The Charlotte News

Wednesday, March 30, 1949


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in Damascus, the Syrian Army had seized power, arresting Government leaders in a bloodless coup. The commander of the Army said that the coup had occurred because of attacks on the Army inside and outside the Syrian House of Representatives, and that Army rule would only be temporary, with formation of a new cabinet being discussed with the Speaker of the House. He said that the revolt was purely local and had no foreign implications, suggesting that the new Government would proceed with negotiations on Rhodes for a Syrian-Israeli armistice.

Riots had taken place the previous December in Syria, forcing the resignation of Premier Jamil Mardam Bey, resulting from protests of the Government's handling of the Palestine war and the failure to achieve victory over Israel.

Pickets, eggs and tomatoes greeted British Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin as he arrived in New York aboard the Queen Mary to sign the NATO agreement. The protesters represented the Joint Committee to Combat Anti-Semitism, protesting the claimed hostile policy of Mr. Bevin toward Israel.

Soviet Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko, arriving at the same time for the U.N. General Assembly meeting, had no comment on the NATO agreement.

Five Senators, led by Lister Hill of Alabama, proposed a substitute voluntary health insurance bill to replace the President's compulsory national health insurance.

Congressman Wright Patman of Texas said that the new rent control extension bill would result in a rollback of illegal rents and increased rents on some properties where the landlord was not showing a profit. House Majority Leader John McCormack said that he believed there would be no big increase in rents for anyone. The executive director of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, Paul Betters, said that he believed that no major city would drop rent controls under the "home rule" option.

The President was described as elated over the legislation, although it fell short of his proposal.

Secretary of the Treasury John W. Snyder said that economic adjustments in recent months were healthy and that the outlook was for continued prosperity.

Dr. Edwin Nourse, chairman of the President's Council of Economic Advisers, said that he had submitted his resignation a couple of months earlier but that he planned to remain on the job. White House informants said that the resignation was only a formality at the end of the prior term.

In Raleigh, fifteen black law students from North Carolina College at Durham (now, North Carolina Central University) picketed the State Capitol this date, advocating an accredited law school, complaining of overcrowding, lack of adequate library facilities and a law building. The law school had a total of 23 students. The assistant director of the budget said that the State in 1947 had made provisions for a law building and a library, but that the $550,000 appropriation was inadequate, resulting in recommendations to the current Assembly to add $370,000.

The State House passed legislation authorizing issuance of 7.5 million dollars worth of bonds to improve the state's ports. A second reading of a bill to legalize horse racing and parimutuel betting in Pasquotank County was passed, and would have a third reading the following day. Legalization of bingo in Dare County also passed and was sent to the Senate.

Governor Kerr Scott said that he favored using the 30 million dollar postwar surplus reserve fund to help balance the State operating budget during the ensuing two years, rather than using it to help counties and municipalities build schools.

Tornadoes struck northwest Oklahoma killing two persons and injuring 25 others, as well as causing extensive property damage. The greatest damage occurred in the towns of Canton and nearby Longdale.

On the editorial page, "Postal Rate Increases" tells of the Postmaster General proposing 300 percent increases in the second class postal rates covering newspapers and magazines for those rates being primarily responsible for the 550 million dollar deficit in the Post Office budget. But hearings had shown that he overestimated the effect of these rates in producing the deficit.

The piece says that no newspaper or magazine was seeking a Government subsidy but many would have to raise their circulation rates to keep pace to meet such steep increases in the postal rates. Low-cost rates of dissemination of publications was in the public interest. Rural subscribers would suffer first from higher rates. There was room for a reasonable rise in rates but a precipitous increase, as suggested, would force some publications out of existence and increase the costs to subscribers for the others.

"Canadian Formula" tells of Canada having an 87 million dollar surplus in its budget, with a national debt of 11.8 billion, reduced by 1.6 billion since 1946. As a result, the Government was going to reduce taxes by 368 million in the coming fiscal year. There was also relief on price controls and import controls, all indicative of returning normalcy.

The stability had come from the Canadian people accepting controls until the economy had righted itself after the war, avoiding the problems associated with inflation in the U.S.

"Of Pleasures Gone By...." tells of Atlanta Constitution Editor Ralph McGill having written in the Saturday Evening Post that he was fed up with faux "Southern cooking" being passed off by chefs as the genuine article.

It could still be found in some locales, such as private homes in New Orleans. But in the main, it was gone with the wind. The ersatz form gave one heartburn. Southern cooking, according to Mr. McGill, had been "perverted by slatterns with a greasy skillet."

He was not the first to complain and the piece agrees that true Southern cooking was, by and large, a thing of the past. Part of the problem was the greater demand for quick service than for quality, so that fried pork chops resembled dried leather and one-minute hamburgers came out as sponges, carrots as cardboard, along with various other gastronomic machinations.

It concludes: "We think we know the type of artistic Southern cooking which Mr. McGill describes. But that's because we are feeling extremely old, and possess astounding long memories for the fine things of life that have faded in the after-glow of another era."

We might add that the greasy skillet, now largely, itself, a thing of the past for concern regarding cholesterol, had its quaintly forgiving side. For instance, in the dimmed-down atmosphere of the one which we above reference, they did not even mind whether you tipped. Why, you could leave them a nickel and a penny, thinking, innocently, that it was a quarter and a dime for the $3.00 bill, and they would tell you to keep it, make a point of button-holing you at the checkout just to return it. Even if the food was a bit greasy, it was just that kind of good old-fashioned Southern hospitality that made such places go.

A piece from the Asheville Citizen, titled "Legislating by Label", tells of some members of the General Assembly labeling a bill allowing acquisition of land for slum clearance as "socialism". The label did not inform debate and such notions were not socialist. Private enterprise did not always deem it profitable to engage in slum clearance, and to have a law on the books would thus enable slum clearance and construction of low-cost public housing when the private sector failed to fill the void.

Drew Pearson tells of top American scientists having held a private meeting with Secretary of Defense James Forrestal before he stepped down earlier in the week, to try to convince him to release the report on the atomic tests at Bikini Atoll in July, 1946. He told them that it was squarely up to the President as he had provided the report to him. The scientists determined that it would not be a good idea to put pressure on the President to release the report as it might entrench him in a stubbornly resistant stance.

The real estate lobby was behind a drive in D.C., Georgia, Indiana and other states to institute a sales tax so that there would not be a hike in the property tax and the state income taxes.

The Veterans Affairs Committee members were rebelling against chairman John Rankin for not calling a meeting in a month and a half, since seven Committee members had, in mid-February, walked out after Mr. Rankin rammed through the veterans' pension bill without debate.

The number two man at the Philippine Embassy in Washington, Emelio Abello, was a former Japanese collaborator, whom General MacArthur had initially imprisoned as such but who the Filipinos had released after they took over the administration of government. Mr. Abello had been the secretary of Jose Laurel, the puppet ruler put in power by the Japanese during the occupation. Yet, the State Department was unaware of his past. Since arriving in the U.S., he had been making speeches, urging American investments in the Philippines.

Marquis Childs finds that the protesters of the National Council of the Arts, Sciences and Professions conference, meeting in New York, had drawn undue attention to the gathering which would otherwise have gone unnoticed. It was an important showpiece for the Russians, as evidenced by the presence of composer Dimitri Shostakovich, himself periodically accused by the Soviets of political heresy in his music. The primary objective of the conference was to get a meeting between the President and Josef Stalin. Behind that goal was the effort to undermine the Marshall Plan. A restored Western Europe ran contrary to Soviet plans for domination of Asia and Europe.

The State Department also had helped publicize the conference by denying visas to some British and other Europeans delegates, though not to the Russians.

While the meeting was being held out of fear, another counter-fear was on display in the protest, as well as in a meeting of Americans for Intellectual Freedom, dedicated to the "one world" philosophy of the late Wendell Willkie. Mr. Childs says that he would devote another column to that meeting.

Fear, he concludes, was a sign of weakness and lack of confidence in the country's strength and resolution for peace. It could ultimately bring on war.

DeWitt MacKenzie discusses the ten-nation agreement being formed in London for a European Parliament as a predecessor to a United States of Europe. He says that an underlying spirit of the movement was Aristide Briand of France who in 1928 had, along with Secretary of State Frank Kellogg, formed the Kellogg-Briand Pact outlawing war. He says that he had known the late M. Briand.

World War I had demonstrated that the old balance of power politics in Europe was outmoded, leading to creation of the League of Nations, a failure because of lack of enforcement mechanism and the absence of the United States. Moreover, its diversity of membership caused it to be cumbersome in operation as the same regulations could not fit all cases.

So a United States of Europe was now a concept considered feasible to replace it, along with other formations of United States in the other regions of the world, in the hope that the formula might lead to greater agreement and less nationalism, avoiding a third world war, and ultimately leading to the "one world" concept without sacrifice of separate sovereignties. There was too much pride in nationalism among the nations to permit surrender of sovereignty to a United States Parliament.

Samuel Grafton, no longer carried by The News, suggests that further freezing of the cold war would help to keep it from getting hot. The level of mutual insult had reached a level of intolerability on both sides such that if that tendency increased much more, war could be the result. As a concrete move, the U.S. could declare that it wanted no bases in Scandinavia, thus maintaining the status quo.

The U.S. had not gone into economic depression as hoped by Russia for the very reason that Russia was triggering an arms build-up, with consequent boon to the U.S. economy. The same was true for Russia.

With that situation extant, there was no reason not to make sure that the cold war stayed very cold, producing a stalemate for the foreseeable future.

John Gould, in a piece from the Christian Science Monitor, tells of the chickadee being the state bird of Maine. But there was a move afoot to make the New Hampshire, a hen, the new state bird. It pitted the Audubon Society on one side against the poultry raisers on the other. The fight had produced flying feathers.

One legislator had cried "fowl". Another said that if one got breakfast egg on one's necktie, the yolk was on him.

A letter to Josef Stalin from the National Association of Manufacturers is reprinted, inviting the delegates to the New York National Council of the Arts, Sciences and Professions conference to tour industrial areas.

Mention had been made of the invitation on the front page a few days earlier. The State Department, however, had nixed any tour of American cities as it went beyond the limited scope of the granted visas.

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.