The Charlotte News

Tuesday, January 11, 1955


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the President had urged Congress this date in two special messages to increase the pay of Government workers covered by Civil Service and of postal workers by about five percent, while at the same time raising postal rates. He also proposed a health insurance program for Government workers. He estimated that the increase in pay would cost 339.5 million dollars per year and that the health program would cost another 55 million. The recommendations for the pay raise of postal workers was contained in a separate message from that for those covered under the Civil Service system. His effort to tie the postal workers' pay increase to an increase in postal rates repeated his effort in the previous session of Congress, after he had vetoed a bill the previous year to raise pay without a commensurate rate hike in postage. Talk in Congress since the beginning of the session indicated that members were in favor of raising the pay of Federal workers, but were reluctant to raise postal rates.

The President's five-member Highway Advisory Commission had recommended this date a 101 billion dollar modernization program during the ensuing decade, indicating that a two-cent per gallon Federal gasoline tax ought meet all costs of the Federal Government's share of the program, 31.2 billion, including financing of the major cost of a 40,000-mile network of interstate highways. The program also called for spending 29 billion dollars by Federal, state and local governments over the ensuing decade as part of a "grand plan for a properly articulated highway system that solves the problems of speeding, safe transcontinental travel—intercity transportation—access highways—and farm-to-market movement." It would be in addition to spending 47 billion during the ensuing decade as the Federal Government's nine percent share under present plans for road and highway improvement. The President had outlined the program the previous summer, saying that it was needed for national security, as highways had deteriorated since the end of World War II. The Commission, headed by retired General Lucius Clay, recommended overall that the Federal Government pay about 30 percent of the 101 billion dollar total for the program, with the Federal Government paying substantially all of the 24 billion dollars in cost for developing the interstate highway system, currently paying about 60 percent of that cost. It also recommended establishing a new Federal agency to oversee the program.

In Berlin, an American, John Noble of Detroit, released recently from a Soviet slave labor camp after serving 9 1/2 years, said this date to a press conference that a rebellion had flared up in the camp in July, 1953, during which guards had mowed down ten prisoners on the spot and had wounded 500 others, indicating that the vast networks of prisons in Russia needed only a spark to explode into open revolt. He said that the revolt in the camp where he was imprisoned had been inspired and organized by followers of the subsequently executed Soviet secret police chief L. P. Beria, who, at the time, had been under arrest, that 50 to 60 persons had been later executed for their part in the revolt. He said the camp contained more than a half-million inmates, of whom 95 percent were dedicated to opposing the Soviet regime. Mr. Noble said that he and his father, a camera manufacturer, had been trapped in Dresden in 1945 near the end of World War II, and had been compelled to remain there under local internment after both were arrested by the Russians. His father had been released in 1952 and he had been taken from a German prison to the slave labor camp in 1950. He said that he was sentenced to 15 years without any trial, the officials only saying that he and his father had been guilty of receiving American officers and soldiers in their home in 1945 and had American food in their possession. He said life in the labor camp was "horrible and hopeless", that none of them ever expected to return to their homelands. He had been assigned to coal mining, where the temperature sometimes reached as low as 40 degrees below zero, on one occasion falling to 72 below. He estimated that there were several thousand Germans and quite a number of Poles in the slave labor camp, that they had seen only two other Americans, one of whom had been released with him, plus a soldier from Louisiana, whose release was being sought by the U.S. Government. The Russians had given no explanation at any time for the imprisonment, including after the release.

In Hong Kong, U.N. Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold disclosed that he had cabled warm thanks to Communist China's Premier and Foreign Minister Chou En-lai for his hospitality during the Secretary-General's visit to try to negotiate the release of 11 U.S. airmen and other U.N. personnel imprisoned for alleged espionage during the Korean War, responding to a U.N.-passed resolution condemning the imprisonment as a violation of the terms of the Korean War Armistice of July, 1953, under which prisoners of war were supposed to be repatriated to their country of choice.

In Swarthmore, Pa., a Swarthmore College student who was planning to enter the ministry, had fired five shots into a college dormitory room early this date, killing one of the two students who were sleeping there, according to police. The 22-year old student admitted firing the shots which had killed another 18-year old student, while not injuring the 19-year old roommate. The assailant then walked with the roommate and another student into the Swarthmore police station, where he surrendered himself. The college dean, who had sat in on the police questioning, quoted the assailant as saying that he had become enraged the previous night at pranks played on him by other students, then had gone to his home in Pottstown, about 35 miles away, obtained a .22-caliber rifle and returned to campus in the early morning hours, attempted to obtain access to several rooms, then fired five shots into the room where the victim had been sleeping. The assailant was proctor in charge of the floor where the victim and his roommate lived, and was considered strict by the other students. The assailant was majoring in psychiatry—which we presume to mean psychology—and was attending school on a scholarship, was an excellent student, supplementing his stipend with odd jobs, including that of being proctor. Police indicated that he had been in the Air Force for slightly more than a month before receiving a discharge after suffering a nervous breakdown.

In Raleigh, State Senator Jack Blythe of Charlotte gave his support and received support on two vital issues before the current General Assembly, the first being a motor vehicle inspection bill, as suggested by the commissioner of Motor Vehicles, Ed Scheidt, during a speech the previous night in Winston-Salem before the North Carolina Automotive Wholesalers Association. Mr. Scheidt had said that in his opinion, the repeal several years earlier of the mechanical inspection law, after a two-year experimental program, had been a serious step backward in terms of highway safety. Mr. Blythe also reported receiving support for his proposal to have redistricting in accordance with the decennial census for the State Senate.

Near Mount Airy, N.C., an early morning fire had destroyed the old 165-room White Sulphur Springs Hotel, which the previous summer had been dubbed "the world's largest chicken house", the owner saying that she had carried only a small amount of insurance on the estimated loss of $50,000. Poultry raisers, who operated a business out of the structure, said that 25,800 chickens, valued at $15,000, had been destroyed in the fire, with most of the chickens ready for market. The hotel, located three miles from Mount Airy, had attracted thousands of vacationers for 30 years, but had not been used as a hotel for about 20 years, sitting vacant for a long period of time while its owner sought other uses, the previous year finally renting out the building to two Mount Airy poultry raisers, who immediately proclaimed it as the largest chicken house in the world. No one knew yet how the fire had started, the wooden structure having quickly burned out of control and eventually burned to the ground. Recoup part of your losses maybe by advertising a special sale of extra-crispy fryers.

In Charlotte, Superior Court Judge Francis O. Clarkson, in an unprecedented move in the city, had admitted a News photographer, Jeep Hunter, to the courtroom for the purpose of taking photographs during a criminal court session, and indicated afterward that Mr. Hunter had not bothered him a bit. He said it was all right to take one or two pictures in the courtroom without flashbulbs, posing, interruptions or commotion. It was believed to be the first time that working photographers had been permitted to photograph an actual court in session in Mecklenburg County. The judge said he would pass individually on each future request for permission to photograph in the courtroom.

In Hollywood, a man from Stuttgart, Germany, had ridden a motor scooter 35,000 miles from his hometown, indicating that he had been filming a movie during the trip, which had gone through India, Egypt and the Far East, from Tibet to Singapore, and that he hoped still to visit Mexico and New York before returning to Europe by ship. No explanation is provided as to how he crossed the Pacific on his motor scooter, but surely there must be some rational explanation. Perhaps, he had little floats on either side and a little beany-cap with a propeller for locomotion.

In New York, the president of the National Association of Hosiery Manufacturers told department store executives that the average American woman owned fewer than four pairs of nylon hose and that they all looked alike, that the fault was with merchants and manufacturers who had placed the American woman in a uniform as far as stockings were concerned, with the average woman waiting until her old stockings had worn out before purchasing new ones, buying two pairs of exactly the same weight and color as the old ones, which she would wear while scrubbing the floor or playing golf, to a county fair or to the church social, or while pruning the roses. Meanwhile, the average American woman bought hats, shoes and automobiles in a variety of styles and colors. Hose all look alike.

On the editorial page, "A Floor for North Carolina Wages" indicates that the state had a moral responsibility, as well as a practical stake, in providing a decent minimum wage, that even the 55-cent per hour recommendation of Governor Luther Hodges to the Legislature would help raise the living standards in the state. But even that low minimum wage law for jobs not in interstate commerce and thus not covered by the Federal Wage and Hours Act, was viewed with suspicion and alarm by some members of the Legislature in the previous 1953 biennial session. It had been favored by the late Governor William B. Umstead at that time, and had passed the State Senate, but a House committee had blocked it without a record vote.

It finds that the principal problem with the 1953 measure and the current measure was its large number of exemptions, that there was some justification for exempting those who earned most of their income from tips, and perhaps for agricultural workers who received some portion of their pay in rations and rooming, but that every effort ought be made to retain most of the state's labor force within the parameters of the law. According to reports out of Raleigh, however, fewer than 35,000 people would be covered by the plan of Governor Hodges.

It asserts that most North Carolina industrialists were willing and able to pay an adequate minimum wage and that fair-minded business leaders would not oppose a move to guarantee basic living standards for their employees, that the state had to have a wage system which would provide reasonable economic security against want and poverty, meaning a decent minimum wage, not merely a subsistence living, which every member of a modern state had "a fundamental economic right" to have.

"Foreign Policy vs. Good Business" indicates that the President had covered a lot of ground in his speech on foreign economic policy, reiterating his request for a three-year renewal of Presidential authority to negotiate tariff reductions.

It urges that tariffs ought be reduced and that the proposed rate of reduction of not more than five percent per year, as advocated by the President, was gradual. A three-year program, unlike the one-year extension granted by the previous Congress, would permit traders to engage in long-range planning. It regrets, however, that the President had not proposed tightening of escape clauses and the quota system, which permitted American producers to obtain special protection from foreign exporters who performed too well at selling in the United States.

The President favored more U.S. participation in international trade fairs, more convertibility of currency and continued participation in the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, a pact with other nations, through which trade barriers would be reduced. He encouraged international travel, favored continued technical assistance to underdeveloped areas, and facilitation of investment of capital abroad by taxing business income from foreign subsidiaries or branches at a rate 14 percent lower than the corporate rate on domestic income, while deferring tax on income of foreign branches until it was removed from the country where it was earned, plus also encouraging, through diplomatic representatives abroad, a climate favorable to private enterprise investment. It finds those points to be in need of some elaboration.

It suggests that a popular Washington concept was that what was good for American business overseas was good for American foreign policy, not necessarily the case and frequently false. American business overseas wanted to make money, was not concerned with land reform or native industrial development, which often could be detrimental to American business interests. There were U.S. businesses who had done a lot for the inhabitants of foreign countries, but the popular attitude expressed recently by Secretary of Treasury George Humphrey, that if he were a young man, he would go to Brazil and become a millionaire, was essentially advocacy of colonialism and exploitation, on which Communist propaganda fed. Short-term gains for American business overseas could result, therefore, in long-term losses for U.S. foreign policy. It suggests that, while it was all for trade and overseas investment, it should not be at the expense of foreign policy when they clashed.

It indicates that providing aid to foreign countries could be made contingent on land reform programs and other measures which would take away the basis for Communist propaganda while also serving the interests of U.S. foreign policy, which it finds to be the issue, needing to be resolved in favor of the nation as a whole.

"Some Gold Stars for an Old Warrior" indicates that few South Carolinians since John C. Calhoun had made a greater impact on U.S. politics than had James Byrnes, former Senator, former Justice of the Supreme Court, former War Mobilizer and "assistant President" under FDR, former Secretary of State under President Truman, and finally, Governor, whose term was about to end the following Tuesday. It suggests that his career had perhaps not been filled with as much sound and fury as "Pitchfork Ben" Tillman, Cole L. Blease or "Cotton Ed" Smith, but that the range of the public service of Mr. Byrnes had been greater, as had been his influence.

Opponents liked to damn him, however, for what they called "militant negativism", which he had practiced since returning to South Carolina to become Governor, described as a bitter old warrior who found comfort only in dissent. It suggests that such a picture was not entirely accurate, that he was leaving behind worthwhile achievements in his four-year record as Governor, the most important of which had been in education, especially interesting given South Carolina's threat, backed by the Governor, to abandon its public school system in an effort to circumvent integration. Despite the shock of the Supreme Court's decision in Brown v. Board of Education the previous May 17, Governor Byrnes had gone forward with plans for needed school improvements. An educational revolution had taken place in the state during his term, with a consolidation program having eliminated 824 inferior schools in rural areas and many new schools having been built, with expansion of bus transportation for students, and State aid to the salaries of teachers having increased by 43 percent. Black schools had received two-thirds of the funds allocated by the State for new buildings, and when those buildings were completed, the facilities of the black schools, according to Governor Byrnes, would be substantially equal to those of whites.

It finds that it was a notable record of accomplishment for both the Governor and South Carolina.

A piece from the Louisville Times, titled "Yanks and Britons Break Bread", tells of a story out of London indicating that the U.S. Air Force had the duty of advising British families not to bother with further Christmas invitations for American airmen, as they had so many that the Air Force did not have enough lonely men to go around.

The same condition had existed in Britain even during the bleak Christmas season of 1942, a low point in the war, when U.S. Navy headquarters in London had twice as many invitations from British families as it had officers and men to fill them, and the same held true for the other U.S. branches, with the offered hospitality having ranged from a Christmas dinner to a long weekend stay in a storied castle or in a modest flat on the outer fringes of London. In those times, entertainment of a single guest could mean deprivation for the host and his family of a week's ration of meat, limited to a single chop, plus three eggs per month per person when available, and a single pat of butter per week.

Such Christmas entertainment by Britons was not a conscious attempt to foster British-American relations, but simply an outpouring of traditional hospitality toward strangers, and of personal goodwill toward young men far from home. Such efforts, it indicates, did not attract as much attention as a single exchange of criticism between a British and American politician, but they represented the foundation stones of an alliance between two nations on which the whole free world depended.

Drew Pearson indicates that Senator Herman Welker of Idaho and "handsome" Senator George Smathers of Florida had returned on the same boat together from South America and had almost gotten into a fist fight in the process. Senator Welker, who was sometimes called the "Junior Senator McCarthy" and whose picture was currently featured on the cover of Gerald L. K. Smith's magazine, Cross and Flag, was sore over the Senate vote to censure his friend, and consequently, all during the voyage, had been loud and raucous in defense of Senator McCarthy, taking to task the Senator's critics, especially taunting Senator Smathers for being part of the unanimous Democratic bloc which voted for censure. Senator Smathers had denied that he had voted just as part of a bloc, but rather that each Democrat had voted their individual convictions. Senator Welker had mockingly responded: "Ha ha ha! How do you know they didn't have a secret caucus, since you were in South America at the time?" Senator Smathers had said that he was sure of it because he knew how the Democrats operated and that he was certain there had been no secret caucus, to which Senator Welker responded, "Are you calling me a liar?" By that point, the colloquy had become loud and bitter, and Senator Welker had abruptly squared off to fight Senator Smathers, who also squared off in response, until Senator Andrew Schoeppel of Kansas intervened to separate the two men.

Mr. Pearson indicates that the final report of Senator McCarthy as chairman of the Government Operations Committee was "as dull as dishwater", that his flair for the spotlight was obviously greater than his desire to produce a constructive record of his Committee's accomplishments, the report also revealing that the Senator had spent scant time on the parent Committee, chiefly concentrating on his Investigations subcommittee, focused on Communist infiltration of the Government and armed forces. He suggests that portions of the report were so abrupt and deadpan as to be amusing, for instance, his only mention of the Army-McCarthy hearings the prior spring having been a complaint over its cost. The report covered a lot of miscellaneous subjects, including money spent on bathing beaches and recreation in Hawaii by the armed forces, with the Committee's investigators having gone to Hawaii to probe the question of whether recreation by servicemen was "involving an unnecessary investment in (recreational) property valued in excess of $22 million and annual expenditures of approximately $4 million." In the end, the staff investigators could not make up their minds who was right. The Senator also reported that his Committee had placed pressure on the Federal Government to withdraw from business activities which competed with private industry. It revealed a backstage battle with the Panama Canal Co., which had made the mistake of flouting the Committee, the result of which was that Senator McCarthy had sent his bloodhounds to investigate the company, promptly uncovering "major deficiencies in organization, management and responsibility", with inadequacy of planning and policymaking, and unwarranted domination of the Secretary of the Army and the military establishment over the Panama Canal enterprise.

Marquis Childs indicates that the President, as a team player, had resisted pressures in recent weeks to make major changes in his staff and Cabinet, appearing set to go through the last two years of his term, short of resignations and death, with virtually the same team in place as during the first two years. The greatest pressure for replacement had been concentrated on chief of staff Sherman Adams, who had numerous critics in Congress, sometimes outspoken, their complaints centering on the alleged wall which he had erected between them and the President. Mr. Adams had served a term in the House before becoming Governor of New Hampshire, was a taciturn New Englander who believed that the President should be spared as much as possible the burdens of the office. The President, who was an agreeable man who liked to please all whom he could, was said to value the capacity of Mr. Adams to say no to others.

There were no changes in sight for the Cabinet, with some close to the President having intimated that Secretary of Interior Douglas McKay might be dispensable based on his missteps during the previous fall campaign in his native state of Oregon for incumbent Senator Guy Cordon, who had lost to Richard Neuberger.

The team members believed that it all came down to loyalty and confidence reposited in them by the President, that he liked to see familiar faces around him and believed that the first two years had demonstrated the effectiveness of his staff, and thus, short of unexpected circumstances, the Administration would have essentially the same look it had from its inception.

Robert C. Ruark indicates that "soldier's pay" was an expression adopted a long time earlier to cover the actual money which a man did not earn for being a warrior, meaning various things, the right to behave roughly, the extra benefits which a man not risking his life did not receive, supposed to offset the lack of actual cash which a professional fighter did not obtain.

He says he did not see anything wrong with the proposal of Montana Senator Mike Mansfield to provide a 25 percent pay increase to enlisted men as an incentive to building up a strong standing army, except for the fact that the officers ought also have a pay increase.

He finds that the new concept of universal military training would not answer the need for a ready fighting force, as it was little better than a Boy Scout troop in theory, while being a lot more expensive to operate. Senator Mansfield's idea was basically that the armed services was a career and would be adopted as such if it were made sufficiently attractive by increasing pay and providing more fringe benefits, largely removed since World War II. The extra pay would be in lieu of defense contractors earning more profits on their contracts.

A general made about as much money as a press agent for a small advertising agency, and all of the special perqs attending the rank, such as income tax exemptions, commissary and post-exchange privileges, voluntary retirement and promotion aids, cheaper liquor and better quarters, had gone by the wayside after the war, and so an officer said to hell with it, that he would take his know-how and sell it elsewhere. Mr. Ruark finds it ridiculous when one considered that a wing commander of a bomber outfit was responsible for hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer money and that the sergeant who looked after his maintenance was responsible not only for the wing commander but possibly the fate of the world, while the skipper of a destroyer escort was as important as the president of a multi-million dollar business, and a second lieutenant of infantry had more responsibility than a Cabinet officer. Thus, he favors giving all of them more pay and privileges, consistent with the old meaning of "soldier's pay".

He concludes that they were asked to do for their country hard work only to learn how to die, which was worth more than a television comedian's new contract.

Kermit Hunter, Chapel Hill playwright, author of the outdoor dramas, Horn in the West and Unto These Hills, in a talk at the Piedmont Arts Conference in Winston-Salem, had asked why a community should be interested in cultural arts, suggests that there were three major reasons, one being pleasure and entertainment, increasingly taken over by television to the point where it seemed that the next generation would have "eyes like cantaloupes and no brains at all", finding it, however, the fault of everyone for becoming "lazy lookers" who demanded entertainment at an ever-increasing tempo. He posits that another generation or two of the "sit-and-look" sort of entertainment seekers would have a profound effect on the creative energies of the people, with gradual acceptance of whatever "'they'", whoever "they" were, put before them, losing taste, discrimination and inspiration in the bargain. He suggests that the reason the people did not "get out on the playing field" themselves and undertake creative endeavors was because the society had not taken the time or effort to set up the means for it.

A plausible solution was in the local arts council and the ideals behind it, that whatever the community wanted to do was potentially available there, whether as a writer, painter, potter or other artisan or craftsman, suggesting that the community then should get the arts council to do something about it.

The result would be "busy-ness" by the people, but without tension and strain, as it would involve entertainment and hobbies which fascinated and occupied the mind and soul, leaving the individual feeling rested and uplifted, resulting in pleasure, which he suggests one did not fully know until one started dabbling in painting, music, writing, sculpture, pottery or other types of handicrafts.

He suggests that the most satisfying goal for which to aim was truth, or oneness with man and the universe, a sense of fulfillment, a feeling of having accomplished something noble and lasting in life. Making a living and buying things, as well as finding entertainment, worshiping God, doing daily activities were all means to the end of finding that truth.

He suggests that happiness perhaps was found in the realization that "we are in progress toward some ideal, that we are active in moving, and that we are busy at the matter of life and not sitting as it passes by." But because that happiness was a fleeting thing, the final end had to be some ideal toward which the individual was always moving but never quite attaining in mortal existence.

He recommends the cultural arts as a means toward finding ultimate truth, providing a feeling of fulfillment and sense of oneness with God and man. "Although art pursuits are individual things—one man or woman at work at a canvas, or working with clay, or practicing at the piano—still they are cooperative things, because they draw us toward other men and women who seek these same rewards, and they draw us into communion with the greatest and best minds the human race has produced."

In addition to pleasure and a life purpose, the third thing he explores is moral regeneration through the arts. In every village or town, no matter how small, there was evident a "headlong plunge into moral decadence" in present times. Between 1946 and 1954, juvenile drug addiction in the U.S. had increased by 2,000 percent, and there were over a million known alcoholics in the country and 700,000 mental patients. The population was increasing at the rate of five percent per annum while mental illness increased by 20 percent per year, and thus if enough time passed, the entire population would be confined to mental institutions. He thus asks whether the country was really a nation of maniacs, that when Russians stood before audiences of Chinese, Indonesians, Hindus and Mau-Maus, explaining those aspects of Western culture, no one could blame them for choosing Communism. Yet, there was also a good side to the culture.

He suggests that religion was one answer, a return to the faith of the fathers, which had given the nation stability and strength, at least a return to some form of religious idealism, but also indicates that the burden of cleaning house was not the sole responsibility of the church, that the six days not in church were even more important than Sundays. There was a need, he urges, for active participation in things which produced stability, calm, reason, decency and inspiration, which could be found in the cultural arts. "The ways of painting and music and craftsmanship are subtle and magnetic. Our sickness is soul-sickness, and these things have a way of sifting into our souls in a quiet way, making us whole again."

He suggests that the man who left his office with a headache could sit for half an hour listening to Schubert or Mozart and be refreshed, that the housewife who found herself harried and uncertain, purposeless, could pick up a pallet and work for an hour on a canvas, and the world was transformed to a new place, that if either could not, then they should learn how to do so. "Why? Because, as the words were spelled out on the sundial in Alfred Tennyson's lawn, 'For lo, the night cometh.'"

Framed Edition
[Return to Links
Page by Subject] [Return to Links-Page by Date] [Return to News<i><i><i>—</i></i></i>Framed Edition]
Links-Date Links-Subj.