The Charlotte News

Thursday, September 15, 1949


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the President had nominated former Senator and sitting Judge of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, Sherman Minton, to replace deceased Wiley Rutledge on the Supreme Court. Justice-designate Minton, 58, was actually three years older than Justice Rutledge, who had died the previous Saturday after suffering a cerebral hemorrhage a week earlier. As a Senator from Indiana, Mr. Minton had been a friend to then Senator Harry Truman and a fervent supporter of the New Deal and FDR's 1937 so-called Court-packing plan to permit the President to appoint an "assistant justice" to the Court whenever a justice reached age 70, at the time embracing six active justices. The controversial plan, designed to get around the "nine old men" blocking New Deal programs, was bitterly opposed in Congress and failed, though retirements and deaths of justices, starting in fall, 1937, made the purpose of the plan superfluous. He had also supported FDR's Government reorganization plan, designed to make the executive branch more efficient and less wasteful—as that just passed by the Congress in 1949, permitting the President to reorganize. One of Senator Minton's more controversial bills during his single term would have made it a criminal libel to publish any "known untruth" about a Federal public official.

Justice Minton had grown up in Indiana and graduated from Indiana University both as an undergraduate and from law school, then attending Yale for a year. He had been defeated for re-election to the Senate in 1940 and was appointed to the Seventh Circuit by FDR in 1941.

Justice Minton would serve on the Court only seven years before retiring in 1956. One of his more interesting positions was his joinder of Chief Justice Vinson's dissent in Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer in 1952, which held, 6 to 3, the President's emergent seizure of the steel mills in the interest of national defense in time of war to be an unconstitutional exercise of executive power absent specific Congressional authorization, appearing to be an inconsistent position to that which he had taken in 1940, while still in the Senate, against seizure of factories by the Secretary of the Navy for shipbuilding in preparation for war.

In Washington, French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman arrived to join talks between Secretary of State Acheson and British Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin, with the topic to be the Communist movement beyond China in the Far East, especially of interest, said M. Schuman, to the French—a reference to Indo-China. It was anticipated that the three foreign ministers would agree on Secretary Acheson's proposal for U.N. action regarding the refusal of the three Soviet satellites, Bulgaria, Hungary, and Rumania, to appoint commissions, consistent with their postwar treaty obligations, regarding alleged human rights violations. The other NATO nations' foreign ministers were also to join the talks, in advance of the U.N. General Assembly meeting set to begin the following week.

Secretary of the Treasury John W. Snyder notified the International Monetary Fund that the U.S. would not agree to a boost in the price of gold to $35 per ounce, as proposed by South Africa, and that the U.S. would, if necessary, use its veto power on the Fund to kill it.

It was believed that Sir Stafford Cripps, British Chancellor of the Exchequer, would depart Washington by Friday, before conclusion of the conference, lessening the chance that Britain would take any stance on the recommendation of the IMF that the dollar-short countries devalue their currencies—something Mr. Cripps would announce upon his arrival home, notwithstanding British official predictions to the contrary.

Attorney General J. Howard McGrath filed a lawsuit to break up the A & P grocery store chain, convicted in Illinois three years earlier of criminal antitrust violations, affirmed on appeal. Alleging imposition of unreasonable restraint of trade on competitors, the new action sought to force the chain to separate its buying and selling operations from its manufacturing and processing business and to separate its seven retail store divisions into independently owned food chains, with A & P permitted to operate only one, about 800 stores, compared to its holdings then of 6,000 stores. A & P controlled 6.4 percent of the retail grocery market nationwide.

In Pittsburgh, United Steelworkers president Philip Murray alleged that U.S. Steel was trying to provoke a strike for refusing, absent collective bargaining, acceptance of the recommendations by the President's fact-finding board, already accepted by the union, that the companies would pay for a 10-cent per hour increase in pension and social insurance benefits, rejecting the union's demand of a 30-cent combination wage and benefits increase. U.S. Steel asserted that the workers ought contribute to the financing of social insurance and that it should not be borne exclusively by the companies, as recommended by the board. Mr. Murray appeared to reject this position in his reply telegram to U.S. Steel president Benjamin Fairless. The strike would begin September 25 unless agreement on a new contract was reached by that date.

In Columbia, S.C., a doctor who had treated the nurse who was allegedly pistol-whipped by an associate professor of engineering at the University of South Carolina, testified that he had to administer over 100 stitches to her head, which was so battered that it felt "spongy". Fifty-seven of the stitches were to her face and the remainder to her scalp. A deputy sheriff testified that when he first encountered the scene, both the nurse and the associate professor were on the kitchen floor in a bloody mess, with his legs wrapped around her neck in a scissors grip and a German pistol matted with hair poised between them. At the hospital, the professor had jumped off the emergency room table and encountered a doctor who had dated the nurse, accusing him of being the cause of the violence. The victim had testified that the professor had hidden under her bed while she was out and emerged after she had undressed, proceeded to beat her for almost two hours.

Tom Fesperman of The News relates of the start of Charlotte schools for the year amid the worst overcrowding in the history of the system. Some pupils had no room available for exercise or to take art classes, as there was no room in the crowded classrooms even for drawing paper. Some rooms had no blackboards. Dr. Elmer H. Garinger, superintendent, said that the bad situation was only going to get worse as more children each year poured into the system. At one badly overcrowded school, both the music room and the school's museum had been converted to classrooms and the nurse's room was at the end of a hall. A third grade class was being taught on the stage of the auditorium, which had to be vacated during first period each morning in favor of the library and then the playground, to make way for the school's orchestra practice. School officials were attempting to rent a room in a church building. In another school, the teachers' lounge was converted to a classroom for twenty pupils, who had no room to stand to do calisthenics or to draw at their desks.

You'll have to learn to do as we did in the first grade and have split sessions, mornings, until 12:30, during the first half of the year, and then afternoons, until 4:30, the second half, until they built another new school. It was fun. Of course, we had to start to school every morning at 2:00 a.m. to get there in time during the first half of the year, and by 6:00 a.m., during the second half. So it was quite different from the rigorous daily schedule which would follow, even though we did not arrive home until about 11:00 p.m. each night during the second half, too late to pick the corn, too early to milk the cows.

Then, we had class in a trailer in the second grade. They'd come during the nighttime and move it around on a truck so's we couldn't find it some mornings, would just have to wait around until the classroom arrived to pick us up and take us to far away places, even into space with the astronauts some days.

The book review page would appear in all editions of The News on Friday, featuring a review of Hans Kohn's The Twentieth Century: A Midway Account of the Western World.

On the editorial page, "In Terms of Human Needs..." tells of the Community Chest "Red Feather" campaign having a high goal of $334,803, ten percent more than in 1948, set after careful study of the community's needs served by the drive. Compared to the rise in costs since the war, the Chest relatively was setting a lower goal than during the war years, even though higher in absolute dollars.

The Chest had also assumed responsibility of the Mecklenburg League of Crippled Children, American Social Hygiene Society, and the United Service Organization, meaning three fewer charitable campaigns in the county for the year.

"The Pennsylvania Election" comments on the special Congressional election in Pennsylvania to replace deceased war veteran Robert L. Coffey, Jr., with his mother pitted against John Saylor, won by the latter. The election had been viewed as an early referendum on the Fair Deal, as Mr. Saylor had run on the basis that its central premise was to convert the society to a "socialistic welfare state" with labor bosses as "carpetbaggers trying to tell the people how to vote".

The result was not unanticipated as the district consistently, with the exception of 1948 when Mr. Coffey had been elected, had voted Republican since 1938. But Mr. Saylor had won also in industrial Johnstown, where Mrs. Coffey had been expected to do well for her favoring, as had her son, repeal of Taft-Hartley.

The Republicans, understandably, were proclaiming the results as forecasting a Republican Congress again in 1950. But the piece reminds them that their prospects had appeared quite bright also in 1948, thus should substitute for celebration the type of door-to-door campaigning which Mr. Saylor had done.

"Awesome Autophony" is anxious to try the new mobile phone technology inaugurated by Bell Telephone. It wonders, however, whether it would truly be any blessing as it would not permit escape by vehicle from the noisome ringing of the telephone. It might be the in-laws calling to come into town for a couple of weeks.

One happy thought was that the autophone could not rouse a person from the bathtub as there were none yet in cars. "Or, are there?"

A piece from the Raleigh News & Observer, titled "'The Admissions Bottleneck'", remarks positively on the editorial of the same name which had appeared recently in The News, anent the need for pre-admission centers associated with hospitals in the main population centers of the state to eliminate the necessity of housing mental patients in the county jails, not equipped with psychiatric staff or personnel with proper training to deal with such patients, while they awaited the back-logged admission process to State hospitals.

A proposal had been made in Charlotte to build a special wing on the Memorial Hospital for the purpose, nixed because the responsibility for care of the mentally ill properly fell on the State and such a facility would actually tend to extend the waiting time for patients out of Mecklenburg, given that they would be receiving proper care in the meantime. Thus, the county which provided proper care was penalized vis-à-vis the State admissions policy.

The News had proposed to construct a number of pre-admissions facilities therefore across the state both to screen whether a patient truly needed State institutionalization and to provide preliminary care in advance of admission. The News & Observer thinks it a sound suggestion.

Bob Sain of The News also looks at this issue, from the perspective of Dr. Allyn B. Choate of the North Carolina Mental Hygiene Society. Dr. Choate believed that the idea of pre-admissions clinics was not as proper an expenditure of resources as improvement of existing State facilities and encouragement of training of more psychiatrists in the medical schools to obviate the need for lengthy waiting to enter.

He stated that the primary problem was the relative dearth of psychiatrists in the state, one for every 64,900 persons against a national average of one for every 35,500. There was thus need for the state's medical schools to turn out more psychiatrists. There had been a general awakening to the need for psychiatric care in the population, which he believed had been the result of the war.

Some social workers were being recruited from the UNC School of Social Work for the state's existing mental hygiene clinics. The clinics had been established by county mental hygiene societies within several of the population centers across the state. As the N.C. Mental Hygiene Society established an office in Raleigh, it was hoped, said Dr. Choate, that it could recruit more members.

We hope, sincerely, that you can find some adequate space for the 2016 Republican nominee to undergo some evaluation next time he visits the state, maybe at Butner. After all, that would be the result for most visitors to the state who repeatedly stimulated with public statements riotous conduct. Why should we make exceptions? Is he some sort of privileged character, above the law?

Drew Pearson finds that the concept of the "nine old men" had returned to the Supreme Court with the appointment of Tom Clark and a pending appointment by the President, to rule, he believes, against the New Deal philosophy, as had the Court of the 1930's, until death and retirement began to make room, beginning in 1937, for FDR nominations. He believes that the turn to the right on the Court would become shortly apparent. The Court would have three distinct groups, aligned as Justices Black and Douglas as solid liberals, Frankfurter and Jackson as conservatives, though appointed as liberals by FDR, and Chief Justice Vinson, Justices Reed, Burton and the two new Justices in the middle, all, save Justice Reed, being appointees of President Truman. Justice Reed had been formerly liberal but had been swayed to the center. The middle was steered by Chief Justice Vinson.

Court insiders believed that Justice Frankfurter was the most likely to resign because of consistent needling by Justice Douglas, who at one time wanted to resign. Justice Frankfurter would remain on the Court until 1962 and Justice Douglas, after suffering a stroke, would retire in 1975.

To win over Justice Reed, the Court liberals had studied his previous opinions and inserted some of his pet phraseology to try to sway him. At least in the Associated Press opinion, it had worked.

Chief Justice Vinson, a great human being, had not surprised those who knew him with his drift to the right, as he had always been somewhat right of center, though had stuck by the New Deal when serving under FDR. He presided over the Court with formality, in contrast to his predecessor Harlan Stone, who was quite informal. Even Justices had to make formal appointments to see Chief Justice Vinson and state to his secretary their business. As a result, some members of the Court no longer called on him.

Marquis Childs discusses the need for investigation of members of Congress who were also lawyers taking fees on the side to become special pleaders for special interests. In one incident, the previous spring, Congressman Earl Chudoff of Pennsylvania had sought to appear in Federal Court to defend a client for sending obscene literature through the mail. The Federal Judge, a former Congressman, himself, stopped Mr. Chudoff from appearing because his representation as a member of Congress was unlawful. Mr. Chudoff's argument that other Congressmen had appeared for clients while sitting was to no avail.

Mr. Childs tells of Pennsylvania Congressman Francis Walter having represented a railroad in a matter before a Federal court and being awarded an attorney's fee of $170,000 by the judge. When Mr. Childs asked Mr. Walters about the matter, he had said that he would tell him the truth about it after he returned from his junket in Europe.

The Department of Justice had weighed in on the matter, stating that in the absence of a judicial determination, it was not possible to deny that a violation of the law could result when a member of Congress represented a client in Federal court.

The reason for the rule was that a conflict of interest, or at least the appearance of same, arose for the fact that the same Congressman or Senator might recommend or have recommended the judge for his position on the bench or a position on a higher bench. In the case of Mr. Walters, he was the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee and so the possibility of such a conflict was quite real.

Mr. Childs states that both parties were at fault in such matters and inquiry into the abuse of influence, as he would develop in a subsequent column, had arisen in both the Senate and the House.

Robert C. Ruark discusses the bikini bathing suit. He had first seen it on the island of Capri in 1947 and initially blushed, was bored by the second day, and annoyed at the too great display of "meat" by the third day. He suggests that few women could stand the exposure afforded by the bikini and that, in any event, placing so much on display for the potential suitor was a way to kill the mystery of romance.

"Among the more sensible lassies, I cannot think that public nakedness is permanent. No man who asks for a canape wishes to be served a full-course New England boiled dinner."

A Quote of the Day: "Of course there are two sides to every question if we really are not interested in either of them." —Greensboro Daily News

Another Quote of the Day: "J. E. Robertson, the banker, is telling a golf story which does not bear repeating. It seems that a Carlsbad golfer bought a new pair of golf sox, wore them out to the golf course and made a hole in one." –Carlsbad (N.M.) Current-Argus

That story may have been a bit mangled. Probably "on" the golf course where the sox were worn 'fore they got the hole torn was meant.

Framed Edition
[Return to Links
Page by Subject] [Return to Links-Page by Date] [Return to News<i><i><i>—</i></i></i>Framed Edition]
Links-Date Links-Subj.