The Charlotte News

Friday, April 15, 1949


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that according to AFL president William Green, the President would take his compulsory national health insurance program directly to the people in a radio speech to the nation after he urged it to the Congress the following week. Mr. Green had been with a group of labor leaders who had just met with the President, backing the plan and presenting to him a report that organized medicine was trying to block it. Mr. Green vowed to block the Republican proposal just submitted the previous day, which he said was backed by the AMA.

In Greece, fighting had broken out all over the country and reports of the Government claimed that 107 Communist guerrillas had been killed and 114 captured while the Government forces had sustained 18 killed and 56 wounded. One of the worst battles of the civil war was reported ongoing in the Grammos mountain area, with close-range fighting taking place. A ten-day old Government workers union strike was continuing with the leaders vowing to consolidate the "social regime".

Senator Walter George of Georgia said that he would support a drive of the Republicans to cut Government spending to avoid both a tax increase and a budget deficit. He said that spending cuts ought start with foreign aid, on ERP, NATO, and similar measures.

In Frankfurt, American zone military occupation governor General Lucius Clay ordered Wilma Ybarbo released from prison on her five-year sentence for killing her American soldier husband and returned to the U.S. She had been convicted and sentenced the previous year under both German and U.S. military government law for the killing during the course of a bedroom quarrel. A U.S. military appellate court had thrown out the military court conviction and reduced the sentence under German law to five years. General Clay found no self-defense but many extenuating circumstances, including drinking parties and general looseness of home life plus her separation from her son, in extending clemency.

In Chicago, police detained the parents of a three-month old baby found dead from malnutrition. The child had been dead 20 minutes when discovered by police. The police could not question the parents, however, as they were described as being in a stupor. The home was said by police to exhibit deplorable living conditions with garbage all over the place.

In Washington, a man who was struck by a cab paid the $25 fine imposed on the driver who could not pay it. The injured pedestrian said that he was afraid the court would otherwise be hard on the cab driver.

In Currituck, N.C., a woman was suing another woman for alienation of her husband's affections, seeking $100,000 in actual and punitive damages. The couple had been married 28 years and all was well, claimed the wife, until the other woman came into the picture.

In Charlotte, Fleet Admiral William Halsey and former Minnesota Governor and current president of the University of Pennsylvania, Harold Stassen, were visiting as guests of a retired cotton manufacturer. Mr. Stassen had been Admiral Halsey's flag secretary at the end of the war in the Pacific and in that capacity had witnessed the signing of the formal surrender of the Japanese on the U.S.S. Missouri on September 2, 1945, had previously been Admiral Halsey's assistant chief of staff. The three men would attend a meeting arranged by the Piedmont & Northern Railroad in Greenville, S.C, in the afternoon, where Mr. Stassen would make a speech. Mr. Stassen, who had no comment on politics, would then return to Philadelphia and Admiral Halsey, who had no comment on world military and naval affairs, would remain as a guest for the weekend.

In Syracuse, N.Y., an eleven-year old girl said that her plastic statue of the head of St. Ann no longer shed tears when she kissed it as it had previously, before her appearance on television with the statue the previous night at 7:45. She had found the broken statue in her driveway. Many had gathered at the little girl's house in the hope that the tears might be curative of ailments. The little girl's mother disavowed any claims of miracles but said that the family had opened their house to all who wanted to see the statue weep. The open house policy, however, had to be terminated after the crowds grew into the hundreds. The mother said that she believed it to be a sin to carry the matter too far. The little girl theorized that maybe the statue only cried during Lent.

A metallurgist and engineer attested to witnessing the little girl draw tears from the statue after kissing it.

Maybe it cried because it did not like being kissed but became happy and contented after appearing on television. Or, maybe the plastic had some major manufacturing defect around the eyes. Or, maybe the head had gathered a little moisture while sitting out in the driveway and it was leaked out through the eye sockets, shaken loose by the little girl kissing it.

Whatever the phenomenon, we would suggest throwing it away. It may be a voodoo doll which was discarded and broken for a reason by its original owner.

Snow, rain and wind hit the Midwest for the Easter weekend.

On the editorial page, "Road Program Compromise" urges the State House to accept the conference committee compromise with the State Senate in which it had been determined that the 200 million dollar bond issue referendum on Governor Kerr Scott's rural roads program would have to pass before the one-cent gasoline tax hike would take effect, whereas the original House bill provided for enactment of the one-cent gas tax independent of the vote on the referendum. The News had originally favored the House approach but now believed that the compromise was in order to save the roads program from not being put before the voters at all.

The front page reports that the House this date voted in favor of the compromise.

"Divided at the Top" tells of the people growing tired of the bickering in Congress between members who backed a big Air Force and those who supported a large Navy. The Hoover Commission charged that the military budgets were wasteful and extravagant, while Secretary of the Army Kenneth Royall said that the report was full of misstatements, then confuted by the Hoover Commission. Secretary Royall and Secretary of the Air Force Stuart Symington both criticized the military unification law for not giving enough authority to the Secretary of Defense to determine policy, forcing him to babysit the inter-branch rivalries.

It concludes that the rivalry between the three branches at present was more important than the national welfare and wonders how strength could derive from such division at the top.

"Mark Edgar Sentelle" eulogizes the deceased former dean of men and religion professor of Davidson College, who had retired as dean in 1941. He had been a rigid disciplinarian and man of "profound learning" but also was open and friendly in off hours.

Few, the piece concludes, would bring to their duties "more unselfish devotion, higher moral precepts, more impartial justice and greater learning".

"A City …. Proud and Strong" tells of a story appearing of a maintenance worker on the Brooklyn Bridge having, through his years of work, fallen in love with the bridge. It finds the sentiment to hold true anywhere and relates of the things with which the resident of Charlotte over time learned to fall in love.

"At twilight the city completes the cycle it began at dawn, strong, proud and—for some—an object of love."

"Strike Badly Timed" finds that the timing of the Washington pressmen and stereotypers was bad for labor in staging a strike and shutting down the newspapers in the nation's capital. The Taft-Hartley Act was being considered by Congress for repeal after both House and Senate Labor Committees gave the Administration bill a favorable recommendation.

There was strong sentiment in both houses not to abandon the Act and Congressman John Wood of Georgia wanted it strengthened.

Shutting down the newspapers in Washington, therefore, with a strike provided a reminder to members of Congress that labor still packed a punch even with Taft-Hartley on the books. Thus, the strike, no matter its reason, was very bad timing for labor.

Fire the stereotypers. All will be well in the nation's capital.

Drew Pearson tells of the House taking a ten-day Easter recess because House Speaker Sam Rayburn and Majority Leader John McCormack believed that the members needed to go home and hear from constituents before another Southern Democratic and Republican coalition could form to defeat the repeal of Taft-Hartley.

There was talk of a coalition in reverse between Northern urban Democrats and Republicans to block Southern farm bills in retaliation for the coalition formed against rent control. Increasingly, Northern Democrats wanted to strike back at Southern Democrats for killing the President's Fair Deal program. Recently at a dinner, both Mr. Rayburn and Mr. McCormack made pleas for harmony, and since, the grumbling had somewhat subsided.

Senator Wayne Morse of Oregon recently had berated the Republican coalition with Southern Democrats for giving the Republicans the brand of being against human rights. He criticized the GOP Senate leadership for making decisions without adequately consulting the other GOP Senators. He also advocated liberalizing Taft-Hartley to rid the party of its anti-labor label.

Future Attorney General under President Eisenhower and Secretary of State under President Nixon, William Rogers, who had been counsel for the Senate Expenditures Committee, was being retained by the Democratic majority on the Committee because he had done such a good job in the previous Republican Congress.

At the President's harmony dinner for freshmen Congressional Democrats, Vice-President Barkley told the story of a man who was 104 years old rising when the preacher asked whether anyone could say that they had no enemies. The man then explained that he had outlived them all.

Marquis Childs tells of the difficulties lying ahead in the hearings before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the NATO accord, centering on whether ratification of it would commit the country to provide arms to the signatory nations. Corollary to this concern was the problem of whether some of the nations were strong enough to withstand Soviet aggression and whether, therefore, arms might wind up in the hands of an aggressor. It would likely take weeks to thrash out these issues.

Meanwhile, the signatory nations, full of hope and confidence in the treaty, might begin to lose some of their enthusiasm in the belief that the U.S. might not, after all, stand behind the agreement. Secretary of State Acheson had tried to prepare the nations for the eventuality of delay in the Senate, but to what degree he had been successful remained to be seen.

Mr. Childs counsels patience on the part of the signatory nations.

James Marlow tells of American "free enterprise" in fact hardly ever having been free from the Founding. There were tariffs imposed to block foreign competition with American-made goods. In the latter years of the Nineteenth Century, the Interstate Commerce Commission was brought into existence by Congress to regulate commerce crossing state lines and the Sherman Anti-Trust Act was passed to regulate monopolies. The income tax was instituted in 1913.

During the depression of the 1930's, regulations on commerce, business and farming, increased to restore order in the nation's economy.

Now, the new farm program, discussed the previous day by Samuel Grafton and in the column the day before that, was being proposed. It would likely not be passed in this session of Congress. The program would mean a strong Government hand in regulating what farmers grew, albeit nothing new. Presently, the Government bought up surpluses to maintain price stability when a particular item of produce fell below parity. The result was that the public paid higher prices at the market to benefit farmers. The public also paid higher taxes to support the program.

The new program would do essentially the same thing with respect to non-perishable produce but would provide for direct subsidies on perishable produce when prices naturally dropped, paying the farmer the difference between the low price and a "fair price" determined by a formula, such that the farmer's income remained stable while the public paid lower prices at the market. Still, the taxpayers had to pay for the subsidies.

He concludes that to survive in a free market economy, the farmers had to have help and when that occurred, the system obviously was not free of control.

A letter writer urges that the City Administration and Park Commission had picked a poor time to have a million-dollar bond referendum on purchase of new park land when the City-approved crosstown boulevard right-of-way had damaged Independence Park.

A letter writer, originally from Virginia, says that his native state was well aware of Throckmorton Jefferson, brought to the attention of readers by a letter writer the previous week as a pretender to the identity of Thomas Jefferson that he might undermine the latter's reputation by subscribing "T. Jefferson" to opinions at odds with the third President and principal author of the Declaration of Independence. This writer analogizes Throckmorton Jefferson to columnist Westbrook Pegler, as someone who did all he could to impede progress.

He says that the previous letter writer had omitted from his history Throckmorton Jefferson's amorous escapade which caused him to flee to Barbados where he died in obscurity.

He concludes that just as Throckmorton Jefferson and his contemporaries had not succeeded in damaging Thomas Jefferson for the ages, Mr. Pegler and his associates would not succeed in tarnishing the reputation of FDR.

In the case of the Peglers and their ilk surviving into present times, now most usually only heard on talk radio—not read, as their listeners don't, and in some cases, can't, read—, it is altogether possible that these "columnists" never learned to read and are simply relying on skewed dictations by others for their information, and write, as well, by dictation and careful editing by others of what otherwise would appear to the educated as aboriginal Ty Ty & Jeeter rambling scribbles on paper.

A letter writer thanks the newspaper for answering his question addressed in his letter of April 9 regarding former Mayor Ben Douglas's sale of three properties along the right of way for the new crosstown boulevard. The newspaper had published an editorial refuting the writer's statement that rumors persisted that the Mayor made a handsome profit from the transaction and thus had self-interest in mind in plotting the route.

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