Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that President Truman
called the HUAC hearings and those before the Senate Investigating
Committee regarding Communists in the Government a "red
herring" intended to divert attention from lack of
Congressional action on anti-inflation measures. The committees, he
said, were doing irreparable damage to the morale of Government
workers and shaking the confidence of the people in their
Government. He reiterated his refusal to release to the committees
the confidential loyalty reports conducted within the Executive
Meanwhile, Alger Hiss, accused on Tuesday by admitted former
Communist Whittaker Chambers of being a Communist, appeared before
HUAC and said that he was not and never had been a Communist. He did
not believe that he had ever met Mr. Chambers. Subsequently, on
August 16, Mr. Hiss, formerly of the State Department, presently
head of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, would
suggest that Mr. Chambers might have been a man operating under the
alias George Crosley when the latter, generally fitting Mr.
Chambers's description, sublet the Hiss family apartment during the
period between fall, 1935 and spring or summer, 1936. That was the
only explanation, he would surmise, for Mr. Chambers having such a detailed
understanding of his family life and the layout of his home at the
time. Mr. Hiss would indicate that the man he knew during this
period was remarkable for his bad teeth and wished to meet Mr.
Chambers in person so that he could better ascertain the
resemblance. The Committee would then agree to arrange such a
meeting, held August 17—when it was safe.
Congressman John Rankin of Mississippi proposed calling
former Vice-President Henry Wallace to testify regarding how
Communists obtained key positions within the Commerce Department
while he was Secretary.
Pennsylvania Congressman John McDowell of the Committee revealed that
1,300 pounds of uranium had been sent to Russia in 1943 in two
Samuel Klaus, a lawyer with the State Department, told the
Senate Investigating Committee that Commerce Department officials
knew that William Remington, implicated as an espionage agent by
Elizabeth Bentley, was the subject of an active investigation for
espionage. Mr. Remington's job required in part that he approve of
the goods to be shipped to Russia.
In Berlin, the Russians relaxed their financial constrictions
on the city regarding the two currencies in effect because of the
Russian refusal to allow circulation of Western currency in the
Soviet sector. The currency situation was cited as a reason for the
land blockade. The anti-Communist Berlin City Government reached a
compromise which allowed for the nonce release of enough previously
blocked Russian-mark accounts to meet weekend payments by the City.
A similar arrangement was reached with Western sector firms. It was
the first modification of the currency policy since the beginning of
the Berlin crisis in June and appeared to be a retreat from the
Soviet goal of obtaining an economic monopoly on Berlin.
The Russians, however, placed new roadblocks near Lueneberg
on the border between the Soviet and British zones.
The youth section of the Communist-controlled Socialist Unity
Party condemned the blockade as a "crime against humanity",
the first open revolt regarding the blockade. They also condemned
the German Communists supporting the blockade as a "a criminal
The President accused the Congress of shirking its duty by
failing to pass a comprehensive anti-inflation bill as urged by Mr.
Truman at the start of the special session. The Republicans blocked
consideration of wage and price controls and rationing, substituting
only control of bank credit and installment credit. Republican
leaders accused the President of contributing to inflation by
adding 100 million bushels of wheat to the export quota despite a
huge European crop.
The Senate Banking Committee approved housing legislation
calling for some slum clearance and public housing. The bill was a
modified version of the original Taft-Ellender-Wagner bill,
substituting for a housing bill proposed by Senator Joseph McCarthy.
Attorney General Tom Clark invited 21 district attorneys and
housing expediters from the nation's seven most populous areas to
formulate a new strategy for prosecuting chiselers both criminally
and civilly for violations of laws regulating veterans' housing
under FHA. Numerous complaints had been registered that side
payments had been demanded. One contractor had omitted a full room
from each house he had built, while another altered the width of
each house to enable more houses to be squeezed into the same row.
Scores of cases had already been initiated and indictments had been
returned in Dallas, Los Angeles, and Pittsburgh. Several cases had
already resulted in convictions.
Ford announced a $75 increase in price on all of its models,
U.S. District Court Judge J. Waties Waring responded to the
diatribe launched against him by Representative L. Mendel Rivers of
South Carolina, urging removal of the Judge from the bench and
warning that there would be "bloodshed" if he were not
removed, as his decision to allow illiterates, white and black, to
vote in the South Carolina primaries had been an affront to the
people of the state and the bar—Sloppy Joe's down 'ere in
Pickens. The Judge said, "It should be unnecessary to comment
on these silly, childish ravings."
The Dixiecrats of North Carolina contemplated a write-in
campaign after they had failed to qualify for the ballot. North
Carolina Secretary of State Thad Eure, however, said that he was not
certain that he would accept the electors if the write-in succeeded.
A group of 200 UNC students, most from the veterans' Victory
Village and trailer courts gathered in protest of the
University administration ruling that dogs would not be permitted in
the two housing units, starting September 15 at the inception of the
One woman carried a sign, pictured, which read "Dogs
Don't Hurt Nobody! Save Our Dogs!" Okay, but please take some
English while in attendance at the University. Otherwise, first thing you know, Mr. Rivers won't allow you to vote in the primaries, at least not in South Carolina.
Dick Young of The News reports that the City Council
and the Mayor were moving forward with plans to clean up the city's
creeks by requiring industrial operations to eliminate waste dumping
by the first of the year.
In the London Summer Olympics, first to be held since those
in Berlin in 1936, Charlotte's Floyd "Chunk" Simmons was
in second place in the decathlon, after completion of four of this
date's five events, against 34 other participants. Ignace Heinrich of France
was leading by 22 points, 3,095 to 3,073. Bob Mathias, 17, of Tulare,
California, was in third place with 3,068 points. The concluding
five events would take place the following day.
Each of the three leaders would reshuffle positions but would
wind up as the three medal winners. Chunk Simmons would take the
On the editorial page, "Get Tougher or Smarter?" tells of Elmo Roper finding in a poll that the public had
increasingly come to disapprove of the U.S. policy toward Russia,
voted inadequate by 31.6 percent of the respondents of July, 1947,
rising to 52 percent disapproval the previous April. Of those, 42.7
percent wanted Washington to get tougher, while only 7.5 percent
favored a milder policy.
Still, however, less than one percent of the respondents
favored war with Russia. The piece posits that the disparity might
account for the reason that the tougher foreign policy had made
little impact on the Russians. To be effective, a tough policy
needed the people behind it, favoring, if necessary, war to enforce
it. The desire for a tougher policy appeared thus to come from the
notion that Russia could be bluffed, developing out of an
overestimate of U.S. strength and insufficient understanding of the
obstacles ahead, deficiencies potentially leading unintentionally to
war. Such was already threatened in Germany with the Berlin crisis
following from the U.S.-British plan to form a separate government
for Western Germany.
It suggests that the respondents ought be favoring instead a
"Don't Mistreat the Butcher" comments on the
housewives of Texas, having the previous year revolted against the
lower hem-line, now undertaking a meat boycott. While there had been
some sense in conserving material in dresses in the former instance,
there was none, it suggests, in the latest move. The butchers had
nothing to do with meat prices. Moreover, some butchers would suffer
greatly while others remained unaffected.
The boycott would also lead to a rush on meat after it was
over, causing meat prices to rise. The boycott would only punish the
butchers who had stood fast during the war on prices and result in
no ameliorative effect on inflation.
"Brother, Can You Spare 7 Cents?" discusses the
bill introduced by Representative and future House Speaker John
McCormack of Massachusetts to mint a seven-cent coin, to make it
easier to pay bus fares. It would take the place of the nickel. It
would also help in the fight against inflation as manufacturers
could not afford to make items for a nickel as the vending machines
were designed to accept, and so they raised the nickel candy or soft
drinks to a dime, when they could limit the price to seven cents.
The piece thinks that Mr. McCormack had a point, as the
editors were tired of hearing about wooden nickels and bumming a
nickel for a cup of coffee.
A piece from the Washington Post, titled "Housing
Frills", discusses the latest cost-saving method in housing,
eliminating gadgets, such as circular windows, fancy railings,
widow's walks, screened-in porches, hardwood floors, built-in
appliances and the like.
The status-conscious Joneses might object, but, suggests the
piece, they could go ahead with their plans to add on their mirrored
Drew Pearson tells of Speaker Joe Martin having again blocked
the Taft-Ellender-Wagner long-term housing bill, passed previously
by the Senate, by a parliamentary maneuver within the Rules
Committee after it had passed the Banking and Currency Committee.
Congresswoman Helen Gahagan Douglas had been circulating a discharge
petition to get the bill to the floor, requiring a majority vote in
the House. Mr. Martin, however, declared that the petition could
only be signed while the House was in sessio. Then, the previous
Friday, he promptly recessed for a long weekend. Since the petition
had to rest on the Speaker's desk for seven days before going to the
floor, it probably made it impossible to have the bill reach the
floor during the special session. So far, Ms. Douglas had 163
signatures and needed 27 more to reach 190, at which point Sam
Rayburn had promised to supply the remaining 25 signatures.
The Library of Congress was displaying gifts from the people
of France in appreciation for the Friendship Train of the previous
November-December. Italy had also provided a special resolution in
appreciation for the train which went to that country.
Champ Pickens, founder of the Blue and Gray college football
game each season between Northern and Southern all-stars, had once
resolved for the President whether Missouri was considered part of the
North or the South. A star player from the University of Missouri
was named Jefferson Davis, but, notwithstanding, he was assigned to
the Northern team because the University lies north of the
Mason-Dixon Line. Mr. Pickens was also planning to build a stadium in
Montgomery, Ala., to be the permanent home of the game, played since
HUAC was secretly investigating Communism within the black
community and several prominent black leaders would be called to
testify on the subject.
Governor Earl Warren would open his vice-presidential
campaign in the Northwest on September 7, and then proceed to Texas
and the border states.
Friends of Henry Wallace said that he was quietly concerned
over the way in which the Communists had taken control of the
Progressive Party, but would not do anything about it.
Mr. Pearson thanks the Senate Small Business Committee for
protecting the small oil companies from the big ones.
Senator Zales Ecton of Montana and Congressman John Sanborn of Utah
were using their franking privileges to send out silver-lobby
propaganda over the West.
House Speaker Martin was considering calling a special
session of Congress after the election—on the assumption that
the Republicans would win.
Barnet Nover reports of the U.N. Food and Agricultural
Organization statement on Europe's future food production,
set to stand in the way of recovery for years to come. The agricultural
prospectus for the 16 Marshall Plan countries was bad, despite good
harvests during the previous year and substantial importation of
food eliminating the immediate threat of starvation, which had
prevailed even as late as a year earlier. Britain was abolishing its
bread ration, imposed in 1946. The rule, however, was small rations.
FAO predicted that by 1951, the bread grains and coarse grains
would not be restored to prewar levels. Plus, there were ten million
more people in Europe than in 1938. Under current plans, by 1951, Europe's
net import of these grains would be a quarter to one-third higher
than prior to the war.
While the U.S. had enjoyed bountiful harvests, there was no
guarantee that they would continue. And the countries of Europe
still would not have the dollars for purchasing imports beyond the
aid provided under the Marshall Plan, those dollars needed for
import of machinery to enable the rebuilding of industry.
FAO stressed the need for the European countries to
coordinate production to achieve greater and more efficient output,
especially in agriculture. Paul Hoffman, director of ERP, had
recently stressed this point.
James Marlow tells of the Communist ring inside the
Government having been known for some time by the FBI, other
Government officials and Congressional committees. The FBI had
already investigated most of the persons named before HUAC and the
Senate Investigating Committee. HUAC had already questioned many of
them in executive session. Several had appeared before a grand jury.
But the public had only just become aware of the matter when
Elizabeth Bentley began testifying publicly the previous Friday
before the Senate and on Saturday before HUAC.
Only one of the persons she had named was still employed by
He recounts the story of Ms. Bentley's espionage gathering
work during the war for the Soviets and her ending her membership in
the Communist Party in mid-1944, then going to the FBI a year later,
after which she had no further association with the Communists. A
year earlier, a New York grand jury had begun investigating her
allegations. No one had yet been indicted beyond the 12 leading
American Communist Party members on July 21, a distinct matter from
the year-long investigation into the alleged Government spy ring.
HUAC chairman J. Parnell Thomas, not satisfied with the work
of the New York grand jury, wanted a special grand jury in
Washington set up to examine the matter and was planning within a
week to request that the Attorney General convene such a grand jury.
The Senate Investigating Committee, chaired by Senator Homer
Ferguson, also was not satisfied with the New York grand jury effort
and so decided to perform its own investigation.
Samuel Grafton, no longer carried by The News, tells
of Ed running into his old friend Martin on the evening train,
asking who was being helped more by the special session, the
Republicans or Democrats, to which Ed said he felt no one was
Martin was concerned over the animosity to be directed at
Republicans for not passing the housing bill. Ed suggested that they
pass it, to which Martin responded that if they passed such
socialistic measures, there would be no security in the country, as
free enterprise would be harmed.
Martin also wondered whether people would be upset with the
Republicans for not breaking the Senate filibuster of the Southern
Democrats on the anti-poll tax measure. Ed said that they could have
stood their ground and threatened to continue the session, if
necessary, until Christmas. But Martin thought that passing the bill
violated states' rights and then anything could happen in the
resulting shake-up. It would not be safe.
But Ed said that people would be sore at them and if that was
safe, then the Republicans would be safe.
Martin thought the Berlin crisis was scary. Ed agreed, said
that the world ought to make peace rather than living through such
chapters again. But Martin questioned how peace could be had with
the Russians. It would not be safe. Ed gave in and said to skip it.
Martin persisted, however, that things would not be safe in making
peace with the Russians. Ed again gave up, agreed that there had to
Martin then reached into his pocket and realized that he had
left his key at the house and his family was away, that he would be
locked out. Ed wondered why he locked his doors as no one else on
the street did. Martin said that you could never be too sure.
A letter from an "Industrialist", (a leading
Charlotte businessman, inform the editors), says that Charlotte
would suffer in the eyes of potential manufacturers deciding whether
to move a plant to the city, in light of the epidemic of polio and the
slum problems. The city had to eliminate those conditions, he urges,
to thrive economically.
A letter writer praises the newspaper for having the guts to
expose the slum problem of the city on the front pages.
A letter writer finds the decision by the City to conduct a
study of the problems causing polio to have come late, that
spraying of DDT should have been undertaken before the disease got a
grip on the community.
A letter from the head of the department of animal industry
at N. C. State thanks the newspaper for its section on the
progressive program in Iredell County regarding livestock