The Charlotte News

Friday, October 14, 1949


Site Ed. Note: The front page, emblazoned with the image of a feather, whether red or blue, we know not, reports that in New York, the eleven top American Communists, following seven hours of jury deliberations, were all convicted of violating the Smith Act and were remanded to jail pending sentencing in a week. Eight had been free on bail. Federal Judge Harold Medina then found five of the attorneys for the eleven defendants guilty of contempt during the nine-month long trial and sentenced them to terms in jail ranging from 30 days to six months. Defendant Eugene Dennis, who had acted as his own attorney, was also sentenced to six months for contempt. William Z. Foster, national head of the party, faced trial later as his health had prevented standing trial with the other eleven defendants.

Also in New York, a motion by Alger Hiss's attorneys for change of venue to Vermont for his retrial for perjury, following the previous hung jury on the first trial, was denied. The new trial was set to start November 1—only fitting for a pumpkin papers case, we suppose. Maybe if some evidence involving maple syrup had been adduced at the first trial, the judge would have been more amenable to the change of venue.

The House Appropriations Committee approved 1.3 billion dollars in foreign arms aid, as requested by the President, divided between 814 million in cash and the rest in contract authorizations. A billion was for the Western European nations of NATO and the remainder for Iran, the Philippines, Korea, Turkey and Greece, plus some for China. It was scheduled to go before the full House this date for debate and a vote.

The President was working on his relations with liberal Democrats, suggesting that he was considering running for the office again in 1952. He said that the overwhelming Senate rejection of Leland Olds for reappointment to the Federal Power Commission was a bad thing. He had appointed Minnesotan Eugenie Anderson, also a liberal and active in the Americans for Democratic Action, as ambassador to Denmark, to be, if confirmed, the first female ambassador. The ADA, in which Eleanor Roosevelt was also active, in 1948 had sought to find a replacement for Mr. Truman on the ticket before finally endorsing him after the convention.

The President at a news conference said that he regarded the probe of the role of five percenters in influence peddling in procurement of Government contracts to have been worthless, that it had not been an intelligent inquiry and was not worthy of continuation.

Former Senator Henry Dworshak, a Republican, was appointed by the Republican Governor of Idaho to replace recently deceased Democratic Senator Bert Miller. Mr. Dworshak would stand for special election in 1950.

At White Sulphur Springs, W. Va., John L. Lewis asked AFL president William Green to provide 2.5 million dollars per week for the steel strike and also promised that UMW would help. (The feather covers most of the piece.)

In Valdosta, Ga., a mother sought $300,000 in damages and reinstatement of her four children to a white school from which they had been excluded because they were said to be partially black. She claimed that her constitutional rights and those of her children had been violated by the action. She also contended that she was Cherokee Indian and that members of the school board who barred the children were members of the KKK.

In Ann Arbor, Mich., laboratory blood tests revealed conclusively that an abandoned six-year old waif was not the kidnaped son of a Dayton, O., couple, taken five years earlier from their home.

Earl Richert of the Scripps-Howard news service provides another article in his series regarding hidden taxes in consumer items, focusing on Easter bonnets, which had been found to have 150 concealed taxes included in their price before reaching the customer, on everything from the ribbon on the hat to Federal and local telephone taxes.

A small tropical storm with winds of 45 mph, had veered away from Florida into the Atlantic.

John J. Barnhardt of Concord, N.C., former Cannon Mills vice-president, had visited nineteen countries between June 25 and September 6, holding conversations with many leaders of those countries, including Prime Minister Nehru of India, currently visiting the U.S. The trip had been arranged by George Denny of the radio show "Town Meeting of the Air" to enable a "people to people" visit to study problems of various countries, to demonstrate free assembly and free speech, and record Town Meeting broadcasts in several capitals. Much of the rest is under the feather.

The Public Housing Authority in Washington announced that it had assigned 400 low-cost public housing units to Charlotte, based on application for same by the City Council during September. The units would be for black residents only. The Charlotte Housing Authority was in search of a suitable site for the project within the worst slum areas of the city to eliminate substandard housing and replace it with these units. The Authority had originally sought 1,800 black units and 330 white units but the City Council cut the request to 400 black units. No Federal funds were utilized to build the units. The Authority issued its own bonds for the purpose and amortized them from rental income. A Federal subsidy made up any difference.

The Community Chest drive began in Charlotte in support of the Red Feather agencies. Well next time, don't place a big red feather over the page to obscure a quarter of the news, including half of the article about the drive, itself. We wish a refund of our nickel.

Anyway, there were family and juvenile problems in Myers Park and in Blue Heaven, which these agencies funded by the drive sought to address.

On the editorial page, "Battle of Washington" examines the Navy-Air Force dispute ongoing before the House Armed Services Committee. Unification of the armed forces had emerged out of World War II lessons regarding lack of coordination between the branches, especially leading up to the attack on Pearl Harbor.

In 1947, the first unification act had been passed setting up the Department of Defense as an umbrella for the forces, but giving the Secretary too little authority and not creating a chairman of the Joint Chiefs. The new National Defense Act of 1949 had remedied those problems.

Under the new setup, two decisions had been made which had angered the Navy: setting up the contingency plan for strategic war, with emphasis on the B-36 as a delivery device for the atomic bomb; and the cancellation of the supercarrier United States, plus curtailment of the Navy's tactical air wing.

The Navy believed that it was being outvoted two to one by the Army and Air Force in meetings of the Joint Chiefs. The Navy thus set about attacking the B-36 and the theory of atomic warfare as being impractical for it being capable of targeting only Russian cities, leaving combat troops in the field who could then attack Western Europe. It further criticized the program for immorality for planned indiscriminate killing of civilians. Such warfare, the admirals argued, would only incite the Russians to greater resistance, was not so effective as a weapon as the people had been led to believe, caused neglect of fighter planes, guided missiles and radar networks as means of defense, and resulted in neglect of smaller, faster tactical bombers so effective during World War II.

The B-36, the admirals claimed, was a "billion dollar blunder", slow and vulnerable to Russian jet fighter planes and guided missiles.

The Navy had made a strong case but would also receive criticism from the Army and Air Force when they had their hearings before the Committee, starting the following week. The Navy, itself, had made the decision to reduce its air arm and had failed to show how the supercarriers would do a better job of air defense than the B-36 strategic long-range bomber. The Navy also had not shown how it could defend against advanced Russian submarines capable of remaining below the surface for extended periods.

The people suspected that the Navy was motivated by a desire to protect its independence and to take over the new aerial weapons for their own purposes. Even at the reduced funding, the Navy remained superior to the Soviet Navy, and also had the navies of the Western European nations at its side in the event of war.

"Firearms in the Home" relates of a 17-year old boy having been injured seriously at school while showing off to another boy his father's gun he had obtained from a closet at home. The father had not seen the gun in some time.

It finds the episode instructive of gun ownership at home being dangerous principally to members of the household, especially when children and young people were present. A gun's value in confronting a prowler or intruder was negligible and could, in fact, incite an intruder to violence. There were numerous reports of such accidents and, it concludes, while security in the home was desirable, the possession of loaded firearms was a risky way to achieve it.

It does not say so, but the case of August 1 in which Mrs. E. O. Anderson of the Myers Park neighborhood had been killed with a shotgun blast from her own loaded shotgun as she struggled with an intruder, a former employee, was exhibit number 1 for this caveat. Regardless of how the confrontation actually transpired, she would likely not have been killed in the incident had there been no access in the home to a loaded weapon.

Electrify your doors and windows and wire them for sound and light alarms if you live in a high crime area, but leave the guns in the hands of the police.

"M. Waltener's Plunging Neckline" tells of a Paris fashion designer, Gasten Waltener, having designed for men a black ski outfit with red paisley scarf and green laced boots, replete with a plunging neckline.

It concludes that while women's clothing was adaptable to plunging necklines, that of the male was not, and that men did not look to Paris for their fashion cues, rather to their wives.

Drew Pearson tells of the President having turned against his former Secretary of Agriculture Clinton Anderson because, as a Senator, he had put forward his flexible parity program which had carried the day in the Senate and defeated the program backed by Secretary of Agriculture Charles Brannan, as well as the 90 percent parity program, which, in the end, the President had backed as a compromise. Secretary Brannan, he notes, had not been vocal about his concern over his former boss's opposition, as Senator Anderson was responsible for Mr. Brannan's elevation to Secretary.

In the Government-led mediation talks between the mine operators and John L. Lewis, Mr. Lewis had demanded increased wages and welfare fund payments, whereas the Northern operators favored negotiations based on the old contract, and Southern operators wanted revision of the welfare fund. Mediator Cyrus Ching was trying to effect a resolution but was having a difficult time getting either side to budge and explained that he could only make recommendations, had no authority to make either side adhere to particular terms, to the frustration of Mr. Lewis.

He notes that there was little prospect of settling the steel strike until the coal strike was resolved, as the steel industry depended on coal for its furnaces.

Captain John Crommelin, who was leaking propaganda favorable to the Navy admirals, he reports, had once been behind the revelation of the Green Bowl fraternity at Annapolis which, he claimed, was responsible for the admirals helping one another to achieve that position.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop look at the Navy's dispute regarding reliance on the Air Force B-36 and the atomic bomb as the mainstay of the U.S. defense, find the criticism without purpose when analyzed. The Navy favored the supercarrier but it would have a complement of jets which would be no more capable of penetrating air defenses of the Soviet jets and guided missiles than would the B-36.

Moreover, the B-36 comprised only four of 48 Air Force groups, the remainder comprised of B-29's and B-50's, the latter to be replaced by the B-47 when it reached full production by Boeing. The B-29's and B-50's operated from overseas European bases and the B-36 as a long-range bomber was only for deterrence as an intercontinental back-up to the overseas bases. The B-47 would combine speed and altitude capabilities with the range of the B-29, thus rendering the criticism of the B-36 outmoded.

Furthermore, the supercarrier would only do the things which the admirals criticized in the B-36 program. The capability of the bombers operating from the supercarrier would be inferior to the B-47.

The Navy was really upset about Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson confining it to the duties of transport and submarine chasing, duties allotted by General Eisenhower and the Joint Chiefs. Indeed, Secretary Johnson had been slow to implement that decision and so the Navy should not be too upset with him. The overriding reason for the decision to reduce the Navy was that the Soviet Union was a non-naval power and the U.S. Navy, even curtailed, far outnumbered in tonnage the Soviet Navy, and added to the U.S. Navy was also the power of the Western European navies.

Robert C. Ruark, writing from Southport, N.C., at the mouth of the Cape Fear River, tells a story of his having come into possession of a mockingbird, a magnolia tree, and a mortgaged house. The reader could, he says, call him "Cuhnel Massa Boss" or "Marse Robert". "Cap'm Hawley", Mr. Ruark's materal grandfather, had died of cancer and was broke. His beautiful home had been mortgaged and for 17 years, strangers lived there and treated it badly.

Mr. Ruark had purchased the property where he had spent his boyhood summers. So he now owned the mockingbird in the magnolia tree and a mortgaged property, all of which he needed as much as he needed three dentists, the mortgage, as much as gout.

"...[A]nd furthermore anybody who says Marse Robert is sentimental is a dirty Fascist-Communist Republican-Democrat-type bum."

This piece bears a faint echo down the rugged dell of this piece by W. J. Eulenspiegel from eleven years earlier.

A letter writer, in response to the editorial responsive to the Greensboro Daily News editorial mocking Charlotte as a "one-bomb town" for its inclusion on the list of probable Russian targets with 92 cities across the nation, points out factors he thinks would make Charlotte a poorer target for a Russian atomic bomb than even Greensboro. After reciting several statistics regarding manufacturing in the communities, his last point is that the radio tower beside the Greensboro Daily News Building would make a perfect target.

Dream on. You do not know, as we do, that on January 4, 1953, the Rooskies dropped the first atom bomb on the United States in the middle of Charlotte, initiating a nuclear exchange wiping out all life on the planet, finally, for the concentration of nuclear chain reactions in the atmosphere, vaporizing the entire globe. We write these remarks from the New Colony on Jupiter, on which they were able to simulate Earth and convince everyone that they were still there when in fact we are here and Earth was blown to kingdom come, now nearly 64 years ago.

A letter writer addresses a letter to J. S. Dorton, president of the Southern States Exposition, in regard to an article which he had written in the October 10 News, replying to a charge of racial discrimination launched by the NAACP.

The writer finds Dr. Dorton's defense to the charge inconsistent when he said that there was no discrimination against blacks at the Southern States Fair because it was primarily a white fair. The writer thus recommends inserting "White" into the title of the fair. Blacks were citizens who had as much stake in the progress of the state as any "red-blooded Southerner". The "primarily white fair" was "grossly unfair" to black citizens as their purchasing power in the Southern states helped to support businesses of many of the proprietors exhibiting at the fair.

A letter writer wonders whether anything was being done for alcoholics by the State.

The editors respond that a committee was set to meet in Raleigh this date to adopt plans for a new treatment facility at Camp Butner.

A letter writer compliments "Bish's Dish", the column of sports editor Furman Bisher, and says he preferred it to any other column published in the South.

A Quote of the Day: "Just about everywhere you turn someone is complaining of the sniffles." —Columbus (Miss.) Commercial-Dispatch

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