The Charlotte News

Thursday, June 9, 1949


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in Paris, Russia was expected to reject the proposal of Secretary of State Acheson that the "little blockade" of West Berlin, occasioned by the three-week old rail strike on the Soviet-controlled railways, be ended by Monday by granting the workers' requests, to permit resumption of rail service. The union demands included payment in the four-times more valuable West marks rather than East marks, union recognition, and job security. Western authorities in Berlin, conferring on the rail strike with the Russians, said that the East-West trade agreement could go into effect almost immediately were it not for the strike. The Russians were desirous of a trade agreement, had made it the primary goal of the Council of Foreign Ministers conference, and it was believed that Secretary Acheson was forcing their hand on the matter by using termination of the rail strike as the ante. Mr. Acheson had informed that if the rail strike were not ended by Monday the four foreign ministers would need to intervene.

In Berlin, four Russian police officers resisted a looting mob of 200 railway strikers who had invaded the American sector headquarters of the Berlin railway the previous night. Western police began guarding the building after the Russian commandant complained of the "hoodlum mob". The mob had been ripping pictures of Stalin and Lenin from the walls, and the Western police forced their way into the strikers with their fists and drove them to the ground floor of the building. American commandant Brig. General Frank Howley declared that the strikers had exceeded the limit of legitimate strike activities when they invaded the Russian-occupied building, preventing staff from reporting to work. The Russians had authority to use the building to direct East German rail traffic outside the area of the strike in West Berlin.

Flowers had been ordered to cheer up British Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin, depressed over the way the conference in Paris had been going.

The Senate-House Atomic Energy Committee, investigating Senator Bourke Hickenlooper's charges of mismanagement against Atomic Energy Commission chairman David Lilienthal, heard from one of the five AEC commissioners, Lewis Strauss, who said that the radio-isotopes sent to Norway and other foreign countries could be used to conduct research on germ warfare and that it was his understanding that Russian scientists were not barred from the foreign laboratories where the radio-isotopes were in use. When Representative Henry Jackson of Washington asked whether he thought the AEC was guilty of mismanagement, Mr. Strauss initially hesitated and said, when pressed further, that mistakes had been made but that in a number of respects the performance had been "remarkably fine". He said, in response to another question from Mr. Jackson, that the isotope shipments, to which he had dissented, were the result of poor judgment but did not constitute mismanagement. The President and the State Department had approved the shipments.

Mr. Lilienthal resumed his testimony, presenting documents supporting the decision to ship the isotopes, including a memorandum from the general advisory board of the AEC recommending such distribution for medical scientific research, as long as the isotopes could not be used for military purposes.

In New York, at the perjury trial of Alger Hiss, Whittaker Chambers named five men who had supplied Government documents to him in the latter 1930's for transmission to the Soviets. In addition to Mr. Hiss were Ward Pigman, formerly of the Bureau of Standards, Harry Dexter White and Julian Wadleigh, both formerly of the State Department, and Vincent Reno. Farmer Jones was out of town.

The previous December, Mr. Pigman had stated to the grand jury which indicted Mr. Hiss that he had never had any dealing with Mr. Chambers and did not know him. He denied having ever passed Government documents to anyone outside the Government.

In Washington, in the trial of Judith Coplon, former Justice Department employee accused of passing secret Government documents to a former Russian employee of the U.N. Secretariat, a secret report compiled by the FBI, found in Ms. Coplon's purse at the point of her arrest, was read to the jury. It indicated that the FBI was keeping track of the Soviet Embassy in Washington, including details about the activities of Embassy officials. The document contained the text of an application filed by Leona Saron for a job on the Soviet Information Bulletin. Ms. Saron had supposedly lived with a woman suspected of being a Communist espionage agent. It mentioned that Valentin Sorokin, second secretary of the Embassy, was under "separate investigation" by the FBI. Vaili Zuzilin, a former second secretary, was named as a known Soviet espionage agent.

A report introduced the previous day quoted FBI informants as describing actor Fredric March and other Hollywood figures as Communists. Those listed had promptly denounced the report.

Another report said that a barber at White Sands Proving Grounds in New Mexico was expected to obtain secret information, including photographs, on guided missiles for the Soviets, to be transmitted through the Russian Embassy in Mexico. The barber, who had access to administrative areas of the base but not areas where classified or secret material were maintained, was described as a member of the Communist Party in Juarez.

In Raleigh, former Communist Fred Beal sought a pardon for himself and six others involved in the Loray Mill strike violence of 20 years earlier in which the Chief of the Gastonia Police, O. F. Aderholdt, was killed. Mr. Beal also sought compensation for time unjustly spent in prison on the second degree murder conviction. He and the six other co-defendants had jumped an appellate bond and fled to Russia, but he had returned to the U.S. after three years and renounced Communism. Governor Clyde Hoey had commuted Mr. Beal's sentence in 1940 to 10-13 years, and the late Governor Melville Broughton had granted him parole in 1942. Only one co-defendant served any portion of the prison term otherwise. The others fled to Russia.

The U.S. Public Health Service reported 1,757 polio cases, compared to 1,226 on the same date in 1948 when there was a serious outbreak nationwide with the most cases since 1916. California and Texas had reported the most cases thus far in 1949. But the Service said that the current rate was not alarming. Such a higher incidence occurred each spring after the disease reached its early spring low point. There had been 44 fewer cases than in 1948 since March. In North Carolina, where there was a serious outbreak the previous year, there had been 46 reported cases, compared to 109 at the same point in 1948.

The UMW intended to strike for a week starting on Monday at the call of John L. Lewis, to ease and call attention to what he called overproduction in the coal industry. Others in the coal industry disagreed.

Embittered Senators said that the call for the strike probably would end any attempt to get rid of the injunction provision of Taft-Hartley to allow the Government to seek a court-ordered end to a national strike affecting national welfare. Neither the repeal bill nor the compromise amendments provided for injunctive relief. Mr. Lewis had denounced Taft-Hartley and the injunction provision.

In Northville, Mich., a fire killed a mother and four of her seven children. The father and the other three children escaped, but one of the surviving children was in critical condition.

Near Somerset, Pa., a fire killed four children, ages 1 to 6. Both parents were badly burned. The cause of the fire was unknown.

Dick Young of The News discusses the $200,000 bond issue to build an addition to the Charlotte police station and another $200,000 issue to install a new fire alarm system in the city. Unless the latter were updated, insurance costs to property owners in the city could increase.

In Miami Beach, actress Elizabeth Taylor, 17, was to be wed early in 1950 to William D. Pawley, Jr., 28, son of the former Ambassador to Brazil. True love is nice. They will undoubtedly live happily ever after until death do them part at an advanced age.

The News-Eastwood Golf Course Hole-in-One Tournament concluded the previous night with News publisher Thomas L. Robinson handing out prizes. Baby Driver was on hand to demonstrate his golfing prowess, using only a putter for the long drives.

On the editorial page, "Blueprint for Education" comments on the report issued by twenty prominent educators, including Harvard president Dr. James B. Conant and Columbia president General Dwight Eisenhower, recommending that Communists be barred from the teaching profession and that Communism be taught objectively in principle but not advocated.

The piece agrees, finds it a sensible, non-hysterical approach to education about Communism while disallowing from the teaching profession those who, by the choice of their political and economic philosophy, would deny academic and cultural freedom.

"Primary Road Boost" tells of the Governor keeping his word in promising that there would be more, not less, money available for primary roads in the state after the 200-million dollar bond issue passed the previous Saturday for construction and improvement of rural secondary roads. The Legislature had allowed 15 percent of the funds devoted to one system or the other to be interchangeable, and so the Highway Commission approved transfer of 3.9 million, 15 percent of the 26 million allocated to secondary roads for the year, for primary roads. The piece thinks it a sensible decision.

"Point to Remember" points out that the $500,000 bond on the ballot Saturday to permit Charlotte to construct off-street parking was the cheapest means for expediting the flow of traffic downtown, cheaper than widening streets. The piece thus again endorses this bond issue.

"Secretary Gordon Gray" tells of Senator Clyde Hoey of North Carolina approving the nomination of Gordon Gray to be Secretary of the Army. He had already been Acting Secretary since the resignation of Kenneth Royall, also of North Carolina, on April 27 and had been confirmed as Undersecretary May 28. Thus, confirmation would be routine.

The piece likewise finds him to be a good choice and wishes him success.

A piece from the Roanoke World-News, titled "Carrier Salesman", seeks to raise awareness that newspaper carriers did not receive their pay until they collected along the route from subscribers, that people who paid late, thinking that they were only delaying payment to the newspaper, were incorrect.

Drew Pearson discusses the fear of some Democrats that liberal Illinois Senator Paul Douglas was drifting toward the right and the Republicans, especially as he had offered compromises on Taft-Hartley after consulting with GOP colleagues. He would not accept the 75-cent minimum wage and advocated economy more strenuously than the GOP. One liberal colleague said that Senator Douglas was knocking a few balls out into right field to prove that he was not a radical or Communist, as charged during the late campaign by the Chicago Tribune. Senator Douglas said that liberals sniffed each other as did dogs and assured that he was still a liberal. He also believed that there was a danger of conservatives and liberals becoming stereotyped. He said that his version of economy was humane, not intended to eliminate social programs, which he wanted to bolster. He wanted the minimum wage to have an escalator clause to enable it to rise or fall with business conditions.

Mr. Pearson notes that though an overage professor, Senator Douglas had enlisted in the war as a private and worked his way up to lieutenant colonel, was wounded twice in action and awarded the bronze star.

He next relates of a tense discussion on the public housing bill in the House Rules Committee which nearly drove Congressman Jim Wadsworth of New York to walk out, after exchanges between chairman Adolph Sabbath of Illinois and Representative Ralph Church of Illinois regarding charity, the former advocating it and the latter claiming that persons who needed public housing were "too lazy" to look for homes.

Henry Kaiser, Jr., who had fought a battle to recover from multiple sclerosis, announced that Gary Cooper, who played Lou Gehrig in the movies, had joined the Lou Gehrig Foundation.

The FBI was investigating a land transaction during the war with the Government in which Manhattan Beach was sold to the Coast Guard by the late Joseph Day. But part of the real estate was under water and another part was owned by the State of New York.

Senator Margaret Chase Smith had finally won her battle to have a ladies' room established in the Capitol.

Americus, Ga., returned to rent control after unscrupulous landlords doubled and tripled rents as soon as rent control had been lifted, without notifying tenants. He notes that if the rent control had been lifted by the State rather than by the Federal rent director, Americus could not have reimposed control.

Marquis Childs discusses Taft-Hartley, designed in part to get unions out of politics, having caused the A.F. of L. to get into politics, creating the League for Political Education to circumvent the Taft-Hartley prohibition of unions using their own funds for political activity. The League's director was Joseph Keen, on leave from the presidency of the Chicago Federation of Labor. He and his staff used radio, a weekly newspaper, films and other resources to promote the AFL point of view. It stressed grassroots organization in nearly every Congressional district in the country, getting the labor vote registered.

It expected to play a greater role in the 1950 elections than in those of 1948 when it was new. Of 172 members elected to Congress with AFL support, only two had turned out bad, the acid test being the vote on the Wood bill in the House, offered by Congressman John Wood as a substitute for the Administration measure to repeal Taft-Hartley and substitute a modified version of the Wagner Act of 1935.

A major objective for 1950, in addition to labor issues, was to convince the farmers that their interests were simpatico with those of labor. The pattern was to be based on the 1948 successful effort to defeat Senator Joseph Ball in Minnesota, beaten badly by Hubert Humphrey. Every farm family had received a copy of the voting record of Senator Ball on farm bills, courtesy of the League.

They sought to explain to the farmer that members of Congress voting against rent control took money from consumers and left them with less to spend on food produced by farmers.

The first issue of the League's newspaper sought to make the case that Iowa Senator Bourke Hickenlooper's attack on Atomic Energy Commission chairman David Lilienthal was in support of the power interests. Senator Hickenlooper would be up for re-election in 1950. Senator Taft, also up for re-election, would be a target as well.

All of this political activity had been produced by the negative reaction to Taft-Hartley.

DeWitt MacKenzie discusses the Senate Foreign Relations Committee report advising the Senate to ratify the NATO treaty as the best means to avoid World War III, stating that failure to do so could prove disastrous abroad.

The strong language came from the fact that the treaty was a pact between the twelve signatory nations on the basis of one for all and all for one. Such countries as Denmark and Norway had placed themselves at risk vis-à-vis the Soviets by agreeing to sign the pact. If the U.S. were to fail to ratify it, Western Europe would be left in worse shape than before the agreement, encouraging Russia to intensify the cold war.

Such failure might even have repercussions in the Far East, to which Deputy Foreign Minister V. M. Molotov had been newly assigned.

Senator Tom Connally of Texas, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, had predicted ratification by overwhelming numbers.

The Committee report also stated that whether Spain would be permitted to join NATO later would depend on the unanimous decision of the signatory nations. It also said that Germany would be protected as well, because of the three Western occupation forces therein.

Secretary of State Acheson had asked for early ratification in the hope of strengthening his negotiating position with the Soviets at the Council of Foreign Ministers conference in Paris, and it might have that effect.

The "Better English" answers would could have been maybe: "typewrote" should be "typewritten"; il-lust-rate; gangrean; dirty-talking country; assertive.

A letter writer finds it to be the age of "greed and graft", as the voters had before them on Saturday another local bond issue to spend money and raise taxes. He prays for a real statesman to lead the nation before it was under mortgage to Wall Street.

A letter writer thanks the newspaper for its editorial on Dr. Herbert Spaugh's 25th anniversary as pastor of the Little Church on the Lane in Charlotte.

A letter writer thinks everyone should have been present at the tent meeting of Jack Shuler who was showing "'the way'" in music, song and sermon. She wishes God's blessings to him.

A letter writer relates that the scenery he had viewed during a recent bus ride from Greenville, S.C., to Charlotte had changed markedly since 1900, with so many houses having been built along the way. The writer finds the Piedmont to be the garden spot of the world.

A letter writer says that the list of improvements promised by the Parks & Recreation Commission as part of the pending bond issue was fine but did not include a facility for the Smallwood area where about 400 children lived, hopes that the plan would include it.

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