The Charlotte News

Friday, April 22, 1949


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in China, the Communists were quickly overrunning Nationalist cities and towns south of the Yangtze River against weak opposition, with desertions running rampant among the Nationalist troops. Officials in Nanking were boarding planes wearing tropical garb and swinging tennis rackets. It was possible that Chiang Kai-Shek would be asked to take over the Government again. There was no way of estimating the number of Communist troops who had crossed the river. There appeared no great excitement in Nanking as most had anticipated the takeover of the capital by the Communists.

The President asked Congress in a written message to pass a national health program, part of which was the previously proposed compulsory national health insurance. The plan was to be financed by a series of special taxes. He called for expansion of medical schools through Government financial aid, increased Federal aid for construction of hospitals and other medical facilities, and increased grants to state and local governments for control of certain diseases and to promote maternal and child health services, as well as general health activities. Under the plan, doctors could choose patients and patients, doctors. And patients could arrange for their own care outside the Government program. He provided no estimate on the cost.

Some Administration officials said that there was no chance that the plan would be passed in the current session of Congress.

Social Security officials said that the President's health plan could be financed initially by a three percent increase in the payroll tax, split evenly between employers and employees, but might have to be increased later by four percent.

In New York, at the trial of the eleven top U.S. Communist Party leaders for violations of the Smith Act, a prosecution witness who was a former Communist testified that in 1945, a Communist Party official said that the Soviet Army could invade Alaska and reach the U.S. via Canada and even destroy Detroit.

In Chicago, Sewell Avery remained on the board of directors of Montgomery Ward and would likely again be named chairman, a position he had held since 1931. The largest holder of stock in the company, Massachusetts Investors Trust, refused to vote for Mr. Avery. Several officers of the company had resigned in recent weeks, many asserting as the reason their inability to get along with Mr. Avery.

In Atlanta, police found a bloodstained automobile possibly connected with the murder of John Garris, Metropolitan Opera tenor who had been found shot through the heart in an Atlanta alley the previous day. The parking lot attendant where the car was found said that a legless man had left the vehicle. Police would not say whether the car was definitely connected to the killing.

In Raleigh, Governor Kerr Scott named Dr. H. L. Trigg, president of St. Augustine's College, to the State Board of Education, the first black person so to serve. His term would run until April 1, 1957. The appointment was part of the Governor's enunciated effort to appoint more blacks to State boards and commissions.

The General Assembly, planning to adjourn its session the following night, passed a 427 million dollar spending bill. It approved four million dollars for a 28.51 percent increase in teacher salaries, compared to the 59 percent sought by the State Board of Education and 40 percent by Governor Scott. Under the increase, teachers were assured annual salaries ranging between $2,081 and $2,787, and could receive more, up to the 40 percent increase, if revenues became available during the coming biennium. Another approved bill gave public school systems the option of joining the State's insurance plan. The legislators also approved the 200-million dollar bond referendum for the Governor's rural roads program, with a one-cent gas tax increase enacted contingent on passage of the bond. Also enacted into a law was an increase in the weight limit of trucks with four or more axles.

Following a plea of guilty to nineteen counts of larceny, a textile executive of Charlotte was sentenced to eight to thirteen years in prison for the theft of $88,000 worth of "mixed" yarn from his employers through fraudulent sale of it over a period of two and a half years. The man, who earned $105 per week, had managed to afford a lavish home on Country Club Lane with a basement bar and movie projection room. He also owned five lots and $31,000 worth of diamonds.

In Sturgis, Ky., the Mayor offered a $100 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of a person who had stolen one of the city's parking meters. He reminded the citizenry that dropping coins into the meters did not mean that they had purchased them.

On the editorial page, "Defeat for Education" tells of the Assembly's conference committee having adopted the Senate measure on education, giving just four million dollars for teacher salary increases and 25 million for school construction, the latter to be doled out to each county equally regardless of size and need. The 29 million had come from the State emergency surplus fund. The legislators also agreed to provide 73 million from the surplus fund for a building program at State institutions, after 52 million had been provided two years earlier.

All of it had been done in the name of economy, but the piece finds that the Assembly had thus spent all of the accumulated surplus without giving education, especially teacher salaries, an adequate portion. The matter would likely, it predicts, be revisited in the 1950 session.

"Speaking for Himself" finds that Paul Robeson was wrong in saying to the "world peace conference" meeting in Paris that black Americans would never fight Soviet Russia.

Yet, two other black leaders who were not Communists, A. Philip Randolph, head of the Brotherhood of Sleeping-Car Porters, and Grant Reynolds, a member of the New York State Commission of Corrections, recently had told the President that blacks were in no mood to fight for democracy abroad while they were denied it at home. Mr. Randolph had promised to lead a revolt against the draft unless Jim Crow were abolished in the draft and the universal military service proposal. They had called off their planned mass resistance, however, when the Administration implemented a policy against discrimination in the armed forces.

But none of the three had spoken for black citizens as a whole. It finds that Walter White, executive secretary of the NAACP, had probably come closer to being a spokesman when he said that Mr. Robeson did not speak for the majority of the 14 million black Americans and that in the event of conflict, they would serve as Americans.

Max Lerner, in Actions and Passions, had observed that World War II had given blacks a new moral and political principle of "democracy which is not qualified by race or color or any other stupid irrelevance." While he found that things were definitely improving, he also urged that the society could not answer a demand for justice with only less injustice, or equality with half-equality.

The piece finds that Mr. Lerner erred where most liberals erred by ignoring the fact that while progress had been grudgingly slow between 1863 and 1933, during the New Deal years it had accelerated markedly through the same gradualism which Mr. Lerner had criticized.

It suggests that instead of being impatient, Mr. Lerner should have been celebrating the speed with which education and public discussion were bringing fundamental change to the society. It finds that Mr. Robeson, however, had caused resentment, that such provocative statements would only set back race relations, delaying complete democracy for the black community.

"Orientation on the Orient" tells of the loss of fighting spirit by the Chinese Nationalist Army troops as the Government had no money with which to pay them. Reports had it that a wooden wall had been built around Shanghai, ineffective in keeping out the invading Communist troops, now crossing the Yangtze heading toward Nanking. Sending more money to the Chinese would only constitute another wooden fence. Secretary of State Acheson had said that it would be "catastrophic" to do so as the arms would only wind up in the hands of the Communists.

Yet, it was disturbing that China might become an effective air base for Russian planes. But there was nothing which could be done at the moment to arrest the prospect as the nation's hands were full elsewhere. The hope was that the Communists also had their hands so full in China that they would not start reaching further East.

A piece from the Asheville Citizen, titled "So There!" tells of the only safe bet as an object for condemnation by an editor being a shark, as the shark had no friends, belonged to no association, lodge or union.

It thus reports: "The other day a shark jumped up on a beach at Tamplas, Mex., and hit a bather. This was a mean, vicious, vile, cowardly, reprehensible, monstrous, un-Mexican act—and on dry land, even!

"Now sue!"

Drew Pearson again discusses the controversial will of the late George Berry, former head of the Pressmen's Union, who took union property as his own and then sought to devise it through his will to friends and relatives. Mr. Pearson recommends that AFL president William Green appoint a trusted AFL attorney to work with the Justice Department in sorting out the resulting problem.

He provides details of the history of Mr. Berry and his machinations with respect to the union.

The Navajo and Hopi Indians testified to the House Public Lands Committee regarding the paucity of public services on their reservations. The Navajos only had one high school. There were 24,000 children on the reservation and the schools accommodated only a fourth of them. In some cases, people on the reservation had to travel 400 miles over impassable roads to get to the nearest hospital. Thus, roads, hospitals, and schools were needed.

Eighty percent of the Navajos were illiterate and 66 percent could not speak English.

He notes that if the Navajos could collect royalties from the Vanadium Corporation, they would be wealthy, as they owned some of the best uranium deposits in the world, having trouble nevertheless collecting royalties because of a technicality in the original leases of the mineral rights.

Joseph Alsop discusses the need for collective military strength while also reducing military waste and extravagance. The unified military had thus far failed to come to agreement, however, on a budget which took into account the need for true merger in terms of long-term planning and elimination of duplication, allotting specific missions to each branch.

The President's 15 billion dollar ceiling on defense spending for the coming fiscal year had been issued the previous spring at a time when none of the Joint Chiefs believed that the President would be re-elected and so had not planned accordingly. Since the election, they had been forced to come to grips with the need for economy. General Eisenhower had been appointed as temporary chairman to coordinate the branches, and extensive meetings had been held toward achieving this end.

Prior to this time, the three branches competed for every dollar and the general assumption was that for every billion received by one branch, the other two had to receive equal amounts. Former Secretary of Defense James Forrestal had chosen a course of allowing time and public opinion to provide for the merger. But the restrictions of the new budget had forced the hand of the branches to work toward true unification to enable adequate military strength while constrained by the budget cap.

The aim was to have each service tailored to carry out defined roles and missions under long-range strategic plans to allow for more combat potential for the money being spent—to use the more modern vernacular, more bang for the buck.

Marquis Childs tells of the delay in accepting Secretary of the Army Kenneth Royall's resignation being the result of the difficulty in finding a successor. Soon, Secretary of the Navy John Sullivan would also resign.

New Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson was determined to run the military establishment himself and to that end was knocking the heads of the military branches together to get action.

The President had asked for a new military unification bill which would give the Secretary of Defense powers rarely held by a Government official except during war, enabling him to concentrate on policy rather than administration and coordinate the three military branches. But resistance in Congress was growing to this move, Representative Carl Vinson of Georgia likely being the most adamant opponent for his bias toward the Navy and lack of trust of Mr. Johnson's drive for power—it having been recently reported by Mr. Childs that some of Mr. Johnson's most ardent supporters were touting him for the 1952 Democratic presidential nomination.

Secretary Johnson was opposed to having the branch Secretaries sitting on the National Security Council, thus relegating them to the role essentially of assistant secretaries.

Secretary Sullivan had refused to endorse the new program and stated that if it meant his resignation, he would tender it. Commandant of the Marine Corps Clifton Cates also opposed it and had said so to the Senate Armed Services Committee.

The Navy had laid the keel for the 60,000-ton supercarrier United States in stealth, almost as if they were in fear of it being withdrawn.

Mr. Childs stresses that the decision on the new unification could not be delayed too long as security and the billions to be appropriated for defense depended on it.

A letter writer reports of two holes 40 or 50 feet deep in his neighborhood, left from earlier gold mining in the area, posing a hazard. Awareness of such dangers had been heightened since the death of the little girl in San Marino, California, and the death of a little boy shortly afterward in Tennessee from falling down abandoned wells.

A letter writer urges construction of a new city auditorium and provides a list of shows which likely would have played in the city if it had such a facility.

A letter from a candidate for the City Council says that he had spent only $13 and had no hired employees, that there were three millionaires in the race. He says that he had no qualifications or experience but assures that he would faithfully serve if elected.

A letter writer objects to the aid being sent to Europe and wants more attention paid to the citizens of the country.

Four letter writers tell of an error in the April 18 "How's Your I.Q.?" column. Question number 10 had asked whether a pinnacle was a kind of boat, a high spire of a cathedral, or a kind of lace bodice. The answer listed was "a kind of boat". They point out that the question should have asked about a "pinnace".

The editors respond that the proofreaders had already done their penance for "pinnace".

Framed Edition
[Return to Links
Page by Subject] [Return to Links-Page by Date] [Return to News<i><i><i>—</i></i></i>Framed Edition]
Links-Date Links-Subj.