The Charlotte News

Tuesday, August 31, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Russian and Western military governors of Germany met for an hour this date regarding East-West problems in the blockaded city, the first such meeting since the previous March when the Soviets walked out of the Allied Control Council. The meeting was stimulated by the diplomatic talks in Moscow during the previous month between the Big Three ambassadors and either Prime Minister Stalin or the Foreign Commissariat of Russia. Another meeting would occur the following day. No statement was released. The State Department indicated that discussions would take place on how to resolve the blockade crisis and the competing two forms of currency.

In Belgrade, Yugoslavia was placed under an all-Tito government in a hastily adopted decree, with all of the Cabinet now being Communists. Elevated were the Vice-Premier to Foreign Minister and Interior Minister to Vice-Premier, both of whom had been singled out with Tito by the Cominform as being anti-Soviet. The former non-Communist Foreign Minister was relegated to an ineffectual post.

A dispatch from Greece indicated that Tito was angering Russians further by imprisoning Communist guerrillas fleeing across Greece's borders to escape advancing Government troops.

A witness for the U.S. Government in a deportation hearing in New York regarding Alexander Stevens, identified the previous day by Whittaker Chambers before HUAC as "J. Peters", head of the Communist underground in the U.S., stated that Mr. Stevens had said that America had to be destroyed, including churches, schools, and the Government. The witness was a former Communist until four years earlier.

HUAC member, Congressman John McDowell, said that former Assistant Secretary of State Adolf Berle had told HUAC in executive session the previous day that he had in 1944 favored a less friendly policy toward Russia, based on intelligence coming to him from Russia that the Communists were planning their own agenda to follow the war, and had to battle on the point a pro-Soviet group in the State Department, led by Dean Acheson whose assistant by that point was Alger Hiss. Mr. McDowell said that he doubted Mr. Berle thought Mr. Hiss was a Communist. Mr. Berle had said that he was transferred to be Ambassador to Brazil as a result of the conflict, and it finally had ended his diplomatic career.

In Washington, a spokesman for the National Association of Broadcasters told a House Committee that the FCC Scott decision, interpreted by broadcasters to mean that atheists were to be given an equal opportunity to respond to religious programming, constituted a "thought police" and violated the First Amendment. One witness, an attorney from Mississippi and former acting counsel for the FCC, said that he was "depressed terrible" by the FCC decision. Atheistic programming, he said, did untold damage to "teenages". (He may have said "teenagers" and the reporter heard it a different way.) He had advised a Florida station to decline a request by an atheist who wanted to mock God and Jesus in a "shocking" manner.

Stone him. That can't be allowed. At least, throw eggs and tomatoes at the atheist.

Axis Sally's preliminary hearing on a charge of treason for her propaganda radio broadcasts for the Nazis during the war was postponed until September 14 in Washington.

In Troy, N.Y., the publisher of the Troy Record and Troy Times-Record fell twenty feet to his death at age 78 while inspecting the publishing plant.

Twenty-five year olds began registering for the first peacetime draft the previous day. About a dozen youths who said that they were "peace makers", demonstrated in Columbus, O. In New York City, 16,232 registered, 14,000 in Los Angeles, 10,000-12,000 in Cook County, Ill., and 1,215 in Denver.

Former Texas Governor Coke Stevenson had increased to 366 votes his lead over Congressman Lyndon Johnson for the open Senate seat of retiring Senator P. the B. W. Lee O'Daniel, with but 300 votes left to be counted. An official canvass of the vote would be necessary, however, to determine a winner. On the last previous tabulation the previous night, Mr. Stevenson's lead had been only 119 votes.

It appears, based on the trend, that Congressman Johnson will probably remain in the House the remainder of his career as this will be his second loss he will have suffered running for the seat, the first having occurred narrowly in June, 1941 when he lost a special election to Governor P. the B. But it was a good try. You can't win them all.

Of course, there is still Box 13 outstanding.

The tropical hurricane in the Atlantic was moving up the East Coast but would miss the Atlantic seaboard entirely, provided it maintained its course. It would, however, produce strong winds along the coast. At 10:00 a.m., the storm was 110 miles east southeast of Cape Hatteras, moving north northeastward at 12 mph, accelerating, with winds around 100 mph, spreading gales over a 300-mile diameter area.

Tom Schlesinger of The News, reports that Henry Wallace, after being pelted with eggs and tomatoes in Hickory, as he had been in Durham, Burlington and Greensboro the previous day, addressed a crowd of about 3,000 in Charlotte from the steps of the Courthouse and was met with scornful shouts of "we don't want him, he's too red for me", as three eggs and one tomato were thrown. Two of the eggs hit newspapermen and the other hit Mary Price, Progressive Party candidate for Governor. A News cameraman, Don Martin, was hit by the tomato. Nothing hit Mr. Wallace. Three men were arrested for the thrown produce and charged with disturbing the peace. Very few black citizens had shown up for the speech. Mr. Wallace had vowed that he would not speak before segregated audiences in the South and no restriction was placed on the Charlotte gathering.

He could scarcely be heard above the din created by the protesters, though he persisted, saying that he believed that the eagle needed both a right and a left wing to fly.

In an interview with Mr. Schlesinger before the speech, the former Vice-President said that the egg throwers appeared mainly to be high school kids acting in an unorganized fashion in the spirit of fun. He said that he preferred his eggs, however, sunny-side up. He hoped to appeal to the people who believed peace was the paramount issue in the campaign. He thought the Progressives would get more votes than the polls suggested. He also said that the report on Rex Tugwell supposedly leaving the Progressive Party was in error. The reason he had come to Charlotte was because he had heard it was one of the enlightened places of the South. He traveled with black persons on the campaign trail because everyone was an American and he believed that he should stay where he was accepted. He was especially eager to learn of the Scotch-Irish heritage and church-goers predominating in the community, a heritage which he shared.

Mr. Schlesinger concludes that it was easy to see why Mr. Wallace's more charitable critics viewed him as pathetic rather than sinister, "a man of decent instincts, perverted by political life."

Had Mr. Wallace wanted to be shrewd and oblique, he could have said that he breakfasted only on scrambled eggs cooked in Woollen Gymnasium.

But the angry in the crowd probably would have interpreted that to have something to do with N.C. State and thus Reds, and therefore thrown the more.

President Truman condemned the egg throwing in North Carolina as a "highly un-American business", violating the American concept of fair play.

Well, what does he know? He's crazy and going to lose anyway. Only Strom and Fielding can save the day for real Americans.

On the editorial page, "Welcome to Henry Wallace" quotes from the monk of Padua in the year 1260, telling of old and young alike in the city walking about naked without shame in a vice-filled era, each carrying a scourge with which he whipped himself to the point of drawing blood, while singing penitential psalms amid tears.

Asceticism had flourished since early Christianity. Simon Stylites built a pillar eighteen feet high and three feet wide at the base, climbed it and sat there for 37 years. Competition caused him to build higher, to 60 feet. Some claimed that he came down from time to time to conduct business.

Henry Wallace, it offers, was an ascetic and an exhibitionist, but knew better, unlike the ascetics of old. The former Vice-President was engaged not only in self-flagellation but also flagellation of his country. He had killed the "poor little piggies" in 1934 as Secretary of Agriculture as a form of price control to avoid a glutted market. Now, he was on a ticket of a reddish party, just as farm laborers had to have a red ticket during his tenure at Agriculture to work on farms.

It finds that Mr. Wallace had become nearly a traitor to his country and his own liberal principles, a dupe of sinister interests, a champion of dissidence in the country. He traveled naked, exposed for what he was, "the Dupe of Moscow and the Champion of Dissidence and Discontent".

Many were not bothered by either his confusion or his good will, but were counting on him as a sap, and he had gone along, scourging himself and singing psalms.

With welcomes like that, it's a good thing they did not wish to ride him out of town on a rail.

"Beer & Wine to the Bootleggers" tells of the 1947 General Assembly passing a law which extended the county-option system applicable to liquor to beer and wine—provided that if the county were to vote to prohibit the sale, it would not receive any share of the state taxes collected therefrom in the wet counties. Nine counties, including neighboring Gaston, had nevertheless just voted dry. Prior to that, the Drys had orchestrated five straight victories, with no defeats. In none of the counties had ABC liquor control been tried, but wine and beer was being sold in each.

It finds that while these inebriating potations could cause trouble, it was not likely that prohibition would end the trouble, as the system did not do away with alcohol, only served to stimulate the bootleg trade and all of its attendant evils while losing tax revenue.

"Tradition Gets a Keel-Hauling" tells of Admiral Hewitt Thebaud holding that something had to be done about "over-fed and under-exercised" Naval officers. Girth was, however, it observes, a distinguishing characteristic of top Navy officers. Admiral Thebaud thought that they ate and drank too much, smoked and sat too much.

It wonders what the Admiral might do to impose discipline and, even if it worked, whether the enlisted men would not resent the regimen as depriving them of recognition of their officers as indistinguishable from themselves. If the program worked, the three E's, egotism, eating, and ennui, would have to be dropped from the curriculum at Annapolis.

A piece from the Christian Science Monitor, titled "Queer Tactics", finds unrepresentative a vote by 75 members out of 17,000 total membership in a local of the United Electrical Workers of Lynn, Mass., voting for a policy simpatico with that of the Progressive Party. The union was headed by Albert Fitzgerald, permanent chairman of the Progressive Party convention the previous month and co-chairman of the party. He had dissuaded the membership recently from endorsing President Truman, at a meeting which observers said was packed with strange faces. It suggests that the local's officers insure that more members attend regular meetings.

A piece without a by-line datelined Washington, discusses the campaign expenditures of the parties, required to be filed by a law originating in 1925 and amended several times since. Most politicians did not believe it resulted in complete filings. Congressional Quarterly had found that 47 organizations, 29 of which were national and the remainder branches of national organizations operating in single states, had received or had available 2.275 million dollars. Only a small number of the state organizations apparently were properly reporting, according to the House committee investigating violations.

The Republican Party groups had collected $863,000; the Democrats $535,000, and the Progressives $385,500. Gerald L. K. Smith's Christian Nationalist Crusade had received $45,000. It also reports of three political action committees, CIO, AFL, and Railway Labor, having on hand about $271,000, CIO having $181,000 of it.

The Timken Ball Bearing clan gave generously in $3,000 increments to the Republicans. W. K. Kellogg of Battle Creek, Mich., gave $1,000 to the Republicans.

W. L. Clayton, former Assistant Secretary of State and Secretary of Commerce, gave $1,000 to the Democrats, as did U. S. Treasurer William Julian. Ambassador to the Hague, Herman Baruch, gave $3,000 and Ambassador Lawrence Steinhardt and family gave a total of $15,000, the law limiting contributions to $5,000 per individual, both contributing to the Democrats.

Author and historian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., (brother of News reporter Tom Schlesinger), gave $1,500 to the Americans for Democratic Action, which had just endorsed the President. Marshall Field, Jr., in Chicago gave $2,000 to the ADA.

Henry Wallace gave to his own candidacy $1,000. Corliss Lamont and his wife gave $3,000. He was the chairman of the National Council of American-Soviet Friendship and the son of J. P. Morgan director Thomas Lamont.

Robert Allen, substituting for vacationing Drew Pearson, tells of HUAC having a pow-wow following the public testimony of Whittaker Chambers and Alger Hiss the previous week regarding whether to continue the investigation in the Committee or to turn matters over to the Justice Department for prosecution for perjury of one of the two.

Congressman Edward Hebert of Louisiana favored ending the investigation forthwith, charged that the other members were playing politics for the sake of the election and wished to drag things out. He believed enough evidence had been uncovered for the Justice Department to make a decision. He said that he supported Governor Thurmond for President, implying that he did not seek an end to the investigation by the Committee for ulterior political reasons.

Congressmen Karl Mundt and Richard Nixon, however, wanted the investigation to continue, claimed that they were uncovering important facts for the American people, not engaging in politics.

In the end, after some angry exchange of words, they agreed, on the motion of Mr. Nixon, to compromise, to hear from several more witnesses and then turn matters over to the Justice Department.

We want definitely, before it's over, to find out how much that Model A was worth and whether fair value was paid for it by Cherner Motor Company in 1936, whether William Rosen purposefully bought it, and whether it had been nefariously painted red at some juncture. The fate of the nation depends upon it.

Clark Clifford, adviser and speechwriter for the President, had a favorite story regarding a speech by FDR, a draft of which he had written himself. He then had assistants Harry Hopkins and Judge Sam Rosenman, along with playwright Robert Sherwood, who normally did the speech drafting, look it over. The three decided that the best thing to do was to scrap the draft and start again, which they did, handed the result to the President, who said it was just what he wanted. He never commented on his draft and never again tried to write his own speech.

Filipino former collaborationists with the Japanese were testing public reaction in the U.S. to their status by sending certain collaborationists to the U.S. to entertain. If the reaction was not negative, others would come, all with the design of enabling former collaborationist Jose Laurel to run for the presidency. All of the collaborationists had been pardoned after the liberation by now deceased President Manuel Roxas.

The year's longest strike was taking place at a lead company in St. Joseph, Mo., the President's home state. The union was leftist CIO.

The Army was so top-heavy with brass that there was no room for promotion short of deaths or retirements, prompting the Army to begin its promotions at the bottom and work up rather than the reverse, the usual process.

DeWitt MacKenzie discusses the effort, headed by France, to create an all-Western European parliament with advisory powers, U.S. approval giving it the needed impetus for fulfillment. Such a development would be a long stride toward a United States of Europe or at least Western Europe. Britain, however, had indicated reluctance to join such an advisory parliament, and its participation would be vital. Winston Churchill supported the idea, but Prime Minister Clement Attlee felt it premature for the many problems facing the Government.

The Western European Union was expected to invite inclusion of the remaining 16 nations under the Marshall Plan, providing for an alliance of self-defense and economic strength.

He suggests that Britain's hesitation regarding the advisory parliament was understandable given its problems overhauling its empire and the economic crisis at home. But he also believes that it was reasonable to expect participation in a project which was approved by Britain in principle and fully supported by the U.S. Such a plan would be beneficial to Britain in overcoming its own crisis, by more fully assuring full recovery of Western Europe.

Max Hall discusses political oddities in the history of the United States. John Sparkman of Alabama was elected to both the House and Senate simultaneously in 1946, the only man ever to be so chosen. He held both offices for ten days. Mr. Hall explains how it came to be.

John Nance Garner, Speaker of the House, was elected to the House and the Vice-Presidency at the same time in 1932. James Garfield was elected to the House, Senate, and the Presidency on the same day in 1880, was assassinated four months after taking office as President in March, 1881. Joe Robinson, within a period of eight weeks in 1913, was a Congressman, Governor of Arkansas, and Senator. For a year in 1946, James Curley was both Mayor of Boston and a Congressman, without resigning as Mayor.

Huey Long continued as Governor of Louisiana for ten months in 1932 after his term in the Senate began in 1931, as he delayed taking his oath as a Senator.

We have to add the political oddity since that time regarding Gerald Ford, who would be elected to Congress in 1948 from Michigan, becoming, on August 9, 1974, the only man ever to serve as President of the United States without being elected to the Executive Branch. He is also the only person thus far to serve as Vice-President without being elected to the position, as there was no provision in the Constitution for the appointment of a Vice-President in the event the office was vacated until the Constitution was amended following the assassination of President Kennedy.

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