The Charlotte News

Saturday, July 10, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that American and British commanders canceled all leaves for personnel in Berlin, and the French were expected to do likewise. The Soviets had cut the last land route from Berlin by requiring Russian approval of all vehicles passing over the road from Berlin to Western Germany. Orders were given to search all Western vehicles for forbidden goods. A small number of Western vehicles were allowed to pass on the autobahn during the morning. Until the announcement, all traffic had been limited to that which was going from Berlin to the West. The reason provided for the cancellation of leaves was that it was now too hard to get out of the city and all personnel were needed for the airlift.

Winston Churchill, speaking to a Conservative Party rally in Woodford, England, said that if the Western allies yielded to Soviet pressure in Berlin, they risked war. He found that one part of the 13-member Politburo might be working against another part, explaining why there was a break with Yugoslavia just as the Berlin crisis was being triggered.

Other Communist parties in Europe, following the Russian lead, were turning down the invitation of Yugoslavia to its Communist congress in Belgrade on July 21. A Soviet army delegation, according to Tass, had been welcomed in Albania, presumably to aid Albania in its recently enunciated intention to guard its borders with Yugoslavia against hostile intrusion.

An Israeli Government spokesman said that Jewish troops had killed 300 Egyptians and captured 200 in a battle near Isdud and had captured Lydda Airport in a battle against Iraqi forces. South of Isdud, the Jewish settlement of Negba was battered by artillery and air attack. Jews evacuated Kfar Darom, as the Egyptians claimed its capture. Arabs had also recaptured Beit Affah. Tel Aviv was again bombed, but without casualties. There was also an Israeli offensive in the areas of Galilee. Arabs were shelling the Tiberias-Nazareth district. Fighting resumed also in old and new Jerusalem.

Israel accepted the proposal for a 10-day renewal of the ceasefire, conditioned on Arab acceptance.

Abba Eban, Israel's U.N. representative, said that the U.N. should find that there was a threat to the peace posed by the fighting in Palestine.

Secretary of State Marshall blamed the Arabs for renewal of the fighting. He said there were no immediate plans to lift the U.S. embargo on arms to the Middle East.

In Jerusalem, the new U.S. Consul General, John MacDonald, had been fired on by a sniper. His predecessor, Thomas Watkins, had been killed by sniper fire along with a Navy Radioman on May 23.

Vice Admiral Arthur W. Bradford, speaking at the Chautaugua Institution's diamond jubilee, said that there should never again be an abandonment of U.S. military personnel as at Corregidor in 1942. The Navy was now a precision instrument, had enabled immediate and safe evacuation of all U.S. and U.N. truce observers from Palestine at the end of the four-week truce.

The Government returned the railroads, seized on May 10 to avert a strike, to the owners after a wage settlement had been reached.

The Agriculture Department predicted record corn and wheat crops for the country, pointing to lower prices on meat.

Governors Dewey and Warren would likely speak in Raleigh at some point, probably in October.

The Democrats began writing their platform following a loud and bitter debate over the civil rights plank. It appeared that the platform would not follow the President's lead on civil rights but would on the subject of attacking Congress. The convention was set to begin the following Monday.

Some of the California delegates rebuked James Roosevelt for leading the drive against President Truman. Mr. Roosevelt said that the anti-Truman caucus which he had called for this night would likely be canceled. He had been promoting a draft of General Eisenhower. Senator Olin Johnston of South Carolina also canceled his plan to bring a resolution before the convention to draft General Eisenhower.

Justice William O. Douglas stated that he was not a candidate for the presidency and would later make a statement.

It appeared that Senator Scott Lucas of Illinois might be the White House choice for the vice-presidential spot on the ticket. White House aides, however, said that no final decision had been made.

The majority of the North Carolina delegation was committed to vote for President Truman on the first ballot.

James Baskett, 44, who had won an Academy Award the previous year for his role as Uncle Remus in "Song of the South", died the previous day.

In Oklahoma City, the Daily Oklahoman and Times had dumped perfume into its ink as an advertising gimmick for the perfume. But it had lingered in subsequent editions after the ad ceased to run. It was explained that they had made the mistake of dumping it into the main ink fountain.

In Spartanburg, S.C., a judge dismissed a case against a man charged with disorderly conduct for eating a live chicken before a crowd of spectators on the street, ruling that the law did not prescribe how a chicken could be eaten. The man had performed the act on a bet.

On the editorial page, "Monopoly: 1—U.S. Steel's Move" finds good news in U.S. Steel's announcement that it would abandon the basing-point price system which enabled price-fixing, in compliance with the FTC and the Supreme Court ruling that it violated anti-trust laws in the cement industry. It signaled that all business using the system would follow the lead of U.S. Steel.

Yet, U.S. Steel president Ben Fairless protested the Supreme Court's decision while announcing the intention to follow it. The announcement had not set a specific date for compliance and it might await the outcome of the elections to determine whether a new President and a new Congress might overturn the decision by amending the anti-trust laws. Congress had already begun investigating the matter.

It was cause for public concern.

"Eisenhower's Final 'No'" finds that General Eisenhower had performed a service to the country by giving his conclusive rejection of any attempts to draft him for the Democratic nomination. Had he run, it would have been counter to the tradition of the country of not rewarding military commanders with high political office, as the General, himself, had stated in January. He had strengthened civilian primacy in government, to avoid following the trend spreading over the world of resorting to military strong men as leaders.

"Alas! We Surrender, Dear" finds that the recent ascendancy of women in politics, with Clare Boothe Luce having denounced the New Deal at the Republican convention and Eleanor Roosevelt being seriously touted as the vice-presidential nominee for the Democrats, to be nothing new. It was recently discovered that a Mrs. Townsend had been employed by General Washington as a spy on the British during the Revolution, obtaining information at society dances. When finally caught, the British executed her.

It concludes that men needed to watch out for themselves as women were gaining on all sides, including within the context of the New Look.

A piece from the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, titled "Tobacco's Royal ERP Road", tells of predictions made at the annual meeting of the Tobacco Association of the United States and the Leaf Exporters Association that domestic and overseas demand for tobacco would exceed production in 1948, providing the prospect of higher prices to tobacco growers. The Marshall Plan would aid this prospect significantly.

But the demand in Europe would be supported by American aid and when that gave out, the demand would diminish, as tobacco was considered an unnecessary luxury, just as the British in spring, 1947 had imposed high tariffs and taxes on tobacco importation when the American dollars from the mid-1946 loan ran low.

In Virginia, dairy production had taken up the slack in fluctuating requirements for tobacco. They were likely not to be misled for the temporary spike in demand occasioned by ERP.

Drew Pearson continues his look at General Eisenhower, tells of him and his friends in their youth playing Fly Lou, whereby pennies were placed on the street and the first penny on which a fly landed obtained for its owner the prize of the other pennies. The boys were careful that none of them placed syrup on the penny. He says that it would take a lot of syrup to attract the General to the Democratic ticket. But since his name would continue to be in the headlines through 1952, Mr. Pearson continues his examination.

As Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, he had championed the GI, giving breaks to black troops and Japanese-American troops during the war. Most GI's supported him and were quite against General MacArthur. But he had let General Courthouse Lee and other top officers obtain special privileges with impunity. He had ordered the arrest of 70,000 Nazis at the the end of the war and ordered that none be given an important job, an order violated repeatedly by the group headed by Secretary of Defense James Forrestal.

His major problem was that he had surrounded himself with brasshats, through whom it was difficult to penetrate. The issue had continued even in his new role as president of Columbia.

He believed in leveling with the Russians.

His mother, of Swiss-German descent, was proud of all seven of her sons. Her family had fled Europe to escape war and so she had not wanted her son to become a professional soldier. He appeared truly to hate war and said that when forced to go to war, one followed the spirit of General Washington, not Genghis Khan. He placed the arts and sciences alongside the profession of arms as equally important to security of the nation.

There was some historical debate over whether he should have allotted more gasoline to General Patton. General Patton had claimed in his diary that if his Army had the gasoline in September, 1944, the war could have been over four months earlier. Instead, it went to Field Marshal Montgomery's slow-moving British Army.

But General Eisenhower had led, in the D-Day invasion of France, one of the greatest campaigns in history and won the war less than a year later, much more quickly than anyone had anticipated.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop tell of one bitter anti-Truman Democrat comparing the President's political plight to that of King Christophe of Haiti who ordered his army to march to certain death off the battlements of his mountain castle. While they see such a dire prediction as uncertain of fulfillment, they also assert that the President's campaign would be a sad spectacle.

Party leaders in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Illinois, Minnesota, Oregon, California, and obviously in the South were all opposed to his nomination. One Democrat had observed that he should confine his campaign to Missouri.

While it would be unlikely that most within the party would actively oppose him, many would sit out the campaign.

But things could change, as the President had experienced many ups and downs.

It was unlikely, however, that the Democratic Party was disintegrating. After the landslide loss by Governor Alf Landon to FDR in 1936, similar forecasts were set forth with respect to the Republicans. But the Republicans had remained united. After the 1948 election, the Democratic disunity would be exposed and disintegration was possible. It was also possible that the Democrats might be replaced by the type of leftist party which Europe had come to know, influenced by Communists of the Soviet type.

James Marlow tells of provisions in the new draft bill allowing Government seizure of any plant or business needed by the armed services and specifically allowing for order of the steel industry to set aside a certain percentage of production for the armed forces.

At the direction of the President, Secretary of Commerce Sawyer had analyzed the steel needs of the armed forces and found that 1.3 million tons would be required in the ensuing year, two percent of total production. The Secretary would call in the steel producers and ask them to allocate voluntarily a certain part of their production for the armed forces. Small business, under the bill, was required to be allowed to participate. If the steel producers were to refuse to allocate accordingly, the plants could be seized and the heads of the companies jailed or fined.

But the bill only made compulsory that which was taking place voluntarily for months under another bill passed in late 1947 requiring voluntary allocation for the armed forces and other security needs. The steel industry had been complying.

The Editors' Roundtable, edited by James Galloway of Asheville, looks at the Cominform-Yugoslav dispute, finds most editorials to consider it genuine, with a large minority viewing it with skepticism. Generally, the editorials favored exploitation of the rift by America in the hope of causing it to spread. The immediate issue was the Russian denial of economic aid to Yugoslavia while Russia decried the Yugoslavs seeking aid from the West.

The Youngstown (Ohio) Vindicator believed that Stalin had made a serious mistake in miscalculating Tito's willingness to rebel against the Soviet yoke.

The Portland Oregonian found the trouble to derive from the nature of nationalism, as in all the Soviet satellites, causing it to be difficult to form a federation of police states.

The Kansas City Times found that the obstinacy served to take out Yugoslavia from the Soviet bloc opposition to the Marshall Plan in Europe.

The Hartford Courant suggested that Tito would not become a democrat over night.

The Charlotte News believed the dispute to be phony, to induce Western interest in a settlement with Russia and enable Stalin to have an excuse to do away with the Cominform as a concession to the West in the Russian-sought settlement negotiations.

The Austin Statesman believed the matter to be a fictional dispute to throw the world off balance.

The Houston Chronicle posited that until further evidence was adduced, it was premature to conclude from the breach by Yugoslavia that other puppet states of the Soviet bloc would follow.

A letter writer complains of a house being moved on his street, causing trees in his yard to be felled along with others on the street, all at the instance of one man. He encloses a complaining letter to the City Council, also printed. He urges that all permits for the move be withdrawn.

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