The Charlotte News

Monday, April 5, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that outside Berlin, a Soviet fighter crashed into a British transport plane killing all 14 aboard as it sought to carry supplies into the British zone, following the April 1 interposition of Soviet inspections of trains and road traffic into and out of the city. The wreckage of both planes fell near Spandau Prison wherein Nazi war criminals were housed, near the border between the German and British sectors. The British commander for Germany announced that, henceforth, the transports would have British fighter escorts until such time as they were assured of no further danger.

The incident had occurred just as the tensions between the three Western nations and Russia were beginning to ease, as the British had accepted a Soviet proposal to discuss the inspections of rail traffic in a full four-power meeting.

Haganah reported that 38 Arabs had been killed this date and many others wounded when Jewish settlers repulsed an attack by a thousand Arabs on the Jewish settlement of Mishmar Haemek in Northern Palestine on the Haifa-Jenin Highway. Three Jews had been killed and ten wounded in the same attack. Arab leaders said that the volunteer force was led by Fawzi Bey Al Kaukji.

In Athens, Greece, the Government reported that the Army had killed 152 guerrillas in weekend fighting, 83 in the Krussia mountain area, and 69 in Philiates, Epirus. More than 500 of the guerrillas were believed lost in the five days of fighting, ending the rebel threat to Salonika. The Government forces, for the first time, fought under a joint American-Greek plan of attack. The Greek Army used goats to detonate hidden mines in their path as they advanced.

In China, Communist forces captured four Marines after their plane had to make an emergency landing in Communist territory, 18 miles from Tsingtao. None of the four appeared injured. Four Marines, held since Christmas Day, captured during a hunting expedition, had just been released the previous week.

At the U.N., the Security Council voted 9 to 2 against Russia's proposal for sharing atomic energy without first creating procedures and a force to conduct international inspections.

In Rome, a demonstration of 25,000 Government troops occurred the previous day through the heart of the city, in the largest display of military might since before the war, designed to encourage the populace and discourage the Communists, in advance of the April 18 elections. One observer commented, "It's just like Mussolini's time."

In Nuremberg, munitions manufacturer Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach and eleven other defendants were acquitted of two of four charged war crimes by a U.S. military tribunal. They were acquitted of crimes against the peace and conspiracy to commit same by violation systematically of provisions of the Versailles Treaty, which provided for disarmament of Germany. The Krupp firm, which supplied large amounts of arms to the Wehrmacht, was also charged with using its international connections to promote spying and spreading of Nazi propaganda abroad. The remaining charges, plundering and spoliation of conquering nations and deportation, exploitation and abuse of slave labor, had not yet been adjudicated.

The Navy announced that six American fighting ships would visit Norway during the month on a good will mission, to counter Russia's reported attempt to put pressure on Norway to agree to a mutual defense treaty, similar to that in place with Finland.

John L. Lewis and the UMW members on strike made no visible move to obey the Federal Court order issued Saturday, served this date, to end the 22-day old soft coal strike. Only a few miners returned to work. Steel production was down from 93 percent to 87 percent of capacity. Some violence was reported in West Virginia, at Bear Mountain, with 100 pickets storming the tipple and three or four shots being fired. Two roadblocks were set up by pickets in Clarksburg to block non-union strip mining.

The Wisconsin presidential primary was set for the following day, with Thomas Dewey, General MacArthur, and Harold Stassen vying for the 27 Republican delegates at stake. All three of the candidates favored a get-tough policy with Russia and elimination of Communism in the United States.

According to Mr. Dewey's campaign chairman Herbert Brownell, by the end of Tuesday, over half of the Republican delegates chosen thus far would be in Governor Dewey's column, including 90 district delegates to be selected in New York.

The next primary would be in Nebraska on April 13, where, in addition to the three on the Wisconsin ballot, Senator Taft was running.

In New York, Mrs. John D. Rockefeller, Jr., 73, died of a heart attack. She was the former Abby Aldrich, daughter of former Senator Nelson Aldrich of Rhode Island, and was the mother of Nelson Rockefeller, future Governor of New York and Vice-President, the second person ever to serve in that latter office without election by the American people. Another son was Winthrop Rockefeller, future Governor of Arkansas. John D. Rockefeller, Jr., had an estimated fortune worth between 250 and 400 million dollars. The two had met at Brown University in the mid 1890's.

Superior Court Judge Wilson Warlick, just appointed by the President to fill the vacancy on the Federal District Court of the Western District of North Carolina, following the retirement Judge E. Yates Webb, was officially opposed by the Republican executive committee of Mecklenburg County, based on a case in which he had allegedly imposed severe fines regarding the 1946 Catawba County elections. The Judge disputed the contention, saying that there were no fines and the case had not been controversial at the time. Instead, the Judge entered stipulated prayers for judgment continued on payment of court costs, not a conviction under North Carolina law. The case involved two election officials who had claimed that they were assaulted by the three defendants with intent to kill, inflicting serious bodily injury. The case of one defendant had been dismissed. The defense attorney and solicitor each signed an affidavit attesting to the facts.

Adventurer Milton Reynolds, having canceled because of plane trouble his flight over China to try to find a higher mountain peak than Mt. Everest, flew hurriedly out of Tokyo to avoid China's claim that he exited Shanghai without proper permission and needed to return to face possible charges. He said that he had left China hurriedly to avoid a financial shakedown.

In Hollywood, Gregory Peck, who, the previous month, had been nominated for the Best Actor Oscar for his role in "Gentleman's Agreement", broke his left ankle after the horse he was riding slipped and fell. At least he did not live up fully to the old actor's wish.

On the editorial page, "Pressure Groups in America" examines whether there was really a "Jewish vote" in the country which would have to be considered in the November balloting based on the Palestine policy. In New York, there were about a million Jewish votes, enough, based on previous voting patterns, to swing the election. Since 1900, New York had voted six times each for either Republicans or Democrats for president. The state had, in the same period, elected three Republican and eleven Democratic Governors. Slates of the three principal state officers, governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general, were balanced on religious affiliation between Jewish, Protestant, and Catholic. Many elections in New York had been determined by the religious conviction of a candidate, regardless of party.

Protestants, Jews, and Catholics also voted preferences on specific issues of concern to each group separately. The process preserved balance and was not to be discouraged. It reminds that there was "oneness" in Nazi Germany.

The final effect would be a "symphony of democracy".

"Slight to Women in Uniform" reports first of the discharge petition in the House passing to get the legislation eliminating the discriminatory tax on margarine out of committee and to the floor for a vote, for the first time in 62 years of effort. It then tells of consternation also regarding the House Armed Services Committee having voted to exclude women from the regular armed forces, allowing them to be called up only in an emergency as members of the Reserve Corps. Congresswoman Margaret Chase Smith of Maine was the only Committee member voting in favor of the measure. Both Secretary of Defense James Forrestal and General Eisenhower had favored the move. The Senate had approved the measure.

It points put that Russia had utilized women in such roles for awhile and that women in business often performed certain tasks more proficiently than men. Given the service in the war of the various women's corps, there appeared little sense in the House Committee's action.

"North Carolina in Zippers" tells of the U.S.S. North Carolina and two other battleships of the same class being "zipper ships" designated as the New York Group, Atlantic Reserve, among 1,000 such ships on the Eastern and Gulf seaboards, with another 1,000 along the Pacific Coast. The "zipper" classification referred to the process of placing the ship in mothballs for storage, the unzipping operation taking about a month to complete.

Secretary Forrestal had testified recently to Congress that sea power remained the fundamental element of the nation's security apparatus.

The piece finds the preservation therefore to be a worthy undertaking as opposed to scuttling the ships.

The North Carolina, since 1961, is one of a small number of ships on display as floating museums, in the instant case, located in Wilmington, N.C.

A piece from the Washington Post, titled "Negroes in the Draft", suggests that A. Philip Randolph, head of the Brotherhood of Pullman Porters, had told the Senate Armed Services Committee that he would advise blacks not to serve under a draft or universal military training until segregation in the military was ended. (The original report, however, stated, as reiterated in the Drew Pearson column below, that he indicated only that he was relaying the prevailing sentiment among blacks in the country rather than advising blacks to avoid service; a report the following day had suggested that Mr. Randolph and another black leader had "threatened" to lead a nationwide sit-down strike against the draft and UMT.) The piece posits that Mr. Randolph intended his words to place pressure on Congress to end segregation in the military, more than to have his words taken seriously in the event of an emergency.

Senators Wayne Morse and Raymond Baldwin had reminded Mr. Randolph that such action would be treasonous, and the piece supports the admonition. Mr. Randolph had rejoined that blacks felt so strongly on the issue that they would not be cowed by the threat of prosecution.

Segregation in the military was wasteful, duplicative of services, usually relegating blacks to menial jobs. Non-segregated specific units had enjoyed great success and so the prospect of a negative effect from integration was likely exaggerated. But the piece questions the wisdom of achieving integration through legislation. Rather, it recommends taking into account local training sites and the conditions surrounding them, to determine which units might be integrated.

It notes that in certain National Guard units and the Navy, some integration was already taking place.

Drew Pearson tells the story of a crippled wheelchair-bound veteran struggling in the rain to get his chair over the curb in Washington, when a stranger gave him a push and offered to assist him the rest of the way to his destination at Union Station. The soldier asked the stranger where he worked and the man indicated that it was at the Supreme Court. The soldier turned around to see Justice Harold Burton as his escort.

Mr. Pearson notes that the veteran turned up the next day and demanded to meet Justice Burton, was escorted into his chambers.

Manchester Union Leader publisher Leonard Finder, to whom General Eisenhower had written his definitive letter in January declining a draft for the nomination to the presidency, was upset with an Army public relations chief who stated that the General would not be interested either in the Democratic nomination. The Army spokesman admitted that he had not spoken to the General on the particular matter.

Head of the Brotherhood of Pullman Porters, A. Philip Randolph, had told the President, before he told the Senate Armed Services Committee, that blacks would be reluctant to serve under a draft or universal military training because of Jim Crow segregation persisting in the military. There was not one black man in the experimental UMT program at Fort Knox. The President reprimanded Mr. Randolph and insisted that everyone would serve in the event of another war. Mr. Randolph apologized and said that he was only relating the facts based on his conversations with black citizens. The President stated that he was supportive of racial reforms but that it would take time. Mr. Randolph thanked him for his courageous stand on civil rights.

The Treasury Department, in addition to hoodlums and gangsters, was investigating the taxpaying practices of doctors and would soon start on lawyers.

Mayor George Welsh of Grand Rapids, Mich., was responsible for getting the name of Burton Behling withdrawn as a nominee for commissioner on the Federal Power Commission, informing the President that Mr. Behling had voted for the big natural gas companies, costing consumers about 70 million dollars per year in additional costs.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop discuss the frank admission by leaders within the Government that war could be imminent within weeks or months, and, to that end, examine whether the country could deliver the knock-out blow, dependent on whether the atomic bomb could accomplish the fact and whether it could actually be delivered to the Soviet Union. The first question had been hotly debated in the military.

The B-29 had a roundtrip range of 4,000 miles, capable of reaching the industrial centers of Russia from Western Europe, the Mediterranean, India, and the Middle East. Moreover, B-29's could now be re-fueled in flight, extending the range to 6,000 miles roundtrip. Boeing had also modified the aircraft to accept atomic bombs.

With striking capability thus confirmed, the question remained whether the B-29 was susceptible to being shot down by Soviet jets designed from those captured from the Germans. In tests, radar located 60 percent of the B-29's and fighters were able to locate 40 percent. Some would inevitably survive attack, and so only a relatively small percentage would not reach the target.

The Soviets had a weak radar warning system, as weak as the U.S., the cost of a sophisticated radar net, at billions of dollars, being presently prohibitive.

Since the Strategic Air Command could do the job, it was questionable why the decision had been made not to expand the air arm along with the other services.

Marquis Childs, in Madison, Wisc., tells of a deep division within the Republican Party, almost as much of a rift as that within the Democratic Party, on the eve of the second primary. The isolationist-America First wing had rallied to General MacArthur, not actively campaigning but on the ballot. Some believed that they were so vocal that they might be able to elect a majority of the delegates at stake. Governor Dewey, who had swept the state in both 1940 and 1944, had changed his plans accordingly, campaigning in the state for two days during the weekend.

The other faction was comprised of the Republicans who supported ERP, led in Congress by Senator Vandenburg. Former Secretary of State under Herbert Hoover and Secretary of War under FDR, Henry Stimson, was among that group, along with former Secretary of War Robert Patterson. Governor Dewey recently had endorsed aid to China in deference to this faction.

Isolationist Chicago Tribune publisher Robert McCormick would have a decisive voice in the direction of the Illinois delegation. He had told Mr. Childs that he would not support the nominee if he were either Senator Vandenburg, Harold Stassen, or Governor Dewey. He might, in that event, switch to support of the Democratic Southern faction, if it were led by Senator Harry F. Byrd. Col. McCormick supported Senator Taft, and then his old friend, General MacArthur, in that order.

Senator Taft was not on the ballot in Wisconsin but was in Nebraska. If he were to win that primary and General MacArthur, the Wisconsin primary, then the logical step would be for them to join forces, with General MacArthur throwing his support to the Senator. If such were to happen, with the East behind another candidate, the convention in Philadelphia could become a prolonged affair before the wedding cake could be properly adorned.

A letter writer reflects on the need still for adjustment of society nearly three years after VE-Day, urges both parties to nominate candidates in whom the people could have faith. Veterans especially were tired of candidates who made promises to them during the campaign and then forgot about them after election.

A letter writer takes exception to a critique of the movie "Mom and Dad", appearing in The News on March 30. The writer, identified only by initials, taking the I.R.T., determines something about something having to do with sex education portrayed in the movie. We never saw that movie, have not had the privilege of reading the review, and so reside in ignorance as to what points the writer might be suggesting with precision—though we did have sex education in the sixth grade, literally, not figuratively, along with the rest of the class.

The author determines that "Joan's story" was an integral part of the picture and could help to reduce parental delinquency. The person adds that hygiene ought be taught in schools. It would, she concludes, do no harm.

Congratulations to Duke, 68-63 winners over Wisconsin for the N.C.A.A. basketball championship in 2015, its fifth since 1991. As usual, we predicted this result, including the final score, if the reader examines carefully the Thursday and Saturday editions. It pays to read assiduously.

We recommend in the future, once again, that it is really better to lose one or two or even more, based on history, before entering the Tournament. It is also better to have a bit tougher schedule than the 42nd toughest in the country in getting there undefeated.

But, perhaps, one need not have quite so high as the second toughest.

Next year...

Quelli che ha pensato erano una scommessa sicura di vincere il campionato nazionale. Oh yeah.

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