The Charlotte News

Friday, June 24, 1949


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in New York, in the perjury trial of Alger Hiss, the defendant testified in his own behalf, denying the accusations of Whittaker Chambers, that Mr. Hiss had provided him secret State Department documents, either as typewritten transcriptions or for microfilming, at any time. He said that the last time he had seen Mr. Chambers was in late May or early June, 1936, before the time, in 1937, when Mr. Chambers claimed he received the documents. Mr. Hiss said specifically that he had not lied when he said that he had not seen Mr. Chambers after the beginning of 1937, the basis for one of the two counts of perjury against him, and that he had not lied when he stated that he had not passed any documents to him, the basis for the other count of perjury. Mr. Hiss denied the truth of Mr. Chambers's testimony that he and Mr. Hiss met a Colonel Bykof and that Mr. Hiss then agreed to provide the documents upon Col. Bykof's request. He said that there was not a word of truth in the story. He testified further that Mr. Chambers was never at two of his three places of residence in Washington with his permission and that he never visited his residence regularly, as Mr. Chambers had claimed. He said he had only known Mr. Chambers as a freelance writer going by the name George Crosley.

In Washington, in the espionage trial of Judith Coplon, the defendant, at the conclusion of her cross-examination by the Government, shouted repeatedly for ten minutes that she had been framed and entrapped. She had earlier shouted that she was not a Communist and had never been a Communist. She claimed that an attorney at the Justice Department, where before her arrest she had worked as a political analyst, with whom she had a romantic tryst and spent several nights, had been central to the frame, along with one of the prosecutors who knew her within the scope of her employment.

Attorney General Tom Clark ordered a full field investigation into allegations of violence by night riders in Brookside, Alabama, on June 10, purported to be members of the Klan. The House Judiciary Committee also ordered public hearings before a subcommittee into the same reports of floggings by a hooded mob in Alabama, as well as the report that Klansmen entered a restaurant of a white proprietor and demanded that he "keep the niggers down", then dragged the man and several black patrons from the establishment and forced them to witness the burning of a cross in the street.

Congressman John Rankin of Mississippi believed that the less Congressman Emanuel Celler, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, stuck his nose into theya affayas down theya, the betta it would be.

The Russian management of the West Berlin railway refused to accept the provisional plan offered by the striking rail workers to allow trains from the Western zones to enter Berlin while maintaining their five-week old walkout.

In Athens, the Premier of Greece, Themistokles Sophoulis, had died at age 88. He had been Premier since September, 1947, was the leader of the Liberal Party and considered a primary ingredient to the success of the Truman Doctrine in Greece.

The Chinese Communist radio reported that Nationalist planes had strafed the American President liner General W. H. Gordon on June 21 at the mouth of the Yangtze River. No details were provided in the broadcast.

The President, in his second proposed reorganization effort, following the recommendation of the Hoover Commission, suggested to Congress legislation to remove the 21,000 postmaster appointments from politics, traditionally a favorite form of political patronage, and place them under the Civil Service Act. He also recommended that postal rates be raised to comport with increased costs of operation, as well as other recommendations to place the Post Office Department on a more business-like basis.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the cost of living was slightly lower in May.

In St. Paul, Va., police were detaining two men, one a paroled murderer and the other an ex-convict, on suspicion of kidnapping after they had been seen riding with a woman who dropped a note from the car, claiming that she had been kidnaped in Houston. A Decatur, Ga., police captain, however, said that he had earlier investigated the woman's claim when the trio passed through Decatur and found it untrue, that the woman had been left alone in the car on a busy street for 15 to 20 minutes and had made no effort to escape. The man on parole was now wanted for violation of his conditions.

In Lansing, Mich., police were searching for the slayer of a four-year old boy, whose body was found with a slashed throat, apparently cut by a broken beer bottle. The attack occurred at around 10:30 p.m. after the boy had wandered away from his eleven-year old sister. The police had a general description of the attacker and had recovered some fingerprints near the body.

In Baltimore, 34 passengers of a Greyhound bus were injured when it overturned on U.S. Route 40 on the way from New York to Washington.

In Raleigh, the State Board of Education adopted regulations for the 50 million dollar program of school construction, half of which had been appropriated directly by the General Assembly and the other half by the bond issue passed June 4. It also authorized employment of 300 new teachers for special education, as supervisors, attendance officers, and librarians.

Tom Schlesinger of The News tells of writer James Street of Chapel Hill, who for a decade had put forth a trilogy of books chronicling the saga of the Dabney family, O, Promised Land, Tap Roots, and By Valour and Arms. He had now teamed with James Childers, also of Chapel Hill, a World War I flier, World War II Air Force colonel, and Rhodes Scholar, to write Tomorrow We Reap. The original manuscript was so long that the publisher divided it into two parts and the second half, The Quest of Mingo Dabney, would be later published. The two had collaborated by writing chapters separately as the other "plowed" behind, embroidering the chapters as they went.

The co-authors were in Charlotte for a book signing at Efird's Department Store.

In Hendersonville, N.C., a passerby, seeing smoke, pulled the fire alarm the previous night, only to find that the smoke was from a DDT fog used to exterminate summer insects.

In Greensboro, the head of the city pound reported that a beautiful horse, found wandering the streets, was going to be turned over to the fertilizer factory for disposal unless the owner showed up quickly to claim it. The City had learned by harsh experience with another stray horse, which had consumed $75 worth of corn before expiring at the pound.

You better get down there and claim your horse.

On the editorial page, "Which Twin Has the Toni?" finds that Senators Clyde Hoey and Frank Graham were canceling each other out in Senate votes regarding the provision of the labor bill on injunctive relief, Senator Graham being for an amendment to eliminate it from Taft-Hartley and Senator Hoey being opposed.

It reminded of the pairing of the late Senator Josiah William Bailey and Senator Robert Rice Reynolds during the New Deal and war years, the former being opposed to the New Deal domestic policies but in favor of the Roosevelt foreign policy, while Senator Reynolds stood just the opposite.

The difference was that President Truman was believed to have suggested Frank Graham as the successor to the late Senator J. Melville Broughton, while both Senators Reynolds and Bailey, for their divergent stands, had not been in the favor of FDR.

"No Time to Backtrack" supports Secretary of State Acheson in his statements to each house of Congress that ratification of NATO and the program of military aid for its Western European members were necessary to achieve promptly, to continue to put the Soviets on the defensive in negotiations. The approval by Congress would serve notice on the Russians that the country meant business, in continuance of the Marshall Plan and the Truman Doctrine.

"Congressional Diary" finds that three recent incidents of misconduct by members of Congress drew into question their fitness to serve the people.

Senator James Eastland of Mississippi had called C. B. Baldwin, former campaign manager for former Vice-President Henry Wallace in 1948, a "goddamned son of a bitch" during a committee hearing, after Mr. Baldwin accused Mr. Eastland of being opposed to civil rights for blacks.

Senator Kenneth McKellar of Tennessee had said in a hearing that he believed it would be in the best interests of everyone if ERP administrator Paul Hoffman resigned, notwithstanding that most believed Mr. Hoffman was doing a good job.

Congressman Ed Cox of Georgia had just called Congressman Adolph Sabath, 83, a "liar" and slapped him, prompting Mr. Sabath to punch Mr. Cox in the face two or three times.

It wonders what the God-fearing constituents of the Southern members of Congress involved in these incidents would think about the conduct of their salons.

A piece from the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, titled "Notable Maryland Opinion", tells of a Baltimore court having issued a rule ten years earlier prohibiting publication by anyone of a pretrial confession in a criminal case. Recently, the court had found three Baltimore radio stations in contempt of the rule for broadcasting news of a confession by an alleged murderer of an eleven-year old girl. The defendants had successfully appealed the contempt citation as the Maryland Court of Appeals had set aside the rule as a violation of free speech and press, saying that the courts did not operate in a vacuum.

The piece applauds the ruling.

The eleventh in the series of articles republished from Fortune anent the Hoover Commission report and recommendations for reorganization of the executive branch of the Government examines the Government run corporations, noting that the Government was not a business, though in business to the extent of these corporations.

Parenthetically, such is why the country does not want a businessman, with no political or government experience, as President. The statement is so obvious as to bear little emphasis, save perhaps to morons, given that in our entire national history, no such person has ever been nominated by a major party—until now, in 2016, at least apparently, unless lightning strikes in the next month. Perhaps it is the final recognition of the decadence of the nation, that which happens when increasingly large segments of generations through time stop reading even newspapers and obtain all of their information through moompicters and coiffured talky-talkers of the radio, tv and internet, a seemingly quicker process of imbibing information, but also one which leads, in that quickness, to superficial understanding of complex topics, superficiality which finally devolves only to acceptance of the rhetorical flourish as substitute for concrete, rational policy articulated on proven experience and appreciation for sensible pragmatism and the country's approximated history, not something fancifully conjured from skewed points of view, the ability not just to do what anyone can do, say what ought, whimsically conceived, to be the case in the country, but to say, based on a proven track record of achievement, what can be achieved by Government working with the people to make the country, not "great" again, but better, always better. There is a big difference between running apartment houses and hotels and golf courses—sometimes into the ground—and being the chief executive of the United States Government, needing to work with an inevitably divided Congress to form coalitions to effect policy which serves the interests of all the people, not special interests with the most money to bring to the table, as would a businessman.

Because the Government is not in business to make a profit, the Hoover Commission could not apply a standard business model to the way Government corporations functioned. It found that while it might be appropriate to subsidize certain groups and areas of the economy, the subsidies ought be transparent.

It recommended: that agencies with a similar purpose, especially in housing and farm credit, be consolidated; that all agencies should charge interest rates or prices high enough to cover their administrative costs; that agencies holding Government securities should be required to surrender them to the Treasury, receiving in return non-interest-bearing credit; that every agency should render a yearly report to Congress; that every revenue-producing agency should pay proper amortization and interest return to the Government; and that Government loans to private individuals or firms should not take place except in emergencies, that, specifically, the RFC should be limited to guaranteeing loans made by commercial institutions. While the Commission reached no consensus on projects as TVA, the Government's production and distribution of electric power, individual members asserted that the actual costs should be reported.

Drew Pearson tells of a debate behind the scenes in Paris at the Council of Foreign Ministers meeting regarding whether to extend to Eastern European satellites a "little Marshall Plan". Two schools of thought existed on the matter, one, that it would stimulate East-West trade, necessary to Europe and the German Ruhr, the other, that such aid would only have a tendency to build up, indirectly, Russia by helping its satellites, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Bulgaria, Hungary, and Rumania. But the other school argued that helping these countries would win the people over to the West and democracy. Yet, it was counter-argued that economic unrest in Yugoslavia had led Tito to buck the Soviets, and so there was ground for arguing that it was better to leave the satellites to stew in their own economic juices until they realized the toughness of life behind the iron curtain.

Representative Jesse Wolcott of Michigan, leading the fight in the House against the public housing bill, had once strongly supported public housing in 1937. He now called it "socialistic".

Perle Mesta, Washington socialite whom the President had just appointed to become Minister to Luxembourg, had just thrown a lavish party for Defense Secretary Johnson, and invited all of the supporters and bigwigs of Pan American Airways. The guests included Senator Owen Brewster of Maine, Pan Am's closest friend in the Senate.

Congressman John Rankin of Mississippi, formerly of HUAC, had determined that there had been a subversive named Bancroft serving as Benjamin Franklin's secretary, who had supplied Government secrets to the British during the Revolutionary War.

John J. McCloy, newly appointed civilian governor of the American occupation zone of Germany, had been handpicked by Secretary of State Acheson for the position, and would thus get along well with the State Department head.

Senator Wayne Morse of Oregon had served notice that he would block every bill on the floor of the Senate which Armed Services Committee chairman Senator Millard Tydings of Maryland sought to steamroll through the Committee.

Marquis Childs, in New York, discusses the Alger Hiss perjury trial as a symbol of the New Deal, which its enemies were seeking to tarnish by obtaining a Hiss conviction.

Justice Felix Frankfurter, a prime exponent of the New Deal, had sent many bright young men, including Mr. Hiss, to Washington during the thirties from his position as Harvard law professor. He had just testified to Mr. Hiss's excellent character and reputation for honesty and loyalty, and that he had recommended him therefore to be a law clerk to the late Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes in 1929.

Justice Stanley Reed had likewise testified to Mr. Hiss's good character. The fact that two Justices of the Supreme Court had testified in a criminal trial was unique and significant. It suggested a change of climate since the days of 1933 and 1934, at the start of the New Deal, through 1945 at Yalta, when Mr. Hiss had been a trusted member of the State Department and an adviser to the top men in the Government, as well as having a role at the United Nations Charter conference in San Francisco in the spring of 1945 and its predecessor conference at Dumbarton Oaks the prior fall.

Mr. Childs finds those who were now desirous to forget those earlier times to be resentful of the New Deal for having saved the economy from bankruptcy, a reminder of a dark past. They could never quite forgive their rescuer.

He adds that he was not meaning to condone the "treason" of Whittaker Chambers and Henry Julian Wadleigh, the latter having admitted during the Hiss trial to having provided Mr. Chambers with secret Government documents for transmission to the Russians. "That is the tragic enigma. How, even under the stresses and strains, the uncertainty and insecurity of that time, could young men sharing the advantages of the society in which they lived deliberately plot against it."

It should be noted that his reference to treason was misplaced as treason only applies during war regarding aid to a declared enemy, which obviously was not the case during the Thirties through 1945 with respect to Russia. More accurately, the actions of Mr. Chambers and Mr. Wadleigh were espionage or simply illegally providing Government secrets to a foreign government. There is a profound difference in the level of the offenses, as treason exposes the treasoner to the death penalty.

Robert C. Ruark, in Indianapolis, tells of the Reverend Charles M. Fillmore, 89, prolific songwriter, whose great hit, composed in 1896, was "Tell Mother I'll Be There". He had received only $5 for the song and it had since sold millions of copies and had been translated into seven languages. His other songs included "Home and Mother", "I'll Wear a White Flower for Mother", "Mother Love", "My Good Mother's Religion", and "My Mother's Photograph".

Alright, now, zip it. If we are going to take the time to write this stuff, the least you can do is sit there and behave. These are wonderfully inspirational songs which only your mother should know. So you just calm down and behave. And, no, that was not one of the songs.

The Reverend Fillmore was opposed to tobacco, had given lectures titled "Judas Nicotinus", "Keeping Kissable", and "Kindred Vices".

He had been writing songs since 1883, all of a religious nature. He had received $3 on average per song. The most he ever received for one was $300 for "White Flower for Mother". He had sold his big hit to his brother, and after an evangelist heard it and sang it to his flock, he bought it and took it to England where it became a hit. When the evangelist died after 26 years, the song's copyright expired and returned to Reverend Fillmore. He now sold it for $1 per copy and sales were brisk.

He did not object to Mr. Ruark smoking as they talked, but he was still adamantly opposed to iniquity, though retired from active preaching for 19 years.

For his 89th birthday, he was writing "The Way to Live", a song based on Romans 12:21.

A letter from a minister of St. John's Baptist Church in Charlotte thanks the newspaper for its church page, expressing a viewpoint which parents were bound to find salutary.

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