The Charlotte News

Monday, February 23, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Jerusalem was virtually paralyzed as gun-toting Arabs, Britons, and Jews patrolled the city following the previous day's bombing of the Jewish sector, in which 52 persons had been killed and 88 others injured on Ben Yehuda Street. There were possibly more victims in the rubble of two hotels, three apartment houses and scores of shops. Arab leaders claimed credit for the bombing, consisting of two truckloads of explosives.

Many Jews believed, however, that the British were responsible, as nine British soldiers were killed in retaliation. Three Jews were also killed, bringing the death toll to 64. The Jewish Irgun organization threatened that all British personnel entering the Jewish section of the city would be subject to execution.

The U.S., Great Britain, and France began a London conference regarding the future of Western Germany, the first formal recognition that the world had divided into two spheres of influence as it was the first time that Russia had been absent from talks on the future of any of the former Axis nations. Russia absented itself primarily in reaction to the Marshall Plan and its stated belief that the Plan was imperialistic, as well the failure to form a German treaty on Russia's terms, favoring a strong central government, during December. Russia protested that the conference violated the July, 1945 Potsdam agreement.

In Prague, Communists placed security police in front of all government buildings and foreign embassies, stifled partially free speech.

In Washington, Southern Democratic Governors waited to talk to Senator Howard McGrath, DNC chairman, regarding the President's civil rights proposal. They continued to be angry about the matter. They said that if any of the provisions were enacted, the President would be in "real trouble" in the South, as Southern electors would be allowed in December to vote as they chose. The Southerners feared that they were caught in a political crossfire as they had heard, based on a Senate poll, that the filibuster would be broken by Republican support, aided by some Democrats, as it took two-thirds of the quorum present to effect cloture. Usually, a few Republicans allowed the filibuster to proceed.

Said Governor Strom Thurmond, "We really mean business."

Senator McGrath stated in Providence, R.I., that the President would stick by his civil rights proposal regardless of opposition from the South.

The President urged a stronger 14-month rent control law and extension of financial aid in building homes. He also proposed a long-term housing bill to construct a million dwellings per year for the ensuing decade. He said that less than 15 percent of the 840,000 units constructed in 1947 had been rental units.

The President visited St. Croix in the Virgin Islands, saying that renewal by Congress of the Virgin Islands Co. charter was necessary to assure stabilization of the economy of the islands. He would leave later in the day for the Naval base at Guantanamo, Cuba, then begin a vacation in Key West, Florida.

An article in Advertising Age said that Robert Young, railroad executive of the Chesapeake & Ohio, was willing to run for the presidency. He thought any of 10,000 businessmen would make a better president than any of those running.

In Marblehead, Mass., a man was detained by police for attempting to break into the phone company. He was upset that he had lost his nickel in a pay phone. After a lecture, they sent him on his way without his nickel.

Dick Young tells of the Charlotte smoke nuisance coming before the Planning Board during the afternoon session.

Get rid of it. We don't like it.

Furman Bisher looks at Paul Campbell of the Charlotte Hornets baseball team, on the sports page. He had played previously for the Boston Red Sox, would go back to the majors during the 1948 season, joining the Detroit Tigers.

Don't miss it.

You can take The News informal reader poll on your presidential preference for 1948. Use your pinking shears to cut it out. It only costs three cents to mail.

On the editorial page, "Final Test for Brotherhood" suggests that the U.N.'s viability rested on the success of the Palestine partition plan being successful. For it to be so would require the U.N. to establish a force to supplant the British force set to leave in Mid-May.

During this Brotherhood Week, U.N. delegate of the United States, Herschel Johnson, of Charlotte, would be honored locally for his work on the partition plan, to be the recipient of the annual Carolina Israelite award, sponsored by Harry Golden, founder of that publication. UNC president Frank Graham would accept on behalf of Mr. Johnson, too ill to attend. The matter of enforcement of partition, set to be implemented by October, was about to be taken up by the Security Council.

The decision on enforcement would, it suggests, be epochal in its implications.

"Crisis Mounts in Far East" thanks General MacArthur for not agreeing to come home to testify before the House Foreign Affairs Committee anent the aid to China proposed by the President. The piece finds it to have only been a ruse to promote General MacArthur as a presidential candidate and would not have served the welfare of the country to hear his testimony on the subject.

The Chiang Government, as everyone knew, was bankrupt and could not be saved except by a miracle. It points out that in addition to crises in Japan and China, to which General MacArthur had to attend, there was one developing in Korea, all of which, it believes, might affect America's position and policy in the Far East in the coming weeks or months.

"America's Peril in Cold War" regards the Communist move to take over Czechoslovakia to hearken potentially a major setback in the cold war. The fighting in China and Greece was a hot war and the situation in each country was intensifying. In Korea, the Communists had set the stage for a coup which would strengthen the Soviet position in the Far East. In Italy and France, the Communists were creating new disturbances.

It appeared that the cold war was reaching a climax just as the U.S. was divided by an election campaign. The situation called for quick agreement on the Marshall Plan and bipartisan action to strengthen other allies and establish Universal Military Training.

Above all, it finds, an early settlement to the differences between Russia and the U.S. had to be reached, lest disaster result.

A piece from the Louisville Courier-Journal, titled "In Justice to Mr. Maynard", suggests that the furor was exaggerated over E. T. Maynard having made $300,000 to $400,000 by selling short wheat, oats, and cotton during the current price break. It only served to bring to mind that Bernard Baruch had made a killing in 1916 on short selling. When called before the Senate, he admitted that he was a speculator and convinced the Senators that he had traded without inside information. Mr. Maynard had likewise been cleared. But nonetheless, the bear speculator could never be popular in America as people liked optimism. Yet bear speculation promoted price adjustments.

A piece without a by-line from the Chicago Times finds a change in Henry Wallace which was not good, first because of his positive attitude toward being a third-party candidate and moreover for his becoming a professional politician, providing polished answers rather than displaying the former frankness which set him apart from the run-of-the-mill pol. As example, he claimed not to be aware of the political stances of Senator Wayland Brooks, Republican of Illinois, to be contested in the fall by Democrat Paul Douglas and possibly a Progressive Party candidate who might undermine Professor Douglas's chances. Mr. Wallace knew of the positions of Mr. Brooks from the former's days as Vice-President when they were regularly in opposition to one another on the floor of the Senate.

The piece thus wonders why he would allow his supporters to contemplate the nomination of a Senate candidate to contest the liberal Douglas candidacy. The reason appeared to be the support by Professor Douglas of the Marshall Plan and the President's hard line policy toward Russia.

The Marshall Plan would be enacted by the fall and so, ventures the piece, it would cease before the election any longer to be an issue. Senator Brooks was an isolationist who could help to sell the country down the river to the delight of the Soviets. But Mr. Wallace nevertheless believed that he could keep his Communist supporters in line. Unlike FDR in 1944, Mr. Wallace had refused to eschew Communist support.

While Mr. Wallace viewed himself as the replacement of FDR for liberals, he was actually a confused and disappointed man, as shown by his attitude regarding Illinois.

Drew Pearson finds the victory of Leo Isacson, American Labor Party candidate in the Bronx special Congressional election, to have placed a damper on Democratic hopes for the fall. It had even caused some Democratic leaders to begin to look for another candidate other than the President. Even allies as Democratic Senate leader Alben Barkley—to be the vice-presidential nominee—and former Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn were complaining. The fact that the Wallace-backed candidate could be elected in the stronghold of Boss Ed Flynn was significant. It appeared that the Democrats could not win with President Truman.

He points out that, historically, only two of the six Vice-Presidents who succeeded to the Presidency by death of the President were re-elected, those being Theodore Roosevelt, in 1904, and Calvin Coolidge, in 1924. Politics regarded the Vice-President as a political accident insofar as his potential to become President.

And we might add that George H. W. Bush was the first Vice-President to be elected directly to the Presidency since Martin Van Buren in 1836. And, of course, Al Gore would be the second such Vice-President elected President since that time. Thus, we have become apparently more appreciative of our Vice-Presidents in recent decades.

Since this piece appeared, the only sitting Vice-President who became President and was re-elected after acceding to the Presidency was Lyndon Johnson in 1964. Richard Nixon skipped eight years before being elected in 1968. He should have stayed at home.

Other gossip making the rounds among Democrats was that there was no special circumstance as in 1912, when the third-party candidacy of Theodore Roosevelt drew away votes from President Taft, in 1916, with the prospect of entering the war contributing to the narrow victory of President Wilson over Charles Evans Hughes, or in 1932, when the Depression enabled the victory of FDR, his ebullient personality and success then leading to his three subsequent victories. They believed that another forceful personality had to be sought for 1948. There was discussion of getting Henry Kaiser as the candidate.

But, after having just won the Second World War over an Axis including Germany, occurring but twenty years after World War I, perhaps the ring to the American people of "President Kaiser" would not have gone over so well. President Truman sounds much better.

Senator Homer Ferguson, chairman of the committee looking into the grain and cotton speculation of Senator Elmer Thomas of Oklahoma, had recently uncovered during a secret hearing that one of Senator Thomas's closest pals and a broker-speculator had paid no income tax in 1946 and deducted $59,000 in expenses as a farmer. The crony had come to Washington from Texas penniless a few years earlier and was reputed to be worth a quarter million dollars, obviously not from farming.

Marquis Childs again looks at the Atomic Energy Commission, telling of its general unanimity during its first 18 months, with one exception, a 4 to 1 decision on providing radioisotopes, useful only in medical research, to foreign nations.

The two-year terms would end in August and it was to be hoped that the President would then reappoint all five of the commissioners for their excellent work thus far. The new terms would be staggered, such that each would be appointed successively for one to five years.

Lt. General Leslie Groves, who had been a member of the Military Liaison Committee, was retiring, as he had not gotten along well with the Commission. There had been other friction, to be expected under such circumstances.

A piece without a by-line appears on the House of Commons, telling of the National Geographic Society reporting that the new House, rebuilt after the bomb damage of World War II, would have modern air conditioning, loudspeakers, and a gymnasium. The work was not expected to be completed until April, 1950. Being part of a larger complex, the Palace of Westminster, as the whole of it was called, Commons was in a building of more than 1,100 rooms. The aim in restoring the Commons chamber, suffering the worst damage during the war of any other part of the building, was to maintain, insofar as practicable, the original appearance. The Palace had been built in the 1090's. Guy Fawkes had been tried there for the Gunpowder Plot, the attempt to blow up Parliament, in 1605.

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