The Charlotte News

Tuesday, March 1, 1949


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in Frankfurt, General Lucius Clay, American zone military governor in Germany, said that if the Russian repatriation mission did not depart by midnight this date as ordered on February 16, they would be starved out and utilities cut. He said, however, that no force would be used. The State Department had approved the order based on suspicion that the mission was engaging in espionage and propaganda and because the Soviet citizens who desired repatriation in the zone had already been removed, that those who still desired it could do so through the Russian military mission still in Frankfurt.

In Sofia, Bulgaria, the remaining seven of the fifteen Protestant churchmen accused of treason, spying, and black market activities pleaded guilty and gave their confessions in open court. Only one of the defendants denied being a spy, but he admitted dealings in black market currency. All professed new allegiance to the Communist Government of Premier Georgi Dimitrov. The prosecution began calling its witnesses, including other Protestant clergy.

In Budapest, five of the fourteen men on trial for treason and black market dealings with convicted Josef Cardinal Mindszenty, sentenced earlier to life in prison, recanted their previous confessions, claiming that police had intimidated them.

In Munich, a U.S. military commission convicted five Europeans of espionage for collecting military information from U.S. occupation forces, and sentenced them to prison terms varying between 12 and 30 years.

Senator Tom Connally of Texas stated to the Senate his opposition to the attempt to change Senate rules to make it easier to effect cloture votes on filibusters, saying that the change was aimed only at getting the President's civil rights bills through the Senate.

Senate Majority Leader Scott Lucas of Illinois sought support from Republicans on the proposed change, to allow a two-thirds cloture vote on motions and resolutions as well as bills, the latter subject to present rules. To avoid filibuster of the rules change, itself, it would be up to Vice-President Alben Barkley to determine whether cloture could be effected on the resolution, not available under extant rules. Senator Arthur Vandenberg had ruled the previous August that a cloture vote was not available on resolutions, that case involving calling up the anti-poll tax measure. Then Senate Minority Leader Barkley had opposed the Vandenberg ruling at that time. Senator Lucas said that he recognized that Republicans were on the spot politically because, while they approved the civil rights legislation, they did not wish to contradict Senator Vandenberg. Republicans seeking to end debate the previous August had included Senators Robert Taft of Ohio, Kenneth Wherry of Nebraska and William Knowland of California.

The House Economic Committee approved, along party lines, a compromise version of the President's economic package, including authorization for standby wage and price controls on a limited basis and recommendation, without outright endorsement, of continued rent controls for the nonce.

The House Appropriations Committee approved funding to hire 1,500 more tax enforcement agents. The Treasury Department had asked for appropriations for 7,000 more agents. The new agents would bring the IRB to about 50,000 total employees.

In Washington, the treason trial of Mildred Gillars, accused of giving propaganda broadcasts for the Nazis to the Allies from Berlin during the war under the pseudonym "Axis Sally", continued with the defendant testifying on cross-examination by the prosecutor that she preferred being with her lover, a Nazi propagandist who produced the broadcasts, over being rescued by American troops. She said that she would have died for him. She claimed on re-direct examination that she never wanted the U.S. to lose the war and never so broadcast.

In Byron Center, Mich., the bodies of a widow and her two-year old daughter were discovered in crude, concrete-filled graves in the basement of their home. A woman admitted that she and a male accomplice had committed the murders by first putting the widow to sleep and then shooting her, after which the woman drowned the little girl. The prosecutor was investigating a possible connection with a "lonely hearts club" operated by the man and woman.

In Raleigh, the State House virtually killed the proposed statewide referendum on alcohol by placing it on the unfavorable calendar. It also killed a bill which would have banned alcohol advertising in newspapers and magazines published within the state.

In Columbia, S.C., the State Historian recalled an incident in relation to the recent flak in response to the President's use of the term "s.o.b." regarding Drew Pearson and his criticism of the President's military aide, General Harry Vaughan. The late Senator Cole L. Blease of South Carolina, when asked for a comment about a journalist who had attacked him in print, held up his Senate Office Building key with the initials on it.

There are no more clues to the identity of "Mr. X" on the front page. He must have been some kind of baseball player or manager living in North Carolina. Maybe he could run.

On the editorial page, "An Inventory of Road Needs" finds fault with the Governor's rural road program for not first conducting a thorough study of the needs for roads in the state. The State was responsible for rural roads and the cities and towns for those within city limits.

It compares the situation to the study of the State mental hospitals ordered by then Governor J. Melville Broughton, following the expose by the late Tom Jimison in 1941-42, leading to eventual changes.

It favors a suggestion made by the Carolina Motor Club to conduct a study of the needs for rural roads before approval of a referendum and launching into the paving program.

"Spuds Scandal of 1948" tells of top grade potatoes having been kept from the market by the Government in 1948, causing consumers now to have to pay a premium for second-grade potatoes. The Baltimore Evening Sun had provided the full expose of the story. The Department of Agriculture had bought up potatoes at 30 cents per hundredweight more than 1947 prices. While acreage was limited, the farmers planted the potatoes in their fields closer together to produce more and thus a glut resulted, with 57 million more bushels than in 1947, causing the market price to fall well below the Government support price. The Government started buying up the top-grade potatoes at the support price, causing second-grade potatoes to rise in price.

So in the end, taxpaying consumers paid more for inferior potatoes while footing the support bill of 200 million dollars.

The Department of Agriculture contended that its program for 1949 would avoid the problem. The piece hopes so, as it found the situation ridiculous.

It could not have been more ridiculous, however, than that recent movie about growing potatoes on Mars.

"Sports for Young Boys" praises the effort of the local Kiwanis Club in organizing sports for young boys, ages 9 to 14, meeting a recreational deficiency in the city. It finds that the lessons of teamwork thus engendered to be invaluable.

"The Cost of Education" finds it regrettable, but understandably necessary, that the Board of Trustees of UNC had to raise tuition at three of the branches to $150 per year from the previous $81. The State Advisory Budget Commission had recommended the increase and Governor Scott had insisted on it. The trustees likely believed that since their budget was before the Legislature, it would be wise to go ahead and adopt the increase so that the budget would not be slashed.

But the State Constitution required that, "so far as practicable", tuition at the University would be free. Federal Court of Appeals Judge John J. Parker had led a committee which proposed further study before making the increase and also proposed that tuition be made free. The trustees rejected that proposal but said that they hoped the increase would be reduced later, that it was only an emergency measure to meet higher costs of living.

The piece urges that the University was never intended to compete with private institutions of higher learning but rather to afford the best possible education to students in the state at the lowest possible cost.

Article IX, Section 9 of the 1971 State Constitution, incidentally, retains the language quoted in the piece regarding free tuition, insofar as practicable, and so is still the governing law of the State. But don't neglect the limiting power of that latter phrase, should you be planning to mount a Revolution en masse by seeking refunds of your tuition via a class action lawsuit. Count us out. It was not that much when we attended, anyway. But maybe you had a different experience. It remains, from our understanding, the best bargain in the nation in education, an Ivy League level education at A.C.C. public institution or—if you prefer more consistently analogical phraseology sans a strictly sporting metaphor—kudzu prices.

Drew Pearson tells of the President directing that some of the fulsome praise contained in the letter accepting the resignation of Undersecretary of the Army William Draper be removed before he would sign the letter. The reason was that he had given approval to a full-scale Congressional investigation of Mr. Draper for his conduct of the American Military Government in Germany as to whether he engaged in self-dealing on behalf of his Wall Street firm, Dillon, Read, by being too soft on the German cartels. Both he and Secretary of Defense James Forrestal, also a former partner in Dillon, Read, to commit suicide in May following his long anticipated resignation in late March, had come under fire for the lenience.

Undersecretary Draper had brought a former SS officer into the AMG after the war, a former Berlin business partner of Mr. Draper when he was a lieutenant colonel in the Army in Washington in 1940.

He explains how Argentina's economic minister, Miguel Miranda, came to be fired by El Presidente Juan Peron, first for criticizing the dictator at a dinner given for visiting Senator Dennis Chavez of New Mexico, a conversation related to one of Sr. Peron's confidantes by U.S. Ambassador James Bruce, and then by taking kickbacks from wool producers, claiming that the cash, without receipt, went to dictatrix Evita Peron. When news of the latter reached Sra. Peron, she demanded Sr. Miranda's firing and thus it was accomplished, albeit only after El Presidente obtained Army approval, Sr. Miranda having wielded strong-arm power, himself. With the change, notes Mr. Pearson, economic relations with the U.S. were expected to improve.

Congressman Walter Judd of Minnesota had provoked the seldom seen ire of Secretary of State Dean Acheson when he confronted the latter regarding a change in U.S. policy toward China since former Secretary Marshall had been sent as envoy to China by the President in 1946, prior to his becoming Secretary, and a tacit alliance then formed with the Communists. Mr. Judd complained that more aid should have been given the Chiang Kai-Shek Government to hold off the Communist insurgency from the North. Secretary Acheson countered that most of the aid which was sent was merely going to line the pockets of Chiang and his lieutenants, that there was no reason further to subsidize corruption.

Mr. Judd then suggested that "petty pilfering" was nothing compared to the sell-out of Chiang at Yalta by President Roosevelt when he gave Manchuria to Russia after the Chinese had fought off the Japanese for fourteen years. At that, Secretary Acheson became angry and suggested that they would not agree on anything regarding China if that was Mr. Judd's view of Yalta.

Mr. Acheson might have added that consistent reports from China during the war had it that the Communists were by far the more determined fighters in the North against the Japanese than were the Nationalist troops, demonstrated by their poor performance in the civil war. General Marshall had confirmed such a finding to the President regarding the civil war after his year there in 1946.

Stewart Alsop tells of the short and acrimonious post-election honeymoon having come to a halt with the Senate Democratic leadership planning to thwart Southern Democratic attempts to filibuster civil rights. Vice-President Barkley was set to overturn the ruling of Senator Vandenberg in the previous Congress that motions and resolutions could be debated without provision for a two-thirds cloture vote. That would clear the way for a possible cloture of any filibuster.

Senate Majority Leader Scott Lucas of Illinois had hoped for a compromise whereby the Southerners would engage in pro forma filibuster and then retire the matter, accepting the legislation. But that was not likely to occur. Moreover, Senator Lucas had heard from political powers in his home state, including Jacob Arvey, political boss of Illinois, and from the CIO and the Americans for Democratic Action that a compromise on civil rights would be unacceptable. Northern Democrats, led by Senators Francis Myers of Pennsylvania and Brien McMahon of Connecticut, also had made it plain that they wanted the Southerners met head-on in the debate.

Nevertheless, to maneuver the civil right package through Congress would require adroit strategy and use of patronage to combat the outrage being expressed by the Southerners.

Mr. Alsop suggests that a spark of life at least would be injected into what thus far had been a "remarkably corpse-like" session of the Congress for two months.

DeWitt MacKenzie discusses the progress of women in India and Pakistan from thirty years earlier when he had visited India. India's Law Minister, Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, had sponsored a measure to abolish plural marriage and allow women the privilege of divorce. Dr. Ambedkar had been born into the "untouchables" caste and had spent his life championing their cause. But the bill had run into strong opposition in the Parliament, primarily from orthodox Hindus objecting on religious grounds.

Regardless of whether the measure would be adopted, women were making strides in India, as shown by the fact of there being female members of both the Indian and Pakistani Legislatures. Prime Minister Nehru's sister was the Ambassador to Russia and the chief representative to the U.N.

Thirty years earlier, Mr. MacKenzie had found women subject to Purdah, the rule of seclusion from male company not members of the family and the requirement of being veiled in public. That convention had been relaxed and was on the way out, though it still persisted, even in some of the universities.

A letter writer suggests that the "cynical" Roosevelt Administration policy was essentially bread for votes, asserts that the Democratic Party played politics with human misery. He thinks the Democrats were leading the country into democracy's "destined disintegration and defeat."

What was the cynical policy of the Hoover Administration, breadlines to attract votes for the Democrats?

A letter writer responds to a letter which had responded to this writer's prior letter, saying that he had not intended to disparage all truck drivers in his previous letter. He says that he realized that some were courteous, as were automobile drivers, while others were not. He reaffirms that many were not careful drivers. He also asserts that the much higher licensing cost for trucks, at $280 compared to $10 to $15 for cars, was merited by the great damage done to the roads by heavy trucks, necessitating frequent repair and repaving. He also contends that cars paid more per mile for gas in proportion to their weight than did trucks and so paid more taxes. His primary complaint was overloading of trucks in violation of the law. Virginia had imposed restraints on weight limits to preserve their better road system than that in North Carolina.

A Quote of the Day: "Now and then there is a discussion of how to pack the greatest possible number of grammatical mistakes into a few words. We have always rather favored the fellow who said: "If I'd a-knowed I could a-rode, I would-a-went." —Memphis (Tenn.) Commercial-Appeal

But should not "a few" be substituted with either "the fewest" or "the least number of" and "possible" eliminated as redundant, to make the best sense?

And what be the difference if'n the person done went anyways?

Framed Edition
[Return to Links
Page by Subject] [Return to Links-Page by Date] [Return to News<i><i><i>—</i></i></i>Framed Edition]
Links-Date Links-Subj.