The Charlotte News

Tuesday, April 13, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that a Jewish Agency spokesman declared that self-government had already been established in Jewish areas of Palestine. The Zionist General Council had declared the previous day that a Jewish state would be proclaimed May 16, the day after the scheduled end of the British mandate established post-World War I.

Fighting continued in Palestine as three vehicles in a Jewish convoy struck mines while en route to Hadassah Hospital and the Hebrew University, and Arabs attacked the stalled vehicles as Haganah fighters then resisted, the battle lasting five hours during the afternoon.

Air Force Secretary Stuart Symington stated to the Senate Armed Services Committee that Russia was building the greatest air force in the world, building twelve times the number of planes as that by the U.S. He said therefore that having an Air Force with 70 groups was more important than either the draft or universal military training, the legislation for which was being considered by the Committee. The 70 groups would call for purchase of 2,174 war planes by mid-1950, with 1,312 purchased in the coming year.

The largest peacetime long-distance flight of U.S. Air Force B-29 bombers, about 30 in number, took off for Germany this date from Smoky Hill Air Base in Kansas, the details of the mission remaining classified. It was stated by the Air Force to be a routine training flight.

Could be something brewing there. We may be getting ready to drop the Big One on the Rooskies. Smoky Hill is the clue. It's about time, but, you know, that Truman is doing it only for politics.

A high Russian official told a German youth meeting that the Marshall Plan meant the division of Germany and Europe, finally war, compared the President to Hermann Goering. He said the "new democracy" of Russia represented the future.

There were increasing signs in Italy that Communists were losing ground for the coming Sunday elections. The Communist Party leader, Palmiro Togliatti, now was claiming that the Marshall Plan should not be completely rejected but that it should not compromise Italian independence. Prior to that time, he had been following the Soviet line that the aid was meant to enslave the nations receiving it. The one-hour Communist-led national strike on Monday had fizzled.

The Colombian Army had taken control of Bogota, following five days of violence and rioting. The 21-nation Pan American Conference was reported ready to resume its ongoing meeting. The next resolution before the conference was to condemn world Communism, proposed by Chile.

The Nebraska Republican primary was proceeding this date, with seven candidates in the field. Prospects appeared good for a heavy turn-out of voters. Governor Dewey and Senator Taft addressed voters by radio while Harold Stassen made a personal appearance, all attacking Communists for the disturbance in Bogota. The three were considered the leaders in the race.

The coal miners had begun to return to work in response to the injunction the previous day of UMW head John L. Lewis to do so, following settlement of the pension dispute which had prompted the 29-day strike. Production was at 75 percent of normal in some areas, while the return to work was not yet general. The Government, meanwhile, ended its restrictions on rail service.

The NLRB ruled 4 to 1 that employers had to bargain with employees on pension plans if the employees so requested, as the plans fell within the scope of Taft-Hartley's requirements for collective bargaining on conditions of employment.

In Pittsburgh, a 32-year old mother, wife of the local court Solicitor, shot and killed her four children and then herself.

In Asheville, a night supervisor at Highland Hospital, came to the police station and said she was afraid of what she might do, prompting re-investigation of a fire at the hospital on March 11, which had taken the lives of nine mental patients. The police had previously cleared staff as the cause. The aide said that she had picked out six places in the hospital where she might start a fire and so wanted to be locked up. She told police that she did not know whether she had started the March 11 fire, but believed that she had not.

A supervising doctor stated that he believed that the woman had become upset because of her belief that she had failed in her responsibilities of oversight, causing the fire.

In Charlotte, an 18-year old boy from Wadesboro was charged with kidnaping by forcing at gunpoint a 25-year old man from Charlotte to drive to Dallas, N.C. An alleged accomplice, 20, had also been arrested in the case.

Memphis political boss E. H. Crump had called Lt. Governor Arthur Coolidge of Massachusetts a "two-by-four blatherskite", following Mr. Coolidge's harsh words anent the South, accusing "Dixie Claghorns" of kidnaping Northern textile industry and taking it to the South, claiming that Louisiana and other states were using tax lures for the purpose. The vice-president of the Cotton Manufacturer's Association in Atlanta said that Northern industry was coming to the South on its own.

In Berkeley, CA., Chester H. Rowell, an editor in the tradition of Horace Greeley and William Allen White, died at age 80. He had been the editor of the Fresno Republican and the San Francisco Chronicle, the latter during the period 1932-35, as well as a columnist for the Chronicle. He had at one time counted as a friend President U.S. Grant, and every President since that time.

Well, whooppedy do-dah. We knowed Abe Lincoln 'fore anyone even knowed who he was, way back in 1814, back 'ere in Kentuck, used to split logs with him, rassel b'ars on the Sat'day nights.

Cora Harris, on the women's pages, tells of Mrs. Charles W. Tillett doing a good job as a grandmother and gardener.

On the editorial page, "GOP Comfort to John Lewis" comments on the settlement of the coal strike during the weekend after Speaker of the House Joe Martin convinced Senator Styles Bridges of New Hampshire to become the third member of the board of trustees for the UMW welfare and pensions fund, supplying the vote to break the impasse between John L. Lewis and the operators' representative on the board, anent the demanded $100 per month pensions.

Whether the miners would obey the command to return to work while the contempt proceeding against Mr. Lewis proceeded remained an open question. Also, whether the Republicans would benefit from the effort, which entailed an effective repudiation of their own Taft-Hartley law, was also susceptible to question. The Republican effort appeared to undermine the contempt proceeding initiated by the Justice Department, and take away its teeth as it sought to enforce Taft-Hartley. Congressman Hartley had warned of tougher legislation if the law proved ineffective in dealing with Mr. Lewis.

The public would pay with the 10-cent royalty on each ton of coal, to pay for the pension payments. And if the settlement allowed Mr. Lewis to continue to operate above the law, the public would pay much more.

"A Chance to Save the Peace" tells of six atomic scientists, headed by Albert Einstein, having drafted a proposal that the only way to avoid war was to create a world government, without the Soviet Union, if necessary. At the same time, they urged an East-West conference to settle differences.

The piece favors the effort. And the West had to take the lead, as Russia never would.

"Dynamiting Fish a Felony" tells of a new South Carolina law, the import of which the title suggests, carrying a mandatory year in jail for a first offense and increases to three years for subsequent offenses. Probation was not available. The offender also lost his hunting and fishing license for five years. The law prohibited aiding and abetting the dynamiting of fish or picking up the dead fish for two hours after the act. Failure to report the crime was made a misdemeanor.

A North Carolina law on the subject provided for a fine and 30 days in jail, and included drugging or poisoning the fish.

The piece agrees with the stiff penalties as the dynamiters left behind the unwanted varieties of dead fish to rot in the stream. It deems the act repugnant.

A piece from the Mooresville Tribune, titled "Geographical Sinners", compares the different views of morality in Charlotte with those in Mooresville, 28 miles distant, regarding such things as ABC-controlled liquor and Sunday movies, acceptable in Charlotte, not in Mooresville, where calling the bootlegger was the accepted practice to obtain liquor.

The same differences applied between High Point and Thomasville, six miles from one another, whereby in High Point, Sunday baseball was allowed, not in the latter.

In Salisbury, Sunday movies were okay but not Sunday baseball.

It concludes that it was likely that as many people got to heaven in one locale as another and that they were not condemned by the fact of their geographical origin, whether from Arabia or Charlotte or Mooresville.

Drew Pearson tells of the President recently meeting with Congressman George Smathers of Florida and an assistant adjutant of the American Legion, inviting him to speak at the American Legion convention in Miami in October. He initially declined because it came during the thick of the campaign, but, on urging, promised he would reconsider it for a non-political speech. He requested that his official American Legion post be changed from 340 in Kansas City to 21 in Independence. The meeting had demonstrated that the President remained confident that he would be the Democratic nominee.

The FDR Library had received a request from the Chinese Government for recordings of some of FDR's speeches, particularly "Rendezvous With Destiny". Liberia had requested permission to name a Liberian hospital wing after the deceased President.

American troops, conveniently forgotten by the Russian delegate to the Allied Control Council who boasted of the Russians conquering Berlin, had been in Potsdam three years prior to this date, ready to take Berlin but for the command to halt and return to the Elbe, issued the day after the death of FDR on April 12, so that the Russians could be the conquerors. The Russians had claimed at the time that at Yalta the previous February, a commitment had been made to allow the Russians to occupy Berlin. Mr. Pearson suggests that if the American troops had instead remained in Berlin in 1945, the situation at present might be different. But the watchword vis-à-vis the Russians at the time was cooperation.

He notes that Stalin had sent a note, received by FDR on April 11, attacking the Americans for reneging on their word at Yalta anent Berlin. It was then answered for the deceased President after the 12th.

Senator Owen Brewster of Maine and Senator Charles Tobey of New Hampshire, both Republicans, were bitter political enemies.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop tell of Soviet viceroy to Germany, Marshal Vassily Sokolovsky, who had a fondness at one time for Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility and Mansfield Park, having half apologized for the the Soviet fighter downing the British C-47 transport the previous week and been reprimanded by Moscow for doing so, told to become as firm as possible. For a short time, it appeared that the Soviets were prepared to go to war to stop the rebuilding of Europe, until the Soviet pact with Finland had changed the picture.

For the nonce, the Berlin crisis appeared to be at a rest, though it could flare again at a moment's notice.

The Soviets had wanted a complete "alliance" with Finland, of the sort formed with the Baltic States which had brought them completely under Soviet control. Finland had stood firm against such a pact, maintaining independence in the final form of the agreement. The Soviet diplomatic retreat appeared significant.

The Eastern zone of Germany was reported to have been denuded of much of its rail infrastructure by the Soviets, thus taking away a valuable rail link into Western Europe if their intent was to move westward. Soviet troop dispositions in Germany also did not point to a westward advance.

All signs, therefore, pointed away from the Kremlin wanting war, with the exception of increased pressure being applied recently to the provinces of Northern Iran, the fact that the fears of a Soviet-backed civil war in Italy after the elections had not subsided, and the existence of a threat of trouble in Vienna, similar to that ongoing in Berlin. The pressures thus being applied gave rise to the threat of war, irrespective of Russia's desire for same.

The Berlin crisis had served, however, to cause the Western military staffs in Germany to coordinate with one another in the event of an emergency and was thus salutary. The Anglo-American combined chiefs were discussing various emergency plans, including the idea of providing military backing to the Western European Union, possibly to be implemented after the Italian elections the coming Sunday.

DeWitt MacKenzie tells of the 21-nation U.N. Conference on Freedom of Information, meeting in Geneva, having adopted a resolution to permit a government subsidized press, limiting thereby journalistic freedom. The U.S. and Russia had been among five of the nations dissenting.

While the press was controlled in Russia, there was no Government subsidy to the press in the U.S. To do so would allow tacitly the government to control content, which also implied changing as a chameleon to suit changing shades in government policy.

He had seen a reporter of a government-controlled news agency literally have stories dictated to him before transmission along the wires for foreign consumption. It not only misled the foreign readers, as intended, but also the home readership.

Subsidy of the press was really, in its essence, bribery. He had heard of individual newsmen being offered as much as $400,000 to print propaganda and refusing same.

A letter writer informs that the Mother's Day convention of wearing a white flower if one's mother is deceased and red if living had developed from a florist's commercial idea. Originally, she explains, the convention was to wear a white flower to symbolize the purity of mothers. But the florist ran out of white flowers and so convinced his customers to purchase red ones if their mother was alive.

A letter writer condemns the Republican effort to criticize newly appointed Judge Wilson Warlick to the Federal District Court bench for the Western District of North Carolina, basing their criticism on his supposed imposition of stiff fines on three defendants accused of assaulting precinct officials in Catawba County, when, in fact, he had provided prayers for judgment in two cases, dismissed the third, and imposed no fines, meaning that there was no conviction in the two cases.

A letter writer thinks that placing a liquor store in a county was like placing a cancer on the face of a woman.

Well, what about the cigarettes and the tobacco being grown in North Carolina? Better get rid of that, too.

A letter writer urges keeping the Sabbath, cites Scripture on the subject, thinks that the people were disobedient to God and were a billion bushels short on corn, causing all the prices to go up.

A letter writer views the debate between Communism and Christianity as a struggle for men's souls.

Before man has a soul, however, he must have a mind with which to think. Dogs, for instance, do not have souls. They make no moral choices. They act only on instinct.

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