The Charlotte News

Thursday, April 22, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the Russians had implemented new restrictions on rail traffic into Berlin this date, preventing Berlin-to-Paris daily trains operated by the British and French from passing through the Soviet zone henceforth, effectively denying passage for the trains to and from Berlin. A Soviet commission recommended new regulations for Western air traffic into and out of the city, that the Western powers provide 24-hour advance notice of their flights with details about passengers and planes and that night flights by the Western powers or under other conditions making visibility difficult be prohibited. The latter recommendations were in response to the April 5 crash of a British transport plane into a Russian fighter, which the Russians blamed on the transport darting suddenly out of the clouds.

In Palestine, Jews seized virtual control of Haifa following all-night fighting with Arabs, after which the Arabs surrendered. An Arab spokesman said that they were massacred and were not prepared for the onslaught. Haganah issued a cease-fire order on terms that the Arabs surrender all arms, provide freedom of movement in Haifa with an end to sniping and roadblocks, deliver all foreign Arab troops to Haganah for immediate deportation, surrender all German Nazis, and impose a 24-hour curfew during which Arab disarmament would be carried out. Haganah guaranteed that Arabs would be able to carry on their lives normally and work in Haifa as free and equal citizens. Haganah would maintain security in Haifa outside the British zones, and its orders were to be binding on both Jews and Arabs. It appeared that the Arab National Committee in Haifa would accept all of the terms.

The Arab dead in the fighting were estimated at twenty, while four Jews had been killed. Haganah forces were supplemented by one volunteer Irgun unit.

At the U.N., Australia demanded that the General Assembly carry out the Palestine partition plan immediately, as approved the previous November 29. The demand contravened the efforts of the U.S. to dispose of the partition plan in favor of a temporary trusteeship for Palestine.

President Truman named former Ambassador to Belgium Charles Sawyer of Ohio to become the new Secretary of Commerce to replace Averell Harriman, who was to become the new roving ambassador for ERP.

The Senate passed the Taft-Ellender-Wagner long-term housing measure to urge the building of 15 million new homes by 1958, adding a provision to build 268.5 million dollars worth of farm housing based on long-term loans at no more than 4 percent interest. The bill now went to the House where it had stalled previously.

U.S. Steel announced that it would reject an unspecified demanded wage increase by the United Steelworkers and would cut its prices by 25 million dollars.

Some 200,000 more coal miners returned to the job this date with an estimated 330,000 of the 400,000 now back in the pits. The Federal District Court was prepared to determine the following day whether John L. Lewis should be sent to jail for the contempt violation on which he had already been personally fined $20,000. UMW was fined 1.4 million dollars.

The police in Detroit stated that they had a hot tip on the identity of the assailants of Walter Reuther, the victim the previous day of a shotgun blast fired through the window of his kitchen, striking him in the arm. Police believed that more than one person were involved. Mr. Reuther was reported to be doing fine. Reward money had reached $117,900.

The Texas Democratic delegation stated that they would support the President if he were to become the nominee of the party. It appeared that Texas would thus not join in any Southern revolt. The delegation, however, continued to oppose the civil rights program of the President. Senator John Sparkman of Alabama, meanwhile, renewed his call for drafting General Eisenhower.

The President would speak at the U.C. graduation exercises in Berkeley on June 12.

The Air Force announced new titles for its airmen to distinguish them from Army enlisted personnel. The new titles are set forth.

The Navy planned new dress uniforms, minus the thirteen buttons on the trousers and buttoned cuffs on the jumpers.

In Miami, physical culturist Bernarr MacFadden, 79, was scheduled to be married again despite his second wife contesting the validity of their divorce after 34 years of marriage.

In Kansas City, a 60-year old inventor had invented a mousetrap which catapulted the offender out the window of the house, a straw hat with an appended electric fan, a soup bowl which tipped as the contents lowered, a fishing rod which recoiled and rapped the knuckles of the sleeping fisherman when a bite took the bait, and a fork which wound spaghetti.

But what gadget does he have in store to get rid of the cats which jump in the open window to get at the mouse?

The book column on page 15-A assesses the new entry by Marion Hargrove, formerly of The News, Something's Got to Give. Mr. Hargrove was in the process of becoming a Hollywood script writer. He had become well known during the war for his humorous column of Army experiences, titled "See Here, Private Hargrove", followed by a book and film of the same name. The book under review was made into a television presentation in 1949.

If you watched television to any degree in the late 1950's through the 1960's and later, odds are you saw a script of Mr. Hargrove realized on the small screen, as well as a few on the large one, most notably "The Music Man", in 1962.

On the editorial page, "Bay State Sues for Peace" tells of Lt. Governor Arthur Coolidge of Massachusetts having apologized for offending the Southern states when he accused the "Dixie Claghorns" and "Bilbo-belt banjo-strummers" of "kidnaping" the industries of New England and taking them to the South.

Senator Olin Johnston of South Carolina had accepted the apology and invited Mr. Coolidge to come to South Carolina to tour the industrial plants. The piece hopes that he would do so to show the nation that any region's growth in industry benefited the entire country and not at the expense of one region or another.

"'Shout Freedom' to the People" urges support of the Paul Green outdoor pageant to be presented starting May 20 to celebrate the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence, purportedly signed May 20, 1775.

If you believe in fiction...

"Save Our Hats from Zip" discusses the scary new hat fashions out of Los Angeles produced by women's designer Keneth Hopkins, as set forth each of the previous two days on the front page. The piece thinks the photograph appearing the previous day made one man, with his brown taffeta affair, look as an "emaciated anteater", and found no comfort from its depression in the other numbers portrayed, including the Scotch broom entry.

It objects to the use of men to perform what it considered to be a burlesque on the women's New Look. The average man, it suggests, maintained his battered old fedora with affection.

Hats have been scary for awhile. You figure it out. Esse quam videri. In our experience, people still scream and run away with helter-skelter abandon down the streets whene'er they see a hat.

A piece from the Asheville Citizen, titled "A Yardstick for Inebriety", tells of the new Intoximeter being used by the North Carolina Highway Patrol to test blood-alcohol chemically. It was receiving good reviews from law enforcement. The piece thinks it a major breakthrough to discern between actually intoxicated drivers and those merely suffering from some mental or physiological defect which caused them momentarily to drive erratically.

Drew Pearson tells of Senator Taft and his wife listening to the "CBS Was There" radio program regarding the fall of Pompeii, prompting Senator Taft to call CBS and suggest that they tell the people of Pompeii not to worry, that President Truman would provide them immediately with a 42 million dollar aid program.

CIO president Philip Murray and Chicago political boss Jack Avery had met the previous week to discuss party politics, both against President Truman running. Chester Bowles, also against the President for the nomination, was going to undertake a cross-country speaking tour to favor a liberal nominee.

John L. Lewis wanted coal stockpiles low, the real reason for the strike, so that he could obtain his next round of wage demands in June.

The President had told Attorney General Tom Clark to go ahead with the contempt prosecution of Mr. Lewis for the week of disobedience, even after he had called an end to the strike. The President also said that he was unconcerned about Republican attempts to embarrass the Administration by rapidly settling the strike.

Mr. Pearson congratulates Congressman Lyndon Johnson for getting the President to freeze surplus war plants to avoid their sale, in case they might be needed again in the event of war.

There was a move on in Congress to make Hawaii the 49th state. It could happen any day.

One GOP Congressman, S. H. Hedrick of West Virginia, wanted to know why the Government sold surplus war plants cheaply but would not sell surplus housing to veterans cheaply.

California Congressman Harry Sheppard stated that the country should assume that the German scientists captured after the war by the Russians had already provided the atomic bomb to them and that Russia had planes as fast as America's fastest planes to transport it. He thus advocated building an Air Force large enough to defeat Russia.

Stewart Alsop, still in Rome, reports on the election results in nearby Genzano where the campaign posters made the election between Premier Stalin and President Truman, with the Communists having won. He seeks to determine why that had occurred amid the Christian Democratic and non-Communist Socialist sweep, ventures that it was a reaction to intolerable conditions, reaching out to the Communists for a solution when the current Government of Premier Alcide de Gasperi had rejected all reform and made that rejection therefore synonymous with Washington aid.

Mr. Alsop suggests that the conditions of continuing poverty in Italy needed to be addressed and made tolerable so that the aid program would succeed and the minority interests in Italy, as represented by the vote in Genzano, would not gain ground. For, even with the sound defeat in the elections, the danger of a Communist resurgence remained.

Marquis Childs looks at the rejection of Bureau of Reclamation "propaganda" by Senator Sheridan Downey of California for its supposedly causing the farmers of the Central Valley of California to accept the continuation of the 165-acre individual ownership limitation to qualify for irrigation from the Bureau. His reasoning, asserts Mr. Childs, was complex, having to do with ground water and the likelihood that the small farmer would wind up paying for irrigation of the large tracts not qualifying for the Government irrigation water. Thirty-four large landowners, most of them corporations, owned three-quarters of a million acres in the Central Valley.

Mr. Childs points out that several farm organizations favored retention of the acreage limitation and that to contend that it was the result of "propaganda" was nonsensical, that it had become popular to blame such "propaganda" for causing people to favor any program which the Government sponsored and which the director of the responsible bureau merely explained. He believes that the politician should realize that the people were not that gullible.

The same sentiment today ought be extended to the "conservative" radio talk show hosts and to Dumbo and the Foxies. It is wise to remember that Communist Russia always complained during the height of the Cold War of Western "propaganda", especially that coming from the United States.

A letter from a World Federalist thanks the newspaper for the four-part series of articles from representatives of the local unit of the organization. He favors a world government, however, which would be inclusive of the Soviet bloc nations, as otherwise it would be merely an extension of the Truman Doctrine. The World Federalists had indicated that their position was that world government was necessary to assure the peace in the atomic age, and that the world government should occur even if the Russians could not be persuaded to join it.

A letter writer thinks that the professional politicians would see to it that General Eisenhower would be drafted for the Democratic nomination, and that would be fine with this letter writer, though he also says that the days when the professional politicians called the shots were over.

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