The Charlotte News

Tuesday, June 21, 1949


Site Ed. Note; The front page reports that Secretary of State Dean Acheson returned from the four-week Council of Foreign Ministers meeting in Paris, greeted by the President and Vice-President Alben Barkley upon arrival at the airport. The President said that he thought Secretary Acheson had done an excellent job at the conference. They then went to the White House for a briefing by the Secretary.

The conference had gone as expected, without any major accomplishment regarding German economic and political unity. It had at least resulted in agreement between East and West to make an effort to get along in divided Germany.

In Berlin, the Russians expressed a desire to end the month-long West Berlin railway strike which had tied up rail traffic into the city from the Western zones. The Russian management of the railways previously had made an offer of settlement, which the workers had voted to reject.

The Atomic Energy Commission and joint Atomic Energy Committee chairman Senator Brien McMahon announced that some material was missing or misplaced at the Oak Ridge, Tenn., plant operated by the AEC. The statements did not disclose what the material was or how much was in issue. It was possibly only an inventory discrepancy at the plant. The AEC said that no uranium was missing.

An unidentified submarine was being hunted by Navy planes off the south coast of Florida, near the new Banana River rocket testing range, scheduled to open on July 1. The activity had been classified after a report said that nothing had turned up during an all-night search for the craft.

Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson, with the President's approval, proposed, in a speech to the graduating class of the National War College, modernization of two aircraft carriers at a cost of 80 million dollars. He said that he made the proposal to counter the idea that the cancellation of the supercarrier United States shortly after its keel had been laid was a conspiracy to reduce the Navy to a second class role in the military.

The President nominated Perle Mesta, Washington society leader and Democratic fundraiser, to be minister to Luxembourg.

Gordon Gray of Winston-Salem was sworn in this date as Secretary of the Army.

The Senate Investigating Committee, chaired by Senator Clyde Hoey of North Carolina, declared that it would investigate a report appearing in the New York Herald Tribune that a $1,000 fee allegedly was paid by a businessman to a former lieutenant colonel in the Army Quartermaster Corps and later employee of the War Assets Administration for help to obtain Government contracts. Senator Hoey stated that William Rogers, counsel for the Committee and future Attorney General and Secretary of State, would perform the preliminary investigation of the matter.

A Senate Labor subcommittee voted unanimously to recommend a 75 cents minimum wage but voted against recommending extension of coverage to five million additional workers.

The American Legion called for the enactment of the President's public housing and slum clearance program and decried the propaganda against the measure.

The North Carolina American Legion convention voted to favor continuation of veterans' pensions based solely on disability and need.

In Washington, the trial of Judith Coplon for espionage continued with Ms. Coplon denying that she had engaged in deliberate transmission of secret Justice Department information to a Russian with whom she claimed to be in love. She also said that the Russian had never asked her to pass him any documents. The "data slips", comprising abstracts of documents, which had been found in her purse at the time of her arrest with the Russian were for the three-fold purpose, she claimed, of writing a book, to prepare for a Civil Service examination she had planned to take, and to use in her work as a political analyst at the Justice Department. She said that she had destroyed the manuscript for the book rather than have it fall into the hands of the FBI—which, presumably, could not have occurred after publication because of the little-known FBI no-read-books rule, in effect at that time, a rule meant to protect agents from indoctrination by potentially subversive literature, such as The Trial by Franz Kafka.

According to the Commerce Department, drinking was down in the country for the first time since 1938.

A judge in Baltimore was contemplating a case involving the estate of R. J. Reynolds, deceased since 1918, determining whether to turn the estate's millions in assets over to one group of heirs or to leave it in the estate to earn more money for all.

A mill executive had requested that Governor Kerr Scott send the Highway Patrol to restore order at the Tarboro Textile Mill after a "lawless situation" had developed out of a dispute between management and the employees. The Governor declined until such time as local law enforcement made such a request.

In Dillon, S.C., the body of a two and a half year old boy was found in the Little Pee Dee River after he had disappeared the previous night from the summer home of his wealthy parents. A theory that he may have been the victim of a kidnaping was discarded, and it was believed that he simply decided to go swimming the previous evening and was swept away by the current.

On the editorial page, "Separation of Church and State" tells of Francis Cardinal Spellman having criticized Representative Graham Barden for his Federal aid to education bill because it supposedly discriminated against parochial school children by not allowing Federal funds to go to their transportation and health services.

Cardinal Spellman was confused about the bill. It prohibited Federal public funds to both public and private transportation and health services.

There had been a string of decisions by the Supreme Court since 1925 which had blurred the First Amendment line between church and state, allowing in 1925 Catholics and other religious sects to operate their own schools and then permitting in 1947 state funds to be used for the necessary service of transportation of parochial students. Federal school lunch subsidies were also extended to both public and parochial schools.

In 1948, however, the Court had struck down the practice of allowing particular religious instruction during a "free period" in the public schools, interrupting the trend toward blurring of the church-state lines originally set forth in the Establishment Clause.

The piece quotes Dr. Max Lerner that no one was proposing that Catholic school children in the public schools be treated differently from others, rather only recognizing that the parochial schools were separate from the public schools and therefore not entitled to public funds for aid to education. If the Government was permissive in allowing the private schools to operate, then those schools should not be allowed to partake of the public funds as a subsidy. Public funds were used in the public schools to teach civic responsibility, not to inculcate religion. If a church made the choice to separate its school-age children from the public schools, then it need not expect public support.

The piece concludes that Cardinal Spellman had misused his religious position to condemn Mr. Barden as a "new apostle of bigotry" for his Federal aid to education bill prohibiting funding for transportation and health services to both public and parochial schools.

It suggests prayer that separation of church and state be maintained for the good of all and not be further weakened by using Federal money for non-public schools, whether religious or not.

"Reorganization Is Started" tells of the President quickly making his first seven proposals for reorganization shortly after signing into law the Reorganization Act. The Congress would have 60 days for either house, by a majority of the membership, to veto the plan. Inaction would mean tacit approval. The piece hopes that as long as the President remained close to the Hoover Commission recommendations, there would be no Congressional veto and the President would be able effectively to reorganize the cumbersome executive branch.

"Clean-Up Time" urges homeowners to do as the community was doing, engaging in clean-up to make the city a better place to live and work.

The eighth article in the series from Fortune regarding the Hoover Commission report and recommendations on Government reorganization treats of two areas, the Department of the Treasury and the Department of the Interior.

The recommendations for Treasury were: that it undergo broad internal reorganization; that it be relieved of non-fiscal work, such as control of the Bureau of Supply, Bureau of Narcotics, and the Coast Guard; that the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, Export-Import Bank, and the FDIC be transferred to Treasury; that policies and operations of the thirty domestic financial agencies should be coordinated by a National Monetary and Credit Council, with the Secretary of Treasury as chairman; that an Accountant General be established within Treasury; and that the political appointment of the Collectors of Internal Revenue, Collectors of Customs, and other lower officials should be abolished and transferred to Civil Service positions.

The recommendations for the Department of Interior were: that it be given clear responsibility for Government development of water and mineral resources, and that it manage also the other major public works; that it should handle flood-control and rivers and harbors work of the Army Corps of Engineers, plus the public works projects of the Federal Works Agency; that the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Land Management, except for minerals, and the Division of Commercial Fisheries be transferred to other departments, the latter two to Agriculture and Commerce, respectively; and that a five-member Board of Impartial Analysts for Engineering and Architectural Projects be appointed by the President within his office to review and report on the economic, social, and technical worth of all Interior projects.

Drew Pearson tells of Russia having offered the Chinese Nationalists the previous September a non-aggression pact with a provision that the Nationalists would side with Russia in the event of a Russo-American war. The Chinese considered the proposal while they were asking for U.S. aid in the fight against the Communists. When aid did not come promptly and the Chinese Communists were closing in, Chiang Kai-Shek agreed to the non-aggression treaty but without the proviso in the case of war with the U.S. The Russians balked.

Meanwhile, in Washington, in mid-October, John Steelman was busy urging the Army to get military aid to China. But as the Communists approached the Yangtze and no aid had come, Chiang gave in and acquiesced to the Russian proviso. The Russians still, however, with the Chinese Communists making headway, felt there was no rush. Chiang's Government, now frantic, agreed to a coalition government with Communist leader Mao Tse-Tung as premier. But the Russians declined.

The previous month, after the Nationalist Government had moved to Canton, the Nationalists again sought to broach the subject of an alliance with Russia, but the Russian Ambassador avoided the subject. Moscow had by that point given strict orders not to cooperate in formation of any such pact.

The largest pipe collector in the Congress, with over 200, was freshman Congressman Leonard Irving of Missouri.

Congressman Abraham Ribicoff of New York had already sponsored more major legislation in his first term than many of the senior Congressmen.

Joseph Alsop discusses the hearing the previous Tuesday before HUAC involving Dr. Frank Oppenheimer, brother of the Manhattan Project lead physicist during the war, Dr. Robert Oppenheimer. Frank Oppenheimer and his wife had explored Communism in the late Thirties and quit the party in 1940 before he joined the Manhattan Project. He stated that he had never been disloyal to the country. But a couple of years earlier, he had denied membership in the party, a denial which had since been raised against him when it was discovered that he had been a member.

HUAC had ruined his public reputation and he had lost his teaching position at the University of Minnesota.

Frank Oppenheimer and his wife were idealists, were now supporters of former Vice-President Henry Wallace and the Progressive Party.

Dr. Oppenheimer's life had been needlessly and pointlessly broken in the HUAC search for headlines. Mr. Alsop suggests in consequence that it was time to apply to Congressmen a stricter standard by stopping the "dangerous heresy-hunt" which HUAC had launched in the universities.

Robert C. Ruark, in Indianapolis, tells of his visit with Duke Nalon, driver in the Indianapolis 500 on Memorial Day who had been burned badly and was recuperating in the hospital. He relates of his various injuries and the friends who had come by to visit. Mr. Nalon, who said that he was lucky not to have been knocked out in the crash in which case he would have burned to death, hoped to have restored use of his hands by the following spring. A friend was now a promoter and wanted him first to be able to walk before leaving the hospital so that he could have him make personal appearances in Kentucky.

A letter writer finds the new Administration of Governor Kerr Scott to be developing into a machine, the likes of which had not been seen in the state since the Twenties when Furnifold Simmons had held sway as a Senator. He suggests that the two strains in state Democratic politics, the conservatism of Senator Clyde Hoey and the progressivism of Governor Scott, could not long co-exist. He wonders which would be victorious or whether the conservatives would give in to the progressives.

A letter writer thanks God for FDR and other such progressive Presidents. He wonders though why the Government appeared only to need the people and place importance on them in time of war and not during peacetime.

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