The Charlotte News

Thursday, May 6, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Representative Karl Mundt of South Dakota claimed to the House Rules Committee that 2,700 Russian spies entered the country the previous year under cloak of diplomatic immunity and that his bill, providing for registration and requiring disclosure of membership lists of the Communist Party and Communist front organizations, as well as barring Communists from holding a passport or being employed in the Federal Government, was designed to stop that flow. Three New York Congressmen opposed bringing the bill to the floor for want of adequate hearings, but Congressman Richard Nixon of California, who had chaired the HUAC subcommittee hearings on similar bills, claimed that adequate hearings had taken place before his committee.

Russian Colonel J.D. Tassojew had fled his post in Bremen, Germany, and sought political asylum in London. Russia charged that he had been kidnaped by the U.S.

The U.N. truce commission in Jerusalem continued to try to effect the proposed truce between Arabs and Jews for the city, but an authoritative source said that Arab leaders of Trans-Jordan, Lebanon, and the Arab Higher Committee had balked agreement for want of authority and were calling in higher officials.

Arabs appeared to be abandoning once all-Arab Jaffa.

In Fayetteville, N.C., dynamite exploded in front of a black church wherein a CIO organizational meeting of a hundred woodworkers, most of whom were black, was being held. No one was injured. A pickup truck was seen passing the church shortly before the blast. An explosion had occurred two weeks earlier in the old Market House. No arrests had yet been made in either incident.

Senator Glen Taylor was fined $50 and received a six-months suspended jail sentence in Birmingham, Alabama, for attempting to use a black entrance to the Alliance Gospel Tabernacle wherein was being held a meeting, before which he was invited to speak, of the Southern Negro Youth Congress—originally set to occur at the 16th Street Baptist Church but withdrawn after duress was applied to its pastor by the Birmingham police by detaining him at the Birmingham jail until he complied. The judge gave Senator Taylor a tongue-lashing. Fortunately, he enjoyed Congressional immunity from its worst aspects.

Public Safety Commissioner Bull Connor was in the corner playing with his hose and teaching tricks to his favorite black German shepherd.

After Senator Taylor had completed his ultimately unsuccessful appeal of the conviction for disorderly conduct, Mr. Connor appeared to be engaged in a peel of his own.

Senator Taylor's defense might have been better served, at least in terms of increasing his chances for acceptance of his eventually denied petition for writ of certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court, had his attorneys pursued also an argument that the disorderly conduct ordinance of Birmingham was void for vagueness and overbroad in that it embraced Constitutionally protected conduct, including free speech, similar to the arguments which proved successful later in Papachristou v. City of Jacksonville in 1972, as presaged by Justice William O. Douglas's dissent to the en banc dismissal of an initially granted writ in Hicks v. District of Columbia in 1966, with respect to loitering and vagrancy statutes. But they were trying to challenge directly the segregation ordinance, going at it through the wrong door, as he was not charged with its violation. It would have served the cause of civil rights as well, however, to challenge the disorderly conduct law, often used to arrest those in the South found to be demonstrating in some manner against established traditions favored by the powers that be of the moment—still sometimes is.

Incidentally, the lead attorney for Senator Taylor on his appeal, John Abt of New York, was eventually the attorney initially requested on November 22-23, 1963 by Lee Oswald to represent him. Mr. Abt, however, testified to the Warren Commission that he had never heard of Oswald prior to the assassination and was never requested by anyone to represent him.

President Truman, speaking in Washington at the National Conference on Family Life, called the housing shortage an "almost fatal" problem, seeking prompt action in the House on the long-term housing bill already passed by the Senate. He said that children and dogs were as vital to the welfare of the country as Wall Street and the railroads.

Mr. Connor apparently misread the intent of the President's statement.

The President also stated at the same event that the U.S. was committed to making the U.N. work. He did not speak about efforts in Congress to revise the U.N. organization, especially the unilateral Security Council veto.

The Senate passed a bill to appropriate 3.2 billion dollars to increase the size of the Air Force to 70 groups. The bill, already having passed the House, had to return to the House for determination on several added amendments.

Secretary of State Marshall urged the House Ways & Means Committee to renew the Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act, as its provisions were central to the success of ERP. The Committee was considering a three-year extension of the 14-year old law, set to expire June 12.

The White House had called a conference of the railroad brotherhood chieftains to try to settle the wage dispute and avert the threatened strike set for May 11 by three of the brotherhoods, eighteen having settled the previous fall on the recommendation of the fact-finding board for a 15.5-cent per hour wage increase. The three brotherhoods wanted a 30 percent increase or at least $3 per day.

Former San Francisco Mayor Roger Lapham was appointed director of the 338 million dollar program of aid to China.

In Chester, S.C., an 85-year old woman and her three grown sons, all bachelors, were found dead, the victims of razor slashes or gunshots, appearing as murder-suicide, though not yet determined who had done the killing.

In Lugoff, S.C., a 26-year old mother of two children was found dead in her home, her head having been beaten to a pulp. Her father reported seeing her husband leaving the house early that morning before the discovery by her brother of the body.

The recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions reversing misdemeanor convictions of black defendants for systematic exclusion of blacks from jury venires in Forsyth County, N.C., made it likely, according to State officials, that blacks would begin to be chosen for participation in venires, whereas it had theretofore been rare for blacks to serve on juries. The State Supreme Court had just reversed a conviction in Bertie County for the fact of no blacks being on the grand jury which indicted the black defendant, despite the county population being 60 percent black. In Forsyth County, the jury rolls had included only 250 blacks against 7,000 whites, despite blacks comprising 40 percent of the county population. Ergo, the riddle which had appeared to perplex Chief Justice Walter Stacy as to why the Supreme Court had reversed some of the Forsyth County cases and not others is likely thus explained.

In Lenoir, N.C., "Pee Wee" Cooper pleaded no contest to a charge of second degree murder of a fellow carnival worker on April 23, awaited sentence.

A prisoner who had escaped from a prison camp near Raleigh gave himself up at Central Prison the previous day without explanation, appearing nervous at the time.

On the editorial page, "Threat to Press Freedom" tells of a bill before the House Rules Committee which would enable Congressional committees to demand information from any Executive Branch department and then determine by majority vote whether to make it public, with heavy penalties for anyone who divulged confidential information. Thus, information could be controlled based on partisan interests of the majority.

The law was being demanded by those Congressmen who engaged in Red smear tactics, Clare Hoffman of Michigan, HUAC chairman J. Parnell Thomas of New Jersey, and others. It would give HUAC dictatorial power over information, such as that sought from the Commerce Department on the loyalty investigation of Dr. Edward Condon, head of the Bureau of Standards.

The piece regards the bill as a threat to freedom of the press as well, and calls for the people to put a stop to it.

"Costly Substitute for Draft" tells of Representative Leo Allen of Illinois, chairman of the Rules Committee, proposing, in lieu of the draft bill and universal military training, a stimulus to voluntary enlistments. The plan would likely lower the efficiency of the armed forces as it reduced from 80 to 70 the minimum score necessary to pass the Army's General Classification test. The proposal would cost about 1.5 billion dollars per year to implement. If it failed, the draft and UMT would then nevertheless have to be passed to maintain manpower requirements for the armed forces.

Mr. Allen's opposition stemmed from the unpopularity of the draft and UMT in the country. But both programs were deemed necessary by the military to meet security demands. Adopting Mr. Allen's proposal, it urges, would signal that military preparedness was secondary to election-year politics.

"Good News from Florence" tells of the Florence, S.C., Morning News opening its new headquarters in a structure costing $250,000. It was an impressive new plant, with a 32-page press and five new typesetting machines.

In the current edition of the newspaper were photographs exposing the conditions at the Florence County prison camp, where prisoners were crammed into cages and served food on a rough board over which there was no shelter from the weather. It reported on the mistreatment of a black youth who had been arrested for not having physical possession of his driver's license. The managing editor found the conditions condemnatory of all police brutality and signal of failed race relations.

The piece congratulates Florence for having a newspaper which adhered to high ideals of vigilance to preserve liberty.

Well, how about a campaign to integrate the schools, then, to keep the county jails less crowded?

No? We didn't think so.

Remove the separate entrances to the theaters?

Social revolution. We understand.

A piece from the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, titled "Confusion on Pike's Peak", tells of a controversy brewing over whether the remains of Brig. General Zebulon Montgomery Pike, dead for 135 years, would be removed from Sackets Harbor, N.Y., to the peak in Colorado which was named for him. One relative favored it and another opposed. He had been killed by the British at Toronto in 1813 and no one knew why he came to be buried in Sackets Harbor.

In his gold explorations of 1806, General Pike had passed the peak subsequently named for him but did not climb it. A few months after his death, Dr. Edwin James did climb the peak and gave it the General's name. The General had climbed another peak, 150 miles away, known as Long's Peak.

The piece thinks that with all the confusion, it was best to leave the General's remains where they were.

Drew Pearson tells of General Sosa Molina, War Minister of Argentina, coming, at the invitation of the State and Defense Departments, to visit the U.S. to discuss details of an agreement whereby Argentine armament plants could produce the latest American weapons. The prospect of the agreement indicated that Fascist Argentina, headed by Juan Peron, had become the chief South American ally of the U.S., supplanting Brazil. Secretary of State Marshall had approved the agreement, as had Army chief of staff General Omar Bradley. General Eisenhower, however, had opposed it in 1946. The result for Brazil would likely be disastrous.

It appeared that Secretary of the Treasury John W. Snyder would leave his position to join the Bank of America.

The IRB had begun a probe of speculators who were able to effect a shelter of 50 percent of their income by converting short-term commodities purchases into long-term purchases. They had saved about five million dollars in taxes in this manner the previous year.

Senator Kenneth Wherry, a mortician by trade, had asked the Senate chaplain to pray twice to start two successive Senate sessions to enable a bill, which was a day short of being ripe for action, to come to the floor. Senator Harley Kilgore quipped that you could "always depend on an undertaker to have everything on time for the obsequies."

He provides the inside scoop on various state Republican delegations and how they would switch if one or the other of the presidential candidates appeared unlikely to capture the nomination.

Samuel Grafton tells of both the British and Americans trying unrealistically to persuade the Jews of Palestine that to achieve peace they would need to sacrifice independence, whether on a model of trusteeship, as the U.S. proposed, or being overseen, as the British desired.

The British had withdrawn troops and then rushed them back into Palestine when the Jews refused to surrender and had won against the Arabs at Haifa and Jaffa.

America appeared feeble by not adhering to principles set forth as the basis for the U.N., that all nations should be encouraged to achieve independence. Neither the British nor the Americans could make the proposals short of support for independence look anything but contrary to their own principles.

Marquis Childs tells of the number of jobs in the country jumping from ten million to sixty million since 1938. Nevertheless, the New Deal was now considered anathema by many, that they might gradually undo the reforms of the period. The detractors tried to explain it all away as the work of a lot of do-gooders.

The basis for the New Deal was to create full employment and do away with the ten million unemployed so that they could have purchasing power and improve the overall economy. In its essence, it sought to save free enterprise from its own worst manifestations, the throwing of millions out of work.

One of the last aspects of the New Deal was the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 which established maximum hours and minimum wages. Democrats had proposed an amendment to enable committees within given industries to raise the minimum to between 75 cents and a dollar. The other proposal, sponsored by Senator Joseph Ball, was to raise it to 70 cents, but with so much red tape attached as to cause it to have little effect on wages. One expert had testified that the Ball amendment would remove many workers from the law's protections.

While it was arguable that the law was not so important in a boom cycle, that would not last forever.

A letter from A. W. Black responds to a letter responding to his previous letter anent the World Federalists and his view that they were seeking an Utopian ideal in trying to establish world government. He favors disarmament and mutual pacts not to transgress international borders.

A letter writer finds those who attend sporting events, movies, rodeos and the like on Sundays to be transgressing God's laws. He finds hypocrisy in churches which made deacons or elders of those who owned or operated such Sunday amusements.

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