The Charlotte News

Friday, November 25, 1949


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that five Republicans of the House Foreign Affairs Committee had criticized the State Department, calling it "spineless", for its handling of the matter involving Consul General Angus Ward, released two days earlier by the Communist Chinese after he and his four staff members had been under arrest since October 24 for bogus assault charges, then were tried by a people's court, found guilty but were only ordered deported in lieu of a suspended jail sentence. The Republicans wanted the immediate firing of the Department personnel responsible for Chinese policy, being particularly upset with the world pressure brought to bear on the Chinese Communists, running risk of war, to release Mr. Ward and the four staff members. They believed the loss of face by the U.S. was incalculable and that the country should have used "firm action" to effect the release. But Democratic Representatives Melvin Price of Illinois and Mike Mansfield of Montana both said that the Department should instead be praised for its efforts in getting the five released, that they would still be in jail otherwise.

The U.N. political committee rejected Russia's peace proposal which had accused the U.S. and Britain of plotting a new war. The Western powers had viewed it as a phony proposal offered for propaganda reasons. The committee then approved the Western 12-point peace proposal by a large margin.

In Bonn, the West German parliament approved the new Allied-German agreement relaxing occupation controls, after some tumultuous opposition by the Socialists, the leader of whom claimed Chancellor Konrad Adenauer had sold out to the West. The agreement was for West German participation in international control of the industrial Ruhr, maintenance of West German demilitarization, continued efforts to eradicate Nazism and to support controls against German cartels and monopolies. In return, the Western allies had agreed to end dismantling of 18 German industrial plants, to allow German consular and economic relations abroad, rebuilding of a limited merchant marine, and sponsorship by the allies for West German membership in international organizations.

In Panama City, the Government had its third President, Arnulfo Arias, within a week after the duly installed President, Roberto Chiari, had been ousted in a coup the previous Sunday orchestrated by the national police. The President who took his place, sworn in by the national police chief, was ruled by the Supreme Court not to be the President, that President Chiari was still the proper holder of the office. But the police chief refused to abide by the decision and said Mr. Arias, who as former President had been removed from office by the police chief in 1941, was the new President, a move confirmed by the Congress. The chief claimed that Mr. Arias had actually won the 1948 election but that an electoral jury had thrown out 2,000 of his votes, handing the election to Diaz Arosemena who had died August 23, causing Vice-President Chiaris to become President.

In Paris, France's two biggest labor unions, one Communist-dominated and the other anti-Communist, as discussed by Marquis Childs the previous day, called a one-day general strike, which failed to shut down economic life in the country. Mines and most big industries were closed and transportation disrupted. But large groups of workers remained on the job.

The death toll on Thanksgiving was one of the highest in several years with 161 violent deaths recorded, including 103 traffic-related deaths, between 6:00 p.m. Wednesday and midnight Thursday. Fourteen of the dead were killed in tornadoes in Alabama. During the same period in 1948, 114 had died, 86 in traffic accidents, 128 in 1947, and 83 in 1946. California, Illinois, and Ohio led in traffic deaths with ten each. A list is provided. North Carolina suffered five traffic-related deaths and two others. The National Safety Council records showed that an average of 82 persons every four hours had been killed in traffic accidents in the first three quarters of 1949, including deaths from earlier occurring accidents. (That is a misprint as the resulting number would be about 133,000; the figure was for every 24 hours, resulting in about 22,000 deaths by the end of September, 1949, ending with about 30,250 for the year, the lowest total since 1945 when national speed limits had been at a maximum of 35 mph for the duration of the war and rubber was unavailable for tires, gasoline rationed.)

The former Governor of Oklahoma, J.C. Walton, died at age 68. He had been impeached and removed from office in 1923 in a bitter contest with the Klan, but won the Democratic nomination for the Senate the following year, albeit beaten in the general election.

In Detroit, an unemployed autoworker hacked his wife to death with an axe and then killed himself with a hunting knife. He had attacked his thirteen-year old daughter when she came to the basement to investigate the noise but she had managed to fend him off with a broom and then ran to a neighbor's house. The man had been treated recently for a month at a hospital and had not returned to work since his release three weeks earlier.

Also in Detroit, a prosecutor ordered an investigation into the death of a cab driver who was turned away from a municipal hospital without treatment after suffering chest injuries in an auto accident. He had sat screaming in agony in the hospital hallway for two hours but received no treatment. He then died in a private hospital to which his brother took him. He had no visible lacerations or cuts, according to the superintendent of the hospital. A doctor and supervising nurse were suspended.

In Pasco, Wash., garbage men found a live baby boy buried in a refuse can behind the police station the previous day. A police sergeant traced the baby to an 18-year old unwed mother. She had given birth to the baby in a taxi parked in a vacant lot behind the police station and then deposited the infant in the trash and went home. The prosecutor had not yet determined whether to file charges. Just before giving birth, she and friends had been to a Bowery Boys movie, "Hold That Baby".

In Denver, The Rocky Mountain News printed in an advice column a letter from a woman who told of having found a blue garter belt in her husband's suitcase after his return from a business trip. It was attached to a note saying, "So you'll remember me." The wife had said nothing, slipped the garter belt into the turkey dressing and waited for the Thanksgiving dinner. The advice columnist applauded the woman's ingenuity.

In Chattanooga, Tenn., an air-filled 20-foot high rubber hippopotamus balloon, set to take part in the Christmas parade, broke loose from its moorings and was carried over a fence by a gust of wind, eventually coming to rest in a vacant lot.

But the square of the hippopotamus is always equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sides. So why did the hippo become untethered and fly away freely?

On the editorial page, "Empty Stocking Fund" tells of the beginning of the annual drive sponsored by The News to provide through various community agencies Christmas gifts to the needy children of the city. It urges donation.

"Security for Old Folks" discusses the series of three articles by Bob Sain appearing on the page anent aging and care for the aged, the last of which appeared this date.

Most elderly persons did not have sufficient money on which to live, and through no fault of their own or for want of thrift or productivity. The increased cost of living simply had wiped out most savings. Few received enough on which to live through old-age assistance and welfare. In Charlotte, the elderly recipient averaged $28 per month from the Welfare Department.

Ohio Senator Robert Taft had begun to discuss the possibility of a $100 per month pension for everyone over 65, comparable to the welfare and pension fund stipends being paid to miners and steelworkers. Senator Irving Ives of New York supported the proposal for Congressional study of the matter. The problem was the program's estimated cost of 12 billion dollars per year.

The older population was acquiring increasing political power commensurate with their increasing numbers and might be able in the coming years, it suggests, to effect one of several old-age plans being put forward.

"The Carolina Dragon" tells of Thomas Hamilton of Leesville, S.C., formerly of Augusta, Ga., having quit his position as a grocer to become Grand Dragon of the Association of Carolina Klans.

No one outside the Klan knew exactly what a Grand Dragon did, but he got his picture in the paper a lot and traveled about 1,500 miles per week.

It muses that perhaps the Grand Dragon never thought about how Christian it was to condemn a person for the pigment of their skin or to proclaim judgment over all other religions.

There appeared to be only one Klavern in the Carolinas, at Gastonia. And it had been very quiet since making the mistake of burning a cross in the yard of the editor of the Gastonia Gazette. The Klan had lost its charter in North Carolina in 1949 for failing to pay taxes properly.

The piece wants the Grand Dragon therefore to keep North Carolina "out of his silly game".

Bob Sain, as indicated, provides his third and final report on aging and care for the aged. Whereas in earlier times, the person 65 or older was rare, accounting for four percent of the population in 1900, that age group now represented a five percent larger proportion of the country and were predicted to comprise ten percent of the population by 1980.

The problem facing the society was to provide enrichment to life in old age through physical rehabilitation, vocational guidance, psychology, social service and widespread knowledge. Older people needed purpose in their lives, not to be put away in old age.

The elderly person living with his or her children needed to be useful, if only in such tasks as painting small projects or darning socks.

Older people did not enjoy being house-bound but often there was no place for them to go.

Six community centers had been established successfully in New York City, operated jointly by the Department of Welfare settlement houses, churches and welfare agencies, plus other local neighborhood groups. Dr. Howard A. Rusk of the NYU College of Medicine had described the Hodson Community Center, organized in 1943 by the Welfare Department. Open initially only for a few hours per day, it had received so much demand that it had to remain open 9 to 5 daily, with a special program of dancing and movies on Saturday afternoon. The attendees, at least age 60 with an average age of 74, ran the center and its activities, including painting, arts and crafts, visiting members, editing of a mimeographed magazine, planning monthly parties and arranging entertainments. Each member was sent a card on his birthday. Its budget was only $20,000 per year. Dr. Rusk reported that in its six year history, with over 700 members, not one had ever been admitted to an institution, despite the absence of psychiatric screening at intake.

Charlotte had attempted on a smaller scale a similar program through the Parks & Recreation Commission.

Mr. Sain asserts that the New York program ought be emulated all over the nation.

He concludes that it was necessary to recognize the importance of caring for the rapidly growing elderly population and that each member of society had to learn to understand the aged. For the young of today were the old folks of the next generation.

A piece from the Christian Science Monitor, titled "Will the New Law Control?" welcomes the decision of Secretary of Agriculture Charles Brannan to keep potatoes at the lowest support prices permitted by law, 60 percent under the Anderson-Gore Act providing for sliding parity between 60 and 90 percent on certain crops and no lower than 80 percent on basic crops as corn and wheat. It had reduced the subsidy from 369 million dollars paid out during the previous three years, at 90 percent, to only eleven million thus far in 1949. It was hoped that the formula would stabilize farm income.

But potatoes would nevertheless be produced in huge surplus as previously, even if the surpluses would likely be less under the new lower percent of parity.

Drew Pearson tells of the admirals having met for the first time with Defense Secretary Louis Johnson the previous spring and being told that their proposed budgets were far too high and must be significantly curtailed. They had not forgotten the meeting and chagrin it had caused them.

He provides a mock apology to two Congressmen who had canceled their junkets to South America after the trips at Government expense had been exposed in the column.

In 1916, the AMA had approved Government health insurance, but no longer, was fighting vigorously the President's proposal for compulsory health insurance. It had taken the stance the previous April that it would be better for a few persons to die from undiagnosed cancer and tuberculosis than that "the population should be encouraged on every occasion to run sniveling to the doctor."

The President liked to keep track of the attendance at his campaign stops in 1948 and during his normal tours as President. He had told some Young Democrats recently that he addressed seven million people during the campaign and about 15 million had seen him during its course. His stop recently at St. Paul and Minneapolis, he said, had drawn an estimated 600,000 persons.

He also told the YD's that he kept fit by working his staff hard.

The Navy was worried that the Russians might follow the U.S. lead and launch rockets with nuclear warheads from submarines.

Amvets was inviting Josef Stalin, Winston Churchill and Prime Minister Clement Attlee to Washington to dedicate a World War II memorial on December 21. The President would be present.

The Shah of Iran had provided gifts of ivory and silver to the President, his daughter Margaret, and Secretary of State Acheson. But the gifts would have to be turned over to the State Department until the end of the term, at which point, they could be accepted absent an act of Congress permitting acceptance earlier. One of the first acts of Congress under President Washington had been to prevent foreign nations from seeking American favors through presentation of gifts, titles or emoluments—a part of the Constitution at Article I, Section 9.

Marquis Childs, in Paris, discusses the missing component of the European economic recovery, trade between Western and Eastern Europe. The trade was two billion dollars less than prewar, meaning that petroleum, grain, wood, and coal had to be obtained by Western Europe from North America, utilizing precious dollars.

A deal had fallen through between France and Russia, whereby France was to receive petroleum, because the Russians demanded in return receipt of tankers, banned on the list of trade items considered war-making goods by the National Security Council, endorsed by the British and French.

There were also doubts that the iron curtain countries could supply the West with the goods it sought, as their economies had faltered because of the political upheavals.

Despite the list of forbidden trade items, some got through to the satellites via reshipment through third countries from Sweden, Switzerland, Egypt and other places. Ball bearings and diamond dies had shown up in the satellites despite being on the list.

The problem was lack of economic intelligence and a body to review and coordinate it when received. A kind of economic general headquarters was necessary to remedy this problem. No one knew whether trade between the satellites and the West increased Eastern war potential more than it increased the military-economic potential of the West. Perhaps it made no sense to ban certain items from trade when the Western countries had no other markets for them and when the commodities which had to be substituted for the items not received in return had to be bought in scarce or nonexistent dollars. Such a GHQ could answer such questions.

He counsels using the country's economic power to its fullest capacity to keep the peace.

Robert C. Ruark, still in Salt Lake City, tells of the airlines starting coast to coast cut-rate coach service, with American and TWA leading the way. Eastern was also planning to fly from New York to Miami at bargain fares. The usual cost, including tax, to fly from New York to San Francisco or Los Angeles was about $180. The new fares were about $125.

The coach could seat 70 passengers on a DC-4 rather than the usual 50. No meals would be served and few stops would occur. American would switch to the bigger DC-6's in the spring.

The cut-rate prices were designed to put the independent, non-scheduled companies out of business. But it was also a two-edged sword which could, for want of adequate profits, adversely affect the big airlines as well.

Mr. Ruark believes that passengers would choose this form of travel, not minding being a little more cramped than usual or bringing their own ham sandwich on the flight, tantamount to a bus ride in any event. The full-fare planes would have to increase speed and luxury considerably to compete.

We thank Dr. Jill Stein, Green Party presidential candidate in 2016, for undertaking within a few days the task of collecting enough money to file petitions for recounts of the votes in the states of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, where analysis of voting patterns has suggested electronic manipulation of the vote, possibly through hacking of voting machines. The final deadline for seeking a recount has apparently passed in Pennsylvania but the deadline there remains open until Monday for either seeking a recount county-by-county or convincing a court of a reasonable cause for the recount based on prima facie evidence of irregularity. Dr. Stein has already filed the petition timely in Wisconsin, where the deadline was Friday, November 25. The deadline in Michigan is next Wednesday.

Recounts do democracy good, no matter the outcome, especially when, as in 2016, former Secretary of State Clinton now enjoys a nearly 1.5 percent popular vote lead over her Republican opponent, the "President-elect" based on the count thus far in the long outmoded electoral college, a raw vote lead of more than 1.9 million votes and still counting.

Appreciation is especially due the thousands of contributors to the short campaign for the recounts.

We hope that the recounts go smoothly and lead to the correct result.

A truly republican form of government in a democracy elects its president in modern times by the popular will expressed at the voting booths by the people, not by some elitist convention left over from colonial days, born of fear of the people's will, a check thereon to prevent a demagogic despot, bent on thwarting the will of the people, from coming to power, a convention of elitists seeking to appeal to a strong-armed minority of the popular will by raising the false cry of the emergent necessity of an end to rule by "elitism", in the end to establish a police state under Fascist, i.e. corporate, rule that "law and order", not freedom, may again prevail—the Panamanian mania.

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