Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the U.N.-sponsored
four-week truce in Palestine went into effect at 1:00 a.m. this
date, along with an arms embargo to both Arabs and Israelis. During
the truce, a peace settlement would be sought at Rhodes, overseen by
Count Folke Bernadotte, chief U.N. mediator for Palestine.
The Premier of Trans-Jordan, Tewfik Abu Aluhuda, saying that
the Arabs had accepted the truce only at the urging of British
Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin, held out little hope for a peace
settlement, believing it doubtful that the Arabs would agree to sit
at the same table with the Jews.
No one would wish to sit with you anyway, you stupid, smelly
Israelis said that they began observing the ceasefire several
hours before it started officially, after a bombing of Damascus in
Syria. The heaviest last-minute fighting was around Latrun, where
the Arabs were blocking the supply route between Tel Aviv and
Jerusalem. Arabs claimed that Israelis in Jerusalem broke the truce
within an hour of its start by killing an Arab soldier. Random
shooting took place in the city for six minutes after the start of
Great Britain announced that it would not recognize Israel
during the truce period.
Secretary of State Marshall told the Senate Appropriations
Committee that the House cuts in ERP funding would present a
"calculated risk for failure" of the program. ERP
administrator Paul Hoffman echoed the sentiment.
Talks began with the sixteen recipient nations of ERP aid
regarding agreements to govern the recovery operations, as British
Ambassador to the U.S. Sir Oliver Franks met with Assistant
Secretary of State Willard Thorpe. Representatives of the other
nations would begin meeting with Mr. Thorpe in subsequent days.
Senator Vandenberg urged the Senate to help "organize
the peace" by approving a resolution to strengthen the U.N.
Senator Taft declared that the President's assertion that the
80th Congress was the worst in the country's history constituted "an
attack on the principle of representative government", that he
had attacked the very institution of Congress during his
"gallivanting" across the West, and gave comfort to the
Communists and Fascists in so doing. The President, he asserted, did
not understand the threat of Communism. He said that he favored
adjournment of Congress presently rather than staying in session to
deal with the remaining important issues, so that Republicans could
take their case to the people in the election campaign.
Speaker of the House Joe Martin stated that he expected the
draft bill, just passed in the Senate, to pass quickly in the House.
Representative Frank Keefe of Wisconsin supplied a report to
the Justice Department finding that the Hatch Act may have been
violated in the re-election campaign of Governor James McCord in
Tennessee by the fact that some employees of the State may have been
coerced to pay into his campaign.
The Columbia River overcame a dike guarding the airport of
Portland, Oregon. It was expected that by noon, local time, the
waters would be flooding a 10,000-acre area and threatening a
secondary dike protecting the Reynolds Metals Co. plant at
Near Aalborg, Denmark, about 150 Danes drowned when a
passenger ship struck a World War II mine and blew up in the
Kattegat. About 400 were aboard as the ship sank in ten minutes.
Many were able to jump overboard and obtain safety.
National and local newspaper advertising had hit a record
high in 1947 and was headed toward another record in 1948, narrowing
the advertising lead held since 1942 by the magazines.
Westinghouse announced that it would raise wages six percent,
8.4 cents per hour, for members of three unions, affecting about
80,000 employees in almost twenty states.
In Napa, California, a thirteen-year old boy, chewing
bubblegum, pleaded guilty to first degree murder for drowning to
death a six-year old girl to prevent her from telling her parents
that he had sexually assaulted her. He would go to the Youth
Authority until age 21 and then to San Quentin where he faced a life
sentence. His age protected him from the death penalty. His lawyer
obviously protected him from little or nothing.
In Conway, S.C., a 24-year old Clemson College student was
sentenced to life after being found guilty by a jury the previous
night for the first degree shooting murder of his estranged wife.
The jury had recommended mercy. He had also been indicted for the
murder of a 21-year old veteran but had not yet been tried on that
charge, to occur in October. He allegedly shot his wife and the man
as they came out of a boarding house on February 5.
A photograph appears of Captain Chuck Yeager, whose feat of
breaking the sound barrier in the XS-1, also pictured, had taken
place October 14, 1947, but had been kept from the public for
national security reasons until the previous day, albeit having
leaked to Aviation Week in December.
On the editorial page, "Taft Sidesteps Vandenberg" finds Senator Taft avoiding a showdown on foreign policy with
Senator Vandenberg to head off a party rift. Senator Taft had
recently deferred to Senator Vandenberg in his vehement opposition
to the House reduction of foreign aid.
The position was politically astute and morally sound, but if
Senator Taft were consistent, he would have been standing with the
Republicans who favored the cut.
The move by the GOP right may have assumed that Senator
Vandenberg would not make a fuss about the matter on the eve of the
Republican convention, in which his own political fortunes were at
issue. If so, it had backfired, as Senator Vandenberg's attack on
his own party earlier in the week suggested that the GOP might wreck
itself on the issue of foreign aid. Senator Taft's support of
Senator Vandenberg suggested that the GOP revolt on the matter was
coming to an end.
"End of 'Peace Offensive'" finds that with Soviet
propaganda again mounting anent claims of U.S. "imperialism",
the "peace offensive" of the previous month was over,
having started with the Russian misinterpretation of the note from
Ambassador to Moscow Walter Bedell Smith to Foreign Commissar V. M.
Molotov that the note communicated an invitation to a peace
settlement discussion to which the Soviets expressed openness,
followed by quick denials from the President and Secretary of State
Marshall of that intent. Soviet propaganda during the period had
been less acrid in tone than usual. But that had ended.
It posits that if the effort was to lull America into a false
sense of security, it had failed and in fact had the opposite
It notes that Sumner Welles had recently warned of a war
crisis in July; that Stewart Alsop a couple of days earlier had told
of the British fear until the past week that Iraq would wind up in
revolt under the proposed U.N. sanctions, just voted down, which
would have caused abject conditions in the already suffering
country, making it ripe for Soviet takeover, hence the eventual fall
of the Middle East; and that Dorothy Thompson had written that the
summer of 1948 was recording a "mounting crisis".
While the international situation remained serious, the
increased tension in the West during the brief period of Soviet
quietude showed that the West was overworking the war scare. With
things getting back to normal vis-à-vis
the Russians, it ventures, perhaps the alarmists could relax.
It neglects to factor in the notion that without a war scare,
some of these idiots are obviously lost of anything substantive to
put forward to the people in the way of a horror story, to make it
abundantly clear that they, and they alone, are fit to govern in
such times of dire crisis and imminent threat of death en
masse—for, otherwise, no one in their right mind would
dare vote for such idiots, incapable of anything other than scare
tactics, in the end, merely to line their own pockets with
We remind again that we have far more to fear from nature
itself than any act of foreign intrigue or terror. The terrorists
are weak, little children with pocketknives carving their names in
the trees, compared to that which nature can wreak on the landscape
in a matter of minutes—you pathetic little squirts, big strong
little boys trying to be oh so tough while being little cry-baby
"Our Wandering Elements" reminds of the scrap
iron being sold to Japan prior to Pearl Harbor—a la e.e.
cummings and Manhattan's Sixth Avenue El—and finds the tide
reversing as the Japanese Board of Trade had just started
open-bidding for the first load of scrap iron from Japan. It was
possible, it suggests, that a piece of a gun which may have killed
an American during the war would wind up being sold to an American
manufacturer and then find its way to Charlotte as a washing machine or
refrigerator. (We hope at least that they clean off the blood. That
could be gross.) The worst that could happen would be that the iron
would be turned into instruments of war to wage some future combat
in a far-off land.
With the speed of sound having been exceeded, as reported the
previous day, it wonders whether it would be beyond the powers of
man to "control the writhings and paroxysms of the scientific
monsters" he had built.
A piece from the Winston-Salem Journal, titled
"Children and Their Money", tells of a survey by the
Gilbert Youth Research Organization which found that children
between 8 and 14 had a total annual allowance of a million dollars in the
cities sampled, New York, Chicago, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, the
1,100 respondents receiving an average of $1.57 per week.
That's $6.73 per month. Jeepers, that's enough with which to
buy a whole house.
The average child in the survey ate more than three candy
bars per week but stopped eating cereals at age fourteen.
The piece thinks that if such a lavish allowance would lead
the children to mature with the idea that money came easily and
should be spent frivolously, then the parents ought reduce the
allowance. If self-management of finances led to a mature respect
for money, however, then the children would grow up to be mature
adults in financial matters.
It's like the time in 1962 when we had a dollar, and decided
to invest it in the purchase of a Cadillac one Friday afternoon
rather than awaiting Saturday for another 50 cents, only to discover that
the wheels did not turn. All of our sour-grapes moping, even feigned
tears, would not convince our mama to advance us $1.50 for the
better version of which we normally partook along the Authentic
Model Turnpike, to eradicate the woe of our misbegotten venture. Rather than waiting for the additional 50 cents, we had
blown our week's finances on a piece of junk, a matter of
injudicious haste making waste. Thus, the lesson learned from a 1963
Cadillac. We never bought another again.
Remember that when you have the urge to spend precipitously:
the wheels don't spin on the dollar Cadillacs.
A piece from the North Carolina Labor & Industry
Bulletin tells of higher relative earnings in North Carolina
versus the national average between early 1943 and the present,
average hourly earnings going from 62 percent of the national
average to 80 percent in that period. Even so, it did not
necessarily mean that the increase was keeping pace with the rise in
the cost of living. Still, the trend was upward, even if now
appearing to level off after the war.
Drew Pearson tells of the most active Southern Senators for
General Eisenhower being Burnet Maybank and Olin Johnston of South
Carolina, John Sparkman and Lister Hill of Alabama, Willis
Robertson of Virginia, and Claude Pepper of Florida.
Congressman John Rankin had started a whispering campaign
that General Eisenhower was the son of a Jewish carpetbagger who
made money off of the South during Reconstruction. His family
actually came from Switzerland several generations earlier and
settled in Kansas and Texas.
Labor leaders were missing along the way of the President's
cross-country tour. The same day the President spoke to 2,000 people
at the auditorium in Omaha, the baseball team attracted 5,000 and
the racetrack, 9,000. He had attracted only 200 on the first morning
of his tour in Pittsburgh.
It's over. Why doesn't he see it? He's crazy.
Women were watching what the Republican Congress was doing to
two women appointed by the President, Freida Hennock, as the first
woman to an important commission, the FCC, and the re-appointment of
Judge Marion Harron to the Tax Court in San Francisco. The
Republicans were holding up Senate confirmation.
He notes that FDR had not only appointed the first woman to
the Cabinet, Francis Perkins as Secretary of Labor, but also had
appointed two female diplomats, Ruth Bryan Owen and J. Borden
Harriman, as well a female director of the Mint and Assistant
Treasurer, along with several others.
He next provides excerpts from a cross-section of supportive
letters for the idea of a Friendship Train to Russia to express to the
Russian people that Americans were not warmongers as Russian
propaganda had it.
Wichita radio stations held a week-long campaign to support
the U.N., urging listeners to write the President expressing that
A Medal of Merit had been presented to Tom Morgan of Sperry
Gyroscope for his contributions to the war effort, as the company
earned 34 Government awards during the war.
Secretary of the Army Kenneth Royall had boosted prosthetic limb
research for veterans.
An effort was being made to get retirement and disability
benefits for Marine Reserves injured on temporary active duty.
Joseph Alsop tells of Speaker Joe Martin of Massachusetts
having become exasperated at the newspapers not taking him seriously
as a candidate for president, so much so that he had recently
complained to the editor of one of Boston's newspapers about the
fact. And, he ventures, it was time to begin to take him
seriously as he controlled the House more closely than any Speaker
in recent years, and that control was threatening the bipartisan
foreign policy. His lieutenants, as John Taber of New York and Leo
Allen of Illinois, were of the extreme right of the GOP and had
revived the economics of the Harding era by emasculating both the
renewal of the Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act and ERP. It could
only have been done with Mr. Martin's blessing.
Mr. Martin wanted the support of the Pennsylvania
Republicans at the convention, as Joseph Pew of Sunoco and Ernest
Weir, master of "Little Steel", were among his chief
backers, representative of the politics of the past. But Governor
James Duff was backing Senator Vandenberg. Mr. Martin's attempt to
wreck the foreign policy, so carefully woven together by Senator
Vandenberg, appeared as a direct attack on his chief opponent in a
The chance of Mr. Martin's nomination was remote as even
Massachusetts delegates were not strongly behind him. His total
support was about 150 delegates, who would only vote for him if
Senator Taft were eliminated from the race, even though the right
preferred Mr. Martin to the stiff, intellectual Mr. Taft.
While remaining largely in the background and so not well
known to the American public, the House which Mr. Martin had led for the
previous 17 months had been a "carnival ground" for
lobbyists, from real estate to power interests.
Marquis Childs finds some Congressional Republicans alarmed
by the state of confusion in Washington as the lawmakers rushed to
adjourn before the June 21 convention. Many were placing blame on
Senator Taft for being away campaigning rather than leading the
Senate steering committee in getting important legislation through
An important agricultural bill was cited as example of
legislation which could have been reported out of committee much
earlier but was stalled in the backlog of legislation, along with
the housing bill, the draft bill, aid to education, atomic energy,
displaced persons immigration, the reciprocal trade agreement
extension, and several other vital bills. While some might pass in
the latter days of the session, they also might become hampered by
amendments at the last minute, not susceptible of being forestalled.
The Democrats were so demoralized that there were not enough
members present to force a roll call vote when the Taber faction of
the House was able to succeed in cutting foreign aid by a quarter. A
minimum of shrewdness by Democrats would enable them to exploit the
Republican weaknesses, but had not been demonstrated.
Mr. Childs also finds President Truman to blame for not
working with Democratic leaders in both chambers.
The most serious sign of irresponsibility was the cut to
foreign aid, indicative of the fact that Speaker Martin, House
Majority Leader Charles Halleck, and Representative Clarence Brown
of Ohio had not accepted the role of America as leader in a world
threatened by Communism.
Relman Morin of the Associated Press finds new British
Ambassador to the U.S. Sir Oliver Franks in store for a rough time
as Anglo-American relations were at a nadir regarding Palestine and
likely to get worse as the Marshall Plan was being implemented.
Britain had its foothold in the Middle East for over a
century and had maintained order sometimes through blood and
plunder. It acquired great prestige along with its economic
interests in the region. Arab rulers consistently consulted the
British before any move. It was thus natural to seek British
assistance in Palestine, especially as Britain had opposed the U.N.
partition plan while the U.S. led the effort for it.
Partition was approved November 29, and then in April, the
President announced his reversal of the support of the plan based on
the ensuing months of violence, favoring a trusteeship. He then
reversed that reversal by immediately recognizing Israel upon its
creation on May 15 when the British mandate ended and evacuation of
British troops formally began. There could be no further reversal by
the U.S., and Britain also had to recognize Israel. At that point,
however, the British position with respect to the Arab world would
be difficult as the Arabs would look elsewhere, namely to the
Soviets, for help. That was the basis for the irritation of the
British with the U.S., that it had created this rift with the Arab
Americans, in turn, were annoyed by British economic policy,
sending, until recently, aid to the Arabs while ERP aid went from
the U.S. to Britain. Plus, there was concern regarding trade between
Western Europe and Russia and its satellites. Britain had recently
sold railroad track to Russia in exchange for coarse grains for
cattle feed. The British needed timber and could acquire it more
cheaply from Poland and Russia than elsewhere. The American view was
that nothing should be traded with Russia which would help it make
These thorny issues now confronted Ambassador Franks.