The Charlotte News

Tuesday, June 28, 1949


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in West Berlin, the 38-day rail strike ended as strikers returned to the job. The rails would need to be inspected before rail service could begin anew. The West Berlin workers had been directed Saturday by Western allied order to accept a compromise form of payment in 60 percent Western marks, four times more valuable than Eastern marks, the exclusive former means of payment. The West Berlin City Government would raise the amount of Western marks to 100 percent.

The deputies of the four military occupation governors met for the first time since March, 1948, to try to lay the groundwork for agreement on trade between the Eastern and Western zones of Germany and the Eastern and Western sectors of Berlin.

The Senate approved, 50 to 40, the plan of Senator Robert Taft to allow the President to use either plant seizure or injunctions to stop strikes which imperiled the general welfare of the nation. Two separate amendments to afford one remedy and disallow the other were defeated. A third amendment, to eliminate both remedies, also was defeated.

Differences emerged in Congress regarding the 350 million dollar Federal aid to education bill as bitter exchanges took place in debate between Representatives Graham Barden of North Carolina and John Lesinski of Michigan, both Democrats. Mr. Lesinski accused Mr. Barden of writing a substitute measure which constituted an "anti-Negro" and "anti-Catholic" bill designed to kill Federal aid to education. Mr. Barden said that the statement was false. The Barden bill specifically prohibited using the money for transportation, health or other welfare activities in either private or public schools.

In Washington, Bernard Baruch told the graduating class of the Industrial College of the Armed Forces that the Truman Administration, after four years since the war, had developed no effective contingency plan for mobilization in the event of a new war. He said that the National Security Resources Board had sought to develop such a plan when Arthur M. Hill had been its chairman and that it had been blocked from doing so by the President. Mr. Hill had resigned at the end of 1948. Mr. Baruch regarded the failure as an "invitation to disaster".

In Washington, in the Judith Coplon espionage trial, the Government and the defense gave their closing summations to the jury, the Government arguing that the defendant's case was "hocus-pocus, fiction, and a smokescreen", her lawyer arguing that she had been the victim of "lies, half-truths, and innuendoes". The Government attorney arguing the case had been Ms. Coplon's former boss at the Justice Department, while the defense counsel argued that he had been part of the conspiracy which "engineered" the case against the defendant. The Government never mentioned the Justice Department attorney with whom Ms. Coplon admitted during Government cross-examination having several all-night trysts, while the defense called for speculation as to why the Government had not produced him as a witness, saying that he would not dare appear and that nothing immoral had occurred. Each side was permitted two hours for summation.

In New York, in the perjury trial of Alger Hiss, the Government attorney asked Mr. Hiss whether he recalled writing during the 1930's articles for the International Juridical Association. HUAC contended that the Association was a Communist-front organization.

The vice-chairman of the Republican Strategy Committee, Thomas Coleman, quit, telling RNC chairman Congressman Hugh Scott that he could not any longer afford the time or take the responsibility for moving the committee along. It was viewed by Republicans as a rebuff to Congressman Scott's leadership, as Mr. Coleman criticized him for his delay in appointing committee members after the formation of the committee in January to bring about unity in the divided party.

The coal operators of the North and West were reported to be prepared to reject the offer of John L. Lewis that UMW would forgo a strike the following month and extend the existing contract, set to expire at the end of June, in exchange for a three-day work week. The rejection was based on legal concerns under Government anti-trust laws, that the agreement would act as a restraint of trade. Otherwise, many operators appeared to like the idea, while others found it too costly.

In Lake Wales, Fla., laundry aniline dyes for marking diapers were blamed for the deaths of four babies, causing them to turn blue. A fifth baby was still under treatment. The Journal of the AMA had reported the previous week that 72 cases of poisoning from coal-tar derivative dyes had resulted in five infant deaths. The article had recommended boiling of diapers after the marking and before use to prevent absorption of the ink by the baby's skin.

In Asheville, a man entered a negotiated plea of guilty to illegal possession of pinball machines. He had been charged with illegally operating a gambling house and conspiring to violate gambling laws by possession of and operating slot machines. The judge had been considering a defense motion to suppress evidence it contended was seized illegally pursuant to a search warrant.

In Charlotte, the FBI had located some brocades and satins destined for the dressmaker of Perle Mesta, Washington socialite who had recently been appointed Minister to Luxembourg. For unknown reasons, the material had wound up with a man in Charlotte who said he was also perplexed at receipt of the goods.

In Hollywood, actress Jane Greer won the title of "Sweater Girl for 1949", nosing out Lana Turner, the first winner of the award ten years earlier. The president of the Motion Pictures Photographers' Association said that Ms. Greer won over Ms. Turner because the former had greater "chest appeal".

On the editorial page, "Crucial Vote on Labor Bill" tells of the Senate vote scheduled this date on the authority to seek injunctions against national strikes threatening the general welfare. It was believed that the vote would be close. The Taft-Hartley injunction provision had allowed an injunction to be sought for 80 days against such a strike or against labor practices banned by the Act, secondary boycotts and jurisdictional strikes.

The Administration's bill had sought only authority for the President to call for a 30-day truce while a fact-finding board investigated and made non-binding recommendations.

An amendment proposed by Senator Taft, ultimately adopted by the Senate this date, allowed for either plant seizure or 80-day injunction.

The piece favors the latter amendment in preference to the President's "weak" version.

"Two Berlin Events" finds that the coincidence of the first anniversary of the inception of the Berlin Air Lift and the decision of the railway workers to end their strike and return to work emphasized the long-range implications of both events.

After a year, the Air Lift had flown 235,314 missions, costing 51 lives and 250 million dollars to keep West Berliners supplied with necessities. Seven weeks earlier, Russia had agreed to lift the ten-month old blockade, but two weeks later, the West Berlin railway workers went on strike against the Russian management, primarily over being paid in Eastern marks rather than the four-times more valuable Western marks, causing the air lift to have to continue. Now that the matter was resolved, the railroads were to be operating by week's end at full capacity.

The West likely would not abandon the Air Lift, however, or reduce its load, as something else might occur to interrupt traffic from the Western zones into Berlin.

If Moscow followed the new trend toward agreement, then the two events could have far-reaching implications. But, the piece concludes, it was too early to know whether that would be the result.

"Wise Appointment" finds the County Commissioners to have wisely appointed Nash McKee as veterans' service officer. He had lost an arm in the Battle of the Bulge in December, 1944 and had taken, upon discharge from the Army, a special six-month course in veterans rights and benefits, thereafter serving as a full-time service officer for the Disabled American Veterans. He had also served one term on the Charlotte City Council, electing not to run again, after being appointed as an officer of the state American Legion.

A piece from the New York Times, titled "'Can She Bake a Cherry Pie?'" tells of it being time for baking of cherry pies, but that not just anyone with a pie pan and cherries could perform the task adequately. It required an artist, willing to pit the cherries, select the right ones in the first place, adding just the right amount of sugar and a dash of nutmeg, then a bit of flour.

It finds that while it sounded simple, there were too few artists around who could, with aplomb, complete the task.

The fourteenth in the series of articles reprinted from Fortune regarding the Hoover Commission report and recommendations on reorganization of the executive branch looks at overseas activities and Federal research and statistical reporting functions of the Government.

The Government was spending 1.25 billion dollars per year to promote economic recovery in 19 countries and because the program had been hurriedly implemented, there had been inefficiency and lack of overall planning. Friction had developed between the State Department, which formulated policy, and the Army, which administered the program. The Army wanted to leave the arena as it was not equipped to establish governments. Both ERP administration and the State Department administered ERP and there were disagreements which had developed between them as well.

In the Pacific, the Navy had been tasked for 50 years with running Guam and Samoa, and now had the former Japanese mandate islands as well under its control. The Navy was not well-equipped to perform these functions.

Likewise, the Department of Interior was ill-suited to administration of Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and several Pacific territorial islands.

The Commission had arrived at no firm recommendations to solve these problems. Its best tentative suggestion had been to establish an Administration of Overseas Affairs, embracing all of these administrative functions.

As to research, the Commission recommended that the President be authorized to coordinate all such functions and that a National Science Foundation be established to advise him.

The Commission found many faults in the gathering and reporting of government statistics, including poorly trained personnel, incomplete coordination, overlapping functions, jurisdictional conflicts, lack of comparability, lack of standard concepts, definitions, and classifications, conflicts between reports, faulty coverage in some areas, excessive detail in reporting, and delay in publications. The Commission recommended that the Office of the Budget's Division of Statistical Standards be empowered to coordinate all Government statistical services.

Drew Pearson tells of the Joint Chiefs having had one of their most significant meetings the previous week with Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson as he was preparing to testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee regarding his advice to ratify NATO and approve military aid to the Western European members. The Joint Chiefs wanted to let it be known that they had no recommendation on the military aid aspect of the policy and that the State Department had the final decision. From a military standpoint, however, they could not justify arming of 25 European divisions and were concerned that such arms could wind up in the hands of the Russians were they to invade.

Some Senators privately stated that they wondered why the Joint Chiefs waited so long to make known this point, as NATO would be a hollow shell without military aid. The main problem was tanks, of which there were none to spare. And the French believed that an army without tanks was powerless against the Russians, with eight tank divisions situated between the Vistula and Oder Rivers.

Dr. Philip Jessup of the State Department was reflecting back to early May, before the Council of Foreign Ministers meeting, when hopes were running high for settlement of the German and Berlin problems. At the time, he had conducted a frantic search for a translator for a Russian note from Andrei Gromyko containing the latter's reply to the weeks of secret negotiations with the U.S. prior to the meeting.

Mildred Wisenfeld, blind, had testified before a Congressional subcommittee the previous week, urging Congress to fund research into diseases causing blindness. She informed that relief for the 260,000 blind in the country cost 30 million dollars per year, but that only $400,000 was spent on research.

President Truman wanted the defeat at any cost in 1950 of Senators Robert Taft for Taft-Hartley, Bourke Hickenlooper for the AEC smearing, and Forrest Donnell, the latter from Missouri, thus only because he was a Republican from Missouri.

The Paris Foreign Ministers Council meeting convinced Secretary of State Acheson that former Foreign Minister V. M. Molotov was still in charge of Soviet foreign policy, not new Foreign Minister Andrei Vishinsky, who had constantly to obtain permission from Moscow for the most minor of decisions.

Intelligence sources had learned that 362 key Comintern agents had been sent by Russia to Siam to set up a base at Bangkok to win over Southeast Asia, stretching to Manila.

Stewart Alsop—not Joseph—in Batavia, Dutch East Indies, discusses the settlement in the winds between The Netherlands and Indonesia, with considerable friendly pressure being brought to bear toward that end by the U.S. representative of the U.N. Commission. The parties had worked out a modus vivendi under which Indonesian leaders would come to The Hague to negotiate a peace whereby Indonesia would become a sovereign republic.

Having such a result in the region, with establishment of a non-Communist independent government, would have great impact on stability in Southeast Asia.

Mr. Alsop cautions that while much bloodshed might yet occur before the final agreement was reached, there were positive signs that the result would be realized. It had come about through two things which distinguished the East Indies from other areas of Southeast Asia, that the U.S. had adopted, at long last, a definite policy and that hope was in the air.

A letter writer finds "Separation of Church and State" on June 21 to be a "grievous shock" and an "outburst of religious intolerance under the guise of 'democracy'!" She argues that since Catholics were a third of the population of the country and paid taxes, their children were as entitled to public funding for transportation and health services as children attending public schools. She primarily objects to the prohibition against use of public funds for other purposes in parochial schools.

She does not address, however, the overriding issue of constitutionality which would doom any such attempt at funding of religious-affiliated private schools, except as to necessary services such as health and transportation, held appropriate by the Supreme Court and not infringing separation of church and state as there was no direct impact on religious functions by such funding.

A letter writer encloses a letter to Governor Kerr Scott, congratulating him on the victories on the rural road bond issue and the school construction bond issue.

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