The Charlotte News

Thursday, September 23, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Secretary of State Marshall said before the U.N. General Assembly in Paris that American patience in Berlin should not be mistaken for weakness, that the U.S. would not barter away the essential principles of freedom. He said that the widening rift between East and West in the previous year should not be allowed to widen further and that efforts needed to be redoubled to find common ground. He wanted peace settlements finally for Japan and Germany and restoration of Austria to its 1937 frontiers with immediate admission of the latter to the U.N. He called for admission also of Trans-Jordan and Israel. He said that the U.S. supported a Palestine free from strife, in which both Jews and Arabs were assured of peaceful development per the vision of the original U.N. partition plan of the previous November 27.

A crude sign was pinned to the garden door of Prime Minister Clement Attlee's residence at No. 10 Downing Street in London, reading, "Moscow is bluffing."

The British Foreign Office said that, according to its intelligence reports, the Cominform might presently be meeting in the Crimea. President Gottwald of Czechoslovakia and Foreign Minister Anna Pauker of Rumania, key members of the Cominform, were definitely absent from their capitals. Moscow had reported the previous week that President Gottwald was vacationing in the Crimea. Foreign Commissar V. M. Molotov had not yet arrived in Paris for the the General Assembly meeting. And Prime Minister Stalin was reported to be on vacation in the Crimea.

In China, the last principal Nationalist base north of the Yangtze River in the Eastern Zone of Central China, Tsinan, fell to the Communist Chinese. Some 220,000 Communist troops attacked the city, held by less than 50,000 Nationalist soldiers.

In Paris, after a series of strikes, French workers were granted a raise of 15 percent by the Cabinet, less than the demands of both Communist and non-Communist unions.

The Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Chicago upheld the constitutionality of the non-Communist affiliation affidavit required under Taft-Hartley for unions. Judge Sherman Minton, former Senator and soon to be named to the U.S. Supreme Court by President Truman, and Judge Otto Kerner, upheld the provision, while Judge J. Earl Major dissented, finding it unconstitutional as violative of the First Amendment protection to freedom of thought. The Court also held that pension plans, as in the UMW case, were proper subjects for collective bargaining with companies engaging in interstate commerce. The case arose out of a dispute before the NLRB between Inland Steel Co. and the United Steelworkers Union.

President Truman toured California, stopping at Fresno, saying that he had not claimed exemption from the draft because of his farm or for his age of 33 in 1917. He recommended Cecil White for the 9th District Congressional seat over the incumbent Representative Bertrand Gearhart, who, he said, had "cut the throats of farmers". Mr. White would defeat Mr. Gearhart in November. The President said that the Republican policy was to let the "big fellows get their big incomes" and allow a little of the national wealth to "trickle down off the table like the crumbs fell to Lazarus"—lest we forget the 1980's and the "Reagan Revolution", which brought plenty of prosperity to the rich and more poverty to the poor, with the middle class left to gasp for air in between.

Don't ever be conned by the neo-cons: it was a bloody nightmare, socially and economically, bankrupting the country to "win" the Cold War by bankrupting the Soviet Union faster. That left everyone poor but the very wealthy in the world.

The President would deliver a major speech in Gilmore Stadium in Los Angeles this night. The campaign had wanted the Hollywood Bowl but the Dewey campaign had booked it ahead of them—another sign that he was going to lose badly.

Tom Schlesinger of The News reports on the campaign of Governor Strom Thurmond, Dixiecrat candidate for the presidency, finds him supremely optimistic on his chances for election. Four Southern states, South Carolina, Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi, had already committed their slates of electors to the Dixiecrats. In those four states, Democrats who wished to vote for the President would have to write in his name on the ballot. This night, Mr. Thurmond was in Georgia seeking a commitment for the state's electors. Mr. Thurmond was first cousin to Mrs. Eugene Talmadge, mother of the new "Cracker Governor" Herman Talmadge, and so, Mr. Schlesinger concludes, he would likely obtain the commitment.

Governor Thurmond was convinced that if the South stood together, it could deprive either of the two major party candidates the necessary electoral majority of 266 and thereby throw the election into the House for determination, in which case his campaign might prove successful.

Theoretically, he was correct. There were 107 electoral votes from the South in the President's column, with a total of 303. Governor Thurmond, however, would only carry the aforementioned four states, for a total of 38 electoral votes.

They didn't rig the ballot in enough states.

William Remington, accused before HUAC by Elizabeth Bentley in July of being a Communist and supplying her with valuable information for transmission to Moscow, threatened again to sue Ms. Bentley for defamation for repeating the charges on "Meet the Press" on September 12. He demanded a retraction from both her and NBC by September 30 to avoid suit. Mr. Remington was temporarily suspended from the Commerce Department while the charges were being investigated.

Thomas Dewey said, en route to Phoenix, in Winslow, Ariz., where a crowd of 1,500 were on hand to greet him, that "incredible opportunities" existed for the future in the West. He said that his administration would eliminate "quarreling, backbiting, and bickering" from Washington politics. He would address atomic energy issues in a speech in Phoenix this night.

The Government entered the black in its budget operations for the first time in the current fiscal year, with a surplus of 281 million dollars toward the end of the first quarter, bloated by heavy quarterly tax payments. The surplus, however, ignored the 479 million dollars provided in aid to Europe. Foreign aid spending had been comparatively slow during the year and Britain had been making sharp withdrawals the previous year on its loan balance, accounting for the ostensible surplus. The fiscal year of 1948 had ended with a record high surplus of 8.4 billion dollars, but the President estimated that the current fiscal year would end with a deficit of 1.5 billion dollars. Republicans claimed that there would be a surplus.

Selective Service reported that, nationwide, 5.2 million men had registered for the draft between August 30 and September 18, not including California, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Texas and seven other states. Of the registrants, 1.2 million were not exempt by being married, fathers, or veterans. Pre-registration estimates had placed the number at 9.5 million. The Army intended to induct 10,000 registrants during November and another 15,000 during December.

In Hong Kong, a warehouse fire, the worst in the city's history, claimed the lives of 135 people and injured 57 others.

The hurricane which had driven through Florida, leaving three dead and 25 million dollars worth of damage, moved out to sea, with gale force winds now threatening Bermuda. Key West had suffered a million dollars worth of damage. Six had died from the storm in Cuba.

More than 400 students were registered for the fall semester at Brevard College in Brevard, N.C. Most of them were from North and South Carolina.

That can't be right.

On the editorial page, "Nazis at the Noltimiers'" tells of California newsmen not being on their toes when they filed an item from Whittier, California—hometown of Congressman Nixon—, anent the family difficulties of the Noltimiers, encountering relative trouble after seeking to adopt two German orphans who were distant relatives, after hearing that the two had escaped from a slave camp and were starving. They had brought the two, ages 13 and 18, to the U.S. and then found that they were Nazis, sought and obtained permission to send them back to Germany. Their three-month stay seemed to the Noltimiers as three years.

It wonders whether the teenagers sought to organize a Whittier High School unit of Storm Troopers or turn the Noltimier home into a youth hostel.

It concludes that unless the American denazification program in Germany worked well, the Noltimiers' disillusionment could add prophecy to the words of Josef Stalin in 1943 when he predicted as a stark realist that it would take another war with the Germans to change them.

"Quadrennial Merry-Go-Round" comments on the beginning of the fall presidential campaign, almost as wearing on the voters as the candidates. But the campaign was likely to do the country great good, putting a topper on the usual dull, overwarm summer. Salt grains, molehills, and wool for sweaters to be pulled over the eyes of the citizenry would also, no doubt, do a booming business.

President Truman in his tour of the country appeared as a man beaming with optimism, shrugging off reports that his campaign was foredoomed to failure. Governor Dewey followed quietly, his brow occasionally furrowing. And barring war or a belated discovery that he was not born in the United States, Governor Dewey would be President in January. His primary campaign task was to boost GOP Senatorial candidates.

Behind both men were Strom Thurmond and Henry Wallace, on the right and left, respectively, of the poll leaders.

It predicts much foolishness in the coming six weeks, including some utter lies, but it recommends that the public keep an ear tuned, as some skeletons might come from the closet. It sends the four men into the fray with the advice that nothing any one of them might say would be held against them.

"Monument and Migrants" tells of a $75,000 monument to the three Presidents putatively born in North Carolina, Andrew Jackson, James K. Polk, and Andrew Johnson, about to be erected on the Capitol grounds in Raleigh, ignoring a dispute existing with South Carolina regarding the birthplace of President Jackson. Both young Mr. Jackson and young Mr. Polk had left North Carolina for Tennessee, as had young Mr. Johnson.

It comments that as long as the South remained solid for the Democrats, hence in the bag, the chance of spending twice as much to honor a native son who might become President while remaining a resident of North Carolina appeared remote.

A piece from the Christian Science Monitor, titled "City Constellations", finds the strings of neon lights in cities, when observed from city office buildings, to create a kind of "modern fairyland" enhanced by a "vibrant western sky with dark autumnal clouds". Searchlights reaching out to approaching airplanes further symbolized the "guidance and welcome which always accompany light."

Drew Pearson tells of the President having saved about $4,000 per year of his $75,000 annual salary in the first two years in office, but more in 1948 because of the tax cut he had vetoed. The President had determined that he received $1 per hour for his time on the job during the first two years, but was able to save $12,000, or about $3 per hour, during 1948.

The President was actually a lonesome man who read poetry at night before he went to bed, favoring Keats, Shelley, or passages of Alice in Wonderland, the latter of which he could recite at length. One of his favorite passages was the Red Queen's remark to Alice: "Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do to keep in the same place." The President also liked to read history, the biographies and autobiographies of his predecessors, the people who made history.

His secret ambition was to write the history of his Administration. But he did not have time to attend to it while on the job. He believed that the public never understood the true history of a period until long after it had passed. He once confided that the job was so demanding that he sometimes wished he had remained a piano player.

The President had an amazing memory, able to recall the exact number of rounds, 18,342, which he had fired as an infantry captain in World War I, and that his last round was fired eight minutes before the Armistice began.

The President's pet peeve was the way Senator Homer Ferguson had handled his old Senate Investigating Committee, turning it into a "garbage committee".

HUAC was planning to follow up their expose of Communists with a report on Communists in religion, claiming to have found Reds trying to infiltrate church groups, which could lead, however improbably, to a campaign from within the church against religion, similar to that in Russia.

General Omar Bradley, when assigned a sergeant to help him move his belongings to new quarters, made eight trips to the sergeant's seven.

The President had related to intimates that if he were re-elected, Secretary of War Kenneth Royall would not be around much.

Marquis Childs discusses the politics surrounding the recent Supreme Court decision regarding the basing point price system in the cement industry, being held to violate anti-trust laws by enforcing a single, industry-wide delivered price created by a trade association. The decision was critical to several industries in which the system had been used to keep certain large producers in control, going back to the "Pittsburgh plus" system in the steel industry, whereby a producer of steel elsewhere could not undersell a producer in Pittsburgh because he had to add the cost of freight from Pittsburgh to his final sales price. The system froze the steel industry in one geographic location and stultified expansion into areas more favorable to the industry.

When the High Court decision was rendered, the president of U.S. Steel announced that he would prevail on Congress to legalize the system, and so a special subcommittee chaired by Senator Homer Capehart of Indiana had been set up to hold hearings on the matter. A propaganda campaign had been launched by big business against the decision. It would be one of the first tests of the new Congress and administration in January. It appeared that the Capehart subcommittee had been set up with the goal of finding that the industry could not function without the system.

Joseph Alsop, in Des Moines, finds the contrast between the opening of the campaigns of the President and Governor Dewey in Iowa embarrassing, with the President receiving only polite response in a threadbare presentation, while the opulent show put on by Mr. Dewey was organized to the last noise-making device, exuding confidence and eliciting a positive response. After it was over, the contest was so uneven that an observer naturally felt sympathy for the President. The Dewey rhetoric was perhaps too ostentatious, yet noble, in the vein of Abraham Lincoln. The President sounded as Robespierre presented in the mild tones of a Kiwanian from Independence, Mo.

The difference in response to the two approaches was crucial, as the President was unable to stir his listeners even when he made valid points. Governor Dewey could raise a rousing response even when his words meant little. Governor Dewey had developed into a powerful figure with genuine personal appeal among the masses. And his organization was far more competent than that of the President, with a much larger reservoir of financial resources on which to draw, including a brilliant advance man, Hamilton Gaddis, working for weeks to make the trip to Iowa a success.

But also the Dewey platform was reassuring, with the candidate telling listeners that the road to a happy future would be rocky, that the times were troubled at home and abroad, communicating his sense of the complexity of the task ahead.

A letter writer finds the egg and tomato throwers of North Carolina justified in hurling their produce at Henry Wallace after he had invaded the state with his anti-segregation platform being put into practice by staying at black homes and hotels along the way and refusing to appear before segregated audiences. But he finds that the News editorial, "'Hummon' Takes Over in Georgia", criticizing the selection by the voters in Georgia of Herman Talmadge as a retrograde maneuver, was entirely unjustified.

He cheers the fact that there would be hillbilly music in the Georgia Capitol and that those listening could understand what was being played, whereas "'highbrows' ... would not know the difference between Caruso and Roy Acuff, if it were not for their musical programs."

Eh? Come again?

He finds the editorial to have been a masterpiece of "meddlesome, mudslinging, muckraking verbosity of the lowest order, bordering on yellow journalism of the rankest sort", branding the writer of the editorial as one who would obstruct majority rule.

A letter writer commends a letter written regarding plutocracy versus democracy, and finds interesting points in a responsive letter to it by A. W. Black, claiming FDR and the New Deal to have been devoted to "communizing" the country.

He wonders who would have thought that FDR had been a Communist, that the fact would cause subversion and Communism to become stylish.

He concludes, however, that FDR was instead a symbol of rightness and fairness to his fellows all over the world. He finds the attempt to besmirch him worthy only of a mongrel dog stopping to wet the gravestone of a great man and then disappearing into the night.

Which dovetails rather neatly with the President's remark in Fresno on trickle-down economics.

A letter writer from Lagos, Nigeria, a "Prince of twenty-one; with clear broad face and fascinating appearance", seeks pen pals in Charlotte, wants newspapers, magazines, dollars, stamps (mint and used), stationery, etc. You may write him by his princely name or by the alias which he provides, at P. O. Box 716, no doubt at the Palace.

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