The Charlotte News

Thursday, May 8, 1947


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the Jewish Agency called upon the U.N., and specifically Britain, to relax immediately immigration restrictions for the Holy Land to avert continued tragedy for the European refugees. It marked the first time that a non-government organization had made an appearance in the debates on Palestine.

The House entered the voting phase regarding the proposal for aid to Greece and Turkey.

The A.T.&T. Long Lines Division and the long distance operators settled the strike on the basis of a wage hike of $4.40 per week. The Government predicted that it would bring a swift end to the entire telephone strike. It was possible that the 20,000 operators might refuse to cross picket lines of the NFTW once the settlement was finalized later in the day. About 200,000 of the original 287,000 workers who walked off the job April 7 remained on strike.

The Senate voted to ban union controlled health and welfare funds and the involuntary check-off of union dues from wages. Senator Robert Taft wanted the amendments. A previous amendment the day before, to ban industry-wide collective bargaining, also championed by Senator Taft, was defeated.

President Truman held a press conference on his 63rd birthday and stated that he was confident that the world could achieve peace. He wanted universal military training approved by the Congress before the summer recess. He again urged prices to be lowered by manufacturers and big business.

Margaret Truman was to sing on May 20 in Philadelphia, her first concert stage appearance.

General MacArthur stated that the U.S. would support Japan until a peace treaty could be formed, but denied any military defense of the country, as had been reported earlier would be the case.

Russia was demanding 400 train carloads of white flour in Rumania, with which to feed its occupation troops. The U.S. had sent the flour to Rumania, but since the flour was not leaving the country, the transfer was not illegal.

The Methodist National Council criticized the Catholic Church for bigotry practiced in Catholic-controlled lands. It cited Argentina as requiring the teaching of Roman Catholicism even in the schools of Protestant churches.

In Istanbul, Moslem peasants prayed for rain to end a drought. Buckets fell. Two men drowned in the downpour and the rain was thought possibly to be too late to revive the parched wheat.

In Baltimore, 500 dinner guests, including the Governor of Maryland, paid $10 per plate for a benefit for cancer, at which Walter Winchell, Bing Crosby, Don Ameche, and Al Jolson were supposed to appear. After nearly four hours, the wait was ended and the dinner guests went home. Later, a letter came from Mr. Winchell, who had been responsible for lining up the other three guests, saying that he had hoped to make the affair but instead had to go to the doctor.

In West Los Angeles, singer Tony Martin was put in jail for two days for speeding 55 mph along a boulevard on April 26.

In Hollywood, actress Jane Wyman, expecting in June her third child with actor Ronald Reagan, received from the Society of American Florists a spray of red roses for being selected "Hollywood's most attractive mother", in commemoration of Mother's Day.

In Palm Springs, Armenian faith healer Avak Hagopian of Azerbaijan in Iran, rested at the home of his patron who wanted his 37-year old son, a cripple since age nine, cured.

On the editorial page, "Victory Is Hardly the Word" comments on the second anniversary of VE-Day, finds the illusion of victory complete for the illiterate and for those not wishing to be reminded of the past. Only in America was it easy to forget this anniversary. Elsewhere, the scars of war remained. Silence had replaced the sound of guns, but that silence was in despair. Peace had not yet begun.

Half the world still rotted in misery two years after war's end, presenting a "black, shameful record of human failure."

It concludes that a new title needed to be given the anniversary, one without the "V".

"How High Were the Flames?" tells of the absence of accurate statistics from Prohibition being a great drawback in the arguments pro and con the referendum in Mecklenburg on sale of controlled liquor through the ABC system.

There was only anecdotal information from the era, which confirmed the notion that prohibition bred lawlessness. One such account had come from Hal Boyle in one of his pieces on the late Ernie Pyle, written from the campus of Indiana University. He had reflected back to his own college days in 1932, before the end of Prohibition, when the boys were drinking far too much. He found college students in 1947 drinking much less. Much of the fun of drinking had departed with the end of Prohibition and its taboos.

Mr. Boyle was not advocating anything, merely making an idle observation. And the piece offers the quote from the piece in that vein.

"Assist from the Picket Line" tells of the National Federation of Hosiery Workers having determined at their convention in Durham to support the hosiery manufacturers in the nationwide campaign against bare legs. The only thing they were attempting to do was to remind women that their legs looked better with stockings.

That depends on whose legs were showing. Look in the mirror closely and then decide. If in doubt, exercise daily and vigorously.

In New York, a group of dancers briefly struck Arthur Murray studios, demonstrating on the hoof in front of the establishment, trying to get a check-off system of union dues from wages. He agreed, and the concession was nothing compared to the free publicity given his studios.

There would be more such incidents, it predicts, before the end of spring.

A piece from the Winston-Salem Journal, titled "The Strength of Democracy", tells of the message of President Miguel Aleman of Mexico to the joint session of Congress being that the degree of faith in democracy determined its strength. It was a faith not won by the sword, not "mothered by fear or gained in awe." Such faith as derived from a shotgun wedding was useless to preserve free societies.

Democracy could not for long merely stand against things. It had to be for something worthwhile. And it had to have a program.

It concludes that American action was the only salvation of the traditional American way.

Drew Pearson provides disjointed notes from May 8, 1945, the day of the Armistice in Europe. He then also provides his impressions in contrast on May 8, 1947. It seemed a long time since the war. The anti-aircraft guns in Potomac Park were gone. The grass was greener. People lounged about. Times had changed.

Once, his own father-in-law had dared Theodore Roosevelt to swim the Potomac in March, and both did so. They were then able to walk to the back door of the White House, still dripping wet, unseen by anyone.

His father-in-law had believed in war, was sent by TR to study the Kaiser's war machine, methods which were now obsolete. War changed, too.

Methods of trying to achieve peace had not changed. Talks centered still around establishing boundaries as a means to preserve peace, the strategy of 2,000 years earlier.

He recounts that after World War I, he was in Flume and was arrested by Italian officers because they thought he was Yugoslav. He and 100 Bulgar prisoners then helped their Serbian guards to rebuild villages. The Bulgars, the guards, and conscript Albanians sat around campfires each evening discussing peace and home. "Peasants, there was no hatred among them."

Marquis Childs tells of the President's committee studying universal military training, being in the process of completing its report after hearing many witnesses for and against UMT. Most of the proponents conceded that such training had limited value in wartime, but asserted that it was necessary to impress upon the Soviets the intent of the country to meet its international commitments. Its cost would be two billion dollars annually.

The House had cut out the appropriation for the State Department information service, costing only 31 million dollars annually, a service which had performed a valuable function. The State Department had asked for a modest 16.1 million for the Voice of America, to broadcast information about the country abroad to counteract propaganda against the country.

Ilya Ehrenberg, chief Soviet propagandist, had bitterly attacked the broadcasts, acting as a good barometer for their effectiveness.

To can the program and then try to reinstitute it later, as some Congressmen proposed, would be difficult as the frequencies on which the broadcasts were made were obtained with difficulty and if relinquished, would be hard to recover later.

The cost-cutters, led by Congressman John Taber of New York, might go further and cut out the postal service. It would be no more short-sighted than to cut out the Voice of America to those Europeans who could not otherwise obtain information about America which was truthful.

Sumner Welles, former Undersecretary of State until August, 1943, discusses, on page 6-A, the major test of the young United Nations organization in resolving before the end of 1947 the situation in Palestine. The solubility of the problem was considerably complicated by the British determination to maintain its post-World War I Mandate in the country to replace the strategic foothold in the Middle East it was losing in Egypt. Such a foothold was deemed vital to ward off Soviet expansion. The British Labor Government under Prime Minister Clement Attlee followed the policy initiated by the Conservative Government of Neville Chamberlain in 1939 to limit to a trickle the immigration to Palestine, trapping the Displaced Persons of Europe without a refuge, violating the obligations of the Mandate to assure against human suffering.

Britain, opined Mr. Welles, in demarking, superodinate to the issue of human justice, its need to placate the Arabs and avoid a Jewish majority in Palestine and its consequent firm opposition to a Jewish commonwealth, was following a myopic course—and one even tendentious of the very end it was attempting to prevent, war and drift toward Communism.

The election of Osvaldo Aranha of Brazil as president of the General Assembly was a good choice and one which would maximize the chances of a responsible resolution of the Palestine problem. Mr. Welles recommends appointment of a small committee comprised of a few disinterested states, none of whom would be major powers, to make recommendations on the matter. Any recommended action which required military or economic burdens could become the shared responsibility of several U.N. member states, not therefore pressing on Britain any responsibilities it could not shoulder.

The most important immediate issue was that the U.N. not submit to pressure to delay further resolution of the matter. Another fact-finding committee, such as the Anglo-American Committee of 1946, whose recommendations would be ignored by the British, would be intolerable. The present extraordinary session taking up the matter ought agree that final action would occur by the fall.

He concludes that the only viable action, as regrettable as it was, would be partition of Palestine to give the Jews ample territory for re-settlement of the refugees from Europe and to have a prosperous economy which would enable a democratic state to thrive.

He criticizes the lack of American leadership of late on the matter and warns that unless a strong and principled stand were taken presently, not reliant primarily on strategic considerations but rather on human justice as the guiding principle, a great opportunity to increase moral prestige for the United States and popular confidence in the authority of the U.N. would be lost.

Stewart Alsop, still in London, finds it surprising to hear so much talk from the Labor Party about "groundnuts", which, it turned out, were ordinary peanuts. The British wanted to develop the goobers in East Africa.

Africa was replacing India and the Far East as the focal point now of the British Empire interests. The Labor Party was attempting to export socialism to Africa, however incompatible with the concept of imperialism.

The peanuts would require 25 million dollars to develop. It was hoped that the program would raise the abject standard of living of East Africans and also prop up the sorry state of the British diet, which was short on fats and oils, to be supplanted by peanut oil.

The older policy makers, most of whom were in the military, wanted Britain to preserve its positions in Palestine, Cypress, and Egypt to protect the Suez Canal. The younger men believed that the canal would be closed on the first day of hostilities and that the objective should be to keep it closed to prevent use by an enemy. They believed that the stress ought be on East Africa and Middle Eastern oil, necessitating, in the event of war, control of the Arabian Peninsula, the Persian Gulf, and the Indian Ocean. There was some belief that a main forward base ought be maintained at Basra in Iraq.

These younger men believed that the British superiority in airpower could overcome the Russian superiority in manpower should the Russians seek to push south. It was assumed further that in case of such an attack, the United States would join Britain in defense of the Near and Middle East.

A letter discusses the U.N. and Russia's continuing recalcitrance, making it difficult to get along with them. Peace would depend on the line established beyond which Russian expansion would not be tolerated. It was to be hoped that the U.N. would be content to hold the line and so prevent war, rather than be tempted to push the Russians back.

A letter writer explains that he had previously become so carried away with his topic on the liquor control referendum that he had to engage in editing, which had deleted a critical portion of his letter, describing his own position as that of a wet who was dry.

He commended the writer who had rebuked the Bible quoters and suggested that the issue was whether Christians were going to impose their wills on others and whether, if so, such was right.

He thinks Christians ought be a hammer and the alcoholic, an anvil.

A letter writer at the State Hospital in Morganton tells of a young fat boy delivering the afternoon newspaper there in the mornings at about 4:00, as visible from the author's room on "R" ward. The boy had told him that he had high hopes of winning a trip to Charlotte for his delivery efforts so that he might eat in the finest restaurants.

The man thinks that maybe the boy ate so much that it weighted him down in getting The News out, but like the turtle, he got it there. "Better slow than never."

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