The Charlotte News

Tuesday, June 29, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the Berlin City Council appealed to the U.N. for intervention in the Berlin blockade crisis caused by Russia. The State Department agreed that the U.N. might take an active role if the situation deteriorated. The Communist-controlled Socialist Unity Party told the City Council that it would oppose any appeal to the U.N. as "useless and without results", favoring settlement in the four-power Allied Control Council.

The RAF joined the U.S. Air Force in the airlift to supply food to the blockaded city, with four to five weeks of food stores on hand.

Governor Dewey, by acclamation virtually the president-elect, consulted with his foreign policy adviser, Secretary of State-designate John Foster Dulles, regarding the Berlin crisis and told a press conference that the situation was grave but that there were more serious matters during the war, that the possibilities of war over the matter should not even be considered. He also stated that he wanted to see more details before commenting on the Cominform split with Yugoslavia and Marshal Tito, saying he was dubious of the actual dissension any time such reports arose out of the Communist bloc nations. The press conference was held on Mr. Dewey's 300-acre farm with Governor Warren, both coatless.

An American diplomatic source in Rome stated that Russia might be building a case for sending troops into Yugoslavia, based on the Cominform announcement of the previous day. Yugoslavia denied that martial law had been imposed. A statement from Marshal Tito was expected this afternoon in reply to the Cominform denunciation of his Government as having become anti-Soviet.

Syria claimed that a U.S. ship on truce patrol intervened in an Arab-Israeli battle at Al Birwa in Palestine. An American embassy representative countered with proofs that the ship could not have shelled the Arab positions. Captains of the observation vessels were said to be under strict orders not to fire on, board or search vessels. A high Arab source said that if peace was not effected by the end of the four-week truce on July 9, the Arabs would resume war while continuing to participate in the peace talks on Rhodes in Greece with U.N. mediator Count Folke Bernadotte. Certain peace proposals submitted by Count Bernadotte the previous day, said the source, might lead to extension of the talks beyond July 9.

In Haifa, it was reported that as the British prepared for final departure from Palestine, three tanks were driven away in full view of British guards, the tanks believed to be operated by British deserters bound for joining the Israeli Army. One tank was later found abandoned with a damaged gearshift. The British were destroying the munitions to be left behind. The exact time of their final departure was maintained in secret.

A strike of dock workers in London ended after 2,000 soldiers were ordered in by the Government to break up the strike, pursuant to an emergency provision of a 1920 law used only once previously, to break up a general strike in 1926. The strike had left unloaded 232 ships with food and vital supplies for London.

In Fukui, Japan, as many as 2,500 persons were expected to be found dead or injured from the earthquake of the previous day, believed epicentered in the city. It was estimated by an American commander that there were probably 300 dead. Two hundred children had been crushed when a theater collapsed. The city of 85,000 appeared to some observers as if it had been leveled by an atom bomb. It had been heavily damaged by B-29's during the war.

The President signed a bill setting up a retirement system for military reservists, allowing retirement at age 60 if membership in the reserve had been maintained for twenty years, with those presently in the reserve required to have active duty in one of the world wars to qualify. The limit of pay was 75 percent of active duty pay drawn by the recipient.

Elliott Roosevelt and other prominent Democrats again urged the drafting of General Eisenhower as the Democratic nominee for the presidency.

In Kentucky, the UMW urged support of Senate Minority Leader Alben Barkley of Kentucky for the presidency. He would become the vice-presidential nominee.

DNC chairman Senator Howard McGrath stated that he expected no trouble at the convention from the Southern delegates. Fifteen Southern governors had already announced that they would meet the day before the convention for an anti-Truman caucus.

In York, S.C., a coroner's jury found that an employee of a South Carolina businessman, killed during the weekend of June 6 by one gunshot wound to the back and whose body was found in a creek inside a wooden crate, was the responsible agent for the death. The employee was then arrested on the morning of this date and charged with the murder. The primary evidence thus far presented appeared to be that the shooting occurred at the businessman's warehouse, that the crate had come from the warehouse, and that, according to a witness, two days prior to the killing, the deceased had been checking on the sales receipts of the accused. The accused had been in custody for several days pending the coroner's jury determination. A grand jury would consider the matter on July 12.

On the editorial page, "Research Promotes the South" tells of an address in Charlotte by the head of the Alabama Power Company, in which he said that industrial growth in the South would largely depend on greater investment by Southern business in scientific and technical research. He also headed the Southern Research Institute which was performing under contract scientific and technical research beneficial to the whole South. The advisers to the Institute included many prominent businessmen of North and South Carolina. One of its projects was to investigate wood waste utilization. Another was developing new food products from Southern crops, extending the use of the peanut and the like.

"Churchill Fans Flames" finds Winston Churchill's statement on Sunday that a third world war was not likely preventable to be inappropriate, that the American people were not going to be scared into such a war by the British, any more than the U.S. would be scared out of Berlin by the threat of war with the Russians. Mr. Churchill's exhortation that Americans show more spunk would be seen as urging America into a war with Russia.

The Russians did not want war. The U.S. had to face the situation coolly with that thought uppermost in mind, being careful not to undertake actions which would initiate war. The threat of German starvation as a pawn to force the West from Berlin was idle bluff as the Russians knew that the Germans would turn on them in such a campaign. Their best hope was to panic the Americans and force a misstep.

Such a tactic appeared to be working in high conservative circles in Britain and Mr. Churchill appeared to forget that his urging of a get-tough attitude toward Russia in 1946 had been supposed to keep the West out of war, not cause one.

"Revolt Confronts Dixiecrats" finds opposition to the President among Southerners weakening, with the Dixiecrats beating a hasty retreat. The main effect of the party revolt would be that a GOP administration would be elected and then enact the civil rights program promulgated by the President and vehemently opposed by the Dixiecrats. But the Republican plank on civil rights was not as strong or explicit as the 1944 plank and so some Dixeicrats might take solace in that fact.

As Governor of New York, however, Thomas Dewey had introduced a State Fair Employment Practices Commission which had stimulated agitation for a Federal FEPC. So Ralph McGill of the Atlanta Constitution had written astutely that a civil rights program would likely be put forward under a Dewey administration.

Even if the Dixiecrats eventually adhered to party fealty, their attacks on the President had weakened his chances for success in the election. They appeared therefore to have pulled the bonehead play of the year insofar as forwarding their agenda of states rights.

Drew Pearson writes an open letter to his daughter regarding the Republican convention of the previous week and how it might affect his grandson one day, as much as had the signing of the Declaration of Independence nearby in 1776. The convention, he says, had nominated two good men amid free and open competition, in contrast to the Democrats and the dog-in-the-manger President.

Mrs. Pearson was disappointed that Senator Taft was not the nominee, and he agrees that the Senator had spunk, courage, and honesty. But Mr. Taft, along with most of the convention speakers, had forgotten that the country had entered the atomic age, that the Russians were trying to push the West out of Berlin, and that the President had just signed into law the first peacetime draft in the history of the country. Thus, the country faced the prospect of war yet again, something the Republicans generally had overlooked for the fact of the isolationists in the party.

Bertie McCormick, publisher of the Chicago Tribune and a Taft supporter, had walked out of the convention rather than vote for Governor Dewey. Though the convention defeated the isolationists, the tenor of the convention was not forward-looking. Most of the speakers spent their time criticizing FDR and the New Deal. It appeared that they believed the American people would agree to repeal of the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Wage-Hours Act, the AAA, soil erosion legislation, the Holding Corporation Act, the Social Security Act, rural electrification or the TVA. They behaved as if Mr. Dewey had not supported these programs himself as Governor of New York, that Governor Warren had not done likewise in California.

He ventures that Americans were after security, from war abroad and from inflation at home. They wanted the freedom to send their children to good schools, have a living wage, and freedom from want in old age. But the GOP in Congress had made those goals difficult to achieve either through legislation helping the wealthy as with the tax break or frustrating passage of legislation such as Federal aid to education, raising the minimum wage, and construction of public housing.

He says that he was certain, however, that Governor Dewey and Governor Warren would not neglect those vital programs. But their greatest handicap would be the GOP Congress.

He adds the P.S. that on page 115 of the Life issue of this week, a picture had appeared of Cinder, the kitten his daughter once had at school, which had since adopted Mr. Pearson.

James Marlow looks at the Berlin crisis, explaining the background leading to it and its importance to the future of all Europe given the centrality of the German economy and its recovery to the welfare of Europe. The Russian strategy of cutting off food supplies to Berliners was aimed at forcing the Western powers out of the city and enticing Germans to turn toward Russia for help and away from the West.

France reportedly was willing to talk to Russia about settlement of the crisis, but the British and Americans had firmly indicated that they would not leave Berlin. If the Russians could use the crisis to drive a wedge between France and the other two Western powers, they would accomplish great damage.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop discuss the Berlin crisis, find that within three weeks the population would begin starving, prompting then the Western powers to have to decide whether to leave Berlin or find a way to force the Soviets to lift the blockade. The Soviets were determined to push the Western powers out. No final decision had been made by the three Western powers on a contingency plan in the event the blockade continued.

The deficit to the Russian plan was that they were relying on appeals to nationalism among the German people, when starving peoples normally did not respond well to those responsible for the starvation. The Western powers thus wanted to exploit this weakness as much as possible.

Railway cars and trucks filled with food would be brought to the borders of the Russian sector, a few hours out of Berlin. Every effort would be made to get the supplies to the Berliners, but if they could not be delivered, then at least the residents of the city would know that it was exclusively the fault of the Russians.

If the decision were made to leave Berlin to save the population from starvation, then Russia might be forced out of the U.N. for breach of the treaties formed at Potsdam in July, 1945 regarding the four-power arrangement in Berlin. The Germans who had fought the Communists might be flown out of Berlin to the Western sectors in the event of evacuation of the West. But that plan would still appear as appeasement. The alternative would be utilization of force. Yet the question remained as to how force could be applied to re-open the supply routes, mindful of the attendant risk of starting a war.

The answer to these questions would require sober thought on the part of the Western powers.

Marquis Childs, in Philadelphia, believes that Thomas Dewey would conduct his campaign without mentioning President Truman, that if he did so at all, it would be with a tone of sorrow rather than anger. His selection of Governor Warren as the vice-presidential candidate had telegraphed his approach to the campaign.

To have selected as his running mate House Majority Leader Charles Halleck, who claimed that he was promised the nomination, would have been disastrous to Mr. Dewey's chances. Mr. Halleck had been responsible for blocking much legislation in Congress vital to the people, such as farm and housing legislation.

Senator John W. Bricker, the 1944 vice-presidential nominee, would likewise have been disastrous for similar reasons. Mr. Bricker had devoted most of his nominating speech of Senator Taft to the fear of Communism, which included anyone slightly to the left of Senator Bricker.

Governor Warren was a different type of politician, meeting the rural and urban problems of California with energy and progressive programs. His nomination was a reminder that the Republican Party had in it progressives as Senator Wayne Morse of Oregon, in contradistinction to the backward-looking Senators Harry Cain of Washington, George Malone of Nevada, and Henry Dvorshak of Idaho. Governor Warren was a shrewd politician as well, having declined the 1944 nomination for the second spot because of the war and the presence of FDR virtually assuring defeat of the ticket.

A Quote of the Day from Dr. John W. Corbett, veteran physician of Camden, S.C., who favored any Republican candidate other than Governor Dewey, advocates a return to the code duello in lieu of campaigns: "We ought to have duels now. You would not hear of candidates for office calling each other liars. We did not have it years ago. The duel would make gentlemen out of hoosiers." —Columbia (S.C.) Record

The Franklin (N.C.) Press, in contrast, favors a return to the concept of "We, the people", extended to the world population.


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