The Charlotte News

Monday, May 17, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the United States, through Ambassador Warren Austin, asked the U.N. Security Council to order immediate cessation of the fighting in Palestine, directing a ceasefire order to both Israel and the invading Arab countries.

The Egyptian Army had penetrated 34 miles into Palestine, to within 30 miles of Tel Aviv, the provisional capital of Israel. Arab forces were reported to be "pouring" over the Jordan River. Lebanese forces reportedly had captured Malikya in northern Israel, as well the power station at the confluence of the Jordan and Yarmuk rivers. King Abdullah claimed that this station provided two-thirds of the electricity for Jewish industry. Arabs were also reported to have captured Lydda Airport, less than ten miles from Tel Aviv. Tel Aviv was bombed from the air for the third straight day.

The Jews stated that in response to the invasion, they had penetrated seven miles into Lebanon and destroyed a bridge. They also claimed that the capture of Arab Acre was imminent.

Dr. Chaim Weizmann of New York, 73, accepted election as the first president of the Council of Government of Israel.

The U.N. Atomic Energy Commission voted 9 to 2 to end its two-year effort to sponsor control of atomic energy. Russia and the Ukraine dissented. The proposal was made by the U.S., Britain, and France after they determined that it was useless to continue the negotiations in light of the impasse created by Russia.

The White House announced that three tests of improved atomic bombs had taken place on Eniwetok Atoll in the Pacific. The project completed the first series of Eniwetok tests. The report from the Atomic Energy Commission did not discuss details or dates of the tests.

A House Armed Services subcommittee unanimously approved a bill for construction of a 65,000-ton aircraft carrier, the largest carrier ever to be built, fifty percent larger than the largest previously put in service. The President and Secretary of Defense Forrestal supported the project.

In Highland Park, suburb of Detroit, State Police were rushed in to quell violence on the Chrysler UAW picket lines at one of 16 struck plants. Fisticuffs and rock-throwing had gotten the better of the local police, injuring two officers.

UAW announced that there was a good possibility of a walkout also at GM on May 28 if no settlement were reached in the Chrysler dispute by that time.

Ford meanwhile asked that its wages be lowered to comparable rates of the other major automakers. The UAW rejected the idea.

A break in the two-month old meatpackers' strike appeared imminent.

The U.S. disclosed before Russia that an American Army sergeant refused to leave Russia because he had fallen in love with a Russian woman. He had served as military attache to the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. The woman was described as an experienced Soviet agent, the wife of another American sergeant stationed at the Embassy until late 1945. The Government said that it would take no steps to force the sergeant to return to the U.S. as ordered and that it did not know whether he had access to confidential information.

The sergeant's sister, in Cambridge, Mass., said that she could not believe that her brother had deserted.

The Supreme Court, in Kennedy v. Silas Mason Co., 334 U.S. 249, a decision delivered by Justice Robert Jackson, ruled 8 to 1 in favor of remand for further evidentiary consideration on a motion for summary judgment to determine whether contractors who operated Government-owned war plants on a cost-plus-fixed-fee basis were required to pay overtime. Justice Hugo Black dissented without opinion, favoring outright reversal of the lower court decision which ruled against the payment of overtime in such cases because of the non-applicability of the Fair Labor Labor Standards Act to employees essentially employed by the Government and that the contract for munitions in question was not for "goods" flowing in the stream of commerce within the meaning of the Act.

In Portland, Ore., Harold Stassen and Thomas Dewey, following the weekend "battle of the blockade" in Cascade Locks, would debate this night in advance of the primary in that state on the following Friday. Three national radio networks, ABC, NBC, and Mutual, would carry the hour-long debate, beginning at 9:00 p.m. EST. Observers rated the contest a toss-up between the two candidates. Both had criss-crossed the state during the previous two weeks in a furious, unprecedented campaign. A record turnout of 65 percent was predicted for the election.

In Los Angeles, Mickey Rooney's wife would receive $100,000 in a cash settlement over a ten-year period as a result of their divorce.

In Charlotte, the first presentation of the new pageant, "Shout Freedom!" was to be presented to radio, press and government officials this date, before the first public performance on Thursday.

Don't shout too loud though. They might put you in jail.

On the editorial page, "Brighter Future for Textiles" tells of the textile industry, a few weeks earlier having been fearful of export competition, now having concluded informal agreements with Japan and Britain which secured the future of the largely Southern industry. The Government was developing these agreements into official policy to finance large exports of raw cotton to provide for the acute shortage of textiles abroad.

"Truman's Chance of Election" contends that President Truman's assertion to the gathering of the Young Democrats during the weekend, that he would be elected in November, had provided food for thought for the revolting Dixiecrats. It examines where these Southerners would be should the President win.

They might be accepted back into the party fold, provided their share of usual patronage and committee chairs. But, more likely, should the President win without Southern support, it would weaken the influence of the South during the ensuing four years, the opposite of the intended effect.

A Truman victory would make him the champion of civil rights and strengthen his support among minority groups. The black vote could prove decisive in the coming election in a dozen states, which could offset the loss of the South.

It posits that a Truman victory was not nearly so unrealistic as it had seemed just a few weeks earlier when the Southern revolt began, then was joined by the disaffection of Northern liberals for the change in policy on the partition of Palestine. The Republican Congressional record, which the President was starting to stress, would not be beneficial in the fall among labor and farmers. Moreover, if the Marshall Plan proved successful, the President would reap the benefit.

It still thinks the election of Mr. Truman to be a long shot, but with so many uncertain factors at work, it would be wise, it suggests, for the Dixiecrats to play their cards close to their chests.

"Lumber River Power Plant" tells of Carolina Power & Light breaking ground for a new power plant near Lumberton. The president of the utility stated that since the war, power companies had been forced to operate on closer margins with less reserve based on unprecedented demand for electrical power.

The piece wishes the company continued success and expresses thanks that electric power, in a time of inflation on other necessities, still could be had plentifully at cheap prices.

This development, however, means more high tension wires to be strung across the countryside.

Drew Pearson tells of psychological warfare having been neglected in Washington. The Congress had slashed the budget of the information service of the State Department. But the State Department, through lack of vision, was also partially responsible for the deficit. The information campaign was necessary to counteract the totalitarian methods of Russia, where the people had no input regarding whether their country would go to war.

The response by V. M. Molotov to the note of Ambassador Walter Beedle Smith the previous week in which the Foreign Commissar invited a conference to discuss peace, was welcome news to Russians who bought up all of the newspapers reporting the story. The fact underscored that the Russian people did not desire war. But since the President had rejected the invitation, the effectiveness of counter-propaganda took on new importance, as Russian propaganda would contend that the U.S. thus only wanted war.

The letter-writing campaign by the American people to friends and relatives in Italy in advance of the April 18 elections had been a positive example of the beneficial effect of psychological warfare.

Such gestures as sending free Mickey Mouse watches, as one company had done, and candy bars, as had two other companies, to complement the propaganda going to Russia, provided other positive examples. The Russians loved Mickey Mouse watches. Such things gave the Russians a sense of the promises of capitalism. Communism promised no Mickey Mouse watch, candy, or Sears-Roebuck catalogues.

It was important to convince the Russians that Americans were not what the Politburo promoted as the average American image, that of materialistic imperialists who desired war. As long as the Kremlin held a grip over the Russian people, the omnipresent danger of war remained.

James Marlow discusses the Karl Mundt bill which would require registration of officers of the Communist Party and Communist front organizations in the country and subject to criminal sanctions officers of those organizations for giving false or incomplete membership lists, as also required by the bill. If the officers failed to register, then the members would be subject to criminal penalties for remaining members. Party members would also be barred from Federal Government employment and would have to declare membership before running for elective office. The member also could not have a passport. If the membership advocated overthrow of the Government, they were likewise subject to criminal penalties.

The bill had passed the House. It remained for the Senate to determine. The President was opposed to it.

Marquis Childs tells of Winston Churchill paying high tribute to V. M. Molotov in his currently serialized memoirs appearing in Life and the New York Times.

Foreign Commissar Molotov had deftly handled the diplomatic note of Ambassador Smith, placing the U.S. in the embarrassing position of denying that it was making a peace overture after the Soviets acquiesced to a conference in response to it.

A rumor was spreading all over Europe that the Russians intended to push the Western allies out of Berlin by June 30.

Mr. Childs posits that it was too facile to assume that Russia had given up on Berlin following the flak a few weeks earlier when Russia began checking rail and road traffic in and out of Berlin.

The French objected to the bizonal or trizonal efforts of the U.S. and Britain for the dangers such reorganization posed. It gave the Russians the excuse to contend that the other allies had no business remaining in Berlin as they were setting up their own administration for Western Germany. The purpose of the four-power occupation of Berlin, as determined at Potsdam in July, 1945, had been to enable the establishment of a new German administration. The French also remembered their experience in Morocco prior to World War I, where every step they took risked war with Germany.

The French concern derived from their proximity to the point where war would likely erupt if the Western allies were pushed out of Berlin.

Ambassador Smith was worn out by his two years in the post, but the election made it unlikely that a new ambassador could be sent to Moscow before the election. Yet, given Russia's obvious aversion to another war, negotiations conducted by a new diplomatic representative not beset by so much tension could go a long way to effect an accommodation with the Soviets.

A letter writer who says he is a liberal, favors Bob Lassiter for the State House of Representatives, believes he might one day become Senator, Governor, and even President. Though the author is unaware of whether Mr. Lassiter accepted liberal support, he believes him to be a people's candidate.

A letter from P. C. Burkholder, previously failed Republican candidate for Congress in 1946, running again, thanks the Mecklenburg County League of Women Voters for doing an excellent job in presenting the candidates for public office to the people. He was disappointed that Congressman Hamilton Jones of the district did not show up for the meetings.

A letter writer finds the Dixiecrats to be good citizens for standing up for states rights against the President and his civil rights program for all Americans. He believes that the South was going to rise again and show Harry Truman who was boss. He also believes that no real Democrat would support such a candidate who would support civil rights and liberties for everyone.

A letter writer from the Epicurean's Club responds to an article appearing in the newspaper on May 8 in which it was stated that there was political significance in increased registration among black citizens and that the newspaper was going to investigate. The writer takes offense and says that no investigation was required, that blacks had the right to register and vote as they saw fit.

Framed Edition
[Return to Links
Page by Subject] [Return to Links-Page by Date] [Return to News<i><i><i>--</i></i></i>Framed Edition]
Links-Date -- Links-Subj.