The Charlotte News

Wednesday, April 21, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the Italian election returns assured solid majorities to the Christian Democrats and other anti-Communist parties in both the Senate and Chamber of Deputies, and that in consequence, the Communist-dominated General Confederation of Labor stated that it would likely take a stand in favor of the Marshall Plan. The Christian Democrats received 48.7 percent of the vote in the Chamber of Deputies and the anti-Communist Socialists, 7.1 percent, against 30.7 percent for the Communist-led Popular Front. Almost identical percentages occurred in the Senate races. Christian Democratic Premier Alcide De Gasperi appeared by the results assured of the ability to form a new government with the anti-Communist Socialists.

The Soviet news agency Tass stated that the crash of the British transport plane after being hit by a Russian fighter over Berlin on April 5 was the fault of the British plane, coming out of the clouds in violation of flight rules and striking the fighter with its engines. The British blamed the Russian fighter for the crash.

In Vienna, American MP's had wrestled a woman from the custody of Russian officers on Monday. Each side blamed the other for the fracas.

The U.S. determined to ask the U.N. Security Council to create a truce commission to back up the recently adopted but unheeded resolution calling for a truce in Palestine. Military force might also be proposed. The Jewish Agency had communicated to the British High Command on April 10, before the truce resolution had passed, that if the Arabs were to engage in a ceasefire, Jews would reciprocate.

In London, Winston Churchill stated to women members of the Conservative Party that there would never be peace in Europe while "Asiatic imperialism and Communist domination" ruled the whole of Central and Eastern Europe. He urged the election of a new Parliament in Britain to replace the wasteful Labor Government, both in money and lives, the latter through an "irresolute policy in Palestine".

Dr. Vannevar Bush recommended in a letter to the House Armed Services Committee that Congress adopt universal military training to assure full manpower in the event of war. He also recommended adoption of the temporary draft in the meantime until UMT could be fully implemented.

In Detroit, a gunman tried to kill UAW president Walter Reuther, firing a shotgun blast into the kitchen of Mr. Reuther's home, gravely wounding him. Doctors said that he would recover. Mr. Reuther fortuitously had turned toward his wife at the moment of the blast and avoided thereby being hit in the chest. The union placed a $100,000 bounty on the assailant's head. Many had criticized the union leader for such things as rooting out Communists from UAW and his campaign to allow blacks to enter public bowling tournaments. There were no leads, but a single man had been observed leaving the area in a red sedan.

The Federal District Court ordered UMW not to strike for 80 days pursuant to a provision in Taft-Hartley, the period not to begin until the current striking miners all returned to work. A trustee representing the operators filed suit to block the recent settlement of the pension fund disbursements of $100 per month to miners over 62 with twenty or more years experience in the mines, who retired after the creation of the pension fund two years earlier.

In Tokyo, a Charlotte man, a captain in the Army who commanded the prison camp where General Tomoyuki Yamashita, "The Tiger of Malaya", was housed before his execution for war crimes, visited his widow pursuant to the General's last request. The captain received flowers from the widow and her parents-in-law.

Tom Fesperman of The News tells of the Mecklenburg County ABC agents having arrested 18 alleged bootleggers, based on undercover purchases by the agents. The arrestees are listed, with their addresses, in case you might wish to patronize them after their trials and release from custody.

In New York, the American Newspaper Publishers' Association was informed that an improved system of producing papers by means of a photo-engraving process probably would be developed in the ensuing few years.

Some of those scary new hats for men are pictured on the page. Do not look if you are faint of heart. You may run away and crash through the window once you see the truth revealed in these styles. Veritas, venustas. Venustas, veritas: semper fidelis, lux libertas.

On the editorial page, "Earle's Solution Is Folly" finds ridiculous former Pennsylvania Governor George Earle's suggestion that the way to resolve the crisis in the world was to bomb Russia and its satellites out of existence unless they allowed inspections for atomic and bacterial weapons.

It was questionable whether bases accessible to U.S. bombers could afford B-29 access to targets in Russia and whether maps of Russian territory were accurate. But Mr. Earle would get around the latter problem with saturation bombing.

The final problem, however, assuming that the others were resolved, would be that Russia would march on Western Europe as soon as America began attacking with atomic weapons. Then the U.S. would have to begin attacking the Western European nations occupied by the Russians. And even if all of Communism were wiped out in Europe, it would obviously not end the Communist threat worldwide.

"A Turning Point in Italy" finds the elections promising, with the Christian Democrats combined with other anti-Communist parties forming majorities, offering the best hope in the East-West crisis since it began two years earlier. It regards it as a turning point in the cold war.

The most heartening aspect of the situation was the commitment of the U.S. to rebuilding of Europe, the Italian vote appearing as a positive indicator of the appreciation of the generosity being extended.

"Raising the Freight Rates" tells of the Interstate Commerce Commission having authorized a ten percent boost in freight rates in the East and a five percent boost in the rates in the South and parts of the Midwest. The increase provided all but five percent of the 30 percent increase sought by the railroads in 1947. The fact that the Eastern rates were raised twice as much as Southern rates recognized the fight by the Southern Governors' Conference to achieve parity in rates, for long disparate and discriminatory against the South.

A piece from the Petersburg (Va.) Progress-Index, titled "The 'Continuous' Miner", remarks on the invention of a mechanical mining machine, which would make mining easier and safer while reducing costs considerably. It might save coal mining from extinction and would take it out of the crisis which had for so long beset the industry. While still in the testing phase, the "continuous miner" appeared to the piece to be a promising advance.

Drew Pearson tells of Representative Carl Vinson of Georgia, a Navy advocate, having ironically engineered the overwhelming victory in the House to fund the 70-group Air Force. He had formed the resolution with another Navy man, Congressman Lyndon Johnson, and then got it through the Armed Services Committee by a vote of 23 to 0.

Mr. Vinson had gone to see Secretary of Defense Forrestal, with Mr. Johnson and Congressman Paul Kilday, to try to work out the differences between the Defense Secretary's proposal for a draft and UMT and that of Air Secretary Symington regarding the need for the 70-group Air Force. Meanwhile, Mr. Forrestal alerted fiscal conservative John Taber, House Appropriations Committee chairman, to the cost of the 70-group Air Force and got the latter on his side to oppose it. Mr. Vinson then redoubled his efforts, got Mr. Symington to agree to accept 100 million dollars less than the original 922 million dollar price tag for the expanded Air Force, and the bill then sailed through the House.

He notes that the President publicly rebuked Secretary Symington for advocating the larger Air Force. The President thus took a position aligning with Henry Wallace and the three Congressmen who supported him, the only three opposing the bill in the end, Vito Marcantonio, newly elected Leo Isacson, and Adam Clayton Powell, all of New York.

Marquis Childs discusses the warning anew by the President's Council of Economic Advisers of inflation on the horizon. The House-approved expanded Air Force would cost 3.2 billion dollars, added to the 5.3 billion dollar ERP appropriation, coupled with the already passed tax cut bill over the President's veto, all inflationary measures. The Council recommended a system of allocations, priorities, and export and domestic use limitations, to protect against bottlenecks and breakdowns in production. The key to control was steel.

ERP had no priority on the goods in the marketplace and had to bargain for them as anyone else.

But there was no sign from Congress that it would enact such controls in an election year. Doing nothing, however, risked inflation and compromising ERP.

Samuel Grafton finds the distrust of Russia to be strikingly similar to the way Americans once discussed the British. Americans believed that the country could not do business with Russia for the lack of trust. Not very many people were prepared for amity between the two countries, having become so accustomed to enmity.

It had been extremely difficult to form agreements with Russia, and the talk in Washington focused more on regret for past agreement than for lack of present agreement. Some of that antagonism fueled the difficulty of agreement, representing traditional attitudes toward Russia.

There was a new isolationism while the Congress cut taxes and sought to build a larger Air Force. He concludes that the country had not shed its old patterns from before the war as much as it thought it had.

Sumner Welles, former Undersecretary of State until August, 1943, discusses the uprising in Bogota, finds it likely only Communist-abetted rather than Communist-inspired, but, regardless of origin, the rioting and disorder had upset one of the more democratic nations in Latin America.

The problems in Latin America were the result of American policy which was leading the public to believe that all was well when it was not. America had forgotten the needs of Latin America for industrial growth, to raise the standards of living. The people of Latin America were beginning to believe that America only thought of them when it needed their help, as during the late war.

The countries wanted a minimal program of assistance consisting of assurance of credits and facilities needed to help transact the developmental plan within the countries. By insuring economic stability, the program would expedite European recovery and would expand the market for American goods, while halting Communism.

A letter writer thanks the newspaper for the editorial of April 12, "'We Have Nothing to Fear...'", echoing FDR's words of his first inaugural address in 1933 in the depths of the Depression, and suggesting that the same notion should apply to the present world crisis.

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