The Charlotte News

Tuesday, April 19, 1949


Site Ed.Note: The front page reports that despite a warning by the Communists that an army of 400,000 troops was set to storm across the Yangtze in the Nanking-Shanghai area, the Government, according to an official source, was preparing to reject the surrender ultimatum, due for response the following day. The Nationalists had 500,000 poorly trained troops, without sufficient air and naval support, preparing on the south side of the Yangtze to withstand the assault. An air of defeat pervaded Nanking and the remaining Government officials prepared to flee the capital. The Government still held out faint hope for an extension of time to consider further the ultimatum.

Secretary of State Dean Acheson planned to provide to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Thursday in closed session an assessment of the plans to arm Western European members of NATO. Unofficial reports pegged the cost at 1.25 billion dollars.

The President signed the bill authorizing, though not yet appropriating, 5.58 billion dollars for ERP aid over the ensuing 15 months, the amount requested by the President. One billion would be made immediately available but the remaining funds would have to be appropriated by the Congress within the established ceiling.

In Greece, the Greek general staff said that the Greek Army had won another victory in the Grammos mountains near the Albanian border, inflicting heavy losses on Communist guerrillas, with 165 killed and 66 captured.

Governor Jim Folsom of Alabama proposed to the House Ways & Means Committee a general tax to support everyone past age 65. He said that farmers contributed to taxes but got nothing from Social Security and the people of Alabama did not like it. Chairman Robert Doughton of North Carolina accused the Governor of not knowing anything about Social Security.

The D.A.R. Continental Congress adopted an anti-filibuster rule to prevnt any member from speaking more than once during any day on the same matter and speaking for more than three minutes at a time without leave of two-thirds vote.

In New York, in the trial of the eleven top American Communist Party leaders for violation of the Smith Act, an admitted former member of the party claimed that when he worked at Ford Motor Co., Communist workers tried to harm him in 1939 after he quit the party by dropping things on him from cranes. He also claimed that Communist Party members entered into collusion with the Ford Motor Co. to have several employees dismissed and that he was one of them.

In New York, hospitalized world renowned Jewish leader Dr. Stephen Wise, 75, was reported to be weakening and losing ground in an illness.

Former Secretary of State Cordell Hull was released from Bethesda Naval Hospital after more than two years of treatment.

In Dover, Del., a woman admitted that she and two of her sons, half-brothers, killed two men she met through lonely hearts club letters. Both men, ages 70 and 66, were shot through the head and buried in a pigpen on the woman's farm. Later, the bodies were dug up and burned, then reburied in the city dump.

In Raleigh, the State House killed a bill which would have prohibited "unfair competition" among merchants, prohibiting merchants from selling goods at less than cost plus a markup.

The State Senate Judiciary Committee recommended against legislation to decontrol rents statewide, following the unanimous recommendation of a subcommittee report.

In Dallas, N.C., the woman who had been shot in the head with a .22 rifle and at least temporarily blinded, after which giving birth to her infant, was recovering satisfactorily.

In Charlotte, the Boar's Head Drive-In Restaurant on East Morehead Street caught fire after an incendiary bomb was tossed inside the building, in what police believed was a string of deliberately set fires aimed at the owner, whose business and residence had been victimized by fires twice previously, the first from an explosion on December 3, 1947 and the second from a Molotov cocktail tossed at his home on November 21, 1948. A few days later, someone burned a tire on his automobile in front of his home.

It was probably one of the ne'er-do-well coneycatchers associated with that confounded Falstaff, or possibly the work of one of those lonely hearts clubs.

Governor Thomas Dewey was planning to sail for Europe for a six-week holiday on May 5. He said that the trip was not political.

On page 2-A, radio critic John Crosby pokes fun at radio giveaway contests, wondering why people wanted to travel to the North Pole.

On the editorial page, "County Option Preserved" tells of the State House having reached a compromise on local option liquor elections whereby if elections were not called by the county commissioners within 60 days after the act would be ratified, then municipalities could conduct their own separate elections. It finds the system preferable to a statewide referendum which would allow outsiders to determine the local question of whether ABC-controlled sale of liquor would be instituted.

"Pattern of Violence" finds that the Southern Regional Council report which found 500 crimes of intimidation in the South in 1948, ranging from lynchings and shootings to floggings and cross burnings, placed too much emphasis on lax law enforcement as a cause in the areas where such crimes were most prevalent. The greater problem, the piece urges, was recognized in the Council's secondary recommendation, that improvements be made in housing, health care, education and public services. When the dignity of the individual was recognized as being of utmost importance, it asserts, then an environment would be created which served to deter criminality and vigilante activities by such notorious organizations as the Klan, and enable thereby better law enforcement.

"The 'Munoz Doctrine'" finds that if the doctrine promulgated by the political boss of Puerto Rico, Luis Munoz-Marin, and adopted as a resolution by the Puerto Rican Senate were to become part of the thinking of the Puerto Rican people then it would eliminate baiting of the U.S. by Puerto Rican politicians and would strengthen the U.S. hand in world affairs.

The resolution declared that the U.S. territory repudiated the idea of nationalism and independence, eschewing the talk of an imperialist U.S. imposing on Puerto Rico colonial status, and gave praise to the fact that the territory could elect its own representatives. It said that they appreciated being U.S. citizens and, in response to the recent Havana Conference which paid lip service to two discredited Puerto Rican Nationalist leaders, indicated that other Latin American countries should stay out of Puerto Rico's affairs.

In late 1950, two Puerto Rican Nationalists would attempt to assassinate President Truman at Blair House in Washington, although not getting close to the President who was resting at the time on the third floor. One of the men was killed and the other wounded. One White House police officer on duty at the guard house outside the temporary residence of the First Family was also killed.

Drew Pearson tells of Western Republicans in the previous Congress having criticized the Forest Service for limiting grazing rights on public lands by cattlemen and sheep raisers. But the Forest Service had replied that the chief cause of erosion was overgrazing of public lands and refused to reduce the limitations.

But now the Democrats in the new Congress were taking aim at the Forest Service for not being strict enough on grazing rights. The House Appropriations Committee, in response, had trimmed the Forest Service budget for forest rangers by 1.5 million dollars, thus commensurately reducing its enforcement capability on grazing. Mr. Pearson suggests that this cut would cost the taxpayers tens of millions of dollars in loss of public lands through erosion.

The availability of Sears and Roebuck catalogues in Eastern Europe was producing long lines in Prague to receive a copy. FDR's personal attorney Morris Ernst had first suggested the distribution in 1944 to encourage interest in capitalism in Eastern Europe, but nothing had been done about it by the State Department until recently.

He suggests that encouraging interpersonal friendship between citizens of the Iron Curtain countries and Westerners would be the only way to break through the barrier and undercut the Kremlin.

The Merci Train from France, the French response of gratitude for the Friendship Train of November, 1947, was still making the rounds across the country and had made it to Hawaii in April.

Joseph Alsop looks at Congressman Albert Thomas of Texas as an example of a Congressman looking after his district back home despite being a fairly consistent economizer generally. When the Budget Bureau recommended a cut of 16,000 unnecessary veterans hospital beds, amounting to a savings of 350 million dollars over 20 years plus two million in yearly maintenance costs, Congressman Thomas found that a hospital in Houston was among those cut across the nation by the V.A. As chairman of a subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee, he insured that the appropriations for the hospitals were restored.

While the appropriation was not mandatory and thus the V.A. might yet refuse to order the construction of the Houston hospital, the scenario presented an example of pork barrel politics so that the people back home, construction contractors, vendors, etc, could get their share of the Government pie regardless of actual need and the general benefit to the public at large.

Mr. Alsop suggests posing a question to constituents as to whether such transitory special benefits were of greater value than investing the same sums to establish security abroad. He suggests that if such Americans could see beyond the ends of their own noses, the answer would be self-evident.

The timing of President Kennedy's ill-fated trip to Texas in 1963, incidentally, was centered around a scheduled testimonial dinner for Congressman Thomas in Houston on the night of November 21.

James Marlow tells of Congress being in an economizing mood. The total proposed expenditure for defense was about 15 billion dollars, 5.5 billion for the Marshall Plan, and two billion for rearming the Western European NATO nations. Some in the Senate wanted to cut each of those appropriations, with Senator Taft seeking to cut ten percent from the Marshall Plan and Senator Kenneth Wherry of Nebraska seeking a cut of 15 percent. Senators also were questioning the wisdom of spending money for rearming Europe and likewise wanted to cut defense spending to avoid the necessity of raising taxes.

He concludes that, in the end, even if the cuts were small, talk of economy would be big.

A letter writer urges re-election of Mayor Herbert Baxter as a force for progress in the city.

A letter from local dry advocate Francis Clarkson takes issue with the April 7 editorial "Which Paper Do You Read?" which cited figures found for and against prohibition from the dry Winston-Salem Journal and the wet Twin City Sentinel. He resents the insinuation that he had twisted the figures appearing in the Journal to make it appear that there were more alcohol-related arrests after implementation of ABC-controlled sales than before. He also believes that the period for analysis was too limited and wants included the arrests for drunkenness, bootlegging and other crimes connected with liquor for the period two years prior to the inception of the ABC system in Mecklenburg and then comparison of those to the year and a half since.

The editors respond that they did not intend to imply that Mr. Clarkson had twisted any figures but that the diametrically opposed conclusions of the two newspapers, owned by the same publisher, gleaned from crime statistics showed that such figures could be twisted to support the desired side of the argument. The News had not disputed the figures compiled by Mr. Clarkson, as relied upon by the Journal, or those of the Winston-Salem attorney, relied upon by the Sentinel.

A letter from a minister thanks the newspaper on behalf of the Charlotte Christian Council for publicizing their showing of "King of Kings" during the previous week.

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