Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the Italian
election returns assured solid majorities to the Christian Democrats
and other anti-Communist parties in both the Senate and Chamber of
Deputies, and that in consequence, the Communist-dominated
General Confederation of Labor stated that it would likely take a
stand in favor of the Marshall Plan. The Christian Democrats
received 48.7 percent of the vote in the Chamber of Deputies and the
anti-Communist Socialists, 7.1 percent, against 30.7 percent for the
Communist-led Popular Front. Almost identical percentages occurred
in the Senate races. Christian Democratic Premier Alcide De Gasperi
appeared by the results assured of the ability to form a new government with the
The Soviet news agency Tass stated that the crash of the
British transport plane after being hit by a Russian fighter over
Berlin on April 5 was the fault of the British plane, coming out of
the clouds in violation of flight rules and striking the fighter
with its engines. The British blamed the Russian fighter for the
In Vienna, American MP's had wrestled a woman from the
custody of Russian officers on Monday. Each side blamed the other
for the fracas.
The U.S. determined to ask the U.N. Security Council to
create a truce commission to back up the recently adopted but
unheeded resolution calling for a truce in Palestine. Military force
might also be proposed. The Jewish Agency had communicated to the
British High Command on April 10, before the truce resolution had
passed, that if the Arabs were to engage in a ceasefire, Jews would
In London, Winston Churchill stated to women members of the
Conservative Party that there would never be peace in Europe while
"Asiatic imperialism and Communist domination" ruled the
whole of Central and Eastern Europe. He urged the election of a new
Parliament in Britain to replace the wasteful Labor Government, both
in money and lives, the latter through an "irresolute policy
Dr. Vannevar Bush recommended in a letter to the House Armed
Services Committee that Congress adopt universal military training
to assure full manpower in the event of war. He also recommended
adoption of the temporary draft in the meantime until UMT could be
In Detroit, a gunman tried to kill UAW president Walter
Reuther, firing a shotgun blast into the kitchen of Mr. Reuther's
home, gravely wounding him. Doctors said that he would recover.
Mr. Reuther fortuitously had turned toward his wife at the moment of the
blast and avoided thereby being hit in the chest. The union placed a
$100,000 bounty on the assailant's head. Many had criticized the
union leader for such things as rooting out Communists from UAW and
his campaign to allow blacks to enter public bowling tournaments.
There were no leads, but a single man had been observed leaving the
area in a red sedan.
The Federal District Court ordered UMW not to strike for 80
days pursuant to a provision in Taft-Hartley, the period not to
begin until the current striking miners all returned to work. A
trustee representing the operators filed suit to block the recent
settlement of the pension fund disbursements of $100 per month to miners over 62 with twenty or more years experience in the mines, who retired after the creation of the pension fund two years earlier.
In Tokyo, a Charlotte man, a captain in the Army who
commanded the prison camp where General Tomoyuki Yamashita, "The
Tiger of Malaya", was housed before his execution for war
crimes, visited his widow pursuant to the General's last request.
The captain received flowers from the widow and her parents-in-law.
Tom Fesperman of The News tells of the Mecklenburg
County ABC agents having arrested 18 alleged bootleggers, based on
undercover purchases by the agents. The arrestees are listed, with
their addresses, in case you might wish to patronize them after
their trials and release from custody.
In New York, the American Newspaper Publishers' Association
was informed that an improved system of producing papers by means of
a photo-engraving process probably would be developed in the ensuing
On the editorial page, "Earle's Solution Is Folly" finds ridiculous former Pennsylvania Governor George Earle's
suggestion that the way to resolve the crisis in the world was to
bomb Russia and its satellites out of existence unless they allowed
inspections for atomic and bacterial weapons.
It was questionable whether bases accessible to U.S. bombers
could afford B-29 access to targets in Russia and whether maps of
Russian territory were accurate. But Mr. Earle would get around the
latter problem with saturation bombing.
The final problem, however, assuming that the others were
resolved, would be that Russia would march on Western Europe as soon
as America began attacking with atomic weapons. Then the U.S. would
have to begin attacking the Western European nations occupied by the
Russians. And even if all of Communism were wiped out in Europe, it
would obviously not end the Communist threat worldwide.
"A Turning Point in Italy" finds the elections
promising, with the Christian Democrats combined with other
anti-Communist parties forming majorities, offering the best
hope in the East-West crisis since it began two years earlier. It
regards it as a turning point in the cold war.
The most heartening aspect of the situation was the
commitment of the U.S. to rebuilding of Europe, the Italian vote
appearing as a positive indicator of the appreciation of the
generosity being extended.
"Raising the Freight Rates" tells of the
Interstate Commerce Commission having authorized a ten percent boost
in freight rates in the East and a five percent boost in the rates
in the South and parts of the Midwest. The increase provided all but
five percent of the 30 percent increase sought by the railroads in
1947. The fact that the Eastern rates were raised twice as much as
Southern rates recognized the fight by the Southern Governors'
Conference to achieve parity in rates, for long disparate and
discriminatory against the South.
A piece from the Petersburg (Va.) Progress-Index,
titled "The 'Continuous' Miner", remarks on the
invention of a mechanical mining machine, which would make mining
easier and safer while reducing costs considerably. It might save
coal mining from extinction and would take it out of the crisis
which had for so long beset the industry. While still in the testing
phase, the "continuous miner" appeared to the piece to
be a promising advance.
Drew Pearson tells of Representative Carl Vinson of Georgia,
a Navy advocate, having ironically engineered the overwhelming
victory in the House to fund the 70-group Air Force. He had formed
the resolution with another Navy man, Congressman Lyndon Johnson,
and then got it through the Armed Services Committee by a vote of 23
Mr. Vinson had gone to see Secretary of Defense Forrestal,
with Mr. Johnson and Congressman Paul Kilday, to try to work out the
differences between the Defense Secretary's proposal for a draft and
UMT and that of Air Secretary Symington regarding the need for the
70-group Air Force. Meanwhile, Mr. Forrestal alerted fiscal
conservative John Taber, House Appropriations Committee chairman, to
the cost of the 70-group Air Force and got the latter on his side to
oppose it. Mr. Vinson then redoubled his efforts, got Mr. Symington
to agree to accept 100 million dollars less than the original 922
million dollar price tag for the expanded Air Force, and the bill
then sailed through the House.
He notes that the President publicly rebuked Secretary
Symington for advocating the larger Air Force. The President thus
took a position aligning with Henry Wallace and the three
Congressmen who supported him, the only three opposing the bill in
the end, Vito Marcantonio, newly elected Leo Isacson, and Adam
Clayton Powell, all of New York.
Marquis Childs discusses the warning anew by the President's
Council of Economic Advisers of inflation on the horizon. The
House-approved expanded Air Force would cost 3.2 billion dollars,
added to the 5.3 billion dollar ERP appropriation, coupled with the
already passed tax cut bill over the President's veto, all
inflationary measures. The Council recommended a system of
allocations, priorities, and export and domestic use limitations, to
protect against bottlenecks and breakdowns in production. The key to
control was steel.
ERP had no priority on the goods in the marketplace and had
to bargain for them as anyone else.
But there was no sign from Congress that it would enact such
controls in an election year. Doing nothing, however, risked
inflation and compromising ERP.
Samuel Grafton finds the distrust of Russia to be strikingly
similar to the way Americans once discussed the British. Americans
believed that the country could not do business with Russia for the
lack of trust. Not very many people were prepared for amity between
the two countries, having become so accustomed to enmity.
It had been extremely difficult to form agreements with
Russia, and the talk in Washington focused more on regret for past
agreement than for lack of present agreement. Some of that
antagonism fueled the difficulty of agreement, representing
traditional attitudes toward Russia.
There was a new isolationism while the Congress cut taxes and
sought to build a larger Air Force. He concludes that the country
had not shed its old patterns from before the war as much as it
thought it had.
Sumner Welles, former Undersecretary of State until August,
1943, discusses the uprising in Bogota, finds it likely only
Communist-abetted rather than Communist-inspired, but, regardless of
origin, the rioting and disorder had upset one of the more
democratic nations in Latin America.
The problems in Latin America were the result of American
policy which was leading the public to believe that all was well
when it was not. America had forgotten the needs of Latin America
for industrial growth, to raise the standards of living. The people
of Latin America were beginning to believe that America only thought
of them when it needed their help, as during the late war.
The countries wanted a minimal program of assistance
consisting of assurance of credits and facilities needed to help
transact the developmental plan within the countries. By insuring
economic stability, the program would expedite European recovery and
would expand the market for American goods, while halting Communism.
A letter writer thanks the newspaper for the editorial of
April 12, "'We Have Nothing to Fear...'", echoing FDR's words
of his first inaugural address in 1933 in the depths of the
Depression, and suggesting that the same notion should apply to the
present world crisis.