The Charlotte News

Wednesday, December 28, 1949


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Winston Churchill had been named by Time as the Man of the Half-Century. It found that he had figuratively warned of rocks ahead and led the rescue parties rather than designing the ship of state. It also said that as mobilizer of two world wars, he had unwittingly contributed more than the Fabians to the triumph of the socialist state. It found that he had performed another great service, after his wartime leadership of Great Britain, by warning of the Iron Curtain in March, 1946. Out of the Westminster College speech, the magazine contended, came the Marshall Plan and the Western Union, as well the military aid program, resulting in the decline of the Communist threat to Western Europe. (That analysis, it might be noted, blinks the fact of President Truman and Secretary of State Marshall, not Mr. Churchill, having initiated each of the programs it manages to ascribe to the wartime leader of Great Britain, relegated so far in the postwar period to a secondary position as Conservative Leader in Parliament.)

The new Government of Indonesia was officially recognized by the U.S., which named a new Ambassador to the country. The U.S. was considering a loan to Indonesia in the hope that it would become a bastion in Southeast Asia against Communism.

In Berlin, it was announced that Russia had discovered new uranium deposits in the Russian zone of Germany, near Wernigerode in the Hartz Mountains. The Germans viewed it as inferior grade uranium.

After being held for twelve days in Hungary as an alleged spy, American Jewish relief official Israel Jacobson was expelled from the country and then released in Vienna by the Russians to the American sector.

The President returned to Washington after his Christmas vacation in Independence, Mo.

Republicans and Democrats bemoaned the deficit but Republicans blamed the Fair Deal for it, an attribution of cause which Democrats vehemently disputed.

Senator Clyde Hoey of North Carolina urged the President to take action to restore coal miners to a full work week through an injunction pursuant to Taft-Hartley as an emergency measure.

In New York, a family of four, including two small children, died on Christmas Eve from asphyxiation from a gas refrigerator.

In Memphis, Tenn., a ten-year old girl, whose family had asked for prayers prior to Christmas to save her hand from being amputated, had lost the hand as doctors saw no other way to save her life. She suffered from a malignant bone tumor in one of her fingers.

In Union, S.C., the 16-year old girl who had been found by relatives with her skull crushed on Christmas Day, was near death as her father was being investigated in connection with the case.

Charlotte was being considered for the site of the Air Force Academy—to be located eventually in Colorado Springs.

Fourteen years from this date, incidentally, North Carolina would defeat the Air Force in the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Fla., 35-0, the next bowl appearance for the Tar Heels after the January 1, 1950 Cotton Bowl appearance against Rice in Dallas, Tex.

Mayor Victor Shaw asked City Councilmen to accompany him and the city's Slum Clearance director on a tour of the city' slum areas, in the hope of convincing them of the need for more than the approved 600 public housing units when, according to the Housing Authority, at least a thousand were necessary.

In Lausanne, Switzerland, Rita Hayworth gave birth to a daughter, a princess based on her father being Prince Aly Khan. The two had been married the previous spring.

On the editorial page, "Key to the Universe?" comments on Albert Einstein's announcement of his general gravitational theory to explain every physical motion in the universe, from that of the particles comprising the atom to the planets and stars.

The scientists of the American Association for the Advancement of Science could not predict how long it might take to prove the theory, though they had indicated that if proved, it would be the biggest scientific discovery in history.

It was thus hard for the lay public yet to understand the significance of the theory or its implications to their lives. But the one practical application of Einstein's theory of relativity, discovered in 1905 and proved in 1921, had been the development of the atomic bomb and so it finds it pardonable if it viewed the current theory with less than enthusiasm until mankind could be shown to have learned how to handle the secrets it had already acquired.

"Free Indonesia" tells of the United States of Indonesia having been established during the week following four years of civil war with the Dutch Government. It would be an equal partner in the new Netherlands-Indonesian Union. While it was not complete freedom, it was enough to encourage President Soekarno. The country faced a threat from Communist guerrillas to the north and would still need help from the Netherlands and the U.S. to withstand the threat. It advocates therefore providing financial and advisory aid to Indonesia to re-establish waning American influence in Asia.

"Election Year Congress" finds that 1950 might be a more explosive year for Congress than 1949, given what was on the agenda, the civil rights program, middle-income housing, Social Security expansion, farm price supports, compulsory health insurance, and Federal aid to education. Since 1950 was a mid-term election year, the subjects would gather more scrutiny from Congress. But that could work both ways, to kill or pass more quickly some of the Fair Deal programs. Plus, compromises would be made to keep some of the more controversial measures off the table.

The greatest problem, it finds, might arise in precipitous action re foreign aid and defense cuts for the sake of economy, potentially nullifying the gains in the democratic world toward resistance to Communism.

"One-Package Appropriation" finds sensible the proposal of Senator Harry Byrd of Virginia to have a single appropriations measure rather than piecemeal appropriations bills, as it would encourage economy to formulate the entire budget at once. But critics complained that it would encourage log-rolling by members, trading off their pet projects with one another. Regardless, it appeared that the proposal would get a hearing in the upcoming session of Congress.

A piece from the Winston-Salem Sentinel, titled "Mountain Speech on the Way to Extinction", tells of Burke Davis, formerly Editor and Associate Editor of The News, reporting in the Baltimore Evening Sun of the people of Western North Carolina gradually losing their colorful speech patterns because of visitors and radio. Nevertheless, the mountain men continued to love the hills.

It suggests that ballad singers and speech preservers might step into the breach and capture the speech for history before the radio announcers and tourists made it a thing of the past.

A piece from the Congressional Record summarizes the legislation to be taken up in the coming session of the 81st Congress in 1950.

Drew Pearson tells of FDR during the war having suggested to Juan Trippe, head of Pan Am, that the airline build a chain of hotels throughout Europe to stimulate the American tourist trade and thereby generate dollars for European nations. He agreed and went about the task after the war but was encountering resistance from the Marshall Plan in at least Turkey. He had arranged with the Turkish Government to build a hotel in the country, to be financed by the Export-Import Bank at four percent interest. But then experts from ERP stepped in and sought to have the Swiss and Belgians operate the hotel instead of Americans and suggested an ERP loan to finance the hotel, at only two percent interest. The latter deal looked better to the Turkish Government and so the matter was now up in the air.

The American Legion's Friendship Train, to supply toys to the children of Europe, was proceeding well, with an abundance of toys having been contributed for distribution by CARE. In Virginia, Governor William Tuck had issued a proclamation to urge Virginians to contribute to the train.

A battle was ongoing within the Cabinet between Secretary of Agriculture Charles Brannan and new Secretary of the Interior Oscar Chapman over which Department would control the Forestry Service. The battle had been ongoing since the FDR years. Both Secretary Chapman and Secretary Brannan were from Denver and were old friends, so were unlikely to be peevish over control of the Forestry Service. But the men under them were gearing up for renewal of the fight.

John Hanes, now a director of Bankers Trust Co. and Pan Am, wanted an apology from TWA for its president having stated that Mr. Hanes had tried to exert financial pressure on TWA through Bankers Trust on behalf of Pan Am. So far, no apology had been forthcoming and Mr. Hanes, who had threatened to resign over the matter, had not done so.

Premier de Gasperi of Italy had sought advice from the American Embassy on how to track down Salvatore Giuliano who was terrorizing Sicily, having killed over a hundred policemen and kidnaped hundreds of wealthy landowners. Italy might receive assistance in this regard from the American Army officers advising the Greek Army.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop tell of the President's strategy in the coming session of Congress being to put forward three programs, the repeal of Taft-Hartley, the farm program of Secretary of Agriculture Charles Brannan, and the civil rights program, starting with the Fair Employment Practices Commission bill. He did not have any realistic hope of passing these measures and so would use the defeat by the Republicans to assure victory in the 1950 mid-term elections.

As to labor, he did not want a substitute measure passed and would veto it if it were passed. The farm program was being opposed by the Farm Bureau, which by law had the right to appoint county agents, a law which the President would seek reasonably to nullify. On civil rights, the President was going to push the FEPC bill initially rather than the anti-poll tax measure, which many Democrats believed had a chance to pass without angering Southerners. Southerners had registered a surprisingly positive voting record in the previous session on labor issues and many on the left did not want to upset them with the FEPC bill. Nevertheless, to appease the Northern black voters, the bill would be first up for consideration in the new session.

According to the latest Gallup poll, voters, with the exception of businessmen and professionals, appeared to favor the Democrats over the Republicans and so the President's strategy was sound, if reliant on Republican rigidity.

Marquis Childs discusses the economy measures in the armed forces to try to keep the budget deficit at least manageable. While General Omar Bradley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, and the military branch leaders were not pleased with the cuts, they were accepting of them, realizing the need for economy.

Top military planners were concerned about the Selective Service Act coming up for renewal in June. Its preservation was deemed by General Bradley to be a top priority because to let it die would mean loss of four or five precious months in restoring it in the event of war. But no one had been drafted since the previous January, in part because voluntary enlistments were up and in another part because of economizing measures, cutting manpower.

Yet, to let the act die would also have an adverse effect on Europe and serve Communist propaganda to the effect that the U.S. would be reliant on European manpower in the event of war.

General Bradley wanted to place more stress on psychological warfare and in this connection, military planners had taken note of a magazine article by Wallace Carroll, detailing his broad knowledge of the subject gleaned from World War II.

Mr. Carroll, incidentally, had become the executive editor of the Winston-Salem Journal in 1949, hired by Secretary of the Army Gordon Gray, head of Piedmont Publishing which owned the Journal and its afternoon counterpart, The Twin City Sentinel. In 1963, after an eight-year stint as news editor of the Washington bureau of the New York Times, Mr. Carroll returned to Winston-Salem to become editor and publisher of both newspapers for the ensuing decade. According to the Washington Post in 1968, one of the factors which entered into President Johnson's decision not to run for re-election was a March 17, 1968 Journal editorial of Mr. Carroll, titled "Vietnam—Quo Vadis?", in which he questioned the relevance of U.S. policy in the Vietnam War insofar as its effect on the central goal, curtailing Soviet expansion, not advocating withdrawal but finding that too many American foreign and defense policy resources were being devoted to the war. Dean Acheson, an old friend of Mr. Carroll, had shown the editorial to President Johnson and told him that it represented his own thinking on the war at that point. Given the ultimate result in the election in 1968 and the failure of the sincere attempt by the President in his remaining ten months in office to effect a diplomatic solution to the war, plus the assassination of Senator Robert Kennedy during the campaign, whether the decision of President Johnson not to run was wise in the abstract, vis-à-vis the long-term interests of the country, poses a conundrum in the hypothetical.

A Quote of the Day: "What the phonograph industry needs is an attachment to the machine that will smash a record that has been sadly overplayed, much to the disgust of everybody in the neighborhood—meaning 'Mule Train', as an instance." —Jackson (Miss.) Daily News

Another such song, we might add, a few years hence, would be "Jackson".

Fourth Day of Christmas: Four calling Idiots in Trumplanderkind.

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