The Charlotte News

Monday, June 13, 1949


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that nine scientists who advised the Atomic Energy Commission provided Congress with a statement that the AEC had a "sound and forward looking program" and was competent and devoted to duty. The statement was read to the House-Senate Atomic Energy Committee by Dr. Robert Oppenheimer, wartime head of the atomic weapons laboratory at Los Alamos, N.M. The report said that when the AEC took over management of atomic energy in 1946 from the Army, atomic bomb production was stagnant and the future development of atomic energy uncertain. During questioning by the Committee, Dr. Oppenheimer said that he favored the AEC making more information public and supported sending radio-isotopes abroad for research. He said that even if Russia obtained the information from radio-isotope research, they would not achieve any help in the atomic energy race. He said, however, that the AEC should have, as a matter of course, consulted with its military liaison committee before sending the isotopes abroad. He reminded that the atomic bomb was based on published findings by European scientists but that it was the U.S. which had the bomb.

In Paris, at the close of the day's session of the Council of Foreign Ministers meeting, Secretary of State Acheson described the Russian proposal for a German peace treaty to be "as full of propaganda as a dog is of fleas." He then added that he thought it was all fleas and no dog. Sources said that most of the day's session was devoted to Russian propaganda aimed at the Germans.

A Western diplomat stated that Andrei Vishinsky, Soviet Foreign Minister, had agreed in a private weekend discussion with British Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin to seek a limited agreement on a way of life for Germany, including establishment of East-West trade, and agreements on currency and road and rail access. The source said that the West would exert pressure to adjourn the meeting by Thursday and perhaps re-schedule a meeting for the near future.

In Berlin, the East-West trade talks anent Berlin ended without agreement. A report forwarded to the Council of Foreign Ministers indicated that the Russians had refused to yield on several points. Thus, the revival of East-West trade and reuniting of divided Berlin would go back to the Council for resolution.

The West Berlin rail strike against the Russian-managed railway, the subject on Saturday of apparent agreement for end on Sunday, continued. It was hoped that it would end Wednesday despite top German union leaders having rejected an American appeal for immediate end to the strike. The issue would be put to a vote by union members at a meeting the following day, requiring a supermajority of 75 percent to continue the walkout.

The Senate Expenditures Committee approved 8 to 2 cutting five to ten percent off the requested budgets of all executive agencies.

In a 5-4 decision delivered by Justice Felix Frankfurter, the Supreme Court, in Standard Oil of California v. U.S., 337 U.S. 293, decided that Standard Oil of California had violated the Clayton Act anti-trust law by contracting with independent gasoline dealers to purchase their fuel from Standard, having the effect of reducing competition in both interstate and intrastate commerce. Having sustained the lower court decision under the Clayton Act, the Court found it unnecessary to reach whether the Sherman Act was also violated.

Justice Robert Jackson authored a dissent joined by Chief Justice Fred Vinson and Justice Harold Burton. Justice William O. Douglas wrote a separate dissent, warning that the decision, by suggesting a formula for use of the agency device, set the stage for Standard and other oil producers to build an empire of their own service stations. Under such a system, the small, independent businessman, he said, would be supplanted by clerks.

In Washington, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the contempt convictions of screenwriters John Howard Lawson and Dalton Trumbo, two of the so-called Hollywood Ten who refused in October, 1947 to state whether they had ever been Communists, when testifying before HUAC regarding Communist influence in Hollywood. The Court held that HUAC, having been held previously to be a properly authorized Committee of Congress, had the right, based on a prior D. C. Circuit Court decision, to inquire regarding Communist Party membership as it bore on the foreign policy of the United States, and that the appellants did not properly assert the Fifth Amendment privilege to refuse to answer. The statute, 2 U.S.C. 192, under which they were convicted made it a misdemeanor to refuse to answer a question by a Congressional Committee into any matter "pertinent to the question under inquiry". Both Mr. Lawson and Mr. Trumbo had been sentenced to a year in jail and a $1000 fine. They had been free on bond pending appeal. The cases against the other eight defendants had been delayed by agreement between the Government and the defense pending the outcome of the Lawson-Trumbo appeals.

In Stuttgart, Germany, a German de-Nazification court nullified the eight-year prison sentence imposed against Dr. Hjalmar Schacht, former head of the German Reichsbank.

In Trieste, Christian Democrats took the lead in meager unofficial early returns in the municipal elections.

General Dwight D. Eisenhower, president of Columbia University, stated his opposition to Federal aid to education, saying that those seeking to centralize power in the Federal Government were more dangerous than any foreign threat. He favored giving aid only to those states whose tax revenue was too low to maintain an adequate educational system. He believed that such aid could lead to Federal paternalism in education, if not socialism. He made the statements in a letter to GOP Representative Ralph Gwinn of New York, member of the House Labor Committee which had approved the aid to education bill the previous week.

The nation's coal miners quit work for a week at the direction of UMW president John L. Lewis, to draw attention to and correct what he had described as over-production of coal.

The stock market hit a point close to a five-year low, the lowest since the low for 1947, with key issues dropping between a few cents and more than $2 per share. No news of the weekend had been the apparent trigger for the sell-off but the scheduled start of the coal strike may have impacted the market.

Ending a twelve-day dry spell in Charlotte, a thundershower lasted three and a half hours dumping between 1.91 and 3.76 inches of rainfall at different locations across the city. Warm and humid weather followed the downpour. It was comparable to the 5.17 inches of rain which had fallen in two hours the previous September 3.

Also in Charlotte, the list of prizes for the 1949 Soap Box Derby were announced. First prize for the local Derby winner would include a free trip to Akron for the national finals, a trophy and a Bulova watch. Second prize would be a Columbia "De Luxe" bicycle.

On page 6-B, a story appears regarding Charlotte's Clayton Heafner, who, along with Sam Snead, missed tying for the U.S. Open golf tournament championship by a stroke, behind Dr. Cary Middlecoff.

On the editorial page, "Order from Chaos" tells of the series of articles on the page beginning this date, reprinted from Fortune Magazine, regarding the Hoover Commission Report and its recommendations for streamlining the Executive Branch of the Government to eliminate waste and improve efficiency. The series would run daily through June 29.

"Bond Election Results" tells of only one of the five local bond measures having failed to win approval the previous Saturday, that to provide the City authority to build off-street parking facilities. That rejection was likely only temporary, given a large affirmative vote for the measure. The approval of the other bond issues indicated that the citizens were prepared to pay a little more for progress but were not prepared to approve things which they deemed inessential.

"Weapons for Peace" tells of the three-point program set forth by the President in his speech Saturday in Little Rock, Ark. The nation had to be strong and prosperous. Other nations devoted to peace and freedom had to be strong and prosperous. The North Atlantic Treaty had to be ratified and supported by military aid.

At base was the contention that as the most powerful postwar nation in the world, the U.S. had an obligation to assure peace and prosperity throughout the world through military strength. The President believed that NATO, supported by military aid, would be key to such an achievement.

NATO could serve as a deterrent to Russian attack in Western Europe. But to do that, it had to be supported by military aid.

It finds the President's speech to have been a good one, that of a realist understanding that the world was nearing chaos and that military strength was justified as a result. If the isolationists in Congress would cooperate with the Administration in this foreign policy, then, it posits, order, peace and prosperity might yet be realized.

"The Spoils System" tells of the problems with the spoils system as Governor Kerr Scott was firing people from his Administration who had not supported him in the election despite the fact that they were efficient administrators in some cases. One such case had been brought to public attention recently in The Greensboro Daily News, regarding Jane McKimmon who was dropped from the Rural Electrification Authority despite a very good record of achievement in 12 years as a member. Her 1945 book, When We're Green We Grow, had won such acclaim that "Cavalcade of America", (episode number 581 in the linked list), had devoted its radio program to the story on May 2.

Drew Pearson relates of a diplomatic note handed to Israel by the State Department, threatening to revise the American policy on Palestine if Israel continued to reject the counsel of the U.N. and advice of the U.S. in furtherance of peace in Palestine. The President had taken personal responsibility for the message. The two main subjects of the note were boundaries between Israel and Arab lands and Arab refugees. It demanded that Israel compensate the Arab nations whose lands Israel had seized after the U.N. partition plan was signed on November 29, 1947. The note said that if the Israeli Government would not repatriate the Arab refugees, then it must bear the cost of resettlement, about 300-400 million dollars for 600,000 to 800,000 refugees at $500 per person. The Israeli Government had determined that repatriation would cause the extant scarcity of housing for European Jewish refugees, entering Israel at the rate of 25,000 to 30,000 per month, to become worse. Israel was not willing thus far to pay the resettlement costs, only compensation for belongings and real property left behind. Israel had indicated willingness to take care of the refugees as long as the Arab governments assisted.

A lawyer who had previously been legal officer for the Quartermaster Corps was now able to obtain confidential information on contract breaches and consequent penalties so that he could send a postcard to the offending party and offer his services to get the penalty waived by the Government. The IRS had a rule forbidding its former staff attorneys from appearing before the Government for two years. But the Army had refused to implement the same rule.

Freshman Congressman Homer Thornberry of Texas—to be appointed to the Supreme Court in 1968 by President Johnson to take the spot being vacated by Justice Abe Fortas, then nominated as Chief Justice, both nominations subsequently withdrawn after a Southern-Republican blockage by filibuster of the Fortas nomination—was named a director of Washington's Gallaudet College. Both of his parents had been deaf mutes.

The filibusterers in 1968 could have used hearing aids, but not nearly so much as the Republican Congress at work in 2016, refusing for the first time in history to hold hearings on a Supreme Court nomination. Oh well, judging by the polls, it is not going to make much difference in the end, as the Republican Party of 2016 appears determined to sail off into oblivion, possibly never to return.

Republican Congressman James Golden of Kentucky was a firm supporter of the Federal aid to education legislation.

Congressman John Marsalis of Colorado played a good game of golf.

Reprinted from Fortune, a series, to run through June 29, begins on the Hoover Commission Report on Government reorganization. The first installment quotes FDR in 1937, calling for authorization for the President to reorganize the vast and overlapping, wasteful and inefficient Government bureaucracy. He had said that three Presidents, William Howard Taft, Woodrow Wilson, and Herbert Hoover, had each sought to reorganize the Government but without complete success.

Since 1937, the Government had grown quite a lot larger during the war years, increasing the duplication of services. An estimated three billion dollars worth of yearly waste was the result.

In consequence, on June 7, 1947, the Congress had authorized unanimously the creation of a Commission on Reorganization, comprised of six Republicans and six Democrats. President Truman and House Speaker Joe Martin jointly chose former President Hoover as chairman, well qualified in administrative efficiency. He had chosen 300 experts to form 24 task forces to study various aspects of the Government and make recommendations, submitted in January-April, 1949. Several of the reports had dissents, some commissioners believing that a large government bureaucracy was dangerous to liberty, while others believed strongly in Big Government.

The recommendations had to be approved by Congress, and the sides had already lined up on the issues, with friends and clients who profited from government waste and inefficiency favoring one type of reorganization while a Citizens Committee had been formed to muster support for the Commission recommendations.

Comptroller General Lindsay Warren of North Carolina had said in 1945 that the current set-up was "probably an ideal system for the tax-eaters and those who wish to keep themselves perpetually attached to the public teat, but it is bad for those who have to pay the bill."

Robert C. Ruark, in Columbus, O., inveighs against the establishment at Baldwin-Wallace College in Cleveland of a course in home economics as tending toward enslavement of the male. He favors ignorance of household chores and cooking as a means to avoid such duties. And if it was not already boring enough to hear of men's hobbies, that of the male housekeeper was insufferable.

He had recently spent a weekend listening to such male amateur chefs discussing their supposed culinary artistry. His reaction was: "You take a pinch of arsenic, see, and you garnish it well with ground glass and breathe a little efflorescence of cyanide over the top, see, and that is precisely what I would love to feed 'em all when they come to taste and sneer at my cooking."

Women, he found, took no pride in cooking. But the "he-cooks" had to cook with herbs and spices, thyme, bay leaf, and rosemary. Plus, cooking grease had to abound in sufficient quantity to set the house on fire.

The he-salad-chef was "an abomination before the Lord." Everything went into the concoction except the vacuum cleaner's contents, which, on one occasion, he believes to have been included.

He knew a man who prided himself on his spaghetti sauce, which, he claimed, needed three days to break down the molecules and free the flavor of the "nauseating mess" which would affront a buzzard. At serving, the man's kitchen resembled the aftermath of a bomb, with things splattered on the wall, in the sink, and all over the floor.

He would not even touch on the amateur decorators, the hunters of auctions, the knitters, the needle-pointers, the furniture-sanders, all of whom talked more of their hobbies than did the he-cooks.

He concludes that housewifery was chiefly for women and on a male, looked silly, "like a ruffled apron."

James Marlow discusses whether Communists should be hired as teachers. There was some divergence of opinion, but the twenty educators, including General Eisenhower, president of Columbia, and Dr. James B. Conant, president of Harvard, issuing a report for the National Education Association, had answered the question negatively because of the fact that party discipline required the Communist to teach the party line, to "surrender … intellectual integrity."

Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., somewhat paradoxically, had recently written in the Saturday Review of Literature that no university should hire a Communist but that if it did and subsequently found out about it after granting tenure, it should not fire the person based only on beliefs unless it could be shown that the person's presence on the faculty posed a clear and present danger of inciting violence, the traditional test for curtailment of free speech. Using as a springboard for the argument the case of the University of Washington, which had fired three tenured professors for being Communists, despite finding no such danger, while granting them full rights to a hearing, he posited that the college environment, unlike that of primary and secondary schooling, allowed for exposure of the student to several teachers, not just one, and so was closer to the concept of assured reliance of the "marketplace of ideas" for supply of the counterweight to attempts at indoctrination, as indicated by Justice Holmes. He found the approach in the University of Washington case to be especially pernicious as providing the semblance of democracy while ultimately denying freedom of thought and expression, hallmarks of American democracy.

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