Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Russia had blocked
the move of HUAC to subpoena Oksana Kosenkina at the the Soviet
consulate in New York City, despite a court order from a New York
court for the Soviet Consul, Yakov Lomakin, to produce Ms. Kosenkina
at the executive session hearings. Michael Samarin, also a Russian
teacher who taught children of the Russian delegation to the U.N.,
however, was talking to HUAC in executive session this date in New
HUAC also announced that "preliminary steps" had
been undertaken to see that some witnesses who had testified
regarding the spy ring in the Government be prosecuted for perjury.
Chairman J. Parnell Thomas of New Jersey said that the U.S. Attorney
for D.C. had obtained the hearing transcripts and was particularly
interested in the "perjury angle".
This date, Charles Kramer, implicated by Elizabeth Bentley as part
of the spy ring, and Abraham George Silverman, also implicated,
testified before the Committee, both pleading the Fifth Amendment,
refusing to say whether they had ever been Communists or knew Ms.
Bentley. Both denied being spies. Mr. Kramer worked for the
Progressive Party as a researcher and Mr. Silverman was unemployed.
It should not escape notice that during the previous October,
in the "Hollywood Ten" cases, HUAC and Congress issued
contempt citations to the ten who proclaimed their Fifth Amendment
privilege and refused to testify. Eventually, they would each serve
time in jail and be blacklisted. On this occasion, HUAC abandoned
that strategy and instead decided to send a message to those who
testified affirmatively, as Alger Hiss, that he was not a Communist
and, ultimately, during the fall, after the charge by Whittaker
Chambers extended to a claim of espionage by Mr. Hiss, not made
during the HUAC hearings, that he was neither a spy. Thus, before
HUAC, the only thing a witness could do was admit that he or she was
a spy and a Communist who had reformed so much as to name names of
other spies, thus also ruining their lives. HUAC was engaged, in
short, in insisting that all who came before it would be ruined, one
way or the other, its lasting and damnable insult to history. Its
pretense of fairness and due process mocked the American sense of
fairness and justice.
It was, as the President charged, nothing more than cheap,
tawdry politics in an election year to attempt to distract the
public from Republican Congressional inaction and yielding to the
special interests for the prior 19 months, with HUAC's Republican
members bent on achieving power in a new Republican Administration
and John Rankin bent on his usual effort to find in everything with
which he disagreed a bogey, be it red or black or the two
combined—all, in the end, no more yielding than a dream.
The Big Three ambassadors to Moscow met for the fourth time
in recent days with Soviet Foreign Commissar V. M. Molotov, again
for three hours this date. But no conclusions, according to U.S.
Ambassador Walter Bedell Smith, had been reached. An informant
stated that until the previous day, there had been no sign of
softening of the Western power position, which had insisted that the
Berlin blockade be lifted prior to any discussion of settlement or
Russian-imposed contingencies, such as withdrawal first of the
Western allies' plan to form a separate West German government.
In Berlin, the U.S., British, and French governments froze
Eastern marks accounts in Western zone banks, one of the more strict
retaliatory moves by the West since the start of the blockade crisis
in June. The Russian bank in Berlin had previously frozen accounts
of firms in Western Berlin.
At Kreuzberg and on Potsdamer Platz in Western Berlin,
American and British military police turned back two attempts by
German and Russian military police to enter houses in Western
sectors this date, searching, they said, for black marketeers. The
Western authorities speculated that they might be looking for
Russian deserters or simply engaging in harassing tactics.
In Frankfurt, a trade union rally to protest high costs of
living turned angry as the crowd attacked an American soldier after
overturning his jeep. It was the largest and loudest rally in the
American zone of Germany since the end of the war.
The Berlin newspaper Telegraf, under British license,
reported that in Mecklenburg, clothing factories were filling orders
for Russian military uniforms for use there in the future.
Surely the Charlotte City Council can do something to stop
that. Them Commies are everywhere.
The State Department reported that Voice of America
broadcasts to Eastern Europe had been jammed by the Soviets in
The Greek Army prepared for a final assault on the last major
guerrilla supply route from Albania, at Alevitsa. The Army had
already cut communications between the guerrillas in the Grammos
Mountains and eastern Macedonia.
President Truman made his recess appointment of Maurice Tobin
as Secretary of Labor after Mr. Tobin agreed to accept the
appointment. Congress had not acted on the appointment made during
the special session. Mr. Tobin replaced deceased Lewis
The White House released a "boxscore" on the
special session, finding that the Congress had, for the most part,
not complied with any of the President's requested legislation. It
found that the House Ways & Means Committee held no hearings on
the urged excess profits tax and permitted no Administration witness
to testify. Consumer credit controls were enacted, but for a shorter
term than recommended. Bank credit controls were enacted only
partially. Administration witnesses were not called to testify on
proposed regulation of speculation on commodities, a practice which
had fueled inflation, or on rent control or on allocation and
inventory controls or on price controls.
Governor Strom Thurmond of South Carolina, the Dixiecrat
candidate for the presidency, claimed in his Houston speech
accepting the party nomination that the Truman civil rights program
called for a "police state" in the nation.
In New York, Babe Ruth was in critical condition at age 53
after being ill for two years. Doctors said he suffered from
pulmonary complications. Mr. Ruth would die in four days.
In Havana, Cuba, a polite band of robbers the previous day
robbed a branch of the Royal Bank of Canada, getting away with
$562,000 in cash. The peso and the dollar were equivalent at the
time. The robbers had pistols and machine guns but did not shoot.
None were recognized by the bank employees. They had politely
informed the guard that he should not draw his gun or they would
fill him "full of holes".
Que pasa? No es pobrecito, Señor.
El agua roja se vierta adelante con profusión en el piso
en esa instancia y luego sera Rojo.
According to the Hayden Planetarium in New York, the annual
Perseid meteor shower was expected to be visible this night and
through the ensuing few nights. As many as fifty shooting stars
could be seen within an hour.
You can see that in most movies.
In Kevil, Ky., three men robbed a bank of $11,500, firing
shots from a car as they drove from the scene. The same three men
had robbed the bank on June 30, 1947. They had not been caught.
Tom Fesperman of The News tells of a man who reported
to the Mecklenburg County Police that as he and a young friend were
hitchhiking in Forest City, N.C., on the previous Monday morning, to
seek jobs on a State highway gang in Ellenboro, they were picked up
by three men in a car. The car kept going, however, at Ellenboro and
eventually entered Shelby. The man's companion then tried to jump
from the vehicle but was restrained by one of the three men who then
conked him on the head. The man telling the story believed that his
friend was dead as he lay unmoving in the seat. The car kept going
all night through the dawn of Tuesday and through Tuesday also,
eventually entering Mecklenburg County, where it stopped, whereupon
two of the men took the witness into the woods while the third
apparently was disposing of the body of his friend. The man
eventually broke away from the men and ran through the woods to the
highway, saw that the car was gone, along with the three original
occupants and the body of his friend. Police found several details
in his story not to "jibe".
Police investigation in the area found no one missing.
That is why you need the man with the Buick or Mercury to
resolve these situations.
Furman Bisher relates on the sports page of the fortunes of
Rodney, locally owned harness-racing champion, competing in Goshen,
N.Y., at the annual leading event in harness racing. Mr. Bisher was
playing "railbird" in Goshen at Good Time Track.
He was probably past-posting.
On the editorial page, "Truman's Race against Wallace" finds the President running more against the former Vice-President
than against Governor Dewey, based on a Roper poll conducted for
Fortune—the results of which are listed on the front
page. The August results showed the President with the support of
31.5 percent of respondents, Governor Dewey with 46.3 percent, and
Henry Wallace with only 3 percent. The remaining 19 percent
expressed no opinion. The President had about the same support as
during the spring, prior to the conventions. Governor Dewey had
gained 2.1 percent, while Mr. Wallace had fallen back from six
Thus, even if the President received all of the Wallace
support, he would remain well behind Mr. Dewey. But the poll results
suggested that the President at least had revived the perception of
the Democrats as the party of liberal progressivism, which might in
time attract more independent voters among those undecided. That
increased the importance of the revolt of the Dixiecrats from the
Still, the President's chances for success in November were,
it finds, no greater than one in a hundred.
And so it would be, premonitively accurate to a T, in
To achieve that kind of uncanny accuracy, the editors were
probably past-posting also.
"Open the Files, Mr. President" finds that the
revelations out of the Senate Investigating Committee re Communist
spies in the Government were not exclusively just the product of election-year
politics, as characterized by the President, to distract from the
primary substantive issues the President had placed before the
special session, housing, anti-inflation measures, and civil rights.
Just as something good might have come from the special
session had the Republicans been willing to achieve it, good might
come from the spy hearings were the President to turn over the
confidential loyalty investigation files on William Remington and
others which the two committees sought.
Senator Clyde Hoey of North Carolina, on the Senate
Investigating Committee, agreed with the President that it was a
"red herring" to distract and that the President was
acting within the Constitution and precedent followed since
President Washington by refusing to supply the files on Government
employees. The Republican threat to impeach the President had
angered Senator Hoey.
The piece agrees with the Senator on these points but also
favors opening the files. The country, it argues, had a right to
know what was taking place in the Government. If there was nothing
to cover up, then, it finds, that the President had no practical
basis for denying the access. The voters would assume that the
President was hiding something.
Actually, if facts be known, he had … well, that is
still classified on national security grounds, hush-hush, Oh So
Secret, and on the qui vive. Perhaps, we can reveal it next
year when it is Safe. In the meantime, they were hanging Danny Deever in the morning.
"Civil Rights at the Movies" finds itself in
sympathy with a 94-year old Chicago woman who had boxed the ears of
a pair of juveniles with her purse when they refused to remove their
feet from the back of her seat in a movie theater. She was arrested
for disorderly conduct.
The piece appreciates peace and quiet in the theater also,
but finds that most movies of late did not require much steady
concentration. In the rare instance, however, when one did, knees
stuck in one's back and the chair caused thus to rock on its
squeaking pivots, the proceedings became quickly annoying. Adding to
the noisome interruptions were giggles, talking, snoring, loud
popcorn consumption and squirming children.
It notes that the elderly woman was released with impunity on
the charge and, it suggests, the juveniles would likely not play
footsie in the theater in the future.
At least, you did not have to put up with live shootings in
But, we have not had to put up, so far in 70 years, with
another world war, and so it all balances out, we suppose.
In any event, it occurs to us that the column would have been better served by expending as much print in an effort to desegregate theaters rather than on this trifle.
A piece from the Christian Science Monitor, titled
"Junior the Realist", tells of the continuing
crime-comics debate regarding their effect on youthful readers.
Mademoiselle found them to provide children a sense of
"reality", unlike most children's fare, which the
magazine declared to be too sweet. It remarked that the atomic bomb,
within the space of a few seconds, had ended the lives of tens of
thousands of citizens of Hiroshima and everyone above age four was
aware of the fact. Over-protection of children, it suggested,
supported adult feelings of security.
Agreeing with this general notion, the piece finds that crime
dramas and crime comics, however, did not provide the sense of
reality which they claimed, but rather were more escapist fabular
content, just as fairy tales.
Drew Pearson tells of Speaker of the House Joe Martin
exercising inordinate control of the special session, hearkening
back to the dictatorial tactics of former Speaker Joe Cannon, by
limiting to twenty minutes debate for each side on the issue of the
amendment to the anti-inflation bill passed in the House Banking &
Currency Committee, which would have, had in not been struck by the
Senate, played to the hands of Wall Street by increasing the Federal
Reserve Banks' requirement of gold certificates from 25 to 40
percent, allowing Government bonds to be depreciated so that banks
and insurance companies could acquire them at lower than par value
and cash them in for a killing. After World War I, a similar
situation had taken place. Since the end of World War II, the
Federal Reserve Board had kept bond prices high by purchasing them
as fast as they were offered for sale. Both Secretary of the
Treasury John W. Snyder and Fed chairman Tom McCabe had opposed the
Mr. Pearson finds it to have been "one of the most
shameful sessions of undemocratic debate in the recent history of
Congress." Only Senate action had saved it from becoming law.
Former OPA head Paul Porter replied to a friend, when asked
whether he had been discharged from his role as adviser on economic
controls, that he had been and he had received a "ruptured
duck" as a discharge button.
The House Small Business Committee had protested to the
Commerce Department regarding excessive shipments of steel to Sweden
because it had a surplus of steel which it was shipping to Iron
Curtain countries. The SBC wanted it to come back to steel producers
in the U.S.
Senate pages had played a prank on Senator Scott Lucas of
Illinois by fabricating a tinfoil quarter and placing it on the
floor of the Senate. Senator Lucas tried to scoop it up, appeared
chagrined at his find.
Two Americans had been murdered recently in Cairo along with
150 Jews and 250 non-Jews. Stefan Haas of Philadelphia, a tourist in
Cairo, had his ears severed and his body mutilated beyond
The Post Office Department had canceled a 25 percent increase
in mail rates to the railroads which the Postmaster General had
provided them after they demanded a 70 percent increase and refused
to back it up with a rationale as the Postmaster General had
James Marlow suggests that the Russians had been clumsy or
unlucky in their espionage efforts, as the situation in Canada two
years earlier and the present revelations in the U.S. showed, along
with the apparent disintegration of relations with Yugoslavia.
He tells of Igor Gouzenko's role in revealing the Canadian
spy ring, after two years as a cipher clerk at the Russian Embassy
in Ottawa. Mr. Gouzenko had determined that a spy ring operated
through some important members of the Canadian Government, one an
M.P. He decided to remain in Canada in 1945 and not return to the
Soviet Union as directed by the Soviets, revealing instead the
secret documents he had improperly accumulated. At least eleven
Canadians pleaded guilty or were convicted of the allegations of
In Yugoslavia, it was revealed that the Russians had sought
to entice Yugoslavs to be spies for Russia against the Tito
Government, one such person being a cipher clerk.
During the war, Elizabeth Bentley, per her claims, had been a
courier for two Communist spy rings in the U.S. Government before
going to the FBI in 1944. Some named by her had called her a liar;
some who heard her testimony found it without credit. No one yet had
been indicted whom she had implicated.
Michael Samarin, the Russian teacher who wanted to defect to
the U.S., had reported to the FBI as yet unknown information and was
of interest to HUAC.
The facts did not suggest, he concludes, that the Russians
had performed their spy work unsuccessfully, but rather that they
had been sloppy or unlucky at it.
Randolph Churchill, son of the former and future Prime
Minister of Britain, writing from London, discusses the fact of
Prime Minister Clement Attlee's decision to spend his summer on the
west coast of Southern Ireland having provoked speculation as to
what he would discuss with the Irish Government while there. The
Minister of Labor, Alfred Isaacs, was visiting Ulster. The
Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sir Stafford Cripps, was spending a few
days with Northern Ireland's Prime Minister, Sir Basil Brooke. The
implication was that efforts were underway to unite Ireland.
The Labor Party had always favored the South against the
North but had never bolstered Northern intransigence against a
settlement, as had the Conservatives. The climate of opinion was
more favorable to unity than at any time since the partition treaty
of 1922. Lord Craigavon, deceased, had been an opposing force to
unification in the North; former Prime Minister Eamon de Valera had
been so in the South. Along the border, realization of the economic
interdependence of North and South had come to be. In Parliament in
London, unification would be supported by both parties. The
Conservatives were no longer so adamant as in the past regarding
maintenance of Eire within the U.K.
Eire would likely not remain neutral, as during the war, in
the event of another war with Communist nations, also encouraging of
the move toward unification.
A letter writer comments on an article appearing in The
New York Times Magazine by William Clayton, economic adviser to
Secretary of State Marshall, titled "Reciprocity or
Retaliation?" in which he had stated that the Reciprocal Trade
Agreements Act only took away profits from the largest businesses
making huge profits. Sam Pettengill of Indiana, in a radio
broadcast, titled "Your Family Tax Bill", had taken a
contrary stance, finding it inconsistent for the President to favor
an excess profits tax while asking business to produce more to keep
inflation down, that the two conditions were incompatible.
The writer concludes that if the free enterprise system could
be made to work properly, it was fine.
The problem is simply a function of the great disconnect
between pedagogical theory and actual practice amid human relations
and, relative to the economy, the inevitability of human greed.