The Charlotte News

Saturday, December 3, 1949


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Franklin Richards, commissioner of the FHA, said that the new rule to be implemented banning FHA backing of any financing of properties which had restrictive covenants in place, would only be applicable in certain rare instances and would do little in practice to inhibit use of restrictive covenants.

The Government had announced the previous day the new rule to reduce racial discrimination in housing by enforcing the ban on neighborhood restrictive covenants, held by the Supreme Court two years earlier to have no force and effect. The new rule would not affect existing loans on properties with restrictive covenants. About a third of all new home construction loans were guaranteed by the FHA.

In Washington, a former Army captain during the war told radio commentator Fulton Lewis, Jr., that deceased Presidential aide to FDR, Harry Hopkins, had, during the war, provided the Russians secret documents, with the secret-designation markings cut out, whenever they needed information. Former FDR press secretary and presently Deputy Secretary of Defense Steve Early said, however, that he found the story "unbelievable" and had not heard of it before.

Columnist Bruce Barton tells of a time in his younger years when a failed businessman would obtain some cards reading: "Specialist in Real Estate and insurance."

Then later came the failures setting themselves up as "advertising experts", with anyone who had gone through two or three bankruptcies suddenly becoming qualified to tell others how to run their businesses.

Columnist Franklin P. Adams had said that no one had been born such an idiot that he could not become a ticket chopper in the subway or an efficiency engineer.

Then came the "investment counselors", followed by the "public relations counselors".

After the unworthy were weeded out of each of these waves, each group became solidified as a permanent part of the economy.

He finds the expert, however, still under suspicion. He wonders what made anyone a "foreign affairs expert". He thinks that state departments maintained their secrets as much from their own people to avoid revelations of the ineptness at work as from the enemy.

He thinks wars might have been avoided if the diplomats had used as much savvy as the average salesman did daily to retain his job.

He objects with even greater stress to the practice of newspapers quoting such experts anonymously. He wants the names and who had made the persons experts and their past experience before they became experts.

Now, such people become "president-elect".

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. raised its tire and rubber prices 3.5 percent, the last of the major rubber producers to raise prices during the fall.

Near Catania, Sicily, the eruption of Mt. Etna threatened the little town of Maletto, but the flowing lava had slowed several kilometers from the town.

In Daytona Beach, Fla., cartoonist Frank Miller, 51, creator of "Barney Baxter", had died.

In Norman, Okla., fire swept through a wooden dormitory in the early morning hours on the University of Oklahoma campus, taking the lives of at least three students and injuring at least 19 others, two critically. More than 300 people escaped the structure. Many of the residents were former GI's.

In Fort Lauderdale, Fla., two 18-year old boys from Detroit were found dead from carbon monoxide poisoning from a gas heater going full blast in a tourist cabin.

In Aberdeen, N.C., the two-story school building, built in 1912, burned to the ground in a pre-dawn fire.

In New Orleans, a parking lot attendant was convicted of murder of a Bristol, Va.-Tenn., millionaire in a French Quarter hotel the previous February 22. The conviction carried an automatic death penalty. His father told him, "So long."

In Charlotte, a Superior Court judge ruled valid the portion of the City ordinance regulating taxis which banned the renting of cabs by the companies. He delayed until December 31 lifting his previous temporary restraining order against enforcement of the ordinance so that the cab companies could comply. The court found that the City had authority to demand full accounting by the taxi companies and that such was not being done when they rented cabs to drivers.

Bob Sain of The News interviews comedic actor Harold Lloyd, 56, visiting Charlotte as the Potentate of the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. He said that young people did not know his work in the movies, but that some of his old pictures were being released again. He recounted that in the Twenties, an audience would clap as soon one of his pictures flashed on the screen, perhaps "The Freshman, "Safety Last" or "Grandma's Boy". He imparts that he had gone to the theater to see how an audience would react when one of his pictures was re-released. The audience, primarily young, had just sat there without uttering a sound, did not understand his character. But about a third of the way through the film, they began to catch on.

Actor Peter Sellers, as pictured, posing as a local Asheville Shriner, was with Mr. Lloyd as an undercover agent providing him protection from the teenagers.

On the sports page, The News announced its 1949 All-North Carolina and All-South Carolina high school football teams.

On the editorial page, "City Council Pay Question" tells of former City Councilman J. A. Baker suggesting a pay increase for the Mayor from $1,200 to $7,200 per year, and for City Council members, from $200 to $2,400 per year. While it finds that the existing salaries were too low for the work performed, the proposed raises were too generous. The real work of running the City fell on the City Manager and his department heads, not the Mayor and City Council. The former were amply compensated. To increase the salaries too much, making the jobs of City Council members and the Mayor into full-time positions, would jeopardize the city manager form of government which had served the City well.

"General Ike in '52" suggests that the activities of General Eisenhower in recent months indicated his openness to running for the Republican nomination for President in 1952. In early September, before the ABA, he had enunciated skillfully a moderate course for the nation, to avoid the extremes of the left or the right. He had also played the role of peacemaker at the recent hearings on the squabble between the Air Force and Navy regarding military unification.

More recently, at the New York Herald Tribune forum, he expressed views more consonant with traditional Republicanism, warning against statism, loss of individual freedom, and suggesting that a group of prominent Americans be formed to define the dividing line between governmental functions and those of the individual. He had recently echoed the warning before a group of Scottish-Americans in New York, saying too much emphasis was being placed on personal security at the risk of individual liberty.

The leading GOP organization candidate remained Senator Taft. But many observers believed that General Eisenhower represented a candidate who could win in 1952 by being popular with the voters and not presenting a "me-too" attitude, too cozy with Democratic Party principles, as Governor Dewey was perceived.

"Success of the Shrine Bowl Dream" tells of 20,000 spectators attending this day's Shrine All-Star high school football game at Memorial Stadium in Charlotte. The proceeds went to the Shriners' Hospital for Crippled Children in Greenville, S.C.

As proof of the hospital's success, two of the players from South Carolina had been patients at the hospital when children.

A piece from the Christian Science Monitor, titled "To Lay a 'Ghost'", criticizes the Collier's article by Richmond Times-Dispatch editor Virginius Dabney, titled "Prohibition's Ghost Walks Again". It finds that while the evils of the Prohibition era had been magnified and those of legal liquor unduly minimized, the new effort toward prohibition in certain states was a coercive movement which the people did not support.

But it objects to Mr. Dabney leaving the impression that prohibition was desired primarily by "bootleggers, bigoted fanatics, and professional reformers." It asserts that the real effort at reform would need come from limiting advertising of liquor manufacturers and purveyors and, moreover, in education and religion "to refine social customs and to elevate the moral values of a whole people."

The "President-elect" in 2016, a tee-totaler who nevertheless purveys liquor, has a new slogan, we understand, to contribute to the dry campaign: "When you have the urge to grab for the bottle, grab instead for the kitty cat."

Drew Pearson tells of Congressman William Dawson of Chicago being made vice-chairman of the Democratic National Committee, replacing Boss Frank Hague of Jersey City in that role. Chairman William Boyle had engineered the change after Boss Hague decided to retire following his defeat in the previous month's off-year election. Mr. Dawson was one of two black members of Congress, the other being Adam Clayton Powell of Harlem.

Mr. Dawson, he notes, was always invited to White House receptions for Congress, but not Mr. Powell because the President did not like his wife, singer Hazel Scott.

An Austrian art exhibit appearing at the National Art Gallery was being guarded by 115 men plus a squadron of twenty soldiers on weekends. The President had been captivated by the exhibit, especially the paintings, which included one of Rembrandt's self-portraits.

Secretary of State Acheson and Secretary of Agriculture Charles Brannan opposed the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization plan to give away food surpluses to needy nations through an international clearinghouse because the program would cost a billion dollars per year to administer, about half of the bill to be assumed by the U.S., thus costing 500 million dollars to give away 300 million dollars worth of surpluses. They argued that it would be better to give away the surpluses.

The two Secretaries gave the President a recent report that the people of Europe would not eat the surplus dried skimmed milk and eggs the U.S. Government had on hand, that the surplus wheat was just enough to supply regular customers and keep a little on reserve for emergencies, and that the surplus corn was also not popular in Europe and could not easily be shipped overseas. Likewise, potatoes could not be shipped without refrigeration and peanuts were too expensive. The President agreed that the first emphasis should be on his "Point Four" program to aid underdeveloped nations through private technological and scientific advice in developing agriculture and industry. But he did not want to seem cold-hearted and so pledged to work with FAO to plan better food distribution without reliance on the expensive clearinghouse.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop find too much comedy and no comedy in the presentation by Senator Ed Johnson on a November 1 television broadcast, arguing first for more secrecy in the U.S. atomic energy program and then revealing that the AEC was at work on a bomb a thousand times more powerful than the Hiroshima bomb, which the Alsops inform would have therefore about 30 times the destructive force, effective over an area of 60 to 100 square miles rather than the two to four square miles of the Hiroshima bomb. This hydrogen bomb therefore could destroy almost any great city on earth.

The AEC had encountered difficulty in recruiting competent scientists, in part because of the horror inspired by the project and in another part by persons in Congress like Senator Johnson.

The Senator appeared to view the atomic arsenal as a Maginot Line, impervious to penetration, and that being forceful regarding atomic technology would result in not being threatened by atomic weaponry possessed by other powers. The Alsops regard both assumptions as wrong. Economy was stripping the nation of its offensive capacity in terms of atomic weapons while Russia was building its strategic air defenses. The U.S. was also failing to develop the technology necessary for its own defense from atomic attack.

The Navy's Ramjet project had developed an interim guided missile for use against high-altitude aircraft, a prototype which could be perfected within a little more than a year, followed then by a period of training for crews and operators. Yet, security against atomic bombs delivered by plane could be obtained in short order but for the fact that no significant effort was being made to develop it.

They conclude that Senator Johnson's seeming comedy held the lesson that it was not safe to play economic politics or any other form of politics in an atomic world.

Marquis Childs, in London, discusses the coming British general election from the Labor Party perspective, probably to be called by Prime Minister Clement Attlee on the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Labor Party, February 3, 1950, with the election to follow within a month afterward.

Mr. Attlee had joined the party in 1909 right out of Oxford, when it had no member in Commons and was, according to Mr. Attlee, a "collection of discontents". He believed that the party had since followed the road mapped out by those early members, especially Kier Hardy, a Scotsman who was a party pioneer in its rise to power.

Mr. Attlee appeared relaxed and confident and spoke derisively of the Tory attempt to pit the middle class against labor in the country.

The Prime Minister did not fit the image of the Labor Party which the Tory press regularly attacked as regimented, snooping, coercive and guilty of chicanery.

Mr. Attlee was the force which held together a disjointed party and a disjointed Government. He was a shrewd politician and disciplinarian who applied discipline to his Cabinet when needed.

Mr. Childs concludes that the upcoming election would be bitterly fought and Labor's fate would largely depend on Mr. Attlee.

Tom Schlesinger of The News provides his weekly "Capital Roundup", telling of a friend of former Senator Robert Rice Reynolds, 65, having indicated that the Senator would throw his hat in the ring in early January as a candidate for the seat of Senator Clyde Hoey, who had taken over his seat in 1945 after Senator Reynolds chose not to run again in 1944. Mr. Schlesinger reminds of what such a campaign might look like, based on the career of the Senator, promoting isolationist, Anglophobic views, running his first campaign in 1932 as a populist against the wealthy former Governor and incumbent interim Senator Cameron Morrison, portraying him as an eater of "red Russian fish eggs" while Mr. Reynolds rode about the state in his jalopy.

The belief in Washington was that if he should run against Senator Hoey, he would be badly beaten.

Mr. Reynolds would run in the other race and come in a distant third to Willis Smith and incumbent interim Senator Frank Graham.

Columnist George Dixon regarded Senator Olin Johnston of South Carolina as a Claghornish-type character. He had told of him making a wrong turn into a trolley tunnel while trying to reach his underground parking garage in Washington via underground tunnels. Supposedly, upon exiting from the tunnel into daylight, Senator Johnston unflappably uttered, "Well, ah decla'ah, ah-ve nevah bin this way befoah!"

A Washington columnist had written that the President had written with complaint to former Secretary of State and War Mobilizer James Byrnes regarding his remarks critical of the Fair Deal. Speculation on what Mr. Byrnes was doing ranged from getting ready to run for Governor in South Carolina, to aligning the conservative Democrats with the Republicans, splitting them off from the Truman Fair Dealers.

Many observers believed that Mr. Byrnes could better lead a states' rights movement than Dixiecrat candidates in 1948 Governors Strom Thurmond and Fielding Wright, as Mr. Byrnes possessed a national stature which the latter two lacked.

Some cynics believed that his efforts were the result of his having gotten everything he wanted while in Washington except the presidency and that it was one reason he was so bitter against President Truman, having been passed over in 1944 for the vice-presidency by the party bosses who selected Senator Truman instead.

During pregame insult exchanges between Army Cadets and Navy Midshipmen before the annual football rivalry, Davidson College was ridiculed by the Midshipmen as an easy opening opponent for Army. After fourth-ranked Army's 38-0 victory, the Cadets shouted that even Davidson had scored a touchdown against them in the 47-7 loss.

And Charlie Justice, UNC's star halfback, he informs, had reportedly made the Saturday Evening Post All-America team.

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