The Charlotte News

Thursday, July 28, 1949


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Secretary of State Acheson told the House Foreign Affairs Committee that the U.S. needed promptly to provide arms to Western European members of NATO to prevent the possibility of direct military aggression from the Soviets. Russia, he said, was at a crossroads where it had to choose conquest by either political means or by military force. Backing up the treaty with military aid was essential to securing peace by deterring an aggressor, as "the gangster mind likes to gamble only on sure things."

The Administration plan of 1.45 billion for military aid over the ensuing year called for allocation of 1.1 billion to Western Europe and the remaining 350 million to Turkey, Greece, Korea, Iran and the Philippines.

Senate Minority Leader Kenneth Wherry of Nebraska said that the Senate might try to reverse its action of the previous day which sent back to the Appropriations Committee the ERP aid money bill. The controversy arose over an amendment earmarking 1.5 billion dollars of the aid for purchase of U.S. surplus agricultural commodities, sponsored by Senator John McClellan of Arkansas and challenged by Majority Leader Scott Lucas of Illinois. A ruling by Vice-President Alben Barkley favoring a point of order raised by Senator Lucas to the amendment was then successfully challenged by Senator Taft. Senator Lucas then challenged the whole ERP aid bill on a point of order, causing it automatically to be sent back to committee.

J. Anthony Marcus, president of the Institute of Foreign Trade in New York, told a Senate Judiciary subcommittee that industrial technology worth billions of dollars had been stolen by Soviet spies over a period of 25 years. Mr. Marcus had come to the country from Russia in 1910 and had witnessed the filching himself by Russian agents. He described the center of Soviet economic spying as being Amtorg Trading Corporation of New York, the Soviet Government's trading agent. The testimony came in a hearing on a bill sponsored by Senator Pat McCarran of Nevada to bar or deport subversive aliens accused of espionage. Mr. Marcus said that his good friend Lammot du Pont had said that there was nothing to get upset about as the Russians would not know what to do with the technology they stole, a view which Mr. Marcus found naive.

Philip Murray, president of the United Steelworkers Union, said to the President's fact-finding board that the union wanted a package increase of 30 cents per hour, 12.5 cents in wages plus pensions and social insurance benefits, in their current postwar fourth-round wage dispute with the steel companies, currently being studied by the fact-finding board, set to render findings and recommendations in less than 60 days.

Mr. Murray and other labor leaders who had refused on principle to sign non-Communist oaths required by Taft-Hartley to partake of NLRB services, had decided to sign the oaths so as to qualify to use the services of the NLRB to resolve disputes.

In Milan, Italy, police threw rocks to deter paparazzi on a motorboat from taking photographs of Winston Churchill while he went swimming the previous day during a vacation. The police chief ordered all film confiscated from the photographers' cameras as the former British Prime Minister had requested privacy.

In Maple Shade, N.J., 160 men were arrested and $40,000 was confiscated in a state police raid of an armed gambling joint at a plumbing warehouse. Most of the gamblers were from Philadelphia and Camden, N.J. A ring in Newark had recently been broken up utilizing some of the same officers.

In Dedham, Mass., Woolworth heiress Barbara Hutton won her appeal to keep her son with her for the remainder of the summer because of her declining health, her weight having reportedly dropped to 88 pounds, despite the claim by her former husband that she had been spotted swimming recently in Venice after the original order of extended custody. An affidavit filed with the court said that the swimming was part of her prescribed remedial care. That's a relief.

In Columbia, S.C., a young black farmer claimed that a masked mob of five or six white men shot at him and beat him and his brother as they terrorized his family on the previous Monday around midnight. The farmer suffered a gunshot wound in his thumb and thigh and had a club wound on his head.

Also in Columbia, the man convicted the previous December in York for the fatal shooting of his boss was granted a new trial on the grounds, inter alia, that the court had not instructed the jury on the defense of alibi, supported by the evidence, and that there was improper appeal to emotion by the prosecutor.

In Charlotte, as temperatures soared to 98, 18.7 million gallons of water were consumed the previous day, setting an all-time record. A previous record had been set the day before that. The average daily usage was 15 million gallons.

Also in Charlotte, a man was arrested and found guilty in Police Court for filing false police reports after he called several times to the police to report a dead man who had been shot at a credit company. No violence had occurred at the office. The man was being investigated for the disappearance of a check he had tendered in payment for an automobile. The officers saw him in an adjoining office making one of the phone calls while investigating the prior calls and the disappearance of the check.

He will be executed at dawn.

For the way to stop crime is swift and sure punishment for the lawbreakers. But the way to stop guns is not through regulation and laws as laws do not prevent crime. Only swift and sure punishment prevents crime. Just ask Congresswoman Virginia Foxx, co-chair of the 2016 Republican Platform Committee.

But remember, folks, we are wink-winking. The "crime" we are talking about preventing by swift and sure punishment is the crime committed by them, not us good folks. You know "the laws" we are talking about. And be sure to remember to bring your own pillowcases to the rally.

Heaw, heaw. That's the only song she knows. Ain't it cute? Mr. Liddy thinks it's cute. They ought get married. Don't you think?


On the book page the following day, John Daly would review Fraternity Village by Ben Ames, a book of short stories regarding life in a Maine town, and The Eagle and the Egg by Oliver LaFarge, regarding the Air Transport Command.

On the editorial page, "Solicitation Commission" tells of the City Council hearing arguments for and against the proposed ordinance to set up a commission to regulate charitable solicitations to avoid duplication of drives. The proponents had cited the great number of such drives as confusing to the public regarding the charities to which they had already contributed while the opponents cited the freedom of individual contribution and the notion that regulation would over a long period limit giving.

The piece favors the ordinance as a means to help both the charities and the public, protecting charitable organizations against growing public resentment by giving them government imprimatur.

"The Illinois Lesson" discusses the scandal uncovered in Illinois journalism when 51 reporters were discovered to be in the pay of former Governor Dwight Green. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the Chicago Daily News had uncovered and publicized the matter.

The national press had been virtually unanimous in condemning the practice. The American Society of Newspaper Editors commended the two newspapers for the story and criticized the press associations to which the reporters belonged.

The piece agrees, saying that newspapers had a responsibility to be auditors of the government and could not have their independence compromised without loss of integrity and threat to the system of free government. A free press meant having an obligation to use the newspaper as an instrument of public service to inform people factually and honestly.

"Byrd's Influence at Stake" tells of the Virginia Byrd-machine gubernatorial candidate, John Battle, facing a formidable challenge from an anti-machine candidate for the first time in many years. The challenger was Francis Pickens Miller, former legislator, writer and right hand man to General Eisenhower.

The race would be won by Mr. Battle.

A piece from the Louisville Courier-Journal, titled "Surprise Endings", finds that an accepted proposal of marriage by an Idaho legislator to a colleague on the floor of the State House had not turned out as a storybook ending, after all. Subsequently, they had not tied the knot.

The piece was disappointed as their offspring could have vowed to produce another generation of legislators.

The fly in the ointment had proved to be a reporter who wrote a story about the proposal, prompting the lady legislator to bawl him out. Eventually, however, she mended fences and married the reporter. It wishes them well, but indicates that it would have liked the original matrimonial plans just as well.

Drew Pearson tells of a shift in the 20-year political alliance of Jews and Catholics who had combined to provide a Democratic base in New York and other large Northeastern cities, such as Boston and Philadelphia, such that the breakup could enable a Republican victory in Congress in 1950 and in the presidential race in 1952. Democratic leaders were privately bemoaning the fact based on the current flap arising between Francis Cardinal Spellman and Eleanor Roosevelt, focusing nationwide attention on religious issues. Another factor was the less-publicized opposition of Cardinal Spellman to former New York Governor Herbert Lehman, who had hoped to become the first Jewish Senator by running for the seat of Robert Wagner, to which John Foster Dulles, who had said he would not run in November, was appointed for the interim until the special election.

The latter controversy occurred the previous year when Cardinal Spellman had led a successful fight to get The Nation banned from New York public schools for its series of articles by Paul Blanchard which were critical of the Catholic Church. Cardinal Spellman had disagreed with the assertion by Mr. Lehman that Catholics could determine the reading material in Catholic schools but not in public schools, attended by students of all religions. The opposition by Catholics to his candidacy for the Senate had caused him to delay announcing.

FDR, Jr., had drawn support from both Jews and Catholics in his November Congressional victory in New York. Cardinal Spellman had not sought to influence the race. He had advised FDR, Jr., however, not to remarry if his wife divorced him.

Senator Pat McCarran, who was blocking a bill in the Judiciary Committee to abolish the restrictive refugee bill of the previous Congress, discriminatory to Jews and Catholics, had asked the Senate to admit 250 immigrants from the Pyrenees mountains along the Franco-Spanish border, but only to become sheepherders in the West. In the end, Senator Robert Henrickson of New Jersey blocked the requested amendment on the ground that there were 5,000 sheepherders among the displaced persons who were the subject of the blocked refugee bill.

A lobbyist for Oklahoma Gas & Electric and the president of the Public Service Co. of Oklahoma treated Senator Elmer Thomas of Oklahoma to a day at the races after he had won for them in the Senate Appropriations Committee the elimination of appropriations to build publicly owned transmission lines from the publicly owned dams, leaving the lines to be built by the private companies, meaning higher consumer rates for electricity. Senator Thomas lost money on the horses while his wife won.

Marquis Childs discusses the National Security Council having a major influence on foreign policy, especially through Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson, who in turn influenced the Joint Chiefs. The only other members were the President, Secretary of State Acheson, and the chairman of the National Security Resources Board, at present a position which was vacant. Secretary Johnson had been able to overrule the position favored by Secretary Acheson such that military aid would be extended not only to Western European members of NATO and Turkey and Greece, as desired by Secretary Acheson, but also to Iran, the Philippines, and Korea.

In the case of Iran, the 29-year old Shah favored various reforms, especially improvement of the polluted water supply. But the 300 million dollars to be earmarked for the country for military aid would wind up in the hands of repressive and reactionary elements in the country, resistant to reform, and the Shah would, in consequence, become increasingly dependent on them. Such a relatively small amount of aid would not go far and no small part of it would be lost to corruption and graft. Moreover, a little aid would open the door for requests for more and more, the rationale for granting those requests then becoming not to allow that already spent to go for naught.

It was doubtful the aid would strengthen the country. Rather, a coordinated, large-scale military and economic aid policy would be necessary.

But despite these weaknesses in the military aid program, they did not justify blinking responsibilities under NATO, for not to provide military aid or even to limit it to interim aid, as favored by Senator Arthur Vandenberg, would leave the pact little more than a hollow gesture.

He suggests that the Acheson plan might be the better approach, centering on Western Europe, Greece and Turkey.

The Republicans in Congress consistently criticized the President for blunders in foreign policy but failed to come up with viable alternatives.

Senator Wayne Morse of Oregon summed up the NATO responsibilities by saying that it would be nothing without military aid to back it up. Mr. Childs regards it as a harsh bit of truth worth repeating in the face of the "double-talk record" being played repeatedly.

James Marlow discusses the anti-poll tax bill, passed for the fifth time in ten years in the House, but having always stalled in the Senate.

The prospect for similar inaction this time was no less than the previous four times. Northern Democrats and Republicans had favored the legislation previously but the Southern Democrats had stalled it in committee or by filibuster.

There were seven states still with poll taxes. The arguments against them were that they prevented voting by poor whites and blacks and kept voting to a minimum in those states. The argument for it was premised on states' rights, that the Federal Government should not be meddling in race relations and voting.

The repeated defeats were blows to black citizens and organizations campaigning for years to eliminate the taxes, but they would keep trying.

Mr. Marlow concludes that the poll tax would likely be around for years to come despite its elimination having been a campaign promise by both the Democrats and the Republicans in 1948.

In 1962, the Congress would send to the states the 24th Amendment, making the poll tax unconstitutional in Federal elections. A subsequent Supreme Court case in 1966, Harper v. Virginia Board of Elections, would hold it unconstitutional as well in the states as being violative of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The 24th Amendment would be ratified in January, 1964. At that time, five states, Virginia, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Texas, still retained the tax. The vote in the House for the amendment was 295 to 86 and in the Senate, 77 to 19. At the time, there were 64 Democrats and 36 Republicans in the Senate and 264 Democrats and 173 Republicans in the House.

This date, a three-judge panel of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, in North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP v. McCrory, enjoined enforcement of a North Carolina law which had required voters to present certain picture identifications to register to vote, forms which African-Americans disproportionately lacked, prevented same day registration, early voting, pre-18 registration, and out-of-precinct voting, forms of registration and voting used disproportionately by black voters, the Court holding that the Legislature in crafting the law, especially in exempting absentee voting, a form favored by white voters, from the photo identification requirement, had discriminatorily targeted black voters in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment Equal Protection Clause and Section 2 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, reversing the Federal District Court ruling of April, 2016. A Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals case out of Texas during the previous month also struck down similar restrictions on voter identification for the same reasons.

Now, silly person threatening to sit on your hands this November and not vote, do you see how important it is to perform your citizen's responsibility to vote and to do so seriously, maturely, and with full knowledge and understanding of the various issues at stake and how those issues relate not just to you as an individual but, moreover, to the good or ill of society at large as an integrated unit?

Never forget that people of this country fought and died, both in wars and on the streets and fields of the land, to secure that most precious of rights. The least you can do is exercise it, and do so wisely. It costs nothing and is easier to accomplish than ever before. Don't ever say that you have no choice. That is to be a self-centered cynic, putting yourself above everyone else, the "poor, deluded masses" who do vote, a rather repugnantly supercilious notion.

The reply letter of Eleanor Roosevelt sent the previous day to Francis Cardinal Spellman is set forth, as reported the previous day. In it, she justifies her position of support for limiting Federal funding to public schools by virtue of the 1947 Supreme Court decision in Everson, holding that while generally the First Amendment Establishment Clause required separation of church and state and therefore prohibited public funding of parochial schools, Equal Protection required that public funding for general welfare services, when provided public schools, had to be provided as well to private and parochial schools.

She asserts that she had no bias against the Catholic Church, had supported former New York Governor Al Smith, a Catholic, in his gubernatorial campaigns and had supported him for the presidency when he was the Democratic nominee in 1928. She had also spoken out against the unfairness of the Czech Government trial for treason and resulting life sentence of Josef Cardinal Mindszenty.

The former First Lady adds, however, that the control by the Catholic Church of vast areas of land in Europe had not always led to the happiness of the people.

She stresses that she did not intend to deny children anywhere equal educational opportunity, but that it was the decision of parents to choose a religious school rather than a public school for their children and thus they had to live by that decision in terms of receipt of Federal aid to the schools they chose.

The Democratic nomination acceptance speech by former Secretary of State Clinton last night was a good one and one to which everyone ought listen before making any decision on the vote for the presidency. We listened patiently to the Republican's speech last week as well. There is no comparison. The speech of Secretary Clinton was thoughtful, statesmanlike, resolute, but communicating also openness and willingness to listen to ideas from all Americans regarding governance of the country before reaching decisions affording the luxury of time for deliberation, while commmunicating the ability to respond wisely and appropriately to events which require situational judgment on the spur of the moment. And she has demonstrated experience as a former Senator and Secretary of State to substantiate those communicated traits and to justify repositing of confidence in her to act accordingly in the future.

Suffice it to say, as we have already said at greater length, the Republican nominee displayed quite the opposite tendencies, just as he has daily during the past year in press conferences and stump speeches, showing very little, if any, difference in the modes of communication, not understanding obviously the reasons for distinctions in informal and formal speaking by persons running for high political office, to communicate the ability to work with Congress and the American people while also showing the complexity of mind necessary to work with foreign leaders, many of whom speak only a foreign language and might not get kitsch or "sarcasm" within the confines of a translation. And, of course, he has no experience in government or matters of statesmanship, displays anything but statesmanship in his regular discourse, could not even manage a modern political convention of his own party without considerable dissension on the floor and unhealed divisions within his party from the campaign, prompting most responsible Republicans to skip it entirely or refrain from endorsing him. How, pray tell, would he run the country, especially with so much of the country and Congress either determinedly opposed to him or at least accepting tepidly of his wobbly and unfocused policy statements interspersed by the divisive rhetoric, only while holding their noses and maintaining arm's length? Indeed, other than politicians seeking favor for consideration for positions in a Trump administration, only bigots appear to be embracing him with warmth.

It does not matter one whit what a person is in private if his or her public communications while running for public office are divisive and bigoted. They are, insofar as their fitness to serve in public office, demagogic bigots. For that is the type of governance those who vote for them most fervently will expect, and will accept nothing less than that, leading inevitably to a virtual police state to maintain their version of "law and order".

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