The Charlotte News

Friday, August 5, 1949


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Secretary of State Acheson stated at a press conference that the Chinese Communists were tools of Moscow and that the U.S. was willing to help the people of China establish true independence but not as dictated by foreign imperialism. The State Department had just issued a thousand-page report on relations with China, which said that the Nationalist Government of Chiang Kai-Shek had been a failure. The report included the long-suppressed report of General Albert Wedemeyer after his return from China.

The reaction to the white paper by several members of Congress is provided on the page. It ranged from criticism of the State Department for making Russia a "terror of the world", as stated by Congressman Gene Cox of Georgia, to faulting it for seeking to induce and compel inclusion of Communists in the Nationalist Government, properly resisted by Chiang, according to Senator William Knowland of California, to a statement that Communism could still be stopped in China and that it should not be written off, as stated by Senator Pat McCarran of Nevada, echoed by Senators Kenneth Wherry of Nebraska and Leverett Saltonstall of Massachusetts, to finding the prospect of intervention in China reckless and so praising of the State Department's stance, as stated by Senator Ed Johnson of Colorado.

The Administration sent a new military aid bill to the Congress, stripped of the provision giving the President blank-check authority on determining which nations could receive the proposed military aid based on U.S. security interests. It also named specifically the countries to be aided, the NATO signatories, plus Greece, Turkey, Korea, Iran, and the Philippines, but made no change in the amount of aid sought, 1.45 billion dollars. Senator Tom Connally said that members of the Senate Armed Services Committee had consulted with Secretary of State Acheson and Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson prior to redrafting of the measure and that he was confident it would pass the Senate.

In Paris, 1,500 singing Communists protested the NATO treaty implementation talks taking place between the military chiefs of the U.S. and those of Britain, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, and The Netherlands, the five members of the Western European Union. The protesters made no attempt to break through police barriers to reach their intended destination of the U.S. Embassy. The commanders were meeting 40 miles outside the city.

In Washington, Senators Clyde Hoey and John McClellan pledged to investigate the charges of waste and fraud in Government contracts made the previous day by Comptroller General Lindsay Warren.

In Cedar Rapids, Iowa, a court denied a motion for a new trial for Dr. Robert Rutledge, previously convicted of second degree murder for the killing of his wife's paramour or seducer, depending on versions. He would be sentenced the following Monday.

In Charlotte, the butler who was assaulted at the time of the killing of Mrs. E. O. Anderson the previous Monday morning, stated that he was attacked by a person in the servant's quarters outside the main house before the shotgun killing of Mrs. Anderson in the upstairs bedroom of the house, involvement in which the defendant, the former butler, had confessed. The butler said that someone had hit him with a pipe and he was still down from the beating five to ten minutes later when he heard the shot. He said that his throat was cut after the shooting but that he was in such a state from the beating that he did not know his throat had been cut. He never got a look at his assailant.

The account differed from that of the defendant in that he had claimed that he attacked the butler only in response to him coming at the defendant and that the confrontation took place after the shooting, which, he claimed, was accidental in the course of a struggle for control of the shotgun which Mrs. Anderson had obtained from an adjoining room as she ordered the defendant to leave the house. Consistent with the defendant's account, however, was the butler's statement that he had gone into the house to wash the breakfast dishes. But he said that after finishing the dishes, he then returned to the butler's quarters where he was then attacked. The defendant had stated that the butler had seen him hiding in the quarters when the butler first arrived that morning and told the defendant to leave, after which the defendant said he was able to hide and then sneak past the butler doing the dishes and go upstairs to talk to Mrs. Anderson about retrieving his personal property, whereupon the confrontation with Mrs. Anderson took place. The police claimed that the motive for the killing was theft, as he had taken $11 from the deceased woman's purse, which the defendant admitted doing after the shooting.

It should be noted that the newspaper account consistently refers improperly to the crime as a "murder", effectively convicting the accused in the public's mind before any defense could be mounted on his behalf. Based on the defendant's story, published on the front page on Tuesday, he had the possibility of claiming at least imperfect self-defense to his stated apprehension of imminent use of the weapon against him by Mrs. Anderson, which would have been excessive force under the circumstances as the defendant was unarmed and no evidence had been presented of battering of Mrs. Anderson. Obviously, however, the butler's scenario would complicate any such defense as the fact, if accepted as true, that the defendant had used violence to effect entry to the house without detection suggests that he possessed untoward intent upon entry, thus bolstering a prosecution theory of felony-murder, also first degree murder under North Carolina law, based on a murder committed during commission of a felony burglary, the burglary by the fact of entry with specific intent to commit petty larceny or a felony. But, for the North Carolina felony-murder rule to apply, the killing must first be a murder, not merely, as in some states, a homicide. So the defense could still be viable to reduce the offense to voluntary manslaughter, hence not subject to the felony-murder rule.

Have at it, jury.

And don't be a smart-aleck and say that you think the butler did it. Nobody likes a smart-aleck.

In Denver, Colo., nudists put on their clothes and attended a dramatic show the previous evening at their annual convention. The nudists said that the absence of all clothing made for a more convivial atmosphere but that a few clothes, such as the new French bathing suits, made things simply horrible as they were "sex-provocative".

Peepers at the canyon where the event was being held had diminished after one was caught with a telescope and forced to disrobe and join the nudists.

Volleyball, horseshoes, and ping pong were among the activities enjoyed by the nudists.

In Rome, Swedish actress Ingrid Bergman said that she intended to seek a divorce from her husband and then retire from acting to private life. She said that she intended to marry Italian director Roberto Rosellini. "After the Storm", which she was presently in the midst of filming—actually, "Stromboli"—would be her last film.

That's too bad. We'll miss her. There will be no more movies with Ms. Bergman. You'll just have to tough it from now on.

On the editorial page, "Ill-Conceived Amendments" praises the Senate for turning aside the "demagogic" pair of amendments to the ERP appropriations bill, one offered by Senator Pat McCarran of Nevada to include a 50-million dollar loan to Franco's Spain, an "underhanded and unprincipled effort to give Franco money" to make purchases in the U.S. and thereby bolster his Fascist dictatorship. Vice-President Barkley had determined that amendment out of order as seeking to legislate anew through an appropriations bill. The other proposed amendment was introduced by Arkansas Senator John McClellan, intended to earmark 1.35 billion dollars of the aid money for purchase of surplus American farm produce, an effort to subsidize American agriculture through foreign aid, defeated by a vote of 52 to 32.

It stresses that the main goal of the Marshall Plan was to restore the favorable conditions for democracy to thrive in Europe, thereby providing a bulwark to the further spread of Communism.

It urges Senator McCarran to introduce his own separate measure for giving a loan to Spain so that it could be examined in the light of day for what it was.

"Reversal in Catawba" finds the approval during the week of ABC-controlled sales of liquor in Catawba County to be more puzzling than the recent reversal in Rowan County. The city of Hickory had rejected the proposal two years earlier, but now the County had adopted it. The proponents had good organization and backing from the local newspaper. It again finds it a proper expression of the tradition of local option.

"Good Work Will Continue" says goodbye to Allyn P. Robinson who had been director of the North Carolina council of the National Conference of Christians and Jews and had done a fine job in the position. He was moving on to take a higher post in that organization.

"Nice Try, Anyway" finds the campaign of Miss America, Bebe Shopp, 18, for "clean thinking and against false bosoms" to be a complete "bust" for the fact that it was the era of the "sweater girl", no longer the recent past in which the boyish figure had been the style of the moment. Such things, it ventures, went in capricious cycles of building up and lacing down.

It says, regarding her suggestion that falsies were not honest, "Her point is well taken and, judging from her photographs, she speaks with some authority on the matter."

There is a lot of front page news suddenly appearing during this week regarding nudity and the female anatomy. The first such dab of it must have raised sales. Or, a conscious decision was made to provide something distracting from the tension caused in the community by a putative murder taking place in an upper middle class neighborhood.

A piece from the Louisville Courier-Journal, titled "Outpost on the Potomac", tells of Colonel Robert McCormick, owner and publisher of the Chicago Tribune, having purchased the Washington Times-Herald. Political developments had not gone well for the conservative Col. McCormick in the previous election, with not only the President winning but also liberal Adlai Stevenson taking over as Governor of Illinois from Dwight Green and liberal Paul Douglas winning the Senate seat previously occupied by Curly Brooks. Moreover, the country had turned yet further from Col. McCormick's long outmoded nationalist-isolationist position by ratifying NATO.

Thus, Col. McCormick, pushed to the wall, had decided to fight by putting his views forth in the Government's backyard. He had described his purchase as "an outpost on the Potomac" and said it would become a "citadel from which the nation's integrity and prosperity will be recovered."

That could have come out of yesterday's prints, in some places.

Incidentally, while we understand the temptation to try to bolster the spirits of the supporters of the downtrodden Republican candidate, the Washington Times reporter's attempt to compare 2016 to 1988, when Governor Michael Dukakis had a 17 point lead after the Democratic convention and nevertheless lost the general election in November, blinks the fact that the Republican convention that year took place from August 15-18, four weeks after the Democratic convention, occurring July 18-21. During the interim, Governor Dukakis determined not to conduct any serious campaigning before Labor Day, always deemed a critical mistake. By that point, Vice-President Bush had closed the gap and taken a small lead after the Republican convention.

Note well, by contrast, that in 2016, both conventions, occurring on successive weeks, are now in the past by more than a week. And former Secretary Clinton is leading by a rough average of 7-8 points, depending on the polls averaged.

Sorry. We actually remember 1988 and are not just proceeding on the basis of party talking points. They had a fire in Yellowstone National Park during the conventions that year. One could still see the fire's results in the year 2000, when we last visited there. See how simple it is to be objective for a change?

Objectivity, we find, does not mean writing from the perspective of the Lunar landscape.

Drew Pearson, continuing his back-story from the previous day on the Tanforan horse track in San Bruno, California, tells of General Harry Vaughan, the President's military aide, holding the official title of Coordinator of Veterans' Affairs, as such, supposed to look after veterans' interest. But he had not done so in 1946-47 when Tanforan obtained through his considerable help scarce postwar building materials, supposed to be reserved for veterans, to improve the race track.

Tanforan officials had been jailed in California in 1947 for violation of housing regulations. The new president of the racetrack, Eugene Mori, came to Washington and with John Maragon visited the Housing Expediter, Frank Creedon, in October, 1947, at which point General Vaughan became involved after the Housing Expediter rebuffed their request for relaxation of the strictures on building materials. General Vaughan complained to James V. Hunt, who then visited the Housing Expediter and suggested that the office should not offend his friends. Mr. Creedon became angry and said that no one had mistreated them.

General Vaughan then intervened directly and went to the new Housing Expediter, Tighe Woods, seeking relaxation of the regulations for the sake of clearing fire hazards at Tanforan, making special note that the track was under new ownership. Mr. Woods, because he was so new at the job and unwilling to back down from a White House request, drafted a memo advising that the court injunction against Tanforan be lifted. The building permits were then approved by the City of San Bruno, based on the claim of fire and health hazards.

The primary thrust of General Vaughan's argument had been that the ownership of Tanforan had changed from the former notorious rum-runner, Joe Reinfeld, to Mr. Mori. But it turned out that there was no evidence of a change of ownership. Mr. Mori was only the new president.

He adds that lobbyist John Maragon, who was once a trusted White House confidant and a good friend of General Vaughan, appeared to be in trouble over tax evasion and perjury, by maintaining a secret bank account into which he had deposited over $40,000 during the period 1945-47. But he had told the Senate Investigating Committee under oath that he had only a small amount of income during that same period. He had concealed the $40,000 in income from both the IRB and the Senate.

James Marlow presents the arguments surrounding whether or not to approve the requested arms program for the allies, among whom were the Western European members of NATO. The President sought 1.45 billion dollars in aid during the first year. Many on Capitol Hill thought that the amount was too much too soon, that an interim measure was more appropriate until the NATO nations could properly form their planning and strategy council required under the treaty. General Marshall, however, had testified that the members already had worked out contingency plans for implementation of the pact.

The other issue regarding cost was expense through time, as it was assumed the military aid would be necessary for three to five years before the pact nations could be adequately rebuilt to enable them to muster their own defenses.

There was also great objection to the blank-check provision of the bill which permitted the President to send aid anywhere in the world he wanted, provided it was in furtherance of the nation's security. Critics said it would give the President more power than the position had ever possessed in foreign policy and allow for the unilateral creation of foreign entanglements which could lead to war. As indicated on the front page, the Administration had withdrawn this provision and redrafted the proposed bill, as Mr. Marlow correctly predicts would occur.

In addition, he predicts that the amount requested likely would be reduced or allocated in increments.

Government officials testifying before Congress had urged that the full program should be passed at once to get Western Europe armed as quickly as possible.

Stewart Alsop, in New Delhi, tells of Prime Minister Nehru getting ready to visit the U.S. for the first time within a few weeks. The relationship with India would largely determine the outcome regarding the Soviet drive in Asia and so the visit would be of singular importance to foreign policy.

More than any other person in the country except for Mahatma Gandhi, Prime Minister Nehru had been responsible for forcing the British to relinquish power. Yet, he appeared as an English gentleman. He had gone to school at Harrow and his accent at first appeared English, with a bit of emotion and mysticism underlying it, characteristic of his Indian heritage. He shared certain traits with FDR, especially his restless energy and charm which he used equally well for persuasion. But Nehru, unlike FDR, was not a born politician. Rather, he was an intellectual and an idealist who had accidentally become involved in politics.

During Mr. Alsop's interview with him, he appeared bored with basic policy issues but launched into a long explanation when the subject of the relationship between nationalism and Communism in Asia became the subject of discussion. He believed that when the Communists the previous year had taken up arms against the governments of India, Burma and Indonesia, they separated from Asiatic nationalism and thus their supreme opportunity in Asia had been lost.

Nehru was a Socialist and a libertarian, had originally subscribed to the Soviet experiment in Socialism. But between those ideals and reality in India there was a large gulf. The Indian Communists were using sabotage and violence to try to destroy the Government, causing Nehru to have to resort to jailing of more political dissidents than had the British.

Recently, he had gone to Calcutta and delivered a speech expressing his admiration for Communist ideals, an effort to hearten the people, beset by rioting and depressed conditions.

Such statements had caused many observers to dismiss him as a weak though brilliant man. These observers credited Vice-Premier Sardar Patel with having kept the Government running in the face of the lack of pragmatism of Nehru since independence.

But if either person were eliminated, it would deal a blow to India's future, as Nehru represented the spiritual component of government while Patel, the practical. Since Gandhi's assassination in January, 1948, Nehru had become a rallying point for the people, a position maintained by his great ability to reflect their mood.

A letter writer submits an open letter to Mayor Victor Shaw and the Charlotte City Council, opposing the ordinance to regulate charitable campaigns in the city, instead favoring a restriction requiring the organizations during their campaigns to publish daily in the two newspapers in the city their collections and campaign goals.

A letter writer supports the contentions of prohibition advocate Francis O. Clarkson in his letter of August 1 responding to a previous editorial. This writer, a minister, adds some additional supportive argument to bolster Mr. Clarkson's claim that crime had increased since adoption and implementation of ABC-controlled sale of liquor in the county in September, 1947.

A letter writer takes exception to a previous editorial praising the Police Department for its quick arrest in the homicide of Mrs. E. O. Anderson, killed at her Myers Park neighborhood home the previous Monday morning. He says that if the police had acted to execute the warrant for larceny sworn out against the defendant by Mr. Anderson two weeks earlier, he would have been in jail at the time of the killing.

After consulting with the Police Department, the editors correct the writer's misunderstanding, and inform that there was no warrant outstanding at the time, that Mr. Anderson had delayed in seeking it, though he knew of the alleged theft of $40 and some personal items by the defendant at the time of his discharge from employment as a butler at the home.

Shoemaker, this date, appears to have mystically seen into the future to 2016.

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