The Charlotte News

Thursday, August 27, 1953


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that at Panmunjom, 150 more Americans had been released from captivity this date, three of whom their buddies had feared would be retained in North Korean jails on phony charges. One of the returnees said that 45 more Americans sentenced only a month earlier to prison terms were in the center at nearby Kaesong awaiting release. He stated, however, that he believed a few more were still remaining in Camp 5 at Pyoktong serving sentences. Earlier released American prisoners had told of some fellow prisoners being jailed by the Communists in late July, just as the Armistice was signed, on such charges as "instigating against peace", receiving sentences ranging from 1 to 3 years. In addition to the Americans, 250 more South Korean prisoners were released this date.

The prisoner exchange would begin its final week of the 30-day period on Friday, with about 950 Americans still awaiting repatriation out of the 3,313 set to be released.

At the U.N. in New York, India failed this date to win sufficient support in the 60-nation political committee of the General Assembly to provide it a seat at the upcoming Korean peace conference, scheduled to start in October. It received a simple majority of the votes cast but fell short of the necessary two-thirds majority, with the vote having been 27 for its participation, 21 against, and 11 abstaining. It represented a victory for the U.S., which had differed with Britain and other Western Allies over the issue. The committee recommended that all 16 nations who had fought under the U.N. banner in Korea be included in the conference if they desired to participate, approved by a vote of 42 to 7, with 10 abstaining, and rejected a Soviet proposal that the conference be made up of six belligerent and nine neutral nations, the vote being 41 against and five for that resolution, with 13 abstaining. It also voted to include Russia in the conference provided the other side, comprised of North Korea and Communist China, desired their participation, approved by a 55 to 2 vote. Russia had supported the latter resolution. U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., told the committee that Russia's attitude, if it persisted, would make peace impossible, saying that the previous day Soviet lead delegate Andrei Vishinsky had made a veiled threat that the Communists would boycott the conference unless they obtained their way in picking the participants, after which Mr. Vishinsky denied making any such threat. Ambassador Lodge also criticized Mr. Vishinsky for charging that the U.S. was acting like a "master race", and for trying to force others to accept his views through ultimatums.

The Security Council began debating whether to consider the Asian-Arab nations' complaints against France for dethroning the Sultan of Morocco, a French protectorate. The U.S., Britain and France were opposed to adding the matter to the agenda, which France contended was a purely domestic matter. It thus was unlikely that the Security Council would take it up. Ambassador Lodge was scheduled this afternoon to appear before the Council to oppose the action.

In Paris, a French Government spokesman said that the Foreign Ministry, headed by Georges Bidault, was preparing a series of constitutional reforms for Morocco, for which Cabinet approval would be sought within three weeks, then to be presented to Moroccan authorities for study. The proposed reforms would decentralize Moroccan authority by establishing regional councils, which would recommend that the central government pass regulations suitable for local conditions, while elected municipal councils and appointed agriculture and commerce councils would provide the people a more direct voice in the government. The reforms would also provide that the Sultan's power as supreme executive and judge would be split, providing a separation of the judicial and administrative branches of government.

In Berlin, the West German Government reported this date that at least 16 East Germans had been executed as leaders of the June 17 anti-Communist uprising, but said that its figures were only a minimum. It said also that three rioters had been given life sentences and 164 others had been sentenced to a total of 800 years in prison. The survey covered only "proved and documented" cases handled through August 12. Two additional life sentences had been reported during the week and the West had received reports that the Russians and East German Government had taken away several hundred additional rioters to unknown fates. The Bonn Ministry of All-German Affairs said that 16 of the 17 executed persons had been sentenced by Russian military tribunals, with the 17th death sentence imposed by a German Communist court in Halle upon a former Nazi camp guard, a female, whose death had not been confirmed. West Berlin authorities said that 55 West Berliners were still among the missing, with 21 of them having been sentenced to prison terms.

Following an 11-day slowdown of the U.S. food giveaway for East Germans, to afford time for reorganization, the handout resumed this date, with thousands of East Germans having again eluded border controls to jam the 17 food distribution stations in West Berlin, receiving the lard, milk and flour which they could not purchase in East Germany. Since the food giveaway had begun July 27, the stations had distributed almost 2.9 million food parcels, with another million packages presently set to be provided.

In New York, contract talks resumed this date between company and union officials seeking to avert a possible nationwide tie-up of long distance telephone service. No walkout appeared imminent the previous night after a negotiating session between officials of AT&T and the Communications Workers of America, with a union spokesman having said after the meeting that some progress had been made. The long-lines unit of the CWA represented 22,000 AT&T workers in 40 states, and the New York local consisted of about a third of those workers.

In Cleveland, O., the United Rubber Workers union announced a strike this date at the Firestone Tire & Rubber Co., extending nationwide, after negotiators failed to reach a new wage agreement prior to the midnight deadline. The strike involved 24,000 production workers in eight cities, including 10,000 in Akron. Other Firestone plants were in Pottstown, Pa., Fall River, Mass., Los Angeles, Noblesville and Newcastle, Ind., Memphis and Des Moines. The workers were demanding a substantial wage increase and better pensions, as well as seeking adjustment of what the union referred to as inequities in wage rates for some job classifications, though neither the company nor the union provided details.

In Prestwick, Scotland, a 10-foot barbed wire fence had been erected around a U.S. Air Force camp, supposedly to keep the girls out. Several airmen had been court-martialed for smuggling girls into their quarters, but others had complained that the girls had forced their way in at night, resulting in the fence being built after an anti-girl night patrol had failed in its task.

In St. Tropez, France, police combed the Riviera coast this date for a band of daring gunmen who had taken an estimated $30,000 worth of uninsured jewelry and cash from a hotel, with some of the gems belonging to a Paris jeweler whose wife had borrowed them from his store. The loot had been left with the hotel manager for safekeeping by wealthy guests and had been removed early the previous day from a safe in the manager's bedroom.

In Van Nuys, Calif., a 53-year old woman told police that a young man had walked up to her as she was watering her lawn the previous night, grabbed a money bag containing more than $8,000 from her bosom and fled. She said she had drawn $6,000 from a bank for real estate investments and had won the rest at Del Mar Racetrack the previous day. We have a feeling that the police had a few more questions about the security of her safe.

Near San Bernardino, Calif., the luxurious Arrowhead Springs Hotel in the San Bernardino Mountains was ringed the previous day by forest and brush fires, but appeared to have escaped danger after the fire had burned within 50 feet of the structure, only scorching the awning by the swimming pool. Nearly 200 guests had aided firefighters in protecting the hotel from winds which had swept the fire eastward over an estimated 3,000 acres.

In Zanesville, O., the State Highway Patrol said that an AWOL soldier this date admitted that he had shot and killed the assistant director of the Ohio Industrial Relations Department the previous night after the official had given him a ride in his car. He said that he had tried to rob the driver and during a struggle, had shot him. The driver had stopped the car in front of a motel and shouted to call the cops, that the soldier had a gun. The soldier, absent from Camp Atterbury in Indiana since the previous day, had been captured a little more than a mile from the scene of the slaying. He had two pistols, which he had stolen from a guard at a stockade at the Camp the previous morning. The official was reported to be under consideration by Governor Frank Lausche as a replacement for his retiring chief, whose farewell party the official had just attended.

Ann Sawyer of The News indicates that the nurse who had been murdered on August 2 might be alive and the boy charged with her murder might be free from that charge had adequate facilities for feeble-minded children been established in the state, as police had been informed that a test administered previously by a local psychiatrist had shown that the 16-year old charged with the fatal stabbing had been classified in the upper feeble-minded group, having been described as retarded when the test was conducted in 1950. At one time, officials had considered placing him in a training school because of his home difficulties, but the placement was not made because the training school to which he would have been sent was not equipped to meet his needs. The newspaper had questioned Wallace Kuralt, superintendent of the Charlotte welfare office—and father of future News reporter and CBS correspondent Charles Kuralt—, regarding the available facilities for mentally deficient children, and Mr. Kuralt had stated that the state had no institutions for mentally defective delinquent children, such as the accused in the murder. Facilities were quite limited for feeble-minded children generally, and he said that it had been over three years since his department had been able to place a feeble-minded black juvenile in the institution at Goldsboro. He said that taxpayer money spent on mental institutions was a way of buying protection for citizens, as well as supplying treatment for others. The State Board of Public Welfare had recommended to the previous two Legislatures that money be appropriated for the "care and training of feeble-minded Negro children." Mr. Kuralt had said that the problem was beyond the ability of any one parent. The boy accused of the murder had first come to the attention of the police in December, 1950, when he had been picked up for raiding a footlocker at a school, taking $20, a jacket, a pair of shoes and a cap. His father was dead and his mother told the newspaper that the young boy saw his father shot five times and killed in front of their home, that since that time, he had seemed more unbalanced, although always having been considered not as bright as the other children in the household. Because of his problems, the Juvenile Court had ordered that he be examined by a psychiatrist and later was referred to a psychologist for frequent visits. On one occasion, he was removed from the home, but was later returned by social workers in the absence of a better plan. The records also showed that he had dropped out of school after the eighth grade, a level to which he had been promoted only for social reasons and to keep up his spirits.

In Oklahoma City, traffic cops stopped a man for speeding, who then became nervous at the delay, and when asked what his hurry was, explained that his wife would be departing home any minute and would travel right by that spot, that he wanted to warn her. At that moment, the policeman's radar picked up another speeder, the man's wife. He may have been driving a Cadillac, and she, a V-8 Ford. But the piece is mum as to makes.

As pictured, a man in Michigan driving a 1952 Oldsmobile hit a deer, which became lodged within the grille-work of the car. The right eye, over which extend the 12-points, identifies Bambi's nemesis. It perhaps had needed two more points for peaceful coexistence.

On the editorial page, "Good Recreation a Deterrent to Crime" suggests that there were many others in the community like the two teenage suspects arrested in the murder of the nurse, boys whose delinquent behavior was directly related to an absence of recreational facilities in the community. A detective had stated the previous week that with each addition to the recreational facilities in Charlotte, the community could expect a corresponding reduction of juvenile crime, having already observed a significant decrease in the number of juvenile offenders in areas which had adequate recreational facilities.

It indicates that the situation underscored the need for a football stadium in the western part of the city for black high school football games, the black high schools presently not having such a facility, forced to play their home football games at a white school, with an annual game played at Memorial Stadium to raise money for the black schools' athletic programs. It says that the $40,000 stadium would provide such a facility and would include a good running track, with seating for many types of outdoor civic gatherings and festivals. Half of the money had been pledged from school funds and the community was being asked to provide the other half, $5,000 from the black residents and $15,000 from the whites. It urges contribution.

We urge getting on board with the 20th Century and integrating the schools.

"The Lawyers Reaffirm a Basic Right" indicates that the ABA had passed a resolution regarding the rights of defendants to have counsel when accused of subversive activity, defending that right, indicating that lawyers should not be criticized for taking on cases of accused Communists. It promised to continue to educate the public and the profession regarding the rights and duties of lawyers in such cases. A recent issue of the ABA Journal had stated that lawyers had to remember that their belief was in the system of justice, not in their client's political or personal views and that affording an able defense and a fair trial to every person constituted preservation of the system of justice. The article had recalled an incident in the career of Sir Edward Hall, a great English barrister, who had won an acquittal for a client he had represented with reluctance, that when the client sought to shake his hand, Sir Edward had declined to reciprocate, saying that it was not included in the etiquette of the bar or in the brief fee.

It indicates that the principle also applied at the local level regarding attorneys who represented defendants accused of heinous criminal offenses, sometimes leading to criticism by the public and even by other lawyers. It indicates that the Sixth Amendment right to the assistance of counsel was fundamental under the Constitution. It quotes from the Christian Science Monitor which had stated recently that the "defense of liberty, like the defense of free speech, often has to be fought on dubious frontiers in order to preserve and protect the rights of the upright citizen who may be falsely accused."

"A Review of the Lattimore Case" indicates that the case of Owen Lattimore, who had been indicted for perjury for statements made before the Senate Judiciary subcommittee on internal security, was back in the news because of the appeal by the Government to the Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington of the dismissal by the District Court judge of four of seven counts of the indictment, on the basis that the four counts related to matters which were protected under the First Amendment.

It relates that the story had begun in March, 1950, when Senator Joseph McCarthy had charged that Mr. Lattimore was the "top espionage agent in the United States", that he had been contacting and giving information to Russian agents as a member of an espionage ring. The Senator had said that he would "stand or fall" on the Lattimore case.

A subcommittee chaired by Senator Millard Tydings of Maryland had investigated the charges and taken testimony from Mr. Lattimore, Louis Budenz, Earl Browder and other witnesses, concluding that it found no evidence to support the charge that Mr. Lattimore was the "top Russian spy" or any kind of spy. Senator McCarthy had denounced the conclusion, however, as a "whitewash".

Then came the investigation by the internal security subcommittee, chaired by Senator Pat McCarran, taking place in 1951 and 1952, with particular stress on Mr. Lattimore's past association with the Institute of Pacific Relations. Mr. Budenz and Harvey Matusow, who subsequently publicized the fact that he had been paid as a professional witness to make up things pleasing to the ears of the Communist hunters, had figured prominently in those hearings, making charges similar to those made by Senator McCarthy. Mr. Lattimore had caustically disputed the accusations and taken issue with several of his interrogators. In late May, 1952, the subcommittee had recommended that perjury proceedings be initiated against Mr. Lattimore, and the previous December, a Federal grand jury had indicted him on the seven counts of perjury. The first count had accused him of lying when he denied having been "a sympathizer and promoter of Communists and Communist interests." The other counts concerned specific actions occurring more than ten years earlier. It had been the first count which had been dismissed by the District Court, finding that the charge not only violated his First and Sixth Amendment rights—the latter on the basis that the indictment failed to inform the accused of the nature and cause of the accusation against him—, but was so "nebulous and indefinite" that a jury would have to indulge in speculation to render a verdict. The Court had ordered Mr. Lattimore to stand trial on the remaining three counts on October 6, commenting, however, that the judge retained serious doubts whether they, also, would stand the test of materiality.

The Government lawyers had said that they would take the issue all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary, to try to have the four dismissed counts reinstated. It indicates that it hopes that they would do so, as the questions merited the attention and decision of the highest court in the land. It reminds that the interrogation of Mr. Lattimore had not substantiated the charges of his accusers regarding espionage or treason, an investigation in which he had fully cooperated. Most of the charges against him involved minor actions, regarding which any person could mistakenly testify a decade after their occurrence. It indicates that it would stand with the District Court judge on the dismissal of the primary charge, until he might be overruled by a higher court.

Of course, a major part of Senator McCarthy's object, as with the other chief spy-hunters, notably former Congressman Nixon, was to gain notoriety with a certain segment of the public for personal political advancement, while sowing enough distrust in the public of "liberal" Democrats as being sympathetic with Communist causes to upset the old FDR-effected coalitions between Northern liberals and Southern conservatives and reactionaries to achieve sufficient defections on such soup du jour issues as integration and fear of black incursion of the carefully erected social borders to produce Republican victory. It is an old divide-and-conquer strategy still being practiced by the Trumpies, a sales technique where substantive facts at the root of accusations or claims are largely irrelevant, subordinate to the salesmanship demonstration, the "art of the deal", being performed to amaze the naive and entrance the gullible, making them feel better about themselves while stealing power behind the scenes to erode their rights and make them subject to the old royal ruse, keeping their pals in big business fat and happy while enjoying the vain glow of political power.

"Posies Are Indeed in Order" indicates that Mayor Philip Van Every had voiced the sentiments of the newspaper when he congratulated the Police Department and the detective division for its persistent and successful investigation of the murder of the practical nurse on August 2. It commends detectives W. W. Stone and E. T. Haney, who had established the connection between the murder and the recent burglaries of two local establishments, leading them to the two juveniles who eventually confessed to the murder. It indicates that under Chief Frank Littlejohn, the Department had a good record of solving major crimes in the city, and it was comforting to the citizens to know that the important work of the detective division was entrusted to such competent men as those who had cracked this case.

Having, in the preceding two editorials, sounded out well the principles of the rights of the accused to effective assistance of counsel at every critical stage of the criminal proceedings and to have the nature of the charges against the accused properly set forth with sufficient specificity to enable a proper defense, it fails to apply those principles in its rush to praise the local police, never stopping to question whether the two arrested juvenile suspects, despite their ostensible confessions, and especially given their ages of 14 and 16, coupled with the fact, as Ms. Sawyer set forth on the front page, that the older of the two who admitted the stabbing was of deficient intelligence, had been effectively coerced to admit their part in the killing through prolonged questioning without the benefit of counsel, or, presumably, even being apprised of their right to same before any interrogation would transpire.

Another area of focus which was sorely neglected, as with most general circulation newspapers of the time, was one of self-examination, whether, by providing so much coverage to the fact of a confession by suspects, with the assumption implicit from it that they were without question therefore guilty, that it was assured that they could not proceed to trial after hiring or having counsel appointed to represent them, practically necessitating their plea of guilty to such a serious charge or face a jury already apprised of the fact of confession, even if, by some act of representation endowed with the foresight to object and move to exclude from evidence the confessions under the Fifth and Sixth Amendments, and, by an even greater miracle for the time, that the confessions would be excluded on that basis, such that there would still be little chance of acquittal after such a thorough job by the newspapers in assisting the police in assuring that the fix was in, whereby a couple of kids, arrested on other, unrelated charges of burglary, could be scared enough with visions of old sparky and alternately cajoled by promises of recommending for them mercy if they got it off their chests, that they would confess, clearing the books of a troubling, well-publicized case which was getting old, without suspects after more than three weeks. The newspaper, needing the support of the local police to be accepted in the community and to have the inside track to report on crime in the community, effectively winds up aiding and abetting a system designed to streamline the pesky nuisance of affording everyone their Constitutional rights, greasing the skids for the bad kids toward prison, permanently if at all possible, a recreational pursuit, for all intents and purposes, by some of those "law and awda" people in the community.

Jenkin Lloyd Jones, editor of the Tulsa Tribune, a consultant to the Secretary of the Navy, provides a piece which had appeared in the Bulletin of the American Society of Newspaper Editors, in which he explains that there was a six-button phone on his desk, which required the punching of three to obtain an outside line, with another button to reach his secretary, one labeled "blank", and the sixth being a mystery as to whether it went to the White House, the CIA, the Russian Embassy or some other place. He found himself often staring at that button.

He explains that each morning, 30,000 people went to work at the Pentagon, so many people that old friends sometimes worked for years in the building without discovering the presence of one another. He goes on describing the daily routine in the building, set up as a "pyramid of caste and special privilege".

Even in parking, underlings were assigned spaces which varied from halfway to Baltimore to halfway to Richmond, while the bourgeoisie obtained the places on the ramps in front of the five important doors. There was also caste separation in obtaining food, with the lower echelons having to obtain sandwiches at the lunch stands or in the long cafeteria lines, while the captains, commanders and colonels were supposed to eat with the junior executives. He says that he was assigned to the dining room of the admirals and generals, which was filled with captains and colonels who had "ridden in on the coattails of the great." There was also a caste regarding access to the restrooms.

His social position was reinforced by the fact that he had a red seal office, which were few in number and commanded the highest security clearance.

He suggests that it all seemed quite remote from the work of the sailors in the Aleutians or the soldiers manning the 38th parallel, "remote and very comfortable."

He again relates of the six-button phone, and though it was against all regulation and rules of decency, he had finally held his ear to the receiver and pressed button six. "Someone is ordering groceries."

Drew Pearson indicates that the unfortunate aspect about the strikes in France was that they were almost certain to occur again unless drastic reforms were made in the French tax system and the food distribution system. The French Government had been living on subsidies from the U.S. instead of collecting taxes, with the only real taxpayers being the French industrial workers, the white-collar workers and Government employees. Taxes were not collected, however, from the higher brackets. He provides statistics from 1951-52 to back up the assertion. The French Government had done nothing about the situation. French taxes were higher than in the U.S., with a person earning $10,000 paying around 65 percent in taxes, being almost confiscatory at higher income levels. But the higher tax brackets simply did not pay and the Government made little effort to collect. Workers, however, had their taxes deducted from the payrolls, one of the major issues behind the crippling nationwide strikes. Another problem causing the strikes had been high food prices, higher than in the U.S., though wages were much lower. Another reason was the nearly complete failure of the Government to do anything about housing. Following the war, the Government had instituted a low-cost housing program under which apartments were to be built by the Government and rented primarily to veterans, but were being built so slowly that a veteran friend of Mr. Pearson with a long and heroic record would have to wait 87 years before he could obtain an apartment. While Paris needed 200,000 apartments, the Government was building them at the rate of 1,200 per year.

Meanwhile the Government was subsidizing private industry's housing program which had built 4,000 apartments, selling rapidly at around $20,000 each. The sight of wealthy citizens taking those apartments, built under Government subsidy, had also fueled the strikes.

Premier Joseph Laniel, one of the wealthier men in France, had made the mistake of tightening the French economic belt at the expense of the working classes rather than of the upper brackets, with the result that there had been indignation from the Catholic trade unions and the moderate non-Communist unions.

He notes that French workers had also observed the way French winegrowers blocked roads in the wine areas until the Government had agreed to buy their surplus wine, taking their cue from that example.

The near asphyxiation of Henry Grunewald and a female friend in a Jersey City apartment recently had not been the first time the tax-fixer had been caught in such a predicament. Early in July, he had been found in an apartment of the Wardman Park Hotel in Washington lying in a heap of broken glass, with a female friend lying on the floor comatose while he was in a belligerently drunken condition. Apparently they had been throwing table lamps and tumblers at one another. Mr. Grunewald had occupied the room for a week and his female companion had occupied the room next door for the same period of time. Mr. Pearson notes that he had received a suspended jail sentence from the U.S. District Court on the ground that he had a heart condition, after being convicted of contempt of Congress for failing to testify regarding investigation of the tax-fixing with the IRB. He had also ducked testimony before a Senate Investigating subcommittee some years earlier, regarding the tapping of the telephone wires of Howard Hughes on behalf of Pan American Airways, also based on the same excuse of heart trouble.

Stewart Alsop, in Paris, tells of French officials and political leaders continually saying that France was sick, an atmosphere which Mr. Alsop had never seen so pervasive in his trips to the country. American policy had assumed that placing France on a sound economic footing would cure its problems of political health, but that had not occurred, though France had not truly recovered economically. The U.S. aid had prevented France from becoming Communist, but had produced few positive benefits otherwise.

Despite France being rich in resources, its industrial production had increased at a rate far lower than that of any other European country, including poverty-stricken Italy. Inflation was continuing and the French franc was shakier than ever, with the Government facing a huge deficit.

The second aspect of American policy had been the assumption that if France were soundly defended, it would become politically sound. The military aid had produced great benefits, as France stood as a major deterrent to aggression in Western Europe. Nevertheless, there had been no solid defense of Western Europe produced in three years of rearmament.

Thoughtful observers, both French and American, had concluded that the main trouble was in the built-in veto power permeating the French political and economic system, preventing positive action at home or abroad. That veto power had just been used to negate Premier Joseph Laniel's plan of Government economy, exercised by the French Government workers in bringing on a nationwide general strike. The workers were underpaid primarily because food and other basic necessities were over-priced. The French farmers and shopkeepers, under the French system, were powerful enough to bring down any government which seriously attempted to reduce the high food prices.

The obvious place to begin in bringing order to the French economy was in its archaic tax system, under which people cheated as a national pastime. All agreed, however, that any government which sought to make serious reform in that area would be destroyed by the industrialists, farmers, and others with a vested interest in the status quo.

For at least five years, most responsible French leaders had agreed that the Indo-Chinese war could never be won without providing genuine independence for Indo-China. Yet, the French colonial and economic interests had vetoed any Indo-Chinese independence, and it was possibly too late at present to change the course of the war.

He reiterates from an earlier column that the French had originally proposed the unified European army three years earlier, but had been vetoing it ever since.

Marquis Childs indicates that Val Peterson, director of the Federal Civil Defense Administration, faced a substantial undertaking with a ridiculously inadequate appropriation, forcing him to resort to statements and speeches which sounded alarm, while showing enough restraint not to create hysteria. The only things which had been done in three years since the office had been created was to establish an air raid warning system, which was estimated to be 40 to 60 percent complete, the stockpiling of 85 million dollars worth of medical and engineering supplies, and the publication of numerous pamphlets, blueprints and plans. The office had received a 46 million dollar appropriation, about a third of what Mr. Peterson had sought from Congress.

Municipal civil defense officers in the large cities were concerned over the fact that the cities were subject to atomic destruction, with an estimated 13 million casualties from an air-atomic attack. Mr. Peterson had said that the hydrogen bomb would merely mean a disaster of larger proportions. The mayors of the cities had been seeking for months to draw some attention to civil defense. Mayor William Hartsfield of Atlanta, president of the American Municipal Association, had spoken to the President about the matter, explaining that Federal civil defense funds were by law funneled through the states on a matching basis and that in Georgia, the state civil defense organization existed largely only on paper. The President had told Mayor Hartsfield that he could see that there was a major problem. Any move to provide Federal aid directly to the cities was resisted by the governors, who wanted to maintain control over all of the money coming from Washington. It was one reason that the civil defense program appeared as a handout. Any state which authorized funds for the purpose would obtain Federal matching funds, regardless of whether any targets judged by the military to be critical were in a given state. Mr. Peterson and his aides had justified that program by saying that defense preparations in Arkansas, where true targets were at a minimum, could be drawn on for use in the event of an atomic disaster in a large city. The consequence had been to spread the small amount of money available very thin, as most state legislatures, which met only biennially in most instances, were very reluctant to vote funds to protect the cities, since the legislatures were dominated by rural representatives.

That dynamic explained why civil defense was a stepchild. Congressman John Taber, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, was from a small town in New York where he had lived all of his life, and did not think much of cities.

Mr. Peterson, the former Governor of Nebraska, had begun with intentions to make the most of his job. At the beginning of his job, he had a white telephone which communicated directly with the White House, but within three or four weeks, visitors noticed that it was gone. He believed he ought have a place on the National Security Council. No one in either the executive branch or the Congress had ever formulated a civil defense policy. The newest approach was to evacuate the cities following an alert, but that would mean a warning of at least two to three hours for an orderly evacuation to take place, and a defense warning capable of providing that kind of notice would cost up to five billion dollars and take 3 to 4 years to implement.

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