The Charlotte News

Thursday, April 21, 1949


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Chinese Communist troops, numbering as many as 60,000, had surged across the Yangtze River to the south bank 80 miles southwest of Nanking while others had seized positions on the north bank directly opposite the capital. The initial crossing had been accomplished by between 8,000 and 10,000 troops. Heavy artillery fire had rendered Government defenses weak. Flight of remaining Nationalist Government officials from Nanking to Canton had begun this night. Defense ministry officials and those in the President's office were headed to Shanghai.

In the area of Nanking on the Yangtze River, Chinese Communist attacks on four British warships had resulted in 42 dead and as many as 100 wounded. Two of the ships had been sent out to try to rescue the grounded sloop on Rose Island but neither had been able to reach it.

In Washington, a committee of the American Society of Newspaper Editors urged that the budget of the State Department's Voice of America "propaganda of truth" be increased beyond its sought 36 million dollars for the coming fiscal year. Three hundred newspapermen were attending a meeting of the organization.

The State Department described the "world peace conference" meeting in Paris as "performers" following the dictated Communist Party line, trying to convince people that only the Soviets desired peace, just as some of the same group had sought to do at the similar conference in New York the previous month.

Paul Robeson addressed the assembly, saying that blacks in the U.S. would never fight the Soviet Union. The statement prompted Walter White, executive secretary of the N.A.A.C.P., to respond that Mr. Robeson's statements did not represent the opinions of the majority of the fourteen million black Americans.

Air Force intelligence experts told Congress that they were preparing a "bombing encyclopedia" to show the targets to be hit in a future war. Atomic bombs were included in the category of "special weapons" to be used against large target areas. The list was prepared by Air Force intelligence with the cooperation of Navy intelligence and the CIA.

The President was planning to send to Congress his plan for a national health care program, including compulsory national health insurance. Plans for a radio address on the subject were being discussed, but no definite arrangements had been made.

Secretary of the Army Kenneth Royall, from North Carolina, tendered his resignation on this afternoon and the President had accepted it. He had given his notice of intention to resign on February 28 and the President had asked him to remain at least another 30 days. A successor had not yet been picked. Mr. Royall had held the position since mid-1947 after a brief stint as Secretary of War just before implementation of the armed forces merger.

Senator Taft, urging passage of the public housing bill, told the Senate that 45 percent of the nation could not afford a four-room house worth $7,000, requiring a $3,000 annual income. A group of Senators visited a Washington slum during the morning, the third such visit.

In Atlanta, a New York Metropolitan Opera Company tenor, Hans J. K. Gareis, known as "John Garris", was found shot to death in a back alley of the warehouse district. The victim had not been robbed and there were no suspects. The opera company was on the way from Atlanta to Memphis aboard a special train. Police ordered a search of the train.

In Detroit, a 19-year old boy had been arrested for the murder of a six-year old boy, whose naked and charred remains were found on an ash heap in a hotel garage. The defendant admitted the killing. The defendant, a roomer at the hotel, had been the last person seen with the victim.

In Monroe, N.C., a former Charlotte resident and manager of the Winston-Salem Dun & Bradstreet office, was killed in an auto accident during the morning after the car in which he was driving struck a bridge around a curve.

In Spartanburg, S.C., Queenie turned on some gas burners in the house and suffocated to death while her owners were away.

Well, you would too.

On the editorial page, "A Better Compromise" advocates using 15 million of the 30 million dollar State emergency surplus fund for increased teacher salaries and delaying for two more years hiring additional teachers to reduce the classroom load, leaving 15 million on hand in case of drop in revenue. The Senate bill had provided for using 25 million for school construction and five million for the teachers, while the House bill provided for 26 million of the fund for teacher salaries, both of which bills, it believes, were not sound.

"Legislative Monstrosity" finds little sense in the hybrid bill approved by the State Senate, to allocate 25 million from the State surplus fund for the 50 million dollar school construction program and have the remaining 25 million put before the voters in the form of a bond referendum. First, the emergency fund portion would be allocated at the flat rate of $250,000 for each of the state's 100 counties, regardless of size and need, a form of pork-barrel politics. Second, the defeat of the bond would mean that the Legislature was acting against the wishes of the people in allowing for the other half of the program.

The piece advocates having the entire 50 million voted as a bond referendum so that the people could decide the issue, and hopes that the Senate-House conference committee would reconcile the bills accordingly.

"Lip-Service to Economy" finds that economy on cold war appropriations while leaving intact the Federal bureaucracy, through which Congressmen derived patronage, was no way to proceed. The members who inveighed most against spending were usually those who, in the end, were least willing to do anything about it. Presently, members wanted to trim two to three billion dollars from the budget to avoid a tax increase but were ignoring the recommendations of the Hoover Commission to trim bureaucratic waste and promote efficiency.

The only thing the citizens could do was to let their representatives in Washington know how they felt about the matter.

Bob Sain of The News examines alcoholism from the standpoint of it being a disease rather than a volitional act and immoral habit. He begins with a quote from Dr. Howard Haggard, director of the Laboratory of Applied Physiology at Yale, stating that there was as much need to regard alcoholism as a disease as there had been at the turn of the century to regard mental illness in that manner.

Seven percent of the men in the country, according to studies, were afflicted with alcoholism, increasing by more than 13 percent between 1940 and 1945. The problem cost the country a half billion dollars per year.

Most alcoholics in the state went untreated and those who were being treated had been relegated to the mental institution at Dix Hill, unsuited to treatment of alcoholics for want of trained personnel.

The Seattle Police Department had set up a program whereby alcoholics lived in a wooded valley and were treated as patients rather than prisoners, with advisers who gave them physical and mental rehabilitation. At the end of their time, the officials at the camp sought jobs for them.

There were plans before the General Assembly to make Camp Butner into a rehabilitation center which would allow patients to pursue crafts as part of the treatment. The patients would be restricted to those deemed able to get along with the others and the more serious conditions would continue to be referred to Dix Hill.

He concludes that city officials might find camps of the type set up in Seattle to be of great benefit in solving the problems of their alcoholic population.

A piece from the Louisville Courier-Journal, titled "Learn to Cook Before Lighting Candles", tells of a restaurateur who advertised candlelit dinners before a fireplace urging that it did not matter if a young woman could not cook as long as she served her meals on a candlelit table before an open fire. The piece begs to differ, finds that the quality of the meal came first and the atmosphere only as an afterthought.

Drew Pearson tells of the State Department having undertaken a secret and significant effort to try to stop the three-year civil war in French Indo-China to arrest the potential spread of Communism into the Philippines, Malaysia and India. Ambassador to France Jefferson Caffery had made it clear to the French that it was imperative to stop the war and that the U.S. was prepared to provide support, possibly economic aid, for an anti-Communist government to be headed by Bao Dai, the former emperor.

Mr. Pearson notes that another reason for wanting the war ended was so that the French could return their 100,000 to 200,000 troops in Indo-China to France to prevent surprise attack by Russia. The French were incurring as many as a thousand casualties per week during the civil war.

General Omar Bradley said that, having taught mathematical probabilities at West Point, he had never been a member of a pyramid club because the chance of payoff was too slim.

Decorated war veteran, Representative Olin Teague of Texas, had caused the chief lobbyist for the American Legion to eat his own words while advocating passage of the Rankin pension bill for veterans of both World Wars I and II, later amended to include only World War II veterans and finally referred back to committee for further study. Congressman Teague brought out the fact that the lobbyist had, in 1930, during testimony to the House regarding the 1924 bonus bill, stated that the latter bill would act as a quitclaim on all future World War I veterans' pensions.

Secretary of State Acheson did not want to provide to Congress detailed information on the military needs of Western European nations for fear of leaks to the Soviets. He desired a blank check from Congress but would be in for a lot of flak on the point.

The three Western allies were about to propose to Russia that all four powers withdraw troops from Austria, except for a small force in Vienna. The Austrian Government had convinced the Big Three that there was no chance for a Communist coup.

Marquis Childs tells of both practical and ideological reasons for resolving the Berlin blockade crisis expeditiously now that the Air Force had proved what it set out to prove, that it could handle the supply needs of Berlin, having carried recently more in a day than had been carried into Berlin per diem by rail prior to the blockade, and having broken the Russian will to continue the blockade, as increasingly the Russians showed signs of wanting to end it. The Western allies needed to facilitate that effort rather than, as it seemed at times, resisting it.

The airlift was expensive, having thus far cost 138 million dollars since the previous June. Many of the transport planes were worn out and maintenance costs were running up as such problems arose as coal dust seeping into the fabric of the airplanes and creating friction. Over a million tons had been carried during the airlift with a remarkable safety record, but there had been accidents. Moreover, monotony had set in and to maintain the airlift indefinitely would induce paralysis.

From the ideological standpoint, the Russians could more easily make their charge of warmongering against the United States. Aiding that propaganda, Representative Clarence Cannon of Missouri had given a speech the previous week in which he talked of plans to drop atom bombs on Russian cities. Such rhetoric would continue as debate took place in the coming weeks on military aid for Western Europe under NATO. And if the country were perceived to spurn efforts by the Russians to resolve the crisis, then the Soviets would gain advantage in the cold war. He urges not giving the Soviets such an opportunity.

Joseph Alsop discusses the continuing Soviet threat to Azerbaijan, the northern province of Iran bordering Russia, and the continuing counter by the U.S. in maintaining a military mission to train Iranian troops and providing arms through credits during the previous three years since Secretary of State Byrnes had enunciated his "firm but patient" stance toward the Soviets—at the time maintaining their occupation of northern Iran beyond the deadline set by the Russo-Iranian treaty, six months after the end of the war. The Russians still had designs on Azerbaijan and claimed that under the 1921 treaty with Iran, they could maintain a presence there to resist creation of what they claimed was an "American base" threatening Soviet security.

The Russian Army had created border incidents and a Russian national had been caught trying to assassinate the Shah. The Russians had financed the Tudeh Party, the Communist front party in Iran, and appeals had been made to the Kurdish tribesmen in an attempt to stir up trouble and supply grounds for a coup before American arms could place the Iranian Army on a stable footing.

Washington continued to discount the danger, even if Tehran was nervous.

He concludes that the Soviets would renew their campaign of threats and feints of aggression in Europe whenever they felt stronger than the West, and that thus there was no safety in weakness.

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