The Charlotte News

Saturday, July 9, 1949


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in New York, after 29 hours of deliberation, the jury in the Alger Hiss perjury trial was unable to reach a verdict, being split 8 to 4 in favor of conviction. Judge Samuel Kaufman, having twice previously sent the jury back for further deliberations after they reported the deadlock, therefore declared a mistrial. The jurors reported that they had been deadlocked almost from the beginning of deliberations. The Government said that it would seek a retrial of the charges.

Judge Kaufman was criticized by two members of HUAC, Congressmen Richard Nixon of California and Clifford Case of South Dakota, for declaring the mistrial. Mr. Case complained that the judge had not allowed certain witnesses, including the former wife of Gerhardt Eisler, to testify for the Government and indicated that HUAC would call these witnesses to testify in executive session, not to be made public until after the entire proceedings in the Hiss case were completed. Mr. Nixon had stated earlier that the judge had shown "obvious prejudice for the defense". He said that he believed that when the full facts of the Hiss case came before the American people, they would be shocked. He also advocated an investigation into the fitness of Judge Kaufman to serve on the Federal District Court bench, based on his conduct of the trial.

Judge Kaufman replied that the record of the trial spoke for itself and he had nothing more to say.

There will be a hearing later, we predict, on the fitness of Richard Nixon to serve in Government—just as there may be on the fitness of certain present Republican Congressmen to serve beyond 2016 after their little demonstration of similar objections to the ordinary workings of the criminal justice system to their dislike, taking place this week. You people best be careful. You work for us, the people, not for your little lobbyists and rich campaign funders and your Republican constituents with quaint notions, reminiscent of Hitler and Mussolini, about reality and justice. Your little whimpering voices will recede now into the darkness where they belong, with the unindicted co-conspirator Mr. Nixon and the indicted and convicted former HUAC chairman J. Parnell Thomas. Bye.

Such is the way with those who seek to conduct witch-hunts in this country, seeking for political reasons to whip up the past and make cases out of thin air.

The Soviets stopped Berlin-bound cargo trucks at three crossings from West Germany. The British zone officials said it violated the four-power agreement made when the blockade had been lifted in May.

In Frankfurt, a battle between Russian and U.S. army patrols the previous day resulted in the killing by a U.S. Army lieutenant of a young Russian soldier 200 yards inside the American zone after several Russian soldiers had fired on the American patrol. The U.S. Constabulary said that a protest would be filed with the Russians regarding the incident.

Hungary's court of last resort upheld the treason conviction and life sentence of Josef Cardinal Mindszenty. The court rejected the renewed plea by prosecutors to impose the death penalty, a procedure allowable under Hungarian law.

Off Elizabeth City, N.C., Coast Guard cutters and planes rushed into the Atlantic to search for seamen who had reportedly abandoned a merchant ship after a fire at sea, following receipt of an SOS to that effect.

In New Orleans, a Catholic priest was slugged by a robber in his own church. He was in satisfactory condition. The assailant was caught and booked for aggravated battery with intent to commit murder and armed robbery. The priest, 68, had been a steel worker for many years.

In Camden, N.J., a ten-month old baby fell down a ten-foot hole dug by the father for electrical wiring, but was rescued 90 minutes later with only minor scratches. The incident had brought to mind the death of Kathy Fiscus in California on April 8 after falling into a well while playing with other children on an abandoned lot.

In Sunderland, England, a bus conductress complained in court about the strange behavior of one of the bus passengers who had thrown a sandwich at her, "whistled on a bird warbler", and kicked her in the thigh producing a bruise. The defendant asked to see the bruise, and the judge responded, "I'm sure you would." The defendant was sentenced to a month in jail for assault and a month for being drunk and disorderly.

That's not right. The judge suppressed evidence and disallowed the defendant the right to confront and cross-examine witnesses, and so, at least under American law, the defendant ought receive a new trial. Photographs could be interposed as a means of showing the bruise with delicacy.

In Del Mar, Calif., actress Rita Hayworth and new husband Aly Khan would have a four-room hotel suite with $5,000 worth of special furnishings when they and their party of 22 attended for the horse racing season later in the month. Those four rooms are going to be rather crowded.

In Alexandria, La., the Young Men's Business Club was planning a convention for persons from all over the country who claimed to have observed a flying saucer so that they might compare notes. Observations of saucers had been reported in the town twice during the previous week.

They're comin', folks. It's over. Time to declare martial law and call off the elections. They may already be here. Run for your lives.

Tom Fesperman of The News reports on Sugaw Creek, the foul-smelling, polluted tributary running through Charlotte. Raw sewage would be feeding into the creek for 60 days during the construction of a new sewer. According to Mayor Victor Shaw, however, part of the problem would be ended in four days.

Fear not. It may act as a deterrent for awhile to the saucer-people.

On the editorial page, "Bus Fare Hearing" finds that while the proposed bus fare increase from a nickel to a dime by Duke Power was not excessive, given that it had not been increased in a generation, the State Utilities Commission appeared to be acting as no more than a rubber stamp for the utilities, as it had refused the request by the eight affected cities for a continuance that they might study the facts and figures presented by Duke Power in support of the request so they could insure that the people were obtaining adequate service for the higher fares. The piece believes that the Commission had an obligation to the people to make sure the public interest was being served by the fare increase.

"Tightening the Parole System" tells of the new State Paroles Commissioner Dr. Talmadge Johnson appearing to be genuinely trying to reform the parole system in the state. In an address recently to the Wake County Bar Association, he had said that he had heard that some lawyers were telling clients of their certainty that they could obtain for them paroles. He found such advice to violate professional ethics.

In the past, the parole system had been so loose that virtually everyone got parole as soon as they had served the minimum sentence. Dr. Johnson promised that such would no longer be the case. He believed in the parole system as a means to restore to productive lives those convicted of serious crime, by mandating that the prisoner have a job secured before parole was granted and regularly checking on the parolee during the term of parole.

It finds that Dr. Johnson's approach appeared sound and that he deserved the support of the legal profession, law enforcement, and socially conscious citizens of the state.

"Loyalty Oaths for Teachers" finds the loyalty oath concept to be properly objectionable to teachers, that there was no reason to be suspicious of the profession simply because it had daily contact with the youth of the country. There was doubt that the entire concept of the loyalty oath was worthwhile, given the protest it had aroused.

Communists would not hesitate to sign such an oath if it meant that they could better carry out the marching orders of Moscow. And to require the oath of teachers without also requiring it of other persons employed by the government was only an act in furtherance of stultifying academic freedom.

The teaching profession had shown a willingness to handle the matter themselves, even if a bit lax sometimes in being overly tolerant of Communists in their midst.

A piece from the High Point Enterprise, titled "So What?" tells of Oklahoma Governor Fred Jones having sunk a hole-in-one on a 176-yard par three hole recently, but his friends having seen it as an omen of his impending defeat.

The piece finds the matter inconsequential, even if true, as many would swap the Governor's office in North Carolina for such a stroke of fortune on the fairways.

Drew Pearson tells of Congressman Bill Whittington of Mississippi, chairman of the Public Works Committee, making sure that his state got its share of money for water conservation, flood control, and rivers and harbors, but when it came to arid states, such as Oregon and Washington, he allowed short shrift to the witnesses testifying to the Committee in favor of the Columbia Valley Authority, though 35 counties in Mississippi received benefit from TVA.

Once, when Vice-President Barkley was with a group of Congressmen touring the Allied battlefronts during the war, the U.S. Embassy had arranged for a trip into the countryside at 6:30 a.m. Then-Senator Barkley decided, however, to awaken Congressman Martin Welling at 3:00 a.m. and, feigning a British accent, tell him, "The carriage awaits without," after which the Congressman rushed to the lobby, without his shoes, which he could not find as they had been left without his room for a morning shine, then early removed by Senator Barkley acting as batman-valet. The joke provided London great merriment.

The Soviets had executed General Helidor Pika the previous week because he had, during the war, leaked word to London to Czech President-in-exile Eduard Benes that the Russians intended to reduce Czechoslovakia after the war to a group of small states. Eventually, the Soviets had tracked the source of the leak to General Pika. But since he had also warned the Soviets of the Nazi plan to invade Russia in June, 1941 and held a prominent position in the new Czech Government, they waited to take action until after the March, 1948 coup.

Ed Prichard was accused of stuffing ballot boxes in Kentucky in the previous election. But he also had been adviser to Chief Justice Fred Vinson when the latter had been Economic Stabilizer during the war, and, in that capacity, had advised that prices and wages be kept stable after the war under continued controls. Mr. Pearson remarks that if the country had followed the advice, the present recession would not be taking place.

Stewart Alsop, in Singapore, tells of the city being a mix of British and Chinese culture, with the Chinese city, with 700,000 people, being as any other in China while the British city, with less than 8,000 people, was "diluted Rudyard Kipling", an area from which Asiatics were rigidly excluded, exhibiting an air of "conscious power and conscious rectitude."

All of the real power was concentrated in the British city, despite its air of independence. There was little change in the British city since Kipling's day.

But in the Chinese city, changes were transpiring, as pictures of Chiang Kai-Shek were being replaced by images of Mao Tse-Tung. It had provoked the question of how soon would the Chinese city challenge the authority of the British city. Riots had taken place the previous summer at the direction of the Chinese Communists. The British had seized the Chinese leaders, hanging some, and the Communist Party was broken in the city. Since, an atmosphere of "uneasy calm" had pervaded, which the British believed would continue as they could defend the city as an island, with troops, ships and planes. Guerrilla movements were thus difficult to mount. Plus, half of the city's population were aliens and, as such, deportable. The British had already sent 5,000 people from Malaya and Singapore back to China proper. That prospect, of being shipped to poverty, helped to quell revolutionary ardor.

Moreover, the native Malays were the allies of the British, solely out of fear of the Chinese, a lesson learned from the time immediately after the war when the Chinese Communists briefly had control, reducing them quickly to serfdom. The police force in Singapore was comprised almost entirely of Malays.

Probably 500,000 of the 700,000 Chinese in the city, the British believed, were indifferent to any hint of Communist revolution, instead concerned themselves primarily with making a living. And the rest were giving lip service to the Communists only so as not to alienate the ruling government in China, to protect family and property interests there. For that reason, the wealthy Chinese in Singapore were financing the local Communists. Those, however, who were willing to make trouble probably numbered fewer than 10,000.

But others believed that this perception by the British was too complacent. All agreed, however, that if much more of Asia fell to the Communists, so would Singapore. Such, he concludes, was the risk which had resulted from letting China go to the Communists.

Sam Dawson of the Associated Press discusses the monetary conference between the British and Americans, with the Americans trying to convince Chancellor of the Exchequer Sir Stafford Cripps to change his view against devaluation of the pound, in an effort to stabilize the faltering British economy, keystone to the success of the Marshall Plan.

The order of Mr. Cripps for the British to stop buying American exports, to preserve its dangerously low dollar and gold reserve, would result in a billion dollars per year loss to American business and agriculture.

Many believed that devaluation of the pound would take place by fall, from $4 to $3, but ERP administrator Paul Hoffman believed that such devaluation could provide a quick shot in the arm which would not be desirable for its after-effects.

When a nation devalued its currency, there was a tendency for products to rise in price, as imported raw materials cost more, and so the consumer would not necessarily benefit dramatically from devaluation, not by the full extent of 25 percent. And as the price of food and other essentials rose, the workers would demand higher wages, causing production costs to rise. Consequently, the price of British exports would rise.

The reasons the British did not want to devalue were that they were importing more from the U.S. than exporting and so their imports would cost more in pounds under devaluation, consuming the benefit achieved from it, as well as the fact that they had borrowed from the U.S. four billion dollars, or a billion pounds, in 1946, and devaluation to $3 would cause the repayment to rise to 1.33 billion pounds when the bill came due in two years.

In addition, American exporters would have a tougher time selling abroad if British goods were offered on the market at lower prices versus the dollar.

Secretary of the Treasury John W. Snyder favored devaluation on the premise that the $4 rate was artificial and that a pound could be had for $3 in the free market as it was. But only about ten percent of British exports were remunerated presently in the $3 pound, restricted by the British to payment only in the $4 pounds.

A letter from a "U.S. Commissioner"—whatever that is—responds to the letter of July 7 by the woman complaining of rude treatment by the police of Charlotte after she made a right turn onto a one-way street in the wrong direction. He says that she was fortunate that the officer was alert and stopped her or she might be transplanted to the "Glory World". The real stress ought be, he asserts, on trying to eliminate such absentmindedness among drivers.

Put a recording on the dashboard which, every minute, repeats the line, "Be alert, be strong, and watch for falling rocks and swerving motorists; have a good day and be yourself."

You realize, of course, that you might as well be advocating brain surgery of some unknown description to remove whatever it is which causes people to daydream during periods of routinized sensory stimuli.

How about a red light which flashes in the car every 30 seconds?

A letter writer disagrees with the writers who had responded negatively to the June 21 editorial, "Separation of Church and State", believes that no private school should receive public funding as parents had the choice to send their children to public schools. He says that as a Baptist who had attended public schools for twelve years and spent some time at a public university, he had never been swayed from his religious beliefs.

He supports Congressman Graham Barden's substitute Federal aid to education bill, providing that no public funds would go to private schools for any purpose, getting around the Supreme Court's exception to the Establishment Clause requiring public funding to parochial schools for necessary services, such as bus transportation, when provided public schools, by denying such services to both public and private schools, thus not violating Equal Protection.

Of course, the 1947 Supreme Court ruling in Everson would equally apply to state funding for public schools for transportation and health services, and other services necessary to the general welfare of schoolchildren, such that any such state or local funding would also have to be extended to the parochial schools. That was why, under the Barden proposal, there would be a lot of aching, blistered feet in the poorer districts and no means at the school to treat them, the only sound basis for objection to it.

A letter writer urges the newspaper to carry stories and editorials regarding the Hoover Commission report on reorganization of the executive branch to achieve economy and efficiency of operation.

The editors respond that between June 12 and 29, the newspaper had carried the fifteen-part Fortune account of the Hoover Commission report and had regularly editorialized on the matter, would continue to do so.

Framed Edition
[Return to Links
Page by Subject] [Return to Links-Page by Date] [Return to News<i><i><i>—</i></i></i>Framed Edition]
Links-Date Links-Subj.