The Charlotte News

Saturday, February 26, 1949


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that top U.S. officials predicted that the Government would reject Russia's demand for cancellation of an order by General Lucius Clay, U.S. military occupation governor for Germany, that the Soviet repatriation program in the American zone be ended by March 1. The State Department had supported the order, issued February 16. The Soviet note of protest also objected to cancellation of the repatriation program in the British zone of Austria. The U.S. had taken no action in Austria regarding Soviet repatriation. The State Department had concluded that the only reason the Russians wanted to maintain the program any longer was to apply pressure to Russian citizens, desirous of remaining in the American zone, to return to Russia. There was concern also that the Russians did not limit themselves only to repatriation but participated in propaganda and espionage. The Russians had been informed that if other Russians wanted repatriation they could do so through the Russian military mission at Frankfurt.

In Sofia, Bulgaria, the third defendant among the 15 Protestant churchmen on trial for treason, spying for the U.S. and Britain and black market currency violations, pleaded guilty. The most recent plea was entered by a pastor of the Congregational Church, considered by the Government to be chief in the conspiracy.

The Dutch Government decided to free the leaders of the Indonesian Republic and accelerate the transfer of sovereignty to a Federal regime, to be accomplished before the target date set by the U.N. Security Council of July 1, 1950. Those to be released included President Soekarno and Premier Mohamed Hatta, both held since December 19. The Security Council had ordered their release on December 28 within 24 hours.

Italy's Communist leader Palmiro Togliatti declared in a published interview that the Italian people would have a duty to aid any Russian army which entered Italy to chase an aggressor. He said, however, that he had no information of any inclination by Russia to undertake such an action. The French Communist leader, Maurice Thorez, had stated the previous Tuesday that he would welcome the presence of Soviet troops in France if they had to pursue an enemy. His statement prompted the Chamber of Deputies to condemn the remark, considered by some French to be tantamount to treason.

In France, three pro-Communist journalists and a defense plant draftsman were held by French police in a drive against persons prying into defense secrets.

In Berlin, the British-American airlift established a new record for tonnage in a day, carrying 8,025.8 tons of supplies, the third time in five days that a record had been set and the first time the tonnage had exceeded 8,000.

In New York, a strike was threatened against Consolidated Edison, the largest supplier of electricity and gas, if no resolution of the dispute were reached by midnight this date. The union wanted a 15-cent hourly increase to wages, which presently varied between $33 and $74 per week.

In Alameda, California, the flying boat Caroline Mars established a world's record for a plane carrying the most passengers, 207, on a 500-mile flight from Alameda Naval Air Station to San Diego, and then broke that record, carrying 222 men on the return leg. The previous record, set in 1929, was 169 passengers. The largest number of persons ever carried by any aircraft was 232, by a dirigible in Akron in 1933.

In Asheboro, N.C., a sawmill worker told the Sheriff of placing his already dead, deformed two-year old daughter head first into the stove at their family home near Liberty and then folding in her legs after her. He said that he came home from work to find the child dead and no marks on her. His wife told him during his extended questioning of her that she found the child dead. He led the Sheriff to two heaps of ashes which he said were the remains of the girl. But three doctors who examined the ashes said that they could not be certain that they were human remains and so, until further expert analysis could be conducted, the Sheriff was holding the parents only on a charge of abandoning the missing child. One doctor, however, said that a tooth found amid the ashes was definitely a child's tooth.

In Greensboro, N.C., a wine merchant at a packing store was shot to death by an unknown assailant inside the store the previous night after a robbery. A taxi driver found the merchant shortly before 1:00 a.m. and said that he saw three men exiting the store as he entered. Police theorized that the three men may have left because they did not see the proprietor, whose body was hidden behind the counter.

In Concord, N.C., a suicide note left by the man who, the previous day, had killed his wife with a shotgun and then killed himself, said that he committed the acts because his wife would not leave young boys and men alone. A motto, "Glory to God in the Highest", hung over the bed where the woman's body was found by their teenage daughter. Two of the nine children left behind said that as they left for school just fifteen minutes before the shootings, their father had coffee with them and appeared normal and jovial.

In Clover, S.C., a lone gunman robbed a local bank of $2,000 worth of clover, apparently anticipating St. Patrick's Day. He drove away in a crimson automobile, thought to be a Ford, headed toward Gastonia. The robber was wearing dark glasses. So if you see a crimson in Clover or heading from it toward Gastonia, alert the Highway Patrol.

In Yukon, Okla., Grady the Hereford cow was extricated from its predicament inside the farmer's silo, into which it had jumped five days earlier, through a hatch the size of a newspaper page, immediately following treatment by a vet for an illness. The means of extrication were knock-out drops, nembutal in this case, and some grease to assist pushing and pulling of the cow back through the small passage through which it had jumped at nearly Mach II, as reported the previous day.

The Denver Post had sent reporters to the town with the mission of rescuing the cow, the farm editor of the paper having participated in the big push while the vet and the farmer were pulling from the other side. The cow's front legs were pulled through the opening, the shot administered, and the pushing begun, at which point, the cow assisted and began scraping its hoofs on the greased ramp, finally busting out. Cheers then erupted from the 40-odd spectators.

Had that operation, which turned out easier than anticipated, failed, the alternate plan was to pull the cow out with a truck winch. Had that failed, they might have gone to town and obtained the services of some wench, with whom no one would have truck, to cast a spell on the cow.

The farmer, Mr. Mach, said that he had heard from people in 44 or 45 states giving advice on how to get the cow from his silo. He said that he thought people were kind-hearted to be so concerned for a single cow.

"Mr. X" for this week remains a baffler, but we have an idea that the mystery may be resolved on Monday. Someone tossed the below cropped photographs over the office transom onto our desk with the note, "Are you pathetically blind or just plain stupid?" And so we think that the package may hold a clue. But we cannot figure it out, and so go blithely into the quiet of the weekend in suspense, once again.

On the editorial page, "Humpty-Dumpty Road Program", the third in the series of by-lined editorials by Pete McKnight regarding the State legislative session, tells of Governor Kerr Scott's rural roads program, set to be funded by somewhat less than the 200 million dollar bond measure he had advocated. It would probably be cut down to between 50 and 100 million dollars. Opposition to the program was increasing even from rural areas.

The legislators generally believed that good roads were important but that they were just part of the State's services and that other services could not be neglected in favor of roads.

The roads got better, even if some of the state's politicians remain mired in the mud.

"Supervision of Solicitations" advocates the expansion of the powers of the Charlotte Charity Solicitations Commission so that it would have the power to investigate charities and assure that their goals and scheduling of solicitations were appropriate for the community, not unduly overlapping, and to impart information on the charities to the community. It points out that Winston-Salem had a private organization which informed the public regarding charities and suggests the need for same in Charlotte.

Drew Pearson tells of former Speaker of the House Joe Martin having heard from reliable sources among Democratic Congressmen that the Southern and Northern Democrats had reached an informal agreement on civil rights, whereby the Southerners would support an anti-lynching bill and an anti-poll tax measure but not a Fair Employment Practices Commission. On top of it, they would support revisions of Taft-Hartley and a 60-cents per hour minimum wage, rather than the Administration's urged 75 cents. Nothing, however, was binding at this stage and many individual members might wind up voting their consciences.

He tells of Andre Picard, originator of the idea for the French Merci Train, having a practical joke played on him by the secretary of A. F. Whitney, president of the Brotherhood of Railway Trainmen. While in Ohio having breakfast, M. Picard told of having exchanged his francs for U.S. dollars and produced a one hundred dollar bill to prove it. He was then told by Mr. Whitney's secretary that it looked counterfeit. Shortly thereafter, the waitress brought a check for $25 to M. Picard only for ham and eggs. When he went to pay the tab, the cashier examined the bill and said that it was counterfeit, that she would have to alert the police. The whole thing had been arranged by the secretary to Mr. Whitney—who had not been seen since, was thought to be on a slow train back to Hoboken.

He relates of various stops by the train across the country, including one before an enthusiastic crowd of school children at Spencer, N.C.

Jorge Benavides had written a radio script based on War of the Worlds and broadcast it via Radio Quito in Ecuador, designed to cause trouble for President Galo Plaza, a good friend of the U.S. Instead, the ploy had backfired, as after the supposed invasion from Mars was revealed as only a radio play, the people turned on the radio station and the newspaper which owned it, El Comercio, burning down its headquarters. Sr. Benavides was then jailed. He had pulled the same stunt in Santiago sixteen months earlier and wound up exiled from Chile and branded a Communist.

Marquis Childs discusses the flush Democratic Party in the wake of the November victories, with Jackson Day dinners expected to bring in around $300,000 to Democratic coffers. But there was worry among Democrats also that there would be an alliance formed between old-fashioned spoils politics and the lobby-lawyer, ushering in influence peddling.

Such had occurred early in FDR's Administration and he had expressed strong opposition to the practice to the DNC, prompting many resignations. But that episode had not eliminated the problem.

DNC chairman Senator J. Howard McGrath of Rhode Island was turning over the administration of the DNC, including the patronage system, to his vice-chairman, William Boyle, a Washington lawyer.

Mr. Childs suggests that Mr. Boyle, not taking a salary from the DNC, might be able to perform his job without allowing his law practice to be tempted to represent clients who would seek Government favors, but it would be difficult. The better method for the party in power, to maintain inscrutability, would be to have a salaried staff person handle these chores, a person who would be free from any potential taint of influence peddling.

DeWitt MacKenzie suggests that if he were a king he would bestow knighthood on Dr. Ralph Bunche for his exceptional job in arranging the armistice between Egypt and Israel, opening the way for peace talks with the other Arab nations, beginning with Trans-Jordan the following Monday, as the other Arab nations indicated that they would follow suit.

Dr. Bunche, 44, was a subdued but persuasive leader who got things accomplished. He was the grandson of an American slave, and had graduated from the University of California Phi Beta Kappa, obtaining his doctorate from Harvard. He had been a star athlete and a college professor, authoring several books, serving in several positions in the Government before going to work for the U.N. He had been the assistant to U.N. Palestine mediator Count Folke Bernadotte, assassinated the previous September. Dr. Bunche took over his duties in what many believed was an impossible job but, nevertheless, had gotten the two warring countries to the negotiating table and then worked out the agreement.

While, realistically, the armistice might not mean the end of hostilities between Israel and its Arab neighbors, it provided hope for the case. Mr. MacKenzie suggests that the Middle East might remain a tinder box for a long time, as the enmities had been extant for centuries and could not be eliminated overnight. But at least a start had been made.

He ventures that Israel, with its successful beginnings, was headed for a dominant position in the affairs of the Middle East, a strategic region of the world. Another important power thus appeared to have been born.

Samuel Grafton, no longer carried by The News, tells of a number of Congressmen objecting to the President's plan to have the Federal Government pay part of the cost of home relief in each state, whereas on the state level, the plan was meeting with nearly universal approval. Maine was one of the few states in abnegation. The difference in perception was caused by reliance on theory at the Federal level and practicality at the state level.

Rising unemployment meant greater case loads on the local level for welfare agencies. But Congress, relying on theory, was withholding action to avoid taking over the responsibilities deemed to inhere in the states. The President, meanwhile, as with state and local governments, had to concern himself with the people and practicalities.

One Federal official complained that the President wanted to set up a Federal "poorhouse". But the opposite was true: if the Federal Government did not act, then poorhouses potentially would become the rule in the states. To act promptly, Mr. Grafton ventures, would mean getting the most from the money expended, exerting mastery over the potentially emergent situation before the situation became the master.

A letter writer wonders if the roads were more important than educating the children of the state. He wants the Legislature to start with educational improvement before going whole hog into the rural road improvement program.

A letter from A. W. Black opposes Mayor Herbert Baxter for seeking to obstruct the efficiency of the ambulance service by urging adoption of an ordinance to require them to follow local traffic laws. The reasons put forth for the ordinance were that the ambulances disturbed the sleep of the populace at night and created traffic hazards during emergencies.

Mr. Black favors strict enforcement of the traffic laws against all regular motorists before impeding ambulances.

A letter from the director of the North Carolina March of Dimes thanks the newspaper, along with newspapers across the state, for helping to make the drive in the state a success.

A Quote of the Day: "It's a pleasure to see a normal egg after all the freaks we've had brought in lately. But don't get us wrong. We enjoy getting those freak eggs, too. Gives us something to write about and we're always glad to have a visit from the folks who bring 'em in." —Crowley (La.) Signal

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