The Charlotte News

Saturday, July 16, 1949


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Secretary of the Army Gordon Gray had announced the suspension of Maj. Generals Alden Waitt and Herman Feldman, in connection with a Senate subcommittee investigation into influence peddling in award of Army contracts, followed by an investigation conducted by the inspector general of the Army. It had thus far been determined that General Waitt had furnished personnel data improperly to an individual not in the military and not entitled to the information and that General Feldman had furnished to a contractor's representative procurement information under circumstances which appeared irregular. Secretary Gray stressed that no conclusions had been reached, however, and that the investigation was ongoing and the generals would be entitled to a full hearing on the matter.

Senator Clyde Hoey of North Carolina, chairman of the subcommittee performing the investigation, had first announced the suspensions without providing names. He said that chief counsel for the committee, William P. Rogers, future Attorney General and Secretary of State, had questioned numerous witnesses on the matter.

General Feldman, notes the report, had been in Charlotte on June 24, inspecting the Quartermaster Depot, after having taken over his duties on March 24 of Quartermaster General.

Now, Mr. and Mrs. Republican and Foxymorons, note well: This sort of thing, influence peddling or directly and deliberately providing classified information to persons not authorized to receive it, is the usual skein of conduct for which Government personnel ultimately are indicted, not because of transmissions via e-mail or by other means of classified information to which both the sender and recipient are entitled but are simply sent over lines which are not as secure as we would like. That could have been routinely true in use of telephone lines in the days before digital electronic communication and internet security concerns, telephone lines being the most porous means of communication imaginable.

So, would you have all Government personnel communicating in invisible ink and special codes or risk indictment for not doing so on the chance that someone might intercept the double-secret communication?

You cannot have it both ways, concern about inadequately secure communications and lack of public access to the same information via the Freedom of Information Act. Or has the paradox of those diametrically opposing notions escaped entry to your feeble brainpans?

Sooner or later, usually sooner than later, if it is communicated at all, it all leaks out and then becomes the subject of historical interpretation as to meaning. Every idiot, except Conny Donny and his fervent supporters, understands that.

So is it not the case that under the influence of your new fearless leader and his paranoid fantasies developed while a spoiled brat growing up, you have become quite, literally, paranoiacally insane? just as he.

Do you not understand the completely nonsensical juxtaposition of ideas, when you preach on the one hand that the President is not adequately sensitive to the local police of the country, is too soft on "radical" groups, while on the other you plump, mightily, for less, rather than more, gun control in the face of redundant violence with guns on a mass scale, on the theory that to have more control, as the President seeks, would result in a police state? Do you not hear in that absurdly inconsonant stream of thoughts the hallmarks of your insanity? the inability, for your uneducated, brainwashed attempt to brainwash others that you might lord over them as others have to you, to hold two thoughts together in sequence and compare them, one to the other, find thereby that they are self-contradictory such that one or the other must logically be eliminated as false, or that you must evacuate both from your mind as having negated each other to a nullity, fought each other to a draw? Is that not self-evident to you, Foxymoron?

Get some help.

A good deal more than half the country is willing to provide it.

The only people in the country with "blood on their hands" are the Republicans in Congress, and the lobbies which push them, who reprehensibly stand in the way of far tighter gun control, and the only more strenuous "vetting" we need is not of immigrants but of those idiots who want to arm themselves to the teeth because they are paranoid nuts.

Attorney General Tom Clark told a Senate Judiciary subcommittee the previous day that a score or more of aliens attached to the U. N. headquarters were being investigated for possible espionage or other subversive activity, among a total of 685 such aliens under investigation. This date, Assistant Secretary of State John Peurifoy and a CIA official were called to testify before the committee on the matter.

See? The Government has admitted, as long ago as 1949, that there are aliens roaming among us, aliens involved in subversive activities.

In Berlin, a British airlift plane crashed on takeoff from Tegel Airfield, killing all five aboard.

In Florence, Italy, an appellate court ruled that birth of a mulatto child to Italian parents was not proof of adultery under current legislation.

In Taft, Okla., a mental patient at the State Negro Mental Hospital held off hospital attendants with a gun, firing wildly, after refusing to fulfill his promise to surrender. He had become upset about his ward privileges being taken away. No one knew where he had obtained the gun. Officials said that things were getting better and would work themselves out.

That's a good approach. Today, he would be dead in a hot second and the news headline would say: "Terrorist Takes Over Facility for the Mentally Impaired, Imperiling National Security Until SWAT Teams Trained In Iraq Quelled Quickly the Threat: Gunman Shot Dead in Bloody Standoff—SWAT Heroes Tell Their Accounts on Page 2".

The New York bus strike threatened to spread to lines used by 1.8 million people after 1.125 million had already been denied access to the buses.

Get on the bus, Gus.

The three-person fact-finding board in the steel dispute regarding the fourth round of postwar wage hikes was appointed by the President and would render non-binding recommendations for resolution of the matter within 60 days. The steel companies and the United Steelworkers had accepted the proposal by the President and a strike was thus averted during the 60-day moratorium.

A. F. Whitney, head of the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen, died at age 76 this date of a heart attack. He had supported the labor policies of FDR, had tangled with President Truman in 1946 when the President sought from Congress the power to draft labor during the rail strike, then called off the strike, vowing to oppose his re-election in 1948, but wound up supporting him.

In Kansas City, Leonard Irving, the Democratic Congressman for the President's home district, was charged in a civil suit brought by 85 members of a union local with diverting funds from the union, of which Mr. Irving was president and business agent.

Thirteen Republicans, led by Senator Taft, appeared ready to vote on Thursday against ratification of NATO. To defeat ratification of the treaty required 33 Senate votes. Senator Tom Connally, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, predicted no more than 15 votes in opposition.

In Rome, "Lucky" Luciano was released from jail after police found no connection with a local dope ring, but he was ordered to leave the city.

In Philadelphia, a 50-year old woman staggered into her home, screamed and fell dead across the sofa with her throat slashed. She had been stabbed during her return from work, apparently while resisting a robbery.

In San Francisco, a seven-year old boy calmly chewed gum and explained how he had "deaded" a man, after shooting a 67-year old neighborhood grocer in the chest with a .32 caliber revolver. The man died 16 minutes after being shot. The boy said, "The pop gun made a noise like a firecracker." He had gone to the store on instructions of his mother to buy a hamburger, then went behind the counter, picked up the revolver owned by the grocer and asked if it worked. The grocer told him to look out, and then the boy pointed the gun at him and fired. The boy first claimed another person had shot the man but his little sister said that she saw him shoot the grocer, at which point he admitted the act.

Guns—keeping the nation safe from crime.

In Spring Valley, N.Y., a man who was trying to prove to town officials that it was safe to drive a certain curvy road at 50 miles per hour wound up dead in a car accident in which his daughter and son-in-law were also injured.

In Austin, Texas, a truck driver delivered his load of garbage to the city dump, following the directions of a person who demonstrated apparent authority, but eventually directed him to within three inches of a 60-foot drop. The driver got out and asked the man whether he was crazy, to which he replied that he guessed that he was as he was a patient at the Austin State Hospital, working with a furloughed party unloading garbage.

In New York, 112 Texas delegates to the Lions Club convention arrived, clad in cowboy outfits, via a special train from Boston.

In El Paso, actress Marion Hutton, 30, was married to screenwriter Douglas Crickard who wrote as "Jack Douglas", who wrote Westerns as Crickard Jack.

In Santa Fe, N.M., actress Greer Garson, formerly married to actor Richard Ney, was married to a Texas rancher and oil man. She was planning soon to return to Hollywood to make a sequel to Academy Award Best Picture winner for 1942, "Mrs. Miniver".

A drought-ending rain swept through the Carolinas the previous night, causing the Catawba and French Broad Rivers to flood their banks. Shelby and Cleveland County received five and a half inches of rainfall in 14 hours. Charlotte received two and a half inches. Sugaw Creek, beset by raw sewage because of broken sewer mains, smelled better. No major damage was reported. Cotton farmers, however, were concerned about the spawning of a new crop of boll weevils. Sporadic thundershowers were expected to continue through Sunday.

On the editorial page, "High-Handed Action" remarks on Governor Kerr Scott's effort to cut off the salary of the Probation Commissioner, whom he found he could not fire because of legal technicalities. Capital observers could not recall such a tactic being used by a Governor, though he probably had the legal authority to do so. The effort was in furtherance of his campaign to eliminate from State Government those persons who had backed State Treasurer Charles Johnson for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in 1948. He had already gotten rid of the two top jobholders on the Paroles Commission and replaced them with his supporters. Apparently he sought to do the same thing on the Probation Commission.

The piece finds it reprehensible to play politics with such inherently apolitical positions, concerned with social work. It opines that such positions should not become part of the spoils system.

"Smoke in the Land of the Sky" finds considerable problem generated by the abandonment of Asheville's smoke abatement program, despite its contribution to improved air quality during its two years of existence. The City Council had not appropriated funds for its continuance.

In Charlotte, the smoke engineer had recently finished a new ordinance which would be stiffer than the present law and the City Council appeared set to approve it. The piece agrees.

"A Friend in Court?" finds Governor Scott, always a friend to the rural areas of the state, to be increasingly warming up to the cities, as in evidence when he spoke to the first meeting of the State Municipal Roads Commission, regarding allocation of State funds for maintenance and construction of roads in the municipalities.

A piece from the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, titled "Potomac Valley Authority", suggests the creation of such an authority to clean up Washington. It resents the fact that Washington was suggesting a Missouri Valley Authority, similar to TVA, when none of the region's Congressmen or Governors favored it. Similarly, the Spokane Spokesman-Review, it says, had taken a stand, which it said was consistent with other Pacific Northwest newspapers, against the Columbia Valley Authority, and wondered why Congress was pushing it.

Maybe it is because such projects benefit the whole integrated country and not just one region of it and because the people do not necessarily adhere in viewpoint to the points of view expressed by their local newspaper editorial columns—though we fear that this remarkable tv age to come will have such an inordinately persuasive impact on the minds of viewers, no longer forced mentally to interact with the print, as to override some of the free thinking in the society and get it to march at times to a drummer not altogether worth dirt, contrary to its own interests in the abstract, swayed by emotional fervor rather than reason, a return to the 19th century sort of thinking when much of the society remained illiterate and thus was forced to rely on the spoken word for its information and formation of its collective opinions, often that purveyed by hucksters and snake oil salesmen.

Drew Pearson tells of the Senators' wives becoming caught up in the Republican-Dixiecrat coalition through the Senate Ladies' Auxiliary, ordinarily to be presided over by the wife of Senator Millard Tydings, as Senate president pro tem Kenneth McKellar was a bachelor and Vice-President Barkley was a widower. But with no vice-presidential wife, the by-laws of the group called for an election of the presiding officer, and Mrs. Robert Taft invoked those by-laws to get Louisiana Senator Allen Ellender's wife elected to the position. In consequence, Mrs. Tydings was chilly to Mrs. Taft.

Congressman Andrew Jacobs of Indiana, a Catholic, defended the position of Congressman Graham Barden of North Carolina that Federal aid to education should be reserved for public schools and denied to private and parochial schools. At a rally in his state, Congressman Jacobs met with general acceptance from Catholics on the position, except for a priest. The general view was that it would be dangerous to give public money to church schools as the Government might then seek to dominate the thinking of those schools.

A similar view had been adopted by Congressman John McSweeney of Ohio.

But Representatives John Lesinski of Michigan and John Kennedy of Massachusetts, members of the Education & Labor Committee, were seeking to bottle up the Barden bill in committee and frankly admitted that they were motivated to do so by church opposition to it.

Congressmen Richard Nixon and Harold Velde of HUAC were chastised by other members of the Committee in a closed-door session regarding their criticism of Federal Judge Samuel Kaufman, who had presided over the first trial of Alger Hiss, winding up in a hung jury. Representative Francis Walter found the criticism "outrageous" and said that the Committee had no business investigating judges. Messrs. Nixon and Velde then claimed that they had been misquoted in the press, saying they had never demanded a HUAC investigation of the Judge. Representative Burr Harrison of Virginia said that all of the press accounts had said they had. In any event there had been no objection when Committee chairman John Wood said that he would announce that there would be no such hearing.

Reflecting for a moment back to Mr. Pearson's column of July 14, a key to understanding the flaw in Westbrook Pegler's July 13 interpretation of the Christoffel decision, not nearly so Christ-awful as he assumes, is in footnote 4 of the majority opinion, as compared to the footnote 4, below it, of the dissent of Justice Robert Jackson, on which Mr. Pegler exclusively relied to his detriment. The dissent contended that subornation of perjury in the Meyers case, based on perjury committed October 6, when there was, without dispute, no quorum present of the committee before whom the perjury occurred, should be treated no differently from the Christoffel case, holding, without dispute, that perjury could not occur before a committee which had no quorum and that the Government had not shown affirmatively that there was a quorum at the time Mr. Christoffel's false statements occurred. The dissent found the necessity of an affirmative showing unnecessary because of a presumption of a continuing quorum, once established, absent a quorum call. In Meyers, the Court had denied review and let stand the lower Court of Appeals affirmation of the conviction for subornation of perjury on the premise that though there was no quorum on the Committee which heard the perjured testimony on the 6th, there had been a quorum on the 4th, when all of the alleged perjured testimony occurred, there having been only redundant perjurious statements on the 6th. The Court of Appeals, incidentally, also held that only one of the three charges of subornation against General Meyers needed to be sustained to uphold his conviction as he received a concurrent sentence on all three charges.

The quite distinguishable fact overlooked or misunderstood by the dissent, therefore, was that there was no affirmative record established of the quorum at the time of the Christoffel false statement and hence no affirmative proof of the crucial requirement for legal perjury, whereas in Meyers, there was indisputable proof of the quorum on October 4 when all of the perjury necessary for the subornation conviction took place, the absence of a quorum on the 6th thus being inconsequential as the perjurious statements on the 6th were unnecessary for the conviction to stand. The cases are, therefore, consistent insofar as Mr. Pegler's objection, that the Court appeared to favor the Communist Mr. Christoffel over the hapless General Meyers in his Cadillac—at base, accused of fraud against the Government but for the expiration of the statute of limitations.

The majority therefore had the better of the argument and Justice Murphy, who only announced the decision and was not alone in its "authorship" among the five Justices who concurred in it, as is always the case, was not in consequence eurythmically dancing in "Saturday night squirms", as suggested pejoratively by Mr. Pegler.

Justice Jackson's dissent makes a different point from that of Mr. Pegler's commentary, that being that the quorum rules were applied differently between the two cases, while he recognizes that the denial of the petition for hearing in the Supreme Court was not necessarily an affirmation of the lower court's reasoning or even the result. But the application of the quorum rules in Meyers was inconsequential to the conviction, whereas there is a possibility that, based on the oral testimony of a lack of a quorum at the time of the Christoffel false statements on which perjury was alleged, the quorum did not exist at the crucial point in the Christoffel testimony. Yet, even so, Justice Jackson would contend that the presumption of the continuing quorum, absent a quorum call, would alleviate the necessity of an affirmative showing by the Government that a quorum at that time existed, it having been undisputed that there had been a quorum at the inception of the hearing.

Right or wrong in the abstract, Justice Murphy would pass away of natural causes on July 19.

Did Westbrook Pegler or one of his friends, out of complete disgust with his "rug-cutting" for a Communist, order the death of Justice Murphy? We think not. But following Mr. Pegler to the logical ends of his extreme unction in his July 13 column, as we referenced on July 14, when coupled with the Vatican decree reported July 14, a good argument could be made that Justice Murphy, a Catholic, might have been denied the last rites as one of the sacraments of the Church—which is why no one should take Mr. Pegler with more than a grain of censership, not dissimilar to the treatment to which the Foxymorons of today are entitled.

A piece from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch discusses the Barden bill and Congressman Jacobs's defense of it in the face of attack by Francis Cardinal Spellman, who had called Mr. Barden a "new apostle of bigotry" for sponsoring it.

It posits that the issue was not Federal aid to schools, as no one disputed its necessity to eliminate disparities between the poorer and better-heeled school districts of the country. The Hoover Commission favored it, albeit with reservations about pork-barreling and giving more money to the already wealthy districts.

To provide the Federal money to private religious schools would be a violation of the First Amendment Establishment Clause and would be unwise in any event. It questions whether Cardinal Spellman would support giving money to all of the 250 religious sects of the United States were they to establish their own schools.

Congressman Jacobs believed it was not double taxation and not discriminatory as the Catholic parents had the right to send their children to public schools. Moreover, the accredited status of the Catholic schools added nothing to the equation.

It suggests that what was happening in Communist Europe, where the State was taking over the Catholic Church, should provide warning enough to the United States religious schools.

The late Governor Al Smith of New York, a Catholic, had said a year before he became the Democratic nominee for the presidency in 1928 that he believed firmly in separation of church and state and in strict enforcement of the Establishment Clause. The piece suggests that the statement was as good in 1949 as in 1927—and remained so in 1960.

Joseph Alsop discusses the emerging U.S. policy toward Asia, led by the Defense Department and finally being taken up by the State Department. The policy appeared not to cover China, on which there was no more agreement than in the past.

The great danger in Asia was that the new nationalist movements would be captured by the Communists, as had occurred in northern Indo-China.

The new policy consisted in broad terms of trying to convince the Asiatic colonial powers, France and The Netherlands, that ending colonialism was the most effective method of checking Communism in the region. The people of the Philippines and India, having been freed from colonialism, would be encouraged to take the initiative locally to frustrate the Soviet power drive in Asia, avoiding the appearance of Western interference. Finally, the whole of non-Communist Asia would be organized as an Asiatic-Pacific community, with the U.S. presumably adopting a similar role to that in NATO.

But this policy had a long way to go before realization. Both Secretary of State Acheson and Prime Minister Nehru of India had said that it was not yet ripe to talk about a community of interests in the Pacific and Asiatic areas.

There remained great regional suspicion of the Western powers and several of the countries remained unstable, as Indo-China where French policy had been far from effective, leaving a real possibility that it would become Communist territory, placing pressure in turn on the neighboring countries of Siam and Malaya to become Communist—that which would come to be known as the "domino theory".

The plan was theoretical and not as of yet practical. But at least a plan was being conceived, leading to more American effort in Indo-China and elsewhere, better than inaction which would only lead to catastrophe.

Marquis Childs discusses the President's effort on behalf of public power projects, including dams and power transmission lines for low-rate electricity. He carried many Western states in the 1948 election for campaigning on that promise. But now, despite sizable Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress, the public ownership of transmission lines appeared on the way to being negated, enabling the private utilities to buy the electricity from the publicly-owned dam and sell it at a higher price to the public.

The Democrats had joined Republicans to accomplish this result in the Senate committee report. Democrats had not appeared anxious to back up the President's campaign promises and were working for the private utilities. The House had approved the public ownership of power lines but the lobbyists who had infiltrated Democratic Party leadership had prevailed in the Senate committee. A subcommittee, with Senators Pat McCarran of Nevada and Elmer Thomas of Oklahoma, especially the former, leading the charge, had fought hard for the power interests, accepted their promises that they would sell the power at the lowest possible price to the consumer.

The result would leave many in the country wondering whether the Democratic campaign promises of 1948 were simply hollow rhetoric.

A Quote of the Day: "Don't you get awful sick of writing? someone asked us the other day. We said we did and what's more a lot of folks got sick of what we wrote, too." —Lamar (Mo.) Democrat

We get tired of writing, but then they keep saying all those stupid things and doing all that stupid stuff, providing the pen with plentiful flow about which to write.

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