The Charlotte News

Monday, June 5, 1950


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the President signed the 3.12 billion dollar foreign aid authorization bill, which provided funds for five programs, including 2.85 billion for the third year of the Marshall Plan, 194 million in aid to Korea, Southeast Asia and non-Communist China, and 35 million dollars for the "Point Four" program of technical assistance for underdeveloped nations.

Secretary of State Acheson told the House Foreign Affairs Committee that the rearming of the non-Communist world would still be less than half done a year hence. He hoped that it would be completed by 1953 or 1954. He called the effort vital to insuring the ability of America's friends to resist the Communist threat of aggression. He had told the Senate Armed Services Committee the previous week that he could not assure that in future years the cost of the program would not rise.

Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson, however, said that he hoped to be able to seek reduced amounts of arms aid in the future with cessation of it by 1953 or 1954, but said that he was not disagreeing with Secretary Acheson on the matter.

A White House source revealed that the President might appoint a "super panel" to review cases of the 81 State Department employees accused of disloyalty by Senator Joseph McCarthy, but that no final decision had been reached. The 81 employees in question, whose records were being reviewed by the Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee investigating Senator McCarthy's claims, had previously been cleared by the State Department loyalty board.

The Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee, presently investigating the Amerasia case anew, had heard testimony this date in executive session from Emmanuel Larsen, one of the six arrested co-defendants in the case in 1945. Subcommittee member Senator William Knowland of California wanted FBI director J. Edgar Hoover to appear before the panel to answer questions regarding why the case was ultimately plea bargained as to two co-defendants, who were then fined, while the remaining cases were dismissed. Papers had been recovered from Mr. Larsen's apartment which allegedly were seized illegally by the FBI and made part of the subject of a defense suppression motion, together with an alleged illegal seizure of documents from the Amerasia offices by an OSS operative, leading to the plea bargains to prevent outright dismissal.

The American Veterans Committee, a group of World War II veterans, urged "impeachment" of Senator McCarthy for "moral turpitude" in having, since February 9, charged the State Department with harboring Communists without offering any proof, degrading the Senate in the process. Senator McCarthy had no comment.

While, as noted by the AVC, impeachment was used against Senator William Blount in 1797, the typical treatment of Senators involve expulsion, censure, or some lesser sanction by the Senate itself, not impeachment, usually reserved for the President, Vice-President and Article III Federal judges. Impeachment proceedings have to begin, pursuant to the Constitution, with articles passed by the House and then trial in the Senate. The traditional take on the matter is that such leads to the logical conundrums of having the House potentially draw up articles against its own members, while the Senate would be trying its own members, and would therefore be inconsonant with the logic of impeachment.

Senate Majority Leader Scott Lucas temporarily gave up on the FEPC bill but said that before the end of the session, he would attempt to revive the measure and overcome the Southern filibuster, requiring 64 votes for cloture, two-thirds of the membership.

The President named Henry F. Grady, Ambassador to Greece, as Ambassador to Iran, replacing John C. Wiley.

The President appointed a three-person committee to review the veterans hospitalization program.

The Supreme Court, in Henderson v. U.S., 339 U.S. 816, outlawed segregation of black passengers in railroad dining cars, holding unanimously, 8 to 0, in an opinion delivered by Justice Harold Burton, that such discrimination violated the Interstate Commerce Act, prohibiting "any undue or unreasonable prejudice" against any passenger of the railroads. Justice Tom Clark took no part in the decision. The decision thus rested on statutory interpretation, not Constitutional grounds.

The Court also ruled 4 to 3, Justices Clark and Robert Jackson not participating, that the Federal Government had rights to control the tidal oil lands off the coast of Texas, having in 1947 ruled that the Federal Government controlled those lands off California. Texas had claimed, as distinguished from California, that when it entered the union it retained proprietary rights in the tidelands areas off the Gulf Coast, which it had prior to admission, while transferring to the Federal Government only regulation and control of those areas. The Court found the argument to be trumped by the "equal footing" clause of the Joint Resolution admitting Texas to the Union, finding that it had lost its status as an independent Republic and so ceded both its ownership of the tidelands and sovereignty over them to the Federal Government, becoming a state as all other states.

Justices Stanley Reed, Sherman Minton, and Felix Frankfurter, the latter writing a separate dissent, dissented from the Texas decision, and Justice Frankfurter, having also dissented with Justice Reed in the California case, dissented alone from a companion case brought by the State of Louisiana, which held, 6 to 1, that the prior California case controlled. (Justice Minton had joined the Court at the beginning of the 1949-50 term, following the death of Justice Wiley Rutledge the previous September.)

Sorry, Texas, those Lone Star days are done.

The report indicates that the Court was expected to rule this date on two other segregation cases, both involving universities. Sweatt v. Painter, 339 U.S. 629, in an unanimous opinion delivered by Chief Justice Fred Vinson, held that the University of Texas Law School had to admit a black applicant, qualified in every respect except by race, when the State had failed to show that its black law school was substantially equal to the University of Texas Law School, pursuant to the 1896 "separate-but-equal" doctrine of Plessy v. Ferguson. The Court having thus held, it did not need to reach the Constitutional implications of whether segregation, per se, as argued by the petitioner, offended the Fourteenth Amendment Equal Protection Clause and thus should be invalidated, awaiting Brown v. Board of Education in 1954 to make that final determination. Historically, Sweatt was an important step in that direction.

The other civil rights case determined this date was McLaurin v. State of Oklahoma, 339 U.S. 637, also decided unanimously in an opinion delivered by Chief Justice Vinson, holding that segregated classroom, library and dining room seating for a black doctoral student, previously admitted to the University of Oklahoma for want of a proper separate-but-equal graduate program in the state, violated the Equal Protection Clause and thus required elimination of that and similar State-imposed segregated facilities within the University environment. The Court held that it was of no moment that, as the State had contended in opposition, the same informal segregation would persist after removal of the barriers erected pursuant to State action, as the State-sanctioned segregation offended the Constitution and had to be eliminated.

McLaurin also was an important step toward Brown, arguably more of an advance in that direction than the holding in Sweatt, which essentially reiterated three previous holdings with respect to other state university settings, as cited in the latter paragraphs of Sweatt, which did not meet Constitutional standards under Plessy, albeit reaffirming that the burden of the states to show such separate-but-equal facilities would be nearly impossible to meet in the post-A Model times, that is post-1938, anyway. The Little Deuce Coupe Days, at least prior to the hot-rodding of it, were done.

What difference does all that detail make? the Fool may ask. Well, if you do not know where you have been or how you got here, you sure as hell do not know where you are going, now, do you?

In Brussels, the predominantly Catholic Social Christian Party, victorious in the previous day's parliamentary elections, initiated a program to return exiled King Leopold III to the throne. The Social Christians won a narrow majority of 108 seats, to 104 seats won by the anti-Leopold coalition, led by former Premier Paul-Henri Spaak. The issue of return of Leopold was controversial among Belgians as he was viewed by many as having sold out Belgium to the Nazis in 1940. He was subsequently imprisoned by the Germans and exiled to Switzerland, where he remained after the war because of the controversy swirling around him, which included his marriage to a commoner while in exile. The opposing coalition claimed that with such a narrow majority for him in the election, he could not rule on the throne.

In Wake Forest, N.C., Dr. Harold Tribble, professor of theology for 18 years at the Southern Baptist Seminary and currently president of Andover Newton Theological Seminary in Massachusetts, was named president of Wake Forest College by the Board of Trustees. He would replace Dr. Thurman Kitchin, retiring at age 64 on July 1.

Public Service Co. of North Carolina intended to file soon an application with the FPC to provide authority to construct a network of natural gas pipelines in the state for communities to which the company already provided other utilities. The company had signed a contract with Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Co. to obtain adequate supplies for distribution in twenty or more cities and towns.

A report bearing a dateline of Shelby, imparts that two of the three desperadoes, one of the men and the scar-faced, red bewigged woman, who had been on the lam since commandeering a Tennessee Highway Patrol car on Thursday and fleeing into Georgia amid gunfights with police, remained at large, last spotted in Western North Carolina, after one of the three was captured following a pre-dawn chase of all three in two different vehicles in Spartanburg, S.C. The other two eluded capture while driving either a stolen Oldsmobile or Pontiac. The latter were identified as Hensley and Hensley, man and wife, while the man arrested was identified as McAllister, thought previously to be the woman's husband. On Saturday, the two males had been identified as Parker and Scroggins. And later in the story this date, it reports that McAllister and "Parker" were released recently from the Federal prison in Atlanta. So exactly who was in custody and who was thought still to be roaming the mountains of Western North Carolina remained a little foggy in the breakdown of the story. But, as the three had crossed state lines, the FBI was now involved and we can rest assured that they will sort it all out instanter.

The pair still need a banjo tune, but it is not clear whether a dirge or a jig is more appropriate. No one had been killed or injured yet, despite the trio having stolen from the Patrolman a machine gun after sticking a pistol in his face following a routine traffic stop.

They had been to at least one too many drive-in movies.

In any event, the Barrow family apparently had stayed at home this trip, though the Wheelers, per the usual, were running the operation.

In London, cats became so overcome with the heat, 83 at noon and rising, that they began falling from window ledges. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals received twenty calls to pick up injured cats after such tumbles.

They need to send their cats to the South for the summer for acclimation. They could ride along with Hensley and Hensley, a.k.a. Parker and Hensley, and operate the canned heat.

On the editorial page, "Who's in Favor of Polluted Streams?" tells of bills designed to ameliorate stream pollution being defeated systematically in the General Assembly, though no legislator had expressly opposed the concept. The 1949 proposal had been defeated by eight votes. Polluting industries, pursuant to these bills, would be required to process their waste products before discharge into streams and rivers.

Pollution impacted public waste water treatment before it could be used as drinking water. Swimming holes also became dangerous to public health. Industries likewise needed clean water, free of excessive minerals, to operate. Polluted waterways also impacted aquatic life and produced noxious odors.

Cooperation was necessary to eliminate these problems and state action was required to produce it. Studies had shown that the extent of the pollution was statewide and that extant laws governing waste disposal were inadequate.

Another bill would be presented in 1951 and it hopes that the Legislature would study the recently published material of the State Stream Sanitation and Conservation Committee, demonstrating the need for such remedial action, and would finally enact it.

"To Confound the Kremlin" tells of Collier's having suggested that the U.S., to confound the Russia propaganda campaign utilizing America's racial segregation, ought appoint Dr. Ralph Bunche to become Ambassador to Moscow.

The piece agrees with Collier's that Dr. Bunche was well qualified, having served ably in his role as peacemaker between Israel and the Arab countries, but finds that he would not serve the purpose stated by the magazine for the facts that segregation existed in the country, being staunchly defended in certain areas, and that sending Dr. Bunche as Ambassador would not convince the Russians, Chinese, or Indians that blacks thus enjoyed first class citizenship in the U.S., that Russia might instead use it against the country as an expression of mere tokenism.

It suggests that Dr. Bunche might serve as ambassador to Italy or Sweden or France or any other nation, but not Russia as it would appear too obvious, a defensive gesture against cries of racism.

"Fodder for Anglophobes" tells of the Oxford Union Debating Society, led by pacifist Professor Cyril E. M. Joad, having voted 224 to 179 to approve of a resolution expressing regret that the U.S. dominated the democratic world. Preceding the vote, Professor Joad had contended that America was using Britain as an "atomic cushion" to Russia, that the U.S. stood as the primary impediment to keeping Britain out of the next war.

The piece finds that the vote, notwithstanding its small, unrepresentative sample, being of a pacifist Society, would nevertheless serve as fodder for Col. Bertie McCormick and other anglophobes who would use it to contend that Britain had turned against America. It urges Americans not to be so misled.

"Teaching Little Fingers" tells of high school auditoriums during May and June being filled with the echoing notes of "The Happy Farmer", "Dorothy", and "The Doll Dance", as piano recitals took place. Sometimes, the youngest pupils would sit down to play and freeze, rising and then tearfully run into the back room, leaving behind embarrassed parents and teachers. But the worst anxiety was suffered by the older students who wished to devote their lives to music and realized that a faltering misstep at this stage could end that career in a heartbeat.

Parents likewise held their breath for their children, and teachers, for their pupils. But on one thing parents, teachers, and pupils alike concurred: that after the recital, they were pleased that there would be no more practice until fall...

Drew Pearson tells of some Congressmen beginning to oppose the tax forgiveness law recommended by the House Ways & Means Committee, whereby tax violators could admit their past failure to pay and be allowed to pay with impunity. The objection was that it would benefit mainly the underworld figures, such as gambling kingpin Frank Costello.

Secretary of State Acheson had made one great stride in the London and Paris conferences of NATO foreign ministers the previous month by obtaining agreement for complete integration of troop forces among the nations of Western Europe, not done in World War I at all and only to a limited degree in World War II. Under this plan, France would concentrate on a land army and the U.S. would center its efforts on long-range bombing and naval warfare, while Britain would stress fighter planes.

He notes that the average European, however, had reservations about their countries getting mixed up in a war between the U.S. and Russia, potentially thereby undermining the cohesive strength under this plan of integration.

Republican adviser to the State Department, John Foster Dulles, was privately critical of General MacArthur and his policies in Japan, including his support of sending arms to the Nationalist Chinese on Formosa. Meanwhile, Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson was supportive of General MacArthur.

General MacArthur's tight censorship had prevented both the Pentagon and the American people from having an accurate picture of what was taking place in Japan. Mr. Dulles had related that Japanese Communism was growing and that even Japanese businessmen talked about doing business with Communism. Mr. Dulles believed that the U.S. needed to win over Japan as a partner in the Cold War, but to end the occupation would leave a vacuum to be filled by armed Communists while to continue it gave the Communists a whipping-boy to use as propaganda.

One solution was to give the Japanese more authority and remove military control, making MacArthur's troops a "Pacific defense force", eventually to include the Japanese.

Secretary Johnson was leaving to meet with General MacArthur, as he privately agreed with the General's stance on supplying arms to Formosa and would seek to plan with him an effective strategy for selling the argument to Congress.

Marquis Childs tells of the Republicans facing a major obstacle to regaining their Congressional majorities in the coming fall mid-term elections as the economy was blooming in the country, with steel output committed for the ensuing 18 months and waiting lists in queue for consumers wishing to buy a new car.

Nevertheless, the Democrats were engaged in infighting as if they bore the Republican cross. Congressman George Smathers had defeated Senator Claude Pepper in the Florida Democratic primary in early May in a red-baiting campaign. Willis Smith in North Carolina, akin to the Old Guard Republicans in outlook, had run a respectable second to Senator Frank Graham, necessitating a runoff, after a race-baiting and red-baiting campaign against the Senator.

In California, Manchester Boddy, publisher of the Los Angeles Daily News, had said that his opponent in the Democratic Senate race, Congresswoman Helen Gahagan Douglas, had supporters who were "red hots", using the "sound gains achieved by the Democratic Party as a beachhead from which to launch an un-American attack against the United States on behalf of Communist Russia." Her supporters were concerned that even assuming she would win the primary, the charges could be used by the Republicans during the general election campaign against probable Republican opponent Congressman Richard Nixon. And how.

Meanwhile, the Republicans had achieved within their party some positive victories, as moderate Governor James Duff of Pennsylvania had defeated the Old Guard Grundy machine in the recent primary, and liberal Senator Wayne Morse of Oregon had won two-to-one over his Old Guard Republican opponent in the primary.

Senator Margaret Chase Smith of Maine had rebuked Senator McCarthy for his smear tactics, and even Senator Taft had tried to backtrack from his previous stance in support of Senator McCarthy's efforts.

The idea of not rocking the boat when it was stable would be the soundest strategy for the Democrats in the fall, but so far, they had been unable to follow the prescription, while the Republicans were making headway in eliminating the party's McKinleyesque baggage.

Robert C. Ruark finds that New Orleans was receiving unjust criticism of late for being a gambling capital and harboring exceptional political graft, while one report found that a "Mickey" had been slipped to a man in a dive on Bourbon Street, causing his death. He begs to differ, finds New Orleans no worse than any other large city and explains why.

That was 1950. Can't you talk about anything more recent than that?

A letter writer comments on a May 26 editorial regarding the damage done by trucks to the nation's highways, referencing a Reader's Digest article. He finds the editorial to have failed to mention the danger posed to other motorists by these "high box cars" of the highways. He questions why it should be the public responsibility to make the necessary road improvements to accommodate big trucks, urges that the burden should fall on the trucking companies making the profits.

A letter from Campobello, S.C., prefatorily relates of the author being nearly blind and hoping therefore that the editors could read his missive, which then comments on the politics of North and South Carolina, finding that three candidates in each state aspiring to go to the Senate were lawyers. He wonders why the states' voters felt compelled to elect lawyers and why more candidates were not from business, teaching, farming and other walks of life. He opines that lawyers did not make the best statesmen as their hands were tied, that each state had produced great governors and senators who were not lawyers, such as Governors David Swain and Zebulon B. Vance in North Carolina—both of whom were actually lawyers—and, in South Carolina, Wade Hampton—who studied law—and Benjamin Tillman.

Governors Swain and Vance, incidentally, represent two more UNC buildings which probably, sooner or later, will need to be renamed to be politically in step with the times a-comin'. Call them Trump-A and Trump B-flat.

A letter writer compliments the newspaper on the May 25 editorial, "Emissary to Washington", bringing to him memories of J. E. Dowd when he was editor of the paper. He finds so much mediocre "stuff" being indited that it was refreshing to read something good, in favor of putting the brakes on the Truman Administration.

A letter writer tells of the G.M. Sunday evening broadcast a couple of weeks earlier having observed that while for years Russia was full of bluff without the resolve to fight a war, recently things had changed such that they were willing to be coaxed into a fight. He finds that such a prospect would be good news for those who wanted a Holy War with Russia but that they had to be wary of God's impatience generally with war, as both sides prayed for victory, as when Winston Churchill and Hitler both so exhorted their peoples on the same day in early 1941. God, he thinks, was now determined to wash his hands of the affair and place a pox on both houses.

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