The Charlotte News

Saturday, December 10, 1949


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in Australia, the national election turned out the Labor Government of the previous eight years in favor of a Liberal-Country Party coalition, following New Zealand, recently turning out its 14-year old Labor Government, in a trend toward the right and away from socialism. Observers believed that Australians were tired of controls and the trend toward socialization of industries.

The Nationalists in China lost all except three small holds on the mainland, ready to give up one of them at Chengtu as soon as evacuation of the previous provisional capital was completed. The other two were Sichang in Sikang Province, surrounded and virtually worthless, and the Luichow peninsula opposite Hainan Island. Communist forces were said to be preparing to attack the latter position to prevent the fleeing of Nationalist refugees to Formosa. Kunming had fallen this date with a few evacuees arriving by air in Hong Kong, and Chiang Kai-Shek had fled to Formosa from Chengtu. The U.S. Consul at Kunming was also being flown to Formosa. The fall of Chengtu would mark the end of organized Nationalist resistance to the Communists on the mainland.

The U.N. General Assembly adjourned its meeting in New York, begun September 20, after hearing Russia accuse the Western powers of a "black plot" against peace and that Britain and the U.S. were planning a new war, that Russia stood for peace.

The previous night, the Assembly voted to set up international rule over Jerusalem in the face of open threats against it by Arab and Jewish occupying powers, voting to allocate eight million dollars for the purpose. Both Israel and Hashemite Jordan, which jointly occupied the city under agreement, had said the population of Jerusalem would fight such international rule. King Abdullah of Jordan said that the U.N. trusteeship would be established in his area of occupation only over his dead body. Moshe Sharatt, the Israeli Foreign Minister, said that he would give no help to the U.N. commissioner in establishing the trusteeship.

The president of the Assembly, Carlos Romulo, and Secretary-General Trygve Lie, both said that the Assembly could take justifiable pride in their accomplishments.

In Singapore, a rebellious native fatally stabbed the British Governor of Sarawak, Duncan Stewart, 45. He died in a hospital after being treated for the wound for a week following the December 3 incident in Sibu.

In Shallmar, Md., a small coal mining town, threat of famine loomed as food shelves were bear after the town's coal mine had been shut down since the previous March. Without help from the outside world, they could not hope to survive the winter. One family had lived on apples for two weeks. During hunting season, the miners could shoot deer and distribute the venison among their neighbors. The mine owner, in the hospital ill, said that he intended to resume operations but did not know when, that the mine had closed because orders for coal had dissipated, that the small mine owners could not compete with the prices charged by the large companies.

What? Large companies? John L. Lewis? We thought all the problems were caused by this Hillary woman. Isn't she the Devil shutting off the coal?

Columnist Bruce Barton tells of having conducted the last interview, his only one, with Thomas Edison and that the inventor of the electric light bulb and phonograph had been so deaf that he had to write out the questions, to which he supplied answers in writing. Mr. Edison said in response to a question regarding advice to youth, "Youth does not take advice." Mr. Barton decided, after initial disappointment at the terse response, that he was right and that it was not such a bad thing.

Had youth taken advice, then Charles Lindbergh might have continued to fly the mail and not cross the Atlantic. Henry Ford, discouraged by his own father, might not have produced a horseless carriage which few apparently could afford, with the average cost of a car then in the thousands of dollars.

Jesus might not have gone to Jerusalem to inveigh against the existing order. By thus getting into trouble, he had "lit a candle of faith and hope that will give light to all the ages."

Job, too, had told his advisers, "No doubt but we are the people and wisdom shall die with you." The Book of Job, one of the world's masterpieces, would never have been written had Job followed their advice.

And, of course, today we would naturally add to the list the name Trump, the sage of sages, the high, most exalted one, the revered of the revered, the grand poohbah, who would never have started selling the air around him were it not for his advisers.

We suggest to the press adopting new phraseology should the "President-elect" be formalized in that position by the electoral college vote of December 19. Instead of persisting in the nonsensical non-denial denials regarding the three million popular vote loss by the "president-elect" by saying that, well, we live by the majority will of the electoral college, not by the popular vote, the press should simply call it the new "minority-willed" Government—one not of the people, by the people, and most certainly not for the people. Pandering to this crowd of jackanapes because they would represent the incoming executive branch by technical happenstance of a long outmoded convention the abolition of which should have taken place a hundred years ago, will not earn friends either at home among the majority of voters or abroad. Best bear it in mind unless you want to join the reputation of Fox as a network which generally purveys and disseminates partisan garbage and downright lies as fact.

In New York and Chicago, Republican National Committeemen were preparing the following week to meet to shore up failing finances through an effort to lure voters by making the party more attractive.

Dissolve it in the acid it generally produces among the populace and start over with the principles of Lincoln in mind, rather than those embraced by Grant and his money-minded, grafting progeny.

In Rome, Ga., in the trial of the ten defendants charged with Federal civil rights violations in the flogging of seven black citizens, Sheriff John Lynch testified that Klansmen took two of his black prisoners from him by using a hard object poked into his back which he perceived to be a deadly weapon. When he told the Klansmen that the prisoners were under arrest, they had responded, "Damn you and the law." Sheriff Lynch was the last of the defendants to testify in the trial. He was charged, along with three deputies and six private citizens, with conspiracy to conduct a false arrest and then turning over the seven victims to Klansmen for the floggings.

The Sheriff claimed that he had not seen the seven black victims of the floggings on the night of April 2 when the incident occurred and denied conspiring with anyone to have them arrested and beaten. He also claimed that his presence before the home of the woman where a cross was burned and the seven victims were seized was pure coincidence, that he was pursuing a black weaving driver at the time, who stopped at the home and then fled into the woods. He then returned to the scene to find two of his deputies holding two black men. A truck had then sped by at a reckless speed whereupon he ordered his deputies to give chase and while they were gone, the Klan had arrived and demanded surrender of the two black men, arrested for public drunkenness. After the deputies returned, they and the Sheriff were told to leave and they immediately went to Trenton, Ga., to form a posse but before they could, the Klan returned with the prisoners.

In Iron City, Ga., 400 persons turned out for a Klan rally the previous night after the anti-Klan Mayor was defeated for re-election the prior Tuesday. There was no disorder. The national chaplain for the Southern Knights of the Klan, the Rev. A. C. Shuler of Jacksonville, Fla., addressed the crowd, attacking the President's civil rights program and accusing Florida Governor Fuller Warren and Alabama Governor Jim Folsom of "selling out to the Truman crowd." He praised Governors Herman Talmadge of Georgia, Strom Thurmond of South Carolina, Fielding Wright of Mississippi, and Earl Long of Louisiana.

The Mayor had exchanged shots sometime earlier with Klansmen he claimed were trying to kidnap him and he also alleged that telephone harassment had occurred regarding his anti-Klan views.

In Birmingham, Ala., six persons died when a car skidded in a drizzling rain and plunged from a bridge into Bayview Lake. A seventh passenger escaped without serious injury by punching through the glass in the back door.

In Pinehurst, N.C., a single automobile crash took the lives of two young persons and injured three others, all riding in the car which crashed near the Pinehurst racetrack on Highway 211.

Coffee prices were unlikely to return to September, 1949 levels anytime soon, as Brazilian reserves had virtually disappeared, according to an American diplomatic official appearing before the Senate Agriculture Committee. Unfavorable growing conditions had wrecked any chances for a bumper crop during the year, causing coffee prices to double in the prior two months. Heavy coffee exports from Brazil starting in July had produced such depletion in the crop that it was exhausted. A drought had also destroyed hope for a bumper crop. Brazilian Government-owned coffee supplies were sold, having a strong psychological effect on the market as well. The President of Brazil had denied that any speculation on rising demand for coffee was at work in raising the price.

In Hollywood, Ed Wynn broke a rib when he slipped in the shower. But he would be ready to appear on his new television show the following Thursday.

On the editorial page, "Charlotte and the Klan" tells of Grand Dragon of the Carolinas Klans, Thomas Hamilton, having come to Charlotte to found a Klavern, claiming to have done so and enlisted hundreds of new members to act as a nucleus for formation of Klaverns in other communities across the two states.

It finds that it was possible that such was the case in a community of 140,000 people. It laments the fact that there was no law to prohibit them from doing so. It hopes that law enforcement would maintain vigilance over the Klansmen so that any actual transgression of the law could be quickly prevented and prosecuted.

The piece suggests that Mr. Hamilton's method of selling his message through a pledge to the American flag was misplaced, as one could not claim support of the flag while urging deprivation of rights to selected subsets of Americans because of race or religion.

Mr. Hamilton claimed that the Klan opposed all "un-American" people. The piece finds that the term applied to those who opposed the principles of democracy, which afforded equal opportunity for all and enabled the country to be a haven for the persecuted, antithetical to the principles embraced by the Klan. Any contentions of "master race", vigilante justice, and the other things advocated by the Klan were diametrically opposed to American founding principles.

The truth was, it finds, that the dragons and kleagles of the Klan were mainly interested not in white supremacy but in making money from dues off scared dupes, too insecure in their own skin to accept others who were different from them. Dues had run into the millions, paid primarily by the poor along with more money to buy cheap robes, hoods, and other paraphernalia of the Klan.

Mr. Hamilton claimed that the Klan would fight the Communism which had crept into the schools, colleges, and "political set-up". The piece concludes that it would fight the Klan through something the organization ignored, "the Truth".

Hey, look, look, look, look. You get youse'f a little white robe and a hood to go with it, put on thar a circled red cross and go prancin' around town in you finery wid the cross held high of Jehesus Christ, and you in high cotton. Ain't no one gonna separate us from de cotton, least of all not no Commie skuul or newspapa.

"Fulton's Folly" finds Fulton Lewis, Jr., to have violated journalistic ethics by having former Major G. Racey Jordan, (aka, G. Gordon Racey), on his radio program to discuss supposed atomic secrets during the war going from the U.S. to Russia with the approval of FDR aide Harry Hopkins and information flowing to the Russians at the behest of former Vice-President Henry Wallace.

Drew Pearson revealed that Major Jordan had sought to sell his story to both Time and Walter Winchell, but that neither had bitten for its lack of credibility. It concludes that Mr. Lewis should have concluded likewise. For Major Jordan had made no complaints at the time, contemporaneously in 1943-44, regarding the Russians, indeed had praised the Russians who were stationed with him in Montana and received his promotion from captain to major based on the praise of the commanding Russian military officer.

But once broken, the story attracted the "sensation-starved" HUAC to explore it further. In the hearings, Mr. Hopkins was cleared along with Mr. Wallace. And even the story of planes equipped with radar going to Russia had been debunked by the Army, which said Russians had been trained in the use of radar equipment.

It finds it a measure of the anti-Communist hysteria surrounding the cold war that such trumped-up allegations could command such public attention.

It refers to the below piece as aptly stating the case that these supposedly suspicious facts derived from the exigent circumstance that the U.S. and Russia were allies during the war, explaining many of the wartime relationships on which "unscrupulous 'patriots'" were attempting to capitalize since war's end.

A piece from the Washington Post, titled "Plot to Win the War", tells of Lt. General Leslie Groves's testimony to HUAC that he was never pressured by either Harry Hopkins or former Vice-President Henry Wallace to provide to Russia during the war any atomic secrets and that the White House never urged him to ship uranium to Russia, that the only uranium shipped was 475 pounds of unrefined material which was done with the approval of the Manhattan Project.

It finds that the testimony of former Major G. Racey Jordan in making the revelations to HUAC of these shipments showed that a cabal within the Government had existed which was so determined to win the war against Germany that they were willing to carry out lend-lease commitments to the Russians, made by the President under Congressional authority.

Even though Major Jordan was in error in believing there were atomic secrets or radar-equipped planes involved, it could not be denied that there was a plot to aid Russia in the war effort against Germany. Then Germany was defeated by the effort of the Allies, corroborating the story from Major Jordan as conveyed originally via the radio program of Fulton Lewis, Jr.

The cabal included not only Messrs. Hopkins and Wallace, but also General Marshall, the Congressional Committees on Foreign Affairs and Military Affairs, probably even the President.

But, it adds cryptically, the names of the mysterious "Mr. X" and "Mr. Y", responsible for the conveyance of this uranium and other materials to Russia, had not yet been revealed. And, it believes, the identity of "Mr. X" would prove legion.

Drew Pearson tells of the new Secretary of Interior Oscar Chapman having learned to remain dry while remaining sociable in Washington, which was very wet with constantly occurring social events. He accepted a drink on such occasions but never drank it, would tell waiters who wished to give him a refill that he had just had one. When there was a toast, he would put the glass to his lips but not drink. He said that he hated to think of all of the liquor which had been poured uselessly for him.

After the HUAC investigation of the shipment of uranium products to Russia in 1943, a hue and cry had gone up to deport Boris Pregel, the Czarist Russian who had lived in exile in France and the U.S. since the Communist Revolution in 1917 and who had shipped the uranium with State Department and Manhattan Project approval. The immigration section of the Justice Department was even considering seeking to deport him. Mr. Pearson finds that a close examination of the facts suggested, however, that he might be a victim of anti-Communist hysteria and, perhaps, competing American commercial forces.

Mr. Pregel, a multimillionaire uranium dealer, had delivered the first shipment of uranium to the U.S. from Canada in June, 1941 when the U.S. first began experimenting with development of the atom bomb. He had opposed shipments of uranium to England, fearful that it might wind up in German hands, causing Winston Churchill to be on the warpath against him.

More recently, he had been in competition with the Vanadium Corp. in Colorado, establishing his own pitchblende and uranium mine in the state.

He was a member of the French Foreign Legion, one of only three Americans, with Dwight Eisenhower and Herbert Hoover, to be so honored.

The French Communist leader Maurice Thorez was concerned about being purged after not being invited by the Cominform to attend its meeting, while the number two French Communist had been. The action followed a prediction by Mr. Pearson to this effect which had appeared in French newspapers.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop find the resignation of David Lilienthal as head of the Atomic Energy Commission to have left the atomic field a mess, perhaps, according to some familiar with the area, giving rise to the need for a new start for the Commission in 1950. They assert that Mr. Lilienthal had been one of the great administrators and public servants of the time but did not like his job as head of a Commission which, as its primary task, arranged to build the atom bomb.

The AEC was operating reasonably smoothly and could manage for awhile without immediate prospect of a breakdown. But with five men running the program as commissioners, it was likely to encounter difficulty eventually. The solution appeared to be appointment of one qualified administrator and reduction of the commission to three persons.

One of the commissioners, Lewis Strauss, had for long been at odds with Mr. Lilienthal and politics had also crept into the mix. Atomic Energy Committee chairman Senator Brien McMahon had made the most recent appointment to the commission, a patronage appointment, though of a qualified individual.

Mr. Lilienthal had fought from the beginning for full cooperation between the U.S., Canada and Britain regarding sharing of atomic information, but the State Department and the White House had not supported him in asking Congress to make exceptions to secrecy rules for the purpose. The recent talks between the U.S. and Britain regarding the matter had nearly ended in complete failure.

Such were the reasons that the President was having a hard time finding a successor to Mr. Lilienthal. Either he would have to appoint a hack, becoming all too common in Washington, or provide assurance of backing from the White House of any administrative changes the new chairman would recommend after a year on the job.

Marquis Childs, having just returned from a tour of Europe, contrasts Europe immediately after the war, in 1946-47 when he had visited, from its current condition two years later, finds that earlier there had been too much optimism following Europe getting back on its feet quickly after the war, that the Marshall Plan would finish the job of rebuilding in short order. But now the observer could not view the situation with the same optimism, as the "corrosion and corruption" of both world wars had cut deeply into the civilization of Western Europe. If values were to be restored, it meant patience by the U.S. and working more closely in unison with Europe. He finds that the patient may have tried to run before it could walk and had thus done harm to the recovery process.

Yet, American policy in the interim had moved forward with the Marshall Plan, while it had been stultified in the Far East. A dangerous drift back into nationalism of the Nazi pattern had been checked by the Western allies in Germany. The agreement covered two major points, first, that Chancellor Konrad Adenauer agreed to implement a decartelization program grounded in new laws to be determined by the new West German Government, in accord with a plan evolved by U.S. High Commissioner John J. McCloy based on U.S. antitrust laws, with a special system of courts set up to determine questions regarding cartel decisions in advance of mergers and acquisitions. Second, it had been agreed that West Germany would work to establish laws forbidding persecution or racial discrimination, aimed at the renascent anti-Semitism.

The plan could fail if Chancellor Adenauer or his rivals for power determined that a West German army was essential to Western security, tacitly encouraging Germans that they need not comply with Western desires. Such encouragement had come from U.S. and British high-ranking military personnel, starting with former military commander of the American zone, General Lucius Clay, who recently had expressed support for rearmament of West Germany to withstand potential Russian aggression. It came at an inopportune time, while the new West German Government was just beginning to organize.

He concludes that integration of West Germany with Western Europe could mean a "long advance in stability."

Tom Schlesinger of The News imparts his weekly "Capital Roundup", finding that Senator Clyde Hoey, during a time when the Claghorns were ruefully mocked, had managed nevertheless to carve out his niche in Washington, despite his name being pronounced "Hooey" and his habiliments consisting of a swallow-tailed frock coat, stiff winged-collar, high-button shoes, and four-in-hand tie and boutonniere, in a style out of the 19th century.

He celebrated his 72nd birthday the following day and would, per his usual practice, teach Sunday school class at Shelby's Central Methodist Church as he had for 30 years whenever he was home.

He was conservative and had balked at most of the New Deal and Fair Deal, but had not joined the Dixiecrats, instead supporting President Truman at the 1948 convention.

The five-percenter scandal, the investigation of which fell to his subcommittee of the Senate Investigation Committee, had vaulted him into the national spotlight for the first time and presented him as a mild-mannered, even-handed prosecutor, a departure from the fire-eaters of the past in such Congressional investigations. He had not pulled punches in the investigation, however, sometimes to the consternation of the White House. Many observed that he showed the tenacity of the President when he had chaired the Investigating Committee during the war.

The Senator was friendly to the press, often revealing facts off the record. No one could stay mad at him.

Lamar Stringfield of Charlotte was in Washington, telling of his collaboration with Charlotte's Marian Sims to produce a Christmas cantata to be premiered during the month, one which they hoped would rival Handel's Messiah.

It was rumored that Governor Herman Talmadge of Georgia would not run for the Senate seat of Walter George, up for re-election in 1950 to a sixth term. He might be opposed in his bid for re-election as Governor by former Governor Ellis Arnall.

It was unlikely labor backed the rumored bid of former Senator Robert Rice Reynolds against Senator Hoey in 1950, and it was unknown who might be backing him beyond hangers-on to the Hope Diamond mystique.

Senator Hoey announced that, despite two joint speaking engagements, in Waynesville and Shelby, there was no plan for a coalition campaign with interim Senator Frank Graham, a candidate in the special election.

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