The Charlotte News

Thursday, August 25, 1949


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the Senate Investigating subcommittee, examining influence peddling in procurement of Army contracts, produced a memo from Maj. General Harry Vaughan which stated that the President was "personally interested" in a trip by John Maragon to Italy in August, 1945 for the Verley Perfume Co., and that General Vaughan had indicated at the time that the President gave his authorization for the trip, which was accomplished via military transport plane. General Vaughan had authorized a trip to Europe in May, 1945 by David Bennett, president of Verley. Three other representatives of Verley, including Mr. Maragon, had made trips to Europe via military transports in July, 1945, on the return leg of which Mr. Maragon was stopped by customs agents and found to be attempting to smuggle perfume into the country without paying customs duties, later settled by Mr. Maragon for $1,500, including $1,145 in penalties. The trips were made when space on military transports was at a premium because of the many wounded veterans returning to the country.

Senator Karl Mundt stated that he believed that the President probably had no knowledge of what General Vaughan had been doing in this regard.

Cedric Worth, the suspended Navy official who had drafted the memo which led to the investigation of the B-36, acknowledged to the House Armed Services Committee that there was confidential information in the memo when he gave it to aircraft manufacturer Glenn Martin without knowing whether the latter was entitled to receive classified information. The counsel for the Committee said that the performance specifications for the B-36 included in the memo, which had now been seen by many, could help an enemy. The memo had linked Floyd Odlum, head of the corporation which controlled Consolidated Vultee, recipient of the contract to build the B-36, with political favoritism and called him "unscrupulous". Mr. Worth said that he obtained part of the information in the document from Mr. Martin, a competitor of Consolidated Vultee.

In Chungking, Chiang Kai-Shek appealed to Nationalists in China to fight to the finish against the Communists. Canton was threatened, however, and Chungking was stated to be the new capital. Chiang claimed that the Communist morale was declining and their political position, weakening.

The House reversed itself, striking down a civil rights provision of the housing mortgage insurance bill, previously approved by voice vote. When debate over inclusion of the civil rights provision, banning segregated housing from that aided by the bill, threatened its passage, the amendment to strike it was offered to resolve the impasse. Another provision, offering direct loans to veterans, was also eliminated. The bill, providing for 3.75 billion dollars in mortgage insurance for low-cost housing, was separate from that already passed and signed into law which provided for construction of 810,000 low-cost housing units over a period of six years.

House Speaker Sam Rayburn said that the House would adjourn the next day until September 21, regardless of the Senate's refusal to approve adjournment. He said that the Senate's action marked the first time in history of which he was aware that one house refused to go along with a planned adjournment by the other. Because of the Constitution's prohibition of one house adjourning for more than three days without the consent of the other, the House would technically remain in session, but no business would be transacted. The House membership was particularly angered by the Senate's action for the fact that the House had been working on legislation while the Senate earlier in the year took holidays and filibustered civil rights.

The President, speaking before a DNC dinner, invited Dixiecrats back into the fold of the Democratic Party, provided they got behind the Democratic platform. The invitation was issued a few hours after the DNC eliminated five Dixiecrat representatives from its membership. The President said that the party was national, not sectional, and that the "tail no longer wags the dog." He said that he was proud that he had won the 1948 election without New York, the solid South, or the industrial East. But he wanted all of those areas to join to move the country forward.

Sixty-seven years on, the Republicans, who absorbed most of the Dixiecrats during the 1960's and 70's, need to adopt the same approach if they are to regain any semblance of respect from the broad base of the country, rejecting wholesale their presidential nominee's campaign in 2016, built on bigotry and the long-discredited nationalistic notion of "America First", echoing the cry of the 1930's and earlier which led to unpreparedness for World War II and which, together with worldwide depression arising from laissez-faire economic theory, a concomitant of nationalism, enabled Hitler and Tojo to muster the collective will among their brainwashed peoples to start that war. Oddly enough, however, in accordance with Newton's Third Law of Dynamics, the Republican nominee has exerted such strong negative force on the country as to unify Democrats in an equal and opposite direction, as few past elections have. So perhaps, after all, there may come some good from the most tawdry and divisive presidential campaign in modern history, if not the entire history of the country.

Former Judge Leander Perez of New Orleans, in charge of the Dixiecrat bureau, denounced the President's invitation as contrary to "Jeffersonian principles of real Democrats." He said that they would meet the President halfway, but no more, meaning that if the President would adopt "Jeffersonian principles", they would return to the party.

Leander, like Connie Donny, had to meander down 'ere every now and then to gander on the Klander, the source of his gerrymandered political power and, consequently, the focus of his pandering.

Lycurgus Spinks of Thomasville, Ala., was named Imperial Emperor of a new Klan group, the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan of America, which was claimed to have 265,000 members across six states. It did not include the Georgia Klans or the Federated Klan out of Alabama.

Lycurgus, in his photograph, looks triangular.

In Batesville, Miss., two of five escaped convicts from Parchman Farm remained at large after the recapture of three of them.

In New York, Federal District Court Judge Harold Medina denied a motion for mistrial by counsel for the eleven top American Communists on trial under the Smith Act. The motion was based on the alleged improper behavior of one juror, Russell Janney, author of the best-seller The Miracle of the Bells. The defense claimed that he had demonstrated bias in private conversations with actress Carole Nathanson, a.k.a. Carol Nason.

Near Grand Rapids, Minn., a man vacationing with his family claimed in a suicide note to have had a nightmare about an axe murder, after discussing with his wife the case of the Washington execution recently of an axe murderer, then awakened and took an axe from the wood box in the cabin where they were staying and struck his wife once in the head, then strangled her. He then took poison and died. The couple's teenage son discovered the bodies the next morning.

Governor Kerr Scott of North Carolina promised a hands-off approach to both the North Carolina Senate race of Clyde Hoey and the General Assembly races in 1950, but he said that he would actively support his 1949 Senate appointee, Frank Graham, for re-election in the special election in 1950.

In Osceola, Wis., a cow had become trapped inside a silo after squeezing through a 30 by 20-inch hatchway. Snoopy had been eating corn in the field when the farmer who owned the cow chased it to the barn, but the cow kept going and headed for the silo entrance. The cow then fell twelve feet below ground level but was unhurt. The farmer decided to begin harvesting his corn crop right away to fill the silo so that the cow could be extracted. Snoopy would be muzzled and served only water in the meantime.

They will probably want to consult the people of Yukon, Oklahoma, regarding Grady the cow getting stuck in a silo there in February, and how they, after attracting national attention also, got the cow out with some grease. The phenomenon of the cows, replete with names, jumping into the silo oddly seemed to be developing into a new fad in 1949. Or was it a symptom? A sign of end-times imminent, as the cows on the animal farm foresaw the location of storage of the missiles freighted with nuclear warheads, and sought to warn their owners of the impending disaster hidden deep within the recondite recesses of the corn-hog ratio.

South Florida was placed on alert for a new hurricane, 480 miles east-southeast of Miami, with 85 mph sustained winds.

"Harry's Hurricane" was now 600 miles east of Atlantic City and 400 miles southeast of Cape Cod.

On the editorial page, "Whither Now?" finds the DNC to have acted appropriately in cutting from their membership the Dixiecrats who had supported Governor Strom Thurmond's Dixiecrat candidacy in 1948 and not the President. The effort had been a political double-cross, an unforgivable sin in politics.

The question was where the Dixiecrats would go from this point and they did not seem to have an answer. The movement was born of reaction and anger, aimed at defeating the Democratic national ticket while hypocritically claiming allegiance to the state and local Democratic Party organizations.

At best, the Dixiecrats could hope to win a few Senate and House seats and then act as a coalition party with either the Republicans or Democrats, but, in the end, could have little impact on legislation, less so than the Southern Democrats as a bloc in Congress.

It suggests that there was room for a second party in the South and room for discussion of states' rights, but that nothing could be accomplished by a third party. The Dixiecrats would be better off by making up with the Democrats or joining the Republicans. The label should not matter as a Dixiecrat, no matter what they were called, was a Dixiecrat—a term coined, incidentally, the previous year at The News.

"A Word of Advice" comments on the piece on the page by Dick Young, Jr., of The News, explaining the effort to keep dry counties free of imported bootleg liquor purchased legally in other states, such as Maryland and Illinois. Maryland had enacted a law to prevent such purchases for sale in another state. While Maryland was to be commended, the real problem was that the dry counties of the state did not want to remain dry and so tolerated such importation of illegal liquor for sale by bootleggers.

"Pork-Barrel Measure" finds thus a measure sponsored by Congressman John Rankin, chairman of the Veterans Committee, making mandatory an expenditure of 237 million dollars for 16,000 veterans' hospital beds, cut by the President under his discretionary spending authority.

The piece insists that while it was possible that the V.A. was wrong in asserting that the beds were not needed, and while many areas, including Charlotte, which lost a prospective project, would like to have the hospitals, there was no room for pork-barrel spending of such money for unneeded facilities.

"Ciberneticists Take Note" tells of "cibernetics" being the new word coined to refer to "thinking machines" as Binac, the world's second computer. Cibernetics would become as important as atomic science, according to observers of the science world.

But there was no mention of what was to be gained from watching two computers play chess with one another, as J. Presper Eckert, Jr., the co-inventor of Binac and its predecessor Eniac, had said the third generation computer, Univac, would be able to do. The piece was certain, however, that the music Univac might produce would be better than that of Tin Pan Alley.

Czechoslovakian Karel Capek had first used the term "robot" in his play R.U.R, published in 1920. It was fantastic then, as was a thinking machine. But it had become a reality in 1949.

The piece wants Mr. Eckert to explain next what to do with all the consequent spare time which the computers and robots would allow mankind.

That has been resolved. One just goes out and buys an expensive microphone and camera or two, utilizes software to create an impressive looking backdrop, and starts an internet opinion show.

Dick Young of The News, as indicated by the above editorial, describes the effort to keep dry counties in the state free from bootleg liquor imported from wet states. The State ABC chairman, R. W. Winston, had done a good job in doing so, but the problem remained that most dry counties tolerated bootlegging as they did not really want to be dry.

Robert S. Allen, substituting for vacationing Drew Pearson, tells of the leftist unions of the CIO calling a meeting for August 30 in New York to proclaim a bolt from the CIO to form their own new labor organization. The move was in reaction to CIO stepping up its campaign to rid itself of Communist-aligned unions. The ILWU, headed by Harry Bridges, was not among the unions involved in the bolt. But Mr. Bridges had taken a leading role in calling the meeting and was the first choice to head the proposed new organization. Meanwhile, CIO was planning to make a clean break from the leftist unions when it held its Cleveland convention.

Representative Frank Boykin of Alabama was introduced to the Miss America entrant from Arkansas and told her that she was so beautiful that she must have come from heaven, not Arkansas.

Indicted former HUAC chairman, Congressman J. Parnell Thomas, in Walter Reed Army Hospital for two major operations and medical care for two months at taxpayer expense, had been released recently. It was tradition for members of Congress to provide some money to the attendants in appreciation for the care. Mr. Thomas instead gave autographed admission cards to the visitors' gallery of the House—which was closed for renovations for the remainder of the year.

The FTC's six commissioners, with one exception, were in a state of limbo, awaiting, in one case, confirmation, in another, ill, or, in the others, uncertain of whether they would be reappointed.

The two-month slowdown in coal production called for by John L. Lewis to avoid a strike and accepted by the coal companies in July, had not caused any pronounced effect on industry thus far. Stockpiles had been reduced. But the only group thus far impacted were the coal mine operators, especially in West Virginia. Difficulties were anticipated, however, when cold weather arrived.

John Quincy Adams had received more than 50 wigs while President, a favorite gift in the early nineteenth century.

The U.S. had spent more than 72 billion dollars in foreign aid and loans since 1939, three times the national debt in 1932.

Senate Majority Leader Scott Lucas was certain that his opponent for the seat in 1950 would be former Congressman Everett Dirksen—who would win the race.

Stewart Alsop continues his piece on Southeast Asia from the preceding day, suggesting the solutions to the dilemma facing the West, with Communism sweeping China and the south, around Canton, being the last Nationalist redoubt for its tough terrain.

V. M. Molotov was in charge of the Soviet move into Asia. The U.S. had no counterpart, but needed one, with supreme authority to regulate trade and the money to spend as needed. The British had appointed Malcolm MacDonald as high commissioner for Southeast Asia.

The Molotov-Mao Tse-Tung strategy was to link through south China with the Communist guerrillas in Indo-China and Burma, the keys to Southeast Asia. If those nations were to fall to the Communists, then so would the rest of the region, including Indonesia and Malaya.

What was needed in southern China, he offers, was an "unpublic, realistic, clandestine effort" to support the remaining centers of resistance as delay against the inevitable Communist takeover. In so handling matters, the U.S. would not be publicly committed to the failing Nationalist effort.

The West had to exploit the need of Communist China to trade with the West rather than having the Communists dictate trade terms. An economic blockade, coordinated with the British, could prove effective in this regard, strictly regulating trade with Communist China through a high commissioner.

The conviction was growing that the U.S. had written off China and all of Asia, a perception which played into the hands of Molotov. Asia had to be convinced that the U.S. had no imperialist ambition and that it would not allow Soviet imperialism to rule in the region.

Marquis Childs discusses a U.N. meeting, long delayed, to discuss food production and conservation, in an attempt to overcome the problem of plenty in some parts of the world, notably in the U.S., while other portions starved, and how to balance these factors without destroying surplus.

Sir Herbert Broadley, deputy director of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, had told of the estimated supply of foodstuffs having been five percent above the average output before the war and ten percent above the output in 1948. Yet, it still remained behind what was needed to conquer starvation, for the population of the world had increased by 20 million per postwar year. Shortly after the war, a group of experts figured out that the need for food in 1960 would include 60 million more tons of wheat, 30 million more tons of meat, 250 million more tons of fruit and vegetables, and 35 billion more gallons of milk, all a daunting task to produce.

One school of thought had it that starvation in the world was inevitable and even desirable, to keep down overpopulation. FAO rejected this callous position. Mr. Broadley warned that underfed populations were always susceptible to desperate measures, including war, as solutions to their problems. And another war would harm the supplies of even the "have" nations, making hunger and pestilence inevitable over greater areas of the world.

FAO had only a small budget, a fraction of the 44 million dollar proposed budget for the U.N. in 1950. It proposed simple changes such as a shift from the sickle to the scythe as a farm implement, to increase the grain harvest in Eastern Europe and the Middle East.

The Brannan agriculture plan had the advantage of using Government subsidies on perishable produce to keep farm prices high while market prices to consumers remained low on overproduced commodities, thus preventing the spoilage and destruction of the commodities while stored in warehouses at Government expense. It might not be a solution to the dilemma of overproduction and under-consumption, but it was an attempt at least to ameliorate the problem.

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