30 March 2010

Safer On Board


From The Pittsburgh Press on this day in 1949:

In Danger Unless We Act, Briton Says -

Pickets Hurl Tomato As Bevin Arrives in U.S. to Sign Pact

Foes of Anti-Semitism Say Name of Foreign Secretary Should Be Spelled 'S.O.B.'

NEW YORK, March 30 (UP) - British Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin, arriving today in this country to sign the North Atlantic Pact, was the target of a tomato.

It was hurled from a group of jeering pickets today as he left the liner Queen Mary.

The tomato missed its mark.

The three youths were arrested on disorderly conduct charges after mounted police rode their horses onto the sidewalk to force the hooting crowd back. No one was hurt.

Anti Anti-Semitism

Nearly 800 pickets, sponsored by the Joint Commission to combat Anti-Semitism, had marched before the pier at which the Queen Mary arrived.

When the foreign secretary left the ship only about 30 remained. They said they were college students and that their picketing was "spontaneous" and unsponsored.

As police sirens heralded the departure of the Bevin limousine, the youths stormed a protective line thrown up by 30 policemen. They shouted:

"How do you spell Bevin? 'S.O.B.'"

Several of the youths were roughed up in the clash with the policemen. A few of them reached the curb as Mr. Bevin's car passed. Police said some of the youths were carrying eggs but didn't throw them.

Students Arrested

Those arrested included Robert Newman, 19, a mail boy, Brooklyn, and Harry Hirsh, 17, Brooklyn, a student at Samuel Tilden High School. Police said others in the group identified themselves as students at New York colleges.

Mr. Bevin said aboard ship that if the North Atlantic nations just "sign a pact and then stand back, we will be in great danger."

"Do you mean the pact needs implementation?" He was asked.

"Exactly," Mr. Bevin replied.

Can Come Together

The British foreign secretary said the Atlantic Pact "has taught the world again that democracy can come together when danger is apparent."

Andrei Gromyko, chief Soviet delegate to the United Nations, also arrived on the Queen Mary.

"Did you have any conversations with Mr. Gromyko?" Secretary Bevin was asked.

"I never disturb a ship and cause any danger," Mr. Bevin replied, smiling.

Photo:
Secretary Bevin on the Queen Mary in September 1950.

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