The Charlotte News

Wednesday, March 24, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the Jewish Agency and the Jewish National Council in Palestine jointly announced in Tel Aviv the previous night that a provisional government would be established on May 16, intended to lead to establishment of a Jewish state. The date was based on the announced end of the British mandate on May 15. The two organizations rejected creation of a trusteeship for Palestine as favored by the U.S. to replace the partition plan. They sought immediate recognition from the U.N. Palestine Commission so that authority could be transferred from the British upon the conclusion of the mandate. They pledged in the meantime to do everything in their power to "minimize the chaos". They also offered to cooperate with neighboring Arab states and to enter into permanent treaties with them.

The National Council was the administrative arm of the National Assembly elected by Palestine Jews and the Jewish Agency was elected by the World Jewish Congress.

The U.S. announced that the Army would maintain control over the American zone in Germany indefinitely, placing Russia on notice that America meant business in stopping Soviet expansion. The White House announced late the previous day that a previous plan to establish a civilian governor of the zone on July 1 had been abandoned.

The State Department was considering joinder with the five-nation mutual defense pact just signed in Brussels between France, Britain, and the Benelux countries, but it was deemed not to be an urgent consideration.

The U.S. demand the previous day for full inquiry by the U.N. Security Council into the Communist takeover in Czechoslovakia had set the stage for a full-scale investigation of the matter.

Senator Chan Gurney, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said that he expected the legislation to reinstitute the draft to exclude all veterans of the previous war and married men. Another Committee member said that the bill would also exclude those over 27. Witnesses began testifying before the Committee on the matter.

The President ordered, pursuant to the Taft-Hartley national emergency provision, the creation of a fact-finding board to provide a report on the coal strike, expected to be rendered in about a week, after which the Government could then seek an injunction to order the miners back to work. Refusal to obey such an order could result in jail for John L. Lewis and fines against the UMW. The strike had already seriously hampered steel production and threatened to force reduction in rail freight traffic by 25 percent if it were to go on another week. Passenger service had already been cut by the Government by 25 percent.

The House passed the 4.8 billion dollar tax cut package passed by the Senate, reducing the tax cut from 6.5 billion in the previously passed House bill. The vote was 289 to 66, with 84 Democrats voting for it and 64 opposed. No Republicans voted against the bill. The measure cut taxes for all taxpayers and eliminated 7.5 million persons from the tax rolls. The bill now went to the President. He had vetoed two identical tax cut bills during the previous summer and the vetoes were sustained.

Farmers complained that the already high prices on poultry and eggs were not high enough and so were cutting their chicken production by twenty percent from 1947, 13 percent more than that recommended by the Agriculture Department.

Near Woodlands, Washington, two survivors were found from the crash of the C-47 transport plane on Sunday afternoon. Eight others had either perished in the crash or frozen to death afterward in the snow. Two had been still alive when the two rescued men left the area seeking help. The two survivors had frozen extremities but reached a cabin and then alerted rescuers to the whereabouts of the crash scene.

In Boston, the public schools banned the D.A.R. from sponsorship of contests and programs in the schools for the organization's consistent violation of the President's civil rights program, banning black performers, including Marian Anderson, from performance in D.A.R.-owned Constitution Hall in Washington.

Emery Wister of The News reports of a 23-year old man having his left leg crushed by a freight train at a rail crossing on E. 5th Street in the city. He and a co-worker were walking to work at the time. They reached a line of rail cars and one hopped over the coupling while the injured man sought to crawl under one of the cars, at which time the train began to roll and he could not clear the track in time.

LeGette Blythe of Charlotte had produced his script for the symphonic pageant to be performed in the city during the summer, in commemoration of the May 20, 1775 Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence, claimed to be the first such declaration in the colonies. The pageant would have about a hundred costumed participants, with between 10 and 20 speaking parts. Lamar Stringfield had composed the music for the two-act drama. The first act covered the period from the 1760's to July 4, 1776 and the second act portrayed the Revolution.

On the editorial page, "Settle the Hospital Dispute" comments on the City and County complaint about having to contribute too much to indigent care of patients at Charlotte Memorial Hospital. The local governments were not limited on how much they could spend in this regard, but the State and the Duke Endowment each imposed a $1 per day expenditure limit from their respective funds. While Memorial Hospital's costs were somewhat higher than average, though lower than two Durham hospitals, the hospital provided a broader range of services than the average facility, including social services.

A private endowment had been suggested to pay part of the costs, and the piece suggests that the Community Chest ought pay for the social services. But the public had a responsibility to pay for emergency services and outpatient clinics. It was akin to using taxpayer money to support a fire department.

"A Charlotte Technical Institute" pays kudos to the Charlotte Engineers Club and the cooperation of City and State educational authorities for making the new technical institute a reality, to be sponsored by the Extension Division of N.C. State. Progress of a community demanded trained technicians in such fields as electrical and radio repair and metalworking, woodworking, and the like. The institute would so provide.

"Tax Cut 'Moral Obligation'" notes that 30 Senate Democrats joined Republicans in passing the 4.8 billion dollar tax cut bill, all expecting to garner votes from their support of it. It would be callous deception if it were to become law over the President's veto and then not be coupled with substantial commensurate cuts in Government expenditures to support it. The Congress would have a moral obligation to do so, as surely as Senator Walter George of Georgia had stated that his vote in favor of the cut was based on his belief in a moral obligation to support it.

Drew Pearson tells of distillers being allowed to continue to produce liquor and beer despite the industrial alcohol supply being low. It was one of the most strategic materials during the late war, used to make TNT, insecticides, synthetic rubber, chemicals, and munitions. There was only about ten percent of that on hand in 1943, enough to last ten days during war. The Army and Navy munitions board was doing nothing about increasing the stockpile.

President Truman had been offered a position as national commander of the Regular Veterans Association, a small organization of about 85,000 members, should he lose the election. Taken aback, the President politely turned down the offer by the retiring commander, said that he would be too busy with other duties.

The president of Boeing Aircraft had told President Truman that the country needed to reinstitute allocation of key materials, such as aluminum, if airplane production was to continue apace. Boeing was building a successor to the B-29, the B-50, at the rate of seven per month. The Boeing president said that with allocation in place, production could be increased to 40 per month. While stating his recognition of the necessity of air power, the President side-stepped any commitment and reiterated his position that universal military training was needed to have a well-trained ground force.

The coal mine operators told the Federal conciliator that they would not be ready for another week to consider any compromise with John L. Lewis and UMW regarding the union demand for $100 per month in pensions for miners over 60 with twenty years in the mines, even if they had been retired for several years. Both sides remained adamant in not budging, the operators finding the plan too expensive for the welfare fund to support.

Marquis Childs counsels the Republicans to exercise self-restraint in the campaign as they could afford to do so, the result of the election being a foregone conclusion in their favor. Campaign literature of the smear variety was already surfacing. One such example was Missouri Waltz, by Maurice Milligan, which tried to tie anew the President to the Pendergast machine, its criminality and scandals. Such mud-slinging was only helpful to the Communists.

The President was helpless before the Republican Congress, much as had been Herbert Hoover before the Democratic House after the 1930 election. The present crisis, Mr. Childs suggests, was more grave than the Depression in that earlier time. The threat of war presently loomed large and required restraint and cooperation in the conduct of the Government.

President Truman was not the first product of machine politics and it had been practiced in both parties.

Samuel Grafton finds fear to characterize the nation's foreign policy, as demonstrated by the backtracking on the Palestine partition plan. But the fear in that instance was not of the Arabs and loss of their oil. The fear was more pervasive, affecting every aspect of foreign policy, even down to such details as detaining recently Madame Curie for several hours on Ellis Island because her husband was reputed to be a Communist.

The fear of Russia for its harassment of individuals was leading the U.S. to precisely the same sort of harassment of individuals, as evidenced by the HUAC witch-hunt of Hollywood the previous October, resulting in the Hollywood Ten contempt citations. Reacting to the rampant use of the Security Council veto by the Soviets might have been justifiable, but the U.S. reaction now anent the partition plan was essentially to grant a veto to armed bands of Arabs. The U.S. urged abiding by the U.N. and international law, and then undercut its own position.

To yield to fear was a form of appeasement no better than any other. The brave stand would be to demand that Russia participate in a conference to better define and attempt to iron out the difficulties.

A letter writer finds the change of position by the U.S. on the Palestine partition plan to be a double-cross of the Jewish people and urges Americans to put a stop to it. It had been approved the previous November by the U.N. General Assembly and was consistent with the British promise made in 1917 in the Balfour Declaration, thus should be implemented.

A letter writer says that unless the Republicans nominated Senator Vandenberg, they would have no candidate rising above the level of mediocrity. The Democrats, he suggests, having been a minority party since the "Abraham Lincoln war", always had put forth candidates who, when elected, had won on merit and personality, as the party had nothing to lose.

A poem by Maude Waddell, titled "Catawba", from her "River Reveries" collection, pays homage to the Catawba River, becoming the Santee in South Carolina. In it, she commemorates the death during the Revolutionary War of General William Davidson, killed on the river's banks.

Incidentally, on Saturday, we misstated the character appearing in our napmare from when we were four, a couple of years back. It was not Pluto and we mean no harm to Pluto's fine reputation by inadvertently placing him in our napmare. It was rather Goofy who made the appearance and, being a six-foot tall dog, scared us quite a bit within the context of that napmare. We cannot tell you why Goofy was in the front yard of our abode at the time, but there he was, plainly visible through the living room picture window, broad as a movie screen and through which we looked out upon our world, shooting out through that window the radio tower lights across the way at night, at which we became very adept. But, regardless of prodigious and incessant effort to extinguish them, the lights kept coming back on. It's kind of like the news.

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