The Charlotte News

Saturday, October 1, 1949


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that a proposed report by the joint Atomic Energy Committee clearing the Atomic Energy Commission of charges of gross mismanagement made by Senator Bourke Hickenlooper caused the Committee to devolve to factional disputes, with the Senator calling it a "whitewash". Senator Brien McMahon of Connecticut, chairman of the Committee, said that there was no need for change of management at the AEC and that it was not guilty of the charges brought by Senator Hickenlooper. The several weeks of hearings on the matter had concluded the previous July 11.

The preliminary draft report also said that any leaks of the atomic bomb information which might have helped the Russians had occurred before the AEC took over control in 1947 from the Army engineers, and that atomic production had reached a low point before AEC had taken over the project.

Marshal Tito charged Russia, in response to Russia's diplomatic note ending the 1945 20-year friendship accord, with trying to introduce spies into Yugoslavia's army and Government to overthrow the Government. Hungary followed Russia's lead and denounced its mutual aid treaties with Yugoslavia. Tito charged that the treason trial of Hungarian Communist leader Laszlo Rajk, charged with conspiring with Tito to overthrow the Communist Government in Hungary, had been arranged as a pretext for ending the treaty.

In Shanghai, the Nationalist Foreign Office said that two of three American merchant ships held at the blockade line would be released when the matter of cargo and passengers had been determined. The two ships had been detained for allegedly violating orders for closure of Communist ports. The third ship, said the Foreign Office, had been warned not to enter Shanghai, had not done so, and so was not detained.

Two thousand East Germans invaded the West German British zone without proper authorization in celebration of relaxed East German border restrictions by the Russians as part of "World Peace Day". Thousands more were expected to enter the American and British zones in the ensuing two days. A similar relaxation of border restrictions had occurred on September 2-3, resulting in 40,000 East Germans entering the Western zones.

After failing to reach agreement on pension and social insurance fund contributions by the steel companies, about a half million United Steelworkers struck at midnight, shutting down iron and steel mills across the country. The President said that he had no intention of intervening in the steel strike anytime soon. It was the first nationwide steel strike since 1946. No violence was reported. Two firms, including Kaiser Steel, continued to operate as their contracts ran through October 15. Combined with the coal strike and other strikes, over a million workers and miners were idle.

According to the Bureau of Mines, coal supplies were higher two weeks into the coal strike than at the same time the previous year.

An Air Force B-17 flew into the top of a mesa during a storm along the Colorado-New Mexico border, killing all ten men aboard.

In Milwaukee, a landing gear collapsed when a Northwest Airlines plane landed, but the 36 passengers escaped without injury.

In Chattanooga, Tenn., a B-25 engine caught fire and the pilot, who guided the plane away from a populated area, was killed, as the other eight members of the crew bailed out, all except one surviving.

In England, the "Flying Triangle", a new craft with secret equipment being tested for the armed forces, crashed, killing its pilot.

In Derby, Eng., a 90-year old man was giving up his car after 40 years of driving for there being "too many road hogs".

In Honesdale, Pa., a two-year old child, missing for 24 hours, was found in the woods a mile from her home.

In San Francisco, the Rt. Reverend Stephen Neil, assistant to the Archbishop of Canterbury, spoke to the youth convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church, saying that few realized the threat of Communism to the Christian churches of the world. The World Council of Churches had dedicated itself, he said, to fight the problem.

In Chicago, an 83-year old man asked a 60-year old widow to marry him after just three months of courtship. She said that he had kissed her on their first date. They had obtained their marriage license.

No time to waste at 83.

A prisoner, Frank Grandstaff, serving a life term for being declared an habitual criminal under Tennessee law, had written a 70-page cantata on the town of Big Spring, Texas, and was thus flown to the town by the State of Texas to hear it performed in person the following day. Texas officials had persuaded Tennessee Governor Gordon Browning to release him for the occasion. Mr. Grandstaff said that he wanted to play the piano and then would be ready to return to prison. There was discussion in Texas of asking Tennessee to pardon him.

That will depend on what it sounds like. If it's dreadful or some corn pone drivel, you get a double life term.

In Charlotte, the new city engineer, Lloyd Richey, was busy laying plans for extensions of some streets and conducting surveys of others to open dead-ends.

Let's get those opened.

On the editorial page, "Road Bond Test Case" tells of a Durham road builder's test case regarding diversion of rural road bond money for purchase of road building equipment so that the State and not private enterprise could build the roads. The object of the suit was to have all of the money spent only for new roads and not improvements of old roads and to block expenditure for the equipment.

The piece concludes that competitive bidding was the best assurance that the State's resources were being spent wisely and that when a State agency started constructing roads, there would be no guarantee that a lot of the money would not be diverted to political purposes.

"United Front for Textiles" finds the establishment in Charlotte of the American Cotton Manufacturers Institute to be final proof of the fact that the nation's textile industry, about a third of the world's textile industry, was now centered in the South. The industry was first among the nation's manufacturing industries. The industry faced new competition from synthetic fibers and so had formed a united front through the new organization.

The Institute's office at Clemson College would also be important to advance cotton growing in a laboratory setting.

It was, it says, a momentous step in the long history of textiles.

That's exciting. It is one giant leap for mankind.

"One-Man 'Conspiracy'" remarks on the article from Fortune on the page which told of John L. Lewis not only protecting the miners but also the coal industry from competition from other forms of energy. He was beyond antitrust laws as he could not be charged with conspiracy for the fact that he was a one-man show and, moreover, labor unions were not included in the Clayton Act prohibitions on restraint of trade and illegal combinations.

When the Sherman and Clayton Acts had been adopted in 1890 and 1914, respectively, there was no issue of labor dominance. As there was no question that UMW enjoyed a monopoly, it urges that the Congress revise the antitrust laws to include union activity to provide the people of the country some measure of protection against "unbridled aspirations of a labor czar."

"Germ Warfare" tells of the subject being more popular with fiction writers than with the scientists and military because of its lack of practical usage in the field. The U.S. was spending in consequence only 3.5 million dollars on its development as opposed to 3.5 billion on atomic research. Howard Blakeslee, science editor for the Associated Press, had explained that no one knew how to start an epidemic and that even if one could be started, it was liable to backfire, that germs and viruses could not be stored, and the scientists were discovering antidotes as fast as they found new germs. Furthermore, science knew how to protect crops and livestock from most known diseases.

Drew Pearson tells of the British trying to prevent President Truman's announcement of the first successful test by the Russians of the atomic bomb. The British deputy undersecretary of foreign affairs flew to New York from Washington to plead with Secretary of State Acheson not to release the information on the belief that it would panic the American people, that it should instead be slowly leaked via newspapers to soften the blow. Another argument posed by some in the U.S. military was that not announcing U.S. knowledge of the blast would permit intelligence operatives more closely to scrutinize the Russians. The President, in the end, was adamant, however, and did not consult with the Cabinet before making the announcement.

Just as the news of the Soviet detonation was imparted beforehand to the joint Atomic Energy Committee at the Capitol, a thunderbolt rocked the building, causing a momentary start by the members, until they realized its origin was not an atomic blast.

He again tells of only three or four Southern coal operators failing to contribute to the UMW welfare fund since the expiration of the contract on July 1, not the pervasive failure as suggested to the miners by John L. Lewis, prompting their walkout after UMW suspended payments on the premise that the fund was threatened with depletion. The pension part of the fund was never overdrawn and could have continued payments. Only about a million of the balance of 14.6 million dollars in the fund had been earmarked for pension benefits.

Since April, 1948, only about a third of the 104 million dollars paid from the fund had been for pension payments. The remainder had been overspent, though on mostly laudable enterprises, the bulk, 64 million, for disability payments and assistance to widows. But for lack of accounting, the miners had no way of knowing to what the payments had gone.

He notes that John L. Lewis had not been chary about depleting the fund, so that he could come back and ask for more from the operators.

A piece from Fortune extensively addresses the power of John L. Lewis to stop the U.S. economy with a coal strike. There was no concentration of power in the country as in Mr. Lewis and UMW. He had nearly blanket immunity from antitrust action.

Natural gas might one day make the problem obsolete but for now it remained a problem. A solution was to try to fit coal into the modern economic system, making antitrust laws apply to labor through legislation, preserving thereby competition.

As long as Mr. Lewis and the coal industry could maintain or increase their share of the national income, notwithstanding their contribution to that income, so could every other union and industry in the country.

Marquis Childs tells of the Democrats appraising their public power conference in San Francisco while the Republicans assessed their farm conference in Sioux City, Iowa. The Democrats were optimistic; the Republicans, less so, complaining of the difficulty in speaking against a "giveaway" program as the Brannan agricultural plan. Moreover, the Farmers Union, the only farm organization to support the Brannan plan, showed up to provide support for it, causing the Republican meeting to sound more as a debate.

The Democrats' conference, by contrast, was carefully organized to discuss power dams and reclamation projects, of immediate concern to Western states.

The primary appeal of the Brannan plan was to maintain consumer prices at a low level while still giving price supports for farmers on perishable produce.

But former Agriculture Secretary, Senator Clinton Anderson of New Mexico, had developed his own plan, making him not a strong advocate on the 1950 Congressional campaign trail, where the plan would enjoy great popularity.

Robert C. Ruark tells of a challenged "umpirical" decision at the plate in a critical game between the American League co-leaders New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox, prompting American League president William Harridge to require an apology from manager Casey Stengel, catcher Ralph Houck and rightfielder Cliff Mapes. A Boston player had "slud" into home and the throw to make him out had plenty of time to beat him to the plate. But umpire Will Grieve announced the runner safe as he had "slad" rather than "slud" under the ball. The run won the game and could mean the difference regarding which team would win the pennant.

Mr. Ruark questions why it was that an umpire always was right, when even the President, even the Supreme Court and generals, could be wrong at times. He does not challenge Mr. Grieve's decision per se, but rather the fascist notion that the umpire had to be right all the time. He favors setting up photoeyes which could occasionally overrule the umpire, just as horse race results were recorded and subject to further review. He wants to know when baseball had become nobler than the "sport of kings" or "less susceptible to the margin for error".

We would have added here a question about a questionable review of a safety registered by UNC in yesterday's UNC versus Florida State football game in Tallahassee, the initially ruled safety having been overturned on review, resulting in the start of a long touchdown drive by Florida State to shift momentum in the game. It would have been 30 to 14 otherwise, with UNC getting the ball with six minutes remaining in the third quarter on a free kick. The ruling, after review, was that the ostensible safety was not so, even though the UNC player tackled the Florida State quarterback off of his feet as he moved backward in the field of play, resulting in his plainly hitting his knee and feet inside the Florida State end zone. But his "forward progress" was ruled to be at the two-yard line. Well, how can you have forward progress when the quarterback was not moving forward, but rather backward, getting ready to throw the ball or scrambling to avoid the tackle?

And even in the early portion of that subsequent touchdown drive, another controversial call took place, roughing the kicker, when Florida State was forced to punt on fourth down, resulting in their receiving a first down and a new breath of life. Since when does unavoidable incidental contact with the punter, after the punt is cleanly away, brushing up ever so slightly against his side, result in "roughing the kicker"?

But we shall refrain from any such protests as UNC won the game, in the end, 37 to 35 on a last second 54-yard field goal, the same score by which UNC beat Florida State in Tallahassee in 2010, the last time the teams met. Florida State, moments earlier, with 23 seconds remaining, had scored a touchdown to take their first lead of the game at 35 to 34, after a previous blocked UNC extra point attempt with two and a half minutes to play. UNC had led by as much as 21 to 0 in the second quarter.

It was very exciting and we congratulate the Tar Heels on a very nice win against the number 12 Seminoles, a small step for man.

But the referees were nearly consigned to the Nether regions, had it not been for the saving grace of the giant kick for mankind at the end.

W. T. Bost of the Greensboro Daily News tells of Governor Kerr Scott's private secretary, John Marshall, sniffing that the type people who voted for Governor Scott in 1948 were not the type people who had the time and money to attend football games. He had made the statement in response to booing of the Governor at the UNC-N.C. State game in Chapel Hill the previous Saturday when he had been the halftime guest to announce construction by the State of the new hospital in Chapel Hill.

In response, Mr. Bost says that many of the Governor's high-ranking political supporters and the Governor, himself, had the time and money to be at the football game. Many who had voted for him no longer supported him and vice versa. It was not clear whether the boos were from those who supported him originally and now did not. The loudest crescendo of boos appeared to emanate from the guest boxes on the visitors' side of the stadium. He thinks it might be explained by the sheep following after the ram.

Mr. Marshall had been a football player at Wake Forest, famous for kicking an extra point, but now was trying to kick the point for the Governor before the touchdown. He thinks the kick should have been blocked and, besides, he concludes, Mr. Marshall was offside.

We'll have to bring in the line judge on that one there to see whether he done slud acrost in the mud or was cleanly threw out.

Here, incidentally, the ytilaer morf seegufer, stun-ynnug rieht dna setteroirrawofni gnitavilas eht lla rof, skaelikiw morf esaeler tsetal.

Remember, dulsdnal a yb ynnod-ynnoc gip s'ti yas-suh sllop eht lla!

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