The Charlotte News

Friday, March 4, 1949


Site Ed. Note: The front page, in a report by Associated Press correspondent John Scali, informs that Norway had agreed to become a member of the proposed North Atlantic Pact. Simultaneously, Norway formally rejected Russia's invitation to join a mutual non-aggression pact, saying that it was unnecessary as both countries were members of the U.N., the Charter of which included a pledge of non-aggression by members. Norway stated that it would not permit foreign nations to establish bases within its borders unless it were attacked or threatened with attack, and that Norway would be the sole determiner of such exigencies.

Following the lead of Norway, Denmark was also preparing to initiate discussions about joining the Pact. Sweden remained the only neutral nation in Scandinavia thus far not expressing interest in so joining.

Mr. Scali, incidentally, would become an internuncio between the Kennedy Administration and the Soviets during the Cuban Missile Crisis of October, 1962, after being approached with a back-channel offer of settlement by a Soviet KGB agent with whom he was acquainted.

In Frankfurt, eight angry Russian soldiers left the repatriation mission for the Soviet zone of Germany. One Russian driver spat at an American girl bystander as they left the mission grounds. They had been holed up in the mission building for two days after being ordered to leave by March 1 by General Lucius Clay, with State Department approval.

The Russians in the Eastern sector of Germany retaliated by demanding that the fifteen Americans in the graves registration division leave East Berlin at once.

The Senate filibuster by Southerners, trying to prevent a rule change to permit cloture by a two-thirds vote of debate on resolutions and motions, to supplement the rule of cloture on bills, entered its fifth day.

The President supported a gag rule to cut off Senate debate by a majority vote, a stand which Republican Senator Kenneth Wherry said might make it harder to get any revision of the Senate rules to limit filibuster. Majority Leader Scott Lucas said that the Republican support for the anti-filibuster rule change had been "phony from the start".

GOP Senators Arthur Watkins of Utah and Edward Martin of Pennsylvania announced that they were ready to join 38 other Senators to vote against an anticipated ruling by Vice-President Alben Barkley to cut off the Southern filibuster the following week. Only 33 Senators were necessary to defeat the effort at cloture, if, as Vice-President Barkley was expected to rule, that a two-thirds vote could be applied to cut off debate on the rule change, itself

The Senate Labor Committee approved, by a vote of 8 to 5, the Truman labor bill without change, repealing Taft-Hartley and substituting the Wagner Act of 1935, with modifications. Republicans on the Committee, including Senator Taft, wanted the Committee to take more time to study the measure. Senator Taft complained that the chairman, Elbert Thomas of Utah, had utilized "high-handed tactics" in squelching amendments and further study of the bill.

The House Banking Committee approved rent control extension for 15 months, short of the President's desired 24-month extension.

Unemployment rose another 550,000 during February, to 3.2 million, the highest level since March, 1942, when unemployment stood at 3.5 million. The figure was 600,000 higher than one year earlier. The Census Bureau attributed the rise to bad weather in some parts of the country and non-seasonal layoffs in industry. An additional 700,000 unemployed persons had been recorded in January.

Britain announced its largest peacetime budget since demobilization after the war had ended, amounting to three billion dollars or 750 million pounds.

In Athens, a mopping-up operation was in progress in the area of Mount Kerdyllia, 40 miles northeast of Salonika, where a guerrilla force of 800 had been cornered, with 61 killed and 81 captured.

In Canton, China, a U.S. Navy sailor claimed to have been shanghaied into the French Foreign Legion for 19 months, to fight against the Vietnamese in French Indochina, explaining his whereabouts while missing for that period. He claimed that he had finally been able to escape and then spent five months trying to reach Canton. He said that he was one of several Americans being forced to fight in that conflict.

They won't be the last either.

In Charleston, W. Va., five firemen died fighting a fire in two downtown stores. A sixth fireman was missing.

In New York, Ferruccio Tagliavini, Metropolitan Opera tenor, was declared to be the father of a child born to a singer, Mary Phillips, and ordered to pay child support. The three-judge court split 2 to 1 on the decision—meaning, apparently, that the child was likely only two-thirds the tenor's offspring. Mr. Tagliavini was married to Met soprano Pia Tassinari. Ms. Phillips was pleased with the ruling, said that her seventeen-month old daughter could now have shoes. Mr. Tagliavini's lawyer indicated that he would appeal the decision, in the hope, no doubt, of trumping the metaphor.

In New Haven, Conn., the former president of Yale University until 1937, James Rowland Angell, 79, died after a long illness. He had also been a well-reputed psychologist.

In Raleigh, the Senate Roads Committee reported favorably on a measure to provide for highway inspection of motor vehicles by the Highway Patrol. The Legislature had already abolished the program of required mechanical inspection by the DMV.

Pete McKnight was named this date Editor of The News. The report does not mention the previous Editor, William Reddig, formerly of the Kansas City Star, whose name disappeared without explanation from the masthead the previous August. Mr. Reddig had become Editor in July, 1947. Mr. McKnight had been a reporter for the newspaper since 1939—as well as having been a good friend to the late W. J. Cash, both having lived near one another in the Frederick Apartments in 1939-40. Mr. McKnight was a graduate of Davidson College and got his first newspaper experience at The Shelby Star. In September, 1942, he had gone to San Juan, Puerto Rico, to become managing editor of the World-Journal and subsequently was editor and executive editor of that publication, before returning to The News in September, 1944. While in Puerto Rico, he had become an accredited Associated Press war correspondent. He served as news editor of The News upon his return and had become managing editor in March, 1948, devoting increasing time to editorial writing in recent months, taking over the editorial page as a permanent assignment since mid-December.

Ray Howe, a native of Syracuse, N.Y., who had attended UNC, sports editor since June, 1942, with the newspaper as a sportswriter since 1938, was named managing editor. He had served two years in the Navy during the war.

Sportswriter Furman Bisher, a native of Denton and also a UNC graduate, replaced Mr. Howe as sports editor. Mr. Bisher had become state editor in 1940, coming from the Lumberton Voice and High Point Enterprise. He had entered the Navy in early 1943 and served until early 1946, when he returned to the newspaper to write sports. He was considered an expert in baseball and had authored articles for several national publications. A year later, Mr. Bisher would join the Atlanta Constitution, where he would remain as a sports reporter and editor until his retirement in 2009.

Veteran City Hall reporter Dick Young, also a graduate of UNC, was named city editor. He had previously worked for the Kannapolis Independent and the Shelby Star, and had served in the Army for three years in the Pacific during the war.

"Mr. X", the baseball player or manager living in North Carolina, remains unknown. He may have slud home, undetected.

On the editorial page, "An Education Puzzler" advocates moving cautiously on adopting the complex "Foundation Plan" recommended by the State Education Commission, as even educators had trouble understanding it. Under it, the State would contribute either 85 or 90 percent of the costs of education and the counties the remainder. The Board of Education had prepared a different set of figures.

Mecklenburg County school officials had found that under the Plan, the County would have to expend more than it did presently while receiving less from the State. The piece finds that result not to be an "improvement" program.

"Picking Up the Check" tells of Mecklenburg County paying 13.5 million dollars to State coffers in tax revenue while receiving back only about three million dollars from the State, about 2.2 million of which was for education. But rural and relatively sparsely populated Camden County, for instance, paid in $18,000 per year and received back $104,000 just for schools.

"Dulles Looks at Russia" tells of John Foster Dulles, future Secretary of State under President Eisenhower and to have held that position in a Dewey Administration, finding that a new period in U.S.-Russian relations was at hand, as the Russians realized that their "rough methods" were no longer producing desired results. The need to rebuild the satellite nations from Soviet abuse was causing the Soviet leaders to disfavor any shooting war. They were also running into resistance to their methods in Europe and elsewhere. He said that victory in peace, as well as in war, usually went to those "whose nerves hold out the longest." He believed that the present bipartisan containment policy of the Truman Administration would bring the desired results and prevent armed conflict with Russia.

It concludes that one could share his hope without necessarily sharing his confidence, but that it was also comforting to know that such a prominent figure in foreign relations was willing "to give peace more than an outside chance."

"Local Option Prevails" finds that the General Assembly's rejection of the two bills which had sought a statewide referendum on alcohol sales to have reaffirmed the principle of local option, the right of each county or municipality to determine whether to allow local liquor sales. The piece thinks it a fair principle and hopes that future Legislatures would adhere to it, given its reaffirmation by the present one.

A piece from the Christian Science Monitor, titled "Signs of the Times", tells of many people questioning the research further into rocket and atomic technology, with the public having been made aware that a "radar curtain" to protect the earth and an "earth satellite", from which rockets could be launched from the stratosphere, were in development. Mabel Rockwell, an electrical engineer and naval rocket authority, believed that the taxpayers' money could be better spent on promoting the brotherhood of mankind.

In Harper's recently, (preceded by publication in Horizon), a Scottish physicist, Lancelot Law Whyte, had predicted that in the second half of the century scientific thought would turn to an holistic "science of man" and away from pure physics, the latter having reached its bottom in its reductionism of the universe to smaller and smaller particles. Posited Mr. Whyte, "This new science of man would imply the coalescence of physiology and psychology in a concept of the human individual overcoming the body-mind dualism."

The call was for spiritual values, not retrogression, a turn from a "sensate" to an "ideational" culture, as suggested by Pitirim Sorokin.

It concludes therefore that if study of the hydrogen nucleus found a dead end, there was further progress

Drew Pearson tells of Republican Representative Ralph Gwinn of New York using his Congressional franking privilege to mail out 900,000 letters containing speeches he had made against public housing, Federal aid to education, rent control and other parts of the Fair Deal program of the President. He had recently told a laundry worker testifying in favor of the minimum wage to do the washing at home if he did not like the wages paid him. The anti-Fair Deal effort was costing the taxpayers an estimated $27,000 in postage alone, plus the stationery expense of around $5,000. And Congressman Gwinn only had 280,000 constituents in his district. Not even during a campaign had anyone mailed out so many pieces of mail.

To substantiate the positive impact of the Marshall Plan and the need for the North Atlantic Pact, one only had to look at France's effort to rid its Government of Communists, successful to date. In 1945-46, Communists were rife within the Government, as Maurice Thorez, the leading Communist, was Vice-Premier. Many former Communists had renounced Communism and turned to America for their political cues.

The Merci Train, providing gifts to America in gratitude for the gifts provided the French in November, 1947 aboard the Friendship Train, represented the shift in attitude among the French people. He notes again, however, that the President had been too busy to show the courtesy of greeting the train in Washington, though he attended an entertainment event a few blocks away.

GOP Congressman Albert Cole of Kansas had advised Democratic colleagues on the House Banking Committee to make the rent control bill as tough on landlords as they could because it would drive votes to the Republicans in the next election.

The investment bankers of Wall Street were trying to find someone prominent at a university to lead their attack on competitive bidding on securities, championed and instituted by the efforts of Cyrus Eaton, Cleveland industrialist and banker, who believed it was the only way to prevent monopolies. Now, the SEC was responsible for insuring the competitiveness of bidding, albeit legally required only with utilities securities, even that requirement riddled with exceptions. Mr. Pearson notes that A. F. Whitney, president of the Brotherhood of Railway Trainmen, had stated his support for competitive bidding.

Joseph Alsop discusses the general opinion of European leaders which he had found in his recent travels in Yugoslavia, Italy, France, and Germany, regarding the intent of the Soviets in the near future. There was no immediate threat of war, not even violent reaction to Norway joining the North Atlantic Pact. Most believed that, instead, a new policy was being formulated by the Kremlin which would not miscalculate American resolve as before. The new policy had three objectives. First, the Soviets wanted to consolidate their gains from the war, starting with Czechoslovakia and the coup a year earlier, as well as the frustrated attempt to liquidate the island of freedom in West Berlin, and the ongoing purges in all of the satellite countries, most of which went unnoticed in the West.

Second, the Kremlin intended to take advantage of the U.S. concentration on Western Europe by shifting emphasis to the Middle and Far East. The drive into China was emblematic of this effort, as was, more importantly, the effort in Southeast Asia, plus renewed interest in the Middle East. If Asia were allowed to fall to the Communists, an offensive in the Middle East would follow. Any form of appeasement of the Russians, it was believed, would trigger aggression.

Third, the Soviet Empire was being prepared for war as rapidly as possible, with militarization of the economy nearly as complete as in Germany under Hitler.

The reduction of American armament was causing the Soviets to believe that America was returning to a period of normalcy, and that as the stalemate in Europe continued, American opposition would commensurately decrease.

Marquis Childs tells of the small band of Communists in Rumania undertaking to stamp out the last vestiges of religious freedom, consistent with that ongoing in Hungary and Bulgaria with the treason and espionage trials of churchmen. In Rumania, the church increasingly had been made subservient to the state. Rumania had an iron curtain more impenetrable than even that of Russia, with no American journalists allowed to enter.

A law had been passed the previous year requiring that in order to exist, "religious cults" had to have approval of the Government, preparing the way for action against all denominations. The law regulated the number of parishioners each diocese could have, impacting the Catholic Church, cutting its dioceses from five to two. All ties to the outside were cut from churches, nearly putting an end to the Protestant missions which had formerly existed. A decree had provided that any church official could be deprived of his salary for "anti-democratic attitudes."

That was a general formula being followed throughout Eastern Europe, impacting every aspect of life, including religion. Collectivization of farms was reducing the peasant population to dependence on the state for their living. All of that was taking place without the understanding of most Americans regarding the extent to which all Western freedom and thought were being reversed.

A letter from a veteran who had left the service a private, having lost one eye, says that he was not receiving any compensation but was able nevertheless to earn a living. Others had been less fortunate. So he advocates the retirement pension plan for veterans being proposed in Congress.

A letter from the executive secretary of the League for Crippled Children in Chapel Hill thanks the newspaper for its support in the campaign to raise funds and tells of the Easter Seal Campaign getting underway March 17.

A letter from Senator Styles Bridges of New Hampshire thanks the newspaper for its February 16 editorial, "Topics of the Times", in praise of his speech regarding wasteful Federal publication activities.

A letter writer finds that the editorial of February 28, "The Beer-Wine Problem", had tacitly admitted that beer and wine caused disturbances in places of sale when consumption on the premises was permitted, as the piece had favored legislation prohibiting such consumption. He suggests that the ABC-controlled sales neither cured the problem of bootlegging nor the issues surrounding liquor consumption. He thinks the newspaper ought be more consistent in its position on whether it favored sale or not.

It really should be favoring, also, courses in reading and comprehension thereof.

A letter writer provides an article from Seattle describing a program of rehabilitation for alcoholics, treating them as patients, operated by the police department. The writer favors this approach over punitive sanctions.

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