The Charlotte News

Monday, July 11, 1949


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the President gave his annual financial report to Congress, abandoning his previously sought four billion dollar tax cut and insisting that wage rates should at least be maintained, but no longer seeking standby wage, price and production allocation controls. Thus the message had good news for both business and labor. The message sought only raises in the estate and gift taxes. He wanted planning for public works but no immediate public works authorization, favored the Brannan agricultural program for a new formula to subsidize perishable produce to keep farmers receiving the parity price while maintaining a low market price to consumers for over-produced items, still wanted expanded Social Security and extended G.I. benefits. He also encouraged increase in consumer purchasing power, stated that inflation was checked and that the economic decline was thus far moderate, that general business conditions were good, though slowing, with continued high production and employment. He stated that real earnings had been maintained, as the cost of living had declined as incomes had declined.

The President would provide a radio talk to the nation on the subject Wednesday night at 9:30.

Congressional leaders generally welcomed the message, especially his dropping of the tax increase proposal which was thought to have depressed business.

Attorney General Tom Clark, testifying before a House Judiciary subcommittee, stated that "bigness" in business, the concentration of economic power in the hands of the few, might, itself, become a target of the anti-trust laws. He said that the assumption that competition continued to thrive as long as there were three or four major competitors in a given field of production was not necessarily true and that the axiom that the larger the consumer, the better the quality of goods and cheaper the price was also faulty. The idea that big companies became big because they deserved to be by having outdistanced their competition was likewise fallacious. He allowed that in some instances these rules might apply, but doubted that it was often the case.

The Senate Appropriations Committee, after only two hours in reaching agreement, voted to cut ten percent or 420 million dollars for ERP aid in the coming fiscal year from that sought by the Administration, a total of a 3.778 billion dollar appropriation, 209 million more than approved by the full House.

In London, King George VI proclaimed a state of emergency because of the dock strike and, in response, the Government, which had said the strike was Communist-inspired, sent, without Parliamentary approval, 2,000 troops to the dock area to unload perishable goods from the ships.

Texas Governor Beauford Jester, 56, died in his sleep while riding on a train from Austin to Galveston for a physical health check-up. It was believed that the cause of death was a blood clot to his heart.

Governor Kerr Scott of North Carolina warned the Wildlife Resources Commission, as four new commissioners were sworn in, that it was "on trial", advising that it remain out of politics and not let sportsmen dominate its work.

In Greensboro, a Federal warrant was issued for a former teller of the Bank of Greensboro for allegedly embezzling $4,450 from the bank.

In Charlotte, a young woman admitted fatally shooting her third husband the previous night after he had boasted of being out with an old girlfriend. She said that as her six-year old son observed, she shot him one time with a .22 caliber rifle, but insisted that she did not know that the gun was loaded. Her son told police, however, that his mother got the gun from the closet and then retrieved a bullet from the dresser drawer and loaded the gun in his presence, then aimed it at her husband's chest and fired. The woman was charged with murder.

Easy access to firearms again proves that a family stays safe in the face of trouble—just like it was on the frontier in the old days when the Injuns threatened and the meat on the table depended on the man of the house being able to use his hunting rifle with great effect. Open-carry laws also obviously aid the whole process immensely. Why not have everyone carrying firearms everywhere until everybody is dead?

On the editorial page, "The Kansas Experiment" tells of the plan in Kansas to remedy the shortage of doctors in rural areas, first by getting the Legislature to appropriate 3.8 million dollars to expand the University of Kansas medical school. Then, the dean began touring the state convincing communities to contribute money to set up a medical office for a doctor until the doctor could pay it back over time. The plan appeared to be working as since the previous fall, the number of out-of-state doctors seeking licensure had tripled and several communities now had doctors as a result.

It praises the effort of effecting a remedy without Federal assistance and indicates that the problem was not unique to Kansas.

"A Leading Business Problem" tells of sharing the viewpoint expressed by Emil Schram, head of the New York Stock Exchange, as expressed on the page, to free up venture capital by revising the tax code.

"U.S.-Financed Campaigns?" tells of a number of columnists favoring Government financed presidential campaigns so that the winning candidates would not feel compelled to reward major contributors with jobs for which they might not be well qualified. Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., had asked the Senate Rules Committee to work out a system of financing and a ban on present private contributions.

The piece finds it a good proposal but doubts that it would work, as present laws limiting contributions had not worked. The political system worked around reward of the faithful. The only hope was to limit it to the minimum. But, it believes the Rules Committee would serve the public by making a thorough study of the proposal.

A piece from the Greensboro Daily News, titled "Waynick Will Weigh It", tells of the Raleigh Times finding that new Ambassador to Nicaragua Capus Waynick had not discouraged talk that he might be touted as the next Governor in 1952 by Governor Kerr Scott's formidable new political machine. It suggests that if and when he decided to run for Governor, however, he would not expect the assistance of Governor Scott.

Former interim Senator William B. Umstead, defeated by the late J. Melville Broughton in the 1948 Democratic primary, would become the next Governor, but would die in office in 1954, succeeded by Lieutenant Governor Luther Hodges.

A summary appears of remarks by Emil Schram, president of the New York Stock Exchange, made before the General Management Conference of the American Management Association in New York. He blamed a faulty tax structure for the deteriorating liquidity of small and medium-sized companies while the largest companies could not sell their stock at an attractive price. Jobs were curtailed as a result.

He recommends a tax credit for 10 percent of all dividends received to avoid double taxation, reduction of the maximum effective tax rate on capital gains from 25 percent to ten percent and shortening of the holding period for such assets from six to three months, plus allowance of $5,000 of capital losses as a deduction against ordinary income.

Drew Pearson describes the history leading to the British monetary crisis, starting with the Bretton Woods conference in 1944, with Winston Churchill and Lord Beaverbrook arguing then that the British could not return postwar to free trade relations, that instead Britain would have to enter into such barter agreements as they just had with Argentina. The British, on urging of FDR and Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau, agreed finally to trade in normal channels provided the U.S. gave it a loan. So, in 1946, the U.S. approved a 3.75 billion dollar loan to Britain, which, it was now conceded, would never be repaid. Under the Marshall Plan in 1948, the British received the largest allocation of aid. The loan plus the aid amounted to a billion dollars per year to Britain since the end of the war. Yet, despite this money, Britain remained as badly off financially as at the end of the war. The same was true of many other Western European nations.

In consequence, Chancellor of the Exchequer Sir Stafford Cripps was seeking to re-establish the sterling-dollar pool which Britain had promised to abandon as a condition for the 1946 loan. Under the arrangement, the dominions and colonies sent their dollars to London and were then permitted to spend only so much as London determined. Mr. Cripps had already decreed a stoppage of purchases from the U.S. to ease the shortage of dollars and gold. He had also adopted the cut-throat barter arrangement with Argentina.

The result was that the Marshall Plan was not really working. The Congress blamed the crisis on the British Labor Government and its socialization of industries. That conclusion blinked the facts that other Western European economies were as badly in crisis and that England and the Western European nations were consuming more than they were producing and England had a too high standard of living for its wealth, expecting the U.S. to make up the difference.

The former British wealth had come from the Asiatic colonies, which had been living just above the starvation level while furnishing their resources to Britain. But with social revolution taking place in those former colonies, the British now had to live on their own hook.

The same was true of the Dutch and, to a lesser extent, the French.

Labor costs were rising in England and in France without a concomitant rise in production. The difference was being made up in Marshall Plan aid. The result was that U.S. and Canadian goods could outsell British goods almost anywhere.

Treasury Secretary John W. Snyder wanted to devalue the pound to remedy the situation, effectively reducing wages and profits without the political consequences of overtly reducing wages. But since British labor would have to foot part of the bill, Mr. Cripps opposed devaluation.

At best, devaluation was only a temporary stopgap, and Mr. Pearson promises discussion of more permanent remedies in future columns.

Richard L. Strout, writing in the Christian Science Monitor, tells of Williamsburg, Va., the original capital of the colony and state, being restored to its original colonial appearance by John D. Rockefeller, Jr., replete with costumed personnel playing authentically their colonial-era parts. The town was celebrating its 250th anniversary.

He and his two daughters had been approached by a town crier with a bell and a handbill printed in the old English style, with the lower-case "s" printed, at times, as an "f". After one daughter tried and failed, she asked her sister Phyliff to pronounce "perfonages" and other such words on the handbill as printed. She did so but with difficulty.

During the celebration, jets flew overhead in formation, one flying upward at 80 degrees in salute. Phyliff remarked, "Terrific!". His other daughter corrected her by saying that it was "tremendouf!"

Robert C. Ruark, back in New York after his trip through the Midwest, tells of his realization after such trips that Joe DiMaggio and the Yankees were a bigger social force than NATO or Judy Coplon, recently convicted of taking without permission secret Justice Department documents and facing another trial in New York for conspiracy to commit espionage.

"It has been a long, long time since we bred a four-ply, fade proof public-idol—largely, I suppose, because we were flooded with so many semi-demigods during the war and after that there was no opportunity to concentrate on the enshrinement of one great big guy."

Before the war, such idols as Gertrude Ederle, who swam the English Channel, Charles Lindbergh, who flew alone across the Atlantic, and sports heroes Jack Dempsey, Bill Tilden, Bobby Jones, and Babe Ruth, had been as well known as the Cabinet.

Now, there appeared a tendency to develop such a hero again, someone who was not on the world stage to predict Armageddon or deliver the land from an unnamed evil. So desperate for such a hero were the American people that they had almost made Leo Durocher into such a personage, however unsavory a character he was. Suddenly, Joe DiMaggio had appeared as the proper such idol, with his bone spur which had kept him out of action until the previous week. He was now being mobbed by kids.

No one could quite explain the phenomenon of his popularity as he was not hitting as well as Ted Williams and usually wound up third in home runs. Nor did he have the personal panache of Babe Ruth or Ty Cobb. The country could nevertheless be grateful that it could still produce such heroes for their simple ability to play ball.

A letter writer says that NATO was superfluous as Russia already was aware that the U.S. would come to the aid of Western Europe in the event of an attack. He says that it was being sought to start an arms race to overcome the U.S. recession. It would compel Russia to take counter-measures and lead to war. He believes that the treaty violated the Constitution by ceding Congressional approval for each war to the treaty.

The treaty did not do so, but Congress was proposing to authorize the President, in deference to the nuclear age, to have emergency authority to take necessary interim action in the event of an attack requiring immediate response.

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