The Charlotte News

Saturday, September 11, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that reliable diplomatic sources in Moscow stated that if the next round of talks between the Big Three ambassadors and the Stalin Government failed, then the matter of the Berlin blockade would be referred by the U.S. to the U.N., probably the General Assembly, for resolution.

In Paris, the nations of Western Europe reached a working agreement for mutual recovery as their delegates agreed to division of the 4.875 billion dollars in ERP aid during the first year of the program. Britain would receive the largest amount, 1.223 billion, France the next largest allocation, 989 million. The other allocations are provided. No allotments were made for Switzerland or Portugal as it was agreed that neither country needed American aid.

In Berlin, the Soviet military administration's official newspaper accused the Western allies of inciting Berliners against Russia and Communism. It warned that Thursday's street fighting following an anti-Communist demonstration could have serious consequences. They labeled the demonstrators as "fascists", incited by the West. The intent appeared to be to build support for the following day's Communist counter-rally and for the ouster of the anti-Communist Berlin City Government.

It was also reported by the Russian-controlled press that a British and American backed spy ring led by Germans had been smashed in East Germany with the arrest of 15 agents. The report claimed that the agents were led by Kurt Schumacher, Social Democrat leader in West Germany, operating an underground throughout the Russian zone.

Actually, there was a tunnel being built at the instance of CIA agent William Harvey, to listen in on the Soviet intelligence office in East Berlin. So, perhaps the Russian concerns were not entirely unfounded or the result exclusively of propaganda.

Secretary of State Marshall met separately with Senator Arthur Vandenberg and British Ambassador Sir Oliver Franks regarding the Berlin crisis. Senator Vandenberg had met, along with John Foster Dulles, with Governor Dewey the previous night.

Friends of the President said that he had abandoned plans for a lengthy Southern tour in light of the increasing anger among Southerners regarding his civil rights program. Some appearances would be made.

Governor Dewey, starting September 20, would make eight major appearances across the nation following Mr. Truman's Western tour by train. Mr. Dewey would speak in Des Moines, San Francisco and Los Angeles, then proceed to Oregon and Washington.

Senator Edward Martin of Pennsylvania charged the President with "the most indecent kind of political trickery and political dishonesty" in blaming the Congress for inflation.

In Asheville, N.C., the commander of the American Legion, James O'Neil, told a convention of a thousand Legionnaires that the revelations in Washington showed the depth of Communist espionage in the U.S. Government. He said that the Legion knew "the score" and would give complete backing to the committees of Congress performing the investigations.

That is comforting to know.

Representative Monroe Redden was on the welcoming committee for the Legion.

Don't you want to investigate?

Having fought for the country in time of war does not necessarily make one immune from being a complete moron.

The North Carolina Board of Health reported that 2,004 polio cases had been reported during the year, a record. A total of 112 new cases were reported during the previous week, compared to 138 the week before that. The August cases numbered 664. Thus far in September, 67 cases had been reported. The death toll for the year from the crippling disease stood at 99. In Mecklenburg County, 119 cases had been reported for the year, with 13 deaths.

In New York, striking truckers reached agreement with 226 individual companies, allowing 2,000 of the 9,400 strikers to return to the job. The resolution was based on a reduced wage demand, from 25 cents per hour to 17.5 cents.

At the Briggs plant in Detroit, they were still trying to figure how to make the lawn mowers more powerful than a speeding bullet.

In Lansing, Mich., Siamese twins had been born on September 5, joined by the pelvis and abdomen, were not doing well.

In Windber, Pa., a coal miner's daughter was about to marry a wealthy polo player. The daughter had five years earlier moved to New York to work for a Wall Street brokerage.

In Mullins, S.C., another world-shaking event took place: the public library got a fresh coat of paint on the outside. The steel bookcases also had arrived.

Well, when are they going to paint the interior again?

In Florence, S.C., schools would open Wednesday morning. Don't be late or stay at home for the harvest of the cotton.

In Atlantic City, the Miss America pageant continued. Miss Montana had won the talent competition the previous night, with a song and dance from "Carmen". Miss Atlanta, measuring 34-24-36, won the bathing suit contest. The field was being narrowed to fifteen contestants of the total of 55 for the final competition this date. Where are the measurements for the other bathing suit winners? There is some form of favoritism taking place.

In New York, hundreds of migratory birds were killed in the vicinity of the Empire State Building, littering Fifth Avenue and side streets. The general manager of the Bronx Zoo said that they may have crashed into the skyscraper during their migration, perhaps attracted by the lighted windows on the upper floors. Some were songbirds.

So much for that friendly Southern gesture of sending the mockingbirds north. Blame Strom and Fielding for putting the hex on them. The birds may have thought that they were talking about stets' rights.

Some fell onto 34th Street. So much for the Miracle of the previous Christmas.

Better luck, next year, birdbrains.

On the editorial page, "The Dixiecrat Victory" finds confusion to be the likely result with four parties on the November ballot, following the decision of the North Carolina Supreme Court to allow the Dixiecrats to qualify after they had been denied by the State Board of Elections. Some believed that it would provide the Republicans a chance to carry the state for the first time since 1928 when backlash against Catholic, Wet Al Smith caused a revolt.

The name on the ballot, "States' Rights Democrats", could confuse many voters. But others believed that it would also produce higher turnout at the polls and help state Democratic candidates.

It does not wish to venture predictions, however, in a strange political year.

"For the Benefit of All" comments on the programs available in the mental health field for alcoholics. The Yale University National Committee for Education on Alcoholism was a longstanding program. During the week, such a program, though not so ambitious, was announced for Charlotte. Dr. Herbert Spaugh, Moravian minister and pastor of the Little Church on the Lane, led the effort to establish the program.

The program would not succeed, it urges, unless alcoholics and their families made use of the facilities to be provided. It would benefit society by reducing the crime rate and returning citizens to a productive life from their alcoholic haze.

We hope that the effort might start with HUAC.

"Right Back to Berlin" finds a village in Wales named Llanfairpwllgwyngwllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, which the locals called Llanfair. It means in Welsh, "Church of St. Mary in a hollow of white hazel, near a rapid whirlpool and to St. Tysilio's church, near a red cave."

Then there was the New Zealand hilltop with a name one letter shorter, formed in the Maori tongue. Both names had appeared in National Geographic.

It adds that a lake south of Worcester, Mass., was called Chaugogagogmanchaugagochaubunagungamaug.

It says it intended the piece to take the mind from Berlin, with only six letters. But the name of the lake near Worcester, in the Indian language, actually meant, "You fish on your side, I fish on my side, nobody fish in the middle," returning thought to Berlin again.

You have no idea, once again, how prophetic you will be proved in a scant 13 years.

Perhaps, also, the piece predicts go-go dancing.

A piece from the Greensboro Daily News, titled "It Did Sound Ominous", comments on the denial of a quote attributed to former House Ways & Means Committee chairman Robert Doughton of North Carolina that no candidate who dared to support the President would be elected in the 9th Congressional District, that he said, in fact, that he did intend to support the President. The piece takes his word for it, that he never made the former statement. But it did not mean that he would side with the President, if he were re-elected, on such issues as taxation, labor conditions or civil rights. It thinks that Mr. Doughton had decided simply not to go against the traditional party grain.

Drew Pearson tells of a meeting of the Joint Chiefs at which General Omar Bradley, chief of staff of the Army, outlined the U. S. policy in the event of war, relating troop deployment of 300,000 in Europe, of which only 30,000 were combat troops. He said that the U.S., with British and French assistance, could likely fall back to the Rhine. Admiral William Leahy, the president's chief of staff, then asked how long the U.S. could hold the Rhine. General Bradley replied that he did not wish to make any promises but believed it could be held for awhile, long enough to bring up reinforcements. Admiral Leahy pointed out that the Russians had 40 divisions in Germany, or about 600,000 men, and that he thus doubted that the Rhine could be held longer than ten days. The French, he asserted, would head for home. They would keep the three or four good bridges across the Rhine open "to get their mistresses home". He believed that the U.S. could do no more than hold Turkey and Spain.

One of the air generals present then said that given 60 days and the atomic bomb, the Air Force could halt the Red Army in its tracks. Admiral Leahy disagreed, said that the U.S. should have left Berlin and Germany long ago. He said that he was just being realistic.

General Bradley responded that the Italian elections would not have wound up in a democratic victory were it not for the presence of American troops in Europe. Others said that Russia would rejoice at American abandonment of Germany and that it would have a disastrous psychological impact on European democracies. It was then unanimously agreed among the Joint Chiefs that there would be no appeasement or withdrawal from Germany.

Former Ambassador to France and Russia William Bullitt was organizing "Democrats-for-Dewey" clubs. A staunch Roosevelt supporter, he had once persuaded FDR to recognize Russia. He was advised by a friend that if he wanted to serve in the Dewey administration, as he had indicated he would not decline, he should contribute $50,000.

The Los Angeles Daily News had, by means of hot editorials, goaded U.S. Attorney James Carter into prosecuting housing frauds.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop tell of the National Security Council determining that unless Russia changed its attitude, the effort to resolve the Berlin crisis would be shifted from Berlin to Moscow. The determination suggested that the Soviet military commander in Berlin, Marshal Sokolovsky, had reduced the Big Four talks in Berlin to a sham. But it also meant that no one expected a good result from the Big Four talks in Moscow. It meant that the crisis could not be resolved by agreement and would probably grow deeper.

In the last previous meeting between Premier Stalin and the Big Three ambassadors, Stalin had said that the problems regarding the dual currencies in Berlin, the reason originally given by the Russians for halting traffic into Berlin from the Western sectors, were largely technical in nature and soluble at the local level between the military commanders. He assured that Marshal Sokolovsky would receive instructions to negotiate reasonably and in good faith on the currency issue. But subsequently, Andrei Vishinsky and V. M. Molotov showed little enthusiasm for the Stalin plan.

As soon as the Berlin talks began, it was obvious that Marshal Sokolovsky had received different instructions from those which Stalin had promised. Instead, he demanded an exclusive veto on the currency and essentially sought Soviet control of Berlin's economy and politics in exchange for lifting the blockade.

At the same time, the Communists in Berlin sought to interfere with the City Government meetings, to seize control directly of the City. Marshal Sokolovsky then announced that the Soviets would hold mass air maneuvers over Berlin, with the presumed purpose of stopping the Western airlift.

Thus it was not surprising that the National Security Council and the President determined that only a pro forma attempt would remain, through the Moscow talks, to achieve rapprochement.

Marquis Childs discusses the efforts of the Dewey team to construct speeches for the campaign which would satisfy as many party interests as feasible, a difficult task. Powers in the party would desire transfer of oil and mineral rights in the tidal lands from the Federal Government to the states, further income tax reductions with the potential for a national sales tax to compensate for lost revenue, removal of the Government from power distribution in Federally-constructed dams and sale of the power instead to private utilities, repeal of the 160-acre limitation on irrigation rights in the Central Valley of California, and liberalization of grazing and timber rights on Federal lands. Other demands also would be sought from a Dewey administration.

With some of these issues, Governor Dewey would be in agreement, such as on tidal oil lands, favored by Governor Warren for some time. On others, he would not be, knowing them to be inflationary, as with the tax proposals, and as being contrary to Republican traditions of conservation regarding the extension of grazing and timber rights.

The question thus remained whether President Dewey could reconcile these disparate interests and govern effectively.

He did okay as President, all things considered, better than President Hamilton.

Gerald W. Johnson, writing in the New York Star, finds that no matter who threw the party, the South was left to pick up the bill. The bulk of the slavery profits went to New England, formed the foundation of many Boston fortunes. But the bill for emancipation was taxed to the South, resulting in a three-billion dollar property loss. Moreover, the South had to pay the bill for educating the slaves who had been freed.

When industrialization took place, the South again got the bill in the form of higher freight rates and a discriminatory tariff, for 60 years.

"Now destiny in a waiter's coat is thrusting another check under its nose," the abolition of Jim Crow. North Carolina had already suffered the previous week, in the egg and tomato throwing at Henry Wallace, its name becoming a "hissing and a by-word", despite it being the most respected Southern state for progressivism.

Mr. Johnson had lived in Greensboro and found the city highly civilized. He had once seen a black man acquitted by an all-white jury for allegedly raping a white woman, in a trial in which the defendant had no witnesses save to attest to his character. The late Earle Godbey, Editor of the Greensboro Daily News, became infuriated when a "swinish" white policeman insulted a black doctor. Mr. Johnson also had seen the esteem which black men earned from the white community from their attendance at black institutions of higher learning. Two white policemen, assigned to a rough black neighborhood, the "Bullpen", cleaned it up in three weeks by hiring a black evangelist who converted the whole area. There were hard-working and honest whites and blacks who sought to eliminate xenophobia from the community, a slow, painstaking process, of which the reformists were aware but undertook anyway, refusing to admit the problem to be ineradicable.

That was the city which was now being presented as the place where Storm Troopers barged into a public meeting and broke it up. The South was paying the bill.

He finds the explanation to lie in fear, fear in Greensboro, fear in the South. North Carolina was only half as afraid, though, of its 981,000 black population as was California of its 110,000 Japanese Americans at the outbreak of the war. He explains that he finds it only half so because North Carolinians never dreamed of placing black citizens in concentration camps.

Fearful people were always ugly and Greensboro was no exception. He expresses an unpleasant feeling at seeing the city disgraced nationally.

He does not question the sincerity of Henry Wallace or seek to challenge him, but remarks that his program reminded of Sir Oswald Mosley staging his parades for his Fascist cause in the Jewish quarter of London.

We note that Mr. Johnson, who had for years been with the Baltimore Evening Sun, was a friend to W. J. Cash and had graduated from Wake Forest a decade ahead of Cash.

Mr. Johnson would live until 1980, long enough to see Greensboro humiliated yet again in the national press during the lunch counter sit-ins at Woolworth in 1960, the first such sit-ins in the nation, designed to desegregate lunch counters; and yet again, in 1979 when Ku Klux Klansmen unprovokedly opened fire on Communist Workers Party members, killing five. He would not live long enough to see the ultimate humiliation of Greensboro, however, when in late 1980, a local jury acquitted the Klansmen of the murders, and again in 1984, when a Federal jury in Greensboro acquitted the reprobates of civil rights violations of those murdered in cold blood on videotape.

Neither Greensboro nor any community in the nation or the world is ever immune from prejudice, hatred, racism, or plain stupidity, no matter how civilized and nice it may be on the surface when things are going along normally.

A piece from the Charleston News & Courier says that the Spartanburg Journal suggested that Strom Thurmond resign as Governor because he was a presidential candidate. It endorsed the President. The News & Courier says that it favors election of Governor Thurmond, and also believed that he ought resign as Governor, as soon as President Truman resigned his office, along with all the other presidential and vice-presidential candidates. The only candidate, it remarks, on any of the ballots who was not on the Government payroll was former Vice-President Wallace.

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