The Charlotte News

Monday, October 17, 1949


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that General Clifton B. Cates, commandant of the Marine Corps, testifying before the House Armed Services Committee, accused the Army high command of trying to eliminate the combat power of the Marines, harming national security. He endorsed everything the Navy had been saying during the hearings regarding the emasculation of both the Navy and Marine Corps to the benefit of the Air Force. He and former Marine Corps commandant A. A. Vandegrift were the last of the witnesses for the Navy. Next would testify the witnesses for the Army and Air Force.

Communist-led rebels in Greece said via rebel radio in Bucharest, Rumania, that they had stopped the civil war but would not lay down their arms. The Greek War Minister said that it amounted to no more than an admission of defeat but that the guerrilla army remained intact, strong and on the alert. The guerrilla press agency said that the guerrillas had temporarily ceased fighting to allow the U.N. to try to work out a peaceful solution to the conflict but had not given up their fight for independence and freedom.

The World Bank announced loans of a total of five million dollars to Finland and Yugoslavia, with the latter receiving 2.7 million. The U.S. had recently loaned 20 million dollars to Yugoslavia.

The U.S., in a diplomatic note delivered to Moscow, rejected Russia's October 1 protest of creation of the West German Government and criticized the subsequent creation of the East German Government in the Soviet occupation zone.

A previously reported agreement on the agricultural bill to allow for the House-passed 90 percent parity support price on six basic commodities blew up and there was still no compromise agreement between the Senate-passed 75-90 percent sliding parity program and that passed by the House.

The 1949 session of Congress was nearing its end.

As predicted, 16,000 aluminum workers at Alcoa added to the nation's nearly one million workers on strike in the coal and steel industries.

Earl Richert of the Scripps-Howard news service, in another of his series of examinations of hidden taxes within the cost of consumer items, looks at general taxes, finding that one-fourth of the average person's income went for the purpose, both hidden and direct taxes. An earner of $3,000 per year paid only $54 in Federal income tax, but also paid property taxes as part of their rental payments, sales taxes, and some had state income taxes. Adding license fees on cars and the hidden taxes on that and other consumer goods, the total came to about 25 percent of the total income.

In Valdosta, Ga., the woman who had filed suit in Federal Court for her children being barred from a white school on the ground of being black when she was, she claimed, Cherokee Indian, had been arrested with her husband on a charge of miscegenation, marriage between a white person and a black person. Warrants against the couple were sworn out by a member of the school board named in the suit as being a member of the Klan.

In Daisy, Tenn., a man was killed as part of an ongoing feud over moonshine. He had been shot and bludgeoned with an axe. Two brothers were under arrest for murder in the killing. Two previous deaths had occurred in the feud but the several persons tried for the murders had been acquitted. During a radio broadcast of the program "We the People" in December, a representative of each faction had declared the feud ended, but apparently the declaration had not produced the desired effect.

In Camden, N.J., shortly after a woman gave birth to her child, the father returned home to announce the news to the family and was told that his oldest child, age 3, had just been fatally struck by a truck.

In Fuquay Springs, N.C., an eighteen-month old infant died after drinking kerosene.

That's not apple juice. Smell first.

Near Morganton, N.C., a service station blew up, killing one man. The explosion was attributed to a leaking gas stove. The man's wife had been indicted for murder in the summer, 1948 death of their six-year old daughter and had been committed to the Morganton State Hospital for examination pending proof of her mental competence to stand trial.

From Shannon Airport in Ireland, it was reported that a son was born to a GI bride aboard a crowded passenger plane over the Atlantic Ocean, bound for Shannon. The mother, a former Yugoslav displaced person, was a former prisoner in a Nazi concentration camp during the war. A doctor among the passengers assisted in the birth. The father, a sergeant in the Air Force in Germany, was planning to meet his wife of three years at Wiesbaden but was being flown to Ireland.

In Hollywood, Jack Benny was set to undergo surgery to remove a nasal obstruction.

On the editorial page, "Bold Move by Mr. Lewis" favors rewriting the antitrust laws to include unions in light of the call by John L. Lewis for UMW and AFL to assist the CIO United Steelworkers in their strike by collecting a fund to sustain them. But miners opposed the plan for the fact that their pay was cut off by the ongoing coal strike. AFL also was unlikely to support the plan. It was unclear what Mr. Lewis wanted to do as the Steelworkers would remain on strike as long as the coal mine strike persisted, as coal was necessary for the production of steel.

"Ruggles Report on Alcoholism" tells of the report of John Ruggles of Southern Pines, chairman of the State Board of Hospital Control, on treatment of alcoholics in the state, having introduced a new philosophy to the treatment, dividing first-time cases from repeat cases. The former group could be treated at various hospitals around the state while the chronic cases would go to the proposed Camp Butner facility. It predicts that the Ruggles report would help to solve the problem of treating alcoholism in the state.

"The Queen City Classic" urges purchase of tickets to the football game on November 4 between West Charlotte and Second Ward high schools, the proceeds from which annually was the primary means of support for the two black schools' entire athletic programs. The proceeds had supported more than half of the total $6,000 for the two programs the previous year. And $10,000 was needed for full athletic programs at both schools. An attendance of 10,000 would be necessary to achieve $6,000 for the programs, which would help reduce juvenile delinquency in the community.

A piece from the Greenville (S.C.) Piedmont, titled "Political Morality at a Low Ebb", finds that the morality exhibited by the big city political machines had become part of the national thought and methods, with a fetish for party loyalty having developed. The political schemes enabled the party in power to profit at the expense of the party out of power.

It took many thousands of dollars to elect a governor or senator in South Carolina and millions to elect a president.

The AFL had announced that it was going to spend 16 million dollars to elect a labor-friendly Congress in 1950. Big business had spent money to elect the candidates it favored, including President Truman in 1948, but not to that extent.

It concludes that the country needed a Congress friendly to the welfare of the majority, not bought and paid for by either capital or labor.

Drew Pearson presents a list of statements made by the admirals about the B-36 and the atomic bomb before the subject became so controversial, comparing them to their present statements before the House Armed Services Committee. Admiral Ralph Ofstie had condemned the atomic bomb before the Committee, but in June, 1948 had described it as the "main shot" in the "armament locker".

Admiral Dan Gallery, in early, 1948, had also found the atomic bomb to be the mainstay of the country's defense, but said that the Navy was the better branch to deliver it to the target, a fact which would make it the principal branch of the military. But if the Navy stuck to its traditional role, he said, it would soon be obsolete.

The Key West conference, called by Secretary of Defense James Forrestal in March, 1948, had determined, however, that delivery of the atom bomb should be the responsibility of the Air Force, and that the Navy should be in charge of anti-submarine warfare.

The admirals, nevertheless, persisted in their campaign for making the Navy the delivery device for the bomb. In response, another conference in August, 1948 at Newport, R.I., again decided that the Air Force should handle the atom bomb.

Secretary Forrestal then called in General Eisenhower to resolve the continuing dispute by the admirals.

Now, the admirals contended that the atomic bomb was inhuman, immoral, and ineffective. But, according to scientists, the still secret findings of the Bikini report were that the warships had been rendered nearly useless by the atomic bomb.

Admiral Louis Denfeld, chief of operations, had testified to the Committee that the B-36 program had been expanded the previous April without consulting the Navy. In April, however, he had joined the other Joint Chiefs in approving continuation of the B-36 program.

Committee chairman Carl Vinson of Georgia had said the previous April that persons within the military establishment were endangering national security by attempting to sell the public on the value of air power. But now the Committee, itself, was a conduit for that information through the hearings.

Robert C. Ruark tells of the Supreme Court the previous Monday having turned down the petition for certiorari of Andrew May, former chairman of the House Military Affairs Committee, convicted in 1947 of receiving bribes from the Garsson brothers for exerting influence in obtaining for them a wartime Government contract. He had been sentenced only to 8 months to two years in prison, a light sentence, thinks Mr. Ruark, given the crime against the public trust during wartime.

But he finds it amazing in the atmosphere of cronyism and tolerance for graft in Washington that Mr. May had been convicted at all and would now go to jail. Such a high premium was being placed on personal loyalty that it was difficult for any man to be considered to have done wrong and even more difficult for him to be held accountable for his sins.

Harlan Trott, writing in the Christian Science Monitor, thinks the assumption dangerous that global military strategy was too complex for the average citizen to understand, the reason why the country was just beginning to get to the bottom of the conflict between the Navy and Air Force regarding unification of the military. Enough refutation of the claims surrounding the B-36 had been offered by the Navy men testifying before the House Armed Services Committee to make Americans wonder whether they had not ceded too much deference to the military decision-makers.

The average citizen had to wonder why the criticism of the B-36 was coming to light so late in the game and why it took a Congressional investigation to bring before the public the gripes of the Navy over unification.

The Navy officers believed that the Air Force would now smear the Navy before the Committee as "old fogies" who wanted to have an old-fashioned form of defense utilizing outmoded battleships rather than the modern long-range bombers. Navy Secretary Francis Matthews had taken the side of Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson and had not wanted the admirals making their claims publicly.

The testimony had begun with the assertion by the Navy that the British had two interceptors capable of taking out the B-36 at 40,000 feet and that such had been known in worldwide military circles for some time, a statement which could be checked through British military officials. The contention suggested that Air Force claims that the bomber was invulnerable to attack were reckless and extravagant.

Nothing in the claims was too complex for the public to understand. But the Air Force might be withholding information from the Navy, apparently not allowing Navy officers to see the plane in training. If that claim proved true, then it would appear that the Navy's criticism of unification was justified.

A letter writer objects to the cartoon of October 11 anent eggs, supplies additional and corrective facts rebutting its premise.

A letter writer thanks C. D. Spangler for underwriting the City in the cost of improving Smallwood Homes, providing low-cost housing units with preference to veterans.

A letter from the executive secretary of the Carolinas Branch of the Associated General Contractors of America, Inc., wishes to add to the article by Tom Fesperman appearing on October 7 regarding concrete paving, the name of the contractor responsible for it, Rea Construction Co. He praises free enterprise, under attack, he thinks, in the government's "socialistically nurtured schemes" for curtailing or eliminating it.

A letter from the chairperson of the Employ the Physically Handicapped Committee thanks the newspaper for promoting its recently completed successful program.

A letter from Reed Sarratt, Associate Editor of the Baltimore Evening Sun, formerly of The News, complains of a book review appearing in The News October 7 on Abe Lincoln of Pigeon Creek by William E. Wilson. He thinks the book a fine literary work and that the reviewer had short-changed it, had obviously not even read it. He also complains because the book was not even published until October 17 and says that the reviewer should have taken the additional ten days to read the book.

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