The Charlotte News

Tuesday, May 25, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that heavy fighting continued in and around Jerusalem as the seven Arab states met in Amman, Trans-Jordan, to consider the U.N. truce proposal. The Arab view continued to be that they would support the truce as long as the Jews abandoned the notion of Israel as a sovereign state and disbanded the Jewish Army. Egypt and Syria had requested an additional 48 hours for consideration of the truce, until noon Wednesday, and the U.N. had granted the request.

Britain's Foreign Office had indicated to the Arabs that it expected them to accept and abide by the truce.

The Baghdad press accused the U.S. of bias against the Arabs.

Haganah reported that Jewish forces had recaptured Ramat Rehel, a Jewish village halfway between Jerusalem and Bethlehem, where Jewish defenders had been routed by Arabs the previous day. Casualties were reported to be heavy on both sides.

The provisional President of Israel, Chaim Weizmann of New York, stated after a meeting with President Truman that he had provided hope that the arms embargo, in effect since the previous December for the Middle East, would be lifted. Mr. Weizmann told the President that the Jews were at a disadvantage to the Arabs in arms supplies as the Arabs were able to get their arms elsewhere. He also discussed with the President the possibility of a loan of 90 to 100 million dollars from the U.S. to Israel, with which to purchase arms. He added that the Jews would forthwith abandon the Arab port of Jaffa once peace was restored.

The President urged Congress to pass a minimum wage hike from its current 40 cents to 75 cents an hour and to provide Federal aid to education. The Senate had passed a 300 million dollar education aid bill, but the House had not yet acted. Neither chamber had acted on the minimum wage legislation.

The President and Secretary of Commerce Sawyer commended John Virden of the Commerce Department, who had resigned his post when it became known that his daughter was employed by the Russian news agency Tass. Both expressed regret at his resignation and reaffirmed their confidence in his loyalty.

House Democrats determined to oppose the Republican one-year extension of the Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act, set to expire June 12, and support instead a three-year extension without the Republican proviso that Congress could veto trade treaties if the President exceeded the limits of tariff adjustments set by the Federal Tariff Commission. Secretary of State Marshall had stated that the Republican bill would cripple foreign economic policy.

GM granted workers an 11-cent pay raise based on the cost of living index, to be reviewed three months hence, on September 1. If the index were to go down in that period, so would the raise, but not by more than a nickel. The move averted a scheduled Friday strike. The average wage at GM would be $1.61 per hour after the raise. The UAW had sought a 25-cent raise.

The cost of living, according to the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics, was 69 percent higher than in 1940.

In New York, parties to a dispute involving 25,000 long distance operators agreed to resume negotiations and delay a Presidential fact-finding board determination of the matter.

Four were missing in the flooding of the Pacific Northwest. The Kootenai River had flooded 8,000 acres of rich farmland at Bonners Ferry in Idaho when the big dike there collapsed, causing water to reach to the eaves of some farmhouses. In Spokane, Wash., 27.5 inches of rain had fallen in the previous year, the wettest year on record for the area.

In Wilson, N.C., three fishermen drowned when their boat overturned in a sandpit. A fourth member of the party swam to safety.

In Charlotte, the Dunroy Company announced plans to construct a $120,000 warehouse for the purpose of storing frozen foods for distribution across the Carolinas.

Can't wait.

In Los Angeles, an associate professor of experimental physics at the University of Cincinnati told a group that there was no such thing as gray hair, that a person whose hair was 20 percent white appeared gray-headed and a person whose hair was 50 percent white appeared white-headed.

In Oxford, England, Oxford University students selected a young woman at the University's Lady Margaret Hall as the student for whom they would most willingly jump into the Isis River. The result was that a hundred students would jump into the Isis the following day as the young woman had "poled past them in a punt"—whatever that is supposed to mean.

In Bessemer City, N.C., a farmer was awakened by a bolt of lightning which ripped the siding from his home, knocked the windows out of his bedroom and dislodged two mantels. The farmer wound up on the floor but was unhurt. The lightning had poled past him in a punt.

On the editorial page, "UN: 1—Its Accomplishments" finds that despite undergoing heavy criticism during its first three years of its existence, the U.N. had stimulated more movement and organization toward world cooperation than ever before in history. The food organization of the U.N. was stimulating production and conservation worldwide, with a goal of more than doubling food production in the coming 25 years to avoid mass starvation and consequent threat of war.

Russia had exercised the unilateral veto on the Security Council, reserved for the five permanent members, 23 times, eleven regarding membership applications, nine on peace issues, and three times regarding the Balkans.

But at the same time, the U.N. had induced Russia to withdraw its troops from Azerbaijan in northern Iran in spring, 1946, and had also placed pressure successfully on the British and French to withdraw troops from Syria and Lebanon. It had helped to protect the integrity of Greece despite three Russian vetoes on the subject, had obtained a truce in the war between the Dutch and Indonesians, and had ameliorated the situation in India and Pakistan which erupted in the wake of independence, partition, and inter-migration of populations. A plebiscite had been arranged for Korea. Albania and Britain had accepted jurisdiction of the International Court to resolve a dispute regarding mine damage to three British destroyers in the Korfu Channel. The Court was also considering the validity under the U.N. Charter of Russian vetoes of membership applications. The U.N. also had marshaled evidence in each case of veto which the world could see, attenuating the effect of the vetoes. And Russia was supportive of keeping King Abdullah of Trans-Jordan and his Arab Legion out of Palestine.

The U.N., it observes, had, for all its difficulties and growing pains, probably kept the world out of far worse scrapes than would have been the case had it not been extant. Too much focus had been placed on its warts and too little on its quiet successes.

Efforts to revise the Charter would likely wreck the organization and thus, it opines, should be shelved until more propitious times.

It promises a second piece, "UN: 2", anent the Charter, the following day.

"Charlotte Is Proud of Mercy" tells of Mercy Hospital opening a new 110-bed maternity wing. Originally the hospital opened with 25 beds in 1906, moved to a 75-bed facility in 1915 at its present location. The new wing would give the hospital 275 beds total. Remodeling of existing sections was also planned. The citizenry had responded well the previous summer to the public solicitation of funds, a first for the Sisters of Mercy in the hospital's history, providing nearly a half million dollars of the needed 1.5 million for the expansion and remodel.

The piece congratulates the hospital and its staff and advisers for the effort.

"Chicken-Hearts Harebrained" tells of the Department of Agriculture advocating the raising of hares in the backyard to conquer the meat shortage in the country expected in the coming months. Edible rabbits could be raised in 90 days and consumed in the meantime little, just scraps of stale bread or old potatoes. Domestic rabbits were immune to tularemia which afflicted the wild varieties and caused rabbit fever. The rabbit fur also had considerable commercial value.

But the advice overlooked, it suggests, the squeamishness of the average American household in eating what would inevitably become part of the family menagerie. Eventually, in consequence of such timidity, the backyard and the whole neighborhood would become overrun with rabbits.

It concludes the suggestion, therefore, to be a harebrained scheme.

A piece from the Louisville Courier-Journal, titled "That Bold Look Is a Flop", tells of the "Bold Look" touted for men, to make them look and feel masculine and fitted for leadership, having turned into taffeta hats bedecked with feathers and flowers, or gay-colored berets. No one, it finds, could feel masculine and ready to take charge in such attire. Every man had to have, according to one clothier, plus fours to step onto the golf course during the summer.

"Why, we couldn't even look a Marine in the face wearing plus fours and a beret."

Sumner Welles, former Undersecretary of State until August, 1943, tells of a decision in Italy by the Socialists during the summer which would determine whether that party would be under the grip of Togliatti and the Communists or would become a force in its own right for democracy. The Communists had managed after the war to gain influence over the workers and trade unions. The Socialists, by contrast, had little organization or money. Its principal figure was Basso, a ruthless manipulator under the direction of the Communists.

About a year earlier, Giuseppe Saragat had founded the Socialist Party of Italian workers to take back the labor organization from the will of Moscow. He came to the U.S. and formed close relations with American labor organizers. Another Socialist reform movement had also begun under Lombardo.

In the wake of the April 18 elections in which the Communists had not fared well, there was a demand for a national assembly of the Socialists. Basso had managed thus far to thwart it, to keep the Socialists in the Communist camp. The reformists within the party, under Saragat and Lombardo, wanted to have a unified labor party within a democratic setting. As long as the Communists controlled the party, the workers would desert to democratic parties. Some of the trade unions had already eliminated the Communists.

In November, regional elections would be held. A Socialist Party purged of Communists would cut into the strength of the Christian Democrats and make it more likely that the opposition to progressive economic and social programs could be defeated within the De Gasperi coalition Cabinet. The Socialist reformers had joined with the Cabinet to defeat Communism but did not feel at home with the Christian Democrats. They would not, however, return to the Socialists unless it were purged of Communist influence.

The reform of the Socialist Party would be as profound in creating a new Italy as the Labor Party in England. It was the anodyne to the Communists. Unless it could become viable as a democratic force, the choice of the people would ultimately be between Communism and alignment with increasingly reactionary forces of the right and center, in either case, a great threat to the survival of democracy in Italy.

Drew Pearson tells of several Democratic leaders wanting to avoid the nomination of President Truman. Most of them, at least those from the North, were afraid to stick their necks out. Instead, they were encouraging others to do so. Quietly, several Democratic leaders were lining up to block the nomination on the first ballot and produce thereby an open convention. The current strategy under discussion was for Alabama to nominate General Eisenhower and for California to second it.

The British Foreign Office had admitted that Britain was shipping arms and paying money to King Abdullah of Trans-Jordan, and about 60 British officers were commanding his troops of the Arab Legion. Britain stated that it would cease the activity when the U.N. Security Council declared Trans-Jordan an aggressor nation and banned such aid. But Sir Alexander Cadogan of Britain was in the meantime trying to block U.N. action on Palestine. It called forth the strategy of Britain in 1931-32 when Secretary of State Henry Stimson was trying to stop Japan's transgression in Manchuria. The British would publicly condemn the Japanese action while privately reassuring the Japanese. A similar strategy was followed with respect to Mussolini's invasion of Ethiopia in 1935-36. Britain condemned the attack but sold badly needed oil to Italy.

He once again tells of the Army neglecting the Reserve in favor of the draft. The Reserve Officers Association had sent a representative to Congress to ask for a substantially greater allocation than that requested by the Army and Air Force for the Reserves. With the greater allocation, the draft would be unnecessary and the necessary security force would be recruited and trained more economically. The Reserves complained that since the Army was not calling up the Reserves, they were losing interest and quitting.

DNC chairman J. Howard McGrath was only going to travel as far as Chicago on the President's cross-country tour to the West Coast.

Kate Smith had been made an honorary Army nurse by Surgeon General Raymond Bliss.

Former executive director of the DNC, Gael Sullivan, was being approached to head the draft Eisenhower drive, but had not committed to the task.

Eleanor Roosevelt was still telling friends that she could not support President Truman based on his about-face on the partition of Palestine—though he had also recently promptly recognized the new State of Israel.

Joseph Alsop, in San Francisco, suggests that following the Oregon victory by Governor Dewey, the question for him was whether he could break through a deadlock and secure the nomination on the first ballot. The question for Harold Stassen was whether someone such as Senator Vandenberg, who was not his bitter enemy, would be the party nominee. Now, Mr. Stassen was in the role of stopping Mr. Dewey, a reversal of the roles from a few weeks earlier following the Stassen victories in Wisconsin and Nebraska.

Dewey supporters could now plausibly argue at the convention that his failures in those earlier primaries was because he was too preoccupied to campaign actively in those states. The Oregon Republicans were moderates and so the effect of his victory was greater.

But while Governor Dewey had won, Senator Vandenberg's victory was even more impressive, as was said after the Ohio primary, won by Senator Taft. For now Mr. Stassen would likely swing his support to Senator Vandenberg and seek to place himself thereby in a position to be the running mate.

Such a move would not necessarily be actively resisted by Governor Dewey, provided he could secure the second spot. Senator Vandenberg had let it be known that if he were drafted, he would serve only one term. The Dewey forces were so considering such an alternative if he had lost the Oregon primary. Senator Vandenberg would likely prefer Governor Dewey as a running mate to Mr. Stassen because of the party enmity the latter had created during his campaign.

Mr. Alsop observes that the defeat of Mr. Stassen suggested that his primary emphasis during the campaign in Oregon, outlawing of the Communist Party, had also been defeated, showing the wisdom of the voters. Other candidates would likely take a hint from the results and realize that such appeals to prejudice would not sway the electorate, that it was not a good ploy to be a fellow traveler of J. Parnell Thomas and HUAC.

Samuel Grafton finds, as had Drew Pearson, that in the repeated British rationalizations for aiding the Arabs, an iteration was taking place of the failed strategy of inaction and appeasement which preceded World War II, allowing Ethiopia and Spain to fall to the dictators.

The British contention that it could not recognize Israel because it could not tell how long the State would last reminded of its rationale for allowing Spain to fall to the Insurgents of Franco. Similarly, Japan had been allowed to have its way in Manchuria from 1931 onward. And the British were sending money and arms to the Trans-Jordan Arab Legion until such time as the Security Council determined Trans-Jordan to be an aggressor nation, while, in the meantime, working in two-faced fashion to limit Security Council action.

A Quote of the Day: "Says one sardine to another, 'I resent being packed in here like bus-riders.'" —Louisville Times

Another Quote of the Day: "How ridiculous for the Arabs to send all the way to the United States for a man to teach Red Sea anglers how to catch sharks. Yet that is what they have done, when anybody ought to know that the surest way to catch sharks is to fish for whiting and bass." —Charleston Evening Post

Another Pome from the Atlanta Constitution, this one "revealing that best results are frequently obtained by not obeying that impulse:
"To be free from taint
You must practice restraint."

But that which is
Can't be what ain't;
So, if you're about it,
Might as well do what you cain't.

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