The Charlotte News

Wednesday, September 29, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that on the tenth anniversary of the Munich Pact of 1938, France, Great Britain and the U.S. charged Russia, in simultaneous and identical notes delivered to the U.N. General Assembly in Paris, with menacing world peace with the blockade of Berlin, contending that Russia was intent on running the Western powers from the city and bringing it under Soviet control.

Representatives of the three Western powers said that it was unlikely that the Security Council would consider the matter before Monday.

A Moscow newspaper charged the three Western powers with causing the negotiations over Berlin to fail and with having "exploded the legal basis" which gave them the right of participation in administration of Berlin.

Nine Soviet fighter planes buzzed two American transport planes in the Soviet zone air corridor this date, prompting American officials to transmit a formal protest of the incident for violation of air safety. The planes had flown to within 100 feet of the airlift transports. The previous week, a Soviet fighter had flown dangerously close to an American transport. The Soviets had also engaged in high altitude anti-aircraft fire over the air corridor with 90 minutes of advance notice to the Americans and British.

One of the four scientists accused by HUAC of providing atomic secrets to the Russians, Dr. Clarence Hiskey, professor of analytical chemistry at Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute, denied the claims. HUAC had urged prosecution for espionage of Dr. Hiskey and three others.

The Government barred workers of unions whose officers refused to disavow Communism, as required under Taft-Hartley, from working in atomic bomb plants. Specifically, it banned the United Electrical Workers and the United Public Workers from the plants. Both unions were being scrutinized by Congress for Communist influence.

Two officials of the United Electrical Workers Union refused under the Fifth Amendment to testify to a labor subcommittee of the House whether they were or ever had been members of the Communist Party.

In Oklahoma City, a three-judge Federal District Court held that the the University of Oklahoma's segregation restrictions were unconstitutional in denying a black applicant admission to the University's doctoral program. The State, however, was provided a temporary stay pending the Governor asking the Legislature to amend the state's segregation laws to conform with the Constitution. A retired black professor, G. W. McLaurin, had brought the suit to seek admission to the University to complete his doctoral work. The application had been denied solely on the basis of race.

Subsequently, the University, following amendment of state laws, admitted Mr. McLaurin, but provided that his instruction would be on a segregated basis. He appealed that decision to the U.S. Supreme Court, and in 1950, the Court ruled unanimously, in a decision announced by Chief Justice Fred Vinson, that Mr. McLaurin was entitled to admission to the same program to which white students were admitted.

Again, that ruling, as in Sweatt v. Painter in 1950, providing for admission of a black student to the University of Texas Law School, undermines the oft repeated contention that had Chief Justice Vinson not died in 1953, Brown v. Board of Education, before the Court at the time of his death, might have had a different and less favorable result than its order to desegregate public schools "with all deliberate speed". That is both an unprovable premise and one which, based on the actual record, is highly unlikely, though making for intriguing after-the-fact chatter in the always murky realm of the hypothetical.

The President announced plans to campaign the following week in New York and Pennsylvania. He was scheduled to return to Washington on Saturday from his current 16-day tour of the country. This date, he campaigned from Shawnee, Oklahoma, through Muscogee and Tulsa, where he gave a major address in Skelly Stadium, to Marshfield, Missouri, along the way accusing the Republicans of being afraid to come out into the open on the campaign issues. He vowed to smoke them out so that the country would know where they stood.

Governor Dewey promised to lay out his foreign policy views in a speech at Salt Lake City the next night. He made speeches at Spokane, Wash., and Missoula, Mont., this date, stressing foreign policy.

Former Vice-President Henry Wallace urged in a speech in Dallas, Texas, that a fact-finding commission be established to investigate the recurrent war scares, contending that Secretary of Defense Forrestal had built up the war scare and fear of Communists and Russia to advance the private oil interests operating in the Middle East.

Governor Strom Thurmond again attacked the President's civil rights program.

Following four recent crashes of F-84 jet fighters, all were ordered grounded while an investigation took place into the mishaps. The planes were produced by Republic Aviation, which joined in the announcement of the grounding.

In Los Angeles, actor Robert Mitchum and two of his three co-defendants, charged with possession of marijuana pursuant to their arrest on September 1, entered pleas of not guilty after a demurrer to the charges had been overruled. Noted criminal defense attorney Jerry Geisler represented Mr. Mitchum, contending that a portion of the indictment was unconstitutional for not being written in the English language when it said that the defendants were accused of conspiracy to possess "flowering tops and leaves of Indian hemp (Cannabis Sativa)." He said that he always thought that hemp was used to make rope and that the indictment might as well have been written in Chinese or hieroglyphics, prompting a laugh from those packing the courtroom. He said that he could not even pronounce "Cannabis Sativa".

The fourth defendant was granted additional time to enter a plea pending a motion to dismiss for lack of sufficient evidence. The trial of the other three was set for November 22.

Also in Los Angeles, Governor Thomas Dewey sent a large bouquet of chrysanthemums to the family of a woman who had dropped dead of a heart attack as she was about to enter the Hollywood Bowl the previous Friday to hear the Governor speak.

In New York, a woman was robbed by three towel-masked thieves of $40,000 to $50,000 worth of jewels after they invaded her hotel room and bound and gagged her. The woman was married to a member of the Loew's Theaters family.

In Asheville, N.C., the Reverend M. George Henry, 37, rector of Christ Episcopal Church in Charlotte for the previous five years, was consecrated as Protestant Episcopal Bishop of Western North Carolina.

In High Point, N.C., Methodist Bishop Costen Harrell of Charlotte, in an address to the Western North Carolina Methodist Conference, outlined themes to be emphasized during the ensuing four years.

Tom Fesperman of The News tells of the start of work in Charlotte by the Legislative Committee of the Allied Church League on a statewide referendum anent liquor, wine and beer, and for State supported medical care for alcoholics. Francis Clarkson chaired the Committee.

On the editorial page, "Mr. Vishinsky's Hollow Words" finds Andrei Vishinsky's speech before the U.N. General Assembly in Paris to have been more of the same rhetoric heard from him previously, laying blame on the West for imperialism through the Marshall Plan while putting forth a proposal to have the Big Five reduce by one-third their troops and armament and ban aggressive use of the atomic bomb.

But the piece finds that this latter proposal only sounded good superficially, for when broached previously by the Russians, it was always coupled with hedging regarding any international inspection to verify the adherence to the limitations. Russia was willing to have verification as long as there was no interference with its internal economy.

It concludes that Mr. Vishinsky's proposals were as meaningless as those he had made the previous year and that the U.S. should continue its policy of weighing such proposals with great care while maintaining patience and firmness, as counseled by Secretary of State Marshall.

"The Wrong Approach" finds the proposal before the National Security Resources Board to have the big oil companies limit production and to allow them then to raise prices jointly without being subject to the anti-trust laws to be nonsensical as a means to conserve dwindling petroleum resources in the country, depleted by the war.

It finds that such a move would discourage production and exploration for new resources. The better avenue would be to encourage development of new world resources, spend money on research of synthetic and substitute products, and improve the design of the internal combustion engine to make it more efficient.

The present proposal, it concludes, would only encourage a monopoly while raising prices, antithetical to the goals generally followed by the Government.

"'Our Bob' in Franco Land" tells of former North Carolina Senator Robert Rice Reynolds and his young daughter heading for Spain for a year, according to gossip columnist Leonard Lyons. Mr. Lyons also related that Mr. Reynolds still wanted to return to the Senate and would run against Senator Hoey in 1950, (the piece being in error that Senator Hoey's term ended in December, 1949, the Senator having won the seat for a full term in 1944). In fact, Mr. Reynolds would run for the Senate in 1950, but for the other seat, by then to be occupied by Frank Porter Graham after his appointment in March, 1949 to fill the vacancy left by newly elected former Governor Melville Broughton upon his death.

The piece recalls that in 1930, Mr. Reynolds had taken a trip abroad in advance of his successful run for the Senate against former Governor Cam Morrison, appointed to the Senate to fill the vacancy left by the death of Lee Overman. He had mailed picture postcards back to voters from exotic locales, such as Singapore and New Delhi. But, remarks the piece, such gestures meant less to people who had seen the world during the war. It also reminds that Mr. Reynolds had taken a trip to Nazi Germany in the late thirties while in the Senate and received approbation from Herr Hitler in the process, returned praising Nazism.

It concludes that he may simply be traveling with his young daughter, following the suicide two years earlier of his young wife, Hope Diamond heir-presumptive Evalyn Walsh McLean, and that it was best to leave him in peace.

It also provides a quote from Senator Reynolds from the Congressional Record, saying that Hitler and Mussolini were looking after the people of their countries, whereas Uncle Sam was wandering over the world trying to "police the earth". He wanted the U.S. to come home.

Drew Pearson tells of the President asking Admiral Lou Denham to ask Admiral William Leahy, 73, to retire as the President's chief of staff. He hated to ask anyone directly to do so. He believed Admiral Leahy had "outgrown his usefulness". The President said that he had asked Admiral Leahy to stay on twice when he had offered to retire and that was making it all the more awkward now to ask him. He felt Admiral Leahy had become too reactionary and was at odds with Secretary of State Marshall. Admiral Denham, however, balked at the task because Admiral Leahy was his superior. The President asked him to find a big job for Admiral Leahy so that he could retire in a blaze of glory. Admiral Denham, a few days later, suggested that he be made Ambassador to Spain—which the President thought a good idea until reminded by the State Department that the country had no diplomatic relations with Franco's Spain and could not send an Ambassador.

HUAC was trying to make contact with Igor Gouzenko, the Russian code clerk who had revealed the Canadian spy ring, to determine what if any information he might have on an American spy ring in the Government. The Committee had a tip that he knew of two American spies not mentioned in the Canadian report. The Canadian Government, however, kept him under close wraps and he was living under an assumed name. At one point, the Committee got close to making an arrangement with the Government of Canada to provide access to Mr. Gouzenko. Congressmen Richard Nixon, Edward Hebert and John McDowell of the Committee arranged to meet in Ottawa with Prime Minister MacKenzie King, each taking separate trains to New York to avoid drawing attention to themselves. But when they reached New York, they were met with press questions about the matter, someone on the Committee having tipped off the press regarding the purpose of the trip.

Judge Sam Rosenman, former adviser to FDR and speechwriter for both FDR and President Truman, said that he believed that the President was stressing too much Wall Street versus the farmer on his cross-country tour, that such rhetoric no longer played well with the farmers as they were enjoying prosperity. He said that he had helped to prepare the President's acceptance speech at the convention and his message to the special session of Congress in July, but had not been called upon since. Mr. Pearson indicates that Secretary of the Treasury John Snyder had gotten Judge Rosenman off the President's train.

A recent intelligence report had stated that Russia would ask for withdrawal of all troops from Germany and if accomplished, would then send troops back into Germany in a year on a pretext. Russia had stripped from Germany all it wanted from the predominantly agricultural Eastern zone. Part of the plan would be to disrupt American transportation by stimulating wildcat strikes, to prevent transport of troops to Germany to restore order.

Marquis Childs tells of Sir Stafford Cripps, Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer, visiting the U.S. for the annual meeting of the governing board of the World Bank, of which he was vice-chairman. Britain's worst enemy since the war, its trade deficit, had been reduced by 55 percent. Belt tightening had continued after the war. As of the previous June, trade was at 138 percent that of 1938, up from 120 percent the previous December. The Marshall Plan had aided the recovery. But Britain had also made net contributions of 282 million dollars to other European countries during the previous fiscal year.

With the meat shortage in Britain, Norwegian beaver, suspected to be rat meat, was being marketed. Horse meat was selling for 50 to 60 cents per pound.

Mr. Cripps also wanted to discuss what would be happening to Britain's trade deficit in light of the re-armament program and re-mobilization. He would likely tell U.S. policy-makers that Britain could not afford to pay for re-armament without wrecking the plans for reconstruction of the economy. He would likely thus propose a form of lend-lease.

In recent months, many Americans had expressed bitterness toward Britain, for its policy toward Palestine and its domestic experiment in democratic socialism under the Labour Government.

But, he ventures, in spite of the disagreements, the partnership with Britain was of paramount importance at present as the British believed in the same things Americans did and would stand up for them

James Marlow discusses the Berlin crisis, explaining that Russia had been able to cut off Western supply routes by land to the city, necessitating the airlift because Berlin was deep inside the Eastern occupation zone of Germany.

In 1945, the Big Four had agreed to divide Germany and Berlin into four occupation zones, each to be ruled by a military governor from each respective nation until such time as Germany could be placed on a self-governing basis. The Western three nations had to send supplies to Western Berliners via truck and train through the Soviet occupation zone.

Everything went according to plan until earlier in the year when the Russians began placing restrictions on travel through the Soviet territory, starting in March with inspections of rail and vehicular traffic, escalating in late June to the blockade of all rail and vehicular traffic, premised initially on the need for bridge repairs but later based on the dual currency issue, with Western marks and Soviet marks competing in Berlin as the official currency. The Russians wanted only Soviet marks in the city.

There was no written agreement regarding rail and truck transportation, but American officials insisted that it was an understood part of the agreement. The Russians denied the fact. The only written agreement pertained to the air lanes to be used into Berlin from the Western zones. Thus, Russia had not tried to interfere directly with air traffic, though of late it had announced on short notice military exercises, including shooting anti-aircraft weaponry to 10,000 feet, the highest altitude flown by the airlift, on a mere 90 minutes notice to the British and Americans conducting the airlift.

There remained a question whether the airlift could supply Berlin's needs through the winter.

Sumner Welles, former Undersecretary of State until August, 1943, finds the Alsops to have written an apt and informative column recently indicating that the National Security Council had taken over conduct of the country's foreign policy.

He finds specious the argument that the civilian point of view would not be subordinated to the military in the Council because the members were the civilian heads of the executive departments, each of the three military branch Secretaries, the Defense Secretary, and Secretary of State, along with the chairman of the Security Resources Board.

He asserts that no President since General Grant had possessed such childlike faith in the oversight of the high brass as had President Truman. He invariably approved every decision of the Council. Secretary Marshall had spent his entire previous career as a professional military man. Secretary of Defense Forrestal had to place military considerations first, as did the heads of each of the military branches. Thus the military point of view was really the only one being heard in the current makeup of the Council. While it would serve well in time of an emergency such as Pearl Harbor, it would not serve generally to have only the military viewpoint represented in reaching foreign policy decisions, indeed, not even in an emergency.

The military viewpoint did not take into account emotion and ideas, diplomacy and economy. A type of new isolationism based on the notion that America should run the world singlehandedly was likely to be the product of a military point of view, that world cooperation was fantastical.

President Roosevelt had prevented disaster in the wake of Pearl Harbor by not allowing the military to dictate policy. For instance, the military had wanted to seize bases in Latin America by force to facilitate the projected invasion of North Africa. Had that occurred, Latin American neighbors would have been outraged and unity in the Hemisphere compromised.

But under the current setup, he finds, the military point of view would prevail. It had already done harm in such places as Palestine, Panama, the Pacific trusteeships, the Italian colonies, Germany and with respect to reparations.

The military would not allow for liberalism and if liberalism disappeared from national policy, the battle for Western civilization would be lost in an ever-increasingly totalitarian world.

The Alsops had concluded that if elected President, Governor Dewey would make use of the Council as an effective instrument of Government. Mr. Welles asserts that, to the contrary, it should be hoped that Governor Dewey, if elected, would restore control of foreign policy to the civilian side of the Government as required by the Constitution and limit the Council to coordinating functions of the military, for which it alone was qualified.

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