The Charlotte News

Tuesday, July 12, 1949


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that HUAC decided against reopening the investigation of Alger Hiss and Whittaker Chambers for the time being, but left open the possibility of further investigation after the retrial of Mr. Hiss for perjury, following the hung jury the previous week in the first trial. The Committee also decided not to investigate the way in which Judge Samuel Kaufman had conducted the original trial, as called into question by HUAC member Richard Nixon, claiming that the judge was biased for the defense. In the end, no Committee members called for such an investigation.

The House Armed Services Committee voted by a one vote margin to delay the Military Unification Bill, amending the original 1947 Act to provide the Secretary of Defense greater powers, until the current investigation into the B-36 was completed. The House had ordered public hearings on the B-36 to start July 26.

The President had asked the United Steelworkers to delay their strike for 60 days while a Presidential board investigated the dispute. Philip Murray, head of the union, said that the union would respond the following day.

Near Bombay, India, 13 American correspondents and 32 others had died in the crash of a KLM Constellation during a monsoon rainstorm. The reporters were returning from Indonesia when the plane struck a hill north of the city. Among the dead were Charles Gratke, foreign editor for the Christian Science Monitor and Pulitzer Prize winning reporters H. R. Knickerbocker of WOR radio in New York and S. Burton Heath of the Newspaper Enterprise Association. Other writers who died in the crash were known to many, as Elsie Dick of the Mutual Broadcasting System. It was the worst accident in aviation history in India.

Two persons originally scheduled to fly on the plane, a reporter and a publisher, refused to go as the reporter, a woman, stated that she was sure that the plane would be sabotaged. There was no evidence of sabotage in the crash. The KLM plane which had carried the reporters to Indonesia had crashed off Bari, Italy, on June 23 during its return flight.

In Santa Susana Pass near Los Angeles, at least 26 persons had died in a plane crash during a storm. According to survivors, a fistfight between an hysterical male passenger and another passenger trying to calm him had immediately preceded the crash. Eighteen survived the crash but had suffered serious injuries including loss of limbs. The Curtiss-Wright plane was operated by Trans-National Airlines.

In Hiroshima, Japan, site of the first wartime use of an atomic bomb on August 6, 1945, an earthquake struck but caused no serious damage.

In Ottawa, Ontario, a 28-month old infant girl was discovered hanging from a rafter in a shed after being seized while at play, and trussed with fishing lines and a necktie tied around her throat. She was recovering in a hospital. It was not clear who the assailant was.

Photographs appear of three ill-fated children who had survived their ordeals: one, in Syracuse, N.Y., who had gotten his leg caught in a water standpipe and ate Jello while his father held him so that firemen could cut the pipe; a 13-year old boy in Nashville who was chained to a tree by his father for running off to a movie; and a ten-month old infant who fell down a ten-foot hole and was rescued.

In Tryon, N.C., a woman and her brother were found shot to death and the woman's husband, an employee of the State Highway and Public Works Commission, was being sought by authorities in South Carolina.

In Los Angeles, a woman filed for divorce from her husband because he made her walk 20 paces behind him, as he said that South American husbands followed that practice and he liked the idea.

Governor Kerr Scott of North Carolina promised to crack down on petty graft and cut waste in State Government operations

In Charlotte, because of Southern Bell work under the streets, traffic congestion was reported during the morning, causing the city traffic engineer to order removal of the surface obstructions before the afternoon rush.

The American League All-Stars led the National League 6 to 5 after five innings of play in the 16th annual All-Star Game. Both starting pitchers, Warren Spahn and Mell Parnell, had been blasted early with hits. The American League had led 4-0 until the National League took the lead in the third inning. A home run by Stan Musial driving in Jackie Robinson accounted for the first two National League runs.

On the editorial page, "Barden Defends a Principle" tells of Congressman Graham Barden's proposal to limit Federal aid to education to public schools having not been dictated by state politics as North Carolina did not extend any aid to private or parochial schools unless they became part of the public school system, permitting their teachers to be selected by the local school board and conforming to all education laws of the state.

It would not matter to North Carolina whether the Congress adopted the Barden measure or the Senate version, the latter permitting states to determine whether funds would go to both public and private and parochial schools for such welfare measures as transportation and health services, barred under the Barden measure to both public and private schools. (The wording of the piece suggests that it may not be taking into account the mandate of the 1947 Everson decision of the Supreme Court requiring that if public funding was extended to public schools for such services required for the general welfare of the schoolchildren, it had to be extended to private and parochial schools as well.)

It finds that Mr. Barden was not trying to win votes at home but rather defending a principle of separation of church and state. The piece thinks it too bad that other members of the North Carolina Congressional delegation had not yet endorsed the measure.

The newspaper finds the letters written on both sides of the issue to have been reasonable. The editorial continues its opposition to Federal aid to education generally but finds the Barden measure the better of the two versions.

"President's Economic Report" finds disturbing the assumption by the President in his budget message to the Congress that there was going to be a budget deficit. It favors reduction of Federal spending to bring the budget in line with revenue. The President also had not taken into account in the report the artificial stimulus to the economy from the defense and foreign aid programs, without which the recession would have a greater impact.

It applauds his decision to forgo the tax cut and standby price, wage, and allocation controls. It finds the remainder of his recommendations without problem, though it was not yet convinced of the reason of either the Brannan farm program, the rise in the minimum wage to 75 cents per hour, or the extension of veterans' and Social Security benefits.

On the whole, it finds it refreshing that the President had backtracked from a previous position. And he had been correct in reminding Congress that had his proposals at the end of the war for inflation control been adopted, the present problems might have been avoided.

"Hiss-Chambers Fiasco" finds that unless new evidence were to be produced by the Government, there would be nothing served by a retrial of Alger Hiss for perjury in connection with his allegedly having given State Department documents to Whittaker Chambers, the latter having admitted committing perjury before the grand jury seven times, initially denying that either he or anyone else had participated in espionage, changing his story only in response to discovery requests by the plaintiff in Mr. Hiss's civil suit against him for defamation. The jurors had determined that the Government had not proved its case and there seemed little chance that a retrial would prove anything except a repetition of the evidence showing the weak character of the accuser, Mr. Chambers. As the underlying facts of the case regarding transmission of the documents to Mr. Chambers were over a decade old, there seemed little positive lesson to be derived from another trial.

Oh, but you have no idea yet of the vaulting ambition of Congressman Richard Nixon and the lengths to which he would go to achieve it.

Drew Pearson tells of Col. Elbert de Corsey, commandant of the Army's medical research school, having announced advances in treatment of radiation burns which had accounted for 65 to 85 percent of the victims of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombs in August, 1945. Toluidin blue dye was used to stop hemorrhages in the cells of animals exposed to the Bikini tests in July, 1946, after which extensive blood transfusions were used to restore the damaged blood cells. He said that those directly beneath the blast could conceivably survive if sheltered by a few feet of earth or concrete, that even a six-inch concrete shelter could save someone located two miles from the blast, originally considered the fatal blast radius. Such shelters protected from the deadly gamma rays, and the strength of the shelters would determine whether they would protect against the concussion of the blast.

Secretary of the Interior Julius Krug had suffered three fainting spells during recent speeches, causing him to have to leave the rostrum in each case. He had a weak heart from playing football at the University of Wisconsin, aggravated by high blood pressure and his 270-lb. weight. Mr. Pearson hopes that his friends would advise him to slow down from his active schedule before it took its toll.

Attorney General Tom Clark's campaign to educate naturalized Americans regarding the duties of citizenship was receiving vigorous support from New York radio Station WHOM, owned by Generoso Pope, who had come to the country from Italy as an orphan and found his first job at age eight. The radio station broadcast in foreign languages seventeen hours per day. It had an important effect on the Italian elections in defeating the Communists the previous year, broadcasting in Italian from New Yorkers to their relatives in Italy.

The Congress had come together to get the housing bill passed despite 102 differences between the Senate and House versions. Even Representative Jesse Wolcott of Michigan, the chief champion of the housing lobby, in the end favored the bill.

Stewart Alsop, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaya, tells of the fall of China to the Communists appearing as a major part of a larger pattern in Asia, emblematic of the intent of the Soviets to capture all of Asia, as well as that of the Asiatic people to gain their independence. Sometimes, as in Indonesia, the Soviets had not managed to get their guerrillas into the nationalist movement. But it had succeeded in Indo-China and elsewhere.

The Malays lived in fear of the two million Chinese who had settled in Malaya and had become instruments of the Soviets since the Communist takeover in China, thereby pushing the Malays closer to the British.

Because of its rubber and tin, Malaya was the richest dollar-earning area of the British Empire, providing an essential prop to the British pound. The British had organized a 70,000-member special police force to combat the Chinese Communist forces in Malaya, numbering only about 4,000 poorly trained troops, possessed of British arms captured during the war and Japanese occupation. While the Communists had killed British soldiers and civilians, the killing was becoming less frequent. The Communists had failed to drive the British out of Malaya or to sabotage tin and rubber production, the central goals of their effort. Now, they only sought to be a thorn in the side to the British and were hiding out in the jungles, to maintain a presence until help could arrive from China, which, it was promised, would be soon.

The British wanted to eliminate the Communists as quickly as possible.

The Soviets were carrying on an Asiatic offensive as active as in Europe and better planned. The guerrilla force was designed to create a situation requiring Western response while costing the Russians relatively little.

Robert C. Ruark tells of finding the female bosom firmly in the public domain, made manifest by Jane Russell. He had avoided the topic previously, but had been forced by his duty to readers to acquiesce in the coverage of the topic. He tells of a "Poses" being a new kind of bosom bolster, widely advertised, needing no straps or wires for support. He believes it had something to do with the same engineering employed for suction cups fastened to the end of fake arrows.

The bosom, he maintains, was no longer the private sanctuary of the female as it had become as central to daily public consumption as the weather report. He had become familiar with the various sizes of bra cups, the Baseball Bra and Bosom Friend, all from large advertisements in the daily newsprint. Saks had advertised a "Low-Nuff" bra called the "Heart Warmer" for $15 sans fur tax, which he believed was going too far in "mammarial exploitation", except possibly among Eskimos.

He had no idea where the ultra-frankness would lead except possibly to boredom with the subject of the "well-stuffed sweater". He urges girls not to dip their necklines at him for he regarded it as only costume jewelry.

The previous day, there was discussion by Mr. Ruark of the sudden hero status of Joe DiMaggio and today he discusses plunging necklines and the accommodation thereof in the bra department. The two columns so juxtaposed had unwittingly presaged an era not too far away.

A letter writer favors using Government in combination with private interests to effect the best results for society without regard to name calling, such as branding "pink" or "socialist" efforts at Government planning of the economy.

A letter writer praises Duke Power's Catawba Lake created by a dam on the Catawba River. He and his wife swam in it almost every day during the summer and found it safe.

A letter writer responds favorably to the woman who on July 7 complained of rude treatment by the Charlotte police for her making a wrong right turn onto a one-way street. He believes that the police ought let citizens go on minor violations of the law. He also urges that the police let their wives use buses and not send city cars to their houses for transportation to the city for shopping.

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