor.

Presently, only 60 air cargo planes were in the air and 125 were operated by the veterans' air freight companies. The military chiefs had stated the need for 4,000 cargo planes.

The Board recommended support of the domestic and overseas airlines to accomplish the desired end.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop examine the determination by the Administration to enter formally the Western European Union formed recently by France, Britain, and the Benelux countries. If Senator Vandenberg and the other Republican leaders approved of the move, then it would be placed before the Congress during the current session. At very least, the President would request military support for the WEU, with an informal commitment of defense in the event of war, similar to that made by FDR to Canada during the late war.

The pact—to become NATO the following spring—would not formalize an amalgamation with the WEU in terms of its economic pact but rather a treaty under which the U.S. would pledge military support in the event of an attack by Russia on the member nations. It would likely revive lend-lease.

It was more likely, they posit, that the formal pact would be accepted by Congress than forcing the informal commitment by the President, as that would not carry the authoritative weight through time of a formal treaty, as it would lack bipartisan support, and, they predict, it was "probable to the point of certainty" that President Truman would not occupy the office a year hence.

Samuel Grafton tells of meeting Senator Robert Taft to continue his series of columns on the Republican candidates for the presidency. The Senator believed that the President might obtain passage of the temporary draft without UMT, but he believed it was too soon to put a draft into effect without first analyzing carefully the military needs of the country and determining whether a large Air Force might be a sufficient substitute to provide adequate security.

Mr. Grafton finds that he was not a great leader of men but also that he could not be led. In 1936, Senator Taft had stated that he favored 750 million dollars worth of relief for the following year, the only person running that year who stated exactly how much relief he favored.

As to the current foreign crisis, he stated that the country did not yet know of its extent, that it appeared the Russians would not attack with an army. The takeover by the Communists in Czechoslovakia presented no real change since the end of the war, as it had been dominated by the Communists throughout the period, possessing control of the police. He favors the TR line: "Walk softly and carry a big stick." He did not object to the policy toward Russia, but rather the atmosphere in which it was accomplished.

Mr. Grafton remembers, however, his similar reaction to the threat posed by Nazi Germany in 1940—not to mention his prediction in fall, 1941 that Japan would not attack the United States. He concludes that it was possible in the current atmosphere to be tempted toward any vision of peace, even one maintained behind a giant air screen, as Mr. Taft favored. But, given the realities, that would neglect the fact that achieving a real peace entailed far more complexities and hard work than present in a military solution.

He promises more on Senator Taft in the next column.

A letter writer who was in charge of the Charlotte Armory-Auditorium discusses recent vandalism at the facility, as one among many such acts. In every case, he had found the parents to be unaware of the juvenile culprit's whereabouts at the time. The recent vandalism at Freedom Park, draining the lake of most of its water, thereby killing most of the $5,000 worth of recent stock of bream fingerlings, was only the most publicized of many acts of vandalism in the community. He regards the statement of Police Chief Littlejohn, laying blame on the parents, to be appropriate.

His suggested solution is to publish the names of the culprit and the culprit's parents, as well their address, as a deterrent.

The editors point out that such publication was prohibited by North Carolina law for juvenile offenders under 16 years old.

A letter writer cautions of a threat being present in the country through Communist infiltration to extinguish the rights secured by the Constitution. He urges protecting the rights of citizens to make democracy live, by making sure that Communists had no rights.

A Quote of the Day: "Difference is that the carpetbaggers of 1948 wear a Democratic tag." —Dallas Morning News

Doggerel of the day from the Jackson (Miss.) Daily News:
"Then call us Rebels, if you will
We glory in the name
For bending under unjust laws
And swearing faith to an unjust cause
We count a greater shame."

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