The Charlotte News

Friday, March 26, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the Jewish Agency urged the U.N. to rush troops to Jerusalem so that it would not become a battleground upon the evacuation of the British, scheduled to occur May 15. It suggested that about 10,000 Danish and Norwegian troops now in northern Germany be transferred to Jerusalem, although stating that it was not wedded to these particular troops.

Italy's Communist Party stated that it would seize power by force if denied a majority which it anticipated from the April 18 elections. The announcement coincided with a Communist-inspired typographers' strike which shut down the nation's newspapers for four days.

The President restricted the export of airplanes and airplane parts, following a Congressional controversy over the shipment of airplane motors and parts to Russia the previous year based on contracts made two years earlier, after the end of the war, part of lend-lease commitments. The ban included munitions, fire control equipment, and range finders. The President acted pursuant to a 1939 law, providing the authority to restrict export of ammunition and implements of war, subject to the National Munitions Control Board recommendations.

A half dozen Senators, led by Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., said that they believed that the proposed temporary draft would not be sufficient to provide the country with the strength necessary to support the President's policy of stopping Russian expansion. They wanted, in addition, 70 combat groups available for the Air Force, 15 more than comprised the currently planned complement. The original blueprint for the postwar Air Force had included 70 groups and Senator Lodge the day before had grilled military leaders on why that number had been abandoned. Air Force chief of staff General Carl Spaatz and Secretary of the Air Force Stuart Symington both admitted that the larger number remained desirable.

Elton Fay of the Associated Press reports that Alaska, as told the Congress by military leaders the previous day, was guarded only by 7,000 American troops and fewer than a hundred fighter planes, with a plan to add 8,000 more troops. Secretary of the Navy John L. Sullivan had reported that Russian submarines had been sighted off the U.S. coastlines. Another Navy official testified that three had been spotted in the Pacific, one of undetermined identity within 200 miles of San Francisco, another off the Aleutians in Alaska, and the third 80 miles west of Hawaii. Secretary Symington had stated that B-29's could effectively bomb any part of Russia from Alaska or Labrador and land on American bases in the Pacific. But Secretary of the Army Kenneth Royall said that no part of the Central Eurasian land mass could be reached by strategic bombers presently in the U.S. arsenal from bases presently under American control.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved 463 million dollars of aid to China for a year, with debate in the Senate to begin the following week. The House comprehensive aid bill including ERP and aid to China, Greece, and Turkey, earmarked 570 million for China for 15 months.

The fact-finding board appointed by the President pursuant to the provisions of Taft-Hartley to review the coal strike, proposed to hold short hearings regarding the UMW demand for a $100 per month pension for all miners who were over 60 and had put in twenty or more years in the mines, even if long retired. Future Supreme Court Justice and former Senator, Federal Judge Sherman Minton was elected chairman of the three-person board.

Another board had concluded its investigation of the Packinghouse Workers Union strike and would shortly submit a report to the President.

Senator Walter George of Georgia said that the decision of the President to remain in the presidential race made it practically impossible for Southern Democrats to rally around another candidate, acceptable to both wings of the party, as most such potential candidates received some form of patronage from the President. He cited as example Chief Justice Fred Vinson, who, while acceptable to both wings, would likely not accept the nomination unless it were approved by the President.

In California, a meeting of Democratic national convention delegates produced a pledge of full support for Mr. Truman.

In Raleigh, Senator William B. Umstead, planning a speaking tour of the state in his bid for election in the primary against former Governor J. Melville Broughton, stated that he had received positive response for his call for the President to step aside from the party nomination based on his advocacy of the civil rights program. Governor Broughton, who would win the race, had not yet issued a statement on the civil rights program but had supported, while Governor between 1941 and 1945, equal school and hospital facilities regardless of race.

In Washington, the State Department stated that it had received reports of threats on the life of former King Mihai of Rumania, who had recently abdicated under coercion from the Communists, was taking steps to protect him during his visit to the U.S.

In Oklahoma, at least 13 persons were killed when a tornado hit the state the previous night, primarily touching down in several farm communities.

In Honesdale, Pa., a special Easter celebration was planned for a five-year old boy dying from cancer, with less than two months to live. His neighbors were providing numerous baskets of Easter candy and the like.

In Charlotte, Richard Blythe, 89, member of one of the most prominent families in Mecklenburg County, passed away after a three-week illness.

On the editorial page, "Crossroads—Good Friday, 1948" finds a parallel between the first Good Friday and the present one, as the world on both occasions was filled with uncertainty and fear, torn between selfish power and the gospel of love, with Jerusalem in both instances beset by strife and division.

Jesus had wept over Jerusalem's dark fate on the first Palm Sunday, to be realized within a generation when Rome would destroy it.

The piece reminds of the object lesson of the cross and the meaning of Good Friday.

The churches of the community would hold their Crucifixion Service during the afternoon, an annual event for 21 years. Around the nation, similar services would be held to commemorate the three hours of darkness, from noon to three, following the Crucifixion.

It concludes that the world stood at the crossroads of peace and war and also at the "Cross Road", in flux as to whether it would crucify civilization with another war. It recommends putting selfishness on the cross and "Christ on the Throne".

"The Way to Defeat Communism" finds timely the remarks of Justice William O. Douglas, speaking at the University of Florida, advising against having a foreign policy arranged strictly around anti-Communism and military might. Rather, human rights at home and abroad needed to be stressed, along with humanitarian programs for the masses. The expansion of Communism could not be checked by resort to totalitarian methods.

The piece cites as example the case of Italy, where despite the prodigious efforts of the U.S. to meet Communist propaganda with pro-democratic propaganda, the reports were that the Communists would win a majority of seats in Parliament in the April 18 elections. In a country which had not in modern times known democracy, the people could not be expected to appreciate its fruits. Thus a more positive program needed to be presented to the people of Europe. The emphasis on military force should be shifted to reconstruction.

"A Sign in Radio-Active Cloud" finds the statement of airplane manufacturer Glenn Martin that an atomic cloud had been developed which would kill anyone who came in contact with it to be illustrative of the danger of atomic technology when carried too far. For the cloud was uncontrollable, subject to the vicissitudes of prevailing winds, could backfire if the wind changed its direction or strength.

It had been predicted by an Al Capp representation in "Li'l Abner" a few weeks earlier in which an atomic cloud embraced Dogpatch, preventing its inhabitants from leaving. But in that instance, the only ill effect was the invasion via underground tunnel of Romeo McHaystack, who saw the opportunity to work his wiles on the ladies of the town under cover of the dark cloud. Then it was up to Hairless Joe and Lonesome Polecat to develop an antidote through the explosion of some Kickapoo Joyjuice which destroyed the cloud and left Romeo short of his purpose.

Surely there must have been something in there about the Alamo.

Drew Pearson tells of Supreme Court Justice Wiley Rutledge attending a University of Wisconsin alumni dinner in Washington and unwittingly becoming embroiled in a debate over General MacArthur's presidential hopes. The toastmaster gave a speech praising the General, at which point another participant moved that the chapter never be used again to endorse a presidential candidate, to which there were several seconds. Justice Rutledge sought to restore order by saying that the episode was most unfortunate, without specifying his meaning. The resolution was finally tabled, but accompanied by boos. The toastmaster then sought to explain his praise of the General, receiving even more boos. Senator Alexander Wiley tried to resolve the brouhaha with a quotation from Scripture on brotherly love.

In reference to 1941, someone could have sought to quell the disturbance among the alumni by the suggestion that old basketballers never die, just fade away.

It appeared that Henry Wallace's third party was operating on direct orders from Moscow as it had instructed the Cominform the previous year to eliminate all non-Communist liberals, describing liberal Socialists and labor leaders as the chief enemies of Communism. Conservatives were deemed unwitting allies of Communism for their stimulation of reaction which played into the hands of the Communists.

In Europe, 30,000 Bulgar Socialists had been executed pursuant to that policy. In recent months, the policy had shown itself in the Wallace campaign. Congresswoman Helen Gahagan Douglas and Congressman Chester Holifield in California had recently received telegrams from the Wallace campaign manager to the effect that they had to change their positions on ERP or face defeat by injection of a third-party Wallace candidate into their respective Congressional races, capable of siphoning off enough votes to give the elections to a Republican. But the two had refused to be intimidated and remained faithful to their positions in favor of ERP.

The same policy was at work at PM, where the Communist-dominated Newspaper Guild refused to let a San Diego publisher take over the newspaper on the basis that he could fire whomever he wished on the staff of reporters within 90 days if they did not meet his standards. The Guild preferred to allow the liberal non-Communist publication to die. The same skein of events had transpired at the Philadelphia Record before it folded the previous year.

Organized labor was trying to lobby the Senate Appropriations Committee to restore the cuts made by the House counterpart, cutting by more than half vital functions of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, wiping out the Bureau of Veterans' Re-Employment Rights, and slashing the overall budget of the Labor Department by a quarter from its proposed amount.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop tell of the prospect of American troops being sent to Palestine to replace the British troops set to evacuate May 15 at the end of the British mandate. It was hoped that the British might be coaxed to remain longer to avoid the prospect, but it appeared unlikely that it would have much success. American troops would have to undertake the unpleasant task to forestall the Russian entry to Palestine to keep order, the primary reason that partition was abandoned, to avoid an international police force being sent to the Holy Land.

The trusteeship proposed by the U.S. was designed to keep order without such a police force, as the Trusteeship Council of the U.N., to which the Palestine problem would be referred if the U.S. proposition were adopted by two-thirds vote of the General Assembly, required a two-thirds vote for approval. And Russia presently, by its own decision, was not a participant in the Council. A governor general would be named by the Council and if American, he would need support by American troops as there would be no others available, save Russian.

The General Assembly might vote down the U.S. proposal or, even if approved, the Senate might refuse approbation for sending American troops. That would leave the Middle East in chaos with the Jews and Arabs left to fight things out among themselves, meaning that in all probability, the superiority of Arab manpower in time would render the Jewish position untenable. At that point, there would arise moral pressure in the U.S. to send troops.

The most likely result of the trusteeship was that American troops would be sent to Palestine and, according to Dr. Hillel Silver, American Zionist leader, would be opposed by the Jews of Palestine as forcefully as they had the British troops. That could lead to arousal of racial feelings in the U.S.

They conclude therefore that the American policy on Palestine, primarily responsible for the British withdrawal, had led to the results thus outlined. It stood as example of how not to make foreign policy.

Samuel Grafton proposes that a committee of twelve prominent Americans come together for an unofficial model peace conference, half of whom would take the American position and the other half the Russian stance, negotiating hard for each side, with no time limit on the outcome. From it should be generated a model peace treaty. The members of the conference would have to be of unquestioned integrity, such as Albert Einstein or Thomas Mann.

The newspapers and radio would likely cover such a conference with intense interest. And if the Russian press began to comment favorably or unfavorably, a fair impression could be gleaned as to Soviet reaction and what would be necessary to achieve peace as well as where the country needed to base its troops in preparation for the next war.

He solicits comments and offers of cooperation in the suggested enterprise.

A letter from a law librarian tells of her admiration for her News carrier, aspiring to become a lawyer. He had talked her into taking him to the courthouse one morning to observe the criminal court in action. She then introduced him to the prosecutor and two judges. The experience was rewarding to both of them.

A letter writer praises imagination, as that of Napoleon, advises use of constructive imagination to bring about cooperation and brotherly love in the world.

A letter writer finds the glamorous appeal to nursing made by advertisements to be getting nowhere in attracting women and so he advises stressing the negative aspects of the job while suggesting its offer of opportunity to serve humanity.

A letter writer responds to a letter of March 10 on North Carolina's income tax, provides the woman's point of view on the subject, finds the exemption to discriminate against a single woman by the amount of $1,000, allowing, she says, $2,000 for males and only $1,000 for females.

A letter from the long lost Inez Flow, who could be relied upon to contribute a letter on prohibition about every other day a year earlier when the subject was hot on the griddle in advance of the June referendum on the issue, pays tribute to Drew Pearson as the originator of the Friendship Train—which she confuses with the Freedom Train, the latter being a conveyor of historical documents across the country for the citizenry to view, while the Friendship Trains collected across the country food and clothing for the winter for France and Italy. In any event, she compliments Mr. Pearson as a patriot and a Christian for his service to humanity.

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