The Charlotte News

Wednesday, January 19, 1955


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the President said this date at his press conference that he wanted to see the U.N. try to arrange a cease-fire between the Chinese Nationalists and the Communist Chinese attacking forces, who the previous day had taken over one of the offshore islands, counted as a stepping stone toward the Nationalist-held Tachen Islands. He said that he did not know whether the U.N. would be able to do anything to halt the shooting, but that he wanted it to use its good offices to seek a cease-fire. Secretary of State Dulles had said the previous day that the U.S. would offer no objections to the U.N. seeking such a cease-fire. Associated Press correspondent Spencer Moosa, in Taipeh, Formosa, reported that qualified sources had indicated that the Chinese Nationalists would reject such an idea, as a cease-fire would effectively end Nationalist hopes of ever returning to the mainland.

In Havana, Cuba, police arrested six students who were about to leave for Costa Rica to take part in the revolution—probably also set to pick up the seditionist Mercedes-Benz sales baton dropped by the death of Ted Picado, Jr., sales leader of la revolucion.

The Commie-inspired "Bulletins" column of this Red-infiltrated "Street Final" edition indicates that: the U.S. this date had barred Russian citizens from sketching or photographing military objects, railway stations, radio installations or other places or things in the country which had possible strategic importance; that Secretary of State Dulles had told U.N. Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold this date that for the time being, the U.S. would abstain from any "direct action" which might hinder U.N. efforts to obtain the release of the 11 American airmen imprisoned in Communist China for alleged espionage during the course of the Korean War, the Secretary-General having recently returned from talks in Peiping with Communist China's Premier and Foreign Minister Chou En-lai, with inconclusive negotiations having transpired but talks set to continue at a later time; that in Los Angeles, according to police, a sniper's bullet had narrowly missed George Hormel III, the piano-playing scion of the wealthy meat-packing family, as he had sat in his apartment early this date, the bullet having been fired through a window of his Laurel Canyon Boulevard residence, three weeks after his acquittal on a marijuana possession charge, having stimulated a spontaneous celebration in the courtroom, prompting the judge to have the bailiff retain everyone participating for a lecture; that in South Amboy, N.J., three young children of a fireman, including a pair of twins, had suffocated to death early this date in a fire which swept their frame home; that in Clemson, S.C., Carl Wise, head football coach of Washington & Lee University in 1952-53 and an assistant in the Canadian League the previous season, had been named the backfield coach at Clemson; that Secretary of Defense Charles E. Wilson this date had ordered the Army to reinstate Annie Lee Moss, suspended employee whose case figured in controversy between the Army and Senator McCarthy during the hearings the prior spring; that in Santa Monica, Calif., singer Bing Crosby had undergone surgery this date for removal of a kidney stone, and three hours after entering surgery, there was no report on his condition; that in New York, an organizer for the International Longshoremen's Association, an independent union, had been found shot to death in gangland style in his automobile in east Brooklyn, an old Murder, Inc. dumping ground, with police identifying him as Walter Smith, 45.

In Boston, State police reported this date that an Army tank was en route from Fort Devens to Charlestown State Prison, where four rebellious convicts were holding five guards hostage in the second day of their desperate bid for release. Six other convicts were also apparently being held against their will by the four desperadoes. The State Public Safety commissioner and head of the State Police had said that he had ordered the tank sent to the prison from a National Guard detachment at the Army post. It had the power to blast open any steel door at the prison, according to Army officers. Prison officials said that there was no change in the standoff during the current morning, after the four convicts had warned the previous night that for every shot fired at them, a guard would die. State Attorney General George Fingold announced over the prison's public address system that if anyone were killed, all four would die in the electric chair. But the four, each of whom was serving a virtual life sentence, repeated their earlier conditions that they wanted out of custody. One of them, in a telephone conversation with his 16-year old daughter, arranged by the Boston Post, had told his daughter that he had to have his freedom to "get all that money that is put away. I have to get it for you and Ma and the kids." He was also quoted by the newspaper as saying: "I'm sorry, Toby, but if that warden don't let me out in the car I positively will. That is the way I feel about it and that is that." Two of the prisoners were serving actual life sentences and one of the other two could not be released prior to 1998, while the fourth, not until 2002.

In Cleveland, O., Dr. Samuel Sheppard was denied by the Ohio appellate court bail pending appeal from his second-degree murder conviction entered December 21, with an automatic life sentence imposed with possibility of parole after ten years. Dr. Sheppard's father, also a physician, having been ill with pleurisy, died the previous night, 11 days after Dr. Sheppard's mother had committed suicide. The doctor had broken down and cried the previous night when he learned of his father's death. As he had been released to attend his mother's funeral, he might also be released to attend his father's funeral.

In San Angelo, Tex., the wife of a prominent Texas architect and scientist had been killed this date when a nitroglycerin bomb had blasted her husband's car to pieces. A second bomb was believed to be in a car belonging to the wife, and police said that there was a possibility that a third car belonging to the family had also been booby-trapped. Police said they were aware of no motive for the bombing. Huge crowds gathered around the roped-off Cadillac believed to be holding the second bomb, all three cars having been at the family home. The car which exploded was a late-model Chevrolet, the explosion having sent parts sailing a half block away. The decedent's husband, Harry Weaver, had been the architect of several of Houston's major buildings.

In Raleigh, the State House approved, by an overwhelming vote of 74 to 21, a change in rules which would provide that no final action could be taken by House committees in executive session, while still permitting executive sessions to be held by a majority vote of the committee. House committees had held executive sessions in the past as a matter of tradition, but their right to do so had not been spelled out in the rules. The new rules would provide committee chairmen the power to preserve order and exclude from committee meetings any persons disturbing the peace, good order and proper conduct of legislative business. Representative John Umstead of Orange County had sought a delay in the consideration of the rules change until the following day, saying that two years earlier, he had voted for the secrecy bill and that his conscience had been hurting ever since because he did not think the people should be deprived of the right to know everything going on in the House because of the "indiscretions" of one or two men who might report for a newspaper. The rules changes recalled situations which had developed during the 1953 Legislature when news reporters had refused to leave committee meetings when executive sessions had been called, on one occasion refusing to leave a meeting of the Joint Appropriations Committee, resulting in passage by the Legislature of the so-called "secrecy" law which permitted appropriations committees or subcommittees to hold closed meetings.

In Charlotte, a snowstorm, which had roared out of Texas and dumped four inches on the city the previous night and into this morning, had been the heaviest snow since February, 1948, with more intermittent snow predicted for the afternoon and evening, as the forecast called for the mercury to drop to 20 degrees during the night, refreezing the hard-packed snow and ice. To the south, Atlanta had received only rain, while other Carolinas cities also received sleet and snow, extending over the Piedmont and as far west as Tennessee, and as far east as Rocky Mount and Fayetteville, with practically every city reporting heavy snowfall—even getting down 'ere in the tarred heel as far southeast as Lumberton, possibly the first and maybe the last snow we'd ever seed, because between the snakes out of the swamp and the dog poisoner from Chicaga and the hard-staring segregationists, we'll be lucky to survive another couple o' year. And we haven't even related yet of the Thunderbird in the showroom and the boat on the back which we tried to release in the coming summer, only to have our finger get nearly snapped off in the unexpected recoil when the handle, just like a Model T crank, would not cooperate with our effort. Driving in Charlotte was perilous and most drivers elected to stay at home.

On the editorial page, "Juvenile Crime: Accent on Prevention" indicates that the Charlotte Police Department planned to step up its campaign to control juvenile delinquency and the campaign deserved wide support.

The Police Department's Youth Bureau would need expansion as the size of the city grew, and with it, increase in delinquency and crime. Since its creation in 1951, the Bureau had compiled a significant record of public service, with its director, Neal Forney, placing emphasis not on arrest and punishment but on prevention, which it finds to be a sound, realistic and practical attitude, producing economy, as against costly apprehension, custody and punishment.

Present plans were to ask that the Bureau be increased to seven persons, and it hopes that the proposal would be given consideration, with stress on background in education and experience for that highly specialized field, suggesting that a trained sociologist could be put to excellent use on the staff. Money could not resolve the delinquency problem by providing such things as a happy home environment and a sense of spiritual values, but could buy some of the instruments and skills which had been tested and could be relied upon to reduce juvenile crime. The Youth Bureau could not solve the problem alone, calling for the best brains and experience which the community could offer in many fields, including police, courts, schools, churches, correctional institutions, clinics, youth organizations, child and foster care agencies, and even in the fields of radio, television, movies, newspapers and the comics. It indicates that it was a continuing community-wide challenge.

"Passing the Buck to Raleigh" indicates that the Mecklenburg County commissioners had refused to support "home rule" legislation from Mecklenburg, shrugging their responsibilities which belonged on their political shoulders. A proposed bill before the General Assembly would have provided the Board of Commissioners authority to set salaries of elected County officials, which now was held by the General Assembly, meaning, for all intents and purposes, that Mecklenburg's five-man legislative delegation would set the pay scale. On a roll call vote, only two of the commissioners supported the measure, with one of those opposing saying that the present system meant "less of a headache for us."

It indicates that it could hardly be disputed that it was easier to palm off a thorny local problem on a State agency, but that the point was that the responsibility belonged at home to set the salaries of local officials. It concludes that through the years, the system had simply become a handy political device for evading responsibility and passing the buck, and should be adjusted to provide for more home rule.

"For the Record, It's Still .000" indicates that Senator Olin Johnston of South Carolina had recently sent the State Department the names of about 80 persons claimed by Senator McCarthy in 1950 to be Communist employees, asking what the persons' employment and security status was at present, learning from Assistant Secretary of State Thruston Morton that only 40 of the more than 80 had been employed by the State Department in 1950, seven of whom never having been employed and 12 still working for it, while ten had transferred to other agencies. The Department spokesman said that none were Communists or shown to be disloyal to the Government.

It concludes that despite Senator McCarthy's more than 80 times at bat, with numerous fouls, his batting average remained .000, and the moniker, "Triple 0 Joe" still fit. It finds that as Senator Johnston had observed, the check of the records by the Republican Administration "should clear up this matter for all time."

A piece from the Richmond News Leader, titled "Bureaucracy and the Female Form", suggests that the Federal Government had gone way too far in trying to standardize female clothes to fit a standardized female form, as indicated by the Wall Street Journal. In 1949, a mail-order house had asked the Commerce Department if anything could be done about confusion in the sizes of women's clothes, and justification for inquiry had been found in the general welfare clause of the Constitution. So the Department undertook the study, soon joined by the Department of Agriculture and the National Bureau of Standards. Measurements were taken of 10,000 "typical" women, and after six years, the study produced 120 new size standards, such as Miss-12-Hip-Large, with the idea that the garment-makers could adopt the new schedule and "fit the size to the body instead of the body to the size."

It expresses surprise that the Agriculture Department had found 10,000 women willing to have their measurements taken. It also finds it remarkable that the garment industry wanted to make women look alike despite the fact that no two human beings were exactly alike in appearance or size, but that as long as a woman could squeeze into a size 12 after some small alterations, nothing would alter the fact that they wore a size 12. Wearing one size above would destroy the innocent satisfaction women took in wearing a particular size. The garment-makers who understood the value to female morale of the harmless deception had long ago connived in making it, steadily whittling down sizes despite the fact that the female form had been growing taller, with 18 and 20-inch waists becoming increasingly rare. It was common to see a mother wearing a size 10 dress, while the daughter, who came barely to her shoulder, also wore a size 10. Size 5 in adult female garments was also not unusual, despite the fact that there were few midgets around. It had not heard of anyone wearing a size 1 yet, but if it would make women feel any slimmer or younger to wear that size, then they should be able to do so.

It concludes that in Moscow, where clothes were strictly utilitarian, government bureaus could make women wear clothes distinctly and mercilessly labeled for the tall and the short, the thin and the fat, and the 114 sizes in between, but that the Department of Commerce, the Department of Agriculture, and the National Bureau of Standards were going to take a lot of fun out of female shopping if they tried it in this country.

Drew Pearson indicates that Senator John W. Bricker of Ohio was determined to push confirmation of his friend, George McConnaughey, also of Ohio, to become chairman of the FCC as soon as possible. Mr. McConnaughey, a utilities lawyer, had come before the Senate for confirmation the previous November, with Senator Bricker hoping it would be a quick process. But Senators Mike Monroney of Oklahoma and John Pastore of Rhode Island had questions, with Senator Pastore asking whether Mr. McConnaughey had represented clients who ordinarily had business before the FCC, to which the nominee stated he had never represented anyone in such capacity, denying, upon further questioning by Senator Monroney, that he had among his clients AT&T, as well as several other possible clients in the telegraph, telephone, radio and television field, all of whom were regulated by the FCC. But eventually, Mr. McConnaughey stated that he had represented Ohio Bell Telephone and Cincinnati & Suburban Telephone Co. in legal matters, but not before the FCC. Ohio Bell was an integral part of AT&T, and made more money out of radio and television by linking up the networks than any other group in the nation. Its rates were fixed by the FCC. Yet, Mr. McConnaughey had stated that he had not represented AT&T and made an even more sweeping denial in answer to Senator Pastore's question as to whether he had represented people who ordinarily had business before the FCC.

Fortunately, indicates Mr. Pearson, Mr. McConnaughey was not under oath or might have been subject to prosecution for perjury. He notes that Mr. McConnaughey denied having anything to do with the White House list of job-dispensers, issued by White House aide Charles Willis, who was providing civil service jobs to resurrected Republicans. He thinks it would be interesting to place Mr. McConnaughey under oath and probe more deeply into the matter, were Senator Bricker not in such a hurry to have him confirmed.

The Congressional Quarterly discusses the initial attempts of the 84th Congress to amend the Constitution, as active as the prior Congress. By January 15, after five legislative days, the Senators and Representatives had introduced a total of 59 proposals for amendment in some 19 different respects. By the same point in the 83rd Congress, there had been 61 such proposals, with only 27 at the beginning of the 82nd Congress. It indicates that there were no surprises in the initial attempts to amend, most of which had been introduced in one form or another in the previous Congress. Chances were slim, it posits, that many of them would fare any better in the new Congress, pointing out that amendment of the Constitution required approval by two-thirds of the Senate and the House, plus ratification then by three-fourths of the states—not mentioning the alternative method of a constitutional convention called by two-thirds of the state legislatures, never thus far used with success, then also followed by approval of three-fourths of the states.

Four proposed amendments had been approved by the prior Senate and two had been rejected by narrow margins, one of which, the Bricker amendment to limit the President's treaty-making power, having consumed five weeks of Senate debate and losing by only a single vote. None of the six had reached the House floor.

Judging by the number of proposals, the effort to amend the treaty-making power was again the most popular of the newly proposed amendments, with ten such proposals submitted in the House, either duplicate or corollary to Senator Bricker's proposed amendment in the Senate. The next most popular subjects were abolition of the electoral college and the guarantee of equal rights for women, each of which had been incorporated in nine proposals. Two other suggested amendments, the subject of five proposals each, would raise the term of members of the House to four years and grant the right to vote to citizens upon reaching the age of 18. The latter proposal had been rejected by the Senate in 1954 by a vote of 34 to 24, despite being requested by the President. The President had again asked Congress to lower the voting age, but had not specified 18 as the minimum.

Twenty other proposed amendments had been introduced in the first five legislative days, providing various examples, one of which was for prohibition of deficit spending except in time of war, introduced by Senators Styles Bridges of New Hampshire and Harry F. Byrd of Virginia, plus Representative Frederick Coudert, Jr., of New York.

The latter Congressman led the way in proposed amendments, having submitted six, as he had in the 83rd Congress, introducing seven in the early days of 1953. Representatives Gordon McDonough of California and Kenneth Keating of New York followed in number of proposed amendments, with four each.

There were more Republicans introducing amendments than Democrats, with Republican Representative sponsoring 32 proposals, compared to 21 by House Democrats, with 20 of the total 53 in the House having been proposed by ten different New York Representatives and seven by three California Representatives.

It indicates that the most popular time to propose constitutional amendments was at the beginning of a new Congress. There had been 71 such proposals in the 79th Congress, beginning in 1945, 84 for the 80th Congress, and 74 for the 81st Congress. In the 82nd Congress, the number had jumped to 104 and then to 156 in the 83rd.

At this point in 1955, there had been 22 successful amendments to the Constitution, with five others having been approved by Congress but never having been ratified by the states. Most proposals now provided that ratification had to be completed within seven years of the date of approval by the Congress.

One proposed amendment in recent years had provided for two-thirds approval by all members of both the Senate and the House, whereas at present, two-thirds approval was required only by those present and voting in each house.

The Des Moines Register, in an editorial, indicates that the Federal Government had nearly 7 billion dollars worth of farm products in storage pursuant to the price support programs, whereas a year earlier, the figure was at around 4.5 billion. It posits that they were shocking figures, raising serious questions about the soundness of the present farm income stabilization programs, with the Government holdings equaling more than a fifth of the total cash income of U.S. agriculture during the previous year. The figures cited included about 2 1/2 billion dollars in loans advanced to farmers on stored crops, with the rest from commodities owned outright by the Department of Agriculture's Commodity Credit Corporation. The market value would be considerably less than 7 billion dollars, were the stored crops released into the market, having been acquired at support prices, used to figure worth. It suggests that the size of the surplus demonstrated the need for radical changes in farm policy, with the change made in the prior Congress to provide for a flexible support price only barely touching the problem. Commodities would continue to accumulate during the current year.

There had been a change in conception of how large farm commodity reserves should be, with larger carryovers having been found to be worthwhile as protection against drought, and in time of world crisis, the nation needing large amounts of storable food and fiber crops, with reserves of grain and cotton being as vital to national security as reserves of zinc, lead and tin.

It points out that the Government stockpile of non-farm strategic reserves was also very large, with the Government spending about a billion dollars per year for the previous four years to place strategic mineral reserves in the defense stockpile. Part of the CCC investment in farm reserves ought be credited to strategic stockpiling. But the CCC held enough wheat to satisfy domestic needs for 15 months and enough cotton to last for about a year, and so some of the reserves were larger than needed.

It suggests that reserves of perishable food commodities could not be defended on the basis of strategic stockpile necessity, with the Government holding nearly a half billion dollars worth of butter and cheese, for example, which, it urges, ought be moving into consumption.

Simply removing price supports and letting farm income be subject to the marketplace was a solution few people advocated, as farmers had already taken severe losses in income because of the decrease in exports and somewhat lower consumer demand during the previous year. Both political parties were in agreement that the farmer was entitled to protection against declines in the general economy or from changes in the international situation.

It indicates that it would be more efficient were farmers supported by cash payments instead of price supports creating excessive surpluses. There should also be expansion of the consumption of the surpluses, the school lunch program having been one source which had proved workable through cooperation of the Federal Government with state and local governments. It could be expanded as it only reached 30 percent of the schoolchildren of the country.

It concludes that it was indefensible for the Federal Government to accumulate surpluses as long as people were in need, as many people were despite the prosperous times at hand. Farm subsidies, it urges, should be paid for increasing consumption and not for cutting production or for building excessive reserve stocks.

Noel Anthony's Paris letter to the North American Newspaper Alliance tells of how French Premier Pierre Mendes-France had become a politician, having indicated at private dinner parties that when he was just a toddler, his father had spent hours wondering what his offspring would become and so provided an aptitude test by shutting young Pierre in a room with a Bible, an apple and a purse full of francs, deciding that if he went for the Bible, he would be a professional man, that if he chose the apple, he would become a farmer, and if the money, he would have to be a financier. When the family looked into the room half an hour later, young Pierre was reading the Bible, munching at the apple, and had tucked the francs safely away in his pocket, at which point the family decided he would become a politician.

A letter writer urges giving to the March of Dimes, expressing gratitude that her four grandchildren were able to walk straight with good limbs, wishing that she could provide thousands of dollars to the campaign for the prevention of polio.

A letter writer compliments sportswriter Bob Quincy for his letter to Clark Griffith concerning the baseball situation in Charlotte, indicating that he had been a Hornets fan since the Tri-State League had been organized in 1946. He indicates that people around town were saying that as long as the Washington Senators had anything to do with the club, they would never see good baseball, that what was needed was an independent club owned and operated by local individuals in Charlotte. In addition to the poor quality of baseball, fans were staying away because of gambling and beer drinking in the grandstands, and urges that the practices be discontinued to avoid having to sit beside a drunk or a gambler. He hopes that they would have a number one ball club in 1955.

A letter writer comments on the January 14 editorial, titled "Exploded—A Myth about N.C. Taxes", indicating that he found it interesting that the editors had figured their per capita averages based on the number of working taxpayers and no others. He indicates that according to official reports released from Washington in 1954, North Carolina was rated 44th in the nation in per capita income, suggesting that on that basis alone, state, city and county taxes should be considerably lower than in other states. He says that he realizes that the editorial was not trying to defend the state taxation system, but he advocates taking everything into consideration in such an analysis, still insisting that North Carolina's taxes were extremely high and wondering when he would have to start paying taxes on his four small goldfish.

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