The Charlotte News

Saturday, August 27, 1949


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Senator Clyde Hoey of North Carolina, chairman of the Senate Investigating subcommittee probing influence peddling in procurement of Government contracts, stated that the subcommittee was looking at the bank accounts of Maj. General Harry Vaughan, the President's military aide, and that with the exception of the General, adverse testimony regarding any Government officials would be provided to their superiors and the Justice Department for evaluation. In the case of General Vaughan, the subcommittee would only send the matter along if the President requested it.

Senator Hoey also said that the facts regarding contract arranger John Maragon had been turned over to Justice, with the implication that it pertained to whether he had committed perjury before the subcommittee or was involved in tax evasion, after saying he had not received fees for his efforts in procuring for friends Government contracts while bank records showed he had made $120,000 in deposits over a five-year period against tax records showing income of $30,000 for the same duration. Senator Karl Mundt of the subcommittee had called it "a clear-cut case of perjury." Mr. Maragon, the previous day, had asserted his Fifth Amendment privilege not to testify against himself, whereas he had testified in executive session on July 28.

The hurricane which hit the east coast of Florida this date had left one person dead, at least 500 homeless and property damage in the millions within the state's citrus and tourists areas, along a 120-mile stretch of the "Gold Coast" from Hollywood to Vero Beach, with winds reaching 150 mph. It was presently crossing the Gulf toward the Tallahassee area, picking up speed as it went, after subsiding somewhat over land, with winds down to 60-70 mph. It had cut a broad swath, pounding the Florida east coast and the Lake Okeechobee areas, then cut across to the area above Tampa in Pasco County on the Gulf side of the state.

The highest winds ever recorded in Florida were in 1947 at Hillsboro Light, posting speeds of 155 mph.

Several Florida communities and the storm's impact on them are listed, with heavy property damage reported in each.

James F. Fowler of the Associated Press provides his first-hand account of witnessing the hurricane's wrath and its 110 mph winds take their toll, from his vantage points in both the Palm Beach Biltmore Hotel in Palm Beach and the George Washington Hotel in neighboring West Palm Beach, whipping up 40-foot waves and hurtling debris hurly-burly. Oldtimers compared the storm to the notoriously deadly and destructive hurricane of 1928.

Doctors aboard the storm-delayed liner Parthia, with a polio victim aboard in need of treatment, said that the outlook was good for the college student. A polio specialist and an iron lung had been transported to the liner in the mid-Atlantic by the Coast Guard the previous day. The student had been stricken during the voyage. The liner was scheduled to reach New York later this date, where an ambulance would be waiting.

B. F. Goodrich United Rubber Workers, numbering some 17,000, struck in seven states, starting a fourth round of wage disputes among CIO workers. The other three major rubber companies, Goodyear, Firestone, and General Tire & Rubber, had contracts which ran through year's end.

Goodrich probably would be taking some prophylactic measures to avoid the worst impact of the strike.

In Raleigh, N.C. Speaker of the House K. C. Ramsey said that the General Assembly had never been intended as a "rubber stamp" for the Governor, and thus Governor Kerr Scott's recent criticism of Mr. Ramsey for not ramming through his legislative program during the 1949 biennial session had been misplaced.

The Wilson, N.C., Chamber of Commerce invited the surviving Union veterans of the Civil War to hold their final encampment at Wilson in 1950, in an effort to show that nobody remained mad.

The soldiers may not have been mad anymore, as evidenced by the display of good will at the 75th anniversary reunion in 1938 when the Eternal Light of Peace was lit by FDR at Gettysburg, but their grandsons and great-grandsons, the granddaughters and great-granddaughters remained, in some cases, for want of actual memory and understanding of that war and its horrors, as crazy as stupid, little bedbugs.

Twenty-three Senators had requested that the Post Office print a stamp to honor Confederate veterans immediately after the issuance of one planned to honor Union veterans.

How about just one stamp, which says U.S.? We cannot be the U.S. of R.E.L. There is enough product of that style of thinking already buried in the ground at Arlington.

On the editorial page, "The Great Fiasco" finds the admissions of Cedric Worth, the special assistant to the Undersecretary of the Navy, regarding his drafting of a memo which set in motion the investigation into the B-36 and whether there had been improper influence exerted to make it the mainstay of strategic long-range bombing capability so as to benefit its contractor Consolidated Vultee, turning out to be groundless charges, to indicate how far men would go to sacrifice integrity when it served their own purposes, in this case, the contest between the Navy and Air Force over which branch would control air power and strategic bombing capability.

The Committee, including Representative James Van Zandt who launched the investigation, voted unanimously to clear the Air Force of all taint. The Navy was also conducting a full inquiry into its role in the matter. And the House Armed Services Committee continued to investigate to determine whether Mr. Worth was covering for someone else.

While the investigation had done some good, the piece hopes that the lesson would be driven home that no one should be required to prove their innocence of charges produced by suspicion before Congressional committees. "That is too great a burden for any man, in public service or out."

But the investigation had also strengthened the nation's confidence in its defense management while warning again that the country lived in an age of suspicion when the flimsiest charges could impugn the integrity of the most respected government officials, in this case, Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson, deceased former Secretary James Forrestal, former Secretary of State George Marshall, and former chief of staff of the Air Force, General Carl Spaatz.

The present Republican jokers in Congress, no longer worthy of their seats, could take heed of this lesson and use it to good advantage but for the fact that it is already too late, as most of these losers will be defeated in November for their disreputable and outrageous conduct in this worst of all Congresses, even worse than the 80th. Even that one was not hijacked completely by the worst and most reactionary elements of the country.

"Good News, If True" quotes from a memorandum to investors from Merrill Lynch, indicating that a new atmosphere of "quiet friendship" from Washington had replaced the "suspicious tolerance and open hostility of yesterday" under the New Deal. It was a change from only months earlier when there was talk of nationalization of the steel industry. It cited quoted statements from Administration economic officials to support its conclusion.

If the noted change appeared true, the piece suggests, it would be welcome, as the main deterrents to investment were an unfriendly Government attitude and an unfavorable tax structure. It thus suggests also making taxes more investor friendly, presumably by eliminating double taxation on dividends and adjusting capital gains rates downward toward ordinary income rates.

But that is just social welfare for the wealthy, at the expense of poverty and social programs, more of the old, failed Hooverian trickle-down economics, not stopping to factor in the oldest of mind tricks, greed—the more one gets, the more one wants, interrupting the "trickle-down".

"Lesson in Self-Help" tells of The Rotarian informing of the efforts of poverty-ridden Puerto Rico to struggle for economic self-sufficiency and its lessons for other underdeveloped areas of the world. Its basic problem was overpopulation, 2.2 million people living off less than one million acres of arable land, mainly devoted to sugar, coffee, and tobacco.

Emigration was one offered solution, resisted for loyalty to the island. Birth control was another, resisted for religious reasons, as well blocked by poverty and semi-literacy.

The first elected Governor, Luis Munoz-Marin, had instead begun talking of lack of sufficient work for the labor force and the consequent remedial task of creating new jobs in industry. The emphasis had swung from socialization to private enterprise. The Legislature had passed a law granting tax exemption for a decade to new industries in 42 broad categories, with partial exemptions thereafter through mid-1962. Puerto Rico also had a lower tax structure than the U.S. mainland. Forty-one new industries had already been established, creating 6,000 new jobs.

There had also been increases in funding for education, housing, and public health, in an effort to reduce the slums.

The plan had drawn criticism from the mainland, especially New England, for drawing off industries, but it was unlikely that the Territory would ever attract enough companies to make a dent in the economy of the states. The alternative, according to Governor Munoz-Marin, was increased Federal aid. If the plan were to work, then a miracle would have been accomplished on the island.

Robert S. Allen, substituting for vacationing Drew Pearson, having already reviewed some of the outstanding new members of the House, provides the outstanding newcomers to the Senate, the best freshman class which oldtimers could recall. He includes a future President, Lyndon Johnson of Texas, two future Vice-Presidents, both Mr. Johnson and Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota, a Democratic presidential nominee in Mr. Humphrey, and a vice-presidential nominee, Estes Kefauver of Tennessee, who would narrowly defeat Senator John F. Kennedy in 1956 for the position on the ticket with Adlai Stevenson, elected Governor of Illinois in 1948.

In addition, he includes Paul Douglas of Illinois, Frank Graham of North Carolina, to be defeated by a race-baiting campaign managed by Jesse Helms on behalf of Raleigh attorney Willis Smith in the 1950 Democratic primary, Margaret Chase Smith of Maine, former Secretary of Agriculture Clinton Anderson of New Mexico, former Governor Robert Kerr of Oklahoma, Robert Hendrickson of New Jersey, Russell Long of Louisiana, J. Allen Frear of Delaware, and Lester C. Hunt of Wyoming, with short biographical sketches of each.

Of Senator Johnson, he says that he had been liberal in his dozen years as a Congressman, with deviations of late on civil rights, labor and oil legislation since coming to the Senate, was "able, hard-working and a skilled legislator" who had given up his House seat to serve in the Navy—the latter fact not entirely accurate as Mr. Johnson, in joining the Navy in the Pacific until FDR ordered all Congressmen to return to their duties or give up their seats, never actually left the Congress. His counterpart on the Republican ticket in 1960, however, Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., had given up his former Senate seat to join the Army in 1944, serving in Europe, then was elected to the other Massachusetts seat in 1946 before being defeated in 1952 by Congressman John F. Kennedy—who, as President, would appoint Mr. Lodge, U.N. Ambassador under President Eisenhower, Ambassador to South Vietnam.

Of Senator Humphrey, he says that he was a "militant New Dealer", who battled "for the things he believes in as resolutely as he talks fluently about them", championed Agriculture Secretary Charles Brannan's agricultural program on subsidies for perishable produce to maintain both the farmer's high prices and the consumer's low prices, finds him, at age 38, "sure to be heard from in the national political arena." We suggest that Mr. Humphrey was the best-qualified major party nominee in modern history not to win the presidency, narrowly losing the popular vote in 1968 to former Vice-President Nixon.

Had the electorate been a bit wiser, the country would have been spared the darkest, meanest Presidency in its history. But, unfortunately, some stoned-out idiots who could not think their way out of a paper bag, in Chicago, not able to see beyond the ends of their spiteful, youthful noses and the single issue, albeit a central one, Vietnam, made sure that we had as President Mr. Nixon, whose "secret plan" to end the war magically materialized only after he had secured the Presidency for a second term in 1972. Of course, to be fair to the Chicago demonstrators, who were, at least in part, motivated and antagonized by the Storm Trooper tactics of the Chicago police, the likes of Roger Stone, and his dirty-tricks Nazi youth cohorts of the time, probably greatly aided and abetted that effort at disruption of the Democratic Party nominating process in the most divisive year in politics in modern history, complicated both politically and psychologically en masse by the tragedies of the assassinations of both Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Senator Robert F. Kennedy.

Certainly, there were efforts, which miserably failed, especially from those gun-nut, talky-talk kooks out of Texas, to stimulate the same kind of reaction among supporters of Senator Sanders at the Democratic convention in Philadelphia, in 2016. That it did not work is a tribute to the maturity and dignity of Senator Sanders, Secretary Clinton, and their supporters. The strategy of divide and conquer in American politics is less easily foisted on an unsuspecting, uninformed public in an age of instant internet communication than it was in 1968, when radio, three television networks, the daily newspaper, weekly and monthly magazines, a half hour per evening of national news and word of mouth and letters were the only forms of media publication which we had.

Thus, we must never be too harsh on the ignorance displayed of our elders when in their callow youth.

Joseph and Stewart Alsop find that in the avalanche of bad news from abroad, there was the comforting news at home that the State Department had mended its split with Congress via re-establishment of a bipartisan tunnel, through Senator John Foster Dulles to Senator Arthur Vandenberg.

The direct pathway through Senator Vandenberg to the GOP members of Congress had been broken for two reasons, that both Senator Tom Connally, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, and the President had objected to Senator Vandenberg stealing their thunder on foreign policy. But Senator Connally did not mind the junior Senator from New York, Mr. Dulles, being the recipient of foreign policy briefings, especially as he had been the Republican delegate at the U.N. and usually the Republican delegate in meetings abroad with leaders and foreign ministers, had been tapped to be Secretary of State in a Dewey administration.

Senator Dulles, recently appointed to the Senate by Governor Dewey to replace retired Senator Robert Wagner, was therefore now consulting with Secretary of State Acheson, Assistant Secretary and future Secretary Dean Rusk, and Ambassador-at-large Philip Jessup on a regular basis. Senator Dulles then relayed the information to Senator Vandenberg and thus the "triple play" formula had worked to reinvigorate a bipartisan approach to foreign policy.

The former lapse in this policy had caused problems for the passage of the Military Aid Program, which appeared probably dead for the current session. Senators Dulles and Vandenberg had inserted amendments to it in committee, designed to appease the economy-isolationist bloc to forge bipartisan acceptance. But, even so, it appeared not enough to obtain passage by October and even if it did pass, it would be so altered as to be better if not passed at all.

Another problem with MAP passage was the "dangerously eroded" relationship between the Departments of State and Defense. In secret testimony on MAP, the two had not agreed on its fundamental purposes, whether it was to place Western Europe in a genuine position of defense or whether NATO and MAP were merely psychological gestures, "like throwing fish to seals." That indecision played to the hands of the isolationists and economizers in Congress to whittle away at MAP.

The Alsops suggest that the "triple play" arrangement might yet find a slender reed on which to lean as the signs were that the President's cronies were increasingly taking part in foreign policy decisions and without such executive leadership as afforded by the "triple play", the paralysis which was starting to become prevalent in foreign policy would become complete.

Robert C. Ruark completely rejects summertime as the best of seasons. It was hot and sweaty, a bug-ridden, snake-ridden, mosquito-infested hell. A vacation consisted of "[t]wo weeks at the same resort with sand in the bed and murderous prices for a bad table d'hote and the golf courses overrun and people capering on the beaches as if they were temporarily nuts, burning themselves to a crackling and kicking the sand into other people's faces."

The beach was replete with the worst of manners as well. One came back from one of these "safaris" along a road crammed with other "suckers" in cars, and, returning home, found only stacks of newspapers and the piled up milk not canceled, plus bills and more bills, which one was then too broke to pay.

"Good old summertime, hey?" It was all vastly overrated. He prefers frost and a roaring fire, blizzards to sunstroke.

"Summertime, and the livin' is easy... Yah!"

A letter writer who had fought in Greece against Fascist Italy, in the underground against occupying Nazi Germany, then against the Communists, by whom he was persecuted, tells of having then come to the country to study political science, first at the University of Richmond, and after suffering humiliation there, transferred to the UNC extension college in Charlotte and was finally taking summer courses at UNC in Chapel Hill. At Charlotte, he had found peace but was subjected to the same harassment in Chapel Hill which he had suffered at Richmond, and despite efforts by University officials and students of the Honor Council, they had not been able to ferret out the organization responsible for the conduct.

He says that he had sought help for his degrading treatment from University of Richmond officials and was ignored, told that the boys were joking and that it was his imagination.

He believes that there was a concerted effort on the part of some organizations to cause social discomfort to immigrants to the country and seeks help from the public and fellow students in clarifying who was responsible, hopes the FBI would also join the investigation to ferret out this "gang".

It may be that you have an anti-Communist chip on your shoulder, bordering on the State of Paranoia, the guerrillas of which will haunt and taunt incessantly.

A letter writer encloses a letter to Secretary of Agriculture Charles Brannan, discussing Florida oranges and North Carolina peaches being harvested early under modern methods of farming, depriving the produce of full nutrient content. The commercial interests profited from such methods but the consumers did not. He thus advocates a program of "Better Food for Vigorous People".

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