Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the Arabs appeared to
have rejected the Israeli-accepted ceasefire ordered by the U.N.
Security Council for Palestine, but Syria had requested 36 hours
until midnight Tuesday to consider the matter. The Arab League said
that they would stop shooting only if the Jewish Army disbanded and
partition were shelved. Syria added that they would cooperate only
if the new Israeli Government ceased to function.
The secretary-general of the Arab League said that he would
not object to a truce in Jerusalem if both sides were disarmed.
Fighting in Jerusalem, meanwhile, continued, with Arabs
claiming that the Jews were trapped. A Jewish spokesman said that
they were prepared to turn the city into another Stalingrad if
necessary to keep it from Arab possession. An A. P. report stated
that the Jewish position was precarious. Irgun reported that the
electricity in the city had been restored but that the water supply
Irgun condemned to death 40 British officers serving in the
Trans-Jordan Arab Legion and asked the Israeli Government to ban
British reporters as Arab spies.
Lebanon had rejected the U.S. demand for the release of 41
Americans who had been interned from the American ship Marine Carp
the previous week because they were of age to carry weapons for the
Israeli Army. Eighteen other Jews of other nationalities had also
Based on continued East-West bickering, American diplomats
had given up on the "false peace" period of the previous
three weeks in the cold war. Tass had declared the U.S. wrong on
every issue dividing the two countries and blamed the U.S. for
stultifying progress in relations. The period had begun twenty days
earlier with the Russian reply to a note transmitted by Ambassador
to Moscow Walter Bedell Smith, which the Soviets believed to be an
offer to hold a bilateral conference, a prospect the Soviets said
they would be interested in discussing. The State Department,
however, had denied that the note was intended to communicate such a
desire and refused any discussion of matters relating to other
nations except before the U.N.
Charles Brannan was appointed by the President to succeed
Clinton Anderson as Secretary of Agriculture. Mr. Brannan was
The President nominated Frieda Hennock as a member of the
FCC. She was the first woman ever appointed to the Commission.
The President was set to make speeches in Chicago, Omaha,
Seattle, Berkeley, and Los Angeles during his cross-country tour set
to start June 3.
A minority report of the Senate-House Atomic Energy Committee
contended that the bill passed by the Committee to allow
reappointment of the five commissioners of the AEC to only two-year
terms each rather than the previously legislated terms of one to
five years on a staggered basis would pose a danger to atomic
research. Congressman Lyndon Johnson of Texas was among the five
Democrats signing the minority report.
After the Government ordered a temporary halt to exports of
cotton to the 16 Marshall Plan nations per the advice of ERP
administrator Paul Hoffman, cotton prices fell by as much as $5.05
in New York. The lower prices, however, attracted domestic buyers
and the prices began to rebound.
In Detroit, General Motors offered workers a wage increase,
possibly as much as twelve cents, the terms not being disclosed. A UAW
strike was scheduled to begin on Friday unless the union's 25 cents
per hour wage demand were met. UAW sought a 30 cents increase from
In Chicago, meatpacking plants reopened following resolution
of the ten-week strike.
Representative Gerald Landis of Indiana proposed that Taft-Hartley
be amended to require that management and labor negotiators be
required to swear that they were not Communists—as labor union
officials presently were required to do to partake of the services
of the NLRB. He also wanted the law to state that a worker could be
fired for membership in a subversive organization, as determined by
the Attorney General.
In Chicago, previously convicted bank robber Leo "Little
Sneeze" Friedman, a reputed racketeer, was killed by gunfire
from a passing car as he walked to his hotel with his wife. Police
had sought him for questioning in relation to another killing.
In Norristown, Pa., the police believed that a skating rink explosion had been deliberately caused by the use of dynamite. The
explosion occurred a half hour after 300 patrons had left the rink.
No one was injured in the blast, though one man was blown through the door.
In the Pacific Northwest, flooding took place amid heavy
rains, continuing along the Columbia River. The Spokane, Wash., area had
suffered over four and a half inches of rain in May, an all-time
record for the month. The flooding extended into Idaho, where a big dike collapsed at Bonners' Ferry, western
Montana, and British Columbia.
In Fayetteville, N.C., the mother of four children died
following a severe beating reported the previous week. Her husband
was held without bail in the case pending further investigation.
In Shirley, Mass., a "sinners only" service at
the United Church the previous day had attracted many new faces to
church. The pastor had asked "saints and righteous" persons to stay away.
A photograph shows two fifth graders from somewhere in some
state who stole a plane and flew it 120 miles to some other place
before making a perfect landing in God only knows where, utilizing
only comic book instructions.
On the editorial page, "Danger in the Mundt Bill" finds that the President, Governor Dewey, and Senator Taft each had
found fault with the Mundt-Nixon bill, designed to curb Communist
activities in the country through registration and criminal
penalties for non-registration, essentially outlawing the party. The
President stated that he would veto the bill, already passed by the
House, if it also passed the Senate. Senator Taft believed the
bill's punitive sanctions were unconstitutional. Governor Dewey
believed it both unconstitutional and impractical, merely driving
Communists underground to circumvent the strictures of the bill,
which included denial of issuance of a passport and inability to
hold employment in the Federal Government.
It was believed that liberals, susceptible to being labeled
members of front organizations, would suffer under the bill rather
than the relatively few Communists in the nation.
Powers granted in the bill could easily be stretched to make
it a club against progressives and trade unionists. With that in
mind, the bill appeared to be aimed at thought control, which would
create the effect of a police state.
Some 40 percent of America's Communists were said to be
concentrated in New York City, but amounted to raw numbers of only
60,000 people out of nine million inhabitants.
There were already 23 laws on the books against sedition and
subversive activities. The FBI and other agencies had ample
machinery to undertake counter-intelligence work sufficient to
thwart any attempt to overthrow the Government.
It concludes that the Mundt-Nixon bill was the product of
false fear which would lead the country into undemocratic ways.
"Our Candidates Look Better" finds that each of
the major presidential candidates had a New Look for the spring. The
President was set to exhibit his during the upcoming Western tour.
Governor Dewey, for long known as the man in the blue serge
suit, had been photographed in the campaign for the just completed
Oregon primary, which he had won, with his coat off, a two-day
growth of beard and tousled hair. He had also cavorted with a group
of cavemen dressed in bearskins, identified as the pirates of Coos
Senator Taft had been transforming himself from a
conservative to a liberal, especially in the recent Ohio primary. He
would appear in Charlotte on June 4.
Harold Stassen had been a wildcard candidate who placed
stress on the rest of the Republican field, to good effect. The
nation, the piece offers, owed him a debt of thanks for putting life
into the campaign. His strategy would likely set a trend for future
"Will Dewey Be President?" finds it increasingly
likely that the Republican nominee would be the next President and
that the nominee would be Governor Dewey. If so, he would have
accomplished the task by perseverance against a nearly repulsive
personality. Many women liked him for his mustache.
Democrats, however, still had a chance, it ventures, as long
as they found someone other than the President or the unwilling
General Eisenhower to nominate.
A piece from the Richmond Times-Dispatch, titled "Who
Are the Rulers?" finds that historian Henry Steele Commager
had stated in '48 Magazine that the people whose ideas had
influenced America were those who actually controlled the country.
He submitted a group of 61 Americans who fit that description to
rebut a list of 64 Americans submitted by John Gunther.
Professor Commager's list was dominated by Virginians in the
field of statecraft, while New England natives had been most
influential in poetry, scholarship, and philosophy. His list
included Thomas Jefferson, Chief Justice John Marshall, George
Washington, Woodrow Wilson, and Booker T. Washington, all
Virginians. Also included was University of Virginia Professor
William H. McGuffey, an opponent of slavery prior to the Civil War,
for his Readers. The North Atlantic and Midwestern states had
produced the greatest industrial leadership.
Drew Pearson tells of three prominent Republicans, including
House Speaker Joe Martin, discussing recently the draft. The other
two thought that the allocated money would be better spent on beefing up the
National Guard and Reserve. Speaker Martin agreed but believed that
a limited draft would prod draftees to join the Guard and Reserve. A
compromise was agreed, whereby all men between 18 and 30 would
register, strategic materials would be stockpiled, and the President
would receive authority to draft up to specified ceilings which
would be held down.
He notes that the Reserve had been neglected, the Army not
having contacted 630,000 men who had enlisted in the Reserves during
the year, because the Army apparently wanted to build up its
manpower through peacetime conscription.
An Illinois Republican had suggested paying $500 to stooge
candidates to run on the third-party ticket of Henry Wallace to take
away votes from Democrats in Congressional races.
The Army was reinforcing its service troops in Alaska with
14,000 combat troops, to provide some limited manpower on the
country's only frontier facing Russian territory.
Both sides in the railroad wage dispute were becoming jittery
about nationalization of the railroad industry, worried that
Congress might be disposed to leave the railroads under Government
control. The Government had seized them in 1943, 1946 and now in
1948, to avert on each occasion a nationwide stoppage.
Samuel Grafton tells again of Harry and Margaret. Harry
couldn't sleep in the middle of the night, started smoking,
examining the table in the room, too large for its surroundings.
They had bought it just after the war in anticipation of having a
house. But the house had not materialized. He thought that he should
sell the table to help pay their bills. They had stopped talking
about the house they would have, seemed to have lost their curiosity
generally about the future amid the daily struggle to make ends
meet. The bright future to which everyone had looked forward during
the war had not come to be.
After he had pondered it awhile, Margaret walked into the room and
told Harry not to move the papers on the table, that she was having
a meeting of housewives the following day to draw up a petition for
more housing rather than more arms. Their large table served
well, she said, for the meeting.
Stewart Alsop, in Vienna, tells of Secretary of State
Marshall having recently included Austria in the three areas where
Russian actions would speak louder than words in giving substance to
their claimed desire for peace. Austria was dangerous because of the
Russian occupation zone, the last soft spot in the Soviet territory
in Eastern Europe. The only way that the Russians could harden it
was by breaking the power of the central Government, through
provoking the worst crisis since the end of the war.
The Russians had sought to break the Government by denying
oil and other vital raw materials to the Austrian economy, but the
plan had failed because of American aid.
Another technique was fear and coercion. Some 400 minor
Austrian officials had been taken away by the Soviet secret police
during the previous eighteen months. But that, too, had failed
because of the determination of Austrian Government officials to
thwart it by ridding the police of Communists in the Russian zone.
The next technique would involve increased force by means of
the "Black Brigade", a Soviet-sponsored military
organization of about 2,000 trained, heavily armed Austrian
Communists, stationed about an hour from Vienna. It would become the
spearhead for a "people's revolution" against a largely
unarmed Austrian police force. The Allied security forces were
headed by Russians one month out of every four pursuant to the
four-power agreement, affording the opening by which the Russians
could easily take over.
Recently, the Russians had imposed a requirement of a special
pass for access from the Western zone through the Russian zone into
Vienna. To test the plan, the British armed thirty men without the
special passes to pass to Vienna. When they were stopped at the
Russian checkpoint and the special passes demanded, they were
ordered by their captain to get out of the truck and surround the
Russian guardhouse. Eventually, they were allowed to pass. The
incident showed that if the West was prepared to meet Russian
threats with force and demonstrated the fact, the Russians would
Such a rule, he believes, applied whether or not an Austrian
treaty were signed. The Western powers had to guarantee the Austrian
frontiers to make clear to the Russians that any attack on Austrian
sovereignty would fail. He concludes that the rule applied
everywhere in the world.
A letter from the acting secretary of the Charlotte Central
Labor Union compliments the editorial of April 24, supporting the
Taft-Ellender-Wagner long-term housing bill. The union members had
liked it so much that a resolution was passed commending The
A letter writer supports State Treasurer Charles Johnson for
Agricultural Commissioner Kerr Scott would actually win the