The Charlotte News

Tuesday, September 28, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in Paris at the U.N. General Assembly meeting, France joined Great Britain and the U.S. in condemning Russia for the Berlin crisis. French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman asked the U.N. to end the blockade.

Belgian Premier Paul-Henri Spaak told the Assembly that Russia maintained a fifth column in every U.N. country, "the like of which even Hitler did not know." The non-Communist delegates then applauded continuously for five minutes.

American representative on the U.N. Human Rights Commission Eleanor Roosevelt, addressing the Sorbonne in Paris, charged Russia with human rights violations at home and interference in other countries' affairs. She urged the U.N. not to compromise with the Soviet bloc nations on human freedom. She distinguished Soviet conceptions of the trade union as an instrument of the State to enforce duties from the democratic conception of unions as instruments solely of the workers.

Representatives of the five Western Alliance nations met with American and Canadian military observers of the military commission set up by the Alliance, probably discussing the speeding up of the military programs of the five nations and the extent to which the U.S. and Canada could back them without entering into a full-scale military treaty, as well as other pertinent matters.

The U.S. declared its support for U.N. action to have Albania, Yugoslavia, and Bulgaria cease aiding Greek guerrillas in northern Greece and to disarm them. A resolution to that effect would probably soon be presented to the Special Committee on the Balkans.

The Socialist newspaper Telegraf in Berlin charged that the Communists in the Soviet occupation zone were forming an army of Communist-indoctrinated war veterans disguised as police. It said that it was a strategy similar to that followed in North Korea by the Communists, so that the Russians could depend on this army if the four powers agreed to vacate Germany.

In Vienna, two American oil men who had been expelled from Communist-controlled Hungary said that they had been forced to sign statements that they had sabotaged production in the Hungarian Standard Oil Co. of New Jersey plant. The two denied that there was any sabotage in fact. They had been expelled on Saturday after a week of questioning. They had been arrested by the economic police on September 18.

HUAC was searching for "Scientist X", after demanding immediate trials for four persons accused of tampering with atomic secrets. "X" was linked to scientist Steve Nelson, whom the Committee said should be forthwith tried as a wartime spy along with three other scientists. The penalty was death or up to 30 years in prison for a conviction on such charges. The Committee said that the evidence it had turned up had been known to Government agents for five years.

HUAC also criticized the Administration generally for failure to prosecute persons linked to a "Soviet espionage conspiracy".

The Federal Security Agency was preparing charges of disloyalty against 51 of its employees, according to FSA administrator Oscar Ewing in testimony before the Senate Investigating Committee. He said that sympathy with the Communists triggered a recommendation of dismissal from the loyalty board. He also said that in many of the cases, charges were frivolous, based on anonymous hearsay to the FBI, requiring his own personal review on the most serious accusations.

The previous day, former Commissioner of Education Dr. John Studebaker said that Mr. Ewing had so centralized authority that it hampered him in trying to wage an anti-Communist campaign through the schools. Mr. Ewing said that the accusations were false and ridiculous.

Ambassador to Moscow Walter Bedell Smith told the President, aboard his campaign train the previous night at Bonham, Texas, that the situation with Russia was never more serious than at present.

The President, starting the day in Sherman, Texas, made a speech during the afternoon of this date at the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds in Oklahoma City regarding Communism. He concluded the speech by saying: "We are for free enterprise and against communism. But we are against those who raise the cry of communism to slander and obstruct policies conceived in the people's interest. There is nothing the Communists would like better than to weaken the liberal programs that are our shield against communism."

Governor Dewey continued to tour the Pacific Northwest.

Governor Earl Warren, in Syracuse, N.Y., said that despite some people talking about "red herrings", referring to the President, there were a lot of Communists at work in the country.

Yeah, and a few years down the road, the same people who were making the claim the loudest would be calling you the Communists' ring leader.

In Concord, N.H., Governor Warren told an audience that he was more interested in uniting the country than winning the election.

In Dallas, Texas, Henry Wallace said that the Berlin crisis was "an absolute necessity" for both the Democrats and Republicans, who thrived, he said, on "crisis upon crisis".

Well, Mr. Nixon did, anyway.

In Deerfield, Ill., six polio victims in the same household, stricken during a 10-day period, would all likely recover. Only one child remained in the hospital.

In Portland, Me., two little boys, 8 and 9, one with a broken arm and the other a broken jaw, utilized bedsheets to climb out a window of a hospital to get back home because they missed their mothers. They were caught and placed back in the hospital within an half hour.

Now one had two broken arms and the other two broken jaws.

In Newton, N.C., the head of Nuzum-Gross Chevrolet was named chairman of the Community Chest campaign committee.

Freck Sproles of The News tells on the woman's pages of families beginning to purchase furniture.

On the editorial page, "The Impasse at Berlin" tells of the worst crisis since the war having begun on Sunday, with the diplomatic note of the three Western powers to Russia, calling the continuing blockade of Berlin a threat to peace and referring the matter to the U.N. Security Council after diplomatic efforts of the previous three months had failed to end the blockade.

The piece finds the Sunday note to be historic, setting the ground for potentially the most destructive world war in history. It could not foresee a resolution coming from the Security Council as Russia would almost certainly veto any major action to be taken against its own interests.

Russia had become desperate in recent months with Italy, Turkey, Greece, and Western Germany acting as solid bulwarks to further Soviet expansion beyond the Eastern satellites.

The Russian response on September 25 to the three-power note of Wednesday demanding a resolution to the crisis, was that the blockade would end only if Russia were provided exclusive control of the air lanes from the Western zones into Berlin and if the sole currency became the Russian mark. The terms were unacceptable to the Western allies as it would mean giving the Russians control of the last means of supplying the Western zones of Berlin and provide effective economic control of the city to the Soviets.

The note of Sunday had said: "The issue is that the Soviet Government has clearly shown by its actions that it is attempting by illegal and coercive measures in disregard of its obligations to secure political objectives to which it is not entitled and which it could not achieve by peaceful means."

The referral to the Security Council was to put the Russians on the spot before world opinion. The hope was that the Russians would come to understand that America would use force if necessary to remain in Berlin and that a third world war would do neither Russia nor the United States any good.

"Take Another Look, Governor" tells of Strom Thurmond declaring in Madisonville, Ky., that the Dixiecrats were purifying the Democratic Party, "like muddy water, run over the sands and rocks of our loyalty and patriotism and be purified."

The piece thinks that he had placed his thermometer in the sun and the reading was not a true one.

There would also be the view that, generally, he had his thermometer where the moon don't shine.

It thinks that he would be more in character and more credible were he to limit himself to "logical, coherent exposition of the fundamental question of states' rights".

Now, the editorialist has his thermometer equally misplaced, in his fundamentals.

In any event, it concludes that the American people were not prepared to believe the rhetoric of Governor Thurmond, that the two major parties were conniving to establish the kind of government which existed in Russia, where no man "can be free, and all men are slaves."

A piece from the Christian Science Monitor, titled "What Are They Up To?" examines what was behind the Russian announcement that Russia would withdraw all troops from Korea by January 1. The President of South Korea, Syngman Rhee, had stated that it had to mean that they believed that the Communist regime in North Korea was secure. The Russian invitation to the U.S. to withdraw its troops from the South was an invitation to abandon Korea to the Northern regime. In the event of a civil war, the North would win easily, with its Soviet-trained and armed troops, unless the U.S. were to give active support to the South.

It had been expected that the U.S. would withdraw coincident with the Russian withdrawal. It would not be abandonment under the circumstances, as the Korean people deeply resented both American and Russian occupation. And American failure to withdraw would be a propaganda coup for the Russians. Korea, it opines, should not be allowed to turn into a Soviet "peace offensive", and leaving Korea should not set a precedent for similar actions in other areas.

Drew Pearson continues his expose of the reasons for the sudden drop of the investigation into Senator Elmer Thomas's commodities speculation while influencing the price of cotton from the Senate floor, telling of Senator Homer Ferguson, who had launched the investigation, receiving a letter from Senator Thomas, which the column printed the previous day, threatening to expose the fact that Senator Ferguson had received personal and family benefits from Chrysler while Chrysler sought Government contracts. After receipt of the letter, Senator Ferguson suddenly abandoned the inquiry into Senator Thomas's commodities speculation.

Dyke Cullum, one of Senator Thomas's former "business associates", had been caught speculating in grain and was under investigation, not yet indicted, though four others in the ring had been.

At a luncheon for journalist Bascom Timmons, who had recently published Garner of Texas, regarding former Vice-President John Nance Garner, cartoonist Cliff Berryman had drawn a cartoon of Mr. Timmons with Mr. Garner. Suddenly the cartoon turned up missing and after much searching, Willard Kiplinger, publisher of "Kiplinger's Letter" in Washington, produced the cartoon from his breast pocket. No one was quite sure if Mr. Kiplinger meant it as a joke.

An offshoot of a polygamist cult had grown up in Utah and neighbors complained not about the polygamy but the theft of irrigation water, fencing country roads and growing wheat on Government grazing land.

General Jonathan Wainwright, the hero of Corregidor, was preparing to sell insurance to veterans as soon as he could get more military brass to go into business with him. It was to be called the Armed Forces Mutual Life Insurance Company and would be non-profit.

Senator Elbert Thomas of Utah had recently asked the President to read a brochure explaining that the Progressive Party was running candidates against liberals to allow election of reactionaries, in furtherance of a Communist scheme to throw the country into turmoil. The President promised to read it.

Joseph Alsop, in St. Paul, Minn., finds in Minnesota and Iowa, the heart of Republican country at the time, the handwriting on the wall for the doom of the brand of Republicanism dominating the current Congress. There was little doubt that Governor Dewey would carry both states, enjoying a 51 to 30 percent lead in Iowa. But also in Iowa, there was a close race between former Democratic Senator Guy Gillette and incumbent Senator George Wilson, a Republican. Mr. Alsop ventures that Mr. Wilson would likely win on the coattails of Governor Dewey.

In Minnesota, the President led in the polls slightly, while Minneapolis Mayor Hubert Humphrey led incumbent Senator Joseph Ball 49 to 38 percent. Minnesota had remained loyal to FDR in 1944 when the rest of the Midwest had voted for Governor Dewey.

Mayor Humphrey's greatest drawback was a lack of campaign funds, but he was possessed of remarkable energy and an excellent record as Mayor, with high standing across the state. He and his young campaign staff had almost singlehandedly driven the Communists and fellow travelers from key positions in the Democratic state organization, in which they had obtained a foothold via the Democratic-Farmer merger.

Senator Ball studied nineteenth century economists, such as Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill, tended toward a kind of mysticism, had supported FDR in 1944. He had also compiled one of the most reactionary voting records in the Senate. Labor adamantly opposed him and so the contest was for the farm vote. Mayor Humphrey had scored points with the farmers by pointing out that Senator Ball had supported the Republicans in slashing the rural electrification program.

Governor Dewey was coming to Minnesota to endorse the New Deal farm program and especially REA. So it was thought that he would eventually carry the state and that Senator Ball would ride his coattails to victory, especially with the luxury of a large campaign chest.

But, ventures Mr. Alsop, the outcome in these two elections was less important than the long-term trend in the Midwest against the type of politics which had driven the 80th Congress. Governor Dewey had read the handwriting on the wall and was reacting to it by endorsing the New Deal farm program. But as President, he would have to control the conservative leaders of his own party in Congress, and if he failed in that effort, the whole party might be brought down, whereas at present only the extreme right wing needed to be reformed.

James Marlow tells of Russia and Communism providing the big "if's" in the presidential campaign, as to whether there would be war with Russia and whether Western Europe could stop the spread of Communism through reconstruction aided by the Marshall Plan. Thus far, the candidates had kept foreign policy out of the race, as it had been shaped by both parties.

Thus, the contest boiled down to domestic issues. The President was spending most of his time attacking the Republican Congress, not making promises for the future. He had promised the Western states more power and reclamation projects. But the Democratic platform had made a number of promises.

Governor Dewey was promoting Government efficiency, reduction of spending and taxes, while bringing down inflation. But he had injected the contingency that first peace had to be achieved before these domestic agendas could be fulfilled.

The country was spending 15 billion dollars per year on defense. An additional 5.3 billion went to the Marshall Plan in its first year, with more to be allocated in subsequent years. If Russia created additional problems in Europe, both defense and the aid program might be much more costly. That would make it impossible to cut taxes. War would make matters fiscally even worse.

So, he cautions that as the campaign progressed, the promises of the candidates had to be posed against these big "if's".

A letter writer wonders what would be the Christian condemnation of the President for his "give 'em hell" campaign, that such was setting a bad example for the youth of the nation. Even if advisers cooked up the strategy, the President would get the blame as a Pontius Pilate who "loved the praise of men more than the praise of God."

Well, whatever the condemnation was, they elected him President again in one of the most audacious displays of voter activism in the country's history given the pre-election polls uniformly informing them that their votes would be meaningless, and so they must not have thought too ill of it, at least when juxtaposed to the "Christian example" presented by the Republican Party.

He was the President and if he wanted to give the sons-of-bitches hell, well, he could damned well do it.

How did Jesus drive the moneychangers from the Temple? By being meek and mild, nice and cuddly?

Those who place emphasis on the language and how something is said, not what is being said, are the sophists and Pharisees, seeking to distract by prestidigitation from the game of greed and power-mongering they love to play.

A letter from A. W. Black responds to the recent letter responding critically to his suggestion that the New Deal and FDR had sought to "communize" the country.

He now says that FDR would be remembered as "opinionated, power intoxicated mogul, selfishly devoted to expediency and self; a shallow politician who held the people in utter contempt and who hoodwinked and double-crossed the nation into almost complete communism and a war that brought death, devastation and destruction with a ruthlessness unparalleled in the history of the world."

He seems to have cobbled together opinions of Hitler, Mussolini and Tojo, and then simply substituted Franklin Roosevelt's name into the passage.

A letter writer provides an October 30, 1947 story from the Greensboro Daily News, which told of a Democratic Congressional candidate criticizing the Civil Rights Committee report recommending complete integration forthwith of the society. The candidate had said that he would run as a Republican the next time because the Democrats had deserted their traditional stance in resistance to civil rights and integration.

The letter writer thinks that the statement had borne itself out during the campaign year.

Where's your thermometer?

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