The Charlotte News

Monday, August 30, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the Big Three ambassadors to Moscow conferred for the ninth time at the Kremlin this date, this time with Deputy Foreign Commissar Andrei Vishinsky. U.S. Ambassador Walter Bedell Smith stated that subsequent meetings would be held. There was to be no statement yet, however, on the results of the meetings. A reliable source stated that there was a good prospect for an agreement on procedure during this week, with a communique resultant.

In Berlin, the Soviet commander announced that henceforth all residents of the city would pay taxes only in the sector in which they lived and that the Russian sector taxes would benefit only that sector. The order appeared to split the finance department of the city, following previous splits at the behest of the Russians in the police, food, and labor departments.

The U.N. Security Council began an emergency session regarding the temporary truce in Palestine, pursuant to a request by Israel desirous of action on truce violations by the Arabs.

Before HUAC, meeting in New York, Alexander Stevens, 54, testified, taking the Fifth Amendment on whether he had ever used the name, as claimed by Whittaker Chambers, "J. Peters", whether he ever knew Mr. Chambers, Alger Hiss or others named in the hearings, and whether he had ever been a Communist or the leader of the national underground, as also contended by Mr. Chambers. Congressman Richard Nixon, expressing frustration at witnesses continually pleading the Fifth Amendment when the questions posed could not possibly expose them to criminal liability for the statute of limitations, asked the Subcommittee to meet in executive session to determine whether to recommend to the full Committee that a contempt citation be issued against Mr. Stevens. Mr. Stevens, born in Hungary, later a part of Czechoslovakia, and arriving in the country in 1924, had told Mr. Nixon during his testimony that he was not interested in obtaining confidential secrets from the American Government for the Soviets. He had not become a U.S. citizen.

At one point, Mr. Nixon, when Mr. Stevens, having pleaded the Fifth Amendment regarding whether he had ever owned a 1929 Ford Model A or had any dealings with one, while admitting that he presently owned a Chrysler, asked the witness why, when the Chrysler was more expensive than the Ford, it would be any the less incriminating to acknowledge the Chrysler and not the Ford.

Candidly, flip or not, we have trouble following the pattern of thought, even if Ford did have a better idea while Chrysler needed the bailout. Everybody knows, and certainly knew in 1948, for instance, that notorious bank robbers of the period of the late Twenties through mid-Thirties favored the Ford as a swift get-away vehicle. Nobody ever heard of a bank robber using a Chrysler. So, of course, you would plead the Fifth on such a question.

Mr. Chambers again took the stand and asserted that there was no doubt in his mind that Alexander Stevens was the man he first knew in 1928-29, while working at the Daily Worker, as "J. Peters", and subsequently knew him in 1932 or 1933 as leader of the Communist underground of the whole country. He said that it was Mr. Peters who had first introduced him to Alger Hiss.

Former Assistant Secretary of State Adolf Berle, to whom Mr. Chambers had gone to report the underground Communist movement in 1939 and who referred the matter to the FBI, also testified, in executive session. Significantly, given the subsequent testimony of Mr. Chambers, in the Hiss civil defamation suit and before the grand jury, regarding alleged espionage by Alger Hiss, Mr. Berle testified that Mr. Chambers told him at the time that the purpose of the underground was to recruit members of the Government to form a study group to develop sympathy for the American Communist cause but had nothing to do with espionage.

If Mr. Chambers was telling the truth in November, 1948 and beyond about the supposed delivery of sensitive transcribed documents from Mr. Hiss to Mr. Chambers, why would he have actively concealed this fact on this occasion to Mr. Berle when Mr. Hiss, by 1939, was working in the State Department regarding Far Eastern policy? If it was concern over potential prosecution, as the five-year statute of limitations (ten years in the case of deliberately communicating classified information to unauthorized persons) had not yet run in August, 1939, then why did Mr. Chambers not mention espionage during the HUAC and Senate hearings in August, 1948, rather waiting until November during the defamation suit to indicate his "bombshell"?

The Committee stood in recess until after Labor Day.

In the Texas Democratic run-off primary, held Saturday, for the open Senate seat of retiring Senator Pass the Biscuits Pappy Lee O'Daniel, former Governor Coke Stevenson had jumped back into the lead by 210 votes over Congressman Lyndon Johnson, out of nearly a million votes thus far tabulated. Forty-three of the state's 254 counties remained to be fully counted, with about 6,000 votes outstanding. It was the closest political race in state history. Both candidates had stated that they would not accept the unofficial count of the election bureau.

Box 13 would hold the key to the mystery.

The CIO was set to back President Truman in the election, but, along with AFL, would spend more time likely supporting Congressmen who had been supportive of labor.

The Americans for Democratic Action endorsed the President the previous day.

Registration for the first peacetime draft, starting with 25-year olds, began this date in Charlotte, as told by Emery Wister of The News. For most, it was a walk and a wait in the hot sun. Local board members said that they had inadequate staff to register the men. Processing time was 15 minutes per man. By noon, several hundred men had been registered.

The Army said that it needed 10,000 inductees during November. None were yet requested by either the Navy or Air Force.

Cool air from Canada began to end the heatwave besetting most of the nation, save the West Coast. But the cooler breezes would only afford transitory relief from the 90 to 100-degree temperatures of the previous few days. The death toll from the heatwave had risen to 173 in 16 states. Temperatures in the 90's persisted through most of the country on Sunday.

The hurricane which had been churning in the Atlantic for several days was expected to impact Eastern North Carolina this afternoon and night, as hurricane warnings were in effect from Hatteras to Wilmington. The center of the storm remained 250 miles south of Hatteras, moving north by northwest or north at 10 to 12 miles per hour. It will get there probably before the pumpkin. Hatches were battened.

Six shelters, four for whites and two for Negroes, had been established at Wilmington. There would be nothing worse than the prospect of having to integrate for a few days simply because of having your home blown down.

Ralph Gibson of The News tells of Henry Wallace coming to Charlotte the following day, to speak before two unsegregated groups, one for fifteen minutes on the Courthouse steps, approved by the City Council despite threats from crank callers and "Cecil", who sent cautionary postcards, warning the Council of dire results in the next election if they allowed Mr. Wallace to speak to an unsegregated audience. The Council could not approve the request for use of a courtroom, however, as both were in use the following day. Collections at the speech would not be allowed. What about eggs and tomatoes?

After making a talk before a small crowd in front of the post office on Franklin Street in Chapel Hill, Mr. Wallace had been pelted with eggs in Durham during a speech. The same greeting had come to him in Burlington as he spoke to a crowd on Main Street, numbering 2,500. He suffered the same treatment later in Greensboro, including tomatoes, could have made a nice omelet in the heat on the street. He was not allowed by the angry crowds to speak at either venue. Governor Gregg Cherry decried the conduct.

Mary Price, Progressive Party gubernatorial candidate, accused a month earlier by Elizabeth Bentley before HUAC and the Senate Investigating Committee of being involved in the Communist underground, accompanied Mr. Wallace on the tour of the state.

He also planned to stop in High Point and Winston-Salem, the latter appearance to occur at the Southside Baseball Park.

The Charlotte City Council said that they did not anticipate trouble of the eggs and tomato variety in Charlotte because Negroes and whites would be walking around together at the speeches.

A new serialized novel by Vida Hurst was beginning. Turn to page 9-A for the first thrilling chapter of Infatuation.

On the editorial page, "Censorship of the Radio" comments on the Scott decision by the FCC two years earlier, providing that when an idea of controversy is broadcast, persons should not be denied the right to answer attacks upon them or their belief solely because they were few in number. Scott was an atheist from California who demanded time to respond to religious programming. The stations involved interpreted the vague FCC ruling to require the response and gave him that opportunity for 30 minutes. Broadcasters and religious groups then protested. So a committee of Congress was set to investigate the ruling.

The piece finds the committee ill-equipped to look at this sensitive issue, that if the pattern of HUAC were followed, it would turn into a media circus. But the issue needed clarification. There was no problem with the individual or the newspapers. People and publishers could believe and assert what they wanted, without needing necessarily to afford an opposing viewpoint. But radio stations, licensed to broadcast over limited public airwaves, did not enjoy the same liberty. It was unlikely, it concludes, that the broadcaster would have the same power over what audiences heard which newspapers had over what the public read.

"Forward on the Road to Health" tells of North Carolina having made great strides in providing better health care for the people, though still inadequate. In 1947, the General Assembly passed a bill which gave matching funds totaling 51.6 million dollars in State and Federal funding to build and equip hospitals over a five-year period. Part of the money was spent on the new mental health facility at Camp Butner, eventually set to care for 1,100 patients.

But the state still remained low among the states nationally in provision of quality health care, though fourth in the South in per capita income. It cautions that with educational advancements and growing industries, the state must not forget medical care, especially mental health care.

"Judge Zeke Henderson" quotes Shaftesbury re humor being the only test of gravity and gravity of humor. A subject which would not bear raillery was suspicious and a jest which could not stand serious scrutiny was false wit.

Mr. Henderson, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina, had followed the maxim. He had been a logger before becoming a lawyer and split 500 rails per day, a record in the Eastern part of the state. Now, he was being nominated as an interim appointment to fill the Federal District Court bench in the Western District, pending the outcome of the election. The Senate had not confirmed the appointment by the President of Superior Court Judge Wilson Warlick, eventually renominated and confirmed after the beginning of the year by the new Democratic Senate. The piece praises the recess appointment of Judge Henderson.

A piece from the New York Times, titled "Elms in the Meadows", poetically celebrates the elms of the river valleys: "Reddish flower clusters line the twigs in Spring; the flat, whitish winged fruits drift away in June breezes. In Autumn the pointed double-toothed leaves with cream-colored veins change to a beautiful clear gold. When snow blankets the land and the river's song is muted beneath ice, the symmetrical bare branches are an appealing etching above the whiteness."

It finds that the American elm added charm to quiet village streets, but was perhaps most beautiful when growing above the "flower-starred green of the meadows."

Robert Allen, substituting for vacationing Drew Pearson, tells of Governor Dewey having been conferring at high levels, with Speaker Joe Martin, Senator Styles Bridges, Senator William Knowland, and House Majority Leader Charles Halleck, presenting his outline for the campaign, to get underway in mid-September and continue through Monday, November 1, the day before the election. He would make a Labor Day speech the following Monday, but did not deem it necessary to conduct an extensive tour of the country as the President planned. He would counter the Truman charge of a "do-nothing" Congress with the claim that the President was unable to get along with Congress. He would stress his own cooperation with the New York Legislature to effect legislation. He would avoid any promises to balance the budget or cut taxes, as the changeable foreign situation might interfere with such promises. He would coordinate with Governor Warren to avoid conflicts and contradictions, such as had taken place between Wendell Willkie and Senator Charles McNary in 1940 when they ran as the Republican ticket. Mr. Dewey said that the President was on the defensive and he intended to keep him there. He would build to a climax just before the election, avoid an early anti-climax.

That decision may have dovetailed with his concluding lines of his acceptance speech at the convention.

A Western cattle-raiser had written to a Washington friend that he would have to start liking beans.

Former OPA head Paul Porter had resumed his private law practice following his time as special assistant to the President regarding inflation during the emergency session of Congress. A member of his firm, former trust-buster for the Justice Department, Thurmond Arnold, told Mr Porter that he escaped just in time to avoid being investigated as a White House spy.

Commerce Secretary Charles Sawyer was going before Congress soon regarding the allocation of a large sum to the Middle East to complete the Aramco pipeline from the Persian Gulf to the Lebanon coast, 1,100 miles in length, only 300 of which had thus far been completed. The oil companies, Standard of New Jersey, Socony-Vacuum, Texaco, and Standard of California, all with concessions in the Middle East, were clamoring for it. But U.S. oilmen did not want the steel piping shipped overseas as it was necessary at home. The Army and Navy had also expressed doubt that the pipeline could be defended in case of war and advised development instead of Western Hemispheric resources. The oil companies said that the pipeline would pay for itself in a few years and so loss of it would not be an issue. The Israeli Government attacked the pipeline as favoring the Arab countries, that the shortest route was into the Israeli port of Haifa, where Israelis controlled a British-owned refinery which the British had refused to supply with crude. Rumania had offered to do so in exchange for refined products and the Israelis were threatening to agree to such an arrangement unless the British agreed to put oil in the refinery.

Maj. General William "Wild Bill" Donovan had returned from Greece with a large amount of testimony collected regarding the murder of CBS correspondent George Polk, still unsolved.

Marquis Childs, in San Francisco, tells of California conducting an agricultural inspection at its borders to assure that no contaminated fruits and vegetables entered the state. About a third of the nation's produce came from California, producing about two billion dollars per year in income, the highest of any state.

California had a 41 percent increase in population since 1940, making it close to second among the states.

Governor Earl Warren, first elected in 1942 and then re-elected in 1946, had just been nominated as the GOP vice-presidential candidate and enjoyed widespread popularity both among California Republicans and Democrats, having won the gubernatorial nomination on both party ballots in 1946. It was thought that he might overshadow Governor Dewey on the ticket, but Californians believed that his natural modesty would act as restraint.

Governor Warren was planning a tour of the border states, with emphasis on Missouri and Kentucky, the home states respectively of the Democratic nominees, President Truman and Senator Alben Barkley. He might also venture into the deep South—wherein, a few years hence, after he became Chief Justice in 1953 and following Brown v. Board of Education in 1954, holding, for lack of practical realization, unconstitutional the separate-but-equal doctrine, billboards would appear saying, "Impeach Earl Warren". He might also make a number of talks in the big cities of the East. Senator William Knowland of California would be with him on his tours. The Knowland family of Oakland, publishers of the Tribune, had a lot to do with Mr. Warren's rise in state politics from District Attorney of Alameda County, and Governor Warren had appointed Mr. Knowland, a veteran of the war, to the Senate seat of deceased Hiram Johnson in 1945.

Governor Warren, however, had critics in California who claimed that he had failed as Governor to bring about the progressive measures desired by a majority of voters, such as a fair employment practices law, which he had urged but the Legislature had not passed, as well as housing legislation. Mr. Childs thinks the criticism unfair as the California Legislature was more subject than most to lobbyist pressures because of the cross-filing law which allowed candidates to run on both ballots, diluting party identification.

The contrast with New York was striking, where Governor Dewey had boasted of working with the Legislature to achieve an FEPC and a housing measure.

Governor Warren had liberal views which he sometimes expressed only fuzzily but at other times boldly. Rich tories thought him a dangerous radical. He would ultimately be judged on what influence he would have on national policy and the administration, when and if he got to Washington as Vice-President.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop tell of the meeting the previous weekend of the Joint Chiefs at Newport, R.I., being another step down the road toward realization of unity of the services, conjoined under the Department of Defense a year earlier. It was an even greater leap toward formation of intelligible strategic planning. For the previous two years, the competition between the services had prevented a cohesive long-range policy for war-planning. A meeting in the spring at Key West had produced some agreement as to a basic concept, but implementation still remained the subject of dispute.

That disagreement had been manifested in the last session of the Congress regarding the expansion of the Air Force from 55 to 70 groups, a dispute over the necessity of the Navy's super carrier of 60,000 tons, as well as other less glaring controversies. The method of delivery of the bomb to targets, whether by the Air Force or Navy carriers, was a central issue.

A tactical deficit was recognized with respect to the German XXI Schnorkel-equipped submarine, of which the Russians had 250 and the U.S. had no equivalent in terms of range and radar absorption capability.

At Newport, Secretary of Defense James Forrestal offered the draft of an agreement and it was accepted with little change. The text added to the Key West agreement that each service, in their primary missions, had to have exclusive responsibility for "programming and planning" and the necessary authority to carry it out, subject to control by higher authority. Each service had to complement and cooperate with the others. The Alsops find the Newport agreement to have been the most significant step since unification of the services in 1947.

A letter writer thanks the newspaper for the front page coverage and editorial regarding the World Council of Churches conference in Amsterdam. Recently, the writer's minister had preached a sermon on the merits of Matthew having been seen by Jesus, not as a taxman, but having the potential to do good for the community. She hopes that moral principles and caring for one another would supplant the attitude of individualism abounding in the world.

A letter writer echoes the same sentiment, praises the editorial of August 26 on the Council and the address to it by John Foster Dulles.

A letter from the Pastor of Bethel Presbyterian Church in Clover, S.C., reminds that new registration was required in South Carolina for all voters planning to vote November 2 in the general election. One of the important issues in the election, he says, was whether to grant the power of divorce by an amendment to the South Carolina Constitution, the state being the only one in the union at the time not allowing divorce.

A letter from the Minister of St. John's Baptist Church in Charlotte thanks the newspaper for its editorial comment on the passing of D. W. Fink, a member of his church.

A Quote of the Day: "Up at Ann Arbor, Mich., a news dispatch of July 26 relates, 'Two horses galloping at top speed collided head-on and were killed last night,' from which we can only conclude that horses—commonly credited with horse sense—sometimes have no more sense than people." —Nashville Banner

They should have had a Chrysler.

Another Quote of the Day: "I want to vote for MEN, not for party labels. I would like to vote for Dewey and Warren—both fine men. Thurmond and Wright have no more show of winning than a tallow-legged dog chasing an asbestos cat through Hell." —Grenada County (Miss.) Weekly

A Third Quote of the Day: "The fellow who sliced a peach and then an onion into his Corn Flakes in Atlanta gives us a new idea of indifference." —Greenville (S.C.) Piedmont

You have no idea.

We are not going to deign to quote the one about the stalk bringing the baby ear of corn, according to the mother ear.

Another Pome from the Atlanta Journal, this one "Revealing That Celebrity Is Not An Exclusive Agent of Happiness:
"People quite unknown to fame
Have a good time just the same."

Framed Edition
[Return to Links
Page by Subject] [Return to Links-Page by Date] [Return to News<i><i><i>--</i></i></i>Framed Edition]
Links-Date -- Links-Subj.