The Charlotte News

Friday, April 9, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Belgian Premier Paul-Henri Spaak, after meeting with the President and others in the Administration, stated that the five member nations of the newly formed Western European Union would seek military assistance from the U.S. in addition to other forms of aid. The form of the military assistance had yet to be determined, but the Administration appeared supportive of the notion.

Senator Taft stated that the Republican leadership had determined to give priority to military legislation, expansion of the Air Force, the proposed temporary draft and UMT. The Senator remained opposed to UMT, supported a larger Air Force and the draft, if necessary.

A draft bill was proposed in the House, whereby all men between 18 and 30 would be registered, while only those between 19 and 25 who were non-veterans would be subject to induction for two years of service. Veterans with at least a year of wartime service would be exempt and those with between 90 days and a year of service would have to join the reserve in one of the branches to be exempt. National Guardsmen and reservists would likewise be exempt from induction.

North Carolina Selective Service Boards began preparation for mobilization in the event of a national emergency. The local Selective Service Boards had been eliminated March 31, 1947.

Republican Senators determined that among the ten-point civil rights program advocated by the President, the anti-lynch bill would receive top priority and would probably reach the floor within a few weeks. The reason for the preference was that the Senators deemed it the easiest of the measures to achieve passage. Senator Taft believed that a filibuster could likely be averted by an agreement to limit debate. The anti-lynch bill had passed the House on several occasions in the past only to founder in the Senate in a Southern filibuster. It appeared that 28 of 51 Republicans supported the measure.

Governor Dewey decided to extend by a day his two-day campaign tour of Nebraska in anticipation of the primary on Tuesday. The Governor canceled his previously scheduled Saturday night address to the Gridiron Club dinner in Washington. Mr. Dewey had performed poorly in the Wisconsin primary, coming in third behind Harold Stassen and General MacArthur. A good showing in Nebraska was being considered a requirement for him to stay in the race.

Senator William B. Umstead of North Carolina announced that he favored a statewide referendum on liquor control. He also stated his support of a bill in Congress to prohibit liquor advertising in interstate commerce.

The North Carolina Democratic Party leader, Wilkins Horton, indicated that the state would send an uninstructed delegation to the national convention in Philadelphia in June.

Mr. Horton would not comment on the efforts of North Carolina veterans to draft General Eisenhower for the nomination, hoping to obtain 100,000 supportive signatures on a petition for the draft. A national movement was hoping to obtain three million such signatures.

The Government ordered coal-burning rail service cut to half of normal because of the continuing coal strike, enduring 26 days. There was still no indication that John L. Lewis and UMW would comply with the Federal Court order issued the previous Saturday and served Monday to end the strike. Mr. Lewis was scheduled to appear in court the following Monday to show cause why he should not be held in contempt for the refusal to abide the order. UMW and operators met to negotiate on the demands for payment of pensions.

Congressman Fred Hartley of New Jersey said that if the Taft-Hartley law, which he co-sponsored, did not serve to end the strike, he would propose stiffer legislation.

In Los Angeles, a woman was convicted of manslaughter in the hairbrush spanking death of her two-year old daughter and was sentenced to prison for an indeterminate term of one to ten years. Both parents were then stripped permanently of rights ever to see their one-month old son again as the judge placed him in a foster home. The judge said that he took the step because of his fear that otherwise the infant boy would grow up suffering treatment no better than that afforded a "cur dog".

In West Frankfort, Ill., a man returned to a theater where he had been the previous night and told the janitor he had lost his wallet with $700 in it. The janitor took him to his seat and there he found the wallet intact, promptly fainted.

A storm with hail the size of baseballs hit the South, killing one person in Troy, Alabama, when a shack caught fire. The storm extended from Arkansas to Florida.

In Charlotte, a 5,000-gallon capacity gasoline transport trailer exploded while being repaired at the Trailmobile Assembly plant, killing one man and injuring two others. The men were welding the tank at the time of the explosion.

Burke Davis, formerly Editor and Associate Editor of The News, now with the Baltimore Evening Sun, tells on page 5-A of the passing of the diamondback terrapin from North Carolina not having brought agony to Maryland's terrapin connoisseurs.

You will have to track it down to find out what it means because the story was so slow in getting here that we never heard of it. Sometimes stories just don't have legs. Then you have those jackrabbit stories...

On the editorial page, "Veterans Call for Eisenhower" finds war veterans seeking to draft General Eisenhower as the Democratic presidential nominee, with a North Carolina group formed for the purpose.

While it might alarm some to see veterans trying to place a war hero at the head of the Government, the piece does not view the effort in that light. They had not promoted the candidacy until many civilian Democrats had done so and a strong Eisenhower sentiment had been expressed by the populace. The veterans had made clear that they no longer desired military life, as demonstrated by their formation of anti-MacArthur clubs across the country. The support of General Eisenhower made evident the fact that he was not considered a brasshat by the veterans. His leadership in the war had convinced them that he could lead the nation in peace.

As a suitable replacement was being found for President Truman on the Democratic ticket, it was good to have the veterans seeking the General as that replacement. It was to be hoped that it would not be exclusive to veterans, as that would solidify the General's resolve to remain out of politics.

"A Drawback in Federal Aid" tells of the opposition to Federal aid to education in the South and in North Carolina appearing ostensibly imprudent, with the educational needs of the state and region and the facts that the South would get more per capita than any other region and that North Carolina would get more per capita than any other state for the fact that it had more school-age children. But the Southern states were already spending more on education per capita than any other region while educational quality lagged behind.

Governor William Tuck of Virginia, leader of the Southern revolt against the President for his civil rights program, had stated that he would not support any Federal aid for Virginia schools if it could be used to implement the civil rights program. He viewed the advocates of such a program as the worst enemies of blacks, as they were only trying to use them for political expediency.

Isn't that what you are doing, Mr. Tuck?

While the advocates of Federal aid claimed that it could be tailored to provide the states with full discretion on spending, the piece doubts that it would be the case with the current 300 million dollar per year proposal, as smaller allocations to the states had been made on the basis of discretion to the states with ultimate control residing still at the Federal level.

"Russia's Move in Finland" comments on the Russo-Finnish mutual assistance pact concluded after Premier Stalin had requested the negotiations. While the pact was restrained, in preserving Finnish independence, it was transacted to garner favorable world opinion, not enough, however, of a concession to make the West feel more secure.

Russia could easily take over Finland, but given world opinion, it would not be a propitious move, redounding to the detriment of the Communists in France and Italy, particularly the latter with the elections hanging fire.

Few Americans would be impressed with this Russian restraint, given the transactions of the Communists in Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Hungary, Rumania, Bulgaria, and Poland, each of which had also signed mutual assistance pacts before the Communist takeovers. The situation in Berlin also distracted from this gesture of ostensible good will.

The Soviet bloc now controlled the Northern part of the Eastern European countries and was working on the Southern zone comprised of Turkey, Greece, and ultimately, via access to the Mediterranean, into the Middle East in Iran.

A piece from the Washington Post, titled "Family Tension", tells of a finding by Dr. David Abrahamsen of Columbia University's department of psychiatry that family tension, rather than parental neglect, per se, breeds criminality. Family bickering and nagging were chief sources, he found, creating hostility, resentment, and rebellion against authority, leading as well to physical and mental diseases.

He developed the conclusions from a study of convicted criminals and their families.

The piece suggests the findings as significant as they shifted causes of crime from socio-economic factors to emotional background. Incarceration or even lecturing would not cure the problem. It was a systemic problem requiring placement of more stress on development of emotionally mature citizens.

Drew Pearson tells of one reason for unification of the armed forces being to alleviate the bitter rivalry between the Army and the Navy, each trying to woo appropriations from Congress in competition. But the tug-of-war thus resulting had not been eliminated, appeared to have intensified. The Navy effort was behind the move to increase the Air Force from 55 to 70 groups. The Navy believed that if the admirals stuck exclusively to the seas, they would be obsolete in short order. Secretary of Defense Forrestal, former Secretary of the Navy, opposed the increase. Air Secretary Stuart Symington was the leading proponent.

He provides a memo circulated by the Navy advocating the carrier force as the best suited vehicle for delivery of the atom bomb to the general vicinity of the target, positing that the B-29's and B-36's were inadequate for bombing a distant enemy. The plans were based on the assumption that no overseas bases would be available as a staging ground for air offensives. It also advised that ship-launched missiles would be superior to transoceanic guided missiles in accuracy and range.

He promises the remainder of the memo in a future column.

Marquis Childs tells of the New Deal and the confidence it inspired seeming far in the past. The various lobbies were helping to transform the society, working in concert. He suggests Pulitzer Prizes for lobbying, with judging performed by two or three members of Congress and a retired lobbyist.

He suggests that in such a contest, it would be hard to pick a winner in 1948. One candidate would be the lobbyists who were pushing for the tidelands oil grab, seeking to have Congress give back to the states and private companies the rights to take the oil. That it was the last great reserve of oil which the oil companies wanted to exploit to exhaustion was rarely mentioned.

The laundry lobby, for example, had worked to modify the Minimum Wage Act, to exempt laundry workers.

The China lobby was another candidate, with former New Dealers actively involved. The oligarchs of China were said to have a half billion dollars in deposits in U.S. banks. The same lobbyists represented Maj. General Claire Chennault's Chinese airline which was developed from UNRRA funds. A professor of international relations at Columbia had suggested that the half billion dollars in aid to go to China under the comprehensive aid bill would be wasted. The same lobbyists who championed this aid admitted that they knew the wartime loan of a half billion dollars would be wasted.

The first rule in the contest was not to look too closely at cause and effect when judging the effectiveness of the lobby.

James Marlow compares the vast differences between the U.S. and Italy as both countries faced election year politics. After reviewing the obvious differences between a tradition of democracy in modern times in the U.S. and the previous 20 years of Fascism under Mussolini from 1923-43, in Italy, and the obvious prosperity in the U.S. after the war compared to the prevailing abject poverty and need to rebuild in Italy, he looks at the particulars of the coming April 18 elections.

The Parliament consisted of a Senate with 400 members and a Chamber of Deputies with 578 members, the majority party out of the election having control and the right to select the leadership of the nation. No single party, however, among the several parties vying with one another, was expected to achieve a majority. The general ideologies represented were Communist, Socialist, Moderate Conservative, Royalist, and Fascist.

From left to right, they were: the Popular Front, comprised of Communists, left-wing Socialists and sympathizers, led by Palmiro Togliatti, a Communist, and Pietro Nenni, a Socialist; Socialists, a splinter group from the Nenni-led party, more moderate; Republicans, who had helped to overthrow the King in 1946 and set up the Republic, left of center, led by Randolfo Pacciardi; the Christian Democrats, moderate, with huge Catholic support, led by Premier Alcide De Gasperi; and the parties to the right of the Christian Democrats, wanting either a return of the throne or leaning toward Fascism.

A letter from P.C. Burkholder, failed Republican Congressional candidate in 1946, running again in 1948, tells of the reasons for Russia's emergence as a nation powerful enough to wage a third world war. It was because America had built up Russia to wage war against Hitler. The same was true after World War I, when America helped to build up Germany so that it could wage World War II. He then explains the "soft-soap policy" with respect to Stalin. Phase one was the period of American "self-delusion", promulgated by the New Dealers. Phase two, occurring since the war, was a period of awakening from the delusion. Phase three would be a military phase to form pacts to stop Russia.

Liberty might perish worldwide before the struggle for world power ended.

The only logical conclusion to be interpreted from Mr. Burkholder's analysis is that the United States would have been far better off had Hitler won the war. Then, no doubt, Mr. Burkholder would have been made the chief district commander for New Germania, until he insisted one day on having country buttermilk become the national drink and the Nazis shot him, hung his body from a tree in Freedom Park, renamed Fuehrer's New Paradise.

A letter writer suggests that the most remarkable phenomenon in American politics since the Civil War was the emergence of the Solid South politically. He points out that common whites were kept down for generations because of the need to compete with slave labor. After the Civil War, all of the energies were directed toward keeping blacks down. But the lower wages paid to blacks also meant that depressed whites were unable to get more for their labor and they blamed the blacks for competition.

Now, the South was becoming industrialized and resulting prosperity had brought new opportunity for the region to become part of the nation again. With that, it was time for Southerners to emerge as individuals politically.

"As the old so-called aristocratic, land holding, slave labor exploiting dynasty has passed so is now passing the out-of-date, down-at-heel, wild-eyed, bugle-voiced, long-haired, Pecksniffian generation of South savers."

So, now, they were going to follow their new leader, we suppose, Strom Thurmond.

Surely, after seeing what had happened in the 80th Congress, vacillating between stalling tactics, making the wealthy corporations wealthier, and investigating everyone deemed by the GOP conservatives and politically avaricious to be liberal and sufficiently weak politically to be cast as unpopular, the Southerners would not wish to cast their votes for one of the Republicans.

And Henry Wallace, of course, was a pink fellow traveler.

Who, pray tell, then were they to support?

On the 83rd anniversary of the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox, effectively ending the Civil War, a second civil war was beginning, to last at least another 27 years in its most visible form.

And in North Charleston, S.C., on the 47th anniversary of the assassination in Memphis of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a police officer gave chase and fatally shot in the back a man named Walter Scott, a fleeing suspect believed guilty of having a broken taillight lens, near where the first shots of the Civil War were fired at Fort Sumter.

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