The Charlotte News

Wednesday, January 5, 1955


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the 84th Congress had convened this date, with Democrats controlling both chambers for the first time in two years, with both parties being mindful that the ensuing two years would weigh heavily on the voters in determining the 1956 presidential election. Democrats were already planning inquiries into the controversial Dixon-Yates utility contract, which many of them viewed as a public versus private power fight, as well as an investigation of the Administration's handling of security risks. Many of the members attended a special church service with the President at the National Presbyterian Church, hearing prayers for their guidance, for the nation, for the President and for peace. There was also a special petition circulated for obtaining the release of the American prisoners being held in Communist China.

The President would deliver his State of the Union message to a joint session the following day, some of which had been disclosed informally, such as that a new military manpower program would be proposed, whereby a large ready reserve to train young men would be established, as well as a proposed postponement of tax cuts scheduled for the spring.

New Senate Majority Leader Lyndon Johnson said in an interview that he and his colleagues had "rejected the theory that it is the duty of the opposition to oppose merely for oppositions's sake." Senate Minority Leader William Knowland of California said that he was looking forward to a "constructive session", that he believed a good deal of legislation would have bipartisan support. He said that he and Senator Johnson had agreed to maintain close consultation on the legislative program, but had not reached an understanding yet regarding what the first order of business would be for the Senate. New Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn of Texas said that the House would go to work first on the President's expected proposal for a three-year extension of the reciprocal trade agreements.

Informed officials in Washington said that Soviet diplomatic notes delivered to the U.S. Embassy in Moscow on New Year's Day had reaffirmed the Russian view that the shooting down by Soviet aircraft on July 29, 1953 of an American RB-50 plane over the Sea of Japan, with the loss of 15 crew members, had been the fault of the U.S., as had been the shooting down two days earlier of a Russian IL-12 plane with 20 aboard by a U.S. Air Force fighter plane on a combat mission in Korea, which the U.S. had said occurred because the Soviet plane was flying where it ought not to have been, and that the shooting down of a U.S. Air Force plane with the loss of its eight-man crew by Soviet fighters off northern Japan on October 7, 1952, had also been the fault of the U.S. The U.S. blamed the Soviets for all three incidents. U.S. officials said that they saw no way to settle the recurring disputes over the air incidents except to keep trying.

According to Peiping radio, U.N. Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold had dined privately this night with Chinese Communist Premier and Foreign Minister Chou En-lai, seeking the release of the 11 American airmen and other U.N. prisoners being held by Communist China for allegedly having engaged in espionage. There were few substantive details provided regarding the talks.

The Foreign Operations Administration announced this date that it had hired Wolf Ladejinsky, the land reform expert who had been fired as a "security risk" from his post as agricultural attaché in the Japanese Embassy in Washington, his new position to involve land reform in Vietnam. FOA head Harold Stassen said that the agency had reviewed his file and found him "eligible for certification for security and loyalty." His termination had come because the agency for which he worked was transferred from the State Department, which found him acceptable, to the Agriculture Department, which found him unacceptable.

In Raleigh, the 1955 biennial session of the General Assembly convened this date, with the first issue being legislative "secrecy", that is hearings held in executive session, enabled for the first time on budgetary matters by a law passed by the 1953 Legislature. One State Senator wanted the subjects studied by a special commission to be appointed by Governor Luther Hodges, while a member of the House wanted to repeal the law. The new House Speaker was Representative Larry Moore of Wilson, who had served in the Assembly since 1939, and the new president of the Senate was Senator Luther Barnhardt of Cabarrus County, who had served five terms in the State Senate. Dr. Paul Jones of Pitt County was elected president pro tem of the Senate. Representative E. M. O'Herron, Jr., of Mecklenburg County was in line for the important chairmanship of the House Appropriations Committee, while Representative James Vogler of Mecklenburg might also become a chairman of a committee. Committee appointments would not be made for another week or so.

In Hopewell, Va., a book-loving Sunday School teacher and former librarian and history instructor at Chowan Junior College in Murfreesboro, N.C., who managed a Federal housing project in Hopewell, said that he believed the 76 families in the project needed "someone to take care of them", and so the previous day had sent them a letter forbidding them to drink alcoholic beverages on the premises, to maintain pets or to light their apartments with bulbs larger than 60 watts. He said that there had been a murder in the project the previous year and that some of the tenants were "very immoral", that drinking by the tenants violated a clause of their lease banning "illegal and immoral" conduct. Pet dogs had been digging holes around the shrubbery planted to beautify the project and, he continued, excessive use of electricity had been overloading the electrical circuits, while tenants had also been guilty of "poor housekeeping and maintenance of the yard" and their children had fired air rifles in the project. The man said that similar letters would soon be mailed to 120 families of another project for blacks. It was questionable whether his actions would stand when the chairman of the housing commission to which the man was responsible reviewed the decision on January 27. The man said that an anonymous letter had told him that there was such a thing as "going too far", reminding that it was America and not Russia. But the man in charge said that the language of the letter was that of a "simple person, a narrow-minded person" and that he had already forgiven him based on his Christian teachings. He said that a lot of the residents did not understand their leases and so he believed someone needed to take care of them.

On the editorial page,"Eisenhower and Democrats Will Agree—Except on a Few Fundamental Issues" indicates that with the start of the new Congress in Washington the following day, as well as the convening of the General Assembly in Raleigh at the same time, the President and Governor Luther Hodges would make their respective first addresses to the new Legislatures. Both the national and state groups would be faced with two similar issues, both of major importance, each needing to raise large amounts of revenue and each dealing with recent and revolutionary events. In the Congress, actions would be tied to the momentous political and military revolutions across the world, and in Raleigh, the "social revolution" resulting from Brown v. Board of Education would determine many of the actions of the Assembly. Both the President and the Governor were men with little political experience, who nevertheless had the respect of even their adversaries, plus widespread support among the people.

Having set forth the prospective legislative agenda for the General Assembly the previous day, it assays the prospective legislative agenda for the new Congress, suggesting that the President would not antagonize the opposition in Congress as had former Presidents Truman and Hoover. The Democratic Congressional leadership, Senate Majority Leader Lyndon Johnson and Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn, had proved their willingness to cooperate with the President on most issues during the previous Congress, and Minority Leader William Knowland might turn out to be the President's biggest headache in the new Congress because of the fundamental cleavage on Asian foreign policy. Most Congressional committees would be chaired by Southern Democrats, most of whom saw eye to eye with the President, despite their reluctance to admit it. They were internationalists, with a mild interest in "welfare" legislation, a distrust of big government and a dedicated faith in the homely virtues, as also characterized the President.

As internationalists, they would continue the mutual security program of foreign aid, and would renew and liberalize the reciprocal trade program unless hamstrung by Republicans clinging to traditional protectionism. Their mild interest in welfare legislation might result in a national health insurance program, a modest public housing program, and an increase in the minimum wage. But basic labor legislation would probably be unchanged. Their distrust of big government might result in further decentralization of the Federal Government and abdication of many of its functions to the states and to private business, although Republicans had found out two years earlier that such was easier said than done. Their faith in the homely virtues would likely result in a sweeping overhaul of the "security" system which had resulted in many loyal Federal employees being unjustly suspected and terminated or forced to live with a cloud hanging over them, such as in the case of Wolf Ladejinsky, the land reform expert who was labeled a security risk because of some anti-Communist articles he had written in the 1930's and because he had relatives in Russia, whom he had not seen or communicated with in several years.

It suggests that there was one thing in which the President had more faith than did most Democratic leaders, big business, the reason why the Dixon-Yates utility combine contract and public power policy would be debated vigorously in the new Congress. Democrats were anxious to fight on that issue because it was one of the few on which they could easily campaign.

Probably neither the President nor the Congress would urge universal military training with the vigor needed to pass it, as the people were opposed to it.

The policy in Asia would produce clashes among the people as well as between the parties, and would receive quite a lot of attention later. But no one was proposing revolutionary economic and technical policies for that region of the world on a scale commensurate with the need, rather placing reliance on military measures, which it regards as poor weapons with which to wage economic and ideological warfare.

Despite tax reduction being unlikely, Congressional investigations under the Democrats would be fairly conducted for a change.

"No Need To Bribe Industries" refers to the article on the page telling how an industry which had been planned for North Carolina had instead been lured away to a Georgia town, but indicates that it felt no remorse because, despite the aggressiveness and persistence of the people of Douglas, Ga., the North Carolina Board of Conservation & Development and many local state promotion groups could equal or better such displays of enterprise as demonstrated by Douglas. That community, having offered to waive city and county taxes for five years if the new industry would establish in the town, to cut its city-owned electrical power rates, and provide a loan for a building and machines, had offered what amounted to a bribe to attract the plant. It indicates that other communities could do so if they wished, but it asserts that most industries were willing to pay their own way, that communities which made tax and rate concessions were hurting mainly themselves. While it was regrettable when any industry decided not to come to North Carolina, there were increasing numbers who were coming and believed it was the place to establish new industry, despite the state's reluctance to offer bribes. It says that it would smile a little the next time some Georgians and others shouted about socialism, subsidy and giveaway.

A piece from the Pilot Mountain Post, titled "The Good Old Days", indicates that when candy had come to the store in bulk, such that one had to hunt for a box if a gift of it was planned, that when girls made necklaces by stringing red haws, when a schoolteacher's salary was $20 per month and he or she received room and board for five dollars, when schoolgirls had worn dresses and looked like girls before the advent of jeans and slacks, when boneset, pennyroyal and other herbs were tied to the rafters in the cabin, when church bells used to peel out a melodious message to all on Sundays and during an evening, when the circus used to parade and they would follow the steam calliope to the circus grounds, when fish were so plentiful in the streams that they would leap out of the water to grab bait and hook, when a gentleman visiting his lady came to the door and knocked instead of sitting in a slick gas buggy blasting his horn, and when it was a pleasure to witness a silent film before they had better—those, it suggests, had been the "good old days"

Drew Pearson indicates that the inside story could now be told of how young Deputy Attorney General William Rogers—to become Attorney General in the second Eisenhower term and Secretary of State during the first term of President Nixon—had overruled the President in appointing a Federal judge. The President had promised to appoint outgoing Senator Robert Hendrickson of New Jersey to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals as a consolation prize for stepping aside and letting now-Senator Clifford Case run for the seat, the President having promised Senator Alexander Smith, also of New Jersey, that he would do so. But Mr. Rogers had also made a commitment to obtain a judgeship on the D.C. Federal District Court for Joseph McGarraghy, longtime Republican boss of the District of Columbia. While the latter was too much of a politico to risk appointing him to the Court of Appeals, where a vacancy existed, there was no vacancy at present on the District Court, until Mr. Rogers was able to get Judge Walter Bastian appointed to the Circuit Court of Appeals, creating the opening for Mr. McGarraghy, done without notifying the President. By the time the latter found out about it, the nominations had already been sent to the Senate for confirmation. Meanwhile, Senator Smith had spread the word around the Senate that the President had promised the vacancy on the Circuit Court of Appeals to Senator Hendrickson, and so when Judge Bastian's name went to the Senate for confirmation, it made Senator Smith appear as a fool, prompting him to telephone the White House in a rage and accuse the President of a "breach of faith". Senator William Knowland of California, the Republican Leader, joined in the protest. But the President determined that it would be too embarrassing to withdraw the appointment after it had already been announced and so he tried to mollify the Senators by offering Senator Hendrickson the ambassadorship to New Zealand. By that point, the Senator was upset about the matter, as he had agreed not to run for re-election on the assumption that he would be appointed to the Circuit Court of Appeals, a lifetime appointment, whereas the ambassadorship would last only as long as President Eisenhower was in office. But after one of Senator Hendrickson's friends was appointed ambassador to Australia, the Senator decided to accept the appointment after all. By that point, however, the State Department believed that the Senator did not want the ambassadorship and so had made other arrangements, with the consequence that the diplomats were now trying to straighten out the mess.

The oldest member of the new 84th Congress was 87-year old Senator Theodore Green of Rhode Island, planning to set a new record before the session ended. If he lived until February 26, 1956, he would be the oldest active Senator in the history of the country, a record presently held posthumously by former Senator Justin Smith Morrell of Vermont, who had lived to be 88 years, eight months and 14 days while still serving. Senator Green's health was said to be excellent and he had every intention of finishing his current term at the age of 92, at which point, he had said, he might think about retiring. He was chairman of two committees by day and attended two or three social functions per week by night. He was a non-smoker and would occasionally take a drink, but did not attribute his health to non-use of tobacco, rather to frequent exercise and vigilant observation of his diet. He went to the Senate gymnasium several times per week for a swim and did six or seven chin-ups every day on the bars. He also played tennis. He rode to work via streetcar every day except when he felt the urge to walk. He was a millionaire, single, but almost never took a taxi.

Margaret Shannon, writing in the Atlanta Journal from Douglas, Ga., as indicated in the above editorial, tells of the local Chamber of Commerce having become aware that the Manchester Hosiery Mills of New Hampshire was planning to expand into the manufacture of seamless hosiery, communicated during one of the periodic visits by the general manager to Douglas, home of the company's subsidiary, prompting the Chamber to write to the company to ask whether the statement was true, hearing back that it was but that the company had already decided to locate its seamless hosiery plant in Burlington, N.C., where they had been offered a building.

At that point, the Douglas Chamber contacted the Georgia State Employment Service, which conducted a labor survey showing that a number of experienced machine operators were available in the area, and continued to urge the Manchester company to locate its seamless hosiery mill in Douglas, which, along with the County, had agreed to waive taxes on the proposed plant for five years and to cut electricity rates through the utility owned by the City. The Chamber also offered to lend the company $50,000 for a building and machines. The company representative who regularly visited Douglas was treated with a grand welcome when he visited again, holding a banquet for him at the local hotel.

Eventually, Douglas won the site selection and Burlington lost out. The new plant would eventually employ 75 people, with an annual payroll of $275,000.

The Chamber representative indicated that he believed the town's cordiality and enthusiasm had persuaded the company to locate there instead of in North Carolina, that they had done everything they could to satisfy the company without jeopardizing their investment.

Robert C. Ruark indicates that Administration officials had determined that a watered-down version of universal military training would be submitted to Congress during the year, which he regards as a pacifier at best, designed to keep everyone happy without accomplishing much. The Defense Department would ask the Congress for a voluntary-compulsory enlistment of 100,000 young men under age 19 for a six-month training period, paying $30 per month, to be followed by nine and a half years of reserve duty, including a yearly vacation of about two weeks, following the pattern of the old National Guard and active reserve. If any of the enlistees were to default in their training, they could be drafted into the Army for two years. In another proposed volunteer plan, if a man enlisted for three years and then failed to keep up his reserve status, he could be given a discharge other than honorable and forfeit his veterans' rights and privileges.

He considers it confusing and indicates that it was subject to reconsideration after four years of trial, even if it were to pass Congress, which was doubtful, as there was a definite aversion to compulsory military training during peacetime. Furthermore, he indicates, a civilian volunteer could not adequately be trained in six months time to become an acceptable soldier, fit for emergency duty, unless the training were extended after the basics were learned. A small amount of reserve training over a period of nearly a decade was "ridiculous, except as a booby-trap to force the delinquents into a mandatory draft."

But no one had ever expected logic to mix with politics. A mandatory two-year hitch in the armed services for all eligible young men of 18 would be over by age 20, and there would be an Army as a result. There would also be enough civilian classwork retained in the regular Army to provide a graduate the status of a college freshman or sophomore when he finished his stint. Regardless, the Congress would never pass such a draft except in time of war, "because the mamas don't like it and what the mamas don't like the papas don't like, and what the mamas and papas both don't like Congress don't like."

He regards the diluted version of UMT to be no UMT at all, just a toy to keep the kid from crying when what he really wanted was his dinner. He indicates that they might as well draw the standby Army from the Boy Scouts, where at least the training was slightly more consistent.

Kathleen Munro, writing in The Atlantic, tells of working on a treatise on Sales Resistance in the Home, which ought be welcomed by housewives all over Canada and the United States, believing that most women who followed her precepts would report more leisure time, extra "found money" and increased Inner-Self-Adequacy. Her formula was a reversal of the roles of housewife and salesman, such that the housewife would consider all salesmen as prospective victims and herself as a kind of super spider weaving an enticing web. She says her method involved motivation principles, retrogression impulses, psychological urges, and directive attitudes in a soul-satisfying way, and that her chapter titled "How To Lower the Boom" was devastating, providing extracts from it—which you may read on your own, as most door-to-door salesmen now practice their craft via the internet and so the piece is a bit obsolete. But if salesmen continue to abound in your area, be sure and follow her principles.

Come to think of it, however, given that Trumpie Dumpy Do is still on the political landscape, every citizen probably could benefit in some respect from her principles. Of course, the best way to deal with him is simply to turn off the television and not go to his "rallies", where brainwashing is obviously practiced on a regular basis.

The Portland Oregonian indicates that a recipe writer for the newspaper recently had placed the caption, "Welsh Rabbit", over her recipe, and meant what she had said, not "Welsh rarebit", as the dictionary instructed that the latter was actually incorrect in referring to the dish involving melted cheese, flat beer and various tangy sauces, despite the fact that there was no rabbit involved.

It explains that it was a bit of grim humor out of Wales, where hunting had been prohibited on the estates of the nobles, and so the common folk, rather than eating the prized rabbits, ate the dish of melted cheese and bread and called it rabbit. It provides a substantiating quotation from MacMillan's Magazine, as contained in an old Century dictionary.

Notwithstanding, Betty Crocker's Picture Cookbook said that the dish became a specialty of Ye Olde Cheshire Inn, where Englishmen of letters, from Ben Jonson to Charles Dickens, had conversed wittily while eating it, leading the piece to conclude that it could be said that the cheese sauce "was a rare bit for rare wits." (Presumably, incidentally, Betty Crocker, being apparently more engaged in home economics class than English literature, meant Samuel Johnson, not Ben Jonson, accounting for the misspelling of the latter's surname, at least in the piece if not also in the Book.)

A letter writer indicates that during the course of a trial, a defendant was presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, but that after being convicted in a fair trial, there was a presumption of guilt. He wonders whether Alger Hiss would consider telling authorities all he knew about the Communist conspiracy in the country and thereby correct "his mistakes, purge his conscience of guilt, perform a public service and gradually take his place in society as a useful citizen."

That, of course, assumes that he was in fact guilty, regardless of what the jury said, as juries often make mistakes in judgment. In the case of Mr. Hiss, there is grave doubt as to whether he or his accuser, Whittaker Chambers, the admitted former Communist courier, was actually the liar—the fact that the first jury had hung underscoring the notion that reasonable minds could differ on the issue. (And, once again, for those of you who cling to the fairy tale of the Venona files for your conclusory final jeopardy question, try thinking outside the box, for once.)

Twelfth Day of Christmas: Twelve drummers selling Dickens rarebit.

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