The Charlotte News

Monday, September 12, 1949


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the U.S., Great Britain, and Canada reportedly had agreed at their financial conference in Washington to plans for several steps to attack Britain's gold-dollar reserve crisis, including greater freedom for Britain to spend its ERP aid dollars for Canadian wheat and acceptance by the U.S. of Britain's need to discriminate against purchase of American goods to conserve dollars. Details were promised the following day.

In Belgrade, Marshal Tito, making a speech to industrial workers praising their industry, particularly irksome to Moscow which wanted Tito to stress agrarian development only, created seemingly further distance between himself and Russia.

In Bonn, West Germany, Professor Theodor Heuss, whose books had been ordered burned by Hitler, was elected the previous night by the parliament to be the first President of the newly formed West German Republic. Dr. Konrad Adenauer was to be named Prime Minister.

Following the death in York, Maine, on the previous Saturday of Justice Wiley Rutledge of the Supreme Court, speculation was already afoot regarding his replacement. Most anticipated the President's appointment of Attorney General Howard McGrath, just appointed Attorney General to replace Tom Clark, who was appointed to the Court the previous July following the death on July 19 of Justice Frank Murphy. The next term of the Court was set to start October 3.

There had been speculation following the death of Justice Murphy that the President would appoint another Catholic to replace him, but Justice Clark was a Presbyterian. Thus, it would have made sense to appoint former Senator McGrath, also a Catholic. Not among the other prospects mentioned in the article was Seventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Sherman Minton, former Senator, who would get the nod. Justice Minton was a Catholic.

Justice Rutledge, appointed to the Court in 1943 as a Judge of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals after successively being dean of the law schools at both Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Iowa, was the last of nine Justices appointed by FDR to eight seats on the Court, including the elevation of Justice Harlan F. Stone to Chief in 1941 to replace retiring Charles Evans Hughes. The only seat left to which FDR had not appointed a Justice when he died in April, 1945 was that of Owen Roberts, who retired in September, 1945.

Justice Rutledge had usually voted with fellow liberals, Justices Murphy, William O. Douglas and Hugo Black, Justice Murphy considered with Justice Rutledge the most consistently liberal Justices of the Court. Those four were often joined by either Justice Felix Frankfurter or Justice Stanley Reed to form a majority.

Funeral services for Justice Rutledge would be held the following Wednesday in Washington.

The joint Senate Armed Services and Foreign Relations Committees approved the 1.3 billion dollar military aid package to countries opposing Communism. A billion dollars of the appropriation was earmarked for the Western European members of NATO.

Rear Admiral Austin Doyle defended Navy captain and aviator John Crommelin, 46, for his charging on Saturday that the Navy offensive strength was being scuttled by the Department of Defense. Captain Crommelin's statement defied regulations against such public statements on military policy. No action had yet been taken against him.

In Pittsburgh, Philip Murray, president of the United Steelworkers Union, refused comment about a meeting of union executive board members regarding whether to agree to the President's requested extension of the 60-day moratorium on the planned strike, scheduled to start the following Wednesday, for another ten days, to afford time to review the report of the President's fact-finding committee, just issued. The big five steel companies had agreed to the President's request. Inland Steel, however, had begun a slowdown of production and planned to begin layoffs on Tuesday.

Adding to the difficulties, the Brotherhood of Railway Trainmen, a vital inter-plant carrier for U.S. Steel, was planning a strike to start on Tuesday at 6:30 a.m.

In New York, Elliott Roosevelt and his wife had reportedly separated but, according to columnist Dorothy Kilgallen, neither contemplated immediate divorce proceedings.

In Wakefield, Mass., a thirteen-year old boy was back in school for the first time in two and a half years after losing both of his legs when he was burned at the stake by playmates while playing cowboys and Indians. He had nearly died when they set his clothing on fire as a prank. With two artificial legs and a cane, he was being allowed to take physical education classes after he had asked for permission to do so.

Governor Kerr Scott said that his program would unite city dwellers and farm dwellers in North Carolina. He responded to criticism of his remarks about civic clubs by Representative Thurman Chatham by saying that Mr. Chatham was upset because he had named Dr. Frank Porter Graham to the open Senate seat the previous March following the death of J. Melville Broughton.

In Atlantic City on Saturday, Jacques Mercer, 18, Miss Arizona, was crowned the new Miss America for 1949. She received a $5,000 scholarship and a $3,000 car, plus contracts for personal appearances. After another year at Phoenix Junior College, she planned to attend Stanford. A drama major, she performed for her talent competition a reading from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. She won first place in both that competition and in the bathing suit competition. She neither drank nor smoked and designed all the gowns which she wore. At five feet, four inches, she was the shortest Miss America since 1921 and, at 106 pounds, the lightest ever.

Mrs. America, Mrs. Frances L. Cloyd of San Diego, 23, had been selected on Sunday in Asbury Park, N.J.

Miss Germany, Ingeborg Marianne Loewenstein, arrived in New York, saying that American girls were built better than the usually heavyset German girls.

On the editorial page, "State Merit System" praises the series of articles by Dick Young of The News anent State Government and the need for an extension of the merit system enjoyed by about 15 percent of State employees, as he explained in the last of the series appearing this date. The piece believes that there was an urgent need for this merit system, to prevent Governor Kerr Scott from continuing to be able to fire at whim State employees regarded as less than loyal to his Administration. The practice caused a chilling effect among all State workers, threatened with loss of their jobs. While the situation was not yet so bad, if the trend continued, it would be desirable to have the merit system in place to avoid the State Government being turned into a "political grab bag".

"A Tremendous Gamble" finds that the 20 million dollar loan from the Export-Import Bank and the sale of a three million dollar steel rolling mill to Yugoslavia to be a gamble for the fact that Tito's regime was a Communist dictatorship, even if one independent of Moscow.

The reason for the generosity was the hope that Tito would be able to stand up to Russia and induce by example the other Soviet satellites in the Balkans to do likewise. The State Department had called the largess a "calculated risk", but the piece regards it as a "tremendous gamble", one, however, which would pay off if successful.

"Congress and Economy" tells of thirteen passed appropriations bills having shaved 1.7 billion dollars from the President's budget. But in some cases contract authorizations were increased to compensate for the reduction in actual appropriations and there had been added an authorized deficiency appropriation to the bill for veterans' pensions. Also, allowance had been made for increase of appropriations in subsequent years in some instances.

After these various adjustments, the actual savings would likely be very small. It concludes therefore that the Congress had not thus far demonstrated a very impressive record on economy, notwithstanding giving it a lot of lip service.

"The First Autumn" wonders what a visitor from Puntarenas, Costa Rica, would say of experiencing an American autumn for the first time.

A piece from the Atlanta Journal, titled "We're Just an Eightball", finds themselves not "in the groove", "just an eightball", in newspeak "slanguage", meaning "square". "Drop dead" meant to get lost. Going steady was referred to as "having the hots", divided into degrees between the "purple hots", "the warms" and the "semi-sweets". Coffee was "Joe". The telephone was a "tube"; the automobile, a "unit". Going out with friends to gab was "to jelly".

Most of the slang emanated originally from veterans on the college campuses. All of the intelligence was courtesy of Millard Grimes of the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer.

Drew Pearson tells of White House personnel close to the President indicating that the President was taking the battle over Maj. General Harry Vaughan, his military aide, more seriously than most other issues. He had coached General Vaughan on virtually every possible question he might expect when he went before the Senate Investigating subcommittee examining influence peddling. The President was chiefly worried about probes into campaign contributions made through General Vaughan, a small number of which he admitted receiving during the hearings. Some insiders had estimated that the General raised as much as $100,000 in 1948.

The White House had employed "police state" methods regarding the Vaughan investigation. Senators believed that their phones were tapped and some witnesses and investigators had been subjected to pressure from persons close to the President. He lists several such incidents.

During FDR's tenure as President, when a member of his team became a liability and made too many enemies on Capitol Hill, the President eased out the person, even when an intimate friend. He had applied military-type discipline to those working for him at the White House.

President Truman, by contrast, believed in getting into the front-line trenches, taking just as much criticism as his subordinates. It was a fine personal quality but impeded his political program, on which he was elected the previous November.

Madame Chiang Kai-Shek, living in Virginia in regal splendor, still believed she could raise money in the U.S. for her husband's failing regime. She chain-smoked and seemed high-strung in a recent interview.

The French Foreign Office, the only Western diplomats left in Albania, warned the State Department that there were nearly 6,000 Russian agents in Albania disguised as tourists, supervising the storage of huge quantities of Russian arms.

Dick Young of The News, in the fourth and last of his series on State Government, tells of there being about 3,500 of the 23,000 State employees working under a merit system, which many political observers believed ought be extended to all employees to prevent their being fired simply because of change in gubernatorial administrations. The present merit system, established in 1938, was in place because the employees worked for State and local units receiving Federal money, requiring such a system, similar to the Federal Civil Service. He goes on to explain how it worked.

Weimar Jones, the editor of The Franklin Press, addresses a letter to Governor Scott, expressing complete support for the Governor and his programs but finding reservation in his willingness to fire or demote experienced personnel who had performed their jobs well, citing two such cases, a member of the Highway Commission and a Highway Patrolman of Macon County, both of whom had been demoted.

Robert C. Ruark tells of Augustus and Ruth Goetz who unabashedly worked as Hollywood script writers, having temporarily departed Broadway for the lusher pay, if less acceptable realm, of film. Most writers in New York turned up their noses at the mere mention of Hollywood and even most Hollywood writers who had been playwrights complained of the superficiality, yet never being reticent about collecting their paychecks of $2,000 per week.

The Goetzes, however, who had just completed the screenplay for their hit play, "The Heiress", claimed complete happiness with Paramount, the producer-director William Wyler—later to direct the 1959 version of "Ben-Hur"—and the principal actors, Olivia DeHavilland and Montgomery Clift. They said, contrary to the usual horror stories delivered by playwrights turned to Hollywood fare, that there were no re-writes or edits of lines they had liked in their adaptation. They even refused to criticize American tastes for demanding "unleavened trash in movie entertainment", but believed that the movie makers had underestimated the public's receptivity to better fare than merely the blockbuster hit, again, heresy within the Broadway clique.

They were headed back to Hollywood to write another screenplay.

He finds it heartening, especially as he had just heard that a studio was changing the name of "The Forsyte Saga" to "That Forsyte Woman" for the film version. He would have thought that "The Heiress" would have been re-titled, "I Found a Million-Dollar Baby at High Noon in Macy's Window".

He was glad to hear good things about Hollywood as he hoped one day to make some money there himself.

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