The Charlotte News

Monday, November 28, 1949


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the American merchant ship Sir John Franklin reported that a Chinese Nationalist warship had fired on it 12 times the previous Friday off Shanghai while proceeding to Woosung. No one was injured. The Nationalists claimed violation of their blockade at Shanghai and other Communist-held ports, which the U.S. and other maritime nations had not recognized. The incident was similar to that involving another merchant ship, the Flying Cloud, a few days earlier when it was fired upon after being ordered by the Chinese to halt and disregarding the instruction.

Before the U.N. political committee, the U.S. demanded that the U.N. appeal to all nations, including Russia, to stay out of the situation in China and let it resolve its own problems. Nationalist China had charged Russian interference in the internal affairs of the country on behalf of the Communists.

Meanwhile in China, the Nationalists claimed that they had stabilized the front less than twenty miles from the doomed provisional capital at Chungking. Officials were planning to flee the following day.

David Lilienthal, outgoing chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, disclosed that it had developed plans for an atomic breeder reactor to supply atomic materials for peacetime applications, as powering ships and airplanes. The designers were confident that the plan would work. AEC was beginning immediate construction of a test facility. The plans would utilize the isotope U-238, far more plentiful than directly fissionable and scarce U-235, and thorium, even more plentiful than U-238, to produce fissionable materials.

Mr. Lilienthal laughed at the suggestion that Colorado Senator Ed Johnson had engaged in a "nefarious plot" to reveal nuclear secrets when he had spoken on a November 1 television broadcast, as discussed the previous day in a report on the President beefing up national security surrounding nuclear and other secrets. But Mr. Lilienthal also said that Senator Johnson appeared to be talking out of turn when he claimed that the U.S. had developed an atomic bomb six times more powerful than that which fell on Hiroshima in 1945.

In Berlin, the British-licensed newspaper Telegraf reported that 2,000 persons had perished from fire, smoke and gas in a uranium mine fire in the Soviet zone of Germany in the Erz Mountains along the Czech border the previous Thursday. Only 300 miners were reported to have been rescued. About half the full complement of workers, 5,000, were believed to have been in the mine at the time. American-sponsored radio said that it also had received such a report from a reliable source. American intelligence, however, had not heard of the report. The Telegraf also reported that 300 miners had drowned several weeks earlier when a uranium mine flooded.

During his informal visit to the U.S., Field Marshal Viscount Bernard Montgomery visited with General Eisenhower. Afterward, Field Marshal Montgomery said that they had discussed the weather: "When the weather is bad you want an umbrella—a military umbrella." General Eisenhower declined comment.

In the Pacific Northwest, floods were threatening in the wake of violent wind and rain storms, killing fourteen persons across the northern half of the nation, expected to reach the Great Lakes region. Washington state was hardest hit with hundreds of families rendered homeless.

John Scali—prominent player in the Cuban Missile Crisis as an authorized courier of White House information to a Russian back-channel acquaintance—reports that the President said in a report to Congress that the Communist guerrilla threat in Greece had been nearly eliminated by the Greek Government operating with American military and financial aid, totaling 472.3 million dollars. Most of the Communists, said the President, had fled into Albania, Bulgaria, and Yugoslavia, abandoning most of their equipment as they went. He said that only if the foreign sponsors of the guerrillas gave even more support than earlier could they revive. The President attributed the success primarily to "the courage of the people and fighting men of Greece." The report also disclosed that 152.3 million dollars had been spent in U.S. aid to Turkey's armed forces. Aid to both countries formed the initial thrust of the Truman Doctrine, first enunciated in March, 1947, a year after the "iron curtain" speech of Winston Churchill at Westminster College in Fulton, Mo.

The President arrived in Key West for a three-week vacation.

The cost of living dropped in October to its July level, thanks to lower food costs.

In Washington, a jury was selected in the trial of Congressman J. Parnell Thomas, former HUAC chairman, for allegedly defrauding the Government through a scheme of pocketing the salaries of bogus staff. His former secretary was on trial with him for aiding and abetting the scheme.

In York, S.C., a jury was selected in the second trial of Nathan Corn for murder of his former employer, George Beam. He had been convicted once and sentenced to death only to have the South Carolina Supreme Court reverse. He had been convicted, according to the Court, principally on circumstantial evidence. The prosecution claimed that he killed Mr. Beam to hide shortages in Mr. Corn's accounts.

In Birmingham, England, a Bishop of the Church of England, Dr. E. W. Barnes, recommended, in a speech before the Rotary Club, that Britain undertake to sterilize the mentally unfit, which he estimated to comprise ten percent of the country, and make birth control a national policy. He said that the island otherwise would become dangerously overcrowded. He claimed that the British Labor Government had made the situation worse than ever. Not only was the country overpopulated, he said, immigrants were pouring into England from British possessions, as the West Indies, to enjoy the benefits of the welfare state. He wanted to limit immigration. He favored medically controlled euthanasia for defective babies, claiming that 90 percent of feeble-mindedness was inherited. While he believed in getting rid of the slums and helping the poor, he did not want the welfare state to spoil rather than improve the quality of the population.

Poor man. His parents were a bit daft.

In Raleigh, Governor Kerr Scott, in two addresses, one at N.C. State and the other at a press conference, said, in reference to the recent meeting of the Southern Governors in Biloxi, Miss., where states' rights were a main topic of discussion, that states' rights carried with them states' responsibilities. He said that the Dixiecrats had sought to make the meeting a rally for the states' rights cause. He also said that there was much speculation at the conference regarding the role James Byrnes would play in the states' rights cause, if, as expected, he would run for Governor in 1950. If the Democrats rejected states' rights, then the Dixiecrats would seek to have Mr. Byrnes run on their ticket.

Countess Edda Ciano, daughter of Benito Mussolini, said that she was born out of wedlock by several years. She said that she had known for several years that she had been a bastard. Her father was an SOB who wound up an Esso Duce Benito Finito.

In Hollywood, police arrested actor Dean Hall, who made his living by barking as a dog in movies, on suspicion of public drunkenness. He then kept his fellow prisoners up all night with his 50 varieties of dog howls.

On the editorial page, "When Will Sex Crimes Stop?" recounts three recent front-page stories involving the finding of young children and even an infant as rape-murder victims, two in California, one in Idaho, prompting many parents across the country to keep their children indoors.

Early in 1949, Dr. Matthew T. Moore, a Philadelphia psychiatrist, had written in the Saturday Evening Post that psychopaths could not control their impulses and should therefore be segregated in colonies from the rest of the society. Some psychiatrists recommended life imprisonment for such sexual deviancy and others, castration—ignoring the Eighth Amendment, short of a coerced consensual form of correction as a condition of parole or probation.

Psychiatrists contended that such personalities could be detected early in life after initial acts of sexually-motivated violence, usually occurring during the juvenile years. But such youthful offenders were not for long institutionalized, as in the case of 17-year old University of Chicago freshman William Heirens, who confessed and pleaded guilty to murdering the little girl in Chicago during the course of a bungled burglary when she awakened during its course on a January night in 1946.

It explains that a relatively minor crime of sexual deviancy involving violence did not merit locking someone up for good, even though it might portend more serious conduct later.

It wonders whether there was a solution to be found in Dr. Moore's suggestion of segregation from society.

Again, without consent from the accused, that is a violation of Constitutional rights. Legislatures are not free to adopt any old scheme of punishment they choose, lest the whole society return to barbarism. There is a grave danger in seeking to predict behavior based on some minor incident and the resulting hysteria that inevitably follows from it, sometimes from those who perhaps simply do not like a neighbor or school or work associate, seek therefore to create a false cloud of suspicion, sometimes to take the suspicion off their own forms of deviancy.

We must await the crime and seek to avoid tempting fate in the meantime by being reasonably mindful of security, not seek to punish status offenders. Had an upper story window on a child's bedroom not been without proper security, affording a second-story man an easy means of entry in the Chicago slaying of six-year old Susan Degnan, the incident might never have occurred. Burglars are loathe to break windows in the middle of the night.

Of course, the parents prone to mental defect could provide their children with guns under their pillows for protection and await the worst.

Whether, incidentally, Mr. Heirens, who died in prison in 2012, was actually the killer of two other women, to which he also confessed, or even of Susan Degnan, remained something of a question mark, as he later recanted his confessions, claiming, with some probity, that they were extracted by police violence toward him, as well the fulfilled promise that he would not face the death penalty. That he was a routine cat burglar, however, with a mental issue was not in dispute.

"Insurance Against Catastrophe" tells of Senator Paul Douglas of Illinois supporting limitation of Federal health insurance to catastrophic illness, that which bankrupted many Americans, rather than concentrating on the President's program of across-the-board compulsory health insurance, which, Senator Douglas predicted, would be defeated in the next session of Congress. He instead wanted a plan to pay for medical and hospital bills exceeding $150 to $200 per year, a plan which would cost the wage earner about one percent of his income, compared to three percent under the President's plan.

The piece says it would monitor with interest this trial balloon as it presented a logical position, as most people could not afford to prepare for catastrophic illness whereas most could lay aside enough resources for the contingency of ordinary illness.

"Property and People" compliments the property owner of the Palmer Alley slum area for making an effort to improve conditions. The crime rate of the area was high and the owner had arranged to have the police patrol it more frequently and assured that there would be proper lighting. He also was demanding that new tenants show gainful employment. Houses had been sprayed, drainage pipes unclogged, weeds removed. Residents were being forced to comply with garbage disposal regulations.

The Charlotte Real Estate Board's proposal to provide low-income areas with small community houses staffed by persons who had training in social and mental health care was finding widespread favor.

While the program was not expected to produce miracles, it was a start and no changes could come as long as the slum areas remained neglected.

A piece from the Atlanta Constitution, titled "The Real Danger", tells of the question whether double taxation of corporate dividends was drying up investment capital, making it necessary for the Government to finance private business through RFC, emerging from hearings in the wake of an RFC loan of 44 million dollars to Kaiser-Frazer automobile.

The director of RFC had told a Congressional subcommittee that there was nothing wrong with the loan per se but rather the conditions which made it necessary, that high taxes, and particularly the double taxation of dividends, had dried up private capital investment potential. Investors were concentrating on tax-exempt Government and municipal bonds instead.

It concludes that it would be a sorry day if such investment had to come from the Federal Government rather than private resources.

Drew Pearson tells of a visiting Latin American official asking General Eisenhower why America should not drop some atom bombs on Russia to "get it over with", to which the General inquired as to where the U.S. would obtain the 30 million troops then necessary to hold the Soviet Union afterward. His response was characteristic of many military men who now viewed the atom bomb as not a decisive weapon.

The President had just received a report on Russia's anti-aircraft defenses, particularly its radar network, which had contributed to military skepticism about use of atomic bombs, as it revealed a first-rate radar net along the perimeter plus an inner net of radar defenses. It contradicted a previous report showing relatively weak radar defenses. The report might alter strategic war planning and its heavy reliance on penetration by the B-36 deep into Russian territory, able then to deliver atom bombs in quantity before the Russians could muster a defense.

He notes that only the Siberian border lacked adequate defenses but that, too, was being fortified with a radar screen.

The U.S. annual gross national product of 262 billion dollars was the greatest of any nation in history. But an economist predicted that, growing at the same rate it had between 1870 and 1920, it would be two trillion dollars by the turn of the century.

Pork was about to increase in price.

The Joint Chiefs had revised their plans for defense of Western Europe in light of the Soviet detonation of an atom bomb, planning for 60 divisions of troops instead of 30 to defend the Rhine. They believed that neither side would use the bomb as both now had it.

Admiral Louis Denfeld, deposed chief of Naval operations, was being urged by Navy Secretary Francis Matthews and new chief Admiral Forrest Sherman to remain in the Navy as a fleet commander, but Admiral Denfeld had not yet come to a decision.

Small business and labor were contemplating getting together for the first time to back candidates in 1950, starting with their common chief target, Senator Robert Taft, along with Senators Homer Capehart of Indiana, John Bricker of Ohio, Eugene Millikin of Colorado, William Knowland of California, and Chan Gurney of South Dakota. The only Republicans backed by both groups were Senators Wayne Morse of Oregon and William Langer of North Dakota, plus Congressman Jacob Javits of New York and three other House members.

There were some Senators over whom small business and labor disagreed, as Pat McCarran of Nevada and Joe O'Mahoney of Wyoming, both of whom were approved by labor but not by small business.

He notes that farm leaders also were comparing notes with labor regarding the mid-term elections.

Joseph and Stewart Alsop tell of the chairman of the CIO Political Action Committee, Secretary of Agriculture Charles Brannan, and Secretary of Interior Oscar Chapman each visiting the President, with CIO president Phillip Murray expected soon to follow, to push for the support of the White House for the Democratic nomination of Republican Murray Lincoln in Ohio to run against Senator Robert Taft in the fall of 1950. Mr. Lincoln was a gifted speaker and had the backing of both labor and farmers, coming from a farm background, himself.

He was reluctant to run for the belief that he would not receive the active backing of the Democratic organization and because the likely Democratic opponent, Joseph Ferguson, would probably therefore beat him in the primary. There was an effort, however, by labor organizations to stress their unqualified support of Mr. Lincoln and a simultaneous effort to convince Mr. Ferguson not to run.

It was anticipated that Mr. Lincoln would, in the end, throw his hat in the ring, probably in early December after consulting with DNC chairman William Boyle. If so, it would make for one of the most meaningful and significant elections in many years, with Senator Taft and Mr. Lincoln being polar opposites on foreign and domestic policy. Mr. Lincoln's candidacy would be a measure of the extent to which the Democratic Party was on its way to becoming an authentic labor party.

Robert C. Ruark, still in Salt Lake City, tells of the welfare project of the Mormon Church, with ten million dollars in real property and assets, being a monument to thrift and an example of self-help. The Mormons believed that God was an exalted man and that man was literally the son of God, who could, if he minded his ways, become as the father. Mormons were trained for Godhood in eternity and the welfare project was one of seven steps in apprenticeship to Godhood.

The Church had been proud during the Depression of being able to reject relief for its members. The welfare program was the result of hoarding food and goods in 115 storehouses in the event of another depression or war. The Church owned canneries, 349 farms, a coal mine, a mattress factory, a cotton cloth mill, a shoe-making factory, dairy farms and plants.

Its cup was running over with grains and goods, produced by labor which was 95 percent free and the contribution of the members to their own general welfare. Those employed by the project were the needy, about half of whom would otherwise be on public relief. Hours were not set but everyone was encouraged to work as much as they could.

Each area served by the Church produced goods suitable to the locale. The Church insisted on a minimum of a one-year stock of everything on hand.

Following the end of the war in Europe, the Mormons had quietly shipped 30 carloads of necessities to their European members.

One non-Mormon told Mr. Ruark that he did not approve of any church having such a hold on its members as the Mormon Church did, but, he added, he wished that the Federal Government could operate with a fifth of the efficiency. It was a viewpoint held by many non-Mormons in Salt Lake City.

A letter from J. R. Cherry, Jr., addresses "The Graham Peace Formula", finding the editorial illuminating, but disagreeing with the conclusion that Senator Graham, while having been tolerant of Communist ideology as president of UNC, had since learned of the doctrine's dangers, finding the statement based more on supposition than fact, requiring time to determine. He thinks that Senator Graham's proposal would have been more credible had he first apologized to the people of North Carolina for the chagrin caused by his "maladministration" of the Greater University.

He then brings up his favorite topic during the prior school year, graduate student Hans Freistadt, who he had turned in to Senator Clyde Hoey for attending UNC on an Atomic Energy Commission scholarship while also openly being an avowed Communist, a letter which resulted in investigation of the matter as part of the AEC hearings the previous spring, concluding in the withdrawal of the scholarship. Mr. Cherry condemns Senator Graham for being tolerant of Mr. Freistadt, whose case he regards as an illustration of the mindset of the Senator.

He regards Senator Hoey as one of the "ablest" Senators in Congress but counsels patience with respect to Senator Graham as to whether he truly had changed.

Anyway, he goes on in his anti-Communist diatribe, which soon would receive new and revitalized vent in the form of Senator Joe McCarthy, who, no doubt, would become a folk hero of Mr. Cherry—all of which would be a forerunner of Senator Jesse Helms, elected in 1972 after managing the race-baiting campaign in 1950 of Raleigh attorney Willis Smith, beating Senator Graham in the spring Democratic primary. Mr. Helms, while performing television editorials at his Raleigh television station during the 1960's, more than once labeled everyone at UNC "pink". He was obviously color-blind, at least regarding pastels, as Carolina blue stands for the Hope Diamond and the girl who lost her pretty little head in the French Revolution four days following the founding of the first State University on October 12, 1793.

A letter writer finds fault with arithmetic in a report on daily loss of Charlotte's water through leaky pipes which would cost $6,600 to rectify. The article had said that the annual loss was $182,500 when it was, according to his figures, $18,250.

The editors admit the mistake by a "busy reporter" who miscalculated, and a copy desk which allowed it to get by uncorrected. "All have red faces."

Yeah, and you also let slip the front page error on traffic deaths thus far in the first three quarters of 1949, providing a figure equating to 133,000 rather than the actual number of 22,000 for the fact of an omitted "2" in 24 when the National Safety Council said there had been 82 deaths every 24, not every 4, hours. You need an arithmetic spot checker. We didn't come here and spend all this time recounting the past as prologue for the previous 18 years to be made sport of by careless reporters of 67 years ago.

A letter writer agrees with the previous writer who criticized having the Christmas Festival before Thanksgiving, suggests that soon Easter might be celebrated in March.

Sometimes, it is. You mean coincident with Mardi Gras in New Orleans, on Fat Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, don't you?

Framed Edition
[Return to Links
Page by Subject] [Return to Links-Page by Date] [Return to News<i><i><i>—</i></i></i>Framed Edition]
Links-Date Links-Subj.