Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Arab forces by
10:20 a.m. this date had driven halfway through the Jewish quarter
of old Jerusalem. Some 400 soldiers of Haganah and Irgun were
reported by the A.P. to be on the verge of surrender. A previous report by the Arab League in Cairo, however, that
all of Jerusalem was in Arab hands proved untrue.
In Tel Aviv, Jews had broken through the Arab-held Zion gate
at midnight and widened the breach in the Arab lines.
A Syrian Army source said that the Army had struck at two
points with Iraqi forces, at Beisan, 14 miles south of the Sea of
Galiliee, and at Safad, seven miles from Galilee's north shore.
Beisan protected the valley leading westward to the plain of
Esdraelon, the site of Armageddon.
The world is going to end.
At the U.N., it was reported that the U.S. was determined to
press for sending troops to quell the violence. Russia supported the
move, but Britain and China opposed it.
Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, and Nicaragua joined five other
nations, including the United States and Russia, in recognizing
Secretary of State Marshall said that consideration was being
given to lifting the arms embargo for Palestine, both as to Arabs
and Jews, but that it was connected to whether the U.N. Security
Council would order a ceasefire as proposed the previous day by the
U.S. The embargo had been put into effect the previous December.
He also stated that future cooperation of Russia would
determine the sincerity of Prime Minister Stalin's recent call for
greater understanding between nations. The Secretary reiterated the
position, however, that a bilateral conference regarding other
nations was not in the cards, that such issues had to be addressed
before the U.N.
The House refused to accept amendment of the Mundt-Nixon bill
definition of "Communist front organization", which some
said was so broad as to include the Progressive Party of Henry
Wallace. Congressman Richard Nixon of California, co-author of the
bill, disputed the contention, saying that he was not, nor ever had
been, a Crook. He said that the bill was deliberately worded to
exclude political parties and was intended to reach "subversive
activities"—such as those of the Democratic Party down the long, circuitous road a piece, in 1972.
So, if the Communists decide to run a slate of candidates...?
The House was expected soon to pass the bill. Senator Taft,
however, said during a radio program that he expected it to face
tough sledding in the Senate. Ralph McGill, editor of the Atlanta
Constitution, said on the same program that the bill was "unwise
and unsound", seeking to get at Communism "through a
The Dixiecrats intended to place the name of General
Eisenhower in nomination at the Democratic convention in
Philadelphia the following month. Senator Olin Johnston of South
Carolina said that he hoped to do the honors. The Southerners
intended to walk out of the convention if the platform supported the
civil rights program enunciated February 2 by the President.
The Alabama electors had been instructed not to vote for
President Truman, regardless of the outcome of the popular vote in
As a compromise to the Southerners, Senate Minority Leader
Alben Barkley had the inside track either to be named temporary
convention chairman or to deliver the keynote address, as he had
done in 1932 and 1936 and had been chairman in 1940, placing FDR in
nomination in 1944. He had thus far remained aloof from the fight
over civil rights.
Senator Barkley would be the vice-presidential candidate.
House Minority Leader Sam Rayburn was likely to be named the
permanent chairman of the convention. He had announced his
opposition to the civil rights program but had not made attacks on
the President for promulgating it.
The Southern Senators refused to compromise on the draft bill
in their drive to eliminate the anti-discrimination provision and
substitute a provision which would permit segregation of units. The
Republicans sought a compromise whereby the matter would be left up
to the individual secretaries of the military branches, but the
Southerners rejected it. The Republicans foresaw a terrific fight on
the floor unless a compromise could be reached.
The Federal District Court extended until May 29 the
restraining order preventing a rail strike, to afford additional
time to try to resolve the wage dispute of three railroad
brotherhoods. The Government for the nonce was operating the
Negotiations for a new soft coal contract collapsed over the
issue of the Southern coal operators' participation, leading the
Southern operators to charge John L. Lewis with unfair labor
practices. The operators sought an order from the NLRB to force Mr.
Lewis and UMW to bargain with the Southern operators.
In Westport, Conn., the woman who had refused to pay to the
Government withholding tax for employees on the basis that it was
unconstitutional, had her bank account garnished for the amount
owed. She said that she would take legal steps to try to get the
In Springfield, O., the estate of Charley Corte, who bragged
of playing violin for the crowned heads of Europe, was being settled
following his death in the Dayton State Hospital on Wednesday. In
addition to old newspapers and trash he had gathered from the
streets, his estate included $80,000 in Treasury bonds, municipal
bonds, cashier checks and cash. His niece was the only known
relative. Mr. Corte's house had no electricity, with a street light
supplying his needs. He once had water, but it had been shut off
some years earlier after he refused to pay the bill. Since that
time, he had obtained his water by the bucketful from a neighbor.
It was said that he was once a concert violinist in his
native Italy and had also been a drummer in a minstrel show. His
wife had died in 1913. His main activity of late had been cleaning
the streets around his house and bringing in old newspapers.
We hope that they had no blood on them.
In Gastonia, N.C., Fred Beal, who fled to Russia to escape a
prison sentence for a conviction of participation in a conspiracy in
the shooting death of Police Chief O. F. Aderholdt in the Loray
Cotton Mill strike of 1929, was granted his citizenship after
renouncing Communism and the Russian way of life to the satisfaction
of the court. He told reporter John Daly of The News that he
now leaned toward the type of socialism advocated by Norman Thomas.
He had returned to the U.S. in 1937 and surrendered to prison
authorities. He received parole after four years in jail on a 17-year
sentence, pursuant to commutation in 1942 by Governor J. Melville
On the editorial page, "'Peace Offensive' Goes On" finds the quick reply by Prime Minister Stalin to the letter of
Henry Wallace, suggesting a meeting to resolve the Soviet-American
difficulties, to have circumvented the President, who had the
previous week nixed any conference between the two leaders, save in
Washington. It would likely be interpreted in the White House as a
Soviet attempt to bring pressure to have a bilateral conference and
to portray Russia as a peace-seeker and the U.S. as an
Former Undersecretary of State Sumner Welles provided his
view of the matter in a column on the page, opining that the
Russians were attempting to throw the U.S. off its guard in
preparation for a military showdown in the fall.
The piece thinks the warning by Mr. Welles made it clear that
the U.S. should approach with caution every step toward what was
labeled "peace". Yet, it believes, Mr. Welles's opinion
should not be accepted necessarily as fact until more evidence of
Soviet subterfuge became manifest.
He had advocated that any attempt at settlement before the
Politburo became aware of American rearmament would be a mistake.
The piece agrees, but adds that the evidence suggested that the
Soviets had become convinced that American military strength was
equal to that of Russia and that it was for that reason that they
were seeking a conference.
It concludes that it was too early to ditch potential
diplomatic solutions to the crisis.
"GOP Exploits Red Hunt" suggests that the
Republican debate on Monday night in Portland between former
Governor Stassen and Governor Dewey had revealed that the Republican
Party was taking the country down a dangerous road, in its stressing
of the Red hunt.
It scored a takedown for Governor Dewey in his statement that
the Communist Party could not be outlawed without creating the
dangerous situation of driving its membership underground.
Mr. Stassen, however, countered with the notion that the
Mundt-Nixon bill, pending in Congress, would go further than his
suggestion of outlawing Communists, as it would make outlaws
potentially of fellow travelers, applicable possibly to trade unions
and liberals generally. Governor Dewey had no response. Both men,
however, challenged the constitutionality of parts of the bill. But
Governor Dewey did not take a firm stand for or against the bill.
The debate, it believes, had ended in a draw. It
showed, however, that the Red scare was contributing greatly to the
political aggrandizement of the Republicans.
"Who Murdered George Polk?" discusses, as does
Marquis Childs, the murder in Greece of the CBS correspondent whose body was found in Salonika Bay three
days earlier. The Greek Government was "1,000 percent"
certain that it was accomplished by Communists. But as the
investigation was just starting, it appeared that the the members of
the Greek Government who so asserted knew too much and that their
claim amounted to no more than anti-Communist propaganda.
Mr. Polk had told friends that he was seeking an interview
with a Communist guerrilla leader just before his disappearance.
Such an interview would have exposed him to as much danger from
rightists as guerrillas, however, for the prospect of his giving
publicity to the latter.
He had incurred the wrath of the Greek Government for his
honest reporting on its reactionary character and inefficient
administration, including permitting an active black market to
thrive. Reports had surfaced of attempts by Government operatives to
coerce American journalists to report favorably on the Government.
The murder of Mr. Polk, it hopes, would bring pressure for a
house-cleaning of the Greek Government, to rid it of its reactionary
elements and place it on sound democratic footing.
A piece from the Rocky Mount Telegram, titled
"'Dixiecrats'", credits The News, specifically
telegraph editor Bill Weisner, with coining the term, believes that
it might catch on as a concise description of the Southern Democrats
rebelling against the President's civil rights program. It had been
received well by newspapers because it lent itself to a tight fit
Politicians with unusually long names, as President
Roosevelt, had to have their appellations compressed to initials to
fit the page. (Indeed, not only was it "FDR", as the
piece indicates, but more usually, "FR".) So it was,
also, with Government agencies.
It concludes, therefore, that "Dixiecrats",
producing fewer headaches for the headline writers, was likely going
Well, how about, therefore, the "Dix-c's"?
Sumner Welles, as indicated in the column, examines the quick
response of Prime Minister Stalin to the letter of Henry Wallace. He
finds signs of intensified activity by the Soviets all over Europe,
in Asia and the Near East, as well as in the Americas. Russia's
immediate goal was to convert the Black Sea into a Russian seaway.
The first step would consist of a "request" by Rumania
and Bulgaria to join the U.S.S.R. Pressure was being exerted on Iran
to cease friendly relations with the U.S. and become friendly to
Russia. Russia would also demand cession from Turkey of Kars and
Ardahan, plus military control of the Dardanelles.
Whereas the State Department was contending that pro-Soviet
sentiment predominated in Israel, the exact opposite was the case.
The provisional Government was heavily anti-Communist. It was no
longer a secret that American volunteers were training and directing
the Jewish army. But Communists were busy spreading anti-American
propaganda in the Near East.
The evidence suggested that the Soviets were planning to
force a showdown by the fall, before ERP could become fully
effective and before American rearmament could be completed.
The spirit of confidence in the wake of the April 18 Italian
elections, in which the Communists were soundly defeated, was on the
The passage of the draft measure and rearmament measures by
Congress would make a showdown by the Soviets less likely.
The purported peace overtures by Russia were designed to
weaken American resolve for rearmament. Such rearmament needed to
take place before any attempt at settlement with the Soviets. Such
an effort at present, he thinks, "would either end in futile
compromise by appeasement or in a stalemate that would serve Moscow
as a pretext for further expansion."
Drew Pearson tells of the price of natural gas likely
to rise from the efforts of the lobby. The Senate Commerce Committee
had voted down a bill which would have taken 75 million dollars from
the pockets of gas consumers. But the Federal Power Commission,
split 50-50 on the bill, could nonetheless, through administrative
action, effectively make the bill law. A new commissioner, Thomas
Buchanan, awaiting confirmation, would exercise the tiebreaking
vote. He was against the big power companies and gas interests as a
member of the Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission. So the lobby
was trying to block his confirmation, aided by a friend to the
utilities, Senator Owen Brewster of Maine, helping to block the
confirmation in committee, hoping to delay it until after the
election. But Senator Wallace White, the committee chairman, also
from Maine, voted not to block the confirmation. Other tricks by
Senator Brewster to that end had also been frustrated.
Congressman John Rankin of Mississippi was observed recently
looking at the statue of General Grant in the Capitol hall of fame.
The observer asked why he was admiring General Grant and he
responded that he was just checking to see if he had more stars than
General Lee. Both, notes Mr. Pearson, wore three.
Recently, 23 vice-presidents of steel companies, sitting as
an advisory committee to Secretary of Commerce Charles Sawyer,
recommended allocation of 60,000 tons of steel for prefabricated
housing, a third of that recommended by the prefab industry, meaning
that veterans cooperatives, formed to finance such housing
developments, would be deprived of adequate low-cost housing and
would have to develop in consequence more expensive housing which
most veterans could not afford. The Commerce Department approved the
recommended allocation. The veterans had mounted a protest of the
decision to Congress.
Joseph Alsop, in Portland, Ore., tells of Harold Stassen and
Thomas Dewey caring not much for each other. If the result in the
primary on Friday proved close, the main beneficiary would be
Senator Vandenberg. If the aging Senator were nominated, he would
serve only one term and would likely choose either Governor Dewey or
former Governor Stassen as his running-mate.
Thus, Mr. Stassen and Mr. Dewey stood for the future of the
Republican Party, as Senator Taft stood for its past. Mr. Stassen's
ambition showed less amid his greater self-confidence, thus enabling
him to be better liked than Mr. Dewey. The latter's staff, however,
was more experienced and impressive.
Mr. Dewey stood for sensible fact-finding on both foreign
policy and domestic issues. His credo, that he would support New
Deal-type legislation but do it more efficiently, was the essence of
true conservatism. It was likewise so in his approach to foreign
Mr. Stassen was more baffling. Until recently, he had
supported G.M. strikers and advocated limited world government. But
he had just published a book which, in the words of Arthur
Schlesinger, Jr., had placed him to the right of Senator Taft on
domestic policy. He supported suppression of the Communist Party and
not giving any economic aid to the iron curtain countries. The
anti-Communist stance suggested a regime of political thought
control. He had not provided detail as to how his program would
work, and that was not reassuring.
Mr. Dewey was more sophisticated in the realm of ideas. But
the observer got the feeling that Mr. Stassen, as had Mr. Dewey,
would develop with time and responsibility. Neither man was a
liberal as both claimed. But both promised a rebirth of intelligent
conservatism, which would, Mr. Alsop posits, be welcome after the
preceding 16 years.
Marquis Childs tells, as does an editorial in the column, of
the murder in Greece of George Polk of CBS. Mr. Childs had met with
him the previous fall in Athens. He was one of the ablest
correspondents in Greece, one who wanted to get underneath the
story, causing him to be resented in high Greek Government circles.
He had told Mr. Childs of attempts to smear him as a Communist or
fellow-traveler. He knew that he had made enemies within the Greek
The initial reports had attempted to lay blame for his murder
on the Communists, but they had to be taken with a grain of salt.
Mr. Polk's stories might have interfered with the coming American
and Greek military build-up, had he returned to Harvard, as planned,
to become a Nieman Fellow for a year. He had
published an article in the December, 1947 Harper's, in which he had criticized,
albeit fairly, the moderates in Greece. The Greek Ambassador to
Washington took offense, however, and sent a violent protest to Mr.
Polk in response to the piece.
Edward R. Murrow had given credit to Mr. Polk for digging out
the facts behind several reports on Greece which Mr. Murrow had
broadcast in recent months.
Other reporters in Greece had been similarly interested in
getting out the facts, irrespective of the support of them by the
Greek Government. But only Constantine Argyris of the Christian
Science Monitor remained in Greece. Homer Bigart of the New
York Herald Tribune had been criticized by American aid
administrator Dwight Griswold and had then been transferred to
Belgrade, albeit stated by the newspaper as the result of his
There was great need for more of the type of unstinted reporting which
Mr. Polk had delivered. The actual situation in Greece, with the
recent mass executions of prisoners, was unclear.
A letter writer comments positively on the editorial of May 10
regarding the assessment of the North Carolina gubernatorial
candidates, in which The News had endorsed Charles Johnson,