The Charlotte News

Monday, June 14, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the four-week U.N. truce in Palestine between Arabs and Israelis had finally brought quiet this date, with the last fighting having concluded the previous day as Syrians and Jews both claimed violations of the truce, begun Friday at 1:00 a.m. Nevertheless, Tel Aviv was reported quiet this date. Jews permitted ingress of 420 immigrants to Tel Aviv and were able to bypass Arab roadblocks to get the first supply convoy to Jerusalem in more than seven weeks, causing some questions by the U.N. truce observers.

U.N. mediator for Palestine Count Folke Bernadotte had arrived in Rhodes, Greece, where discussions would take place to try to effect a permanent peace in the Holy Land.

In Prague, as expected, former Premier Klement Gottwald was elected President to replace retiring Eduard Benes, who had resigned instead of providing his imprimatur to the new Communist-backed constitution. Anton Zapotocky became the new Premier. Both men were Communists, Mr. Gottwald having engineered the February takeover of the country by the Communists through the police.

The House Rules Committee voted to send the Senate-passed two-year draft bill to the floor for debate. It was believed that it would pass easily on the floor, as it had in the Senate, 78 to 10. Representative Adam Clayton Powell of New York gave notice that he intended to introduce 31 amendments to the bill to abolish segregation in the armed forces and would stage a one-man strike on the conduct of any other business before the Saturday recess if his amendments were not permitted to be introduced.

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved the anti-lynching bill, but it was believed that it had only a remote chance of passing the full Senate over Southern opposition. Senator James Eastland of Mississippi, on the Committee, said that he would use every means at his disposal to defeat the bill, would fight it "'til hell freezes over."

The Supreme Court, in U.S. v. Zazove, 334 U.S. 602, unanimously reversed a lower Federal Court ruling anent payments under veterans' insurance policies, which had held that such payments should be $48.50 per month for at least 120 months to the beneficiary of a $5,000 policy plus three percent interest, with those payments extending for the life of the beneficiary beyond ten years. The Government contended that the payments should not exceed $29.50 per month on the same basis, as the former amount would exceed the premium. Chief Justice Fred Vinson delivered the opinion.

The Supreme Court also unanimously upheld, in Lichter v. U.S., 334 U.S. 742, the Constitutionality of the law by which the Government had recovered millions of dollars in excess profits under renegotiation of war contracts. The opinion was delivered by Justice Harold Burton.

A Federal District Court in New York enjoined a maritime strike until June 24 and ordered the unions and the shipowners to bargain in good faith in the meantime.

Near York, S.C., the decomposed body of a 27-year old businessman, veteran of the war, was found in a weighted box in a creek, having been shot once in the chest. It was believed that the motive was robbery as he often carried large amounts of cash in relation to his fuel oil business. It was hypothesized that he had been dead about a week.

In Los Angeles, the President would make the last of five major speeches of his cross-country train tour at 1:30 at the Ambassador Hotel and then depart by train this night at 9:00 p.m. for the return trip to Washington, scheduled to arrive on Friday. He would continue his back-platform talks from the train along the way back to Kansas City, where he would pause to return home to Independence. He was dressed in a brown suit and when asked how he was, he responded, "Oh, you always feel fine in California."

On the editorial page, "Soviet Bluffing in Berlin" comments on the war scare of Saturday as the Russians blocked rail shipments from the Western zones of Germany into Berlin for a few hours until an agreement was reached between the British and Russians to permit the trains to run as usual. It believes that the Russians were using this technique as bluff while the Western powers, to maintain their positions in Berlin, were taking a calculated risk that the Russians would not use force, triggering war.

If the West backed down and left Berlin, it would send a signal that all of Eastern Germany had been abandoned to the Soviets, inflaming German nationalist spirit, disrupting plans for reconstruction of Germany, key to getting Europe back on its feet. And the war danger would not be lessened by evacuation. Thus, the West had nothing to lose by calling the bluff.

The danger was that the home front might show signs of enervation which could cause the Soviets to think that their strategy was working and thus encourage it. Calmness in the face of these tactics was critical.

"Wind-Up for Southern Revolt" finds the Southern revolt finished for 1948, whether or not the Dixiecrats realized it. Only a few states' righters remained in the battle against the President's civil rights program. The program, with the exception of the anti-lynching bill, was shelved in Congress and so little effort had been expended to get it passed that it was questionable whether the Southerners had much impact in stopping it, though it was without question that they had chilled enthusiasm for it. The South had thus demonstrated that it carried some weight in both parties.

The Republican plank of 1944 had started the ball rolling, going far beyond the Democratic plank on civil rights, prompting the President to meet the challenge with his program. If the Republicans were to win the 1948 election, then it was likely that they would be more energetic about passing civil rights laws just before the 1952 election campaign.

"Steps Toward Federal Control"
discusses the railroad management advocacy to the Congress that it pass legislation outlawing rail strikes, a proposal stimulated by the railroad brotherhoods' advocacy for Government ownership of the roads.

Unless management and labor could make better use of the machinery of collective bargaining, there would likely be both public ownership and laws outlawing strikes. At the end of that road, it suggests, were socialism and totalitarianism. The country had already proceeded too far in that direction, led by the short-sighted men of labor and business who refused to settle their differences over wages and employment conditions voluntarily.

A piece from the Christian Science Monitor, titled "A Bulge Next to the Heart", tells of a convict about to be released from prison who had to be wrestled to the ground by guards to get him to release a bulge which he concealed beneath his clothes. It turned out to be a sheaf of poems.

The piece finds it likely that many men would feel sympathy for the urge to commit verse to paper. It claims to know teamsters and bankers who would rather be hung than admit of their having made the attempt, yet longing to hear that their work enjoyed poetic merit.

Drew Pearson tells of the House Ways & Means Committee, chaired by Representative Harold Knutson, having passed a tax revision bill which pretended to be merely rounding off some rough edges of the tax law while actually benefiting the wealthy by reducing the gift and estate taxes paid by the wealthiest families. The tax bill which had been passed earlier in the year over the President's veto had reduced each of those taxes by 30 percent, providing exemption from estate taxes for estates valued at less than $60,000. The new bill would permit gifts or inheritance bequests of a million to two million dollars without tax consequences.

Meanwhile, average taxpayers were paying eight to ten times more income tax than before the war.

Congressman Lyndon Johnson appeared to be the new Senator from Texas to replace Pass the Biscuits Pappy O'Daniel. Creekmore Fath, a former New Deal attorney, would likely replace Mr. Johnson in the House.

Actually, a runoff primary election would have to be held to settle the matter between former Governor Coke Stevenson and Mr. Johnson, Mr. Johnson to win the runoff of August 31 in a veritable landslide, once the contents of Box 13 in Alice were ascertained.

The Associated Press would not allow the Voice of America to quote from its dispatches, while allowing Tass to do so. VOA could not even quote the AP to correct a misquote by Tass.

One of the most important battles remaining in Congress before the recess was that on reclamation as the big ranchers of the West had ganged up on the Reclamation Bureau to kill both Government power and the 160-acre limit to ranchers on acquisition of reclamation land. Hearings held by Representative Forrest Harness of Indiana heard hostile witnesses but not those from the Government, while he consulted with a power lobbyist.

A prize-winning letter to Drew Pearson is presented, authored by a man from Scarsdale, N.Y., a former reporter for the Herald Tribune, regarding democracy. The author had won $5,000 for the entry. He favors making democracy live by living democracy, through example.

A piece by Dale Kramer from The New Republic, discusses the perceived greatness of General Eisenhower having originated in his wartime leadership. But his popularity with the troops and his democratic acts as a military leader did not necessarily equate to liberalism on social issues. Neither did his ghost-written speeches.

In his personal and professional life, he had shown himself to be typical of the Army. He did not appear to have strong social convictions, liked bridge, golf, swimming and dinner parties. He was simply "a man of good will", said one reporter familiar with him. Most believed he tended toward the conservative side on social issues and was better suited in terms of temperament therefore to the Republican Party, would never be content with the New Deal coalition of FDR.

James Marlow discusses the President's civil rights program which he had enunciated February 2. Among its ten points were an anti-lynching bill, an anti-poll tax measure, a bill to make the wartime FEPC permanent, and to bring an end to racial segregation in public transportation. Now, not one part of it appeared likely to pass both houses before the recess for the conventions and elections, coming the following Saturday.

The Southern Democrats had threatened to quit the party over the President's program if it were made a part of the convention platform and if the convention nominated the President. While the President initially said that he would not budge, he had not done anything in recent weeks to push his program.

The Southerners had threatened filibuster in the Senate on any aspect of the program which would come to the floor for debate. The Republicans, in consequence, had not brought any part of it to the floor, though there was talk of bringing forth the anti-lynching measure in the coming week.

Both parties had pledged in their 1944 platforms to undertake action on civil rights, the Republicans promising a constitutional amendment to eliminate the poll tax and establishment of the FEPC. Neither party, however, had fulfilled their pledges, beyond the President's articulation of the program.

Marquis Childs discusses party politics from 1920 when the Republicans dispensed with any consideration of primaries and delegations, selecting Warren G. Harding in a smoke-filled room, the prototype for nominations since.

A three-way deadlock had developed before Senator Harding was finally nominated. Similarly, the Republicans were likely to have a three-way deadlock between Governor Dewey, Senator Taft, and former Governor Harold Stassen. Similarly, the country was in a post-war period with inflation concerns paramount. Senator Harding was a willing party hack who had little understanding of the country and its concerns or its place in world politics. Karl Schriftgiesser, in a recently published book, This Was Normalcy, had described the atmosphere in 1920 as "grab while the grabbing was good", with lobbyists controlling the outcome on issues.

A similar atmosphere had pervaded the current Republican Congress. The current issue of The Republican News, RNC publication, made an appeal to large income earners to donate a part of their average $7,533 savings in taxes on an income of $50,000 to the Republican Party in thanks for the tax cut. It pointed out that the average earner saved under the bill only $78.40 on a $2,500 income.

Mr. Childs ventures that the stakes were too high for the Republicans to nominate another errand boy as Warren Harding, who led the country back to isolationism and the boom and bust cycle of the Twenties, leading to the Depression and another world war.

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