The Charlotte News

Monday, April 26, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the U.N. General Assembly voted 46 to 0 to take immediate action to protect Jerusalem, approving a request to have the U.N. trusteeship council formulate plans to safeguard the city. The move pertained only to Jerusalem.

King Abdullah of Trans-Jordan was planning to head his Arab legions, trained by the British, in Palestine. Two-thirds of the forces, or 10,000 men, were already on duty as security forces with the British. Jews and Arabs mobilized along the southern edges of Jerusalem this date. Haganah had asked the Irgun forces to stop their attack on the Arab city of Jaffa, but the call went unheeded. Jewish forces hurled mortar fire into Acre, enabling escape of most of the 200 prisoners in the Acre prison, but were repelled by the British. The flow of oil from Iraq into Haifa, seized by Jewish forces the previous week, was halted. Battle lines were being formed for control of Alamein camp, a vital facility for the Arabs to prevent the Jews from blocking Arab access to Jerusalem from Hebron, Beersheba and the south, when the British evacuated.

In Haifa, all was quiet and it appeared Jews and Arabs were beginning to work together again.

Secretary of Defense James Forrestal told a Senate Appropriations subcommittee that if the defense program were left solely to the military, it would "fortify the moon." He did not think a 70-group Air Force fell into that latter classification, but he favored a 66-group Air Force for maximum cost efficiency.

The Administration was said to be in the final phases of planning military backing for Western Europe, but Secretary Forrestal told the subcommittee that he had not heard of such a plan, that the implications, however, of the Western European Union pointed toward the U.S. being asked to provide help in rearming the five nations of that group, Britain, France, and the Benelux countries.

Convicted Nazi saboteurs Ernest Burger and George John Dasch, who had landed with six others in New York and Florida from U-boats in June, 1942, were freed from custody and allowed to return to Germany, after the President approved a Justice Department recommendation for clemency. The other six convicted defendants had been executed in August, 1942. FDR had reduced the death sentences for the released men to life and 30 years respectively, because both had provided information on the conspiracy. Present Secretary of the Army Kenneth Royall had served as Army-appointed defense counsel for the eight men.

Senator James Murray of Montana criticized the National Physicians Committee of Chicago for running a contest for newspaper cartoonists, in an attempt, he said, to discredit the National Health Assembly, planning to meet to develop national health safeguards for the ensuing decade. Senator Murray charged that the effort undermined a free press and constituted an overt attempt at bribery in furtherance of the Committee's opposition to national health insurance.

In the House, the margarine bloc won a key victory over the butter forces, making it probable that legislation would be passed in the House to remove the discriminatory taxes on margarine.

Charlotte was seeking again to have faster airmail service for it being in the center of the largest air pocket for airmail east of the Mississippi River.

"America's Town Meeting of the Air" was set to broadcast from Charlotte at 7:30 the following evening, to be held in the Armory. The panel would include columnist Dorothy Thompson, Idaho Senator Glen Taylor, Progressive James Stewart Martin, and publisher Dwight MacDonald. North Carolina native George Denny was the regular host of the program. The question posed would be whether a third party could bring to the country peace and prosperity.

You can get one of a limited number of tickets for the program at $2 each. Hurry.

On the editorial page, "Russia's Crazy Game of Bluff" finds the new air restrictions being imposed by Russia on Western traffic into and out of Berlin to be the post-Italian election move in the game of bluff which it was waging to divert attention and encourage insecurity and alarm in the West, while Russia was busy mobilizing and creating alliances in the East. When Russia reached its position of satisfaction, it would seek peace terms, after forcing the West, theoretically, to maintain its military strength at the expense of capitalist freedom, until bankruptcy would occur. The piece thinks the strategy nonsensical, even if following Marxian doctrine, but the effort was driving the U.S. crazy in the process.

The American strategists had to produce a program for settlement and world federation to stop the arms race.

"Witch Hunters Hurt Science" tells of the Atomic Scientists of Chicago, who had worked on the Manhattan Project, having rendered a poll of its membership in which 63 percent of the two-thirds of the respondents, 101, half of whom worked for the Government, had stated that the handling of the case of Dr. Edward Condon by HUAC had made them reluctant to accept employment with the Government.

HUAC, supported by the House, was heading for a showdown with the Secretary of Commerce regarding its demand for the loyalty investigation records on Dr. Condon, director of the Bureau of Standards, for his supposedly being the top risk in atomic security for allegedly associating with a Soviet espionage agent.

The piece thinks that regardless of the outcome of this showdown, set to go into the courts, the real issue was the worth of HUAC in tracking down Communists. On the one hand, real Communists operated with sufficient stealth to avoid the Committee's grasp while on the other, the intrusive effort into private lives was causing major damage in the country.

The piece wonders why the Congress, in the overwhelming House vote on Saturday to support the HUAC effort with respect to Dr. Condon, was "perpetuating and encouraging the antics of its witch hunters".

"Who Speaks for Administration?" wonders why there was evidenced divergence within the Administration on the economic prospectus, with Undersecretary of the Treasury A. L. M. Wiggins having told on Friday the American Cotton Manufacturers that with voluntary efforts on the part of business, inflation could be brought under control. That view was at variance with the President's re-articulation the previous week in a press conference of the need for his ten-point anti-inflation package to be passed, inclusive of wage, price, allocation and credit controls. Mr. Wiggins's formula sounded as the Republican voluntary plan, rejected by the President as inadequate.

It reminds the piece of the divergence on foreign policy in September, 1946 between the "get tough" policy with Russia advanced by then Secretary of State James Byrnes and the opposition to it made publicly by then Secretary of Commerce Henry Wallace, leading to Mr. Wallace being fired from that position a few weeks later.

The piece thinks that the Administration had set such a pattern and it communicated the idea that the President, while giving lip service to New Deal controls on the economy, actually did not support them.

A piece from the Raleigh News & Observer, titled "Look Back to Glory?" finds gubernatorial "dream" candidate W. F. Stanley dreaming when he proclaimed the hope that North Carolina could return to the glory days it had supposedly enjoyed in antebellum times.

The piece reminds that North Carolina was then referenced as "Old Rip" for its sleepy ways and one-third illiteracy. They were not glory times but times of impoverishment, and the fact that North Carolina had not sought to revel in a non-existent past had stimulated its momentum toward progress.

Of course, history has a way, unfortunately, of repeating itself.

Drew Pearson tells of the Republican House caucus debating aid to education and a raise in pay for postal workers, both opposed by Speaker Joe Martin and Majority Leader Charles Halleck. Mr. Martin favored placing priority first on defense.

Congressman Fred Hartley had blocked the teacher pay-raise bill in committee.

Congressman Fred Smith of Ohio labeled the Taft-Ellender-Wagner housing bill a Communist measure for its provision on financing of the construction of public housing. Congressman George Bender of Ohio wondered aloud at anyone trying to suggest Senator Taft as a Communist, eliciting loud laughter in the caucus.

Mr. Halleck opposed discharge petitions, as that which had passed on margarine, allowing it to go directly to the floor for vote, escaping the committees. Much talk ensued of margarine.

Four Senators, Republicans Taft, Charles Tobey of New Hamsphire, Ralph Flanders of Vermont, and Democrat John Sparkman of Alabama, all had been the prime movers in getting the housing bill passed in the Senate. On the other side, the real estate lobby had influenced Senators Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin, Harry Cain of Washington, James Kem of Missouri, and Democrat Spessard Holland of Florida. In the House, the primary opposition was from Jesse Wolcott of Michigan and Charles Fletcher of California.

Samuel Grafton again tells of Harry and his wife Margaret. Harry saved dimes. On this evening, he turned on the radio, warning of the grim situation in Europe. He believed that historians of the 21st century would write of the period that a typical 1948 domestic scene was one in which a man sat comfortably in his living room "listening to intimations of disaster." It was similar to the image of whittling conveyed of the commodious daily habituation of an earlier time.

Harry left his chair and roved around the room, fingering the change in his pocket. He thought about the endless bad news since the end of the war, of new and mightier and more terrible weapons.

He then thought of placing his change, $7.40 worth, in its usual desk cubbyhole, conveying a feeling of security in an insecure world.

Just then, Margaret entered the room, however, and said that her cousin Jim had enlisted in the Army, that they ought to buy him something, suggested spending $7 to $8.

Marquis Childs looks at the presidential campaign of Henry Wallace, finds some of his supporters, such as Paul Robeson, willing to accept a dictatorship of the left to avoid the evils of a dictatorship of the right. Mr. Wallace did not subscribe to that view, being a deeply religious man. Nor was it true of most of his supporters.

His campaign manager predicted that he would poll ten million votes out of about 60 million total to be cast. Mr. Childs thinks that vote total possible, particularly if the major parties nominated President Truman and an ultra-conservative for the Republicans, such as Speaker of the House Joe Martin. Some had predicted a million votes for the Wallace candidacy in New York, alone.

The effort of the campaign was to create an image of Mr. Wallace as a persecuted martyr by the monopolists and by the press.

Walter Reuther was the most prominent spokesperson for the non-Communist left, making a forthright attack on Mr. Wallace, such that some in the Wallace campaign had seriously considered filing suit for slander or libel against the UAW president. The attempt on Mr. Reuther's life the previous week underscored the bitterness between the two factions of the left of labor, the pro-Communists and anti-Communists.

He recalls the street violence in Germany in the early Thirties between the Communists and Socialists, as Hitler was consolidating his forces to seize dictatorial control.

He concludes that abuse of freedom would bring an end to freedom.

A letter from a representative of the United World Federalists states its disagreement with the letter from A. W. Black on the subject of world government.

He finds Mr. Black's logic hard to follow. Pal, you are not the only one.

But again, with 20-20 hindsight in store, world government has proved not only unnecessary to resolving issues of peace in an atomic world, as the U.N. steadily grew in authority and prestige, advanced enormously during the Cuban Missile Crisis of October, 1962, but also an unworkable idea in terms of surrender of national sovereignty. Few, if any, nations in the world would support such a loss of national identity and control of its own people.

There are many who favor no government, but few, if any, today are in favor of world government. While it may sound good at first blush, the problem is in its implementation in practice. It is difficult enough to govern the United States with an Executive Branch of two elected representatives, only one of whom has any substantial Constitutional power, and a Legislature of 535 elected members, to govern more than 300 million people. To be fair, the Assembly of a world government would have to have millions of representatives and a large committee of presiding officers, and that is why it is impracticable.

Currently, each member of the U.S. House of Representatives represents about 690,000 constituents. In a world of more than seven billion people presently, to achieve just that increasingly unworkable ratio of representation would require more than 10,000 representatives in a World Assembly. The result would lend to "chaos" the definition of order.

Query, incidentally, whether the Federal law which established the number of Representatives at 435 in 1911, when the population of the United States was at 92 million, meaning representation was at a ratio of one to 212,000, should be amended to provide for a proportionately larger House of about 1,351. The number is not Constitutionally mandated or fixed, but Article I, Section 2 impliedly contemplates a representation of about 30,000 per Representative in a nation at the Founding of four million people, though the wording only specifies no more than one Representative per 30,000 and thus does not bar a larger number of constituents. The first apportioned House based on population, in 1793, consisting of 105 members, established the proportionate representation at about one for every 38,000. Until 1921, the Congress routinely increased the size of the House every decade to keep pace with the increasing population. The Congress which could not agree on a reapportionment bill in 1921 was the same one which refused approval of the League of Nations, arguably leading to World War II.

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