The Charlotte News

Wednesday, December 7, 1949


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Lt. General Leslie R. Groves, former military head of the Manhattan Project during the war, testified before HUAC that neither deceased FDR aide Harry Hopkins nor former Vice-President Henry Wallace had ever attempted, directly or indirectly through application of pressure, to deliver atomic secrets or materials to the Russians. He said that he had never even met Mr. Hopkins. The General said that some atomic materials were shipped to Russia during the war because to stop it would have drawn undue attention to the materials. He also said that he found evidence of Russian spying in Washington on the project within a month after he took charge in 1942, but was not aware of any spying at Oak Ridge.

Secretary of State Acheson said that the State Department had licensed no atomic materials for export to Russia without prior approval by the Manhattan Project. Mr. Acheson also said that he knew of no State Department documents going to Russia.

The story had originated from former Air Force Major G. Racey Jordan who had testified to HUAC on the prior Monday that he had found a note signed "H.H.", whom he surmised to be Mr. Hopkins, which stated that he had a "hell of a time" getting atomic materials away from General Groves for shipment to Russia. He said that he found the note in a Russian suitcase aboard a plane bound for Russia with the uranium materials. He had first related the story on a radio program with Fulton Lewis, Jr.

The Committee said that it would give Mr. Wallace a chance to testify if he wished.

Secretary Acheson announced that the U.S. would comply with conditions set forth by the North Korean Communists for the release of two American ERP officials taken into custody in September. The radio broadcast had stated that they would be released if the U.S. sent someone to get them. Secretary Acheson said that there was no way of knowing whether the statement was official and authentic.

In Hamburg, the West German Republic was preparing legislation to close down houses of prostitution, reopened under the Nazis in 1934.

In Alexandria, Va., a construction engineer shot and killed his three children as they prepared to leave home for school. He shot each child once through the head. He then surrendered to police. Neighbors said that he was a "perfect father and husband" but had been working too hard.

That hard work always leads to filicide.

In Sebring, Fla., 72-year old Rex Beach, nationally known novelist, killed himself with a pistol. He had throat cancer and his doctor said that his condition was irremediable.

In York, S.C., the jury, after a nine-day trial, was deliberating in the case of Nathan Corn, accused of murdering his employer to conceal theft from the company. The judge instructed the jury this time regarding alibi evidence, the failure of which in a first trial had resulted in reversal by the State Supreme Court of the original conviction and sentence to death in the case.

In Lenoir, N.C., Richard Lenoir, 55, descendant of General William Lenoir, a patriot in the Revolution, died in a house fire.

North Carolina Attorney General Harry McMullan ruled that when the State added a penny to its gasoline tax in January, the money had to be used exclusively for the rural roads program for which it was appropriated pursuant to the approved referendum of the previous June.

Tom Fesperman of The News reports that the Charlotte City Council failed to take action after hearings on whether to discontinue rent control in the city.

In Sacramento, a peach grower had willed his $750,000 estate to his brothers and sisters as long as they would become Democrats. He had become wealthy during Democratic administrations.

In Bogota, Colombia, two newspapers reported that a story of the birth of quintuplets in a remote Colombian village had been a hoax. The couple in question had five children, ranging in age from five to thirteen.

In New York, Tom Lanphier, Jr., eventually vice-president of Convair, manufacturers of the Atlas missile, set a record for circumnavigating the globe aboard scheduled airline flights, doing so in 13 minutes less than five days. He made the trip in connection with the 46th anniversary of the Wright brothers' maiden flight at Kitty Hawk, N.C., on December 17, 1903.

A bit over a dozen years later, an American would orbit the earth from space for the first time, a manned mission launched for the first time from atop an Atlas missile. Two of the previous five Atlases had exploded on launch. The astronaut, John Glenn, eventually to serve four terms in the Senate from Ohio, passed away this date, December 8, 2016.

On the editorial page, "The First Plank?" tells of former Senator Robert Rice Reynolds having declared recently that he was in favor of the proposed Government old-age pension of $100 per month for persons over 65, sounding as the first plank in his run for the Senate. He said that he believed it would not cost the estimated 12 billion dollars per year and that it could be done.

It concludes that it would agree with Mr. Reynolds's easy answer to the problem, if by doing so, he would agree not to run again for political office in the state.

"Melodramatic Interlude" tells of an A.P. dispatch arriving in the midst of the story about the Air Force major who had found and ripped out radar equipment aboard planes bound for Russia in 1943 and told of uranium products going to Russia during the war as well. The dispatch reported of the major being informed by telephone by his wife that a strange package had arrived at their home, to which he had responded that she should alert the police and not open it. Then the subsequent dispatch arrived, relating that the package turned out to be a gift of a package of jelly.

Fulton Lewis, Jr., it remarks, liked to dabble in such sensational stories and had broadcast the major's remarks, which included references to FDR aide Harry Hopkins and former Vice-President Wallace supposedly giving information to the Russians during the war.

It concludes that while perhaps something might come of this story, it was as shaky as jelly so far.

"Mr. LaFollette's Popgun" tells of Charles LaFollette, head of the Americans for Democratic Action, a former Republican who had left the party to work for liberalism, needling former Secretary of State James Byrnes for apparently leaving the Democratic Party and joining the Dixiecrats. He said that Dixiecrats were closely allied to the special interests of Northern and Eastern Republicans and that Mr. Byrnes ought take over leadership of this coalition.

But it appeared that Mr. Byrnes had removed himself from consideration as a Dixiecrat presidential candidate in 1952 and would likely run for governor of South Carolina on the Democratic ticket. In that capacity, it suggests, he would be a more effective spokesman for states' right than as a private citizen.

It ventures that the lateral attack by Mr. LaFollette betrayed the concerns of the Administration and ADA regarding Mr. Byrnes.

"Streets of the City" tells of various street scenes in Charlotte.

"...[A] thin man with a grizzled face waits shivering at the corner, his gray suit-coat pulled about his his chapped neck … a lad in knickers, a girl in a ski suit flank Mother, clinging each to a hand, as she leads them through the shoppers..."

Whether you are partial to tinsel and Nӧel folderol or not, that is better than leading them through the choppers.

A piece from the Winston-Salem Journal, titled "Those New Luncheon Clubs", tells of Philip Willkie, son of the late Wendell Willkie, having begun organizing business-labor luncheon clubs, a concept which had caught on across the country. The aim was to bring leaders together from both sides in an effort to have better understanding between labor and management and avoid strikes.

Ralph Gibson of The News continues his look, begun the previous day, at the Charlotte and Mecklenburg County Juvenile & Domestic Relations Court. The principal offenses with which the Juvenile Court dealt were larcenies, truancy, vandalism and minor assaults. Sex offenses were rare. Physical and psychological examinations ordered by the Court often revealed the underlying problems.

For instance, in the case of a mother who brought in her 14-year old daughter as incorrigible, an investigation showed that the the mother was separated from her husband and spent lavishly on her clothing. The girl skipped school regularly, was poorly dressed, and had venereal disease. She had been promiscuous as a gesture of defiance against her mother. The Court had the child undergo treatment and then placed her in a foster home and transferred her to another school. The girl, according to the social investigator, had returned to normal.

Recidivists among the juvenile offenders, adjudicated by the judge as "delinquent", were few and far between and accepted generally the punishment arranged informally with parents and the child, done outside the courtroom in chambers. Probation officers from the Welfare Department unexpectedly visited the child's home to determine that conditions were being kept. If not, they reported the matter to the judge.

Drew Pearson tells of the board of trustees of the UMW welfare and pension fund meeting the previous week and accomplishing nothing because members John L. Lewis and Senator Styles Bridges canceled out each other while the third member, former Federal Judge Charles Dawson, was refused a voice by Mr. Lewis, saying that Judge Dawson was present only by "sufferance" and was a "rank outsider".

The State Department had negotiated 38 air treaties without them being ratified by the Senate per the Constitution. But two Federal judges had issued orders to stop implementation of the air treaty with Canada until the Supreme Court could rule on the issue of the legality of the treaty. Colonial Airlines, with a route to Canada which was parallel to that granted to Canada by the treaty, had challenged the authority of the State Department to make the treaty without ratification.

The publisher of the Mobile Press-Register in Alabama had objected to Governor Jim Folsom being without socks in public. The Governor was so big that he could not find socks large enough for his feet. The publisher eventually induced a cotton mill in the state to produce some socks big enough for the Governor and the problem was resolved.

While great strides had been made in the country in providing school facilities for the one million mentally retarded children, there was still great need. Many of the children came from poor families who could not afford private schools. The children thus lived like hermits with their parents or roamed the streets. Wisconsin was making progress, as were cities such as Cincinnati and Euclid, Ohio, with the help of civic groups such as Kiwanis and the American Legion. But only about 90,000 retarded children, about a tenth of the total, were attending special classes in public schools.

Marquis Childs, in London, tells of Henry Ford II proposing to build a new Ford plant in England, near the existing factory at Dagenham. But the Labor Government had determined that it would result in a jerry-built company village for housing, eventuating in a slum. Thus, it refused approval. It was emblematic of the problem with the Government, so burdening the society with regulation as to be self-defeating, preventing expenditure of American dollars in a dollar-starved economy.

The nationalized transport industry would likely see a loss of sixty million dollars, with a resulting substantial increase in freight charges, with consequent impetus to reduce production costs so that exports could compete in the world market to earn dollars.

Britain had an excess population of between five and ten million people who could not be sustained without imports, for which at present it had no means to pay. The isolationists in America believed that the only sound course therefore was to let Britain go. Mr. Childs views the position as a threat to the well-being of the U.S., not just Britain. For if Britain were to fail economically, so, too, would all of Western Europe which depended on it. Such would almost certainly precipitate an economic crisis in the U.S., with consequent emphasis on production of armaments to offset the economic downturn, causing the world again to drift toward war.

The Marshall Plan had afforded the necessary time for consideration of these consequences. New approaches had to be found lest the world slip back into war. Partnership with Britain and Western Europe appeared as a sine qua non for avoiding those untenable consequences.

"Neanderthal men, moved by primitive suspicion, can sabotage every effort at a practical understanding."

Joseph & Stewart Alsop report that the U.S. was shifting away from the position of closer economic union with the British Commonwealth, as advocated the previous summer by State Department chief planner George Kennan during the British monetary crisis. Mr. Kennan's view, formerly accepted, now represented a minority position at State.

But ERP head Averell Harriman, Ambassador to France David Bruce, and Minister to Paris Charles Bohlein all agreed that such an alliance would be problematic for France and would destroy all hope for European union. Secretary of State Acheson had thus, for the time being at least, shelved the Kennan plan.

Yet, a working partnership with Britain, if not formalized, already existed. If it were severed, then the whole Western European alliance against Russia would collapse. Mr. Kennan's plan was aimed at avoiding that result.

Moreover, a strong Anglo-American relationship was a cornerstone for a successful European union. Such a union would afford the best assurance to France of not succumbing to Soviet or German aggression.

An Anglo-American alliance also could be accomplished quickly and would produce immediate results. But for now it had been put aside in favor of stressing European union alone, on the assumption that the two plans were mutually exclusive.

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.