The Charlotte News

Thursday, June 16, 1949


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the President attributed the spy hysteria to the postwar period, occurring after every major war. He suggested that reporters read the history of the Alien and Sedition Acts in the 1790's, when similar hysteria abounded but eventually died out without crippling the republic. The Klan, he continued, had wanted to clean up the country after World War I, was especially active in Indiana. But a good defense had proven the best offense—as at the University of North Carolina.

Responding to questions whether J. Edgar Hoover had resigned his post as director of the FBI because of the court order to reveal secret FBI reports in the Judith Coplon spy case, he stated that he had not resigned and consulted with him and Attorney General Tom Clark from time to time. In response to a question whether Mr. Hoover had his confidence, the President said that the director had done a good job.

By the way, any lunatic who seeks to compare Harry Truman with the 2016 Republican nominee, who does the precise opposite of Harry Truman, that is whip up through demagogy the worst prejudices and fears of the least educated morons of the country, is fit to be institutionalized. Go back to throwing chairs across the hardwood floor and stay out of politics. Aside from there never having been at any one time "billions of Americans", you don't even know what year FDR died, let alone what year World War II ended, and you were alive at the time. The defense estimate at the time, in August, 1945, was that the lives of hundreds of thousands of American soldiers and Japanese civilians and soldiers would be saved by not having to conduct a land invasion of Japan, planned for November, 1945. That was why the bombs were dropped 1,339 and 1,342 days after the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, to end a world war, after the Emperor would not capitulate to due warnings—not to sound and act tough. Truly pathetic beyond words that such basic information is not within your capacity to regurgitate accurately. Maybe it's the onset of senility. Nobody but a moron or senile old goat would wish to vote for that sleazy, lying, divisive moron, bait-switch artist, who crawled out of a sewer. It's awfully hard to make Richard Nixon appear angelic and pure, but the Republicans this cycle, after a certain segment of the party have spent decades trying, have finally found someone who seeks even lower depths.

The Senate voted to put a requirement for a non-Communist oath into the Administration labor bill. The body had also approved amendments to require both unions and management to file financial reports and to guarantee free speech in labor relations. The President did not approve the amendments to the basic bill which would repeal Taft-Hartley and substitute a modified Wagner Act of 1935.

Congress completed action on the Reorganization bill to authorize the President to reorganize the executive branch. The Senate, by voice vote, approved a compromise measure worked out in conference by the Senate-House reconciliation committee. The House had just passed the measure. Majority Leader Senator Scott Lucas said that the White House was ready to sign the bill. The reconciled measure allowed a majority vote of either house, within 60 days, to stop a reorganization proposal by the President.

The Council of Foreign Ministers met in Paris for 90 minutes in a secret session. Andrei Vishinsky then departed the meeting and returned an hour later. The meeting then resumed in secret. The goal was to resolve both the issues of Berlin and Austria before the meeting adjourned.

Before the Senate-House Atomic Energy Committee, Senator Bourke Hickenlooper questioned whether the University of Chicago atomic laboratory had actually discovered the U-235 container which had gone missing the previous February. Lab officials, including the director, had produced an ordinary fruit jar, saying it had been the container. The FBI concurred with that opinion. But prior reports had described it as a brown bottle. An ounce had gone missing and seven-eighths of the ounce had been recovered.

In New York, in the perjury trial of Alger Hiss, an FBI agent testified that all save one typewritten document which the Government had placed in evidence had been typed on the typewriter which the Government claimed belonged to the Hiss family. The document examiner used exemplars known to have been typed by Mrs. Hiss to compare to re-typed State Department documents which wound up in the possession of Whittaker Chambers and which he claimed to have received from Alger Hiss.

Henry Julian Wadleigh, formerly of the State Department, testified as a surprise Government witness that he had given to Mr. Chambers departmental documents, confirming the claim of Mr. Chambers. Mr. Wadleigh said that he had begun taking Government documents as soon as he entered the State Department in 1936. He also admitted collaborating with the Communists but said that he had never been a party member.

Mr. Wadleigh had, the previous December, refused to answer questions of HUAC regarding Mr. Chambers, whether he knew him or passed any State Department or other documents to him at any time.

But, unless you testify this way, pal, we're going to send you up the river for perjury along with Hiss. Ye fala?

We note that the Dick and Karl show at the time of Mr. Wadleigh's December HUAC testimony at pages 1430-1436, and again, with John Rankin entering the act, at 1446-1448, perhaps reached a new low in coercive tactics regarding a witness pleading the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination. It is well known to every lawyer in the criminal justice system that standard jury instructions are to take no inference from the exercise of the Constitutional privilege not to testify, the notion that no one may be compelled to testify or make statements against their own interests—which includes the prospect of perjury through prior inconsistent statements or contradictions by another or admissions of facts which, standing alone, would be innocent but which might form with other evidence to tend to incriminate the declarant. The later prophylactic warning required in 1966 by Miranda v. Arizona and that absent advice of the right to remain silent at time of arrest, statements made by the accused pursuant to questioning by government functionaries cannot be used in evidence, is premised on that concept, one which has been around since the Founding. Yet, following Mr. Nixon's and Mr. Mundt's thinking, one would simply ignore the Fifth Amendment, regard it as a technicality and haven for the guilty, that the only inference to be drawn from assertion of the Fifth Amendment was guilt of the accusation implied by the questions, thus falling into a trap of being damned if one did answer and damned if one did not. Mr. Wadleigh, unfortunately, did not have the screen of "executive privilege" behind which to try to shield himself from questions and production of evidence, as did later his interrogator, even so, to little effect. The only thing HUAC did not do to try to coerce Mr. Wadleigh's testimony, in the desperate attempt to trap Mr. Hiss and thus insinuate Communist-inspired espionage within the New Deal to try to drag into the mire and diminish the public's admiration for FDR, immediately following an election effectively to the fifth term of the Administration, was to bring out the rubber hoses.

Obviously, in the Committee's eyes, to contradict Whittaker Chambers, the admitted Communist spy and, by the time of the Hiss perjury trial, admitted perjurer, was to commit perjury. Indeed, by the end of the Wadleigh testimony before HUAC, one would have to deduce from Mr. Rankin's statements that the only fitting conclusion to the matter would be execution for treason of Whittaker Chambers, along with, perhaps, as an accessory after the fact, an unindicted co-conspirator, Mr. Nixon.

Democratic presidential nominee in 1924, John W. Davis, also testified this date to the good character of Mr. Hiss. In deference to his schedule, though he testified for the defense, he was allowed to appear out of order, interrupting the Government's case. Mr. Davis, trustee of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, had known Mr. Hiss personally as president of the Endowment.

In the trial of Judith Coplon in Washington, the defense examined the prosecutor on the witness stand. Ms. Coplon would follow in her own defense.

In Winton, N.C., an ailing couple, ages 33 and 29, were being forced to place their seven children in an orphanage.

Tom Fesperman of The News reports on the reunion at the Hotel Charlotte of the 30th "Old Hickory" Division of World Wars I and II.

Photographs of the Soap Box Derby winner and runner-up appear, with Thomas L. Robinson, publisher of The News, co-sponsor of the event. The winner won a trip to Akron, O., to compete for the national title and a chance for a college scholarship, plus a Bulova watch and a trophy. The runner-up got a Columbia "De Luxe" bicycle.

On the editorial page, "Rising Opposition to the Klan" finds the Klan to be more active than in recent years. For the first time in decades, a Klan chapter in North Carolina had burned a cross and in Gastonia had marched into churches singing "Onward, Christian Soldiers". While not yet engaging in violence, its creed dictated that such would likely soon follow.

In the Deep South, in Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia, official outcry had developed against the Klan. Governor Jim Folsom of Alabama had ordered the Highway Patrol to take "necessary action" to suppress the activities of the organization. Alabama's Attorney General had called them "ham actors".

In Georgia, Atlanta, Macon, Augusta, and Columbus had made it illegal to wear masks in public.

In Mississippi, a deputy sheriff shielded a black man arrested for rape from mob action by convincing those assembled that the man was not in his jail, then rushed the man to a place of safe haven.

The Southern states, it posits, were responsible to the entire nation to eliminate this menace to the peace.

"Forsyth ABC Election" congratulates the Winston-Salem Journal and Sentinel for jointly endorsing the ABC plan for controlled sales of liquor, set for a vote soon in Forsyth County. The basis for the opinion was that the ABC system would curtail bootlegging, the same position adopted by The News prior to the June, 1947 vote in Mecklenburg to install ABC sales.

"Garbled Gobbledygook" finds the use of the term "unemployable" by the Army to describe TVA head Gordon Clapp to be an example of Government gibberish. The Army major who had used the term intended to say "unavailable" for employment in the military occupation government of Germany because of Mr. Clapp's job at TVA.

New Secretary of the Army Gordon Gray reacted by banning henceforth the use of the word "unemployable" from Army files. The piece suggests that the blanket order be extended to hundreds of other ambiguous or ill-fitting words within the Government's vocabulary.

A piece from the Greensboro Daily News, titled "Dissertation on Suits", finds the rub in suits to be on the seat of the pants causing the suit to wind up in many pieces beyond the two or three in which it had come from the haberdasher. A problem arose in storing suits when not being worn. Throwing it over the chair was risky and even hanging it in the closet came with its own dangers.

The fourth installment in the series reprinted from Fortune on the Hoover Commission report recommendations on Government efficiency examines the budget and the Government accounting system. The question relevant to the budget was for what was the money being sought, for the accounting, what were the taxpayers getting. The accounting system dated back to the days of Alexander Hamilton and agencies often relied on several estimates of their budgets to obtain appropriations, making them difficult to audit.

It offers one example of the Naval Medical Center at Bethesda, operating from several different budgets, with no organization or identification of functions for which the several different expenditures were sought. Yet, the appropriations were routinely approved by Congress. It proceeds then to list several other such examples.

The recommendations by the Commission were to adopt performance budgets for each department and agency, setting forth functions and expenditures for each, to separate current operating expenditures from capital outlays, currently intermingled, implement a new accounting service in the Treasury Department to set up and enforce a uniform accounting system, and continue having the Comptroller General insure that appropriated funds were spent as Congress intended.

Drew Pearson tells of a strike at Bendix in South Bend, Ind., causing shortage of spare parts for the Air Force for its most effective squadrons, to the point that flying time might have to be curtailed. The FBI was checking reports that the organizers of the strike were Communists.

The President's Council of Economic Advisers had reported that at a time when unemployment ought be decreasing, it was rising. Another worry was wage negotiation in key industries as profits were dropping. The Council was doing battle with Secretary of the Treasury John W. Snyder, who had told the President that business would continue doing well, with nothing about which to worry for a year. Some in the Administration were advocating a major public works program to combat unemployment. The Congress, however, had thus far only entertained meager public works proposals.

Secretary of State Acheson was seeking to arrange another meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers in New York for September. While the President had been worried about how his new Secretary of State would stand up against the seasoned Andrei Vishinsky, the President was very pleased with the performance.

In Jackson, Miss., civic improvements had been voted for the black community, including a new auditorium. In Richmond, Va., a black member of the City Council had been installed some time earlier, elected by white ballots.

The FBI was investigating a group called "The Vigilantes", sending letters to Congress, demanding that all Jews and Masons resign.

Dwight Palmer, being considered for nomination as chairman of the National Security Resources Board, was an active battler against discrimination and bigotry in his 5,000-employee firm.

Attorney General Tom Clark had produced an enlightening book, Gateway to Citizenship, worth reading. He wanted citizenship ceremonies increased in importance.

U.S. diplomats reported that the Russians had found key deposits of radium, and possibly uranium, outside Archangel in Siberia, believed to be one of the largest such deposits in the world. Hundreds of Russian engineers and geologists had been dispatched to the area.

Marquis Childs tells of the Government loyalty investigation of 2.5 million employees grinding on at a certain cost in money, while the cost in "fear, suspicion, and divisiveness" could not be calculated.

In Britain, only Government employees having contact with secrets or restricted work were subject to such investigations, and the job was thoroughly and efficiently performed. If an employee was questionable, he was simply shifted to non-sensitive work or given his entitled pension and asked to retire.

Under the American system, any actual disloyalty could escape scrutiny under the complex procedures being followed. He refers, as the previous day, to the case of Anne Alling, a secretary in the Veterans Administration, who only transcribed dictabelts re insurance, was nearly blind, and yet, based on brief flirtation with the Communist Party in France in the late 1920's and early 1930's, had been suspended from her job. She had been asked during the loyalty board review whether she had been opposed to the Nazis and why. When she said that they were planning to take over the U.S., she was asked whether the Russians were not planning the same, to which she said that one day they might so plan and in that event, she would oppose them as she had the Nazis.

Ms. Alling had not given the pat answers which the board expected. And three FBI agents had wasted time and effort getting background statements from friends and neighbors about her.

Roy James presented another case. After having run unsuccessfully for Congress, he took a Civil Service position. But his political enemies had denounced him as a Communist. After an investigation by the FBI and military intelligence, he was cleared.

To date, 8,674 individuals had been investigated through full field reports, with only 258 deemed ineligible by the results. Of these latter, 48 were reinstated after appeals. He suggests that if many of the objectionable cases were like that of Ms. Alling, the public had a right to question whether the procedures were worth finding such small grains of disloyalty.

Robert C. Ruark, in Cincinnati, O., tells of a bingo game, craps and roulette spins, across the Ohio River in Kentucky. And in excruciating detail which defies summary.

"The total is seven, gentlemen, seven is craps, craps you lose. Yonder goes the dough."

But having lost 25 dollars, the man would not brave it again, called for a taxi, was cured, left the game.

A letter writer, responding to other letter writers on the subject of the election of FDR, Jr., to Congress, suggests the advice of Professor Waldo Timothy McGargle in "I Wonder Who's Kissing Her Now" as a means to conquer the despair associated with having another Roosevelt in political life, so soon after the death of FDR, at which time many persons who had suffered with "That Man" syndrome were able to find calm and sleep after so much disturbance for so many years.

A letter from the secretary of the Roosevelt Memorial Association tells of trying to get in touch with anyone who had known the late President Theodore Roosevelt. If you know of any, write him at the address provided.

A letter writer complains of three things about Charlotte: the excessive noise of automobiles and their speeding in the 700 block of Providence Road; lack of bus transportation along Independence Boulevard; and the absence of special shopping tickets for use on the buses during particular hours, as available in Atlanta and other Georgia cities.

Well, move to Atlanta or those other Georgia cities. They have more people down there to ride the buses. You don't get any cheap ride in Charlotte just to go shopping.

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