The Charlotte News

Wednesday, June 16, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the House had refused to accept the restoration by the Senate of most of the cuts from foreign aid which had passed the House. The bills therefore would need to be reconciled by a joint committee. Congressman John Taber, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, criticized the press for assailing the House action, singling out the New York Herald Tribune.

Trans-Jordan rejected the proposal by U.N. mediator Count Folke Bernadotte that Jerusalem be made an open city, because it would mean that the Arabs would have to abandon the positions they had secured the previous month in old Jerusalem. The Arab political committee also refused an invitation to sit at the same table as the Israelis in negotiations over a permanent peace.

Search planes and ships sought the whereabouts of three missing Flying Fortresses headed from the Azores to Corsica and ultimately to Palestine.

About 10,000 workers struck in France, protesting a bloody battle between police and strikers in the tire capital of Clermont-Ferrand. At least 70 police were injured, 46 seriously, along with about 80 strikers, many seriously. The strike originated from the Communist-dominated General Confederation of Labor. The strike spread as far as Marseilles.

A Federal grand jury in Washington indicted the agricultural commissioners of Texas and Georgia, along with two others, for violation of lobbying laws by not registering before advocating in Congress for higher farm prices.

The United Steelworkers ordered a strike at Alcoa beginning Sunday at midnight, following the rejection by the steelworkers of an eight percent wage increase offered by the company.

In New York, 64 longshoremen refused to load a Yugoslav ship when they found pictures of Tito and Stalin hanging in the lounge along with Communist insignias. One said that Stalin should come and load the ship himself.

In Rock Hill, S.C., police were still remaining quiet about the investigation into the murder of a local businessman, shot once through the back.

Harold Stassen predicted victory after the ninth ballot at the Republican convention the following week. Supporters from North Dakota indicated they would switch to Senator Vandenberg if Mr. Stassen failed to get the nomination. Of the 1,094 convention delegates, 363 were pledged to favorite-son candidates. Thomas Dewey had 148 pledged delegates, Mr. Stassen 99 and Senator Taft 81. Michigan's 41-delegate delegation was pledged to Senator Vandenberg. Though not officially a candidate, it was expressed by supporters that Senator Vandenberg would be available for a draft in a deadlocked convention.

The President continued his back-platform talks from his special train, rolling into Kansas this date, set to arrive in Kansas City during the afternoon for a day in his hometown of Independence, Mo. He continued to assert that the major issue in the country was whether the Government was going to serve the people or the special interests.

A photograph of the President appears at San Benardino, California, two nights earlier, as he received fresh eggs—which he said that he would not throw at Senator Taft.

On the editorial page, "Our Second Vote for Johnson" again endorses State Treasurer Charles Johnson in the Democratic gubernatorial primary runoff with State Agricultural Commissioner Kerr Scott. Mr. Scott would win, though losing the initial primary by 9,000 votes. It finds, however, that both men would provide good government, but that Mr. Johnson would be the better, more experienced choice.

"Harry Truman Talks of Peace" finds the President's talk in California of peace to be uplifting but believes that he had waited too long to stress his Administration's peace efforts. It is convinced that he believed in peace and that ERP, as a means to check Soviet expansion in Europe, was the most plausible approach to its establishment and world stabilization.

Yet, the political nature of the Western tour could not be forgotten. It appeared that Administration campaign strategists had encouraged the President along these lines of peace rhetoric for the sake of the campaign.

Moscow, it ventures, might find it odd to hear the President asserting his belief that Josef Stalin was good-hearted but powerless within the Politburo, triggering the same sort of response in Russia regarding the position of Mr. Truman vis-à-vis the Wall Street lawyers and military men populating his Administration.

It was, however, more accurate, it ventures, to characterize him as the prisoner of the GOP Congress. Together, the Administration and the Congress had done little to inspire confidence in establishment of a permanent peace.

"GOP Elephant Grows Two Heads" finds the Republican Party going two directions at once in Congress, conservative and liberal, and getting nowhere fast. There was a struggle on foreign policy between isolationism and internationalism and between saving and spending.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee had recommended restoration of the spending cuts on foreign aid which had passed the House, still, however, cutting 408 million dollars off the Administration's request. But then the Senate voted in favor of only the one-year extension of the Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act, which could hamstring the effort to build international trust.

It appeared that the GOP was effecting foreign policy concessions to the White House only long enough to get elected, at which point a reversal of policy was likely, leaving the elephant with a one-headed conservatism.

A piece from the Washington Post, titled "How to Live with the Russians", regards the U.S. as having inherited postwar the century-long British concern for "the Eastern question" and that it would need to become accustomed to the role and find a modus vivendi on what former Secretary of State James Byrnes termed the "middle ground between drifting into war and drifting into appeasement." Both Mr. Byrnes and Winston Churchill were leery of any form of appeasement with Russia, whereas compromise was necessary and acceptable, the distinction being that appeasement was in the form of ratification of treaty violations or the surrender of national rights under pressure while compromise was based on toleration.

Drew Pearson examines Senator Taft as a presidential candidate, finds that most Senators would prefer him to any other Republican. They liked him and considered him fair-minded and a man of his word. Sometimes, he had been on the wrong side of issues but eventually switched to the right side, as in Federal aid to education which in 1943 he had opposed, now supported. In 1946, he was hesitant about veterans' housing, but had led the fight for it in the 80th Congress. He had been wrong two years earlier that the President's forecasted inflation without proper price and wage controls would not be realized; it had been for the most part. In fall, 1947, Mr. Taft had outlined, however, an economic program not dissimilar to that of the President.

Thus, he had earned the expression: "Bob Taft is always right the second time."

He was brusque and frank and had become more liberal than in his earlier years in the Senate. He had moved away from Republican reaction which would turn over everything to big business, and some predicted that as President he would propose as many high-bracket taxes as President Truman.

In such difficult times, Mr. Pearson asserts, the President needed to get it right the first time, especially on foreign policy. Prior to Pearl Harbor, Senator Taft had opposed every major Administration defense initiative, and since the war had been opposed to most of Senator Vandenberg's bipartisan foreign policy leadership. He wanted to curtail the Marshall Plan and believed the President was using the Russian bogey to stir war fears, not dissimilar to that which he had said regarding the threat of Japan a few months before the attack on Pearl Harbor.

It would leave to the Republicans the question of whether they could nominate a man who took two years or so to get it right.

He retained undying antipathy for New Dealers, while adopting some of their approaches to social issues, as housing and education. That basic residual enmity, however, explained why he had opposed David Lilienthal as chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission.

James Marlow discusses the significance of the Vandenberg Resolution, just passed by the Senate, which could allow arming of the countries of Western Europe and a military alliance with the U.S., leading to division of the world into two armed camps. A bipartisan committee had approved the seven-paragraph resolution, along with the State Department and Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Debate on the floor had centered around the fear that it would wreck the U.N.

The resolution urged the President to associate the U.S. with regional and other collective arrangements which were based on continuous and effective self-help and mutual aid, as required for national security. Any treaties thus formed would be subject, as always, to Senate approval.

Its importance was that it showed that the country had moved away from isolationism. But if the possibilities were realized and it did result in two armed camps, it would be hard to understand how the U.N. would have continued viability in such a world.

Stewart Alsop, in Paris, tells of Russian leaders of the Kremlin having informed a representative of a satellite country that the Red Army would move if the Western powers sought to rearm Western Germany. They also considered the establishment of a separate government for Western Germany the first step in that direction. The statement, occurring before the end of the six-power London conference on Western Germany, was related to a French diplomat and intended as a warning to France. Nevertheless, France agreed to the recommendations made by the British and Americans with regard to the internationalization of the Ruhr and establishment of a central government for Western Germany.

But the tactic had also created tension in the French. To allay some of this fear, the French had proposed to send a joint demarche of the Big Three to Moscow to make it clear that Russia was free to join the Eastern zone to the Western zone. The U.S. and Britain were believed to be ready to accept the proposal, on condition that it would be made clear that Russia would take no part in administration of the Ruhr and that no further conferences were contemplated with Russia. While doubtful that it would resolve East-West conflict, it could ameliorate the fear of the French that Russia would attack the West, with France on the front lines. The U.S. support of the Western European Union might also help to dispel the fear, exacerbated by the House cuts to ERP and foreign aid generally.

The joint military staff committee of the WEU believed that with 40 to 50 well-trained and equipped divisions, mainly American, Western Europe could adequately defend, with air superiority, against the Red Army.

Marquis Childs looks at the Republican convention in Philadelphia, set to convene the following Monday, predicting that Governor Dewey appeared to have the best chance to repeat as the nominee, with his chief competitors being Harold Stassen and Senator Taft, in that order.

But his chief handicap was the perception that he was a cold-blooded prosecutor, efficient, but lacking in personal warmth. He also was reputed to vacillate between opinions based on what was politically advantageous.

He had preferred to conduct his campaign from New York, showing his devotion to his gubernatorial duties as his chief attribute, but the unexpected surge in popularity of Harold Stassen had forced him to go out and campaign. He had put on a three-week campaign in Oregon which required him to meet the people, and he had won.

His campaign manager, future Eisenhower Administration Attorney General Herbert Brownell, believed he had enough second and third-ballot support among the delegates to win the nomination, and that was likely a realistic expectation.

He had made few statements on foreign policy. John Foster Dulles would inevitably be his Secretary of State. Mr. Dulles drew fire from the left for allegedly favoring revitalization of the European cartels for the benefit of his corporate legal clients.

Mr. Dewey had been spotty on domestic issues, had declared himself in Oregon to be in favor of regional development of river basins but also had repudiated the type of authority established in the TVA. The New York employment discrimination law had helped to break down racial barriers in the state. He had compelled the Legislature to pass the burden of higher teacher salaries and construction of new school facilities to the counties, prompting an outcry.

Mr. Childs concludes by opining that Mr. Dewey would be an able President and the direction he would take the country would greatly depend on public opinion.

A letter writer thinks that America had strayed from the strait and narrow of the forefathers into sin, and that God was warning the country through a variety of natural catastrophes to return to the path of righteousness.

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