The Charlotte News

Saturday, June 18, 1949


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that HUAC, countering a furor from educators arising from its letter seeking lists of textbooks and authors in use in randomly selected school districts and at 70 colleges and universities across the country, formally assured the nation's educators that the Committee was not planning to censor textbooks or interfere with academic freedom. The Committee said that it was trying to check on "serious allegations" made about the textbooks by the National Sons of the American Revolution, claiming that Communist propaganda was contained within some books being used in the schools. Some educators complained that the fields of study named by the Committee were so numerous that thousands of textbooks would be involved, while others complained that the Committee would have objection to teaching of the principles of Karl Marx and the like from a purely academic point of view. The Committee assured, however, that it would not set itself up as a policeman of textbooks. It said that it did not accept at face value the petition from the SAR but was merely trying to find how much work would be needed to prove or disprove the allegations.

Representative Joe Martin of Massachusetts, House Minority Leader, denied the President's assertion that the real estate lobby had launched a deliberate campaign of misrepresentation against the pending public housing and slum clearance legislation, passed already by the Senate. The President had sent a letter to that effect to House Speaker Sam Rayburn the previous day. Mr. Martin contended that the opposition had come from those concerned over Government spending and not from the real estate lobby. House Majority Leader John McCormack said that the President was absolutely correct in his assertion and hoped that the "nefarious lobby" would be driven from Washington.

In Norman, Oklahoma, Ada Sipuel Fisher, after a 41-month court battle to be admitted to the University of Oklahoma Law School, was accepted for admission the previous day. She had originally applied and been refused admission in January, 1946, solely on the basis of being black, after which she took her case into the courts. Eventually, the Supreme Court ruled in early 1948 that the Oklahoma segregation law was unconstitutional as the separate-but-equal doctrine mandated by Plessy v. Ferguson in 1896 had not been fulfilled in the state to provide equal law schools for white and black students. Oklahoma's Legislature had passed a law recently to abrogate the previous ban of integrated schools and comply with the Supreme Court ruling. It allowed admission of black students to white schools provided the course of study was not offered at the State College for Negroes. The law still required segregation within the white school, with separate classrooms or class times, which the University had interpreted to be satisfied by the placement of railings between the black and white students.

Since her case had entered the courts, three other black students had been admitted to the University under subsequent Federal court rulings. Twenty-two other black students had enrolled at the University and at Oklahoma A&M since the law had been amended.

In 1992, Ms. Fisher was appointed to the University of Oklahoma Board of Regents by Governor David Walters.

In Louisville, five young dancing instructors were killed and three others injured in a collision between a cattle truck and the automobile in which they were riding.

Near Truman, Minn., four persons were killed while apparently on a fishing trip when their small airplane crashed.

Near Gastonia, N.C., a head-on collision between two automobiles, one driven by a 19-year old of Charlotte, trying to pass a truck on a hill, resulted in the death of a man and a woman, while seriously injuring the man's wife and their young son. According to the State Highway Patrol, the young driver who caused the accident would, if he survived his injuries, likely be charged with manslaughter.

In San Angelo, Tex., seven new polio cases were reported, bringing the total to 74 under treatment in the city, the worst outbreak of polio in its history.

In Butler, Pa., a patient who had, for all intents and purposes, died while being administered anesthesia in advance of surgery was revived and was on the road to recovery, saved by an emergency operation at the VA hospital. His heart and respiration had stopped but open heart massage brought him back after five minutes.

In Mitcham, England, a woman had written to ERP administrator Paul Hoffman about her lingerie being inadequate, confirming a statement which Mr. Hoffman had made about Britons' underwear being insufficient. She was glad to find that her "undies" were being discussed by an American Senate committee. She said that the top layers of clothing were "fairly respectable" but the undergarments were "antique". Both shortage of textile supplies and high prices had created the problem. The woman said she would not have false pride about accepting spare undergarments from American women, but thus far no one had sent her any.

The heat wave continued in the Northeast, sparking forest fires in the Adirondacks, while flash floods hit in Virginia and West Virginia, and a mass of cool air spread over the northern Rockies and northern Plains states. The mercury reached 111 at Presidio, Tex. Snow fell at MacDonald Pass in the Rockies and at Boulder Hill between Butte and Helena, Montana, with four inches at Butte.

In the area of Petersburg and Bridgewater, W. Va., more than a dozen people were missing after flash floods in the Potomac-Shenandoah valley areas. Many hundreds were homeless and property damage was high. A State Police officer's home had been washed away during the night down the Potomac and the officer and his son were missing.

In Columbia, S.C., the state's plumbing and heating contractors were meeting for their mid-year convention.

In Charlotte, Ambassador to Brazil Herschel Johnson was visiting his mother, said he was looking forward to relaxing and being with friends while in the city. Mr. Johnson was back in the country to greet Brazilian President Eurico Dutra on his visit to America. He said that his job in the country with a larger land mass than the United States presented no great difficulty as the two countries had enjoyed very good relations for years. He found the weather in Rio de Janeiro not much different from that of Charlotte but in reverse, as it was presently winter in Brazil.

Tom Schlesinger of The News tells of the newspaper's father of the year in Charlotte, a 75-year old man who, in 56 years of marriage split between two wives, had fathered 24 children. He was 19 at the birth of the first child and 63 at the birth of the last, with their birth dates spanning between 1892 and 1937. He was living with his second wife, mother of ten of the children. He enjoyed big families.

In Los Angeles, actor Gregory Peck and his wife had a third child, all boys.

On the editorial page, "The Ultimate Test" cites as a prime example of firing of State personnel who had not supported Governor Kerr Scott in the late campaign the Assistant Paroles Commissioner, William Dunn, Jr., who had been on the job for 14 years and was considered one of the leading Southern authorities on parole. The new Paroles Commissioner, Dr. T.C. Johnson, had requested that he remain on the job. But the Governor thought otherwise and had Dr. Johnson request his resignation. Other requested resignations from the Commission were also apparently forthcoming.

The result of these pervasive political firings was that the State was being run by inexperienced personnel who had been hired for their political loyalty more than their abilities and experience. It concludes that the fact did not increase the people's confidence in the new Governor.

"Hysteria from Fear" finds the President correct in his assertion that the public furor over the spy investigations was the result of hysteria, but wrong when he posited that the hysteria was an inevitable reaction in aftermath of the war.

The piece thinks it instead prewar hysteria, stemming from fear, developing in turn from naivete about the true nature and aims of Communism. The revelations of traitors in high Government places over the prior 15 years had caused this fear. Such hysteria produced less than rational thinking but, it believes, merely tossing it off as postwar reaction or "red herrings", as the President had called the HUAC investigation the previous year, would not eliminate the fear and hysteria.

It finds the charge by the President of "headline hunting" to fly in the face of the fact that the three major Communist-related cases in the country, that of Alger Hiss, Judith Coplon, and the eleven top American Communists, were being prosecuted by the Administration's Justice Department. The piece thus reasons that while there were headline hunters in the Congress, the President should not forget his Attorney General Tom Clark in that regard—within two months to be on the Supreme Court, in replacement of Justice Frank Murphy, to die a month hence.

It suggests that the President would do more to settle the country by admitting a naive reaction to Communism and carelessness in the past while seeing that it did not happen again.

The piece neglects to step back and realize, however, that the three cases in question were the result of indictments by grand juries. The Federal prosecutors had the obligation to prosecute under the laws of the United States. It was the Republican 80th Congress, and especially HUAC and the Senate Investigating Committee which put political pressure on the Justice Department to press for the indictments, especially that of Mr. Hiss. The other two resulted from FBI investigations. Both the Hiss and Smith Act cases of the eleven top Communists were initiated prior to the previous election, even if the indictment in the Hiss case came down a month later, in December. So, it is incorrect to lay those prosecutions at the President's doorstep or even at the doorstep of the Attorney General. Neither could, politically or legally, stop a grand jury investigation without winding up in much the same way that President Nixon and former Attorney General John Mitchell subsequently did as a result of the burglary of the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate and the attempt to obstruct justice in the investigation and prosecution of it.

The editorial betrays a Saturday afternoon lack of understanding of how the Government works—not dissimilar to that of most of the blockheads today on talky-talk radio and television. We are finding this pattern in the Saturday editorials of late on a fairly consistent, though not uniform, basis.

The executive branch of the Government is not formed by an autocratic leader and either subservient minions or autonomous autocrats below that position. The President, with the advice and consent of the Senate, nominates the personnel for the non-Civil Service positions in the executive branch. The President can fire those same personnel within the executive branch. Each Cabinet official formulates policy for the particular department overseen, working in conjunction with other officials within the department, both appointed and career positions, and, obviously, in consultation with the President and other Cabinet officials, as well as the Congress and committees therein having oversight of the particular department and its policy areas. The Justice Department, by its nature, must function more independently than any other department as it is charged with enforcement of the laws of the United States, the Federal statutes, regulations, and the Constitution. That means that on given occasions, it is also charged with enforcing the laws as they relate to the executive branch, itself, usually by way of advisory opinions provided before laws are actually violated, a more difficult scenario, usually calling, politically, for appointment of an independent prosecutor, when the issue reaches either the Justice Department, itself, or othewise there is question of whether the Justice Department can fairly address the issue as it relates to the executive branch. While there is prosecutorial discretion to a point in virtually any scenario, the Attorney General is not a Grand Poobah of Justice who, with a scepter, determines unilaterally which cases are pushed for prosecution, which are not. There are policies put in place which determine areas of stress, such as civil rights or racketeering. But in terms of individual cases which are prosecuted, generally that is left to the U.S. Attorneys within the Federal judicial districts operating in conjunction with the grand juries. Under the Federal system, the only times an information can issue directly from the U.S. Attorney's office, bypassing a grand jury indictment, are when either the offense is a misdemeanor, a felony punishable by no more than a year in jail, or a grand jury is waived by the defendant. Grand juries can initiate investigations on their own or with the guidance of the U.S. Attorney's office for the district.

In any event, as history would bear out, the President had it exactly right. That which had been forgotten in the mix was that Russia had been an invaluable ally during the war, before which and during which all of this "spying", at least that on which focus had been placed by HUAC, had supposedly taken place. It was more in the nature of sharing relatively innocuous information with an ally, technically illegal but also probably not terribly frowned upon at the time—until HUAC stuck its political shark's teeth into it after the war for the sole purpose of grabbing headlines and seeking the destruction of the FDR legacy and memory in a desperate attempt to regain power, failed once in 1947-48, tried, tried, tried again, through Watergate.

In examining the work of HUAC, it should always be recalled that before the war, its focus was on Communism, not Nazism, not the Klan and other such domestic terrorist organizations. The same was true after the war. During the war, the Committee did little and was heard from virtually not at all. An effort by the House to de-fund HUAC and eliminate it narrowly failed in early 1945. It was one of the most undemocratic entities ever to exist in the United States Government and did absolutely nothing to protect the security of the country from its worst internal enemies. It only spread distrust and disunity among the people, in a way which all the Communist propaganda which could be mustered among the foolish could not do. And that past track record was why many people, eventually most of the people of the country, distrusted Richard Nixon.

The Herblock cartoon of the day pretty well sums it all up.

"The Compleat Non-Angler" challenges some of Sir Izaak Walton's platitudes about fishing, finds it not so much as mathematics but rather simply loafing, and that the supposed patience and peace engendered by fishing was nothing more than the patience of someone who could not control "his natural impatience without an artificial soporific." It suggests that fishing was destructive of integrity as it led otherwise pious and decent men to tell outlandish fish stories. Others who caught nothing would go to the local fresh fish purveyor and purchase some, telling his wife he had caught them. And the wives were left alone at home in the meantime, thrown over for the gilled prey.

"'Tis awesome, 'tis passing awesome this blind obeisance to fish. Not opium, nor strong spirits nor the evil weed claims such sacrifices from its devotees."

A piece from the Christian Science Monitor, titled "Home Rule for D.C.", tells of the Senate having passed a bill, sponsored by Senator Estes Kefauver of Tennessee, to provide for a popularly elected council-manager for the District, though it remained bottled up in a House committee.

Since 1874, Congress had acted as a city council for the nation's capital. The President appointed three commissioners to act as mayors. Under the proposed bill, the President would appoint two members of an eleven-person council and the President and Congress could veto its ordinances.

The piece finds it a minimum and overdue step toward home rule for the District. But its residents would still be without representation in Congress or the ability to vote for the President.

The sixth in the series of articles from Fortune on the Hoover Commission report and recommendations on reorganization of the executive branch looks at the formulation of foreign policy. At present, the nation's foreign policy was dangerously divided in authority and confused. Fully 46 of the 59 Government major departments and agencies were involved directly in foreign affairs. Coordinating their policies and functions could not be accomplished with existing machinery. The President's control of foreign policy had been seriously compromised by creatures of Congress, such as the National Security Council, by independent regulatory commissions with executive powers, as the Maritime Commission, and by Congressional grants of authority over foreign affairs and funding to bureaus and offices below the departmental and agency levels, as the Commerce Department's Civil Aeronautics Administration and the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The President lacked adequate staff assistance to keep properly informed on foreign problems. The Secretary of State also lacked adequate staff while the Department suffered from division and antiquated organization. The Foreign Service was semi-independent of the Department, weakening the Secretary's control of foreign policy.

Congress, through its control of the purse strings, was playing more of a role in foreign affairs than ever previously. Appropriations in 1949 for foreign affairs totaled seven billion dollars, including 4.4 billion for ERP and 1.25 billion for occupation of Germany, Austria, Japan and Korea.

The State Department had five times more employees and spent twelve times more money than in 1938. But the total appropriation, including that for the Foreign Service, was only 120 million dollars, two percent of the seven billion total budget for foreign affairs.

The Department's relationship with the press was found by the Commission to be extremely weak.

The Department's weakest unit was Research and Intelligence. Its most serious defect was the system of coordinate authority with respect to other departments, with four or five different State Department offices putting forth different viewpoints to other departments and agencies anent any given topic. The relations between State and other departments during the war had been characterized by "evasion and backbiting".

The recommendations of the Commission were: reorganization to simplify departmental structure, eliminating duplicate and conflicting authority; merger of the Washington employees of the State Department with the Foreign Service; that Congress refrain from creation of new foreign affairs agencies unless the advantages in so doing were overwhelming, as with ERP administration; relief of the State Department from operating specific programs; funding to employ able representatives at international organizations and conferences; clear and continual definition of the fundamental world objectives and foreign policies of the United States; and consultation between the State Department and other departments and agencies regarding programs and policies which affected foreign affairs.

Drew Pearson tells of Congressman Ralph Gwinn of New York, to whom General Eisenhower had responded in opposition to Federal aid to education, having abused his franking privilege more brazenly than any other member of Congress regarding education. He had sent out over 900,000 letters opposing Federal aid. He had also sent out 2.25 million copies of his speeches in opposition to the proposed 300-million dollar measure, costing the taxpayers $32,000. It cost the Congressman $7,800 for printing his speeches, which he said he received from "friends". In the past, such friends had included foundations financed by the Mellon interests, the du Ponts, Republic Steel, U.S. Steel, Standard Oil of New Jersey, Texaco, and Joe Pew of Sun Oil.

Mr. Pearson concludes that General Eisenhower, president of Columbia University, had thus fallen into a trap set by the anti-education lobby.

Mr. Gwinn had, in 1938, co-authored a book, Fifth Avenue to Farm, in which it was stated that compulsory public education could not be expected to maintain a high level of civilization.

General Eisenhower, concerned in his response about Federal control of education, appeared not to appreciate that the Senate bill specifically prevented Federal control of education and did not seek to control how the aid would be used by the states. General Eisenhower had favored giving of aid only to the states able to demonstrate a genuine need for it based on lack of adequate tax revenue to support an appropriate level of education. But such a program would encourage states not to tax themselves and thereby qualify for the Federal aid.

One of the President's secret heroes was Jesse James. He claimed to two youths, one from Alabama and the other from North Carolina who had won a contest as shining examples of rural youth, that the James family were Democrats. The subject arose when the boy from Alabama said that he liked both the President and Jesse James as natives of Missouri. The President quipped that some people did not like either of them. He said that the James boys had been pressed so hard because of their Democratic loyalties in Republican Clay County after the 1824 election, in which Andrew Jackson had run in Missouri for the presidency against Henry Clay, that they became outlaws.

Acting Speaker of the House John McCormack had mentioned to FDR, Jr., when he swore in the latter as a Congressman, that he had been acting Speaker after Yalta at the last appearance before Congress by FDR and had introduced him the last time he addressed a political rally, in Boston at the end of the 1944 campaign. FDR, Jr., smiled and said that he hoped Mr. McCormack would bring him good luck.

Mark Ethridge, publisher of the Louisville Courier-Journal who had been the American representative on the Palestine Commission, was heading back to his post on the newspaper and retiring from diplomacy.

The British had been sending jet fighters to Egypt. The U.S. Ambassador to Egypt warned of hotheads in the country accumulating arms and ammunition for a revolt against the Government. The revolutionists were part of an army clique which wanted to resume the war against the Jews.

Persecution of Jews continued behind the iron curtain as Hungarian Jews were being taxed $500 to migrate from Hungary to Palestine.

Robert C. Ruark, in Cincinnati, interviews "boy wonder" Waite Hoyt, who had come, at age 16, to play for the New York Giants baseball team as a pitcher, before later playing for the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees, where he retired 23 years later in 1938. He was now the broadcaster for the Cincinnati Reds.

He lamented the changes in the game, breeding "weaklings" and "specialists", pitchers who pitched for short bursts, pinch-hitters for batters in whom the management lacked confidence. The game was no longer nine men against nine men but was packaged as frozen food, "too contrived like everything else". It was getting to be a game of percentages and statistics and he believed the game was not that exact.

When Combs, Dugan, Gehrig, Ruth, Meusal, Lazzeri, Koenig, and Collins had played with him on the Yankees, everyone prided themselves on being able to bat against any pitcher, just as the pitchers prided themselves on lasting the whole stretch. And then a pitcher would not pitch for four days. Now, pitchers pitched nearly every day for one or two innings.

Baseball, Mr. Hoyt believed, was just following the highly technical, specialized age. At a reunion of the Yankees the previous year, he only met executives for an hour before he encountered a ballplayer.

Mr. Ruark found the observation apt, that it was reflected in the government scheme of specialization and experts, as well as in civilian life where there was so much expertise brought to bear that the individual never got a chance to see whether he could hit against both right and left-handed pitchers.

Joseph Alsop observes that history had a way of forgetting the "loud investigations" and "shabby political intrigues" while remembering the quiet, unnoticed things in contemporary eyes. Thus, he suggests, that the non-precessable gyroscope, invented by MIT aeronautical engineer Charles Stark Draper, might wind up an invention remembered and celebrated by history.

Gyroscopes were vital in guided missile technology to maintain the stability and orientation of the missile through its flight. But traditional gyroscopes produced friction and so began eventually, during the course of a few minutes, to transmit electronic data which was incorrect. The phenomenon was known as gyroscopic precession.

While the Draper gyroscope was not free of precession, it was free enough to permit accurate guidance of a missile for a few minutes through intercontinental trajectories. It had been accomplished by precise polishing of the two surfaces to limit, insofar as possible, any friction as they made contact with each other.

The Navy had successfully developed an 18-inch ram-jet which was thought to be the best engine for the guided missile. The technology enabled seeking out and attacking the largest bombers.

The two inventions together enabled both sound air defense and the capability, when long-range guided missiles would be perfected, of air attack advantage.

But the country, he finds, was not preparing itself well for the advent of these developments by chasing down "'subversives'" at home while ignoring the grim realities of the world situation abroad.

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