The Charlotte News

Monday, February 1, 1954


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in Berlin, British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden told the Big Four foreign ministers conference this date that it was "our purpose to associate Germany so close with other peace-loving states that she will neither seek nor be able to use her regained strength for aggressive purposes." His speech closely paralleled that of French Foreign Minister Georges Bidault, demanding free elections for a united Germany. Mr. Eden said that Germany could best be united with peace-loving countries through membership in the European Defense Community. This date's session was the first held in East Berlin.

In Tokyo, an American source said this date that Yuri Alexandrovich Rastovorov, a Russian diplomat-intelligence agent, had sought asylum and was granted it by the U.S. An anonymous source indicated that he had probably left Japan and was en route to the U.S. A Russian spokesman accused the U.S. of kidnaping him for the purpose of provoking the Soviet Union. Official U.S. sources in Tokyo said that they knew nothing of the matter. Mr. Rastovorov had disappeared from the Soviet Embassy in Tokyo on January 24, on the eve of his scheduled departure for Russia, and there had been speculation that he had flown on Saturday to the U.S. base on Okinawa. He was known to be an intelligence agent, as the Russian diplomats had free run of Japan and had been in position to gather information on U.S. bases. A Japanese news agency had reported earlier that Mr. Rastovorov was being returned to the Soviet Union for explanation of why he had botched a spy assignment. It reported that Japanese police had caught him the previous spring buying American jet secrets from a U.S. airman in Tokyo, but the Air Force denied that account. He was one of several dozen Soviet diplomats who had stayed behind after the Japanese peace treaty had been signed in April, 1952, the Soviet mission having no official status any longer as the Soviets had not signed the peace treaty. A reliable source said that 32 of the remaining Russians were intelligence officers.

The Air Force said this date that U.S. planes and MIG-15 fighter jets had fought a sharp engagement near the Korean coast ten days earlier, after a U.S. reconnaissance bomber had been attacked, but that no U.S. planes were lost, while one of the Russian-made jets had been shot down. There was no indication of the nationality of the Communist pilot.

It was reported from Tokyo that a U.S. Air Force CF-46 Commando plane, ten minutes from landing, had crashed in the icy waters off Hokkaido Island with no survivors among the 34 American servicemen and an Army civilian employee aboard. The plane was on a regular run between airbases in Japan. An Air Force spokesman said that search planes had spotted only some open parachutes and an oil slick and that in the icy waters, a person could stay alive only for a few minutes.

The President had considered the latest proposed compromise regarding the Bricker amendment to the Constitution, limiting the treaty-making power, and, according to Senate Majority Leader William Knowland, appeared to be inclining toward endorsement of it, provided one legal and constitutional problem could be cleared up, though not specific on what the point was. He and Congressional Republican leaders had spent two and a half hours in conference with the President this date.

A Senate Banking subcommittee voted this date to begin public hearings the following Monday in an effort to find out why coffee prices had soared above a dollar per pound.

In Los Angeles, James Roosevelt, son of the late President, promised a statement this date regarding his wife's suit for separate maintenance, in which she accused him of infidelity with 12 women. His attorney said that Mr. Roosevelt would be present when the lengthy statement was issued but that there would be no questions or answers. It was not indicated whether he would answer the question in his statement as to why in 1945 he had signed a letter to his wife admitting adultery with nine women, a copy of which had been included in his wife's complaint. Mr. Roosevelt had filed suit against his wife for separate maintenance on January 12 in Santa Monica, and she had subsequently filed her suit in Pasadena. Mr. Roosevelt was a candidate for the 1954 California Democratic gubernatorial nomination, but India Edwards, vice-chairman of the DNC, and former California Governor Culbert Olson both said the previous day that he would best serve the party by dropping out of the race. They said they were not attempting to judge the merits of the marital controversy, but that a person should have their house in order before seeking public office. Mr. Roosevelt had said Saturday night that he was undecided on whether to remain in the race. Former actress Jayne Shadduck, now married, had cabled Mr. Roosevelt demanding an immediate public retraction of the libelous statement linking her name with his in the letter attached to his wife's complaint. Former actress Andrea Leeds, also now married, issued a public statement denying that she was the "Mrs. Howard" named in the letter.

Everybody was trying to be his baby...

In Raleigh, State Supreme Court Justice Maurice Barnhill was elevated to Chief by Governor William B. Umstead, succeeding retired Chief Justice Q. A. Devin. The Governor appointed Superior Court Judge William Bobbitt of Charlotte as the new Associate Justice, and Francis Clarkson of Charlotte to succeed Judge Bobbitt.

In Charlotte, Dick Smith, longtime racket boss and "man of mystery" in the city, was sentenced in Federal District Court to three years in prison and a $15,000 fine after being found guilty, following a three-day jury trial, of Federal income tax evasion amounting to $60,000 worth of taxes due for the period 1946-48, based on income derived from his illegal numbers racket. The jury acquitted him of violations for 1949 and 1950, which the Government had also alleged, involving an additional $160,000 of taxes. It was likely, according to his attorneys, that he would appeal the conviction.

In New York, Maj. Edwin Armstrong, inventor of FM radio and the superheterodyne and super-regenerative circuits which were the basis of virtually all radio receivers, fell to his death from his 13th floor apartment in River House, leaving behind a suicide note addressed to his wife, expressing regret over his manner of death and stating love for her.

Also in New York, as pictured, comedian Jackie Gleason was carried from a CBS studio Saturday night after he had slipped on a wet spot on the stage and had fallen, suffering torn ligaments and possible minor fractures in his right ankle. And away we go… Did the stage survive?

On the editorial page, "Wage Laws Help Reduce Poverty" indicates that Secretary of Labor James Mitchell had taken a somewhat different view on minimum wage scales from that stated by the President in his economic report to Congress the prior week, in which he had indicated support for a higher minimum wage but that the present was not the time for it, until the economy was strong enough to absorb it. Raising of the present minimum wage of 75 cents per hour and expansion of its coverage would thus likely not occur in 1954.

But Mr. Mitchell had announced an order raising the minimum wage from $1.05 per hour to $1.20 on Government contracts in the woolen and worsted industry. He said that when he had taken office the prior fall, he was shocked that the Fair Labor Standards Act exempted more than 18 million workers he thought were covered and that the position of those workers was "dangerously insecure".

It observes that both men had expressed greater regard for the worth of workers, however, than had the North Carolina General Assembly in 1953, which had refused to pass a 55-cent minimum wage law for 35,000 workers involved in intrastate commerce, who received less than that amount. It finds that North Carolina therefore was permitting its labor supply to be exploited by employers who did not pay a decent living wage unless forced to do so by law, urges that the people would do well to determine the views of candidates for the General Assembly regarding minimum wage laws in the state and consider those views when they would vote in the primary the following May.

"The 'Open Mind' Policy toward China" indicates that the Midwest had been famous for producing members of Congress who were isolationists, but that the same region had also produced presidential candidates and Presidents who were internationalist in their viewpoint, for instance Wendell Willkie of Indiana, Adlai Stevenson of Illinois, and Presidents Truman and Eisenhower.

The Republican nominee in 1936 against FDR had been then-Governor Alf Landon of Kansas, and recently, speaking before the Topeka Kiwanis Club, he had suggested that the question of recognition of China and admission of it to the U.N. should remain open so as not to bind U.S. diplomats at the bargaining table, that if public sentiment were built up either for it or against it, it would freeze the position of the negotiators and hamper them.

It finds it a sensible view on China, more sensible than the action of the Senate, which had unanimously adopted a resolution opposing U.N. membership for Communist China, or of the "Committee of One Million", which had been formed to oppose admission of Communist China, or of the Methodist Board of Foreign Missions, which had passed a resolution in favor of its admission. It concludes that those actions gave the issue a prominence it did not deserve, creating emotionalism which hampered the conduct of foreign policy.

"Job for Title Economization Dept." tells of the Federal Government eliminating from agency titles "administration", "unit" or "bureau", such that, for example, the Alcohol Tax Unit had now become the Alcohol & Tobacco Tax, and the Production & Marketing Administration was now the Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation.

But it apparently did not apply to job titles, as the Associated Press had reported that William Martin was not only the new "Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Applications Engineering", but also the "Coordinator of Guided Missile Projects after They Have Been Approved by the Defense Research and Development Office". It finds that "diseconomy".

A piece from the Christian Science Monitor, titled "Back to Music", tells of the diesel air horns on trains unable to carry as far as the old steam whistles, and so certain railroads had decided to replace the horns with air-blown whistles. It indicates that while safety came first, the aesthetics depended on what kind of sounds the new whistles were reviving. It hopes that it was not the "raucous shriek of Pennsylvania's steamers" which had warned horsemen and motorists, but left them with "a lurking desire to wreck the thing that had yelled" at them. It prefers the "soft chime of the old Wabash 4-4-2 'Atlantics'" or "the plaintive 'quill' of the Burlington's own long-barreled 'Pacifics' pounding over the great swells of western Nebraska's prairies" or "the echoing chords of Norfolk & Western's big mountaineers winding down the gorge of the New River under a Virginia moan."

It indicates that if the reader did not know what it meant, then they had missed a listening pleasure or were just too young.

Josh L. Horne, publisher of the Rocky Mount Telegram, has his tribute to the late W. Carey Dowd, Jr., former publisher of The News, reprinted on the page, as delivered in Chapel Hill before the North Carolina Press Association on Saturday at the presentation to UNC of a plaque honoring Mr. Dowd. He says that Mr. Dowd had contributed considerably during the 1920's to the growth of Charlotte from a city of 46,000 to 82,000, that in 20 years as publisher of the newspaper, from 1927 until 1947, he had contributed considerably to the life of the community, in the Good Fellows Club, as president of the Kiwanis Club, founder of the News-sponsored Empty Stocking Fund for indigent families, a Chamber of Commerce official, and a builder of churches for the denomination of his choice. Despite his many contributions to the community and to the state, he never wanted credit for himself.

The state had voted millions in bond money for the care of the mentally ill because in 1941, former News reporter Tom Jimison, who was also a lawyer and preacher, had committed himself to the Morganton State Hospital and, after a year there, filed a series of reports about his experiences, leading to appointment by then-Governor J. Melville Broughton of a blue-ribbon commission, which recommended several changes in the state's mental institutions. That type of activity, Mr. Horne indicates, was typical of the newspaper when Mr. Dowd had been publisher.

Though one's views might have differed completely from those of Mr. Dowd, he still remained a friend. Mr. Horne recounts that the two attended Duke-Carolina football games together each year, and though each was a rabid partisan for their school, they would then room together at the North Carolina Press Institute in mid-winter.

He hopes that the School of Journalism would find an honored place for the bronze plaque honoring one of its graduates.

Drew Pearson tells of Joint Chiefs chairman Admiral Arthur Radford having persuaded the President to order 400 Air Force technicians and mechanics to assist the French in Indo-China, honoring the French request. The Air Force had suggested that civilians ought be sent, but the Admiral insisted on military personnel. The Air Force brass complained that it did not have 400 technicians to spare and that the commitment would leave the Air Force short of mechanics, but the Admiral overruled them. The Air Force was also concerned about sending U.S. personnel into Indo-China, that it would provoke the Communist Chinese to send in their two air groups which they had moved close to the Indo-Chinese border. Meanwhile, the Communists were pouring field artillery and anti-aircraft guns into Indo-China and it appeared to be another Korea in the making.

Senator John W. Bricker, who was chairman of the Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, was using his chairmanship to try to gain support for his Constitutional amendment on the treaty-making power. When Senator John Sherman Cooper of Kentucky told Senator Bricker he could not accept the amendment, Senator Bricker canceled a probe of the nonscheduled airlines which Senator Cooper had been conducting, though it was doubtful that Senator Bricker actually had the power to do so. After a showdown between the two Senators, Senator Cooper resigned from the Committee.

Senator Margaret Chase Smith of Maine, ordinarily demonstrating political courage, was worried about the Bricker amendment and how it might affect her campaign for re-election in 1954, causing her to pull her punches during the previous few months, concerned that a speech for or against her by a McCarthyite could cost thousands in campaign funds, a concern shared by many in Congress.

Mr. Pearson indicates that one Senator not pulling punches was Estes Kefauver of Tennessee, leading the opposition against the Bricker amendment.

Friends of Senator Bricker said that the amendment had germinated from the fact that he was a duck hunter on Lake Erie and because a treaty with Canada had given the Federal Government the power, according to the Supreme Court, to regulate duck hunting, he believed it necessary to limit the treaty-making power. Every duck hunter generally agreed, however, that Federal regulation in the area was a good thing because if each of the states competed with one another to regulate duck hunting, North American ducks would disappear.

Congressman Harley Staggers of West Virginia was promoting creation of a department of peace, having gotten the idea from a coal miner from Morgantown, R. M. Davis, who had been urging it for years. Frank Gannett, publisher of the Gannett newspapers, was also a vigorous advocate for the cause. Congressman Staggers had sought the President's ear on the matter, urging that it would be good psychology to capture men's minds and convince the world that Communist propaganda regarding the U.S. as warmongers was false. Mr. Staggers had shown the President a newspaper editorial, which had appeared in the Gannett newspapers, supporting his bill, and the President had read the editorial and asked to keep it. Mr. Pearson notes that the Gannett newspapers had not been laudatory of the Eisenhower Administration.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop tell of official concern in Washington regarding a pair of recent articles by two unknown Communist military commentators. One was an anonymous "general in the reserves" who undoubtedly had authority, as the article had appeared in Izvestia, one of the two official newspapers in Moscow. The article pertained to the speech by Secretary of State Dulles on January 12, in which he had defended and explained the increasing reliance by U.S. defense planning on atomic weaponry. There was no doubt that the article was an official reply by the Malenkov regime.

It said that the U.S., in its theoretical exercises, envisioned a global war in terms of an adversary without means of embarking on a like strategy of intercontinental and transoceanic scope. The general had asked whether it would not be wiser to assume the opposite, that in case of war, the territories of U.S. allies would become theaters of military operations "upon which the destructive forces of modern weapons will descend with all their power." The central point of the article was to remind the U.S. that it was no longer invulnerable, that "modern developments in aviation, jet-propelled weapons, and the submarine fleet have made possible crushing blows over a distance of many thousands of kilometers." That sentence had attracted anxious interest among the experts as it hinted that the Soviets now had joined "jet-propelled weapons" with "the submarine fleet".

The second article was by a Commodore Egbert von Frankenburg, a Communist military commentator in East Germany, containing the same warning as the Izvestia article but in more specific terms, stating that the "post-war development of technical devices" included "electronically controlled anti-aircraft shells and other surprises", that "Soviet long-range bombers would reach all points in the home zones of the enemy." He also said, "The guided twin rocket suitable for transatlantic operation has been further developed." He was referring to a two-stage rocket which had been in a developmental phase by the Germans at the end of World War II, and the German scientists who had been planning it had been captured by the Soviets. Known as the A-10, it was theoretically capable of hitting New York from European bases.

The Alsops indicate that if the Soviets had developed an intercontinental guided multi-stage rocket, they were years ahead of the U.S. in that field, and that such hints had to be taken somewhat seriously.

Thus would later come a modified version of Congressman Staggers's "peace department", NASA.

Robert C. Ruark, in Sydney, Australia, indicates that he did not find it very sporting of his friend, Ernest Hemingway, to survive the two plane crashes which had befallen him back to back recently in Uganda, that he thought it would have been a good lead for Mr. Hemingway's obituary to quote from the preface of his "The Snows of Kilimanjaro", which, in reference to a leopard found frozen high on the peaks of Kilimanjaro, had gone something like: "Nobody could say what the leopard was seeking at that altitude." He believed it would have been a fitting epitaph to have paraphrased it by saying that no one knew what Mr. Hemingway was seeking in Uganda when he crashed his plane.

He had decided that Mr. Hemingway could not be killed, that he had been trying to kill himself for years the hard way, but had never quite succeeded, would likely live to be older than the pyramids, unless "some ribbon clerk" on a bicycle were to run him down. He believed him to be a modern hero because he had done things mostly his own way, caring nothing of what the critics said. He finds that the great thing about him was his personal kindness and lack of patronization, being nicer to "small people" than anyone he knew and without making them feel small.

The previous summer, as he had recounted in his column, he had been with Mr. Hemingway for a week in Pamplona, Spain, for the running of the bulls and had never been so impressed with the unconscious kindness of him, a kind of politeness which had been nearly lost.

He indicates that Mr. Hemingway had told him that when he had written his second to last book, which the critics had cut to shreds, before he wrote The Old Man and the Sea, which had won a Pulitzer Prize, he had considered writing to Mr. Ruark to explain what he was shooting at in the book, but tore it up because he supposed no real writer ever had to explain anything to anybody if they did not get the point in the writings.

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