The Charlotte News

Monday, January 3, 1949


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that throughout China, talk of peace was sweeping into the open, including at a dinner for several hundred educators and public officials given this date in Nanking by Cabinet member General Chang Chih-Chung. Chiang Kai-Shek was present at the dinner but refused to discuss politics, urged the guests to enjoy the food and drink.

In Shanghai, city council members petitioned by radio the Communists for a ceasefire. Some Nationalist generals in Peiping and Tientsin in the North were believed to be trying to set up separate peace talks with the Communists.

A city official in Peiping told A. P. correspondent Spencer Moosa that they had only a three-week supply of food remaining, but that a political settlement of the civil war was in the offing by the point it would be exhausted. Mr. Moosa was allowed to file the report despite strict Government censorship on reporting from Peiping, lending credence to the council member's assertion.

On Java, Indonesian guerrillas claimed that they were continuing to hit at Dutch positions despite the Dutch ceasefire following the 12-day "police action" allegedly undertaken to reduce the threat of a Communist insurgency. The Dutch, however, said that there were no regular Indonesian Republican troops under a responsible commander operating in Java.

In London, a responsible but unidentified source had said that U.S. recognition of Israel might be withdrawn if it attacked neighboring Arab states. The informant, who declined to reveal even his nationality, said that there was a danger that the British, bound by mutual defense treaties to Trans-Jordan and Egypt, would enter the Palestine war on the side of the Arab countries if Jewish incursions to Arab territory were to continue, as in the second battle of the Negev Desert when a Jewish force reportedly entered Egypt. The Negev itself had been awarded to Israel under the November, 1947 partition plan adopted by the U.N.

Secretary of the Army Kenneth Royall returned from his inspection of American troops in Europe, having found them in "splendid shape".

The Supreme Court, in two cases, Lincoln Union v. Northwestern Co., 335 U.S. 525, and A.F.L. v. American Sash & Door Co., 335 U.S. 538, both opinions delivered by Justice Hugo Black, upheld North Carolina's legislative ban and that of Nebraska and Arizona, instituted by state constitutional amendments, on the closed union shop, challenged as violations of the First Amendment rights of free speech, assembly and petition, as well as the Constitutional prohibition against government impairment of contracts. The Lincoln Union case on the North Carolina and Nebraska bans was unanimous, but Justice Frank Murphy, without opinion, dissented in the Arizona case, American Sash & Door—and to all a good night. Justices Wiley Rutledge and Felix Frankfurter wrote concurring opinions in both cases.

The cases did not directly decide whether the Taft-Hartley ban of the closed shop was constitutional. It permitted a union shop, whereby workers hired had to join the union within a given time period, on a majority vote of the workers. The closed shop permitted an employer to hire only established union members.

The New York grand jury investigating Government spies reconvened this date.

That's a relief. We thought they were going to allow the Government to be taken over by these Commie New Dealers, giving up all our precious secrets to the Rooskies so's they can atomic bomb us now that Thomas is under indictment, Stripling is no more, and Nixon's in the minority with Mundt.

God help us.

The previous grand jury's 18-month tenure had expired in December, just after it delivered up an indictment of Alger Hiss on two counts of perjury, the only person indicted in the 18-month life of the jury.

The 81st Congress convened this date and Democrats began discussing in the House changes of rules to avoid pigeonholing of social legislation in the Rules Committee. Republicans vowed to fight the changes, hoping to team up with Southern Democrats. The latter effort failed, as the Democrats were able to pass a rules change, discussed below in an editorial, late in the day.

In the Senate, Republicans voted to keep the leadership of Robert Taft despite an effort by Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., and his liberal backers to take over the GOP policy committee. To do so, the GOP regulars voted a rules change forbidding the same person from holding the post more than four years. The actual GOP vote on Senator Taft was delayed by the calling of the Senate to order.

The President reviewed his State of the Union message with members of the Cabinet, to be delivered Wednesday at 1:00 p.m.

Ambassador Walter Bedell Smith reportedly wanted to give up his post as Ambassador to Moscow, but the President had not yet made a decision on the matter after consulting with Ambassador Smith this date. He had been in the post for three years, a year longer than he originally anticipated when he took the job.

A few seconds after takeoff, in icy and foggy conditions in Seattle, a Boeing DC-3, carrying vacationing Yale students back to school, crashed, killing 14 of 30 aboard. Sixteen, some seriously injured, managed to escape as the plane came to a fiery collision with the ground. The crew had been twice warned that weather conditions were below minimum standards for takeoff.

The parents of one student on the plane had prevailed upon him to return to school from Portland by train, purchased a train ticket for him and drove him to the station, bid farewell. But he had instead taken a seat on the ill-fated plane and was not listed among the survivors.

Never disobey your parents in matters of means of transportation. It could be your last ride, pal.

Outgoing Governor Gregg Cherry and incoming Governor Kerr Scott met this date with Highway Commissioner A. H. Graham for a discussion of an unnamed subject, having something to do with a closet.

The Legislature was preparing for the start of its biennial session on Wednesday, the day before the inauguration of the new Governor. Whether they would be considering the subject about which the Governor, Governor-elect, and Highway Commissioner were closeted was not indicated.

Bladen County, N.C., had collected in Recorder's Court a mess of fines, $18,000 worth, during the previous year.

Two unmasked yeggs held up the Bank of Pembroke in Pembroke, escaping with $12,000 to $20,000, the second time in two years the bank had been robbed, the previous time having been in March, 1947, when robbers got away with $10,000. Both of those robbers had been caught and sentenced to prison. The present robbers escaped in a blue Mercury sedan with a North Carolina license plate.

If you see one, report it to police or the Highway Patrol forthwith.

Pictures and stories wrapping up the New Year's Day bowl games appear on pages 2-B and 3-B.

On the editorial page, "Better Taxicab Service" tells of the Mayor and City Council studying revision of regulations of taxicabs in Charlotte. Provisions preventing rental of cabs by companies to drivers and preventing cabs from cruising for passengers had been routinely violated. The result of the former infractions had been that cab drivers refused to take passengers on longer trips across the city, eager to achieve a volume of fares. The latter had resulted in impedance of already jammed traffic. Meters were being required on the cabs for the first time, as meters had been scarce during the war. Only Yellow Cab had a central switchboard for dispatching cabs to passengers and the other two companies had been ordered to provide one as well.

The piece suggests creation of taxi stands in the city.

Visitors to the city would derive an impression from the quality of the cab service and so it needed improvement.

Let's hope so.

"The Pot and the Kettle" suggests that while American Communists always spoke of "thought control" in America, thought control was far more prevalent in the Soviet Union, where the Bolshoi Theater had undergone criticism by the Kremlin for its "decadent, formalistic music", the Russian cinema had incurred scolding for "inadequate ideological content", and Russian musicians and composers, including Dimitri Shostokovich, Sergei Prokofiev, Aram Khatchaturian, and Nicholas Miakovsky, had been chided for not producing traditional melodies.

While John Chamberlain, writing in Fortune, had taken to task American fiction writers for giving the American businessman a hard time, and the President had described modern impressionism and abtraction as "scrambled eggs" art, no one was seeking to threaten the producers of this art.

It finds something sinister in any government which tried to develop "culture" through force. The core of Marxist philosophy, that an oppressed group would revolt, had been forgotten by the Soviets.

"Revision of Rules Committee" tells of the proposal to eliminate pigeonholing in the House Rules Committee, the Democrats finally having voted to amend the rules to allow any standing committee chairman to ask the House by direct vote to place a bill, approved by that committee and pending before the Rules Committee more than 24 days, before the full House, to allow for debate and a vote.

It remained to be seen, however, whether the full House would approve the change, as Southern Democrats were said to be aligning with Northern Republicans to block the Administration-backed plan, aimed at preventing the forestalling of civil rights and labor legislation. (As a bulletin on the front page advises, the change had passed.)

A piece from the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin, titled "Results of Better Car Care", reminds cities and states of the growing rate of automobiles in use in the country, increased by seven million since before the war, to more than 41 million. Part of the reason was better car maintenance, prolonging the life of the average automobile from 5.5 years to 8.9 years.

Which, incidentally, suggests why a 1929 Model A Ford was, by 1936, virtually worthless and thus made an appropriate gift from Alger Hiss to broke and carless, if parlous, Whittaker Chambers.

Drew Pearson tells of a compromise being proposed by Arkansas Congressman Brooks Hays to avoid an impasse between Northern and Southern Democrats on civil rights. It would bypass the Fair Employment Practices Commission, the remaining stumbling block for the Southerners, and substitute in its stead an employment counseling service, resolving complaints of unfair treatment on an individual basis, removing criminal and civil penalties for violations as under the proposed FEPC. As a compromise, segregation would be outlawed on interstate means of transportation, to which Congressman Hays believed the Southerners would not object. Most Southerners had agreed to acquiesce to some form of anti-lynching law, and the anti-poll tax legislation was not an issue as most states had abolished the tax. Many Northern Democrats were ready to agree to the proposal. Congressman Hays, however, still had to convince the President.

The 81st Congress wanted to pass the President's program within six months, while the election was fresh in the minds of the membership. It included raising Government salaries across the board, repeal of Taft-Hartley, raising the minimum wage to about 75 cents per hour, passing public housing and slum clearance, providing 300 million dollars of Federal aid for education, extending the reciprocal trade agreements for a longer period, abolishing the discriminatory tax on margarine, eliminating the Government's limit on grain storage to enable purchase of overproduced grain and corn at support prices, ratifying the international wheat agreement, granting of statehood to Alaska and Hawaii, and enabling immigration by 200,000 displaced persons without the discriminatory provisions formerly imposed by the 80th Congress, limiting immigration of Catholics and Jews. The biggest fight ahead would be over the budget, with the President determined to hold the line on defense spending to 15 billion dollars.

A meeting of top House Democrats appeared to favor immediate liberalization of the rules governing the Rules Committee, to make it harder to pigeonhole legislation and keep it from a floor vote. The same type changes were to apply to the Ways & Means Committee, to be chaired again by Robert Doughton of North Carolina. Speaker Sam Rayburn and floor leader John McCormick urged him to appoint more liberal members from several regions of the country to the Committee to assure favorable consideration of Administration-backed social legislation. Presently, of ten Democrats on the Committee, only one, John Dingell of Michigan, was from the West or Midwest. Ordinarily stubborn, Mr. Doughton agreed to follow the Speaker's recommendations.

An application submitted to the Civil Aeronautics Board by a group of wealthy North Carolinians sought to establish a vacation airlines with all expenses paid as a package. The group included John W. Hanes, former Undersecretary of the Treasury, and textile magnates Charles Cannon and Thurmond Chatham. The major airlines had, for the most part, opposed the plan as an infringement on their trade.

Stewart Alsop tells of high officials in Washington having become disturbed by the sudden announcement a week earlier by the President that there were "certain Soviet leaders" anxious to have an understanding with the U.S. The CIA, the State Department and the Defense Department intelligence divisions began to scramble to find out what they had missed to which the President was singularly privy.

The only thing which they had turned up was an intelligence report supplied to the President several months earlier, reliably informing of a difference of opinion within the Politburo between the faction led by Georgei Malenkov and that led by V. M. Molotov. The latter believed that the U.S. was soon headed into a major depression which would paralyze its world strength, that consequently, Soviet pressure should be maintained on the non-Soviet world so that it would be ready to take advantage of the power vacuum thus left behind. But Mr. Malenkov believed that such political pressure would require the U.S. to implement economic controls which would forestall any such depression for ten to fifteen years.

No intelligence existed as to how Stalin dealt with the issue, but, based on interim events, he had likely maintained the Malenkov view in reserve while relying on Molotov's opinion.

Mr. Alsop suggests that it was possible that the President had hastily read the intelligence report and misunderstood it, that his remark a week earlier was another example of an off-the-cuff statement based on less than studied information. But he concludes that it was more likely that there was no basis at all for the President's assertion.

On the other hand, perhaps a secret feeler had come from the Soviets to the White House. Regardless, as the President intended to take more of an active role in foreign policy development after the imminent departure of Secretary of State Marshall, there was no room for impulsive remarks, especially ones based on a misunderstanding of the "real sources of Soviet conduct."

James Marlow tells of the real man of the year, "the little guy", running to catch a bus, reminding himself that he could catch another, that to run was to risk a heart attack, killer of one in three persons. (Wrong information. Stop smoking and run more.)

Here he was, another year gone and a year older, hair thinner, eyes dimmer, stiffness in the knees. (Run more and it won't happen.) But it was a good year as he had put his children another year further through school, closer to the time when they would be on their own and he could take it easier—until he reminded himself that such was an illusion, that he would always remain on the treadmill.

As he rode the bus, he thought of how fortunate he was compared to those living in Eastern Europe. At least no secret police would come and take him away in the middle of the night. He had given up on the U.N. as a means to peace, as it was fast becoming a joke. But he also realized that if it failed, the world would be back in the jungle again.

President Truman, once a "little guy" like him, had won against the odds. That brought a smile.

"He felt good and he was glad to be going home. It was like walking into a new year, which it was.

"He was walking fast. His step was jaunty. President Truman is mighty jaunty himself, the little guy thought. Good luck to him, he said. To me, too."

Dr. Hamilton Holt, president of Rollins College in Virginia and member of the national advisory board of the United World Federalists, provides the first of two articles on world government. He advises that world government needed to be established such that laws governing nations could be created, interpreted, and enforced by a world tribunal and police force.

The world government would need to have control over weapons of mass destruction, including the atomic bomb and the air forces.

Such was no longer a matter of slowly evolving political theories, as the means existed to destroy the world and had to be brought under effective control.

A letter writer, a member of the UWF, also advocates world government.

Tenth Day of Christmas: Ten Lairds Larruping with Lariats.

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