The Charlotte News

Thursday, August 26, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that HUAC announced that all of its investigatory findings would be turned over to the Justice Department with appropriate recommendations for action, with an eye toward having some witnesses charged with perjury, as forewarned by chairman J. Parnell Thomas the previous day would occur with either Alger Hiss or Whittaker Chambers as a result of their directly conflicting testimony.

Wonder which one it will be.

The Committee was still trying to locate the 1929 Model A Ford which Mr. Chambers claimed Mr. Hiss wanted to donate to the West Coast Communist Party while Mr. Hiss contended that he gave the old Ford, virtually worthless, to Mr. Chambers, whom he knew at the time, between late 1935 and spring or summer, 1936, as George Crosley, a name Mr. Chambers said that he never used, had known Mr. Hiss as a fellow Communist, and had gone exclusively instead by the name "Carl", his Communist Party pseudonym.

Where did the doggie named Jenny go?

The hearings would resume September 7, at which time, according to Mr. Thomas, a new spy case would be revealed and would also involve Communist infiltration into Negro organizations and touch on the case of Dr. Edward Conlon, head of the Bureau of Standards, and his supposed association with an espionage agent. A sub-committee would likely go to New York in the meantime to question J. Peters, the reputed head, according to Mr. Chambers, of the Communist underground organization in the United States. Mr. Peters had been ordered to appear before a deportation hearing.

This date, the Committee would hold a hearing in executive session, hearing testimony only from William Rosen, regarding whether he ever purchased a 1929 Model A Ford at the Cherner Motor Co. in Washington, D.C., in 1936. He refused answer to all questions under the Fifth Amendment. He continued to assert the privilege despite Congressman Richard Nixon warning him that if the Committee determined that there was no possibility of incrimination from the answer, they would cite him for contempt of Congress.

It's the cover-up which gets you.

The materiality of the questions, as explained by Mr. Nixon, was that investigation had revealed a certificate of title showing transfer of the Ford from Alger Hiss to Cherner Motor Co. and on the same day, July 23, 1936, Mr. Rosen having purchased it at Cherner. Thus, the Committee wanted to know whether Mr. Rosen knew Mr. Hiss, to which he had answered that he did not, and whether he was a Communist, to which he pleaded the Fifth Amendment.

What was the Blue Book value and was the price fair? Those, it seems to us, are the only relevant questions. We know, for instance, that, unless there was a spray job, the car was not red for Ford did not produce any red cars in 1929, the Rubelite Red not coming along until the 1930 model. We rest our case. Mr. Rosen did, however, own a dress shop in 1927, called La Rose. He was probably therefore part of the underground after all.

Subsequently, Mr. Rosen was found in contempt in Federal District Court in New York for refusing to answer substantially the same questions which he had refused to answer as propounded by HUAC, before the grand jury which had been investigating since July, 1947 the Chambers-Bentley claimed underground Communist spy organization in the Government. Mr. Rosen was sentenced to six months in jail or until such time as he agreed to answer the questions. In April, 1949, however, a three-judge panel of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the contempt finding, holding that since he could conceivably face prosecution for being involved with a continuing conspiracy of Mr. Hiss related to the alleged provision of the Ford surreptitiously to the Communist Party by means of the transfer to Cherner and then to Mr. Rosen, Mr. Rosen properly had asserted the privilege against self-incrimination, there being no discharge of potential criminal liability under applicable statutes of limitation on any such potential continuing criminal conspiracy to conceal the true nature of the transaction on the Ford, circumscription by the period of limitations being inchoate.

The State Department said that it was turning over to the New York City police two letters purportedly written by Oksana Kosenkina, the Russian school teacher who sought asylum in the U.S. after escaping the Russian consulate in New York by jumping from its third-story window. The two letters were said to have been written before her leap. Ms. Kosenkina identified one as having been sent to Soviet Consul Jacob Lomakin from the Reed farm of the anti-Communist Tolstoy Foundation where Ms. Kosenkina was staying when Mr. Lomakin "rescued" her and took her to the consulate. The other letter was written just prior to her leap.

Communist-led demonstrators entered Berlin's City Hall, taking over the assembly chamber, demanding a new city government to work with the "great Soviet Union". Three hours later, 5,000 anti-Communists staged a counter-demonstration, calling the blockade "the putsch that failed".

General Lucius Clay, AMG commander, said that he did not take such demonstrations seriously and there was no consideration being given to withdrawal from Berlin.

The Western ambassadors to Moscow prepared for what might be their last meeting to resolve the Berlin crisis, thought set for this date.

Yugoslavia accused Rumania of conducting an anti-Yugoslavia campaign.

Dixiecrats hoped that they had enough signatures to qualify for the Louisiana ballot.

Vote for Hunt & Liddy.

In Amsterdam, the meeting of the World Council of Churches heard a speech by Dr. William Charles Ward, Bishop of London, in which he counseled combating the "what-the-hell attitude" in the world, to bring about order to human society. He believed that apathy was to blame for much of world disorder. The British, he said, had adopted an escapist lifestyle as release from the austerity program. He had no quarrel with escapism, however, as long as not carried too far.

The season's first major hurricane, packing 100 mph winds, was churning in the Atlantic, moving at 13 mph, four days from making landfall, its location being 350 miles northeast of San Juan, Puerto Rico.

President Truman issued an executive order to create an emergency board to study the proposed rail strike set for Saturday on the Pittsburgh and West Virginia railway.

There was talk in Washington of possible cuts in 1949 in farm supports stemming from the announcement by the Agriculture Department that it would take about 1.5 billion dollars to maintain 1948 prices at parity. The goal was to deter production stimulated by the war.

In Princeton, N.J., the State Police issued an alarm for a suspect in the fatal shooting of a man outside Princeton Inn, opposite the campus of Princeton University, the previous night. The suspect was a New York financier and the victim, shot in an automobile, was his partner. The victim was a graduate of Harvard as an undergraduate and of the Law School.

In Indianapolis, a divorced mother was under arrest after a welfare worker found her three young boys, pictured, tied by ropes around their necks to a bed.

Bandleader Artie Shaw was ordered in New York to pay $150 in weekly alimony to his wife, Kathleen Shaw, author of Forever Amber, pending trial of their mutual suits, Mr. Shaw seeking annulment on a void marriage based on faulty prior divorces, Mrs. Shaw seeking separation on the ground of cruel and inhuman treatment.

In Bluefield, W. Va., the Chamber of Commerce served free lemonade as a promised payoff every time the mercury rose past 90. It was 92. The tradition had begun in 1934 to promote Bluefield as "Nature's Air-Conditioned City" because of its mountain air. The tradition had last been invoked the previous July 6 when it reached 92 also.

We have a feeling that the more global warming took hold, the tradition had to be eliminated to preserve the city treasury.

In Asheville, N.C., hearings continued by a Superior Court judge into gambling operations in the community. The City Manager said that no layoff for payoff had been transacted on his watch with respect to law enforcement against gambling operations. The chairman of the County Board of Commissioners said that he would not accept information by hearsay. The Mayor said that he had no knowledge of any rackets in the city.

Ralph Gibson of The News tells of an army of worms seeking to scale the heights of the home of a County Police officer and the need for a five percent solution of DDT to deter them.

On the editorial page, "World Council of Churches" tells of the International Congress for Mental Health meeting in England to try to avoid war through urging mental health while the theologians were meeting in Amsterdam for the same purpose through spiritual means. Russia was not represented at either meeting by refusal to attend, though satellites such as Czechoslovakia were.

John Foster Dulles, Governor Dewey's foreign policy adviser, advised the church conference that it was impossible to effect peace through law, that adherence to moral law first had to be recognized by the nations.

But, it suggests, the Council could have little impact on East-West relations as the religious and secular had come to be regarded as separate spheres, though in fact inseparable. It hopes that the Council could convince the nations that war was tantamount to war against brothers and that guilt for it was that of Cain.

"Tugwell Takes a Walk" tells of Rex Tugwell, former New Dealer who had until recently remained steadfast to the Progressives and Henry Wallace, having second thoughts given the Communists and fellow-travelers populating the movement. He had recently informed the Baltimore Sun that he was no longer officially connected to the party despite having been chairman of the platform committee. He remained a member of the party but feared that the "wrong people" had achieved control, refusing to say whether they might be Communists.

It concludes that the Progressives had smelled of Communism all along and if the odor had become too strong to suit Mr. Tugwell, considered a radical, it had to be bad.

"'There Goes the Bunny'" tells of the dog races run nightly at Morehead City, N.C., starting with the line, "There goes the bunny, there goes my money," referring to the mechanical rabbit chased by the greyhounds around the track. The races had legal betting, though limited to Morehead City.

It suggests that there might be an argument made that the people betting were dumber than the greyhounds chasing the rabbit, but that was beside the point.

A piece from the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, titled "Common Sense Rule for Wallace", discusses a decision by Henry Wallace not to address a crowd in Norfolk from an auditorium where segregation was practiced, placing law enforcement officials in a difficult spot, as Virginia's law required segregation of public places. If the police enforced the statute against the Progressives, then they would play to their hands; if they allowed them to get around it, they were open to charges of allowing the law to be circumvented.

The previous November 23, Mr. Wallace had made a speech in Norfolk in a place in which a section of integrated seating was provided by the organizers. The police did not make arrests. The Pilot had applauded the restraint at that time and believes that the police would be wise to practice the same policy again. It suggests that the Progressives and Mr. Wallace wanted to stimulate a test case on the segregation law, as suggested by his writing in The New Republic after the November tour of the South, that only in Macon and Norfolk had there been an effort to enforce the segregation law.

Robert Allen, substituting for vacationing Drew Pearson, tells of the U.S. still shipping vital war materials behind the Iron Curtain, with the approval of the Commerce Department Office of International Trade, in which accused Communist spy in the HUAC hearings, William Remington, had formerly been employed. That was so despite official Administration policy having banned the trade.

The OIT had issued a license secretly for the export of ball bearings and steel balls to Czechoslovakia. The Skoda munitions plant, bombed at great Allied cost in lives during the war, was being used by the Russians entirely for military production. Ball bearings were key to manufacture of war goods.

Argentine dictator Juan Peron was angry at Brazil for its newspapers having criticized him. He had canceled a planned visit to Buenos Aires to help celebrate its Independence Week. He was not accustomed to a free press.

Former Senator Burton Wheeler of Montana came face to face with former French Premier Eduard Daladier of France, Premier at the outbreak of the war. When in prison at the behest of the Nazis, he would occasionally read American magazines, in one of which, he told Mr. Wheeler, he had read that he had said that M. Daladier could remain in prison the rest of his days as far as he was concerned. He had never dreamed that they would meet.

The civilian Advisory Commission on Service Pay, set up by Secretary of Defense James Forrestal, was going to recommend pay raises for enlisted men and junior officers, but none for the top grades. A previous committee comprised of generals and admirals had recommended increases at all levels with the largest raises for the top officers, but Secretary Forrestal did not bother to send the latter report to Congress.

The Americans for Democratic Action, comprised of New Dealers, were set to endorse President Truman in the election campaign. Before the Democratic convention, they had favored either Justice William O. Douglas or General Eisenhower. They remained, however, only tepid in their support of the President, but were even less favorable to Governor Dewey.

Marquis Childs, in Bonneville, Ore., tells of the Bonneville Dam across the Columbia River, giving power to the Pacific Northwest, a creation of the New Deal. He believes the concept worth considering in light of the angry words being expressed toward the New Deal.

He admits that the New Deal attracted a screwball fringe, some being committed to collectivism and Communism. While some were now in the headlines of the sensationalist "'investigations'", these persons were not the architects of the New Deal and collectivism was not its core philosophy. The basic concept was that the Government should spend money to create employment on projects for the public welfare. It did not, he asserts, restore prosperity or end mass unemployment. Some claimed that the reason, however, was that it was forced to operate on a too small scale.

But the Bonneville Dam, he contends, stood as example of constructive Government spending, 100 million dollars worth, on a worthwhile project, similar to the Grand Coulee Dam, 300 miles upstream. Without the low-cost energy supplied by the two dams, new industry would not have located in the region. And those industries had helped to win the war. After the war, many former G.I.'s remained in the region and could not have found jobs but for the industries enabled by the dam projects, such as aluminum fabricators and manufacturers of aluminum ingots.

Early in the process, private utilities argued that the dams would become white elephants, that in light of private development, they were not needed. Recently, executives of the private utilities told Congress that the acute power shortage in the region would continue through 1951 or 1952.

About a third of the power went to large industrial users, a third to the private utility companies, and the remaining third to public utility districts where private users had voted to take over private distribution. In the last category, high-powered politics came into play. The private interests were seeking to ride the present tide of reaction.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop tell of Russia planning to establish a separate state in East Germany, the "German peoples' democracy". Such had been scheduled for the present summer until the Czechs and Poles violently objected to it at the Warsaw conference of Eastern-bloc foreign ministers in June. The inveighers believed that the Russians might ultimately favor East Germany over Poland and support return of that portion of East Germany ceded to Poland to court favor with the Germans. Instead, Moscow decided to initiate the Berlin blockade to force the West from Berlin or to abandon the plans for a West German state. Since the blockade had failed, the Russians were expected to proceed with the East German state despite the objections.

Poland primarily objected on the basis of the revival of German nationalism inherent in the plan, an effort ultimately to restore German unity. The constitution for the East German state was designed to enable German Communists to exert complete control.

The economic and political situation in Eastern Germany had deteriorated more than commonly realized, in part the result of the Western counter-blockade and in another part the result of greedy Russian occupation policies, with the plunder of German industry taking as much as 90 percent of its production and as many as 150,000 Germans sent to the Soviet uranium mines in Saxony and elsewhere. At least 20,000 Germans were imprisoned in Buchenwald and other former Nazi concentration camps, then sent east to Russia.

A piece by pollster Elmo Roper tells of the efforts of both the President and Governor Dewey, neither having been chosen enthusiastically as nominees by the respective parties, working hard to retain core support. He presents results of a Fortune poll tapping this core opinion.

Of the Republicans, 60.5 percent favored Mr. Dewey as the best man they could have nominated, while 32.5 percent said someone else could have performed better. Regionally, Midwesterners were coolest to Mr. Dewey. They had preferred Harold Stassen or Robert Taft.

Of the Democrats, only 46 percent, by contrast, favored the President as the best candidate the party could have picked, while 47.1 percent believed someone else could have done a better job. A slim majority favored him in each region save the South, where opposition was great, with only 36.5 percent finding him the best choice, 56.4 percent favoring someone else.

When asked about the vice-presidential candidates, 74.1 percent of Republican respondents said that Governor Warren was the best man, while on the Democratic side, 59.2 percent said that Senator Barkley was the best man. Mr. Barkley was better liked in the South among Democrats than Mr. Warren was among Southern Republicans. Senator Barkley therefore might bring many of the rebel Democrats back home.

The Democrats, he concludes, had a greater chore ahead of keeping core support than did the Republicans, though both parties faced a substantial task in this regard.

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