The Charlotte News

Wednesday, April 27, 1949


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Secretary of State Dean Acheson informed the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that if the Senate ratified the North Atlantic Treaty, then the Congress would be less free to oppose arms for Europe. He would not say, however, that a Senator voting for ratification was thereby committed to support the arms program, but stressed that no member should set aside the notion of supplying arms. He asked that in addition to ratification, approval be provided a 1.45 billion-dollar arms program for the Western European members.

The U.S. delivered a note to the Russian delegation at the U.N., apparently seeking formalization of negotiations on ending the Berlin blockade and obtaining a commitment from Russia on the two conditions printed by the Russian news agency Tass the previous day, plus establishment of a timetable for compliance. Assistant Secretary of State Dean Rusk had flown to New York for a dinner at the home of U.N. Secretary-General Trygve Lie. Andrei Gromyko was also present, fueling speculation that future Secretary of State Rusk might figure in the negotiations.

Britain had indicated its assent to the two terms proposed through Tass to end the blockade.

The Chinese Communists seized Putung, a quarter mile across the Whangpoo from Shanghai. Nationalist troops abandoned Soochow, the guardian city of Shanghai 50 miles to the west. Communist occupation of Putung could make evacuation of foreigners from Shanghai hazardous. At least two shiploads of Nationalist troops had left Shanghai probably bound for Formosa, the island bastion established by Chiang Kai-Shek's followers.

In Shanghai, Chiang Kai-Shek, breaking a three-month silence since leaving the presidency of Nationalist China, said that he believed that if the Communists were not defeated in China, a third world war might erupt from the conflict. He called for support of Acting President Li Tsung-Jen and asked the people to fight against Communism as hard as they had fought against the Japanese. He believed that the Communists had made the same blunder as the Japanese by crossing to the south of the Yangtze River. The statement had a dateline from Chikow, the Generalissimo's hometown, but it was believed that he was in fact located in Shanghai.

Utilities executive Curtis Calder had accepted the nomination by the President as Secretary of the Army. Assistant Secretary Gordon Gray of Winston-Salem would be promoted to Undersecretary and would serve as acting Secretary until Mr. Calder could take over the post in 60 days.

Former Secretary of the Army Kenneth Royall, who had recently resigned his post, had, two weeks earlier, advocated to the Senate Armed Services Committee absorption of the Marines within the Army, and resigning Secretary of the Navy John L. Sullivan had compounded this concern of the Marines by stating in his resignation letter that he feared the Marines would be abolished. Jonathan Daniels, Editor of the Raleigh News & Observer and son of deceased former Navy Secretary Josephus Daniels under President Wilson, was being touted as a possible replacement for Mr. Sullivan.

The DNC chairman, Senator J. Howard McGrath, announced a new "party loyalty" test to be used to determine how much political patronage each Democratic member of Congress would be able to dispense. It would be measured by performance in the district at home, not votes in the Congress.

Senator Raymond Baldwin of Connecticut had accepted an appointment to the Connecticut Supreme Court, prompting some of his GOP colleagues to accuse him of disloyalty to the party. Democratic Governor Chester Bowles appointed Senator Baldwin, who said that the Democratic Senate majority was so wide that one more Democratic vote would make no difference.

In Stamford, Conn., former Connecticut Senator Frederic C. Walcott, 79, serving between 1929 and 1935, died at a convalescent home.

In Chicago, a wealthy widow was stabbed to death in her bathroom. A pair of scissors lay nearby. She had a broken nose and a cut on her forehead as well as six stab wounds. Another woman, 78, had been found beaten to death in the same building the previous November.

In New York, a 33-year old man, who had voluntarily entered a small, sealed-off cubicle in 1939 with the assistance of his mother, emerged for the first time in a decade, said that once he was checked and cleared at the hospital, he wished to return to the three-foot by five-foot cubicle, which he liked. His father, who resided at the house, said that he never realized his son was in the cubicle. The idea was conceived by his mother, apparently to prevent her son from being drafted. The U.S. Attorney initiated an investigation of the matter to determine the man's draft status. He claimed not to know about the draft, asked if that had not been in 1917. His mother was in an hysterical condition in another hospital after learning that her son's concealment had been discovered.

In Gastonia, N.C., Gazette Editor J. W. Atkins said that the Klan burning of a cross on his front steps the previous night was a publicity stunt. The newspaper had published editorials in recent weeks attacking the creation of a Klan chapter in Gastonia, calling the organization's members "ten dollar suckers", in reference to the initiation fee. Mr. Atkins said that he would continue writing anti-Klan editorials.

A sample letter entry among hundreds to the Mother Contest is printed on the page, all trying to earn one of the three prizes to be awarded by the newspaper. A little girl said in the printed letter that she loved her mother because she was buying her a rabbit and two white rats and because her mother loved her.

Not if she is getting you two white rats. You better check up on your mother's affection for you, kid.

On the editorial page, "Lifting the Blockade" finds the State Department announcement that the Berlin blockade crisis might be resolved to be a breath of fresh air amid high tensions. It suggests that perhaps it was too soon to celebrate, that something yet might interfere with resolution of the crisis.

The airlift had shown the Russians that the West would stand firm against further Communist aggression. That demonstration of resolve and the signing of the NATO pact by eleven nations had prompted Stalin to submit reasonable terms, the simultaneous removal of the blockade and Western counter-blockade plus scheduling of a meeting of the Big Four Council of Foreign Ministers to be held after the lifting of the blockade to discuss Germany. It cautions that removal of the blockade would not alter the Kremlin's goal of world domination. But it would eliminate the tinderbox, extant since the previous June, in which a single spark might set off world conflagration.

"Test for the Profession" expresses the hope that even though it was unlikely that the Congress would pass the health care legislation during the session, there would be a vigorous debate in Congressional hearings to enable amelioration of the confusion of the American people.

There was general agreement that there was an inadequate number of doctors, poorly distributed in rural areas, that the profession was reluctant to root out incompetent doctors, that the high cost of medical care was beyond the average wage-earner, that most voluntary insurance programs failed to consider income in setting premiums and required hospitalization before paying benefits, and that there was lack of insurance for catastrophic illness or accident.

The piece asserts that it was not necessary to create a large bureaucracy to correct these problems but that it was proper to focus publicity on them. It believes that the medical profession could effect the remedies itself, provided it demonstrated greater concern for the welfare of the people and less for its own pocketbook.

"Harding and Garinger" gives praise to retiring Charlotte Superintendent of Public Schools Harry Harding, who had served well in the position for 36 years, and praises as well-qualified the new Superintendent, Dr. E. H. Garinger. Under the new superintendent, it predicts, the Charlotte schools would continue to grow and achieve scholastically.

Drew Pearson tells of the Republican Policy Committee meeting at which Senator Styles Bridges of New Hampshire urged Senator Vandenberg of Michigan to lead the Republicans in their own foreign policy stand, especially with regard to China, and to stop echoing the Administration. Senator Vandenberg argued that it was too late for interference in China to stop the Communists without jeopardizing potential future relations. He also pointed out that the corrupt ruling Nationalists soaked up most of the U.S. aid intended for the people. Senator Bridges charged that the State Department was weak on Communism, to which Senator Vandenberg countered that he knew of no pro-Communists in the Department.

Senator John W. Bricker had toned down his anti-discrimination amendment to the housing measure as soon as it became evident that it conflicted with positions of the real estate lobby. He eliminated the provision which would have cut off FHA loans to segregated public housing, those loans being a boon to private builders. Mr. Pearson notes again that the motive behind the Bricker amendment was to stoke Southern opposition against the housing bill.

GOP Senator Raymond Baldwin was the only Republican to chair a committee so far in the 81st Congress. It had resulted from Senator Millard Tydings of Maryland, chairman of the Armed Services Committee, not wanting Senator Clyde Hoey of North Carolina and his Investigating Committee to look into Army court martial procedures with an eye toward the Malmedy massacre prosecutions and claimed coercion of confessions from the defendants. When Senator Tydings heard of Senator Hoey's intention to investigate, he began scheduling hearings before the Armed Services Committee, at which point, Senator Hoey suggested a joint hearing panel from the Armed Services, Judiciary, and Expenditures Committees, to which Senator Baldwin was appointed chairman. Senator Baldwin's law partner had helped the Army prosecute the Malmedy defendants. As reported on the front page, however, Senator Baldwin would leave the Senate to become a Justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court.

The President was upset over a perceived insult by Israel to the U.S. Ambassador to the country, James McDonald, who reported to the President that Israeli Foreign Minister Moshe Shertok had spoken disparagingly of American aid to Israel. In response, the President had directed U.S. chief delegate to the U.N. Warren Austin not to object to pigeon-holing the application of Israel for U.N. membership, which shocked the Israelis. President Chaim Weizmann of Israel was now trying to repair relations.

Marquis Childs finds that with the Senate passage of the public housing bill to provide for 810,000 units over six years, it appeared that the Congress would finally pass such a bill over the strong opposition by the housing lobby. The bill also provided 1.5 billion dollars in loans and grants for slum clearance.

The Senate had previously passed housing bills but the House had always blocked them. Now, however, both Speaker Sam Rayburn and Majority Leader John McCormack expressed confidence that the bill would make it through the lower chamber.

The President would deserve great credit for the bill, having pushed for it since coming to the Presidency and before that, while in the Senate. Senator Taft, whose sponsorship of the bill also went back to 1945, would also deserve great credit.

Senator Taft had become the blunt, outspoken champion of GOP reform, feared by both Republicans and Democrats in the Congress. Senator John W. Bricker resented Senator Taft for being too supportive of social reform, regarded him as a traitor to his class and background, much as he and his fellow conservatives had felt about FDR. Senator Taft would face opposition from both organized labor and the Bricker wing of the party in Ohio when he stood for re-election the following year.

If he were to win that election, suggests Mr. Childs, then he would be able to stake out a strong middle position between the President's Fair Deal program and the do-nothing extreme right wings of both parties. That stance would position him well for the GOP presidential nomination in 1952.

He finds that such political competition gave slow birth to the eventuality of social progress in the country.

James Marlow tells of the Government already involved in health care, that the current debate over the President's program regarded the extent to which Government support should go. The Government was already providing up to 75 million dollars per year to the states to aid in building hospitals and for other health services. Also, 18.5 million veterans were eligible for Government health care through the V.A., with over 200,000 beds.

Virtually everyone agreed that expansion of aid to the states was a good idea. But the opponents of the President's program strongly objected to its compulsory national health insurance provision, to be funded by a 1.5 percent payroll tax on employers and a like tax on employees, up to $4,800 of an individual's salary. The program would be optional for doctors and patients. The President justified it on the basis that all citizens except those in the upper income brackets were unable to afford all of their needed medical care.

Opponents protested that it would place too much control of medical care in the hands of the Government and wanted only voluntary participation. The President countered that such voluntary programs were not complete enough, affording only limited protection. As it was, contended the President, only 3.5 million of the population carried enough health insurance to cover their needs.

The President and his supporters, however, did not expect that Congress would pass the insurance program during the current session.

A letter writer objects to the State Public Utilities Commission having granted to Southern Bell 70 percent of their requested rate increase for Charlotte on the basis that Charlotte had more phones than other communities in the state.

A letter writer praises Victor Shaw, the winner of the mayoral primary of the previous Monday, thinks he will do a good job for the city.

A letter writer praises the newspaper's Dick Tupper cartoon of the previous Saturday, warning of the dire consequences apt to occur from the General Assembly's decision to abolish the state vehicle mechanical inspection requirement after two years, and hopes the newspaper will continue its criticism of the decision. He urges re-institution of the requirement and hopes for the defeat of a local State representative who helped to abrogate the requirement.

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