The Charlotte News

Friday, June 11, 1948


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 towel-head.

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 the truce.

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 Troutdale.

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 effect.

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 war-contract booty.

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 squirt-gun boys.

"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 viewpoint.

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 deadlocked convention.

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 Congress.

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 world.

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 war.

These thorny issues now confronted Ambassador Franks.

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