The Charlotte News

Saturday, September 25, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in Paris, Russia replied to the joint note of the Western powers anent Berlin but no immediate indication was released as to the content of the response. The note was still being translated. The Western powers were surprised by the speed of the reply, their note having been issued only on Wednesday.

Andrei Vishinsky, Soviet Deputy Foreign Commissar, made a speech to the U.N. General Assembly in which he proposed that the five major powers, including Russia, reduce their armed forces by a third within a year. He sought establishment by the U.N. of an international body to supervise the reduction of arms and prohibition of further development of atomic weapons. He contended that the expansionists were all west of the Iron Curtain, blaming the U.S. for failures in the U.N. He also criticized several U.N. agencies, notably the Atomic Energy Commission, and assailed the Marshall Plan as undermining of the political and economic independence of the recipient nations. He blamed America for the failure to achieve control of atomic energy, that the U.S. wanted to retain atomic control in the cold war against Russia. He said that the Americans worshiped the atomic bomb. He also accused the U.S. of supporting monarchist and Fascist regimes and establishing new military bases in those countries for expansionist purposes.

U.S. chief delegate Warren Austin regarded the speech as "the same old stuff", edited in light of Secretary of State Marshall's speech to the General Assembly. Sir Alexander Cadogan of Britain and Paul-Henri Spaak of Belgium both echoed the sentiment.

Herbert Evatt, president of the General Assembly session, believed that the speech, while not conciliatory, was not so uncompromising as to preclude further negotiations. He said that if the four powers could not reach agreement on Berlin, the issue should come before the U.N.

Also in Paris, the French National Assembly voted to hold elections in March rather than in October as scheduled, providing a reprieve to the newly installed Government of Henri Queuille. The Communists and the Gaullists wanted the elections to be held as scheduled and wanted a full national election. A threat of a strike in the coal mines and power plants loomed for the following week.

In Buenos Aires, a demonstration following police reports that a plot had been uncovered to kill Argentinian dictator Juan Peron and his dictatrix wife Eva, turned into an anti-U.S. parade, the strongest in more than two years. Sr. Peron blamed the plot on a former U.S. Embassy cultural attache, transferred to Uruguay. By nightfall following the police announcement, 17 Argentinians had been placed under arrest. Both Sr. Peron and Eva delivered fiery addresses to the marchers, blaming also foreign correspondents, some newspapers, and political opponents within the country for the plot. Sr. Peron also charged that "foreign gold" had financed the plot, interpreted by some of the Peronistas as meaning Wall Street. Demonstrators then sought to break into La Prensa, the most outspoken Buenos Aires newspaper against Peron, but were repulsed by police. They then moved their protest to the American Embassy.

Senator Raymond Baldwin of Connecticut asked the Senate Armed Services Committee to investigate why Ilse Koch, the notorious Nazi who allegedly had made lampshades of prisoners' skin during her time as a guard at Buchenwald concentration camp, had her sentence commuted by military occupation authorities in Germany from life to four years. She had also reportedly given birth to a child while in custody. General Lucius Clay had ordered the reduction because of lack of evidence that the woman had selected inmates for extermination to obtain their tattooed skins for her lampshades. The General later said that evidence presented at her trial had proved that the lampshades were actually made from goatskins.

President Truman said the previous day in Oceanside, California, that the GOP stand against him was "double talk", saying one thing, doing another. One man yelled, "Give 'em hell", and the President responded, "Don't think I'm not."

In Yuma, Ariz., also the day before, he had said that a vote for the Republicans was a vote for "vested interests".

This date, the President started the day at 7:30 a.m. in Lordsburg, N.M., and ended it at 10:00 p.m. in Sanderson, Texas, after a speech earlier in the day at El Paso.

Governor Dewey, speaking at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, said: "Some people jeer at this [Communist] problem, calling it a 'red herring'. Some people get panicky about it. I don't belong to either group." The President had been calling the HUAC hearings and those before the Senate Investigating Committee into alleged Communist espionage by Government functionaries a "red herring" of the GOP, to distract from the primary substantive issues facing the country, such as inflation.

Former Vice-President Henry Wallace, campaigning in Youngstown, O., said that while Russia may stifle freedom and encourage dictatorship, so, too, did the policies of President Truman and those favored by Governor Dewey. Mr. Wallace said that the President was as much a servant of international big business as Governor Dewey.

In London, a family wanted to sell the 157-year old, 33-mile long Basingstoke Canal which linked Hampshire with the port of London. The Government had excluded it from its transportation nationalization program.

Air Force Secretary Stuart Symington disclosed that the experimental plane, X-1, had flown several hundred miles per hour faster than the speed of sound, assumed to be at least 860 mph. Some unofficial estimates placed the potential speed of the plane as exceeding 1,000 mph.

The Bureau of Agricultural Economics predicted that 1949 incomes would be equal to the record incomes of 1948. It found 10 percent fewer persons working on farms in 1948 than before the war, while non-farm population rose 20 percent since 1938.

In Youngstown, O., a man accused of reckless driving was told by the judge that his possible sentence was six months in jail or a $500 fine, at which point the man fainted. When revived, he learned that he had been fined $50 and sentenced to 15 days in jail.

Whether he fainted again was not told.

In Kannapolis, N.C., a man arrested for breaking and entering was also served with a warrant issued several weeks earlier for bigamy.

Tom Schlesinger of The News reports of the ongoing vehicle inspections under the new law in North Carolina requiring same. September 30 was the deadline for inspection for owners of vehicles built between 1937 and 1946, and people were putting it off until the last minute, with 17,000 or more cars in Mecklenburg County still not approved.

You better get on down 'ere and get that old jalopy looked at 'cause it ain't got no lights or rubber on it near as we can tell. If you don't, you're goin' to the hoosegoose come a' end o' next week.

Snow fell in parts of the Western mountain and coastal states, at Great Falls and Butte, Mont., at Reno and Austin, Nev., and at Burns, Ore. Temperatures dropped to around freezing in parts of New England and the Midwest. Temperatures remained high in the Gulf Coast and Southwestern states.

On the editorial page, "Law Enforcement at Work" comments on the bank robbery during the week in Columbia, N.C., in which six black men and one white, with a "yellow-faced" man doing all the talking, got away with more than $68,000 and made their escape in a high-powered automobile which they then ditched in a swamp and proceeded from there on foot. It was one of the major bank robberies in the history of the state.

The Highway Patrol swung into action, with bloodhounds and a helicopter being used in pursuit. The helicopter spotted the men and the bloodhounds and posse moved in slowly over the course of seven hours to effect capture of all except one of the men, who escaped from the swamp and entered a nearby small town, where he was immediately spotted and arrested by an alert officer.

In all, it took 47 hours to arrest all of the suspects. Most of the money had been returned to the bank.

It expresses appreciation to efficient law enforcement.

"Paul Haywood Efird" laments the passing of a local business leader, one of the brothers who had founded Efird's Department Store and who had been a key figure in the development of Charlotte as a mercantile trade center. He had been a pioneer in modern merchandising and left an imprint on the community.

"Control of The Senate" tells of the presidential race and continued Republican control of the House being pretty much foregone conclusions, but that the Senate remained up for grabs. The Democrats might gain marginal control. The present makeup was 51 Republicans and 45 Democrats. Of the 33 contested seats, 18 were in the GOP column and 15, Democratic.

The GOP, it was believed, would hold or gain seats in Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Oregon, and South Dakota, the piece telling of the probable victors, Kansas, Maine, and South Dakota being open seats held by Republicans.

The Democrats would likely obtain or hold seats in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia, all incumbents except for the open Democratic seats in North Carolina, Louisiana, and Texas—the latter where Congressman Lyndon Johnson was the apparent nominee, subject to court action of former Governor Coke Stevenson challenging the election results based on the late returns out of the mysterious Box 13.

Democrats appeared to have the edge in Colorado and Tennessee. Republicans were leading in Illinois, Idaho, Delaware, Iowa, New Jersey, and Minnesota—the latter where Mayor Hubert Humphrey was in a close race with incumbent Senator Joseph Ball.

The outcome in six other states would determine control of the Senate, in the other contest in Colorado, in New Mexico, Kentucky, West Virginia, Wyoming, and Oklahoma.

Thus, it concludes, the possibility existed for a split body of 48 each or bare control by one party or the other.

The actual result would be a Senate comprised of 53 Democrats and 43 Republicans.

Drew Pearson tells of the President continuing to be opposed to the return of the North African colonies to Italy even though it might cost him a half million Italian votes in the Northeast in the election. Italian-American publisher Generoso Pope, always a Democrat, was now considering support of Governor Dewey, who supported the return of the colonies. After a conference between Mr. Pope and the President, in which the President re-asserted his position that he would leave the matter to the U.N., it appeared clear that Mr. Pope would give his support to the Governor, possibly carrying with it New York City.

Mr. Pearson notes that the U.S. had signed an agreement with Britain and France to establish a B-29 base in Libya and that Britain had sent much of its military equipment from Palestine and India to Libya, as a base for control of the Mediterranean. The State Department, therefore, was willing to return Eritrea and Somaliland to Italy, but not Libya, which Mussolini had always considered the prime colony.

A GOP candidate for Congress from Reading, Pa., had asked HUAC to hold up until after the election a report on the Institute of Pacific Relations of which he was a member, the report contending that it was dominated by a New York Communist leader.

Representative John Sanborn of Idaho was in trouble in the election because he had cooperated with the lobbies, for whose interests he consistently voted during his two years in Congress. He had inserted one speech in the Congressional Record which had been written for him by a lobbyist and which was an anti-British, anti-liberal diatribe on silver. A veteran and hero of the Battle of the Bulge, Asael Lyman, 27, was waging a serious contest for the seat.

Mr. Lyman, incidentally, would lose the race by 2,700 votes.

In one case of housing fraud, a veteran was not a victim. A veteran had leased a Manhattan home, then sublet it to an ex-convict. The two men then installed $1,650 worth of plumbing and operated an illegal whiskey still from the home.

Marquis Childs discusses the years of planning behind the campaign of Governor Thomas Dewey for the presidency, begun when he had lost the 1944 election to FDR. Nothing which could be planned was left to chance. Master card index files were present at his Albany and Washington headquarters, containing everything he had ever said on a given topic.

After the 1944 defeat, everything was reviewed regarding the campaign, as it, too, had been carefully planned, yet with the realistic understanding that the country was at war and that voters would be reluctant to change horses midstream.

He had said in 1944 that the National Labor Relations Act was a good law but was working badly in practice, failing to secure industrial harmony. He had also outlined his plans for revising Social Security.

President Roosevelt then made his famous speech before the Teamsters in Washington, which contained the comment about Republicans picking on Fala, arousing his Scotch temper. The Dewey team realized that it had been a brilliant political speech but initially decided to ignore it. But then when contributions dropped off, the Dewey campaign decided that the candidate would have to go on the attack. In the post mortem, they realized that the change of strategy had been a mistake, ending any chance of victory.

Eighteen months earlier, Mr. Childs had interviewed the Dewey team and they were very confident of victory in 1948. The principal appeal would be to independent voters, with a progressive message.

That was the campaign which was developing. This time, it was unlikely that the Governor would depart from the original plan. He would not resort to the President's "give 'em hell" tactics.

Yeah, see, now, that was smart. Stay above the fray.

Joseph Alsop finds the safest prediction to be that the Moscow talks would not lead to a final solution of the Berlin crisis and the issue would have to be placed before the U.N. General Assembly in Paris. The U.N. would likely support the right of the Western powers to remain in Berlin and, meanwhile, Governor Dewey would have won the election, rendering the President a lameduck. That much appeared certain. But then the question arose as to what would occur after the election.

President-elect Dewey would confront a decision which could be the most onerous ever faced by a newly elected President. The time of decision might be postponed until spring. But the Politburo strategy, according to the National Security Council, had been premised on the presidential election paralyzing the country and presenting the best opportunity for taking control of Berlin. Thus, after the election, with that goal not having been realized, the Soviets might relax their pressure. But such a result remained only a hope.

The wrangling in Paris would further harden the Soviet stance. President Dewey would be faced immediately with the decision of whether to go to war or evacuate Berlin.

A small minority of the military held the view that the West was not ready for war and Berlin was considered not militarily tenable as a battleground. And the airlift put in jeopardy the bulk of the British and American air transport planes which would then be subject to immediate destruction by bombing, parachutists, or fighter planes.

It was likely that Mr. Dewey and his advisers would view the situation as the Administration had, that it would be appeasement leading to more appeasement to back down in Berlin. Such implied that very soon after the election, Mr. Dewey and his team would have to consult with the British and French and form a way "to lance the Berlin boil".

But would there be a cancer growing then on the presidency?

DeWitt MacKenzie tells of the diplomacy being used by America, Britain, and France in calling on Moscow for a showdown in the Berlin crisis to have been calculated to serve three purposes, that appeasement was obsolete, that the three democracies would not be bullied into abandoning their positions, and to put the Russians on the spot before world opinion as "malingerers in the cause of peace and rehabilitation" should they fail to cooperate.

If the purposes were served, it would be a notable achievement. But even so, it would not bring settlement of the cold war any closer to realization. Even if Moscow made some concessions, it would not abandon its goal of world revolution until it either succeeded or it blew up in their faces.

The Western powers were willing to accept the Soviet mark as sole currency for Berlin in exchange for lifting the blockade, provided the currency were placed under four-power authority.

Both America and Britain were mobilizing their forces to meet contingencies, should negotiations finally fail. Yet the openness of these preparations showed that they were precautionary only and not invitations to war.

Moscow would likely take heed of these warnings, as Russia appeared not to want war. But it did not mean that Russia would end the cold war. It had already opened a new offensive in Southeast Asia, and thus the world revolution would continue even though slowing down of necessity in Europe.

Two letter writers, 18 and 20, both with "charming faces", from 12 Bread Fruit Lane in Lagos, Nigeria, seek pen pals. They are interested in collecting old and new stamps, magazines, coins, and exchanging goods of other countries for African goods.

They note that they accept letters from "male, female, young and old." If you fit one of those categories, then you can write them.

A letter writer takes issue with the "How's Your I.Q.?" column in the newspaper on September 15, which had asked in which sea were the islands of Cyprus, Sicily, and Sardinia, giving the answer as the Mediterranean. The letter writer's map placed Sardinia between the Mediterranean and the Tyrrhenian Seas and Sicily as being bordered by the Mediterranean, Tyrrhenian and Ionian Seas. He concludes that the islands were no more in the Mediterranean than Africa.

The editors respond that the reader's letter was referred to the Education Research Bureau which prepared the column, and the response is included, saying that the Encyclopaedia Britannica listed the three islands as being in the Mediterranean and that the other bodies of water mentioned by the reader were considered local.

Take that, smarty pants. You put your thigh pads in backwards before you sat down to write that letter, didn't you?

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