The Charlotte News

Monday, June 27, 1949


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in New York, the Government opened its cross-examination of Alger Hiss in his perjury trial. He continued to maintain his innocence of the charges that he lied to the grand jury in December when he said that he had not met with Whittaker Chambers after 1936 and that he never provided him with any Government documents. Mr. Hiss told the prosecutor, in response to questioning, that Mr. Chambers never used the nicknames "Dilly" or "Pross" in reference to Mr. Hiss's wife, Priscilla. He said that he estimated that he met with Mr. Chambers ten or eleven times. He said that he sold to Mr. Chambers a Model A Ford in spring, 1936, and that Mr. Chambers occasionally borrowed small sums of money which he never repaid. He also did not pay the rent on his sublet of the Hiss apartment, all of which led to the breaking off of their relationship.

In Washington, the defense in the Judith Coplon espionage case rested and the Government began its rebuttal case, to include three witnesses. Ms. Coplon's supervisor at the Department of Justice was called to rebut her version of a "decoy" memorandum which she claimed her supervisor had instructed her to prepare. Notes from this memorandum were in her purse when she was arrested, stating that Amtorg had been in contact with the Geophysical Research Corporation in an attempt to acquire geophones, instruments for measuring the force of atomic bombs. A witness from that company testified for the defense that it had never sold geophones to Amtorg. Another concluding defense witness, of Simon & Schuster Publishing, testified that Ms. Coplon had made an appointment with him in January but could not keep it. Usually, he said, such appointments were either for the purpose of seeking a job or to publish a book. Ms. Coplon stated that the notes in her purse were, in addition to other purposes, for a book she was writing.

Senator Ralph Flanders of Vermont proposed that Congress declare that the U.S. would not use atomic bombs except in retaliation for and defense of an atomic attack. He described the atomic bomb as a means of "murder of citizens" and thus should never be used offensively as a weapon of war. His resolution was also intended to make it unnecessary, in the event of atomic attack, to obtain a declaration of war from Congress before the President could take action in retaliation. The resolution would authorize in advance such action. It would set up a national policy for guidance of the armed services so that the atomic bomb would not be the center of military strategy but used only for reprisal. It was also intended to give reassurance to the people living behind the iron curtain of the purpose and plans of the U.S. in the event of a war with their government. And, according to the Senator, it would provide new impetus for agreement at the U.N. on use and control of atomic energy. Senator Flanders said that in the event a NATO nation were attacked with atomic weapons, he believed it would require retaliation by the treaty nations. But his resolution would indicate the expectation that NATO nations adopt a like policy with regard to non-offensive use of atomic weapons.

In Berlin, the five-week old rail strike was set to end the following morning.

The four deputy military governors of Germany would meet for the first time since March 17, 1948, to set out a way of life for Germany and Berlin, pursuant to four-power agreement made at the Council of Foreign Ministers meeting in Paris.

In Buenos Aires, Britain and Argentina signed a five-year trade agreement, ignoring U.S. objections to it. American businessmen believed it would cut off one of their important South American markets. The U.S. Government believed it violated the spirit of competitive international trade and could keep U.S. oil and farm machinery off the Argentine market. Under the agreement, Britain would supply most of Argentina's imports and in return, Argentina would supply to Britain an estimated 30,000 tons of meat plus cereals and other items.

The Supreme Court, in a 5 to 4 decision, Harris v. South Carolina, 338 U.S. 68, delivered by Justice Felix Frankfurter, reversed a conviction for murder based on a coerced confession in violation of Due Process. The defendant had been sentenced to death, required by state law for the crime. Justice William O. Douglas wrote a separate concurrence. Justice Robert Jackson wrote a dissent, as part of a concurrence and dissent in three different cases arising out of similar facts and legal contentions, as published in Watts v. State of Indiana, 338 U.S. 49, 58, decided the same date, reversing on the same grounds, albeit 6 to 3. Justice Jackson concurred in the latter result. The other case, decided also the same date, was Turner v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 338 U.S. 62, to which Justice Jackson dissented again on the same basis as in Harris. Chief Justice Fred Vinson and Justices Stanley Reed and Harold Burton dissented in Harris without opinion, as they also did in Watts and Turner.

In another 5 to 4 decision, Christoffel v. U.S., 338 U.S. 84, the Court reversed a perjury conviction of Harold Christoffel, a former Milwaukee labor leader. He had been charged with false testimony to the House Labor Committee for asserting that he had never been a Communist or had Communist connections. The decision, delivered by Justice Frank Murphy, held that the Government had to show that a quorum of the House committee was present when the offending testimony occurred and that the Government had not so proved. Justice Jackson wrote a dissent, joined by Chief Justice Vinson and Justices Reed and Harold Burton, asserting that the judgment should be affirmed.

The Court also ruled, in Brinegar v. U.S., 338 U.S. 160, a 6 to 3 decision delivered by Justice Wiley Rutledge, that Federal agents could conduct a warrantless stop and search of an automobile driven by a man known to the officers to be a bootlegger, under the facts of the case which showed additional probable cause for the search. The officers had asked the man how much liquor he was carrying and he replied "not too much". As he got out of the car at the officers' request, they saw one case of whiskey. They then performed the search and found other cases which he had already admitted having. The Court held that while traffic stops and searches could not be conducted on "whim, caprice or mere suspicion", there had been in this case more than mere suspicion based on the officers' actual knowledge of the defendant's previous bootlegging and the fact that he was traveling along a route known as a means of supply. Justice Burton wrote a separate concurrence. Justice Jackson dissented, joined by Justices Frankfurter and Murphy, on the basis that the gravity of the suspected offense did not warrant allowing a stop and search on a basis which amounted to no more than a suspicion of criminal conduct based on hearsay. The Court of Appeals, following the District Court decision, had held that, while there was inadequate probable cause for the stop in the first instance, there was sufficient probable cause for the search from the man's voluntary statements after the stop, given that it was impracticable to obtain a search warrant, and thus the evidence found pursuant to the search was admissible—irrespective of the doctrine of the fruit of the poisonous tree.

The Court also ordered, 5-4, in a per curiam decision in Eisler v. U.S., 338 U.S. 189, that Gerhardt Eisler, having fled the jurisidiction of the United States after two convictions, one for passport fraud and the other for contempt of Congress in refusing to answer questions before HUAC, should have his previously granted petition for writ of certiorari removed from the calendar until such time as he returned to U.S. jurisidiction. The dissent favored dismissal of the petition completely. Mr. Eisler, deemed by HUAC to be one of the top Communists in the U.S., had stowed away on a Polish ship and been discovered in Britain, which then refused extradition. He sailed on to Germany where he was going to accept a teaching position.

In Washington, Secret Service agents seized $100,000 in counterfeit bills in a raid about six blocks from the White House. Four men and a woman were arrested. They had managed to distribute only about $2,000 worth of the bills in several cities since the bills were printed the previous April.

The House defeated a bill designed to substitute for the Administration's housing bill, providing for no public housing and only slum clearance and farm housing aid. The vote paved the way for the Administration bill, which the House leadership predicted would pass.

Housing Expediter Tighe Woods said that his office had dispensed about a million applications to landlords to seek raises in rents. New rent control rules, not required by the law, had been issued by Mr. Woods allowing local rent directors to grant raises to landlords who had spent money to improve their rental units.

In London, Winston Churchill received an inscribed gold watch which he had given away fifty years earlier while a war correspondent during the Boer War. He had been captured by the Boers but escaped with the aid of two Britons who hid him in a gold pit. Mr. Churchill later gave each of them a gold watch, one of which was left by will of the man's widow to Mr. Churchill.

In Easton, Conn., Helen Keller celebrated her 69th birthday, saying, "There is no age to the spirit."

In Roanoke, Va., a 16-year old Eagle Scout went on trial for killing his 16-year old female classmate, as jury selection began in a closed trial. The girl had been killed while at church and the boy claimed to have been on the phone with another classmate at the time or shortly after the slaying. Dark-stained clothing had been found in the defendant's closet, the results of laboratory tests of which having not yet been revealed by the Commonwealth. The defense attorney said that he had received threats for accepting the defendant's case.

There was little relief in sight from the heat wave across the nation. It was a little cooler west of the Rockies. It rained in northern Maine for the first time in weeks. But most of New England remained hot.

In Charlotte, rain sent the temperature from 95 to 78 in just ten minutes. But after the shower, the sun returned and so did the blazing heat, fifteen minutes later. The record high for the date was 98. During the morning, the humidity was at 90 percent as the temperature reached 74. The previous day, reaching 94, was the hottest of the year, with 60 percent humidity. The temperature had reached 90 on seven of the previous ten days and for five days had averaged 82, five degrees above normal.

White House press secretary Charles G. Ross told the press, in response to questioning as to how the President was getting along in the heat wave, that the President did not like air conditioning and did not need it.

On the editorial page, "Halting the March of Socialism" finds the U.S. racing toward socialism, as expansion of Social Security was being sought such that it would cost annually fifteen times the present 1.8 million dollars. The present proposal before Congress would cost six billion per year in short order, and by 1976, 30 billion.

The Federal budget had risen from four billion to 45 billion in a mere twenty years.

Congress was developing a complete Welfare State, offers the piece, and the citizenry accepted it on the false premise that the Government had an unlimited reservoir of revenue. "Tax and spend" indefinitely would lead to a collapse of free enterprise. Socialism, even more pronounced than in Britain, would sweep the country.

The newspaper warned that unless a brake were placed on spending, the nation would reach the breaking point.

It recommends that the citizens study the issues, especially as viewed through the Hoover Commission report, and write their Congressmen and Senators of the need for economy.

The piece fails to point out that the bulk of that 45 billion dollar budget was for defense and foreign aid, plus the basic expenditures of Government. Social programs, of which it appears so fearful based on the utterance of the word "socialism", was a pittance by comparison. And the cost of lack of those social programs would have been much greater, as experience had shown.

In any event, we congratulate Britain for a stupid, uninformed vote last Thursday, giving in to the idea of "nationalism", which of course was the cry of Hitler and Mussolini. At least in this country, thus far, these idiots are losing badly and are heading for a flame-out in November. Why do you vote when you are grossly misinformed as to the consequences, because it sounds good to be "free" from something? when what you are doing is promising economic enslavement to your children and grandchildren by trying to remain insular in matters of economics and trade. Study a little history and discover how disastrous that form of thinking proved in the period between World Wars I and II. Then vote.

These same nationalist nuts want the State of Texas to secede from the United States, presumably on the belief that it would be better off with an economy rivaling that of Mexico.

International economic and political cooperation is not a "globalist conspiracy" as these high school educated idiots proclaim, "robbing" each nation of its home-grown job market. It is an effort to balance and maintain international trade and stabilize currencies so that worldwide recessions and depressions do not take place. These cooperative agreements, stimulating export trade, actually produce jobs. You cannot look at those complex issues through a single, special-interest prism of one's own making. The idiots who promote that sort of thinking are merely seeking your attention to sell you products, the old bait-switch scheme, the old sleight of hand, tell you what you want to hear while selling you some stupid product you don't need so you will come back and listen to them sell you something all over again.

"Recreation Program" finds the Park & Recreation Commission off to a good start in implementing the three-year, million-dollar bond program passed June 11.

"The Prospective Bridegroom" hopes that brides-to-be were spared the incessant hazing which accompanied prospective grooms from male co-workers regarding the institution of marriage.

A piece from the New York Times, titled "The Displaced Persons Bill", recommends to Senator Pat McCarran of Nevada, chairman of the Judiciary subcommittee on displaced persons, that he allow the House-passed bill to come the floor for debate and a vote. Notwithstanding that he was a son of immigrant parents who came from Ireland, he had held up the bill for three weeks.

The thirteenth installment of the series of articles from Fortune anent the Hoover Commission report and recommendations for reorganization of the executive branch of the Government relates of health care. The Government provided medical care to about one-sixth of the nation, 24 million people, three-fourths of whom were veterans, and the remainder primarily members of the armed forces and Government employees. The care was furnished by 40 Government agencies, spending about two billion dollars annually, ten times that spent in 1940.

The agencies spent money independently, with little knowledge of what the other agencies were doing. The result was waste and inefficiency, and construction of hospitals without adequate manpower to staff them.

The Commission recommended: establishment of a United Medical Administration to take over the Public Health Service, all V.A. hospitals and medical services, and all general hospitals of the armed services within the country; that this Administration have a board consisting of the Surgeons General of the Army, Navy and Air Force and the Administrator of Veterans' Affairs; that the Congress define the rights and priorities of those entitled to Government medical care; that a survey be conducted to determine the need for emergency Government aid to medical schools; and that the highest priority be given to prevention of disease through research, preventive medicine, public health, and education, to the end of stemming the need for medical care.

Drew Pearson tells of the President consulting with both present Secretary of Agriculture Charles Brannan and former Secretary, now Senator, Clinton Anderson, regarding Mr. Brannan's agricultural program whereby overproduced perishable commodities would be paid by the Government as a subsidy at a certain price determined by a formula, while the produce would be sold to the consumer at the lower market price, not stored by the Government as under the present program, resulting in waste. The object was to maintain the farmer's price while giving the consumer a break. Senator Anderson approved the program with only minor reservations. He believed that it should be instituted gradually. Mr. Brannan agreed, said that he would recommend that it be set up initially for three commodities on a trial basis.

The House, in the meantime, got the word and passed a bill which so provided. Notwithstanding the prodigious efforts of Senator Anderson, the Senate was lagging because Senator Elmer Thomas of Oklahoma, chairman of the Agriculture Committee, was holding up the legislation.

The AAA was pushing a program to encourage diplomacy among tourists traveling abroad and to that end, had issued the "ten commandments" for such tourism, which Mr. Pearson reprints. He again notes that people-to-people interaction was the best way to establish peace between nations, as governments tended to be transitory.

Robert C. Ruark, in Madisonville, Ky., tells of the local tobacco auctioneer speaking English during the bidding, as opposed to the typical gibberish spoken in other parts of the South. The two former auctioneers, F. E. Boone of Lexington, Ky., and Speedy Riggs of Goldsboro, N.C., spoke the standard tobacconese, but no one could understand them. So the tobacco warehouseman brought in a new auctioneer who spoke regular English, not, "Hey diddle diddle fee fie fo fum ree bop dee dee dee—sold American!"

Mr. Ruark thinks it "fahn" to find such a plain-spoken auctioneer and expects one day also to find a Southerner who drank Scotch rather than bourbon, who sneered at "hawg-jowl" and hominy, who was allergic to red-eye gravy, and who favored a dry martini over a mint julep. But, on second thought, he decides that the last expectation would be as rare of fulfillment as finding a Texan not an oil millionaire.

One thing, though, Mr. Ruark, no self-respecting Southerner would evah sneer at singing hominy.

The "Better English" answers might be were it so: "Can I have this chair, please"; "jazz 'em"; sealing; a person who once was on foot but now rides; Inverness.

A letter writer from Southern Pines is glad that she and her husband voted against the statewide 200-million dollar rural road bond issue to be spread over four years, which passed June 4. She believes it unwise for its deficit financing.

A letter writer thanks the newspaper for its editorial of June 21, "Separation of Church and State", as it would sway those who might otherwise be persuaded by political or religious sophistry against the principle.

And we state again for those who contend that it is not a part of the First Amendment: the Government is prohibited from establishing a religion and therefore the Government is necessarily separate from the church. It is that simple, a matter of logic to be inferred from the Establishment Clause.

Only parrots, bird brains, in desire of a cracker, look for particular words to express an idea and abandon all thought in their interpretation.

The First Amendment also guarantees freedom of religious belief, and, when considered briefly, one realizes that the two go hand in hand, freedom of religion and separation of church and state. For, were it otherwise, what if, one day, the State declared as its religion Islam, just as many Islamist states have?

A letter writer thinks it bad to turn over children to the public school system at the age of six, where they were indoctrinated with materialistic values.

A letter writer praises News publisher Thomas L. Robinson for his speech before the Men's Club of Cook Memorial Presbyterian Church, urging the public to study the Hoover Commission report and to be informed of the rapid slide of the the Government into socialism.

The writer believes that the nation was being turned over to the "Bolsheviki". He thinks that the President's suggestion for a Welfare Department was an attempt at self-perpetuation in office "until they are cut down by traitorous American Communists."

Whatever the hell that is supposed to mean. Lay off the booze. You will think more clearly.

A letter from a minister of Myers Park Methodist Church commends the newspaper for "Separation of Church and State", for discerning a principle which was of great importance, opposed to the Catholic notion of placing the church at the center of the state, and consistent with the Protestant tradition.

He finds it shocking that Francis Cardinal Spellman had labeled religious "bigotry" the insistence of Representative Graham Barden that public funds only be used for public education and that, to get around the Supreme Court decision that certain necessary services, as transportation, if afforded to public schools at public expense had to be afforded as well to private schools, Federal aid to education would not support transportation and health services for public or private schools.

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