The Charlotte News

Wednesday, February 16, 1949


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Secretary of State Dean Acheson insisted that the U.S. intended to make the North Atlantic Pact an effective security alliance, citing the President's affirmation of that intention in the inauguration speech. He was responding to questions anent the statements the previous Monday by Senators Arthur Vandenberg and Tom Connally that the Senate would not go along with a prior commitment to war in the event of attack on a member nation. Mr. Acheson said that the State Department was in accord with the Senate's goals in ratifying the treaty.

Secretary Acheson also said that no change in the policy was under consideration regarding the occupation of Japan, that reports of imminent withdrawal in light of the Communist takeover of China were untrue.

In Frankfurt, General Lucius Clay, American military occupation governor of Germany, had requested the official Soviet repatriation mission in the U.S. zone to depart by March 1. The mission was responsible for repatriation of displaced Soviet citizens in the U.S. zone. Rumors from the French zone suggested a similar demand was being considered, based on rumors of activities by the mission beyond repatriation. The missions had been present since the end of the war.

In Athens, nine more persons, two of whom were women, were executed for aiding the Communist guerrillas in Greece.

Secretary of the Treasury John W. Snyder asked Congress to renew ERP without any provision that the recipient nations would receive part of their aid in loans, a fifth of the aid during the first year having been in that form. He said that the ERP administrator should have authority to determine whether aid should be in the form of loans.

In Washington, two large organizations of landlords repudiated the plan for mass evictions in the case of passage of the two-year extension of rent controls. Other organizations had descended on Washington in protest of the bill, threatening mass evictions in case of its passage.

AFL president William Green told the Senate Labor Committee that he opposed the Taft-Hartley provision for 80-day injunctions against strikes, said that they did no good, as evidenced by the coal strikes of UMW in which John L. Lewis stood firm even against citations for contempt for not ending the strikes initially as ordered in late 1947 and the spring of 1948.

In Philadelphia, violence flared in the three-day old transportation strike, which included 3,800 cab drivers and 11,000 transportation workers. Three motorists had reportedly been attacked by roving gangs of men, whose identities were not established. One motorist was injured seriously, threatened with blindness after being struck in the eye with a heavy object hurled through his car window. Thus far, the strike was estimated to have cost Philadelphia businesses 30 million dollars in three days. The two transportation companies were losing a combined amount of about $435,000 per day in revenue.

In Columbia, S.C., a bill was introduced to the General Assembly to make political parties the sole judges of the qualifications of their members. The bill was an attempt to get around the decision of U.S. District Court Judge J. Waties Waring, striking down as unconstitutional the South Carolina law which had sought to privatize primary elections and have them run by the parties, apart from the State, to prevent blacks from voting. The decision was under appeal. Another decision of Judge Waring, likewise on appeal, held that Democratic primary voters could not be required to take an oath asserting, inter alia, belief in racial segregation.

In Charlotte, several business and industry leaders stated that the President's proposed 75-cent minimum wage would cause inflation and, in some cases, run small firms out of business. The president of S & W Cafeterias said it would be a "rough blow" to the services industry. A dairy farmer said that he saw no alternative except to raise prices. A lumber company executive said that sawmill operators would be placed under a "hard burden" and would have to limit or leave business.

Robert Farrington reports that Government scientists were working on a satellite spaceship which could go through the stratosphere at a speed of 10,000 miles per hour, and a rocket plane which could go 3,000 to 4,000 mph. The space vehicles were being developed by Curtiss-Wright Corporation. All three armed services were working on the project. Some scientists believed that the nation which would create the first space station could use it as a platform for launching atomic rockets and thereby control the earth. It could also be used in peacetime to reflect radar, radio and television waves and as a base for interplanetary travel. The proposed satellite would probably be without a crew but later might possibly have crews sent back and forth to it. The most difficult problem was guidance of the craft to the target, possibly to be accomplished via radar beams transmitted from the satellite. The armed forces were also seeking 200 million dollars for a 500-mile range proving ground for a missile project.

That is going to be something, isn't it?

In New York, the Artists' League of America, perhaps included on the front page to aid in the solution of the "Miss X" contest, issued its selections for the "ten most perfect features in the world" of outstanding women. Examples: lips went to Rita Hayworth; nose, to Madame Chiang Kai-Shek; legs, to Linda Darnell, followed by Ava Gardner; ears, to Margaret Truman, whose auditory receptors were said to be an exact replica of those found in Greek sculpture; eyes, the test of which was softness, to Princess Margaret of Britain; cheek bones, to Jane Russell, beating out Ingrid Bergman; and so on and so forth.

The latter is a good point. We had never noticed their cheek bones.

The Artists' League includes forehead, thighs, shoulders and chin. Where were hair and elbows?

"Miss X", we have determined, could not be Eva Marie Saint, after all. For Ms. Saint was not yet known to the public well enough for The News to have used her image in the contest, was still about five years away from a prominent role in a motion picture, and, in any event, appears never to have dyed her hair dark. So, now we are stumped in the mystery of who the New Jersey-born woman was. Perhaps, another clue is provided here, from a movie from last year. Perhaps, not. It could be Anne Morrow Lindbergh, but the picture does not really bear enough likeness to her hair, and, for political reasons and the fact that she had been away from the limelight since the beginning of the war, we doubt that they would have used her for the contest. We are simply stumped.

Meanwhile, however, we think we have a new line on the well-known former football player from last week's "Mr. X" contest.

On the editorial page, "Topics of the Times" tells of the various bits of arcanum which could be obtained by reading through Government publications. Senator Styles Bridges of New Hampshire had conducted a study, finding that the Government published more than 83,723 different publications, much of which, he said, was "inane, stupid and childish literature".

"Business Takes the Offense" tells of business taking the offense against Government intrusion on free enterprise, citing as example a message from John Holmes, president of Swift & Co., urging that business needed to convince the public through good business practices of its contribution to the public welfare and that good business was accomplished through teamwork.

The piece, after quoting extensively from Mr. Holmes's message to the shareholders, concludes that with such positive tactics, American business could recover from the attacks it had suffered in recent years.

Somebody was taking a day off from the rigors of editorialization this date, enjoying perhaps the false-spring 73-degree sunshine.

A piece from the High Point Enterprise, titled "Women Needed", applauds Governor Kerr Scott's program to hire more women in State Government, including possible appointment of a woman to the Superior Court. It views such appointments as improvements of Government and a significant step toward progress rather than being for the purpose of appeal to female voters.

Drew Pearson tells of Maine Senator Margaret Chase Smith having found the absence of any ladies' room near the Senate and, in attempted remedy, having written Arizona Senator Carl Hayden of the missing facilities. She also requested green paint for her offices rather than the standard cream color. Senator Hayden imparted to her that he had found that former Arkansas Senator Hattie Caraway, the only long-term female Senator to date, had not had access to a ladies' room until she became chairperson of a committee. Senator Smith decided to let the matter go. Some female reporters, however, were urging her to press it.

Senator Hayden had agreed that she was entitled to a ration of green paint, but for her private office only, not the entire suite. She nevertheless argued that she should be able to have the entire suite green, as that of Senator Green. Senator Hayden suggested that Senator Green's suite was so painted because of his name. She persisted, offering to pay for the paint and labor, but so, too, did Senator Hayden in his refusal, arguing that every other Senator would then want to do likewise, until she finally compromised and accepted the green paint only for her private office.

He notes that there was also debate as to whether Senator Smith was entitled to free beauty parlor service, as male Senators received free haircuts.

Reader's Digest had published an article from France about the bad results there of rent control, producing slums and squalor, in support of the real estate lobby's effort to defeat the bill to extend rent control two more years. Mr. Pearson notes that the source of the article was the Foundation for Economic Education, which had been responsible for propaganda against the Marshall Plan, even writing speeches to that effect for Congressmen, most of whom had been defeated for re-election the previous November.

Comedian Jack Carter, substituting for Milton Berle recently on a television show, had joked that the Army ought melt its brass hats into cuspidors, which the Army brass hats did not regard as funny, trying thereafter to keep Mr. Carter from appearing on the dais at the correspondents dinner for the President. He appeared anyway, but sans any jokes about the Army.

Marquis Childs tells of the President having nominated his old friend, former Governor of Washington and former Senator Mon Wallgren to be chairman of the National Security Resources Board, a new agency of great importance. The purpose of the Board was to develop and acquire natural resources and relocate and reorganize industry for national security purposes. The Board consisted of the chairman and the Secretaries of State, Treasury, Defense, Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, and Labor.

Nothing in Governor Wallgren's past as an amiable politician appeared to prepare him for this important role. He had been defeated for re-election as Governor the previous fall, despite Democrats and the President carrying the state. Because of some swirling scandals surrounding Governor Wallgren, he had been considered a liability in the campaign to the President. Senator Harry Cain of Washington, a Republican, had vowed to try to block the nomination.

Mr. Childs recommends examining the nomination with care. Mr. Wallgren's name had come up in connection with the summer-fall, 1947 investigation of Howard Hughes and the formation of his war contracts with the Government, with the help of Elliot Roosevelt. Mr. Wallgren had been listed as one of those attending the parties of Mr. Hughes's publicity man, John Meyer, the cost of which had been charged to the Government. While perhaps trivial, given the importance of the position to which he had been appointed, it merited further investigation.

DeWitt MacKenzie tells of the Senate closely examining the North Atlantic Pact and likely not to approve the provision binding the country to go to war in the event of attack on one of the member nations, at its inception including the U.S., Canada, Britain, France and the Benelux countries, with Norway also seeking to join on condition of provision of assurance of security by the U.S. in the event of attack.

Senator Vandenberg, while believing the Pact provided "infinite assurance" against World War III, opposed the automatic war provision without the ability to determine each case as it arose independently. Senator Tom Connally, current chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, agreed and said he would not support a provision which suggested even a "moral commitment" to go to war for the other nations.

Such objection to a prior commitment to use of force went back to the Founding and President Washington, and his admonition, in his Farewell Address of 1796, against entangling alliances.

Senator Vandenberg had suggested that language regarding a "community of interest" would be sufficient to act as a deterrent to a potential aggressor. The U.S., after all, had joined both world wars without prior commitments.

Samuel Grafton, no longer carried by The News, finds that there was economic adjustment taking place in the country, with jobs being lost, and that the Government needed to cease making reassuring statements about it. The situation would not get any better by hiding from it. The business cycle was, as the President had said, man-made and thus not beyond the control of man to change by mass effort.

"To keep fingers crossed, to whistle one's courage up, is to put the whole matter into the realm of magic, where it does not belong. The choice is between facing it without fearing it, and fearing it without facing it."

If the Government were to proceed in a concerted effort to manage the adjustment, then at least speculation in the markets would be curbed in an ameliorative way, in contrast to mere reassurance which did little or nothing.

letter writer objects to the February 12 letter which had suggested that Americans should hate Britain. He says that this letter betrayed a lack of education, that Winston Churchill had by no means inveigled FDR into World War II, as the previous writer had declared, that Hitler had marched against the world "with his 'Super Race'." He finds that the British had perhaps some right to hate Americans, however, for not becoming directly involved in the war until after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

A letter writer responds to a Clover, S.C., minister who favored a return to prohibition in Mecklenburg County. He suggests that he ought first get the six liquor stores in Clover removed before foisting his opinion on a county in another state. ABC-controlled sale, he offers, was far better than the old bootlegger system with its attendant crime.

A letter from the Chamber of Commerce thanks the newspaper for its special edition of February 12, publicizing the advantages of Charlotte.

A letter writer addresses a letter to Spike Jones, who would be in Charlotte soon. The writer was crippled and in the Orthopedic Hospital, could not attend the concert, and so suggests that Mr. Jones bring his City Slickers to the hospital to perform a show.

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