The Charlotte News

Tuesday, October 11, 1955


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports from Denver that Secretary of State Dulles had joined the President this date in the hospital for their first foreign policy conference since the President's heart attack on September 24, the Secretary entering the hospital after a half hour conference with White House chief of staff Sherman Adams and press secretary James Hagerty. The conference was to last only for 15 minutes and was to concern primarily the agenda for the foreign ministers meeting in Geneva, to begin October 27. The Secretary was then scheduled to hold a press conference prior to noon. It was the first time that the President had returned to some level of executive meetings since his heart attack. The latest medical bulletin during the morning said that the President continued to progress satisfactorily without complications.

In New York, former President Truman said this date that there was no basis for a Republican charge that the Democrats might drop Adlai Stevenson as a possible presidential nominee even prior to the 1956 Democratic convention. RNC Chairman Leonard Hall had said the previous day that Mr. Stevenson might be dumped "in midstream". He said that he thought that Mr. Truman, Governor Averell Harriman of New York and Tammany leader Carmine DeSapio might engineer such a plan. Mr. Truman described it as a very high compliment from a Republican, and that the Republicans were not going to nominate the Democratic candidate, that they would do that, themselves, and that he was very happy to say that it would not be Mr. Hall, that he had enough troubles in his own camp to keep him busy. Mr. Truman was visiting Mayor Robert Wagner at City Hall, after which he had taken questions from reporters. When asked whether the primary issue of the campaign would be "peace and prosperity", the former President said that the Republicans had nothing to do with peace and prosperity, rather inheriting it from the Democratic Party, and were having a hard time throwing it away.

The Post Office Department said that Senator Olin Johnston of South Carolina was misinformed and incorrect in his charges that postmasters had been fired by "illegal and political" means. The Senator had announced a sweeping investigation of the matter. Senator Frank Carlson of Kansas said in a telephone interview from Kansas that Republicans would welcome the investigation. Senator Johnston said that the Post Office and Civil Service Committee, which he chaired, was presently checking on a large number of complaints regarding the allegations and that eventually, public hearings would be held in Michigan, Texas, California, Illinois, Missouri, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and North Carolina, that thousands of documents had been received showing that the postal inspection service, "under new and cleverly devised instructions from Washington", was being used to oust postmasters because it was believed they had not voted for the President in 1952. He said that some of the methods utilized were "strikingly similar to the methods used by Nazi storm troopers under Hitler", that the tactics were to scare a postmaster into submitting a resignation and that many thousands had done so rather than spend their money to fight to save their jobs. He said that never in his nine years on the Committee had he known the morale of postmasters and postal employees to be so low.

In New Castle, Ind., the Perfect Circle Corp., a piston ring manufacturer, had reopened its foundry this date with troops and five pickets patrolling together amid stones and broken glass left from the previous Wednesday strike riot, with about 70 workers entering the foundry as the doors opened. Other plants of the company had opened without incident in nearby Hagerstown and Richmond. Nearly 1,000 National Guard troops, enforcing martial law, were still protecting the town, as well as Hagerstown and Richmond. Four tanks were in the foundry parking lot facing the plant, where about 90 non-strikers had been evacuated the previous Wednesday after an exchange of shots which had wounded eight persons. Only five pickets, without placards, had marched quietly at the foundry gate this date, contrasting with an estimated 5,000 sympathizers who had touched off the riot the previous week.

In Chicago, a former Northwestern University student from Charlotte, who had been shot a year earlier while fleeing police, was seeking $100,000 in damages from the incident. He had filed suit in U.S. District Court the previous day, naming the University, the city of Evanston, two University staff members and three police officers as defendants. The lawsuit contended that he had been taken into custody on October 7, 1954 by two police officers at the request of Northwestern's superintendent of grounds, who had asked that he be held "for his own good" after a doctor attached to the University psychiatric service had said that he was suicidal and needed psychiatric treatment. According to the suit, the plaintiff had broken away from the two police officers and was wounded in the right side by another officer during an ensuing chase, the latter having said that he believed the man had been seized initially by the two other officers as a prowler. The lawsuit contended that the plaintiff's constitutional rights had been infringed and that it had been proved after the shooting that the man needed no psychiatric assistance.

Emery Wister of The News reports that laboratories considerably larger in size and scope than those originally intended would be established in Charlotte by the textile division of the Celanese Corp. of America, that they would be located both in the present headquarters building and in a new structure. We shall look forward to that.

J. A. Daly of The News reports that top officers of the Seaboard Air Line Railway hosted a luncheon in Charlotte this date for 350 leaders in Charlotte area business, industry and finance, hearing an address from Governor Luther Hodges, seeking a million dollars of private capital to finance the state's development of small enterprises.

Harry Shuford of The News indicates that two married couples, who had lived in Mecklenburg County longer than any other couples, had been honored in a ceremony at City Hall this date, having been brought to the attention of City leaders through a questionnaire recently sent out regarding water bills, asking married couples to provide the number of years they had lived in the county. One couple had lived in the community for 67 years earlier, and the other for 47 years.

Also in Charlotte, City-County health officer Dr. M. B. Bethel said this date that there was no epidemic in the community at the present time, despite rumors to the contrary based on reported flu, sore throat and respiratory diseases present, saying that the incidence of those conditions was about normal for the present time of year.

In Rabat, Morocco, French authorities announced the seizure of the October 3 international edition of Life magazine because it carried a series of photographs showing a French soldier shooting an Algerian walking down a road. No similar seizure was reported in Algeria.

On the editorial page, "Give Hospital Project No. 1 Rating" indicates that the comment by Charlotte Mayor Philip Van Every that time and education were prerequisites for building adequate hospital facilities for black patients in the community was understandable and to the point, that it would be unwise to call for another bond issue prior to debt payments having time to reinforce the city's credit standing, and that the citizenry, already irritated by high taxes, would not accept another bond issue unless it was absolutely needed within the context of economy and general service.

But, it finds, those conditions did fit the hospital project and would even more so be the case two years hence, and that it was presently required that the project be established in the minds of the city government and the citizenry as deserving top priority.

It indicates that "A Study of Negro Hospital Facilities and Services for Charlotte and Mecklenburg County" had been prepared by the Social Planning Council, recommending an addition to Memorial Hospital, utilizing Federal, state and local funding, indicating that the present hospital and health facilities for blacks were inadequate in size, service and location. Eight surveys and committees had made reports and recommendations during the previous 25 years and the Mecklenburg Medical Society and the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce had endorsed the need for new facilities two years earlier.

It finds that the problem bespoke a "sad lack of attention" and that the most recent report had stated that "the health needs of one race cannot be considered apart from the needs of another—practically or morally." While maintenance of the community's health cost money, illness cost much more, raising the cost of welfare and other institutions in the future. It concludes that the waiting period counseled by the Mayor should not be interpreted as time for dust to settle, as it already had, and community leaders ought keep it stirred up even as they waited for the city debt to go down.

"After the Crisis: Smoked Fish" indicates that the complaints about the Constitution's inadequacy in dealing with the office of the vice-president at the time of incapacitation of the President had faded after the passing of the President's health crisis. Only a little more than two weeks earlier, Attorney General Herbert Brownell had flown home from Spain so that he could provide an emergency formal opinion on the matter, while Administration officials, political pundits and constitutional lawyers gathered to debate the problem, with everyone agreeing that it was a constitutional crisis.

Since that time, the doctors around the President had provided encouraging news on his recovery, indicating that he could return to work at the White House by the beginning of the year and the next session of Congress. Republican leaders had also relented, suggesting that it might not be a good idea to toy with the Constitution and provide too much authority in the process to Vice-President Nixon, who was regarded with some distrust and suspicion even among some Republicans.

It quotes from Richard Rovere, an alert Washington observer and commentator, who had written, however, that the most elementary kind of prudence would call for the establishment of a policy regarding the matter of delegated authority when the President was incapacitated, as at present, the country faced a contest for control of the Administration and the Republican Party.

The piece indicates that while the country was pleased with the recovery of the President, it did not provide a solution to the constitutional problem, finds it absurd to ignore the problem, when the President might be bedridden or confined to a remote hideaway for several months into the future or perhaps unable to fulfill the full functions of office for the remainder of his term. It finds that it was not particularly flattering to the President to say that the Administration "team" could fulfill those functions as well as the President, for if that were true, there was no real need for a President. It states that the contrary was the case, that the Administration suffered when the President was not there to strike the right note and provide a steady hand and authority at the tiller. It questions whether Mr. Nixon should be that leader in the absence of the President and whether he was already usurping presidential powers or was failing to exercise the powers of his own office, whether White House chief of staff Sherman Adams was fulfilling the leadership role and whether the Administration could be held together indefinitely merely by a spirit of informal cooperation.

It finds it more than a little ludicrous that on a day when an opinion might have been anticipated from the Justice Department on the proper assumption of responsibility at the executive level, the Department had only announced that the Attorney General had succeeded in indicting "a trade association, a union, six corporations and three individuals for conspiring to eliminate competition in the sale and distribution of smoked fish."

"Ectoplasmic Eloquence on Trial" indicates that Cleveland Amory had issued an unfond farewell to the gentle art of ghost-writing, being fed up with the job of composing ectoplasmic eloquence for the former Wallis Warfield of Baltimore, as he said that one could not make the Duchess of Windsor into Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm. The Richmond Times-Dispatch had agreed, indicating that ghost-writing had sprung up in recent years causing people not to know whether one or another memorable utterance had originated with the person to whom it was attributed personally or was the product of some ghost-writer.

It shares the view, but wonders why the Times-Dispatch thought that it was a new phenomenon, that it was actually as old as politics. Nero's speeches, according to scholars, had been written by his tutor, Seneca. Aulus Hirtius was credited with writing parts of Julius Caesar's Commentaries. Many experts believed that a good part of George Washington's "Farewell Address" had been written by Alexander Hamilton.

While ghost-writing had flourished during the term of FDR, with Judge Samuel Rosenman, playwright Robert Sherwood, brain-truster Raymond Moley, poet Archibald MacLeish and press agent Charles Michelson providing assistance to the President, Warren G. Harding had also received help from a young future Senator Arthur Vandenberg, who was then editor of the Grand Rapids Herald, and President Harding's successors, Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover, also had used ghost writers—in the case of President Coolidge, undoubtedly made necessitous by his tendency toward sleep and silence, and as to Mr. Hoover, by his proclivity to medicine-ball.

The late Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson had written in a 1949 dissenting opinion to a case that, "Ghost-writing has debased the intellectual currency in circulation here and is a type of counterfeiting which invites no defense."

The piece concludes that it was a problem which was the product of the tragic artificiality of the times, that people expected too much from their great men and gave them so little time to live up to expectations.

The piece, it appears, including its clever title, was partially ghost-written by Time in 1949. (We credit the Dragon, incidentally, with the cross-reference between "ghost-writers" and "ghost riders", not because we mishear the lyric, but rather because the Dragon almost invariably hears "writer" as "rider", and our resident Ghost tells us that we do not pronounce the two words interchangeably, even while riding the circuit circuitously. Thank ye, thank ye very much...)

Drew Pearson tells of the prospect of an official announcement from Queen Elizabeth soon that her sister, Princess Margaret, would marry Peter Townsend. Prime Minister Anthony Eden had worked out details for the announcement while visiting the Queen at Balmoral Castle. Princess Margaret would renounce all right to the throne in the process. Mr. Pearson hopes that she would be happier than was the Duke of Windsor with Wallis Simpson.

He indicates that odds were strong that actress Rita Hayworth would remarry her former husband, Aly Khan.

There were more dictators, in addition to Juan Peron, in trouble in Latin America, for instance, Dictator Stroessner of Paraguay, where Sr. Peron had taken refuge—El Presidente of Paraguay remaining in office by means of self-election until 1989.

Colombian Ambassador to the U.S., Don Eduardo Zuleta-Angell, was returning to his native country because he was unhappy with his own authoritarian Government, which had cracked down on the leading newspaper, El Tiempo.

The new Premier of Greece, Constantine Karamanlis, was a good friend to the U.S. and Washington leaders were impressed with him when they had met him some time earlier.

British newspapers had been asking their Government who had tipped off the two British spies, Donald MacLean and Guy Burgess, allowing them to get away. Mr. Pearson indicates that the FBI had become suspicious of the two diplomats while assigned to the British Embassy in Washington, prompting the Bureau to turn over a report on their activities to the British. But British security had been so lax that the report had gone right to Mr. MacLean, enabling him and Mr. Burgess to escape behind the Iron Curtain.

Close friends of the President were saying that his illness was one of the luckiest breaks he had ever had, as he had not wanted to run for another term anyway, had told Republican leaders that, but was nevertheless under pressure to do so. Now, he could decline to run without facing argument. He suggests that the President would soon be imparting the news of his intention not to run so that Republicans could have ample time to cultivate new candidates.

Soviet Foreign Minister V. M. Molotov had rejected a plea of Secretary of State Dulles to stop the exchange of arms by Czechoslovakia for Egyptian cotton, and British Foreign Secretary Harold MacMillan had also protested to Mr. Molotov even more vigorously than had Secretary Dulles regarding the exchange. But Mr. Molotov would not budge, claiming that Czechoslovakia was an independent country and had the right to trade as it wished. He referred to the arms shipment as "commercial exports".

Marquis Childs indicates that those around the President who had clung the longest to the illusion that he could be encouraged to run for re-election were now, in light of his heart attack, reluctantly giving up, realizing that he could not be expected to put his life in jeopardy. But among leading Republicans, there remained the hope that an agreement could be reached early enough regarding the right candidate as a substitute, which could take advantage of the prestige and popularity of the President on the basis of current peace and prosperity. The problem was reaching agreement on such a substitute before a political free-for-all began. When that strategy was being discussed, the name of Secretary of the Treasury George Humphrey continued to arise. The latter had proved himself the ablest and most persuasive member of the Cabinet and had exerted the greatest influence on policy regarding cuts in taxes and defense spending. He had never held public office, having spent his entire career in big industry, but had shown an intuitive instinct for politics which had impressed the professionals. It might be one reason that the President had given top priority to Secretary Humphrey's advice.

Mr. Humphrey fit the mold of an old-fashioned conservative who saw nothing outside the virtues of free enterprise and a strenuous life, but whose conservatism was tempered with gentility and goodwill, and he came down on the side of a better and happier world with high taxes only a painful memory of past Democratic administrations. It fit the current mood of continued prosperity. He easily cast aside the cares of public and private life, having horses as a hobby, along with playing bridge, which had helped to ingratiate himself to the White House inner circle. But he was also six months older than the President, turning 65 the prior March, potentially a serious handicap in view of the concerns over the health of the President, who would turn 65 in three days.

For three successive years, the Secretary had missed the Republican goal of balancing the budget, but had not given up, still saying that 3 percent, or about 1.7 billion dollars, could be saved out of current spending by way of reductions in defense and by economy in other departments. His close friend and ally within the Cabinet, Secretary of Defense Charles E. Wilson, had recently said publicly that there could be no further cuts in defense without seriously impairing the strength of the armed forces. But Mr. Humphrey did not foreclose the possibility of economy in that area as well, understanding that it would be necessary to achieve substantial cuts. While he would not go as far as Senator Stuart Symington of Missouri, former Secretary of the Air Force, who had said in a speech in Chicago that cutting five billion dollars from the budget could be achieved through "true unification" of the services, he did agree with Senator Symington that defense funds were being spent on obsolete weaponry which, within four or five years, would be junked.

Recently, Secretary Humphrey and Budget director Roland Hughes had asked each Government department to estimate how a 3 percent economy reduction would impact that department. For veteran career servants in the Government, it was a source of ironic laughter as the inquiry showed how little Mr. Humphrey understood the vast Federal machinery. In the Treasury Department, for instance, the total budget was roughly 6.9 billion dollars, and a cut of 3 percent would amount to approximately 200 million. But 6.3 billion of that total was a fixed charge for interest on the national debt and thus was irreducible, and if the whole 3 percent were taken out of the funds for operation, the IRS, for instance, would be completely wiped out and the Coast Guard would be at least cut in half. Similarly, the bulk of the budget for the HEW grants-in-aid to the states was fixed under law.

Whereas in industry a 3 percent cut might be possible with efficiency and economy, Government operations did not permit such across-the-board trimming and if Mr. Humphrey were to be a candidate for the Republican nomination for the presidency, the Democrats would seek to pin on him a "big business" label. That prospect, however, did not worry the Secretary's admirers within the Administration, who said that with industry functioning at full capacity and jobs at a high level for virtually everyone, the label did not carry the bad freight which it once had.

A letter writer indicates that she had taken her eight-year old son to the Southern States Fair and that in their party had been three adults and three children, that the children had talked of nothing all week long except the rodeo, that they had bought their tickets for same at the grandstand and taken their seats, expecting the event to start on schedule at 2:00 p.m. But then matters were delayed, according to the announcer, because they were waiting for the schoolchildren to be released from school, despite the fact that the City schoolchildren had been released at 1:00 p.m. so that they might attend the fair. She says that the children had become restless during the interim and were begging to leave, and so they left, that after much haggling, they had obtained a refund of their entrance fees. She believes that Charlotte officials ought look more closely into the way the fair was being run, particularly on days when schoolchildren were invited, that fair prices ought be set on those days and strictly maintained, instead of allowing the fair operators to charge whatever they wanted, that they got away with it because so few people would haggle over every spent cent.

Unless you are completely stupid, you do not go to the fair unless you expect to be ripped off aplenty in the process. That's part of the whole gimmick, is it not? These are carnie people, not necessarily the cream of the crop when it comes to responsible citizenry, unless you wish to spend all of your time in the 4-H exhibits, which most children do not. Did not anyone ever teach you that? Fair = brightly lighted ripoff. Enjoy it or go home.

A letter writer suggests that the County Board of Commissioners had overlooked some points when passing their ordinance on regulation of shooting of firearms within the county areas outside the city and town limits, urges appending an advisory which he provides, offering sarcastically that a person should send a surveyor out to ensure that they were outside the 200 and 500 yard limits before discharging their shotguns and rifles, and obliges other such unsolicited wise-acre suggestions as well. He adds a P.S. that it should be made illegal to use the automobile against another, including "upright or prone pedestrians".

A letter writer from Rock Hill, S.C., blesses the daily newspapers, both good and bad, wishes sound health and a good liver to those who delivered them as well, more wages to newspapermen, the janitors and the copy readers, indicates that he loved them all.

A letter writer from Winnipeg, Manitoba, says that he was collecting both new and outdated streetcar and bus tickets and tokens as a hobby, would appreciate receiving any from readers who could spare them and would send them along.

Unfortunately, he offers no street address to which the reader could respond and so you will have to send them c/o The Charlotte News.

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