The Charlotte News

Friday, September 10, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in Berlin, American officials curtly rejected a Russian attempt to limit the Western airlift supplying the city, demanding data on every flight for purposes of safety. The previous day, anti-Communist Germans ripped down the Communist flag from the Brandenburg Gate and Soviet-controlled police fired into demonstrators, killing at least one person.

Associated Press correspondent John Scali, who would play a pivotal role in the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, reports that American officials were predicting disagreement among the Big Four regarding disposition of Italy's prewar African colonies. That came on the heels of Secretary of State Marshall indicating that bipartisan general agreement had been reached as to the U.S. position regarding the colonies and that the U.S. would agree to meet, per a Russian suggestion, with the other Big Four nations to discuss the matter. Under the Italian peace treaty, if the Big Four failed to agree on the disposition by September 15, the matter would have to go before the U.N. General Assembly for determination. Russia wanted Libya, Eritrea, and Somaliland returned to Italy under U.N. trusteeships. The other Big Four nations had opposed this proposal, though it appeared of late that the U.S. had reversed its position.

In Paris, it was believed that new Premier Henri Queuille, a conservative Radical Socialist, would be able to achieve a majority in the National Assembly after the Gaullists promised their support. A spokesman for General De Gaulle, however, called for new national elections. There were several work stoppages across France, including at Renault, whose workers marched to the center of Paris and there attacked police, eventuating in the injury of a dozen demonstrators and twenty policemen. The Communists had been excluded from the new Queuille Cabinet. It was likely that Robert Schuman, whose 64-hour old Government fell earlier in the week, would remain as Foreign Minister.

ERP administrator Paul Hoffman said that he would terminate aid to any nation which became fascist, just as would be the case with a country which became communist.

The Air Force was awaiting authorization from the President to spend 200 million dollars for more than 200 new bombers and fighter planes, including 96 million for the Boeing XB-47, a fast, swept-wing bomber.

General Leslie R. Groves, military head of the Manhattan Project during the war, testified to HUAC in executive session that there may have been leaks of atomic secrets to Russia during the war. He declined to provide details. He said that of 600,000 employees on the Project, it was not to be expected that all would be perfect in maintaining secrets. He also said that he was not aware of uranium having been shipped to Russia during the war, as Congressman John McDowell had reported during earlier hearings in August. He said that he did not authorize any such shipment and could not imagine it being done.

The House Civil Service Committee was studying an allegation that postal promotions had been sold for as much as $500. The allegations were yet to be proved.

The Dixiecrats failed to qualify for the Indiana ballot after the State Board of Elections had certified them. A court contest challenged the sufficiency of the petitions and claimed that the party had defrauded the Board of Elections. Only 700 signatures had been properly acknowledged. Some of the 11,000 signers were found to be dead. The State Attorney General argued the case on behalf of a private citizen who brought the suit. The court sided with the plaintiff.

Truckers in New York City were set to vote on wage demands to try to end the ten-day strike. The originally demanded 25-cent per hour raise had been scaled back to 17.5 cents.

As summer ended, there was an expected drop in employment and individual incomes from the record highs of mid-summer.

In Atlantic City, Miss Utah won the talent competition the previous night with presentation of a dramatic monologue as a mother talking to her dying son in the hospital. Miss Minnesota won the bathing suit competition. Two nights earlier, Miss Tennessee had won the talent competition and Miss Kansas, the bathing suit contest.

In Louisiana, the Democratic State Central Committee took the President's name off the ballot and substituted that of Governor Strom Thurmond—who would, surprisingly, go on to win the state in November. The committee voted to go ahead and pledge all ten of the state's electors to the Dixiecrat ticket, changing from their previous unpledged status. President Truman was relegated to write-in status.

In Charlotte, two teenage boys had shot a man in the legs with a shotgun the previous night and forced him to ride with them on a Duke Power bus to Independence Square to be taken into custody by the police. They alleged that the man was a prowler at the home of one of the boys. Prowlers had been spotted on two previous nights. The boys claimed that the man had walked near a window of the house and then came up to the window, crouching in the bushes, and peered into a room where there were four women talking. When the man straightened up, one of the boys shot him from a distance of three feet. No charges had been lodged against anyone yet.

Sorry, but you have no right to shoot a prowler who is unarmed. You boys are going to the Big House.

Besides, he was only operating on the same premise as HUAC.

On the editorial page, "'Hummon' Takes Over in Georgia" discusses the gubernatorial primary victory of Herman Talmadge, running on a white supremacy platform, over colorless career educator Governor M. E. Thompson. There was no surprise in the outcome. Mr. Talmadge would complete his father's unexpired term through the beginning of 1951.

Russell Long, another son of a dead demagogue, had scored a victory in the gubernatorial primary in Louisiana.

The setting for Mr. Talmadge, it ventures, was perfect. The President was pushing his civil rights program to the ire of many Southerners. Governor Dewey had created an FEPC in New York. Mr. Talmadge had warned voters that after November, such would become national policy. Henry Wallace had just completed his tour of the South, sleeping in black homes and hotels, stumping for racial equality. Mr. Talmadge made sure that his wool-hat boys heard about that, too.

Governor Thompson was weak competition, having neither the acumen nor the force of former Governor Ellis Arnall. He had also been forced into an unhealthy alliance with former Governor E. D. Rivers, another demagogue.

Mr. Talmadge had learned well from his father how to relate to his rural backers without letting his college and law degrees get in the way. That, plus the county-unit voting system which gave rural counties disproportionate strength relative to the cities, had assured his victory. Mr Talmadge's lieutenants boasted that they would be in power for 50 years if they won the election.

The piece finds the boast not necessarily idle. While there was much opposition to Mr. Talmadge, they would find it difficult to express themselves as Mr. Talmadge, like his father, would control party machinery and formation of a third party was not a realistic alternative.

Mr. Talmadge had promised to mend his ways once in the Governor's Mansion. But it was unlikely that such a miracle would occur. The wool-hat boys were back to stay and Georgia's progress realized under Governor Arnall had been set back many years.

"The Church and Economics", in comment on the World Council of Churches having condemned both laissez-faire capitalism and Communism, finds the American Indians to have been organized along communist lines while the ancient Phoenicians had practiced laissez-faire capitalism. Not until the mid-eighteenth century, however, did Adam Smith champion the latter form of economy. High taxes on large incomes and estates were designed as levelers. Communism was championed by Karl Marx in the mid-nineteenth century, to eliminate class antagonisms in the "bourgeois" society through association to free the proletarians from the chains of their economic rulers.

Communism, however, in its true sense was never realized in Russia. It became the instrument of tyranny by a ruling class, the party.

It questions, in light of the Council resolution, whether the Christian Church would favor instead socialism. Any system of government was faulty if the wrong men controlled it.

It advises the Council to leave economic and political systems alone, save those genuinely nefarious in intent. It urges that it would be better to get the Golden Rule firmly established before invading these realms of discourse.

A piece from the Anderson (S.C.) Independent, titled "'Money Time' in the South", views with apprehension the coming of the first mechanical cotton picker to the region. It could never replace the "low-bent cotton pickers shuffling down the rows, their sacks heavy with the white treasure of the red earth." Cotton pickers had long been a part of the Southern scene in autumn. It waxes poetic on the disappearing system of manual labor.

Here we have, for instance, contrary to the assertion of the letter writer of the previous day, a great disconnect between the North Carolinian, who likely had never seen a cotton picker, and the South Carolinian. Furthermore, the North Carolinian would undoubtedly refrain, in public at least, from seeking to romanticize the occupation as life among the lowly.

Anyway, it goes on quite a bit, describing detail of how it all worked, should you ever have a hankering to be a cotton picker.

"It is cotton picking time, a good time for all in South Carolina. May the harvest be plentiful."

It takes all kinds.

Drew Pearson, returning from his vacation begun August 16, writes from his farm in Gaithersburg, Md., tells of having had a swell vacation, until the pigs got loose—perhaps in subtle reference to HUAC. He thought of going many places, settled on Germany, but in the end remained at home on his farm.

He filled the silo with the corn crop and had enough for two temporary silos to boot.

He recommends William Vogt's Road to Survival which he read, warning of ruination of the country's natural resources by too much timber cutting and pouring of its iron and steel into munitions for foreign battlefields.

He went to church, especially enjoyed a sermon by Bishop John Hines of Austin, Tex, preaching at Bethany Beach, Del.

He decided not to plant any more corn. So, you can read the corn of the prior paragraph for yourself.

He met a gradually disappearing species, the country doctor.

His wife did not care too much for the stay-at-home vacation for obvious reasons, but had been a good sport about it.

But then the pigs got loose. They played deck tennis on the lawn and in a half hour pretty well ruined it. Starting at 5:00 a.m. the next morning, he spent the rest of the vacation piecing it back together as a puzzle. But he received free exercise in the bargain. And his wife, who had worked hard to maintain the lawn in pristine condition, said that she was almost glad that they had bad pigs as they proved her husband's early 5:00 a.m. devotion.

Marquis Childs finds the reports of the death of the Democratic Party, like that of Mark Twain, to be premature and much exaggerated. In his travels, he had found it showing aggressive signs of life of late. Americans, no matter their conviction, had remarked that the two-party system was essential to the country's politics. That would not necessarily translate to results in November as decadence had transpired in the party for three years.

But in the Congressional races, the Democrats had more candidates who stood for something positive, related to the deep convictions of such members of Congress as Helen Gahagan Douglas and Chet Holifield of California. In Iowa, Guy Gillette, though conservative, stood for something, was expected to beat the incumbent Senator George Wilson, colorless and without conviction.

A second important force in the party was the power of organized labor, mainly behind the President. It could conceivably wreck the Republican celebration. The intensive organization of labor in 1944 had a lot to do with the Roosevelt victory over Governor Dewey. The UAW had turned out the vote in Michigan, with shop stewards using a master file of union members to insure their participation. Both AFL and CIO would undertake such an effort in 1948. Mr. Childs, however, believes it would fall short of the 1944 effort and not produce an upset. There was far less enthusiasm for President Truman than there had been for President Roosevelt.

UAW president Walter Reuther was said to be considering formation of a non-Communist labor party to be formed after the election, with himself as leader. That could spell the end of the Democratic Party, drawing off a key support group. The indifference of voters who disliked both tickets might determine the outcome. And most of that group was in labor.

Whatever it meant for the long term, there was a revival of life in the Democratic Party.

James Marlow finds the question and answer, "Who did it? He did it," to sum up the presidential campaign henceforth. The Democrats and Republicans began the campaign on Labor Day, with the President addressing labor regarding living costs, prosperity and housing, and Harold Stassen providing the GOP rejoinder. The four issues would be central to the campaign.

Each blamed the other for inflation. As for Taft-Hartley, a majority of Democrats joined the Republican majority in passing it. Mr. Stassen found it to be a good law; President Truman said it was bad and a foretaste of things to come from another Republican Congress. The President warned of an end to prosperity if the Republicans won. Mr. Stassen promised continuity of prosperity, that the President was trying to scare the people. Mr. Stassen claimed that both Democrats and Republicans were responsible for the housing shortage; the President blamed Congress.

Mr. Marlow says that the voter now had to figure out who was right while even experts had trouble sorting out these issues. Some people might vote for a candidate because they did not like his eyeglasses or his mustache. Arguments would do little to convince such a person. The rest would have to listen to make up their minds. He concludes that they had a tough job ahead.

A not so challenging set of "Better English" questions follows, especially given that the answers appear immediately below the questions.

Samuel Grafton, no longer carried by The News, comments on the rejoinder to President Truman's Labor day speeches by Harold Stassen, proclaiming "better living, better housing and better health"as the GOP campaign position. Mr. Grafton is glad that he championed such ideas and believes that he truly supported them, but cannot understand why such a person had joined the Republican Party in the first instance during his youth, then the party of Harding. The GOP and liberal reform did not go hand in glove, as, say, bananas and Central America.

The same question would arise with respect to Governor Dewey when inevitably he would champion the same sorts of things during the course of the campaign. He had approved Mr. Stassen's remarks.

There was a form of gallantry involved in trying to achieve these lofty goals through the party of Harding and Hoover, instead of through the party of Wilson and Roosevelt. But it left open a question of judgment, for if it was snow one wanted, you went to Labrador, or Hibbing, Minnesota, not Florida.

Idealists, he concludes, would believe anything if they believed it could all take place within the context of the Republican Party. While there had been social dreamers among the Democratic reformers, they were more firmly planted on the ground in one important respect: they had never believed that social reform could be accomplished in the Republican Party.

A letter writer applauds the piece of September 2 on juvenile delinquency, finds the existing work of juvenile courts and reformatories splendid. But, he cautions, the society had neglected the importance of righteous home influences and the careful training of children from infancy to adulthood. Children from Christian homes were good boys and girls.

There had been an example recently in New York City, regarding a Chinese boy who was an accused youthful offender, whose father threw him to the will of the court after saying he had tried to raise the boy well but was fully responsible for his wayward conduct. He thinks that a good example for parents to follow, that parents should take more responsibility for the actions of their children.

A letter writer finds that the radio, economic chaos, and FDR had combined to give the liberals enough power to "drive the moneychangers from the temple" during the 1930's. But it was inevitable that the New Deal would die as big business never had a change of heart. With the death of FDR, there was no longer any force breathing life into it.

The principal issue remained, as in the day of Thomas Jefferson, plutocracy versus democracy. Grover Cleveland had said that the Old Guard may die but it never surrendered. It took a Roosevelt, he concludes, to come along every once in awhile to save the Old Guard from themselves.

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