The Charlotte News

Friday, April 29, 1949


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in New York, representatives of the U.S. and Russia were planning to meet on the afternoon of this date to discuss the Berlin blockade, following a meeting two days earlier. This meeting was requested by the Soviet representative and so was regarded as crucial in that it was likely to provide the Soviet response to whether the two conditions set forth by the Russian news agency Tass, that the Soviet blockade and Western counter-blockade would be simultaneously lifted and that a meeting would be scheduled and subsequently held of the Big Four Council of Foreign Ministers to discuss Germany, would be the only conditions for lifting the blockade. The talks had been ongoing sporadically since February 15, but had only recently been publicized after the Tass announcement.

Meanwhile, the U.S. denied a New York Times report that the U.S. and Britain intended to advance at the meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers a proposal for the planned government of West Germany to combine with that of East Germany to form a single federal state.

ERP Ambassador Averell Harriman told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that NATO was creating a "growing wave of confidence" across Western Europe. He said that if the U.S. turned its back now, it was doubtful it could ever rekindle that confidence in the future. He urged ratification of the treaty.

In Berlin, the Russians apologized to the British for two Russian soldiers having attempted to halt British barges during the previous two days within the British occupation zone, saying they had acted without authority. The soldiers had planned to stop barges lacking Soviet registration issued by the Russian-controlled waterways directorate because the canals on which they were operating, though within the Western sectors, interconnected with canals of the Eastern zone.

The House refused to repeal Taft-Hartley and substitute a revised version of the 1935 Wagner Act in its stead, turning down by a vote of 275 to 37 a proposal to do so sponsored by Congressman Vito Marcantonio of New York. Next up was an alternative measure proposed by Congressman John Wood of Georgia, which would retain much of Taft-Hartley.

The Senate, in a bipartisan vote after less than an hour of debate, passed a bill to provide the states with 35 million dollars per year in Federal funds for school health programs.

The FHA eliminated the requirement that a person borrowing funds for the purpose of home repair and modernization pay down 10 percent in cash.

That's good. We can go forward with the indoor plumbing and electrification now, plus some new wallpaper in the dining room.

Senator John Stennis urged to the President appointment of a Mississippi State court judge to be U.S. Attorney, and the President made no commitment either way. Senator Stennis was testing the President's articulation of the party loyalty test requiring support of Administration measures in line with the party platform, failure of which would lead to elimination of patronage appointments. Mr. Stennis was regarded as a Dixiecrat.

In New York, in the trial of the eleven top American Communist Party leaders, a female FBI informant testified for the Government that $50 in Government money was being used to finance the defense. She said that the FBI had paid all of her expenses, including $50 for the appearance in the case, while she was still a member of the party.

In Farmville, N.C., Assistant Secretary of State John Peurifoy, speaking to the local D.A.R. chapter, said that though the Soviets might lift the Berlin blockade, they would likely not give up their struggle for world control.

Governor Kerr Scott named a new Highway Commission with nine of its ten members having backgrounds in farming, the same as the Governor.

In Wake Forest, N.C., the Wake Forest College trustees accepted the retirement request of college president Thurman Kitchin, to become effective at the end of June, 1950. Dr. Kitchin would be named president emeritus upon his retirement.

From London on the BBC the previous night, listeners heard banter of cussing and vitriol as a debate took place over modern art at the first dinner of the Royal Academy since the war. Retiring president Sir Alfred Munnings, 69, recounted of taking a walk with Winston Churchill, who was present at the dinner, and being asked by Mr. Churchill whether he would join in kicking Pablo Picasso if they were to encounter him. Sir Alfred had stated emphatically in response that he would. Sir Alfred also attacked Henri Matisse, Henry Moore's "Madonna and Child" located in Northampton Church, among other works and artists. He said generally that modern painters were "young jugglers" whose works were "violent blows at nothing". As he did so, supporters of modern art began hurling at him billingsgate of a type not usually heard on the BBC, prompting 40 listeners to call in to complain. Fourteen others, however, said that they were "delighted" with the broadcast.

Also in London, the Public Morality Council stated that there were too many naked women appearing in British shows. It criticized the "many salacious and most harmful productions now touring the country excusing themselves on the grounds of art."

On page 8-A, Bill Sharpe of the State News Bureau reports of the 20,000 Lumbee Indians of Robeson County who had not been able to obtain official recognition as a tribe.

On the editorial page, "Subversive Organization" tells of Attorney General Tom Clark finding that the Klan had advocated or approved the commission of acts of force and violence to deny rights under the Constitution, declaring the Association of Georgia Klans and the Original Southern Klans, Inc. to be subversive organizations.

Many in the South agreed with this opinion, that no good could come from a masked organization which operated outside the law, coopting sacrilegiously the symbols of Christianity in the process.

In Gastonia, the Klan had recently burned a cross on the porch of J. W. Atkins, the Editor of the Gazette, for the newspaper's anti-Klan editorials. Mr. Atkins was a white Protestant who merely publicly scorned the Klan.

The piece wonders at the motive for the incident, concluding that, regardless, Klan members were dangerous and that enlightened Southerners knew it to be their duty to condemn and outlaw such organizations of "masked hoodlums".

"Political Patronage" finds that DNC chairman Senator J. Howard McGrath had apparently misunderstood the President when he announced that a new loyalty test for Democrats would depend on how they functioned in their home districts rather than in legislation. For the President then announced that how the Democratic members of Congress voted on Taft-Hartley and other Administration issues from the party platform pledges would determine party loyalty and hence the ability to dispense patronage.

The piece suggests less bluntness so that Americans could naively continue to assume that appointments were made not just on patronage but on competence.

"We're Making Progress" tells of the acquisition from the Charlotte Elks Club of a strip of property which would enable widening of Stonewall Street and the building of a railroad underpass. Progress was being made slowly to make way for the Age of the Motor Vehicle.

"United We Stand...." finds that doctors fighting against what they perceived to be socialized medicine never joined together with the housing interests fighting socialized housing or the utilities fighting public power or the cotton interests fighting the increase in the minimum wage, until a tax increase was imminent. These lobbies tended to go their separate ways and had been divided and conquered without realizing that there was strength in unity.

A piece from the Greenville (S.C.) Piedmont, titled "Evidence of Faith", finds that when a firm placed an order for fifteen million dollars worth of equipment, it was evidence of faith in its business in the section where it operated. Such was the case with the Springs Mill group in upper South Carolina. The company's commitment to progress and expansion encouraged like activity in business through the South.

A summary of a piece from the Congressional Quarterly looks at the fight over public power which had spread from TVA to the Far West. It had been one of the issues in the 1948 election and private utilities had lost. The President's program to finance more public power was breezing through Congress by majorities of two to one. The debate was only over how far the Government should go, not whether it should be involved in public power. Between 1920 and 1948, public power ownership had gone from 5.2 percent to 19.9 percent of all electric capacity, about half of which was Federal. Only 17 percent of the country's hydroelectric capacity had been developed. It provides a comparison statistically of North Carolina's publicly-owned and privately-owned power.

Drew Pearson finds that the appointment of Curtis Calder as Secretary of the Army would cause consternation among farmers as he headed a utility whose abuses led to passage of the Holding Corporation Act. The utility had fought actively the Government's rural electrification program and public power.

He also had headed two companies organized by Dillon, Read to finance public utilities in Germany prior to the war. Dillon, Read, of which former Secretary of Defense James Forrestal had been a partner before his Government service, had continued to support cartelization in Germany. Thus, concludes Mr. Pearson, Mr. Calder's business past did not inspire confidence among those in the Army who would serve under him.

Russia was ready to lift the blockade after witnessing 13,000 tons delivered by the British-American airlift on the previous Easter Sunday, outdoing that which had been daily delivered by train prior to initiation of the blockade the previous June.

Of the 5,000 Arabian horses in the world, 4,000 were in the U.S.

The president of the National Distillers wanted the Treasury to reconsider its determination that second-hand barrels for aging whiskey were as good as new barrels.

The Farm Bureau was opposing the Agriculture Department's new farm program, calling for subsidies to farmers to make up the difference in market price and a formulaically-determined "fair price" for produce subject to spoliation, such as fruits and vegetables. The Farm Bureau claimed that the program offered farmers too much money.

Irish Foreign Minister Sean McBridge had informed the State Department that the Republic of Ireland would join NATO provided Britain gave up Northern Ireland.

Marquis Childs looks at the rhetoric of the recent "World Peace Congress" in Paris, a meeting of pro-Communists whose propaganda had misfired, as the charges brought against the U.S. of being terrorist in nature were absurd, especially juxtaposed to the claim that Russia was a bastion of liberty, something even the Russians themselves no longer proclaimed.

But, nevertheless, there was an hysterical minority in the country who appeared so riddled with suspicion that they were bent on ending American liberty. Many state legislatures, as that in Maryland, had enacted anti-subversive statutes, which could be interpreted to ban the teaching of even the Declaration of Independence. In Illinois, legislators were investigating the University of Chicago for subversive teaching, prompting chancellor Robert Hutchins to state that a policy of repression of ideas could not work and never had worked.

Mr. Childs suggests that no Communist had an inherent right to teach in a public institution, as Communism by its nature advocated the violent overthrow of the Government. But any law which sought to prevent the teaching of a political belief was contrary to the Constitution. The only issue at the University of Chicago was that a few students belonged to a study club focusing on Communism, but the fearmongers had responded by acting as if it were about to undermine the nation.

James Marlow discusses Federal aid to education. The Senate had passed the bill in the previous Congress but it had died in the House. This time, the 300-million dollar aid bill was likely to pass both chambers. The object was to supplement that which was available to the poorer states from their own limited tax revenue, with the richest states getting a minimum of $5 per child in Federal outlays while a poor state as Mississippi might obtain as much as $27 per child.

Millions of school age children did not attend school at all or were suffering from poor educational facilities, inadequately trained teachers, and shortage of same. During the previous school year, it was estimated that 43 percent of the teachers in the nation earned less than $2,400 per year and that 12 percent got less than $1,600. The funding set aside by states for education had become "critically low".

The criticism of Federal aid was that it would lead to Federal control of the schools. But the current bill expressly forbade any form of Federal control of the educational programs in the states.

Another criticism was that the richer states should not have to take care of the education of children in the poorer states. But as the society was now highly mobile, people who received an education in a poorer state might move to a richer one and vice versa.

The Constitution allowed the Congress to care for the general welfare of the people, including education.

The bill would let the states decide whether Federal money could be devoted to non-public and parochial schools.

A letter writer praises as a masterpiece the editorial "Easy Way Out" from April 23, for its criticism of public housing and of the idea that the Federal Government owed everyone a roof over their heads, as well as medical care and education.

Sure, we can be a country of moronic, under-housed, foreclosed, unhealthy idiots—a Republicanized Trump-land of callous, sleazeball billionaire bullies and artists of a certain barnyard full of Know-Nothings and Do-Nothings who promise "greatness" while delivering precisely Nothing. Take for example the present Republican Congress. Is it really any wonder that their fearless leader in the presidential race is who he is?

Congress and its membership, as we know, are extant to honor Government of the billionaires, by the billionaires, and for the billionaires, and to insure that billionaire Government shall not perish from the earth.

A letter thanks the newspaper and reporter Tom Fesperman for aiding the campaign for the fight against cancer in articles carried in the newspaper between March 31 and April 2.

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