The Charlotte News

Friday, January 14, 1955


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in New York, U.N. Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold, in a press conference this date, said that Communist Chinese Premier and Foreign Minister Chou En-lai had raised a number of questions in their talks recently in Peiping, including Communist China being seated in the U.N., but had not set forth any conditions for the release of the 11 American airmen being held there on claimed charges of espionage during the Korean War. The Secretary-General said that he had achieved that for which he was aiming during the visit and that it was only a first step in continuing contact regarding the matter. He said that, in his opinion, an improvement in the international climate was directly connected with the question of release of the airmen and other U.N. Command personnel being held by the Chinese. He declined to specify other questions which he said Chou had also brought up, but stressed that none had been stated as conditions for release of the prisoners, including the Chinese desire for the release of 35 Chinese students being detained in the U.S. because of their special technical skills which would be beneficial to the Communist Chinese.

In Moscow, the Soviet Government this date offered to share with the rest of the world the experience it claimed to have gained by operating an industrial power station with atomic energy, according to a press conference held by the Foreign Ministry's press chief. (We hope it is not the one located in Chernobyl, or one based on its antecedent technology.) He said that the information would be made public through a report to the U.N. Committee on Atomic Energy. At the same time, the spokesman announced that an academician had been appointed the Soviet representative to the conference on atomic energy, which the previous session of the General Assembly had decided should be held the following spring, the first time since atomic discussions had begun at the U.N. that Russia had sent a non-political figure to such a meeting, the significance of the change not immediately being made clear. The entire announcement, as read by the representative, is reprinted.

In San Jose, Costa Rica, fighting in the four-day old war was at a virtual standstill as the Organization of American States-appointed five-nation special investigating commission had begun its work, indicating this date that the planes which had bombed and machine-gunned Costa Rican towns had come from "foreign soil". Former Costa Rican President Teodoro Picado had admitted in an interview in Managua, Nicaragua, that his 27-year old son, Teodoro, Jr., was commanding the rebel forces in Costa Rica. The commission reported also that it had found "serious indications" that arms and munitions had been supplied from a "foreign source" to rebel elements in Costa Rican territory. It did not identify the foreign source. Nicaraguan officials had denied accusations by Costa Rican officials that the Nicaraguan Government had armed, trained and equipped the rebels, saying that the fighting was an internal civil war. The findings of the special commission would be used by the OAS Council as a guide in determining whether action should be taken under the Rio de Janeiro Treaty, providing for joint action by the OAS if any of its members suffered invasion. The arrival of the commission and the promise of observation flights being conducted by the U.S. appeared to have calmed the situation. The Costa Rican general staff had reported that a rebel force of 200 to 300 men apparently had stalled around La Cruz, in the northwestern tip of the country just south of the Nicaraguan border. A spokesman said that no contact had yet been made with that force.

Julian Scheer of The News reports that a Charlotte woman who had entertained the young rebel leader of Costa Rica, "Ted" Picado, Jr., had described him as being a handsome, young businessman in a red plaid shirt and white ducks, whom she pictured leaning on the hood of a flashy Mercedes automobile while trying to sell it to a Managuan customer. Her husband had worked for Sr. Picado in Central America from May, 1952 until August, 1953, beginning when the textile machinery dealer sold some machinery to a Nicaraguan firm managed by Sr. Picado, and had gone to Managua to put the machinery into operation. Sr. Picado managed the firm owned by Anastasio Somoza, the son of El Presidente of the same name—el hijo de puta eventually also to become El Presidente, until meeting the same fate, in 1980, as his papa, in 1956, assassination, for being too much El Presidente. Sr. Picado had moved to Managua for political asylum, after completing his education at West Point, his father having been ousted as Costa Rica's President, and the family then having fled the country. Not only did he work for Sr. Somoza, but he also had a Mercedes dealership in Managua and an interest in a paint store. The wife of the Charlotte couple who had entertained him said that one would not obtain a picture of him as a revolutionist if one knew him, for he was "a sane, good businessman." She said that she would have thought that his father would have sought to regain control of Costa Rica, but that she was a little surprised to learn of the son's role. When she had joined her husband in Nicaragua, she had become close friends with the rebel leader's wife, a native of California, and the families still corresponded with one another, having received a Christmas card recently. She found him to be a "darling person on a party" and a wonderful dancer, not a radical, but a "calm, sensible person".

In Raleigh, Governor Luther Hodges said this date that it would be early the following week before he could release a report outlining an expensive, long-range program to modernize the state's primary highways, indicating that he remained somewhat reluctant to go along with recommendations by the State Highway Commission, believed to have included a 150 million dollar bond issue proposal.

State Senator Jack Blythe of Mecklenburg County had been named chairman of the State Senate's Public Welfare Committee for the 1955 Assembly. Other major posts for the biennial Assembly are also reported.

In Charlotte, News reporter Ann Sawyer tells of the Mecklenburg County Commissioners probably set to go along with a proposal for staggered four-year terms, with only one of the five members having expressed some reservations on the matter.

Also in Charlotte, it was announced that Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona would be the featured speaker at a Lincoln Day dinner on February 5, to be held in conjunction with the annual convention of the State Federation of Young Republican Clubs. Oh, you won't wish to miss that one, you young Republicans, as it won't be long until most of you short-haired sons of Tricky Dicky will belong to the group known as "Barry's Boys"—though we know that there is room, in time, for reformation, at least among the "Goldwater Girls".

In Chicago, a forecaster for the U.S. Weather Bureau, Charles Johnson, speaking before the Illinois committee of the Chicago Association of Commerce—apparently located in Illinois, Chicago-New York, where roam the Buffalo—, said that its appropriations for 1954 had been approximately 24 million dollars and that weather forecasters had attained a rate of accuracy of about 85 to 88 percent because of new techniques and studies, with even higher levels of accuracy in prospect. In Chicago alone, there had been 19 million telephone calls to obtain the automatic weather report, and that in a dozen of the nation's major cities, more money had been spent on those calls than was spent by the Federal Government for the entire Weather Service.

On the editorial page, "Facing up to a Community Need" indicates that during the previous 24 years, eight surveys and committees had studied the problem of health and hospital facilities in Charlotte for black citizens, that nine years earlier, a study had concluded that there was a need for 150 to 175 beds, exclusive of bassinets, and two years earlier, the Mecklenburg Medical Society and the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce had recommended construction of a new black hospital unit in the city. Thus, it was not surprising that the Social Planning Council special study committee for black hospital facilities had come to a similar conclusion during the current week.

The committee's recommendation was set apart by the caliber of its members, the exhaustive nature of the study, taking 11 months to complete, and its unanimity. The committee had recommended construction of an addition for black patients to Memorial Hospital, consistent with the prevailing practice in other North Carolina cities, most of which had both black and white patients in the same hospital, albeit in different wings, and also such a new addition to Mercy Hospital. Financial reasons had usually dictated common use of central equipment and the existing community hospital had the most complete out-patient service in the area, one of the most pressing needs for black patients.

There were fewer than a dozen black doctors with established practices in Charlotte, with the result that many white doctors had black patients, and it would be more convenient for those doctors to treat their black patients where the majority of their practice was centralized. In addition, admittance to Memorial Hospital medical staff of professionally qualified members, regardless of race, as recommended by the committee, would induce other competent black physicians to treat black patients in Charlotte.

If put into effect, the recommendations of the committee would mean a secondary role for Good Samaritan Hospital, presently the only hospital facility for blacks in the community. It indicates that the recommendation should not be construed as a criticism of that hospital or the Episcopal Church which administered it, for they had done a very good job, with the Episcopal Church having busied itself for years in maintaining Good Samaritan, for which it deserved eternal gratitude from the community.

It concludes that it was hoped that the Memorial Hospital board, the City and County Governments, and the taxpayers, who would undoubtedly be asked to approve a bond issue to finance whatever the governing bodies determined to implement, would be guided by the "same sober sense of community responsibility and welfare which marked the study committee", which had earned a resounding vote of thanks.

"Exploded—A Myth about N.C. Taxes" indicates that the U.S. Census Bureau had enabled putting together jigsaw pieces regarding North Carolina's tax picture, after years of rumors existing that the state had high state taxes when compared to other states, finding that the state did have high taxes but that comparison to other state rates was frequently misleading because state funds used in North Carolina to support many local services were financed by local funds in other states, and what was really important was the combined rate of state and local taxes, figures on which had not always been readily available until the Census Bureau had produced those figures for the end of the prior fiscal year.

The result was that North Carolina was eighth from the bottom in combined state and local taxes, with a per capita total of $95.22, compared to the national average of $134.22. State taxes alone in North Carolina were $68.86, slightly higher than the national average of $67.74, causing the state to rank 29th in that category. But the state's local taxes were among the lowest in the nation, at $26.36 per capita, the fifth lowest, with the national average being $66.48. Only Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia had lower combined total per capita tax bills. North Carolina, unlike many other states, financed public highways and public education primarily from State funding, accounting for 75 percent of expenditures.

It indicates that it was not providing a defense of the state's tax structure and believed that revenue laws ought be under constant scrutiny to preserve the state's competitive position in the battle for new industry, but does wish to counteract unfavorable publicity about high taxes in North Carolina.

"Getting Tough with Tax Delinquents" indicates that the crackdown by the City revenue collector on tax evaders deserved support from every law-abiding citizen of Charlotte, that it could result in additional revenue for the hard-pressed City treasury and greater equity in distributing the tax load, providing a number of statistics to support that premise.

A piece from the Johnson City (Tenn.) Press-Chronicle, titled "Language's Sweetest Sentences", indicates that according to a survey, the six sweetest sentences in the English language were: "I love you"; "Dinner is served"; "All is forgiven"; "Sleep till noon"; "Keep the change"; and "Here's that five". It wants to add another six: "It won't cost you a cent"; "You were elected"; "We won"; "You wonderful man!"; "You beautiful thing!"; and "You certainly don't look your age!"

Julian Scheer of The News, in the second of a series of articles regarding the proposed North Carolina budget for the coming biennium, indicates that the budget report of Governor Luther Hodges and the Advisory Budget Commission showed that 47 cents of every dollar, or 265.5 million dollars, would be spent on public schools, while 29.2 million was earmarked for institutions of higher learning, that tax dollars were used in three major ways in education, for public school agencies, for institutions of higher learning, and for special and informal educational facilities. He provides the further breakdown, in case you are specifically interested in how the proposed education budget for 1955 and 1956 was delineated.

Drew Pearson indicates that there had seldom been the kind of furor surrounding the firing of one woman from an Administration as there had been regarding Jane Spaulding, the black woman of the year. Walter Hallanan, Republican national committeeman from West Virginia, who had obtained the job for Mrs. Spaulding, was quite upset. Mr. Hallanan, at the 1952 Republican convention, had insisted on the right of Puerto Rican delegates to iron out their differences on support of either Senator Taft or General Eisenhower in front of nationwide television cameras. White House staff had done their best to pretend that Mrs. Spaulding had not been fired, inspiring phone calls to black publishers denying that story, the black publishers, however, having checked and found out otherwise. RNC chairman Leonard Hall was also angry about the firing and had black staff members of the RNC put out stories that there was no dissension between Mrs. Spaulding and Texas native, Secretary of Health, Education & Welfare Oveta Culp Hobby, who had fired her because Mrs. Spaulding had favored black doctors being able to practice in Texas hospitals, causing difficulty back home for Secretary Hobby. Charles Willis, the White House "patronage hatchet man", had helped Secretary Hobby arrange the firing of Mrs. Spaulding, and Max Rabb, another White House aide, had helped obtain a new job for Mrs. Spaulding to alleviate some of the backlash. Seldom had there been so many White House aides and high functionaries working at cross purposes and so upset over the firing of one individual. Mrs. Spaulding had been one of the first and one of the few black leaders to work for General Eisenhower during the campaign, and the agency which had hired her after she had been eased out of two others was Harold Stassen's Foreign Aid Administration, which had also hired Wolf Ladejinsky after his recent firing from Agriculture by Secretary Ezra Taft Benson. Foreign aid would automatically expire, however, at the end of the current fiscal year, after which there would be another effort to try to find a job for Mrs. Spaulding. Mr. Pearson notes that Mr. Ladejinsky, tired of being kicked around in the Government, was prepared to resign the following spring.

President Eisenhower and former President Truman had agreed to share the platform at the tenth anniversary of the U.N. in San Francisco the coming June, the first time they would appear together since the inauguration of President Eisenhower in January, 1953. President Eisenhower had not provided President Truman even a courtesy call at the White House, despite President Truman having invited former President Herbert Hoover there repeatedly, with the consequence that President Truman felt hurt by the slight.

The latest gag going around in Capitol cloakrooms was: "McCarthy is no longer an ism. He's a wasm."

Senator William Jenner of Indiana was pulling wires to block the appointment of Assistant Secretary of State Henry Byroade of Indiana to be the new Ambassador to Egypt.

The President had personally backed down regarding Mr. Ladejinsky, having first told Secretary Benson that he could fire him and he would stand behind the firing, but later, after objections came from Congress, the President had changed his mind and approved of a new job for him at FOA.

A secret Democratic caucus had decided to pass a joint resolution of Congress disapproving the Dixon-Yates utility combine contract with the Atomic Energy Commission, and it was believed that the President would not have enough nerve to buck both houses of Congress on the issue.

The Civil Defense Administration was testing a new air-raid warning system which could lead to an air-raid alarm clock in every home, which would ring home alarms which could be installed for less than five dollars each, the system being tried in three cities, Buffalo and Albany, N.Y., and Bridgeport, Conn.

Milton Lewis, in a condensed piece from the New York Herald Tribune, indicates that the President's recently declared war on the illegal sale and use of narcotics constituted a national challenge to the "most vicious racket confronting the world." No one knew whether drug use among those under age 21 was going up or down or remaining static, and everyone seemed to disagree on the matter. There was little evidence to support a theory that the public schools constituted a laboratory for narcotics addiction, the substantial evidence pointing instead to small parties in homes as the locus for experimental drug use. The adolescent might view taking drugs as symbolic of sociability, solidarity with the group, and defiance of adult authority, while the youth who refused drugs but moved in drug-using circles, would be ridiculed for non-conformity, labeled a "square", "chicken" or "yellow". (Then, one had to be mellow, you know, so that the others would then say, "Hey, don't worry about him, he's no narc; he's cool.")

He suggests, therefore, that there was no underestimating the importance of a drug education program within the schools, as confirmed by the Department of Health. In 1951, a hygiene program which taught the nature and effects of narcotics had been instituted for grades seven through twelve in the parts of New York City where it was deemed advisable.

But there was also dissension. Harry J. Anslinger, the Federal commissioner of narcotics, and James C. Ryan, in charge of the New York district, had expressed objections to narcotics education within the schools. Mr. Anslinger, supported by powerful women's groups, had said that young people, once their curiosity was aroused, would ignore the warning and experiment with drugs, having disastrous results. Dr. James Toolan, clinical instructor in psychiatry at NYU-Bellevue Medical Center, had replied, however, that there was no indication that any youngster had become addicted just because of the educational program, which he believed had helped those youngsters.

When confirmed addicts were completely deprived of heroin, the physical withdrawal was unbearable, consisting of convulsions, diarrhea, and intense pain within the abdomen and back, accompanied by nausea and vomiting, muscle twitching, clammy perspiration and fever, complicated further by sleeplessness, with the skin being cold and goose-bumply.

Dr. Hubert Shattuck Howe, a member of the New York City Welfare and Health Council's Committee on the Use of Narcotics among Teenage Youth, believed the narcotics user was a sick person and not a criminal, resorting to criminal practices only to maintain his or her habit, which had become vital to physical requirements. Nor was the addicted person a sex maniac, as opiate narcotics produced impotence and lack of desire.

International cooperation was the only possible solution to traffic in drugs. There were many sections of New York City where heroin could be purchased as easily as powdered sugar, which it resembled. One kilo or 35 ounces of heroin cost about $3,000 in Italy, but could be sold in the U.S. for about three million dollars. For 45 years, the U.S., one of the principal targets of the drug trade, had been striving to limit the production of opium abroad to medical and scientific requirements, meeting with little success. The U.N. had developed the International Opium Protocol, aimed at reduction of the legal annual production of opium from 2,000 tons to 500 tons, representing the medical and scientific requirements. The Protocol had been signed by 36 nations, but ratified by only eight. The Senate the prior August had ratified the Protocol, but before it could become effective, it had to be ratified by at least 25 nations, including three of the opium producers. Under it, only seven nations would be permitted to export raw opium, Turkey, Iran, India, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Greece and Russia, none of which had yet ratified the agreement. The primary overproduction among those seven nations had been occurring in Turkey, Iran and India, according to Mr. Anslinger, since 1946, a member of the U.N. Narcotics Commission. He indicated that by far, the major source of the illicit traffic for the entire world was Communist China, that the previous Nationalist Government in China had been doing a splendid job in reducing opium production, with very little heroin having come from China while it had been in power, the Nationalist Government having executed about 1,000 drug peddlers every year, with Mr. Anslinger indicating that he had heard of none being executed since the Communist takeover in 1949, that if anything, the narcotics trade had been encouraged under Communist leadership, and a lot of it was reaching the U.S. He stated that the heroin coming from China was being used to obtain foreign exchange while demoralizing the users in many countries, which he believed was one of the objectives.

The Congressional Quarterly indicates that the President would send his third unbalanced budget to the new Congress on Monday, and according to advance estimates, the 1955-56 fiscal budget would project a deficit of about three billion dollars. For Republicans, who had run in 1952 on the basis of balancing the budget and reducing taxes, it represented the twin horns of a serious political dilemma for 1956 if the budget were not balanced by the point of the election.

The Administration had sought to balance the budget and had made substantial cuts in both taxes and expenditures, with many of the cuts made in 1953 and 1954 having been attacked as excessive by Democrats, whose criticism would be more effective now that they controlled both houses of Congress. But despite the efforts of the President and Secretary of Treasury George Humphrey, a balanced budget continued to be elusive.

The President had stated in his 1955 State of the Union message that he was hopeful about further tax cuts the following year, but that it was presently clear that defense and other essential Government costs had to remain at a level precluding further tax reductions in 1955, and thus also precluding, in consequence, a balanced budget for 1955. It was reported that the budget for the coming fiscal year would be 63 billion dollars, with a 3.5 billion deficit, a reduction of about a billion dollars from the estimates for the current fiscal year. But the deficit could increase should the 84th Congress either add spending or subtract from revenue.

The first problem was that there were scheduled reductions on April 1 in corporate and excise taxes, if not postponed by Congress, with an estimated 2.2 billion in lost revenue for fiscal 1956. The President had urged postponement of those reductions, and current sentiment in Congress, especially within the crucial Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways & Means Committee, suggested that the request would obtain substantial support. But there was also heavy pressure for reduction of excise taxes, particularly the 10 percent tax on automobiles.

Another threat loomed in the possible renewal of the Democratic effort in 1954 to increase the amount of the individual income tax exemptions from $600 to $700 per year, with Representative John Dingell of Michigan, a member of the Ways & Means Committee, having already introduced a bill to that effect, which, if enacted, would cost in lost revenue about 2.4 billion dollars. When the Democrats had sought to enact that proposal in the Republican-controlled prior Congress, it had failed only by narrow margins, by six votes in the House, and by three votes in the Senate, with both votes along party lines, Democrats having almost unanimously supported it and Republicans having opposed. Among the four Democratic Senators who had voted against the measure had been Senator Harry F. Byrd of Virginia, who was now chairman of the Finance Committee, who might block, therefore, any bill passed by the House to that effect.

Regarding spending, Democrats had expressed a fear that defense spending might already have been cut too much, and would therefore scrutinize carefully the new defense budget, expected to remain at the same 35 billion dollar level as the previous year. Defense had amounted to more than half of all Federal spending in recent years and was unlikely to represent any smaller proportion in the foreseeable future.

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