The Charlotte News

Tuesday, May 18, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Jewish sources claimed the all-Arab town of Acre had surrendered to Jewish forces this date following a three-day battle in the streets of the city, eight miles north of Haifa. Haganah claimed control of the highway through Acre, just outside the area designated under the U.N. partition plan as the Jewish state. To the east, Jewish sources stated that 500 Arabs had been drowned when Jews opened a dam and flooded plain lands south of the sea of Galilee.

Haganah reported a massed attack by Arabs on the Jewish quarter of Jerusalem. The British stated that the Arabs had captured Barclay's Bank and Darouti's Hotel.

Arab planes raided Tel Aviv for the fourth straight day, the morning raid lasting 45 minutes, the longest yet. An afternoon raid followed. Jews claimed to have shot down one plane and damaged another, had claimed two planes shot down the previous day. The planes captured this date contained Egyptian pilots. Egypt declared the existence of a blockade on Israel.

Before the U.N. Security Council, the U.S., in the person of Ambassador Warren Austin, chastised Syria for challenging the right of President Truman to recognize Israel. Syrian delegate El Khoury had issued the challenge. Syria, Britain, and France had suggested questions regarding Palestine should be addressed to "Jewish authorities" rather than to the provisional Government of Israel as a recognized state.

The State Department indicated that the statement on peace by Prime Minister Stalin was "encouraging" but that the issues he had listed had been under negotiation for two years or more in the U.N. and the Council of Foreign Ministers, and that those he proposed for settlement were not the ones creating division between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. The State Department blamed Russia for failure to reach accord on such matters as atomic energy control.

Another issue had arisen when Prime Minister Stalin commented on the open letter of Henry Wallace, suggesting that the U.S. and Russia settle their major differences, in atomic energy control, armaments control, and withdrawal of troops from Korea and Germany. The Soviet leader stated that he was willing to accept the terms of the Wallace letter as the foundation for peaceful settlement of the issues set forth.

The Government moved to dismiss the civil contempt finding against the UMW and John L. Lewis, and the Federal District Court so ordered. The Court did not rule on an additional motion to drop the anti-strike injunction. The strike over the pension dispute had been settled after six weeks and the mines had returned to full production, obviating the need, according to Attorney General Tom Clark, for continuing the 80-day injunction issued April 21.

In Oklahoma City, a woman walked into the neighborhood bootlegger's house to find her man in the arms of another, drew her .22 pistol and fired at the interloping woman but missed and hit, instead, her man in the side, albeit not seriously. But in the end, only the bootlegger was fined $50 and sentenced to 30 days in jail for possession of illegal liquor and wine. For the man's part, he refused to testify against his woman.

Nobody was named Dan.

Martha Azer London of The News tells of Russian expert Walter Duranty calling war talk with Russia "exaggerated tension", that the country was not in a condition to wage war. Mr. Duranty, a New York Times correspondent in Russia from 1921 to 1934, and personal acquaintance of Josef Stalin, was in Charlotte to address the Executives Club.

He believed that the Marshall Plan should have been inaugurated two years earlier when there was a power vacuum in Europe, with no peace plan in play. The Russians had taken advantage of the vacuum in Central Europe. But he said that he did not believe that the Russians had a plan for world domination and would not fight the Western powers. Russia's steel production was but 14 million tons annually at maximum, whereas the U.S. produced 95 million tons. He believed U.S.-Russian relations were much better than a year earlier, though remained critical.

Nancy Brame Dumbell of The News reports of the "Shout Freedom!" pageant, set to start in Charlotte the following Thursday, May 20, with a 130-member cast. A full dress-rehearsal had taken place the previous night and a preview would occur this night for members of the press and radio. The pageant centered on the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence, purportedly signed May 20, 1775, but included as well other events in the history of the settlement of the county.

Lines ascribed to Royal Governor William Tryon "lace on his drawers", suggested that Mecklenburgers took both their Presbyterianism and their liquor "pretty strong", and predicted that Charlotte would never reach the size of Salisbury.

The pageant would unfold on a 300-yard stage in front of the Southern States Fairgrounds grandstand. She provides various details of the scenes.

Don't you miss it, now. It's going to be a whip-roaring fun-fest, especially when Col. Thomas Polk reads the Declaration, telling to all that everyone in Mecklenburg henceforth would be free from John Bull's tyranny.

On the editorial page, "More Music for Charlotte" finds North Carolina at the start of a musical awakening for the facts of the "Shout Freedom!" pageant, the 1948-49 concert series of the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, including two free concerts and two children's concerts, and the establishment of a North Carolina Music Foundation in Chapel Hill. Norman Cordon of the Metropolitan Opera had been engaged by UNC to direct the latter program.

It urges support of the Symphony to create a better Charlotte.

"Strikes Raise Inflation Issue" finds the American people fed up with strikes and labor disputes in which management and labor excluded the interests of the American consumer in reaching resolutions. Americans wanted business and labor to effect inflation control.

Ford Motor Company was refusing a demand for higher wages and wanted a rollback in wages to a level equal to the other of the Big Three automakers. The UAW stated that it would agree to the Ford demand provided that Ford would use its influence to roll back the cost of living.

Ford could not, however, do that job alone. Government control was required. As long as the Congress obstructed the implementation of controls and business lobbied for same, prices would continue to rise and so would wages in response.

The voluntary control of inflation inaugurated by G.E., Westinghouse, and U.S. Steel provided a hopeful development, but it had not reached the scale to counter the unions' argument that labor was disproportionately bearing the cost of inflation.

"Tut, Tut, Mr. Taft" finds Senator Robert Taft's opposition to pork barrel politics, especially in an election year, to be quite remarkable, tantamount to political suicide. He did not place all the blame on the Administration for the appropriation of what he considered to be too much money for public works, but rather insisted that the House had added too much to the original Administration requests.

"He not only calls a spade a spade, a political faux pas of the direst boorishness; he calls it a gol-danged shovel."

A piece from the Greensboro Daily News, titled "Confession of Middle-Grounder", tells of the annual Groves Conference on Conservation and Marriage at Chapel Hill having ended with the conclusion that laws could not control sexual behavior, as found by the Kinsey Report.

The piece disagrees with the approach that periodic discussion was the only way to handle sexual conduct. It finds that laws against rape, seduction, and even adultery and fornication had been more effective than discussion and books in keeping down aberrant behavior. It prefers a middle ground between Forever Amber and Elsie Dinsmore.

Drew Pearson tells of Secretary of the Army Kenneth Royall, of North Carolina, meeting secretly with the Senate Armed Services Committee and Secretary of Defense James Forrestal, ultimately stating to the Southern Senators that he would resign his post before ordering an end to segregation in the Army. His assertion followed the Southern Senators' statement that they would oppose the draft bill unless there were an amendment to assure that inductees would serve in segregated units.

Senator Richard Russell of Georgia was exercised about the President's stated intention to have discrimination removed from the services. Secretary Royall assured him that the President did not, however, intend to eliminate segregation. Senator Burnet Maybank of South Carolina joined Senator Russell's inveighing.

The segregation-preservation amendment, however, eventually was defeated 7 to 4, with Senators Lister Hill of Alabama and Harry Flood Byrd of Virginia joining the other two opponents.

Senator Kenneth Wherry, preaching fiscal conservatism, had, at Government expense, sent off 93 telegrams to county Republican chairmen in his home state of Nebraska. When exposed, he paid the bill himself, claiming that Western Union had made a mistake.

Joseph Alsop, in Klamath Falls, Ore., tells of the race in the Oregon primary appearing more as a local contest for sheriff than a presidential race between Thomas Dewey and Harold Stassen. He finds Mr. Stassen to be the most remarkable younger leader in American politics since FDR had entered the national scene in 1932. Mr. Stassen was a bulky man, setting him apart from the crowds surrounding him daily. He was agreeably plain, with a cool disposition and good humor. He delivered the same speech repeatedly, yet continually with sincerity, one stating his confidence in America, expressing his disapproval of Communism and that he was for reclamation. The same jokes, though stiff, induced laughter each time he repeated them. The questions he received were always the same, on UMT, Russia, the cost of living, and Taft-Hartley.

Governor Stassen had made a monkey out of Governor Dewey in the Cascade Locks "battle of the blockade" during the previous weekend, in which the press truck had partially blocked the highway into the town wherein Governor Stassen was speaking to a roadside gathering. Governor Dewey's bus circumvented the blockade and passed on by the town, leaving the crowd thinking him rude. Governor Stassen had delayed his bus until the Dewey bus had come into view and so the maneuver was calculated, with Mr. Stassen realizing that Governor Dewey would bypass the scheduled stop when he saw Mr. Stassen already there. That sort of ploy, Mr. Alsop thinks, must have contributed to Governor Stassen's meteoric rise, in the Wisconsin and Nebraska primaries.

His staff were men in their thirties, but were very efficient.

A picture formed from these attributes of a political leader who had genuine feeling for the country. But his true political views yet remained unclear.

Marquis Childs tells of anxious days at Democratic National Headquarters in Washington, as preparations were being made for the President's tour of the country. His managers wanted him to show that he had a new outlook. He would be stopping a dozen times per day in California and the Pacific Northwest, where he would speak on each occasion extemporaneously.

He unveiled his new style when he addressed the American Society of Newspaper Editors, speaking in a homespun manner off the record, after delivering his prepared speech. The technique had worked well, compared to his flat reading style, communicating insincerity.

Whether he could make this new style effective in the campaign against a backdrop of such grave problems in the world and inspire the idea that he was up to the task of leadership for the ensuing four years remained to be seen. He had learned a great deal during his three years in office, even if some of the process had been painful for both the President and the country.

A letter writer finds the traffic and street light system in Charlotte to be the worst of any major city in the country. He reached his office in the morning each day, he says, in a state of "convulsive shock".

He contends that if the newspaper could not do something about the problem, he was going to shoot himself, and The News would have his blood on its hands.

A letter writer finds it useless to have arrested the 18 liquor dealers for selling illegal liquor to undercover ABC agents, as he thinks the ABC stores had probably sold them the liquor in the first instance. He favors restrictions on magazine and newspaper advertising of liquor and the requirement that they tell the truth about it, that it destroys life itself and fills the jails and insane asylums. He asserts that liquor consumption had increased dramatically in Charlotte since the ABC system had gone into effect the previous September.

He likens liquor to a lion loose in the street, in need of capture.

A letter writer disagrees with the column of Samuel Grafton of May 8, in which he had opined that if the veto power were eliminated from the U.N. Security Council, it would effectively become a challenge to the Soviets to engage in arms build-up. Mr. Grafton had suggested patience in allowing the U.N. to perform its work to establish the peace.

He wants power in the hands of the majority of the U.N. and an international court established to try countries found in violation of international law.

He favors, however, Mr. Grafton's suggestion that a peace conference between the U.S. and Russia would be helpful and, in any event, could not do any harm.

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