The Charlotte News

Saturday, June 5, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that, according to the Haganah high command, Israeli forces had recaptured Yibna, representing the extent of the Egyptian thrust into Jewish territory, and had cut off a large force of Egyptians driving up the coast along the road to Tel Aviv. Israeli planes and coastal guns had stopped four Egyptian ships apparently attempting rescue of the beleaguered fighters.

An Iraqi communique said that 5,000 Jews were routed at Jenin with 580 killed and 1,000 wounded. But Jewish headquarters countered that Israeli forces continued to hold all positions captured in the sector and that Jews had resisted all Arab thrusts into the Nablus-Jenin-Tulkarm triangle.

Efforts continued by U.N. mediator Count Folke Bernadotte to establish an inception date for the four-week truce, to which both sides had unconditionally agreed, with consultations between Mr. Bernadotte and the seven Arab nations.

Said by friends to be "fighting mad", Senator Arthur Vandenberg asked the Senate Appropriations Committee for permission to testify regarding the restoration of a billion dollars cut from foreign aid by the House the previous day. Senator Tom Connally of Texas said that the House bill would be reversed in the Senate. Representative Everett Dirksen and Minority Leader Sam Rayburn had sought unsuccessfully to get the House-approved budget based on a one-year appropriation rather than 15 months, effectively cutting the Administration budget by 25 percent.

The President walked briskly for a mile through downtown Omaha, to the cheers of thousands in a parade of the 35th Division. He wore brown and white summer shoes, a tan-colored suit and his buff-colored hat. His barber from Kansas City walked beside him, no doubt telling him jokes.

The previous night in Chicago, he had outlined four farm policy planks to be added at the convention to the seven "goals of abundance", including laws to provide adequate housing, health, expanded social security, full rights of citizenship, universal free schooling, good jobs at fair wages and a halt to inflation. The President said that the Congress could do more to crush Communism by providing greater abundance.

A poll conducted by Elmo Roper showed that General Eisenhower was the choice of 52.7 percent of respondents against only 26.4 percent for President Truman and 5.3 percent for Henry Wallace. A Fortune poll in January had determined that the General was the preference of 57.9 percent of respondents while President Truman was favored by 26.7 percent in a head-to-head match-up. The Roper poll showed that the President would beat Arthur Vandenberg by 37.4 percent to 35.3 percent. General Eisenhower would beat Thomas Dewey 42.3 percent to 33.8 percent, would win by 2.8 percent over Harold Stassen, by 34.2 percent over Senator Taft, and by 19.8 percent over Senator Vandenberg. Thus, according to the poll, whether the Democratic nominee or the Republican nominee, General Eisenhower would come out on top.

Senator Taft, making a tour of North Carolina, spoke in Lenoir, saying that there was less of a threat of Communism in the country than a year earlier. He also believed that Taft-Hartley had restored justice both to individual workers and employers, with the number of strikes cut in half. He favored reduction of Government bureaucracy with commensurate tax reduction and a return to "individual liberty".

Senator Taft and his wife were spending the weekend with furniture magnate J. E. Broyhill of Lenoir, a GOP national committeeman. He would play golf and then catch the train for Washington in Hickory. He and his wife had spent their honeymoon in the North Carolina mountains in 1914.

North Carolina Republican leaders believed that Mr. Taft would pick up a few delegates from the uninstructed North Carolina delegation to the convention, set to start June 21 in Philadelphia.

Governor Dewey was planning a motorcade in the state the following week.

Ford Motor Company raised prices from $85 to $125 on the redesigned 1949 Ford, to go on display June 18. Ford justified the increase on the rise in the cost of living, causing materials prices to rise.

You won't wish to miss the unveiling. This car is a revolutionary development in streamlining.

Revised estimates on the Columbia River stated that its peak would not reach beyond that of June 1. The Snake, which poured into the Columbia, was lower than expected on this morning. Still, the Columbia would be fifteen feet above flood level through Monday, though nine inches below the peak reached at Vancouver. Dikes were continuing to be pressured to the breaking point.

Twenty-six had been killed in the flooding and 60,000 persons left homeless or isolated since the previous Sunday when Vanport, Oregon, was swept away.

In Pueblo, Colo., a three-year old boy, pictured on the page, found a revolver in a drawer at the home of his grandfather and accidentally pulled the trigger, killing his mother.

Chalk up another victory for the Second Amendment advocates.

In San Francisco, a chubby 13-month old baby was claimed by two mothers in juvenile court. Each contended that she gave birth to the child at the residence of one of the putative mothers. The other woman was a volunteer caretaker of the resident's other daughter while the mother went to work for six months after her husband lost his job. The caretaker refused to surrender the younger of the two, however, when the couple came back to retrieve their children. The attending physician said that the mother was the woman of the residence and that he had never heard of the caretaker.

Genealogists in London said that they did not know whether the expected child of Princess Elizabeth in mid-November would be a boy or girl but that the odds were against twins. One of the attending obstetricians was pretty sure, however, based on heartbeat and other such signs, that it would be a girl.

He would be looking for a new job in 1949.

On the editorial page, "Harry Truman Feels Wonderful" finds the President beginning his cross-country tour of eighteen states with an unexplained feeling of buoyancy, not borne out by the facts. It finds admiration for his fortitude. The explanation for the high morale had to be that he was convinced that he had reached rock bottom in his political decline and could only rise. All 50 Washington correspondents polled by Newsweek had predicted a Republican victory in November. But 49 had said that the Democrats would nominate the President, one giving the nod to General Eisenhower.

Another source of his happiness might have been the fact of the imminent adjournment of the 80th Congress with nothing accomplished of note other than Taft-Hartley, bane to labor, and ERP, largely a Democratic effort. The Congress had left many hanging bills which provided Democratic fodder for the campaign.

Yet another reason was in the signs that Henry Wallace had reached his peak of popularity and was heading for decline.

Yet, it finds the President an "incurable optimist" whose prospects for election in November remained "dismal".

The man was crazy.

"GOP Economizing Is a Frost" finds the Congress busily trying to meet its goal of trimming 2.5 billion dollars from the President's 39 billion dollar fiscal year budget. The trimming of 533 million from foreign aid was such an effort. With increases in defense amounting to 822 million, opposed by the White House, it had to trim everything else by three billion dollars to meet the goal. It was doubtful, therefore, that the goal would be met or even that the Republicans would stay within the President's budget. As of June 1, they were 782 million over the budget. Thus, the Republicans' effort at fiscal responsibility and cost-cutting, the claim to which had garnered so much support for them in 1946 to gain the majority in both houses, had gone agley. It would be a wonder, it posits, if the Republican tax relief would last the year.

"Charlotte's Dr. Andrew Blair" tells of a physician who had just died unexpectedly, serving Charlotte well for 25 years and regarded as one of the city's best doctors. A native of Pennsylvania, Dr. Blair had served overseas in World War I and graduated with honors from the University of Pennsylvania Medical School, establishing practice in Charlotte in 1925. He devoted most of his time to family practice, where he made numerous friends.

A piece from the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, titled "Toujours Memoire", tells of former Secretary of Interior Harold Ickes turning in another memoir of the New Deal years, for serialization by The Saturday Evening Post. It added to those of Secretary of War Henry Stimson, DNC chairman and Postmaster General James Farley, War Mobilizer James Byrnes, Secretary of State Cordell Hull, Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau, Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins and FDR adviser and WPA director Harry Hopkins, as edited posthumously by his friend, playwright Robert Sherwood.

The piece says that it was waiting for those of Henry Wallace and, if the November election proved unkind, Harry Truman.

Congress had killed a bill designed to prohibit Cabinet members from taking their personal journals from the Government files when they left their posts. It thinks instead that the Government ought lay claim on royalties for the lucrative memoirs.

Drew Pearson tells of the Justice Department probing Senators Owen Brewster of Maine and Elmer Thomas of Oklahoma. Senator Brewster had been shown to be the close pal of Juan Trippe and Pan Am as he led the investigation the previous summer into competitor TWA and Howard Hughes on war contracts. Senator Thomas had admitted speculating on cotton and other commodities as he gave floor speeches affecting the prices. But Senator Homer Ferguson of Michigan had refused to investigate his colleagues. The Justice Department had thus far lodged a complaint against a lobbyist friend of Senator Thomas, but had only scratched the surface. He names others involved in the speculation scheme.

The DNC was low on money.

The draft-Eisenhower boom was dying away but not dead.

Some Republicans were seeking to bring disaffected Southern Democrats into the party with a ticket of Senator Taft and Senator Harry F. Byrd.

House Majority Leader Charles Halleck was quietly courting support for the presidential nomination from a storeroom in the Capitol, labeled "the clinic", which was a private cocktail lounge. One major visitor was Joe Pew of Sunoco. A NAM representative had shown up in honor of Mr. Halleck's simpatico voting record. Mr. Halleck, since becoming Majority Leader, had acquired a Cadillac convertible, as had his wife, neither from the Government. Mr. Pearson thinks it quite a financial accomplishment on a $15,000 per year Congressional salary.

Marquis Childs discusses the testimony of Paul Robeson before the Senate Judiciary Committee the previous week in which he had denounced the Mundt-Nixon bill as fascist and contrary to the Bill of Rights. Mr. Robeson, a scholar and All-American football player at Rutgers and a world class singer, criticized the country for its discrimination and found less fault with Russia in which he found absence of race discrimination.

Mr. Childs contrasts the scene with that of a relative of Mr. Robeson who, some years earlier, had gone to Moscow and renounced his citizenship, only to regret the move later. But when he went to the American Embassy to complain, he was turned away, being told that no asylum or help was possible for those who had renounced their U.S. citizenship. As he left the Embassy, an official observed the Robeson relative being followed by Russian secret police. He had not been seen since, presumably was dead or in a forced labor camp.

While there was discrimination in the U.S., at least Mr. Robeson could express his view on the matter without concern for his safety. Such was not the case in Russia regarding disagreement with official policy. The Mundt-Nixon bill would allow Communists and fellow travelers to become martyrs while going underground to avoid its reach.

Mr. Childs thinks it not hard to understand the reasons why Mr. Robeson, an active supporter of Henry Wallace, held his views, as discrimination was resented, especially among the well-educated. But it was hard to understand why Representative Mundt wanted to give the Communists and sympathizers such a powerful tool, an excuse for demonstrations and marches, creating sympathy and martyrdom for the group the bill sought to curb.

Samuel Grafton tells of lumber, fuel and metal prices rising without any grumbling in Congress. Instead, Congress was concerned with national security, an abstraction divorced from daily domestic realities. Congress had rushed to develop a larger Air Force but had been reluctant to impose any controls on prices and wages to stem inflation.

So consumed with such lofty matters, the Congress appeared not interested in the mundane issue of the rising cost of living.

Consumer credit had reached an all-time high the previous April, an indication of an economic downturn on the horizon. Yet, it was not major news in Washington. The Mundt bill and spies were the principal topics. It reminded of the type of Congress which the country had before FDR.

A letter from journalist-teacher Katherine Grantham Rogers in New York, an alumna of Woman's College in Greensboro, subsequently UNC-G, tells of receipt of a brochure outlining an eight-fold program for improvement of the college, seeking donations. She favors gifts without strings by the large, well-heeled donors and supports an ever-growing liberal college, not one necessarily made to serve business and state utilities, as the brochure had suggested and on which a $75,000 gift from Burlington Mills recently had been conditioned.

Ms. Rogers, incidentally, as mentioned by Bruce Clayton in W. J. Cash: A Life, had been a friend to Cash and had once worked at The News as its book-page editor during Cash's first stint with the paper in 1928, supplying anecdotal information to Joseph Morrison, Cash's first biographer, in 1964.

A letter from A. W. Black finds it exasperating to read "sob-sodden propaganda" regarding ERP when many in America were in need of assistance, searching for adequate housing.

British Position Hit in Palestine

Kennedy Says They Seek to Crush Jewish Cause Because They Are Not in Accord With It

By Robert Kennedy—June 5, 1948, for The Boston Post

I was in Palestine over Easter week and even then people knew there was absolutely no chance to preserve peace. They just wanted the British out, so that a decision could be reached either way. An early departure of the British has been far more important strategically to the Jews than to the Arabs.

The City of Jerusalem has more Jews than Arabs but the immediate surrounding territory is predominately Arab. Through part of that hilly territory winds the narrow road that leads from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

It is by this road that the Jewish population within Jerusalem must be supplied, but it is fantastically easy for the Arabs to ambush a convoy as it crawls along the difficult pass. On my trip from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem I saw grim realities of the fact and while in Jerusalem the failure and destruction of another Jewish convoy made meat non-existent and lengthened food queues for other items.

The Arabs living in the old city of Jerusalem have kept the age-old habit of procuring their water from the individual cisterns that exist in almost every home. The Jews being more "educated" (an Arab told me that this was their trouble and now the Jews were going to really pay for it) had a central water system installed with pipes bringing fresh hot and cold water. Unfortunately for them, the reservoir is situated in the mountains and it and the whole pipe line are controlled by the Arabs. The British would not let them cut the water off until after May 15th but an Arab told me they would not even do it then. First they would poison it.

Orthodox Community

Within the Old City of Jerusalem there exists a small community of orthodox Jews. They wanted no part of this fight but just wanted to be left alone with their wailing wall. Unfortunately for them, the Arabs are unkindly disposed toward any kind of Jew and their annihilation would now undoubtedly have been a fact had it not been that at the beginning of hostilities the Haganah moved several hundred well-equipped men into their quarter.

This inability to make any long range military maneuvers because of the presence of the British has been a great and almost disastrous handicap to the Jews. If the brief but victorious military engagement on the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem road had not taken place, the Jewish cause would have suffered such a setback as to be virtually lost. If the Haganah had waited for May 15th and the withdrawal of British troops, there would be few alive in Jerusalem today. Strong units of that body had moved into the hills on either side of that strategic road and repelled Arab counterattacks long enough for several hundred truckloads to make the 40-mile trip into the city, and then, only after threats from the British commander to use force against them, had withdrawn from their positions. As a Jew said to me at the time, "This is our battle of the Atlantic." The maneuvers had to take place and took place despite the British.

Power Supply

The same basic difficulty that exists in relation to the water exists with regard to electric and power supply. Fortunately, an immediate danger is not yet present, but the Arabs have had months of preparations for a maneuver they know their opponents must eventually make.

The Jewish ghetto in the old city of Jerusalem would not have been in such an untenable position if it could have been periodically relieved, or if with a Jewish victory in that area it could have been connected with the main Jewish section in the new city.

The Jews have small settlements or community farms such as Givat Brenner in completely hostile territory. They take pride that, despite the great difficulties, they have not evacuated any of them. From the very tip of Galilee right down to the arid Negev these communities exist with such Jewish names as Zan, Safed, Yehsem, Mishmar Haemak, Ben Sheba, Laza. All have their supply problems. But no great military operation can be undertaken into Arab territory to relieve the increasing Arab pressure.

Need True Facts

In addition to these handicaps that the Jews suffered through the presence of the British, there are many more far-reaching aspects of British administration which unfortunately concern or, rather involve us in the United States.

Having been out of the United States for more than two months at this time of writing, I notice myself more and more conscious of the great heritage and birthright to which we as United States citizens are heirs and which we have the duty to preserve. A force motivating my writing this paper is that I believe we have failed in this duty or are in great jeopardy of doing so. The failure is due chiefly to our inability to get the true facts of the policy in which we are partners in Palestine.

The British government, in its attitude towards the Jewish population in Palestine, has given ample credence to the suspicion that they are firmly against the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine.

When I was in Cairo shortly after the blowing up of the Jewish Agency I talked to a man who held a high position in the Arab League. He had just returned from Palestine where he had, among other things, interviewed and arranged transportation to Trans-Jordan for the Arab responsible for that Jewish disaster. This Arab told him that after the explosion, upon reaching the British post which separated the Jewish section from a small neutral zone set up in the middle of Jerusalem, he was questioned by the British officers in charge. He quite freely admitted what he had done and was given immediate passage with the remark "Nice going."

British Markings

Just before I arrived in Palestine there was the notorious story of the foundry outside of Tel Aviv. It was situated in a highly contested area and the British accused the Jews of using it as a sniper post for the Jaffa-Jerusalem road. One day the British moved in, stripping the Jews of all arms and ordered them to clear out within 10 minutes. The British had scarcely departed when a group of armed Arabs moved in, killing or wounding all the occupants. The British government was most abject in its apologies.

I came in contact personally, however, with evidence that demonstrated clearly the British bitterness toward the Jews. I have ridden in Jewish armored car convoys which the British have stopped to inspect for arms. As always, there were members of the Haganah aboard and they quickly broke down their small arms, passing the pieces among the occupants to conceal them so as to prevent confiscation. Satisfied that none existed, the convoy supposedly unarmed was allowed to pass into Arab territory. If the arms had been found and confiscated and the Arabs had attacked, there would have been but a remote chance of survival for any of the occupants. There have been many not as fortunate as we.

British Informants

When I was in Tel Aviv the Jews informed the British government that 600 Iraqi troops were going to cross into Palestine from Trans-Jordan by the Allenby Bridge on a certain date and requested the British to take appropriate action to prevent this passage. The troops crossed unmolested. It is impossible for the British to patrol the whole Palestinian border to prevent illegal crossings but such flagrant violations should certainly have led to some sort of action.

Five weeks ago I saw several thousand non-Palestinian Arab troops in Palestine, including many of the famed British-trained and equipped Arab legionnaires of King Abdullah. There were also soldiers from Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Trans-Jordan, and they were all proudly pointed out to me by a spokesman of the Arab higher committee. He warned me against walking too extensively through Arab districts as most of the inhabitants there were now foreign troops. Every Arab to whom I talked spoke of thousands of soldiers massed in the "terrible triangle of Nablus-Tulkarem-Jenin" and of hundreds that were pouring in daily.


When I was in Lebanon and asked a dean at the American University at Beirut if many students were leaving for the fight in Palestine he shrugged and said, "Not now—the quota has been oversubscribed." When journeying by car from Jerusalem to Amman I passed many truckloads of armed Arabs and even then Jericho was alive with Arab troops. There is no question that it was taken over by the Arabs for an armed camp long before May 15.

Our government first decided that justice was on the Jewish side in their desire for a homeland, and then it reversed its decision temporarily.

Because of this action I believe we have burdened ourselves with a great responsibility in our own eyes and in the eyes of the world. We fail to live up to that responsibility if we knowingly support the British government who behind the skirts of their official position attempt to crush a cause with which they are not in accord. If the American people knew the true facts, I am certain a more honest and forthright policy would be substituted for the benefit of all.

Communism Not to Get a Foothold

Jews Guard against Red Agents in Guise of Refugees—Want No Part of Russian Tyrant

By Robert Kennedy, June 6, 1948, for The Boston Post

The die has long since been cast; the fight will take place. The Jews with their backs to the sea, fighting for their very homes, with 101 percent morale, will accept no compromise. On the other hand, the Arabs say:

Religious Crusade

"We shall bring Moslem brigades from Pakistan, we shall lead a religious crusade for all loyal followers of Mohammed, we shall crush forever the invader. Whether it takes three months, three years, or 30, we will carry on the fight. Palestine will be Arab. We shall accept no compromise."

The United Nations is scoffed at by both sides and the United States will never be able to regain the position of ascendancy she previously enjoyed with the Arab world. She lost the love of the Arabs when she supported partition. She lost their respect when she reversed that decision. She lost it irreparably. For days on end Arab commentators drummed into their people that finally the power of the Arab world had been realized.

The Jews are bitter in disappointment. As one Jew said, "Britain let us down for 25 years but you bettered them in a week." The feeling stops at disappointment and there is none of the hatred that exists for the British. They can understand us not wishing to send troops and so become entangled in a war that does not immediately concern us, but they plead only for the right to make this fight themselves. They want arms and frankly admit that if they cannot get them from us they will turn to the East. "What else can we do?" They are fighting for their very lives and must act accordingly.

Won't Accept Communism

That the people might accept communism or that communism could exist in Palestine is fantastically absurd. Communism thrives on static discontent as sin thrives on idleness. With the type of issues and people involved, that state of affairs is nonexistent. I am as certain of that as of my name.

When I was in Tel Aviv, a group of refugees was landed and amongst them the Jewish Agency's "FBI" immediately picked up one of these agents. He was loaded down with money and papers, and all agreed that he must have been sent with the intention that he be captured to mislead the security forces into thinking that all the Russian agents would be as inept as this one and equally easy to capture. Lethargy would set in and it would be then that they would smuggle in their Mata Hari.

Demands Allegiance

Communism demands allegiance to the mother country, Russia, and it is impossible to believe that people would undergo such untold sufferings to replace one tyrant with another. Robert Emmet, the Irish patriot, on trial for his life before a British tribunal stated the principle. When accused of attempting to bring French forces into Ireland to help wrest it from the British, he said why he, who loved and had been fighting for his homeland, deem it to his country’s interests to replace a known tyrant by an unknown one. These people want a homeland of their own.

That to them is the sole issue.

Vehemence and hatred between the Jews and Arabs increase daily. But in many cases Jews and Arabs work side by side in the fields and orange groves outside of Tel Aviv. Perhaps these Jews and Arabs are making a greater contribution to the future peace in Palestine than are those who carry guns on both sides.

The Arabs in command believe that eventually victory must be theirs. It is against all law and nature that this Jewish state should exist. They trace expectantly its long boundary and promise that if it does become a reality it will never have as neighbors anything but hostile countries, which will continue the fight militarily and economically until victory is achieved.

Stabilizing Factor

The Jews on the other hand believe that in a few more years, if a Jewish state is formed, it will be the only stabilizing factor remaining in the Near and Middle East. The Arab world is made up of many disgruntled factions which would have been at each other's throats long ago if it had not been for the common war against Zionism. The United States and Great Britain before too long a time might well be looking to a Jewish state to preserve a toehold in that part of the world.

Both sides still hate the British far more deeply than they hate one another. There was a British high commissioner who when attending the opera used to have his car parked directly in front of the main door, a place usually reserved for discharging passengers. An even more unpopular practice was the regulation that at the end of the opera everyone had to remain in their seats until the British high commissioner was out of the opera house and in his car.

But the British have left—and now the issue is to be resolved in a bitter war between Jew and Arab. I do not think the freedom-loving nations of the world can stand by and see "the sweet water of the River Jordan stained red with the blood of Jews and Arabs." The United States through the United Nations must take the lead in bringing about peace in the Holy Land.

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