The Charlotte News

Monday, September 19, 1949


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Sir Stafford Cripps, Chancellor of the Exchequer, had announced, upon his return to England from the tripartite financial conference with the U.S. and Canada, that the British pound sterling would be devalued by 30.5 percent. The news was received by Britons as a blow in the face and produced financial turmoil around the world, closing banks in London, France, Holland, Greece, South Africa, and many other countries. Devaluation dropped the worth of the pound from $4.03 to $2.80, an effort to limit the outflow of dwindling reserve dollars and prevent the country's bankruptcy by enabling sale of more exports to America, such as cheaper Scotch whiskey, English tweeds, and Staffordshire china. (We make our own teas, now, thank you much, Ma'am.)

Thirteen nations in Europe and Asia quickly followed suit to devalue their currency accordingly. It was the biggest financial turmoil since Britain had gone off the gold standard, nearly 18 years earlier.

In a nationwide radio address to Britons the previous night, Mr. Cripps had asserted that he hoped the move would enable Britain to be self-supporting by 1952, when ERP aid was set to conclude. He said that if dollars continued to drain away at present rates, it would lead to lowered standards of living and widespread unemployment.

You can bet dollars to donuts on it.

Philip Murray, president of the United Steelworkers, said that the only way to avert a steel strike would be settlement by the companies of the pensions dispute per the President's fact-finding board recommendations, a ten-cent increase in pension and social insurance benefits paid exclusively by the companies. Government conciliation began.

In Pittsburgh, coal mines began shutting down as miners walked out on the basis of pension payments not being made by the operators. Most of the nation's 480,000 miners were expected to be idle by nightfall. UMW president John L. Lewis said that failure of operators to make payments to the pension fund had caused the fund to dip dangerously low as a three-day work week since July 1, ordered by Mr. Lewis and agreed by the operators to avoid a strike under the no-contract conditions, had caused the depletion based on low production output, the fund being based on operator contributions per ton of production.

The UAW gave Ford the equivalent of a ten-day strike notice.

The Senate Approved the appointment of John Carson to the Federal Trade Commission. The previous week, the Senate had rejected the President's appointment of Carl Ilgenfritz to the Defense Department's munitions board and so there had been some question as to whether Mr. Carson's appointment would be confirmed, some Republicans contending that he lacked experience and opposed free enterprise.

Moody's investor service restored North Carolina's "AA" rating for bonds, as applied to the first 50 million dollars worth of the four-year 200-million dollar rural road bonds approved by the voters the prior June. Several months earlier, the rating had been dropped to "A".

In Toronto, the known dead from the Saturday morning fire aboard the docked cruise ship S.S. Noronic stood at 121, with 84 still missing below decks. Authorities believed that the death toll might reach 205. It was hoped that up to ninety percent of those still missing were already at home. Most of the 511 passengers had been Americans.

In Miami, a 27-year old dance hall hostess had been killed in a downtown hotel by a jealous suitor who slashed her throat with a razor blade. The woman, with her four-year old daughter, had come to Miami from Tennessee two weeks earlier with the assailant, who admitted the crime to police and was charged with first degree murder. The couple had planned to be married but when she did not get home until 6:00 a.m., he argued with her and after she told him that she had found someone else and that he could leave, he slit her throat.

In Atlanta, the 62-year old mother-in-law of a judge, 44, on trial for murder of his former friend, an attorney, testified that she had once threatened to kill the judge when he made improper advances toward her before her daughter and the judge had separated. The case was expected to go to the jury by the following day.

In Newton, N.C., a Southern Railway passenger train hurtled off the tracks and down an embankment, taking the lives of two cooks aboard and injuring 50 others. The train had been en route from Salisbury to Asheville. Pictures are included, from the Tom Franklin Studio.

In Warrenton, Va., actress Elizabeth Taylor and William Pawley, Jr., son of the former Ambassador to Brazil, mutually called off their previously announced engagement. He said that her movie commitments had something to do with the termination. They had met the previous March at a party in Florida and announced their engagement in June.

On the editorial page, "A Fundamental Principle" discusses the primary point of dispute between the United Steelworkers and the steel industry being the method of financing of pension and social insurance plans, whether to be borne solely by the company, as recommended by the President's fact-finding board and accepted by the union, or shared by the workers, as desired by the companies, especially U.S. Steel.

The principle of shared responsibility was already in the Social Security Act and so it would be hard to convince the companies to foot the bill alone.

The Steelworkers, however, led by Philip Murray, were adamant about adhering to the board's recommendations and it hopes that the position would not break down the mediation efforts to prevent a nationwide steel strike.

"The Kinross-Wright Plan" finds merit in the plan of a Charlotte psychiatrist that persons be examined by the local Mental Hygiene Clinic while being housed at the jail awaiting admission to a State mental hospital. The resulting report would then be sent to the State hospital and arrangements for the patients made accordingly. The only problem was that the Clerk of Court or a Superior Court judge had first to approve any interview of such a prisoner in the jail. But Dr. Kinross-Wright, who proposed the plan, would seek to change that categorization to "patient" rather than "prisoner" unless the person had actually committed a crime.

"Thomas S. Franklin" laments the death the previous Saturday of the News chief photographer from a heart attack at age 43. It finds that since he had joined the staff in 1936, he had been a "real artist" with a camera, with a flair for composition and a "keen sense of the dramatic". One of his best moments was an action shot captured at the Duke-Pitt football game in 1938 during a snowstorm. In latter years, on doctor's orders, he had been forced to provide assignments to younger members of his staff. But he had become frustrated by the inactivity and often went out on assignment himself when no one else was available.

It offers in conclusion, "Well done!"

Here are a few examples of Mr. Franklin's photographic work: from December 6, 1938, top left of page; March 12, 1939; December 6, 1945, lower left of page; and January 15, 1948, center, top of page.

"Oklahoma's Booze Battle" tells of a State constitutional alcohol prohibition provision in Oklahoma facing a statewide referendum on September 27, prompting the Dry forces nationwide to be out in full force to defeat it. If the vote was against prohibition, it would leave only Mississippi as the lone hold-out with statewide prohibition. And there, bootleggers were taxed by the State and allowed to operate openly.

It considers it unlikely that any great number of Americans would ever again permit prohibition after it had been so thoroughly discredited during the Twenties.

A piece from the Louisville Courier-Journal, titled "We Still Love Bebe", tells of its anticipation of missing Miss America for 1948, Bebe Shopp of Minnesota. They remembered her for having stated that her pastimes were playing the vibraphone and cleaning fish, "an occupational duet as wholesome as it was original."

When someone during her recently concluded European tour asked whether she wished to meet Giuliano, a Sicilian bandit, she wholly assented, thinking she was being asked whether she wanted to meet Juliana, Queen of the Netherlands.

"No, with all her charm, we don't think the new Miss America can displace Bebe, in the headlines or in our gnarled and crusty heart."

It mentions only briefly her recent discussion abroad advocating truthiness about falsies and eschewing the four-dabbed French bikinis.

Arthur Krock of the New York Times discusses the appointment of former Senator and Judge Sherman Minton to the Supreme Court to replace deceased Justice Wiley Rutledge. Judge Minton had served eight years as a Judge on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals and thus was adequately imbued with judicial experience. But he had shown no particular tendency toward disinterest or creative thinking while a Senator for one term between 1935 and 1941.

He had been a crony of Senator Truman and an ardent supporter of the New Deal, including support for the Court-packing plan of 1937 and the reorganization bill of 1938. He had headed the Lobby Investigating Committee in 1936 and in that capacity had led the fight to obtain from the FCC a number of telegrams ordinarily considered the private property of their senders and receivers, then made them public.

During the fight over the Court-packing plan, designed to allow the President to appoint "assistant justices" to each Justice reaching age 70, then including five Justices plus the Chief, Senator Minton had assailed the effort of Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes to oppose the plan, calling his defense of the Court's nine-justice setup to be "facts, fiction, and dictum", the first being garnered from his law clerks, the second based on the claim by the Chief that the justices considered all petitions for certiorari when they were actually considered by the clerks, and the "dictum" being that the Chief had said the work was evenly divided among the members of the Court. Mr. Minton also attacked the "frailty" of mind of Justice Owen Roberts, appointed by President Hoover in 1930. Judge Minton's position was supported at the time by Senator Hugo Black, appointed by FDR to the Court in 1937, and then Solicitor General Robert Jackson, appointed by FDR to the Court in 1941, both presently sitting Justices.

His worst moment as a Senator had been a month-long proposal of a law to make it a libel to publish a "known untruth" about a public official, before he withdrew it amid the outcry of the press and other members of Congress, one Senator predicting that he would have been alone in voting for it had he persisted.

Mr. Krock suggests that the President's cronyism was somewhat at work again in motivating the appointment but he hopes that Judge Minton would prove an asset to the Court.

Drew Pearson again relates of why Defense Secretary Louis Johnson backtracked on his order that only military business would justify henceforth use of military planes for junkets by members of Congress. Had the threatened investigation gone forth of the executive branch's use of military planes, it would have found that the President's special plane, built for the presumed win of Thomas Dewey in 1948, had made a special trip to the annual jubilee at Bohemian Grove, California, with special friends of Mr. Johnson aboard. The only Government personnel aboard had been Undersecretary of Defense Steve Early and Undersecretary of State John Peurifoy. It had then flown back to Washington and carried both Secretary of State Acheson and Secretary Johnson to the Bohemian Grove event.

When Mr. Pearson had sought information on the trip, he received the run-around from an Air Force spokesman, who said that while the information was not classified, information released to the public about Government officials should not embarrass others outside the Government. The trip had cost the taxpayers $130 per hour of air time.

Robert C. Ruark, in Atlanta, tells of a song popular in the South, with the lyric, "Save your Confederate money, boys, the South will rise again." It was sung with great confidence.

The South was feeling cocky since the news of the riots in Peekskill, New York, at the Paul Robeson concerts, tending to cause the incidents in North Carolina the previous year, when Henry Wallace was pelted by eggs, to pale by comparison.

Hodding Carter of the Delta-Democrat Times in Greenville, Mississippi, had mused at the comparison of the two incidents, that while Mr. Wallace "had seen the evil face of Fascism" in the eggs, Mr. Robeson said that he had believed New York immune to the exhibition of such shenanigans. But it had turned out not to be so, despite the presence of a thousand policemen at Peekskill.

Mr. Carter had further chided the New York Times for running a story without elaboration that the forthcoming Republican and Democratic primaries in Buffalo had centered on racial issues and personalities, that the Times had pulled up short in discussing racial antagonism in the state, whereas the Eastern newspapers spared no space to expound on racial politics in Mississippi, as when the late reactionary Senator Theodore Bilbo had held forth in the Senate. Nevertheless, Mr. Carter, though exhibiting a certain satisfaction at the regional leveling, had resisted making comparisons which would expunge the guilt of the South.

Mr. Ruark, as a former Southerner from North Carolina gone to reside in New York, tells of adopting a neutral stance on such matters. But he advises that unless the North behaved more graciously in public toward basic American freedoms, the "Kulture Konclave of the Klan" might visit them and "impress a little etiquette on the Northern barbarians." That branch, he adds, was apart from the barn-burning and lynching parts, only serving to advise the North of the lack of wisdom in throwing rocks when they lived in glass houses.

If you elect Conny Donny to be the next President in 2016, you're going to need Confederate dollars just to make it through the four years. You better think about the fact that this man is hiding his tax returns for a reason, probably because he is able to avoid paying taxes completely through various tax shelters. Can you?

And those shelters were developed out of his "small" million dollar gift from his slumlord daddy right out of college to start a business. Did you get such a gift? Did you then subsequently inherit from your daddy forty million smackers to nurture that business? If so, vote for Conny Donny. You'll perhaps feel right at home.

You want "change". So did the Germans in 1932, under far different, depressed economic and social conditions from those, relatively idyllic, which we enjoy in 2016 in the United States. Things did not turn out so well for the Germans for the ensuing 57 years.

A record you know, even if you do not always agree with it, is far better than a blank slate which is filled in, if at all, by tawdry business behavior, sleazy, admitted political bribes, treating people like objects in the way of self-aggrandizing development, just for starters. And how is he going supposedly to "fix" this "broken system" which he claims to deplore while exploiting it for all it's worth? He would appoint justices to the Supreme Court who would support the 5 to 4 Citizens United decision of 2010, which gutted McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform to allow unlimited corporate contributions to political campaigns through political action committees, premised on free speech of corporations, effectively trumping with money the right of individual free speech, which Conny Donny obviously deplores, ordering suppression of any hint of dissent at his rallies, encouraging violence to do so, just as with his Nazi-Fascist mentors. Realize that this creep is not on your side and never has been.

His Democratic opponent has spent her whole adult life working for people, starting in her earliest days out of law school working for the indigent in Arkansas, when she could have, later on, taken a rest on her laurels as First Lady, giving nice teas to foreign dignitaries. Instead, she worked to her peril of loss of popularity to try to effect universal health care, adopting for her role model as First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt.

There is only one damn-Yankee carpetbagger of the traditional skunk stripe in this race and his name is not Clinton. He uses the same old classic race-baiting techniques of his ancestry of old, seeking to divide and conquer, when America was not so great, during Reconstruction, lasting, arguably, a hundred years, until the Kennedy-Johnson Administration, the New Frontier and the Great Society, changed all that into a Greater America, something he obviously now wishes completely to undo, retreating to the "America First" ideal of the 1920's, which led directly to the Great Depression and from that and worldwide depression in its chain, to World War II.

Vote for this little autocratic dictator, but don't blame us for the result, provided there is any result left about which to be concerned.

Max Harrelson, in Lake Success, N.Y., looks at the upcoming session of the U.N. General Assembly, informs that a focal point would be the Balkans situation, as the 1947 session had been dominated by Israel and the 1948 session, by the Berlin blockade.

The problems had been intensified by the conflict between the Vatican and the Communists and between the Cominform and Marshal Tito in Yugoslavia.

Russia might allege that Yugoslavia was threatening war against Albania. Already before the Assembly were the questions of treatment of churchmen in Bulgaria and Hungary, with Czechoslovakia likely to be drawn into the discussion. Human rights in Rumania was also on the table. And Albania, Bulgaria, and Rumania were charged with providing aid to the Greek guerrillas.

The presence of Andrei Vishinsky at the meeting showed that the Russians were anticipating a battle. Greece and Yugoslavia would also be represented by top diplomats. Albania, Bulgaria, and Rumania, though not members of the U.N., might be invited to participate in the debate. Greece appeared ready to inform the Assembly that it would invade Albania in self-defense should Communist-led guerrillas launch new attacks from Albania.

The "Better English" could have be but for the fact that they was not ready to have been made so: "My husband would have arrived, but he was too busy."; a-gi-le; babtize; tramps; butane.

People in the Southern Hemisphere, we glean from "Read and Remember", are upside down.

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