The Charlotte News

Friday, May 27, 1949


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in Paris, at the Council of Foreign Ministers meeting, the three Western powers had drafted a proposal to unify East and West Germany. The West wanted to provide management of economic and political affairs to the Germans and the four powers to retain only supervision of security, demilitarization, industrial production, and foreign policy matters. Further, the three nations would propose that Russia would not receive further reparations from West Germany or German production generally, and that Russia would loosen its grip on the economy of the Eastern zone by dissolving all industrial trusts it had formed. The proposals would be provided to the Russians within a couple of days.

The Berlin rail strike continued to hamper transport of supplies coming to the city, reliant again on the American-British airlift. The railway workers wanted, among other things, to be paid in Western marks. The railway system, by four-power agreement, was controlled by the Soviets. The Russians blamed the strikers for the tie-up of supplies.

In Shanghai, the Chinese Communists enveloped the city as the last Nationalist troops surrendered in the northern part of the city. Communist political leaders began taking over the Government of the greatest Asian commercial center and its six million people, fourth largest city in the world. The Nationalist garrison at Woosung folded its tents and Nationalist Government officials evacuated down the Yangtze into the East China Sea, leaving behind the Nationalist troops who had failed to make the ten-mile northward march down the Whangpoo River escape corridor from Shanghai to Woosung. The Nationalist troops in the city had stayed at their guns as long as they could because they were afraid to quit, were trying to occupy the Communist troops to protect the Shanghai garrison's withdrawal to Woosung.

Joint Senate-House Atomic Energy Committee chairman Senator Brien McMahon of Connecticut said that measures were being considered whereby the Committee would need to approve all major spending projects undertaken by the Atomic Energy Commission. The Committee recessed until Tuesday to consider further the charges of mismanagement brought against AEC chairman David Lilienthal by Senator Bourke Hickenlooper, at the request of Senator Hickenlooper that he might prepare his case.

The President said that he regretted that trivial incidents—presumably in reference to the AEC scholarship provided the UNC graduate student who was an admitted Communist and the disappearance of a minute amount of U-235 from a Chicago laboratory—had been blown out of proportion so as to threaten the integrity of the atomic program. He accused the critics of using the AEC for a pre-election campaign and said that it was high time that people stopped becoming hysterical at the mention of the word "atom". The President said that he was satisfied with the work of the AEC.

Britain refused to extradite Gerhard Eisler to the United States to serve sentences on two convictions for falsification of a passport and contempt of Congress while testifying before HUAC. It left Mr. Eisler free to return to the Soviet zone of Germany and escape U.S. custody permanently. Mr. Eisler had sought political asylum on the basis that he was convicted on political grounds. The British Magistrate ruled that the U.S. had failed to prove Mr. Eisler had been convicted on an extraditable offense, as the passport offense was not the same as perjury, which was extraditable under British law. The contempt charge was also deemed not subject to extradition. There was no right of appeal for the U.S. Government, as confirmed by the State Department.

Attorney General Tom Clark said that the U.S., nevertheless, had not given up its effort at extradition, but he did not elaborate. Mrs. Eisler, previously free on bond awaiting a deportation hearing, was taken into custody in New York pending the hearing.

In Montreat, N.C., Southern Presbyterians met in conference and were asked to support an amendment to the Constitution to make the country a "Christian nation". The proposed amendment would also safeguard the right of minority groups to worship as they pleased.

So we thereby should abrogate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment and open up a Pandora's box of litigation and unknown consequences, overturning 160 years of legal precedent on freedom of religion in the country?

The new moderator of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S., W. E. Price, 72, said that he favored allowing divorce only on scriptural grounds and opposed Presbyterian ministers remarrying divorced individuals. He was mum on unification of the Southern branch of the Presbyterian Church with the Northern branch.

In Vallaurus, France, a Communist Mayor performed the wedding ceremony between actress Rita Hayworth and Prince Aly Khan. They then drove away in a Cadillac convertible to a reception at the Chateau de L'Horizon, the Prince's house. Everybody's clothes are described, including the Mayor's. It was Ms. Hayworth's third marriage and the Prince's second.

The marriage would last four years in Xanadu.

On page 12-A, Tom Fesperman of The News tells of jitterbugging in North Carolina giving way to the older steps of the square dance, Digging for the Oyster or Whirl in a Wagon Wheel.

That sounds terribly suggestive of stimulation of prurient interests.

On the editorial page, "School Bond Issue—III" again addresses the 25 million dollar school construction bond issue set for statewide referendum on June 4. The first 25 million allocated by the Legislature would be provided to each county in pro rata share, $250,000 without regard to population or need. The bond issue would be allocated, if approved, on the basis of average daily attendance of pupils in each county. The latter measure was better than the former but still inadequate. It provides examples among the counties as to why that was so. A lengthy table on the page covers the subject more thoroughly.

The poor counties, ten in number, would get more than they needed to provide for first class school buildings while the other 90 counties, footing the bill, would not receive enough money from the program for their needs.

The Education Commission had advocated in its report equality of educational opportunity throughout the state. The 50-million dollar program would not meet this worthy goal, especially under the 25 million dollar bond issue which would be paid from the general fund based on tax revenue collected from the wealthier counties which would benefit the least under the program.

"The Divorce Problem" tells of the high divorce rate being blamed on the war but that it was not so simple as that. Dr. Roy Dickerson, executive director of the Social Hygiene Society of Cincinnati and a respected expert on marriage counseling, believed that the home, school, and church had to shoulder part of the blame. Speaking in Charlotte during the week, Dr. Dickerson said that young people had not been adequately educated for successful marriage. The sex factor in human life had not been properly stressed. Childbirth, mature love, and adult responsibilities had not been taught adequately by teachers, parents, or clergymen.

The present children had to be so educated to avoid the pitfalls encountered by their elders.

A piece from the Fayetteville Observer, titled "Auto Accident Liability", tells of three war veterans in debtor's prison in Vermont after an automobile accident and proof that each had intended maliciously to avoid having liability insurance to avoid payment of damages. Publicity which the veterans were receiving would probably help them raise the money necessary to pay the damages and get out of jail.

In North Carolina, a driver without insurance had a choice of paying for the damages or forfeiting his or her license to drive. A better plan, it posits, was to require every driver to carry liability insurance.

Drew Pearson tells of waste in Government as exampled by the Lilypons, Md., post office located in a cow pasture, kept open by the influence of Maryland Senator Millard Tydings, to benefit a single goldfish company at a cost of $5,000 per year. Postal inspectors had determined the previous fall that it ought be closed, as it served no other business or individuals beyond the goldfish company. Sometimes only five pieces of mail per day were handled and even at peak, only 100, with the average at about 75. The goldfish company would not be unduly inconvenienced as the regular post office was only three miles away.

In addition to the post office, the company received a subsidy from the Government of $300 per year and $960 for truck hire, on top of which one of the company's owners served for a time as postmaster.

There was no original objection by Maryland's Senators to closure of the post office until a friend of Senator Tydings was retained by the goldfish company as their attorney and a friend of Maryland's other Senator, Herbert O'Conor, was retained as another attorney, both about nine months earlier. The post office remained open.

He notes that though opera singer Lily Pons sent her Christmas cards each year from the post office, she had nothing to do with its retention against the will of local residents.

Stewart Alsop, in Canton, China, tells of the official capital of what remained of Nationalist China to be showing decay. There were good men there, intelligent and patriotic, but who were disillusioned beyond description. One of China's former leaders said that he felt he was watching his parents being murdered, was powerless to stop it.

The Nationalist Government had really ceased to exist save for a superficial shell. The power to govern was dead. Canton was threatened with imminent fall. General Hsueh Yueh was the military leader and had fought the Japanese like a tiger during the war, but could do little or nothing to save Canton now. There were not enough troops who wanted to fight.

There were two forces between Canton and the Communists, one in Fukien Province on the coast to the north and the other west of Kwangsi Province. The former was the last with allegiance to Chiang Kai-Shek while the latter was loyal to Acting President Li Tsung-Jen and his General Pai Chung-Hsi. If the forces could join to defend Canton, it might be saved. But the three leaders had no common interests and no real interest in Canton. Li and Pai wanted to hold their stronghold in Kwangsi while Chiang wanted to protect Formosa off the Fukien coast.

The Communists would likely aim first at the latter position to eliminate Chiang from the mainland, relegating him to the status of a warlord ruling Formosa. Formosa was considered a strategic island fortress by Washington with its Japanese-built airfields. There had even been consideration given to American occupation of the island.

In addition to good men in the Chiang regime, some of the worst of the Kuomintang had also gone to Formosa, leaving bitter resentment among the natives of the island, who would welcome American occupation in preference. But it was believed that Chiang could hold the island indefinitely against both internal revolt and attack from the mainland.

It was reported that Chiang hoped for the outbreak of another world war by the summer of 1949. But the most relevant facts were that China had already been Balkanized, with Chiang no longer the national leader. Chiang would likely wind up in possession of Formosa, the wishes of the State Department to the contrary notwithstanding. But if the strategic importance of the island was as many in the Department believed, then it was of utmost priority to keep Formosa out of Communist hands. That strategy thus had to be included in any new American policy for the Far East.

A letter writer objects to another letter which had described FDR, Jr., as a Caesar and wanted to be rid of the "despotic" "spell of Roosevelt". The writer says that Mr. Roosevelt had honestly beaten all others on the ballot and that there was nothing wrong with his candidacy or victory.

He posits that the writer was correct in asserting a public "frenzy" regarding the Roosevelt name, as the public had great nostalgia for the New Deal, as expressed by the crowd when the sad train had passed through Charlotte bearing the body of the late President from Warm Springs, Georgia, in April, 1945.

"It was a nostalgia for the new hope instilled in human hearts—the light that came with the darkness of 10 cent cotton, $1 a day wages, and not an open bank between Charlotte and Charleston." He recommends to the correspondent comparing Roosevelt to Caesar through the words on Caesar: "This was a man, when comes such another?"

The actual quote from Antony in Shakespeare's play, oft misquoted, is: "Here was a Caesar! when comes such another?"

We are not so sure that ought be applied to FDR by friend or foe.

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