DIARY - Meanwhile in the world ...




     4 Burma proclaims its independence from the Commonwealth.

     30 Mahatma Gandhi is assassinated in India by a Hindu extremist.



     4 Ceylon becomes a British Dominion.

     25 A Communist coup in Czechoslovakia routs the middle class parties and Klement Gottwald becomes President of the Republic.



     10 The body of Czechoslovak Foreign Minister Jan Masaryk is found in Prague underneath the open window of his office.

     17 The United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands sign the Treaty of Brussels on political, economic and military cooperation.



     30 Bogota, Colombia is the venue for the IX pan-American Conference giving birth to the Organization of American States (OAS). The aims of the new organization, based in Washington, are mutual assistance in the event of aggression, a peaceful solution to internal divergencies and the promotion of the Member States' socio-economic development.

     31 The US Congress approves the Marshall Plan, an economic aid program (of over $5 billion) for the reconstruction of Europe. On April 16, the 16 beneficiaries of the Marshall Plan form the first European organization of the post-War - the Organization of Economic Cooperation in Europe (OECE), which became the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in 1961. The aim is to foster economic cooperation among the Member States in the post-War reconstruction phase.



     Britain renounces its Mandate for Palestine, withdrawing troops and government officials. On May 14, the National Jewish Council chaired by Ben Gurion, proclaims the State of Israel causing many Arabs to abandon Palestine. Arab League Member States (Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq) take military action against the new State, but the Israelis win this first Arab-Israeli war which lasted from May until November.

     26 In the Republic of South Africa, the Nationalist Party wins the elections. The new Premier Daniel Malan inaugurates the total racial segregation (apartheid) of the black and colored population who, deprived of all civil rights, are exploited to launch the country's industrial development.



     1 West Germany is included among the country beneficiaries of the Marshall Plan; the new German Mark is struck. The Soviet Union responds to monetary reform with the block on Berlin on June 24 (since 1945, the city had been split into the eastern Soviet zone and the western zone occupied by the US, France and Britain). Road traffic is blocked and supplies from the west are suspended forcing citizens to recur to an air lift organized by the US military governor General Clay.

     28 The Soviet Union expels Yugoslavia from the Cominform (Communist Parties Coordination Office) and condemns the Yugoslav Premier Tito's "national road to socialism".



     30 Westminster declares all the inhabitants of the Commonwealth British subjects.



     15 Seoul declares Korea (South) a republic headed by the nationalist Syngman Rhee.



     In Poland, President of the Republic Boleslaw Bierut takes over from Wladislaw Gomulka as Communist Party Secretary.

     6 Queen Juliana of the Netherlands ascends to the throne. The country has a coalition government led by Socialist Willem Drees.

     9 The Korean People's Republic (North) is proclaimed under the Communist Premier Kim Il Sung.

     10 The French radical Henry Queuille is appointed to head the government in the place of Robert Schuman.

     24 In China, Communists continue their struggle against the Chang Kai-shek Government, winning over Shantung and Manchuria (November 2).



     2 Democrat Harry Truman is re-elected US President, thanks to one of the planks in his electoral platform - promises to modernize social legislation.



     10 The United Nations General Assembly approves the text of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
     The Hungarian Workers' Party founded by Communists and Social Democrats, win the Hungarian elections owing to alleged vote rigging by police. Interior Minister Janos Kadar orders persecution of ecclesiastics - Cardinal Joseph Mindszenty is arrested on December 27 for conspiring against the State and sentenced to life imprisonment.