The Charlotte News

Saturday, June 26, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the military commander of the British zone of Germany, General Sir Brian Robertson, demanded that the Russians lift the land blockade which they had imposed on traffic from the West to Berlin. Saying that the measure was unrelated to currency restrictions, he added that the Russians would be responsible for the suffering of the German people consequent of the move. He said that the British would remain in Berlin, dovetailing the previous day's statement of General Lucius Clay, military governor of the American zone.

The Russians had extended the food blockade from the Russian zone to brown coal, in addition to halting all freight shipments from the Western zones.

The U.S. began flying drugs into Berlin and announced plans to fly in condensed milk for German babies. The British were sending food barges, one of which had arrived with 300 tons of grain and flour.

In Israel, the Israeli Government was provided approval by the U.N. to push a convoy through Egyptian resistance and, pursuant thereto, had directed the Israeli general staff to take "suitable" action. The convoy, bound for the Negeb, had been stopped by the Egyptians the previous day. An Egyptian pilot also shot at a white U.N. truce-commission plane piloted by an American. U.N. mediator Count Folke Bernadotte protested both incidents. The Egyptians initially explained that they did not think that stopping the convoy was a truce violation and that the pilot shot at the plane thinking it an enemy plane.

Secretary of the Army Kenneth Royall said that eighteen fully armed and trained mobile striking force divisions, six of which would be National Guard, were planned for the Army by the end of 1949. The twelve regular divisions would double the present mobile force. Half would remain stateside. The only domestic division presently near full strength was the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, N.C. Divisions at Fort Lewis, Wash., Camp Hood, Tex., and Fort Benning, Ga., would be brought to full strength. A new division would be created at Camp Campbell, Ky., and a new airborne division would be created at a location yet to be determined.

In Greece, a heavy guerrilla attack destroyed a main supply road for the Greek Army troops between Elasson and Kozane. Sixteen guerrillas had been killed as the Army lost 11 killed and 20 wounded or missing. Fighting also continued around Nestorion where 31 guerrillas had been killed and 20 taken prisoner.

In Rome, a Communist-directed food workers' strike began, with 250,000 leaving their jobs. Notwithstanding, most commercial stores and markets remained open. The workers made spaghetti, flour, bread, ice, pastries, dried and condensed milk and packaged foods.

William Green, president of the AF of L said that his labor organization would not support the Dewey-Warren Republican ticket in November. The organization had never supported any presidential candidate except Robert La Follette in 1924. He made no commitment of support for President Truman.

The Teamsters stated that they might not go along with the opposition to the Dewey-Warren ticket.

Agreements reached the previous day in the steel, coal, and electrical industries gave wage boosts to workers. Alcoa and Westinghouse agreed to raise wages, the former ten to eighteen cents and the latter, nine to sixteen cents, following the coal settlement in which a dollar per day increase was allowed, resulting in an estimated hike in price of from 75 cents to a dollar per ton of coal. There was still no settlement, however, in the captive coal mines, owned by the steel companies.

In Louisville, Ky., an estimated 20 persons were injured when 23 gasoline storage tanks exploded between 1:20 and 4:00 a.m. at the Aetna Oil Company plant, sending flames 300 feet into the air. The cause was as yet undetermined.

In New York, city sanitation workers were digging through twenty tons of garbage on a scow looking for 1.5 million dollars worth of reported narcotics in a 45-pound package. Six persons were being held on narcotics smuggling charges, the drugs allegedly having been brought in from the Orient by way of Italy.

In Los Angeles, a woman was granted a divorce because her husband drank too much coffee, 15 to 20 cups per morning.

He was probably a high tension wire-puller.

Governor Dewey predicted victory in November following the end of the Republican convention the previous day with the nomination and approval by acclamation of Governor Earl Warren as the vice-presidential candidate. Representative Hugh Scott of Pennsylvania became the RNC chairman following his selection by Governor Dewey for the position, succeeding Carroll Reece of Tennessee, a supporter of Senator Taft for the nomination.

In the North Carolina gubernatorial run-off primary election between Kerr Scott and Charles Johnson, voting appeared light compared to the regular primary of May 29, with expected turnout at 350,000 compared to 423,000 at the earlier election, in which Mr. Johnson had come out on top by 9,000 votes, but without a majority. One Congressional race run-off was being held in Lumberton as well.

Emery Wister of The News tells of the sweltering heatwave in Charlotte, in the nineties for the fourth straight day. A new record high appeared to have been set for this date, breaking the previous record of 97.8 degrees set in 1914. The airport weather station had recorded 98 degrees at 1:10 p.m., with an expected high of 100. Humidity was relatively low at 37 percent.

Surf's up. Wear your sweaters, grease the sleds, and bundle knitly.

The previous night was the hottest since August 15, 1943. Mr. Wister does not impart what occurred to make it so on either occasion. The first time could have been the result of General Patton's tirade against the Army Private in Sicily. This time, it may have had something to do with penguins.

On the editorial page, "Stalin Ignores GOP Warnings" finds the convention speeches issuing warnings to Russia that further expansion in Europe would not be tolerated. Meanwhile, the Russians continued during the week their campaign to oust the West from Berlin.

The Russians were taking the calculated risk that the presidential campaign would allow them to take bold steps with impunity, as neither party would be eager to undertake a retaliatory move which could lead to war prior to the election in November.

The Russians had met in Warsaw with representatives of the six Eastern European satellites to discuss creation of Eastern Germany, to counteract the establishment of Western Germany by the U.S. and the five Western European countries, France, Britain, and the Benelux nations. The Russians wanted to upset ERP. While the conference had ended in Warsaw with a declaration that the nations wanted to try again to agree with the allies regarding a united Germany, the plan for Eastern Germany was still being considered. It was possible that this statement was only for propaganda purposes, to convince the Germans that the Russians wanted unity and that separation was being forced by the Western nations.

The Republicans appeared to accept the Russian gains thus far, but also drew a line, such that no further gains would be tolerated. In consequence, the Russians appeared to be trying to maximize their gains before the GOP would come into power in January.

The piece thinks that the Republicans, if they were to gain the White House, would cool their ardor after the election and engage in appeasement.

That would probably turn them in the public mind from warners to warreners.

"Dewey and Warren—A Good Team" finds the ticket of Governors Dewey and Warren, the latter desired as his running mate in 1944 by Governor Dewey, to have strengthened the opinion that Mr. Dewey was the ablest political strategist in the Republican Party.

Governor Warren would strengthen the ticket nationally for his progressive record in California and its large electoral vote, probably therefore to go into the Republican column. Moreover, it was a concession to the West, which had been grumbling about being neglected politically by both parties. Governor Dewey had also mollified the West with his extended tour of Oregon in advance of the primary there in May.

The ticket also was not identified with the struggle in Congress or the isolationist wing of the party, making it more difficult for the President to connect the ticket to the failures of the 80th Congress.

Governor Dewey's acceptance speech had the ring of the start of a crusade for amity and unity. He could find no better assistant in that cause than Governor Warren.

California would, incidentally, go to President Truman by 18,000 votes, the difference probably attributable, ironically, to the third-party candidacy of Henry Wallace, siphoning off 190,000 votes, which, in the case of California, were probably more from the Dewey column than the Truman side of the ledger for the fact of the popularity of progressive Governor Warren in the state, among both Republicans and Democrats. But that is intuitive speculation, not subject to easy verification. In any event, the state's 25 electoral votes would not have swung the election. It would have taken at least thirteen more electoral votes, for instance, those of one or a combination of the Southern states which were carried by the President, voting instead for Strom Thurmond's Dixiecrat ticket, such as some combination of Arkansas, Georgia, Tennessee, or Virginia, to tilt the balance enough to deprive the President of the needed 266 majority electoral votes and thereby throw the election into the House of Representatives, controlled, of course, by the Republicans in 1948.

North Carolina, with 14 votes, could have made the difference in combination with California, but no self-respecting North Carolinian would have ever voted for the likes of Strom Thurmond.

The only other state carried by President Truman which might have been impacted by the Wallace vote was Ohio, decided by 7,000 votes, with Mr. Wallace polling 37,500 votes, but with more of those probably pulled from the President's ticket in that case than from Governor Dewey.

The President would have undoubtedly had a veritable electoral landslide had it not been for the Dixiecrats carrying four Southern states, inevitably taking 39 votes away from the President, as the Solid South in those days was traditionally presumed always to vote Democratic. As it was, with Governor Dewey winning only 189 electoral votes, it was not far from an electoral landslide.

"Bathing Beauties and Penguins" tells of Bishop John J. Swint of Wheeling, W. Va., assailing beauty contests as "pagan" and "immoral", as they stressed "nakedness", their sine qua non for their raison d'être.

But a judge in Cincinnati had found no violation of the law in the exhibition of pictures of scantily clad beauties, ruled that they were "of God's own children" and that there could be no obscenity in "God's own handiwork".

Some even viewed wearing clothes to be a cause of moral delinquency, as portrayed in a satire by Anatole France, Penquin Island, where the penguins lived happily in a state of nudity, unaware of the need for fig leaves, until someone got them to start wearing clothes, whereupon they began to think improper thoughts.

The piece thinks that the bathing beauty contests were quite alright and that there would be something wrong if they were abolished.

Soon, that incipient publication, Penguins' Playpen, will be on the shelves of your local bookstore in the "intellectual interests" section, should you wish to look into the matter more thoroughly.

A piece from the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, titled "The Return to Ruritania", tells of the population, displaced by the lure of high-paying war jobs, having begun to return to the farm, as 2.2 million more people lived on farms than at the end of the war. Farm wages had gone up and modernization had taken place, along with rural electrification, making it nearly as modern as suburbia.

High tension wires now abounded.

"The Editors' Roundtable", compiled by James Galloway of Asheville, examines editorial opinions on President Truman's recent spate of attacks on Congress during his cross-country tour. The Davenport (Tenn.) Times finds the attacks on Congress as the worst in U.S. history and the counterattacks by Congressmen that the President was the worst in U.S. history to be part of the American political tradition and not without truth on both sides. The Atlanta Constitution finds both the Congress and the President to have played politics on issues of vital importance, that both were the proverbial pots reflexively calling the kettles black. The Albuquerque (N.M.) Journal finds the dignity of both sides lost in the name-calling contest. The St. Paul Dispatch finds the President's reference to the Congress as the worst since Reconstruction to call up unnecessarily the specter of the Civil War, to remind the South that their quarrel on civil rights was as much with the Republicans as with the President. The Philadelphia Evening Bulletin finds the President dispelling the apathy of Democrats with his attacks on the Republican Congress. The Dayton Daily News suggests the President likely to gain from attacking the Congress, the weak spot of the Republicans. The Peoria (Ill.) Journal finds the Congress more recently than the President to have submitted itself to the will of the American people.

Drew Pearson tells of the Republicans having had a chance at the convention to erase mistakes made in the Congress, but failing to do so. The progressives had tried to get around the conservatives during the platform debate but the conservatives had won. The final version of the platform was a victory for reactionaries. One such plank was standing for giving the tidal oil lands to the states, contrary to the Supreme Court ruling that they belonged to the Federal Government. Senator Lodge had sought to have the plank read that the Republicans believed the tidelands should stay with the Federal Government as the Pacific coastline was vital for defense.

The power lobby had also worked on the platform and gotten rid of references to support of public power projects, limiting it to navigation and flood control purposes. Delegate Vernon Romney of Utah—first cousin to eventual Governor of Michigan George Romney and second cousin therefore to 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney—had waged an unsuccessful fight to restore the plank.

Federal housing was limited by the real estate interests to support contingent upon having the states spend the Federal money.

General MacArthur had sought to have Senator Vandenberg nominate him, as the Senator had been a major backer in 1944. Things had changed by 1948.

In 1944, the platform favored an independent Palestine. The 1948 platform greeted the new State of Israel but initially did not state anything about borders or support of the U.N. partition plan. As a result, Zionist leaders were angry, believing that Senator Vandenberg, who helped Senator Lodge draft the plank, had consulted the pro-Arabs of the State Department. After Governor Dewey and Senator Taft expressed support for a stronger plank and Senator Irving Ives of New York exhorted the committee to rewrite it, the plank expressed in the end support of U.N. partition of Palestine.

Marquis Childs, in Philadelphia, tells of the Republican convention having been anti-climactic, billed as an open convention in which several candidates could win, it turned out to be more of a carefully managed stage play. Those supporting Harold Stassen were especially disappointed, believed that something somewhat sinister had taken place. Yet, it was in the oldest tradition of American politics, with behind-the-scenes wire-pulling to put over the winning nominee. The bosses were of varying backgrounds but they always knew the political angles and how to work them.

Governor Dewey's managers were very efficient and able, cutting the chances for an upset to close to nothing. The requirement for an upset was a popular hero, such as William Jennings Bryan for the Democrats in 1896 or Wendell Willkie for the GOP in 1940, a person who could seize the moment, a rarity in American politics. Only Senator Vandenberg or Governor Stassen could have fit the bill, and Senator Vandenberg was not cut out for the role. Governor Stassen's chances faded after the loss to Mr. Dewey in Oregon, following which he participated in too many compromises to try to regain lost support.

Moreover, Republicans generally did not like taking chances, especially in a year where they believed they could win.

But the principal reason for the Dewey success was his able staff who had been working for this time for years. Mr Childs concludes that it was all incident to a normal political game, similar to poker.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop, in Philadelphia, also conclude that the secret of Governor Dewey's success was his political organization, of which he sat at the center, with Paul Lockwood as political secretary, Elliott Bell as brain-truster and speech writer, and James Haggerty, future press secretary to President Eisenhower, as public relations man. His promoters were lawyers Herbert Brownell, future Eisenhower Attorney General, Russell Sprague, and Ed Jaeckle. The chief fund raiser was Harold Talbott of Chrysler.

The team came to Philadelphia with more than 300 committed delegates of the 548 needed to nominate. To obtain the difference, they engaged in horse-trading for promised positions. The most important deal had occurred with Senator Edward Martin of Pennsylvania, who would receive a plum in a Dewey Administration. Likewise, Governors Bradford of Massachusetts and Driscoll of New Jersey should receive choice positions. Others would obtain diplomatic posts or departmental undersecretary positions.

The staff had produced rumors regularly during the process regarding new allies, breaks in delegations, and the like, manufacturing the news of the convention.

As President, Mr. Dewey would thus likely be competent, efficient, and ruthless.

A letter writer takes exception to an article appearing in the newspaper June 21 in which it was asserted by a Catholic priest that there was freedom of religion in Russian-dominated Poland for the first time in three centuries, finding Dr. Konstanty Najder, the subject of the article, to have been misrepresenting the situation, based on the experience in Poland of the letter writer's husband in 1928 and 1930 and that of her two Polish friends in Charlotte. She doubts Dr. Najder to be a priest.

A letter writer who describes herself as a Polish-American says that the foregoing letter was true.

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