The Charlotte News

Monday, August 1, 1949


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the Atomic Energy Commission, in its sixth semi-annual report to Congress, said that the powerful atomic bombs, based on plutonium and uranium, were being produced on an industrial basis. The AEC said it had found resources for uranium in the U.S., especially in the Colorado plateau, which might eventually supplant the resources of the Belgian Congo and Canada, from which most of the uranium came. It said that advances were being made in all fields including medical research, stating that inexpensive radioactive cobalt treatment might eventually prove to be a better treatment for cancer than radium.

It made no mention of the current talks regarding sharing of nuclear information with Canada and Britain. A report had suggested that Britain and Canada had threatened to scale back the availability of uranium from Canada and the Belgian Congo unless the U.S. shared the atomic secret with them.

General Marshall told the House Foreign Affairs Committee that it would be "a very dangerous thing" to delay providing military aid to Western European members of NATO, plus Iran, the Philippines, and Korea, while continuing the Truman Doctrine with respect to Turkey and Greece, and that it should not be cut below the requested 1.45 billion dollars. He said that the recipient nations would provide a plan for military coordination but that the money should not be delayed pending creation of that plan.

Soon, the ka-boom in Russia will add the accelerant to the exclamation point.

President Truman told Congress that the Greek Government was making solid progress with American help in winning its civil war against the Communist guerrillas. He said that improved Greek leadership was responsible for improvement in the war effort. He cautioned, however, that the guerrillas remained strong and were receiving help from across the border in Albania and Bulgaria. He estimated that the guerrillas had lost over 70,00 men, killed, captured or surrendered, since June, 1946 through the previous March. There were no reports on the number of wounded.

In Berlin, it was announced that Brig. General Frank Howley would soon resign as American commandant. U.S. military governor John J. McCloy, soon to become the first civilian governor, said that the request of General Howley to be relieved and return stateside would be granted. Maj. General Maxwell Taylor, chief of staff for American Army forces in Europe and future chairman of the Joint Chiefs under Presidents Kennedy and Johnson, would succeed General Howley.

In Charlotte, a 68-year old woman, prominent in the community as the wife of the former president of the Pyramid Chevrolet dealership, was discovered during the morning hours shot to death at her home, apparently murdered by an unknown prowler. The murder weapon, a shotgun, was found on the dining room table. A male employee of the woman was in critical condition after his throat had been cut and his face and head battered. Police detectives believed that a former employee of the woman might be responsible for the murder and assault. A major crime investigation, the largest in years in the city, had been initiated in the case. The dead woman's funeral would be held Tuesday.

The house, incidentally, where the murder took place was nearby the residence, beginning in the early 1950's, of W. J. Cash's brother, Allan, a prominent Charlotte othodontist for many years.

On the editorial page, "Mr. Tobin's Wage Levels" tells of Secretary of Labor Maurice Tobin having been able to take advantage of a loophole in the Wages and Hours Act and boost the minimum wage in certain key industries above what the law provided. The Walsh-Healey public contracts act permitted the Secretary to determine what the "prevailing rates" of wages were in the industries doing business with the Government and only those employers providing those minimum wages could obtain Government contracts.

The Congress was studying whether to raise the minimum wage from 40 cents to either 60 cents or, as the Administration sought, 75 cents per hour. But Mr. Tobin had announced new rates for the iron and steel industry of $1.04 per hour for apprentices in the South and $1.23 for skilled labor in the North and Midwest. The previous rates had been 45 cents and 62 cents, respectively. Aircraft workers were seeking a raise to $1.15 per hour.

A representative of G.E. had testified at a Congressional hearing that the raising of the rates by Mr. Tobin would raise the cost of Government contracts at a time when Congress was trying to effect economy. He also said that it fit nicely into the unions' drives to obtain a fourth round of postwar wage hikes.

"Tar Heel Poll Taxes" relates of the history of poll taxes in North Carolina, originated in 1738 as a source of revenue to defray the expense of Colonial courts, levied against all free white men over age 16. It had nothing to do with the right to vote, determined by property ownership. It was subsequently repealed by the General Assembly but was again included in the 1868 Constitution, allocated to upkeep of roads. If a person could not pay it, they could work on the roads for two days per year or furnish a team of horses and a wagon in lieu.

The "head tax", as it was called, remained on the books for any male between 21 and 50, at $2 per person in the county and $1 in the city. But in Charlotte, only $11,000 had been collected, $44,000 in the County. So few among the much larger population, approximately 130,000 in Charlotte, paid the tax.

The piece thinks that the head tax ought be abolished as it was discriminatory by age, could not be enforced except against property owners, and produced only a relatively small amount of revenue. It hopes Governor Kerr Scott would urge its elimination to the next General Assembly in 1951.

The poll tax for voting had been abolished in North Carolina in 1920.

"Fearless Fosdicks?" discusses a speech by Governor Strom Thurmond of South Carolina before the S.C. Sheriffs' Association in Charleston, in which he had made remarks which had been interpreted to mean that he advocated state censorship of movies. Governor Thurmond clarified that he did not mean to do so when he said that pictures should portray law enforcement officers as heroes, not scoundrels, and that movies which presented the latter imagery were "detrimental to society". He had promised to go to bat for the sheriffs, to see what he could do to improve the presentation of law enforcement. He also said that he believed that the movie industry would regulate itself in this regard without resorting to official censorship.

It suggests that the sheriffs were probably not so worried about the portrayals as Governor Thurmond, got as much charge out of the bumbling sergeant as did the public at large, and were quite aware that among their number were those who were not the heroes which Governor Thurmond described.

It adds that the newspaper, when it encountered any law enforcement officer who was a villain, would continue to write stories about them and that to fail to do so would be a great deal more "detrimental to society" than publishing the truth about them.

A piece from the Raleigh News & Observer, titled "A Collegiate Illusion", tells of Dr. L. X. Magnifico of the Richmond Professional Institute seeking to clarify that junior colleges were not simply sawed-off versions of four year colleges. The piece thinks the public needed enlightenment as to what they were, as most people labored under the illusion, if that it was, that they were that, and suggests that Dr. Magnifico might provide further elucidation.

Drew Pearson tells of the RNC not pulling together to select a new chairman after the resignation of Congressman Hugh Scott of Pennsylvania—future GOP Senate Minority Leader. The top pick for the job, Guy Gabrielson of New Jersey, suspected to be a supporter of Harold Stassen, appeared to have the job, but the New Jersey GOP Congressional delegation had opposed him. Republicans also wanted a Midwesterner in the position. Moreover, Mrs. Worthington Scranton—mother of future Pennsylvania Governor and presidential candidate in 1964, William Scranton—, resigned as a member of the RNC executive committee so that Mrs. Reeve Schley of New Jersey could take the position. But Mr. Gabrielson had, instead, taken the position, himself, making people angry. Still, many were supporting him for the position. If he were not selected, then Harry Darby of Kansas would likely be the next choice.

Newly appointed Senator John Foster Dulles had been assigned to the Senate committee on the District of Columbia, meaning that he would have a lot to do with governing the District, including its public utilities. His law firm was counsel for Washington Gas Light Co., the Potomac Electric Co., and the Washington Railroad & Transit Co., utilities seeking pay raises. Senator Dulles had sought appointment to the Foreign Relations Committee. He said that he knew nothing of governing D.C. except that he did not like starlings and that there was a bill to kill the capital's starling population.

Maj. General Alden Waitt, suspended by the Army pending the outcome of the investigation of his involvement in influence peddling regarding procurement of Army contracts, had sought James V. Hunt's help in gaining reappointment as chief of the Army's chemical warfare section. He enlisted Mr. Hunt to send a memo, to be drafted by General Waitt, to Maj. General Harry Vaughan, the president's military aide. General Waitt did so, utilizing Mr. Hunt's secretary. In it, he had deprecated the achievements of those who were in line to succeed him as chief, though he had previously given them high marks.

Mr. Pearson notes that when General MacArthur had sought promotion to major general he asked his wife's wealthy stepfather, a heavy GOP donor, to intervene at the White House.

James Marlow discusses the report by General Omar Bradley, Army chief of staff, to the House Foreign Affairs Committee anent the need for arming the Western European members of NATO against potential attack by the Soviets. General Bradley had said that, regardless of the aid, the prospect existed for a long period of tension, but that arming the allies would provide a buffer against the Soviets to allow for mobilization of American forces in the event of attack. In the meantime, the U.S. could deploy long-range bombers and the atomic bomb.

The President had appointed a committee two years earlier to study the country's aviation needs and it had determined that the Air Force should be ready by "A-Day", January 1, 1953, for the possibility of atomic attack. An earlier committee had determined that the country should be ready for atomic attack between 1951 and 1957.

The plan of Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson and General Bradley for arming Western Europe would be in place by 1953 or 1954, thus in time for the prospect of atomic attack as determined by the two committees.

No one knew what would happen if by that time, the U.S. and Russia both had atomic bombs and Western Europe were armed. But the President, Secretary Johnson, and General Bradley argued that with Western Europe armed, there was less chance that the Soviets would initiate an attack.

A mere four weeks from this date, the Soviets would test successfully their first atomic bomb.

Now what?

Robert C. Ruark says he has as much reck as feck in his neck, that his readers were sometimes dainful of him despite his argument sometimes being footful. He dislikes all the bobbytraps within the English language, thinks they ought be eliminated.

"Disgruntled" was one, being the opposite of "gruntled", presumably, as opposed to postsumably.

"Cuspidor" implied cusping. "Feckless" suggested that a goodly sum of feck was good. "Dauntless" and "undaunted" were other such words without common unsuffixed or unprefixed roots.

"Whom" was as unnecessary as a chaperon on an honeymoon, sneaking and peeking about as a Peeping Tom. Ditto for the usage of "which", "that", and "what", which he thinks ought be portmanteaued to "whach", as a more apropos, ubiquitous, uniformly utilitarian substitute.

The rule against ending sentences with prepositions also was bedevilment by the language creators. "Who's she married to?" was easier than, "To whom is she married?"

He also finds disfavor in the "i" before "e" except after "c" rule of orthography.

Suffice it to say that he reckons without daunt in sustained profusion about the subject, concluding that the prettiest sentence in the modern language was, or might be, is, "Me Tarzan, you Jane."

But what if Jane is married to Whom, were out for home on the third, but for being done for on the second?

The "Better English" answers could want to have been: "Over and above" should be "Way more than"; flo-rid; radients; to lift weights; submarinate.

A letter from prohibition advocate Francis O. Clarkson takes issue with the editorial of July 27, "Setting the Record Straight", regarding Mr. Clarkson's use of statistics to suggest that there was more crime under ABC-controlled sale of liquor as shown by increased police expenditures since its implementation.

He quotes the late Josephus Daniels in saying that ABC stood for "Alcohol Brutalizes Consumer", hopes the newspaper would print all of his remarks from which it had abstracted the figures cited.

A letter from the past president of the Charlotte Lions Club thanks the newspaper for the publicity given the Bossier City High School Band presentation at Freedom Park on July 12.

A letter from the public relations director of the Highway Commission supplements the facts underlying the editorial, "Miracle of the Law", anent the Highway Commission's plan to purchase road equipment from a tenth of the 200 million dollar, four-year bond issue approved by voters in June.

A letter from the vice-president of the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce thanks the newspaper for its July 28 editorial, "Solicitation Commission", approving the creation of such a commission to study and recommend regulations for charitable campaigns in the city.

A letter writer excoriates the newspaper for its "wretchedly puerile attack" on Winston Churchill in a recent editorial regarding his disjointed and paradoxical remarks on socialization of industries carried out under the Labor Government. He predicts that the British would vote out Labor in the 1950 elections.

A letter writer disagrees somewhat with a writer who found that those who listen to early morning radio programs were "morose morons". While he finds the radio generally to offer mediocre fare, he finds that early morning was not the worst time of day for listening. He thinks the vocal quartets were the worst of the musical selections, sounding as bumblebees in a jug without tune. He concludes that it was not much use to advertise on the radio if the public had to turn it off in self-defense because of a "lousy script".

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