The Charlotte News

Friday, April 8, 1949


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that eight of the European allies, Britain, France, the Benelux countries, Italy, Denmark, and Norway, appealed for military aid pursuant to the newly signed and not yet ratified NATO accord, to which the U.S. responded through Secretary of State Acheson that the Administration would recommend military aid covering both arms and financial assistance. Each requesting nation pledged to help to the extent possible to carry out the goals of NATO. There was no estimate yet of the cost of the aid program, though it was believed that the President would seek 1.25 billion dollars for the European NATO members, plus another $600,000 for other countries. The other three signatories of NATO, Iceland, Portugal, and Canada, as yet sought no military assistance.

White House press secretary Charles G. Ross announced that the President would likely send the treaty to the Senate on Monday for ratification, together with a short message approving it.

The U.S., Britain, and France jointly announced that they were nearing the end of military control of West Germany, would terminate it as soon as the Federal Republic of Germany was constituted. Afterward, occupation forces would remain under civilian command, with the function of the three commands becoming primarily supervisory vis-à-vis the West German government.

The President asked that communities revive their wartime entertainment centers for servicemen to accommodate those in the first peacetime draft.

The Senate voted against a measure which would have banned use of Marshall Plan aid money for socialization or nationalization of industries. Senator Tom Connally, who actively opposed the measure sponsored by Senator James Kem of Missouri, said that it would have been impossible to administer. According to Mr. Kem, the bill was aimed at the policies of the British Labor Government.

In Britain, the Labor Party, for the first time since 1935, lost its majority on the London County Council, the most important governing body outside Parliament in England. The Conservatives achieved a tie on the Council. The previous Council had been dominated in a ratio of 3 to 1 by Labor.

In New York, an M.I.T. professor was named as a key figure in a Communist professional group in Boston by an FBI contact within the Communist Party, testifying in the trial of eleven of the nation's top Communists, accused of violation of the Smith Act.

In Rock Hill, S.C., two men, one a former professional football player who had played for the University of Georgia, were arrested in connection with thefts of about $50,000 worth of building materials from the Celanese Corporation plant. Two others, including a construction company foreman at the plant and an engineer at the plant, had already been arrested on the thefts.

In Raleigh, a 21-year old Georgia man was convicted of first degree murder without a recommendation by the jury of mercy, thus causing the death penalty to be automatically imposed. The jury deliberated 40 minutes. The crime involved the bludgeoning to death of a man on February 7 with the butt of a rifle and then burying him alive. The victim's wife had testified of witnessing the crime and then being forced to accompany the defendant on a drive back to Georgia with her two sons. She said that she engaged in sexual relations with the defendant on several occasions prior to her husband's murder, but denied that she loved him, claimed that she acquiesced because he was constantly "picking and messing" with her, telling her how pretty and sweet she was.

The president of the Club Feminin De Liaison Franco-American said in Washington that French women had the misconception that American women did all of their housework by push-button devices, including having electric babysitters. But she wished to correct the misperception held by American women that French women spent all of their time at dressmakers.

Mais oui?

In Williba, Ky., the local correspondent for the weekly Beattyville Enterprise was running for the State House on a platform which included sending parents to school if they could not send their children, jailing any judge who permitted a mudhole to exist in the county, making it unlawful for women to smoke or eat dry cereal in bed, and other such remedies to pressing problems, which he acknowledged were ridiculous but designed to give the people something about which to laugh while pointing up the absurdities and affectations of some politicians.

In Raleigh, the State Senate passed on second reading a measure to legalize dog racing in New Hanover County and another to authorize an election in Pasquotank County to legalize horse racing and parimutuel betting, plus a third to legalize bingo in Dare County.

A search was underway for a derelict schooner with two small children aboard, believed adrift 70 miles off the coast of Charleston, South Carolina. The owner, of Salem, Mass., had set sail with his family from the Bahamas on April 1. The sighted craft off Charleston, however, might have been another schooner which was no longer in danger, having arrived at Wrightsville Beach, N.C., the previous night.

If you see a schooner out there on the Atlantic with "Keewatin" on the side, you might want to stop and give them a hand, as they have been out there awhile.

Starting in mid-May, Eastern Air Lines would begin flying the giant 60-passenger Constellations into Charlotte, bound for New York, Atlanta, Detroit and Houston.

Yee-ha, get ready. Pack your bags. We can go traveling. How about Detroit first? We can see where the cars are made.

On the editorial page, "Progress in Fighting Alcoholism" finds that the view that alcoholics were beyond help might cripple the effort to establish Camp Butner as a special facility for treatment of alcoholics. To fund the project, the liquor tax would need be raised by a half percent.

Presently, the State sent chronic alcoholics in need of treatment to Dix Hill, the State mental hospital. Recently, a woman sent for treatment for alcoholism was found housed in the ward with the mentally ill, despite doctors saying there was no reason to house her there. At Butner, the patients could engage in meaningful activity, such as farming, building, plumbing and other such pursuits, maybe painting houses and digging ditches.

It provides credit to State Representative Frank Kilpatrick for leading the effort to use Butner as such a facility.

"The Wrong Target" finds that Governor Kerr Scott's attack recently on the lobbyists who were influencing the Assembly to negate his "Go Forward" program diverted attention away from the more deserving objects of his ire, the legislators who allowed themselves to be influenced by the lobbyists. Some of the legislators opposing the Governor's program, it notes, were acting out of a genuine sense of protection of the public interest, believing that the Governor was moving too fast in certain areas.

It concludes that it was unlikely that an ideal system, wherein every legislator was impervious to the wiles and inveigling entreaties of lobbyists, would ever be achieved, but that the difficulty in producing such a system should not deter the effort.

"Compromise Is in Order" comments on the Senate bill on the Governor's roads program being, not surprisingly, at variance with the House bill which separated the gas tax from the 200 million dollar bond measure, while the Senate bill made the gas tax contingent on passage of the bond. It urges adoption of a compromise to let the people decide the issue rather than letting it die in a stalemate.

"Remember to Register" reminds voters of Charlotte that the recent extension of the city limits had caused all voters to have to register anew and urges registration for the upcoming municipal elections.

Drew Pearson tells of Vice-President Alben Barkley having told the Cabinet recently that the President's program was in much better shape in Congress than the public realized, though he was pessimistic regarding passage of the civil rights program, national health insurance, and the minimum wage of 75 cents per hour. Mr. Pearson notes that it was believed that no tax hike would be approved in the Congress.

Arcady Soboloff of the Soviet Union, the assistant to Secretary-General of the U.N. Trygve Lie, had disappeared, having returned to Russia three months earlier and stayed. Mr. Lie, after having tried repeatedly to contact him without reply, finally fired him. It was believed that Mr. Soboloff would join Russia's diplomatic command in a top position.

Mr. Pearson thinks the film "City Across the River", based on the Irving Shulman play "The Amboy Dukes", about juvenile gang warfare flourishing among the slums of Brooklyn, would change many votes in Congress to favor the housing bill. As depicted in the movie, a New York teacher actually had been killed by his students some time previously.

The House, which had functioned so inefficiently in the previous Congress, was now functioning smoothly, whereas the Senate, which had operated well in the previous Congress, now was having difficulties. The reversal of the trend was the result of the efficient leadership of House Speaker Sam Rayburn and Majority Leader John McCormack as well the progressive young Democrats, many from the South, elected to the House the previous November. The Senate, meanwhile, was letting passed House bills pile up behind the stalling tactics of reactionary Republican and Southern Democratic Senators, practiced against nearly every liberal bill.

A German trade exhibit was set to open in New York and then tour other cities, designed to show that German industry was getting back on its feet. The American Military Government in Germany had promoted it and attempted to keep out former Nazis, two of whom had been barred when discovered as exhibitors.

Marquis Childs tells of big business having won a major round in the ongoing battle with the regulatory system. The Federal Power Commission was asked to regulate competitive bidding on a 60 million dollar bond issue of Dillon, Read on behalf of Texas Gas Transmission Co. One company wanted to bid on the bonds at a rate which would have saved Texas Gas 2.3 million dollars, but Dillon, Read instead contracted with twelve large insurance companies for a higher interest rate on the bonds. The matter was brought before the FPC, which ruled 2 to 1 that it lacked power to regulate the bidding. A dissent by Commissioner Leland Olds, however, opined that the applicants had used "stratagems" to avoid the regulatory process and that the case was one of the worst instances of "flagrant flaunting of regulatory authority" of the Commission he could recall. (He meant "flouting", but we digress.) Millions of citizens would be affected by the decision, as the pipeline in question would carry gas to the Northern states, but they would not become aware of it until they received higher gas bills from the higher priced financing costs in building the pipeline.

A strong move was afoot in Congress to remove regulations from natural gas producers. But then the FPC would be unable to regulate reserves and depletion would ultimately ensue.

A consumer-minded appointee to the Commission, who had not participated in the instant decision for a conflict of interest, was serving under a recess appointment, having not been confirmed by the preceding 80th Congress and held up thus far in the current Congress. The term of Mr. Olds was set to expire in June and there was a move afoot to prevent his reappointment.

Mr. Childs concludes that as radicals and Communists claimed that government regulation could not preserve free, fair competition, that only state ownership could do so, big business appeared sometimes to be doing its best to prove them correct.

James Marlow tells of Vice-President Barkley cracking the whip on Senators when answering a roll call. He wanted them present to answer at the bell unless they were in a committee meeting, in which case they could call in. But no more would they be able, as had been the case, simply to come in two or three hours later and have the clerk then record them as present. Recently, he had found 49 Senators present, a quorum, but the following day discovered that the Congressional Record showed that he had supposedly said 89 Senators were present. The Vice-President was livid at the fact and promised it would not occur again.

A Roundup and Review of the current 81st Congress so far finds the President with seven runs, nineteen hits and two errors in 63 legislative items which the President had urged. On only five of them had the Congress thus far completed action. It had started consideration of nineteen of them, six of which had passed one or the other house, and none had yet received adverse action, though the big fights remained ahead.

The Administration had scored on tabling of the $90 per month veterans pension bill of Congressman John Rankin and in finally getting confirmation of the long-stalled nomination of James Boyd as director of the Bureau of Mines.

But the President had struck out on the nomination of his friend Mon Wallgren to be chairman of the National Security Resources Board.

After three months, no action had occurred in repealing Taft-Hartley, expansion of Social Security benefits, national health insurance, universal military training or standby economic controls.

It then lists the five items on which action had been completed and the thirteen items on which action still was pending after being reported out by one or more committees of either chamber.

The summary does not mention civil rights, apparently thought dead by the action in the Senate which had reached a compromise to end the Republican-Southern Democrat filibuster of the rule change, resulting in a rule which permitted cloture of debate on all matters save rule changes only by a vote of two-thirds of the Senate membership rather than two-thirds of the Senators present, as had been sought by the Senate leadership. The President had at one point urged a rule of cloture by simple majority vote. Thus, given the outcome of the compromise, it was believed that the civil rights program, including an anti-lynching bill, an anti-poll tax bill, and a Fair Employment Practices Commission, would be filibustered to death when it came up. Senate Majority Leader Scott Lucas nevertheless had vowed to raise it after the other Administration programs were addressed.

The "Better English" answers be: "best" should be "utter best" or "utmost"; ray-coors; "predator"; a demon run amok, as in Frankenstein; "omelet".

A letter writer favors doctors establishing cooperatives to enable cheaper medical care for patients.

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