The Charlotte News

Monday, January 23, 1950


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that that the President asked Congress in his proposed tax package to offset any reductions in his request for reduced excise taxes, not specific as to amount, by plugging loopholes in existing tax laws, with the biggest such loopholes being in the oil and mining depletion allowances. He also proposed a "moderate" increase in corporate tax on income above $50,000 and that the present 53 percent tax on corporate income between $25,000 and $50,000 instead be reduced to the same rate as that above $50,000—which sounds odd, but apparently the brackets were regressive to some degree.

House Speaker Sam Rayburn effectively delayed for at least two additional weeks floor consideration of the controversial bill to create the Fair Employment Practices Commission by recognizing a bill regarding Alaskan statehood. The rule allowed for a committee chairman to bring to the floor any bill stuck in committee for three weeks, but only allowed such consideration on the second and fourth Mondays of each month, with recognition of a committee chairman left to the discretion of the Speaker. Mr. Rayburn said that in light of the bitter debate preceding the Friday vote which defeated the proposed Rules Committee rule change to rescind the rule, the atmosphere for debating FEPC was not yet right. Congressman Franklin Roosevelt, Jr., then introduced a petition to discharge the FEPC bill from the Rules Committee, requiring a majority vote of the House.

The President met with the Joint Chiefs to discuss whether to accept a compromise on extension of the draft law, set to expire at the end of June. He had urged Congress to extend the draft for three years, but members of the House Armed Services Committee had indicated a desire to keep the law only on a standby basis. No one had been inducted pursuant to the draft in more than a year.

U.S. Solicitor General Philip Perlman told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that the Constitution did not bar the United States from entering the U.N. convention which denounced genocide. Dean Rusk, Deputy Undersecretary of State, and future Secretary of State under Presidents Kennedy and Johnson, supported Mr. Perlman's contentions and advocated ratification of the agreement, setting an example for other U.N. members. The Committee was holding hearings on the matter, submitted by the President for ratification the previous June.

In Helmstedt, Germany, the Russians were allowing thirteen Berlin-bound trucks per hour through their checkpoints in an apparent relaxation of a traffic slowdown. Traffic continued, however, to be backed up for a mile and a half at the checkpoint, where normally 30 trucks per hour passed. The delay had begun the previous day, with only four trucks per hour passing the checkpoint. The Russians had also delayed entry of three American military rail trains into Berlin, lifted after six hours. The actions appeared to be in reprisal for the January 17 American order to use the Reichsbahn railway station in West Berlin for the West Berlin police, an order reversed the previous Saturday by U.S. commander in West Berlin, Maj. General Maxwell Taylor. The original order had been imposed, according to a reliable source, without the knowledge of General Taylor. General Taylor had defended the purpose of the original order on Saturday by saying that it was designed to give the railway station for the use of West Berlin because it had been used for retaliation against West Berliners previously by the Russians, who controlled railway traffic in Berlin. The previous spring, the Russian authorities had initially refused to pay West Berlin railway workers in more valuable Western marks, prompting a strike of the workers.

In Indonesia, Indonesian rebel guerrillas, led by a former Dutch captain, attacked the West Java capital of Bandoeng, reportedly capturing the Indonesian Army headquarters. It was the first serious threat to the new United States of Indonesia.

The "no contract, no work" coal strike of 90,000 soft coal miners in West Virginia and Western Pennsylvania, primarily in captive steel company mines, had been reduced to 60,000 miners. UMW locals comprising 37,000 miners had voted during the weekend to end the strike.

Senator Willis Robertson of Virginia denounced John L. Lewis for curtailing coal production and introduced legislation which would subject labor unions to criminal prosecution for antitrust violations in some instances.

In Norristown, Pa., an eighteen-year old boy who had his heart ripped open by a knife was saved by surgery which repaired the rip, the second time in the hospital's history that such an operation had successfully been performed.

Next time, stay away from those kinds of girls.

In Charlotte, a man was arrested for the attempt to dynamite the broadcasting tower of Charlotte radio station WBT, located in Columbia, S.C. He had allegedly lit the fuse of a five-stick dynamite bundle and tossed it toward the base of the tower. Police, however, having found the dynamite in a nearby patch of woods the day before, had been aware of the planned attack, had treated the dynamite so that it would not explode, and were on hand when the man threw the sticks.

Buying dynamite in the area of Charlotte was considered as easy as buying a pack of bobby pins. Restrictions imposed on sales during the war had been released at war's end. Ban bobby pins and dynamite together.

On the editorial page, "Mr. Gray Fills the Bill" applauds the decision of the special committee of trustees of UNC for their recommendation that Secretary of the Army Gordon Gray be named the Greater University's next president. His name would be presented to the Board of Trustees on February 6—and he would be approved.

Many of his friends had hoped that he would run for governor a few years hence and then, perhaps, go on to the Senate. But he appeared willing to forgo this political career to serve the University, characteristic of his public service.

He had graduated from UNC and Yale Law School, then joined a New York law firm, but then returned to Winston-Salem to establish a law firm there. Eleven years earlier, he had purchased the Winston Salem Journal and the Twin City Sentinel, forming Piedmont Publishing Co., turning both newspapers into vital publications.

After America's entry to the war, in 1942, while serving as a State Senator, he entered the Army as a private and advanced to become a captain in the European theater by the time of his discharge in 1945. He then served another term as State Senator before being tapped by the President to be Assistant Secretary of War in fall, 1947, then becoming Undersecretary in May, 1949, then Secretary the following June. He had served the country well in the latter post.

The piece then quotes from an editorial in The News from the previous April regarding the qualifications for the successor as president of the University, following the appointment of Frank Graham as Senator. It finds that Mr. Gray fulfilled all of the qualifications then cited.

"The Children Need Help" tells of the State Conference on Special Education revealing that 85,000 children in the state, 10 to 12 percent of the students, were mentally and physically handicapped. Of those, 20,000 needed institutional care. Nearly a third of the juvenile delinquents in the state's five correctional facilities were mentally deficient. The statistics suggested that the State needed to provide a new, intensive program of instruction for these children. Had such a program existed, those in trouble might have been kept away from crime.

But the path to provide such special education was not clear as the State was having problems providing education for its other students. A thorough survey would be necessary by competent specialists to determine the appropriations needed for such a program from the 1951 Legislature.

"The Man Who Liked Weather" tells of a man known to the editors who would rather miss a meal than the weather report, rose early each morning to glean the facts of the nation's weather. He followed the mercury as closely as some did murder mysteries. While he did not adjust his personal habits accordingly, not turning off the water, for instance, before his pipes froze, he could tell anyone the weather at any location upon request. It concludes that he was the product of a shrinking world in the Twentieth Century.

He must have been a radical.

Drew Pearson tells of resigning Atomic Energy Commission chairman David Lilienthal making a plea to Joint Chiefs chairman General Omar Bradley not to develop the hydrogen bomb before exhausting all means of negotiating atomic weapons control with the Russians. He favored appealing to the Russian people to force Stalin to come to terms.

During the pre-Hiroshima days of the Manhattan Project, the scientists of the Project were divided into three groups regarding whether the bombs should be dropped on enemy cities. One group wanted it dropped only on an uninhabited area initially, while another was opposed to dropping it at all while warning the Japanese of its potential for total destruction. A third group, including Dr. Robert Oppenheimer and Dr. Harold Urey, favored its use, until after the photographs came back of the devastating results of the bombs, at which time those scientists began uniformly campaigning against its future use. The AEC thus had been divided since. Dr. Oppenheimer told Congress that the scientists had believed at the time of Hiroshima and Nagasaki that the demonstration of the bomb would be the best argument for future peace.

The scientists in opposition and Mr. Lilienthal planned to form a group, in association with church groups, to crusade for control.

Lewis Strauss of the AEC believed, however, that the Russians would not agree to reasonable control and inspection and so favored development of the hydrogen bomb to maintain superiority over the aggressor, Russia. Mr. Strauss, initially a dissenter on the AEC, was now the majority leader on the Commission. The National Security Council and the joint Atomic Energy Committee of Congress supported his view. The decision on development of the hydrogen bomb was now with the President.

American intelligence was familiar with Russia's atomic facility located 55 miles from Mt. Ararat, at Atomgrad. The proximity to Mt. Ararat had undoubtedly led Russia to prevent American missionaries from seeking Noah's Ark in that location.

At a recent White House staff conference, the President reasserted confidence in Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson, thought by some to be on the way out. He instructed Undersecretary of State James Webb to silence any rumors out of the State Department to the contrary.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop discuss the political prospects of Congressman Franklin Roosevelt, Jr., who was thought to be a leading contender for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in New York. His principal opposition would be the Democratic state chairman, Paul Fitzpatrick. Gaining the endorsements of Bronx boss Ed Flynn and Liberal Party leader David Dubinsky would be critical to his chances.

But if, as rumored, Thomas Dewey intended to end his political career and if Senator Irving Ives did not get in the race for governor as the Republican nominee, then it was not as likely that the Democrats would turn to FDR, Jr., a fiery stump speaker, as he was only 35 and also hampered by the fact that brother James was likely to be the Democratic nominee for governor in California.

Regardless, the Alsops view him as someone with a bright political future ahead.

As it turned out, Governor Dewey would run for a third term and win. Mr. Roosevelt would run for State attorney general in 1954 but lose to Congressman Jacob Javits. He would leave Congress in 1955 and would run later for governor of New York, in 1966, but lose to two-term incumbent Nelson Rockefeller.

Robert C. Ruark, in Sydney, tells of receiving bad news from home, that his editor wanted him to return from the road and go back to work after three months. So, he had to bid adieu to Australia and take the next flight back to New York.

He had covered 30,000 miles, across the country to San Francisco, then to Honolulu and finally to Melbourne and Sydney.

His wife had accompanied him and even contributed to an Australian publication. He had, nevertheless, been able to bet on the horses, but had not done very well, getting beaten on five photo finishes in two days, a series of second-place finishes notwithstanding, as he had bet on them to win.

He was consoling himself with the fact that it was reported to be warm in New York, but, with his luck, looked forward to greeting a blizzard upon arrival.

He concludes by saying so long to Sydney and that he would see it again during World War III.

A letter writer favors women taking charge of Charlotte's management of finances and government. She disfavors the decision to revalue property to raise revenue for needed projects, ventures that with various revenue coming in from such things as ABC controlled sale of liquor, there ought be enough revenue on hand to meet the needs of the community. She thinks that women could show the city fathers how better to stretch the dollars to avoid having their one remaining ragged blouse ripped from their backs.

A letter writer thinks that as long as Charlotte was being considered as the location for the new eastern Baptist Theological Seminary, its Baptist congregations ought take the lead in eliminating such problems as alcohol abuse through legalized sale, juvenile delinquency, and gambling.

A letter writer believes that James Byrnes would not mirror the attitudes of South Carolinians favoring states' rights, that instead he had spent his career within the New Deal and Fair Deal, disagrees therefore with the editorial judgment of The News that he would make a good governor. He believes that the Democrats had destroyed every ideology held sacred by South Carolina, but holds out hope that Mr. Byrnes would change his "spots"—an apparent subliminal reference to the Reverend Thomas Dixon's 1903 racist novel, The Leopard's Spots, revering the Klan.

Speaking of the Klan, what is this "movement" to which the new "President" and his "press secretary" and others in this ridiculous new Administration in 2017 continually refer? They repeatedly say that the "President" is the leader of a "movement". Hey, Stupid, in this country, we do not have Presidents who lead "movements". Either you lead all of the American people or none. The term is obviously intended to be a signal to the loyal retinue of His Highness that he will be the antithesis of a President who respects civil rights and that for which the Civil Rights movement of the 1950's and 1960's in this country stood.

Furthermore, we cannot understand how this Idiot proposes to give government back to the "people" by being the leader of some flea-bitten racist, xenophobic, mysogynous, paranoid "movement", the attributes serving as the basis for his campaign. The rhetoric, frankly, hearkens back to Nazi Germany and the Deep South which resisted for so long civil rights—the same region, save Texas, which voted in heavy numbers for His Highness.

The American people, especially the 54 percent of the electorate which voted against any such "movement", need to serve notice loudly and clearly to this "President" that we do not wish to be part of his "movement", "America First" and that movement's anti-Semitic past included.

The rhetoric is emblematic of how completely out of touch these people are with the mainstream of American society, how completely in denial of their true status they are, that they would have the temerity to assert, based on a "President" "elected" by a decided minority, not even a plurality, of the American people, that he is the leader of a "movement".

Take your tin-pot folk "movement", you backwater Idiot, and stick it where the moon does not shine. You are not our leader and we, the majority of the American people, are not part of your "movement".

If he really wishes to give government back to the people, as individual citizens, then, obviously, he should nominate someone to the Supreme Court who is not in favor of the Citizens United decision, that which in 2010, by a 5 to 4 vote, cut the heart out of McCain-Feingold and its campaign finance reform to get large sums of corporate money out of political campaigns, that decision holding that corporations as entities are "persons" within the meaning of the Constitution and so entitled to free political speech as individuals.

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