The Charlotte News

Wednesday, February 23, 1949


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that on the Island of Rhodes, Israel and Egypt agreed to sign an armistice the following day ending the war in Palestine, following 42 days of negotiation. The agreement called for demilitarization of all Egyptian-held Palestine and left to Israel most of the Negev Desert, provided under the original U.N. partition plan of November, 1947. U.N. mediator Dr. Ralph Bunche, who arranged the agreement, said that talks would begin on the following Monday between Israel and Trans-Jordan.

That's a relief. We had thought that conflict might drag on another thirty years.

The State Department issued a formal protest of the arrest in Bulgaria of 15 Protestant churchmen, calling it a "blatant terroristic effort" designed to intimidate religious denominations. The Bulgarian Government had accused the churchmen of spying for the U.S.

The House Armed Services Committee approved a bill to allow the CIA to bring into the country a hundred persons each year who had been helpful to U.S. agents in gathering information in foreign countries. The Committee also approved a pair of bills giving new responsibilities to the Air Force for protecting the country against sneak air attacks and development of improved guided missiles.

At a dinner the previous night before the Reserve Officers Association in Washington honoring the President's military aide General Harry Vaughan, the President stated unequivocally that no "s.o.b." in the newspaper or on the airwaves, making some "smart aleck statement", was going to influence his appointments or discharges of his staff or Cabinet.

We think that President Obama ought use equally direct language at this juncture to the Republican sons-of-bitches leading the Senate these days, promising to forestall his nomination to the Supreme Court of a successor to Justice Antonin Scalia.

Maj. General Edward Whitesell, adjutant general of the Army, said that the military aide's job was "not all parades and balls, Drew Pearson and decorations."

Drew Pearson, in his column, had recently criticized General Vaughan for accepting a decoration from Argentine dictator Juan Peron, El Presidente. Mr. Pearson, presumably the "s.o.b.", had protested outside the Argentine Embassy while the award was being presented.

In New York, the president of the International Council of Christian Churches chastised the President and demanded that he apologize to the American people for his language, "an offense to Christian people" and "unbecoming of an occupant of the high office of the Presidency of the United States." He also wanted the President to ask God for forgiveness.

A spokesman for the coal operators told the Senate Labor Committee that a 30 to 50-day strike would cause a very serious situation for the country, as there was only a 40-50 day supply of coal on hand, the most in over a decade. He favored retention of the 80-day injunction provision under Taft-Hartley. The Administration bill to replace Taft-Hartley had no provision for obtaining an injunction, would allow the President only to call for a 30-day cooling off period during which mediation would take place.

In Washington, former Vice-President Henry Wallace told the House Foreign Affairs Committee, in response to questions, that the U.S. was pushing toward bankruptcy and war with the Marshall Plan and the North Atlantic Pact, was losing the cold war. The Pact, he said, would irrevocably commit the U.S. to a "two-world policy of conflict". He also said that he genuinely believed that Russia wanted peace out of self-interest. He said that he would have a hard time opposing a war to prevent Russia from aggression against Turkey and the Dardanelles to gain access to the Mediterranean. But, he added, he did not think Russia would undertake such a blunder. He favored direct negotiations for peace with the Russians.

In Moscow, the 31st anniversary of the Soviet Army was marked by a warning from Marshal Nikolai Bulganin, Minister of the Armed Forces, to maintain "constant combat preparedness" against the U.S. Pravda and Izvestia echoed the remarks, finding the U.S. to be imperialists bent on "unleashing a new war".

In Washington, the treason trial of Mildred Gillars, charged with being "Axis Sally", delivering propaganda broadcasts during the war to the Allies on behalf of the Nazis, continued with the defendant testifying that her passport had been snatched without explanation by an American official in Berlin before the U.S. entered the war. She contended that she was thereby stranded in Germany during the war and, to earn a living, went to work for the German radio on May 6, 1940—just as the invasion of France was beginning. She claimed never to have uttered any propaganda until 1943. She also claimed to have been shocked and dismayed by the Japanese attack on the U.S. at Pearl Harbor.

In Paducah, Ky., a mother gave birth to a son as she was alone in jail, arrested for common nuisance for living unmarried with a man who was charged with the fatal beating of her three-year old son. Mother and newborn were doing fine.

In Raleigh, Governor Kerr Scott urged the General Assembly to allow a statewide referendum on alcohol sales.

Pete McKnight of The News reports that some 1,800 to 2,500 proponents of county-option ABC sales turned out the previous day to oppose holding the referendum. In contrast to a Dry rally the previous week, the protesters were quiet and orderly.

The State Senate Roads Committee voted to cut the Governor's rural roads program in half, to 100 million dollars, to be submitted as a bond referendum, and also approved a one-cent hike in the gasoline tax provided the bond would pass.

Among the new legislation introduced was a bill to prevent installation of television sets in the front seats of motor vehicles.

Well, what about a satellite global positioning screen which pops up out of the dashboard?

There are no more clues on the front page as to the identity of "Mr. X", the native of North Carolina. He must be Senator Olin Johnston of South Carolina.

On the editorial page, "Brotherhood Week" tells of the week celebrating the attribute of mankind which was the backbone of the Christian religion. Some would call it nonsense, but to accept all men as brothers was to be humble, a rare thing to be found in the world. A person might believe himself superior by virtue of riches, religion, or race, but in reality, such a person was superior only in excess of vanity.

"For money, strength, social standing, religion, fairer color are of no value to the man who is alone. And the man who rejects the brotherhood of his fellow man is alone and will remain alone forever."

"Expensive Business" tells of the Hoover Commission report candidly admitting that no one knew accurately the amount of holdings of property by the Government, but that it was estimated to be about 27 billion dollars worth. The records for it filled six buildings the size of the Pentagon. Nearly every agency had excess stock of supplies on hand, most having enough to last half a century. There was also wide duplication of storage facilities. The problem resulted from unsatisfactory controls and the spending hurriedly by agencies at the end of the year to avoid suffering curtailed budgets the next.

The report criticized red tape and excessive record-keeping, half of which could be eliminated. Inefficient transportation of Government equipment also generated unnecessary expense.

The Commission made a number of recommendations, but the piece suggests that the morass was so tangled that it could take years to sort out and rectify.

"Disfranchising S.C. Voters" tells of a bill introduced in the South Carolina General Assembly to allow political parties to act as sole judges of party members' qualifications to vote.

It suggests that the national Democratic Party bore as much resemblance to the South Carolina Democrats as to the Politburo. There was still some remnant of the original Democratic Party in South Carolina but it was largely powerless, the machinery having been taken over by Governor Strom Thurmond and his Dixiecrat coalition. While the original party would not have sought to keep blacks from voting following the U.S. District Court decision of Judge J. Waties Waring, striking down legislation as unconstitutional which had sought to make political parties private clubs, the Dixiecrats were still persisting.

In South Carolina, as in all other one-party Southern states, the primary was the equivalent of the general election, and effectively to disfranchise voters in the primary was to bar them from voting at all. The legislator who proposed the bill, however, had disingenuously argued that it only applied to the primaries, which should be subject to the control of the parties.

It predicts that the bill would pass and that it would be challenged for its constitutionality and found wanting.

A piece from the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, titled "Armed Forces Gather Air Speed", tells of the Navy having flown "The Constitution", the largest air transport in service, 2,557 miles from Palo Alto to Washington in nine hours and 36 minutes with 90 passengers, half its capacity, aboard.

The Air Force also had the new Boeing B-47, a six-jet bomber with a 116-foot wingspan. It had flown 2,289 miles in just three hours and 46 minutes.

Meanwhile, the piece asserts, man remained pretty much the same as he had been for thousands of years, save some advancement in the realms of moral, economic and political thought. A few had decided to found the United Nations but a jet-assisted takeoff for man was still badly needed in the areas of political and moral intelligence.

Drew Pearson tells of the new chairman of the House Interstate & Foreign Commerce Committee, Congressman Bob Crosser of Ohio, waging a battle with former chairman Charles Wolverton of New Jersey regarding the latter not surrendering his old office. Mr. Crosser used a wheelchair and thus claimed special need for use of the more convenient office to the Committee room. Meanwhile, however, bills were piling up after eight weeks since the new Congress had convened, while the two prima donnas battled over an office.

The bad weather in the West had taken as much toll on the bees as it had on cattle and sheep.

The bees need honey or they are going to die. Please get help to the bees.

Congressman Wright Patman had interrupted a meeting of Senators and Congressmen when his cricket-chirping wristwatch went off. Senator Lyndon Johnson kidded him about it and then a little while later, his cricket watch also chirped. It turned out that Mr. Patman had seen Senator Johnson's watch and wanted one like it, asked him where he got it and then ordered one through a jeweler from Switzerland.

That must have been the best of butter...

Georgia Senator Richard Russell having warned his fellow Democrats that if civil rights were crammed down the throat of the Southerners, then they could not be counted on in the Senate to help repeal Taft-Hartley. Many Southern Senators had initially voted for the Act, but, he said, they might be willing to support the President regarding repeal if compromise were reached on civil rights.

Mr. Pearson notes that Administration leaders had said that the President was unlikely to compromise on civil rights as it had been a principal plank in the re-election campaign.

The President met with Speaker Sam Rayburn to discuss changes to Social Security, especially regarding increased help for the aged and blind, to embrace categories of persons not covered. The Speaker warned that the expanded benefits would face tough sailing in Congress if they included casual farmhands, as their work was short-term and seasonal, perhaps three to four weeks on a given farm. To bring them under the program, he urged, would require too much bookkeeping. Representatives Wilbur Mills of Arkansas and Herman Eberharter of Pennsylvania supported the Speaker on the point. Congressman John Dingell of Michigan said that the same problem would be encountered in bringing casual domestic workers under the program. He urged that permanent employees on farms and in domestic service ought be covered.

Marquis Childs tells of the struggle regarding the confirmation of former Governor and Senator Mon Wallgren of Washington as chairman of the National Security Resources Board, designed to locate and coordinate natural resources for industry to provide for national defense. The first chairman had been Arthur Hill, who had resigned the previous December 15 after fifteen months in the post. Secretary of Defense Forrestal had sought to bring the Board in as an arm of the Defense Department.

The Administration wanted the office kept independent of the military and so sought a new chairman who would fit that mold, one which Mr. Hill, it was believed, had not. As an old friend of the President, Mr. Wallgren could be trusted. Yet, he had little background for the position as evidenced in hearings in the Senate, showing him lacking knowledge of resources and industry.

The White House argued that as chairman, Mr. Wallgren could rely on the Bureau of the Budget for specific information and would only need to be an efficient administrator of the Board.

While Mr. Wallgren would be confirmed, it appeared that having someone in such an important position lacking knowledge of the area of oversight of the Board was not the best way to build up the civilian side of the Government. His primary opposition, however, was from Washington Senator Harry Cain, who was considered a blow-hard by his colleagues.

Mr. Wallgren had said in defense that his position would only be advisory. While technically true, his recommendations would carry great weight regarding stockpiling of resources.

Mr. Childs concludes that if the civilian side of the Government was to maintain its proper Constitutional authority, not leaving a vacuum for the military to fill, it would need to perform better than in the Wallgren appointment.

DeWitt MacKenzie tells of Brazilian business and agricultural leaders meeting to discuss a counter to the threat to Brazil's foreign markets occasioned by competition from Britain and other European countries. An economic expert claimed that every crop vital to Brazil, including coffee, cotton, textiles, vegetable oils, fruit and cocoa, would be grown in the European and British colonies in Africa. He said that the Amazon rubber region had been ruined when the rubber was taken to the East Indies and transplanted. The African Gold Coast now yielded 90 percent of the world's cocoa.

Britain had been encouraged by the President's plan to lift the living standard in underdeveloped nations. Whether Britain would profit by resulting American investment in British colonies remained to be seen. Britain hoped to attract American capital as a means to rebuild the British Empire through its African possessions.

Brazil was not alone in South America in its concern over these developments and the competition thus posed for its foreign trade. The economic expert at the conference in Brazil proposed as a counter-measure that the country undertake new industrial and agricultural methods similar to those used by the U.S. and Britain.

A letter writer agrees with Senator William Fulbright of Arkansas in his urging that the U.S. fully support Western Europe to avoid Russia stepping in to undertake the task. The writer favors having a military clause in the North Atlantic Pact lest it become a worthless piece of paper.

A letter from "A Former Drunkard" favors prohibition, says that the country had not given it a long enough trial in the Twenties and that it should have lasted 50 years. He bases his argument for it on the Bible, health, the fact that alcohol rehabilitation centers had long waiting lists, and the expense to society. He says that after 40 years of using alcohol, often to excess, he could state that it had no beneficial results.

Well, why did you not know that the first day you used it?

He says that the Bible and the bottle gave him the same lift, but the former without the hangover.

A letter writer finds too much being made over the trial and sentence to life imprisonment for treason of Josef Cardinal Mindszenty by the Hungarian Communist Government. While agreeing that the case lacked justice, he finds that the Pope's support of the Franco Government in Spain also was wanting of justice. So he regards it farcical to view the Cardinal as a martyr for democracy.

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