The Charlotte News

Saturday, September 17, 1949


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the 12-nation NATO council ordered the creation of a top-level military committee to develop measures for the unified defense of the North Atlantic area. The Big Three would play the dominant role in developing the plan and the committee would have its permanent headquarters in Washington. The Council of Foreign Ministers also stated that they had established a defense committee to be comprised of the defense ministers of the NATO members.

In Toronto, a fire aboard the pleasure cruiser Noronic killed at least 192 persons, with the death toll possibly rising as high as 226, the worst Great Lakes ship fire in a century. A total of 512 passengers, all save about 20 being Americans, and 170 crew members were aboard when the fire erupted in the early morning hours with the ship docked in Toronto. The fire had started in a stateroom while most of the passengers were sleeping. The ship was bound for the Thousand Islands.

A list of previous ship fires with heavy death tolls is printed. The largest had been in 1904 in New York, taking 1,021 lives. Two others, one in Rio de Janeiro in 1906 and one in China in 1934, had about the same number of deaths as the ship in Toronto.

The likelihood of a steel strike diminished, but a UMW coal strike loomed for the following week.

The Veterans Administration had provided a formula for veterans to figure out the life insurance dividend checks they could expect within the ensuing nine months, with a top amount of $528 per person. A blank space is provided for your convenience in figuring the amount, in case you have no paper handy. But where is the free pencil?

A small single-engine plane, with two Italians aboard, was missing on a flight from the Azores to New York, and Coast Guard, Air Force and Canadian aircraft were searching for it, overdue since 6:50 a.m. The flight was planned to win American support for a proposed Boys Town in Italy.

In London, the Marquess of Milford Haven, best man at the wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip, was engaged to be married to American socialite Mrs. Romaine Simpson.

In Columbia, S.C., the University of South Carolina associate professor of engineering charged with burglary and assault and battery with intent to kill for allegedly pistol-whipping his former girlfriend, a nurse, when she would not accept his repeated proposals of marriage, testified in his own behalf at the jury trial. Both testified that the couple had registered several times at hotels as man and wife. The judge had refused to allow into evidence a record of the defendant's conviction for a prior offense of sending obscene material through the mail because the defendant's character was not in issue—but the newspaper, unless the jury was sequestered or obeyed assiduously the court's instructions not to read about the case, had now informed them, notwithstanding the court's ruling.

In the vicinity of Wilmington, N.C., oil interests were planning to begin drilling for oil in Onslow and Pender Counties within two months.

In Charlotte, Tom Franklin, 43, chief staff photographer for The News, died during the morning after a heart attack the previous Sunday. He had been in a coma since the previous night when he suffered a second attack and a stroke. His health had begun to fail five years earlier as he suffered from high blood pressure and heart problems, having several heart attacks in the interim. He had been with the newspaper since 1936 and ran his own studio in Charlotte as well. He had attended UNC after growing up in Charlotte.

In Dover, England, Tini Junker, 18, of Holland, set out to swim the English Channel. An Egyptian Army lieutenant, Hassan Absel Rehim, began swimming four hours ahead of her and was expected to reach the French coast by 9:00 p.m.

On the editorial page, "Mental Health Objectives" tells of State Representative John Umstead, long an advocate for the State hospitals, having spoken in Charlotte recently, saying that he was confident that the burden of having local jails being custodians for mental patients awaiting processing into the overcrowded State hospitals, would be alleviated by 1951. The piece believes him overly optimistic, but that the goal might be possible to achieve if enough doctors could be employed and clerks of court persuaded to stop playing politics and commit only those persons in genuine need of hospitalization.

It finds that the State ought take responsibility for preventive treatment of incipient mental illness and counseling for newly discharged patients, better accomplished at regional clinics than at the large hospitals.

It reminds that the principal goal of the State mental health system ought be to keep people out of the system, not merely to get them admitted promptly.

"Smouldering Fires" finds that the speed with which the high-ranking Navy officers had offered support for the attack on national defense policies by Navy Captain John Crommelin underscored that the longstanding animosities between the branches of the military remained. He had contended that the Joint Chiefs were destroying the Navy's effectiveness, favoring the Army and Air Force.

The piece suggests to Admiral Hugh Godwin, who had written in the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot a defense of Captain Crommelin's charge, that the President was still the commander in chief of the armed forces and that Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson was an able civilian administrator of the military.

"A Narrow Escape" finds that the school bus accident near Mooresville the previous day, injuring 19 children and one adult, should serve as warning to all parts of the state to assure better maintenance of school buses, the fault having been loss of a wheel and not any driver error.

"The Billingsville Project" agrees with the following editorial from the Raleigh News & Observer that there were many school buildings in the state, black and white, which ought be abandoned. But, it suggests, the Billingsville school, described elsewhere in the edition and the focus of the N & O editorial, was not such a "phony" project. Originally, the school building had pot-bellied stoves, outdoor toilets, and poor lighting. But as the editorial below indicates, the toilets were considered too dangerous to the water supply for installation and the heating system was found to be a fire hazard without certain improvements to the structure, causing those improvements not to be allowed. Only new fluorescent lighting was approved.

New plans, however, had been drawn for the indoor toilets so they would not compromise the water supply and for the heating facilities to comply with the Fire Marshall's regulations. Eventually, the school would have the modern appliances, plus motion picture projectors and a modern recording machine.

A piece from the Raleigh News & Observer, titled "Illumination", finds, per the above editorial, that the refusal to approve toilets, for endangering a local water supply, and heating equipment, because of a fire hazard, at a black school on the outskirts of Charlotte, was another example of trying to patch up an obsolete black school. Only fluorescent lighting had been approved, giving the appearance of illuminating "the phony quality of all such projects."

A legislative roundup is provided from the Congressional Quarterly, regarding actions on twelve proposals for veterans.

Drew Pearson tells of great progress having been made in the Navy's submarine fleet, though little had been publicized about it. The Russians, having taken over the German U-boats and scientists at the end of the war, had the most modern submarines in the world. But the U.S. Navy had worked to keep up with the Russians and had developed a snorkel breathing device to enable the submarines to remain submerged for days at a time, the primary advantage enjoyed by the Soviet fleet. The American sub also could cruise at 21 knots, though average was 11. A short time previously, a U.S. sub had crossed the Atlantic to England without surfacing.

The Soviets had developed a chemical which permitted breathing without use of a snorkel device extending to the surface, and so the Navy was busy trying to duplicate the chemical.

Philip Murray had failed to disclose that United Steelworkers locals had not easily gone along with the President's fact-finding board recommendations, though unanimously approved by the wage policy committee of the union. Inland Steel's workers objected the loudest.

H.A. Dunn of Austin, Texas, worked from 5:30 a.m. each day as superintendent of the Main Building at the University of Texas. Two years earlier, hearing of the need to replace school books destroyed by the war in the Philippines, he set out to get students to donate their used textbooks to the schools of the Philippines, collected 30,000 books which had been recently shipped. He had accomplished the task on his own without any outside help or funding. Mr. Pearson regards him therefore as an "S.O.B.", a "real Servant of Brotherhood".

The President had been against appropriating any money for China but suddenly changed his mind and agreed to the 75 million dollar appropriation approved by the Congress. The reason for the change was that General MacArthur had informed him that it would be possible to delay the Communist offensive indefinitely by giving some aid directly to the Chinese warlords in the field. As the plan would bypass Chiang Kai-Shek, the President told Senator Tom Connally that he approved.

Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson had canceled an order for a Defense Department photographic darkroom after learning that the Air Force and Signal Corps each already had one in the Pentagon, thus practicing the economy he preached.

Joseph and Stewart Alsop tell of the talks on Asia between Secretary of State Acheson and British Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin being productive. They had agreed on policy for Japan, Southeast Asia, and India, as well as Hong Kong, which Britain intended to defend if attacked, without American help.

But Mr. Bevin did not agree with U.S. policy with respect to China. Whereas the U.S. wanted the power to cut off trade between the West and China, Britain, with its vast holdings there, wanted to control shipment of war materiel and munitions. That insistence stemmed from Britain's precarious economic plight.

More importantly, a positive American policy toward Asia had finally emerged from the conference, in large part the result of the efforts of Ambassador-at-Large Philip Jessup, who had been assigned by Secretary Acheson to study the Far Eastern policy. Though still in the planning phase, at least the thinking was imaginative and intelligent. One project suggested by Ambassador Jessup and his staff was to name an American supreme commander for Asia. Former Undersecretary of State Robert Lovett had been suggested for the position but there was still no decision as to who it might be.

Another suggestion was to have the President make an affirmative policy statement on Asia, assuring that the U.S. genuinely favored independent regimes, would oppose Communism, and was determined to raise standards of living in Asia. That statement would be to reassure the Asian people that America was not abandoning them, a belief which was widespread in that part of the world.

Marquis Childs cites the recent discovery that Senator Styles Bridges of New Hampshire was receiving a $35,000 salary to serve on the UMW welfare fund board, as an example of what could become accepted as common practice, members of Congress receiving outside income from interests which could compromise objectivity in carrying out their legislative duties. Senator Wayne Morse had proposed legislation to limit the practice by requiring disclosure by Senators of all sources of income. No action had yet occurred on the bill and it was unlikely that it would.

Former Senator and DNC chairman and now Attorney General, J. Howard McGrath, with a high reputation for integrity, had served as a paid trustee of a charities trust in his home state of Rhode Island. He had gone to bat for the trust in a dispute with the IRB and it appeared to strain credulity to assume that he would not have greater influence before a Government agency than the ordinary trustee.

Mr. Childs urges that some action be taken to stem this activity to protect the majority of scrupulous members of Congress.

Incidentally, with all the weirdness, ooo. All the weirdness. OOO. Oh, look, all the weirdness, ooooooo. All that weeeeeird-neeeess. OOOOOOO, oooo-oooo. We think we have figured out the secret of the body-double for "Madame Secretary". She was Willie Campbell, and they participated in an holographic exchange arranged by the We Can't Tell Yet Blue Meanies Screen Sunbeam Society of 1966, more secret than any other organization on earth, even surpassing Skull & Bones, the Masons, even the Pirates. But do not impart this secret intel to anyone lest you be atomized by daybreak next. Because of all the weirdness, ooo. O my ga...

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.