The Charlotte News

Friday, October 28, 1949


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Admiral Louis Denfeld had been ousted as chief of Naval operations for his public role in the hearings before the House Armed Services Committee, critical of military unification and decisions by the Joint Chiefs, of which he had been a member. He told a crowd of 250 Navy enlisted men who had gathered to show their support for him that the Navy would not be stopped by any individual or service.

Committee chairman Carl Vinson said that the Committee would take up the ouster when Congress reconvened in January. He said that they would not sit idly by as reprisals occurred against witnesses for their testimony before the Committee, that the Admiral was being made "to walk the plank" by the Administration for his testimony. He believed that the Navy was not being accepted in full partnership in the national defense structure and that the admiral had been removed as chief because he had merely warned of that state of affairs and its threat to national defense.

Elton C. Fay, in the fifth article in a series on the Air Force-Navy dispute, addresses how much America had revealed to Russia about its defense in the hearings before the Committee. Air Force Secretary Stuart Symington believed that they had learned quite a lot, to the point of imperiling national defense. General Omar Bradley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, believed likewise and added that the hearings had also undermined confidence among the nation's allies in U.S. defense preparedness. Air Force chief of staff Hoyt Vandenberg also agreed, noting that while free speech was a hallmark of the Constitution, it had recognized limitations when dealing with national secrets and matters of defense generally.

Data on the B-36 and its performance had appeared in the hearings in criticism of it as a long-range strategic bomber, susceptible to British and hence Russian jet interception, though the accuracy of that report had never been established.

In the Azores, a Constellation carrying 48 persons, 37 of whom were passengers, from Paris to New York crashed into a mountain, killing all aboard in the resulting fire. The dead included former world middleweight boxing champion Marcel Cerdan of France, violin virtuoso Ginette Neveu, also of France, and the editor of a Montreal newspaper, Guy Jasmin, as well as other prominent citizens. M. Cerdan had been on his way to New York for a title bout with reigning middleweight champion Jake LaMotta, scheduled in Madison Square Garden for December 2. Mr. LaMotta had won the title by defeating M. Cerdan in an earlier fight.

The cost of living rose a half percent in September, the largest monthly increase in a year, 27 percent higher than in June, 1946 and 72 percent higher than in August, 1939. Among major consumer goods, only the price of clothing did not rise.

The coal and steel strikes depressed production by a predicted 11.5 percent for October, to its lowest point in three and a half years, ending a rise in production for each of the prior two months.

Ezra Van Horn, trustee of the UMW welfare and pensions fund, testifying in a Federal civil action brought by a miner claiming the fund had been mismanaged, criticized John L. Lewis for dissipating the fund. Mr. Van Horn supported the plaintiff's effort to acquire an accounting of the fund.

The President signed a bill to establish a farm lending program to promote rural phone service. It would help the South more than any other region for the lack of service in those areas.

In New York, Alger Hiss sought a delay until November 22 for the start of his retrial, set to begin November 1. A new attorney for the defendant contended that he had not had adequate time to prepare the case. The judge signed an order that the Government show cause Monday why the continuance should not be granted. The first trial, for perjury before a grand jury regarding his association with admitted Communist spy Whittaker Chambers, had ended in a hung jury.

—Yeah, Bob, November 22, the eve of St. Clement's Day and the beginning of Sagittarius. Could be a significant omen. Maybe we should not contest the continuance.

—Yeah, Bob, exactly. We have to get 'em before they get us.

A Federal judge in Washington ruled that Congressman J. Parnell Thomas, former chairman of HUAC, would have to stand trial, starting November 7, for defrauding the Government through alleged salary kickbacks from bogus employees on his staff. The trial had been continued several times for his ill health.

In Hollywood, child actress Margaret O'Brien, according to her mother, was not responsible for the breakup of the marriage of her mother to bandleader Don Sylvio, as claimed by Mr. Sylvio.

In London, opponents of cigarettes were upset at a picture of Princess Elizabeth's desk which showed the presence of an ashtray. They believed that as a role model for young people, she should not be public about smoking. She had never been seen smoking. The press officer for Buckingham Palace said that he did not know whether she smoked, that Princess Margaret occasionally did, but neither the King nor the Queen indulged in the habit.

Actress Audrey Totter was set to come to Charlotte on November 16 for the annual Carolinas Christmas Festival, would be honorary queen of the Festival. Her latest picture was "Tension", completed during the summer.

On the editorial page, "The Fate of Admiral Denfeld" supports the summary removal of Admiral Louis Denfeld as chief of Naval operations because of his refusal to accept military unification and his public assertions of same before the House Armed Services Committee. It finds that it would have harmed the authority of the Joint Chiefs to keep him as a member, resistant to the Army and Air Force and claiming that they aligned to outvote the Navy on every issue of branch supremacy.

According to the Washington Post, Assistant Secretary of Defense Paul Griffith had stated that several admirals and officers whose opinions differed from Admiral Denfeld were not allowed to testify by the Navy at the hearings. Such was a serious charge and deserved investigation by the Committee.

"Jekyll & Hyde" remarks of the vast difference between Truman, the world statesman, and Truman of the Democratic Party, in the former role being "lofty, conciliatory and visionary", in the latter, "petulant and shortsighted". Any of his recent addresses on world relations, it posits, would rank among historic documents for their nobility of concept. But his recent "Give-'Em-Hell" campaign speeches for the Party ranked with "demagogic diatribes of the past".

While it was understandable that the President wanted a Democrat in the Senate, it finds "distasteful", as example of the President's latter role, his having turned his back on John Foster Dulles, who had been loyal in his support of Democratic foreign policy, for his disagreement on domestic policy, in the special New York Senate race with former Governor Herbert Lehman, well-qualified though the latter was in the field of foreign relations.

"The Ballot vs. Force" refers to the below editorial from the Washington Post regarding the dilemma of the title as posed by the guilty verdict against the eleven top American Communists under the Smith Act. It suggests that in time of stable peace, they would not have been brought to trial, as there would have been no "clear and present danger" of imminent violence posed by their teachings and advocacy. In a shooting war, such Communists would be jailed without trial. But in the time of the cold war, the society was perplexed as to what action to take. It suggests understanding of the inherent dangers in restricting individual freedoms to assure domestic tranquility.

An editorial from the Washington Post, titled "On 'Force and Violence'", tells of the mixed feelings on the part of the public regarding the precedent set in the convictions of the top eleven Communists for advocating and teaching the overthrow of the Government "by force and violence" pursuant to the Smith Act, many believing it may have gone too far. But, it asserts, Judge Harold Medina, instructing the jury carefully on the meaning of "force and violence", distinguishing it from advocacy based on belief and opinion, had done a masterful job in allaying such fears.

Yet, the Revolution was born out of such advocacy against the Crown and embodied in the Declaration of Independence. But the Constitution had set up a form of government thereafter which enabled a peaceful change through the franchise and the rights of peaceable assembly and petition for grievances.

It concludes, however, that the Constitution did not provide for the type of overthrow of the social order as planned by American Communism, part of an international conspiracy. But the virulence of anti-Communism could become so antagonistic and corrosive to democracy as to be, in the end, indistinguishable from Communism. It presented the dilemma of the times.

Incidentally, the vindication, by nullification of the laws against taking up arms against the Government, by a jury in Oregon this week is signal of a very confused state of mind running through the society. No one, not a bunch of ragtag idiots with guns, have that right and it is dangerous to our democracy for radio talk-show morons with high school diplomas to be promoting same for years, merely to gather up an audience to whom to sell products, not for the purpose of engaging in any true principle of American democracy. Such advocacy and such action is antithetical to our democracy and threatens nothing less than a fascist takeover of the Government with impunity.

Shame on the jury in Oregon. Any rational jury would have thrown the book at these idiots, who have only vague notions about what they were protesting in the first instance. What if they had been "hippies" taking over Government buildings? Would the same jury have acquitted them? Doubtless, they would not have. And therein lies the rub. One cannot have a system of justice which prescribes one set of rules for most of us and another for some subset of a few gun-wielding nuts who yell and cry about some supposed grievance and the failure of the Government to redress it as they, in their superior wisdom, believe it ought be resolved.

Which is one of many reasons why the Republican presidential nominee, whose rhetoric implicitly supports such insanity, undermines our existing Government, and advocates Russian intervention in our electoral process, must be defeated and defeated soundly on November 8. He may say, to some idiots, what they are "thinking", but what they are thinking is irrational and leads only to chaos in our society, out of which they hope to be crowned little kings and queens of their little burgs and satrapies, the Oregon jury having just given tacit support to that kind of royal thinking, the Royal Assange-Hole mode of thinking. But what the Republican nominee would do for himself and his fellow wealthy businessmen would only be destructive of the society and certainly to all the dreams, megalomaniacal or not, of the average individual, including the megalomaniacal dreams of the idiots exonerated in Oregon for their outrageously illegal conduct against, not just the U.S. Government as some vague entity, but rather every individual citizen in this country who comprises "we the people". We are the Government, stupid. When you fight the Government by taking up arms, you take up arms against every citizen of the country.

These reprobates in Oregon and elsewhere of the same stripe are not "heroes". They are despicable, anti-democratic fascists who ought be in jail when they resort to violence, whatever their "cause". They must work, as the rest of us, within the system which is and always has been frustrating, as it is designed in part to be, to enable some form of compromise solution to complex problems on which many viewpoints are expressed, "e pluribus unum", not exertion by violence or threat of imminent violence to the end of imposition of dictatorial will. The "cause" is irrelevant at that point. If the "cause" were one of true majority will in the first instance, there would be no need for resort to guns to make the point. Millions of Americans speak their minds every day, some articulately, some not so, without the need to resort to violence to try to make their point.

Shame on the jury in Oregon. You failed our democracy and you are scoundrels of the stripe who acquitted lynchers in the South in and prior to the 1960's. It is not about "liberal" versus "conservative". It is about whether you cherish democracy or dictatorship by violence. You, jurors, chose the latter and branded yourselves, along with the defendants you acquitted, as utter scum of the earth.

Vote by and on November 8, and if one of these idiots tries to intimidate you at the polling place or to deter you from going to the polling place, report them immediately. They may be there as the Republican's "poll watchers".

A piece from the Manchester Guardian, titled "Hope Deferred", discusses the revision to the Displaced Persons Act to remove provisions discriminatory to Jews and Catholics in admittance to the country, approved by the House and sent back to the Judiciary Committee for further study in the Senate.

It finds it strange that the 36 Senators who voted to resubmit the bill to the Committee were so generous with American aid abroad but refused help to refugees from Europe seeking asylum in the U.S. from Communist oppression.

Drew Pearson tells of the American diplomats meeting in London concluding that Russia definitely soon intended a showdown with Tito in Yugoslavia which would entail war if necessary. They based the assessment on four factors. First, the independence of Tito had spread to satellite countries, with his agents located in Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, and Rumania. Second, the end of the Greek civil war was only to rest the guerrillas for a fight against Tito. Third, a brigade of East German police, trained in Yugoslavia, had been sent to Bulgaria. Finally, an attack on Tito's forces had taken place, kept out of the Yugoslav press, as Russian guerrillas had crossed into Yugoslavia from Hungary, fired a few shots and retreated. The problem was to convince Moscow that the U.S. would enter any ensuing fight, as Russia was gambling on the converse. The diplomats viewed the matter as being of utmost importance as Yugoslavia was seen as the steppingstone for the Russians into Greece, Turkey, Suez Africa and India.

In New York, the Irish enemies of Mayor William O'Dwyer, born in Ireland, claimed that he was trying to become the "second Duke of Windsor" by planning to marry Sloan Simpson, fashion consultant whose former marriage had been annulled by the Catholic Church and who supported Britain. The reference was to the Duke having abdicated in 1936 to marry Wallis Simpson, no relation.

Admiral Barbey of the U.S. Navy had angered the Governor of Puerto Rico, Luis Munoz Marin, by paying a visit to dictator Rafael Trujillo in the Dominican Republic. Sr. Trujillo had slaughtered hundreds of Haitians and instituted a reign of terror. Admiral Barbey then added insult to injury by asking Governor Munoz Marin to give a reception for the Dominican Navy. Instead, he went fishing, raising a furor in the Caribbean. Admiral Barbey had also denounced the Governor on the radio for his land-use policies. The actions had led the Governor to seek the recall of Admiral Barbey.

Marquis Childs, in Stockholm, tells of Scandinavia and Britain tending toward socialism, the welfare state, and judging by the recent election in Norway, it was representative of most people in that part of Europe.

These countries were following a course of strict economic regulation and a calculated tax policy to counter, in part, postwar inflation and to assure full employment. They were distrustful of those countries allowing a free market system, leading to a split in Europe which produced a kind of isolationism. The attitude had been characteristic of the Labor Party in Britain.

In Sweden, the control of the economy had produced a protest which, for its intensity, seemed a new phenomenon for the country. But even these protesters were not willing to replace the present Government with one more moderate or conservative. At least half the voters were in the trade unions or in the families of union members, and labor was grateful for the benefits given by the Labor Government.

The result was a new type of society, bearing no resemblance to the totalitarianism of Eastern Europe and little resemblance to the free enterprise of the West.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop tell of the next budget for 1950-51 being forecast to run between a five and seven billion dollar deficit, largely the result of a drop in revenue. The President had responded by making cuts in defense and in other areas as harbors and rivers. In an election year, however, Congress would always be generous and so the President's budget would likely be increased.

The Administration had no central policy for dealing with the deficit. But the economizers appeared to have been making progress, given the President's cut of defense to 13 billion and his proposal again to raise taxes.

The President, however, had been unwilling to throw the entire foreign aid program and defense policy away to achieve economy and so it was unlikely that he could, even with a tax increase, offset the projected five billion dollar deficit, even if it might be reduced.

There were a few New Dealers left who opposed economy and it was unlikely they would go along with the Truman cuts in the budget or with tax increases. They reasoned that the present rise in unemployment and mild recession could be made much worse by such factors as a prolonged steel strike or by unwise taxation and other economic policies.

A new goal of gross national product of 3 trillion dollars plus a budget balanced by the increased tax revenue from increased national income was being favored by the New Dealers as a counter to the economizers. The President might take this cue if unemployment continued to rise and business got bad. But, for the present, he was not pursuing either the course recommended by the New Dealers or that recommended by the economizers.

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