The Charlotte News

Wednesday, June 2, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the Arab nations accepted the U.N. four-week truce proposal for Palestine, which included stoppage of arms shipments to both Arabs and Jews, but "explained" that the Jewish demand that immigration continue to Israel while the truce was in effect posed a peril, and also stated that a permanent truce would not be possible as long as Israel remained in existence or partition continued. It did not make clear, however, whether the explanation was a condition for acceptance of the truce. The U.N. had not yet set a cease-fire time. Israel had already accepted the truce conditioned only on Arab acceptance. Israel had set 3:00 a.m. as the time of ceasefire but stated that they would continue firing if the Arabs did so.

The Arab Legion claimed that it had scattered an Israeli attack force in Rumana, seven miles northwest of Jenin, and at Givat Shaul, killing 100 Jews. It said that 80 additional Jews were killed in Jerusalem. Marksmen of the Arab Legion killed 20 Jews attacking the Zion, Jaffa and new gates of old Jerusalem the previous night after midnight, presumably included in the report of 80 killed.

In London, the six-nation conference on the political and economic future of Western Europe reported having reached agreement on the "whole field" of recommendations after six weeks of talks. The conference included the U.S., Britain, France, and the Benelux countries. The recommendations included establishment of a separate government for the Western zone of Germany early in 1949 and plans for creating an international control board for the industrial Ruhr region of Germany. The report did not mention, however, specific agreements, which would not be made public for a couple of more weeks.

In Washington, more than 3,000 opponents of the Mundt-Nixon bill, designed to curb Communism in the country, gathered at the Capitol in protest. There was no disorder. The group had come from New York and most were associated with the Committee for Democratic Rights while others belonged to a pro-civil rights group.

Separate from the protest, former OPA head Leon Henderson of the Americans for Democratic Action said that Communists secretly hoped that the bill would pass to provide them political martyrdom. He said that ADA viewed the bill as dangerous and urged the Senate not to pass it.

The article, we note, represents the first time that Congressman Richard Nixon got his name in a headline in The News. It would not be the last.

A record peacetime Army and Air Force appropriation bill passed the House, providing for 6.5 billion dollars for the 1948-49 fiscal year. Debate would occur the next day on a record peacetime Navy appropriation for 3.6 billion. Less than two hours of floor debate transpired on the Army bill after a report came from the Appropriations Committee recommending it.

NBC offered to step away from the Voice of America and lease its international radio stations to the Government for a dollar per year following the controversy over some statements transmitted by VOA under NBC control to Latin America. An executive at NBC blamed the broadcasts in question on divided responsibility between the State Department and the network. No English translation had been made because of lack of funding. NBC thought that State was checking the program script. He said that the writer and producer responsible for the broadcasts had left the network. He stressed that only six out of thousands of programs had been deemed objectionable.

The Federal District Court in Washington postponed a decision until Friday on whether to grant the NLRB request for an injunction requiring the UMW to bargain with the Southern Coal Producers Association, which John L. Lewis had refused to recognize as a group, though willing to bargain with each operator separately. Another coal strike was possible unless a new contract could be formed before June 30 when the present contract expired.

The Columbia River flood crest bore down on the Clatskanie area near Portland, Ore., as it was just three inches below the top of the dike and moving higher. Volunteers were sandbagging the dike to raise its top. The dike was crucial to protect Portland from flooding. The river was moving seaward, as towns upstream were trying to recover after inundation.

In New York, a man read of the plight of an Army private who was trying to marry his French fiancee who had just come from France but was confined to Ellis Island for want of a $500 bond. The stranger put up the bond, bought their wedding ring and vacated his apartment in Manhattan to allow them to have a place to live after their marriage. He said that he wanted them to be happy.

Martha Azer London of The News tells of Homer, purple grackle, who was getting good marks in school. The teacher of Homer's sixth grade classroom had received him after a friend saved his life when a bullfrog almost devoured him. The boys and girls of the classroom liked Homer and fed him scrambled eggs with a tweezer and water with an eye dropper. Homer liked that and began flying around the room. He liked the children and did not want to leave the classroom even when the windows were open. He even perched on the sill one day and looked at the sky but did not fly away, much to the relief of the children. Each weekend, a different student took Homer home. With school ending the following day, the teacher was going to take care of him during the summer vacation. Homer, concludes Ms. London, was a bird. A picture of Homer with a student is included.

But just wait until Homer calls all of his friends next fall for the harvest season. You will regret ever inviting Homer into your midst.

On the editorial page, "Notes for a Letter to Stalin" discusses Drew Pearson's open letter to Josef Stalin of the previous day, in which he had suggested to the Soviet Prime Minister the creation of a Friendship Train for Russian children, similar to those which had been formed to supply food and clothing for the winter to Italy and France in November and December. The object would be to show that both the people of Russia and the U.S. did not want war.

The piece suggests that, as Stalin had replied to the letter of Henry Wallace proposing a common ground for peace discussion, so, too, might he respond to the Pearson letter. But the piece thinks that should he do so, he should be aware that his response to Mr. Wallace had the effect of chilling relations with the American people who believed he was bypassing the Government for purposes of propaganda as a diversion to ERP. It points out that the Russians had known for years, with lend-lease, Yalta, Potsdam, and UNRRA aid that America preferred peace and friendship with the Russians. It also makes the point that time for a positive demonstration of a change in Russia's policy was running out, that numerous opportunities for cooperative action at the U.N. had been ignored. It concludes that in light of that record, friendship gestures conveyed in open letters were out of order.

"The Lady Needs Scrubbing" tells of an Interior Department appropriations bill for $500,000, to clean up the Statue of Liberty and Bedloes Island on which it was situated, calling attention to the facts that the statue and the island were in great need of sprucing up after 62 years since the gift from France. It favors the beauty treatment.

"The Armed Services an Opportunity" urges volunteering for the armed forces to obtain a good education and personalized experience. It points out that eighty percent of the current U.S. budget was devoted to defense or payment for past wars, that 85 percent of the budgets since 1915 had been so devoted.

A piece from the Greensboro Daily News, titled "South's Problem No. 1", remarks on an article in the Baltimore Evening Sun, "Conserving the Mental Top Soil", by former News Editor and Associate Editor Burke Davis, saying that the young men of the South were one of the region's chief exports, heading north and west to greener pastures for jobs in industry.

More than 1.5 million Southerners had left the region since 1940, even if some of them would return from war work. North Carolina shared in the problem.

The answer, it posits, was to provide greater economic opportunities to hold people in the region. Increased industrialization was a start but greater diversification was needed. The new business administration schools at UNC and the University of Virginia would help.

Drew Pearson tells of President Truman having informed General MacArthur that while he was free to come home anytime, the President would not order him home. General MacArthur had remarked that if he were ordered home, he would come to National Airport, drive to the White House, consult with the President, and then turn around and return to Tokyo. When hearing of the remark, the President had said that if he believed that the General would follow that itinerary, he would order him home right away.

The Foundation for Economic Education, led by Leonard Reed, was busy trying to persuade Congressmen who were isolationist in tendency to cut appropriations for ERP. The Foundation prepared speeches for the Congressmen, whom he lists, and they had been giving those speeches, with identical paragraphs included.

John L. Lewis appeared to have mended fences with his former bitter enemy Ray Edmundson, giving the latter a job as director of District 50 of UMW in Kansas City. A political deal had to have been made to effect such a change of heart in Mr. Lewis, probably involving Governor Dwight Green of Illinois, an ally of Mr. Edmundson. It suggested that Mr. Lewis would support Speaker of the House Joe Martin for the presidency and Governor Green for the vice-presidency on the Republican ticket. Mr. Martin had urged the coal settlement regarding pension demands by the miners the previous month.

Representative "Runt" Bishop of Illinois remarked, upon hearing that the crippled Democratic House doorkeeper had been fired, that he would have fired the man a long time earlier. But Representative Bishop did not know that the doorkeeper had been doing odd jobs for the Congressman for free, including having taken home 7,000 envelopes to address after hours.

Ovid Martin of the Associated Press tells of the prospect of over-abundance of potatoes in the country in the ensuing four months as the spuds headed to market, necessitating for the third year in a row that the Government buy the surplus. The cost during the previous two years had exceeded 125 million dollars. Most of the surplus was expected from California, North Carolina, and Virginia.

The farm price supports which guaranteed 90 percent of parity would expire at the end of the year. It was feared that the potato surplus could cause Congress to renew supports at significantly lower parity levels.

Some of the purchased potatoes would go to feed livestock or to alcohol production and by-products, but some would have to be dumped in all likelihood as they were perishable.

The Government had prevailed on farmers to cut production, but better fertilizers and soil tillage methods had produced the surpluses.

James Marlow tells of a study made by the House Foreign Affairs Committee of 506 Communist leaders outside the Western Hemisphere, finding that the average age was 46, many having not been workers, and twenty percent having university level education. They included teachers, architects, engineers, lawyers, doctors, and economists. Nearly half had been imprisoned, many more than once. Many had been sentenced to death. About a quarter had been active as labor organizers, a quarter had been guerrilla fighters against Nazis or others, and about a third had been Communist journalists. Seventy-five percent had been in the party since 1927 and more than half since 1922. Twenty percent were members of the Cabinet of various governments and 40 percent were members of national legislatures.

The report found that few groups in history had conformed so closely to party doctrine and strategy.

The report showed that the Communist leadership was experienced and knowledgeable, not callow youth. The same, according to Crane Brinton in his 1938 book, The Anatomy of a Revolution, had been true of the Jacobins in the French Revolution. The Jacobin was of an average age of 42 and also from the middle classes.

He concludes by imparting that Vladimir Lenin was 47 in 1917 at the time of the Russian Revolution whereas Robespierre had been in his early thirties at the outset of the French Revolution.

Stewart Alsop, in Berlin, tells of every new arrival to the city remarking of a sense of unreality as the American sector proceeded within the undamaged suburbs as any American suburb might, with hot dogs and Cokes plentifully in evidence, while the older part of the city remained a complete ruin. But it was believed that if war were to break out, it might have its start in Berlin for the fact that the Soviets were determined to force the West out of the city. Many observers believed that the Russians were prepared to risk a great deal to accomplish that goal.

One reason for the adamance was that Western influence managed to find its way beyond the iron curtain into the Soviet sector. Another was that the Soviet plan to revive a controlled form of German nationalism designed to bring all of Germany into the Soviet sphere could not take place as long as the Western nations were present.

The Russians had formed the Nationalist Bourgeois Party, openly a haven for former Nazis. The primary Soviet instrument for encouraging nationalism was the People's Congress, designed to become a Soviet shadow government and intended to become the official government when the Western nations could be forced to leave.

While there was no official policy in place urging evacuation, the effort to push the West out was evident through the blocking of supplies into and out of the American sector of the city, cutting off shipments and stopping convoys from Berlin to the west.

So far, the effort had not been successful and so the attitude of the Russians had to be to up the ante, either by force, inevitably precipitating war with the West, and so improbable, or by cutting the civilian supply lines to Berlin from the West—to take place in fact before month's end. The conventional thinking was that the blockade would be based on some fortuitous pretext such as the failure of the Magdeburg Bridge over the Elbe to operate. Whatever the cause, the two million people in the Western sectors of Berlin would soon face starvation, dependent as they were on supplies from the West. Americans in the sectors were already supplied by air but the Germans depended on ground and canal transportation.

The Russian goal would be to create food riots among the Germans to allow fertile ground for Soviet propaganda against the West, offering to feed the Berliners provided the Western powers evacuated.

The Berlin Airlift of 1948 ultimately would circumvent this effort.

A letter writer urges that some of the American aid to Britain was going to support King Abdullah's Arab Legion, fighting against Israel. He urges lifting the arms embargo against Palestine, primarily harmful to Israel.

A letter from the secretary of the North Carolina Optometric Society thanks both The News and The Charlotte Observer for their support of its recent meeting in Charlotte.

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