The Charlotte News

Friday, May 14, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in Tel Aviv, the State of Israel was born anew after 2,000 years in diaspora. The proclamation by the National Council would become effective at midnight this date, when the British mandate officially ended. The British High Commission had already departed Palestine and the mandate Government had left Jerusalem. The declaration said that the Jewish right to a "life of dignity, freedom and labor" was recognized by the U.N. The provisional Government of Israel would be headed by David Ben-Gurion.

The Arab League was planning to set up a civic administration and not a state, to function in conjunction with the Arab forces when and if they invaded. The Arab League secretariat proclaimed a state of war to be existing in Palestine with the Jews. Syria had been declared in a state of emergency as a result.

Sources confirmed that the Arab Legion had won its first victory by wiping out four Jewish colonies in the Kfar Etzion bloc, south of Jerusalem and athwart the Arab invasion route from the south. It was reported that 200 Jews had died in the battle which had ended the previous night. The Jewish Agency contended that Arabs had killed prisoners of war and urged the U.N. truce commission to intervene in the battle.

The battle continued for the Bab al-Wad Gorge, which was the vital lifeline between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem for Jews. The Arab League claimed that the Arab liberation army had already been victorious in that battle, but that was not confirmed.

Six airplane accidents on four continents had claimed 55 lives, including that of Kathleen Kennedy Cavendish, daughter of former Ambassador Joseph P. Kennedy and sister to the future President. Ms. Kennedy, known as Lady Hartington for her marriage to William Cavendish, Lord Hartington, who had died in combat in 1944 shortly after their marriage, was planning to marry Lord Fitzwilliam, also killed in the crash. The plane crashed near Privas in southern France with four aboard, including two crewmen. Ms. Kennedy was 28.

Only one person had survived in the four accidents and 36 remained missing. The other five planes had crashed in the Belgian Congo, involving a DC-4, killing 31 people, Saudi Arabia, killing at least nine with four still missing and one survivor, Switzerland, involving two Swiss fliers, Alaska, and Massachusetts, the latter two accidents involving military planes.

Four Democratic Senators, Claude Pepper of Florida, Carl Hatch of New Mexico, J. Howard McGrath of Rhode Island, and Herbert O'Conor of Maryland, all of the War Investigating Committee, quickly withdrew a submitted minority report on Air Force purchases. The report, they said, had been distributed by office staff prematurely, before being cleared by Senator Hatch, through a misunderstanding. It had criticized the majority report of the Committee regarding the Howard Hughes war contract investigation of the previous August and November, saying that further investigation of war purchasing practices, especially at Wright Field in Ohio, should be undertaken. They also said that the Committee had repeatedly exceeded its authority in the Hughes matter and that there was no evidence disclosed of any fraud by Mr. Hughes or his associates, that the evidence pointed instead to the contrary.

Editorials at the time surmised that the object of the hearings had been to embarrass the memory of FDR by attempting to link Army procurement with nightclub entertainment of Mr. Hughes and his associates provided by Elliott Roosevelt while a Colonel in the Army Air Force.

The President urged Congress to pass long-range farm legislation to keep farmers prosperous and assure abundant food. He wanted to use agricultural surpluses to improve the diets of low-income families and have it ready on standby in case of need. He recommended flexible price supports for agricultural commodities, continuance of soil conservation, continuance and strengthening of programs which assured adequate consumption of agricultural products, and consideration of farmers' special problems.

In North Korea, power was shut off after an American Army sergeant was wounded superficially near the border between the Russian and American zones. There was no apparent connection, however, between the two incidents.

In the vicinity of St. Paul, Minn., the National Guard was deployed by the Governor at strikebound packing plants in Newport and South St. Paul where strike violence had erupted with a mob raiding a plant in Newport and taking away 30 plant workers as hostages while damaging the interior of the plant. A hundred and ten hogs, valued at $6,000, were set free.

It appeared that the nationwide phone strike would be at least two weeks away.

The U.S. Treasury filed an attachment of a woman shopkeeper's assets for an amount equal to the withholding taxes she should have withheld but refused to do, claiming it to be in contravention of the Constitution.

A North Carolina Republican telephoned Senator William Langer of North Dakota, opposing the nomination of Judge Wilson Warlick to the Federal District Court of the Western District of North Carolina. In response, the Senate Judiciary Committee, which had promised Judge Warlick that this date's hearing would be the last, scheduled another hearing for May 17.

Well, we hope they get that there worked out 'cause you got some Federal people up 'ere that needs attention, and they might fly off the handle.

Governor Gregg Cherry wanted to await a preliminary report of the State Education Commission before taking any action on school teacher salaries. He had been urged to call a special session of the Legislature to deal with the subject.

All of the North Carolina gubernatorial candidates had answered a questionnaire by favoring a minimum certified teacher's salary of $2,400 per year and a range up to $3,600, against the current minimum of $1,620. Each also favored reducing classrooms to 30 students.

The Democratic and Republican primaries in the state were to occur May 29, with registration cutoff the following day. Vote early and often, come rain or shine.

In Whiteville, N.C., the City Council approved the installation of new storm sewers, with 576 feet of 36-inch corrugated pipe to be installed under Walter Street from Thompson to Canal.

Get that done, and quickly.

On the editorial page, "Shout for 'Shout Freedom'" tells of encouraging progress reports on the outdoor pageant celebrating the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence, purported to have originated May 20, 1775, to be presented in Charlotte May 20 through June 3. The remaining question was public support for the pageant, as subscriptions were slower than hoped, though the project was assured of financial success.

It again provides the personnel involved in developing the pageant, author LeGette Blythe, set designer Kenneth Whitsett, composer of the musical score Lamar Stringfield, director Thomas Humble, narrator Norman Cordon of the Metropolitan Opera, and Doris McGuinn, playing the principal female role. The cast consisted of 160 people from the county.

"Molotov's Trick in Peace Talk" finds V. M. Molotov's "misinterpretation" of the intent of the message from Ambassador Walter Bedell Smith to be a Soviet stratagem, not, as some posited, to portray the U.S. as an appeaser seeking such a conference, but rather to build up sympathy for peace, in opposition to America's armament drive.

The maneuver appeared as the beginning of an elaborate peace offensive by the Russians, designed to force the West to call off the cold war. The Molotov statement, it opines, did not mean that Russia wanted peace but that it needed peace to retain its present gains in Eastern Europe. The proposed conference appeared as a means to do so at the bargaining table.

"Cry Wolf, Cry Illusion" tells of the head of the Missing Persons Bureau in New York City finding that women who sought missing husbands were usually doing so for financial reasons, whereas men who sought missing wives appeared genuinely concerned about the welfare of their spouse.

Most advertising appealed to women as they usually controlled the purse strings of the household. The average lifespan of women, according to the U.S. Office of Vital Statistics, had increased from 59.2 to 66.3 between 1933 and 1946, while men's average lifespan had risen only from 57.5 to 62.7 in the same period.

While drama and fiction portrayed women as soft and in need of protection by men, it appeared as a myth which women fostered so that both sexes could have fun. It invites the charade to continue.

A piece from the Christian Science Monitor, titled "Madam Chairman", tells of British anthropologist Geoffrey Gorer finding in his book, The American People, that the civic club women caricatured by Helen Hokinson in the New Yorker were the saving grace to America. He found them giving of their time, money and energy without stint when they believed in a cause.

Philip Wylie and others took issue with this view, found such women to be the source of the nation's problems. The goodwill demonstrated needed, according to this school, to be harnessed for more intellectual pursuits.

In the May issue of the Woman's Home Companion, Dr. James Madison Wood, president emeritus of Stephens College, told of his plans for a new type of college for women of mature years, whose lives might seem aimless and useless after rearing families. He found that the club experience often burned out women's energies before gains were realized.

The piece concludes that women needed to learn patience and persistence while men needed to learn of the open-mindedness and idealism which women could bring to societal problems.

Drew Pearson examines the temporary draft pending before Congress. America could not compete with Russia in building an army because of the latter's greater reservoir of manpower. No land army, neither Napoleon's nor Hitler's, had ever been able to penetrate Russia successfully. Thus, the U.S. had to develop air and atomic superiority for adequate defense. American troops were needed to maintain bases abroad and to constitute a police force at home to guard the country in case of nuclear attack. The veterans could supply the latter force. Domestic defense, therefore, should not need rely on the draft.

He thinks that the defense planners had overlooked the National Guard and the reserves as a source of manpower, if built up, for overseas activities.

He suggests that after a three-month training program for 18 and 19-year olds, they would be permitted to join the Guard. Guard training should then be under the best of the Army. The Guard would be subject to periodic examination. In addition to the 70-group expanded Air Force, such a program, he believes, should supply an adequate defense and avoid a militaristic system.

The three railroad brotherhoods who had threatened a strike had, just after the seizure of the railroads by the President, urged the President to obtain an injunction to forbid the strike.

A captured secret telegram, dated July 28, 1942, from Ambassador Karl Ritter to L. R. von Neurath of the Wehrmacht Afrika Korps, showed how the Egyptian Government conspired to provide secret information to the Germans just when it hurt the most. He provides the text. The British had been willing to make the telegram and all other such captured documents public, but the State Department had balked, reportedly for pressure from the Defense Department. He notes again that Secretary of Defense Forrestal, during his time as a partner at Dillon, Read on Wall Street, had once been a banker for the Arabian-American oil combine.

Samuel Grafton tells of the diplomatic note conveyed by Ambassador to Moscow Walter Bedell Smith having been both tough and gentle. The Russians had seized on the gentle aspects and sought to have discussions, at which point the U.S. reverted to the tough stance. The hot and cold aspects of the note were baffling.

The news of prospects of such discussions had caused the stock market to jump in New York and the Russians to greet the news with glee.

It would be wise, he posits, for Americans to remember Russia's strong stance during the war against Germany and for the Russians to remember America's strong international reputation. In such a conference, the Russians would likely discover that America was not going to succumb to economic depression and America might discover that Russia's interest in security was not just a grim whim.

Such possibilities, however, had been foreclosed by the President's outright rejection of the overture by the Russians.

Joseph Alsop wonders why President Truman and Premier Stalin could not clear up the problems between Russia and the U.S. through discussion. The State Department had thrown cold water on the Russian invitation to discussions because of the bad previous experiences in such conferences. For the most part, the Russians wanted the world split into two spheres of influence, with the U.S. controlling the Western Hemisphere and possibly the Pacific Islands, and Russia controlling the Eurasian continent and the African dependencies. The Russians would not likely be content to accept the current division, as it would leave the non-Soviet sector stronger than the Soviet sector.

The Soviet sector, on the Soviet plan, would be organized as an empire, whereas the West would remain an aggregation of independent states cooperating only loosely and sporadically with one another. Moreover, the President possessed no authority to divide the world on this model, lest he also become dictatorial.

Consequently, American foreign policy favored division on a natural basis rather than an artificial one. The makers of American foreign policy believed that the present situation had derived from the weakness of the non-Soviet sphere, inviting Soviet expansionism. But if the West could be restored through ERP, further imperial adventures would become too risky. The Kremlin would begin to accept the status quo as natural and enduring.

A letter writer is not in favor of State Treasurer Charles Johnson for Governor, recently endorsed by The News. He was a banker and bankers were interested in balanced budgets, but not human welfare.

He likes the eventual winner, Kerr Scott, as he had built a dairy farm and thus knew how to spend the public money wisely.

A letter writer responds to an editorial of May 3, comparing the attributes of Senate candidates, incumbent William B. Umstead and challenger J. Melville Broughton, former Governor. The editorial had found both men qualified, but Governor Broughton better qualified. The writer finds Senator Umstead, having established a record in his year and half since the interim gubernatorial appointment following the death of Senator Josiah William Bailey in December, 1946, with which tenure the editorial had found no fault, to have proved himself worthy of the seat.

A letter writer from Fort Worth, Texas, wants the country to withstand the war debt from World War II by installing a single-unit monetary system. He explains.

The editors respond: "Wouldn't it be easier to abolish war?"

A letter writer finds fault with the "How's Your I.Q.?" column appearing May 11 in the newspaper, addressing a query on correction of the sentence, "There was no one there but him." The answer given was that "him" should have been "he". He finds that correction incorrect and sounding awkward, thinks that "but" for "except" was the actual error.

But you cannot say, "Him was the only one there." Do you see, finally, once and for all? You have to think backwards, as an Englishman.

He thinks "All went but I" equally awkward. But "Me did go to the exclusion of all else" would not be sonorously simpatico to the ear's reverberation unit in Echo.

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