The Charlotte News

Monday, March 21, 1949


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the President was expected to ask Congress for a free hand in allocating arms to Western Europe under the proposed billion dollar military aid program, scheduled to go to Congress in early April, at about the same time it would consider ratification of NATO.

The President, in an address to the U.S. mayors conference, denounced troublemakers who spoke of a rift between him and Congress. He said that he and Congress, while disagreeing on some things, were working together for the good of the country. He said that the real enemy of the American home was the real estate lobby, seeking to block effective rent control extensions and public housing legislation.

Bernard Baruch told the conference of mayors that the need was urgent for the U.S. to seek a decision on making world peace.

The President explained to the White House News Photographers' Association that aerial pictures of him in a bathing suit, taken from a Navy blimp 200 feet aloft while he had been vacationing in Key West, had been seized so that First Lady Bess Truman would not see them, as she objected. A picture of him taken in Bermuda in bathing trunks in 1946, he said, had been regarded by her as a "disgrace to the family".

Secretary of the Army Kenneth Royall told the Senate Armed Services Committee that while war was not imminent, it was "at least a possibility". He recommended fixing active Army strength at 837,000 officers and men, and at 750,000 in the National Guard.

The Senate Labor Committee endorsed repeal of Taft-Hartley and passage of a modified Wagner Act to replace it, per the Administration recommendations. The five Republican members opposed it.

The Hoover Commission, in its latest weekly report, recommended to Congress that a new Cabinet-ranking Department of Welfare & Education be created and that a Department of Health also consolidate health services, presently spread over 40 Federal agencies. The latter would include part of the Food and Drug Administration and all of the Public Health Service.

In Buenos Aires, Argentina, seven persons were killed and seventeen others injured when a racing car went out of control and crashed into the crowd of spectators.

In Milwaukee, four teenage boys were booked on suspicion of murder after the body of a sixteen-year old girl, missing for 38 days, was found by happenstance by firemen who had been dragging the Milwaukee River in search of a suicide victim. The girl had been shot twice, then thrown into the river, weighted down by concrete blocks. They happened on the body while searching for a woman who had been seen jumping into the river. Her body was also recovered.

Near Maryville, Tenn., near the North Carolina border, a tiny helicopter rescued four survivors of a plane crash from a mountainside where they had been stranded for three days.

In Nashville, Tenn., a fourteen-year old girl, married for six months, died shielding her mother from a shotgun blast fired by her drunk father, a 45-year old farmer now charged with murder. He claimed that he fired in self-defense when his family sought to attack him.

In New England, the average temperature was about ten degrees below normal for the first day of spring. The Middle Atlantic states were only slightly below the norm while elsewhere across the nation, temperatures were unseasonably high. A four-month drought in Miami, Fla., was ended by a downpour of 2.5 to six inches of rain.

Jacob Bowman of Marion, N.C., was named by the President as the successor to Charles Price as U.S. Marshal for the Western District of North Carolina. William Kizziah was named Marshal of the Middle District, replacing Edney Ridge.

In Madison Square Garden in New York this night, the University of Kentucky, losers a week earlier to N.I.T. eventual runner-up Loyola of Chicago in the quarterfinals of the N.I.T., won the semifinal of the N.C.A.A. East Regional, beating Villanova 85 to 72, the most points by a single team and the most combined points ever scored to that time in a Tournament game. In the other semifinal game, the University of Illinois beat Yale 71 to 67. The West Regional had been won in Kansas City on the previous Saturday night by Oklahoma A & M over Oregon State. Illinois and Kentucky would thus meet for the East Regional final the following night. The championship game between Oklahoma A & M and the winner of the East Regional would take place in Seattle Saturday night.

Speaking of basketball, we have an existential question: How does a team come from twelve points behind with 36 seconds to play to tie the score and send the game to overtime, especially against a team which upset the Spartans back in November? That is almost as good as coming from eight points behind in 17 seconds to tie the score, prior to the advent of the three-point shot. We were at courtside for that one. It was exciting.

On the editorial page, "Discord Among Musicians" finds that the dispute between the conductor of the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, Lamar Stringfield, and the union musicians of the Orchestra was something which ought be worked out amicably for the benefit of all, including the community. Mr. Stringfield had decided to quit the musicians' union and the musicians who were members were thus refusing to play under his baton.

"State Bonus for Veterans" finds the proposal of a State legislator to provide a bonus to North Carolina veterans of $300 apiece to be ill advised. It would net the veteran nothing as he would have to repay it over a period of years. Paying the veteran $300, costing the State 100 million dollars, would not be looked on kindly as proper payment in any event for having suffered during the war.

"Bowles' Bright Idea" finds Connecticut Governor Chester Bowles to have advanced a proposal to Northern industry to contribute $500,000 to organize Southern labor so that wage conditions would be equalized and Northern industry would then cease to move to the South.

The piece finds it an idea not well received and one which would not, in any event, prevent the Northern industrial exodus, that the problems causing it went far beyond any relatively small differential in wages.

A piece from the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, titled "Arithmetic Lesson", finds the formula on which the proposed 300-million dollar Federal aid to education bill was premised to be out of joint with the times in that the design of it, to provide money to the poorer states to equalize education across the nation, was not aligned with the actual facts of the case. North Carolina and Texas, for instance, combined, received one seventh of the total, but were not considered poor states. Kentucky would receive a net of 12.5 million dollars under the plan, but also was not a poor state. New York, meanwhile, would be losing a net of 27 million dollars.

It predicts that eventually the Federal Government would be carrying the largest part of the load of educational costs, leading inevitably to Federal control of education.

Drew Pearson tells of Secretary of State Dean Acheson being angry with John Foster Dulles for making a recent speech critical of the North Atlantic Treaty. He had criticized the State Department for inviting Norway to join, prompting Mr. Acheson to state that Mr. Dulles could not accept that Thomas Dewey had lost the election and that he was thus not named Secretary of State as he had anticipated.

Democrats were trying to bait Senator Wayne Morse of Oregon with a Federal judgeship to induce him to resign his Senate seat. He was not receptive. Subsequently, he would switch parties and become a Democrat.

North Carolina Senator Clyde Hoey, a member of the Senate Expenditures Committee investigating former Congressman Frank Hancock of North Carolina for using his brother-in-law inside the RFC to obtain loans for clients, had shown up as a guest of the sister of Mr. Hancock and the wife of the man at the RFC under investigation.

Norway, in addition to joining NATO, was engaging in exchange of students with the U.S.

The American Embassy in China was keeping a close watch on the American warships given to the Chinese at the end of the war, lest they wind up with the Communists, as had a British warship a couple of weeks earlier.

General Douglas MacArthur was urging the U.S. Government to do business with the Chinese Communists, to permit the occupation government in Japan to purchase coal and coke, a move which would save $35 per ton on the price of coal for Japan over the cost of shipping it from the U.S. He also believed it would avoid too much amity between the Chinese Communists and Russia.

The chairman of Standard Oil of New Jersey was taking an interest in education and wondered whether corporations could contribute to colleges and universities, finding out that they could not under the law, unless they had a particular business interest in doing so, such as when a corporation was working on a technical project with the institution. The Standard Oil chairman was determined to test the premise and would seek to make a corporate contribution to general education as a test case. Mr. Pearson finds him to be another true Servant of Brotherhood, a member of his order of S.O.B.'s—formed in the wake of the controversy regarding the President at a dinner implicitly calling Mr. Pearson an "s.o.b." for his criticism of the President's military aide General Harry Vaughan for accepting a decoration from Argentine dictator Juan Peron.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop find that the President's second term was already headed toward failure. The reasons posited for the problem were many, the continuing conservatism of the Congress, the belief, alternatively, that the President should have waited on civil rights legislation or moved forward with it at a more rapid pace, more of the President's ineptitude in appointments and impromptu remarks which tended to backfire, or that his reduction of the rearmament program had deprived him of the only climate in which he could succeed, one pervaded by emergency.

But each of these offered explanations was only a superficial glimpse at the issue. Deeper down was the truth, that the problem lay in Mr. Truman as a man and a leader. He had all of the private virtues of honesty and decency but none of the skills as a leader. By all rights, after the victory in November, the Congress should have been with him, especially given that Democrats had won majorities in each house. But the President had taken the victory too personally and had not reached out to the many people who voted for Democratic candidates in the states but not for the President. He appeared to be offering up his program on a take-it-or-leave-it basis, emboldening the President's enemies in Congress to seize control.

The worst effect of this problem was that the world was dependent on the strength of the U.S., and the country at present appeared to strain under the load, threatening world tragedy.

DeWitt MacKenzie suggests that world reaction to the NATO accord was split as one would expect, with the Communists harshly criticizing it and the Western democracies praising it. The Soviets and their satellites charged that it was an aggressive move by the U.S. to lay the groundwork for another world war. The Soviets, he grants, might actually believe it true, given the tense climate of the cold war.

NATO marked the first time that the U.S. would join an alliance of nations in peacetime, but it only recognized the reality that in each of two world wars, the U.S. had joined alliances, thus only making sense that such a deterrent alliance to preserve the peace would be formed.

NATO did not commit any nation in advance to war in the event of an armed attack on one of the members. It only pledged resistance and left to each nation the determination of what response to make as each emergent situation would arise.

NATO was only a first step, to be followed by a billion dollar rearming of the Western European nations. The eight original signatories, the U.S., Britain, France, Canada, the Benelux countries, and Norway, would likely soon be joined by Denmark, Iceland, Portugal, and Italy, each invited to the table.

A letter writer believes it to have been wise of the General Assembly to repeal the state law requiring vehicle mechanical inspections, that all of the accidents of which he had read involving a fatality were with late model cars.

A letter writer suggests giving the School for the Deaf in Morganton to the State Hospital there and then purchasing the old Wake Forest College campus, after the college moved to Winston-Salem, as the new location for the School for the Deaf.

Instead, the old campus would become, as it still is, a Baptist theological seminary.

A letter writer finds that the Congress was betraying the people by not repealing Taft-Hartley and enacting substitute legislation, as well by not enacting a civil rights program, consistent with the will of the voters.

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