The Charlotte News
Saturday, May 15, 1954
Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Senator McCarthy demanded this date that the "complete story" be told of any part the Justice Department had played in triggering Army charges that he had sought favored military treatment for Private G. David Schine, a former unpaid aide of the Senate Investigations subcommittee which the Senator normally chaired. Senator John McClellan of Arkansas, the ranking Democrat on the subcommittee, said that if the Administration redacted the details from a January 21 conference on the Army-McCarthy dispute, it would have to "take the responsibility for denying Senators the facts." The previous day, Army general counsel John G. Adams had testified that he was subject to an executive order that no statements be made about the January 21 conference, which included Attorney General Herbert Brownell, Deputy Attorney General William Rogers, White House chief of staff Sherman Adams, White House aide Gerald Morgan, U.N. Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., and Mr. Adams. Mr. Adams testified that he could not go beyond a statement on which he had testified Wednesday, that Sherman Adams had suggested compiling a written record of the Army's troubles with Senator McCarthy regarding Private Schine, which eventuated in the report made to the subcommittee in February. The investigation of the dispute centered on Private Schine and whether the favored treatment he had admittedly received by the Army since being drafted the previous October had been the result of threats to the Army of more severe investigation by Senator McCarthy and usual chief counsel for the subcommittee, Roy Cohn, or whether, as Senator McCarthy had charged, the report of the Army to the subcommittee in February, contending that the Senator and Mr. Cohn had sought the favored treatment for Private Schine pursuant to such threats, at a time when the subcommittee was investigating alleged espionage and sabotage at the secret radar research facility of Fort Monmouth in New Jersey, had been an attempt to "blackmail" the Senator into stopping that latter investigation. Senator McCarthy said to journalists this date that he believed it was important that everything that went on at the meeting be revealed to the subcommittee to show "what part the Justice Department took in getting this case started", as the Department was being called on daily to pass on vital questions. He said that it would be up to the Attorney General to determine whether perjury had been committed and whether there was any ground for charges of contempt.
Senator Karl Mundt, temporary chairman of the Investigations subcommittee during the dispute investigation, had asked the Attorney General to determine whether any laws had been violated in the divulging to Senator McCarthy by an unnamed Army intelligence officer of a 2 1/2 page summary, introduced by Senator McCarthy originally as a personal letter to the Army from FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, actually turning out to have been culled from an 11-page unsigned, confidential FBI memorandum, after Mr. Hoover had stated to subcommittee investigators that he had never authored the letter and that it was not an actual letter from the FBI, though the memorandum had been. The memorandum had, according to Senator McCarthy, contained names of alleged espionage agents at Fort Monmouth, who, also according to the Senator, were members of a spy ring headed by executed atomic spy Julius Rosenberg.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported this date that the construction industry the previous month had made 109,100 housing starts on privately owned housing units and another 900 starts on publicly financed units, a 14 percent increase from the 97,000 housing starts of March, representing a general increase in activity throughout the country, except in the Southeast. It represented more housing starts than in any month in the previous 3 1/2 years. During the first four months of the year, 341,400 privately owned housing starts had occurred, a six percent decrease when compared to the same period in 1953.
A Presidential emergency board recommended this date granting health-welfare, vacation and holiday pay benefits worth 150 million dollars annually to a million railroad employees but refused to recommend other demands made by the 15 railroad non-operating unions and approved several recommendations made by rail management. The board had been appointed by the President the previous December to avoid a nationwide rail strike. The unions had not made demands for pay increases but only regarding fringe benefits. The case had been in negotiations for a year.
In New York, a judge refused to grant an injunction to the New York Central Railroad against proxy votes for railroad stock held by Robert Young supporters, but continued a temporary stay against actual issuance of proxies until May 18 to provide the Railroad an opportunity to appeal the decision. Mr. Young and the Railroad were in a bitter struggle for control of the enterprise, expected to reach a showdown at the annual stockholders meeting on May 26.
Near Seattle, an earthquake with a magnitude of five on the Richter scale hit the Puget Sound area early this date, with no immediate reports of damage or injuries, although the strongest quake in the area since April, 1949. A professor in the geology department of the University of Washington said the intensity level was just below that needed to cause damage.
In Paris, an 18-year old Bolivian tin heiress gave birth to a daughter shortly before dying of a cerebral hemorrhage the previous night. The mother had been the center of international attention after her elopement in Scotland the previous January 7 with the 20-year old son of a wealthy British hotel owner. Her father had pursued the couple in anger and announced his intention to stop the marriage, but finally relented and gave his consent. The couple had been spending a long honeymoon on the French Riviera and the woman had been found unconscious in a Paris hotel room on Thursday.
In Chapel Hill, a UNC senior had allegedly shot two students and then killed himself after an all-night beer drinking party in a fraternity house, according to the Orange County sheriff. He said that between 40 and 50 beer cans had been found in a bedroom of the Phi Delta Theta house, the scene of the early morning triple shooting. A senior from Larchmont, N. Y., had been found dead in his bed, wounded in the head, clutching a .22-caliber pistol. Two of his fraternity brothers, one from New Jersey and the other from Maryland, were wounded and had been admitted to the University hospital, one with a chest wound from which he would likely recover if complications did not develop, and the other with a shoulder wound. All three students were about 20 years old. The less seriously wounded student said that they were in the bedroom when the senior started shooting "for no apparent reason" and that they had run from the room when they saw the gun appear. Another student told police that the pistol had been in his car, that he had left it there with the chamber removed. The dead senior implicated in the shootings did not live at the fraternity house but roomed at the home of a journalism professor. Two students had died of gunshot wounds in a shooting at UNC four years earlier, on April 7-8, 1950, one of whom had committed suicide in Forest Theater after the other had been found dead in a rooming house the previous day.
Beware campus life stresses as exams approach in springtime when blossoms are full.
In Birmingham, Ala., a Federal District Court jury the previous night convicted two white brothers of enslaving terrorized black workers on their prosperous west Alabama farm, their sentencing scheduled for June 4. The judge had instructed the jurors that if they found the brothers guilty, "that such flagrant violation of the law in such shameless inhumanity and brutality, such base dishonor to American citizenship can be deliberately practiced in a civilized and Christian community by intelligent men, is a reproach to our civilization." They had been accused of paying fines of black prisoners being held in Alabama and Mississippi jails, then bringing them to their farm and forcing them to work. The Government alleged that one man was beaten so severely when he tried to escape that he had died three days later, an autopsy, which showed pneumonia as the cause of death, having also produced observations of wounds on his legs and left thigh. Both brothers were convicted of conspiring to hold that individual plus another in involuntary servitude, compelling them to work by acts of force and violence. The jury also found one of the brothers guilty of peonage by forcing the same individual who died to work off payment of an alleged debt. The latter brother faced a maximum of 15 years in prison plus fines, while the other brother faced 10 years plus fines. Seven men, all related, had originally been indicted, but the U.S. Attorney said that charges against three of the men had been withdrawn for the time being and that the other two would be tried later.
In Shelby, N.C., funeral services were held this date for Senator Clyde Hoey, who had died suddenly at age 76 in Washington at his desk on Wednesday, taking place at the Central Methodist Church, with burial following in Sunset Cemetery. Expected to attend the services had been a large Senate delegation to be headed by Vice-President Nixon and to include Senate Majority Leader William Knowland and Senate Minority Leader Lyndon Johnson, in addition to several House members and State Government leaders. In fact, however, as told the following day in the Charlotte Observer, neither the Vice-President nor many of the anticipated Senators, including Senators Walter George of Georgia, ill, Russell Long of Louisiana, whose plans changed, had been able to attend. Nor had Senator McCarthy, who decided during the morning that he could not come. Present, however, were Senator Knowland, Secretary of the Army Robert Stevens, Senator Richard Russell of Georgia, Senators Burnet Maybank and Olin Johnston of South Carolina, and Senator Alton Lennon of North Carolina. There was no mention of Senator Johnson and so presumably he, also, was unable to make it. Former Senator Frank Porter Graham was in attendance, as was Governor William B. Umstead and several State leaders. A large crowd of some 7,000 spectators gathered outside the church to pay their respects, and silent onlookers gathered along the sidewalks leading the twelve blocks to the cemetery. One of those who gathered was a lifelong friend of the Senator, George Grant, who wore the Senator's used clothing but did not adorn it with his usual red rose in the lapel, as he said it did not seem right anymore.
story, written by a reporter who would later be a familiar columnist
for the Observer's readers, made incidental mention of the
fact that Senator Hoey was buried 50 yards from the large obelisk
marking the grave of Thomas Dixon, the author, among his many other
walks of life mentioned on the monument, in 1903 and 1905 of The
Leopard's Spot and The Clansman,
together forming the basis for the controversial 1915 D. W. Griffith
film, "Birth of a Nation", and also 100 yards from the
grave of Senator Hoey's brother-in-law, former Governor and Secretary
of the Treasury O. Max Gardner, who had died in February, 1947 just
prior to embarking on his overseas voyage to begin his tenure as
Ambassador to England. No mention, however, was made of the grave of
W. J. Cash, a mere 13 feet away, having no distinct monument, only a
family marker and headstone, the latter bearing the inscription from
James Russell Lowell's "The Present Crisis"
Perhaps, the final reason why neither Senator McCarthy nor Vice-President Nixon decided to attend the funeral was that there had developed a rumor that some disgruntled veteran, who resembled Frank Sinatra, might be camped out in a building pretending to repair a television set while actually setting up some other contraption in a window overlooking the train depot at which they were scheduled to arrive, suddenly...
Harry Shuford of The News tells of motorists running through red lights in Charlotte having gotten out of hand, reaching, according to the City traffic engineer Herman Hoose, "major epidemic" proportions. During a half-hour period, over 30 cars had run a red light at a particular intersection. Other counts taken in other intersections showed similar results. Mr. Hoose said that motorists responded to other traffic rather than traffic signals, following the leader.
On the editorial page, "'The Negro and the Schools'" provides an "editorial book review" of The Negro and the Schools by former News editor Harry Ashmore, presently executive editor of the Arkansas Gazette, a book just published by the UNC Press, and which the editorial presciently suggests was destined to have an impact on the South "totally disproportionate" to its 228-page length. The book was a summary and interpretation of a massive research project carried out during the previous year by 45 top scholars and scores of assistants under the aegis of the Fund for the Advancement of Education. It was designed to make available to the citizenry operating and supporting the public schools the objective facts which would help them understand what former Justice Owen Roberts had called in the foreword of the book "the peculiar problems involved in the schooling of the American Negro." It had been given added importance because it was being published on the eve of the Supreme Court decision in the five public school desegregation cases joined under Brown v. Board of Education—the long-delayed decision in which would be announced on Monday.
Mr. Ashmore, a native of Greenville, S.C., had directed the project and so it had come to bear his name. The previous summer, a group of Southern newspaper editors and educators had met in New York with officials of the Fund to form the rough outlines for the study, knowing that the Supreme Court decision would at least reaffirm "separate but equal" doctrine as satisfying Fourteenth Amendment Equal Protection requirements, while anticipating that such a narrow ruling would be accompanied by increased pressure from the courts on the South to bring black schools up to standards quickly, creating an economic problem of considerable proportions. They also were aware that the Court might strike down segregation and that an order for the five districts directly involved in Brown to be integrated would be a forerunner to integration elsewhere in the nation, striking at the basis of the social order in the South. It was thus decided that the study should consider the entire range of possible outcomes in Brown and measure their impact upon the region, including a review of the legal history of segregation cases, an analysis of the political, economic and social background of the Southern attitude on race and the experiences of communities outside the South where a transition to integration had already occurred. It was determined that the Fund would not undertake to argue the case for or against segregation in public education or become involved as an advocate on either side of the issues pending before the Court in Brown.
It concludes that if the first of four volumes resulting from the study was an indication, the project had met admirably its original intentions. Although the initial volume was short, it was complete and written with careful objectivity from which extremists at either pole of the issue would find nothing to reinforce their prejudices or their hopes.
The book began with an explanation of the 1849 Massachusetts case of Roberts v. City of Boston, which had first set forth the principle that the rights of black citizens were not abridged if "separate but equal" facilities were afforded, a case preceding the 1868 ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment. The book described the Congressional debates on the latter Amendment and the adoption in 1875 of the Civil Rights Act, in which, by compromise between the abolitionists and the states' rights advocates, there was no mention of public education, affording equal rights otherwise in public accomodations and transportation, which had an already enacted enforcement mechanism via the 1871 acts, affording citizens the right to prosecute civil claims against those who, while acting under color of state law, violate Constitutional rights and also providing for criminal prosecution by the Federal Government for such violations, although originally providing for punishment which did not equate with the enormity of some of the violations which resulted in either maiming or death, after going unprosecuted at the state level.
The book proceeded through the 1896 Supreme Court decision in Plessy v. Ferguson, which first enunciated the Federal standard vis-à-vis the Fourteenth Amendment of "separate but equal" in the factual context of segregated rail cars—containing, it is noteworthy, a lone dissent by Justice John Harlan, grandfather of the John Harlan to be appointed to the Supreme Court the following March by President Eisenhower after the death in October of Justice Robert Jackson, and who would be part of the unanimous Court in 1955 providing the Brown implementing decision, known as Brown II, utilizing the phrase, which would ultimately become notorious for its use as excuse for delay in the South, "with all deliberate speed", in reference to integration of public schools.
The book by Mr. Ashmore paid close attention to expanding concepts of "separate but equal" doctrine in the series of cases, starting in 1937 with Missouri ex rel. Gaines v. Canada, which slowly led to the cracking of the wall in segregation of graduate and professional schools, introducing along the way the intangibles for measuring equality, such as professional standing in the community after graduation from a major law school in a particular state, compared to graduation from an all-black law school which did not enjoy the same resources or professional contacts in the legal profession in the state in which it was situated. Those factors had made it nearly impossible for Southern states to provide black graduate students and professional school graduates the equality of educational opportunity in segregated institutions. That lineage of cases, culminating in Sweatt v. Painter in 1950, the Texas law school case which ordered the State of Texas to supply either a substantially equal law school for black students to that afforded by the University of Texas or to open the University of Texas Law School to qualified black applicants, had slowly led up to Brown, with the Supreme Court for the first time confronting directly the issue of the continued Constitutionality of segregation.
It indicates that the book did much more than that, tracing the essential political, economic and sociological background of the several eras of Southern history in which sectional attitudes on race had been forged, providing an excellent and concise picture of the disparities which currently existed throughout the region between white and black schools and between urban and rural schools, showing the impact of the great internal migration of the previous two decades which had resulted in black migration from the South as well as within the region, changing blacks from largely rural dwellers to urban dwellers. The book also contained a set of key statistical tables and graphs which amplified the prose descriptions and gave it added dimensions.
Nowhere in the book was evident any opinion by Mr. Ashmore on the subject of integration or continued segregation, reporting that "the abundant evidence" was that the South was undergoing "a massive change" from its rural base to development of a broad industrial base, the gradual dissolution of the one-party political system, the migration of Americans from other regions of the country with different social and political backgrounds, all changing the identity of the region.
In the final paragraph of the book, he said of the study:
"In the long sweep of history
the public school cases before the Supreme Court may be written down
as the point at which the South cleared the last turning in the road
to reunion—that point at which finally, and under protest, the
region gave up its peculiar institutions and accepted the prevailing
standards of the nation at large as the legal basis for its
relationship with its minority race. This would not in itself bring
about any great shift in Southern attitudes, nor even any
far-reaching immediate changes in the pattern of bi-racial education.
But it would re-define the goal the Southern people, white and Negro,
are committed to seek in the way of democracy."
It should be noted that Chief
Justice Earl Warren would relate to Mr. Ashmore that the book
would have a great impact on the Court's Brown II decision in
1955. Mr. Ashmore would win a Pulitzer Prize in 1958 for
journalism for his editorials urging the community to remain peaceful
in the midst of the Little Rock
It would, of course, not be the last time in the South that such retrograde, atavistic behavior of various stripes would take place in the face of progress toward integrating society, whether at the level of the public schools, the University of Mississippi in 1962 and the University of Alabama in 1963, or the lunch counter of Woolworth in Greensboro, N.C., in 1960, or in the effort to register voters in Mississippi in the summer of 1964, or a hundred other settings, where conduct ranged from taunts and name-calling to vicious violence and murder during the period of adjustment from 1954 through the early 1970's, some places adapting to it without any upset while others bitterly opposed, out of the traditions to which their past was mindlessly wedded in deep-seated psychological superstitions passed generationally.
Pierce Harris, writing in the Atlanta Journal, in a piece titled "The Head of the House", indicates that an old college pal had once boasted that when he got married, he would be the head of the house or know the reason why, and that now that he was married, he knew the reason why. Mr. Harris wonders why every man wanted to be known as a domestic "major domo". He was willing to be the vice-president of the civic club, a scrub on the football team, a private member of any committee, but as soon as he walked in the door of his home, he wanted to be the head man, and furthermore wanted the whole world to know it. But it seldom worked out that way. He questions what difference it made if the wife turned out to be the head of the household.
Women were now free, with all of the shackles of the past removed. For centuries, women had been exerting great influence, especially in the home. He finds that the way a woman could boss around a much larger man and make him like it was one of the miracles of the ages. It pleased the man everywhere except when he was in the company of other men.
Drew Pearson indicates that House Speaker Joseph Martin was silently upset at the way House Majority Leader Charles Halleck of Indiana was intimating that he was the Republican leader closest to the White House. Mr. Halleck had done a terrific job for the President in ramming through the legislation finally to approve the St. Lawrence Seaway, despite always having been opposed to it. Mr. Halleck liked to tell the story of how General Eisenhower had come to him once and told him that during the 1952 Republican convention he was one of five young men he had accepted as potential running mates, and then took him upstairs in the White House and asked him what he thought of a painting, to which Mr. Halleck indicated his approval, at which point the President made him a gift of it. Then, a few days later, the President had called him and said that he was a little embarrassed but that First Lady Mamie Eisenhower had said that she wanted the picture, herself. The President then had several copies made, one of which was presented to Mr. Halleck, with the inscription that he had hoped to present him the original, but that it was the best he could do, that one day he hoped to get the original away from Mamie. Mr. Halleck was very proud of the copy and inscription as he showed it to friends.
Senator McCarthy's political pal, Robert Jones, was staging a well-publicized campaign in Maine to defeat the only elected female Senator, Margaret Chase Smith, who had courageously circulated the "Declaration of Conscience" against McCarthy's crude Senate behavior a few years earlier. It was unpublicized, however, that Senator McCarthy could take responsibility for the defeat of Senator Robert Hendrickson of New Jersey, who had signed Senator Smith's Declaration and also the Senate report on Senator McCarthy's questionable finances, making the report unanimous, after receiving vigorous pressure from Senator McCarthy not to sign it, lest he regret it at election time. But it had been the White House which finally doomed Senator Hendrickson's re-election, though he was one of the most conscientious members of the Senate, presently conducting an important probe of juvenile delinquency. The President had pulled wires behind the scenes with New Jersey political bosses to get Senator Hendrickson out of the race, whereby the bosses threatened to put other Republican candidates in the race with strong financial backing if he did not withdraw. He finally did. Mr. Pearson notes that the issue of Senator McCarthy's finances was still gathering dust at the Justice Department.
He indicates that the best test of whether the President was really down on Senator McCarthy, as White House aides contended, would be what he did about the Senator's pal, FCC commissioner John Doerfer. Most people did not realize it, but the Senator had managed to get two of his friends, Mr. Doerfer and Robert E. Lee, appointed to the FCC, one of the most important agencies in the Government because of its role in deciding who received licenses to broadcast on television and radio. The Commission had recently provided a television license to another pal of Senator McCarthy, H. L. Hunt, the Texas oil man of Corpus Christi, who already controlled four radio and television programs receiving free air time and certain tax benefits, the programs titled "Facts Forum", "Answer for Americans", "Reporters Round-Up", and "State of the Nation". At one time, Mrs. McCarthy had worked for Mr. Hunt on "Facts Forum", as had Robert E. Lee—that being some years after the Civil War. The term on the FCC of Mr. Doerfer was set to expire June 30 and in the ensuing couple of weeks, the President would have to decide whether to reappoint him. He had followed the McCarthy line more than had Mr. Lee, and if the President did reappoint him, it would be interpreted in Congress as continued appeasement of Senator McCarthy, with some Democrats proposing to make it a test case on McCarthyism, a fight which they could hope to win if they remained together as they had on the issue of amendments to Taft-Hartley, which had been recommitted to committee and thus effectively defeated for the remainder of the 83rd Congress.
Vice-President Nixon had lost his inside place at the White House, in large part because he had gone too far in his statement to the editors association in April regarding use of U.S. troops in Indo-China in the event the French were to withdraw. As a result, the Vice-President, Secretary of Defense Charles E. Wilson and Joint Chiefs chairman Admiral Arthur Radford were all prevented from making speeches on Indo-China, ordered to clear text of future speeches with the National Security Council.
The Republicans were now blaming everything which went wrong on Senator Knowland. The Vice-President, a fellow Californian who did not particularly like Senator Knowland, had said that if he were not the Majority Leader, things would be a lot different. According to some colleagues, Senator Knowland had a penchant for rubbing people the wrong way. Mr. Pearson indicates that no President or political party could expect to get much cooperation from the opposing political party when they insisted on calling them "traitors", the reason why both Senator Knowland and the President had belatedly gone out of their way during the week to take back the accusations made by Attorney General Herbert Brownell and Governor Thomas Dewey to that effect.
Joseph & Stewart Alsop find that the Army-McCarthy hearings were shocking the President as most Americans, but were nevertheless continuing because of the President's own personal decision, having rejected Senator Everett Dirksen's suggestion that after Senator McCarthy had finished his testimony, the remainder of the hearings would transpire in executive session, away from the public, radio microphones and tv cameras. The President had assured that he would back Secretary of the Army Robert Stevens and the Defense Department.
Regarding the midterm election campaigns, the President did not want Senator McCarthy involved and anti-Eisenhower, pro-McCarthy Republican nominees would receive no help from him. He had finally come to the realization that trying to get along with Senator McCarthy would not solve his problems of leadership and had become convinced that the party had to be remade in the image of the moderate, progressive conservatism in which he believed. Thus, he would not aid his enemies in the campaign or thereafter. Nor would he punish old enemies.
Representative George Bender of Ohio had just been nominated for the Senate. He had been completely in favor of the late Senator Robert Taft in 1952 and opposed the candidacy of General Eisenhower. But in the primary race, he was stating his complete support now for President Eisenhower and, in consequence, would be strongly supported.
But there were other candidates who would not receive that blessing unless they made the same kind of commitment to the President's program. An example was the Republican Senatorial nominee in Illinois, Joseph Meek, who was especially enthusiastic about Senator McCarthy and regularly attacked Eisenhower policies. After winning the primary on that basis, he then sent messages to the President saying that he was actually a strong supporter of the President as a man, and even went to Washington to make sure the White House was on his side, but had convinced no one and would not receive help unless he changed his campaign rhetoric. It was a strategy which the President had firmly adopted.
In the Midwest, in Minnesota, Michigan, Missouri and Iowa, important Republican officials had announced that they did not want Senator McCarthy involved in the campaigns, in an area where the RNC had originally planned to use the Senator as the star attraction.
In New Jersey, the state organization had been persuaded to get behind the Senatorial candidacy of Clifford Case, who had been angrily rejected in the gubernatorial race of the previous year, but now had the backing of the President.
The Alsops conclude that in those quiet ways, the President was moving to assert his party leadership.
Doris Fleeson indicates that Republican political managers, who had announced a budget of more than three million dollars for the fall campaign, were now facing a refusal of funding from the business and financial community, on whom they had relied for contributions. Long distance calls and letters repeatedly made the appeal that Republican leaders had to stop the intraparty fight and get down to the work of passing the President's program. Those complaints were a primary topic of a Republican Senate policy committee meeting recently, and individual Senators reported the same story.
Senator Karl Mundt of South Dakota, the temporary chairman of the Investigations subcommittee during the dispute between Senator McCarthy and the Army, was having to run for re-election in 1954 and was being forced to campaign, because of his subcommittee duties, via weekly report to his constituents. His latest entry contained the observation that "we are not going to be stampeded into injustice because newspaper people now say we wish it hadn't been started." Ms. Fleeson observes that it had been started primarily through conformity with their own recommendations. She relates that part of Senator Mundt's problem was that Army general counsel, John G. Adams, a foe of Senator McCarthy whom the latter had vowed to destroy, was from South Dakota and formerly had headed the Young Republicans of that state. South Dakotans believed that Mr. Adams was a major factor in Senator Mundt's refusal to vote to shorten the hearings unless the Army consented that justice would be done in that manner.
Meanwhile, South Dakota Democrats, who had been picking up steam under a new manager, future Senator and 1972 Democratic presidential nominee, George McGovern, were taking heart. In 1952, they had nominees for only 20 percent of the state ticket, whereas in 1954, they had active candidates in 80 percent of the races, including the fielding of a vigorous candidate against Senator Mundt, Kenneth Holum, a successful farmer active in the rural electrification program. They had also produced two candidates for the gubernatorial race, one of whom, a banker, was expected to make a good run as the party nominee.
While the real race would take place in November, not in the May primaries, the farmers were unhappy and the issue of Senator McCarthy was not high on the list of concerns in many areas of the state.
Meanwhile, Texas oil men were pouring money into the coffers of Congressional races chosen by Senator McCarthy, and the reason they had such large amounts of spare cash was the large 27.5 percent oil depletion allowance.
Marquis Childs, in Geneva, indicates that the Communists had once more put forward an all-or-nothing demand, with the Vietminh delegation having insisted on a peace which would leave the independent governments of Viet Nam, Laos and Cambodia, presently the French Union Associated States of Indo-China, almost completely at the mercy of the Communist forces, both the regular battalions and the infiltrators. The pattern was identical with the security pact for Western Europe proposed by Soviet Foreign Minister V. M. Molotov and the North Korean proposals for unification of Korea, that being withdrawal of all "foreign troops", meaning, in the case of Indo-China, French troops. Once that were to occur, Communist China would be able to supply the Communist takeover, in the same way Russia would be able to supply Communist forces in Western Europe under the Molotov security pact proposal put forward in February at the Berlin Big Four foreign ministers conference. The primary purpose, it appeared, for such proposals was propaganda, as there could be no serious hope of acceptance by the West. It was hoped that the appeal might also resonate among those in France tired of the war in Indo-China, in combination with the emotion aroused by the fall of Dien Bien Phu. France needed a scapegoat and Foreign Minister Georges Bidault, who had put forward proposals for firm armistice zones, might become the victim along with other members of the Cabinet of Premier Joseph Laniel, responsible for the conduct of the war.
The French needed to find a way quickly to maintain their precarious hold in Indo-China, General Henri Navarre, the commander of the French forces there, having said that the war would have to become internationalized since it was evident that the peace could not be internationalized, a position adopted by the French Cabinet a month earlier. That stance appeared to pass the decision, at least for the nonce, back to the highest levels in Washington. Little hope remained at the conference that a peace could be achieved which would be approved and underwritten by the U.S.
The proposals of M. Bidault called for disarming the irregular guerrilla forces who had infiltrated in great numbers, particularly throughout the Red River delta. That derived from the French fear that as the military situation deteriorated, reprisals might be taken against French civilians based on years of hatred and savage warfare. The Vietminh proposals, by contrast, did not take into account those irregular forces, and further ignored the intervention of Communist China, providing increasingly substantial aid to the Vietminh.
The U.S. delegation to the conference believed that it was already merely a sounding board for propaganda aimed not at resolving the conflicts but winning adherents among those who were wavering and those who dreaded a world war with nuclear weapons. There was a sense of relief that the Communist terms were so hard as to preclude any dubious compromise which might allow for reasonable settlement, while only postponing the inevitable takeover by the Communists. They continued to hope that the Communists' uncompromising approach would stiffen the resolve of the French to resist.
The British delegation, by contrast, did not hold such optimism, believing that France had to find a way to peace and quickly, thus continuing to hope that through patient negotiation with the Communists, they would yield on some points so that at least a partially respectable settlement could be achieved.
A letter writer comments on an editorial of May 12 regarding State Senatorial candidates up for election, finding it enlightening, suggests that the newspaper would perform a public service by publishing the records of all candidates running for public office, as very few people knew the candidates personally and even fewer likely looked up their records.
A letter writer states that he had seen ridiculous things in his young life but that the "entertainment" lineup for May 18, when President Eisenhower was scheduled to appear in Charlotte, topped them all, including the North Carolina State rifle drill team, the Charlotte Boys Choir, a trampoline act, the Queens College Quartet, a bicycle act and a barbershop chorus.
Who and what did you expect at a political event?
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