The Charlotte News

Friday, August 13, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in New York, Oksana Kosenkina, a second Russian teacher of children of members of the Russian delegation to the U.N., leaped from a third floor window of the Russian consulate in New York, expressing to police the need to escape the "cage" in which the Russians held her. HUAC had been seeking to subpoena Ms. Kosenkina to testify on any knowledge she might possess regarding espionage activities within the U.S. Government. She was seriously injured and was taken to Roosevelt Hospital, but would recover. She refused the invitation from the Soviet vice-consul to be moved to another hospital. He later told reporters that the Consul-General wished to see her and that the consulate wanted her to have a Russian-trained nurse.

The State Department promised political asylum for both Ms. Kosenkina and Mikhail Samarin, also a teacher of the children of Russian delegates. The Russian Embassy protested the move. According to Secretary of State Marshall, the right of choice as to whether they would return to Russia belonged to them as individuals.

Before HUAC, former FDR aide Lauchlin Currie and former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Harry White testified that they were not and never had been Communists or had ever provided secret information to Soviet agents. Both men were now employed in the private sector. The hearings this date drew a large crowd as Mr. Currie and Mr. White were the highest ranking present or former officials named by Elizabeth Bentley and Whittaker Chambers as being disloyal to the country.

The President again called the hearing on Communist spies in the Government a "red herring" and added this time that they were "the strongest type you could smell".

Senator Homer Ferguson of Michigan, the chairman of the Senate Investigating Committee, also looking into the spying claims, said that the leap by Ms. Kosenkina ought shock even the President into realization of the Communist activities within the Government—as if the incident were related to the United States Government.

South Dakota Representative Karl Mundt of HUAC challenged the President to release the confidential loyalty files compiled by the FBI regarding various persons whom HUAC suspected of being Communist or conducting espionage for the Soviets.

The President pointed out that General Eisenhower, earlier in the week, had stated that he thought the nation's secrets had been well kept.

The President also referred to the Congress as "do-nothing" during the special session adjourned the previous Saturday. The phrase would stick and become primary in his campaign.

In Berlin, the Russians had evacuated the four-power Kommandatura building and taken down their flag, appearing to complete the division with the West. The Russians had withdrawn from the Kommandatura on July 1, saying that it no longer existed. The flags of the four powers had flown over the building since July, 1945 when the Potsdam agreement was formed. Only the Berlin City Government, split between Communist and non-Communist factions, remained to hold Berlin together.

In Greece, the Government announced that Greek Army troops on the northeastern Grammos Mountains front were being shelled from inside Albania. Guerrilla columns had been observed retreating to Albanian territory.

The President named Laurence Steinhardt to become Ambassador to Canada. Mr. Steinhardt had previously been Ambassador to Czechoslovakia and was a career diplomat.

In Roswell, N.M., a B-29 crashed, killing twelve crewmen and injuring eight others.

Canada was preparing to lift a six-year ban on shipments of beef cattle and dressed beef to the U.S. The cows had finally adopted suitable fashions.

In Charlotte, ninety-degree weather again prevailed for the first time since the beginning of the month, expected to reach a high of 93.

On the editorial page, "Factors Working against War" says that it does not subscribe to the pessimistic view held by many observers that unless a settlement were reached in the Berlin crisis, during the current Moscow diplomatic talks, war would be inevitable. It agrees with the prevailing opinion that no overall settlement would be reached to end the cold war. But too many options existed for war to be the next resort in the event of failure. Neither the West nor Russia was prepared for another major war and neither wanted one.

The West could still take its case before the U.N. Russia could still explore expansion in other areas of Europe and Asia.

These factors which diminished the prospect for war also worked to bring a salutary lull in the cold war tensions.

"What of the National Guard?" informs of the Defense Department Advisory Committee recommending Federal annexation of the National Guard, a move which the piece thinks ought be studied carefully before adoption. The Committee said that the Guard was not presently capable of participation in combat operations. The piece suggests therefore that a new program for the Guard was required. Secretary of Defense James Forrestal, who formed the Committee, said that its recommendations did not yet represent the Department's views and that he had turned the recommendations over to the Joint Chiefs for further review.

The states were proud of the Guard units, the editorial posits, and would be loath therefore to turn them over to the Federal Government. It would be a significant surrender of states' rights to a more centralized military authority. The change also would impose a financial burden on the states as the Guard would be relieved of preserving order during local disturbances, adding to police responsibilities or forcing the states to form their own Home Guard units.

It concludes that the states also needed to study the needs of national defense to make the Guard more effective and deter the inclination permanently to Federalize it.

"Congratulations to the Chief" tells of retired Charlotte Police Chief Hendrix Palmer having been elected president emeritus for life of the North Carolina Fire Chiefs Association and finds him to be well-deserving of the honor. He had turned in an excellent record as Police Chief. He had also pioneered the Shrine Bowl, the high school all-star football game held annually in Charlotte each December.

A piece from the Lynchburg News, titled "Snake-Bite", finds Dr. Henry Mosby, director of the Virginia Co-Operative Wildlife Station, stating that traditional snake-bite remedies could be tossed overboard. Corn liquor, for example, would not help. Sticking one's hand inside a chicken would not draw out the poison. Pouring gunpowder on the bite and igniting it would likewise do little other than potentially blow off the appendage on which the bite had occurred. Faith in the magical properties of lodestone would effect no remedy.

In the rare instance of a snake-bite, one should immediately seek the aid of a physician.

It finds the resort to hocus-pocus in the modern age to be without excuse.

Whether the testimony of Alger Hiss before HUAC prompted this editorial and its inclusion in the News column is left to the reader to discern.

Drew Pearson relates more of HUAC chairman J. Parnell Thomas and his improprieties, receiving kickbacks of whole salaries of "staff" he had employed in bogus positions, merely to increase his Congressional salary illegally.

He tells of an instance in which Mr. Thomas's favorite secretary, to whom he often loaned his car and plied with martinis, had taken to the road, hitting and damaging two parked cars. Mr. Thomas, though the woman was not injured, released a statement to the press indicating that she was and would have to be absent from her post to recover. Despite a doctor certifying that she was okay, Mr. Thomas set about making up a claim from the insurance company through his own firm, claiming serious injuries. Meanwhile, she did not report to her $5,000 per year job with the Congressman but was able to attend the Army-Navy football game in the cold of November.

He claimed to his insurance partner that the company was not going along with the claim fast enough, and he had determined that it might be insufficient as she was getting worse, suffering from pleurisy. He urged settlement to avoid a court case. In the end, the insurance company, however, would not accept the Congressman's bluff and refused to pay the claim either for his secretary's injuries or the damage to his car.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop tell of polls suggesting that the special session of Congress had further damaged Congress's reputation but without noticeably helping the President. Governor Dewey had been in constant touch with Republican leaders, in one notable instance at the close of the regular session in June just before the Republican convention, having used his former support of House Appropriations Committee chairman John Taber of New York to get him to release from committee the appropriations bill for ERP. Governor Dewey had refused to go along with Senator Taft in intervening with the Republican leadership, however, to get them to pass the Taft-Ellender-Wagner housing bill. He did, nevertheless, intervene on both the 65-million dollar loan to build the permanent U.N. headquarters in Manhattan and on the proposal to modify the restrictions on entry of displaced persons to the U.S., sans the discriminatory amendments against Jews and Catholics passed during the regular session.

With the assistance of future Attorney General Herbert Brownell, his campaign manager, and future Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, his foreign policy adviser, Mr. Dewey was able to get the House leadership to approve the U.N. construction loan, but was unable to circumvent the obstructionism of Senator Chapman Revercomb of West Virginia regarding his originally proposed amendments restricting immigration of displaced persons.

The incidents suggested a problem: who was to be the boss in a Dewey Administration, the new President or the Congress?

They were past-posting also.

Senator Kenneth Wherry of Nebraska or Senator Taft would likely replace retiring Senator Wallace White of Maine as the new Majority Leader, the position probably to go to Senator Taft who had been effectively the leader during the 80th Congress. Senator Wherry would likely be the floor leader. Senator Taft disagreed with Governor Dewey on foreign policy matters and was of independent mind, believed that the Congress ought determine foreign policy.

Unless President Dewey were to go along with Senator Taft, or, they note parenthetically, in the unlikely event that the Republicans were to lose the Senate to the Democrats, there was the basis for future trouble. President Dewey could begin his administration by either establishing a legislative program which would place him in the driver's seat or give in to Congressional leaders, most more conservative than Senator Taft, in which case they would have their way most of the time. No one knew, they conclude, which path President Dewey would follow.

We still do not.

DeWitt MacKenzie tells of some of India's maharajahs, no longer supported by England, going the way of the dinosaur. Maharajah Pratapsinha Gaekwar of Baroda, reputed to be the second richest man in India, had been accused of misappropriating ten million dollars of State funds during a six-week spending spree while part of the population suffered from hunger. The State demanded his abdication.

That was quite a party, Mah.

He had no idea of the full extent of his possessions. His grandfather had been a great humanitarian, with whom Mr. MacKenzie had formed an acquaintanceship in 1916. "To know him was to admire him." But he had given far too much of his wealth to his children, not all of whom had been so responsible.

Mr. MacKenzie had also known very well Prince Jaisingh, the elder's youngest son, who had died in 1923 in Europe. Mr. MacKenzie had been amazed at the Prince's carelessness with money. He had gone to Harvard with an allowance of $500,000 per year and could not adapt to the relatively primitive conditions of India upon his return, sought escape through spending.

Mr. MacKenzie finds the charges brought against the current Maharajah of Baroda by the State to be emblematic of a changed India, where princes were on the way out, a change for the better.

He had met forty or more of such rulers and had been their guest in their palaces on occasion, and he had known some of the best of the lot. But most of the 600 princes who reigned during the occupation by Britain were not much good. They had been autocrats possessed of the power of life and death over the people on whose backs they had built their palaces.

A letter writer responds to a letter of August 10 anent states' rights, finds the letter interesting and entertaining, as with all the particular author's letters. But he disagrees in this instance with some of the notions advanced, such as that the states had only the rights granted by the Federal Government and so did not properly exist of their own right. He cites the Tenth Amendment and the history of the Founding leading to it as his exhibits for the idea that the concept of states' right had a long history in the nation and thus was no mere phantasy.

He also, however, neglects to inform of the Supremacy Clause, a critical ingredient to understanding the relationship between the Federal Government and its laws and the states and their laws. No state can pass a law in derogation of the Constitution and the prohibited exercises of power therein by both the Federal Government and the states, such proscriptions as those barring interference with free speech, freedom of the press, free exercise of religion, freedom of assembly, freedom to petition the Government for redress of grievances, and, implied therein, freedom of association. The Tenth Amendment, which the letter writer quotes, specifically excepts from the powers of the states those either delegated to the Federal Government by the Articles, primarily the first three, or prohibited to the states, such as denial of equal protection under the law, to which all citizens are entitled.

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