The Charlotte News

Saturday, August 2, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the ambassadors to Moscow of the U.S., Britain, and France visited with Josef Stalin this date, trying to resolve the Berlin crisis. Authoritative sources said that the tension had eased between the four powers, though there was no word on what went on at the conference. Ambassador Walter Bedell Smith of the U.S. had visited twice before with Premier Stalin.

The 40 million Germans in the British and American zones were getting now the highest rations since the beginning of occupation, a minimum of 1,990 calories per day, up from 1,550 at the beginning of 1948. Several groups received more than the minimum. It was likely the highest ration for the Germans since early 1944. The increase was the result of improved crop production, currency reform, and ERP. It was estimated that the ration was 40 to 50 percent higher than that in the Russian zone, where rations were at 1,300 to 1,400 calories.

In Tel Aviv, Israeli Foreign Minister Moshe Shertok said that the Israelis would resume the war in Palestine if the Arabs continued to violate the U.N.-declared truce.

Before the Senate Expenditures Subcommittee, Louis Budenz, a former Communist editor turned Fordham professor, testified that Hollywood helped to finance the Communist Party with substantial contributions. He identified Elizabeth Bentley as a woman introduced to him by Soviet espionage agent Jacob Golos. Ms. Bentley had testified to the Senate Investigating Subcommittee on Friday and to HUAC on Saturday regarding her role as an espionage agent, identifying various members of the Government as providing her with secret information during the war which she passed to the Russians—U.S. allies. Mr. Budenz believed that she was being truthful, that he knew she had been a Communist and a courier of information for espionage purposes. He said that he had aided the Soviet Secret Police in getting an agent into the inner circle of Leon Trotsky, who was killed in Mexico by this individual in August, 1940.

Congressman Bartel Jonkman of Michigan reported that his one-man subcommittee had determined that the State Department had been swept clean of Communists or those reasonably suspected as security risks, after FBI investigations for loyalty had transpired since early 1947, resulting in the firing or resignations of 134 security risks.

Senator Arthur Vandenberg of Michigan, as expected, ruled against a motion by the GOP leadership to end the filibuster of the Southern Democrats on the anti-poll tax law. Senator Taft then appealed the decision to the Senate as a whole, itself a debatable issue. The filibuster then continued. Senator Kenneth Wherry of Nebraska, who brought the legislation to the floor, sought a motion for a cloture vote, to which Senator Richard Russell of Georgia objected as out of order because the bill had been brought to the floor by motion, to which cloture could not be invoked under Senate rules. Senator Vandenberg expressed his support of the bill in denying the motion for cloture, but had to defer to Senate rules.

Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin sought to formulate a compromise bill to the Taft-Ellender-Wagner housing bill, calling it the number one domestic problem. His bill included some slum clearance housing. The Senate leadership, however, appeared preoccupied with giving the President the installment buying and bank credit limitations for which he had asked in his inflation control program, but nothing else.

In Texas, the State Attorney General, Price Daniel, ruled that a white student could not be admitted to a black-only law school in the state because of the requirement of separate but equal public education facilities and required segregation under the State Constitution. He cited the Supreme Court's Missouri ex rel. Gaines v. Canada case of 1938 and the Sipuel case from Oklahoma earlier in the year, both of which had held that the state had to supply either separate but equal facilities for education within the state or allow a black applicant to enter an existing white graduate or professional school. The black law school in Texas had been established after Herman Marion Sweatt was denied admission to the University of Texas Law School based on his race. Mr. Sweatt's case, Sweatt v. Painter, reaching the Supreme Court in 1950, became a landmark decision, finding unanimously that the black law school was not equal to the University of Texas Law School, requiring that Mr. Sweatt be admitted to the latter, paving the way for Brown v. Board of Education in 1954, finally abolishing the separate-but-equal doctrine of 1896, established in Plessy v. Ferguson, as unworkable, not rendering through time equal facilities.

As we have pointed out previously, Chief Justice Fred Vinson wrote the opinion in Sweatt, thus tending to destroy the theory, as espoused by some, that had he lived beyond 1953, the opinion in Brown would have been different from that delivered under Chief Justice Earl Warren. That is highly doubtful as the trend was gradually toward integration, and remained, even after Brown, a gradual process, under the phrase of the case, "with all deliberate speed", turning out, in some recalcitrant districts, to be as long as 15 years. The Brown decision might not have been unanimous had Chief Justice Vinson lived, but the result would likely have been the same.

In Dayton, the Mayor said that the Ohio National Guard would march if the Univis Lens Co., beset by labor strife in a strike, wished to reopen its plant, as it was contemplating, the following day. A tentative agreement to end the strike had fallen through this date.

In Charlotte, a man nicknamed "Dummy" tried a second time to enter a service station during the wee hours of the morning, presumably for the purpose of robbing it, this time encountering the owner lying in wait with a pistol. The owner fired six times and believed that he had wounded Dummy during the second attempt, after an initial break-in about 2:00 a.m. was reported, with nothing then missing.

The price of newsprint rose to $106 per ton, twice that of 1938, up from $46.50 in 1937. It took a ton per day, at current circulation, to produce one sheet at The News, consisting of two pages. An average issue took fourteen tons, now costing therefore $1,484.

On page 9-A, Tom Fesperman of The News tells of Man, Mecklenburg's County's only official bloodhound, which enjoyed tracking fugitives. Mr. Fesperman assures that it was nothing personal for Man.

If Man is on your trail, shake it.

On the editorial page, "'Traitors' to the Dixiecrats" tells of South Carolina Governor Strom Thurmond kicking off his campaign for the presidency at Cherryville, N.C., at the Watermelon Festival, attacking Southern Democrats for supporting President Truman, a Southern back-stabber. He recommended censure by the public of these "traitors".

The piece finds the charge unfair as the Southern Democrats who had remained loyal to the President as far as the campaign was concerned, were using every means at their disposal to stop the civil rights program. Governor Thurmond was taking the stance because the Dixiecrats offered no course wise or safe for the South.

The Dixiecrat strategy was to throw the election into the House by denying either major party an electoral majority. That result would be dubious even if Governor Thurmond carried the entire South, comprising 127 electoral votes. Moreover, the country would revolt against the Dixiecrats in that event and demand more than ever the civil rights legislation.

Southern Democrats were remaining in the party to elect as many Democrats as possible to Congress and prevent the Western and Northern blocs from taking control of the party machinery. It might be a wrong course practically, it opines, but they were not traitors.

In any event, it was plain that the Dixiecrats liked theya wawteemelon.

"Chant of the Golden Road" finds a movie producer planning to make a picture on the tobacco industry, tentatively titled "The Golden Road". It was apropos of the state of the prices of tobacco. In Valdosta, Ga., the market was bringing 63 cents per pound. The markets of North and South Carolina, usually bringing 5 to 6 six cents more, would probably be even better when they opened the next morning.

ERP was contributing to the price increase as tobacco would be a high priority in trade with Europe once the ERP dollars kicked in to the economies. The better prices were partly an illusion as the taxpayer had to pay for ERP. Nevertheless, the tobacco growers were favored in the economy of this year.

"Tales of Russian Spy Ring" questions whether the first star witness before HUAC, Elizabeth Bentley, claiming a spy ring for the Soviets in the Government, was who she purported to be. She was entrusted by the Russians with purveying secret information though not a Communist, herself. (The piece has the wrong information on this point. Ms. Bentley confessed to HUAC on the previous Saturday that she had joined the Communist Party in 1935 and remained a member until mid-1944, at which point she came in contact with gangster-type Russians who had contempt for the American Communists and were using them only as espionage agents. She went to the FBI a year later, in August, 1945, at which point she completely terminated all association with the Communists.)

The Vassar graduate had testified also before the Senate Investigating subcommittee chaired by Senator Homer Ferguson of Michigan and made her charges there as well. She carried not only information but also delivered collected party dues to the Russians. She contended that her involvement began in the spy ring after she married Jacob Golos in 1938, a Russian-born American citizen and Communist agent who had died in 1944. It was at that point that she began to have her disillusioning contact directly with the Russians.

She reportedly had worked with the FBI for a year and the piece suggests that therefore there must be more evidence to be adduced than had come out in the Senate hearing.

There would be a lot more of the same quality, coming off the animal farm, as it were.

A piece from the New York Times, titled "The 'Roll-Back' Bill", finds the President's anti-inflation measure introduced by Senator Alben Barkley, as presumably advised by former OPA director Paul Porter, the President's adviser on inflation, to be certain of defeat and apparently put into the hopper only with that in mind. The piece thinks that no responsible Congress, regardless of party control, would pass it.

The bill sought to return to the "Alice in Wonderland" economics of OPA during the war. Price roll-backs would be applied to any item which had increased in price by 20 percent since OPA expired in June, 1946. These prices would remain under ceiling until June 30, 1950. Subsidies would make up the difference to the producer.

Subsidies had already been used to try to keep farm prices up. Never before had subsidies been employed at one time also to try to keep prices down.

Drew Pearson tells of the Russians going to great lengths to mine very low-grade uranium in Saxony in Southern Germany, indicative of the fact that the Russians had few resources for the precious element available.

He next discusses the Senate campaign of Congressman Estes Kefauver of Tennessee, who he likens to a younger version of former Secretary of State Cordell Hull, also of that state. Mr. Kefauver was taking on the machine of Memphis Boss Ed Crump and so far was doing well against incumbent Senator Tom Stewart and a circuit court judge backed by Mr. Crump. Mr. Crump had taken out full-page ads to suggest that Mr. Kefauver was a foreigner, though born in Tennessee.

The Republican caucus regarding the special session had been determined by the direction of Governor Dewey who favored a short session of about two weeks so that at least lip-service would be provided the important legislation proposed by the President. Some had favored immediate adjournment, not thinking it wise to stick their chins out with the President on the ropes, while others wanted a longer session in which positive relief would be provided, at least turning over the important legislation to committees.

Senator Taft was anxious to bring the anti-poll tax measure to the floor, aware that it would provoke a filibuster, demonstrating the need for a rule to break them. When Senator William Knowland of California suggested a bill against filibusters to be passed at once, Senator Taft informed that the bill, itself, would be filibustered.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop discuss the separation of the Communists from the labor movement. They were already relegated to only a few unions, primarily the Electrical Workers. CIO head Philip Murray, who had rid CIO of Communists for the most part, was preparing to endorse President Truman. That would leave the Communist elements still within CIO, endorsing Henry Wallace, divergent and likely to be finally split completely from the labor organization. Perhaps 1.5 million workers would then leave CIO, but the American Communists did not have the rank-and-file support save perhaps in the Fur Workers union. CIO would then raid every splitting union to attract the rank-and-file back to CIO, leaving the Communists completely on the outside of labor once and for all.

The Alsops conclude that such a split, therefore, would be desirable.

James Marlow suggests that the answer to whether there would be continued boom or bust in the economy might take years to answer. The special session appeared not to be doing so. While there was higher employment than ever before with record production, there was also record high cost of living. The question remained whether the result would be a crash.

It was likely that the special session would end by the following Saturday, as Senator Taft was urging. The President, in his mid-year economic report, had indicated that without a brake on inflation, a depression could result. Senator Taft, however, accused the President of playing election-year politics, saw no grave danger ahead while expressing the hope that Congress would do something about high prices.

At present, however, given the Southern filibuster on the anti-poll tax bill, which Senator Taft hoped would end by Wednesday, there was little time left in the special session, if indeed it was to end this week, for doing anything about inflation.

Congressmen Hale Boggs of Louisiana and Mike Monroney of Oklahoma suggested that the Republicans come up with their own plan.

He concludes that time alone would provide the answer of whether the President or the Republican Congress was correct.

Samuel Grafton, no longer carried by The News, finds the Republicans thus far losing ground in the special session, at least in public relations, while the Democrats gained some ground and the Progressive Party gained a lot of ground. The Republican effort had been one of strategy, coldly calculated to avoid the worst impact of inaction on the President's package of legislation rather than addressing the substantive issues of inflation and the housing shortage. It had not helped much that Republicans had contended that the President could have curtailed inflation two years earlier had he used his power, for there was no accompanying GOP action to reduce inflation.

The Democrats were fighting a little and so gaining a little. The President's program to fight inflation was mild, without any major shocker, could have gained more if bolder.

The Wallace movement was gaining the most in the session by showing that the two major parties could not solve inflation in the special session. By proving the Democrats helpless, the Republicans were driving voters to the Progressives. Conservatives always did so and it was of no use to point it out. The Republicans enjoyed hogtying the Democrats. Liberals disenchanted with the Democrats were not going to turn to the GOP.

The 1948 election, he concludes, might go down as having been the time when the Republicans built a permanent left wing movement in the country.

A letter writer suggests that the plight of the Southern Democrats was fraught with difficulty as they must either join the Republican Party, join with the Dixiecrats, or form a liberal party of their own. He thinks the Dixiecrats could form the nucleus of the latter movement should they become liberal. He says that, regardless, the average person could now become a Republican and maintain their self-respect.

A letter writer supports the P. C. Burkholder clone who had written to the newspaper on July 28 anent the slum problem in the city. He says that the same slum situation took place in white areas, that polio had a small incidence in slum areas, and that fresh buttermilk directly from the farmers was outlawed—in that succinct order. He does not want the city to add 30 additional inspectors to the Health Department budget who were not needed.

We take it that the fresh buttermilk would cure both the slums and the polio.

A letter writer recommends immediate application of a hot poultice of ground linseed sprinkled with dry mustard at the onset of polio symptoms. Massaging limbs with olive oil and cold cream enabled sleep. He and his wife had undertaken this remedy with respect to their son fifteen years earlier and he had only a slight handicap afterward.

A letter writer wants the President and the Justice Department to put the Fascist Congressmen opposed to civil rights in jail. She believes that they were very insulting to the Constitution, the Bible, and the intelligence of the people.

We agree. Wait about 25 to 26 years and you will have your day, Madame, in part the result of the efforts of a former Congressman from the Tenth District of North Carolina. You already know his name. Take heart...

Framed Edition
[Return to Links
Page by Subject] [Return to Links-Page by Date] [Return to News<i><i><i>--</i></i></i>Framed Edition]
Links-Date -- Links-Subj.