The Charlotte News

Friday, July 8, 1949


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that ten Senators proposed a revision to the U.N. Charter to establish a NATO-type alliance across the world and back it with an international police force. Senator Clyde Hoey of North Carolina was among the ten co-sponsoring Senators, five Democrats and five Republicans. It would eliminate the Security Council unilateral veto and require agreement that there would be no military use of atomic bombs and mandate international control of atomic energy. Any nation subscribing to democratic principles could then join NATO. The proposal developed out of the debate on NATO ratification in the Senate.

Admiral Louis Denfield told the Senate Appropriations Committee that a report by the Navy indicated that it was giving anti-submarine warfare high priority because Russia had a fleet of 250 to 300 of the most modern submarines. He disputed reports that America was behind other nations in development of long-range submarines.

Britain had, according to official sources, secretly agreed the previous week to purchase a million tons of coarse grains from Russia during the ensuing year. The agreement came a few days prior to the announcement by Chancellor of the Exchequer Sir Stafford Cripps of a three-month cessation of dollar spending to alleviate pressure on the British gold and dollar reserve shortage. The agreement enabled an alternate food supply to that of the U.S. and Canada, allowing respite in expenditure of dollars and gold, as Russia did not demand payment in dollars but would accept payment in kind.

You got watch? Bomb?

The State Department protested the Chinese Communists having jailed the U.S. vice-consul on traffic violations and holding him incommunicado.

Congress completed action on the housing bill and sent it to the President for signature. The bill provided for construction of 810,000 new units of low-income public housing over a period of six years.

In New York, in the perjury trial of Alger Hiss, the jury remained deadlocked, unable to reach a verdict, after hearing a requested re-reading of some of the instructions by Judge Samuel Kaufman. Thus far, the jury had deliberated through the morning and the previous evening, for a total of eight hours.

They were getting ready to hang. Such are witch-hunts.

In Omaha, a man called a World-Herald reporter telling her that he had a scoop, that he was going to light a match with gas jets open on the stove at his home and blow himself up. She kept him on the phone and managed to acquire enough information to direct police to his address. Eventually, a nurse entered the home with a skeleton key acquired from the man's wife who had arrived on the scene, and tried to talk him into surrendering. He lit four matches on a glass, each of which failed to light, and the police finally rushed through a back door and tackled him.

In Chicago, a prosecutor said that he doubted the story of the 15-year old boy that the fatal hanging of his three-year old neighbor from a rafter in his parents' basement was an accident, but that it was necessary to accept the account for the present. The incident occurred in the clubroom of the boys' so-called "Hanging Noose Club", of which the 15-year old boy was president. He said that the child was being initiated into the club when the accident occurred.

In Roanoke, the 16-year old choir boy and Eagle Scout who was convicted by a jury of first degree murder in the killing of a 16-year old female classmate while she was at church, was sentenced to 99 years in prison, after the jury refused to impose the death penalty as sought by the prosecution. The judge denied a defense motion to set aside the verdict. The defendant would be eligible for parole in twelve years.

North Carolina's Congressional delegation was split over support of Federal aid to education, but none would discuss the current dispute about support or not of parochial schools.

In Raleigh, a waitress was shot to death by her estranged husband at a downtown restaurant during the lunch hour.

Southern Airways announced through Mr. Deadwyler that new passenger routes would begin running August 8 from Charlotte to Memphis, Atlanta, and other cities. Make your reservations early as it will be crowded and the wing seats are not very pleasant.

You might want to hand that job over to Mr. Livewyler.

A photograph appears of a sergeant who had swooned as Princess Elizabeth inspected a female Royal Army Corps guard of honor at Shrewsbury Castle. The Princess looked at the woman as she passed but continued the tradition of the inspection without stopping. No one immediately came to the woman's assistance, also according to the tradition.

It's a good thing she was not dying of a heart attack.

On the editorial page, "Technical Institute" finds that since the vision for a county technical institute in training for trades had not come to fruition at the City-owned Morris Field for lack of money, a new vision had been put forward for a four-year agricultural and engineering college to be established. But chancellor J. W. Harrelson of N.C. State had said that there was inadequate money available for such a college. So the piece urges private contributions toward its establishment and hopes that the Legislature's Advisory Budget Commission could give it a favorable report for the balance in public funds during the 1951 legislative session.

"Assumption of Authority" discusses State House bill 211, authorizing the Governor to appoint a commission to study the feasibility of a State-owned Portland cement plant to supply the highway construction program, as Portland cement in the private market was high priced and uncertain of delivery. The piece has doubts of the bill being legal and moral, as it would enable circumvention of the Assembly's authority to render the final decision by delegating it to the commission and the Highway Department.

"The Dulles Appointment" finds Governor Dewey's interim appointment for six months to the Senate of John Foster Dulles, filling the vacated seat of retiring Senator Robert Wagner of New York, to be beneficial to the State Department, as Mr. Dulles had been working effectively as the principal Republican U.N. delegate for the U.S. and aiding the State Department in foreign policy.

"What about China?" finds it unlikely that the Administration would opt to recognize formally Communist China as long as the Nationalists were able to offer resistance. But if trade were nevertheless to transpire between the U.S., Britain, and Communist China, it would strengthen the Communists. Yet, without that trade, Japan would have no export market for its industrial product. And it would leave the Chinese in a backward agrarian state. There was no practical reason for not engaging in such trade as the Nationalist cause was shattered.

There was, however, it suggests, no need to rush the decision of official recognition and allow Red China therefore to have a vote in the U.N. as the official Government of China.

Drew Pearson tells of the President meeting with Secretary of the Treasury John W. Snyder, before the latter left for monetary talks in Europe, to brief him on how to get the British to devalue the pound without the U.S. seeming to encourage devaluation, being resisted by Chancellor of the Exchequer Sir Stafford Cripps. The thinking was that devaluation would enable Britain to sell more exports in the European market as other countries would follow in devaluation of their currencies and thus lessen the pressure on their diminishing gold and dollar reserves. Mr. Cripps had threatened to resign if devaluation were forced by the U.S. because it would reduce the ability to import food and other vital supplies from Argentina and the British dominions.

Secretary of State Acheson, Secretary of Agriculture Charles Brannan, and Secretary of Labor Dan Tobin all disagreed with the push toward devaluation of the pound as Britain would then be unable to purchase as much tobacco, cotton, and other exports from the U.S.

ERP administrator Paul Hoffman and Marshall Plan Ambassador Averell Harriman supported devaluation. The President gave Secretary Snyder a free hand in the matter.

Governor Dewey had consulted with Senator Irving Ives of New York before appointing John Foster Dulles to fill the vacancy left by retiring Senator Robert Wagner, a Democrat. Senator Ives had favored a strong politician, such as General "Wild Bill" Donovan, wartime head of the OSS, or New York Secretary of State Tom Curran, as the replacement, in the hope that the person might be able to beat the Democratic candidate in the fall. Mr. Dulles was unlikely to run for the seat in the November special election.

Three GOP Senators, Homer Capehart, Margaret Chase Smith, and Robert Hendrickson, had been pledged to vote against the Taft amendment to Taft-Hartley to provide under the new bill authority both to seize plants and continue the ability to seek injunction for 80 days regarding a strike threatening the national general welfare. A one vote shift in the final two vote margin for the amendment would have produced a tie, enabling Vice-President Barkley to break it. The three Senators, however, switched their votes at the last minute and voted with Senator Taft. The defeat was secured by Senator Harry F. Byrd, who delivered to Senator Taft the promised votes of 14 Southern Democrats.

The State Department had found that there was a bitter feud ongoing within the Politburo regarding a possible successor to Josef Stalin, for several years in declining health, whether V. M. Molotov or Georgi Malenkov, supported by competing factions.

Admiral Chester Nimitz was fed up and bored with trying to mediate the India-Pakistan dispute, with both sides irremediably couched in intransigence, and wanted to come home.

While the Senate chamber was being remodeled, the temporary chamber would be unable to accommodate visitors, that is, lobbyists. A larger room was being remodeled for the purpose in the Senate Office Building.

Robert C. Ruark, in Stanton, Mo., continuing his tour of the Midwest, has finally reached the old man who claimed to be Jesse James, tells of him speaking of his childhood with the sort of detail suggestive of authenticity. Jesse admitted to no robbery or murder, but could provide such meticulous recounts of his exploits as to be inscrutable. At 102, he sounded as Mr. Ruark's grandfather.

He told him of the incident which prompted him to join Quantrell's raiders when he was 15, including the only killing to which he would admit, for he considered it not to be murder. He and Cole Younger had ridden to Independence at the start of the Civil War to file a deed on land sold by Jesse's ma. Jesse remained outside the courthouse while Cole went in to file it. Just then, a Union Army captain and his two lieutenants came upon Jesse and sought to requisition for the Army his two horses, which they accused Jesse of stealing. Jesse, piqued, shot the captain, as he attempted to pull Jesse from his horse, also shot one of the lieutenants.

Jesse and Cole then fled the scene and Jesse then joined the raiders to fight the Union. He still held animosity for the Yankees. He recounted further that at the end of the war, when he attempted to surrender, he was ambushed by Albert Pinkerton's men—a matter of record that they had come from Chicago and hand-grenaded the James house, blowing off the hand of Jesse's ma.

He said that he had waited so long to reveal his identity so that no one then alive could bear witness to any of his crimes. He said that they were pretty bad as a gang, he guessed, but got blamed for things they had not done and had done things for which they received no blame.

He said that Quantrell had not been killed when history said he had, that they had slung a blanket between two horses and got him across the Mississippi River after he had been wounded. He changed his name and taught school in Texas.

Jesse had informed Lester Dill, owner of Maramec Caverns, where the gang at times holed up, of many secret entrances, which Mr. Dill had verified. He also told of a verifiable fire at a schoolhouse when he was a child, a fire not part of the James legend.

And by so telling of such stories, he had convinced the people around him of the veracity of his tale. Mr. Ruark confesses to being one of the credulous auditors.

James Marlow, having the previous day discussed slum clearance under the public housing bill, now stresses the provision for construction of 810,000 units of housing for low-income families presently living in slums. The family had to leave the public housing unit once its income reached a certain level. Thus over the period of 40 years, the time for financing the construction, it was assumed that many millions of people could be aided by the housing.

The Government helped the cities desiring the money to build the housing. The estimated expense of the program to the Government was 12.32 billion dollars over 40 years, with the Government approving each project. The loan provisions allowed for 1.5 billion dollars and the grant provisions, for 12.32 billion, with no more than 308 million allocated per year for 40 years. That money would fill the gap between the localities' construction costs and the return on rents.

Under the earlier public housing program of 1937, which had built 191,000 housing units costing thus far 68 million dollars, the grants could run 60 years. The total estimated expense for that program over its life was only 1.68 billion dollars.

A letter from an Army sergeant asks for clarification as to whether a knot was a distance or speed, as his dictionary said that it was a distance of 2,080 yards.

The editors provide the Webster's complicated answer that it is a division of the log line, serving to measure the rate of motion of the vessel, each knot on the line bearing the same proportion to a mile that 28 seconds do to an hour, and thus the number of knots which run off the reel in 28 seconds provides the number of miles the vessel sailed in an hour. It was thus a unit of speed equivalent to one nautical mile an hour.

The editors note that while both definitions, as speed and distance, appeared therefore accurate, it was a complicated way to change miles per hour into sea terms.

But the knots preceded the speedometer and so...

A letter writer praises the editorial of June 29, "Statement of Principle", regarding allowance of varying viewpoints on the issue of the Barden bill denying Federal public funds to private schools, as long as those views did not undertake to criticize religions, not the point of the debate.

The writer disagrees with the Barden bill, thinks it discriminatory to private education, which parents had a right to seek for their children without such discrimination.

He is also confused as to the meaning of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment and why the Government cannot give money to support religious functions of any organization, schools or otherwise.

We could not say just what he means by his postscript, "Like the city feller admiring a skunk,—he didn't know it was loaded either!" Maybe he had been to see the Three Stooges.

A letter from the president of the Charlotte Council of the PTA finds it to have been a pleasure to read the reportage on the PTA by Mrs. Dumbell and Mr. Bell, reporters for the newspaper. He appreciates the newspaper supporting the welfare of the children and thanks the reporters.

The school Bell ringeth. Time to go to work.

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