The Charlotte News

Friday, June 18, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the U.S. was doubling its fighter plane strength in Europe by shifting a group of 75 jet planes from Panama to Germany around August 15. Presently, only one group of P-47's was assigned to Germany. It would be the first time that jets would be deployed by the West in Europe.

Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion expressed doubts of long-range peace prospects for Palestine and even that the peace could be maintained during the four-week truce while a permanent peace settlement was being discussed on the island of Rhodes in Greece.

The House voted to delay action on registration for the new draft until January 31 and to require thereafter a presidential proclamation to begin the draft, but the Senate blocked action on the amendment in the Armed Services Committee. Senator Glen Taylor began filibustering tactics designed to kill the entire bill, to which he objected. Senator Taft countered that Congress would be brought back into session during the summer to finish the work if necessary to pass the draft bill.

The House approved a Senate-House conference compromise bill to allow 205,000 displaced persons from Europe to immigrate to the United States during the ensuing two years. The bill, expected to be adopted also by the Senate, would go into effect in the fall.

The Mundt-Nixon bill was apparently dead in the Senate, along with the margarine tax elimination bill and the tidelands oil bill to give title to the states. The Federal aid to education bill appeared dead in the House. The entire civil rights program proposed by the President also appeared dead.

The bills on displaced persons, a Federal employee pay raise, the foreign aid appropriations bill, the farm bill to provide long-term price supports, the draft bill, and the Taft-Ellender-Wagner housing bill, sans the slum clearance and public housing provisions eliminated in the House, all appeared likely to pass in one form or another by the time of the convention recess at the end of business on Saturday.

In Philadelphia, black leaders, including NAACP national executive secretary Walter White, asserting that the Republicans had not kept their pledges put forth in the strong civil rights plank of the 1944 platform, demanded a strong plank in the 1948 platform. The Republicans appeared to favor having planks supporting legislation against the poll tax, an anti-lynching law, and for fair employment, as the GOP had in 1944.

Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., chairman of the resolutions committee which would write the platform, promised the "most international program" in history.

The RNC voted to seat a delegation from Georgia which backed Governor Dewey, over a delegation backing Senator Taft.

Government efforts to avoid a coal strike had reached an impasse. No strike would occur before July 6, following a ten-day industry-wide annual vacation.

Near Everett, Wash., a former Oklahoma farmer, who had arrived with his family from Tulsa a week earlier, led Sheriff's deputies to the bludgeoned body of his wife and battered but still alive four-year old daughter on a cliff where he had left them after the beatings to which he confessed. He said that he and his wife had quarreled over his desire for a divorce and that she had been "crabby". He picked up a large rock as they walked along a path to the cliff and began hitting her. The child, who had remained in the car, began screaming and the father said that he became confused and hit her also. He then pushed both over the cliff, thinking both were dead. The little girl was found with a deep gash in her head, whimpering a few feet from a ledge which fell off 50 feet.

In Rock Hill, S.C., police still held the principal suspect in the murder of the fuel oil company owner who had been killed in his warehouse during the weekend of June 6. The man, a driver and salesman for the company, was not yet charged. A coroner's jury hearing was scheduled.

President Truman returned to Washington, arriving shortly before noon, after his 15-day cross-country train tour, still attacking Congress and promising more vetoes among the 150 bills awaiting his signature or rejection. He was looking forward to "more vetoing". He appeared fresh and in a jaunty mood. When asked by photographers to pose, he smiled broadly and held aloft a sign which read, "Quiet—pressmen asleep."

On the editorial page, "What Is Our Foreign Policy?" reminds that the Republicans called the tune on the bipartisan foreign policy by virtue of their majority in Congress. With the prospect of adding to it the White House, they were moving more boldly in recent days, as evidenced by the passage of the one-year extension of the Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act rather than the three-year extension urged by the Administration on the premise that a three-year commitment was necessary to assure foreign countries of continued open trade policy.

The limitation suggested a reversal of that fourteen-year policy inaugurated by Secretary of State Hull in 1934. Senator Eugene Millikin of Colorado had stated in debate that the new administration of 1949 should not be bound by a longer term commitment. Thus, it appeared likely that a Republican Congress would void the Act completely or at least severely limit it under a Republican President a year hence, the contentions of Senator Vandenberg to the contrary notwithstanding.

The piece thinks that the stratagem might sufficiently deceive enough voters to vote for the party of high tariffs, protectionism, and isolationism, the recipe which had led to Depression and World War II.

The Congress had also pared down ERP and refused a four-year commitment to same, indicative of reversals to come the following year on that program as well.

Meanwhile, the Congress was gung-ho for air power and preparations for atomic warfare. Thus, the build-up of defense and the reduction of international economic cooperation appeared signal of GOP efforts. It would become difficult for the European allies to stand against Communism under such conditions and questionable whether they would even make the attempt. The changes suggested what the Republicans intended by saying that they would be more forceful than the Democrats in handling Russia.

"After Election Comes the Draft" finds the Republican amendment to the draft bill to delay registration until January 31 to be a political maneuver to avoid the impact of the draft until after the election. It could be justified otherwise only by a showing that the international situation had recently eased, when it had in fact only intensified.

The Congress had recognized the emergency by pushing through the 70-group Air Force, over the objection of the President and Secretary of Defense Forrestal. The move would require expansion of the military generally to keep the services in balance.

The stalling of the draft for political advantage could not help the image of America abroad or induce higher morale at home.

"An Excuse for Congress" finds President Truman being unfair in criticizing Congress, in the heat of unnatural action before the convention recess, while he enjoyed the countryside.

In Somerset, England, a strawberry roan heifer tried to climb a 172-step circular stairway in the Curry Rivel monument to get away, until its owner's boys led it back down again.

In Newport News, Va., a ferry boat captain guided the boat off course in crossing Hampton Roads, scaring the passengers. He was fined $10 for going off course. But he would probably sleep better for the deviation.

A year earlier, a Brooklyn bus driver—actually Bronxian—had suddenly taken off for Florida in his bus.

So, it concludes, it was not fair for the President to want to hold the Congress unnaturally in Washington in the heat of early summer when everyone, man or animal, wanted to get away.

Drew Pearson looks at the candidacy of former Minnesota Governor Harold Stassen, thinks that no matter the outcome of the convention, he had performed probably a service for the GOP. For he had forced the other candidates to declare positions and debate the issues. His campaign chest, once flush, was now running a $100,000 deficit. The big-money contributors had stopped giving after his Oregon loss to Governor Dewey as they wanted to back a winner.

The debate with Mr. Dewey in Oregon may have been the turning point in the race. Mr. Stassen was an acknowledged adept at the art of debating and so the odds seemed in his favor. But Mr. Dewey proved his better when the topic was outlawing Communism, that which Mr. Stassen felt safe in approving. Governor Dewey labeled it thought-control and the public responded with approbation.

Against him, Mr. Stassen was young, at 41. The party bosses could not control him and thus would not back him. And he had a liberal background, even if more recently colored by conservatism. The latter suggested that he was kowtowing to the businessmen who had backed him. He was no longer advocating high taxes on the wealthy, strong antitrust prosecution and voicing opposition to Taft-Hartley, as he had a year and more earlier.

He had taken a stand, however, on almost every major issue, even on whether public school buses should transport Catholic parochial school children, as approved by the Supreme Court, resulting in Baptist criticism of him for supposed violation of separation doctrine.

His grandparents were immigrants from Norway and Czechoslovakia and he had worked odd jobs coming of age. In his first race for Governor, he had defeated both the progressive-populist Farmer-Labor candidate and the Old Guard Republican machine, receiving support from both AFL and CIO. He had done a good job as a delegate to the U.N. Charter Conference in spring, 1945, proving himself a better statesman than Senator Vandenberg by battling against the unilateral Security Council veto of the Big Five, that which had come back to haunt East-West cooperation since.

He had conferred with Prime Ministers Clement Attlee, Josef Stalin, Foreign Commissar V. M. Molotov, and other world leaders, so had good preparation for the White House.

Mr. Pearson thinks that he would likely wind up the vice-presidential candidate because of the opposition of the party bosses to his place at the top of the ticket.

Arthur Krock of the New York Times discusses the dictatorial authority of the House Rules Committee, able to bottle up legislation and hold it from a floor vote. The Reorganization Act of 1946 had sought to change this power, but it was opposed by two members so fiercely that to achieve other reforms, it had to be abandoned.

Recently, the Committee had sought to hold the draft legislation from the floor.

He traces the history of the Committee from the Founding, originally intended to manage legislation at the will of the majority but abused as time went on.

It was necessary to control legislation because of the logjam inevitably which would otherwise arise toward the end of each session. But both parties had abused the power when in the majority. The Rules Committee therefore still needed restriction.

Joseph Alsop tells of a setback having occurred among the backers of Senator Arthur Vandenberg for the Republican presidential nomination for the fact that he refused to promote his own candidacy. It meant that he was not obligated to his own backers. Other candidates had warned that Senator Vandenberg might not accept a draft nomination and that even if he did, he would not recognize political debts to those who backed him.

Governor Driscoll of New Jersey had gone so far as to demand recognition from the Senator that his backing was not for naught. The answer from Senator Vandenberg was that he was not a candidate. Almost immediately, he and Governor Duff of Pennsylvania told other backers that they might withdraw their support. Governor Driscoll was expected to join the Dewey camp, but Governor Duff did not like Mr. Dewey and would likely defect to Senator Taft.

If that division transpired, a convention deadlock was inevitable, giving Senator Vandenberg the only chance he would ever have for the nomination. And he was available for a draft and would accept if nominated.

He had, however, provided his good opinion openly of Governor Dewey and thus was not part of a stop-Dewey movement. Governor Dewey had a good chance to be nominated on an early ballot. But if not, the forces favoring him and Governors Stassen and Warren could switch to Senator Vandenberg, a source of unity to this progressive wing before any other dark horse.

Samuel Grafton likens the coming Republican convention to the center of a whirlpool where all is quiet as the roiling waters of the world twirl furiously about. The Republicans were able to luxuriate in the old-fashioned convention of politics. In this insulated "age of innocence" no one would complain of high prices or that the people were being hurt by them. No one would express fears that war could follow a policy of heavy armaments. All would be security within the carefully orchestrated ring of the convention. No liberal would rise to argue against the security thus adduced. It would be so filtered, he ventures, as to make other forms of air conditioning seem crude.

The atmosphere would be so atypical of the world of the present that it could not signal "the real weather". Rather it came from the residual feelings left by the death of FDR, the large arms budget which greased the economy, a new pressure against unorthodox thinking, and other elements of that type.

It would be a place where whatever decision was reached, a certainty would prevail that it was absolutely right and safe.

A letter from defeated Republican Congressional candidate P. C. Burkholder thanks the voters for supporting him in the losing effort to Roy Harman in the recent Republican primary. He says that Mr. Harman was honorable and qualified.

Where's the buttermilk?

A letter writer thanks the newspaper for its June 2 editorial, "Notes for a Letter to Stalin", says that he would send a copy to Drew Pearson, on whose open letter to the Russian Prime Minister the editorial had commented.

Framed Edition
[Return to Links
Page by Subject] [Return to Links-Page by Date] [Return to News<i><i><i>--</i></i></i>Framed Edition]
Links-Date -- Links-Subj.