The Charlotte News

Thursday, January 27, 1955


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Senate Minority Leader William Knowland of California had said to reporters, after leaving a meeting at the White House this date, that the President did not believe that the resolution being debated by Congress, to grant him authorization to wage war for the protection of Formosa if necessary, included an authorization to wage preventive war. A small band of Senate critics of the resolution were contending that it was so broad that it did so and were seeking to restrict it. Senator Knowland had resisted that interpretation during the Senate debate of the resolution the previous day, and before the Senate convened this date, paid a visit to the White House to update the President on the progress of the debate.

In Taipeh, it was reported that U.S. Sabre jets had arrived from Okinawa and the Philippines this date, underscoring U.S. determination to defend Formosa and its key outposts against Communist Chinese invasion. Meanwhile, the operational plans for evacuation of the Tachen Islands, located off the mainland of China, appeared to have been perfected.

Relman Morin of the Associated Press, in the fourth of a series of articles on the stock market, tells of leading Soviet economist Eugene Varga having hopefully predicted for years that millions of Americans would be out of work at some point and that the country was in for another crippling depression. He had announced in August, 1947, for instance, that the big collapse in the American economy was in sight and might already have begun. Soviet policy was probably based on the notion that the U.S. would suffer an economic setback after World War II, with a graph going back 150 years indicating that such always happened twice after the cessation of hostilities. Yet, nearly ten years after the war, the U.S. had suffered no such serious economic setback, even though there had been slumps in 1949 and 1953, which had failed nevertheless to follow the patterns of 1921 and 1932. Foreign aid, the Korean War, rearmament and a large defense budget had all affected the economy. He indicates that the great question at present was whether American managers and planners possessed the know-how and legislative machinery to head off a depression in its early stages. Dr. Sumner Slichter had ventured that the days when Americans had to accept the inevitability of pronounced ups and downs of business were coming to an end. A top Federal financial official had said that he believed the country had learned a few things anent seeing what could be done when a depression was starting, but still had a long way to go. Senator Ralph Flanders of Vermont, the ranking minority member of the Senate Economic Committee, said that the country had sufficient protection in existing legislation, did not need more laws but rather wise administration of those on the books. Harry Comer, Wall Street analyst, had recently told an audience of finance executives that there would not be a depression in the foreseeable future. Mr. Morin indicates that people had been saying that, however, also in 1929, before the Crash of that October. But changes had been made since that time. The Securities and Exchange Committee had powers over the stock market, could require corporations to furnish complete financial information about a new stock issue and could censor proxies and revoke investment bankers. It could also compel insiders in a corporation to pay stockholders any gains found to have been made in stock operations through information not available to the other stockholders. The Federal Reserve had the function of maintaining a sound money and credit basis, influencing prices, employment, and the general level of economic activity. About half of the nation's banks were members of the Federal Reserve system.

In New York, financier and draft dodger Serge Rubinstein had been found dead this date, bound and gagged in his Fifth Avenue mansion, with the bedroom in which he was found having been ransacked, police concluding that the death was an "apparent homicide", though actual cause of death had not yet been determined. The body had been discovered in the early morning by a butler. Mr. Rubinstein, 46, had been in and out of courts for years on charges that he had dodged the draft during World War II, on which he had been convicted, and regarding shady financial deals and deportation warrants. He had been currently facing deportation. He had entered the U.S. in 1938 under the Russian immigration quota on a Portuguese passport, which the Portuguese Government had since canceled. His father had been privy counselor to Czar Nicholas and financial adviser to Rasputin, and was an official of banks in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Mr. Rubinstein had been the subject of an alleged extortion plot the previous year, and a man was under indictment charging attempted extortion of $535,000 from him. The defendant claimed that he had been merely seeking to collect a debt from Mr. Rubinstein, against whom he had filed a $750,000 lawsuit. The defendant had also been charged with smuggling automobiles from Canada and selling them with false registration. He had been free on a $7,500 bond.

In Raleigh, it was reported that there would be no appeal by the State in the Southern Bell Telephone Co. rate case, with State Attorney General Harry McMullan having issued a statement the previous day saying that after careful consideration, he had decided that an appeal would not result in rates more favorable to the public. The Utilities Commission had declined on Tuesday a petition submitted by Mr. McMullan requesting that it rescind a December 17 order granting Southern Bell a rate increase of 2.6 million dollars per year.

Also in Raleigh, Governor Luther Hodges told the Highway Commission this date that he expected it to carry out its job and that he expected the commissioners to see the state as a whole, the same way other boards and commissions treated it. He believed that new legislation to accomplish that goal would pass. He had told the Commission that as far as he was concerned, a proposed 150 million dollar bond issue for construction and improvement of the primary road system was out of the question, that the state should not consider new bond issues during the ensuing biennium, and should operate on a pay-as-you-go basis.

Public hearings on various bills were being held in the Legislature, and several measures had been introduced, which are detailed in a story on the biennial session. Two of which, for instance, would, respectively, reduce the tax rate on peanuts in storage and set a deadline for the cleanup of pollution in the Haw River.

In Salisbury, N.C., a man from Atlanta who was a Georgia Revenue Department employee, had been found lying beside the Southern Railway tracks seven miles north of the town this date, seriously injured. He was taken to the hospital, where he said he had been beaten, robbed and thrown off the train. Another passenger told officers that the man had kicked out a window of a Pullman smoking car and jumped from the train near the Yadkin River bridge in Davidson County. His left leg had been crushed and he had suffered severe cuts and bruises. Railroad officials said that the train was probably going about 70 mph at the time he had reportedly jumped. He was the brother of the speaker pro tem of the Georgia House of Representatives and was a veteran of World War II.

The Weather Bureau was predicting fair and continued cold weather for the area the following day, with temperatures expected to rise to about 38 degrees by the afternoon. No snow was in the forecast, though flurries were likely in the mountains during the afternoon, with temperatures as low as eight degrees forecast for the northwestern part of the state this night.

In St. Joseph, Mo., a 15-year old bride, who had been in jail for the previous ten days for being destitute, had a chance to return home to her native Portland, Ore., but she would not leave without her dog, whom she said had been her companion since she was two. The previous day, a plane ticket for her had arrived from her mother, but did not include the dog which required an extra charge of $30, which St. Joseph residents were trying to raise for her. She and the dog remained in jail despite having broken no law, other than being without visible means of support. Her husband was also in jail, charged with issuing a bad check. Give the poor girl's dog a helping hand.

On the editorial page, "U.S. Presidents Can 'Make' War" indicates that Congressional approval of the resolution providing the President authority to wage war if necessary to save Formosa had set a curious precedent, as acts of Congress on such matters were the exception rather than the rule. There had been at least 140 instances when Presidents had used U.S. armed forces without the formality of a declaration of war, the latest having been in Korea in 1950—albeit forgetting that Congress did, after the fact, approve of President Truman's commission of forces pursuant to the U.N. resolution passed in the wake of the invasion of South Korea by North Korea.

The piece indicates that some strategists argued that declarations of war were outmoded. But the U.S. had never bothered with them much in any event. War had never been declared on Tripoli in 1802, on the Confederate States in 1861, nor against the various Indian tribes with whom war had been engaged from time to time until as late as 1890. Congress had passed only 11 acts which could be considered declarations of war, against England in 1812, Mexico in 1846, Spain in 1898, Germany and Austria in 1917, Japan, Germany and Italy in 1941, and Bulgaria, Hungary and Rumania in 1942.

The President could make war if he chose to do so. President James K. Polk had sent troops into disputed territory in 1846, making war with Mexico inevitable. President William McKinley had sent forces to China during the Boxer Rebellion without the express authority from Congress. President Woodrow Wilson, on his own initiative, had sent troops to Veracruz in Mexico and, in 1916, an expedition under General John J. Pershing into Mexico against Pancho Villa, after the latter's men had attacked Columbus, New Mexico.

It concludes that under the Constitution, the exclusive power to declare war belonged to Congress, but that there was little to prevent any President from making war.

To clarify matters in the wake of the Vietnam War, the War Powers Resolution was passed by Congress and signed into law in 1973, which requires a President to notify Congress 48 hours prior to sending troops into military action, and limits that action to 60 days without, in the meantime, either a declaration of war by Congress or specific authorization for the use of military force.

The piece also neglects to remember that Congress always has the power of the purse, to cut off funding for a particular military action if its disapproval is strong enough to provide the necessary two-thirds vote in each house to override an inevitable Presidential veto, or at least to pass by a simple majority vote a sense of the Congress resolution, condemning the action, making it politically hot for a President.

And our above notation regarding the U.N. resolutions as justification for President Truman's actions in Korea remains true, notwithstanding attempts to rewrite history, as in this 1994 paper, which notably does not even mention the 1973 War Powers Resolution, save in a brief notation that there was talk at the time of amending it, despite it being highly germane to the topic under consideration in the paper. Anyone who would rely on the twenty-one years after-the-fact analysis of that notably trail-blazing legal mind of the one and only Robert Bork over contemporaneous analysis in 1951 by historians Henry Steele Commager and Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., both of whom found the President's action justified under the U.N. Charter and the resolutions passed pursuant thereto, has a problem in being unbiased and nonpartisan, as the issue prompting the paper had been President Clinton's commission of forces to Bosnia and threatened action in Haiti pursuant to U.N. resolutions, and in the case of Bosnia, action by NATO.

Moreover, it begs credulity to say, as Mr. Bork did, that President Truman could not rely on the U.N. resolutions because of Russia's absence at the time from the Security Council, having taken a hike since the start of 1950 because of the refusal to admit to the U.N. Communist China in lieu of Nationalist China in the wake of the 1949 ouster of the Nationalists from the mainland, and thus had not been available to veto the resolutions in the Security Council, that being akin to saying that any act of Congress is void ab initio should there be any abstentions or absences at the time of the vote, the same being true of a decision by the Supreme Court, for instance, a quaint and quite specious notion of democracy if there ever was one—perhaps confused in some backwards manner with the unanalogous notion of the "pocket veto", recognized by the Constitution as a valid passive method for the President to veto during Congressional adjournment or tacitly to approve legislation, but not recognized in the U.N. Charter. Indeed, voluntary continued absence from the Council signified, if anything, tacit approval of the action, rather than but for the absence certain unilateral veto. It is, in short, the proverbial red herring to suggest that the President's authority was not meant to be premised on the presence or absence of the Soviets, when the actual point was only that the President's authority was conditioned on the action by the U.N. pursuant to the Charter—having nothing to do with whether one member of the Security Council was absent, as long as a duly constituted quorum was present.

The full text of the critical provision of the U.N. Participation Act, to which the paper alludes, is here. The paper's interpretation of what it deems unambiguous language is simply erroneous. The Act allows the President to make agreements with the U.N. pursuant to Article 43 of the Charter for maintenance of a U.N. security force, "subject to" approval by the Congress, but not before undertaking to commit the forces pursuant to a U.N. resolution employing force pursuant to Article 42, the Article 43 agreements only being "subject to" the approval, not worded as "only after" or "only with" the approval, that wording being for obvious practical reasons in an emergent situation where there was no extant sufficient security force committed, such as in the case of invasion of South Korea by North Korea in 1950 where hours and days counted, lest the Communist forces were to overrun the whole of South Korea before the U.N. forces could even obtain a foothold, which almost occurred as it was. The "Provided" clause only indicates that the Act, itself, was not to be construed as Congressional authority for the agreements made by the President under Article 43, consistent with the "subject to" language. The President was not, however, required to obtain separate Congressional authorization to commit the forces placed at the disposal of the U.N. by the agreements when an Article 42 action was deemed necessary by U.N. resolution, as in Korea. There were no agreements under Article 43 extant at the time of the commitment of forces to Korea only because of differences between the Soviet Union and the other four permanent members of the Security Council regarding the particular make-up of the forces and other details, but the Congress, in 1949, in the Mutual Defense Assistance Act, had reaffirmed "the policy of the U.S. to seek agreements to provide the U.N. with armed forces as contemplated in the Charter", hence, especially with the Soviets absent, providing tacit, if not actual approval, of the President's action in Korea the following year.

It requires considerable mental contortions to say that the agreements which would have been reached but for the differences with the Soviets were not then approved by Congress because they had not, technically, yet been reached, though they had been but for Soviet disagreement, and that therefore there was no Congressional approval, though there was of the policy, in the end, Borkian contortions which would have met with considerable approval at the Kremlin. And the same goes for reliance on subsequently defeated Congressman Vito Marcantonio of New York, considered by Drew Pearson and most other columnists of the time to be a de facto Communist.

But we digress into the baroque intricacies of legal reasoning, far beyond our limited capacity to appreciate, we are sure, more often than not on display by Judge Bork, in 1971 when he made his analytical offering, only a member of the Justice Department, not a Judge.

The Congress, of course, was free at any time to disapprove the action in Korea, and, if necessary, cut off its funding, but never did.

"Reinforcements Needed To Curb Crime" indicates that the steady rise of the population of Charlotte and a spurt in the crime rate underlined the urgency of the request by the Police Department for 18 additional officers, as the present force was approximately nine percent under the national average for cities of the same size, spread too thin therefore to protect the city effectively. The force was presently comprised of 218 officers with the power of arrest, but ten of them were said to be past the age of effective service.

The hardest places to guard were the 1,830 stores in the outlying areas of the city, and according to Chief Frank Littlejohn, 412 forcible entries had been made to stores, warehouses and other places where merchandise was kept.

It indicates that the City Council had been too busy with other matters the previous day to consider the request, but Mayor Philip Van Every had promised to urge early action. It offers that the situation required immediate attention.

"Gateway to the Region of Wonder" indicates that the Charlotte Children's Nature Museum occupied a unique position in the life of the city's youngsters, as the gateway to the region of wonder, affording exposure to a multiplicity of animal forms, the subtleties of plants and the complexities of the earth's objects generally, all organized for the eye and brain.

Despite its worthwhile purpose, the Museum had limped along on a budget of only about $17,000 the previous year, when it had 43,239 visitors. According to experts, it needed a budget of $26,000 to function efficiently. Almost $14,000 of the budget came from the Park & Recreation Commission, and children had contributed $1,800 the previous year in membership dues, although no child was turned away for inability to become a member. Adult membership provided the final source of income and it was that fund which needed strengthening.

It thus encourages wider support among the adults of the community.

"Meditation, after Chair Is Pushed Back" indicates that an accumulation of after-dinner speeches and editorials had started a train of thought, that the speaker, or in the case of editorials, the writer, would talk about some person back in the hills who could neither read nor write, but had raised up several preachers and college professors. Or another anecdote might tell of a person from the old country, broke, who spoke no English, but in 20 years had become a millionaire and philanthropist. And always would then come the pronouncement that nowhere but in America could such rags-to-riches happen.

It stresses that it was always pleased to hear of success stories, and there were probably more of them in the United States than in any other country. But every time it heard the final line, it indicates that the mind drifted to other lands in which persons had likewise gone to the heights from a lowly station, drifting back to a provincial café, where a provincial gentleman was overheard to say: "C'est possible seulement en la France."

A piece from the Greensboro Daily News, titled "Two-Year-Old", indicates that the person who had not been father to a two-year old had been spared many of life's trials but had also missed many of its joys. It explains that the two-year old was a great spiller of milk, concealer of bathtub stoppers, climber of cabinets, marker of walls and puller down of books. His sense of timing was diabolical, waiting until an important telephone conversation was begun to start a drum concert. A fiend told him when his parents planned an outing, triggering his tears. He knew how to inflict "Hi Daddy" with a tone of innocence which would forestall a spanking, and in the supermarket, he understood that just a smile could debase staid old ladies into admiring, simpering fools.

He understood the importance of proper table manners and knew that their keystone was reliance on the spoon rather than fingers for placing food in the mouth, loading the spoon with food with his fingers and transporting it to his lips with the correctness of Emily Post.

He had conquered enough of his environment to feel secure and yet there were enough strange objects around to excite his imagination. Included among his conquests were his parents, as they made good servants, while his grandparents served him as acolytes.

"But like all successful monarchs and minor deities, he knows that to reign he must reward service." He used a number of such devices, as providing heartfelt thanks for being allowed to open a form letter, delivering a kiss composed of one part saliva and three parts enthusiasm, and by looking on occasion a little like his father. In that way, he ruled his "little kingdom" until his third birthday, when he would find new values in his life and his parents would lose their adored tyrant.

You had better mind your pen, buster, about what you say of two-year olds, as we know a great number of them here in 1955, enough probably to start a nationwide revolt by word of mouth carried forth in relay fashion via the secret coded language which adults cannot fully understand. We shall know more, also, as the years proceed, and we, collectively, shall not forget your insulting statements. Minor deities...

Drew Pearson indicates that for the first time in years, politics had been injected into the Interstate Commerce Commission bureau of locomotive inspection, and according to official ICC records, casualties from locomotive failures had gone from 88 in 1953 to a record total of 265 in 1954, the highest in recent history. Meanwhile, the Administration had recommended that locomotive inspectors be removed from the civil service system, and there had been a backstage hassle in the White House over the director of locomotive inspection, with Charles Willis, the individual who handled the President's patronage problems, intervening to remove the civil service, nonpolitical inspector, and appoint a political director in his stead. Mr. Pearson proceeds to provide detail as to how politics had been placed ahead of railroad safety.

Meanwhile, inspection morale had reached a low ebb, as railroad accidents because of locomotive failures had more than doubled. In addition, the Administration's budget had cut funds for locomotive inspection from $709,000 to $649,000, and the previous week, appointees by the President to the ICC had moved to abolish the civil service requirements for inspectors.

Cecil Prince of The News writes of an unnamed North Carolinian high in the diplomatic service having said years earlier that the primary barrier to foreign friendship for America was a lack of understanding by the overseas businessmen, scientists, technicians, and farmers regarding what America had to offer them. He said that their ideas about America came from gangster movies, cheap fiction and cutrate diplomacy. He had spoken the words before the cold war had taught Americans the price of survival, following which Americans had sought very hard to strengthen the bonds of friendship with free nations, promote greater international understanding and share specialized knowledge. The Eisenhower Exchange Fellowships, Inc., a private organization, had demonstrated one of the most effective ways to break down the barriers and sell the U.S. to other nations while at the same time giving the people of the free world access to American practical knowledge and creative thinking.

The fellowships had been established more than a year earlier by a number of American businessmen who believed that the interchange of ideas and know-how would, in the long-run, bring peace for the world.

Edwin T. Gibson, president of the Exchange Fellowships, said that his trips abroad, both official and for vacation, had convinced him of the necessity of the U.S. developing both understanding and friends abroad. He was a former executive vice-president of General Foods, and because his sister-in-law and her husband lived in Charlotte, he and his wife made frequent trips to the city.

During the month, 13 newly appointed fellows, 12 of whom were from overseas nations, had been received at the White House by the President. Each of them were chosen for being leaders in the field of their own country's greatest need, and had proven ability and intelligence. The program would provide to them access to the best practical U.S. knowledge in their particular field of interest. In selecting the fellows, emphasis was placed on practical achievement rather than scholarship, and the fields included government, business, agriculture, engineering and communications. The applicants ranged in age between 25 and 40 and other qualifications were fairly flexible, with no academic degrees required, although most applicants had them. The program was open to a few Americans as well. Mr. Prince provides further detail of the inner workings of the program, and suggests that it might become an important force for peace in the world.

Stewart Alsop indicates that the President's proposed program to Congress regarding Formosa was, essentially, to bomb the Chinese mainland if it became necessary for the defense of the Nationalist-held islands of Quemoy and Matsu. That would mean war with China and could bring in China's ally, Russia.

The decision to risk such a major war in the defense of the two islands represented a great victory for Joint Chiefs chairman Admiral Arthur Radford, who, the previous October, had first proposed that the Seventh Fleet bomb the Chinese mainland if necessary to hold Quemoy. The President, at that time, had ruled against that proposal. Admiral Radford had then gone to the Far East and returned a couple of weeks earlier, more convinced than ever that he was right about defending the offshore islands, and immediately began trying to convince Secretary of State Dulles, who had taken a middle position in the dispute during the fall. Because Admiral Radford was very persuasive, he eventually convinced Secretary Dulles of his position and the Secretary then went to the President to persuade him to reverse his earlier ruling. In the end, the President had decided on a compromise, whereby the Tachens would be evacuated while war would be risked, if necessary, to defend Quemoy, the most important Nationalist island, and also probably Matsu. On that occasion, the Joint Chiefs were apprised of the President's decision after it had already been made.

Mr. Alsop opines that the decision to bomb the Chinese mainland, if necessary, was probably the right decision, but that the dangers involved had to be faced boldly rather than being buried in ambiguities, in which case it had to be faced also that the present was no time to begin reducing investment in defense.

Doris Fleeson, at the U.N., tells of the Security Council preparing to meet soon to discuss the entire situation with China, including the question of a cease-fire in the fighting north of Formosa. She indicates that it had been definitely agreed between the U.S. and its allies that a request for the Council meeting would be made, possibly by midweek. The proposed discussions might be the beginning of the end of the logjam on China policy, which had bewildered two Presidents, politicians and the people for a decade. It was the present intention of the Administration to take a hard look at conditions as they really were in the present year.

A cease-fire would prevent any war, while at the same time would require the Chinese Nationalists, while insured of protection on Formosa, to abandon for the present their hope of re-conquering the Chinese mainland. But it would not require the Nationalists to give up any of their present activities, short of war. They could continue to connive and to conspire against the Communist Government on the mainland, not dissimilar to the present ongoing situation regarding West Germany vis-à-vis East Germany.

Objection to such a cease-fire was already beginning in quarters friendly to the Chinese Nationalists, and might encourage Chiang Kai-shek's Government to fight against the public appeal by the President for "appropriate action" by the U.N.

Any such action could be vetoed by the Chinese Nationalists, as one of the five permanent members of the Security Council, and it was anticipated that Russia also would veto it, even though being, for the nonce, in accord with Russia would not be appealing to the Nationalists.

A letter from Bob Cherry, Jr., takes issue with the "uninformed and somewhat lopsided" editorial of January 20, titled "'Horse Sense' and the Intellectual", indicates that he was not intending to castigate all intellectuals or professors and agreed to an extent with the editorial that professors had become the target of suspicion and ridicule. He indicates having read an article in the Daily Worker of October 20, 1954, telling of a petition signed by 175 notable citizens and submitted to the President on behalf of the 11 top Communists who had been convicted and imprisoned pursuant to the Smith Act, for teaching and advocating the overthrow of the Government by force or violence. Mr. Cherry says that of the 175 signers, he had counted 19 professors and one doctor, with other doctors listed, making it probable that there were more than just 20 educators "sucked in on this intellectual deal." He indicates that when the country committed the responsibility of educating the youth to those who eagerly went to bat for "traitors and revolutionists", it was proper and timely to maintain an analytical eye on such "'intellectualism'" and ponder what was meant by the terms, "'fuzzyheaded, naïveté, moral softness, and visionary nonsense'".

In other words, Mr. Cherry, we ought to maintain a close watch on persons such as you, after your earlier avid public support of Senator McCarthy.

A letter writer says that he had been a fan of baseball in Charlotte for many years, and various clubs had come and gone with little success, until Cal Griffith and the Washington Senators took over the club and provided "one of the best clubs you ever went to look at." Mr. Griffith had even built a ballpark in the city. Now, everyone wanted to run them out because they asked for better support. He adverts to a piece by sportswriter Bob Quincy, criticizing the Washington ownership of the Hornets, asking Mr. Quincy to write a letter to the fans to ask what they expected. The writer urges backing the Hornets, tells Mr. Quincy that if he thought that Charlotte could carry the club, he did not know the city, that if Washington went, so would baseball in Charlotte.

Say, hey, pal, if the Washington Senators go, we all go—right into the hands of those Commies from Cincinnata.

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