The Charlotte News

Friday, August 27, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the U.S. gave its approval to a plan proposed by France whereby there would be a Western European parliament with advisory powers, to be formed from the five-nation Western European Union set up earlier in the year, likely to be expanded to include all 16 ERP-recipient nations.

The British Labor Government, however, appeared to believe that the plan was premature, as suggested in a letter from Prime Minister Clement Attlee to Opposition Leader Winston Churchill.

Communist-led demonstrators again, as the previous day, broke into City Hall in Berlin, breaking up a meeting of the anti-Communist City Council, seeking to set up their own regime, demanding that a special committee comprised of members of the Communist-dominated labor unions in the Soviet zone be appointed to replace the existing council. They promised to return repeatedly. The crowd numbered 200 at its inception and ended after 90 minutes with 2,000 persons. Berlin's acting Mayor, a Christian Democrat, charged that a member of the Communist-dominated Socialist Unity Party had opened the back door of City Hall, through which the demonstrators had entered.

John Foster Dulles, returning from Amsterdam where he had spoken to the World Council of Churches conference, said that he found Europe calmer politically than America, that he did not sense war to be imminent.

HUAC chief investigator Robert Stripling and member Richard Nixon questioned Whittaker Chambers in executive session this date regarding a new report that he and Alger Hiss had once been interested in the same old farm in Westminster, Maryland. Mr. Stripling told reporters that Mr. Chambers had testified that Mr. Hiss had driven Mr. Chambers to the farm in 1936, taking a "sharp turn at a place called Damascus", and that Mr. Hiss had made a down payment on it but did not complete the purchase. Parenthetically, Representative Karl Mundt questioned Mr. Chambers anent whether 12 years earlier on this particular day he and Mr. Hiss maybe stopped to have a picnic or went to a hamburger stand, but Mr. Chambers did not recall—the hamburger stand perhaps having burned down from a fire bug creeping through the deep green forest hills of the "'nasty, narrow valley'", silvery streams beneath golden boughs. About a year later, Mr. Chambers bought the farm but Mr. Hiss, he said, never knew about it—for the sound barrier which "Carl" had erected was left undisturbed, if unquiet.

The Committee also continued, without results, its inquiry this date regarding the alleged sale of a 1929 Model A Ford by Mr. Hiss to Cherner Motor Co. in July, 1936, and its immediate purchase thereafter by William Rosen, who, the previous day, had denied knowing Mr. Hiss and pleaded the Fifth Amendment regarding questions related to whether he had ever been a Communist or owned a Ford. Mr. Chambers claimed that Mr. Hiss intended the car as a donation for a poor West Coast Communist organizer—probably somehow related to the proletarian reaction to Babbittry in the pouring of the metal all along the assembly line. Mr. Hiss had testified that he gave the car to George Crosley, whom he had recently identified as Mr. Chambers, after confronting him at close proximity in the hearing room and examining his teeth.

Which goes to show, we suppose, that one never looks a gift-horse in the mouth at close quarters with a Congressman, lest one be forced to a Hobson's Choice.

—Yeah, Bob, it's really coming together, now.

—Your pumpkin idea for Halloween.

—Yeah, and now this farm thing. We can just have the pumpkin on the farm, ye see. And they both had interest in the same farm...

—Yeah, that's good, Bob. Brings them right together. Microfilm in the pumpkin on the farm. Concrete, so that any child can understand it.

—Good thinking, Bob. Now, get on that typewriter idea.

—Yeah, yeah. By the way, happy birthday.

—October. I could have sworn...

—Yeah, same to you, Bob.

The British War Office announced that Gerd von Rundstedt, Erich von Mannstein, and Walter von Brauchitsch, German field marshals during the war, would shortly be tried for war crimes. They had been in custody for three years.

Britain acknowledged a U.S. diplomatic note proposing an international administration for Antarctica. Britain had claimed large areas of the continent and previously had appeared reluctant to renounce these claims.

Business in Worth Street's cotton textile market in New York had slid downward, but sources were optimistic that Labor Day would see a rebound.

A Congressional committee was preparing to start hearings to investigate whether the FCC, under the Federal Communications Act, had to require radio stations presenting religious programming to provide equal time in response by atheists. The controversy stemmed from a demand from a man in Palo Alto, California, seeking the revocation of the licenses of a San Jose and two San Francisco stations for not letting him have air time to respond to the stations' religious broadcasting. The FCC had never made a firm ruling on the matter, but the Act required that equal time be provided to both sides of any public controversy.

Former Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court and 1916 Republican presidential nominee against President Wilson, Charles Evans Hughes, 86, was seriously ill with a heart condition. He would die the following day. He had been Chief from 1930 until 1941, appointed by President Hoover, having been originally appointed to the Court as a Justice in 1910 by his predecessor as Chief, former President William Howard Taft, resigning in 1916 to run for the presidency. He had also been a board member of the National Geographic Society. He had been succeeded as Chief in 1941 by now deceased Justice Harlan Stone, elevated by FDR, originally appointed by President Coolidge in 1925.

In Shelby, N.C., the two men accused of murdering a 15-year old unwed mother, one her reputed lover and the other the owner of the house in which the murder took place, following a preliminary hearing, were bound over to Superior Court this date to stand trial.

Most of the nation was hot and a hot, muggy weekend was predicted. Weather forecasters did not know when cooler weather might return. Yuma, Ariz., hit 107 the previous day, but the residents there, accustomed to torpidity from torrid conditions, took the heat in stride. New York had the greatest water consumption in its history at 1.524 million gallons, with the mercury reaching 90.7 in 36 percent humidity, having reached a penultimate record high of 100.8 the previous day, 102.8 registered at La Guardia Airport. In Boston, it was 97 at noon, six degrees above the record for the date, set in 1881—the year President James Garfield was assassinated.

At Newark, it was 93, "only one degree lower than at the same time yesterday when a 103-degree record was set"—somewhat hard to accomplish all at once. Maybe they had two thermometers placed at different locations. It was so hot that the heat blew apart two electrical transmission cables, leaving 7,000 New Jersey homes and stores without power for four hours.

It was a hot, barkening sun. Maybe the world was stuck in the throes of the cold war, heating the globe.

The temperature in Charlotte the previous day ranged between 72 and 95.

The hurricane packing 100 mph winds in the Atlantic remained days away, 825 miles due east of Miami, appearing to change course such that it was aiming for the north Florida coast, though expected to alter direction several more times before making landfall. It was described as a "real whizzer".

On the editorial page, "Mr. Blythe's Trojan Horse" tells of DNC treasurer and North Carolina State Senator from Charlotte, Joe Blythe, being perceived by some as a turncoat to the South for his unwavering support of the President in the campaign. But the story of News reporter Pete McKnight earlier in the week, it thinks, should have dispelled that notion.

In fact, Mr. Blythe wanted to keep the party machinery out of the hands of the more liberal New Dealers, such as James Roosevelt, and the big city bosses, as Frank Hague of Jersey City. To that end, he had become DNC treasurer and believed that the Democrats would return to the fold after the election as a united party.

The glue who had held the disparate elements of the party together, FDR, was no more and there was need to find a new method of unity which would not be hostile to the interests of the South as were many of the New Dealers and big city bosses. Mr. McKnight had concluded that Mr. Blythe was performing a distinct service which ought bring him praise from Southerners instead of criticism.

"Wake Up, Parents!" tells of the new menace on the roads, teenagers, many of whom raced down the roadways two and more abreast. Parents seemed unconcerned as to the menace posed by these youths. They had the responsibility to know of their children's whereabouts each night and to refuse them use of the automobile when under driving age.

A few nights earlier, a 15-year old had been arrested driving at 85 mph in his mother's car along a congested highway, traveling with other boys who met regularly and held clocked heats under bet. The mother allowed the boy to take the car on condition that the older boys do the driving. The mother was subject to criminal charge for aiding and abetting. The police had declared war on such parents. The piece underwrites the effort.

Pops, you're just a kill-joy, so Squaresville. Get a real job. It's summertime, the time for exhilaration, like catching a big wave on the asphalt ribbon. Man, like, you go back to the horse and buggy days in your youth. You don't get it. We just go.

"The Passing of the Streetcar" laments the passing of the trolley car in Gastonia and in the Bronx, as both sets were scheduled shortly to leave the tracks for good. Charlotte's trolleys had been removed a decade earlier, wrenchingly to the editorial writer, who remembered his last ride up the Trade Street hill from City Hall to the Square.

While grateful to the Duke Power buses which now got around in half the time of the old trolleys, it finds the increased speed at which the country traveled to be part of the problem, too much rushing hither and thither.

In the old days, one could stick one's head from the window of the trolley and see what specials were on at Belk's Department Store or what the greens looked like at the grocery.

Save for San Francisco, where the trolley survived as a relic of the past alongside more streamlined versions, still nevertheless streetcars, the trolley was disappearing from the landscape. It hopes that San Francisco maintained the tradition against the steady march of progress for awhile yet.

See, that's what we mean. You don't get it. It's the need for speed, man. Down the road, spitting code, free of any load, the goad of time, escape from war, laying bombs, the quick-tilt climb, just like daddy did four years before, city lights passing by in a hazy blur, smoothed down, slicked, no fur to deter the glassy passing of the air through the hair, pinned back in the curves of the dare, open blades bar none, sharpened spades grind the gears enmeshed in grades, pistons gunned, steepy clean, getting rain to the motor's pain. You dig?

A piece from the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, "A Tale of Three Soldiers", tells of three half-starved Chinese soldiers hobbling into an American base in India not long before, telling of confinement with 50 other soldiers of the Chinese Fifth Army in a hospital in Burma when the Japanese had overrun Burma. One soldier could not walk, a second could not talk for a throat wound, and the third could not see temporarily. The Japanese had entered the hospital and stabbed the patients, of whom only seven had originally survived. After crawling into the jungles, only the three eventually were left. Each had been bayoneted multiple times.

The piece suggests that one day, the story might become fabular, as that told by a Chinese Aesop. The lesson would be unity in the face of adversity, that which had won the great war of long ago.

Robert Allen, substituting for vacationing Drew Pearson, discusses General Lucius Clay, AMG commander in Germany, being ready to write his memoirs when he left his command, defending some of his controversial decisions for which he had been amply criticized, criticism which had hurt him. One such policy was the introduction of American currency in Berlin and another was the setting up of Western Germany with its separate Government. Together, these policies had worked to provide the stimulus for the Soviet blockade of Berlin.

General Clay, according to associates, however, had documentary proof that he had opposed both policies as provocative, as well as being tactically and economically unsound. One such document was an order from Secretary of State Marshall, following the failed foreign ministers conference at Moscow, to set up such a separate government.

The General had also wanted the American mark currency confined to the Western zones, but was overruled on this plan, too. The State Department had initially backed the General but the split therein wound up reflected in Secretary Marshall's order.

He next relates that the pithy remarks of former Undersecretary of the Treasury A. Lee Wiggins of South Carolina were missed at Treasury. He had a succinct way of putting things: Deflation was when one had to tighten the belt; recession was a case of losing one's belt and having to hold up the pants with one's hands; a depression was when one had a belt but no pants.

What do you call it when one is tied to the Funambulist?

The failure of the Congress in the special session to revise the Displaced Persons Act passed at the end of the regular session in June, to eliminate the provisions discriminatory to Jews and Catholics, placing limitations on the dates and countries to which the 200,000 displaced persons could derive, might cost the GOP at least one Senator, the author of the discriminatory amendment, Chapman Revercomb of West Virginia, already facing stiff opposition from former Senator Matt Neely.

"Economics"... inflation, increased production, Social Security payments ...

Marquis Childs, in Portland, Ore., tells of the Army Corps of Engineers building the McNary Dam 200 miles up the Columbia River from Portland. It would be named for the late Senator Charles McNary, Minority Leader through the New Deal years, who had run with Wendell Willkie as the Republican vice-presidential nominee in 1940. He had always voted with the New Deal on power projects.

The Bonneville Power Act, which extended to Grand Coulee Dam, provided for the benefits of low-cost power to be passed to individual consumers. Some communities had formed utility districts and voted to require distribution of the power by private companies, obtaining one of the lowest rates in the country by virtue of the cheap power of Bonneville.

The private companies did not quarrel with the Government building these mammoth projects, Grand Coulee being the largest man-made structure ever built. But they wanted the right to distribute the power and some had attacked the Bonneville administration.

The head of the Oregon Grange wanted the Federal Government out of the picture in favor of a state power authority. The utilities wanted the Government to sell the power at the point it left the generators before it passed through the high-tension wires. It was believed that the rationale was to stop establishment of a Government distribution line from McNary Dam.

It was thought that Governor Dewey wanted to take the Government out of power distribution, though he had never stated his position. The public in Oregon wanted to know, in that event, whether they would continue to receive cheap power or whether the private utilities would reap the benefits. The companies would likely say that the state utility commissions would protect the public. But that did not satisfy Oregonians, familiar with the failures of regulatory bodies.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop tell of the Moscow talks continuing after the most recent meeting between the Western ambassadors and Prime Minister Stalin. Still, no resolution had been reached. They therefore assert that it was time to set down the facts about the Berlin airlift, enabling such prolix talks and avoiding the otherwise inevitable choice between appeasement and war.

General Albert Wedemeyer, responsible for the transport of supplies to the Chinese across "The Hump" in the Himalayas during the war after closure of the Burma Road by the Japanese, had insisted that Berlin could also be supplied by air, giving rise to the Berlin airlift.

The net cost of the airlift was about 100 million dollars per year and could extend through the winter with adequate supplies delivered. The optimists believed that the current rate of 4,000 tons per day could be doubled, enough to keep Berlin's industries functioning.

The Russians thus could suffer the political penalties of having Berlin supplied despite the blockade and could suffer through the Western sanctions, cutting off shipments of steel to Eastern Germany. The political penalties from these results, they venture, would be great.

A letter writer criticizes the editorial of August 24, expressing displeasure at the Superior Court judge in Wake County who had held the state ballot qualification statute unreasonable, requiring 10,000 signatures of registered voters, none of whom had voted in either party primary, to be submitted first for validation to the local registrars prior to the deadline for ballot qualification, the judge thus allowing the Dixiecrats to qualify for the ballot, overturning the State Board of Elections ruling that they were disqualified for noncompliance by not having the registrars validate the signatures prior to the deadline.

He thinks that the FEPC would create a police state, that the civil rights program of the President was merely a cynical attempt to woo the Northern vote, assuming the Southern vote was in the bag for the Democrats. The textile plants around Charlotte would be forced to rent houses to the "colored people" in the midst of the white section. You'd have blotched blocks then.

Employers could not ask applicants about their place of birth or religious affiliation, where they were during the war, or whether they had changed their name.

Southerners, he concludes, were being forced to meet the same challenge as 80 years earlier—in 1868, when Ulysses S. Grant was elected President.

His "S", incidentally, did not stand for anything either. Both were unsuccessful storekeepers.

A letter writer thinks that it would be difficult to determine the actual day of the week to be recognized as the Sabbath. The seventh day was the Sabbath, according to Deuteronomy, the Hebrews recognizing Saturday as the seventh day. The original Sabbath was recognized on the 7th, 14th, 21st and 28th of the lunar month.

But he thinks that it was humane to set aside one day of rest each week for the working people but that no one should be able to dictate to others what one could or could not do on Sunday as long as not inimical to one's neighbors.

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