The Charlotte News

Wednesday, September 7, 1949


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the U.S., Britain and Canada began high-level meetings this date on Britain's financial crisis, with Chancellor of the Exchequer Sir Stafford Cripps and Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin representing Britain and Secretary of State Dean Acheson and Secretary of the Treasury John W. Snyder representing the U.S.

Senator John Foster Dulles of New York, who originally, upon appointment by Governor Dewey to fill the seat vacated by retiring Democratic Senator Robert Wagner, had said that he would not run for the seat in the fall special election, now said that he would. Former Governor Herbert Lehman, who would win the general election, was planning to run for the Democratic nomination.

In Hickory, N.C., Charlotte's "man without fingerprints" was arrested by the FBI and local police and charged with robbery of $41,500 in Salem Crossroads, S.C., on August 13. The man had obliterated his fingerprints with a skin-graft operation in 1941. He allegedly took at gunpoint the life savings of a man who was a country storekeeper. The arrest resulted from a tip by a hitchhiker who told police that he had ridden from Valdese to Hickory with a drunken driver who at times drove at speeds of 100 mph, and then supplied the description of the car, a 1949 black Fordor Ford. The Hickory police sought to follow the car in the direction of Charlotte, having no idea that the wanted suspect in the robbery was at the wheel. But after losing him and returning to the station in Hickory, they then realized that the car fit the description of the one wanted in connection with the robbery, having been purchased for $2,000 cash in Charlotte two days after the robbery. Shortly afterward, they found the car parked on the street in Hickory. It was then discovered that a man who was drunk had sought to check into the Hickory Hotel. He was then discovered registered at the Huffry Hotel and thereupon taken into custody, still drunk.

They will probably execute him in a couple of weeks.

In Charlotte, Dick Young of The News tells of an agreement being reached by the City Council and cab companies to enforce all provisions of the taxi ordinance and fix rates for meter fares at a 35-cent minimum for the first mile. The cab ordinance would go into effect September 30. The action nullified the contemplated citation of the Red Top and Victory Cab Companies to appear before the Council and show cause why their franchises should not be revoked for alleged violations of the ordinance.

In Monroe, N.C., two black workmen saved the life of a four-year old boy who emerged unconscious from a storm drain on which they had been working. The boy had been sucked into the drain 400 yards upstream. The two men began artificial respiration on the boy and revived him, an act which doctors said saved his life. He was suffering from shock but his condition was satisfactory. The storm drain was flooding from several inches of rain which had hit the area.

A Dallas, Texas, socialite, 20, was killed and her male companion, 21, seriously injured when they both fell down a winding exterior stairway aboard the luxury liner Excalibur returning from Europe. No one else was injured and no explanation was given for the mutual fall.

Governor Kerr Scott, following the record-setting highway death toll for Labor Day weekend, with 12 killed and 177 injured in North Carolina, favored a new vehicle safety inspection law to replace the one abandoned by the Legislature in the 1949 session.

In Atlantic City, the Miss America pageant got underway with 52 young women competing for the crown to be awarded the following Saturday night. A parade of the representatives of each state and territory was led by the reigning Miss America, Bebe Shopp, wearing, no doubt, truthies.

On the editorial page, "Man Behind the Wheel" finds the careless driver over the Labor Day weekend to have run up a dreadful toll of carnage on the nation's highways once again. The head of the National Safety Council had found it the "most shocking peacetime exhibition of mass indifference, recklessness and insatiable craving to show off" which the world had ever seen, taking approximately 400 lives in traffic accidents in 78 hours, establishing a record for the Labor Day period.

It favors more strict licensing of drivers, re-establishment of vehicle safety inspection in North Carolina and in other states of the nation, and a realization by the "Man Behind the Wheel" that "the other man did not have a monopoly on sudden death."

"Pattern for 1950" reviews the President's Labor Day speech at Pittsburgh in which he had attacked the "selfish interests" opposing his Fair Deal programs by labeling them "statist" and "collectivist", saying that he would continue to fight for repeal of Taft-Hartley, a centerpiece of the 1948 campaign—thus far frustrated in the new Democratic Congress by the coalition between Republicans and Southern Democrats.

Later in the day, he addressed a group of veterans in Des Moines, in the heart of the farm belt. There, he blasted the old 90 percent parity program and the Aiken measure which would replace it with sliding parity, pledging to continue fighting for the Brannan plan to subsidize farmers on surplus perishable produce while keeping consumer food prices low at the market.

But he had only once considered the cost of his programs in either speech and then shrugged it off with the admonition that the country could not afford not to have the programs.

The President appeared determined to bring farmers and labor together despite traditional antipathies, believing that once bonded, they would make the Democrats invincible at the polls. It suggests that the President would succeed in that effort unless someone convinced the workers and the farmers that the more dependent they became on the Government, the less personal freedom they had.

Sure, freedom to stand in bread lines and watch farms being sold at auction in record foreclosures as during the Hoover tenure, as during the 1980's. You keep pushing that barnyard stuff, trickle-down economics, and maybe one day enough idiots will actually believe it to elect some idiot as President who has never served in either elective or appointive office a day in his life—until they wake up to the hellish reality they have brought on themselves by reckless and indifferent voting, voting on the basis of emotional hot-button issues, most of which the candidate as President could not affect in the least, on the basis of the candidate "saying what I think" rather than leading in a direction which is true to the foundational principles of the country and its Constitution, hearing, articulating but also, when necessary, teaching, overcoming the muddled thinking which is often characteristic of the more emotional portion of the masses, to lead them back from the precipice of revolution of one sort or another to understand systemic problems inherent in our system, which, for the very nature of the democratic process, cannot be magically "fixed" by some charlatan on a white horse wielding a lance to lead the revolt against windmills.

It is just a fact of life that we do not live any longer in the horse and buggy era of the fin de siecle, when life was slow and easy as long as the typhus or the smallpox didn't creep up on you. Without an active and large Federal Government, the bulk of us who are neither millionaires nor billionaires would be chewed up and spit out on a daily basis.

And if that is the reality you want, then you know for whom to vote for President in 2016.

"Misguided 'Patriotism'" discusses the second riot at Peekskill, N.Y., surrounding the Paul Robeson concert of September 4. The police officers had been able to disarm both the protesters and the concert-goers and keep the groups separate during the concert. But when the concert-goers began leaving, things got out of control and protesters threw rocks, bottles and other objects at automobiles and buses. Some vehicles were overturned.

Tempers had been raging since the August 28 planned concert which was called off because of the veteran protesters, upset with Mr. Robeson's perceived Communism. The piece suggests that such an effort by the protesters played right to the hands of the Communists and fellow-travelers who had promoted the show. The second show enjoyed a larger audience by five times, attracting about 15,000 people, many of whom had come apparently only to protest the earlier violation of the right of peaceable assembly.

It finds that no matter how much Americans scorned Paul Robeson or his sponsors for their political stances, the right of peaceable assembly could not be violated without damaging the fabric of the Constitution, itself.

Communists advocated the overthrow of the Government by force, but the protesters had forcibly overthrown the Constitution on two occasions, a week apart.

It finds the tragedy to be that the melees would make Mr. Robeson into a martyr and unify his followers, bringing joy to the Kremlin. It thus concludes that the protests were "misguided 'patriotism.'"

W. H. Spradlin, Jr., in a piece from The Tar Heel Banker, tells of lawyers and bankers, according to a Collier's article, titled "Richest Man in the Cemetery", being more prone to heart attacks than any other professionals or tradesmen. He suggests that the problem was increased competition in society to earn early in life so that time might be set aside later for leisure. But all too often that later time was never reached because the body and mind had been exhausted by too much mental work and not enough exercise, leading to premature death.

Rarely, he says, did people who worked at manual labor suffer from heart attacks. But the prevalence in society of chronic heart conditions post-dated the advent of the banking and legal professions and so it was obviously the result of some other factor than the inherent stress of the professions themselves, the added burden of modern competitive drive to succeed.

He suggests working only to the extent the mind and body would allow and giving others the opportunity to work to their potential as well.

Drew Pearson tells of everyone talking at parties in Washington of whether Vice-President Alben Barkley, 71, a widower, would marry the 38-year old widow from St. Louis he had been seeing, Mrs. Carlton Hadley.

Before adjourning the Senate for Labor Day, the Vice-President had said that he was going to his farm in Paducah, Ky., to gaze at the cows and pigs for a fresh outlook on life.

The talks beginning this date between the U.S., Canada, and Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Sir Stafford Cripps and Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin, were probably the most important financial discussions held in the U.S. since the early days when Alexander Hamilton settled debts for the Thirteen Colonies. The British strategy would be to convince the U.S. that a bailout from the financial crisis besetting Britain in its gold-dollar reserve shortage was necessary to avoid the otherwise consequent inevitability that the Marshall Plan, of which Britain was the keystone, would collapse in Western Europe, leaving the way open for Communist aggression. They also would argue that Britain was a safe repository for B-36 airbases, for which a sound British economy would be an asset in producing security. Mr. Bevin wanted economic union between Britain, Canada, and the U.S. Mr. Cripps had been skeptical of this plan, wanted outright U.S. aid.

Secretary of State Acheson had given up on any loan to Britain being approved by Congress, given its economizing mood. Nor would there likely be increased ERP aid to Britain. He would propose stockpiling of key materials, such as tin and rubber, but with the realization that it would be only a temporary remedy.

Secretary of the Treasury John W. Snyder advocated devaluation of the pound to its actual trading value, making British exports more competitive abroad. But that would mean the pound would have less purchasing power of food from abroad, triggering wage demands and thus inflation. But unless there were both increased industrial efficiency and reduction of expenditures plus balancing of the budget in Britain, the remedy offered by Secretary Snyder would also only be temporary.

Britain had a problem with diminished resources from loss of Empire interests in Asia, which nothing could cure. But Britons still clung to the same standard of living which had been realized with ease during the period of its Asian colonialism. If Secretary Snyder insisted on lowering the standard of living too much, however, the British might follow the French and Italians and become one-third or more Communist.

So it was that the financial talks were of prime importance.

Henry C. McFadyen, school superintendent of Albemarle, N.C., sets forth the first of weekly articles regarding "Your Child and His Schools", starting with a look at first grade reading skills. He explains that first grade teachers proceeded to teach children to read at their own pace, based on their individual maturity levels regarding receptivity to the instruction. Some very bright children learned to read some words before entering school, some as early as age four.

Most children, at a very young age, learned some words, such as brand names as "Coca-Cola", associating it with the familiar label and taste.

Such was essentially the method which the first grade teacher would use to instruct the student in reading. It was not unusual for the student by the third grade to be a fairly good reader without having known the alphabet or the vowel sounds before learning to read. But it was a waste of time to begin instruction before the child's mind was mature enough to grasp the complicated operation of reading, just as it was with the necessary plasticity of mind for such complex tasks as tying of shoelaces.

Eventually, however, once the proper maturity level was reached, the child would begin to pick up such tasks with relative ease, including pronunciation of polysyllabic words, difficult for the young child and initial reader, sometimes leading to undue parental mocking.

But the modern method of teaching whole words without syllabication and foreknowledge of vowel sounds sometimes led to complications later when novel words were encountered, especially longer words. Facility at this skill could also, however, be taught in due course.

He suggests that if one wanted to see a real artist, then the skillful first grade teacher should be observed at work.

James Marlow finds the President, General Eisenhower, former Secretary of State James Byrnes, and Senators Claude Pepper, Homer Capehart, and Styles Bridges to have caused him confusion regarding the word "statism".

When he looked it up, it appeared to represent something good, but Mr. Byrnes had made a speech on June 18 warning of it, calling for a cut in Federal power and spending. Senator Bridges had appreciated this speech as an attack on the President's Fair Deal program. Senator Capehart thought Mr. Byrnes referred to the danger of Communism or Socialism. But Senator Pepper thought Mr. Byrnes to be giving ammunition to the Republicans, denied that the Fair Deal had the "awful, odious trend which someone might call statism."

Then General Eisenhower referred to statism in his Labor Day speech in St. Louis, saying that America's future lay in the middle road between "the unfettered power of concentrated wealth on one flank, and the unbridled power of statism on the other."

The President, in his Pittsburgh speech on Labor Day, had said that the Fair Deal programs had progressed in the face of such "trumped up slogans" as "statism" and "collectivism", words thought up by "paid agitators" frightening the people in the higher income brackets.

Former President Hoover had warned that the country was going down the "the last mile of collectivism".

Yet, when Mr. Marlow looked up "statism" in Webster's, he found that it was defined as "belief in government, as in a republic, in contrast with belief in Communism or a Soviet Government."

He thus wonders if any of the aforementioned statesmen had bothered to look up the word before throwing it around, thinks they ought start with the official definition.

The "Better English" answers was before they got to be wronger than right: "There was boxes present, approximating the number ten, which defies precise numeration save in the abstract world of numbers, divorced from material substance, because of the universal law of constancy of lost matter."; noo-spepper; catastrofe; to make very tiny, emasculate, or to fight with tenacity; diminutive.

A Quote of the Day: "The Congressman who said crime films cause crime, neglected to say what causes crime films." —Arkansas Gazette

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