The Charlotte News

Thursday, July 1, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the Russians had quit the Berlin City Government, the Kommandatura, and thus ended the last functioning four-power governing body in Germany.

The Falcon Futura would, however, make its debut in model year 1961.

The three Western powers had offered to the West German state leaders their own government under their own constitution which they stated should be drawn up by September 1 for ratification by the end of the year. They were offered an "occupation statute" in lieu of a treaty, providing to them the same powers of any sovereign state save the ability to act on foreign affairs. The leaders of the eleven Western German states were considering the proposal.

The Arab League announced that it had determined to reject the U.N. proposal to the Palestinian problem. U.N. mediator Count Folke Bernadotte had proposed that the Arab portion of Palestine, as determined by the November 29 partition line, would be annexed to Trans-Jordan as a dependent to be partially under U.N. jurisdiction. The League saw it as requiring Trans-Jordan to yield part of its sovereignty. It said that Trans-Jordan's only goal in Palestine was to prevent a Jewish state, not to acquire territory. Israel was also considering the proposal.

The Communists and soldiers of Yugoslavia rallied around Marshal Tito and his defiant stance to the Cominform criticism for being too cozy with the West and anti-Russian. Tito arrived in Belgrade to admiring crowds shouting his name.

John Boettiger, former Phoenix newspaper publisher and husband of the former Anna Roosevelt, daughter of the late President, had just returned from a trip behind the iron curtain, saying that he saw no signs of preparation for war in the Russian-satellite nations. Steel plants in Poland, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia, he said, were producing full bore but only agricultural implements and steel rails.

President Truman signed the housing bill passed by Congress at the eleventh hour before the June 19 recess, while criticizing it for stripping the public housing and slum clearance provisions, saying it was "practically nothing". Among other things, it gave authority to the RFC to purchase GI home mortgages up to $10,000 each. He said that the final bill provided no long-term housing relief.

The Federal Government asked the Federal District Court to make permanent the temporary injunction forbidding a strike by the three railroad unions still not forming a contract with the railroads, which had resulted in Government seizure of the roads on May 10 pursuant to the Railway Act.

International Harvester settled a lengthy wage dispute with the United Farm Equipment Workers of the CIO, 48 hours after a strike had begun. The new contract provided for eleven cents more per hour.

In Pittston, Pa., a 76-year old veteran of the Spanish-American war became a father of a child born to his 34-year old wife.

In Bassfield, Miss., grasshoppers were eating their way through cotton and cornfields, had been so doing for two days. Farmers had resorted to a mixture of arsenic, wheat bran and sawdust to combat the menace. At least ten localities had been laid to waste thus far.

The President predicted victory over the Dewey-Warren ticket and said, in answer to a press question, that Eleanor Roosevelt would be completely acceptable to him as a vice-presidential running mate, qualifying it by asking what the reporter would expect him to say. Clare Boothe Luce had suggested that selection of Mrs. Roosevelt as the running mate presented the only possibility for victory by the Democrats. The President said that the running mate was entirely up to the convention. He responded to a question whether General Eisenhower would be an acceptable running mate by suggesting that the question should be put instead to the General.

Mrs. Roosevelt stated through a spokesman that she had no intention of running for public office.

As usual, Ms. Luce's clairvoyance, conveyed with a dash of cryptic opacity, not entirely translucent or of this world, proved itself the equivalent of the Nine Worthies.

Governor Earl Warren flew home to California to take over State Government duties from Lieutenant Governor Goodwin Knight, who had fallen ill. He had been transacting business in the Governor's absence, a requirement of state law. Mr. Knight, incidentally, would become Governor in 1953 after Governor Warren, elected to a third term in 1950, would be appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

On page 16-A, Elmo Roper's poll for Fortune Magazine showed that if the election were held this date, Governor Dewey would defeat the President. General Eisenhower, if he were the Democratic nominee, however, would defeat Governor Dewey.

So, the simple solution is obvious. But the stubborn, crazy man in the White House from Independence would continue to lead his party to utter and complete ignominious defeat and final disintegration.

On the editorial page, "Could Dewey Handle Russia?" finds Elmo Roper's analysis of the Fortune poll on the Dewey-Truman race, insofar as he stated that Mr. Dewey could "handle Russia" to be astonishing. There was no evidence to support such a notion. He stood committed to the bipartisan foreign policy which had done little to ease East-West tensions. He had only stated that he would divert more money to aid of Chiang's China and would be firmer with Rooskie Russia.

When asked, however, about the Berlin blockade crisis and its potential to cause war, he had responded at a press conference only that the country should not consider such possibilities, wise but inconsistent with his rhetoric of force. The statement's tone was consistent nevertheless with that of the convention speech in which he sounded bipartisan cooperation on foreign policy.

The former claims to toughness had attracted support from some elements of the GOP while the latter tones would attract many moderate supporters. The change of stance did not necessarily mean that Mr. Dewey could not handle Russia but did indicate that he would not be so tough as his former campaign statements suggested.

"A Hope for Downtown Drivers" favors the off-street parking plan being studied by the City Planning Commission to relieve congestion on city streets caused in part by on-street parking, along with other nefarious activities.

"Childish Behavior by Leftists" tells of a student protest by some Communists at Chapel Hill of the Carolina Theater's showing of "The Iron Curtain", an anti-Russian film based on the 1946 Canadian Government espionage case. It mimicked a protest by Henry Wallace supporters of the film in New York, after which a fight occurred. But the Chapel Hill incident elicited no such pugnacious reaction, only a reported threat by conservative patrons of the film that they would "work over" the protesters, a threat which never materialized.

The piece thinks that if that was the best example Chapel Hill could produce of a conservative versus leftist struggle, then those who claimed a menace by the Pinks and Reds of Chapel Hill could cease to worry.

Well, these were the summer school students in need of remedial training, the wilting violets of the organization. The real deal, those attendees of the University during the school year, the genuine Red meat of the crowd, would have had a melee going in a hot minute—a little shoving, a soft drink thrown in the face of the opposition, some appropriate billingsgate, Goobers tossed in a perfect shot at the backs of their heads, and it would have made the Saturday football games in the fall, the occasional basketball brawls with Duke, appear as patty-cake contests for sissies.

"It's Easier to Ride a Bus" reports of the subway riders in New York having to endure the doubling of the nickel fare to a dime. The person beset with cost of living increases as it was and having to struggle to make ends meet would wonder how they could match the sudden increase and continue to ride, whether to go on the bum. It gives thanks therefore for the seven-cent bus fare.

Too bad it was anent the I.R.T. and not the Boston fare increase on the M.T.A.

Drew Pearson tells of the U.S. Attorney for Dallas having branded Mr. Pearson a "liar" for his previous column asserting that about 150 cases of fraud against veterans in housing had been uncovered by the Justice Department in the Dallas-Fort Worth area without a single indictment having been brought. Nevertheless, Attorney General Tom Clark had initiated an investigation and a special grand jury had been convened to look into the matter. The V.A. had admitted that the 150 cases were pending. The cases involved the allegation of requiring side payments of $2,500 by veterans over the limit chargeable under the G.I. Bill to obtain home loans. Deference reportedly had been shown by the U.S. Attorney to accused members of the Dallas Builders Association because they were prominent citizens. Cases had been delayed by as much as 18 months.

French veterans of the war were planning a Train of Gratitude in reply to the Friendship Train of food and supplies from America the previous November-December, the brainchild of Mr. Pearson. The French veterans, who were also railway men, conceived the idea to send 48 cars, one for each state, to America as a souvenir of the venture. The French National Railways had authorized the shipment of the cars and the French Line agreed to ship them to America for free. The veterans wanted to load the cars with gifts consisting of traditionally French non-luxury items, some of which he lists.

Marquis Childs discusses the dilemma of the President in whether to sign the interim bill passed by Congress re the Atomic Energy Commission, to amend the original legislation, which provided that the commissioners would be reappointed after their initial one-year terms to staggered terms of one to five years, to make them all two-year terms. The alternative of the President was to make interim recess appointments for six months until January and thus compromise the effectiveness of the all-important AEC at a critical time.

The President had sought reappointment of all commissioners, but Senator Taft had vowed to fight the reappointment of David Lilienthal as chairman. The compromise plan was the amendment, as championed by Senators Vandenberg and Bourke Hickenlooper to avoid the direct fight on the re-nominations.

The President would probably accept the compromise measure and sign it.

It was part of the same ball of wax undermining confidence in the Government which the loyalty tests had caused, reportedly eliminating a few scientists from Government employment on the basis of flimsy evidence of questionable associations. And HUAC had demanded the file of the confidential loyalty investigation of Dr. Edward Condon, head of the Bureau of Standards, on the basis that he had supposedly associated with a Soviet agent and was thus the primary atomic security risk in the Government, notwithstanding his clearance by the FBI. Yet he was never given the opportunity to appear and respond to the charges.

The Congressional Quarterly examines the lack of congruity between the Republican platform and the performance of the 80th Congress. The Republicans could claim a reversal of foreign policy from the brand of isolationist-nationalist sentiment championed by House Majority Leader Charles Halleck. But on housing, social security other domestic legislation, they would have a tougher time responding to Democratic arguments that they would not depart from the record of inaction established by the Republican Congress.

The basis for the Republican victory in 1946 was different in many respects from the issues central to the platform of 1944, but many of the 1944 planks nevertheless remained similar to those of the 1948 platform.

You may peruse the platform summary for yourself. As the Republicans would lose the presidential race and control of both houses of Congress for the ensuing four years, it is merely academic to understand what the 1948 platform said, and essentially what it said has already been covered in the stories on the convention. Furthermore, virtually none of what the platform had in it would be achieved by the GOP Congress under President Eisenhower from 1953-55, not until the Democrats regained control of both chambers, some of which not until the 1960's and even the 1970's, such as the promulgation of an equal rights amendment for women, never ratified.

So, it was so much good advertising for a liberalized agenda which the Old Guard of the GOP never allowed to see the light of day.

It concludes that since Governors Dewey and Warren had supported both the internationalist plank and most of the social legislation planks, the candidates for Congress from the GOP would perhaps be the ones most placed on the spot by the discrepancies between inaction and the duplication of planks of the 1944 and 1948 platforms.

A letter writer questions whether Southern Democrats were properly a political party at all when they went to Washington nominally as Democrats only to vote with Republicans on many issues. Furthermore, they were usually elected by very small minorities of the population of potential voters, as little as 6 percent.

A letter writer questions the math of The News in figuring in its Monday front page article that Mecklenburg had helped the victory of Kerr Scott in the gubernatorial primary runoff election with Charles Johnson by providing Mr. Johnson with only a 358-vote margin of victory this time—compared to the 4,000-vote margin in the May 29 primary.

The editors respond with that latter explanation, the fact that the difference had been so minimized on this occasion.

A short excerpt of a piece from the Kingsport (Tenn.) Times: "The old judge is perfectly right in saying there is nothing necessarily evil in the human body or in sex. But all evil is the abuse of something that is in itself good. The judge's decision proves, not that there is no such thing as obscenity, but that 82 is beyond the age when a judge should be retired."

The argument, incidentally, does not apply to guns, inherently evil.

A Quote of the Day: "Good advice to a young man: Keep your eyes wide open before marriage and half shut afterwards." —Lamar (Mo.) Democrat

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