The Charlotte News

Thursday, July 21, 1949


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Senator Kenneth Wherry of Nebraska told the Senate that before approving NATO, the Senate first close the door on giving the atomic bomb to other members. Senator Arthur Vandenberg of Michigan said that the treaty did not provide any automatic means for the other members to demand arms, let alone atomic secrets, of the U.S. He thus disfavored any specific reservations as it would create confusion. A vote on ratification was expected later this date.

The President said that there was nothing about which to be alarmed in the secret talks at Blair House regarding atomic foreign policy.

Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin and Winston Churchill both told Commons that they doubted from the beginning the wisdom of FDR's insistence on unconditional surrender for Germany. Mr. Bevin said that he believed that it left a shambles on which to build a new Germany. It had left Germany without a constitution or governing law or any institution on which to base a new government. Mr. Bevin also criticized the decision, based on the Morgenthau plan to favor creation of an agrarian-based economy, to dismantle the German war plants. He had wanted to dismantle only the top plants by June, 1948. The policy was announced in January, 1943, following a ten-day conference between FDR and Mr. Churchill at Casablanca.

They did not bother to explain why the policy of unconditional surrender had worked well in both Italy and Japan.

In Rome, the Italian Chamber of Deputies ratified the NATO treaty over Communist Party protests, including a Soviet note of protest.

HUAC named in a report two atomic scientists, Giovanni Rossi Lomanitz and David Bohm, as members of a wartime Communist spy cell at the U.C.-Berkeley laboratory during the war. It said that chief Communist organizer in the Bay Area during the war, Steve Nelson, had first sought to use an unnamed physicist, "Scientist X", to gain access to the laboratory. This scientist had been cleared of subversive activities. But Mr. Nelson had then been able to form a cell of five or six scientists, among whom were the named physicists. Both men had refused to answer questions before the Committee. The report stated that no facts had been developed to suggest that either scientist was engaged in espionage.

The House, in a bipartisan voice vote, killed the agricultural plan passed by the 80th Congress, that sponsored by Senator George Aiken Vermont, which had not been slated to go into effect until the beginning of 1950. That plan provided for a flexible support price between 60 to 90 percent of parity. The House would probably vote to replace it with either the Administration plan or the current law which provided for 90 percent of parity.

West Berlin, according to the U.S. military government, had enough coal to equate to four times for each resident the amount it had the previous winter during the Berlin blockade by Russia. It also had an 88-day supply of rationed food, three times that of a year earlier. It was the first report since John J. McCloy had taken over as governor of the U.S. zone, soon to become civilian high commissioner.

In Birmingham, Ala., the presiding officer of the Klan, Dr. E. P. Pruitt, resigned following a dispute with another high Klan official who was serving an indefinite jail sentence for contempt of court for refusing to disclose Klan membership records to the grand jury investigating the Klan in connection with a series of floggings, primarily of white people. Thus far, the grand jury had returned 44 indictments against 17 men for the floggings, plus burglary and boycotting. Dr. Pruitt, 72, said that he was quitting because of his disagreement with the flogging tactics, that it was alright once in awhile to burn a cross but not to do the other things.

A white man who was a member of the Klan reported the previous day that he and a black man had been taken out Tuesday night near Goodwater, Ala., by a mob of armed men who wore no masks and were not Klansmen, were then tied to a tree and lashed with a sawmill pulley-belt. Two men had been arrested in the case.

In Shelby, N.C., prison authorities announced that they had recaptured the man who was the convicted killer of a 15-year old mother in Shelby the previous year, serving five years for second degree murder. He was with his wife who had served a year after conviction for manslaughter in the case and had already been released.

In Dedham, Mass., the former husband of Woolworth heiress Barbara Hutton protested that the heiress had gone swimming in Venice a day after winning custody of their child for the remainder of the summer on the ground that she was too gravely ill to return the boy to his father. She had won the extended custody the previous day. Her former husband wanted the decision reviewed in light of the new evidence.

In Beverly Hills, actress and singer Betty Hutton and her estranged husband sought to reconcile at a restaurant but it had not worked out, there being still some wrinkles to be ironed, according to her husband. She said that there was no reconciliation at all.

Subsumed beneath what appears as a salacious headline, "Mrs. Clark Takes Charge Of Record Amount For Sex", is a reference only to the first female Treasurer of the Government, Georgia Neese Clark, assuming her post and taking custody of a record 27.425 billion dollars in monetary assets. The headline writer had, no doubt, been influenced by the piece the previous day by Rbt. C. Rrk. re the Quick, or Dame Quickly as the case might be.

On the editorial page, "Scott and the Utilities" says that it does not advocate public ownership of utilities and does not share Governor Kerr Scott's anger at the private utilities of the state. But it does support him generally in his desire to expand greatly the electrical and telephone services. There were 268,000 rural families who needed electricity but could not obtain it and 100,000 rural families waiting for telephone service. He had said that if the private companies would not supply the service, then the State would have to fill the void.

He appeared to go beyond the facts when he claimed, however, that the private utilities had impeded progress as there was no reason for them to do so, that the only reason for not extending service into rural areas was that prevailing rates had not enabled the utilities to do so profitably.

It urges a more active Utilities Commission, traditionally passive in the state in terms of public regulation of the utilities. The Governor, it concludes, ought put pressure in the direction of public regulation rather than public ownership.

"Hamstringing the Marshall Plan" finds ERP administrator Paul Hoffman to have a legitimate objection to providing 50 million dollars of ERP aid to Franco's Spain, based on a change in policy by the Senate Appropriations Committee. It had also earmarked 1.5 billion dollars for purchase of surplus agricultural products and canceled 74 million dollars previously appropriated for aid in the last quarter of 1949. The piece finds each change not warranted and hopes that the full Senate would eliminate the changes before passage of the ERP appropriations bill.

"The 'Influence' Racket" finds it not surprising that two major generals of the Army were suspended regarding their alleged influence peddling and providing information to unauthorized persons. The President's military aide, Maj. General Harry Vaughan, had also been implicated in the scandal but was not suspended.

It urges Senate Investigating Committee chairman Clyde Hoey of North Carolina to get to the bottom of the matter, find the guilty parties as well the cause of the conduct and eliminate it.

A piece from the New York Times examines obesity. It finds that Francis Bacon, writing as Shakespeare, had invented Falstaff, thus making obesity disreputable.

It bases its conclusion that Bacon was the true author of the plays on the reference in Henry IV, Part 1 to Falstaff sweating to death, that he "lards the lean earth as he walks along", plainly nothing other than a veiled reference to bacon.

It recommends that the best diet among all of those being recommended was simply not to eat so much. Fat was bad for the nervous system and all of the physical well-being of a person as the first recognition of it caused skipping of meals.

"Far better, being plump, to accept the advantages and to say no more, and to ignore, as the products of shallow minds, the taunts of women."

Rags, bones, hanks of hair constituted, as the poet had expressed it, the definition of thin people.

Drew Pearson explains that the reason John L. Lewis had violated his old adage of no contract-no work was that an agreement had been made with the new coal czar, George Moses of Frick Co., to provide the miners, once he was appointed, with either a raise or an increase in the welfare fund.

He notes that the Justice Department was investigating as a possible antitrust violation the agreement to work a three-day week until a contract was formed.

Wall Street, specifically J. P. Morgan, rather than the head of U.S. Steel, Ben Fairless, had dictated the policy regarding the steel labor dispute, agreeing to abide by the President's call for a 60-day period during which a fact-finding board would conduct an investigation and make findings and non-binding recommendations regarding the dispute. Morgan financed U.S. Steel. But Morgan had failed to realize that the United Steelworkers did not want a strike and that they may have voted against it. When Morgan turned down initially the President's proposal, the action had coalesced the workers into support of the strike, causing a reversal of position by U.S. Steel.

Britain never had atomic bombs stored in its territory, as previously reported. The plans to ship two bombs to Scotland without their necessary triggering device, were halted after a storm of protest. Meanwhile, the U.S. had received most of the share of uranium from the Belgian Congo, with Britain receiving only a small amount. Since early 1948, the U.S. had no longer been sharing military atomic secrets with Britain, only research regarding peaceful uses of atomic energy. The British now realized that peacetime usage was ten to fifteen years away and that the principal current use was military. So, the British had told the U.S. that they wanted to share in the military use and receive their share of the uranium when the agreement with Belgium shortly expired.

The British held a virtual monopoly on uranium through Canada and their political and economic influence over Belgium.

The President the previous week in a meeting at Blair House expressed sympathy with the British position but in the end asserted the U.S. stance that no bombs should be made in England, so close to Western Europe, placing it at risk to Russian bombing. The solution might lie with allowing Canada joint production.

Dr. Karl Compton, chairman of the Research & Development Board, said that the first guided missile capable of trans-Atlantic firing would be ready in four or five years. But not enough physicists would be available until 1958. Work was afoot to increase the fire-power of the nation to avoid the need for numerous troops.

Senator William Knowland of California was helping Senator Homer Ferguson of Michigan by watering down a report on voter fraud in Michigan involving illegal campaign contributions by car dealers, keeping such matter out of the report.

Marquis Childs discusses the small amount of agitation both in America and in Britain against economic and military cooperation between the two nations. Signs in Britain read: "Homes for Britons, not Barracks for Yanks". The agitation appeared to be stimulated by Communists on the extreme left and isolationists on the extreme right, talking more or less the same language.

Labor's socialization had provided a convenient target for the right, while others had the legitimate concern that socialization could slow down production when American aid was seeking to stimulate production and recovery. Americans directly concerned with ERP, however, believed that the Labor Party program did not hamper recovery.

This friction, while generated by a small number of groups, was taking place against a worsening economic situation in Britain. The remedy which Secretary of Treasury John W. Snyder was seeking, devaluation of the pound, would be at best only a temporary solution which could have disastrous political consequences. Britain meanwhile was being urged to reduce its cost structure so it could produce goods more cheaply and compete with American goods. One way to accomplish that goal was to reduce taxes. But that would interrupt the flow of revenue to support the Labor social benefits program and require a cut in military commitments as well, potentially putting an end to the postwar working military partnership with America.

Mr. Childs recommends a conference in London or Washington to coordinate efforts to arrest the current drift, as steps taken by either nation separately to correct the problem would likely only cause it to worsen. He concludes that the need of two nations for each other in the postwar era ought transcend every other consideration.

James Marlow discusses opinions on the legacy of Justice Frank Murphy who had died two days earlier at age 59. The foremost consistent opinion of him was that he wrote well and thought in terms of human beings rather than abstractions. He quotes from his dissent to the majority opinion of the Court refusing to intervene in the death sentence handed down by a military tribunal in 1946 against General Yamashita. There, he stated that Fifth Amendment Due Process was a universal principle to which all persons were entitled, as it guarantees protection of life and liberty.

The Washington Post had written that despite his devotion to civil rights and humanitarian principles, Justice Murphy could not be regarded as one of the great Supreme Court jurists, as his great talent was as a crusader rather than as a judge.

Mr. Marlow thinks it probably too soon to assess Justice Murphy historically. While he would be quoted for years to come, he would likely not enjoy the stature of Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes.

Perhaps, the most lasting legacy of Justice Murphy is in his dissent in 1944 in the Japanese internment case, Korematsu v. U.S., 323 US 214, at 233, a dissent which stood counterpoised against the other great humanitarians and civil rights advocates on the Court at the time, Justices William O. Douglas and Hugo Black, both in the majority, with Justice Black delivering the opinion. Oddly enough, the two members who also issued separate dissenting opinions in that case were Justices Robert Jackson and Owen Roberts, both of whom were generally considered to be conservative members of the Court, while Justices Murphy, Black, and Douglas were considered the most liberal members following the death of Chief Justice Harlan Stone in 1946.

There, Justice Murphy said in conclusion:

I dissent, therefore, from this legalization of racism. Racial discrimination in any form and in any degree has no justifiable part whatever in our democratic way of life. It is unattractive in any setting but it is utterly revolting among a free people who have embraced the principles set forth in the Constitution of the United States. All residents of this nation are kin in some way by blood or culture to a foreign land. Yet they are primarily and necessarily a part of the new and distinct civilization of the United States. They must accordingly be treated at all times as the heirs of the American experiment and as entitled to all the rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution.

In assessing justices of the Supreme Court as "liberal", "moderate", or "conservative", we stress again that the nomenclature and classification can be very misleading as usually the trend of a justice's opinions will find many exceptions, sometimes surprisingly so, based on the peculiarities of the particular stance of the law, and sometimes the facts, in a given area with which particular cases are concerned. Use of those classifications generally regards the extent to which the individual justices stand for judicial activism versus restraint, extension of Federal powers versus extension of state powers, expansive views of civil rights versus narrow views, and expansive views of corporate rights versus narrow views. It is not, when properly used, any more than a convenient predictor of the stance of justices in given cases, again often at variance with their final opinions. And it is not to be equated with the usual use of the classifications in political terms, even when the Court becomes highly polarized ideologically, as it has, for the most part, in the last 30 years, with some unusual degree noticeable for the 15 years prior to that, starting with the appointments by President Nixon of Chief Justice Warren Earl Burger and Justice William Rehnquist, later elevated to chief by President Reagan in 1986 upon the retirement of Chief Justice Burger, appointed in 1969 following the withdrawn elevation by President Johnson of Justice Abe Fortas in the face of Southern filibuster led by Senator Strom Thurmond after the announced resignation of Chief Justice Earl Warren in June, 1968.

We also again remind that no party has a right to claim a lock on the Supreme Court, as the Republicans seem to claim. The fact that sitting Presidents have the right and obligation under the Constitution when a vacancy occurs to send nominations to the Senate and that the Senate then has the inherent responsibility to the people they represent to act on those nominations in a prompt manner has never been doubted or challenged until 2016 by a Republican Senate not worth spit.

The fact that this Republican Senate has refused hearings on Judge Merrick Garland ought be of grave concern to every American who values truly "the rule of law" and not the whimsy of cheap politicians out to grab votes as cheerleaders at a football game. The denial of hearings is an outrageous and despicable politicizing of an institution which the Founders sought to place above, to the extent possible, the vicissitudes of political winds, all in a tawdry attempt to troll for votes in November.

It is especially despicable when the people who are most ardent in their efforts to maintain the Court under Republican conservative domination are invariably the people least knowledgeable of how the Court works and that decisions are not usually changed by whimsy through merely changing of Court personnel except gradually over long periods of time.

We trust that the great majority of the American people will not reward this outrageous conduct and will defeat the Senators up for re-election who are most responsible for this egregious, invidiously discriminatory omission of public duty, especially Charles Grassley of Iowa, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, not a lawyer and not worthy of his position in the Senate any longer. Unfortunately, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is not up for re-election until 2020, but we hope that the electorate will at least reduce him to Minority Leader in the coming election, of which there is great prospect—especially after the most tawdry, disgraceful political convention in the modern history of American politics this week, a display which defies any description beyond hateful, bigoted and outrageous, capped by a ridiculous man last night who for over an hour yelled and harangued the audience, saying, in the end, exactly nothing of note, merely repeating a laundry list of lies and hollow, mostly unconstitutional, promises he has been repeating for over a year.

Indeed, Senator Ted Cruz was the only true statesman who emerged from this Republican convention. We salute him for standing up to this crowd of cheap thugs. The audience booed him Wednesday night, even as he sought to offer condolences to the children and spouses of the recently slain Dallas police officers, from a state he represents in the Senate. The crowd of delegates was far more concerned with getting on with the show and choruses of cheap hate speech than hearing anything which was not canned and scripted by the Republican National Committee and the goon squad most ardent in their support of the nominee. A convention of organized crime families could not have engineered and presented a more hate-filled gathering for four consecutive days.

The only thing good about it is that the Hate Convention of 2016 is over and that there was no violence in reaction to it, proving who the real thugs in the country are.

Such conduct by a major political party is truly beyond the pale of acceptability in this country and we hope that the world will understand that this group of thugs and their new fearless leader are singularly embarrassing to every thinking person of good will in this country and not representative of those who take their duties as citizens of this democracy seriously, regardless of party affiliation. We hesitate to call these persons "Republicans" as they are that only nominally, because they have nowhere else to go for political viability. What was on display this week merely mirrored the nominee's caustic and reprehensible rhetoric of the past year in attracting to his candidacy the worst thugs of the nation, characterized by hate, aggression, and deception, a web of lies scarcely ever woven to this degree by a nominee of a major party.

When the most recent events in a few cities across the land called for restrained rhetoric and not blame of the President or anyone else in authority, but rather expression of a sense of unified compassion and understanding and reminder that unity of the country is its greatest strength through its worst times historically, World War II, the street violence and assassinations of leaders in the 1960's, and other such times far more complex and far more distressing than anything in the present, a series of individual acts which are extensions of mass shootings by individuals spanning decades, not weeks or months, when a call for tighter control of guns, especially assault weapons, was in order, what we got from the Republicans and their fearless leader was avowed support for the Second Amendment, hate speech, divisive anecdotes, blame placed on the President and "That Woman", and "lock her up"—as if London Bridge was falling down, falling down. But the sky, chicken little, is not falling. Times have scarcely ever been so good, in fact. And London Bridge remains quite intact.

And, Donny, facing reality, boy, not your Afghanistanized fantasies of grandeur, it may, indeed, be you, in the end, who is saying, after a full investigation by the new Democratic Senate next year of your phony "Trump University" and your defrauding of thousands of people of thousands of dollars each, "lock her up", repeatedly, from your own jail cell.

We go to movies sometimes, too, fool.

In 1949 in North Carolina, as the page notes, 409 people had been killed to date in auto accidents with 4,660 injured. In 1948, the total killed through this date had been 353 and 3,774 injured.

No doubt, if the Republicans and Conny Donny, in particular, were given a chance to consider it enough in 2016, they would find a way to blame President Truman for that increase, for not funding the construction of new roads fast enough, thus laying it at the feet of the Democratic Party, and thus on President Obama and former Secretary of State Clinton, finding them responsible for all of those bloody and gruesome deaths and injuries on the highways of 1949.

Isn't it awful, folks? Terrible, just terrible. But with Conny Donny in the White House, no deaths will ever occur in the United States ever again. You can count on it. It's gonna be so nice. It's gonna be so, so nice. Don't ask how it will be done. Just trust. Conny Donny knows how to play the "system" so well, yeah, yeah, oh yeah. And how to manipulate it to his will, yeah—just like Hitler and Mussolini before him.

Calme, calme.

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