The Charlotte News

Tuesday, October 25, 1955


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports from Paris that the NATO foreign ministers had approved this date the proposals of the Western Big Three for easing world tensions, following a lengthy statement to them by Secretary of State Dulles, British Foreign Secretary Harold Macmillan and French Foreign Minister Antoine Pinay, explaining the joint memorandum which the West would present to the Soviets at the start of the foreign ministers conference in Geneva two days hence. Secretary Dulles had spoken for almost an hour on the first and key sections of the memorandum, dealing with the Western proposals for German reunification and a general European security pact. Secretary Macmillan spoke briefly on disarmament proposals, indicating that the problem was being handled by a U.N. subcommittee and that the task at Geneva would be to improve the atmosphere to help the work within the U.N. M. Pinay presented the Big Three's views on improvement of East-West relations, mentioning trade, tourism and exchange of information, saying that progress in that area would depend primarily on a development of the "Geneva spirit" and particularly on the progress which the Big Four might make on the primary agenda item of German reunification. The new Greek Foreign Minister, Spyros Theotokis, made a statement on behalf of his Government, saying that it wished to reaffirm its NATO attachment, the only reference made at the meeting to the recent Greek-Turkish tension which at one point had caused the Greek Government to withdraw a contingent from a scheduled NATO military maneuver. Officials said that the current situation in the Middle East, particularly the threat of conflict between Israel and the Arab States in the wake of the sale by Czechoslovakia of arms to Egypt in exchange for Egyptian cotton, had not yet been discussed. The Big Three foreign ministers had reached "complete agreement" the previous night on the memorandum which they would present to Soviet Foreign Minister V. M. Molotov at the opening of the conference on Thursday.

Secretary of Labor James Mitchell said this date that it was up to the businessmen of the nation to solve the problem of racial and religious discrimination in employment, addressing a meeting of 65 presidents and board chairmen of some of the nation's leading business firms, referring to such bias as "a management problem". He said that business and industry ought discard bias in employment just as they should discard "outmoded machines", that equality of job opportunity was "good business" for maintaining worker morale and efficiency, as well as making the best use of the nation's manpower. The meeting was under the chairmanship of Vice-President Nixon and sponsored by the President's Committee on Government Contracts. Also expected to speak at the meeting were Secretary of Commerce Sinclair Weeks and Deputy Defense Secretary Reuben Robertson.

Julian Scheer of The News indicates that two Charlotte men had been arrested during the morning as part of a six-state Federal crackdown on illegal sale of stimulant drugs, known as "bennies", "goof balls" and "co-pilots", sold to truck drivers by cafés, truck stops, service stations and drugstores. Both men were charged with several counts of selling diamphetamine and pentobarbital sodium tablets shipped into the state in interstate commerce without license or prescription. They had allegedly sold the drugs in Charlotte. The charges were punishable by a year imprisonment or $1,000 fines or both for each count, with one of the two men charged facing three counts and the other man facing four. In ten Federal districts in six states, the Federal Government filed similar charges in 22 criminal actions, requesting bench warrants for the arrest of 42 individuals. The cases were concentrated in North and South Carolina, Georgia, Illinois and Indiana, following a year-long investigation by the FDA, after highway accident reports and information furnished by safety directors of trucking firms and associations had led to the investigation, the commissioner of the FDA having said that FDA inspectors had worked undercover as interstate truck drivers to obtain evidence.

In Hawkins, Tex., oilfield firefighters continued desperate efforts this date at extinguishing a runaway oil well fire started the previous afternoon, having a plume of burning gas 200 feet high. A change in the underground pressure could force streams of oil from the well and send waves of the burning oil over nearby streets and lots, with four homes, each of which had been evacuated hours earlier, in the immediate vicinity of the erupting well. Firefighters considered calling in heavy equipment to tow the wood-frame houses away. The primary danger to nearby buildings was not from the flames but the tremendous blasts of nitroglycerin or other explosives which the firefighters expected to use to try to extinguish the fire. The well had blown out early the previous afternoon, probably caused by a spark from stones striking together as they were blown from the hole under the tremendous pressure of the gas. When it occurred, experts had been attempting to increase the flow of oil in the 15-year old well, which had to be treated periodically to keep the oil flowing. Efforts to pump mud into the well plug had failed, and late the previous night, engineers had shut down nearby wells and forced salt water into them in the hope that the water would reach the producing sands and put out the flaming well from underneath.

Along the Eastern Seaboard from Virginia to Massachusetts, a string of quick, violent storms bringing wind gusts of up to 110 mph had caused seven deaths. In New York state, one man had been killed when a large elm tree had fallen on his truck, a couple had died in a collision when their small truck skidded in the sudden, blinding rain, and a doctor was killed when his car crashed into a tree during rain which had continued after the wind had subsided. In New Jersey, a man was killed when a tree crashed into his car close to his home, another man was killed in a rear-end collision on a darkened street, which authorities attributed to the storm, and a woman was killed when a door she had pulled open was blown from her hands, causing her to fall down her porch steps.

According to the Weather Bureau, there would be a killing frost the following morning in the Charlotte area, with the temperature expected to drop to 30 degrees, as a new cold front came up from the Texas Panhandle. The low during the current morning was 36 in Charlotte, while it was 43 at New York's LaGuardia Airport. Normally the area did not receive a killing frost until mid-November. The first mild frost had occurred several weeks earlier. A high of 60 was forecast for the date and 70 for the following day, but below normal temperatures for lows were being predicted through Sunday. Jack Frost is coming to nip at your nose, or possibly your toes. To what little door will you retreat when old Mr. Love and old Mr. Hate decide to do battle between your hands and both simultaneously seek to lead your fate?

Harry Shuford of The News tells of there having been no parking problem the previous night at the first performance of the Ice Capades at the new Charlotte Coliseum, with police having attributed solution to the previous in-out problems to the public, who, this time, came early, arriving an hour before performance time, alleviating the long lines jamming the two entrances on the prior occasions, with a double line of traffic having extended for a mile up Independence Boulevard fifteen minutes before the start of the recent performance of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

On the editorial page, "New Try To Fathom the Geneva Spirit" indicates that as the foreign ministers were preparing for the Geneva conference, scheduled to start in two days, Germany remained the prize as well as a grim problem, with the West offering one proposal and the Russians another. The only sane answer for the West was to keep West Germany within NATO at all costs and reunify the country if possible. The Russian answer was the opposite, to woo Germany from NATO and keep it divided until time and diplomatic guile might reunify it on Russian terms.

While Secretary of State Dulles had forecast the beginnings of a thaw of the cold war reunification stance and the President had spoken of "measured hope" for the foreign ministers conference, Russian moves since the Big Four summit meeting of the prior July had generated little hope that the two opposing views could be reconciled.

The outpouring of pro-German spirit in the Saar shown by Sunday's vote probably had strengthened Moscow's belief in the waiting game regarding West Germany, as the residents of the Saar had vigorously rejected a plan endorsed by Chancellor Konrad Adenauer of West Germany to bring the region under the political control of the Western European Union. Doubtless, Moscow perceived the same longing for nationalistic independence in West Germany and would use it as a weapon to wean it from NATO.

It predicts that it was likely that the foreign ministers would not be successful at German reunification, but might make some progress on other matters on the agenda, especially the broadening of East-West contact. But real progress had to be measured by action on the future of Germany, which it finds the same as saying the future of NATO and the defense machinery.

"Travel Is Broadening—Within Limits" indicates that the farther U.S. Senators got from home, the more likely they were to fall from virtue, but that the trouble with a politician stubbing his toe abroad was that the whole world was watching.

It provides the example of Senators Leverett Saltonstall of Massachusetts, Harley Kilgore of West Virginia, John McClellan of Arkansas and John Stennis of Mississippi, who, while passing through Cairo on a trip to inspect America's military bases, had passed a solicitor for the Egyptian arms drive, at which point they smilingly tossed him some coins. When news of the contributions reached the U.S., Senator Saltonstall had said lamely, "We thought it was an Egyptian charity." Meanwhile, Senators Stennis, McClellan and Dennis Chavez of New Mexico found themselves in another difficult situation after the Defense Department had announced that it had been asked to dispatch two Air Force planes to return them and their wives home at a cost to taxpayers of $20,000. The indignant Senators had promptly denied the report and Senators McClellan and Stennis had come home the previous day on regularly scheduled Military Air Transport Service planes. The Defense Department eventually admitted that it had made a mistake and that the Senators had not requested any special planes.

It finds that global junkets were necessary as they permitted members of Congress to obtain first-hand views of vital U.S. interests abroad. But globetrotting legislators were not ordinary sightseers and had an obligation to keep their wits about them and maintain a certain dignity, avoid getting involved in Egyptian arms drives, for instance, and exhibit presence of mind, taste and common sense.

The Government owed transportation to members of Congress when they were on Government business, but should not provide expensive, special service when regularly scheduled transportation was available. The Government did not owe free transportation to the wives of the junketing members of Congress and so the wives of Senators Stennis, McClellan and Chavez had no business accepting free rides from the Air Force, and if it was necessary for them to accompany their husbands on the trips, then they should pay their own fares.

It concludes that travel was broadening, "but enough is enough."

"Cultural Diplomacy at Home & Abroad" suggests that the U.S., to win friends and influence allies, had to utilize cultural weapons as well as prepare political, economic and military strategy.

At present, the Metropolitan Opera's board of directors had approved a European tour of the company, probably to occur in 1957. Should it materialize, it might help convince European audiences that the U.S. was not the home of "artless barbarians", as claimed by Communist propaganda.

It suggests that the Met ought to have at least small touring units making more visits to major American cities. It made an annual trip to Atlanta and received tremendous response. It says Charlotte would provide the company a similarly enthusiastic welcome in its new Auditorium. Such an appearance, it posits, would stimulate appetite for musical drama which was already developing under the influence of Charlotte's own opera association, which would open its 1955-56 season this night with Madame Butterfly.

It concludes that the Met was an excellent cultural ambassador and that its talents were needed not only abroad, but also at home.

"A Tired Nose Can Stop Running" recounts of hearing the wail of a beagle one night recently, which caused it to recall the words of Stephen Vincent Benet, that fall was of the 'possum, the coon and the "lop-eared hound-dog baying the moon."

It finds that it was because of a once-owned beagle's nose that he was lost, as he never found out that he could not catch that which he smelled, and when he had lit out after it following breakfast one spring morning, he had never come back. But in the current weather, he had easier quarry in rabbits, and the nose could rest, at least until spring.

There must be something a little more topical on which to make discussion in the column, but have it your way.

Drew Pearson tells of Secretary of Commerce Sinclair Weeks ducking testimony before Congressman Emanuel Celler's Monopoly subcommittee, having said that he was "too busy" to do so, after having refused the prior summer to provide the minutes of the Business Advisory Council, which advised the Department. Mr. Celler had obtained the financial records of the Council, however, and they showed that two silver trays, costing over $1,000 each, had been presented to former Commerce Secretary Charles Sawyer of the Truman Administration and former Army Secretary Robert Stevens of the Eisenhower Administration—the source of the controversy with Senator McCarthy which had resulted finally in the latter's censure—, both of whom were members of the Council. In addition, an $1,100 silver service was given to the chairman of Libby-Owens Ford Glass Co., also a member of the Council. Mr. Pearson lists several other gifts, including a $500 diamond rooster brooch, the recipient of which was unknown. In addition, over $10,000 had been spent at a Council meeting held in Pebble Beach, Calif., in 1953.

Mr. Celler wanted to find out why those gifts had been presented and what influence the Council had over Departmental policy, claiming that the Council members had important inside information for business and had a great deal to do with recommending top appointees to the Administration.

When the two elite planes had been sent overseas by the Defense Department to fetch home three Seneators and their wives from Madrid and Paris, there was more than met the eye, as the Department had received from the Senators a secret telegram approving the much criticized multibillion dollar AT&T deal with the Air Force, which the Comptroller General had determined was illegal. Nevertheless, the four junketing Senators had telegraphed to Senator Carl Hayden of Arizona that they would introduce legislation making the deal legal. That cut the ground from under one of the Democrats' biggest and best campaign issues, and so it was no wonder that General Robert Moore, who had chaperoned the Senators around Europe, had wanted the best trans-Atlantic travel for them, as the General was the Defense Department lobbyist on Capitol Hill.

Bill Sharpe, writing in the State magazine, indicates that he had said that North Carolina had more soldiers fighting in the Civil War in proportion to its population than any other state, and then had received a note from Frank Coxe of Asheville saying that it should be more soldiers regardless of population. Mr. Sharpe, however, had found the claim hard to prove, as it was hard to prove generally anything about the number of men serving in the Confederate Army.

It appeared certain that Tennessee had more men serving than any other state, with North Carolina probably being second and first in relation to its population. According to Nineteenth Century Governor and Senator Zebulon Vance—of Battle-Vance-Pettigrew of UNC with the gargoyles on top across from Hector's in Troy—, a total of 125,000 North Carolinians had served, and that figure squared with other estimates. Estimates of the total strength of the Confederacy ranged from 600,000 men to 1.25 million and all of those estimates were from reputable sources.

In 1918, State Supreme Court Chief Justice Walter Clark had estimated the total Confederate forces at about 650,000, but his estimate had been generally considered too low. He had said that of that total, North Carolina had provided 125,000 or nearly one-fifth of the total, and of those, 43,000 did not return home.

The most recent book on the subject was Clement Eaton's A History of the Southern Confederacy, which provided an estimate of about 850,000 to 900,000 men in the Confederacy. Pension rolls of both the North and the South in 1890 indicated that the North had about twice as many armed men as the South had during the war. Mr. Eaton had said that the Confederate Army had reached its peak in June, 1863, with 261,000 men, and that after that point, the Army had "oozed away", while the Union Army had steadily increased in size until the end of the War in April, 1865, when it had 622,000 men on duty.

The most exhaustive study had been done by a Northern officer, Thomas Livermore, whose book was published in 1900, estimating that the Confederacy had a total accumulated strength of over 1,080,000. The military population of the Confederacy in 1860, which included white males between 18 and 45, was 984,475, and Mr. Livermore estimated that 116 percent of that group at one time or another had served either in the Confederate armies or in the home guards. Near the end of the war, boys as young as 13 were being used, as well as men up to age 60 and over. In the census of 1860, Tennessee had the largest military population at 158,353, and Mr. Livermore said that 31,092 had joined the Union Army and that around 134,800 had joined the Confederate Army.

North Carolina had been the third most populous Southern state at the time, with a military population of 115,396, and the names of 104,498 men appeared on a roster made up after the war. It was estimated that missing names would bring the total to 120,000. The Junior Reserves numbered 4,077, making Mr. Livermore's total close to that of Mr. Vance.

South Carolina had a military population of 55,046 and had sent about 60,000 men into service. Mississippi had a military population of 70,295 and claimed to have placed between 70,000 and 80,000 men into service. Florida, with a military population of 15,739 in 1860, had reported having an army of about 15,000 men. The Governor of Georgia had written in 1865 that out of a population of 111,005, the state had furnished "over 100,000". Louisiana, in 1889, had reported "original enrollment" of 55,820 men, excluding irregulars and home guards. Mr. Livermore believed that the state, out of a population of 83,456, had contributed around 96,000 men.

Mr. Sharpe indicates that efforts to obtain more concrete figures had produced one surprise, conveyed in a letter from the Virginia Historical Society in response to his letter, referring him back to Mr. Livermore's dilemma in providing no roll call for Virginia, saying that they would probably never know the exact number who had served from that state.

North Carolinians in the regular Army, not counting the reserves and home guards, constituted 58 infantry regiments, two infantry legions and three infantry battalions, six cavalry regiments and two cavalry battalions, four artillery regiments and three artillery battalions.

Mr. Livermore had said that North Carolina was not conspicuous above the other Southern states for its martial spirit before the Civil War and its people had not been, as a whole, "fervid in the cause of secession", that there was no reason to believe that more men were originally enrolled in, or recruited for, the average regiment from North Carolina than in the other Confederate states. Let them rabble-rousers go hang. We got farming to do, man, hats to make and furniture to mend.

Mr. Sharpe concludes that he hated to admit it, but that it made good sense.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop tell of hypocrisy being the only word which would properly describe the Western governments' approach to the Geneva meeting of foreign ministers, that at no time since the end of World War II had the gap been so great between what the statesmen were saying in public and what they had been saying among themselves, with the public line being optimistic. Yet in the previous few weeks, British, French and American policymakers had been preparing at great length for the conference with the theme having been, according to one cynical confrere, "how to put the best face we can on the setbacks we have to expect."

There were three principal points on the agenda for the Western Big Three to negotiate with the Soviets, cultural exchanges between the Eastern and Western blocs, reunification of Germany, and disarmament. Cultural exchanges would enable showing the "spirit of Geneva" at its best, but on the latter two points, the outlook was not so good. Secretary of State Dulles had said recently that the Soviets would be "forced" to let the two parts of Germany come together again, and at the conference, the three Western foreign ministers would offer the Soviets a European security pact, guaranteed by all, if they would consent to German reunification without conditions. In reality, however, the Soviets had already made it quite plain that they had no intention of permitting German reunification unless West Germany abandoned NATO, and there was no known way to get the Soviets to change that position.

In the meantime, the American, British and French policymakers were haunted by the specter of the possibility that the Germans might purchase reunification at some point in the future by agreement to abandon NATO.

Regarding disarmament, the American policymakers had convinced the country and the world that the Government believed disarmament would be easy, provided a sound inspection system were developed, and those impressions had been strengthened when the President had proposed at the summit meeting in Geneva in July the program of mutual aerial inspection and exchange of blueprints of military bases to enable security against violation of a disarmament pact and avoid sneak attack. But, in fact, disarmament would not be easy even if the Soviets accepted an inspection system. For there was no agreed disarmament plan between the three Western allies and there was not even an American plan.

The Alsops conclude by analogizing the situation to the magical clothes of the king in the nursery story, when there were actually no clothes at all and so the king went naked and boasted of the beauty of his imaginary costume, until a child, untrained in the ways of court, blurted out, "Why the king has no clothes on."

We did not know that the Vice-President was going to attend...

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