The Charlotte News
Tuesday, February 22, 1949
Site Ed. Note: The front page presents a report from Moscow by Associated Press correspondent Eddie Gilmore that the Russians had published a book, The Truth about American Diplomats, by Annabelle Bucar, who had resigned from the U.S. Embassy, claiming that Ambassador Walter Bedell Smith had engaged in black market activities, ordering Russian employees of the Embassy to sell things for him, such as gold coins, watches and fountain pens. She also claimed that large speculators at the Embassy returned to the U.S. with large supplies of illegally exported artwork. The book further asserted that a clique in the State Department was trying to foment war with Russia and that some in the Department were Germanophiles. Ambassador Smith described it all as fabrication. Ms. Bucar had resigned a year earlier, revealing that for over a year she had been married to a Russian singer. At the time, she complained that the Embassy was anti-Russian in its policies.
The Hoover Commission issued recommendations for changes within the Department of Agriculture, which it suggested would save 80 million dollars. The primary recommendations were dividing the Department into eight units or services and that local farmer committees, responsible for such things as school lunches and soil conservation, be divorced from administrative functions. Commission members Dean Acheson, presently Secretary of State, and James Rowe dissented from the report, saying that they believed the estimated savings had not undergone sufficient scrutiny.
In Munich, Fritz Kuhn, former leader of the German-American Bund, was freed by a German appellate court after being sentenced to ten years by a German denazification court. The appellate court had reduced the term to two years, taking into account the 25 months he had spent in prison camps, thus freeing him on credit for time served. He said that he would again try to regain his American citizenship.
NLRB chairman Paul Herzog said in a letter to the Senate Labor Committee that Taft-Hartley had produced friction between the Board and its general counsel, presently Robert Denham. He stressed that he was not speaking of personalities but rather the separate roles forced on the Board and counsel by the Act, making the counsel responsible for choosing which cases would come before the Board and then making him chief prosecutor of those cases.
In Washington, ceremonies marked the birthday of George Washington, including a reading to the Senate by Senator Margaret Chase Smith of his Farewell Address. The President sent a wreath to the V.F.W. Memorial at Mount Vernon.
In Cambridge, O., a father fainted when shown his newborn baby boy, hitting his head on the floor, requiring seventeen stitches. He was alright.
In Cleveland, O., an Army corporal went on a rampage through three cars of a passenger train, causing about a $1,000 worth of damage after a civilian passenger told him the Army was no good. The corporal had re-enlisted after seven years of service, including a long stretch overseas. He said that he had been drinking when he got aboard and then had a few more highballs. He said that he would pay for the damage. He was in police custody but no charges had been filed.
In Raleigh, Pete McKnight, News reporter, about to become Editor, tells of ABC advocates preparing to present their argument for retention of county option to the Joint Committee on Propositions & Grievances, in response to the proposed statewide referendum championed by the Dry forces to ban alcohol sales throughout the state.
A State legislator introduced a bill to amend the 1947 closed shop ban to allow modified closed shop arrangements in union contracts.
Governor Kerr Scott said that if a group of legislators asked him to propose specific measures to raise taxes, he would do so, provided they did not then jump on the Administration for making the proposals.
State Senator Lee Weathers of Shelby, publisher of the Daily Star, urged the Governor to reduce his rural road-building program from 200 to 100-million dollars and the Governor responded that he did not know whether he might do so.
In Asheville, N.C., an alleged gambling kingpin and two other men submitted to an arrest warrant. Nineteen others had also been arrested as part of the ring during the month.
In Charlotte, a truck driver was charged with murder in the shooting death of a 52-year old woman with whom he had lived for four years. "Sweetpea", as the man was known, had allegedly, according to an eyewitness, shot the woman in the street after he had approached to talk to her and she had refused, breaking away and expressing her desire not to have anything more to do with him. "Sweetpea" said that he loved the woman more than he loved "anything". He said to a reporter, "Cap'n, I still don't believe I done it." He had hoped to get a job, provide for his wife and kids and "live for God Almighty". He wished to warn other men not to leave their wives and take up with another woman as he had done.
There is no further clue in the "Mr X" contest. But, based on inferences gleaned from last week's deceptive initial clue, the "native of North Carolina" must be Senator Harry Flood Byrd, a native of Virginia born in West Virginia.
On the editorial page, "A Stampede Slows Up" opposes the move to abandon the State vehicle inspection program, approved by the State House. It supports Governor Kerr Scott in opposing it and suggests that until it could be proved that some other factor had been responsible for the lowering of the accident and fatality rates on the highways since 1946, the program ought be retained.
"Government Service" tells of the Hoover Commission having recommended that the Government should make its jobs more attractive to attract better qualified personnel. The ways to accomplish that fact was to increase salaries and provide better means of promotion, poor salaries and lack of opportunity for advancement being the primary cited reasons why 6.7 million Federal employees had left their jobs in the space of three years.
The piece agrees that given the size of the Government, it ought be populated by the most competent persons who could be found.
"Army Signals Crossed" remarks positively regarding the recent pieces of Marquis Childs, critical of the MacArthur report on the Soviet spy ring which had operated in Japan until discovered in fall, 1941 and the principals hanged. The primary criticisms were that it was not factual as the Canadian Royal Commission report, engaged rather in editorialization, hearsay and hyperbole, and that it labeled Agnes Smedley, an American journalist, a spy without presenting a shred of proof. Subsequent claims of General MacArthur's staff that the report was not intended for release to the public and that there was definite proof of Ms. Smedley being a Soviet spy added nothing to the credibility of the report.
The piece finds, however, that the objections to the methods of the report might obscure the basic facts underlying it, that a Soviet spy ring was able to operate in Japan for some time without discovery and that the same thing could happen in the United States.
A piece from the Hickory Daily Record, "Jugtown Carries On", tells of the Jugtown potters in Catawba County, as featured in Ceramic Age, a national publication on pottery, with special focus on Clara Maud Cobb Hilton, wife of a potter who had an establishment four miles east of Marion. Her husband had worked in the potteries since early childhood. Mrs. Hilton hand-painted the pottery, saving her husband's business with her unique talent.
The pots were well jointed, just as the Republicans of today on the pot.
Sumner Welles, former Undersecretary of State until August, 1943, offers that the American people could no longer postpone a decision on whether the United States ought join the North Atlantic Pact, that the Pact was critical to avoiding war in the future. He says that if in 1940, he could have told Hitler that the U.S. was obligated under treaty to go to war in the event of aggression in Western Europe, the war might have been avoided.
But given the confusion of late in the discussions regarding a prior commitment to use of force, the foreign press in Europe was being properly critical, accusing the U.S. of "welshing" on its commitments.
The problems had arisen because of control of foreign policy by the military. The U.S. had demanded commitments from other countries while hedging on its own. The U.S. ignored the dangers to European countries absent military backing by the U.S.
The Fulbright Resolution of 1943 had carried great weight in Europe without a legal commitment. It told the world that the U.S. had to shoulder its responsibilities through international cooperation in helping to form a postwar United Nations organization. European confidence would be bolstered immensely, he ventures, by a resolution of the Congress which stated the pressing need for the Pact and that the U.S. would render all possible assistance to a nation upon whom aggression was exerted. Such a commitment was commensurate with the country's obligations under the U.N. Charter.
The world could no longer be safe without a form of collective security, such as that embodied in the Pact. The U.S. could no longer afford to rely on such worthless paper agreements as the 1928 Kellogg Pact, outlawing war.
Drew Pearson, at the Grand Canyon, tells of his first visit there, by invitation of the Santa Fe Railroad extended to the visitors aboard the Merci Train carrying gifts of France to the 48 states in thanks for the Friendship Train of November, 1947, bearing gifts of food and clothing from the American people for the winter of 1948. He describes the Grand Canyon through the eyes of four Frenchmen who also had never been to it previously.
The deer around the Canyon were almost tame, one reported, approached automobiles while they unloaded their baggage. Prospectors in previous times had turned loose their donkeys one year and they were now so numerous in the Canyon that 500 had to be shot to protect the deer. Snow at the time was four feet deep at the rim with none at the bottom. Seven times, the Canyon had been a salt sea, as shown by fossils, as well as a fresh-water sea, as also shown by other fossils. It had taken action of the river nine million years to carve the Canyon.
Proposals were afoot to build dams above the Canyon to divert water from the Colorado River, reducing it to a trickle. Those wishing to preserve its natural beauty were actively opposing such plans.
Joseph Alsop, in Berlin, tells of Berliners speaking of the airlift as most people spoke of the weather. The former crisis in Berlin had actually become an uneventful stalemate, without the prospect of that stalemate being broken anytime soon.
Plans were to increase the airlift by the spring to 8,000 tons daily and by summer, to 10,000 tons, enabling a normal life for West Berliners.
The Kremlin plan to capture Berlin had failed because of the airlift and the tenacity of West Berliners to persist in their determined effort to resist being taken over by Communists.
Not only had the West resisted, but also the plan to establish an East German state on Communist lines had also failed because of the blockade and its hardship imposed on East Berlin. While the Sovietization of East Berlin was complete on the exterior, the entire job was not possible of completion under extant conditions. The failure of the blockade had forced the Soviets to increase rations by returning some pillaged wheat to Germany. The types of secret police and army utilized in the other satellites were not possible in East Germany as long as Berlin remained a free refuge. The Eastern zone German police were notoriously unreliable to the Soviets.
DeWitt MacKenzie tells of Norway's dominant Labor Party having given the green light for participation in the talks regarding creation of the North Atlantic Pact, with only the Parliament's approval necessary.
That had come after Secretary of State Acheson's meeting the previous Saturday with the ambassadors of the Pact nations, assuring them that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee was reaching agreement on approval of a treaty which would give reasonable assurance of military backing in the event of aggression against a member nation. It now appeared likely that the language would allow for "consideration" of the possibility of use of military force upon the occurrence of that contingency.
The problem for the other Pact nations was not whether the U.S. might eventually participate in such a war but when the Americans would enter it, whether at the start of a conflict in Europe or more than two years afterward, as in World War II only after direct attack.
The other nations also believed, as stated by President Truman, himself, that an affirmative statement of military support would deter an aggressor.
An unnamed official of one of the European governments had stated to Mr. MacKenzie that the uncertainty of the discussion in Washington was producing doubt in Europe where none previously had existed. The Europeans were primarily concerned with whether the new agreement would have teeth.
A letter writer thanks the newspaper for its articles on prohibition, critical of the Dry efforts which would only bring back bootlegging and its attendant problems. He says that he did not drink but opposed prohibition as a system which simply did not work.
Wait just a minute now. Eliot Ness might view the situation differently: "Let's shoot this mother
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