The Charlotte News
Friday, May 28, 1954
Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the Administration this date directly disputed the declaration by Senator McCarthy the previous day that it was the duty of Federal workers to report to Congress regarding what they knew of Communism, treason or other crimes. Attorney General Herbert Brownell said, in a statement read to the press by White House press secretary James Hagerty, with the approval, he said, of the President, that the Constitution provided the executive branch with the "sole and fundamental" responsibility for enforcement of laws and Presidential orders, including those to protect the nation's security, and that the responsibility could not be usurped by any individual, who might seek to set himself above the laws of the land or to override orders of the President to Federal employees of the executive branch. The statement did not mention by name Senator McCarthy, but Mr. Hagerty said it referred to his remarks in the hearings of the previous day, during which the Senator had said, "As far as I'm concerned, I would like to notify those two million Federal employees that I feel it is their duty to give us any information which they have about graft, corruption, Communists, treason, and that there is no loyalty to a superior which can tower above and beyond their loyalty to their country." The story provides the full text of the Attorney General's statement.
In the 23rd day of the hearings
Francis Carr, staff director of the subcommittee, was declared available to testify, according to Senator McCarthy in a letter to the subcommittee. The subcommittee had voted 4 to 3 on partisan lines to delete him as a witness, but the three Democrats, Senators John McClellan of Arkansas, Stuart Symington of Missouri and Henry Jackson of Washington, along with Army special counsel Joseph Welch, had objected and indicated their definite desire for Mr. Carr to testify.
A subpoena was served on Senator McCarthy this date by the subcommittee to provide to it all records produced by Private Schine during his work for the subcommittee. A large part of the afternoon session, from which the above televised excerpt comes, was taken up in discussion of that subpoena and what it actually sought. As with the previous day and a half of testimony, the transcript of this day's proceedings is not available online. (Why this particular date's rather insignificant and boring colloquy is included in the available televised excerpts, and far more important proceedings are not, one would have to ask those who provide the excerpts, likewise why the rather significant portions of Mr. Cohn's testimony are unavailable in transcript form. It sometimes appears that some of the people who put such things on the internet do not actually understand the significance of them beyond a very generalized, superficial gleaning. But, we are glad that they are there, in some form or another, even if sometimes quite haphazardly chosen.)
The Swedish ship which had delivered Communist-made arms to Guatemala was now in Key West, Fla., where the captain and crew were being questioned by U.S. officials. The ship had delivered arms to Guatemala from Stettin in Poland.
At Quonset Point, R.I., the death toll from the two explosions two days earlier aboard the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Bennington had reached 97, with 40 men still in critical condition. Three of the 201 injured men had died at the Newport Naval Hospital the previous day, where nearly 100 men were still hospitalized. Many of the injured would require plastic surgery for more than a year for their severe burns. The Naval court of inquiry announced it would open its investigation the following day.
Eddy Gilmore of the Associated Press reports from Geneva that Switzerland's preoccupation with neutrality had engulfed this date a group of small boys and girls at a private school, accused of "demonstrating" against the Communist Chinese. The American mother of one of the children said that it was hard to believe, but that the Geneva cops had almost thrown her girl into the pokey. The school was located next to a building in which a number of members of the large Chinese Communist delegation were staying during the Geneva peace conference, with only a high wall separating the school grounds from the delegation's quarters. A neighborhood policeman had noticed a column of the children marching back and forth beside the wall, with two young Chinese boys heading the marchers. A cop then suggested that the children were "demonstrating" against the foreign visitors across the wall by "soldiering and perhaps hurling insults". The teachers then questioned the pupils and learned that they had been marching back and forth, but that they had not known that the Communist Chinese were on the other side of the wall, and denied uttering any insults. The American girl in the group said that the two Chinese boys were not Communists, but said that the Communists had taken the land of their fathers and that they did not like Communists. But the cop insisted that he had heard insults, whereupon the American girl asked him whether he spoke or understood Chinese, the cop then admitting that he did not, but threatening nevertheless to return with a cop who did understand Chinese if the demonstrations did not stop. After school, the mother of the American girl had sought the facts on what the Chinese boys had been saying, at which point her daughter volunteered that the words were, "Peiping Chinese eat rats."
Lucien Agniel of The News tells of Panamanian Ambassador to the U.S., Don Roberto Huerte-matte, having said that wherever Russian arms arrived, it was the death knell of freedom. The Ambassador had flown into Charlotte this date and his statement had been in response to a question regarding how seriously he regarded the arrival of arms shipments to Guatemala from Communist Poland, to which he responded that it was very serious and that it applied to everyone in the Western world. During the afternoon, he would present the grand cross of the Order of Manuel Amador Guerrero to Mrs. Elmira Amador Ehrman, the daughter of the first President of Panama, for whom the Order was named. Mrs. Ehrman was a longtime resident of Charlotte and the Order had been established in 1954 in connection with the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Republic of Panama.
In Raleigh, in preparation for the upcoming Democratic primary the following day, the various candidates were getting in their last speeches, with Senator Alton Lennon scheduled to make a statewide radio address this night which would also be telecast, and slated to appear at a Young Democrats club rally at Winton, while former Governor Kerr Scott, his principal challenger, had no definite itinerary planned for the day, but would visit with friends in various parts of the state.
Mayor Marshall Kurfees of Winston-Salem had told the Journal the previous night that he had written a controversial ad, ostensibly on behalf of Governor Scott, which the Scott campaign had contended was a "falsehood" and a "phony", representing "dirty politics". Mayor Kurfees said that he had persuaded a black leader to sign the ad and then he personally paid for its publication Wednesday morning in the Journal. Future Governor and Senator Terry Sanford, Mr. Scott's campaign manager, declared that thousands of reprints of the ad had been distributed in the eastern part of the state and that he had "positive evidence" that copies of the ad had been left at a service station in Columbia by the State director of purchase and contract, and that an attorney and worker for Senator Lennon had distributed the leaflets. He also said that the publicity man for Senator Lennon had been responsible for the mass distribution. The publicity man confirmed that the ad appearing in the Journal had been authentic. The ad carried a picture of Dr. Harold Trigg, a black college president named to the State Board of Education during Governor Scott's tenure, under the line, "Vote for Scott". It had been signed by the president of the Civic Progressive League, a Winston-Salem black organization. Mayor Kurfees, who was an active supporter of Senator Lennon for re-election, had emphasized that Senator Lennon and his headquarters had known nothing about the arrangements to run the ad. The black leader who signed the ad said that he was willing to do so to praise Governor Scott as a friend of blacks, because he had hoped to help Governor Scott be elected to the Senate. He also said that he had made two misleading statements about the ad to protect his friend, Mayor Kurfees, having stated that a stranger had persuaded him to sign the ad through subterfuge. Mr. Sanford had said that the use of the Journal had been an indirect device to provide authenticity to the ad, that it was a "shameful practice of stirring up strife between the races" and an appeal to racial prejudice.
Mayor Kurfees, obviously not without
a sense of irony regarding his political tricks, was associated for
many decades following 1958 with the "Kurfees curve" on
I-40 through Winston-Salem at its intersection with Hawthorne Road, a
sudden curve which was responsible over the years for many accidents, some fatal, when motorists were unable to make the curve at high speed and crashed over the
guard rails down to the ground some 40 feet below, the result of the
Mayor's efforts on behalf of businesses which would have otherwise
been forced to relocate had the road been routed straight through or
with a less tortuous angle to the curve—finally gradualized in the early 1980's. Thus, it should come as no surprise to Winston-Salem
residents who recall that history that the Mayor would have been
involved in such a political stunt. That does not mean he was a
racist, but it suggests his political tricksterism, though, being a
good Democrat, he supported Senator Kennedy strongly in 1960 and once
welcomed Rose Kennedy, the mother of the Senator, to Winston-Salem
during October of that campaign year. That is, we assume he voted for
Senator Kennedy, but he might have pulled the trigger for Tricky,
finding, in the last analysis, that he had more in common with the
latter than the former. Who knows? Who cares? He was, as we recall,
the typical glad-handing pol who was most concerned about the tobacco
and hosiery industries in the city, determining most of his political
policies, though obviously also concerned with the interests of small businesses owned by his friends, though he later insisted that it was a bad rap, that the engineers determined the route of the interstate, an improbable proposition since the rest of the highway in the area followed a more or less straight route, regardless of the neighborhood it bisected, without windy-switches to avoid this or that establishment, there having been absolutely no engineering reason evident for the road to have coursed along the area in question, straddling the creekbed
Was Mayor Kurfees potentially liable, per 42 U.S.C. 1983, for the resulting damage, injury or wrongful death as a former City official acting under color of state law, depriving the drivers and passengers in those vehicles of a fundamental liberty interest, the right to be free from injury to person or property, by the negligent or recklessly indifferent conduct of the official? You law students have one hour to provide your compleat answer to the crossover question, being duly mindful the while of the doctrine expressed in Palsgraf v. Long Island Railroad.
In New York, an electric hotfoot was being arranged for any pigeon which landed on City Hall, so as to jolt the noisome birds enough to keep them off the building, which was to be renovated at a cost of two million dollars. The device cost about $25,000, approved the previous day, for ledges and window sills.
In Danville, Va., a police sergeant telephoned a friend, asking him whether there was anyone he wanted sent to jail, to which he said he did not believe so, at which point his wife shouted from an inner room that he should go ahead, it subsequently being determined that his wife had thought that her husband was being invited to go fishing.
On the editorial page, "An Opportunity for Gov. Umstead" discusses the upcoming decision of Governor William B. Umstead regarding his selection of a successor to the late Senator Clyde Hoey, who had died two weeks earlier. It appeared plain that he wanted to wait until after the primary before making his choice known, having said the previous day that he had not made a choice, despite reports to the contrary. It suggests that the appointment of a successor called for more than personal loyalty, as the Senate desperately needed, as at no other time in recent political history, qualities of statesmanship, including wisdom, temperance, courage, integrity, imagination and idealism. It finds that the Senate was no longer the repository of American political greatness, but appeared to be drifting, lacking strong leadership and unwilling or unable either to keep its own house in order or to shape the destiny of the nation. Thus, the Governor had a grave responsibility ahead.
It suggests that the appointee should have many good qualities and be young enough and vigorous enough that the person could rise under the seniority system to a position of influence, with a mind elastic enough to be stretched around the many complex issues of the time, and yet agile enough to parry the thrusts of debate on the Senate floor. The person should also have an established record of success and a proven track record as a vote-getter. The person should have the courage of conviction, a healthy sense of humor and the knack of becoming popular.
It recommends attorney Robert Lassiter, Jr., of Charlotte to the Governor, as possessing all of those characteristics, listing his accomplishments.
Of course, the Governor would
shortly appoint State Supreme Court Justice Sam J. Ervin to the
position. Senator Ervin, by the way, would die at age 88 in 1985 in Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem, just up the street a couple of blocks from the Hawthorne curve
"It's the Voters' Public Trust" indicates that around election time, an oft-repeated phrase was that "public office is a public trust", apparently derived from President Grover Cleveland, who said, "Your every voter, as surely as your chief magistrate, exercises a public trust." It finds that the maxim was not fully appreciated in the state or in Mecklenburg County as fully as in other parts of the state. In the 1952 general election, 80 percent of eligible voters in Utah had gone to the polls, while only 52.53 percent of North Carolinians had done likewise. In Transylvania County of North Carolina, 92.5 percent of eligible voters had voted, while in Mecklenburg, about 72.5 percent had voted. A large percentage of the 47,000 citizens who had not voted in the county had definite ideas about the issues and candidates, but because they had failed to vote, had lost their best opportunity to make their influence felt.
It indicates that the primary election the following day, along with the runoff primary the following month, constituted the most important elections since November, 1952, as the voters would select a Democratic nominee who would become the next Senator for six years, a State treasurer and State commissioner of insurance, and a Congressman for the local district, plus other State and local offices. It urges that if a reader did not know enough about all of the candidates to make a choice, then he or she should find out this night, by calling a friend whose judgment they trusted, who had followed the campaigns, or calling up the candidates. It urges everyone to vote.
"How To Handle Cohn and Schine" indicates that Secretary of the Army Stevens was receiving much gratuitous advice recently on how to handle the young Congressional staff members of the Senate Investigations subcommittee and Army privates. It had been suggested that he should have dressed down Roy Cohn in the manner of the late Secretary of War Henry Stimson, when Mr. Cohn had "declared war" on the Army after being excluded from the secret Fort Monmouth radar research laboratory.
It finds that treatment would have been appropriate, and that the Secretary should have considered the example set by Confederate cavalryman, General Nathan Bedford Forrest, in handling Mr. Cohn when he contacted Secretary Stevens 65 times regarding favorable treatment for Private Schine. The Memphis Press-Scimitar had recalled that a young lieutenant had written General Forrest requesting a leave, and when it was denied, the lieutenant had written again, again denied, then submitted a third letter, on which General Forrest had scrawled the reply, "I tole you twict,—dammit, NO!"
We are not sure that the Secretary, in 1954, would have wanted to follow any patterns set by the eventual first chief of the Koneheads, General Forrest, a semi-literate son-of-a-bitch. He might have been better served by simply following the example set by General Anthony McAuliffe in responding to the Nazis who wanted him to surrender his surrounded division at Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge in December, 1944, and responded, "Nuts!"
A piece from the Wall Street Journal, titled "The Problem of the Supreme Court", indicates that in 1866, Congress reduced the number of justices on the Court from nine to seven, to prevent President Andrew Johnson from filling two existing vacancies with nominees friendly to his policies. In 1937, President Roosevelt had attempted to increase the number of justices, by adding up to six justices, one each whenever an existing Justice turned age 70, an effort, it says, to overcome the existing majority which had overruled as unconstitutional several New Deal measures, a program which Congress refused to pass—actually, the motivation for which having dissipated, beginning in October, 1937, when retirements and deaths began to take their toll on the "nine old men", ultimately enabling FDR to appoint nine Justices to eight seats in the course of the ensuing six years through 1943. (Also in defense of the plan, FDR had been one of the few Presidents to have gone through his entire first term without a single Supreme Court appointment.)
Recently, the Senate had approved a proposed amendment to the Constitution, which, among other things, would fix the number of Justices at its present figure of nine, which, if finally passed by the House and then ratified by three-fourths of the states, would prevent further changes in the future size of the Court, determined only by statute. It finds the purpose of the amendment to be sound, as the juggling of the number of justices to implement political views would only weaken the Court and thus one of the bulwarks of orderly government. It finds that the people ought to have some safeguard against that type of tampering with the Court. It also allows that there was no magic number for the size of the Court, that perhaps seven or nine were too few and 15 too many. Nor was it beyond argument that the way to protect the Court would not be an absolute prohibition in the Constitution against future change of its size. The Court, it allows, had been changed in size at other times when the motive had not been political, and it might become advisable to enlarge the Court in the future because of the pressure of workload. There was talk of adding two new states and the Congress was constantly passing new laws while old ones were being altered to make them more complex, making it questionable whether anyone could say at present that nine justices should be an immutable number, that the number should not be picked simply because it was the current size of the Court.
It indicates that only a dozen witnesses had testified at the Senate hearings on the proposed amendment, and only two Senators had spoken at length in the debate, before only a handful of Senators on the floor. The amendment had received little publicity and most of the public probably had been surprised to learn that it had passed in the Senate. That contrasted sharply with the wide publicity and discussion of the recent proposed amendment to limit presidential terms and the proposed Bricker amendment to restrict the treaty-making power, both of which had been thoroughly aired, the first, the Twenty-Second Amendment, having been passed in 1947 and ratified in 1951, and the second defeated in 1954.
It indicates that the problem of protecting the Court was serious and might require an amendment to the Constitution, but it suggests full consideration be provided to the whole problem and that all possible solutions first be examined before any arbitrary number would be frozen in the Constitution.
As previously commented, the debate on the subject in 1954 could not have foreseen the politicization of the Court through time and times, begun in 1968 by the likes of Senator Strom Thurmond of South Carolina, blocking by filibuster President Johnson's June elevation of Justice Abe Fortas to Chief, in the wake of the retirement that month of Chief Justice Earl Warren, who detested former Vice-President Nixon and obviously did not fancy him appointing his successor, that filibuster having succeeded despite Justice Fortas's elevation having been supported by a majority of the Senate, and continuing through the likes of Mitch McConnell and his outrageous one-man dictatorial rule exerted in 2016 and 2020, refusing on the one hand, without precedent in U.S. history, even to hold hearings on a proper appointment by President Obama of our present Attorney General—confirmed in 2021 to the latter post by a bipartisan vote of 70 to 30—, in March of 2016 because it was a presidential election year, yet hypocritically slam-bamming through an appointment by Trump, also without precedent, in October, 2020, less than a month before the quadrennial election in which Trump, as predicted by all of the better polling data, was soundly defeated, following the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in September. Is it time to expand the Court now, in light of that last half century of Republican dominance of the Court and its appointments, left in the last several years to the Federalist Society and its conservative agenda to determine the appointees from the approved conservative Republican list, checking off the boxes for their litmus tests on the issues du jour on which their followers, a decided minority of the country, insist on ruling the day?
One party should not hold dominance in appointments to the Supreme Court, unless that party also has held commensurate dominance, as determined by the electorate, of the executive branch during the same period. The Republicans, since 1969, have occupied the White House for 32 years, including two elections "won" only by dint of the electoral college under highly questionable circumstances, while the Democrats, including the current Administration, will have occupied the White House for 24 years by 2025, meaning that, by any rational proportionality, Democratic appointees to the Court ought number at least four out of the nine, not three of the nine, as at present. And, based on the reality of the appointments process, that is based on precedents regarding the vacancies occurring in a presidential election year, Democrats should have appointed five members of the current Court, especially true as the Democrats will have occupied the White House, by 2025, for 20 of the prior 32 years, and have won the popular vote in two other elections during that period, meaning that the Republicans have won the popular vote majority, since 1992, exactly one time, in 2004, and yet, magically, have been able to appoint, since 1993, five Supreme Court Justices. Is that right in a democracy? It is in a McConnellocracy, but we do not see the name "McConnell" anywhere mentioned in the Constitution.
State Senator Fred McIntyre of Mecklenburg County provides a lengthy reply to the May 12 editorial, which, he says, had attacked him as a "clear and present danger" to the county. He provides his lengthy defense, which you may read if you have a particular interest in it. He defends himself as not being a "Senator Me Too, a rubberstamp legislator, a yes-man, a weak fish afraid to speak my conscience". He was running for re-election in the upcoming primary the following day.
Drew Pearson indicates that Senator Karl Mundt of South Dakota, who was temporarily presiding over the Senate Investigations subcommittee during the investigation of the dispute between the Army and Senator McCarthy, had gotten aboard the little trolley car which ran between the Senate Office Building and the Capitol recently, accompanied by former Senator Ernest McFarland of Arizona, the former Majority Leader of the Senate, and Senator McFarland had suggested to Senator Mundt that he should run for the presidency, as he had been on television for weeks and everybody knew him, providing him a tremendous buildup, suggesting that he should not waste all of that publicity. Senator Mundt had looked sheepish and reluctant, giving the impression of someone who wanted to shun the McCarthy hearings, the presidency and the trolley car under the Capitol. But Senator McFarland persisted, turning to Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, who had just boarded the car, and asked him whether he thought he was right about Senator Mundt running for the presidency, to which Senator Fulbright responded that he did, "either for President or for a hole."
Frank Costello, the gambling kingpin, who had recently been convicted of income tax evasion, after a long history of backstage Government maneuvering, some against him, some aimed at keeping him out of jail, dating back seven years, now was going to prison. He indicates that former Attorney General and now-Justice Tom Clark, narcotics commissioner Harry Anslinger, and Senator Estes Kefauver of Tennessee, whose crime probe had focused attention on Mr. Costello in such a way that powerful officials could not afford to buck adverse public opinion, were the people who deserved credit for finally getting Mr. Costello prosecuted and convicted. Two of the officials who had sought to shield him were now under indictment. Mr. Pearson indicates that it would have been possible, as early as July 21, 1947, to deport Mr. Costello back to Italy, as Mr. Pearson on that date had first exposed the fact that Mr. Costello, in taking out his U.S. citizenship, had perjured himself by failing to reveal that he had previously been convicted of carrying a concealed weapon. But thanks to Mr. Costello's powerful friends, he was never deported and appeared to have the benign blessing of certain crime-busting officials in New York, as Mr. Costello had carried a suitcase to Ellis Island to bid farewell to Lucky Luciano when Governor Thomas Dewey had commuted Mr. Luciano's 99-year sentence in exchange for acceptance of deportation.
Mr. Pearson indicates that there was one story he had written about Mr. Costello which he regretted, having told about his personal Washington lobbyist who had an association with certain members of Congress, who had no guilt in the matter, but had been entertained by the lobbyist at his hotel apartment. Since that time, the Congressmen, whom he names, had convinced him that they had no idea of the lobbyist's association with Mr. Costello at the time they accepted his entertainment. Mr. Pearson indicates that some of them were excellent public servants and the matter should not be held against them.
He indicates that Dr. Alton Ochsner,
the lung surgeon of Tulane University, had asked him to correct a
statement he had made in a previous column, that the Associated Press
had killed a story by their Denver correspondent regarding the effect
of cigarettes on lung cancer, indicating that while the Denver
correspondent did show him that the story had been killed following a
speech by Dr. Ochsner on the connection between cigarettes and lung
cancer in 1948, he had now received a letter from the Associated
Press in New York stating that the dispatch from Denver had been
eliminated because it was improperly written, in that it included
gratuitous and editorial expressions, not because of its subject
matter. It had included the statement at its beginning that the
cigarette companies would not like the story, and ended with the
statement: "So take a deep drag off that cigarette, brother. And
think it over." The A.P. man in New York said that a substitute
story was sent out by the A.P., correctly quoting the surgeon to the
effect that "the incidence of cancer of the lung has soared
upward in a line parallel with that of the cigarette sales chart."
The story also, however, included a quote from the surgeon, saying,
"There is no conclusive proof that smoking causes cancer of the
lung." Dr. Ochsner had informed Mr. Pearson that he did not
remember making that latter statement, especially as the subject of
his speech had concerned the probability that cigarette smoking
Marquis Childs, in Paris, indicates that novelist and critic Haakon Chevalier, named in the loyalty charges against Dr. Robert Oppenheimer which had resulted in his suspension from the Atomic Energy Commission pending an investigation by a Presidential commission, had denied that he had ever sought information from Dr. Oppenheimer regarding atomic developments in 1943 or at any other time. M. Chevalier was one of the many intellectual friends of the nuclear scientist, whose interests extended to literature, music and politics, and their friendship had continued to the present. M. Chevalier said that he had reported to him that George Eltenton had approached him and that it was disturbing because of the latter's Russian connections, as he had lived in the Soviet Union and had a wife and child there. M. Chevalier said that he was never a Communist or a pro-Communist and ascribed the present furor to the witch-hunting mode in the U.S.
He provided a letter which he had sent in 1950 to Dr. Oppenheimer, in which he had said that he could understand how his testimony before a House committee would be helpful to Dr. Oppenheimer in seeking a suitable academic position at that time, but could not supply the transcript of the testimony because it was maintained in secret, proceeding then to tell him the nature of his testimony, saying that he was disturbed by the threat to Dr. Oppenheimer's career caused by "ugly stories" circulating at the time.
He said further that Dr. Oppenheimer had, in 1943, while at the University of California, begun to pull away from their mutual group of friends, that those friends knew he was involved in extremely secret work for the Government but did not know what it was, that he would simply be gone for weeks or months at a time, providing no explanation and giving only vague answers to casual questions. That was during the period when he was directing the Manhattan Project at Los Alamos in New Mexico, contributing to the final success of the Trinity test in mid-July, 1945, leading to the atomic bombs which ended the war against Japan in August.
After the war, some of Dr. Oppenheimer's old friends had begun to discover that their names had been involved in official loyalty investigations, and were deeply disturbed by it, but in the case of M. Chevalier, their friendship had continued. The latter found himself under fire in his teaching position at the University of California, where he had taught French for 20 years, resulting in his being fired, making it impossible to obtain another such position. As he held both French and U.S. citizenship, he decided to return to France, where he and his second wife now lived. Shortly before coming back to Paris in 1950, they had visited the Oppenheimers at Princeton, where Dr. Oppenheimer headed the Institute for Advanced Studies. They had also seen him the previous December when he visited Paris, at which time he gave them a hint of the trouble ahead for him, while not disclosing that the AEC had officially raised the issue of his loyalty. M. Chevalier brought Dr. Oppenheimer together with Andre Malraux, one of the most prominent French novelists and critics.
Doris Fleeson indicates that the President the prior Wednesday had received the bad news that the best deal he could obtain from Congress on farm legislation was a compromise, having been warned also that farm policy by veto was not the acceptable solution and would be politically unwise. It had been widely reported that the President could veto any farm bill which contained high fixed price supports, which would automatically leave in place a flexible price support program, previously passed by the 80th Congress.
Members of Congress had told the President that Republcans needed to prove to farmers that they could legislate on agricultural policy, and promised a bill which would contain planning of the type needed to convince farmers that their interests were important to the Republican Administration. The delegation included chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, Representative Clifford Hope of Kansas, and its ranking Republican members, Representatives August Andresen of Minnesota, William Hill of Colorado and Charles Hoeven of Iowa, having insisted that they see the President in person. The President was accompanied by Secretary of Agriculture Ezra Taft Benson, who was promoting flexible price supports. Senator George Aiken of Vermont, chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, sided with Mr. Benson, while the majority of his Committee, by a vote of eight to seven, stood in favor of a one-year extension of the 90 percent parity support prices.
Actually, the President was being called upon to referee the differences on farm policy between the coastal states, East and West, and the Midwest-Southern coalition. The coasts had considerable voice in the Senate, but the House Committee was dominated by Midwesterners and Southerners, who had a smooth working arrangement with each other regardless of the party in power. Representative Hope had an excellent chance to deliver legislation which nearly all of his colleagues would support on the House floor. He wanted to de-emphasize both fixed and flexible price supports and have a new program built around soil conservation, with some form of price supports continued for at least another year.
Unless Secretary Benson acted soon and decisively, Ms. Fleeson ventures, there would also be some Congressional instruction on the subject of the present surpluses, which had done so much to discredit the price support program. Members of the farm bloc noted that the Secretary had claimed that the various plans would be illegal or too costly, and while they were willing to grant that he was sincere, believed much could and should be done, and that it would have been done by a Secretary of Agriculture who was not opposed to the present program.
A letter writer hopes that when voters went to the polls they would select men with courage and not smooth-talkers who fooled the people into thinking that everything was "just grand". She finds that Fred McIntyre did not take another politician's word for how to vote, but instead searched every issue and made up his own mind according to how he thought it would affect the taxpayer and the welfare of the general public.
A letter writer also supports his friend, Senator McIntyre, whom he says he had known for many years and knew him to be an honest and fearless man.
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