The Charlotte News

Wednesday, September 8, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Secretary of State Marshall stated that the Communist attacks on the Berlin City Council were intended to disrupt the the ongoing talks of the Big Four military governors of Berlin to try to effect resolution of the blockade crisis. He urged resistance to these efforts, but declined to say how it should be accomplished.

In Berlin, Russian gunners kidnaped nineteen Western policemen after the Soviet commandant had guaranteed them safe passage from the besieged City Hall. There were no problems indicated at City Hall this date and ingress and egress occurred without obstruction.

Secretary Marshall said that he hoped that the U.S. would soon grant full diplomatic recognition to Israel following the October elections in that country. The White House, he said, would make the final determination. The U.S. had given partial recognition to the interim Government pending elections.

The Secretary also said that a bipartisan agreement had been reached regarding the U.S. position on the future of Italy's prewar African colonies, albeit without expressing the details.

In Paris, the Minister of Public Works, Henri Queruille, a conservative Radical Socialist, said that President Vincent Auriol had asked him to form a new government following the initial inability of Robert Schuman to do so and finally the Schuman Cabinet ouster, following the resignation the previous week of Premier Marie. The Schuman Cabinet had been overthrown by a coalition of Communists and rightists the night before after only 64 hours in office. It was the 13th Government in France since the war and the fourth since the beginning of the year, two of which had been headed by M. Schuman.

In Chicago, eight workmen had died at the E. J. Brach & Sons Candy factory after an explosion and fire the previous day. Thirteen others were injured.

In New York, the trucking strike, in its eighth day, continued and operations were reported lagging in the garment district. Grocery store stocks were dwindling and consumers were starting to feel the shortage. The milk supply was reaching a critical stage.

In Detroit, a strike by 170 plant guards at Briggs Manufacturing had caused 50,000 UAW autoworkers to leave the job, including 25,000 Briggs workers refusing to cross the picket line and Chrysler and Packard laying off 25,000 because of a shortage of car bodies.

They needed bigger engines than the lawn mowers had.

Governor Dewey was preparing to open his presidential campaign with a speech in Des Moines September 20.

He has already won. What is the point? He'll only give that crazy man in the White House something to yammer about.

Two days earlier, on September 18, the President was scheduled also to speak in Des Moines.

Nobody'll listen.

Harold Stassen, the night before, had answered the President's Labor Day speeches in Michigan by calling the President a "complaining" failure and saying that he could not supply the necessary leadership for the country. He claimed that the President had caused inflation as well as record strikes and work stoppages by removing major controls on the economy in 1945. He said that the Republicans were driving the "red herring" out of the official waters of the Potomac, referencing the President's labeling of the HUAC and Senate Investigating Committee hearings into Communist espionage in the Government as a "red herring". Mr. Stassen also defended the Taft-Hartley Act.

You can drive them out of the Potomac all you want but they will just crawl right back in at the Chesapeake.

Not reported, HUAC this date, meeting in executive session, held hearings delving further into the matter of the 1929 Model A Ford owned by Alger Hiss and which he allegedly sold to Cherner Motor Company in 1936, immediately purchased by William Rosen. Whittaker Chambers had testified that Mr. Hiss had wanted to donate the car to a poor West Coast Communist organizer and the Committee was attempting to verify this claim—so that they could collectively say, "A-ha, Mr. Hiss, we've got you." Mr. Hiss had claimed that he had allowed Mr. Chambers, then known to him only as George Crosley, to use the car and then gave it to him as it was virtually worthless.

A major earthquake had probably struck in the area of the Fiji Islands, 3,000 miles from Honolulu, as recorded by the California Institute of Technology and at Honolulu.

In Georgia, voters turned out in record numbers in the primary election to determine the Democratic nominee for Governor, Herman Talmadge or Governor M. E. Thompson. The two had battled one another in the courts in early 1947 to determine who was the rightful successor after Mr. Talmadge's father Eugene, Governor-elect, had died in December, 1946 before taking the oath of office. The State Supreme Court ultimately decided that the Lieutenant Governor, Mr. Thompson, was the rightful successor under the State Constitution and not Mr. Talmadge, whom the Legislature had elected as the successor. Mr. Talmadge, during the campaign, received the endorsement of the Klan for his white supremacy stand. Cross-burnings took place in Perry and Valdosta, Georgia, on the eve of the election.

In San Francisco, actress Anne Jeffreys, originally from Goldsboro, N.C., sought annulment of her marriage to an Air Force captain on the ground of fraud and that the union was never consummated. He allegedly had not performed his marital obligations.

Well, what did he not do?

In Long Beach, Calif., Ozzie Hamilton Osborne claimed a new flagpole sitting record of 52 days, 13 hours and 58 minutes. His legs were said to be badly swollen from his cramped position atop the pole.

In Atlantic City, Miss North Carolina, Patty Osborne of Shelby, no relation presumably to the flagpole sitter, was set, apparently, judging by the headline, alliteratively, to vie for the title of Miss America the coming Saturday night. She and the other 54 contestants, one from each state and territory, were prohibited from conversing with men for the remainder of the week. She liked Schubert's "Unfinished Symphony", did not favor boogie music. She would sing "Can't Help Lovin' That Man" from Porgy & Bess during the competition.

Tom Fesperman of The News discusses the statute allowing for a referendum locally on controlled sale of beer and wine, separate from that of liquor, which could not be revisited until mid-1950, three years following the previous election in Mecklenburg which had made controlled sale of liquor legal.

Furman Bisher tells on the sports page of it being Bobby Beal night at Griffith Park in honor of the Hornets' third baseman.

Who's on first?

On the editorial page, "Things That Go Up...." finds there to be no handy scapegoat for inflation though there were ample candidates suggested by different groups. Business claimed high wages and high farm prices from subsidies to be the culprits. Farmers claimed supports were inadequate, that farmers gained less than any other group from inflation. Labor claimed that high profits were the reason for high prices. Out of the clamor, the consumer only knew that he had to pay more and that if this were a boom, a bust might not be so bad.

It says that the props to the economy, preventing bust of the moment, ERP and national defense, were transitory, analogous to a dope addict and his need for increasing dosage of narcotics to make him feel better.

"A Job for the Home Folks" finds the Industrial Committee of the Chamber of Commerce in Charlotte predicting that the outlook was excellent for expansion.

A piece from the Christian Science Monitor, titled "What Hysteria Can Do", finds that while the Communist Party in America was more than a conventional democratic party, panic was no answer to the threat, leading only to rash action. For instance, in Broome County, N.Y., an unofficial "Committee on Americanism" had been created, believing, based on the hearsay of a former husband, that a local school teacher was either a Communist or held Communist views. The local school board assumed that because the head of the Committee was a former FBI agent, the information came from the Bureau and so acted on it, terminating the teacher.

In a separate proceeding involving custody of the child of the teacher, a court ruled that the charge of Communism had not been proved but had it been so, the judge said, he would have taken away custody as a Communist was unfit to rear a child. The Binghamton Press regarded this part of the court's ruling as antithetical to American constitutional rights.

The piece concludes that none of it made sense but showed what hysteria could do.

Robert Allen, substituting for vacationing Drew Pearson, tells of Senator Robert Taft desiring to become a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in the coming year under another Republican majority. It would challenge Senator Arthur Vandenberg, chairman of the Committee, in effecting unanimity on the Marshall Plan, as he had been able to do during the previous year. Senator Taft wanted to limit it. He could become Republican floor leader if he wanted, but he did not, favored Senator Kenneth Wherry for the position.

The Belgian Ambassador was asked to wear his fancy garb in appearing before the 35th Infantry Division in Omaha, for they had seldom seen, he was told, a foreign ambassador. He said that he understood, that they had seen jack-rabbits but no Belgian hares.

The President was having to choose between personal friendships and doing justice to Alaskan Indians. Northwestern timber and fishing interests, represented by Senator Warren Magnuson of Washington, a crony of the President, were opposing the Interior Department's order to establish a number of reservations in Alaska. Former Secretary of Agriculture Clinton Anderson, also a crony of the President, supported the Indians. The President had stalled on the decision for weeks.

The Archives, originally with a million cubic feet of storage when their building was opened 14 years earlier, was running out of space as 250,000 cubic feet of documents per year were amassing. They would need a new building.

Representative Sam Rayburn, former Speaker, was the house member most in demand by Democrats during the campaign.

The Justice Department had stated firmly that either Whittaker Chambers or Alger Hiss would face prosecution for perjury as a result of the contradictory testimony before HUAC regarding Mr. Chambers's accusations that Mr. Hiss had been, during his tenure in Government, most notably in the State Department, a member of the Communist Party during the 1930's. Justice had not indicated which of the two would be indicted.

Marquis Childs, in Lincoln, Neb., tells of Nebraska farmers to share in the prosperity in the West from high farm prices. Cattle also were bringing record prices in Chicago. It added up to a Republican victory in the fall. The re-election of Senator Kenneth Wherry, a reactionary, appeared certain. As Republican Whip, he had thrown his weight toward reaction on almost every issue. He had come close to fisticuffs on one occasion with liberal Senator Wayne Morse of Oregon. Hugh Butler, the other Senator from the state, was also an ultra-conservative.

In the spring primary, the voters had chosen Harold Stassen over Senator Robert Taft, who had asked questions regarding the relation between high prices and farm subsidies, which did not appeal to the farmers. He also favored caution regarding the Marshall Plan, good for farming. Senator Butler had promoted Senator Taft's candidacy.

Senator Butler blocked statehood for Hawaii, without regard to national defense, following the desires of financial interests in the islands opposed to statehood.

For 40 years, Senator George Norris, a great man, had represented Nebraska. He believed that Government could become a partner with the people and with private enterprise for the common good. But now, there was little trace evident in the state regarding that for which Senator Norris had stood. His name was attached to TVA as its champion. He believed in government for the many, not the few.

The Democratic challenger in 1948 to Senator Wherry was also conservative, leaving the voters nowhere to turn to renew the ideals exhibited by Senator Norris.

DeWitt MacKenzie tells of the Polish Communist Party being split down the middle, with dissidents opposed to toeing the Moscow line. They stood for nationalism rather than internationalism, the basis for the problems between Tito and Moscow. Both Poland and Yugoslavia were insisting on their sovereign existence. At a Communist Party conference in Warsaw, a resolution had warned that Yugoslavia's independence was spreading. The conference was emergently formed to deal with the split in the party. The Vice-Premier had just been removed from effective power for his backing the Yugoslav revolt. His place as secretary-general of the party was taken by President Boleslaw Bierut. The conference favored "full liquidation" of all who did not follow the Marxist-Leninist line. It also favored compulsory socialization of production in peasant villages.

The question remained whether Poles would stand for such oppressive measures. It also remained to be seen how the dissension would affect other nationalistic peoples, as the Czechoslovakians. It would likely mean in Western nations the hardening of defenses against the Soviet drive for power. For instance, the Trades Union Congress in Britain had called for purging of Communists from Britain's organized labor.

He concludes that Soviet Communism was beginning to show weaknesses in its structure in Europe.

Samuel Grafton, no longer carried by The News, says: "This, then, is normalcy: A background crackle of quarreling with Russia, and a hissing and whispering in the foreground about the presence of spies in our midst." No one, however, was paying attention. They were more indifferent than a year earlier as they had accustomed themselves to the world as it was. They had trained themselves not to react to higher prices or the draft.

Three or four years earlier, they reacted to everything, whether a rise in price by a penny or a peril in the world. They believed that any problem could be solved. Now, the insoluble problem had become part of their world. Moreover, the people had forgotten how things were. Trouble was considered to be "the natural lot of men".

A letter writer finds the letter from State Senator R. M. Kennedy criticizing DNC treasurer and State Senator Joe Blythe to be wholly unwarranted. He recommends not departing from President Truman because of his civil rights program, because Governor Dewey had implemented in New York the first Fair Employment Practices Commission of any state. A vote for the Dixiecrats, he warns, was a vote for Governor Dewey, as the Dixiecrats had no chance of winning.

A letter writer supposes himself to be the oldest reader of the newspaper, having been a reader since 1908. He had rather do without supper than the newspaper. But he found himself differing on the issue of legally controlled sale of liquor, beer and wine. He finds it destructive of homes and church-going. He says that if the newspaper's position was correct, then liquor, beer and wine ought be for sale in every grocery store.

In the fifth chapter of Daniel in the Bible, the story was recounted of the drinking party of Belshazzar, when the mysterious handwriting appeared on the wall. He believes America was being judged and found wanting.

Framed Edition
[Return to Links
Page by Subject] [Return to Links-Page by Date] [Return to News<i><i><i>--</i></i></i>Framed Edition]
Links-Date -- Links-Subj.