The Charlotte News

Tuesday, April 6, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Field Marshal Lord Bernard Montgomery, chief of the British Imperial General Staff, conferred with the three allied military commanders in Germany this date and was scheduled to meet separately with the Russian commander this night regarding the crash the previous day of a Russian fighter into a British transport plane carrying food and supplies to the British sector of Berlin. Tensions eased somewhat following a Russian apology for the incident, which took 15 lives. Field Marshal Montgomery was an old friend of the Russian commander, Marshal Vassily Sokolovsky.

British Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin told Commons that he was pressing for an immediate investigation of the incident. It was expected that Marshal Sokolovsky would provide assurances that Allied planes would not again be bothered entering Berlin via the international corridor.

In Helsinki, the Russians and Finns signed a mutual friendship and assistance pact. No details were available but it appeared that the Soviets acquired no rights to military bases in Finland and that the country retained its independence. The pact still had to be ratified by the Finnish Parliament, the majority of which had been opposed to entering the Soviet orbit militarily.

In Rome, the Communist-dominated Italian General Confederation of Labor called for a nationwide general strike to begin April 12, six days before the critical elections. The Confederation claimed that the Mafia was responsible for the killing of 35 Sicilian labor leaders, for which the strike was being called in protest, originally planned to protest the disappearance three weeks earlier of Communist labor leader Placido Rizzuto.

The Government announced that it intended to assign 400,000 poll watchers for the elections.

For the second time in three days, a priest was stabbed in Italy, the first victim having been killed at Lei in Sardinia. The more recent victim was at Rocca Palumba in Sicily.

In Tokyo, a U.S. Army Catholic chaplain was stabbed fatally the previous night while walking near Sugamo Prison, by an unknown assailant who leaped from some bushes.

In Alexandria, Egypt, a police strike, which led to rioting in which 24 persons had been killed, ended.

Paul Hoffman, chairman of Studebaker, was to be named by the President as head of ERP but the President awaited first Mr. Hoffman's acceptance before making the formal announcement. The President directed RFC to turn over the initial 1.105 billion dollars in appropriations, including 105 million earmarked for further aid to Greece, Turkey, China, and Italy, to begin the aid program.

Secretary of Defense James Forrestal announced a plan to increase defenses of the Aleutian Islands and to restrict them solely to military use. The move was in response to a reported sighting of a Russian submarine off the island chain and the report to Congress by Secretary Forrestal that only 7,000 troops and fewer than 100 fighter plans guarded the islands. The Navy also announced that a carrier task force would visit Bergen, Norway, as a good will gesture, between April 29 and May 2. The cruise was in response to reports of Russian pressure being placed on Scandinavian countries to resist ERP and join the Soviet orbit.

The draft and UMT bills before the Senate Armed Services Committee were delayed in hearings and a vote was unlikely before the following week. More witnesses were being called from the armed services.

Five Russian vessels were within easy viewing range of a secret atomic task force arriving at Pearl Harbor and departing for Eniwetok March 6-8, because the Russian ships could not pay the harbor charges and were thus not permitted to depart on schedule. Just what they could observe of import was not stated.

Soft coal operators agreed, pursuant to the Saturday Federal Court order ending the 23-day old UMW strike, to meet this date at the Shoreham Hotel in Washington with John L. Lewis to try to resolve the dispute over the demanded $100 per month pension payments for miners over 60 with 20 or more years in the mines. The strikers had not returned to the job and the strike widened this day to the anthracite mines of Pennsylvania, which, according to an unnamed Government official, could lead the Government to seek a contempt citation against Mr. Lewis and UMW.

In Carlisle, Pa., more than a thousand truckers were engaged in a sit-down strike along the side of the new toll highway in protest of weight limit laws, as State Police launched their drive to check truck weights. Eight drivers were arrested for violations and two or three sent to jail for inability to pay the fines. Seven drivers were fined for throwing stones at drivers who refused to pull to the side of the road to join the strike. The drivers said that Pennsylvania was the only state in the nation with such weight laws.

The Wisconsin primary took place under clear skies this date, with Governor Thomas Dewey vying with Harold Stassen and General MacArthur for the state's 27 delegates to the Republican convention. Mr. Dewey's headquarters stated that he might come in third, and appeared to view any receipt of delegates as a small victory.

The poor showing by 1940 Republican nominee Wendell Willkie in Wisconsin in April, 1944 had forced him out of the race. Observers agreed that a poor showing by General MacArthur would eliminate him from the race; but if he fared well, then he would be a strong force in the upcoming Nebraska primary the following week. A spokesman for the General's campaign predicted victory and that the General would thereafter be the leading contender for the nomination. But Senator Joseph McCarthy, supporting former Minnesota Governor Stassen, stated that the latter would win the primary race, with the other two candidates closely contesting each other for second place.

Tom Fesperman of The News reports of the eleven-year old mentally deficient and manic girl, of whom the newspaper had first reported in January, having been finally admitted to the Caswell Training School in Kinston, N.C. Admittance had been sought by her parents for five years to no avail before the report. The girl's younger brother suffered from rheumatic fever and her fits in the same bedroom where he stayed had complicated his recovery.

A photograph taken in West Point, N.Y., shows the newborn grandson of General Eisenhower, Dwight David Eisenhower II, to become the son-in-law in late 1968 of President-elect Nixon, marrying daughter Julie. The presidential retreat outside Washington would come to be named Camp David by President Eisenhower, after his grandson.

He was born on March 31, the same day as Al Gore, son of Congressman and future Senator Albert Gore of Tennessee, fils to become Congressman, Senator, Vice-President and the 43rd President of the United States.

In Oklahoma City, the grandson of State Supreme Court Justice Nelson Corn locked himself into a bathroom and the fire department had to be called to extricate the fifteen-month old toddler. Fireman Delbert Gee got the little Case out of lock-up.

Mr. Gee came in through the bathroom window.

On the editorial page, "GOP Fight on Judge Flops" criticizes the Republican Executive Committee for trying to derail the nomination of Superior Court Judge Wilson Warlick to become the new Federal District Court Judge for the Western District of North Carolina by bringing up a case involving charges brought by two Catawba County election officials claiming assault, contending that the Judge had imposed heavy fines when in fact he had provided prayers for judgment without fines to two defendants and dismissed the case against a third, the first two not resulting in convictions. The Executive Committee wanted the matter thoroughly investigated for its supposed harshness, when the criminal matter had been settled amicably between the contesting parties with an agreement of civil compromise.

It concludes that the Executive Committee had only made itself appear ridiculous. It was unfortunate that someone of the standing of Judge Warlick was being subjected to such a reckless assault on his integrity.

The telegram to Senator Homer Ferguson had also claimed that Judge John Parker, when nominated in 1931 to the Supreme Court by President Hoover, had been defeated for confirmation because he was a Republican, when in fact he was defeated by the vote of one Senate Republican and endorsed by the North Carolina Democratic members of the Congress. After eliminating this text upon correction, the Committee then claimed that the Democrats were seeking to get Judge Warlick confirmed as a Democratic nominee before the Republican victories in the fall.

"Bad News on Army Day" tells of General Omar Bradley, chief of staff of the Army, reporting to Congress that no more than a handful of combat troops were available for the defense of the United States and for deployment overseas. Other officials had stated privately that the Russians could overrun Europe in 60 days. The situation in Berlin had underscored this weakness before the world, undermining confidence in American military power, with only a few thousand troops in the city and 101,000 in all of Europe, seven or eight divisions, with only three more available within the U.S. Meanwhile, Russia was reported to have 100 divisions mobilized in Russia and 75 more combat ready within satellite countries.

As long as the U.S. remained in such an untenable power position, Russia would continue its present cat-and-mouse game in Europe, as driven home by the collision of the Russian fighter with a British transport plane over Berlin the previous day.

The Russians were seeking to warn Europeans against lining up with the Marshall Plan and to impress on Washington that it was too late to initiate an arms expansion program, that the best course was appeasement with Moscow.

"Textbooks Need Brightening" tells of the Waynesville Mountaineer being upset at the way the fifth grade geography textbooks of the state related Western North Carolina as mainly a wilderness dotted with rustic log cabins, comprised of "only one or two cheerless rooms furnished with the barest necessities." It had gone on to portray tobacco growing as only for bare subsistence, whereas in fact, millions of pounds were produced every year in the area. And dairy and beef cattle were strong, not the feeble variety portrayed in the textbook, capable only of milk which was "poor and thin".

The piece adds to the detraction of the substance of the text by finding its style to be prosaically turgid, sounding as an encyclopedic entry, which the young students would tend to emulate.

That's not true. Students of that age invariably engage in independent thought and research, just as we did in the fifth grade or thereabouts. Mr. Editor, think back. You are being condemnatory without the slightest recognition of the gravitas and incisive scholarship with which most elementary school students approach their work every day. You sell them short by forgetting your own comprehensive exegesis of every topic assigned or undertaken independently in compulsive pursuit of knowledge and satiation regularly of otherwise insatiable intellectual curiosity when ten and eleven years old.

Drew Pearson writes, on Army Day, a letter to General Floyd Parks, in charge of Army Press Relations, who had written to Mr. Pearson complaining of his criticism of the brasshats. He reasserts his belief that the favoritism to officers and unfairness to the enlisted men had to be redressed if the proposed draft and UMT were to be successes.

He reminds General Parks of his effort on the previous December 19 to call his attention to the report that RCA had, with impunity vis-à-vis the Army, made available to the Germans and Japanese in 1938 America's radar secrets. He then relates of some of the secret records on the matter he had obtained, dating back to 1932, revealing the track of the patent issued on the radar device to RCA after its public application for same and how the applications for patents in Japan and Germany revealed the secret to the Axis nations, despite the Army Signal Corps asking the Patent Office to keep the application secret.

The principles for radar were first developed on November 22, 1933 by William D. Hershberger, working at the Signal Corps Laboratories, and a circuit for producing the voltage pulses required for the detection device set forth by Mr. Hershberger in 1936. Mr. Hershberger subsequently joined RCA and developed the device.

During the war, nothing was done to sanction RCA for the disclosure of the radar device in violation of orders. But after the war, the Justice Department began looking into the matter, until the investigation was halted when General Harry Ingles resigned as head of the Signal Corps in March, 1947 to take an important job at RCA. General Ingles had gone to West Point, received an Army pension, and thus should be subject to discipline, within the parameters set down by General Parks to Mr. Pearson, regarding officers who had done favors for private companies during the war and then taken jobs with those same companies afterward.

He also suggests that the Army could sue RCA on the matter to act as a deterrent to such future conduct. Thus far, the Army had refused to go along with the Justice Department effort.

The Army, he concludes, needed to set its own house in order before it began drafting young men.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop tell of the attempt by the Russians to oust the Western allies from Berlin having been foretold from the previous November, at which time General Lucius Clay told a reporter that he would only leave Berlin on a stretcher. That intransigent policy was approved by Secretary of State Marshall in December, following the breakdown of the London Big Four conference, a last ditch effort among the wartime Allies to form an acceptable German treaty. It was expected that the Russians would make an aggressive move in Germany at that time, but an interval had since elapsed before it had taken place finally on April 1.

They suggest that the move should be viewed along with the takeover by the Communists in Czechoslovakia, the "friendly gesture" of mutual cooperation with Finland, the pressure being placed on Scandinavia to join the Soviet orbit, and the pre-election campaign ongoing in Italy. Coming at such a time, the Russian move to inspect rail and road traffic coming into and leaving Berlin was freighted with the threat of imminent war.

If the Soviets were bluffing, the U.S. and Britain had no realistic alternative other than to call the bluff. For if they showed weakness, the other threatened nations would lose heart in resisting Soviet advances. If the move, therefore, was not countered, then Soviet aggression would result, inevitably leading to war. If Italy were to become Communist, then it would produce conditions comparable to those prevailing in the aftermath of the Munich Pact in 1938.

The presently developing crisis in Berlin was similar to the track taken by the Communists in Czechoslovakia, the latter takeover having been foreseen by the Alsops and other observers.

The reason the President recently had made his foreign policy address to Congress, seeking a temporary draft and universal military training, followed by Secretary Marshall addressing the issue head-on at Berkeley, were to re-assure the Western allies of America's resolve to back up the ERP aid with action if made necessary to protect them against Soviet expansion.

The same kind of chain reaction was now threatening to occur out of the Berlin crisis. There would be a tendency to want to appease the Communists in Europe because of weakened American defenses, produced by petty squabbling within the military regarding which branch would receive the lion's share of defense appropriations, as well as the delay in Congress since November in passage of ERP. But, they predict, the bolder approach would ultimately be taken.

One unnamed maker of American policy had stated that if America caved in to Russia on Berlin, then there was a risk of defeating the whole purpose of ERP.

Samuel Grafton again tells of letters coming to him regarding his proposal for a model peace conference to include moot debate between a Russian side and a Western side undertaken by a dozen distinguished and trustworthy Americans, to provide a sounding board for ideas on how to approach effectively and in a "hard way" the schism of the cold war to form a peace, a kind of brain trust of pathfinders to find a way to settle the matter diplomatically rather than trying to forge the implements of war for the purpose.

He quotes one letter from a housewife in Ohio who had a sick feeling, as everyone she knew was talking of war, but no one of peace. She urges the latter as she believed that the Russian people were no different from Americans in desiring peace.

To a writer who countered that six Americans could not be found who would be able to take the Soviet position with the same level of ardor and guile which the Comintern imbued in Communists, Mr. Grafton says that it was possibly so, but that the effort ought nevertheless be made. For if it were, the Communists might have increased trouble attracting supporters for their devious tactics.

Sumner Welles, former Undersecretary of State until August, 1943, comments on the crisis in Germany, that it had caused abandonment of the original plan to establish on July 1 a civilian leadership of the American occupation zone, in favor of maintaining the military governorship of General Clay. But that decision also caused concern as to what it would do to German mentality and the plan to inculcate democratic thinking. Thus far, Germans had enjoyed little opportunity to learn of the advantages of democracy over the police state which had prevailed prior to and during the war under the Nazis. They were saying privately that they believed democracy to be the reason for their present suffering, not saving them from starvation.

The military government, having failed in its previous information dissemination to the Germans, was preparing to begin a program of promoting ERP. Christian Democrats and Social Democrats were to accompany the military government representatives to the economic conference in Paris. The goal was to drive home the benefits to be received by Western Germany during the first year of ERP.

The division between East and West might persist indefinitely but a means of preventing Soviet expansion while also paving the way for German appreciation of democracy needed to be implemented. The military government was not fitted to the purpose of education or development of a political program. Mr. Welles thus questions whether it was not time to call upon private individuals and organizations to develop a program for doing so and to supervise its execution.

He recommends for the purpose formation of an advisory council consisting of members of the American press associations, publishers and editors, religious organizations, labor, and spokesmen from each party in the U.S. For if the direction of such a program were left in the hands of the military, the results would be sterile, as they had been thus far, leaving little hope for renascence in Germany.

A Quote of the Day: "The difference between a modest girl and an immodest one: A modest girl looks as if she had more clothes on than she really has. And an immodest girl looks as if she had less on than she really has." —Kingsport (Tenn.) Times

Another pome from the Atlanta Journal, this one "Pointing Out That in the Matter of Romance There Is Little to Choose Between Blonds and Brunettes:
Some women care
For men who are fair;
And some get a spark
From gents who are dark."

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