The Charlotte News

Monday, January 5, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that a bomb exploded in the Semiramia Hotel in Jerusalem, planted by the Jewish underground, resulting in at least five known dead and 15 missing. The three-story building completely collapsed. At least seventeen others were injured. The hotel was supposedly one of five district headquarters of an Arab military group. Haganah claimed responsibility for the attack.

The incident was the worst bombing of a hotel since the King David Hotel bombing of July 22, 1946, when nearly 100 persons were killed. That attack was attributed to the Irgun Jewish underground organization.

The previous day in Jaffa, another Arab headquarters was bombed, killing 18 and injuring about a hundred. Police blamed the Stern Gang for that attack.

The two attacks were retribution for an attack by Arabs on a Haifa refinery the previous week, in which 47 Jews were killed, itself reprisal for a bomb and shooting attack by Jews on Arabs in an employment line.

A Senate Appropriations subcommittee obtained the commodities trading records of the President's personal physician, Brig. General Wallace Graham, following the disclosure by the Secretary of Agriculture Clinton Anderson of General Graham's name as a wheat futures speculator in September, when he had purchased 50,000 bushels. The subcommittee was also looking at the trading records of Edwin Pauley, assistant to Secretary of the Army Kenneth Royall.

The Supreme Court, in U.S. v. Di Re, 332 US 581, a decision delivered by Justice Robert Jackson, ruled 7 to 2 that OPA investigators and a detective violated the Fourth Amendment in that they had no right to arrest and search a passenger they found riding in an automobile with a man suspected of black market operations. Counterfeit ration coupons were found on the man when searched and he was charged accordingly, convicted and sentenced to a year in jail. The conviction was therefore reversed.

Chief Justice Fred Vinson and Justice Hugo Black dissented

William Arbogast of the Associated Press looks at the start of the second session of the 80th Congress, to begin the following day, facing, in the midst of an election year, the pending Marshall Plan, the need for a long-term housing bill, military preparedness, and the President's call for national health insurance. Tax relief was a major item on the agenda for the Republicans. The GOP, hopeful of capturing the White House, would likely, he suggests, engage in practical politics.

The Wisconsin Secretary of State, a supporter of General MacArthur, reported that the General had indicated a definite interest in the 1948 Republican presidential nomination. He based the conclusion on a letter from the General stating that he would derive great satisfaction from selection by his neighbors for "public service".

GOP presidential candidate Harold Stassen of Minnesota unveiled a five-point plan which he believed would work to rebuild Europe and halt the spread of Communism.

A member of the Army-Navy Petroleum Board calculated that Greece was receiving about 7,000 barrels of oil per day under the American aid program, meeting about a third of its needs. The disclosure to a Senate Small Business subcommittee was part of an investigation into the fuel oil shortage in the country. Senator Olin Johnston of South Carolina wanted an investigation of the oil industry to determine whether big oil was holding oil off the market to run the price up.

Former King Mihai I, who had recently abdicated his throne in Rumania, entered Switzerland. It was believed that he was about to rendezvous with Princess Anne of Bourbon-Parma.

Princess Emina Tousson, cousin to King Farouk of Egypt, was planning to abandon her Egyptian citizenship and give up her title so that she could marry an FHA analyst in Washington, a native of Raleigh. The couple had met during the war.

In the area of Farmville, Va., four earth tremors were felt, extending over a 50-mile area.

In Archbold, O., a New York Central "Chicagoan" passenger train slammed into a bobsled, killing ten children aboard and seriously injuring two others. The bobsled was being pulled by a tractor operated by an adult who said that he thought the tracks were clear when he began pulling the sled across. The children said that they did not see the train because they were having too much fun. It was snowing heavily at the time.

North Carolina recorded record income for the first half of fiscal year 1947-48, 74.3 million dollars, compared to 62.5 million the previous year. Recent figures showed that 9.3 million dollars had been earned in December, 2.2 million higher than the previous December. Teachers were citing the figures in support of holding a special session of the Legislature to pass a teacher pay hike.

The Charlotte Planning Board launched its 1948 drive to achieve a master plan for the city, which included new school sites, library facilities, new auditorium locations, additional hospital facilities, expansion of museums, and other such projects.

The widow of former President Benjamin Harrison, in office from 1889-93, passed away in New York at age 89. She was the second wife of President Harrison and a niece of the President's widow, who died in the White House in 1892.

In San Francisco, a 74-year old man who kept his life savings, $2,000, in a telephone book, was forced at gunpoint by four robbers to disclose the hiding place.

In Hollywood, singer Dinah Shore and her husband, actor George Montgomery, had a new daughter.

On the editorial page, "ULPC Challenges the Tar Heels" comments on the formation of the new labor political committee formed of CIO, AFL, and several independent unions to work for individual candidates in the 1948 election.

The piece finds it the most formidable labor front ever formed in the state, with 200,000 members of the participating unions.

Before it could be considered a force, however, in state politics, it had to show that it had more actuating it than opposition to the Taft-Hartley law. The attempt across the country to punish those who voted for the law in June had failed and backfired in tests.

The rank-and-file in North Carolina enjoyed their voting independence and so the committee would need to provide compelling reasons for them to vote in lock-step.

The committee also had to find a way around the Taft-Hartley prohibition of labor unions engaging in politicking for particular candidates.

And it had to offer a program which was broad enough to appeal to the general public.

In Maryland, a labor-backed candidate had won, but in Pennsylvania, had lost. In the latter campaign, the independent voters turned out for the other candidate. The piece thinks North Carolinians would behave likewise.

It opines that the labor leaders had made a serious mistake in making such an effort and predicts that they would receive a lesson at the polls.

"Government with a Smile" tells of a piece by Washington correspondent Ernest K. Lindley having stated that the President was conducting the Government with equanimity, rarely uttering a cross word even behind the scenes. Mr. Truman had always been cordial, but he had faced a solemn test in a divided Government with the opposition in control of Congress and the Democrats being divided politically. Nevertheless, the working relationship between the White House and Capitol Hill had been strengthened.

Mr. Lindley attributed the result to the President not making harsh statements regarding the opposition. Recently, he had stopped aides who were disparaging Senator Taft and urged that Mr. Taft was an honest man who had come a long way on intelligence and hard work.

The piece suggests that the friendly atmosphere thus created was compromising to leadership. FDR's penchant for name-calling had been much more effective than the Truman approach.

But Mr. Truman's manner had contributed to the bi-partisan foreign policy, had held the Democrats together, and had been good for the country's nervous system.

A piece from the Richmond Times-Dispatch, titled "Truman and Boss Tom's Ghost", tells of the Pendergast machine being back in the news after indictments related to alleged voter fraud in the 1946 Congressional primary in which the President successfully had purged Congressman Roger Slaughter, whom he considered to be obstructing the Truman policy, in favor of Enos Axtell, only to have Mr. Axtell lose in the fall to the Republican. The President had elicited the aid of James Pendergast to do so. The action appeared to have the effect of reviving the power of the Pendergast machine in Kansas City.

But, it notes, News Editor William Reddig, originally from Kansas City and author of Tom's Town anent the Pendergast machine, had set the record straight by editorializing that the two dominant Kansas City factions had been working together to revitalize the machine prior to the President calling on James Pendergast for the help. And subsequently, the factions, as a result, fell apart, setting the stage for a Republican victory.

The piece finds that the President's reputation had been tarnished in the matter and that Attorney General Tom Clark had been less than energetic in pursuing the voter fraud issues, despite revelations by the Kansas City Star and findings by the House Campaign Expenditures Committee. Only after thieves had stolen the sequestered ballots from the primary did the Attorney General begin investigating the matter. Two Federal grand juries had indicted 41 persons and State grand juries had issued indictments against 71. Three thus far had been convicted.

Republicans were preparing to use the matter in the coming presidential campaign.

Drew Pearson, still in Rome, tells of the first President of Italy since becoming a Republic, Enrico de Nichola, having signed the new Italian Constitution nine days earlier. He had to leave Parliament under Mussolini and had lived quietly in Naples since that time.

Mr. Pearson had interviewed the new President. He wanted democracy to work in Italy, had advised the year before Italian leaders to accept the treaty for Italy and not haggle over its terms. They accepted his advice. Italy was now working hard to rebuild itself.

Mr. Pearson had received a Bible from a school teacher in Trenton, N.J., with instructions to give it to the Italian people. She had won it for making parachutes in a factory during the war and wanted the Italians to understand that some Americans who helped the war effort remained for the Italian people. Mr. Pearson gave the Bible to the President. The President graciously accepted the gift and remarked on the great generosity of the American people in supplying the food and other articles from the Friendship Train.

He relates of the rebuilding of the Abbey of Monte Cassino, bombed during the war. It had been built in 529 A.D. When the Nazis used it as a garrison to block the advancing Third Army, orders were given to bomb it. The town of Cassino also had been leveled. The people were utilizing machinery provided by UNRRA to rebuild the town and the monastery. The people, he finds, were not bitter and when they received the Friendship Train food, they found hope. They hoped that there would never be another war.

James Marlow, in the last of a series of three pieces outlining the Marshall Plan, tells of some of the contentious points in the Congress regarding the Plan. The first point was whether the country should commit to a four-year plan as recommended by the President. Many Republicans wanted a one-year appropriation with annual review. The President countered that such short-term appropriation would mean that the 16 recipient nations of Western Europe could not engage in long-term planning, hampering the effectiveness of the aid.

The second point was that many Republicans believed the overall amount recommended, 17 billion dollars, was too much.

The third point was that the initial amount recommended by the President to cover the first 15 months, 6.8 billion dollars, was also too much.

The fourth point of contention was the extent to which the recipient nations might repay the aid with raw materials needed by the U.S., such as rubber and tin. The President did not think any such condition ought be attached to the aid.

The fifth point was whether the Plan should be administered by a new agency, as recommended by the President, formed of experts with a chief administrator and a roving ambassador in Europe. Republicans wanted an eight-person bi-partisan board to administer the aid.

Victor Riesel takes issue again with Henry Wallace, this time criticizing his criticism of conservative Democrats and Republicans for not fighting harder against discrimination. Mr. Riesel thinks that Mr. Wallace, aside from some speeches, had done little to end discrimination. He thinks numerous conservatives had fought behind the scenes for "little decencies" and for labor.

He finds Mr. Wallace to be "purchasing" cheaply the title of "liberal". He accuses him of having run a tight "Jim Crow agency" while Secretary of Commerce between 1945 and 1946. He had not desegregated the Department of the Census dining room and washrooms despite being informed of it and having the power to end the separation. The same was true of Washington National Airport. But Secretary of Commerce Averell Harriman, successor to Mr. Wallace, did end the discrimination in these facilities and did so with a mere phone call.

Moreover, Mr. Wallace, he finds, had done nothing to defeat the bills which labor despised, the Smith-Connally Act of 1943, the movement by the President in 1946 to draft labor, and the Taft-Hartley Act.

He thus questions by what right Mr. Wallace claimed title to being a liberal.

A letter writer finds The News overly quick to take issue with Henry Wallace's third-party candidacy in its editorial, "Henry Wallace, the Wrecker", finds it remarkable that Southerners were not more receptive to Mr. Wallace, as a tee-totaling believer in the Bible, a candidate thus fulfilling in personal character what the South had been preaching for years. He was also frugal.

The reason, says the writer, Mr. Wallace did not receive such support from the South was that Mr. Wallace stood for equal rights and opportunities for all citizens and was in favor of labor unions, a decent minimum wage and limitations on hours.

A letter writer finds Joseph Alsop's column of December 31 to be exceptional, concerning relations with Russia and the need for the Marshall Plan to prevent Russian expansion into Western Europe.

He thinks, however, that only threat of military force would be heard by the Russians, that the country was in a "hell of a fix".

A letter writer thinks more jobs in City Government ought be provided local residents rather searching outside the state for talent. He commends former Mayor Ben Douglas for being a leader on this point.

You can test your current events and general knowledge I.Q. for 1947-48 on the page, and then turn to the back page for the answers.

Happy Twelfth Night.

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