The Charlotte News

Thursday, June 2, 1949


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that at the U.N., in response to the President's call for a new program of technical assistance to underdeveloped nations, U.N. Secretary-General Trygve Lie issued a report on a plan to spend 85 million dollars over the course of two years for the purpose. The money would be raised from voluntary contributions from U.N. member nations. The plan would require approval of the Economic and Social Council and the General Assembly.

In Paris, at the four-power meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers, the Western powers presented to Russia their plan for Germany. It was said to provide for re-establishment of the four-power Kommandatura but with limited powers and unilateral veto only in specifically defined areas, a concession to the Soviets. Certain powers formerly exercised by the body would be transferred to a Berlin city council. The West also called for city-wide elections in Berlin under four-power supervision to choose a new provisional governing council.

After Britain had refused to extradite to the U.S. Gerhart Eisler on convictions of two charges, falsification of a passport and contempt of Congress for refusing to testify before HUAC, Mr. Eisler arrived in East Germany, where he would take a teaching post at Leipzig University.

The joint Senate-House Committee on Atomic Energy, investigating alleged mismanagement of the Atomic Energy Commission, heard from chief accuser Senator Bourke Hickenlooper that 3,280 persons had access to secret data without first undergoing a loyalty investigation. AEC chairman David Lilienthal did not dispute that number without loyalty checks but said that such emergency clearances were necessary. AEC general manager Carroll Wilson testified that a guard in the case of the missing U-235 from a Chicago laboratory had an arrest record. The AEC had insisted that most of the U-235 had been recovered and its loss was not the result of theft or espionage. The guard still worked for the AEC because it was not clear yet whether he had a record of conviction, that about which the questionnaire had asked. But one member of the Committee produced a questionnaire which did ask for arrests.

A House Labor subcommittee approved a bill to establish a Fair Employment Practices Commission.

The President said that he would later consider a cross-country tour to urge Congress to take action on his program but that he would remain for the present in Washington as long as Congress continued in session. He said that such a trip was not being planned for the fall.

Senator Lyndon Johnson of Texas told the Senate Armed Services Committee that the armed services had developed planes which flew faster than 1,000 mph. The Committee then approved 311 million dollars for construction of wind tunnels to test high speed planes and guided missiles. That was precisely 311 million dollars for wind tunnels.

In New York, Whittaker Chambers testified for the Government against Alger Hiss in his perjury case, based on his contentions that he had not supplied State Department documents to Mr. Chambers and that he had not seen him during the relevant period of time in 1938 during which the documents allegedly were passed. Mr. Chambers said that Mr. Hiss had given him the documents in question, which he then microfilmed and provided to "J. Peters", Alexander Stevens, the head of the Communist underground in 1938. Mr. Stevens, under a deportation order, had been allowed to leave the country voluntarily for his native Hungary the previous May 8. (The Justice Department had recently denied a voluntary departure to the wife of Gerhard Eisler that she might be detained awaiting a deportation hearing, in the hope apparently of getting Mr. Eisler to return voluntarily to the U.S.) Mr. Chambers said that he conferred regularly with Mr. Hiss until the spring of 1938, having initially been introduced to him in spring or early summer, 1934 through Mr. Peters and Harold Ware at a Communist meeting. He said that agreement to supply the documents was made in 1935 when Mr. Hiss worked for the Senate Munitions Committee chaired by Senator Gerald Nye. He then supplied documents regarding munitions.

In Baltimore, a family of four, including two children, were found shot to death, believed to be by murder-suicide.

The U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York denied a request of three former Major League baseball players that they be reinstated. They were suing for damages and injunctive relief on the ground of anti-trust violations for being banned for five years from Major League baseball for having played in the Mexican League in 1946.

In Muncie, Ind., a 44-year old bachelor collapsed of a heart attack and died after proposing marriage the previous night while he drove a widow along a country road. The woman's first husband had been killed in a fight with her brother the previous December and her brother then convicted of manslaughter.

The new moderator of the Southern Presbyterian Church, W. E. Price of Charlotte, returned from the conference at Montreat, saying that he thought the Church ought stand by its moratorium on union with the Northern branch, from which the Southern branch had separated in 1861 at the start of the Civil War.

A front-page editorial appears on the 25-million dollar school bond issue set for referendum on June 4. It was believed that it would pass. The piece nevertheless summarizes the arguments the column had previously presented against approval of the bond. You had better read that carefully so that you can be an informed voter on Saturday. How will you vote?

On the editorial page, "Off-Street Parking" remarks on the upcoming June 11 local bond election for $500,000 to build City operated off-street parking to relieve downtown congestion. It had aroused criticism on the basis that the City should not go into the business of parking, competing with private business. The piece points out that it was not that simple. Private operators could not guarantee to the public adequate parking downtown. Property owners generally wanted to construct more profitable enterprises such as stores or hotels. The City was not proposing to compete in any event. Some of the larger facilities would be leased to private operators. The primary consideration was that Charlotte was building and improving streets without providing for adequate parking, harming downtown access and consequently business.

"Tax on a Tax" suggests a study in North Carolina be performed similar to that in Maryland, finding that had paid Federal income tax been deductible from State income tax, the result would have been 4.3 million dollars less in paid State tax on a total of 15.4 million dollars. While allowing such a deduction would work to the decided advantage of higher income bracket taxpayers paying greater Federal income tax, it suggests that some more equitable method should be found to enable deduction of Federal taxes. For it was unfair to tax the same income twice, despite it having been paid to the Federal Government as taxes.

"What Dickens Said" provides, without comment, a quote which the Washington Post had printed from American Notes, published in 1842, by Charles Dickens, in which he criticized Americans for distrust of their politicians.

"Any man who attains a high place among you, from the President downward, may date his downfall from that moment; for any printed lie that any notorious villain pens, although it militate directly against the character and conduct of a life, appeals at once to your distrust, and is believed. You will strain at a gnat in the way of trustfulness and confidence, however fairly won and well deserved; but you will swallow a whole caravan of camels, if they be laden with unworthy doubts and mean suspicions."

It is a relief that America finally got beyond that self-defeating, disturbing trait decades ago.

A piece from the Asheville Citizen, titled "Lastest with the Mostest", remarks on Life finding 68 Civil War veterans still living, 38 of them Confederates. The Union had during the course of the war two million men in service while the Confederacy, between 800,000 and 900,000. It suggests that even if the Confederacy was outfought, it had apparently outlived the Union side.

"Somebody want to make something out of it?"

Drew Pearson tells of a report just released by the Senate showing that despite record profits of the oil companies they were charging the average consumer $40 more per year for gasoline on the basis of losing profits. Senator Burnet Maybank of South Carolina, chairman of the Banking & Currency Committee, was therefore preparing to hold hearings on the matter.

Standard and Poor's Index showed that overall profits of industrial companies were higher by 23.2 percent in 1948 than in 1947. Oil company profits were so much higher that elimination of them from the equation rendered only 16 percent higher profits. Between 1946 and 1948, oil company profits soared by 250 percent, justified, claimed the companies, by their need for expansion to meet unprecedented demand. Now that the expansion had stopped, however, the oil companies had boosted prices again.

Secretary of State Acheson had reported home that the following week would be crucial in the Council of Foreign Ministers meeting in Paris, that to this point, both sides had been sparring with one another. If anything would happen constructively, it would be during the following week, failing which, he would come home by around June 10.

Regarding Austria, Foreign Minister Andrei Vishinsky had been surprisingly mild in attitude at the meeting and the indication was that the U.S. would consent to Russia receiving 150 million dollars in Austrian reparations in return for agreement on a peace treaty.

Three guerrilla forces had arisen in Czechoslovakia, attacking Communist officials and police, worrying the Communists to the point that 5,000 troops had been assembled to track them down in their routine retreat into the hills. Thus far, the effort by the Communists had been ineffective.

Mr. Pearson reprints a letter received from Robert McKinney, owner and publisher of the Santa Fe New Mexican, praising him for his diligence in reporting on the mental disturbance of former Secretary of Defense James Forrestal. Mr. McKinney had served on Mr. Forrestal's staff and admired him. He suggests that had the staff at Bethesda Naval Hospital been as alert as Mr. Pearson, then Mr. Forrestal might have lived a long life. He disagrees with the statements by others that Mr. Pearson had crossed the line in reporting on Mr. Forrestal's mental break after his resignation as Secretary of Defense.

Congressman Adolph Sabath of Illinois could have taken advantage of the absence of three Republicans on the Rules Committee which he chaired and called for a vote on the housing bill, something Congressman Gene Cox feared, calling for delay of the vote. Mr. Sabath agreed, saying he would not do what others had done to him previously during the Republican Congress, when Mr. Cox had routinely, as he still did, joined the Republicans in voting.

Mr. Pearson notes that Mr. Cox, facing a tough re-election campaign the previous summer, had expressed his support for the housing bill, but, following re-election, had retreated to the other side.

Marquis Childs discusses the joint Senate-House Atomic Energy Committee investigation into the maintenance of security of the Atomic Energy Commission and alleged mismanagement thereof by chairman David Lilienthal, as charged by Senator Bourke Hickenlooper.

When the Democrats took over Congress after the previous election and Senator Brien McMahon became chairman of the Committee, he fired the two chief investigators, Fred Rhodes, who then joined the CIA, and David Teeple, who joined Air Force Intelligence. Both had been with the Manhattan Project from the beginning. Doing so was resented by Republicans who believed that it endangered AEC security as these two men had been able knowledgeably to investigate security lapses at AEC and report on them to the Committee.

The Democrats viewed the continued close contact between the two former investigators and their Senate supporters to be part of the plot to discredit Mr. Lilienthal. The Democrats therefore wanted Mr. Rhodes and Mr. Teeple to testify at the hearings.

An article by William Bradford Huie in Nation's Business had criticized the firing of the two men as abolishing the checks and balances of the Committee, reducing it from a watchdog on the Commission to a position of being forced to accept the Commission's reports. He stated that for two years the military and the AEC had argued over custody of the atomic bombs and suggested that Mr. Lilienthal appeared to have blocked the training of adequate Air Force personnel for assembly and detonation of the bombs.

Mr. Lilienthal's supporters in Congress viewed the attack on him as an effort to restore military control over atomic energy. Senator Hickenlooper denied such a motivation. But Senator Harry Cain had proposed a bill to do just that.

Hanson Baldwin, military correspondent for The New York Times, had written that secrecy was not the same as security and that the atomic bomb was not an impregnable rampart for defense. Security, he said, involved spirit, morale and imaginative thinking, to which secrecy was inimical.

An honest investigation, concludes Mr. Childs, might cure the atomic jitters, but at this stage, such, devoid of political aims, did not appear likely.

Robert C. Ruark tells of a woman suing for separation on the ground that her husband deprived her of love and companionship by devoting himself to television viewing.

Since the Twenties, other such pursuits had been cited as grounds for separation or divorce, such as preoccupation with whiskey, secretaries, chorus girls, sports, stamp-collecting and reading. And the television was supposed to supply the anodyne to the problem but now appeared only to have become the problem.

The initial family problem encountered was between adults and children over which programs would be viewed, those appealing to the adults or those to the children. Wives and husbands also differed as to preferred fare, and, to the annoyance of the wife, the tv set attracted friends of the husband to view sports contests and the like.

He concludes that there appeared to be only two solutions for such quarreling over control of the television, either to buy a set for each person in the household or destroy the purchased set with an axe.

The latter is the better choice.

A letter from "Wild Bill" Williamson, last known as "Rambling Bill", arrives from Phoenix, for the first time in a long while. He again imparts of his life story, says that he had about given up prospecting for gold and had instead turned to writing to earn his living. He tells of riding with General Pershing on his punitive expedition into Mexico in search of Pancho Villa and his band of outlaws in 1916, then going to France to fight the Germans under General Pershing in 1917, returning home with "gassed lungs", needing then to move from Charlotte to Arizona for his health.

He urges, rather than begging the Government for an old age pension, to go out into the hills and dig for some gold. He concludes, "'Thar's some out there that's never been dug and I'm going to get it yet.'"

You probably need to start writing songs about it or form a band and sing songs others have written about it.

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