The Charlotte News

Friday, September 17, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that U.N. mediator for the Arab-Israeli conflict, Count Folke Bernadotte, 53, had been deliberately shot and killed this date by four assassins wearing Israeli Army uniforms, presumably of the Stern Gang, in the Jewish portion of Jerusalem. Also killed was French Colonel Serot. U.S. Colonel Frank Begley was slightly wounded in the face as he struggled with one of the assailants. There had been threats on the life of Count Bernadotte prior to the incident.

The reporter providing the story, John Roderick, had flown aboard the plane from Damascus to Kollandia Airport in Jerusalem with Count Bernadotte and the latter had provided the reporter a note which advised against landing at Kollandia for the aircraft would be fired upon. Count Bernadotte had quipped to Mr. Roderick whether he wished to jump or be fired upon with the rest of the plane's passengers. Count Bernadotte believed it an attempt to frighten him and said that he would not be so cowed.

As Count Bernadotte left the plane, a sniper's bullet hit the left rear wheel of his automobile, causing him again to quip that he did not mind being fired upon by regular troops but did object to irregulars.

He had been scheduled to report to the U.N. meeting in Paris the following week. He had said at Damascus that both sides fired blindly into the dark at night and sniped during the daytime, a practice he labeled "idiotic".

He was a leader in the International Red Cross and headed the Swedish chapter. In that role, he had effected three prisoner-of-war exchanges with the Germans during the war. He had served as an intermediary with Heinrich Himmler to effect his surrender in the closing weeks of the war. His recent efforts had formed two temporary truces in Palestine during the prior three months during which he had steadily worked for a permanent solution to the problem, albeit among criticism from both sides that he was favoring one or the other. The Russians also frequently had criticized his negotiations.

In Hyderabad, the Nizam offered a ceasefire to India in the 100-hour war. The Nizam said that he would form a new government the next day after the resignations by the entire Cabinet. The Indian Army had already marched into Hyderabad City, the capital. India said that it would await a full text translation before commenting.

The U.N. Security Council said that the ceasefire would have no immediate effect on the Council's determination of the pending case of Hyderabad.

The Western allies tightened their counter-blockade on Berlin, shutting off the last of the goods allowed to flow from the Western zones to the Eastern zone controlled by Russia. Leaks had developed in the system since it had been imposed July 26, still having impacted negatively the economy of the Eastern zone. Patrols were also increased at the crossing points between zones into the East. German Communist leaders of the Socialist Unity Party again criticized the West for planning a West German government, as Soviet jeeps prowled the the Eastern sector borders, some entering quickly into the American zone.

The State Department announced that it was giving close scrutiny to Southeast Asia and the increased Communist activity in Indonesia, Indo-China, and Malaya, as well as among the citizens of independent Burma. State was considering a course of action but did not disclose what was being considered. During the week, British Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin had told Commons that the British intended to take action to interdict Communist activities in Malaya. Also, the Dutch Foreign Minister had recently visited Washington regarding Indonesia and the Far East situation generally, seeking the U.S. commitment to a stand against Communism in the region as in Berlin.

The Ethiopian Legation demanded punishment of persons responsible for the "insult" suffered by Minister Ras Imru at the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting on Monday in Washington and sought that the U.S. Government take immediate measures to repair the damage to avoid "serious implications".

The insult was that an usher, acting on the instructions of an unnamed woman, asked Mr. Imru to change his seat. The meeting was held at Constitution Hall, owned by the D.A.R. The manager of the building, however, said that the D.A.R. had nothing to do with the incident.

Well, maybe there was a leak in the roof and the usher thought it was about to rain.

Anyway, what are you going to do, attack us with bows and arrows? We'll tell you to sit outside if we want. This is America. We are not Commies.

The President, together with adviser Jonathan Daniels of the Raleigh News & Observer—whom the President had not retained as his press secretary after the death of FDR—, departed on his 16-day, 100-speech, 9,500-mile cross-country tour through 21 states, vowing: "I'm going to fight hard and I'm going to give them hell." He also said, "It's a victorious trip." He intended to make three other rail tours and a plane trip to Florida, a total of 15,000 to 20,000 miles, prior to election day on November 2.

He's just crazy.

In Chicago, a 15-year old boy with polio since an infant died as a result of injuries suffered in his determination to play sports at his school. He was helping to organize and participating on the basketball team when he put too much weight on his right leg and fell to the hardwood floor, striking his head and fracturing his skull.

In Charlotte, with the lifting of the ban on public gatherings for the polio epidemic of the summer, the delayed News co-sponsored Soap Box Derby was getting underway, to begin on Tuesday morning at 8:30.

Jeepers, that doesn't leave very much time to build a race car. Reckon we'll just have to stay awake until Tuesday morning carving the pieces. We have to go find an engine, too, down at the junkyard. Hope they're open on Saturday. Sheesh, give people a little more notice next time.

On the sports page, Furman Bisher relates of the all-star team of the Tri-State League, as baseball season approached its end.

On the editorial page, "The Squares of Europe" tells of great crowds gathering in city squares the previous week across Europe for different reasons. In Amsterdam, the Dutch celebrated a new Queen, Juliana, replacing her mother, Wilhelmina, who had abdicated after 50 years. In Rome, Pope Pius XII bestowed his blessings on 200,000 members of the Young Women's Catholic Action Association, an anti-Communist group.

But in Berlin, there was a more ominous gathering the previous Thursday, as 250,000 anti-Communists congregated along the border between the Russian and British zones to protest the 80-day old blockade by Russia of the city. Some viewed it as the most effective answer yet to the Russian political campaign in Berlin. As they surged into the Russian zone, one German youth was killed and others were wounded as the Russian troops opened fire. One youth climbed the stone foundations of the Brandenburg Gate and removed the Russian flag.

It finds that this angry crowd in Berlin spoke in the clearest tones to both Russia and the West, that the world was still locked in combat three years after the end of the shooting war. The fight for freedom had not yet been won.

"New Troubles Beset India" tells of two fledgling wars ongoing in Hyderabad and Kashmir, both with origins in the traditional conflict between Moslems and Hindus. The war could erupt into a full-fledged "holy war" if left unchecked.

In Hyderabad, the bulk of the population was Hindu, ruled by the Nizam, a Moslem. India had demanded a close economic and security relationship with the state including liberation of the 80 percent Hindu population from Moslem rule. When Hyderabad refused, India sent in its troops.

In the border region between India and Pakistan, Kashmir, a slow-moving war was developing, presently at a standstill because of the need for India's troops in Hyderabad. The Hindu-Moslem conflict also was at the heart of this struggle.

A military victory in either or both conflicts would not resolve the religious differences going back centuries.

Both conflicts were now before the U.N. Security Council, but the world could not hope for resolution there to the religious conflict. The solution, it posits, would have to come from within the hearts of the people of India.

"On the Cultural Side" tells of the Little Theater of Charlotte opening its season with the presentation of "John Loves Mary", the Broadway hit. The Mint Museum of Art would open its season the following Sunday with the exhibit of Scalamander silks. The Charlotte Symphony Orchestra would soon open its season, though the program had not yet been made public.

Each of the three organizations were supported wholly by the public. It expresses pride in all three.

A piece from the Shelby Daily Star, titled "Where Is the Discrimination?" tells of the Greensboro Schools Superintendent finding that there were more black teachers in North Carolina than in all of the states north of the Mason-Dixon Line. Senator Clyde Hoey, of Shelby, had often pointed out how liberal North Carolina was regarding employment of black teachers, who received the same pay as white teachers.

The piece recognizes that the black teachers taught only black pupils, but believes it to be another factor which dispelled the specter of discrimination by enabling the teachers to teach black children in their own way.

It concludes that North Carolina was more liberal than many states from which criticism of the segregated school systems of the South had come.

Shelby's Thomas Dixon, we suppose, had been a progressive advocate actually for black independence and Marcus Garvey's back-to-Africa movement, not segregation and discrimination.

Drew Pearson remarks of his previous columns of August 4, 7, 10, and 13, anent the corruption of HUAC chairman J. Parnell Thomas, receiving kickbacks of staff salaries and helping two soldiers avoid action at the front while receiving campaign contributions from the families. He reports further that other relatives and staff doing little or no work were receiving salaries which they then rebated to the Congressman. He reminds again that it was against the law for a Government official to receive a kickback from a staff salary.

Mr. Thomas would eventually be disgraced and go to jail behind these revelations in Mr. Pearson's column.

Ben Crosby, assistant chief of the State Department's public liaison division, was talking on the phone with a journalist when a loud wailing sound interrupted, prompting inquiry by Mr. Crosby. The newsman explained that it was a "little Communist" they had around the house, to which Mr. Crosby remonstrated that he should never use that word on the phone when talking to the State Department.

He relates of the real estate lobby, which had defeated the slum clearance and public housing sections of the housing bill in the special and regular sessions of Congress, now wrapping themselves in the Constitution for a Constitution Day celebration. They had managed to attract former chief of Naval operations Admiral Chester Nimitz and former OSS head General "Wild Bill" Donovan to be speakers for the event, along with Congressman Richard Nixon of California. Admiral Nimitz would speak in Berkeley, Mr. Nixon, in Alhambra, California, and General Donovan, in Rochester, N.Y. Mr. Nixon had agreed to allow the real estate lobby to write his publicly released statement for him with no strings attached. Admiral Nimitz insisted that he would write his own statement and that all of it had to be released to the public.

The lobby had obtained dead wood from Mount Vernon and Monticello from which it fashioned gavels and placed tin plates from the U.S.S. Missouri on them with inscriptions.

He suggests that for all of the patriotic publicity, the public would likely not forget the real estate lobby's pulling of strings to defeat the critical components of the housing bill.

Marquis Childs tells of General Omar Bradley, chief of staff of the Army, struggling to construct a budget, due October 15, with inflated prices causing various things necessary for the Army, such as shoes and shirts, perhaps sealing wax, to cost as much as two-thirds more than in 1939-40. Part of the problem was inflation and another part was the reluctance of private business to bid on Army contracts. Business had been eager during the Thirties with unemployment high.

Food and clothing prices were prime problems, complicated further by rising costs of military equipment.

Moreover, the Army had to compete with the Navy and Air Force for money. Since Congress had approved an expanded Air Force to 70 groups, the Air Force would demand an even higher budget than the nearly five billion allocated for the current fiscal year, against 4.2 billion for the Army and 4.7 billion for the Navy. The new budget was 15 billion for the next fiscal year, compared to 13.9 for 1948-49, and how it was to allocated had not been determined.

James Marlow tells of the 12-person bipartisan Hoover Commission, chaired by former President Hoover, scrutinizing Federal Government operations to determine how it could be made to run more cheaply and efficiently. Only the executive branch was being examined. The Federal Government, with over two million workers, had more employees than all of the states and local governments combined. Many of the various bureaus overlapped in function and it was in those areas that the Commission was focusing, to eliminate duplication. It was stressing how to enable the White House to function more effectively with the executive branch.

The Commission would make its recommendations to the new Congress the following January. It would then cease to exist 90 days later. It was unique in the history of the country as no such commission had ever possessed the breadth of authority as the Hoover Commission. Its members had worked quietly without letting any of the findings leak, to avoid use in the election campaign.

A letter writer explains the relationship between the Federal Government and the states and localities under the Constitution, and does a reasonable job of explication, comparing it to a tree of which the Federal Government comprised the life-giving roots and trunk. He finds that states' rights emanated from the effort to make the state superior to the nation, leading to sectionalism, opposed to union. He posits that if a group of Southern states was superior to the nation, then so would be any group of states from any section, devolving to factionalism. If states rights were to achieve its ultimate purpose, he says, then the United States would become history. It was a supreme paradox.

He also favors ending the electoral college, eliminating thereby the one-party system in the South.

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