The Charlotte News

Saturday, May 1, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Arab nations had launched a concerted pincer attack on the Jewish settlements in Palestine. Syrian and Lebanese forces attacked from the north at dawn, engaging heavy fighting in Dafne, Dan, and Ramot Naftali, the former two neighboring settlements being three miles from Syria and the latter four miles from Lebanon.

From the south, the Egyptian Army entered Palestine at midnight and it was reported that the Saudi Arabian Army was joining them.

King Abdullah of Trans-Jordan had reportedly ordered the attacks of six Arab states simultaneously. Iraqi planes flew above the troops dropping welcoming leaflets. A courier from Amman in Trans-Jordan, however, denied the reports that the offensive had gotten underway, though the war council of five Arab states in Trans-Jordan was openly known, as reported by A. P. correspondent Daniel De Luce. King Abdullah had stated, "The time when the Arabs will be masters in Palestine is near."

A map shows the reported path of the converging armies.

Morale at the U.N. was reported, in consequence of the situation in Palestine, at its lowest ebb in its young history. Jewish Agency representative Abba Eban stated to the U.N. political committee that the U.S. plan for trusteeship would only intensify the fighting in Palestine. He criticized the body for debating the trusteeship proposal while Palestine was being partitioned by force along the line approved by the General Assembly on November 29.

It appeared that no one now claimed the U.N. to be meeting squarely the crisis in Palestine. The core of the difficulty was partition and lack of U.N. enforcement machinery to carry it into effect.

In Athens, Greece, martial law was declared by Premier Themistokles Sophoulis following the May Day assassination attempt on Minister of Justice Christos Ladas, hit in the head by three hand grenade fragments and in serious condition. The assailant threw the grenade through the back window of the car in which Mr. Ladas was riding. He threw another grenade which was a dud and killed a policeman as he fled. The assailant was wounded in the attack. He admitted being under orders from a Communist execution squad, the OPLA.

Britain sought compensation from Russia for the eleven British lives lost aboard the British transport plane which collided with a Russian fighter over Berlin on April 5. Three others of other nationalities were also killed aboard the craft.

The 4.8 billion dollar tax cut passed by the Congress over the President's veto went into effect this date.

A break in the railroad dispute, with a strike deadline of May 11 looming, appeared possible, according to a Government mediator.

Some Republicans were preparing strategy to block any early Stassen stampede in advance of the June convention by asking delegates in seven states to align with favorite-son candidates until the strength of the primary contenders for the nomination could be tested. They hoped thereby to forestall any change in allegiance to Harold Stassen based on his primary successes thus far in Wisconsin, Nebraska, and the non-binding write-in uncontested primary in Pennsylvania. They did not wish a repeat of 1940 when a stampede developed for Wendell Willkie over the favorites for the nomination at the time, including Thomas Dewey.

Supporters of former Governor Stassen believed he could acquire the nomination by the sixth ballot if he obtained a majority of the Ohio delegates the following Tuesday on Senator Taft's home turf and won the Oregon primary on May 21 over Governor Dewey. They contended that neither Connecticut nor California would join the stop-Stassen movement. California Republicans, however, said that they expected the state's delegation to vote for Governor Earl Warren as long as he had any remote chance for the nomination.

Governor Strom Thurmond of South Carolina offered on behalf of the State a $500 reward for information regarding the explosion of a home near Mullins the previous day, which had taken the lives of a farmer and his daughter, while injuring his wife.

The Sheriff in Horry County had arrested the suitor of the young girl, but no charge had yet been placed against him. He had also arrested two black men in relation to the incident without charges.

Two amateur radio stations 11,000 miles apart were able to beam broadcasts of messages to and from the wife of a missing Air Force lieutenant from Charlotte, lost April 20 off Guam, and to and from his mother and sister in Charlotte. A search for the lieutenant was underway.

John Daly of The News reports that the J. A. Jones Construction Company of Charlotte, building a highway in Ecuador, had its camp attacked by a mob of workers in the town of Chunchi, and sought assistance by cable from the U.S. Government. Ecuadorean troops had been ordered to assist the company's employees, including 32 Americans directing operations. One worker had been reported killed in the attack.

On the editorial page, "U.S. Problem No. 1—Inflation" points out that food prices were a little cheaper than in January, but the average bill for a household was $25.71 compared to $11.51 in 1941.

The head of General Foods predicted a slight downward trend in prices during the remainder of the year.

Westinghouse and Lukens Steel had joined a group of companies, including Chrysler and six steel companies, unwilling to provide another round of wage hikes. Secretary of Defense Forrestal had told Congress that increasing the defense budget could have inflationary impact.

Responsibility for holding down prices rested with all groups, consumers, capital, labor, farmers, manufacturers and retailers.

"Ten Million Laughs a Day" tells of that many laughs having been brought to Americans by Tom Breneman of Hollywood, who had just died. He had hosted the radio program "Breakfast in Hollywood". His success had mystified many entertainers because the program did not seem to have much substance. He mainly wore women's hats for comic relief as he strolled among the breakfast guests and presented an orchid to the oldest woman present.

His real name was Breneman Smith and he had exhibited a rare gift for comedy growing up in Waynesville, Pa. He got laughs, though his jokes and tricks were not original for the most part. He had a close bond with his mother which was later transmitted to his many female admirers.

His appeal was primarily to women who saw in him a return to the blithe spirit of an earlier age when adults could act as children.

"Charlotte's Paving Problem" tells of Dick Young's report in this date's News regarding the inadequate available financing for Charlotte sidewalk paving and street construction. The city was prohibited from issuing a bond on the construction during fiscal 1948-49, could do so the following year after approval in a special election. If no other means of supplying the revenue were found, it suggests, the bond election should become the primary priority for the coming fiscal year.

Drew Pearson tells of the backstage fight among Democrats over who should succeed Clinton Anderson as Secretary of Agriculture, Assistant Secretary Charles Brannan or Representative John Flannagan of Virginia, previously the longstanding chairman of the House Agriculture Committee. Mr. Flannagan had the support of 30 prominent House Democrats and Senator Harry F. Byrd, but the President was not receptive to the idea. Mr. Brannan was supported by several prominent Democratic Senators.

Mr. Pearson expresses his sorrow over the death of William Knudsen, former head of G.M. and coordinator of industrial war production during the war. He had recalled his faithful good work during the war when reading about the D.A.R. wishing to close off immigration. Mr. Knudsen was a Danish immigrant to the country as a boy.

Marquis Childs tells of pictures of a group of new Texas multi-millionaires appearing in Life—one of whom was H. L. Hunt and another, D. Harold "Dry-Hole" Byrd, cousin to both Senator Harry F. Byrd and Admiral Richard E. Byrd, and owner of the building at 411 Elm Street in Dallas, which then housed the Sexton Foods Company—, posing the question how such wealth could be newly amassed under the current confiscatory tax rates. The answer lay in the depletion allowance for natural resources, namely oil or natural gas, covering 27.5 percent of the annual gross income.

The Senate was considering a bill which would essentially deregulate the natural gas industry, leading to higher gas bills in the Northern cities and allowing more rapid exploitation of the resource. In view of the dwindling oil reserves, it appeared imprudent to allow for the faster production of natural gas. Unless protected, the nation could wind up as China, in mass misery, as suggested in Our Plundered Planet by Fairfield Osborn.

The coming to power of the Republicans had precipitated a "come and get it" mentality to the large financial interests in the country. Cattlemen of the West were working to break down barriers to grazing rights on Federal lands which preserved the balance between land and water.

Twenty-five large corporations controlled 77 percent of the total gas acreage in the two largest natural gas fields in the country, both in Texas. Commissioner Leland Olds of the Federal Power Commisson testified that if these 25 companies obtained a five percent rate hike, they could bring in 1.6 billion dollars additional revenue from their reserves. But the higher profits would also allow wasteful exploitation of the resource.

Mr. Childs concludes that it was the time to preserve the regulatory system, not to undermine it.

Samuel Grafton tells of war threatening from small sparks in Berlin, in Korea, in Greece, regardless of the billions in defense and foreign aid being spent by the country. It appeared more as a structure of insecurity than security. To live with such war tension was hardly a recipe for security.

There was no security either by the test of certainty or by a determination of how much security would cost. Economist Beardsley Ruml had predicted defense budgets of 30 billion dollars within two to three years and 50 to 60 billion a few years hence. Finances of the country were being set by the actions of foreign countries. Russia could compel the U.S., without a fight, to spend more each year on defense.

The secure card player was the one who believed he could do well with any hand, not merely hoping for a better deal.

The point was that security was not being achieved by national defense. That could come only by a positive, aggressive search for peace. To avoid an unending war of arms build-up, edging the nation toward bankruptcy, the country would have to meet with the Russians at some point. If an agreement with the Russians was conceivable at some point in the future, then, he posits, it ought be conceivable at present.

What was being bought with billions of dollars was expensive insecurity.

A letter writer responds to the article reprinted from the Monroe Journal on April 28 by R. F. Beasley anent world government, finding it unlikely that such a governing body could prevent world war any more than could the U.N., expressing the belief that a Pax Americana was the only hope for world peace for the ensuing hundred years.

Arnold Toynbee, in A Study of History, the writer informs, cautioned that devotees of national sovereignty would never accomplish world peace.

The writer believes that the concept of a Pax Americana did not adequately address the issue of sovereignty and that unless it were disciplined by higher law, as recommended by Professor Toynbee, it could not hope to achieve more than an armed truce.

Albert Einstein and the group of six atomic scientists, and the head of SOHIO favored world government. The writer also favors it.

Two letter writers thank The News for its cooperation in helping to make National Negro Health Week, ending April 11, a success.

A Quote of the Day: "Sale of a Lincoln letter for $5,800 should be an incentive for ambitious young men, whose mothers were sure they would be President some day, to write home oftener." —Louisville Times

Another Quote of the Day: "We'd like to see a United States of Europe. And, for that matter, we'd like to see one of America." —Arkansas Gazette

The Shelby Daily Star, attempting to emulate the pote at the Atlanta Journal, suggests:
"With all the votes a massin'
Everything seems to be Stassen."

They weren't potes.
That they newt,
Lest they gloat.

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