The Charlotte News

Monday, May 3, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Jews still insisted that Syrian and Lebanese armies had invaded Palestine from the north, despite denials from Syria and Lebanon. The British rushed soldiers back into Palestine to deal with what they called a "seriously deteriorated" situation. British troop strength was estimated at 25,000.

Official sources in Amman, Trans-Jordan, had stated that five Arab states would provide 30,000 troops to fight the Jews in Palestine. Haganah was estimated to have 53,000 soldiers, with the Irgun and Stern organizations adding another 2,500 to 7,000.

A 48-hour truce in the Katamon quarter of Jerusalem had been declared and was being policed by the British as the Red Cross negotiated a truce for the whole city. The truce appeared to be respected. At the U.N., Moshe Shertok, Jewish Agency spokesman, said that Jews would likely accept such a truce under supervision of the Red Cross, but could not say definitely such would be the case.

In Wolverhampton, England, Captain Roy Farran, a decorated British soldier, received a bomb in the mail from the Jewish underground, which exploded in his home, killing his 26-year old brother. The bomb was concealed in a volume of Shakespeare's plays. Captain Farran had been acquitted the previous fall of murder of a 16-year old member of the Stern Gang after the military court ruled that there was no evidence that the boy was dead.

The House Armed Services Committee approved by a vote of 28 to 5 the temporary draft for two years. It would next proceed to the floor. Those 19 to 25 would be eligible for draft for two years of service and those 19 to 36 could voluntarily enlist only in the Army. Most veterans would be exempt. Doctors up to age 45 could be drafted. Deferments for education, dependency, and occupation would be determined by the President. Industrial plants could be seized by the Government if they refused to provide top priority to armament orders or if they refused equipment at reasonable prices, as determined by the Secretary of Defense.

The Russians put on display large four-engine bombers in their Saturday May Day parade, similar to B-29's, five of which had been seized in Soviet-controlled areas after emergency landings and then copied. The TU-70 was believed to be a combination transport plane and bomber, which could carry 72 passengers and had a range of 3,000 miles each way, capable therefore of striking Alaska from Russian territory.

The Supreme Court ruled 6 to 0 in two opinions, Hurd v. Hodge, 334 U.S. 24, and Shelley v. Kraemer, 334 U.S. 1, both delivered by Chief Justice Fred Vinson, that Federal or state enforcement of restrictive real estate covenants barring black persons from all-white neighborhoods violated the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, private property interests falling within the ambit of the Amendment. The Hurd opinion dealt with Federal courts and Shelley, with state courts. The opinions refrained, however, from declaring the covenants per se invalid, as long as there was voluntary adherence without state or Federal enforcement. The Court stated that the Amendment does not bar private action as opposed to government action, but includes court enforcement as state action.

The suit arose from black families in Washington, D.C., and St. Louis having purchased homes in white neighborhoods where their actual occupancy had been sought to be barred by the restrictive covenants and the deeds of sale nullified.

Justices Robert Jackson, Wiley Rutledge, and Stanley Reed took no part in the decision.

In a message of greeting to the AFL upholsterers' international convention, the President said that 1948 might well "determine the world's future, and whether liberty loving people everywhere are to remain secure in the freedoms they have gained through the centuries."

Senator Taft of Ohio and former Minnesota Governor Harold Stassen were engaging in last-minute campaigning for the Ohio presidential primary next day. Both camps expressed confidence in the outcome.

A Constitutional amendment, proposed by Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., to abolish the electoral college was approved 6 to 1 by the Senate Judiciary Committee. An identical Amendment had been approved by the House Judiciary Committee. It provided that each state's electors would be apportioned according to the popular vote rather than winner take all.

The ripe time to dust that one off is now 14 years overdue. "One person, one vote" ought be the rule in any respectable democracy gone beyond horse and buggy days. But not in this one.

Maybe it is part and parcel of why so many people are so disgusted generally with their government. Elimination of this antiquated device, meant for an earlier era to avoid having to wait weeks to know the winning candidate when votes were tabulated in each precinct by hand and the results sent by horse messenger or, a little later, telegraph, would be the surest way of limiting the ability of Big Money from influencing presidential races. It would certainly make cheating a lot more difficult in elections. And the notion that the electoral college brings candidates in the election closer to the people by insuring that they campaign in the smaller "battleground" states begs the question in the modern era, where most people adjudge candidates in presidential races by appearances in mass media, not by in-person contacts. It matters not a whit whether candidates campaign more in New Hampshire or California, as most people will have equal opportunity to see them irrespective of the physical proximity to the sites in question. Moreover, the primary process, as presently constituted, assures that candidates are within close proximity of relatively small numbers of people in smaller states, as Iowa and New Hampshire.

Isn't it time that America wake up to the realities of the 21st Century in ways other than mere scientific and technological achievement—such as that which is so highly regarded in such modern bastions of democracy as Red China—before we blow the entire 225 year experiment to hell?

It is the process which is ailing. You cannot hope to govern over 300 million people on the same essential model originally meant to govern four million people in a different age and time, when only male whites above the age of 21 possessed the franchise.

Senator Lodge had a good idea on that one.

It still would not have helped his ticket in 1960. But it also would have avoided giving fuel to the nuts in the country who proclaimed, and sometimes still do, that Senator Kennedy's supporters somehow stole that election by manipulation of a few thousand votes in Illinois and Texas to grab those states' electoral votes.

Tornadoes and violent windstorms had hit seven states, Kentucky, West Virginia, Indiana, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma, over the weekend, killing at least 21 persons and injuring more than a hundred.

In central West Virginia, in the area of Clarksburg, a tornado the previous night left five dead and 31 injured. A 240-pound farmer was blown 100 feet along with his house.

About a hundred technical soldiers of the Air Force and Air Transport Command arrived at the Tripoli air base at Mellaha aboard the C.C. Ballou.

On the editorial page, "For United States Senator" finds the Democratic primary race for the Senate seat occupied by William B. Umstead, appointed by Governor Gregg Cherry in late 1946 to fill the seat after the death of Josiah W. Bailey, to be well stocked, with former Governor J. Melville Broughton being the opponent. Either man, it opines, would represent the state well.

It had been a good while, it asserts, since North Carolina had provided a real leader in the Senate. While Senator Umstead had given a good account of himself, the piece believes that Governor Broughton would provide considerably more in terms of leadership ability.

Mr. Broughton would win the race, but then die two months after taking office, in March, 1949. His successor, appointed by new Governor Kerr Scott, would be UNC president Frank Porter Graham.

"Our Failure in the UN" finds that the failure of the U.N. to work out a resolution on Palestine might signal the organization's death knell. The primary responsibility for making it a success had lain with the U.S. But now the U.S. stood as the principal agent of its failure by not standing firm on the partition plan, approved the previous November 29 by the General Assembly. The U.S. had succumbed to Arab pressure and substituted the temporary trusteeship proposal which had caused only confusion.

The Jews, meanwhile, had declared a free state in Palestine, based on the approved partition lines. Egypt, Trans-Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon, all enemies of Communism, now threatened the viability of the U.N. by opposing the Jewish state and attacking the Jewish settlements in Palestine. By opposing the U.N. and threatening its very existence, the action posed a threat to America, itself.

It posits that the U.N. was the greatest contribution to mankind in the atomic age and if it failed, the U.S. also failed.

A piece from the New York Times, titled "Death by Violence", tells of 160 Americans per hour being injured in automobile accidents, for a total of 32,500 fatalities and 1,365,000 injured in 1947, according to Travelers Insurance Company. Excessive speed was the principal cause, accounting for almost 45 percent of the accidents caused by driver mistakes. It was a larger factor than in 1946 or in 1941, the worst accident year on record. Drivers in the 18-to-24 age group were involved in 25 percent of the accidents, though accounting for only 20 percent of the total drivers.

It posits that better driver training programs were thus in order. Over 90 percent of the vehicles involved in accidents in 1947 were in good working order. Nevertheless, compulsory inspection laws would eliminate some of the accidents resulting from bad equipment.

Drew Pearson tells of two years passing since he had revealed the commodities speculation of Senator Elmer Thomas of Oklahoma without any more than a denial on his part, and six months having passed since he admitted the allegation, without action by the Senate, specifically the War Investigating Committee headed by Senator Homer Ferguson of Michigan—which had investigated, the previous summer and fall, the war contracts of Howard Hughes, in an attempt to embarrass the memory of FDR through his son Elliott.

He provides further evidence of Senator Thomas's dealings in commodities after making speeches on same from the floor, per his usual manner of operation, through a surrogate broker, one who had been convicted of obstructing justice in 1925, albeit a conviction reversed, and in 1936, having obtained $2,500 from the Charles Lindbergh family for supposed information on the Lindbergh baby kidnaping, which he never then provided.

Mr. Pearson notes that Senator Morse had introduced a bill the previous year to require Senators to register stocks and commodities trades with the SEC, but the bill had never emerged from the Rules Committee chaired by Senator Curley Brooks of Illinois.

Senator Harley Kilgore of West Virginia had told the President of the British seeking more ERP aid to enable them to get King Abdullah of Trans-Jordan to behave in Palestine. He was using British-trained troops to battle the Jews at this point. The President stated that he would not accept any such deal with the British.

Former French, Swiss, British, and Canadian POW's of the Germans and Japanese had formed Groupe Resurrection and were creating an international magazine dedicated to trying to avert future war.

Marquis Childs tells of new censorship imposed on reports out of the American occupation zone in Germany, to the immediate protests of journalists. The German board of directors of the tri-zonal Bank of the German States had named as president and chairman of the board two financiers, Herman Abs and August Schniewind, who had aided the Nazi cause, the former having been a chief pillager of occupied countries during the war and the latter having recently been made liaison officer for ERP and the bi-zonal economic administration, potentially influential positions in how the aid money would be spent.

Such events caused one to wonder why the war had been fought and whether Germany was being handed back to those who started the war.

On top of those events, the American command nullified the program to de-concentrate and de-cartelize German industry.

There were reports of dissatisfaction among the ordinary Germans as they saw the extreme right being returned to power, providing fodder for the Communist propaganda mill.

The British had desired socialization of the German industry to avoid just these results, but the American military government in Germany was hamstrung by the fact that Congress would never approve such a move.

Joseph Alsop tells of the heroine of "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" having provided the wisest rule of the time: "A kiss on the wrist feels very good, but a diamond bracelet lasts forever." It seemed to fit the status of Harold Stassen following the non-binding victory in the Pennsylvania primary. While having achieved an ostensible victory in the write-in campaign there, he had apparently, according to reports, suffered behind the scenes a serious setback. The three Republican leaders in the state were rumored to be holding the delegation for favorite son candidate Governor James Duff on the first ballot, and reserving same for Governor Dewey by the third ballot. If the Governor failed on the third ballot, then the delegation would likely switch to support Senator Vandenberg.

Pennsylvania, assuming the rumors correct, thus had to be regarded as a stop-Stassen delegation. That would add to Illinois, New York, and most of the Ohio delegation another stop-Stassen state. Even complete victories by former Governor Stassen in Ohio and Oregon might not enable him to win the nomination.

The Old Guard viewed the primary process as a beauty contest and that the voters did not control the nomination. Mr. Alsop, however, views this traditional rule to be a form of criticism of those who subscribed to it.

A piece from the Congressional Quarterly comments on the upcoming decision of Congress whether to renew the Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act, expiring June 12. In the past, Democrats generally supported it and Republicans opposed it. The President had stated in March that renewal was a key ingredient for the success of ERP.

Most big business and big labor favored renewal, as did the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Glass and textile industries opposed it, while textile workers unions were in favor of it. Agricultural organizations were split, depending on the product they exported. Cotton and wheat growers favored it while California fruit and nut producers feared foreign competition from the Act's lowering of trade barriers.

A Quote of the Day: "Striking for $24 a day, Miami plumbers say they have to get that much because they work only eight months in the year. And if they get the raise they can cut it to four months." —Fort Myers (Fla.) News-Press

Another Pome from the Atlanta Journal appears, this one "In Which Is Enunciated a Fundamental International Principle Which May Be Filed Under 'Big Thoughts':
"If we all can't agree
Then we all can't be free."

On May 4, 1865, after the long journey since April 21 from Washington by funeral train, winding through Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York before turning westward toward Ohio, Indiana, and Chicago, the body of President Lincoln would be laid to rest on a Thursday in Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield, Illinois, from which the President had departed by train to Washington in late February, 1861, never to return alive.

His remains would reside in an already extant temporary receiving vault at the foot of a hill for six months and then be moved to a specially built temporary vault further up the hill for another five years, while the elaborate monument to his memory was built, housing the remains since 1871.

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