The Charlotte News

Thursday, July 22, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the President viewed the prospects for world peace to be excellent following receipt of a report from General Lucius Clay, U.S. military occupation commander in Germany, during a meeting of the National Security Council. General Clay would hold a press conference the following day. The President endorsed the statement made the previous day by Secretary of State Marshall that the U.S. would not be intimidated into leaving Berlin and that all diplomatic efforts would be exhausted to reach a peaceful settlement.

In Belgrade, Marshal Tito accused the Cominform of trying to foment a civil war in Yugoslavia with its recent denunciation of Tito and the Yugoslav Communist Party for being nationalistic and anti-Soviet in orientation. Tito said that he had purged two anti-party persons in the Government. He said that he continued to desire the friendship of the Russian Communist Party.

In Paris, wartime Premier Paul Reynaud agreed to become the finance minister, and pre-war socialist Premier Leon Blum agreed to be the foreign minister, in the cabinet to be headed by moderate conservative Andre Marie of the Radical Socialist Party. That coalition would give M. Marie 102 of the necessary 309 National Assembly votes needed for confirmation.

Irving Potash of the CIO Furriers Joint Council surrendered to authorities in New York, becoming the ninth person to surrender of the twelve American Communist Party members indicted for allegedly having advocated the overthrow of the Government by violence. The other three men were expected to surrender soon. The Civil Rights Congress provided bail for all nine of those thus far arrested.

Ford Motor Company agreed to a 13-cent per hour pay raise plus fringe benefits to avert a strike with an uncertain start date, raising average pay to a little over $1.65 per hour. In May, G.M. had granted the demands of UAW for an eleven-cent per hour pay raise plus future advances based on the cost of living, and Chrysler had ended a 17-day strike a few days afterward by agreeing to a flat 13-cent per hour raise.

As the Progressive Party convention prepared to begin the following day in Philadelphia, Senator Glen Taylor, the party's vice-presidential candidate, told reporters that he would not renounce "pinks" in the party and that they were free to join. The Americans for Democratic Action had charged that the party was being taken over by Communists. Senator Taylor disagreed, saying that he believed that there were not many Red Communists backing Mr. Wallace, only "pink" Communists, those who believed in working through the democratic processes for change, by evolution rather than revolution. He predicted that the Reds would support Governor Dewey, as the best way to stimulate revolution was to have another Hoover depression.

The Progressive Party platform committee approved a plank to lower the voting age to 18 and to have sweeping civil rights legislation, including an anti-lynch law, anti-poll tax law, and creation of the FEPC, with a Presidential proclamation ending all discrimination in the armed services. It also favored abolition of HUAC.

Near Chester, S.C., approximately 30 police officers and State constables, along with an armed mob of 200, were pursuing a black man in the woods around Baldwin Station for allegedly making "indecent proposals" to two white women during the morning hours. One woman said that the man had stopped her on the highway but she had escaped in a passing car. The second woman he allegedly approached also escaped and he then ran into the woods after her sister approached the area with a gun and threatened to shoot him. By noon, two bloodhounds from the State penitentiary had joined the chase. One man had been jailed for "safe-keeping", though police were sure that he was not the one they wanted.

Dick Young of The News reports that an instructor of preventive medicine at Yale stated that bed rest at the first sign of polio was the best deterrent to becoming paralyzed by the disease. Those who persisted in normal activity during the first day or two after symptoms appeared developed moderate to severe paralysis. She said that even such activities as typing should be suspended.

Three new polio cases in Mecklenburg brought the total for the year to 66.

The National Polio Foundation had recruited a team of 200 Red Cross nurses, 24 physical therapists, two doctors and a five-member medical team to deal with the outbreak of polio in North Carolina. Twenty-two hospital units had been established and equipped for receiving patients suffering from the disease. There had been only three such units in 1944.

For the second successive day, 47 new cases of polio were reported in the state, raising the total to 830 for the year, 48 fewer than in all of 1944 when a record 878 cases occurred. July had 413 cases, nearly half the year's total. Thus far nationwide, there were 3,603 cases, the most being in North Carolina, followed by Texas with 810 and California with 611.

In Los Angeles, a groom wearing handcuffs and a bride wearing a sharkskin suit were married the previous day, but their honeymoon had to be deferred until he finished his five years to life stretch in San Quentin for burglary. She vowed to wait while working as a waitress.

Bob Thomas of The News tells of actor Randolph Scott, originally of Charlotte, on page 16-A.

On the editorial page, "Sanitation the Year Around" urges city sanitation to keep down diseases such as polio, including the use of DDT, inspection of containers, exterminating rodents, flies, mosquitoes, and other disease-carriers, plus control of sewage and streams where insects bred. It commends the Jaycees for their study of the issue and recommendations to the City. Each person had individual responsibility to keep their residential and business properties clean.

"U.S. Moves on Communists" comments on the indictments and arrests of the twelve American Communist Party leaders. The sloth of the Government in bringing the case against such well known leaders as William Z. Foster, it ventures, was for the slow collection of evidence needed to obtain a conviction for urging the violent overthrow of the Government as a violation of the Smith Act.

The Communist Party itself had not been outlawed as it professed no purpose to overthrow the Government and met the technical requirements of a political party. Members and leaders had confined themselves to lawful demonstrations and strikes. Only when immigration laws had been violated could the Government act to deport Communists.

It hopes that the prosecution would deal a blow to American Communism on this occasion and that the trial would not devolve to a political prosecution. Even the ultra-conservative New York Sun had conceded that the prosecutions were timed to embarrass the candidacy of Henry Wallace and the Progressive Party, holding their convention this week. The piece observes that the prosecution also gave the Truman Administration ammunition to fight a charge of being soft on Communism.

The length of the investigation in the case encouraged the hope that evidence had been developed probative of a revolutionary conspiracy which would hold up in court. It concludes that violent revolution was the aim of the Communists in all cases and their paying lip service to democratic forms and institutions was merely a cover.

"Harry Truman's Curious Role" finds that with a Republican victory in November virtually assured, the special session of Congress took on significance in determining the future direction of the Democrats, whether they would follow the President's new-found leadership into renewed New Dealism or whether the conservatives could wrest control for themselves. If the President by some miracle were to win the election, then the liberals would enjoy a remarkable rebirth. If he were to lose, then the conservatives would quickly gain the leadership.

The Southerners made an important strategic gain in pushing Senator Barkley for the vice-presidential nomination. And the fact that Henry Wallace's left wing of the party would likely not find their way back would also give the right an advantage. If the Dixiecrat revolt continued, then the Southerners could lose their longstanding dominance in the party, and the fact that most of the Southern Democrats had not bolted reflected that concern.

George Burt of the Louisville Courier-Journal tells of the Yalta Conference having determined the four-power structure of postwar Germany and four-power occupation of Berlin. He reflects back to the invasion of Sicily on July 10, 1943, which had the ultimate design of relieving stress on the Russian front while stabbing at the soft underbelly of the Axis, Italy. The Russians hated with a passion the Germans who had invaded their country in 1941, having to pay a heavy price to push them out.

FDR wanted a solid front at Yalta to avoid any hint to the Germans of a crack in Allied unity. Congress approved heartily that approach. It had been left to the Red Armies to take Berlin while General Patton took his Third Army toward Pilsen. That, however, made no difference, given the diplomatic agreement reached on occupation at Yalta. The U.S., had they reached Berlin first, would not have been entitled to occupy it to the exclusion of the Russians.

He finds that FDR was not tricked into the Yalta agreement, as some had suggested, to the disadvantage of the United States. Secretary of State Marshall was now able to assert the agreement as the basis for legitimizing the continuing presence of the West in Berlin. If the Russians cut off the air corridors by which the airlift was supplying the West Berliners, then the West would either have to vacate or fight.

Drew Pearson tells of Herbert Bayard Swope, former editor of the defunct New York World, having advice for the Dixiecrats based on his own experience in 1936 when he was chosen to represent New York in the electoral college. He had thought momentarily of making his place in history by casting his vote meaninglessly for former President Herbert Hoover instead of FDR. New York Governor Herbert Lehman was nonplussed and summoned Bronx boss Ed Flynn to convince him otherwise. Mr. Flynn urged Governor Lehman to relax, that Mr. Swope could cast his vote as he saw fit but if he cast it for Mr. Hoover, Mr. Flynn would not count it.

Texas was in the throes of a runoff primary between Congressman Lyndon Johnson and former Governor Coke Stevenson to determine the successor to Senator Pappy Lee O'Daniel, retiring. Mr. Johnson, who had put the President on the spot when he discovered that the Government was selling off war plants while worrying about war, was making a strong showing.

A lot of money was flowing from the Houston real estate interests into the Congressional district of Wright Patman, to seek to defeat him for his backing of public housing.

Bill Cooper, a decorated war veteran, was seeking to expose Congressman Frank Wilson in Dallas for urging the defeat of the Taft-Ellender-Wagner housing bill, the latter calling it "socialistic".

The power lobby was trying to defeat former and future Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn for his backing of rural electrification. Mr. Rayburn was busy trying to aid the discharge petition to get the housing bill out of committee and onto the floor for the special session.

Creekmore Fath, Congressional candidate from Austin, was also backing housing.

Attorney General Tom Clark was looking for 300 part-time fathers to take care of wayward boys housed at the Federal Reformatory. He sought individual sponsors for each of 350 boys to try to give them a better chance of reform by twice weekly visits and taking them on a trip once a month, then finding each boy a job and working for his parole.

Virginia Senator Harry F. Byrd and Governor Guy Tuck walked out of the Democratic convention to get some fresh air and forgot their credentials, could not get back in for the nominations, leaving Virginia's delegation without leadership.

Senator Millard Tydings of Maryland, after hearing that President Truman was accepting of Eleanor Roosevelt as his running mate, said that he would work for General Eisenhower.

A CIO delegate from New Jersey, Arthur Chapin, wanted a strong civil rights plank in the Democratic platform rather than the watered-down version favored by boss Frank Hague. Mr. Chapin won out with the help of Senatorial candidate Archie Alexander.

James Marlow examines the prospects for the special session of Congress, to get underway the following Monday. Many members viewed the President's calling of it as a cheap political trick to embarrass the Republicans. Others saw it as a smart maneuver to force the Republicans to live up to their platform promises or show their hand to the contrary.

Had the President not called the session, the Republicans, assuming victory in November, could have put off their legislative program for many months after January. He essentially told them that the promises which both party platforms had made should be passed therefore forthwith.

The only thing important, he concludes, to come from the special session would not be which party benefited the most from the call but whether and to what extent the public would benefit. If either or both parties would use it for campaign purposes, then they were just seeking to hoodwink the people.

Marquis Childs discusses inflation in the wake of the release of controls two years earlier, based on industry promises that a return to competition would act as an automatic brake on inflation after a period of post-war adjustment. It had not turned out that way. The cost of food index was at 211, only slightly higher than its peak in January, but 44 points higher than two years earlier.

The President was not going to seek in his special message to the Congress on Tuesday anent inflation control full-scale price control. He would only ask for allocation and rationing of commodities which were essential to the household. Politically, the Republicans could not afford to ignore the request.

The GOP might try to blame inflation on the President for having asked the Congress to repeal the excess profits tax following the war, leading in chain to higher wage demands to match the higher profits, in turn producing higher prices and further wage demands.

But the Republicans had cut the income tax by about five billion dollars in 1948, an inflationary trigger. They changed the inheritance tax to favor the wealthy. Republican leaders, as Congressman Harold Knutson, Ways & Means chairman, wanted to lower it even more. In contrast, the President's tax record was good, having thrice vetoed the Republican tax measures, only to have the third one passed over his veto. He had wanted first to devote the Federal revenue to foreign aid and reduction of the war debt before giving large tax breaks to the wealthy.

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