The Charlotte News

Saturday, April 2, 1949


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the NATO treaty was unanimously approved by the foreign ministers of the twelve nations slated to sign the agreement on Monday. They also unanimously rejected the Soviet diplomatic note of objection to the treaty, saying that it contained misrepresentations and that the treaty, by its text, was defensive only, intending to resist aggression, not particular nations, and conformed to both the spirit and the letter of the U.N. Charter, providing for regional pacts among nations with similar interests.

It was also decided that a council of foreign ministers of the twelve nations would be formed, to meet immediately after the treaty would go into effect, following its ratification by each of the seven nations initially forming the agreement, the U.S., Britain, France, Canada, and the Benelux countries. The council's purpose would be to administer the terms of the agreement. The other five nations set to sign the agreement were Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Portugal, and Italy.

Representative Mike Mansfield of Montana, future Senator and Majority Leader, said that certain members of Congress had urged the President to meet with Josef Stalin to try to work out differences. Mr. Mansfield had not so urged, himself, but said that he did not think it a bad idea. Representative John Vorys of Ohio, however, said that he thought it a "crazy" idea, that every time representatives of the country had met with the Russians outside the U.N., the country had lost its shirts. White House press secretary Charles G. Ross said that he had not heard anything from the President recently regarding the prospect of any such meeting.

The Senate rejected, 54 to 23, the proposed amendment to the Marshall Plan aid appropriation measure, offered by Senators Richard Russell of Georgia and Robert Taft of Ohio, to reduce aid for the coming year by ten percent. Senator Harry Flood Byrd of Virginia said that the vote probably would prevent any budget cutting for the coming fiscal year.

Senator Allen Ellender of Louisiana, during debate on the measure, urged the Senate to require the Marshall Plan aid recipient nations to increase the flow of war materials to the U.S. in return. He also proposed an amendment prohibiting use of American aid to pay off the national debts of foreign nations.

The U.S. and Britain issued strongly worded diplomatic notes to Bulgaria, Rumania, and Hungary, demanding that they carry out their treaty commitments to secure human rights and freedom for their peoples. The charges were based in part on the trial for treason and sentence to life imprisonment of Josef Cardinal Mindszenty in Hungary, the sentencing of 15 Protestant Church leaders to prison in Bulgaria after similar convictions, and the crushing of opposition in Rumania. If the notes were rejected, as expected, the two countries could ask, pursuant to the treaties, to form a three-man commission to study the matter and make recommendations which would be binding, after which the matter could be taken before the U.N.

In Boston, former Minnesota Governor, Republican presidential candidate in 1948 and, presently, president of the University of Pennsylvania, Harold Stassen, said Thursday night that the country should move against Communism by bolstering southern China and all of Asia with a billion dollar per year "MacArthur Plan", similar to the Marshall Plan in Europe. Mr. Stassen was speaking at the M.I.T.-sponsored gathering of scientists and thinkers at the Boston Garden, sharing the platform with Winston Churchill.

Mr. Churchill left New York during the morning for return to England aboard the Queen Mary, saying that it was the wish in England to get along with Russia, but that no one could get near them. He believed that Russian attitudes would change if the Russians were permitted to visit outside their country and if citizens of other countries were permitted into Russia.

Rent ceilings were lifted in 36,500 dwelling units in four states by Housing Expediter Tighe Woods, pursuant to the new rent control measure, and another 80 areas in 23 states would be decontrolled by the end of the week.

In Chapel Hill, N.C., a movement accelerated to have General George C. Marshall, former Secretary of State, named as president of the University to replace Frank Porter Graham who had resigned after being named to the Senate to replace deceased J. Melville Broughton. The movement had been started by three UNC students and then spread via petitions signed so far by 600 persons. General Marshall had no comment on the matter.

In New York, four men were arrested for assault and malicious mischief amid the ongoing taxi strike after allegedly forcing a non-striking cab driver to wreck in Brooklyn. Thus far, a total of 22 persons had been arrested since the start of the strike the previous morning in strike-related incidents. Six cab drivers had already been convicted and sentenced to ten to thirty days in jail. Ninety percent of the cab service was shut down, with fewer than a thousand operating.

In Iraq, three northern villages were reported to have been destroyed by an earthquake which had opened up a large crater and swallowed the villages, while a fourth was destroyed by an avalanche. No loss of life was reported. Floods had occurred around Baghdad, rendering thousands homeless.

In Las Vegas, actress June Knight was married for the third time.

Somehow, a 10,000-ton battleship wound up in the High Point Lake. No one knew how it got there or how it subsequently disappeared, when everyone came out to see it, based on the photograph appearing the previous day in The High Point Enterprise. It was probably part of that Philadelphia Experiment. They tried to pass it off as an April Fool's joke. We know better.

We offer congratulations to the Spartans for plucking and stuffing enough oranges tonight out in the peach orchard to win the battle of Houston against the Orange. That is eight down and one to go.

Bring home the Wildcat bacon from the New Villa on Monday and live forever as the exalted ones among the rafters, at least until the rafters cease to be.

Only two previous Spartan teams have won both the A.C.C. Tournament and the N.C.A.A. Tournament, the undefeated 1957 and the 1982 editions.

We already know the outcome and the final score and have predicted it, no doubt, on these pages recently. But you will have to figure that out.

We predicted, of course, nearly the actual final score of tonight's game, 83 to 66, having registered an 82, in conjunction with tooth decay, and a 66 in recent days. You will have to backtrack, however, with some hard traveling down the road in your 1949 Buick Roadmaster to figure that out. That is just the way it works. Always has, always will. You have to be able, first, to make heads or tails of it.

The lost digit, incidentally, probably was the one pinched in the boat trailer hitch ratchet trigger, back in '55.

On the editorial page, "State Political Power Shifts to the Left", another in the series of by-lined pieces by Editor Pete McKnight on the biennial legislative session of the General Assembly, tells of the stage having been set for the "liberal" forces in state politics to seize control and hold it for a long time to come, ending the days of steady conservative progress in the state, pushing the state into a small-scale Fair Deal. The move would be tested in the 1950 mid-term elections.

Governor Kerr Scott was leading the effort, along with DNC national committeeman Jonathan Daniels and newly appointed Senator Frank Graham.

Farmers, labor, school teachers, blacks, and white collar workers were all becoming conscious of their political power. The power of the so-called "Shelby ring", led by deceased former Governor O. Max Gardner and present Senator Clyde Hoey, in reality representative of economic class control rather than a geographical dynasty, had maintained power by preventing these groups from uniting to exercise electoral power. But when Governor Scott was elected, that power structure was challenged.

At the death of Senator Josiah W. Bailey in late 1946, Governor Cherry had appointed his campaign manager, William Umstead, as the successor, clearing the way for State Treasurer Charles Johnson to seek the gubernatorial nomination in the one-party state. But then in the 1948 spring primary, Mr. Scott defeated Mr. Johnson and the late former Governor J. Melville Broughton defeated Senator Umstead.

National committeeman Joe Blythe, DNC treasurer in the late campaign and State Senator, died in late January, leading to the selection of liberal Raleigh News & Observer Editor Jonathan Daniels as his replacement on the national committee. Then Senator Broughton died on March 8, leading to the appointment to the Senate seat of Dr. Graham, the foremost liberal in the state.

The Assembly was upset over the latter appointment and it initially appeared to spell the doom of the Governor's "Go Forward" progressive program. But when the people of the state demonstrated approval of the appointment, the legislators realized that Governor Scott had strengthened his hand for a "liberal coup". The opponents were not yet defeated, but the groundwork for the coup had been laid.

The real test, he concludes, would come in the election in 1950, when both U.S. Senate seats would be up for re-election, along with the Assembly, the members of which by then would have pro-Scott and anti-Scott labels hung on them.

If Governor Scott could maintain the support of the aforementioned empowered groups, who had helped to elect him, then he could carry the elections in 1950. The popularity of Senator Graham would bring out a large vote among those groups.

But the Governor's tendency to speak forthrightly for the things in which he believed had offended many in the state and he could not continue to get away with that practice indefinitely. If he continued to play the game shrewdly, however, as he had thus far, then he would launch the state on a program of expanded public services far greater than anything which had come before.

Unknown on the horizon, however, would be the benighted time of one Jesse Helms, acting as campaign manager for Raleigh attorney Willis Smith in 1950, running a race-baiting and Red-scare campaign which would work to defeat Senator Graham in the primary, casting him as both a pink fellow-traveler and a supporter of civil rights, the latter charge entirely correct, not the former. Mr. Helms would then make a successful political career of his own for 30 years in the Senate, beginning in the 1972 campaign, using the very same tactics to get elected again and again and again, fives times in all.

"Add: of Brotherhood" comments on the testimony of the witness in the appeal, actually a trial de novo in the upper Alabama court, of the conviction for disorderly conduct entered the previous May against Senator Glen Taylor for his having sought in Birmingham to enter a black-only entrance of a church at which he was scheduled to speak. The witness had said that Senator Taylor had called the police officers "s.o.b.'s", but when questioned further by the prosecutor, had admitted that Mr. Taylor had used the "long form" of the phrase.

The piece assumes that the recency of March 15, tax day, had led to the use of "long form" and suggests that if there were still more pent-up venom in the system of the taxpayer regarding payment of taxes, he might resort to hissing, "Net!"

But those dumb cops of Bull Connor were hunky-bunky sons of bitches. Don't tell us that they were just taking orders. You don't ever have to take orders from a dumb son of a bitch. You just turn around and call him a son of a bitch to his face and refuse, saying, "This is America, you son of a bitch, and I'll call you a son of a bitch if I damned well please."

Net? That would only befit a basketball game, you S.O.B.

You can also call these sons of bitches, lying sons of bitches.

Drew Pearson tells of new Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson, before taking the oath, having called upon Secretary of the Air Force Stuart Symington to find out who had leaked the story to the press that the Air Force brass had compiled a list of 70 targets inside the Soviet Union. Secretary Symington expressed chagrin over the leak and said he was seeking to find out the identity of the leaker.

Winston Churchill had been unable to find any of his favorite Napoleonic brandy at the British Embassy during the initial part of his visit to Washington and refused to drink the President's bourbon. Finally, some 1811 brandy was located by a British diplomatic secretary, left behind by the Duke of Windsor during his visit, and donated to Mr. Churchill, who then drank it after attending the President's dinner.

Congressman Harry Sheppard of Southern California had recently thrown an elaborate party, his first, for the Congressmen who would be instrumental in determining the fate of the issue of Government control of electricity transmission lines from the public power projects of the West. The President had promised the Western states during the campaign that he would fight to maintain Government control of transmission lines, to keep electricity costs low. Mr. Sheppard denied that the party was financed by the power companies. But all those who had attended who Mr. Pearson contacted said that they believed that the purpose of the party was to place pressure on them to disengage the Government from control of the transmission lines.

Without Government control of the transmission lines, the private companies would control distribution of public power. Regardless of who financed the party of Mr. Sheppard, the power lobbies were working hard toward achieving that end.

Marquis Childs tells of Senator Taft and others in the Congress being stuck in between the past and the present, favoring on the one hand the NATO pact while on the other disfavoring military aid to Western Europe.

General De Gaulle had recently said that military aid priority needed to be provided to France for the fact that reliance on Great Britain as a defender of the Continent would be as grave a mistake as during the lead-up to World War II, that the Soviets could occupy the Continent and it would be just as hard, if not harder, to extricate them as it was the German occupiers.

The U.S. Joint Chiefs had a military plan in place which was basically premised on the assumption that the Continent would need to be taken back only after Soviet occupation. Many American military leaders disagreed with this premise for the fact of the difficulty involved militarily in doing so.

Many military men favored speeding up rearmament of Western Europe, as the the five to seven year timetable was too long to assure against Soviet occupation in the meantime. Two years was considered a better time frame. But to accomplish that briefer span would require allocation of scarce materials in the American economy.

With those issues in mind, the situation appeared problematic in the face of Senator Taft and others wanting to refrain from giving military aid to Western Europe. The problem had to be approached without one foot in the present and the other in the past.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop tell of the Italian Communist, Reale, having returned from a prolonged visit in Russia in a depressed mood, telling his fellow Communists that the successor of Stalin was in doubt, that V. M. Molotov could not any longer be considered that presumptive heir. Reale believed that a bitter struggle for power might ensue after the death of Stalin, similar to that between Stalin and Trotsky following the death of Lenin.

The British generally believed that Molotov had gained power since he was relieved of his duties as Foreign Minister, even if the British Ambassador to Moscow had asserted the belief that he had lost ground. The Reale report permitted either view.

It was believed that there were three main power cliques in the Soviet Government, one headed by Molotov and Bulganin, the head of the Russian military. Another was headed by Malenkov, head of the party apparatus, along with Beria. The third was headed by Mikoyan, manager of the economic machinery, along with Vosnesensky, the primary State planner.

But Molotov, Bulganin, Mikoyan and Vosnesensky had all been removed from their official posts and given broad directing responsibilities in their fields, replaced by mere functionaries. Malenkov had been left undisturbed, not being in charge of any Ministry.

The failing health of Stalin made it only natural that he would begin to pass power to younger men in an array which counterbalanced one another, to protect himself from internal machinations.

Those who knew Moscow best appeared to accept the foregoing as explanation of the recent shake-up in the Government.

James Marlow comments on Winston Churchill's speech in Boston Garden Thursday night, in which he now said that the atom bomb in the possession of the U.S. had been the sole deterrent to Russia bombarding London and taking over Europe, whereas three years earlier, in his Fulton, Mo., "iron curtain" speech, in which the former Prime Minister had warned that an iron curtain was descending over Eastern Europe, he had also said he did not believe war was desired by Russia. In both instances, he said war was not inevitable. Mr. Marlow questions why he made that latter statement now, given his hypothesis about where Europe would have been but for the deterrent of the atom bomb in the hands of the U.S.

His underlying premises were that if the West remained strong militarily, Russia would be deterred from attacking, and that the death of Stalin might one day split asunder the Soviet Communists and leave them without real leadership.

Mr. Marlow finds the speech, however, otherwise milder than the one three years earlier, Mr. Churchill having previously called Russia a menace, urging a common front against it. In the interim, however, the Truman Doctrine, providing military aid to Greece and Turkey, had been inaugurated in March, 1947, with the Marshall Plan, to rebuild Europe economically, first articulated three months later, realized in the spring of 1948. Now, NATO was about to be formed, with the possibility of U.S. military aid to its members. Thus, there was really no concrete proposal remaining now for Mr. Churchill to urge in the new speech.

His caveat against "appeasement of tyranny and wrongdoing in any form" was a harsh statement but one which was realistic. Mr. Marlow comments that Mr. Churchill had never been a man of pleasant words in time of danger.

He does not ask the question, which was being asked three years earlier, whether the "iron curtain" speech of 1946 was in fact prophetic or whether it was merely the beginning of a self-fulfilling prophecy, provoking the Russians, with relations already on tenterhooks, to react out of paranoia with such machinations as the coup in Czechoslovakia in February of 1948, the beginning of the ongoing blockade of Berlin in June, remembering that the great fear of the Russians was the resurgence of Germany, triggering their need consequently to establish buffer zones in Eastern Europe against that future prospect, as well to achieve warm water passage into the Mediterranean via the Dardanelles. Mr. Churchill's Conservative Party, it must be remembered, had been voted out of the Parliamentary majority in the July, 1945 British elections, the first national elections, because of the war, held in a decade. He had not relinquished his leadership mantle of the Conservatives and was eager to see them return to power, would, indeed, return as Prime Minister in 1951. How much of his statements in the U.S., Americans being somewhat gullible always to the refined British accent behind words which might ordinarily fall otherwise on relatively deaf ears if uttered by an American statesman from, for instance, Brooklyn or the South, were designed to whip up American enthusiasm against Russia as a means, in part, to assist Mr. Churchill's Conservative Party in Britain?

Was the conspicuous absence of President Truman from the dais on the previous Thursday night, citing press of other business, not a significant gesture, given the fallout—some of it potentially nuclear—from the Missouri speech three years earlier when the President had warmly greeted Mr. Churchill and introduced him at Westminster College?

Perhaps, some of the columnists will begin to address some of these questions, but not so thus far, at least among those weighing in on the matter on the editorial page of The News.

Such questions are not intended to diminish Mr. Churchill as a wartime leader but only recognize that, at base, he was a politician, as well as a statesman, and, inevitably, when challenged politically, the political side of a politician will tend to rise to the fore and perhaps curtail some of the otherwise statesmanlike qualities exhibited in times of danger and crisis. His assertive, interventionist personality had risen to the occasion and perfectly fit the scenario of the war, replacing the vacillating appeaser Neville Chamberlain who preceded him. Mr. Churchill clearly was not blind to the reality that his greatest popularity had come during the crisis of the war. Without war, was his leadership rendered a thing of the past and was he merely trying to find that role again, looking, perhaps, too hard under rocks for the venomous snake?

His statement regarding the U.S. exclusive possession of the atom bomb as the only deterrent to Russian aggression in Europe since the war, would be quickly undermined by the fact of the Russian successful test of their own bomb the following August. It did not lead to world war. One could argue in response, of course, that NATO had come along just in time to prevent some untoward aggression in Western Europe marching behind the advent of that bomb, which could have led to both conventional and, finally, nuclear war. Fortunately, we have no history on which to judge the answers. If we did, we would probably not be here to record it.

A letter writer from Long Island, N.Y., in Pembroke, N.C., says that she and her husband had placed their mobile home on the grounds of the Indian Orphanage for the previous three months during the winter and had found the Lumbee Indians of Robeson County to be of "quiet courage in the face of crushing odds and steadfast determination" to solve their own problems. She found them sincere and friendly, trusting, and willing to place their faith in a Christian God. They had used their knowledge to lift the less fortunate. She concludes, after paraphrasing Canto IV, Stanza 178 of Childe Harold's Pilgrimage by Lord Byron, that she was happy to report on this optimistic view which she and her husband had gleaned.

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