The Charlotte News

Tuesday, September 28, 1954


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in London, the nine-power conference regarding West German rearmament and joinder with NATO had gotten off to a "good start" this date, according to delegates, following a 90-minute morning session. British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden had been elected chairman of the conference. He proposed a streamlined timetable designed to achieve agreement within 50 days on providing sovereignty to West Germany, free of Allied occupation, and enlisting its troops in the defense of Western Europe, encouraging the occupying powers, France, Britain and the U.S., to propose a plan for returning sovereignty, while the full nine-nation conference would regard the issue of rearmament. The conference was expected to last between four and ten days, during which Mr. Eden had encouraged that they reach only general agreement, with experts then assigned to work out details for approval by a second such conference to be held within a month. Following that second meeting, the nine foreign ministers would report jointly to a special meeting of the NATO Council to be held not later than mid-November, which would then admit West Germany as the 15th member. The French had introduced a potential stumbling block, however, regarding the disputed Saar territory, formerly German and now tied economically to France. West Germany had offered to abandon its claim on the coal-producing and industrial region if it were to be administered by the 15-nation Council of Europe, of which both France and West Germany were presently members.

Senator McCarthy appeared this date to face an uphill battle in preventing his censure by the full Senate, following the unanimous report from the six-Senator select committee, released the previous day, recommending censure on three grounds. The Senator had yet to make any comment on the report and his attorney, Edward Bennett Williams, said that he would have no comment at the present time. The Chicago Tribune, however, quoted the Senator as saying that if the Senate upheld the accusations against him, it would have taken a long stride toward "abdication of its constitutional right to investigate wrongdoing in the executive departments." He said that he did not care whether or not he was censured, but would fight against establishing a precedent which would curb investigative powers and assist any administration in power to cover up misdeeds. An associate of the Senator, who declined to be quoted by name, said that he believed that, at present, the Senator might lose the votes of as many as 15 of the 48 Republican members and that few Democrats would rally to his side. But, the same person indicated that by the time the vote would occur after the midterm elections and after the Senator was able to mount his defense, things might be different.

In Raleigh, North Carolina Senator Alton Lennon, who had been defeated in the Democratic primary in the spring by former Governor Kerr Scott, indicated that since Governor William B. Umstead had appointed him, in the wake of the death of the late Senator Willis Smith, he would resign his seat early only at the request of the Governor. He would thus return to Washington to vote on censure of Senator McCarthy if he found that it was established and he still held office. He stated that he believed the Senate should have been called back before the election to consider the censure resolution, that the report could have been considered and voted on within three days, had such occurred, that delaying it until November 8, following the November 2 midterm elections, could cause the debate to go on for several days. He said that many Senators would likely support the committee's recommendations of censure. He had said the previous day that if he had an opportunity to vote on the matter, he would support the committee's recommendations. State Attorney General Harry McMullan indicated that by the time Mr. Scott would be elected and then certified, he could not take his seat prior to November 23, provided Senator Lennon stepped aside to enable Mr. Scott to have some seniority prior to the official start of the 84th Congress, when he would otherwise be sworn in. Although facing a nominal Republican opponent, Mr. Scott was certain to win the general election in the one-party state. Mr. Scott had declined comment on the censure resolution the previous day, after the report had issued, saying it would be inappropriate as he was not yet a Senator.

Josef Swiatlo, a security official of Poland's Communist Government, had fled Poland and been granted asylum in the U.S., as disclosed by Attorney General Herbert Brownell this date, after the latter had granted him temporary entry to the country. His job had been to protect the Polish Communist Party and regime against internal political subversives. Mr. Brownell said that he had taken refuge in the U.S. sector of Berlin ten months earlier, having first gone to the French sector, before eventually turning himself over to U.S. military police the prior December.

In Newark, N.J., a write-in threat aimed at cutting the vote of Republican Congressman Clifford Case, running for the Senate, was creating a Republican split, as former Congressman Fred Hartley, co-author of the Taft-Hartley law, said that he would not run as a write-in candidate against Mr. Case, but would not object to supporters writing his name on the ballot on an informal basis. Conservative groups opposed the candidacy of Mr. Case, contending that he was "too liberal" in his Congressional voting record. Mr. Case had already been nominated by the Republicans, and the write-in campaign would be in the general election.

In Bombay, India, an express passenger train plunged into the icy waters of a flooded river, 50 miles east of Hyderabad early this date and at least 53 persons had been killed or lost, with officials saying it was one of the worst disasters in the history of India's railroads. About 600 passengers had been asleep or were dozing at around midnight when a bridge, weakened by flood waters, had collapsed beneath the train.

In Baltimore, a man, charged with breaking a street display window with a brick and taking $18.70 worth of merchandise, had told police that he was satisfied to do $18.70 worth of time. The defendant had an extensive criminal record, and the judge decided to sentence him the previous day to incarceration through Friday, which he deemed about right for the crime.

In Belmont, N.C., seven children of one family, ages 6 to 16, started attending school this date, with their mode of transportation initially being a 20-mile trip by water from Rock Hill, S.C., then meeting a bus for the final ride to the Sacred Heart and Cathedral Schools, a journey which they would take every day to and from school. The father wanted them to attend Catholic schools in Belmont, but decided the trip was too hazardous by car or bus, and since the family had practically been waterborne for years, decided to use the family cabin cruiser for the initial leg of the journey, which took 45 minutes to the point where they met the bus. In honor of the first trip, the student bodies of both schools greeted the children en masse this date, with the boys attending Cathedral and the girls, Sacred Heart.

Dick Young of The News indicates that members of the newly appointed Charlotte-Mecklenburg County Planning Commission had begun business this date, adopting the slogan, "Let's not wait for our future, let's make it."

On the editorial page, "McCarthy Got Benefit of Doubts, but Still Deserves Senate Censure" comments on the report of the six-Senator select committee released the previous day, unanimously recommending censure on three points, his contumacious conduct toward the Senate and its committees for refusing to appear to testify before the Senate Elections subcommittee in late 1952, investigating his finances, his abusive comments about other Senators, and his rough treatment of Brig. General Ralph Zwicker during testimony before Senator McCarthy's Senate Investigations subcommittee the prior February, inquiring into why he allowed an Army Reserve dentist to be honorably discharged after the dentist had refused to answer questions, pursuant to the Fifth Amendment, regarding his supposed past subversive associations, and suggesting that the General's refusal to testify on certain matters indicated his lack of candor. On three other matters, while finding the Senator's conduct in two of them improper, the committee decided against recommending censure.

The vice-chairman of the committee, Senator Edwin Johnson of Colorado, had stated: "We were just to Senator McCarthy. We gave him the benefit of every doubt. But we could not close her eyes to his treatment of his colleagues and witnesses who appeared before him." The piece finds the report to bear out that statement and expresses pride in the role of new Senator Sam Ervin of North Carolina, a member of the committee.

It indicates that the committee, chaired by Senator Arthur Watkins of Utah, had distilled the 46 charges against Senator McCarthy into five principal categories, the committee not having considered 33 of the charges, some of which were minor and others vague and broad, considered too time-consuming and not sufficiently serious to warrant censure even if true.

A charge on which it had not recommended censure, involving the 2 1/4-page purported FBI letter, a distillation of a longer classified 15-page FBI memorandum, obtained by Senator McCarthy during the Army-McCarthy hearings from an unnamed Army officer, had been considered by the committee to have been a "grave error" and "irresponsible" on the Senator's part, but it recognized that he was under stress at the time caused by the Army-McCarthy hearings, mitigating against finding it a basis for censure. Similarly, the committee had given him the benefit of the doubt regarding the charge that he invited thereafter all executive department employees to provide any documents, even if classified, to him if they involved corruption or subversion, thereby encouraging Government employees to violate the law by giving him executive department information.

The committee had noted, under the category of abusive statements regarding other Senators, that his defamatory and vulgar language aimed at Senator Ralph Flanders, sponsor of the censure resolution, while "highly improper", had been induced by the conduct of Senator Flanders occurring in the Senate caucus room, and in delivering provocative speeches concerning Senator McCarthy on the Senate floor, finding therefore that Senator McCarthy's statements, suggesting that Senator Flanders was crazy, was, in effect, mutual combat, while the uninvited statements against General Zwicker, impugning his credibility and patriotism, had not been invited. The General had been bound by orders of his superiors not to make statements about certain matters, and the committee concluded that Senator McCarthy had been aware of that fact. It also stated that the General had been a truthful witness doing his duty, that therefore the reprimands and ridicule from Senator McCarthy had been "inexcusable", doing much to destroy the effectiveness of a witness who had not been in any way responsible for the honorable discharge of the Army Reserve dentist in question.

The piece therefore includes that the unfairness of Senator McCarthy in the latter episode involving General Zwicker versus that involving Senator Flanders had distinguished the two matters in the committee's view. They also viewed his impugning of the motives and integrity of the members of the Elections subcommittee in 1952 to have been serious, warranting censure, because the members of that subcommittee had merely been doing their duty and did not provoke Senator McCarthy.

It concludes that the committee had issued an historic document, and if the full Senate upheld the recommendations, the body would regain the respect of many whose faith in it had been shaken.

"New Horizons for D. Hiden Ramsey" tells of the retirement of the vice-president and general manager of the Asheville Citizen-Times Publishing Co., and his biography having contained a list of his honorary degrees, titles, affiliations, government posts and other successful offices, but not telling his full story.

For Mr. Ramsey had helped the debt-beset Asheville pull itself out of the depths of the depression, had molded two Asheville dailies into one larger and more prosperous newspaper, had an enormous role in bringing about better schools, better government and a more abundant life for many North Carolinians, all of which were difficult to express in a news story. It concludes that he was a fine editor, a skillful newspaper executive and a great humanitarian, and that to those who knew him, it was inconceivable that he would not, sooner or later, find new outlets "for his genius" and further service to the people of the state.

A piece from the Tallahassee (Fla.) Democrat, titled "The First Stone", indicates that a judge in Ripley, Tenn., was well-versed in the New Testament, and when three boys were brought before him for sentencing after their plea of guilty to theft of watermelons, he asked everyone in the courtroom to raise their hand if they had never stolen a watermelon, that when the sheriff, the district attorney and the judge kept their hands down, the boys were freed, "in a graphic analogy of the Scarlet woman of the Bible story," that is, "he who is without sin, let him cast the first stone."

Drew Pearson indicates that a radio network commentator had recently chided Secretary of Agriculture Ezra Taft Benson for purchasing an airplane which Secretary of the Interior Douglas McKay had decided that he did not want, making it appear that Mr. Benson was using the plane for pleasure. Mr. Pearson indicates that while he had made mistakes while being Secretary, Mr. Benson could not be justly accused of wasting taxpayer money on himself, having saved money for the Agriculture Department by purchasing the plane. He relates in detail the story.

He next indicates that the U.N. General Assembly session had 66 items on the agenda, with several of them being potentially explosive, even more so than the issue of admission of Communist China, those being a motion by India to protest the use of the Pacific islands by the U.S. for further hydrogen bomb testing, stating that they were trust territories of the U.N. and should therefore not be used for hydrogen tests, threatening the lives of islanders; as well as a motion by Greece to protest the buildup of Cyprus, a British island adjacent to Greece, as a British naval base. During the week, the British had been working backstage to try to line up delegates to defeat the latter motion by Greece, and the U.S. would abstain on it because it involved the rights of small nations against the strategic needs of the major powers. Many Latin American allies, as well as the semi-hostile Arab bloc and the Soviet bloc would join with Greece in the motion, and the British might fail therefore to defeat the motion.

Senator Alexander Wiley of Wisconsin was so angry at the newspapers that he had almost lost his ability to be his normally loquacious self, while managing to lecture one reporter for 15 minutes on the subject the previous week, claiming that he had been badly misrepresented in the newspapers when they said that he indicated Congress should not be called back into session to determine the censure resolution against Senator McCarthy. He had actually said that it would be a serious thing if the session were to be called at present, because the European Defense Community question would inevitably come up and might have serious international ramifications. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee had come within a single vote of stopping aid to France on the basis of the National Assembly's refusal to ratify EDC recently, and Senator Wiley had pointed that fact out and that a Senate debate on the subject might prove disastrous. He had stated to the reporter that he had told the press that his opposition to an early debate on censure had nothing to do with Senator McCarthy, himself, and could not understand why the press could not get it straight, urging that he would be watching them henceforth and that he expected them to get it right.

Senator John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts would probably enter the hospital during the debate on censure of Senator McCarthy, because of his old war wound which had impacted his back, Mr. Pearson stating that he would enter the hospital at the time of the debate because of Senator McCarthy's huge following in Massachusetts.

The December surgery would lead nearly to the death of Senator Kennedy, resulting in administration by a priest of the last rites.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop tell of the radiation effects of the hydrogen bomb, which they dub the "Super-SUPER", that while the atom bomb did most of its destructive damage through the initial blast, with its fallout confined to an area smaller than the initial blast site, the hydrogen bomb of five megatons would destroy a circular area of 300 square miles through its initial fire and blast, while fallout from lethal radiation would impact an area of 6,000 square miles.

The lethality of the fallout would depend, to some degree, on the composition of the initial ground-zero crater. For instance, radioactive silicon had a half-life of 2.5 hours, while radioactive iron had a half-life of 46 days, but with lower lethality during that period. Bricks in a modern city were composed of silicon, with some sodium and potassium, and so the dust from exploded brick would be highly lethal for a period of about 2.5 hours.

The Pentagon estimated that a lozenge-shaped area about 50 miles wide by 120 miles long would be showered with lethal particles of fallout from such a five-megaton hydrogen bomb.

The impact of fallout could therefore be limited by taking proper shelter at the time of the initial blast, provided one was not immediately within the blast zone, and remaining in that shelter for a period of about two days, as the fallout appeared sometime after the detonation. But one five-megaton hydrogen bomb would not only kill the un-sheltered human and animal population within an area of 6,000 square miles, it would also immobilize the sheltered survivors for that two-day shelter period, while two such bombs would impact 12,000 square miles, and 100 could destroy most major cities and temporarily paralyze a large part of the productive area of the country. "Such are the toys the nations are now playing with, in the game of the cold war."

Doris Fleeson indicates that Congressman Franklin Roosevelt, Jr., after having the gubernatorial nomination refused him by the New York City Tammany Hall leaders, supporting Averell Harriman, had been urged by those same leaders to run with Mr. Harriman as the nominee for lieutenant governor. Instead, he had chosen to run as the nominee to become the State attorney general, as he believed he could have more independence in that role and would be running separately from the main ticket, which in New York ran as a combination ticket, as with the national presidential ticket.

The Tammany leaders knew that Mr. Roosevelt was more popular than Mr. Harriman with the state convention delegates, and wanted to take advantage of that popularity while not giving him too much of the spotlight, for instance prohibiting him from making an acceptance speech for the nomination for attorney general.

She notes that it was possible that Mr. Roosevelt's upstate supporters, who had been steamrolled by the big city bosses, would retaliate by refusing to support the top of the ticket, but the main appeal of Mr. Roosevelt was to the masses who did not split tickets.

Mr. Roosevelt would ultimately lose the attorney general election to the Republican, Congressman Jacob Javits, while Mr. Harriman would win the gubernatorial election against Senator Irving Ives.

Frederick C. Othman, writing from Caracas, Venezuela, tells of his and his wife's vacation, starting with an elaborate menu on their Pan American flight from New York to Venezuela, describing the fabulous view they had upon arrival at their hotel, a fashion show which he did not want to miss, followed by a tour of the Orinoco River country the next day, into which they did not wish to venture too far, as some of the locals in the deeper areas greeted visitors with bows and arrows tipped with curare, as in the mystery stories, "and the results are what you might call unpleasant."

A letter writer from Gibson indicates that when she had read Earl Wilson's column in one of the newspapers of the state the previous afternoon, she had been infuriated by an item referring to the New York Giants, competing in the World Series against the Cleveland Indians, saying that "baseball's become sissyish" because the management of the Giants was cold sober after winning the pennant. She wonders what was sissy about being cold sober or about Leo Durocher celebrating his victory by drinking buttermilk. She had pulled for the Giants all season and was even more proud of them presently, says "more power to people like them who would be sissies."

She might have added that some of the Cleveland players, meanwhile, were busy this evening smoking Camels on national tv, for the sake of advertising coffin nails, receiving, no doubt, in return additional heap big wampum.

A letter writer from Cheraw, S.C., tells of the Administration having passed a corporate tax law which it claimed was a tax cut for all, providing very little relief to individual taxpayers, while giving large corporations about 1.36 billion dollars per year in tax relief. He wants to know where prices had been reduced around his home, and yet the politicians wanted to remove the ceiling prices to enable prices to come down on everything, which had not occurred. He lists some other problems and encourages working people to wake up and see what they were going to lose—"all we have gained in the last few years."

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