The Charlotte News

Wednesday, August 31, 1949


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Maj. General Harry Vaughan, the President's military aide, continued his testimony before the Senate Investigating subcommittee examining influence peddling in procurement of Government contracts, saying, in response to intense questioning by Senator Joseph McCarthy, that the FBI had once looked into whether he had accepted a $10,000 bribe to fix an income tax case and found the allegation by a member of the press, apparently Drew Pearson, groundless. He admitted getting a campaign contribution of about $200 the previous fall from a lawyer seeking a "pardon" for his client convicted of black market liquor deals, but insisted that the man's ultimate parole had no connection to the fact. General Vaughan also admitted having purchased cars for friends, including an Oldsmobile purchased for a Wisconsin woman, which, previously unknown to him, he said, then turned up in the black market ten days later at a price of $3,500.

After the colloquy, Senator McCarthy withdrew his previous day's statement that it was his opinion that the General had never personally profited from any of his dealings.

Under questioning by subcommittee counsel William P. Rogers, future Attorney General and Secretary of State, General Vaughan said that it was probable that his friend John Maragon would no longer have access to the White House and that he should be "fumigated".

Secretary of State Acheson denounced Russia's detention of two American students in East Germany, calling it "outrageous, illegal, and improper". The students had inadvertently wandered into the Eastern zone illegally but had done no harm and no one had accused them of being spies.

The Secretary said that the U.S. had released a Soviet Air Force flier who deserted and then wished to return home, without seeking to use him as a trading chip for Americans being held by the Soviets because the U.S. did not engage in that sort of barter. An unnamed Army spokesman in Vienna had complained about the release without engaging in such a trade.

In Berlin, Brig. General Frank Howley, retiring U.S. commandant of the city, predicted that Russia would try more tricks to oust the Western allies from the city but that it was unlikely they would succeed. General Howley was preparing to leave his post and sail back to the U.S. He said that Berlin would one day be the capital of a united country again but that he could not say when that would be for it could not be predicted when the Russians would cooperate in that endeavor. He blamed the problems among the four powers on the Russians and the Communist effort to gain complete economic and political control over Berlin.

The U.S. and Britain were considering easing restrictions of arms shipments to Yugoslavia, a decision on the matter to be made the following week when Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin would meet with Secretary of State Acheson in Washington. The effort was to support Marshal Tito quietly in his insistence on independence from the Soviets. He was seeking from the West vehicles, light armor, and small arms to resist Soviet pressure.

The Ambassador of Korea pleaded with the President to provide quick military aid to ward off a likely imminent attack by the Soviets.

Senator Tom Connally of Texas, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, said that Senators considering the President's military aid program viewed favorably a proposal to cut 161 million dollars from the proposed 1.45 billion dollar package, cutting the proposed amount for Western European NATO members to a billion dollars, a plan favored by Senators Arthur Vandenberg and John Foster Dulles.

ERP administrators granted 17 million dollars to France and Italy for the purpose of buying U.S. cotton.

John L. Lewis had ordered a two-day work week for miners east of the Mississippi River the following Labor Day week, instead of the three-day week in place since early July pending formulation of a new contract.

FDR, Jr., would be married this date in a small, private ceremony to socialite Suzanne Perrin of New York.

In Indianapolis, six Civil War veterans of the Grand Army of the Republic agreed that there would be no more gatherings in reunion after the present encampment. A similar vote, however, had taken place a year earlier at an encampment in Grand Rapids, Mich. All of the veterans were centenarians and it was deemed unwise to encourage them to travel around the country for meetings.

In Philadelphia, the American Legion called on the Government to support Chinese groups who would fight against Communists. The resolution did not specify what was meant by "support".

Dick Young of The News tells of an offer by the local taxicab companies to reduce fares to 25 cents for "pickup service" if the City Council allowed a trial period for certain cab operations required by City ordinance.

On the editorial page, "Hand of Friendship" tells of the President having stated in his speech before the American Legion convention that the reasons for the British economic crisis were that the world economy was shattered more completely by the world war than anyone had realized and that Russia's resistance to world recovery had delayed economic progress in Europe. He then asserted that world prosperity was essential to American prosperity. He offered "mutual concession and cooperation" to British officials coming to the U.S. the following week.

His words were anodyne to the heavy critcism of the British Labor Government and its socialization of industries, which the Wall Street Journal and others had attributed as the cause for the crisis, criticism rejected by both Labor and Conservatives in Britain, who indicated that the British problems leading to the crisis spanned at least twenty years, through Conservative and Labor Governments.

World trade was so complex, the piece ventures, that working out a formula to assure mutual prosperity for all was beyond the means of ordinary people not experts in the field. It cites the interview on the page with Geoffrey Crowther of The Economist as suggestive of those complexities.

While there was a limit to the dollars America could expend on world recovery, there was no limit to the thought and cooperation it could expend. If done in an atmosphere of friendliness and kindness rather than one of suspicion and hostility, the chances of success would be much better.

Old Dingbat Donny in 2016 does not understand this basic premise of international relations. He insists on building a ridiculous wall and cramming the bill for it down the throat of Mexico by coercing them with NAFTA, while also planning to deport millions of illegal immigrants at untold billions in cost. If elected, this idiot would have the country in a war by the end of the first 90 days, very probably a nuclear war with Korea or China. You had better think about it long and hard before casting a ballot for that nut, without a day in his life governing anything, even a small town in Alaska. This man has no business anywhere near government. We would not vote for him as dogcatcher in our community. By the time he was done, the dogs, made rabid by his efforts, would be in control.

We hope you glean from recent events his new approach to obtaining lots of free press coverage, another of his bait-switch ploys. He has his surrogates trot out a supposedly new immigration policy, "softened" somewhat in an interview with a Fox nut. Then he has other surrogates incredibly claim that it is merely couching the old policy in "new words", confusing thereby the public deliberately. And then he gives a "policy clarifying" speech yesterday, merely a rehash of the same old garbage this idiot has been spewing for 15 months—the same old Brooklyn Bridge he wants to sell the voters.

"Latvians Find a Home" tells of 30 to 40 Latvian refugees settling in Charlotte, having been brought over by the Baptist World Alliance. Some worked on farms and all were working hard to establish their new lives.

The work of the Alliance was commendable, as was the work of the local pastor of St. John's Baptist Church, Dr. Claude Broach, who had arranged for the Latvian displaced persons to settle in Charlotte. Dr. Broach said that the employers of the Latvians were learning that they, too, benefited from the employment.

The piece praises the employers participating in the program, who paid for the transportation from the American point of entry of their would-be employees, while the Government paid for transportation to the U.S.

"The Riot at Peekskill" discusses the riot in New York the previous Sunday between parading war veterans and members of an audience gathered to hear singer Paul Robeson. Governor Thomas Dewey had ordered an investigation into the melee. Each side blamed the other for the fracas. The veterans objected to Mr. Robeson's appearance on the ground that he had spoken favorably of Communism and because the concert was sponsored by the Civil Rights Congress, an organization declared "subversive" by the Attorney General.

The audience had come to hear Mr. Robeson, not to engage in a riot. The veterans had a right to picket without interference. But whether it was advisable for them to have done so was another question. If Mr. Robeson appeared only to sing and not to advocate Communism, there was no reason for the pickets to be present.

It suggests that such tactics only made a martyr of Mr. Robeson, gave Pravda an opportunity to engage in propaganda, saying that there had been an attempt by "American Fascists" to "lynch" Mr. Robeson, and served to endanger the right of peaceable assembly while mimicking Communist tactics.

A much worse riot would take place on September 4 when Mr. Robeson performed again at Peekskill.

"Sucker Bait" tells of the Greensboro Daily News reporting of a concern out of Alameda, California, which had been for years bottling sea water and selling it at $20 per gallon under the name "Cal-O-Dine". The label urged adults to drink it in a glass of warm water before meals and at bedtime, but also said that it had no nutritional value. The business had made enough to pay $30,000 in income tax in 1948.

The piece says that it had known that there were suckers aplenty in the world but had not realized that the pickings were still so good. It wonders about available bottling plants in the Carolinas.

An extensive interview with Geoffrey Crowther, editor of The Economist of London, appears regarding the crisis in the British economy and what the remedies of it might be.

Robert S. Allen, substituting for vacationing Drew Pearson, tells of Iran seeking a 250 million dollar loan from the World Bank, as well as military aid of the kind being given to Turkey and Greece. The head of the Iranian State Bank, also a member of the board of governors of the World Bank, had concluded one conversation by saying that absent the monetary and military aid, the U.S. could "go to hell". U.S. oil companies were already funneling millions monthly into Iran and the U.S. Government had spent a half million dollars on an engineering survey of the country.

Diplomatic relations with Iran had been at their lowest point since the Twenties ever since the State Department had deported a member of the Iranian legation for smuggling opium. But the Shah was due to visit Washington in the fall. And U.S. authorities were at a loss to understand Iranian gruffness.

The U.S. had declined to supply free grain to starving Azerbaijan in Northern Iran and the Iranian Government had offered to swap opium for the wheat, a proposal quickly refused by the U.S. The U.S. had ceased buying medicinal opium from Iran because it was the chief exporter of illegal opium and had defied U.N. efforts to have it stopped.

The D.C. Corporation Counsel told Representative Arthur Klein, when Mr. Klein called about the legality of picketing in the nation's capital, that the late Senator Theodore Bilbo was the last to have so inquired, had once called wanting to know if he could shoot picketers outside his apartment. When told that they could not be molested, he said that he guessed he could not shoot them and hung up.

Representative Gene Cox of Albany, Ga., who had fought vehemently against the public housing bill, had eagerly appeared to have his picture taken for the local newspaper after Albany became the first small town to be awarded a housing project under the Act. Many hometowns, Mr. Allen notes, of Senators and Congressmen who had fought against the Act were seeking housing projects under it.

Commerce Secretary Charles Sawyer had announced that his office would supply information on Government contracts free of charge. Yet, the "five percenters" who profited from such information were unconcerned because the procedures for obtaining a contract were so complicated that it required an insider with knowledge of the system to make any headway. All large corporations had their own agents who knew their way around Washington without pretense of exerting influence. But all of the publicity attendant the investigation of influence peddling by the "five percenters" had caused their business to boom in recent weeks.

Joseph and Stewart Alsop discuss the President's tendency toward Missouri cronyism in his appointments, detracting from his achievements and lending an atmosphere of "courthouse politics and creeping mediocrity" to his Administration.

Starting with his military aide, Maj. General Harry Vaughan, who, along with Secretary of the Treasury John Snyder, had been in the Missouri Artillery Reserves during the Thirties with Harry Truman, each having been colonels, cronyism was prevalent. The President had suffered setbacks when he sought to tap an old friend and former DNC treasurer, Ed Pauley, to be Undersecretary of the Navy, and then again with his friend, former Washington Governor and Senator Mon Wallgren, chosen to head the National Security Resources Board. Both of the latter nominations had to be withdrawn, the former for Congressional questions over integrity and the latter for Congressional questions regarding experience for the position.

Robert Hannegan, former Postmaster General and DNC chairman, who had made Harry Truman the vice-presidential nominee in 1944, was chiefly responsible for his old protege Tom Clark being nominated to the Supreme Court, a nomination, they assert, for which he was not particularly qualified.

Another old Truman crony was William Boyle, newly chosen as chairman of the DNC.

Other appointments were made based solely on being a good Democrat, as Secretary of the Navy Francis Matthews, who also, however, was competent and capable.

General Vaughan had been active in the process of appointments, as in the selection of his old friend Louis Johnson to be Secretary of Defense.

Secretary Snyder had formed a conservative clique at the White House with Secretary of Commerce Charles Sawyer, whose appointment Mr. Synder had pushed, and with the President's trusted aide and old friend John Steelman.

The President, no doubt, detested the sort of shady dealings of the "five percenters" but he kept General Vaughan as his aide despite the General's deep involvement in the matter and despite the fact that the President knew he was a friend of John Maragon, whom the President had long ago banned from the White House.

While there were able men working for the Administration, including some former Missourians, there was a danger that cronyism would stall it at "dead center".

Marquis Childs seeks to place the military aid program in perspective, based on comments from those who had drafted it and worked for its passage. The primary goal, insofar as the NATO nations of Western Europe were concerned, was to rearm the nine divisions which France had. Most of the 1.16 billion dollars earmarked for these nations would go for the purpose of providing modern weaponry to the well-trained French divisions so that they could act as the core of the front line strategy against a potential Soviet attack. Such would increase the confidence of the British, fearful of another Dunkirk.

The Soviets had under arms an estimated 170 divisions, about four million men, albeit not at full strength. Fifty of the divisions were within the Soviet satellites and the remainder around the perimeter of Russia. If Russia were to become involved in combat with the West, the satellite divisions could contain Tito's forces in Yugoslavia.

A smaller amount of the military aid would go to initiate French armament production through manufacture of ammunition and spare parts, with a goal of self-sufficiency. A small part of the fund would cover warning equipment in Northern Europe and other defensive armaments.

There was some opinion against rearming Western Europe so soon after the formation of NATO, for fear that Russia would feel compelled to go to war before the countries were fully armed. But once the decision to arm was announced, the doubters believed it had to occur to avoid loss of confidence by Western Europe, as well as creating a perception in both East and West of vacillation by the U.S.

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