The Charlotte News

Wednesday, January 26, 1955


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the Armed Services Committee, meeting jointly this date, had approved by a vote of 26 to 2 a resolution providing the President with full war powers to defend Formosa and its outposts, with Senators William Langer of North Dakota and Wayne Morse of Oregon being the only votes against it. It had passed the House the previous day by a vote of 409 to 3. There was some doubt as to whether the full Senate would begin debate on the resolution this date, as unless there were unanimous consent, it would have to lay over for a day after being reported out by a committee. The Committees voted 20 to 8 to reject an amendment proposed by Senator Estes Kefauver of Tennessee to turn over protection of Formosa and the islands to the U.N. By the same vote total, with some different Senators supporting and opposing, the Committees also rejected an amendment proposed by Senator Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota to limit the authority of the President to defend only Formosa and the Pescadores. Senator Langer said that he had voted against the resolution because there was nothing in it to prevent the President from sending U.S. troops to the Asian mainland. Senator Morse said that he would explain his reasons for his vote in the debate on the Senate floor. Senator Walter George of Georgia said that Senator Kefauver's amendment was offered as a substitute for the whole resolution. Senator McCarthy submitted an amendment, to be voted on by the full Senate when the resolution came to the floor, to cut off any U.S. financial aid to any nation which shipped materials to Communist China or allowed its ships to transport goods to the Chinese Communists, a position he had taken for some time.

Congressman Graham Barden of North Carolina was the only Democratic Representative to vote against the resolution in the House, explaining that it was like "postdating a declaration of war", saying that he had been in war, as a veteran of the Navy during World War I, and had voted to declare war, but that before he was prepared to suggest that boys should sacrifice their lives in a war, he wanted a good reason for it and was short of a reason at present. He said he did not like the indirect way of doing things, that he did not believe in bluff, that a situation like that regarding Formosa was no bluffing matter. He indicated that the President already had authority to use the armed forces and that only Congress had the authority to declare war, and he did not like passing the buck to the President, as he believed the resolution did. Congressman Timothy Sheehan of Illinois, who also voted against the resolution, explained that he believed the resolution ought designate Russia as the real enemy of the nation. Representative Eugene Siler of Kentucky, the third vote against the resolution, found it to be the same thing as the intervention in Korea in 1950 by President Truman, which he had also opposed. He neglects, however, as politically motivated Republicans of the time were wont to do, to point out that the Korean intervention had been in response to an actual incursion into South Korea by North Korea in violation of earlier treaties, not merely a threat of same, and was merely in furtherance of a U.N. resolution declaring that united action by the member nations against the incursion was necessary to preserve world peace, Congress having previously ratified the U.N. Charter and thus providing the President tacit permission to act in an emergency pursuant to U.N. resolutions.

Spencer Moosa of the Associated Press reports from Taipeh that although Nationalist Chinese officials would not say so, there was no question that Chiang Kai-shek's forces would abandon the Tachen Islands, as reliable sources had stated that many problems involved in the withdrawal had been worked out at conferences between Nationalist and U.S. officers, that such a withdrawal could begin as soon as the signal for it were given. Sources indicated that the evacuation would be a joint operation, under the overall command of Vice-Admiral Alfred Pride, commander of the U.S. Seventh Fleet. He also reports that Nationalist four-engine bombers had attacked Yikiangshan Island, taken the previous week by the Communists from the Nationalists, through anti-aircraft fire in the predawn darkness this date, causing extensive damage. Other bombers ranging more than 30 miles northeast in the area of Yushan Island had, according to reports, sunk a 1,500-ton Chinese Communist warship. The Central News Agency stated that there was no indication yet that the Communists would be deterred by the President's seeking of Congressional authority to secure and protect Formosa, the Pescadores and "related positions and territories". The Agency also said that the lack of Communist activity the previous day might mean that they were preparing for a large-scale attack on one or more of the Nationalist island outposts.

Secretary of Defense Charles E. Wilson, appearing before the House Armed Services Committee this date, stated that he saw no need for any "important changes" in the armed forces short of war. He made no mention of the mounting tension regarding the Communist Chinese threats to attack Formosa. His appearance before the Committee had been scheduled before the current problem, as had an appearance by Joint Chiefs chairman Admiral Arthur Radford, scheduled to follow the Secretary. Secretary Wilson said he did not expect Russia to take action during the ensuing few years which would deliberately precipitate another world conflict, but that Communist aims remained unchanged, and a "conflict might arise through miscalculation on their part." He said he could not foresee any important reductions in the military establishment or in the total annual military expenditures by the Department of Defense below present levels, but also did not foresee any important increases except in the event of war. He said that the following year's program would place particular stress on the utilization of nuclear energy in military operations and in the development of operational guided missiles to meet the urgent requirements of the country's defense and retaliatory forces. He said that the continental defense program was being "pushed with all practical speed", and he predicted early development of improved radar, piloted and pilotless planes of all ranges and better antisubmarine devices.

Relman Morin of the Associated Press, in the third in a series of articles on the stock market, tells of the October, 1929 Crash and following Depression, saying that it was an "economic Pearl Harbor" which had killed some people, with men committing suicide or dying of heart attacks, and had struck down the hopes of many others, ultimately, through the Depression, hitting the life of every American. He indicates that nobody would ever be able completely to assess the effects of those tragic years in terms of the setback to economic growth of the country and the sense of insecurity instilled as a result. Harry Comer, a partner-analyst in a major New York stock brokerage, had said that 1954 might well be considered by future generations as a turning point in history, as the year when America conquered the "depression phobia". Mr. Morin indicates that books which had analyzed the Crash had shown speculation, rigging and other sharp practices preceding it, fueled by the fever of the times when people bought stocks without knowing what a company produced or whether it produced anything. Things were now different because of securities regulations which had not then existed. Mr. Comer said that the Crash had "triggered" the Depression, but that other factors existed which it dramatized and aggravated, setting in motion a chain reaction of contractions, in which people cut back on buying and spending because they were scared, with the result that sales dropped, production slowed, and unemployment set in. The banks were also scared, some of which failed, some calling in notes, resulting in everyone losing confidence, on which, to a degree, the entire American economy was based. Now, he says, the economy was expanding rapidly.

In Raleigh, the State Senate completed action on a bill to repeal the so-called "secrecy" law of 1953, which provided that the Appropriations Committee could meet in executive session. At the same time, it received from its Rules Committee a proposed new rule which provided that any Senate committee would have the inherent right to hold executive sessions. The full Senate was expected to consider the proposed rule changes later in the day. Another proposed and recommended rules change from the committee would bar lobbyists from the lobby of the Senate chamber during the session, a previous rule having barred lobbyists from the floor but having permitted access to the lobby. Doesn't that lead to an oxymoron, whereby the lobbyists, barred from the lobby, are no longer lobbyists?

In Charlotte, an eighth-grade student at Alexander Graham Junior High School had been shot in the stomach with a .32-caliber pistol by another student shortly after noon this date, with both boys contending that the shooting had been accidental, occurring while one boy was showing the other the gun in the third-floor boys' restroom of the school. The wounded student was said to be in serious condition.

Also in Charlotte, John Frank Gorrell, 73, who was often seen on the streets of Charlotte with two pairs of Afghan hounds, had died in a local hospital this date. He had graduated from Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, Va., in 1909, and was ordained in the Lexington Presbytery, serving in pastorates at Deerfield and Goshen Presbyterian Churches, and at the First Presbyterian Church in Lumberton, was released from the ministry in 1921 and had lived in Charlotte for a number of years. He was also a graduate of Davidson College and taught school for awhile after graduation.

In Lubbock, Tex., parents were having trouble distinguishing between their two twin boys born the prior November 24, with the mother saying that she believed she could tell them apart but was not certain. A babysitter thought she had gotten the twins mixed up the prior Saturday night because they cried all night and the mother thought that they might be in the wrong cribs. Knowing that one of them was allergic to orange juice, she gave both babies generous amounts and one had broken out in a rash, the mother thinking she had solved the problem, until the other one also broke out in a rash. She said that people must think that they were terrible parents for not knowing their own children. The father, who was a wing adjutant at Reese Air Force Base, said that he never could tell them apart.

On the editorial page, "Injured Workers Deserve More Pay" indicates that Governor Luther Hodges had suggested legislation covering a wide range of subjects, with many bills having already been introduced into the General Assembly biennial session. But it had not yet seen any mention of what the newspaper believed to be one of the most urgent tasks for the current session, the revision upward of the scale for workmen's compensation in the state, as it was currently inadequate.

At present, an injured worker received a maximum weekly compensation equal to 60 percent of his or her average weekly wages but not more than $30, with a maximum total payment of $8,000, meaning that the disabled worker received a maximum of $1,560 per year for up to six years before it ended. Some employers made up the difference between an employee's compensation and his or her average weekly wage, but many did not, with the result that injured workers became dependent upon charity and public welfare. It urges that adequate compensation would better protect the workers and their families, as well as employers, as it would lessen the number of civil suits resulting from on-the-job injuries, and it hopes that the Assembly would attend to the matter.

"Economy Can Be Carried Too Far" indicates that salaries of several elected officials in Mecklenburg County were too low, that top-level jobs, such as the chairman of the Board of County Commissioners, the clerk of court and the county treasurer required a high degree of ability and administrative skill, but the pay for those positions was generally far below the level for comparable positions in the private sector. The sheriff was one of the few office-holders getting about what the job was worth.

But any adjustments to those salaries would have to come through the General Assembly, as the Board of County Commissioners did not have authority to change the pay. It indicates that it was one of many such situations which resulted from lack of home rule. It provides examples of the salaries at present and suggests that they were not in line with those necessary to attract qualified people to the jobs, indicating that according to the Bureau of the Census, public employees in local governments in the state made an average of only $219 per month, placing the state in the 43rd position among all of the states, with the national average being $298 per month.

"A Rose by Any Other Name" begins with a quote from Samuel Taylor Coleridge: "I counted two-and-seventy stenches/ All well defined, and several stinks." It indicates that actor Paul Douglas had been quoted in the Greensboro Daily News as having said that the South "stinks", but later had insisted that he had not meant the South in general, only Greensboro. To that point, it indicates, it was inclined not to compare odors and to mind its own business.

But then the Raleigh News & Observer stated that the truth of the matter was that Greensboro "really smells pretty good, maybe not as nice as Raleigh, but better than Durham or Winston-Salem. And, of course, as in all things, Charlotte has the biggest smell of all." To that, it says, "Humph!" It contends that Charlotte had only the gentlest of odors, "the amber scent of industry, the fine, fresh aroma of progress, the elegant fragrance of old leather, the quiet perfume of well-tended business, the aged-in-wood bouquet of proper Presbyterianism and a trace here and there of the essence of prim, completely confident nobility."

It concludes that it would try to burn a little incense the next time Mr. Douglas and the News & Observer came to town.

This is a good example again of why those "principles" adopted by the North Carolina Press Association, from which the column had so loftily quoted the previous day, need an extra provision regarding simply having fun, without regard to any demonstrable truth in the matter, to make the principles entirely comprehensive and exhibit complete integrity.

A piece from the Plainview (Tex.) Evening Herald, titled "Toner-Upper", indicates finding a slightly faded, dingy yellow mimeographed sheet circulated during the early 1930's as a toner-upper among business people and prospective customers, at a time when banks were shaky and money was tight, debt high and creditors pressing hard for collection. It suggests reading it at a time, as the present, when many believed that the world was in a chaotic condition and dismal ruin faced the nation, despite unprecedented prosperity.

It quotes from the sheet that William Pitt had stated in 1792: "There is scarcely anything around us but ruin and despair." Bishop Wilberforce, in the early 1800's, had said, "I dare not marry, the future is so dark and unsettled." Lord Gray had stated in 1819 that he believed everything was "tending to a convulsion". The Duke of Wellington, on the eve of his death in 1851, had thanked God that he would "be spared from seeing the consummation of ruin that is gathering around us." Benjamin Disraeli had stated in 1849: "In Industry, Commerce and Agriculture there is no hope." Harper's Weekly had stated in 1857: "What is the use of discussing slavery because with impending difficulties we shall all be slaves." It indicates also that a Senator from Massachusetts some 60 years earlier, when the appropriations bill for the Interior Department was under consideration, had moved that $100,000 be eliminated from the support of the activities of the patent office, as "Everything that man could think of has already been invented."

Drew Pearson indicates that chances were about ten to one that there would be no hot war involving Formosa and Communist China, as the last thing the President wanted as a former military man was to go down in history as plunging the country into war, and so was steering away from taking too much risk in the Far East, despite some of his military advisers complaining about it. Moreover, the Republican Party, at least half of it, could not afford the stigma of getting the country into war, as they had accused the Democrats of being the "war party" in the midterm elections campaign of 1954. In addition, British Foreign Minister Anthony Eden planned to pressure the Chinese Communists to engage in more reasonable behavior and was intending to provide an alternative solution of turning Formosa over to the U.N. while keeping Chiang Kai-shek in control of it, though that would displease Chiang and the Nationalists.

But the brashness and boldness of the Chinese Communists was an unpredictable factor in the mix. Mr. Pearson indicates that while an older, more experienced nation would never precipitate war at the current time, the Chinese Communists were flush with the virtual victory they had obtained in Korea and an even greater victory in Indo-China. They realized that they could fight, surprised at their success in Korea, and so might rush into war. If that were to occur, the military strategists at the Pentagon believed that Russia would not then enter.

That was the major risk which the President was taking, especially in defense of the small offshore islands of Quemoy and Matsu, within about five miles of the Chinese mainland and which could be easily taken by Communist China unless the U.S. were to provide the Nationalists support in holding them. He notes that Pentagon advisers had told the White House that because the Communist Chinese were so bold and brash, they should be stopped at present before becoming stronger, as the U.S. could not go on bowing to them forever.

At a White House meeting, Joint Chiefs chairman Admiral Arthur Radford and Secretary of State Dulles became so animated with one another over the release of the 11 imprisoned U.S. airmen in Communist China that the President had intervened, with the Admiral having contended that the way to obtain their release was through a blockade of the Chinese coast, while Secretary Dulles argued that Russia had just released three U.S. citizens as an example to Communist China, and that thus the U.S. had to be patient. Admiral Radford, however, vigorously disagreed, at which point the President became irritated and gave Admiral Radford a lecture on the importance of considering political factors in handling foreign affairs.

The Congressional Quarterly tells of a debate regarding the Administration's "partnership" policy anent natural resources development, especially in generation of electricity, shaping up between the Secretary of Interior, Douglas McKay, former Governor of Oregon, and new Oregon Senator Richard Neuberger, who, the prior November, had defeated incumbent Senator Guy Cordon to become the first Oregon Democrat elected to the Senate in 40 years. Senator Neuberger had run his campaign against that partnership concept, which encouraged "local initiative".

The previous Congress had investigated such a partnership arrangement between the Dixon-Yates utility combine in Arkansas and the Atomic Energy Commission to produce electricity for West Memphis, Ark., utilizing TVA lines. But now, the Democrats controlled Congress and planned to block the contract and reopen the entire issue of the Administration policy regarding resources.

While the focus was on Senator Neuberger, some of his Democratic colleagues from the Northwest and the Tennessee Valley had been equally outspoken in their criticism of the Administration policy and planned to take a comprehensive approach to their legislative efforts to avoid piecemeal campaigns.

Thus far, the Administration showed no signs of backing down in its determination to cut back on Federal power development, with the President's proposed 1956 budget including 246.8 million dollars for construction of projects with hydroelectric facilities, 17 million less than the estimated spending for fiscal 1955, and 92.4 million less than in 1954. The budget provided for continuation of power projects presently underway, but for few new projects, with two exceptions, the Upper Colorado and Fryingpan-Arkansas projects, eventually to cost 1.1 billion dollars, on which the Administration intended to spend five million dollars the following year. But there were no new power-generating units planned for the TVA and it was budgeted for a substantial cut in appropriations.

In an interview with the Quarterly, Senator Neuberger had called Administration resources policy a step backward.

Robert C. Ruark, in Houston, indicates that Texas love was a little larger than any other kind of love, as he sought to prove by a recent occurrence in which a woman, who was trying to get her husband out of jail for nonpayment of traffic fines, had bought a large gun, picked up her 16-month old baby, went to a liquor store and robbed it, then took the proceeds and sought to bail out her husband at the police station, at which point the police arrested her for the robbery. It was believed, nevertheless, that the wife, the husband, and the baby would all soon be cut loose and that restitution would be made to the liquor store, with the gun impounded.

Mr. Ruark believes the story akin to O. Henry's "Gift of the Magi", wherein a wife had cut off her hair to sell it in order to purchase a watch chain as a Christmas gift for her husband, who had, in the meantime, sold his prized watch to purchase combs for his wife's long hair as her Christmas present.

Carl Victor Little, a columnist for the Houston Press, had written that the story was about the best piece of true love of which he had ever heard, and put to his wife the question of whether she loved him enough to do what the woman had done for her husband, to which his wife had said coldly, "No." As the two had been married for 25 years, Mr. Little considered it a dreadful thing to learn that his wife would not rob a service station for him if he were in the hoosegow.

Mr. Ruark indicates his intention to try it on his wife, believing that she probably would have the same answer as the wife of Mr. Little. He suggests that the least a loyal wife could do when a husband got into trouble was to stick up something, such as a bank, but he was afraid that the only thing Mrs. Little or Mrs. Ruark would do with an illegal gun was to shoot a husband with it. He concludes that even in Texas, it was carrying love a little too far, in the wrong direction.

A letter writer tells of the 90th birthday of Henry Victor, who had been responsible more than anyone else for the construction of the original Charlotte Armory-Auditorium in 1929, which had burned down in early 1954. He relates of the story, that the necessary $90,000 to finance its construction could not be raised in time for its first scheduled event, the meeting of the Confederate Veterans Association, and so Mr. Victor had guaranteed the amount so that the building could be rushed to completion.

A letter from the president of the Coffee County Chamber of Commerce in Douglas, Ga., indicates having received a copy of the January 5 edition of the newspaper, in which was reprinted an article by Margaret Shannon from the Atlanta Journal, along with an editorial titled "No Need To Bribe Industries", dealing with a textile company's decision to locate in Douglas instead of in a town in North Carolina, where it had originally intended to establish the plant. It indicates that it agrees with certain comments made in the editorial but disagrees with others, stating that it was true that Georgians were on their toes, aggressive and persistent, and proud of the fact, that they had made some concessions to obtain the new hosiery mill, but that the piece had neglected to point out that when the concessions were made to industry they were seeking, local industry and local establishments of an industrial nature had been given the same benefits. It says that they also could show good housing, schools and recreational facilities, along with sufficient water, power and distribution facilities. It concludes that while the piece had denied any sour grapes as its motivation, it wonders what other construction could be placed on the editorial, finds it good that the editorial had not gone on another paragraph or it would have accused them of being communistic.

A letter writer points out that in the January 13 edition of the newspaper, an article had appeared concerning several liquor law violators who had not received a single day in jail, but had been assessed only very small fines, with one of their number having been accused of driving 120 mph in heavy traffic in downtown Charlotte, and found to be in possession of illegal whiskey after fleeing from the law. He suggests that the reason for the breakdown in respect for the law was because of such lax sentencing.

A letter writer thanks four gentlemen who had gone to considerable trouble to get her car started one morning at the Doctors' Building.

A letter writer addresses Vic Reinemer's 1954 prize-winning editorial, as reprinted the prior Saturday, concerning free hospitalization for wealthy veterans with non-service connected disabilities, with which he agrees in part, but wonders why the men went to the VA hospital in the first place, provides the answer that it was because it was free, unfair to the taxpayers. He also suggests that they might be seeking to avoid going to a specialist who might, "like a vampire", "suck their last dollar". He indicates that the VA did not check back on each patient and after asking a series of questions, set the fee, not for the service, but based on what the patient could pay, finding it unfair for the poor person and for the rich.

A letter writer indicates that the previous Sunday afternoon in the sanctuary of Covenant Presbyterian Church, he had heard a thrilling performance of Joseph Haydn's "The Creation", before a standing-room only audience, performed by the Oratorio Singers of Charlotte under the direction of Earl Berg. He compliments the orchestra, soloists and the chorus, indicates that the Singers had been one of the first groups of its kind to be organized in the state, expresses doubt that there was a singing group anywhere in the country who put forth a more tireless effort or accomplished more.

Paul was Haydn behind the big wheel of the earth-mover, because he could not afford to be Dr. Richard Kimble anymore. You see how it all flows together into a circle, out of the identical Governor Winthrop living room desks?

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