The Charlotte News

Monday, May 16, 1949


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the Chinese Communists were close to Shanghai. Most foreign airlines were suspending operations and the last evacuees were leaving. There remained no outward show of concern by the city's residents. The Communists had not yet succeeded in taking Woosung, convergence point of the Yangtze and Whangpoo Rivers. Communists also were attacking Hung Jao airfield on the outskirts of Shanghai, but had thus far been repulsed by the Nationalist troops. The Communists were about six miles from Lunghwa airfield, from which the few remaining planes were taking off to leave the city. The British had evacuated what was thought to be their last evacuees.

Evacuation of Hankow had taken place, clearing the way for the Communists to move south across the Yangtze toward Canton via the central railway. Dispatches said that Hankow had not yet been entered by Communist troops.

A London magistrate ordered Gerhart Eisler to return to jail to await an extradition hearing to the United States where he had been convicted of perjury. Mr. Eisler, considered a top Communist in America, had jumped his appellate bond by taking a ship bound for Poland until being spotted aboard as a stowaway and identified. He sought to contest extradition under the political asylum exception on the ground that the charge was brought against him for political reasons. His attorney contended that Mr. Eisler had never been a Communist.

The Supreme Court decided 5 to 4, in Terminiello v. City of Chicago, 337 U.S. 1, a decision delivered by Justice William O. Douglas, that a man convicted of disorderly conduct for tending to incite violence against an angry mob with his speech in the Chicago Auditorium nevertheless had the right of free speech, and invalidated his conviction as violative of the First Amendment. The speaker in question had been invited by reactionary Gerald L. K. Smith, and his 1946 speech preached hatred of the New Deal, Jews, and England, while charging Eleanor Roosevelt with being a Communist. The majority found that free speech invited dispute and served its highest purpose when it induced unrest and dissatisfaction with existing conditions, or even stirred people to anger. The majority concluded: "[The ordinance as construed by the trial court] permitted conviction of petitioner if his speech stirred people to anger, invited public dispute, or brought about a condition of unrest. A conviction resting on any of those grounds may not stand."

Chief Justice Fred Vinson and Justices Robert Jackson and Felix Frankfurter each wrote vigorous dissents. Justice Harold Burton concurred with Justice Jackson's dissent, and both concurred with the dissent of Justice Frankfurter. Justice Jackson believed a line had to be drawn against the kind of inflammatory speech which could "paralyze and discredit" democratic authority. He also said, however, that he did not favor silencing of either Fascists or Communists.

The Court, in a brief order, also authorized the Government to sue Texas and Louisiana to determine whether the Federal Government or the states had rights to the tidal oil lands off those states' coasts. Texas and Louisiana had argued that under the Constitution they could not be sued as states without their consent and that they had not so provided.

In a report to the Congress, the President said that the Marshall Plan recipient nations had made "satisfactory progress" during the year but had to undertake economic expansion and reform to meet the goal of independence from American aid by 1952, the designated end of ERP. The countries generally had reached the production levels they had before the war, the first phase of the operation.

The Senate special investigating subcommittee, chaired by Senator Clyde Hoey of North Carolina, promised to look into complaints of cash kickbacks to freight forwarders and insurance brokers by means of padding a 40 million U.S. loan to Poland.

The House hoped to pass the President's housing bill by the end of the week. The Senate had already passed the bill 57 to 13 in April. The only Administration bill thus far passed by the new 81st Congress was rent control extension, considerably watered down.

A Federal mediator conferred with UAW president Walter Reuther, and indicated his intent to confer with Henry Ford II regarding the ongoing Ford strike at the River Rouge plant in Dearborn, Mich. He also authorized a mediator to sit in on negotiations as deemed fit. The union was seeking mediation in the dispute, involving a speedup of an assembly line.

On Guam, a 20th Air Force court martial convicted a private for rape and murder and sentenced him to death. The private was accused along with his half-brother, also a private, and a staff sergeant of the murder committed the previous December 11. The other two defendants were yet to be tried. The victim, a young woman, had been dragged from her place of employment at a gift shop into the nearby jungle where she was beaten and raped, several days afterward dying of her injuries.

In Amarillo, Tex., four people were killed and 70 injured by a tornado, the first destructive tornado in the city's 62-year history.

In Port Carbon, Pa., a minister was delivering a sermon on "the shape of things to come" when a 35-lb. chandelier came crashing down as he concluded, "No one knows what things will befall." No one was hurt and the congregation continued to sing.

In Angels Camp, Calif., "One Fifteen" jumped thirteen feet, six inches the previous day to win $200 for high school boys who had entered him in the Calaveras County Frog Jumping Contest, a century after it had been the subject of Mark Twain's story, in which the winner had netted $40. TWA won second place, an inch off One Fifteen. It should have flown Pan Am with Senator Owen Brewster, a couple of inches before 1:30, as long as the runway wasn't fogged by frogs. Some 5,000 people attended the annual event.

On the editorial page, "That Gas Tax Increase" tells of the implementation of the one-cent tax passed by the General Assembly being contingent on passage of the 200-million dollar bond issue for rural road improvement. The News had favored making the two independent but had also opposed both. It explains that the reason for its opposition was simply that the State could not afford the Governor's program, only to be partially financed by the gasoline tax, without engaging in deficit financing.

"Friends of Franco" tells of Secretary of State Dean Acheson objecting to Franco's Spain on the basis of several particulars, the absence of habeas corpus, trial by jury, religious liberty, and the right of association.

Prompting Mr. Acheson's remarks, Senators Pat McCarran, Arthur Vandenberg, Tom Connally and Owen Brewster each had defended Spain and thought that diplomatic relations should be restored. But Mr. Acheson believed that restoring diplomatic relations would condone and subsidize Franco's oppression.

Senator Brewster contended that the U.S. could sell 300,000 bales of cotton and 30 million bushels of wheat to Spain. While the other Senators advocating restoration had other reasons, such a profit motive would stir controversy across the world stage. Moreover, for Spain to make such purchases, the U.S. would have to loan the money for the purchases.

The piece hopes that the people of Europe would overlook Senator Brewster's salesmanship and support the position of Secretary Acheson. Providing tacit approval to Franco would not foster friendship in Western Europe. The speeches of Senators Brewster, Vandenberg, and Connally, the latter two being foreign policy leaders in the Senate, had already harmed those relations.

A piece from the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, titled "M. Dewey et Mme. Tussaud", tells of Governor Dewey not being in danger of confronting a wax figure of himself at Madame Tussaud's in London, as the figure which was commissioned the previous September in anticipation of his November victory had been destroyed.

Should he run a fourth time for the presidency, he might be able finally to achieve permanent status at the museum, alongside such noteworthy figures of history as Jack the Ripper. Thus, he need not feel bad, it offers, about not making the grade.

The wax museum had been founded in 1783 in Paris when Madame Tussaud fashioned an effigy of the still living Benjamin Franklin.

Drew Pearson tells of the same members of Congress who had balked at voting for a health program for the nation on the basis that it was "socialized medicine" having such a plan for themselves. Dr. George Calver had served as "family doctor" for all members of Congress since 1928 and maintained an office on Capitol Hill. Twice a year, he provided referrals to each member to visit Bethesda Naval Hospital for checkups and tests. All bills, except for prescribed medicine, were paid by the taxpayers. If admitted to the hospital, the members paid $9.75 per day, a third the cost of normal stays for the public at a private hospital.

Heart trouble once claimed 28 members of Congress per year and so that malady was high among Dr. Calver's concerns. Since he had taken over care, deaths were down seven percent in Congress. Congressional staff also received treatment.

Curtis Calder had still not decided whether to accept the President's offer of nomination as Secretary of the Army. Mr. Calder, while a lobbyist for a utility holding corporation, had claimed to know House Speaker Sam Rayburn well from their days in Texas. Yet, Mr. Rayburn could not even recall his name, and in fact, Mr. Calder was from Kansas, though he headed Texas Power & Light and Dallas Power & Light.

Five locals of the Pressmen's Union had petitioned the AF of L executive committee, demanding that the late George Berry's estate be investigated for his looting of the union treasury prior to his death and willing the property thus acquired through his estate. The last time such an election was held, a recall election of Mr. Berry as president of the union in 1926, the ballots could not all be counted because the messenger carrying the ballots against Mr. Berry had the tires shot off of his car and arrived a day late, too late for inclusion of the ballots. The locals claimed that they would not have much more luck at present in holding a recall election against the current leaders.

Joseph Alsop looks at the race for Congress in the special election in the Twentieth District of New York, to replace recently deceased Sol Bloom. Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jr., stood out as the dominant personality, both in terms of his dynamic personal campaign and the obvious appeal of being the son of the late President.

His principal opponent was Judge Benjamin Shalleck, the "regular" Democrat in the race, the Tammany-backed candidate. He had just received the backing of DNC chairman Senator J. Howard McGrath and thus the White House. The reason for that backing was primarily practical, to support the "regular" Democrat. But the personal aspect, that the Roosevelt family had not backed the President at the party convention the previous summer and that the President had slowly distanced himself from the shadow of the late President over the four years in office, played a role. There were also the additional factors of the President's conservative advisers painting liberal advisers as "New Deal crackpots", a dislike of anyone associated with the Americans for Democratic Action, backing FDR, Jr., and the President's failure to name progressive Democrats to important posts.

If the Tammany candidate were to win, then Tammany would have a lock on the Democratic Party henceforth in New York. If it lost, then it would be finally defeated.

Tammany had a cozy relationship with Congressman Vito Marcantonio of the American Labor Party, and the ALP was putting up a candidate who could siphon off votes from FDR, Jr. Tammany leaders also were close to Frank Costello, the slot machine king. Those on the East Side who had prospered under Mr. Costello would vote for Judge Shalleck.

The ADA, led by Louis Harris and Michael Levine, was making a major contribution to the campaign. Likewise, the Liberal Party and labor were behind FDR, Jr. Thus, if the President really meant what he had said about wanting to move the Democratic Party in a progressive direction, he would find the help he needed in the Twentieth District race. But those interests would be working in this special election to defeat the "regular" Democrat endorsed by the DNC chairman.

Mr. Alsop concludes that the President, while talking of progressive ideas, tended not to like progressives in the flesh.

DeWitt MacKenzie tells of ERP administrator Paul Hoffman stating to an audience at Indiana University recently that the American way of life would be secure if Europe were strong and free in 1952. His prediction was premised on the fact that the Marshall Plan was scheduled to conclude operations in 1952. He said that it had "stopped the Kremlin cold" in Western Europe and that the Soviets would likely adopt in consequence a policy of live and let live.

Mr. MacKenzie finds that while it was true that the Communist offensive had been halted along the Stettin-Adriatic line through Central Europe, the revolutionary tactics in Western European countries continued, especially in Italy and France. The goal remained control of those governments. Meanwhile, in the Far East, Communists were taking over China and North Korea was Communist-controlled, with an attempt to control the South. There were also Communist attempts to foment uprisings in Burma, Indonesia, and other Asiatic countries.

He suggests that alteration of the continuing Communist threat in Europe and Asia might result from the Communists' inability to hold the populations absorbed into the Soviet bloc, causing them to reject Communist doctrine. The reason for that prospect was that idealistic communism, essentially communal sharing of the product of the community, with the government merely providing oversight to the means of production and distribution, was not realized under modern Communism devolving to totalitarianism.

There was evidence of dissatisfaction among the peoples of the satellites. Whether that discontent could develop to the point where those countries would in fact reject Communism remained to be seen. Until such rejection would occur, democratic security remained doubtful.

Samuel Grafton, no longer carried by The News, discusses the inability to determine trends in Washington. Liberals asserted that Taft-Hartley would not be repealed while conservatives were convinced it would be. Conservatives were sure of liberal power while liberals were certain conservatives were in control.

Regarding the economy, many believed that inflation was over while others were as certain economic trouble lay ahead.

On foreign policy, the lifting of the Berlin blockade had produced euphoria among U.N. delegates and staff. But in Washington, observers found the prospect of negotiation with Russia daunting. They were not certain whether things would get better or simply more complex.

He concludes by suggesting that if certainty was desirable, then one should not come to Washington.

A letter writer from Efland—where, we understand, all the Flunkies from the University go—, urges voting for good roads and good schools on June 4.

Just don't drool while you're saying "schooools".

A letter writer from Marion finds inconsistency in the editors' response to the attorney's letter of May 10 attacking the newspaper for factual inaccuracy regarding its position that the Government was remiss in not providing for a "land corridor" to prevent the Berlin blockade.

She indicates astutely that the editors had disregarded the fact that at the time of these negotiations, at Tehran, Yalta, and Potsdam, the Allies included Russia—and that, obviously, to have sought provisions which indicated absence of trust could have compromised the remaining war effort, especially as early as Tehran in November, 1943, when there remained a fear that Russia might, out of frustration with the continuing pounding from the Nazis without a "second front" being opened in Europe by the Western allies, conclude a separate peace with Hitler.

She finds that the present impasse in Europe was the result of aligning with a country which ultimately could not be trusted. She adds, without very much wisdom, that getting into such bad company was no more deplorable than not knowing when to get out of it.

In that opinion she neglects to reckon with the fact that the Western nations did not ally with Russia out of mere whimsy or because they thought they were joining with "good company", but did so for strategic considerations, to attenuate their own losses by providing an Eastern pincer against the Reich, ultimately to allow crushing it from both sides simultaneously, the Western Allies having swept in from North Africa into Sicily and Southern Italy in 1943-44 to cut off the Mediterranean and take Italy out of the war. Having Russia as an ally and providing it lend-lease arguably saved hundreds of thousands of lives of Americans, British, and French who would have otherwise died in a single-front offensive against Germany. And it also prevented Russia from concluding the separate peace with Germany, allowing Germany then to devote all of its efforts on the Western front.

A letter writer urges developing to the fullest extent the state's agricultural resources through institutes conducted by the Agricultural Extension Division of N. C. State.

A letter writer favors a pay-as-you-go program for roads and schools rather than issuance of bonds. He appears to confuse war savings bonds, sold individually, with the local and state bond measures, authorizing the municipality or state to borrow to the amount of the bond.

A letter writer comments on the editorial of May 4, "Home Rule for Schools", which opposed Federal aid to education, favored by Senators Clyde Hoey and Frank Graham and the Congressional delegation of the state. He agrees with the editorial and had written each member of the delegation urging opposition.

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