The Charlotte News

Tuesday, April 20, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the Italian election returns from Sunday and Monday showed a large anti-Communist victory, with the Vice-Premier, Giuseppe Saragat, head of the anti-Communist Socialists, stating that Communists would not be invited into the new Government. The anti-Communists led by a margin of 2-to-1 in the Senate races and the Christian Democrats had nearly half the vote, would likely control with a majority both the Senate and Chamber of Deputies.

The U.S. said that it would provide troops to Palestine if other selected U.N. nations would do so as well. Chief delegate Warren Austin urged adoption of a temporary trusteeship for Palestine.

ERP administrator Paul Hoffman informed Congress of the individual allocations of ERP to recipient nations, starting with 1.324 billion, of the 5.3 billion total, to Britain, 1.13 billion to France, 703 million to Italy, 598 million to the Netherlands, and 437 million to the U.S.-British zones of Germany, the remaining fifth to the other twelve nations. The figures were still only tentative.

It was predicted that the Senate would pass this date the long-range Taft-Ellender-Wagner housing bill, to urge the construction of 15 million new housing units by 1958.

The Federal District Court this day fined John L. Lewis $20,000 and UMW 1.4 million dollars after finding both guilty of contempt the previous day. The court had still to determine whether a jail sentence was appropriate for Mr. Lewis, which would be decided the following Friday. The Government recommended jail if all of the miners were not back at work by that time.

In Lille, France, at least eleven miners died in a dust explosion in a coal mine at Sallaumines the previous night.

Hollywood screenwriter John Howard Lawson was convicted the previous day by a jury in Washington of contempt of Congress for refusing the previous October to disclose to HUAC whether he was or had ever been a Communist or a member of a Communist organization. The jury took only two and a quarter hours to render its verdict. The nine other defendants in the matter were yet to have their cases tried.

Socialist leader Norman Thomas predicted to the House Armed Services Committee that many Americans would disobey a peacetime draft if it were to become law.

In Columbia, South Carolina, blacks voted for the first time in a primary election in the state since 1876. The election was for two city council seats. It followed the Supreme Court's denial of a petition to review the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals decision which had held unconstitutional the attempt to make primaries into private club affairs, sponsored by the party, by stripping the statute books of all mention of primaries.

The Agriculture Department stated that farm land values had climbed in the current buying boom to the peak of March, 1920, not long before the collapse which brought foreclosures and bankruptcy, after a steep decline in foreign purchases of food. There were no signs, however, at present that a similar scenario would transpire.

In Burrillville, R.I., a man known only as "Henry Nuts and Bolts", a groom for 33 race horses, perished along with the horses in a fire which swept through four barns.

In New York, Kathleen Winsor, author of Forever Amber, and her husband, bandleader Artie Shaw, were planning to divorce. They had already separated because of divergent interests.

In Los Angeles, men modeled hats on the street, with passersby startled at the monstrous appearance of some of the adornments for the head. Some people were said to be screaming and fleeing for their lives.

That does not scare us at all. We shall face those hats any day. And you will face them, too, undaunted. Gird yourselves. Fear not.

Tom Schlesinger of The News tells of former Pennsylvania Governor George Earle speaking at the Charlotte Rotary Club, to awaken America to the threat of Russia and Communism. He again reiterated his cheery thought that within four years, no more than ten percent of the world's population would still be alive. He favored bombing out of existence all of the nations who refused inspection by the U.N. of atomic and bacterial weapons.

Somebody needs to check his mushrooms for the presence of hallucinogens.

Or, maybe that prediction came true, and they just did not tell us.

On the editorial page, "John L. Lewis Comes to Court" finds that the Federal District Court acted properly in holding John L. Lewis in contempt for failing to obey the court order for a week to call an end to the coal strike. His defense that he had not called the strike was rejected by the court on the basis that he had said that the operators had "dishonored" the union contract by refusing to pay out pension payments from the pension fund, tacitly calling the strike by signal.

Mr. Lewis would appeal the verdict and might succeed, it predicts, by claiming that the Taft-Hartley law was unconstitutional as violative of the Thirteenth Amendment proscription against involuntary servitude, that the Government could not order the miners back to work.

The judge, it finds, properly spelled out the purpose of Taft-Hartley, to assure responsibility by the unions, and the terms were now set for a showdown on the validity of the law.

"Mecklenburg's Fight on Cancer" urges contributions to the annual funding drive for the American Cancer Society, with a county goal of $22,500 and a statewide goal of $100,000. There had been 136 deaths from cancer in Mecklenburg County during the previous year and 31 during the first two months of 1948. A third of those deaths could have been prevented, it says, by early treatment.

It could have performed a service by also urging people not to smoke cigarettes, but that would have gone against the state's tobacco interests.

There were 4,646 projected cases of cancer in Mecklenburg County for 2014, and 1,534 deaths projected from cancer for that year. Population in the county between 1950 and the present has increased from 197,000 to right around a million, a five-fold increase. Yet, cancer deaths have risen by more than eleven times in the same period. Why?

Between 2007 and 2011, the average yearly death rate per 100,000 within the most populous counties in the state was highest in mountainous Buncombe County, embracing Asheville, with a quarter of the population of Mecklenburg, at 219.5. The second highest rate was in Forsyth County, with 36 percent of the Mecklenburg population, at 194. Guilford County had a rate of 172.3 and Durham County, a rate of 156. Cumberland County, embracing Fayetteville and part of Fort Bragg, had a rate of 155.9. The lowest rate within the most populous counties, i.e., those encapsulating a large urban area and having more than a quarter million population, was in Wake County, second most populous in the state with 99 percent of the Mecklenburg population, at 118.5.

Mecklenburg, in that period, had an average death rate from cancer of 130.7. The rate for 1947, based on the 1950 population, was 69.7 per 100,000, thus 53 percent of the 2007-2011 average rate. Why would that be? Why would Wake County have a significantly lower rate of death from cancer than that of Mecklenburg, with a nearly identical number of people? Yet, the more fundamental query remains in why the rate in Mecklenburg has nearly doubled since 1947, presumably a rough rate of increase to be found throughout the state.

"The Canal Needs Protection" comments on the finding by HUAC chairman J. Parnell Thomas that the Panama Canal Zone was threatened by Communists and had inadequate defenses, with only 6,000 U.S. troops present. The recent violence in Bogota and other violence in Rio de Janeiro, both uprisings attributed to Communists, tended to provide credence to the concern, even if the source was given to undue alarm regarding Communist threats.

The editorial thinks that added security for the Canal Zone was thus a proper move.

A piece from the Christian Science Monitor, "Man and Machine", discusses the new machines, including the mechanical hands to perform tasks via an optical control system. But no machine could compose prose or poetry or write Scripture.

"Mechanistic humanity trembles before its own machines. Man's final conquest of nature awaits upon his conquest of himself."

Drew Pearson tells of the Army in 1940 asking Congress for only six B-17's. Now, the President was siding with Secretary of Defense Forrestal, favoring a strong Army and Navy, while Congress was siding with Air Force Secretary Stuart Symington, wanting a strong Air Force. Mr. Pearson provides the abrupt behind-the-scenes exchange between Secretary Symington and Secretary Forrestal over their differing strategies.

General Carl Spaatz, chief of staff of the Air Force, had stated that the proposed increases in Air Force strength would magnify its size by 50 percent in the coming year. The new B-29's had a payload capacity of five times that of the original Superfortresses of 1944, and the expected range would be 7,000 miles compared to the present 4,100 miles, with a demonstrated 5,000-mile range with lower payloads.

He next suggests that the Congress investigate Dr. Vespasien Palla of Rumania, who had worked for the Fascist Antonescu Government which had declared war on the U.S., slaughtered 300,000 Jews and sent their bodies to the I. G. Farben soap factories. He now worked for the Communist Government of Rumania. Nevertheless, he had obtained a visa to visit the U.S. and had consulted with the State Department.

The U.S. then had suddenly switched its position on culpability for genocide, that only governments, and not individual leaders, could be held responsible. He believes that it deserved the same attention which the switch on the partition of Palestine had received.

Samuel Grafton discusses Senator Arthur Vandenberg as a possible candidate for the Republican nomination, though undeclared and specifically having stated that he was not interested in being a candidate. Mr. Grafton found him engaging and humorous, in contrast to his public persona, in an interview conducted just after the President signed ERP into law.

He believed that there was a crisis with the Soviet Union but that it would not clash with the United States, would rather try to circumvent strong U.S. policy. But that policy, he believed, had to have united, bipartisan support. He gave a sincere air of wanting the best for the country and believed in current U.S. foreign policy as the best means to stop Soviet expansion.

He believed that there could be differences on foreign policy as long as they were not motivated by a party objective. He could not help that other Republicans sought to use him as the exponent of everything good about the foreign policy. He appeared as a person demanding unity on moral grounds and on the overriding need for American brotherhood.

Joseph Alsop tells of Harold Stassen's Republican presidential primary wins in Wisconsin and Nebraska having caused Senator Taft to rush home to campaign in his own home state of Ohio and Governor Dewey to rush to Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Indiana to try to line up delegate support prior to the Oregon primary.

Senator Taft would not win the nomination even if he pulled out Ohio. But Governor Dewey still had a chance to make a comeback in the states mentioned. And he still had a marginal lead in the public opinion polls. His supporters had given an ultimatum to the delegates in the three states mentioned that it was then or never.

Mr. Alsop discusses in detail the efforts to line up these delegations in the Dewey corner.

If Mr. Stassen were to succeed in the coming primaries in Ohio and Oregon, then he could garner many Republican leaders who would jump ship from Taft and Dewey. Thus a solid effort by the Dewey forces to stop Mr. Stassen would be required.

A letter from A. W. Black finds the series of articles by the World Federalists in the previous four days to have been elucidative of Utopian dreamers who failed to understand the causes of war and that world government would not provide the panacea. He favors getting at the root psychological causes of warfare.

Per his usual rhetorical flourishes in circumlocution, however, he provides a lot of double-talk without any concrete solution to the problem.

The solution, of course, painfully obvious for all of these years, is to drink plenty of Pepsi.

A letter writer appreciates the editorials on world government but thinks that the exercise of the vote was far more powerful than writing one's Congressman.

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