The Charlotte News

Saturday, May 14, 1949


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the first four-power talks since the previous spring had produced almost complete agreement, according to American sources, on the mechanics of renewal of East-West trade. The three Western allies approved self-rule for West Berlin under limited Big Three supervision, in such areas as disarmament and demilitarization, restitution, reparations, decartelization, foreign interests in Berlin and claims against the City, relations abroad, and displaced persons. It also allowed intervention in an emergency when necessary to preserve security. The Russians agreed to resume deliveries speedily of goods promised to eighteen nations for past reparations provided to the Soviets. Generally, said the American representative, the economic problems which had appeared daunting before the end of the blockade, now were soluble, including recognition of two currencies in the city.

In Shanghai, the two Communist forces approaching the city moved closer, to within less than twenty miles on each front, one moving toward Lunghwa Airport and the other toward the harbor at Woosung, both protecting the last arteries of escape from the city. Britons in the city were given a final evacuation warning to have their passports cleared by 8:00 p.m. the following day. But no new warning was provided to Americans as, according to the American consul general, all who had intended to leave had departed. Nationalist troops ripped apart villages to make way for a last-ditch defense line, but the activity appeared not to make sense as the Communists apparently were preparing to come up the Hunghao Road without firing a shot. At some points, the Communists appeared to have already penetrated the city's outer defenses, to within less than ten miles. But Nationalist sources claimed that these forces had been repelled.

At the U.N., a vote in the General Assembly was nearing on whether to lift the two-year old diplomatic boycott on Franco's Spain, in effect since late 1946. The action would require a two-thirds vote of the 59-nation Assembly. The U.S., Britain and France had abstained from the 25 to 16 vote in the Assembly's Political Committee in favor of removal of the boycott, albeit not reaching the two-thirds requirement.

The Assembly approved the first proposed treaty affecting press freedom, by a vote of 33 to 6, with 13 abstaining and seven absent. Only the Russian-dominated bloc opposed it. The treaty extended freedom of the press to all member countries and provided the right of correction for the first time in history, allowing a member nation which felt an incorrect story had proved injurious to its interests to ask the government of the country in which the story originated to submit a corrected reply story to news agencies in its territory. The U.S. was uncertain whether it would join the treaty.

In London, Scotland Yard announced that it had arrested Gerhart Eisler, who had stowed away and been discovered on a Polish ship after skipping bail on two pending criminal charges in New York. Authorities said that he offered some resistance.

Meanwhile in Washington, Congressman Richard Nixon demanded an explanation from Attorney General Tom Clark for the "laxity" of the Justice Department in allowing Mr. Eisler's departure. HUAC, of which Mr. Nixon was a member, had once called Mr. Eisler the top Communist in the country.

The State Department recommended in a "peace paper" that the U.S. commit to sending 1.13 billion dollars worth of military aid to the Western European members of NATO during the coming fiscal year and an additional 320 million to Greece and Turkey, the latter in continuance of the Truman Doctrine. It also recommended that the aid to the NATO nations be maintained separate from NATO, itself, but urged that Western European defenses were presently so weak that they invited Soviet aggression.

The President nominated Assistant Secretary of the Army Gordon Gray to become Undersecretary. He would be Acting Secretary until the successor was named for former Secretary Kenneth Royall, also of North Carolina. Presently, the Acting Secretary was William Draper, who had also resigned.

Senator Clyde Hoey of North Carolina, chairman of a special Senate investigating committee, said that hearings would shortly begin into complaints regarding a scheme of cash kickbacks on ocean marine insurance, such that in some shipments of goods financed by U.S. money, invoices submitted to the Government were padded to allow freight forwarders to receive the kickbacks on insurance.

The White House stated that the President meant no criticism of House Speaker Sam Rayburn in his letter to A. F. Whitney, president of the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen, saying that the Rayburn compromise of the previous week on Taft-Hartley, which had contained some Administration-opposed provisions of the existing law, had gotten nowhere and that the compromise had been presented without consideration from the President. A reprinted version of the letter had appeared in the Trainmen's News, stating that the "compromisers" had gotten nowhere and that the matter had been done without consideration "for" the President. Press Secretary Charles G. Ross said that the printed version contained two typographical errors and should have referred to "compromises" and "from" the President.

In Wilkes-Barre, Pa., jail officials were taking precautions against a possible suicide attempt by a child psychologist charged with murder in the beating death of her 15-month old son. She said that she had beaten him for fear that he might develop a "Freudian complex". The woman was pregnant with another child.

In Montgomery, Ala., Governor Jim Folsom and his wife had a new son, the first time a sitting Governor of Alabama had produced a son since the State had purchased the present Governor's Mansion in 1911. The Governor had two daughters by his deceased first wife.

In Indianapolis, twelve persons were injured when a wooden grandstand containing 5,000 spectators collapsed at the Motor Speedway during qualification trials for the May 30 race. No one was hurt seriously.

In Raleigh, a post office employee said that he had a missing shell-shocked brother whom the family had not seen in more than four months. Meanwhile, a man discovered in a boxcar four months earlier in Greenup, Ky., told authorities, after remaining silent since his arrest, that he was the missing brother. He had served for three years on the carrier U.S.S. Saratoga during the war and spent three years in a Navy hospital afterward. His condition, said his brother, appeared to worsen after the war. He had left the Navy hospital on his own the previous year.

In Charlotte, the president of a candy company was killed instantly when he lost control of his 1949 Cadillac and skidded into a parked Hennis Freight Lines tractor-trailer truck on North Tryon Street. Police had observed the motorist speeding and followed him, were about a quarter-mile behind when the accident occurred, but believed that the driver was unaware of their presence.

Five others had been killed in the city in traffic accidents during the previous three weeks.

Also in Charlotte, police said that a fire at Godfrey Plumbing & Heating Co. appeared to have been set by burglars who had sought to crack the company safe and then accidentally started the fire as they lit matches to see what they were doing. They had entered the building through the front.

On the editorial page, "Educating a Communist" favors the Atomic Energy Commission withdrawing the scholarship from the UNC graduate student, originally from Austria but having become a naturalized citizen, who was found to be an avowed Communist. It also favors having the AEC extend its security rules to cover all such scholarships provided young student scientists.

It asserts that it was unbelievable that the AEC was spending tax dollars to educate a Communist, in preparation for his eventual work in atomic energy. That he was not asked about his loyalty was even more inconceivable.

The student in question, who had served in the U.S. Army between 1944 and 1946, had been at the University of Chicago as an undergraduate where he had headed the campus Communist organization. Since coming to UNC, he had been the most prolific writer on campus of letters to the editor of the Daily Tar Heel, consistently attacking the American form of government, though it provided him a $1,600 scholarship.

The Daily Tar Heel objected that the campus had thus obtained an undeserved reputation as a hotbed for Communism. It also favored termination of the student's AEC scholarship—as would occur in the ensuing days at the instance of AEC chairman David Lilienthal and the Senate-House Atomic Committee, though a student debate held by the UNC Dialectic Society determined against such action.

Well, why do you allow A. W. Black and his ilk to spew their Fascist propaganda all over your editorial pages, News? Do you not regularly attack government policies, Federal and state, in the editorial column, having just defended such criticism of the Government for not having made provision for a "land corridor" into Berlin to prevent blockade, against attack of your facts by a local attorney earlier in the week for having degenerated to "the level of the government-controlled Pravda"? Is not, in fact, criticism of the government the purest form of exercise of freedom of speech and press? Does one lose that freedom as a student when awarded a Government scholarship, such that the student is then constrained to support everything the Government might do?

Or have things become so completely out of whack mentally back there in 1949 that only the left and the Communist merit constraint and oversight? The Fascists had been defeated in the war and now appeared deserving of all the democratic freedom the country could possibly muster to give them, at the expense, not just of $1,600, but over a billion dollars in foreign aid going to Germany.

But, we have to have our bogeys of the moment to keep the military-industrial complex and its form of public welfare to the corporations a going concern, don't we?

Incidentally, in making these remarks, we do not mean to attack Editor Pete McKnight or anyone else personally at The News, who may have been responsible for this or other editorials. Indeed, during the previous few days we were reminded, from watching an old television program from circa 1961, that Mr. McKnight was an acquaintance of someone in our household and occasionally would call our residence to ask how everyone was doing. So, he was a very nice man and we can disagree without being inimical to people with whom we might disagree, which is the heart of our democracy. Even if he did go to Davidson.

"Zoning Authority Upheld" praises the State Supreme Court decision upholding the City's zoning ordinance and decision of the Board of Adjustment, pursuant to it, to deny permission for a restaurant to locate in a residential neighborhood. The restaurant had not sought to change the ordinance but rather wanted a variance which was refused. The piece finds the decision sound in allowing careful zoning by the City to maintain stable property values and permit City planning.

"Reducing the Tax Rate" tells of the ABC liquor sales revenue for the coming fiscal year, anticipated to be $581,000, going to good use to reduce the County tax rate by thirty cents, from $1.27 to 97 cents per hundred dollars of property valuation. The revenue would go to help the library and the parks. The system also had reduced bootlegging.

"New German Constitution" relates that if the eleven West German states, the Landtage, ratified the new West German constitution, then it would go into effect and the Western allies would assure that the new government would be established in accordance with its provisions. If it failed of ratification by the Landtage, however, the West would hope that some government could be formed at the meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers in Paris on May 23.

In any event, it was unlikely that East Germany would agree to be included under the new constitution, unless the Soviets were in a conciliatory mood in Paris. If so, then peace in the world might finally be achieved. It posits that the Germans would hope for such an agreement.

A piece from the Charleston News & Courier, titled "Editorial Factory Output", tells of receiving in the mail an offer from a state in the "North Temperate Zone" to take the newspaper's editorial page out of its rut and write editorials for it "for a song". It suggests that if it employed this editorialist, the newspaper might improve its estimate in the eyes of the "Office Holders Industry".

It finds that the editorial factories were flourishing and that one might be set up successfully therefore in South Carolina.

A piece from the Congressional Quarterly looks at the agricultural program put forward by Secretary of Agriculture Charles Brannan, compared to the Hope-Aiken bill passed by the previous Congress, generally supported by the President and former Agriculture Secretary and now Senator, Clinton Anderson. The latter bill would, if not substituted, become effective at the beginning of 1950, placing farm price supports on a flexible and generally lower basis, premised on commodity parity prices, fluctuating inversely to supply. The Brannan program would base supports on farm income.

The major farm groups disfavored the Brannan approach and backed the Hope-Aiken bill.

Senator Olin Johnston of South Carolina favored continuing the present program of 90 percent of parity for another two years, delaying implementation of the 60-90 percent flexible plan of Hope-Aiken.

It provides a table of commodities most important to North Carolina, showing how the Aiken or Brannan programs would affect each commodity.

Drew Pearson tells of Tammany politicos in New York being worried of Franklin Roosevelt, Jr., having inherited his father's charm such that he would win the special election the following Tuesday to fill the seat of deceased Congressman Sol Bloom. His presence inspired awe among the people who came out to see him as the son of the late President.

President Truman had actually forced the hand of General Lucius Clay to retire as military occupation governor of the American zone of Germany. It was true that General Clay was tired and wanted to come home, but he also had expected that Army chief of staff General Omar Bradley would urge him to remain, as he wanted to stay until the new West German state was implemented. The President, however, was upset that General Clay had not disbanded the I. G. Farben cartel and other former Nazi cartels in Germany, as State Department policy had ordered. The President, while Senator and chairman of the War Investigating Committee, had first exposed the Farben cartel and its conspiracy with Standard Oil of New Jersey to control the patents on synthetic rubber and synthetic gasoline. General Clay would leave May 15.

In addition to the President's statement to the veterans group earlier in the week that there were "too many Byrds" in the Congress, the President also specifically criticized Congressman John Rankin as baffling him as a legislator, and stated that his own state of Missouri had the worst Senate pair, beating out Indiana.

The scuttlebutt prevalent around Washington was regarding whether Senator Harry Cain of Washington State was divorcing or getting back together with his wife. Her aces in the hole in her attempt to win him back from the arms of another woman were their two children, "Raisin" and "Candy".

Mr. Pearson does not say so, but perhaps she needed to stir up a "Hurry" to clench the deal.

He notes that Washington's other Senator, Warren Magnuson, a bachelor, was serious now about marrying glamour girl Tony Seven. But he had better hurry before she becomes Eight.

Stewart Alsop, in Shanghai, finds that, as in any frightened city, it was difficult to find out what was happening, just as it was difficult to guess what would occur once the Communists took over. The Nationalist generals still asserted that the city would be defended to the last man, but any serious attempt to defend the city had already been abandoned. Chiang Kai-Shek, who favored such last-ditch defense, had been in the city, but, it was believed, had left on his plane, and with him all hope of defense. War materials and valuables were being shipped to Formosa, the Nationalist island fortress. Chiang had ordered politicians, bankers and other important persons to leave the city. Four large ships were waiting off Whangpoo to evacuate the best of the troops when necessary.

A committee had been formed to hand over the city to the Communists and the Communists were preparing for that eventuality anytime after May 15. Most observers believed that the Communists would take the city without bloodshed shortly thereafter.

It was believed, however, that without trade with the West and American aid, Shanghai would undergo an economic crisis and ultimately die under Communist rule. Communists were even trying to persuade foreign investors to remain in Shanghai under promise of protection.

Businessmen were inclined to equate the attitude with Titoism, but it was not necessarily to be so characterized. The Chinese Communists were likely to allow some trade and contact with the West simply because it was necessary for survival of the city. But the West would apparently have some leverage in China which it lacked in the rest of the world vis-à-vis Communists.

James Marlow tells of John L. Lewis at 69 trying now to get along with the public and the coal operators after 30 years of a reputation as a brusque and autocratic labor leader. Whether or not he was liked, he had won benefits for the miners over the course of that time. There always lingered the question, however, whether he could have accomplished the feat without the great strikes which had cost the nation its coal and with it the profits of the owners and, consequently, the miners' wages.

He had hired a public relations firm to try to smooth out his rough reputation, publishing recently a five and a half page pamphlet showing him as a genial and "big-hearted" man.

In previous springs when the UMW contract was approaching its end, Mr. Lewis had bellowed and banged the war drums. But not this spring in which he had begun negotiations with owners in a quiet and peaceful mood. Mr. Marlow warns, however, that the public would have to wait and see how long such amicable relations would last when Mr. Lewis was no longer getting his way.

Attention all coal miners in 2016: Under the Republican nominee, should he become President, you are going to have plush coal mines, with executive offices with your own personal secretary. It's gonna be so nice. It's gonna be so nice. Never mind all that negative talk about greenhouse gases and global warming, climate change. You'll even have beachfront property, probably. But, the Republican nominee won't tell you exactly how nice it is going to be because he wants to leave a surprise for you at Christmas.

We think, though, that we are not being spoilers by telling you in advance that what he has in mind for your stockings is coal, coal, and more coal. Won't that be so nice? It's gonna be so nice. You won't believe it. You can read all about it, probably in a couple of weeks, in The National Enquirer, his favorite organ of record.

Incidentally, go back and listen to what former Secretary of State Clinton actually said, not what you think she said. She said that the country was going to close down the coal mines because of the energy policies across the world, not just in this country, which are turning the country and the world, of necessity, to cleaner, alternative forms of energy so that we do not go the way of the dinosaurs. She was not threatening that transition. She was merely stating a fact of life in 2016, ongoing for decades. Her point was not that, but rather stating the necessity of finding new jobs for the displaced coal miners as that transition inevitably accelerates.

But forget about it. Come Christmas, you are gonna be so pleased, so pleased, if you vote for the Republican nominee. The niceness of it all is gonna be so nice. It's just gonna be wonderful. It's gonna be so nice, so nice. Don't ask him any hard questions about what is gonna be so nice about it. Just trust and have faith, and it will be so nice, you won't know what hit you.

Remember, this Christmas: It's Conny Donny's for your shopping needs in Manhattan, to get whatever your little heart desires at the lowest possible prices with easy credit terms, nothing down, a lifetime to pay it all back.

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