The Charlotte News

Friday, August 20, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the U.S. was stripping the Russian Consul-General, Jacob Lomakin, of his official position and demanding that the Soviets remove him from the country because of his conduct in the case of Oksana Kosenkina, the Russian school teacher seeking asylum in the United States after jumping from a third-story window of the Russian consulate in New York to escape her "cage". The Consul-General had claimed that Ms. Kosenkina and Mikhail Samarin, another Russian teacher seeking asylum, along with his wife, were abducted by the Tolstoy Foundation with the cooperation of the American Government. The Russians had taken Ms. Kosenkina from the foundation to the consulate. According to her, the action was against her will. The State Department's diplomatic note rejected the Russian charge. White House press secretary Charles G. Ross stated that the actions were undertaken by orders of the President. The directive was signed "L", presumably standing for Undersecretary of State Robert Lovett.

Before HUAC, meeting in executive session in Washington, former New Deal lawyers John Abt, Lee Pressman, and Nathan Witt testified this date, pleading the Fifth Amendment regarding whether each had been a member of the pre-war Communist underground in the country or knew their accusers, Elizabeth Bentley and Whittaker Chambers. They also claimed that the proceeding, itself, and the Committee were unconstitutional, for HUAC having John Rankin as a member after he had been elected to Congress from Mississippi under rules which excluded blacks from voting in the primaries. Congressman Richard Nixon leaked the information to the press.

Where are the plumbers?

Probably out fixing Chambers.

Don't hiss, you Commie.

Mr. Nixon wanted the Immigration Service to locate and produce J. Peters, identified by Mr. Chambers as the head of the Communist underground during the mid-thirties when Mr. Chambers admittedly was a member. Mr. Nixon said that it was "inconceivable" that he could not be found.

He was inside the coach, waiting with the glass slipper.

Russian and East German military police invaded the American zone of Berlin this date purportedly to arrest black marketeers. They arrested five German police belonging to American sector forces. An AMG spokesman said that the action violated U.S. jurisdiction. An earlier raid this date had preceded the action, in Potsdamer Platz, where the Russian, American and British zones met. The Russians and East Germans, numbering about 70 in all, arrested about 200 Germans without violence, also on charges of black marketeering. They also seized the borough police chief when he arrived on the scene to protest the action. Russian troops pursued an A. P. photographer after he took pictures of the raid, but he was able to escape into the British sector.

Soviet sector police chief Paul Marksgraf had enunciated a policy of seizure of Western police on sight without regard to zonal boundaries.

Col. Frank Howley, U.S. Commander in Berlin, said that the forces of Herr Marksgraf were criminals.

The three Western ambassadors to Moscow met again with one another, this time at the French Embassy, to confer further on the diplomatic talks attempting resolve the Berlin blockade crisis.

A disabled B-17 carrying General Hoyt Vandenberg, Air Force chief of staff, landed safely at National Airport in Washington after one of the plane's four engines stopped during a trans-Atlantic flight from Germany. The mishap began 60 miles off the coast of Virginia.

The engine belonged to Mr. Molotov.

The credit curbs signed into law by the President would go into effect on September 20. Do all of your installment buying before that date or you will have to pay more money down and pay it back faster.

In Raleigh, a suit began, brought by the Dixiecrats to challenge the Board of Elections decision not to permit the party candidates to be on the November ballot. Since the August 3 deadline for submission of 10,000 names of registered voters who had not voted in the primaries, the local registrars had certified over 12,000 of the more than 18,000 signatures presented by the Dixiecrats by the deadline, but not at the time, as required by law, certified by the local registrars.

In Kings Mountain, N.C., a coroner's jury declined to rule that the two men held in the murder of a fifteen year old unwed mother, with whom one of the men was having an affair, had anything to do with her death by gunshot wound to the head. They determined that she met her death by a person or persons unknown. The dead girl's sister testified at the hearing that the man with whom she had the affair had stated to the girl a few hours before the killing that he was going to blow somebody's brains out and it might be hers. The ruling did not disturb the murder warrants already issued against the men by the Sheriff.

In Charlotte, a dog bit a child on both arms. The child was in good condition.

In Walnut Cove, N.C., "Big Joe" Hairston, sportsman and raiser of coon hounds, had issued a challenge to the toughest goat in nearby Stokes County to meet him head-on in a butting contest to raise money for building a polio hospital in Greensboro. At 1:00 p.m. Saturday, the butting would begin, expected to sound as a bowling alley. The Humane Society had been contacted to be ready to administer salts in case the goat succumbed in the trial by ordeal.

On the editorial page, "Right Way in Slum Clearance" discusses the new enforcement of the Housing Ordinance in Charlotte to provide for slum clearance of substandard housing, without indoor plumbing, electricity, heating apparati, screens and other such essentials.

It find that a concession for lack of bathing facilities to have been a wise one, deferring enforcement.

"Charlotte's Blood Center" notes that after the Winecoff Hotel fire in Atlanta on December 7, 1946, many were saved by the fact of an adequate blood donor reserve supply being immediately available in the city.

The Red Cross was establishing during the fall a regional facility to collect and store blood from 29 counties within 75 miles of Charlotte. It was to be the second such facility in the South and the eleventh in the nation.

"Miami Defends Free Press" tells of the Miami City Commission having voted to enact a one percent tax on gross receipts of daily newspapers, but then rescinding the action five hours later. The action had attracted nationwide attention as the tax was intended to chill freedom of the press. The Miami Herald and the Miami News had drawn the ire of two Commissioners after three Commissioners had voted to fire the Mayor regarding an appointment by the Mayor, prompting press criticism and a subsequent recall effort against the three Commissioners. The gross receipts taxing ordinance was the retaliatory response.

The reversal occurred when one Commissioner decided that the ordinance likely would not pass constitutional muster in the courts.

The incident was a warning that regressive forces in the country were always ready to strike and that the power to tax could be used to destroy.

A piece from the Raleigh News & Observer, titled "North Carolina Slipping?", tells of North Carolina, whose high birth rate had caused it to gain seats in each of the previous two decennial re-apportionments, possibly set to lose a seat after the 1950 census. But the state usually fared better after the actual census than in preliminary estimates. The only other two states to gain members in the previous two re-apportionments gained by heavy migration from other states. North Carolina gained by having the highest birthrate in the nation.

Robert Allen, substituting for Drew Pearson, on vacation, relates that the reported dispute between Ambassador-at-large for ERP Averell Harriman and General Lucius Clay, American occupation zone governor in Germany, was nothing new for General Clay. He had quarreled with American agencies as much as with the Russians. General Clay had unquestioned ability but could not delegate authority and could not work harmoniously with equals. He tended to work himself to exhaustion, leading to snap judgment disputes with other executives. He supported the decisions of staff with few exceptions, often leading to bad decisions and disagreements with Washington.

Mr. Allen notes that General Patton said that more battles were lost by tired generals than by tired troops.

He says that General Clay never differed with Undersecretary of the Army William Draper because Mr. Draper never crossed the General, still acted as the one-time subordinate to the General.

Secretary of the Treasury John W. Snyder in 1933, had applied for a $2,900 job as conservator of a failing Federal bank, enclosing a picture of himself in a World War I captain's uniform.

It was being reported that the indictment of the twelve American Communist Party leaders had delayed efforts of Communist-dominated unions, led by the Electrical and Tobacco Workers unions, to pull out of CIO to form their own labor organization. CIO leaders were disappointed.

The President continued to exude confidence despite continued poor poll ratings versus Governor Dewey. He had recently told a Senate friend that he could beat the Governor and intended to do so.

He was crazy.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop continue their story of Ann Smith, a real person but not her real name, who had been declared disloyal by the Navy in her role as a secretary, following a perfunctory investigation before a hearing panel of the Navy Loyalty Board headed by Commander Joe E. Munster, obviously a real name of someone somewhere in the Bronx. Questions were posed concerning Ms. Smith's past as a supposed rebellious student at the University of Southern California, focusing on whether she went across town to UCLA where certain radical activities had taken place. She said that she had not. She also denied knowing certain individuals whom the Board believed were subversive. Very little else was asked.

The Alsops conclude that the Board was not sinister in its questioning but simply stupid. From the scant information, the Navy Board declared Ms. Smith to be disloyal and terminated her.

Not to be deterred, she wrote to her Congresswoman, Helen Gahagan Douglas, who, after checking Ms. Smith's background and finding her completely loyal, referred her to former OPA administrator Paul Porter who represented the woman for free and eventually got the Board decision reversed and her employment reinstated with back pay.

So in this instance, the matter had a happy ending, but, they advise, not all such cases did. Perhaps, they speculate, the original conclusion of the Board was either the result of Ms. Smith's tolerant racial views or a case of mistaken identity. Fully 41 of the first 245 cases investigated by the FBI had involved mistaken identity.

Regardless of cause, as long as Congressman J. Parnell Thomas and his like were conducting hearings designed to attract headlines, the very real espionage menace in the country would go unchecked in favor of sensationalism.

Marquis Childs, still in McCall, Idaho, discusses Senator Glen Taylor of Idaho, the vice-presidential nominee of the Progressive Party. Mr. Taylor had gained notoriety as a singing cowboy, performing on a circuit with his wife and children before the war. In 1938, he had run for Congress and lost. In 1940 he tried for the Senate and lost. But in 1944, he had won, utilizing in each campaign the same recipe, the cowboy song, bits of recited melodrama, and reference to King Gillette's denunciation of the soulless corporations in favor of a giant public corporation in which all capital wealth would be subject to the shareholders, all of the American people, as urged in The People's Corporation by the safety razor magnate.

Mr. Childs posits that perhaps Senator Taylor believed that such a system would work. He likens it, however, to corporate syndicalism, the Mussolini state-owned corporation under Fascism.

The West had a tendency to reject the large corporations, believing them rightly to be controlled by Eastern wealth. The Eastern railroads determined the price of the farmer's produce, leading to great resentment by Western farmers through time.

No one in Idaho believed that the Wallace-Taylor ticket had a genuine chance in the fall election, would like not garner many votes in Idaho, but in a less prosperous time, he ventures, Senator Taylor's populist line might have enjoyed greater appeal. His performance, therefore, could not be laughed off the scene.

Putting together this piece with the editorial by the Alsops and the report of the HUAC hearings on John Abt, Progressive Party counsel and attorney for Senator Taylor in the Birmingham case in May in which Senator Taylor had sought to enter a church where he was scheduled to speak, originally scheduled at 16th Street Baptist Church, through the black-only entrance whereupon he was arrested by Chief Bull Connor, one comes quickly to the conclusion that the emphasis in the HUAC hearings was indeed on collection of headlines while undermining for political gain the New Deal, associating it with Communism in the public mind, and tracking it to the doorstep of former Vice-President Henry Wallace and his key Progressives Party advisers and aides. Add the ingredient of racial tolerance, grating the racism of HUAC member John Rankin, and the picture becomes complete.

Does the sensationalist track, albeit coursing circuitously through many switchings in the interim, not then lead directly to Dealey Plaza on November 22, 1963?

A letter writer, a mother, provides a copy of a letter she had addressed to Superior Court Judge Wilson Warlick, whose appointment as a Federal District Court Judge had not yet been confirmed by Congress. The letter criticized the sentences given to the two boys who had kidnaped the man who had given them a ride and then stole his car at gunpoint, only to be apprehended 20 minutes later after an alert motorist witnessed the men walking the victim into the woods and then leaving in the car, getting stuck. The two had pleaded guilty and were sentenced to five to eight years in prison. She believes the sentences excessive because on the same day, Judge Warlick had sentenced another defendant to eighteen months for assault with a knife.

But the latter was just picking his feet in Poughkeepsie on the edge of the bed. Don't have a heart attack about it. Kidnaping and armed robbery are far more serious than an old knife attack, lady.

The editors note that the minimum sentence for armed robbery was five years while the maximum for assault was three years.

Keep your Poughkeepsies straight.

A letter from A. W. Black discusses the indictment of the twelve American Communist Party leaders and the dedication of the Communists to overthrow of democratic governments by force or violence and specifically the dedication of the American party to the overthrow by force of the U.S. Government.

Lock up all the Commies and throw away the keys before they get the keys and lock us all up. Civil liberties are for the birds.

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