The Charlotte News

Monday, August 16, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that former Communist Whittaker Chambers and former State Department official Alger Hiss, whom Mr. Chambers accused of being a former Communist, denied by Mr. Hiss, might come face to face the following day. Mr. Hiss had claimed not to know Mr. Chambers from 1934-37 when the latter said that he and Mr. Hiss had known one another as fellow Communists, albeit admitting that Mr. Hiss never knew the name Whittaker Chambers, only a pseudonym, "Carl".

Mr. Hiss testified this date extensively before HUAC, meeting in executive session. Under examination by Congressman Richard Nixon, he testified, among other things, that it was possible that a man whom he knew as George Crosley was Mr. Chambers, that the two vaguely looked similar and that Mr. Crosley had bad teeth. But he would need to see Mr. Chambers at close range to make that determination. Whether, for instance, Mr. Crosley's middle initial was "L", Mr. Hiss did not know. He also stated that his own family had a brown cocker spaniel named Jenny which they boarded at a kennel near Rock Creek Park in the Chevy Chase area when on vacation—among other specifics regarding the physical household, some of which Mr. Chambers, save for the name of the dog, had described to the Committee the previous week. Mr. Hiss continued to express doubt that Mr. Chambers was in fact Mr. Crosley, said that he never knew him as "Carl", but could not understand otherwise how Mr. Chambers had acquired so much detailed information about his home and home life during the period in question.

Whether, incidentally, the supporter of Mr. Nixon in 1952 who gave the family the black and white cocker spaniel, named by Mr. Nixon's daughters "Checkers", had, symbolically, the reference to Jenny in mind when he did so, escapes history. Mr. Nixon ultimately would not be so fortunate.

The Moscow press was buzzing about a detention in Moscow the previous April 23 of American Navy Lt. Robert Dreher, presently attached to the Chief of Naval Operations in Washington and until May, for the prior two years, a military attache to the American Embassy in Moscow, for allegedly receiving secret information from a Russian customs official, known only as "E". State Department officials were dismissive of the Russian claims, saying that they were trumped up to take attention away form the New York cases of the Russian teachers, Mikhail Samarin and Oksana Kosenkina, seeking asylum in the United States, Ms. Kosenkina having taken the deliberate step of jumping from a third-floor window if the Russian consulate to escape her "cell", recovering in Roosevelt Hospital. Even Deputy Foreign Commissar Andrei Vishinsky had informed U.S. Ambassador to Moscow Walter Bedell Smith the previous April that he believed the evidence against Lt. Dreher was "arranged".

In Greece, the Greek Army advanced to within 700 yards of the main Grammos Mountain summit along the Albanian border, set to trap the remaining guerrillas in the southwestern and central areas of the Grammos Mountains front.

In Salonika, a Greek source informed that investigators were nearing a solution on the slaying of 34-year old CBS correspondent George Polk, whose body was found in Salonika Bay the previous May, a week following his departure to interview guerrilla leader Markos Vafiades. It was believed that reactionary members of the Government were behind Mr. Polk's murder for his stories critical of Government corruption and inefficiency. The Government had sought to blame it on the Communists.

Attorney General Tom Clark directed the arrest in Tokyo of Iva Toguri D'Aquino, for her broadcasts sympathetic to the Japanese during the war. She was one of six English-speaking Japanese women who posed as "Tokyo Rose" to weaken morale of American soldiers fighting in the Pacific.

The Army was expected to start receiving their first 15,000 inductees under the new draft law during early November. The number would gradually increase to about 30,000 monthly.

President Truman's forecast that there would be a 1.5 billion dollar deficit in the budget for the the coming fiscal year brought angry cries of foul from the Republicans, claiming that he had juggled the figures and that in fact there would be a five to six billion dollar surplus to lower the national debt and possibly permit another tax cut. The President, in his mid-year fiscal report, had berated the Congress for its tax cut of 1948, blaming it for the deficit. He also said that Federal spending would reach a near record for peacetime at 42.2 billion dollars, more than six billion more than in 1947-48. The deficit had replaced, he said, the record surplus of 8.4 billion of the previous year.

The White House confirmed that the President would open his campaign by speaking in Detroit on Labor Day. It was expected to be one of his major speeches of the campaign.

In Alabama, a black man who was being sought by a black mob in Talladega for allegedly shooting a crippled black cab driver was transferred to a jail in Sylacauga for safekeeping. He had reportedly admitted the shooting and also confessed to the killing of a white cab driver on July 4 in Sylacauga.

In New York, the condition of Babe Ruth had deteriorated. He would die this date from a pulmonary condition.

In Elizabeth, N.J., a woman charged in her divorce suit that her husband had made love to another woman in their bed during 1944 when, because of the housing shortage in California, they were forced to share their bedroom with the other woman. The wife slept in the middle and the husband and other woman on either side. One night, however, the wife awakened from a deep sleep, she said, to find her husband in amorous collusion with the other woman. On another occasion, she contended, her husband, while they lived in New York, pursued her friend in their living room.

In Akron, a thirteen-year old boy from Warren, O., won the Soap Box Derby competition and a four-year scholarship to the college of his choice. He beat 147 other entrants, the largest field in the history of the eleven-year competition. The runner-up received a new Chevrolet sedan and the third place winner got a motion picture projector and a film of the race. Spectators numbered about 65,000.

There was no entrant from Charlotte because of the polio epidemic having prevented the running of the local race to determine a winner.

In Charlotte, steps to implement a three-phase cleanliness campaign were to be begun the following day by the Mayor's Advisory Health Committee.

When the roll was called in Superior Court in Mecklenburg County, not one of 93 defendants who were in arrears on fines and court costs answered. Solicitor Basil Whitener wanted them either to pay or go to jail. Some of the cases ranged back to 1943. Capiases were issued for the arrest of the defendants.

The two hitchhikers who had at gun point stolen the car in which they were hitching a ride the previous week and were apprehended but twenty minutes later, pleaded guilty and were sentenced to five to eight years each in prison.

At UNC, 166 students made the Dean's List in the College of Arts and Sciences during the second summer session.

That was more than they could say for Congress.

On the editorial page, "Another Rival for Old Parties" discusses the entry to the presidential race of reactionary Gerald L. K. Smith and his Christian Nationalist Party, dedicated to bigotry and fascism.

The peace finds that the Republicans were heading to victory in the fall with fresh ideas and the Democrats were making a spirited stand, might even recapture control of the Senate in 1948 and all of Congress in 1950. The Progressive Party was falling back to a minimum of support. And the Dixiecrats were suffering setbacks, most recently by failing to bar the Democrats from the ballot in Texas and Arkansas, and failing to qualify for the ballot themselves in North Carolina and Missouri.

The Smith party was a collection of bigots and kooks.

It finds it likely that the electorate would vote for moderate candidates in the fall and that the champions of Communism, fascism and sectionalism would drop further from the mainstream in their inevitable defeat and poor showing.

"Price Peg Prevents a Jolt" suggests that an economic boom was less painful than a bust and so inflation had its bright side. It urges the Government to proceed slowly in reducing farm subsidies to keep prices steady on farm produce and prevent a glut on the market with bumper crops of corn and cotton predicted for the year and unexpectedly high wheat and oat yields. Memories of the Depression still lingered and removing the price supports would cause farmers to bear the brunt of deflation, restoring the old imbalance between farm and industry, a root cause of the previous postwar bust of the Twenties.

A piece from the Wall Street Journal, titled "The Priceless Ingredient", finds freedom to be the essential factor which made America great and distinguished it from so much of the rest of the world.

Drew Pearson tells of the Skouras brothers, Spyros, George, and Charles, who owned the largest theater chain in the world. They had started as poor immigrants from Greece. They had gone from owning one small theater to dominating 20th Century-Fox Studio. Mr. Pearson had come to know Charles Skouras the previous November aboard the Friendship Train, collecting food from across the country for France and Italy.

Now, Mr. Skouras was sponsoring Youth Month during September, dedicated to elimination of delinquency by encouraging construction of more recreation facilities, especially in slum areas. Most delinquents, he had found, were from poor areas of the urban centers. He believed that inadequate attention had been paid to youth accomplishments. He asserted that parents were primarily to blame for delinquency.

James Marlow discusses the 1945-46 Canadian spy case, focusing on how the two separate spy rings worked in gathering information for Moscow. One was run by Col. Zabotin, the military attache to the Soviet Embassy in Ottawa. The other ring was run by the Soviet secret police, the NKVD. The rings were so discrete that neither knew what the other was doing or who it was utilizing to get information, except that Moscow used the NKVD to check on Canadians who were prospective spies.

Moscow made the decisions on who was to be used and how information was to be communicated, down to the finest details of when and where to meet the couriers and how they would communicate signals of recognition. Codes were used to communicate information from Ottawa to Moscow and the codes were changed daily. One spy ring did not know the codes used by the other.

He recommends the Report of the Royal Commission and The Soviet Spies by Richard Hirsch for more information on how the spy rings worked.

DeWitt MacKenzie tells of the Japanese having surrendered three years earlier on August 14, at which point the Japanese War Minister, in traditional recognition of defeat, committed seppuku. It was believed that the war was over and that the new U.N. would carry the world through the rough times in the future.

But that idea of peace was a mirage. The war against the Axis became the Bolshevist world revolution to spread Communism. Only recently had the Western allies come to realize that they were engaged in a new war, more dangerous than the one concluded in 1945.

He posits that Russia laid the groundwork for the war with the Russo-German non-aggression pact of August, 1939, enabling Hitler's invasion of Poland two weeks later. Objective observers in Europe at the time were aware that Russia planned a subsequent world war. But the Russians could not foresee that World War II would so cripple their country that they would not be able to take full advantage of the world's weaknesses following the war.

It was difficult, he suggests, for the Western mind to grasp the fact that Russia intended to bring the world under Communist domination.

As with any other war, the cold war was likely to have pauses for consolidation, followed by more conflict.

Only Western Europe's recovery would prevent Russia from sweeping over all of Europe. The Soviets were being slowed in Central Europe and it appeared that Western Europe would be able to recover before the Communists gained a solid foothold. The cold war would then likely settled down to a war of attrition, involving espionage and sabotage. But it would continue.

The conflict in the Orient, meanwhile, he predicts, would intensify and the Far East would become the main theater of struggle between the democracies and Communism. The struggle would go on until either Communism hanged itself or the world determined that it was the ideology of choice.

A letter writer tells of a Florida resident, formerly of South Carolina, who had written a letter to President Truman, included, in which the had stated that Governor Strom Thurmond of South Carolina would be a formidable challenger in the run for the presidency and insure that President Truman would retire in January. The Floridian believed that the scrambled eggs produced during the Roosevelt era had to be "unscrambled" and that Governor Thurmond was providing the hatchery for the purpose—apparently to produce a Big Gamecock.

A letter writer, anonymous, finds the newspaper doing everything it could to defeat the Dixiecrats by labeling them obtuse or disguised Republicans or disgruntled. He thinks that they would compare favorably to Democrats intending to vote for the Truman-Barkley ticket.

A letter from a physician supports the Dixiecrats and Governor Thurmond, believes that the issue they posed was states' rights, not anti-lynching laws or the poll tax or whether blacks could vote in primary elections. They did not favor lynching, the poll tax or disfavor black voting, rather believed that the Federal Government should not be imposing laws on the states.

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