The Charlotte News

Friday, October 21, 1955


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports from the U.N. in New York that Russia had demanded this date full debate on disarmament before the General Assembly's Political Committee without awaiting decisions by the Big Four foreign ministers conference, scheduled to start in Geneva on October 27. The Russian delegate made the demand in the 12-nation Disarmament Commission, accusing the latter of attempting to delay a report on disarmament debates by its big-nation subcommittee, comprised of the U.S., Britain, France, the Soviet Union and Canada, indicating that further delays would be harmful. He said that the argument had been made that discussion of disarmament at the U.N. would interfere with or prevent discussion by the Big Four foreign ministers, but that disarmament was a major topic of all general policy statements in the General Assembly and that every member of the U.N. had the right to debate the subject. The subcommittee had recessed its sessions on October 7, deadlocked regarding disarmament plans, especially regarding the U.S. insistence that the proposal of President Eisenhower for mutual aerial inspections and exchange of military blueprints on bases be permitted to enable disarmament assurance. The Russian delegate told the Commission, comprised of the 11 Security Council members plus Canada, that everyone agreed on the necessity of the measures to avert surprise attack but that the differences in the particulars made it necessary to debate disarmament openly at the U.N. now that there was a definite possibility of reaching agreement. He blamed the U.S. for blocking progress in the closed subcommittee sessions. The New Zealand delegate, chairman of the Political Committee, protested the Soviet request, saying that the Commission could not give the General Assembly an intelligent report on disarmament discussions until it had studied the verbatim reports from the 47 closed meetings of the subcommittee which had begun in London the previous spring and had resumed at the U.N. on August 29, on the instructions of the Big Four summit meeting of the prior July. The New Zealand delegate had an 18-inch pile of documents on his desk as a demonstration of the volume of the reports.

In Point Clear, Ala., the Southern Governors Conference had adopted a resolution the previous day urging the Administration to "establish sane and sensible limitations" on imports of foreign-manufactured textile goods, aimed primarily at the importation of Japanese cloth, asserting that imported Japanese textiles in July and August had represented more Japanese-made cloth than the entire amount shipped into the the U.S. during the four-year period of 1951-54. It said that August sales alone, when annualized, would represent sufficient cloth to provide jobs for an estimated 19,000 American textile workers. It urged studies to determine the exact effect of the increased textile imports upon the U.S. economy and said that the Conference would petition the Government to set up a program which would establish "sane and sensible limitations on imports of foreign-made textile mill products and apparel." Governor Theodore McKeldin of Maryland, a Republican, vigorously opposed the resolution, issuing a statement saying that he had opposed the Conference action and that the expression of economic fears in the context of a conference of American governors was "particularly out of place in a time of a healthy and rising economy such as the present." He said that it was important that they do what they could to advance the prosperity of their Japanese ally in the cold war and to maintain in Japan the system of free enterprise which was among the "greatest blocks to the spread of Communism."

In New York, a split in the New York delegation to the 1956 Democratic convention appeared likely, as Senator Herbert Lehman pledged his support to Adlai Stevenson for the presidential nomination, while the supporters of Governor Averell Harriman, who had, himself, continually said that he supported his friend, Mr. Stevenson, for the nomination, had hoped that the delegation would be solidly behind the Governor. Mr. Stevenson said from Chicago that he was proud to have the support of his old friend, Senator Lehman. He had said early the previous day that he was not counting on the New York delegation at all for support at the convention.

In Washington, Senator Styles Bridges of New Hampshire, chairman of the Senate Republican policy committee, said this date that if the President delayed his decision on whether to run for a second term beyond the following January, Republicans might enter his name in the early primaries on the assumption that he would run again. He said that he hoped that the President could decide no later than 30 days prior to the March 13 New Hampshire primary, which was the filing deadline in that state. Senator Alexander Smith of New Jersey said in a separate interview that the President should have all the time he needed to make up his mind as to whether he felt physically able to seek a second term and that he should not be pressured into any early decision. RNC chairman Leonard Hall had said that the President might wait until shortly before the party convention the following August before announcing his intentions.

In Camp Friedland, West Germany, German repatriates released by Russia said this date that they had met three more Americans in Soviet prison camps, with a female returnee having stated that she had met an American woman in one camp in central Asia and provided her name. A male civilian returned internee said that he had been in a Russian prison in East Berlin in 1952 with a named American soldier from North Carolina whom he said had told him that he was picked up by the Russians while on a drinking spree. U.S. Army officials in Berlin suggested that the latter person could be a soldier of another name, from Beaufort, N.C., listed as absent without leave. A former Wehrmacht intelligence officer reported that he had met an American newsman in a camp in central Asia in 1950-51 but could not recall his name.

In Taipei, Formosa, Nationalist China announced this date the termination of its state of war with Germany, expected to presage Nationalist efforts to establish diplomatic relations with West Germany.

In Washington, the Labor Department reported this date that the cost of living had risen seasonally in September to its near record level reached in 1953, having risen by three-tenths of a percent from August, causing the cost of living index to reach 114.9, based on the 1947-49 average of 100, half an index point below the record set in October, 1953, when the index had reached 115.4. The rise was attributed to seasonally high prices for food, clothing and household maintenance and furnishings. Costs of most services, such as medical care, hospital charges and personal care, had also increased. A representative of the Department said that there was no indication of inflation in the September increase, that prices had been stable for some time and that the cost of living level had fluctuated within a narrow range of one percent since November, 1953. During 11 of the previous 14 years, there had been an increase in the index between August and September. Average net spendable earnings by workers with three dependents had increased to $71.55 and for the single worker, to $64.23 per week, each figure being about $1.25 higher than in August. Higher pay rates and more overtime hours had increased average spendable pay by nearly five dollars per week from what it had been a year earlier. It appears that the Hoover dam tour guide on "You Bet Your Life" the previous evening was right, even if apparently misrecollecting the Hoover years and their aftermath, when people generally could not afford even a dam tour, no matter how much bolder they might have been, having too many boulders in their way, resemblant to the Hoover medicine balls.

In Chicago, police were continuing to investigate the deaths of three grade-school boys whose naked bodies had been found in a wooded area after having been strangled and beaten, with the cause of death in each case having been determined by the coroner's pathologist to be strangulation. Police had discovered a crowbar stained with what resembled blood, with hair stuck to it, contained within a truck in which two brothers, ages 47 and 52, had said they had slept on Monday night near a spot where the bodies of the victims had been found on Tuesday afternoon. The truck was taken to a suburban police station for minute examination and the crowbar had been discovered during the search. The truck belonged to the father of the two brothers. They were being held by the police pending a polygraph examination. They denied knowing anything about the killings and said that they had not seen any bodies either Monday night or when they departed the wooded area on Tuesday morning, indicating that they often picnicked or slept in the woods. Seven other persons had been questioned regarding the deaths, including a girl from Sacramento, Calif., who had confessed to a priest in Indiana an automobile theft and had stated that she also knew who "the fellows was" who had committed the slayings in Chicago, saying that she had promised that she would never tell. She was being held without charge.

In Sakai City, Japan, a three-year old Japanese girl had drowned the previous day in a rain-filled sewer drain while 100 Japanese workers and American soldiers were tearing up yards of pavement in a desperate attempt to save her.

The Los Angeles Times reported this date that a rocket plane capable of carrying a pilot to an altitude of 100 miles was being built, the contract assigned to North American Aviation Corp., which would have two years to complete the job, with the backing of the Air Force, Navy and the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics. The goal was almost six times the record altitude of about 17 miles, reached the previous year in a Bell X1A rocket research craft piloted by Maj. Arthur Murray—who apparently gave dancing lessons on the side. An unmanned single-stage rocket had reached an altitude of 158 miles. North American declined comment.

In Grand Rapids, Mich., a policewoman had submitted her resignation to marry a sergeant of the department's traffic bureau. The woman's surname was Wellbeloved and the little piece suggests that she was. That is certainly worthy of space on the front page of any newspaper.

In London, a man who, during the previous three years, had brought 14 unsuccessful civil actions against various Government officials in efforts to obtain a war pension, was declared a "frivolous and vexatious" litigant and barred from filing further lawsuits against the Government without court permission. He had then sued the Government attorney who had sought the declaration. The three-judge court granted the request and also extended the order to ban the man from filing any lawsuits without specific permission from the court.

Also in London, it was reported that Princess Margaret, sister to Queen Elizabeth, had emerged this date from a gay, informal dinner party with Group Capt. Peter Townsend, as the question of whether they had announced their engagement raced through the city, with no official answer yet having been provided. Will they or won't they? Enquiring minds want to know.

In Chicago, an attempt to reconcile a woman with her husband, who contended that she was too fat, had failed this date and trial of their divorce suit was set for December 8. The woman refused to report her weight to the court, saying that weight had nothing to do with the matter. When the couple had married, the woman had weighed 127 pounds, but as the years had passed, she had gained to 190 and her husband had sued for divorce the prior May, alleging that she was cruel to him by letting her weight get away from her. The court believed that if she could slim down to her wedding weight, the couple might be reconciled. She agreed that between May and August, she had managed to lose 45 pounds, but had then gained back ten pounds, again reduced to 145 by September 24, at which time she was given until this date to lose the remaining 18 pounds. She agreed to accompany photographers to a scale in the City sealer's office at City Hall, and the scale read 147, the woman telling the photographers that her stripped weight was 140—apparently the extra seven pounds being armament which she was packing, the photographers having the discretion not to ask. In any event, the photograph shows that she still appeared rather robust.

On the editorial page, "United Appeal's Hour of Decision" indicates that the 1955 United Appeal campaign would succeed or fail according to the generosity and common sense exhibited by the citizenry of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County in the days immediately ahead. Thus far, only 39.5 percent of the year's goal had been raised, with the halfway point scheduled to have been reached the previous day. It therefore urges people to contribute.

"MacArthur Story: Quick Shifting" indicates that immediately after the release of the Yalta papers several months earlier, General MacArthur had gone on record saying that he would have recommended against bringing the Russians into the Pacific War had he been consulted on the matter prior to the Yalta Conference of February, 1945, because he thought that the Japanese were on the verge of collapse. He also said that he would have opposed as "fantastic" any territorial concessions to induce the Russians to enter the war.

It finds the implication of the statement to be that the U.S. representatives at Yalta had been at least weak and foolish.

The Pentagon had now released secret documents which established that General MacArthur had favored Russia's entry into the war as late as June, 1945, four months after the Yalta Conference, and that immediately after that conference, the General had said emphatically that the U.S. should not invade Japan unless the Russians invaded Manchuria, recognizing the inevitable Russian annexation of Manchuria if they did invade.

It finds it strange that a man of General MacArthur's outspoken temperament could have been so emphatically in favor of implementing an agreement which he said he would have called unnecessary and fantastic before it was made. The Pentagon documents either strongly suggested or proved that General MacArthur was capable of making an error occasionally. It finds that knowledge refreshing and posits that it should remove the matter from the popular game of hindsight, the object of which was to show that the country's postwar troubles had begun with the triumph of U.S. "bad guys" over U.S. "good guys" and that it was that simple.

"Red Failure on Prisoner Pact" indicates that when the Communist Chinese had agreed a month earlier to free 41 Americans, few spirits had been raised by the thought that the agreement might signal a change in Chinese attitude. It finds the pessimism valid, as 19 of the 41 Americans remained under detention, while the Communists said that an equal number were free to leave but had not yet asked for permission. It finds it inconceivable for that to be the case and the fact that the Chinese were suggesting that the talks be advanced to a higher level, caused suspicion that the Communists did not intend to free the Americans as long as they had coercive value.

It posits that if the Chinese intention was to continue to delay on fulfilling their promise until the U.S. agreed to a foreign ministers conference, Secretary of State Dulles could choose no honorable course other than to reject the invitation to such a conference. Freedom for the prisoners had never been tied to the contingency of holding a top-level conference and such a conference could serve no purpose after the bad faith of the Chinese in not yet fulfilling their promise.

A piece from the Wall Street Journal, titled "Kitchen Trouble", indicates that the writer was remodeling their home kitchen, causing everything to be displaced in the house, giving the writer more than an academic interest in the consumer reports which the newspaper had published the previous day regarding mechanical contrivances. Most of the kitchen remodel had been completed for weeks, but for want of a coupling, the clothes washer stood silent and for the absence of an electric plug, they were tripping daily over the extension cord to the freezer, after the plumber and electrician had moved on to other jobs. Thus far, nothing worked in the new kitchen, but there were already evident problems, such as that the manufacturer instructed regarding an exhaust fan over the stove, that if it proved defective, it should be removed and placed in a wooden packing box with some excelsior, at which point the writer could take it down to the railway express office and ship it back. It tells of warranties appearing sound enough, but that by the time the customer got through invoking one, he was likely to be in a state of "well-warranted irritation". It says that it was almost ready to go back to the wood-fired stove and the old-fashioned dishpan, and that it would, except that there was a lady in the kitchen who would blow a fuse.

Drew Pearson indicates that the story of the New England flood control was one of tragic postponement, procrastination and penny-pinching. In 1936, Congress had authorized 300 million dollars to control floods in every New England state except Maine, but in the 19 years since, only 60 million of that money had been spent. Congress had authorized the money but then did not appropriate it and the Army Corps of Engineers could not spend it until it was appropriated. He indicates that had it been spent, part of the damage to New England from the two recent floods might have been prevented, even though damage from flooding could never be completely prevented until New England cities were rebuilt and houses close to the rivers replaced with parking lots or public parks. The town of Putnam, Conn., had asked the Corps to cooperate in zoning for future floods, moving factories and houses back from the river and making the riverbank a park or parking area. The Corps had pointed out that New England was overbuilt around its rivers.

Despite the belief of the President's advisers that the spirit of Geneva from the previous July Big Four summit conference was now dead, as Mr. Pearson had detailed the previous day, the National Association of Home Builders had been performing a constructive job of carrying on that spirit by entertaining Russian housing experts visiting the U.S. Those experts had not received the news coverage given the Russian farm delegation, but they had been working just as hard and receiving a friendly welcome, concentrating on flooring, wallboard, and cinder-block, without going in for either lemonade or vodka. They had gone on a shopping spree at Macy's in New York, winding up purchasing $6,000 worth of household gadgetry, the biggest of which had been a fully equipped General Electric kitchen—perhaps belying the necessity of the "Kitchen Debate" of 1959 between Premier Nikita Khrushchev and Vice-President Nixon. The American home builders had conscientiously sought to give the ten Russians a cross-section of American housing. The Russians were most interested in insulation, wallboard, wooden shingle siding, asphalt tile floors and copper plumbing. In Russia, asphalt tile was used only in factories, while copper plumbing did not exist. Galvanized iron pipes were used in Russia and the water was treated to keep them from rusting. The National Association of Home Builders was doing what Mr. Pearson had suggested might be done by other groups of Americans, bringing Russians to the U.S. as a birthday present to the ill President, who was unable, himself, to carry on in the spirit of Geneva.

Marquis Childs indicates that the two adjectives invariably applied to the president of the Fund for the Republic, Robert Hutchins, were "brilliant" and "provocative", as he had a habit of speaking his brilliant mind freely and thereby had provoked many people. His friends and his gentler critics had often said that if he could only be a little more restrained and tactful, he would have more success in promoting the causes in which he believed passionately, including the objective of the Fund, to advance the understanding of civil liberties. Mr. Hutchins had also not hesitated to name to his staff certain controversial figures, all of which had led to criticism of the Fund and its projects for having a left-wing bias.

The Ford Foundation had given 15 million dollars to the Fund, which acted independently of the Foundation. The first president of the Fund had been Clifford Case, Congressman from New Jersey, and his connection with it had been used by his Republican primary opponents when he had run for the Senate in 1952, having won by a narrow majority despite the opposition from within his own party.

The chairman of the board of the Fund was Paul Hoffman, one of the leading supporters of the President and head of Studebaker-Packard. Mr. Childs provides a list of the other members of the board of directors, representing all points on the political spectrum and including other prominent businessmen.

Mr. Hutchins enjoyed considerable autonomy in policy and staff appointments, and one of the consultants he had named was Elmer Davis, the noted commentator who had been the subject of prolonged attack from the extreme right. He had appointed a committee representing a diversity of interests and outlook to study racial discrimination in housing, and had also done so in his appointments to another committee studying attitudes toward Communism and civil liberties. He believed that such diversity provided insurance that the whole field of civil liberties would be explored with courage and candor and that there would be no fixed bias in the approach to the central problem of preserving freedom in the face of the continuing threat of Communist aggression.

The Fund was also concerned with the inherent right of dissent and the avoidance of any suppression of same in a time of trouble.

"In a totalitarian state the dissenter is swiftly purged. Brilliant, provocative men such as Hutchins are not tolerated for a moment. The Fund for the Republic is dedicated to the belief that freedom—for the individual, for minorities—is the basis of a free society. And in trying to gain a larger voice for that view it is embattled with those who seem to feel our present danger is so great that freedom must be sacrificed or curtailed."

Robert C. Ruark, in Palamos, Spain, tells of a one-eyed neighbor in Spain having started an advertising fad some years earlier, which he believed was about to run away with itself, as it had spawned bad gags about eye-patches. Then came Commander Edward Whitehead, representing Schweppes sodas and quinine waters, who had for the previous few years shown up everywhere surrounded by some of the cutest copy he had ever seen, the last of which had been headed: "Can You Spot the Yellow-Breasted Schweppes?"

There had also been a lot of surreal advertising, such as the use of tame cheetahs sitting on a checkerboard marble floor to promote vodka. The newest "super-cutie" which he had seen was a full-page ad in a chic magazine which said: "The man from Carvet is on his way," portraying a British type attired in a bowler and serge suit, riding away from the viewer on a unicycle, carrying an attaché case, presumably full of necktie samples.

Cigarette ads featured retired admirals with tennis rackets and tattoos on their hands. Girdle advertisers showed cavemen dragging scantily clad women across rough rocks. And Maidenform bras were being advertised with women who dreamed they had gone half-naked to the circus.

He longs for the good old days of advertising, when they told the reader how much the car cost, instead of "how many new taste thrills one could get from its new, two-tone, hydra-dammit fantail." He believes subtlety had gone out of advertising and did not want to have to apprentice himself to Salvador Dali to understand that someone was trying to hustle corsets. He also did not like the picture magazines running ads as if they were editorial matter. He felt the same way about publicity hounds who wrote columns on world affairs as editorial matter, until one realized that they were reading a plug for a whiskey or a tool shop. He simply wanted to know what the thing was, why it was better, and how much it cost, especially the latter, a factor which had been lacking on the larger items in recent years, causing him to suppose that the manufacturers thought it indelicate to speak about money.

A letter writer responds to another letter writer who had written about Vicki, the runaway elephant from the Airport Park Zoo. He thinks the previous writer had a good idea when he advocated that the elephant should have been shot or cut to pieces and ammonia thrown in its eyes before it killed a person, this writer believing that such should be done to all pink elephants. It had come to the attention of many that the whole thing had been nothing more than a publicity stunt. He wonders why the reporter had not gone to the house which Vicki reportedly had gone to for four consecutive days to obtain something to eat. He thinks something should be done to the person who turned Vicki into a "criminal-at-large", that the elephant had been as afraid of the people chasing it and making it run away as those who were reading the "Wild Elephant Loose in County" headlines—which had almost run one day in The News, albeit stating "Angry" rather than "Wild". He concludes that the whole thing had been a publicity stunt.

Vicki, Mister, was real, in an age of make-believe and escape, as real as it gets, and don't you doubt it for one minute.

A letter writer indicates that she was sure that thousands of people had seen the United Appeal promotional program on WBTV. She hopes that every person in the county would give all which they could to help the afflicted, believes they would be rewarded, for the Bible said that "what we mete out to others will be meted back to us."

Framed Edition
[Return to Links
Page by Subject] [Return to Links-Page by Date] [Return to News<i><i><i>—</i></i></i>Framed Edition]
Links-Date Links-Subj.