The Charlotte News

Tuesday, February 1, 1949


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in London, a Labor M.P. said that he would ask Prime Minister Clement Attlee to arrange a meeting between Prime Minister Josef Stalin and President Truman.

In Washington, the prosecution began witness presentation on each individual charge in the treason trial of Mildred Gillars, identified as "Axis Sally" who broadcast from Berlin during the war pro-Nazi propaganda aimed at U.S. soldiers. The Constitution requires two witnesses to each alleged act of treason.

Cyrus Ching, head of the Federal Mediation & Conciliation Service, told the Senate Labor Committee that it would be a step backward to place his agency under the Labor Department, as requested by Secretary of Labor Maurice Tobin.

In Ripon, Wisc., six persons, including a former professional and University of Wisconsin football player, Lloyd Wasserbach, were missing and presumed dead from a fire in the Grand View Hotel earlier in the day. Approximately 48 guests were staying at the hotel when the fire erupted from an unknown source.

In Raleigh, a bill to outlaw advertising alcoholic beverages in newspapers or magazines published within the state or on billboards received a favorable committee report in the General Assembly.

A measure was introduced in the State House to reorganize the State Highway Commission, to form a 30-person Commission.

Henry Jordan succeeded A. W. Graham as State Highway Commissioner and W. H. Rogers, formerly Mr. Graham's administrative assistant, became the new Highway Engineer, succeeding W. Vance Baise.

These are things you need to know if you are going to drive on the highways.

In Red Springs, N.C., the previous Sunday, the House of Delegates of the North Carolina Medical Society approved a plan to oppose the "socialized medical" bill now before Congress. The group voted to assess each member $25 toward raising three million dollars to defeat the bill. One doctor said that there was no way to fight fire except with fire.

It's, it's, it's Commonest. Listen here, there'll be them death camps they got for gran'ma.

In Charlotte, the Mecklenburg County Democratic Executive Committee unanimously chose Jack Blythe, brother of recently deceased State Senator and DNC national treasurer Joe Blythe, to become the Democratic candidate in the special election of February 12 to fill the State Senate seat. The nomination assured the victory.

Tom Schlesinger of The News again reports of Davidson College, explaining that the school and its students spent an average of 1.25 million dollars per year in Charlotte and thus were integral to the economy of the city, a practice which had been ongoing for over a century since the founding of the College in 1837. Fifty-one percent of the graduates entered business in Charlotte and many had become industrial leaders. The College was seeking 2.5 million dollars in its first public campaign for funds to meet needed improvements and higher operating costs. A table is provided of the increases in costs from 1940-41 to 1947-48, a budget increase from $330,000 to $582,000, with endowment income down in the interval from $40,000 to $35,000. The cost of living generally across the nation had risen in the interim by 67.2 percent.

In Silver, S.C., a farmer announced an open house at his farm on February 5 for anyone interested in Landrace-Poland China hogs and pastures.

That sounds Communist-inspired. Better investigate.

Another Scrooge, right off the bat, solved the "Mr. X" contest of the week, pocketing $10 from the Empty Stocking Fund, depriving thereby needy families of another $50 for next Christmas. But the newspaper still does not identify the person on the front page and so we are left permanently in the dark to continue to guess. Based on the sole clue from the previous day, it must be John Rankin. Or, maybe Francis.

On the editorial page, "Unanswered Question" comments on the statement by Josef Stalin on Sunday that he would be willing to meet with President Truman at a mutually agreeable location and would also be willing to lift the Berlin blockade provided the creation of the West German state were postponed until the Big Four Council of Foreign Ministers could meet again to discuss the German situation generally, and the Western restrictions on East Berlin trade and transport, removed.

The piece complains that the U.S. conditions for peace with Russia had not been made clear, whether the lifting of the blockade would suffice to ease tensions or whether it might require more, such as dissolution of the Cominform and conduct of free elections in all of the Russian satellite nations. The country needed to decide whether it objected to Communism generally or attempts of Russia to spread the form of state-controlled economy. It wonders whether Communism and capitalism could coexist in the world and posits that until the question would be answered, there would be no solution to the cold war. Until such an answer obtained, pronouncements as that of Stalin the previous weekend would merely echo back and forth until dissipating again into renewed tension.

"Supercharged Stockpiles" comments on the recent report by the Atomic Energy Commission of newer and bigger atomic bombs, based on the three secret tests conducted the previous spring at Eniwetok. Greater production of fissionable materials had also been achieved at lower cost. AEC chairman David Lilienthal had said that very few members of the Commission knew the number of weapons in the stockpile, which he refused to discuss in public hearings. The goal, as governed by the Congressional mandate, was to produce reliable weapons which were small enough to be transported by air.

The piece laments that thus far, the world had not mastered the method of guaranteeing that the weapons being thus stockpiled would remain in storage.

"The Job Can Be Done" finds the March of Dimes drive in Mecklenburg County well short of its annual goal of $100,000, having collected only $40,000, though weekend contributions had been generous. It recommends that the following year, more person-by-person solicitation take place.

A piece from the New York Times, titled "More Daylight", tells of the days lengthening again as spring approached out of winter. The weather in New York was balmy as the West received blizzards, including snow and subfreezing temperatures in Southern California. It appeared unlikely that winter was going to come to much in the Northeast. As the extra hour of daylight slowly was tacked on to the daily revolution, the temperature would begin to warm and even the worst of weather was not so hard to take by daylight.

Drew Pearson tells of the President having had a tough time convincing James Webb to become Undersecretary of State, as he had several lucrative offers within the private sector. But the one which had appealed to him the most had come from Dr. Frank Porter Graham, president of UNC, asking Mr. Webb, a native of North Carolina, to become dean of the UNC Business School at a salary of $15,000 per year, about half of that which he was offered by private firms and equating to his Government salary.

The President, an expert on haberdashery, did not like creases in coat sleeves. An artist who had painted his portrait was asked to remove the creases from his coat sleeves in the portrait. The President dictated so fast that his Secretary, Rose Conway, had abandoned shorthand for a stenographic machine. During the 1890's, Jan Paderewski of Poland had visited Independence, Mo., and stopped to provide a piano lesson to young Harry Truman. Later, Paderewski became President of Poland.

There was a guessing game afoot as to why RNC executive director Ed Bacher had a recording machine attached to his telephone. It was generally agreed that it was not for the purpose of catching Democrats off guard.

It must have been history, Mr. Gitts.

Under a letterhead which read "for bettering the buttering habits of the nation", a New York dairy was lobbying Congress to remove the discriminatory taxes and color restrictions on margarine, provided it was not marketed as butter. He congratulates the dairy for lobbying in the public interest for a change, contrary to the practice of most lobbies.

Former Senator Joseph Ball of Minnesota, loser in the late election to Mayor Hubert Humphrey, had initiated a report while in the Senate regarding TVA and its relations with labor, intending it to be a negative report. When the investigators found that everything was going along fine, the report was suppressed. Now, the Democrats were resurrecting it after the lead investigator had shown it to Senator James Murray of Montana. Mr. Pearson provides an excerpt from the report, giving kudos to TVA for operating without labor strife during its 15 years of existence to that point.

Joseph Alsop, in Belgrade, discusses the position of Yugoslavia and Marshal Tito as thorns in the side of Soviet Communism through Tito's declaration of independence. He equates Soviet Communism to a religion and finds the Yugoslavs thereby to be "heretics", "excommunicated" by the Cominform. The most dangerous form of resistance for the Soviets was a schism from within. And Tito was producing such a schism.

Both the West and Moscow therefore had to observe closely Yugoslavia with "anxious attention". Tito had hoped that his rebellion from Moscow would draw other European Communists into his camp and, to that end, had sent agents into other countries to seek allies. But since the secret police in Moscow held control over every other national party apparatus, he found no takers. Now, the Yugoslav Communists had begun to question the entire Communist philosophy from the Soviet perspective, then undertaken to amend it to their liking, labeling the new form "popular Communism", emanating from the people rather than from the party apparatus, rejecting Russian imperialism. Tito had thus denounced the Kremlin's Machiavellian tactics and attacked his own officials for ignoring the needs of the Yugoslav citizens. To Tito, human beings were still human beings, not numbers as within the isolated Kremlin.

Mr. Alsop cautions that the fact did not mean that Yugoslavia would not remain a police state, if for no other reason than to protect Tito against assassination by a Russian agent. But it was wrong of those in the State Department to contend that Tito was just like the other Communists. He recommends examination anew of Western policy toward Yugoslavia.

DeWitt MacKenzie examines Britain's socialism under Labor Party rule since mid-1945, in light of the current unpopular stand of Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin against Israel and in favor of the Arabs. The policy had just won a vote of confidence in Commons, but only by a 90-vote margin, 283 to 193, the smallest margin on a major issue since the Labor Government had come to power. Thus, the Bevin policy in Palestine was so unpopular at home that many of his own party could not support it. Opposition leader Winston Churchill had accused Mr. Bevin of grossly mishandling the Middle Eastern problem.

The reason for the Foreign Secretary's pro-Arab stance was the vast stores of oil available from the Arab countries of the Middle East, important to both Britain and the U.S. Some observers believed that Mr. Bevin thought that American Jews were interfering with his efforts.

Mr. MacKenzie finds little doubt that the British Government would be overthrown absent a change in this Middle Eastern policy, but that even such an ameliorative change would not end the matter. A general election was upcoming in 1950 by law, after five years from the previous election, and the Government's handling of foreign affairs would be a major issue, along with nationalization of industries. The fate of the Labor Government in that election, he concludes, was by no means certain.

A letter from a minister responds to an earlier letter regarding that letter writer's intent to drink in good conscience, regardless of the "self-styled teachers of Jesus Christ". This author finds the letter not conducive to good citizenship and that its author was knocking the referee for losing a fair fight.

But the ABC system had been implemented in Mecklenburg in mid-1947. Who is knocking the referee?

A letter from a Scotsman wonders what had inspired the letter writer who wrote in defense of bagpipes on January 24. He says that when he would run for office in North Carolina, he would have a pipe band with him and thus no fear of the competition as the people heard "Scots Wha Hae", "The Macgregor Gathering", and "The Cock of the North".

Well, so long as you are not confronted with the wee cock south of the border.

Thanking the previous writer, he hopes that he would come forth from Clover, S.C., and play for him at his demise the "Fraser Dirge" of his own clan, followed by some lively marches "for the remainder of the trip".

A letter writer responds to a misleading point in the article on the front page of January 27 regarding the wedding of actor Tyrone Power to actress Linda Christian, in that it had suggested that because Mr. Power's previous marriage was performed outside the Roman Catholic Church, it was not recognized by the Church. She says that a marriage in any church was recognized by the Catholic Church, even if Mr. Power, having gone through a civil ceremony with his prior wife, did not deserve a church wedding this time. She says that any dispensation to him made by the Catholic Church came in deference to Ms. Christian, of a devout family, spending much of her early life in Rome.

What is your problem? It is just a couple getting married, you moron. It happens every day in all kinds of ways. Mind your own damned business.

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