The Charlotte News

Saturday, November 5, 1949


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the steel strike moved closer to full settlement as four more companies, Republic, Jones & Laughlin, Lukens, and Youngstown Sheet & Tube, appeared on the verge of settlement or, in the case of Lukens, had already settled, with the United Steelworkers, following the lead of Bethlehem Steel.

Meanwhile, however, 10,000 steelworkers quit the job at Timken Roller Bearing Co.

Chief Government mediator Cyrus Ching said that his discussions with John L. Lewis anent resolution of the dispute prompting the coal strike had been pleasant and constructive. But no developments had transpired in the coal strike.

When the Mayor of Pittsburgh asked Mr. Lewis for emergency coal relief for the city, he suggested that he talk to the "guys in the Duquesne Club", referring to an exclusive club to which some of the operators presumably belonged.

The President, it was believed, would soon make a decision on whether to invoke Taft-Hartley to end the coal strike.

In Marion, Ill., about 100 coal miners appealed to the company to allow them to mine enough coal for their own homes. They were told that it was alright with the company if their union approved. About 50 men had worked the mine for free the previous week for their own needs, as the company furnished the electricity.

Joseph and Stewart Alsop, appearing on the front page, tell of the President being prepared to invoke Taft-Hartley to end the coal strike as a last resort. Throughout the dual steel and coal strikes, which had caused American production to drop 12 points, the White House had maintained an appearance of abnormal calm, masking, however, a coolly calculated strategy to allow the steel strike first to be resolved so as to remove Administration-friendly Philip Murray from the line of fire, then to turn all of the attention to John L. Lewis and the UMW as the economy would grind to a second halt, placing psychological pressure on Mr. Lewis to settle.

Mr. Lewis had apparently gleaned this strategy and so had sought to get AFL and CIO to support the steel strikers during the strike, making them, had they taken the bait, responsible to UMW. As it was, he remained isolated. The rest of labor would not resent resort to Taft-Hartley to drive the maverick Lewis into line. Such realization had apparently motivated Mr. Lewis to seek a separate settlement with Indiana and Illinois operators.

The President had invoked Taft-Hartley seven times, but the national emergency provisions remained in disfavor and he genuinely did not want to use it again. (The rest of their piece is on another page, but may be read here, albeit, overall, in edited form.)

They relate of a new strategy being considered by the White House, whereby workers in certain industries deemed essential to the economy and welfare of the nation, steel, coal, railroads, probably oil and possibly nuclear energy, would be required to forgo strikes and submit to compulsory, binding arbitration of disputes, in exchange for receiving preferential treatment on welfare and pension funds and on wages, going beyond those prevailing in non-essential industries. They conclude that whether that scheme could be sold to labor remained to be seen but that it did convey the attitude of the President toward "the evolution of the welfare state."

In Cleveland, the CIO executive board set up committees to investigate charges of pro-Communism by ten left wing unions and nine of the leaders of those unions. CIO president Philip Murray announced that for the first time since Taft-Hartley had taken effect 26 months earlier, the CIO officers would sign the required non-Communist affidavits to enable access to NLRB processes.

In Washington, an Air Force officer said that it was possible that the Bolivian pilot, who collided his jet fighter into the Eastern Air Lines DC-4, killing all 55 passengers aboard, was confused by the maneuvers of a military plane nearby, but he doubted it. The B-25 in question had landed at Bolling Field by the time of the collision. A story in the Washington Post had suggested that the Bolivian pilot thought that the tower was instructing him to land behind the B-25, which was simulating a landing at National Airport. The actual instructions were to wait for the landing of the DC-4. The crash was the worst U.S. airline disaster to date in terms of loss of life.

In Fort Worth, Tex., Associated Press correspondent Seymour Topping, formerly stationed at Nanking, told the 16th annual A. P. Managing Editors Association that Moscow appeared not to have direct control over the Chinese Communists, even if the latter followed Moscow's lead on ideological grounds. There were no significant Russian forces within China. There was a strong streak of independence as with Tito in Yugoslavia, based on the realization among the Chinese Communists that they needed the close association with the U.S. more than any other country for the sake of economic progress, to assure reconstruction and industrialization and to act as a counter-weight to Russian imperialistic encroachment.

Larry Allen had told the group earlier that any war with Russia would come by the end of 1952, based on the facts that by then the Russians would have developed a stockpile of atomic bombs, that the Russians believed that America was disunited during a presidential election year, and that they believed that Marshall Plan aid would run dry by that point, that it would thus be easier for them to enter Western Europe and take over at that point.

In Atlanta, Representative Walter H. Judd of Minnesota, in an address before the convention of Southern Presbyterian laymen, attacked America's foreign policy in Asia, saying that Russia was winning the battle for the world. He believed Asia was the key to the future of the world and that America had essentially abandoned China. He believed that the Christian church held the only solution to the problem.

Emery Wister of The News reports that in Charlotte, Major General William G. Chase, Third Army chief of staff, said that the unification of the armed services was working well, despite publicity of late regarding squabbles with the Navy. Those fights, he said, were confined to the Pentagon. Locally, in the Third Army area spread over seven Southern states and headquartered in Atlanta, things were fine.

In Denver, the police chief was found dead, shot through the mouth, apparently by his own service revolver. He had been scheduled to resign on November 15.

In Utica, N.Y., a six-week old infant was kidnaped from his crib the previous night. The mother said that she saw a man she did not recognize in a black coat with his hat pulled down over his eyes drive away with the boy in a black sedan. She pursued the man but he had driven away before she could reach his location. The couple, of modest means, could think of no reason for being singled out for the kidnaping. The police thus far had no clues.

Near Lexington, N.C., the 27-year old daughter of the publisher of The Hickory Record died in a car accident while she and an attorney, seriously injured in the accident, were on their way to the Duke-Wake Forest football game in Durham. Their car left the road and hit an embankment as the attorney tried to pass another car which was passing a wagon, losing control of the automobile in the process.

In Chapel Hill, N.C., a UNC graduate student of Bronxville, N.Y., was killed during the early morning when he was struck by a car while he rode his bicycle along Rosemary Street, a block off Franklin. The driver of the car, also a UNC student, was being held on a charge of manslaughter. It appeared that he had been drinking.

In Sanford, N.C., at the North Carolina Conference of the Methodist Church, an assertion by the executive secretary of the Allied Church League that the dry forces were on the march after winning 39 straight beer-and-wine elections and losing only two of twelve ABC elections, brought applause from the delegates.

Bishop Hazen G. Werner of Columbus, O., told the conference that some drys had driven people to drink and that therefore it was important to be practical in waging the fight against alcohol, that it was important to show people how to be happy without drink. He suggested, "We're free to drink; we are not free not to drink."

Come again.

In Atlanta, a woman, 27, gave birth to five children in less than a year, triplets on this date, and twins the previous January 16. She had four other children by a prior marriage. Her husband was a parking lot attendant.

In New York, five engine companies, two hook and ladder companies, a fire boat on the East River, a water tower, a fire patrol wagon, one deputy fire chief and two battalion chiefs, plus several police cars, responded to a fire at Bellevue Hospital during the early morning. It turned out that a mattress had caught fire in the nurse's quarters.

In San Francisco, an estimated 50 to 60 horses perished in a fire at a riding school and stables.

On the editorial page, "Yardstick for Rent Control" provides the pros and cons of maintaining local rent control, as previously presented by Tom Fesperman of The News in a two-part series.

It finds that if a survey to be conducted during the week by the Housing Expediter's office found adequate housing in the community, the controls ought be lifted by the City Council. But if it showed an acute shortage, they ought be continued. The Housing Expediter ought issue the order of suspension if that was to be the result, so that he could re-implement them if necessary in the face of high rents. That would serve as deterrent to rent-gouging.

"Lewis Maneuver Fails" finds the effort of John L. Lewis to settle the coal strike separately with the Indiana coal operators appearing doomed to failure for the nonce. He had wanted to use such a settlement as leverage to work out the remainder of the contracts. The operators rejected his entreaty.

The present strike had not gone well for Mr. Lewis as a late summer had meant that coal shortages had not yet become overly critical. The steel strike had shut down the furnaces which normally consumed much of the coal. As the Alsops had pointed out on this day's front page, Mr. Lewis appeared caught up in a high-level strategy maneuver engineered by the White House and pro-Truman labor leaders.

Typically, his timing of strikes had been good but now he was on the receiving end of industry-wide bargaining pressure. The problem was that the nation and the coal miners had to suffer as he learned his lesson.

"Political Machines" finds that the usually politically sagacious Jonathan Daniels had engaged in an overly general statement in saying that the state had no political machine and never had.

The late Senator Furnifold Simmons had tapped governors, with one exception, for thirty years. The late Governor and Ambassador O. Max Gardner and friends had controlled politics from 1928 to 1948. Many, indeed, had voted for Kerr Scott for Governor only because they were tired of machine politics selecting their governors. And, it finds, Governor Scott had now developed his own machine.

"A Great Dramatic Team" laments that it had been eight years since Alfred Lunt and wife Lynn Fontanne had performed on the stage in Charlotte, since 1941 when they had appeared in Robert Sherwood's There Shall Be No Night. It hopes for their return soon.

A piece from the Baltimore Evening Sun, titled "Schoolbooks in Texas", relates of Houston school authorities banning a civics textbook for stating that free education was communistic and that a government-run postal system was inherently socialistic.

The same book was used in Army and Navy schools, had not caused undue problems for the soldiers and sailors who read it, and so, it suggests, teachers in Texas ought be able to set the students straight in short order without banning the book.

It observes, however, that the story did suggest that Texans learned from books rather than, as the prevailing notion had it, by word of mouth, as nothing else could account for the strange notions of history and geography among so many of its citizens. Texas students had been taught implicitly that there was no history of the nation prior to 1845, and so one paragraph in one book would hardly make much difference to them.

Drew Pearson tells of a secret resolution having been drawn up by a small number of disgruntled Republicans and Dixiecrats, authorizing the impeachment of President Truman. It had been locked in a safe deposit box pending the next session of Congress. Congressman Ralph Gwinn of New York was the ringleader of the movement, assisted by Gene Cox of Georgia. It charged "nonfeasance" of office, neglecting the economic welfare of the people to help the labor unions, that the President could have prevented disaster by invoking Taft-Hartley to halt the crippling coal and steel strikes, but neglected his duty. With the steel strike being settled, however, the wind had been taken from the sails on the movement, but could be revived if the coal strike persisted.

He notes that the resolution would stand little chance of approval on the House floor. He also notes that Mr. Gwinn had mailed 900,000 franked letters in 1948 containing over two million speeches against public housing, Federal aid to education and rent control. He was a mouthpiece for the large corporations.

The FTC chairman confused Justice Hugo Black with Justice Robert Jackson at the swearing-in ceremony for FTC commissioner John Carson. Justice Black and Justice Jackson had been engaged in a feud since 1946.

The widow of one of the victims of an Eastern Air Lines collision with a Navy Hellcat over Chesterton, N.J., on the previous July 30 was suing the U.S. Government under the Tort Claims Act. The case could serve as a precedent for the right to sue the Bolivian Government in the recent collision of the Bolivian jet fighter with an Eastern Air Lines DC-4 over National Airport in Washington.

He next presents a series of earlier quotes from Senator John Foster Dulles. In March, 1939, he had said it would be hysterical to assume that Germany, Italy or Japan intended war against the U.S. In 1930, he had said that Germany had so grown that its reparations charge was readily bearable. But a year later, he was able to salvage nothing from the German bond wreckage. He had asserted the belief in 1940, when Hitler's agent Gerhard Westrick came to New York, that Herr Westrick had done nothing wrong.

"Who's Who" listed him as the Secretary of the Hague Peace Conference in 1907 but a list of twenty secretaries at the conference did not mention Mr. Dulles, who was then 19. Nor was he mentioned among the members of the reparations commission of 1919, though listed also as a member by "Who's Who". He notes that the biographies contained therein were always submitted to the subject for review.

Though he had mentioned it in earlier columns in 1944 when Mr. Dulles was giving foreign policy advice to Thomas Dewey during his campaign for the presidency, he leaves out his several 1939 quotes regarding Germany and Hitler providing a necessary bulwark to Communist Russia, establishing a balance of "dynamic forces" in Europe to offset the "static" forces of France and Britain.

Attorney General Howard McGrath had made it clear to his Justice Department subordinates in a policy statement that he wanted to protect civil liberties even at the expense of a guilty defendant going free.

Senator Brien McMahon, chairman of the joint Atomic Energy Committee, said that the Russian and American scientists were hard at work trying to develop a new, more powerful atomic bomb and the question was who would develop it first. He added that if Russia got it first, then the U.S. would have "to sign on the dotted line", and vice versa.

He referred to the hydrogen bomb.

Marquis Childs, in Frankfurt, West Germany, tells of the Eastern satellite countries becoming increasingly closed off to journalists and movement of Western diplomats restricted. The prime example was Czechoslovakia, but it was also becoming increasingly true in Poland, Hungary, Rumania, and Bulgaria. He and his wife, for example, had not been permitted visas to enter Poland or Czechoslovakia, though he had reported on reconstruction from Warsaw two years earlier.

A Cominform agent told him that Czechoslovakia was actually doing well economically, that many goods had been removed from rationing. But the facts gathered from other sources belied this view, indicated that when goods were removed from rationing, prices skyrocketed, making goods unavailable to the average consumer. The middle class, small factory and small-shop owners were being eliminated, causing the country, known for its small-merchant class, to be poorer.

Without essential supplies from the West, such as rubber and cotton, Czech industry could not continue to produce even at the present levels and so he counsels review of the trade balance with Czechoslovakia, such that if the exports to Western Europe were not essential, then there was good reason to stop the flow of essential commodities.

Robert C. Ruark tells of trying very hard to understand labor to avoid being labeled a Fascist. He had a guinea pig for the purpose, a small restaurateur, whose restaurant was across the street from where Mr. Ruark had lived for a couple of years, permitting him to observe his labor troubles from time to time.

He had beat the labor problem the first time, but now faced trouble from the hat-check concession, a big racket in New York City, requiring a man to re-purchase his hat from a "blonde with a build" 200 times over.

His friend had been offered $1,500 for the hat-check concession, instead gave it for free to a woman named Josephine, provided her with two meals per day on the house plus tips. Both were happy.

But then the labor inspectors dropped by and found that he had violated three labor laws, including failure to pay minimum wage. He was presented with a summons and an order to pay $655 in back wages to Josephine, though she did not want it. Had she been paying him a concession fee, even a token dollar per year, he would not have owed her minimum wage and no violation would have occurred. She, herself, said that she considered her position to be that of a concessionaire, not an employee.

His friend had decided that it would be better to accept the $1,500 for the concession despite losing a faithful, competent employee in Josephine.

He finds the situation to make little sense, that the employee and employer were happy until the labor regulators stepped in to find that since she was not paying him for the privilege of working, he had to pay her a minimum wage.

Tom Schlesinger of The News provides his weekly "Capital Roundup", tells of Senator Frank Graham reacting positively but with caution to the news that The Netherlands had transferred sovereignty over Indonesia to the United States of Indonesia. Senator Graham had led a commission which sought to effect peaceful transfer of sovereignty to the Republic and to end the civil conflict, to implement the Renville agreement, which had hitherto been unfulfilled, now the basis for final settlement. The Senator wanted to read the whole agreement before making any final comment.

If former Senator Robert Rice Reynolds were to run against Senator Clyde Hoey in 1950, then former interim Senator William B. Umstead, defeated by former Governor Melville Broughton in 1948, would likely run for Senator Graham's seat, to which he had been appointed after the death of Senator Broughton the prior March.

In the Tenth Congressional District race, there was speculation that H. J. Hatcher might run against incumbent Hamilton Jones; but conventional wisdom was that no one ran against a Congressman until his third term, giving him the first term to look around Washington, the second to get his feet on the ground.

Mr. Jones would address the Rotary Club in Hickory on November 17 and the Patriotic Sons of America Convention in Charlotte on November 18.

At the Hotel Raleigh in Washington—across from the Old Post Office—had been appearing Arthur Smith and his Crackerjacks, frequent visitors to Charlotte, the first hillbilly group to perform at a big name hotel in the nation's capital.

A pome, misprinted "[p]oem", appears from the Atlanta Journal, "In Which A Word of Advice Is Imparted To Tender People Coping With Traffic:

"Folks who are fragile
Had better be agile."

If not, the badge 'll
Have to catch the codger
Who ran you flatter
Than a fly swatter.

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.