The Charlotte News

Monday, July 18, 1949


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the President sent to Congress a plan for reorganization of the armed forces to give more power to Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson. The plan would convert the National Military Establishment into the Department of Defense.

The inspector general of the Army continued to investigate suspended Maj. Generals Herman Feldman and Alden Waitt regarding self-dealing in contract procurement practices and possibly providing Army information to unauthorized persons. A Congressman urged Secretary of the Army Gordon Gray to suspend also the President's military aide Harry Vaughan, also, he said, implicated in the same matter.

The Senate Armed Services Committee approved a pay raise for the uniformed services. The raise ranged from three percent for the lowest ranks of enlisted men to 37 percent for brigadier generals. Committee chairman Millard Tydings said that he doubted the measure would pass the full Senate unless cuts were made to offset the increased costs.

The three-person fact-finding board appointed by the President in the steel dispute would begin public hearings on July 28 in New York.

New York Governor Thomas Dewey, in a speech to the Lions International convention in New York, said that Western Europe ought be formed into an economic union similar to the U.S. and that the Marshall Plan ought be primarily aimed toward that end. He urged ratification of NATO to avoid the same mistakes made after World War I which had led to World War II.

In Prague, Catholic priests refused to abide orders of the Government to desert Archbishop Josef Beran and vowed to stand by him and the Church. They said that priests who had signed signatures endorsing the Government action had been obtained by fraud.

In London, Chancellor of the Exchequer Sir Stafford Cripps went on sick leave for colitis, and Prime Minister Clement Attlee stated that he would steer the country through its economic crisis until Mr. Cripps could return, which he hoped would be by the end of August.

In Lewes, England, a defendant pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to a charge that he murdered a wealthy widow with a gun, then drank her blood and dissolved her body in a tub of acid. The man's defense attorney had been a prosecutor at Nuremberg. The prosecutor said that he would show the primary motive for the murder had been financial gain. The man had confessed to the acts so that the only issue was his legal sanity at the time he committed them.

In Darwin, Australia, a man who was near-sighted went out for a swim in the surf and lost his glasses, swam around for twelve hours before a police launch spotted him and picked him up.

In Santa Fe, N.M., it was reported that the public relations director for the Atomic Energy Commission at Los Alamos had disappeared without a trace for three days.

Them Martians done took him.

In Plymouth, Ind., a woman drove off with her husband's car, carrying away his clothes and false teeth. He told police that he was most concerned about the return of the teeth.

In Shelby, N.C., the Sheriff said that State Prison authorities had informed him that a man convicted of killing a 15-year old unmarried mother the previous year and sentenced to five years for second degree murder had escaped custody at an Asheville prison camp. He had been an exemplary prisoner and would have been eligible for parole the following year. His wife had been sentenced to a year on a manslaughter charge in the killing and had already been paroled. Another convicted murderer escaped with the man, serving a ten to fifteen year sentence for second degree murder out of Wilkes County.

The rain during Friday night and the weekend which had ended the drought was coming to an end in Charlotte, after 4.83 inches had fallen. Temperatures ranged between 70 and 85 degrees during the day. A 30-foot square sinkhole, ten to fifteen feet deep, had developed from the rain at E. Morehead St. and Dilworth Road.

Don't go down there. You might encounter the man from Lewes, England, should he escape. He is liable to reach out from that hole and pull you down into it.

On the editorial page, "Tremendous Responsibility" finds the 60-day moratorium on the steel strike a relief and supports the President in his restraint in not yet seeking an 80-day injunction under Taft-Hartley. Had he done so, the fact-finding board would have been limited to finding facts and could make no recommendations. As it was, the recommendations would be non-binding but would have significant persuasive power.

It concludes that the board's recommendations would have particular importance as they would extend far beyond the steel industry in the fourth round of postwar wage hikes, affecting consumers of steel products and automobiles, with no real protection against inflation.

"A Liberal Looks at Communism" finds Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., writing in the Saturday Review of Literature about Communism from a viewpoint which was neither rabidly anti-Communist nor blindly pro-Communist. He regarded the American Communist Party as a Soviet tool.

He found that membership in the party provided social, intellectual and even sexual fulfillment not obtainable from the existing society, creating a sense of selflessness among the members. They became a part of a movement which they considered progressive, dynamic, and important to the world. It was something not obtainable in the existing Democratic and Republican party frameworks.

The members blinked the fact of Soviet suppression of freedom, slave labor camps, and party purges.

The success of the party had worked as an ally to the conservatives as it divided the left. The Communists presented a threat to the left and it was a revival of the free left which stood as an answer to Communism across the nation and the world.

"Operation Suds" finds the State ABC Board exceeding its authority in banning beer signs, sales by wholesalers to individuals or big consumer groups, and some other things which are pretty boring 67 years on.

The piece thinks that the regulations were not too overbearing thus far but could go further until it became a farce, hopes for common sense restraint.

A piece from the Fayetteville Observer, titled "'Due Process' Lacking in Beer Edict", thinks that the State ABC Board had overreached its authority in ordering beer retailers to remove outside signs as such signs constituted private property. It suggests that only the Legislature should have such authority.

Is that all you have to write home about? What difference does it make? The alcoholics can sniff out where they are selling the beer and tell the others. Do not elevate that to the level of a Constitutional right.

Drew Pearson discusses the Senate Appropriations Committee having approved the cut of funding for Government transmission facilities, inviting the private utilities to build them instead, thus enabling them to set electricity rates. The President during the campaign had promised that the Democratic Congress would provide for Government ownership of the power lines from the Government dams, providing thereby cheap electricity, contrary to the actions by the previous GOP Congress which had given up public ownership of the transmission lines to the private utilities, caving in to the power interests. Senator Elmer Thomas of Oklahoma had led the power-interest effort in the Appropriations Committee.

It would remain up to the Senate-House confreres to change the appropriations in conference, as the House had already approved Government ownership of the transmission lines.

The power lobbies had skillfully orchestrated the Senate result, with the Montana Chamber of Commerce spreading the lie that public power lines would rob Montana of power by giving it to Idaho. The pamphlet had been prepared by the Montana Power Company.

The Committee even specified the companies to benefit from particular projects, Idaho Power from the Anderson ranch Dam near Boise, Pacific Gas & Electric from Shasta Dam supplying the Central Valley of California, and the Public Service Co. of Colorado from the Thompson project.

The Committee report had said that the private utilities should give free electricity to Government projects but it was not required by law in the bill and the utilities had balked at doing so in the past.

Robert C. Ruark finds that "South Pacific" had taken over the radio and phonographs, becoming an overbearing suitor to the ears of the nation, with tickets to the musical being hard to acquire. He had seen it for free and regarded it as a set of "charming jingles to a charming and trivial plot".

He was in love with star Mary Martin, but the entire score had entered one of his dreams, Ezio Pinza included, all of which was quite unwanted. He had no room for an entire score in his dream "rummage bin".

He was belly-high in "Bali H'ai" and double-talked "Happy Talk". He was going nuts and wished for a short reprieve from the musical or at least the appearance of some competition on the scene to drive it from his skull. But meanwhile, he volunteers, should Mr. Pinza ever need a stand-in, his shape was roughly the same and he knew the lines, he says, by heart.

James Marlow discusses the President's three-person fact-finding board in the steel dispute, which would have sixty days to render its facts and recommendations, not binding on the parties. The steel companies and the United Steelworkers had voluntarily agreed to cooperate with the board. There would be no strike in the interim.

The "Better English" answers perpend we doth: "there" should be "yonder"; disk-arg; visabel; a form of perspiration evident in abundance at the Republican Convention this evening, only to abound in greater profusion, no doubt, as the days will pass and the wind will bloweth yet stronger; gabby.

Was, incidentally, the Republican Convention this quadrennial intended, in an effort to woo viewers from the reality shows in competition with it, as a macabre comedy, a parody of a traditional political convention?

Or have the nuts finally taken over the asylum?

A letter writer finds apt another writer's letter asking whether the President's health program was socialism. He likewise finds the real issue to be the provision of health care to those in need of it and unable to afford it, believes it the only Christian thing to do, regardless of whether it smacked of socialism.

A letter writer commends the woman who had written of rude treatment by police department personnel for making a wrong right turn onto a one-way street. The writer finds the response to her letter to have been a "white-wash" of the matter.

A pome appears from the Atlanta Journal, this one "In Which is Revealed What Happens to Many a Careless Auto Driver:

"Motorists who are classed as 'reckless'
Often wind up somewhat neckless."

And political parties who are feckless
As to whom they nominate,
Often wind up for years abominate.

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