The Charlotte News

Thursday, November 10, 1949


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that U.S. Steel had opened peace talks with the United Steelworkers, which, according to rumor, might resolve the steel strike completely, as the other major steel companies had already agreed to terms.

John L. Lewis snubbed the Government's attempt to arrange a peace conference between UMW and the coal operators, prompting Federal mediator Cyrus Ching to state that he was ceasing his efforts to facilitate an agreement. Mr. Lewis had said that he would meet the mediators on Monday rather than at the meeting scheduled for this date, and Mr. Ching sent back a wire saying he was too busy to meet on Monday, told the operators who were present for the meeting in Washington to go home. He later said, however, that he would not rule out further attempts at a later time to construct a settlement.

With the temporary cessation of the coal strike through November 30, coal production was reported to be slowly returning to normal.

Senator Styles Bridges of New Hampshire, trustee of the UMW welfare and pensions fund, petitioned the U.S. District Court in Washington to conduct an audit of the fund and asked that he be relieved as trustee afterward. In the context of a civil suit brought by a miner asking for an audit, the third trustee, Ezra Van Horn, had sought to be absolved of responsibility for losses from the fund through what he called mismanagement by Mr. Lewis and Senator Bridges, both of whom, he claimed, had frozen him out of the decision-making process.

The Big Three foreign ministers, in conference in Paris, reportedly reached agreement on stopping for the present the dismantling of German heavy industry, with Britain still resistant to the continued existence of industries with war potential. Secretary of State Acheson and French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman were said to be closer to reaching agreement on allowing West Germany to enter the Council of Europe.

The President said at a press conference that he saw no need for change in the bipartisan foreign policy after the defeat of Republican Senator John Foster Dulles in the New York special Senate race Tuesday. Senator Dulles had been one of the most ardent supporters among Republicans of the Administration foreign policy while decrying Fair Deal domestic policy. The President also said that he had not considered returning Mr. Dulles to the American U.N. delegation.

On another topic, he said that as long as he was President the price of gold would be fixed, would not be raised as a means to alleviate the nation's debt. The $35 per ounce price had been in effect since 1935. The U.S. controlled 60 percent of the world's gold supply and it had been rumored that raising the price would reduce the 256.8 billion dollar debt, most of which was accumulated during the war and by way of debt service on the debt remaining from World War I.

In Berlin, two U.S. soldiers were arrested by Russian military police in the Soviet sector. The identity of the soldiers was as yet unknown. American authorities demanded their release.

In Bogota, Colombia's Conservative Government had decreed a state of siege and suspended all sessions of the Liberal-dominated Congress in a move climaxing weeks of pre-election clashes between Liberals and Conservatives, in which hundreds reportedly had died. President Marieno Ospina Perez ordered censorship of the press and radio and suspended sessions of departmental assemblies and municipal councils.

In New York, the second trial of Judy Coplon and her alleged Russian accomplice-lover in passing secrets to the Russians, was scheduled to start the following Monday. She had been convicted separately in Washington in the case for taking confidential documents from the Justice Department where she worked. The New York case, the locus of the alleged intended transfer, involved charges of intending to transmit secrets.

Plymouth, Mass., high school students presented the President with a piece of Plymouth Rock as he proclaimed November 24 Thanksgiving.

Cape Cod: cranberries. It all made sense, until this week in 2016, when the Fascists finally took over the U.S. Government through an irresponsible minority of the electorate and an irresponsible public generally, too sleepy-eyed since 2000 to wake up to the realization that ending the ridiculously undemocratic electoral college—lending itself in the modern era to cynical manipulation by despotic forces, elitist sharpies, bent on exerting the will of the uninformed, emotional minority on the majority, all in the ironic name of a carefully orchestrated "grassroots folk movement"—is long overdue in a modern democracy, an anachronistic holdover into the early twenty-first century, as much as slavery was into the mid-nineteenth century. Those of you sadly misinformed cases who voted in 2016 for "change" are going to get change alright, trickle-down pocket change, for the next four years, or until impeachment or resignation relieves us of this worst electoral mistake in U.S. history.

This year, not unlike 1963, there won't be too much spirit involved in Thanksgiving celebration, except, of course, among the Fascists, in both instances.

In Richmond, Va., a milkman, who was dancing at an event at which Jimmy Dorsey's band was playing, said that when he danced by the bandstand and asked Mr. Dorsey if he was Tommy Dorsey's brother, he was knocked on the head by the bandleader's clarinet on the downbeat, leaving a lump on the milkman's temple. The orchestra manager had told the man's wife that there was some grudge match between the Dorsey brothers. A police magistrate issued a misdemeanor warrant against Jimmy Dorsey for the attack, but the band had already left the jurisdiction before it could be served.

Tom Fesperman of The News tells of rail traffic to New York from North Carolina reaching a peak as an estimated 20,000 to 40,000 fans of UNC football were headed to the Bronx, some by car or chartered plane, for Saturday's showdown with Notre Dame. Train No. 32 was leaving Charlotte with twelve cars and Train No. 34 would depart the following afternoon with ten in tow.

Not unlike last evening's unfortunate one-point loss by UNC, now 7-3, to decided underdog Duke, 4-6 so far during the season after the win, North Carolina would not be victorious against the Irish, though not an upset and quite a bit more lopsided at 42 to 6. This year, one of Duke's previous three wins was against the hapless Irish team of 2016, which lost to Navy last Saturday by the same score, 28-27, as the Duke-UNC game.

Any more upsets planned for the week, you murderous fates?

On the editorial page, "Consolidation of Health Programs" discusses the recommendation of the North Carolina Institute of Government report that Charlotte and Mecklenburg County consolidate their health programs because the heretofore segregation of the two did not recognize the reality that health problems meandered across the city limits from the county.

Previously, there had been some overlap between the two entities, both operating the Huntersville sanatorium for a long time and more recently assuming joint responsibility for indigent patient care.

There would be some resistance to consolidation in the County Government because of the necessity of slightly higher tax assessments to meet the added health cost burden, but it was a program which made sense in light of the practicalities of health treatment and prevention of the spread of disease.

"The Lewis Strategy" suggests that the real reason John L. Lewis had ordered the coal miners to return to work temporarily until November 30 was not for the public good, as he had said, so much as the pressures being exerted from the rank-and-file, suffering during the strike, and the fact that the welfare fund had been seriously depleted to the point that trustee Senator Styles Bridges urged cutting off further payments until the strike ended and the contributions by the operators resumed. The three-week hiatus in the strike would enable enough coal to be produced to alleviate any prospect of shortages as warm weather had prevailed in October, all without harming the position of Mr. Lewis when the strike would be continued. It also alleviated for the nonce the threat of the President invoking Taft-Hartley.

"Strong Democratic Tide" tells of the Democratic victories in the special New York Senate race between former Governor Herbert Lehman and incumbent John Foster Dulles, as well in several mayoral races and a few scattered special House races. It finds that, while the news was good for the Administration, as the Fair Deal program was made a centerpiece of the Dulles-Lehman race, it was not conclusive, as Mr. Dulles had outperformed the poll predictions and New York was not a suitable testing ground for the Fair Deal, as it was likely to be accepted there more than other places.

The Republican Party, it opines, could afford to gamble in the following year's Congressional elections and in 1952, as it was clear that the "me too" attitude conveyed previously by Mr. Dewey in 1944 and 1948, as well as by Wendell Willkie in 1940, was not working.

Drew Pearson tells of the resignation from the RNC of its treasurer, insurance executive James Kemper, having been in the works since the previous August when Guy Gabrielson became RNC chairman. His announcement had been delayed by agreement until the political atmosphere was calmer. Mr. Kemper had never emphasized money raising, a job undertaken well by his predecessor Walter Hope, who had a balance of $800,000 on account in 1948. Mr. Kemper's immediate predecessor Harold Talbot had raised a measly $71,000 while the RNC spent money at the rate of $80,000 per month. Thus, the fund was already depleted when Mr. Kemper, who quit in part because of the small amount remaining in the treasury, assumed the position, and the amount on hand at his departure was less than $100,000.

Air Force Secretary Stuart Symington staged a private poker party for the President and friends the previous week.

Collier's had presented a good, hard-nosed story by Sam Stavisky about the purging of leftist and Communist sympathizing unions within CIO. Mr. Pearson notes that Louis Ruppel, one of FDR's old pals, had injected new spirit into the magazine.

While U.S. Steel was resisting settlement of the steel controversy, it was increasing its hold on the industry by acquisition of a Government wartime shipyard in Orange, Tex., against the advice of the Justice Department which found the purchase monopolistic. But Congressman J. M. Coombs and other Texas politicos had passed a resolution authorizing the purchase.

After the war, the Truman Administration had ignored the Justice Department's advice not to allow acquisition by U.S. Steel of the Geneva, Utah, Government facility.

Now, U.S. Steel ignored the Government efforts to resolve the steel strike, rejecting the President's fact-finding board recommendations.

North Carolina's James Webb was resigning as Undersecretary of State, a position he had taken earlier in the year. He had not liked the rough-and-tumble game of diplomacy and wished to return to the private sector. The President had convinced him to stay until the talks with Britain and Canada regarding atomic energy sharing were finished.

The Civil Aeronautics Administration had sought with the Air Force and Navy to coordinate problems in air traffic at civilian airports to avoid more disasters as that occurring near National Airport the previous week when an Eastern Air Lines DC-4 collided with a Bolivian fighter jet on approach to landing, killing all 55 aboard the passenger plane. It was considered important to punish fliers who ignored the rules. And the close proximity of military and civilian fields was a problem, necessitating holding up civilian traffic often as military pilots, engaged in training missions, wound up off course.

Marquis Childs, in Frankfurt, West Germany, tells of junketing members of Congress misbehaving with wine, women, and song, while visiting Western European capitals, delivering the wrong message to foreign diplomats and Cabinet ministers as well as thumbing their noses at American diplomats and ERP administration personnel who insisted that they meet with these personages, often left waiting at the altar for the visitors while they were off gallivanting in "hey-nonny-nonny".

He provides a few anecdotal examples without names and then suggests that perhaps it would be cost-wise to send the wives over with the members of Congress on these junkets, as they might have a constraining influence on their behavior.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop discuss the meeting of the Big Three foreign ministers in Paris, with the focus from the American perspective being on urging Western European economic union, with the realization that it would be counter-productive to have Britain join this union presently in the wake of the pound devaluation and Britain's economic crisis leading to it.

Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin of Britain wanted the focus to be on Germany and the eroding moral authority of the Big Three in the occupation. He favored a temporary halt to the program of dismantling of German heavy industry and facilitating a rational substitute program, working with new Chancellor of West Germany Konrad Adenauer. He also wanted review of the peace treaty for West Germany, German participation in the international control of the industrial Ruhr, the relation between West Germany and the rest of the continent, and other such matters, in all a recasting of Western policy.

Secretary of State Acheson had indicated that he was upset with the apparently negative attitude being expressed in Britain regarding European union. This attitude, he insisted, was undermining of the whole project as British leadership was essential to its success.

The French meanwhile feared a resurgence of Germany's industrial strength, although Foreign Minister Robert Schuman, himself, did not categorically oppose dismantling of German heavy industry.

There was thus an impasse among the three foreign ministers, coming into the scheduled three-day conference. The issues would only be superficially broached in that time and would take a lot longer to resolve, but at least the issues were being faced.

A letter writer responds to a letter of November 4 which had urged home ownership for all apartment dwellers so that they might become landlords. This writer congratulates the previous writer on her home ownership but reminds that everyone could not afford to own a home. She urges landlords to be kinder and more charitable to their tenants when rent control was removed.

A letter writer praises a textile company for publishing an eight-page company newsletter twice monthly and urges other companies to do likewise.

A letter writer, a veteran of the war, responds to a previous writer who expressed anger at the Communists and wanted them lynched, finds it misplaced as America was tending toward socialism already in its Government policies. He agrees with punishment of Communists who plotted to overthrow the Government by force, but sees no reason to circumvent the Constitution and lower the country to the level of the Communists in doing so.

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