The Charlotte News

Wednesday, December 29, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in Paris, the U.N., by a vote of 8 to 0, with three abstentions including that of the U.S. and Russia, adopted a British-sponsored resolution and ordered the Israelis to withdraw from the Negev Desert and that both Israel and Egypt cease hostilities in the region. The resolution also empowered U.N. mediator for Palestine Dr. Ralph Bunche to set up a ceasefire buffer zone between Israel and Egypt.

Sources from Israel and the U.N. reported that the second battle for the Negev had come to a temporary halt.

The Netherlands responded to the Security Council order to cease within 24 hours its "police action" against the Indonesian Republic and release all Government prisoners, including President Soekarno, by stating that it would end hostilities at midnight Friday and would soon release the President and his Cabinet members.

Maj. General U Tomo was reported to be leading nightly raids of "suicide troops" against the Dutch in the interior of Java.

In Nanking, Nationalist military leaders joined to discuss with Chiang Kai-Shek the course of the war and whether it was prudent to engage in a negotiated peace with the Communists. The meeting was called by Chiang. The Chinese Navy and Air Force were moving some of their headquarters onto Formosa and General Chen Cheng was appointed governor of that island by the Executive Yuan, fueling speculation that the Government might move to the island and abandon Nanking in the event of its attack.

Nationalist troops appeared for the most part defeated north of the Yangtze.

Undersecretary of State Robert Lovett said that the arrest by Communists in Hungary of Joseph Cardinal Mindzenty was a sickening sham. He also said that the labeling by Chinese Communist radio of Chiang Kai-Shek and Madame Chiang as war criminals was unthinkable.

Hope was fading for a charter airliner with 30 persons aboard which had disappeared more than 24 hours earlier during a flight from San Juan, Puerto Rico, to Miami. Air Force, Navy, and Coast Guard personnel were engaged in a search for the aircraft.

A New York welcome was being prepared for the 12 rescued airmen from Greenland, seven of whom were the original airmen trapped on a 7,800-foot icecap for three weeks, and five others who had attempted their rescue and also been stranded.

The President was returning to Washington from his holiday at home in Independence, Mo. First Lady Bess Truman and First Daughter Margaret were remaining behind. The President carried with him a book by Jonathan Daniels of the Raleigh News & Observer, Tar Heels, which the President recommended. Mr. Daniels had been a special adviser to the President during the election campaign.

A woman in Durand, Mich., admitted beating to death her three-weeks old child because she "hated little girls". She never liked to have to change diapers and never wanted to have the child in the first place. She told the prosecutor that she did not intend to kill the baby but also did not care whether she did or not.

According to the Census Bureau, the United States population had reached 148 million, up about three million during the year. The civilian labor force was nearly 64 million.

Three earthquakes centered around Reno, Nev., and shaking an area extending to San Francisco and Fresno, struck this date, knocking out power and telephone lines. A series of seven quakes had been recorded since Monday night in the area.

A wind, snow and rain storm was sweeping the Midwest. Don't drive unless necessary. Long perimeter shots are preferred, unless you have a snowbird in the Garden.

Tom Fesperman of The News, in the third of a three-part series of articles on Governor-elect Kerr Scott, reports of his general program, the main emphases of which would be improving the farms of the state and simplification of government. Mr. Scott, a dairy farmer from Haw River, pointed out that the state was second only to Texas in number of farms and that many farmers had jobs in town as well. He believed that the state was ideal for industry and hoped for continued diffusion of the population rather than concentration in large cities.

The inauguration of Governor-elect Scott was set to cost $3,000, the largest sum ever thus expended. The previous high was $2,600 spent on the inauguration of Governor O. Max Gardner of Shelby in 1929.

They're going to have lots of stuff though.

On the editorial page, "Cold War Shifts East" finds, in light of the daunting budget for defense and foreign aid, placed at 21 billion dollars for the coming fiscal year, that there was little left to go around for the Far East. Yet, the Far East, with its vast poverty and lack of education, as well as accustomed feudal existence, posed fertile ground for eventual development of Communism, even if, for the distances from Russia, it was less imminent than in Europe.

Great Britain, France, and the Netherlands had once been the bulwarks in that area against intrusion by other powers with colonial designs. But those three nations were now weak and largely dependent on the U.S. The Dutch "police action" in Indonesia presented ripe ground for Communist propaganda against the West. There were rumblings of revolt in French Indo-China, Burma, and Malaya as well. There was also political and economic unrest in the Philippines.

A type of Marshall Plan for the Far East might become necessary at some point to stabilize the region. The goal not only was to defeat the spread of Communism but primarily to release the peoples from oppression of the mind and soul, which the people of the Far East suffered more acutely than any others.

"Premium on Inefficiency" comments on the drive by the farmers to convince the new Congress to retain the 90 percent price support system for agricultural products. But while it had its place in the Depression and during the war and afterward to assure production of needed foodstuffs, it also encouraged inefficiency on the farm, over-production, and refusal to modernize farm practices, resulting in lack of crop diversification, the sine qua non for profitable farming.

"Trying Times for Taft" tells of Senator Robert Taft being neither the New Dealer which many conservative Republicans fancied him to be nor the reactionary as many GOP liberals perceived him. He was independent, lacking the charisma to be an effective politician with the people, but able to provide the necessary leadership for his party in Congress. He would likely retain that role in the new Congress, as chairman of the Republican policy committee.

RNC chairman Hugh Scott had sent out letters to local GOP chairmen asking for suggestions for future party policy, the primary response being that clarity was needed at the national level as to what the policy was. If Senator Taft could accomplish that purpose, the piece suggests, he would serve his party and the nation well.

Drew Pearson tells of General Lucius Clay having been responsible for the report of impending Russian attack on Scandinavia and possibly the U.S., almost triggering general mobilization the previous spring. He had acted on the basis of his perception of the Soviet attitude in Berlin. The Pentagon, in turn, prepared a report which found him correct. The President, however, asked the CIA to prepare a report, which found no attack planned, and the President relied upon it instead of the Pentagon report. General Clay had sensed the wrong thing while correctly perceiving that the Soviets were planning a major action. Instead of an attack, it was the Berlin blockade.

Secretary of State Marshall's doctors had told him firmly, after his recent operation to remove a kidney, that he would have to resign as Secretary. Mr. Pearson predicts, incorrectly, that Chief Justice Fred Vinson would take his place.

Madame Chiang Kai-Shek was stunned at the cold shoulder she had received in the U.S. regarding her effort to promote increased American aid to China. The President was not pleased with the way Chiang had cozied up to the Republicans during the campaign, in which Governor Dewey had urged greater aid for China.

Former wartime Wasp pilots—Women's Air Service Pilots—, though not holding military status during the war, were now going to be recognized as commissioned officers in the Air Force Reserve, much to the consternation of many male pilots for the fact that there were not enough planes for the Reserve pilots to get adequate flying time. Now, that available contingent would be further stretched by the female pilots.

One disgruntled Republican responded to the RNC treasurer's letter appealing for funds to retire the $330,000 campaign debt by suggesting that, given the full-page GOP ads in major newspapers and the fact that President Truman had once been cut off the air during a radio speech because the time had not been paid for by the President's campaign, money might not supply the primary foundation for winning an election.

Other than the White House, only the Muhlbach Hotel in Kansas City, where the President had a penthouse suite, was permitted to fly the President's flag.

Conservative Republicans did not want Senator Kenneth Wherry as floor leader in the new Congress because he was too liberal, and liberal GOP members did not want him because they deemed him too conservative.

The Navy was desperately short of pilots, had sought to recruit a thousand, had only 600 applicants.

John M. Hightower tells of the cost of the cold war rising about two billion dollars in the coming year to around 21 billion, the minimum expected to be recommended by the President for both foreign aid and defense, about half of the total 1949-50 fiscal year budget. If the cold war became hot, then those figures could rise further.

The military was presently costing 11.75 billion dollars, with an expected rise to 13.5 billion in the next year. Aid was costing about 1.2 billion in Germany, Japan, and other occupied areas, set to drop by about 100 million as recovery progressed and ERP absorbed more of the burden. A total of 6.5 billion would be spent in 1948-49 on European recovery, along with Greek and Turkish civilian and military aid, relief in occupied countries, and aid to China. That figure was set to rise by several hundred million dollars in the following year.

Russia was seeking in its foreign policy to gain access to the Ruhr to combine with the coal-rich region of the Urals-Volga for production of its war apparatus. The West had the U.S., the British Isles, and the promise of international control by the Western nations of the Ruhr.

The U.S. was seeking to rebuild Germany in cooperation with Britain and France to form a peaceful base for European recovery and to convert Europe into a new center of political, military and economic strength.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop, in Wiesbaden, Germany, again write of the Berlin airlift and its demonstration of American efficiency at its best. Maj. General William Tunner had applied assembly line principles of efficiency to the task of air transport to make it work so well. He had directed the Chinese airlift over the Hump of the Himalayas during the war.

Tracks were laid out across the air corridor to Berlin and the C-54's, each carrying ten tons of cargo, operated along these tracks at intervals of three, four, or five minutes, depending on weather. The planes flew alternately at 5,000 or 6,000 feet altitude to increase space between them.

Once the planes landed on the return leg, freight had to be waiting on trucks in ten-ton loads and then efficiently transferred to the airplanes.

The air crews had to work with precision to deliver the goods and return safely without mishap from weather or air congestion. It was expected that the airlift would deliver 125,000 tons in December, and the airlift had an accident rate less than half of that of the regular Air Force.

A letter writer takes to task A. W. Black for his letter attacking UNC president Frank Porter Graham as a Communist.

Oh, don't worry about A.W. He's a good ol' boy. He knows better. He's just been hitting the bottle again at Christmas, along with his buddy I.D. Harper down at Mel's on Big Bend Boulevard.

A letter from a member of the United World Federalists, recommends Democracy in Government by Judge John J. Parker and suggests that the system of government set up for the U.S., with a strong central Government alongside preservation of state and local authority over local affairs, could be adapted well to world government.

A letter from another UWF member compliments the newspaper on presentation of the Culbertson Plan for world government, presented December 17, and suggests that other groups with plans for world government, such as the UWF, be provided space to present their views side by side.

The News had given space for several days to UWF members the previous April.

Fifth Day of Christmas: Five Cold Rings.

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