December 19, 1946 – Six days to Christmas and the world was anything but peaceful. Labor strikes in Naples Italy were threatening to paralyze the city and bring down the fragile Italian government. Trouble was erupting in the Middle East, and the flashpoint was Palestine.
In Basle Switzerland, an out-and-out threat of civil war was made at the World Zionist Congress in session at that city. A representative of The Stern Gang, Irgun Zvi Leumi and several other Jewish underground organizations in Palestine, said that if the Zionists attempted to force Partition of the Holy Land, or continued further collaboration with the British, such acts would be regarded as a signal for civil war.
Meanwhile, the United Nations Security Council met at Lake Success in New York to discuss the controversy between Greece and their northern neighbors. It was expected to come to a climax and final decision this day. The United States proposed that an investigating group from the UN make a personal inspection of the border area between Greece on the south and Albania, Yugoslavia and Bulgaria on the north. They would then report their findings for final action by the Security Council. A vote on that proposal was expected to come later on in the day.
Russia accused Iran of inciting a reign of terror in the region of Azerbajian. Radio Moscow quoted Tass, the official Russian news agency, of mass murders of Azerbajianies by Iranian troops. The broadcast also charged that Russian institutions and citizens had been attacked.
General Douglas MacArthur signed an agreement with Russian earlier this day, to return 50,000 Japanese war prisoners a month from Russian territory to Japan. MacArthur’s headquarters announced that the Supremem Commander had offere the Soviet government enough shipping to carry 360,000 men a month, but the Russians set the limit at 50,000. Only those Japanese wanting to go willingly were to return their homeland. There were to be no enforced repatriations.
All that, and a complete breakup in laughter on the air from Lowell Thomas and a lot of other news from NBC Radio for December 19, 1946.