The Charlotte News

Wednesday, September 28, 1949


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that at the U.N. General Assembly, Russia and Nationalist China appeared headed for their first open clash regarding charges by the Nationalist Government that Russia threatened the peace by supporting the Chinese Communists, breaking a 1945 friendship pact between the two nations and violating several provisions of the U.N. Charter. Specifics were promised later during debate before the Assembly.

The three Western allies formally ended discussions with Russia regarding normalization of life in Berlin until such time that they were confident that agreements would be honored by the Soviet authorities.

The Air Force announced that radar defense systems were in operation along both coasts of the U.S. and in Alaska.

In London, Winston Churchill asked Parliament for a vote of "no confidence" in the Labor Government of Clement Attlee to allow the British pound under a new government to find its own level in the world markets. The Labor Government had called for a vote of confidence in the wake of the devaluation of the pound the previous week by Chancellor of the Exchequer Sir Stafford Cripps. Mr. Churchill denounced the Labor Government as having brought the country to the "verge of national and international bankruptcy" and called Mr. Cripps a "blunderer". He urged cutting of taxes to increase work incentive and an easing of controls on private enterprise.

Future Prime Minister Harold Wilson, president of the Government's Board of Trade, followed Mr. Churchill, stating that he expected devaluation to treble exports to the U.S. and increase tenfold the rate of capital goods exported to Canada.

The House approved two bills to raise pay, one in the Post Office Department and the other in the armed forces.

Senate-House confreres approved a 5.8 billion dollar foreign aid program, including 3.8 billion for the Marshall Plan through the 1949-50 fiscal year, considered a victory for the Senate economizing plan.

Confreres also approved a 1.3 billion dollar military aid program, that which the Administration had requested, rejecting the economizing efforts of the House version.

Reports emerged from the steel talks that U.S. Steel had accepted a compromise of the President's fact-finding board recommendation for a ten-cent per hour pension and welfare package by offering four cents per hour, provided there would be employee contributions of two cents, with additional sums up to six cents to be paid by the company under a contract to extend to the end of April, 1951. It was hoped that a resolution was being reached as announcements by the chief mediator, Cyrus Ching, and by the United Steelworkers were set for later in the day. A late bulletin, however, indicated that Philip Murray, president of the Steelworkers, stated that they would insist on the companies bearing sole responsibility for the contribution.

In Montgomery, Ala., a new automated brick-laying device, capable of laying 2,000 to 3,000 bricks in an eight-hour day, was demonstrated on the Huntingdon College campus. The device had been invented by World War Army engineer Paul Sommers, developed with the aid of a Montgomery contractor. Builders could save as much as 36 cents per square foot by use of the machine which could be operated after a half-hour of training.

In Oklahoma, an attempt to repeal prohibition, part of the State Constitution, failed.

In San Francisco, the jury still deliberated in the treason trial of Iva Toguri, accused of being "Tokyo Rose". They had reported the previous night, after 34.5 hours of deliberation, that they could not reach a unanimous verdict, but the judge urged them to reconsider the evidence.

In Dover, Del., defense counsel for the 16-year old accused with his mother of luring an elderly man into a lonely hearts love tryst and then killing him for his money, argued to the jury that his client should be convicted only of manslaughter based on the boy's claim that he shot the man in "self-defense" after he made advances to a 26-year old woman with whom the boy had sexual relations. The attorney thus sought application of the theory of imperfect self-defense or killing while in the throes of "heat of passion" to reduce the charge. The mother also faced a murder charge out of New Hampshire. The case was set to go to the jury later this date.

In Columbia, S.C., the State Penitentiary had reached a new high of 1,417 prisoners.

In Tarboro, N.C., a Superior Court judge held 53 strikers at a cotton mill in contempt for violating terms of an injunction which mill management had obtained against mass picketing which they claimed had prevented workers from reporting to work. Charges were dismissed against ten strikers. An official of the Textile Workers Union of America was designated by the judge to be the leader of the pickets.

In Raleigh, it was reported that a syndicate headed by the First National Bank of New York had purchased a 50 million dollar rural road bond of North Carolina at an interest rate of 1.57687 percent, considered low, resulting in a net interest of 7.5 million dollars, on the largest bond issue in state history, one quarter of the total amount authorized over a four-year period for rural road improvement and construction.

In New York, the El Morocco Club barred actor Humphrey Bogart after two girls were pushed around over two toy pandas. Mr. Bogart and a friend had shown up at the club with the pandas, saying, "Meet our girlfriends."

—Oh yeah?

—Yeah. You want to make something of it?


Whereupon, two fashion models each picked up one of the pandas and then were shoved to the carpet. One of their escorts did not appreciate that treatment and he was hit over the head by someone with a dinner plate. Bouncers restored order and escorted Mr. Bogart, his friend and the pandas to the sidewalk, with instructions not to return, with or without the pandas.

On the editorial page, "The Power of Labor Monopoly" finds that the disputes in the coal, automobile and steel industries occurring at once had placed the leaders of each union at the fore in a way which would not have occurred had the disputes taken place separately. Each union head was attempting to save face such that the interests of the workers had become secondary. The issue of pensions was the object of each dispute.

The President would be forced to invoke Taft-Hartley and seek an injunction to stop any strikes if the nation's economy began to grind to a halt. Thus far, only the coal industry had struck but there was pending threat of a steel strike if that dispute was not resolved by October 1. Ford and UAW under Walter Reuther had reportedly agreed in principle but were still arguing about details of a pension plan.

It finds that the disputes had borne out the wisdom of Congress in not repealing Taft-Hartley and showed the need for subjecting unions to anti-trust laws. UAW, UMW, and the United Steelworkers, it concludes, had too much monopolistic power over their respective industries.

"Congress in High Gear" finds that in the wake of the announcement by the President that the Russians had detonated an atom bomb, Congress had finally moved positively to pass the military aid program and the armed forces pay bill. The House-Senate confreres had overthrown the House's economizing figures on the military aid program and approved the Senate version, that for which the Administration had originally asked. It was anticipated that it would shortly go to the President for signature.

The Senate had voted unanimously to boost salaries of officers and enlisted men by more than 300 million dollars per year, with more for the top ranked officers. The House quickly approved the bill and sent it to the White House.

Both measures were important to the nation's defense.

"Double Display of Bad Taste" finds that the fans at the UNC-N.C. State football game in Chapel Hill the previous Saturday had displayed poor taste in booing Governor Kerr Scott when he was introduced to be the halftime speaker. Governor Scott had responded in good humor, remarking that the State was building a hospital in Chapel Hill for the Carolina football team, to be staffed by nurses from Greensboro Woman's College, remarks which the piece also finds to have been in poor taste.

Football, it opines, was a sport and politics often a "deadly business". The mixture of the two had been regrettable and sullied an otherwise memorable occasion.

"Greenville News Anniversary" tells of the Greenville News celebrating its 75th anniversary with the publication of a 202-page special edition which the piece finds "smartly edited and attractive". The President had congratulated the publisher, Roger Peace, on a job well done and The News offers its congratulations as well.

A piece from the Dallas News, titled "Localities vs. the States", tells of encroachment by the State on the local governments of Texas by the fact of a policeman's and fireman's minimum wage bill having been passed by the Legislature. Schools had also been reorganized by the Legislature. And on top of that, Federal aid to education loomed.

Much of the centralization of power was necessary, it finds, to accommodate modern conditions, such as in the field of road construction. But many other aspects of centralization were unnecessary and nevertheless coming under State control. It suggests a nationwide study of the logical functions of Federal, State and local governments.

Drew Pearson tells of the bill to create a permanent Fair Employment Practices Commission having finally emerged from the Senate Labor Committee after three years and the testimony of 250 witnesses spanning over 2,000 pages of testimony. Senator Forrest Donnell of Missouri had been primarily responsible for its delay and had tried again to delay it, until Committee member Hubert Humphrey spoke out against further delay. The bill emerged without a recommendation, by a vote of 11 to one, the lone dissenter being Lister Hill of Alabama. The proposal for more hearings had been defeated by a one-vote margin.

Bacteriological warfare was being researched since the war by both the U.S. and Russia, the U.S. having developed a germ prior to the end of the war which could have wiped out the entire Japanese rice crop. The Russians were working on a type of virus which would affect cattle and another which would impact human populations, along with an inoculatory agent to allow Russian troops to enter enemy territory after deployment of the virus. It was to have been Russia's chief answer to the atomic bomb, as it was much cheaper to produce.

The 1,278 Americans who had been rescued from Shanghai by an American President Lines ship owed their freedom to Walter Winchell who had called the Defense Department cowards for refusing to approve the offer of the Lines to rescue the stranded Americans. Though backed up in red tape for weeks, the next morning after the Winchell broadcast, the Defense Department approved the entry of the ship to Shanghai.

He corrects a previous story in which he had accused HUAC's investigator Ben Mandel of sharing the race views of Congressman John Rankin of Mississippi. He was now convinced that the report was in error and apologizes.

A piece from the New York Times  by "W.K." regards the new theory of creation of the solar system, that a massive supernova explosion of the sun had created the system of planets through centrifugal forces and gravity acting on the condensed remnants.

It was estimated that one supernova every 500 years occurred within the galaxy in which Earth resides, a galaxy five billion years old, thus including about ten million supernova explosions through time. Many of those had been capable of forming solar systems. British astronomer Fred Hoyle had estimated that about a million planetary systems were extant within Earth's galaxy capable of supporting life forms.

The old theory advanced by Sir Arthur Eddington, that Earth's solar system was created by a "wandering star" which came too close to the sun and was drawn into its gravitational pull such that its streamers of gas condensed and formed the planets, had largely been discarded by mathematical physicists as not fitting equations.

The British biologist C. D. Darlington supported Mr. Hoyle's speculations to the extent of finding that variations in temperature and moisture are not detrimental to formation of life, that the essential ingredients for life are proteins and nucleic acid to act as a catalyst for growth of the proteins, with light and energy supplied by a hot sun. Differences in gravity, amounts of day and night, or even variations in proportion of nitrogen and oxygen would not necessarily impair development of life forms.

There might be trillions of solar systems scattered throughout the universe but unless the planets within them had proteins and nucleic acid, life would be impossible. Mr. Darlington concluded that there was nothing wild in Mr. Hoyle's speculations.

The piece concludes: "But after giving all this, what is left?"

Marquis Childs, on the second anniversary of the effective date of the act requiring merger of the armed forces under the Department of Defense, discusses the continuing battle between the Air Force and the Navy over unification.

The current resentment of the Navy was regarding the B-36 strategic long-range bomber and the nixing of the supercarrier project by Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson shortly after he had assumed his position the previous March.

The Navy court of inquiry had convened to get to the bottom of responsibility regarding the memo which alleged that high officials in the Defense Department and the military had self-interest in selecting the B-36 as the backbone of the strategic long-range bombing force. Cedric Worth, assistant to the Undersecretary of the Navy, claimed responsibility for the memo and the court of inquiry had found that he, alone, was responsible, an improbable conclusion.

The court of inquiry wanted to call Secretary of the Air Force Stuart Symington, one of those originally implicated in the Worth memo, to appear, but he declined and Secretary of the Navy Francis Matthews stated that he had the right to decline. Mr. Childs thinks the move by the court was out of bounds.

Unification had considerably advanced despite this bickering, especially under Secretary Johnson, succeeding Secretary James Forrestal who had committed suicide the previous May, two months following his resignation.

Secretary Johnson had merged the Naval Air Transport Command into a Military Air Transport Service and had effected economy in maintenance and operation, eliminating duplication and waste.

The Secretary would need to undertake more such streamlining to accommodate inevitable military budget constraints to be imposed by Congress and the President.

Mr. Childs regards the 700 million dollars for the Atomic Energy Commission to be more imperative than ever to preserve in light of the successful Soviet atomic test. If the country refused to finance a military establishment which included all weapons of the past, present, and future, then there had to be inevitable sacrifices and atomic energy could not be one of those areas at present.

James Marlow discusses the so-called "Point Four" of President Truman's inaugural address the prior January 20, suggesting a program of technological and scientific assistance to underdeveloped nations throughout the world, something on which the Congress had not acted thus far.

The President wanted two forms of legislation, one to guarantee private sector investment in these areas against seizure or loss, and second, to appropriate 45 million dollars to cover the expenses of initiating the technical help, such as the transportation expense to foreign lands for engineers, scientists and economic advisers. No action was expected on either point until the 1950 session.

Meanwhile, the U.S. was taking part in various programs to help underdeveloped countries, such as the Food & Agriculture Organization and the World Health Organization, both of which had sent experts into countries in need of assistance in the areas of agricultural development and health advancement.

A letter writer comments on having read the editorial "Russia's Atom Bomb" and concludes from a recent Associated Press report out of Switzerland, from which he quotes, that more attention ought be given bacteriological warfare, with potentially more devastating effect on populations than the atom bomb.

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