The Charlotte News

Friday, July 1, 1949


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the State Department, in a diplomatic note to Russia, accused it of disregarding Balkans peace treaties and trying to block the Western powers from bringing charges of human rights violations in Hungary, Rumania, and Bulgaria. The Western powers had contended that in each of the three countries, there had been denial of religious freedom, political freedom, and other rights. The note urged three-power talks in each of the three countries, following a note of June 11 by Russia that no violations of the peace treaties had occurred and that therefore there was no reason to discuss the matter.

In Washington, Judith Coplon had been sentenced to 40 months to ten years for taking Justice Department documents with intent to injure the U.S. and benefit a foreign government, in this case Russia. A one to three-year sentence for unauthorized taking and keeping of the documents was to be served concurrently. Ms. Coplon had been found guilty the previous day on both counts, but still faced charges of conspiracy to commit espionage arising from the same facts in New York, where she had been arrested March 4. Prior to sentencing, she did not ask for mercy but said that she did not believe that she received a fair trial. She was not fined and was granted a $20,000 bail pending appeal, doubling her $10,000 bond, as the judge rejected the prosecution's argument for a $100,000 appellate bond.

After the trial, the trial judge, Albert L. Reeves, called on the President whom he had known for 35 years, and talked about American history and old times in Missouri. He had been assigned to the case from his normal duties in Federal District Court in Kansas City.

The President was planning to spend the July 4th weekend aboard the presidential yacht Williamsburg on the Potomac and Chesapeake Bay.

We'll bet he was going to sneak away down there to Old Point Comfort, that sneaky little cuss.

In New York, at the perjury trial of Alger Hiss, the judge refused to allow the former wife of reputedly former number one Communist in the U.S. Gerhardt Eisler to testify for the Government in its rebuttal case. Mr. Hiss, during his testimony both before the grand jury the previous December and at trial, had said that he never knew the woman, a statement the Government sought to refute.

John Foster Dulles had appeared as a rebuttal witness the previous day, testifying that, contrary to Mr. Hiss's testimony, Mr. Dulles had sought to have him resign from his post as head of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace the previous August in the wake of his HUAC testimony during which Whittaker Chambers had accused him of being a Communist, though not yet having alleged that he had provided Mr. Chambers State Department documents for transmittal to the Russians. Mr. Dulles, chairman of the board of trustees for the Endowment, testified that he made the request to relieve the Endowment of embarrassment. Mr. Hiss resigned from the post early in the year after his indictment in December but remained a trustee.

Well, now, Mr. Dulles, didn't you, back in 1939, go about the country telling everyone that you thought Nazi Germany, Feudalist Japan, and Fascist Italy were "dynamic forces" which would act as bulwarks against Communism?

No sir, that's enough. We don't need your pathetic explanations after the fact. You're excused.

Tending to undermine Mr. Dulles's statement that he requested Mr. Hiss's resignation in August was a report on December 13, two days before Mr. Hiss was indicted, that he had that date submitted his resignation to the Carnegie Endowment, but the trustees, presumably including Mr. Dulles, had insisted, even at that late date, after the reports of allegations to the grand jury by Mr. Chambers of spying by Mr. Hiss, that it be treated instead as a three-month leave of absence. Mr. Dulles may have inadvertently transposed in his mind the timing of his request from the aftermath of the indictment to the aftermath of the HUAC testimony.

In Berlin, trains began moving again for the first time since the beginning of the West Berlin rail strike, started six weeks earlier and ended the previous Tuesday. The Russians had tightened restrictions on food, which the East German farmers were trying to slip into Berlin to take advantage of the four-times more valuable West marks.

House Democratic leaders were awaiting word from the President as to what to do about the Administration bill to repeal Taft-Hartley in the wake of the demolition of that bill by a Senate coalition of Southern Democrats and Republicans and adoption of the amendments proposed by Senator Taft. The President called a press conference after the Senate vote and vowed to continue the fight to repeal Taft-Hartley. But he did not provide a specific course of action for the House leadership. The Administration bill had languished in the Labor Committee for two months after being sent back there from the floor following a deadlock. The Senate bill provided for 28 changes in Taft-Hartley but would retain the essential provisions. (Call it the Hojo bill.) Senate Majority Leader Scott Lucas predicted that the President would veto the bill if it passed the House. House Labor Committee members stated that there was strong sentiment to keep the bill locked in committee and take the matter to the people in 1950.

Congress completed legislation to set up the General Services Administration for mass purchasing by the Government, except for military purchases and certain other departmental buying. It had been suggested by the Hoover Commission as an economy measure. The President signed the bill into law and appointed Jess Larson as GSA administrator.

Representative Robert Sikes of Florida told the House that painless war gas might be possible, that such was in development by the Army Chemical Corps. He said that it would temporarily eliminate the will to fight but do no lasting harm.

They already have that: nitrous oxide, or reading old newsprint.

Employment was up in June to the highest level of the year, but more young people were looking for jobs resulting in higher unemployment than during the previous month.

In Washington, the Population Reference Bureau announced that women who were college graduates were beginning to have more babies, topping by 81 percent the birth rate for college-educated women in 1924, but were still behind those women who had never attended college. Overall, the birth rate had increased by 32 percent since 1924.

Near Birmingham, Ala., reports of two more floggings by hooded night riders surfaced. One was a black farmer who had been accused by the mob of spending time with a woman not his wife. The other was a 52-year old iron ore miner who said he left the community because he was threatened with death if he ever told of the beating. Both incidents had occurred several weeks earlier. Three other floggings were uncovered the previous day in rural Clay County. Meanwhile, a Jefferson County grand jury began investigating the flogging incidents.

In Roanoke, Va., the 16-year old Eagle Scout accused of murdering the previous May a 16-year old female classmate while at church testified at his trial that something had "swept over" him when the girl criticized his friend who was an athlete. He had then hit her with a soda bottle. When she started struggling and clawing at him, he accidentally strangled her. He said that he did not try to harm her sexually. He knew the girl only casually and did not intend to see her when he came to the church on May 3 at 5:30. He had suggested a game of table tennis but could find no paddle or balls for the match. At his suggestion, he and the girl went to the second-floor kitchen for soft drinks, when she remarked that his friend was a "drunkard" and "lucky" to have won the wrestling championship. That was when he struck her with the soft drink bottle. The Commonwealth had rested its case the previous day.

The State Utilities Commission would hold its hearing on July 7 regarding the Duke Power Co. fare increase for buses despite a request for postponement by the Charlotte City Council to enable it time to prepare its argument for presentation to the Commission, favoring increased bus services to go along with the increase from a nickel to a dime fare.

In Hollywood, actress Lana Turner said that she was ready to get back in front of the cameras, from which she had taken a hiatus since being married in April, 1948 to Bob Topping.

On the editorial page, "Setting the Record Straight" tells of the battle ongoing in Forsyth County on whether to adopt the ABC system of controlled liquor sales, with the co-owned Journal taking a stance against the measure and the Sentinel being for it.

As part of its editorialization, the Journal had stated that juvenile delinquency had risen 80 percent in Mecklenburg County since adoption of ABC in September, 1947. The Community Council's Social Breakdown had reported such an increase between 1947 and 1948 but did not attribute it to the adoption of the ABC system. Rather it had resulted from a competent social work staff having been added to the juvenile court in 1946, utilized more frequently as time passed and keeping more complete records.

The records also showed certain case types which County Welfare superintendent Wallace Kuralt did not regard as delinquency. He believed that there was no difference discernible in the regular alcohol problem in the home before and after adoption of ABC. But with the concomitant drop in racketeering, there was a noticeable decrease in other types of family troubles.

The new juvenile delinquency judge also reported observing no increase in alcohol-related delinquency since adoption of the system.

The piece wishes therefore to set the Journal straight on the facts.

"Bond Money for Machines" finds that the decision of the State Highway Commission to spend five million of the first 50 million dollars of the four-year 200-million dollar rural road bond issue for road building equipment to be received as a mixed blessing by the people. While it made good sense to get the work underway with the equipment, it also appeared that the entire road-building program had been an effort by Governor Kerr Scott to build a formidable political machine. Providing jobs to oversee the project led to the danger that they would become the subject of patronage. And the Governor's appointments had been measured by loyalty.

It concludes that the citizenry would have to wait and see what took place before discerning whether the Commission's course was in the best interests of the people. It hopes that it would so prove.

"Facts & Figures" tells of U.S. News & World Report providing an article on the increase in Federal spending, explaining that in four peacetime years, 1945-49, the nation had spent more than in the 152 years from the Founding to 1940. The total expenditure was 177 billion dollars, topping by 10 billion that of the 152 years prior to 1940. In a single month of 1949, expenditures were 3.35 billion dollars, more than the cost of the Government for the four years of the Civil War; its ten-month expenditures exceeded the 31 billion dollar two-year cost of World War I.

It urges that Government spending had to be brought into balance, despite the fact that most of the peacetime spending was for defense and foreign aid to rebuild Europe.

The piece once again, however, appears to lay the bulk of the blame on social spending, which accounted for only a small amount of the budget.

"Easy Way to Learn" tells of a proposal to establish a new low-powered FM radio station in Charlotte which would be devoted entirely to public education in the arts and sciences, with half its broadcasting time consisting of recorded music and the other half stories, books, lectures, and discussions. Such a "library station" had worked well in Louisville in conjunction with the college.

The piece hopes it would come to be, as it would provide a necessary supplement to conventional education.

John Daly of The News tells of the textile industry having balanced supply and demand as the industry entered a two-week vacation period. Prices had hit rock bottom but through it all, wages remained at $1.12 per hour, though average weekly earnings had declined 15 percent because of a shortened work week and elimination of the third shift.

Drew Pearson tells of freshman Indiana Congressman Andrew Jacobs, a devout Catholic, having defended North Carolina's Congressman Graham Barden against the attack by Francis Cardinal Spellman that Mr. Barden was guilty of religious bigotry in his substitute aid to education bill, barring use of public money for private schools and for transportation and health services in both private and public schools. Mr. Jacobs had established an outstanding record in six months and was a member with Mr. Barden on the Education and Labor Committee where the education bill was bottled up. Mr. Jacobs had cited the late Governor Al Smith of New York, 1928 Democratic nominee for the presidency, on separation of church and state by way of saying that many Catholics disagreed with Cardinal Spellman. Mr. Jacobs said that he would not support giving of public funds to private or parochial schools. He said either the parochial schools would be maintained or given public funding and thus converted to public schools without then serving any religious function.

Congressman Barden was a moderate, hard-working member who was anything but a bigot. He agreed with Cardinal Spellman that the Government should not control education. He wanted to raise educational standards for both black and white schools. He had worked untiringly as a member of the North Carolina Legislature to obtain equal pay for black teachers and to insure that money be divided impartially for black and white school construction and student transportation.

Paul Hoffman, ERP administrator, had said that Britain had bungled its way into a major recession, threatening to wreck the Marshall Plan. He was bitter about the trade deal with Argentina which Britain had signed, in contravention of opposition by the U.S. He even suggested that if Britain were not more cooperative, it could be cut off from ERP aid, if not by Mr. Hoffman, then by Congress.

The Joint Chiefs had developed a plan for defending the Pacific, writing off large areas as impossible to defend, concentrating on Japan, India, Burma, Java, Hawaii, and the Philippines. The plan had been approved by British and French military experts.

The housing lobby recommended appeal by builders accused of fraud to the local district attorney, over the head of the Housing Expediter.

In Austria, the Communists and former Nazis were combining to overthrow the Government. It was the first sign to the U.S. that Russia was not willing to write an Austrian treaty, as appeared to be the case at the conclusion of the Paris Council of Foreign Ministers conference recently. But the U.S. intended to send arms and ammunition to Austria to forestall any such coup.

Undersecretary of the Navy Dan Kimball had instructed the powerful Navy League lobbying group to apologize to Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson for their criticism of his scrapping of the super-carrier project and replacing it with conversion of two battleships to carriers, taking half the time to accomplish. He pointed out that the Navy approved the plan.

Joseph Alsop tells of taxes soon to be uppermost in the nation's business as the President would likely withdraw his longstanding request to Congress for a four billion dollar tax increase, as well as likely recommending repeal of the 1.5 billion dollar wartime excise taxes. To the latter, Congress would respond immediately. By doing so, the President would lend his imprimatur to increased deficit spending.

The President would likely acknowledge the business recession and stress the need for his recession measures, standby price and wage controls, plus the housing bill, Federal aid to education, broadening of Social Security, passing the increased minimum wage, and other such domestic programs which would increase purchasing power and thus halt the downward economic spiral. He would oppose reductions in Government spending as being deflationary.

But there was a split at the White House, as Dr. Edwin Nourse, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, supported by Secretary of Treasury John W. Snyder, favored cuts in spending. Another member of the Council, Dr. Leon Keyserling, however, favored public spending as a way to increase purchasing power.

The President appeared to be leaning toward Keynesian economic theory, used during the New Deal, that is, controlling of economic cycles through heavy taxation and deflationary budget reduction in boom times, and compensatory, pump-priming spending in bad times. But the theory was not accepted by most of the business community or by most of Congress.

Instead, the Congress had provided a tax reduction the previous year during a period of inflation and would not appear to favor deficit spending since the economic downturn had begun. The President had vetoed the tax bill and fought it courageously during an election year. But if Keynsian theory were used only when convenient, it would most likely destroy the user, and that was now happening.

Robert C. Ruark, in Evansville, Ind., complains of a man outside his hotel room with a pneumatic drill trying to knock down the walls at 8:00 a.m., something which seemed to happen everywhere he went. He had a penchant for bad luck in two areas, transportation and not being able to sleep in hotels, where they always appeared to start refurbishing operations as soon as he checked in. He had spent more time in hotel rooms with plumbers than with Morpheus. And, incessantly, he received wrong-number phone calls, as well as strolling crackpots knocking on the wrong room, his. Once in San Francisco, a woman knocked on his door, declared that she had seen God and wept loudly because no one would believe her, then tried to jump out the window, all at 4:00 a.m.

On this occasion, he had been visited by a female poet with a manuscript which she desired to have syndicated. But she left quietly.

He also had no luck with chambermaids, who disapproved of his remaining in bed after 8:00, to their consternation in cleaning the rooms. They congregated outside his door and banged mops into pails to express their displeasure with his sloth.

He reports that the drill had finally stopped, but that the workman was "beating a war chant on a pipe with a hammer."

"Oh, sure, come on in. I always love to have the windows washed at 8:30 in the morning. Just stand on the bed, Mac. The fact that I am in it doesn't matter at all."

That undoubtedly was why the old hotels used to serve up lavish breakfasts, to induce the indolent to the restaurant below for haute cuisine so that the daily maintenance crew could perform their work unhampered by snoring customers.

Framed Edition
[Return to Links
Page by Subject] [Return to Links-Page by Date] [Return to News<i><i><i>—</i></i></i>Framed Edition]
Links-Date Links-Subj.