The Charlotte News

Friday, August 19, 1949


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin claimed that Senate investigators were getting information on Maj. General Harry Vaughan's relationship to "five percenters" from sources "very close" to the President and to General Vaughan. The Senate Investigating subcommittee was looking into "five percenters" accused of receiving fees on Government contracts arranged through influence-peddling. Senator Karl Mundt said that testimony received during the week had begun to disclose the motive for a perfume company in 1945 giving five freezers to General Vaughan which he had then given as gifts in 1945-46 to First Lady Bess Truman, Supreme Court Chief Justice Fred Vinson, then Secretary of the Treasury, present Secretary of the Treasury John W. Snyder and two others. Senator Mundt said that a trip had been arranged into Paris to obtain perfume, almost on the heels of entry by the liberators, for three persons, including John Maragon, operating for the perfume company in question. Mr. Maragon then had been caught by customs officials trying to smuggle a valuable amount of French perfume essence, disguised as four bottles of champagne, into the country without paying customs duties. Yet, according to counsel for the subcommittee, future Attorney General and Secretary of State William P. Rogers, Mr. Maragon had not been prosecuted.

The Senate took up the foreign aid bill which had been slashed in half in the House, insofar as the portion allocated to the Western European members of NATO, with the contingency that the remainder would be allocated in 1950-51, provided the nations showed cooperation in using the money to bring about peace. The House voted to allot the full amount sought for Turkey and Greece in furtherance of the Truman Doctrine, as well as the full amount sought by the President for Iran, Korea and the Philippines. It refused to approve military aid to China or Southeast Asia, as well as other amendments, all opposed by the Administration. That 35 members were absent for the vote and that 71 Northern Democrats who normally supported the President's foreign policy voted for the amendment to halve the amount allocated for the 1949-50 fiscal year resulted in its passage in the House.

In Buffalo, N.Y., 600 to 1,000 UAW demonstrators paraded through a strike-bound Bell Aircraft Co. plant and, according to Bell officials, then engaged in violence, severely beating six employees. The company had sought to resume production on August 11 despite the strike. The UAW claimed that the group was present to determine the accuracy of Bell's claims regarding the number of employees who had returned to work and said that there were no injuries or scuffles during the inspection tour. The number who had returned to work had been small, and there were about 1,300 employees present at the time of the demonstration.

In Kemi, Finland, the Government moved swiftly to end the Communist offensive among 1,500 striking lumberjacks against the police, arresting Red leaders, leaving one dead and nine injured. Among the arrested was the chairman of the Kemi City Council, one of the leaders in the previous day's strike call. The strikers announced a meeting for this night, defying a ban against all public gatherings issued by the governor of the province.

It was estimated that the strike had spread to 45,000 workers across Finland, but in most places, anti-Communists were refusing to strike. Plumbers had begun their strike this date, 100 percent effective. The forestry workers and loggers had also begun their strike, but it was not expected to be completely effective as several locals had voted not to participate.

The F.C.C. placed new strictures on radio and television contests, prohibiting the advertising of contests giving away prizes based on lot or chance on penalty of loss of the broadcaster's license. Three of the seven-member commission were absent and one had dissented. The president of the National Association of Broadcasters questioned whether the Commission had the authority to issue such a ruling and said that programs of the type classified as lotteries were not illegal. "Pot of Gold" had been one of the early such programs, but Ralph Edwards had been credited with starting the trend in radio with the "Mr. Hush" contest on "Truth or Consequences" in December, 1945. The ABC network program "Stop the Music" had been the first regular show devoted to contests, awarding prizes worth up to $35,000. "Sing It Again" and "Hit the Jackpot" were other such shows.

Housing Expediter Tighe Woods predicted another cutback in rent controls because of a slash in his agency's budget, necessitating cuts in staff from 5,600 to 3,000, preventing full enforcement of regulations.

In Manchester, England, a British European Airways plane en route to Belfast crashed into a hill in a thick mist, exploded and burned, taking the lives of 27 of its 32 occupants.

In Chicago, a young woman admitted killing her six-day old daughter by strangulation with a diaper, after first a accusing a black prowler of the deed, running through the apartment house screaming the accusation. She had only just arrived home a few hours earlier from the hospital after giving birth to the infant. The woman said that she was depressed that her husband had lost his job as a dock worker two weeks earlier causing there to be no money coming into the household. Her husband said that he was on a year of probation for theft of a pen and pencil from the mail while he had been employed as a mail carrier and had held several jobs during recent months.

In New York, a mute boy, 8, was thought to be locked in an automobile trunk after disappearing the previous day. It was believed that he had crawled into the trunk of a car with a District of Columbia license tag of unknown number.

If he knocks, can we hear him?

In Birmingham, Ala., a twice-married, pregnant 16-year old housewife was jailed for allegedly murdering her husband, 29, after a domestic quarrel. She wept and prayed for her husband's recovery. She had shot him through the neck. The girl's mother said that the deceased had arrived home waving a gun around and threatening the girl with it. The couple had been married for two years.

In Atlanta, Klan Imperial Wizard Dr. Samuel Green, a physician, died of a heart attack at age 59. He had been a Klansman for 31 years, but the family had asked that the fact be omitted from his obituary.

He was really more of a dentist.

Hodding Carter, editor and publisher of the Greenville, Miss., Delta Democrat-Times, spoke at his alma mater, Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Me., demanding recognition of a resurgent South and its political impetus behind the civil rights package. The South, he said, was being remade by farm mechanization, movement of industry and the exodus of blacks. He said that he was not a Dixiecrat but believed that they had been on firm ground in asserting division between state and Federal powers and responsibilities. Mr. Carter had won a Pulitzer Prize in 1946 for his editorials on racial tolerance.

In Charlotte, the County Recorder found two police officers not guilty of assaulting a man who claimed they had brutally beaten him after arresting him for disorderly conduct. The officers did not deny hitting him after the arrest following a traffic accident in which the man was a passenger, but claimed they used only the requisite force necessary to subdue him. The complainant, who had served a previous sentence in 1935 in a State prison camp for larceny and 18 months in a Federal prison in 1938 on a bootleg liquor conviction, charged that five officers beat him with blackjacks, fists, and a nightstick.

At Prestwick, Scotland, Mrs. Richard Morrow-Tait returned to Prestwick Airport from Iceland after a round the world journey by air taking one year, with one leg left, to Croydon Airport in London, where the journey had begun. It would be the first single-engine round-the-world flight by a woman to the point where the flight began.

A little more quickly, next time.

On the editorial page, "Unity and Stability in Textiles" tells of the board of governors of the American Cotton Manufacturing Association getting ready to hold a special session in Charlotte the following Tuesday to consider whether to merge with the Cotton-Textile Institute.

You don't want to miss that. Your unawares may depend on it.

"Nice Weather We're Having, Isn't It?" tells of the drought and unrelenting heat of the summer being doused only by intermittent showers, leaving the land muggy. But the weatherman, living by averages, would come up with a statistical mean which suggested the fair weather and violets of April. So, too, had the Chamber of Commerce, to promote tourism.

"Tar Heel Firemen's New President" congratulates Chief Donald S. Charles of the Charlotte Fire Department, a veteran "smoke eater", for his elevation to the presidency of the North Carolina Firemen's Association. His predecessor as Chief, retired Hendrix Palmer, had also been president of the Association.

Fire fighting had advanced a long way from the earlier days of volunteer fire brigades, was now a science of drilled precision.

A piece from the Baltimore Evening Sun, titled "4,500 Feet Down", tells of Otis Barton's record dive in the Benthoscope diving apparatus, resemblant to an oversized, 7,000-lb. washing machine. The depth reached was "full fathom five" times 150, 1,500 feet better than Mr. Barton's record dive in 1934, aboard the Bathysphere. After the power went out at 4,100 feet, ending the availability of lighting, it was deemed superfluous to try to go to the planned depth of 6,000 feet as no further photography could take place.

It finds the dive to the depths of the sea as remarkable and probably more interesting and illuminating than soaring into the stratosphere. There was more company down there among the strange, newly observed sea creatures than in the high altitudes.

Robert S. Allen, substituting for vacationing Drew Pearson, tells of an unnamed high U.S. official returning from the Middle East conveying his singular impression that the power and prestige of the U.S. stood out as a beacon, even amid the political chaos of the region.

The Shah, after an attempted assassination, had imposed strict martial law a few months earlier, including suppression of a free press and trial of editors deemed subversive, even as far back as twenty years earlier. Only six had been convicted.

Then U.S. Ambassador to Iran, John Wiley, sent a package of cigarettes to each of the six editors, each package containing his card with nothing written on it. It was done openly, with knowledge of the prison officials, who then communicated the action to the Shah, who quickly got the message and pardoned the six editors.

He notes that the Iranian Ambassador to the U.S. was hostile to Mr. Wiley and repeatedly had sought to undermine his efforts at sending to the State Department reports on the situation in Iran.

The proposed merger between Amvets and AVC had gotten nowhere because the Amvets were much more conservative and the organization stood to gain financially from absorbing the 35,000 dues-paying members of AVC.

Senator Kenneth Wherry had told a British reporter that the only reason Chancellor of the Exchequer Sir Stafford Cripps was coming to the U.S. was to promote a new loan for Britain, said he would gladly see him if he were coming to loan the U.S. money. When the reporter asked if he could be quoted, Mr. Wherry said that he could, then telling a friend he could not lose votes in England.

Congressman Clarence Cannon of Missouri, a fiscal conservative, had remained steadfast in vowing to block a 590 million dollar harbors and rivers rider to the Army civil functions bill, because it represented an expenditure by the Army Corps of Engineers, with an active Congressional lobby, in certain states, thus backed by three Senators whose states would most benefit, each of whom, under other circumstances, were also economy-minded.

The Navy had issued a pamphlet titled "Feel Alive" to urge officers to trim down.

Senator Frank Graham of North Carolina had made a favorable impression at Senate prayer breakfasts each Wednesday morning with his discussions of ethics, religion, and philosophy.

Subversive... He must be stopped, Mr. Helms.

Marquis Childs tells of the decision finally having been made to grant a license for Yugoslavia to purchase a steel rolling mill from the U.S., affirming the policy to extend help to Marshal Tito to enable Yugoslavia to maintain independence against Russia. The State Department had no illusions the while about Tito as anything other than a Communist, but his willingness to depart from the Cominform, an irreconcilable departure, made him a valuable asset in the region of otherwise Soviet satellites.

Nevertheless, Yugoslav nationals in exile in the U.S. brushed aside the distinction between Tito's version of Communism and that of Russia. They hoped for military intervention in Yugoslavia by the U.S.

Defense Secretary Louis Johnson had been opposed prior to Pearl Harbor to sending any scrap iron or oil to Japan as he knew that the country was preparing for war against the U.S. But supporters of the Yugoslav policy pointed to the distinction that selling the steel rolling mill was a calculated risk taken in the interests of peace.

Yugoslavia would pay for the mill with shipments of minerals, some of which were essential and in short supply in the U.S.

Russia had recalled its Ambassador to Yugoslavia, suggesting an impending break in diplomatic relations, albeit denied by Russia. But the rumor persisted that there would be such a break, followed by that of the satellites as well. That would leave Yugoslavia dependent on the West for economic progress.

James Marlow reviews the various plans under which the Western world was teaming up against Communist aggression, the Marshall Plan, NATO, the military aid for NATO nations of Western Europe, and the Council of Europe, the latter comprised of thirteen nations which debated and made recommendations regarding political, cultural, and some economic matters, leaving defense issues to NATO.

Various resolutions had been introduced in Congress urging formation of a federation of nations, from the Western nations forming a union much as the U.S. to a union of all nations comprising the U.N. No action, he suggests, could be expected in the current session, but hearings might begin the following January.

More editorial homage is provided for former News publisher W. C. Dowd, Jr., who had died the previous Saturday night of a heart attack at age 55.

The Gastonia Gazette says that he had been held in high esteem by his fellow publishers around the state, regarded as friendly, possessed of a keen sense of humor and personality, thoroughly likable and one of the state's finest citizens.

The Kinston Daily Free Press regards him as having been an "able, congenial fellow."

The Durham Morning Herald says that he had been born with "printer's ink on his fingers, and the music of the rolling press in the background of all of his thinking."

The Statesville Daily Record says that his knowing the mechanics of newspapering well had enabled him to make The News preeminent in the state among afternoon dailies, when the economic storm of the Depression years had swept under almost every competitor, forcing the afternoon papers in Greensboro, Winston-Salem, and Durham to merge with their more robust morning competitors. Any newspaper which dragged its feet in a community was, Mr. Dowd believed, unworthy of the name.

Having been in life able to take an assignment with the best, he had passed on, it suggests, to take, perhaps, "the best assignment."

Is it better than covering the circus parade?

A Quote of the Day: "We like the story of a politician who was asked by a reporter if he felt that he ever had influenced public opinion and replied: 'No, public opinion is something like a mule I once owned. In order to keep up the appearance of being the driver, I had to watch the way he was going and follow closely.'" —Tifton (Ga.) Gazette

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