The Charlotte News

Monday, August 29, 1949


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the President promised full American support to Great Britain regarding its financial crisis and said that trade being "seriously out of balance" had caused problems which affected the entire world. British Cabinet officials were due to arrive the following week for talks regarding Britain's dollar-gold reserve crisis and suggested remedies.

In London, the Labor Cabinet approved a 15,000-word plan for dealing with the crisis, which Chancellor of the Exchequer Sir Stafford Cripps and Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin would bring to the U.S. for their talks. Specific steps of the plan were kept secret. Mr. Cripps appeared to favor increased production as a means to remedy the problems while Mr. Bevin wanted to "integrate" the American and British economic systems, though the specifics of the proposal remained murky.

Canada was prepared to adopt the stance of mediator in the preliminary "fact-finding" sessions just commenced by lesser Anglo-American officials on the previous Friday.

The Senate voted down a proposal to require the President to cut 5 to 10 percent from the appropriations bill, failing to reach a required two-thirds majority, after Vice-President Barkley had ruled and the Senate upheld that the super-majority vote had to occur for passage. It had been argued that the amendment was unfair as it sought to shift responsibility to the President to do that which the Congress had failed to do, and that it was also unconstitutional as ceding to the President a duty of Congress to alter appropriations.

The picture gallery of "five percenter" James V. Hunt was revealed to reporters, including autographed pictures of President Truman, Maj. General Harry Vaughan, the President's military aide, 31 sitting or former Senators, including one from Joseph McCarthy, a member of the Senate Investigating subcommittee investigating Mr. Hunt and others, and 30 or more House members. Mr. Hunt's lawyer invited the press to view the gallery.

A report appears this date that the Mayor of Hiroshima, Shinzo Hamai, had been interviewed the previous day by Norman Cousins of the Saturday Review of Literature and related that he estimated between 210,000 and 240,000 people had died in the first atomic blast of August 6, 1945. The figures included 30,000 soldiers, which the Mayor had documented while serving as the Ration Commissioner during the war. His figure was substantially higher than any previous estimate as the Japanese, he said, had suppressed the actual number at the time of the blast and afterward so as to avoid letting the Americans know how effective the weapon had been, thus trying to preserve what little leverage they had at the peace table. The U.S. strategic bombing survey in 1946 had estimated that between 70,000 and 80,000 people had died, with an equal number injured. Supreme Allied Headquarters at Tokyo, also in 1946, had estimated that 78,000 died and 14,000 were missing. It was not clear from the report whether the Mayor's estimate included only those who died in the initial blast or also those who subsequently died from the effects of radiation. The interview had been carried by ABC radio.

The report is ironic as the Soviet Union this date had detonated successfully its first atomic bomb, the report of which would not be made public for over three weeks, until September 23, and, at that time, no indication would be provided as to how the Government became aware of the successful test, whether through seismic indications or radiologic data from the atmosphere. The Soviets were mum on the subject.

The combined Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services Committees voted to approve use of part of the military aid funds to recipient Western European nations for purchase of tools and raw materials to produce their own factories. It was estimated that such an allocation would save the U.S. in the long run about 700 million dollars in aid.

In La Paz, Bolivia, the Government placed 2,000 soldiers around rebel-held Cochabamba to crush a three-day revolt by 500 nationalistic rebels of the outlawed National Revolutionary Movement, thrown out of office in 1946. Six Government planes dropped 140 bombs on the town after the rebels refused to surrender under an ultimatum. Rebels of the organization still held Santa Cruz, Potosi, and Oruro, within the tin mining district.

Former RNC chairman Charles Hilles, prominent during the Administration of William Howard Taft between 1909 and 1913, died at age 82.

Emery Wister of The News tells of the Florida hurricane coming through Charlotte the previous day, albeit nearly spent from its long passage over land through Georgia and South Carolina. Nevertheless, it still had 50 mph winds and left behind nearly three inches of rain in twelve hours through late afternoon, Sunday, was the worst storm to hit Charlotte in several years. Limbs and an occasional sign were blown down and power service interrupted in parts of the city.

The storm was reported this date over Baltimore, and New York City had reported 70 mph winds from it during the early morning hours.

Oh, goodness. The world is coming to an end.

In Philadelphia, American Legion conventioneers were lighting firecrackers and had found that they got the biggest boom by doing so in the subway system.

In Strathaven, Scotland, Sir Harry Lauder, British comedian, had a fairly comfortable night, but there was no improvement to his grave condition. As indicated, he would live until the following February.

On the editorial page, "Outcry from Columbia" tells of a delegation from the South Carolina capital having gone to Washington to protest the decision of Secretary of Defense Johnson to close Fort Jackson as part of his economizing effort in the military establishment. The closing of the facility would, according to several State leaders, cause a problem for Columbia's economy.

The piece finds that while there would be an adverse impact on the city's economy by loss of Fort Jackson, many other cities had gotten along without the infusion of such indirect Government subsidies to their economies. And the fact that Fort Jackson was no longer needed for defense had been lost in the local outcry. It thus finds no sympathy for the protest and praises Secretary Johnson for the very real effort at economizing.

"Taxi Solution in Sight" tells of the City Council having determined that either there would be compliance by cab companies with City ordinances regulating them or loss of their licenses to operate, though the compliance date had been extended to December 1 from September 1. Efforts to amend the ordinances to favor the cab companies had failed.

"Abuse of Democratic Processes" urges letting Senators know of public outrage at the failure of the Senate to hold a vote on the proposed bill to eliminate discriminatory taxes on margarine in favor of butter at the behest of the dairy industry. The bill had handily passed the House in April and then been approved in the Senate in committee, but Senate Majority Leader Scott Lucas had not called for a floor vote, though having promised to do so, out of concern that dairy state Senators would filibuster and hold up more vital legislation on the agenda.

The piece thinks the measure of utmost vitality and urges a vote.

A piece from the Durham Morning Herald, titled "Equalizing Educational Opportunity", tells of a Mississippi committee of 300, assigned by Governor Fielding Wright, Dixiecrat vice-presidential nominee in 1948, to study black-white inequities in the state in teacher salaries, after a civil complaint by a black teacher alleging unequal pay, recommending a new schedule of payments to assure equal pay for equal work regardless of race.

Next, as in Virginia, would come a challenge regarding transportation facilities and then equalization of buildings and equipment. Governor Wright and his fellow conservatives were supporting the efforts to preserve segregation. Liberals supported the move to provide better facilities for black students.

It notes that North Carolina had been the first Southern state to provide equal pay for black and white teachers. A suit had been filed in Durham to provide equal facilities and equipment for black schools.

If Mississippi adopted the proposed measures, then other Southern states, it suggests, would follow the example.

Walter Bragg, Jr., of the Macon News, tells of the daughter of Dr. Samuel Green, just deceased Imperial Wizard of the Klan, several years earlier having been ostracized for her father's role in the organization when she initially attended Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia. A local businessman, who also had a daughter attending the College, asked her to invite several of her female friends to the house one evening, whereupon the businessman then informed them of his having come to the country as an immigrant from a country which had practiced discrimination, urged the young women to accept Dr. Green's daughter into their lives and organizations. They did.

The man, he informs, who had gone to bat for the daughter of the head Klansman was a Polish Jew, Henry Kaplan, who had come to the country as a small boy.

Robert S. Allen, substituting for vacationing Drew Pearson, tells of the fight to get the President's nominee, Carl Ilgenfritz, confirmed as chairman of the Army-Navy Munitions Board, imperiled for Mr. Ilgenfritz's insistence that he be allowed to continue to receive his $70,000 annual salary as vice-president of U.S. Steel while serving at the $14,000 per year job as chairman of the Munitions Board, on the claim that he would sacrifice his pension if he gave up his private sector job. Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson and Senators Millard Tydings and Chan Gurney of the Armed Services Committee strongly supported him in the move. Against him were Senators Lyndon Johnson, Harry F. Byrd, and Wayne Morse. And the President, as a Senator, had condemned the dollar-per-year men who served in Government posts while continuing to draw private sector salaries.

Senator Johnson had said that permitting Mr. Ilgenfritz to continue to draw his salary would do more harm than any good he could possibly do for the Government as a member of the Board. Senator Morse echoed the sentiment for its tending to undermine the perception of Mr. Ilgenfritz as an unbiased Government servant. He said that the Secretary's notion that Mr. Ilgenfritz was "indispensable" was "absurd", that there were many qualified persons in the country who could fill the post. Still, a majority of the Committee favored confirmation. But the opponents were prepared to fight bitterly against it.

The United Hybrid Growers of Iowa, consisting of 31 concerns operating plant-breeding farms and seed-processing plants in the corn-belt states, had responded to a request by European governments who wanted to know how to develop more productive hybrid corn. In 1946, the group had advised Italian farmers on corn production with the result that it rose from 30 to 120 bushels per acre, against a European average of just 12 bushels. The effort suggested how the President's so-called Point Four program for aid to underdeveloped countries through private industry could be realized without Government subsidization.

Republican Representative Richard Welch of California, 25-year veteran of Congress and "militant liberal", was attacking fellow Republican Governor Earl Warren for the lobbyist and vice scandals swirling around his Administration. He called for the Governor to drive from the Legislature and the state "well-organized gangsterism", expressing a desire the while for another Hiram Johnson, the deceased Senator, as Governor.

Mr. Allen notes that Congresswoman Helen Gahagan Douglas had received assurances of support from a number of California Democrats and labor leaders if she were to run against Senator Sheridan Downey in 1950. She would, but lose in the general election, as the branded "Pink Lady", to Congressman Richard Nixon, thereafter known by her counter-moniker, "Tricky Dick", on his way to great fame, the highest of offices in the land, and flaming failure.

Marquis Childs discusses the diminishing gold-dollar reserve in Britain and the effort to avert near bankruptcy by year's end. Chancellor of the Exchequer Sir Stafford Cripps and Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin would soon come to the U.S. to discuss remedies, such as an increase in Marshall Plan aid and making a considerable part of it available at once. Such would be regarded, however, as both politically and economically impossible to get passed in the economy-minded Congress.

A more realistic plan was for the U.S. to insure larger purchases of basic commodities for stockpiling, to give Britain more dollars. That would at least satisfy the notion of quid pro quo rather than being consigned to a remedy based on a giveaway program.

Another method was to lower tariffs to make it easier for Britain to trade with the U.S.

But these two steps would be insufficient, alone, to make the necessary difference. American officials insisted on devaluation of the pound to its real value, resisted by the British for its inflationary tendency.

American officials would insist that it would be necessary for Britain to reduce costs of production so as to compete in world markets. Such would undoubtedly require abandonment of some of Britain's social services, a subject which Mr. Childs promises to cover in a future column.

But Britain would have to cooperate if the free world would survive, for to create a split in Anglo-American relations would give to Russia the needed ammunition to effect the final triumph of totalitarianism.

Robert C. Ruark tells of a veteran, now a student at Columbia, who had won a fully furnished $15,000 home for a 59-cent contest ticket, but found that he had no lot on which to put it and could not even afford the $50 per diem parking privilege for the house or its taxes, and so sold it for $1,000 plus the parking fee. It served to show that very few things were truly free.

Mr. Ruark thinks the moral perhaps applicable to the Government giving everything to everybody, regardless of their ability to handle the gifts, such as the program of aid to the Western World. The hidden costs did not often hit home as a reality until the tax collector came for the bill.

He notes that he only trafficked in parables during the dog days of August in years ending in 9.

That's a relief as it is not yet 2019. And so, Trumpettes, let us first give President Hillary Clinton a chance before condemning her out of the gate. Look at the matter philosophically. You will have immense fun playing with your pet conspiracy theories for another four to eight years, so that your raison d'etre will not expire. It is sad to be both negative and worthless at the same time.

With his Asininity and his Holiness on the world stage at once? Wooh. There is no telling the combined result for all of us. It could conclude in the Un-COLA. For, according to his Asininity, it was a destabilizing miscue to remove from the world stage both Saddam Hussein and Muammar Qhaddafi, but would be entirely appropriate to coerce Communist China, through strict trade sanctions, to do so with respect to Kim Jong-Un. That makes a hell of a lot of consistent sense, not to mention tipping one's hand publicly that the U.S. would be behind such a move, should it transpire. But when the bulk of your supporters tend to "think" only to the tip of their noses, in mindless relish of his Asininity, it is not surprising.

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