The Charlotte News

Wednesday, May 26, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the efforts of the U.N. to establish a truce in Palestine had collapsed as the Arabs remained firm in their insistence on the contingency that a truce would be acceptable only if the Jews renounced the sovereignty of Israel, disbanded their army, and Jewish immigration were limited. Israel would not accept such conditions.

France, the U.S., and Russia favored strong action in response, with a possible break in diplomatic recognition of the Arab states.

A bill was introduced in Congress to provide lend-lease aid to Israel of 100 million dollars. Britain responded with concern regarding the proposal.

Meanwhile, a Cairo newspaper reported that the Egyptian Army had taken 1,500 Jewish prisoners in capturing Deir Suneid, 23 miles southwest of Tel Aviv, during an Egyptian march up the coast. The Army claimed to have entered Iraq Suweidan, 27 miles south of Tel Aviv, a Jewish control point for communications from north to south in Palestine.

Arabs claimed to have taken Latrun on the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem supply route, killing 600 Jews in the battle.

An Israeli spokesman at the U.N. stated that Jews held nearly all of modern Jerusalem and that the British-led Arab Legion attack was directed primarily at the old city, in which the Arabs outnumbered Jews fifteen to one in population.

German war veterans in the U.S. occupation zone of Germany were reported to be trying to enlist in the Israeli Army but had been turned down.

Secretary of State Marshall blamed Russia for the failure to negotiate an Austrian treaty. The Russians insisted on Yugoslavia having territorial and reparations demands made part of the treaty. Britain, France, and the U.S. rejected these demands. He also said that the U.S. had formally proposed to the other Big Four powers that a conference be held in Yugoslavia starting at the end of July to determine international navigation on the Danube.

Roving Ambassador for ERP Averell Harriman stated to the Senate Appropriations Committee that the U.S. should not provide aid to Russia or any of its satellites. But he believed that non-military trade with those countries should be encouraged.

Russia notified the U.S. that it was ready to reach settlement regarding exchange of publications between the Soviet and U.S. zones of Germany, to end a mutual ban which had gone into effect a week earlier, initiated by the Russians.

The U.S. reported that the Russians had seized 200 Germans in Oranienburg on May 15 and transported them to Saxony where the Russians reportedly were operating uranium mines.

Aging President Eduard Benes of Czechoslovakia was reported to be gravely ill and not expected to recover from two recent strokes.

Senator William Langer of North Dakota said that he would try to tack the President's civil rights program to the draft bill to eliminate segregation in the military, designed to defeat the draft legislation. Opposition to the draft bill in the House was increasing.

The House voted to bar amendments to its bill to provide a one-year extension of the Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act. The Democrats wanted to introduce a three-year extension and eliminate a provision which gave Congress oversight of the President's authority to make tariff adjustments to facilitate foreign trade. Democrats proclaimed that a gag rule was thus in place on the bill.

John Virden withdrew his letter of resignation from the Commerce Department, submitted in the wake of disclosure that his daughter worked for Tass. The President and Secretary Sawyer the previous day had expressed continued confidence in Mr. Virden.

Senator Arthur Vandenberg reiterated his intention not to run or be drafted for the Republican presidential nomination. He asked the Young Republicans of Yale who supported him to stop the movement on his behalf. The Yale students, however, vowed to continue.

In Paris, Broadway actor Garry Davis, wartime bomber pilot, renounced his U.S. citizenship to become a citizen of the world. He said that he intended to go to Germany to help rebuild the nation which he helped to destroy during the war.

A former Harvard student who had fought heroically during the war had renounced his citizenship recently to become a bricklayer in Germany.

A group of twenty railroad unions asked the Government to buy the railroads, but the proposal was unlikely to be taken seriously in Washington, as the Congress would view it as a step toward socialism. The twenty unions also condemned the Government as a strike-breaker by seizure of the roads. As evidenced in a subsequent news conference, they appeared not to know what they were talking about, whether the move was meant as a sardonic joke on the Government or a serious proposal.

In Hempstead, N.Y., a blonde 28-year old woman offered to become the wife of any man with $10,000 and willingness to support her and her two small children. She worked part time as a nurse and also was a hat check girl at a nightclub. Within a few hours of posting the ad, she had received offers from fourteen men. She intended to begin interviewing them and would give her decision in a week as to who the lucky sucker was.

Haskell Deaton's Air Circus, which had toured the Eastern Seaboard, might be performing in an air show in London on July 12, sponsored by the London Daily Express. The show was to be presented in Charlotte the following Sunday afternoon. The Blue Angels would also appear at the show. Don't miss it.

Nancy Brame Dumbell of The News tells of the City Council being set to hear a proposal by the Mecklenburg Historical Society to change the name of Tryon Street to "Shout Freedom Boulevard". The Society sponsored the "Shout Freedom!" pageant ongoing in Charlotte through June 4.

Even if Tryon Street was named for Royal Governor William Tryon, you really don't want to make that particular change. For you will invite more graffiti, much of it foul, some of it alliterative, only small portions in Latin, on the new street signposts than you could possibly imagine. If not now, certainly in a few years down the pike. Trust us on this one.

On the editorial page, "For County Chairman" tells of the Saturday primary being of great importance to Mecklenburg County as it would determine who would be chairman of the Board of County Commissioners, the equivalent of the Mayor and City Manager in Charlotte. It favors Sid McAden, the incumbent, over challenger John Ward because of the proven performance of Mr. McAden.

"UN: 2—Changes Now Needed" advocates immediate action by Congress to strengthen the U.N. There was no hope, however, of amending the Charter regarding peace settlements and the Security Council unilateral veto belonging to each of the Big Five.

For starters, it favors giving arms to Israel, within the provisions of the Charter, and thus lifting the December, 1947 arms embargo to Palestine. It favors also limiting the use of the veto and liberalizing Security Council procedures, as being considered by the General Assembly Interim Committee.

It promises to discuss the next day, in "UN: 3", the means of strengthening the organization.

"Personal Problems Course Asked" tells of the Charlotte PTA recommending family life courses beginning in the first grade and continuing through high school. It would include home economics, budget planning, marital adjustments, and sex education. The extent of the latter would be controversial, but each of the aspects was necessary to produce a well-rounded student.

A piece from the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, titled "The Melancholy Meson", tells of the 4,000-ton cyclotron at Lawrence Laboratories in Berkeley having created artificially the force called a "meson", a concept which the scientists themselves did not understand. They thought it resulted from cosmic rays striking the earth from distant outer space. It was a form of energy emitted from atoms as matter which then changed to energy. The cyclotron had created it by agitating helium atoms to a speed of 400 million electron-volts.

With the machine, the physicists hoped to explore in the controlled environment of the laboratory the origins of the universe and the forces which held it, the atom, intact.

Matthew Arnold had written of spiritual faith crumbling in the face of material science in the nineteenth century. But science, too, required certain matters to be taken on faith, such as the notion that a meson actually was extant as matter.

Not clear on the alternative implications, good or sinister, harbingered by the new scientific discoveries, the piece finds the sports pages of greater comfort, or even the account of the Jackson Day Dinner at which bombe atomique was served for dessert.

Drew Pearson tells of the number of visitors at the White House seeming to have dropped off in recent months compared to earlier times in the Truman Administration when he accommodated frequent visitors each day. In fact, however, many were visiting the President through side entrances, bypassing the press entourage in the lobby. He also utilized the Presidential yacht Williamsburg for camaraderie with social companions.

The President had sent his message to Congress urging that Social Security benefits be expanded to include excluded classes, the self-employed, domestic workers, and farm workers, because he wanted to alert the American people to the problem, though he did not expect the 80th Congress to act on it. Congressman John Dingell of Michigan warned that unless pensions were raised to match higher wages and living costs, poorhouses would have to be reopened. The country had never foreseen as many as 60 million employed persons before 1980.

Private Leo Christensen, who had been convicted and sentenced to death the previous year in Japan for raping a Japanese woman, intentionally running down and killing a Japanese boy with his motorcycle and beating up a Japanese man, was now free. Senator Henry Dworshak of Idaho, the home state of the soldier, was able to get the death sentence reduced to three years hard labor and a dishonorable discharge from the Army, eventually obtaining parole and now freedom for Mr. Christensen. He now wanted an honorable discharge and the Senator had been asked to obtain it for him.

Stewart Alsop, in Prague, finds the city to have an air of "drab respectability", un-Marxist, with no visible signs that it was a police state. It could pass for any Western city save for the tough police presence. The terror, while invisible, nevertheless was present.

Stories circulated of police beatings to coerce information or confessions to crimes not committed. But it was likely that such things did not happen very often. The jails were full of political prisoners, but the terror was, for the most part, practiced in polite ways.

The typical case might be that of a civil servant who had been unwisely outspoken against the Communists. An action committee would inform him that he was no longer suitable for employment, costing him his Government pension and his apartment. Unless he found another job soon, he could be sent wherever the Government determined, probably into the mines. But whenever he explained that the action committee had terminated him, employers looked askance. Suddenly, in consequence, his combativeness was gone and he professed support for the Communist masters.

Such was the kind of terror which was most usually applied to political dissenters. Yet, most in the country believed that such benign forms could not last long; "the night of terror must come."

Marquis Childs finds that Thomas Dewey's victory over Harold Stassen in Oregon probably had been from the former's clear support of public power projects, while Mr. Stassen was evasive on the subject. He finds it a warning to the Republicans in Congress, especially those swept in by the tide of 1946 and who had stood in the way of progressive legislation on such matters.

The Republicans in the Senate were about to determine whether to follow the lead of the House and cut TVA appropriation by four million dollars, needed for construction of a steam plant to enable future development. The utility lobby had convinced the Republicans in the House to make the cut. If the Senate also approved the cut, the Pacific Northwest would likely rebel against the Republicans. Both that region and the South were maintained as subordinate regions to the Northeast in terms of industrial progress and such an anti-power move would cause the Northwest to see the Congress as promoting resumption of such a trend which TVA had interrupted and which the proposed Columbia River project of the same type would enable.

Governor Dewey had understood this concern and had addressed it during the Oregon campaign to good effect.

A letter writer finds in the struggle of Israel a fight for liberty not dissimilar to the Founding of the United States, favors giving the nascent State complete support against the Arabs who were fighting against its existence.

A letter writer criticizes the British for supporting King Abdullah of Trans-Jordan against Israel. He also faults the U.S. for giving the British aid which ultimately supplied some of the arms to the Arab Legion through Britain. He favors lifting the arms embargo against Palestine. He accuses Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin of being a "monster".

A letter writer finds Biblical implications in the recent turmoil in Palestine. He thinks Communism was plotting world revolution and Catholicism, world religion. He finds all of the many turmoils in the world indicative of the end times, "the Saturday night of the week of life." Time, he says, was running out, as conveyed in Revelations 6-19.

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