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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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."