The Charlotte News

Saturday, October 29, 1949


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the President had signed the largest military appropriation bill in peacetime history, 15.6 billion dollars, but impounded 615 million dollars which it included to increase the size of the Air Force to 58 groups, a size higher than his recommended 48 groups. He found the larger size inconsistent with balanced military strength in later years. The Air Force received four billion dollars of the appropriation, compared to 4.4 billion for the Army and 4.3 billion for the Navy, with the remainder for other military operations, including the Pentagon.

Secretary of the Navy Francis Matthews ignored requests by Senator William Knowland of California and Congressman George Bates of Massachusetts that he resign, continued to sift through names of admirals to find a successor to Admiral Louis Denfeld as chief of operations. Secretary Matthews denied that Admiral Denfeld's removal from the post had been reprisal for his testimony before the House Armed Services Committee, critical of the Air Force and Army, but rather that he lacked qualifications for the job.

Senator Wayne Morse of Oregon blamed big steel companies for failing to settle the steel strike and urged them to accept the ten-cent per hour welfare fund contribution without employee contributions, as recommended by the President's fact-finding board and accepted by the United Steelworkers union. The steel companies were willing to accept the plan only if the workers contributed to the plan.

The International Typographical Union was found by the NLRB to have violated labor law, trying to force publishers, by continued threat of strike, to recognize the closed shop, outlawed by Taft-Hartley. The ITU was considering appeal of the decision.

The Chinese Communists, in a radio broadcast picked up in San Francisco, accused former U.S. Consul General Angus Ward and other members of the Mukden consulate of beating a Chinese workman at the consulate on September 27 and held that they must answer to the "People's Court".

In New York, leading medical authorities, including the president of the American Cancer Society, were hopeful that in the future cancer could be completely controlled. They stressed, however, that there was no cure yet for the disease.

In Natchez, Miss., white supremacist millionaire George Armstrong, 84, left open his offer to donate 50 million dollars to Jefferson Military College on condition that it admit only white students, hire white professors and teach the concept of white supremacy.

In Birmingham, Ala., the State admitted that a copy of a letter admitted into evidence in the trial of an accused flogger, a former deputy sheriff, was not in his handwriting. The letter had been sent to a flogging victim and promised a return visit. He was the first of eighteen defendants to stand trial for the series of flogging incidents alleged around Birmingham in recent months involving hooded, robed bands of white men. The defendant admitted being a member of the Klan but denied participation in the flogging on June 10. The alleged victim, who claimed to have been struck twice by hooded men breaking into her home and forced to watch a cross-burning in her front yard, was white. The men had accused her of selling whiskey and renting rooms to unmarried couples. The deputy sheriff had presented alibi witnesses who said that he was attending a baseball game on the night of the incident in question. The case was expected to go to the jury this date.

In Boissevain, Va., one man was killed and another wounded in a gun battle with a deputy sheriff, struck in the back by a bullet. The two men were believed to have held up a liquor store in West Virginia the previous day. The deputy spotted the men on the street and believed that they matched the description of the suspects. While he talked to them, one pulled a gun and shot him. The deputy then returned fire.

Near Eau Claire, S.C., three University of South Carolina students, one a law student, were killed in the early morning hours in an automobile accident when their car entered at high speed the path of an oncoming passenger train bound from New York to Miami. There was heavy mist and fog at the time and the skid marks indicated the car had sought to stop before crossing onto the tracks.

In Joliet, Ill., seven Joliet high school football players were in jail, accused of looting two stores of clothing while on their way to their game on Friday night. Four of the players missed the game, which ended in a 6-6 tie. You better hope the jury similarly splits the decision.

In Hollywood, Dick Haymes and Nora Eddington Flynn, former wife of Erroll Flynn, were expecting a child. They had been married in July.

On the editorial page, "What Is an Emergency?" finds that while the use by the President of the injunctive provisions of Taft-Hartley should be used sparingly, only after all efforts at mediation had failed, it was time, after one last attempt to bring the parties together on the coal and steel strikes, to employ it for the sake of the country's welfare as winter approached.

"Diplomatic Hot Spot" finds good the appointment of North Carolina's George V. Allen, Assistant Secretary of State, to the post of Ambassador to Yugoslavia. He had previously performed well as Ambassador to Iran. Someone with his experience was necessary for this important position as the tensions heated between Tito and the Politburo for Tito's stubborn independence, contagious to the Soviet satellites. Tito had forced a crack in the Soviet dominance of Eastern Europe and the Balkans, and it needed to be supported by the U.S., even if not condoning the fact that he was a dictator.

"The New South" tells of Henry Luce's publications, Time and Life, through the years having done their share of alternatively carping and condescending to the South. But in mitigation, it finds, the current issue of Life had presented a twelve-page pictorial panorama of the New South, showing its growing industrialization and agricultural diversification, better education and sustenance of progressive ideas and scientific research. Photojournalist Margaret Bourke-White had been pleasantly surprised by the changes she found from her tour a dozen years earlier, that it was no longer Erskine Caldwell's vision of Tobacco Road.

It decides therefore to call off its war on Mr. Luce, provided he continued to show this new side of the South.

Don't worry. After Brown v. Board of Education in 1954, the idiots will enter the picture yet again to present that ugly side—born largely of poverty and ignorance, if often stirred by the better-heeled demagogues for their own political and economic aggrandizement—and as never before seen by the nation. Now, after decades of healing since the early seventies, come the D.T.'ers and their fearless leader out of Manhattan to represent and stimulate the worst aspects all over again, not just in the South, but across the entire country.

These people spring from the notion that one autocratic leader can do all for them, remedy the disappointment they have in the democratic system, under which we have a President who must work with a Congress to get anything accomplished, always, only grudgingly, even when the majorities in both houses of Congress and the President are of the same party. The result then is subject always to review by the Federal courts to determine whether either or both the Executive and Legislative branches had exceeded the limits of their respective authorities. The DT'er people wait in the shadows for the promised one, the demagogue who is going to "fix it" with his magic wand.

To those, we recommend reading something of substance, something other than the likes of Mein Kampf and the The Art of the Deal, or other such vanity books.

A piece from the Greensboro Daily News, titled "The South as a Ha'nt", tells of a review by Vincent Sheehan appearing in the New York Herald Tribune regarding Lillian Smith's Killers of the Dream, having described Ms. Smith as telling of "ghosts" which haunted her native South and doomed its "cherished dreams". The piece objects to this description, finds it ignoring of the modern South which had grown up around industrialization, different from that "Greek tragedy inspired by Sigmund Freud", portrayed to the world by such authors as Ms. Smith, Erskine Caldwell, and William Faulkner, or, earlier, the romanticized version of Thomas Nelson Page and other authors of the nineteenth century.

The piece says that it is concerned not with Ms. Smith's book, itself, but rather with the view by the widely traveled Mr. Sheehan, portraying the South as haunted by ghosts of the past, suggests that he might ask himself whether they arose from his "puffing too much literary marijuana".

The South, it insists, was not Xanadu, Cockaigne, Lilliput or Brobdingnag, Laputa or Swift's country of intelligent horses, the Houyhnhnms, nor a Gothic romance. It was on earth and not the moon.

Mr. Sheehan, however, had found that "three ghost relationships haunt the mind of the South—white men and colored women, white father and colored children, white child and his beloved colored nurse."

The piece begs to differ with that characterization.

W. J. Cash, incidentally, had visited with Ms. Smith and Paula Snelling at their home in Clayton, Georgia, in March, 1941, when Cash and wife Mary visited Atlanta at the request of Rich's Department Store to hold a book signing for The Mind of the South and, afterward, to meet with Margaret Mitchell and her husband John Marsh at the Piedmont Driving Club. Cash had found the visit at Clayton, during which he also met Dr. Karl Mennigner, one of the most enjoyable experiences of his life. Ms. Smith had given him a copy of the draft manuscript of her 1941 novel Strange Fruit, and after reading through it, he told her that he had found it "powerful".

We might add that the South also is not entirely peopled today by those who might say something like: "We don't care about that. Give us Trump. Throw out the Negro." There are, in every region of the country, idiotic, reactionary, immature obscurantists insisting, as four-year old children, on having their way about everything, as Conny Donny proves every day of his campaign.

Tom Schlesinger of The News provides his "Capital Roundup" for the week , finds no slackening of activity in Washington, though Congress officially had adjourned until January. Senator Clyde Hoey's secretary, for instance, was busy lining up tickets for the Notre Dame vs. UNC football game to be played in Bronx November 12. Otherwise, the Senator's office would continue at full speed, despite the Senator working from his home in Shelby.

He relates that cigars used to be prevalent in the Congress but were no longer, beyond a few being chewed down to the butts, the practice having been discontinued at the instance of Senator "Pitchfork" Ben Tillman of South Carolina in 1914. He had sought to strike down the practice because he had suffered a stroke and could not stand to be around cigar smoke, found the chamber to be as a "beer garden". The Senate compromised and decided that there would be no smoking on the floor of the Senate or lighted cigars brought into the chamber.

Drew Pearson tells of the steel companies being divided over worker contributions to a welfare and pension fund. Advisers to the President had urged that he invoke Taft-Hartley and seek an injunction to end the strike, but he was opposed to the action. Since the United Steelworkers had suspended their strike for 77 days, nearly the 80 days available under Taft-Hartley, he feared that they would not obey the injunction, causing respect for the law to break down, giving the Soviets propaganda weapons. And the President's fact-finding board recommendations had been accepted by the Steelworkers but not by management.

The Navy was upset with Admiral Louis Denfeld, though he had testified very favorably for the Navy at the House Armed Services Committee, for which he had paid with ouster from his position as chief of Naval operations. But the Navy brass thought he had made his case too late.

Admiral Forrest Sherman, probably to be named the new chief, was not popular with his fellow admirals as he was perceived as having led the fight for unification.

The Navy was waging an undercover campaign against chairman of the Joint Chiefs, General Omar Bradley.

Congressman John Lesinski of Michigan was facing trouble in his bid for re-election in 1950.

In Look, Burnet Hershey reported on how the President remained so fit and trim.

John Foster Dulles's law firm, Sullivan & Cromwell, had represented Lehman Brothers for years, the firm of his Senate special election opponent, former Governor Herbert Lehman.

Yugoslavia would pay off the U.S. for helping it win a seat on the Security Council by forming a treaty with the royalist Greek Government.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop tell of James Roosevelt being pushed to run for Governor of California and FDR, Jr., for Governor of New York, albeit the latter being a long-shot. Yet, FDR, Jr., was backed by such powerful figures as Ed Flynn, political boss of the Bronx. His only strong rivals would be Mayor William O'Dwyer and Erastus Corning of Albany.

The possibilities were not to the liking of President Truman, who had suffered long for the comparisons to his predecessor. Moreover, James Roosevelt had favored General Eisenhower for the 1948 Democratic nomination, right up to the convention. FDR, Jr., had not. Furthermore, James Roosevelt's enemies in California were the President's closest friends, as Ed Pauley. The President had, nevertheless, recognized that Mr. Roosevelt would likely be the Democratic nominee for Governor in 1950, as had DNC national chairman William Boyle after visiting California.

The President's decision on this matter in California enhanced the likelihood that he would be a candidate in 1952, as he did not make up with enemies without an ulterior motive, as the prevention of another California rebellion at the 1952 convention.

Marquis Childs, in Stockholm, tells of a modern airplane factory at Linkoping, Sweden, built underground by Saab. The 700 workers made jet fighter planes, the newest of which went 700 mph. Above ground, 3,000 workers were performing less vital tasks of assembly. In the event of war, they would be dispersed to other facilities.

Sweden had the fourth largest air force in the world, ahead of any other European country, not including Britain.

The Swedish Defense Minister said that the country could withstand an attack for three months without assistance, but outside observers claimed that it would only be for as little as twelve days. He continued to support, however, Sweden's neutrality policy, maintained that the country could buy the weapons it needed with cash and not rely on the U.S. foreign military aid program for the NATO nations.

But the point of view ignored the scarcity of equipment for sale in Britain and the U.S., as well the resentment of some American officials regarding Sweden's neutrality. But the Defense Minister believed that the Scandinavian Peninsula would not have the same importance in a future war which it had in the previous war. With long-range strategic bombers as the B-36, there would not be the need for short-range bases scattered around Western Europe.

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