The Charlotte News

Thursday, August 11, 1949


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Averell Harriman, roving Ambassador for ERP and former Ambassador to the Soviet Union, told the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee that the full amount of the proposed 1.45 billion dollar military aid appropriation was necessary to back up NATO against the "determined, ruthless and persistent" Soviet Union.

In Strasbourg, France, Belgian Socialist leader Paul-Henri Spaak was unanimously elected as the first president of the European Consultative Assembly, consisting of twelve nations. Mr. Spaak resigned the previous day as Acting Premier and Foreign Minister of Belgium to take the new post. Winston Churchill had nominated him for the position.

In Berlin, the last restrictions on rail traffic between West Germany and the city were lifted, ending restrictions on individual Germans and businesses preventing the shipping of food or goods to Berlin by rail.

Senator Karl Mundt of the Senate Investigations subcommittee examining influence-peddling in procurement of Army contracts, charged that a letter written by James V. Hunt in August, 1947 was a "blatant invitation for bribery or connivance of some kind." The letter from a War Assets Administration employee to Mr. Hunt regarded selling to private dealers surplus auto parts, worth about $100,000, possessed by the War Assets Administration. The employee said that he never received any pay or promise from Mr. Hunt. The information was marked "confidential", but was revealed to Mr. Hunt, a private citizen. The subcommittee also stated that it intended to open up the evidence to the public which led to the suspensions of two major generals regarding influence-peddling.

The House overwhelmingly passed a bill to raise the minimum wage from 40 to 75 cents per hour, in accordance with that sought by the President. The matter now went to the Senate, which reportedly had a better bill in terms of coverage. The House version would remove about a million workers from the ambit of the minimum wage law, which covered 20 million workers.

The D.C. Court of Appeals upheld, 2 to 1, the Government's right to label certain groups "subversive", dismissing a suit brought by the Joint Anti-Fascist Refugee Committee, listed as "subversive" by the Attorney General. The Court held that the President had the power so to categorize groups without violating freedom of association or speech as everyone was free or not to join such organizations, and the Justice Department was merely undertaking the task of characterization for the chief executive. One Judge dissented, saying that the facts as contended by the Committee had to be accepted as true, since the case was decided on a motion to dismiss and therefore the record of the case most favorable to the appellant had to be taken as true. The Committee had cast itself as a charity and so describing it as "subversive", he opined, could be contrary to fact, requiring a determination of fact in the trial court. He believed that Due Process required, minimally, advance notice and a hearing before being included on the list.

In a 5 to 3 plurality decision at 341 U.S. 123, delivered by Justice Harold Burton, this case, combined with several other like cases, would be reversed by the Supreme Court in 1951 on the basis that the Attorney General had acted arbitrarily, without any showing in the trial court to support the assertion that the organizations in question were, in fact, communist. Justice Stanley Reed filed a dissenting opinion, joined by Chief Justice Fred Vinson and Justice Sherman Minton—to be appointed to the Court in October, 1949, following the death in September of Justice Wiley Rutledge. Justice Tom Clark, Attorney General at the time the assessments were made, took no part in the decision.

In Detroit, UAW workers at Ford Motor Co. voted overwhelmingly to strike if necessary to obtain a wage increase and a $100 per month pension plus health benefits which they were seeking. The union said it would pursue every reasonable course to settle the matter through collective bargaining.

In Portland, Ore., a young man, 22, led police to the body of a 15-year old girl who had been beaten, stabbed and hidden under a log pile near a Portland bridge. He said that she had resisted his advances and claimed that she would go to the police. She had been missing from her farm home since the previous Saturday. He was stopped by police on suspicion of driving a stolen car. He then voluntarily came forward with the story about killing the girl. He said that he had picked her up Friday morning and kept her all day and night before killing her. In her pocketbook was an invitation to Bible school.

In McCall, Idaho, despite 35 mph winds, a thousand men fighting a forest fire on the Salmon River were reported to be gaining in the battle. The fire had charred more than 5,000 acres.

In Gray Court, S.C., a man was being hunted by 1,000 men, women, and children, along with about 20 law enforcement officers, in connection with an alleged attempted rape of a sixteen-year old white girl. A $500 reward had been offered for the named black man.

In Hollywood, John Barrymore, Jr., 17, played his first role in a film, opposite Robert Preston and Robert Sterling.

In Charlotte, Donald MacDonald of The News tells of traveling along with the local Soap Box Derby winner, Max Evans, 15, heading off by airplane to Akron, Ohio, to participate in the national Derby. He found the plane ride smoother than his racing car.

In New York, Dr. Charles Pabst issued his annual ten rules by which to beat the heat. They are listed. Among them was to drink eight or more glasses of water with a pinch of salt in three of them, eat more fruits and vegetables, and cut down on alcohol consumption which increases vulnerability to sunstroke.

The piece concludes, "Okeh, girls, grab a glass and let's relax under that tree that grows in Brooklyn."

Dr. Pabst also recommends avoiding strenuous exertion. You sissy. The temperature, being 98.7 in New York, is precisely the time to run those miles in the park and shape up for the long winter ahead, Mister.

On the editorial page, "Unnecessary Roughness" tells of a man claiming to have been beaten up by three officers of the City Police, having sworn out warrants against them in the matter, the case having been set for trial August 19. The prisoner's account differed markedly from those of the officers, who claimed that the man was engaging in disorderly conduct at the scene of an accident. But the man had been badly beaten, both at the scene and at the police station, including suffering a dislocated shoulder. He was eventually charged with assaulting a police officer.

The piece finds that no matter what the man had done, it did not justify use of such force by the officers just because the man had cursed them, the apparently claimed cause initially of the need for restraint. The officers, it says, should not have used more force than necessary to defend themselves against assault.

Moreover, it continues, citizens thus treated should not have to hire an attorney and swear out warrants. The City Manager and Police Chief ought investigate and take the necessary action without reprisal to the complainant.

"Further Inquiry Needed" tells of the Forsyth County Commissioners clearing a physician who allegedly had been drinking while caring for patients at the Forsyth County Hospital. But the report hinted of a white-wash and suggested the need for a more impartial inquiry. The decision to clear the doctor was based on affidavits of three other physicians, seven hospital employees, a medical student, and the City-County health officer, as well as three patients. But the Commission refused to consider affidavits to the contrary, submitted by six nurses who had resigned in protest of the doctor's conduct. The two commissioners who made the findings believed that the nurses were striking out at the hospital management.

The report showed resentment of both Winston-Salem newspapers, the Journal and the Sentinel, for publishing the original complaints, saying that it represented a "reckless" abuse of freedom of press.

The piece finds that the Journal and Sentinel had not been "reckless" and had presented dignified and restrained accounts of the matter. Moreover, nurses were not prone to quit their jobs lightly. It recommends turning the matter over to the grand jury.

Just ask Miss Kitty, an impeccable source and font of integrity, what happened, and allow Marshal Dillon to resolve the matter once and for all.

"25 Years of Saturdays" tells of the Saturday Review of Literature celebrating its silver anniversary with a special edition, in which the editors looked back over the literary events of the previous 25 years.

It praises the magazine for its consistent quality in critiquing and analyzing not only literature but, of late, works of music as well-capped, and wishes it happy birthday.

"Herbert C. Hoover" praises the former President, 75, whose term had been quite unsuccessful, for having, since the war, conducted a survey of the European food situation, as he had after World War I, and, moreover, for his chairing the commission which studied and made recommendations on reorganization of the Government.

It was glad that he remained healthy and was contributing positively to the Government.

Mr. Hoover would live until 1964, dying just before the worst defeat for his party since the 1936 debacle between Governor Alf Landon and President Roosevelt. He had addressed the Republican convention that year one last time.

Arthur Krock of the New York Times discusses the agricultural program proposed by Agriculture Secretary Charles Brannan in terms of the account on Pericles contained in Bishop Thirlwall's History of Greece, as suggested by C. W. Dressler of the Johnstown (Pa.) Tribune. Aristotle related therein that Pericles had taken the advice of Damonides of Ola that he should make presents to the people from their own property. That, it seemed to Mr. Dressler, summed up the Brannan program of paying subsidies to the farmers on overproduced perishable commodities while keeping the consumer prices at real market value to keep food more affordable. There had been no attempt even to estimate the cost of the farm program.

The plan had been defeated in the House because the farm population agreed with the economy bloc in Congress that the plan was no good, that a realization had come about in the constituencies that higher taxes harmed everyone, and for the first time, the farm population had rebelled against Government regimentation which always accompanied support plans.

Yet the Periclean method showed no signs of being on the wane, remained popular generally in the body politic.

There were proposals pending to allow a trial run of the Brannan plan on certain commodities, but, he offers, most believed it was unlikely that the trial run would convince the Congress to expand it further.

Drew Pearson tells of Maj. General Lyman L. Lemnitzer, to become in 1960 chairman of the Joint Chiefs, having encountered tough going in his testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee regarding the military aid bill. He had been one of the principal authors of the 1.45 billion dollar proposal. He was deputy commandant of the National War College and chairman of the Foreign Assistance Coordinating Committee, in the latter position having played an important behind-the-scenes role in foreign policy. He began his statement to the Committee with a lot of technical talk about logistics, but was impatiently cut short by Representative James Fulton of Pennsylvania, who said the Committee members wanted instead to know how the arms program and its dollar figure had been developed. General Lemnitzer responded that the figure was arbitrary. He said that not all of the weaponry would be from surplus and that replacement of the weapons to be sent would increase the cost to 1.85 billion. He further said that Army intelligence had underestimated Russian military strength two years earlier and that considerable doubt existed as to the currency and accuracy of present information.

Mr. Fulton observed that there was a perception that the military was shaping foreign policy, and if so, it was not a good thing.

The previous month, Representative James Van Zandt had telephoned retired General Carl Spaatz and invited him to participate in the centennial celebration of Altoona, Pa., Mr. Van Zandt's hometown. General Spaatz said that he would try to attend, but more recently had informed that because of his now being a reporter and being forced to cover the hearing before the committee on which Mr. Van Zandt sat regarding the B-36 controversy, he could no longer attend. General Spaatz had been instrumental in the B-36 purchase and development during the war.

Madame Chiang Kai-Shek was still in the U.S. and was still urging that arms and money be sent to her husband's failing regime.

Although Congressman John Rankin was no longer a member of HUAC, he maintained contact with a staff investigator, Ben Mandel, who kept him apprised of the Committee's activities. Mr. Mandel was also a racist.

New head of the Brotherhood of Railway Trainmen, W. Park Kennedy, who had replaced deceased A. F. Whitney, told the President that he would continue the same aggressively liberal policies of his predecessor.

Robert C. Ruark tells of his favoring the T-shirt, the nylon shirt, the spinning fishing reel, and the Polaroid camera, as being adaptable easily to the "stupid man", not adept at gadgetry and mechanics.

He says that he never tied a trout fly, learned to cast a bass plug without backlash, was baffled by a Kodak Brownie No. 2, could not even run a toaster—well, pas de deux.

The new gadgets made all the formerly insurmountable tasks susceptible of being conducted with facility.

He had once been provided an $800 camera which he took to Morocco, was getting ready to photograph a magnificently picturesque scene of the Khalifa, the spiritual chief of all North African Mohammedans, during his weekly prayers, when, somehow, he turned the camera the wrong way, wound up with 35 color frames of his belt.

With the Polaroid, he could point and shoot without focusing or adjusting f-stops, and have a finished print in just one minute.

He admits that perhaps the fish he caught were not so big as those hooked by the experts, that his pictures were not up to the quality of Stieglitz, utilizing his Graflex, but, nevertheless, he caught fish and was able to capture pictures with ease, and could avoid sweat with his T-shirt and wear his nylon shirt wherever he wanted, even in the water. The others could go their own way.

Marquis Childs looks at the State Department's China "white paper" and the criticism of it since its release, finds that some degree of humility by the State Department was more in order, given the fall of China to the Communists. But also, much of the criticism missed the mark in seeking to lay the blame on absence of more aid and favoring yet provision of additional aid.

He tells of Maj. General David G. Barr having been sent to China to advise Chiang Kai-Shek at the beginning of 1948 and, after ten months, returning to relate that no amount of further aid would help the failing cause, that the only remedy would be direct and full military intervention by the U.S., something which he advised against. He therefore recommended that the U.S. military mission, which was in an advisory role only, be completely withdrawn.

Despite this advice from a completely detached observer, Representative John Davis Lodge of Connecticut, Representative Francis Walter of Pennsylvania, and Senator William Knowland of California wanted to earmark for China between 175 and 200 million dollars of the President's military aid package. Mr. Childs thinks that they ought be asked whether they would approve sending troops, in all likelihood to answer in the negative.

But that was the only remedy left beyond perhaps building up other Asiatic allies militarily, especially India, where there was a genuine Communist threat. Or, he adds, reinforcing Formosa might work. But sending good money after bad would not.

The Memphis Commercial Appeal tells of a man in Memphis using the Tom Sawyer technique, regarding attraction of the neighborhood children to the task of painting the fence, in this case, mowing his lawn, by telling them that he doubted that they could ever learn to operate the mower.

Next, he would, no doubt, have them plumb his house and install a secret recording system to assure that no one would take advantage of him.

We wonder, again, who is rigging the RealClearPolitics average at times. The average was at 7.7 points in favor of Secretary Clinton yesterday, and without any new poll having been released in the interim, it has been dropped to 6.3 points in favor of Secretary Clinton early this date. Why? Because the string-puller who determines which polls to average decided, mercurially, to truncate the list of averaged polls again, quite arbitrarily, from 10 to only 6, favoring thereby the Republican. Who is paying your bills? Republicans? The Republican nominee? We are seriously inquiring, as this is not the first instance of this happening, and it appears always to favor the Republican nominee when it does occur.

It may not matter much now, but it will matter more by October, should this artificial telescoping of the polls continue for the sake of one candidate or the other. Even now, however, variance suggests public reaction to various events in a given time period and so does have some impact on perception, not only by the public but also within the campaigns, themselves.

Either include all of the separate polls which have been released within at least the previous 15 days or stop averaging them and thereby misleading, deliberately, the press and the public. Press affiliates often use the RCP average in their reporting and therefore there is a public responsibility to report it accurately.

We caution, therefore, news organizations who rely too much on the RCP average not to do so, but to take a quick gander at the overall list of polls they publish below the line of those averaged and factor in all of the recent unique polls to render a true average. Doing so this date for polls of the last two weeks, inclusive of thirteen polls on the list, back to the PPP poll of July 29-30, renders an average of 7.7, not 6.3. Adding the Monmouth University poll, showing a 14 point lead for Secretary Clinton, released this week on August 8 but not included at all in the RCP list, causes the average to rise to 8.1.

Eliminating the rather meaningless and plainly aberrant Los Angeles Times-USC survey of the same 3,000 people every week, not a true randomly sampled poll, the average is 8.3, without Monmouth, and 8.7, with it. (We are aware, incidentally, that the survey is based on the same methodology as the RAND survey of 2012, which, in its last poll, predicted the final result within about a point for each candidate, but utilizing the same methodology does not mean utilizing the same sample and it is the original sample, in this case, which is not representative of reality.)

Accurate reporting in an election year is especially important to democracy. Pay more attention to that than illegally obtained e-mails, hacked from our Government and the Democratic National Committee, apparently by the Russians for the sake of influencing the election, and you, the media, especially the broadcast media, by whom many smaller print media outlets are driven, will indeed improve your collective image with the public, not held these days in very high esteem, it would seem.

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