The Charlotte News

Monday, December 26, 1949


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Senators Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota and Wayne Morse of Oregon urged that Senators be required to make public their office payrolls. The proposal came in the wake of the plea of guilty and sentence to jail of former HUAC chairman Congressman J. Parnell Thomas for defrauding the Government by taking kickbacks from the salaries of bogus staff. A House rule already required payrolls of Representatives be made available for public inspection and a similar rule prevailed for Senators until 1947.

Republicans set February 1 as a target date for putting forth a statement of new party principles for the 1950 elections.

In London, a strike by trainmen, upset about their holiday work schedule, disrupted service in the southern region of the British railway.

In Hindman, Pa., a Christmas tree fire destroyed three blocks of the downtown area, the heart of the town, with one person missing and presumed dead.

In Rosemead, Calif., the 86-year old nephew of General and President U.S. Grant had died on Christmas Eve.

In Union, S.C., a 16-year old girl was found by relatives on Christmas Day with her skull crushed. She was under the care of a brain specialist in Charlotte. There was no clue as to the identity of the assailant. The attack had apparently taken place the night before as she wrapped Christmas gifts.

In Mt. Holly, N.C., a young woman was killed by an automobile on Christmas Eve as she got off a bus.

In Charlotte, a five-year old girl fell out of a moving automobile and was killed on Christmas afternoon.

A baby was found in a home without heat and in a room with the windows open. The occupant said that a woman had left the child with her temporarily. The baby was in good condition in the hospital.

A woman, nude, was found by her husband behind the Fairview School. He had heard her screaming and went to her aid. He then took her home, put clothes on her, and put her to bed, said that she was feeling better and so went out to play cards with some friends. She then died.

A photographer was found safe after he wandered for the night in the woods lost after his motorboat encountered engine trouble.

Eighteen babies were born on Christmas Day in Charlotte. They are listed.

Too bad for you. You will never get any birthday presents.

Regardless, from the sound of things, some of you may have it rough. We hope you were born to good, caring families.

Tom Fesperman of The News tells of the chairman of the Charlotte Housing Authority criticizing the City Council for not supporting the full request of the Authority for 1,500 new public housing units, rather only approving 600, bowing to the real estate interests.

Thomas L. Robinson, publisher of The News, thanks those who contributed to the Empty Stocking Fund for making the drive a success, to afford Christmas for the children of needy families in the community.

Typical winter weather prevailed across the nation this date.

In Hollywood, actor Cary Grant was married to actress Betsy Drake, in a surprise ceremony on Christmas Day. Best Man Howard Hughes had flown the couple to a private home in Phoenix for the ceremony. Ms. Drake had been cast opposite Mr. Grant in "Every Girl Should Be Married".

The previous Tuesday, actor Clark Gable had married Sylvia Hawkes, widow of Douglas Fairbanks, Sr., at a ranch in Santa Barbara.

On the editorial page, "Hoey's Views on FEPA" looks at Senator Clyde Hoey's objections, stated in Dave Clark's Textile Bulletin, anent the Fair Employment Practices Commission bill. He had said that he could not support any legislation which caused an employer to have to employ a particular person.

There were many who agreed with him while also finding discrimination in employment unacceptable. But the arbiter, it asserts, should not be the Federal Government, at least not under the proposed legislation, which gave the FEPC too much power and was too broad in its embrace of interstate commerce.

Most North Carolinians, it suggests, would generally agree with Mr. Hoey's position on the legislation.

"The Navy's Main Job" tells of Dr. Vannevar Bush, in Modern Arms and Free Men, warning that the modern submarine posed a genuine problem for national defense if not met with a strong response, that the Russians had 300 submarines whereas Germany had nearly defeated the Allies in the early years of the war with only 133 U-boats.

The first danger was that Russia could park a submarine a few miles off Washington and launch a nuclear-tipped rocket into the capital or any other large East Coast city. The long-range danger was the interrupting of Atlantic sea lanes, the means of supply to allied nations in Western Europe in the event of war.

Methods needed to be devised to blockade submarines in their home ports and a means developed to counteract the snorkel breathing device which enabled the Russian subs to recharge their batteries without surfacing. The Navy, as Dr. Bush urged, had to concentrate on anti-submarine duty and not be diverted into other areas as development of supercarriers.

"Shrinking Coal Market" tells of the Christian Science Monitor reporting that coal production had dropped by 100 million tons, a fifth of the industry's total production, during the previous year because of competition from lower-priced oil and natural gas. The primary areas of loss were in exports, the railroads' conversion to diesel since 1944, and the construction of 25,000 miles of natural gas pipelines since 1942.

The coal industry had 96 percent of the nation's raw fuel reserves while the oil and natural gas industries only had four percent. At current rates of consumption, domestic oil and natural gas reserves would be exhausted in 15 years. It wonders whether the coal industry could pick up the slack in the meantime. Some observers doubted it, believed that marginal coal mines would be abandoned and only the most profitable would survive.

A large part of the blame was on John L. Lewis for forcing up labor costs while reducing production through shorter hours. But Mr. Lewis blamed the operators for delaying mechanization and taking excess profits.

It concludes that the problem would not be resolved by continued bickering between labor and management.

Drew Pearson discusses the new plan enunciated by U.N. General Assembly president Carlos Romulo for effecting atomic arms control, a plan which had prompted some British delegates to remark that he was a "little public huckster". Mr. Romulo believed that the major powers were "playing with apocalyptic fire". His plan would entail a temporary armistice in atomic weapons production to give the world a chance to formulate a permanent plan.

The U.S. plan, which had been formulated by Dean Acheson, Bernard Baruch and David Lilienthal in 1945, was still on the table, calling for international inspection and once in place, turning over all atomic weapons to a U.N. commission. But it was now questionable whether the U.S. would abide by that plan if the Soviets were by chance to agree to it. The Soviets had agreed to international inspection but there was no meeting of the minds on a plan for ending the arms race.

Mr. Pearson suggests that the West develop a plan which would be realistically acceptable to the Russians rather than branding Mr. Romulo as a "public huckster" for coming up with a temporary plan.

Senator Arthur Vandenberg, after returning to Washington from a stint in the hospital, had held a news conference the previous week in which he suggested that the GOP ought focus on "restoring" the American system "to safe foundations before it it is too late and gear dependable programs with national solvency and individual freedom." When a reporter queried him on use of the word "restore" as signifying going backward, Senator Vandenberg responded that he was going forward, too, that in politics there were generalities on both sides of the fence.

Richard Bissell, right-hand man to Paul Hoffman in administering ERP—and eventually CIA deputy director for plans during the Eisenhower and Kennedy Administrations—, had departed on a secret trip to investigate revival of the German cartels. Mr. Hoffman was upset that the price of stock of the old German corporations which had helped Hitler rise to power had multiplied five times during the previous two months.

Marquis Childs starts by quoting extensively from Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol anent the opulent lifestyle in England in the Nineteenth Century, in contrast to the postwar environment in the country. In the time of Dickens, even a poor family as that of Bob Cratchit could afford a Christmas goose and a small plum pudding.

But Great Britain had its comeuppance after the war. And to some Americans, that was fine, as a means of leveling the former supercilious attitude which went with wealth and world mastery.

The previous century had been one of peace and progress for Britain, with evolution toward a more decent and equitable order of society.

One could put the blame on the Labor Party for the decline and, he believes, the voters would turn out Labor in favor of the Conservatives in the 1950 general election. But if so, the question remained whether the Tories could bring about a counter-revolution to restore Britain to any semblance of its former grandeur, a process so complicated that even the Tories, themselves, doubted it could be accomplished.

The clock could not be turned back, he concludes, but the lessons of those earlier years also should not be lost.

Robert C. Ruark, in Honolulu, tells of the contrast between his wartime experience in Hawaii in the Navy, when the servicemen despised the island as a "pineapple purgatory" where curfews and blackouts curtailed any semblance of nightlife for the average enlisted man.

The longshoremen's strike recently had crippled the economy, making eggs unavailable, for instance, because there were no hens because there was no feed for them.

The tourist industry had suffered greatly since the war because of the stories told by servicemen when they returned to the States. But the place, he reports, had recovered some of its prewar glory, even if it would still take some time to convince tourists of the fact.

A letter writer provides an open letter to Mayor Victor Shaw and the members of the City Council, regarding the need to eliminate parking on E. 4th Street, despite objections from 43 businesses. He thinks the latter ought not get special privileges denied other businesses and makes various recommendations.

A letter from the president and director of the Charlotte Mint Museum thanks The News, and particularly reporters Bob Sain and Mack Bell, for promoting the Museum.

A letter from the executive secretary of the Charlotte and Mecklenburg County Heart Association thanks several businesses in the community for aiding the Association.

A letter writer from Blacksburg, S.C., wishes the newspaper "all the joys of this blessed season and a happy and prosperous New Year."

Bah. They didn't even give a day off to the employees this year at Christmas, not even Boxing Day.

A pome appears from the Atlanta Journal, "in which a mild protest is registered concerning the condition of many of Georgia's highways:

"With no ifs or ands or buts
I loathe a road that's full of ruts."

But flying a kite
When a windy mite,
Claims by the rood,
Far, madly, key o to many guts.

Second Day of Christmas: Two ruts don't make a right turn, even in Trumplanderkind.

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