The Charlotte News

Monday, January 31, 1955


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that at the U.N. in New York, the president of the Security Council, Sir Leslie Munro of New Zealand, had proposed this date that Communist China be invited to take part in the current debate before the Council on a cease-fire in the Formosa area. The Soviet delegate submitted a similar proposal a few minutes afterward, indicating that the Chinese Communist regime would accept the proposed invitation, provided it received Western support. The latter, however, attacked the United States, accusing the Administration of using the Formosan issue as an excuse to start a preventive war against Communist China, claiming that the aims of the U.S. had been proven by statements of high officials. The move by the Soviet delegate came after the Council had voted 10 to 1 to reject the Soviet demand to exclude Nationalist China as a permanent member of the Council. The Soviet delegate said that tensions in the Far East could end only when the U.S. ended its "intervention and withdraws its forces" from Formosa. U.S. Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., countered with a demand that the Council refuse to act on the Soviet proposal.

In Taipeh, it was reported by the Nationalist Chinese Defense Ministry that Communist Chinese guns had fired from recently captured Yikiangshan Island on the nearby Tachen Islands this night, but that all of the shells had landed in the sea. The U.S. 7th Fleet stood by for possible orders to evacuate the Tachens, 200 miles south of Formosa, but Admiral Felix Stump, commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, said that the orders had not yet been given as of Sunday. The Tachens had been fire-bombed by Communist bombers the previous day. Unconfirmed Chinese press reports indicated that the garrison of 15,000 men on the Tachens had been under Defense Ministry orders to prepare for a bitter fight should the Communists attack before the evacuation could occur. The Nationalist Defense Ministry reported that all was quiet farther south, in the area of Quemoy.

The President this date, in a special message to Congress, asked it to help bolster and expand private health insurance plans as part of a broad program for producing a healthier country. He proposed a Federal reinsurance service through which private companies could share the risk of experimental and expanding plans to extend health insurance to farm families, provide more protection against cost of prolonged illness, and insure low-income families against the costs of medical care in the home or at a physician's office, as well as in hospitals. The President said that the plan involved no Government subsidy and no Government competition with private insurance carriers. In another part of the message, he also called for grants to the states to help them combat juvenile delinquency and to improve programs against smog and water pollution. He also sought an increase in aid for nurses' training, authority to make grants for mental health projects, and a system of Government mortgage insurance for private construction of clinics, hospitals, nursing homes and other health facilities.

The Supreme Court, in a pair of opinions delivered by Chief Justice Earl Warren this date, held that championship prize fights and legitimate theater businesses, respectively, were subject to Federal antitrust laws as being activities involved in interstate commerce, not merely local activities, the opinion in the theater case having been unanimous, with two dissents registered in the boxing case, that of Justice Felix Frankfurter, joined by Justice Sherman Minton, who also wrote a separate dissent, resting their positions on the lack of distinction between commercialized boxing and commercialized baseball, the latter having been held in 1922 by the Court to be outside the purview of Federal jurisdiction as essentially a local activity, reaffirmed by the Court in 1953 on the basis that the 1922 case had been decided 30 years earlier without Congress having made any move in the interim to amend the Sherman Act to include professional baseball. Justice Minton had found, in addition, that professional boxing was no more "trade or commerce", within the meaning of the required element of the Sherman Act, in addition to the activity being interstate in nature, than was professional baseball, stating: "When boxers travel from State to State, carrying their shorts and fancy dressing robes in a ditty bag in order to participate in a boxing bout, which is wholly intrastate, it is now held by this Court that the boxing bout becomes interstate commerce. What this Court held in the Federal Baseball case [in 1922] to be incident to the exhibition now becomes more important than the exhibition. This is as fine an example of the tail wagging the dog as can be conjured up." The Court was presently comprised of only eight members, pending the confirmation of Justice-designate John Harlan, who had been appointed to replace deceased Justice Robert Jackson, who had died the prior October.

In this date's Commie-infiltrated "Street Final" edition, that infernal, Red "Bulletins" column appears again, indicating that General Matthew Ridgway, Army chief of staff, had told Congress this date that a proposed Administration cutback in ground forces would jeopardize the safety of the country; that the Cincinnati Redlegs had this date signed three more players, outfielder Bob Borkowski, pitcher Gerry Dean and shortstop Jackie Simpson, for the 1955 season and released pitcher Jim Melton to Havana of the International League, Commies all; that in Rochester, Minn., Senator Lyndon Johnson of Texas, the Majority Leader, had departed the previous night for a two or three-week convalescence at his home in Austin, Tex., before returning to Washington to resume his duties, having undergone surgery at the Mayo Clinic on January 14 for removal of a kidney stone, (to be noted also that Senator John F. Kennedy was continuing to recover in Florida from his back surgery during the fall, from which he would have other complications shortly, requiring additional surgery, causing him to be unable to return to his duties until the spring); that in Washington, the Senate Judiciary Committee this date had ordered closed hearings for February 23 to investigate what chairman Harley Kilgore of West Virginia said at a press conference was "a lot of protests" against the nomination of Justice-designate Harlan, saying that the protest had nothing to do with his integrity, reputation or anything of the sort, but rather with his thinking on various subjects; that near Rossville, Ga., a 29-year old mother and her four children had died early this date in a fire which destroyed their three-room frame house in nearby Lakeview, the husband having escaped but suffering burns while trying to rescue his family; that in London, Princess Margaret departed in an American-built Stratocruiser this date for a month-long tour of the Calypso isles of the British West Indies; that in Washington, cotton state Senators received word this date that the Agriculture Department would not support legislation for a hike in the 1955 national cotton acreage allotment, as announced by Senator Allen Ellender of Louisiana, chairman of the Agriculture Committee, who provided copies of a letter from the Undersecretary of Agriculture, True D. Morse. (With a name like that, he should be investigated as a possible Commie agent, as it is obviously made up.)

In Knoxville, Tenn., a police officer and another man were shot to death this date in a gun battle which caused bullets to fly over a bed in which three children had been sleeping but were unhurt. A tourist court operator had opened fire on the police officer when the latter and another officer had answered a disturbance call from the man's estranged wife who had summoned the police to the residence, with both the officer and the other man wounded five times. The wife had obtained an order to keep her estranged husband away and complained to police of an attempt by him to visit her at her residence. He opened fire when the officers sought to arrest him for violating the order, both officers emptying their revolvers over the bed where the children were sleeping.

In Thomasville, N.C., the mother of an infant whose body was found stuffed in a shirt box in a trunk in a rooming house in the town the previous day, had been charged with murder. She was the mother of five other children and was presently living in Baltimore, to which officers had gone to take her into custody. The coroner said that the infant had been born alive approximately five to six weeks earlier. The mother's husband had been serving a one-year sentence in Columbia, S.C., since the previous September on a conviction for forgery. Two men were being held in connection with the case on an open charge in the Thomasville jail. During the 1960 presidential campaign, Senator and vice-presidential nominee Lyndon Johnson would speak there, during his whistlestop tour of the state, from atop the big chair in the downtown area next to the tracks. Whether the woman in question would go to the big chair remains up in the air.

In Charlotte, Ann Sawyer of The News tells of a five million dollar bond issue for the City and County school systems to be put to a vote during the spring, after the Mecklenburg County Commission had passed a resolution this date calling for such an election. Of the five million dollars, 2.9 million would go to the City. Commissioner Sam McNinch had said that it was up to the people, rather than the Commission to decide the issue.

The cold wave, which had hit the nation east of the Rockies for nearly a week, had begun to moderate, with light snows moving eastward in the Midwest and temperatures rising between three and twenty degrees the previous day in many of the areas where below-zero readings had been recorded for several days. Continued warming was forecast for this date. Temperatures in the East, however, were as much as seven degrees lower the previous day than on Saturday, stretching from New England to North Carolina, and as far south as northern Florida. In Charlotte, the temperature had been 19 degrees at the airport, but warmer temperatures were forecast for the following day, with a high of 45 anticipated for the afternoon and a low of 29 the following morning. Shirtsleeve weather… Get out your beach towels.

On the editorial page, "Do the Pigs and Cows Come First?" finds it interesting but somewhat disheartening that cattle, hogs, tobacco plants and ears of corn had a better chance of improvement in the state than thousands of schoolchildren. Newly gathered statistics released by the North Carolina Education Association presented an alarming picture of the continuing illiteracy of large numbers of people in the state.

The average educational level was less than eight years, causing the state to rank fourth from the bottom among the states, while the national average was 9.3 years. Twenty-one percent of North Carolina adults had less than five years of education, placing the state sixth from the bottom, while the national average was 11 percent. During the first year of the Korean War, 34.6 percent of the draft-eligible men from North Carolina had failed to pass the Armed Forces Qualification Test, which placed the state seventh from the bottom.

Meanwhile, North Carolina teachers received an average annual salary of $3,228 or 16th from the bottom, with the national average being $3,816. The average class size was 28.7 pupils per teacher, third from the bottom, with the national average being 24.1. The state's average expenditure per pupil from state and local sources was $161, seventh from the bottom, with the national average being $250. The average value of the state's public school property per pupil was $216, eighth from the bottom, with the average being $454.

On the other hand, the efforts to support the schools by the percentage of per capita income used for school expenditures ranked seventh from the top.

The North Carolina Education Association argued that the state had to work harder to get its children to school and keep them there, but it was said that the General Assembly would not do anything about enforcing school attendance laws. It wanted the state to improve the effectiveness of teaching at every level, but the Assembly had done about all it could to pay salaries which would attract teachers from among the best minds of the state's high school graduates. It advocated spending more money for education and working harder at it, but North Carolinians would not favor paying higher taxes for improved schools and the state did not want Federal aid to education.

It concludes that education needs in the state were great and the situation was getting worse. It was indicated by the chairman of the United Forces for Education the previous September, when he appeared before the Advisory Budget Commission, that in previous times when the state had to choose between the tax dollar and the child, it had always chosen the child.

"A Shaft of Light in the Gloom?" indicates that it was not an uncommon claim of North Carolina editors that things were going to pot, but it decides to point with pride to some good things occurring, such as the system in the state of re-examining operators of motor vehicles when they applied to renew licenses every quadrennial, to combat the rising toll of automobile accidents from physical infirmities.

For years, there was no renewal examination and people with failing eyesight, slowed reflexes and susceptibility to sudden seizures, could renew their licenses without having to prove anew their ability to drive safely. About eight years earlier, the state had instituted a system of blanket renewal re-examination. An article in National Safety News had paid tribute to the plan and urged all states to adopt it. The author, J. C. Furnas, had been the author of "—And Sudden Death", a Reader's Digest article which had caused some controversy some years earlier.

The previous year, more than 29,000 drivers applying for license renewal in the state had failed the test, largely through ignoring rules of the road and inability to interpret standard highway signs, with another 37,000 provided renewals only on certain conditions, such as obtaining better eyeglasses or being restricted to certain speeds.

California had a similar system and Idaho had begun re-examination of drivers in 1952, with the District of Columbia following suit the previous year. New Jersey had once had such a system for all drivers over 65 years of age who had a reportable traffic accident, but the program had been dropped because of protest. If nationwide re-examination, it informs, were instituted, some 25 million licensed drivers who had never faced an examination, would have to do so.

It concludes that it was proud of the state for being a trail-blazer in the field of highway safety.

"It's Not the Food That Costs, Girls" indicates that, according to Washington Report, "built-in maid service" was causing concern in agricultural circles, with the new service involving elaborate preparation of foods before their sale, such as popcorn packaged in its own skillet, refreshments in disposable bottles, and french fries already sliced and ready for cooking. The new foods eased the chores of cooking, and the South, in particular, was benefiting from the industry because it provided much of the packaging material.

But it cautions that there was one thing people needed to bear in mind when paying higher prices for the packaged food products, that the farmer, who often received the blame, was not at fault for the higher prices, as he was getting less of the consumer food dollar, in 1953 receiving 45 cents and in 1954, only 43 cents.

It quotes John Turnipseed, who had observed in a recent issue of Prairie Farmer: "It ain't the food that cost the money in this country. Most of the dollar goes to pay people who is hired to cook your food ahead of time so you won't have to, and wrap it up purty in bite size packages so you won't have to get out the butcher knife to cut it up."

A piece from the Providence (R.I.) Evening Bulletin, titled "The Candy Curtain", tells of a recent issue of the New Englander, a New England Council magazine, relating that Soviet Premier Georgi Malenkov was leading a drive to deprive the West of chocolate candy by buying the entire equatorial cocoa bean crop, with the intent to erect a "candy curtain".

It imagines the uproar which would occur around Mother's and Valentine Days were people in the U.S. unable to purchase chocolates for the occasion. It predicts that the candy war could become serious among American candy lovers and urges passing the pistachio centers before the situation became desperate.

Drew Pearson indicates that Senators were worried about the resolution passed by the Congress the prior week and signed by the President Saturday, giving him the right to use the armed forces in the event of aggression against Formosa, the Pescadores or related territories when the action threatened Formosa, because, while the ultimate decision would be the President's, the military efforts leading to that decision would be in the hands of the Joint Chiefs, the chairman of whom, Admiral Arthur Radford, was in favor of waging a preventive war against Communist China and had thumbed his nose at civilian authority during much of his military career.

Testimony of Secretary of State Dulles before the jointly meeting Senate Armed Services and Foreign Relations Committees had revealed that the resolution gave the President authority to bomb the Chinese mainland if there were a concentration of troops opposite Quemoy, five miles from the mainland, or any other island near the mainland coast. That meant that the military could respond without the Communist Chinese actually launching an invasion force headed toward Formosa, 300 miles from the mainland, and could react to the Communist Chinese amassing troops on their own soil opposite one of the Nationalist-held offshore islands. Secretary Dulles said that strikes against the mainland would constitute an act of war but that it was "no time for legalism" in the face of such a situation. When asked what kind of troop concentration would necessitate action, he deferred to the military. Thus it would be up to Admiral Radford and the military to determine the question of future peace or war. The President's statement of taking personal responsibility had satisfied many Senators, but others were troubled because of the prior positions of Admiral Radford.

The Admiral, in 1949, helped to organize the propaganda campaign against the Air Force, spurning the authority of the civilian Secretary of the Navy, Francis Matthews, setting up a secret publicity bureau, "Operation 23", consisting of 12 officers and 17 enlisted men commanded by Captain Arleigh Burke with Commander Thomas Davis second in command, taking orders from Admiral Radford, assigned the task of smearing the B-36 and flooding newspapers with stories critical of the Army and Air Force, circulating stories that Secretary of the Air Force Stuart Symington and Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson had ordered the B-36 for personal monetary gain. Undersecretary of the Navy Dan Kimball had sensed that something was wrong and spoke up at a meeting of 60 top Navy officers in September, 1949, asking them whether any of them thought they were not getting a fair deal, to which no one, including Admiral Radford, responded. Admiral Bogan then wrote a letter complaining of low Navy morale, to which Admiral Radford added a postscript defying civilian authority, which set off a Congressional investigation.

Joseph Alsop, in Rangoon, tells of Burma boasting of being the ablest and most realistic government of postwar Asia, with the price the U.S. was paying for the "fraudulence" of its Asian policy being quite evident.

He asks why anyone at home was worried about the loss of the formerly Nationalist-held island of Yikiangshan to the Communist Chinese, indicating that there had been the "first Munich" at the time of the Korean Armistice in July, 1953 and then the second act of appeasement by the French surrender in Indo-China. There had also been a "toothless" Manila treaty forming SEATO the prior September. In the treaty with Nationalist China, which specifically excluded the offshore islands from U.S. protection, there was an "engraved invitation" to the Communists to seize those islands. So he suggests that the surprise at home was only at the inevitable result of such a continuing line of appeasement and retreat. The surprise occurred because of the "hucksterish" language regarding "unleashing Chiang Kai-shek", recapturing initiatives, "massive retaliation", "strengthened outposts" and other such bold phrases.

The Burmese and Indians had been just as deceived as Americans by the brash talk, which had made them think that the U.S. was beating the war-drum in Asia, when it actually had been the reverse. The Burmese blamed the U.S. for aggressiveness rather than appeasement. If appeasement was going to be the policy, then the U.S. should have at least informed the Burmese and Indians that they were going to follow the latter's ideas about the conduct of affairs in Asia and suggest coping with the resulting situation, but had failed to do that and virtually even ceased communication with Rangoon and New Delhi.

While there had been a U.S. ambassador in India for many months, the ambassador to Burma had been absent since the prior July, with the Embassy left to junior diplomats who were diligent but ineffective, despite the existing danger that there was no one to articulate the American point of view. The result had been that China had begun to make inroads in convincing Burma that the promises of Communism could be trusted. Burmese Premier U Nu and his two chief collaborators, U Ba Swe and U Kyaw Nein, were not deceived but were beginning to be immobilized.

There was an opportunity for the U.S. to mobilize Burma after the appeasements had produced a new Asian situation wherein American power was no longer sufficient to preserve the balance of power, such that the moral and political authority of the free Asian nations, particularly that of Burma and India, were needed to avoid general collapse.

Mr. Alsop concludes that the wise commander, after a retreat, was careful to organize a new defense line, but U.S. policymakers had instead been too busy protesting the fact of the retreat to form any new defense line, and the task of organizing one was becoming more difficult by the month.

Dunlap's American Daily Advertiser of Philadelphia, in an article abstracted from August 5, 1791, had dealt with the subject of juvenile delinquency, indicating that the custom of permitting boys to roam the street at night had resulted in serious consequences to their morals, enabling them to conceal themselves in corners and engage in all manner of mischief, with the older boys training the younger ones. Boys could commit arson with apparent impunity, as the boys sent up paper kites with candles tied to the tails, and should one land on a house, a fire could easily result. But the boys did not consider the consequences of their behavior, as they were not being admonished by their fathers.

It tells of an assemblage of boys recently during the night having set afire a tar barrel in the vicinity of the market place which could have been set ablaze, as the fiery barrel had singed the cobwebs hanging under the eaves of the building and had set fire to a post positioned a few inches from the roof.

A letter writer from Mount Holly addresses a previous letter writer who had criticized the medical profession, particularly specialists who sat "like a vampire ready to suck the last dollar". She believes that to be untrue, says that she had contact with specialists during the previous 11 years and had never encountered such an attitude, had first-hand information of just the opposite. She relates of some anecdotal information regarding patients and specialists. She indicates that people took their television sets to repair shops and paid $30 to $40 for repairs without complaint, but when a doctor gave them a complete physical examination and sent a bill for perhaps $25, they became upset. She believes the system of charging what people could pay to be fair. She praises medical workers for being humanitarian and asserts that the public showed a poor attitude when they spoke disparagingly of them.

A letter writer from Gastonia responds to the same letter, agreeing with it, asserting that without such protest, the system would never be improved.

A letter writer from Chesterfield County, S.C., responds to a letter of January 25 regarding the progress of black citizens versus whites, bemoaning the fact that certain interests in Charlotte spent large sums of money to improve or furnish better hospitalization facilities for black patients. This writer finds that most of the previous letter had been comprised of words and phrases which were designed to excite those with prejudice against blacks, and asserts that he appeared to have failed to read the spiritual truths as contained in the Bible. He answers the previous writer's question as to what had happened to white men in present times, saying that many had given too much time to self-centered interests and very little to bringing into their hearts the Kingdom of God. He says that Christ had taught that people should love one another, and asserts that one could not love or hold to one group while cursing or despising one of another race or group.

A letter writer indicates that a resident of Charlotte had just returned from Greece where he had visited his relatives, and found people living in degraded conditions of poverty, with many of the "best people" being near starvation. The resident had been active in obtaining help for the Greek people and had talked to many persons in Greece who had received parcels from residents of Mecklenburg County and the Charlotte area, and were sincerely grateful for them. He indicates that Western civilization had benefited greatly from the contribution of the Greek people, mainly in architecture and literature, and for those reasons, if no others, they deserved all the help they could be provided in their time of need. He provides a telephone number to call if one wanted to donate old clothing, food or other items.

A letter from the president of the United Church Women of Charlotte thanks the newspaper for its coverage of the meetings of the North Carolina Council of Churches and the Department of United Church Women.

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