The Charlotte News

Wednesday, April 13, 1949


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in Frankfurt, the U.S., Britain, and France agreed to reduce the number of plants to be removed from Germany for reparations and to permit some production in ten industries previously denied to the Germans, including aluminum, ball bearings, radio transmission equipment, and shipbuilding. The three powers, however, reaffirmed their commitment to prohibit German production in industries with war potential, such as synthetic gas and oil, synthetic rubber, atomic materials, military radio transmitters, and heavy equipment. According to a State Department announcement, the equipment to be left in Germany was in 32 steel plants, 88 metal working plants, 32 chemical plants, and seven non-ferrous metals plants, varying between single pieces of equipment and whole factories. The relinquished steel plant equipment would raise West Germany's capacity by 165,000 tons, to 13.5 million tons annually, but with a ceiling still of 11.1 million tons per year.

In Nuremberg, the verdicts in the last and longest of the war crimes trials, those of diplomats and high Nazi officials in the Government, ended with 19 of 21 defendants convicted by the American tribunal. The trial had lasted 15 months and the verdicts spanned 833 pages. The last verdicts were findings of six defendants guilty and seven not guilty on the specific count of helping to force millions of Jews and others into the forced labor camps, and convictions of twelve and acquittals of two on the charge of membership in criminal Nazi organizations. The sentences of the convicted nineteen defendants would be pronounced the following day.

The tribunal rejected the defense of the defendants seeking to invoke the principle of "tu quoque", the equivalent of the equitable "clean hands" doctrine, that the occupying allies were likewise guilty of violations of international law in their occupation of Germany since the war.

Israel's bid to join the U.N. was delayed for several weeks by a vote of 31 to 18 in the political committee of the General Assembly, sending the matter to the committee for further debate. The fourteen-nation steering committee had recommended admission the previous week, but the Arab nations conjoined to reverse the recommendation of immediate admission.

Representative Clarence Cannon of Missouri, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, told the House during debate of the military appropriations bill that Air Force bombers and not Navy planes should deliver an atom bomb to Moscow in the event of war and that the nation should equip other nations for ground fighting while building up its air power. Representative Cannon was defending the Navy appropriation recommended by his Committee against a proposal by Congressman Carl Vinson of Georgia to raise it by 300 million dollars.

ERP administrator Paul Hoffman told a press conference that drops in prices of goods could cause the final bill to be below the sought 5.58 billion dollars in ERP aid appropriations for the coming fifteen months.

The House approved a veterans' emergency fund of 596 million dollars for education and unemployment compensation. It now would go to the Senate.

In New York, in the trial of the eleven top American Communist Party leaders, a former teacher in the Communist Party school, from Woodstock, N.Y., testified as a Government witness that he was told by one of the defendants, Jacob Stachel, to "kill the Roosevelt myth" because the Roosevelt years of social progress had lured the party away from its understanding of the class struggle and that the position of French Communist leader Jacques Duclos, favoring return to Marxist-Leninist doctrine—which the prosecution characterized as violent revolution leading to seizure of the Government by the proletariat—should be honored in the teachings at the school. The witness said that he had left the party officially in 1942 and severed all remaining ties to its 1944 American replacement, the Communist Political Association, in 1945, after serving in the Army during the war.

We thought that the directive to destroy the Roosevelt myth was only the marching order among Republicans, especially in HUAC and the Senate Investigating Committee of the 80th Congress.

In Prague, a woman who had been head of American Relief for Czechoslovakia since 1945, was arrested and charged with political activity by the Government.

No word had yet come from the Government in response to American Embassy inquiries regarding the long prison sentences given two American soldiers who had wandered from Germany over the Czech border and had been tried and convicted as spies.

In Washington, newspaper publication remained halted for a third day by a strike of AFL pressmen and stereotypers.

You're not supposed to stereotype in the newspapers anyway. Fire those stereotypers.

Governor Kerr Scott said that the North Carolina General Assembly had done a "fair job" thus far in the biennial session but could do a "good job". The Senate Roads Committee had just voted to recommend against a proposal of the Governor to reorganize the Highway Commission. The previous day, the Senate had voted against a bill to increase the Utilities Commission from three to five members, also a proposal of the Governor. The Senate Appropriations Committee had docked 21 million dollars from a House-approved measure to raise teacher salaries. The Governor also had wanted Senator Frank Graham appointed to the UNC Board of Trustees, but a legislative list made public the previous night of 30 potential trustees did not include the name of the former president of the University for 18 years, who had just been appointed to the Senate seat the previous month to replace deceased J. Melville Broughton.

Tom Fesperman of The News relates of an effort to have old wells capped in Mecklenburg County, in the wake of the tragic death of a three year old girl in San Marino, California, the previous Friday after falling 100 feet down an abandoned well casing while running with other children across a vacant lot. A map of the sites in Mecklenburg County was being prepared and the County police chief asked for help from the community in locating the positions. Several such wells had been sighted from the air earlier in the week by a private pilot and air show promoter. Many of the wells, most on abandoned farms, had been covered by boards which had rotted with age and become further obscured by weeds.

On the editorial page, "Long Step Forward" discusses the NATO accord and the President's description of it as a "long step" toward achieving peace. It recognized the reality that no single nation could achieve the peace.

Ratification by the Senate, requiring a two-thirds majority, would likely be delayed for months, and the piece hopes it would not take too long, as it would provide the isolationists more time to work their will on the body, as they were in trying to whittle down Marshall Plan funding.

Russia had just used its veto for the 30th time to block admission of Korea to the U.N., demonstrating afresh the reason for the NATO agreement. It concludes that nothing had been changed in the world to make the isolationist argument any less vapid than it had been a decade earlier.

"The Cure Is Slow" tells of more money having been given to the State mental hospital at Dix Hill, since Tom Jimison's 1942 report on the other facility at Morganton, now reaching 5.8 million for capital outlay during the previous four year period. But the increased spending had yet to cure the ills of the institution as building materials had been scarce after the war. Now, new construction was underway and would produce a difference within a year or two. It was also difficult still to obtain psychiatrists and staff. The piece urges not letting anything stand in the way of progress of the facility.

"A Shrine Is Leveled" tells of Street & Smith Publications, Inc., publishers previously of Buffalo Bill and Horatio Alger, closing down its "pulp" presses so that the publisher could devote more resources to its "slick" magazine department, including such publications as Mademoiselle and Mademoiselle's Living and Charm. It laments the passing.

A piece from the Greensboro Daily News, titled "Chewing Gum", finds that no one knew who invented chewing gum or why, suggests that it was probably to get rid of materials for which there was no useful purpose. But, it complains, there was no good way to get rid of the substance once chewed and so it wound up under desks, theater seats, or on sidewalks, where once it stuck to the shoe sole, was resistant to removal. It concludes that the only benefit to chewing gum was probably enjoyed by the manufacturers in their profits.

Drew Pearson tells of the President having been responsible for Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson choosing former FDR press secretary Steve Early as the Undersecretary. The President wanted someone in the position he could trust as a loyal Democrat, and the first two choices of Mr. Johnson had been John Franklin and John J. McCloy, both Republicans.

Mr. Early was a good friend of Mr. Johnson and so was entirely acceptable. In 1940, when FDR bypassed Undersecretary of War Johnson to make Henry Stimson Secretary, Mr. Early had quelled Mr. Johnson's resulting anger and initial determination as a result to back Wendell Willkie for the presidency, persuading Mr. Johnson not to bolt the party.

Former Congressman Everett Dirksen was set to run in 1950 against Senate Majority Leader Scott Lucas of Illinois.

Representative Clarence Cannon, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, berated a subcommittee recommendation which had provided for a half billion dollars more than the President sought for defense, saying that 750 million should have been cut. Congressmen Albert Engel of Michigan and Bob Sikes of Florida, both of the subcommittee, stood by the recommendation for not discriminating against the Air Force in favor of the Navy. Mr. Cannon eventually relented on his threat to have the bill recommitted, but reiterated his dislike for the bill.

Privately, notes Mr. Pearson, many Congressmen agreed with Mr. Cannon.

Marquis Childs wonders how the NATO accord would thrive without provision of guns to the Western European members. And the general concern in the Senate appeared to center on how much rehabilitative aid could be traded for aid in arms and haggling over what particular provisions of the treaty meant.

A letter writer, a manufacturer, had written to Mr. Childs distraught over this approach to the treaty and blamed columnists and commentators for confusing the American public. Mr. Childs admits to some truth in the charge. But the main point was that the writer wanted something for the American people to cheer about in the character of the nation, finding the presentation of the treaty in terms of guns or butter not enough.

The Roberts Atlantic Union Committee, chaired by former Justice Owen Roberts, favored political union of the NATO nations. The letter writer believed it was a good idea and that Americans would not object to such union on the basis of nationalism if it meant their economic well-being. The business community appeared to have no objection to economic union with a common currency.

But, opines Mr. Childs, if such a notion were placed before the Senate, it would likely be turned aside without lengthy consideration.

There were signs, however, of a Western federation, as France, the U.S., and Britain had agreed on a settlement of West Germany. Likewise, Italy and France were entering a customs union to remove trade barriers.

But, he concludes, from the American perspective, the momentum for such change was lacking. Provision of guns and butter to Western Europe were not enough to substitute "for the living, breathing word that can bring hope for the future."

James Marlow is skeptical about the celebratory atmosphere greeting the NATO accord, much as there had been for the U.N. in June, 1945. But since that time, the U.N. had been met with roadblocks by the repeated Soviet exercise of the veto in the Security Council. NATO was a testament to the failure of the U.N.

He counsels caution on NATO regarding whether it would really work as a deterrent to Soviet aggression as designed. The first consideration was whether Congress would vote the money for re-arming the Western European members.

Moreover, the agreement of the Big Three re West Germany had unilateral veto power. The German Socialists were upset also at some of the provisions restricting the form of government of the new Western republic, despite the unquestionable right of the victors to make those determinations.

So, he recommends taking a "cool look" at the matter before shooting off firecrackers in celebration.

Samuel Grafton, no longer carried by The News, finds that the political mood of the country appeared to be returning to that of the previous summer, when conservatism appeared to return. But the difference now was that the Republicans had no illusions about being representative of the majority of Americans. They knew, in light of the election returns, where they stood. There had been no real change in public sentiment. The only thing changing was the passage of time from the previous election, indicative of the forgetfulness of the people. The Republicans were still pushing their weight around as during the previous summer but now with the recognition that they were opposing the popular majority, not leading it.

He finds the problem in ending a "stale revival of last year's show" much simpler than during the previous summer. "Then it was one of navigating through the unknown. Today it is one of mobilizing a known force."

A letter writer writes an open letter to Charlotte mayoral candidate Victor Shaw, complaining of the right of way of the new crosstown boulevard, passing schools and through residential neighborhoods, creating noise and traffic hazards. He wants a mayor who would not spend half his time greeting arriving celebrities and riding in parades. He thinks that Mr. Shaw is that person.

A letter writer predicts that the appointment of Frank Graham as the new Senator would divide the Democratic Party between the old machine, against which Governor Kerr Scott had run, and the machine politics, represented by Senator Clyde Hoey. He suggests it as an opportunity for the Republican Party to organize and make a move in the state by endorsing an anti-machine Democrat in local elections.

A letter writer objects to a cartoon of April 8 using a likeness of Generalissimo Francisco Franco, standing in front of a picture of Hitler, with a "bloody knife" in his sash, asking his aide to prepare his clean uniform as he read that the U.N. was reported to be softening its position on Spain. The writer urges that Sr. Franco would give bases to the U.S. when they would be needed to fight Soviet aggression, accuses the cartoonist, whose name he did not know, of having a picture of Stalin prominently displayed on his desk.

The cartoonist was Herblock, who had quit his lucrative position as a syndicated cartoonist in March, 1942 at age 32 to join the Army, won a Pulitzer Prize in May, 1942 for his March 11, 1941 cartoon, titled "British Plane"—perhaps also should have won for his cartoon of August 18, 1941, had anyone then fully gleaned the implications.

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