The Charlotte News

Thursday, May 13, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Jewish forces called upon all men and women of fighting age to mobilize for the invasion of the Arab forces, set for May 16. The Jewish state would be proclaimed at midnight the following night, after the British mandate concluded on the 15th. Haganah was planning to take over the former Arab port of Jaffa, already conquered.

In Egypt, it was reported that martial law would be implemented in Egypt when the Egyptian Army passed into Palestine. Syria and Lebanon appeared likewise prepared to impose martial law.

The seven-nation Arab League was preparing to establish civil administration in Palestine, though not a separate state.

The Jewish Agency rejected a plan announced the previous night by the U.S. advocating establishment of a U.N. high commissioner in Palestine, saying that it would only increase disorder and conflict. The plan called for approval by the Security Council of the truce resolution. The Agency rejected any plan which did not recognize the new Jewish state. A subcommittee of the Palestine commission was considering the proposal.

ERP administrator Paul Hoffman announced that the U.S. would shut off aid to any country which supplied war machinery to Russia.

The President said in a press conference that he disfavored outlawing of the Communist Party, withheld statement on what he would do if the Mundt bill passed the Congress. He also stated that the chances for peace had not been increased by the Russian entreaty to hold a bilateral conference. He said, however, that he would be glad to meet with Premier Stalin in Washington.

The President defied Congress to force revelation of confidential information from Cabinet officers or the White House. The Congress was considering such a bill to compel disclosure and to punish any revelation of confidential information thus turned over to a committee.

The Air Force announced that it was testing the McDonnell XF-85, a jet-propelled fighter which rode into the skies in the bomb bay of a B-36. The plane would travel at around 650 miles per hour at top speed.

Plans for a nationwide strike of long distance telephone operators was being planned by the American Telephone Workers, but no strike date had yet been announced.

Seventy-five North Carolina Republicans endorsed Judge Wilson Warlick to become the next Federal District Court Judge for the Western District of North Carolina, already appointed by President Truman and pending confirmation by the Senate.

Ralph Gibson of The News tells of the ride through Mecklenburg of Jane Parks McDowell, informing the militiamen in 1780 that the British were departing. The ride would be depicted as part of "Shout Freedom!", the outdoor drama by LeGette Blythe, to begin May 20, celebrating the signing of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence, claimed to have been performed May 20, 1775. Ms. McDowell reported to Col. William R. Davie the departure of Lord Cornwallis and his troops, headed to Winnsboro, S.C., along the York Road.

On the editorial page, "Totalitarian Bill in Disguise" discusses the Mundt bill, "The Subversive Activities Control Act of 1948", designed to crush the Communist Party in the country through mandatory registration of members and punishment for subversive activities. The requirements included Communist-front organizations. It did not outlaw the party for the belief that such action would only drive it underground.

But the Mundt bill would also drive Communists and fellow-travelers underground to avoid the penalty provisions. It was a resort to police state methods to destroy a perceived totalitarian threat to the country and would harm democracy. No serious enough Communist threat was extant in the country, it finds, to justify the Mundt bill.

"Russia Too Eager for Peace" finds Secretary of State Marshall correct in asserting to the Russians that they would need take up international peace settlements in the U.N., not in a bilateral conference with the U.S. But the piece also reminds that the cold war was being conducted bilaterally.

The piece asserts that settlements reached in the U.N. would have more force than bilateral agreements in any event. But, by the same token, it was important to realize that the international dispute was primarily between Russia and the U.S., and that there would be no resolution in the U.N. without preliminary agreement by the two major powers. It thus believes that a conference at least to air out these differences and seek some preliminary understanding would be prudent.

"Our Hospitals Deserve a Hand" reports hospitals doing well in the city and everywhere else in the state, carping to the contrary notwithstanding. The death rate had decreased from 10.5 per thousand in 1934 to 7.8 the previous year. It would jump naturally in another decade for the fact that more people would be advancing into old age.

All hospitals were overcrowded and understaffed, but, nevertheless, infant mortality rates had declined from 77.9 per thousand in 1934 to 35.4 in 1947.

Governor Gregg Cherry had proclaimed the week National Hospital Week and the piece urges readers to pay their hospital bills promptly and be courteous and considerate during hospital visits.

A piece from the Kansas City Star, titled "You Can't Keep 'Em Down", tells of Government payrolls still being large three years after the war, despite cuts in wartime agencies. Non-military agencies had increased in the meantime their personnel.

The piece wonders at the promised economy and cuts of Government personnel posed against this actual increase, thinks the taxpayers deserved an explanation.

Drew Pearson provides kudos to outgoing Secretary of Agriculture Clinton Anderson, heading home to New Mexico to run for the Senate. He had been the primary responsible agent for effecting success in the Italian elections by the fact that at the end of the war, he had ordered farm production increased rather than decreased, to provide enough grain to feed Europe.

As a young reporter for the Albuquerque Journal, he had uncovered the first tip in the Teapot Dome scandal during the Harding Administration, that Secretary of the Interior Albert Fall had received a $25,000 stallion from Harry Sinclair as a bribe, resulting ultimately in both men being sentenced to jail terms.

He finds that he had performed admirably during his tenure as Secretary of Agriculture. He had provided for adequate soap after the war by insuring that copra, a key ingredient, was shipped out of the Philippines in small boats. By selling off surplus cotton to Japan and Germany for the manufacture of textiles, he had assured that the large surplus held by the U.S. Commodity Credit Corporation did not become a liability to the Government and the taxpayers.

One of his greatest achievements was the successful negotiation for purchase of two Cuban sugar crops simultaneously, to keep prices down in 1946 and 1947. Cuba initially had balked at the proposal for the desire to have high prices. Mr. Anderson warned that stability would be the best road to travel as high prices would inevitably wind up in a bust cycle. The Cuban President, Grau San Martin, agreed, but the workers feared that American wheat, lard, and other necessary commodities would go up in price while the sugar farmers were stuck receiving low sugar prices. Mr. Anderson then proposed a hike in the sugar price commensurate with the rise in American prices of wheat and lard. President San Martin agreed and the deal was consummated, providing one reason for the price of sugar post-war having remained stable.

Stewart Alsop, in Vienna, finds fear pervading the dreary city, with the people becoming hardened to living under the Soviet Sword of Damocles. The future of Austria was being decided in Moscow, inexorably affecting, in turn, the future of the world. Western negotiators had plainly left the next move up to Russia. The Soviets could sign an Austrian treaty and cause the Western forces to evacuate or seek to meld the Russian occupation zone with the Soviet empire.

Signing a treaty had once been appealing, as Austria would then be easy pickings for the Soviets. But now with the Marshall Plan going into effect, Austria could rebuild and become economically independent. The Western allies had made it known that they would evacuate Austria only if the Western European Union and the U.S. guaranteed Austria's borders. Moreover, the Communist Party in Austria was weak. It was likely therefore that the Russians would not sign a treaty.

The pressure by the Soviets on Western powers in Vienna would almost certainly increase in the event that a treaty became no longer a realistic possibility.

It was likely that Austria would wind up partitioned as Germany. Yet, there were major differences from Germany, as the Austrian officials of the Russian zone were not accountable to the Russians and Austrians were able to move freely between zones. Most Austrians in the Russian zone were openly anti-Communist and anti-Soviet. The workers were represented by Socialist unions which were bitterly anti-Communist.

It was nevertheless expected that partition of Austria would begin soon after treaty negotiations broke down. Freedom would slowly die in the Soviet zone. It might not happen, he offers, but the Western powers had to be prepared to respond firmly to any Soviet expulsion of the Austrian Government from their zone.

Samuel Grafton warns that it would be dreadful for the U.S. not to be the first nation to recognize an independent Jewish state in Palestine. It would confuse the world to withhold recognition. He asks who the U.S. would recognize as an independent state if not Israel, as it represented the end of an era and the beginning of a new democratic one in the region.

Israel presented an especially good case for recognition for the strength it had demonstrated in recent months. Had it proved weak, it would be ripe for international encroachment and resulting unrest.

The U.S., he ventures, should not, by refusing recognition, tacitly insist that Israel be subservient to the Arabs after having demonstrated its viability as an independent state.

A letter writer responds to two previous letter writers regarding the issue of world government, favors its implementation, thinks that it would be the answer to avoid atomic war.

A letter from a dental health officer thanks the newspaper for making the the first annual Dental Health Week for Schoolagers a success.

Listen here, Mr. Dentist, with sugar prices so stable, we want to consume massive quantities of sugar. So you had better have a toothpaste ready to counteract the impact of all of that sugar.

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