The Charlotte News

Thursday, March 17, 1949


Ste Ed. Note: The front page reports that Senator Robert Taft opined that the Republican and Southern Democratic compromise on the change to the debate cloture rule would allow for passage of some of the President's civil rights program, provided Senate Majority Leader Scott Lucas would vigorously urge the measures to the Senate. The compromise, certain to pass, would allow a vote of two-thirds of the Senate membership to effect cloture, a greater requirement than that of two-thirds of Senators actually voting, which Senator Lucas and other Senators backing Administration efforts to change the rule had desired. Senator Taft said that he would prefer the Administration proposal but would vote for the compromise.

In actual practice, on key votes, where Senators were apt to be present and proxy and "pairing" votes for ill and out-of-town Senators was common practice at the time, it is questionable how much practical difference there was between the compromise and that sought by the Administration.

The Senate was still debating alternative proposals which had to be brought to a vote prior to the compromise.

The State Department announced that Denmark, Iceland, Italy and Portugal were being invited to join the North Atlantic Pact this date by the eight other nations, including Norway, which were in agreement on the Pact. The details of the treaty would be revealed the following day. Britain, Canada and the Benelux countries had opposed the inclusion of Italy for its exposure of the members to too much risk in the Mediterranean region. But the U.S. and France argued that Italy's pro-Western outlook and its strategic geographic location made its inclusion necessary.

In Rome, the Communist fifth of the Chamber of Deputies protested Italy joining the Pact.

John Scali reports that the President told Congress, in his quarterly report on the Truman Doctrine aid program, that since the beginning of the year, there had been signs that the tide of battle was turning in Greece in favor of the Government in the war against Communist guerrillas. He cautioned against expectation, however, of a quick and easy victory. Spending thus far had been 280.5 million dollars in Greece and about 97 million in Turkey. He did not mention a plan to ask Congress soon for extension of the military aid program through the end of the next fiscal year.

In Rome, the Italian news agency Astra reported that the Cominform nations of the Balkans were engaging in propaganda regarding elimination of Marshal Tito in Yugoslavia and his clique of "traitors" to the Soviet system. A radio broadcast to that effect from Moscow was heard on a Serb-Croation transmission.

In Seoul, an American woman, wife of Dr. Horace Underwood, former adviser to the American occupation military government in Southern Korea and former president of Chosen Christian College, was killed by gunfire at their home. The matter was under investigation and no motive was yet known. According to two domestic helpers and guests in the home at the time, two killers had approached the house from different directions, one possessing a sawed-off American carbine. Some of the guests claimed that the men wore hoods. Dr. Underwood was not at home at the time, teaching class at the university. Dr. Underwood's father had founded Chosen College in the mid-1880's. His family later founded the Underwood typewriter company. Speculation ran that the scheduled speaker at the gathering had been the reason for the attack, as she was a poet associated with the U.N. General Assembly and a member of a committee which worked for the U.N. Commission on Korea, the consistent subject of attack by Communist propaganda.

The Hoover Commission recommended, in its latest report to Congress, changes to the Interior Department to increase efficiency and eliminate waste. Three of the commissioners, led by Secretary of State Acheson, favored replacing the Department with a Department of Natural Resources. The majority, however, recommended retention of the current Department and inclusion under its administration of certain functions, including flood control, rivers and harbor improvement, presently under the Army Corps of Engineers, public building construction and community services, under the Federal Works Agency, hospital construction, including the V.A. program, and civilian airport construction. The Bureau of Land Management would be transferred to the Agriculture Department and commercial fisheries would go to the Commonwealth Department, with a new department created to encompass the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

In South Carolina, the Legislature passed a divorce law, which would go into effect the following week. It was the last state in the nation which did not have such a law. It would allow divorce on the grounds of adultery, desertion, physical cruelty and habitual drunkenness.

In High Point, N.C., a 49-year old former convict and short-order cook confessed to the murder of a 28-year old crippled man. The man's bullet-riddled body was found face down in a shallow stream under a bridge near the High Point College campus. The man said that he and the victim had drunk beer together at a grill Monday night, then drove through the campus, at which point he killed the man with a borrowed pistol and then dragged his body beneath the bridge. He did the killing in an attempt to obtain $5,000 in ransom from the victim's parents, which he then sought. He would be charged with first degree murder.

In Raleigh, the State House Manufacturing and Labor Committee voted to report unfavorably on a bill to permit voluntary union shop agreements, despite urging for same by Governor Kerr Scott.

Martha Azer London of The News reports that Charlotte's Chief of Police Frank Littlejohn arrested Mecklenburg County Police Chief Stanhope Lineberry and threw him behind bars, as the City, by six contributors, had won the city-county Red Cross-sponsored "Hoosegow" contest, ongoing since the previous Tuesday as part of its campaign to raise contributions. Chief Littlejohn said that he had sent some dry cornbread and stale onions to Chief Lineberry so that he would have something to eat. By noon, the entire drive had collected $93,200.

On the editorial page, "Foundation Plan Crumbles" praises the State Senate for rejecting the Foundation Plan for education, which proposed that the State would bear 85 percent of the cost of education while the counties and municipalities would handle the rest, limited by their ability to pay. It finds that while the Plan's objective for better education was sound, it was, as proposed, discriminatory against industrial counties, gave ad valorem tax rate control to the State Board of Education, and took away the voice of the cities and counties in the conduct of their schools.

The goal could be achieved by the proposed increases in school appropriations, including increases in teacher salaries, and reduction of pupil loads to 30 per teacher. Such improvements could be financed from the 30 million dollar postwar cushion fund.

"A Road-Street Formula" tells of an effort by the State Highway Commission to conduct a survey to determine the proper State responsibility for street maintenance within municipalities. It suggests that the formula to be determined include the original cost of opening and paving city streets. It also urges that the study be conducted promptly, prior to the vote on the 200 million dollar bond issue for improvement of rural roads, in the hope that then the urban electorate would view that bond issue more favorably.

"Limiting Free Competition" tells of a bill before the General Assembly to prohibit businesses from attracting customers through advertising of "loss leader" items by requiring, with the exception of damaged goods, a required minimum mark-up over cost.

The piece thinks it an interference with free enterprise and impossible of enforcement, thus opposes it.

"Regional Colleges Approved" tells of Southern educators at a meeting in Florida having nearly unanimously approved the concept of the proposed regional professional and graduate schools in the South to remedy that exiguity in some Southern states in various fields. Only Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, former president of Bethune-Cookman College in Daytona, had voiced dissent, her objection being that the plan would accentuate segregation.

The piece views the attitude of Dr. Bethune as "short-sighted and obstinate", as the plan was attempting, through the pooling of limited resources available to the South, to prepare its young people of all colors for such fields as medicine, dentistry and veterinary medicine. It finds much more at stake than segregation.

"Fonetiks for Foriners" tells of the Lundun Daly Express having ritten resentlee: "Foriners ar welcum to Doctor Foliks nu Inglish. We prefer it as it is."

The peece disagrees, takes the side of Dr. Follick, who advokated fonetik spelling to assist childrun in lurning Inglish. Yet, it finds fonetiks to be too much depindent on varying pronunsiashuns, based on the twist of the tung, in difront sexyons of the cuntree tu bee uv praktikul applikashun, siting Pahlymint as a werd which wud be spelled thus in the Sowth, but as "Perlymant" (not "Poileemint"?) in Bruklin, "Puhly-meent" in sum coastal areas, and "Parlyamin" in sum sexyons of Inglund, thus conclooding: "Inglish, we feer, wud be evun more [sik] hopelesslie confuzed than evuh."

Drew Pearson tells of "Baron X", an American citizen living in Minnesota, purported by the Soviets to be the leader of the anti-Russian underground in parts of Poland and East Germany, a group supposedly called the "Frei Corps of Barbarossa". He was supposed to have raised large sums of money in the U.S. and used it to smuggle arms through Austria and Scandinavia to the Soviet areas. The U.S. Government had made it clear that Baron X was not connected to the Government, had expressed disapproval of his activities for their potentially causing problems in Russo-American relations.

The man, who went under the name Dr. Edouard von Rothkirch, among others, and was reported born in Odessa, Russia, had been refused a passport by the Government, but, nonetheless, was reported to be traveling abroad. He was reputed to have the best intelligence service, superior to that of the U.S. Government, inside the Russian areas, with contacts inside Czechoslovakia, Austria, and Hungary.

Former Secretary of State Marshall was reported to be planning to speak against General Al Wedemeyer if he were to be nominated to succeed General Lucius Clay as military governor of the American occupation zone of Germany. Another possible successor was General Mark Clark, former commander of the Fifth Army in Italy during the war.

Mr. Pearson congratulates Sam McKenzie of Atlanta and the Jaycees for urging a municipal ordinance banning the wearing of masks, as a means of preventing the KKK from marching as vizarded wizards.

Because of a suicide by gunfire 50 feet from the Senate chamber the previous week, the two houses were planning to request installation of bulletproof glass in the galleries.

The worst plague of grasshoppers in a decade was expected to hit the Western states because of heavy snows protecting grasshopper eggs. In 1938, grasshoppers had eaten 200 million dollars worth of crops.

Southern Senators had filibustered for nearly 29 hours during the 16-day effort at frustration of the Senate rules change, while other Senators had talked for nearly 40 hours during the period, effectively aiding the process.

Prime Minister Clement Attlee had ordered all members of the British Embassy to remain silent henceforth regarding British recovery, out of concern that it could compromise receipt of Marshall Plan aid.

British doctors attending the American Cancer Society meeting in Memphis refuted the AMA's claim that socialized medicine in Britain was a flop, as they reported it being greeted well by physicians and patients.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop speculate on the Congressional response to the President's call for four billion dollars in new taxes, to offset the tax cut passed over his veto by the previous GOP Congress a year earlier. Assuming that there was no decline in farm prices triggering the necessity for additional Government supports, that national income did not drop, reducing revenue, and that unemployment did not rise significantly, producing a third strain on the Treasury, the increased spending for the 70-group Air Force, which the Congress would likely authorize, the veterans' pension bill, also likely to pass, and the rearmament of Europe to provide more than a hollow gesture behind NATO, would produce a budget deficit, without a tax increase, of six or seven billion dollars.

Senators Walter George and Robert Taft, fiscal conservatives, were opposed to a tax cut, favored instead spending cuts, especially with respect to the rearmament program for Europe. But, the Alsops assert, should that take place, the resulting emasculation of NATO would produce a "mere alliance of the defenseless, a compounding weakness."

James Marlow finds that the President's civil rights program appeared hopelessly foundered, his nomination of Mon Wallgren as the chairman of the National Security Resources Board tabled in the Senate, and rent control extension watered down, resulting in the Democrats appearing already, so soon after the success of the election, as "lost leaders".

The problem lay in the division of Democrats between the Southerners, apt to join the Republicans on these key issues, and those who were following the President. The GOP-Southern coalition in the Senate outnumbered the latter group 62 to 34, with about 20 Southerners usually joining with the Republicans. In the House, the Southerners numbered about 100, joining 171 Republicans against 163 Trumanites.

Thus, the victory in the fall was a hollow one, endowed with meaning only when the Southerners were willing to go along with the President's program.

On the Wallgren nomination, for instance, Senator Harry Flood Byrd of Virginia had joined the six Republicans on the Senate Armed Services Committee, resulting in a 7 to 6 vote to table the nomination.

He concludes that the Democratic Party appeared "sick".

Edwin Shanke, in the fourth of his five-part series on the British socialized medical and dental National Health plan, tells of the expectation of a miracle by the general public the day after the plan went into effect the previous July 4. The medical profession and the Ministry of Health, however, had not expected such an immediate miracle, as the country was still suffering from a shortage of doctors and medical facilities, a condition extant since before the war and exacerbated during the war.

There was roughly one doctor for every 2,000 Britons, an acceptable raw ratio, but distribution of doctors was uneven across the country. To help to remedy that discrepancy, there were 11,500 medical students enrolled in 1948, 27 percent of whom were women, up from 8,600, 15 percent of whom had been women, a decade earlier. Much of the increase was the result of scholarship assistance to veterans. But not every medical student would ultimately graduate and become a doctor.

Better wages and working conditions were attracting more nurses and midwives to the medical profession.

Hospitals, previously dependent on endowments and contributions, now were supported by the State, freeing the staff from money-raising responsibilities, giving them more opportunity for clinical work. The plan had not operated long enough yet, however, to determine the effect on research and doctors suggested that a couple of years would need pass before the effect became known.

Fixed income ranges for specialists, with varying awards of distinction bestowing additional income to be conferred by a special committee, would mean that a third of specialists would earn more than $10,000 annually.

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