The Charlotte News

Saturday, August 28, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Whittaker Chambers had accepted the challenge of Alger Hiss to repeat publicly, outside the hearing process and his concomitant Congressional immunity, the allegations he had made against Mr. Hiss in Congress, that he was a Communist during the 1930's, thus opening the door to a defamation suit by Mr. Hiss as he had warned he would undertake in that event. During a radio interview on "Meet the Press" the night before, Mr. Chambers had stated that Mr. Hiss had been a Communist and might still be one. Mr. Chambers said that he did not believe Mr. Hiss would sue him. He was wrong.

Parenthetically, Congressman Richard Nixon apparently thought that both men were as convincing witnesses as any he had ever seen.

Perhaps the safest border on the issue is established by whether one tends naturally to laugh more at the questioners and their basic process or lack of due process, searching desperately for needles in haystacks or in pumpkins, insisting in their implicit bias on the guilty stain of Communism being attached to everyone named by anyone who generously admitted a Communist past and claimed reform from it, or whether one chuckles more at the answers of the witnesses.

For our part, it is hard not to be mockish at a mockery of justice, a summer playhouse performance for political ends, not very convincingly portrayed, a bit hackneyed, a bit frayed in the plot lines, the production and direction being accomplished by rank amateurs, obviously. The entire matter, viewed holistically, was nothing more than a tempest in a teapot, looking back to a time before the war, trying desperately to establish New Dealer disloyalty to the Good Ole Republican traditions of Grant through Hoover, kowtowing to the corporate interests at the expense of the "little people", for political expediency in an election year, to draw public attention to the bad old days of Roosevelt and the New Deal, supposedly full of Reds seeking a collectivist state and abolition of private property interests, Federal control, as the Dies Committee had always sought to prove prior to the war, inveighing ago against New Dealer Kit Marlowe and others of his radical stripe, and away from the "do-nothing" 80th Congress, which had come into office promising to have an investigation about something out of the past every day.

Again we ask the most relevant question: what difference did it make either during or before the war whether sensitive information was given to an eventual wartime ally?—an indispensable wartime ally, without whose help in the war against Fascism, hundreds of thousands more Americans would have died in the war, if the war would have been won at all. President Truman, who had chaired the Senate War Investigating Committee during the war prior to becoming Vice-President, summed it aptly: HUAC and the Senate Investigating Committee of Senator Homer Ferguson were pursuing a "red herring".

He could have waxed a little more complex and still remained accurate had he said that the committees "shone like a rotten mackerel in the moonlight."

Four gun-brandishing Russians in Berlin staged a wild ride through the U.S. sector the previous night, running down an American M.P. with an amphibious jeep, whereupon they were pursued and shot at over the course of seven miles by American police. Despite shooting out two tires, the Americans could not halt the vehicle and pursued it about 800 yards into the Russian sector at Potsdamer Platz, until the Russians escaped. The Americans said that the crossing was inadvertent. The Russian commander officially protested the crossing of the sector border in this manner, claiming an assault on Soviet personnel. The American M.P. who was run down suffered a concussion and lacerations. The Russians claimed that the shooting was without provocation by "animal-like people".

A U.P. correspondent, several German employees of the U.P., and four American soldiers were freed after being arrested in the Soviet sector the previous night in Berlin for unauthorized presence.

Jacob Lomakin, the Soviet Consul in New York departed the country aboard a Swedish-American ship bound for Gothenburg, supposedly passage having been booked two months earlier. He said that he was going to the U.N. General Assembly meeting in Paris as a chief adviser to the Soviet delegation.

The Greek Army pushed in three sectors to mop up remaining rebels.

In Paris, the month-old Government of Premier Andrea Marie resigned this date over the issue of wages and prices, as M. Marie had sought economic decree powers from the National Assembly and Finance Minister Paul Reynaud had been provided those powers. But after two days of Cabinet discussions regarding increases in prices of milk, bread, rail fares and tobacco, the Cabinet collapsed over the issue of wage increases to be allowed, whether 10 or 15 percent, the Socialists desiring the latter. It was the 10th postwar French Cabinet to fall, creating a dangerous instability, as there were few men who would be acceptable as premier by the coalition of varied party interests. It was expected that General De Gaulle and his followers would renew their demands for dissolution of the Assembly and call for new elections.

The Navy's Caroline Mars, the largest flying boat in operation, landed in Lake Michigan in Chicago setting a record flight of 24 hours, twelve minutes for a craft of its size, 82.5 tons, over a distance of 4,676 miles from Honolulu. It carried 39 persons and a cargo of agricultural products and leis. The previous record distance was 4,375 miles from Maryland to Brazil.

As indicated the previous day, retired Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes died this date at age 86 after congestive heart failure. He was the only Justice ever appointed twice to the Supreme Court, once in 1910 by President William Howard Taft, after which he resigned in 1916 to run for the presidency which he narrowly lost to President Wilson, and then was appointed Chief by President Hoover in 1930, following the retirement of Chief Justice Taft in his latter days, the only man ever to serve both as President and as a member of the High Court. Chief Justice Hughes also served as Secretary of State to both Presidents Harding and Coolidge during the early to mid-1920's.

He had sided with the Roosevelt Administration in about two-thirds of the decisions before the Court, but nevertheless was regarded as one of the "nine old men" of the Court by 1937 when FDR, without a single appointment during his first term as President, began his effort to get Congress to pass the "court packing plan", to add six new "assistant Justices" to the Court as each Justice reached a designated age, the ardor for which subsided as retirements and death began to take their toll over the ensuing four years. Chief Justice Hughes delivered the opinion for instance in the Schechter Poultry case which invalidated the National Recovery Administration, a key component of the New Deal, as an unconstitutional cession of powers from the Congress to the Executive. He had joined the majority in striking down other parts of the New Deal program as well, such as parts of the Agricultural Adjustment Act in the Butler case.

Tom Schlesinger of The News tells of the North Carolina CIO and PAC having reiterated their strong opposition to the Progressive Party, warning that maverick groups of the CIO, presumably referring to the Tobacco Workers, the United Furniture Workers, and Fur & Leather Workers, were trying to garner support for Henry Wallace. The N.C. CIO and PAC reaffirmed their support of the Marshall Plan.

Ray Stallings of The News tells of Henry Wallace to speak before integrated audiences the following Tuesday when he would appear in Charlotte at two gatherings. Other meetings, noted Police Chief Frank Littlejohn, had taken place in Charlotte where segregation was not practiced and no disturbance had taken place. None was expected in the Wallace appearances. His request for a loudspeaker to speak from the Courthouse steps had been denied on the basis of an ordinance forbidding such speakers in the city. A request for use of a Courthouse room for one of the meetings was under consideration.

Monday would be the first registration day for the first peacetime draft, to be held in Charlotte at the music building of Central High School. Local officials expected 1,500 young men to register. The total for the state was expected to be 295,000 before the deadline of September 18.

Get there early, bend over and reach your toes, son, because you are going to war, boy, with a capital "T" if you're among the Chosen.

Another day of the heatwave was expected, with temperatures ranging from 90 to 100 degrees, amid high humidity, from New England to the Dakotas. At least 76 persons had succumbed fatally to the heat. The beaches were full. Only the Pacific Coast was cool. Temperatures topped or reached 100 throughout Ohio and in Boston, got to 99 in New York City and Washington. In Charlotte, the mercury ranged between 74 and 95. It was 106 in Washington, Pa.

It's that coldwar that's doin' it.

The weather bureau issued a preliminary storm advisory for the North Carolina and Georgia coasts regarding the hurricane moving northwesterly in the Atlantic, 630 miles east of Melbourne, Fla., with winds of 115 mph, moving at 60 mph. The storm was deemed no longer a threat to Florida. It possessed the most beautiful eye ever seen in a hurricane, perfectly round as a whirling disk, according to a radar plane commander flying over it.

That's 'cause there's a flying saucer hidden in it and it's gonna land and shoot ever'body with their ray-gun.

On the editorial page, "Clay's Finger in the Dike" finds one policy in play whereby the Soviets favored closure of consulates, closing theirs in New York and San Francisco in the wake of the ouster of Jacob Lomakin, the Soviet Consul to the New York consulate, after the controversy surrounding Oksana Kosenkina, the Russian school teacher who jumped from the third floor of the Russian consulate to escape her self-described "cage" and then sought asylum in the U.S. The Russians also wanted the U.S. to close its Moscow consulate.

The second policy in play was that in Berlin, where the Soviets had supported demonstrations by Communists against the anti-Communist City Council, attempting to establish a Communist regime in its stead.

The third policy was that the East-West talks to try to end the Berlin blockade, between the Big Three Western ambassadors and either Prime Minister Stalin or Foreign Commissar Molotov, appeared to be headed in the right direction.

The three policies were ostensibly contradictory, but appeared to be offsetting of one another to allay feelings in the Russian people and the Kremlin that there was appeasement taking place, resulting in potential loss of face.

A victory over the West in Berlin would open the door to further Russian expansion in Europe.

General Lucius Clay, AMG commander, had flatly stated, however, that the U.S. would not depart Berlin, despite the difficulties in supplying West Berliners during the coming winter by the airlift and widespread unemployment among West Berliners without raw materials and power to run their factories, as well as the problem of two currencies circulating in the city, one from the West and one from the Soviets.

General Clay, it finds, had his finger in the dike and if ordered by the State Department to remove it, the Russian deluge would likely swamp Europe.

"We Must Spend the Energy" tells of the South being proud of its leisurely lifestyle, but that it might also help to account for the fact that the fifteen Southern states were at the bottom of the heap economically, based on Commerce Department statistics. So it asks whether the leisurely tradition was being maintained at a too great cost, at the expense of the future of the youth, driving them to other regions of the nation for better opportunities.

Progress was being made in industry and the region was drawing into parity with the East. But per capita income remained only two-thirds the national average, though increased by ten percent the previous year to the highest point in history, still, however, behind Florida, Virginia and Tennessee among Southern states.

It concludes that the state had the raw materials and manpower to take its place among the nation's leading states economically but questions whether it had the energy to take advantage of them.

"Dixiecrats Don't Like the Label" reports that Dixiecrats were tired of the moniker coined for them by Telegraph Editor Bill Weisner of The News, who favored it as apropos shorthand for crunched headlines. Governor Thurmond did not like it, wanted the party which he headed to be called the States Rights Party, wanted the movement to be regarded as national in scope. Others in the movement also decried the label's use as conveying a pejorative image, that of a colonel with a mustache with a penchant for mint juleps.

The piece concludes that while Dixiephile might be more accurate, Dixiecrat was accurate enough, as they appeared to favor government by Dixie for Dixie.

Regardless, they were stuck with it because it was easier to fit into the headlines than States Rights Democrats.

We'll call you anything we damn please. This is America, Dixiecrab.

A piece from the Raleigh News & Observer, titled "Despite the Talk There's Progress", tells of the current issue of The Journal of Negro Education being devoted largely to criticism of the opportunities for higher education for blacks in the South. It stated that there were as many black graduates of North Carolina high schools in 1947 as there were both white and black graduates in 1937.

It finds the latter statement to be emblematic of a quiet revolution taking place, perhaps not as bold as desired by Northern black leaders, especially when faced with repressive talk by some Southern pols. Southerners were, it finds, however, making progress for all Southerners, deserving of respect by persons of good will in all parts of the country.

Robert Allen, substituting for vacationing Drew Pearson, applauds Assistant Secretary of the Army Tracy Voorhees for an efficient job well done. During the war, he had unraveled a pipeline snafu which had bottle-necked plasma from reaching the active battle zones of the South Pacific. Some officers on some islands, no longer in the active combat zone, had been hoarding it. Similarly, in England he resolved a problem regarding an insufficient supply of hospital equipment to treat incoming casualties.

After the war, Mr. Voorhees reorganized the Army's well-intended but inefficient operation for providing artificial limbs to amputees of the war—of which Mr. Allen was one, having lost an arm.

In 1947, Mr. Voorhees had tackled the problem of shortage of food supplies for occupied Germany, with hundreds of thousands of tons either disappearing or never having existed, slicing the daily ration to 1,000 calories, causing in turn riots and drop in Ruhr coal production. He was able to set the system aright and make it run efficiently, administering without fanfare a relief program many times larger and more complex than that coordinated by Herbert Hoover after World War I. The U.S. was now feeding Germans at a cost of only $17.12 per capita per annum, supplying about 60 percent of the rations received by the Germans.

Only then was Mr. Voorhees hired as Assistant Secretary of the Army and his budget was the only one not cut in the recovery appropriation bill.

Marquis Childs, still in Portland, tells of cheap hydroelectric power working the same kind of revolution in the Pacific Northwest which the discovery of oil in Southern California had in the Southwest. The belief in it, in any event, fueled the migration to the state in large and ever-increasing numbers, registering a 40 percent increase in seven years, more in a decade entering Oregon than in the prior 90 years, since the beginnings of the heyday of the Oregon Trail. The centennial of the founding of the Oregon Territory was being celebrated. In another seven years or so, it was anticipated that yet another 40 percent increase in population would transpire. For there to be adequate numbers of jobs to accommodate this vast influx of people, changes had to occur.

About 55 percent of the economy was timber-based, with no end to demand in sight. But the timber, itself, was a finite resource unless replenished, and its limits had been reached by the wildcatters, the cut-and-run loggers, taking advantage of the boom times. The remaining timber was hard to access.

The answer to the dilemma lay in the Columbia River power system, not just more dams but efficient management of the existing resources by an authority akin to TVA. There was, however, considerable opposition to such Federal authority, power interests favoring state authorities. But the Columbia obeyed no such boundaries, crossed Oregon, Washington and into British Columbia.

In Portland, purchase of savings bonds was running considerably behind redemption, the reverse of the rest of the country, pointing to evaporation of consumer purchasing power in Oregon.

The entire highway system needed to be improved to accommodate the newcomers and loggers also. The accident rate was high, as truckers proliferated. Mr. Childs suggests charging modest tolls to pay for better roads, a system which had worked in the East. Imagination and inventiveness, he concludes, would find a way to accommodate inevitable growth in the region.

DeWitt MacKenzie finds the conflict between Rumania and Yugoslavia to be a good indicator of how the Russian world revolution was progressing. It had started in July with the rift between the Cominform and Tito for being supposedly too cozy with the West and anti-Soviet in orientation. Tito had denied the charge, claimed to be friends with Stalinist Russia, but nevertheless was running his own show, to the consternation of the Kremlin.

Yugoslavia now claimed that Rumania was trying to foment revolution in Yugoslavia for the purpose of overthrowing Tito. Russia appeared to be working by proxy in these propaganda strikes against Tito, as the Kremlin was not prepared to undertake ouster by force, rather trying to stimulate an internal revolt.

Mr. MacKenzie concludes that the Russian empire was showing signs of being unwieldy and difficult to manage. Using operatives within the satellites to try to effect desired ends was a confession of weakness, only to become greater with the passage of time.

He finds that any empire built of force must in the end disintegrate.

The Editors' Roundtable, prepared by James Galloway of Asheville, examines the case of Soviet Consul Jacob Lomakin, his expulsion from the U.S., and the controversy regarding his treatment of Oksana Kosenkina and the Samarin couple. Some editors feared that the expulsion would damage Russo-American relations. Others believed that the firmness demonstrated might help to improve relations. Most, however, asserted that it would not change anything.

The Wilmington (Del.) Journal applauds the State Department's action in expelling Mr. Lomakin, finds that it was the only thing which could have been done under the circumstances.

The Syracuse Herald-Journal says that Mr. Lomakin lied when he said that the U.S. was holding Ms. Kosenkina, that the Russians were the only ones holding anyone.

The Buffalo Courier-Express believes the State Department shrewd in blaming the incident on misinformation purveyed by Mr. Lomakin, thus enabling the Kremlin to place blame for the embarrassing incident only on him. It could result in better relations between the two countries.

The Nashville Banner applauds the expulsion, finding that diplomatic ties could only exist on the basis of sound principle, despite diplomatic relations being on the thinnest ice between the two countries in 15 years.

The Akron Beacon Journal finds the reaction warranted and showing Russia that the American people adhered to principle before expediency.

The New York Herald Tribune finds that the Russians, not being sentimentalists, would not react to incidents of this type in developing policy and that it would have little, if any, impact. It served to show that America could be firm.

The Dayton Daily News finds the kick to the Consul-General to be language which the totalitarians best understood, that the Russian Government would not think less therefore of the U.S. for administering the kick.

The Dallas Morning News finds that the small incident impacted Berlin, Danube shipping, the workers in the satellite states, possibly providing the match to the gunpowder on the train of world conflict.

The Greensboro Daily News appears to do battle with the pomes of the Atlanta Journal:
The last grim stand of General Custer
Is nothing to a Southern filibuster.

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