The Charlotte News

Thursday, September 22, 1949


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that China called on the U.N. General Assembly to act quickly to prevent Communism from overtaking the entire Far East and charged for the first time that Russia was directing the Chinese Communists, that Communist China had already announced that it would ally with Russia in the event of a third world war. The chief Chinese delegate, Dr. T. F. Tsiang, said that czarist imperialism and Soviet imperialism had really been "the same stuff". He impliedly advocated the creation of a treaty organization for the Far East, similar to NATO, as well as a Far East Marshall Plan. He said, "Building the dike on one bank of the river has forced the waters to overflow the lands on the other bank."

The United Steelworkers agreed to the request of the President to extend their strike deadline by six more days, until October 1, to engage in direct negotiations with the steel companies to try to avert a strike. Negotiations with U.S. Steel were set to resume the following day. Meanwhile, wildcat walkouts had shut down two Pittsburgh steel plants.

In White Sulphur Springs, W. Va., efforts to resolve the impasse between Southern coal operators and UMW to end the strike of coal miners regarding non-payment of welfare fund contributions had not been productive, despite the operators hinting that they would make up the back payments, ceased when the old contract had expired July 1. The walkout occurred when the fund board of trustees voted to cease payments to the miners because the non-payment of contributions had severely depleted the fund.

Meanwhile, in Harrisonburg, Va., UMW president John L. Lewis, en route to the negotiations, was caught for speeding and passing another car illegally while driving alone.

The Justice Department filed suit against the Lorain (Ohio) Journal Co. and four of its officers for conspiracy to monopolize the spread of news, advertising and other information, the first case in which a newspaper was charged with trying to injure a competing radio station. The case was premised on the Supreme Court's Associated Press case, which held that there was no Constitutional right of freedom of the press to prevent others from publishing news.

Representative Andrew Jacobs of Indiana said that the House Labor Committee had ended an investigation of trade union practices by a subcommittee which he chaired because of pressure from the International Pressmen's Union applied to Committee chairman John Lesinski of Michigan. Mr. Lesinski responded that the claim was "bunk, pure bunk."

The Navy special court of inquiry investigating the origin of the memo which had launched the investigation by Congress into the B-36, subsequently clearing those implicated of any self-interest in giving priority to the B-36 as the core of the long-range strategic bombing force, urged Secretary of the Air Force Stuart Symington, one of those cleared, to testify before the inquiry.

The widow of the late James Forrestal, former Secretary of the Navy and first Defense Secretary, who had committed suicide the previous May at Bethesda Naval Hospital, confirmed to the President the existence of a diary maintained by her husband, which had been mentioned in the Naval inquiry, though she could not confirm whether it had anything in it regarding the development of the B-36.

It was probably about them flying saucers out yonder and the little men they keep in the hangar on life support.

In Borger, Tex., a fire at the Phillips Petroleum Co. gasoline plant was still under control but still burning and company officials said they were waiting for it to burn itself out, following an explosion which injured six workmen, albeit none seriously.

In Denver, Colo., Henry M. Blackmer, in self-imposed exile in Europe for 25 years to avoid having to testify in a Congressional inquiry into the Teapot Dome scandal, was coming home to face six counts of Federal income tax evasion and perjury, pending since 1928. Mr. Blackmer, a multi-millionaire oil tycoon had been associated as a director of Continental Trading Co. with Harding Administration Attorney General Albert Fall, convicted of bribery, Edward L. Doheny, and Harry Sinclair, both acquitted in the scandal, before going to Europe in 1924 to escape the subpoena. Mr. Sinclair, still alive, was now president of Sinclair Oil Corp. It was said of Mr. Blackmer that he could make a million dollars on a "desert island". He had escaped extradition in Geneva.

In Winston-Salem, at the conference of Western North Carolina Methodists, an Australian-born Methodist, presently of New York, said that the churches faced their "greatest hour", as that when "George Washington lit a fire which gave guidance to the world and to the great hours of religion—Martin Luther's defiance of the ecclesiastical hierarchy of his day and the circuit riders of Bishop Asbury and the Methodist 'Crusade for Christ'." He urged that the churches had to respond to the "challenge being made by atheistic paganism" and march toward the "City of God" rather than the "city of man".

In Junction City, Kan., a physician who was a member of the Kansas Board of Health and owned a drug store was accused of supplying narcotics, smuggled into the Colorado State Penitentiary. He had been a delegate to the Republican convention in summer, 1948 and was featured on a radio show as a "typical delegate".

Some things change; others remain about the same.

In Kansas City, a pictured three-year old survived falling through a third-floor window, bouncing off an electrical wire, and hitting the ground 35 feet below.

That was quite a ride. Let's do it again.

In Raleigh, the Highway Patrol commander issued a warning to motorists to get their cars repaired, as roadblocks would be set up the following Wednesday and Thursday to inspect cars for safety violations. Cars found with lights in disrepair would not be allowed to proceed until the repairs were effected. The roadblocks would be established near filling stations to permit easy access to repair facilities.

You know what will happen there. Somebody's cousin in the Highway Patrol...

In Hollywood, director Sam Wood, 66, died of a heart attack. His death was the third out of Hollywood in a week, following those of Frank Morgan of the "Wizard of Oz" and actor Richard Dix. Mr. Wood had recently directed Mr. Morgan in "The Stratton Story". His most notable achievement in directing in recent years was probably "For Whom the Bell Tolls".

Daylight savings time was set to end at 2:00 a.m. this Sunday in those zones affected, and so the notice advises to turn back the clock an hour at that time. Be sure and make a note of it so you won't be unduly early for work on Monday.

On the editorial page, "Political Compromise" finds the City Council's approval of 400 public housing units to have been a compromise after the Housing Authority had sought 1,800 units, 1,500 of which would have been for blacks and 300 for whites.

There was no way of knowing to what extent either the private developers, opposed to building any public housing units, or the Housing Authority, relying on a 1940 survey for their estimated need of public housing units, had made their cases to the City Council. The Council voted 6 to 1 for the compromise.

Richmond had just received preliminary authorization for 1,800 units, Greensboro and Asheville, for 800 each, all reduced from their original requests. So Charlotte's request of 400 units would also likely be reduced.

It concludes that compromise was the way of democracy and might have been the only acceptable resolution in light of the evidence.

"Test for Britain" praises the Labor Government for not trying to sugar-coat devaluation, admitting that it would come with hardships to Britons. The action of the Trade Union Congress in not yet endorsing the move was a disturbing indication that the people were not yet on board with the policy. It had sought assurances from the Government that it would attempt to limit inflation.

It suggests that it was time for real diplomacy between Labor, Conservatives, and the labor movement to assure the success of devaluation as the nation's financial future and that, in consequence, of Western Europe, depended on it.

"Doctors and Humanity" praises the humanitarianism of Dr. E. B. Lattimore of Cleveland County, on whom a piece by Kays Gary of Shelby appears on the page.

"Battle Against Cancer" tells of 191 persons dying of the disease in Mecklenburg County during the previous year, some of whom might have been saved had there been more public enlightenment concerning cancer. Through the county unit of the American Cancer Society, many had been saved by its effort at informing the public and in its work with the tumor clinic.

The organization's financial report was a model of clarity and completeness, exhibiting parsimony in expenditures.

A piece from the Washington Post, titled "Situation Wanted (Male)", finds sympathy for former American Communist head Earl Browder after Moscow had decided to terminate his job as American representative of the Soviet publishing monopoly OGIZ, as the books were not moving in America. His contract had two years to go, but he was not likely to sue in the Soviet courts. It suggests that he had missed out on royalties by not writing a book regarding his expulsion from the Communist Party.

Kays Gary of Shelby relates of the story of Dr. E. B. Lattimore, 75, who had been practicing medicine for 54 years and claimed that humanity was his hobby. The people of Shelby wanted to make him doctor of the year. At the Cleveland County Fair, of which he had been an organizer for 26 years, he was to receive a tribute from the nearly 3,000 persons whom he had delivered through the years, the oldest being 54 in 1949, as well from those whom he had saved during the 1918 flu epidemic which had hit the county hard, had kept Dr. Lattimore going for days on end with hardly any sleep, not charging fees along the way.

He had graduated from Wake Forest College in 1893 and was licensed to practice medicine three years later, then interned at Bellevue Medical College in New York in 1897, at a time when internships were not required.

Shelby had only a thousand people at the turn of the century and so welcomed Dr. Lattimore, one of only five doctors in town, when he set up his practice there in 1898. The nearest hospitals were in Baltimore and Atlanta and so a person who needed surgery usually died.

During the early years, before cars became commonplace around the start of World War I, he got about by horse, buggies being ill-suited to the country roads he had to travel to reach many of his patients.

The Rutherfordton Hospital was established in 1906, with two fine doctors from the North as founders. Before that, surgery was accomplished outdoors by lantern on patients lying on boards placed astride boxes or barrels, resulting usually in death, even if the malady was something as mild as appendicitis.

Ed Beam was the first in the area to suffer from it, called "Ed Beam's spells". A doctor attending a lecture in New York heard a lecturer describe the disease and sent for Mr. Beam, who then had a cherry seed removed from his appendix, prompting local residents for years not to eat anything containing seeds.

Dr. Lattimore's only illness was when he had his appendix removed eighteen years earlier. His only vacation was a five-day visit with his son five years earlier.

He had little money, had not collected a great percentage of his bills which were low to start, but had wealth in other ways. Sometimes debts were paid twenty years after the fact.

Even with the tribute scheduled at the fair, he would likely make some visits during the day, to at least a half-dozen patients.

Drew Pearson tells of the British partly shunning North Carolina tobacco and turning to their African colonies for it to save dollars. At a National Press Club luncheon, Sir Stafford Cripps had remarked that both he and Ernest Bevin had given up tobacco in deference to the financial crisis, in response to which, Mr. Bevin had whispered to someone seated next to him that it was not true in his case, that he had given up smoking only because he could not stand the "bloody awful tobacco".

Republican Senator Forrest Donnell of Missouri had blocked on a technicality a vote on the Fair Employment Practices bill in the Senate Labor Committee.

The State Department had called for a meeting of the chiefs of staff of the twelve NATO members for late September.

The U.N. was setting up an organization to sell surplus American farm produce to undernourished India and Western Europe.

The trading partner of Senator Elmer Thomas of Oklahoma, who had recently purchased ten carloads of eggs as Senator Thomas urged actions to remove the support price of eggs, now had entered the lard market while he sought to get the Agriculture Department to implement support prices on lard, to raise its price. The Department, which only supported agricultural products, not by-products as lard as it would only benefit the meat packers, not the farmers, sent out a memo to that effect to Senator Thomas as the trading partner had represented himself as representing the Senator.

The President had decided to name General Walter Bedell Smith as the top U.S. military representative on NATO's defense committee, bringing him in contact with the British representative, Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery, whom General Smith had criticized during the war for his overly cautious tactics against the Germans.

Representative Albert Gore of Tennessee was being touted as an opponent to Democratic Senator Kenneth McKellar in the 1952 primary—which Mr. Gore would win.

Marquis Childs tells of continuing disharmony within the Government, between the Senate and members of the Administration. That was so despite the recent evidence of cooperation in working out a temporary solution at least to the British financial crisis.

Senator Pat McCarran of Nevada had sought singlehandedly to block revision of the Displaced Persons Act passed by the 80th Congress, discriminating against Jews and Catholics. Senator McCarran was chairman of the ERP watchdog committee, a bone of contention between the Senate and House, Senator McCarran desirous of a $334,000 watchdog committee budget from ERP appropriations and House Appropriations Committee chairman Clarence Cannon adamantly opposed to it.

While the watchdog committee sounded as a good thing, in practice it had served to hamper the work of ERP administrators.

During a trip to Europe to examine ERP spending, Senator McCarran would stop in Spain, a visit which Generalissimo Francisco Franco would use to undermine official State Department policy denying diplomatic recognition and aid to Spain as long as the Fascist Franco remained in power.

Senator McCarran's idea of teamwork made it a wonder that anything at all ever got done in Washington.

Robert C. Ruark tells of the big operation, in the wake of devaluation of the British pound, taking place in Tangier in Morocco. It was the only place where money was worth what it was worth. Tangier was administered by a handful of nations including the U.S. It was the last refuge of the spoilers of all nations, a "sailor's rest for freebooters". It had no restrictions on anything, including murder. So it had become the financial hotspot of the globe. Smuggling, black marketeering, finagling, and uncontrolled currency flourished as nowhere else.

Its volume of financial transactions on an average day rivaled that of Wall Street, in a city of less than 100,000 population. Its stock exchange, the bourse, in the morning doubled as a movie theater, the Cinema de Paris, in the afternoon. Ex-Nazis to Franco's representatives were in evidence, as well as the representatives of legitimate American business, all seeking to profit from the currency exchange. There had been 30-odd banks two years earlier whereas a year earlier, they had increased to 49 in number, at a time when the British pound was worth in Tangier $2.10. The 30 percent devaluation the previous Monday had brought it down to $2.80. A year earlier, the pound could be cashed in at nearby Gibraltar for $4.00.

When the Spanish peseta was at 13 to the dollar in Spain, they were 33 to the dollar in Tangier. When the French franc was at 119 to the dollar in Paris, in Tangier they could be had at the rate of 265, then shipped legally to any place in the world for exchange.

As long as Tangier thus existed, there could be no absolute control of money value across the world.

A letter writer, A. Fox, tells of being from Yancey County where the populace drank wet and voted dry, where all things remained the same—"someone dies, someone is born, and someone had to leave the county", as he had to come to Charlotte.

He had told his papa that he wanted to go far away, to see "white lights, killings, and tax paid liquor", the things about which he had read so much. His papa had advised therefore that he should go to Charlotte.

The Republicans had taken from Yancey County Mt. Mitchell and made it part of Mitchell County. He hoped it would be moved to the Grassy Creek section, if not through the Buck Creek Gap and Gillespie Gap to the Chalk Mountain section.

He concludes: "But, Sir, take heart for 'Whoever thinks a faultless piece to see, Thinks what ne'er was, nor is, nor e'er shall be.'"

The editors respond: "Mahomet has not been in Western North Carolina lately. Mount Mitchell (the town of) is still in Mitchell County. Gets its mail at Spruce Pine. Mount Mitchell (the mountain) is still in Yancey County. It hasn't gone to Mahomet and no one has stolen it that we know of."

We are not sure who is missing the point of what, whether us, either, or all of them—because it is abundantly clear that Mahomet went fishing in the mountains last December and has not been seen since.

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