The Charlotte News

Saturday, March 12, 1949


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the previous night, the Senate, in a coalition of Southern Democrats and Republicans, had voted 46 to 41 against the ruling by Vice-President Barkley that motions were subject to a two-thirds majority rule for cloture of debate. The vote appeared to condemn the President's civil rights program. But Senate Majority Leader Scott Lucas said that he was going to persist in the effort to try to effect a compromise. Some Southern Senators said that they might agree to a compromise whereby a two-thirds cloture rule would apply across the board, provided that no immediate effort would be made to ram civil rights down their throats or impose a simple majority rule on filibusters as proposed recently by the President.

Denmark and Italy were expected to join the North Atlantic Pact nations prior to the signing of the treaty during the first week of April. A draft of the treaty was completed the previous night by the eight principal nations set definitely to be initial signatories, the U.S., Britain, Canada, France, the Benelux countries, and Norway. The key provision of the treaty would bind all of the signatory nations to regard an attack on one of the members as an attack on all of them, with each nation then deciding for itself whether to use armed force in response.

Denmark was discussing with the State Department the issue of continued use by the U.S. of bases built in Greenland during the war, a matter in dispute for the previous two years.

Near Manila, an American soldier and two Filipino girls were killed and five other girls wounded in a hail of bullets, when unknown assailants opened fire with rifles and tommyguns on an Army bus being driven by the soldier within 300 yards of Clark Field, 60 miles north of the city. The bus was taking a group home after a dance. Since the war, armed clashes had occurred from time to time between guerrillas and Philippines constabulary troops, but had never been directed at U.S. personnel.

In Paris, General Henri Giraud, 70, died the previous night from an attack of food poisoning, causing mourning throughout France. He had been a hero of both world wars and had effected a daring a escape from the Nazis in 1942 to help organize the Free French in North Africa, his sixth such escape in two years. He was awarded the nation's highest military honor, the Medaille Militaire, the day before his death. He was forced into retirement in 1944 by his bitter rival, General Charles de Gaulle.

The Vatican celebrated the tenth anniversary of the spiritual rule of Pope Pius XII.

King George VI underwent surgery at Buckingham Palace to aid circulation in his right leg to avoid gangrene and amputation. The King, 53, was recovering satisfactorily from the operation, a lumbar sympathectomy.

It was expected, according to House Majority Leader John McCormack of Massachusetts, that a bill providing for a fifteen-month extension of rent controls would pass the House the following Tuesday.

The Hoover Commission proposed taking away executive powers from nine agencies which regulated such things as shipping, radio, power, and labor relations, and placing the functions with other departments to cut waste.

A two-week coal mine work stoppage was planned by the UMW to begin the following Monday, impacting 400,000 miners and most of the nation's coal mines. The walkout was in protest of the President's appointment of James Boyd as director of the Bureau of Mines. John L. Lewis called it a memorial work stoppage, in memory of the miners killed in 1948 during Mr. Boyd's tenure.

As a result, the House Labor subcommittee considering repeal of Taft-Hartley and a replacement bill heard demands anew for retention of the injunction provision of Taft-Hartley. Congressman Richard Nixon of California said that the Administration-backed provision, allowing the President to urge a cooling-off period during which there would be mediation, would not be adequate to deal with such nationwide coal strikes.

In Trenton, N.J., six black men were facing execution after being found guilty the previous August of bludgeoning to death a 72-year old store owner. The conviction had produced claims of racial persecution and a frame by city and county officials, that confessions were coerced by the police and exculpatory fingerprint evidence suppressed by the prosecution. The case was being appealed to the New Jersey Supreme Court on those grounds.

In St. Louis, the riverboat Truman was unable to beat the record of the Robert E. Lee set in 1870 on the New Orleans to St. Louis Mississippi River run, falling short by at least an hour as a result of adverse river conditions.

In Fort Worth, Texas, at Carswell Air Force Base, a B-36 landed after a record, non-stop flight of 9,600 miles without refueling, exceeding by 687 miles a B-36 flight from Fort Worth to Honolulu and back the previous December 6-7. The plane, with a crew of twelve men, carried a bomb load of five tons for 5,000 miles of the trip before jettisoning it over the Gulf of Mexico. The entire flight otherwise was over the continental United States. The plane lost two of its six engines and thus was forced to land early.

In Berkeley, Calif., an eminent geologist, Dr. Andrew Lawson, 87, celebrated the birth of his son to his 39-year old wife. He said that it was a planned child and that he did not consider it so extraordinary. The couple had been married eighteen years and the child was their first. Dr. Lawson had two boys by a previous marriage, one 60 years old and the other 57.

In Los Angeles, the remaining charge pending against actor Robert Mitchum and co-defendant Lila Leeds, possession of marijuana, was dismissed on motion of the prosecutor. Both defendants were serving 60-day jail sentences on the charge of conspiracy to possess marijuana.

A photograph appears of a mask, resembling the face of Josef Stalin, being warn by Cubans during their carnival season, prompting objection by the Russian legation to Havana, asking that its sale be ceased. The Cuban Ministry of State rejected the protest, however, saying that it would not allow such "totalitarian repressive measures" in Cuba.

It actually appears more as Groucho Marx.

We wish to congratulate, incidentally, the Spartans for winning their conference tournament last night and likely thereby achieving a number one seed in the N.C.A.A. Tournament, along with the Spartans, Jayhawks, and probably the Ducks. That's three down and six to go. Go Spartans.

The Southern Conference Tournament of 1949, incidentally, occurred at Duke Indoor Stadium in Durham, March 2-4, and was won by N.C. State, defeating George Washington University 55 to 39—presumably, without any game-fixing. State, which included on its roster future Duke head coach Vic Bubas, had been victorious over the Spartans 43 to 40 in the semi-finals, and George Washington had beaten William & Mary 78 to 74. N.C. State, with a 25-8 record and finishing 13th in the final Associated Press poll, did not receive an invitation to the eight-team fields of either the N.C.A.A. Tournment or the National Invitation Tournament, the former to take place March 18-19, 21-22.

On the editorial page, "Extending Guild Authority" finds a pair of bills introduced to the Legislature to extend the authority of the State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors and the State Board of Registration for Professional Engineers to be of dubious merit under the State Constitution as interpreted recently by the State Supreme Court, requiring that licensing boards have a substantial relationship to the public interest. It suggests that instead of extending the authority of these two boards, the Legislature ought be considering abolition of them completely.

"The White Collar Worker" tells of an effort by beer baron Joseph Uihlein to organize white collar workers. But the workers did not wish to be organized, preferring to stand on their individual merit and not seek protection through unionization. It suggests that such independence preserved an American tradition of individuality in advancement based on ambition and talent.

"Sound Your 'A', Please" tells of a decision in 1885 in Vienna to try to establish a uniform "A" note with a tuning fork vibrating at 435 cycles per second. But the Vienna Philharmonic, for instance, had refused to abide by the standard, tuning its "A" to 444 cycles. While there was not much difference in pitch between the two versions, the difference doubled with each octave. The higher pitch therefore caused problems sometimes for singers of Wagnerian arias.

To resolve the problem, the U.N. Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization was meeting to produce agreement on the standard. The piece concludes that no matter what was determined, at least it would not result in a shooting war.

"Shades of the Torturers" finds the bird-haters of the nation going to extraordinary lengths to rid public areas of birds. A few years earlier, it relates, birds were in such proliferation on the South Carolina State House grounds that patrons took to carrying umbrellas, until a recommendation was made that Roman candles be fired into the trees to cause the birds to flee.

All manner of such machinations were used to rid areas of unwanted birds. In Arizona, the game commissioner had suggested the practice which he had used as a boy to get rid of crows, that being interlacing horse hairs into grains of corn and then spreading it out for the crows to eat. When they wound up with the irritating pieces of corn in their throats, they would scratch their own throats until they were cut open trying to extricate the pieces of corn.

The piece finds such practices to be so sinister that it prefers the presence of the birds, however irritating, to the fiendish means by which some sought to be rid of them.

A piece from the Greenville (S.C.) Piedmont, titled "Where Is the Man?" finds that the South Carolina Legislature was as the girl who couldn't say no in the musical "Oklahoma", in that the members had approved budgets for State departments and agencies which were three million dollars over anticipated revenue. It suggests the need for an iron-willed suitor as in the musical.

A Questionnaire is presented regarding what the new labor law should contain. You may answer it and submit your answers to The News.

Drew Pearson tells of Vice-President Alben Barkley not wanting to leave the Vice-President's office at the Capitol, though being urged into more modern quarters by the Capitol architect. Mr. Barkley liked the presence in his office of the two chandeliers, brought from France by Thomas Jefferson, which had originally hung in the White House until President Theodore Roosevelt had them removed because they tinkled whenever anyone walked across the floor under them.

The Vice-President also eschewed recommendations to have a Secret Service detail because he believed that no one was out to do harm to him and that even if they were, the Secret Service probably could not prevent it.

The Vice-President was loyal to the President and had sought to explain away the President's failure to tip his hat to either Governor Strom Thurmond of South Carolina or Governor Herman Talmadge of Georgia, both Dixiecrats, during the inaugural parade. Mr. Barkley insisted that the President did tip his hat to Governor Thurmond and had his attention momentarily distracted as Governor Talmadge passed the reviewing stand. Both, he said, were warmly greeted later by the President at the reception held at the National Gallery of Art.

Vice-President Barkley was the second cousin of Vice-President Adlai Stevenson, who had been Vice-President under Grover Cleveland. That meant that he was third cousin (actually, fourth) to the current Governor of Illinois, the future Democratic nominee for the presidency in 1952 and 1956.

The Vice-President had become the favorite speaker at Jefferson-Jackson Day dinners, a role which suited him, as he had encyclopedic knowledge of Thomas Jefferson.

He had visited most nations behind the iron curtain and believed in direct contact with the peoples of foreign nations.

He had a talent for telling stories. When he was in Rome, a member of the British Parliament spoke in English, French and Italian. When finished, Mr. Barkley commented to Foreign Minister Sforza of how impressive the polyglot's speech had sounded, to which Mr. Sforza replied that it was better to think well in one language than to make a fool of one's self in six.

Stewart Alsop discusses what he describes as "creeping mediocrity" besetting the Government, with the President's appointments of cronies and recipients of political payoffs to important posts. The latter category fit Louis Johnson, the President's money-raiser during the campaign, now to become Secretary of Defense. There was no doubt that he had ability but he had no experience which necessarily qualified him for the top position at Defense. He brought with him a background of affiliation with the American Legion, which probably would follow him into his new post. He was also a friend to General Harry Vaughan, the President's controversial and bumbling military aide.

The pattern followed also the appointment of former Washington Governor and Senator Mon Wallgren as chairman of the National Security Resources Board, with nothing in his background to suggest him for that position beyond his close friendship with the President.

Secretary of the Treasury John W. Snyder also fit the mold of a mediocre officeholder.

Yet, these three men, along with the President and Secretary of State Dean Acheson, well qualified for his position, comprised the National Security Council which made recommendations to the President on foreign policy, recommendations usually followed.

Mr. Alsop concludes that while there was room for incompetence at the level of domestic policy, there was not in the realm of foreign policy. And there was a "clear and present danger" of that now being the case.

Marquis Childs discusses the Hoover Commission's assessment of the future of public power. A task force hired by the Commission, which represented the point of view of private utilities, recommended that power produced by the Government be sold at the dam to private utilities and that rates for the sale of that electricity not be made the standard governing rates charged by private utilities. Moreover, there were recommendations against TVA building any steam power plants, directly contrary to a recent House vote approving such a plant in Johnsonville, Tennessee.

Former President Hoover proposed that the recommendations of the task force be made part of the final report on the subject by the Commission. Commission member Senator George Aiken of Vermont, however, protested that proposal on the basis that the recommendations would stir so much controversy that the Commission's work would go for naught. It was finally agreed that each member would be free to make their own recommendations, recognizing or not those of the task force.

Mr. Childs concludes that the opportunity to provide the public with an unbiased report on public power had thus been lost.

Another pome appears from the Atlanta Journal, this one "in which is expounded an obvious but potent horticultural thought:

"Here's a most peculiar thing:
The silly flowers think it's Spring."

Leo J. Burke of the Greenville (Tenn.) Sun offers:

"The curse of not drinking,
To my way of thinking,
Is the constant explaining
Just why you're refraining."

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