The Charlotte News

Friday, May 7, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Arab leaders had agreed to the truce in Jerusalem, effective the following day, provided the Jews recognized the ceasefire.

A neutral mayor of Jerusalem acceptable to both Arabs and Jews had not yet been found by Britain.

Meanwhile, Jews in Palestine claimed to have seized new territory from the Arabs in the north, consisting of two villages between Nazareth and the sea of Galilee and a hill overlooking Safad. Four Jews had been killed and 25 wounded in the two attacks, and twenty Arabs killed in one village with heavy losses in the other.

Winston Churchill urged a 22-nation forum convened at The Hague to form immediately a European assembly, to be the initial step toward a Council of Europe, subordinate to the U.N. He favored the U.N. having three such subordinate councils into the future, the Soviet Union, the European Council, and the Western Hemisphere. Former French Socialist Premier Paul Ramadier supported the move.

The U.S., Britain, and France told the U.N. Atomic Energy Commission that it would be futile to try to effect controls over atomic energy without the cooperation of Russia and to abandon therefore any such efforts until such time as Russia would cooperate. Russia had demanded a pact to outlaw atomic weapons before establishing controls and without international inspection, wholly unacceptable to the West, seeing it as a ploy to weaken the West while the Soviets developed their own atomic weapons. The West wanted an international authority to exert control and provide international inspections, with no veto power exercisable over violations of the pact.

Five Czech refugees fled Czechoslovakia while holding the pilot of an airliner at gunpoint, and forced a crash landing at Ingolstadt in the U.S. zone of Germany. It was the third such plane out of Russian territory since February to be taken over by refugees.

In Greece, 18 more executions, bringing the total to 213, followed in the wake of the assassination of Justice Minister Christos Ladas the previous Saturday. The British Ambassador sent a note to the Greek Government asking for explanation. Most of those executed were already imprisoned for crimes against the George Papandreou Government in 1944, following liberation from Germany. On Tuesday, 152 prisoners had been executed and 830 others remained condemned to death.

A White House conference to try to resolve the railroad brotherhood wage dispute before the May 11 deadline for the strike, had ended without apparent progress. The participants said that it was exploratory only with Presidential adviser John R. Steelman. Attorney General Tom Clark told the President that he retained the residual wartime authority under a 1916 law to take over the railroads to avert a shutdown. If the dispute were not settled by Tuesday, it would cause the shutdown of virtually all of the nation's railroads.

On page 10-A, a Prentice-Hall published symposium of expert opinion on the Kinsey Report was reviewed, along with other books.

On the editorial page, "U.S. Overture to Russia" tells of the statements during the week of Secretary of State Marshall and U.N. Ambassador Warren Austin having set a new tone for policy toward Russia, expressing the desire for cooperation and preservation of the U.N. with a rational balance of power in the world, changing from the stress on anti-communism and ideological differences with Russia. It also recognized that settlement with Russia was feasible.

Secretary Marshall had said that it was a misconception to suppose that domination of the world by a single system was inevitable or that differing systems could not coexist in peace under the U.N. Charter's rules. Thus, Secretary Marshall made it plain that the U.S. was not attempting to exterminate world Communism. The statements defined spheres of influence, inviting Russia to abandon the East-West rivalry.

If the Russophobes of the country did not abandon their fervent opposition to the Soviets, however, then the Russians would delay their response to the new policy until the election results were known.

But the statement of Secretary Marshall had dampened the ardor in Congress for revising the U.N. to try to eliminate the Security Council veto as well as effect other changes. It finds that the Administration had taken an important step to try to save the peace.

"Fire Chief Earns a Rest" tells of Charlotte's Fire Chief, W. Hendrix Palmer, having announced at 64 his retirement after 44 years in the Fire Department. The news came with regret, as he had made a good reputation both locally and nationally as a leader of the profession. He had been Chief since 1927 and was president of the North Carolina Fire Chiefs' Association for eleven years, had been president of the International Association.

He had also been active in supporting the Shrine Bowl high school all-star football game held annually in Charlotte.

It expresses good wishes to Chief Palmer.

"Stassen Still Sets Pace" finds that both Harold Stassen and Senator Taft were claiming victory in the Ohio primary of Tuesday. Mr. Stassen captured nine of the contested 23 delegates and Senator Taft the remainder, plus the other 30 unopposed delegates. It appeared to be essentially a draw as Senator Taft had not delivered a knock-out punch to Mr. Stassen and the latter still had the momentum going into the Oregon primary. The former Minnesota Governor managed to show Senator Taft's unpopularity with labor and liberals in industrial regions.

Mr. Stassen had also forced Senator Taft to abandon his conservative stance and try to recast himself in the public mind as a liberal.

It predicts that if Mr. Stassen continued to do well in the remaining primaries, it would be difficult for either or both Senator Taft and Governor Dewey to stop him from garnering the nomination.

We remain very confident that in 1949, it will be President Stassen.

A piece from the Christian Science Monitor, titled "Planning Farms and Homes", tells of the need for farm-and-home planning as recommended by General Eisenhower's brother Milton, president of Kansas State Agricultural College. Such planning was beginning to sweep the nation in the South, Midwest, and New England, having started in Missouri. The piece thinks it ought be incorporated into farm legislation by Congress.

Drew Pearson tells of the National Grange warning of another dust bowl unless development were begun of the grasslands of the West. High prices and demand for wheat had kept farmers from maintaining pasture lands, causing soil erosion. The Grange recommended to the President fluctuating support prices based on supply and demand. The President said that he would consider it.

Two of Hitler's bankers, Herman Abs and August Schniewind, had come back to power in Germany as president and chairman, respectively, of the Bank of the German States. He tells of Robert Murphy's telegram to Secretary of State Marshall regarding the behind-the-scenes vote of the bank board and the roles of each man during the war. Seven other German bankers with democratic backgrounds had been considered for the positions, but the two former Nazi sympathizers had won.

Marquis Childs finds a shadow of a police state darkening the Capitol as members of Congress were allowing their fears and prejudices to guide them. Congressman Clare Hoffman of Michigan had introduced a bill to provide for up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine for anyone divulging confidential information of a Congressional committee. It had been passed by the House Rules Committee. Representative Clarence Brown of Ohio, a newspaper publisher and member of the Committee, was surprised to find that he had voted for a bill which applied to journalists, said that he would amend it to exempt the press when it reached the floor.

Nevertheless, Mr. Childs views it as a major step toward a police state. One thing had led to another to justify the Hoffman bill as protecting the demand for disclosure of Executive branch reports on loyalty, which were supposed to remain confidential in the Executive branch. Mr. Hoffman had used the wartime press restraints to justify such restraints in peacetime.

HUAC wanted the FBI loyalty report on Dr. Edward Condon, head of the Bureau of Standards, to try to justify its own assertions that Dr. Condon was a major security risk for the atomic secrets, based on his supposed association with a Russian espionage agent. It would give to the FBI a power it did not seek or want, to pass on the fitness of candidates for political office.

Joseph Alsop finds that Senator Taft had not made any great improvement of his political fortunes by winning the Ohio primary but had at least avoided disaster, while Harold Stassen had not experienced any disastrous setback, only slowing down his momentum from the Wisconsin and Nebraska wins.

Mr. Stassen, however, had to make a good showing in the May 21 Oregon primary, lest he be written off by the Republican professionals, as they would like to do. If he were to win, he would eliminate Governor Dewey from contention.

The Old Guard had been revived by the Ohio Taft showing, hoping anew that he could win the nomination. They would demand that the stop-Stassen movement be formed on their terms if Governor Dewey were defeated in Oregon.

The likelihood of a deadlocked convention had increased after Ohio, increasing the chance that Senator Vandenberg might be nominated.

The most likely nominee was either Governor Dewey, Mr. Stassen, or Senator Vandenberg, with the loser in Oregon between the first two being eliminated.

A letter from the Mayor of Monroe, J. Ray Shute, hopes that a commission appointed by Governor Gregg Cherry to study local control of sales taxes, state income taxes and gasoline taxes would come down on the side of allowing them to be returned, at least in part, to each county and municipality where they originated.

A letter from a professor of political science at Davidson College corrects an article appearing in the newspaper anent a talk he had given at the Rotary Club on May 4, in which it was implied that he might approve theoretical communism and that he did approve socialism. He clarifies that he approved neither system. He merely sought to show that Russia presented a face of democracy to the world and to its own people but that communism was a "nonsensical pipedream", impossible of achievement. He viewed it as bait held out to suckers to justify the rigors of totalitarianism.

He finds socialism inferior to capitalism, believes that it would reduce living standards for any country which embraced it.

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