The Charlotte News

Wednesday, August 25, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that an informed diplomatic source had stated that Prime Minister Stalin had proposed a Big Four conference of financial experts to be held in Berlin regarding control of the city's currency, the principal problem in effecting an East-West settlement of the Berlin crisis and ending the blockade. The Big Three ambassadors to Moscow were considering the proposal. It suggested that the Soviets might be willing to agree that the West share in administration of Germany's economy and continue occupation of the Western sectors, the latter right having been challenged since the advent of the plan by the West to create a separate West German government, in turn proposed because of Russia's prior refusal any longer to cooperate in coordinated four-power administration of Germany.

On Monday near Coburg, Germany, Russian occupation zone police had shot and killed a German intelligence agent of the U.S. Army fleeing across the Soviet zone border, at least a hundred yards inside the American zone at the time. The AMG stated that the German had been sent by U.S. Army intelligence officers into the Russian zone to obtain top secret information.

German police headquarters in West Berlin reported that persons wearing Russian uniforms wounded a German woman the previous night at the boundary between West Berlin and the surrounding Russian occupation zone.

Withdrawal of armed Russian, American, and British guards from Potsdamer Platz in Berlin, however, eased tensions generally in the city.

Before HUAC, Alger Hiss and Whittaker Chambers confronted each other for the first time publicly, having already done so in two days of hearings held in executive session ten days earlier. Mr. Hiss was questioned for hours anent the 1929 Model A Ford he claimed to have given to Mr. Chambers because it was worthless and Mr. Chambers had no car. Mr. Chambers claimed that the Ford was being donated by Mr. Hiss to the Communist Party of the West Coast, normally, said Mr. Chambers, not allowed. The Committee believed that tracing the ownership of the Ford would resolve the issue, at least partially, of who was telling the truth—and on the answer, no doubt, would rest the fate of the nation and the world, and who would be elected the next President and which party would control the next Congress, the Good Wholesome Republicans or the Communists.

Chief Committee investigator Robert Stripling produced a copy of what he described as a certificate of title showing that Mr. Hiss signed over the Ford to Cherner Motor Co. of Washington, D.C., on July 23, 1936, about a year after Mr. Hiss said that he had given the car or at least provided the use of it to Mr. Chambers, whom he knew at the time only as George Crosley.

The issue thus obviously becomes whether Cherner, nay, the whole of the Ford Motor Co., of which Cherner was only a constituent part, was, in fact, an undercover spy operation for a foreign government.

To figure that out, they need obviously to employ the services, sub rosa, of the man who lived in Chevy Chase.

Chairman J. Parnell Thomas had stated at the beginning of the session that one of the two men would be charged with perjury. Representative Karl Mundt of South Dakota summarized the contesting testimony of the two men.

Toward the conclusion of the day's hearing, Mr. Chambers stated that he did not hate Mr. Hiss for denying his association with him as a Communist. He was not seeking revenge in his testimony, he said. Rather, he claimed to testify against him with "remorse and pity".

—Yeah, Bob, that Ford business was a stroke of genius. People can relate to that. Blue Book values and so forth. Every man who goes in to trade his car will remember and tell his wife...

—Yeah, yeah. The typewriter? That's coming? Yeah, that will be great. That's what we need, something concrete to which everyone can relate. Because if you just sit there and...

—Yeah, everyone falls asleep on ideology.

—That's right. Don't even know what it means. But if you get them to understand in simple, concrete terms, then they will follow. And if you can catch him in a lie about the Ford, why, it's concrete, you see.

—Yeah, perfectly clear. Now, what about that pumpkin or whatever it was that you had going?

—No, you know. You had mentioned something about a pumpkin and Halloween.

—Yeah, that was it. That will be good. Let's do that, and before the election if at all possible.

—No, I don't think so. They won't think anything of it, as a ruse or trick, electioneering. No. They will just see it as it should be seen, lies of these liberals, Communist types...

—Office of Price Administration, yeah.

—Okay, Bob. Stay on it. Best to the Missus.

Oksana Kosenkina, 42, the Russian teacher who had jumped from the third-story window of the Russian consulate in New York to escape its "cage", gave her first interview in Roosevelt Hospital while recovering from her injuries in the fall. She said that she had jumped to escape, not to commit suicide. She did not wish to return to Russia. She knew that she would not be able to escape in Russia any more than the Consul-General and staff were allowing her freedom from the consulate. So she had jumped.

She said that Consul-General Yakov Lomakin had told her to tell the press certain things after the Russians had taken her back from the Tolstoy Foundation in Valley Cottage, N.Y. He told her she would be a heroine.

Her husband had been killed in Leningrad during the war, in early 1942. During her two years in the U.S. as a teacher to children of members of the Russian delegation to the U.N., she had become increasingly dissatisfied with life in Russia. She had been deemed an enemy of the state and persecuted in picayune ways, to which she protested by failing to appear on several occasions at the school in New York for Russian children.

The Russian Vice-Consul, meanwhile, had left the consulate for good, he said, on this afternoon.

President Truman formally revoked, as requested by the State Department, the credentials of Mr. Lomakin, already preparing to depart for Moscow, albeit claimed as a trip scheduled for six weeks, confirmed by the Swedish shipping company providing passage as far as Gothenburg.

Secretary of State Marshall indicated that the U.S. would accept Russia's plan for the closing of the American consulate in Vladivostok, an inconsequential matter, he said, because the American Consul there had already very limited activities. Moscow, in conjunction with closing its own consulates in New York and San Francisco, had also canceled a 1947 agreement to reopen the American consulate at Leningrad. Secretary Marshall said that no progress had been made on that reopening anyway.

Oh no. They've got the bomb; we're going to war. We'll all be dead in a matter of weeks if not days, if not hours, if not minutes, nanoseconds. It won't any longer matter if you lost your doggie or your chickens.

The previous night, a B-29 bound from Spokane to Okinawa, following a stopover at Barber's Point in Hawaii, had one of its engines stop shortly after takeoff, causing it to crash over Hickam Field, killing 16 Air Force personnel aboard.

In Newton, N.J., nine were killed in the crash of an Air Force C-47 transport plane following collision with a B-25. The B-25 landed safely.

The AFL maintained its policy of not endorsing presidential candidates but announced formation of a committee to work for the election of the Truman-Barkley ticket.

The cost of living had gone to a record high, according to figures released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It took $21.68 in June to buy the same groceries which had cost $10 during the period 1935-39, amounting to $705 per year for a family of three, compared to $695 the previous January and the post-World War I peak of $615 in June, 1920. The farmer took $339 of that most recent annualized average food bill, with the remaining 49 percent going to the food processor, transporter, wholesaler and retailer. In May, the split had been 50-50 and in the period 1935-39, only 40 percent had gone to the farmer. Meat comprised $213 of the average annual family outlay, compared to $202 the previous May and only $89 in August, 1939, just prior to the invasion of Poland by the Nazis.

The cost of living index record high was set at 173.7 on July 15, 9.7 percent higher than a year earlier, 30.3 percent above June, 1946, 76.2 percent higher than in August, 1939. Principal food item increases were in meats, poultry, fish, dairy products, and eggs. Fresh fruits and vegetables dropped in price but less than the ordinary seasonal decline.

G.M. workers, based on their contract, thus received a pay increase based on the rise in cost of living.

The NLRB asked that the International Typographical Union be held in contempt of court for committing the error of insisting on closed shop contracts in violation of the proscription thereof under Taft-Hartley and in violation of a previously issued temporary restraining order in Federal District Court.

In Foggia, Italy, an earthquake struck, damaging 50 buildings beyond repair and destroying 400 homes in nearby Montesantangelo and San Giovanni Rotundo.

In Santa Ana, California, a woman's decomposing legs were found this date in the Orange County dump. Doctors at the county hospital said that the amputations were crudely performed.

In Hartford, Conn., the clerk of the health department reported that two brothers wished to marry two sisters, to that end sought marriage licenses. Both brothers were named Joseph and both sisters were named Marie, each with different middle names. All four were from Massachusetts. They planned a double wedding.

In Morganton, N.C., plans for various improvements at the new state hospital located at Camp Butner were outlined by the State Hospitals Board of Control. One such improvement was the creation of a poultry farm and cultivating a thousand acres of farm land.

The Asheville Times reported that former gubernatorial candidate and State Treasurer Charles Johnson had accepted a position with the Bank of Charlotte as executive vice-president, to become effective in January at the conclusion of his term.

On the editorial page, "Answer to the Parking Problem" tells of the City Planning Board, two years after beginning its consideration of how to resolve the downtown parking shortage, developing a plan whereby off-street parking developed by the municipal authority, either leased to private companies or utilizing meters, would be the solution. A new enabling statute was to be introduced by the Legislature in 1949 to make clear the developmental power.

As with most cities and towns across the nation, the automobile had not been invented when the city was laid out. Streets had to be widened by various means to accommodate the automobile, but parking narrowed the amount of space usable by traffic, creating increased congestion as more cars hit the roads.

In Baltimore, it was reported that since 1931, 60 million dollars worth of property values had been lost in the downtown area, reducing the tax revenue by 1.8 million dollars. A principal reason was difficulty of access. In Boston, property values had gone down 465 million dollars in the previous decade prior to 1941.

The City Planning Board had found that 345 cities and towns in the country had legal authority to provide parking facilities. It had urged the creation of such facilities only if made necessary by the absence of private enterprise.

Remember: Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice.

Don't follow leaders...

Vote for Field & Stream, or Felt & Hiss, as the case may be. Fight the fare increase.

"This Is Too Much, By Gum!" tells of chewing gum manufacturers ready in 1949 to spew out millions of packs of the rubbery substance to awaiting jaws to smack. It was not the product of the spodilla tree or the vegetable matter gathered by Mexican chicleros. Rather it would be put forth by the chemical, rubber, and petroleum firms, the less expensive type to manufacture.

In 1948, enough gum was sold to stretch around the globe 34.5 times. The coming year might see enough to extend to the moon and back along a three-foot path of chewing matter. If so, it ventures, it might be worth considering taking the path with a one-way ticket and only cigarettes for company.

A piece from the Winston-Salem Journal, titled "Statesmanlike Attitude", tells of Senator-nominate Melville Broughton having grown further in stature by his desire to refrain from practicing law while in Congress. He would undoubtedly take a cut in pay.

Robert Allen, substituting for vacationing Drew Pearson, tells of Justice William O. Douglas nearly having been killed in a truck accident recently in Oregon. A friend of the Justice was trucking four horses through the Cascade Mountains when the truck lost its grip on the road and began hurtling backwards, finally rolling over and throwing the occupants out. No one, however, was hurt. Justice Douglas quipped: "In legal parlance, that's what would be called a violent descent."

The Army and Navy budgets for the next year sought five billion dollars more than that allocated by Congress, 16 billion. The Navy wanted eleven billion and the Army ten billion, neither including Air Force requests, likely to be at least seven billion.

The Republicans, if they were to win the election, wanted a voice in the budget for 1949.

Russians in Germany liked to speed, but had recently been taught a lesson by an American sergeant and a trooper of the U.S. Constabulary. They had flagged down a speeding Russian colonel, who stopped but refused to identify himself. The sergeant courteously ordered him out of his car. The Russian locked his doors and rolled up his windows, refusing to alight from the vehicle. The trooper wanted to call an officer, but the sergeant insisted that he would handle the Russian, whereupon he ordered a tow truck and had the colonel's car, with him still in it, towed to an MP station. The Russian started his engine and tried to extricate himself from the predicament. The result was that his rear tires were ground to shreds by the time he arrived at the station.

Mr. Allen next relates of the Sheriff of Providence, R.I., Michael Costello, who located places of residence for evicted families. He had refused to evict one family until they could find another place, angering the judge who had ordered the eviction. He paid for newspaper ads to organize on behalf of the families.

Minnesota Republicans wanted Governor Earl Warren to come to Minnesota to help Senator Joseph Ball in his struggle to withstand being defeated by Minneapolis Mayor Hubert Humphrey, leading in the race. They wanted the Governor to bring his family along, a major point of emphasis.

Whether he was to bring hamburgers and frankfurters also for the cookout, was not stated.

General Harry Vaughan, military aide to President Truman, had named his cronies for positions in the Japan military occupation force, despite Army objection. The General had also placed friends in well-paying positions at the State Department.

Mexico was negotiating with the U.S. to reach terms on the American oil expropriation by Mexico in March, 1938. The results could again open Mexico's oil reserves to American consumers. The financially-strapped Mexican Government was anxious to obtain new revenue from the program. Expropriation Day, he notes, was still celebrated, however, as a national holiday in Mexico. Thus, the Mexican Government had to tread lightly.

Marquis Childs, in Portland, Ore., tells of Oregon having taken over from Maine and Vermont as the most Republican state in the nation. They were conservative but not reactionary Republicans, as exampled by the fact of their having voted liberal Wayne Morse into the Senate. It was no accident therefore that they voted for Thomas Dewey in the Oregon primary the previous May, giving him the inside track on the GOP nomination, defeating insurgent Harold Stassen, effectively ending his momentum and the chance for the nomination. Former Minnesota Governor Stassen had advocated outlawing the Communist Party, a position which Mr. Dewey believed would be unconstitutional under the First Amendment. The electorate of Oregon obviously believed in preservation of civil liberties, as championed by Senator Morse.

Portland had grown by leaps and bounds since 1941 as had the entire state, which gained 40 percent in population in that period. A third of the population of the state resided in Portland. Yet, only one-sixth of the Legislature came from Portland, as there had been a successful resistance mounted from the rural areas to reapportionment.

A younger crop of leaders was emerging among the Portland Democrats, but they were being challenged in the Congressional elections by the Progressive Party, comprised in Oregon primarily of Communists and fellow-travelers. But the latter were insignificant when compared to the Republicans, as were the Democrats for that matter.

Mr. Childs deems it likely that not only had Oregon been decisive in naming the Republican nominee, it was quite likely that they had also selected the next President.

Which was true, actually.

Max Hall tells of a lumber truck colliding with five cars and then overturning onto a sixth near Baltimore, leaving three people dead and twelve injured. It bespoke the seriousness of the problem with highway infrastructure, in need of extension and repair. The problem was related to inflation and the housing shortage. The number of motor vehicles on the roads had risen sharply to 40 million, which had traveled nearly 18 million miles on rural roads during the previous June. August was probably setting a new record for travel along rural roads. Traffic had more than doubled in the previous five years.

A lot of road-building was taking place, but not enough. The states, with help from the Federal Government, were probably spending more than ever before on roads.

To build a modern four-lane highway with a grassy median strip cost $200,000 per mile, higher if the land was hilly and dilly, requiring bridges and tunnels. It was not unusual for such a highway to cost as much as $600,000 to $800,000 per mile.

Building such highways locally usually required condemnation of low-cost housing, difficult in light of the nationwide housing shortage. The government could not simply ask the residents to vacate their homes to make way for a highway, as they had no place to go. Meanwhile, the traffic continued to mount.

You have to build roads, Wilbur.

Davis Lee, in a piece from the Newark Telegram, a black newspaper of which he was publisher, tells of a recent trip through the South in which he had met with both blacks and whites in urban and rural centers. He feels more qualified to venture an opinion than the New York City black leader whose opinions were based on distorted stories from the "Negro press" and The Daily Worker.

When he walked into a restaurant in Virginia or South Carolina operated by whites, he knew that he would not be served. But in New Jersey, where a civil rights law was in effect, he had also been refused service in restaurants.

In the South, blacks and whites remained separate unto themselves. Such segregation had been the economic salvation of the Southern black population. In Atlanta, blacks controlled their own businesses, generating millions of dollars in profits. In Newark, similar in size to Atlanta, not so much black-owned business existed as in one Georgia, Virginia, or South Carolina town.

New Jersey had more civil rights legislation on the books than any other state and yet practiced more discrimination than Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina or Georgia, each of the latter of whom employed many blacks, for instance, in their Departments of Motor Vehicles whereas New Jersey employed but a single black person in its DMV.

A young black business entrepreneur could do as he wished in the South. A man in Spartanburg owned a funeral home, a taxicab service, a service station, grocery store, several buses and operated a large farm and night club. He ventures that in New Jersey or New York, he could not have done so.

The Safe Bus Company of Winston-Salem, N.C., owned and operated more than a hundred buses. But a black person in New Jersey seeking a franchise would not only be refused but would be lucky not to receive a bullet in the back.

Blacks and whites got along better, he finds, than "Northern agitators" would have one believe. There were sore spots down there, but they were present as well in New Jersey, and not so bad as many suggested, the trouble in the South stemming, he suggests, from ignorant whites, not the intelligent and better classes of the two races.

He finds that the conflict was inevitable after the Civil War when slaves were suddenly free in the South, wherein the whole of the economy had been constructed around the peculiar institution. "Certainly you couldn't expect the South to forget this in 75 or even 150 years."

He believes that the feeling did not derive from hatred of the black. The South had gone further than any other region of the country to find a "workable solution" to the race issue. Naturally, Southerners resented having a civil rights program pushed upon them from the North.

He says that he had opined in several editorials that whites were friends to the blacks and wanted to see them prosper. He believes that blacks were more prejudiced than whites whom many blacks accused of prejudice.

The entire approach to race in the country was wrong. Joe Louis convinced the world that he was the greatest fighter of his time. He did not need propaganda. There was no need to convince the world that blacks were equal to whites. He favors carrying on the fight for justice, civil rights, and equality within the black race and demonstrating by standard of living, conduct, ability and intelligence that blacks were equal to anyone. At that point, the South or anywhere else would accept blacks on their terms. The present program of threats and agitation, he concludes, only made enemies of friends.

A letter writer from Lagos, Nigeria, 14, seeks pen pals. His name, or title, is Prince and he provides his address on Princes Street, should you wish to write.

Lagos had produced several such letters through recent years.

The Atlanta Journal presents another Pome, in "Which Is Contained a Word of Caution for Those Who Might Be Considering Straying from the Straight and Narrow":
If you do it
You'll rue it.

Screw it, then.


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